PART 5: RECOVERY AND PLANNING IN HOMMLET (Flocktime 578 CY)
5.1 Return to Hommlet (Flocktime 8th)
The weary adventurers — Erik (the mountain dwarf fighter from the Lortmils), Althaea (the high elf wizard from the city of Tringlee), and the brothers Godric (the human rogue from the Barony of Shiboleth) and Cedric (the human cleric of St. Cuthbert) — return to the village of Hommlet from their ill-fated expedition to the ruined Moathouse. They carry with them the body and head (sadly now separated from each other by a lice-ridden bugbear) of Elmo. Arriving around midnight, the party first takes Elmo’s body to the Church of St. Cuthbert. However, Brother Calmert informs the party that Elmo was a follower of the “Old Faith,” and instructs them to take the body to the village’s druidical grove.
The village’s Old Faith leader, the elderly Jaroo Ashstaff, accepts Elmo’s body and thanks the party. Althaea praises Elmo’s valour and promises to donate an equal share of the loot recovered from the expedition to Elmo’s family. After learning about what has transpired at the Moathouse, Jaroo tells the party that he plans to call a meeting of the Hommlet Village Council.
The beleaguered party returns to the Inn of the Welcome Wench, wherein Erik orders six pints of Underdeep Ale for himself, and six pints for his colleagues to share. The group then retires to their room where they collapse in weariness.
5.2 Business in Hommlett (Flocktime 9th)
The following day Cedric returns to the Church of St. Cuthbert. There he meets with Canon Terjon. Cedric updates his senior on all that they’ve discovered at the Moathouse. Terjon tells Cedric that Jaroo Ashstaff has called for a Village Council meeting on the morrow, and that the party should attend.
Althaea and Godric go the Traders’ Establishment. There they meet with the two oleaginous Oeridian merchants, the rotund Rannos Davls and the spindly Gremag. After some negotiations, the party agrees to trade a number of their recovered items (the gold and silver necklaces, a chain shirt, some quartz stones, and the like) for store credit. The wizard and rogue negotiate 50 gold coins in credit and give 10 to Hroth (Elmo’s father). Also purchased: a mule, four pouches filled with flour (requested by Althaea to deal with potential invisible creatures), two bedsheets, and a waterskin filled with four pints of oil. Godric is somewhat annoyed by the amounts paid by Althaea to the traders.
Erik talks to Smyth the smith. The dwarf requests a number of “thin” shields to cover arrow slits and the like. Smyth agrees to make some tin shields to Erik’s specifications.
In the afternoon the party reconvenes in the Inn and divides up the remaining coins from their expedition to the moathouse and battle with the gnolls and bugbears. The innkeeper Ostler Gundigoot overhears Althaea and Godric complaining about their interactions with the merchants. Gundigoot advises the party that Nira Melubb, the moneychanger, will buy gems and jewelry on fairer terms than will Davls and Gremag.
As is his wont, Erik purchases several pints of Underdark Ale for the party and invites Zert the swordsman to join them. The scruffy, tough-looking mercenary happily partakes of some free ale. Althaea notices an odd pair in the common room: a robed Bakluni and a hulking hairy warrior. Despite their distinctiveness, little information about them is obtained from the other partrons, including Zert.
Althaea then purchases an exquisite seven-course meal for everyone, including Zert. Godric discerns that Zert is strangely evasive when the topic of the village of Nulb is raised; according to Zert, nobody ever goes to that “rotten hole.” Zert prefers to speak of his recent jobs as a mercenary, accompanying caravans to his hometown of Dyvers to the northeast, the gnomish hold of Gneissvale to the west, the elvish realm of Celene to the south, and the various free cities of the Wild Coast to the east.
Seeing the party enjoying themselves over piles of food and pints of ale, the half-elf Furnok approaches the party but is rebuffed with great alacrity. Eventually Zert stumbles off to bed, and the party retires for the evening.
5.3 The Council of Hommlet (Flocktime 10th)
The town council meeting is attended by the leaders of Hommlet: Jaroo (Druid of the Grove); Terjon (Canon of the Church of St. Cuthbert); Ostler Gundigoot (the innkeeper); Mytch (the miller); Burne (the wizard, representative of the Vicount); and Rufus (associate of Burne and military leader of “Burne’s Badgers”). (Not present is Hroth, the leader of the militia, who is grieving over the death of his son Elmo.)
Cedric recalls his divinely inspired dream of an evil foe of St. Cuthbert arising again, his experience at the Shrine of Istus, his long journey from the Gran March, and so forth. Also mentioned is the party’s ambush by bandits during their trip from Verbobonc to Hommlet, the strange pebble carried by the bandit leader, their expedition to the Moathouse, their various battles, and the like.
Amazed and dismayed by all this news, the Council asks the party to “cleanse” the Moathouse of the evil that has re-infested it. The Council gives the party some healing potions, taken from the Church of St. Cuthbert, and a suit of splint mail from Rufus’s supply. Burne provides the spell “See Invisibility” to Althaea. Additional rewards are promised should be party succeed in its mission.
5.4 Preparing to return to the Moathouse
Following the Council meeting the party retires to The Welcome Wench and deliberates over whether to hire anyone to aid in their mission. Cedric goes to the Church to reflect and meditate, while Godric speaks with the fledgling mage Spugnoir. The latter agrees to join the party on the condition that he receives all arcane scrolls that are recovered; he has no interest in any other treasures. Later, Althaea meets with Spugnoir, and provides the squeaky young man with the spells “Mage Armour” and “Magic Missile.” After spending several hours inscribing these spells into his grimoire, Spugnoir joins the party for dinner.
Zert enters the inn and joins the party as they dine. Erik cheerily buys several pints of Umberdark Ale for the gruff swordsman and asks him to join the party on their upcoming mission. Godric and Althea make a more precise offer: an equal share of all non-magical treasure found in the Moathouse. Zert agrees. Cedric joins the discussion and asks Zert about his faith. The swordsman claims to be a follower of Kord, which delights Erik, as Kord is one of the few non-Dwarven deities that Erik respects (in contrast to the “kill-joy” St. Cuthbert).
With two additional members of their company – Spugnoir and Zert – the party heads off to the Moathouse early the next day (the 11th of Flocktime).
[Pictures from the original T1 module by David Trampier.]
[Campaign index -- including earlier log entries -- here.]