Thanks Julie for the write up!
From the hearth at the Hoof ‘N’ Mouth, there is a soft glow lighting the room, the fire crackles amidst the sound of chatter and laughter. Amalia sits back in her chair and takes several long puffs from her pipe. Rather curious about this Ford character and Lindy’s lack of skepticism, she has followed them back to the Hoof ‘N’ Mouth. She watches them interact, drinking and laughing and drinking some more until it’s clear that Ford is sloshing his drink all over himself near the hearth, and is quite unable to stand. Lindy pounds the last of her ale, leaves a few coins, and scoops up an obviously drunk Ford. She tosses him over her right shoulder and exits the room stumbling up the stairs. Amalia suspiciously mutters under her breath, “hmmmm, interesting”, extinguishes her pipe, and heads off to bed at the Wicker Goat. Aran has gone to bed at the Silver Raven. Morwen has accompanied Mires and Lyra to the temple. Ulrich has also gone to bed.
After a nights rest at the temple, Morwen is feeling better and leaves for the Wicker Goat. Ulrich has left to meet with Hoskin to sign papers and obtain the deed to his tower. Lindy awakens to the guttural puking sounds coming from Ford who is hanging out the window. She groans and rolls over, pulling the blanket over her head.
Morwen enters the Wicker Goat and finds Amalia having breakfast. She asks if their are any new discoveries about Ford. Amalia raises an eyebrow and relays to Morwen the events of last night that she observed at the Hoof ‘N’ Mouth. They decide to head to the Silver Raven to meet up with Aran. With her mouth watering at the the thought of Aran’s cooking, Amalia pushes her less than appetizing oatmeal aside.
Verity knocks on Lyra’s door and is welcomed to enter. Closing the door behind her, Verity turns and looks sternly at Lyra. Without any words, Lyra drops her shoulders and proceeds to express regret about the interview with Walthas. “I shouldn’t have said what I did about the decline in followers”….“I shouldn’t have said what I did about the lack of faith in Pelor”. Verity curtly responds, “This isn’t a crisis for the followers! It’s a crisis in front of you!” “You’re a weak point for the cathedral!” Lyra sits and tears begin to fall. Verity continues, “When was the last time you did a proper mission?” Sniffling, Lyra cannot recall. Verity challenges Lyra to to on a mission and reconnect with her faith. Verity offers to take care of things at the cathedral for 6 months while she takes a leave of absence.
Ford leaves Lindy hungover under a mound of blankets and heads downstairs. He asks for 3 plates of food. Shackled, he sits and eats and then takes the 2 remaining plates upstairs and leaves them near Lindy with a bucket. He leaves for the Barracks, taking his sweet time to get there. It has since been such a long time since he has stepped foot on land.
Amalia and Morwen find Aran and they discuss Lindy and Ford. Aran heads to the temple to speak with Lyra. Amalia and Morwen leave for the Barracks, and Verity leaves the temple destined for the Barracks as well.
At the Barracks, Grust is at the front. Verity informs him that Lyra has asked her to follow up on the shipment to the cathedral. Grust grunts and makes mention of the missing prisoner and states that the investigative team is looking for him. “He was shackled and he just disappeared”. Verity asks to speak with Walthas and is informed that he is with a team at the docks to check on the missing cargo. Verity makes personal note that she should ask Walthas for a copy of that report. She decides to stay and make small talk with the half orc. “What business is it of yours about the ship” he snorts. She identifies herself as the cleric assigned by Lyra to find the facts and locate the stuff belonging to the cathedral.
Aran arrives at the temple and is unable to make contact with Lyra as she is in a meeting with the Bishops. Aran decides he will return to the temple tomorrow when church is next in session and leaves for the docks.
Amalia and Morwen arrive at the Barracks. Grust seems less than interested in talking with them. “Is ”/characters/walthas" class=“wiki-content-link”>Walthas in?" He clears his throat and states “he’s at the ”/wikis/shipyard" class=“wiki-page-link”> Shipyard“. ”/characters/morwen" class=“wiki-content-link”>Morwen recognizes the woman next to Grust as a cleric from the church and asks her is she is here to see Walthas. “Are you investigating the ship?” Verity explains her intentions at the Barracks and then asks Morwen what her interest is with Walthas. Morwen explains to Verity the efforts of the party to fight against vampirism and Verity looks at Morwen eyes wide. “Is vampirism resolved? Has it spread any further?” Morwen answers her questions to the best of her abilty. As their discussion ends, Verity decides to wait at the Barracks for Walthas and his report. Ford is still on his way to the Barracks, but has decided to stop for 2 vases of orchids.
Arriving at the docks, Aran finds the Intrepid swarming with people and uniformed soldiers. He identifies Walthas sitting on the side of the ship with pen and quill taking notes. Aran approaches Walthas and is given permission to take a look on board.
Ford arrives at the Barracks grinning and holding 2 vases of orchids. Grust pops up out of his chair and demands “where have you been?” “Well you seem a kind fellow…can you see that the lady from the temple and ”/characters/lindy" class=“wiki-content-link”>Lindy get these? They were quite upset last night", Ford recalls. Grust growls “”/characters/walthas" class=“wiki-content-link”>Walthas really needs to talk to you". “Good I’ve decided to help him” chimes in Ford. Recognizing that the shackles do no good anyway Grust steps toward Ford and removes them. Ford asks for his belongings and Grust agrees to return them once he has satisfied Walthas’s questions. Verity asks Ford to tell her what happened on the ship and he agrees to a private interview.
In Walthas’s office Verity casts force to tell truth on Ford. Ford looks at Verity. She appears to be half elf with blonde hair that is tied back. Her height is a good 3 feet shorter than his own. She is wearing nice boots, and there is a large visible symbol of Pelor around her neck. Although her features are plain, she is muscular and well groomed..
While searching, Aran discovers a hidden compartment in the Captain’s desk. It doesn’t open easily, and Aran kicks the desk apart revealing a book. It has an Intrepid flag on the cover and it’s clearly a journal. Aran spends time reading it.
Amalia and Morwen arrive at the docks. Walthas is staring at his notes and has nothing new to report. Amalia has never been on a boat and thinks it would be a good idea to look around the ship. She sees nothing of interest and exits quickly as her stomach is churning and she feels off balance and sick from the constant motion. As she exits, she sees Aran coming down from the ship. Aran approches Amalia and Morwen and tells them he found a book that he has identified as the Captain’s Log. Recounting what he has read, he tells Amalia and Morwen that they found the Excelsior wreckage and picked up the crates. The crew was effected by something of a necromantic nature. Aran appears puzzled and asks himself how Lyra knew what was in the crates. “She said the crates contained objects of Pelor, but certainly they are not.”
Walthas arrives at the Barracks to find Ford and Verity in his office with Ford in the middle of telling his story. Verity introduces herself to Walthas as a representative of Pelor and informs him she is getting a testimony from his witness.
Aran returns to the temple of Pelor and demands to see Lyra. He waits and eventually receives invitation to her quarters. She is wearing simple robes that are not religious. She is wearing a necklace with a small golden symbol. “Have you made a decision ”/characters/lyra-ivessa" class=“wiki-content-link”>Lyra to leave office?" She admits that she is going to try and reconnect with her faith, but will stay local. Aran asks who told her about the location of the artifacts . Lyra sighs, " It was a member of the congregation, a sailor by the name of Zyor Paternius. He claimed to have found the artifacts of the Excelsior. Anyway, it doesn’t matter because he’s dead, murdered in a street robbery. He’s buried in the cemetery." Aran informs her he has found a ledger of the Captain’s Log, and tells her that as soon as the relics were found the crew started fighting and engaging in murderous intent. Lyra slumps, “it’s happening again.” “”/characters/lyra-ivessa" class=“wiki-content-link”>Lyra what aren’t you telling us?" Lyra takes a deep breath and sits with her hands clasped, “The ”/wikis/excelsior" class=“wiki-page-link”>Excelsior was sent out 30 years ago to ship back what archaeologists had found. Reports from the Excelsior became less and less frequent. There were reports of terrible acts….and then nothing. Then Zyor appeared…. he had a piece of wood with an emblem from the Excelsior. The church hired the Intrepid to find the lost artifacts. The church believed the relics could help show truth to help vanquish Vecna." “You must know that the ”/wikis/intrepid" class=“wiki-page-link”>Intrepid had necromantic energies" Aran replies. Aran asks Lyra to identify the items that Morwen has been carrying to determine if they are cursed. Lyra agrees and Aran excuses himself to return to the Intrepid.
Morwen and Amalia go to the Barracks to enlist a guard to accompany them to the cemetery. Grust dispatches Oli and Eizen. Verity offers Nimble as a servant of the church to accompany those going to the cemetery.
Aran returns to the ship to have another look. He finds a small piece of wood that is unlike the other scattered debris of the shattered desk. He ventures to the carpenter’s guild hall and speaks to Germaine, the guild master. Germaine holds the piece of wood in his hand and determines that he isn’t sure how old the wood is but that’s it’s very old and the carving is also from many years ago. Aran requests that the guild master make a total of 5 boxes for him, and then promptly leaves for the graveyard.
At the cemetery, Aran locates Morwen and Amalia and tells them what he knows of the wood. Morwen approaches Noshi. He recognizes her and asks how he can be of service. “We need to exume a body….that of Zyor Paternius. If he is still buried here that is.” “Well, I can tell you it has been 3 months, and why wouldn’t he still be buried? I have never had any experience with someone being buried and not staying buried.” Skeptical, Amalia whispers to Morwen, “seriously? he is a ”/wikis/citadel-cemetery" class=“wiki-page-link”> cemetery worker. I don’t believe that statement."
Noshi starts digging. Morwen notices a hole by the headstone and calls attention to it. Amalia doesn’t recognize the hole to be something made by nature. Aran searches the other plots and then confronts Noshi about the hole. “A vampire may have escaped in the form of gas. You are in charge of this area!” Trembling and agitated Noshi mumbles, “I don’t know what is happening.”
His shovel hits the wood of the coffin. Amalia sees a hole in the coffin similar to that in the dirt at the headstone. Inside the coffin there is a skeleton with worm eaten clothing. Aran asks Nimble to determine if the contents are evil. Nimble glances at Eizen. “What are you not telling us? It’s clear you’re lying!” Nimble interrupts, “All men have evil in their hearts.” “Eizen come clean or choose a broken leg!” Eizen confesses to fathering a son out of wedlock.
Walthas asks Ford where the crew could have gone at night when the ship came into port. Ford is also puzzled and doesn’t know. Ford and Verity finish conversing with Walthas. Ford receives his belongings back. Verity vows to put the undead to rest and ensures Ford his safety. Together they leave for the cemetery, Ford picking up a vase of orchids on his way out.
Verity and Ford arrive at the cemetery to find a mound of turned earth. “I’m going to assume good reason for digging up a corpse mid-day”, greets Verity. Morwen explains that the artifacts of the Excelsior were of Vecna and actually evil in nature. She explains that Zyor came to Lyra and informed her of the Excelsior identifying the artifacts as those of the cathedral. Noshi looks to the party and identifies the corpse as that of Zyor. Although the body has decomposed an appropriate amount, it’s clear to the party that it has been moved within the space since it was buried, and all belongings of value have been removed. Aran asks Noshi to check his log book.
Ford laughs aloud, “I know he didn’t find the shipwreck. He wasn’t even a crew member.” He stares in obvious thought. Amalia confronts Ford about his sudden clear and inquisitive nature. She asks him what happened to the crew. Staring into the distance, he recalls “As acting captain of the ”/wikis/excelsior" class=“wiki-page-link”>Excelsior, I was in charge of the ship containing the cargo being brought back to the cathedral. We were ambushed at sea during the night. All of the ambushed and my crew were dead. I was stranded. The church dispatched the Intrepid. The cargo was transferred, and I was imprisoned for transport back to port. I don’t know what happened to the crew of the Intrepid or the cargo." “Someone must have known of the mission before it left port, someone not at sea”, Ford speculates aloud.