After the strange encounter with Pung and his followers, the party moved as far as possible from the site of their encounter and setup camp well after dark. Fortunately the night was uneventful. The next day the party finally arrived at their destination: Restwell Keep
Closed gates greeted them. Akmenos attempted to spin a tale of a lost caravan, mixing truth and fiction. The guards looked on dubiously until the party managed to clarify that they wanted to come into the Keep to rest and replenish their supplies.
As they were let into the keep they were greeted by Corporal Fallek, a male human warrior clad in plate mail, shield, sword, and dagger. He has black, long hair is turning gray, and a scar runs across his right cheek. He looks to be over 40 years old. He was followed by a young male human wearing typical work¬man’s clothes and carrying a battered leather book. He didn’t speak, but recorded the party’s names and the weapons left with Fallek.
Disarmed except for daggers the party entered the main part of the keep, with directions to the Travelers Inn and The Stumbling Giant. Along they way they passed a Smithy, a Provisioner and Trader, and some kind of bank or money changer. An elderly human woman and a overweight male human were having some kind of argument outside the provisioner and trader shops, something related to cutting into each others business. Akmenos attempted to speak to them but was quickly crowed out due to their yelling, though he did make a good impression on the elderly lady named Grelda.
Once they reached the Fountain Square, after a brief discussion, they decided to enter The Stumbling Giant. The Giant appears to be the social center of the keep, with people coming and going and swapping gossip and stories over stout and food.
Looking around Keelyth noticed something out of place. There were no guards, no warriors hanging out in the tavern, on or off duty, which struck her as a bit strange; and remains unchanged throughout the evening.
The party ordered some food for lunch and a round of stout. While they were eating their food, they bent their ears and listed to what was being said around them, making for a relatively quiet lunch. Here are some of the things they overheard, noticed or made a connection to:
Keelyth while getting another round overhears:
- Lord Drisdale, a Human Paladin, apparently the Lord of the keep is rumoured to want to convert the town to follow Erathis.
- Lord Drisdale wants to convert the Chapel of Avandra to Erathis as well
Akmenos notices a wanted poster, overhears a conversation and connects a few dots:
- The Brothers Grey, notorious gang of three halfling brothers, have been raiding caravans, and killing everyone have a wanted poster: 50gp dead or alive each.
- There’s on a bounty on bullywugs, which have been raiding and killing local farmers and travelers. 5gp/dead bullywug.
- Had heard of the ’Six Blades of Fortune’ an adventuring group going into the Chaos Scar. Apparently a paladin of Erathis had wiped them out claiming they were also raiding caravans and fencing stolen goods. Drew connection that Restwell Keep must have been their base before they were wiped out.
- Had heard through the grapevine that there are a couple of surviving members of the ‘Blades’ who would love revenge.
Looska overhears some people arguing about the history of the Keep.
- First known inhabitant was a hobgoblin king known as Grim Eye for the few carvings of his scowling, angry visage found here and there in bas relief carvings above some doorways in the keep.
- Dwarves must have built the Keep, no other race could build a stone edifice that could last as long. Aside from wooden structures inside the keep, nearly every stone structure remains from the original construction.
- There are rumours that there are still undiscovered secret doors possibly containing fabulous wealth throughout the Keep.
Druuk discovered that the tavern had really good food and drink.
A human male in his early 30’s, dressed in hunters leathers approached the table and introduced himself. His name is Jerek. He is of average height and weight, with unremarkable looks. He learned of the party from Corporal Fallek. He tells them a tale:
- Jarek, who had ventured too close to the Chaos Scar while hunting in the woods had his prey, and nearly his life, taken by a pack of drakes that were covered with glowing blue scales. Jarek escaped while the drakes killed his horse. Jarek had lost a friend a few weeks before to drakes coloured like these, so when the drakes that attacked him wandered back into the Chaos Scar, Jarek followed and picked off one with his bow before it could disappear into a tunnel with the rest of its pack.
- The drake Jarek slew was already injured. A few minutes after he killed it, the drake’s corpse developed weird blisters on its skin. One broke open and blew into fine silvery powder. Jarek wasn’t sure, but he’s heard that folk proficient with magic use a similar substance.
Jerek mentioned he had previously approached the Redblades, apparently another adventuring group, but they had declined to investigate, focusing on the Brothers Grey instead.
The party discussed what to do, with :ackmenos favouring going for the bounty on the Brothers Grey or the bullywugs, but was outvoted by the others. They agreed to take a look at the corpse of the drake next morning. Jarek departed letting them know he would meet them at the gate in the morning.
Mother Aran, the owner of The Stumbling Giant seems to take a shine to Keelyth. She tells Keelyth that Travellers Inn is run by Naryn Silverhand, and he’s cheap, greedy and easily angered. Its okay for one night stays, but if you’re staying longer, there are private apartments that rent by the week that are much better. She offers to make arrangements to rent one of the apartments, which the party accepts.
At the end of the evening, after everyone has a bit too much to drink, they stumble their way to their apartment that they have rented for a week.
On the way into the apartment they meet a gnome jewel merchant named Quint Spiralgleam, also staying at apartments. He mentions that if the party should manage to acquire any gems or artworks he would be interested in purchasing them.
In the morning the party manages to pry themselves from bed, maybe a little later than intended and head down to the Main Gate. When they arrive they find another party of adventures already coming in, and Corporal Fallek appears to recognize them. This appears to be the ‘*Redblades*’ they had heard of last night.
There are apparently six members:
- A tall swarthy human, compactly built, and nearly six feet tall with a shaved head (black stubble). Wearing blue-steel scale armour, he has a strangely jagged kopsh sword by his side. When drawn, you notice the blade is red. He appears to be the leader of the group. (Tad Redblade)
- A tall eladrin with purple hair and eyes of black orbs has haughty look about them. A gold circlet holds back the hair and rich red robes clothe this fey’s body. They carry no visible weapons. The party is unable to determine if this is a male or a female.
- A slimly built female human of average height and red-blond hair. She is dressed in leather armour and has a dagger at her side and a shortbow and quiver on her back.
- A male halfling dressed in worn leather armour dyed a mottled green, and a green cloak of elven manufacture suitable for scouting in the woods. He wears no shoes and his feet are covered with think coarse hair.He is armed with two daggers at his waist. He has close shorn brown hair and dark dark blue eyes. When he looks around it’s almost like he looks right through you. (Keblar?)
- Clad in chainmail and wielding a warhammer, this bald dwarf is nearly as wide as he is tall. Carrying a holy symbol of Moradin, he appears to be Cleric. His full, dark brown beard is neatly braided and has streaks of grey in it.
- This blond haired, blue eyed human of average height. He appears to wear nothing but a tidy blue jacket over a white tunic, and blue leather pants. He has a lute at his back and a rapier at his side. His eyes have a mischievous set and he has a look of quick wit about him.
Jarek is waiting for the party when they exit the keep and the drawbridge is lifted behind them. He leads them to his hunters shack not too far away from the keep and shows them the corpse. There are some unpoped blisters. When Akmenos pops a blister he manages to collect 50gp worth of residuum! The party collects a total of 3 blisters worth 150gp from the drake.
Jarek anxiously asks if its worth anything. Akmenos downplays the value but says it might be worth something, at least enough to make hunting down the drakes worthwhile. Looska asks how many drakes there were and Jarek says maybe a half dozen?
With that the party departs for their first venture into… The Chaos Scar!