The Chronicles of Foxton

Niahm: Police Report from Golden

To: Baron Mathieu of Foxton; Captain Waggoner, Foxton Draconian unit
From: Lieutenant Niamh O’Derry, Epoptic Corp, Foxton Draconian unit
Subject: Murder in the village of Golden
Date: 15 Planting, 950 RM

Background: Baron Mathieu of Foxton does not wish a repeat of last years’ troubles. When he was informed of the murder in the village of Golden, he assembled a team to investigate the murder. The team was comprised of the Lady Hawthorne, captain of the Baron’s guards; myself; Quion Rake, a clerk and mage in the employ of the Baron; Damien Wrathchild, a mysterious man in the employ of the Baron; Wythri Majaera, an elf who is an apprentice to a wizard; and Iokua, a wild child living with the head of the Baron’s kitchen.

Golden is a small village 10 klicks to the southwest of Foxton off the main road, just below the foothills. The population is about 300 to 350 souls. It use to have some mining, but is now mostly farmland. Being off the main road, the village saw little bandit activity last year.

Victim: Alfie, age 17, the son of the grocer, also named Alfie. Alfie the elder is also a member of the town council. Alfie the younger has two other brothers, Barry and Cal, and two sisters, Abby and Allie. Alfie the younger was a popular boy, very athletic, and well liked. He was seeing Darla, mayor Abbot Golden’s daughter. He was friends with Rich, the miller’s son; Stew, the mayor’s son; Jar and Jeb, twin sons of Jeffery who owns the stables; and Pen, the blacksmith’s son.

Alfie the younger, was found murdered shortly after dawn in the woods just outside the village of Golden. Two boys, presumably skipping school to go fishing, found the body. They showed the body to the priest, who had an acolyte tell the Reeve. The Reeve, Edward Newcastle, sent his son, Dale, to the Baron.

The body was found outside the village just inside the woods. Master Rake, Master Wrathchild, Wythri, and Iokua investigated the murder site and the body. The obvious cause of death was strangulation. Three sets of unidentified footprints were found around the body. Two sets were later identified as belonging to Newcastle and his son. One set of prints looked like it was carrying something. The body was missing the right shoe. No prints were found to match Alfie the younger. It was reported that while investigating the area where the body was found, the area suddenly grew silent and cold. It was concluded that the boy was not killed at this location. Master Wrathchild and Iokua were unable to track were the body had been brought from.

The body of Alfie the younger was examined by myself and Master Rake. The body showed that the boy had been savagely beaten by fists and then choked. Bits of homespun cloth were found under the boy’s fingernails. The cloth was of poor quality, old, and well worn and rotten. The boy still had a small pocketknife and a few copper pieces in his pocket. This ruled out robbery as a motive. It is assumed that Alfie the younger possibly knew his attacker(s) as he fight back, but not with his weapon.

Wythri found Alfie the younger’s other shoe at a place called Druid’s Rock. Druid’s Rock is on the other side of the town from where the body was found. Druid’s Rock is a place where the young people hang out.

The Murder Site: Master Wrathchild, Wythri, Iokua, and myself went to Druid’s Rock to investigate this site. At Druid’s Rock, there were signs of a brutal fight between two people. There was blood on the ground and a tooth. My examination of the tooth lead me to believe that it more than likely belonged to Alfie the younger. No other traces were found, but this is believed to be the site of the murder. Of note, Wythri saw a brief stream of smoke coming from the woods. The direction was marked and will be investigated in the morning.

Interviews: Captain Hawthorn and Master Rake interviewed Darla, the mayor’s daughter. Darla is a 15 year old girl who was seeing Alfie the younger. Alfie the younger was thought to have left his house yesterday evening to visit her, but Darla states she did not see him last night, although she had hoped to. Darla also stated that she use to date a boy named Flynn, but he had left the village late last fall. Flynn had big plans and left the village to seek his fortune, after which he would have sent for Darla, but Darla has not heard from him since he left. Alfie the younger started acting differently after Flynn left. Shortly after Flynn left, Darla and Alfie the younger started dating. Flynn is the son of a farmer, Burley. Flynn was not liked by Mayor Golden.

Captain Hawthorn and Master Rake then went to interview Burley. Burley’s farm is on the outskirts of the village and not well taken care of. Burley is not too happy that his son left before helping with the harvest. Master Rake spoke with Flynn’s mother, who told him she has seen her son, who she thinks is dead. Master Rake does not believe that the mother is a reliable witness.

This evening at Druid’s Rock, we interviewed Alfie the younger’s friends: Rich, the miller’s son; Stew, the mayor’s son; Jar and Jeb, twin sons of Jeffery who owns the stables; and Pen, the blacksmith’s son. Most of the boys only saw Alfie the younger during the day while he was working at the grocers. Stu saw Alfie the younger yesterday also, told him they would hanging out at Druid’s Rock that night. But because it was so cold, they went to the stables instead, assuming Alfie the younger would figure out where they were. They stayed at the stables for a couple of hours, but Alfie the younger did not join them. The boys thought Alfie the younger was seeing Darla. When asked about Flynn, the boys thought he was a punk, not in this or any other group. Flynn liked school, and wanted to go to college. Stu was not happy the Darla was “seeing” Flynn. Flynn left town shortly after a big fight with Alfie the younger over Darla. Of note, Iokua also reported the area growing silent and cold just before the rest of the team arrived to question the boys. Apparently he had followed them from the town.

Suspects: Flynn. He is the only one in town to have had a known conflict with Alfie the younger. However, according to his description, he would not be able to inflect the physical damage exhibited on the body. Also, he has not been seen in the village since late last fall. Of note, he was still attending school before he left the village. Most boys his age would have left school to be apprenticed. His father also does not seem like the type to encourage scholarly endeavors. The village priest should be able to elaborate on Flynn’s academic career.

Other questions: Where is the smoke coming from that Wythri saw. What is causing the unexplained drop in temperature and sudden silence? Who murdered Alfie the younger and why?

To: Baron Mathieu of Foxton; Captain Waggoner, Foxton Draconian unit
From: Lieutenant Niamh O’Derry, Epoptic Corp, Foxton Draconian unit
Subject: Murder in the village of Golden, conclusion
Date: 17 Planting, 950 RM

The following morning, the team set out to Druid’s Rock to find Iokua. Iokua had been asked by Lady Hawthorne to watch the mayor’s house, and he did not return to the common house for breakfast.

We caught up with Iokua at Druid’s Rock and Master Wrathchild and Iokua followed a trail up into the foothills. The rest of the team followed behind to allow the two trackers to stealthily follow the trail. The path lead us to an old shack in a clearing by an old mine. There was a small stream of smoke coming from the chimney. The shack was old and in disrepair. The windows were boarded up.

Master Wrathchild and Iokua stealthily circled the shack and started to approach it from the back. A dog started barking when they got close to the building. Lady Hawthorne approached the shack unarmed, and was struck with crossbow bolt from the window. Master Wrathchild circled around the shack and killed the dog when the dog exited the shack and attacked him. Iokua had climbed to the rickety roof and shot down into the shack. I moved forward to Lady Hawthorne and commanded the person inside to surrender, but the man refused. Lady Hawthorne then drew her swords and closed the distance to the shack. The man ran out of the shack, swinging a large mace at Master Wrathchild, hitting him in the chest. I recognized him as Big Pete, one of Nobbin’s gang. Lady Hawthorne demanded Big Pete’s surrender, but he refused. A combination of fighting skill from Lady Hawthorne, Iokua, and myself, with the magical assistance from Master Rake and Wythri took Big Pete down in short order. Lady Hawthorne and Master Wrathchild were both injured in the fight. I was able to stabilize Big Pete, keeping him from dying, as well as tend to Lady Hawthorne and Master Wrathchild’s wounds.

Master Rake examined the inside of the shack and determined that Big Pete had been living there for several months, had stolen some supplies from the village, and Big Pete also had a wanted poster of himself. An examination of Big Pete by Lady Hawthorne and Master Rake, showed that Big Pete’s hands were heavily calloused, his shoes could match the prints found by the body of Alfie the younger, and the cloth found under Alfie the younger’s nails could also match Big Pete’s clothing.

Wythri cast a spell that allowed the team to carry Big Pete back to the village of Golden. Once back in the common room, I continued to tend to Big Pete, trying to bring him back to consciousness for questioning. Meanwhile Lady Hawthorne, Master Rake, and Master Wrathchild questioned Priest Ethelred about the boy Flynn.

Priest Ethelred confirmed that Flynn was no match for Alfie the younger. He also confirmed that Flynn was the smartest boy in the village, and he had encouraged Flynn to apply to the University at Godonsa. Priest Ethelred also confirmed that Flynn left suddenly, without speaking to him. Priest Ethelred felt that Flynn left because Flynn wanted to get away from the village.

Lady Hawthorne decided to take Big Pete to Grey Haven to be held and to be questioned in front of Baron Mathieu. She left the guards she had taken with her at the village of Golden. The this morning, Big Pete was questioned. Big Pete did not directly confess to killing Alfie the younger. He did state that he had encountered the boy on his way to the village to get supplies. Big Pete also stated he moved the body to keep it from being found too soon, and confirmed that the body was not left in a barn. This testimony was adequate for Baron Mathieu, and Big Pete was taken to Foxton for trial.

I am personally not convinced that Big Pete killed Alfie the younger, although it is possible. There are still some unanswered questions: what caused the silence and drop in temperature reported by Master Rake, Master Wrathchild, Wythri, and Iokua? Why did Alfie the younger not draw his knife when attacked? Why would Big Pete strangle Alfie the younger instead of killing him with his mace?

Lieutenant Niamh O’Derry, Epoptic Corp, Foxton Draconian unit

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Murder in Golden Village
A brutal murder to start the game off...

Baron Mathieu of Foxton has assembled a small group to investigate a murder in the village of Golden. The team is comprised of Lady Hawthorne, captain of the Baron’s guards; Lieutenant Niamh O’Derry, a Draconian of the Epoptic corp; Quion Rake, a mage kicked out of the university; Damien Wrathchild, a mysterious man in the employ of the Baron; Wythri Majaera, an elf who is a mage’s apprentice; and Iokua, a wild child living with the head of the Baron’s kitchen.

Alfie, age 17, was found murdered shortly after dawn in the woods just outside the village of Golden. Two boys, skipping school, found the body. They showed the body to the priest, who had an acolyte tell the Reeve. The Reeve, Edward Newcastle, sent his son, Dale, to the Baron.

Golden is a small village off the main road, it used to have some mining, but is now mostly farmland. Golden’s mayor is Abbot. He has a son Stew and a daughter Darla. Alfie is the son of the grocer, also named Alfie. Alfie Sr. is also a member of the town council. He has two other sons, Barry and Cal, and two daughters, Abby and Allie.

Alfie was a popular boy, very athletic and well liked. He was seeing Darla, the mayor’s daughter. He was friends with Rich, the miller’s son; Stew, the mayor’s son; Jer and Jeb, twin sons of Jeffery who owns the stables; and Pen, the blacksmith’s son. They are all the same age.

The body was found outside the village just inside the woods. The obvious cause of death was strangulation. Three sets of footprints found around the body. Two sets belong to Newcastle and his son. One set of prints looks like it was carrying something lead to foothills. The body was missing the right shoe. No prints from Alfie.

Alfie was savagely beaten by fists and then choked. Bits of cloth under the fingernails; homespun cloth poor quality, old, and well worn (rotten). Still had a small pocket knife and a few copper pieces in his pocket. Possibly knew his attacker(s) as he fought back but not with a weapon.

Wythri found the other shoe at a place called Druid’s Rock. Druid’s Rock is on the other side of the town from where the body was found. Druid’s Rock is a place where the young people hang out.

Darla use to date a boy named Flynn. Flynn had big plans, he left town to seek his fortune. Alfie started acting different after Flynn left. Darla and Alfie started dating. Flynn is the son of a farmer, Burley. Flynn left late last fall.

At Druid’s Rock, there was a big fight between two people. Blood on the ground and a tooth. Tooth more than likely belongs to Alfie.

Burley’s place in not well taken care of, on the edge of town. Burley not too happy that his son left before helping with the harvest. Wife is out of her mind, thinks she has seen her son, who she thinks is dead.

Everything got very quiet while first examining the body and then again at Druid’s Rock before the investigators arrive to talk to the boys. Most of the boys only saw Alfie during the day while he was working at the grocers. Stew saw Alfie yesterday, told him they were hanging out ad the stables. They stayed at the stable for a couple of hours. The boys thought Alfie was seeing Darla. Boys thought was Flynn was a punk, not in this or any other group. Flynn liked school, wanted to go to college. Stew was not happy the Darla was “seeing” Flynn. Flynn left town shortly after a big fight with Alfie over Darla. Stew does not want to be mayor because nothing changes.

Before retiring to the common house for the evening, Lady Hawthorne asked Iokua to follow Stew home and watch the Mayor’s house.


Session 2: The Murder in Golden Village
Most of the team spent a quiet night in the common house, except for Quion waking from a bad dream. Iokua spent the night outside the mayor’s house and then headed to Druid’s Rock. The rest of the team joined him there.

Tracking the smoke from the previous day, the team went up into the foothills and found a shack and an old mine.

Damien and Iokua stealthily circled the shake and started to approach, when a dog started barking. Approaching the shack, the unarmed Lady Hawthorne was hit by a crossbow bolt. Damien circled the shack to the door. Wythri threw a rainbow at the house, attempting to blind those inside. Iokua climbed to the roof and looked into the shack and saw a large man with a dog, he readied his bow. The dog raced out the door toward Damien. Damien struck the dog with the pommel of his dagger in the stomach, knocking the wind out of the dog. Niamh moved forward to Lady Hawthorne and yelled at the man to come out of the shack, with no effect. Quion moved away from Wythri. Iokua fired his bow, hitting the guy in his leg. Lady Hawthorne drew her swords and closed to the shack. The guy ran out of the shack, swinging a mace at Damien hitting Damien in the chest, dropping Damien. The man is a big guy, tall and wide, with a small head, wearing a scalemail shirt, carrying a large mace, cauliflower ears, and lots of scars. Naimh recognized him as Big Pete, one of Nobbin’s boys (Nobbin being a notorious bandit and one of Foxton’s most wanted). Damien recovered from being knocked down. Wythri moved forward and cast a spell on Lady Hawthorne and Niamh increasing their speed. The dog attempted to bite Damien, but was still dazed and so missed. Niamh used her new speed to attempt to tackle Big Pete, but missed. Quion took a potion that turned him invisible and moved up to the combat. Iokua fired his bow again and hit Big Pete in the chest, but hit Big Pete’s armor so did little damage. Lady Hawthorne also used her new speed to move behind Big Pete. Lady Hawthorne demanded Big Pete’s surrender, but when he refused, she swept his legs out from under him. Big Pete climbed back to his feet and swung his mace at Lady Hawthorne, hitting her in the thigh. Damien climbed to his feet and stabbed the dog in the chest knocking the dog unconscious. Wythri cast another spell and attacked Big Pete’s mind, causing him to think of fuzzy bunnies. Niamh took the opportunity of the distraction to knock Big Pete of his feet with her spear. Quion threw a ball of twine at Big Pete, entangling him. Iokua continued across the roof and shot his bow at the dog, hitting the dog in the leg. Lady Hawthorne attempted to take Big Pete’s mace away from him, but Big Pete was too strong. Big Pete causally broke out of the twine and climbed to his feet. He then swung his mace at Niamh, but missed. Damien stabbed the dog in the stomach, knocking the dog out again. Wythri moved closer again, and cast another spell, causing a multi-color blast of energy at Big Pete, but missing. Iokua shoot his bow at Big Pete, hitting him in the shoulder, but not doing much damage. Naimh tried to knock Big Pete down again, but missed. Quion threw another ball of twine at Big Pete, getting a much stronger rope around him. Iokua shot his bow at Big Pete, hitting him in the chest, actually causing damage though his amour. Lady Hawthorne, attempted to slice and sweep Big Pete, but missed. Big Pete flexed his muscles and strained but did not manage to escape his ropes. Damien attacked the dog again, finally killing it. Wythri moved closer again and cast another spell, attacking Big Pete’s mind with fluffy bunnies again, but missed. Niamh tried to terrify Big Pete with a spell, but failed to cast her spell. Quion drank a potion and breathed fire on Big Pete, causing more damage, and burning the ropes around Big Pete. Iokua shot another arrow at Big Pete, hitting him in the arm, causing more damage. Lady Hawthorn attempted to strike and sweep again, and hit Big Pete! She hit him in the stomach and in the thigh, knocking him down again. Big Pete misses hitting Lady Hawthorne as he fell down.

Niamh stabilized Big Pete’s wounds so he would not die. She then tended to Lady Hawthorne’s wounded leg. Quion investigated the hut, which showed Big Pete had hid there for several months. Wythri kept watch outside the hut, but did not see anything. An examination of Big Pete, showed that his hands were heavily calloused, his shoes could match the prints found by the body of Alfie the younger, and the cloth found under Alfie the younger’s nails could also matches Big Pete’s clothing. Niamh also tended to Damien’s wounds. Wythri cast a spell that allowed them to carry Big Pete back to the village. The people of the village gathered around the team, wanting to know if they had captured Alfie the younger’s killer. In the common house, Niamh continued to tend Pete, hoping to bring him back to consciousness for questioning.

Lady Hawthorne, Quion, and Damien talked to the priest, Ethelred. Priest Ethelred confirmed that Flynn was no physical match for Alfie the younger. Priest Ethelred also confirmed that Flynn was the smartest boy in the village. Priest Ethelred also confirmed that Burley was a hard man to live with and did not appreciate Flynn’s talents. Priest Ethelred talked to Flynn about attending the university at Godonsa. Flynn left suddenly without getting a letter of recommendation from the priest.

The team procured a cart, and took Big Pete to the Grey Haven. Pete was taken to a cell and a priest from Foxton was called to heal him. Lady Hawthorne returned to her manor for the evening. Damien returned to his house. Niamh, Quion, and Wythri returned to Foxton. Quion spent the night in looking in the town record for any indication that Flynn had passed through, with no luck.

The next morning, at Grey Haven, Big Pete was questioned in front of the Baron. Big Pete did not directly answer if he had killed Alfie the younger. Big Pete stated he was hiding in the shack for the winter, going into town occasionally to steal stuff. Big Pete stated he met Alfie the younger outside village on his way to get supplies. Big Pete was unable to answer why he did not rob Alfie the younger. The Baron was satisfied with the questioning and considered the case closed, Big Pete was taken to Foxton to await trial. The Baron was pleased with the work of the team. Quion spoke with Lady Hawthorne and Damien, asking them why they were in the service of the Baron and what would happen next.

Lady Hawthorne returned to village of Golden to collect her men and suggest a few witnesses attend Big Pete’s trial.

After an interview with the Baron, Wythri returned to her home to find her master missing. Lady Hawthorne happened by at that moment and agreed to help Wythri. Niamh was left in charge of the Draconian station while Captain Waggoner took three squads into the foothills. He had gotten a lead as to where Nobbin and his gang where hiding and planned on getting the jump on them. Quion arrives at the station, asking for the records on Nobbin’s activities, which Niamh allows him to read.

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Incident at the Golden Hammer bar
The police are called in to a violent confrontation...

To change things up a bit, my players all created secondary characters — members of the local constabulary — and we ran an adventure with them while the main characters were out of town investigating the murder in Golden. One of the players wrote up an official “police report” of the incident they were call in to…

To: Baron Mathieu du Clef of Foxton; Lady Isobelle Hawthorne, Captain of the Baron’s guards; Captain Uriah Waggoner, Foxton Draconian unit
From: Lieutenant Niamh O’Derry, Epoptic Corp, Foxton Draconian unit
Date: 18 Planting, 960 RM
Subject: Violent confrontation at the Golden Hammer

Background: Captain Waggoner and Lieutenant Chadwick Tower had left Foxton this morning with three squads. They were heading up into the foothills to follow up on a lead as to the whereabouts of Nobbin and his gang. Unfortunately, Master Rake’s map arrived after they had departed. Shortly after lunch, a man from the town rushed into Draconian headquarters with news of another fight happening at the Golden Hammer. Myself, Sergeant Will, Officer Uri Barechest, Officer Candor Silverstone, and Trainee James Jameson quickly proceeded to the Golden Hammer to contain the situation.

The Golden Hammer: The Golden Hammer is a bar frequented by miners, and has been the scene of several brawls. Arriving at the scene, we were confronted with a large crowd gathered around a badly beaten man, later identified as Robert, a miner. I ordered Jameson to tend to the wounded man, Sergeant Will and Officer Silverstone on crowd control, and myself and Officer Barechest went inside. Once our eyes adjusted to the light we spotted two men on the floor, later identified as Richard and Sam, both miners. There was another body impaled on a rack of antlers, later identified as Riley, also a miner. The room was a mess of broken tables and chairs, blood and spilt drinks covered the floor. Some of the embers from the fireplace had been kicked onto the floor, but were in no danger of immediately starting a fire. There was a moan from behind the bar and growling from on top of the bar toward the back of the room. I lit up that corner of the room so we could see. On the bar, was a man, crouched like a cat ready to pounce on its prey. I ordered Officer Barechest to carefully move to the fireplace to put out the burning embers, and the man on top of the bar to stand down and exit the building with us. This man, later identified as James Millerson, had huge eyes, with the pupils dilated, and he was drooling profusely. As Officer Barechest approached the fireplace, James leapt at him, but he was able to block the attack. Officer Silverstone entered the room, drawn by the commotion. As soon as she entered, another man dropped from the rafters and attacked me. This man, later identified as Jake Millerson, brother of James, also had the large dilated eyes and large amounts of drool coming from his mouth. Both men demonstrated great strength, as evidence by the bruises on my arm dealt by Jake and James easily breaking out of Office Barechest’s hold. They both seemed to be able to ignore pain, Jake stood on a broken leg and it required the combined efforts of Sergeant Will, Officer Barechest, and Officer Silverstone to subdue him. The other person in the bar was Karl, the barkeep. After the Millerson brothers were subdued, I ordered Jameson to take the wounded and dead to the temple for proper ministrations. The deceased included Riley and Richard, the wounded were Robert, Sam, and Karl. Sergeant Will and Officer Silverstone were ordered to interview the witnesses for more information as to what happened. Myself and Officer Barechest took the Millerson brothers back to headquarters for questioning.

James and Jake Millerson: at headquarters, the two brothers were searched and their wounds tended to as best as could be done. They were placed in cells to prevent them from hurting anyone else should they regain consciousness. Two items of interest were found in their possession, fifty silver pieces and two small packets of wax paper labeled “Boo Powder.” Inside the packets was fine, gray powder. When checking on the Millerson brothers later, I found James dead in his cell. Jake was sweating profusely and his heart was racing. Believing that this “Boo Powder” was in his system, I attempted to neutralize the substance, but he suddenly went into convulsions and expired. Both men have been turned over to the temple for proper preparations.

Witness testimony: The following is compiled from the testimonies gathered by Sergeant Will, Officer Silverstone, Officer Barechest, and Trainee Jameson.

The witnesses from the Golden Hammer remember the Millerson brothers being in a good mood at lunchtime, buying drinks for everyone, then the brothers became very quiet, then they went nuts. One witness thought the brothers had “taken something.”

This account was corroborated by Karl, the barkeeper.

Mary, the barmaid, was serving Jack and Jake Millerson. Usually, the brothers would come in once a month, drink their money away, and go back out to their mine. This time, however, they had hit a big strike. They were spending a lot of money, more than she had ever seen. For about an hour, they were happy, buying drinks for everyone and flirting with her. Then the next they were quiet. The quiet spell lasted about an hour, and got worse and worse. They would growl at her when she brought them their drinks. This lasted until Riley, the man on the antlers, went over to talk to them. She was not sure what was said, but then one of the brothers lifted him up and impaled him on the rack of antlers. That is when she ran out of the bar. Neither she, nor Karl mentioned anything about the brothers “taking something.”

Oliver White, the head of the trade house, was also interviewed. Master White has a reputation as a fair man, and is rumored to have once been a priest of the god of trade. Master White confirmed that this morning the brothers brought in three times the amount of ore they usually trade. They were paid 75 pieces of silver for the ore, which is of high quality. Last month they had a normal load. Their cart was still outside the trade house, but there was nothing of interest in the cart. None of the other miners have presented to the trade house with as large of a load, or of such high quality ore.

The Millerson’s Claim: Public records show that the brothers have worked their mine for two years. The exact location is enclosed, as well as the location of other mines in close proximity. I request that your Lordship investigate their mine. We are shorthanded at the moment and the mine technically falls outside our jurisdiction. It would be helpful to know if the brothers actually did hit a major vain or if they obtained their silver from another source.

The powder: None of the other officers have ever heard of “Boo Powder.” My limited knowledge of herbs and alchemy is inadequate to learn anything useful about this gray powder. I have included a sample for Master Rake to study. I am also going to enlist the help of the Sage Eldamoth for more information about this powder. We have no evidence that this is the cause of the brothers’ violent behavior, but we cannot take a chance that it is not. Foxton has not had a narcotics problem before, as we are too isolated for any major trade. I hope this is not changing.

Thank you for any assistance your Lordship can offer in this investigation.

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Isobelle: Report on the Murder in Golden

Captain’s Report; Murder in Golden.
15-16 Planting, 960RM
One of the Reeve’s sons came riding into the castle as we prepared for morning drills, the Baron had stayed in leaving us with spare time. The boy reported the murder of a young man in the village of Golden, which lies some 10 kilometers South-West off the main road against the foothills.

Under the Baron’s instructions the following were gathered:
• Lt. Naihm O’Derry, assigned at the request of the Captain of the Draconians for someone from his group to assist.
• Quion Rake, the Baron’s head scribe. He questioned his involvement, claiming little skills that could assist. The man is a little too modest.
• Damien Wrathchild, association with the Baron is unknown. I will not indulge in rumors. He carries himself as a man of martial skill.
• Wythri Maejera, Sage in training. Her master was unable to make it due to ill health, she seems a competent mage.

I took three of the guards with me, Thomas, Alan, and Craig. Hopefully the experience outside the castle walls will be of some good.

Iokua, a feral boy under the care of the Head Cook followed us. I felt it would be easier to allow his presence under my watch than risk him attempting to sneak after us.

Arrival in Golden was made a little after midday, to a small crowd of the majority of villagers. My men immediately went to calm and disperse the crowd. Lieutenant Naihm went to step between the Reeve and the victim’s father, Alfie Senior, who was irate upon arrival. Wythri assisted her in separating and calming the two men.

To save time I will outline all investigated parties below;

*The Victim: *
Alfie Jr, seventeen, murdered the previous night, 14 Planting.

Other Parties:
Reeve Edward Newcastle, and sons.
Alfie Senior, victim’s father.
Father Ethelred
Mayor Abbot Golden.
Stew Golden, Darla Golden, the Mayors son and daughter respectively. Alfie and Stew were close friends, Alfie was courting Darla.
Rich, the Miller’s son, friend to Alfie
Jar and Jeb, twins, sons to Jeffery, the stable master, also friends of the victim.
Pen, the blacksmith’s son.
Flynn, son of Farmer Burley. Father Ethelred stated the boy’s intelligence would have taken him far. Currently missing.
Big Pete, wanted criminal.

Initial Inquiries
As we arrived Quion and Damien immediately went to investigate the body of the boy. Iokua helped investigate the surrounding area, proving himself an adequate tracker. Their observations found that Alfie was beaten, his body moved, and the tracks were made by a large man. There were two other sets of tracks in the area that would later prove to belong to Reeve Newcastle, and his son.

Iokua and Damien were able to follow a trail some ways into the forest and foothills, only losing it as the ground became too rocky to leave a reliable trail.

Naihm and I went to talk with Alfie and the Priest to get a better idea of the town’s workings. Wythri went to look into the town itself, at the time this appeared to be a local grudge and we needed suspects. Alfie was apparently a well liked boy with no enemies according to his father.

Wythri at least found that there was a rivalry between Alfie and Flynn. She also went to investigate the local kid hang out – Druid’s Rock – where she found Alfie’s missing shoe. Now that we had a murder spot things felt like they were progressing.

Quion and Lt. Naihm moved the body to the local church and investigate the cause of death sooner. Finding evidence of someone else’s clothes the boy had torn off in defense, and that he was not robbed. While this went on I interviewed Alfie Senior regarding the details of the relationships with the boys in town, and set up in the local gathering hall. I left two of my men with Quion and one with me.

We were able to meet back up in the late afternoon. Damien, Lieutenant Naihm, and Iokua followed Wythri back up to Druid’s rock to look over the area. Quion and I went to talk to Darla and see if she could shed any insight on the situation.

Last fall Flynn was courting Darla, until, it seems, Alfie and possibly her brother Stew, stepped in to stop him. This would be about the time Flynn disappeared and Alfie started to court Darla instead. She claims to have loved him and was quite distraught over his death. Mayor Golden was initially uncooperative, and more defensive than the situation warranted. He may be hiding some scandal or another, though I couldn’t imagine what or why he would imagine I would care.

We questioned Farmer Burley next. Quion was able to talk to his wife, I gained nothing of interest from the father. Flynn was a skinny young boy, and not one for physical labor. His mother believes him dead and that his ghost visited her. More likely the boy stayed close to the village through the winter and disappeared once things warmed up. I recommend keeping an ear out for the boy, if he is as smart as the Priest says then Demoria could use him.

As the night ended and everyone returned to town Damien and the others reported seeing a smoke column up in the foothills. After dinner it was decided that finding and questioning the boys involved would be prudent. It was a cold night and usually they were likely in the stables where it was warmer.

Instead we found them at Druid’s Rock. A short time questioning revealed that they knew nothing, and were having trouble grasping the death of their friend. I doubt we were of much consolation to their loss. Stew expressed a desire to run away, as Flynn had done. Being the Mayors son he would most likely take over running the town in the future, I tried to warn him against a rash an action as leaving. One has duties to the Kingdom after all. I had Iokua keep an eye on him over the night to make sure he stayed in town.

The day’s conclusion is that Flynn was the most likely suspect, but that he was physically incapable of inflicting the wounds that killed Alfie the Younger. Either he was not the murderer or had gained an accomplice over the winter.

Finalization Of the Investigation
The next morning we headed out as early as possible, immediately after breakfast. Following Damien up into the hills we tracked the smoke to a dilapidated cottage near an abandoned mine. Damien and Iokua circled around the back. I approached once they were in place.

This is where the investigation took a less desirable turn. Or less non-violent conclusion. I was shot with a cross-bow, grazing my arm. Damien in place at the door killed the dog the man had inside the cottage. His only shot expended we closed in, Lt. Naihm demanding the attackers surrender. Damien suffered a blow from Big Pete’s mace as the man attempted to flee. It was Naihm who recognized the man, I am not familiar with the local outlaws as of yet.

He wounded me with his mace even as Naihm and I were able to surround him. A combination of Wythri and Quion’s magics aided us, as well as Iokua’s bow distracting him. Damien was able to kill the man’s trained attack dog as I was able finally to dispatch Pete.

Big Pete repeatedly refused to stand down despite requests on both mine and Naihm’s parts. Naihm was able to prevent him from dying allowing us to bring him back to the Baron’s castle for questioning – aided by Wythri’s magics.

Questioning
Big Pete was questioned to the Baron’s satisfaction and removed to Foxton to stand trial for this and other crimes.

I returned to Golden to retrieve my men, let the village know the outcome, and assure that the trial would have some witnesses to the events.

Conclusion
There are still several unknowns. On two occasions something of an other-worldly nature was witnessed – a sudden stillness and quiet to the surrounding area. First when investigating Alfie’s body, and second just before questioning the boys at Druid’s Rock the first night. And then there is the disappearance of Flynn, others are convinced he may have had a hand in the murder. I am less so, I believe the boy made good on his threat to find adventure, or at least a bigger town.

Attached is a copy of Naihm’s own report, when documents from the trial are completed they should be filed with both reports.

Yours In Faith,
Lady Isobelle Hawthorne
Captain of The Guard to Baron Matthieu of Foxton.
17 Planting, 950RM

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The Sandman Comes
A supernatural demon menaces the city of Foxtown

18 Planting, 960 RM
Master Rake’s Tower, Grey Haven, Morning

Baron Mathieu du Clef visited Quion in his tower. Big Pete’s trial will be in two days, on the 20th of Planting. Because Big Pete has been accused of a capital crime for which he could be executed for, the trial will be by tribunal. The tribunal will consist of the Baron, Lord Mayor Charles Franklin Hobbs, and a priest. There will also be a prosecuting attorney and a defense attorney. This is where there is a problem. The local defense barrister, a man named Barr, cannot be impartial in this case. Nobbin’s gang killed his granddaughter a year ago. Therefore, the Baron asked Quion to fill the role of defense attorney for Big Pete, as Quion is familiar with the law. Quion agreed to take the assignment and do his best in this role.

The Sage’s Eldamoth’s Shop/Draconian Headquarters, Foxton, Early Afternoon
Lady Hawthorne arrived at the Sage Eldamoth’s shop looking to speak with Wythri. Wythri was in a state of panic as Eldamoth was missing and his room in a shambles. Eldamoth was last seen after breakfast when Wythri left to run errands and she had been gone all morning. Lady Hawthorne took Wythri to the Draconian headquarters hoping to receive help from the officers there. They arrived to find the officers present overwhelmed with some case. Lt Niamh O’Derry had just sent Officer Barechest and Trainee Jameson with the report of Boo powder to Grey Haven. After hearing Wythri’s story, she assigned Sgt Will and Officer Silverstone to investigate Eldamoth’s disappearance. Lady Hawthorne requested permission to bring Master Wrathchild in on the investigation, to which Niamh agreed.

While the Draconian officers were looking for clues inside Eldamoth’s shop, Damien Wrathchild looked around the building. In the alleyway he came across an old lady who kept whispering something about not sleeping, the Sandman took the old man, the Sandman is the Nightmare, the Sandman would take her also, but she would not sleep. He also found tracks belonging to horses, carts, and footprints. Lady Hawthorne talked to the next-door neighbor, a carpenter named Daniel. Daniel told Lady Hawthorne that he had seen three pilgrims go into the shop just before lunch at noon, but he did not see them leave. Early spring brings many pilgrims to Foxton as Crow’s Head Mountain is finally passable. Lady Hawthorne then asked Wythri to use her magic to look for Eldamoth. As soon as the spell went off, Wythri screamed and passed out. After she regained consciousness, she described seeing a horrible horses’ head, the stink of decay and death, and her senses were overwhelmed. While trying to calm Wythri, Lady Hawthorne saw two figures outside of the shop and asked Damien to follow them.

Gray Haven Dungeon, Late Afternoon
Quion interviewed Big Pete about the murder of Alfie the younger in Golden Village. Big Pete claimed he did not kill Alfie the younger. He stated that he saw a large creature carrying the boy. At that point the temperature dropped, the area grew quiet, and he had a feeling of immanent death and a sense of evil. After the interview, Quion was approached by Officer Barechest who delivered Lt Niamh’s report. Quion gathered his alchemy supplies and headed to Foxtown.

Eldamoth’s Shop/Lady Hawthorn’s Estate Early Evening
After her shift, Lt Niamh headed toward Eldamoth’s shop to update Lady Hawthorne on the other events of the day. But when she arrived, she was informed that no one was there. Assuming that Lady Hawthorne had taken Wythri to her manor for protection, she headed in that direction. On the way to Lady Hawthorne’s manor, she encountered Quion, who told her Big Pete’s story. At Lady Hawthorne’s manor, Lt Niamh and Quion related their information to Wythri and Lady Hawthorne. Damien then arrived by the back door and told the group that the two people he followed from Eldamoth’s Shop were after Wythri and where hired by a horse-faced man. He had to run as he was confronted by a large group of people. Lt Niamh departed back to town to make sure there was no further trouble.

19 Planting, 960 RM
Lady Hawthorne’s Manor, Early Morning

Quion spent the night at Lady Hawthorne’s manor studying the Boo powder, destroying the kitchen utensils in the process. He discovered that Boo powder was a derivative of Dream Dust. Dream Dust is a very illegal substance that causes dreams and increases a magic user’s power. Boo powder allows the user to stay active for long periods of times without sleep and gives the user enhanced physical attributes. After giving this report to Lady Hawthorne, he delivered a copy to Lt Niamh and returned to Gray Haven.

Gray Haven/Foxton Morning
Lady Hawthorne reported to the Baron what had happened and updated him on Quion’s research. She was introduced to Wallace Gunn, the Baron’s new Forester. The Baron and Gunn were just about to leave to inspect the western forest. Lady Hawthorne also requested a small squad to accompany her to add to the Draconian forces.

Lt Niamh joined Lady Hawthorne, Damien, and a disguised Wythri to investigate the bar Damien was at the previous evening. They found the place deserted, cleared out to avoid being raided. While Niamh and Wythri looked around inside, Damien felt that someone was watching them, but did not see who it was. While Wythri looked for magic, Niamh used her magic to enhance her senses while searching the bar. She smelled death and decay, and a strong scent of scorched spices, the same smell as the Boo powder. She also heard someone at the back door, but was unable to warn Wythri before the elf opened the door. There was a group of men outside the door that made a grab for Wythri, recognizing her through her disguise.

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The Sandman Comes, Part Two
The demon has a name...

To: Baron Matthieu du Clef of Foxton; Captain Uriah Waggoner, Foxton Draconian unit
From: Lieutenant Niamh O’Derry, Epoptic Corp, Foxton Draconian unit
Date: 20 Planting, 960 RM
Subject: Preliminary Report, Follow up on the Boo Powder and the abduction of the Sage Eldamoth

Background: On 18 Planting, Lady Hawthorne arrived at Draconian headquarters with Wythri, the Elvin apprentice to the Sage Eldamoth. Wythri reported that she had left the sage at his shop that morning and on her return that afternoon, the sage was missing and his room in an unusual state of unkemptness. I assigned Sergeant Will and Officer Silverstone to investigate Sage Eldamoth’s disappearance. Lady Hawthorne requested permission to bring Master Wrathchild in on the investigation, to which I agreed.

The Sage Eldamoth’s Shop: While the Draconian officers were looking for clues inside Eldamoth’s shop, Master Wrathchild looked around the building. In the alleyway he came across an old lady who kept whispering something about not sleeping, the Sandman took the old man, the Sandman is the Nightmare, the Sandman would take her also, but she would not sleep. He also found tracks belonging to horses, carts, and footprints. Lady Hawthorne talked to the next-door neighbor, a carpenter named Daniel. Daniel told Lady Hawthorne that he had seen three pilgrims go into the shop just before lunch at noon, but he did not see them leave. Early spring brings many pilgrims to Foxton as Crow’s Head Mountain is finally passable. Lady Hawthorne then asked Wythri to use her magic to look for Eldamoth. As soon as the spell went off, Wythri screamed and passed out. After she regained consciousness, she described seeing a horrible horses’ head, the stink of decay and death, and her senses were overwhelmed. While trying to calm Wythri, Lady Hawthorne saw two figures outside of the shop and asked Master Wrathchild to follow them.

An abandoned tavern: Yesterday morning, 19 Planting, Lady Hawthorne, Master Wrathchild, myself, and a disguised Wythri went to investigate the tavern Master Wrathchild had followed the two figures from the previous day. He was unable to gather much information as he was chased out of the tavern. When we arrived at the tavern, the place had been cleared out, probably fearing a raid. While searching the interior of the now abandoned tavern, I smelled the stench of death and decay and the smell of burnt spices, the same smell as the Boo powder. I also heard someone outside the back door, but before I could warn Wythri, she opened the door and was grabbed by a man standing in the alleyway.

Lady Hawthorne and Master Wrathchild attacked two thugs in the alleyway outside the tavern. Wythri used her magic to attempt to break free of the thug holding her, but was subdued by another thug that hit her over the head. Master Wallace Gunn, the Baron’s new forester joined the fight in the alleyway, assisting Lady Hawthorne and Master Wrathchild. I moved to help Wythri by keeping the horses she had be put on from leaving until she could recover her senses enough to teleport away. Once Wythri was clear, I spooked the two horses out of the alleyway. At this point the fight was over and we had captured two prisoners, they were taken to headquarters for questioning.

Interviewing the prisoners: I had Sergeant Will question one of the men. His name is Robert. A man named Leth had hired him to abduct Wythri. Robert described Leth as a horsed face man with large red eyes. Leth had some of the men working for him selling Boo Powder to the miners. Leth also had a reputation of being creepy and cruel. Robert also gave us the location of another tavern. This tavern was where Wythri was to have been delivered.

The next tavern: Lady Hawthorn, Master Rake, Master Wrathchild, Master Gunn, myself, and Wythri hurried to this new tavern to try to catch up with the would be kidnappers before they could disappear in the town. Master Wrathchild scouted ahead to make sure our quarry had not already fled.

By the time we arrived, there was a slew of activity and Leth ordering everyone to move out. Master Wrathchild handicapped the cart the supplies were being loaded onto, and then the attack started. Leth moved to leave but was intercepted by Master Wrathchild who badly hurt him. However, Leth picked up Master Wrathchild as if he weighed nothing and threw him through a wall. After which Leth fled the scene. The group worked quickly to dispatch the remaining thugs, who are now in custody. A quick questioning of the captured thugs revealed the location of a house occupied by Leth. We followed the trail of blood that Leth was leaving behind and quickly caught up to him. He had encountered Baron du Clef, who seemed to know what was going on. Lady Hawthorne impressively interposed herself between Leth and Baron du Clef. At this point things turned weird. Leth began to deflate into a cloud of black, foul smelling smoke. This sight was most disturbing.

The House: The house that Leth was occupying was an isolated structure in a rundown part of the town. The house looked as if it had been recently renovated. Wythri used her magic to allow herself, Lady Hawthorn, Master Wrathchild, and Master Gunn to climb up the side of the house and enter from the roof. Master Rake watched that back gate while I approached the front gate as a distraction. The four on the roof entered the attic, which smelled of Boo Powder and had four people in the room. There were three mages, one of which was the Sage Eldamoth, and one guard. The guard was easily dispatched, but two of the mages left the room after entangling Lady Hawthorn and Master Wrathchild and casting a fireball. Master Gunn moved to protect the Sage Eldamoth, and Wythri teleported the fireball out of the room. Master Rake was able to detain several men trying to escape from the back, while I entered from the front. Unfortunately, that is where the fireball exploded. The house was destroyed, and several people inside were killed. Master Gunn was able to keep the Sage Eldamoth alive, but he is still very injured, as am I. Several more thugs were captured and the fire was contained with little damage outside the house.

This report is incomplete for several reasons: the nature of Baron du Clef’s knowledge of what happed to Leth, the role Sage Eldamoth has in the manufacture of Boo powder, and the location of any other manufacturing sites in the town. I will continue with the investigation after Big Pete’s trial later this morning.

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The Trial of Big Pete
The notorious bandit Big Pete is tried and found guilty for his crimes

Big Pete’s Trial
20 Planting, 960 RM
Derry Dell, Foxton, Dawn

Niamh woke at her usual time with a groan. She was sore and bruised from head to toe from the explosion she had been caught in the previous night. She was so exhausted when she returned home; she had just stripped off her uniform and climbed into bed. She carefully sat up and looked for the pile of clothes on the floor, they weren’t there. She found her uniform neatly folded on a chair. Everything had been washed and mended. She did her morning devotions and went into the kitchen for breakfast. All of her dishes had been washed and put away, and the entire house had been cleaned. Niamh had not been home since Big Pete had been questioned at Grey Haven, she had been too busy to return until last night. She had certainly been too busy to clean. She made a thorough search of her house, but found no one, or any sign of a break in. She made sure to lock the door behind her and went to headquarters to start her report of the happening from yesterday. She wanted to complete the report before Big Pete’s trial.

Foxton Courthouse, Mid-morning
Once the all parties had arrived at the courthouse, the tribunal entered and started the proceedings. The tribunal consisted of Baron Matthieu du Clef; Mayor Charles Franklin Hobbs; and Crispin, high priest of Mitra of the Trinity. There are several spectators, including Mayor Abbott of Golden, Stu Golden, and Ethelred the priest. The prosecutor starts the trial by calling Lady Hawthorne to witness first, asking her to recount the circumstances of Big Pete’s arrest. Quion Rake then questioned Lady Hawthorne, calling into question the certainty of Big Pete being the murderer. The same line of questioning was used when Lt O’Derry and Wythri were called to testify. Ethelred was also called to testify, recounting the character of Alfie the younger. The prosecution concluded that Big Pete was guilty of the murder, but Quion countered that the evidence was all circumstantial. Big Pete was asked if he had anything to say, to which he confessed to the murder, much to Quion’s dismay. The tribunal adjourned to consider the verdict. While that was going on, Quion confessed to Lady Hawthorne and Lt O’Derry that he had a strange dream the previous evening and warned them that his mind might have been compromised. Lt O’Derry also revealed that her house had been tampered with. At the same time, Mayor Golden presented Wythri with a peach pie as thanks for her help in capturing the murderer. The tribunal returned a short time later and declared that Big Pete was guilty of the murder of Alfie the younger and several other crimes. Big Pete was sentenced to be hung on 22 Planting.

Villages outside Foxton
While the trial was going on, Master Gunn made his rounds of the villages and learned that the wolves were bad this year. Several lambs had been taken, and the villagers were unable to stop them. Master Gunn spent the day setting traps and spent the night tracking the wolves, but was unable to capture any.

The Sage Elamoth’s Shop, Foxton, afternoon
Wythri returned to the shop to find Eldamoth awake and puttering around. Eldamoth confessed to Wythri that when he was younger he lived in the city of Masingburg. While there, he and some other mages, Burglesmith and Curry (the two mages from the previous evening), had tried to alter Dreamdust to make is less “bad.” They eventually stumbled on Boo Powder by reversing the properties of Dreamdust. The other day, Eldamoth’s old buddies stopped by to ask for his help in manufacturing the drug. When he refused, they kidnapped him. They forced him to help them by threatening to kill Wythri. They also forced him to take the Boo Powder by putting it into his food and drink. Eldamoth was worried as to the effects of the drug on him.

Outside the courthouse, Foxton, afternoon
Lt O’Derry waited outside the courthouse for a chance to speak with the Baron. After about an hour, the Baron exited the courthouse and agreed to talk with her. Master Rake also joined them, as he had similar questions. The Baron thanked Quion for his efforts during the trial, but Quion lamented that this was the third trial he had been a part of that ended in a miscarriage of justice. After buying them lunch, the Baron lead them outside of town and told them that Leth was actually “possessed” by a very powerful demon, one of the several dukes of hell, and he was not sure if that demon was truly banished or if he would be back. Demons could only enter this world if they found an opening. Quion told Lt O’Derry about the back underground escape route and Lt O’Derry again requested an investigation of the Millerson’s mine. The Baron said he would have Lady Hawthorne look into it.

The ruins of Leth’s house, Foxton, afternoon
Damien Wrathchild spent most of the morning and afternoon shifting through the ruble of the burned down house to look for more clues. He confirmed that five bodies were pulled from the wreckage of the house. Among the bodies were a tall thin man (presumed to be Burglesmith) and a short fat man (presumed to be Curry).

The Sage Eldamoth’s Shop, Foxton, late afternoon
Quion and Lt O’Derry stopped at Eldamoth’s shop to speak with the sage. Lt O’Derry asked if Eldamoth had heard of any other manufacturing sites while he was being held, but the sage had not been told anything. Quion asked Eldamoth about the other ingredients used to make Boo Powder, which sparked a long alchemical conversation. Quion told Lt O’Derry that these ingredients could be used to track down other apothecaries that might have been involved. Quion also started asking questions about nightmares, but Eldamoth was too tired to be of any help.

Grey Haven, early evening
At the Baron’s request, Damien arrived at Grey Haven early. Damien had asked the Baron to find out what had happened to his lands and family while he had been away. The Baron had learned that Damien’s father was killed in a hunting accident and his mother died shortly afterwards. Damien’s brother assumed control of the lands, but was killed by a group of Marechals (Draconian special forces). They had learned that he had been practicing necromancy and the manor had burned down in the fight. Because there was no one else to lay claim to the lands and title, the crown seized control.

*Grey Haven, later that evening *
Lady Hawthorne arrived by carriage to the castle. She found Mrs Walker, the head cook, in a tizzy because the Baron was in the kitchen cooking. Lady Hawthorne supported the Baron’s culinary efforts, much to Mrs Walker’s dismay. After dinner, which was spicier than most were use to, the Baron explained why he had invited them. Foxton has an unusual position in Demoria. Foxton is the furthest point from any civilization, but also very import due to the pilgrimage to Crow’s Head Mountain. The Baron likes being around other people, but there are not many people of the proper station he can talk to. The purpose of the evening was to get to know each other, to become friends. The Baron gave his history; he attended the College of Cli (where Quion also studied) but did not graduate. He had served as an ambassador to the University of Sarlarka, Brills, and Pasion. His grandfather was a very devout man and volunteered to be guardian of the Pilgrim Road.

When Matthieu’s father died, he was called back to service the King here. He had the gate built to enforce the laws of the land; it is a powerful magic item. The Baron also confirmed that he is a wild mage. Quion warned the Baron that he might have been compromised and anything that was being said could be used against him, but the Baron did not seemed to be worried. Damion spent the night at Grey Haven, having imbibed a great quantity of alcohol.

Elfday, 21 Planting, 960 RM
The Sage Eldamoth’s Shop, Foxton, morning

Lady Hawthorne visited Wythri and commissioned her to research possession, explaining Quion was afraid he was possessed. Wythri agreed, as this would bring in a good amount of money for the shop.

Draconian Headquarters, Foxton, afternoon
Captain Waggoner and his crew returned, empty-handed. The company was tired, dirty, and disappointed. They had chased Nobbin for several days, but the bandit always seemed two steps ahead of them. After reviewing the past reports, Captain Waggoner called Lt O’Derry into his office. The whole station heard him yelling at her for all the “mistakes” that she made while he was gone. She is put on suspension until further notice. The officers that worked with her took her to a tavern to show their support. She assured them that everything would work itself out once the captain calmed down in a few days.  Later that afternoon, Niamh took supper to Eldamoth and Wythri.

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Niahm: Nocturne

Niamh Interlude 1
Niamh left the tavern in a slightly better mood then when she had entered. The support she had received from her fellow Draconians’ had lifted her spirits, but she still had a bitter taste in her mouth from Captain Waggnor’s tongue-lashing. She understood all to well that the captain needed to vent. After all, he had spent four days on a wild goose chase and returned with nothing to show for his time. She had let two captives die in custody, and there was the loss of property with the fire that had belong to the creature Leth. She knew neither were actually her fault, and that there was nothing she could have done to prevent any of those incidents from happening. Still, she was tired of being the whipping horse for the unit. On the bright side, she could certainly use the time off; she need time to heal from the injuries she received two days ago. She wished she could travel to Crow’s Head Mountain to visit the graves of her mother and grandmother, but she was in no shape to make that difficult journey.

She arrived at her home, Derry Dale, and unlocked the door. She changed out of her uniform and brushed out her hair, noticing that her bed had been made while she was gone. She usually didn’t take the time to make her bed as she usually returned late at night and didn’t want to spend the energy unmaking the bed. She cast a cantrip to detect any magic in the area, but nothing glowed to indicate thaumaturgy was in use. Moving to the kitchen she noticed that her dishes from the morning had be washed and put away. Again, there was no evidence that magic had been used. Although she didn’t mind the help with the daily chores, it disturbed her that someone, or something, was in her house when she was not present or asleep. Maybe she would have the time to solve this mystery. She started the fire in the hearth and gathered ingredients to make bread. All her anger and frustration was worked out kneading the dough. While the bread was rising, she gathered the ingredients to make her grandmother’s Kalonese Stew. After she had that simmering, she returned to the bread and finished making the dough into two loaves. While the stew was simmering and the bread was baking, she turned her attention to her garden. It had been almost a week since she was able to spend any amount of time tending to her herbs and vegetables.

She spent most of the time while she was waiting for the bread to bake weeding. Nothing in her garden was anywhere close to being harvested, but she needed to keep any unwanted plants from gaining any ground and taking over from the plants she wanted. When the bread was done, she took the loaves out of the hearth to cool and pulled the pot of stew away from the fire. While the bread was cooling, she gathered dried herbs hanging from her ceiling to make a tea for Eldamoth. She combined herbs to calm his cough and help him sleep to make a tea for him. She also put together several items for herself to help her heal her bruises and burns. She then spooned the stew into two small pots and added that to a loaf of bread and the tea in a large basket. She made sure she locked the door when she left for the Sage Eldamoth’s shop.

“We’re closed!” Wythri shouted from inside the shop, but Niamh knocked again until she heard the elf approaching to open the door.

“We’re closed.” the young Elf said again, sounding even more irritated.

Niamh smiled, “Good, because this is a social call, not business.”

The Elf stared at the young woman in front of her for a moment before recognition set in. “Lieutenant Niamh? Ah, I’m sorry – I didn’t recognize you out of your uniform.”

Niamh shrugged, “I’m off duty. I thought you and Eldamoth could use some supper. May I come in? This basket is getting very heavy.”

Niamh followed a hesitant Wythri into the shop and back toward the kitchen. Setting the basket down on a stool, Niamh started pulling out the food, “This is my grandmother’s recipe for stew.” She set the two pots on the table and pulled out the still warm bread and set that on the table also. She then handed Wythri the tea. “This should help calm Eldamoth’s cough and help him sleep.”

Wythri looked a little embarrassed as she said, “I apologize for my brusque manner. Master Eldamoth desperately needs his rest and it seems like everyone needs to stop in today. We’ve been lucky to get even an hour’s quiet.”

Niahm gave the smaller woman an understanding smile. “Then I shall not disturb you any longer.”

Wythri shook her head and smiled back – forcibly it seemed to Niamh. “But thank you for the food. It’ll be nice not to have to interrupt my research to prepare dinner. I’ll see that Master Eldamoth drinks plenty of the tea.”

Niahm nodded and gathered up her basket. “I hope you have a quiet evening then and enjoy the meal. I’ll see myself out.” Niamh left the two to their dinner and returned to her own house. She hoped she would enjoy a quiet evening herself. Despite the fact she had been suspended from duty, she was still going to attend Big Pete’s execution in the morning.

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Big Pete Checks Out
Big Pete is executed

22 Planting 960 RM
Before leaving to escort the Baron to Big Pete’s hanging, Lady Hawthorne was approached by August, the grounds keeper. There had been wild animals prowling the estate and he requested Lady Hawthorne’s permission to set traps to capture them. Lady Hawthorne agreed.

After Big Pete’s trial, a gallows were erected in the center of Foxton in preparation for the hanging. At dawn, a large crowd gathered to witness the event. In attendance were several people from the village of Golden, including the mayor and his son; Mayor Hobbs; Damien Wrathchild; Quion Rake; the Baron and Lady Hawthorne, both uncharacteristically dressed in black; many cloaked pilgrims; several of the Baron’s guard; and the entire Draconian force, minus Niamh who attended out of uniform. Big Pete was brought to the gallows and an extensive list of charges against him was read aloud. “I done it,” Big Pete confessed again, “But this an’t over. Retribution is in the hills and will come back.” Big Pete was then hung and Lady Hawthorne took several of the Baron’s guards to ensure his body was properly disposed. The Baron assured her he would return to Grey Haven with the rest of the guards. The whole crowd was in a somber mood during the proceedings.

Niamh was about to return to her home when Quion Rake approached her. Quion asked her why she was out of uniform and off duty when the rest of the Draconian force was on duty for the hanging. Niamh explained that she had been suspended from duty the previous day for dereliction of duty, namely allowing two prisoners to die while in custody and the destruction of the house a few nights ago. Quion offered to set the record straight with Captain Waggoner, but Niamh told him it would be a waste of his time. Quion then asked if she had received a list of apothecaries he had sent. Niamh had not received anything before she had been dismissed, and was not sure if Captain Waggoner would look at the letter or do anything about it. Quion also asked Niamh if she would be able to help him with his problem, which she stated she would.

Damien Wrathchild had attended the hanging to see if he could spot any of Nobbin’s gang in attendance, as he felt a rescue might occur. While the charges were being read against Big Pete, Damien thought he saw Big Pete make eye contact with someone and shake his head. Damien followed the man into a bar and watched as the man drink a lot, as if he were drinking for two. Damien continued to watch the man, who wanted to be left alone to drink. Damien followed the man when he left the tavern, but the man seemed to think he was being followed so he ducked into an alleyway. Damien spotted the ambush, so continued around the block and managed to get behind the guy. Intimated, the man told Damien that his name was Rich, and that he was one of Nobbin’s gang. Rich did not know why Big Pete did not want to be saved or what all the talk of retribution was about. They had all seen strange things in the hills, including the times of silence and drop in temperature. Rich refused to give Damien exact numbers of Nobbin’s gang in the town. Damien suggested that Rich and his buddies leave town, now. Rich agreed to persuade his buddies to do so.

Quion returned to Grey Haven and found Lady Hawthorne. He told her he is unable to follow the Barons “command” of being his friend. Lady Hawthorne tried to explain that the Baron had made no such command, but Quion refused to accept her logic. He gave Lady Hawthorne his list of suitable replacements, and Lady Hawthorne agreed to review the list.

Lady Hawthorne finds the Baron in his garden, and is invited to lunch with him. During lunch, Lady Hawthorne relates her conversation with Quion and the Baron explains that part of the reason Quion is the way he is was because Quion had been banished from the College of Cli because he dated the wrong girl. Lady Hawthorne gives the Baron Quion’s list and suggests the Baron relieve Quion of his “duty.” They spent the rest of lunch talking about the Baron’s garden and the possibility of holding a party. Lady Hawthorne suggested Lieutenant Niamh as the Draconian liaison, which the Baron agreed. The Baron was scheduled to meet with Mayor Hobbs the following day, and that would be a good time to approach Captain Waggoner with the request. After lunch Quion told Lady Hawthorne of Lieutenant Niamh’s suspension and requested she present a report of the events of the house fire to Captain Waggoner for Niamh’s defense. Lady Hawthorne agreed to review the report. The Baron requested a meeting with Quion to discuss the matter of friendship and that Quion’s lack of emotion was very disturbing to the Baron. The Baron wanted people working for him, not golems. Lady Hawthorne reviewed Quion’s report and retired for evening.

Niamh spent the remainder of the day tending to her garden and preparing to brew potions the next day. She also prepared dinner for Wythri and Eldamoth again. Wythri had no interest in attending the hanging so spent the day researching Dream Dust and Lady Hawthorne’s request on possession. While she was researching, she heard Eldamoth causing a commotion in the kitchen. He had not been sleeping and was getting very agitated. He hinted to Wythri that he needed something stronger than Niamh’s tea to help him sleep. After awhile, he returned to his room. When Wythri returned to the library, she randomly picked up a book and flipped it open to the correct page and found the information on Dream Dust she was looking for.

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Baron du Clef and Lady Hawthorne met with Mayor Hobbs in the morning. It was very obvious that the Baron and the mayor were of two different personality types. Captain Waggoner was summoned to discuss the option of assigning a liaison between the Baron’s men and the Draconians. Lady Hawthorne requested that Lieutenant Niamh be assigned as the liaison, which did not sit well with Captain Waggoner. He finally agreed to the assignment but after he returned Niamh to duty. After Captain Waggoner left, the Baron and the mayor spent some time talking about the state of the crops and mine output.

Quion continued his work of filing all the Baron’s paperwork. The bar he had ordered for his door was installed. A young girl named Cici arrived. She had been assigned as his apprentice.

Niamh spent the day brewing potions and cooking. She received a note from Sergeant Will, Officer Barechest, and Officer Silerstone to meet them for dinner that evening. She also planned on staying awake that night to see what/who had been cleaning her house.

Lady Hawthorne summoned Damien to her manor to discuss the creation of an information network in the town and castle. They also discussed the conversation Damien had with Rich.

After delivering dinner to Wythri and Eldamoth, Niamh joined her fellow officers for dinner. Uri Barechest told Niamh that Captain Waggoner had attended a meeting with the Baron and the mayor and returned in a foul mood. She also saw Stew Golden working at the tavern. She asked him what he was doing there, and Stew told her he no longer wanted to be in Golden and was working to make his own way. After dinner, Niamh returned to her house. She then stayed awake the whole night brewing potions, but nothing happened that night.

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Lady Hawthorne awoke from a disturbing dream. She also received a letter from her brother-in-law informing her that he was planning on visiting. The Baron also received a similar letter. Lady Hawthorne told the Baron about her discussion with Damien the previous day and that she was planning visiting Niamh and Wythri as soon as she finished her duties at Grey Haven. The Baron asked Lady Hawthorne to invite Niamh to dinner with him so he could have a chance to get to know her.

Lady Hawthorne arrived at Derry Dell just as Niamh was preparing to get some sleep. Lady Hawthorne told Niamh that she had been requested to act as the liaison between the Baron’s guards and the Draconians. Captain Waggoner had agreed to the assignment, after he reinstated Niamh to duty. Lady Hawthorne inquired as to why Captain Waggoner disliked Niamh. Niamh explained that Captain Waggoner was a devoted follower of the Trinity and disliked anyone who did not follow their teaching. Since Niamh followed the Druidic gods, she had been immediately earned the disliked of the Captain. Niamh also disclosed that she was not a druid, as was originally thought, but a witch. Lady Hawthorne informed Niamh that she would be welcome in the Baron’s guard if she should choose to leave the Draconians, but Niamh insisted that she was not going to let Captain Waggoner’s bigotry drive her away. Lady Hawthorn approved of Niamh’s commitment, and let Niamh know that she could go to her if Niamh had any more problems with Captain Waggoner or if she was not reinstated by the end of the week. Lady Hawthorne also delivered the Baron’s dinner invitation for that evening. As soon as Lady Hawthorne left, Niamh left to acquire a proper dress for the occasion.

Lady Hawthorne found Wythri in the market and received the information Wythri had found on demons and possession. Wythri also asked if Lady Hawthorne could acquire a strong sedative for Eldamoth, as he had been unable to sleep for the past few days. After Lady Hawthorne left, Wythri continued her shopping for ingredients to make Dream Dust.

Lady Hawthorne retuned to Grey Haven and related the information she had learned from Wythri. Quion informed Lady Hawthorne he was planning on not be around much longer as he felt he could not follow the Baron’s order to fix his attitude. Lady Hawthorne requested Quion make a sedative, which Quion had ready by that evening. Quion also inquired as to the status of Niamh’s reinstatement and why the process was taking so long, there was much to be done by the Draconians. Lady Hawthorne told he to be patient, politics was in play need to work itself out. Quion understood all too well the meaning of that statement. Lady Hawthorne then spent the rest of the day riding.

Niamh arrived earlier that usual to deliver dinner to Wythri and Eldamoth, explaining that she had been summoned to dinner with the Baron. Wythri asked why Niamh was still off duty and Niamh explained that she had been suspended and she hoped she was not bothering them by cooking for them. Wythri was happy to be able to spend the extra time doing research, and asked Niamh if she could produce something stronger than her tea to help Eldamoth sleep. Niamh agreed to work on something for the next day, asking if the withdrawal symptoms had worsened. Wythri suddenly grew very cold and retracted her request and informed Niamh she could now take care of dinner herself. Niamh left with saying anything further, mentally reprimanding herself for being so meddlesome.

A carriage arrived at Derry Dell shortly before dinnertime and delivered Niamh to Grey Haven. She was greeted by Buster, the Baron’s Nikian valet, and shown to the dining room. Dinner had been prepared by Mrs Walker and was more lavish than Niamh was used to. After dinner the Baron explained Niamh’s duties as liaison. At the Baron’s request, Niamh told the Baron her background, including the fact that she was a witch. This seemed to pique the Baron’s interest so they discussed magic for a bit. They also talked about gardening, cooking, Captain Waggoner, and Quion. The Baron invited Niamh to return and help him with his garden, as he was an amateur. Later in the evening Niamh inadvertently yawned and explained to the Baron she had been up the previous night trying to catch whoever or whatever had been cleaning her house. One of the serving girls suggested it was a brownie, and that possibility had crossed Niamh’s mind. Baron du Clef sent Niamh home with an open invitation to visit him and the garden and assured her that she should go to him if she found Captain Waggoner or Mayor Hobbs impossible to deal with or if she was not reinstated to duty by the end of the week. Niamh promised to return tomorrow if she was not called back to duty. Once she returned home, she left out small bowls of stew and milk, mostly convinced that she had somehow gained a brownie to help her with her housework.

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Wallace Gunn: Wolf Hunt

In his wanderings around the Baron’s lands, Wallace Gunn has spoken to several villagers who fear that hungry wolves from the hills are coming down to eat their livestock. It’s lambing season, so there are lots of tender morsels in the fields right now for the predators to carry off.

Part of his duty as the Baron’s Forester is to keep critters like this out of farmers’ fields, so the job of catching, killing, or otherwise discouraging the wolves from taking livestock in large numbers falls to Mister Gunn.

His first stop is a small village near the hills, to the west of Foxtown. The peasants there tell him that the wolves are growing increasingly bold, taking not just the little lambs, but full-grown sheep as well. The villagers fear that it won’t be long before they start taking cattle, dogs, even a child.

When Gunn examines the fields and pastures around the village, he does indeed find wolf tracks — looks to him like a sizable pack of mature animals.

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