27th Dravago, 1004YK
Byron, Dharon, Edric, Nerissa, and Tor arrive in Woodhelm.
There is a massive sawmill and several subsidiary mills nestled within the woods at the north end of town. The mills are powered by the fast-flowing tip of the Dagger river.
The main streets are cobbled, but most of the cross-streets and alleys are dirt or gravel.
Along the western bank of the river are houses and businesses. Across the double-laned stone bridge, itself the only way of crossing the river in Woodhelm, are the more industrial buildings, mostly catering to the needs of the townsfolk themselves rather than the woods- and river-folk who come to town on a regular basis.
With the note signed “I d’T” fresh in mind, the party sought information about the town from a nearby guardsman (Tylo) and his taciturn shifter partner. In addition to seeking information about Woodhelm, the youngsters took the opportunity to notify the Woodhelm officials about the state of affairs in Forest’s Edge.
After being informed that the south-east part of town across the river is considered to be somewhat rough and that Lathan Talrak (as mentioned in the note) is known for acting as a clearing-house for roughnecks and river-guards and that it is strongly suspected, if not provably so, that he also deals with connecting hirers with thugs and bandits.
Our heroes also asked the guards if there are any wizards or alchemists in town who might be able to help with the analysis of something-or-other. Tylo pointed them to an inn further down the river towards the south end of Woodhelm.
Debating briefly about whether the note was meant as information to pursue or simply a threatening warning, the group made their way to The Round (actually called The Heron’s Nest), an inn down near the docks that has been built inside a huge former grain silo.
There they had a hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs, grits, sausage (“I’m a snob about sausage” – Peter Cummuskey, 15/7/2011), freshly baked bread, and small beer.
Their waitress, upon being asked, told the group that the wizard who is staying in The Round had not come down yet and that she would be happy to send word when he does.
Wishing to have a look at the local industry, our heroes walked yet further south towards the pier and locate Narl’s smithy.
Tor purchased a Cannith-standard craghammer and Narissa commissioned an hexblade’s implement of iron.
There, attention was also paid to a mithril rapier hanging on the wall. The shop-keep said that the sword was commissioned by “one of them fancy magic elfs” for the purposes of dueling. The sword itself was bequeathed back to the smithy in the eladrin’s last will and testament, saying only that “it was I that failed, and not your blade” during his dying soliloquy.
The party also took the time to stop in at Taravestian’s
a jeweler that the shop-keep at Narl’s recommended in order to have the ebon ring appraised. Despite Mssr. Taravestian’s well-hidden disdain for backwoods youth, he treated them with courtesy and professionalism and quoted a price of two-hundred and twenty galifars for the ring. After their own appraisal of Mssr. Taravestian’s honesty, the party parted ways with the ring and each pocket forty-four gold pieces.
Rightly thinking that enough time had passed they returned to The Round and found the wizard sitting with his two assistants.
Iazen Temmethi (whose name the group never obtained) is a Hearty and upper-crust burly man of fifty-four years of age. He has a bowl cut of blonde hair with a large bald spot on the back of his head. After inquiring as to whether Forest’s Edge has any interesting frogs nearby, Iazen headed up to his room with the party to take a look at the glowing goop that has been collected. After performing a quick ritual he announced that the goop is comprised of nightsbane, mudwort, and hippogryph gall bladder. He made stout complaints about “bloody useless beasts, bloody hippogryphs! Nothing on a hale and healthy frog, what what!” and said that the techniques used to make the goop went out of fashion about twenty years ago. This coincides with the time that it was discovered that the secretions of the common swamp toad work as a perfect replacement for hippogryph gall bladder in almost every application.
Iazen also said that it is a growth enhancer and that it is highly unstable. In ‘normal’ proportions, he opined that it was probably intended to grow muscle but not overall stature.
Seeking a second opinion – just in case – the party made its way to the hut of an off-duty artificer by the name of Ralvana Mazen. She was suspicious and mistrustful, often bordering on the outright hostile. She is a young human woman in her mid-to-late twenties and is missing the lower portion of her left leg, hobbling around on a peg in place of a shin and foot.
She activated one of her homonculi and used its analysis routines to spit out a psychometric paste which she then ate (and proceeded to vomit in short order).
She said that it is (quite specifically) the result of an experiment twenty-nine years ago, designed to make heavy cavalry heavier and able to run faster for longer while carrying heavier burdens. Unfortunately even the original experiment was unstable, leading to psychotic cannibalistic horses. The program was shut down.
The party took its leave of Ralvana and discussed the next course of action, eventually coming to the conclusion that it would be best to procure rooms at The Round and sleep before seeking out Lathan Talrak on the last day of Dravago.