We woke up this morning to find the town covered in snow. The snow and ice will make storming into the stockade that much more difficult. From inside the shelter of our stolen house, we made a plan of battle. Shtor stole a peek behind the wooden palisade last time we were there. The courtyard is protected by some spriggans and a pack of wolves. Pete offered the idea of scaling the wall and then clearing the courtyard before we moved into the stockade building.
Abraham and Godfrey, however, seemed quite intent on following their own plan. Godfrey was adamant in that he could not scale the palisade wall and even after Shtor offered to throw a rope over to help him climb, the dwarf was still quite stubborn. He was not going to climb the wall. So, Abraham instructed Godfrey to take up position at the front gate while Abraham himself went to the northside of the palisade to provide some sort of distraction for those of us in the courtyard. I asked Abraham for just what he wanted to do and why he could not come with us, and all he replied was “I have plans for the watchtower.” These two may be the death of me, yet.
None of us liked the idea of Godfrey storming the gate alone, so it was decided that Karigan should stick with him. The dwarf and the elf together. That doesn’t seem volatile at all.
So, we went out separate ways. Abraham sneaked along the bank of the river and the rest of us stayed at the base of the hill. We were told to wait for Abraham’s signal. As we waited, we saw a dark shape fly up the hill and towards the watchtower. Abraham had been spotted and the spriggans in the watchtower were shouting. I guess that was our signal. We split into two groups with Pete, Shtor, and myself making a straight line for the palisade wall, and Godfrey and Karigan heading south to break through the gate.
The snow made hiking up the hill slow, but Pete and I were the first to arrive. We were spotted by a spriggan at the gate and he raised the alarm. So much for Abraham’s distraction. Pete let off a shot and I could see the spriggan’s head turn to pink mist. From the howling of the wolves on the other side of the palisade, I knew our cover was blown. Pete and I climbed the palisade, but Pete slipped on the ice and fell square on his butt.
We were immediately surrounded by wolves and spriggans in their large form. One even threw an anvil at me. Nearly knocked me off my feet. Pete fired at the wolves where he lay and the spriggans enclosed around us. I turned the snow underneath their feet into a weapon, but it was just two of us against all of them. Just then, Shtor leaped from the top of the palisade to put himself directly between myself and my attackers. With one slice, he gutted the anvil-tossing spriggan and set into the others. I am glad we made friends with this gnome.
There was an explosion inside the stockade house and we saw brief spurts of flame. Abraham was inside. Someone was firing down on us from an arrowslit and Pete placed a well-aimed shot (threading the needle as it were) to send the sniper packing. The wolves and spriggans in the courtyard began to fall, but then more spriggans rushed from the house to join the fight and to escape whatever explosion had occurred inside.
Pete spotted one spriggan racing across the courtyard, making to escape, but a well placed shot between the shoulders made short work of him. That must have been the leader, because once he fell, the remaining spriggans surrendered.
Shtor spoke to the spriggans in Gnome and discovered that this group belonged to the Culchek Tribe that lived south in the mountains. They arrived a few days ago and took over Varnhold after finding it empty. They had made themselves busy looting the town and making themselves at home. They knew nothing of what happened to Varnhold’s citizens. We asked them about the Nomen centaurs and learned a pack of them lives to the east. We demanded them to take us there, but they seem more scared of the Nomens than they do of us. We came to an agreement that they would show us the way to go and then we would let them return to their mountain home unharmed.
About that time, Godfrey and Karigan broke through the front gate and joined us. They would have been more help to us in climbing the palisade, but what’s done is done and I won’t dwell on it.
Pete found a bag of holding on the spriggan leader full of belongings. Some seem to have belonged to the spriggans before they ever came to Varnhold, but others seemed to be possessions of Varnhold’s missing citizens. We shall return these possessions to them when we find them. We also found an exquisite bow that was so strong, even Karigan could not pull it back. The spriggans told us this was stolen from the Nomen centaurs and was named Skybolt. Apparently, it is of some value to the Nomens. Perhaps we can use it to broker a treaty between our people?
We elected Shtor to stay with our spriggan captives, while the rest of us explored the stockade house. We looted a few potions and found Abraham on the second floor along with a few dead spriggans and the evidence of an extinguished fire. Maybe his hasty plan was fruitful or maybe he’s just lucky.
We found the remains of a map that seemed to detail some of the area around Varnhold. I spent some time reconfiguring the map and found it did indeed yield quite a bit of information on the surrounding area. This will no doubt help us as we explore.
After securing the spriggans, we camped inside the stocakde for the night. We will set out in search of the Nomen centaurs tomorrow.