Set to parchment this 31st day of the
Month of Sorrows, in 1332 the year of the Standard…
I find it interesting that I have nothing interesting to report. Nothing of interest to the mission or the project, that is. For me, the most interesting event is the one with the exiled Gypsy, Varisia, which took place in the wee hours of the morning as the team was monitoring the egress in the town’s wall. The admitted murderess of Lord Finesmith’s nephew Quarrel is thereby apprehended by the team, questioned, and they subsequently release her. The team buys into her lies, that she suffered magical coercion in committing the murder, while using poison no less (she even uses the same poison against the team), and they believe her sad story of remorse, complete with batting eyelashes and moist cheeks. The team grants her an unauthorized and unjustified pardon, letting her go scott free (Oh, they take the poison and the offending weapon, but do not leave her unarmed). She is, in fact, remanded to Fosse Keep for her own protection, leaving a confessed killer to go free for her life, supposedly being protected from those servants of diabolism who she is actually working for. It was all I could do to keep silent.
Certainly I am extremely thankful that this is a side mission, and has nothing to do with the Project. Well, we want team member who can take authority… and this lot fills that bill. Until someone with rightful authority objects to their methods, that is. At least lord high-and-aloof up on the hill delegates his authority to the reeve, and this must set some precedent for the team to justify overstepping their authority.
Incredibly, the Gypsy assassin names her employer, one noble hight Donal Merrowfield, and hands over the very knife used to kill Quarrel. And she is let go. The chances that she will ever set foot in Fosse Keep, in my humble opinion, is exactly zero. She is likely in some tavern relishing over some new found fortune she’s stolen.
Yawn. The team lets one of their own, Cian, get kidnapped while recovering from some disorder of the stomach, which at least leads them to a suspect, the handyman at the Witheridge Inn, Zac. They also discover clues leading to a warehouse, break into it and essentially murder the owner, who is admittedly one of the cultists. They vigorously interrogate him, and are caught in ambush by the cultists summoned devil. The devil summons a swarm of insects that nearly wipes out our team, but they pull together to save themselves, letting the owner of the warehouse die, and giving him no real concern whatsoever.
The fiend flees, and the team presses on, discovering the missing strangers, Cian, and Gareth Fosseway in holding cells in a secluded cellar, complete with the makings of a diabolic summoning circle.
The team next manages to get themselves captured in the cells, and nearly wiped out once again by the little fiend, known as Zebub, and his insect swarms. Ingenuity saves the day, for Father Calen summons a… what is that? I think it is a donkey, yes a donkey. This ass (the donkey, not Father Calen), braying all the while, kicks at the locked cell door and manages to crack it before it slips due to the magical grease on the floor, falls to the ground and poofs back to whence such things come. The team breaks the door the rest of the way, releases all the captives, only to be caught in a fracas upstairs in the main warehouse. The whole fell cult, sans the leader who is packing for his getaway, pounces on the team and their captives. Fortunately for the team, once the bespelled cult members take some lumps, they miraculously come to their senses and surrender, claiming to have had no free will in their actions. All but Zac, who was a true cultist and blind follower of their master Merrowfield.
Having rescued the brother, and Cian, the team hands the matter over to Reeve Sir Anders, who pats them on their proverbial backs, gives them a slight reward, and scoots them on their way. Meanwhile, the real villains, Merrowfield and Varisia have slipped out of town for who knows where, to practice their diabolry again. Not to mention that the little fiend Zebub escaped as well.
Hopefully what the cult second, Zac Harrowman, said was true… the little devil is only serving so that Merrowfield will summon its master. The master not summoned, Zebub has sworn to slay Merrowfield. In any case, I truly hope our team, when they take on missions for the Project, do not give them such half-assed treatment as they did this mission. I can just see the team prancing home with some target artifact in hand, only to be pursued and slain by the protector of the artifact they decide is inconsequential and a non-threat. Of course, I leave it entirely to you, my good masters, to choose the method of advisement or discipline regarding Team 37.
yours as always
Master Ervain of Littlehollow
Chronicler Third Class