After the Goblins
Phylacteries aren’t necessary to practice Necromancy, but they make better skeletons which last longer.
Curteel’s wounds are worse than previously appeared, and he collapses into unconsciousness. Erik Bornald says that we need to get him to Werrickshire, the largest settlement in Rholv. The main road between villages in Rholv is called the Cowpath. Rholv ranges from 5,000 to 8,000 feet above sea level.
Werrickshire has a population of approxomately 500, not including skeletons, who are more common than people (/elves, /dwarves, etc). Erik Bornald believes Bork and the Goblins destroyed some skeletons and took the Phylacteries from them.
Olin, Bill, and Jolly are from Werrickshire. We arrive there late in the afternoon, on the second day of the three day Moving Up festival, the spring festival when the cattle move up to summer pastures in the north of Rholv. It appears to be a pleasant county fair; cows wander the streets of the village.
We are met by a fat and greasy man, who questions Erik who we are. He’s mostly upset because he thinks our appearance ruined the Celebration. Erik gives the fat man, Delm Fryborg, a piece of paper, with orders concerning us. We’re to do light work, lighter than we should be doing given our cover story, but giving us more freedom to spy. We’re set to sweep up after the celebration. Delm Fryborg also brings a cleric to tend our wounds and look after Curteel. Erik Bornald tells us to keep our ears open.
Patrick Kelley appears on a horse, posing as a researcher from the Styness Institute to investigate strange magic residue. He takes the best room at the inn, the Haddock’s Finn. The innkeeper is thin, cleanly, and hungry for ready gold. Surprisingly, he understands Old Tongue, indicating he may have contact with Foreigners.
On the street, a gnome is selling mead from Northlund, an unusual sight in Rholv. He describes himself as a “Northlunder,” not “Northie,” as is more common. Patrick Kelley and Bel mention a (non-existent) note in Old Tongue they found in the room of the Inn where the gnome, Humbart Brommel had been staying; Humbart Brommel gets a little nervous and tries to run. We threaten him with the guard (it appears gnomes are second-class citizens and easy to boss around), and he and his bodyguard, Flordian try to fight us.
After we subdue them, we manage to talk Erik into letting us interrogate them out in the slaughter house. We also take their ledger, which uses codes based on Old Tongue. We decipher the codes; the ledger contains records of the goods and information Humbart Brommel has smuggled, the payoffs he received, and the costs he’s incurred, but each file uses code names for the goods or information, as well as the clients and mooks.
Quentin and Patrick Kelley proceed to tortureHumbart Brommel for information; essentially, he’s a smuggler. He’s been collecting information on the clergy for someone named Tholme, from the far north of Rholv. He drops the information in a secret spot, and someone else picks it up. We learn where that dropbox is.
We turn Humbart Brommel and Flordian in to Erik Bornald to hold. We then turn to investigate the inn and innkeeper. Patrick Kelley and Quentin torture the innkeeper, but don’t learn much. By now Curteel Bundo has recovered and joined us. He, Malcolm Chandler, and Beladon Mancyas investigate a suspicious closed room. Zanas sneaks in to what appears to be a kitchen; there are a few people in there. In addition, Zanas picks up auras of Necromancy on the people.
We try to find a window into that room, but instead find a sleeping chamber with a woman sleeping. There are papers in the desk, and the same aura of Necromancy emanating from the wardrobe. Curteel makes his way to the room and sneaks in successfully. However, when he opens the wardrobe, he triggers a trap which causes a pound of marbles to drop out. Patrick Kelley stuns the woman with a color spray spell before she wakes. In the wardrobe we find an (inanimate) skeleton and a Phylactery. We grab the Phylactery and scoop up the papers from the desk, and make a hasty-yet-subtle retreat.
Since we’ve almost certainly overstayed our welcome in Werrickshire, it’s likely time to continue north to the drop location and see who shows up. If that doesn’t lead to anything, we should go find this Tholme and find out why he is collecting information on the clergy. We need to decide whether we think the people in the kitchen where making Phylacteries, smuggling them, or something else. I should try to learn more about the process of making (although since it’s likely a divine spell, I probably won’t be able to replicate it). And who is going to such trouble over these Phylacteries, when as Erik Bornald said, it would be pretty easy to go around Rholv destroying skeletons and taking their Phylacteries?
Next session, we should go through the papers and also the magic items we took from Bork. I will have identify and comprehend languages prepared.