The Chronicles of Foxton

Randall: Deep Thoughts

Randall marched towards the doorway that the entire group had entered. Grim determination crossed his face as he thought about what was about to happen.

“Giants will come flooding into this room and I will have to hold the line; try and put up a good fight before I get squished…squished? Squashed maybe? I could go for some squash. That would be really nice for lunch. Is it lunch time? Wait…did we eat lunch already? Damn I hope I didn’t miss lunch. No, I think I would have known if I missed lunch. Besides if I die here I won’t get to eat lunch. Maybe I should have a snack, just in case the giants do kill me. OH SHIT! Giants! That is what I need to remember right now. Giants. Giants. Giants. Giants. Giants. Giants. Giants. Giants. Giants. Remember giants. All these thoughts of lunch got sandwiched in when I should be focusing on…Yeah! A sandwich. That sounds really good. A nice roast beef sandwich. Maybe with a nice spiced ale. Not cinnamon though. I don’t really like cinnamon anymore, at least in cookies. Cookies with fire and pain and cinnamon. If I get hurt really bad I may have to see the doctor again. I hate doctors…and cinnamon. Doctors make me cry with their fire and pain and cinnamon…

The others readied themselves for the ensuing fight. Damian happened a glance around the large cave and stopped. Confusion crossed his face as he grabbed Brictius’s arm as he tried to hurry past.

“Um…” Damian started. Brictius looked at him and then in the direction that Damian was staring. Randall was rocking back and forth in the fetal position, in the middle of the cave. A barely audible chant emanated from him.

“Doctor bad. Doctor bad.”

Brictius turned back to Damian.

“Don’t ask.”

Session 34: Against the Giants, Part III

11 Sunsheat to 12 Sunsheat, 960 RM
Valley of Steading, 11 Sunsheat, 960 RM
While the rest of the party moved the horses to a new campsite, Errol and Keinan stealthily moved toward the stronghold to gather more information. By the time the two reached the fortress, it was past dark. Keinan saw two or three figures walking around the watch tower.

Errol cast an invisibility spell on himself and Keinan. The two moved closer to the stronghold. Keinan noted that the walls were made from very large logs. The main door was twenty feet high. There was a gap between the ground and the bottom of the door that Keinan thought most of the party could crawl under. While Keinan climbed over the door to get a better look around the complex, Errol climbed under the door. Keinan saw light spilling out into the courtyard from a big double door and light coming down from the watchtower. Keinan saw two more doors, one next to the front door, which had no light coming from it, and another at the base of the stairs to the watchtower. Keinan listened at the main doors and heard over a dozen different voices, it sounded like a feast was taking place. He listened for any human voices, but did not hear any. However, one of the giant’s voices sounded like it had a Kalonese accent. He also noticed several bags and cloaks hanging on pegs in the courtyard.

Errol and Keinan then climbed the stairs to the watchtower. Keinan saw three giants playing dice by a fire pit. He also spotted a ballista sitting by one of the windows and a large dog curled up by the fire. Errol got nervous around the dog so the two moved to leave the compound. Keinan checked the small door by the gate and found it was unlocked. Pushing the door open, he saw a dark hallway leading into the main building.

Once Keinan and Errol returned and made their report to Captain Hawthorne, the group headed out. Moving stealthily, the group approached the fortress. As they drew near, Benedikt inadvertently caused a load noise that drew the giants’ attention. Captain Hawthorne ordered everyone to scatter as ballista bolts started flying at them. Benedikt was hit in the chest by one of the giant’s arrows and fell to the ground.

When the giants exited the fortress, the others used Benedikt’s “distraction” to enter unseen. They quickly entered the main building via the first door and followed the hallway. The hallway ended with a passage leading to the right and the left. Damien scouted the left hand passage and found a door with a light spilling out under it, further on the hallway ended. Returning to the group, they then headed down the right hand passage.

Again, Damien scouted ahead with others a safe distance behind. The first door that Damien came to had no light spilling out from under it. Listening at the door, Damien heard someone snoring. Moving down the corridor was another door; this one had light spilling out from under it. Damien could hear something, but could not make it out. Wythri used her magic to allow Damien to be able to see through the walls, and Quion did the same thing on himself. Both men saw a well-appointed room with trophies on the walls. Randell pushed open the door. The group searched the room and found another door. Damien, Keinan, and Brictius moved to open the door. When Damien opened the door the group was attacked by a large bear. The bear managed to injure Damien before the group killed it. While Gunn healed Damien; Captain Hawthorne, Randall, and Errol searched the room the bear had come from. That room was a bedchamber which contained a coffer filled with cash and gemstones. To their surprise, Captain Hawthorne let the monster hunters keep the coffer.

Tatiana took the lead in scouting ahead this time. The group came across a large set of double doors that were barred closed; they discovered that this door was an exit from the stronghold. Continuing on, they entered another room. This room had a crude map of the barony on one of the walls. After studying the map, Quion determined that is was thirty years old. Keinan found a large skin hanging on another wall that concealed another door. Randall carefully opened the door and found a stairwell leading down. Keinan carefully replaced the skin before following the others down the stairs.

The stairs continued down for quite a ways and lead to a large cavern that look as if the walls had been worked rather than being of rough stone. Along one wall was a door that had been smashed down and lead into what appeared to be a store room. The corridor continued into a large room. The magic users could tell that this room contained magic. Captain Hawthorne asked Errol to illuminate the room. The room was large and square shaped with a prison type area in the back. Quion determined that the magic was coming from that area. Approaching gates, Quion heard someone muttering, but could not make out what was being said. The rest of the group approached the area and saw a red headed woman chained to the wall. Captain Hawthorne recognized Bri, and ordered Damian to open the gates. When the second set of gates were opened, Errol shouted out that he thought some type of alarm had gone off. Captain Hawthorne and Damien unchained Bri, and saw that she was in a weakened state. Brandwyn took charge of the injured Bri while the others prepared for the arrival of the giants.

Benedikt: Little Dog Syndrome

The agony of the spear ramming through his shoulder blinded him for a moment; Benedikt wasn’t sure where he was. He opened his eyes long enough to see two enormous creatures standing over him, then one of them whacked him with a club and it was lights out again.

When Benedikt came to, he found himself stuffed into what appeared to be an enormous, stinky burlap sack. The pain in his shoulder burned; the spear had been pulled out of the wound roughly, and he could feel his blood seeping into the cloth underneath him. He cautiously felt around for his mace and shield, but they were nowhere to be found. He couldn’t hear any of his compatriots anywhere nearby.

But he did hear muffled voices — large, deep voices, the voices of Giants — somewhere above him. Then, someone opened up the bag. He immediately closed his eyes and pretended to be dead.

“Are you dead, Littlie?” a large voice asked, speaking in rough Demorian. “If you are alive, I have something to talk to you about. But if you are dead, I will have you cooked. Are you alive?”

Benedikt grumbles for a moment, curses in his native tongue, “Of course I’m alive, takes more than twig to kill followers of Crom.” He says back, trying to find a position that didn’t hurt his wound overly much, and mostly wondering where his mace was.

Benedikt looked up to see an enormous face looming over him. “My guards caught you sneaking around the stronghold,” he said. “You are lucky it was my men and not others. They would have taken you straight to Balor. My men were smart; they took you to me.”
“What is your name, Littlie?” the Giant asked. “I am Zind, chief of the Snow Mountain Clan, and second sub-chief of the mighty Balor.” He spat on the ground. “That is why you are here, yes? Because of Balor?”

Benedikt regarded the Giant for a brief moment, “I am Benedikt Of Crom, The Great Warrior. Crom, I mean, I am merely Good Warrior.” He nodded, “Benedikt rarely sneaks anywhere.” He shook a finger, “If Balor is the one causing all the magic to go wrong, I am here for him.” Benedikt stroked his beard for a moment, “It’s a good thing I ran into your first, Crom directs me only to the best of the best. We should talk.” He looked expectantly at Zind.

“Magic,” the Giant rumbled. “Yes, Balor has great magic. Big magic. His magic brought back the old days, the days of war, the days when Giants lost too many sons and fathers. And for what? Nothing. Only for his glory, not ours.” He spat again.

“I do not want any more of my people to die because of him. I do not want to fight the old wars again. You talk big for a little man. If you are here to kill Balor, I will help you. With one condition.”

Benedikt smiled beneath his beard, “Fighting is good, fighting for new glory is better than old glory. What is condition you speak of?”

“This is my condition,” he says. “I have three sons. I want them to learn the ways of humans – how to pull iron from rocks, how to grow plants to eat, how to make houses, how to make paper talk and listen. When this is over, when the old days are gone again, you swear to take my sons back to your city of stones and teach them the ways of humans. If you do, I will help you, even if it means I die.”

Benedikt thought for a second, “I think Baron of these lands might like this deal. Pretty sure this was mission of peace before Captain got angry. She is one you really want to talk with. Have feeling you might meet her soon.” He stroked his beard, “I will act on behalf of Baron and welcome peace to Giants. I promise your three sons will be taught our ways.” He nodded, “Is good deal, Baron is good man, you like him I think. I suggest you not die so you can make strong alliance.”

The Giant laughed, a deep, rumbling, growling sound. “I do not want to die either, little man. But I want the old days gone even more. Remember what you have sworn before your gods and mine, that my sons will be taught the ways of humans. The gods will punish you if you break your promise, if I do not find you first.”

“Now get up and follow me. The other littlies who came with you, I know where they are. We should find them before Balor does.”

> The Giant laughed, a deep, rumbling, growling sound. “I do not want to die either, little man.
> But I want the old days gone even more. Remember what you have sworn before your gods
> and mine, that my sons will be taught the ways of humans. The gods will punish you if you
> break your promise, if I do not find you first.”

“Benedikt forgets no promises.”

> “Now get up and follow me. The other littlies who came with you, I know where they are.
> We should find them before Balor does.”

“Probably good idea. They a bit hasty.” Benedikt nodded, “Just moment, if you please, twigs not kill me, but they hurt pretty good. I need to have Crom’s blessing to heal wound so I am fit for next fight.” Benedikt will cast a healing spell if given the opportunity.

Benedikt casts a prayer over himself; the bleeding stops and the pain subsides. He (or one of the others) will still have to sew the wound shut for it to heal the rest of the way properly. But it’s OK – Crom appreciates scars. The Giant then leads him through a series of darkened corridors, past the lights of the great hall. It seems that the party is over; the sounds of feasting and laughing have stopped.

“This is not a good sign,” Zind says. “Usually, Balor likes to feast until nearly dawn. Maybe your friends have already been found out. If they are as sneaky as you are, this seems likely.”

He slips through another door; there is a massive set of stone stairs going down into the earth…

Session 33: Against the Giants, Part II

10 Sunsheat to 11 Sunsheat, 960 RM
Valley of Steading, 10 Sunsheat, 960 RM
Once the battle was over, the first order of business was to hide the bodies. After that Captain Hawthorne sent Keinan and Gunn to scout out the stronghold at the center of the valley. She sent Damien and Tatiana as one group and Brictius and Benedikt as another group to find campsites and food. Wythri linked the scouting parties and Brandwyn and Hawthorne.

The two groups looking for campsites found several likely spots, with Benedikt’s being the best.

Keinan and Gunn stealthily made their way toward the stronghold. They saw several small groups of giants patrolling the valley, but not in any regular fashion. Keinan realized that security was good, but not great. The stronghold had a watchtower that could see all the way around the complex. There were two entrances, one in front that was regularly used and one in back that looked like a stockade gate. There were no trees in the valley, but the grass was very tall. Gunn talked to a bird who told him that there were big dogs and big men in the stronghold. The two men scouted around the fortress to see if they could find a water supply or herd animals.

While the scouting parties were out, Wythri, Quion, and Errol analyzed the Flow of the area. Brandwyn sang a song to help the mages concentration. Quion and Errol saw that the valley was flooded with magic, but a type that Quion was not familiar with. The magic had an old taste to it, very primitive with a touch of theologic taint to it. The three thought it might be grimerist magic. Wythri told the others that she had seen the magic flowing into the valley this morning. Captain Hawthorne asked if one of Nonsra’s magic items could have caused the magic, but the three mages thought that would not be possible.

On the way back to the others, Benedikt noticed that the stronghold was made from a great many trees, but there were no signs of major deforestation in the valley.

Keinan and Gunn continued to scout around the perimeter of the stronghold. They did not see any cultivated fields, although they did see some wild sheep and mountain goats. The two thought that was strange as they thought the animals would have been severely culled by hunting by now.

After the two scouting parties had returned with their reports of campsites, the party moved to the site Benedikt had found and waited for Keinan and Gunn to rejoin them. It was well past dark before the two men returned to camp.

The first watch passed without incident or those on watch falling asleep. During the second watch, Wythri noticed that the magic in the valley was beginning to fade. Those asleep had bad dreams, similar to the previous evening. During the last watch, Quion noticed an influx of magic entering the valley.

11 Sunsheat, 960 RM
After breakfast, Caption Hawthorne asked Wythri, Quion, and Errol to continue to study the magic in the valley. Keinan, Gunn, and Damien went with them for protection.

Studying the area, Quion and Keinan noticed that the foliage and insects were from the late summer or early fall, but the Summer Solstice had past just last month.

Wythri tried tapping into the magic by creating a fireball, which had all the normal effects and effort usually associated with casting that type of spell. Errol suggested she try casting an illusion spell. Wythri created an illusion of Captain Hawthorne. Errol pointed out that the spell seemed very easy for Wythri to cast and that he could actually touch the illusion and that the illusionary Captain Hawthorn reacted to his touch, both things that should not happen with this type of spell. Quion then created an illusion of a raven, which ended up being better than his level of skill should have produced. Wythri then summoned an earth elemental, with the same effects and effort usually associated with casting that type of spell. Errol and Quion noticed that when that spell was cast, the flow rippled with the energy.

Captain Hawthorn had decided a night assault on the stronghold would be strategically wise, so the rest of the afternoon was spent resting. The first watch was uneventful. The second watch had trouble staying awake in the warm afternoon sun. Captain Hawthorne kept herself awake by constantly patrolling the area. She heard something approaching the camp and sent Brandwyn to wake the rest of the party.

Captain Hawthorne and Tatiana spotted a giant stealthily moving toward them. The giant threw a boulder at Captain Hawthorne, but Wythri had prepared a spell that deflected the boulder away from the Captain. Suddenly, Randall was hit by a second boulder that had been thrown from a different direction. Tatiana ran toward the first giant hitting him in the arm. Hawthorne drew her swords and yelled at everyone to look lively. Brandwyn starting chanting a song of fighting to aid her companions in the battle.

The rest of the party rose from their naps and prepared for battle. Wythri was struck by a boulder and Brandwyn pulled her back out of harm’s way. While Quion bandaged Wythri’s wounds, the rest of the party attacked the two giants. After several blows had been exchanged, the two giants started to flee. Errol caught one in the edge of a fire ball, stunning him and Gunn hit him in the vitals, dropping him. Brictius and Tatiana chased down the last giant, killing him.

While Benedikt healed Wythri, the unconscious giant was bound. When the giant regained consciousness, Brandwyn, Hawthorne, and Quion questioned him. They learned that Baylor was a giant with “big magic” who had come from far away. The giant could not remember how the stronghold had been rebuild, or how long Baylor had been in the valley. They learned that Baylor was planning on attacking the humans, but that he was still gathering together the rest of the tribes. They also learned that the giant had been impressed by Baylor’s magic, including making the dead talk; he had seen Baylor do that to the giant Orda, after killing him for disagreeing with Baylor. The giant had also not seen any other “little” people in the valley other than the party.

The party moved the bound giant into the cave they had been sleeping in and moved to a new camp site. The giant had confirmed Brandwyn’s suspicion that Baylor was not a local giant. Wythri, Quion, and Brandwyn discussed the different types of giants that could work magic. There were the Fire and Ice giants to the north and the Carraig Daoine, or Stone Giants, and the Formorian giants from Kalon.

Session 32: Against the Giants, Part I

1 Sunsheat to 10 Sunsheat, 960 RM
Prelude: Gray Haven 929 RM
Link du Clef looked at the five people standing before him. They had answered his call for help fighting the giants attacking the outlying villages and mining camps. The leader had introduced himself as Dragun, a paladin of the Trinity. The Baron felt as if he should know the young man, but could not quite place from where. The big warden was called Balph. The Baron had never met an Osiran before; the extremely tall and thin man wore a hawk mask and his skin was as black as ebony. The man calling himself the Black Rat came from Kidbod and was apparently a Jack. The woman said her name was Bri O’Derry and she came from Kalon. The Baron was not sure if she was a fighter or a spell user, or perhaps both.

“The trouble started when a giant chief named Nonsra started gathering together the different tribes.” Link explained. “Before him, they would group together in family tribes, were mostly nomadic and kept to the far hills. The reports tell us that Nonsra is a fierce fighter and very intelligent. He has made the more powerful chiefs his lieutenants. He has built a stronghold in the Valley of Steading that is far more advanced that anything we’ve ever seen the giants construct before. He also is reported to collect magical items, although I’m not sure how much stock I would place in that.” Link added seeing the expression on several of the faces of the adventures. “I have already lost several good men and Demorian soldiers in this fight. I fear if Nonsra is not stopped, Foxton and Crow’s Head Mountain will be destroyed.”

“We will not let that happen.” Dragun assured the Baron. And so the heroes joined the fight and eventually took the fight to the giants themselves. They attacked the stronghold at night, killed Nonsra, and burned the fortress to the ground. With Nonsra dead, the giants disbanded and returned to the far hills, leaving the people of Foxton in peace.

Gray Haven, 1 Sunsheat, 960 RM
“So what do we know about the current situation?” Isobelle asked, looking up from the records.

“As far as can be determined,“ Mathieu du Clef replied, “There are three large clans. The Bearhunters lead by Sinja, the Firelighters lead by Orda, and the Snow Mountain clan led by Zind. Sinja is a young fighter full of fire and said to have many wives. Orda was one of Nonrsa’s subchiefs and lost a hand and eye in the final battle. He’s much respected due to his age and experience. Zind is said to be the smartest of the three and is held in awe as he is rumored to know magic, although how much of that is true, who can tell. If you start with these three, the smaller clans might follow suit.”

“What do you know about their culture and customs?” Isobelle asked.

“Technology wise, they are still pretty primitive.” The Baron explained, “They know how to use metal weapons, but can’t make them. They work mostly in stone and flint. They like our processed foods, like cheese, and wine. Oh, and the leaders are always male and show their status by how many wives they have.”

“What about this magic lute the old bard sang about?” Isobelle looked at Wythri, who was studying another book.

“From what I can tell,” The young elf looked up from the tome she was reading, “The Lute of Doss was created by the founder of that Bardic College. It’s rumored to contain all his knowledge and power, as well as being able to, I believe the quote was charm the birds from the trees. According to the reports, there was a cave system under the stronghold, if the lute was in Nonsra’s possession, then it could be there.”

3 Sunsheat through 8 Sunsheat, 960 RM
Early the morning of 3 Sunsheat, Captain Hawthorne led her group out of Gray Haven. Wythri, Gunn, Quion, and Damien had become the standard troubleshooting group. The Deadly Seven arrived, ready to go, Lucky George the goat in tow.

The trek into the hills was not easy. The roads were not well traveled and the few mining camps the group passed through were far apart. At each camp, the group inquired after Bri and any information on the giants. Bri had apparently passed this way as all the camps reported her presence. All the camps also reported no contact with the giants, which Hawthorne took as a good sign.

9 Sunsheat, 960 RM
The day had begun sunny but changed to cloudy skies, developing later into a dense fog that descending on the travelers, then sleet driven by heavy winds pelted the travelers. Keinan found the group shelter in a large cave just off the trail they had been traveling.

Watches were set for the night with Brandwyn, Benedikt, and Randall on the first watch. Brandwyn started to compose a new song about this current adventure to keep herself awake, but she kept thinking about the Taleweaver competition held during the Baron’s Festival. She should have won; she just knew it, so why had she not even placed?

10 Sunsheat, 960 RM
The fog had cleared by morning when everyone woke. Hawthorne demanded to know why she had not been woken for her watch. Quion reported that the first watch had fallen asleep, although he had not slept and knew no one had entered the cave. Gunn checked their equipment and verified that nothing was missing. Hawthorne ordered Errol to discipline his teammates; she then brushed Night to calm herself down.

Errol pulled Brandwyn, Benedikt, and Randall outside to talk to them. Brandwyn explained that she had not realized she had fallen asleep, her mind had been focused on something else, and then it was morning. Errol admonished the others to start behaving professionally; otherwise their reputation would start to suffer. Brandwyn interrupted Errol to point out that below them in the valley was a large fortified structure. “I think we’ve found the Valley of Steading,” Brandwyn commented, “We’d better tell Captain Hawthorne.”

While the others were packing up, Wythri checked to see if there was any magic in the area and noticed a residue around the cave receding to the valley below.

Keinan and Tatiana were scouting out the surrounding area when they heard loud footsteps approaching them. Investigating, they spotted three giants approaching the cave area along the path. Tatiana warned those in the cave and everyone began preparing for the encounter. Damien, Gunn, and Errol moved out to form a perimeter around the giants and provide backup. Wythri, Quion, Benedikt, and Brictius stayed in the cave with the horses and Wythri concealed the entrance. Brandwyn and Captain Hawthorne went to intercept the giants and talk with them.

Before actually talking to the giants, Brandwyn listened in on their conversations. The three were joking and in good spirits. One of the giants told the others, “The world is agonna change. Chief Baylor will bring back the old days.” Brandwyn relayed the information to Lady Hawthorne. Wythri linked minds with Hawthorne, Brandwyn, Gunn, Damien, Quion, and Errol.

Brandwyn and Captain Hawthorne approached the giants. Hawthorne instructed Brandwyn to tell the giants that they had come to pay their respects to Baylor. The giants seemed surprised that the women had heard of Baylor. Brandwyn tried to flatter them, saying Baylor was known far and wide. The lead giant approached the two women, holding out his hand, but reaching for his club.

Keinan let loose an arrow at the lead giant, hitting him in the head. Tatiana ran past the other two giants, hitting both of them. Damien moved up behind the second giant. As the lead giant swung at Brandwyn and Hawthorne, Hawthorne leaped off night and kicked the giant in the shoulder, but he still hit the two women. The third giant chased after Tatiana hitting her in the shoulder. The second giant attacked Damien but missed. Errol shot the lead giant in the head with a wizard’s arrow. Gunn cast a flash on the lead giant, blinding him for a short time.

Tatiana recovered from her injury. Wythri boosted Brictius, Benedikt, and Quion’s speed and strength. Keinan, Hawthorne, Brictius, and Damien all attacked the giants. The lead giant kicked Hawthorne away, the landing knocking her out. The second giant attacked Damien, hitting him in the shoulder, but he was missed by the third giant. Brandwyn told a joke to the lead giant, causing him to laugh uncontrollably. Benedikt and Randall charged the lead giant. Errol hit the lead giant in the chest with another wizard’s arrow. Gunn and Quion moved to help Hawthorne.

Tatiana leaped over the second giant, hitting him in the shoulder. Keinan jumped out of the tree he was in and shot the third giant, hitting him in the hand. Hawthorne regained consciousness. Brictius did a moving attack on the third giant, hitting him in the vitals. Wythri cast an aid on Hawthorne, helping her recover quicker. Damien rolled under the second giant and hit him in the foot. The lead giant broke out of Brandwyn’s spell and stopped laughing. The second giant attacked Damien, hitting him the chest, stunning him. Brandwyn started chanting a song of strength. Benedikt and Errol attacked the lead giant, Errol’s wizard’s arrow dropping him. Randell and Gunn both attacked the third giant. Quion picked up Hawthorne and threw her towards Damien.

Tatiana did a running attack against the two remaining giants. Tatiana and Keinan attacked the second giant as a team. Hawthorne jumped up to attack the third giant in the chest. Brictius charged the third giant, hitting him in the vitals dropping him. Wythri cast a fireblast in the shape of a dragon at the second giant, dropping him.

While Benedikt tended to the wounded; Randall, Brictius, and Errol looted the giant’s bodies, but were disappointed with what they found.

Session 31: A Visit to the Good Doctor

19 Lightening to 28 Lightening, 960 RM
19 Lightening, 960 RM
Captain Hawthorne, Wythri, Damien, Niamh, and Gunn traveled to Hill Rose. Gunn went ahead to try and locate Featherlight. He found her a few hours later and the two of them headed back toward the rest of the group.

20 Lightening, 960 RM
Gunn and Featherlight met the rest of the group on the road. Featherlight reported that Dr Rothbury had six large, not very bright men working for him. They performed various tasks around the grounds, and she had never observed them talking to each other or Dr Rothbury. She also had never seen Dr Rothbury without his two large dogs and she had only ever seen him going back and forth from the house to the barn. She also thought there were more than two dogs as she had heard barking coming from the barn. There was always someone on guard at the house and at the barn when Dr Rothbury was working in there. Several of the cattle had been slaughtered and taken into the barn.

After dark, Damien and Gunn approached the barn to see if they could get a look inside without being spotted. When they got within fifteen feet of the barn, they heard a dog start to bark that was answered by more barking from the barn. One of the men came out of the house with one of Dr Rothbury’s large mastiffs. The man checked on the cattle while the dog sniffed around the barn. The dog looked at where the two men were hiding and started to approach. Gunn tried to convince a night bird to distract the dog, but the bird refused. As the dog continued to approach, the two men moved back deeper into cover. The dog found their trail, but did not pursue them.

Gunn and Damien returned to Hill Rose to report to Captain Hawthorne. They realized that the barking started inside the house and then was picked up by more than one dog in the barn and that the barking stopped when the door to the house was opened.

21 Lightening, 960 RM
First thing in the morning, the group approached Dr Rothbury’s house. The men were already outside working when the group arrived and one of the men went into the house. Knocking on the door, they were lead into the kitchen. Dr Rothbury apologized for not having breakfast ready for them, but the group explain they had already eaten.

Captain Hawthorne asked Dr Rothbury how his research was going, and he went into a long technical conversation that made everyone wish Quion was with them as he was probably the only one who understood what Dr Rothbury was saying.

Captain Hawthorne told Dr Rothbury about the other creatures the two groups of monster hunters had found. Wythri asked if the squid creatures could fuse with something else. Dr Rothbury admitted that it might be possible, although he had not been able to test that (but was very interesting idea). It could be possible that a budding creature could attach to something else and fuse with it. He had discovered that the smaller squid things tended to eat each other, much like spiders.

Dr Rothbury sounded doubtful that a new creature had been discovered, and suggested that the monster hunters had fabricated the creatures in order to gain more money. The group doubted that the monster hunters would be smart enough to pull off such a hoax.

Niamh asked if Dr Rothbury had any reports ready that they could take back for Quion to review and Dr Rothbury retrieved his notes for her.

Captain Hawthorne was convinced that something was going on, but could not gain any concrete evidence to prove her suspicion.

After leaving Dr Rothbury’s house, Gunn found a mouse to talk to. The mouse told Gunn that the smaller creatures did not like the barn because it smelled like death. They also did not like the dogs.

21 Lightening to 28 Lightening, 960 RM
The group set out to find where the Deadly Seven had claimed to fight the owlbear creature and spent several days tracking through the woods.

Finally finding the spot, they discovered that not much was left of the creature after the monster hunters had burned the body and scavengers had picked through what was left. They also found the den and Gunn confirmed that it had only recently been dug out.

28 Lightening, 960 RM
The group returned to Foxtown. Niamh checked in with a very irate Lieutenant Tower who was not happy she had been gone for so long. She also learned that Captain Waggoner had not returned from Crow’s Head Mountain.

Captain Hawthorne reported to the Baron, who had also been concerned they had been gone for so long. Captain Hawthorne gave her report and her conclusion that Dr Rothbury was hiding something, but there was no hard evidence to act on yet. The Baron agreed and suggested she prepare her delegation for the trip to visit the Giants. Captain Hawthorne and Wythri spent the next few days researching the subject, delighted that the Baron’s library contained a wealth of information on the subject.

Niamh informed Captain Hawthorne that she would be unable to accompany them on this trip. She was needed on duty in Foxtown, especially since Captain Waggoner was still gone. She did suggest that Captain Hawthorne enlist Brandwyn, the Deadly Seven’s taleweaver, as the bard did speak Giantish. Since the Deadly Seven would not let their taleweaver go on a dangerous mission without the whole group, Captain Hawthorne was forced to hire the entire group of monster hunters. Very strict ground rules were established to keep them on their best behavior.

Session 30: Don’t Mess with the Bard

6 Lightening to 18 Lightening, 960 RM
6 Lightening to 14 Lightening, 960 RM
The Deadly Seven left Foxtown the morning of 6 Lightening, heading toward Hill Rose. Following the map Quion had given them, they headed deeper into the woods. They had purchased a goat to use as bait and several potions from Wythri.

The weather started turning bad on 10 Lightening and they had not found any signs of any unusual creatures. The evening of 14 Lightening, a storm broke loose. The monster hunters found shelter and pitched their tents for the evening.

The first watch was uneventful, even though Benedikt and Randall were not paying full attention. Tatiana and Brictius took over the next watch. The goat and mule became more agitated as the night wore on, but the two elves could not tell if it was due to the storm or something else. During a flash of lighting, Brictius caught a glimpse of a large creature rising up out of the woods.

Tatiana descended from the tree she was in and attacked the creature, but missed hitting it with her axes. The monster crashed through Brandwyn’s tent severely injuring the bard on its way to scooping up the goat. Brictius charged the creature, hitting it in the shoulder.

Tatiana did a running attack at the creature, but missed. The creature charged Brictius, destroying Randell and Benedikt’s tents, and struck Brictius in the shoulder. The commotion in the camp failed to waken Errol, but the rest of the team was roused from their slumber. Brictius ran toward the clearing, trying to draw the creature out into the open.

Tatiana did another running attack at the creature, but missed again. The creature charged Brictius, but slipped in the mud missing the gray elf. Tatiana did another running attack at the creature, but also slipped in the mud and missed. Keinan shot the creature in the head, but did little damage. Brictius swept his spear under the monster’s legs knocking it down. Randall moved up to the monster, “accidentally” pulling Errol’s tent down. Brandwyn, although injured, started chanting a song of fighting to aid her companions. Benedikt moved to Brandwyn, kicking Errol awake on the way, and healed the bard’s wounds. Errol, finally awake, assessed the situation.

The creature stood up and hit Randall in the chest. Tatiana moved toward the creature and hit it in the foot. She also threw two more axes at it, hitting it in the arms and vitals. Keinan shot the creature in the head again, still doing little damage. The monster swung at Brictius and Randall, missing Brictius but hitting Randall in the head doing little damage. Brictius knocked down the creature again. Randall hit the creature in the head. Brandwyn continued changing. Errol used a spell to illuminate the area so everyone could see. The creature was a large owlbear with two sets of tentacles instead of forearms. Benedikt moved over to the creature, hitting it in the chest, but not doing much damage. Brictius and Randall started to feel the effects of the creature’s poison.

Tatiana ran pasted the creature again, hitting it in the foot. The monster stood up and took a swing at Randall who dodged the blow. Keinan shot the creature in the vitals, doing more damage there. Brictius knocked the creature down again. Brandwyn moved closer to the fight, still chanting, the creature found her song funny and started to laugh uncontrollably. Errol shot his magic shards at the creature, drawing blood. Benedikt cast a warblessing on Randall.

Tatiana dumped a flask of lamp oil on the creature. The monster continued to laugh. Keinan hit the creature in the vitals again. Brictius hit the creature in the chest. Brandwyn continued her chanting. Benedikt drank his potion of Fire Breath he had bought from Wythri and caught the monster on fire, killing it.

Benedikt was able to slow the progress of the poison effecting Brictius and Randall using some herbs he had until the effects of the poison faded. He was also able to save the goat, which the group adopted and named it Lucky George.

15 Lightening to 16 Lighting, 960 RM
The group spent the next couple of days back tracking to the creatures den. Keinan determined that the den had not been established for very long, less than a season. While Brandwyn composed a report to the Baron, Benedikt and Randall stood watch over the area and Keinan, Tatiana, and Brictius searched the area for any signs of more creatures. Tatiana found a glass tube buried in the mud and Randall recognized it as a syringe belonging to Dr Rothbury. Brandwyn finished her report and sent it by pigeon back to Gray Haven. The group then made a quick march back to Foxtown.

18 Lightening, 960 RM
Returning to Foxtown, the Deadly Seven requested an audience with the Baron. They presented the skull of the creature and the syringe to Quion for study. Captain Hawthorne dismissed the monster hunters until Quion could complete his report. Quion requested Wythri assist him with the analysis, which the elf reluctantly agreed to.

The examination of the skull revealed it to have belonged to a particularly large owlbear, but not outside the norm. The analysis of the syringe showed it to have contained a sedative. Quion requested a sample of blood from the goat to analyze the poison from the creature.

Captain Hawthorne talked to the Deadly Seven and was quite disappointed that they asked for payment for the sample. After some “gentle” persuasion, the group reluctantly agreed.

Examination of the blood showed the poison to be very potent and caused death by completely paralyzing the victim. This type of poison was similar to that found in some types of snakes around the Sylvan Gulf, specifically around Brills and Korma. After hearing this, Captain Hawthorne went to speak to the Baron. Several ideas were discussed as to why the syringe would be found near the den, the most logical one being if the creature did indeed have trolls blood, then it would need to be constantly sedated to be moved. The next course of action would be to visit the good doctor and learn what he had been doing.

Niahm: Lovers

Niamh Interlude: Birthday Reflections
2 Lightening, 960 RM, pre-dawn, Derry Dale
Niamh rolled over in bed and stretched, ready to start her day, until she realized it was not even dawn yet. “Why am I awake already?” She asked herself. “Because it’s your birthday and you always rise before dawn to reflect on the past year.” Sighing, she pulled herself out of bed and went into the kitchen. She coaxed the embers in the fireplace into a blaze and put the kettle on so she could have some tea.

When had she started this tradition, she wondered. “On your seventeenth birthday.” She reminded herself. Seventeen. When she had turned sixteen, she had left her mother and joined the Draconians in Tallhill. She hadn’t told her mother what she had done until Arwyn had been ready to move on. Her mother was disappointed that she would not be joining her, but had wished her well in her new pursuit. The Draconians had never had a witch join the force before, so they were at a lost as to where to put her. She obviously did not belong in the Theologic Corp as she was not a priestess, so they put in the Thaumaturgic Corp.

She had struggled there; she just could not wrap her mind around how to do the spells as they were being taught. Then Thomas offered to tutor her. Thomas, her first lover. He was a few years older than she was, with curly black hair, sky blue eyes, sly smile, and surprisingly strong hands for a wizard. She still remembered those hands working out the knots in her shoulders whenever she got frustrated. He taught her a great deal, not all about magic. She had felt as if a knife had been thrust into her heart when she had caught him with Mary and learned the only reason he had offered to tutor her was to try to bed her. “List that one under young inexperience.”

A few years later she was stationed in Alphabet City in Drache. She had finally found a place in the Epoptic Corp and was working her way not only to Foxton, but the rank of Sargent. While investigating a series of burglaries, she met a locksmith named Stephen. Stephen was tall and thin with long, almost elven fingers. He had short brown hair and dark eyes. It was his sharp wit that had attracted her. That relationship had ended when she arrested him for the burglaries she had been investigating. She had learned that he was using his locksmithing business to make extra keys and then helping himself to homeowner’s valuables when they were not home. He had almost killed her in the fight, but she did make Sargent for her efforts. “Why couldn’t I have inherited mom’s knack of finding good companions? What about Anthony then?”

Six years ago she had been assigned to Warford. There she had met a young printer named Anthony. He had blonde hair, green eyes, and an easy smile. He was intelligent and romantic. She had never felt so at easy with anyone. She could talk to him about anything and she would have done anything to make him happy. They had been considering getting married. Then Niamh received word that Arwyn was ill and left to go take care of her mother. She had arrived too late though. She returned to Warford depressed and angry at herself.

To try to cope with her loss, she had thrown herself into her work leaving little time for anything else. In Anthony’s defense he was very patient and understanding and tried very hard to comfort Niamh. When she was promoted to Lieutenant, and finally given her transfer to Foxton, that’s when everything came to a head. Anthony refused to leave his business and Niamh refused to give up her new assignment. She still regretted their last argument. “You have no one to blame but yourself for that one.” She chided herself. She sighed as she sipped her tea, “I know. So what has the past year brought you?”

She had continued focusing on her job until she had been suspended. The time off had forced her to reflect and rethink her position. She had been assigned as liaison to Baron du Clef. She had met and became friends with Lady Hawthorne, Wythri, and Quion; the first people she had allowed herself to get close to for many years. Then just last month she had been infected with the werewolf curse. She shuddered remembering the ritual to remove the curse. “But it wasn’t all bad, what about Benedikt?” What about Benedikt. What was that relationship? Was there even a relationship? She just didn’t know how she felt about him anymore.

Session 29: Flynn’s Final Rest

11 Lightening to 17 Lightening, 960 RM
11 Lightening, 960 RM
Storm clouds had rolled in over night and the rain had already started to fall when Captain Hawthorne and Wythri left Gray Haven for the village of Golden. They arrived in Golden at mid-afternoon, drenched from the constant down pour. They stopped at Father Ethelred’s house to warm up and to learn what the state of affairs was in the village.

Father Ethelred reported that the village was carrying on as best as could be expected. Rich and Penn were still in the village, their parents never letting the boys out of their sight. Mayor Golden was performing his duties, but without the previous gusto he had exhibited before. Captain Hawthorne told Father Ethelred that she would be taking the two boys and Darla Golden to Gray Haven. When Father Ethelred asked if the Burleys would be protected also, Captain Hawthorne said she would look into that also.

Captain Hawthorne and Wythri then stopped at Mayor Golden’s house. The mayor agreed to allow Darla to travel to Gray Haven, but not without be accompanied by the maid. Captain Hawthorn promised to protect the girl as if she were her own daughter.

The two women then went to the Miller’s house. There, Rich apologized for Flynn’s death and agreed to submit to any punishment that would be appropriate. Captain Hawthorne told the Millers that she would be taking Rich to Gray Haven for protection and asked Rich to be at the stables at dawn. The same scene was just about repeated at the Smith’s house with Penn and his parents.

Captain Hawthorne and Wythri then braved the rain again to visit the Burleys. They found the couple in the field attempting to plow, but having a hard time with all the rain and the mud. When Farmer Burley saw Captain Hawthorne, he stomped over to her, cursing the whole way. He yelled at her to get off, and stay off his land. Captain Hawthorne just ignored him and went to speak with Mrs Burley. Isobelle told Mrs Burley, that she would make sure Flynn would find peace. Mrs Burley was still as timid as ever, but told Isobelle that Flynn had told her he would never hurt her. Knowing there was nothing else they could do, the two women returned to Father Ethelred’s house to dry off for the night.

12 Lightening, 960 RM
At dawn, the two boys arrived at the stables accompanied by their fathers. The two boys were instructed to behave themselves and do as Captain Hawthorne commanded. A short time later, Darla and her family arrived at the stables and the group started the trip to Gray Haven. The rain had not stopped from the previous day.

They arrived at Gray Haven just before dark. They were greeted by Mrs Walker, who took the children and Wythri into the kitchen for dry clothes, and warm food. Darla was confused as to why she and Marion, her maid, had been brought to Gray Haven; her father had not told her anything about what was happening. The two boys suddenly found that their food had their undivided attention. Wythri quickly tried to figure out what to say to the girl.

Captain Hawthorne found the Baron in his office next to the fire. The Baron invited Isobelle to sit next him and asked her if she had a plan. Isobelle explained that she did not think Darla had been told anything about what was happening and she would take the girl to Hawthorne Manor until the new moon. She also thought that the spirit would be drawn to the boys and she hoped the chapel would protect them while she destroyed the spirit. The Baron explained that some spirits existed in the ghost realm, which can touch this world, but not necessarily the other way around. He hoped that Wythri would be able to cast a spell that would be able to enchant a weapon so that the weapon could affect the spirit world. He would also like to talk with Wythri before the coming conflict to prepare the elf. Isobelle gratefully accepted the Baron’s help.

Captain Hawthorne returned to the kitchen and told Wythri that the Baron would like to speak with her. She then made sure that Mrs Walker had a place for the boys to stay and left with Darla and Marion for Hawthorne Manor. Once at Hawthorne Manor, Isobelle told Darla what had happened to Flynn and the other boys and explained why the girl had been taken from Golden. Darla told Isobelle that she had had several drams about Flynn. In her dreams, Flynn had returned home, having found his fortune, and they were walking in fields of golden barely. She never remembered how that dreams ended, just that she always woke up crying.

13 Lightening to 14 Lightening, 960 RM
Rich and Penn were kept busy working around Gray Haven while Captain Hawthorne kept an eye on Darla.

Wythri and the Baron talked and worked out a strategy for dealing with the spirit.

Captain Hawthorne enlisted the help of Quion, Gunn, Niamh, and Featherlight in dealing with the spirit. She also talked with Sergeant Thomas so he could be prepared for what would happen.

The rain continued.

14 Lightening, 960 RM, dusk, Gray Haven
Niamh arrived at Gray Haven just before dusk. The storm had slowly been building in intensity all day and as darkness descended, the full force of the storm was unleashed. Captain Hawthorne escorted the four children to the chapel and made sure they were settled as comfortably as possible. Wythri confided in Captain Hawthorne that she was a wild mage and that she was unsure if she would be able to keep her magic under control during the fight with the spirit. Captain Hawthorne reassured Wythri that she had every confidence in the young elf.

Baron du Clef and Featherlight took up positions on the balcony overlooking the courtyard. Wythri, Captain Hawthorne, Niamh, and Quion stood guard in front of the chapel while Gunn watched the back of the church. Wythri felt a cold magic current building in the area. Everyone in Gray Haven, both inside and outside was on edge.

Just before midnight, a guard informed Captain Hawthorne that there had been a knocking at the gate, but then had stopped. They could see no one outside the castle walls. Captain Hawthorne told the guard to open the gates if the knocking continued. As the guard left, there was a commotion in the chapel. Captain Hawthorne and Niamh entered to find the children terrified and Penn choking. Niamh examined the boy and told him there was nothing attacking him, he was just panicking and he needed to calm down and breathe because everything was going to be fine. Isobelle also talked to the boy and managed to calm him down. As Niamh exited the chapel, one of the guards told her that the torches at the gate had turned blue.

Outside, there was a bright flash of lighting and a loud clap of thunder. While the courtyard was illuminated, Quion saw a figure standing in the rain. The figured vanished with the fading light. Quion released a spell he had prepared earlier, in hopes that it would slow the spirit down.

A supernatural howl filled the castle, causing almost everyone to freeze in dread. Exiting the chapel, Captain Hawthorne drew her blades and challenged the spirit. Wythri cast the spell the Baron had taught that enabled Captain Hawthorne, Niamh, and Gunn’s weapons to glow with magical power. Baron du Clef also enchanted several of Featherlight’s arrows. Naimh placed a warblessing on Captain Hawthorne who charged the spirit, but missed her target. Gunn leapt into position to prevent the spirit from leaving. Featherlight let loose one of her arrows, hitting the spirit which caused it to stumble and disappear.

The spirit reappeared in front of the chapel. It touched Wythri, causing her to scream out in pain. Quion cast a ghost wall in front of Wythri to protect the elf. Captain Hawthorne attacked the spirit again, but her swing went wild. Wythri stood up and saw that the spirit had two forms, one was the boy Flynn and the other, surrounding the boy, was a dark shape of pure hate, rage, and anger. “Flynn, this is not what you are, I’ve seen what you are. This is not what Darla would love.” Wythri shouted to be heard over the storm. The spirit hesitated. Featherlight aimed another arrow, but did not release it. The Baron cast a spell that caused the spirit to become visible. Gunn cast a warblessing on Niamh, but she held her attack waiting to see what the spirit would do. Quion beseeched Flynn to let his pain go and pass on peacefully. Featherlight let loose her arrow, not realizing what Wythri and Quion were attempting to do. Her arrow hit true, causing the spirit to attack.

The spirit lashed out at Captain Hawthorne, who blocked the attack. Niamh cast a destroy undead on the spirit. Captain Hawthorne called on the power of Durom to smite evil and drove her sword into the boy’s heart. The spirit gasped, stepped back, and turned into smoke that blow away in the wind. The storm started to subside.

Niamh tended to Wythri who was drained by the spirit’s attack. Captain Hawthorne checked on the children in the chapel. They had started to calm down, but wanted to know what had happened. When Darla realized the full impact of what had happened, she started yelling and hitting the two boys. Isobelle pulled the girl off the boys and took them into the castle.

Quion found Cici and attempted to comfort her by explaining what had happened.

17 Lighting, 960 RM
Darla continued to be mad at the two boys, but Wythri talked to her, reminding her that it was Flynn’s anger that caused all the terrible things to happen. Wythri and Captain Hawthorn took the girls back to Golden and explained what had happened. The village was still on edge when they arrived, fearful the children had been harmed. They assured everyone the two boys were safe, they were still in Gray Haven, waiting to hear what their punishment would be. They learned that Farmer Burley had been found dead on the 15th. He had slipped and drowned in his well. Mrs Burley had so complete lost touch with reality, she had not noticed. Captain Hawthorne made sure Farmer Burley was buried properly and that Mrs. Burley was placed in the care of the church in Foxtown.

Penn and Rich approached Niamh and told her that they were ready to take responsibility for what had happened. Niamh took them to the Baron, who scheduled a trial to be held in the next few days.

Session 28: What is it with the tentacles?

26 Coolwater to 6 Lightening, 960 RM
26 Coolwater, 960 RM, evening, Gray Haven
Late in the evening, Master Gunn and Mistress Featherlight returned to Gray Haven with the Circle of Iron and the contents of the cart. Captain Hawthorne was summoned. After hearing (and smelling) what was in the cart, she sent for Quion and Baron du Clef. Quion quickly arrived and began questioning the monster hunters. Caption Hawthorne was informed that the Baron was not in Gray Haven and no one had seen him leave. Captain Hawthorne suggested that the Circle of Iron return to Foxtown for a much deserved rest (and cleaning) and a full report could be made in the morning along with their payment. The Circle of Iron demanded a receipt, which Quion provided and the group made a hasty retreat. Quion made notes on the creature: a very large bear with two sets of tentacles instead of forearms. Captain Hawthorne had Master Gunn and Mistress Featherlight remove the carcass from the castle and burn it in a nearby field. Before leaving for Hawthorn Manor, she asked the guards to inform her when the Baron returned.

Around midnight, Meghan woke Captain Hawthorne to let her know the guards had reported Baron du Clef had returned to Gray Haven, apparently in a good mood.

27 Coolwater, 960 RM, Gray Haven
The last day of the trials for Court Mage started with Baron du Clef speaking with each of the candidates privately in his office. The wizards from Cli were called in first, followed by Rhonda Joslyn, and finally Sage Eldamoth. Afterwards, the Baron called in Captain Hawthorne, Quion, and Wythri. He explained to them that the judging for his court mage was based on several factors, but mostly on the candidate’s knowledge of the barony and it’s people; and they must keep the welfare and best interests of the barony in mind at all times. Two of the wizards from Cli he believed were spies, and the other wanted a place to do research. Mistress Joslyn was well trained, but considered this position a way to move on to better things. Eldamoth would have been perfect, but he could not pass any of the physical tests, although in his younger years he probably could have.

“Since you have rejected all the applicants,” Captain Hawthorne asked, “what is the next step?”

The Baron smiled, “I’m glad you asked,” he looked over at Wythri, “I am pleased to announce that Mistress Majaera has accepted the position (after a bit of convincing) and she and Sage Eldamoth will be moving into Gray Haven shortly.” He paused, “Now I have to go inform Mayor Hobbs. Wythri will officially begin her duties on the first. Now, what’s this I hear of a new monster in my woods?”

Captain Hawthorne and Quion described the creature and the limited report they had received from the Circle of Iron. The monster hunters were summoned and quickly arrived. “D”, the hooded man thought to be a mage, reported that they had not seen any signs of more monsters. He also reported that this creature might have had trolls blood as it continued to heal its wounds while they were fighting it. The creature also disliked fire. The Baron offered to continue paying them if they would search the woods and kill anything they found that was unnatural. The group agreed and accepted payment to resupply themselves. The Deadly Seven were also summoned and offered the same job, which they also accepted. The Baron reminded both groups that any infighting would result in any further payments being forfeited.

Niamh and Damien were feeling much better by late morning and the healers cleared them to return to Foxtown, which both did with great haste.

Wythri returned to Eldamoth’s shop to find the old sage very excited that she had accepted the Baron’s offer. He told her that during his talk with the Baron, he had told the Baron that he had thought she would be excellent for the job. He even started packing in preparation for the move to Gray Haven.

28 Coolwater, 960 RM, Draconian Headquarters
Niamh arrived at Draconian Headquarters before her shift started. She wanted a chance to speak with Captain Waggoner before she officially reported for duty. He was in his office working on reports when she knocked on the door. Entering, she apologized for her recent conduct. To her surprise, the captain dismissed her apology stating that he understood her to be under a curse and not in control of herself. Niamh asked if there was anything troubling the captain, as he had also seemed distracted lately. He informed Niamh that he would be leaving on pilgrimage to Crow’s Head Mountain in the morning. In his absence, Lieutenant Tower would in charge of the morning shift, Niamh would be moved to the afternoon shift, and Sargent Will would be placed in charge of the night shift.

1 Lightening, 960 RM
Baron du Clef called a meeting with his task force. The first item of business was welcoming Wythri in her new position as court mage.

The second item of business was the monsters and monster hunters. The big question was where the monsters were coming from. Master Gunn gave a summary of the Circle of Iron’s findings. Quion was instructed to provide both groups of monster hunters maps and pigeons so they could record where and what they found. They would also be asked to report in at least once a week. Wythri would ask Eldamoth to research what types of creatures were in the area so the monster hunters would know what to look for. Captain Hawthorne would send runners to the surrounding villages to inquire what news, if any, they had. Mistress Featherlight was assigned to keep an eye on Dr. Rothbury’s estate. The monster hunters would also be asked to keep an eye out of any ruins or current inhabitants with magical abilities.

The third item of business was Nobbin. It was decided that since there had been no sighting of him since the fight with the werewolves, he had obviously gone into hiding. There would be nothing to do until he made himself known again.

The forth item of business was the revenant in Golden. Quion had been unable to determine if the spirit was physical or incorporeal. Captain Hawthorn planned to return to Golden on the 10th to make sure the two remaining boys and Darla would be on holy ground between the 14th and 16th. Wythri agreed to accompany her.

The fifth item of business was the giants. Captain Hawthorn would leave after the business in Golden was finished. There was also a question as to the whereabouts of the taleweaver Bri. Damien would look for the missing Kalonese bard.

In closing, Quion still wished to do a survey of the Barony. The Engineers from Warford should be arriving later in the month. The Baron had a few projects in mind for them when they arrived, including a gatehouse at the Foxton Gate, a shrine at the massacre site on the Pilgrims Trail, and watchtowers into the hills and along the Pilgrims Trail. Niamh also report that Captain Waggoner had left on pilgrimage for Crow’s Head Mountain that morning. Wythri reported that Master Crown had bought Master Eldamoth’s shop.

2 Lightening to 5 Lightening, 960 RM
Over the next several days the monster hunters resupplied themselves and received their instructions as well as the maps and pigeons from Quion.

Allen Ethel and Ryan Casey, the two wizards from Cli whom the Baron suspected of being spies, left the barony after spending a few days in town complaining about the trials.

Wythri and Eldamoth finished moving into Gray Haven. Wythri was dong a final walk through of the shop when there was a knock on the door. Morris Adams, the third wizard from Cli, was there. He was interested in opening a shop in Foxtown, but wanted to know what the profitability and time constraints would be. Wythri spent some time with him answering his questions.

6 Lightening, 960 RM
Lieutenant O’Derry was on duty at Draconian Headquarters when a squad of five Draconians arrived. They were the combat engineers from Warford that Quion had requested. They introduced themselves as Lieutenant Rupert March, Sergeant Rance Stewart, Corpsman Andrew Cooper, Corpsman Cyril Gibson, and Corpsman Cordilia Foxglove. Lieutenant O’Derry offered to escort them to Gray Haven, which they accepted.

Captain Hawthorne was on duty at Gray Haven and met the engineers as they entered. Cici bounded up the stairs of Quion’s tower to inform her master, without pausing for breath, that new soldiers had arrived. Lieutenant O’Derry introduced the engineers to Captain Hawthorne and Quion. While Lady Hawthorne went to look for the Baron, Quion showed the new arrivals to their quarters and briefly explained the types of projects that had been planned.

Captain Hawthorne found the Baron in his greenhouse and informed him of the engineer’s arrival. The Baron greeted the Draconians and invited them to dinner. He also warned them about the possibility of encountering bandits, undead, werewolves, and giants. Lieutenant March was surprised at the last bit as he had heard that the Giant Wars had been over for many years.

Damien had spent several days looking for Bri, but did not find her. He did learn that she had left a few days ago heading toward the hills. She had been boasting that she was going to deal with the giants, as she had done so in the past. When Damien reported this to the Baron and Captain Hawthorne, the Baron decided that it would be safest to have the engineers start on some of the other projects before sending them into the hills where the giants might be agitated. Captain Hawthorne informed Quion of the change in plans.

During the dinner, Quion briefed the engineers on the plans for the gate, message towers, and the cemetery. He explained that the survey had been delayed due to the possibility of the giants being riled up and until Captain Hawthorne to further assess the situation; they would have to focus on the other projects. The purpose of the survey was to better map out the lay of the land to assist in finding bandits, investigate the upsurge in undead activity, and facilitate the improvements needed for the Barony.


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