Title: Fighting Learning Curve And Astronomer By Önundr Tyggrason
Regions: Kruthiks’ Cave, Mikal’s Farm, Olophanes’ House, Phaedros
We listened outside the cave. Wet slurping sounds greeted our ears. No one wanted to be the first to go into that death cave, so we convinced Syas to take a peek. He spied some winged creatures eating the bag of offal we tossed in. The change in the dim light must have alerted them. They flew further into the cave, disappearing from his sight.
I was able to discern from Syas’ description that these must be Stirges, foul mosquito-like creatures that breed in swamps. Luckily for us, we’re too far north for them to nest or we’d be in real trouble. You don’t want a swarm of them stinging you to death then laying eggs to make your carcass a pile of meat for their young.
We didn’t have much choice but to go into the hole. Syas threw a sunrod in. We all squeezed into the cave. The mouth was a tight fit. Almador led the way toward the sunrod and saw a Kruthik scamper away.
Too late, it was a trap. 2 Stirges dropped from the ceiling and attacked. We defeated several Stirges and Kruthik, including a fiercesome Kruthik leader that could burrow through the walls. The final chamber had various items. My companions smashed all of the Kruthik eggs. I wouldn’t say that the most heroic thing to do, but I suppose necessary to protect the farmers.
There was also a half-eaten corpse. This was probably the fool who went searching for the source of the problem a few days back. No sign of any livestock. Maybe they taste better than human flesh. His corpse had a few coins and a healing potion. A suspended magic lantern illuminated the cavern. Gal took the potion and Almador the lantern.
We brought the remains of the Kruthik leader and dead human back to to Mikal’s farm.
Mikal congratulated us and was kind enough to give us hot baths to wash away the stench. This was followed by a delicious feast. Syas sang a ballad he composed about our adventure.
We talked about many topics late into the night. Mikal would be happy to be a reference when we make it to town. Here are the important townsfolk in Hastrons.
Ascalaus – Innkeeper. He knows everyone. He has 3 sons and 1 daughter who help him run the inn.
Ibros – He was an Illucidus (Phaedron Alderman/Teacher) – Leader at a think tank and current First Citizen. He is well-liked and and respected.
Notker Eische – Procature who enforces order. He won’t introduce us to him. He is also the smith. 3rd generation Tochlander.
Thayon – New Atrian Arbiter within 3 months. He replaced Father Kalon after his death.
Gal asked about jobs. Mikal said Olophanes might have something for us. His estate is a day’s ride away. People shun him because some think he is a witch. Piro is one of the few people who goes to help him out. He will leave the next day. We decided to accompany him.
We were allowed to sleep inside the house. Before going to bed, Mikal had a stern talk with Syas. He must’ve seen him eyeing his daughter Anica when he sang of our deeds.
On our journey, we asked Piro about Olophanes. According to the boy, Olophanes is a rich old man well into his sixties. He spends his evenings looking at the stars through a telescope. He is great at predicting the weather. He had a past with Father Kalon. It had something to do with the Father’s daughter not “keeping the faith”.
We rode through the hills before it gave way to woods. Piro looked a bit nervous. The path we followed was ideal for an ambush. His fears were unfounded as nothing happened. The woods gave way to a clearing with a large mound in the middle. At its apex was a 2 story house. There were no trees on the hill and it was eerily quiet. A figure on the second floor observed us. He only moved away from the window when Piro looked up at the window, waved, and began unpacking the cart.
I offered to help unpack. Piro instructed us to wait and went to the house. He spoke with an old man before returning to tell us Olophanes wasn’t going to accept visitors. We would never make it back to Mikal’s farm or to Hastrons before dark. To show his graciousness, we were allowed to stay in the field for the night. What a waste of time.
I didn’t like the feeling I was getting from the old man and his house. I busied myself by chopping wood and doing whatever I could to help Piro.
Gal and Syas went to the house to try and talk to Olophanes. They somehow managed to get inside. They were asked if they saw a certain star – The Wanderer. Syas impressed him by knowing a little about this heavenly object. He said it’s only been in the sky for the last 3 days. We were unsure how he could have seen it the last 2 nights as they had been extremely cloudy over this area. They were told to return at night to be shown the star.
I passed the time by asking Piro about bandits. A while back, some of them tried to attack Olophanes’ house, but they all ended up dead. Maybe the old man isn’t half as feeble as he appeared. A caster or alchemist perhaps? I helped him make some stew and told Almador to be alert.
Once the sky was dark enough, the boy called Syas and Gal. I have no idea what the hell Almador was thinking, but he went too. I wasn’t thrilled to lose a good fighter when watching for bandits. Apparently Olophanes wasn’t pleased either. He inquired about where the Eladrin hailed. Almador seemed confused about where he was or how he got to his current location. He knew a bit about the stars in a place called the Feywild, but not the way the stars under this sky were different.
The old man allowed them all to enter his home. He spoke again of The Wanderer. This was a star that appeared once every 50 years. They ascended some stairs and entered a room with a giant orrey.
Many constellations were represented in the machine. Almador recognized some that he had seen in heavens of the Feywild, but had not seen them since his arrival. He was allowed to view The Wanderer through the telescope. The crazy old man didn’t like it when he asked what “the star means”. In his fit of rage, he threw my three companions out. Only the farmer’s son stay with him after the door was shut and barred.
Nothing more could be done so we slept in the barn (instead of the field).
A thunderous clap woke us in the night as creatures materialized in the barn to attack us.
|XP: 213 each
|Money: 2GP each
|Healing Potion (Gal)
|Floating Lantern (Almador)