Life and Death Are Only a Dice Roll Away...

Norham woods

It is dawn and the party are practising in the fields. Noktar approaches them. Sir Bjorn, a servant to the baron wants to talk to them. They go see him. He wants the party to investigate Norham woods which is located by the hills. He will pay for our services. It seems the Barons tax collector passed by with 4 full saddlebags of taxes. A few days ago his horse came back alone and the money was missing. The party must find out what happened. He also wants a certain sword found and returned.
The journey takes 1 and half days when they come across a muddy path leading into Norham. They enter a building where a cow is being roasted over a spit. The village chief agrees to feed the party for a small fee. They find out that the tax collector rode past about 4 days ago and shortly after 2 men were seen following him on horseback. Shortly after that the tax collectors horse came back and then the 2 men reappeared looking very nervous.
In the morning the party set off for Hobbs Dell. A freezing fog hangs in the air. An iron railing fence blocks the way. There is an empty space where a gate used to be and a bloody tatter of cloth is hanging across this gap. There is also a 2 foot black crucifix hanging here on the fence. It reeks of strong magic. Raven and Sir Cadwin slide underneath into the other side. They find a cracked stone slab which looks like a sarcophogus. on it are runes that read To rest, To wait, To guard. The rest of the party follow them in and they all lift the lid of the sarcophogus. Inside is a pile of mouldy bones. Sir Cadwin investigates the coffin by romoving the bones, searches it and finding nothing tries to put the bones back in roughly the same position it was in after playing around with various positions first.
towards the north is the fence, towards the south are stepping stones, the east is fog and west is the gate. towards the north is a rust coloured smear on the path. It looks like someone tried to crawl further towards the east. They follow the blood trail. They follow it about 8 meters in and Raven loses the trail due to the fog being too thick to see. They turn around and go back out of the fog and decide to follow the stones. 40 meters in the path widens NE and E. the east path seems more slightly worn so they follow that one. There are sharp flints on the path and puddles are on each side of the path. A patch of dirt rises from the side where a grave is and a zombie attacks.
After dispatching the zombie they continue on the path. There is a sword poking up from the grass. Sir Cadwin picks it up. Another 10 meters on and they reach another path heading NW. They keep heading East. There is a bad smell permeating through the air and they can hear running water nearby. The path turns around a stagnant pond with an island of trees in the middle. Bats fly from the trees and over the party. The water is shallow enough to wade through so Raven goes across the pond towards the island. There are things in the water that keep brushing against her. She reaches the island and climbs up a tree as this is the only way onto the island. There is nothing here, it appears it is only the bats home. She sets the trees on fire because she can and retreats back across the pond to the party. They keep following the path until they reach a river. A pole looms from the fog with a body hanging from it wearing the colours of Baron Aldred. He is also wearing a sword. It seems this is the sword that the party were asked to find. On further investigation of this sword they find a hidden parchment inside the hilt. It reads The old wolfs days are numbered. 2 local lords side with us. I shall be visiting Ulric. Make sure the castle is guarded by our own men on the day of the hunt. signed your brother Bjorn. They pocket the swaord and parchment for future use.
They keep following the path and hear a voice from the other side of the river. It is calling out to Sir Deowine. Its yelling out that travellers should hear me. It is a slender elf girl dressed in green carrying a bow. She tells Sir Deowine that we have entered Tuannons gardens and he is evil. She tries to get Sir Deowine to come over and join her for some fun. There is no way across unfortunately. They move on and keep following the path. They come across an iron shod halberd on the ground pockmarked with rust. It emanates evil so Maustic tells the party to leave it alone so they leave it and move on. They find themselves reaching apath that forks 4 ways. A pebble is rolling along the ground. Raven kicks it and a hand reaches up through the dirt towards Raven. It is another zombie. After they dispatch it they continue NE. 2 paths eventually join this one, evil is strong in the air. A zombie appears, they kill it and move on. Sir Deowine finds a curious stone plinth in the fog. It is an ancient sundial. It is both an ornament and a safeguard. Underneath it is a yellow gem. It says sunlight banish skyjewel sear. Sir Cadwin takes it.
They continue on and find a burial mound covered in grass around a stone entrance. There are 5 blue skulls positioned around it. As they approach the skulls start jabbvering to each other in a high pitched tone. Raven and Sir Cadwin smash them all. Inside the mound they reach a chamber. A figure is gliding towards the party. A silver clasp is holding a cape on the shoulder, it wears a crown of leaves on its head and attacks. After killing it Sir Deowine loots the corpse. While he is doing this Raven finds a door and sneaks through. Frosty Pegg and Laith join her. They find stone slab with treasures inside. The rest of the party finally notice and follow them into this room.
They head back to town and hear voices ahead on the path. Frosty Pegg and Raven sneak around and find Bjorn speaking to 2 other men. They both climb trees in case of ambush and wait for the party to approach the men. Sir Cadwin, Sir Deowine and Laith approach the party while Maustic sneaks around to the horses and takes the saddlebags. Sir Deowine and Bjorn swap money and sword, not realising the parchment is now missing. A bit further up the road the men stop and turn around. Seems like they have found the parchment is missing. They attack. The party dispatch the men and take Bjorn captive. They return him to Baron Aldred for justice. The party join Baron Aldreds services.

loot found 80 florins, electrum torque, 2 silver wrist bands, gold ring and emerald set into copper diadem

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SusanHassall

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