Students of Strixhaven EP 26 – Schools Out Part Three

The story continues with the party in the city of Rutledge, talking with Jhazaal in Malthus Tavern. As Jhazaal steps away to grab drinks, Trix enquires on Grae’s relationship with Jhazaal, finding out he is a trusted advisor and guard to Roman. When he returns, Grae asks about Roman’s health, finding that his condition is somewhat stable, but he has become more reclusive, having relocated permanently to his castle in the north-west of Tehahmir. Jhazaal mentions that he needs some time to finalise business in town, but can take them back on his carriage. He recommends they visit another tavern for accomodation called the Groaning Goat, and agrees to meet them near the city gates tomorrow morning.

As they leave the tavern, Khorvus, reviewing a local city map, asks if they can visit “Mama Kama’s Knick Knack Emporium”. They head in that direction, passing a large statue in an open courtyard. The party inspect it, noticing four figures, Elf, Dwarf, Human and Gnome, and a plaque: “The people of Rutledge thank the mighty heroes who fought back the Necrophage”. Grae notes that the elf-like figure has some resemblence to Roman Eldrake. Trix asks Grae about the Necrophage, learning that it was a time period about 400 years ago when a powerful elf named Vasarus raised a powerful (mostly undead) army. The four figures were able to work with a resistance force to defeat Vasarus, using a powerful device that combated the necrotic energy that Vasarus channeled. Shortly after the victory, the four figures quickly disbanded and were said to have gone their separate ways.

Arriving at Mama Kama’s they find a small store filled with trinkets, gifts, and other odds and ends. They introduce themselves, meeting with Mama Kama, a small, elderly gnomish woman. She shows them a variety of odd items, including a small unicorn figure which Trix purchases, the top of an old Triton trident (which Khorvus purchases at a good price). Mama Kama enquires on their conduct in town. When she finds out that Grae is conducting business on behalf of the Eldrake family, she offers an ‘old family heirloom’, a brooch, which she sells at a cheap price. Grae uses insight to examine Mama Kama’s behaviour, determing that she is holding something back, but is otherwise being earnest. Finding out that Mama Kama has a ‘lucky dip’ bag, the party spend some more time trying to get something good. They ultimately get:

  • (Trix) A waving fan, that shows a picture of a sleeping cat
  • (Edolkar) A small wooden statuette of a smug-looking halfling
  • (Khorvus) A tiny gnome-crafted music box, that reminds Khorvus of a child melody
  • (Grae) A gold monocle frame, missing then lens

Eventually, the party depart and visit the “Groaning Goat” where a dwarf welcomes them and introduces himself as Bandon Edgecore. He provides them with drinks and offers accomodation for the party to stay the night. Khorvus enquires on the tavern’s name, finding that Bandon is unsure of the origins, though encourages them to find out. In true RPG fashion, the party get sidetracked and search the tavern, finding behind some furniture a portrait commisioned of an event. Reviewing it further they see what appears to have been the opening of the establishment, with a human-looking man standing excitedly with a small goat, mouth agape. They excitedly share this news with Bandon, who offers them free drinks for their detective work. During some downtime, Grae uses the Identity spell on the brooch received from Mama Kama, finding out that it is a Brooch of Shielding, which provides force resistance, and immunity from Magic Missile spells. Grae expresses her confusion on why Mama Kama would so cheaply sell a powerful item, but is delighted otherwise with the new item. The party wrap up and prepare to retire for the evening. Khorvus spends sometime seeking assistance from his Triton (extended) family to repair his shield, making his way to the water near the docks. He enters in, and uses his conch to call out under the water, seeking a scout or representative of his Triton clan. He finds that no Tritons are nearby on this side of the great ocean, so resigns to that no one is available right now to help repair his shield.

In the morning, the party depart from the tavern and head towards the city gates with Jhazaal to find his horse-drawn carriage. He introduces his two wolves, Aptra and Theofania who accompany him on his travels. The party load onto the caravan and head towards the north-west, venturing towards ‘Castle Eldrake’, which will take 1.5 days. The party spend time reviewing the books they acquired. Trix reviews her book on the Aesterians, while Grae reads more on the Lorehold expedition into the Tenahmir mountain ranges. They stop over for the night in a small town called Halhaven, before resuming their journey and making their way to Castle Eldrake the next day.

Arriving through a winding, snow-filled valley, they come upon a large cold castle that stands in contrast to the native environment. Jhazaal leaves to hitch the horses, asking them to speak with ‘Old Lady Amelia’, another attendant. As they step into the castle, an elderly blind woman introduces herself as Amelia. After brief introductions, Amelia goes off to coordinate a feast to celebrate Grae’s return, indicating that Master Eldrake is unwell, but will be available at dinner to be informed of Grae’s findings. While they wait, Grae showcases some of the features of the castle. Time passes, and they regroup for dinner, seating themselves in a large dining hall. It takes some time, but Roman Eldrake, a sickly, middle-aged man, walking with a limp and relying on a walking cane, eventually arrives and introduces himself to the party. Grae indicates her discovery, the book and information detailing Lorehold expeditions into the Tenahmir dwarven settlements and strongholds. She mentions that a settlement was named specifically, called Inkaran, which may hold further information on the artifact that Roman seeks. Roman expresses some knowledge of this place, and expresses further interest in finding a way or path through the mountains to reach it. The dinner continues, with everyone retiring for the evening sometime later.

The next morning, the party regroup. Roman meets with the party and indicates he has stayed up most of the night, and following Grae’s finding strongly believes that this ‘Inkaran’ settlement is worth an inspection for finding the artifact he needs to cure his illness. He provides Grae with information on an ‘orb-like’ device he is looking for, specifically from what might be a dwarven forge somewhere in the settlement. He asks if the party are willing to go, which they readily accept. Roman offers money and supplies for the trip, and Jhazaal once again offers his services via carriage to take them to their destination. The episode ends with the party ‘hitting the road’, headed east towards Tenahmir.

A regional map of Tenahmir. Castle Eldrake is located in the north-west.