Wednesday, October 31, 2012
My dinner with Arnulf
Other guests included the Captain of the Watch (the Lords right hand man apparently), the lord's personal abbot, and three dwarven merchants from the village of Baudoc Se (Bad Axe) which lies to the southeast. The young Lord was a gracious host and although the table was not grandly set (he made mention that the silverware ordered in from Kingstown that spring had not arrived) the food was well prepared. Dinner conversation revolved around the troubles of the plague to the north, the poor harvest and the exploits of the party in the recent weeks. The Lord made mention that he was concerned that the exploits of a transient band of freebooters was a somewhat disrupting influence on his people and indicated that perhaps a more circumspect approach should be taken so not to incite farmers and common soldiers to leave their occupations and turn to adventuring. Case in point that very afternoon had seen a hanging of three men whom had attempted to make their fortune through adventure - only to fall into petty banditry when they found themselves destitute. The Lord also made mention of the need for reliable leaders to carve out holdings and manses in these dangerous south lands - for it was only through strength and order that the region could be maintained. The dwarves agreed to this and conveyed their impressions on the state of the south road. There was some implied friction between the young Lord and these merchants, the implication that outrageous prices were being charged for spirits and goods in these times of need sat heavy on the the table. Also the abbot (a orthodox cleric with Ulgarite leanings) expressed his concern that Tim (a professed Ulgarite) had been seen in the company of the village priestess who in his opinion was uncomfortably lenient with church law and likely not an adherent to the teachings of Ulgar.
And so then Henril decided to channel Abbie Hoffman and spend the next morning trying to incite the townsfolk to revolt. Much to the horror of his companions he began spending money like a boatload of sailors and actually handing out coins to people in the streets. When the guards began to take notice he also attempted to hand them money and soon there were a great number of angry and confused soldiers fingering their crossbows and wondering exactly what they should be doing to keep the peace. As the rest of the party returned with their supplies and gathered up Henril and headed out of the keep, a more devout gate-man leaned over to Brother Tim and suggested that they might not want to return to Red Towers any time soon.
On their way back to the monastery, they came across the badly mauled corpses and ruined wagons of the turnip farmers they had met before. A careful study of the scene and they concluded that a manticore, possibly the very one they had run from in the cave depths, had killed these farmers. With some trepidation they continued to the caves and made their way to the stairs leading up to the monastery. They noticed that the barred doors to the Crypt was burst open and when they started to investigate the fallen bodies of the goblins and ferrits that they had killed some little while ago reanimated and attacked. After a short battle they dispatched these zombies and made their way up into the monastery proper - examining the ruined courtyard and the empty hallways until they came across the chapel and the abbots office in behind. There they found a series of scrolls outlining a history of the monastery and also a suit of plate armour with a gauntlet missing (substituted by a gauntlet from another suit of plate in fact). They gathered up this armour and read some of the scrolls but as they left they wandered into an area where a un-restful spirit began to take shape and wildly throw objects around the room at them. Soon they were fleeing from a hurricane of stone and broken furniture as they fled back though the abbots office (which got trashed) until Brother Tim finally managed to cast Turn Undead and drive the spirit back. They fled back across the courtyard and with the knowledge they had gained form the scrolls found the old scriptorium and located the vault hidden behind it. In that vault they discovered many ruined scrolls and books but also a ancient copy of the Trials of St.Ulthur and a treatise on hobgoblins.
Then they left to head back to the woods and decide what to do next.