Dates: Hammer 11th-12th, 1368
On dusk of Hammer 11th, the party came upon the village of Conyberry, in their pursuit of the elf. The village was eerily quiet and all the homes were dark. Nothing stirred within. Xilus moved forward cautiously surveying the area before finally stopping about 50 yards outside of the village. To his horror, he saw a pole stuck in the ground with a man’s head attached to the top along with another note, which sounded hauntingly familiar; “Leave now or I will kill them all. -e.v.”
Xilus recognized the face of the man as that of Issec, a farmer in his village. A sudden rage filled within Xilus’ heart at this sight. Within moments, a pack of wolves from within the village attacked the party. The group disposed of the wolves and carefully proceeded towards the village. Flute, who had moved ahead to scout out the area during the battle with the wolves, revealed a small platform attached to the house of Issec. Xilus relayed that these platforms were attached as a means of keeping watch over the village. Citizens would stand watch in this platforms when it was their turn to stand guard for the village at night. Flute points out that in the stand, there was a decoy designed much like a scarecrow to appear as a man on watch.
After some deliberating, the party approached Issec’s house and entered. After searching the home, Flute and Xilus found the farmer’s headless corpse in his room. Xilus and Flute informed the party of what they saw and Bazhur helped develop a plan. Guessing that the elf had taken any remaining people alive, and put them in one spot, likely the town hall, the group split up and made their way towards the center of town.
While approaching the town hall from the front and the left flank, an arrow whisked past Davrun’s feet and landed harmlessly on the ground. Seeing a small, cloaked humanoid figure with a bow adjacent to one of the homes, the party took off in pursuit. The figure ran around the back of the building and came into sight of Bazhur and Xilus, who were flanking. Bazhur released a shot into the ground towards the running figure. The figure stopped and threw down his bow. Tymel used a hold person spell to hold the figure in place and the party moved up to identify him. Standing in front of the town hall, they uncloaked the figure to reveal a human boy of about 13 years named Wil Tybel. The boy reveals that the elf has the entire village held hostage in the store room of the town hall. He says the elf forced him to shoot at the party threatening to kill the boy’s father if he didn’t comply.
As the party discovered the identify of the archer, they noticed a billowing cloud of smoke from the town hall and within moments the place was engulfed in flame. Bazhur and Davrun busted down the door. Smoke poured from the entrance choking them. Flames had engulfed the interior of the town hall. Beams were falling and the structure was collapsing. Stanley and Davrun ran into the building and grabbed the beams to make a path to the store room door. Bazhur unlocked the store room door and the villagers ran out screaming in horror.
Davrun and Stanley were injured from the flames, but managed to save the people’s lives. As the rescue was happening, Flute saw a figure running away from the fire at a high speed. He gave chase, but stopped when the figure entered the woods outside of the village.
Moments later a young human rode in on a weakened horse from the south. He helped the party get the villagers to the temple where they would hold up for the night. He revealed himself to be Rabe Branty, a young warrior from the village of Triboar. Seeing the smoke from a distance he rode his horse into the village to see if he could aid. He and the party helped the villagers into the temple, where they held down for the night.
During the night, the village elder revealed the village’s entire winter provisions were in that store room which was now burning to the ground. He bid the party help him, and they promised they would assist. Having verified that the criminal was indeed the elf they were pursuing, they began formulating a plan to locate him and bring him to justice.
During the meeting the boy, Wil Tybel, revealed to the party that he had, in fact, seen the elf for the past week at various times entering and exiting a cave while playing in the forest. The elf had apparently not seen the boy. Finally, the party had a lead on the murderer. Xilus revealed that he knew the cave in question as he’d played there quite often as a child. He, Davrun, Flute, Tymel, and Rabe all agreed to leave for the cave at first light. Bazhur and Stanley would stay back to defend the village in case the elf returned, and also to watch over Dalos.
During the night, Dalos approached Flute requesting his assistance in escaping the party. Fearing punishment from Lord Nasher for creating and then losing the map, he wanted Flute to help him get a horse and escape to Triboar that night. Flute refused and grew suspicious of the merchant. Later in the evening, he attempted to cast a sleep spell on Dalos, which failed for reasons unknown. Flute was going to put him to sleep and search him as he slept.
Flute revealed the fact that the sleep spell did not work on Dalos to the party and Tymel, upon hearing the news, grew angry because Flute tried to violate the man’s rights by searching him unlawfully and unwillingly. Flute, and other members of the party, remained suspicious of the merchant and agreed they must keep a close watch on him.
At first light, Davrun, Tymel, Rabe, Xilus, and Flute all gathered supplies at the general store and left heading north to find the cave. Flute doubled back after informing the party of his intent, and made his way back to the village to watch Dalos from afar.
Davrun, Tymel, Rabe, and Xilus continued their pursuit into the deep forest until they came upon the cave.