So we were all lured into Hartfordshire under false-ish pretences.
One good drugging (or beating if you are Alexander) later and we all wake up alive in an upstairs room. We go downstairs to find everyone in the Inn slain methodically by slit throats and chaos reigning in the town outside. We deal to some rampaging Orcs who have no tongues and investigate a little.
We save a little local boy whose mother is dead, but who was spared by the Elves who rampaged through ahead of the Orcs. We find out later he is likely half-blood elven.
We investigate the local Manor house and find more orcs inside. We kill them and discover several things of interest.
1. There is a Secret Entrance to caves below the Manor. Inside is clear Cult activity to do with the Forgotten Gods – specifically Mask, Malar and Talona – some kind of meeting took place. There are several slain here: the Maitland Governor’s Son, the rich owner of the Manor, the Mereainese Spy – Camille Du Bois De La Motte and several others (who else? I forget – we ID’d them at the time). They were killed by arrows and spears, but made to look like the attack was perpetrated by animalistic savages.
2. We find and access a locked chest in the Cult Cave. It contains documents which prove that the Lieutenant who led the heroic defense of Caymore during the 4 years war was actually a monster. He led his own troops against the people of the city and instigated a reign of terror. These documents could be used for all kinds of purposes and are incredibly dangerous. Thomas takes possession of them.
3. We find a safe upstairs which ends up containing 250gp worth of paper bonds. Thomas can cash them out once we reach civilisation and they are kept with Fish until that time. They will be split and shared out 7 ways when the time comes.
We investigate the Inn to find the Cider was dosed to put a lot of people out. If this was the festival cider, perhaps it was poisoned at the barrel and many people fell victim to it. We find Trolls sitting in the village market square and decide to avoid them.
After leaving some false trails and burying the Manor owners out in the woods, we attempt to find shelter at Alexander’s farmstead a few hours out of Hartford. Instead we are met by Royce Coolidge who, through a mixture of coercion (threat of death by elves) and blackmail (threat of exposure to authorities of our surviving Hartford), forces us to acknowledge a life-debt to him and be magically bound to honour it. We are now bound to his cause until we work off this favour…