Chapter 3 – Part 1 – The Mystery in Shaker Keep – Bullette Attack

The travelers relax in the Wooden Axe

We began our story with the heroes arriving unceremoniously in the village of Shaker Keep. The last two days of travel were uneventful which was a welcome relaxation after the bandit attacks of the last four or five days. The group and the caravan arrived at dusk and the heroes began the search for a public house where they could rinse the road dust from their throats. Of the three establishments in town, the most appealing was the Wooden Axe, a halfling run Inn and tavern serving travelers fare and libations.

Several weeks prior in a bustling metropolis many leagues away from the sleepy backwater of Shaker Keep in the kingdom capitol of Tilandsia Seat, the dean of the mage college there had tasked one of his newest and most promising students with finding out why a particular spell component, special mushrooms cultivated by the people of Shaker Keep, has stopped flowing to the school. Feyezelle traveled with a group of soldiers of the Windhallow Company to Shaker Keep to meet their commander on the way to a battle front another several days to the east and Feyezelle has found himself face to face with the heroes.

After stabling the drakes with the stable hand, Squib, to whom they would go on to sell the last two drake eggs, they took a nights rest at the Wooden Axe and stumbled upon a mystery. Some people in the town have been going missing and it seems to have started with a pig farmer called Talbot Foreman who was injured by bandits on his return to the town. After a week’s convalescence from his injuries or possibly an illness that followed them, he vanished. Since then, several people have also gone missing. The Mayor’s sister was out for a walk and never came home. The Husband and owner / bard from the Wooden Axe has also gone missing. It was also rumored that a Bullette was passing through the area and in an attempt to keep it’s passage through the region short, the towns folk have killed all the game animals in the area to limit the Bullette’s food sources. Malek with his uncommon knowledge of everything suggested there may be a school of these land sharks, though everyone knows they are solitary creatures.

A Second Bulette Emerges

The group started their investigation with the foreman farm where they found a single paddock of pigs, several other broken paddocks, a suspicious outbuilding hung with chains but empty otherwise, and a ledger turned journal in the house loosely detailing his attack from the bandits, the injuries he sustained, and his subsequent illness. Malek became convinced that they were dealing with a “werepig” and began composing a ballad. After checking with a neighboring farm, the troupe decided to head off to find the proprietor of the Wooden axe. When they reached his normal hunting ground, they were attacked by a bullette… but something was off. It seemed to be leaking a green ooze uncommon to bulletes. Illi took the brunt of the creatures attack but dealt several terrible wounds to the beast allowing Malek to burst it apart with his thunder knuckle / shocker. After defeating the creature, another one emerged to feast on the first. The party attacked this one as well and Ebbie took a good deal of damage driving her into a rage. This one dove into the ground as several party members climbed a near by tree… mostly to avoid Ebbie’s blind rage which, in the absence of the beast, she turned on the two guard drakes. She missed them with a couple of wide swings and was subdued by a well timed strike from Gorre and some tale thrashes from the drakes. Once down, the Bullette burst form the ground at the base of the tree the others had climbed sensing the vibrations through the roots and intended to smash those in the tree. A bolt from Gorre blew the thing apart showing the party with viscera.

Ebbie is Down!

After healing Ebbie, the party decided to return to the Foreman farm to rest and recuperate and collect their thoughts on what just happened. Had they learned anything? What happened to the missing people? Where is Talbot foreman? What was the green ooze? One problem was solved, but many more questions abound.

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