After some more plotting and ruminating on the potential benefits and pitfalls of getting someone to climb up the wall and get the stone, the party decided to take a different route. With Vaylenchek’s magic and lockpick set, Krezzik slipped into the jail and did a whirlwind search for the stone while the sheriff was getting his drink on. Krezzik terrified some prisoners and suffered an axe trap to the chest, but retrieved the stone!
Auryn, upon further examination, determined the stone was nothing more that a continual light token with a false magical aura overlaying it. She and Titania hoofed it over the wall to deliver the stone to Hortus’s grandson, who took it and fetched his grandfather and the rest of the community that wanted to oust Burniss.
Burniss returned to the jail and found his prisoners terrified of ghosts, several doors unlocked, and the stone gone. Drunk and angry, he started questioning people in the middle of the night, starting with the caravan camp. Noru kept him busy with vague answers until Hortus and the others marched on the town.
In the middle of the night, Hortus regaled sleepy-eyed townsfolk with the lies Wolf’s Ear has relied upon and the extortion Burniss has subjected them to. The sheriff, too drunk to be sensible, tried to charge Hortus, but got dinged about the head with the flat of Titania’s blade a couple times until the guards could drag him off.
The party, the heroes of the hour, received their 500gp reward. Vaylenchek received a cut of the reward for using his magic and resources to help, though Titania indicated the fact they haven’t turned him into the authorities should be all the reward he needs for giving them whatever help they want. Luckily, the rest of the party understands what ‘blackmail’ means and cheerfully shared their loot. ;)
Within a day, the caravan is restocked and actually in the black. Sandru rolls them out for their shortcut through the Churlwood, a.k.a., bandit trap.
A suspiciously familiar red stone attached to Auryn’s vardo will light the way…