Saturday, September 12, 2020

Forest of Wyrd Session #23 - The Dead Thayn and Other Stories


Ranza (Changeling 3)
Jonesomon (Specialist 4)
Gnarl (Wood Gnome 4)

Thrax, Hobbs and Vegarious were swept away by the jubilant town crowd, leaving  Ranza and the just returned Gnarl standing over the comatose Jonesomon. Having lost their companions for the moment,  the pair dragged Jonesomon off to the "Nine Cups and a Cask" Inn so a day of good rest and a few healing potions would get him back on his feet. For the trio planned to search the Keep now that the giant was taken out, looking hopefully for some monetary reward for their troubles. 

Headed back to the Keep the next day, they opted to climb once more up the garderobe rope, the front gate being still barred and inaccessible. At the top floor, they first searched the fallen bodies of the hobs and the giant for loot, but with no success. Searching the room where the children had been held likewise uncovered nothing except a shield hanging over what was once the bed; a round wooden shield edged with cold iron and painted with a two headed red boar on a green field. Ranza took this, and then the three respectfully gathered the bodies of the fallen children for later retrieval before moving on. They next checked the remnants of the thayn's office. The skylight had long since fallen in, so the room was exposed to the rain and elements. All the books, maps and scrolls were ruined. and the floor itself was rotten. As Ranza discovered when she when through a soft spot and crashed into the cold ash of the hall firepit below. Meanwhile, while tapping the walls, Gnarl noted a painting or mural under the loose plaster of one wall. Scrapping it off carefully, he uncovered a map of the northern Forest of Wyrd, between the River of Sorrows and the Mountains of Twilight. Most interesting is the map showed the exact location of Fortress Iacarta and the other old Imperium border forts along the mountain range. No need for Vora to guide them north now!

As they prepared to moved out, the sound of a sheep bleating,  coupled with that of dogs barking, drew them to the arrow slit overlooking the courtyard. There they saw the two dogs still chained on and a small lamb wandering around just out of their reach. Gnarl decided this was a good opportunity to speak with animals and so the trio headed that way. The wood gnome opted to talk to the dogs, who were not particularly interested in talking at first until satiated with a good meal freshly butchered giant. He unfortunately learned little of interest, only that the dogs belonged to a farmer named Josiah and had been taken by the hobs early on to use a guard dogs. 

From the courtyard, the three climbed onto the north wall, thinking to access the gate tower and find a way to get the remaining livestock (which they had discovered in the old barracks in the courtyard) out and back to the townsfolk. As the stood sizing up the middle level of the tower, a small pebble suddenly moved all on its own and rolled down the stairs. Suspecting invisible fey, Gnarl lobbed a flour bomb which coated everything (including the ash covered and damp Ranza) in a layer of flour dust. But there was no sign of anyone there with them. Weirded out, Ranza asked if anyone was there, and was answered by the sound of scratching on the walls. After a little more back and forth, they established yes/no communication via tapping with what turned out to be the ghost of the executed Thayn Lorgan. They established his spirit was trapped here as his body was never properly buried (they found it later hanging tar-covered and grotesquely dismembered in a gibbet in the upper tower). They agree to put his remains and spirit to rest, and in return the dead thayn directed them to the treasures he knew to be in the Keep. Something in his main bedchamber (the children's room) as well as in the centre of tbe lower floor of the keep. 

Heading back to the main keep, they searched the children's chamber again. And behind where the shield was found they uncovered a secret hiding space. And in there was another shield, identical to the first. But this was was quite obviously magical. Ranza likewise grabbed this one for herself. Before heading down to search the ground floor for treasure, the trio headed into the keep tower to check it out. The only thing unusual there was found tucked in a corner at the top of the tower; a fire-blackened wooden statue of leering elk-headed mother goddess figure set above a small stained (with blood?) firepit. Jonesomon identified this as some ancient forest goddess from times before even the D'war dwelt in the wood. Very much a dark and dangerous thing, one the thayn's spirits was reluctant to answer questions about when confronted later. In the end they took the statue for future study.

Done there, they next headed for the keep ground floor.  First confronted with and defeated by a huge padlock on one door, then had to deal with a wandering giant spitting beetle which left Jonesomon and Ranza covered in blisters and sores from it's corrosive spit. They then turned to root through an old armory and a storeroom (where Gnarl liberated a hammer and chisel to use later on that big padlock). And in the back of the storeroom found a small, overbuilt room which was obviously the Keep treasure room. Which unfortunately seemed to have long since been looted; the door hung off it's hinges and inside were three smashed chests. They poked around some more though, and discovered a false bottom in one chest. below which was a small hollow and a locked wooden box. Jonesomon tried to pick the lock and was unsuccessful (and barely survived the poison needle trap he set off in the process). So Ganrl used with hammer and chisel to break it open. Inside were three leather flasks and a small purple velvet bag. Inside the bag were 12gp; Imperium dragons from 300 years ago. The flasks were potions. Ranza tasted each, finding they were  potion of diminution,  potion of healing  and one spoiled potion that made her gag and blistered her tongue. 

Moving on, they checked the next door, the one behind which could be heard faint sounds. Inside however they saw nothing. Just a series of old cells. But the faint sounds could still be heard emanating from the cell in the far corner. Thinking they may have another ghost, they started to communicate in the same way as they did with the dead Thayn. It seems there was someone else to release from bondage to the keep; a body buried in the wall of that last cell. So everyone herded in to look for a false wall or something, only to be suddenly surprised when the cell door shut and locked behind them while they were distracted by searching. Just outside the door there then popped into visibility 8 tiny humanoids flying on gossamer wings, ho eyed them with an evil look. They started to laugh and mock the captive group, but were shut down by an entangle from Gnarl, a color spray from Ranza, and lots of spear points and arrows from everyone on the now immobilized and/or stunned creatures. All were quickly slaughtered, and thankfully Gnarl still had the hammer and chisel. He hammered the lock from the door and the three glumly stomped out of their temporary prison. 

Now with a hate on for locks of all kinds, Gnarl stormed over with his chisel and hammer to the big padlock they'd failed to open before. But it was made of sterner stuff, and the chisel was shattered in the attempt. Getting mad now, he pried out the hinge bolts to get access to what turned out to be a closet stuffed full of canvas and poles. Hauling out all this junk (which they eventually figured out was a large pavilion or tent), Gnarl was reaching for another handful of cloth when he realized it was actually a person, or rather a faerie. The little creature, just a foot tall, seemed to be made of a bundle of rags with a wizened fey face. It hauled out a huge darning needle and used it to threaten Gnarl. The wood gnome backed away, and waved the little critter on.  It in turn crept past all three, still brandishing the needle, before turning and running off down the corridor. 

Having had enough of the keep, the party headed over to the gate tower where Jonesomon was able to unlock the portcullis mechanism and open up the gate. They then herded out the few remaining goats and sheep, leaving them to wander back towards town for the folk there to collect.  They then briefly checked the buildings in the courtyard. The two where the sheep and goats were penned turned out to be old barracks and stables. The other buildings were the kitchen (where they collected a suspicious bowl of nice ripe apples) and a smithy. The smithy door was nailed shut with some non-ferrous spikes, and it looked like someone had tried to burn it down. Breaking down the door, they found little inside except for the usual blacksmith odds and bobs, as well as a dozen cold iron arrows and a cold iron dagger. Which they collected as their last reward before heading back to town in search of Thrax, Hobbs and Vegarious ...

12cp, 7sp, 12gp
Potion of Diminution
Potion of Healing 
Shield +1, +2 vs fey. Once per day the boar can roar and cause fear. [Round wooden shield edged with cold iron. painted with a two headed red boar on a green field (Thayn Lorgan of Wickwood's emblem)]
Bowl of ripe apples  

Spitting Beetle
8 Pyskes


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