In returning to the town of Torlynn, we found the one negative side ending this magical winter. The warming weather was slowly melting the ice on the river. The ferry could not yet cross the river, but it was uncertain if the ice would hold the rest of us crossing. Thanks to the use of a floating disc and a miniaturize spell, both courtesy of the Wizard, the entire party, including our injured elven companions, was able to make it safely across the river and into town.
Having spent only enough time in Torlynn previously to discover that my cousin Sir Tristram was not there, I had not realized that in addition to being stuck in a magical winter, the town had been beset by a bunch of brigands, called Red Brands. A group of these men met us at the tavern and tried to insist that our hard won treasures belonged to them. They acted tough, but apparently are not used to having dealings with those who are capable of standing up to them, and it took only a few words for them to back down.
Torlynn also seems to be in the middle of a political crisis with two men claiming, or perhaps just vying for, the position of Mayor. My companions appear to prefer the challenger, and wish to show their support to this person, though without coming right out and making a political endorsement.
Oddly enough, the entrenched Mayor is my cousin’s Uncle, though no relation to me. He, nor anyone else we spoke to, seemed to have a good idea where Sir Tristram had gotten off to. Best guesses involved the Red Brands and a local family who disappeared the night before my cousin did.
As so often happens, if one is willing to listen to them, our best lead came from children. A Halfling boy had reported to his friends that he had seen Red Brands disappearing in a cave just outside of town. We were able to visit the family and get more details from the lad. We followed his direction and found the cave, which happened to be a secret passage into the cellars of a local manor house.
We have yet to see any Red Brands in here, but we have fought gnolls, and taken a goblin prisoner. The fight was difficult and many of us went down, myself included. Luckily, there are enough potions and skilled healers among my new companions that none of us were lost, and in the end, we prevailed.
Following the directions of the goblin, we found what appeared to be a wizard’s laboratory. This is not the local, recently deceased wizard, but apparently one that is alive and causing trouble. Our own wizard seemed to believe that we had missed catching him in his laboratory by just moments and was eager to follow quickly behind – though not so quickly that he did not search the laboratory and office for magical items first.
We did follow the path our wizard believed the other wizard took, and made it to a room with yet more undead. I am beginning to wonder if this wizard we are following is perhaps a necromancer, or if there is something about this region that just makes raising the undead seem practical, as we seem to fight the fiends more regularly than anything else.
So far, we have not caught up to this evil wizard. The goblin was not happy about following us into his rooms, and has also warned us of some monster in the ravine that separates the cave from the cellars. For now, we are holed up resting in a room before we set back out on the path of this wizard.
Fighting Note: It seemed at first that I might have correct my power problem in using the glaive, but I apparently did so at the expense of accuracy. I performed poorly enough in the fight against the gnolls that the Halfling made comments about needing to train me. (I deserved them.)
I think the issue may be that I have spent so much time fighting on my own or in formation with similarly trained knights, that I am feeling out of my element in fighting with a group of more loosely disciplined companions. I must remember my training, and to use all of my abilities, and find my stance among this group.