Session 3 (28th April)
Note if as a player your GM is likely to run Retribution by Raging Swan please do not read any further. Retribution is one of the most superb adventures, very far from a standard dungeon crawl and would be truly spoiled to play by the information contained below. If you’re a GM I really recommend buying and running Retribution, so far it’s been a blast and even an entire session without once rolling for initiative hasn’t put the party off.
As morning dawned on the parties third day in the Priory the sinister events of the previous days were playing on the minds of our heroes.
At breakfast the mood was temporarily raised by the company of Adan at breakfast. While still weak he was extremely grateful to the party for saving his life and was looking forward to moving out of the infirmary and into the guest quarters.
The raging storm had lessened overnight and as dawn broke the snow finally stopped and the wind dropped. Taking advantage of the temporary respite Dvadi and Elrohir took the opportunity to accompany Tomas to the edge of the forest to gather wood. Armatage climbed to the top of the gatehouse to keep an eye on his comrades while Hederas joined with the remaining clergy for their studies in the Chapter House.
Tomas’ work was much reduced with Dvadi and Elroir’s aid however the discoveries of recent footprints at the edge of the forest cast a shadow over the break in the weather. Tomas believed the footprints were of something watching the Priory although drifting snow meant that discovering where the watchers came from or went to was impossible. Finishing their work and hurriedly ferrying the precious firewood through the snow they returned thankfully to the safety of the Priory’s walls.
At the end of the study session Hederas spoke with Ythel about his thoughts and suspicions regarding recent events. Ythel had no explanation for the troubling happenings and was almost as unsettled by his confusion as by the events themselves. Ythel confided that he had even started to worry that Darlen was punishing them for something. Hederas then called on Ruan on whom the woes of the last few days were easily visible. While unwilling to give too many details of either Rosen’s tragic youth or his early history with Ythel he explained that Tomas and Rosen were long standing residents of the Priory while Ythel had only come to them several years ago. Rosen had come to the Priory seeking peace and a place to hide from the world and the horrors of her past.
After a lunch where the discovery of the footprints in the snow was much discussed, Tomas, Elrohir and Dvadi once again braved the eaves of the wood to gather fuel. During the afternoon Adan moved his few belongings into the guest quarters. The evening meal was a sullen affair and even Hederas struggled to keep conversation going, Rosen almost fleeing the room at the earliest opportunity in order to avoid discussions.
For the first time since they arrived the party decided to forgo the evening worship and retire early however no sooner had they settled into their quarters than the sound of raised voices alerted Dvadi to trouble and he ran to investigate. On arriving at the hall, quickly followed by Elrohir and Armatage, he discovered that three of the six large statues of Darlen and his principle saints had been toppled and broken during the day. The distraught clergy barely noticed the parties arrival at first however suddenly Tomas, enraged by the desecrations, rounded on Dvadi loudly accusing him and his companions of being complicit in the recent troubles. This was probably not the most tactful of moments for Hederas to arrive at speed, crossbow in hand, to investigate the commotion. Some quick talking avoided physical violence but the tensions simmered as the clearing up started.
While baffled by the occurrences of the last few days Hederas and Dvadi quickly decided that the central target of the attacks was the Justicar Hall and enquired to Ythel about being allowed to explore the crypt to ensure there was nothing hiding there. Ythel explained that Ruan had the key and that, certainly this late at night and after such a huge shock, it would not be wise to ask him for access. Although agreeing that it would not be right to further disturb the ancient curate after the shock he was experiencing the idea of the crypt still held the parties imagination and seemed the most likely source of intruders into the building. After hurried discussions the group decided to spend the night in the Justicar Hall and guard the courtyard outside taking turns in braving the cold. This choice of action and the perceived further desecration of the sacred worship place angered the already frustrated Malvenos when he discovered it. Despite his frustration and anger the party kept a vigil all night and when Malvenos realised that physical violence would be the only way to resolve the situation he returned to his quarters. Although the night was cold and tense there were no disturbances.
The cold dawn brought a slight strengthening of the wind, further light snow and a pall of despair. Malvenos and Tomas both wore their armour and weapons to breakfast, their hostility to the party worn almost as openly. As breakfast ended Ruan spoke with Hederas to request that the group vacated the hall. While he understood the parties desire to keep guard he explained his wish that the Justicar Hall of all places remained, as much as possible, a place of peace and contemplation. He also politely but firmly refused entry to the undercroft where the remains of especially venerated curates, clergy and faithful are interned.
After a cold and sleepless night the party spent much of the day sleeping, although Elrohir returned outside braving the slowly worsening weather to get yet more wood. After supper the party decided to maintain watches in the Frater in order to both appease Ruan and to stay near the one location that maintains a fire. Taking it in turns to sleep and keep a watch on the garth and cloisters the party settled down to another long night.
In the middle of the night while Hederas kept watch from the cloisters near the door to the Frater he suddenly became aware of something moving outside Ruan’s quarters. Having pounded on the door to the Frater he charged the length of the cloisters, shouting loudly for help, while Armatage scrambled to his feet and Dvadi and Elrohir roused themselves. On discovering the door to Ruan’s quarters open he cast light on his breastplate and, crossbow at the ready, peered into the empty room. Armatage, following him down the cloister, shouted a warning as he noticed the door to the Justicar Hall open but was too late to stop an arrow finding it’s mark in the back of Hederas’ shoulder.
As Armatage ran into Ruan’s office he found himself face to face with two evil looking goblins with wicked spiked gauntlets coming from Ruan’s bedroom to see what the noise was about. The goblins attacked and being at a disadvantage in hand to hand combat Armatage, dodging the best he could, was injured by both loathsome creatures. He was in looking to be in real trouble but a desperately cast sleep spell disabled both assailants. Outside Elrohir and Dvadi arrived and as Elrohir hurled himself against the door to the hall successfully slamming it on those within, Dvadi followed Armatage into the office. Hurdling the sleeping forms of the goblins Dvadi stopped in the doorway to find a third goblin also crumpled from the sleep spell while a fourth grappled with Ruan as he cowered in the far corner of the bedchamber.
In this desperate night time battle, as Hederas calls on the power of Irori to heal both himself and Armatage and as the clamour of fell voices rises in the normally peaceful hall where Darlen is revered we must leave our heroes…