Having heard their approach, the door to the Peonian Priest's barn opened. With a regal chamberstick came a woman
, as the light flickered across her face her gentle visage, passed with a soft smile and a beautifully voiced greeting. After a moment a beer-bellied middle-aged man
left his recently built church barn and looked to each of the adventuring souls. Pleased to see new faces he took a moment to meet Declaen, Arvan
, and Duryo
and then of course greeted Kelaryn
, happy to see her with other people. Excited at the prospect of meeting an Azeryani, Duryo
, he mentioned he, "studied Venârivè
, though specifically Azeryan and the Azeri pantheon, in quite some depth at the Cathedral; my Solana had a firm love for your people given that he was from Berónè. In fact, all that studyin' is why I teach such peace among religions. I hate that the Cardinal
has perverted the views of my late mentor for his own sake and thus forsaken those that matter little to him. That Cardinal
is a wicked man let me be the first to tell you, though my opinion is not popular.
When moved on to pressing matters, Father Habus
explained that the nightmares, "all started after a good rain, lasted three days and never let up. People started getin' nightmares and some are afraid to sleep."
After Declaen gave the priest twenty silver for funeral rites, Habus
offered to take the party to the manor in the morning and Declaen set up camp there at the church whilst Duryo
filled the sleeping areas of the burn to bursting. Arvan
returned to his tent and wagon and Kelaryn
to her home but their sleep was filled with nightmares and dawn's bliss was pierced by angry voices outside. The voices called for a gathering at the manor so as the adventurer's made their way to the manor, a crowd of grumbling villagers amassed around them and the crowd's momentum carried them toward the manor but the crowd was stopped by two men-at-arms at the gate of the manor.
At the pillory before the manor's outer-gate, Kelaryn
saw her father and leaned he was to be hung, he had Arion
keep her back at the news. Luckily, amid the confusion, Father Habus
approached and drove the adventurers forward. He waved to the guard below and outside of the gate house and went along with him to the inner-gate. From there Father Habus
lead the individuals to the Manor's Hall. A guard there briefly spoke before seeing the individuals enter, "he's getting worried that the Tulwyn are getting desperate. I don't want to see them at the walls but its.."
After a lesson from Father Habus
s to Kelaryn
on manners with nobility, Lady Erane
herself, the lady of the manor, then descended the stairs with her lady in waiting and manor chamberlain
close behind her, whom Kelaryn
knew to be Neremi, the cousin of Lady Erane
, and Chamberlain Turryl
introduced herself and then informed the adventurers, "I'm afraid our village has found itself to be in a small conundrum."
"A severe thunderstorm caused the great oak of Áthulus
to topple over at the top of the Forbidden Hill. Several good rain storms began and carry on for the next three days. Some of the villagers noted that the usually vacant hill became more so as a migration of animal life, all squirrels, mice, birds, and ever bats appeared to have left the hill completely. I was notified of these odd events then but did nothing seeing no real danger. Villagers noticed that the animals in the South Commons were huddling in the north east corner while some even managed to jump the fence sending the villagers scampering after them. After an audience with the reeve and Father Habus
and anger began to grow that the lord of the manor was not about to protect the masses. Many began to whisper of Krasula, servant of Naveh of course, villagers whisper as the do. At the end of the month more people began to experience bad dreams and Simadar's daughter attempted suicide. The villagers became scared and the reeve asked me to truly step in and deal with the problem. Father Habus has held daily prayers to Peoni for protection but I fear it is not enough. That is why I sent Father Habus
on his mule looking for your types. I was worried when he returned with nothing but then you all landed on our doorstep."
As the party, mostly Arion
, and Kelaryn
, negotiated for Baern Stonehammer's release, they were informed that the heroes had to be them, they were told by Lady Erane
that, "Residents of the fief are forbidden to enter the hill's grounds but none of you are bound by the same law, even Kelaryn
being free folk is marginally allowed to enter; though I've heard she's done so before."
They were asked to handle the matter privately and before the night was out and offered payment of sixty due each and a stay of execution as well as a full right of spoils. The lady was pleased with acceptance of the quest and for so doing, Father Habus
offered an extended stay on his lands. After meeting the the reeve and the beadle, as well as his dog, the party met at the Forbidden Hill and were bid good luck (the Beadle stayed at the manor to ensure Baern's safety by allowing the children to play with Majesty). At the top of the mound was the huge old oak tree laying on its side. A deep hole was created under the tree's buttress roots when the great oak fell last week. A hole was cracked in on the seal above a 6' deep circular room that lead to a 20' deep circular room via a spiral stairway. With the scent of stale air emanating from within, the party pressed on and found a door that lead left and another that lead right of stone make. The left door had a 3' hole cracked in it that looks worn down and smooth and appeared to be tightly shut, the right door was slightly cracked open with mud that had washed in. After opening the left door after some difficulty, the party learned that it was well trod by large lizard foot prints. Once they opened the right door they found a large room with only a sarcophagus inside.