Sunday, October 16, 2016

West Marches sessions 4 & 5

Yup, another two session weekend!

The players are really getting into the game. They've started buying sets of dice, dice bags, and building dice towers. It wouldn't surprise me if before long they begin shopping for their own miniatures.

During the week of recovery needed for Mira, all of them came by some information.
- Widow Penik's shawl being found not far north of the farms and her home.
- A cloaked stranger arrived and took up residence in an unoccupied cottage in the south of town.
- A large number of crows spent an afternoon on the town rooftops then flew off to the north.
- Mira had a strange dream of a stooped over old crone cutting the head off a chicken and splashing the blood Mira.
- The rival adventuring group, the Silver Blades, had gone south to investigate rumors of a treasure hoard somewhere in or near Stonefall Keep.

Having a sense of missing something, they decided to return to the burial mound to the north. There they focused added scrutiny on the sarcophagus where they recovered the gold belt buckle. Careful examination revealed a hidden compartment and within a small scroll. The scroll bore an image of the tile mosaics in another chamber and showed missing tiles. It was now apparent they had indeed missed something.

After an exhaustive search they discovered the hidden compartment and within it an onyx box. Returning to town and consulting with Platte the silversmith revealed the contents as 1000 copper pieces, and a silver sheath inlaid with crushed moonstones and sized for a dagger. The box was worth 200 silver, the copper was equal to 100 silver, and the sheath was worth 700 silver. (silver based economy) They chose not to sell the box or sheath for now.

Going back north to the farms they arranged a stake-out to try catching the animal thieves. On the second night a cow was stolen from a neighboring farm, but they were unwilling to continue pursuit at night into the western wilderness. In the morning they surveyed the scene of the theft and discovered some blood and a trail. Tracking the stolen cow they found some of the thieves.

The ambush was sudden, and injurious, but over quickly leaving 4 goblins dead and another escaping beyond a hill. Dragging the bodies back to the farm they opted to rest and heal before heading back out to find the missing livestock.

Going into town to request help for the farmers, the party leaned that the bandit that had been hanged a few days back was not in his grave. Someone had committed an act of grave robbing/ body snatching.

Taking the time to work with the local constabulary, investigation turned up a gruesome scene. Within the cottage where the cloaked figure was believed to be was a blood and gore soaked cellar. The remains of several animals torn, crushed, splattered, with intestines strung about like garlands of carrion. In the center of an obscured  ritual circle was a roughly human shaped spot free of the wet viscera blanketing everything.

The players feel like the cloaked figure stole the body, animated it as a zombie and then left town.

Returning to the farms the party teamed up with 3 volunteers to continue the search for the goblins and stolen livestock. At the site of the ambush they discovered a cave entrance, but before they could begin a detailed search, a giant hornet set upon them.

One volunteer was slain by the giant hornet as they retreated into the dark, unexplored cave. The angry hornet was trying to squeeze through the narrow crevice to get at the rest of the group and they fought to keep it out. Eventually the dangerous bug forced its way into the open cave. Fighting as they withdrew deeper into cave passages, another of the volunteers fell to the sting and venom of their predator.

It was a battle of attrition that they eventually won, but the cave held another surprise. From behind them a lone goblin crept through the darkness, murder in its one good eye. The goblin had suffered a glancing kick to the head while stealing the cow. Its face was now a horror, half smashed in, missing teeth, with one eye dangling from the socket. Finishing this nearly dead foe they decided a retreat to safety was in order instead of exploring further.

There is a very good possibility of the specialist reaching level 2 in the next session or two. We'll have to see what the party plan are once they've rested.

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