Spoiler alert: if you plan to play The Evils of Illmire, don’t read this!
Arriving at Gribblet Village is the sturdy and reliable Sergeant Wilfret who has spent a couple of days spying on Illmire. This is what he tells the party:
- The situation in town has worsened and the cult’s grip grown stronger
- More people are ill with ‘Bald Fever’ and a few have died
- There is a sense of distrust amongst the townsfolk who look to Father Rand for guidance, but he just preaches hell and damnation
- Lord Crellmont appears to have made a recovery from the sickness and indeed has been seen walking and conferring with Father Rand. The mayor doesn’t seem to be his old self though…
- A few evenings after sunset Wilfret has seen a figure sneaking out of town into the darkness. The way the figure moved troubled him and after nearly being spotted on one occasion he has kept away from the town.
This felt like a turning point for our characters, their next actions would determine the shape of the rest of this adventure. I think the players sensed this as well as there was a great deal of discussion, analysis and assessment of plans. In the end they decided to try to intercept the figure sneaking out of town under the cover of darkness, who they suspected was the assassin Yorivar claimed was stalking him.
After a good rest they set off towards Illmire. With this being a hex crawl there is no guarantee any journey will be free of encounters and so it proved here. Circling around the Misty Lake a swarm of stirges homes in on the party, but Evalore’s sleep spell puts a quick end to them. Then when arriving close to Illmire they spot a group of town watch resting against a tree truck, but decide to leave them alone. And so it is that the party arrive at the predetermined spot to observe the town, but it is late in the day with the sun about to set.
The plan was to accost the sneaking figure, and like many plans it did not survive first contact with the enemy. The assassin took some damage but was capable and fast and not being encumbered with heavy armour was able to outrun our heroes and make it back to Illmire. The game was up as the alarm was raised – the cult now know the party are out to get them.
Knowing there is little more they can do now the party head back to the loggers camp. Surely the extent of the cult’s influence has not yet reached there?