Saturday, November 24, 2018

GM Notes - Morgansfort Session 10

The party question the young cultist they've just take prisoner, the lone survivor of their roadside ambush, and let him go. They take stock of the wagon’s contents, and bury the bodies of the cultists off the road. Disguised as cultists they head north to Slateholm. Close to the city, they run across a farmer and wife heading south with an oxen and cart and squabbling loudly. Nyphus greets them and learns there is a tax to enter the city in preparation for the Harvest Festival. Nyphus give them the needed funds while Pater sneaks onto their cart as the couple heads back. The plan is to meet up later inside Slateholm. Nyphus leads the wagon after the cart a ways back. They are questioned by the guards and end up paying the fine.

They see notices for their capture, but they look at least a week old, covered by other posters. They make their way through the Docks to the offices of the duty collection manager, Jochim Kellborn – the man who introduced them not three months ago. Jochim maintains an underground railroad for runaway slaves from Urd who stow away on merchant ships. The group enters his office dressed as cult members. Jochim is giving orders to a boy of about 9. He dismisses the boy, greets his old friends without ceremony or surprise, and begins questioning them about what happened at Morgansfort. He digs into them a bit about the mess they’ve made and how they’ve gotten themselves into trouble.

They party defend themselves, tell their side of the story, and asked to be taken to the Duke. Jochim tells them that the cultists have suddenly rose up in power and influence in the area, and they need to be delicate. He can keep their wagon and belongings safe, but isn’t willing to still his neck out by trying to intercede on their behalf with the Duke. He says that there are a lot of tensions right now in Slatesholm. The followers of the hundred gods (the old, pagan religions) are starting to proselytize on the streets and the Church of Tah, Reformed is watching them carefully, though not doing anything yet. He tells them if they insist on going to Ravenstone they could get a ride on one of the ships in the harbor, but no one will be leaving until the day after tomorrow, until after the harvest festival. The group leave to find a ship.

Pater slips off the wagon before the couple make it to the market square. He nearly bumps into a couple of cultists, but slips past. He finds lodging for the night in a common room of the Medusa’s Mirror in the Merchant Quarter. He starts asking around for information.

The rest of the group talk to Captain Ferris Merriweather of the Amber Tide, a clean and beautiful ship. He asks for an exorbitant rate, and laughs at their attempt to bargain. They next try the Tarred Goose, an ugly-looking longship that looks like it’s undergone heavy homegrown modifications. They approach a group of drunken sailors near the gangplank. They are recommended to “Captain” Baldrick who is currently passed out and must be roused. He bargains their fare down to something they can afford, and will allow them to sleep on the ship that night.

The group split up to gather information. Renik finds Pater in the Merchant Quarter and takes him back to the others. Mel and Nyphus split up and ask around the Docks, no longer disguised as cultists. They learn although there is some support for the cult, there is some among the populace that view them with fear and distrust. They all hear the following rumors:

·        Beware the Green Mark. Its print is poison and will stain your soul.
·        The Monks of the Mark bring peace to the people. Their verdant sign will open the hearts of men.
·        The old gods are restless. They will make their move soon and return.

The party sleep somewhat fitfully onboard with the rowdy, bearded and burly sailors. In the morning they go down to the main thoroughfare and watch the harvest festival parade. A range of  deities and beliefs are represented. The main float features Demeter and Persephone representing their annual meeting with Hades. The parade ends at the “underworld” of the Slateholm cemetary.

A commotion breaks out as three giant rats drop on a group of grubby, poor children watching. The party leap into action and quickly dispatch the rodents. An angry woman dressed in frilly antiquated clothing gathers the children up to lead them off. In the calm, as the parade goers look on the party, they see two black-robed men watching from the other side of the street. Nyphus assumes a threatening, beckoning pose and a whistle blows as the city watch close in to keep the peace.

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