As Breccha trains with his new weapon familiarising himself with its weight and length, a raven alights upon a branch nearby. It watches him for a time and then says in quite clear common, "Good day Breccha, my master Reidoth the Druid bids you com to him when you are able. The situation has changed for the worse in the ruins of Thundertree village. He asks again for your help and hopes that the Heroes of Phandalin be willing to aid also. Reidoth asks that you come prepared to face a great Evil."
OOC: The Ruins of Thundertree are where Breccha and Reidoth last met before the Druid sent him to aid Phandilin against the threat of King Groll.
Master Tullhocker nods as he listens to Zaxx's report and thumbs carefully through his journal, bushy brow rising with heightened interest at the notes of the portal found in old Castle Cragmaw.
"Mmmm, a lot to think upon young mage...quite a lot. It seems you've fallen in with a good group and your goals are aligned for the time being. I'd say our interests in these parts would be well served by you staying with them." He chuckles, "...and chances of being kidnapped by Hobgoblins most likely very much reduced too!"
Taking a long noisy slurp from his own cup of tea he continues, "Leave any items you deem worthy of study, with us and I will get the others," he says waving his hand vaguely about the room, "to look into them. As for the Portal, I think we need to have a good look and will send a team in from Neverwinter once we have the circle up and running. This kind of thing I think will justify the expense of a teleport or two. The structure sounds very old to me, and in my experience the older something is the more dangerous."
Handing back Zaxx's journal he speaks in a quieter more conspiratorial tone, "For now lad, stick with the adventurers, learn a thing or two, make yourself useful. Once that old dwarf whats-his-name is feeling better, you all should have no trouble finding that pesky mine and the magic forge within."
Patting Zaxx on the shoulder, "There's a good lad. Oh and if you want to have 'visitors' keep them to one or two at a time, don't want to stress the spell weave too much eh what! Good work lad, good work!"
He stands with cracking knees and asks, "Anything else dear boy?"
Catching up later that night to eat and drink and digest all that has happened within the last few days, and events new from reaching civilization again, you all indulge in the very best way, a huge simple, though tasty feast prepared by Mirna and her freshly hired army of cooks and servants. You see in the new ranks the friendly faces of the towns people of Phandalin. Kryinor arrives late but there is plenty of food left and plenty of talking. Daran and Sildar drop in and get very drunk and share in the stories of valor and adventure.
Only Gundren is absent, all assuming, with some unease, that the old Dwarf still has some healing to do. Sildar mentions that he means to check in on his old friend in the morning and see how he is faring.
The rest of the night is taken up with plans and thoughtful mutterings.
"Aye lads, great deeds have been done, many a Grobbi will ne'er trouble this world again, and the town is raised to arms, but our work here is far from done yet. The pups have noted orc movements nearby, ye know this cannot be stood by, we must seek them out first thing in the morn' an put an end to 'em!"
"I agree, we need to silence these Orcs! They must be eradicated wherever they are found. If they are to the Northeast then we should patrol in that direction. Perhaps as far as Old Owl Well. We can investigate these undead sightings while we are there. We fought little in the way of dead when serving in Elven and human forces, what we did was always handled by the Priests. My dear Kryinor, perhaps you have something to add? "
So after you do what you need to do in town, while waiting for Gundren to recover and set out for Wave Echo Cave, [please let me know what errands, research, investigating, etc you'd like to do] you all have several courses of action to follow;
* Invertigate movements of Orcs, nearby town and to the Northwest along the Triboar Trail.
* Investigate undead activity reported near Old Owl Well by prospectors and woodsmen.
* Learning the location of a magical tome from a Banshee called Agatha that haunts the woods near the ruined town of Connyberry to the North west along the Triboar Trail.
* Answering the summons from the Druid Reidoth for help in the ruined town of Thundertree to the north east.
"All i know titus is that they should not be, they and those that bring them into the world seek to break the balance of the world. While the lower forms of undead are usually mindless and relentless there is almost always a higher power that controls or directs them... The undead cannot be ignored either. It seems we have our work cut out for us."
Kryinor will go back to his room and bring out the staff he took from the wizard glasstaff. "Zaxx, if you intend on joining us, maybe this will be helpful to you, I trust you will put it to better use than its former master"
"How's your head eedim? Its good to see the light returning to your eyes, what is your preference undead or orcs first?
Kryinor will talk to Barthen if he is at the feast about acquiring a pair of leather riding gloves. he will also look for Daran to ask his about his orchard, he will check in with carp "How did you pull up after our little run the other night? There wont be many folks that can say they have ridden a dire wolf before.... and lived to tell the tale." He will hold the boys gaze for a moment before breaking into laughter "Im still impressed that you managed to hold on without falling off."
Despite his desire to stay with the eccentric Master Tullhocker and continue his learnings, Zaxx decides to follow his master's advice and venture once again with his new companions.
Over dinner and sipping a small beer with his friends, Zaxx considers the various options. While his heart yearns to seek the magical tome (and he's not encountered a banshee as yet!) he feels he doesn't quite hold enough weight to swing the vote.
"Orcs or undead? Both grim choices. Still, I shall follow where Titus leads. Though ... perhaps at some stage we could seek the banshee's tome? My master would be most pleased ..."
With that Zaxx's mind wanders as he absent-mindedly feeds Mr Skittles a few crumbs.
He is disturbed from his reverie when Kryinor produces the glasstaff.
"What is this, my lupinesque compatriot!? You are full of surprises! Hiding a wizard's staff from a wizard indeed!"
Zaxx laughs at his own jest and then clears his throat.
"I should take this also to my master but I feel time is slipping away and perhaps if we do not seek our fates soon then fate may seek us. Still, if you are all still eating ..."
Zaxx smiles and withdraws a pearl.
"Give me a little time. But I suggest we head out soon. Perhaps even on the morn. Flip a coin if we must!"
[OOC: If possible Zaxx will return to his room to perform a ritual Identify spell. After that, depending on the results of the Identify, he may leave the staff with Master Tullhocker or swap it for his own.]
It seems all of Phandalin had heard of the feast in the bowels of the ruined manor and were turning up at one point or another. Many came just to give thanks and share a toast, some stayed for some food, of which there was plenty; The funds provided by Titus to Mirna for the keeping of their new home were more than adequate.
There was much laughter and boisterous conversation, the recent fortification of the town, and training of its inhabitants had brought everyone much closer working for the common good.
Barthen was happy to see Kryinor back safe and sound and would take no payment for the requested gloves, "You and your friends have done so much for the town, consider them another small token of thanks. I'll drop them by first thing in the morning...depending on how I pull up..." He laughed showing red in his cheeks, no doubt from the fine brown ale that was in plentiful supply.
Daran smiled back at Kryinor's inquiry and raised his tankard, "The trees are well, I can tell they are happy with the tender care of a Druid. Thank you dear friend, should you find it in your heart to visit my orchard again when you have time to keep them that way I would happily make you breakfast. lunch, or dinner any time you like."
Upon hearing that the group plan to head out for Old Owl well as part of their next Venture into the wilds that surround Phandalin, he became more serious and offered some finer details as background for the troubles.
Daran has heard stories from prospectors in the hills northeast of Phandalin that someone is digging around in the ruins known as Old Owl Well. Daran knows that the ruins are an old watchtower of an ancient magical empire known as Netheril, and he worries that dangerous magic might be dormant there. "Be careful my friends don't wait to ask for help if needed, I'm sure Master Sildar, and myself have some allies to call if needed."
The drinking and eating goes on ling into the night...
Later when Zaxx had had enough food, drink, and company, he studied the beautiful staff given to him by the young Half Elven Druid Kryinor. It was made of a substance like glass, though much tougher. He was sure it would make an excellent melee weapon, and would not break under the strains of combat. It exuded a magical aura of Abjuration magics and further magical study unlocked its secrets and made the young human wizard its master...
STAFF OF DEFENSE This slender, hollow staff is made of glass yet is as strong as oak. It weighs 3 pounds. You must be attuned to the staff to gain its benefits and cast its spells. While holding the staff, you have a +1 bonus to your Armor Class. The staff has 10 charges, which are used to fuel the spells within it. With the staff in hand, you can use your action to cast one of the following spells from the staff if the spell is on your class's spell list: Mage armor (1 charge) or Shield (2 charges). No components are required. The staff regains Id6 + 4 expended charges each day at dawn. If you expend the staff's last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the staff shatters and is destroyed.
During the Feast Titus will call everyone to attention and thank Mirna and her helpers for all their efforts in providing and fine repast, imploring everyone to enjoy themselves as a mark of respect for all the hard work that they have accomplished, and to enjoy small victories on the way to much more work needing to be done.
Titus will also sneak a couple of wines to Nilsa and Carp.
The next day after to the group: " I suggest we take this day to rest and replenish any of our equipment and stores. Tomorrow we should head out at dawn to the East and make for Wyvern Tor, clean out these undead if they exist and then on further south to rout these orcs."
Titus will then visit Linene to get some more arrows and a second quiver plus replenish oil and caltrop supplies etc
On the 'morrow he will awake at 3 strikes to dawn meditate for 1 hour leave a note that he will see the party up the trial approx 2 strikes east then wake Nilsa and Carp getting them ready and head East on the trail with them for 2 hours giving lessons as he sees fit on the way, then hide all three wait for the rest of the party arrive. Once they arrive Nilsa and Carp will sent back to Phandlin.
"Master Sildar, I have come to request your aid in a personal matter. In a few days the survivors of my clan will arrive here, they fled from our hold with naught but the clothes on their backs, they will need many supplies and tools to begin the work of restoring the ruined castle.
I wish to leave with you all the gold I have gained on my adventures, we go once more to battle the Grobbi scum, and if it is my fate to fall in battle, it would ease my passing to know this gold will go to my kin."
OOC: I have decided to keep the story moving so we don't lose any more momentum. If any one has stuff they want to do please post your actions and we can incorporate them with no troubles I am sure :)
The Gray haired veteran places a scarred hand on Kargan's shoulder, "Friend Kargan it would be an honour to keep your funds in trust till your kin arrive. I will also do my utmost to see that they are comfortable and well provisioned and get aid to them in their venture in any way I can. We of Phandalin owe you and your companions much, your kin have friends in this town." He takes a long gulp of his brown ale and continues, "Come to my offices in the morning and we can put your gold safely in my cabinet till you return or you kin have need of it."
Titus makes his speech which is well received by the guests and red faced Mirna, Nars, and the army of locals she had pressed into service for the night.
Carp and Nilsa both take the proffered wines with a wink.
The party slows people say their goodbyes and some effort at tidying is made. All eventually are found by sleep and the newly refurbished underground halls of the manor are quiet again.
The next morning Titus is up early and heads into town after discussing plans for the morrow with everyone at breakfast. Mistress Linene has all the supplies needed and offers the Elven ranger a 10% discount to boot!
Carp and Nilsa smile and agree quickly to the proposed outing and sped off to get ready for the coming dawn.
"Aye Sildar, I know ye to be a man of honor, a rare thing for a manling, the money will be safe with ye until my kin arrive. That eases my mind, I fear the road ahead has many dangers yet greater than those we have since faced.
I have never seen Gundren in such a state, after all he has faced o'er the years, I fear the secret he harbors may well be the doom o' us all!"
At Kargan's manling comment Sildar chuckles, "I think you need to meet more men my friend. Though in my experience I have to admit Dwarves are more constant and reliable than my own people."
Topping up Kargan's goblet with some warmed spiced mead his face darkens, "Gundren concerns me also, I suspect his treatment by the goblins was far worse than mine, but that's not all that's wrong I fear. I will try and see him today. So far all my efforts to contact him have been in vain. He's locked away in his room at the Stonehill Inn. I was sad not to see him at the feat last night..."
"I wish you all luck and glory on your next venture. Phandalin has a wealth of thanks for you already, when you chase these Orcs off you will be loved from east to west along the Triboar trail..."
"Aye Sildar, Gundren troubles me greatly, he has been through worse scrapes than just a few days suffering the hospitality o' the Grobbi, and always laughed it off. I fear this secret he harbours is something best kept hid from mortal minds.
But enough of this, I will leave such weighty matters to the scholars, I put mae trust in mae axe, there are Grobbi to slay!!"
Kryinor Listens intently to Breccha at the mention of Riedoth.
Emotions Check; 115 to Pass
Pass - Kryinor will push to aid Riedoth, Knowing a fellow druid would not ask for help unless it absolutely necessary.
Fail - Kryinor will put his own hatred for orcs above the needs of his fellow druid clouding his judgement and push to deal with the orcs first then help riedoth.
To Breccha and the rest of the party: "Damn, this changes things, Titus, I agree with Breccha we should see what is happening at thundertree. If he believes the threat is worthy of our attention, we should not delay. The orcs will still be there for a few more days yet. I will get the wolves to watch the trail and warn the townsfolk if the orcs approach.
That night while Kryinor is alone sitting under the stars keeping watch over the "secret" entrance to the hideout he will pull out the night stick and inspect the weapon his hand will absently touch the wood curiosity getting the better of him.
CHA Save: 6
Before Kryinor Leaves town he will seek out Carp and show him which berries around town are edible.