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EoD 010: Standoff in Dulwich

...he imperiously commanded them to stop; if they did not do so, he declared he would kill everyone in the taproom...
EoD 010: Standoff in Dulwich

The party rushed through Dulwich’s dark streets toward the Three Bells. As they got closer to the inn, the group split into two groups—Elmo and Helmia went around the back while the others entered the inn through the front door. 

It was late at night, and barely a dozen folk remained in the taproom. Luck seemed to be with the party, for their quarry was also there—leaning on the bar, talking to the Ostler Valto Ilakka. However, as the heroes entered, Pekka was just finishing a story about how he had been attacked by a band of ruffians. The characters entered at precisely the wrong time; as he finished, he pointed at them, loudly declaring them to be his assailants. The four heroes denied the claims and instead accused him of dark doings in the cemetery. As they moved toward him, he imperiously commanded them to stop; if they did not do so, he declared he would kill everyone in the taproom.

A stand-off ensued. Meanwhile, Helmia and Elmo had crept unseen into the taproom via the back door. Hearing Pekka’s threat, Elmo retreated—dashing off to Castle Dulwich to fetch the watch. A tense half-hour ensued.

Eventually, Elmo reappeared with the watch—led by the Iron Maiden herself. Seemingly annoyed at the lateness of the hour and the nature of the problem, she quickly decided to dump the whole matter at the cathedral’s door. Thus, the heroes and Pekka were escorted to the Father’s Hall. Once the group had arrived, Vuokko Laiten and her deputy, Mikael Tuntia, were (respectfully) summoned. They appeared shortly thereafter, and the situation was again explained. It seemed that only magic would reveal the truth of the matter. Were the party’s accusations correct? Was Pekka not, as he had initially claimed, an innocent merchant but instead a foul necromancer? A powerful truth-detecting magic was cast, and the heroes were interrogated one by one. All answered the questions put to them truthfully. Jaakkima Aikio—the caretaker of the cemetery—summoned to bear witness on the characters’ behalf, also spoke kindly of their efforts. 

Then it was Pekka’s turn. The man spoke honestly—at least, that’s what the priests determined—but he refused to answer one question: he refused to elucidate the gathering as to what he was actually doing in the cemetery. All he would say was that he was looking for something. He also admitted to knowledge of undead-raising magic but would not be drawn on whether he had recently used such powers. He claimed he had nothing to do with the undead encountered in the cemetery that night, and the priest’s magic confirmed that he was not lying. Thus—it seemed—that Pekka had committed no crime.

Vuokko and Mikael clearly did not like the man—some of the things he had said went against many of the tenets of their faith. Still, they had no choice but to release him, even though he was clearly an odious person.

As the discussion wound down, Helmia slipped out of the cathedral and quickly made her way to the Three Bells inn. Lying, she convinced the ostler, Valto Ilakka, to let her search Pekka’s room. She found nothing damning within but did uncover two books, both dealing with Dulwich’s history—one of the tomes was old and dealt with the early days of the town’s establishment. Valto was watching her, and thus, she could not spend long in the room, and she could not steal anything either!

A Day About Town

The next day, the party rested and met at the Dancing Bear. They discussed their next move. Several of the group had had their fill of urban intrigue and longed for the fresh air of the wilderlands. The ruined keep of Valentin’s Folly lay close by and bandits were rumoured to lair within. Sensing an opportunity for loot and glory, the group decided to explore the site and set about quickly making preperations.

Goblin Attack!

The third day of Lauganor saw the characters on the road and travelling west. A few hours of walking brought them to the head of the overgrown track leading to the ruined keep. Here at the fringes of the great southern wood, all seemed peaceful; squirrels capered about, birds perched in the trees, and the woodland lacked the sinister, brooding, primal feel of the area around the Shunned Valley.

But danger lurked in the woods. As the heroes carefully crept down the overgrown path leading to the ruined keep, they blundered into an ambush. Goblins lurked in the environs. Thinking they outnumbered the intruders, they attacked! Arrows flashed from the bushes, and several of the heroes were injured. Polumya seemed to be particularly targeted by the hateful little creatures and suffered several wounds from well-placed arrows. However, the goblins were cowardly, and as soon as they met resistance, they began to disengage. When Helmia and Dimble joined the battle—the two had been skulking in the undergrowth of the trail—things went from bad to worse for the goblins. Helmia transformed into a lion, while Dimble used the cunning illusion of a mighty owlbear to terrify and confuse the attackers. Sadly, the illusionary owlbear also confused Lion, who had not noticed Dimble’s spellcasting; however, even this setback could not save the goblins from bloody ruin and defeat. Shortly, they all lay dead, and the party searched the corpses…

This post is a session summary from my weekly 5e D&D Edgelands of Darkness campaign set in the Duchy of Ashlar.