Week 24 - Evil Women

After a couple of days at the Forgotten Keep the party headed home to Horcroft, to be met with a barrage of decisions about the details for celebrating the creation of the Newhaven nobility during the Winter Week celebrations. Charles had already sent invitations out to all of the main participants, and assured the group that all the council members would be invited, but they decided to Invite Loy Rezbin and his wife from Tatzleford and Narthrople the Gnome who had been off exploring the Northern regions of the Narlmarch. They also decided to invite the whole population of Gurdinford for the general celebrations (after all they had stayed there often enough) and to send seasonal greetings and gifts to all of the other villages in Newhaven.

But there were rumours of a group of Gyronna’s worshippers circulating around town – and that was most concerning. There was no hard evidence, of course, just rumours that the Fort was built on the site of an old Gyronnan Temple and that the undead corpses of Gryronnan Priestesses had been disturbed there. A bit of research lead them to search for adulterous wives, scorned lovers or embittered prostitutes – and they discovered there were more that they expected. Ox spoke to the guardsmen and learned where he could get ‘company’ for a small price over the weekend, while Robert went searching for rumours among his followers in town, Cassandra spoke to the landlady of The Lizard’s Head while Rudy approached Lily Teskarin - who had brought the water clock from them earlier in the year. Rudy was distracted in his research, and finished up getting home late the following morning - but Cassandra and the others managed to find quite a list of suspects and even narrowed it down to a Thursday evening meeting time.

So the following Thursday, acting on intelligence received, Rudy and Hebrin staked out the northern gate of the city hoping to spot one of their suspects leaving after it got dark. They actually spotted a short stream of them, one after the other, all heading out to a farm on the outskirts of the town. A farm where the farmer had recently died in an ‘accident’ with a bull and his widow had taken over. There they discovered the women meeting secretly in a root cellar below the barn. Quickly sending for the rest of the party, they eventually snuck in, only to be spotted by the priestess, who screamed at her followers to attack. It was a strange battle - with the party striking to subdue as much as they could and it was over very quickly as the cultists were falling to one or two blows. Even the Priestess was unconscious but still alive, until Robert used a Detect Evil spell and killed her, driving that evil from the land, in the name of his own goddess.

Enquiries around the farm implicated the farmer’s widow in his ‘accidental’ death and that she was an unpleasant mistress. Robert did his best to convert the cultists, or to get them to repent their actions and reject their evil mistress - but he got nowhere. They wouldn’t even admit to being members of the cult – although their religious paraphernalia gave them away. They were all executed publicly the following morning.

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