Monday, January 7, 2013

Osric: The story so far (pt 2)

After the first dungeon expedition Jenks, Dan, Scabs, Chester and Renault (and the rescued Donna) all return to the village of Compliments from where Scabs came from. He has recently become the second in command of this village which is really just a bandit lair. On the way into town we encounter a wounded fighter named Terren who escaped an ambush. Healing him we find out that the bandits North of compliments are killers rather than extortionists....Renault looks particularly upset that Scabs has gotten involved in this. Jenks sends Terren off with some gold pieces and he tells us to look him up at the Shadowdeep (the nearest city) "splintered shield academy".

The group finds a campsite of bandits and Scabs sneaks forward to speak with them. They are a bit dubious about scabs claims of cleaning out the bandit lair that he was sent to fix (they were poaching compliments traffic). He returns to the group and we decide to thin out this group of idiotic bandits. A pyrotechics spell on the fire (a favorite technique of jenks) blinds the bandits for a few rounds allowing us to make serious inroads on balancing the numbers. We camp the evening and adopt the horses for the trip back.

The next day while in a forest we detect something flying and smashing into the ground a ways off the road. Scabs investigates and finds a gynosphinx who is hunting deer. She forces him to entertain him upon (implicit) threat of harm. He proceeds to do a gnomish dance. Jenks investigates after a while and speaks with the gynosphinx about his need for the gnome to come with him. Eventually the gynosphinx tires of the group and flies off to the north.

Closer to compliments the group hides out in a farm of a murdered village family. Scabs and Chester head into town and renew their knowledge of the town. At scabs townhouse a find meal is put on by Mrs. Garrity the house keeper. The ogre leader (forgot the name) is revealed to be somewhat cunning by placing the idiot bandits to the north in the hope they are killed by the rival gang (that we cleared out). Scabs notes that we did encounter some slain bandits. The conversation takes a worsening tone, but before a fight breaks out (the two bandit guards, terrence and phillip, are looking pretty grim about a fight breaking out before finishing the fantastic meal) everyone slumps to the table asleep. Mrs Garrity has taken exception to her fine meal being ruined, and blessed old Mr Scabs getting hurt.

Scabs, after chaining the ogre, fetches the group and we proceed to tie up the bandits and euthanize the ogre just as he's waking up. In the morning, we send out the pliant guards to spread word that Scabs is the new leader. Thinking quickly we head to the tavern and go to the ogres room just in time to find a bandit 'assembling his loot for you, your lordship'. A speech is made, and a christmas bonus handed out to help cement the loyalty of the remaining bandits.

Investigating the village of compliments wielded some interesting information:
1/. In the 2 floor manor house that scabs had adopted there was a basement for storage....and a secret door to a troll lair (based on keen gnome smelling). We decided we didn't really want to screw around with a troll so left it alone. After having left a blood bath in the dining room from the ogre, the characters were dining on lunch when the troll rolls upstairs spouting out about how he can smell the blood of his good friend the ogre. We are faced with a tough fight against a troll that seriously injures out fighters. Inside the troll lair we find a large sum of cash (the town treasury apparantly) as well as a secret passage way with a trap that leads to a tree near the manor house.

2/. In the temple, which has a lightning bolt blasted tree beside it (an omen of poor favor) it becomes quickly obvious that it is a temple to no one in particular. There are generic decorations and the few villagers who worship are only able to identify the temple is to honor 'the gods'. The priests study has a variety of goods on general religious information including a basic primer. A secret trapdoor is found beneath the flooring of the acolytes room which leads to a well appointed meeting room. Here we find more loot, as well as books on slavery and human trafficking and a map showing what we believe are locations of various bandit lairs in the area. Also a sketch book is found here showing pictures of the town as well as notable individuals. Once again a trapped secret tunnel is found (although this one is freshly dug) leading to the tree nearby.

At this point scabs comes clean that he didn't actually assassinate the previous leader of the village. He was going to....but it appears someone beat him to it. A man whom the local priest was on reasonably good terms with and met often....his picture figures in the sketch book. Feldrik, the priest, disappeared immediately around the time of the time the leader was killed.

3/. A man known only as 'the cannibal' lives in a one room hut. He had some agreement with the previous leader, and those who mess with him end up dead.  He appears fairly wildman, wearing only dirty britches and gnawing on a bone with meat on it, and has two hyena's as pets (killer and slaughter). We speak with him about what the deal was and it is merely to leave him alone. Renault takes exception with our plan to do just that....briefly considering we do think this man represents a threat. Jenks casts animal charm on his animals by espying into the hut from the outside. Immediately diving what has happened the cannibal goes hostile and reveals himself to be a were-hyena. Already hurt from the battle with the troll it's a fairly touch and go fight. Jenks is bitten and hopefully unaffected by a curse of lycanthrope. A search of the hut shows many copper pieces as well as the bodies of some humans and children.

The town has about 32 villagers in outlying farms and 14 bandits. We plan to convert the bandits depredations into a tolling system with 'insurance' for safe passage. We can turn compliments into a safe hostelry/caravanaservi to service the travel on this road. We face a problem of disruptive followers, as well as a lack of housing (the bandits stay in the tavern and in the farms of killed villagers) and no amenities. It is late fall/early winter and we have our work cut out for us. Jenks adopts the church and begins to transform it into a temple to the druidic faith and to teach worshipers how to live lightly on the land. He can also ensure there is proper waste disposal and a green belt around the town.

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