We left our adventurers exploring an abandoned mine and rejoin them just after a perilous fight with some zombies. After interrogating then killing a bizarre and frightening cultist, the party is now stood surveying the carnage of the battle.
The Rest of the Mine
After taking everything in the room that wasn’t nailed down (including a book full of stange symbols), the group of adventurers pressed on, cautiously navigating the corridors off of the room they fought in. They encountered several cave-ins, which would have been disappointing had Helge not found some gems in the rubble.
Eventually the group entered a wider room cut across the middle by a ravine. As they neared the edge they felt a tugging in their minds and a voice spoke to them, revealing some of their thoughts and secrets.
Most of the group leapt across the ravine without trouble, but Salzar hung back. He had been deep in thought and explained to everyone that he must travel to Askor to research the book that they found. After watching Salzar disappear into the darkness, the rest of the party moved on down a gravel slope through a much wider cavern.
Suddenly in the darkness a large green eye appeared, and the source of the earlier voice was revealed. The owner of the eye was a Nothic, pissed off to find intruders in its lair. Failing to come to a diplomatic resolution, the Nothic attacked.
Wrenn was the first target, he felt tendrils of corrupting rot creeping through his flesh as the Nothic targeted him with a rotting gaze. The gnome, a little panic-stricken, stumbled and fired an arrow at the Nothic which missed and clattered off into the cave behind. He regained his composure and quickly scrambled behind a nearby rock to hide.
Responding quickly, Enna shot her bow at their enemy and her arrow found its mark. Helge and Jason immediately began to run down the gravel slope towards the Nothic, throwing a dart and a javelin as they ran.
Confused by the missing gnome, the Nothic attempted a rotting gaze on Enna who managed to shrug it off. Wrenn popped out of cover to fire an arrow at the Nothic, this time hitting it, while Enna dropped her bow and started to run down the slope.
In unison Helge, Enna, and Jason slashed at the Nothic beating it bloody with their swords. Helge kicked the air in celebration – it looked really cool. In a last attempt at retaliation the Nothic swiped its claws at Enna and Jason, missing the dragonborn but gouging flesh from the elf’s arm.
Wrenn, seeing his chance to look awesome, ran down the gravel slope and slid between Enna and Jason, thrusting his rapier at their enemy. Unfortunately he completely misjudged his attack and his rapier glanced off. Wincing at his companion’s embarassment, Helge jabbed his sword straight through the Nothic’s eye, showering himself and Wrenn with blood and viscera.
With the Nothic defeated, the party noticed two chests that it had been guarding. The first contained some gold and an ornate longsword, which Wrenn and Jason started to examine. While their backs were turned Enna reached to open the second chest, upon touching it her hand became stuck fast.
Hearing Enna’s cry for help, the rest of the group rushed to her side. After debating what to do next, the party decide it’d be best to attack. While Enna tried to pull her hand away, Helge hit the chest with his flaming torch, Wrenn stabbed at it with his rapier, and Jason slashed at it with his longsword. Not wanting to miss out, Enna used her free hand to slash at the chest as well but missed – it’s difficult to fight when your hand is stuck to your target.
As Jason hit the chest once more, Helge unthinkingly punched it; his hand became stuck fast too. Suddenly the chest opened revealing a drooling maw with hundreds of teeth in countless rows. Snapping shut again, it took a large bite of Enna who passed out and fell backwards, unstuck at last.
Wrenn pulled Enna away from the fight and tried to stabilise her while Helge and Jason continued to attack the living chest. The monstrosity’s body morphed suddenly and an arm-like appendage clubbed Jason, becoming stuck to him as well. Determining that Enna should be OK, Wrenn jumped angrily back into the fray – he thrust his rapier into the chest’s mouth as it started to open and the monster screamed out, defeated and slowly melting into a pool of goo.
After dispatching the chest, the adventurers explored the rest of the mine. This passed uneventfully, aside from Jason getting temporarily stuck in a cave-in – luckily he had the strength to pull himself out. Finding nothing more of interest, everyone decided it would be a good idea to leave the mine and continue on their journey.
Leaving the mine, the party travelled south through the forest, following the ancient road that they saw earlier. As evening drew in, they reached the edge of the wood and were greeted by the sight of the Inner Reft in the distance. Mid-way between the Inner Reft and the forest stood a small village silhouetted against the sea, where the party decided to spend the night.
As the adventurers got closer to the village, they began to see signs that something was wrong – many of the buildings looked damaged and the roof of the largest had caved in. Wrenn and Enna decided to scout ahead and investigate.
Sneaking around the corner of the first building, Wrenn froze in place, gesturing to Enna. In the doorway of the largest building a huge Owlbear was sleeping. After managing to convince her that fighting it by themselves would be a bad idea, they returned to the rest of the group. Deciding that they needed to rest desperately and weren’t prepared for a fight , they skirted around the village and into the back of a different house.
After barricading the doors and windows the party managed to sleep, taking turns to watch and listen for movement outside. In the morning, the Owlbear was nowhere to be seen.
As everybody packed their things and prepared to move on, Jason asked the group whether they could bear witness to an oath he wished to make. He explained the story of his evil twin and his companions followed him to a nearby shrine that served the village. Here he took an oath of vengeance.
Journey to Ponterin
Around midday, the party reached Anemst – a small village by the coast. The village consisted of only a boat-house, several small huts, and a small outside store where dried fish was hanging. Wrenn bought some delicious haddock and engaged the storekeep in conversation, asking about what happened at Wydcote. The storekeep explained that it’d been sacked by orcs from the forest to the North, and that there was never any news from Ponterin.
Leaving Anemst, the adventurers continued their journey south-west, eventually reaching the town of Imrelis in the early evening. Looking for somewhere to sleep, and lacking an inn, the group approached one of the larger houses and asked the occupants whether they could pay for beds for the night.
After Helge enquired about the night life, their hosts offered up mead and everyone settled down for a game of dice. Wrenn won, of course, and the party bedded down for the night.
In the morning, waving goodbye to their hosts, the group left Imrelis and continued on to Ponterin (Wrenn sneakily left some coin in the house as a thank you). Nothing much happened on the way, except Enna trying to push Wrenn in a frosty pool.
Entering through the gates of Ponterin, the party immediately noticed an increase in the number of guards around the place. Troops of soldiers marched past looking serious and the civilians in the street looked tense.
Reaching the large market square that marked the city center, the group noticed a halfling trader being accosted by several guards. Overhearing that the trader was late in his payments, and not liking to see another small person get accosted by humans, Wrenn ran over and pretended to know the halfling. He offered up money and the party narrowly avoided a fight.
The halfling introduced himself as Heffyd and offered up information in payment. He explained that the guard had been raised but that nothing much in the way of news had reached the general populace. He also gave the group some advice on where to sell their treasure.
Deciding not to waste more time, everyone decided to make their way to the palace to see Xander, the Lord Protector. After showing the royal seal to some guards, the party intruded on the end of a council meeting. Xander seemed pleased to see them and listened patiently as they told him of what they’d learned.
He ended by offering for the group to become agents of the crown, making their work official. Wrenn stipulated that he’d like to meet the king in person before doing so and the group agreed to take some time to discuss the proposition. Xander asked them to return later that day.
Attempting to sell the gems they found in a reputable jewellers, the party realised that they were being ripped off. On the advice of Heffyd they journeyed to the south-west quarter of the city which was more run down and shady than the rest of Ponterin. An urchin pick-pocketed Helge as they walked, and disappeared before anyone could react.
They entered The Ogre’s Rest, a dingy tavern along the main road. The impression everyone got was “this place is dodgy”, and it was difficult to prevent Enna from attacking a group of half-orcs. The barman, Hanalor, told the group that the best place to sell valuables would be Della’s Jewellers up the road a little way.
The party wandered up to the jewellers and Wrenn went in first, signalling slyly to Jason to prevent Enna from entering. His intuition was correct – Della was a half-orc and he didn’t need the orc-hating elf messing up the deal. Enna noticed the shadiness, and Wrenn spoke straight with her. Enna seemed to accept that selling the rubies was more important than her desire to intimidate a shop keeper.
Wrenn and the others entered the shop and mentioned to Della that Heffyd had sent them. Della seemed to warm to the group and she gave them a good price for all the gems, after a little haggling.
The group decided it was time to go and see Xander once again, who they met to one side of the throne room in the palace. He led them through a doorway, up a tall tower staircase, and through a hatch. In the room above they were met by an old man in a four-poster bed – who they quickly understood to be King Stendar.
He looked weak and old, and was racked by coughing fits, but he greeted the party and spoke bluntly – “so you would take my coin?”. He discussed the proposal that the group become agents of the crown, expressing that there was a dire need for somebody to deal with The Broken Crown.
The party then took the Kingsman’s Oath declaring loyalty to the crown in turn (except Enna). The king instructed his new agents to find the Broken Crown stronghold in the forest to the north, and deal with the immediate threat.