You arrive at Daisen and Twilla’s estate at the appointed time and find that four others have accepted the invitation as well and that the five of you will form the inaugural adventuring group of The House. With the forming of this group, Daisen and Twilla send you on your first quest – to bring back an ogre’s head. The first step, they tell you, is to obtain a gryphon’s hammer from Teldorthan Ironhews.
The party heads for Lowtown to Teldorthan’s Arms where they find Teldorthan in his usual place out front, pipe in hand, chatting with a couple of locals. Hearing the party’s request for a gryphon’s hammer, he gives them an archery challenge to earn it. “If adventurin’ were easy, everyone’d be doin’ it. It takes some fortitude!” The challenge consists of chugging some strong dwarven liquor, then smashing a target at twenty paces with a “dwarven arrow”. Goriand proved up to the task and was able to complete the challenge successfully, after which, Teldorthan dug into a pocket, pulled out a gold coin and flipped it to the group. The printing on the coin showed a gryphon’s claw clutching a hammer. “Ye’ll have ta speak with Olive next,” Teldorthan tells you. “Ye’ll likely find her at the Silver Unicorn. Give her me coin and she’ll send ye on yer way.”
The party then makes their way back up to Hightown and to the Silver Unicorn Inn where they find Olive, a lovely halfling bard, entertaining the patrons. “Ah, the life of an adventurer… how exciting! But be warned, strength of arm alone will only get you so far. You must also be sharp of mind and wit if you wish to live long enough to have tales to tell!” She gives the party three riddles to solve before she will send them on their way.
“My life can be measured in hours,
I serve by being devoured.
Thin, I am quick.
Fat, I am slow,
and the wind is my foe.
What am I?”
“Until I am measured, I am not known.
Yet how you miss me, when I have flown.
What am I?”
“I am often held, yet rarely touched.
I am always wet, yet never rust.
I’m sometimes wagged and sometimes bit,
and to use me well, you must have wit!
What am I?”
Pleased with your answers, she wishes you well on your journey and sings for you a song to lead you on your way.
Following the clues in Olive’s song, the party makes their way east out of town and follows the King’s Road south along the Moon Hills. After several miles of walking south, come to the landmark given in Olive’s song. Turning east, you leave the road and travel across a few miles of open ground until you reach the edge of Harken Forest. The song suggests that by making their way through the forest, they’ll somehow earn the “cat’s meow”. So with nothing more than that to go on, the part pushed into the depths of the forest.
After a few hours of blindly tromping through the woods, with the evening shadows quickly approaching and their patience wearing thin, the party is a bit startled when several arrows suddenly whiz through the trees only barely missing people’s heads and feet. With quick scan of the forest, a shadowy figure is seen fleeing through the trees and a very feline snarl echoes through the woods.
The party quickly gives chase but finds it no easy task to track the elusive figure. The couple of times when the party loses the trail, more arrows whiz from the shadows to spur them on. Through tangles of brush, chill streams and up and over bluffs, the chase taxes the party’s endurance and determination. At last they come to a small clearing when they spy their quarry crouched upon a tree limb on the other side. Cautiously approaching, they just barely make out and avoid a concealed pit trap in the clearing. As the party reaches the tree where the person waits, she pulls aside her cloak so that the lithe form of a razorclaw shifter can be seen.
“Pitiful!” she scowls down from her perch, ignoring any questions you may have. “From here you will go straight south, across the road and the White River to the Glade of Ghosts. There you can find the trail of blood which leads to the ogre’s lair.” With a final hiss of disgust, she flips off of the tree limb and vanishes into the shadows of the night. Feeling frustrated and tired, the party makes camp for the night.