Ah, welcome back to our Dungeon’s and Dragon’s 5E adventure write up, I’m your host Tallavanor, and today I will regale you with what happened on the road to Usher and our meeting with the Count. If you missed part one, go back to start!
Nothing. Good lord, I’m reminding why I love sea-travel. At least on a ship there is always something to do. In a carriage, it’s bumpy and boring and eventually you want to smack your companions, regardless of what the law says about assault and battery!
The storm seemed to follow us, grey skies and rain drops following us north, until we finally outran it just before we reached the village of Usher. My hopes of being able to get back to warmer climes were dashed quickly as we were deposited not at the manor, but rather at another inn. The Leaping Bunny was nothing like the Black Goat Inn, the rooms were spartan and uninteresting and the innkeeper professed to know almost nothing about the count – their absentee landlord. We explored the village, I to the blacksmith’s shop with Vimx to craft some more bullets – one can never have enough ammunition, even if it is a service pistol. The blacksmith was unwelcoming, but willing to share his forge for the cost of a silver penny – the man thought he was overcharging me too!
My companions visited the Temple to Paylor, and reported back about the fidgety and nervous-seeming priest. From his comments and our investigation around town, we learned that only the priest had been up to see the Count in recent years, especially after the death of his father in an accident. With only one servant who appeared every few weeks, we were walking into our meeting blind. The innkeeper had sent a messenger and managed to secure a meeting for us with the Count.
What was he like? No one seemed to know. In fact, some people were downright unwelcoming to us outsiders. We attended services that evening in hopes of learning more, but neither the Claudia’s music and welcoming personality or Gregario’s feigned (I’m certain of it) religiousness gained a foothold. With no town watch to talk to, not even a mayor or any retired soldiers, I had to rely on my investigatory techniques which yielded….nothing.
So we waited.
The next day a carriage arrived and took us up to the castle. A renovated building that was once much more imposing structure, but had been modified for comfort and left to the ravages of time. The building itself was still standing, which I suppose is saying something, but the grounds were a mess. The one except was the war memorial for the count’s grandfather that also served as a mausoleum. If I was the local constabulary I would have written up a ticket for gross disregard of organized lawn laws.
But I wasn’t.
We were welcome in to the cavernous but seemingly empty castle by Tresfor, the Count’s loyal and aged servant. The count himself met us in his study. Books adorned the walls and manuscripts covered the tables and chairs. We delivered the message and waited for a response. The count was shaken by the contents, and my investigator senses practically vibrated.
“I will need two days to get this together. I’ll send a messenger when I’m ready for you.” The already frail count was not happy about the message, but professed that he had been anticipating the letter for some time. With that, we were ushered (I see what you did there!) out and returned to town.
Back in the inn, we gathered into Gregario’s room to talk. Debate swirled furiously over the second letter. Surely it would give us more information about what we needed to know. The mission so far had left us with more questions than answers, and more mysteries than solutions. The group was split – half wanting to open the second letter, half not. Eventually Claudia and I decided that knowing what was in the second letter – which was written to us – was better to know in advance what to do if the Count did not follow through on the instructions of the first letter.
To add more drama to the situation, it said…
Kill the count.
Excellent. Now I would be party to murder.
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