The party – Arteign, Cordelian, Kratos, Kellen and Khallador – arrive in Jasper. Arteign finds old acquaintances – mainly folks that he used to deal with in running errands at The Orphanage for Jorn. The party hears that there has been no contact from the Orphanage for quite some time, and Jorn and Ilga have not been heard from either. And the goblins have become even more of a danger in the last few weeks – farms have been found burning or looted; livestock taken or killed; and several farmers and their wives have been found dead in their fields. Many refugees have fled from further west, and complain that the Guard of the Land has “abandoned” their region.
The party replenishes supplies and continues on to the Orphanage and arrive unhindered. As the party heads up the trail they notice it is oddly quiet – nobody in the yards, on the trails or anywhere in the gated property. They ride up the trail to the front of the main building and hitch their horses.
The party splits up as Kellen and Khallador explore the grounds outside; Arteign, Kratos and Cordelian enter the front door.
Kellen stumbles into a snake nest while exploring the shed. He is bitten several times but manages to avoid being poisoned. The mage tries to help dispatch the reptiles but runs away to find the others for help. They all come outside to find Kellen exiting the shed with a large snakeskin around his neck.
Despite the dangers, Kellen and Khallador decide to continue exploring the outer grounds. Meanwhile, the other three return to the house, where they also split up – Kratos entering the kitchens and Arteign and Cordelian exploring the sleeping quarters. Kratos disturbs a nest of stirges in the chimney and a tense battle erupts there just out of hearing of the other two. They, meanwhile, manage to find a diary hidden in the bedding, and notice a glint of light coming in from the ceiling. Kratos desperately holds on while taking several life-draining hits from the stirges, eventually howling in rage in a fit to save himself. Hearing the barbarian’s savage roar, the other two come to his aid, finally chasing off the last stirge.
Returning to the sleeping area to investigate the “marble” in the ceiling, Cordelia finds it emanates scrying magic, but they can not reach it to remove it from here. They make plans to go upstairs immediately.
Meanwhile, the Ranger and Wizard finish up their explorations outside and make a morbid discovery atop a trash heap – a shriveled up goblin hand with strange markings on it. They take the hand with them and start heading back toward the house. On the way they search the overgrown orchard and the well. Kellen is set upon by two giant centipedes crawling up from the well, but dispatches them with a little help from the Sorceror’s Acid Spray spell. They rejoin the others before heading upstairs.
The upper rooms are barren also, but Arteign is struck by a spear trap the more they search. They make it to Jorn and Ilga’s old rooms, where they find a secret door to the roof above the sleeping quarters. It conveniently allows access to the scrying device, evidently used to spy on the kids sleeping below. They successfully remove the device and take it, but leave an urn and a large statue.
After thoroughly searching the upstairs, they double back to the kitchens to search the cellar, smoking out any stirges left in the nest as they pass by. In the cellar, they find the body of a goblin missing his hand, stripped bare with evident lash marks on his back. Digging further through the refuse in the depths of the cellar, they find bits of goblin armor and the body of the old orphan caretaker, long dead and buried here.
Afterwards, the party has recoverd the following in their search of the Orphanage:
- the scrying device
- the old diary
- the goblin hand
- the snakeskin (Kellen)
Arteign thinks that one of the markings on the goblin hand resemble the twin peaks called “Khaelyd’s Drums”.
The scrying device is an intricate, magical contraption and can probably be sold for much gold in a town like Talonton or even better King’s Port.
The diary has passages written in it such as “Arteign left”; “Jorn and Ilga are madder than ever”; and “all the kids are in timeout”; “scary spider cheek man comes”; “we’re going to see the salty water”…