Planting 7th & 8th
Our heroes have vanquished the leader of the Brotherhood, and looted the temple. This took all night, after a long day spent in the sun, so they are noticeably weary. They spend most of the next 2 days resting and recovering. During this time, they pay a visit to Lucius, who is recovering nicely, but still seems troubled about his ordeal and the strange events leading up to it. They also return to the Temple of Aarth, and receive their reward from Brother Egil. He also tells Ishta that he was able to find some information about Kenzil. The wizard was known to have inhabited a tower in the south-west side of the Grandwood Forest, on the Mikar River. The local peasants did not like the way that Kenzil treated them, so they were forced to re-locate their village some miles away. The party also sells some books that they found in the Temple of the Unspeakable One to Thuron in exchange for some research from the library. They ask for more information on The Unspeakable One and on the The Cult of the Yellow Sign, and they reserve one question for a future need. They are told that the research will take several weeks, at a minimum, so they have to decide what they want to do in the interim.
Braast and Nathen decide that they aren’t interested in the lighthouse. Instead, they return to the Temple of the Unspeakable One to check out the secret passage that was left unexplored on their previous visit. The only thing of interest they find is a large cavern with an underground lake. There are also 3 more serpent people, but they are quickly dispatched.
After leaving the tunnels of the temple, they spend most of the rest of the 8th exploring the city and keeping their ears open for interesting rumors or possible employment opportunities. The only thing that people are talking about is the upcoming Swagfest, a major holiday in Freeport, and some local politics. They hear that someone named Captain Lydon is making a bid for the Captain’s Council, and is expected to be a major player at the Swagfest celebrations. In the latter part of the evening, the two adventurers are finishing up their tour of the city, and they wind up in Scurvytown, the worst area of the city. Nothing untoward happens to them, but they make contact with Otto, the owner of a well-respected magic weapon shop. After discovering that they are adventurers, Otto warms up to them and he offers them some deals in the future when they need some of his wares.
Planting 9th & 10th
Since they explored the city yesterday, and didn’t find much of interest, it seems like a good idea to explore the rest of the island. They are getting ready to head out of town, when the rest of the party meets them at the inn, explaining that they think it best if they lie low for a while. Braast and Nathen don’t feel like another sea voyage, so they decide to stay in Freeport while the rest of the group seeks Kenzil’s tower.
They journey through the forest and have a nice stroll. They meet a strange woodsman around noon, but after a brief conversation, they continue on their way. By nightfall, they have reached the dormant volcano on the northern portion of the island, and camp there for the night.
The next day, they walk back to Freeport and are delayed for several hours by an intense thunderstorm. Other than being wet and cold, they arrive safely back in the city.
This day is spent quietly at the The Scholars Quill, drinking and gambling with the other patrons of the inn.
Planting 12th – Swagfest!
Braast & Nathen decide to head down to the docks to participate in the Swagfest celebrations. They arrive in the main square in time to get a good place to view the opening speech given by Captain Lydon. As he starts his speech, they notice a suspicious figure sneaking up behind the stage. When the dark figure draws a dagger and moves to attack Captain Lydon, they act, Braast charges toward the assassin, and Nathen quickly shoots a couple of arrows. The assassin still completes her attack, and Lydon suffers a massive wound. He is still able to react, and between himself and his two benefactors, they quickly put the assassin down. She is still alive, though, and Captain Lydon stops Braast before he can commit a coup-de-grace. During this development, the watching crowd erupts in turmoil, fearing that there might be more attackers. The guards are called and the assassin is taken away for justice. Captain Lydon, once he has a healing potion into him, calls the crowd to a semblance of order with the promise of plenty of ale arriving shortly. He is very grateful to Braast and Nathen for their timely intervention, and asks them to participate in all the festivities.
The first “game” is called “One Eyed Jack’s Stand”, and it is to remember a pirate of ancient times that single-handedly fought off a dozen sahuagin while tied to a mast during a storm. In honour of that, each contestant is tied to a pole (with some room to move) and expected to fight off as many sailors as he can. Everyone is given padded clubs so that no one is actually hurt during the contest. There is a great deal of betting and alcohol involved in this contest, so it is quite popular. Nathen goes first, and manages to fight off all 12 “fish-men”, which turns out to be the best battle of the day. Braast, who had good odds placed on him due to his size, did not manage as well, as he didn’t even “kill” one of his opponents. Nathen’s reward for winning is “Jack’s Eye”, a small jewel.
After much drinking, and lunch, the next game is ready to go. This one is called “Chasing the Rat”. A large crate is brought onto the stage, and Captain Lydon announces that the person (or group) that catches the rat wins the prize! With that, he opens the crate, pulls out a large dire rat and releases it into the square. The crowd erupts – some of them trying to catch the rat, but most of them (especially the children) running for cover. Braast and Nathen give chase, and manage to keep the rat in sight while overtaking their competitors. They chase the rat all the way to Scurvytown, and just manage to see it scamper into a broken basement window on a run-down shack. They open the door, and are greeted by a large spider with human arms that says “Ahh – Fresh meat!”. The spider attacks, throwing webs at the two intruders, also casting spells when it’s physical attacks fail. After a tough fight, the aranea is defeated. The house is filled with cocoons, and some of them are still kicking. One is the rat, which is tied in a sack to be taken back to Captain Lydon. There is also a commoner, who is somewhat weakened and very grateful to be saved. The last surviving victim is a halfling who introduces himself as Kiro. He also thanks his rescuers profusely before exiting into the streets of Freeport. A bit more searching turns up a small treasure hoard, which is taken by the victors. They decide to drag the corpse of the aranea back to the square as well.
Upon their return to the square, they are hailed as heroes for defeating the aranea, and for bringing the dire rat back alive as well. They join in the rest of the celebrations until the party winds up in the wee hours of the morning.