After a good night’s rest, the party is given ‘leave’ for a week while Wrex determines their next move. The party attends to various tasks including Ralum (unsuccessfully) trying to pick pockets in and among the town (but not badly enough to get caught) and gathering whatever rumours and scraps of information they can.
They learn a few rumours regarding their dockyard assault (some saying a group ‘slayed a dragon’, others that a group of thieves broke in, further others are closer to the truth than they realize), as well as a hint that Jerass may have been seen during his abduction; someone roughly matching his description was seen leaving in a wagon with a couple of large, cloaked figures and a Halfling driver about 2 weeks ago… around the time when he was noticed missing.
Returning to Wrex, he informs them that the wagon may have been heading South towards the town of Gerald’s Folly, a town near the Southern Loccain/Northern Illeau border. They also have been hearing rumours about abductions occurring in the area. Wrex suggests that they visit the town in search of Jerass and do what they can to help if it is needed.
Requesting a wagon and the horse they captured, the party headed out towards the town. Along the road they run into Kyle Faren riding towards them. After they a cautious approach, they greet each other; Kyle is on his way to the town to request, personally, help from the Guilds of Biccano (the closest town) with regards to the abductions. The party tells them of their intentions, and he rides back with them back to Gerald’s Folly.
Along the way Kyle Faren gives a bit more of a rundown on the situation: 3 people from the town proper have gone missing: a local militia member and a young boy who were en route to Biccano Port for supplies and the local priest of Bahamut. There’s also been another disappearance: Theo, the owner of a travelling family circus that was visiting during the course of the disappearances. He also reveals that Theo is the local militia’s top suspect.
The party arrives at the run down walls of the Gerald’s Folly. Entering the town itself through the weather-worn wooden gate, they see a poor collection of small buildings, and a wagon caravan in the town center which Ralum. Kyle Faren takes his leave of the party and points them in the direction of the settlements leader.
The mayor’s house is the largest building in the settlement easily. Entering the study, they talk with the leader and confirm what Kyle Faren has told them. He also recommends they talk with Lily. It is said she was witness to the kidnapping of Father Eric, the town’s head priest to Bahamut. The party decided to leave the house and split up and gather as much information as they could.
Jackson Karrid and Andromir went looking for Lily at the local temple of Bahamut. Not finding her, they looked around, looking through her incredibly neat and tidy ‘office’ within the temple, in direct contrast to Father Eric’s thoroughly disheveled office. A strange journal was found in her office but before they could investigate much Lily, a rather attractive female human with long wavy brown hair and wearing a blue robe with silver embroidery, comes into the temple and catches them snooping.
Jackson Karrid works his magic at calming the girl, though she seems to be thoroughly shaken by something. After she calmed herself down, she told Jackson Karrid that she saw Theo escaping with Father Eric in tow at his home while going to visit him. She claims to not know how they got there or how they escaped, as they threatened her if she interfered. Giving what little comfort they could, they bid her goodbye and made way to Father Eric’s home, adjacent to the temple itself.
Meanwhile, Ralum went to investigate the wagons where his family was being kept under guard. Theo‘s mother was flustered and agitated, although happy to see her son. She said she didn’t know where her husband, as he never mentioned leaving to her. She believes he might have tried to talk to Lily, who pointed the finger at him, or gone to find the real source of the kidnappings. The guards began giving Ralum a hard time at this point, and was forced to depart. As he was leaving, he received a message from Jackson Karrid to meet them at Father Eric’s home to follow the lead they got from Lily.
During all of this, the rest of the party members, with Murrik Dustborn leading, arrived at the Militia House to talk to the Militia Leader. The Militia Leader was annoyed by their presence as he felt he had the situation under control (although Kyle Faren had told them that his agitation is compounded by the fact that his brother was one of the first kidnapped). He confirmed that Lily had pointed out Theo as the abductor, and that he had the family under “house arrest” in their wagons until they could find the now-missing Theo. Feeling they had gotten what they could out of him, they were contacted by Jackson Karrid and went to Father Eric’s home to meet them and see what they could find at his home.
The party gathered outside the small, humble abode of the missing Father Eric to pursue the lead that Lily had pointed them to. The party carefully went over the outside of the home and found various tracks. Ari Gold was able to identify them as belonging to a Halfling and several sets of Goblinoid, possibly Hobgoblin, tracks leading to and from the home. Inside, they found evidence of a struggle, though there was no blood that they could see.
The tracks from outside continued inside. One thing that seemed odd, however, was that Father Eric’s bed seemed to have been disturbed, even though the rest of the violence was seen outside. Near the bed, they found several strands of long brown hair. Their thoughts immediately turned to Lily. Somewhat perturbed, they moved their investigation outside.
The party was able to follow the tracks they found outside earlier to a group of bushes found along the wall. After close examination, they found a hole had been buried under a broken section of wall that could allow for someone or something to get in and out as needed. Knowing where the enemy was coming from, they searched the area. After getting a closer look, they found a small piece of ripped cloth. The colours, blue and silver, reminded Jackson Karrid and Andromir of Lily’s robes. The party concluded that Lily knew far more than she was letting on and decided to return to the temple to confront her.
Faced with the party’s accusations, she broke down. She profusely apologizes to the party and tells them what really happened. (Continued in Part 2)