The adventurers intend to spend the afternoon at the garrison, but word of their deeds spreads fast in a small town like Vandalin. Once reassured that Boss Blackstaff has fled and the Redcloaks are much diminished in number, Daril the Townmaster organises an impromptu celebratory feast in the town common. The best pork is brought in from Muckel’s farm, and Tobias Stonehill provides the ale. The party reunite with Gwendalyn, who had spent the night sleeping rough. She’s asked around but found no sign of her brother or Elliyas. The timeline that she’s managed to confirm is as follows:
- The Altamar garrison disappeared five months ago. Many locals think they walked out. The townmaster apparently sent a message to Altamar to find out what happened, but never got a response.
- There was a portly man who visited Vandalin around four months ago who asked some questions about a mine. He hasn’t been seen since.
- The Redcloaks started to arrive in numbers three or four months ago. They seemed different from normal brigands, and more driven or purposeful.
- About a month ago, people starting going missing in Vandalin. This started at one or two a week, but has stepped up over recent nights.
- Three weeks ago, a group of humans (?) arrived from lands to the south. They don’t enter Vandalin, but have set up a makeshift camp outside of town.
- Two weeks ago was the last sighting of the two gnomes, Futhir and Thrannir.
- There are some other gnomes who live up in the hills to the east, around two days’ hike. People don’t think kindly of gnomes around here, due to some ancient grudge.
- There are goblins to the south-east. In the absence of any further leads, she suspects that Gundren might have been taken by them, so she’ll be back on the road tomorrow to scout for their base.
In addition, Taerus passes around the letter he found in Boss Blackstaff’s quarters. No one can read the strange runes on it except for Carnacki, who advises that the language is called Draconic – an ancient script used by the forces of darkness long ago, and now rarely seen. The letter reads as follows:
You prove yourself incompetent with this latest development. You should never have trusted the goblins with a task such as this.
Find me the dwarf, and his map. Raise an army, if you have to. I have not searched this long to be denied my prize.
Lest this distract you from my earlier request, do not forget I need more bodies to continue the exploration. I expect a steady stream of villagers, or else I will use your precious Redcloaks.
Dishonour the Drakoyiska again, or fail to provide me with what is mine, and I will come for you.