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.