A Minor Investigation

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Scribe Notes
The adventure takes place in Brastor

Summary

Adventure: A Minor Investigation
GM: Jon McSpadden
Session: Summer 808 wk
Night: Thursday
Level: Very High

Party
  1. TDP (Party Leader and Scribe) - E & E played by Phil Judd
  2. Vychan - Earth Mage Played by Sean English
  3. Amber - Witch played by Jo Drum
  4. Silverfoam (Military Leader) - Namer played by Michael Parkinson
  5. Kit - Illusionist played by Andrew Withy
  6. Lath - Air Mage played by Jono Bean
  7. Naden - Necromancer played by Michael Young


Employer
Guild Mission.
Mission
To investigate why undead are still appearing in Brastor.
Pay
250sp per week.
Astrology

Daily Summary

1st Meadow

Guild Meeting. Travelled to Brastor Landing, transported the settlers and stone up the Sweetwater River and the Champion River.

2nd Meadow

Met Lady Hugler and went on to Hugler's Ferry. Discussed local issues with Kera Varden. Cleared Hugler's Ferry of minor undead. Went to the Raphael chapter house at Vil de Rogers. Scouted southern Brastor and cleared of undead the Mine south of South Lending.

3rd Meadow

Kit built a wall around Hugler's Ferry most of the night. Visited The Shape of Fire who lives in a volcano a in the Filgiso_Forest. Got blessings from Mother Grey at South Lending and visited the Mine again and the Volcano south of Hugler's Ferry. Destroyed minor undead on the surface and removed Hecate stone. Travelled back to the Guild via Slippery Rock.

4th Meadow

Returned to Hugler's Ferry, heard South Lending attacked - found and destroyed undead spiders.

5th - 9th Meadow

Do dust removal plan to clean up Brastor and transport stone.

Daily Details

1st Meadow

We meet in the guild meeting rooms and wait for our Employer. Engalton decides not to come with us so we recruit Lath instead. Our employer arrives with some silvered weapons (he was expecting a much less experienced party).

He tells us that there is a group of people returning to Brastor to settle lands they had to leave because of the Dark Circle incursion. This group is some 50 people, carts and livestock and they are returning to Hugler's Ferry.
However there are still some undead in the area (the overrun town of Lewiston is a mere 10 miles away) and also they will need protection on their travels there (some 120 miles or so).

We consider several options:

  1. Asking the settlers to stay here until we scout the region.
  2. Letting them walk there but we go there and clear out the undead.
  3. Hire a pub for them all to stay at on the border of Carzala

Also we note that there is a bounty of 30,000 sp for the clearing out of WestWind ruins (in Carzala and only a little off our track).
In the end we decide to use our naval capacity to ship them up the Sweetwater River and The Champion River directly to Hugler's Ferry. This also will allow us to stop off in Brastor Landing to talk to the local lord Lady Hugler.

In order to load the settlers onto our ships we ask them to return down to Seagate where we can load them up.
Down there we discover a group of Erelheine has camped near the seashore and we carefully arrange walls so the cattle from our settlers do not disturb them.
Also there is a HUGE ship in the river (7 Masts, 300 foot long) and the harbour master has no docks spare for us.
After some negotiation (by Lath) we arrange for a temporary dock for loading. We also discover that there is quite a lot of goods ready to be shipped over to Brastor so we arrange some cargo.

  1. 300 tonnes of dressed stone for Lady Kera Varden in Hugler's Ferry (3,000 sp)
  2. Sausage and Kegs of ale for a celebration in Brastor Landing - halfling merchants (1,180 sp)
  3. Other goods rare in Brastor (20,000 sp)

Once we have loaded all the stone (there was 450 tonnes more turning up tonight and the harbour master was glad to get rid of it), which is for the new bridge at Hugler's Ferry, we embarked all the settlers and their cattle/goods and departed briskly upstream.

As we were mostly using a magical current to travel upstream a few other boats and loggers along the way caught a lift with us.

Late that night at around 10 we arrived at Brastor Landing, we moored for the night after discussing selling delivering our goods early tomorrow. Also we sent a note to the Golden Arms Inn to seek an audience with Lady Hugler.

We notice that there are a lot of Eltrandorian people around and military in Eltrandorian uniforms. Apparently many of the people who were here fighting the War against the Dark Circle stayed once it was won and sent for their families to emigrate.

Naden did some investigation around the docks (as he had detected some minor undead there) and discovered a large number of mummified rats and cats (quite strange). He cleaned them out (two he captured for later examination. Lath took control of the weather in the area to ensure us a calm night.

Near midnight Naden saw a bright light on in the sky from the south (but still north of Gryphon Valley), asking the dock workers what it was they said it had come all summer during the night and often was accompanied by a storm of dust that made people sick. They also rushed to cover their mouths and noses.
Naden woke the rest of us up and through my telescope I could see that this light was slightly spider shaped. There have been rumours if a new spider demon. Lath kept the air perfectly still to prevent any dust from blowing into town and after a little while the light went away. We resolve that this bears further investigation.

2nd Meadow

Next morning after breakfast we heads into Brastor Landing to the Golden Arms Inn to see Lady Hugler.
On the way we see a statue of Boulder OM the slayer of Rashak.

Lady Hugler welcomes the news of the new settlers and informs us that large numbers of Eltrandorians are also settling in the region. Currently there is around 100 people in Hugler's Ferry with 250 Eltrandorians in a village to the west and about the same in another village to the South East.
She suggests we talk to the Military governor of Hugler's Ferry Zeke van Bouster, and she also gives us a letter of introduction to Kera Varden (daughter of the famous Conrad Varden) who is residing in Glain Manor a little to the west of Hugler's Ferry. She also agrees to buy the extra goods we shipped down at a 15% markup.

West of Huglers Ferry.jpg

One piece of troubling news is that food is in short supply and some of the other peasants in the region may go hungry before NEXT years crops are planted and harvested (We bought extra food for our settlers and Hugler's Ferry).
I wonder how all these ex-military Eltrandorians are going to fare finding food.

We depart via fleet to deliver the settlers / stone / supplies to Hugler's Ferry.
When we arrived we saw the place is more devastated than they thought. We are told that no-one is currently staying in Hugler's Ferry, rather they are all staying at nearby Glain Manor and in the surrounding Vil de Rogers. After dropping off the stone we walk up to Glain Manor (about 2 miles away) to see Kera Varden and discuss the local situation.

Once we obtained an audience with Kera Varden (Lady Hugler gave us a letter of introduction) we learnt a few more salient points.

  1. The settlers will only move back into Hugler's Ferry once the bridge (to Westgate) is re-built and the town wall is built.
  2. Lewiston is still overrun with undead.
  3. The strange dust has been coming for around a year and sickens people - the sickness is curable.
  4. The Raphael chapter house to the south is unaffected by the dust (or the undead) and also cures people sickened by it fairly quickly.
  5. For further assistance we can talk to the Reve - Vorn Trell, or Sir Garath Paletar, or Zeke van Bouster.

We say that we will endeavour to solve the dust problem and to eliminate the undead as much as possible - these may be related as there are more undead that should be expected (something must be creating / restoring them).

We return to Hugler's Ferry to conduct some experiments on our captured mummified rats. A divinate showed the mummification magic has been in place for over thirty one weeks and has some "fiery" component.
Examining the rat with Healer Silverfoam discovered (the hard way) that touching the rat causes dehydration and turns the touching skin into undead. Healer also told us it is a plague carrying critter. Kit helped Silverfoam by burning off the undead skin in his hand.

Kit and Vychan paced out the town walls to try and work out how much stone we require. I made a quick calculation:

Wall length = 7,500 feet
Wall width  = 2 feet
Wall height = 8 feet
=> 120,000 cubic feet of stone

at 160 lb per cubic foot and 2,205 lb per tonne
= 8,700 tonnes

plus the stone for the bridge.
We only bought 300 (enough for 6 inches thick, 1 foot high all the way round the town).

Silverfoam and Amber flew up in the air a peered around the local area with Silverfoam's telescope. They notice a Temple at the head of The Champion River which turns out to be unlocatable.

Back in Hugler's Ferry we look into clearing out the mummified undead animals. After some false starts we realise that the undead cannot be summoned into the sunlight so we take the approach of creating an area of magical darkness (Amber), then summoning the undead into it (Naden), then finally counterspelling the darkness revealing the undead to the sunlight - which burnt and destroyed them.

We use this technique on the whole town thus clearing it out.

Next we sail up river to the Raphael chapter house located inside the small village of Vil de Rogers. We have lunch on board on the way.
When we get there we notice this village has been reconstructed recently and everything seems much newer than up at Hugler's Ferry. Only the church looks old (in fact it survived the Dark Circle and is safe against undead). Surrounding the church is a small one foot high stone wall.

Vychan - "The wall is only one foot high?"
TDP - "It stopped you."

It hurts Vychan to go near the wall (consecrated ground and he is pacted to Seir). The rest of us go into the church and meet Father George. There is no-one sick from the dust there at the moment. Father George has good records of when the dust comes - it seems totally random but only seems to come once or twice a month on average.
Kit searches the records and comes up with a pattern for the dust that says it will return tomorrow night.

Three nights after each major saint day, if the Saint doesn't have a "J" in their name, apart from Jerome (who was burnt as a heretic anyway).

Father George also tells us of the Temple at the head of The Champion River and says it is an old temple to King_Sigismund's Knight Templars, also known as the Kings Light. He suggests we contact Father Broc if we want to known anything more of it.

We take our leave of Father George and sail back down to Hugler's Ferry. Our next plan is to scout out the general area to the south (from where the dust comes) in order to be familiar with it if we have to set chase to the light / spider demon in the dark. Silverfoam takes note of (and locates) several landmarks whilst Lath summons up an Air Elemental and a cloud for us to fly around on. This transports us to the south and we study the landscape from the air (some five miles up), we see the general pattern that the dust blows and can tell that it comes from the south east.
Also we notice an abandoned mine (also to the Southeast) that is venting heat and decide to investigate.

As we are flying to the Mine on Lath's cloud we noticed a large number of people spread up and down the river bank of the upper Champion River, concerned for their safety (from the undead) we land to speak with them.
We discover that they are panning for gold (and Mithril) and have been for some three weeks, if any of them get sick from the dust they go up to the Raphael chapter house for healing. Also we notice, now we look closely, that the plant / weeds in the river are still alive where as all the plants on the banks are dead. We presume this is because the dust is killing those on land off but those in the water are safe from it as it washes away.
Mildly worried that the Champion River links up to the Sweetwater which travels all the way down to Seagate.
Also it appears that this "Gold Rush" might have been instigated by a rousing speech given by Kit some time ago (he feels a little responsible).

We return to Lath's cloud and head on over to the mine, more determined to sort out this "dust" problem.

As we approach the mine we discover there is a settlement of about two hundred people around the mine. There are no walls or defences, further investigation shows that they all seem to be undead of the mummified variety (created by the dust).
Just walking around.
In the SUNLIGHT.
We decide to go in an get an undead to ensure they are undead, work out why they are able to survive in sunlight, see if we can cure them?
This is a little tricky, down low (under two hundred feet) everything is kind of dry, very hot, and extremely dusty, also the sky looks strange.

We realise that what we have here is a little version of the Dark Circle - about two hundred foot radius.
Lath gets her Air elemental to bring some undead up to us on the cloud but they all burn up as they leave the mini Dark Circle (pretty much as expected now we think of it).

A quick D.A. on the dust revealed some interesting things:

  • The dust is magical.
  • It's nature is "Desiccation".
  • It is elemental in nature.
  • Name of power related to is Shape of Fire.

We try to come up with a reasonable method for getting a subject for Silverfoam to divinate.

Unknown - "The Namer wants his Mummy."

Eventually we decide not to bother. A quick wizard eye by me reveals the mine is quite deep and hot / dusty - it isn't really viable to go down there without some protection vs the dust (and the heat).
Also casting a rainstorm to wash away the dust doesn't work as the rain turns to steam and the spell is quickly leeched away.

We decide to move on, first Lath's Air elemental destroyed all the undead and pretty much levelled the mining settlement.

Flying to the south west (so we are directly south of Hugler's Ferry) we reach the region we believe the dust comes from. Right about here is a new volcano. It has bubbling magma in it's crater and signs of recent eruptions. Some twenty five miles to the south plants start growing again.
Vychan says he has a theory on what's going on but we get distracted and don't find out what it is. Also he feels a mild urge to go slightly north east from above the crater (Hmm).

It is getting late so we decide to return to Hugler's Ferry for the night (and also for Kit to build some more of the town wall).

Night was almost uneventful except Lath's elemental tried to kill Vychan, as it was told to kill any undead who approached Kit whilst he was wall building, and Vychan is 1 / 12th undead (but slowly getting better) so he qualified.

3rd Meadow

After morning discussions we decided to send a delegation off to see The Shape of Fire who lives in a volcano a in the Filgiso_Forest.
I went as party leader, and because I have meet him before (see: Harbinger of Death in 805) and can locate him.
Silverfoam also came so he could D.A. The Shape of Fire.
Vychan didn't want to go as The Shape of Fire had bit him in half last time we met him before we became friends (fair enough).
Kit would also stay back in Hugler's Ferry constructing more town wall, with Lath and Amber.

As fighting The Shape of Fire in any way was a non-starter (he is a Balrog) the less people at risk the better.

Lath gave us flying to get us there and I followed my locate until we arrived at the super-volcano that had The Shape of Fire on top.
Said Hi - He remembered me (3 years is a drop in the ocean for an immortal) and we discussed the volcano's and dust. He told us some interesting information:

  • The new volcano to the south of Hugler's Ferry is as old as the dust.
  • The volcano and heat coming from the mine were ultimately caused by The Shape of Fire as magical magma was flowing beneath the earth from him.
  • There were unidentified creatures playing in the magma of the volcano south of Hugler's Ferry.
  • East of the volcano underground is a "Death Stone" (undeath stone). This stone is not really melt-able unless it is made much-much hotter.


We speculate that the dust is from the "Death Stone" crumbling or being chipped away. Apparently there used to be a number of these stones scattered around the Dark Circle helping support it.

We flew back to Hugler's Ferry by about lunchtime and reported to the party.

Before tackling the volcano were asked Zeke if he knew of any fire mages around here, he pointed us towards The South Lending, where there was a significant church outpost, so we all flew there.

Just outside of town we met Mother Grey - Head of the order of the Untainted path. She invites us into town for some blessings against fire. She lends us a amulet to protect Vychan (as the Michaelites might attack him on sight).
Kit ran himself and the Michaelite through with a sword - but they both seemed to like it (some sort of secret handshake).

Also Lath remembered she had a spell that blows air around you and would protect you from the dust unless you were in combat (hopefully this won't happen or will be brief - with us quick victors).

Once we were all ready Lath flew us south to the mine. A quick scout around there proved that there were no undead around (there is still a lot of heat coming out of the mine though). We decided to leave the mine (Lath made it rain there in order to wash away all the dust).

Next stop was the volcano, again all seemed quiet, in the volcano was a pool of molten magma, this appeared to have current in it going from west to east - away from The Shape of Fire. There are no undead here either.

We followed a "hunch" of Vychan (actually more like a magical "pull") a few miles North-East of the volcano to a strange spot on the side of the mountain. Here was another of these "Dark Circle" effects that allow the undead to be out during the day and on the surface directly above where Vychan was being pulled to was a huge pile of small undead creatures (the mummy type) they were struggling and attempting to dig into the stone mountainside.
Kit set fire to the pile and they exploded into a huge plume of dust (Lath controlled it and made it settle so as not to be a danger to anyone. We speculate that this is one of the sources of the dust clouds menacing Brastor and Hugler's Ferry.

Once the ground was clear we landed and Vychan summoned a friendly elemental named Quartz. Also Naden checked for undead and found there were six to ten greater undead some two thousand feet down.

Quartz looked into the earth and said that there was a "magic stone", which fell from the sky, down where the six spider undead were. The stone was about two thousand one hundred and eighty three feet, four inches down and was about four feet across.

We decide on a two prong approach to get to the spider undead.

  1. Naden would attempt to summon one of the spider undead - this would allow us to pick them off one at a time, however this wasn't likely to work.
  2. Kit and Quartz would dig a tunnel (using FT supplied by me and Restoratives by Amber) down to the spiders cave complex. This would be done about a half a mile away on the surface as this would halve the distance they would need to dig.

The tunnel is ready before Naden is finished so they stop just short and return to the surface.
The summoning doesn't work and Lath suggests we just get Quartz to go and get the "magic stone" rather than venturing underground. I agree (but I don't expect it to work - but it is a safe first attempt) and it works, Quartz returns to the surface with the stone.
Quartz also reports that the undead spiders are quite agitated and are racing down their tunnels at some speed (about 18 miles per hour) and will ultimately get to the surface.

We decide to pull back with the rock (as the air elemental can carry it).
Lath wants to fly far away into the centre of the Gatar Depression and drop it there.
Amber recognises it is a "Hecate" stone (the coven at Slippery Rock have one) and is quite valuable, so we decide to fly back to the guild via Slippery Rock.

The witches at Slippery Rock offer to buy the stone (as it is bigger than the one they have)

Chickens dance.

Back at the guild we are checked out and a no worse for wear.
They take the stone and value it at 50,000 sp!
We organise a new load of stone (400 tonnes) for the bridge at Hugler's Ferry and arrange a warehouse and some buyers to fill it with food (for the settlers at Hugler's Ferry to prevent starvation over winter).

Kit also enquires after the stone for his cathedral at Emmitsburg - apparently it was appropriated by the de-Winter family (wouldn't want to be in their shoes).

That evening we travel via fast ship up the Sweetwater River and The Champion River directly to Hugler's Ferry.

4th Meadow

Next morning we get the locals to unload the stone from the ships.
We see a cloud of dust approaching Hugler's Ferry from the east - quickly we establish that it is a group of about five hundred people, we fly out to meet them.

It turns out that this is a refugee convoy from South Lending led by Mother Grey who were attacked overnight by about six undead spiders. They found their weapons were ineffective against the spiders and there were casualties until they stayed in the church until day break. They are taking their injured to the Raphael chapter house located inside the small village of Vil de Rogers.

Since we are about to hunt down these undead spiders we ask for details about the attack and the undead spiders abilities.
We are told:

  • They are huge - some twenty feet across at the body.
  • They can breath fire.
  • They seem to be unaffected by fire.
  • They are very strong and quick.
  • There chiten is extremely thick.
  • They are poisoness with a necrotising poison.
  • They also do greater undead draining.

We ask for some guides to help us around the town of The South Lending and Bernard and Richard are attached to us before they continue on to Hugler's Ferry.

Just before we left:
Amber - "Just for the Hell of it I will bless the crops around here."
Silverfoam - "You might want to expose a different reason for blessing the crops around Bernard and Richard (as they are sworn to the powers of light)."

We flew to The South Lending and found it webbed and scorched. Searching the town we found no undead spiders (but their tracks lead to the south). We briefly experimented with the web (mostly trying to find a good way to escape it) and found that doing lots of "Holy" damage to it breaks it - also simply soaking it in water stops it from being sticky (Rainstorm).

Next we flew down to the mine where we believe the undead spiders went underground again. There were no undead around there either. Also the "Dark Circle" effect here was gone.
We speculated that the undead spiders had taken the magic stone back to their original lair.

More cautiously we flew to above their lair and tried to detect them, again they were about two thousand feet below us.

Quartz turned up again and said that the undead spiders had another "Magic rock", this time a Kroynite crystal. Kit said that these were extremely unstable and explosive. So we sent Quartz off to grab it again.
Meanwhile Naden tried to summon them a couple of times until it worked and one was summoned to us - unfortunately the other five just followed that one and we had a big fight on the surface. The bought rank twenty darkness and smoke with them so we couldn't see them.
Naden, Kit and I stayed down in the dark smokiness (Vychan ran out of the smoke area) whilst the others circled above shooting them with spells. They seemed really nasty but eventually we destroyed them all.

We searched out their tunnel complex for treasure and they had none.

We returned to Vil de Rogers to tell the knights from South Lending that it was safe to return home and begin rebuilding. They thanked us and we had a big feast that night.
Mother Grey said she would reward us with some blessings (or trinkets for the evil-doers - I think she meant Vychan, Amber and Naden).

5th Meadow

We returned to Hugler's Ferry and told them that the danger was past and we thought we had destroyed the source of the dust. We spent the day searching for a good site to enact our plan to "clean" Brastor of the undead dust. It basically went like this:

  • Lath would make it rain heavily all over the dust affected area, thus washing the land clean of all the dust - which would flow into The Champion River.
  • Vychan would ask Quartz to temporarily divert The Champion River into a path we prepared.
  • TDP and Kit would bind the water and bless the area that the dust would flow through, thus destroying the "undeadedness" of it and filtering it out of the water.
  • The remaining non-magical sludge would be used as fertiliser to re-vitalise the land.


So over the next few days we did this and transported stone to Hugler's Ferry to construct the bridge.

6th Meadow

Do dust removal plan and transport stone.

7th Meadow

Do dust removal plan and transport stone.

8th Meadow

Do dust removal plan and transport stone.

9th Meadow

The rain stopped and skies cleared over Brastor and they were safe from undead spiders and magical dust.

at least for now.......

Appendix

A - Individuals we Met or Heard about

  • Bernard and Richard - Two knights from South Lending, assigned to the party as scouts and guides.
  • Father George - Father of the church of Raphael.
  • Garath Paletar - Knight in Hugler's Ferry.
  • Kera Varden - Lady who lives north of Hugler's Ferry at Glain Manor. She is in charge of the reconstruction of the town.
  • Lady Hugler - Local lord of the region surrounding Hugler's Ferry.
  • Mother Grey - Head of the order of the Untainted path and leader in the town of South Lending.
  • Quartz - Friendly earth elemental that was summoned by Vychan.
  • Vorn Trell - Reve of Hugler's Ferry.
  • Zeke van Bouster - Military governor of Hugler's Ferry.

B - Locations we Went

West of Huglers Ferry.jpg

C - Loot we acquired

  1. Stone delivery - 3,000 sp
  2. Sausage and Kegs delivery - 1,180 sp
  3. Rare goods profit - 3,000 sp
  4. Hecate stone - 50,000 sp
  5. Stone delivery - 3,000 sp
  6. Kryonite Crystal - ?,000 sp
  7. Trinkets and Blessings - ?,000 sp
  8. Stone delivery for bridge - 12,000 sp
  9. Two weeks pay - 3,500 sp

D - Awards

Money: 13,843sp 3cp (15382sp before tax)
Experience:

  1. Silverfoam 14200
  2. Vychan 15600
  3. Amber 12800
  4. Nadin 16700
  5. TDP 18205
  6. Kit 11900
  7. Lathe 16400

Still to write up:

  1. Rewards from Mother Grey
  2. Hecate Stone for Amber
  3. Necromantic Kyanite Wand for Nadin

Please let me know if there is anything else I have forgotten. (Jon Mc)