Murder al la Carte, Part 1
As the shock of Harris Mortimer’s announcement began to wear off, the weariness of intense overnight adventuring crept in. While Ferram and Praezbie retired to their rooms, Serpenthelm and Avarron decided they could spare an hour or so to visit the town square. The bustling market district was abuzz with rumors and questions surrounding the death of Marcellus Drake, and every merchant seemed to be running a special on some sort of Marcellus Drake themed merchandise. Thinking they might come in handy, Serpenthelm purchased five illustrated volumes chronicling some of Drake’s most famous adventures: Marcellus Drake and the Fiery Dragon, Marcellus Drake and the Wizard’s Revenge, Marcellus Drake and the Crucible of Bones, Marcellus Drake and the Bloody Orc King and Marcellus Drake and the Emperor’s Lost Tomb. Their next stop was the armorer’s stall, as Serpenthelm had been finding her current kit quite cumbersome. Although the exceptionally light and strong breastplate she set her sights on was out of her price range, she and Averron were able to persuade the proprietor Ham Whetstone to accept a deal: a steep discount on the armor in exchange for first option to buy armor and weapons they were looking to sell in the future, plus the promotional appearance of the now famous adventurers at his stall on three upcoming festival days. Errands accomplished, the pair headed back to the Honeybead to join their comrades in a well deserved nap.
Eight hours later, the group woke refreshed and assembled in the bar to set out on their next adventure- only to discover that Ferram was no longer among them. It seemed he had received and urgent personal message and rushed out of the inn while the others slept. No one knew where he had gone or when he might return.
Now three, the party followed Harris Mortimer’s instructions and started upon the ancient road to Sativium towards Boar’s Tusk, Marcellus Drake’s famed and mysterious estate. Turning off the main road at the enchanted statue of a skeletal warrior as instructed, the group soon lost their way in the dense underbrush and an encountered the estate’s namesake: a fearsome dire boar! After a brief but intense battle with the ravenous horse-sized creature, the party continued on. A stately mansion soon came into view, as did the somewhat less pleasant sight of a disheveled man patrolling the perimeter with a pack of unruly hounds. This bedraggled apparition turned out to be Warren Jobe, the estate’s groundskeeper. Although he he clearly harbored a deep contempt for outsiders, including our heroes, he let them pass without incident, and they proceeded to the mansion.
They soon found themselves assembled in a stately dining room for the reading of the codicil. Before unsealing the document, Harris Mortimer introduced our heroes to the other interested parties, namely Marecllus’ household staff:
Fazzlemare, the taciturn half-Orc butler.
Boris Cartagian, Marcellus’ suave and stylish valet.
Tobias Entwright, the estate’s fiery chef, subject of considerable local renown for his culinary prowess.
Scarlett Bond, Boar’s Tusk’s modest and charming maid.
The introductions complete, Mortimer sliced through the seal and unfurled the scroll. After a moment of silence, he revealed the shocking contents of the codicile. Marcellus, it turned out, had not simply drowned in his bath. He had purposefully prearranged his own murder- and one of the individuals present was the murderer. Our heroes did indeed stand to inherit the estate, but only if they could prove their worthiness my unmasking the murderer by midnight.
With mere hours remaining before the appointed deadline, the adventurers sprang into action. Their investigation, however, revealed far more than they had bargained for. Ingenious traps and monstrous creature , it seemed, made up a substantial part of the mansion’s contents…