After a terrible, restless nights sleep, I awoke and met with my companions Ark and Azeria (Hauld did not show up today) for breakfast. As we didn’t have much to do for the day, and the grimness of our “companions” execution upon us, we decided to check in with the town’s potion lady, Lilliana, and restock our supplies. Knocking on her door, we were all surprised to meet an odd looking lady, similar to Lilliana but with green hair and what appeared to be bark growing on her forehead. I recognized this sort of creature from my studies, a half mortal/half feyling. Lilliana introduced us to her as Elona, her sister, who she had gotten from the neighbouring town. We asked Lilliana to sell us some potions, but said she needed at least a day or two to make them, and instead suggested we spent our time dealing with the bandits who extorted her on her passage out of town. Although we told Lilliana we would help, and bring her sister with us (and get some potions in return) we decided to milk the opportunity for all it was worth, and thought the Baron would like to…“sponsor” our protection of the town. Upon asking the baron for a reward for clearing out these ne’er do wells, he refused to pay us any more than he already was, but instead offered us something we didn’t expect – coming with us to deal with the bandits. We agreed to meet after the execution and leave town together.
There were only a handful of people gathered around the newly constructed gallows as they dragged Erion to his death. We observed his final moments with respect, and heard the sickening snap of his neck breaking as the executor pulled the lever. We weren’t the only unusual group at the hanging though – a group of three others, a human and a Tiefling, who flanked a strange person obscured almost completely by his robes, aside from his face, tattooed and eyes glowing. Azeria went to talk to the other Tiefling as Ark and I stood back and watched the encounter. Although we couldn’t make out a whole lot about the interaction, they seemed very…strange, with the hooded figure never taking his gaze off our fallen comrade. We were all distracted and looked away, but when we looked back the three strangers were gone, as well as Erion’s corpse, leaving only a scorched grass patch where the hooded man was. We asked a guard what he saw, and while he was extremely confused (and somewhat put out) by the disappearance of Erion, he had not seen the three strangers at the execution. We had no idea what had happened, though I believe this must be somehow related to Pantrantra. Our party left to collect the Baron and Elona and make our way to the bandits outside of town.
These rapscallions were a few days ride out of town, and the carriage ride was long and monotonous. The Baron seemed to be in an extremely good mood, claiming it was because he got to leave Whisperbrook for a while. Eventually night fell upon us and we made camp for the night. I was on the second watch of the night, with the Baron, and while Azeria told me of the wolves that had approached them during her and Elona’s watch, we heard nothing during the night. As the watch drew on, I noticed something strange – the Baron was not breathing, but still continued reading his book. I cautiously questioned him about it, and he revealed to me that “keeping up the facade constantly is tiring.” The reason the Baron doesn’t go out at night is because he is in fact not a human, but some half dead corpse in the Baron’s body. He seemed to mean no harm though, and confided in me because he trusts me, although not allowing me to tell my friends. After this reveal, the watch passed with no excitement, and we went back to sleep.
I was awoken from yet another restless night’s sleep by people shouting. The wind creature we had fought in Whisperbrook a few nights back had reemerged, this time from Ark’s scabbard. We dispatched it again with relative ease with the help of the others joining our party. After slaying this foul creature, I noticed the Baron, in his half dead form, running along the road away from the fight. I informed the others and we chased him down, with Raziel tracking him from the air while we followed in the carriage. Reaching him in his normal Baron form, I inquired about the scrap of cloth he held, apparently from the monster. Detecting magic within it, I found that while radiating warmth, it also had a necrotic aura to it. The Baron confessed to us that he’s seen these creatures around Whisperbrook before and leaves them undisturbed. I tried to subtly ask him about him changing forms when he ran away, but was met with only a glare from him. We continued riding on, an awkward silence in the carriage and the Baron no longer in his chipper mood, until we reached the bandit outpost on the road.
Deciding we should approach diplomatically but be ready for a fight, we went to the front gate and started talking to the bandits. They told us they had never taken anything from travelers, and that they offer escorts between towns at no cost. Meeting the boss of this encampment, Brayden Ebonheart, a Dwarf whose clan name I recognized to be virtuous, I believed him when he told us that his men are protectors of travelers, not vagabonds. Brayden told us how the people Elona believes to have stolen from her sister matched the descriptions of his sons and their two Goliath friends, a concerned look coming over his tattooed face as spoke of them. Informing us his sons and the Goliath’s were missing for the last few days. As we needed to speak to them and they needed to be found, we agreed with Brayden to search for them the next day. But as the sun was starting to set, he offered us to stay the night there at his camp. Taking him up on his offer, we slept the night there. Well, the others did, while Brayden and I drank and reminisced and laughed late into the night.
- The Journal of Ulfgar Hammerheim