24 Eleint 1384 D.R.
Year of Three Streams Blooded
Winding their way through the woods past the Manor, the party came upon a disused path leading south through low-hanging trees, and somewhat overgrown with creepers and light vegetation. Dismounting, they followed the path until it crested a slight ridge, where they spied the thatch roof of a long cabin, and a large garden beyond. Tonan didn’t quite seem himself, so the party asked him to keep an eye on the horses while they looked ahead, and he did so, albeit absently.
Not trusting the motives of a mage that would leave a taunting note inside a haunted house, the party set a watch while Rummy snuck down to the cabin for a closer look. Creeping around the back of the cabin, Rummy climbed up to a window and was just about to look inside when a voice called out to him from the garden: “If you’ll come down from there, perhaps we could have a drink and get out of this sun.”
Rummy climbed down, and stepped into the open, where he was able to see a stooped old man tending a row of carrots and radishes. Tentatively, Rummy introduced himself, though Liam Roummos seemed already to know him and his companions, and, indeed, had been aware of their approach since they left the main road.
Rummy called for the others to join them, and Liam invited them to join him on his porch for libations and a chat. Heading to the cabin, Liam whistled, and a massive, translucent canine emerged from the woods and trotted alongside him. Liam introduced him as Rufus, and the dog took up his place atop the steps, seeming to slumber contentedly.
Liam provided the party with drinks from his cellar, and proceeded to explain his role in “recent” events.
Liam explained that, having left the Host Tower of the Arcane in 1356, he had sought someplace quiet to retire to, and Ambroth had fit the description.Through his story, the party learned Liam had ventured into the Manor after Lord Drestyn’s demise out of boredom, and had rummaged through whatever remained after the cultists had finished their looting. Liam had left the magic mouth on the fountain, as well as other clues to guide whoever came upon them.
Liam vouched for Lord Drestyn’s character, and gave some insight into the Cult of the Asp, informing the party of the particulars of a raid the Host Tower had sponsored to curtail the Cult’s growth.
Informing Liam that they intended to investigate the Cult themselves, the party asked Liam if he would join them, but he declined, citing his frail body and aging bones, though the party doubted if he was anywhere close to frail.
Liam bestowed several gifts upon the party before they departed, hoping they would help in some way in his absence. Among the items he gave them were the Ring of Nine Lives, Liam’s Handy Haversack, and a few potions. Liam offered to take care of the party’s horses, since it was doubtful they would survive in the woods if the party ventured inside any temple they found, and the party took him up on his generous offer.
Heading out, the party made their way back to the road, shadowed by Rufus, who chuffed as they left the footpath, disappearing back the way they had come.