Hammer Faster

Bankers, Cultists, and Bar Flies
Questions and answers around Hammerfast

Galwick offers to put up the party for the night at a place called Rondall’s Inn. Galwick offers Rondall a few coins and the party then decides to go to the Trade Bank of Hammerfast to discuss the remains of their employees, zombified and attacking people on the roads. Rondall gives the party directions to go to the north to the trade ward and ask around from there.

The party finds the bank and talks to one of the managers, an older dwarf. The party explains that they came across the zombified remains of some of their employees. The dwarf explains that the employees were bringing back a loan repayment from the city of Fallcrest. The party discusses offering to investigate what happened to the shipment, with Lyaevel and Hellion more interested in the possible Orcus connection.

The dwarf manager, Ranklo, is the uncle of Galwick. Ranklo provides the manifest of their lost shipment to the party. The party decides to go to the temple of Moradin to ask if they’ve heard anything about cultists of Orcus in the nearby areas.

A young dwarf greets the party at the temple and listens to the party describe the fight along the road. The dwarf priest says that they’ve heard of similar things happening, cultists waylaying travelers on the roads, concentrating on the more affluent appearing caravans and travelers, but they don’t know where they might be operating out of, aside from the fact that they seem to be coming from the north. Lyaevel thanks the priest, as Graven and Jarveth stop to make a brief prayer and tithe to Moradin.

The party comes back to the inn, but hears shouting from the area before it comes in sight. It seems there’s a bar brawl as a couple of humans come tumbling out of a door. Graven approaches the loser of the fight and offers his assistance. The place is called the Foundation Stone and the fight’s loser brings the party in to show them around. The place looks like a big tavern, with people throwing daggers at target dummies and a pit for a game called Giant’s Feet.

On buying the human a drink, the party notices that the bar is a giant block of stone, covered in maps of all sorts. Lyaevel asks the human (named Buck) if he’s heard of any bandits on the roads or the like. The human suggests that the party talk to Ilara, an Eladrin throwing daggers nearby who has apparently run into the cultists of Orcus before.

Ilara says that she might have heard that they could have taken up residence in a keep called the dungeon of the Fire Opal. Ilara challenges the party to throw daggers. If the party wins, she’ll help the party learn more about the cultists. Hellion takes up Lyaevel’s dagger and they trade throws, ending up tied after five throws, but on the first sudden death throw Ilara wins out.

Jarveth plays a round of Giant’s Feet with Buck and wins handily before the party heads back to the inn to rest.

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Caravans and Dead Men
The risen dead plague commerce

The group begins at the Five League house and overhears talk from some caravan employees about how some caravans have gone missing on the road to Hammerfast, They don’t know what’s caused it. Graven speaks up, suggesting that caravans don’t just go missing. Hellion speaks up and asks if they’d be interested in having the group help escort this caravan to Hammerfast. One of the human teamsters goes to collect the caravan master, who is more than happy to have some extra guards along. They set out immediately.

The first day passes without incident, the dwarven caravan master telling the group that he’s got a cargo of hydra blood bound for Hammerfast that will likely be used for healing potions.

On the second day, the group comes across the broken remains of two other wagons with several bodies around. Lyaevel and Jarveth moved forward to investigate further when they were attacked as the bodies rose from the ground. Lurking in the treeline to either side of the road were skeletons.

Lyaevel strikes down a skeleton and Jarveth mows down two zombies, but two more drag themselves from the pile of bodies and prepare to attack. Hellion charges the remaining skeleton in the treeline, but in the undead versus undead battle, Hellion fails to obliterate the dead archer. Jarveth smashes another zombie into the dirt and climbs onto into the ruins of one of the wagons to engage another. Two living men appear out of the underbrush and with hurled daggers, draw blood from both Jarveth and Hellion. Lyavel rushes to the wagons and obliterates another zombie with a crushing sweep of his fullblade, sending the adjacent zombie staggering backwards.

Graven destroys one more zombie and, in a flash of runes, sends healing energy towards the bloodied and battered Hellion. Hellion then drains the animating energy from the remaining skeleton and, unusually, one of the living men seems to order the last zombie to refrain from attacking. Jarveth rushes away from the ruined wagons to flank one of the humans with Hellion, smashing him to the ground but unable to kill him.

The human bandits tried to retaliate, but missed with their attacks. Lyaevel leapt over the wagon and brought a crushing blow on one of the humans. The last remaining zombie threw itself between the blade and the human, but Lyaevel nearly killed the human anyway in addition to destroying the zombie utterly. Graven rushed forward and finished the human off with a mighty sweep of his spear. Hellion gravely wounded the last enemy, as did Jarveth, but he didn’t go down just yet.

The human whispered to Hellion, entreating the vampire to join him. When Hellion rejected the offer, the human attacked but was unable to strike. Lyaevel sprinted across the battlefield, ducking under a clumsy attack of opportunity from the lone enemy before striking him down with an almost casual backhanded sweep of his blade.

Upon searching the bodies, the group finds that both humans were wearing holy symbols of Orcus as well as a map of the area and a note. The note described the caravan master Galwick, who professed to know no reason why they would be after him. It was pointed out that the hydra’s blood might be a good enough reason to go after him, given Galwick’s statement that it was worth a fair penny. The tattered remains of the zombies’ clothing showed symbols of The Trade Bank of Hammerfast, probably the biggest bank or lender in Hammerfast.

After a short rest the party and the caravan continued onwards, skirting the destroyed wagons, but the remainder of the trip was uneventful. Upon entering the city, Galwick paid the group 200gp, happy to have had their service for the trip.

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