Chapter 06: Loose Lips

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Session Number: 6
Date: Sunday 25 January 2009
Venue: Densial's
PCs & Players:

Krag Clr2 (Fergus) (kills: none)
Rowaine Pal2 (Craig) (kills: none)
Silque Rog2 (Densial) (kills: none)
Vor-wrek Mnk2 (Densial) (kills: none)

XP Awarded: 90

Vor-wrek and Silque question the goblin, playing good cop - bad cop. The goblin's name is "Splug". Silque sharpens her dagger mere inches from the goblin's face, thoroughly intimidating the creature. Vor-wrek then bribes Splug with ale. Splug is initially very suspicious of the drink but Vor-wrek convinces him that it is not poisoned. Vor-wrek measures the drink to loosen the goblin's tongue. While drawing a map of the area Splug identifies a small town called Trennim to the south, where two rivers merge into one. Splug's tribe apparently raided the town sometime in the past year. Splug remembers it fondly, even though his brother died during the fighting.

Splug reveals that he and the motley bunch just defeated were organised and led by "snake-men", one of which was "soooooo nice - I really liked him, that Skarthil, he was GREAT!"

Skarthil (or was that Sarthen?) promised the humanoids the spoils of the monastery in return for their help. All they were to do was to storm the temple where everyone was supposed to be asleep (!), quash any resistance found and then load as many of the children into wheelbarrows waiting outside, youngest first. Whatever they found was theirs - except the children. Splug professes not to know where the children were to be taken, nor the whereabouts of the snake-men's lair, if any such exists. A head count reveals that all staff and students are present an accounted for. Phew.

As the ale takes hold Splug also lets slip the general location of his tribe's lair - somewhere in the mountains to the southwest.

Vor-wrek and Krag gingerly leave the relative safety of the temple to scout outside, leaving Rowaine guarding the barred door. All looks clear… They gingerly visit each building, wary of an ambush that does not eventuate. They collect various simple but effective weapons from the dorms. The more notable items - Krag's mace, Rowaine's waraxe - and all their money, however - are missing. They continue on to the manse, entering carefully. Everything inside is as they expect. After collecting more weapons, including Dirrin's small arsenal, they return to the temple where Rowaine lets them back in.

Desperately shortstaffed, yet needing more information about their current predicament, the headmaster comes to a difficult decision. He asks Rowaine, Krag, Vor-wrek and Silque to venture out and try to find the elusive Sarthen, or any other information that might help. The group agree.

The four quickly equip themselves. Rowaine takes a quarterstaff, missing the reassuring heft of her waraxe. Krag borrows Dirrin's mace. Vor-wrek and Silque scout out their immediate surroundings and quickly find new wheel ruts that head southeast. The tracks meet the river a short distance away and follow it upstream to the south to the ford that Sarthen used previously. The tracks can be seen on the other side, heading south. Were the enemy planning on using the wheelbarrows to transport the kidnapped children to Trennim? Why?

After 5 minutes of walking the group find half a dozen wheelbarrows, discarded all over the place including in the river. There do not appear to be any tracks leading away from the site.

tracking_sarthen.jpg

The group return to the ford and continue east, following Sarthen's original route. They traverse the forest and the swamp farther to the east, until they come across a river. After some scouting and backtracking they find the crocodile carcass, about 20 minutes walk southeast of where they first met the river. They cross the river without incident but cannot find any further discernible trail to follow.

Deterred, the group discuss their options and settle on heading to Trennim. Perhaps they could hire a tracker? But wait, money is a problem. Maybe Rowaine could bat her eyelids…

approaching_trennim.jpg

The group head back through the wetland and forest to the river and follow it upstream to the south-by-southwest. The river eventually forks, the new source coming from the southeast. The group spot well-tended farmland nestled in between the two waterways. Not much farther on, they see a youth tending a field. His name is Resik, and he offers to ferry the group over the river to Trennim - for a price. After questioning the group, he also offers to introduce them to a fine tracker - again, for a price. The party figure they'll do just fine looking for a tracker on their own.

This kid is wasted on a farm.

Trennim is a small farming village with one main road, one inn and one shop. Krag causes quite a stir - smiles quickly turn to worried frowns when he is spotted. The group head to the inn where they talk to the proprietor, a man named Vedder. Once Vor-wrek convinces Vedder that Krag and his companions aren't a "bad sort, looking for trouble", he asks who the headmaster is (!) Vedder suggests that they wait until near sundown when Wendell the councillor normally arrives. They do so, ordering a round of ale that goes by the name of Cedar Mill and is reputed to be very good. Compared to dwarven ale, it isn't.

Wendell arrives and is introduced to the group. He too is wary of a band of strangers that includes a brawny half-orc, but is soon won over by the group's simple good-heartedness. He agrees to personally introduce them to Yore, a middle-aged trapper/woodsman that lives near town. He even offers to put the group up for the night in his barn, to which they agree.

The group enjoy a pleasant autumn night in the barn, and Wendell's wife provides ample breakfast the following morning (ample for everyone but Krag). Wendell then wanders in, and leads the group through the other side of town to a log cabin in the surrounding forest. Yore is outside, hanging out skinned meat to dry. Wendell makes the introductions and politely leaves.

The group explain their plight to Yore. He knows of the monastery, and asks after "that tight old bugger Veketh." He is initially unconvinced. Vor-wrek mentions the captured goblin, tying their quarry Sarthen to the hated tribe of goblins that raided the town 6 months earlier. Yore finally agrees to help the group find the trail. He stomps into his cabin, exiting moments later with a pack, a battle axe and a pair of throwing axes. "Well? What are you waiting for?"

Yore and the group head north through Trennim, cross a stone bridge over the river and head back towards the monastery. Six hours of walking takes them to the ford where Yore easily picks up the trail…

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