Taverns, Tombs, and Orcs

17th Day of Marpenoth

Brastan briefed the adventurers quickly. His goal was to find and restore an ancient Temple of Tyr, but its location had been lost to the mists of time. He offered several possible leads; the tomb of an ancient monk dedicated to the defense of Justice, a monastery in the mountains known to collect holy artifacts, and local 'antiquity dealers' at the Hog and Thistle.

Argos was concerned about the Cloaks talk of the Cults of Elemental Evil, but without any solid leads they opted to undertake Brastan's investigations. Introductions to the local market stalls and stores were needed to purchase some necessary supplies. Bozel's Alchemical Supply & Potion Bazaar and Boris's Adventuring Supplies gave the adventurers a quick lesson in supply and demand.

Marching south the party marveled at the quantity and variations in the travelers on the South Rd. Caravans, adventurers, tourists, soldiers, moving in both directions in an almost never ending stream to and from Mulmaster. After the  human packed streets of the city, the Hog and Thistle surprised with its mix of peoples from almost every Prime race; and even some from further afield. 

Spread over two level the tavern was a whirlwind of ale, noise, and action. Elves and Aasimar traded magic scrolls, Dwarfs and Tieflings shared war stories, Dragonborn and Genasi reminisced over cold ales. In the chaos the adventurers found Gavin, an Elf who had spent the last century or so dealing in artifacts from all over Faerun. Although he was appreciative of the wine he had no knowledge of the Lost Temple, nor of any mysterious map that may lead to it.

Slightly disheartened the adventurers set off east to find the ancient tomb. The entrance was located in a hillside no different from any other in the undulating, rocky terrain. Cautiously Sendrina approached the tomb, choosing to investigate a collection of boulders nearby she felt could hide an ambush. Her stealthy approach ruined by a loose rock, she found herself under attack by a Half-Ogre and his Goblin sidekick. Alone and exposed Sendrina was almost taken down before her companions was cover the distance and take down the bandits.

Entering the tomb Sendrina finally found her first trap! Without checking the door she triggered a simple alarm, getting hit in the head with small scraps of metal as the rest clattered to the floor. Inside was what used to be an altar with armour and weapons, long since looted. A single metal door led deeper into the tomb, but the ghost of a cleric loyal beyond death was honour-bound to let no-one desecrate the tomb. Sadly he had to be vanquished before the tomb could be explored. Clutched by the interred monk was a broken tablet covered in an unrecognisable script, hopefully part of the map they were seeking.

Seeing the sun only just passing noon the party chose to press on to find the distant monastary. A few hours into their journey they were distracted by rising smoke in the distance, which they found to be a burning homestead. Anabelle raced ahead to the house looking for survivors finding am unconscious half-elf, Selwyn, in the front room. Taking him outside, and giving him a healing potion, brought him back to consciousness. He told of the orc raid on his farm where they took his pregnant wife and two farmhands, stole all their possessions, and then obviously set the farm on fire. 

Selwyn was frantic about rescuing his wife, and emboldened to act when Anabelle gave him her dagger to use. He almost ran along the well worn tracks of the orc raiding party, forcing the adventurers to to maintain a rapid pace. After a few miles the tracks split, the majority turning east and a smaller group with a wagon heading further west. Selwyn was sure the wagon would have his wife as the orc camps lay further west. Only minutes later they sighted the orcs, four of them with their wagon pulled by the farmhands and piled high with loot. 

Having the advantage of surprise would allow the party to approach the orcs, rapidly engage, and dispatch them before they could even react. Instead Anabelle and Selwyn began a reckless charge down the lightly wooded slope, alerting the orcs to their presence. Seeing the fresh meat of reckless adventurers the orcs saw no need for the farmhands, slitting their throats and leaving the corpses with the wagon. Once in range Saggy and Sendrina opened fire with their bows, wounding the orcs with accurate arrow shots. Returning the favour the orcs unleashed their javelins, missing all the adventurers but felling Selwyn.

Distraught, Anabelle stopped her charge and turned to expend her last spell to bring him back from the brink of death. Selwyn stood, hardly believing his luck as he looked at the bloody hole in his tunic where the javelin had just been removed from, marveling at the power of healing magic, as a second javelin pierced his heart killing him instantly. Thanks to the accurate archery the orcs were then finished off quickly by Bruce and Argos. Maygan, Selwyn's widow, is unable to contain her grief, and is barely able to tell the party about the refuge at the Dellmon Ranch.

Fortified and secure, the Dellmon Ranch has become a rallying point for the area's residents from the roving orc bands. Kerbin Dellmon, patriarch of the family, is happy to offer the adventurers a safe place to rest in exchange for assistance in the coming battle. Promising to talk more in the morning he offers them a place to sleep in the barn. Amongst the few dozen farmers the party found a place in the barn and slept.



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