Project Dolphin

S2: Investigation in Maple

After delivering baby Aladdin in Thorn, the party sets off for a small village known as Maple, which Lord Benegard indicated might be the epicenter of a series of unusual disappearances. Upon the party’s arrival in Maple, they notice a Cuthbertine soldier speaking to the Nightwatch and the party overhears that he is bearing news for Ulfang AEthelwulf. The party sneaks by the guards and enters the local tavern. Ulfang immediately begins investigating the disappearances by asking Mister Samson, the head of the local Nightwatch and the deputy of the Sheriff of Hondar. Samson indicates that the women disappeared without a struggle, as if they walked out of town on their own volition. All of the women were young, single, and beautiful. While discussing the investigation with Samson, the party is approached by a halfling member of the Nightwatch named Gared Lightwalker. He suggests that the party speaks to Catherine, a poor woman on the edge of town, whose daughter is of marrying-age. In addition, Gared hands Ulfang a note from his brother indicating that he should head to Hondar to report on his findings in the Ravine. The party thanks the halfling and departs for Catherine’s house.

Catherine indicates that her daughter, Felicia, is infatuated with a local scribe named Martin Laudet, who lives in a cottage not far from the village. The party speaks with Felicia and decides to investigate his cottage. They ride up to his cottage and notice immediately that a wizard’s raven familiar is masquerading among a murder of crows. Tipped off by the unusual sight, the party sneaks up to the house. Ulfang takes the lead while Kazuo and Byrne hide in the forest nearby. Ulfang is invited inside by Martin, who appears kindly and smart. They converse about a variety of topics before Martin goes outside to fetch some herbs for his tea. While alone in the house, Ulfang opens a locked door and discovers a gruesome scene. Once the door was opened, Martin and his familiar are alerted to the intrusion and they prepare to attack. Martin returns to the house and pretends to be ignorant of the intrusion while he casts Summon Monster II. Once his earth element attacks Bryne in the woods, the ruse is over and the fighting begins. Martin is killed in combat with the party.

The party searches his house for evidence. In the locked room, they discover women who are bound and gagged, kept in bird cages. One has had her arm severed off, presumably upon a stone altar at the center of the room. Upon their search, the party inadvertently opens a drawer in the altar containing 4 animated severed left hands and 1 inanimate left hand. The hands attack, clawing the party, before being defeated. Under the final hand is a small alchemical silver dagger.

The party leaves the scene and returns the women to town. Samson suggests that the party reports their findings to a committee in Hondar and Gared Lightwalker reveals that he is a worshiper of Pelor. Gared indicates that if they need any help, he’d be glad to be of service to a good cause. They escort Mary back to Thorn before making their way back through Maple and into Hondar.

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ryancobb

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