The Chronicles of Fallwater Bay

Session Three

Session Three

Oriana was anxious to make landfall, even though it was still a full day away. Her fervor for Heimdal knew no bounds, and her mission had been made most important by Cardinal Bernaldo. Never before had a brother betrayed the order as brother Anselmo had. Never before had a murderer escaped justice while in their hands. The murderer must be found. There were many places the man, Ramon, could have gone. Oriana was one of many hunters sent to find him. Her assignment, a small backwater in another kingdom called Fallwater Bay. Her friend Shadow followed her. He was a mercenary, and her missions usually had rich rewards. Following both was Aldon. She wasn’t sure why he followed, but she was glad he did. His magic had saved them more than once. Thinking of all these things, she slowly drifted off to sleep.
She was standing on a massive stone bridge. She could not see the end in either direction. And she knew exactly where she was. This was the Bifrost. This was Heimdal’s realm. A figure was next to her. She couldn’t fully make out what it was, but she could feel the power. Immense, and yet comforting. A voice rang out.
“Oriana, here me. Your current mission must change. A corruption has come into my church. Its nature is hidden from me. However, I see in the flows of time that the man Ramon Scorpio will play an important role in finding the answers. Find this man, and work with him. Do not bring him back to your Cardinal. Other than that, keep my word and follow your conscience. You shall find him in Fallwater Bay. Seek the House of the merchant Skandor at midnight.”
Oriana awoke with much to think about. And suddenly without a plan.

Ramon and Ristor scurried from the Mayors residence with their prize. Meeting up with Anya, they quickly retreated to her residence. She knew her master would not mind a few visitors. Especially since he would already be asleep. Once locked in her rooms, the group opened the box and began to review the records. On top of the records was one fresh piece of paper. Reading it, it soon answered one nagging question for the group. It was a contract of sale for the Brightwater mansion. Tremont had gained the residence for an amazingly low price, but with strings. He had to restore the residence and reside there for a year or he had to pay a large penalty. Reading further, much of the paperwork proved to be quite mundane. Most of it was a record of what the estate had contained, when it was seized by the crown, and when it was sold. There were, however, able to find a record of an unusual jeweled vial amongst the records. It had been seized at the original crime scene. Later, it was catalogued as part of the estate. Finally, ten years later it was sold at auction to a ship’s captain for a few copper pieces. No one could trace where the vial might be or knew who the captain was who bought the vial 20 years prior. Finally, at the bottom, the party found the original sheriff’s account of the deaths. It was clear he had kept very concise records, as he was confused about events. According the Sherriff, he had found the sisters dead in the study. The party recognized this as the room with the portrait. They were found lying side by side with strange vial lying between them. The cousin, one Boris Brighton Hayes, was found upstairs. The record noted that Larissa and Boris both bore signs of terror on their faces, while Elissa had appeared at peace. Unable to determine what happened and not able to find any proof of poison, the Sherriff had reluctantly closed the case as unsolved. The party now had some answers as to what had happened, and were just beginning to absorb and analyze the information when there was a sharp knock at the door.
Ramon opened the door to a strange figure. Standing a few feet back from him was a tall man with a huge sword slung over his back. The man said nothing. Then Ramon heard a distinctly female voice. Startled, he looked down to see a short, robed figure at his feet. Behind the warrior, another short figure stood grinning.
“Hello. I am looking for someone. He is called Ramon Scorpio.” Ramon was surprised to hear his name, but his friendly nature immediately took over.
“Hello, I am Ramon. How can I help you?”
She replied “May I come in? Perhaps we should talk inside.”
“Well, this is not my house, so I don’t know if I should just invite three strangers in.”
At this point, Anya arrived and, although hesitant, decided to invite the strangers in. They were quickly ushered upstairs to Anya’s chambers.
Ramon turned to Ristor, yelling quietly “You might want to put the box away. You know, the box.” Ramon was convinced he was being sneaky. The three strangers all became convinced something illicit was most likely going on. Bouncing forward, Alden broke the ice. “So, what’s in the box?” Several lame excuses followed, convincing no one. Finally, Anya turned the topic back to the strangers. “So, exactly why are you here?” The short woman answered. “I was sent to find someone named Ramon Scorpio. And it appears I have found him.” Finally, it dawned on Ramon that having three apparently armed strangers show up looking for him might not be a good thing. “Oh, indeed, it seems you….” Ramon said as he turned and leapt out the nearest window. The warrior followed to the window, looking out to see Ramon limping away into the darkness. “Should I follow him?” Oriana considered for a moment. “No, Shadow, let him go. I am certain I will be able to find him later.”
Recognizing that the situation was clearly getting out of control, Ristor decided it would be best to try and get the box back to the mayor’s house before it was noticed. Taking the box, he quickly headed out the door. Alden followed, while Shadow went out to try and track Ramon. In the darkness, he was unable to locate tracks to follow. But he was able to catch up to Ristor and Alden. Ristor, deciding that secrecy with these strangers would not help, quickly outlined the situation with Brighton Manner and why they acquired the box. Neither Aldon nor Shadow had a problem with the issue, and in the backs of their heads both wondered if Ristor’s wealthy patron might also reward them for helping. Arriving at the residence, Shadow and Aldon stood watch as Ristor quickly and quietly returned the box. Having nowhere else to go, the group began returning to the house.
Meanwhile, Anya and Oriana remained at the house. Oriana quietly reached out with her magical senses. It was immediately obvious that Anya was a mage. Oriana’s power was similarly visible to Anya. However, Oriana also sensed something necromantic on Anya. Making small talk, she got as close as she could, trying to determine what was happening. She soon could tell there was some source of necromantic energy in her belt pouch. Oriana was no thief, but being small and mysterious, she tried to get a hand in the pouch. He clumsy attempt was quickly noticed, and Anya pulled back readying her magic. Oriana looked at her calmly. “You have some sort of necromantic item in that pouch. I would like to know what it is.”
Anya looked back at her. “What do you know about necromancy?”
Oriana remained calm as she replied. “Heimdal grants me insight into it.”
Anya considered her options. As she did, the others arrived back from their errand, walking in on the Mexican standoff between the women. Shadow looked on, but did nothing. Finally, Anya decided it was best to talk.
“Ok, I will let you see it, but do not try to take it.”
Anya placed the black stone on the table and stepped back. Oriana stepped forward to examine it. After touching it both physically and mystically, she could tell it was a powerful source of necromantic energy, but she still wasn’t sure of exactly what it was. Anya showed her Brighton’s notes, and if finally fell into place. Oriana realized this was a necromancer’s stone. Just as alchemists had an alchemists stone, so it was once believed a necromancer could create a stone to summon and store the energies of death. Although technically workable, the creation of the stone would almost certainly kill the caster. The tension broken, Oriana and Anya began to discuss the details of the situation and to finally reach some conclusions. It was clear that Brighton had tried to summon necromantic power to extend his life. Instead, it had probably killed him. However, it didn’t explain how the power he had summoned had been used. Anya explained about the picture, and Oriana agreed that it probably had been used by Elissa to contain her own spirit, using the energy available. Oriana decided to try and bring back Ramon, and then they would go to the mansion the next day to deal with the painting.
Ramon spent a good portion of the night trying to figure out where to hide and what to do. He wasn’t sure how many people might be after him or what they were planning. Finally, he decided that his best bet would be to go to the Shanty and see is anyone had been asking about him. That might give him an idea of what he was up against. Working his way over to the docks, he was soon in the Shanty, hearing the sailors and ne’er do wells carousing. He quickly made his way to the bar and signaled to the bartender. Johann approached him, looking annoyed. “What do you want?”
Ramon tried to put on his friendliest face. “I was wondering, has anyone been in here recently asking about me?”
“Who are you?”
“Why, I am Ramon Scorpio.”
And with that, Johann walked away. Ramon took a little time to consider his situation. No one had been looking for him. So perhaps the only people who knew about him were the three strangers. They had not seemed hostile. Certainly they could have attacked him at the house. So perhaps he had been too hasty. Ramon began the walk back to the house. As he walked, he saw a bum lying on the pavement. The figure grunted at him, and seemed to be signaling to him. Ramon approached, hoping to help a fellow human now that he felt his own life was no longer in danger. The figure shuffled towards him. As it got close, it pulled back its hood, revealing a hideous, slightly desiccated face with long fangs. The creature lunged at Ramon, trying to bite him. Ramon quickly dodged back and drew his pistol. With a perfectly placed shot, he blasted his assailant in the face, shattering the head and dropping the creature to the ground unmoving. Stunned, Ramon looked up to see Oriana standing there, watching him. The own hood was off, and he could see her long Cobalt blue hair in the lights of the doc. In her hand she held a sword that seemed oversized for her, but nothing more than a normal blade to a human. Ramon spoke quickly, “That thing was a vampire. It attacked me”. Oriana calmly responded. “I know. I sensed its undead power. We need to leave here. Your gunshot will have certainly drawn attention.” Ramon considered the wisdom of her suggestion and only partially rejected it. Instead, he and Oriana found a good hiding place to watch what happened. In short order, the guards arrived and sealed off the area. Soon, more guards arrived with an office Ramon did not recognize. The officer examined the body. He did seem surprised at something he found on the man’s chest, but neither Ramon nor Oriana could tell exactly what it was. Finally, Ramon and Oriana realized there was nothing else to gain and returned to Anya’s place. Everyone decided to sleep off the rest of the night and start fresh in the morning.
The following morning everyone enjoyed a big breakfast courtesy of Anya’s patron before heading to the mansion. Anya elected to remain behind and nurse her wounds. The rest of the group returned to the mansion. The first order of business was a quick reconnoiter of the premises. Having finally satisfied themselves that the entire building had been searched completely, the party made their way to the study and the portrait. Ristor and Ramon both declined to enter the room and waited outside the door. A few minutes later, a screaming Aldon came running out the door. Thus informed that the ghost had again appeared, they grabbed the panicked gnome and waited for Oriana and Shadow.
Inside the study, the ghost again tried to threaten and scare the strangers. Shadow was left uneasy, but held his ground. Oriana was completely nonplussed. After taunting the spectral figure, she decided the ghost could not actually harm anyone. Shadow pulled down the painting and placed a large blanket over it. The group decided to return the portrait to Anya’s house to find a final solution for it. Once there, Anya and Oriana put their heads together and developed a ritual that would remove the ghost for good. It took some time, but in the end, the ghost was banished as the sun set with a final desperate scream. The painting reverted to the form of an old, distinguished gentleman that the group assumed to be the original Lord Brighton. Both Anya and Oriana were certain there was no magic on the portrait anymore. They also noticed that the power in the necromancer’s stone seemed to decrease. However, the item did remain intact. Working through the possibilities, it was decided that while Elissa might be gone, Larissa might still be around. A night raid was planned on the cemetery to again check out the Brighton Mausoleum and see if any more answers could be found.
Entering the cemetery unnoticed proved an easy task. Although it was now guarded, the single guard did not seem happy with his post and was simple to work around. Working their way to the mausoleum, they again opened the vaults. Elissa’s still contained nothing but her bones. However, in Larissa’s crypt, all that remained where the gnawed bones of the sailors they found their previously. The group was confused for some time as to how to proceed. Finally, Ramon had a moment of inspiration. “Wait a minute, the undead thing I found was on the docks and the sailors disappeared from the docs…” The rest of the party was able to put together that the creature might be based on the docs. Oriana pointed out that they would not need to breath, and could easily be hiding in the water. She also pointed out that the gnawed bones would indicate it was probably some sort of Ghoul. The party decided that the only way to finally get to the bottom of the mystery would be to go to the docs and try to draw Larissa out.
Near the docs, Oriana asked the group to stop. She indicated she could possibly get more information with the powers granted to her. Focusing her will, she reached out to the local spirits, trying to call someone who could give her answers. Shortly, a shabby looking ghost appeared to her. He was clearly the remnant of a derelict. However, his head had a visible hole in it, and Oriana quickly realized that this was the ghost of the thing Ramon had killed the previous evening. She commanded it to explain what it knew. The creature was still confused about what had happened. He had been attacked by Larissa and killed, then risen up. What concerned Oriana was that the creature had spoken to the bum before killing him, and he had heard her speak afterwards. A normal ghoul should not have been capable of that. Dismissing the spirit, she advised the group that they were likely dealing with a much more intelligent ghoul, and possibly a more powerful one.
At the docs, it was decided Ristor would swim under the docs to look around. He was the best swimmer in the group and could handle himself as well. Ristor was not in the water long before he saw a figure in the water coming towards him quickly. He raced up the nearest pier, barely outrunning his pursuer. As her leapt onto the doc and ran to Ramon to recover his weapons, Three figures emerged from behind him. Two appeared to be big, shabbily dressed men. The third was a woman dressed in rotted clothing. She pointed at the group and let out a hiss, and the ghouls rushed to the attack.
Rister, Ramon and Shadow immediately stepped forward to engage the creatures. Although not overly skilled, the creatures were preternaturally tough. Several blows failed to do more than slow the creatures down. However, the creatures were also failing to hurt the party. Aldon began blasting at them with his magic to some effect. Finally, Oriana saw her opportunity. As one of the creatures reeled back from a particularly strong blow by Shadow, she leapt forward with her magiced blade. Climbing up Shadow, she leapt at the creature, swinging her blade with all her might and striking true. The creature collapsed. Larissa, seeing this threat, turned and lunged at Oriana and, with superhuman will, struck the priestess a serious blow. Oriana retreated, but Aldon now stepped up. Focusing his own magic, he hurled a mighty bolt at Larissa. Larissa, already staggered, could not resist its destructive power and she too collapsed in a heap. The fighters then quickly dispatched the third beast. The fight ended, the party looked up to realize that many of the patrons of the bar had now come out and had observed the fight. They immediately pointed out to the crowd that the creatures were obviously undead, and some in the crowd did agree. The watch quickly appeared, cordoning off the area and holding the party. In short order, the Sherriff himself appeared. He walked over to the bodies and examined them. After looking at Larissa, it was obvious he recognized her. As the party tried to point out to him that this proved they had been undead, the now shaken Sherriff ordered that the party be brought to his office immediately for further questioning.

Session Two

For Anya, it was a long week of slow healing. Fortunately, with the help of a good healer, she was able to recover from her grievous wounds and avoid a serious scar on her face.
For Ristor, it was a quick week of having extra cash for the first time in a long time.
For Ramon Scorpio, it was a week of surviving. Ramon had only barely escaped from his homeland. He wasn’t even sure how he had come here. But here in Fallwater Bay, his ability to book passage had run out and so he had stayed. Fallwater Bay seemed nice enough, and he felt he could be anonymous here. And try to make a difference. Unfortunately for Ramon, he had no cash and needed to live. So, he sought out whatever work was available. Eventually, he noticed a notice for adventures and followed up. This lead him to the Delicate Dancer and Alexander Tremont. Tremont told Ramon that the adventure he had initially advertised for had already been handled, but that he was looking at further work in the near future and might need a strong fighter to protect his magic expert. Hearing that he might have an opportunity to protect someone and earn some coin, Ramon enthusiastically agreed to return when summoned.
Two days later, Ramon received a message that his services would indeed be required. He rushed back to the Dancer, stopping only long enough to wet his hair at a trough to make himself presentable. Arriving, he was directed into a small meeting room and told to wait. After a few minutes, a young woman entered. Dressed in stylish but inexpensive clothes, she stopped and stared at the stranger. Ramon soon decided to break the silence.
Are you, by any chance, a magic expert?
Well, yes. I am.
Oh Good. I have been hired to protect your body.
Ok…… My name is Anya.
Ristor soon arrived and introductions were made. Finally Tremont arrived, this time with both his servant and the real Prester in tow. Even a week later, Prester looked the worse for wear. However, at least he was alive. Tremont immediately got down to business.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the sheriff has assured me that all of the smugglers have left the mansion, and that it is not likely the will return. However, there are still two issues in the house that need to be addressed. You found two areas with magic that might be an issue. The first is the bone room in the basement, and the second is the magical portrait you found on the first floor. Before I can begin the necessary renovations, I need to be sure those are not threats. Since you, Anya, have been identified to me as an expert on magic, I would like you to return to the mansion and determine exactly what is happening and deal with any magics that might be a problem. I would like for Ristor and Ramon to accompany you as guards and assistance in case something goes wrong. I will pay the same rate as the first missing, ten silver each. Are you all interested?
Curiosity about what was happening and need for wealth combined to get the group to quickly agree. Once again, they began the trek to Brighton Manor. Along the way, Ramon was filled in on events and a plan was formed. The party decided to deal with the basement first and the picture last. After a few uneventful hours, they arrived at the house and proceeded to the basement.
Ramon was barely convinced that there was anything wrong with the room, and soon volunteered himself to go in the room and see what was wrong. Anya wasn’t pleased at the idea, as she hoped to difuse the magic without setting it off. However, Ramon’s plan had the virture of being faster and not really being stoppable as he wandered in. Standing in the room, he turned back to Anya and Ristor at the door. “See, there is nothing to fear” he said as the entire floor started to move. In moments, six of the skeletons had formed together and stood up, rushing anything living in range. Quickly, battle was joined.
Ramon rushed back to the door, turning to defend it from the advancing zombies in order to protect Anya. Ristor moved up to his side. Anya stood behind them, blasting with her magic. Anya’s magic seemed to have little effect on the creatures. Ramon fought defensively, protecting Anya. Ristor meanwhile seemed to have the skeletons number, and proceeded to begin smashing them down one by one. The situation seemed well in hand, but Anya was impatient to help and her magic didn’t seem to be doing the job. So, she pulled our her flail and slid into the room to join the fray. Her swing bounced off the skeleton she hit. The skeleton returned the blow with one of its own, leaving Anya badly wounded. Anya fell back while Ramon and Ristor continued to hold the door and eventually destroy all of the skeletons. By the time they were done, Anya had bandaged herself and Ramon was not happy.
“Anya, it is my job to guard you. I cannot do that if you rush into the enemy. From now on, you need to stay behind me. In fact, maybe it would be better if you stood at the other side of the room, as far away from the battle as possible.” Anya was not happy at the concept of not being part of the action, but did agree she seemed to be easy to injure, so she agreed to let Ramon remain in front.
With the threat averted, the party searched the room, finding a small hidden panel in the back of the room. Opening the panel, they found another room. This room appeared to be a laboratory, long disused. Sitting at a table surrounded by beakers and vials sat a robed skeleton, slumped over with two clenched fists. Ramon poked the skeleton with his sword and it fell to the floor, unmoving. Having established that the room was safe, the party again searched it. Anya found the remaining notes of what appeared to be a necromancer. Opening the clenched fists of the skeleton, they also located a small black stone in one hand. The other hand appeared to have once held something, but it was clear it had long ago been removed. With the notes, the stone, and the books she had already read, Anya began to piece together what happened. She realized that this was part of a ritual to summon a reserve of necromantic energy, possibly with the idea of making oneself a lich. But the ritual would also have required a specially prepared vial that was not present. The party surmised it may have been what was removed from the skeleton’s fist. The rest of the lab equipment was worthless and much of it was broken. Feeling there was nothing else to find, the party did a quick search of the rest of the building and then moved on to the painting.
The painting remained as creepy as they remembered it. At first Ramon could not understand what was wrong, but then even he began to see the faint movement and grew uneasy. As Ramon and Anya discussed whether to take the painting down, Ristor was staring right at it. That was when the image on the painting seemed to step out of the painting into the room. The figure was spectral, and seemed to be the image of death itself. Ristor screamed and ran from the room, not stopping until he reached the outside. Anya and Ramon both viewed the creature, feeling sick in their stomachs but avoiding panic. They tried talking to the creature and at first, it did not seem to respond to them. It did seem clear the creature did not want them there. Eventually, the creature did speak a single word, in a deep whisper. “Leave!” It repeated the phrase while gesturing at the two. Anya asked if removing the picture would help the creature. At that point, a look of rage came across the creatures face and it lunged at her. Its touch was not harmful, but it’s touch felt like the chill of the grave. Anya and Ramon finally decided they needed more information to do anything and left, finding Ristor so they could plan their next step.
Anya remembered seeing an artists name on the painting, so the group decided that they would need to find out about the painting by finding the artist. Ramon and Ristor followed up on that lead while Anya did further research on the notes she had located. Realizing they knew nothing about Art, the valiant warriors went to the most artistic person they knew, the proprietor of the Delicate Dancer. Florin was not happy to see them, but when they seemed enthusiastic about the arts, he soon warmed up to them for at least a moment. After much discussion, it was eventually revealed that while the artist himself was dead, his assistant still lived in town. Florin was even able to provide an address. They rushed over to meet with the man. Now in his late 50s, Benton Hawkins was no longer an artist, just a talented carpenter and housepainter. Luckily for the two, he was having an off day of work and was happy to talk to someone. Once they began explaining what they were looking for, Benton immediately recognized the work. He remembered all of the odd instructions about how the paint strokes had to be placed on the canvas. However, he also was quite certain the painting was of Lord Brighton, not of his sister Elissa. This greatly confused our valiant heroes, and they went to find Anya to share the news.
Meanwhile, Anya went to the local news office to read up on the mysterious deaths of the Brightons. Much of what she read was speculation, but it was clear that the sherrif at the time had found both sisters and the cousin dead in the house, and that no cause of death was ever found. The sisters were buried in town in the family mausoleum. The Cousin had been claimed by his closest kin and taken for burial in their own family plot a few towns over.
Getting back together and comparing notes, the party began to suspect that there might be a conspiracy at work with the disappearing items and unexplained deaths. It was possible, they reasoned, that Tremont purchasing the property had upset someone else’s plans. Unsure of who they could still trust, they decided to talk to Benton again and see if there was any chance that one of the Brightons might have survived. Benton, happy to have guests, invited them to dinner. After much discussion, it was clear that all of the bodies had been publically seen, and that there was little likelihood of a death being faked. Speculation now turned to the necromancy going on. Perhaps Elissa or Larissa were trying to become immortal. Perhaps they had even killed their brother for his magic. The party decided that they would need to see the state of the bodies to see if there was any trace of necromancy left. Waiting until they were sure no one would be around, they snuck into the cemetery while there was still light in the sky and sought out the Brighton mausoleum.
The mausoleum was old, and no longer well tended. The door hung loose, and it was difficult to determine if it had recently been used. Sneaking in, the party soon located the resting places of Larissa and Elissa. They decided that they would first check Larissa’s crypt. Opening it, they were shocked to discover it full of fresh remains, which appeared to have been partially eaten. After further checking the crypt, they found bits of buttons and uniforms that indicated these were probably the remains of sailors, quite possibly the two missing from the Pembroke. The party re hid the remains until they could figure out exactly what was going on. It was also clear that none of the remains in that crypt were old, leading to the question of where Larissa’s body was now. Elissa’s crypt, a much larger affair, was full of what appeared to be her desiccated remains. Now even more confused, the party decided that the only way to really get to the bottom of the mystery would be to get the records from the time of the original deaths. Trusting no one at this point, the decision was made to sneak into the records office late at night to grab what could be found without getting caught.
The records hall is the first floor of the Mayor’s residence, but late at night it is basically untended. Ristor, using his unique skills, was easily able to open the lock and get inside unnoticed. Ramon followed while Anya kept watch. The search was not easy, but Ristor soon realized that the records they were looking for would undoubtedly be in the very back where the oldest records seemed to be. A quick search of that area revealed a large box simply labeled “Brighton Estate”. With little time, Ristor grabbed the whole box and they snuck out of the office. Meeting up with Anya, the party retired to review their prize and see if they could finally get to the bottom of the mystery.
So now, there are many mysteries, and few answers for the party. What will the box hold? How will they react? What really did happen thirty years ago in this sleepy little fishing town? The party hopes to figure it out next time.

The Fallwater Gazette No. 1
All the news that's fit to print

The Fallwater Gazette
Farmer Silas Pinter complained that 4 of his sheep have recently been eaten by what appears to be a wild bear. Silas claims that over forestation is causing the wildlife to move into the farmlands and eat livestock. Local lumbermen have denied that they are causing any problems.

With the recent escape of Prester Bergman from what appears to be a group of smugglers, allegations have run wild. Several persons have alleged that Sherriff Johnson knows more than he is revealing. The Sherriff has stated that he organized a posse as quickly as he could, but that by the time he arrived, the smugglers, already alerted by the actions of local adventurers, had made good their escape. However, their leaving behind a prisoner who could identify them and the apparent lack of loot left behind seem, to this reporter, unusual.

Speaking of the smuggler controversy, Shipping magnate Alexander Tremont has stated that despite the issues with his new “estate”, he intends to remain in the region and pursue his business interests. We certainly hope he can bring more money to the town.

Two fishing skiffs have recently returned much the worse for wear. In both cases, the crew maintained that something in the ocean had tried to smash their boat from below. So far, however, there have been no confirmed sightings of whatever caused the damage.

Two minor instances of vandalism have been reported at the main cemetery. The town guard has not been able to determine who was responsible for the vandalism, but they are confident that it is not a matter of public safety. Juvenile pranks are suspected.

The crews of the merchant ships Pembroke and D’Estaigne came to blows in an unusually large brawl on the docks. The crew of the Pembroke claimed that two of their members had disappeared, and suspected the crew of the D’Estaigne of foul play. The captain of the D’Estaigne asserted his men had done nothing untoward. The guard was eventually able to restore order and the Pembroke left on the next tide two men short.

Mark Kalsbeck is pleased to announce his betrothal to the widow Mary Beckham. Readers will remember that Mary is the wife of Hank Beckham, who was killed four years ago in a duel. We wish the happy couple all the best.

Lord Harris, responding to rumors of an orcish incursion, recently launched a major patrol of the northern woods. Lord Harris reports no signs of Orcs in the woods.

Session One
The party meets

Ristor Dormant was just finishing a thoroughly tasteless lunch at the Shanty when Johann arrived. It had been a bad week for Ristor. No ships had come in and no one was looking for extra help. His purse felt uncomfortably light on his belt. Johann pointed at the young sailor, indicating he wanted him to come into the office. Ristor wasn’t sure if this was a good idea. Johann could be most unpleasant at times. However, Ristor’s purse was getting close to empty and even if this didn’t involve money, he needed the bar owners good will. So he quickly followed Johann into the office. The door securely closed behind them, Johann spoke.
“Well, my young friend, I may have a lead on some good work for you. Are you interested?”
“I’m always interested if there is coin involved.” Replied Ristor.
“Good. A wealthy merchant has recently come to town. I got word that he is looking for few folks for a short job. I don’t know much about it, but a man like that can pay very well. And knowing more about such a wealthy merchant could benefit all of us. So check it out and make sure you let me know what is happening. Do that and we are even for the information.”
Ristor thought for a moment. “I’m in. Where is he and how do I apply?”
“Good man,” Johann gruffly replied as he reached into his pocket for a small slip of paper. “He is staying at the Delicate Dancer. Where else would such a man stay? Hah! This paper will let you get in there. Otherwise they would never let you in. The meeting is in an hour, you should hurry.”
Ristor quickly pocketed the paper and began the hike to the Delicate Dancer. Perhaps today would turn out to be a good day after all.

Anya was deep into her studies when she heard he patron Skandor calling for her. He had asked her to follow up on some theories in summoning faeries that she was pretty sure would not be good, and she was happy for the break. However, if he was interrupting her assignment, that also meant there might be something urgent. So she hurried to his study. She found him at his desk, holding a slip of paper in his hand. It was hard to tell through his thick beard, but she though she detected a smirk on his face.
“Good morning Anya. Very good morning indeed. Something has come up and I think I have an interesting opportunity for you. Yes, very interesting indeed. It seems a member of the Tremont family has come to town. A Tremont! Can you believe it?”
The news was very surprising indeed. Anya had of course heard of the Tremonts. They were the biggest merchant family in the whole kingdom. Their wealth helped finance the army in difficult times, and they had been instrumental in placing the current Duke in his position after the Fall. Most had assumed Fallwater Bay would be too small a place for such a huge operation, but perhaps that might be changing.
Skandor continued in his usual rapid fire pace, “And it has come to my attention that he is in need of some local help for a small project. I don’t know what he wants, but I am sure he could use a resourceful young woman like you for whatever it is. And I am sure he will pay well. And perhaps you can get some idea of what he actually wants with our town. If the Tremonts intend to move into Fallwater Bay, that will greatly affect my business, and I would like to be ready. If not, maybe they want a local agent. But until I know what they want I can’t respond. So I want you to help Tremont with whatever he needs and I want you to find out what is happening to help me. I am sure the Silver and the experience will help you too. Take this.” He quickly shoved the slip of paper into Anya’s hands. “This is the invitation for the meeting about the job. You need to get there right after lunch, so you should hurray.”
When Skandor did not say anything else, Anya realized he was done with her. She also knew giving him a no would be difficult. On the other hand, this did present a mystery, and Anya couldn’t resist trying to figure the mystery out. That had always been one of her biggest weaknesses.

Their arrival at the Delicate Dancer had not been auspicious. The owner looked down at both of them, and even in her best dress Anya still felt underdressed for such a place. The owner had quickly ushered both of them into a small meeting room and told them to wait. Soon, the door opened and an older man was wheeled into the room. He was older, but not ancient. His robes were made of fine silk, and the rings on his finger were made of gold. He was wheeled in by a large man who obviously acted as both a servant and bodyguard. The gentleman in the chair spoke.
“Hello, I am Alexander Tremont. I had hoped for a few more people, but perhaps you will be enough. I have a small problem that I need addressed quickly. The Tremont family is planning on moving into this area. In light of this, I recently purchased property here. I need that property surveyed to make sure there will be no issues before I try to move in. The building is known as the Brighton Estate.”
Anya and Ristor both recognized that name. It was legendary in Fallwater Bay. Brighton Manor was an abandoned mansion outside of town. No one had lived there in 30 years. Rumors had circulated for years that the last Mr. Brighton had dabbled in dark magic. What was known was that after he disappeared, his two sisters had run the family business into the ground. Finally, someone claiming to be a cousin and the closest male heir had arrived and begun legal proceedings to claim the estate and the remains of the families business. Then one day, all communication with the family had stopped. Eventually, the Sherriff had gone out and found all three dead, cause unknown. The house had eventually been seized by the crown, and with its reputation no one had desired to purchase it. Until now.
Tremont seemed to sense their reaction. “I am aware the building will need extensive work. That is not my concern right now. My main concern is to make certain that the building is safe before I begin moving in. That is what I would like to hire you to do. Survey the entire building, locate any possible dangers, and let me know what you find. If you can do that, I will pay you 10 silver each.”
Anya was the first to speak. “Sir, if you need help with fixing the building, I can recommend some good people. How quickly do you need this done?”
“Well, time is short, which brings me to the second thing. I did bring a servant to check the mansion. His name is Prestor. I sent him out there two days ago, and he hasn’t returned. If he is still alive, I want him rescued. If he is deceased, I need to know. He has been with my family since he was born. Return him alive, and I will pay you an additional 25 silver reward. If you must return his body, I will pay a 10 silver reward for that. So, will you take this job?”
Ristor’s response was immediate. “For that money, sure!” Anya was a bit more reserved, but also accepted the offer. With that Tremont quickly made his farewells, giving them a description of Prestor before he left. The intrepid heroes gathered their things and began the walk to Brighton Manor.

The trip itself was uneventful. This was a path both had trod before. Arriving at the manor, they did a quick reconnoiter of the building, identifying a main entrance that was still closed and two other doors that hung open. After a brief debate, Ristor said, “I prefer to go in through the front door” and that decided them. Cautiously, they opened the front door and worked their way in.
The entrance was full of debris. It was obvious that it had long ago been looted of anything of value. Three passages presented themselves. Front, Left, and Right. Deciding on a Left Hand Rule, they headed down the left hallway first. They saw three doors, one on each side and one at the end. Continuing with their left hand rule, they opened the door to the left, revealing an old library. Most of the room had long ago fallen to rot and mold. But Anya was not willing to risk leaving a book behind. Taking some time, she was eventually able to locate six books still in usable shape. Most were basic treatises about nature. However, one was a discussion of magic theory. Lacking time for deep study, she could only get a rough idea of what it was about. But it seemed to be about necromancy and trying to live forever. That book was quickly pocketed for further study.
Not wanting to be caught from behind, they next checked the door across the hall. This opened into a small office. The windows in this room were intact, and the room itself was left mostly unharmed by the elements. Hanging over the fireplace was a large portrait of an old, fat ugly hag. As they searched the room, they kept getting the strange feeling of being watched. Finally, Out of the corner of her eye Anya saw the eyes move. She moved the portrait itself to make sure there was nothing hidden behind it. Upon closer examination, she noticed that the paint itself had some seriously strange patterns worked into it, which she could tell were magical in nature. Although not certain, the patterns did seem to match some of the drawings from the book she found, and certainly it appeared possible that there was necromancy at work. Not wishing to unleash something, they carefully put the picture back, to be examined at a later time. The desk itself was full of mundane paperwork, and they left it where they found it. They did locate a small hidden chamber with a small silver ring. It was the first item of value they had found.
At the end of the hallway, the door opened into a larger room. A door hung open in the back and the room itself was full of piles of debris. Unfortunately, hiding in that debris were 4 wild dogs, who rushed to defend their territory against the intruders. A brief but vicious fight followed. Anya was wounded by one of the dogs, and responded by unleashing electric death on the animals. Meanwhile Ristor held his own against the beasts, avoiding serious injury and dishing out punishment. Finally, three of the dogs were dead and the fourth fled out the open door. Further searching revealed nothing but the dog’s nest, so the party moved on.
Having searched the left wing, the party now decided to check the rear of the house. In rapid succession they found a dining room, meeting room and kitchen. Only cursory searches were performed of these rooms and nothing of interest was located. Finally, they checked the last room, the scullery. Here they found stairs down and a huge copper boiler. Curiosity getting the better of her, Anya tried to climb into the boiler to see if there was anything inside. Suddenly, the staircase erupted in hideous, tortured screams. Both of the party was horrified at the noise, but both were able to grit their teeth and overcome the fear. It did let them know they needed to hurry. Since the sounds came from below, they decided to go down and see what was there. Lighting a torch, they proceeded down the stairs.
At the bottom of the stairs, they found a body. Armed and armored, but the man had clearly been dead for weeks. It was clear the body had been killed in battle and left. The warrior’s purse was cut, but his sword and shield remained. Uncertain what to make of this, the party decided to quickly search. The room was an obvious wine cellar. Although they did not find anything of value, it became clear that some bottles had been very recently removed. Just as they were about to give up, Ristor noticed movement from the back wall. Rushing to the site, he realized there was a hidden door, and that someone had been looking through it. Throwing caution to the wind, he rushed through the door.
On the other side of the door was a huge room, which filled out a lot of the shape of the mansion. This room was well lit, with 10 beds laid out and a large dining table. Standing across from them was a stranger, dressed in work clothes and with a machete at his side. The stranger took off running, and Ristor pursued. Ristor, with an amazing burst of speed, caught him before he could make good his escape. A prolonged scuffle followed, with Ristor pinning the man down and eventually subdued him. In their brief discussions, it became clear that he was not alone and that he knew of Prester. But they could not determine exactly where he was or how many people might be around. The two tied him up and decided to rush through the rest of the house. There were still two doors in the basement to be checked. The first was to an obvious small room, which was quickly searched. It because clear that this was the room of whoever was leading the men here, and gave evidence of some sort of smuggling operation. The most important piece of evidence appeared to be a letter from the smugglers local connection, detailing that there would be one final pick up in a few days and that the smugglers apparently anticipated leaving soon. There was also a locked chest, which Ristor was unable to open. Convinced there was nothing left to find, they checked the final door. There was a sign on the door saying “Danger, stay out” which appeared to have been placed there recently. Ristor opened the door and looked in without stepping through. The floor was littered with debris and bones, many of which looked human. Anya carefully examined the room, again finding patterns in the debris that indicated it might be mystical. After a quick discussion, it was decided that they did not have the resources to tackle the room, so they closed the door. The decision was made to very quickly check the rest of the house, then take their prisoner back to town.
A quick survey of the remaining areas of the first floor revealed that there was likely some serious rot happening on the second floor, as the ceiling was falling in and there was mold. They quickly moved upstairs to search. They decided to quickly check the rotted area first just to be sure it wasn’t dangerous. There were three bedrooms in this wing. The third contained a surprise, as they found a man, stripped to his underwear and left unconscious. Examining him, they found a nasty looking knot on the back of his head. His physical description seemed to match Prester, and after waking him, he did answer to the name. With Prester in their care, the party decided it was time to head to town with their information before the smugglers came in numbers and caught them.
One final quick trip to the basement to collect their prisoner and the party was on its way back to Fallwater Bay. Prester quickly got some clothing for himself from the smugglers gear, and seemed anxious to “help” watch the prisoner. All seemed well as the party continued walking back to town. Prester seemed to lag behind a bit with the prisoner. Suddenly, both Prester and the prisoner, now untied, lunged at the party. Both were suddenly wielding daggers and intent on murder. The prisoner badly missed Anya, while Rister barely avoided a serious injury from Prester. Anya, angry at the betrayal, summoned the last of her magic and, with one huge electric burst, reduced the smuggler to a burnt husk. Seeing this, Prester slashed at her, striking her face and knocking her unconscious. But doing so left him open to Ristor, who cut him down. Ristor was able to bandage Anya up and carry her back to town. He brought her to the sea temple, where he was known, and they were able to give some basic healing to Anya that at least let her wake up and function.
Finally, the two made it back to Tremont, telling him all of what happened. After careful questioning, it became clear that the gentleman who represented himself as Prester was not actually Prester. The party was not sure why he tried to fool the, and he clearly would not be available to answer questions now. Tremont sent runners to find the Sherriff. Several hours passed before he arrived. The party again told him the story. He seemed shocked and concerned at what they found until they showed him the letter from the smugglers contact. At that point, he stopped. Anya noticed his reaction, and could tell he saw something in the letter that they didn’t. The Sherriff brusquely informed them this was official business, placed the letter in his pocket, and left.
So the party is left with many questions and no answers. What of the painting and the magic bones in the house. What is happening with the smugglers? Where is Prester? And why is the Sherriff suddenly acting strangely. They will have to wait until the next session to try and find some of these answers. Their only comfort is that they are 10 Silver richer for their efforts.

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.


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