A Frozen North

Episode 2: In Search of the Long Rest

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Working for Riggus has it’s highs and lows.

Well, not so much the highs. But rarely are the lows as bad as this farce at Caer Konig has been.

‘Take a letter to Speaker Torvil, don’t need a reply, come back to Easthaven.’ It should have been so simple… Getting the letter to Torvil was no problem, was even extra profitable as a couple of guards who were dicing weren’t keeping a close eye on their money pouches. Was like taking a sugared treat from a fat noble’s daughter. That’s when it all went to the gutter.

I got to town late, and had to stay overnight at the Northern Light Tavern. It was pretty quiet so I got a room no problem, should have got a discount too it was so quiet, but when there’s only one tavern in the whole of the town you do get to just make up your prices. Riggus was paying though, so I didn’t care too much.

It was next morning that things got interesting. Some bunch of four adventures rolled into town like they owned the place, claiming to have dealt with the cave of Orcs to the north of town. They were going to see Torvil about their reward, then have a celebratory party at the Northern Light after. I figured a few drinks would see a few loose belt pouches, so figured I’d hang around a little longer. Around midday, about an hour after they got back from seeing Torvil it hit; the Shrieks.

People were getting quarantined all over the place, going hysterical and laughing themselves to a chill grave. Torvil put a stop on all gates in and out of town, not that it made any difference since all the able bodied folk got themselves holed up in the Northern Light where Celine was looking after who she could. But it wasn’t just the plague of Shrieks those adventurers brought back with them, there’s something out there too, howling on the wind.

Three days passed, and there were less and less outbreaks now. Because hardly anyone was alive in this stupid town any more. We’ve not heard from Torvil in two days, but then again nobody new has come into the tavern since then either. Earlier in the day the last two seasoned fighters, a pair of Dwarves finally cracked and said they were going to see Torvil. I doubt we’ll see ’em again.

About midday there’s a bit of a commotion outside; one of the Dwarves looks to have almost returned but succumbed to the Shrieks by the jetty and took a dive of the end of it. But then some figures appear, blundering around aimlessly in the storm, gawking at the warehouse and the market. Looks to me like they’ve already gone crazy ambling about like that… but then I see it. A Yeti.

It sees the figures about the same time, and then they are finally jolted into action. Some stealthy little figure bursts ahead, barely sinking into the snow and starts trying to break into the upstairs of the tavern, I send Bill and Ben to investigate. Meanwhile the three others get caught by the Yeti. One of the three, a big Half-Orc almost makes it to the tavern, but succumbs to the Shrieks, looking exhausted but giggling maniacally. The other two weave some magic, and look to have spooked it with some fire. It gets pretty riled though, and downs one of them. Celine is on the scene though and scares it off with some more of her magic.

After quizzing the Half-Orc, it turns out he doesn’t have the Shrieks, he just thinks Yeti’s are funny. Half-Orcs are weird. Celine heals up the downed magic user, and invites the three of them inside. They say they’ve an elf friend somewhere about the place, but nobody quite seems sure of who or where. Bill, Ben and I search upstairs but can’t find anyone; we board up the window to keep the pace safe and stay alert.

While Celine is interviewing the three, there are screams from upstairs; I rush up to find a short little drow killing Ben, while Bill is sprawled in a pool of blood at her feet. I call for help, and dash to prevent her barricading herself in a spare room. Celine pushes open the door to the room, and the drow flees across and dives though and out of the window. I race over to the window, and pulling out my bow place an arrow square between the shoulders, pinning her to the ground. Afraid there may be more drow in the region or she may be behand the plague or have lured the yeti here, I staunch the blood loss and carry her back into the tavern for questioning later. Carrying her in, it turns out she is the companion the other three were referring to, a drow elf. Celine is far from impressed now, and when one of them lets slip he’s working for Riggus she’s ready to turf them all out. Only some fast talking from Aidan dissuades her, and I suggest we pop them in the storeroom so we can keep an eye on them. The unconscious drow meanwhile is secured, tied to a chair and locked in a cupboard.

As if things weren’t crazy enough, there is some hammering at the door – it’s the other dwarf that has returned! He made it to Torvil’s place, but apparently it’s deserted and looted, as soon as the adventures had left with their reward the Shrieks set in there. It being late, everyone finally settles down to try get some rest.

After only a couple of hours, we’re awoken to maniacal laughing from downstairs. The damn Dwarf was infected after all! The Shrieks are in the tavern now!! We try to shut the infected into the storeroom, including the big Half-Orc Garark who we suspected of the Shrieks yesterday, but apparently does now have it. The drow is awake now and so we question her, where it turns out she is indeed working for Riggus and claims she killed only in self defence. Realising she may be a useful asset to Riggus, and useful to me in trying to stay alive in this town, I guide the rest of the interrogation in a way that keeps her alive.

By now, Celine has had enough – she tells us she is leaving the tavern to try get help. That leaves us alone in the tavern with not many leads. Apparently there is one of the original four adventurers still alive, a dwarf. It could be worth trying to track him down to find out how he is still alive, and what happened at the cave. We’re not sure where he is though, but Torvil’s is likely as good a place as any to start. And since Aidan’s house is one the way, we’ll probably call there first…

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