After setting matters in Rivenscroft, the group heads northward with an eye towards establishing a base of operations nearer to the border of the ‘civilized’ lands.
On the road they heard that Holcroft was a ‘dry’ settlement, no strong drink allowed inside the walls at all, by order of the Justicar who runs the town. However, there have been disappearances around the settlement and word was that there was an entrance to what appeared to be an old crypt just outside the settlement on the other side of the creek that ran by the walls.
Stopping outside Holcroft, the group learned that both things were true. They stabled their horses outside the wall and headed into the crypt.
A quick venture into the crypt revealed restless dead and a stairway leading deeper into the crypt. After a quick run topside to take a short rest and commission a strong cover that could fit over the opening, the heroes re-entered the dank crypt of Verant Giantsbane.
Filled with undead (including undead wardogs and an undead warhorse), imagery and statues of snake people, giant snakes and an undead Verant Giantsbane himself, the heroes emerged victorious and acquired useful treasure including magical armor and weapons including the Axe of Verant Giantsbane himself, the axe possessing abilities that added to his long lost legend. They also found a map that showed the general area, including a few spots of interest that were not depicted on the map Ivan had received from his mentor, like a huge face apparently carved on a cliff and an island that was not marked on any map they had seen, not far from the same cliff.
Upon emerging from the crypt, the heroes, with the assistance of some of the locals, covered and sealed the crypt in case anything was left that could plague the settlers.
A barbecue and party was held (outside the settlement walls, of course) and the next day the group continued northwards, stopping at Bailey’s Travellers Inn, a walled compound centered around a large Inn and located at the entrance to the pass which leads to the Wastelands.
Along the way, the group was set upon by a small group of highwaymen, whom they readily defeated. One gave up and offered her services to the party, this is Joan, who has asked Brother Thomas to teach her of Oberon. The leader of the highwaymen managed to get away, but the group, with Joan providing directions, tracked him back to their hideout in the woods. There they found three other women, chained up and forced to do the laundry, cleaning and most likely, other, less appealing tasks as required by the bandits. The heroes freed the women and offered to escort them to Bailey’s where they could decide their own fate.
Ivan decided to purchase a house within the walls of Bailey’s and hired the most mature and stable of the women they had rescued to manage the house for him and allowed the other two to stay on as paid servants as long as they worked to the satisfaction of both Ivan and the lady he put in charge (I’ll have to check my notes and update the name later).
By the end of the first day, she had arranged furniture for the house, assigned rooms to everyone and had an excellent, hot meal ready for the heroes when they were ready to settle in for the night.
A day or two of getting everything settled in and the group decided to check out the areas on the map that caught their eye and were off to seek more adventure.