Red Mills

Red Mills (Session 3) – A Cult is Uncovered

Dramatis Personae
Robin playing Rashi the rogue.
Elliott playing Varis the druid.
Noah playing Igorok the wizard.
Karl playing Bobo the rogue.
Tess playing Tinus the sorcerer.
Issac playing Issac the barbarian.
Ruth playing Lil the fighter.

Tinus came round and joined Bobo, Rashi and the dripping wet Igorok. Varis lay unconscious but breathing at their feet. They were still deciding what to do when they heard the sound of fast marching boots coming at them from both directions. Soldiers appeared led by Captain Alstine Dalker. She greeted them with a smile. “Looks like you’ve done my job for me again” she said. Bobo and Tinus started to explain but both explanations seemed garbled, so Igorok also added a third version and soon the captain was very confused. But the one thing she understood was that there was a duck involved. She turned to her second in command and said, “Lieutenant Borhill, search for that duck, it err emm seems important. Somehow.” The lieutenant took some soldiers to search the banks of the millrace for a duck, their hearts weren’t really in it though and they found no duck. Meanwhile Igorok shifted his cloak further over a lump of wood he was concealing.

“Well we better report all this”, said Captain Dalker, “Come on, let’s go to the main gatehouse and you can get a meal and a bed”. At that moment Issac arrived smelling of the horse dung he had been shoveling for the last few days. “You too”, said the captain, “but you gotta take a bath”. The barbarian seemed unimpressed with this idea, but he agreed to come along nonetheless.

“Captain!” said Sergeant Skinner, “there’s a blood trail here, leading toward the town”. But the captain was still trying to figure out what had happened and the group of heroes made light of the blood.

So they all went to the northern gatehouse where they were fed and then given beds in a common area. There was a halfling there who had just arrived in town. “Hi”, she said, “I’m Lil” and with that she was in the gang. The next morning Issac had a bath under protest and they all had breakfast trying to decide what to do. They all had different ideas, so they decided to go their separate ways and meet at Chenette’s perfumery for lunch.

Igorok decided he would go to The Dead Man’s Wife. He had a plan. Lil went with him, to keep him out of trouble. When they got there he started conjuring fire but just as he was about to try to set fire to the place a hand reached out from the shadows. “Hello” said the woman from the Kalla. “Up to something are you?” “Err, no” said Igorok. “Got our money then?” “Err, no” said Igorok. “Hmm” said the Kalla contact, “well we have some information you might find useful. It seems that no one except the person with the horse’s head and the duck left the theater last night during the performance. So either they have our money or you have our money or it’s still in The Globe. Now get out of here!”

Issac went fishing and Rashi found a handy barrel to hide in.

Bobo and Tinus headed to the bridge and followed the trail of blood to a mill a little way up the millrace. Santon’s Mill was written over the heavily barred door. Looking in one window they saw a normal looking mill with a grinding stone and sacks of gain and flour but there was an internal door to a room on the other side. The windows on that side had their shutters closed, except for the last one which was out over the river. Unperturbed Bobo climbed out tied to a rope that Tinus held. He peered in the window. Inside he saw a large table with a Blood Moon orc sitting at it. There were six figures in red hooded cloaks drawing symbols in flour on the ground. At the top of the room was a makeshift altar behind which stood a figure in more elaborate robes. Tied up on the altar was a young townswoman. She did not look happy.

A plan of Santon's Mill

Bobo and Tinus left and went to Chenette’s to find the others, interrupting their lunch with the news. Our heroes headed back to the mill and approached the door where they had a long conversation about making a plan without actually coming up with one. In the end Rashi started to climb the outside of the building while Varis turned into a rat and ran in under the ddor. It was barred with a plank on the inside. Then Bobo used his thieves’ tools to open the latch on the window near the door and he swung in, followed with varying degrees of stealth and acrobatics by Varis, Igorok, Issac, Tinus and Lil. There was a lot of noise inside the mill from the splashing of the mill-wheel and the grinding of the mill stones. Nevertheless the group managed to make even more noise and startled a previously unnoticed orc asleep amidst the sacks of flour. He jumped up and started to run for the inner door. They all let loose on him and he fell onto the grindstone. They watch as his body went around in a circle and got mashed up by the gears, only to go round again to get more mashed up.

Rashi came into the building and climbed into the rafters joining Bobo who was already there. Bobo crept down the length of the building and peeked through a ventilation shutter into the inner room. There were more evil symbols inscribed on the floor now and the red cloaked cultists were setting up candles while the one in the impressive robes was sharpening an elaborate dagger. The woman on the altar continued to struggle.

The heroes approached the door. What was the plan again? Then Igorok knocked on the door. Bobo fell out of the rafters in surprise but was caught by Tinus. Varis shook his little rat head in disbelief and turned back into himself and created magic goodberries which he knew would soon be needed. Everyone headed for the door as quickly as they could. All except Rashi who climbed down a rope which obligingly tied knots in itself to make the climb easier. She took a hook from the end of one of the cranes in the mill and then climbed back up the obliging rope which she then ignored.

The door opened. Igorok said something about a food delivery and then the air was suddenly full of arrows, spells and screams. The cultist who answered the door died quickly and Igorok the unarmoured wizard ran boldly into hand to hand combat. The others followed mostly by the door, although Issac was trying to make his own second door. They got into the room just in time to see the wizard fall to the ground under the slashing of many scimitars. Lil ran in and killed one then surged forward toward a second who she totally missed. Varis healed Igorok with a sigh. Bobo fired arrows from the doorway. A flaming sword appeared in the door slashing at Bobo in fury. Tinus slid onto the table holding her hands out towards the cultists. Flames erupted from her hands burning three of them to death.

Igorok stood up and ran around the remaining cultist to get to the head cultist behind the altar. The others polished off the last cultist while Tinus fired three magically glowing arrows into the head guy. He staggered back and held out his hand. Igorok froze where he was. The head cultist turned and opened the shuttered window behind him. He was trying to escape. Varis put the goodberries in Igorok’s mouth and moved his chin up and down. Somehow the wizard swallowed the healing fruits. Issac stepped in and hammered a javelin through the evil cult leader pinning the body to the window.

Suddenly it was silent in the room, the only sound was the orc outside on the grindstone getting flatter and flatter.

Varis headed for a chest he spotted in the corner. Igorok searched the body of the head cultist. Tinus searched the other cultists. Bobo released the woman. Her name was Jattie Grembe, the same surname as Lady Altea. In fact her father is Lady Altea’s cousin. She knew all the cultists, the main one was Osca Santon whose mill this was. The others were townspeople she had know all her life. The women were Eula Englid, Paustacia Fir, Olidna Rolate and Britricia Miner; the men were Vinuel Edgcoville and Cucy Weaver. Jattie didn’t understand what was happening and just wanted to go home.

Igorok found some gold, an ornate dagger and a small key on Osca’s body. He handed the key to Varis who had just discovered that the chest was locked. The key fitted and turned and he lifted the lid. A dart flew out, the fletched feathers tickling his cheek as the missile just missed him and embedded in the ceiling. Varis looked up as a drop of vile poison fell from the dart. Then turning back he found a small velvet bag. He opened it and reached inside. The bag was much bigger on the inside! It was clearly a Bag of Holding. Inside he discovered 375 silver pieces and 110 gold. Also there were two small bottles with liquid in them. Tinus found different small sums of gold on the cultists.

Varis cast a spell which lit all magic items in his sight. The dagger was clearly magical as was the bag and the liquid in the bottles, but when he went out into the main mill area he noticed that the curious rope was also magical. Putting his hand on it he mentally asked it to untie itself and it did, then it coiled up and attached itself to his backpack.

On the table they found a note. It read:

Proo gslhv hrmtvih zmw gsvri uirvmwh, zmw blf droo kovzhv Tiffnhs.
Sziow Lmv-Vbv

Taking the tatooed orc’s arm out once more they deciphered it to be:

Kill those singers and their friends, and you will please Gruumsh.
Harld One-Eye

They knew that Gruumsh was a god that the orcs believed in and they guess that Harld was a leader of the orcs. Obviously the heroes were now getting famous enough to have come to the attentions of the leaders of the Blood Moon Orcs.

The group decided to get rid of the bodies and threw them in the millrace. Then Bobo took Jattie home and asked her to ask Lady Altea for a reward for them. Shortly afterwards everyone was at the Cheham Butcher’s , the blacksmith’s. The cultists’ scimitars were sold for cash, a hand-cross bow was purchased amongst other things. Then Igorok sold the magic dagger. He asked for 30, Cheham offered 25 and they settled on 27 gold pieces. Later Rashi asked how much it was on sale for and the dwarf replied 200.

End of Session 3

Next Session is Saturday 13th April

Experience Points

Not mentioning the duck to Captain Dalker at all, not once. 100XP
Getting the group back together nicely, including bath. 100XP
Further negotiations with the Kalla. 200XP
Scouting the Mill. 300XP
Breaking into the Mill. 200XP
Killing a lone orc. 100XP
Tackling the cultists. 6 x 25XP = 150XP
Killing the head cultist. 450XP
Rescuing Jattie from sacrifice. 200XP
Decoding the note. 100XP
Finding the treasure. 100XP
Commercial dealings at the blacksmith. 100XP

For a total of 2100XP, divided by 7 is 300XP each

Rashi 650 + 300 = 950XP Level 3 !!!
Varis 650 + 300 = 950XP Level 3 !!!
Igorok 650 + 300 = 950XP Level 3 !!!
Bobo 650 + 300 = 950XP Level 3 !!!
Tinus 650 + 300 = 950XP Level 3 !!!
Issac 350 + 300 = 650XP Level 2
Lil 300 + 300 = 600XP Level 2
Yartalla 350XP Level 2

So congratulations to Robin, Elliott, Noah, Carl and Tess;
Rashi, Varis, Igorok, Bobo and Tinus have leveled up to level 3.

I think some of you were interested in how quickly you will level up. I usually go with one adventure at level one, two at level two and so on up to level five. From level five on I try to level people up every five adventures. So the amount of XP you get per adventure is based on this. But it varies depending on how successful you are in an adventure. The idea is that you get used to your character’s abilities before you move up a level. If you can’t make it, you don’t get the XP.

Red Mills

Red Mills (Session 2) – Of Songbirds, Doves and Ducks

Dramatis Personae
Robin playing Rashi the rogue.
Elliott playing Varis the druid.
Noah playing Igorok the wizard.
Karl, who had played Chenette the bard, switched to Bobo the rogue.
Tess playing Tinus the sorcerer.

After the battle in the warehouse the group returned to The Dead Man’s Wife as the moon slipped behind the hills to the west. The place was about to shut, but on seeing the colour of their gold, mostly red, the proprietor was happy to remain open as long as they were happy to keep buying. So with alcohol free beverages in hand the five of them sat down at a table and the six of them raised a glass in self congratulations.

Six. Their contact with the mysterious Kalla had slipped in amongst them again, her arrival unnoticed.
“Well how did you get on?” she asked.
They explained the story, leaving out very few details. She nodded her approval.
“You should get some rest now” she said, “you have a busy day ahead with the concert and your next job.”
Chenette and Tinus had been booked by Pease Shaker the owner of The Globe Theatre to perform the next evening. That bit they all knew.
“What next job?”, they inquired.
“Oh a mere trifle. Since you will be at the Globe anyway, you may as well collect their, em, let’s call it a donation, to the Kalla.”
“Collect from who? And why are they making donations?”
“From the box office and because we keep them safe. You will need to learn our secret knock” she rapped on the table tum-te-tum te-tum.
“You try it, it means ‘k’ ‘a’ for Kalla”.
They practiced the knock until she was satisfied and then she ran through the whole alphabet with them.
Kalla Knocking Code

Looking up from their practice they noticed she was gone and they decided to go get some rest. Rashi made a point of stopping by the West Gate first.
Lady Altea was here and was very pleased to see them. “The orcs tried an attack, but when they saw we were ready for them and that their plan to open the gate from the inside had failed, they ran off.”
They told her about the warehouse and the orcs in the wagons and she was stunned and grateful. She sent a patrol to the warehouse to check it out and bid them good night as the sun was rising.
A flyer advertising a play at the globe with the characters as support act.They all slept until around midday and they awoke to a town all excited about the coming concert. There were actors in elaborate costumes on the streets. Some were some dressed as a dragon, some as a giant snake more were running around with paper horses’ heads. They were all handing out fliers for the evening’s event. A play about the queen of the neighbouring land of Azertina, who died tragically fifteen years ago. But more importantly the opening act was themselves. Bobo, who would be replacing Chenette on the ticket, set out for the shops to buy the most elaborate costume Red Mills had to offer. Then they all headed to the Globe to check out the venue and plan the concert. Everywhere they went people were thanking them for saving the town and shaking their hands.

At the theatre they made plans for the show. Bobo would come down to the stage from above. He would be lowered from the machine room, where there are hoists for changing the scenery. Tinus would rise up from below the stage through the trap door. Igorok would be in the corner of the tiring room using his magic to create dramatic effects throughout the performance. Meanwhile Rashi was exploring the upper area of the Globe, paying particular attention to the rafters and the professional Varis located the Box Office. Tinus brushed past the actor who would be playing Queen Flavia in the play and slipped the pretend crown of Azertina into his tunic.

Plan of the ground and first floor of the globe

The doors opened and the people of Red Mills streamed in and paid their hard earned money to see the show. The owner and master of ceremonies, Pease Shaker, walked out on stage and introduced, with a slight change of personnel, the heroes of Red Mills. Bobo descended from above in a shower of butterflies, sparks and rainbow feathers. The crowd went mad! Tinus rose up from below in between pillars of flames, wearing the stolen crown at a jaunty angle. The crowd went even madder! Then the two started to play their instruments and sing in absolutely perfect harmony. The crowd went insane! Illusions of black and gold swans showered the crowd in sparkling lights. The crowd lost it altogether. They screamed in delight, it sounded like they would scream the roof off.

A plan of the third floor and roof of the globe

Rashi, who was in the rafters at this point had to hang on for dear life as the whole theatre shook. She managed to climb further out the rafters and squeeze under a beam into the dovecot on top of the roof of The Globe. She caught her breath and looked around. The place had trained doves for use in various shows and was otherwise empty. But then a door opened by itself and a dove rose into the air but with its wings pinned to its sides. A small piece of paper was wrapped around the dove’s leg as it moved towards the open window. Rashi made a grab for it, but it fell to the floor and then launched itself through the hole in the rafters into the main auditorium, where it flew around terrified of the pyrotechnics, the music and the screaming crowd. Confused Rashi headed down to tell the rest what she had seen. Leaving the dovecot apparently empty.

While the music of Bobo and Tinus and the illusions of Igorok were entertaining the crowd, Varis, ever the professional, watched as the doormen as they took the money boxes from the entrances to the box office to be counted. After a few minutes, he knocked on the door.
Tum-te-tum te-tum.
There was some nervous movement inside and then the door opened a crack.
“Sorry we’re not ready” said a nervous voice, “please come back in ten minutes!”.
The door closed and the key turned in the lock.

Varis left the room and headed back through the throng of actors going in all directions. The dragon got entangled in the giant snake, one horse’s head tried to help while a second one wandered out the stage door with a wooden duck under their arm. The singing duo came off stage after their third encore. The crowd were screaming so loudly it was hard to hear anything. Rashi arrived and pointed out the dove circling inside the auditorium, explaining what had happened in the dovecot. Igorok sent his owl familiar to fetch the dove, which it did with ease and brought the poor creature back to them. There was a note tied to its leg. It read:

They searched through their various bags and sacks for the tattooed orc arm. Finding it Varis sat down to decipher the code. The crowd was distracting him, they were now booing the start of the play as it didn’t live up to its opening act. As best as he could make out it read:

The owner, Pease, came by and paid Bobo and Tinus, who shared part of the earnings with Igorok. Reminded that they had a financial transaction to complete, they headed back to the Box Office. Tum-te-tum te-tum, they knocked. There was no reply. They listened at the boor and head muffled sounds from within. Bobo picked the lock and they moved into the room. The two clerks were bound and gagged in the corner. When their gags were taken out of their mouths they nodded at some broken wooden paneling in the corner and told them, “They went that way!”.

Diving through the hole they found themselves under the stage. Searching around they found nothing except the curtain to the front had been disturbed. Beyond the curtain the crown in the pit were flinging cabbages at the actors. The owl flew out and spotted two hooded figures exiting the auditorium into the stairwell. They returned to the Box Office and Bobo was just crawling in when the owner came through the door and demanded to know why they were robbing him!

After a complicated explanation they tried to figure out what to do. Igorok sent the owl outside and on the deserted street it soon saw the horse’s head figure with the duck running down the road. They all dashed out of the Globe and tried to find it. But it had disappeared.

In fact they found no one on the streets but someone found them. A hand reached from the shadows and grabbed Bobo by the scruff of his collar.

“Where’s our money?” inquired their Kalla friend with a hint of malice, “It was supposed to be at The Dead Man’s Wife half an hour ago!”.
“It’s been stolen!” they said defiantly, since they had her outnumbered and felt confident they could handle her on her own.
But the shadows in the lane shifted slightly and the roof coughed softly. Maybe they didn’t have the advantage after all.
“Well you’d best find it fast” she warned. “Consider it a loan. Shall we say fifty per cent per day. That’s five hundred, plus two fifty by this time tomorrow!” and she melted into the shadows.
“Ah!” said Bobo, “where are we going to get that?”
“The duck!” said the others, “the money is in the duck! We just go to the bridge and get it back.”
“There are five bridges” said Bobo counting, “One each!”

Map of Red MillsSo they scattered across Red Mills, one to each bridge. They were all in place just before midnight. The water bubbled beneath each bridge. Tinus was at one of the bridges near the South Gate. He didn’t hear anything near his bridge, but thought he head splashing downstream. With a shout he starting running towards the most easterly bridge. The one near where the Mill Race flows into the Tendar river.

This was Rashi’s bridge. At midnight while she watched in amazement a wooden duck appeared half way across the bridge, then a rope appeared and tied itself first to the duck, then to an upright on the bridge and with a splash it fell in the water. It floated downstream to the confluence of the Tendar. The rope pulled tight and the duck bobbed up and down. She could clearly hear paddles splashing in the water. Someone or something was paddling towards the duck. She shrank into the shadows, hoping the others would come soon.

Tinus, Igorok, Varis and Bobo came running to Rashi’s bridge. They could see the rope and that something was pulling on it. Varis left the road and ran down along the bank, just managing to see a row boat with eight orcs with Blood Moon shields paddling and pulling themselves along the rope toward the bridge. Igorok dashed for the centre of the bridge, he was trying to reach the rope but couldn’t quite make it. Varis whispered an incantation and the row boat was lit by ethereal faery fire, clear for everyone to see now and they could see that the duck had been hauled aboard. Fearing he would cut the rope, four of the orcs fired arrows at Igorok and three of the arrow thumped into his body. He fell to the ground with a groan. The others fired at Bobo and Tinus but missed. Bobo enraged that Igorok was down, fired an arrow at one of the lead orcs impaling an arrow in its shoulder. The orc grinned as he snapped the arrow off and was about to shout some insult when Rashi’s arrow came out of the dark and shut him up, forever.

Tinus decided that it might be better to sink the boat than try to fight seven orcs and he sent his three glowing arrows into the side of the dinghy, under the water line. But the boat floated on, all that happened was that it listed to one side slightly. Igorok lay dying in the middle of the bridge, his friends could see his life force draining from him. Varis ran along the bank and to save time vaulted flawlessly over the corner of the bridge and skidded to a halt next to his friend, whispering some healing words. Igorok’s eyes flickered open. Enraged the orcs concentrated their arrows on Varis, with many finding the mark. He fell and almost rolled off the bridge into the torrent of eternal dark waters below. He clung to life. Again Bobo shot an orc and again Rashi hit the same one, finishing him off. The two rogues were working well together.

Encouraged by his previous result, Tinus fired more magic arrows at the boat. This time the dinghy lunged to port and all the orcs had to cling on. Two failed to grab the gunwales and were swept away by the current. Igorok, stood over the body of his friend and raised his hands over the railings in the bridge, slippery grease erupted from his hands towards the boat but just as it was about to hit the boat lurched and the underside was covered instead. Varis groaned, he almost came round but not quite. He wasn’t dead yet! The boat glided faster through the water now and the four remaining orcs pulled themselves to the bridge and jumped up. The dinghy turned over floating upside down in the water, with no one pulling it, it sped down on the current until the rope ran out. It was held in position by the tangled duck. Bobo hammered an arrow into one of the four orcs but this time Rashi missed and didn’t quite finish the job.

Tinus now turned his magic from the boat to its former occupants and the arrows finished off the one Bobo had just hit and wounded another. Igorok anxious, as they all were, to get that gold filled duck molded some earth under the water to adjust the flow and dived in grabbing the rope and being swept by the current towards the turtled boat. Varis lay groaning on the bridge but the bleeding was slowing down. The three remaining orcs split up. The first attacked Rashi hitting her with his axe. The slashed his axe through Tinus’ guard. This was what being a Blood Moon orc is all about. They laughed at these weaklings! The third ran across the bridge and headed for the main part of town. Flustered, Bobo’s next shot went wide. Rashi tried to hit her attacker with her rapier, but the narrow blade could not get past the orc’s shield.

Tinus managed to hit his attacker with three glowing arrows, but the orc did not fall. Meanwhile Igorok reached the boat and struggled to pull the duck from under it. Eventually the wooden creature came free and the dinghy disappeared downstream and high speed. The bleeding from Varis’ wounds slowed again and his friends could tell he would live, if he wasn’t attacked again. There were only two orcs left on the bridge, one hit Tinus again, the other missed Rashi with his great axe. The third orc was now disappearing into the streets of Red Mills. Bobo shot the one who had just hit Tinus and the orc fell in a heap on the bridge. Rashi was badly hurt so she decided to run away from the orc attacking her.

Tinus dashed across the bridge to intercept the one chasing Rashi. Igorok was stuck at the end of the rope in the cold water unable to pull himself to safety and unwilling to let go of the duck. Varis lay unconscious. The last orc was distracted from Rashi by Tinus and clove him with his axe in fury. The sorcerer fell to the ground. Bobo and Rashi launched arrows at the orc and he fell.

Bobo and Rashi ran to Tinus collecting Varis’ medicine kit along the way and made him stable. Then they pulled Igorok from the water. Any joy of victory was short lived as they realised that the duck was just a wooden prop for the stage and had not been filled with stolen gold. Silence fell and the three looked at their unconscious allies and considered their next move.

“We could leave Red Mills” they all said together.

End of Session 2

Next session is Saturday 6th April

Experience Points

Rocking the house with the performance at the globe. 100XP
Strange goings on in the rafters and the dovecot. 100XP
Catch that pigeon. 100XP
Deciphering the note. 100XP
Trouble at the Box Office. 100XP
Friendly chat with the Kalla. 100XP
Battle with 8 Blood Moon Orcs. 8 x 100 = 800XP
Rescuing the duck. 100XP

For a total of 1500XP, divided between 5 is 300XP each.

Rashi 350 + 300 = 650XP Level 2
Varis 350 + 300 = 650XP Level 2
Igorok 350 + 300 = 650XP Level 2
Bobo 350 + 300 = 650XP Level 2
Tinus 350 + 300 = 650XP Level 2

Yartalla 350XP Level 2
Issac 350XP Level 2

The heroes and villian of Red Mills

Most of the Heroes of Red Mills (the camera shy one is holding the camera!)

Red Mills

Red Mills (Session 1) – The Trojan Wagons

These adventures take place in the Parchen region of the world, starting in the year 853. Parchen is a massive city trading via the mighty Mezza river with many regions inland as well as trading with many distant places across the Erdel Sea. The Merchant Princes and Princesses of Parchen exert great control over the region through financial power. They get others to do their dirty work for them.
A map of the Parchen Region
The fortress city of Ferz Dern was constructed by them to guard the coastal route to the lands of the Saka barbarians who live to the east of the Vanteld Mountains. The Ouul Valley was similarly fortified with further Derns and so the region stabilized and opened up for settlement.
A map of the Mydaal Region
Seven friends set off on the road from Farz Dern toward Kaffle in search of employment or adventure. They are a half-elf rogue named Rashi, a hill dwarf fighter named Yartalla, a druid called Varis, an elven wizard named Ignorok, a human bard named Chenette, a half-orc barbarian called Issac and half-elf sorcerer called Tinus. After days of traveling they arrived in the small town of Cedar’s Ferry only to be told that the bridge over the river Wrall has been destroyed and so the road ahead is closed. There is a diversion available, by traveling a little north to the town of Red Mills and they carry on in that direction.
A map of the Red Mills
After traveling a mile up the road the group started to hear noises of a disturbance ahead of them on the road. They ventured forward, with Yartalla and Issac taking the lead, followed by all the others. Around a bend in the road they saw two wagons being beset by a bunch of orcs. The orcs appeared to be trying to hi-jack the wagons. Issac caught their attention by throwing a javelin at them and an all out battle ensued. Yartalla swung her greataxe while Chenette flung painful insults. Tinus fired magically glowing missiles at them while Rashi shot arrows from the edge of the surrounding forest. Varis shot fire bolts while Igorok created an illusion of another person to distract the orc and then shot magic arrows out of its eye. The four orcs died one after the other until Issac finally cut down the last of them. Rashi climbed a tree to keep watch and briefly saw some more orcs beating a hasty retreat through the woods.
Blood Moon ShieldExamining the bodies they found that they all had shields showing a moon with blood dripping from it. They found a few pieces of gold on each of them, but the gold was tainted with red. The group gathered up the orcs’ shields and swords and at this point they noticed that one of the bodies had some tattoos.
One said “Bolar luvs Hazzog Sheltok”
The other was a badly written version of the alphabet:

Then everyone started talking to the drivers of the wagons. They were calmly wrapping bandages on their wounds. They introduced themselves as Lamba and Shufril Bonesnapper, half-orc sisters on their way to Red Mills when they were attacked by these Blood Moon orcs. Peeking in the wagons Chenette discovered that they were carrying sacks of flour and rather tasteless dry biscuits, nothing interesting, nothing worth stealing, unless you’re hungry.
Argent a water wheel gulesJust then a horn sounded along the road and around the corner came a mounted patrol of soldiers. Their shields were white with a red water wheel in the middle; they were clearly from Red Mills. They were led by Captain Alstine Dalker and she was delighted with the group. Calling them heroes for saving the traders and telling them that once they get back to Red Mills Lady Gremlbe would almost certainly reward them for their bravery.
The group then piled into the two wagons and were just starting to munch some biscuits when some of them spotted a folded piece of paper on the road. Someone must have dropped it in the fight.
Rashi got to it first and it read: DVHG TZGV DSVM GSV NLLM HVGH, she could make no sense of this and it didn’t appear to be in any language anyone understood. However Varis was intrigued and took the note started to ponder its meaning.
After this brief diversion, the whole company of two wagons with the Bonesnapper sisters driving, the adventurers piled inside except for Rashi who rode on top to keep watch as well as the heavily armoured mounted patrol all headed along the road toward Red Mills. Finally they rounded a corner between some low smooth hills and saw the town in from of them. The bugler sounded three blasts of the horn and this was answered from the town’s first gatehouse.
A map of Red Mills town
The southern entrance to the town is across a series of bridges and through two fortified gatehouses. There was a queue of wagons waiting to be inspected at the inner gate, but an important looking woman strode forward and waved the patrol and the rescued wagons in. Then in the inner courtyard she introduced herself as Lady Altea Gremlbe. On hearing Captain Dalker’s report she heaped well deserved praise on the group and gave them each 10 gold pieces as reward. Shiny yellow gold.
Then Varis took the others aside and show them the note again, he also showed them the orc’s tattooed arm (ugh). If you swap each letter in the note for the letter above or below it on the tattoo, then it reads: WEST GATE WHEN THE MOON SETS. They agreed that he should show this to Lady Gremlbe, who was both amazed at his cleverness and alarmed that an attack was planned. She immediately ordered that the guard be doubled everywhere tonight and tripled at the West Gate.
The heroes wandered into town and word of their deeds went before them. They sold orc shields to the blacksmith, a dwarf named Cheham Butcher. They got rooms at the large inn, The Miller’s Arms. Issac got a job cleaning the stalls in the stables. Rashi slept in the straw nearby. Varis meditated in his room.
Gibbous waxing moonThe moon rose in the late afternoon, a waxing gibbous moon, 4 days from full. It would set sometime after midnight but before dawn. In the late hours of the night when everyone would be asleep. The perfect time for an attack.
Chenette and Tinus played music in the main room of The Miller’s Arms and they put on such a performance that the owner to The Globe Theatre booked them for the following evening. They haggled their way up to 20 gold pieces each. Red Mills was the group’s kind of town!
Ignorok decided that he wanted to do a little gambling and was recommended that he go to a seedy inn called The Dead Man’s Wife. The whole group headed over and seedy was a kind description of this run down establishment with rough clientele. Issac played darts, sometimes even hitting the target. Rashi wandered through the crowd and dipped her hand into someone’s pocket. Someone else that she hadn’t noticed gently grabbed her wrist and advised that such behaviour could get you killed in here. Then Ignorok raised the stakes at cards and easily beat his opponents Aces and Eight with a Royal Flush. The crowd were shocked and just about to applaud when an observer leaned over, muttered a few arcane words and touched Ignorok’s cards. The illusion he had cast on them fell away and the crowd gasped again at his 2 of clubs, 6 of hearts, 7 of diamond and 3 and 9 of spades. The bouncers immediately grabbed the cheat and were about to give him a good hiding but he charmed them with his bad reputation and they let him off with a warning.
The group reconvened at a nearby table. All eight of them. Suddenly they realised there was a stranger among them. “I represent a certain group of concerned citizens.”, she said, “Some call us the Kalla. We keep a close eye on what comes in and out of Red Mills, especially anything that might be valuable. We noticed that the wagons that you rescued were full of flour and biscuits. Can you guess what the two main exports from Red Mills are? That’s right, flour and biscuits. Now why would someone want to import them to Red Mills. We’d like to understand this riddle.”
“Oh!”, gasped Tinus, “They got through the gates without being searched! Because we rescued them and the patrol brought us all straight in!”
“Interesting” said the stranger, “I wonder what’s in them. We could check but our members are a little shy of all the extra guards around.”
“We’d check” replied most of the group, “but we don’t know where they are now.”
“The Kalla knows”, said the stranger, “They are in a warehouse behind the theatre.” and she drew a rough map on the wet table with her finger. The group studied it and when they turned back to her, she was gone.
They set out for the warehouse and while most of the group gathered at the back door, Rashi and Tinus took to the roof and spied in through shutters from up there. Varis picked the lock and they all crept in. The two wagons were down the other end near the main doors, the horses were gone and all appear quiet. Suddenly, Lamba, one of the half-orc drivers started shooting them with bolts of magic. The group leapt into action and soon overcame her, she was dead.
Most of the group were checking her pockets while Ignorok went to look at one of the wagons. Rashi and Tinus came down from the roof and started looking around.
Ignorok found a lever under the flour and biscuits. He pulled it.
The false bottom of the wagon sprang open and up jumped four Blood Moon orcs. Everyone was in the wrong place and the battle was going badly. Ignorok turned the tide with a flaming hands spell and things looked to be under control. But then the second wagon also sprang open and out jumped four more orcs. They downed Tinus and then Ignorok and things were looking grim. Axes, swords and comical insults from the bard Chenette flew fast and furiously through the air. Until finally the orcs were defeated. Those still standing quickly revived Ignorok and Tinus with magic while Rashi gathered up the orcs’ red gold and gave a portion of it to the others.
The heroes had foiled the orcs’ trojan horse attack on the town!

End of Episode 1


12 Blood Moon Orcs = 12 x 100 = 1200XP
Rescuing the wagons = 250XP
Decoding the note = 500XP
Realizing the wagons weren’t searched = 250XP
Foiling the trojan wagons = 250XP

For a total of 2450XP, which divided evenly between all 7 heroes is 350XP each.

Congratulations to everyone, you are all now Level 2.

Next Session is Sat 23rd