Sunday, 31 August 2008

Journal of the Wayfarers 5

Return to the Hall of the Gargoyle
5th Tor, Year of the Wolf
Whistler, Shadow (who announced he had changed his name to Jack), Smily and Fluff received a message summoning them to meet Ortho, Duke of Kularni. John joined then at the keep, where the Duke, having heard of their adverts boasting of their prowess, charged them with hunting down and returning with Toorkman, alive if possible, for the 10,000 gp reward. They assured him that they were capable of the job (!)
Setting off along the East road, Fluff and Whistler riding their warhorses, at Axbridge they met two hot bloods looking for adventure. Called Tone and Brone, they offered to come along and help. Jack seemed to have some premonition concerning them.
At the end of the day, near to the Hall of the Gargoyle, without warning a hail of arrows came from the woods to the left – they had been ambushed by bandits! A brief fight ensued, during which they established that Tone and Brone really hadn’t got a clue about adventuring, fighting, or what even time of day it was. But they were eager to help. Brone, when told to stay and cover John, looked around for a blanket or something to keep him warm.
One bandit was captured whilst escaping, brought down and subdued right next to the Hall; subsequently died whilst being questioned without revealing anything useful. There were a few ominous rumbles of thunder at this time, which the PC’s ignored. They made camp overnight outside the Hall. During the night, Smily heard “something” large passing through the forest nearby.
Entering the Hall, some (obvious) prior knowledge by Jack and Whistler prompted questions by Fluff along the lines of “Perhaps you had better tell us everything….”
Opening the trapdoor by means of the rope still attached to the gargoyle’s arm, they descended down the stairs to the first room. Whistler immediately noticed that the human skulls over the right passage had been removed and replaced with orc skulls; also they remarked on the number of orc bodies in the room. A cursory search of the bodies revealed that they had died from stab and arrow wounds. Moving on to the drawbridge hall, they found more bodies; they didn’t bother examining these too closely. Into the pillared hall, there were more bodies, these too were ignored. They avoided the archway leading to the slope down to the slug lair and headed off towards the room where they had fought the orcs. Brone triggered the tripwire but nothing happened; obviously the trap had not been reset (or there had been no need to...?) Moving on into a larger hall that they had not been in before; they found a dead Dwarf (hacked by orc scimitars), before they could investigate further they were attacked by a large ogre. John’s Sleep spell failed to affect it, however Jack was caught in it and slept (yes, even Elves are not 100% immune to Sleep spells). The rest attacked, trying to subdue the ogre; Smily and Tone were wounded and knocked out but finally the ogre was taken down and securely tied up. A search found some potions and gems hidden away. Believing they had captured Toorkman, they headed back to the surface, dragging the bound ogre. Tone and Brone left at Axbridge, Jack paid them a 100gp gem each.
At Kularni, they presented their prisoner to the Duke. He was not amused. “Does this look like a fallen Knight of the Realm?”, he roared. “Take this…thing out and get rid of it. Then come back when you can do the job properly.” They disposed of the ogre into Blackwater lake.
John asked Janis about Toorkman. He was a member of Family Torhouse, a noble house of The Great Kingdom, betrothed to a lady Meroe of Family Andhouse. She broke off the engagement and returned his ring to him; he had sworn that her ring would never leave his finger. Therefore, he cut off the third finger of his left hand and returned it to her, with the ring still worn. Always somewhat unbalanced, this sent him over the edge and he became a bandit. Any noble ladies he captures, he cuts off the third finger of their left hand, so that they can never betray anyone the way that he was.

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