Decaying Lands 18: Ralf's Return

PCs Present & Played:

Boris "Iron Guts", Fighter 1 (Vegas)
Karl Gelt, Exiled Prince 1 (Helpful Waffle)
Tenkos, Cleric 2 [plague doctor kit] (Sugarplum)
Viggo Marklund, Specialist 2 [bounty hunter kit] (Peanut Butter)

Karl Gelt joined the party along with his brand new player!

Turned out that Karl was conveniently in the next cell down the hall from Ralf, he was just being super quiet when the party was talking to their rescuee last time. Karl is an Exiled Prince from the Principality of Altdorf in Ghallia-That-Fell. Ghallia-That-Fell is the southern half of Ghallia that was abandoned to a horrific plague during the last big war 50 years ago in a "human firebreak" type strategy. Karl would eventually like to get back to there and restore his kingdom but for right now he just wants to know what the heck is going on. The last thing he remembered was being close to the Ghallia / Teutonia border which is something like 100-150 miles from where the party encountered him.

With that retcon out of the way we jumped back to Boris opening the cage door for the large (100+ pounds, bigger than a great Dane) wolf that had been sitting there calmly regarding him.

Boris spoke to it and it nodded and responsed as though it understood him, even directly nodding its head when he asked if it understood talking. He elicited a sharp growl when he asked "Smart like my dog?", however, and the wolf responded with a shake when the bounty hunter asked if it wanted to go with them. He gave the creature a bit of meat from his pack and told the wolf it was free to go. The meat had barely hit the floor before the wolf scarfed it down, howled a quick thank you, and trotted past him out of the basement.

Karl wanted to go up and interview his captors but there was a bit of a hitch there. "Oh hey we killed everyone on the way down. Oh and we burned their house down too. Yeah." So instead he went looking for a bill of sale or something similar and took all the papers from their footlockers to evaluate later.

Dilemma: What do we do with the bodies and the money? Should we bring the bodies up and burn them? Discussion about how this fighting ring had guards and nobles involved. Could the party stay because the ring was on the down-low or should they get out quickly? They decided that they should just leave everything where it was, transfer the money from the chest to sacks, and try to get out of Bremmlecht as soon as possible.

On their way out of the underground complex they tried to get some more information about the cows from Ralf. The young man is incredibly simple, but he said good cows made him happy when he came back from Stilton. Then one day bad cows came so he had to stop them. Said that he didn't kill his own cows, just the bad cows. The party wasn't sure what to make of that but he was very convinced that he had only killed bad cows and not his own. 

They rolled up to Frau Esther Wegener, Ralf's aunt, and initially didn't want to tell her anything. Viggo tried to warn her not to talk about what happened to her "for her own good." This came off threatening, so he tried again saying that if she didn't then he couldn't guarantee her safety or similar. This only made her more upset so Viggo decided to spill the beans a bit and describe where Ralf was held. Wegener grasped the gravity of what they'd done quickly enough.

Frau Wegener's (older) kids came out, and the twins blanched at the realization that Ralf was back, bit of an awkward moment where the party questioned if they were involved in his capture by the fight organization. I think Wegener sort of shooed them away back into the house. Her main desire was that Ralf not cause the family name any more trouble and the PCs mostly succeeded at that, so she paid up. It's unclear what possible repercussions will visit themselves upon the Wegener dairy farm after the forest massacre is uncovered, if any, but the party will certainly not be staying around to find out.

It was around this time that Ralf's parents came running from their home, overjoyed at the safe return of their son. They presented a small vial, saying that it kept their grandfather safe during the war with Ghallia (spit!). He would tell stories of how the opposing soldiers couldn't tell which one of him was real to hit. The party was surprised, but grateful, and headed back to their inn.

Sidenote: It's a potion of mirror image, woo! This is the third potion that the party has received. They still haven't used their spider climb (ouch for Helga) or comprehend languages potions so I'm not expecting this one to get much use either. They've got a scroll of mending and continual light too that I'm thinking will never see the light of anything either. Probably all get lost in a river and ruined or smashed. At least Sugarplum / Tenkos is ALL about throwing those fire bombs.

Karl went through the letters, found
  • Names of people who participated in the fights voluntarily
  • Betting odds sheets
  • Letter to the people in the fighting pit talking about a proposition for them, new produce for their market
He burned everything except for the letter after transcribing it all into code. While looking through the letters Karl saw the current date on one of the letters and got real quiet. Karl also went to the post office to send a letter into Ghallia to a former retainer and ended up picking up some letters for Viggo and Tenkos (which I still need to write...)

Overall, between rumors of riches to be had in Ghallia-That-Fell, an uneasy stink of trouble from this fancy cheese place Stilton, and an honest to goodness exiled prince the group decided that there were enough hooks to head west to Ghallia! It's good to have something of a firm direction again.

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