Loose Ends – Chapter One

9th Day of the Deepwinter: (January):

Our Heroes tell their tales of Barovia and all engage in their individual training. Commander Vimes meanwhile, keeps a close eye on our Heroes.

28th Day of the Deepwinter: (January):

Some of our Heroes have finished their training in Daggerford and around Daggerford. Commander Vimes and his men & women maintain their watch on our Heroes.

Coat-of-Arms - Daggerford - Commandewr Vimes
Coat-of-Arms – Daggerford

Commander Vimes’ Questions:

Horse shit and mud. If there are two ingredients that really sum up the beginning of the Drawing Down season in Daggerford, it is not honeyed nuts or those eye-watering pickled eggs that old man Wortbeard sells down by the bridge, oh no: it is horse shit and mud.

And why do they call it the Drawing Down?

Is it perhaps because of the fact that the first step taken out of your fire-warmed town residency is straight into the quicksand-like putrid Schlamm(as Sigune would call it). If the Daggerford resident wasn’t nimble or strong enough, would be instantly drawn into the mud and shit. Many winter boots (and worse!) had thus been lost by the sleepy or unwary.

Needless to say, the population of Daggerford would spend the opening weeks of the Drawing Down praying to their respective Deities for the winter freeze.

Not only would the mud become icily petrified, but the bestial stench of the open latrines and all manner of ungodly waste discarded by man and beast.

This would also cease to radiate its pungent and omnipotent assault on the hardened olfactory senses of the people of this corner of the Forgotten Realms.

Thora: “Isn’t this a little early for you, Frimly, lad? The Lady Luck Inn is usually your venue of choice after you have broken your fast: have you decided to skip the charade of hearty fare before ale and cut right to the chase?”

Thora’s mood can be measured according to the amount of mud that already mats and clings to her beard.

For those of stout heart and broad stature, the Drawing Down is an even more challenging season to be on the thoroughfares of Daggerford.

Frimly: “Right you are, my Lady! The earlier the better – and the less solid fare in the gullet the merrier the ale will dance in my guts! But it is not just the ale drawing us on this fine morn to the Lady Luck! As fortune would ‘ave it, we’ve been summoned by our friend from the Watch, Captain Vimes! Didn’t you get the Order? Why’d they always send ‘em just to me? Casting aspersions on my flawless character again! All this muck they chuck at me is bound to stick one of these days! It ain’t fair or right! I’ll lodge a complaint with the Duke! Persecution it is!”

Thora: “Aye, sticking in the muck seems to be one of the major hazards here in Daggerford and not just for the light of finger, but also for the heavy of foot… Speaking of whom, there are always that sharp lass and her Elven Wizard. By my beard they’re a queer pair and no mistake!

But they’ve helped us through many a sticky patch and no doubt that together – and I count the others in this equation too – we make a formidable company under my humble guidance.”

The towering Maid of St. Cuthbert fully armoured and piously clutching the Holy Symbol of the Cudgel between mailed fists is clearly struggling in the inclement conditions.

Despite her dextrous demeanour and her considerable might of arms, the choice of footwear made in the small hours of the day was poor.

For fighting against foes on solid flagstones, her steel mailed boots would have provided her with an impregnable skin against both Sword and Spear.

Yet in mud, such protective footwear has little in the way of grip or support in slippery conditions, instead adding a random and unpredictable element to any morning stroll through Daggerford.

And before Sigune can complete her greeting of:

Sigune: “Hail and well met, Champions of Runedardath under mount Illefarn.”

She is in a single sweeping movement catapulted head first into the Schlamm – her enormous weight splashing all within a range of 20’ feet with an instant overcoat of horse shit and mud.

The Wizard takes several steps away from the Paladin, dispelling the Magical Shield now completely coated in a thick oozing layer of muck.

Mirafir: “My Lady! Shall I summon aid, a draft horse or shall I draw upon my arcane powers to ease your pitiful predicament?”

Sigune: “Silence Vizard! I require no assistance! Did not zee Lord Cuthbert Himself vunce say: For he that crawls in zee mud shall rise up and do zee divine vill of zee Cudgel! Death to zee blasphemers! Or something like zis? I vill check vith Father Tobias!”

As a small crowd of curious and bemused onlookers begins to grow, the four Adventurers struggle to gain or stay on their feet and enter the Lady Luck Tavern.

Within the main saloon, the little daylight emanating from the cloudy heavens has little chance of penetrating the grease and tobacco stained pained glass which punctuates the crumbling plaster at rare intervals along the outer walls.

Nevertheless, the Adventurers have little trouble identifying their charge: there is only one person within the shadowy room, sitting comfortably at the table closest to the fire drawing deep breaths of smoke from a slender pipe while taking the occasional swig of ale from a large flagon.

Thora’s booming voice shatters the silence of the inn:

Commander Sam Vimes
Commander Sam Vimes – City Watch

Thora: “Captain Vimes! To what do we owe the dubious honour? I suspect there is some trouble at hand, for why else would we hear from someone of your station?”

Commander Vimes: “Well met! The heroes of Runedardath the City of Dwarves under Illefarn!

Your names count already among the mighty legends of Daggerford, and yet I would wager that your mightiest deeds lie still before you. But my station, dear Thora, has changed since we last met. No longer Captain, I have been promoted to the honourable rank of Commander Vimes. My deeds, though considerably less legendary than yours, were nevertheless considered worthy enough for a promotion.

In these dark days, where no roads are safe, and all flock to the towns for safety in numbers, my rank is as much a burden as it is an honour.”

Thora: “Aye, Commander it is then. Rank notwithstanding, the honour is nevertheless dubious. What do you want from us?”

Thora: “Captain Vimes! To what do we owe the dubious honour? I suspect there is some trouble at hand, for why else would we hear from someone of your station?”

Vimes: “Well met! The heroes of Runedardath the City of Dwarves under Illefarn! Your names count already among the mighty legends of Daggerford, and yet I would wager that your mightiest deeds lie still before you. But my station, dear Thora, has changed since we last met. No longer Captain, I have been promoted to the honourable rank of Commander. My deeds, though considerably less legendary than yours, were nevertheless considered worthy enough for a promotion. In these dark days, where no roads are safe, and all flock to the towns for safety in numbers, my rank is as much a burden as it is an honour.”

Thora: “Aye, Commander Vimes it is then. Rank notwithstanding, the honour is nevertheless dubious. What do you want from us?”

 Vimes: “I’ve got a few loose ends.”

Thora: “Loose ends? Take that tone with me, laddie, and commander or nae, you’ll soon have a loose head! Get to the point and no riddles: we have no time for idle chit chat.”

A serving wench is summoned to bring some drinks for the Heroes and Commander Vimes.

Commander Vimes: “As you wish, my Lady. No harm intended! I’ve got a few outstanding questions… Just for my records, your business is in my remit whilst you are all within the walls of Daggerford and it has taken me a while to catch up with you, you’ve been away for over a year! In all that time much has happened.”

Commander Vimes: “For instance, Virgil the caravan head guard, who accused you Frimly of theft, was hung in Waterdeep… His luck ran out the day he was caught and confessed to running a scam where they would frame others for their pilfering whilst guarding the caravans. His fellow conspirators and luck both DISAPPEARED on him I guess you would say Frimly.”

All the while Vimes is talking to the group and yet looking at Frimly.

Commander Vimes: “Next we have the attack on Cromm’s Holding, the place that protected and provided an early warning system, for Daggerford from the Lizard Marsh. Sherlen Spearslayer sent you out there, was someone else with her at the time you were ordered to ride out?

There is no recollection for the party as to who was with Sherlen Spearslayer at the time when she ordered them into the Lizard Marshes.

Commander Vimes: “I need you gentlemen to fill in the gaps in this story?”

Commander Vimes: “What did you find once you reached Cromm’s holding?”

Mirafir: “I recall that Baron Cromm Redhand was out for revenge after the Lizard Men had attacked his holding slaughtering some 20-odd people and killed his one and only heir. The Baron Cromm Redhand had just returned from a day and nights hunting.”

Commander Vimes interrogates the Adventurers about their caravan duties.

Commander Vimes: “How did it come about that you all choose to guard the cattle caravan from the Way Inn, down near Dragonspear Castle, back up to Daggerford?

Mirafir: “From what I can remember it was the owner of the Way Inn, Dauravyn Redbeard that introduced us to Meldar Far-wander and his daughter Delora Sharpeye.”

Commander Vimes: “What were your impressions of Meldar Far-wander, his daughter Delora Sharpeye, and his three animal handlers, Ian, Finn, and Dooley?”

Thora: “They were down on their luck and in a desperate situation. Meldar Far-wander told us how he was a trader leading a caravan on its way from Baldur’s Gate to Daggerford. His caravan was attacked by bandits the day before we arrived. His guards were killed, and that he needed help getting the caravan to Daggerford.”

Commander Vimes: “Can you recall if they were human folk or of another race?”

Galan: “I was not with the group at this point.”

Frimly: “Meldar Far-wander did say bandits. We encountered Orcs and Goblin on the way home and Meldar Far-wander did not say they were those that attacked him previously.”

Frimly thinks to himself.

Frimly: “Shit, I think that’s the first time I’ve called Daggerford home, or any place come to that.”

Commander Vimes: “Very helpful indeed.”

Commander Vimes: “It just so happens that we have Finn occupying one of our cells. He is pleading innocence to starting a brawl in this very establishment, the Lady Luck Tavern. You may have also noticed that the huge wing of the Dragon is no longer hanging from its chains about the bar. The mummified wing of a Dragon slain in a volcano, the heat baked and dried its outstretched wing. Along with the damage to it and an unfortunate death, Finn’s future is not looking very bright.”

Commander Vimes: “Apologies, my thoughts often wonder on me. Where was I, yes, then you were attacked by all manner of creatures and some Bandits, that’s when you suddenly burst onto the scene. Is that not so Galan Tara?”

Frimly, being the only one of the Adventurers to have spoken with Vimes muses to himself.

Meldar's Map Of Illefarn
Meldar’s Map Of Illefarn

Commander Vimes: “Did Meldar Far-wander, or his daughter Delora Sharpeye, identify any of the bandits that attacked your caravan as those that assaulted them a day outside of the Way Inn?”

Thora: “Ney, they didn’t have anything to say, they just said they wished to sell up and make their way to sunnier climates.”

Commander Vimes peers into his notebook and scratches the stubble on chin, all the while puffing on his cheap cigar.

Frimly: “Commander Vimes is not the kind of man you would wish to be looking for you as you get the feeling he knows the answers to most of the questions he’s asking. Is he just verifying his investigations, seeing if we contradict anything he has learnt or just laying the ground work for the do-gooders in the party to do carry out his investigations outside his area of his influence?

Frimly: “He seems legit but no one like a Copper.”

Commander Vimes continue with his questions and moves onto the events leading up to the kidnapping of Lady Bronwyn by Baron Agwain and the killing of two of the Duke of Daggerford’s personal guard.

Sir Ly retells the events of that night from when he first identified the crest as that belonging to Baron Agwain from the Secomber region, to the pursuit and eventual show down with Baron Agwain.

Commander Vines: “What do you have to say concerning the Dukes guards that were killed?”

Sir Ly: “We knew nothing of the poor souls until the grave news was given to us by the Duke himself at the keep.”

Commander Vines: “What of the first encounter with Baron Agwain’s men at arms as you and your comrades travelled through Laughing Hollow?”

Sir Ly: “Both the men at arms and us appeared not to want to inflict any mortal wounds. They were subdued by Magic Spells from the Wizard and Cleric and the swords skills of Thora and Sigune.”

Commander Vimes: “Interesting, pray continue.”

Sir Ly: “We eventually caught up with Baron Agwain and his 6 remaining men at arms. That is when they were set upon by a Goblin hoard which killed 3 of the Barons men at arms. We killed those of the Goblin that were attacking Baron Agwain and then chased after the few that ran off. They in turn lead us to more Goblins who were in turn, firing their short bows at a lone figure hidden beyond the ridge.”

NPC - King Melandrach - Commandewr Vimes
NPC – King Melandrach

Commander Vimes: “So if it were not for Melandrach’s untimely wonderings, you may have all been caught in a possible trap?”

Galan: “But what, or who, was the target they were after?”

Commander Vimes thanks the Adventurers for their help with his investigations.

Commander Vimes: “I can only look into, ahhhh, events that take place within my jurisdiction and so your insight has tied up a few lose end. Shame that my authority does not extend further, so much still a mystery.  However, thank you all again gentlemen and ladies.”

Commander Vimes stands, drains the last drops from his glass and turns to leave.

Commander Vimes: “Just one more question before I go. Do any of you know anything about undead rats? No?

A silence so deafening suddenly engulfs the private room that one may have thought that a Clerical Spell of ‘Silence’ had been cast upon the room.

Commander Vimes: “I have imposed on you all too much this night; we can come back to this at a later date.”

After a lot of handshaking and much nodding, Vimes leaves, taking the wine with him which had been provided by Galan and which was liberated from the halls of Count Strahd. On his way out he bumps into a Dwarven lady as he leaves the private room. Frimly upon seeing this interaction between the Dwarf and the commander goes over to Vimes.

Frimly: “Vimes, check your pockets!”

Commander Vimes does as suggested and thanks Frimly. A Clay Golem suddenly walks through the doorway, nearly bending itself double just to do so, and into the Lady Luck. The creature then walk up to Commander Vimes and they both leave together. Frimly spots that the Golem is wearing one of the City Watches coat of arms.

Frimly notes that the female Dwarf sits at the back of the Lady Luck Tavern, looking out at all the patrons.

Frimly: “Vimes has a Golem working for the City Watch, how is that even possible?

Frimly: “Or even fair?”

Frimly re-joins his comrades and they all discuss among themselves how the events of the last few years may now, in some way, make more sense. It was not just happenstance that one Adventure leads to another, but that Evil has been planning while to good folk of the Sword Coast got rich and lazy.

Mirafir: “Don’t forget the tale of Adventures that were on their way to find the Dwarven City of Runedardath under the mountain of Illefarn, Dauravyn Redbeard the owner of the Way Inn told us of them. Then we returned to Daggerford we found that no news of the Adventurers had been heard and that they have not returned to Daggerford.”

NPC - King Korin Ironaxe
NPC – King Korin Ironaxe

Thora: “Aye, that’s also when I first learned that Korin Ironaxe, brother of my mentor Derval Ironeater, had taken a band of Dwarves and Halflings in the hope of finding a way into Runedardath, under the mountain of Illefarn.”

Frimly: “We did eventually meet-up with two of the surviving Adventures. They were paying their last respects to their fallen comrades by leaving items in the Lady luck, as is our custom.” Thora, you spoke to them what can you remember of your conversation?”

Thora: “The two Adventurers were both heavily bandaged and were convalescing in the Lady luck Tavern. They readily told me of their sorry tale of a party of 12 that set out to find the Dwarven City of Runedardath, under Mount Illefarn. Only 3 of them returned, having been attacked in “The Laughing Hollow” by well a large band of well drilled Orcs and Goblins.

They only survived the encounter when a band of Wild Wood Elves intervened and saved the remaining three. The Elves did not aid any further and they were told to leave. They willingly showed me their map, but it was a poorly made one and revealed nothing that our superior version did not already show.

Vimes Leaves And Morri And His Merry Men:

Frimly, with his keen hearing, and always alert to traffic in a tavern, hears the familiar voice of Morri the Gnome Illusionist from the Dwarven City of Runedardath, under the mountain of Illefarn. As Frimly peers out through the crack in the door, the Thief can see Morri who appears to be quite serious. He is accompanied by other 3 younger Dwarves who look to be in the mood for drinking the evening away.

Morri - Dwarf
Morri – Dwarf

Morri: “Ale, and be quick before I am bored to death by these boys!”

Morri: “Brammor, Daldan and Horgus, you are under my charge but I am not your mother, thank the mighty Moradin for that.”

The 3 young Dwarves are hunched together peering over parchments, while Morri is desperately trying to catch the attention of Agatha, one of the many new serving wenches here at the Lady Luck.

Frimly wonders what they are doing here in Daggerford, they smell like rancid nuts and he has no recollection of meeting them under mount Illefarn, in the City of Runedardath.

Frimly disguises himself so as not to be recognised, trying out for the first time his new ‘Hat of Disguise’, and blends in with the crowd.

Frimly choses to disguise himself as?

The young Dwarves introduce themselves and, with Frimly showing interest in there obvious interest in engineering, proceed to discuss the Delimbiyr River, environmental problems, the engineering projects in the surrounding areas and under Illefarn within the City of Runedardath. Morri appears to be happy that he provided a distraction and allows the Illusionist to order his fill of food and drink; also not forgetting to flirt with Agatha.

Frimly: “How’s the clean-up going?”

Not well it turns out…

Runedardath - Control Room - Commandewr Vimes
Runedardath – Control Room
Runedardath - Aquifers - Commandewr Vimes
Runedardath – Aquifers

Daldan: “Runedardath still has fresh water and we are in the process of clearing up the last traces of the pollution.”

Brammor: “Thanks to the mighty, and beautiful, warrior Thora Grid El.”

Horgus:” Yes, Brammor wee all know ye have your eye on the wee lass. You’ve nee chance.”

Daldan appear to be the most knowledgeable of the three concerning the clean-up effort and so Frimly directs his attention towards him.

Daldan explains how they were checking the Delimbiyr River for any trace of the pollution. Frimly questions him regarding the Aquifer, using his knowledge of the sections and working that he personally interacted with. Daldan parts with the following bits of information:

  • The Dwarven sages believe that the earthquake was non-magical in nature.
  • The Dwarves have access to only one of the 2 large chambers that feed water in to Runedardath.
  • The Dwarves have not managed to get past the blockage, caused by the earthquake, due to the amount of rubble and the acidic nature of the tainted water, possibly even the air inside the cavern itself may be filled will corrosive gases.
  • The origins of the toxic liquid that the Dwarves have are still unknown to the Dwarven sages, but there is no longer a threat to flora or fauna.
  • The way into the Aquifer caverns is located under the control room.

Morri: “Now that’s enough of that Daldan, wee don’t want to be giving away our trade secrets to just any old enthusiast that comes our way, No offence lad.”

Frimly: “None taken.”

Brammor: “Some of the bodies of the previous inhabitants had disappeared during the clean-up.”

Morri: “I think you’ve had too much Ale there Brammor, put the tankard down and have some more haggis lad.”

Brammor: “Dumathoin, the Keeper of Secrets under the Mountain, has always protected the City of Runedardath. It was him that guided Thora.”

Daldan, happy to have met someone with his passion for engineering, hands the disguised Frimly a sample of bilious liquid to the disguised Frimly.

Frimly thanks Morri and the 3 young Dwarves for their company and make his way back to the private room.

The Lady Luck Tavern
The Lady Luck Tavern

As we all sit listening to Frimly recounts the information gathered from the Dwarven engineers, we begin to realise, that all the things that were done before entering the City of Runedardath, under the mountain named Illefarn, were connected to it. The Caravan Duty, the Lizard Men and the kidnapping of Lady Bronwyn. Everything is somehow connected, but to what end?

Father Tobias elects to investigate the vial of contaminant and uses his herb lore to attempt to discern its component parts but is none the wiser. The Father then casts ‘Detect Poison’ on the liquid. The spell not only confirms that the liquid is indeed a poison, but Father Tobias’ skill with the spell allows him to uncover its full properties. It is a rare poison called ‘Black Dragon Brew’, a rear variant of Arsenic. This obscure poison can be found for sale in the markets of Skullport, beneath Waterdeep, or Mantol-Derith in the Northdark near Menzoberranzan, but nowhere else. The poison can be created by mixing specific ingredients to produce this form of concoction.

The Clues Of Commander Vimes:

In conclusion, the party decides to investigate the mysterious Huntmaster Dygath Hornspar who mysteriously and miraculously survived the attack by the Ceratosaurus, the same Ceratosaurus that attacked the party when they came across the dead bodies of the Barron, his Men at Arms and their horses.

It is suggested that Father Tobias casts ‘Divination’ to see if there next step was to travel to Cromm’s holding:

Farther Tobias: “Pieces of the puzzle will be found, a path to the truth will abound.”

Sigune, Thora, Mirafir and Frimly depart for Cromm’s Hold before intending to then proceed into the Lizard Marshes, the home of the Lizard Men.

Frimly: “Don’t forget the Giant Toads, Giant Lizards, Giant Centipedes oh and the Ceratosaurus or two that we may happen to meet.”

Are the small band of chosen Adventurers, mount their horses and ride out on another rain swept morning, they observe that there are lot of extra reinforcements on the walls of Daggerford. Derval Ironaxe and his clan have clearly made a large number of improvements to the town’s defences and the curtain wall is now fully constructed from stone.

Thora: “These improvements must have cost the Duke a pretty copper knowing how reluctant the merchants are to spend their own coin. Derval’s work is amounts the finest in these parts, but they don’t come cheap.”

Sigune: “And from what we have heard from our duties at the temple, many poor souls have lots everything and this whole year has been a bad harvest too.”

We inform Commander Vimes of our intensions before leaving. He plays ignorant and states that he is only tasked with the policing of Daggerford and nothing beyond that.

Commander Vimes: “Good luck to you all!”

Ridding To Crom’s Holding:

It has been still continuously raining for several days now and Galan notes that it has been so since their return from the training in the High Forest, with the Shapeshifting Druid and Goblin Worg Ridders, after discovering the large Hidden Military Camp.

We now exchange mud and shit for pure Sword Coast mud, mud on their horses, saddles, cloaks, hair and even teeth. The trek is about 15 miles South West to the Lizard Marshes; no one can be seen on the road after leaving early in the morning, unlike their patrol down the Trade Way road and to the Way Inn, which now feels to us all like it was so many years ago.

We are all soaked to the bone marrow as Cromm’s Holding looms into view through the incessant rain as we struggle with the mud. A thin line of wispy smoke rises from the ruins of the settlement, with most of the wooden palisade still intact, including the main gates.

Crom's Holding
Crom’s Holding

Frimly: The holding seems to still be inhabited.”

Thora: “Let us dismount, less our horses give us away, and approach with a measure of caution.”

And so, not wanting to be detected until, we are by the main gate to the holding, proceeds on foot.

A noise can be heard from within the palisade and Frimly concentrates.

Frimly: “I can hear the sound of chopping wood and a woman humming quietly.

We move round and to the side of the main gates, in order to have a better look inside the holding while maintaining our cover.

Mirafir looks through the split palisade and can see movement within, he whispers to the others.

Mirafir: “I can see a small brazier burning wood, a man chopping wood and a thin woman are the only residents that I can see. They are sheltering under a makeshift covering next to one of the more intact homes. The woman is sitting on a stool shelling beans.”

Thora: “Hail and well met!”

The man does not respond but clutches his Wood A xe.

Thora: “Fear not we are not bandits, we are member of the Daggerford watch.”

Lanril Droverson: “I’ll let you in.”

Lanril says after seeing our watch insignia. Lanril’s attention is suddenly drawn to Sigune, as we all wall through the gates, as he thinks her somehow familiar and then he spots the signet ring that female Paladin is wearing.

Lanril Droverson: “I know who you are; we feared you were dead my Lady.”

Sigune: “I have been fulfilling the will of St. Cuthbert and bringing law, order and justice to the lands.”

Lanril Droverson: “We are the last residents here, as this land has not been claimed and now belongs to no Baron or Lord. No one wants to live here except us. This is my wife my lady, Anna Droverson”

Anna Droverson: “Please, have some warm, spiced wine and sit closer to the fire Lady Sigune, your comrades are also welcome to what we have to offer.”

Anna curtseys to Sigune as we all take a seat and the last two residents of Cromm’s Holding retell the events of that fateful day. The couple tell of the raid in the early morning by the Lizard Men who had somehow scaled the palisade undetected with ropes and caught the watch off guard. They tell of the slaughter once the Guards had been killed and how the few survivors, including Baroness Piann Redhand; the Baron’s wife.

Lanril Droverson: “Then Master Robert and the remaining guards attempted to fight back the loathsome Lizard Men, but their fury and number were too great.”

Anna Droverson: “If only the Baron and his personal guard were here that morning. Baroness Piann later told us that the Baron had insisted on going out on a hunt that day.”

Landril then recounts the arrival of Baron Cromm Redhand, Dygath Hornspar and his Personal Guard. How they all left in pursuit having seen the devastation and especially the death of his only son, Master Robert Redhand. Then the events after our arrival of ourselves

Dygath Hornspar - Huntmaster - Commandewr Vimes
Dygath Hornspar – Huntmaster

Frimly: “What know you of this Dygath Hornspar and how he came to survive the Lizard Men attack?”

They look at each other.

Lanril Droverson: “It was several days before Dygath Hornspar returned to the keep and there were only a few of us collecting the last useful items within the holding and burying our dead. Dygath Hornspar was in a terrible condition and revealed to us how he had been knocked out and separated from the baron during the battle with the Ceratosaurus.”

Sigune: “What happened next with Dygath Hornspar and where may we find this Master Huntsman?”

Lanril Droverson: “The last we heard Dygath Hornspar had been employed by one of the Secomber Barons or Lords.”

Frimly: “So he found work up there then, and didn’t go to Daggerford.”

Mirafir: “Why would he avoid Daggerford? He hadn’t done anything wrong, had he?”

Lanril Droverson: “We cannot say as to his journey to Secomber. The day he arrived was the day he left. He collected what little he had left, a few supplies and left that day.”

We are shown to his quarters allowing Frimly and Mirafir to search them. Mirafir, while searching an area of the floor, found a secret compartment using his ‘Eyes of the Eagle’. But the Wizard finds the space beneath is empty.

Mirafir: “I can observe fine particles of Gold, Silver and even Electrum. Leather traces parchment and wax seal.

We thank Lanril and Anna Droverson for their kind hospitality and help, retrieve our mounts and continue into the Lizard Marsh.

As we make our way back to the Delimbiyr River, as there were not roads which lead into the Lizard March, following our previous route used when following Baron Cromm and his Men-at-Arms.

Mirafir: “The land looks harsher than I remember; the troubles and weather have drained the land of its energy.”

Thora: “Aye, did ye not see how the farms and steadings of Union and here before us, Rock Island are abandoned.”

Sigune: “Vee haz been away from zis land for one year and I still find myself cursing that fiend Count Strahd von Zarovich for ze damage he has caused.”

Even the Ghostlight Wood, some 7 miles to the South, looks foreboding and unwelcoming.

Entering The Lizard Marsh:

We enter the Lizard Marshes, surrounded on all sides by high grasses we fall into our marching order of Sigune, Mirafir, Frimly and Thora. Thora cannot see over the grasses and rushes on her pony but can guard our rear.

Entering the Lizard Marshes bring back the familiar claustrophobia and of the feeling that we were being constantly watched. The Lizard Marshes, much like the surrounding area, feels emptier than when we were last here.

Thora: “This place has the smell of Evil to it lads, my bones are itching and that’s never a good thing.”

After some time riding over the natural paths in the Lizard Marsh, we are suddenly set upon by two Lizard Men that jump up and out of the salted water and attack with bright Long Swords and Spears!

Monster - Lizard Wizard - Commandewr Vimes
Monster – Lizard Wizard

Thora strikes at the Lizardman to her right while Mirafir unleashes several ‘Magic Missile’ at the one to his left. Thora (20!) destroys her target! Mirafir’s ‘Magic Missile’ obliterates the other!

3 more amphibian creatures appear behind Frimly on the path while another 3 more Lizardfolk to the right of us and 2 others on the left leap out of the Marshes and onto the path, Spears in hand!

Frimly shoots one of the rear attackers twice with his Short Bow and ‘Magic Arrow’, killing it!

Sigune elects the firm ground to fight on and dismounts. The warrior maiden then strikes another of the Lizardmen a serious injury but not fatal.

Sigune: “Are vee sure that these are not members of Redeye’s Clan?”

Thora: “None of them wear the baldrics of Red-Brown pelts of Redeyes Clan.”

Mirafir: “Ture indeed Thora, but look they neither wear the Blue Feathers of the Clan that attacked Cromm’s holding. I see no tokens of Clan on the ones I can see.”

Frimly: “I see no colours on the ones I have in front of me.”

Even more Lizardfolk appear after just a few strokes of Sigune’s Long Sword called?

Thora the skilled warrior kills another Lizardman and shows just what you can truly do if you train hard and visit Ravenloft!

The Lizardmen have not hit their mark once and yet they are driven to fury. These are not the same creature that we last encountered a year ago.

Mirafir finally for fills his dream and unleashes a ‘Lightning Bolt’ killing 6 of the Lizardfolk. Those still standing are severely injured while those that did not survive lie chard and smoking on the path! Sigune finishes off the Lizardman she attacked initially. While, through the skills she acquired through her training, Thora takes her second attack and kills one more of the Lizardfolk.

Frimly quickly surveys the surrounding area and spots a further 2 more Lizardmen, some 100 – 200 yards off and standing on a small raised island.

Frimly: “I can see 2 more of these Lizard Men on an island to our North, no weapons in their hand.”

The Lizardmen hold for a heartbeat and suddenly change their plan of attack. 3 for the Lizardmen throw their Spears, not at Mirafir, but at Mirafir’s Horse and with two hitting the poor creature in its flank!

Seeing this, Frimly kicks his Horse in the direction of the assailed Wizard and uses his skill with horses to make his mount rear and kick one of the Lizardmen in is elongated snout!

Thora kills one of the injured Lizardmen that was half burnt my Mirafir’s ‘Lightning Bolt’!

The leader of the Lizardmen, who was standing on the island with one other, screams something guttural and the remainder of his followers on the path and those still able to dive into the reeds and grasses of the Lizard Marshes.

Sigune takes a serious blow from one of the many Lizardmen now surrounding her (20!) before chopping him down and delivering her own brand of Holy Absolvent.

Having put away his Short Bow Frimly kills another of the last Lizardfolk with the ‘Short Sword of Quickness’.

Mirafir Roven - Mirror Image
Mirafir Roven – Mirror Image

Mirafir casts the Wizard Spell ‘Mirror image’ on himself, as he sits on his steed whilst surrounded by Lizardfolk intent on killing his horse. Alas, Mirafir’s horse takes more damage from the darting spears of the remaining Lizardfolk!

Thora, also mounted on her Pony, kills another as the Lizardmen with a swing from her Battle Axe as the other Lizardfolk focus their attacks on the all of the Horses and Pony!

Mirafir, now surrounded by 6 identical copies of himself and all accurately following every movement made by the Wizard, casts his Arcane Spell ‘Sleep’ and effectively puts 5 of the remaining horde of Lizardfolk into a somnambulist slumber!

Mirafir: “Make sure you do not disturb those Lizard Men before me as they merely sleep. Lest we forget what happened with the Giant Spiders by the Brazier Room under the Castle of Ravenloft.”

Only a few of their original number remain, far fewer than the Blue Feather Clan whom we had fought before. Sigune having found her rhythm then literally obliterates another (20 + 8 + 8) of the very last Lizardfolk as her training also pays off with a perfect execution of a Half Swording. Whereby a Knight, Holding his sword up the blade, so they can more easily control the point and being very useful for thrusting. As demonstrated by Sigune.

Frimly, seeing that there were no more foes, turned again in the direction of the 2 lone Lizardfolk on the raised island. The leaders of these Lizardmen and his companion, who bear no Clan Sigel, have already fled from their elevated position within the Lizard Marshes.

Frimly: “The two that were on the island are gone.”

As the remaining Lizardfolk who are under the effects of Mirafir’s ‘Sleep Spell are butchered, Sigune heals her injured Horse by performs the ritual of ‘Laying of Hands’.

Sigune - Laying of Hands
Sigune – Laying of Hands

Sigune had never performed the rites on an animal before and was uncertain of its outcome. However, her mare was extremely well trained since Sigune had spent many an hour with her on the pared ground in Daggerford and the surrounding countryside. Sigune could now distinguish between the different feels that resulted from ‘Healing’.

  • The throbbing felt after the ritual of ‘Laying of Hands’ was performed on the injured area. A feeling of cold numbness, like that felt when flesh is exposed to snow?
  • The itching felt all over once the Cleric had removed his hands having cast ‘Cure Wounds’, A nagging reminder of what the Gods have bestowed?
  • The warm rush of blood through the body felt after imbibing a ‘Potion of Extra-Healing’.

Mirafir make his Stallion drink his ‘Potion of Extra-Healing’ and its effects are instantly noticeable as the beast nuzzles up against the Wizard.

In the end after our encounter with these Lizardfolk, 20 are dead, 1 taken is left alive and held prisoner while 2 escape.

Frimly: “Why not fly up and take a quick gander to see if there’s any more of them Lizard Men about, you’ve got your entourage with you to defect any attention from you.”

Thora: “Still be wary of those 2 possible Spell Casters, Wizard.”

Mirafir casts ‘Fly’ on himself but is unable to spot the 2 unarmed Lizardfolk but spots the movement of grasses several hundred yards to the East of our position. Mirafir fly’s back down and informs us of what he has seen.

Sigune, remembering that she was wearing her ‘Necklace of Memory Enhancement‘, bends down and starts searching the bodies of the Lizardfolk for any marking, sighs, embalms or clues as to where they come from, or what their intension this day might have been. Sigune notes that they all have some small token of colour that may point to a Clan. However, what truly binds them together is the tattooed marking she note on one, then two; on all of the dead Lizardfolk can be found, one form or another, the 4 Claws Marks of a Beasts Slash. Sigune also note that the Weapons that lay by their bodies are not Magical but well-made and sturdy.

Thora: “We’ll play possum and lay by the bodies of the Lizard Men and surprise whatever is on its way here to us.”

The movement stops near to the site of the recent skirmish and out of the Lizard Marshes steps a Lizardman. It is immediately obvious that it is wearing bright Blue Symbols of Clanship. We all stand, to the amazement of the Lizardman, and show we mean him no harm. The Lizardman beckons us to follow him as it steps backwards and slips into the slated waters. Staying slightly above water we are able to follow it on our horses.

Meeting Redeye Again:

We finally reach a large dry clearing were we can see our friend Redeye, accompanied by several heavily armed Lizardfolk wearing tokens of bright Blue Hues and 2 others baring no Weapons. The Blue Clan are armed with Long Swords, Spears and Short Swords. Our guide moves over to Redeye and talk to him in their guttural speech. Redeye then steps forward and gestures to us, as if ask permission for something.

Mirafir: “I believe he wishes to cast ‘Comprehend Languages’ as he did before.”

We all nod our heads and watch as Redeye casts his Spell.

Mirafir: “Not unlike the gestures I use myself. The language on the other hand is beyond me.”

Redeye: “My fiendsss it is good to sssee you all alive, but there are sssome of you missing I hope there isss no bad newsss.”

Thora: “No we are all well and the other remained behind in Daggerford.”

Redeye: “How can I help you my friend now that you have ride our lands of those renegades.”

Monsters - Lizardmen
Monsters – Lizardmen

We are all asked to sit with Redeye as we are brought dried meats and some form of milky honey drink. We put all our questions to Redeye.

Thora: “One of the folk from Cromm’s holding called Dygath Hornspar, got lost (he claims) a year ago, and we are looking for him or any news you may remember regarding the day of Baron Cromm Redhand’s death.”

Redeye: “I will enquire with my peoplesss, but it was a long time ago. From what I remember from that day we did not leave our homesss for ssseveral daysss.

Mirafir: “What can you tells us of the Claw Marked Clan of Lizard Men and who leads them?”

Redeye: “Sssince the day you left, a year ago, I have been attempting to unite the Clansss, Blue Feather, Crashing Thunder, Lizard’sss Tooth, Sssharphorn, and White Bone, to sssee that not all humansss are bad and that we can live together. Yet after a ssshort time warriorsss from other Clansss begin to join new Clan, bad Clan.”

Sigune: “The mark of the Clawsss, sorry about that I don’t know what came over me?”

Redeye: “Yesss, they choose violence and cruelty over honour and Clan. More and more have joined the Dark Clan and we wait and prepare for the battlesss to come. We cannot fight alone though if you carry any favour with your Eldersss, let them of what you have witnessed today in our lands.”

Mirafir: “I observed a large swath of grasses flatten but there was no visible signs of what manner of creature may have caused the disturbance. Do you know what now lurks in the Lizard Marshes?”

Redeye: “You should avoid the Wyrmlings at all cost. They are like sharks. We avoid them as best we can. We have lost warriors to these creatures and none has seen them. They are what you call Dragons.”

Monster - Black Wyrmling
Monster – Black Wyrmling

Sigune takes out a Long Sword and Spear, that she had taken from the dead Claw Clan Lizardfolk, and shows them to Redeye.

Redeye: “These are Weapons from Daggerford. The Smith Guilds must be selling to everyone.  This has been going on for about 9 months. I have contacted Daggerford merchants for the purpose of trading rare swamp bird feathers and certain delicacies for Weapons and other aid, but the Council of Guilds is not happy about aiding an old foe like us.”

Redeye then gestures to one of the Weapon-less Lizardfolk that are standing behind him and then offer healing and aid to the party.

After several hours of feasting, drinking and having Healing Spells cast on us, several of the Blue Feather Clan Warriors return and convers with Redeye in their reptilian tongue.

Redeye: “There are no reportsss of Dygath Hornspar the Huntmaster being lost on our landsss on the day you mentioned, but we do not patrol all of the Marshesss.”

Frimly: “Why would the Blue Feather Clan mount an assault on Cromm’s holding?”

Redeye: “From what I have been told from those few of the Blue Feather Clan that have joined our cause, it was repeated raidsss on their sssettlementsss that made them target Cromm’sss Holding.

Femalesss were targeted and then there was the stealing of their eggsss. They called the transgressor ‘The Marsh Marauder ‘.

The Blue Feathersss said that the Clan followed the tracksss and even found some broken eggshell along the way. It was the remains of sssome of the ssstolen eggsss. They followed on until they saw the direction they had fled, towardsss Cromm’sss holding. The next day, in the morning, they attacked Cromm’sss holding. A band of warriorsss sssent to revenge the Blue Feather Clan and gather Weaponsss of Sssteel”

We believe that we have learnt as much as we can from our friend Redeye and we gather ourselves and prepare to leave.

Redeye: “Please remember to put our case to the Sssmith Guildsss as we both fight the sssame cause. There have been no patrolsss around our landsss for many moonsss and the Duke may not know of our need.”

Thora: “Ye have my word Redeye that wee will do whatever is within our power to help you and ya noble Clan.”

Redeye thanks us all individually and explains that he will provide 2 warriors to escort us out of his lands and hopefully avoid any Wyrmlings.

Redeye: “Fare well and happy hunting mssss Sssisiss……”

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