10th January 2010 Tl; dr: In a secret booby-trapped room of the recently deceased’s mansion, we find more evidence that Lord Damon was into dodgy stuff; a book on the Yuan-ti, a statues/construct thingy and a heap of armor emblazoned with the insignia of the Sun-King. Meanwhile the villagers get the wrong impression and are not happy with us slaughtering their “protectors” and looting their mushy bodies and using magic and everything else fun in the world. Scales gives them the “put up or shut up” angle, and makes himself Lord of Shadowshield. (Running tally of things Scales is “Lord” of = two) So Scales passes the book on to the village cleric so the good man can study it and communicate to the villagers this evidence that Damon was a dodgy dude who wanted a clay army of snakes. After many hilarious attempts to find Bree and Shalenior, we eventually track them (and their fragrant armour) down, and Taelden looks for a prestidigitation spell to remove tar and feathers from the poor buggers. Taelden also thwarts Arghblargh’s efforts to torch the village fields on the way back to the mansion Unbeknownst to the rest of the party, Scales has made off with a large quantity of currency, every useful item in the village not bolted down, and Aurin’s flaky kobold minion Graimwum. At least he left a note.. .“brb 2 weeks”. While the party sleeps, the village cleric is murdered, and Taelden backs up her magical evidence with tangible stuff the villagers can trust, leading them to believe that perhaps their mayor is the murderer. He is restrained and the party prepare for a trial… Meanwhile, Scales and Graimwum are leading the kobolds of the ruins to their new foresty home to the North. Graimwum poses as a high priest and inexplicably gets laid.
The Aftermath After slaying Lord Damon and his guards, Scales heads upstairs to search the rooms while the rest of the party downstairs is busy healing and looting the bodies (well, that’s a loose description…) of their foes. Scales finds a small locked room at the top of the stairs in which he finds an armoury containing weapons and armour bearing insignia (which Taelden will later identify as the insignia of the Sun King, who rules to the South East). He also finds a large chest, also emblazoned with the mark of the Sun King, containing 450g worth of silver. He neglects to inform the rest of the party about this chest, and promptly sets about hiding it on the roof.
While Scales is busy upstairs, the front doors of the mansion swing open to reveal a milling crowd of villagers. They are confronted with the grisly sight; magic users and those in league with them have slain Lord Damon (“protector of Shadowshield”) and are now looting and pillaging amongst the entrails and wreckage! Many villagers lose their breakfast, while a burly man introducing himself as Stanton Goodman lays on a hefty verbal assault. Aurin fails to soothe the meaty threat, so Scales steps in with a more intimidating proposition, succeeding to institute himself as the new Lord of Shadowshield.
When the villagers disperse, the party proceeds to thoroughly inspect the small armoury upstairs. Taelden makes good use of her extensive training in arcane, detecting an anomaly at the back of the room. Unfortunately she giddily gets ahead of herself, and accidentally locks the secret stone door. Scales throws ingenuity at the dilemma, first attempting access from the adjacent room, and then finally succeeding from the roof. He also succeeds at getting himself poisoned once he breaks into the room. Taelden impatiently bounds onto the roof and into the room, attempting to display Eladrin grace and getting herself electrocuted in the process.
Eventually she dusts herself off and floats above the electrified floor, pulls the lever that opens the secret door, and grabs the book found open on the rostrum (the one she failed to leap from). Taelden’s keen eyes also spot the chest Scales hid on the roof and but when she confronts him later he manages to convince her that electrocution can create false memories. Also in the secret room is a damaged statue/construct, which also sparked with electricity when the floor was buzzing. Coincidence? I think not…
Taelden performs Object Reading on book, gets 3 images: 1. Man who looks like Lord Damon about 10 years ago (late teens) taking book off shelf in large library 2. He’s reading book to green-hooded figures 3. Carrying book through ruins comparing writings
During this hour-long ritual, Scales hides the chest in the roof, out of sight. Aurin confronts Graimwum, who is jingling like a Morris dancer, and forces him to turn over the precious items he has looted: Diamond Cincture, Staff of the War Mage, Blood Drinker Bastard Sword and Mask of Slithering.
Aurin (who Taelden also alerted about the chest)then confronts Scales and is likewise charmed by Scales’ revelations of his troublesome history, and drops the whole chest issue in favour of this far more interesting story: Scales is the son of a powerful noble who was deposed of in a coup, so now he’s on the run from the dragonborn lands, and would likely be arrested if he were to return.
Once Taelden is done with the ritual and communicates her visions to the party, then Scales reads the book and tells us the following: History of the Yuan-ti No convenient codeword Some rituals in there, detailed creations of anathemas and abominations. Scales then takes the book to the local chapel (worships Palor) asks the cleric Geoffrey Hanson to read the book and communicate his findings to the village. Meanwhile Arghblargh and Aurin find our dishevelled horses and tend to them.
Taelden summons dwarves to help find Halfling and paladin, and gets them to hack a small hole in a hut before mad goose chase back to mansion. Taelden tracks the Halfling and Paladin out to the butcher’s place, where hollow threats are made before Taelden follows the tracks further to a tree where our tarred and feathered friends are found. She further tracks their armour to a large pile of manure. Arghblargh tries to set fire to the fields on the way back, but Taelden puts it out with acid. We all head back to the mansion for a bit of kip. While we were out of town/asleep, Scales and Graimwum set off with a wagon full of nearly every useful tool in the village, leaving a note on the door to say he’ll be back within a fortnight. They head to the ruins and Graimwum pretends to be a high priest and yet somehow gets laid. They spend days leading the kobolds to their new settlement, and should be back after a week.
The next morning we get two of the horses shod, and then head over to the chapel where we find the cleric stabbed to death roughly 14 hours prior, with green fabric threads in his fingernails and the book gone. Taelden reads the cleric’s shirt and recognises the Mayor as the murderer, but cannot reveal the magical evidence to the villagers because they don’t like magic much. So under the guise of alerting the mayor, the party heads to the bakery to see the mayor. Taelden sets up a trap designed to catch the mayor is he tries to flee, and Aurin very nearly springs this trap because he wasn’t paying attention to Taelden’s plan. Finally Aurin occupies the mayor with conversation in a corner of his bakery, leaving Arghblargh and Taelden free to search the bakery and adjoining house, where they find a ripped green hooded robe and a burnt book, showing both to the milling villagers. Pulling up the mayor’s sleeve reveals bruises consistent with Taelden’s visions, and the villagers are somewhat swayed that the mayor may be guilty of the murder. They still have no idea about the book though.
Distributed 2 barrels of flour, 1 barrel of nuts, 1 bolt of cotton, and all of the uncommon furs to the villagers in attempts to win them over. (Leaves us with dragon’s lair loot weight of 416 pounds and value of roughly 6795g)
Looks like we gotta have a trial for a week, and get this town back on their feet.
250 XP each Taelden = 9365 xp, Arghblargh = 9450 xp, Scales = ? xp, Aurin = 9250 xp, Bree = 9250 xp, Shally = 9250 xp.