15 Illumination 508
After spending the day shopping for magic armor and other sundries, the party spends the evening at Lord Waylund’s manor for the celebration of their liberation of the slaves from the hobgoblin lair.
The celebration is essentially a feast held in the party’s honor. Tag is pleased because Lord Waylund was even able to secure some baijiu. It is a joyous celebration that is only brought down slightly when Joia introduces a toast to “Foranella”, which is taken up by the rest of the former slaves. Lenoria asks who Foranella was and is told that she was a slave like the rest them who was killed as soon as it was revealed she was a sorceress.
Lord Waylund also presents the four party members, the “liberators”, with Medals of Service, a Yulanian honor. They are gold medals with crescent moons embossed on the face. Even Rhain is impressed—though mostly with the fact that they are real gold. Tag takes to wearing his right away and wants to know how far it will impress people.
After the celebration, everyone settles in for the night, content and happy.
19 Illumination 508
After continuing to stay at Red Wyvern Manor as the rest of the former slaves move on and return to their lives, the party finally collect their refurbished, newly magicked armor and say their farewells to Lord Waylund. They load up their mounts and head west from Osandar, back toward the old Acheran fortress.
22 Illumination 508
The journey to the fortress proves to be uneventful. They arrive at the fortress a little before noon three days later and hitch their horses to a copse of nearby trees. Rhain checks the area for signs of disturbance, but sees nothing. Looking up at the fortress, no one sees any signs of sentries—except for Rhain, who says he sees a shadow move up on one of the guard towers. They send Tag forward to check it out.
Tag stealthily approaches the fortress and enters the courtyard. He sees three indistinct corpses being pecked at by buzzards in the courtyard—corpses that were not left behind by the party last time they were there.
He enters the laundry room and pulls out the stone in the wall they had removed earlier and gazes inside—no sleeping hobgoblins. He heads up into the nearest guard tower and finds nothing but the bloated hobgoblin corpse they had left behind. He looks at the other guard posts for guards and sees nothing but diving buzzards. He waits, watching for twenty minutes and sees no signs of guards.
He finally stands between the crenelations and jumps up and down, trying to get his friends’ attention.
Lenoria spots Tag and tells the rest of the party that he’s trying to get their attention. Rhain takes this as a signal of trouble and mounts up to charge in. The rest of the party, Lenoria and Regna, follow.
Rhain charges into the courtyard, expecting trouble, but only finds the three corpses. His charge disturbs the buzzards, who fly off, revealing the remains to be those of hobgoblins. Their gear has been stripped from them. Tag calls down to them that they sure got here fast. He reports that he’s seen nothing as far as guards.
They decide to check out the north wing, where the twenty-eight hobgoblins were sleeping before. All they see now are the remains of some pallets and nothing more. They check out the now empty north-central tower. They they re-check the north-west tower and find only the corpses of the hobgoblins the had killed before. They speculate that it must be as they suspected—the hobgoblins took the deaths of their leaders as a reason to leave. The party decides to take the “Prince’s exit” through the south wing back into the crypt and try to find this horn.
The party inch of the anterooms that did not bear secret doors—finding nothing. They recheck the main mall of the crypt—finding nothing. Rhain takes a nap in the main room. Tag continues to the weapon rack—finding nothing. Lenoria distributes the luck-blessing of her goddess, Imtiau, in hopes of gaining her aid. Nothing.
Finally, when everyone is at their wit’s end, Regna discovers an anomaly in the stone at the bend of the one of the secret passages between the antechambers. They call for Tag, who’s still fiddling with the weapon’s rack. Tag finds a secret door—and a trap. The halfling manages to disable the trap, which would have dropped stones on people’s heads surrounding the secret door.
The door opens up into another corridor which leads into another antechamber with a sarcophagus. Tag checks the corridor for traps, but he finds none. They open the sarcophagus and Tag jumps in, looking for secrets. They find the remains of a soldier with a magical scimitar, kukri, an Elysian Bronze breastplate, magical ring, magical boots, and a horn. At last, they have found what they have sought!
They collect everything and make their way out of the crypt and out of the fortress. They decide to make their way southwest, back toward Crownport.
Along the way, they come across a burned out house and the remains of a greenhouse, which Tag checks out. Other than that, the journey bears nothing more of interest.
23 Illumination 508
As the party travels on this day, they spot a body discarded in the tall grass. Rhain identifies right away as that of a hobgoblin. Tag checks it out and confirms it. It appears to have already been looted.
Later that day, they cross the river at the Yulanian border. Tag shows off his medal with pride and talks to the soldiers about being a Yulanian hero, but the soldiers do not seem very impressed. Finally, the party makes its way into Ornis.
24 Illumination 508
As the party rides to Crownport, they hear fiddle music up ahead. Tag and Lenoria identify it as tavern music—and quite good. As they get closer, they see a fiddler walking toward their destination, dressed in the colorful clothing of a minstrel. As they pass, the fiddler nods and Tag calls out that they are the heroes of Yulania, deemed such by Lord Rollo Waylund. The minstrel asks where they are staying and Tag asks the same of the minstrel. The fiddler says “Kerevon’s” and Tag says that that is where they are staying. Soon, the fiddler is out of earshot.
By late afternoon, the party arrives at the gates of Crownport. After they gain admittance, they head to the University and present their story and the horn to Professor Walera. She makes the agreed-upon payment of to the group for their find and asks if she may call upon them for another job. Lenoria asks if she has one in mind and the professor says that, indeed, she does. However, her colleague will have to give them the details in the morning. They arrange to meet again at 10 bells.
Regna has yet to discover what the ring and the boots they found in the crypt do, so Tag puts on the boots—they contour to the size of his feet. Then he leads the way, marching to Kerevon’s, trying to get into the mindset of the boots’ former owner.
Once the party gets settled at Kerevon’s, a modest inn on the harbor, the party settles into the common room. Tag asks for some baijiu, but is disappointed to find out that the inn doesn’t serve it. Lenoria buys the table some wine, instead. There is a female bard singing in the corner of the room, from whom Tag asks for an Acheran camp song. She says that, alas, she does not know one, but she does know an Ornish camp song. What about a Yulanian camp song? She says that she could sing a Yulanian camp song. Pleased, Tag accepts the Yulanian camp song and tips the bard a gold.
Soon after that, a breathless fiddler comes stumbling in the door—the same man that the troupe had passed coming into Crownport. Tag is jubilant. “Hey everybody! The fiddler’s here!” he cries.
Tag clears out space at their table for the exhausted minstrel, who thanks him profusely and sits. “I caught the back of a merchant’s wagon to get into town before sundown. It was a bumpy ride,” the man says by way of explanation.
When asked about what he was doing, the minstrel says that he travels from place to place, playing music, wooing women, wooing men, having fun. Tag buys him dinner and the minstrel thanks him, asking Tag about this “hero of Yulania” business, wanting to hear the story. Tag gears up to tell the tale with his usual exuberance, but Lenoria interrupts to have Tag make introductions around the table. The minstrel’s name is Tavayne Findarrow. Finally, Tag settles in and tells the story of how they secured the horn and liberated the slaves and saved Lord Waylund. At the end, he displays his medal as proof of his honor.
When Tag is done, Tavayne is impressed. He asks permission to immortalize the story in song. Tag says that “of course” he has permission and assumes that the man is coming with them now to write the song with Tag. Rhain says “no,” but Tag isn’t really listening to him. Lenoria is hedging and Regna doesn’t say much at all. Tavayne says that he would be willing to come, but only if the whole group is willing to have him—he doesn’t want to cause any strife. Tag assures him that there is no strife, he’s welcome to come, that Rhain just says no to everything. Lenoria suggests that Tavayne let the group discuss it among themselves. Tavayne takes that as his cue to leave and bids the group good night.
The group discusses Tavayne briefly, with Rhain saying he doesn’t like strangers because they might turn into snakes. Regna seems fairly indifferent, as does Lenoria, though she wants Tavayne to be made aware that he doesn’t get treasure shares or anything like that. Tag assures her that he won’t and he and Regna head upstairs. Rhain and Lenoria linger in the common room. Lenoria dances badly with some of the men in the room before heading up to bed.