27
Jun

Campaign Notes: Coin for a Cure – 6.21.2010

   Posted by: Blackbird   in Wardlands

5 riders are bearing down on the PCs when we started this session. Three of the rat creatues lay dead on the field while the Merris clan see to the children and try and calm them down a bit. Jamalamin spots a bit of gold on one of the beasts and looks closer to investigate while Abdul is more interested in the maggots and infection that the creatures seem to have.

As the riders pull up it’s clear that these are not men but rather boys the oldest can’t be more than 16, their armor fits loosely and while the youngest looks to be about 14 they have at least some sense of authority. The boys talk in a slow and deep slavic accent and explain that they do not know for sure what creatures these are they do know that those bitten quickly begin to become mad. They attack people at random and they too can spread the disease. Most of the attacks that they have heard of have been deeper in the wilds. This is the largest attack that they know of to date. Nibil asks if there is a cleric or healer in the city. The boys reply that there is a junior priest but he has been unable to provide a lasting cure for the disease. There is also another man named Barah in the city but they seem to have some fear of him and claim that his services are wildly expensive. They also warn that those at the gate will not allow any that are bitten into the city for fear of spreading the infection. After ensuring that the PCs do not need any assistance they ride off to secure other camps.

After the boys leave Jamalamin brings over a stretched out ring and shows it to the group. It is a simple wedding band but bent and stretched well beyond it’s ordinal size. A warped inscription on the inside reads “Forever: Rose.” Looking at the other two creatures there are scraps of clothing remaining on the bodies; a ripped and stretched out shirt collar rings one of the beast’s neck and the other has the remains of the upper part of a leather boot around it’s ankle.

None of the PCs have experience with this disease but they feel fairly certain that the disease somehow transforms men into beasts. In hopes of getting into the gate and trying to find some cure Abdul calls upon the power of his god to heal his comrades but while the wounds heal over a large red soreness remains ring in a black bruise.

The rest of the night passes without incident. On the following day Dun pays the PCs the promised 15 gp and thanks them for their work. You sense that he is a little nervous around the PCs now especially Abdul and Nibil. The group heads towards the gate as one. Near the gate there is a group of at least 10 people injured from the attacks last night. Abdul channels power from his god and does his best to heal those in the immediate area, preaching and praying and drawing a fair bit of attention to himself. As the wounds of those around him begin to close up and scab over, several of the commoners press coins into his hands and pockets as a means of giving thanks.

One of the commoners is a young farm hand, named Bale, he’s muscled like an ox. He too was injured in the fighting the previous night and is also infected. He’s come to the town in search of work to bring money back to his parent’s farm. Bale has a longsword and seems like he knows how to use it. Worried that the guards will spot his infection he has smeared mud over the wound to try disguise it.

Three guards all fairly young watch the gate collecting taxes from those that try and pass. Dun pays some heavy taxes to enter into the city and Jamalamin and Rystime also don’t have any trouble. Bicklebrick seems to get charged a bit extra for being a dwarf. Frustrated by this he manages an attack on the lead guard but disguises it as a bit of a drunken stumble. His attack is overly effective and he deals significant damage to the guard’s ear. Other guards are quick to draw their steel but the lead guard is convinced it was an accident. Bicklebrick and another guard exchange words and vow to settle the issue at the Cross Cut Inn.

Abdul is up next and manages to convince the guard that he can help him with his new injury in exchange for not having to pay a tax to enter the city. While he works on healing the guard Nibil comes up next. He announces that he’s been bitten and gets denied entry. He talks with the guard for a bit trying to use diplomacy to convince the young guardsman that it is the humanitarian thing to do to let him and the other sick people into the city. After a bit of discussion he still gets denied, and moves over to provide what comfort he can to the other sick people.

Bicklebrick heads to the Cross Cut Inn and buys half a gallon of the local brew called “The Sap” he tells Rystime and Jamalamin to wait for him there, and that he’ll be back when the others are in the city.

Bale is the last to try, Abdul is trying to convince the guards that him and his companions should be allowed into the city. As Abdul argues, Nibil attends the sick and then Bicklebrick returns with a jug of the local brew called sap. With all of this going on at the gate the lead guard takes Abdul aside and tells him that they should go to the bottom of Soapstone Way and that they need to wait for the guards who will check in to make sure that they are still there at the end of the day.

Allowed into the city Abdul, Nibil, Bicklebrick and Bale think of heading to soapstone way but Nibil and Abdul convince the rest of the group to head to the temple.

The city is a muddy maze of wooden buildings but the steeple of the temple is pretty visible and it does not take long to get to the temple. There they find a flustered junior priest who recognizes them as members of the church. He bids them inside and is surprised to find out that they have been allowed entry into the city with their infection. He has a fair bit of knowledge about the infections. He tells the group that the infection is in fact magical he fears that it is some form of corrupted lycanthropy. Most cases of lycanthropy leave the host with most of the their faculties intact, this form does not and the host quickly begins to go mad. He has never seen a man transform but given the corpses that some of the foresters and milita have brought back that seems to be the only explanation. Unfortunately, he does not have a way of curing the disease, the priest who built the temple knew how to cure nearly any disease but he left with most of the town milita and the mayor when they joined the army to hold off the orc tribes in the west.

He’s found that simple mixtures of feverfew and queen’s lace seem to strengthen the mind for a short period which can buy a bit more time for the infected but nothing seems to provide more than a week or two of clarity before the mind surrenders to madness. He suggests that Barah a wizard who lives at the bottom of soapstone way may be able to provide help but his services are very costly and claims that the man is dangerous. He slew several men who accused him of dark magic. Before leaving the priest gives them 2 doses of the resistance potion and prays for them.

The four of them then head to Soapstone Way. The road starts near the top of a hill and descends steeply towards the city wall at the bottom of the hill. At the top of the hill the Cross Cut Inn sits as well as a few other merchants. Laundries seem to line the road on the downhill slope which provides a natural avenue for drainage. At the bottom of the hill in the shadow of the town wall is a 2 story house with a dirty bay window. The entire building seems to not have a single right angle anywhere in it’s construction. It appears to be cobbled together from scrap wood. The man who answers the door tells him his name is Barah Cloudcaller.

Barah stands about 5’8″ and could be between the ages of 35 and 50, with a slender build and a somewhat weathered appearance.  He is wearing a cream woolen sweater with multiple holes and singe marks on it and wollen trousers reinforced with leather patches.  His clothes and skin are dirty, he looks far more like a blacksmith than a wizard.  A long leather coat with multiple pockets hangs from a coat rack behind the counter and a wide brimmed oiled leather hat lays on the counter top as if to try and make some claim that this man does in fact know something about magic.

The shop has a look of a horder’s warren, bookshelves are arranged in no sensible manner and bits of paper, seem crammed into nearly every available space. An arcane collection of beakers, glass, and alchemy ingredients are arranged on the countertop next to a large and heavy tome.

Barah appears direct and more than a little shrewd. He asks the PCs what their skills are he seems mostly satisfied by their skill sets and tells them that he expects 600 gold per cure but he does have enough supplies available for the three cures if they will agree to serve him until the debt is paid.  Bale seems most wrought by this but agrees along with the others. Bicklebrick is not injured but asks Barah about a mineral and Barah tells him that if he too will serve him he will provide him with information about that specific mineral. It takes a few hours for Barah to brew up the concotions meanwhile the group is milling around the shop trying to make sense of Barah’s insane filing scheme and identify various potions around the shop. When the cures are finally ready Nibil, Abdul and Bale all down them.

The cure tastes both bitter and hot and seems to almost crawl down your throat of it’s own accord burning out corruption as it goes.  After feeling subsides you feel rejuvenated and more alert than you were a few moments before.

Meanwhile: Jamalamin and Rystime have been in the Cross Cut inn and managed to find a nice roasted leg of goat, and a bit of ale while waiting for their companions. While seated near a window they notice a pair of young men loading a cart with rocks and rubble. Something about it seems a bit odd and Rystime goes outside to investigate. Jamalamin watches from inside the inn as the two of them talk before seeing a third man sneak up behind Rystime. Jamalamin gets up to intervene and starts to head to the door before being headed off by a serving wench demanding payment. Rystime gets cold cocked from behind and stunned while the other men shove the cart hard launching it down the hill. They then take off into the maze of alleyways, quickly disappearing. Jamalamin helps up Rystime as the cart crashes into a 2 story house with a dirty bay window and the two of them take off down the hill to see if they can help.

In Barah’s shop the cart explodes through the bay window just about where Bale was standing.

The windowed wall of the shop seems to explode inward as the floor bucks wildly beneath your feet. Your ears are filled with the sound of break glass, cracking wood and collapsing furniture. The shop is filled with choking dust and it takes a second or two to begin to clear. You can hear ceiling above you groan in protest at the sudden lack of support. From the back of the shop you hear a second crash, but not as loud as the first, then the curtain is thrown back and a young man dressed in black with a bandana pulled over his face reaches back and throws a flaming jar at a ruined bookcase.

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 27th, 2010 at 9:50 pm and is filed under Wardlands. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One comment

 1 

The first non-combat encounter, and it’s already causing moral issues for Nibil.

The safety of the town seems paramount here, with an incurable infectious disease on the loose. I don’t think I did a good job of it, but the aim was as much to convince the guard to imprison the bitten travelers (including Nibil, really) as to let them into the town. The worst tragedy here would be the bitten spreading the disease on to their own families. We’ll see if I get the chance to help control the situation, but that is the concern most on Nibil’s mind.

There’s at least one useful thing to be done at the first available opportunity, which is to give the priest’s resistive potion back to him since we didn’t make use of it.

Bicklebrick is making for interesting obligations as well, as it came up at the table that he was willing to help the infected if Nibil helped lead him back to the Cracked clan of dwarves. Nibil promised to take him back to where he last knew them to be, but with more than a year passed, is not optimistic for the chances of finding them there.

Usefully, made a profession:mining check to recognize the ore that Bicklebrick is looking for, though it wasn’t terribly useful to the Cracked clan. That may play out in a couple of different ways, if Nibil can find out what Bicklebrick wants it for.

Also, will have to see if what Barah asks for in payment for his cure ends up being palatable. That could easily end up being a bad situation. Oh, and did I mention that the cure was a Prairie Fire? We split the test tube vials worth, but I’m sure that was enough to kill anything we might have been sharing.

Altogether though, none of that is half as exciting as finding out what comes of our cliffhanger ending, and just how bad the farmhand gets it from the cart coming through the window.

June 29th, 2010 at 11:34 pm

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