Adventure 5, Expedition 1

Adventuring Troupe:

  • Lucia the Halfling
  • Braum the Cleric
  • Kelvyn the Thief
  • Fela the Fighter
  • Olg the High Orc

Date: First-day of Week 24, Day 231 of Year 441

The troupe spent the morning in the farmhouse, discussing their next course of action. Stad, Fave, Brosin, and Tulver did farm chores while Jan worked in the kitchen. Hearing that the chickens laid a large amount of eggs, Braum asked that they lay the eggs into a salt brine to make salted eggs to sell alongside the pickled eggs at the eight-day farmer’s market.

Fela sent her last homing pigeon back to Gretchen, asking her to find the owners of the gold mine. She signed her letter “hoping to pay you back sooner”. On the subject of homing pigeons, the troupe decided they would like to have some that return to the farm. They ask Brosin to build a pigeon house.

Setting out in the early afternoon towards the gold mine, the troupe met farmwife Tela on the road. She was wandering listlessly, in a generally easternly direction. Extracting her story through the prickly thorns of her suspicion and ennui, they learned that her farm burned to the ground recently and she was the sole survivor. Offering her aid, the group takes her in their wagon to the farm of their neighbor Ned Killigun. Ned had heard of her troubles, and agreed to watch after her for a time.  

The troupe took the opportunity to tell Ned of the language exchange they have begun on their farm, and invited him over to learn languages and to teach any skills he felt like sharing. They also agreed to trade his cow’s butter and sweet cream for their eggs.

Braum had been accused of being a dandy by Tela on the road, and that was the topic of much discussion at the troupe’s farm that evening. “We’re dandy vigilantes,” Lucia laughs.

As the troupe prepares to sets out on the morning of second-day, discussion turns to renaming the farm. It isn’t Old Man Stribe’s farm anymore, after all. Olg suggests Braummune, to which only Braum objects.

That was the last that Stad, Fave, Brosin, Tulver, and Jan heard from the troupe for a long, long time.

Investigative Report

Date: Fifth-day of Week 24, Day 235 of Year 441 of the Modern Age

Submitted to Head Dean Umberto of the Gleaming Springs Colloquium

Compiled by Dean Constance Lanalin, Dean of Alchemy, from first-hand experience, as well as interviews with George of the Association of Alchemy, James of the Association of Alchemy, Elrich of the Foundation of Chemistry, Mahe of the Cleric’s Seminary, and Dean Falin Disson, Dean of Clerics.

At approximately 4 am on forth-day of Week 24, a party comprised of at least three humans and a halfling brought their train of riding animals, pack animals, and a covered wagon onto the Colloquium grounds and spoke with Elrich in the doorway of Chemistry. They discussed the Spring, a miracle of the Daughter of Spring. Elrich marked several other holy sites dedicated to the Five Gods pantheon on their map, that their request.

They then requested information on the student who temporarily turned the water of the Spring into a sleeping potion. Violating the order not to discuss this student, Elrich directed them to Alchemy. He has been disciplined accordingly.

The group then entered the Alchemy building, ambushing George. George testifies that the party also included a man-ape, though he did not recognize him as such initially. When George refused to discuss the student, per Colloquium orders, a human in cleric’s garb declared that he must be the student they were looking for, and the man-ape picked him up by his ankle.

One human stayed in the doorway while the man-ape, carrying George, followed a human and a halfling into the kitchen. The human in the doorway seemed to be enjoying himself greatly, as he was laughing.

George’s screams during this event roused everyone sleeping in Alchemy, including the author of this report. Upon waking I realized that I could hear laughter from an unknown voice, as well as the screaming. I cast a modified Sleep spell towards the sounds downstairs, and we all rushed to the ground floor to see what had transpired.

I first saw that the human who I had faintly heard laughing had been successfully bespelled, and was unconscious in the exterior doorway. Rounding the doorway into the kitchen, I saw what appeared to be a halfling fending off an attacking man-ape with a chair. George was unconscious on the ground, as was another human dressed in plate mail and cleric’s garb.

James was the only one of the six of us in the doorway with enough presence of mind to get off a spell in the tumult. He cast a modified fireball, tightly controlled, and the man-ape was killed. The halfling introduced herself as Lucia, once the chaos had died down.

She told me that she was a hunter, and had been tracking this man-ape. She offered to hunt any monsters that had been troubling us at the Colloquium. She identified the human in armor as her scribe and cleric, who gave the dead last rights. She apologized for the laughing man in the foyer, explaining that he was not all together well in his mind. She mentioned that she was setting up a farmer college, and would like to discuss what resources we might be able to provide them, at a later date.

I assured her, when asked, that the sleep spell would wear off in less than a day. We then helped her load the man-ape’s body into the covered wagon, along with her two sleeping fellows. In the wagon I saw beasts of war, as well as a very curious large silver ball, and another human. I was under the impression they intended to leave the Colloquium grounds.

The group, now comprised of a human and a halfling, then apparently spoke to Mahe in the doorway to the Cleric’s Seminary. When she tried to turn them away with the information that there was no clinic that day, they insisted on speaking to someone else. Dean Falin Disson was awoken, and spoke with them. They asked her to resurrect one of their party. She asked what they offer in trade for the spell. The human woman offered her 2 gold nuggets. When Dean Falin suggested instead to trade magic for magic and that they might pay with the magical sword the human was holding, the stranger countered with an offer of 16 pieces of gold ore. Not coming to an agreement, the group left in their covered wagon. They left Dean Falin with a single piece of gold ore, in an attempt to bribe her into silence.

Upon waking, George’s story clearly showed at least some of Lucia’s tale to be false. She could not have been hunting the man-ape, as he was a member of her party. How many of the other details in her story were also lies is unclear. They were certainly interested in the sleeping potion student, as many others have been. What their other plans may have been, I cannot say.

My recommendation, Head Dean Umberto, is that we institute a policy of higher security until the world forgets about what happened to the Spring. It is clear that we will continue to be harassed by outsiders. I suggest doubling the morning breakfast shift and late night shifts, so that no one is ever working alone. I also suggest we set up a night patrol. It has always been dismissed as unnecessary in the past, but this assault illustrates that, at least for a time, we must offer more formalized protection for our students. I cannot express my feelings on this strongly enough. It is our duty to our students to keep them safe while they are in our charge.    

Adventure 2, Expedition 5

Adventuring Troupe:

  • Olg the High Orc
  • Mugi the Man-Ape
  • Braum the Cleric
  • Lucia the Halfling
  • Kelvyn the Thief

Date: Second-day of Week 22, Day 212 of Year 441

During the night of second-day the party sleeping in the barn was beset by biting bugs. The Goblin King and Braum were able to drive them off with a lit torch, but sleeping in the hay loft had lost its appeal. The party retreated to the living room of the farmhouse, where they spent the rest of the night in peace.

The morning of third-day dawned clear and bright, perfect for farm chores. Kelvyn went out to the chicken coop with the goblins and, using their shared nimbleness, showed them how to slight-of-hand eggs out from under the chickens without getting pecked.

Coming in to catch the end of this explanation, Mugi then showed the goblins how to befriend the chickens and charm the eggs out from under them. All in all, however, the goblins decided they didn’t care much for the chickens and only 18 eggs were collected from a flock of roughly 60 chickens. Perhaps the feeling was mutual.

Afterwards, Scrob the Goblin King and Braum discussed the future. “We would like to make a place where we can foster ideas, spread understanding….We can attract travelers from the main road.” Braum expanded on his vision.

Scrob decided to travel back to the Labyrinth, to explain the farm to the other goblins there. He wasn’t much interested in the chickens, but had taken a liking to one of the farm cats. Braum bid him to take a pair back to the Labyrinth, with a caveat to mind “how fast they can breed”.

Goblin King David Bowie
holding a cat

Two goblins, Stad and Fave, elected to stay behind and work on the farm. They set to with Lucia after their compatriots leave, cleaning out both the barn and chicken coop with gusto. The adventuring troupe was impressed with the goblin’s enthusiasm, and excited that some of the goblins are buying into their idea. Stad and Fave will stay on and manage the farm while the troupe goes out adventuring.

The troupe promptly set out for Gretchen’s. There, Mugi asked Gretchen to recommend a farming mentor. Gretchen was a little puzzled by the request, and after a pause suggested their neighbor Ned Killigun. She also mentioned that there was a farmer’s market every eighth-day, a few hours west of her establishment.  

To avoid paying for rooms that evening, Braum volunteered to entertain the crowd at the bar with stories. He talked of the battle between Erlang Shen and Sun Wukong that raged across the heavens. Long into the night Braum depicted their mighty struggle. The tale concluded as Sun Wukong was forced to serve the king of Heaven, and was bound to a monk headed into the west.

Image source: http://www.freedomwall.info/chriskris

The morning of forth-day the troupe headed over to the Birbeckle’s farm on Gretchen’s recommendation, to see if a few of the older Birbeckle children might be interested in helping out Stad and Fave with the chickens and other farm chores.

The elder Birbeckles were amenable to the idea, and volunteered the middle boys, half-grown teenagers Brosin and Tulver. As a neighborly gift, they also dug up some rhubarb and sent it along with Mugi to be planted. When Brosin and Tulver expressed some skepticism about why a farm needs so many chickens, Olg replied “Chickens aren’t a need. They’re a calling. If you search your soul, you’ll hear a cluck.”

When they arrived back at the farm, Mugi took the gathered chicken manure and plowed it into the garden patch behind the house. He carefully planted the rhubarb in the northeast corner of the garden.

Mugi’s freshly planted rhubarb
Image source: https://bonnieplants.com/how-to-grow/growing-rhubarb/

Simultaneously, Braum gathered up Stad, Fave, Brosin, and Tulver. He filled them in on the plan: the troupe was planning to travel to the old caved in gold mine to check it out. In the meantime, the four of them would run the farm.

Brosin was the first to reply, pointing out that they needed a cook. In fact, he continued, his girlfriend Jan is a pretty good cook. Braum okayed Jan the Girlfriend moving in as cook, and gave the group 10 gold pieces to cover any needs or emergencies that arise before the whole party meets up at the egg stand at the eight-day farmer’s market. The troupe decided to leave Legion the pack dog and Julio the mule for farm use while they were away.

The troupe hadn’t make it more than a mile down the road toward the old gold mine when they saw an evil looking storm blowing in from the west. The clouds seemed to glow with light. They hightailed it back to the farm, and settled in to wait out whatever was coming.

Questioning Brosin and Tulver about the apparent firestorm, the troupe heard tales of the spells the mad mage lords inflicted on the world in the last days before the world burned. Some of those spells linger in the world still, the farm boys say, such as the occasional firestorm that sweeps over the area, burning people and animals alike caught outside when it hits.

Kelvyn and Mugi chose to wait it out in the cellar, while the rest of the party sat together in the living room. Kelvyn was at this point the only member of the troop who had not learned any Sign, but Mugi had picked up a few words of Common, so they were able to communicate a bit during their self-enforced closeness.

Braum passed the time with those above ground by telling the story of how three ghosts changed the perception of an old money lender. Ghosts being the main purview of his chosen god, he had many ghost stories.

“The moral of the story is that money and wealth is good, as long as you do good things with it. And you should always value people and relationships over material things.”

The morning light of fifth-day showed that the damage of the storm wasn’t too bad. All of the chickens had been safe in the coop, and the troupe’s animals were all in the barn, so the farm had suffered no losses. The troupe set out to the gold mine, taking a dozen eggs to give to Gretchen on the way past her place.

The entrance to the old gold mine
Photo from article by Janet Keller

Upon exploring the gold mine, the troupe could see that the way was completely blocked and the surrounding tunnel seemed unstable. There had clearly been several efforts made to clear the cave-in throughout the years, but none had broken through.

“We’ll use the timber we brought to shore up the cave in. Olg, you’ll use your architectural expertise. Put the beams up first, then start clearing the cave-in.” Braum efficiently organized their party, and they get to work. The troupe dug rubble and hauled it away in shifts, taking the best rubble out onto tarps for possible later panning. They worked for the remainder of the day, getting up early the next morning for more of the same. In the late afternoon of sixth-day, they broke through into to uncollapsed mine shaft.

They found a corridor worn smooth, as if fingers had traced every inch of the walls for years, looking for a crack or a seam. They also found the desiccated remains of what they assumed to be the miner who was trapped inside the mine at the time of the cave-in, with a locket. Empty supply crates and a few remaining chunks of gold ore were the corpse’s only legacy.

Braum said a prayer over the body, asking his permission to bury him outside and explore the area. The troupe formed a solemn burial party, taking the worn tools to bury with the body. They built a rough holy symbol and left a few chunks of ore to mark the grave.

“You made it out,” Braum intoned over the grave. “We’re sorry we weren’t here sooner. Sir, if you still have family left in their world we’ll get the locket to them and tell them what happened.”

Smelting a single chunk of gold ore
Image source: http://goldprocessing.blogspot.com/2011/06/melting-process-of-gold-ore.html

The morning of seventh-day, the troupe decided to travel to where the farmer’s market will take place the next day. Reaching the empty wooden stands, they occupied themselves by scrounging up charcoal from the remnants of old fires. They knew that a wood fire wouldn’t burn hot enough to melt gold, but a charcoal fire would. Sorting through the bags of ore they collected at the old mine, they selected a likely candidate and threw it into an old cooking pot. Weighing the captured gold later, they found it was roughly equal in weight to 17 gold pieces.