We continued through the manor grounds, starting with the house those traders are staying in. Wynzo sensed magic in an area and opened a cupboard to find nothing inside but a trap that split out blue and white fire. It hit Drago, Argo and Shade, too. It was around that time I smelled something rotten, coming from outside.
No surprise to learn the stench of the stables were leaking into the Traders house, but as we approached it wasn’t the smell that gave me a pause – it was the neighing of a horse. Yusei said he could sense undead inside, so Andrea used something called Purge Spirit which is supposed to make haunts go away. I didn’t hear any more neighing after the spell, so it must have worked.
Inside the stable I found a bloody cleaver that Wynzo cleaned and put into the haversack. There was also a large black carriage, equipped for shorter trips around town – not a traveling carriage. Behind the carriage there was a hole that went underground, just like Drago’s bug-friend told him. Wyn looked in and didn’t see anything, but a few moments later Yusei peered down and then immediately looked troubled. He described it as a star-headed creature with eyes at the end of tentacles. Much to my surprise, it was Drago who recognized the description as something that wanders the planes; it isn’t a hunter, but he told me that later when he was no longer a cat.
Upstairs there was some weird plant Argo recognized as a Bassatrond, known for its hallucinogenic properties. It looked a lot like a venus flytrap. I immediately started holding my breath, something the others did eventually; I should have recommended it sooner. I’m still struggling with using my voice… and hearing it. Every time I speak I expect to feel a whip across my back or a blade across my throat. Unlike what Argo remembered, it removed itself from its pot and started attacking us, despite its normal prey being small animals. This world makes everything good, bad… and everything bad worse.
I made short work of the plant, though every pierce into its leaves made blood spew forth and coat me; I was relieved to remember I was already holding my breath. Unfortunately, many of the others fell victim to the plants hallucinogenic mist – thinking they were drowning in quicksand, getting strangled, melting, or shrinking. I think everyone got back to normal quickly once it was dead. Wyn found some magic incense and a magic book on one of the tables near the plant. We also found some memorabilia and information that seemed strange for a stablemaster to read through
Once we were back downstairs Argo and I moved the carriage over the hole and removed the wheels to keep that thing from following us, though it didn’t seem to care. It had wings, too, but stayed in its hole as far as we know.
The next building over was the kitchen-house, where there were many of those barbarian brutes waiting for us. Fortunately for all of us, these ones seemed much weaker than the others we have faced. They must have been the runts of the family. So, while they weren’t very dangerous alone, the number of them, about 11, was a problem. Argo threw a stink bomb that broke them up and distracted them, he also hit Wynzo. After a few seconds of vomiting Wynzo started casting some magic that made skulls flash around him, and he pointed it at Argo.
Some of the other magic users recognized some of the spell and called Wynzo out on using hurtful magic on Argo. Wyn’s response, and he said something similar as he cast it, “If you hurt me I’m gonna hurt you back.” It scared me and still does. And it makes me sad a friend of mine would curse another one of my friends for taking a calculated risk. I thought Wyn was one of the more level-headed people in our group, but maybe he came back wrong. I hope I didn’t come back wrong, too, the first time or the second time.
Yusei broke up the argument between Wynzo and Argo, asking if we were going to continue or leave, to which I said “LEAVE.” If I can’t trust my friends, I don’t want to travel with them. If I followed the same rules as Wynzo, I’d probably kill them with a single hit. The bloodiest of us, me, should not be a voice of reason.
The others wanted to search the rest of the building before we left. The main floor of the kitchen house didn’t have much in it, other than some vegetables and dry goods, but the upstairs was a little different; it had rotted heads, including that of a horse, stored in some jars on a shelf. Again… this is not the type of thing you expect to find in a mano-worker’s bedroom.
There was a trap door on the main floor that led into the basement, which was the icebox. There were a few more barbarians down there – killed them too – and lots of crates of cold meats. Through a door on the other side, after picking the lock, we found a 20-foot hallway that opened into a large room with a strange-looking man inside who asked, “Have you find the yellow sign?”