The Order of the Abbey

The Second Session

Game play began where it left of in Session I, with Floyd heading over to the Gilded Lily to tell Abel about the murder in town. Floyd arrived at the Gilded Lily to find that Abel had left town that morning to investigate a disturbance involving owlbears, and that the boys should stay put and out of trouble. With this too-little, too-late information, Floyd went back to find the others.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Drooley, largely uninterested in the idea of solving a murder, unofficially deputized the boys to follow up on the case. Key evidence discovered by Brix includes the blood on the dead woman’s ear ring, which is shaped like a star. This was strange because the woman had been strangled, and there were no signs of a cut or puncture on the woman’s body. Guy was able to discern the woman’s employer and place of residents by questioning some of the nearby townspeople. The first order of business as far as the party was concerned was to question the woman’s boss, a merchant named Tolgas.

The boys arrived at Tolgas’ home (after Virgil takes the body to the local church for proper disposal), which was decorated with big-game trophies, only to find Tolgas to be hostile and threatening in the face of their line of questioning. While not entirely satisfied with his answers, Tolgas had a somewhat corroborate-able alibi, so the party left and went to the boarding house / inn where the woman lived. There, they met Maggie, the owner of the house, who was seemingly less helpful in cooperating with the investigation, despite the party’s claims of official business in lieu of the sheriff. Floyd went to the sheriff’s office to talk to Drooley. Virgil, frustrated, goes to the general store to buy some pipe tobacco and a pipe that could be used in a pinch as a club.

Brix and Guy, meanwhile, remained at the boarding house to try and persuade Maggie or proceed with the investigation without her. Guy attempts to head upstairs, but Maggie calls out her “reinforcements,” a mildly retarded kitchen cook the size of an upright piano, who dissuades Guy from going upstairs without permission. Brix attempts to buy Maggie’s cooperation, and succeeds. Brix and Guy are granted access to the woman’s room, which doesn’t yield much, but during the search, their conversation with Maggie leads to the revelation that she had recently been spending a lot of time with an out-of-towner who is hanging out downstairs in the bar, spending a lot of money drinking.

Taking up the kids-in-awe angle, Guy and Brix strike up a conversation with the man, whose name is discovered to be Gruth. Gruth buys rounds for himself and the boys while Guy asks him about his exploits. It becomes clear through the course of the conversation that it was Gruth who killed the woman, and that he was paid to do so.

Floyd, meanwhile, has engaged Drooley in conversation back at the sheriff’s office. Drooley has spent the afternoon drinking, and is pretty far gone. Floyd is disturbed by the town’s lack of concern over crime in their town, and decides to do something about it when Virgil arrives, having completed his purchase and grown bored while smoking at the hotel. After Drooley passes out, Virgil and Floyd beat him savagely in an attempt to send a wakeup call to the town about the crime spree. They then head back to the boarding house to find Brix & Guy.

When they arrive, and see the other two talking to Gruth, they immediately behave as though they’re not with Guy & Brix, and sit at a table nearby, waiting for Gruth to sufficiently incriminate himself. Once he does that, Virgil gives Gruth a wallop hard enough to knock the latter unconscious. This act attracts the ire of Maggie, who asks the boys to conduct their business elsewhere.

The boys bind Gruth and take him to the sheriff’s office, where they strip him of his possessions and put him in a cell. Suddenly concerned with creating confusion over what crime was committed by whom, the boys bring Drooley downstairs to try and make the beating seem more like a fall down the stairs. After questioning Gruth, the boys are able to get the impression that Tolgas is likely responsible for hiring Gruth to kill the woman (for reasons probably related to the feathers found on the woman’s person; these suspicions would prove to be well-founded). While the others continue to question Gruth, Guy heads off to Tolgas’ house. He sneaks into the house, and is almost discovered, but not before he comes up with evidence that Tolgas is indeed the responsible party. He narrowly escapes the house, but Tolgas realizes that he is found out, and the boys learn that Tolgas plans to move out of Verl’s Crook, forcing their hand. Meanwhile, Gruth still refuses to incriminate Tolgas directly.

The party makes speedily for Tolgas’ house with what weaponry is available (mainly spears, clubs, and a confiscated short sword). After stumbling on a pit trap, they find Tolgas in his basement, where they handily dispatch him. The basement, as it turns out, is a barbaric owlbear training facility. Correspondence in the possession of Tolgas reveals that he was training owlbears for a man named Doogal. The boys also take possession of some coins, a short bow, and Tolgas’ snake shaped dagger. Some of the money recovered can be used as to implicate Gruth to the murder.

The boys return to the sheriff’s office to find Drooley coming out of his stupor. He and Maggie have a quick pow-wow with the boys waiting upstairs. Maggie comes up to inform the boys that Drooley will be given credit for the investigation. They are a bit put out by this, Guy and Brix more than the other two; they vandalize Tolgas’ house that night to lower its resale value.

Abel arrives the next morning, bearing battle wounds from two owlbears they killed. He learns of the boy’s exploits from Maggie, though Floyd takes great pains to explain the party’s side of the story, displaying a disturbing trend towards full disclosure. Abel and the boys head back for the Morningstar Abbey (with a stop at Viggio’s along the way where Abel picks up something for him). On the way, Abel reveals what he knows of Doogal – that he’s an ex-mercenary who once attempted to siege the southern town of Compassgate. Doogal’s last known whereabouts involve him hiding out in the caves of the mountain range (information derived from the tight-lipped, doomed Gruth).

The boys arrive back at the abbey in time for bed. The next morning, they return to working with their mentors. Both Brix and Virgil are given invitations from Ethan and Elliott, respectively, to meet up with them (along with their friends) later in the day. Guy works with Brother Samarid, and discovers Samarid has training outside of the monastary’s defensive fighting techniques. Samarid agrees to train Guy to fight, and Guy discovers that the choker collar that his mentor wears has some magical restraining function. Samarid also implies that the boys are not free to leave the monastery anytime they want, though that had never been expressed to them before. Floyd tells the story of the boys’ exploits to Brother Art, who attempts to instruct Floyd in the art of using a story to sell something.

At lunch, Guy expresses a concern that the monastery is more of a prison than a sanctuary, given the unusual backgrounds of many of the residents on the grounds, including the boys. They make a sort of “all-for-one, and one-for-all” pact. Though this pact does not include Zarin and Eric, the other 16 year old kids at the monastery, they agree to watch out for their safety as well. Coincidentally, Zarin approaches the boys during lunch to tell them about a cave he wants them to see north of the monastery. Recollecting the information regarding Doogal, the boys agree to see it at a later time, though they must turn down the offer to see it that evening due to prior engagements.

At the end of the day, the boys go to see Brother Elliott, the first of their appointments. Brother Elliott is interested in learning something about the boys vis avis a magical glass ball that each boy is asked to hold. The ball yields the following properties:

Virgil – the ball glows red. Virgil’s magical energy (whatever it may be) is aligned toward Abjuration, and it is opposed to Conjuration.

Brix – the ball glows white. Brix’s energy is aligned with Divination, and it is opposed to (not noted).

Both Guy and Floyd cause the ball to glow green. They are aligned to Enchantment, they are opposed to Necromancy.

After explaining this to the boys, Elliott reveals that he has laid out a summoning circle on the floor, but the magic is interrupted by the arrival of Abbott Teris, who tersely informs the boys that it is time for supper, and requests the opportunity to speak to Brother Elliott alone. The boys head to the supper hall, where they eat ham. As is the way of things, a wayward dwarf happens to be eating and staying at the abbey that night, and he is full of news. One key piece of news is that Gruth has escaped prison in Verl’s Crook. The second piece of information is that the reigning Cardinal of the land is dead, and a new Cardinal has succeeded him. This news seems to affect Abbott Teris greatly, and he withdraws from the hall. The boys promptly follow him, questioning him about why he left. Floyd discloses a little more than the rest of the party feels he should regarding their relation to the Gruth, and Teris explains that he was dear friends with the now-deceased Cardinal.

At this time, the party takes the opportunity to find out why they are bound to the Abbey. Teris reveals that the six sixteen year olds living at the abbey are, to Teris’ knowledge, are among the twelve children born that year. He has taken measures to magically advance the ages of the non-humans so that they all grow at the same rate. The boys are disappointed that they did not learn this sooner, but are assuaged of the suspicion that they are being held prisoner. Clearly, Teris knows something that he is not sharing at the present, but there are various prophecies regarding these boys in various cultures around the world. In addition, Teris informs the boys that there is a wooden box under his bed that he wants the boys to have should anything happen to him.

At the conclusion of this conversation, it is near midnight, and the time has come to meet with Brother Ethan. Brother Ethan meets them outside the grounds that night, with shovels for everyone. He makes everyone share a blood oath that they will not share what goes on that night with anyone else. Everyone cuts the palm of their hands and allows blood to hit the ground, except Floyd, who cuts his forearm so as not be in pain while he digs with a shovel.

End of Session II

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