Notes from Berrian’s Journal:
† After continuing down the path from the kobold warrens after spotting the clearing with the pentagram, we run into the Ettin. Fortunately, we were able to avoid it. We did learn that it has an intimidating yell which sapped our desire for battle and thus our ability to hit should we have chosen to engage. It also had tremendous strength enough to break off live trees. He shouted curses to us concerning his victory over many of Chaylin’s dogmen as well.
† After avoiding the Ettin we continued on to Chaylin’s camp where we discovered the dogmen engaged in a game of cards. Reed decided to join the game and we discover that not only was money on the line, but when a player is knocked out they must accept a stabbing with a small dagger from the victor. As a halfling’s luck would dictate, Reed happens to defeat Chaylin and double his already considerable coin stack. He also delivers the dagger blow to Chaylin which angers and annoys her but gains the approval of the other dogmen. Chaylin then grants us audience where she agrees to grant us permission to take a detour to Fallcrest to resupply and investigate the Church of Pelor, and tells us how to get there.
† We then rest for the night and travel to Fallcrest the following morning. On the way to the town we pass through several farms that were all recently harvested and vacated. When we arrive at the city gate, the guards greet us with general suspicion and we gather then that Fallcrest is a human village that looks down upon other races. They do tell us though that the Church of Pelor was abandoned within the city and resettled some distance to the east of town. We also see signs right away the reflect not only a resentment to non-humans but also, and possibly more so, to magic users and thieves.
† We then split into three groups. Sheddin and Grumel stay outside the wall as they are the most obvious as non-humans and wanted to avoid trouble. Their experience is laid out in Sheddin’s journal, although it fails to mention that in addition to releasing the thugs who attacked them, Reed decides to fork over gold to their leader after hearing a sob story about his dying grandmother. We also learn from them that they were hired by councilman Frederick. Reed and Cain then enter the town as one group, with Peren and I as the other. The following entry describes Cain and Reed’s experience in town as described by Cain:
¡ Cain and Reed begin asking around for magical materials and are met with extreme suspicion with the normal storefronts with no success in finding anything, but are told about a building called the Naked Blade which is said to be in the southern part of town which is where items not traded on the open market might be found. They manage to find the location of the Naked Blade but cannot find a way in. Reed then attempts to pick a lock but the pair are then approached by the town constable and a contingent of his guards. After a hostile inquisition it is revealed that Reed is a halfling and are met with even more aggression. They manage to talk down the constable though but are implored to find their drink at the Emerald Jug tavern but be out of town by nightfall.
† Peren and I set out to first find supplies and are able to find most of the common items we sought, however we also are told that anything of magical stature, if available at all, would be in the south of town. Also, when I sold the weapons and other items looted from our enemies we are asked if we were involved in the massacre in at Avin Ridge in the eastern hills where the Church of Pelor settled, as there have been other adventurers that have come to town to sell similar items. (It looks like the kobolds haven’t been the only ones to benefit from the struggle there). After leaving the market area we find the previous site of the Church. However it looked more like a warehouse than a church. We do find Pelor’s mark there though. We weren’t there long though when we are similarly engaged by the constable and his contingent. We also talk our way out of continuing our conversation in the constable’s “meeting room” but are told to go to the Emerald Jug and collect Cain and Reed and get out of town. All in all, the people in the shops and on the streets greet us with lots of suspicion and general dislike. When we arrive at the Emerald Jug though I go in while Peren waits outside and find that within that tavern, the environment is much different than we had experienced in the public areas. The bartender appeared to possibly be dwarven and the patrons seems to be a mixture of three distinct groups. In addition to a band playing music, there were a group of gothic garbed people (who I find out later are followers of the Raven Queen), a group of guards and another group of commoners. I just barely manage to order a mug of mead and a giant of a man appears yelling out a name of someone who owes money to his employer. At that point one of the commoners dives behind the bar. The giant man enters and demands to know where the person is and the goths and guards give way his position. The giant man pulls the other commoner out from behind the bar and proceeds to twist and rip his head clean from his shoulders. When his friends attempt to help, they too are dismembered and beaten to death with their own limbs. One of them is driven through the bar. The giant man then relieves the corpses of their valuables and leaves the tavern. Workers then come out and clean up the mess and everything goes back to normal as if it was a regular occurrance (the band never stopped playing throughout the melee). I then work to seduce the barmaid, Glendel, and she agrees to meet me later in the evening at her room to get more info as she is unwilling to talk further in the tavern. Cain and Reed then arrive and bring Peren with them and we enjoy a bit of all-artichoke food and drink for a while before departing.
† When I arrive at the Glendel’s room I learn about more information about Fallcrest. She explains that there are four main power structures within the town, all vying for control. They consist of the followers of the Raven Queen, and followers of Bane, as well as the constable and his guards and the council members who all live in the castle upon the bluff. The city council and constable seem to be the strongest, with the constable particularly adept and making his adversaries disappear. However money seems to speak louder that anything for the constable. The strongest among the city council members seems to be Frederick, who hired the thugs that accosted Sheddin and Grumel. All the factions seem to be shaking down the merchants in town, which would explain their suspicious attitude. Glendel also explains that Fallcrest was originally a dwarven town (which explains why the Emerald Jug might be operated by a dwarf), but was abandoned and resettled by humans. They now have an annual artichoke festival as well after the harvest which is celebrated throughout the town with the crowning even being a beauty pageant usually consisting of peasant girls from surrounding farms (which Glendel seems to dislike and look down upon) and judged by the city council. This year there was a guest judge who is a handsome nobleman from outside the city. The conversation then ended with my final quip that Glendel herself should have entered the pageant as she would be easily have been the winner. The buxom beauty and I then put a dirty, sweaty exclamation point on an interesting day of adventure in Fallcrest.
† Early the next morning I rejoin the group at the farmhouse and after dealing with the thugs we go to the new site of the Church of Pelor. There we find a group of robed monks cleaning up the ruins of the Church which was extensively damaged, more so than one would think a group of kobolds could cause on their own. Peren and I go up to the monks and notice that they are armed which is unusual for followers of Pelor, however they explain their armament as for protection only from a dangerous world. We ask a few questions of Pelor to determine if the monks might be impostors, but are met with a very zealous attempt to enlighten us which made us believe they were true followers. They then ask Peren to be their new leader as the previous one was killed in the raid (which none of the current monks on clean-up were present for). Peren declines due to our current quest commitments but anoints one of the monks as interim leader and promises to check back in on them when our quest for Brim is at an end.
† We then continue on our quest to clear the gnoll valley and manage to dispatch three more gnolls with their hyena’s. The first one we encountered blew on a horn which attracted a second group. After completing that difficult encounter we collect the loot, including both alarm horns, and take an extended rest in a nearby cave with wizard’s curtain cast upon it’s entrance. With the wizard’s curtain still up we blow the horn ourselves which attracts one more huntmaster and it’s hyena’s. Using the curtain as cover, we easily dispatch the third group and as it is evening again, we rest for the remainder of the night.
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