The kind people of Muleshoe allowed the party to rest in a barn for a few days, healing with magic and time. It was a welcome respite as the Month the Snake brought chilling nights and the warning to let loose attachments. On the third day, a messenger rode from Slateholm by way of St. Orlan. He bore a parchment offering a job from an unnamed sage in Slateholm. The messenger warned about the journey–terrible monsters prowled the forests and the people of St. Orlan were gripped with a fever for witchburning. So dire was the risk, he planned to go on west rather than return to the port town.
Considering next steps, the party wondered how to cope with Azrak’s loss of armor. Being a small community, Muleshoe offered no armor for sale. The best option was to alter an existing suit to fit the dwarf. The lowly Mygnak refused to give up his armor. The resigned themselves to ride back to St. Orlan despite the messenger’s warning.
On the short ride, they met several migrants hauling minimal belongings in carts and on mules. They complained of the poor treatment in St. Orlan. “My wife’s half-elven,” explained one refugee, “and it wouldn’t be long before they burn her for being a witch.”
Approaching St. Orlan
The spires of St. Orlan’s tallest building in view, they stopped 500 yards short of a blockade on the road. Perhaps 20 warriors stood guard. After some debate, Aderian approached alone. Told to halt, he complied and then faced a simple test of faith. “Who is the one, true god” demanded the guard. Stumbling over his words, Aderian mumbled “the Anointed One” unconvincingly. He produced his glowing stone, arguing it proved his worthiness. Instantly, the guards judged him to be a witch and called for surrender.
Aderian placed his hands behind him and allowed leather straps to bind them. Two guards led him into the town square, stripped him of his belongings and placed him in stocks. Witnessing events from afar, Azrak and the others headed into the fields to the south to make a cross-country route back to their homestead.
Planning an Escape
The Jonamor estate was undisturbed and in proper shape. The teleporting portrait still stood against the wall in the parlor and the dry food stocks were still full. They knew they had to rescue Aderian with little delay.
Presently a rider appeared at the estate boundary. It was Sheriff Bremlai of St. Orlan. He explained Aderian’s fate of being in stocks, stripped to a loincloth, his items locked up at the jail. Bremlai agreed to leave the jail door open that night to support a covert mission.
At night, Tienarth cast invisibility on Ferris who walked into town, fetched Aderian’s gear and then freed him. Fortunately, only a drunk wondered at the gear seemingly dragging itself over the cobblestones. The two dashed to a dark alley and scaled the walls with the aid of a rope and met with the rest of the group at the Temple of St. Orlan.
Ferris made his way back to the governor’s mansion, over the wall to avoid the one guard at the gate and around the back to find an unlocked door to a kitchen. Creeping around, he found no one on the ground floor, but four occupied bedrooms on the second floor. He avoided the third floor because he’d seen light from a window when outside.
He crept into a bedroom, carefully controlling the light from his lantern. In the bed a man slept on this belly next to a beautiful woman on her back. He pulled a vial of poison from his belt and poured a dose into her mouth. She stirred and gurgled slightly but did not die. Repeating this exercise, he poisoned a man in bed who did choke and die from the poison.
Meanwhile, Ghevont approached the southern gate where two ordinary guards kept watch. He touched his new ring of human control, charming one of the guards. The other guard questioned the suddenly odd behavior of his companion and shrugged off the effects of the ring. He reached for a horn on this belt to sound an alarm as he began to blow, the charmed guard knocked it from his hand. Suddenly Ghevont struck the guard with his mace, crushing his skull. He asked the living guard to hide the body and the party slipped into the city.
Outside the mansion, Ghevont casted silence on Azrak who then rushed up to the guard and cut him down. Shielded by the silence, they entire party stuck close to each other and entered the house. Room by room, Azrak stabbed each person in each bed.
Ferris padded up to the door on the third floor, with some light escaping from beneath. The silence spell completed and the noises of the party were no longer protected. Some uncareful whispering and clomping about caught the attention of the enemies behind the door.
Suddenly the door was pulled open. A warrior in dark, red plate armor looked right through Ferris, standing at the door, towards the rest of the party arrayed on the stairs. “Intruders!” he bellowed as he raised a battleaxe.
Like lightning, they dashed into the room and around the warrior and the leader they new as Sezzar from several scryings with the crystal ball. Ghevont cast a spell and the warrior stood frozen. Azrak threw himself on on the warrior, and they both crashed to the floor.
Blowed rained down on Sezzar who tried to flee. Ghevont struck him as he passed by, killing him instantly. His lifeless body tumbled down the stairs.
Aderian grabbed a small coffer containing 600 platinum pieces. Ghevont detected magic and noted the battleaxe and armor from the warrior. Azrak grabbed the battleaxe and puzzled over the armor that clearly was not a fit for his squat form. The axe felt good in his hand, clearly magical.
Sheriff Bremlai arrived with deputies. He argued for caution and sent the party out of the city. They rode back to their homestead under cover of night. After a night of rest, they discussed their next move. Should they return to the cave which was still not fully explored? Should they turn their attention to Tosasth to end the evil once and for all?
After another few days, Sheriff Bremlai arrived again to deliver news. He sent a messenger to Lah to report on the events, but exact news of the killing of the inquisitors was kept quiet. Counting only five dead in the mansion, at least a dozen were unaccounted for.
Covertly, Bremlai and his deputies disposed of the dead bodies, including the guard killed by Ghevont. He hired a crier to announce the abrupt departure of the inquisitors and his own ascension to the governorship of St. Orlan until a time when the king of the western lands ruled on a new owner of the city.
- Treasure: 600 pp, Sanguine Axe, Sanguine Plate Armor
- Characters present: Tienart/Tre, Ghevont/Jeff, Aderian/Jason, Ferris/Henry, Azrak/Nick, Mygnak/Michael, Pippen/Michael, Darthorian/Michael
- Virtues: none
- Vices: dishonor by Ferris for poisoning, dishonor for Ghevont in killing an innocent guard, dishonor by Azrak for killing sleeping people