Rose of Westhaven #7: Return to Porthcrawl

“This is the tale of Old, Young Horace, leastways this is how my grandmother told it to me, and now I’m telling it to you. There was a young boy who lived a village like many you’d find round these parts, and one day ‘ee was out walking on the moors. The Gloomfog was thick all around him, but he weren’t afeared because he had the bravery of the young who haven’t learnt how cruel life can be yet.

 

As he’s walking around the fog parts and he sees this old grey bearded man walking towards him, now when the old man claps eyes on young Horace he gets a look of mortal terror on his face, clutches his chest and falls over stone dead. Young Horace runs back to the village to get help, but when they get back there’s no sign of the old man, not even a body or a set of footprints. Well they think it’s all so much marsh gas and return to the village, Horace goes back to his normal life and slowly forgets about what happened.

 

Many years later, he’s an old man out on the moors collecting frogs for his dinner when who should he see but he own younger self walking towards him outta the Gloomfog. Certain it’s devilry he opens his mouth to scream, but no sound comes out and he feels a sharp pain in his chest, clutching his chest he falls to the ground stone dead and the boy disappears back into the mists.”

IC date: 19.09.1540

o PCs leave Temple and discover Barden has left in the cart with Dhani, heading towards Porthcrawl.
o With Odhran still unconscious they decide to make camp.
o William spots a man through his spyglass who appears to be catching glowing insects.
o Sasha approaches the man, who introduces himself as Jaspar Gresham, a Gloombugger (someone who collects and sells the glowing Gloombugs), he sells a lantern and a number of pots of Gloombugs to Sasha.
o Jaspar claims to have met William (going by the name of Bill) a day previous, this confuses William who was still in the Temple a day ago. As they talk he comes to believe that there is someone impersonating him.
o They camp for the evening, sharing their campsite with Jaspar and accompany him to Porthcrawl in the morning when Odhran has regained consciousness (using the power of his god Dagon to heal himself).
o Whilst camping Jaspar tells them the story of Old Young Horace.
o Having realised that he cannot remove his armour–and thinking that it may be connected to his double–William has Sasha look at the armour using her arcane sight, she can tell that the armour is definitely magical and that it may be cursed.
o Heading towards Porthcrawl they witness a funerary procession winding through the streets to the Church of Peaceful Repose.
o At first they skirt the village and head to the ruins of Salazaar’s Tower but–finding him not present–they return to the Siren’s Whisper Inn, where they find Barden, Dhani, Salazaar and the innkeeper’s wife Poppy.
o Salazaar thanks the heroes profusely for returning his daughter, but reveals that William was apparently here half a day previous and refused a reward for the deed, saying that his fellows would no doubt be along soon and that he had business outside of Porthcrawl and was leaving.
o Salazaar insists on giving them something by way of thanks and gifts them two small rhubarb tarts with curative properties, he also gifts Odhran with a hallucinogenic mushroom to aid him in his vision quests.
o Whilst examining Williams armour Salazaar notes that the Elven runes–which read ‘The shadow armour of Shalanna’ on Williams armour–read ‘The radiance of Shalanna’ on his doppleganger’s armour.
o William visits the Church of Peaceful Repose to see if his doppleganger has been there but finds no evidence of him, asking around in the town it seems as though his double “Bill” left the town heading north about half a day before they arrived in Porthcrawl.
o Whilst at the church William hears a sickly noble give a speak proclaiming the virtues of the deceased Father York and explaining that he has sent for a replacement priest, but it may take some time before one arrives. The noble then departs whilst the villagers remain to pay their personal respects.
o Odhran, Sasha and Maarku are doing some shopping down Smelly Alley where most Porthcrawl trading takes place when a group of Roundhead guards approach them, saying that Lord Drago Harper wishes an audience with them.