chrysopoeia

Nothic Whispers

The party awakens to find that several of the leaders in town were waiting for them outside the inn, including Sildar, Gethin, Sister Garaele, and Townmaster Harbin. They inform the party that something happened at the Sleeping Giant happened last night, and the tavernkeep, George, is missing.

 

The Townmaster blames the party, saying if they hadn't bothered the Redbrands, nothing would have happened. Manu disagrees and blames the Townmaster, and Sildar suggests Townmaster Harbin check with the other townspeople to make sure that no one else is missing. Gethin advises he was about to cast a spell to try and locate George, but when he does so, he reports he cannot sense him. The party offers that they've learned the Redbrands seem to be holed up in Tresendar Manor, and Gethin says that it could be that the spell reached its physical limits, and he could try again nearer to the Manor. The party and Sildar agree to accompany him to the Sleeping Giant, while Sister Garaele says she will go check on Felix, who was attempting an augury at the shrine.

 

Outside the taphouse, Gethin tries to sense for George again, but again reports that he cannot sense anything. He says that the spell is blocked by water, so it could be that there's some sort of small creek or something between the taphouse and the manor, or it could be that the Redbrands didn't take George. Nevertheless, Gethin is unwilling to involve himself too closely and does not want to get nearer the manor. Elessi thanks him for his help, but before Gethin leaves, he approaches Delthal, and says that he noticed the dwarf is carrying a relic of some value that Gethin would like to examine when they have time, should they survive the Redbrands.

 

The party goes inside the taphouse to investigate, where they find that the tables and chairs are all thrown over the place, but otherwise there's no significant damage. Behind the bar, there's spaces for missing barrels, but there's still a locked safe under the bar. Manu gets himself a cup of ale and leaves a gold piece on the bar, which Nox promptly attempts to pocket in full view of the party. Elessi and Manu have him put it back. Nox notices it looks like a the furniture was thrown to make a mess, but that there intentionally was not any damage made, nor does it look like a fight. They check the lockbox and shake it, but there's no sound of any movement inside. Manu suggests that George skipped town, rather than being kidnapped. 

 

The party returns to the shrine of luck, where they arrive at the close of the augury. Felix advises he was not able to get a clear answer from Lathander, however. Elessi asks if Felix would like to come along, but Felix says he feels he should stay with the townspeople, should something else happen, or in case George returns and is in need of healing, or if his body is found.

 

The party takes some time to decide on their plan of action, and decides to head to the woods south of the manor, where Manu and Nox scout ahead and find a cave in the cliffside. Manu sneaks back and tries to stealthily lead the rest of the party back to Nox. They encounter a single Redbrand scout, and handily defeat him. They question him, and he says that he didn't take George, but someone else could've. He says that he's heard there's a creepy eye monster in the cave tunnel into the manor, as well as admits that the Redbrands were hired by someone known as the Black Spider to scare people away and intimidate the locals. Manu decides to break his bow, then knocks him out.

 

The party regroups and rethinks their plan, unsure about the 'creepy eye monster'. Finally, they decide to enter the cave and face whatever rumored eye monster may be there. They move stealthily, but soon encounter a nothic, which proceeds to attempt to invade their minds with whispers and attempts to make deals for fresh meat. After a bargain is succeeded, the nothic allows the group to pass through to the stairs.

 

After listening at the next two doors, hearing what sounds like torture in the rooms beyond, they breech one door and quickly dispatch the three bugbears within. As soon as the battle is won, Manu picks up the unconscious goblin in the room, instructs Delthal to carry one of the bugbears, and leads the way back to the crevasse room. Manu finds the nothic and drops the goblin in front of the nothic. The goblin wakes up, screaming "No! No! Droop no deserve this!" and the nothic continues to eat the goblin live. Manu tells the nothic to "pay up". Elessi attempts to cast a spell, but Manu immediately covers her mouth to interrupt her. The nothic continues to eat Droop, who continues screaming and crying. Manu tells the group that he 'needs this'. After a few moments, the nothic finishes with Droop, and eats the bugbear. The rest of the party looks away while Manu waits, and Elessi cries hot angry tears. Once the nothic finishes with the bugbear, it runs off and jumps into the crevasse. Manu moves to follow, and screams at it from the top of the crevasse. Manu falls to his knees and begins to sob.

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