Having secured the wine shipment for the town of Krezk and escorted it back to them we are finally admitted and are pleasantly surprised to see that the majority of the town consists of woodland though much less oppressive than the Svalich woods we’d been travelling through.
After a brief look around we decide to camp out at a poolside shrine, albeit under the watchful glare of a handful of town guards. Next morning we decide to investigate the abbey above and travel up the long switchback pathway. As we approach we can see the low wall and gated entrance. With no-one about I push the gate open, deliberately making it squeal as much as possible. My efforts are rewarded as a strange pair of figures approach to bar our entrance.
The first is a squatting humanoid, though I look more human than this strange creature. “His” face is a mix of human, wolf and donkey and his legs look to be from a large cat. His companion is mostly covered in a hooded robe but we get glimpses of both furred and scaled flesh when it moves and it speaks with a feminine voice.
They tell us we’re not welcome the Abbott sees no-one. We tell them we have brought the wine shipment but will not release it until we see the Abbott. The squat one becomes very agitated and growls at us, I reply with a throaty growl of my own. Eventually it heads inside the nearby building and returns shortly with a middle-aged man in monk’s attire.
As he talks to my companions there’s something about him I just don’t like, can’t put my finger on it but he’s just too nice. Eventually my companions agree to bring the wine up and we begin heading back down the path. Once out of sight of the Abbey I slip away and make my way back up and over the wall and into the Abbey grounds, heading towards the building the Abbott had come from (and returned too). Looking through a window I see him stood in what looks like a church type room with what seems to be a young red-haired woman (her back was to the window but I assume she’s young by her height, figure and the elegant dress she’s wearing). They disappear up stairs and I begin heading back around towards the gate using the available cover of the few trees as I hear my companions dragging the barrels upwards.
As they near the gates I see the pair of figures are awaiting them and decide to sneak up behind, however the squat one has the senses of a wolf also and turns with a snarl and moves as if to charge at me. I’m quicker. I throw one of my furballs, it transforms into a bristling boar and I command it to attack. The fight is brutal and brief, my boar manages to knock the squat figure prone as I rush up to engage, blades drawn. I split my attacks between the pair of them and before my companions even clear the gateway I am victorious and stand cleaning my blades.
The paladin isn’t happy with me, but I assure it was self-defence and this seems to placate him. I quickly tell them about the Abbott and the woman, emphasising the fact that he’d told us it was only himself and the poor creatures like these in his charge. We agree to explore further as we catch a glimpse of guards further down the building.
As we approach we realise that they are actually mannequins of a sort, made to look like guardsmen. We open the large gate into an open courtyard between the two building of the Abbey. There are some shed/stable buildings with locked doors, a well, doors leading into the buildings on either side and a strange bat-winged creature chained to a post.
I take my boar and approach the bat-thing as our cleric investigates the well. That’s when a spider-frog monstrosity jumped out of the well at the dwarf, I take the distraction to command the boar to charge the bat-thing but the creature manages to fly up out of the pigs reach.
While my companions attack the spider-frog, the bat-thing swoops and picks up my boar, hoisting it aloft before dropping it. The boar hits the ground hard and bursts with cloud of purple mist. As my companions gain the upper hand with spider-frog, I stand on the chain restraining the bat-thing as it struggles to get away, and begin walking along the chain, slowly pulling it further and further down to the ground. Before it can land its struggles cause it pass out and it flops to the ground. The paladin doesn’t want me to hurt it while it’s no threat, ok, for now.
The battlerager goes off to check out the side of the abbey where I’d seen the Abbott and woman, while the rest of the party goes to the opposite side and the door from behind which the jumbled howls and yowls. They enter the building and I quickly hear the shouts of combat, but before I join them I thrust my rapier through the skull of the unconscious bat-thing. It gives out a shriek which causes the paladin at the doorway to look back “It was faking it and attacked me” I say, “had to defend myself”. He looks at me a moment as if trying to decide whether to belive me or not, but his attention is quickly drawn inside.
The noises are louder, and coming from what appear to be cells at the far end of this building filled with more of these strange mixed breed creatures. However a tall muscular figure has engaged my companions, its skin a patchwork of different tones, stitched together with a surgeons precision. Golem!
I try and assist but my weapons have no effect on the beast and I wisely decide to keep out of its reach while those able to damage it do so. Eventually it drops lifeless and I pick up a set of keys from its body. Starting with the nearest cell I begin opening the door, telling those imprisoned they are free and to leave. Most of them seem reluctant to do so, but the fourth door I open I’ve barely begun to speak when the occupants (more wolf-dog men) rush hungrily at me, jaws snapping.
I manage to back across the corridor allowing my companions to engage them also but I still have to resort to taking one of my stash of healing potions before deciding to unlock what I hope is the back door and escape out. Thankfully it does lead back outside and with other foes to face the dog men don’t follow. Pertinax manages to cow the few survivors back into their cell and I return in time to relock it securely.
We still haven’t seen our battlerager, I genuinely hope he hasn’t come to harm, he’s a good scrapper and less worried about morality than most of the party.