Eclipse on Nyvar

Negotiations at Round River
The Displaced

Acting Commander’s Log, Cavalier Freddricka of the Order of the Lion
Nov 23rd, 2014

It has been a hard week’s ride to Round River, a town outside the established border of our Kingdom of the Maine. Half of our squad has been dispatched to assist Duke Armund Hoffsteader’s son-in-law, Marquee Campbell negotiate with local Moon Elves.

We rendezvoused with the Marquee’s advisor, a old wizard by the name of Zannan, just outside of Hoffstead. He guided us to the town of Round River and filled us in along the way. Apparently nearly a month prior an Elven outrider came into town and gave them a warning that their tribe, Moon Leaf, was returning to winter in its most sacred valley, and that Round River must be abandoned or face complete destruction. The Marquee at first laughed at the threat, until a week later when the tribe nearly two thousand Elves was seen making an encampment overlooking the valley.

Several of the Marquee’s staff attempted negotiations but all faired poorly. The last straw was Zannan attempting to intimidate the High Chief Howls-at-Moon with magic (which was easily dispelled by the powerful Druid Chief) at which point he issued them an ultimatum — one week to evacuate before the town would be reduced to rubble and ash along with anyone left inside it.

Nov 24th, 2014
We consulted with the Marquee including all of his town leaders, Captain Gordon, Priestess Olivia and even a few villagers. While the Wizard Zannan and Priestess Olivia wished to avoid bloodshed if possible, they were committed to their leaders decisions. The Marquee and Captain Gordon of the Watch were much more hawkish and already making perpetrations for the upcoming assault and siege.
They felt they could hold the primitive Elves at bay long enough to receive reinforcements from the Duke in Spring. They also felt leaving the town would be just as deadly, as the winter had already set in and moving the old, sick and young would be as deadly or more so than the Elves.

Our half squad, consisting of myself (Cavalier Freddricka), Sorcerer Baldewin and the Monk Jehan set out to meet with the Moon Leaf Leaves ourselves. They recognized us as different new negotiators and were quite pleasant and welcoming. Their equipment and culture seemed quite primitive, as the Marquee had said; animal furs, bone and stone weapons and nearly everyone had a bow of some type…including the women and young.

We were taken to the Chiefs tent but only his wife, Dreams-in-Sky, was present who greeted us and negotiated in his place. Although she was warm and cordial, she was quite firm in her position as well…the humans had to leave, as the Elves had a 20 year migration which lead them back to this valley, to commit sacred rites, including the spreading of ashes of the fallen and marriage of the young. The best deal we got was her offering some of her scouts to help the Town citizen as far as halfway to the Maine border, which was helpful but still dangerous. She also invited us to attend her Son’s wedding rehearsal the next evening.

We relayed this information to the Marquee but he still remained hawkish. He had helped construct this Town nearly 7 years prior and did not want to give up so much work. We assured the Marquee we would try again but also be willing to fight for the Town if it came to blows.

Nov 25th, 2014
We attended the wedding rehearsal and were introduced to the High Chief Howls-at-Moon as well as the different families that made up the tribe. There was a particular family, the Bloodthorns that snubbed both myself as a woman and the other humans in my squad. Near the end of the rehearsal, the Groom, Tall-as-Pine and his bride to be, Smells-as-Spring invited us to a private ritual shortly after the rehearsal. They explained that it was good fortune for far away travelers to both attend the wedding and to do so we would need to be initiated through this ritual.

We went to their tent shortly afterwards to find no guards posted and lights out. Jehan went around back and discovered a slit in the tent and the bodies of the young couple. He return to inform me, so we all went around back and got out a light to verify what he had seen. Blood was everywhere and the bodies had been pierced with what looked to be bone weapons. Jehan was able to find tracks leading away, but we were too slow and the tracks were lost to dark of the night. I thought it best to report this immediately the Elves, as I knew our innocence would be known. We came before the High Chief and broke the bad news. He immediately summoned his elite guard and cut us off shouting at us that this was an internal Elf matter and that we must leave immediately before we could ask any questions or offer any assistance. I could swear I heard the Elvish name for one of the families introduced at the wedding rehearsal. We thought it best to retire for the night as well, bowed and returned to Round River.

Nov 26th, 2014
During the evening, we were attacked in our cabin by agents of this BloodThorn family. We easily dispatched them, thanks to Jehan silencing their Druid. We got our breakfast and headed back to the Moon Leaf encampment, noticing a pile of burring corpses on our way in. We showed Howls-at-Moon the armor of one of the assailants and he confirmed that the Bloodthorns were racist and isolationist faction within his tribe and they had attacked us and murdered his son and his wife to be. Shortly after we asked about the burring pile and he informed us it was Human raiders they had killed, however they had captured and kidnapped his wife, Dreams-in-Sky. He informed us the Town would be turned to ash on the morrow. We insisted we had no knowledge of this and had not condoned it, I think he believed us but we were still escorted back to Round River by an Elven patrol.

We went to the Guard Station to discover Captain Gordon had been the one who ordered the kidnapping. He was vile and twisted. He was quite proud of his handy work and said we had the upper hand now and the Elves wouldn’t dare attack when they had a hostage. He was ready to kill her on the spot should the Elves attack. I didn’t think to ORDER him to standdown, but instead we went to the Marquee to break the news of his underlings actions. He didn’t seem to phased by the Captains tactic, but we got him to ORDER the Captain not to harm the prisoner.

No amount of further negotiating was going to help, we dug in.

Nov 27th – Jan 31st
The Elves first waves managed to disable the moat controls and get nearly to the center of the town, burning most of the buildings on the outer edge of Town. The humans rallied behind us and Captain Gordon, our heavy armor, squad tactics and the healing of the Priestess allowed us to push out to the moat controls and use the nearby river to flood the moat. It took another 3 weeks but we were able to clear the Elves from the Town and keep them at a distance. The High Chief Howls-at-Moon released a devasting lightning storms that further racked the rest of the wooden structures, however the Protection from Elements Ritual cast by the Priestess & her clerics saved the stone structures. On the last day of December on the Full Moon the High Chief rallied his remaining fighters and look ready to finally ready to overrun the Town. We sallied out with Captain Gordon who launched a surprise rush catching the Elves off guard. Howls-at-Moon started the gruesome transformation into a GIANT werewolf. However before he could finish this process, Captain Gordon unleashed a SILVER BOLT from a giant siege crossbow, striking the Chief in the heart and killing him instantly. The Elven fighters were shocked routed quickly.

We Elves came back to gather their dead and we have not seem them for weeks. We have sent out scouts and see no more signs of the Elves in the valley.

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A Good Walk, Interupted
From the memoirs of Skyfel Cavernburner…

Game 16

Mid July – Early August

It is seventy three days since escaping the Master. From that time, fortune favors my wanderings as I united with a mighty cohort of explorers. When the time comes, our combined forces shall bring the surcease of the Dark Lord, but only after we have tempered and twined our abilities, honing them to a finely crafted eldritch edge.

Perhaps I should explain my optimism. It would be difficult to imagine a better band of compatriots, stalwart and true. These are not my people by birth, yet slavery in the accursed silver mines of the Master yields instructions that bonds of brotherhood forged in combat are stronger than the prejudices tying one to blood and race, and that the value of coin and gem are to be reckoned less than the worth of actions and deeds: Reverend, the fighting priest of Torm, battles with courage and self-sacrifice against all tyranny. Though human, Reverend is a valued ally against the Master. Kaden Broadfoot, also, one of the shorter members of our band – halfing druid compassed with care concerning the tally of his deeds – wields power belied by his stature. Is not his life’s balance already recorded the trail of the wandering stars, as it is for all? The dwarf Norik Morast, a noble and paladin, is one who measures above the stature of most other dwarves; not for reason of station or physical dominion, but for grace of character. Undoubtedly, as I have heard within the song of the great celestial orbs, in time he will lead his people to greatness. A gnome also journeys with the group, Nibbles. As mischievous as others of his race, for he is certainly not wanting in that regard, yet those nimble fingers and his pious prayers have benefited our band on several occasions. Trigal, a human from the northern wastes, both barbarian and king, recently joined us. His quest instills great hope in me for mankind, as he searches to avoid the callousness of heart and cruelty which oft enters into the heart of men. May the heavens’ light illuminate his journey. Last, but by no means the least, is one who would by others of my race be regarded as a pitiable creature. He travels with the group, lending his considerable arcane abilities and martial talent to the deadly pool assembled for the cause of justice: Wojtek Wyvernjack is his name in the common voice. He is half-elf (Should the term be half-human? Perhaps such a one should be known as something altogether different? Time in the mines as a slave has greatly altered my perceptions of others…) Calculus of the stars suggests his fate is vital to both elves and humans, as his linage and acts already attest. Our bond as a party is beyond the orbits of the spheres, perhaps even integral to the mathematics of the planes. Indeed, consider our actions in this, the latest verse in our saga.

Not two fortnights ago, our band returned from the conquest of a mighty dragon. For all the volume of poison gas which spewed from green beast’s mouth and fell magic which obstructed our path, we prevailed and returned to the haven of Crossroads. Once there and settled for a deserved rest and hosteling at the temple of Torm (our gratitude to Reverend for securing the accommodations), a summons was issued that Norik should appear before Crossroad’s Lord Governor Foster.

Lord Governor Foster was concerned with the taxation of Dunlap, a hamlet some two and ½ day’s journey to the north, in the Grey mountains. Two adventurers were dispatched six months prior. Alas, these returned not, neither with word nor apportioned levy. While I believe the Lord Governor to be more concerned with coffers than citizens, he determined (for evident convenience sake, no doubt) to send another deputation north to inquire regarding the tardy taxes and his two absent agents. He mentioned that Dunlap’s Governor, Brillbee Fulbright, sent word after last season’s harvest that a band of brigands molested the region. Stars only know why Lord Governor Foster did not respond immediately by sending the High Sheriff to investigate; they remain silent on the matter. I supposed that one might claim an army of the dead compounded by the complication of a militia comprised of cowardly conscripts some two months ago could explain the Lord Governors preoccupation with other matters than the affairs of Dunlap. So it is that a half-year has passed and Lord Governor Foster sends another foray forth to secure the pledge of Dunlap’s fealty.

We journeyed without incident for two days, taking in the beauty of rolling countryside. During the day we strode across gentle hills that gradually transformed to mountainous terrain beneath our feet. At night, whilst the others slept blissfully in the safe confines of my magic sphere (with regards for the research of that ancient sage, Leomund), I pondered the passage of the celestial display spread above in the indigo sky. There is much to see in, upon, and above this world.

A few leagues from the village of Dunlap, the mountain’s pass narrowed, thinning our line to single rank. We continued forward in file until a thing most curious occurred: the very mountains themselves thrust upwards before our feet, blocking our path! Clearly, the rock wall before us was magically summoned, and intended to make the mountain pass a box cannon death-trap. Steep and piled with rubble, the pass was blocked off. It appeared we were trapped with the only exit behind us to the south.

A voice echoed through canyon from the east wall, “Ho, now! Deliver your gold and proceed!”

Fortune had smiled upon us, as the very brigands reported to the Lord Governor of Crossroads all those months ago were here demanding tribute. How ironic that they who would be masters of the road would soon be mastered themselves. It was clear that the conclusion of this meeting would be less than desirable for some.

There were two brothers, human twins, demanding toll for use of the pass. One was tall and willowy, a druid in fact. Bald of pate, with a red tattoo marking his face, it was he who called forth the rocks of the earth to block passage on the road. His brother, a large, hulking brute, looked as if our very presence was an affront to his sensibilities. This gargantuan man only fumed as Reverend refused to submit to the extortion.

It is not clear who unleashed the first volley, but it was clear that we were determined to continue to Dunlap without yielding to the highwaymen’s demands. Wojtek launched a salvo of arrows upwards from the canyon floor towards the twins, striking a twisted creature hidden in the brush. Its sharp cry, an oath of revenge for the wound, was expressed in the goblin’s language. As we soon learned the bandits filled their ranks with numbers from the vast hobgoblin tribes located in the eastern mountain ranges.

I thought better of my plan to magically step across the distance separating the bandit leaders from our cohort, rather choosing to call upon the element of fire instead. “Volida Ekrixi,” rang my words between the gorge’s stone walls as I flicked a ball of bat guano and sulfur in the air toward the pair. A brilliant fireball exploded above our adversaries, also striking their three hidden hobgoblin companions as well. Over their heads, for a brief second, the sky flared with the intensity of a miniature sun, then faded as quickly as it appeared. How the canyon rang with concussive force! I must refine the mixture of materials for this spell, as the explosive energy was somewhat less than desired. From the western side, more hobgoblins barked in surprise at the reverberations caused by the detonation’s report.

Reverend deftly wheeled his horse about and drove past our line to head out of the canyon, southward. Riding hard to make the plateau from which the criminals launched their attack, the priest chanced upon a quartet of huge wolves, trained mounts of hobgoblins. Reverend yelled sharply, “Worgs!” Tactically a sound maneuver, they were attempting to close off our only egress from the skirmish. Ha-ha! If they only knew that they were where we wanted them!

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Having shouted warning of the danger approaching from the rear, Reverend pressed upwards on the mountain’s side, driving his warhorse forward. He would arrive in time to see the bandit-druid phase from view.

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Obviously, things were not proceeding as the brigands planned. When my fireball exploded above their heads, the druid uttered his despair. Did he not think that others command the weave of magic as well? Hobgoblins launched their arrows, but proved they were inferior marksmen. We may have been the ones boxed in, but they were the ones who were trapped. Had I not observed in prior evenings’ skies that the stars shined in our favor?

Their taste for battle was waning, though it was not yet slaked. With what speed did Trigal bound up the crag of the valley’s eastern wall! Can a human move so fast without the fabric of the weave clothing him? Trigal was a blur as he moved past the twins’ flank to face them head-on. With a mighty swing the barbarian-king sent the larger of the two humans backwards, sliding down the cliff face into the gorge below towards our hearty band. No sooner had Trigal shoved the brute down to the basin that he bound down the wall of the pass after to join the fray.

On the floor of the pass Nibbles sprang to action. Though constrained in the center of our column, the cleric of Garl Glittergold petitioned his deity for divine assistance. After calling for a blessing upon those adept with sword and shield (Norik, Reverend, Trigal, and Wojtek), he then smote the largest robber with the energies of divine righteousness, Nibbles was as fierce as any warrior could wish. Whispering a short prayer, Nibbles shimmered with the celestial light of his god, his presence dividing in two proving incontrovertibly that consciousness and form can exist in two places at once.

Wojtek climbed up the western ridge to face the foes thereon. He found two hobgoblins, with wicked arrows cradled in their bows, ready to shoot down upon the rest of us. Engaging the one closest, Wojtek called our attention to the foes on the canyon’s western ledge. I shouted the magical incantation, “Inflam Rolla”, and simultaneously threw a ball of candle wax mixed with a pinch of brimstone and powdered iron towards the ridge. A slowly spinning ball of flame appeared between the two hobgoblins, searing them both with its hellish heat. One of the hobgoblins screamed, retreating as swiftly as stunted feet would carry it.

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At this, the Worgs stalked into the pass looking to fill their bellies with our carcasses. You may well surmise that we were not keen upon the idea of being kibble for these cur mongrels. While Norik and Trigal used an interesting combat tactic wherein one would draw the attention of the bark-skinned berserker while the other then seized the opportunity to press the battle hard against the enemy. While they battled, I unsheathed the magical blade Oomaravvi, the Voice of the Lion. Using the intelligent long sword many call Roar, I channeled its energies to sound with the potency of the king of beasts. Our enemies quaked at the mighty growl; the valley resounded with the roar of desert’s lord. And the Worgs wined as whelps separated from their dam. Well, at least two of them, as they cowered in the back as far as they could from the action.

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After an unsuccessful search for the bandit’s spineless druid, Reverend drove his steed down the sheer cliff over which not twenty seconds before Trigal set the larger of the twins sliding. It is a testament both the Reverend’s horsemanship and the courage of his mount, that they were able descend and attack as avenging servitors of Torm. Reverend directed his horse to trample upon the bear-skinned behemoth. Between the combined might of the good priest, Norik, and Trigal, as well as the righteous prayers of Nibbles, the muscle-bound twin was put down once for all time.

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With the main body of opposition dispatched, dealing with the Worgs proved but minor fare. Reverend’s horse lost footing on the rocky terrain, yet the priest managed to roll off his mount to station himself between one of the Worgs and his fallen stallion. Reverend carried the momentum of his roll through to the swing of his war hammer, crushing the head of the Worg.

Yet one Worg remained a threat. It snapped at the fallen warhorse. Not wishing to see fine horseflesh become the meal of such a hideous beast, I pointed my finger and shouted, “Inflam Ranga!” A searing bolt of flame jetted from my extended fingertip, solidly striking the Worg in the fat of its repulsive belly. A crazed pain was visible in the creature’s eyes the very moment it exploded in a hail of enflamed fur and greasy flesh.

With the threat ended, we tended our wounds (such as they were) while we waited for the enchantment that called rocks to block the path to pass. These bandits were well provisioned and carried coin. Odd that they thought robbery of our band a desirable action.

We carried forward towards Dunlap. Most villages are cautious of outsiders and adventurers, and Dunlap proved no different. All of the inhabitants were reluctant to discuss with us local events, and referred us to Governor Fulbright. Even Nibbles’ persuasive enchantments proved to be of negligible effect. Though with charms he managed to chat up one of the village women, she was less than forthcoming with any particular details. In the end, Norik and I headed for the town’s administration hall.
We were met by Davies, a club-footed porter who led us into Governor Fulbright’s audience chamber. Therein the Governor made entrance accompanied by his personal bodyguard, Sir Hobbes, also called “The Hammer”. Governor Fulbright indicated that the brigands encamp about a day’s travel north of Dunlap.

“Payment,” he said, “is whatever you can take from the bandits, less the taxes bound for Crossroads.” Brillbee Fulbright had nothing to relate to us regarding the whereabouts or fate of the two deputies from Crossroads. However, he offered us free room and board in the village’s sole tavern. Though I would have preferred to spend the evening beneath the stars’ fair light, I conceded to the concerns of my comrades.

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The Dragoneye Adventuring Company

From the Journal of Cleric Commander Tanka-fora, Hand of Torm.

July 7th
I cannot sleep easy tonight and will likely not sleep easy for many nights to come. The minions of the Flaming Eye had become bolder, but I fear they are losing all restraint and seem to be gathering strength.

The arrival of an adventuring company is usually more trouble than help. This young group of adventurers appeared from the south and brought bad news with them. Lord Benlar and his family are captured or worse. It seems Gzix took an active part, but Sexton’s vision though hazy and obscured suggested Gzix is indeed aligned in some way with the Oath-breaker known now as Baron Strife. The recent incident at the mine smacks of Taraseth and where he goes the assassin known as Dark Kiss cannot be far away.
The Dragoneye Adventuring Company, as I will call them for now, also seem to have enraged some necromancer, known as Kaus. Though it seems they have been fortuitous in arriving when they did. Perhaps Torm guides them, or even some nudges from the Gnomish god known as Garl Glittergold, or some other power perhaps? It seems odd indeed that this group would gather together. Humans, halflings, dwarves, gnomes and even elves and half-elves, gathered as comrades? Friends even? It is unheard of in the memory of living man.

While the Dragoneye brings some hope I am still greatly troubled. Perhaps most troubling is seeing with my own eyes something out of legend. A dark skinned elf, the legends called them Drow, so Kalbert tells me. Her body has been burned and we will try to quench rumors. If this was not some magically induced disguise or strange natural elf, I must send word through the Harper bard that the legends may be true. What would provoke them to appear is beyond me. Is it possible that Gzix has grown so powerful, or perhaps so insane, that it thinks it can treat with the Darkfolk of the Underdark? If so, what others is it willing to engage? To what end? Kalbert has sent word through Sexton to the Sages of the Wood, perhaps they can shed more light on this dark mystery.

When I reread my journal about the attack on the town I see new threats. The Gray Crossroads was attacked by a horde of undead and our losses were high. Men panicked and fled their posts, obviously ill prepared for such an attack. How is this possible? Torm protect us! Several of the young acolytes lost their lives during the battle. The senior clerics were with me attempting to solve the disappearance of Benlar, may Torm protect him!
The troubles in the area are quickly growing out of control. The Zhents have been active too long, now they are in league with the Flaming Eye it seems. This Kaus could pose a threat if his necromantic powers can truly call legions. How did he know to attack when I was called away from the town? Torm’s summoned might would have laid the creatures low. If not for the Dragoneye I doubt the town would be more than an undead infested ruin by now. I will send word to the Earl that more trustworthy troops are needed. And the temple must prepare. Some of the acolytes must be called on soon to take more responsibility in the area. New acolytes and soldiers must be trained. My own adventuring days and life on the fields of battle were years ago. While I am still hale and hardy, I must do what I can to help prepare younger warriors and faithful.
Torm protect us all!!

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Into the Mines

Game 14

Lt. Reverend, WarPriest of Torm.
Northern Legion of the Maine, Scout Company
Personal Journal Entries

July 8th
We knew a shipment of ore would be coming to the foundry shortly after breakfast, so we setup plans of an ambush. I got on Fury and waited behind the brewery for the word from Kaden. When Kaden demanded they surrender to be arrested, one of them got toasted by Skyfel when he went for a weapon. The other fellow on the cart seemed more reasonable and we got much useful information from him.

The cart driver told us that another Mage run the show in the mine and that there would be many traps and even a Green Dragon? I highly doubted that. He told us there may be a back entrance but he’d never seen it. I will put in a good word for this man when he is to be put on trial by the halflings.

After having dispatched the cart, we decided to finish seeing what was in the foundry and took a the remaining hallway. We appear to have found the hidden quarters of the Mage I beheaded and found a few magic items: Sentinel shield, Halfling Leather Armor of Poison & Acid Resistance, Ioun Stone of Spell Storing.

We continued on and dispatched some Ogres foolish enough to tussle with us. We discovered a cavern with what I believe was the river in the area. It appears the Ogres were polluting it by dumping Slag from the foundry.

Midday
After a short rest, we headed out to the mines and scouted the area, looking for the back entrance.
We found it! A small mineshaft in the back of the hills that lead down at an angle and opened up into an enormous cavern. We sent Kaden in and he spider-climbed around but was very uneasy about the whole thing. Could this be the lair of a dragon the Driver mentioned? We debated what to do.

Finally we decided we would go all in and climb down into the cavern. I setup a silence field so we could nail our pitons into the stone and rope down. We got the bottom and a large glyph, hidden beneath the dust was triggered…I was struck rigid as was Kaden. The pool of water in the cavern began to move and the head of a young green dragon began rising. My heart pounded and I began second guessing the strategy until Skyfel quickly dispelled the magic and we were freed from the Hold Person magic.

The party advanced quickly, launching all number of ranged attacks at the Young Dragon. Skyfel let loose a Fireball that clearly hurt the beast and blackened his bright green scales. I was shocked to see a storm cloud form and Kaden seemed to direct a blast, no two blasts of lightning into the Dragon. The Dragon roared and let forth a cone of noxious gas that made 3 of the party cough and weeze, but not stop us. I quickly estimated the Dragon might be attempting to flee so I directed our new strongman, Trigal, to attempt to grapple it to weigh it down so it could not take flight. Trigal got hold of the dragon and it even seemed to help him hurl his Greataxe into the midsection of the Dragon…it fell to the ground. By Torms shiney plated hands, we had just slayed a dragon! HUZZAH

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Kaden Broadfoot's Explosive Homecoming

Game 13

After freeing some slightly roasted halflings from their stations at the smelting stations, our heroes searched the top floor of the foundry and found not much of note. The halflings were glassy eyed and unresponsive, as if ensorcled by some magic or charm. Turning their attention to the trap door in a nearby room, the party got the jump on (literally, in Reverend’s case) an ogre guarding the bottom floor.

From there, they followed a short hallway and spied a cloaked human working at a table. The party quickly incorporated into the “One Man, One Dwarf Moving Company” and literally turned the tables on the cloaked figure. (Reverend was being particularly literal this session.) The wizard (or sorcerer, or something) put up a tough but brief fight in the face of an entire angry party of adventurers.

While the beaten man recovered from being enthusiastically subdued, Norik and Xandark investigated another doorway off the nearby hall. At the bottom of some stairs on the other side, they found an alter to the Burning Eye. Xandark fell prey to the alter’s spell, coming away with a desire to “serve the eye.” Apparently what the Eye wanted served first was strangled dwarf. Displaying a surprising amount of vim and vigor for a man his age, Xandark attempted to proselytize his fellow party member to the service of the Eye by wrapping all his available limbs around the dwarf and forcing him to look directly at the alter. The amazed and somewhat dumbfounded remainder of the party watched from the top of the stairs, unsure of whether to approach or not.

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Eventually Kaden learned from the struggling Norik that viewing the alter was the source of Xandark’s mania, so he descended the stairs and managed to resist its spell long enough to shroud the alter in a thick mist.

That crisis averted, the party threw Xandark in a cell for safekeeping while they interrogated the battered wizard. He was not helpful, though he did reveal that the miners were more interested in extracting the explosive substance from the iron ore than the ore itself. Taking inspiration from basic chemistry, the party used a large jar of the stuff to concoct a makeshift bomb in order to destroy the Eye’s alter. Kaden lit the fuse with a simple cantrip, and when he regained consciousness a short time later the alter was gone, along with most of the halfling’s eyebrows.

The alter destroyed, the remaining halflings of Briar’s Glen (and Xandark) regained their wits. With the help of the party, the remaining miners were killed our routed and a ragtag militia was established to protect the town. The party now set its sights on the actual mines where the explosive material was being drawn from the earth. Here also is the last known location of Kaden’s erstwhile assistant Jahn and the town’s former benefactor, the druid Morin Dalewalker.

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Fury & Fire in the Foundry

Game 12

Lt. Reverend, WarPriest of Torm.
Northern Legion of the Maine, Scout Company
Personal Journal Entries

July 4th

After getting our party member Xandark restoration heal from Cleric Commander Tonka, I reported to him the goings on at the Keep of Lord Benlar. Tonka was quite taken back and worried, he immediately marshaled some forces and I joined him to set back out to the keep so he could see for his own eyes.

July 5th

After reviewing the evidence at the Keep, Tonka cast a summon spell and an armored Centaur Sexton appeared before us. I surmise that this must be a planar ally of Tonka’s. Sexton proceeded to cast a powerful divination ritual and we saw visions of what happened at the keep. At the end, the Beholder Xist was seen walking off with Lord Benlar, his wife & child. Despite how powerful this magic was, he is unable to locate where the beholder has gone.

July 6th

After leaving a good sized force of dedicated Warriors of Torm, Tonka & I and a few of the other clerics headed back to the Crossroads. We saw that some kind of battle had taken place in Town during our absence. I talked with the party after reuniting and they told us what happened, Dark riders controlling an army of undead came thru a portal and nearly killed the Lord? Tonka was shocked, dismayed and maddened when he learned that troops had deserted their posts during the battle. I was quite proud of the accomplishment of my brethren and fellow adventurers.

The party meet up with the halfling Bard Sheena once again and she was able to introduce us to the local sage, Kelvert, who kept a sizeable library. Kelvert was able to help us identify a few items we had come across, including Lord Benlar’s sword, that apparently is bonded with some Cat Lord. I was quite bewildered and wary of the situation, but I felt our Elven wizard Skyfel could get some use out of the magic. We set out with Sheena to Kaden’s hometown, the village of Briar’s Glen, to investigate claims of forced labor.

July 7th

During the night while camped, we were attacked by Orcs. Our watch didn’t do a very good job spotting them and what could have been a very dangerous encounter we quickly dispatched. I suppose it was foolish of us to leave a fire going in these troubled lands.

We arrived on the outskirts of the village and devised a plan to get us closer. I suggested we use our former escaped slave, Skyfel, as a ruse and that we were bounty hunters/slavers attempted to get a reward.

We dismounted and walked over to the largest structure, the newly constructed foundry and asked to speak with leadership. After a rather short haggling with the thug leaders, things went sideways quickly when they agreed to the purchase of Skyfel. We ended up just cutting them down hastily and dragging their bodies inside, they were no match for our prowess. We carefully searched the building and found some glassy eyed halflings working the foundry. When we ventured closer a giant Fire Elemental spring fourth from the caldron. After Norik was burned standing so closely to the Fire Elemental, Skyfel was quick on his feet to summon the power of Roar to which caused the Elemental to draw away back into the corner he came from. As I called forth protection from Torm, I noticed a barrel of water that might be useful if the Sorcerer Xandark was able to freeze it. I and summoned my spiritual weapon and together with Kaden, had at the Fiery being. Norik assisted Xandark in their attempt to make ‘ice javelins’, however Noriks aim was not with him that day and he missed wide. I continued wailing on the Elemental, Torm protecting me from him, until he dissipated.

I thought it wise and asked Xandark to extinguish the fire from whence the Elemental sprang fourth, and I dismantled the Caldron with my Warhammer.

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From Hell Hole to Hell Hole

Norik Morast

Journal entry #1

It was a breath of fresh air when we finally set off from Benlor’s forsaken keep. The sound of insects and birds was a welcome return. The daylong journey to Great Crossroads passed without event. Once we entered the town, we had to ignore glaring looks from the locals and rush to the temple of Torm to seek help for Xandark. We were fortunate to have the Rev with us to liaise with the head Cleric. It was a great relief once Xandark was released from his affliction, and in less time than I expected. No sooner did Xandark get better, we lost the Rev to the investigation of the keep with the cleric and some of his acolytes. He seems to be in Torm’s favor so I’m sure we will see him again soon.

At the pub the following morning we overheard some locals grumbling about some graves that had been robbed. Upon investigation, we found out that many graves have been disturbed and the locals suspect elves, but they all seem to have strong anti-elf sentient. Before we had any time to investigate, there was a town meeting called to report the capture of the grave culprit. It was not a surprise to see that suspect was an elf. As the sheriff announced the charges and evidence against the suspect we started to realize that they weren’t looking for must to hang him for. We had to fight over the yells of the mob, but we were able to convince the sheriff to give us one day to find better evidence for or against the elf. We almost had a little skirmish with the guards when the guards realized that Nibbles tried to charm the sheriff into granting us his favor, but they let us pass without incident.

After we all cooled our heads we set up a meeting with the sheriff. In the meantime we decided to investigate the graves. After thorough material and magical investigation around the graves we discovered some undead finger nails and a magical path. We followed the path as long as we could, but we had to turn back before reaching the end because we had our meeting with the Sheriff.

The meeting was a complete waste of time. Besides the sheriff getting under our skin, the elf did nothing more than welcome his death. I’m starting to think it’s a lost cause.

We hit the trail once we left the keep and eventually made our way to an old rundown farmhouse that must have been abandoned for many years. The magic trail centered on the house and became very dense. It was all very ominous. We had no clue what was in store for us. Nibbles inferred from a crow that there has been undead and elf activity in the vicinity. Things aren’t looking in the elf’s favor. The first floor of the house yielded nothing of interest. The cellar on the other hand explained what we had been searching for. We found torches of magical light and a portal. A portal that started to activate around the same time that we heard what we assumed to be undead swarming above. The screams from our horses left outside where difficult to bear. We knew we’d have a bit of a task leaving the cellar through the swarm of undead, but to make matters worse, as the portal neared making its connection, we could see an army of skeletons heading out way. Our attempts to destroy the portal lead us nowhere as a frost shield started forming over it. We had to leave and we were lucky we did. In the heat of the moment, one of us cast a spell to turn the undead and it’s lucky it did. They would have engulfed us in an instant. In a final attempt to destroy the portal, we burned down the house on our way out, lighting anything that looked like it could burn.

Maneuvering our way around the scattered undead, we ran as fast as we could away from that hell hole towards the town. Wojtek was able to take a hand of an undead as proof of our finding. We eventually got back to town and raised the alarm. If it weren’t for the hand we would have had a much more difficult time persuading them into action.

The town, prepared for battle, waited in suspense for whatever was bound our way. Eventually the undead found their way and attacked. They weren’t much trouble to handle; the stench was the worst part. Not long after the undead had fallen, our lingering fear came to fruition. The portal had not been destroyed by the fire, and an army of skeletons lead by a large villain was on our doorstep. To my surprise he wanted to meet and gave us an ultimatum. Give him the elf, or war.

War it is!

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The Road to Redemption?
or the Trail of Carnage?

It’s been a while since meeting up with the gang while we take a break after that exhausting adventure to aid Seaside, but as I had hoped, we all converged again, as there is a looming trouble over these lands. Can the dragons be in danger of being controlled by a great evil? I guess that’s up to us to find out. So we’ll meet up at the Inn tomorrow to discuss just what we’re going to do about the vision that I saw…

The following day, we converge as expected, but we’re confronted by one of the Kaden’s old friends, and it seems that our little friend has left out a few details about his past. A curse was laid upon him until he could find redemption, but it seems that opportunity might be now.

We’ve all decided to aid our little friend in his quest, so we will head back to his home, Briar’s Glen, and put a stop to the evil men that have taken over his small village.

On the Road… Day one for a new adventure!

Finally! We are all together and we are on our way to Kaden’s home town. It took some convincing, but with a little encouragement the Halfling that doesn’t seemed too thrilled about much is perhaps not so excited about this adventure, but again, keeping in mind our overall goal of trying to put a stop to my vision, we must push ahead without delay.

The road will be a long one, that’s for sure. It seems that our pal the merchant, Findari, has a second opportunity for us. We are to escort his caravan to a town along the way. Which is kind of convenient for us as he’ll provide the horses and supplies for travel at least. One less thing we have to worry about.

It’s been a long trek this is to symbolize a pencil mark streak cut off of the page (Later Xandark will scribble over the top of this to mark it out)

We were just attacked by this fowl monster. It was huge, it scared the horses, we managed to subdue it pretty easily and then this crazy man that was riding along with us just cut it’s head off with a crazy huge sword! Who the heck is this guy? He seems a little … violent.

Day two…

So we continue our travel north along the trade route. Apparently this new face, The Reverend, is a former soldier from the northern lands. The war I guess, continues to rage on there. It’s been a few months since, perhaps I feel a little home sick, I miss some things but not everything. I am perfectly happy where I am now, with my new friends. I feel like I’ve kind of found my niche amongst these few men, we’re sort of all outcasts of our old lives and have come together for many reasons but through camaraderie and misfortune, we persevere together. Together we are strong and capable of accomplishing anything.

We are brought to another to a halt along our travel this day, a group of Orcs, they’ve seemed to set up a nasty little camp to ambush any who travel these roads. Luckily, we were the ones they were trying to pirate instead of someone else this day. We put an end to their evil easily enough. The Reverend seems to have brought order to our chaos, we’re working a little more efficiently with him around, so it may not be such a bad thing to let him stick with us for a while. He’s no doubt a good-hearted fellow, and has only good intentions as far as I can tell, but his ways… his ways are a bit brutal. I respect his opinion, but must we slaughter? I’m not going to say anything just yet, I will observe more over time and then we’ll come to an ultimate decision later on about this.

But the Reverend isn’t the only new face, there is also an elven arcane wizard who has joined us, practically out of the woods he came, we offered him a ride and … well, first impressions aren’t everything, but they are a good indicator at least. He certain enjoys his firey evocations, is that a nice way to put it? A pyromancer… From my school, these guys were a bit more disciplined and a lot less wild like our friend here. They were usually more militant in attitude, like our new friend the Reverend. Elitest pricks. Anyways… I diverge again. I’ve become so absent minded lately, this aging body… From young to old to old to young and back to old again, it’s becoming quite the up and down experience to say the least. That reminds me, I really must study my staff more, it may hold the key to my renewal of youth.

Instead of being raided, we raid the Orc’s camp for clues and extra supplies. Apparently these Orcs are controlled by a Flaming Eye, as they have tattooed on their bodies. It seems that our new friend, Skyfel is from such slavery… hmm. I wonder, if perhaps he’s still under the master’s control? I’ll keep a very close eye on him. Well, time to get some rest, a new day will be upon us soon and I’ve become wary and in need of more sleep.

Day Four….Back on track

This has been one long trek I must say, when I think about it, I’ve traveled a long way from home. But anyways… we’re on route to the Crossroads, we should be crossing another small Keep along the trade route shortly. I’ve heard a bit about this keep, it’s well known throughout these lands and the north.

As we ride along, it seems a bit strange, the roads … things have become awkwardly still and quiet except for our group of course. We’ve been relieved of caravan security at the last town, we make our way north along the trade route to the keep. I feel uneasy about this though, there, someone has spotted the Keep…

Day Four again … Bloody murder

Well, we make it to the Keep safely. But what we find there is far from it! Some kind of undead creatures feasting on corpses, shadow spirits haunting these walls… All these bodies, all this blood, all them bones… My, what a giant pile of bones those are. I wonder, could this have really been from the Ghouls? The group doesn’t seem to think so, I certainly don’t think so. This isn’t the only pile of bones we’ve come across either, so it couldn’t be a coincidence. Back at the caves with the evil shaman trying to mindcontrol the swamp dragon, in a cave there was also a massive pile of bones. I will have to inquire about this at the Crossroads, I hope they have a library or something.

I am a bit distraught by all this … carnage. Holes in the walls that seems to be from some kind of strong magic, something that we’re certainly not capable of. I fear that we might be getting in over our heads just a bit. I’m not sure what else to say about this place. Once a glorious Keep, the Lord and Lady are missing, the the Keep has been ransacked as if they were in search of something here, perhaps the same reason why the Orcs were raiding travels along the road? The same reason why the man was trying to control the lizard folk and the swamp dragon? Does it all have any connections? These are good questions we will have to find an answer to very soon.

We manage to kill the ghouls and fend off the shadowy wraiths with ease thanks to careful planning and strategy and not just leaping to our potential death like in past times. I suppose it’s useful to consider things before acting. But anyways, I diverge again…

There are many questions raised by what we’ve found at this Keep, hopefully questions we can find answers to at the Crossroads… One more night of rest, we will linger here around the keep, but certainly not inside, it creeps me out just a bit too much, and the stench of death, probably best if we sleep outside with the horses and supplies. Tomorrow, we will continue on our path to the Crossroads, but tonight we must get a long rest.

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A welcome addition & the trail of Carnage

Lt. Reverend, Warpriest of Torm.
Northern Legion of the Maine, Scout Company
Personal Journal Entry, June 30th

I finally arrived in the small fishing village of Seaside on the Soutwestern coast of the Freeman lands. The ship arrived too much fan faire although I don’t know why; I suppose I should find out. I made my way to the smithy to get components for my Blessing of Protection and sermon. I know these lands are not in my Kingdom and may not necessarily believe in the Loyal Fury, Torm, but it is my duty to show them the way.

I happened to bump into a skilled Dwarf blacksmith, Norik, working in the smithy and came to find out he was part of this humored group of adventurers, by Torm’s Gauntlet I am surely on the path! We exchanged pleasantries and I told him I wished to speak with him after I got settled in. I sensed a certain air about him of discipline and devoutness; surely he would make a powerful ally.

I meet the Dwarf fellow again later in the Tavern after dispensing the Blessing of Protection in the village’s small square. We sat at the bar for drinks and he introduced me to his party, it went quite well. While they seem like quite an odd bunch, they do seem to have all bases covered and this unit should prove extremely capable. It will take me some time to figure out the short ones, the Druid Halfling and Gnome Cleric, as I have very little experience around their races. They have accepted me and I will continue to find out more about them in our travels.

As we drank some ruffian types in the middle of the tavern started to pipe up and seemed to have some grievance with the party. I chuckled watching the Human Monk Longo slip some sleeping elixir into drinks, which he gave to the ruffians. Quite a masterful handling of the situation, although I became a bit concerned when he was about to start rifling through their possessions. I went out to summon the guard to remove this Zhentarium scum from the Tavern, when I came back the party was in discussion with another curious bunch, a Halfling Bard woman and her Elven escorts.

Apparently the Druid Kaden, has a sorted past and was run out of town? Maybe that would explain the bandages around his head? But the woman Bard asked and nearly demanded repeatedly for Kaden’s and the party’s help in their Halfling village of Briar’s Glen. Sounds like usual Zhentarium strong-arm tactics that I’ve seen before. Finally after wearing him down, Kaden agreed that the party would go to his village to see if we could figure out what was going on.

Before setting out, we were approached by a merchant, Findare IV, who has had dealings with the party before. We are to escort 3 of his wagons in the direction of the village, to Deep Silver Mines? While I do not relish guard duty and would rather travel on foot cross-country, we will be helping what seems to be an honest merchant. From what I can gather, the roads appear to be dangerous. HAH! At least the troublemakers will be coming to me instead of me having to hunt them down.

The party was making fairly good time for the condition of this road (more like trail) and setup camp at sundown. While on guard duty with the Kaden under the light of a full moon, I heard a sound from the surrounding wood that immediately put me on edge. I have never seen one before, but from the description of the sound that many of my scouts have given me, it had to be an Owlbear. I quietly roused the party and prepared…the Owlbear wasted no time charging down an embankment towards one of our horses. The Owlbear stumbled on the terrain and missed several swipes in the process. I wasted no time cleaving out a enormous chunk of its wretched hide with my favorite Greatsword. I can tell my strength and combat prowess got the party’s attention. I was however impressed by the Monk’s finesse when I heard a kick of his make a resounding crunch of the Owlbears lower leg…no easy task! We dispatched the monstrosity with relative ease, I believe only 1 party member taking a hit. Before gathering the panicked animals, I ensured this Owlbear would not give us any further trouble and swiftly removed his head. I took one of the paws as a souvenir to show my men when I returned home.

July 1st
The party continued onwards. Sometime after lunch, we saw the road ahead was blocked by men? As we got closer, I recognized the features of Orcs or Half-orcs? Foolishly they demanded payment, not knowing who we were. I held my tongue and instead decided to see how the party handled the situation. A downside to a democratic party system is the time it takes to make a decision. I suppose the old man Sorcerer, Xandark, decided he didn’t want to waste any more of his waning time on this world and attempted to cast a Sleep spell over the brigands. I am not exactly sure what happened but the Orcs were quick to react and the spell seemed to fizzle, we had a fight on our hands!

With blinding speed Longo sprinted forward and netted the leader of the brigands, it was a site to behold! I knew I would enjoy this day. The sturdy Dwarf in heavy armor, Norik, and myself advanced together toward the ensnared Orc leader, but their fodder blocked our path. Before we could reach him, he held up his longsword and it unleashed a fearsome roar of a Lion, something I haven’t heard in ages! The roar panicked the animals (yet again) and our Half-elven Swordman Wojtek struggled to regain control of his mount.

While we held our line and wore down the Orc fodder, I heard yet another call of a big cat, this time a black Panther. It was the cunning little Kaden, he must have transformed himself into a Panther. He leaped on the Orc fodder holding the flank and threw him to the ground and nearly ripped out his throat, I couldn’t help but smile at his deserving fate. Seeing the look on the Orc’s faces they knew they were routed and lost hope. We made short work of them and I decided to knock out the leader for questioning.

As we dusted off ourselves and searched the dead Brigands, we noticed they had Zhentarium tattoos, why am I not surprised. We checked each other for injuries, I noticed the old man Xandark had a bolt sticking out of his back. There must be more of this brigands out there that we did not see, cowards…hopefully they learned their lesson today.

We continued onward…

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Can I buy a dragon please?
Entry seven...

It’s been a while since my last entry, a lot has happened the remainder of the trip into the vast swamp land. Where do I even begin? Well, I suppose I’ll start where I left off after the last entry.

So we defeated the patrol of lizard men, we take a good long rest, Longo the monk scouts up ahead for us while we patch up and such. Apparently he found a tribal village but in the process I guess he almost got caught but luckily for us one of the few good lizardmen, a shaman apparently saved us from being raped by more lizard men.

So, the Shaman lizard man leads us back to his hiding place to elude the other lizard people. He explains a lot to us, the Ancient One, more about this Kaus… evil bastard. Apparently cause has brainwashed the lizards. But we suspect that the symbol that we’ve found before is the mark that the mind-controlled ones wear. But believe, it wasn’t easy attempting to separate the from it.

Well, after talking with the Shaman, we head off to make our own camp, rest up a little more before heading on our way toward a place that the Shaman’s prophesied us to. Before entering we hear a strange, unsettling roar. Longo and Nibbles attempt to sneak in, to see what’s going on. They return back to the group at the entrance to inform us of some lizard men camping out just inside. We do our best to surprise them and remove their trinkets so that they aren’t mind controlled anymore. But that’s kind of difficult when you’re fighting for your life against giant snakes and menacing looking lizard men.

We do what we can where and when we can. Not to rationalize it that way, but we’ll try harder next time. Anyways, the group takes a short rest while I deconstruct some arcane trap blocking our path deeper into the dungeon.

It doesn’t take long to disperse the arcane orbs from blocking the hallway and thus we move forward and onto a cavern-like area with a dark water hole and a creepy voice over head telling us that we won’t get any further. It was Kaus, taunting us. We start to move forward, but the group is being extremely cautious, afraid to attempt to pass by the water. I attempt to urge the group ahead by dashing forth, only to get snared by some wretched magical overgrowth. I’m stuck, I can’t get free. The group still being overly cautious about making their way across, then I’m attacked by crocodiles. At least that gets them moving now, my life at risk. They act older than I look sometimes, I swear.

Well, luckily, yet another challenge for us to overcome. I almost get eaten by a crocodile, but the dwarf Norrik jumps in to clobber the thing over the head with his axe. At least somebody’s not afraid to get in there and mix it up a little besides me!

Anyways, we take a short rest, Longo dissppears and Wojtek runs off like he’s a one man army or something, who knows what he was thinking, or wasn’t thinking. We follow shortly after, finding a carved out area in the mountainous structure. Within is several rooms, storage rooms and bedrooms. We find a dead elf, then we search the rooms for a moment before continuing through to what seems to be the end of this place.

At last, we catch up to Kaus. He’s doing some kind of evil ritual to give himself magical ambience and strength. We confront Kaus, the ugly metal-faced slug. It’s not easy, but with the help of a majestic elk formed by the druid, and myself left standing, we manage to thwart the evil Kaus and save the day as per usual. Risking life and limb and for what? Very little gratitude.

Well, not the point. The point is, we defeat Kaus this time but he manages to escape our grasp yet again. One of these days, I’m going to put a spell on that bastard that he can’t get away from. But we free the lizardmen from Kaus’s control, we find a spherical orb, an orb that belongs to an ancient black dragon actually… how do I know? Well, we get confronted by the dragon on our way out of this place. I try to barter with the dragon, the only thing he cares to share with us is well, the fact that apparently there is an evil cult trying to snatch up all these dragon orbs, putting these lands in peril and well… I guess it’s our destiny to stop them. This ragtag bunch, I suppose they’re good group to travel with, although I kind of wish they’d grow a little more courage. All this stealthy stuff doesn’t suit me well… but that’s a debate for another day. We’re going to be stuck together for what could be a while it seems, so I’ll try to make the most of it. At least we’ve stopped Kaus, helped the people of Seaside, and the lizardfolk get back to their normal lives again… I hope.

Well, I guess from here we’ll head back to town and take a much needed break from adventuring for just a while until we can discover new leads on this situation.

Oh yeah…. where the did that monk run off too? I suppose we should go look for him. Ugh. Here we go again…

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