Most of the early portion of the session was eaten up by character generation. Once that was done, the adventure began.
Our inaugural party consisted of …
Snotgreen (1/2 Orc, Fighter)
Therrati (Gnome, Assassin)
Elesia (1/2 Elf, Cleric)
Upon entering the boundaries of the village, the three companions briefly discussed the merits of setting fire to the whole area, but then reason prevailed and they journeyed up the road to the Inn of the Welcome Wench.
Spending time in a public house is certainly a standard in an adventurer’s life, and the crew quickly managed to procure themselves lodgings for the night. From there, they each went their separate ways in the Village to cover more ground.
Snotgreen, knowing that 1/2 orcs aren’t generally too popular, preferred to stay in the darkness of the inn and listen for rumors. He heard a few mutterings of an evil temple that had been in the area (now defeated), and learned that the temple formerly possessed an outpost in the area.
Elesia went to pay her respects to the newly built Church of St. Cuthbert. While there Elesia met with Calmer, a Priest of St. Cuthbert, who confirmed the rumors that there may be adventure to be found at the old moathouse once held by the Temple.
Therrati moved down the road to the trading post, skulking up and down the aisles in search of something interesting to lift. Sadly he ran afoul of one of the proprietors, Rannos Davl, who warned Therrati away in the obscure slang of Thieves Cant. Shaken by being caught so easily, Therrati made a hasty exit.
The party regrouped at the Inn, where Snotgreen proceeded to lose several games of chance to an individual of undefined reputation. Furnok of Ferd, “Treasure Finder”, signed on with the party for an equal share of any treasure. Their new alliance forged, the group set out at first light.
The road to the old moathouse was overgrown and disused, but the path was still clear enough to follow.
A scrub of thorns, thistles, weeds, and shrubs grows thickly along the edge of the track which leads to the ruins. Even the track is mostly overgrown and cluttered with fallen branches and trees. Here and there it is washed out, in other places a mire. Some game evidently still follows the pathway, however, for after a mile or so faint traces can be seen. But even considering this, going is slow, and it takes over an hour to reach the place on horseback,or two to trudge along on foot. Considerable hacking and clearing is necessary to make the way passable, so double the time required for the first trip. After two miles, as the track turns more northerly, the land begins to sink and become boggy. Tall marsh plants grow thickly where cattails and tamaracks do not. Off to the left can be seen the jagged silhouette of the moathouse.
A side path, banked high to cross over the wetland to either side, just north to the entrance of the ruin. The track here is only about 15 feet wide or so, with crumbling embankments making travel near the edge dangerous. The bogs stink. The vegetation appears dense and prolific, but somehow sickly and unhealthy, creepers and vines throwing their strangling loops over the skeletons of dead saplings and living bushes alike. The rushes and cattails rustle and bend even to a slight zephyr, and weird birdcalls, croakings, and other unwholesome sounds come faintly across the fen.
Carefully entering the moathouse the adventurers found signs that they were not the only recent visitors to the ruins. Bootprints were found, crossing the rickety drawbridge and the group advanced with caution into the courtyard. Looking about cautiously, the party moved to a small, ruined, tower to be sure that it held no threats that would be left at their rear.
Therrati entered the crumbling building, only to be sprung upon by a huge wolf spider. The monstrous arachnid landed on Therrati’s back, driving him to the ground while the creature’s bite rendered him unconscious. The rest of the group sprang into action and quickly dispatched the creature. A quick inventory of treasure was taken, and the loot bagged up for later. The party sealed themselves into the now cleared chamber to wait until Therrati awoke. Once they were all up and moving again the, now more cautious, party moved forward and up the littered steps into the Great Hall.
This was once a great audience chamber, as shown by the tattered banners and tapestries on the walls, destroyed furniture, and heaps of rotting cloth thrown into corners. Once richly appointed, it has been thoroughly searched, sacked, and despoiled. Leaves and dirt cover the floor, and cobwebs hang from walls and the ceiling above. Looking up, you see that pieces of beams and chunks of stone poke through, indicating that the upper stories of the place are totally destroyed and likely to be impassable to anything larger than a rat.
Looking behind a tattered and rotting tapestry the party found a small storeroom. Opening the door to investigate promptly enraged the swarm of giant rats that had been dwelling in the darkness. After a prolonged battle, the rats were slain. The party paused to rest and search the room, finding some unused oil and stairs leading down into the darkness.
Battered and weary, the adventurers called a halt to their investigation and returned to town to rest and prepare to delve further into the moathouse on another day.