A band of friends, travelling to the town of Escudo in Saragón, stop for the evening in the insular, Ylari town of Estoque some few miles from their destination. They’ve been travelling a while and, with evening turning to night, this small village seems as good as any place to stay. Draigh Veloci the human honourbound fighter, Roen’Thagur the tortle Inheritor and priest of Mother Ocean, Roxy the rakasta swashbuckler bard and Dren Ramos Salazar the elf beastrider archer (fighter), four adventurers in all, visit the only inn in this small town. To their surprize,they are not the only adventurers in the inn this evening. A large party, sent out bu Don Luis de Manzanas himself are currently waiting on their food. Of the twelve patrons aside from the party, only one, an elderly human man named Abdullah, is native to the town.
Abdullah calls the adventurers over, and tell mostly Roen and Dren the story of the town’s most precious item, a Jade Hare. According to the old man, the Jade Hare protects Estoque, much as the Barrier Mask protects Saragón. He invites them to come to the museum in town (his house), to see the hare tomorrow, before drifting off to sleep for a while at the bar.
The leader of the Don’s party, Maria Cordoba, invited the wayward adventurers to dine with them, as the large party has already ordered almost all of the inn’s food anyway. Delicacies of Ylari treated turkey, wild rice, and a mixture of native and imported vegetables sate the two adventuring parties while they chat over dinner. The Don’s party is on a mission to find an artifact, and although Maria cannot conscript them herself, she offers that if they’re interested, they should attempt to make contact with the Don. A young man named Orlando recognizes Draigh’s crest and asks if he’s honourbound. Learning that he is, he attempts to set up a duel between Maria and Roxy, though Maria insists they won’t have the time right now, much to Orlando’s dismay.
ibn Ali, the inn keeper, does his best to see to the comfort of the patrons, but most of the adventurers have to sleep on the floor, as it is clear that the inn isn’t large enough to handle such a large crowd. The early morning sees the Don’s party leave, and our intrepid adventurers having time to bathe, eat and, they expect, continue on their way. After stopping in to the museum to see the fabled Jade Hare, of course. Their plans are suddenly upended when a panicked Abdullah bursts into the inn, exasperatedly shouting “they’ve stolen the Jade Hare!” It’s apparent immediately who’s taken it. A band of goblins prowls the town. The adventurers spring into action to rescue the Jade Hare, but are stopped by some goblins before they can intercept the lead!
After felling the goblin foes, the group look to their tracker to find where the goblins took the Jade Hare, but it turns out Dren is more a tracker in theory than in practice. Thankfully, with the aid of Roen’Thagur’s far sight legacy, they managed to stay in the right direction for some time. As luck would have it, when they lost the trail, they found a merchant named Yusif ibn Ahmad, an animated man prone to falling to his knees and praising or cursing al-Kalim, depending on the news. Upon hearing the precious Jade Hare was stolen, he eagerly offers information regarding a cave where a sorcerer lives, who also has goblin guards. “Likely unrelated.”
The adventurers take no time getting to the cave, and there they find a large entrance full of bats! Wading their way through the mass of angry bats, the group presses inward to find a cave that quickly becomes a well hewn headquarters for the mysterious mage. Inside the hidden hideout, the adventurers encounter goblins, an ill-tempered hobgoblin chef, a goblin and his pet spiders, and two ghouls resting under bags of old millet, who paralyze and almost end the young life of Dren. The goblin barracks proves difficult, but the final meeting with the sorcerer and his bugbear bodyguard Balgoruk provesnearly deadly! The sorcerer is ready for the adventurers, immediately hitting them with a spell that paralyzes everyone save for the elven archer. A chance to turn the tides and perhaps save his friends is passed up in favour of shooting arrows at Balgoruk and showboating, causing the bugbear to run around the cave to come up behind the archer. The sorcerer, in the meantime, casts spell after spell to harm the party and protect himself. Balgoruk’s ax nearly splits Dren in twain, causing the terrified archer to throw millet at the bugbear’s chest and run away. So angry with the disrespect, Balgoruk punches Dren in the face, breaking his nose and knocking him out. But Roen takes the opportunity to fell the bugbear with his red steel mace. Roxy tends to the fallen Dren, making sure he doesn’t die, while Draigh steps into engage the sorcerer. A mirror image spell makes Draigh’s mighty swings all but pointless, but the sorcerer, feeling that a single tap would end his life, disappears and runs off to collect hit things, using invisibility to hopefully escape. Draigh’s war cry legacy stops the invisible sorcerer in his tracks, and a wild, lucky swing finds the sorcerer cut in half!
The room the sorcerer retreated to is an alchemy lab of sorts. There, the adventurers find several unmarked potions, as well as a hastily drank vial of what Roen immediately identifies as Crimson Essence, the materials to produce Crimson Essence, and a note from someone named ‘Balazar’. Tucking the potions, the note and the vial away, the adventurers continue to look for the Jade Hare. Draigh finds a key on the body of the sorcerer, as well as a red steel dagger. The key leads to a treasure room that is protected by a gargoyle! Dren shatters his sword on the creature’s hide, while Roxy’s blades cannot penetrate the skin. Draigh uses the red steel dagger to pierce the creature and, while it cries out, Roen finishes the creature before it can fell any of them. Along with the Jade Hare, the adventurers find a haul of coins and various treasures! The adventurers hastily return to Estoque to find elated townsfolk. The travelling merchant Yusif ibn Ahmad announces that today will be a celebration, and the inn keeper Ali whips up his greatest delicacies, while Yusif provides exotic spices for the food and some of his personal stock of tej (a style of mead).
What lies in store for our intrepid adventurers remains to be told…
Secret GM Notes and Preparation!
Surviving the goblin barracks
Dren is about to die!