[This is the ongoing session report of my first take on Scenic Dunnsmouth]
As the three left Dunc Samson´s grounds they heard the faint sound of a church bell in the distance, only recognizable as such as one listened closely to it. This was more than the adventurers had hoped for: by now, the absence of day and night and the peculiar indifference of all the inhabitants to it gave them a bad feeling about the mist and Dunnsmouth in general. While none of them has actually called the place cursed by now, they all by now harbored an unspoken doubt that leaving this place would be as easy as waiting for the ship to fetch them. Herod told them that there indeed was an old, abandoned stone cottage in the area where Dunc had claimed to see the strange, lone woman and that he could lead them there. So they moved through the fog and the reeds on the swamp water and between the small islands of higher ground till they found a small tongue of land. The reeds was high everywhere near the water, but the PC were able to spot a thatch roof as well as a few gnarled trees here and there. Japser sneaked near to get a better look and found the cottage to be a small, round one-room sort of thing with no windows (and just one small opening in the roof) and a very simple wooden door that was bound to the frame rather than secured with hinges. He did not heard any obvious noise from where he was, aside from those of a few rabbits in a hutch at the outside wall, but noted a small trail of smoke coming out of the old chimney. After a small discussion the three planned to have Jasper take up position in one of the nearby trees (so that he could see the door and open up fire with his bow if need would arise) while the others would approach openly and call out to whoever would be inside (in hope that somebody would answer by coming out into the open). Japser climbed the tree carefully, as it looked decayed and the bark was rather slick, but he manged to get into position without any troubles.
The calls of the others were answered and a woman opened the door. She looked a bit outlandish with her dark skin and eyes and reminded some of the PC of “those traveling gypsy folk”. While the gray streaks in her hair and the wrinkles in her face told them that she must be at least 40, she seemed to be of good health, blessed with a still pretty face and a remarkable smile. Aside from her white teeth and her poise, her clothes came to the characters attention: although they were as stained as one would expect from somebody that travels the bogs and swamps of the area, her clothes were well made and the fine leather boots she wore must have been expensive for sure. But what would a well off-women be doing out here alone, in this strange, half-deserted hamlet? Angus and Cormagh did their best to find out, after they introduced themselves as bounty hunter in search of dangerous brigands, of course. But the woman, who called herself Magda, only gave elusive answers and even seemed to enjoy baffling the armed strangers. All in all, they just learned that she had taken up residence in the abandoned cottage and had not seen any of the brigands. As Angus asked straight forward for her reason to be here, she gave back that “I find this place interesting”. She of course noted the bloody bandages on Angus and made some remarks that he for sure must have sustained serious wounds, so that the fighter in turn asked if she could do anything about them. “I could, but what could you offer me in turn?” She wasn´t interested in silver, and Cormagh and Angus did not offered anything that raised her interest. So she asked “Have you seen anything strange around here?” – “You mean, like that strange fog, the absence of day and night or the inhabitants of the hamlet that are not bothered by it” – “Yes, things like that” Magda smiled “but you haven´t seen what I mean, otherwise you would have known and told me… or you wish to keep silent about it”. She proceeded to ask them about a man, and gave them a description that fitted the bearded madmen that had assaulted them in the church open entering it. The PC decided to still pretend they would not have met the man (a wise choice, as Herod was still with them), and Magda seemed to believe the two but offered a deal to them. She said she could help Angus with his wounds, if he would in turn be willing to swear an oath “to deal with this man” when they would meet him. If Angus hackles were not raised already, they were now, and the English fighter was more than just reluctant to enter such an agreement. “Well….” Magda said “… I think I don´t even really need a vow from you”, and quickly made a few strange gestures with her arms and hands while she spoke words in a tongue unknown to any of those present. Before Angus (who isn´t having the highest Wisdom Ability) could act Magda finished whatever she had been doing and smiled at Angus… a smile that charmed the fighter completely. She then proceeded to hand him a little glass vial with a milky substances in it “drink this now, it will aid your healing”. Angus did (with a lot of nagging from the now disgruntled player who felt a -tad- betrayed, as in his opinion a fine warrior should have had the reflexes to respond to the situation… I will explain to him later that the next time his warrior deals with a magic-user, he will know what is going and will be given at least a chance as it won´t be his first time anymore).
They said there goodbyes and left the scene, and as Magda went inside her cottage Jasper climbed down the tree and joined the others. The encounter left them none the wiser, so they somehow did not feel like Magda would be in league with the brigands (a point of view that was very much shared by Angus). Still, Herod stated loudly and with a bit of fear in his voice what all of the others had been thinking already: that this woman must be a witch or sorceress of some kind. He made it very clear to the characters that he will honor his agreement and lead them around, but that he will not come back to this cottage again. “If this means a broken deal to you, tell me now. I will give you directions to your next location then, but will leave, without any demands of payment. There shall be no bad blood between us because of it”. The three assured him that their deal was still good and that they would not ask him to come here again. Instead, they wanted to head north in order to visit Albert Dunlop, and to later pay the home of Dicky Samons a visit.