2. The Lost Shipment
The next day, the party, in the company of the Troupe and Grenthor, once again returned to Duford. Most dedicated their afternoon to some relaxation, mainly staying at the local inn while the Troupe’s band performed with Buzz joining them. Over the course of the night, Varris and Jester caught sight of a newcomer, an elven man, who seemed to have struck up some inquisitive conversation with the innkeeper. Though the two kept a close eye on him, the rest of the night continued uneventfully. Come morning, the party proceeded on a string of errands before accepting a task from Grenthor to investigate and possibly retrieve a shipment of ores. They narrowed down the possible location of the shipment to a farmstead located about half a day’s travel west. Reaching the Schmidts’ farm, the noticed bare traces of grisly meat before discovering the presence of monstrous, chicken-like creatures in the actual home. Though a few of the adventurers briefly suffered from petrification, the group avoided any lasting effects and successfully disposed of the monstrosities. The party searched the rest of the premises, finding only the scarce remains of its owners and no sign of the ores. They rested there for the night before traveling further west to the mines the following day. Continuing their search, the adventurers continued again on the road, this time to the mines. Arriving there, they surveyed the walled off complex and the surrounding area before realizing that the place had been overrun with ghouls. The party enacted a plan to retrieve the shipment without fighting the undead, and that separated the party into pair. They, ultimately, alerted the creatures to their presence. Standing their ground, they began to battle the ghouls. The fight seemed mainly in their favor as Andraste thinned out their attackers with a successful turning, but the separated groups eventually found themselves flanked by shadows. The strength sapping entities whittled them down along with the assault of the remaining ghouls. Jester repeatedly met out divinely empowered strikes to whittle down the undead surrounding her and the cleric, while a newcomer–the moon elf from the tavern–arrived behind Varris and Buzz and quickly disposed of the shadows assailing them. With the undead finally defeated, the party breathed a sigh of relief. The elf, paying them not too much mind, momentarily proceeded on his business, until asked of his identity. Introducing himself as Firon Gael’toryn, an official in the Order of Avalon, he explained that the area had recently been rumored to harbor signs of creatures of the Scourge. The Order’s influence in the area had been minimal so long as the war remained a conflict between the major political powers, though indications of the Scourge and similar entities allow them to exert more control in its containment. Though Firon questioned the party’s business in the mines at first, he ultimately did nothing more to interfere with their business, and the party successfully secured the shipment of ores.
"My arse woulda been roasted without 'em, and they seemed like the helpful sort to find my wares."
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