Request: Town of Grove. Guild Members: Opal Linwood / Shanti Ka’a
Request Statement: “Please help. We are in great distress. We don’t know what is happening. Come to Grove.”
Our journey began quietly as we rode to the small village of Grove in Argo’s wagon pulled by the ever patient Evangeline. Shanti played her drum and we enjoyed the trip until we came within a certain circumference of quiet. No birds chipped, no animals were present. Only the footfall of Evangeline helped me to know I wasn’t deaf. Argo had to make a quick stop at the Bolker family farm before entering the town. Though time was of the essence Shanti and I felt it was prudent for us to assist him in unloading his wears as a thank you from the guild for his cooperation in assisting us on our journey.
Upon arrival at the farm we noted several things. First the absence of all life with exception to several ravens that sat upon the house. Their presence was very foreboding. With caution we entered the home to find it ransacked and everything amiss. I noted a journal from the head of the family that indicated that they had gone to town about a week prior to find aid for their children that were sick. I felt compelled to detect any magic and noted a pitcher of water that glowed with intense dark necrotic energy. Warning both Shanti and Argo to stay away from the water I attempted to pour it into a travel jar for later inspection. I unfortunately spilled a bit on my hand though no effects were noted. I went to the pump within the kitchen and upon priming it noted the same dark necrotic energy from the water that came from the pipes.
I felt this could be the source of illness that troubled this family.
As we left the house the ravens, which up until now made no motion of physical hostility, descended upon all of us with fury. The same energy as the water was produced from these animals. Shanti made swift work of the attacking birds. (personal note: I think it’s great she’s a part of our guild now! Strong that one is!) Argo informed us that the water that entered the house came directly from the town’s well system. This concerned me greatly. I was able to discern that the river which flowed nearby was unaffected from the darkness. Shanti and I made haste to the town. Upon the bridge we noted the absence of a guard. Within the town itself we split up to check the tavern, Mayor Oran O’Conner’s home, and a couple other buildings. Each had been ransacked. The mayor’s home held a personal ledger that illustrated similar events to the farmer’s journal. After exiting the home two bulls charged at us. They had the look of domesticity about them, though they seemed feral and crazed. Knowing these animals might be part of the livelihood of some of the residents in the area I deemed it best we subdue them but not eliminate them. Shanti was able to take upon herself most of the brunt of their attacks and I used a lesser restoration spell on each of them, in hopes that the necrotic energy would subside. My suspicions were correct as they regained clarity and left.
It was then that we came upon two residents of the town. Rose and Grace (and Apollo the dog, such a good boy he is.) They showed us the frightening reality they had been living for nearly two weeks. Every resident they could find was in their home and barn, laid out as if in death, though they still had all functions of life, movement notwithstanding. It was troubling to say the least. The water within the sister’s home was safe as they had an enchanted cup that held clean water and did not use the well water of the town. The two bulls were apparently part of their livestock.
After questioning and gaining what little information we could it began to get dark. Apollo alerted us to some danger though I could not make it out myself I knew it came from the direction of the town well. Using what little amount of stealth I learned from other members of the guild I was able to make my way, and discovered four bandits speaking. One was addressed at ‘Tommy.’ Shanti quietly joined me. I informed her again our task would be to subdue if at all possible. (I know she would’ve liked to bash some heads but I thought we should get as many answers to the situation as possible, eh?) We were able to take them by surprise. They held nothing back but Shanti’s skillset was very appropriate in bringing them to submission. We tied them together and hauled them to the town jail where I made sure to make their situation as comfortable as possible. They were merely men of opportunity who were informed this town would be free for looting. The leader Tommy was very cordial and helpful. He even gave me his thieves tools. I shall return them to him once some of the hectic nature of the situation is over. Rose has promised to check on them in the morning.
After addressing our wounds we thought it was more than time to check on Argo and Evangeline. We found them safe on the road and all returned to the sisters home to rest for the night.
Tomorrow we will enter the well of the town and I pray we find the source of these disturbing discoveries.
*Personal Notes: I really enjoy working with Shanti. She’s a gal who gets things done, that’s for sure. While stressful, this first mission is proving to me that I made the right choice in joining the Hearthfire Guild. I am meeting and hopefully helping others in their time of need and I could not ask for more. Even the lowliest thief deserves kindness and I want to bring that forth into the world. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about tomorrow. I’m not the biggest fan of being underground, but I’ll do what I can.