We continued upstairs entering the landing again and started searching the rooms off of it. The first room contained a number of casks labelled in dwarven. After checking the casks over we determine they probably contained beer or ale. This suspicion was confirmed after finding a cask tap. Though the others and I rather relished the idea of tapping one we decided it was best to continue searching the rest of the house first.
We entered the next room which was full of bookshelves. Melech excitedly entered the room and began rummaging through the books. I followed him in and began to look around the room myself. As I got to the end of one of the shelves a force struck me flinging me across the room into a wall. I drew my sword and charged towards were I had been attacked. I slashed out at were I thought the enemy might be but my blade sailed harmlessly through the air.
Amafey cast a spell and the outline of short figure appeared in front of me. Maybe the ghost of the house’s owner? Possibly the Fey Friend? Amafey obviously had the same idea and began trying to persuaded the potential Fey Friend we meant no harm and wanted to talk. I moved to back up from the ghost, as I did it struck out but in a rather lackadaisical manner, missing entirely. As I got to a safer distance I pulled the crown from my bag and put it on. I used its ability to speak sylvan and attempted to reassure the ghost we were here to help.
It let out a wail and flew up disappearing through the ceiling. We ran back to the landing, up the stairs and began searching for it. In the main bedroom we found the skeleton of a dwarf. Evidently he had been dead for some time. Amafey called out to the Fey Friend and we heard a knocking coming from a dressing table in the corner.
We were able to communicate with the ghost of the fey friend using a single knock for yes and two knocks for no. This limited us to simple yes or no questions. Through quite a number of questions we were able to determine a number of things: The ghost was indeed the Fey Friend; he had died of natural causes; he wanted a proper burial; he wanted us to deal with corruption in the forest but was unsure of the cause himself; there were no more traps left in the house; we were free to take the painting and use the house as a base of operation.
Beiro and I wrapped the Fey Friend’s skeleton in some sheets before carrying it out to the edge of the woods behind the house. Beiro and I dug a hole while Amafey sourced rocks to cover the grave with. After a couple of hours we had completed the task and returned to keep.
A thorough search of the house had found a considerable sum of coin, some health potions and the key to the front door. I locked the front door before retiring to the second floor to sleep. It was rather late at this point.
In the morning over breakfast Melech informed us he had deciphered a recipe from Mother Basket’s book. It was for a tea that when willingly drunk takes one year of life off the drinker and gifts it to the brewer. I had drunk her tea! Anger welled up in me and I vowed to kill her if I came across her again. For now however we should stick to the task at hand and get the painting back to the Barron.
We removed the painting from the frame and wrapped it some sheets. Amafey and Melech carried the painting between the two of them and we set of back to Westpine. I made sure to lock the door on my way out and kept the key upon my person.
We arrived in Westpine at around lunchtime. Melech seemed particularly tired out by having to carry the painting and suggested we find a cart to make it easier. So we headed to the Moody Cow for some refreshments and to inquire after a cart.
The innkeeper seemed rather shocked to see us. Amafey noticed that the innkeeper’s wife, who was also present, was no longer pregnant and asked after the baby. The innkeeper stated the baby was fine, Amafey however was unconvinced and began aggressively questioning the fellow. Soon Melech joined in and started accusing him of hiding something. My pleas to leave the man alone fell on deaf ears. The innkeeper demanded that we leave. I acknowledged his request and made my way out of the inn in search of a cart. After all the man’s baby was his own concern I didn’t want interfere.
Melech followed me out and we made our way over to the lumberjacks house. The innkeeper had said Steve the lumberjack had a cart. I approached the front door and knocked. A rather gruff man answered the door, presumably Steve. He rejected my request to borrow his cart, insisting he needed it for his job before promptly terminating the conversation by shutting the door. A tad rude I thought but his point about needing it for work did seem valid.
Melech however did not want to take no for answer. Maybe still aching from having to carry the painting earlier. He knocked on the door again and noticeably more grumpy Steve answered. With an offer of coin and a somewhat intimidating tone Melech managed to convince him to rent us his cart.
Not sure how welcomed we will be in Westpine after today.