At the Council meeting on the first day, the two Nettle’s Rest murders were discused at length. The Council decided the culprit could be one of two things: 1. A worg or 2. A werewolf.
The two murders occurred at opposite ends of the kingdom (the bar maid, Saki, in a berry patch to the southwest of town; the shepherd boy, Bevin, on the outskirts of town about a mile northwest). The big paw print, plus the fact that it’s now a full moon, led the Council to believe it may be a werewolf. Tonight was in fact the last night of the full moon, so they decided to act on that presumption—as this was the last night they could catch the perpetrator, should it be a werewolf.
Council assigned the new Warden, Skylgannon, the task of coming up with a plan to solve the brutal slayings, and bring the perpetrator to justice. After thinking for a minute, the Warden proposed enacting a curfew for that evening, for when the sun reaches the horizon: all people should be inside their homes for the duration of the night, he said. Meanwhile, Skyduster and Trixie would canvas the town and watch for any unusual activity. When the sun reached the horizon, Skygannon would dress as an old woman and drive a horse-drawn cart, as “werewolf bait” ; the cart would bear Khrystos and Vincze in it. Trixie would come with Vincze while Skyduster remained airborne, surveying the town from above. The Council approved the plan.
Throughout the day, word of the curfew was spread throughout Nettle’s Rest. On the advice of Jhod Kavken (see last episode: Episode 26 – Lomindor’s First Council Meeting), the Greenbelt Defenders went and bought some healing potions; potions of lesser restoration; and some antitoxin-; all from the Trade Shop-[Chris: can’t buy magical potions from the trade shop, but Segra Leofurbut can sell you some from Segra’s Trading Caravan.] Skylgannon also bought a silver hand axe, because silver weapons are the only weapons which will hurt a werewolf (Baron Khrystos already has his silver, masterwork trident, courtesy of his patrons, the Sword Lords of Restov).
Khrystos, Skylgannon and Vincze decided to go to the Tavern and find out more about the bar maid. They first interviewed the head barmaid, a sultry, red-headed woman named Lily Teskerton. She didn’t know anything. Vincze cast a detect thoughts spell and confirmed that she wasn’t playing dumb. She was very flirtatious with Skylgannon and Khrystos; but Vincze didn’t need detect thoughts to know that! Lily was very forthcoming and told them everything she knew: Saki had wandered so far from the Tavern, after her shift, to pick berries. When interrogated further, Lily also told them that there were three newcomers to the Tavern: Tomas & Malita, from up north; Kundal, a Kellid barbarian who drank a lot; and Myrddin Emrys, an odd man with a piece of silver on his head, who sips wine and reads a lot.
Skylgannon, Vincze and Khrystos then set about interviewing these newcomers. First, Myrddin, who was in the Tavern that day: he said he was a loremaster. The PC’s asked him about werewolves, and he confirmed that werewolves are larger than normal wolves (furthering the PC’s suspicions that they were, in fact, dealing with a werewolf); he also confirmed that only silver weapons can harm them. In addition, he added that there are two kinds of werewolves: those that are born into a werewolf family, and those that contract the disease of lycanthropy by being bitten by another werewolf. He told them that the latter kind may not even be aware that they’re werewolves! He also said, when asked, that he knew nothing about the two murders in town; Vincze confirmed this with her detect thoughts spell.
They next interviewed Tomas, also present in the Tavern that day. He was surrounded by farmers like himself, who were, like him, finished with their day’s chores. When approached, they all bowed to Baron Khrystos, but the sorcerer/ranger said they needn’t do that—they should resume their idle gait and laughter. Vincze went outside and surreptiously cast another detect thoughts spell, then went inside to join the conversation. She told them that although the farmers were treating them like heroes, the farmers were actually the TRUE heroes, for they had followed the Greenbelt Defenders into a new land, sight unseen, and were very brave. The farmers liked this and seemed to open up to her. Everything the farmers talked about seemed to be truthful, Vincze’s spell told her, including the fact that Tomas’ wife was absent because she was away for the day, on their farm, churning butter. One of the farmers present in the Tavern turned out to be the father of the dead shepherd boy, and Baron Khrystos offered his condolences, telling the man that his death would be avenged. They told the farmers that the Council suspected that the beast may in fact be a werewolf, and that’s why the curfew had been instated that night. The PC’s warned the farmers to secure their houses and not go outside—and not let their wives or children out, no matter what.
The three Council members regrouped at their house and discussed the matter further. It was puzzling to them that Kellid, the barbarian who was new to town, was not anywhere to be found at the Tavern, or elsewhere. Vincze suggested that they get Agamemnon the Spymaster to use his gaseous-form ability to search his room—and all of the newcomers’ rooms, for that matter. The PC’s found Aggie asleep in the sun and tried to talking to him; he woke and looked confused. Trixie then hopped up and said “Aggie doesn’t understand you; he speaks my language!” Vincze realized that the language must be Celestial, so she cast tongues and repeated what she had said earlier. Aggie agreed to the plan and went to investigate the Tavern.
Later that day, after eating and napping, Aggie returned and said (via Trixie, who translated) that he found some old bloody women’s clothes under the bed in Tomas & Malita’s room, and that Kundal’s room reeked of urine and vomit—and there was some blood in that room as well. Myrddin’s room, on the other hand, was piled with books, and there were some strange bags that smelled funny. Skyduster also returned from flying around town and told Khrystos (via Janekfan, who acted as interpreter with a speak with animals spell) that he’d seen nothing out of the ordinary. None of this gave them much information, so they decided to go along with Skylgannon’s original plan, and waited until sundown.
Just before the sun hit the horizon, Baron Khrystos ordered Trevin to stand watch inside the Tavern. If anything unusual happened, he said, he was instructed to shoot a flaming arrow into the sky to warn everyone. Then, they heard the town crier announce the curfew, and Khrystos, Skylgannon and Vincze set off, in their covered cart, north of town.
After going a mile into the ever-deepening wilderness, they heard a noise up ahead. They followed it, and suddenly, a growling werewolf stepped out from behind a tree! It then howled and ran full-tilt towards the cart! It was bearing a large battle-axe!! Vincze quickly used her wand of mage armor on Khrystos, who then cast dancing lights on the entire area to give them light to see by. He then drew his silver trident and climbed down to the ground. Meanwhile, Skylgannon was already on the ground and within feet of the snarling creature. Skylgannon traded blows with the creature, with Skyduster aiding the fighter’s defense by flapping his flapping wings. After buffing herself with mage armor and shield, Vincze finally climbed down and zapped the lycanthrope a few times with her wand of magic missiles. Baron Khrystos bore down mightily upon the beast with his silver trident—unfortunately, mostly missing.
After a few rounds, Skylgannon (who was the object of the werewolf barbarian’s rage, apparently) collapsed from three devastating battle-axe wounds. Vincze turned invisible (preparing to attack) while Khrystos stepped back—desperate after seeing one of his best men laid low!—land fired a scorching ray at the beast. The spell did maximum damage, incinerating the creature! Vincze and Khrystos then healed Skylgannon back to consciousness, and the three traveled back to Nettle’s Rest with the dead werewolf (who had, upon death, resumed his human form).
A big crowd gathered at the Tavern soon after Vincze, Skylgannon and the good Baron arrived: news had traveled fast! To the raucous cheers of his people, Baron Khrystos displayed the Kellid’s body, and declared that the menace to the town had been removed—it had been the barbarian newcomer who had been causing the trouble. Khrystos asked the loremaster, Myrddin, if he thought that the werewolf might come back to life—but Myrddin shook his head and said, sarcastically, “No, he looks well dead!” After serving a round of drinks in celebration, Lily took Skylgannon into a private room to “heal his wounds”. The PC’s partied into the night with the joyful citizens. Vincze took a break from dancing to cast a Web spell which read “Justice”, and then set the Web on fire, as a sort of fireworks display.
After the party was over, Baron Khrystos and Vincze obtained keys to the barbarian-werewolf’s Tavern room and searched it. They found something that Agamemnon had not found: a bloody, detached human ear under the mattress, with an earring still in it. Questioning of other employees at the Tavern confirmed that the earring did indeed belong to Saki the bar maid (Skylgannon gave the earring to Lily the next day as a memento).
Vincze spent the next morning visiting the townsfolk who had children, and spoke to their parents about enrolling their kids in school. She also asked around to see if anyone wanted to be employed as their teacher because, although she herself might take the headmistress role, she couldn’t be around every week to teach classes.
Skylgannon appeared much later in the morning, happy but spent. He reported to Khrystos and Vincze that Lily had told him some interesting things during their “pillow talk”. Firstly, she said she was very passionate about anything elven, and said that there was an ancient elven castle somewhere deep in the southern Narlmarches. If the PC’s could bring her back anything from that castle, she told him, she’d be very grateful! Lily also told him that there was a nasty old Swamp Witch who lived on the northwest shore of Tuskwater Lake. The Witch steals babies, she said, and turns them into stew in her magic cauldron! Upon hearing this, Baron Khrystos was very concerned, and so it was decided that the Greenbelt Defenders would investigate the northwest lake shore as soon as Lomindor Council business was concluded at the end of the week. (see Quest Log)
XP for this episode: 400xp.
Total XP for episodes 24-27: 4870xp.
Note: We need 1300 to reach the next level!