On February 26th, having returned from the Satyr lands 2 days before, Victor and Harold visit Castle Wraecliff to speak to a gnome (Sherbyes Mac Iarann) living there and studying in Ada’s library. He asked them there with a cryptic indication that he needed help with a dangerous and politically sensitive attempt to get knowledge. When they meet him, he informs them that he has heard that the goblins of the Union of Schek have been able to access the High Vale College library in the campus the lich rules over. They agree to help him gain access as well.
- Victor (TrS): Level 2 Elf Thief
- Harold (MiM): Level 2 Halfling Thief
They leave the following morning. They decide to follow the west river, but on the east bank, arriving Tuesday March 1st at the Great Road, where they lay low until dark. After sunset, the cross under the rising full moon and presumably the eyes of a watch tower they can see down the road. With no indication they have been spotted, they head toward the nearest hill, away from the road to the college, and camp there for the night.
In the morning they make their way north until they see a camp fire near the river. Victor’s scouting discovers they are from Schek Tarifk, not one of the Union Schek, just the same, they turn west and cross the river down river from them, heading directly west toward the college, based on their best estimates. Soon, they see the college road with an intersection where three bugbears are loitering (not camped). Telling Sherbyes to stay back, they creep forward and prepare an ambush.
Harold puts a well-placed bolt into the big one and he stays up! Victor rushes in, slashing him with daggers to little effect. As the bugbears attack Victor, he dodges most of the big club, but is clipped slightly, falling as he attempts to dodge the smaller bugbears, who pounce on him with brutal blows.
Victor fears he is not long for the world, but he flings his Coin of Distraction high into the air and gets to his feet. This buys Harold the time to reload his crossbow and while Victor stabs the leader once more, catches his coin, and flees for the wood Harold puts another bolt through the leader’s head, dropping him. With their leader fallen, the other two flee to the north. They decide not to pursue, calling Sherbyes to follow as they run down the road west toward the college.
By so doing, they arrive at the library unimpeded by any guard and see the sphinx librarian there waiting. Sherbyes tells her he’s a guest and she offers to allow him entry if he can prove he is worthy by answer her riddles. He goes up to hear the riddles but fails to answer them, leaving in disappointment. Victor takes a stab at it as well and is turned away.
When they offer to escort Sherbyes back to the Vale, he is desperate to stay and try again in a week when the sphinx is willing to test him again. They decide he may be safe at the college cathedral, a place they have witnessed combating the undead when they stray too near. When they knock on the door, a glowing elf answers and agrees to accept Sherbyes to serve in the cathedral in exchange for shelter. He informs them the cathedral has no need for food and Harold and Victor leave what food they can spare with him to get him time to work out fishing in the lake or something. The glowing elf lays hands on Victor, healing him, and they depart, following the lake south to avoid detection by the Union of Schek guardians around the college.
They are spotted crossing the river, but beat their pursuers to the Great Road and head east toward gnomish lands, bluffing off the pony-riding goblin who catches them. They continue east and make camp with a gnomish caravan going west.
During the night, hobgoblins (orc/goblin mixes who are often outcast from the Schek) attempt tp steal the gnomes’ oxen. Four of them cover with wide, thistle-wicker shields against gnomish crossbows while the other four lead the oxen away. With Victor in close cutting down shield bearers and Harold sniping spearmen, they manage to stop the thieves with little damage, receiving gifts from the gnomes for their service.
They return to Citadel by March 4th. Both Harold and Victor level up.
Nearly 2 years ago, real time, they encountered this sphinx and lied saying they were students and then went to “get their IDs.” At that time, I had the same list of riddles ready that I used Saturday and had expected them to gain entry. It has been a long time coming. Find the prep for this session over on Patreon.