Date: 4-7 Numont 1000
Location: Threshold, Karameikos
While Lily, Cale, and Brutus were spending the 3rd day of Numont trying to finish clearing out Castle Caldwell, Aelar (the Dark Elf Rogue), Obsidian (the Dwarven Paladin), Evra (the Half-Elf Cleric), Ivor (the Half-Orc Barbarian), and Anore (the Elven Ranger) were taking care of some errands in town.
Aelar found himself a used Sabre for a good deal, Obsidian took a chance on a warhammer – and made out on the deal, gaining a hammer of masterwork quality (meta: +1 to attack only) for merely 100GP! Ivor commissioned a custom axe, to be completed in about a week for a deposit and unspecified price.
Evra spent the day researching at the library, and then slinking around town trying to get a line on the local thieves’ guild. He bravely (foolishly?) approached what appeared to be a higher-level member of the local chapter of guild by attempting to tail him through an alley, and then blackmailing & deceiving him into selling some lockpicks. Finally, the party reconvenes to go over what they’ve learned and done, and to talk to Obsidian about their suspicion that he will be able to activate the statue they found.
The party, consisting of Brutus, Evra, Cale, Ivor, Obsidion, Anore, and Aelar, travel back to Caldwell’s Castle. Upon arrival, the moment that Obsidian entered the room containing the statue of a shepherd, the it activated and responded with “Greetings, how may I help you?”. After posing it two questions, they learn that the statue will answer truthfully three questions daily, and with the third only learned that none of them have the ability to open the magically locked door. They spent the afternoon debating the questions they should ask the following day and spent the night in the now seemingly empty castle.
On 5th Numont, the party began by talking to the statue. Obsidian first asked if the statue will open the door for them. The statue is unable to do so, and says as much. His second question proved to be the most helpful question asked – “Where do we find a person able to open the magically locked door?” The statue’s response, while not exactly as direct as the party would have liked, points them back to the owner of the castle as one who could source someone powerful enough to unlock the door. They then attempted to get a sneak preview of what’s behind the door, but the statue’s answer leaves much to be desired – “Magic, a door, and some dust.”
The party then decided to split up – Brutus, Anore, Evra, and Aelar stay in the keep. Cale, Obsidian, and Ivor head back to town to speak with Clifton Caldwell. Upon hearing the news of the door, he immediately sent a messenger to Specularum to call for a wizard to break the magical warding on the door. They return by the end of the evening to rest of the party at the castle, inform them of the delay that is expected.
On the morning of the 7th Numont, the party first tried one last time (unsuccessfully) to gain more information from the stature, returned to town and decided to busy themselves while they waited for Clifton’s contact to return from Specularum.
From a poster found at the Shady Dragon Inn, they approached the captain of the town guard to take an “eviction” job at the Old Mill in Threshold. It seems to have been overrun with rats and spiders, and the city is offering 350 Crowns (gold) to clear it out so that it can be rehabilitated and put back into service. The party agreed and set off for the mill.
The first floor of the Mill contained a few spiders, a family of giant rats that were living on the old contents of the Mill, and a decomposing corpse. Afraid of the spiders, Brutus hung back and watched the ensuing battle from under a nearby tree. During the battle, he was doing some soul-searching, communing with nature, and receiving some guidance from his ancestors. He steeled himself for what may come next, and entered the Mill as the party felled the last of the unwanted guests.
Afterward, they took some time to look around, and check out the corpse. It appeared that the body was that of one of the men that had previously attempted and failed to take care of the infestation, but had nothing on him but a signet ring and a few coins.
Should they rest or continue through a closed door in the floor leading downstairs? They ultimately decided that with just a short rest they could handle whatever may be lurking below. While Cale and the group meditated and rested, Evra took some time to investigate a small hole near the base of a tree outside of the tree he noticed earlier.
They made their way downstairs but this time with Brutus in the lead! He gets bit, and these spiders, being more mature than the ones on the upper level of the Mill, have poison… Brutus barely survives the initial attack of the spiders, nearly dying, and even though he was terrified he overcame his fear to cast a spell while invoking his grandfather’s druidic spirit. The spell engulfs the spider in ghostly flames. The battle is fraught with peril, and even though Obsidian had begun feeling ill during the initial battle, he ran in and joined the fray. Ivor became enraged, and even though he was caught in a spider’s sticky web blast he broke free and put some of them down. While they had to deal with a spider that nearly got away, Anore was able to locate it and slice it up. Battered, but alive, the party regrouped took some time to assess the situation and their surroundings. Another decomposing corpse and a small chest are in the room. The corpse, other than a small amount of coin, also had a signet ring of the same design of the other corpse.
In the chest they also find a note which reads:
The new millennium will see the Black Buzzards once more running the world! The keep east of town will again be our stronghold for the northern wilds in the Duchy of Karameikos. Seek out Baron Ludwig von Hendriks for reinforcements when you establish yourself at the keep.
They discuss the note. Brutus has been convinced by this note that there is the work of a cult at play, he and Evra hung onto the signet rings to do some more research about them, and the party retired back to the Shady Dragon Inn looking worse for wear, but alive.
DM Note — This was a particularly long session (nearly 6 hours!), and as such a lengthy and delayed write-up! The guys hung in there like champs; there were a couple times we could have called it for the evening, but everyone called to continue, and so we did!