After a day of walking down sources, the characters find out that Smiley was from Holth Keep, the settlement that stands outside of the walls of the fortress with the same name. They undertake a short journey there by hiring a coach to drive them there, but only found a carter who was transporting some flour to a baker in Holth Keep Village.
The arrived to find that their carter is friends with the innkeep of the Highstone, a local alehouse with common rooms for travellers. Requiring no convincing the characters began to refresh themselves on the beer and cheese brought to them by the innkeep, who looked as though he could be the brother of the carter. Through the purchase of numerous horns of ale, and hours of rubbing elbows, they were able to discover that Smiley had been known to a be local troublemaker, but had also been seen coming out of the sallyport of the keep by a man named Little Schmaels who worked as a retainer for the Marshal of the keep. He informed them that the Bailiff, Guldron Venn, would sometimes offer silver in payment for “sneaking about, and bringing him the knowings of the town.”
They decided that the next day they would attempt to get an audience with the Bailiff.
After arriving at the Keep bastion at midmorning, the characters were allowed entrance into the keep courtyard, where merchants were selling goods to the grocer and some of the cooks. They logged their names with the clerk and asked to be seen by the Bailiff. About that time they ran into their friend from the tavern, Little Schmaels, who told the clerk he would see these travelers to the Bailiff.
The Bailiff met with the characters as he walked toward the main keep house, hardly looking at them as he spoke. Kelton told the Bailiff that he was looking to find out who Smiley had been, and the Bailiff told them that he simply did not trust or know them enough to talk to them about a former retainer that he may or may not have hired. He did, however, note that Schmaels had referred to them as swordsmen, and offered them a task of ridding the road of bandits that had been seen of late between Holth Keep and a riverside village called Maytree. They agreed and told the Bailiff they would come back once they had completed the task.
The characters made their way toward Maytree the following day, shadowing a merchant who used a cart and a wagon to move goods to Maytree along the river road and the thick forests that grew along the banks of the Dunarin River. By late afternoon they had come to a place where the woods grew deep and the road turned often leaving blind curves and bends. The characters began to feel as if things were too quiet save for the wagon and horses, and Darnath dropped back to make sure that they had an ace in the hole should any trouble arise.
The wagon came to a halt, the drays pulling it suddenly spooked at the sight of two men in the middle of the road with crossbows. The two men were actually older boys, with several younger boys in positions off to the sides of the wagon. The wagon was being ambushed by kids.
Kelton would brook no weapon be used against children, and told the driver to be still. The oldest boy was emboldened by this, and demanded that the driver get down and surrender the wagon to them. One of the younger boys then accidentally pulled the trigger on his crossbow, and shot a bolt into the beam on which the driver's seat was mounted. The driver panicked and whipped the horses while the boys put darts into the sides of the wagon and its sacks of grain.
The parents of the kids arrived thereafter and continued the robbery that their children had initiated. The apparent leader of the bandits, a man in old guardsman's tabard torn from brambles and hard living in the woods. Having some pity on the family band, and finding out that they were displaced men who had fled the siege of Indroth when Holth invaded, the characters gave them two sacks of grain and a small barrel of wine. The bandit leader pledged his gratitude, and the characters went on to Maytree.
In the small farming hamlet of Maytree the characters slaked their thirst at a tavern which had no name but served excellent heady beer. There they were somewhat entertained by a rather lewd old fellow who made eyes at Dela, and asked the characters questions about the goings on in Riverstone. As night deepened they slept upon the floor in the tavern, and Darnath, who held the stone they had rescued form the cultists, had a night of terrible fevered dreams. Feeling that this stone must somehow be tainted, the next day they inquired as to the presence of a priest or ritualist in town, and were directed to the lay priest who lived in a small dwelling near the top of town. There they met the old man who had leered at their companion in the tavern the previous night. He inscribed symbols upon the doeskin pouch that Darnaf used to carry the stone, and told them that they would be safe from any emanations of the stone. He also told them that they should be careful who they allow to know abut such a thing, for he felt that it was an evil trinket.
The characters then set out once again for Holth Keep, having given the merchant money for the lost grain and wine, but having gained potential allies of the bandits. They resolved to return to the bailiff of Holth Keep and tell him that they had not encountered the bandits.
Last edited by Icefield
on Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
Dithering will only serve to waste your Action Points...