Hungry? Why Wait?
2020 SEP 17
Having stayed in Feygorest a few days, and having put an end to one of the Rheins Family’s Curses, the Crew decides to take Edmund’s offer of keeping the damage carriage for themselves and continuing on their journey to the capital city of Lochinvar. Justin asks Finnian if he has any means of fixing up the carriage, and Finnian replies in the affirmative. In a few minutes, Finnian manages to mend the carriage door and a few of the larger marks and damaged bits. The crew then heads off.
After several hours of travel, the Crew finds the coastline and they follow it to a long bridge spanning almost a mile over the ocean to the other side. Half way across the bridge is a 4 story tower. As the Crew approaches they find that the portcullis is lowered, blocking their path. The Crew prepares to pay a tax, but as they arrive at the entrance they realize there is no one present.
Peng takes Asher to the roof and the two of them sneak in through a latch. Half way down the first flight of stairs, the two come across the body of a guard. The body is covered in blood and stab wounds. Asher moves ahead, passing up the next 4 floors, making a beeline for the ground floor where the levers controlling the portcullis are located.
Peng takes some time to investigate the upper floors and finds a number of other corpses and signs of violence. With a brief inspection of a few bodies Peng manages to deduce that the dead had all succumbed to some sort of poison that caused them to rage and attack whatever was near them. Peng searches the rest of the floors, finding no living beings, and joins Asher below. Together, they manage to find the right levers to open the portcullis and let the rest of the Crew enter.
The Crew open the other side, and pass through, deciding to leave as quickly as possible.
As the crew reaches the other end of the bridge, Peng and Asher notice a figure burst from one of the doors from the bridge tower. The Crew has a large lead on the figure, and they choose to flee. The figure tries to give chase by they have no chance of catching up.
The Crew reaches a fork in the road. A sign post indicates that the town of Abaloop is 30 miles West, while the town of Sallen is 40 miles North. Another sign says Lochinvar, pointing in the same direction of Sallen but does not offer a distance. The Crew turns west, travels another mile, then moves a hundred feet off the path to set up camp.
In the early hours of morning, Peng and Senda become aware of a being running down the path. They catch a glimpse of the figure and realize it is the same being that gave chase at the bridge. They awaken the Crew and Senda, Justin, and Peng give chase. They catch the figure rather quickly and Justin immediately casts Hold Person, paralyzing the figure. He then casts a Lesser Restoration, annoyingly discovring that he can cure the guard’s ailment quite easily… and the figure passes out from exhaustion as the rage suddenly vanishes.
The Crew tie the man up and bring him back to camp.
The following morning, the unconscious man is moved to the floor of the carriage. The Crew packs up camp and they continue on towards Abaloop. Several hours later, Finnian alerts the Crew that the man has woken. They pull over and check on him. Justin gives the man water and begins asking him questions. The man says his name is Dillion (RANDOMLY GENERATED FROM A RANDOM NAME GENERATOR!) and he is stationed at the Accapyllo Bridge. He recalls a young man in his twenties with black hair and the King’s Sigil coming through, then everything after that is blank. He has no memory of the past week and a half.
The Crew decides it’s best to not inform him of his possible actions at the bridge just yet and offer to take him to Abaloop.
Abaloop’s gates are open with no guards standing outside. Dillion explains that after the king’s death, all Crown’s Guard were recalled to the capital city, so it’s possible the city guard has left already. They leave the horses and carriage at the stable and Dillion leads them to a very fine Inn and heads off to the local garrison. The Crew settles in for the night with very comfortable beds and baths with running hot water. (Even though nobody asked, the water is piped in from a nearby hot spring up the hill!)
When the Crew wakes, Dillion is waiting for them. he explains that the Garrison is empty, abandoned like the rest of the town’s Guard, and the Crew offers to let him travel with them to Lochinvar. He agrees.
As the Crew nears the fork in the road, Peng notices that there are figures on the bridge. The Crew debates on whether or not they should return to the bridge and clean things up, eventually settling on securing the area just in case other travelers pass through. After-all, they were the ones who opened the gates in the first place.
They make a plan to trap the infected back inside the tower by luring them inside and dropping the portcullis.
Peng flies on ahead to survey the area, but finding an opening he decides to take action. He drops in from the south side of the tower and drops the southern portcullis. It slams down before he can escape and he turns to see the figures on the bridge have all taken notice of him. Peng darts to the door leading up and a chase ensues. It becomes evident to Peng that he will not be able to out run the infected beings as they gain on him quickly. Peng dives out one of the windows, escaping just as one of the infected grasps at his ankle. He swoops down, flies back up and lands back on the bridge.
This time, Peng uses the Immovable Rod to block the gate in place before pulling the levers. He moves outside, removes the rod, and drops the portcullis, effectively trapping everything back inside again.
The rest of the Crew catches up to see what Peng has accomplished. Three of the five have moved from the tower back into the open space and are struggling to lift the portcullis so they can get at the Crew. Asher begins taunting the infected, as Justin moves away and hopes to get the attention of one. They succeed in separating one from the others and Justin immediately uses his Lesser Restoration to remove the infection. The cured guard immediately falls unconscious. One of the others notice and immediately dives upon the fallen guard. He gets only a few blows in before Finnian uses Hold Person to paralyze the Guard.
Justin then cures the guard trying to attack Asher. Peng returns to the roof of the Tower and sneaks downstairs. He passes by the other two infected but manages to reach the bottom without alerting them. He closes the door and blocks it with the immovable rod before opening the portcullis. Asher, Justin, Dillion, and Senda begin collecting the unconscious guards and loading them into the carriage. Once loaded, they close the gates again and return north to set up camp.
During first watch, Peng hears screaming, fighting, and eventually a splash from the tower. He flies closer to investigate and discovered one of the infected guards has fallen to their death into the ocean below. He collects the body for burial.
Returning to the tower in the morning, the Crew decides to investigate the door on the other side of the tower. They discover stairs leading down and can hear movement below. They travel down and find a very large man chewing on the arm of another guard, confirming the Crew’s suspicions that the infected were eating eachotehr. Justin sneaks up, gives him a slap on the back, and cures him of his infection.
Unlike the others, this man does not fall unconscious. He falls, but after a moment manages to get back to his feet and starts heading upstairs. Justin and Peng follow the man, trying to explain the situation. The man seems a bit thick headed as he makes it clear he has no time or patience for this nonsense and will get his men back into order. He demands the immovable rod be removed from the door and Peng complies. The man then proceeds upstairs to the armory where he finds one of his infected guards. The guard attacks but the larger man throws him off easily.
Justin moves forward and cures the fallen guard as the larger man opens a door and collects a large mace. Justin explains, again, what the situation is and the man eventually states that he will get his man back into fighting shape and restore order to his watch, before taking the unconscious guard Justin healed and dragging him to the barracks upstairs.
With the rest of the tower clear of baddies, the Crew regroup and travel further down the tower, eventually coming across a storage room. The crew find a lot of weird knickknacks and trinkets, but also find a few interesting pieces of armor and tools.
Amongst the discovered treasures; The Black Skull Chalice, Gauntlets of Ogre Power, The Shield of Expressions, a Vial of Dust of Disappearance, and several books which Finnian picked up.
Finnian skims through one of the books that lists the items in the room and finds the chosen items, explaining each.
Black Skull Goblet
Possessed by: Asher
This goblet is shaped like a skull with hallow eyes and is completely black. Any liquid poured into it turns red, but no other quality of the fluid changes.
Whomever drinks from this chalice will feel an unnatural impulse to share their deepest, darkest secrets.
Dust of Disappearance
Possessed by: Peng
A small vial of dust, when thrown into the air it disperses over a 10 foot area. Every creature and object in that area becomes invisible for 2d4 minutes. Attacking or casting a spell does NOT remove the invisibility.
Gauntlets of Ogre Power
Possessed by: Senda
A fine pair of gauntlets, green with golden trim. While wearing these gauntlets, the wearer’s strength score becomes 19, regardless of what their strength was before. As soon as the gauntlets are removed, their strength returns to normal.
Shield of Expressions
Possessed by: Justin
A sturdy shield with a face carved into the front of it. As a bonus action, the wielder of the shield can alter the expression however they wish. With Attunement, the wielder of the shield can use an action to see through the eyes of the shield, instead of through their own. The expressions on the shield become the expressions of the wielder, and they may speak through the shield. This requires concentration and can last up to ten minutes.