Gang is at Stewpot Inn, guards just took custody of Celia(?) Cobblepot.
Ogre threatened to squoze her until she broked because he was afraid of poison that she used.
Gang bedded down, pooped out. Hung out in common room.
Bayrn (Jorn) healed of nerve damage.
Max is up part of the night coughing, fever.
Was stormy all night, heavy rain and plenty of lightning, even within walls of town.
Gang wants to go see the doctor in the town that Cobblepot sold poison to. (Kopfchen).
Dude with wispy white beard, purple gown – doctor Kopfchen.
Kromaw confronts – “find your gortsiet, you gave to Cobblepot”
Max asks if any is missing – Greg tries to detect lies, looks legit
Kromaw warns doctor clear of it, “chaos poison” – hobbit go to witch trial, poison food, got be careful
Jorn asks about the storm – doctor says it’s been a little more severe the last few days
Doctor pulls down almanac, shows party average rainfall, overall poor weather, last few days got worse
Kromaw “spots” chaos book – doctor explains it’s an educational tome
Max jumps in and tells doctor that if Kromaw gets to burn the book, maybe he doesn’t have to burn ALL the books. And the doctor.
Warn doctor not to spread more poison, otherwise, it’s his ass.
Go back to the town square – pass fountain, stone structure with gable, hasn’t been used in a long time.
Tiny, mailbox-sized chunk of wood, stuck on a staff, off to the side of the fountain/well. Off-white statue of Shallya.
People give the well a wide berth while walking through square.
Go back to Thunderwater Inn – notice windows nailed shut, chairs nailed to floor.
Gentleman in mid-20s with skullcap, high cowl, azure blue skullcap and cloak (Celestial College, Jorn notes).
Several scrolls, jeweled dagger, staff with clockwork planets.
Teaching the children their letters in the tavern. Prim, proper, well manicured, haughty.
Proprietor is there, graying, balding, decent gut, two sons helping behind bar.
One is ~20, other is ~15 or so.
Chair by fireplace is empty.
Max says hay to bartender, gets a Thunderwater, asks about the hunter – Hans “Biebs” Bieber
Tells of renown, tales of amazing shots, friendly and cool, brings in tons of game, god price.
Always gone a week or two, back for a few days, back in a day or two probably. Usually out at Oberslech.
Farms to south have tried to raise crops, pretty sure there’s a goblin tribe in the hills, livestock get taken, not doing too well.
If you go too far out in the Oberslech, can meet a pretty nasty end by beastmen or other things.
Reinholtz farm – got directions. Biebs not back for a few days.
Ask barkeep about Wizard. Endeared with townsfolk, taught them to read and write.
Aleron – what’s up with the well out there? Gets choked up a bit.
Couple of months ago his wife jumped in the well, drowned.
Barkeep excuses himself, youngest son cries a bit, can we do anything else for you?
Max give condolences, no reason for death – beloved by community, just normal fights with husband.
5 brass for breakfast, 5 more for provision.
Aleron bug wizard – “Ho there wizard, what’s the forecast for tomorrow?”
Taken aback, but playing along – “not likely, been this way the last hundred years or so.”
Aleron tries “Fake Out” – pre-empt an offensive attack somehow.
Trying to locate ancient pieces of stone tablet – ancient elvish script, might be able to get to bottom of weather.
Kromaw – “chaos storm?” – “no no, winds of Azyr, tear in magical fabric, causing storms”
Know how many pieces there are? Where they might be located?
Dunno, connected to the Azyr portal, where the power is leaking through.
Go to gate, roof structure collapsed, cannon there.
Gate we’re going out (east), cannon faced out from the east, roof over it, a few guards present.
Grab waterproof cloak
Start walking out to the east
about an hour out, see some smoke about an hour away
to the east – sullen rainclouds streaked with red light
whiff of smoke from the east, something burning
head toward the fire – burning remnants of farmstead
smoldering barn, farmhouse, grain silo, two outbuilding – near(ish) to the Holtzheim(?) farmstead
Jorn spots the origins of the fire – deliberate – no bodies
Max passed, notes cloven hoofprints in the mud
Aleron finds chaos star daubed in mud on the still-standing brick chimney
no bodies, livestock pens empty, no animals, dead or alive
small unburnt sign that says “aigel ranch”
Ogre sees Holtz farm off to the north – sees over a low rise
Fresh set of human boot tracks heading towards Holtz farm
Rally step – recover stress/strain
get to Holtz farm – two farmers in the barnyard, in a heated argument
one- tall and gangly, long blong hair, clothes torn, smeared with soot, mud, blood
other – short, dark, clothed in ..,
blond – “all your fault, dead becasue of you!”
dark – “i told you, tristan, i didn’t do it!”
blond – bullshit! i know it was you!
dark – what you think, they’d just go away?
blond guy glances over, pulls knife out, stabs the dark guy while he’s looking
other two hillbilly guys leap in, try to pull knife away from blond (Tristan)
rest of family hanging out, “doing chores” (eavesdropping)
distant twanging of lute from the farmhouse
Kromaw steps in – “That’s enough, calm down there – EVERYBODY STOP” (indimidate check) – success, group is startled by voice
stop yelling at each other
Tristan breaks down in tears, looks worked over, filthy, sooty, covered in mud
Explains that beastmen came and burned down farmstead, took family – he and brother out hunting, ran into Oberslecht w/ pitchforks
Brother was killed by beastmen, Tristan escaped, directly back to confront Holtzes
Kromaw – “Why it their fault?”
Breaks down, blubbering
Kromaw intimidates the stab victim, “tell truth, i’m a witch hunter”
Marie Holtz – mother – dark hair w/ streaks of gray, grief and worry
M Holtz – daughter – close set eyes, doughy face, close-set eyes
Tristan started throwing accusations around – no reason
only farmsteads for miles around – never happened before
Talk to mother – Tristan is her nephew, she was an Aigel before she married Otto, families got on well for generations fairly well
Aleron – goes up to farmhouse porch – addresses son (little Otto, teens) – “where’s Reiner?”
Has to talk over the kid’s lute playing, freakishly good, won’t stop playing. Won’t respond.
“Reiner, you in there?!?!?” Reiner – Otto’s brother, smaller/harder than Otto, dark hair and grim eyes.
Kromaw walks up to the guy that looks, says “you under arrest for hereticful behaviors – kidnap merchant Florian, steal wagon and pony”
Jorn stops bleeding for Fritz while Kromaw finishes tying him up.
Max heard commotion, saw the mother get up and run out (Marie), she pleads with Kromaw to let Reiner go
Kromaw intimidates Marie, tells her he’s going to jail in Stromdorf – hammer + comet (extra info)
Aleron sits on his horse and watches, “supervises”
Marie breaks down – starts to spill guts – “don’t hurt him, put him down, someone I want you to meet…, come with me…”
Takes a lantern from hook outside farmhouse, leads past fields to to the edge of Oberslecht
Otto – big solid man, thick neck, bulky, stoic farmer, glares suspiciously, doesn’t like outsiders
Climb onto a small hillock above the boggy ground, small cart on the edge of the clearing
Massive squat brooding tree to north, feathers, bones, stains, fur, bits of metal. Collection of bones at base, all over hill.
Imelda follows closely on Max’s heels…
Aleron left horse back at porch (really likes the banjo).
Marie – “Please don’t get restless, you’ll frighten them off…”
Intuition/Observation – no intention to harm, no ambush
Jorn – really faint tinge of something from tree – special in some way, not sure why
“are you there, I brought friends, they can help us”
Lightning strikes somewhere to the east
Crackling out of undergrowth, figure hunched, animal fur, feathers, stones, leather mantle with animal bones, grubby, black nails
Voice that rasps and crackles – “I hope you can help us, she is correct, time is short”
Blacktooth comes to destroy the works of man, will leave no work of man or gods standing…
Must ake the source of his power and ntake from him the source of the dark gods
Must steal from him the lighning stone…
Kromaw – “who you?”
“I am Foldath – this is my mother (Marie)”
Aleron – you didn’t bring our merchant friend out here an feed him to Foldath, did you?
Foldath – the sacrifices are not for me – they are to placate the hordes of beastmen
Place is REALLY creeping Jorn out, takes 3 stress
Aleron and Max – overwhelming sense of dread (not from Foldath) – sacrifical tree
Aleron looks down… sees signet ring on finger bone – reaches down and grabs it
Kromaw reaches down – grabs Marie, ties up – “you all chaos worshippers…”
“They’s worshipping chaos – go jail! Your mother go to trial!
Foldath – if this were a trap, the beastment would descend upon you without number…
Foldath – become a respected Bray Shaman, gifted with the dark gods’ magical might
Parents offered him as a sacrifice to the beastmen hordes – they saw his mutation, and raised him themselves
Love/hate relationship with human family
There’s a piece of stone, lashed to a beastman herdstone (large monolith) – been glowing the last few nights
attracts lightning, been driving the beastmen to madness, they are about to go mad and burn down everything, run amok
Pretty decent sized herd
Kromaw – “beastman accept challenge?”
Foldath – of course – that’s how they determine leadership of the herd
Party agrees with Foldath’s plan – Kromaw go challenge chief Gor, rest of party steals stone from Herdstone
Lightning blasts repeatedly hit the same location we’re headed towards
after half hour
See beastmen dancing, chanting around the herdstone, getting ready for battle
lightning stone lashed to side of stone, slightly har
Iska standing in front of herdstone, every few minutes, lightning hits stone, sparks fly, glow of azure light, beastmen freak out
beastment point, attract attention of Iska
Kromaw bellows ’ Iska, i challenge you! Beastmen must die! Chaos worshippers must die"
Iska bellows challenge response, raises double-bladed axe above head (just slightly shorter than Kromaw)
Most of party hides – find trees/logs to duck behind
Two rando beastmen charge Kromaw, pissed – Kromaw goes for double strike, pass – mash one into a super pulp
Kromaw bashes one’s head in, tears the hand (w/ sword) off of the other, then shoves blade through chest
another lightning bolt hits the stone – Iska roars, and charges
Both Kromaw and Iska tear into each other – huge, tearing blows, ribbons of blood, skin and fur flying, both roaring
Max sneaks – masterfully… Jorn stomps around like he’s trying to make as much noise as possible – two beastmen start sniffing around
Jorn casts spell, leaps out of bushes as beastman – other two cheer him on, then return
Max is quiet as fuck… but can’t hold in his coughing, belts out a couple coughs – throws self to ground
two beastmen turn, inspect herdstone, medium range
Max stands up, reaches around herdstone, fumbles with knot – takes a while, no instant success
Aleron lobs a shot ( of some kind) at the two beastmen approaching, takes one out, other distracted, quits looking for Max