05 August 2007

Interlude – the dead messenger

As I suddenly realized below, I had forgotten to include mention of a mildly significant incident on the party’s second day out from Fort Ryker, before they stopped for the night at the Runestone Ring.

Mea maxima culpa; my notes from the early days of the campaign are pretty sparse. Hopefully I won’t leave out little details like this in the future.

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The Dead Messenger
Shortly after starting out on the morning of their second day out of Fort Ryker, the party will come across a light riding horse munching grass near a lone body lying face down in the ditch. The body is that of a dead adult human male, equipped with leather armour, a shortsword, dagger, and light lance. The horse is saddled and is carrying saddlebags containing three days’ worth of trail rations, two waterskins, and a sealed message purse.

[SPOT DC 15: the corpse, despite its state, can be seen to be wearing more or less the same rig as the messengers that the Party has seen circulating through Fort Ryker.]

[HEAL DC 12: the man seems to have been killed by clawing and bite attacks.]
[SURVIVAL DC 18: these claw and bite marks are not the work of a natural animal; there is a foul stench of decay about them, beyond that which might normally be expected.]
[SURVIVAL/DUNGEONEERING DC 25: this fellow was killed by a Ghoul or a Ghast.]

The message pouch contains a rolled and sealed scroll addressed to the Commander of Fort Riker.

[SPOT DC 15: The “scroll” does not appear to be made of high-quality parchment. The seal, which is poorly-impressed, appears to consist of a stylized frowning face behind a smiling face.]

The scroll is a “town advertisement poster”, written in the Travelling Tongue, in the vernacular of the Bjerglands (see the graphic, above). The verso of the document contains a message, hastily scrawled in black ink: “Fell deeds er afoot. Send help immediate if thou wouldst uphold our accord.” It is signed merely “F. of Bornhavn.”

* * * * *

Needless to say, the Party recovered the scroll, gave the dead messenger a decent burial, and salvaged his kit and his horse. This is the same horse that Breygon later gave to Orkarel Hax following the fight at the abandoned farm.

Okay, loose end tied up. Anal retentive? Maybe, but I just HATE leaving plot hooks dangling around.