Players: Jack Bateson (Athelstan Blandifoot), Marc Brown (Ahn’s), INdran (Seerena Tonauac), James Dean-Hughes (Jian Belvis), Neil Simpson (Rael)
Date: 20 May 2015
Adventure: “The Last Days of Oerth”
- Lady Cecilia died last night. She was found on her bed. She had evidently passed away through grief over the loss of her children. Since her death Ahn’a has not left her side.
- The White Lady is currently lying in state on a stone plinth outside the mausoleum in the Rose Garden. Baron Janstinn has given strict instructions that the body is not to be burned, but should instead be interred in the mausoleum with her dead children. The internment is due to take place in first thing in the morning.
- Sergeant Root has placed members of the Guard to watch the corpse. Just in case.
Moonday, 3rd Reaping 593 CY
- It is just after midnight. It is cold and drizzle is falling.
- Rael, Jian and Athelstan are watching the body of the White Lady in the Rose Garden.
- Ahn’a is sitting by her deceased mistress.
- Seerena is also present, as she’s at something of a loose end.
- The baron appears and regards the scene, but then returns to his tower.
- Ahn’a adjusts Cecilia’s hair only to discover that the White Lady was wearing a wig. Underneath she is bald, and looks as though she always has been. Jian determines that the wig is not of great quality, suggesting further magicks have been used to disguise Cecilia.
- It is notes that Cecilia does look quite as she appeared in life. He features seem harder, more angular. She’s obviously the same person, and obviously still human, but seems to be of a racial type the party does not recognise.
- There is some concern that this change could be a precursor to a transformation into an undead beastie, but Jian and Seerena believe that whatever magical device was maintaining the disguise is probably just failing.
- Ahn’a notices a tiny pinprick just behind Cecilia’s ear. She recognises this as a fatal wound with a very thin needle-like blade. She is convinced Cecilia has been murdered, and brings this to the attention of the rest of the party. They look at the mark, but don’t recognise its implication. At best they humour her.
* * * * * *
- Suddenly, they hear the bell peeling, and the guardsman Gillespie crying “Thief! Thief” from the top of the Guard Tower.
- Jian and Seerena rushes to see what is the matter leaving Athelstan and Rael to guard the body.
- Rael climbs to the castle wall to get a better vantage point.
- Ahn’a decides she needs proof of Cecilia’s murder and heads to her lady’s bed chamber.
* * * * * *
- Ahn’a enters the manor and is immediately beset by a gaggle of orphans who demand to know what is happening.
- Arabella Wainwright is attempting to get them back to bed, but they aren’t listening to her. Rulf Cooper seems to be the ring-leader, but young Emmeline is buckling on one of the practice swords and seems determined to come out and help thwart whatever evil is besieging the castle. Of the orphans only Ulric, Eleanor and Poppy are not present.
- Soon Mirabelle and Edie arrives, and the former is quick to help Arabella but the children back to bed. Edie however needs further explanations.
- Eventually, Ahn’a heads through the manor and into the keep. She can hear movement from the upper floor suggesting that Baron Janstinn is still awake. However, Cecilia kept different quarters and Ahn’a quickly lets herself in.
- It is immediately apparent to Ahn’a that someone has been here and searched the place following Cecilia’s death. The burglar was circumspect and definitely tried to remain undetected, but Ahn’a has been the lady’s maid for nearly two years and she can tell that some things are subtlety out of place. The doors leading to the balcony are also slightly ajar. Ahn’a checks the bed sheets for any sign of blood.
* * * * * *
- Seerena and Jian arrive in the courtyard at the same time as Sergeant Root and Corporal Pinks.
- Gillespie is very upset that his father’s sword has been stolen.
- He says he was just getting up for his shift on watch when he saw an assailant clad in black disappearing out of the window of the barracks with his father’s sword.
- It was a human (or of human proportions – an elf or half-elf maybe) but he could see any features. Maybe it was a drow. He didn’t see where the figure went so he rang the bell.
- At this point Guardswoman Enndolynn Witten arrives. She has been watching on the southern wall. She didn’t see anything. Banter ensues.
- Root takes the matter seriously and proposes a search. Seerena and Jian can check the upper courtyard, the other guards can split up and look down here.
* * * * * *
- Seerena and Jian head to the upper courtyard, but rather than help Seerena wants to see what Ahn’a is up to and heads into the Keep.
- She creeps up to Cecilia’s bed chamber, but Ahn’a has heard her coming and ambushes her as she enters the room. The misunderstanding is quickly cleared up.
- Ahn’a explains what she has found indicates the bed sheets. She claims there are traces of blood on the white sheets. Seerena thinks they could just as easily be tea stains.
- Seerena now systematically begins to search the room, tapping the floor and the walls for secret compartments.
* * * * * *
- Jian returns to the Lady’s lounge, which is the building one must go through to reach the Rose Garden. He checks out this building and the large Hall before he hears the sounds of shouting from upstairs.
- From his vantage point on the walls, Rael thought he saw movement on the roof of the Hall. However, he has quickly lost sight of whatever it was.
- He tells Athelstan, but as the half-elf is still down in the rose garden, he can’t see a thing.
- Suddenly, a tile falls off the roof of the Lady’s Lounge and almost hits Athelstan. Something is evidently on the roof up there.
- Jian bundles into the rose garden at this point, and looks up to see a huge shadowy mass flowing from the roof toward him.
* * * * * *
- In the lady’s chamber, Seerena has found a lose floorboard. She opens it up to find an empty hiding place.
- The compartment is large enough to hold something about the size of a dinner plate, but it seems to have been searched like the rest of the room. The fact that the floorboard was replaced rather inexpertly was what helped her to discover it in the first place.
- Seerena notices that the compartment is lined with lead, suggesting that whatever was in here was magical.
- Ahn’a (who is standing on the balcony looking back toward the rose garden) suggests that they should return to the others. She can see a huge shadow on the roof top, and it has just dropped down into the rose garden.
* * * * * *
- Rael shoots an arrow into the black mass.
- The darkness is about 40 feet across and begins to fill the rose garden as it descends. It appears to be making its way toward the body of Lady Cecilia.
- Athelstan darts forward and scoops up Cecilia’s body. Bracing himself between the outer wall and the mausoleum he quickly bounds up to the top of the wall to stand next to Rael.
- Reasoning that there could be some creature at the centre of the darkness, Jian lets lose a tirade of magical abuse. A female voice in the middle of the shadow screams in pain, and lets loose a choice expletive in Jian’s general direction.
- The shadowy darkness flows across the rose garden it almost envelopes it, and then the darkness is gone – along with any creature it may have contained.
- In the instant before it disappeared Jian detected the very strong smell of offal and fish…
* * * * * *
- Sergeant Root, Corporal Pinks, Gillespie, Enndolynn, Ahn’a and Seerena head to the rose garden. They are joined by the guards Ziba Gilani and Connor Trinket who were just coming onto duty with Gillespie.
- When the crowd arrives, Jian and Athelstan quickly appraise of them of the situation.
- Rael has head to the ground looking for tracks on the wet path.
- The darkness could have been a spell, but Seerena is inclined to believe that it was a natural ability conjured by something. Not necessarily undead, but possibly a drow. They can conjure darkness and this would fit in with the assailant that Gillespie saw.
- Rael doesn’t think it was a drow. He’s found footprints that run all the way to the doorway of the mausoleum and then vanish. They are humanoid, bare-footed, but with six toes.
- Are they dealing with a demon? Perhaps a creature with demonic blood in it. A tiefling?
- Jian says that it didn’t sound like any tiefling he had ever met. The language was the common tongue, but he didn’t recognise the accent. And he knows a lot of accents.
- Ahn’a explains what she and Seerena found in the Lady’s chamber, and Root is told of everything the group has discovered during the evening.
- Ahn’a goes over to Cecilia and removes the clasp on the Lady’s belt. Immediately, the transformation of Cecilia’s corpse is complete. She is still obviously Cecilia but her red pupils turn black, and she has a more drawn and haughty aspect. She was evidently not a Suel albino but someone of a similar make-up who was looking like one. Ahn’a puts the claps on but it doesn’t have much effect on her as she is already a Suel albino. Jian puts it on. His features are softened, his skin whitened.
- Ahn’a says that he baron must be told about all of this.
- Root is not sure that they should disturb the baron tonight, but is eventually convinced.
* * * * * *
- Sergeant Root leads Ahn’a, Jian and Athelstan to speak to Baron Janstinn.
- They head to the keep and up the stairs. Ahn’a is sure she can hear voices from inside the baron’s chambers when they knock on the door. She’s certain she heard Samildanak – but no one else in the group seems to have heard that.
- They enter, and tell the baron everything that has happened as well as their suspicions.
- He is obviously in a bad way – scruffy and probably drunk. His neat beard is rather unkempt.
- He evidently knew that his wife was in disguise… he dismisses this as unimportant. He is extremely concerned that someone broke into the castle. He seems very worried about this.
- Regarding Ahn’a’s assertion that Cecilia was murdered… the baron says that he doesn’t believe it. Everyone takes the baron’s word for this and, in truth, it plays into their own beliefs that Ahn’a is a silly girl jumping to silly conclusions. Ahn’a, however, is convinced that the baron is lying and he does think is wife was murdered and won’t do anything about it. No-one else shares that opinion.
- The baron stresses on Root the importance of catching the thief.
- Root suggests the party get some rest.
* * * * * *
- The party help to inter the body of Lady Cecilia.
- The fog is extremely thick.
- They lay her with her children in the mausoleum and seal the door.
* * * * * *
- Later they meet in the Gate Tower at Root’s behest.
- Although he is doing all he can to find the thief is seems very likely that they have now left the castle, so unless they come back there is very little that he can do.
- Rael, Jian, Athelstan and Seerena together with Pinks, Enndolynn and Gillespie are to head out into Narwell and try to find some more food. Edie and Ahn’a are to come with them.
- Edie thinks that the cheesewright on the far side of town is worth raiding. If they don’t get more food soon then they’re going to starve.
- Rael questions the wisdom of Edie coming on a gathering mission. They can handle it. But Edie is determined. She wants Rael and the others there to protect her while she goes looking for food.
- The party prepare to head out into Narwell.