After opening the church portal Herod quickly noted that something was wrong: church benches had obviously been moved (the PC had used them to barricade the church portal from the inside during their sleep), there were not lit candles anywhere and a bed had been moved into the altar space! He shouted out the name of Father Iwanopolous twice without answer, so he readied the spiked club he had brought along and asked the PC to light a torch (which they did) before he cautiously moved to door to the Father´s room, only to find it nailed shut with parts of shattered church benches. Needles to say, Herod was alarmed and more than worried and the three made sure to act like they would see all of this for the first time and rather moved behind Herod and let him make his own guess instead of saying anything (that might have given their ruse away). So, it was Herod that told the PC what to do: they followed him back outside towards the other door leading to the priest´s quarter. He peeked through the window and saw the blood, at which point he started his best to shoulder the door open (which the PC new to be nailed from shut from the inside). To the characters surprise, he managed to break in after three or four attempts and was quiet shocked about what he found. All in all, he figured that the brigands the characters mentioned must have been after this and assumed that they had literally butchered him in his quarters before they turned the church into their little stronghold. That there was no trace of them and none of the corpse of the father either was something that he could not make head or toe of, but decided that he now had to warn his brother Obediah and his family immediately, as well as the other inhabitants of Dunnsmouth. The PC agreed and so they headed south again.
So they returned to the connected tree houses again, but instead of avoid it they made the acquaintance of Obediah and his family. As Herod was shouting out from below, his brother appeared up at a sidewalk of the largest tree house: a small but broad shouldered man in his 40s, with scruff beard, a round face and a nose that must have been broken quiet often in his life. The fellow welcomed his younger brother with some well-meaning mockery, but quickly became more serious after Herod told what (he believed that) had happened and invited the group up to his home. Never the less, he welcomed them with strong booze and the PC quickly guessed that the fact that Obediah squinted all the time had something to do with drinking that booze all of his life. He introduced them to his young, beautiful wife Jezebel as well. She set on her knees next to her husband (the guest where sitting on all the stools) and huddled against him while he petted her back and elbow, but locked at Jasper while she did so. Obediah did not noted and if Herod was paying attention, he pretended not to note. After hearing what his brother and the PC had to say, he decided that it would be best to gather all of the folks of Dunnsmouth in the church, but stated that he could not leave his family alone (Jezebel had jumped up in the meanwhile to see after the four children again as one of the boys started crying). The PC nodded to that, but where quiet surprised at Obediah´s conclusion “Alright, so me and mine will join you on your way to Edwin and Edwina. JEZEBEL! Get the children and wrap up a few things!” The three were a bit baffled that their group was turning into a little caravan, but ran with it as they headed out to see the next Dunlop household.
At Edwin´s and Edwina´s place (brother and sister in the 40s living together), Herod did the talking again and they quickly decided to move to the church together with Obediah and his family (after exchange some whispers that the PC overheard: something about jewelry…). The three then had the idea to instruct Obediah to move with his family and both Ewdin and Edwina directly to the church in order to gather the rest of the village by ringing the bell. Obediah was was surprised that he had not thought about it himself but added “well, I do not visit the church often aside from christenings, funerals and perhaps weddings” with a crude laugh. The characters were relieved that the merry-go-round-caravan-thing would stop _now_. But as they were already there, they decided to pay Pearce Dunlop a visit before they would continue along a course around the village to see Dunc Samson and Albert Dunlop.
To be continued…