Episode 4 - The Countess of Chantelle

The first poisoning attempt by Jesse the red-haired elvan barmaid, did not succeed. She gives the Sorcerer the ol’ evil eye when she passed by, because he lied to her and told her to feed him the wrong mushrooms to the pirate.

Cleric wandered off to Lucie’s house, where he did some “healing” for her. As to what type of healing he did on her, we will leave that up to the imagination. The Cleric wanders back to the outpost, and the adventurers gather together to talk about the day’s events and what to do. They decide they should probably go to Harriette the Chemist’s shop and take a look around.

The get to Harriette’s shop and ask her if she knows what these scrolls and potions are that they found in the caves. She tells them the potions are ethers that restore a spell per day. THe scrolls, however, are written in very complicated script, and they are ingredients for alchemy. She could transcribe them into laymen’s terms, but she would need a few days to do it. They leave the items with her and head back to the outpost to ask the pirate more questions, passing Jesse on the way out, who gives the Sorcerer another dirty look.

Just then, they hear a choking sound coming from the cell. The jailer quickly opens the door and tries to help the pirate. It does not appear he is choking, so the guess is he is dying of poison. At least that’s what the Sorcerer guesses.

Rogue, gets up and runs as fast as he can towards Harriette’s Alchemy shop. He gets there and charges through the door.

Rogue runs in, “Quick, I need an anti-poison antidote.”

Harriette fumbles around and asks who got poisoned? He says the poison potion is needed for the Paladin. Harriette thinks for a moment and says she doesn’t believe him. The Paladin was just here a few seconds ago. How could he be poisoned? The Rogue breaks down and tells Harriette it’s for the pirate, and they need him to be alive because he might have information about the wherebouts of Jewel.

She looks at the Rogue. Rogue looks at her. She looks back at the Rogue. Rogue looks back at her….

Meanwhile, at the outpost, the pirate is dying and in agony. Cleric continues to cast cure light wounds on Hernandez, but he does not know how long he can keep it up. As he nearly exhausts his spells, Rogue bursts into the door with the supposed anti-poison potion. He wonders if this potion really is an anti-poison potion, or is this town really full of trecherous vipers who kill without regard?

Hernandez drinks the purple concoction, and after a minute of gaging, he finally stabilizes, holding his stomach and curling into a fetal position as he does.

Fighter and Paladin decide to go to the bar and arrest Jesse. They burst into the bar, and tell Jesse she is under arrest for the poisoning of Hernandez. Duncan the bartender and tavern owner says that is ridiculous, and they shouldn’t be taking the side of the pirates and turning on the townspeople. Jesse says she did not poison the pirate. The Paladin and fighter both roll a bluff check and fail miserably. Both then decide to arrest the cook Michele and Jesse, which are then dragged off through the town towards the outpost, with much of the townsfolk in tow.

At the outpost, the situation is quickly deteriorating. There are a lot of pissed off townsfolk outside, and the town elders have a hard time deciding if they actually are going to throw two prominent and very popular members of Hope into the slammer. Besides, Gilbert wonders, do they actually have any proof that either Jesse or Michele were both responsible. Michele could have cooked a very nice meal, and given it to Jesse to be delivered, only to have Jesse add in her very own fine sauces or powder. Or, Michele could’ve added in the trecherous ingredients, and not told Jesse about it. The Fighter then asks if the Pirate had any food allergies, and immediately, Jesse and Michele say that yes, they are SURE he had allergies to some, if not all of their ingredients. The crowd outside start to chant “execution! execution! Down with pirates!” The Fighter, then decides to swing a deal to save them all. They would take Hernandez off the townspeople’s hands. He would travel with them, and he’d be their responsibility, and he would help them find Jewel. If he was helpful, he will have earned his freedom. In return, Jesse and Michele were free to go, without any formal charge filed against them. This sounded agreeable to all involved, and so, it was done.

After the crowd dispersed, the adventurers go back to the mine to grab the mirror, killing two Kobalds along the way. They get to the old wizard’s lab, and the girl in the mirror ask who is trying to find her? before being stuffed into a bag.

They get back to the town, and their wagon is packed. Refugees from both the town of Lyons, which had been hit by the pirates, and travellers wishing to return to Chantelle start to gather their bags for the long journey. Jimmi, a tall strapping boy who used to work in the lumberyards, asks if he can join them. He can provide guard duty. His friend Keith said he’d also like to join. The adventurers agree, as more stuff is packed into their carriage. Sara the gardener, a young woman who’s long brown hair touched her lower back, also asked to join the adventurers, offering her services as a gardener to the crew. She had fought bravely against the pirates, and the group felt liek she could be of help.

Jesse then visits the adventurers, who are about to take off for the town of Chantelle. She also asks if she can join, in which immedietly, Hernandez protested. The rest of the adventurers agree with his assessment. She had tried to poison someone, and there was no way they were going to allow her to travel with them. Them trusting her with their food was just not going to happen. Jesse is saddened by this but accepts their decision.

Finally, Emerson the Blacksmith said that he could use a little vacation, and his son can probably take care of business for a little while. The adventurers decide to allow him to go along with them, as his skills might be useful.

The rest of the refugees say their goodbyes and thank you’s, and the people head out of town, past the lumberyards, and west, chasing the setting sun on their way to Chantelle, and what other adventures lie ahead….

There are monsters in the forests between Hope and Chantelle. Most of them in the Honey Forest, however are harmless. There are these persistent little dogs, however. The best way to describe them would be they are wild Dachund dogs, so they have that long body, bred for going after digging animals. But what makes them distinct are their red ears. These ears are covered in fine red feathers. The Chynchoad, a common pest found around the Honey Forest, are one of the only dogs to have feathers. And they can be pesky and brave. But they do not fly. The adventurers ran into several of these along the way, and besides trying to grab the children, and other objects from the entourage heading towards Chantelle, really did not cause much concern. Plus, they made a good source of meat when they needed to feed all the refugees.

The Neantherals, a primitive looking human, and one that appears far stronger, were of concern, however. The wizard, in his travels through the world, had read about these creatures. It is said that they were part of the Almighty’s creation, who were suppose to help mankind, but after the fall of Eden, they too also became corrupted by sin, and are now savage beasts, incapable of understanding humans. Referred to as “Neeners” by some of the less politically correct, they carry primitive weapons and fashion their clothes out of the hides and skins of wild animals they hunt. A few were encountered along the road west. But as a large group, travelling together, the Neantherals did not dare attack, much to the relief of the road weary travellers.

About two hours into the trip west, the group turned north, overlooking the Gorgon Valley, a lush valley known for its Truffalo, good, fertile soil, and of course, it’s Gorgon, far to the north. They would have to cross this valley to get to Chantelle. Pantheron, a tiger-like wildcat with sharp tusk-like teeth, were the first to attack the group at the valley’s edge, just before they headed down to the valley. Luckily, no one was hurt.

The Valley was also home to a ginat snail called the Glooper. Resembling and being the same size as a large monitor lizard, it had tall eyestalks and two hand like appendages, and a very large shell with spikes protruding from the back. This gave the party some challenges. It is a highly agressive creature, that detects sound very easily, and it is immune to sneak attacks because of it’s back shell. There were numerous Gloopers in the valley, and they attacked often.

As the group travelled up the valley, the monsters seemed to multiply. The Truffalo is a bull-like bovine, so aptly named because dieting on the sugary grass of the Gorgon Valley gave the meat a very distinct sweet taste, almost like eating a truffle. The easily agitated Truffalo were put to good use by Rogue, however, when a dancing lights spell placed in the middle of a group of Truffalo made them charge and kill an agressive group of Gloopers.

In the middle of the valley, a ginat Plumpkin patch was seen and, the group thought, best avoided. These evil Jack o’ Lanterns shot flaming seeds from their mouths, and their halloween-like cackle could unnerve someone very easily.

As the group approached the town of Chantelle, an old grizzled Dwarven Fighter and a human Monk came out to greet them. They had also been refugees, but instead fled to Chantelle. They were part of the group trying to gather allies to retake back the town of Lyons from the pirates and were glad to see more people ready to join the resistence movement.

Note: Dwarven Fighter is a new player we picked up since the Paladin got a job and decided he couldn’t play on Friday nights any more.

Chatelle is an affluent and wealthy town. It is a tourist hotspot, and probably the only South Caitonia town most commoners and nobles knew by name. The famous architecture, fertile farmland, and location at the bottom of a majestic mountain, overlooking a gorgeous valley made it a destination of choice for those nobles who wanted to get away from the everyday rigors of ruling people. And it was here that the working class fled when their town was overrun by the pirates.

Most of the affluent part of town didn’t really care one way or the other about the commoners. They just figured their own guards would take care of the problem if trouble got too close, so the cries of the downtrodden largely got ignored. Chief among them was Lady Genevieve, also known as the Countess of Chantelle. She married a noble, who spent most of his days talking politics, partying, and socializing with his friends and acquantences in Catonia City, far to the north, trying to buy influence, and furthering their family name or whatever nobles of high order do.

This left Genevieve to tend to their castle in Chantelle, and the Countess spared no expense in turning it into one of the most talked about dream homes in the kingdom. Parties with nobles were thrown in the castle on special occasion, and to get an invitation to one of these extraviganzas, you were considered very lucky.

But bored with just being a socialite, Genevieve also used her money and influence to shape, coerce, and bully the town into the image she had in mind. No longer were the small and large houses scattered together, but now there was a section up on a small ridge where all the wealthy wine owners and influential people resided, and the rest of the town below that, a place of have nots, the working class, and the petty criminals. It was said that if you wanted to go through the proper channels to get something done, you would talk to the town councilmen. But if you wanted to get something done faster, you needed to get a meeting with the lady.

As the adventurers pulled into the town, it seems as though a significant weight was lifted away from some of the townsfolk. Hugs and tearful embraces filled the entrance to Chantelle, as villagers ran to greet their family, who had been scattered through the countryside due to the pirate invasion.

As people thanked the adventurers, some gave them money, while others, who had nothing to give, thanked them profusely.

The Rogue headed towards the tavern immediately, while the others unpacked. Hernandez, not wanting to attract too much attention, decided he would probably best fit in by laying low in the carriage. One of the townsfolk had found a large, piece of dog leather, woven into a carriage covering. Hernandez was sheltered from the rain in there, and had the gardener’s and blacksmith’s work tables to keep him company.

The town of Chantelle, like most other towns, had a main street, where the shops and other places of business kept themselves. A single merchant yelled out that he was looking for anything Plumpkin related, flowerpots, flesh, or seeds, because his mother needed it to make her famous Plumpkin Pie. He could also, if they asked, give him a piece of Plumpkin for free, and in turn, he would tell them an interesting fact about the Ranson Hills area, which many adventurers find themselves in. Cleric thought about that deal, and backed away, thinking he could get that information elsewhere.

At the tavern, there was a gathering of people. So the adventurers decided to go there to see what it was about. They met Smokey, a resident of the invaded town of Lyons. He was organizing a resistence movement, but it wasn’t going very well. The people would not join up if they didn’t have any weapons, and without weapons, they had nothing they could practice. According to reports, Lyons had around 20 pirates guarding it, with more on the way from the port town of Stormfrost, about a day’s journey to the west from the Dew Bridge. They needed weapons, and true weapons like swords, not the clumsy farm implements they had been practicing with. The pirates had better equipment than them, and many in the town were afraid their foolhardy attempt would just get them killed. Worst yet, their pleas had fallen on deaf ears, and Lady Genevive had close to 20 soldiers at her castle, and wouldn’t even spare one to help them take back their town. Such was their lot in life. The people told the adventurers that maybe the Countess would listen to you. After all, they had brought some of the people back and people were talking in the town and calling them heroes.

Two of the peolpe in the group, who were brothers, said they also had a job for the adventurers. They usually went out to kill the Plumpkins because they were a nusiance and caused trouble for travellers travelling into their town. But because they were so busy trying to organize the restence movement, they had let the large Plumpkin patch in the middle of the valley grow too large, and now it was totally out of control. They needed someone to go and kill all the Plumpkins, and in exchange, they would give the adventurers a special piece of armor their uncle wore during his youth – a leather coat, scaled with shells from a Glooper.

At the tavern, Rogue saw a kid try and post a job to the bulletin board. Apparently, some bandits from the Ransom Hills took all his goats, and Goat Herder Ennis would be raging mad when he found out. Rogue helped the kid post the message, but said he didn’t know if they would have time to help him.

While taking stock of what they had for equipment and weapons, Smokey then asked the Cleric if he wouldn’t mind doing a particular job for him. He wanted to keep it private, so he wanted the adventurers to help, instead of anyone from the town. He wanted to populate his farmer’s field with snails. When asked why, Smokey said it was because he didn’t want his field to grow into a Plumpkin field, and these snails would eat the magical energies emanating fromt he ground and help them grow into normal pumpkins. A bluff check by the wizard told the group that Smokey wasn’t entirely being truthful. But in order for them to know whathe was talking about, they would have to see the snails. They asked him why he didn’t do it himself, in which he replied he didn’t want his competition to see what types of snails he used. A miserable bluff check result told them he was totally telling the truth.

Reluctantly, the Cleric agreed, took the bag, and for the next half an hour, the group decided what they should do. Should they not do it and just tell Smokey they did it? Could they trap him and get him arrested? But the bag was in their hands now. Could they even prove that Smokey gave them this job, or if the snails were in fact, his?

Heading back towards the group, Rogue spotted a wealthy looking man grumbling to himself while sitting in his cart. He approached the man and asked how it was going. Richard replied that life sucked, and he was thinking about killing himself. He is, or was a procurer for Lady Genevieve, and she hired him to procure her a Soul Jem, one of the rarest and most expensive gems in the entire kingdom. But he had only begun to find out where to get one when she fired him. Now his wife will kill him for not having a job, and he was wondering what to do.

Sara, being at the bar this whole time, came up with a young Elvan woman named Jerica she had been talking with. Sara told the adventurers that Jerica was sick and tired of working in the kitchen at the tavern, and wanted to take her sister, nephew and niece to Nephilim Falls, a waterfall about an hour west of Chantelle, in the Ransom Hills. She had promised to take her nephew and niece forever, and work just kept demanding more and more of her time. But the Ransom Hills could be dangerous, and she needed people to protect her while going there. The Cleric said that he would try and fit it in the schedule, but couldn’t promis anything. After all, they were trying to figure out what they would do with this bag of snails.

Then the Wizard decided to show the snails to Sara. She might know what these snails do and just how much they “help” a garden. Sara took the bag, and immediately, she gasped softly. “These snails are REALLY harmful to a garden,” she exclaimed. “They will eat all the nutrients out of the soil, and you won’t be able to grow anything for close to 2 years after that! Please, wherever you got them, throw them away!” The good thing though, she noted, is they reproduce very slowly. (I put this little fact in just in case the adventurers decided to spread the snails everywhere and turn the area into a desert wasteland in a few years. )

The adventurers discussed it more, and finally decided they would not go ahead with Smokey’s request. Sara told them to please be careful with those snails, because they were extremely harmful and to not accidenly release them somewhere. The Cleric decided to give Sara the snails, and she responded by immediately tossing them on a nearby rock and crushing them all underfoot. The Cleric looked at the slime and wondered if he could harvest any slime oil from the crushed snails, but found out he could not because these were not the right type of snails (Gloopers).

After taking inventory, the adventurers decided to head to the Countess’s house and tyr to convince her to lend them a few soldiers. As they head in that direction, Richard, the unemployed procurer, asks if he can join them. He is a procurer of rare and wonderous items, and he also has an unused carriage. He can also help obtain better quality items from their monster kills. The group overwhelmingly agrees, and they head up the hill, to the rich affluent area.

As they pass by rows and rows of large houses, a somewhat familiar face greets them. They ask who this older couple is, and they say they are the Sorcerer’s parents, and where is sorcerer. Rogue tells them he’s masturbating furiously. (Sorcerer was not with us this week) They asked if they had a place to stay yet, and since the Rochon family was away, and he was the chief butler of the house, that the group was free to stay in their mansion.

The Rochons are a very wealthy family, and make their money from the vineyards in Lyons. They are best known for making Chalet Wine, which is a moderately priced wine enjoyed through the region as a casual, yet good wine.

The group thanks Sorcerer’s parents, and heads for the Countess’s castle. As they approach, their eyes widen as the most beautiful, meticulously kept garden spreads before them at the entrance to the castle. The lady seemed to spare no expense, and was in stark contrast to the much less wealthy neighborhood they came from.

The guard standing at the door, did not let them in, so they had to decide what they could do. Lady Genevieve was not a lady who liked to be disturbed, or liked having her time wasted.

They backtracked to the Sorcerer’s parent’s house, and asked if there was a way his dad (Mr. Sorcerer) could put in a good word for them so that they could see the countess. They figured, after all, he was a butler to the Rochon family, and Lady Genevive, if not familiar with him personally, would at least be familiar with the Rochon family name. The father agreed happily, and after some haggling, finally convinced on of the guards to at least mention to the countesss that the people from Hope were here to see her.

The guards finally got the OK, and let everyone in, where their eyes feasted on the spendor of the house. If the outside of the house had any compentition as to what was the most luxurious location they’ve ever been, the insode of this house would be that competition.

After waiting in the big room, they were led to a smaller more private room, where several ladies with swords drawn walked and stood in a row in front of them. After awhile, one of them announced: “The Countess will now hear you”. From behind the wall, out stepped Lady Genevieve.

Lady Genevieve was dressed in a tight little outfit, and wearing a long coat. Though the style of dress she was wearing was casual, the materials looked extremely rare and expensive. She eloquently thanked them for being nice enough the bring some of the refugees back to Chantelle, and then enquired as to what they were there to see her for. The Cleric started to give an impassioned speech as to the pirate problem and why she should send her soldiers to help them fight off the pirates. She asked them how many pirates there were, and the adventurers told her there were about 20 in Lyons, and perhaps more on the way. She commented on how she had about 20 troops in her castle alone, and asked them why she should send any soldiers when she was safe and protected in her castle? The adventurers try to clumsily convince her it would be better to send the pirates a message before they bring the fight to her door. She asked about pirate activity, and how many they had encountered on the way to the town, and their answer of “none” did not convince the countess that there was any danger at all. She asked if they had seen any carts overturned or any signs of people being mugged. This led the adventurers to further enquire what she was talking about. She revealed to them that her jewelcrafter had gone missing recently, and that she was carrying an item worth a lot of money to her. The lady asked what direction they came from. The Wizard (or Rogue) remarked at how she did not know what direction Hope was, which she got annoyed at them because she does not usually remember the names of every insignificant town around here.

The Cleric then decided to try and make a deal with her. They would try to find her lost jeweler, and in exchange, she would help them by sending troops to help them reclaim Lyons. She began to say something, when the Rogue interrupted her and suggested she throw in additional swords, armors, and items for the invasion. Lady Genevieve then wagged her finger at Rogue and told him to shut up, as no one interrupts her, and she found him very rude. She said the deal was this: She would give them three soldiers if they did these three tasks.

1) They will find the missing item.
2) They will return her jeweler to her safely. She is not easily replaced.
3) They will kill everyone involved that forced this unspeakable inconvenience for her.

Also, Gregory, a trusted Ranger and tracker under her employ, will help them track her down. She asked them if they had a deal or not. After discussing it among themselves, the adventurers decided to take her deal. The Lady was pleased with the decision, and then clapped her hands. Four beautiful, scantily dressed ladies appeared in front of them. She said that if they wanted, they could stay at the Lapin Ranch. The ladies here were all tested, and free of how do you say – ze clape, unlike Sorcerer’s father. The Cleric said his morals would not allow it, and the Wizard and Dwarf Fighter did not trust the ladies, so it was all up to the Rogue to take all four in one night.

They decided to spend the night in town and wake up early the next morning to begin looking for the lady’s jeweler.

Setting out early in the morning, they get ready to leave. They decide to leave the rest of the party (Sara the gardener, Emerson the Blacksmith, Hernandez, Jimmi and Keith) to guard the carriage in town. No sense putting them in danger. They deide to, however, bring along the Procurer Richard, and his horse cart.

The adventurers head up north, and as they predicted, they find a cart overturned, with two soldiers dead beside it, Gloopers absorbing their insides slowly. After fighting off the Gloopers, they exampine the broken cart’s contents, and see a jeweler’s table inside. They take the table and put it into the procurer’s cart, and Gregory finds a bunch of footprints heading west. Following the trail, the adventurers find themselves near a cave. They decide to leave the cart with Gregory and take the procurer along with them, since he can help them find better loot.

Heading into the caves, they encounter various traps of Kobald design, which they spring and keep as loot. They fight their way heroicly to the end of the cave complex, where they hear the screams of a young halfling woman. The Rogue sends his crow to look ahead of the cave complex, while the rest of the party fights off a ham fisted surprise attack by several Kobalds.

A final fight ensues with the Kobald Wyrmpriest, armed with a Serpent Rod. The Serpent Rod poisons the Wizard, and he nearly dies, while the fire spell unleashed from it burns the fighter. As the fight winds down, the Wyrmprienst begs for mercy and surrenders in the middle of the fight. The Fighter will have none of it, however, and decides to splatter the brains of the Wyrmpriest all over the cave’s floor. The rest of the party is a bit annoyed at him. They could’ve interrogated the Kobald leader, and he could’ve given tehm information as to why so many Kobalds seemed to have been popping up around the area lately.

The Jeweler, named Francine, is glad to see them. She reaches down her pants and takes out what appears to be a glowing jewel of many colors. It is a Soul Jem, and is one of the rarest and most valuable jems in the world. It contains the power of all the elements, and can be put into armor to protect the wearer from all types of elements. Francine tells the adventurers she had never had to go through such humiliation, and it is a good thing that her boyfriend is huge, or she would have never been able to hide that jewel from those Kobalds! She had been brought here by the Kobalds, where they forced her to work long hours making bad jewelry and giving her horrible quality raw materials. Then they would take the jewels away to sell them to whatever people were dumb enough to buy them.

There was also a chest next to the makeshift table they set up for her. After fidgeting around with the lock, and trying to find a key on the other Kobalds, the lock was eventually opened, and inside, were three other brand new Serpent Rods. These were also flimsily made, and looked like one use items, to be discarded when all their charges were used up.

The adventurers looted what they could, and mostly ended up with a lot of Dog Leather, the primary Kobald armor made up of the skins of the local Chynchoad dog.

They stayed the night in the wilderness next to the cave.

*DM Note: The sorcerer decided to abandon his old character and create a Monk. So the Monk was with them for the above encounter.



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