Sunday, July 29, 2012

Friday 6 July 1280, Evening (The Boys are Back in Town)


Oloc's eyes widen as he examines the piece of paper from Harlon. "Thank you sir," he says. "I definitely plan on paying him a visit!"

As the party makes their way down to Fairbrook, the young Mage addresses the rest of the group. "Am I the only one excited about exploring the old ruins? Just think what treasures lie therein, waiting for the adventurous to come and take it! And Filbert, I'm sure we will take care of those bandits in the process!"

"I too would like a look at those ruins Oloc. However, Belloc seems to think the danger is quite great. I think maybe a bit more experience would aid us greatly in making an attempt on them." Varros considers for a moment and looks to Stan and Ollie, perhaps you might have some associates who would be interested in employment?" Varros turns back to Oloc, "Gaven suggested hiring some extra help, I feel that with a few men as good as Stan and Ollie and a bit more seasoning we will be ready."

Duran and Gaven seem to agree that the company should gain a bit more experience and some more manpower before tackling a target with such a reputation.



As the group approaches the tavern, Gaven says, "I would like to visit Cosmo's, but before I do anything I must visit the temple."

The company waits for him while he takes care of his spiritual obligations.

At the temple, Gaven prays to the Light and gives thanks for the Company's success and health. He also prays for guidance on the bandits and the ruins.

As he does so, his mind clears and he sees the image of a hilltop, in the far distance. The hilltop moves closer in dreamlike fashion, as if Gaven is being carried toward it. Ever closer, he can soon recognize the ruins of the keep that Belloc pointed out. But instead of the dirty, gray, mildewed stone he saw on the march, Gaven sees in his mind's eye stone that appears white and pristine, and the brilliant blue and white banner of the Light fluttering in a gentle breeze above it on a sunlit morning.

The vision ends as footsteps behind him break his meditation. Turning, Gaven sees Abbot Cuthbert approach. "Forgive me for disturbing your prayer my son. I was told by one of the brothers who saw you enter that you were here, and meant only to look upon you to be sure you had come to no harm. There are rumors in town you and your comrades had some excitement."

Gaven tells the abbot of the adventure and of Maggie. When the young cleric mentions the moonwitch, the abbot's face appears troubled.

"I've not heard that name in some time. And I suggest you forget it. Though I've not seen her personally, I've heard the same stories the farmers told you, and I believe they are right. If she is a werewolf, who knows? I have heard some suggest that she is, and I'm not inclined to disbelieve them. But I have not heard of Maggie for many, many years – indeed, I believed she must have died long ago."

Gaven shows Cuthbert the ribbon and tells him what happens when he and Oloc touch it, then asks whats the Abbot feels or knows of the item. The abbot becomes quite agitated.

"No good can come of such a thing! You should destroy it! This ribbon reeks of danger! Now put it away my son, I cannot bear to look upon it!"

Gaven puts the ribbon away, and the abbot rapidly calms down. "Apologies, my son. Forgive an old man who no longer has the strength to look upon evil, let alone lay a finger upon it. Indeed, I would not trust any of the brothers here with it. Suffice to say that I must trust you to do the right thing with that token of darkness."

With a sigh, Cuthbert returns to the broader subject of werewolves. "The only current werewolf activity I know of is down south in the Blackleaf forest, near Ham's fork. There is a brother of our order there, Brother Abraham. He has made somewhat of a study on werewolves, and is in the practice of hunting and trapping them in the forest – with some success I might add. If anyone can give you more detailed information on them he can."*

After thanking the abbot for his time and advice, Gaven donates one of his gems to the church, then returns to the inn.



While waiting at the inn, the rest of the party considers the possibility of obtaining additional hirelings. Sadie happens to overhear the conversation. "If you boys want, you can leave some money with me and I'll be happy to get some placards printed up for you and start spreading the word around here. With the reputation you've gained yourselves in just three short days, finding help shouldn't be much of a problem for you!"**



Shortly, Gaven returns to the inn. Once everyone is settled in at the Red Tankard, Oloc asks if anyone is interested in heading over to Cosmo's.

"I'll tag along while we visit Cosmo's then perhaps Varros and I can see about finding a trainer in town."*** Duran downs a mug of Saddie's Crimson Ale.

Varros replies: "Yes, what say we take a look at this magic shop?"

Filbert and Hazel still somewhat shaken by their ordeal, decide to remain at the Tankard to relax and drink some ale while talking to the other customers.



You make the short walk north from the Tankard and soon arrive at the shop Harlon told you about. Above the front door hangs a gently swinging wooden sign board that reads COSMO'S CURIOSITIES in bright yellow letters. Beneath, in smaller print, you can see the words: Purveyor of Fine Antiquities.

Pushing the door open, you hear a small silver bell ring above the door. Looking around the room, you see shelves and display tables galore, stocked with ornate bronze lamps, finely crafted pewter goblets, statues of fat cherubs and mishievous satyrs, rows and rows of books with old, dusty cracked leather bindings, and all sorts of other odd knick knacks and bric-a-brac. On the counter stands a large, brass birdcage. On the bottom of the cage lies a blue parrot, flat on its back, with its feet in the air. You can't help thinking what a shame this is, given the bird's lovely plumage.

As Ollie brings up the rear and the door closes behind him, the bell gives a final jingle. Hearing the bell, the parrot suddenly cocks open an eye and jumps up on his perch, startling Stan.

"Oh, I see," says Stan, recovering. "He's not dead, he's resting."

"Of course," says Ollie, stepping up to the cage. "They prefer kipping on their backs."

"Grraaaawwwk!" says the parrot. "Cosmo! Customers! Graaaawwwwwk!"

Out of the back steps a bent and wizened old man with a hooked nose, wearing a robe and a rounded, close-fitting cap with flaps that come down over his ears.

"Yes, gentlemen? What can I do for you?"

Oloc shows Harlon's parchment to the old man, whose face splits in a smile of recognition. "Ah, friends of Harlon's! Wonderful! I take it you're not looking for antiques, then. Let's see what we can dig up shall we?"

He motions for you to come around the counter and follow, then leads the way through the door to a corridor to the back room. "Keep an eye on the shop, Morpheus!" he calls over his shoulder to the parrot.
"Okay, Cosmo! Grawwwwwk!"

The hallway is dark, and poorly lit by dim candles at regular intervals. You notice cobwebs near the ceiling, and dust near the sideboards along the floor.

The corridor is long, very long, too long in fact to possibly fit inside the building in which Cosmo's shop is located. You walk down the hallway for a full ten minutes. Looking behind, you can see only darkness. A few minutes more, and another door opens before you, and you find yourselves in what appears to be a stockroom with rough shelves lining the walls, and a large book on a pedestal – it appears to be some sort of inventory ledger.

"We don't have a large stock at the moment," says Cosmo, "but feel free to take a look around. All top quality merchandise, I assure you. It all comes with my personal guarantee. If any member of your party dies due to the defective functioning of any of my items, I will personally refund to your estate three times what you paid for it." He pauses, then adds, "It should reassure you that I've been in business fifty years, same location. And no one has ever requested a refund."

Two of the wooden shelving units are completely empty. The others contain a variety of items. Some are so strange you have no idea what they might be, and you can't imagine how they could possibly be of use to an adventuring party.  Mostly self-washing dishes, brooms that sweep on their own, and similar items.

On one shelf, Ollie spots several rolls of a thin, white, almost parchment like material labelled "never-ending toilet paper."

"I wonder what a toilet is..." mutters the porter.

Stan on the other hand, finds a bright pink whip that hops into the air and lashes itself over and over again screaming "yes, yes, oh yes!" The mercenary stumbles over himself in a panic, backing away from the thing.

Cosmo laughs. "I do get some customers with...unusual tastes."

Examining the shelves, however, you also see some items that could be of use to you. From each dangles a tiny tag with a name and a price inscribed in crimson cursive:

Potion of Cure Light Wounds....400 gp (there are three of these)
Potion of Speed.....450 gp
Potion of Levitation.....400 gp
Scroll of Magic Missile.....300 gp
Scroll of Read Magic.....300 gp
Scroll of Protection from Lycanthropes.....3000 gp
Lesser Magic Arrow.....250 gp (there are five of these)
Lesser Magic Shield.....2,500 gp
Wand of Polymorphing.....25,000 gp
Ring of Spell Storing.....25,000 gp

As the rest of the party examines the shelves, Gaven shows Maggie's ribbon and asks Cosmo if he can shed any light on her or it. Cosmo can tell Gaven little more about Maggie than you already know. If she is a werewolf, as the abbot suggests, she'd likely be found near Ham's Fork, which is the only place Cosmo has heard of werewolf sightings. Looking at the ribbon, Cosmo states: "As a matter of fact I do offer the service of identifying objects. I charge 10 gold as a consultation fee; 50 gold if it turns out that the item in question has any magical qualities."

Turning back to the rest of the group Cosmo says: "Do let me know if there's anything you like. I have associates who collect these things for me, and others to whom I sell wholesale. So my inventory changes constantly."

OOC: Actions?

*If Gaven has any additional questions for the abbot, I can retroactively work them into the next post in the form of a "report" of the conversation to the party.

**Seemed like an easy way to narratively get the ball rolling on this. So far, the consensus seems to be for one more laborer and two more mercs. Let me know if anyone objects. The cost and time for those searches would be:

1 Laborer: search cost 10 gp; guaranteed find (*), time 1 day.
2 Mercs: search cost 20 gp; guaranteed find(*), time 1 day for the first, 3 days for the second.
(*) guaranteed find in this case given the fact that your currently having 15 minutes of fame following the rescue of Elsie Miggins and thwarting the goblin horde back to back. All times are overlapping, so a grand total of 3 days to acquire all three hirelings.

If you opt to get a pack mule (now or later), it's very likely Barley will give you some degree of discount (compared to book value) for having brought him closure regarding his son.

***I'll work the trainer issue into the next post.


  1. Gaven - cleric

    Gaven asks the Abbot if there are any rumors about bandits on the Woodfield Road or at Blackwell stand for general more about Blackwell. Gaven will explain Filbert and Hazel and his reverie.

    Gaven will take up Cosmo's offer for ID, and will pay up to the 60 gp if necessary.

  2. Duran - Fighter

    Duran wanders around the room looking at the various wares. Nothing grabs his interest as he has never been particularly interested of anything of the magical nature. Although he does take notice of the Lesser Magic Arrow and asks Cosmo about it.

    OOC: Duran will ask Cosmo about the Lesser Magic Arrow but won't purchase it. If I am interested I'll indicate to Cosmo that I may save up for it but now need to use my money for training.

    1. OOC: Cosmo's answer in the next post will be less "game-mechanic-like" but in a nutshell, all the "lesser" items are +1 magical items (so for the arrows +1 to hit and +1 to damage).

  3. Just so everyone knows, the gp costs for magic items here are drawn from the first edition DMG. Cosmo not only sells but also buys, so keep that in mind if you guys come across magic items in the future that you can't use or don't want. Though of course as with anything you sell, the price will be less than book value, as the book value is the price at which the vendor sells.