With the safety of Cosolen but a distant memory, the Party’s arrival to Ldamven offered a chance for rest in warm beds and to be relieved of their Pox prisoners. A visit with the local magistrate had provided the Group a list of missing persons and a possible suspect for some of those on it… on ogre recently slain by the town’s soldiers.
Godday, Sixth of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.
Thinking that perhaps the ogre slain by the town’s soldiers has been responsible for some of the missing persons, Brendolm suggests the Party start at the ruins four miles north of town and see if there is any evidence that the ogre used it as a lair and perhaps if any missing persons or remains can be found. Burdon and Gram decide to ask around town first and learn that the place was once the home of a “powerful warlock”, said to have been an eccentric man.
Leaving Malmir and the wagon safely in town, the rest of the group moves north on foot or mount to the ruins, where a second ogre is discovered. Roth and Defon stay to the rear as the Group attacks the beast and renders it unconscious. Scouring the grounds reveals a Locked Chest, and a staircase to the tower cellar that can only be reached by someone incredibly small. Stoat manages to slip through and finds a lovely Elven woman trapped down below, who immediately charms him with a successful Gaze.
Under the charms of this vision of beauty, Stoat no longer concerns himself with questions such as ‘how has she survived down here all this time without any supplies?’ and instead focuses on helping his friends clear away enough rubble to free her. Meliantan and Roth are sent back to town to return with the wagon, as the Party digs and moves rocks for the remainder of the day and into the night to free the muse down below.
Once freed, the Elven woman Dokari refuses to leave without her possessions, a footlocker trunk that she is unable to move on her own. The PCs grow increasingly suspicious of her behavior and soon discover she is an illusion, apparently being maintained by someone, somewhere. Of specific note was a pristine crystal ball – which Dokari refuses to be away from at anytime. Roth’s return with the wagon interrupts the issue and the Group decides to take the item back to Ldamven and explore it further within the safety of the walls.
The Party loads the unconscious ogre onto the wagon and returns to the town. Dokari accompanies them for the four miles, an amazing feat for an illusion so far as anyone in the group can tell. Once back in Ldamven, Brendolm insists on ensuring the acquisition of the item is in line with their commission so the Party once again returns to the magistrate, who agrees to consider the matter and look over the Letters of Commission carefully. The ogre is turned over to the town’s constable, who states his intention to question the beast.
Veshday, Seventh of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.
Checking in with the magistrate, the Group learns that he agrees with their interpretation of the letters, and that the crystal ball belongs to them. It is given over to Meliantan who seeks out a fine pearl and casts an identify spell to learn the orbs’ secrets. He discovers that the item is in fact intelligent and that Dokari is the illusionary ‘body’ of this mind. Someone (Argenon?) has invested a great deal of time and energy into enchanting permanent spells onto this crystal ball…spells intending to turn this intelligent item into a ‘lifeform’ for sorts.
Meliantan and Dokari speak and agree to help one another reach their respective goals. She tells him that her former master, the wizard Argenon Remel was working with her until he left some twenty years ago and never returned. Meanwhile, the others learn that the interrogation of the ogre was successful and that the beasts were driven away from their normal area of the mountains by orcs who killed many other ogres. Stoat uses tooth and nail taken during the interrogation and turns them to a small profit.
Having found no clues to the missing persons for the time being, the Party relaxes for the remainder of the day and readies to depart the following morning to continue onward toward Itven. A local locksmith, Smitty is hired to open the strongbox and create a key for it, as well as to repair some minor damage. He does so and instructs Gram that the box can be picked up first thing in the morning. Stoat purchases a set of locksmiths tools, and after a minor attempt to swindle the tradesman, comes up without the desired masterwork set he wanted.
Diaday, Eighth of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.
Departing at first light, the Group leaves the town of Ldamven and resumes its course along the coastal roadway. Set to pass next through the hamlet of Ewden, Burdon requests the group go around, but is unable to sway the others. The detour would certainly be large and would delay the Party greatly. The Bard sighs heavily, and when pressed as to his reasoning, reluctantly admits to originating from the tiny fishing settlement.
After the full days’ travel, the group arrives to the hamlet well into the night, a fact that Burdon is thankful for. They find a spot on the common room floor of the “Saucy Wench” and stay as near to the fire as they’re able. The little inn isn’t much, but it is certainly more hospitable than the water soaked ground outside, courtesy of heavy rains the night before. Hilg finds that for the fourth night in a row, he is again assaulted by dark nightmares in his sleep.
Pelsday, Ninth of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.
Intending on the briefest of visits, the Party speaks to the first authority figure they can find, the young Drut Neln, son of the Reeve. Neln is a brutish man, and displays a readily apparent dislike for Burdon or “Burdie” as he refers to him. His cruelty and corruption are obvious, so Brendolm seeks out the Reeve, Mirtran Neln to investigate further. The Reeve proves to be a bit less than honorable, but offers to exchange a favor in return for the Party to motivate the hamlet’s serfs to greater returns.
Investigation finds that the quotas placed onto the workers are far greater than their simple number can hope to achieve, which leads the Party to speak to the greater authority of the Bailiff, Esel Dolmonostor. A fully unconcerned man, Esel begrudgingly agrees to accompany the Group to see the foul treatment of the peasants. Sir Purthal Voren, the reluctant lord and protector of the hamlet goes as well, and both are unhappy with the results of their trust in the Nelns.
With assurances from both Bailiff Dolmonostor and Sir Voren to fully investigate the actions of the Nelns and to improve conditions in the hamlet, the Party makes ready to move onward. Stoat reveals to his friends that he has acquired the ledger of Drut Neln, containing proof of illegal profit, while Burdon provides 30gp to be given to his wife and two daughters. He also vows to square up with his old rival at a later, more convenient time.
The road to Lnonven proves to be an interesting one, as a disabled wagon still attached to its horses is found alongside the roadway. The Party can at first find nothing else, until Maldus Randorian hears a distant woman’s scream and spurs the Group into action. A troupe of bandits gives chase to a young woman, having slain her brother on the hillside. The Party engages the fiends, and quickly end the confrontation, making prisoners of some of the men.
The young woman introduces herself as Cosva and tells of how she and her brother were making their way home to Lnonven when the men disabled their wagon and tried to take her. Burdon learns that his youngest daughter Aemys Brazebay has stowed away aboard the Party’s wagon, an issue that annoys him greatly and forces the question of how to return her. Meliantan reveals a fine locket on the person of one of the men, a locket that Brendolm instantly recognizes as belonging to his sister Regila Minel, who was taken from his family’s homestead by raiders several months ago. Brendolm makes special note of the man who bore the locket and the Group presses on, arriving to Lnonven with Aemys, Cosva, the slain brother and the prisoners at nightfall.