Saltmarsh Journal

Journals for the Saltmarsh RPG Campaign

Archive for the ‘Olsen’ Category

Into the Heart of Darkness – Ashwell Tower

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

The Thanes expect Ashwell tower to be around here and are not shocked as they make out its looming shape in the mists. But there is a dim light illuminating part of it. They head nearer and see huts at the base.

Nailen hails the tower, “Hail the tower!”

The silence is silent.

Closer still the tower is in disrepair. Nailen hails again. No reply. The Thanes venture into the palisade. The gates hang drunkenly.

Through the mists we see a gable end of hall. It’s in better condition than the other buildings around, which are wrecked.

Standing around we hear a noise of wood moving. Knocking on the door it swings open. Nailen’s palace has some work needed to return it to its former glory.

Exploring we hear rustling. We make our way round the tower and notice steps on outside of the tower. We go up the stairs. There’s a door ajar. We say hello. No reply.

In the tower is a smoke filled room. There is a fire in the room away from the fireplace. Bags of totemic nonsense litter the floor. There is meat in a bag as well. Having seen totems before we suspect Lizardfolk.

We head to another room. It’s barred but yields to a bench battering ram. It appears the door has been wedged shut.

The next level up is an open room. A small pile of corpses, human, partially burnt lie in a corner.

The next level has two doors and stairs up. The stairs lead to the roof.

Back to the floor with the two doors. We try a door heroically and it opens. It’s a bed chamber. A chest yields mouldy clothes, a book with numbers and a hidden pouch of money. The fittings of the room are old but of good quality.

The other door is blocked. We heroically barge it open. But something attacks. A madman with a club! We grapple him, he is subdued and tied up.

We manhandle him back to where we left Rufus and Mahan on a lower floor. Dinner is served – ‘snake surprise’.

The madman in coherent moments explains that he is named Athangild and was a reeve here. We ask him questions and although reluctant he offers up that the manor was wrecked by little marsh men who float over the water. They seem hostile and when attacked burst open with acid that burns. The attack was some six or seven moons ago. There are lizardmen hunting parties but they too are afraid of the marsh creatures. They come and seek shelter in the hall from time to time. Athangild has survived by hiding.

We think we should search the base of the tower next.

Murder at Dragonsfell Hall (part 2)

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

I met the outsiders in the treasury, a mixed bunch of chancers if there ever was one. The Duke’s son directed us to search the armoury. The special magic sword missing and the room sealed. We’d need that sword to slay the beast of these parts some folks say. The armoury had been opened perhaps once from the scrape marks by the door in recent weeks. Looking round the armoury we discovered a thin wall, so we knocked through the wall. The room behind was an old gaol, with eight cells.

In one corner in a cell, was the remains, entrails, broken bones, skulls and the like of two people, a peasant girl and a guard perhaps were the most likely people. They had been gnawed by some animal monster. A tunnel in the ceiling can be seen above. A carpenter was sent to board it up. We did not venture into the tunnel it being too thin for us.

Then a guard raised a cry. The duke’s elderly mother had died of ‘exposure’. We went to the outside to the scene of her death. She’d taken her warm outer clothes off so would have died soon, being frail and all. We asked a guard about the timing of when she left. He said she’d gone out a couple of hours before and the priest had gone with her.

We made off to see the priest. He got angry with us and said he’d been praying all morn with his apprentice. In search of somewhere to piss, I found myself in his chambers, just noticed that there was only priestly trappings there.

We reported to the Duke’s son. He was upset that we got the priest riled up.

With the Duke’s health failing, word from the servants at dinner was that his son’s marriage to lady Catherine would be brought forward to tomorrow so that he would be a fit and proper married heir to the estate.

In the eve a message was waiting for us ‘Come downstairs at Midnight and see the coven’ or some such. Thorny the bastard son of the Duke spoke with us. He’d had the same message, band up and investigate he said. We said that made sense, not that anything makes sense.

Only ones I half trust are these outsiders. Priest seemed like he was telling the truth, but then the guard is a liar or there is magic at work.

The beast is around here and we need to weapon to kill it. Maybe it’s a changling beast so might be a man or beast at any time. We still need to explore the rest of the castle. As the cell wall was whole there must be another way of the beast getting out of the tunnel. We need to find that part so we can investigate the tunnel or block it up. That’s what I have a notion too anyway.

Editor’s note: Olsen refers to Uther as the Duke throughout, despite Lord Uther not actually holding this senior military title. This is probably a local peasant affectation, referring to the most senior local lord as the Duke.