The morning after returning from the Fog Hills burial mounds, the party discovers the deranged paladin has disappeared over night (yes again – we loose more paladins this way…). Lady Rosalin is well though, but the same can not be said for the stable boy who slept in the stables. Looking for the paladins war horse they find the horse gone, and the dead and mutilated stable boys who has been torn limb from limb.
Warning the frightened villagers to be on the look out for the crazy and dangerous paladin they party proceeds to travel west across the moors south of Rushmoors, towards Hochoch. After 4 days of uneventful trvel they reach the Jarvan river, which flows by Hochoch some days travel north. As the party prepares to ford the river by an old collapsed bridge, a river barge is being pulled up-stream, with a small squad of Grand Dutch milita on it. The part managed to bum a ride, pointing out the Jarvan passes through the edges of the Rushmoor, and a few extra swords may be a good thing on that dangerous stretch.
Arriving at Hochoch they find it a bee-hive of military activity, and barely avoids being drafted and / or having their waggon and mules confiscated for the war. Altek gets them in, pretending to be a Paladin of Pelor using the holy book and armour from the crazy paladin. The city is abuzz with rumours that Ket is mustering an invasion army and will attack the Thornward defensive works any day. Like the last war, the Dutchy, Bissel, and Veluna will send troops to hold the defences while Keoland and Furyondy musters their armies. Unfortunately saboteurs have poisoned the stores, and it is a mad scramble trying to get troops and supplies to Thornward before Ket breaks through – everybody knows that if their light horse archers get loose to raid the southern lands the heavy infantry of Keoland can do little to stop them. Any waggon, drover, and able bodied warrior is asked to join – several times a day.
The party contact the caravan guild, and takes Bhaltazar’s furniture to the Wizards Tower. The Castellan’s 3rd secretary signs the bill which will let let the party get paid based on the encrypted letter from Cob. While at tower they tell Secratary about Brian, who asks them to come back to talk to one of Wizards the next evening (the Wizards are currently in council and can’t be disturbed). The tower, being a producer of arcana, is not interested in the magical reactants party was unable to deliver to Thomas.
The party decides to take advantage of Cob’s offer to sponsor them in the caravan guild, and pay the fee to start their own caravan company. Perusing the Caravan-Wanted notice board they find and old request: 400 gp for the following magical components …
The party decides to take the commission hoping to sell their magical goods the the Wizard Tauster in the small village of Thurmaster in Harrenshire, north of the Dim Forrest near the head waters of the Real Stream.
Later that evening at Tower of Wizardry the part meet the esteemed Wizard Astropopolous Arcanus. He is interested in the tale of Brian in the jar. The wizards keep a close magic eye on the lands around Hochoch, yet did not detect Brian’s necrotic activities. Yesterday he tried a deeper scrying, and saw only an illusion of past events – further pushing shattered his crystal ball. A team of mages and defenders was teleported to the swamp to investigate earlier today, since the swamp seems to be the centre of the “scry protected” area. They have not reported in. The mage’s want to hire the party to investigate, using their caravan business as cover. The party accepts with a promised reward of 200 gp each for information leading to a resolution of the “scry-dead” area. As a cover Astropopolous hires them on behalf of the Tower to bring supplies to a guild member, writing them a letter saying as much which they need to leave town.
Returning to their inn they discover Altek is missing and a cleric of Pelor is looking for him – a hastily scribbled note tells party to he will catch up with them later. That evening while Kronk drinks and gambels at The Buccaneers Den ( a rough tavern in the bad part of town ) mysterious roguish fellow deliberately loose a liquid filled orb with a floating severed finger pointing unerringly west. Kronk learns that “The Gov’” is concerned about all the soldiers, curfew, and blocked caravan trade being bad for business, and he want’s to help the party in their mission.
Kronk, Godfrey, and Thorgrim leave town – only the intervention and a second letter from Astropopolous get the out without being drafted into militia, and with their waggon. After some discussion they decide to head back to Heathermist, and from there investigate the swamp. On the way south they meet the Dwaf trader Firkin Fiercebeard. Sharing camp and dwarfen ale and mead from Heatermist they learn he is taking steel ingots to Hochoch – good business these days, and gotta help the Duke’s men fight Ket, don’t’cha’know?
The party arrives back at the Good Knights Rest in Heathermist some days later. There have been no signs of the crazy palladin since they left. The party leaves a note and an bearing (the finger they got in Hochoch points almost directly north now, at the center of Rushmoors) for Altek to follow, leave their wagon and mules at the inn, and travel north into the swamp.
After Action Report
Skill challenge / quest to get sponsors in Hocchoch, not get drafted, and keep waggon and mules completed.
- Party has mission from Master Mage Astropopolous Arcanus (200 gp each on completion) to investigate scry-proof area in Rushmoors (and discover what happened to the team they sent in before party)
- party has started a caravan company (of heroes ;-)
- has accepted delivering magical supplies to Tauster in Thurmaster to the north (400gp)
Quest completion 800 xp
Kronk, Godfrey, Thorgrim, and Altek get 200 xp each
Now at 1615 each