The adventure started with a trio of unlikely traveling companions making their way down a rural road boardered by the mighty Arthfell Forest in Andoran. Gwaiyu the oni-blooded tiefling priest from a foreign land, Elmer the human country-bumpkin fighter, and Lemmywinks the ever-cheerful halfling magus came together for safety. When they happened upon a pack of wild dogs feasting on a humanoid corpse things got interesting. Elmer, deciding these couldn’t be much different than the animals back on the farm, tried to bond with the dogs. When he got too close they snarled threateningly. So, Gwaiyu and Lemmywinks took a different route. Gwaiyu put a crossbow bolt in one dog and Lemmywinks beaned another with a sling bullet. Elmer screamed and frightened the injured dog with the bolt in its side away, but the one hit by the bullet dropped instantly, unmoving. The last dog charged Gwaiyu but the priest bashed it on the head with his Morningstar. Elmer charged and finished off the dazed mutt. The travelers examined the body and identified it as a hobgoblin in antique armor with a sundered antique sword. Lemmywinks noticed several injuries in addition to the dog bites. She declared him dead by blades before ever encountering the dogs. Elmer traced the hobgoblin’s tracks and determined he was chased through the woods by several people approximately 12-16 hours earlier. While tracing his steps, the halfling spotted something glowing. She recovered a dagger that flowed with liquid fire at its heart. It fit the hobgoblin’s empty sheath so she claimed both and strapped them on her belt.
The party travelled a few more hours along the road before arriving at their intended destination for the night – Travellers Stop Inn. It was the only real stop for miles and a regular trading stop as well. There seemed to be a bigger crowd here than usual, possibly due to the banner stating “The Traveling Exhibition of Dr Phineas Krane, Professor of Antiquities and Master of Shroud Artistry”.
They made their way into the busy taproom of the Inn. Elmer headed to the bar for a drink while Gwaiyu and Lemmywinks stopped to hear Dr. Krane speaking at a table where an antique linen and some ceramic trinkets were displayed. When the teifling lifted the halfling to get a better look, her newly acquired dagger showed and sparked an incident. A large man by the the name of Grelm Hammerlock stormed to them demanding the dagger as his. Gwaiyu positioned Lemmywinks away from the angry man while the halfling told him the dagger was hers, she had found it fair and square. Grelm proceeded to punch the small woman in her face, once again demanding his rightful property, stating he had “killed the hob” and that dagger was his. The fight drew the attention of the whole taproom as the big man attacked the tiny woman. Gwaiyu and Elmer moved to protect little Lemmywinks. Grelm’s associates (an elven cleric of Urgathoa, a portly human wizard, and a scary looking goblin – calling themselves The Black Banner) moved to support him. Elmer flipped the table trying to swat Grelm but missed. He did However succeed at dumping Dr. Krane’s valuable antiques to the floor shattering several pieces and setting flame from a lamp to the linen shroud. Gwaiyu spotted a lady at a corner table working the gestures of a silent image spell just before two city guardsmen burst into the taproom from the front door. The guardsmen seemed out of place so far from the city. Grelm chased Lemmywink under another table and proceeded to kick her there repeatedly before a man rose from the bar brandishing a fine long sword and a brooch identifying him as the local sheriff. The city guardsmen vanished. The law man stopped the fighting and called in two deputies to escort both parties to separate holding rooms. He confiscated the dagger until morning when he could sort out this mess. The Black Banner was placed in one holding room while the traveling trio was placed in another chamber, each with a deputy watching over the locked rooms. At some point during the night both The tiefling and the fighter awoke to someone unlocking their door. They peeked but did not leave the room, fearing a setup..
Come morning Sheriff Cage called both groups to the taproom. Evidently the dagger was stolen from beneath his pillow during the night. He pulled out several suspects including Grelm, Lemmywinks and the lady that cast the illusion spell (Balinda). There were a handful of witnesses including the disgruntled Dr. Krane. Pudge, the human mage from the Black Banner and both Gwaiyu and Elmer took up the Sheriff’s challenge to weed out the culprit. They began an investigation, questioning each of the witnesses. Unfortunately, neither the tiefling nor the country-bumpkin were particularly good at diplomatic endeavors so most of their efforts either ended with Elmer threatening the people or the witnesses just walking away annoyed and upset with them. Actually, the more information they gathered, the more the priest and fighter began to suspect their halfling companion of actually stealing the dagger. How well did they really know her anyway? They met on the road..
Meanwhile poor Lemmywinks was being terrorized by Grelm. They were put in a holding room with the other suspects. The big man in black scalemail spent most of his time posturing at the halfling and threatening her while she huddled in a corner flinching. The magician, Balinda, tried to support her but the other suspects just wanted to avoid all conflict.
After much interviewing, searching the Inn room by room, and calling in help to identify their findings, the party discovered a trail leading from the Sheriff’s window to the stables. There they spotted a hole in the wall. They had already identified bird prints in the room, so suspected a nest. Elmer crawled atop a hay bail to have a look and was attacked savagely by a large owl. The bird clawed his face relentlessly while he and Gwaiyu battled it. Gwaiyu slowed it down with a crossbow bolt and Elmer finally cut the bird in two with his large axe. In ran a farmer screaming. He was a suspect but the least likely. Turns out he was a mage too and the owl was his thieving familiar. They robbed visitors of the Inn regularly.
With the crime solved and the dagger retrieved, the sheriff called the trio in to offer a means to both excuse their significant debt since they had destroyed valuable items of Dr. Krane’s and to also acquire the magic dagger. Dr. Krane needed a group to go find a handful of ancient treasures suspected to be scattered about this part of Arthfell Forest and convince their Druid guardian (Willowroot) to allow him to examine the treasures in exchange for a shroud of the dead king they once belonged to for the Druid. Gwaiyu asked the question and they learned that The Black Banner received the same offer. Belinda the mage/actress offered to aid them against the awful banner members and their next adventure was set begin ….
The treasures they seek are:
Breastplate of sacred fire
Codex of firmament
Spirit-staff of Narven
Vial of pure water
Wand of earth’s ire
The five together are known as the “Panoply”
Gwaiyu, Elmer, Lemmywinks and Balinda each earned 635xp