The Hidden Hand

Session 1

Loudwater

The party arrive at the town of Loudwater;

‘It was a dark and stormy night. Well, no actually it wasn’t but, most of the stories I read as a child started that way so I thought I’d give it a try. Actually, it was just approaching sunset and we were approaching the town gates of Loudwater. The guards doing their jobs asked us of our reason for visiting and our intent. They did not seem best pleased that we were transporting a trunk we did not know the contents of and they really did not like Aradon’s attitude (though on the inside I agreed with him I was a little surprised to see him take this attitude having been a town guard once himself).After they recorded Aradon’s name for the record, we were allowed access to the town. While Aradon, Athon, Belgarath, and Gregg attempted to deliver the crate to Zark, Zyanne and I decided to get the lay of the land and make enquiries of the locals. It all seemed rather mundane and boring really and despite the lovely spring evening not many couples were out together. I suspect that most of the womenfolk are kept at home while the Men attend the tavern. The others joined us with the crate still in tow for Zark had not been in attendance at the shop and they did not feel confident in leaving it with his uncle. Just then things became interesting as the southern wall was blown in by something called Alchemist’s Fire and the town was invaded by goblins.

Dire luck ensued for the majority of the party but, Athon managed to kill 5 of them all on his own. I on the other hand ended up with flashbacks to my very early years as I was unable to hit nary a one of the foul beasts. Zyanne took a considerable amount of damage as the lay of the land and the tactics employed by us and the enemy did not play to her strengths. Thankfully, I was able to reach her with my healing hands before she fell. Apparently, the goblin shamans have an ability which turns their foes blind as it happened to both Gregg and Aradon during the battle. Thankfully, through their resolve and encouragement from the Goddess they were able to revive in time to take significant action against the enemy.

Obviously as I am capable of writing this account of the encounter we managed to survive the day and even won the battle. Unfortunately, during the battle the contents of the trunk were revealed to be an illegal type of leaf and we had to try to explain ourselves to the guards. I was always more intuitive with other people’s motives than I have been diplomatic and I was unable to convince them of our innocence. Next time it happens that we need someone to be diplomatic I think I will simply cooperate with Aradon and allow him to take the lead. It is afterall essential that a leader of people knows the strengths and weaknesses of the members of his party. Aradon and I were hauled in and after a brief furor instructed to report back to them first thing in the morning to further explain ourselves to the Mayor and receive our “punishment”.

We then went to the Green Tankard to settle in for the evening only to discover that Belgarath and Athon were speaking to some wizard type about a goblin den and about retrieving something called the “Skull Totem”. I thought this an excellent idea as it combined the possibility of making some money, exploring a never before seen place, and revenge for attacking innocent people so was all for it. After it was decided that we would take on the task the others retired for the evening and I stayed up mingling with the locals. My aims were twofold; administer to anyone seeking the attentions of the Goddess and gather information about the town and its people for future use (you never know when a little bit of blackmail will help save the day after all). Anyway during this time the Mayor herself came in and I was able to make an exceptionally good impression on her and some of her companions. I believe this was quite good for us the next day. Afterwards, I retired for the evening. I fell asleep cuddled up next to my beloved Zyanne trying to figure out how I was going to get us out of this mess in the morning.

The next morning we met with the guard and the Mayor. Eventually, it transpired that our “punishment” was going to be to go after the goblins that had invaded the previous evening. Through wits, guile, and a little bit of charm Aradon and I were able to convince the guard and the Mayor that the others in the group may require a bit more of a monetary award and so we were offered 100gp each, anything that we freed from the possession of the goblins, and the Mayor promised to put in a good word with the various merchants. We then took immediate advantage of this good word and purchased a suite of scale mail for Gregg as his simple leather armour just wasn’t living up to the job of keeping him alive very well. After a failed attempt to get free horses or even a mule we set off for the goblin’s hideaway.

I will leave it for another to pick up the story from here otherwise you will become bored of my praise for Zyanne. She was quite spectacular and Athon had a reversal of fortune like I’d never seen (obviously he had upset Tymora somewhere along the road).’

- Delamor Campion

Journey to the Barrow

Entry in Aradon’s Journal, No Date;

‘We travelled for some hours, although I was grateful for not having to carry a cumbersome and heavy chest around with us this time. The trip was uneventful, and everyone seemed to be in high spirits. Gregg was harping on about finding something to, and I quote, ‘Bash and stuff.’. Belgarath was deep into his spell book, and we were making good pace. After a while we came to an area that fitted the description we were given from the Loudwater Town Guard, a small ruin off the track.

After a brief search of the surrounding area, which was devoid of anything of interest we headed through the archway that allowed access into the ruins. Zyanne spotted what looked like a tunnel toward the back of the ruins, and headstrong Gregg set off towards it muttering something about getting ‘it’ over and done with. He was quickly reprimanded by Zyanne who has also spotted something else. In inner part of the ruins grounds didn’t seem to fit in with the rest of it, and Zyanne was concerned of how stable the area may be.

Avoiding the centre of the ruins we were able to skirt around the outside and peak into the tunnel, which descended a dozen or so feet below the ruins. Deeming it relatively safe, I suggested our Paladin Delamor descend, as his vision may aid us in determining what might be down there. Upon reaching the bottom Delamor explained that it seemed empty apart and that the light from the tunnel hole was ample for clear sight.

When i reached the bottom, Zyanne was already pressed against the far wall of what seemed like an empty corridor with no exit. As the Wizard and Swordmage Athon were discussing relevant weak points of the structure that a small magical explosion might reap some benefits, we heard a click and a grinding sound as Zyanne had found something. “Shhh!” she mimed, as she slipped through the hidden door, that she had just discovered, and went out of sight.

We all moved slowly towards the door, taking care not to disturb any rubble that lined the floor of the damp corridor. Zyanne poked her head round the door and informed us that the room the door lead to was not empty and has it’s fair share of goblin adversary, and no sooner had she come into view again she was gone, uttering the words “I have an idea.”. Just as we were about to ask ourselves what the hell she was doing, we heard a gut wrenching cry. She had made the goblins aware that we are here, with a sneakily placed dagger. The rest of us ploughed into the room after her.

We entered a room with three pillars where the ground sloped up from the lower level we were on. After a short glance towards the ceiling it was clear from the beams of light that slipped through that we were right to avoid the centre of the ruins above, for we would have fallen quite a feet into this room. The battle was short, yet difficult as the terrain was uneven. Gregg’s usual bravado almost got him into trouble, as we later realised that his death dealing charges had brought him on the verge of falling into a pit. One which seemed to house some rather nasty dogs, as was suggested by the barking and growls we could here echoing around the chamber.

We gathered our things and proceeded to search the room we had just cleared.’

- Aradon Thrall

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