So a new game has kicked off, 3/5 players were able to attend day 1 so it was a bit of a small crowd but eventful none the less.
The party thus far:
Anastasia the Con woman: Posing as a French Princess, 2 part bard and 1 part rogue.
Silas the Gypsy: 2 part rogue, 1 part warrior. Knack with a sling and with a trained German Shepherd.
Giuseppe the Sicilian: 2 part wizard, 1 part rogue. The only one with a horse and a pile of coin.
So they started by assigning relationship tags to each other. Giuseppe and Silas tagged each other as "Like Family" and decided they had grown up together. Anastasia tagged Silas as owing a "life debt" (deciding he had sprung her from jail) and Silas tagged Anastasia as someone he feels protective of, while Giuseppe tagged Anastasia that he had a romantic interest in her (she had no such return feelings).
And so they wind up in Corroc a backwater of the backwater Celtic village, converted to the faith of St. Heimlech in the last generation or so. The town had 500 or less people in it (no census) and was run by the "King" Michael the 4th in his run down keep a half days travel to the north. The entire kingdom had under a thousand people in it. This place was so backwater that the exchange rate on metal coins was about 10x normal, but supplies to buy would be extremely limited.
Corroc is a sleepy little town, a recently built modern inn, only a few years old, a stone church and very little else. A large number of houses clustered behind a thin wooden wall with a stone base for farming the surrounding area. A lumber camp a few hours away in the south wood. To the west is the most noticeable attraction, once a lake now a drying bog. A river has shifted for unknown reasons, and loch connelly is drying out into a bog, and revealing clues of ruins from long dead barrow kings. Money to be had.
The party moved into the inn, the "princess" demanding the local lord fun her room as a visiting noble, the innkeeper obliges, Silas loses at gambling (despite being a seasoned gambler) to two old farmers and has Giuseppe bail him out. Giuseppe bets double or nothing and uses his sleep spell (And all of his mana) to have them pass out, he then cheats on the roll and screams victory. The men ashamed at having passed out from a few drinks pay up.
Getting the lay of the land, and weirded out by rumours of the walking dead in the bog eating the last knight who came through (who may have just gotten drunk and wandered off), they decide to follow local talk of standing stones in the east in a sandy scrub land. They head south around the bog (extending their trip to a few days). On the way there they find a hastily constructed and abandoned shack near the old dry riverbed and investigate.
Using knowledge of prospecting Anastasia notices digging in the riverbed, using knowledge of herbalism, Giuseppe notices that work was done to brew some kind of fungal broth, and some of it had been burnt and stained the rocks. Examining the digging in the riverbed Giuseppe finds that fungus has been farmed and harvest there, a psychotropic fungus. He decides to take the remaining fungus and spoil next year's harvest, hoping to find use as a spell component.
Moving on they enter the scrub land, nothing but hills, rocks, sandy soil, thorn and juniper bushes. They see one tall birch tree and notice a corpse at its base. After using a handful of forensic skills Giuseppe decides it was a religious sacrifice and they enter on their guard, still hunting the standing stones. They head to the tallest hill and look around, Silas rolls a nat20 and spots a triangle of giant round stones overgrown. Sneaking down he notices it is a triangle of many small stones between the three, with a stone slap and some recently disturbed dust. Deciding its safe he calls for the other two.
Investigating the area they find two logs cut in half and inscribed with symbols below the dust. Examining the logs with translate magic Giuseppe discovers it is a fog spell. Investigating the area they decide its a cult to a nature spirit Khornunnous, a Deity of primal wrath and nature's fury. They find evidence of human sacrifice including a pit with a half dozen bodies, and a handful of copper and rotting clothing. Silas also finds a knife carved from a human bone and decides to keep it. Noting the age of the freshest body in the pit they decide they were last here three days ago, during the full moon and won't likely be back for a month. They decide to further explore the scrub land. They find another dry river bed, now overgrown with shrubs and weeds and decide to follow it south. Eventually they notice several acres of flat land amongst the hills. They camp and spent the rest of the day exploring the area, while hunting for a groundhog Silas sees the outline of a stone foundation. Digging at where the storm cellar would be with a cut sapling and their hands they find an air pocket, and decide to return with labourers.
Heading back to Corroc they are awoken by the dog to something in the darkness. Giuseppe shines his lantern through the darkness and spots a darting humanoid figure. Catching it again he sees it is a feral creature, grey skin, no hair, yellow eyes, pointy ears and pointier teeth. Deciding it must be one of the ghouls the "king" has put a bounty on they try to lure it closer, it responds with the throw of a crude fire hardened wood javelin, several others fly into the camp. Silas lets fly with a sling stone and knocks it dead with a critical hit, the ghouls make their morale check with an 18. Not wanting to sick his dog on an unknown number of ghouls they scan the darkness as javelins keep flying in. Anastasia hides behind the horse while Giuseppe shines his lantern around like a spotlight and Silas scans for a target, dodging javelins as they go. Anastasia decides to throw a piece of burning wood into the field like a flair, and rolls an 18, her lucky number. Deciding the opportunity attack will be potentially hitting a ghoul, she rolls the attack but narrowly misses. Still, the attack lights one up for next rounds attack. Silas cracks its skull and sends it down while Giuseppe manages to light up another one, the ghouls roll a second 18 for morale. This round Anastasia throws a piece of burning log and hits the ghoul, reducing it to 1 body point above KO and hideous penalties (-5), while Silas manages to spot and kill another ghoul. They finish off the injured ghouls and capture the burned ghoul as it tries to crawl away.
Giuseppe takes the ghoul ears and rides back, using the bounty to hire labourers. Anastasia starts trying to interpret the Ghouls language to interrogate it, knowing it will take a few days. When Giuseppe returns with men they head to the ruin site and dig up several building, finding a few copper trinkets and some silver cutlery, as well as a silver ring signifying the governor of a merchant house from ages past, thus deciding this must have been a stopping point for trade to a wealthier city, which they surmise is in the bog.
Anastasia has been able to interrogate the Ghoul as to where its people are "So they can avoid there" and promises food and the ghouls freedom, passing the lie check and having won the social combat the Ghoul explains where its people live in the north west of the bog. Anastasia then kills the ghoul and removes its ears for the bounty. Giuseppe decides to remove the ghouls eyes as spell components.
The party then returns to Corroc and decides they need to research any records on the bog, the most likely place is the church records. The church demands a tithe of 3 gold (they would be penniless if they paid) or help rooting out a local cult to "dark pagan gods who refuse the teachings of St. Heimlech". The priest needs a noble to dispense justice and wants the "princess" to act as judge. The party agrees to help with the cult and weighs between actually trying to find a cult or just calling some friendless loner a witch before going with plan C, robbing the church on the dark moonless night.
The church has three entry points the barred main double doors, the locked side door that leads directly to the priests cramped bedroom or the bell tower. Silas climbs the bell tower (being the only one with climb walls) and lowers a rope for the other two to climb up. Looking at the door into the church Giuseppe checks to see if the hinges are rusty and they are. None of them has oil but Giuseppe remembers the ghoul eyes and squishes them into the hinges, and sure enough it works. Not wanting to risky the creaky stairs Silas tries to lower himself by the rope, but rolls a 2 on a strength check. Not wanting to wake the altar boys asleep on the pews he uses his fate for a re-roll, and gets another 2. Flump, he wakes one of the altar boys. Giuseppe steps in and casts sleep on the alter boy, and then goes down the stair, avoiding waking anyone. They sneak to the alter and unlock the door to the basement, forgetting to check the hinges it squeaks..baited breath but no one wakes. Giuseppe lights his lantern from a candle and heads to the basement, closing the door behind them.
The dank basement had a deep stone hall or a wooden door to their right, first checking for sounds of movement, Silas picks the lock and enters the wooden door. They find a cramped library with a giant ornate bible (easily worth 40 or 50 gold) and several history texts on the side wall. Flipping through them Giuseppe notices one book on ancient history mentions several burial mounds of ancient princes in the bog, on a dog eared page. This leads them to believe one of the other adventurers in the last few years may have gone looking for it.
Then they decide to head down the stone corridor, and notice skeletons in burial chambers inset into the walls clutching crucifixes and wearing rotted white robes. Silas nicks six gold wedding rings off the corpses. Moving to the end of the hall they find two stone sarcophagi and weigh whether or not they can silently loot them.
Anastasia has been keeping watch in the bell tower and notices a light shine from one of the town houses as a curtain opens, and a figure rolls out and begin walking to the church. Unsure what to do she pulls up the rope and watches the figure move up to the church, and then readies a throwing knife..the figure walks to the priests room, drunkenly fumbles with keys and then slams the door.
Hearing a door slam, the two thieves decide to bail and carefully sneak back out. Hearing the drunken singing of the priest as he gets ready for bed they manage to sneak out and leave through the bell tower, Anastasia and Giuseppe climbing down the rope before Silas unties it and climbs down. The next day Anastasia finds out the room the priest was in belonged to the daughter of the wealth Yeoman farmer. Keeping that information for latter the party rehires their labourers , 9 of them, and heads to the bog to dig up a mound.
Night one of the digging, moans come from the surrounding bog...
Thus ending the session.
Warrior of the Steppes
5 hours ago