AR 1209-12 Krunch's Journal - Festival of the Last Moon and Guido's fate (for now)
Well, the first semester is over, and now we get a break. Thank Moradin that Rissa and Yari invited me to Milinar for their “Festival of the Last Moon”. Sounds like a lot more fun than listen to elves sing the glory of their wondrous trees for hours on end like we usually do. I love my grandma, but her elven heritage is a pain sometimes. Elves have no idea how to celebrate. It’s all about singing and hugs and feelings. Gahh. They aren’t even good songs. Give me a good dwarven drinking song or a tune that I can hear in the ringing of my hammer as I work at the forge.
The trip to Milinar was so uneventful this time I was almost disappointed. No mangy wolves attacking in the middle of the night, no thunderclaps from an ongoing fight. But I did get Yari a kiss on the cheek form Lissa with some appropriately placed mistletoe when we stopped at the inn so the trip wasn’t a complete loss.
The night at Rissa and Yari’s was uneventful but breakfast was interrupted old man Beckman. I mean “Lord Beckman”. He accused Rissa and Yari of stealing his boots with absolutely no evidence. We agreed to look into it – it’s not like we had a lot of choice. Finding the tracks from Beckman’s house wasn’t hard, although the footprints were quite small. Odd. There were odd scratch marks too, that looked like they were left by some kind of animal.
The tracks led to town, where it was impossible to track, but they also went close to Rissa and Yari’s house and their mother found that a wand was missing. She gave us a wand with cure light wounds and we went to double check the tracks which led us to Wally’s place.
There are times when no matter what you do, you can’t save the innocent. Almost makes me wish that I could make armor for my heart because seeing Wally’s ghost when we entered his house(after fighting some skeletal squirrels) nearly broke it. I know threats are all around, but to hear that it was his own da who did him in was almost too much. It was even worse when we found the bodies … father and son hanging in an apparent murder/suicide.
If I took the news hard, Wolf took it harder and charged off up the stairs looking for retribution. Skipping by a couple of walking corpses (which I stopped to fight so they didn’t come after us) he ran to the third floor looking for blood. Or ectoplasm. Or whatever it is ghosts leak when repeatedly hit by a big hammer. I’d say something about not splitting the party and focusing efforts … but honestly I wanted to charge right after him.
Wolf didn’t find anything, and was about to check the kitchen when a human kid I vaguely recognized from the caravans walked in the front door. He was quite quick to close the door as it was hit with multiple skeletal squirrels, making a sound akin to hail on wooden roof. Yari recognized Zen, his neighbor and son of the owner of the caravan company.
While we did some quick introductions, Rissa and Yari continued investigating upstairs and found Wally, his dead mother (who appeared to have died from natural causes) and a suicide note. Turns out that Thornberry (I can’t even think of this monster as worthy the title of Father or even Lord) killed his son because he was going insane after the death of his wife. He killed his son and bound his spirit to the house in a twisted attempt to save his son from his own grandfather, who is apparently a necromancer down in Botan.
Wolf started smashing stuff, while I grabbed a shiny axe and tossed a shiny sword to Zen in a futile attempt to attract Thornberry’s attention. It didn’t work, but Wally told Rissa and Yari that Thornberry was in the back. Wolf took the direct route through the back window and the rest of us were not far behind.
We had just about destroyed Thornberry when the coward ran away, sinking into the ground. Back in the house Wally told us about writing behind a secret panel and showed us how to open it. The writing was some kind of arcane spell binding the souls to the house.
Realizing that dealing with this was beyond us, Rissa, Yari and I ran to their house to get their parents. While we were gone Thornberry reappeared but Wally grabbed him and sank into the ground. It didn’t take long for us to get back, but I think I got some squirrel bone dust in my hair when Lady Kara invoked the power of Tyr.
Destroying the writing on the wall and Thornberry was a matter of a few lightning bolts and explosions. Wally was able to re-open the portal to his afterlife by closing his eyes and thinking of his mother. Although we couldn’t see anything, Wally saw his mother … and the spirit of a female dwarf. The dwarf asked that I “Find her body in the cavern under the braided stalagtite.” Wolf was also given a message that some of his old mates that they were fine.
And then … Wally was gone. I practiced my sleight of hand on my face after he left. It had nothing to do with my cheeks being wet. Nothing at all.
The next day a Horn of Plenty was stolen from the queen’s parent’s house, so we decided to set up an ambush for the thief. We were able to catch the thief, or at least the puppet being controlled by the thief. We tied a rope to it and let it lead us back into town, where it climbed into a second story window. It was typical lower level shop with living quarters above. Franzy climbed up through the window, but then we didn’t hear anything from her. I unlocked the shop door and went up the stairs in the back. The door upstairs was trapped and Wolf wasn’t patient enough to wait for me to disable it so he broke it down. Before I knew what was happening, I heard Wolf slap Franzy (who was just standing in place frozen) before he jumped across the street to another open window where he grabbed onto the window sill. Yari was next, calling down heavenly flame as he was jumping. I was next, using Wolf’s shoulders as a handy mid-point to a back flip over a waiting wolf. I was able to grab the mage that was fleeing the room and hold him while Wolf came up and knocked him unconscious.
For some reason, Wolf started to panic when the city guard came running, I’m not sure why. He left while we explained what had happened and who we were. I have to admit that every once in a while it is good to be the son of a king. In any case, the mage (Derreck) was arrested, the items were retrieved and sentenced to death after a quick trial. Somewhere along the line Franzy adopted the wolf, or perhaps the wolf adopted her. Old man Beckman was so thankful that we had resolved the issue that he promised to give us his boots when we graduate.
With the thefts resolved I had time to work at my mother’s old blacksmith in order to earn some steel for my new armor. We also got ready for the costume party. Somehow I had been volunteered to be the back end of a unicorn. It was for a good cause though, since we were giving Wolf’s little sister (who was going as a princess) a ride. We made sure I had some panels so I could grab food, so it was all good. Truth be told, being the back end of the unicorn gave me an excuse to enjoy watching the show without having to get too involved. If Tizzy had been there, I would have wanted to dance the night away but she was back in the keep.
At the party, Sardi and Brock needed to talk to the king. While Rissa distracted Verona and Quinnella, the rest of the group got rid of Guido by the use of some chocolate pudding and a cantrip from Franzy for a stinky smell while the band played the tune we had set Stinky the Halfling to.
It turns out that they had concerns about Guido. After some investigation Wolf came back with rumors about agents of Lollth in town (not sure how). Based on what Wolf found and reports of dismembered bodies showing up, the adults decided they had to act quickly, da and Rissa and Yari’s parents led a raid on their headquarters. While many got away, Guido was among those caught.
Trial was once again short and to the point, Guido was sentenced to death but somehow escaped before sentence could be carried out. I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of him, but at least he’s no longer attending the academy.
Grandfather Ironforge came to visit. Whenever we’re together I feel like he’s doing an appraisal of a horse. At least he didn’t check my teeth. Grandmother Nalia is nice though. I think this is the first time Wolf met his great-grandparents however so he got the whole family tree speech. I think I dozed off somewhere.
Back at school we learned that Quock’s brother and sister had been killed and his father badly injured. He went back home to be with his father. I will miss him, even if it did open up a spot for Zen to join us. We would later learn that Guido’s father was responsible for Quock’s troubles and that the docks of Smallville and his father’s home were destroyed by treants.