Until Thy Kingdom Come

Summoner's Log

Chapter One: For Great Justice

Group meets, small guarding/adventuring in the background.
With a brief and murky history, an adventuring group sits at their table—probably drawing stares of curiosity and hostility. Composed of an elven magus, a half-elven druid, a human monk, an elven bard and a half elf summoner.
The celebration is interrupted by a loud and increasingly harsh verbal exchange between two gentlemen; one a bearded Sword Lord, the other a peacock northerner in flamboyant attire.
Insults get personal, then begin involving parentage and comments about mothers.
Astoroth speeds things up with a pointed comment about the proper decorum observed by nobles, and gets them to fight out front with blades instead of invective.

Some notice that as the duel is prepared, 8 cloaked figures wait in alleyways, apparently ready for an ambush.
The blue-clad nobleman convinces to drunk bully-boys to join him in his attack on the Sword Lord.
Try warning Sword Lord via whisper, but he is only confused, prompting the attack with a line “Whats going on here?”
Two drunks are dropped by color spray, but magus is dropped by critical hit from an assassin.
Bolts and arrows strike the ambushers, while the monstrous Syzygy and Tony the tiger maul the attackers
Nobleman engages Sword Lord, who in his wisdom and arrogance turns to fight the weaker assassins, saving his main opponent for “last.” He is then flanked and is stabbed in the back twice for his trouble.
Monk falls after defending the body of the fallen elf.
Bard sleeps most remaining assassins.
Nobleman backed into a corner by Stormlord and Syzygy, drinks potion and goes invisible
It looked as if Syzygy missed its opportunity strike, but the blood on its talons told another tale.

Tony tracks the fleeing nobleman halfway across the city, and after much coordinated effort with Syzygy the invisible running nobleman is brought down.
Meanwhile, Druid had healed the two fallen companions, and once the nobleman was caught quickly staunched the flow of his lifeblood in an amazingly deft display of skill, preserving him for capture and questioning—all this while the subject was invisible.

Sword Lord brings us to his semi-secret base, we attend a dinner party with 3 adventuring/soldier groups. Nobles, Wraith knights mercenaries, and presumably the Sword Lord’s own group of soldiers/troops.
Accept a commission to restore order to the River Kingdoms and Stolen Lands—receive permission (also, orders) to kill or neutralize any bandits we encounter. The noble group will be heading to the west of us, while the Sword Lord’s men will explore some mountains that will be east of our target area.

Travel with Sword Lord’s group to the mountains, where they depart—never to be seen again, me thinks. Then we catch up to the big noble procession.
Pass them early in the morning, head to the Trading Post.
Just Oleg and his wife Svetlana, who are currently being extorted by bandits.
We offer to help. Bandits are due the very next morning.
Four tower-mounted Ballistas look cool but are all trashed, so we set up a trap with a pile of fake treasure. With greed comes gullibility.
Spring ambush, shutting door so they are all trapped inside. The entire group of bandits are captured or slain.
Oleg cuts throats with our blessing and possibly even encouragement.
Remaining pair of bandits questioned and base of evil axe woman found—a camp in the forest.
Final executions, then we’re off, bringing the bandit’s clothes, the wagons and great justice along for the trip.

Dressed up as the bandits, we arrive pulling a wagon full of fake treasure and two ally beasts.
Druid entangles everyone except the archers in trees.
Axe woman put to sleep by bard, archers are slain, rest are captured.
Questioning then hanging. Learn a little more about the Stag Lord (?) who lives along the lake to our south. Some kind of bandit king, his base is a building or fortress of some kind.
Axe woman’s throat slit by bard as she was allowed to watch the other executions and allowed to believe that she was going free. Probably the least “good” act of the adventure so far—not bad!
Looting of camp, string bodies up in a conspicuous tree along road.

Deadly ambush by hostile wolves—a sad and unfortunate outcome.

Chapter Two: Overcoming Extreme Adversity

We gradually make our way back to Oleg’s, traveling slowly due to wagon mechanics. But since it’d be such a shame to abandon a potentially useful future resource, we take it easy, exploring the area around the wagon as we go.

A day or so out from the trading post, I thought it would be nice to do a little hunting, so that we can both bring back a nice present upon our return as well as getting a nice meal out of the deal. After discussion with our naturalist Aspen in the Fall, the notion was acceptable so long as we used the entire animal. The wild-eyed half elf made an obscene comment about the defication and waste of the being… at least that’s how I interpreted it at the time. I did catch a whiff of his breath lather, however, and… well.

Tony and Syzygy raced across the horizon ahead of us, my fellow half-elf directing the hunt in primal communion with the land. I watched with appreciation as, demonstrating his mastery and instinctive understanding of the natural world, he quickly cornered a boar—an immense beast with six inch, no… foot long tusks! This 600 pound monstrosity was laid low by a volley of arrows and bolts, and fell dead beside a tree. Some stray arrows had hit the tree, and the day’s conditions being perfect for the flow of tree sap caused an eruption of delicious, sticky maple syrup to drench the target, giving it a sweet glazing marinade. Aspen in the Fall was quick to spot a variety of flavorful wild herbs which he proceeded to collect for dinner.

We arrived back at Oleg’s with the quarter ton of bacon-to-be in the wagon, only to be stopped at the gate. A man we didn’t recognize, but wearing the uniform of some form of soldier, began to question us. Before we could get righteously indignant about the welcome, we heard Oleg shouting for us to be let in. We noticed the bandit heads had been taken down from the spikes they’d formerly occupied.

There were people there now—quite a few I’d say, but not a lot. A group of guards were now stationed at the trading post: their leader, whom I will refer to as Captain Kesten, was a human of middling years. Svetlana came out to greet us, and we let everyone goggle over our abundance of pork before asking her to cook it for a feast… for everyone! The new guards are so happy to be included.

(Some of the guards’ behavior is potentially troublesome. Saalus guided us through some potential social fau pax. The men, admittedly in comradarie after hearing of our fantastical exploits of the previous week, offered us drink and drank with us—while on duty. I’m no military genius, but due to the danger of this territory, and the immenant threat that the bandit king Staglord poses to us. Since he will surely seek reprisals against us, as any king would when his minions are messed around with. If the guys on watch are drunk or passed out when we’re finally attacked… not good.)

However, in the theme of the evening, we were seeking to build trust and alliances, not alienate or instruct. A brief outline of events was given, to be further detailed by our bard at a later time, and those in the courtyard were suitably impressed. We collected bounty on the bandits we’d hung on the conspicuous hanging tree, using their armor and equipment as proof since Kesten was unwilling to venture that far, fearing for his men’s safety in this admittedly hostile realm.

A halfling by the name of Kaden Bale introduced himself to us shortly after the abbreviated version of events was made known. He was impressed by us, and we, for our part, were mostly impressed by his clothes, manners, and the offer he made to our group. He will purchase any goods we acquire during the course of our exploits at 50% of cost, and has the money to bankroll the transactions. We requested that he send someone to Restov to pick up two cure light wound wands, and one of mage armor. Little do we know that they only had one cure wand left on the marker.

Some time after this, we met another human—this one old. His name was Jod Caven, a cleric of Erastil (seem to be a lot of those), who was searching for something—namely a group of badasses who could find the holy place of Erastil he’d seen in his dreams. Us. After getting some vague notions of where and what the place might be, he muttered something about finally getting “redemption”.

Instantly, Saalus was upon him. He wanted no part in any revenge plot, or so he made it seem. The vehemence of his argument was impressive to me, especially since I’d interpreted this sad old man’s statement completely differently. He refused to speak of the deed or circumstance which required redemption—but Ilya the silent whipped out his chalkboard and began scribbling furiously. He offered to share tales of personal sorrow and failure, and proceeded to write down, in excrutiating detail, the events which led to his present circumstances.

After around 10 minutes, when he was just starting to get going and Jod was beginning to look around a little wild-eyed, as if searching for an escape, we left the cleric to Ilya, and went around doing other stuff, including drinking with on-duty guards. Ilya did eventually obtain the information: apparently this priest hunted werewolves, and mistakenly killed (or burned) a human who wasn’t affected by the curse.

The feast went magnificently. Saalus told an epic tale of our recent exploits, with a stunning rendtion of the battle scenes and the fall of the Axe Woman. It was touching to see the looks of awe and wonder in the collected faces of humanity, even an aging priest of Erastil whose withered face seemed to lose some of its decrepitude during the recitation of Saalus’s song. Ilya put on a good face, but I could tell the delicious bacon and pork chop smells were getting to him. Oleg was convinced to break open some casks of wine, and we all were merry well into the night.

When we awoke the next day, we decided to explore the area around Olegs. Sometime that afternoon, we encountered a raving, savage looking man. Unkempt, with a frazzled beard and crazy look in his eye, he begged us to help him. He’d been attacked, in the woods over there… could we help?

My companions were instantly suspicious. They demanded the man keep his distance, and it took me a moment to catch on—something was wrong with this fellow. Obvioiously his words were a trap, but from Saalus’s reaction they were no mere bandits. Hyandaner mouthed the word “werewolf” and it became all to clear.

We pretended to acceed to the man’s wishes, but were quickly forced to slay him—a task easier rendered through word than deed when confronting lycanthropes. Heady with the taste of victory against an opponent all but immune to our weapons, we proceeded into the woods to the supposed ambush point. Hearing the mutterings of the rest of the lupine accomplices, we drew them out with a poor attempt by the bard to imitate the dead werewolf’s voice—but it got their attention all the same.

A truly epic battle followed.

View
The Journey Begins

Starting Date: Toilday, Pharast 14, 4711 AR
Game Date: May 5, 2013

The Flaming Tiger

Toilday, Pharast 14, 4711 AR

An argument breaks out in the Flaming Tiger, an inn close to the docks in Restov. A swordlord of Restov, Maegar Varn, and a noble connected to the Surtova family, Serrin Tandadon, argue politics. Andramelech attempts to calm their tempers while Maegar suggests they step outside to duel. Serrin agrees and, before leaving, talks two dock workers into joining him.

A crowd builds outside where Aspen and Andramelech notice several armed figures standing in alleyways and behind merchant carts. Ilya, once alerted to the presence of these men, notices they all stare at Maegar. Using message, Andramelech warns Maegar that this is a trap. Maegar confronts Serrin who orders his men to attack. Serrin says the swordlord has done enough rabble rousing and that he should come to Port Ice to answer some questions. The PCs jump into the fray to help the badly outnumbered swordlord.

Saalus casts color spray, taking out the two dock hands who threatened to join the fight. Serrin’s guards prove to be tough and very quickly Hyandaner lays on the ground, bleeding profusely. Andramelech’s tutelary tears into one of the guards while Tony the Tiger, Aspen’s pet, rends another. Saalus uses sleep to incapacitate several guards before engaging others in melee. Ilya confronts several of the guards but soon lays on the ground beside Hyandaner. The tide of battle turns and Serrin uses a potion to turn invisible. Two of his guards surrender.

Aspen sends Tony to track Serrin and Andramelech’s tutelary goes along as well. The tiger and tutelary track Serrin for several blocks before bringing him down. Aspen and Andramelech go to retrieve the body of the nobleman while the other PCs tie up the surviving bodyguards and dockhands. Maegar suggests they do not tarry and the PCs strip their captives. Andramelech gives a stirring speech to the crowd and the crowd chases the naked bodyguards and dock hands through the streets. Meanwhile, Maegar takes the PCs to what appears to be an abandoned warehouse.

Using a secret door in the rear of the building, Maegar enters with the PCs and explains they may take shelter there for the night.

Jade Shadows Gather

Wealday, Pharast 15

Maegar stops at the warehouse with two swordsmen. The two companions take the unconscious form of Serrin Tandadon while Maegar leads the PCs through the wealthier parts of the city. The PCs find themselves in front of the Jade Shadows dueling school. After the PCs leave Tony the Tiger and Andramelech’s tutelary in the stables, they follow Maegar down into the school’s basement.

Several groups of individuals sit around the table.
Maegar introduces the PCs to his companions:

  • Gengen Dendy: Male gnome with purple hair in a green cloak that appears to be made of leaves.
  • Caspar Morgarion: Attractive female half-elf and worshiper of Erastil.
  • Willas Gunderson: Unkempt human male bristling with axe.

A group of well dressed humans sit on another end of the table accompanied by their three servants:

  • Baron Hannis Drelev: Well dressed human male with a long purple cape and flowing black hair.
  • Imeckus Stroon: Older human male with gray streaked beard and sullen accompanied by dust mephit.
  • Baroness Pavetta Stroon-Drelev: Elegantly dressed human woman with small yippy dog.

Another group of experienced adventures, The Iron Wraiths, sit on the other side of the table.

  • Dess Cantorin: Duergar wearing black iron plate armor and with a greatsword on his back.
  • Ilor Nuski: Muscle-bound female human with a longbow strapped to her back.
  • Eldeserin: Thin male elf with short cropped hair and an ion stone spinning over his head.
  • Perrin Two-Stabs: A hafling in black leather armor that seems to coat him in shadow.

Adramelech attempts to make friends but Imeckus rebuffs his attempts to learn more about the dust mephit. Dess grows impatient with Pavetta’s dog and Perrin Two-Stabs threatens to quiet the dog permanently.

Before the two groups come to blows, Lord Mayor Ioseph Sellemius enters the room accompanied by the swordsmen who earlier accompanied Maegar. Ioseph explains that the four groups will be sent into the Stolen Lands to extend Rostland’s influence further south. Maegar and his group will be sent into the Nomen Heights to pacify the centaur tribes and map the Tors of Levenies. Baron Hannis Drelev will be sent into the Hooktongue Slough to maintain a trade route that runs perilously close to Pitax as well as the boggard tribes the infest the swamp. The Iron Wraiths will be sent into the Glenebon Uplands to ensure the Tiger Lords do not upset the expansion into the Stolen Lands. The PCs will be sent into the Greenbelt, a region that, while less dangerous than the others, has never been accurately mapped.

Andramelech talks Ioseph into providing the PCs with significant traveling supplies. Andramelech also speaks to Dess who warns the half-elf to beware any of duergar he meets in his travels.

The PCs then join Maegar and his friends to celebrate. As everyone is in their cups, Willas sneaks off and Saalus follows. Willas throws off the bard’s trail before sneaking up on him with an axe. Willas threatens Saalus to not follow him again, but then invites him on a trip to the brothels. Saalus refuses with arguments about anatomy which Willas finds incredulous.

On the Road

Oathday, Pharast 16, 4711 AR

The PCs begin traveling westward on the South Rostland Road, heading towards Oleg’s. Baron Drelev’s entourage can be seen on the road ahead. In the middle of the afternoon, the PCs pass through the small town of Nivakta’ Crossing. Maegar Varn and his crew head south into the Nomen Heights. Before he leaves, Maegar invites the PCs to visit once they’ve had an opportunity to settle in.

The road is well-patrolled and the night passes uneventfully.

Fireday, Pharast 17 through Starday, Pharast 18, 4711 AR

The PCs continue traveling towards Oleg. Noting Baron Drelev’s caravan is often off to a slow start, the PCs pass it by waking early one morning. Baron Drelev notes their passing with disapproval.

Oleg’s Trading Post

Sunday, Pharast 19, 4711 AR

The PCs reach Oleg’s Trading Post late in the afternoon. The post is a surrounded by a wooden palisade with four watchtowers. No activity is observable form outside the post. After calling to Oleg repeatedly, he appears above the main gate. Though gruff at first, Aspen in the Fall reminds Oleg that they had met some years earlier. Oleg reluctantly opens the main gate.

Once inside, the PCs meet Svetlana, Oleg’s wife. Svetlana is at first disappointed to hear the PCs were not sent specifically to deal with the bandit threat, but she warms to the PCs once Andramelech explains the PCs will deal with the bandits. Oleg expresses concerns the PCs will fail and then turn the wrath of the bandits against Oleg and his wife. Svetlana invites the PCs to join her and Oleg for dinner, opening a cask of fine wine despite Oleg’s protests.

Saalus tells a tale over dinner that brings tears to Svetlana’s eyes and Oleg’s silent approval. The pair then tell the PCs a dozen bandits came three months ago led by a vicious woman named Kressle. The bandits demanded that Oleg turn over his trade goods or the bandits would burn the place to the ground. The bandits have returned on a monthly basis and are expected the next day. The PCs offer to take on the bandits and plan to set an ambush the next day.

After Oleg goes to bed, Svetlana tells the PCs he would have fought the bandits himself but fears what they would do to Svetlana were he dead. Andramelech explains Oleg’s willingness to put down his pride is perhaps a greater sacrifice than his life.

Frontier Justice

Moonday, Pharast 20, 4711 AR

Oleg gathers a pile of loot in the center of the encampment as the PCs take up hiding positions. A group of bandits approach approximately an hour after sunrise led by Happs Bydon and demand that Oleg open the gate. Oleg feigns hesitation until Happs threatens Svetlana, at which point Oleg appears to reluctantly agree to their demands.

As the bandits enter and surround the loot pile, the PCs spring forth. Ilya jumps behind the door and pushes it shut. Saalus casts sleep, knocking a number of the bandits down while Hyandaner, Aspen in the Fall (and Tony) and Andramelech’s tutelary rush into their midst. Happs and a number of bandits are killed almost while the others surrender.

Oleg takes pleasure in slitting the throats of the bandits still sleeping while the PCs question a captive. The captive reveals the location of their camp, alongside the Thorn River about 30 miles to the southwest. The aptive describes with horror the viciousness of the camp’s leader, Kressle. After the questioning, the captive is killed by Oleg. Looting the bandits, the PCs find a silver stag pin on Happs as well as assorted coin.

Oleg mounts the bandits’ heads on the palisade as the party takes off in the direction of the Thorn River camp. Traveling with the wagon and mules, the PCs are able to reach the camp at the end of the 4th day of travel.

Oathday, Pharast 23, 4711

After several days of uneventful travel, the PCs arrive at the Thorn River several hours before sunset. Using the directions provided by the bandit, the PCs follow a trail that runs along the north bank of the Thorn River. After traveling up the trail, the party detects sounds coming from a campground up ahead. Two watchposts look over the trail while the majority of the bandits along with their leader occupy a clearing off to the side.

As the bandits on the watchpost notice the PCs, the party attacks. Aspen in the Fall casts entangle in the direction of the clearing. The bandits on the watchtowers fire down at the PCs but are overcome as Tony the Tiger and Andramelech’s tutelary climb the support posts of the watchtowers. The other bandits in the entangle are cut down while Kressle falls prey to Saalus’s sleep spell.

The party questions Kressle and finds she wears a silver stag pin, similar to the one found on Happs Bydon. Saalus promises Kressle that she will be allowed to live if she gives them information. Kressle explains she serves a master called the “Stag Lord” who has a fort on the orth shore of the Tuskwater. Kressle tells the PCs she’ll take them there if they continue to spare her life. Satisfied with the information obtained, Saalus sneaks up behind her and slits her throat.

After looting the corpses, the PCs take the corpses to the edge of the wood and hang them from the tree. While on the way back to camp, the party is set upon by a half-dozen timber wolves. The wolves trail the PCs through the woods, springing out when they reach the Thorn River camp. Some of them go for the horses while another group mauls Hyandaner. Ilya falls shortly thereafter. Still, the party perserves the ravenous wolves with the help of their plucky equine companions.

View
Into the Wild

Session Date: May 19, 2013

Old Friends and New

Moonday, Pharast 27, 4711 AR

After four long days of travel, the party returns to Oleg carrying a large boar. Soldiers patrolling the gate delay the PCs until Oleg demands the men allow the party entry. The soldiers are a mercenary force led by Kesten Garess. Saalus recalls the story about the son of a minor nobeleman facing disgrace for falling in love with a low-born woman, though he keeps the story to himself. Kesten rewards the PCs for taking out the group of bandits at the Thorn River Camp. He also asks the PCs to keep an eye out for a Falgrim Sneeg, one of Kesten’s men who betrayed Kesten before becoming a bandit himself.

The PCs also meet Jhod Kavken, a cleric of Erastil who tells the PCs he had a vision of a temple in the woods tainted with corruption. He asks the PCs to restore the temple and promises his clerical services for free, should they do so. Noting this man carries a burden, Ilya convinces Jhod to reveal his secret. Jhod explains he was cast out of the church for mistakenly identifying a traveler as a werewolf and convincing the village to burn the man after a grisly murder in town.

The PCs next meet Kaydon Bale, a finely dressed Halfling who explains his ambition to establish a trade route between Oleg’s and Restov . Kaydon offers to buy the PCs’ gear and also volunteers to take an order back to Restov. He plans to leave the next day (Pharast 28) and return by Gozran (April) 3 or 4.

Some of the boar is roasted while the rest is smoked in an impromptu smokehouse. The men (and woman) gathered there eat and drink late into the night. Saalus tells a story of the PCs’ victory over the Thorn River bandits that is sufficient to cheer the spirits of his listeners. Kesten, after a few cups of wine, shares the Lord Mayor Ioseph’s reservations about his initial generosity towards the PCs and his hope that it’s an investment that pays off. At this feast, Svetlana tells the story of Kingsholm, a village two dozen miles or so to the east from which the villagers mysteriously vanished 50 years ago. One of the soldiers also tells the story about the haunted guardian of the bridge over the Shrike River.

An Ambush with Consequences

Toilday, Pharast 28, 4711 AR

The PCs began exploring the area surrounding Oleg’s. As they do so, an unkempt, hairy man emerges from the forest to the southwest. He claims to have been attacked by creatures in the night and that he fled his camp, leaving his gold behind. He leads the PCs back towards the woods but the party, not trusting the man, shoots him in the back. As the man falls to the ground, he reveals his true form—a hideous amalgamation of wolf and man.

Aspen in the Fall tracks the man back into the camp. Ilya sneaks ahead and stops upon hearing voices down in a hollow ahead. Saalus tries to mimic the voice of the man they just killed but the ruse fails and three werewolves charge from the hollow. Aspen in the Fall uses entangle to snare the creatures and Saalus puts two of them to sleep. Ilya smashes the head of one sleeping werewolf while Syzygy tears apart another. Hyndaner buries his blade in the chest of the third werewolf, delivering a jolt of electricity while doing so. The creature manages to bite Aspen and Hyandaner before Saalus demands it flee or die. The creature, outnumbered and severely hurt, flees into the woods.

After ransacking the werewolve’s camp, the PCs leave the forest and head back to Oleg’s. The bites Aspen and Hyandaner suffered appear very infected. They send a runner to deliver an order to Kaydon for silver weapons. The party also asks Jhod to heal their infected bite wounds, but the cleric declares it a feat beyond his power. The party then heads in the direction of Boken’s hut, hoping the hermit has wolf’s bane.

Wealday, Pharast 29, 4711 AR

The party finds Boken’s hut after exploring the area southeast of Oleg’s. The hermit allows the PCs in his hut after they explain they are friends of Oleg’s. To prove their friendship, Hyandaner drinks a potion of Boken’s which causes the elf to vomit and see rainbows. The PCs show Boken their wounds and the hermit offers them wolfsbane if they agree to rid the Stolen Lands of his brother. Boken makes the wolfesbane in tea form and, while it burns their insides, it also cures Aspen and Hyandaner of the werewolf’s curse.

The PCs spend an uneventful night in Bokens’ hut. In the morning, he sells them an unguent version of cure light wounds that can be applied directly to the injury. In addition to reminding them of their promise to rid the Stolen Lands of his brother, Boken asks the PCs to find some Fangberries to use as ingredients.

Cries in the Night

Oathday, Pharast 30, 4711 AR

The party explores the land east of Boken’s hut and discovers the village of Kingsholm. The village appears abandoned but the party does not move within its confines. A small copse of tries and a graveyard marks the southern border of the town. That night, the PCs find a secluded campsite a couple miles from the village. Several hours past sundown, candle lights can be seen in some windows and small figures can be seen moving between the buildings. A child’s cry comes up from the village, but the PCs decide not to investigate.

Fireday, Pharast 31, 4711 AR

The party heads into Kingsholm the next morning. They discover the village is indeed abandoned, finding a small bit of gold in their exploration. Syzygy notices a stench coming from the barred cellar door leading below the church. The party decides to leave that for later exploration.

The party explores the graveyard which is dominated by a mausoleum with bloodstains leading up its steps. Saalus identifies the mausoleum as hundreds of years older than the town itself. As Ilya approaches the mausoleum, a worg and two wolves attack from within. The worg and one of the wolves are killed quickly. Aspen is able to convince one of the wolves to back but the creature eventually turns on the druid and is put down as well.

Inside the mausoleum, the party finds the remains of two dead adventurers as well as a Hewards handy haversack. The party also discovers the sarcophagus in the center of the mausoleum can be pushed aside, revealing a staircase going down. They replace sarcophagus and explore the rest of the town.

Inside the mayor’s house, the party finds a hidden lockbox with some money and several magical crossbow bolts. They also find the mayor’s diary which Astoroth magically repairs. The diary recounts a plague that swept over the village along with mention of a mysterious woman who appeared in the mayor’s dream, warning him to leave town.

The party then turns their attention to the cellar below the church. Ilya punches through the cellar doors, revealing the smell of rot below. Ilya cautiously descends the stairs. Below he finds a scene of absolute horror—rotten bodies piled around the floor and a barricade set against the outside. Ilya approaches inside and, as he nears the center of the room, three small humanoid forms began taking shape out of the mist.

The party retreats into the daylight. After several minutes of nothing happening, they throw a few flasks of oil down into the basement. Astoroth uses ghost hand to stir the fire around. The blaze picks up and soon encompasses the church. The PCs head back to their encampment, leaving a burning ruin behind them.

That night, while Ilya is on watch, several misty shapes form around the camp. The shapes coalesce into creatures with knotty green skin, the heads of wild creatures and the voices of children. They move into the group, delivering deadly cold through their touch and disease through their shadows. Saalus identifies them as drekavacs, undead who spread disease and are resistant to attacks made with un-silvered weapon. Hyandaner strikes out at several with his blade but falls to their onslaught while Saalus sears one of them with positive energy. Syzygy tears into the creatures but they resist his attack. Ilya wrestles one to the ground snapping its neck. Eventually there is one left. As it drifts away in mist form, Astoroth fires an enchanted crossbow bolt into its midst, killing the creature before it escaped.

Though the creatures have been destroyed, the disease they brought lingers on. Aspen, Hyandaner, Ilya and Saalus all show signs of the disease, though Ilya and Saalus show signs of recovery.

View
Disease and Discovery

Disease and Discovery

Gozran 1 through Gozran 4, 4711

  • Party slowly recuperates from the plague without incident.

Gozran 5, 4711

  • The party heads back to Oleg’s.
  • Convince Kesten Garess to hire an engineer to repair the ballistae.
  • Buy some wands from Kaydon Bale.
  • Travelers Dana and Eric make a snide comment about the PC’s “kingdom” before heading west.
  • They tell the party they came from Restov and were heading to Pitax.
  • After the travelers leave, the guards mention the travelers said they came from Pitax and were heading to Restov.

Gozran 6

  • PCs explore south of Oleg’s and kill a large trapdoor spider.
  • In the spider’s lair they find treasure. There is also a map with a tree on a hill, with an ‘X’ marked under the tree.

Gozran 7

  • The party finds the moon radish patch which happens to be infested by four kobolds. After killing one of the kobolds, the other three surrender.
  • Kobolds explain they belong to the Sootscale tribe.
  • Tribe is led by Chief Sootscale, although a new figure, Tartuk, has began controlling the tribe.
  • Tartuk has made the kobolds worship a deity he calls “Old Sharptooth.” This worship has included kobold sacrifices
  • No PC has heard of this deity.
  • The kobolds are none too subtle in their dislike of Tartuk.
  • The Sootscale tribe is currently at war with a band of mites.
  • The kobolds invite the PCs to visit them in their cavern.
  • While camping that night, the PCs see a light moving through the woods.
  • The party avoids it, fearing it may be a will-o-wisp.

Gozran 8

  • While explore southwest of Oleg’s, the party comes across a recent campsite.
  • Aspen in the Fall follows the tracks leading from the campsite and the PCs capture several bandits.
  • The bandits confess they were sent by the Staglord to keep an eye on Oleg’s.
  • Despite Ilya’s silent protests, the bandits are convinced they will receive mercy.
  • The bandits are hung at a new hanging tree.

Gozran 9

• While exploring the forest, the PCs are subject to a few mysterious pranks.
o The party quickly realizes they have gained the attention of some mischievous fey.
• Aspen in the fall leaves some potion on a leaf, Ilya leaves some bread crumbs and Saalus leaves a silver piece.

Gozran 10

• The party finds the bread crumbs remain though the potion droplets were drank and the silver piece is missing.
• When the PCs reach the bandit tree, the fey pull a particularly juvenile prank, causing flaming flatulence to erupt from one of the putrid bandit corpses.
• Aspen lures the fey down by offering a potion.
o The pair are revealed to be a grig, Tyg-Titter-Tug and a faerie dragon, Perlivash
• Tyg tells the PCs where they can find the lost temple to Erastil and about a trapper who indiscriminately laid his traps in an area to the north.
o The fey mention the trapper came to a bad end.
• While camping that night, the party hears the howling of wolves . . . and of other things.

Gozran 11

• The next morning, Aspen tracks the wolves down to a small hollow.
o The party finds and kills the remaining werewolf from the previous werewolf camp, along with a dire wolf and two normal wolves.
o These foes are dispatched readily.
• The horses run off and Aspen spends the rest of the day tracking them down.

Gozran 12

• The party finds the temple and kills its guardian, a large grizzly bear.
o As the bear dies, it becomes an old man who then crumbles to dust.
• The water of the temple is purified and the PCs are able to drink it and cure their wounds.

Gozran 13

• The party explores north and finds the corpse of the trapper along with his masterwork axe.

Gozran 14-15

• The party continues exploring north and begins to clear the area of the traps left by the trapper.
• Saalus is caught in a trap and then attacked by two thylacines, dog-like creatures with vicious teeth and striped fur.
o Saalus is nearly killed and Ilya stands over his unconscious friend, fending off the thylacines, nearly dying himself.
• The party finishes clearing the traps and nets a total of twelve bear traps.

Gozran 16

• The party returns to Oleg’s and gives Svetlana the moon radishes.
o Svetlana makes a stew for the whole trading post.
• The PCs meet Lars Sterich, an engineer from Restov.
o Sterich’s family is loyal to House Orlovsky though Lars confesses to have little interest in the politics of Brevoy.
• Lars begins work on a ballista and explains he will be done by the end of Gozran.
• The party puts in an order for scrolls that are to arrive on Gozran 21.
• Jhod Kavken is ecstatic to hear about the temple and begs the PCs to take him there.

Gozran 17

• While in route to the Temple of Erastil, the PCs come across mites defiling the kobold corpse that was left in the moon radish patch.
o The party slaughters the mites.

Gozran 18

• The party reaches the temple with Jhod Kavken in tow.
o Jhod seems instantly restored in the presence of the temple, appearing ten years younger and standing much straighter.
• Jhod assures the party he will do anything to aid them in their future endeavors.

Gozran 19

• The PCs find the lair of Tuskgutter, a mighty boar which had terrorized the stolen lands for some time.
• The party kills the boar and loots its lair which lies under a fallen pine.

Gozra 20-22

• The party returns to Oleg’s with Tuskgutter’s corpse.

View
The Crypt Below

Game Date: 6/15/2013

Gozran 22

  • PCs return to Oleg with Tuskgutter’s corpse in tow.
  • Kesten Garess approaches the party with a letter from Lord Mayor Ioseph Sellemius.
    • The letter offers the party 5000 gp should they capture or kill the Staglord as well as the nebulous promise of future assistance.
  • The party is also approached by Vekkel Benzen, an old retired ranger who was lamed by Tuskgutter many years ago.
    • Vekkel offers his bow to the party and his services exploring the Greenbelt, though his injury reduces his value as a guide.
  • The party meets Ralga Turathel, a female elven oracle haunted by the ghosts of her ancestors.
    • Ralga offers to join the PCs on their adventures in hopes she may learn more about her dark past.
  • During that night’s drunken revelry, the party is acquainted with Thurigin, a nearly blind dwarf who tells the following story:
    • Thurigin’s great-great grandfather, Durgeddin the Black, was the chieftain of a clan of dwarves with a small holding in the northern reaches of the Five Kings Mountains.
    • After his clan was sacked by orcs , Durgeddin established a secret homeland named Khundrukar.
    • At Khundrukar, Durgeddin built the Forge of Fury, a powerful forge that made weapons of unsurpassed quality.
  • Thurigin’s search has led him to believe Khundrukar is built into the Stone Tooth.
    • The Stone Tooth is a large upthrust rising from the hills in the center of the Narlmarches.
  • Thurigin is not sure whether any of his people still reside within but would like the PCs to investigate.
    • Thurigin promises to forge the PCs a powerful weapon should they either bring back news that the dwarves at Khundrukar are safe or, if that is not the case, news that any invaders have been driven off.
  • Saalus tells a spell-binding tale of the victory over the werewolf and Tuskgutter to the rousing cheers of those gathered at Oleg’s

Gozran 23

  • The party travels to Kingsholm.
    • Upon entering the town, the PCs notice the pall that resided over the village has lifted.
  • The PCs begin digging out the rubble that was once was the church.
  • The party camps in the spot where they last spent time recovering from the plague.
    • There are no signs of disturbance in Kingsholm unlike the first night the party camped in the vicinity of the town.

Gozran 24

  • The party finishes digging out the rubble that was formerly the church.
    • Below a flagstone in the basement, they find a chest hidden by the townspeople who had perished in the basement of the church.
  • The party turns its attention to the graveyard to the south of town.
    • Aspen in the Fall finds the tracks of a small wild cat.
    • Creeping stealthily into the ancient mausoleum, Aspen Fall finds a bobcat feeding on the adventurers who had perished fleeing the crypts below.
    • Using a spell, Aspen befriends the cat, which tells him of a strange statue in the copse to the south of town.
    • The bobcat also tells of something in the middle of this clearing that has been feasting on the forest dwellers.
  • The PCs head into the copse and find a statue there of a noble-looking king.
    • Saalus is able to discern the writing at the base of the statue, which is written in ancient Taldan and reads: “Noble Lord Theron, Tamer of the Stolen Lands.”
    • A crude hole is dug into the ground next to the statute and a fraying rope ladder leads below.
    • Saalus uses a spell to repair the ladder and the party descends.
  • Syzgy is the first down and, as Astoroth’s tutelary descends, it is attacked by something in the cavern below, something with long arms, starfish-shaped palms covered in suckers and black rubbery skin.
    • Ilya follows and attacks the creature which has wrapped its arms around Syzygy.
    • Ralga descends, losing her grip and bringing Hyandaner with her.
    • Another creature emerges from the pool and attacks the PCs, though both are quickly put down.
    • The PCs find nothing in the creatures’ lair though several small tunnels reach back into the rock formation accessible only to a Small creature.
  • The party continues onwards and finds a hallway with several statues standing in front of crypt entrances. The statutes consist of the following:
    • Male human wearing plate armor wielding a longsword with long hair and fair features.
    • Female Halfling kneeling in prayer.
    • Elven female with short hair, high cheekbones and wielding a dagger and rapier.
    • Elven male wearing a robe and holding a book at his side.
  • The party explores the crypts, finding nothing in them, until they come to the crypt with the statue of the elven woman.
    • As Ilya approaches the crypt entrance, a gray skin undead creature with glowing red eyes springs out.
    • The party surrounds the attacker and brings her down before she can strike anyone with her foul touch.
  • Once vanquished, the undead creature changes into the elven woman depicted in the statue, though she begins rotting rapidly.
    • Ralga uses her connection to the spirits to ask the woman what would free her soul.
    • The woman responds: “Destroy the betrayer” before rotting away.
  • Continuing on, the party comes to a room with skeletal sage pouring over a book, mumbling maniacally.
    • Ilya attempts sneaking up on the creature, later identified as a crypt thing, but it notices him and teleports into the party’s midst.
    • Before the party can react, the creature screams “Begone!”
    • Most of the party resists the creature’s magic but Ralga is transported to the copse above and Astoroth is transported to a flimsy rope bridge suspended over a ravine.
    • A skeletal minotaur and four humanoid skeletons clatter out of a nearby crypt and join the fray.
  • Syzygy attacks the crypt thing and though Syzygy does significant damage to it, the crypt thing tears the eidolon apart with its bony claws.
  • Ilya is driven into a corner by the fear aura radiating from the crypt thing and is surrounded by skeletons.
    • Though he fights bravely, Ilya is brought down by the skeletal assault.
  • Astoroth falls off the rope bridge into the water below where he is attacked by an ooze.
    • Ralga runs down and rescues Astoroth by throwing a rope down into the water.
  • Saalus plugs several arrows into the crypt thing and brings Syzygy back into the fight with his healing magic.
    • Syzygy does more damage to the crypt thing before falling again to the crypt thing’s onslaught.
    • Saalus defends himself against the creature but is similarly put down by the undead monster.
  • Hyandaner and Aspen are left in the fight as Astoroth and Ralga make their way back to the battle.
    • Hyandaner drops the crypt thing before falling to the goring attack of the skeletal minotaur.
    • Aspen in the Fall finishes off the skeletons as Ralga joins the fight.
  • The crypt thing changes to resemble an elven mage before rotting away.
View
Summoner's Log II

Session Date: June 22, 2013

Starting Date: Gozran 24, 4711 AR

We left the crypt to rest up; in the morning we were missing two elves with only a vague note giving a hint of their presence. We decided to venture forth, so as not to deny our companions satisfaction of taking part in the cleansing of the evil catacomb beneath Kingsholm. That and the promise of more and worse undead monstrosities awaiting us below, but we will only admit that to ourselves.

We began exploring the hilly land along the Shrike River; perfectly navigable except for the waterfalls looming in the distance… wolves circled our camp that night, but didn’t bother us. We proceeded onward, and found a tree in the shape of a claw, alone on a hilltop. We approached cautiously, but all that awaited us was a bundle of treasure stuck under the roots.

We encountered an undead abomination that haunts the old river crossing; the owner was slain and apparently came back to get vengence upon the Stag Lord (or at least lament his own demise and yearn for revenge). Aspen in the Fall had noticed some potential bandit footprints, which lead to the former ferry (or bridge?)-crossing. Now it was reduced to a lone rope stretched across the 200 foot wide river. Upon hearing of his plight, I reflected upon how lucky he was that we came along, since we had made it our business to put the living dead at ease and back into the state where they belong (death). I told him that we’d destroy the stag lord and avenge the crime that was committed.

Proceeding from there, we decided to hunt some elk, all of which apparently suffered from chronic wasting disease. Or rabies. Syzygy and Ilya tried sneaking up on them, but the silent monk snapped a few twigs on the way, spooking the giant beasts. He ran up and punched one, only to have the whole group go crazy and begin goring everyone in sight. Aspen had made it clear that only one was to be killed; Syzygy quickly dispatched the one dazed by Ilya’s punch, while Hyandaner fended off two that had targeted him. The monk grabbed another elk that was attacking him, and after the other two had fled Aspen spoke with the pinned quadruped. We basically just let it go, Aspen explaining that we were the top of the food chain.

Aspen found tracks leading into a titanic old sycamore tree. At the base of the tree, roots poked up and dark passages led into the earth. From earlier clues we knew this was a lair of the mites, and were resolved to exterminate them. We surprised the first two groups of mites, killing them without a sound. Under the tree lay a network of caves and tunnels. We heard screaming from further ahead—a kobold being tortured. We rushed in, slaying his captors and healing the cute but vicious little thing. I explained that we were its saviors, and that he could follow us if he wanted to see vengence smitten upon his foes. He was eager for that, and joined us.

We came to a ravine in the cavern system; a 30 foot wide chasm at least that deep. Rope loops were strung across the ceiling, presumably a makeshift monkeybars. The acrobatic Ilya weaved across the pit, only to have one of the rope loops fall away—a trap! He recovered, but noticed a giant insectile monstrosity approaching from the ravine below him. The huge centepede had two whip tails which cracked out at the monk, who deftly wove his way back to the chamber where we were watching this take place. We backed up, hoping to force the gigantic bug to come to us rather than engage along the ledge of a 30’ drop. We made short work of it, explored where it came from, got some loot and moved on, climbing the other side of the ravine to another tunnel.

This led to what amounted to their main force; 8 or so of the little critters hiding in a corner, led by another one riding a giant, mean-looking tick. Syzygy spotted them while continuing its amazing sneakfest, and surprise the ambushers had become the ambushees. The longest battle yet, the tick was particularly hard to put down and Syzygy was having the time of its life in an epic battle with another scythe-taloned monstrosity, only to watch as Tony ran up at the end to finish it off with a single bite. During the battle, a wave of a half-dozen giant centepedes (not as giant as the previous one) almost surrounded the brave/foolish summoner who’d stepped into the room to get a shot off with his crossbow, but Ilya and Hyandaner quickly took up position, allowing him to withdraw unscathed. Some kind of casting mite female led the centipede attack, but she was quickly dealt with by Ilya, Hyandaner and Tony.

We looted the bodies, searched the place, and other than a pile of centipede eggs, totally cleared the place out. Two objects of note were Oleg’s ring and a 250gp idol of a demonic face—a face our kobold told us was that of Sharptooth, the being they were forced to worship. We would later find out that these were indeed all the mites that threatened the kobolds—one of the main features of the next chapter in our story. This one ends with the fact that although I argued for the destruction of the centipede eggs, Aspen in the Fall was adamant that the vermin were just a part of nature. We’d found a wand of burning hands Hyandander was almost ready to fry those disgusting things with, but we respect the druid’s intuition about the natural world. Still, if there’s ever a report of someone being dragged off by gigantic centipedes… Aspen thought maybe you could eat the eggs, but when even the kobold refused, gave it up for a bad idea.

Our kobold has a name. Its Mikmic (McMc?) [Mikmek]

We continued on, McMik offering to lead us to the kobold’s lair. We got him to tell us about the layout of the lair, including a secret passage that only the leader was supposed to know about, and planted the idea that since he knew about it that kind of made him the leader. He was nervous to talk about it at first, but our displays of badassery against those poor little mites had left a great impression upon him, especially since I kept ordering him to keep his eyes open and watch what we did.

We decided to put an end to the tyrannical reign of the new kobold boss [Tartuk]; some shaman-type who made the clan sacrifice fellow kobolds to their dark “god”, Sharptooth, which resembled a bearded demon. I wondered if it might be good to let McMik proceed us, telling tales of our amazingness to the rest of the clan, and maybe spreading some of the several hundred copper pieces we had let him keep after clearing out the mites. However, total surprise does have its advantages, and I was persuaded that the direct route was probably for the best.

Once again, we were extra sneaky, making our way into the secret passage. In a chamber ahead, we heard screaming as a kobold was apparently dipped into boiling water. We rushed in, Syzygy at the ready, and were able to take out the obvious leader before the others knew what to do—I informed the kobolds that they were about to witness a historical event of some importance for their tribe, and we killed the shaman to death… permanently.

Sootscale, the former leader, came in and we explained what had occured. The kobolds were soon eating out of our hands, and I went to great lengths to impress upon them that I was their new lord, and that they must obey certain rules in order to continue surviving—and if they obeyed the rewards would be great—like these couple thousand of copper pieces that had formerly been theirs, been taken by the shaman, then looted by us, only to give them back to the kobolds—talk about generous! And some elk meat I believe. Anyway, they know to stay away from humans, not to harm, kill or steal from humans or human animals like cows and whatnot. Also, their caves are filled with SILVER waiting to be mined!

They asked whom they should sacrifice to Sharptooth: with a meaningful glance shared between the party, Ilya brought forth the Sharptooth totem/stature, and everyone bowed before it. I declared Sharptooth was dead, and Ilya crushed the idol in his meaty monk hands. The kobolds gasped, then cheered, elated to be free from having to sacrifice each other. They ran to get a mite prisoner, to torture in celebration. I looked around at my friends but saw no one seemed to have qualms about needless torture… as the mite was brought out Syzygy informed the clan that “All sacrifices are now for ME” and sliced the little thing’s arms off with its talons and bit his baby-sized torso into pieces, flinging bits and pieces around the room. I agree with his premise, although the route he chose was a little dramatic for my tastes. Hopefully they’ll think twice about torture and killing when they know that IT is the one who should be allowed to do the killing. They needed a new god to worship anyway.

We left, presumably in control or at least highly influential amongst our new little friends, but who knows for certain? We’ll check up on them periodically. In the meanwhile, we continued exploring the hills, making our way back to Oleg’s Trading Fort. Along the way, Aspen befriended some wolves and some thylicines (which had been eating the bandits hanging from the tree). The elk helped in both meetings.

Somewhere along the way, we encountered a group of hideous, floppy-faced giants inhabiting a small natural cavern. We destroyed them, and i think it was there we discovered the veins of GOLD.

We made it back to Olegs, had a good conversation with Lars about progress and future ideas, and asked him to recruit someone he trusted who knew about mining. We turned in some quests, let Oleg know about the kobold situation (its handled, and they’re on our side! no really!), and were weirded out by two suspicious guests at the latest celerbratory banquet (less festive without the bard). Someone detected that they were lying and being evasive, so they were impolitely escorted to a different room—freaking out some of the people dining with us. I told them to relax, everything is under control—we’re the good guys, remember?

I entered the room to a muffled scream and Ilya breaking the man’s leg. So much for the moral high ground. However, a quick search turned up the ubiquitious stag lord pin these fools love to carry, and after displaying the evidence and circumstances to the rest of the folks at Oleg’s, we quietly hung the two in accordance with the law of the land.

We had gotten information, of course. The Stag Lord was sending a group of bandits to attack Oleg’s tomorrow, assuming our group had left by 10 or so these two would signal the woods with a mirror, and open the gates to a surprise assault. I patiently explained this to everyone, even the eldarly humans who were almost panicky and wanting to leave. You fools, i thought, and “Good People”, i said, it was important that everyone stay inside Oleg’s—there were probably bandits out in those woods right now waiting to pick you off! Stay here, protected by the walls and the guards and most of all US. We thought to send out a small party in the morning masquerading as us, then proceeding with the signal. We’ve been waiting for a chance to cut the bandit numbers down, and now we’ll have that opportunity.

Ending Date: Desnus 2, 4711

View
The Staglord's Demise

Session Date: July 27, 2013

Starting Game Date: Desnus 3, 4711

Using information from the infiltrators, the party prepares for an attack on Oleg’s. A group of pilgrims in cloaks rides out from the trading post while the rest of the citizenry huddle in Oleg’s house. Shortly after, the PCs use a mirror to signal to a copse 1000 feet to the south. A group of men and half-orcs emerges from the trees. They are lead by a large half-orc wearing a black bandana. Saalus identifies the group as Rorn’s Raiders and their leader as Rorn the Black, a fearsome brigand known for leaving no survivors.

Rorn’s Raiders approach the gate leading into the trading post, left slightly ajar. As they enter, the PCs begin their assault. Rorn falls into a deep slumber from Hyandaner’s spell and Aspen casts entangle, holding the rest of the Raiders in place. Astoroth blinds a number of them using glitterdust as Syzygy and Ilya rush forward, battering down the first line of foes and working their way back. Soon, all of Rorn’s raiders are dead, except for two which are kept for questioning. Before these scofflaws are hung with the others, they say Rorn received a tip from the Staglord that Oleg’s would be ripe for the picking. The final two brigands have little to add and soon join their comrades swinging from tree limbs.

The party departs for the Staglord’s Fortress, arriving after an uneventful 2.5 days. The fortress sits on a flat hilltop, surrounded by deformed trees with the cool waters of the Tuskwater to the south. A packed trail winds up the north side of the hill to the gate of the fortress. The party watches for a day, observing three guards in watchtowers and an oafish figure who stands on a roof and parades around with toys.

The next day, a troup of bandits heads towards the fortress and are ambushed by the PCs. Four are killed, one is left alive. Questioning reveals the password to get into the fortress. The PCs also learn the names of the Staglord’s three lieutenants: Auchs, a muscular, dangerous brute, Dovan from Nisroch, a skilled duelist, and Akiros Ismort, a Taldan with a noble bearing and mysterious past. The captive also describes a twisted old man who dispenses healing magic.

Leaving their captive manacled to a tree, the PCs approach the fort at night. Astoroth, Hyandaner, Ralga and Saalus approach along the packed trail while Aspen and Ilya approach stealthily along the hillside. Halfway up, undead hands reach up from the ground, grabbing for Ilya and Aspen. Aspen, Szygy and Tony make short work of zombies on one side of the trail while Ilya tears into another group, using his fists then switching to kamas.

The main group reaches the gate as Ilya fights off the undead below. After sharing the password, Saalus convinces the guard closest to the gate they have the best of intentions despite the late hour. The guard drops the bar off the gate and is torn to shreds by Szygy before he can even scream. The other guards on lookout scream a warning as the PCs pour into the compound. Ralga and Astoroth pepper the guards in the watchtower with missile weapons while Aspen, Hyandaner and Tony rush the main structure. Ilya, having disposed of the undead on the hill, rushes up to join the others.

Dovan wakes with the guards and unlocks the cage to the owlbear. The creature emerges, enraged, and focuses its attacks on Ilya. Dovan positions himself to flank the monk but the duelist falls in a deep slumber from a hex cast by Hyandaner.

Akiros emerges from the back but is ensorcelled by the magus and joins Dovan, sleeping on the ground. Auchs, enraged at the interruption in his sleep, begins making his way down. Tony and Aspen cut through the surviving guards, who make it to their feet but are overwhelmed by the wrath of the tiger and druid. Astoroth casts haste on the group, causing most of the party to move at lightning speed.

The Staglord, firing from hiding, nails Ilya with an arrow. After another shot, the monk goes down. Saalus faces the wrath of Auchs and is chased outside the compound. As if things could not get worse, lightning begins to rain down from the sky on exposed PCs.

Szygy attacks the Staglord while the owlbear swipes at new foes. Hyandaner delivers a deadly strike to the owlbear, channeling electrical energy through the blade, and then finishes the beast off. Ralga and Aspen both manage to channel curative magic into Ilya, bringing him back into the fight. The Staglord is cornered in a backroom and killed as he is swarmed by Ilya, Szygy and Tony. The two bandits above disappear from view.

Outside the compound, Auchs drops Saalus with a mighty blow from his greatclub and then turns his ire on Hyandaner. The lumbering brute is quickly put down, but lightning bolts continue to rain down from above. Aspen finally notices a sparrow sitting on the palisade logs, curiously watching the fight. Tony climbs the palisade and ravages the bird with his teeth and claws, but does not kill it. Ilya hits the creature with a spike, but it still lives. The sparrow flies off to meld with a large stone in the middle of the compound.

The PCs regroup and heal themselves as Ilya repeatedly punches the rock. Almost a half minute later, a grizzly bear emerges from the rock, unscathed. The bear has time to swipe at one of the PCs before the party takes it down with a flurry of attacks. Dying, the bear changes into the form of an old human male.

The party searches the compound as Aspen and Tony track the missing bandits. The pair find a tunnel leading south out of the compound. Aspen follows their tracks and finds the bandits behind a bush not that far from the fortress. The bandits refuse to surrender and one is killed while the other, Falgrim Sneech, is captured.

The party loads their horses with trade goods and other treasures found at the Staglord’s Fortress. They ride back to Oleg’s, laden with treasure. Once there, they send word to Restov that the Staglord is dead. Kesten Garress takes Falgrim Sneech under control and agrees to pay the PCs in gold instead of masterwork weapons. Over the course of the next week, a wagon is sent to the Staglord’s fortress and the rest of the loot is brought back.

The Swordlords, responding to the good news, send a substantial award to the PCs in the form of gold as well as a charter giving the PCs legal right to settle the Stolen Lands. While the latter is of dubious legal significance, the Swordlords also send a caravan of goods and settlers to allow the party to begin building their shining city on the hill.

Ending Game Date: Desnus 15, 4711

View
Kingsholm Cleansed

Session Date: August 3, 2013
Starting Game Date: Desunus 18, 4711 AR

Knallhart returns to Oleg’s and sends word to Restov of the Staglords defeat. In addition, they send gold with Kaydon Bale to purchase supplies. While waiting for a response, the PCs go to Nettle’s Crossing and throw the Staglord’s corpse into the Shrike River. Davik Nettles emerges and asks the PCs to throw a weapon into the Shrike River so as to receive his blessing. Ralga throws in an ordinary spear but Davik sends it back. Astoroth then tosses his masterwork light crossbow into the river and it is returned dripping with water and infused with magic. Davik Nettles slips into the water, decomposing instantly.

Knallhart travels to Kingsholm and heads into the crypts below the town. They travel past the room formerly occupied by the crypt keeper and find a room filled with water, giant leeches and leach swarms. Several islands dot the water covered magical wards. The monk bounds across the islands to the ledge on the other side of the cavern. He ties a rope that spans across the water. The party crawls across but Salus and Szygy fall in. The party kills the giant leeches with spells and weapons while water elements summoned by Astoroth and Aspen spin the swarms into oblivion. The party finds and removes a gem which controls the magic in the room before moving on.

The next room contains an old corpse and two blood-stained statutes. Szygy falls into a hidden pit trap. Panels open on the statutes and the walls and several mechanical creatures emerge. They attack but are quickly felled. The party collects the mangled remains of the machines, as well as some loot found on the corpses in the room.

The sound of rushing water in the next room is revealed to be a large waterfall that spills over a ledge before tumbling into a vorago. A creature steps from the water, with silver skin, white hair and eyes the light blue of a stream. His voice is melodious and reminiscent of a bubbling brook. He is wary of the PCs but Saalus calms him, speaking in Sylvan. He takes a particular liking to Ralga, saying his name is Sigur. Ralga favors him with a kiss and talks with him long into the night.

Sigur explains the crypt is ruled by Aegon, the former leader of the Four Pillars. The Four Pillars were an adventuring group that supported King Theron 500 years ago in his attempt to settle the Stolen Lands. According to Sigur, the passage to Aegon is guarded by a horrific spider. Sigur offers to reward the PCs if they kill this creature, but he warns them they should not waste time if they travel past the waterfall because Aegon will sense them.

Later, as they talk that night, Sigur confides in Ralga that Aegon was tempted by a powerful fey sorceress known as Nyrissa who led Aegon to betray his former master as well as his friends. Sigur is terrified to speak of Nyrissa for too long. After telling Ralga she and her friends should leave the Stolen Lands lest she draw Nyrissa’s wrath, Sigur steps into the falls.

The next day, Knallhart travels past the waterfall into a room covered with webs. A spider swarm and two humanoid figures, wrapped in webs and writhing with small spiders, attack the party. As the humanoid forms are destroyed, they erupt into spiders. A huge spiders lumbers up to a balcony edge and begins tossing webs down on the party. Ilya and Szygy rush up to the balcony while the rest of the PCs fight the foes down below. Victorious, the PCs search the area and find some treasure including a magical headband. Sigur rewards them with an enchanted mithril chain shirt before stepping into the falls.

Past the spider room, Knallhart comes upon a halfling female in chainmail. She tells them to turn back before they are killed. Tony senses the smell of the grave on the hafling and the party attacks. The fight spills into a larger room behind a pair of curtains, where two skeletal warriors fused to skeletal horses charge forward. Aegon, a grave knight wearing smoky, black armor and wielding a flaming great sword, rides into combat, mounted on an ephemeral horse.

The halfling is held to the ground by Ilya and torn apart by Szygy while Ralga, Aspen and Tony attack the skeletal warriors. Aegon fires gouts of flames at the party, but no one is seriously hurt. Wielding Mortimer, Hyandaner delivers a devastating blow to the grave knight and Aegon is destroyed.

The party loots the bodies and, finding a secret passage, heads down stairs into room with several sarcophagi. As Knallhart approaches, the ghost of King Theron appears. He tells the party they have freed his soul from bondage to the past and bequeaths upon the sword Merthuvial, also called Kingmaker.

View
Interlude - Desmus - Lamashan, 4711 AR

The Founding of Arcadia

After the destruction of the Stag Lord and his bandit minions, and the pacification of the evil menace lurking below the ruined town of Kingsholm, a portion of the Stolen Lands are once again ready to be reclaimed from the wilderness… although for how long remains to be seen. Kingdoms have a way of coming and going in this area of the world.

The Swordlords of Brevoy, in recognition for Knallhart’s heroic accomplishments in making this part of the world safe again for civilization and trade, apportioned a good deal of treasure and resources, along with a writ granting ownership of these lands to the new lord and ruler, Autarch Supreme, His Most Elequont and Munificent Majesty Adramelech Astoroth, and a Council of His choosing.

He began by tapping some of the finest heroic minds in the land, including the members of the badass adventuring party, as well as local talent like the infamous Oleg Leveton, the enigmatic Lars Sterich, and even employing the notorious halfling trader Kaydon Bale.

Legend has it that Autarch Astoroth recieved the idea for his realm in a divine dream sent by one of the gods, most speculation surrounding Callistria and Nethys. Another tale has it that Knallhart conspired deep into the night while awaiting an imminent bandit attack, and many a cup were drained whilst laws and ideals were set down. Whatever the case, when the leaders came together, the realm of Arcadia was truly born.

Aspen in the Fall

Aspen successfully trains a set of a half-dozen battle mounts for the party (they have riding horse stats but do not shy away from battle).

He then heads into the forest and communes with the friendly fey dwelling therein. They are unhappy with the new incursions into the forest but the druid mollifies their fears. Most of the fey refuse to discuss Nyrissa, expressing surprise and terror at the mention of her name. Those few who do speak, such as Perlivash and Tyg Titter-tut, explain Nyrissa has been bound to the Stolen Lands for ages. She often acts through intermediaries and dreams. Most who fulfill her will have no idea they are doing so.

The fey who are willing to speak of her are either unable or unwilling to say more.

Astoroth Andramelech

In his downtime, Astoroth talks with travelers, the sage, the cleric of Erastil if he’s in town, and especially our General and Lars and the halfling, trying to get a feel for the surrounding kingdoms, learning the names and cities and whatever stereotypes or cultural abnormalities the nations and peoples subscribe to. Just get familiar with things (Knowledge Nobility taken as a skill).

More actively, he visits with whatever populations of fey or interested humanoids that Marshall Aspen comes across, up to and including packs of wolves and the like, provided Aspen can act as a go-between. Give them a quick run-down of who we are, what we’re doing, and how not to get killed by us, basically our code of rules, but presented in a respectful and most of all logical manner. Astoroth is interested in learning more about them, their culture and beliefs, and welcome them to participate in the grand experiment of Arcadia, but don’t expect them to join. He is very clear about the changes that will be coming, but tries to mollify this by pointing out the lack of “bad” humans (bandits) and that we take care of whatever evil lurks in the heart of the wilderness, preying on both man and fey.

And almost every day, he takes a stroll through town, Syzygy at his side, talking to folks and especially children, trying to get them acclimated to the badass looking monster, bristling with taloned arms and chitinous plating. Occasionally dripping acid. If Syzygy agrees, which of course he will with his love of showing off, I’ll invite people to ask him to do tricks… ASK, never command. Astoroth’s companion likes the social niceties to be observed. But it will cut anything put before it, leap about… nothing degrading, just things that let it show off its moves.

Saalus

While Saalus works on establishing the new embassy in Restov he surreptitiously observes the book bindery. It has been burned to the ground. Locals say the fire started in the middle of the night but, thankfully, nearby buildings were spared.

The Oraculum is as present as ever in Restov, though none make direct contact with Saalus. Most citizens of Restov are deeply suspicious of the Oraculum, but there has been no allegations of direct harm. They have given generously to the most powerful families in the cities and have thus curried favor and protection.

Saalus learns nothing more of value from the headmaster except that Dralt’s former pupil has not shown at the academy, presumably because he joined the Oraculum. (Sorry—at work so I don’t have names either.) Saalus keeps his eyes peeled but does not see the student anywhere in the city. Then again, it’s a big place so nothing is sure.

No one knows how the fire started, though one beggar does state he saw some people in there the night it happened. He only says they were bad people and hints they were Oraculum members without saying so directly.

Saalus efforts to spark interest in Arcadia are wildly successful despite their subtelty (Rolled 17 for a Diplomacy check—guessing this gets you into the high 20s). Arcadia will gain a one time +2 Economy bonus for Turn 6 because of this.

Saalus meets with several high-ranking officials and friends of Ioseph Sellemius, mayor of Restov, though he does not meet with the mayor himself. Most are indifferent to the Oraculum, a few are vocally supportive and a few others are suspicious of it, though none directly oppose it. All questioned consider it a small, subsect of sages who have not caused any direct harm.

Everyone is supportive of Arcadia, including those who also back the Oraculum. Everyone also goes out of there way to remind Saalus of the great favor Restov has done for the PCs’ nascent kindgom. Everyone is openly critical of House Surtova, the current ruling power in Brevoy. No one expresses concerns of outside threats, though there is some mention of the troubles Maegar Varn is having with the centaurs of the Nomen Heights.

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems

The small monetary boost provided by the trade route and economic boom has funneled money into the hands of the unwise. Carousing has reached new heights in Callisto and unthinking tourists have also come to visit. These newcomers show an unprecedented (at least in Arcadia) disrespect for the laws and for the women and men who seek to serve. Entrepreneurs seekeing to capitalize on the flesh trade open some of their own “discount” brothels. Standards for these houses are much lower than those allowed by the Callistria priestesses and several “servants” are beaten. One is even killed.

Ilya begins making visits. Bones are broken, drunken fools are publicly humiliated and the murderer is found and hanged.

The women who’d been involved in the illegal prostitution ring are offered menial jobs doing labor, or have the option of petitioning the brothels or any other business for employment. If they wish to become citizens of Arcadia, that is.

Letter to the Centaurs

Astoroth pens the following letter and sends it to the Nomen centaur tribe via animal messenger cast by Aspen:

Awe Inspiring Matriarch of the Noble and Brave Centaur Clans,

I deliver this message and greeting in peace, knowing full well some of the suffering your people have had inflicted upon them by humans past… and not so past. I beseech you for knowledge of a malignancy eating at the heart of the stolen lands that for all I know you alone may provide me, but I fully recognize any feelings of hesitancy or mistrust you may have, and will take no offense if you choose to stop reading. No response, after all, is a response of that is more clear than the flowery insincere language of so many nations these days. Actions speak so much more loudly that speech, and hope that you will allow us the opportunity to prove ourselves to you and your people.

As Autarch of the newly established Arcadia, I seek to reach out to those around me, the natural inhabitants of this land, to better learn how to live harmoniously with it, as well as provide whatever assistance we can with problematic situations. Recently, for example, we were forced to discipline some lumberjacks who’d invaded the glade of a nymph, and before that had to slay some dozen werewolves who’d begun killing our farmers.

There is something… Strange that I wish to ask you about. Certain… happenings. Glimpses of an evil. It is possible this is something the Centaurs are… uniquely in a position of understanding. I am fascinated by other people and cultures, and have found much to appreciate in that of the Centaurs of Nomen Heights. I especially appreciate the status of women such as yourself in society; I’ve always found it bizarre that humans don’t take more advantage of the smarter (and often harder working) half of their population, and we have helped to ensure Arcadia affords equal rights to all its citizens, regardless of race or gender. If you’d honor me with a discussion some time, I’d love for you to elaborate some of your customs to help make my own nation run more smoothly.

Again, I make these requests with the utmost respect, open heart and empty hands, but if I have provided any instance of disrespect out of my ignorance for your ancient and proud culture, I apologize.

If you read this but choose not to respond, any centaur bearing a white flag of truce will be allowed to deliver a message, all the way to the capitol if you so wish.

Autarch of Arcadia,
Adramelech Astoroth

So far, there has been no response.

View
Taming the Stolen Lands

Starting Game Date: Lamashan 15, 4711 AR
Session Dates: August 18 and September 8, 2013

Reports of cattle mutilations and disappearances draw Knallhart to the farm communities on the western edge of Arcadia. There, they discover evidence werewolves attacked the cattle. Following leads from the local garrison, the party heads to a farm that appears abandoned. Inside the barn, bodies hang from rafter, their insides torn out. Szygy sneaks up and determines werewolves are waiting within. Saalus comes up to a crack in the barn and shouts a blistering invective inside. Several werewolves start on fire and the party attacks.

One of them, a female werewolf with black fur, drops outside into a flanking position but is killed. Another one with a battle axe and screaming in rage encourages his “brothers” to avenge the deaths of their kin before he too is killed. The others fight on doggedly but Knalhart is victorious.

Using her ability to speak with the dead, Ralga determines the werewolves hailed from Old Iobaria. It sounds as if there is no more to their pack.

The party returns to Callistro in time for the harvest. The story of the werewolves’ defeat races through town and lifts spirits. Also, the trade route with Restov proves particularly profitable that month.

After resting in town, the party returns to the wilderness in early Nesh, hoping to explore more of the Stolen Lands before the snow falls. They head in the direction of Khundakar, mapping as they go. As they explore the southeast region of the Narlmarches, they come across a wounded thylacine in a sinkhole. Aspen in the Fall calms it and heals it before it is lifted to safety.

Exploring the sinkhole, the party realizes it was caused by an underground tunnel that had collapsed. Finding one end of the tunnel, they explore deeper, eventually finding the ruins of an ancient Aztlani crypt. The party sets off a trap by using mage hand on a skeleton in the middle of a room wearing a magical copper ring. Several skeletons emerge from the gas and Ilya charges into their midst. Szygy forms the front rank of the party and they drop the undead guardians as the gas clears.

This reveals another skeletal warrior, this one glowing with shadowy blue flame. In a gravelly voice, he says he guards against the corrupting taint that infects the Stolen Lands, though he seems to consider Knallhart as part of that corruption. He attacks but is destroyed before he hits anyone with his powerfully enchanted blade.

Headingn south into the Narlmarches, the party comes across a dispute between a group of loggers led by a man named Corax and a nixie named Melianse. The loggers have removed some trees on the edge of the nixie’s pond and, in retaliation, the nixie charmed two of the loggers. Aspen is furious at the loggers’ callous treatment of nature but Knallhart promises to help them if they head to Callisto and continue their logging under permit. Melianse at first refuses to release the charmed loggers until her trees are restored. Astoroth promises to aid her, however, and she releases her victims based on his promises.

The loggers head to Callisto as the party goes west to speak to a druid who supposedly has tree feather tokens. There, the party notices they are watched by a satyr. Though he runs from the party, they are able to convince him they mean no harm. He says his name is Falchos and that he protects a dryad named Tiressia. He introduces the party to Tiressia who has obviously suffered some wounds from a recent battle.

She and Falchos explain there is an evil tree to the southeast that feasts on the flesh of dryads, also known as a scythe tree. The party heads that direction immediately. While passing through a clearing, an evil tree springs out attacking the horses first. The party surrounds it and Hyandaner eventually splits it apart with a mighty blow from Mortimer. Tiressia is overjoyed to hear the tree has been destroyed. She gives the feather tokens to the party who uses them to plant trees at Melianse’s pool. In turn, Melianse rewards them with a wand of grease and a ring of protection +1.

Having aided the fey, the party turns northwards. First, it follows the Skunk river into tazylwyrm territory. Aided by his magical lens, Aspen spots the taxylwryms waiting in ambush. Szygy sneaks around while the party prepares. At the chosen time, Knallhart attacks and, as usual, their foes fall before them. Though one tazylwyrm manages to grab Hyandaner while he is flying overhead, the party is otherwise unhurt. Looting the treasure gained by the tazylwyrms, the PCs find a map of the northern section of the Narlmarches.

Continuing their path north, Knallhart finds a large statue of Erastil. They clean the statue and Saalus writes a short prayer which Astoroth offers with sincerity. They party finds their slashing and piercing weapons gain the keen property. They make a note to move the statue to the Temple of the Elk found to the east.

Using the map, the party then explores a ruined keep. Aspen searches for tracks and finds evidence the area is inhabited by a boggard, a frog-like humanoid, and his pet slurk. The party approaches stealthily but the boggard notices their approach and calls for his slurk. The slurk fires goo at Aspen before it is mauled by Tony. Ilya jumps through a window of the ruined building and knocks the boggard unconscious.

The boggard seems to have a limited command of Common but Ralga uses her magic to impart full use of the common tongue. The boggard explains he was cast out of his tribe for trying to usurp leadership. The party informs him his slurk is dead, news which the boggard takes hard. Ilya kills the boggard to free him from his pain.

Moving again to the south, the party comes across an ancient elven structure before the Stone Tooth. The structure is circular with four outer towers and one inner tower. They catch a glimpse of a beautiful elven woman watching from the windows. They approach over a ruined wall to the south. As they do so, Aspen notices a creature watching from the southeast tower. Ilya kicks in the door of that tower to reveal a room with small furniture and scalps nailed to the wall. Astoroth casts glitterdust into the room which reveals a Small humanoid form. It bolts past the party, taking serious damage as it does so, before running up the stairs on the central tower with blinding speed.

The party follows it up to find the beautiful elven woman. She begins a captivating dance as the small fey creature jumps out the window, suspended by levitate. Another green skinned fey with poisonous claws and a pet assassin vine appears at the window. Several of the party members are enthralled by the dance, any attraction they feel for the woman weakening their mental resolve.

Ralga keeps her mind clear, however, and hacks into the fey woman with the ancient Azlanti blade. Astoroth dispatches the small, quick fey as it floats to the ground and then fires a bolt towards the window blindly, finishing the elven woman and her dance. The green-skinned fey is the next to die, but not before it poisons it Ralga. The vine survives a viscous attack from Hyandaner thanks to its immunity to electricity before it too is destroyed.

The party loots the keep and spends several nights there. While Ralga recovers from the poison with Aspens’s aid, the rest of the party explores the area around the Stone Tooth.

Once Ralga recovers, the party heads in the direction of Bokken’s evil brother, Ferral. En route, they are attacked by a large pack of worgs. The creatures grievously injure several sleeping party members before Knallhart proves victorious yet again. With snow on the horizon, the party decides to return to Callisto.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.