Season 3: Episode 74 – The Mystery Builds (Kerubiel’s point of view)
The sun dipped behind the horizon as we looked in the inn. Aila heading in and asking an audible “what?” as she looked at the creature in the corner, but not getting too close. I entered as well and took up a defensive flanking position with her just in case something nefarious was about to happen.
Finn paused at the door, still caught up on the ‘NOMEN’ on the door. He and Glanrim banter back and forth as Drael comes in and starts investigating the source of the light and gleans that it is some sort of conjuration magic.
Finn has finally come in now and shares that the creature is the same color as the legs that were inside the Chull, but clearly a very different size. Taking a long look at the creature Finn starts to say that it looks like a ‘spriggan’ – some sort of evil gnomes who are related fey creatures as well.
Drael then asks if it is related to gnomes then why are they so much larger, which Finn tells us is part of their fey magic that lets them change size. Drael also adds that there is strong conjuration magic coming from around the spriggan so best be careful. Finn adds one more tidbit about them in that they are usually solo creatures.
I take a moment to notice that Sorath’s hackles are up in proximity to this thing. We decide we need a closer look at it if are we going to learn anything more, so Glanrim, Aila and I advance each taking a different aisle of the tavern towards it.
It doesn’t move at all so Finn decides to turn invisible to get a closer look at it and says that the back of its head has a huge hole in it but doesn’t go into the nimbus of light that surrounds the creatures. Eventually Glanrim volunteers to do so and I give him a thumbs up of agreeance.
Once closer, nothing seems to happen to him, and he shares with us that there is a huge pile of books around it. He then tries to drag the body of the light, but it follows the body. Interesting.
Drael then takes a closer look and discerns that one of the books had an enchantment placed upon it that cast this light nimbus on the spriggan probably when it tried to read the book. The trap is a one and done, and it was probably killed after it was suspended in the light.
Glanrim then cuts the creatures wrist off to let Drael examine something it was holding. The books in the pile are mostly geography books that focus on south of Brevoy and East of Argenturm – the area of Varnhold and even over to Duskholde.
There was a steel pauldron in the hand, and it has 2 sigils that Glanrim recognizes as Brynkuld rangers and a high peak clan. Looking at the craftsmanship of the pauldron we deduce that it must be over 200 years old.
Meanwhile, Drael has started to pour over the books and shares that he thinks this stuff belonged to Ervil’s stuff, and that this spell happened when this creature tried taking it. Or I offer that this might be the Professor after something went horribly wrong.
Drael then continues to read more and learns that the Rashalka centaurs had an offshoot known as the Nomen that lived in the area that is Varnhold and Duskholde. He also finds sketching of the pauldron and a jade bracelet that is dated to the premigration of the centaur tribes.
While all this research is going on, Sorath and I decided to take a look upstairs to make sure we don’t miss anything or anyone else. As I am reaching the top, Glanrim trots up behind me, apparently a little bored with the book stuff as well. Finn has started to help Drael now.
Out of the 5 rooms in the inn all are empty, save for the middle one, which has what we assume to be the Professor’s belongings. A large trunk as well a beautifully crafted viola. There are more research notes in his room, and we decide that Drael and Finn are probably the better candidates for looking at this stuff.
I do find a note to Ervil from Maegar on the desk, mention that Maegar was a former pupil of Ervils, and that Willis had found something on the riverbank to the south of Varnhold, a jade bracelet, and that they would need some help with it.
I ask Sorath to take on last sniff of the room and she smells something along the bottom of the travel trunk which after closer inspection finds a secret compartment. Good girl. Inside is a centuries old book. Carmyn e’Brothasa (chronicler of Taldor’s Third Army of Exploration into the north) mentions of a name ‘Vordakai’ and notes “perhaps a Nomen centaur god?” – which none of us have heard of before, but probably is not a good thing with the letters from Duskholde and the disappearance of everyone so far here.
When we look on what to do with Ervil’s belongings, we decide to hold onto them until we find him, or to help us with his research and I ask to take the viola, thinking that I could learn to play in his honor and Aila nods thinking that would be nice.
With all these books, and mysteries to be solved we decide to hole up here in the Water horse because it is pretty fortifiable, and we wouldn’t have to move as much stuff.
We find food preserves in the storeroom and able to have a meal that isn’t rotten and sleep in shifts in the remaining inn beds.
By the next morning, the body of the spriggan is no longer in the glowing nimbus and has slumped to the ground. So, we decide to take it to the pit trap to remove it from the inn. It is a cloudless day, which would be nice, if it weren’t for the eerie atmosphere of the town.
Drael then says he wants to stop at Kardel’s on the way up to the Block House, we nod agreement and head on up the road. We pause at his house to let Drael investigate and after a few moments he comes back out to say his place looks very similar to Valla’s.
The garden outfront, which was always well tended the past couple of times we have been here is slightly overgrown with the beginning of spring growth. We also notice that there is a thin line of smoke coming from the Block House, so we start to continue on. Drael says that he will want to tend to the garden before we leave with a sad look upon his face. We nod, Aila mentions that is hard to see blighted begonias and we ride on.
As we get closer to the Block House and the outer palisade it is clear that the smoke is coming from a chimney inside, and as we approach the front gate we are interrupted by an unseen voice from within.
They ask Aila if she is a ‘Zorn girl’, which she says yes, and then asks if she is from Dunkralire, which she says yes again, and the unseen voice just says, ‘Oh.” …What is happening here?