A sound night of good rest ended with Gaston practicing his sword techniques before dawn. Within an hour or so, our travelers were fed breakfasts, packed up, and on their way in the final march to Haverford.
As the sun began to set and a cloudy drizzle of rain began to roll in, Haverford came into view. A small camp of refugees had already begun living outside the palisade walls and closed portcullis of Haverford. Our heroes approached the watchtower as archers on the walls looked on nervously. Zavos spoke first with the watchman, explaining the party's intention to look into the problems of the Terror. Harlans words carried additional weight when he presented his Waterdhavian signet and family name, and the portcullis gates were drawn open to allow the entire group entrance. Thaddeus, the watchman, gave seemingly complex directions to the Great Hall where the heroes would find Mayor Creed and Sheriff Blackshield.
The streets were overrun with refugees from other villages. Traversing the village became its own problem, as roadways that once accommodated lanes of wagons were now barely clear enough for a single trail. Families were living out of huts they could assemble in alleyways. These were a beleaguered people, desperate for relief from the Terror
Our heroes arrived at the Great Hall and spoke with both Mayor Creed and Sheriff Blackshield. The mayor asked for the heroes to assist with defeating the Terror, while Sheriff Blackshield asked that the party first show their well-meaning worth by helping with odd tasks about the town. However many tasks the party can complete over the next day, he'll see to it they are outfitted in kind to hunt the Terror.
- Ilse Cormer at the Bashful Ogre Pub has complained of refugees squatting in the tavern’s cellar. Someone needs to show them the door.
- A local trapper named Holt Lightfoot went missing in the forest four days ago. With so many new mouths to feed, the village can ill afford the loss of a skilled woodsman. If Holt is still alive, it’s a fair bet his nephew, Flinn, could help the party find him, as he knows where Holt usually sets his traps. Flinn spends most of his time helping out at the Sleeping Squire Inn.
- The Terror has left so many victims in its wake that the town’s grave digger, Jorbel Wethers, hasn’t been able to keep up with the workload. He could use some strong backs and helping hands.
- Odward Fuller closed his shop three days ago after reportedly seeing a ghost in the storeroom. Now folk all over town are whispering about hearing strange sounds in their beds at night, and even the village watch won’t go near Odward’s shop. What’s needed are some brave souls to discover the truth of the matter, before the town is gripped by hysteria.
- A refugee named Liza Druthers has been struck down by a strange disease that resists all treatment by the village healer. She is tended to by her two children, who have no one else to look after them.
The first task was to rid Odwards Fabrics and the surrounding homes of g-g-g-g-GHOSTS! Odward and others in the area report seeing all manner of apparitions. As the heroes investigated Odwards basement storeroom for an hour, one of the apparitions appeared! But Zavos and Gaston could easily see that this was no real spook, but merely an illusion. A secret door was found near the ghosts' location that lead into The Warrens, an abandoned system of caves and tunnels once inhabited by Gnomes more than 2 centuries ago, and Haverford was built right on-top of them.
As Harlan led the party, the caves became much more labyrinth-like, causing several wrong turns and a few close calls with trapped floors opening to long chutes. As the tunnels were sized for gnomes, combat became very difficult for all but Milburn. Both a battle with giant centipedes and another with some interestingly talkative giant rats proved difficult only in landing blows, but all faced swift defeat once a strike hit its mark.
Close to two-hours had gone by in The Warrens when Harlan made the final turn into an opening. A magically awaken badger paced about the 20×30ft foot room, fearfully murmuring to himself amongst the clutter of broken kitchenware and overturned furniture. The heroes attempted to reason with the badger, even so far as T'sifnori attempting to hug the scared badger as an act of comfort. In the end, however, the badger would not calm itself. Only gibbering in broken gnomish, the badger defended himself with spells as best he could, but the heroes subdued him into unconsciousness. The instant the badger was put down for a nap was the moment all spooky noise and apparitions ceased.
After a search of the room, Harlan easily lead the party to safety back in Odwards storeroom, the illusionary spells vexing the tunnels having been dispelled.
Giant Centipede (2) – Trivial: 150 / 5 = 30 XP
Giant Rat (2), Swarm of Rats – Easy: 200 / 5 = 40 XP
Aratrix (Giant Badger) – Easy: 200 / 5 = 40 + 25 XP for defeat without kill = 65 XP
Decent RP from players: 75 XP