The Dragon's Demand

Session 12 - Swamp Things

30 Rova, 4714 AR

Our intrepid trio plus wolf gears up and enters the Dragonfen on a grey morning, the last day of Rova. Heeding Bassy’s advice the group keeps to the south bank of the river once the trail disappears, hoping to catch sight of Tula Belhaim’s tomb somewhere on the eastern edge of the bog. The going is tough and wet; although the days have cooled slightly with the coming autumn, the air in the bog is heavy and the black flies and mosquitoes are out in force. About a mile into the fen the group is attacked by a swarm of stirges – housecat-sized creatures like a nightmarish cross between a mosquito and a flying rodent that try to drain the heroes’ blood with a long proboscis. The stirges are killed, although Hammy gets walloped by the blood-sucking buggers.

By mid-afternoon the group suspects they’ve either missed the signs Tula’s tomb or somehow misjudged the size of the cursed Dragonfen. FInally, the ground gets dryer, and the insects mercifully begin to dissipate as they come closer to the eastern boundaries of the swamp. Scanning the area, Emraeal the elf spies it first – a low mound in the distance, out of place in the flat swamp. The group approaches the mound and sees the unmistakable off-white of bone. Even hundreds of years after the dragon’s fall, its bones are an awe-inspiring sight. The skeleton has partially sunk into the bog, but enough remains that it still appears to be draped over the low, earthen mound. On the side of the mound is a stone door with a single, rough keyhole. The entrance to Tula Belhaim’s tomb.

As the group approaches the door, an old resident of the dragon’s skull issues forth – a writhing mass of flesh, teeth, eyes and gristle. The horror drives Hammy loopy with its insane gibbering and drenches Emraeal with gobs of acidic saliva, but with Maffei’s help they eventually manage to destroy the beast.

Bat uses the key given to him by Bassy to open the old stone door, releasing hundreds of years of stale air and dust. The group strikes a sunrod and enters Tula’s crypt, stepping into a short corridor and then 30 feet down a narrow shaft, where they enter an oval chamber dominated in the east by a marble statue of a rearing warhorse and featuring small alcoves to the north and south. Each alcove contains two child-sized sarcophagi – sons and daughters of Tula’s line, according to plaques on the sarcophagi. As the group search for exits from the children’s crypt, they hear a strange tapping from inside one of the sarcophagi. Opening it, they are horrified by its resident – a grey, emaciated child’s corpse with a fox’s skull for a head. The undead thing breathes a forlorn sob that threatens to overwhelm the party with sadness. It is a kindness when Hammy finally puts the troubled spirit to rest.

Session 12 XP

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Session 11 - The Dragon's Demand

29 Rova, 4714 AR

The bat-creatures (grioths, Bat recalls from his studies on life beyond the stars) attack the townsfolk with murderous abandon. Several unfortunate villagers fall to the grioths’ sudden attack, but quick response from Ham, Emraeal, and Bat keeps the creatures’ killing spree in check.

Acolytes of Abadar tend to the wounded and heal Hammy’s wounds, but there is little time to recuperate. Soon after the grioths are slain, a scaly, reptilian winged creature with smoke a fire billowing from its jaws swoops down to land atop the amphitheatre stage. Bat yells out to Ham and Emraeal that the creature is a flame drake, a draconic relative but not a true dragon. This does not stop the remaining townsfolk in the amphitheatre from shrieking “A dragon!” in panic. Ham, Emraeal and Bat kill the drake, but the amphitheatre itself is left in shambles – much of the seating and stage area charred and burnt from the flame drake’s fiery breath.

After the drake is defeated, the baroness, her son Arnholde, and Bassy approach the group to thank them for their aid. Bat enlists several villagers to help him drag the flame drake’s corpse into an open area and skillfully extracts a vial of the creature’s volatile bile. Just as everyone is finally starting to think the evening’s ordeal is at an end, a thunderous roar shatters the night. The survivors look to the east in fear as a vast shape crawls up on to the roof of a nearby house. It is an enormous black dragon, but its scales are ragged and greying, its eyes are sightless, its muscles are exposed beneath torn flesh, and the smell of rot is nearly overpowering.

“I am Aeteperax, Lord of Dragonfen, and you have exhausted my patience. The wizard Hunclay promised me many things before his death, including fire rare and ancient tomes. I made efforts to obtain these lawfully, but my representative, Clausyre, failed me. My forbearance is at an end.
“Now, I require not only the books, including the tome entitled Secrets of the Dreaming Dark, but also an indemnity of 776,000 gold pieces – 2,000 for each and every resident of this dunghill you call home.
“I give you two weeks to deliver these to the place you know as the Monastery of Saint Kyerixus across the Dragonfen.
“None are permitted to leave Belhaim – my minions blanket the countryside, and all who dare leave this town shall suffer for it. Only those chosen to deliver my ransom may travel, and then only into Dragonfen.
“Should you defy me or fail to satisfy my demands, I shall lay waste to little Belhaim and kill every living inhabitant, down to the last mewling infant.”

With that, the dragon rises up, casts a spell, and vanishes, apparently teleporting away. Silence reigns for a moment, then panic strikes and the survivors flee back to their homes. Emraeal, Bat, and Hammy accompany the baroness back to her estate, along with several other residents the baroness enlists for advice – Bassy the historian, Sheriff Benhovy, the Abadaran priestess Eupaphenia Targas, and the stabler and former adventurer Lezara Dodgion.

Suggestions and arguments for and against various plans go back and forth. In the end, understanding that paying the dragon 776,000 gp is impossible for Belhaim, Bassy makes a simple suggestion: “Why don’t we just kill it?” Lady Origena breaks the intervening silence and addresses Bat, Hammy, and Emraeal.

“I can’t offer a monetary award sufficient to lure into undertaking such a deadly mission. However, I must ask: will you slay this dragon for Belhaim? If you succeed, I shall raise each of you to the rank of Knight of Taldor, and all the benefits such a title brings will be yours. Belhaim and its inhabitants are lost if you don’t prevail. What say you?”

Hammy agrees without question, and a stern look from the brawny soldier brings somewhat grudging agreement from his elf and gnome companions. The agreement made, Bassy interjects:

“Are we even sure we’re dealing with a dragon here? I’ve been around for a long, long time, and one thing I’ve learned is that inexperienced illusionists tend to rely on overwhelming one’s eyes and ears, but often forget the details. I was there. I saw the dragon. I heard it speak and roar.
“But I didn’t hear it breath. I didn’t hear its talons scraping stone. I didn’t feel the air stir when its wings unfurled. Certainly whoever or whatever we face has great power – if that truly was just an illusion, it was still a powerful magical effect.
“For all we know, it could even be a dragon – that certainly fits with what you learned from the kobolds. The name Aeteperax is an old one, and the original Aeteperax’s bones should still be out there in Dragonfen, coiled around the crypt of Tula Belhaim. At the very least, if you can confirm those bones are still there before you visit the Monastery of Saint Kyerixus, then it seems obvious that what we all saw tonight wasn’t really Aeteperax risen from the dead.”

Before the group leaves the baroness to prepare for their venture, they are provided several gifts by those in attendance. Sheriff Benhovy, with the tiniest bit of grudging complaint, loans his magical ring of protection to Hammy. Aged Lezara Dodgion’s days of adventuring are far behind her, and she can think of no better home for her magical flaming burst longbow than in Emraeal’s hands. Eupaphenia Targas tells the group that any spellcasting services they might require from the House of Abadar will be provided gratis.

Finally, Bassy’s gift to Bat is an ancient brass key, something Lady Tula herself gave Bassy’s grandmother over a thousand years ago. Lady Tula also made a strange request: “Keep this key safe until the need for dragonslayers rises again.” Bassy tells Bat that the key will open the crypt of Tula Belhaim, but warns him and the others that it’s been centuries since anyone has entered the tomb, and there are doubtless guardians and traps within to keep all but righteous and true dragonslayers away. However, securing the magical treasures bound to exist within the tomb will certainly aid Bat, Emraeal, and Hammy in their efforts.

Session 11 Treasure
Session 11 XP

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Session 10 - The Estate Auction

7 Rova to 29 Rova, 4714 AR

The trio reports back to Baroness Origena Devy and collects their payment for clearing Hunclay’s estate. The baroness implores the adventurers to stay in Belhaim for a time, at least until after the auction of the wizard’s estate. As an incentive Lady Origena pledges to meet the group halfway on any items they bid on, to a point of course.

Ham, Bat, and Emraeal spend a rather relaxed few weeks in the village. Bat meets several times with Bassy who, being a gnome herself in a town bereft of gnomes, is grateful for the familiar company, despite Bat’s questionable proclivities.

Parties interested in the auction of Hunclay’s estate begin arriving in town a day or two before the event, scheduled for the 29th of Rova. Although Lady Origena is disappointed in the poor attendance, several wealthy out-of-town bidders do stand out: a trio of white-clad Kalistocrats from Kerse; two black-robed individuals of indeterminate gender representing the Mercantile Consortium of Maheto; a snarling half-orc calling himself Mr. Pickets representing Duchess Selphine Telegonus of Cassomir; and a brown-haired man in a red felt hat with a large blue feather stuck in its side, who calls himself Clausyre and represents an unnamed interest from the north. Several serious local bidders also join the action: the Adras family; Sir Pelle Benhovy; the baroness’ son Arnholde Devy; Bassy; and Swerlo Greyhands. Bat, Ham, and Emraeal break up an argument between Clausyre and the auctioneer, Chosk Grellen, over the apparent exclusion of several items and books that Clausyre hoped to bid on. The trio recalls the rare tomes retrieved from Hunclay’s cave (and the three stolen from the estate) and wonders how Clausyre might be aware of their existence.

The auction proceeds through the afternoon. Bat bids on Hunclay’s spellbook collection but is outbid by the Kalistocrats. Clausyre storms out of the amphitheatre with several choice words directed towards the audience after his failed bid for the observatory lot with an ominous announcement: “Very well! I must deliver this bad news to my employer immediately, and inform him of the duplicity of those involved in this affair. I bid you good day!”

Dusk begins to fall on the amphitheatre when the last lot is finally announced: the wizard’s manor home and land. As the bidding starts, Hammy notices a strange shadow pass over the east side of the amphitheatre. Moments later, mayhem erupts. Four lanky, grey-fleshed, batlike humanoids with long tails swoop onto the stage, brandishing daggers of some strange, glass-like material. The townfolk panic, scrambling in a chaotic rush to escape the amphitheatre as the fearsome bat-things advance toward them with unnerving grace.

Session 10 XP
Session 10 Treasure

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Session 9 - Hunclay's Secret Cave

6 Rova, 4714 AR

Hamish, Bat, and Emraeal head north out of town and seek Hunclay’s hidden cave early in the morning, keen to find out what kinds of secrets Balthus Hunclay might be hiding, and intending to fulfill their promise to release the shae from her prison.

The group travels on the Devy Road for a couple of miles. The terrain becomes increasingly barren, the forest giving way to granite outcroppings, grasses and hardscrabble. The road, however, is well maintained and the trip is relatively pleasant. At a certain point they leave the road and head west into the rough terrain, and it’s not long before they find Hunclay’s cave concealed at the base of a bluff, the entrance partially underwater at the far end of a shallow pond. There are two bodies near the pond; both appear to have been scavenged by animals. As the group descends to investigate, Emraeal’s wolf companion begins growling, warning them of some impending trouble. Three wolves – two pack members led by a huge, imposing specimen, come upon the group from the rear. The dire wolf leader is highly aggressive, and the small pack moves in for the kill! Emraeal hangs back, firing arrows at the pack and keeping her wolf companion from entering the fray. Hamish charges in, taking on the dire wolf directly, while Bat darts around the battlefield, casting hexes and harrying the wolves from afar. The pack eventually falls, and the group explores Hunclay’s cave.

The bodies near the pond appear fairly recent. Their meager possessions suggest that they are Hunclay’s other two servants who escaped the house after the tower’s collapse. The cave itself is partially flooded, and consists of only a few chambers. The trio encounters a horrifying servant of Hunclay’s in the third (and driest) cave chamber – an undead crab-like creature with a gaping, lamprey mouth, twitching eyes located on its legs, and several oozing blisters on its back that appear to hold rotting humanoid brains. Ham, Bat and Emraeal are all momentarily gripped by fear as the thing levitates towards them, but manage to shake it off and fight Hunclay’s last guardian. They defeat the creature, and take some time to properly catalogue the wizard’s most prized possessions. Amongst the gold and jewels, the group finds several doses of the dust of darkness required to free the shae from her light prison. In addition, they find a number of rare books, the most curious of which is a rather large, incomplete tome written in ancient Aklo. Ham, luckily, is fluent in the language, and makes a cursory scan of the book. Titled Secrets of the Dreaming Dark., the few pages Ham reads through describe troubling passages on alien worlds, formulae for summoning denizens of a realm called the Dark Tapestry, methods of contacting agents of a mysterious network called the Dominion of the Black, and other unmentionable terrors. Ham finds his head spinning after several minutes of perusing the work and suddenly feels a great need to get out of the cave and in the fresh air. It is some time before the warrior is able to speak to his comrades.

Session 9 Treasure
Session 9 XP

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Session 8: The Wizard's Estate, part 2

5 Rova, 4714 AR

The gang continue to explore Hunclay’s house, including the observatory, where they meet a crafty homunculus in the wizard’s observatory who attempts, unsuccessfully, to trick them into sitting on the trapped seat of the room’s enormous telescope, and the extensive cellars beneath the house. There, Bat, Ham, and Emraeal uncover evidence of Balthus Hunclay’s dark hobbies. In one laboratory the group rescues one of Hunclay’s test subjects – an emaciated and near dead wolf. Emraeal soothes the creature and releases her from her cage. The wolf seems uncharacteristically taken with the elf, and stays close by her side for the rest of the group’s delve.

Deeper still in cellars, the group discovers Balthus Hunclay’s most diabolical explorations – demon summoning, devil binding, and sinister research into the Dark Tapestry. Several of Hunclay’s summoned and conjured servants remain trapped in the cellars, bound by runes and salt pentacles. They kill one of the creatures, a goat-headed schir demon, and send the other, a childlike blasphemy called a zebub devil (a kind of plump infant conjoined with the features of a bloated fly) back to Hell.

After sending the zebub devil back to Hell, the group discovers Hunclay’s summoning journal and takes some time to review his research. His journal contains extensive notes on the appearances and behaviour of the outsiders he’s conjured, and the services he secured from them. Most were conjured purely for questioning. Only the schir, the zebub, and something called a shae were kept for any length of time. The journal describes that he conjured the schir to be his bodyguard on a visit to meet someone named “Barlau”, and that he conjured the shae because he believed, erroneously, that she might know something about the so-called Dark Tapestry.

The other creatures summoned run the gamut from devil to demon, azata to archon. The topics of Hunclay’s research vary from the creation of constructs and homunculi, investigations into Belhaim’s history, and discussions of various magic items and spells, but far and away the most common topic is the Dark Tapestry. Time and time again, the notes mention a failed conjuration of a “representative of the Dominion of the Black.” Hunclay conjured it only to have to kill it when it attacked him. The notes show that this took place in “my secret cave,” a mile north of Belhaim.

Behind a magical wall of light the group finds one final prisoner of Hunclay’s – a strange creature that appears as a humanoid shape made of amorphous shadow. The shadow-woman calls herself Maffei, and says she is a shae, a resident of the Plane of Shadow. Although the group, particularly Emraeal, is suspicious, Maffei insists she bears them no ill will and asks to be released from her outrageous imprisonment, claiming the wizard Hunclay summoned her unjustly from her home plane, tearing her unbidden into this realm. She claims that she cannot pass through the wall of light, that it has already weakened her considerably, and asks that the group find some way to dispel the magic. She knows that Hunclay kept a stash of magical dust of darkness in his secret cave – a fact he took great joy taunting her with. She promises to help them in any way she can if released.

Session 8 Treasure
Session 8 XP

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Session 7: The Wizard's Estate, part 1

2 Rova, 4714 AR

The trio reports back to Baroness Origena, who, although displeased that kobolds remain at the quarry, nonetheless errs on the side of the group’s judgement for now.

Upon receiving their payment, Origena has another request for Hamish, Emraeal, and Bat. She indicates that a distant relative of the wizard Balthus Hunclay has a legitimate claim to his estate. Origena asks the group to explore the house and neutralize any traps still existing within it so that its contents may be catalogued. In addition to paying the group handsomely to explore the house (3,750 gp, to be exact), she plans to auction off Hunclay’s estate sometime following, and promises to pay half on any bids the group makes. Hamish, Emraeal, and Bat agree to look into the house once they rest, and head back to Talia’s inn, the Wise Piper.

3 to 5 Rova, 4714 AR

The trio spend some time around town on the 3rd of Rova, speaking to Bassy the gnome and Gregol Lenton, the local stonemason who constructed Hunclay’s house. The next day the group ventures into the house, dealing with several traps and obstacles as they map and catalogue the place. They find a servant of Hunclay’s barricaded in a small bedroom/linen closet, tired, hungry, and shaking. Once he realizes that he isn’t going to be killed, he introduces himself as Mathezic. Emraeal and Hamish calm Mathezic down and give him some food, and the terrified servant manages to respond to the group’s questions. He admits that his master Hunclay was employing the Blood Vow kobolds to undermine the foundations of the Witch Tower, and that the wizard had contact with many unsavoury parties for his research, which Mathezic believes “had to do with the stars.”

Mathezic says that he and Hunclay’s other two servants, Linus and Saba, were forbidden to enter many areas of the tower, but he does warn the group about several trapped areas. Of Linus and Saba he has not heard, but does eventually admit that if they escaped the house they likely headed north. Hunclay had a secret cave a couple of miles north off of the Devy Road – he suggests Linus and Saba probably went there to loot whatever riches Hunclay hid at the place. Exhausted, he begs the group to let him go; he wants nothing more that to gather his belongings and leave for Faldamont, his home town.

Following their encounter with Mathezic, the trio continues to explore the house. They find many interesting materials upstairs in Hunclay’s bedroom and study, where Bat is nearly killed by a cleverly hidden poison needle trap. After heading back into town for rest and healing at the Shrine of Seven Roses (dedicated to the goddess Shelyn), they venture back into the house. They are attacked by a summoned bear trap in Hunclay’s bedroom. After defeating the trap Bat finds a scrap of paper on the wizard’s nightstand. The paper appears to be a mundane, if bawdy, limerick of some sort, but Bat detects a lingering magic on the paper. Speaking the word “Dominion”, noticed in one of Hunclay’s spellbooks discovered earlier, the page’s words change, and outline a list of sorts. There are five items on the list, as follows:

- Conjure accuser devil re. disguising text of Secrets of the Dreaming Dark (scratched out)
- Animate Dominion remains re. guardian for cave (scratched out)
- Repair hinges of secret door in clockwork lab
- Attempt second contact with Dominion via book’s ritual before loan to A.
- Confirm demolition date with A’s kobolds

Session 7 Treasure
Session 7 XP

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Session 6: The Blood Vow Kobolds, Part 3

2 Rova, 4714 AR

Bat, Hammy, and Emraeal, with their unlikely ally Nighttail the Glib, venture to the third and deepest level of the Blood Vow kobold warren. They fight their way through the tribe’s new priestess of Vapula (a red-skinned kobold clearly unrelated to the green-skinned Blood Vow tribe) and her retinue of human skeletons. After defeating the cleric, Nighttail heads down a side corridor in the hopes of securing the aid of the kobolds in the so-called Cave of the Future – the Blood Vow’s hatchery.

The Belhaim trio carries on and finally faces down the sorcerer Chief Roaghaz. Roaghaz and his four kobold guards put up a good fight; Roaghaz exerts some control over the battlefield with his spells, using web to keep Emraeal and Bat at a distance and mirror image to vex Ham’s physical attacks. Nighttail lends some much-needed assistance near the end of the battle. Bat and Emraeal manage to fight their way out of Roaghaz’s entangling webs and decimate his bodyguards while Ham strikes down one after another of the chief’s mirror images. Finally, the Blood Vow chief falls, marking the end of his rule. The group negotiates with Nighttail before leaving the cramped warren and heading back to Belhaim with news of the tribe’s fall (or at least change in leadership). They know they will have some convincing to do if Lady Origena is to accept the truce with Nighttail the Glib.

Session 6 Treasure
Session 6 XP

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Session 5: The Blood Vow Kobolds, Part 2

2 Rova, 4714 AR

Ham, Emraeal, and Bat, with Nighttail and Hak close behind, head deeper into the kobold warren. They battle their way past two kobolds and their trained snapping turtles before coming across an aged kobold laying on a filthy pallet. The kobold’s green scales are dull, his eyes shut tight, his breath ragged and short. As the group moves closer, his eyes flutter open to reveal milky, blind orbs. In a raspy voice, he speaks:

“I can tell by your scent that you are strangers here. If my nose tells the truth, you bring the destruction I foretold. Good…good. I had hoped to see our ruin before journeying to the afterworld, but I will settle for hearing it. Beware the great scaly beast, strangers. He seems to speak reason, but his words are poison. And his bats, the ones he calls from the darkness… they are harbingers of lunacy and chaos. Dread Lord Aeteperax will surely be your doom as he has been ours.”

As if the act of speaking was too much, after delivering this cryptic and ominous message the aged kobold dies. Batdonlok removes a small phylactery from around the kobold’s brow – a phylactery of faithfulness – suggesting the kobold was perhaps a priest or shaman of the Blood Vow tribe.

Moving on, the group is ambushed by six kobolds as they attempt to cross a shallow chasm by a dubious stone ridge. After dealing with their ambushers, the group finds a narrow shaft leading down, to the next cramped level of the Blood Vow warren.

Session 5 Treasure
Session 5 XP

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Session 4: The Blood Vow Kobolds, Part I

2 Rova, 4714 AR

  • Ham, Bat, and Emraeal take the southern tunnel into the kobold lair. The tunnel quickly becomes cramped and low, forcing Ham and Emraeal to crouch. There is no light in the tunnel, and the air reaks of a nauseating mixture of refuse, excrement, and reptile musk.
  • The group advances deeper into the warren. Ham and Bat fall prey to one of the kobolds’ traps and fall 20 feet into a dark pit. With help from Emraeal the pair climbs out of the pit just in time to face a gang of six to eight kobolds advancing upon them from behind. The kobolds have no problem manouevring in the tight quarters, climbing over one another to stab with their spears and fire shots from their slings. Ham has trouble swinging his axe in the tunnels, but manages to cleave through several of the kobolds. Emraeal drops a number with her arrows, and Bat sends currents of fear through the kobold ranks with his witch hexes.
  • After defeating the first wave of attackers, the group finds the kobold prisoner NIghttail the Glib. After interrogating Nighttail they determine that she may be a useful ally. The kobold ranger expresses her distaste for the current leader of the tribe, Chief Roaghaz, and his dangerous plan to ally with the human wizard Balthus Hunclay. She insists that if she is freed she will help defeat Roaghaz and take control of the tribe upon his death, vowing to leave the citizens of Belhaim in peace. Ham, Bat, and Emraeal (reluctantly, on the elf’s part) release Nighttail and help her retrieve her animal companion – a small dinosaur the kobold calls Hak – before moving on.
  • With information from Nighttail, the group explores the northern portion of the complex and rescues the three human prisoners being held there, including Bophre Malak of the Malak farmstead, and a married couple – two traveling peddlers of religious icons who were captured by the kobolds two months ago. The three slaves are responsive but have clearly suffered under the kobolds. Ham, Bat, and Emraeal get them out of the caves and on their way to Belhaim. With Nighttail the Glib in tow, the group returns to the warren and heads east, intent on finding Chief Roaghaz.

Session 4 XP

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Session 3: About Town

31 Arodus to 2 Rova, 4714 AR

  • Ham, Bat, and Emraeal deliver Sesserak to the authorities and collect their reward from the baroness Lady Origena Bevy. Origena expresses grave concern over the activities of the kobolds, and Hunclay’s involvement with the tribe. She asks the trio to meet with her the following morning to discuss matters further.
  • The group spends the next two days getting to know Belhaim locals, meeting several at the Wise Piper Inn and others walking about town. They receive generally friendly responses from several folks – Caspar Tymek, owner of Tymek’s General Store; Talia Orem, proprieter of the Wise Piper Inn; Emarthine Willoway, the only elven resident of Belhaim and caretaker of Willoway apple orchard; and “Big Bull” Baccus, Belhaim’s half-orc blacksmith. Others are less friendly – the ranger Eudomas Biton, owner of the Biton Lodge, is particularly crass towards the group, although Ham learns that the ranger’s frustration at his lack of success in dealing with the Abrassus’ ranch wolf problem may have something to do with his crabby behaviour.
  • The group learns quite a bit from speaking with the locals:
    - Isadorer Malak of Malak farm begs the trio to look for her daughter Bophre, missing for three months now, possibly at the hands of the Blood Vow kobold tribe.
    - They learn that two local druids, the married couple Azmur and Rima Kell, have also been missing. The Kell’s were expected back in Belhaim two months ago after travelling to a druid moot, but have not been seen.
    - They discover that there are three distinct factions within the town, drawn loosely on religious lines. Those who follow Abadar, god of cities, wealth, merchants, and law, hope to see Belhaim become a hub for trade and export once again, and frequently come into conflict with the Shelynites. Followers of Shelyn, goddess of beauty, art, love, and music, like Belhaim as it is – a cozy town that doesn’t see much action. They see the Abadarans as greedy opportunists who don’t take the time to enjoy life. Finally, the followers of the Green Faith, an ancient nature-based faith not beholden to a particular deity, are generally hard working, patient folk that tend to get easily frustrated by the political antics of the Abadarans and Shelynites.
  • The group meets with Lady Origena Bevy and Belhaim’s longest living resident, the over 400 year-old gnome Bassy, late in the morning of the 1st of Rova at Origena’s estate. The baroness, a handsome and shrewd woman of middle age, again thanks the group for their assistance. She confesses that Hunclay has long desired to tear down the Witch Tower, something she has always resisted as her late husband met his end on an ill-fated expedition into the tower years ago. She describes Hunclay as an extremely reclusive man with a strong interest in the stars – he wished to take down the Witch Tower to remove the obstruction from his view of the heavens. Lady Origena indicates that the Blood Vow kobold tribe has lived in the old flooded quarry east of town for some time, but that apart from the occasional stolen livestock they have caused little trouble for the town. This recent incursion into Belhaim causing the death of one of its citizens, despite the general dislike for Hunclay, is most concerning. She asks if the group would be willing to investigate the Blood Vow tribe for her, and convince them to relocate using whatever means necessary, for a payment of course. Ham, Bat, and Emraeal agree to deal with the kobolds. Emraeal is particularly eager due to her long-standing feud with kobolds.
  • The group received various bits of information on Belhaim’s history from other residents, but it is from Bassy the gnome, Belhaim’s resident historian, that they learn much more. See Belhaim’s History.
  • On the morning of the 2nd of Rova, the group interrogates Sesserak the kobold for more information on the Blood Vow tribe. Sesserak divulges that there is some schism within the tribe among those who support Chief Roaghaz and those who do not. Sesserak indicates that Roaghaz claims to be in contact with a being called Aeteperax (the same name as the ancient black dragon killed by Tula Belhaim (see Belhaim’s History) over 1,000 years ago. Several members of the tribe, most notably a kobold called Nighttail the Glib, believe Roaghaz is either delusional or getting into dangerous dealings with this so-called Aeteperax, and resist his rule. Sesserak suggests finding Nighttail the Glib might work to their advantage. They leave Belhaim after interrogating the kobold and make the short half-mile trek east to the flooded quarry that is the site of the Blood Vow lair. There they have a short exchange of arrows and skirmish with six kobolds guarding the entrance to the lair. They kill five of the kobolds, but one manages to escape, wounded, into the cave complex. Ham, Bat, and Emraeal prepare to enter the cramped caves in pursuit.

Session 3 Treasure
Session 3 XP

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