Hey TacoJohn, sorry for you. I have been so blest with my wife. I can't say enough good thing about her, or her cooking. Just ask me!
Here is part one of the whole. I'll post more as I can. Ragnar1965 this is really all I have written!
Again, we had so much fun. Chris Doyle did such a good job with this module!
We started out with the three characters all stopping at the Merry Riot Inn independently of one another. Each PC had some vague reason to be traveling through Dundraville (like my detailed background info?). When the mayor was told that three adventurers had booked rooms for the night he went to the inn just before supper and asked them to help Dundraville.
Since all four of us were in the mood for dice rolling, I wanted to make the exploration of Dundraville quick. I had photocopied the map and simply placed it before the group so they could see the important locations and focus on them. I told them about the ogre and the tragic turn of events two weeks prior to the PCs arriving in town. I had each roll a d10 to see which rumor each PC heard as they traveled about town.
Ragnar1965 got #3 (the ancient warrior’s tomb), Zach got #9 (the dwarven carpenter), and JediWife got #5 (the ogre’s club can kill a man). The fellows teased my wife about the lame rumor she got. Ultimately I let her roll again (something about her “Ring of DM Control” – i.e. her wedding band!) since I know I’d not hear the end of this. She got #1 (the rat attacking the dog). That rumor rocked! It had Ragnar1965 thinking that the villains in this module would wind up being wererats.
Anyway, they made Zach party leader since he had the ranger. He thus decided to go to the Wizard’s Tower first. They were taken aback that the wizard, Nerenethos, would have traveled away when Dundraville needed him. Zach commented that it seems odd the magic-user didn’t put a stop to the ogre’s racket long ago. I recall him saying, “either he is unable or unwilling to help.” My wife and Ragnar1965 agreed and seemed to have a feeling this was not a good thing. With nothing left to see at the tower they stopped by the Brewery.
Since we didn’t feel like role-playing much, I read them the background of the halflings. They got a kick out of the not-quite-on-the “straight and narrow” halfling. It was here they learned about the markings on the poisoned barrels.
From here they went to Old Tarik’s home. I had him out front chopping wood one handed as the sun sank low on the horizon. The ranger asked if they could talk to him for a spell. Tarik replied back, “No, can’t you see I’m busy!” Zach had his PC say they are going to go find and kill the ogre. Could he help them with information? I laughed and said, “Kill the ogre? Why sure I’ll help you. I know rumors two, three, six, and seven! Let me read them to you now.” They laughed about that too. Tarik gave the elven warrior his magic arrow (which I don’t believe ever got used in this adventure!) Ragnar1965 latched onto rumor #6, the one where the speaker didn’t trust the mayor and figured he was in on the extortion with the ogre. He begins to see a triangle forming between the ogre, the mayor, and the wizard. My wife was far more interested in rumor #7, the smoke out of the eyehole. Perhaps this would be a secret way into the ogre’s den?
They left Old Tarik and traveled to the Druid’s Circle. There they met Sheryn-ella and her owl. She spoke with them and offered them rumor 10 (the wolves), four goodberrys, and an invitation to visit her at Fairweather, her druidic commune, upon completion of thier task. She told them she was in Dundraville to look over this druidic circle and harvest mistletoe since tonight was a full moon.
Lastly the party visited Kerwin’s Outfitters. They pooled their coin and purchased the silver dagger for 20 gp.
Zach asked me which two people had been kidnapped and I remember I had to pause the game to hunt down the info. Ah yes, one of the barmaids from the Merry Riot Inn, and a gnome merchant who was well known in Dundraville (he loved to rent a boat and go fishing in the lake).
That was that for information gathering in the village.
Since there was to be a full moon that night and they had an elf with keen vision as well as a ranger well skilled in outdoor lore, the three left to visit Skulltop Hill. They planned on returning by morning with the beasts head!
Thus the intro to the module was over. Adventure was just ahead!