I didn't have time this week to prepare munchies for the group, but our newest player brought some very tasty homemade oatmeal bars made with raisins and pear butter. yummy.
The game was light, and mostly consisted of travel, but started off in the Dweomer forest at the Church of the Big Gamble.
A younger priestess lead the group through the woods along game trails. As they neared the center of the woods the forest went rough a progression of changes, first to autumn, into winter, spring, on through summer nearing harvest time. An enourmous clearing loomed before them, nearly a mile across and in the center, atop a small hill stood a structure shaped like an egg on its side lenghtwise halved.
At the entrance they left their boots and entered the circluar domed main chamber. Within was a circular dais upon which stood a podium topped by a large book. Surrounding the dais were five tables with stone stools.
Myla explained that the High Priest would soon come welcome them and lead them through a ceremony of fortune.
The High priest and priestess entered and 5 acolytes spread out, one per table, inviting the companions to join them with at least one per table.
The ritual the High priest would lead everyone through was a gambling game wagering gold pieces on rolls of the dice. Each participant would ante a gold coin and then each in turn could bet up to an additional 5 gold. Those that choose not to match the increased wager would drop out of that round. Percentile dice are rolled with the highest roll winning the jackpot. All the while the high priest would exort his diety to grant good luck.
The first round resulted in the acolytes winning on every table. The party began to think this god was a scam artist until the second round saw some winning by Thorgrim, Ellana, and Seamus. Thorgrim was blessed with a roll of 100 and given a gift by the high priestess of a platinum piece to celebrate his great fortune, and the three winners were then invited to a table together with the acolyte that had won the most gold.
The high priest then circled the table blessing each player in turn and the new round began. It quickly reached a high jackpot and the acolyte won the rolls, but instead of taking the winnings he offered a chance for anyone interested to match the pot and play again for all of it. Each of them, plus the acolyte, put in another 32 gold pieces into the pot. The total was now 160 gold, a small fortune equal to nearly 40% of the party treasury and easily above what individual party members had on their persons. Then the rolling began.
When the dice settled Elanna had come away with the grand jackpot. In celebration of a good ritual the priests invited the party to join them for meal.
A good lunch later and another quick round of gambling in which Elanna again won and then Myla returned, this time armored and armed. She was there to escort them to the edge of the forest on their journey and to offer blessing that they may have good luck on their way.
Before parting ways Myla tells the party that there are a series of small towns between the forest and the city of Kroten where they are heading. The closest village is less than a day away. This comes as good news to the group.
The party reached a small farming village just before nightfall and were able to find cheap lodgings. The night was uneventful and they were pleasantly surprised to find their donkeys and cart ready for them in the morning along with all the supplies they had been looking to buy.
The second leg of the journey was not as quiet. Along the road to the next village the discovered a wagon that had been overturned down into stream and when they began investigating were attacked by halfling zombies.
The fight was brief and lopsided with only a minor injury to one party member. Searching turned up a small amount of copper and a tiny key, but no lock present that it fit. Nothing obvious had been stolen from the halfling farmers that were slain and turned into zombies. All of the bags of grain and a barrell of iron nails were in the stream. Now they were convinced that the people responsible for the barn incident were a short distance ahead of them going north.
They decided to pull the wagon and the spilled good back up to the roadside. After an hour of tiring labor this was done. The only thing among the goods that they decided was worth taking was the barrel of nails.
They rolled into the next village shortly after nightfall. Again they found cheap lodgings and spent some time talking to locals in the tavern.
Several farmers were present and some asked Pedro if he would come out the next morning to bless their farms with good weather for the upcoming harvest. Others asked questions about Restenford once it was determined that this is where the party had traveled from. "Is it true that there is a haunted guard tower in Restenford?" Valen and Thorgrim confirmed that this was a rumor and may be true.
Outside as other party members were unhitching the donkeys and preparing the wagon for the night they noticed two men preparing to ride out in the darkness. A brief discussion with them led the party to believe this may have been the Duke of Kroten and a guard. They mentioned the wagon, but said nothing about the zombies. The more lordly looking of the two men said that he would ride south in another day to check on it, but for tonight he must head north.
In the morning Pedro kept his promis of blessing the fields and Rowenna and Elanna took advantage of the free day to go into the nearby woods and cast the find familiar ritual. When all was finished they had new familiars bringing the party familar total to three.