Entry: Ink’s Log
After we had recovered from the “wolf” attack (thanks, Ranger, for getting caught with your pants down) we took a closer look at the notes we’d found on the body of the messenger (he was an evil bastard, I don’t care what anyone (Sanguinus!) says) and, having decided we could do nothing with the first, made the decision to head to Mobile to see what we could discover about this Jack Frumstick (or Frumstack – the last name was a bit smudged). I wasn’t exactly sure why we were interested in the town and its problems, but hey, a new town meant new pockets to pick so who was I to complain?
Mobile was not exactly what I expected, although it seemed no surprise to some members of our party. The whole place was dark and dank and buzzards flew overhead. There were no immediately discernible dead bodies lying around so we decided to continue on into the town. We could see a large building toward the center, its facade ominous in the dim light. None of us was in a hurry to visit this place, so instead we did what any self-respecting group of travelers would do: we headed to the inn. The Three Legged Lady was everything you could ever hope for.
It was clear, once inside, that not a lot of strangers passed this way. Our group drew some stares so we quickly separated. The cleric and the druid approached the bar at different ends, the ranger and I sank back into the shadows, and the paladin looked around, probably doing what he usually does, which is look for evil. Beleg Everlost seemed to be having some luck (for once) and motioned me to approach two men who were deep in conversation. Although most of the patrons of the inn appeared to be down on their luck, these two were better dressed. I hung back in the shadows, trying to eavesdrop on their conversation, but I guess I was out of practice because one of them turned, looked at me, and snarled at me to back off and mind my own business. I took the suggestion, slinking back against the wall and moving away from them.
About then, I heard a ruckus and, turning, was just in time to see the paladin attack the two men I’d approached. Great. Just great. He’s a hothead when it comes to dealing with evil and there was no doubt in my mind he’d detected that these two fit the description or he wouldn’t have felt obligated to act. (He’d felt the need to try to act on me, I was sure, but luckily for him, he’d so far resisted that urge.) While I can admire that sort of dedication, it makes life hard.
A quick scan of the room revealed the paladin in full on melee, the cleric was on his stool, flinging beer into the faces of the crowd as they either pulled back or ran for the door. As he did so he called on the name of his god. Crazy old man was baptizing! The ranger had loosed a warning arrow towards a man sat in the corner who was clearly applying poison to a dagger, but the warning had little effect. I turned and sent my own daggers at the man who’d snarled at me, but my aim was off and they bounced off his leather armor. About that time the druid (here we go again) transformed into some sort of huge woolly beast with tusks. He was so big his head and shoulders broke through the second floor. The brave souls who had stayed to watch the fight decided, at that moment, they had somewhere else to be and started heading for the door. The beast skewered one of the “enemies,” who then dangled from a tusk. I moved behind my target who was engaged with Sanguinus and managed to retrieve a ring from his pocket before I backed away.
The remaining men (the poisoner and my new “enemy”) made a break for the door. We could hear the crowd outside yelling that the watch was coming. The ranger shot the poisoner in the leg and he went down. I took a rolling dive at the other one and, although I managed to knock him down, he got his dagger into me. It wasn’t a bad wound and I managed to get him in a choke hold and held him down while Sanguinus (who himself was injured, having been on the receiving end of the inn-keep’s arquebus) questioned him. As a group, we were able to determine from conversations with the inn-keep, patrons, and our captive, that a man named Gideon was the mayor of Mobile and that everyone in town was afraid to go out after dark because of some beast that came out at night. We also knew that the men we’d fought with were undoubtedly evil.
About that time we heard more shouting from outside and knew that more of the watch was on the way. Not really having much choice, we stepped outside and soon realized we were outnumbered. It was probably right around the time we started catching arrows with our bodies. Beleg. Cephus, and I pretty much surrendered at that point, while the druid shifted into a ferret and escaped. Sanguinus, ever convinced of his rightousness, attempted to explain we hadn’t started the fight and had, in fact, saved the town from evil men. Unfortunately, the witnesses from the inn contradicted him, saying he had attacked the men with no provocation. The watch then explained that we had attacked members of the secret police, including the head. I surreptitiously slipped the ring I’d lifted out of my pocket and took a closer look at it. It was a signet ring, and the sigil it bore was the same as that we’d found on the first note the messenger had been carrying – the one that belonged to the werewolf house. I put it in my pack as discreetly as I could.
Our next stop was the city jail. I won’t go into too many details about our stay here. Suffice it to say once we found out that we’d killed one and injured two members of the secret police and that we were likely to die for our crime (thanks again Sang-whiny-us) we decided it might be time to get out of Mobile. While Cephus and the paladin distracted the guards in the hall, I picked the lock of the cell that Beleg and I had been placed in. The druid found a mousehole or something and, in ferret shape, slipped in to see if he could free us. We somehow managed to either kill or knock the guards out (with the druid ending up down the pants of one guard and another of them stabbing me in the leg). Once out of our cells, however, we had another problem. We were underground and the only way out was a door at the end of the corridor. It had no visible means of opening from our side. A helpful guard (one we hadn’t killed) told us we had to ring the bell and that someone would come and open the door from the other side. We decided that as soon as someone answered the ring, we’d make our escape. Sadly, for the guard who answered the ring, I was the one tasked with dispatching him and my enthusiasm got the best of me and he ended up a foot shorter and not breathing. I knew I’d made a mistake and I could feel Sanguinus’ eyes boring into me. I knew I’d done myself no favors with him, but really, what did he think would happen? It was his fault we were in this mess in the first place. And people think I’m rash?
We made our way upstairs searching for our belongings which had, of course, been confiscated upon our arrest. We found a locked cupboard and, once again, I picked the lock, breaking my pick in the process. The only things inside were cleaning supplies, but a closer inspection by Beleg revealed a secret door in the back. We still needed to find our weapons and bags so the druid and I went in search while the others slipped out the secret door. We found our belongings, but not without getting caught. Luckily, the druid changed into a skunk, sprayed a few guards, and we were able to escape.
Once outside we headed about half a mile outside of town and made camp, figuring we were safe from pursuit at least since we knew no one from town went outside at night.
Regrouping, we realized that we couldn’t go back into town to find Jack Frumsta(i)ck so we needed a new approach. The next day Beleg and the druid went to a logging camp to see if they could find anything out about the village elder. Although they didn’t get the answers they were looking for, they did find out that there was more than one beast and sightings had been on the increase and that the problem had started before Gideon took office. While the druid and ranger were visiting the logging camp, Cephus and I went to a nearby farmhouse. The paladin stayed behind to defend the camp. We learned that Frumstick/stack would be making a visit to a nearby mill the next day so the following day we waited until after his visit to approach him. We told him we’d found his message. He was willing to talk to us, but didn’t want to do it in the open.