Erik Bornald is pissed about our misadventures from the Previous Session. Erik has looked up Tholme. He lives north of Shropsborrough. He comes from a good, honored family, but ran off to become a hermit. Because Erik insists we leave town and not create any more of a disturbance, we decide to travel north to capture Tholme. Malcolm Chandler goes to watch the drop-box the Phylactery smugglers have been using to get messages to Tholme.
Beladon Mancyas looks through the papers we stole from the Haddock’s Finn. Of interest, he finds a technical diagram written in Old Tongue explaining how to build Phylacteries, and an old, worn map of Rholv. There was something suspicious about the map, but Bel couldn’t figure out what.
Erik Bornald returns earlier than we had expected after a trip to gather what he’d need for our journey north, insists we start off on the Cowpath right away. He deputizes Patrick Kelley to give him cover for joining us. We travel a few hours north of Werrickshire. At this point, we identify the items, discovering that we have a Ring of +1 Wisdom, an Amulate of Undead Control, and a Phylactery. A phylactery is all that is needed to animate a skeleton, but the ritual known only with a few too many exceptions to Stynesian Clergy is needed to grant them their special intelligence and ability to obey commands. We decide Malcolm Chandler needs the ring most, but loan it to Curteel Bundo Malcolm is away.
The next morning, there are ten Guards. We try to come up with a plan, but eventually try to talk our way across the bridge. There is a Captain in a sky-blue cloak. He says his name is Alfric Buckner. His cloak is the wrong shade of blue, and his badge is poorly made. His accent is also slightly Foreign.
Erik Bornald picks up on these clues, and we begin to criticize the “Kitten,” convincing the guards that he is an impostor. We eventually convince them, and load him up in the cart as a prisoner.
After a few more hours journey, we arrive in Sillbury. Outside the town we stop to question our Prisoner. His reale name is Mantico Barraille, and is a genuine Foreigner. He says he is part of a mission to gather information about Phylacteries. His nation, the Gandean Protectorate, wants them to help boost their economy (make manual labor cheep, with all the benefits that entails). The Gandean Proctectorate is a monotheistic monarchy, and they worship the Sun-God Lorr.
There are about 100 Gandean agents in Styness, and maybe 500 Stynesian sympathizers. Mantico’s handler uses the cover name Thorren Blackwool. They were trying to halt us at the bridge because they heard we busted up their opperations in Werrickshire. The highest-up sympathizer is named Borogrund McGillicutty; he’s a big-wig in what is essentially the Sewer Department. Other nations have similar missions, even Lohrid (to quote Barraille, although the Gandean mission is the largest.
We open the chest with Matico’s belongings, but trigger a trap which destroys all the documents. There are also three phylacteries, a magic dagger, and 50 pp. We divide the pp (holding ten aside for Malcolm Chandler). We decide to chain Mantico Barraille up with him as a genuine prisoner, enhancing our cover. If he tries to cause a fuss, we explain that he is mentally disturbed.
Nice to get a feel for what we’re facing, and know that there is a real foe. That being said, our enemy is rather sympathetic, and I could see us deciding to work with them – after all, supplying them with Phylacteries and spreading our religion can’t do us much harm, as long as the authorities don’t catch us. We should ask how the goblins figure into their scheme, and whether the Gandeans are involved in supplying them.