Lands of Astoria

Session 2: Winter Comes Early

* The session started with three day's downtime in the town of Keep. Party members used the time to bargain for equipment they needed and to pursue their personal goals.
* On the last day before setting out, Tayis, Ori and George encountered Roth Abarac in the tavern. Roth announced that he was looking for adventurers to assist him on his next mission as part of a quest to reclaim his soiled homelands from a gnoll invasion. Roth joined the party as a tracker in their current mission to capture Frederik von Pirn. He hopes that in exchange for his efforts, the party will soon be able to return the favour.
* The party reconvened with Lord Darrington and recieved intel indicating that von Pirn looked to be fleeing north through the swamp to Orcwatch Tower. 
* After considerable planning, the party determined that their best bet of closing the head start von Pirn had on them was to head in a straight shot down the main road West-Southwest to Woodpines, where they could procure passage on a river barge heading North, downriver to Orcreach.
* The party rented horses and ponies, and set off in the morning.
* Travel was safe and smooth overall.
* The party was able to save a Halfling merchant's trade cart from sinking into a shifting patch of the mire. In exchange, they recieved 50g (?) worth of saffron.
* Upon arriving in Woodpines, the party stabled their horses (and Crusher the bear) and booked an audience with the resident Duke for the morrow.
* In the morning, the party was split. Half headed to secure river travel arrangements as soon as possible, and the other half headed to their audience with the Duke to keep the local authorities informed of their quest and see if there was any assistance they might be able to offer.
* Arriving at the impressive Ironbark-clad halls of the Duke, the party was informed that the Duke was indisposed and Baron Evilguy would see to their audience in his stead.
* Roth offered the baron the party's writ from Lord Darrington that certified their mission and their friendship of Keep.
* The baron promptly burned it up. He apologised for his mistake.
* Passing a persuasion check, the party was able to convince the Baron to draft them up a new one with a similarly meaningful seal of authenticity, only this time from Woodpines instead of Keep.
* Fearing an ambush or other similar mishap, the party left in good haste upon recieving the new writ.
* Meanwhile…
* The party made enquiries in the harbour district as to what barges were leaving North soon, and whether booked passage might be possible.
* They came across Old One Eye (who had zero eyes, and was completely blind), the captain of a sizable river barge. One Eye directed enquiries to his ship's boy.
* The ship's boy was a huge half-orc, who refused to barter and suggested the party run their own barge if they thought themselves capable.
* As they were leaving, Old One Eye's parrot gave some clue (which Louis has now forgotten) that something was terribly amiss on board the barge.
* The party turned back to re-confront the ship's boy, only to see that the barge had pushed across to the other side of the river and was effectively inaccessible.
* As both sides of the party reconvened, the weather started to suddenly and abruptly turn as though it was the dead of winter. Snow fell, and the river began to freeze over.
* The sailorfolk at the habour flew into a panic. There was a flurry of activity as sailors rushed to secure their watercraft from harm as the water started to freeze.
* In the panic, the party decided to steal a barge.
* Between the lot of them, they were able to lift a barge from the (unattended) barge rental shop. As they hastened upriver away from the harbour and the local effect of the magical weather, someone remembered to leave some gold (Louis can't remember how much) and a small note in place of the stolen barge.
* The log concludes with the scene of a barge scuttling through the snow, a small horde of legs barely visible under the hull. Four of the legs are furry and clawed.

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Tom_Murray louis_vandyke_5

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