Session #18: The Circle and the Banquet

Spending several days at the teleportation circle where the party arrived in the western reaches of Pine March, they decided it would be best to attempt to disable the circle, and spent a few hours defacing the carved magical runes with Nordred’s magical pickaxe. During this time, the old elven portal re-opened itself, and began shifting between colors again. The party took this as a bad sign, not wanting to fight any more phase spiders like they had a few days before (or worse) and decided to make the trek on foot back to Murtova, the closest town in Pine March, to restock on supplies, and possibly get a good night sleep.

Upon reaching Murtova, they decided to walk the town a bit, and entered the “Shattered Lantern Tavern”, where Tawna offered some aid with their rat problem (in the form of feeding Bob), and the rest of the party got drinks.

A little while after arriving, they noticed a soldier of Pine March sitting in the corner, with a large sack on the table, fumbling around inside it, and also a young man, in his late teens, placing a piece of parchment up on the wall near the tavern entrance.

The parchment read “Need men to form a small honour garrison for the banquet at the manor of Baron Aleksandir Markov. Important people are involved, so discretion is mandatory. No Questions Asked!“. This interested Nairb, and he decided to wild shape into a cat and follow the young man. Trailing him until he located a large mansion near the center of town, he entered the home and looked around, not finding anything suspicious, he sent word in the form of an animal messenger to the rest of the party. The group arrived at the mansion, and along with two others, accepted the contract and took up positions within the mansion at dusk to await the guests.

As the guests arrived, two in particular caught the attention of the party, both Lucias Markov, the mage whom had helped capture them, and a tall pale elf in dark armor, that very much resembled their captor, Kerafim, neither of whom made any move against them.

As the night went on, the Baron and Lucias moved into the garden, where Nordred had taken up station, and as he watched the two argue in the back of the garden near the fountain, a familiar voice whispered in his ear… “You all were much safer in my prison…” Kerafim had snuck up on him.

As the two conversed, it was discovered that Kerafim has no intention of harming the group, that would be in bad form, this was after all a job they were being paid for, and he means them no direct harm.

He game them a bit of advice, that the Queen is not pleased with them for capturing her son (twice) and would like to see them removed from the picture. 

At about this time, the Markov’s stopped their arguing, and the Baron took a young lady and went upstairs, after which he came down a few minutes later alone. Nairb, still in cat form, went to find her, and did, dead in a bed, with puncture marks in her neck.

He then proceeded to go downstairs, return to his Elf form, and confront the Baron, loudly calling him a Vampire for everyone to hear.

This started a fight, as guests pushed their way out of the mansion, and Hemingar, Nairb and Tawna engaged, while Nordred tried to get additional information out of Kerafim and Lucias.

Lucias son informed them that they were not here to guard the Baron, but to guard the guests from him.

The fight ended after several tense moments, with Tawna piercing the heart of the Baron with a crossbow bolt, causing him to melt into ash, and his sword hilt to rust and fall to the ground.