Chapter 3, Part III: Problems in Thetchery

The train continues on through the country side, and as you leave the area around Tinsberry Farms, and the huge swatches of vast farm land, you begin to follow along the coastline of the Sterling Sea for a while. The train heads through the walls of the next town, and as it stops in the huge marble station, you hear the conductor announce, "Arlonia High Station." The train then continues on through a pass in the mountains and into a wooded area on the other side. And with the mountains to the east, and the dense forest to the west, you can very abruptly feel the shift in the world around you. You have made it to the region of Wen, home to the oldest settlements on the planet.

After leaving Fowlerten Station, you twist through the mountains and the trees and end your journey as the conductor calls "Thetchery Station, last and final stop."

The village of Thetchery is one of the oldest settlements on the Materhawk continent. As you exit the train, you can see that the buildings are constructed among the trees, incorporating the trunks and branches into the walls and foundations and leaving the city looking less like a sprawling, modern metropolis and more like forest of oddly homey looking flora. Some of the structures are lofted and balanced in the higher branches, while others are built into the very base of the tree with their entrances at ground level. Stairways twist up and around the trunks of trees, and bridges span across the gaps between. To the untrained eye, the set-up is chaotic and difficult to navigate. To the inhabitants of the village, however, it appears to be second nature.

The village is bustling when you arrive; certainly not the same kind or degree of bustle you experienced in Gilding, but due to the much smaller scope and scale of the village here, the bustling seems sizeable for its environment. Stately and graceful elves cross the bridges between trees quickly, a pair of dwarves are chatting loudly just outside a home built cozily into a large rock. You hear few gnomes mutter 'excuse me's as they move around you to get off of the train and head down the steps of the platform.

A group of children who were playing some kind of game in the street look up as you move a few feet away from the station platform. They whisper to themselves and point, specifically, at you Leozumin. But if any of you turn to look back, they immediately snap back to playing their game.

The Party, unsure where to start their adventure, headed to a familiar place. Inside the Adventurers' Guild in Thetchery, they saw it was much smaller than the one they were used to in Gilding. This branch was built into the base of tree near the center of town, and was only comprised of a single desk manned by a half-elf woman with a familiar face, a quest board, a leader board, and a set of stairs leading up and out of side.

The Easy Marx greeted the concierge who introduced herself as Julie, a cousin of the other concierge who they had met in Gilding, obtained a map of Thetchery.

A cursory look at the quest board left the Marx with more questions than answers (not that they were really looking for answers from a quest board…), and led Chief Paws to ask Julie who had pinned the quest about the Mimics. Julie told them that Amadeus, the de facto mayor of Thetchery had posted the quest after a few citizens had been the victim of mimic attacks around town.

As they had been hoping to speak with someone regarding Risorial Woods and the disturbances around the town, the Marx felt that taking this quest would kill two proverbial birds with one stone: learning more about the town and the disturbances while also completing a quest for the AGI.

After following Julie's advice to look for Amadeus in the local tavern, a bright and bustling place called TGI Wednesdays, the party headed there first. They glanced around the place, and noted a tall and charismatic elf who was chatting with a large group of people at his table. Assuming this to be the village's 'Mayor,' Corky insinuated himself into the group at the table and introduced himself as well as gave an opening for his party members to introduce themselves. He also made it rain business cards over the other patrons at the table. Amadeus, ever the social butterfly, was happy to meet the new Adventurers, and informed them they don't often get traveling adventuring parties coming all the way out to Thetchery. When the party told him that they were working on getting rid of the Mimics around town, Amadeus seemed eager to help, and told them that a Mimic had been recently seen in the kitchen of Wednesdays.

The party asked if there were any more strange occurrences happening in or around Thetchery, to which Amadeus said there had been two big ones he could recall. He said the first was a coup of sorts within the Risorial Woods Elf Clan, which resulted in a handful of families seeking refuge in Thetchery until the turmoil settled. The second was that there was a cave-in at the elven iron mine a few weeks back, resulting in over two dozen miners getting caught in the cave-in.

At talk of the cave-in, the mood at the table sobered, and Amadeus told the party he would be happy to chat with them later at his home where the sadness of the news wouldn't affect the patrons of the bar.

Amadeus let the party know that the families who were displaced from the Risorial Woods were staying at the local Inn: The Wooden Hearth.

The party split up to search for Mimics at Wednesdays. Leozumin and Artem noted a clock on the wall behind a lone dwarven man, and Artem used Leozumin's beefy metallic arm to crush the clock, which splattered into black ooze and guts against the wall as it was revealed in death to be one of the rogue Mimics. Artem, following the violence, took a seat with the dwarf at his table as remorse began to build in her chest.

Chief Paws and Gyome explored the kitchen, asking one the gnomish sous chef where the Mimic was last spotted. With the intel that the mimic had previously been a pot, the two Marx began to systematically put each pot over an open flame until one began to sizzle, and the mimic that had been in disguise burned on the stove.

Corky joined Artem and Leozumin at the table with the dwarf, and they struck up conversation. The Dwarf introduced himself as Warrek, and mentioned that he had heard them ask Amadeus about the cave-in, and told them in a hushed voice that he had been one of two people to make it out of the cave-in when it happened. He said that "Anyone who tells you it's a regular ol' cave-in is lying."

He explained that he was with his crew in the mine, and he was closer to the mouth of it when the walls began to move. It seemed like an earthquake at first, but with each movement, the walls began to come loose, until the form of a huge stone and ore monster had taken shape, cutting off Warrek and his fellow miner, Bertrand, from the rest of the crew. The two dwarves ran for the exit as the rocks on the ceiling began to fall, and although Bertrand kept running, Warrek turned to look back at the mine just in time to see the impossible sight of the rock monster gripping the cave by the rim of the entrance and pulling it down into the ground.

Warrek said that most of the townsfolk don't want to believe his story about the monster that caused the disaster in the mine, and so he has been, more or less, isolated since it all happened.

Many people have tried to dig up the ground following the cave-in, wanting to try and save their loved ones if they had managed to survive the initial impact, but any attempts to dig into the soil have the effect of launching the person digging back.

Within days of this tragedy, the commotion with the elf clan in the Risorial Woods began, and the Village Elder, Luidalia, began to shift focus to dealing with that problem instead.

Warrek mentioned that the name of one of the Risorial Woods Elves is Tella, and that she and her family were staying at The Wooden Hearth.

The party then chose to split up on their way to the inn to best cover the area for detecting Mimics.

They were able to find and kill an additional two mimics: Leozumin found one that was masquerading as a pie in the window of a bake shop, and Corky found one impersonating a lamp post on a bridge, which somehow wound up knocking Stefano into a stream before Corky was able to kill it.

Gyome stopped by the Adventurers' Guild to ask Julie more about the cave-in. She said she didn't know much, just that the two dwarves who managed to escape, Warrek and Bertrand, had different stories about what happened: Warrek is telling a preposterous story about a rock monster, and Bertrand maintains that it was a tragic cave-in.

Airmed made his way to an alchemist's shop in order to get the unknown liquid he had on him identified. He also purchased a cage-like box from the Ford, the proprietor of the shop.

Once reconvened at the inn, Leozumin noted that the call bell at the front desk was moving in a way it shouldn't have been (i.e., at all), and squished the bell with a single metallic finger, ending the mimic quickly.

The innkeeper, a gnome, witnessed Leozumin take out the Mimic and offered the party a discount to stay, which they accepted.

A young elf girl was seated at one of the tables by the window, drinking tea and reading a book. Corky introduced himself and asked if she knew Tella, the elf that Warrek had mentioned as one of the Risorial Woods elves. She said that she was Tella, and after some questioning, she divulged that she and her family did escape the woods.

An elf from the clan named Sinclair had gone mad. He suddenly had a great deal of power that he had used to kill the Village Elder and take his place. Immediately after doing so, he began to lock the entrances and exits to Everness (the elven city). Her family and two others escaped just before the city was fully sealed off.

After speaking with Tella, the Marx checked the rest of the inn for Mimics, finding two more in the rooms.

When the party decided to head to Amadeus's house to ask him some more questions, Airmed said that he wanted to go back to the Alchemist's shop to check on the sample he had given to Ford. Finding this slightly suspicious, Leozumin said that they would go with him. Airmed insisted to go alone, and left to go on a secret mimic hunt. He found one in a tree, climbed up, and after getting bitten, coaxed the mimic into a cage, which he was able to keep in his bag.

He met up with the rest of the party as they were hunting the mimics, another 2 of which were dispatched in his absence. Airmed said that he found and fought off a mimic, and that Ford was still working on his sample. Leozumin pressed him, not entirely buying the story. He felt something was going on and wanted to understand better, but Airmed was short and a bit cold as they pressed on toward Amadeus's home.

Amadeus welcomed the party into his home and offered them refreshments. When they asked him about the cave-in, he told them that he wasn't really sure what all happened because he wasn't there, but he thought it was just a tragic accident, though he really couldn't explain why the mine was gone, or why they were unable to dig up the ground there, which he felt did lend some credence to Warrek's story. He explained that the efforts of the Village Elder had been more focused on the Risorial Woods issue now, and that the village had mourned those lost in the cave-in just last week. He warned the party that going into the Risorial Woods uninvited was dangerous, as the woods had ways of protecting itself from outsiders, and that with the clan in the woods sealed off, there was only one way to get through the woods: with the blessing of their current Village Elder, Luidalia.

Since the Marx were willing to help, Amadeus told them that he would set up a meeting with Luidalia for them the following day.

On the way back to the inn, Chief Paws noticed a decorative statute by one of the homes move, and took off to pounce on it. Leozumin, noting that something was going on with Airmed, and that it seemed to be related to the mimics, tried to convince Chief Paws that the mimic was somewhere else, to no avail. Though they did hesitate a moment due to their friend's subtle attempt to stop them from hurting the mimic, Chief Paws eventually killed the mimic they had found, something Airmed could not stand to watch.


Occurrences of Note:

  • First arrival to Wen (Region).
  • First arrival to Thetchery (settlement).
  • Full party introduction of Julie, concierge at the Thetchery Adventurers' Guild.
  • Party claims the Mimic Mayhem quest from the AGI Quest Board.
  • Full party introduction to Amadeus, de facto mayor of Thetchery.
  • Party learns of the Everness Coup.
  • Party learns of the Elven Iron Mine Cave-In.
  • Party introduction to Warrek, dwarven miner.
  • Party learns of alternative theory for cave-in and potential rock monster.
  • Party introduction to Tella, elf from Everness.
  • Party learns of Sinclair, elf responsible for Everness Coup.
  • Slight interparty conflict between Leozumin and Airmed.
  • Completion of Mimin Mayhem quest; not yet turned in.
  • Corky gives business cards to Amadeus, Warrek, and Tella.

Completed: October 2022