On the Road to Hawkmoon
After solving the murder of the mage, we are showered with gifts and hailed as heroes. Well the gifts are free food and drink, but it is a glories time had by all! Jarthar does table dancing and gets drunk on Dwarven Spirits, until he eventually falls off the table and is carried upstairs by Lor to our room. It is a night to remember and it is even better for some of us. Wink wink!
The next day, not long after lunch, we leave the Darkstar Inn waving a tearful goodbye to our new friends for they will surely miss us, we begin the journey to the city of Hawkmoon. Jarthar is ‘under the weather’ even at this late stage of the day but he follows along for we are indeed in good spirits!
After about an hour of travelling at a slightly faster pace above crawling (poor Jarthar) we hear strange noises, pieces of conversation coming from behind the trees off the main road. Strange but we investigate anyway (for are we not heroes?) but we (I) am heard and from out of the trees come 4 humans that could really do with a bath let me just say! There is no time for a ‘How do you do’ for these fool attack us!
I sing and insult my attacker – ‘did your mother put your nappy on or was it one of your lovers with you?’ I hit and he falls to the ground – though he did hit me for a little damage.
The battle is ferocious and as I stand over my opponent the ‘others’ in our group seem to be having some trouble. Between throwing up, Jarthar deals with two of them but then we see the real mastermind behind the attack! A pox ridden Elf comes out and charges!
I let the insults fly and sing my songs of attack ‘You like humans Mr Elf? Your kinky friends are dying so no more ‘favours’ from them. Hazzar!’
My taunts are a bit too successful and the large elf charges and knocks me to the ground. But it is not for long for I am healed by Hith and I am able to get back up again. Ha ha!
I stand and swing my sword by miss… Hith and Kesrick hit and Jarthar casts a spell and hits! I strike the elf down and stab my sword into him and collapse from the wounds I received protecting my compatriots. Hith quickly heals me of course for it is the least he can do. The bodies are quickly searched and we find…
A reward notice for a missing jewel on the Elf and then a sack and inside is a gem the likes we have never seen before! Could this be the King’s Tear the reward scroll mentions. Seems we had just killed the thief (real name Aniece) and his cohorts in crime. Ah a good day to be a hero. The rare gem will fetch us 200 gold in Hawkmoon – most excellent.
At the end of this encounter meet Luken, an Eldarin (it’s a frigging convention of tree loving hippies!) and he explains he was looking for the King’s Tear gem. We decide that we will work together and stay as a group and head to Hawkmoon to collect the reward.
After travelling for about 30 minutes I spot a wagon hidden down a track and Kesrick investigates and then calls us over. It is Draven wagon and he lies dead on the ground. Poor Draven… the boxes and the big metal monstrosity thing are missing! We check the area and discover that he has been covered in some kind of oil (toxic acid from a creature) we get almost two vials of the foul stuff – I assist Jarthar with my brew potions ability to get that. Luken says the creature was an Ankheg while Hith finds a diary on Draken, which he rightly gives it to me for safe keeping.
Hith looks around and finds the tracks and it is easy to see what direction the assailants have gone in and it is NOT towards Hawkmoon (interesting). We send Hith and Kesrick out a head to scout. Hith finds the trail easy to follow and soon comes across kobold shit (gross and how does he know?). The kobolds are probably working for someone which means this ‘leader’ may \ is not with them.
We travel for another 30 minutes and come across another side path. This path is going down into a valley and as we get close to the edge, we look down and see a meadow with kobolds. One of them where robes… a shaman perhaps. The plan of attack is quickly worked out and spells are cast! Jarthar casts ‘sleep’ and is aiming for the shaman (and those close to him) and hits, while Luken casts a elemental blot (very nice) and I fire my crossbow – we all hit or targets! The guard on our side falls. Kesrick fires his longbow at the shaman but missed. Battle is joined!
Kesick shots once again (nice shot!) and another kobold falls, while Jarthar cast Magic Missile drops another. Hith charges forward and another kobold falls and Luken hits and kills another with his elemental bolt. I fire my crossbow and hit the robed shaman figure. The shaman kobold pulls out a wand, aims at Hith (not good) and misses (very good). The kobold then falls to the ground and then jumps back up, and moves to his left – what a strange little fellow but then that was my doing. Kesrick and Jarthar attack from range and the kobold falls to the ground dead… Victory once more!
The last kobold standing, a guard that was on the other side of the meadow, is hit by Luken’s elemental blast and is knocked flying through the air. Hith steps in and hits and then I fire my crossbow take him down.
Loot time again – well it started badly with nothing but rubbish on most of the kobolds, but the Shaman had four vials (3 busted), a wand, that I take, and a dagger. There are also sacks of gold (40 each) my friends! The machine which is for making wax figures of some kind – Luken says there is a famous wax maker called Fellspar in Hawkmoon (I have heard the name before and he might be connected to Lucien – 20 years ago they knew each other). We decide to send Kesrick and Jarthar back to get the wagon and once they have returned we put the wax machine back on the wagon (with Draven’s and the shaman kobolds bodies) and set off again towards the city. Draven was met by someone who back stabbed him and probably did not want the item delivered. We look at the diary and it says there is a payment of 300 gold to come – Draven also thought we were saps and paid us off to get rid of us. Now who is the sap!
We continue towards the city and finally arrive at the river and cross. Just before entering we talked about a cunning plan to infiltrate the city but it is deemed a waste of time. At the gates we talk to the guards; they are very polite and civil for guards and we realise there was no need for a ‘cunning plan’. The council of the city want travellers to come to Hawkmoon and SPEND money! Jarthar asks about ‘games of chance’ and is surprised (like most of us) that there really is not much in the way of ‘gambling’ in the city. There are three places that are pointed out to us; the Craven Raven which is now a rundown inn (Jarthar and I are definitely thinking the same thing when we look at that place. It shall be mine!), the Stone Wyvern which we find out is to the west of the marketplace, and the Laughing Manticore on the east side of the market square. For his find information, Jarthar gives Garen the Guard a gold! DAMN!
We find out that these two places are really little more bars but we drive off and start to make our way through the market place. Here we see the statue of a female dwarf – rumour has it was here before the city. Luken and I notice that a kid has taken note of us as we rode through the gates and into the market. Eventually we arrive at the house \ business of Fellspar the Wax Worker – it is a large building, very well to do and we are greeted by Rissvan the Gateman.
We tell him what has occurred and he is not surprised Draven’s life ended the way it did – he was a greedy bastard! We take the wagon around to the back of the building and get paid once more! Another 60 gold each. All in a day’s work for heroes like us. We ask ‘How do you make money’ and Rissvan says that Fellspar was an adventurer and travelled with Lucien (who was in charge of the mission he was on). The raided a tomb and made a LOT of gold, but there were only 5 survivors out of 12. Oh Snap… we explain about the King’s Tear and the reward and he say you can collect the reward for Aniece, not a liked fellow it seems around town, at the Axe and Haft Security building located near the Stone Wyvern Inn. It seems this Axe and Haft is part of the police force.
We had back to the market place and see a few shops of note – a smithy – a weapon shop ‘Shanks and Shivs’ – another called ‘Red Magic and Sundries’ and right next to is a ‘Gems are us’ shop. Jarthar talks to the guards out front of the gem shop and mentions Garen – it seems these two think Garen was supposed to relieve them so instead the two leave to go have a drink. With the guards gone we march inside the gem shop giving the owner a bit of a surprise. We explain that we have come for the reward – I hold out the reward poster. The ‘owner’ surprises us and drops some kind of illusion? I am unsure myself but he is not even human!
We barter with him and describe the terrible death of our friend and the widow and children he has left behind. Oh the pain – oh the drama of the situation! We manage to get the 200 gold put he tells us to go next door to the magic shop and say ‘Red Way’ to see if we like what else he has to offer. Eventually we agree and go next door to the magic shop, ‘Red Magic and Sundries’.
We say the code word – Red way – and we get a very cool reward – seems we can choose a magical item (damn now that is a favour to owe!) The owner Jessop, is in reality an artificer – I am impressed. I show him the wand and he says it was made by a Kobold!?! He is shocked by this it seems and he calls the wand an Animus Rod. He is very interested in the kobolds body – his speciality is potions of flame. We show him the toxin we have and he says it will eat away the container it is in eventually and then split out on to the poor person carrying it! We trade one full vial for our two vials. We also find out that we HAVE to be careful and not cast spells. It is outlawed in the city unless you have permission or some kind of permit – DAMN!
We go back to the owner of the Gem shop and get paid another 40 gold each, and then we head off to the Axe and Haft to collect the rewards for Aniece and the band of Kobolds. We get 50 gold each for Aniece and his friends and tale about the kobolds that attacked the wagon near the crossroads. The Constabulary do not like the news we bring about the bandits being this close to the city. This is not good and the Mayor of Hawkmoon will be informed. He tells us that there are bandits to the west who are able to cover their tracks so well, that they have been no way of finding them. We also find out that there is a war going on at night between the thieves’ guild (run by Lucien) and an opposing guild so do not stay out at night as it is not safe. We get another 30 gold each for the kobold group.
Across the road from the Axe and Haft is the Stone Wyvern Inn \ bar – definitely more of a bar so we all feel right at home. As we enter we do see a rat, but it is not a Dire Rat. I move my money around so I do not jingle; one cannot be too careful – we rent out a room for three nights for the price of two – as I will be singing tomorrow night and performing for the masses. Such is my reputation! The barkeep also says that there is a ‘Lord Jax Demarcia’, a famous Bard, currently living in the city. Hmmm I will have to put on a great show as I am sure word of my arrival has reached his ears.
The alcohol here is watered down – a few people come in but business is really slow. We eat and then wait for the Inn to close, before having a chat. The sprite that Jarthar sent off to follow the kids that were watching eventually comes back and says that the human children went to the Laughing Manticore Inn – very, very interesting!
We also gather some information from the barkeep before he goes to bed. The magical passes some of us will need are 100 gold each and they are purchased from the Magical College. There are a number of taboo subjects in the city as well – thieves’ guild, magic and the Temple of Pelor. That one I do not get – Pelor is a good god! There are three temples in the temple district – Behamaut, Ioun and Selune.
Just as we are waiting for the owner to close up, a parchment is delivered mysteriously – thrown through the closing door of the bar and it is addressed to ‘The Heroes of the Darkstar Inn. Come to the Laughing Manticore tomorrow and tell the bartender the following code phrase:-
‘The bird who sings loudly, best beware the hunter’s attention’ – Signed ‘O’
The barkeep (what was his name?) says that The Laughing Manticore has ‘picked itself up’ in the last few months and it doing well again – who is it’s the backer? Is it a Lieutenant of Lucien or on the morrow are we going to meet the ones that are going against Lucien? We ponder this then head to bed ready for the next day. I must remember to finish reading Draven’s diary.