We arrive at Hammerfast! In the gatehouse we meet the Captain of the City Guard, Tencar Stoneshield. Tencar welcomes us to the wonderful city of Hammerfast and asks us to identify ourselves so that he can enter our names into the guest book. He warns that we should not make any trouble in town and that we should try to stick to the Gate Ward, a section of the city just around the gate where non-locals are allowed.

And then the duck waddled through the puddle.

As we are finishing up with Tencar, a large group with wagons approached the gatehouse. As we all turned to look, they ripped off their traveling cloaks and made to attack the guards. Being the good citizens that we are, we jumped in to help. It turns out that the attackers were death cultists trying to get into the city and break into the many old tombs and mausoleums therein. Tencar told us not to let any of them pass us and get into the city. We were doing well at keeping them bottled up in the gatehouse, when suddenly one of them made a break for the inner door. There was very little that could be done at stopping him from reaching his goal. Luckily, Keira was fast enough to get out in front of the intruder and stop him from gaining entrance to the city. In stopping him, Keira took a hit which activated the Aegis of Ensnarement that I had placed on him earlier which allowed me to teleport him back to my side where he was swiftly dealt with.

Tencar was very grateful for our assistance and to show his appreciation he took us all to Foundation Stone Tavern, a local haunt of his. On our way to the tavern we noticed that there were a lot of ghosts in the city. Many of them seemed to be interacting with the living in their everyday chores. We asked Tencar about the ghosts and he explained that Hammerfast used to be a necropolis, a city of the dead, until in the last war against the orcs, it was necessary to retreat into its walls to better defend from the attacks. And since then the city has been populated by both the living and the dead.

While we were relaxing in the tavern with Tencar, a ghost drifted over and challenged us to a game of cards. The ghost, Darzer, claims that the winner of the game will receive a “special bonus”. Tencar says that he has played the game many times with Darzer and has never seen any of these special bonuses that the ghost mentions. We decide to humor Darzer and play the game.

Darzer then explained the game to us. He said that the each card had a specific value attached to it and that the point of the game was to have the least number of points at the end. The point system is as follows: numbers are worth their face value, Jacks and Queens are worth 10 points each, Kings are worth 0 points, Jokers are worth -5 points and the Aces are worth one point. Each player receives 9 cards which are then placed face down on the table in front of them in a 3×3 grid. We were then to turn over two of the cards over so that they are face up. On your turn you can either pick from the discard pile which is face up or from the deck which is face down. You can then either place the card in the formation in front of you replacing one of the cards in your hand or discard it. If you get three of the same cards in a row, then you can remove that row or column from your hand. After the first person unveils all of his cards, there is one more round in which everyone has a chance to finish their hand. After that final round all cards are turned over and totals are calculated. The person with the least number of points wins.

Greggory had the best beginner’s luck and managed to win the game. As a reward Darzer gave him the Boon Deck, which was the deck that we had just been playing with, and said that whenever we were about to enter a battle, we could play through a hand and the winner of the game would receive a special bonus for the battle.

The Beginning

We had just returned to the Seven-Pillared Hall after clearing out the labyrinth. We entered the rare item shop and found the owner reading a letter that was in a package from a friend. He asks if we would mind helping out a friend of his, Vesper Demoneye, who is an innkeeper at the Red Devil Inn in the city of Lightharbor.

The Shopkeeper told us that in order to get to Lightharbor we would need to travel east from the Seven-Pillared Hall to the Dwarven city of Hammerfast. From there we would need to continue on to the coast where we would find Lightharbor.

We told the Shopkeeper that we would go and assist his friend. We then headed over to the stables to get some trusty steeds to speed us on our way. When we entered the stable shop, we found the gentleman poring over a letter and looking at a box that was on his desk. Since the fellow looked extremely befuzzled we asked if there was anything we could do to help. He explained that his friend had sent him this package as part of a competition between each other to try to outwit each other, but that this one had him stumped.

He showed us the box and we could see that there was an grid of recesses in the surface of the lid where you could arrange some colored stones on it. There were also several dwarven letters along the top and left side of the grid.

After some deliberation we were able to determine that the grid was a representation of several notes on the guitar and where the fingers would be positioned. As we laid the last stone into position, the box popped open. Inside the box there was an Instant Campsite. The stable hand gave us the instant campsite as thanks for helping him to solve this riddle. He also gave us a discount on the horses that we bought for our travels.

We then began our journey through the woods. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long until we stumbled on a group of owlbears in a clearing in the woods. The owlbears charged at us and pretty much had us surrounded. But not for long. Chali took one of the owlbears and teleported with it to the other side, isolating it from the rest of us. Keira ran around the group to try to get a flanking position, while Erevan teleported over to get a good position.

The owlbears took longer to defeat than we originally thought. We almost lost Greggory. After defeating the owlbears, we continued on our journey.


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