Attendance: Herman, James, Ryan, Joe, and Randy
Supporting Cast: Leto, Jannis Riordan Jr/Jannish, Brosnan MacHagan & Company, Teagan Riordan, Paulo, Isabella, Salvades Distroya, Dirk Jaeseo, Montador Gateu, Carmella
Names: Moorgrave Rogan Torcail, Alvoro Lasca, Franscisco Castra, Nicolo Vasari, Bernal Castra, Jack Derro, José Ryòn, Conlan Moliarty
Going into the country of Ord
Caitlyn: We awaken in the morning to find that the ground is covered with a beautiful white frosting of snow! Everything is so beautiful when it's covered with fresh snow. Of course the boys started having a snowball fight, enjoying snow the way that boys do. It made me smile to see them happy. If only all our fights were snowball fights.
We spend the day traveling to the Ord border and find that there is a checkpoint on the road with a sign that says "Armandor Border Patrol". Dook started speculating and making plans and just generally acting shady about crossing the border. I started to chastise him when he reminded me of the extra horse that we had with us. While I don't know what's in it, I know that it's filled with something illegal. So I decide to go and talk to the guards, since everyone generally agrees that I'm a nice person to talk with. I see that the guards aren't paying much attention to anything, except that one of them is trying to very quickly hide empty liquor bottles. Tsk, tsk.
I speak with Brosnick McHaggin, who's breath smells strongly of cheap booze, and he allows us to pass into Armandor without any trouble.
We camp within the Ord border.
Jamison: Some Border Patrol. I wonder if they would have even stopped us if we just walked past the shack. They must save their best troops for elsewhere.
Caitlyn: While we travel the landscape goes from plains into moors. The moors are organized, with water dammed up appropriately, and frozen due to winter. This area grows cranberries, when they are in season. Further along in the day the moors give way to scrub land with cattle. Plots are square, numbered, and very well organized. One farm has a very intricate mechanical irrigation system. (Daryl: is this irrigation system on the Riordan farm?)
We arrive at the expansive Riordin Ranch, where we are greeted by an elderly woman, Teega Riordan. She invited us in for tea and company and was a very gracious hostess. She told us that we weren't pronouncing Janis correctly, but that was due to our Cgynaran accents. She is happy that Nancy married into a good family, however, she doesn't understand that Nancy—like all her children—have gone into organized crime. Teega and Janis Sr have had a falling out lately and she thinks he runs in the wrong circles. Caitlyn offers to take a letter from her to Nancy since we are headed back that way and she accepts the offer. She uses criminal labor on the farm. In fact, she threatened to shoot one.
Teagan Riordan to Paulo, who is slacking at work and playing with the farm dog: "Paulo, get back to work! I don't pay you to be a lout. And stop playing with the work dog! We don't want him getting lazy like you." When Paulo doesn't respond, she picks up, cocks and aims a nearby rifle. "If you don't get back to work, I'm going to withold your last month's pay from your family 'cause we'll havve to repaint the whole barn red to match your brain splatter. Now get going you worthless no-good Thurian. I should have left you to rot in prison." She returns to the table, "Please pardon me. I don't know how I let the city talk me into running a half-way house for petty criminals."
Caitlyn was shocked speechless.
While using the privy, Caitlyn was accosted by Isabella, the servant woman. Isabella complained profusely about all the opportunities that Teega was offering her; the ability to learn how to properly cook and clean, a wage to save for an appropriate dowry for her husband, the opportunity to interact with higher class people and perhaps find love with one of their servants.
I wish that I could find an kind, generous, and understanding man to marry me. ::double sigh::
Jamison: And I thought MY mother was strict.
To the city of Armandor to try and meet our contact
About the city
Caitlyn: Armandor is larger than Fellig and half the size of Corvis and is considered the main food producer for Ord. In fact, one of their main exports is food. There is a church to Morrow's ascendant Rowan, patron of the downtrodden and impoverished. The Rowan church is wood with white wash. Tirotin is not very pleased to see a church to Morrow that isn't of the ascendant Angelina. He seems to be reinforcing the idea that the different ascendants of Morrow are gods themselves, while they are really just special servants to Morrow. (It's thinking like this that is going to divide the faithful of Morrow and give the heathen gods an opportunity to crush our faith. I pray we can stay united.)
The leader of the city is Rogan Torkhel, of thurian descent, and he is the head of the wealthest house in Armandor. His family has had it's holdings for generations, and are rumored to have worked with the ogroth. The primary houses other than Torkhel are Loskas, Castras, and Fesares. Rogan has refined tastes. His wife and daughter (a princess) manage the family affairs. The city is on a hill and not walled, and has quaint architecture with occassional stone buildings. There is a modest Trollkin and Gobber population and they have been civilized to human standards. The human population seems to be mostly thurians in the city. There are many farmers markets with livestock.
Caitlyn: We go to the Castras ranch in an attempt to find Dook's contact, Dekker. After some attempts to get attention we decide to go into the city, get a room at the inn, and collect some information on Jack Darrow.
As we enter the city there are several hundred people yelling in ordic. Tirotin translates that they are saying, "burn him or something." Concerned that this is our contact we rush through the crowd, but we find out that it isn't our contact. ::whew::
A man with a torch asks, "Tell us where Jack and Jose are or we will burn you!" The man didn't answer and was promptly put to flame. He was burned for practicing dark sorcery. Caitlyn was conflicted by between her passion for stopping the dark arts and her sensitive nature as she heard the man's dying screams.
We are directed to an inn nammed the Pink Priapism. Caitlyn has no idea what it means, but it makes the boys giggle so most likely it's phallic. The inside of the inn is painted in a poorly mixed pink color and the inhabitants seem normal. The bartendress is smoking a big cigar and is big and plump.
Jamison: Great. A public burning. Didn't get many of these back home. You needed a dozen witnesses and several dead bodies to get to this point. And we had the sense to sanctify the corpse to prevent the executed perpetrator from coming back as an undead creature.
If we're lucky, Jack'll be innocent. If we're unlucky, we'll have to find Janis Sr.
Just remind me to be careful about using my magic hereabouts. (Jamison tucks the bunny into part of his backpack.)
Caitlyn: After arranging rooms for the night, at 1.5 gp, we decided that a meal was in order before we went to work collecting information on Derro. Tirotin decides to treat us all to a meal. I'm excited by that until the meal actually comes. The bastard bought us all cabbage soup, the least expensive thing on the menu. We rioted and forced Tirotin to treat us to a proper meal.
Jamison: Watery Cabbage Soup. With Chicken Fat. It's not surprising that Tirotin bought us the cheapest slop in the restaurant. He paid for it by having to buy extra instead of just letting us order. It was about halfway through the cigar that I realised why the barkeep was giggling. At least I got Dook the bigger one.
We each headed off separately to gather information in different parts of town.
Tirotin attempts to gather information at the inn.
Dook gathers information at a gobber bar.
Tolmek gathers information from the Trollkin side of town.
Caitlyn, Jamison, and Janis, Jr
Caitlyn: Jamison, Janis, and Caitlyn go to the Rowan church to under the pretenses of gathering information. Caitlyn actually wanted to donate 10 gp and some time to the church since she was in the area. And since Caitlyn is only a woman, she needed Jamison to make certain that she was safe. It should be noted that Janis has been rather well behaved of late.
We arrive at the church to find it filled with the poor and homeless. Caitlyn greets the local priest and after formal introductions she and Janis begin to spin thread for clothing and blankets. I'm not sure what Jamison was up to.
After spinning for a few hours, Caitlyn mentions to the priest that she is looking for Jack Derro and he knows nothing significant about the man. Fortunately, Morrow be praised, a sweet homeless woman knew a bit about Derro. She told us ...
Jamison: Yeah, not surprising for a church to Ascendant Rowan. Mom told me about the times she and her sisters were still wandering, having to find help where they could.
Janis is probably as well behaved as he is because he is afraid that we'll dump him with Teegan.
The homeless lady mentioned that Jack and his friends came to church from time to time, and maybe something else.
What the party found out about Jack Derro
Back story: Apparently Salvades slew a cowboy while trying to steal a bull for sacrificial purposes. "Everyone" knew he was a Thamar worshipper. The cowboy was found emaciated, as if drained of his life to death and with a stiletto in the spine. The bull was nearby, slain, entrails strewn about. The cowboy killed was Bernal Castra, one of the younger members of the Castra family. We knew he used to run with Jack Derro (Dook's contact) and Jose Ryon, but they've been missing since the murder.
Into the woods to find Derro
Caitlyn: After Caitlyn returns from the privy, she is told that a man nammed Dekker is willing to take us to where Derro lives. The catch is that we have to leave immediately so that he doesn't get enough time to erect traps around his home.
We trek through the woods and Dekker is very quiet, but then most guides are quiet and keep to themselves so Caitlyn thought nothing of it.
Once we are at the cavern that Derro has made quite homey, we knock at the door and he answers! Bless his heart, he must see that we are good souls. Some are misguided, but good none-the-less. He only speaks <language?> and Tirotin translates.
Out of the blue he attacks Tirotin! Caitlyn assumes that it's because Tirotin has offended yet another person until the tracker, Dekker, also draws a thin stiletto and attacks Lukas!
We fight Derro and Dekker and discover—quite by accident—that Derro is not Derro, but a vampire spawn by the name of Montador! Caitlyn considers using her scroll of Lightning Bolt on the vile bastard but she remembers that vampire spawn are resistant to electricity. We dispatched Dekker but the vampire spawn turned to mist and floated away. Caitlyn cursed him in the name of Morrow!
Jamison: Jack Derro seems to have been bitten by a vampire and turned into a vampire spawn, if that was ever Jack Derro in the first place. The "Dirk" character turned out to have the same kind of knife as was supposed to have been used in the murder that the one man who got burned was accused of. And he used it on me. Wait, didn't Tirotim mention that Vampire Spawn could Dominate people? That could mean that the burned man was innocent. Dirk isn't an issue anymore. He dodged left when he should have dodged right.
DM: I don't know, you must have missed this both times I mentioned it. Dirk said "Watch out, Montador is going to get you." for his bluff, referring to the vampire.
Herman: I believe I did miss that. Laying down and speaking to the ceiling really doesn't encourage attentiveness. (At least not for me.) It also doesn't help that running the buffer for a year and a half at giant eagle damaged my hearing. I'm also having Jamison refer to the BURNED man possibly being innocent, not Dirk. Unless you're just trying to get it accross that the Vampire Spawn was Montador, not Jack Derro.
DM: Yeah, sorry about that. I was getting tired a little myself. Yes, the vampire spawn was named Montador.
Jamison: And the next time we are approached by a mysterious guide, I'm not letting my guard down. That damned SOB really knows how to use a stiletto.
And, hey, shouldn't at least one of us get back to protect Janis?
1/2 day of scribing scrolls