The Great Game, Harvester 9 through 11, 596CY
The group of 15 left the city of Veluna, headed east towards the hills known as the Lorridges. Choosing to go directly into the hills, the group has an uneventful trek until the 10th, where they locate the first village. Investigations of the tiny settlement of gnome-sized homes have them finding the lone remaining villager, the gnome Fizzlesticks. Fizzlesticks refuses to leave his house for a time, exclaiming that no one is to be trusted and “they” will come to take everyone in the party. Fizzlesticks refuses to leave the village and the party, after a peripheral search of the abandoned homes, moves on to the next settlement for clues.
By late afternoon of the 10th, the group finds a larger gnomish settlement, finding some residents outside working. Once the group made themselves known, the gnomes retreated into their homes, barring themselves in. At one house, the group talked with a pair of aggressive gnomes that refused to give their names. They explained a little more of what ails the area, with people disappearing at night, animals haunting the village and other threatening situations. The gnomes refused to let anyone in their home and just wanted the party gone. Some within the group found them so aggressively annoying that they made overt threats back to them. In one case, Morton sent one gnome away via a spell called ‘Maze’ while the other barricaded himself in his home. As the day had moved closer towards sundown and their map didn’t show a village close enough to reach before dark, the group chose to bed down in the gnome village they were in.
Three empty gnome homes were chosen as a base of occupation, though only three party members could comfortably bed down in each. To make things easy, some members chose to enter the magical, extra large bag of holding, and others chose to take shifts to guard.
To assist, a fire was started between the homes, using furniture and other wooden items from the homes. A search for more wood was done, only to find that the gnomes burn dung bricks as fuel. Lengthy discussions were held as to who would occupy which home during the night, though that was settled before dark. The mounts were hobbled nearby.
Once the sun had completely set, a fog began rolling in from the south, covering all the buildings and hills seen from the group’s standpoint. Even the hobbled horses were difficult to see. The fire helped, but not by much. Those outside at the time, Golbagai, Fezgil and Zebediah Obadiah heard what might have been dogs or wolves, creepy giggling noises and other such nerve-wracking sounds. Fezgil at one point believes he saw a dog with glowing red eyes, while one of the horses screamed and was stolen. Zebediah Obadiah prayed out loudly to the great god Pholtus (of the Blinding Light), while Killian was removed from the extra large bag of holding, Golbagai and Morton barricaded themselves in a house and Nadrine attempted a number of different chants to determine what was happening.
Fezgil determined that the fog was at least partly magic in nature and attempted a Dispel Magic spell on it. He was successful, to a degree, pushing the fog back in a circumference around the group’s standpoint. Zebediah Obadiah praised the magic of Fezgil, exclaiming that the might of Pholtus aided him. The noises continued for some time and the watch was changed, but no more incidents happened the rest of the night.
The morning of the 11th, while/after the clerics prayed and the magic-users studied for their daily spell allotment, it was found that Gerrit’s horse had been either taken or killed, having him doubling up with Graham, to Graham’s disappointment. The group then mounted up and headed out to the next village, which they found not long after noon. Approaching the town, a lone figure came out to greet them, a human named Wilber. Wilber spoke to the group at great length, explaining that his town, just called the Village or the Village of Hope, served the Lord of Staad and his minions. Wilber further explained that the village, once 30 people, was now only 12 and it had been shrinking for some time. Questioned heavily by the group, Wilber didn’t did not seem to keep information from them, he actually was very helpful. His speech pattern caused some in the group to think there was something odd going on, not to mention his much greater knowledge than the previous gnome villages.
Morton had Wilber gather the entire town populace, of whom all were gathered while the group “discussed” their plans. Paxalor and Fezgil both thought staying in the village and heading to the next the following day would allow them to reach the supposed Watchtower of Staad, further to the south, while it was still daylight. Morton thought Killian should be the one calling the shots, as it is her mission. Hannah was annoyed that she didn’t get a good deal with her hire of Zebediah Obadiah, which Nadrine agreed with. Gerrit, Golbagai and Graham were shown lodging and proceeded to eat and drink all they could find.
Once Wilber had returned with almost all of who remained in the Village of Hope, Morton and Fezgil attempted to Dispel Magic on them, which freed them from some form of control. The villagers all scampered to their homes, some even leaving the village immediately. Wilber screamed out that everyone was going to die and ran to his own home. Following him, the group tried to get more information from him. Wilber explained that the Lord Staad knew the group was in the village and that he and his minions would soon come to take them all, or kill them. He wanted to leave but the group delayed him, talking him into getting into the bag for safety.
More “discussions” were had, as to what the group should do now. They could magically retreat to avoid a confrontation, stay and work their way through the coming situation, burn the village to keep it out of the hands of the enemy (causing a massive argument amongst the group) or try to move ahead to the next village. It was known that at least one villager had not returned with the others, that of a root collector named Hallanel. Golbagai learned how to summon him, and did so. Paxalor started to burn some of the outer buildings, igniting four of them before he was told to stop. Hallanel returned to the village and pleaded for assistance in putting out a fire on one of the buildings, but instead was hit over the head, bound, gagged and placed in the bag of holding.
Barricading themselves in Wilber’s home, Morton cast a Tempus Fugit spell, allowing the others to rest for 12 hours of time while only 2 hours passed in actual time. To guard them, Shoshana remained outside of the spell effect, as she isn’t keen on the eventual spell effect of premature aging.
After the spell ended, the group prepared for the eventual coming of the minions of Staad. The fog rolled in, the noises heard the night before were heard again and a knock was heard at the door. A voice called out, saying his name was “Terry”, asking for the group to exit and talk with him. Golbagai did exit, breaking the door down and rushing out, bashing in the head of this “Terry”, a gnome, with his maul. While the fog didn’t retreat, the noises eventually died down and no other contact was had.
This recap was actually two game sessions, hence the size. Read the introduction HERE.
“We can’t burn down Hopeville!” ~ Fezgil, 11th of Harvester, 596 CY.