The newest recruits of the Guild Ursoc the Bear-barian, Abe the harried father of 7 in search of success abroad, Pirira the Calistrian rogue, Tindigor the gruff and stoic Pharasman dwarf warpriest, and Kaninia the warebunny have arrived in the small town of Calif, the home of the venerable and ancient Ritter Gunter von Calif.
The group paid a visit to the manor house, which is regal in its design but clearly in need of some maintenance. The butler ushered them into a parlor where the Ritter von Calif was waiting. He explained that the daughter of his daughter’s son, Lady Alinza von Calfif, had embarked on a journey to visit her cousin on her mother’s side in Cassomir, the Taldan city at Star Bay. She had departed about a month prior, but never arrived in Cassomir, being over a week late already. Desperate for help, and knowing the trail goes cold with each passing day he requests of our intrepid adventurers to seek her out, offering 1000 gp for her safe return or 300 gp for the retrieval of her earthly remains. To assist in their search the Ritter provided several items. First a horse and wagon to travel to Caliphas, the capital city of Ustalav, second 30 gp for expenses, and finally a letter of reference with the name and address of Sir Valdas Nalor, an associate of Rutter Van Calif who was to assist Lady Alinza in booking passage for her journey.
After taking their leave of the Ritter, Abednego suggested that they search Lady Alinza’s effects, in hopes of finding some clue as to her whereabouts. The search of her room produced a letter from Lady Olenda of Cassomir addressed to “my dearest cousin Alinza,” expressing excitement of the prospect of her visit and all the fun they will have in Taldane society events. While the others searched for clues of the missing young lady, clearly concerned for her safety, Tindegor, aka Nintendo, took the opportunity to carve Pharasma’s double spiral in every surface he could reach.
Upon leaving the manor, the group asked about for information about Alinza, hoping that she had maybe ran off with the local farm boy instead of some more sinister plot. Many towns folk expressed dismay at the idea that the proper young lady would socialize in that way with those below her stature. They did learn that she was a kind and doting great-granddaughter and had lived with him in at the von Calif estate since the death of her parents when she was but an infant.
Piria, with literally the best roll of the night by the GM by about 10, got a 26 on her diplomacy roll. While asking around, the stable boy mentioned that a stranger was in town a few days before Lady Alinza left of on her journey poking around and asking questions about the Ritter’s age and longevity. The inn keeper was able to give a fuller description of this stranger, describing him as a tall, powerfully built man with dark close cropped hair and a beard. He was in his later twenties or early thirties, carried a sword and moved with confidence. He left town then next day and did not leave a name. Pira and Kenina shared one room at the Inn, and Abe and Tendagor the other. Ursoc chose to sleep in the barn, which was only slightly less pleasant than Abe being forced to listening to Tendegor sleep-eating this 4 foot loaf all night.
The next morning the quintet set off for the big city. Around noon they were waylayed a a group of half starved bandits and a few trained dogs. Short work was made of the would be attackers as they couldn’t roll above a 3 for most of the fight. As evening set in Kenina suggested that the ditch on the side of the road looked very cozy and mostly leach free. Thankfully, Abe was able to locate a clearly marked campground just off the road with an existing fire pit and everything. As the dawn approached, Abe was looked to the east in a moment of divine providence as the light from the dying embers illuminated the eye of a pair of hungry wolves. Although they moved with great speed, attacking the sleeping forms of Ursoc and Kanina before Abe could yell out a warning, thankfully the wolves were so inept they couldn’t even hit an unconscious naked person. The group made quick work of the blind and toothless wolves and enjoyed a nice breakfast of fried wolf meat and collected two pelts for their troubles.
The next day was much less eventful. As the party joined the main road, traffic became much heavier, they even stopped to help a group who had broken down in the road, with Tendegor’s bulging muscles doing what Ursoc’s could not. Once at town, Abe set off to find a very poor Inn to spend the night, unsuccessfully attempting to talk down the very minimal price for a place on the floor. They then went in search of address of Sir Nalor.
As they approached, the party was clearly distracted and only just barely heard the sounds of distress coming from around the corner. Round the bend, 6 masked people surrounded a middle-aged man. Seeing the adventurers, the likely leader orders his minions to finish the man. One stabs him in the back, while two flee with the assistance of a smoke pellet. The witch in the back cast sleep on the party, but only Piria fell victim to the spell. Seeing the injured man, Tendegor rushed forward to give aid, but due to his short legs, he was only able to move and take no other action. Ursoc also ran forward, but not all the way, hanging back to avoid being hit. The brigands, seeing Tendegor out all by himself each step up, two getting sneak attack damage and almost killing him in one round. Abe rushes forward to heal Tendegor, thus leaving the napping Piria behind. After another spell by the witch the party quickly defeats the brigands. They then turn their attention to the bleeding man on the ground. Despite their attempts to heal him, they were only able to help him gain consciousness for a few moments.
The man told Tendegor that the men came by asking about the Ritter two days ago and they wanted the info about passage for Alinza. He then died from his wounds. In searching the bodies, Abe found a brand marking the witch as a cultist of Razmir, the Living God and rule of Razmiran, a large autocratic theocracy to the east. The only other thing you found was a mysterious key on her person.
Searching Nalor’s shop, you find evidence to suggest that the man was in fact Sir Valdas Nalor as the party had suspected. There was a ledger with a notation of a ticket for Lady Alinza, a letter from Ritter von Calif, requesting Nalor book her passage, and the receipt taken from Nalor’s body for passage on the River Nymph. At this point the heros decided to hide the bodies in Nalor’s shop and then get some rest, as it was getting late at night.
The next morning, Abe was able to find someone to point the five to the barge owners of the River Nymph. After some negotiating the clerk does confirm that Lady Alinza was on the passenger manifest and appears to have been on board when it departed. The River Nymph is not expected back in Ustalav for another month, as the passage up river is much slower than down. They do learn that the barge goes past Xer, which is in Razmir and suspect that Lady Alinza may have been captured there. Additionally the Star Goddess, the company’s other barge is leaving for the same route in 3 days.
The lead grows cold and more desperate, and more dangerous by the day…
Party loot: several daggers, a letter of reference from the Ritter, a letter from the Ritter to Sir Nalor, 21 gp left from the original 30 and a mysterious key.