After we finished cleaning up Angwyn’s cottage, we made our way back to the Queen’s Cove Inn. Fin continued on to Lord Arunel’s mansion with the steam weevils. Selly, Brash and I ordered a round of drinks and settled in for the evening.
As townsfolk begin trickling in, I noticed that Leurora’s Mercantile Emporium has begun producing orc puppets for Dol Rok’s visit. They’re as shoddy as their dwarf puppets were, but they’re popular nonetheless.
We were barely into our third round when a dwarf entered. Thankfully he wasn’t a Forgefoot, although he was a Gloombeard. I called him over and ordered a new round. Selly went to collect it for us.
The Gloombeard greeted us with his clan’s typical cheerlessness, and introduced himself as Garil. He spoke of the impending necrotic apocalypse his portends heralded, which I grilled him on. We had a lively debate about how the omens were being interrupted.
Just as I was demonstrating the logical contradiction in his position, Ameiko came up to me and politely asked if we would be kind enough to yield our table for Dol Rok and his retinue. We graciously acquiesced.
As we were moving to our new seats, I noticed Janos. I told him about Angwyn’s recent troubles due to Lord Illidris’s mischief and implied he might find a powerful ally in plotting revenge. Janos hurried off to the cottage.
As Dol Rok and his envoy entered the Inn, a hush fell on the crowd. They took their seats while willfully ignoring the glowers of Briarton’s residents. After a few tense moments, conversations resumed. Fin sat down at the seat I saved for him, and filled us in on the details of the dinner party. Nothing particularly exciting.
Conversations halt once again as Drogo Raveknott decided to strut up to the fireplace and toss one of the orc puppets into the blaze while staring pointedly at Dol Rok’s table. They ignore him just as pointedly.
Disappointed with his lack of response and emboldened by his table-mates, Drogo decided to take another trip to the fireplace. I waved him over as he rose from his table: He made a rude gesture to me. I quietly told him that I could start telling stories about him, and looked toward the serving girl he’s been talking up lately. He scurried over.
I explained to him that he’d had enough fun; and that continued provocations were likely to result in injury, possibly not his, but definitely some unfortunate townsfolk. He was mulling over my suggestion when someone else from his table decided to get in on the fun, and headed for the fireplace with a handful of puppets.
As I was letting out an exasperated sigh, Selly stormed over to the puppet-bearer and punched him, sparking the inevitable brawl. During the ensuing chaos, I noticed Duncan step to the doorway and signal Archibald.
I approached him and asked how much we could expect for providing a distraction for his and Archibald’s enterprise. He was disinclined to believe that it was purposeful and incredulous that I could stop it quickly enough to merit payment. I informed him, that I could just announce that Archie needed help unloading the Ladyslipper. Duncan’s face fell, and he conceded that compensation was in order.
While we were discussing terms, Ameiko ejected the brawlers, I instructed Selly and Brash to assist in the cleanup. I couldn’t help overhear Dol Rok comment on the role the orcs had played in the defeat of the necromancer prior to the founding of Briarton. A tale I hadn’t heard and was eager to have him share!
According to Dol Rok, the twisted hills orcs were instrumental in defeating the Necromancer’s hordes, but the elves refuse to acknowledge their contribution, which has resulted in the orcs resentment.
After the cleanup, Ameiko let the customers back into the common room, and several began to bed down for the night. Dol Rok headed for the stairs, and after informing the others about Archibald’s nocturnal nautical naughtiness, we decided it would be best for us to stay the night, and to take turns keeping watch.
During Fin’s shift, he noticed a sloop approaching the Ladyslipper. He woke the rest of us and went to investigate further. Just as we were beginning to worry about him, Fin returned to tell us about the arrival of the Hammers of Concord. A small group of bounty hunters we had encountered before, whom we thwarted on Drogo’s behalf.
In the morning, I escorted Garil to the shrine and introduced him to Maerwynn. As he made his way to Purifier, Maerwynn and I spoke quietly about the rarity of Gloombeards to leave their cloisters and she confessed she had a foreboding sense to his presence. I let her know I was available if she needed assistance.
I returned to the Greenbriar and did some reading. I also tried working a complex harmony into the Song of Heroes, but it still needs work. I wonder if there is a way to incorporate the percussion of axes in combat into the melody. I bet there is.
Before I knew it, dusk had arrived, and the town had begun gathering in the north fields for the Memorial Celebration. Numerous effigies were already in place, awaiting ignition. As we congregated, and awaited the ceremony’s opening, a cry arose to the east.
We rushed to investigate, and discovered that several Follyrock island goblins were attacking the townsfolk. As we began to repel the invasion, numerous other cries of alarm arose from closer to the center of town. Fin, Brash and I finished the goblins in sight, while Selly rushed off to impede the other incursions.
After dispatching the goblins, we reunited with Selly to find him dispatching a lumbering necrotic golem constructed with the corpses of both people and animals. Selly appeared to have the situation under control, so I merely assisted with a single arcane blast before continuing in search of other trespassers.
As we approached the Greenbriar Inn, I noticed that the hobgoblins had climbed up onto the roof and were raining arrows upon the invaders. Dol Rok was presumably still inside. We noticed a small clutch of proto-ghouls – they were not quite done gestating yet, and therefore easier to dispatch – sheltered out of line of sight of the hobgoblin, and Brash sprinted over to slay them.
I continued on to the shrine to check on Maerwynn, Garil and Purifier. When I arrived, Maerwynn was absent, Garil was face down on the floor, and Purifier’s case had been opened; thankfully Purifier was still there.
Fin performed a quick assessment of the case, and learned that its lock had been picked, and that Garil had the tools in his hand. We secured him with rope and Selly arrived and treated his injuries. Maerwynn arrived as well, and confessed that Purifier had mechanical safeguards as well as mystical. She agreed to watch Garil while the rest of us scoured the town.
After all the invaders had been dispatched, I checked in at the Greenbriar. It seems that during the commotion, the Hammers of Concord had attempted to abduct Dol Rok in Lord Arunel himself’s presence; the ninnies scattered almost before they had really begun. Unfortunately for Ustob, it’s not easy for a half-giant to sneak away from 4 hobgoblin archers, and she was apprehended.
Dol Rok demanded her summary execution, but Lord Arunel refused; Dol Rok left in a huff. I returned to the shrine to check on Garil. He was beginning to come around, and a quick invocation of the Charm dweomer, and he was willing to admit his true clan is Stoneshadow and that he was hired to steal Purifier. He didn’t know the name of his employer, but he shared a suspicion that it was an agent of the Lich King. He also indicated on a map the island he had been instructed to deliver Purifier to.