Month B, Day 28
We walked close to the village, it appears they maintain a sparse, yet dense enough spread of trees such that there is a canopy of branches over all of their crops. And yet their crops aren’t dead. Maybe sunlight spells? I’ll have to ask Niramour if those would work, later. There’s a wall around the village, but the gates are wide open; no roads, I wonder if they expect visitors? Inhabitants look human, but they’re not doing anything… didn’t see any farmers, there’re cattle and game in pens inside the village, but no handlers… how are these people sustaining themselves?
There’s a bit of an argument between people who want to be cautious for once and those who think waiting is boring. Obviously, the latter win. Yay. We approach the village in the open, all together. I cringe inside, waiting for the torches and pitchforks.
Nothing. We get inside the gates, and the villagers glance at us, but continue on with whatever they were doing before. I don’t show it (of course) but I’m flabbergasted. All these people look human, but we have a demon and a freaking tengu in our group. At least we’re no longer accompanied by a walking skeleton, but clearly the demographics here are just as skewed as at home. I don’t remember ever seeing a demon before this all began…
In any event, there’s only one inn, again, but at least this time it’s justified by the small population of the town. Doesn’t look like they’d get a lot of custom. Even so, to be surprised when visitors go to the inn is not the most normal of reactions. Whatever, they let us rent a floor, and I was so happy to be in a real bed I collapsed immediately.
Sadly, I didn’t get to stay there for long, as the rest of the group wanted everyone to tag along on their “expeditions”. We went over to the blacksmith/general store, where there was a variety of slapdash weapons and equipment that looked like they had been made by a six year-old. Apparently, Daddy “disappeared” a few months back, and bringing it up shut the kid (proprietor) up quick. For some reason Niramour bought some spears, probably just to make the loser feel better about himself.
There wasn’t much else to see around town, just one weirdly opulent house, and one weirdly opulent temple. Given the average wealth here (renting a floor cost 1.5sp!!), seeing mahogany and marble as building materials is a little surprising. The temple is to some god named Oss or something, who rides around picking fights? They had a library, at least, and a little ink, so I lent some money to Silas for some spell ink, but they only had the one bottle. Ugh.
That night, the “hunting party” returned, with some goblin heads on sticks. Much merriment was had, and I refrained from taking the life savings of three of the younger hunters in a card game, mostly because I wasn’t sure when we were leaving. Silas hit it off well with Joseph though, the “lead hunter” guy, and got a copy of a map from him, which made him choke and run upstairs. He told us later that he’d heard of this place (now defined: demiplane), and what little he’d heard had been bad. Gee, unexpected much?
By this point we’d heard a couple of things about the surrounding area:
-Town name: Treita
-The castle in the “Weeping Lands” is known as “Castle Forlorn”
-~100 years ago, something bad happened.
-There are goblins in the area
-Geography isn’t truly stable around here
-Something seems to be screwing with the townsfolks’ memories
-Villagers occasionally “disappear”. No one is willing to talk about this.
-Priest guy we talked to came from Gedarric (sp?) a year ago
-Mayor “Erebuck” disappeared from the public eye a short time ago and is locked up in his house. No one sees him.
So we decide to maybe check out the latter of those and use some spells and sneaking to investigate his house. We find a guy that looks semi-corpse like in a back room counting money in a ledger book, and not much else besides piles of money. /drool
During this little escapade, however, Liela sees a figure go into the forest a short distance away. After we finish our reconnaissance, we head over to check it out. Somehow, the scent of this guy is indistinguishable, which is weird (apparently. I mean, what would I know about it?) but might be Joseph. Niramour sends Smoke out to follow the trail, and I guess a water clock or something, because he returns exactly on time, not having found anything.
We give up, and head on out to bed.
Month B, Day 29
We go downstairs, no breakfast, and when we mention our plans for the night, we’re asked politely to leave town. A few of the group went to go hit up Joseph for more info, but he seems to have flipped personalities overnight. There is some discussion of dopplegangers and replacements, but nothing comes of it. We also spend a little bit of time testing out the other weird dagger we have, but it shatters. All I can say is, good thing we never relied on it in combat, if it was that fragile.
Month B, Day 30
Joseph and a few of the other hunters are waiting outside the inn when we awaken, offering “last minute services before [we] leave town”. Apparently something Deckard said pissed him off, because he left in a huff. That attitude spread quick, and suddenly the villagers wanted nothing to do with us. Clearly there’s some form of mind control happening. Welp, all the more reason to get out of here then. Too bad, originally I’d thought we could help them out a bit. Jerks.
We walk due north from the village, following the tracks from two nights ago, and camp in the Rope Trick. Once more, there are some feelings of being watched.
Month C, Day 1
The trail we’re following converges with many other tracks, then near the end of the day spread out for a bit before reconverging and disappearing. A close examination of the disappearing point reveals a trap door leading into the hill.