So, we play again tonight, but I forgot to update on what happened in our Hackmaster campaign last week, given the frentic orgy that is finals week.
A good portion of the party was ready for a level, either 2nd or 3rd, so we sat down and worked through that. Since most of the group is not familiar with the system, that took a while to raise attributes, refigure things, and spend BP. For his part, Sevlen picked up the basics of blacksmithing (I figure he's been making a living as a tinker since he left home; blacksmithing is part and parcel of his General Repair), plus some more languages, religions, and the Local History proficiency for the Earldom of Reyifor. Since I'm familiar with the module, I've purposely built Sevlen so he can metagame about the setting a bit without cheating. I'm usually dropping a BP each level to learn about churches we encounter... I've got the party's religions covered (due to some fortuitous penetration, I now know the Bear's religion better than my own), and plan to pick up the Caregiver, as we interact with him a bit.
After that, we debated what we should do to get into the keep, but it seems our adventures against the vampire earned us a friend; we got a note saying that looking into Vespin Tower might result in enough favor to get let into the keep. So, with Evlyn and Fredi having sold our stuff, we started up the mountain, just the seven of us (Grimwulf, Fredi, Ava, Sevlen, Evlyn, Tedi and Grimwulf's cook, who we don't trust being left alone in a town full of rough men). We set out towards the tower, but late on the first day, we encountered a woman.
She was bloody and beaten and very pregnant. She raved that the child inside her was a beast and, as we calmed her, we learned that she and her family merchant caravan had been taken by orcs late last fall. Her family had been killed, but she'd been kept and raped. She'd escaped in a harrowing climb to freedom when a cloaked man had come for her (for reasons she did not know). We decided we couldn't leave her there, nor let her walk back alone, so we started towards town, and dropped her with a Brandobian cleric of the Caregiver... and learned that the keep had opened in our absence, as they'd found someone to blame the assassination attempts on. We decided to enter the keep, and got ourselves registered as an adventuring company, the Bleeding Hearts, because most of our other name ideas were stupid. ;-)