It would seem the Spriggans are quite content to stay in their fort instead of coming out to fight us. The night passed uneventfully and we made plans to explore the rest of Varnhold together. Directly across the house we slept in was an inn, cheerily decorated, but just as abandoned as the other buildings in this city. We noticed a word carved on the door in Common: “Nomen.” We recall Varnhold’s conflict in the past with the Nomen centaurs that lived here before them. Perhaps the Nomen are responsible for the disappearance of Varnhold?
Inside, we found a lone Spriggan standing. Before any rational thought could be made, Abraham charged the creature and ran it through with his rapier. It would seem the creature was already dead before Abraham charged it. I inspected the creature and found a wound on the back of its head that seemed to have been made post-mortem. Shtor comments that someone had a similar idea to Abraham before we arrived. We could not fail to notice that a nimbus of glittering light floated around the Spriggan’s body. Abraham identified the nimbus as the aftereffects of a sepia snake sigil spell. Apparently, this Spriggan had become too curious for his own good and had activated a trap spell while looting this inn. Who caved in his skull is still unknown.
The Spriggan seemed to have been holding a book titled Secrets of the Rashalka Mounds by Ernst Gavinport. The table he is lying by is littered with similar books, scrolls, and an unfinished manuscript. As Abraham and I inspected the table, we found a letter addressed to one Maestro Pendrod from Maegar Varn, the mayor of Varnhold. I recall the name Pendrod, he is a well known scholar of Iobarian culture and a master playwright. According to this letter, Varn and his men had found a curious jade bracelet along the banks of a nearby river. Varn believed the bracelet to be of Iobarian make and asked that his old teacher come to inspect it closer. Abraham claimed the Maestro’s books as his own and is quite intent on reading them further.
Shtor appeared from upstairs, he had inspected the rooms and found the Maestro’s living quarters. He carries with him Maestro Pendrod’s legendary viola and a book. He does not say what is in the book, but keeps it for himself.
There is little more in this inn save for plates of untouched, molding food. The mystery of Varnhold’s vanishing deepens.
Our continued investigation into Varnhold reveals a church and graveyard. While Abraham and I inspected the 14 gravestones in the graveyard, Karigan managed to find a hidden compartment in the church’s altar containing precious, magic scrolls. We will definitely have use of these later. After that, we came upon an abandoned house full of wooden toys for absent children. We found a scrawny cat inside and Karigan managed to coax the cat into her arms. Then, Shtor used a bit of his gnomish magic to communicate with the cat. It told of its owners leaving in the “red sun time” after they heard the “new bird song.” This feline’s speech doesn’t make too much sense and that is really all we can get it to tell us, other than it is hungry for fish.
Next, we found a granary, full of rats. As soon as we opened the doors, the rats swarmed us. Disgusting creatures! A few managed to bite me before we killed them. I hope these rats weren’t diseased or anything like that. The granary was empty and so we moved on.
Our search revealed more empty houses and a gemcutter’s business. Being so near the stockade at the top this hill, the glass containers are shattered and were thoroughly looted by the Spriggans.
Last, we came to a curious, sod house built into the side of the hill. From what we could tell, this house belonged to a Willas Gundarson, an Ulfen trapper from up north who had come south with Maegar’s Varnling Host to establish this city. Shtor makes the connection that this man found a curious green bracelet mentioned in Varn’s letter to Maestro Pendrod, but a search of the house reveals no such bracelet.
Night was upon us again and we returned to the same house we slept in the night before. Abraham is eager to storm the palisade and is already hatching ideas. I just hope we can do so safely and learn what happened to Varnhold.