… Why did you ever get into this adventuring business is beyond you. The first time out and you're party is trashed. Twenty set out. A simple wagon train guard task. Simple work for the ten gold pieces you were paid... up front even. You should have known it was too good to be true. You're Momma taught you better.
The battle was terrible. It wasn't the swords and monsters games you played with you're younger brother. The blood was real. The screams were real. You know that because you were one of the ones screaming.
Of the twenty..... three survived. The wagons and mules... all gone. Your crossbow. Gone. Your boss – dead. You're friends, what's left of them, are stranded alone far from anywhere you've ever been.
Dragging your sorry butts down this dusty road in hopes you find help, you come upon a sign post...
They stumbled out onto a road somewhere in the middle of some dark woods. Three survivors, not really fighters. Together they traveled down the dark and dusty road until coming to a stream crossing. It was shallow and slow moving but cold. They stop for a breather and a bite to eat, one of the half-elves hears a rustling in the woods. Careful of what's out there they stand ready. A black bear noses out of the brush and onto the road but barely looks in they group's direction before again taking to the woods.
Having enough of a rest with introductions all around, they continued across the stream and on down the road. There is Pindora Bumbleseed, a halfling rogue; Pint Cherryoak, half-elf cleric and Dartranna Millstone, half-elf Wizard. Three together, walk from the woods and down to the coast.
Breaking from the trees, the party finds themselves on a windswept coast. The grey dreary skies weigh heavy and the topic of conversation turns again to food after a fallen signpost for a forgotten fishing village was kicked out of the ditch. The conversation carries the group the two miles into town.
Following the coast road, the trio comes upon a rundown village by the sea. The docks on the oceanfront are in various stages of ruin, but still of some use. Nets drying on racks and boats tied to the docks, look to have had hard use but are functional. Turning from the nets you head north through the two hills and into the town of Caldor itself.
Just as you rumbling stomachs lead you up the walk to an inn, the Scorched Scroll Inn, a scream pierces the air and draws the group down the path into a clearing behind the General Store. The screams continue with an urgency and when the trio breaks into the clearing where a crowd of villagers is surrounding a rough built platform is raised in the clearing. A young woman or girl is tied to a pole atop the platform and some men in black are piling faggots of wood around her feet.
A man in dark drab clothes and a tall black wide brimmed hat addresses the party. "Begone strangers. You kind are not welcome here." Continuing on, the crowd scatters at the approach of the group. Left are four men in black carrying torches and a fifth, the man who warned the party away standing up on the platform.
Pindora Bumbleseed gets first blood in accepting the challenge by sinking her dagger into the chest of one of the torch bearers. And then there were four. ... and a battle ensues...
The party breaks up the ring of witch hunters and rescues Myrisha Greinster who helps them along the way. Four men dead and the leader, Iccabod Sirrus, (according to Myrisha) the leader of the Witch Hunters, got away.
The group gathered at the Inn to recover, regroup and gather information. They found out that Myrisha is the Merchants daughter and runs the General Store. She supplies the party with some necessary gear and also volunteers her efforts in aiding the party.
Through Myrisha they found out about the town being "inhabited" by ghosts. She mentions they are harmless as far as she knows and there is some sort of curse on the town from over hundred years or more. She herself has only been in the town for 10 years.
heard the curse on the village had something to do with the mage tower.
The witch hunters have a base in the old manor
The party gets rooms for the night and start the day exploring the old Mage's Tower. Other than a few rats on the first floor they made it up through to the tower room where there is a reconstructed mage in a magic circle on the top floor of a blasted out tower room.
The party tried to figure out what the old mage in the magic circle wanted but couldn't figure it out. The mage just stood there with one hand extended as if pleading for something. Finally it was decided to visit the miller because Myrisha said he would know more about the old mage if anyone knew...
They crossed town to the gristmill and witnessed the "ghosts" of the old villagers working away only to swiftly duck out of sight when the party neared. They did wave at Willow the Apothecary, who waved back, proving not all the residents were ghosts. Finally making it to the Gristmill they were confronted with a gruff old half-orc miller. The miller was scary mad when the party started asking questions about the mage tower. He blamed the towns problem on the greed of the old mage and even gave them a note on what he thinks may help solve the trouble, but the note was in cryptic common and took the party a bit of figuring to piece together the verse finally ending with....
Return Illanders Star
through curtains amber gold
And cursed souls freed as told
from icy fingers from lich born brow
will see peace returned
to once fair land
found scratched on the back wall of the cave behind the waterfall.
The party then decided to head to the old manor because Myrisha was getting an itch to kill something. Finding the rundown manor still in decent shape but long neglected, the dust of ages disturbed only in a path to the old kitchen and down to the store room in the cellars, the group found a nest of Witch Hunters, lots of stored food, some hidden loot in a waterproof satchel . Easily dispatching the three witch hunters, Myrisha sating some of her revenge and nearing beheading two of the brutes, the group collected a bit more treasure and carried on. After barely avoiding a pitfall trap, they ended up in the crypt of the Caldors where the family bones were laid to rest... but will they stay at rest?
The party creeps through the crypt and comes upon a room holding two cells with prisioners inside. After killing the two guards the party rescues the Blacksmiths wife and Mother Bocca from the Abbey.as well as finding Rider, another guardsman from the fated caravan the rest of the group came from. Rider was well beaten and left hanging unconscious in chains. After figuring out how to get the doors open, Myrisha takes the two women prisioners back to the village, while Pint revives Rider and he joins the group and adventure on.
They head west through the door into a hallway heading to a storeroom full of weapons. From the number of supplies and weapons stored down in the cellars, it is apparenent that the Witch Hunters are gearing up to find more members. The group divies up some new weapons and leather armor. While Pint shyly leaves back into the cell area to donn her eather armor in privacy she notices the wall at the end of the hall opposite the door to the weapons room is different. After a bit of investigation she finds a secret door into another section of the cellars.
Finally they find some tools with which they are able to break apart the chains with which Rider's hand are shackled together. Now he can at least get dressed in the leather armor he found in the weapons room. Also in this room they find some provisions and a bundle of beaver pelts ready for market.
Out of this room with flagstone floors and finished walls they enter into a natural cavern with a great crevasse down the center with two shody bridges across. Rider enjoying his new freedom races across the wobbly bridge, with Miss Dora close behind, only to loose his balance falls down the crevasse. While down there feeling the pain he noticed a half-eaten body on top of a pile of other far older bones and litter. He quickly climbs up the wall of the crevasse and is soon joined by the rest of the group at the top of a set of stairs desending down terminating in a set of doors.
While listening at the doors they hear a group of men dicing in one room and the sounds of water bubbling and dripping in another. They go to the water room only to find out it is some sort of wizard lab. There is a rat hiding under the table that Pint is trying to entice out with food. Dartranna mentions it looks to be an experiment on making a invisibility potion.
And the group decides to make a rest stop here.
After a short rest the party heads north into the wizards bedroom where they find a lantern and a chest full of treasure. They also found a table full of parchments and books pertaining to witchcraft. From the notes it looked like whoever wrote these notes was creating a fictional story about witches and ghosts and from the amount of treasure it looks like they were carrying out a sizable operation on the side, whether it was stealing from the villagers themselves or from caravans. They also found two scrolls hidden in the chest in a small scroll case. Dartranna recognised one as a spell she could use.
After some conversation the group headed north through a secret door found behind one of the drapes but it lead back up to the cavern room. Hearing noises again from the dark end of the cavern they went back down into the bedroom to regroup.
It was decided to head east and go through the rooms with the gamblers. They surprized them and dispatched the four rough Witch Hunters with ease. Dora killing two with her new hand crossbow. More treasure was found in the form of money on the gambling table some more food and some presious oil for the lamp. Heading to the east door they heard deep gutteral noises, chirps and whining. They decided to pass on pressing the attack as the party was still wounded.
Instead they headed back to the bedroom and barricaded the doors for a long rest. Dartranna used her time to copy the Charm Person into her spellbook while the rest of the group recovered.
After waking form the long rest they found the the dead gamblers were no longer lying on the floor and the room across the hall was a smelly bedroom - also empty. Further up the stairs to the north they came tpo the east end of the cavern, empty but for the rotten meat smell and a small passage leading out of the cavern east into the forest... a smugglers route.
They then headed back to the town just as night was falling. They met Myrisha in the Scorched Scroll Inn and gave her the parchments. Myrisha became angry and showed the papers to Mort at the bar and demanded he call a town meeting. After a meal and some ale the party retired for the night to their soft comfy beds and rested well.
The morning brought them the sounds of the Abbey bell pealing in the distance... a call to the Town Hall...