((Note: The encounter was taken from A Curse at the Old Inn by Michael Evans and is copyright protected. It is not my intention to infringe on that, so details of the encounter in this particular adventure log are intentionally vague. The 4e encounter was modified to fit our 3.5 game.))
I have been saying for some time now that I need a bow. It is ridiculous for any adventurer to limit themselves to only one type of weapon. Archers will find themselves in melee at some point and in great danger if they have no melee weapon. Fighters who limit themselves to a sword will find themselves useless in battles where they cannot get close to the enemy.
For me, I am finding I do not care much for the rapier I carry and dislike having to be face to face all the time when I must fight. Yes, I can cast spells, but I have learned mostly spells that help my party members, by healing or buffing them. What I would not give for a wand of fireballs!
Anya grins as she looks down at the words etched upon her parchment. Just the very idea of being a powerful wizard amuses her. She shakes her head at the notion as she sets quill to paper again.
Lucien is planning on returning to the magistrate’s office with the alligator head. The rest of us decided to go with him and followed him to the outhouse, of all places. It was there that he hid the alligator head as the smell of the outhouse would surely cover the smell of the carcass.
Anya bursts out laughing as she recalled the looks on everyone’s faces when they realized what he had done. D.W. said he was pretty sure that no one would notice the smell when they looked down the hole to see an alligator looking up at them!
The rogue had managed to hide the beast’s head under the outhouse, not inside like we had first thought. Once he had retrieved it, we headed back to the magistrate’s office. This time, the man was present.
Inside, we found a portly little man surrounded by piles of papers. There were piles of paper on every surface in the room and more on the floor in the corners. The walls themselves were covered in various animal heads and stuffed fish, mounted on wooden plaques. Kael cringed as he looked at them, then began chanting a blessing at each of them.
We greeted the magistrate. He did not even glance up at us until Lucien tossed the head onto his desk. The man looked up with aggitation, which quickly turned to delight as he saw the specimen. He traced the scars on the creature’s head with his fingers, excited.
Lucien told him we had solved the problems with the monsters in town. The magistrate looked blankly at him. When the rogue told him about the alligators and the deaths of the locals, the man continued to blink at us. He obviously was not up to speed on what had been happening in his own town.
“By any chance” asked Lucien “is the position of magistrate appointed??”
The man looked at Lucien and laughed, assuring him that the position had been in his family for generations. He looked confused when Lucien said to no one in particular that it explained a lot of things.
Since the portly fellow was still enthralled with the animal head, Lucien asked how much he would give them for the head. The two finally negotiated on 12 gold, a paltry sum. D.W. urged Lucien to take it as it was better than nothing.
While Kael and D.W. headed over to a bakery, I went searching for a bowyer. The blacksmith had no bows for sale, saying their bowyer had left town and suggested we try Pendleton as they had a very nice shop there and he knew the bowyer had specialty items as well. It was five days of travel by horse, he told us, but well worth it if we wanted the best.
Lucien and I were walking back toward the bakery when we spotted Dave heading our way. Embarrassed that he had no candies to give the lad, Lucien moved to hide in an alley. Dave asked me if I knew where Lucien was. With a huge grin on my face, I told him yes as I yanked Lucien’s arm, pulling the rogue into view.
Dave was delighted to find Lucien again. He had been passing out fliers to anyone who came within reach of him. When Lucien asked what the fliers were about, Dave frowned saying he had no idea as they forgot to tell him this time and he could not read them.
He asked if Lucien was his friend, to which the elf agreed. As we stood talking, the boy told us his old friend Rory had stopped writing, so he thought maybe he had stopped being friends. He added that he had not seen Rory for three weeks now and he had list written two weeks ago.
Lucien asked if Dave would mind if we looked at his letters. We waited until the others caught up to us, then went back to Dave’s house to look at the letters, hoping for a clue as to where he had last gone. Dave’s mother was there and we each introduced ourselves to her. The poor woman had awful eyesight with a milky veil on the surface of her eyes.
We only stayed long enough to discuss Rory with them and to read his letters. Turns out Rory had been a childhood friend to Davy and they had kept up their friendship through letters. Rory had regularly written every week for as long back as Dave could remember.
So it was that we found ourselves travelling to Pendleton. We had no issues on the road along the way and reached town late in the afternoon. Kael saw the animals to the stables while I went to purchase my bow and a quiverl of arrows. Then we looked for a tavern for a good meal.
The Cast Iron Kettle was a good sized building with a dozen large tables to settle at and several fireplaces to warm a person. We looked for a table and discovered Samhein sitting at one toward the back room.
He seemed pleased to see us, telling us it was about time. Back in Hodgeton, he had received word that we had gone to Farseek as I had left a message for him at the tavern there. Once in Farseek, he had found we had not returned to the inn so he figured we must have moved further north and awaited us here. His business had been completed and he was ready to adventure some more.
A largely endowed barmaid came to our table to take our orders. As she sashayed her way back to the bar, I realized all the males at my table were watching her, though some were more subtle than others. I cleared my throat loudly, grabbing their attention again.
Before I could speak again, a man came into the tavern with a message for the tavernkeeper. As the message was opened, all hell broke loose in the tavern. Several rifts opened up and a number of creatures came through them. People were screaming and running and creatures were attacking. It was utter chaos!
Kael raced to a creature as it attacked a commoner. The creature looked to have been a kobold, it’s flesh now rotting. I grabbed my new bow, notched an arrow to it to and fired it at the beast, but the undead kobold pulled it out with a laugh. I racked my brain for what I knew about undead and came up blank.
We all leapt into action, most of us going after the creatures. Lucien, however, was determined to find a way to close the rifts before anything more could come through. I lost track of events after that, as I tried to destroy the creatures with my rapier. Where many of my attacks would have felled a creature, it did small amounts of damage to the undead. I repeatedly pierced them with the rapier, doing my best to bring them down.
In the distance, I could see Lucien destroying something, though I couldn’t see what. Eventually whatever he was doing brought down the rifts, one at a time. Samhein was casting magic missile left and right and Kael continued to slash at the kobolds with his sword. I noticed D.W. continuing to fire arrows uselessly at them and wondered vaguely why he did not try the dagger at his side. Then I saw him touching an undead and causing damage and realized he was using the healing belt I had made for him. While the belt heals us, it harms the undead. Clever halfling.
Once the rifts were closed and the creatures were destroyed, Kael and I went about healing the common folk who had been brought down by the monsters. We were unable to save an elderly man and also found the messenger dead. At the very least, we were able to stabilize the rest of those who we could not get back on their feet.
Lucien inspected several of the creatures as a few were not kobolds and we didn’t recall seeing them before. He asked everyone around us, but no one had seen those particular beasts before. The rogue asked our group to remove the bodies of the creatures from the tavern, which I thought was a kind gesture on his part until I realized he wanted to loot them without an audience. Ah, well.