Chapter Fourty Six – The Training Continues

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Chapter 46: More Training And Loose Ends

Our Heroes are continuing their training in Daggerford, while a Commander Vimes is on their tail.


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) which, 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 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’s 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 “Hail and well met, Champions of 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.

PC - Sigune Feldscmlachter
PC – Sigune Feldscmlachter

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 Inn. 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.

The Questions Of Commander Vimes:

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

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?”

NPC - Commander Samuel Vimes
NPC – Commander Samuel Vimes

Commander Vimes: “Well met! The heroes of 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 it is then. Rank notwithstanding, the honour is nevertheless dubious. What do you want from us?”

 Commander 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.

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? No recollection? I need you gentlemen to fill in the gaps in this story?”

Commander Vimes: “What was at Liam’s Hold?”

Mirafir: “I recall that Baron Cromm was out for revenge after the Lizardmen had attacked his holding slaughtering some 20-odd people and killed his one and only heir. The baron came back.”

Vimes interrogates the Adventurers about their caravan duties.

After a lot of questions, he leaves, taking the wine with him which had been provided by Galan and taken from the halls of Count Strahd. He bumps into a Dwarven lady as he leaves the private room. Frimly apron seeing this interaction between the Dwarf and the commander goes over to Vimes.

Frimly: “Vimes, check your pockets!”

NPC - Constable Dorfl
NPC – Constable Dorfl

A clay golem suddenly walks into the Lady Luck and then leaves with Vimes!

Morri the Gnome Illusionist accompanied by other 3 Dwarves enter the Lady Luck Tavern!

Morri: “Ale!”

He calls!

Morri - Dwarf
Morri – Dwarf

Frimly disguises himself so as not to be recognized and blends with the crowd. The Dwarves discuss the Delimbiyr River and environmental problems in the surrounding areas and engineering projects.

Frimly wonders what they are doing here in Daggerford. He walks over to them and starts talking to them.

Frimly: “How’s the clean-up going?”

Not well it turns out…

Dwarf 1: “Some of the bodies have been disappearing…”

We begin to realise, that all the things that were done before Illefarn, were connected to it. The Lizardmen, Bronwyn, everything.

One of the young Dwarves eventually hands the bilious liquid to the disguised Frimly.

Father Tobias does ‘Detect Poison’ on the liquid. It is a rare poison called ‘Black Dragon Brew’. The only place known to make such a poison is Skullport near Waterdeep.

In conclusion, the party decides to investigate the mysterious Dygath Hornspar who mysteriously and miraculously survived the attack by the Lizardmen.

Farther Tobias casts ‘Divination’: “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 then proceeding into the marshland of the Lizardmen.

There are lot of extra reinforcements on the walls of Daggerford. It is has been continuously raining for several days.

The trek is about 15 miles to the Lizard Marches, no one on the roads after leaving early in the morning. We inform Vimes before leaving. He plays ignorant.

Commander Vimes: “Good luck to you!”

Cromm’s holding looms into view through the incessant rain. A thin line of wispy smoke rises from the ruins. They are still inhabited.

Cromm's Holding
Cromm’s Holding

The party proceeds on foot.

Sound can be heard from within the palisade.

We move round to have a better look.

A man chopping wood and a thin woman are the only residents that can be seen.

Thora: “Hail and well met!”

The man does not respond but clutches his axe.

Lanril Droverson: “I’ll let you in.”

He says after seeing our watch insignia.

He spots the signet ring that Sigune is wearing.

Lanril Droverson: “We feared you were dead my Lady.”

The woman runs over to Sigune and kisses her ring.

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

Lanril Droverson: “We are residents here, but this land belongs to barons. No one wants to live here except us. This is my wife, Lorena Droverson”

They retell the events of that fateful day.

Frimly: “What know you of this Dygath Hornspar?”

They look at each other.

Lanril Droverson: “He told us he was lost in the marshes and had managed to escape with his life. This is what we were told. He was with the duke at the time – he was hunting. Last we heard he had been employed by one of the Secomber Barons.

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?”

We are shown to his quarters and search them. We find a secret compartment using the microscopic glasses. But it is empty.”

We continue into the marshland. Surrounded on all sides by high grasses.

After some time, two Lizardmen jump out of the water and attack!

Monster - Lizardman, Cult
Monster – Lizardman, Cult

Thora strikes the one to her right, Mirafir fires a ‘Magic Missile’ at the one on the left. Thora (20!) destroys her target! Mirafir’s ‘Magic Missile’ obliterates the other!

3 appear behind Frimly on the path while another 3 more to the right and 2 others on the left appear!

Frimly shoots one of the rear attackers twice with his Short Bow, killing it! Sigune dismounts and strikes another – a serious injury but not fatal.

More Lizardmen appear at the end of the round.

Thora kills another!

Mirafir unleashes a ‘Lightning Bolt’ and kills 6 of the Lizardmen, those still standing are severely injured! Sigune finishes off the one she attacked initially. Thora takes her second attack and kills one. 3 throw their spears at Mirafir’s horse with two hitting it!

Frimly’s horse rears and kicks one of the Lizardmen!

Thora kills one of the injured ones!

The leader of the Lizardmen screams something guttural and his followers on the path dive into the reeds.

Sigune takes a serious blow from one of the many Lizardmen now surrounding her (20!) before chopping him down.

Monsters - Lizardmen
Monsters – Lizardmen

Frimly kills another with the ‘Short Sword of Quickness’.

Mirafir casts ‘Mirror image’ on himself. His horse takes more damage! Thora kills another as the Lizardmen focus their attacks on the horses!

Mirafir casts ‘Sleep’ and puts 5 of the lizardmen into a somnambulist slumber!

Sigune literally obliterates another (20! + 8 + 8!!!)

The leader of these Lizardmen and his companion flee from their elevated position within the Marshes as the remaining Lizardmen are butchered. Sigune heals her horse. In the end, 20 are dead, 1 taken prisoner and 2 escape.

The Brown Feather Lizardmen intervene and the party joins Red Eye to exchange pleasantries.

Red Eye: “These are weapons from Daggerford. The smith guilds must be selling to everyone.  This has been going on since about 9 months.”

The Brown Clan Lizard Folk then offer healing and aid to the party.

Thora: “One of the people a year ago, Dygath Hornspar, got lost (he claims) and we are looking for him.”

Red Eye: “I will enquire. You should avoid the Wyrmlings at all cost. They are like sharks. We avoid them as best we can. They are Dragons.”

There are no reports of Dygath Hornspar being lost in the swamp. He must have been lying? Red Eye: “We saw the trail. It was the remains of Lizard eggs. Out of Cromm’s Deep.”

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