Week 30 - Politics and Spiders

The group stayed overnight in the parsonage, before contacting the Guards who had been asked to wait a few miles outside town. One of those was sent to collect the rest of the group from Nikvita’s crossing – and soon everyone was back together again.

Meanwhile the group set off for Tor Watch, a watchtower set within a pass through the mountains. The road forks there, one branch heading across a ford and towards Newhaven, the other winding up the hill to the watchtower. The climb is steep, and there are steps cut into the path to help the climb. The horses could climb it, although everyone felt safer leading their mounts. There is no way that a cart or wagon could make it up there. Supplying the tower must be done by mule or donkey train.

There was a raven sitting on the top of the tower, watching them as they approached. There was no guard, they weren’t challenged as they approached and, when they finally unlocked the door, they discovered the small keep had been abandoned, and fairly recently too. It is a nice little tower with an enclosed courtyard, and Cassandra was very taken by it.

Once everyone was settled into Varnhold – Rudy, Larran and Cassandra set off for Restov. First they stopped at Nikvita’s Crossing, and Rudy booked himself into The Buxom Slipper with their full list of titles and honours. Soon everyone was running around after them, setting up a private dining room, keeping the locals away and dishing up the best food they had. They even had a tasty packed lunch for them next day as they left. However, Rudy did notice a hand painted sign going up that said ‘Count Rudy stayed here’ – or words to that effect.

However, they found the town gates closed when they got to Restov, and needed to show the silver daggers that marked them as sword lords to gain entry. There they went directly to see Rudy’s old headmaster, Swordlord Arlan Bemarn, who is also a member of The Council of Restov, to report the disappearance of all of the Varnhold residents. While their news was concerning, Swordlord Bemarn has equally disconcerting news of his own. The political issues with New Stetven had escalated, and Restov had to cut all connections with the new colonies or risk a war with the king. So, for the moment at least, Rudy, Cassandra and Larran were not welcome in Restov. Indeed their very presence could start a war ….

Still Berman put them up over night, gave them a good dinner and lent them one of his agents to go out shopping for potions on their behalf. Next day, they left again for Varnhold – much less conspicuously than when they had arrived. And they gave Nikvita’s crossing a miss too.

However, on the way back they noticed the tell-tale signs that lead them to the body of the missing merchant, and then saw a webbing bridge that lead across to the body of a dwarf and his glowing war hammer. However, they decided that was a trap - and came back a couple of days later in more strength. And it was a trap, but the spider-men, ettercaps, were too anxious and set it off early. A fireball and a few arrows soon finished them off. But the hammer was magical – although it glows blue as if it has a permanent Faerie Fire spell cast on it - it gives off as much light as a candle - but it can be seen from a long way away.

Then they headed for the area marked ‘Spiders’ on the map they found. Sure enough there were spiders there - but the only one who really suffered was Cassandra. But she is recovering nicely ….

All in all, about 10 days have passed since they first cleared Varnhold of its occupiers. The people they left there have closed up all the cottages and building so they are safe from the depredations of wild animals and bad weather. And they are using the small fort as their base.

Ten days have passed since they cleared the Spriggan from Varnhold.

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