The players rejoin Arlo Bosch and his battlewagon caravan and head to river town of Loudwater. There they part ways with Arlo. The players have not decided to become an adventuring group at this time, though the mage, Murdock Bloodstorm and the cleric, Brother Hammond are both leading in that direction. What is also clear at this time is that this is not a trusting group. Teamwork, open communication and the revelation of secrets and life stories do not come readily to this bunch. For now they hang together for convenience sake and the tenuous shared experience of Smiling Bob –a slight thread from which a rich tapestry will be woven.
We all decide that playing 1st level adventurers is not really fun and have upped all the characters to 2nd level. The contents of the wooden box (detailed below and in elsewhere) serve as the items the players might have found had they continued to slogged their way through 1st level.
The players, at Arlo’s suggestion get rooms at the Green Tankard Tavern, run by the halfling, Marsh Laval. Posted in the common room is a copy of the broadsheet, the Loudwater Proclaimer. News of the player’s achievements has beaten them to the town and someone has described them on the broadsheet. Marsh Laval and a few of the other patrons would read the broadsheet aloud to the common room nightly. Eventually it was determined that the players were the ones described in the broadsheet and rounds of drinks were purchased in the player’s honor.
During this time, the thief noticed that there were at least two professional thieves working the market outside of the Green Tankard.
A bird landed on Arraellia’s shoulder. The thief noticed this as well. Arraellia removed a message from the bird’s leg. The message appeared to cause the ranger distress. When the thief, Kierra asked about the bird, Arraellia pretends that nothing unusual had happened.
The fighter, Ed Stormcloak is approached by several off duty town watch, known as the Silver Crescents and challenged to various feats of strength. Ed readily complies, as long as the loser pays the ever increasing bar tab. Ed becomes well liked by these members of the watch.
The cleric, Brother Hammond goes exploring and visits the local temple. The temple is home to several denominations, but the primary space is dedicated to Sylvanus. The temple has several alcoves for the placement of shrines to various deities. Brother Hammond talked to the caretaker of the temple, Brother Griffon and learned that there was a space available, if Brother Hammond could muster the money, for a shrine to Aumanator.
The mage, Murdoch Bloodstorm has spent this time up in his room attempting to open the long rectangular wooden box that the goblins. Nothing has worked so far, and while daydreaming for solutions, the mage drums his fingers on the box. Suddenly the box pops open. The mage, in his shock, lurches out of his seat, hitting the table and causing the box to drop to the floor and close again. Recreating the events in his mind the mage realizes that it was his drumming his fingers that caused the box to open. This was a knock box! A fashion among the wizards of Imaskar about a century ago, it is similar to a bag of holding, but smaller, designed to hold an archmage’s spell books in a land where how many spell books you had was a status symbol. After several hours, the mage manages to recreate the complex series of knocks and opens the box, revealing treasure within and a note. The players gather and divvy up the treasure.
The players receive an invitation: The players are invited to join Lady Moonfire at her house the following day.
Brother Hammond makes friends at the Green Tankard Tavern with the local mage, Curuvar the Brazen. Curuvar is a the classic mage: pointy hat, staff with a crows skull, wizardly robes. However, Curuvar also appears to have a and drinking problem and a disdain for adventurers. Also, when Curuvar gets deep into his cups his cantrips tend to go off, especially ghost sound, which becomes a chorus of back-up singers (think 70’s funk). After buying the recalcitrant Curuvar a drink, Hammond goes off to join the mage and sorcerer at the Curiosity Shop (followed by the rest of the party).
The players sense a disturbance: The Sorcerer, Kelgrath senses something strongly magical coming from a shop near the Green Tankard Inn. Murdoch the mage, not wanting to be undone puts his arcane skills to use and also notices the presence of magic. It is at this time that the players notice that the sorcerer and the mage experience the presence of magic differently.
The shop is Garwan’s Curiousities. The sorcerer and the mage enter the shop and meet the old dwarf, Garwan who runs it, and much comic hilarity inadvertently ensues. After several bad roles the two players determine that the magic is coming from a dagger made of bone. The mage thinks the dagger is a simple item of minor power. The sorcerer believes the dagger to be an awesomely powerful item.
The two players then try to figure out the best way to leave with the item. The sorcerer tries to intimidate the old, leathery dwarf, who was not impressed. The mage tries to figure out what spells he might use to convince the dwarf to part with the dagger, or otherwise abscond with the item. It becomes somewhat clear that the mage, having been raised as a slave perhaps has a few adjustment issues, while the sorcerer’s massive charisma extends to his rugged good looks rather than his ability to talk.
After examining the dagger as a group they determine that it might be the goblin artifact known as Zug-zug, but more research is needed.
The group decides to leave the dagger at the shop and go to Lady Moonfire’s.
The players go to Moonfire Mansion, an old building built by dwarven craftsmen but now slowly degenerating. The players are met at the door by the butler and all-purpose man, Humpineous. The vast mansion is surprisingly empty, where there should be teams of servants there is only Humpineous. Everything looks like it was once luxurious but is starting to fade with age and lack of upkeep.
The players pay the silver that allows them access to the Moonfire library and look up information regarding the dagger. Felwick Moonfire, Lady Moonfire’s missing brother was a practicing hedge mage and local historian. He collected texts on magic, especially those that concerned local issues.
The players learn that Zug-zug was a famous goblin general, very successful until his last campaign, where he failed to complete a mission done specifically in honor of the goblin god, Maglubiyet and consequently died. Maglubiyet rewarded Zug-zug’s years of military victory by allowing him to live forever as a powerful artifact, but his punishment for failure was that he was split into two pieces, a dagger and a mace/scepter, thus potentially splitting his consciousness.
After researching the dagger the players met with Lady Moonfire. Fiona Moonfire is the last remaining Moonfire and the hereditary ruler of Loudwater. Her brother, Felwick was running things but he disappeared about a year ago while investigating Draigdurroch tower to the north. Since that time Fiona admits that she has had a hard time running the town. She’s never had to deal with things like tax collection and maintenance and upkeep before. Her administrators are leaving her, just the other day one of her tax collectors disappeared and there is a general grumbling from business owners. But income is down and the town watch, the Silver Crescents, led by Captain Harrowleaf are already spread thin. At some point, the pretty, jeweled elf breaks down and cries then composes herself, apologizes and asks the players to forgive her emotional outburst.
The players go back to the Green Tankard tavern, pregnant with information but not sure quite what to do with it and fall into a fitfull slumber.