The player characters (PCs) decided nothing seemed suspicious about the Whitelaw family, and attempted to garner information from the remaining three hill-folk peasant families, in a single night: the lonesome Fat Leo, the dwarvish Black Rock family, and the Othergrass family. Cevei, Conrad, and Morris chose to engage with Fat Leo, and Araceli and Morgran with the Black Rock family.
Conrad posed as a wandering paladin of the Old Faith with no particular fealty to Lord Falconna. He discovered that Fat Leo was simply being extorted by a group of bandits, likely led by “Bald-Axe,” who would come every one or two months to be bought off with a sheep or goat. (They last visited about half a month ago.) This satisfied Conrad, but later Cevei and Morris mock-invaded Fat Leo’s cottage, fleeing upon hearing that he intended (truthfully or not) to alert Lord Falconna of such villainy.
Meanwhile, Araceli and Morgran discovered that the patriarch of the Black Rock family, Baldren, was content to give them some bread and shoo them on their way. Stymied, Araceli and Morgran left, and returned concocting a story where they were assaulted and robbed by bandits. (This was well evidenced as Araceli actually injured Morgran with blows to the face.) The family gave Morgran shelter and medical care, but left Araceli outside. Although the patriarch and matriarch of the family were skeptical of Morgran’s concocted story (as his and Araceli’s accounts were inconsistent), they saw fit to let him stay for their night, in their largest of four sod houses.
Araceli, Cevei, Conrad, and Morris convened at twilight to investigate the Othergrass family. Conrad posed again as a paladin, unaffiliated with Lord Falconna and traveling to visit the local standing stones. It became apparent that the Othergrass family was nervous about giving him shelter, but eventually relented. Conrad saw and heard nothing suspicious, other than an older member of the family, Nicholas, was once a bandit some 20 years ago. Meanwhile, Morris crept up to the house, investigating two ancillary sod houses, which could well be root cellars, or possily small hovels.
Lured by the smell of decay and gore in one of the sod houses, Araceli, Cevei, and Morris crept up to sod house, and attempted to force it open. They encountered a ghoul (of some variety); they fled, the ghoul caught up to them, and the three managed to slay the monster. At the same time, Conrad and the Othergrass family assumed that bandits had attacked them, but Conrad caught a glimpse of the family’s “pet monster.” After some deliberating, Conrad confronted the family about this strange issue, and Araceli, Cevei, and Morris confronted the household directly as well. The family explained, in short, that the ghoul was their undead ancestor, and practicing obscure and ancient human traditions of ancestor veneration, it felt obliged to give it shelter and home. It also explained that the creature was not a killer, but surely attacked the PCs assuming they were bandits.
Morgran has failed gain the trust of the Black Rock family. While still allowed to rest under their roof, and afforded no privacy, he has disadvantage on future Deception and Persuasion checks with them, at least until the situation improves.
Gains and losses
The party’s adventuring bill for this session is 0 gp: They should assume that they have been adequately provided for by Lord Falconna’s servitors.
Conrad gave the Othergrass family 6 gp.