Greyhawk: Gem of the Flanaess

Part One - Chapter Two: Mightier than the Sword

It was on Waterday, the 5th day of Richfest, in the Common year of 580, when the band of adventurers, soon to be known as the Company of the Green Dragon, convinced the faerie dragon Tummbutt to apologize to the goblins near Burrbarr Drenn’s vineyard whom he and a band of leprechauns had been playing tricks on. Tummbutt had also been told to insure that the goblins would not retaliate in anyway, for the tricks played on them and was warned not to play any tricks on Burrbarr Drenn and his men either. Supposedly, Tummbutt and the goblins had agreed to all of this, but the question remained – would these agreements last for long and if not, when might the trouble begin again?

As a precaution, Zeke and his companions offered to stay at Burrbarr’s farmhouse for a couple more nights to keep an eye on things. As it turned out, it was fortunate that they did, for on the second of these two nights, the goblins attacked the farm – or at least they would have had they not been prevented from doing so by the five adventurers who spotted them and met them just outside the farmhouse. There, the goblins were in the process of lighting torches, intent on setting fire to the house. Outnumbered by the goblins by more than three to one, it was a tough battle for the adventurers who still had little experience under their belts. Kelgor spent much of the fight running about trying to heal up his companions. But Tadwin, once again, used his color spray spell to great effect while Corvyn was cutting the goblins down two at a time with a single swing of his greatsword. When the leader of the goblins was killed, there were only eight left alive and they turned and fled.

The band let them go, suspecting the goblins might return to their cave, which Brom knew the location of. Kelgor used every means he had to heal the group up again. But despite this fact, the band agreed to go to the cave that same night to finish off the goblins, concerned they might not be there in the morning. So, Brom led the band through the forest using light spells to guide the way. It did not take long for them to locate the cave once again.

At the cave, Corvyn led the band in and they soon came to an intersection. Here, Brom hid himself in a shadow to guard against attacks from that direction while the others proceeded down the other passageway. It was at this time when the eight remaining goblins attacked, four from each direction. At this point however, the goblins stood little chance against the adventurers. Nevertheless, they fought to the death in a fruitless attempt to defend their home.

When the battle was over, the five adventurers searched the cave for anything of value and found many coins, some gems and even a few magic items. They then returned to the farm and told Burrbarr that all the goblins were dead. Burrbarr then gladly paid the band what he had promised to and even exchanged all the copper the band had found for gold to lessen their load.

On the following morning, the band made their way back to the city, and by the time they arrived in the evening the band had decided upon a name for themselves. Now using a name suggested by Kelgor, the band decided to pay another visit to the Green Dragon Inn, for which the band was obviously named. There they celebrated another mission completed and Zeke announced the band’s chosen name to Ricard Damaris, the proprietor of the inn, in the hopes that he would not have a problem with their choice of names. Ricard was cautiously pleased with the idea, but he gave Zeke a subtle warning against doing anything that might cause him to regret his decision to allow the band to use the name.

Soon afterwards, Ricard apparently passed along the announcement of the band’s name to Rohnam, the local bard who was quickly becoming famous in his own rights for the nightly entertainment he had been providing at the Green Dragon. Rohnam congratulated the band, bought them a round of drinks and offered to write a song about them should they accomplish anything worthy of praise. Several of the inn’s regulars also seemed to take note of the band, whose members were likewise soon to be regulars and who were becoming familiar with the inn’s staff, such as Imogen the pretty young barmaid who, more often than not, waited on them.

But of course, not all of the inn’s patrons were avid fans of the recently formed band of adventurers. One such individual was a certain Oeridian from Furyondy who harbored a grudge against the band, and one of its members in particular.

And as fate would have it, that individual, whose name was of course, Valen Rowendale, likewise arrived at the Green Dragon before long, and was accompanied by four other men. Upon seeing the band of adventurers, Valen led his group over to their table to trade thinly-veiled insults with them, and to announce that he too had formed a band of adventurers, which had chosen for themselves the pretentious name of the Champions of Valor. Valen then introduced his companions as Caleb the Cleric of Hieroneous, Elstar the Wizard, Riordan the Bard, and Rimian the Half-Elf Investigator. With a smug and confident grin on his face, he then led his band to a table on the far side of the taproom. The Company of the Green Dragon, meanwhile, did their best to not let the presence of Rowendale bother them and soon went back to enjoying the evening.

A short while later however, two other men entered the inn and drew the band’s attention. These two men, both of whom carried leather satchels over their shoulders, spoke briefly at the bar with Ricard, who in turn, pointed over at the Company of the Green Dragon and then at the Champions of Valor. The two men then headed over and introduced themselves to the Company of the Dragon as Gadral and Mimfred, messengers from the town of Narwell. They asked the band if they would be interested in traveling to Narwell to help them solve a murder mystery. When the band asked for specifics, each of the two men handed the band a letter, written in two parts, from the Guild Masters of Narwell.

The letter explained that a penmaker by the name of Callery Frickard had recently invented a new and revolutionary kind of pen, which had sparked much controversy between various factions in Narwell, including several of the guilds, and even involved the druids of the nearby Gnarley Forest. The controversy led to violence, which culminated in the murder of the penmaker. Feeling no confidence in the local authorities of Narwell to find the murderer or murderers of Mr. Frickard, and bring about justice, the Guild Masters of Narwell and other concerned parties, decided to hire an independent group of investigators to look into the murder. Their reason for doing so, was supposedly due to a conflict of interest for the local authorities, as the town’s rulers had a great deal to gain or lose in the outcome of the case, and there were dramatically opposing views on the matter. Even before the controversy erupted there had been rumors of corruption in the local government.

The Guild Masters were concerned that, even if the real killer or killers were apprehended, which seemed unlikely, half the town would refuse to believe it and the controversy would continue to grow, thereby threatening to tear the town apart. In the eyes of the Guild Masters and other concerned parties, the only real solution would be to hire on investigators who had no ties to the town and had no stakes in the outcome. Only then could the majority of the town feel confident that the true killer or killers had been caught. Unfortunately, the investigators would have to work the case in secrecy and without the aid and approval of the local authorities, who would, more than likely, arrest them if their investigation was discovered. On the other hand, they were offering 600 gp for the job. But perhaps, what really convinced the band to accept the job was the realization that if they did not take the job, they knew that the Champions of Valor would – and this they could not accept. So it was agreed – they would set out from Greyhawk the next day and travel to Narwell.

The following morning however, before the band could leave the city, they had to spend some time, and some of their recently acquired wealth, buying horses and other gear in order to make the journey to Narwell as brief as possible. But once this was done, the band, led by Gadral and Mimfred, were soon on their way. It was Starday, the 1st day of Reaping when the band began their journey, and for the first four days, the band traveled south down the River Road which ran alongside the Selintan River. Each night they stayed in one of the many friendly inns that were spaced along the road about every five miles or so.

Early on the fifth day, the band reached the village of One Ford where they forded the Selintan River and headed west along a trail. While taking a midday break along the trail, Brom was almost bitten by a venomous snake, but Corvyn killed it before anyone got hurt. That night, because some members of the band refused to camp outside, they found a farmer about six miles from the village of Phlandish who would put them up for the night.

On the sixth day they continued on and, at one point, were forced to outrun a pack of wolves that began to chase after them. Later on, they startled a family of boars and were forced to kill the male adult, though they managed to knock out the female adult with a color spray spell. Again that night, they stayed at a farmer’s house about 10 miles east of the village of Zulern.

On their seventh day of travel, the band encountered an ogre that appeared to be suffering from a toothache. Naturally, with its foul temper, as if an ogre really needed another reason, it attacked the band on sight and the band gladly put it out of its misery. That night, once again, the band stayed at a farmer’s house, this time about 20 miles east of Narwell.

Finally, at about midday on their eighth day of travel, and on the 8th day of Reaping, the band arrived at the town of Narwell. As the band was passing through the gates of the town’s walls, which were still in the earliest stages of construction, they saw a group of men and women, some 20 feet away, engaged in a loud fracas. Though none appeared to be armed, boots, fists, teeth, and fingernails were being used to great effect, with limbs thrashing about in all directions. Nearby, a party of militia seemed to be having trouble deciding whether or not to intervene. Gadral and Mimfred appeared to be leery about getting involved in the dispute and because the Company of the Green Dragon knew they needed to keep a low profile, they did the same.

A short while later, the band’s suspicions were confirmed when they learned that these men and women were members of the two opposing factions – the pro-Frickards and the anti-Frickards, as they came to be known. It served to demonstrate first-hand just how divided the town had become over the death of Callory Frickard and the pen that he invented.

Gadral and Mimfred led the band to an inn called the Two-Castles Inn, and told them this was where they would be staying. The band was introduced to Mern Grundle, the dwarven keeper of the inn, and they retired to their rooms while Gadral and Mimfred went to speak with their employers. The two messengers returned about an hour later and handed the band another note, again in two parts, just as before. In this note, the Guild Masters of Narwell apologized for the spectacle at the front gates and went on to say that there was now another complication. Another group of townsfolk, also intent on solving the murder of Callory Frickard, had formed an illegal group, calling itself the Committee for Public Recrimination. Not only did this rival group, which apparently consisted of citizens on both sides of the argument, threaten to interfere with and complicate the band’s investigation, but if they should happen to actually find the killer or killers before the band, it would mean that the band had come all this way for nothing.

Realizing this, the band was anxious to get started and wanted to go take a look at Callery Frickard’s home. Fortunately, when Gadral and Mimfred returned to the inn, they brought with them the key to Frickard’s house. However, it was now getting late in the day, and it was pointed out to the band that they would not be able to search Frickard’s home without light sources, which would be seen by people in the streets who would know that no one should be in the house. Gradral and Mimfred convinced the band that it would actually be better if the band waited until the next day, when they would have plenty of daylight. They felt confident that, with the help of Gadral and Mimfred, they could sneak into the house in the early morning hours without being observed by anyone.

So the band stayed at the inn that evening and tried to pick up on any rumors that might be going around, though they made it a point not to seem nosey. Unfortunately, they didn’t learn very much. But on the following morning, Gadral and Mimfred led the band to Frickard’s house, and just as hoped, and as far as they could tell, they were able to enter the house without being seen.

Once inside, Brom began going from room to room while everyone else stayed in the front of the shop. Concerned that Brom was not being very thorough in his searches, while the others didn’t appear to be doing anything at all, Gradral and Mimfred began to question the band’s methods of investigation and were starting to worry that they might have made a poor decision in hiring the band. But Zeke and Tadwin then followed in behind Brom, going over areas where he had already been.

It was at about this point, when a party of about 25 pro-Frickard supporters arrived at the house and began a wreath-laying ceremony just outside the front door, complete with speeches honoring Callery Frickard. The band kept an eye on them through the windows but continued their investigation.

Brom was about to head up stairs to the second floor by the time Zeke and Tadwin made it to the kitchen. There, in the kitchen, Zeke and Tadwin heard the sound of footsteps in the room above and they realized that someone else was in the house. So they whispered this to Brom, and he stealthily crept upstairs. He then made his way to a door that led to a room just above the kitchen, where he heard the sound of several people moving about and talking to each other.

Brom then signaled Corvyn to move upstairs, but when he did, the people behind the door apparently heard him, and they suddenly began scrambling about. So Corvyn ran to the door and threw it open to find four people in a bedroom, one of which was climbing out a window as fast as he could go. Corvyn stepped in, and using the flat of his blade, knocked one of the men out. Brom then entered and took another man down with his daggers. The third person was a woman who immediately surrendered, while the fourth person managed to escape out the window and down a ladder. Kelgor was called to the scene and he quickly ran upstairs to heal everyone up.

It was obvious at this point that these people were members of the Committee for Public Recrimination, that none of them were armed with anything more dangerous than a clawhammer and a crowbar, and that they were likewise searching the house for something, most likely clues. But after some questioning, it appeared that they had yet to turn up anything useful. So the band told them what they were doing and warned them not to interfere or get in their way. With promises that the Committee would stay out of the way, the band let the three go and continued to search around.

They soon discovered a stash of silver coins beneath a floor board under Frickard’s bed. But they put it back, as they were being observed by Gadral and Mimfred who would likely report any theft from the house. Then they began to notice yellow chalk lines on the floor, and the more they looked about the more they found. Kelgor, who had some knowledge in engineering, realized these chalk lines indicated where someone intended to add new walls and doors and remove some existing doors. It looked as if someone intended to divide the home up into four smaller apartments.

At first, this didn’t make much sense because the band had heard that Frickard could not stand the idea of small confined spaces. So they began to wonder if someone else stood to inherit Frickard’s home. This again appeared to be a dead end because it was believed that Frickard had no living relatives in town. It was then that Gadral and Mimfred mentioned that they had heard that Frickard had recently taken up a new hobby – that of genealogy.

The only other clue they found was a scrap of paper with a brief note written by Frickard that read, “Records 9 – 12”. Again this didn’t seem to mean much until it was realized that the best place to begin researching genealogy would be the town’s hall of records.

In order to avoid running into the pro-Frickards at the front of the house, the band, armed with these few clues, made use of the ladder left behind by the Committee and snuck out the bedroom window. From there, they went directly to the town’s hall of records, where they discovered that they were too late, as it was now past noon and the records hall was only open from 9 to 12. At least at this point, they learned what the meaning was behind Frickard’s note. But it appeared that they would not be able to get a look at the records until the following day.

So the band returned to the inn, where again they began listening for rumors. This time however, they asked a few questions, particularly with Mern, the innkeeper. Still, they could not come up with any solid leads, and their best bet seemed to be finding evidence of a distant relative who might have something to gain by Frickard’s death.

On the following morning, at nine o’clock sharp, the band was at the record’s hall, where they soon met the clerk of the record’s office, Gorge Fillerman. Fillerman however told the band that he was expecting another group of people who had made an appointment, and the other group would get the first use of the records. Soon afterwards, this other group arrived, and among the group was the person that the band had seen the day before, fleeing out of Frickard’s bedroom. The band, obviously not happy about the circumstances, pointed out to this group, in no uncertain terms, that they had made a deal with other members of the Committee and that the Committee was not supposed to interfere. This other group was then persuaded to wait behind the Company of the Green Dragon.

With this matter settled, the band began looking through the records and quickly came across a family tree that was apparently drawn up by Frickard himself. It showed that there was indeed a distant relative of Frickard’s still living in town, and his name was Naldon Colwatt.

The band quickly found the address of Naldon Colwatt, and went to pay him a visit. They found that he lived in a poorly designed residential neighborhood which, over the years, had gradually turned into a dirty slum where only the poverty stricken would live. Here the band began to watch the small shack of a house where Colwatt lived to see if they could learn anything about him and to find out whether or not he was currently home.

After waiting around for a bit, Zeke decide to go and knock on the front door while the rest of the band watched from a distance. Immediately, Zeke learned that Colwatt had two very large dogs inside the house, which began barking. He also discovered that Colwatt was home, when he answered the door, though he only opened the door just a crack. From what Zeke could see of him, it looked as if Colwatt was not entirely sane. Zeke asked Colwatt a few nonsense questions, which probably got Colwatt suspicious, as he soon told Zeke to get lost and slammed the door in his face.

Undeterred by this, Zeke then used the hat of disguise that the band recently found in the goblin’s lair, and returned to knock on Colwatt’s door again. This time, when Colwatt opened the door, he had a loaded crossbow that he was about to fire at Zeke. However, before he got the shot off, Tadwin stepped up to the door and cast a color spray spell. The door wasn’t open much, but it was opened just enough to knock out Colwatt and both of his dogs! The band wasted no time then and quickly tied up Colwatt and locked the dogs in a closet. Then they took a look around.

It did not take long for the band to find a family tree drawn up that looked almost identical to the one Frickard had done. They also found a rough draft of Frickard’s house divided up into four tenements, several pieces of yellow builder’s chalk, and six of Frickard’s steel-nibbed pens. At first, Colwatt denied having anything to do with Frickard’s death. But when confronted with the evidence he began raging on about how Frickard deserved what happened to him, how he lived in comfort while Colwatt was forced to wallow in filth.

This was enough to convince Gadral and Mimfred that they had the evidence to convict Colwatt of the crime. So they led the band with Colwatt to the Militia Headquarters and told the authorities there everything they had found. Soon, word spread of the arrest of Colwatt and a crowd of people began gathering around the headquarters. In the crowd were a number of influential townsfolk, including several Guild Masters and members of the Committee for Public Recrimination.

It soon appeared that because the motive for the murder had nothing to do with Callory Frickard’s invention, the people of the town would be able to accept it. Still, it did not solve the dispute over the new invention. But this was not the band’s problem. They had completed their job and that evening, they were paid the 600 gp they were promised.

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arkhemedes

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