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.