The party resume their adventure in the depths of Garan’s Tomb after their unsettling discovery of the artwork that casts doubt upon Saint Garan’s true nature. They decide to head back to the village and regroup. They spend a little time looking over the materials that Yarl stole from the tanner’s workshop. He managed to claim a scroll of Charm Monster, and a small journal. The journal contains lots of rambling: Vyn has been exposed… Arwell’s activities have set in motion terrible things… Demon Gate must be found… Charming a demon might help show the way… Father Ulric knows things….
The party go to see Father Ulric and visit his library again. Upon arrival, they tell him about their run-in with the 9 orcs back in Monument Canyon. He asks to see the amulet they recovered, and confirms that it is the insignia of the Blood Moon Orcs. He finds this troubling, and expresses concern about them having regrouped and formed a stronghold nearby.
Gwannyn looks around for some of the older books in the library. She finds An oral History of Garanton, A Study of Demons and Their Summoning, and a tome on the rules of gambling.
The first details the early history of Garanton. It was originally a small fishing village — much predating the abbey — which grew larger as traffic to the mines in the nearby hills and mountains increased. Villagers searching for new mining locations found the tomb, but could figure out no way to enter it. Over the years they collect carvings and scraps of ancient books about the area, all of which are incomplete and hard to decipher. What they manage to piece together is a tale of Castle Vyn and the blight it brought across the land, until Garan managed to lead the army that brought about its destruction. Since then the village has mostly seen peace. The book goes on about the Cycles of History, the Dalvin and the dominant role they had in the last cycle, and sinister forces that brought about the end of that cycle and downfall of the Dalvin race. It implies that this may be tied to whatever happened at Castle Vyn.
The book on demonology is written in a very old style that the party cannot decipher with ease. It appears to be written by an author known as Mir who refers to himself in the third person, but beyond that they can glean little in the time available.
The tome on gambling is greedily snatched up by Edmund, who learns the rules to several new dice games that he hadn’t heard of before but which he thinks could be easily taught to people… to his own advantage, of course.
Enough of the morning has passed in this research that it is time for lunch and the Test of the Blade. At lunch Annamar attempts to come on to Edmund, but he repels her advances claiming tiredness.
The Test starts, and each competitor has to attempt to best three increasingly tough opponents in non-lethal combat. Yarl totally sucks at it, but Desmond manages to beat two, and Gwannyn three. Havad and Annamar, who were tied at 9 points each overall, both do poorly, but Annamar’s 1 point from this event gives her 10, to the 9 Havad retains after losing in his first fight.
The villagers prepare for the ceremony honoring the winner of the games. Annamar is called forth to accept her accolades, when a cry of “Bullshit!” rings through the assembled crowd. Havad rushes forth from the mob and charges Annamar with his sword in hand. He rushes past Desmond, knocking him to the ground. Desmond picks himself up and throws himself at Havad, tackling him from behind. Wergen launches himself into the fray. A general melee between Havad and various members of the party and the Wilder Company erupts, with Havad eventually being subdued before storming off. Desmond goes off after him to attempt to calm him down, and manages to convince the raging warrior to not do anything drastic to himself or others. They then go off to Konnar’s for a couple beers and a nice dose of chill the fuck out.
Edmund takes advantage of the general chaos to slip into Father Ulrics bedroom while he is away. He finds a moderately sized but comfortable bed chamber. There are various paintings on the walls of groups of warriors in front of the abbey; these appear to be previous work of Brant Arwell, true to his earlier descriptions. There is also a comfortable looking four-poster bed with a large chest at the end of it. Edmund attempts to open this chest, but cannot. There are several books resting on it, including a recent history of Insecar and the father’s personal journal. A scan of the journal shows comments regarding concern over the demon attacks; mention of a group of mercenaries who have made themselves helpful; and a hope that this group will be able to locate Castle Vyn and defeat the forces within.
As he’s digging around he hears footsteps coming up the stairs, and sequesters himself behind a curtain. The door opens and in walks…. Dierdre! She does some poking around, then turns to the footlocker. Unable to open it, she forces the lock, reaches inside, and pulls out a black velvet cloak. Edmund decides to step out and challenges Dierdre about her actions. Dierdre starts talking about the concerns she has about the town and that something might be off about the church. She says she’d been reading Brant’s journal, and that it contained his tales of uncovering Castle Vyn on HIldor Bluff, and that various things he was seeing made him question the Garan orthodoxy. She says he also noted, in his last entry before he disappeared, that he thought he may have inadvertently opened a portal of some sort.
Edmund has a closer look at the cloak, and finds it to be of a fine quality, with a collar that has the coat of arms of Saint Garan. Dierdre tells him that this looks like the cloak that it supposed to be used at the ceremony for the new Champion. fall
Meanwhile, back with the mob, nightfall has come. Father Ulric is rounding up the procession of celebrants; it is tradition that all will proceed to Monument Canyon and, once there, at the entry to the Tomb of Saint Garan, the mantle will be bestowed upon the new Champion. The villagers and visitors all head into the woods on their way towards the canyon.
Edmund and Dierdre decide at this point that it would be wise to catch up with the procession. They hop on horseback and gallop towards the procession. In said procession, various rounds of Detect Magic and Detect Evil have gone off and the party have learned that Father Ulric has a magic sword, Annamar has a magic weapon, and a villager has a small magical knife, but none of it is evil. This is of small comfort to the party, who have grown increasingly suspicious of everything going on.
Just as Edmund and Dierdre catch up with the group a fusillade of arrows sails out of the woods about 60’ to the forward left of the head of the procession. All parties man battle stations, and the warrior types charge into the thicket the arrows came from, to find a small party of archer orcs reeling backwards. Blows are traded back and forth, and several of the orcs fall. As the odds begin looking good for the party a large ogre comes out of the underbrush to the aid of the orcs. He takes a giant swing at Annamar, who falls. As Desmond and Ralauren put on a comedy routine with a pebble, a spell of Light, and throws at each others heads, Gwannyn strides towards the front of the melee and heals Annamar. This enrages the ogre, who strikes with a renewed fury. Yorl takes a giant chunk out of him, and Annamar finishes the job. Edmund and Desmond finish up the remaining orcs and he good guys regroup.
The good guys present on the scene then dash forward towards the canyon, where the non-combatants had fled when melee broke out. Once there, they are relieved to find everyone safe. As everyone sits down the party demand some answers from Father Ulric about… all the general confusion and shady dealings. Gwannyn casts Detect Evil again and finds an aura of evil coming from Dierdre. She reveals the cloak she found in Ulric’s chambers… which looks like a precise copy of the one he had borne this far to use in he coronation. That one was not evil.
As Ulric begins to talk, everyone sees a large flock of demons fly overhead towards the village. The more physically able begin a hell-for-leather race towards town. They get in to town to find various buildings aflame and dead villagers and demons scattered about. As they’re passing Konnar’s a demon raises his bloody face from the feast he was making of a dead villager and runs toward the party, only to be felled. Looking about, the party then see a large melee happening at the abby, where a handful of human figures appear to be in a pitched battle with a number of demons.
The party run in that direction, with Edmond, sitting on Desmond’s back MasterBlaster style, launching arrows as they run. Several demons fall, and the party enter melee with the remainder. One of the human combatants is Sir Havad. As this round of demons get slain, another lands behind the party, but they are also quickly defeated.
With the immediate threat over, the remainder of the shattered procession return to town. Father Ulric tells the party that he wishes to speak to them at length the next day regarding their next actions, especially in regards to something Arwell had told him about Castle Vyn, but that first he wanted to tend to his town, remove the dead, and comfort the living.