Basilisk Hills Breakdown Session 3: The Manticorps
The podcast recording of this session can be found here.
On the 17th day of the month, the Black Pit Keep group decides to move forward with eliminating the manticore. Although they do not know where the beast lairs, the general area is known so they travel in that direction. An idea is hit upon to lure the manticore with some sort of food and the just now rotting carcass of the green dragon is fetched and taken towards the area the manticore was last seen in. The party drags the carcass out about 100 yards out from the tree line, allowing them to hide while waiting for the manticore to show up. Velsind hands over some poison glands taken from the crab spiders killed in the slate mine to Orpheus who uses his skill in lacing the meat with the poison.
The party waits throughout the day until close to 4 pm. They then spot the manticore rising in the distance and, over a short time, it scents the carcass and flies in to inspect. The party notes that the manticore is rather weak looking and rather unkempt, like it had been sick or is possibly older. The manticore approaches the carcass cautiously and sniffs around. For whatever reason, the manticore is overly cautious and looks to be a bit spooked by something and begins to back away. An immediate volley of arrows and bolts are loosed at the monster, several of them hitting, and knocking the monster down.
Sir Keyan, his men, and Barbat all charge towards the monster, fearing the creature is feigning death. Upon arrival, they see that the beast isn't feigning at all. Several arrows and a bolt have pierced the creature in vulnerable spots causing an instantaneous death. Velsind begins to skin the creature to remove parts that may prove valuable for magical use, the head is removed so it can be preserved and mounted, and the tail spikes taken for potential weapon usage. Once done, the party moves towards the area the manticore arose from. They find the area is just a low valley among some hills, bones strewn about the place. Seeing that there is no shelter from the elements here explains the sorry state of the manticore. A search of the area turns up 2500 GP in coins and nothing else.
The group returns to the keep, taking pride in the fact that they have now eliminated all the threats in a six mile area, making it safe for travel and for agriculture and mining work to be done. They decide to rest and begin to set up a patrol schedule and inspect the black pit area on the 18th day.
Also, on the 17th day, Ugla, at the behest of Sir Keyan, takes the dragon head to Liwil to see if there is a taxidermist who can preserve and mount the head so it can be displayed in Black Pit Keep. As the goblin mage makes her way into town, she is not totally aware of the gasps and stares at her and the mount with the dragon head tied to the back of it. She asks around and is directed to a suitable shop. The shopkeeper is thrilled to work on such a piece and will attempt to make it as menacing dead as it was alive, even carving wooden teeth to replace the ones harvested by the party.
Ugla makes way to Hewtim the Mage. Along the way, she runs into an adventuring party that limps into town. They tell of their encounter with a huge creature at the southern side of the plateau northwest of Liwil. They thought it could be a possible oliphant but this creature is very different than anything heard of before. Besides having three horns on its head, it also has a large crest behind the head, acting as a shield of sorts. Not that the creature needs this shield as its hide was tougher than anything they had encountered. They were able to escape and will be spending several days in town recovering.
Meeting with Hewtim, Ugla inquires into learning new spells. As she and Hewtim are both mages, how they learn spells is a bit different. He asked the goblin if there is any specific spell she would like to learn. As she was not ready for this, it is decided that she would return to the keep and consider what sort of spell she would like to learn. As he was invited by Barbat to visit Black Pit Keep to meet with Velsind in a couple of days, he could meet with her and have a list of spells that she could possibly learn. During the meeting, it is evident that Hewtim is very eager to obtain any dragon parts, and especially dragon blood, for his research. Ugla returns to the keep which ends the 17th day for the main party.
On the 18th day, the party decides to inspect the pit housing the black pudding. It is revealed that all is still as they had left it so they throw in some composted material to observe its reaction. No aggressive behavior is shown and the material slowly sinks in, dissolving along the way. They close the small building back up. Also, during part of the day, they have discussions about the monitary funds for the keep, a name for the adventuring party, and future plans. Knowing that company, in the form of the Basilisk Knight's mage will be coming the next day, the party decides to wait for their travelling henchmen to return to the keep.
The morning of the 17th day arises on the group in Dry Gulch. They watch the bandits march off to be executed and take possession of the twins, Tofria and Tokas. Along the way, Egar informs them that there were two spies for the bandits in town, a stablehand and one of the hostelers. Their names were learned when the bandits were interrogated but were found to have fled, most likely when the group marched the bandits into town. They watch the main leaders get executed and take their leave.
They go to the corrals where the horses obtained from the bandits were kept. They learn that one large, black warhorse is giving the handlers trouble. One of the twins says it was Wilfred's horse, Diablo, and is quite possibly one of the meanest animals ever. Vallistra, having had little problem with riding horses, attempts to saddle and ride the warhorse. After many attempts, he cannot even mount. Blix steps up and calms the beast down so that Amagar can saddle the horse. When Diablo still resists Vallistra, he deems the horse to be broken and takes his saddle away. Blix decides to keep hold of the horse and return it to Liwil. The group heads out and arrives at the old bandit camp before dark and settles down for the night.
The next day, the 18th of the month, they load up all of the goods that were left, tear down and pack up the tents and yurt, and head back to Liwil. About fifteen miles west of Liwil, they note that there was a skirmish along the road, blood staining different areas and later on finding a bloody bandage. The group is forced to camp for the night due to travelling with a wagon.
The away group returns to Liwil about midday on the 19th day of the month. They first encounter the caravan so they decide to check in with the caravan master, Joferth. He gives the group a warm greeting and thanks them for helping them in their travel. Upon learning of the spies in Dry Gulch, he is a bit dismayed but nods as one who thoughts were confirmed. He is informed of the council's decisions and that more workers, once they are available, will be sent in this direction to work on the keep. Joferth is asked about the signs of the skirmish and he tells them a bit about the attack. The away team learns that the caravan will be staying until the 1st of next month. Normally, they would leave after a week but the 27th and 28th of each month is a festival so they will stay through that. Amagar offers to take Joferth east to the village of Highglade to help them expand their trade route, that offer to come at the approval of Velsind.
No further actions are taken as two players are no longer present and some timings have to line up for all members to be together.