Chapter 31: Itching for Adventure
About the Saga
Burgell recruits a new team of heroes to deal with bandits threatening the city's life blood.
- Campaign Date: Coldeven 15, CY 516
- Real World Date: June 3, 2016
- Read other Obsidian Frontier Sagas
Cast of Characters
- Burgell, gnomish bard extraordinaire
- Rîn, elven eldritch knight from Celene
- Zaphrym, gnomish wild sorcerer from Verbobonc
What Has Come Before
Readying 1, CY 516
It has been a miserable winter in Obsidian Bay. Rain and/or snow has been falling a few times a week for the past two months, and the temperature has been hovering around freezing each night. Conditions in the refugee camp have been particularly bad, with the entire area mired in muck during the day, which freezes over with a thin crust each night, the inhabitants coming to be called "the mudsitters" by those more fortunate to have a solid roof over their heads. The Governing Council finally reached its decisions to both allow the bronze dragon Ragotharn to inhabit the nearby isle off the coast, and also to form a government, with a formal charter forthcoming in another two months. The final vote was held on Fireseek 27 CY 516, with the Charter Day planned for Coldeven 27. This agreement was only reached after a number of lords decided to leave the proceedings and go it alone against the humanoids and other dangers of the Pomarj, and the dwarves swayed to vote in the affirmative after being granted a large degree of autonomy.
In this environment, Burgell could spend his days with his feet kicked up in front of his cozy fire in his new cottage for so long before the thrill of adventure once again called to him. But first, he needed to gather a new band of adventuring companions. Telthanas was busy catching up on Griffins Guild field reports, Odothar busy with new students at his combat school, and Finn was out at his own new cottage a half day's ride away in Waterton.
Burgell inquired first at the Griffins Guild itself, where Rîn, an elven eldritch knight from Celene was recommended, being another acquaintance of Willow Wind from the Hateful Wars. Burgell took charge and essentially "pulled rank", all but ordering Rîn to follow him out to find another adventurer of arcane bent to round out their fledgling party.
Next, Burgell and Rîn visited the Prancing Manticore Inn, where those of arcane skill are known to frequent. There, they found most of the patrons involved in playing a new game called the Dragon and the Thief, where wagers are placed on a grid, dice are rolled, and depending on the outcome, money is either put down or taken. Another gnome by the name of Zaphrym was there, apparently losing a game to a teen-aged kid in a poor disguise who ducked out shortly after winning a round. Burgell and Rîn engaged him in conversation, learning that he was skilled sorcerer and sage by profession, seeking knowledge through adventures. Zaphrym agreed to join them.
Next, the now trio returned to the Griffins Guild to seek leads on a mission, as the weather was finally improving to where the roads were becoming passable. There, Talthanas informed them that a garrison commander named Adekin the Faithful to the north where the road leading from Obsidian Bay met the Great Southern Road had been sending reports of adventuring parties being found killed in their camps by his patrols.
As much of Obsidian Bay's economy is based on adventuring income from expeditions to the nearby Obsidian Maze, the guild wished to solve this as soon as possible. They quickly accepted this mission, and Talthanas took down Zaphrym's information for the guild's records (and insurance policy in the event of death or dismemberment, naming no beneficiary, but requesting that a library be built with the funds).
Readying 2, CY 516
After equipping and provisioning themselves, the three set out. Along the way, they stopped briefly in Waterton to check in on Finn, who was busy cooking a large batch of pudding, and so couldn't accompany them. They traveled for another half a day before making camp near a bend in the road surrounded by thick hedges, stonerows, and a large tree, a place often frequented by other adventurers. During the night, a flock of cockatrices descended from the tree, immediately setting upon the party's provisions as they tried to drive them off. Unfortunately, all three members succumbed to the cockatrices' petrification power, and so they spent the remainder of the night as stone statues while the cockatrices finished ransacking their supplies and pooping all over them and their equipment.
Readying 3, CY 516
With the dawn, the party reverted to normal form, forlorn as to their predicament, and quite irritated from the foul cockatrice dung covering them. They decided to travel a half day back to Waterton to clean up and resupply at Finn's, who was all too happy to hear the tale.
They set out again towards the garrison, laden with several day's worth of Finn's canned pudding as rations. They reached the garrison without further incident (having preemptively fire-balled the tree where the cockatrices lived along the way, and camping on the opposite side of the road).
They learned from Adekin that the adventurers who were found slain had likely been killed via stealth, as the wounds indicated that their throats were cut, or they had been stabbed in the heart as a coup de grâce, etc. The patrols had buried the bodies and marked them with holy symbols of Heironeous, and so told the party what to look for along the overland trail towards the Obsidian Maze.
When the party reached the first ambush/burial site, they found the graves intact, but found no other signs in their investigation of note. They decided to make a false camp as a trap, and so built a fire an placed their bedrolls stuffed with rocks around it while they huddled nearby in the cold dark keeping watch throughout the night. They avoided becoming fatigued from the chill of the night, but their plan was to no avail as nothing happened.
Reading 4, CY 516
The next night, they repeated their plan after they had come upon another site with buried bodies similar to the first, and then a third site where the bodies seemed to have risen from the grave on their own. Luckily, their quarry showed the second night, and a band of a few warriors and those with skills in stealth appeared, apparently preparing to strike their false camp. Zaphrym used illusion to enhance the ruse, but one of the scouts saw through it. His companions, however, did not, as they loosed heavy crossbow bolts into the rock stuffed bedrolls. A fierce battle ensued, but the party was eventually victorious, employing many spells to great effect. When the bodies of their foes were searched, they were carrying coins with curious markings which Burgell recognized as being from the Hidden City of Suderham, a place long whispered as being the secret seat of the self proclaimed "King of the Pomarj", Olarek the Mad, who fell in battle to the humanoids during the invasion.
The party pondered this information as they returned to Obsidian Bay to report their success. They arrived two days later, on Reading 7, CY 516
- Burgell: 2667
- Rin: 2667
- Zaphrym: 2667
- 26 silver piece
- 27 electrum piece
- 15 gold pieces