Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Session 6 - The Law According to Cubbin

Waterday, Readying 12th, 595 CY (con't)

Ardynn, Ashbourn, Bolero, and Snuffy drug the unconscious half-orc, Kullen, away to the sound of the deputies of Diamond Lake's local watch headed towards the scene. The four of them, with their prisoner in tow, fled to Ardynn's dilapidated home. It took a few minutes to wake Kullen, and he was less than cooperative at first, but soon realized there was no way he of getting free from of Bolero's masterwork manacles. After agreeing to turn him loose, then give him back his gear once he had given them information on the stolen remains, the half-orc finally told them what they wanted to know. Kullen's gang had been working for a necromancer named Filge up in the old observatory on the far edge of town. Filge had sent them to find bones so that he could animate servants. There seemed to be no love lost between Kullen and the necromancer, and Kullen even offered to pay them 2 gold if they bring him back one of the "crazy old goat's eyes." It was also discovered that Balabar Smeck was Kullen's full-time employer. He told them Filge was just a side job, and not to dig too deep into his business if they knew what was good for them. Bolero, who had arranged the agreement with Kullen, was reluctant to give the vicious orc his axe back, but the paladin had given his word, and finally handed the weapon back.

As the group discussed their next course of action there came a loud banging on the door. The local law had found them somehow. Deputy Jamis and his men demanded they drop their weapons and come with them. The group had already apprehended Kullen, and had easily backtracked him to Ardynn's house. Bolero detected the faint presence of evil coming from the men, and refused to come along peacefully, demanded that they had important things to do and to stand aside. Knowing the four and their massive fighting dog were dangerous, Deputy Jamis sent one of his four men to fetch Valkus Dun, who had been allowing Bolero to stay in the chapel of Heironeous since his arrival in town,hoping to cull the paladin into coming along, which did not work. A fight soon broke out between the group and the watch, and it was obvious that the group had the superior skills and a better defensible position. After losing one man, who vanished with the group inside of Snuffy's conjured opaque sphere (Leomund's Tiny Hut), Jamis called his men back and planned on pulling an abandoned wagon in front of the door to trap them inside. Snuffy called upon the magic of Fharlanghn and carried Ardynn, Rowdy, and himself through the wall to outside, still concealed behind his spell. They were preparing to burn the wagon, giving Ash and Bolero time to escape, when reenforcement arrived, Sheriff Cubbin himself with the rest of Kullen's gang, minus the very dead enchanter, in tow. The sheriff quickly took control of the situation, calling out two of the party by name, Ardynn and Snuffy, and addressing the others as the Pelorite and the Twilight Monk. Knowing the situation was hopeless, Ardynn, Ash, and Bolero reluctantly surrendered. Snuffy, however, cast a spell and fled from the scene unnoticed. The absence of the dwarf did not seem to please the sheriff.

Valkus Dun arrived as they placed the group in shackles, demanding to know what was going on. The sheriff told him of the fight outside the Feral dog, the taking of Kullen prisoner, and the resisting arrest. The cleric seemed to only be disturbed by the resisting arrest, but the group had broken several laws, and from the sheriff's accounting seemed to be the instigators in all cases, so there was little the law-abiding high priest could do. He told Bolero to be strong and true, than watched as Cubbin led them away to jail.

Earthday, Readying 13, 595 CY

The hour was late as the three captured adventurers sat in their cell. Sheriff Cubbin had separated them, locking one of them with one member of Kullen's gang. After a bit, he called the group into a separate room and told them how much trouble they were in. He told them they would be in a lot less trouble if they told him where to find Snuffy Hammerfist. The group claimed to not know anything concerning the dwarf. The group told him that they would pay Snuffy's fine of 300 gold, but because he had fled from his indenture in Smeck's mine, he now owed 200 gold more. He also told them why Snuffy was in trouble in the first place. The cleric had apparently been working with bandits attempting to steal supplies belonging to Smeck, pretending to come to the wagon guards' rescue but in truth coming to steal the wagon and its contents. With that, he sent the group back to their cells.

Meanwhile, the fugitive Snuffy sought out a place to take shelter. His first instinct took him to Allustan's home. The sage was concerned about what had transpired, but was unwilling to let Snuffy stay for the night, not wanting to harbor a known fugitive. Snuffy instead made his way to the old abandoned mine house near the Whispering Cairn and hid for the night.

The next morning, Snuffy hid any sign of the path to the Whispering Cairn as best he could, then returned to town. His first stop was Tidwoad's, wanting to get some of the group's money out of storage to spring them from jail. The gnomes refused to allow him access to the gold without the key he had given them, but after agreeing to a 40% interest loan, gave Snuffy 1,000 gold. Snuffy left, heading for the sheriff's office, but instead ran into Jhero. The young man warned him against taking the gold to Cubbin, and showed Snuffy a wanted poster with his name on it for 1,000 gold. Jhero suggested they have a drink and figure out what to do. One drink led to a few more, and soon the two were feeling less pressed to spring the others.

In the jail, Cubbin came and released Kullen and his gang. Apparently, Smeck had paid for their release. Once they had left, Cubbin released the group as well, saying simply, "apparently Kullen's gang are not the only one's with powerful friends." Cubbin then thanked them for paying their "fine" of 800 gold...the exact same amount of coin the group had on them when they were taken into custody. Feeling ill treated and flat out robbed, the three spotted the wanted poster for Snuffy. Not only was he now an alleged bandit, but he was also wanted by the dwarves of Greysmere for something else. Pulling the poster down, they made their way to Tidwoad's to take out more of their money.

A slightly drunk Snuffy and a very drunk Jhero meet them at the door to Tidwoad's, having spotted them walking passed the tavern. They were not warmly received, even less so when they found out about Snuffy's 40% loan. Bolero asked Snuffy why he did not tell them he was working with bandits, and Ash suggested they turn the dwarf in. Snuffy denied his involvement with the bandits, and Jhero became furious that they would suggest turning in his friend or doubting that he saved the wagon guards. He shoved Bolero more than once, and clawed him, cutting large bloody lines in the paladin's neck. Somewhat surprised by his own anger, Jhero ran off. Ardynn pursued him and calmed him down, giving him an herbal concoction that settled some of his intoxication. Snuffy adamantly denied his involvement, becoming somewhat angry himself. They showed the dwarf the wanted poster, which read:


Archibald "Snuffy" Hammerfist


1,000 gold reward

By the order of Master Smith Hammerfist and the Greysmere Covenant

Snuffy stated that Master Smith Hammerfist was his father, and that he must want him back home. Jhero returned with Ardynn, calmer but still angry, and asked if they were going to give him the 300 gold he needed to clear his father's debts. Snuffy gave him the gold from his borrowed thousand, and with a glare and a claim to take his brother's advice and take care of himself, he left. After paying back Tidwoad's 400 gold for interest, the group split up. Ardynn was going to the Feral Dog to make sure Jhero was okay, while Ash and Bolero went to sheriff Cubbin to pay the 200 gold fine for Snuffy failing to serve his sentence in the mines, and then to pay Smeck the remainder of the 300 gold.

At the Feral Dog, Ardynn met a very grim but satisfied-seeming Jhero exiting, who spoke with her briefly and left. When Ardynn looked inside, she found all of the fighting dogs running free in the taproom, and the proprietor on top of a keg fending off several that had gathered there for him. Using her empathic connection to animals, Ardynn got the dogs attention and led them out of the Feral Dog, where they ran down the streets, creating a small panic before running out of town.

Ash and Bolero asked around and finally found out where Balabar Smeck made his home, a large, sodden old mansion about a century past its prime. They found the front door wide open, fulfilling an old public promise that his door is always open. Inside the open door were several large apes chained to railing that ran throughout the room. Going around back, they discovered a kitchen door, but the cook simply looked at them strangely for a moment before closing the shutter. Their banging, however, brought Smeck to his second floor balcony to investigate. After stating their business, Smeck allowed them to throw him Snuffy's 300 gold, and tossed them down a paper with his seal, absolving Snuffy of is servitude.

Finally, the group met up at Allustan's residence. The sage was relieved to see them all free and invited them into the front room of his home to talk. Though he had no new information to share with them on the Whispering Cairn, he had sent away for books from the Great Library in the Free City that would arrive within a week. As to the mystery of Alastor Land, the sage had procured deeds for the Land farm, as well as records of births and deaths. He could confirm Alastor's disappearance 30 years ago, and the rest of the family's deaths from plague 20 years ago, thus ending the family line. Though the sage had no new answers, he had discovered that the Land family was one of the oldest recorded settlers in Diamond Lake, dating back at least several hundred years. He did not know if this meant anything, but it was surprising to him to find anyone who had been in the region for such a long time, and that it was entirely possible that the Lands were one of the founders of Diamond Lake. The group told him of the events of the previous night, and the discovery of the necromancer in the old observatory. The sage agreed that it must be looked into, and told them if they gather some evidence, than the local garrison might be willing to get involved. During their talk it was discovered that the Lord-Mayor of Diamond Lake, Sheriff Cubbin's boss, was in fact Allustan's brother, and that Allustan was against getting into any sort of involvement with the local politics, possibly even turning a blind eye to what goes on in the mining town. The discussing having turned in a direction that made the sage uncomfortable, Allustan bid them farewell and good luck against the necromancer outside of town.