TEMPLE OF ELEMENTAL EVIL
SESSION 009 - The Welcome Wench
SESSION 009 - The Welcome Wench
GODSDAY, 04 NEEDFEST (MID WINTER) 579CY
Darius watched the paladin as he ate his food. His old body ached from the journey and lack of sleep. They had left the moathouse for the paladin’s campsite earlier that morning to rest before returning to Hommlet.
It wasn’t long before the weather had turned bad and they were forced to break camp, but not before the paladin had tendered to the half-orcs wounds.
They had arrived in Hommlet shortly after sunset; both the village and the inn was a welcome site for the weary travellers. The village was hive of activity as the villagers prepared for the night’s festivities in celebration of the Winter Solstice.
The companions had all agreed that they needed food and rest first; discussions would come in the morning.
Markus and Erehwon were caught in the spirit of the festivities, each with a tankard of ale in hand and tales of their prowess in combat over the past few days. The half-orc had the table in laughter after his over embellished recount and re-enactment of Markus’s battle with giant frog. By his account the giant frog had taken a liking to the young ranger.
Duerin was caught up in his own thoughts. Tonight was apex of the festivities, the winter solstice or as some referred to it Dark Time. It was told that practitioners of dark magic would have greater influence of the dead this night. The Cuthbertine priest would not rest well this night.
Anmar leaned heavily back in his chair caught up in his own thoughts. The common room of the Welcome Wench was a buzz of activity. The paladin’s tankard rested awkwardly on his armoured knee, as he looked across the table at the strangers seated before him. Amongst those seated at the table before him was a dwarf in service of St. Cuthbert and an old man of the old faith. Swallowing the bitter mead the paladin’s gaze fell onto the half-orc and the young human engaged in conversation at the end of the table.
“Had St Cuthbert played a part in the rescue of the dwarf and his friends earlier this day?” thought Anmar. He thought back to the events that had led up to him being at the moathouse this day …
Anmar and Shepherd had watched the moathouse for weeks after the last assault had taken place in dungeons below the moathouse, but still the council would not heed the paladin’s warnings. Anmar would not let up his plea, the council needed to act. Finally the council agreed to hire a few men-at-arms from Rannos the trader to investigate the paladin’s claims.
A few days later the party headed out for the ruins, led by Gremag and the captain of the militia, Delmo. There orders were to investigate and report back to the council their findings. The council ordered the paladin and the priest to stay in town and not to interfere with the investigation any further.
Shepherd had objected to the councils ruling and had said he would take matters into his own hands. It was at this point that both he and Anmar were escorted to the Welcome Wench and were ordered not to leave the establishment. They were instructed that they would be jailed for insubordination of the councils ruling if they did so.
Shepherd was not as patient as the young paladin, he was a man of action. He would not wait for the council to recognise the threat that the moathouse posed, nor would he wait for Gremag and Delmo to report back to the council. The young paladin had eventually managed to convince the priest after many words and an equal number of tankards of ale to wait for council’s men to return with their findings.
The following day Anmar and Shepherd were ordered to the manor house to hear Gremag and Kalic deliver their findings to the council. Both the paladin and the priest sat in silence and listened as the men delivered there report. They both found no evidence to support claims of the paladin and the priest of any activity in or around the moathouse. It was at this point that both the paladin and priest had sternly objected. Both insisted that Siam had fallen in the dungeons below the moathouse to a band of gnolls, led by a drow priest. Shepherd stormed out of the room calling the proceedings a farce and stating he would deal with the matter himself.
Anmar excused himself from the proceedings and returned to the Welcome Wench it pursuit of his friend. The paladin had entered the priest’s room just as the priest had packed the last of his belongings.
“Anmar there is something afoul here and it has to do with that moathouse, the council won’t listen.” warned the priest as he strapped his mace to his leg. “Something is not right here. We need to act now, before it is too late. Are you with me?” Those were the last words that Shepherd had spoken to him before the priest had left the inn. Shepherd could see the answer, before the Anmar spoke, “NO … I c.. can’t, ” said the paladin. The priest nodded at his friend and slung his backpack over his shoulder and walked from the room.
Anmar was duty bound to the church and watched with a heavy heart as his friend left. He would not leave his friend to his own fate, he would petition Canon Terjon in order to aid a fellow parishioner.
That evening Anmar sought council with Canon Terjon, but it was only after evening prayers that Canon Terjon granted him audience to listen to his plea.
Anmar was relieved to hear that Terjon and the church supported his action. “I believe that an evil has gained a foothold in our village, paladin. Go find the priest and I will see what I can discover here. Now go and only report back to me Paladin,” instructed Terjon. “May St. Cuthbert protect and guide you.”
Anmar felt a tug at his shoulder, “What is it ...” His thoughts interrupted. Looking over his shoulder he saw it was Calodan, the innkeeper’s son.
“Would you like another tankard of ale, Anmar?” asked Cal.
“Yes … and bring me plate of your spiced potatoes too,” said the paladin giving Calodan a stern look. “Sure … sure Anmar,” replied the young man as he turned to make his way to the kitchen. The confrontation with the paladin once again left Calodan conflicted, as he recalled the events from months earlier.
Lareth listened to Black Wolf’s report of the events that had taken place and how the assassin Malek had lost the daggers. He was not pleased.
Lareth stood from the chair, his robes rippled, the anger clearly visible on his handsome features, his hand tightened on his great mace at his side. In one swift motion the large mace was in his hand and he had Black Wolf pinned up against the wall. He brought the large mace down in an overhead swing; he could see the fear in Black Wolf’s eyes …
BUT before he could land the blow, he felt a tug at his sub consciousness, a familiar feeling. It was at the moment that Black Wolf managed to break free resulting in Lareth’s mace slamming into the wall.
“The dagger … it is here Wolf! I can feel it …” said Lareth, his face now void of anger. His handsome features once again graced with a smile, a smile that unsettled Roderic.