After helping the ghost of Ujaset and befriending the kobold known as Jaalask, the party of adventurers returned to Miel to consider their options in the continuing search for the Coffers of Kundarak. Apart from the fact that there was a Keep for sale to anyone willing to make sure that it was empty since there had been a few reports of activity in that region, the only point of interest seemed to be the one known as The Harvest Lord. After making use of the town blacksmith to pick up some gear made from Cold Iron, a material known to be extra effective on the inherrant magic of the fey, D’artagnan used the map given to him by Ujaset for solving his last riddle to determine where and when the best entrance to the Harvest Lord’s domain would be appearing.
The adventurers went to a corn field which, at the appointed time, seemed to open, revealing a lengthy passageway that twisted out of sight. Soon, they came to a fork in the road and were greeted by an animated Scarecrow, that informed them that to speak to the Harvest Lord they would need to head to the left. They did so, and the twisting passage eventually opened up into a wide clearing.
In this clearing, a long banquet table had been set up, and dozens of humans, elves, gnomes and a few odd dwarves, hobbits and orcs were enjoying a feast made from delicious fruits and grains, exotic animals and rare wines. Beyond those eating the food and playing simple party games, the Harvest Lord sat at the head of the table.
The Harvest Lord was taller and leaner than most elves or humans and seemed to glow with a faint light. He was dressed in the clothes of a wealthy merchant, lightly soiled with the finest of farm dust, and his hair was adorned with sticks and twigs that resembled the horns of an elk. He greeted the adventurers warmly, and asked them to sit at his table and partake of his meal, an offer which all but Charles Cavandish accepted. The Harvest Lord gave a bit of friendly advice: never accept an invitation to sit or eat while in the land of fairies, otherwise the local lords might hold them captive forever…not that he would be doing that, of course.
The Harvest Lord also revealed that he was aware of their quest for the Coffers of Kundarak and that he had no intention of allowing them to get to the treasure chest that House Kundarak had put into his guardianship.
A spirited session of haggling and diplomacy then began as the party continued around them. While the Harvest Lord was adamant about not allowing any of the adventurers to use hit Coffer of Kundarak (and yes, he knew that they wouldn’t want to take it, just borrow it), he was eventually persuaded to help them by promising to grant future companions a safe and immediate passage to the first Coffer of Kundarak (which, with a proper bit of preparation, meant easy access to becoming attuned to both the first and the second chest very quickly.) However, in exchange for this task, he demanded a service, and some entertainment.
For his service, he revealed that the Keep that was currently available “for free” to anyone willing to clear it out had significantly more creatures in it than most had guessed. A Wee Jas worshiping orcish necromancer named Kurjan Sawtooth had invaded it, and was collecting slaves from the local townspeople, forcing them to work in the ancient dwarven mine beneath the keep. He had a small army of orcs guarding the tower, along with some other monstrous friends, all of which were merely safeguards for the day that he had built up an army of undead creatures powerful enough to attack the town of Miel directly. While The Harvest Lord had nothing against death and undeath in principle, Kurjan’s build-up of deathly magic without a balancing force of life was one that could, in the future, make his life difficult. As such, The Harvest Lord demanded that he and his minions be stopped.
For his entertainment, he brought much of the food on the table to life. THe zombified remains of wild boars and the skeletal carcasses of chickens attacked the heroes relentlessly, aided by the (mostly immobile) head of a boar on a plate and, eventually, the zombified Roast Crocodile from further down the table. The adventurers were surprised by the sudden attack of their dinner, but were easily able to fend off the already partially-consumed former meals.
The Harvest Lord was well pleased with these antics, laughing uproariously and drinking merrily as the fight worked to its conclusion with the same number of casualties that it started with. He granted them his blessing, and bid the adventurers on their way to deal with Kurjan Sawtooth.