Saturday, December 13, 2014

The White Queen's Palace

The Constable wanted to clear more of his land for grazing and planting, but the crumbling ruins of an ancient palace, overgrown and infested with vermin impeded his plans.  For the promise of ten gold pieces each, he assembled a sizeable company of adventurers:

Wolfgang, itinerant druid, and after three months in Gold Hill, nearly a long-term resident
Chronos, druid adept, charged by his leaders to go and check on what that Wolfgang is up to
Thoric, recently appointed Sergeant Constable who had led the successful expedition to the Harpy’s tower
Mark the Magician, who had also established his reputation at the Harpy’s tower
Sir Henry, self-styled knight and bearer of the long-lost Sword of Whitkey
McDowell, good-natured rogue from the mountains
Abner (" Bruiser"), a burly, headstrong warrior
"Thief", An honest, upstanding citizen
Elirond, Servant of the Church of Alyan
Circe, Mysterious Mage with an unknown backstory

The group of adventurers made their way to the ruins, rumored to have been a palace or fortress of the last monarch—a queen— of a long-gone kingdom.  The two-story building was shaped like an X and still generally intact, though overgrown with moss and overshadowed by towering oaks.  At Thoric’s suggestion, they began by circling the structure.

In making their reconnaissance, “Thief” stumbled upon the body of a hobgoblin, killed it seemed, by several puncture wounds.  While puzzling over what had killed the fiend, a hairy, bird-like creature dropped from the trees onto Elirond’s back, and stabbed its long, needle-like beak into his back.  “Get it off me, get it off me!”  Sir Henry drew his sword and neatly cut the bird-thing in two, making the withdraw of the beak a simple matter.  Elirond healed himself and they completed their circuit of the structure.

As there were no other easy entry points, Abner (the Bruiser) shouldered his way in through the front door.  The entire first floor of the structure seemed to be a single large room, dominated by the white marble statue of a beautiful woman.  In exploring the room, McDowell stumbled upon more dead hobgoblins.  Mark spotted the likely killers—giant spiders that patrolled the ceiling right above their heads.  Mark killed one of the spiders while his companions loosed their arrows.

When the spiders were dead, the party looked behind a curtain and found stairs leading both up and down.  They chose to climb up to the top floor of the tower.  In surveying the upper floors, some mebers of the party lingered to rifle through the extensive library, gathering up the most interesting looking maps, scrolls, and books, and Sir Henry found a shield.   In a desk, Wolfgang found a silver necklace.

Wolfgang also found a room that opened onto a balcony filled with nasty blood-sucking bird things.  Chronos called on the overhanging tree branch to assist him and it did—sending out green branches that ensnared the nasty vermin.  Circe lit a torch.  The green branches did not burn until they were doused with oil.  The bird-things burned more quickly, as did the rotten floor boards, the interior walls, and the dry books and scrolls.

The adventurers returned to Gold Hill to claim their rewards.  The Head Constable paid them and also offered them a free night at the inn.  Wolfgang offered the Head Constable first opportunity to buy the silver necklace, using his magic to make the suggestion that 5,000 pieces of gold would be a fair price.  The Head Constable heartily agreed.  Accepting the necklace, he asked Wolfgang to come to his office the next morning to claim his money.

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