Continued from Part 1
The party had Reeve Tomas send a messenger to Baron Westtower for aid and then marched as fast as they could to the Beggar encampment. Crested a ridge they could see the two side confronting each other. Hazar ran down and placed himself between the two side and tried to call for calm. However neither side was having any of it and tensions were about to break when Alagazar cast a sleep spell from a distance. Over 15 went down nearly half of the villagers. Stunned by this display of arcane might the remaining villagers broke and ran. Elder Anselm also retreated verbally cursing Hazar as a traitor and promising Mitra's wrath.
After the priest and villager left, Hazar and the party met with Chief Darius again. Grateful that a confrontation was avoided the chief explained that they only remained because his son was killed by a wolf beast. He actually saw it and said it was no natural creature. The party explained why the confrontation happened due to some of the killing to be the work of people not monsters. Chief Darius then took a deep breath and revealed that due their outcast status they were often forced to make shady deals. In this case they were originally in the area to fence goods for a local bandit gang. His opinion is that they are taking advantage of the wolf attacks. Normally he would never betray a customer but after the near lynching Darius explained that feels he doesn't owe them anything.
With one mystery solved the party resolved to deal with the wolf. Figuring that they might not have the best reception in the village. The messenger to the Baron will take at least four day to get there so they had a lot of time before aid arrived. They decided that the best thing is to check out some orc caves in the Cloudwall Mountains and see if the creature is a warg. But they needed Yoluf so they went back to the village.
Unfortunately they ran into a villager in one of the crop fields. Hunter quickly stepped up and cold cocked the villager with the butt of his sword and knocked him out. Hazar then hoisted the passed out villager on his shoulder and sneaked into Yoluf's house. Aghast at the knocked out villager they had to do some fast talking to convince Yoluf to lead them into the hills to one of the orc caves.
Once at the Orc cave they found every orc has been long dead and brutally mauled. The caves were empty. Alagazar was convinced that it wasn't warg but rather one of a dreaded werewolf. And that Elder Anselm was the beast.
On the way back they spotted a rocky outcropping with some object left on it. After careful examination by Alagazar he determined that it was the remnant of a demonic ritual designed to summon a wrath demon (he rolled a nat 20!). Searching the area they found a den underneath the rock where a long dead wolf mother and her pups laid. They all showed signs of being eaten and gnawed upon. Also a satchel for a codex was found in the rocks next to the altar rock. On it was a Thothian wizard sigil used as identification marks. Unfortunately what the various sigils means are unique to each mage. Alagazar was now convinced that a renegade was involved in transforming Elder Anselm into a werewolf.
They returned to the village by nightfall and sneaked into Yoluf's cabin. There Hazar said he would break into the temple and find evidence that Elder Anselm was a werewolf and dealing with demons. Hazar was able to use the few things he learned as a thug to get inside the temple annex where the priest slept. Finding three books he was disappointed when it turned out that they were two holy books of Mitra and a ledger of temple accounts.
Venturing deeper into the temple he found a loose stone in the kitchen. Prying it loose he found the temple's coffers with almost 30 pounds of silver (over 7,500 silver pieces), and another 10 pounds of silver plate. Giving into temptation he grabbed the sacks and the half of the plate. Unfortunately the extra weight caused him to mess up while trying to put the bar back on the door. This woke the up the priest who raised a hue and a cry.
Hazar ran across the High Meadow with a village posse forming behind him. Successfully hiding in a tree he watched them search the area. Creating a distraction by throwing silver coins into the woods he fled east away from Kensla. After collecting his breath he figured that he will try to find the exact location of bandits. So he headed east into the woods between Kensla and Denison's Crossing. After about an hour of walking he spotted wolves shadowing his path.
Now quickly running the wolves dogged his every step. Finally he spots a large tree and climbs as the wolves surround him. Unable to get at him they snarl and growl at him. And then the massive bulk of the Demon Wolf looms on a rocky outcropping nearby. Hazar shoot the wolf with a crossbow and score a hit! This only angers the beast who then runs at the tree and attacks Hazar by leaping into the air.
Luckily for Hazar the wolf has to take a minute to tense for the next jump so this gives him time to light a torch and reload his crossbow. The next few minutes are a desperate battle as the wolf claws at Hazar two more times and Hazar only scoring a few light hits with his crossbow. Finally Hazar is able to thrust his torch into the beast's eye forcing it to retreat for good. After driving off the remaining wolves Hazar ties himself to the upper branches to await the dawn.
During this, a villager arrives at Yoluf's cottage. Yoluf calms the nervous party and meet with the villager outside. Apparently they need Yoluf to track down the intruder at the Temple. After a while Yoluf comes back and explains that they think it was beggars, and that he was able to track Hazar to the east but then he heard wolf howls and felt it was no longer say with the villager with him. So he conveniently "lost" the trail and returned.
In the morning the party went after Hazar. They found the site of the attack but no Hazar! It turns out the Hazar was stumbling back west to the village and went a different route. They caught up with just outside of the village. Hazar showed them the silver he had that they needed to bury it before going back to the village. Immediately Yoluf accused him of stealing the temple silver. Hazar came up with a story about how he found a chest in the wilderness and that this is not the temple silver. Yoluf wasn't having any of this, sweating Yoluf then comes up with another story about how there was a bandit and that he spotted him taking the temple silver, followed him out here and waylaid him. He apologized for lying about at first. This story Yoluf bought.
So they returned to the village where a tense confrontation with Elder Anselm. Hazar gave an inspired speech about his confrontation with the Demon Wolf. While it didn't convince the Elder entirely he swayed the rest of the village to his side. Finally the Elder backed down and remained on the defensive for the rest of the day. Sitting down with the Reeve they discussed their options and decided for now the best thing was to start the harvest tomorrow focusing on one field at time. The party will personally guard the villager during this.
At this point the game had to be called to resumed later.
A Joyous Return
3 hours ago