It is late in the night and somewhat overcast, making it hard to make anything out in the darkness. A young man steps outside, leaving the warm glow of a fireplace behind him as he closes the door quietly. He waits a moment for his eyes to adjust to the darkness, then goes forth down the road. He crosses a stone bridge with the sound of bubbling water beneath him as he strolls to the other side, past a few houses. He then reaches a gate where he sees a guardsman sitting in the tower. The young priest waves to the guard as he heads into the woods for his nightly walk.
Since it was particularly dark this night, the priest stuck to the larger trails as he walked along in quiet meditation with the forest. After a few minutes, he heard the sound of objects being thrown about. The priest suspected it was nothing more than rodents looking for food in the town’s refuse pile. He approached, quietly peering into the small clearing. He then saw a small creature rummaging through the junk, seemingly looking for food. It was quietly singing to itself in some unknown tongue. The priest peered closer and finally could see the creature. It was a goblin! He gasped and the goblin turned to face him. The two stared at each other for a moment, both in fear and apprehension. Then the priest took a deep breath and put up a hand in peace. The goblin then did the same, saying a few words in a sing-song voice that the priest did not understand. As the priest looked at the small goblin, it seemed cold and emaciated. And there was something about the young goblin that suggested gentleness. “Are you hungry, little one?” the priest asked, pulling forth a small cut of bread from his pocket. The creature said something exciting and scrambled over quickly. The priest handed the bread over and the goblin sniffed it carefully before devouring it. The goblin then put up its hand, eager for more bread. “I’m sorry, that is all I have. If you want more, you can come with me to the chapel.” The goblin said something in response. “And we’ll have to teach each other how to communicate.” The priest reached over to pick up the little goblin, but the goblin stepped back. “We’ll have to sneak you into town where I have some hot stew at the chapel.” The priest made some eating gestures. The goblin then got very excited and leaped into the priest’s arms and scrambled into his back. The priest threw his cloak over the goblin and the two made their way back towards town, the goblin hiding under the priest’s cloak.
A storm clashed against the sky and rain was pouring down like a furious assault. A wooden shutter banged against the side of the house and a muscular dwarf with a long beard reached over and pulled it in and latched it closed. He went over to the fireplace and threw on another log. He then poured some water into a teapot and hung it over the growing fire. The dwarf then grabbed a couple buckets to place under the few dripping spots under his thatched roof. He kicked aside some wooden debris from his latest outburst of anger, knowing he’d have to clean up the mess eventually. He then sat down comfortably in a wide cushioned armchair.
A loud banging then began on his front door. He thought too that a faint voice could be heard yelling on the other side, but was drowned out by the storm. He got up cautiously, he almost never had visitors, especially at night. He grabbed an axe off the wall and approached the door. He unlocked the large wooden door and opened it a crack. “Who be there?” he asked aggressively. He could only make out a shadowed figure, no taller than he was, holding something small cradled in its arms beneath the cloak. Rain was running off the back of their leather cloak in sheets. Then a flash of lightning made the visitor visible. It was the dwarf’s sister, someone he hadn’t seen in many years. She was holding something close to her in the clutch of her arm, tucked under her cloak. “Fissarra, what are ye doing here?!” He opened the door and rushed her inside, out of the stormy weather. He pulled the wet leather cloak off of his sister and hung it by the door. The rain was still dripping from it into a small puddle. When he turned back to his sister, he saw what she was carrying. His eyes went wide. “Is that…?” he muttered. “Aye,” she confirmed. She held out a small dwarven child. “Yer nephew, Kofaer.” “What are ye two doing here? Where is that bastard Ukdrim?” “The worst has happened, me brother. Ukdrim is dead.” The dwarf nodded as if this was not a great surprise, “Then ye can stay here with me, me sister. For as long as ye like. But don’t say I didn’t warn ye. Ye knew that getting’ involved with Ukdrim would only result in tragedy.” “Aye, but I loved ‘em, didn’t I. But now tis only Kofaer I need to look out fer.” “Aye, and I can help ye with that, me sister. But ye shall never be tellin’ that boy about his dad. Tis for the best.” “Aye, agreed, me brother.”
The line of wagons came to a halt and a whistle was blown twice in quick succession. For the laborers of the merchant caravan, this meant time to unload. They had just reached the docks of Elmo and the bustling merchant city was filled with people coming and going. The many laborers leapt out of their various wagons, where they had been uneasily resting atop boxes and other small corners of the overfilled wagons. A teenaged halfling leapt down with the other humans and set to work grabbing items from the wagon and placing them in the nearby warehouse. After many minutes of work, the team of young laborers came to a large crate. “Step back Naroo,” a dark-skinned young man said to the halfling. “You are too small for this one.” The young halfling looked at the crate and his co-workers, he did not think they were strong enough to carry it either. “Wait, Shaja. Let us grab some of the warehouse men to help.” Shaja only laughed at the halfling before convincing the other young men to attempt to carry the crate. They were able to pull the crate to the edge of the wagon. They then pulled it off, their backs straining to carry its immense bulk. The crate nearly fell from their grasp. The young Shaja climbed under the crate with bravado, straining himself to keep it upright. The crate then collapsed upon him and rolled to the side. Shaja screamed in pain before collapsing on the ground. The crate had crushed his leg, a splinter of his bones was sticking out into the air, blood gathering around the wound. The young halfling ran to Shaja’s side and comforted him as the others ran to get help. He looked at the broken bone and knew this would be the end for Shaja, the wound would likely get infected and kill the young man. Naroo could not accept this outcome, he instinctively pressed his hand to the wound, to keep the blood from escaping. As he sat there, looking at the now unconscious Shaja, he desperately prayed that his friend would be okay. Praying loudly to any deity that would listen. When Naroo opened his eyes, he saw that the wound had ceased bleeding. He pulled his hand back for a moment, and saw that the bone was no longer broken. Only a minor bruise could be seen on Shaja’s skin. The halfling stared in amazement at the miracle he witnessed.
“The gods have heard your plea,” a voice said behind him. Naroo jumped, startled, and turned to look at Londora Summter, an older human woman, a known priestess of Solarus who had been traveling with the caravan. “Do not be surprised, young halfling. The gods do listen to those that can really speak to them.” Naroo stared at the priestess dumbfounded. Seemingly trying to still wrap his head around the miracle. “It seems they have chosen you to work their gifts.” “Why me?” the halfling asked. “Why anyone? I cannot tell you why you have been chosen. But if you are interested in learning how to speak with the gods, that I can teach you.”
The hot sun burned down upon the city, the smell of dead fish and filth filling the air with a pungent aroma. A few scrawny teenagers sat high upon the ramshackle towers of scrapwood and debris that composed the many sprawling homes along the Old Docks district. The youths were looking down at the many people scurrying about the wide stone bridge that connected the old city with the more bustling markets on the other side. They were looking for marks, easy targets for pickpocketing. “Over there,” one of the youths said, pointing to a tall arathian woman who was reaching into a bulging sack of coins. She seemed to be haggling with another man over the price of something. The youths greedily watched a solid gold coin drop into the man’s hand. The arathian pulled her coinbag’s drawstring closed and drew her cloak about herself again, leaving the man behind.
“It’s Qhude’s turn,” one of the youths said, turning to the dark-skinned boy next to him. “If you don’t make some coin soon, Lahard will have your neck.” The boy named Qhude snorted and climbed down to the street, ignoring the taunts of the other youths. He came down into an alleyway and stayed to the shadows as he waited for the mysterious woman to walk past him. When she did, he silently stepped into the crowd and began to follow the woman into the large marketplace. There were so many people about that it was common for people to have to push their way through the crowd.
The youth came closer and closer towards the woman, careful to remain out of sight. He eventually was behind her, pretending to be looking at the rows of daggers displayed nearby. He then noticed she was engaged in conversation with another merchant, her bustling sack of coins hanging outside her cloak. The woman was arguing with the merchant, so Qhude made his move. He stepped next to the woman with his back to her, carefully reaching out and pulling the draw string loose. He then pulled back the opening with infinite patience. He turned as if he had finished his fascination with the daggers, and stretched back his hand into the coin purse, the cold feel of metal on his fingertips. The youth immediately felt a sharp grip wrap around his wrist and yank him into the air. He found himself staring into the dark menacing eyes of the arathian woman. “By law, I could cut off your hand, thief,” she said darkly. “Wow! How did you do that?!” the young man exclaimed. He had never seen such quick reflexes and keen awareness. He was mesmerized by her talents. “Discipline. Years of hard work and discipline.” “Where are your parents, boy?” she asked, still holding him by his wrist. “Dead” Qhude said shrugging. “Then you shall work for me now, or I shall cut off your arm.” The youth nodded. “Can you teach me how you move so fast?” “No, I shall teach discipline.”
Stress was high and Jonark Uptal was pacing back and forth in his sitting room. Laborious screams echoed throughout the house as if a young woman was in immense pain. Jonark continued to pace about fidgeting with various knick-knacks in the room to distract himself. The screaming then slowly died down and a strange quiet overtook the house. He then heard a small knock on the wall. “Sir Uptal,” a small woman solemnly spoke at the doorway. “You better come in here.” Jonark nervously stepped down the hall into the nearby bedroom. He stepped into the room to see his daughter laying upon the bed. There were many bloody rags upon the floor and the old priest standing next to her looked sad and solemn, shaking his head. “Delia?!” Jonark exclaimed, running to his daughter’s bedside. “I’m afraid she did not survive the childbirth,” the midwife said to the distraught man. “What of the child?! What of my grandchild?!” “That is something we should discuss, sir,” the priest said, somewhat apprehensively. He took Jonark with him out to the hallway. “Do you know who the father of this child is?” Jonark seemed a bit uncomfortable. “No, my daughter only came back to me yesterday. I do not know whom the father is.” “Was your daughter harmed, or traumatized at all this past year?” “I don’t know what she was up to. What are you getting at? Is the child alive or not?!” “Well, that may be up to you, sir.” The old priest said, shrugging slightly. Jonark was quite confused, and somewhat angry. Was the priest implying he would want the child dead? He pushed the old man aside and rushed back into the bedroom. He pulled the midwife away from the makeshift crib and looked down at his grandson. The tiny baby had a slight greenish tint and a hunched, pig-like nose. The baby clearly had some orc ancestry. Jonark was dumbfounded. “Do not feel pressured to keep the child, sir. The gods do not punish those who end the life of a beast.” Jonark went mad and furious, he immediately turned on the old priest and threw the old man into the wall. “That is my grandson, you foul preacher! You will treat him with all the dignity and respect as any who hold the Uptal name. Is that clear?!” Jonark then went to the crib and picked up the young child. The baby remained asleep and content in his grandfather’s arms. “Don’t worry my little green cherub, you won’t have to run with the beasts.”
A young elf clutched at the envelope in his hands, pushing his way through the crowd of students trying to reach their classrooms. The elf was excited. The letter in his hand was to determine his future, whether or not he was accepted to formally study magic at the academy. He entered the library and found a seat at the study tables. He cautiously opened the envelope and peered at the letter. His eyes scanned down past the pleasantries, straight to the end of the letter.
While the archmagi agree that Zelmar is most talented and intelligent, he has shown little effort in his studies. His constant absences and parlor tricks suggest the young sulmar is not disciplined enough for our grand institution. We regret to inform you that Zelmar will not be accepted at this time.
For a moment, the young Zelmar was heartbroken. He knew his parents would be quite disappointed. They had been pushing him towards this goal for so long. But in many ways, the youth was glad that he was freed from his parents’ expectations, perhaps now he could be free to make his own choices. He had wanted to study magic, this was true, but he found the academy so restrictive and confining. “Disappointing news?” said a voice behind the elf. Zelmar turned around and found a middle-aged human man standing there, stroking his short beard. Zelmar recognized him as Holgast, a visiting scholar who had been studying magic with the elves for a few years, he had given a few guest lectures in Zelmar’s classes. “Perhaps, though in some ways it is good news.” “Ha, that’s the spirit.” Zelmar was surprised by the wizard’s reaction. “Don’t you worry, young Zelmar. The academy is no place for a wild soul like yours. You are a curious one, you crave the open road do you not?” The elf nodded, curious at how the man knew of this. “I was like you in my youth. Ha! Perhaps I still am. I’m returning to my travels in a few weeks and I’m in need of a young back to help my aging body out on the road. Perhaps you’d be willing to work as my apprentice?” Zelmar was shocked. “Why me?” “Because you have a strong back,” the wizard laughed, padding the elf’s backside with his staff. “And I’ve been keeping an eye on you, young Zelmar. Your restless spirit is exactly what I could use on my travels. I’d be happy to teach you some of the magic I know along the way. It’d be a chance to get out of this stuffy world of nobles and dusty tomes, go experience the wider world.” The elf smiled eagerly. This would really disappoint his parents. “Sign me up!”
Act 1: New Heroes
SESSION 1: A New Beginning [Sep 4, 2018]
On the wild, northern border of the Kingdom of Korenell, sits a small logging town called Kassen. According to town custom, every autumn the town sends a few folk to light a silver lantern from the ever-burning flame at the crypt of their town’s founder and return to a final harvest celebration before the coming of winter. This year is a special year, as a group of six young folk, who are finishing their apprenticeships will gather together in a quest to retrieve the everflame. It is midday in the town and the young adventurers gather in the town square.
The first to arrive is a goblin named Bez, a musical bard. A flash-back of his past reveals that he was found by the local priest in the town’s garbage pile and was sneaked into town to be raised by the priest. The next to arrive is a muscular dwarf named Kofaer, a furious barbarian, possessed by a raging spirit. A flash-back reveals that his mother brought him to Kassen as a baby after his father was mysteriously killed. The next to arrive is a small halfling named Naroo, a cleric bearing the holy symbol of Solarus upon his shield. A flash-back reveals how Naroo traveled with merchant caravans and discovered his magic and connection to the gods and how he found his mentor. The next to arrive is a tall, dark-skinned human named Qhude, learned in various foreign combat styles. A flash-back reveals how a young Qhude used to live on the streets and pick-pocketed the wrong person. He had to choose between losing an arm or serving the woman, who would become his mentor. The next to arrive is an able-bodied half-orc named Skarvist, a man of many roguish talents. A flash-back reveals how Skarvist’s mother died in childbirth and his grandfather fought and cared for the unexpected baby. The last to arrive was a scholarly elf named Zelmar, learned in the ways of arcane magic. A flash-back reveals how the wizard came to become the apprentice to a human wizard after failing to pass into the academy’s magic school.
The six would-be adventurers gather in the town square as the midday bell tolls. Then the townsfolk all appear, dressed in black. A quick ceremony is performed and Kofaer takes the silver lantern to be lit in the crypt of the everflame. The adventurers put together the map from the six pieces and head out south of town into the wild unknown.
After a few hours of travel, the heroes are waylaid by a band of orcs on the trail. The orcs seem particularly viscous and angry. The surprised youths jumps into action and quickly take out the orcs with little effort, only taking a few wounds. However, Kofaer insists that the orcs are an illusion. It takes some convincing, but eventually the others see the illusion as well. Their wounds disappear along with the bodies of the orcs. The heroes notice the scent of pipeweed and some ash from an emptied pipe. Zelmar is certain that it is from Holgast, the town’s wizard and his mentor. He was known to be particularly good with illusion magic.
The adventurers continue onward travelling for the rest of the day down the forest trail. They find a spot to rest for the night as the sunlight grows thin. They chat around the fire for awhile, sharing the bottle of brandy, before going to bed for the night. Qhude take the first watch, but hears nothing but the sound of wolves in the distance. Kofaer takes the second watch, having recovered from drinking too much. He hears the sound of something near the camp, but doesn’t find anything. But later that night Kofaer is startled by a pack of wolves charging into the campsite. He jumps into action screaming in a rage. The wolves pull the dwarf to the ground and begin to tear into him. The others scramble out of their tents all trying to figure out what to do with the wolves. The battle is fierce and Kofaer, Skarvist, and Zelmar are each nearly killed by the deadly bites. In the end, the wolves are put to rest and Naroo is able to heal everyone. The adventurers then return to their rest.
The next morning, the adventurers are a bit more cautious as they head down the forest trail. Many hours pass and by midday they reach the small Gray Lake. Kofaer discovers a body in the lake. The adventurers identify it as belonging to a former villager of Kassen, named Holk Volendare. He had left town about a year ago to seek work in Namport. He had even completed the everflame quest nearly four years ago. The adventurers take a few of his useful possessions, then perform a quick funeral pyre on the rocky beach. Naroo says a few words of Solarus to guide the man’s soul to the heavens.
The adventurers then head back on the trail, the sky growing dim as they reach the top of Serpent’s Gorge. Rain begins to pour down upon them as they reach the top of the muddy hill. Kofaer ties a rope and leads the way down. Kofaer, Naroo, and Bez take some injuries as they head downward, but eventually they all make it to the muddy bottom and head towards the small valley where the entrance to the crypt resides. When they reach the entrance they find a horrible scene. The crypt’s door is ajar and a trio of ponies lie dead, still tied to the hitching post. The rain slowly dies down further revealing the gruesome scene.
SESSION 2: The Crypt of the Everflame [Sep 11, 2018]
The young adventurers cautiously approach the ugly scene of slaughtered horses and ponies. They examine the dead animals and find nothing but a saddlebag with a few odd implements: large pillows and some blunted arrows. Naroo then notices that the foot prints in the blood leading into the crypt are shaped like human skeletal feet. The adventurers prepare their weapons and approach the door cautiously. They open the door to find a room littered with skeletal bones and two recently slain corpses in the center of the room. The skeletons immediately rise and strike at them with an infernal glow in their eye sockets. The adventurers make quick work of the undead skeletons, with Qhude demonstrating his amazing fighting prowess to his new friends.
The adventurers then hear a faint wailing in a far off room and enter the next door. They find a maze of pillars blocking the way to the next chamber. Qhude and Bez fall into hidden pit traps, but thankfully their fall is lessened by stacks of pillows on the bottom. They climb out of the holes and explore the room. Skarvist finds most of the traps and opens them to make them easily visible to his friends. He also finds a small sack with a few coins and a small note telling them to work together. Skarvist recognizes the handwriting as his grandfather’s. The adventurers locate three levers in the room and they pull them at the same time, unlocking the door to the next chamber. They rush through the door, which closes and locks after they enter.
The wailing is now much louder and the adventurers head to a locked door where a man can be heard wailing on the other side. Skarivist and Qhude pick the lock and Kofaer begins pushing it open. They find a maddened man from Kassen on the other side with a loaded crossbow. Bez is able to talk him down and let them into the chamber. He is Roldare, a cobbler from Kassen and part-time laborer. He explains how he and five others from town came to the crypt three days ago to prepare the place for the coming adventurers. They wanted to make the place less dangerous. However, two nights ago they were attacked by skeletons in the night. The others were killed, but Roldare managed to run to the small storage room and barricade himself inside. He says that an ancient skeleton dressed in mail took his sister, Dimira. He knows she is still alive, though he doesn’t know why the “one who speaks” took her. He tells them they must go below into the crypt to find her and that they will need the “shields and the keys” and that they’ll need to swim in one of the rooms, however, he is too frantic and cannot seem to recall much else about the place.
The young adventurers head into the next chamber, leaving Roldare safe in the storage room. They come across another corpse being eaten by some giant centipedes. The adventurers make short work of the monsters, but Qhude is near-fatally infected with their toxic venom. Naroo manages to save the man’s life, but he is quite injured from the poison. So the adventurers return to the storage chamber and try to get some sleep after their long day of traveling. The next morning, Naroo heals their injuries and Qhude seems to have recovered. They head southward and Qhude and Skarvist sneak into a nearby room. They find a burning pyre with two burned corpses in the center, giving off a volatile, oily smoke. Then Skarvist is attacked by a shadowy undead apparition. The others rush in to fight the strange shadowy monster. Skarvist has his strength drained by the spirit and flees, Bez, Zelmar, and Kofaer joining him after they find that it is impervious to their attacks. However, Qhude and Naroo refuse to give up and continue to strike at the apparition. Bez moves in and finds a dagger glowing in the flame, he pulls it out and tosses it to Qhude. Qhude jumps in with the dagger and finds that it can actually strike at this creature. Naroo is nearly felled by the deadly creature’s touch, which then pulls the halfling’s shadow from his body, it too animating and attacking the adventurers. Kofaer rejoins the battle and finds the spirit inside him grants him the ability to strike at this floating apparition. He and Qhude manage to fell the shadows.
After the battle ends, and Bez and Skarvist get Naroo back on his feet, they find that Naroo’s shadow is still absent and his strength greatly drained. The dagger Qhude carries, however, seems to have lost whatever magic it had briefly possessed. The adventurers then find a key hidden in the flames. They now try to figure out what to do next.
SESSION 3: Traps, Puzzles, and Golems [Sep 18, 2018]
The young adventurers catch their breath after the deadly fight with the undead shadow. They grow curious as to what they should do with the key they just found in the fire pit. Eventually, they continue onward, up a stairwell and down another into a larger chamber. A giant wooden statue of Kassen stand tall in the southern portion of the room, it holds two enormous shields. On one shield is the word “family”, on the other “home”. Skarvist moves in to examine the statue, but triggers a trap the turns the stairwell into a slide. This sends Qhude and Kofaer down towards the rogue. Qhude manages to leap over Skarvist, but Kofaer falls to his feet at the bottom. Then the great statue animates as a menacing wooden golem. The young adventurers leap into action sending spells and strikes against the large construct. They eventually cut and break it until it falls to the ground, finding that it had released its shields. Naroo is able to patch up the wounded and they continue on.
They find a locked door to the south that they cannot pick, though Skarvist manages to break his lockpicks in the attempt. They then head northward into a narrow corridor with many statues of Kassen holding swords before them. Skarvist triggers another trap which caused both him and Qhude to almost get cut down by the swords as they fall. This unfortunately leaves the massive blades blocking the path. The others carefully climb over them, but many of them take a few cuts. They then reach a room with a large pond that is quite deep, a disembodied voice speaks, “Magic is the Key”. Zelmar volunteers to check it out, swimming to the bottom. He finds that it is filled with numerous small keys. He swims back to the top. He then tells his comrades that he must prepare a spell to proceed. So they all relax for about an hour while Zelmar studies his spellbook. They find a small mural room nearby and reflect on the old battles of the founding of Kassen.
Once Zelmar finishes his studies, he swims back down into the pond and uses his spell to find a source of magic. After many moments of scrambling through the keys, he finds the one that is magical and returns to the surface. Thee heroes then take the long way around to the locked door near the fallen wooden golem and discover a small room. Inside is a number of magical and alchemical trinkets left by the townsfolk to aid them in the mock-adventure that was set for them. The young adventurers then check a door past the mural room that seems to lead into a cylindrical chamber with a pillar in the center. When Skarvist enters the room, the pillar activates and begins to spin wildly, firing blunted arrows everywhere. Skarvist rushes to the pillar to try and disable the trap as Qhude moves in for support. But then the door closes behind them, leaving them in complete darkness. As they scramble about in the dark, the blunt arrows continue to give them painful bruises and welts. Bez and Kofaer enter to help, but find the southern door is locked. Zelmar holds the door open to provide light from Naroo’s morningstar, but Skarvist flees the room and the others follow. The young adventurers regroup and grab the giant shields from the wooden golem. They then head back to the storage room to rest and patch up their wounds. They spend the long day in the small room with Roldare, who is still frantic about finding Dimira.
The young adventurers then heal the last of their wounds and return to the chamber, they find the trap has expended itself and Skarvist unlocks the southern door. They then find a stairway heading deeper into the crypt, but guarded by some blood-dripping skeletons. They adventurers quickly destroy the skeletons and descend into the earth. They then find a small fountain that heals their wounds. Then in the next corridor they find a catacomb that soon comes to life with the undead, as crawling zombies climb out of hidden corners. The adventurers struggle against the zombies, who bite and tear at them, their pus-covered bodies bringing the smell of rotting flesh. Qhude is nearly killed and is likely infected with a zombie rot disease. He breaks free from a zombie’s grasp and flees towards the healing fountain. The others fight off the zombies as Naroo continues to blast forth great bursts of positive energy, healing his friends and blasting the zombies apart. Bez plays songs of encouragement as Zelmar blasts them with magic. Skarvist and Kofaer then use their deadly blows to defeat the abominations.
Qhude drinks from the fountain to heal his wounds, but doubts it will help with the disease. The others patch up and head towards the heavy portcullis blocking their way. As they peer into the next room, through the iron bars, however, swarms of bats, disturbed by their combat with the zombies, come rushing towards them in a flurried hurry…
SESSION 4: Kassen’s Crypt [Sep 25, 2018]
The young adventurers swipe and slash wildly at the swarms of bats. They are frequently bit and nibbled on, causing numerous bloody bite wounds. Eventually the adventurers are able to kill enough of the tiny monsters that the rest disperse and leave them alone. The adventurers then head to the small fountain room and rest and patch up their wounds as best they can. After many hours of tending to their bites, the adventurers head to the eastern route where the crypt seems partially flooded. They enter a side room which seems to be coated in some strange blue fungus. Kofaer and Zelmar examine the room, and are soon electrocuted by a powerful charge within the fungi. They quickly get out of the room and the others are able to follow, after waiting for the strange electrical current to run its course.
The young adventurers come into another larger chamber with a dried portion up on one end, bearing a huge wheel fit with chains. They suspect it opens the portcullis blocking their way in the other chamber. Kofaer steps towards the portcullis while Zelmar examines the black mold covering the walls. Suddenly, skeletons reach up to grab at the dwarf from deep watery pits. Many more skeletons then climb out of the water charging at the young adventurers. A fierce battle breaks out, with Qhude destroying many of the skeletons. Soon the rest are destroyed. Kofaer reaches over to the wheel and is able to pull the long chain and lock the wheel.
The young adventurers head back to the zombie crypts and through the, now raised, portcullis. They find a long pool of water that is surrounded by burned murals. When they look into the water, they see a horrible image of themselves. The view leaves a magical fear upon them. They continue on, trying to maintain their resolve. They pass through another crypt then into a large hall. Two grand statues guard a large brass door. As they head towards the door, the statues charge forward, throwing them back against the wall. Skarvist attempts to find the pressure-plate that triggers the trap, but repeated fails, sending him hurling into the wall repeatedly. Eventually, he finds it, but learns he cannot disable it. So he and Qhude leap over the dangerous plate and disable the statues themselves. The young adventurers then head to the large brass, double door.
The young adventurers cautiously open the door, seeing the large crypt of Kassen ahead of them. An unconscious girl, presumably Dimira, is near the open sarcophagus. As the heroes approach the downed girl, a skeleton in rusty chain approaches from the side. He snarls a warning to the friends of Kassen and charges with his many skeletal minions. The heroes brace themselves and return the attack. The battle is fierce and the skeletal champion, the reawakened Asar, strikes down Skarvist in a deadly blow. He then charges at Naroo, felling the halfling. Qhude manages to take out most of the minions, as Kofaer lands many powerful blows upon Asar. Zelmar throws a few spells while Bez is able to revive Naroo. Kofaer crushes Asar, breaking the skeleton’s jaw with his mighty axe. Then Bez sneaks behind the skeletal champion and pierces the monster with his rapier. Asar falls, the blue light fading from his hollow skull.
The heroes rescue Dimira as Kofaer closes Kassen’s sarcophagus. As Kofaer moves to light the everflame, the spirit of Kassen appears and thanks the heroes for their efforts. He hands a magical torch to Kofaer and lights the everflame lantern for them. He also grants each of them a piece of his ghostly scale armor as a token of their honesty and duty to their hometown. The heroes find a few trinkets dropped by the unfortunate looters who awakened Asar. They then head up to Roldare and they all drink from the healing fountain. Dimira awakens and they are all able to step out into the midday sun and march towards Kassen. After a day and a half of travel, they reach the town. Mayor Uptal greets them and is saddened to hear about what happened. He takes the young heroes to the Greathall where a grand feast as been prepared in their honor. However, the festivities turn glum and somber after news of the danger and deaths reaches the other townsfolk.
After a few hours of eating and drinking in subdued merriment, Captain Wisslo charges into the large chamber…”Someone’s been murdered!”
SESSION 5: A Murder in Kassen [Oct 3, 2018]
The young heroes are surprised by the Captain’s announcement of murder in Kassen. The room grows quiet. Captain Wisslo and Templar Sirin Dramor come to the heroes and ask them to help in the investigation of the murder. They believe young Grinbar Ogen was killed two days ago while the heroes were gone, so they are unlikely suspects. Sirin insists they help with the investigation, as he seems eager to find justice. The heroes immediately begin the detective work by heading to the house of Shalee Korn (Grinbar’s fiancé). However, the house is dark and they return to the Greathall.
In the hall, Qhude chats with his mentor Ilimara, who informs him that she heard Grinbar and Colbin (the owner of the Woodcutter’s Guild) arguing that day. Grinbar had thrown some bottles at him. Later that night she heard someone rustle outside her bushes towards the river. The heroes then head to the Temple of Baldur to the crypts where the body is interned. Naroo quickly ascertains that a small dagger stabbed him numerous times in the chest, likely an unskilled assailant.
Next, they begin, examining Grinbar’s meager home on the end of town. They find a messy place and clear signs of broken bottles. The bed is bloodied from the grisly murder. Skarvist finds a letter on the desk. It seems Grinbar was writing to his friend Holk about some money, but it fades into drunken ramblings. They then find another letter hidden in the desk drawers. It is from Holk to Grinbar. It seems Holk has accepted some suggestion from Grinbar and that he knew the right person to perform the job. Holk promises Grinbar he will bring the coin soon.
The heroes head to bed. The next morning Skarvist tells his grandfather, Mayor Uptal, about all that transpired on the quest and the death of Holk. The heroes then begin the next day by splitting up. Skarvist, Bez, and Zelmar talk with Helgra Korn while Naroo, Qhude, and Kofaer explore the river looking for clues. They find a small dagger bearing the initials S.K. hidden in the river rocks. The others learn about the disfunction between Helgra and Shalee. Helgra suspects that Grinbar was cheating on Shalee with some elf that night. Shalee, of course, was quite upset when she found out.
Next, they talk with Toben at Renet Steel, and learn that the dagger they found was a gift from Helgra to her late husband Shulg. The heroes then track down Shalee, who informs them that she did not kill Grinbar, despite what others say. They learn Helgra wanted a dowry from Grinbar to marry Shalee. They also learn that Grinbar and Shalee seemed to want to leave town together, but Helgra was making it difficult for them. They also suspect that something romantic may have happened between Colbin and Shalee.
They talk with Colbin next, learning that something did indeed happen between him and Shalee. He seems rather braggadocious about sleeping with her, but that it was a one-time thing. Next, they send Skarvist to sneak into Colbin’s house while the others do some fishing on the bridge. Skarvist finds some wine bottles of a potent vintage near the fireplace and a lady’s scarf in a wardrobe. Meanwhile, the others chat with Golfond Kir, a simple guardsman. He informs them he saw Shalee head to Grinbar’s house in her nightgown that night with a knife. Sirin Dramor also arranges for them to meet that evening at the Greathall to discuss what they found.
They then head to the elven Svendersleuth family and learn that their daughter, Kirra, did not have any affections for Grinbar, thus the elf Helgra saw must have come from out of town. They buy a bunch of apples and head to Holgast to test the dagger, but learn little. They then check Grinbar’s mouth and find traces of arsenic. The heroes then push into Helgra’s house to search around, under the cover of getting some dishes. They find Shalee’s nightshirt, still damp and with spots of blood. Captain Gregar Wisslo has to help intervene with the angry Helgra.
The heroes then confront Shalee and she admits she stabbed Grinbar, but after he was already dead. She then tried to wash her nightgown and returned home. Her mother threw her out and she slept at the temple that night. They send her to Father Prasst for the time being. They check Grinbar’s house for arsenic, but find no evidence. They head to the tavern and talk to Jimes, who reluctantly informs him that a gold elf paid him 30 silvers to use a private booth and to not say anything about her and Grinbar getting friendly. They also learn from Grimscar and Belford, who took Grinbar home that night, that they saw Shalee cleaning her nightgown and mistook her for a nymph in the distance.
The young heroes discuss what they know before they head over to the Greathall to meet with Sirin and Gregar.
SESSION 6: Off to Namport [Oct 9, 2018]
The young adventurers leave the tavern and meet up with Captain Gregar Wisslo and Templar Sirin Dramor. They explain what evidence they have found and insist that the unknown elven assassin is the key to the murder. However, Sirin asks for more evidence before he accepts this explanation of events. He offers the young adventurers some coin to head to Namport and look for this elven assassin and perhaps investigate what role Holk played in these events. The young adventurers agree to head to Namport in the morning. That evening, however, Skarvist, Qhude and Zelmar explore the Woodcutter’s Guild, trying to find clues related to Colbin’s involvement. They break into his office, but don’t find any corroborating evidence. Zelmar steals Colbin’s frosty mug and the others note that Colbin may be sifting extra coin off the top of the fees.
Guards then appear at the guildhall looking for burglars. Qhude leads the way out the back window, trying to remain unseen. Skarvist easily climbs down and takes off. Zelmar falls and nearly breaks his ankle, but escapes. Qhude is barely spotted by a guard as he takes off. Meanwhile, Bez, Naroo, and Kofaer examine Grinbar’s house again, but find no new information. They meet up with the others at the tavern where Jocyn plays some wonderful music. The guards from the guildhall show up and begin asking people questions, and seemingly inform Colbin of the break in. Colbin rushes to the guildhall but then leaves with a guard shortly after, he seems quite angry. Skarvist sneaks back into Colbin’s office, but runs into a guard that stayed behind. He convinces the guard that he is searching for evidence related to the murder, but the guard demands that he gets permission first. Skarvist then heads back to the tavern with the guard and talks to his grandfather, Mayor Uptal. The Mayor agrees they should have more evidence before they break into people’s property. Everyone then enjoys a fantastic show put on by Bez before heading to bed.
The next morning, the young adventurers head to the river and get on a rowboat with a trader named Kraven. They head downstream for many hours, enjoying the quiet humility of the river and the autumn forest. After about seven hours into the long trip, they are waylaid by enemies and must defend themselves. Bandits fire arrows down upon them. Kofaer leaps off the boat towards shore, but nearly drowns as his weight sinks him. Qhude swims over and pulls the dwarf on shore as Bez swims on with them. Meanwhile, Zelmar and Kraven get the boat to the shore and everyone piles out and attacks the bandits. The arrows are still coming and the young adventurers take many wounds. Zelmar is nearly killed by an arrow to the chest. Bez and Naroo concentrate on healing. The heroes then charge in and take out many of the bandits. Qhude, Kofaer, and Skarvist close in to melee. Kofaer chops many of the men in half with his mighty axe. Skarvist is pierced with a near fatal blow, but Naroo is able to revive him. After the bandits are felled, the young adventurers patch up their wounds and climb back into the boat for the rest of the river journey.
After five more hours, the heroes reach the docks of Namport. They find a dark town composed mostly of wooden buildings with a dangerous, frontier feel. The poorly cobbled streets are dark and mysterious as the heroes follow Kraven to the River Wyvern Inn. They each pay for a warm bed or room and try to get some sleep after their long expedition. The next morning they will continue their investigation.
SESSION 7: Mercenaries Run Afoul [Oct 16, 2018]
The young adventurers wake up in the early morning at the River Wyvern Inn of Namport. They have a quick breakfast before heading out to continue their investigation of Grinbar’s murder. Naroo and Bez decide to check out the dockside taverns for news about Holk, while Qhude and Zelmar head to the government building to inquire about finding where Holk might live. Skarvist and Kofaer decide to head to the seedy part of town to look about finding the elven assassin.
Bez and Naroo first head to the Defeated Lord’s Pub, a grimy tavern near the main docks. They learn little about Holk, other than he came in there sometimes to drink with the other dockworkers. Bez tries to liven the place with some music, but finds his skills are having an off day. They they head to another tavern called the Chubby Axe. It is a quiet place and the kindly barkeep tells them about Holk. They learn that he sometimes comes into the bar for some fried fish after a hard night of drinking. They learn that Holk works at Mortimer’s Dock. The two then have a second breakfast of amazing fried fish themselves before heading over to the dock. They talk with the dock foreman who finds a man named Vertix that knows Holk. Vertix says he will meet them after his work shift, in the evening, at the Defeated Lord’s Pub.
Meanwhile, Skarvist and Kofaer head into the alleyways of the shady district asking around about hiring an assassin. They meet a halfling who offers to set them up with an assassin who specializes in poisons if they pay his finders fee. Skarvist is forced to show the halfling that he has enough coin to pay. However, Kofaer sees through the halfling’s ruse and they scare the charlatan away. However, the sight of the half-orc’s coin purse brings interest from some nearby thugs. They draw swords and attack Skarvist and Kofaer. A quick battle quickly brings Skarvist trying to flee for his life, but he is stabbed and knocked out as Kofaer flees into the street. Seeing that Skarvist didn’t make it, Kofaer screams for help as he charges back into the alleyway in a maddened rage. He swings his mighty axe at one of the thugs, cleaving him in half. Skarvist gains his resolve and snatches his coin-purse back from the thugs as Kofaer scares the others away. Soon two guardsman come to investigate and the two freak out and try to run away into the alleyways, Skarvist still clutching his wound. Eventually the guards catch up to them and they are able to explain what happened and are taken to the guardhouse for questioning.
Back at the government building, Qhude and Zelmar learn that only land-owning citizens will appear in the town’s records, but if Holk had a criminal history, the guards at the guardhouse might have records on him. So the two head towards the guardhouse and are able to bribe a guard to let them look over the records. They, unfortunately, find no record of Holk in the haphazardly organized archive. As Zelmar and Qhude leave the guardhouse, they see Skarvist and Kofaer being brought in for questioning. They vouch for their friends and accompany them to the guardhouse. After an hour of questioning, and paying a disturbance fee, the four of them are free to go and grab some lunch nearby.
As Zelmar, Qhude, Skarvist, and Kofaer head back to the River Wyvern they run into Naroo and Bez. They share their information and head to the Chubby Axe until evening. Naroo is able to patch the wounds of Kofaer and Skarvist. That evening, the group finds Vertix in the Defeated Lord’s Pub and share some drinks with him. He then takes them to Holk’s apartment where they find a letter sent to Holk from Grinbar. It seems the two were scheming to pillage the treasures from Kassen’s crypt. They return to the tavern to look for the person Holk might have hired for the job. Naroo, Qhude, and Skarvist talk with some mercenaries in the corner of the bar, and after much coin spent, learn that a group of mercenaries named Riven’s Raiders had gone toward Kassen but no one came back. They had headquarters in a warehouse nearby.
The young adventurers then decide to head to the warehouse and break into the place to look for clues. They find some weapon-wielding mercenaries inside who are eager to fight. After a quick chat, they learn that Riven did not die and he admits to killing Holk for angering him about something. A fierce battle is fought and the young adventurers are barely successful in felling the mercenaries. Kofaer decapitates Riven with a mighty swing of his axe. They then capture the one surviving mercenary who explains that Riven just hired him and the others a couple days ago, Riven had no one else working for him at the time. They let the mercenary flee. Zelmar then finds something in Riven’s pockets…
SESSION 8: Assassins and Owlbears [Oct 23, 2018]
The young heroes stand over the beheaded body of Riven after letting the other mercenary run free. Zelmar reaches into Riven’s pocket and pulls out a small note. It reads: “It is done. I expect the rest of my payment. -S.” Zelmar reads it aloud and a voice answers at the doorway. A tall and lithe elf with long red hair wearing black leathers and wielding a shimmering rapier stands at the door. She demands Riven’s coins and the coins of the heroes as well for payment. The heroes refuse and she charges in at them. She moves very quickly and deadly into the room, but Naroo stands before her with his shield out. The others charge in and slash and cut, but she is quite hard to hit. She then flips over Naroo, grabs the coin purse from Riven’s belt, then heads to the back of the warehouse. When the heroes rush at her, trying to stop her, she leaps over their heads back towards the main door. She tells them that they have made an enemy of the Black Blades, before she disappears into the dark alleyways. Qhude chases her, but finds only shadows in the night. Qhude and Skarvist explain to the others that the Black Blades is a notorious assassin’s guild from Korratus The heroes search Riven’s other pockets and find a contract between Riven and Holk to excavate treasure from a predefined location. Now they have proof of Riven’s relationship with Holk and why Riven might have hired a Black Blade to deal with Grinbar.
The heroes rest at the River Wyvern that night and decide to take the road back to Kassen. The next morning they do some light shopping in the market. Qhude acquires a well-made bo-staff. The also restock on food supplies for the 5 day journey to Kassen. They head out and make their way along the roads. They pass many farms and villages outside the town and that night they find a traveler’s camp to rest. They meet two merchants, named Hinz and Balko, who warn of goblins on the northern trails. The heroes then spend the next couple of days making their way along the roads towards Kassen. One night, during Kofaer’s watch, a hungry owlbear strikes at the heroes. Kofaer is torn apart and disemboweled by the beast, but thankfully the others are able to fell it, with Skarvist making a felling blow to the creature’s heart as it fled. That night the heroes feast on owlbear meat while Naroo replaces Kofaer’s intestines with healing magic.
A couple more days pass, and the heroes come across Arnama Lastrid, a local ranger of Kassen, she warns them that she has found signs of goblins passing in the woods north of Kassen. She is currently scouting the southern woods to ensure that goblin raiders are not trying to flank the village. The heroes wish her luck and reach Kassen the next midday. They speak with Sirin Dramor who thanks them for solving the mystery of Grinbar’s murder and pays them for their help. He proclaims Shalee free from charges. The heroes then volunteer to scout to the north to look for goblin raiders to provide early warnings for the village. Sirin is surprised by their bold approach and greatly applauds their nobility. He arranges for them to meet with Captain Wisslo in the morning. Naroo heads to the Temple of Baldur and tells Shalee that she is cleared. She expresses much gratitude and informs him that she plans to leave down soon anyway, to head to Korenhold and make a new life for herself. That day the heroes head to their respective homes and talk with their mentors about their current course and their future goals. They equally express interest in keeping their fellowship together for the time being, although some are torn by their desire to see a personal quest fulfilled.
The next morning, the heroes gather in the great hall and talk with Captian Wisslo and Templar Dramor. The Captain is glad the heroes are willing to risk themselves for the aid of the village and offers them plenty of advice and equipment from the guardhouse. He says he will keep the guards on alert and prepare in case of an attack. He cautions them to avoid a direct fight and to gather what information they can about the goblins. The heroes then gather food and supplies from the guardhouse before setting out into the unknown northern woods.
SESSION 9: Goblins in the Woods [Nov 7, 2018]
The young heroes gather some supplies and healing elixirs before they set out into the wild woods north of Kassen. They travel the better part of the day, searching northward for any sign of goblin raiding parties that might threaten their hometown. They find nothing of interest throughout the day and find a place to rest for the night. In the middle of the night, Bez, Zelmar, and Naroo are haunted by a faint female voice that pleads for help. She asks them to head north and find a towering tree in the forest. By the end of the night, Naroo wakes the others and they search about the clearing for the source of the voice. He finds a tree-like female face embedded into the side of a tree. Qhude recognizes the fey creature as a dryad. She again pleads for help and asks them to hurry to the north to stop the small “green-skins” from chopping down her tree.
The heroes rush northward, with Skarvist and Qhude sneaking ahead of the others. They find a number of goblins chopping at a huge oak tree, just past a fast-moving stream. They rush in to stop the goblins before the goblins inadvertently fell the dryad connected to the tree. Qhude finds a cliff-side to prepare to throw a shuriken, while the others find ways down the cliff towards the goblins. Zelmar throws a powerful blast of air that knocks down two goblins, and send the lead goblin flying back to break his neck on a tree. As the goblins pour towards their enemies, the heroes manage to meet them and a swift combat results in the goblins all killed. The beautiful form of the dryad steps out of its home-tree and thanks the heroes. The heroes learn from the dryad that a large band of goblins passed through over a day ago, heading south. The heroes immediately worry about Kassen and that their hometown may be under siege.
The heroes rush back through the woods, heading south towards Kassen. Anxiety and fear push them onward, and they spend half the day rushing forward. By noon, they come close to the town and see smoke and fires in the distance. They push themselves for the final hour towards town, hustling back with all due haste. When they reach the north gate, they see into the town, finding rampant fires and destruction taking place. Green goblins litter the town’s streets and the towns-people and guards have taken up arms to defend themselves from the onslaught. The heroes rush in to the north gate and find two guards, Connel and Balken, beset by a band of goblins. The heroes rush in, despite being quite fatigued from their long journey. They manage to fell the goblins, with Kofaer beheading most of them with his mighty axe. Unfortunately, Connel and Balken are killed before the heroes can reach them.
The heroes rush across the town’s bridge and hear screaming as goblins charge into the nearby Seven Silvers Inn. Bez hesitates until he verifies that the stone church of Baldur is secure, hoping Father Prasst has not succumbed to injury. The heroes rush inside the Inn to find “Short Change” Jimes and Shalee Korn fighting off against a number of greedy goblins. The heroes rush in and fell the goblins quickly. They then head with Jimes and Shalee to the church. At the Church of Baldur, they find Father Prasst is caring for the few injured folk who have managed to escape combat. He begs the young heroes to find whomever they can and bring them to the safety of the stone church. The heroes head across the street to the greathall, where they find Mayor Uptal and Jocyn the Bard beset by a large group of goblins. The heroes prepare to charge in…
SESSION 10: The Invasion [Nov 13, 2018]
The young heroes charge into the greathall fighting the menacing goblins. They immediately take out the goblin leader and engage in a fierce melee with the remaining goblins. Naroo is badly injured and retreats to outside the greathall, where he finds another band of goblins heading their way. Kofaer and Qhude rush out to meet them while the others finish up the goblins inside. Mayor Uptal and Jocyn manage to find refuge in a nearby meeting room.
The young heroes rush out to face the new band of goblins, finding Braggar and Ilimara fleeing before the roving band. A couple of the goblins ride on enormous rats, called goblin-dogs. They race into the heroes striking at them with sharp blades. The battle grows intense and the young adventurers are barely able to hold them off. Braggar and Ilimara help in the battle, and eventually all the goblins and their ugly mounts are slain. During the combat, Zelmar notices Holgast’s characteristic pointy hat in the distance and encourages the others to head to the south gate to help his mentor. Braggar and Ilimara head to the church to help protect those inside.
The young heroes rush to the south gate where they find Holgast and Londora fighting off a large band of goblins. Many local guards lay dead around them, with an equally large pile of goblin corpses. The heroes rush in and allow Londora and Holgast to step back and catch their breath before heading to the church. However, things take a turn for the worse and the goblin sorcerer unleashes a deadly blast of flames upon the heroes. Many of the heroes fall dying and are only able to rise due to their uncanny heroic resolve. The heroes manage to get the upper hand and finish the goblins off. Londora uses the last of her healing magic upon the group. Londora and Holgast then head to the wizard’s tower where he says he can gather some supplies to help.
The heroes then notice that the church is besieged by another large group of goblins. They rush in to find the leader of the siege, a well-armored hobgoblin, sending a deadly wave of goblins against the church. The stone building is resisting the fires thrown upon it, but the goblins are attempting to break down the front door. The heroes rush in, finding many goblins mounted on goblin-dogs charging at them. The battle is fierce and deadly. Many are knocked out and nearly killed. The goblins manage to break the church’s front door and rush inside. The heroes, however, are too preoccupied with the other warriors. It seems the goblins have the upper hand as many of the heroes lie dying upon the cold earth. However, in a last ditch effort, Naroo summons his dwindling reservoir of magic and sends a wave of healing with his wand. The heroes bounce back to their feet and with surge of courage, are able to fell the final goblins.
When the heroes reach the church, finding the doors broken. They see Father Prasst, Braggar, and Ilimara have finished off the last of the goblin warriors. The town has been saved. The young adventurers are proclaimed heroes of the Battle of Kassen. A great feast is held in their honor and there is much celebration combined with the sorrow of those that have fallen. Kassen had avoided goblin attacks for many years, but they will never forget what has transpired today.
As the heroes rejoice in their heroics, they now must decide where the tides of fate will take them next… and who they will choose to become…
The End of Act 1
Act 2: The Arrival of the Templars
SESSION 11: Adventurer’s Reunion [Nov 21, 2018]
After a long year of separation and travels, the young heroes come back together in the town of Kassen. There is a memorial and heroic celebration of the Battle of Kassen and the young adventurers are being honored for their heroics during that fateful day. The heroes had been busy over the past year, each finding their own way in the wide world:
Bez: The young goblin bard set out for Sonvera, taking the ferry from Namport down to the colorful and progressive city. He finds a meager one-room apartment has been prepared for him near the Nightly Valor Inn where he plays four nights a week. He spends much of his time learning new songs from traveling musicians and writing his own tunes to the refreshing and exciting rhythms of Sonvera. He is exposed to all new forms of music that greatly expands his repertoire. Skarvist and Naroo join the goblin for some time, helping him get on his feet, but then depart for Rizzi. A couple months into Bez’s tenure, Zelmar pays a visit and helps the bard explore his strange magical connection to his music, applying logic and rigor to understanding the occult connection. Near the end of the year, Bez gets the feeling that the entertainment manager at the lively inn, a man named Lalord Joldenn, is short-changing his pay. However, is too busy to confront him about it before he sets off for Kassen for the memorial ceremony. Thankfully, Bez has finished the minimal tenure of his contract, and it is up to him if he wants to pursue a renewal or find work elsewhere.
Naroo: The young halfling sets out with Skarvist and Bez to Sonvera, spending some time helping Bez get set up and watching his shows. After a few weeks, he and Skarvist head to Rizzi, finding agreements with merchant caravans, exchanging promise of defense for a ride. When the two reach Rizzi, Naroo separates and heads out to the nomadic halfling encampment outside of town. He finds his parents and siblings there. Not much has changed in their worlds, his mother and sister still work hard trying to make ends meet, while his brother and father drink and gamble away most of the earnings. After some time with his family, helping them with odd jobs, he decides he cannot waste the talents Solarus has bestowed upon him. He heads to the local hospitals and healing houses in Rizzi, offering his services. He learns much about medicine and emergency first-aid from the healers and gains some appreciation for doing good work in Solarus’s name. He then tries to join up with mercenaries, guardsmen, and others in the line of battle. He offers his services as a battle medic to better apply his skills in the most dire circumstances. Eventually, he receives the invitation to the ceremony in Kassen, so he meets up with Skarvist and the two head back to Korenell.
Skarvist: The young half-orc set out with Naroo and Bez to Sonvera, eventually finding himself in Rizzi. He tried to make contact with the half-orc comunnities in the city, hoping to find some information about his mother or father. It turned out to be a dead end, but Skarvist never lost hope. He took up various bar-tending jobs to make ends meet. Eventually, he got into some minor thieving and smuggling jobs to add some excitement to his life. The other rogues on the jobs help sharpen the half-orc’s skills and Skarvist learns much in the ways of deception and subterfuge. Zelmar comes to join him, and the two spend some time working together on some various seedy jobs. Eventually, the elf heads back to Sonvera. Eventually, Skarvist, and Naroo head to Kassen for the ceremony.
Zelmar: The elven wizard spent a month staying in Kassen and working with Holgast on some new magical discoveries. Unfortunately, the wizard’s hubris causes a magical calamity and the elf attains a magical sickness that leaves him in bed for nearly a month. As Holgast tends to the elf, he teaches much to the young wizard. After a month of recovery, Zelmar is finally able to get back on his feet. He eventually sets off to Sonvera to spend some time with Bez, then weeks later heading to Rizzi to reconnect with Skarvist and Naroo. Zelmar spends a couple months sharing a small apartment with Skarvist, where he learns much from the rogue, honing his own skills in subterfuge. Eventually, Zelmar returns to Sonvera, spending more time with Bez and enjoying the fine foods of the city. After receiving his invitation to the ceremony, he joins up with Naroo, Bez, and Skarvist for the return trip to Kassen.
Qhude: The young selicean man set out trying to find his way in the world. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life. He set out for the southern cities, finding himself in the pirate port of Asiento. He met some other Seliceans that were former slaves, learning the teachings of the Selicean pantheon from an old shaman. He enjoyed the stories of Abalassi the Skyfather, the Selicean creator deity, and found a connection to this deity. Eventually, the young monk headed back on the roads, traveling much around the southern cities, taking various labor jobs to make ends meet. He also headed to Korenhold and reconnected with some of his old street-rats, learning most of them have died or been killed. His buddy Kwalen still works for Lahard and the Idle Hands thieves guild of the poor docks district. Qhude then received his letter and decided it would be a good time to reconnect with his friends in Kassen.
Kofaer: The young dwarf headed to Brong, joining up with mercenaries and travelers on the way. He learned much from the travelers, honing his wilderness and survival skills, but finding himself becoming more reserved and less social. When he reached Brong, he disguised himself when he came into the stronghold. He tried to find out what he could about his father. When he did find the truth, he found the information was as abhorrent and uncomfortable as his mother and uncle had said. The news was much to bear, so the dwarf distracted himself by joining up with mercenaries. He improved his fighting prowess and smithing skills while fighting goblins and other monsters on the western fringe of Korenell. He then is surprised to receive an invitation to the ceremony in Kassen. So, he heads out to Kassen, thinking this is also a good time to reconnect with his family.
On the road outside of Kassen, the six adventurers regroup and reconnect. They find that a small encampment of the High Templars of the Trinity Church has been established outside of town. Sirin Dramor greets the heroes at their return and introduces them to Knight-Lieutenant Stralbod Kain, the leader of the local contingent of Templars. They learn that the Templars want to establish a more permanent outpost in Kassen. The young adventurers then split off and head to their homes and see their friends and family. They learn that Shalee has become an acolyte under Father Prasst, after some bad experiences in Namport. Bez and Naroo learn that Father Prasst has cancer and is unlikely to live for another year. They also learn that the Templars have prosecuted Colbin for cheating the town on wood exports. He now has to pay back all he stole through fines and fees. Jonark Uptal says he is unlikely to pursue his mayoral-office in the next election and confesses an interest in Londora. Bez learns that Jocyn has left town, possibly to deal with something in his past.
The young adventurers convene in the tavern and catch up with others from Kassen. They learn that an old sawmill, about a day away up the river, had caught fire, killing a few lumberjacks and their children. They also learn that over the past few months, seven children from the outlying farms have gone missing mysteriously. Aranma the ranger had looked into it, but could not find out what happened. Some templars join the tavern and provide some very sobering hymns as entertainment. Zelmar and Qhude learn about some of the templar’s intentions. Skarvist overhears from some farmers that some children may have gone to the old sawmill to spend the night, to prove that it is or isn’t haunted. Jimes is quite glad to see them all again, as things have been rather boring in town since their departure.
After a night of fun, the adventurers head to the greathall for the grand memorial ceremony of the Battle of Kassen…
SESSION 12: Holy Artifacts and Missing Children [Nov 27, 2018]
The young adventurers head to the Greathall of Kassen and pile in with many of the town’s inhabitants. The place is packed full of people. They find a small table near the stage set for them, a placard reads, “Heroes of Kassen.” They take their seat and listen to a rousing speech by Mayor Uptal. Following the mayor, is a number of townspeople that share stores about the loved ones they lost. The mood of the room becomes rather somber but it helps connect people with the loss of the battle. But then Mayor Uptal calls forth the young adventurers to officially honor them and thank them for their service to the town last year. Skarvist, Bez and Naroo give small speeches. A grand feast is then served and the hall breaks out into a ruckus of conversation and clinking dinnerware.
During the feast, the young adventurers walk about and mingle with the townsfolk and the templars. Zelmar learns from the local children that five kids did talk about heading to the old sawmill to see if it was haunted. Skarvist learns many of the same rumors they heard in the tavern, about missing children and a supposedly haunted sawmill. He then meets Rizak Klemocc, a priest of the Order of St. Aedin. Rizak asks that Skarvist and his friends come by the encampment the next day for a proposition, Skarvist agrees. Qhude finally speaks with Ilimara, who actually seems eager to see him. She informs him that if he wishes to seek more advanced lessons in their shared martial philosophy, he can seek out her old mentor, an arathian man named Athothes. She last saw him in Natrun, when she fled from the Pharoah’s soldiers, however, she also heard rumors that he might be hiding somewhere in the Sanctus mountains above Korratus. Kofaer has a few drinks and is eager for a brawl, he finds Grimscar and the two agree to wrestle. The combat is quick and brutal, with Kofaer sending Grimscar to the ground. Kofaer then leaps on the half-orc and pounds him into unconsciousness. Braggar celebrates with his nephew. The party at the greathall then extends into an after-party at the tavern, where Bez plays many lively tunes. It last late into the night, with Skarvist and Kofaer staying until Trevlar kicks everyone out at sunrise.
The next day, the heroes gather at the tavern and discuss what they plan to do next. They decide to hear the templar’s proposed quest, but ultimately want to find out what has been happening to the missing children, including the five children that may have gone to the abandoned sawmill the previous day. The adventurers head to the templar’s encampment and meet with Rizak in a slightly opulent and comfortable tent. He informs them that he has been searching for an ancient religious artifact called the Star of Righteousness, an amulet said to be worn by St. Aedin himself. Over a century ago, the artifact was brought to a monastery founded by Borric Ghossem in the foothills north of Kassen, on the southern side of the Golbez Mountains. Borric wished to claim the northern border for Korenell, but also try to diplomatically work with the goblins and teach them the way of the Trinity. Twenty years after its founding, the monastery was found destroyed, all the priests killed, presumably by goblins. Rizak asks the adventurers to find the lost monastery and recover the Star of Righteousness. He asks them to keep this quest a secret from the villagers of Kassen, and the heroes promise to keep this secret. He offers them what gold he has for the artifact’s recovery and gives them two healing potions in good faith. He also says that finding the artifact will grant them quite a boon in the eyes of the Trinity church. The heroes agree to the quest, agreeing to use their very real search for the missing children as a legitimate and honest cover of their simultaneous search for the monastery.
The heroes gather some supplies for their journey, telling their friends and loved ones of their departure. They suspect it will take them six days to reach the possible site of the lost monastery. At high noon, they head out into the old forest trails towards the ruined sawmill. It takes them the entire day of travelling, but after the sun has set they reach the burned out ruins. They search in the dark, but they do no find much of interest. Thinking it will be better to search in the light of morning, they head to a nearby campsite and set camp. Zelmar finds signs of a recent fire and Kofaer finds recently gathered sticks, suspecting the five missing children must have been here somewhat recently. They then eat and set up their tents and head to bed. In the middle of the night, Bez hears a rustling sound during his watch. He wakes up Naroo and Kofaer to investigate it. The three find a scared and hungry teenage girl hiding in the brush. They are able to convince her they mean no harm. She introduces herself as Jeva and informs them that her friends were captured by some small reptile-people, who tied the children up and took them away. The heroes deduce that they were kobolds. They sleep the rest of the night and head out first thing in the morning.
Kofaer and Naroo are able to find tracks of these creatures in the woods and follows them for many hours. They trek through the forest on what appears to be an ancient trail. After many hours, Kofaer hears something in the distance, something large. Then a large two-headed ettin giant appears and spots Kofaer. It rushes at the heroes, who immediately stride into battle. The great giant seems far more than they can handle. Skarvist leaps in courageously, but is smacked hard by a swirling flail, which knocks him near death. The others try to tame the furious giant, but its angrily swings its mighty flails, causing many wounds. It charges at Zelmar and nearly kills him. Bez is then able to blind the giant with a flash of swirling colors, then Qhude and Kofaer swing desperately at it. Skarvist, who was healed by Naroo, is able to desperately plunge his rapier from the ground, piercing the giant’s flank. Then Kofaer lobs off one of its heads, dropping it to the ground. He cleaves off the other head for good measure.
The situations is a bit desperate and Naroo pulls out his numerous ointments, salves, and herbs. He bandages up their wounds over the next hour. The heroes then take a quick lunch break before continuing on northward along the ancient trail deeper into the Feyreach Forest.
SESSION 13: Ghosts, Bugbears, and Hawks [Dec 5, 2018]
The young adventurers head back out along the old hunting trails north of Kassen. They continue to find signs of kobold tracks along the trail, suggesting that they are on the right path to find the missing children and the kobold kidnappers. They follow the forest trail for many hours. They eventually come across a wider clearing, where the underbrush has been scorched and burned away some time ago. As they pass through the clearing, they catch sight of a dwarf wandering in the woods at the edge of the clearing. They quickly realize the dwarf is translucent and likely a ghost. It wails in pain and dispair. Naroo speaks out towards the ghost, hoping to lend some help to the tortured spirit. However, it becomes dark and maniacal, charging at them with a vengeful gaze.
The heroes jump into action and face off against the ghost. They quickly deduce that they cannot harm the apparition. However, Kofaer goes into a wild rage, with that characteristic blue light emanating from his eyes. The ghostly glow imbues his axe as well, and he is able to strike at the ghost, his blade hitting true. The others help distract the tortured spirit while Kofaer lands many attacks until the creature dissipates into the ether. Naroo tends to Skarvists strange wound caused by the ghost’s touch as the others search around. Zelmar finds a magical arrow embedded in a nearby tree.
The heroes then head out, following along the trail again, although it has become harder to find signs of the kobolds tracks. Eventually, the heroes find a campsite and rest for the night. The next day, the heroes travel most of the day before encountering anything. They eventually hear the sound of some goblinoids arguing up ahead. Skarvist, Qhude, and Zelmar sneak ahead of the others to see what is happening. Based on the conversation, they fear that some goblinoids are preparing to eat the kidnapped children. Skarvist and Qhude sneak over and see two bugbears arguing over eating the toes of some lumberjack. They draw the bugbear’s attention. A fight breaks out and the others charge in behind them. Skarvist heads into the woods to try and get the jump on them, however, he runs into a bugbear attempting to do the same. Bez heads deep in the woods, singing a courageous song. Zelmar steps in and blasts the bugbears with a powerful jet of wind. However, a bugbear then leaps upon the wizard and beats him senseless. Kofaer charges in, his axe glowing with the magic of Naroo. Kofaer and Qhude quickly dispatch the bugbears on the trail, saving Zelmar. Skarvist tricks his opponent and manages a deadly strike, felling his foe on his own. After the battle, Naroo tends to the wounded while the others search the lumberjack. Kofaer recognizes him as Dillon Falmad, a huntsman and loner from near Kassen.
The heroes continue onward, noticing the land begins to climb into the foothills of the Golbez Mountains. After a long day of hiking, they rest for the night. Naroo is glad that Jeva is having no trouble keeping up. Late that night, Zelmar hears the sound of a hawk slamming into the ground. He finds the creature and is able to calm it. When Zelmar awakens Naroo for his watch, the cleric is able to tend and heal the poor hawk’s broken wing. The hawk seems to take a favoring to the halfling and begins to follow him around. The next day, the kobold tracks are almost no where to be found. But the occasional stray kobold imprint along the old hunting trail suggests that the kobolds had used the same path. The heroes climb higher into the foothills, finding their path taking them up and down the bending undulations of the rippled ground. The hawk still sits upon Naroo’s shoulder, occasionally making chattering noises.
After a long, hard day of hiking, the heroes rest again, setting camp on a smooth hill top. Late in the night, Zelmar is attacked by a grizzly bear. The creature seems a bit gaunt and overly feral as it maws the wizard, ripping into his intestines. Naroo is able to patch Zelmar up while Qhude, Kofaer, and Skarvist attack the maddened creature. The bear then attacks Bez, who is still in his tent, tearing the tent apart in a frenzy. The others manage to scare the beast off and Skarvist let’s Bez share his tent for the night. Zelmar noticed that the hawk seemed to have entered Naroo’s tent during the battle, but did not come back out. Naroo looks for the bird inside, but it doesn’t appear to be anywhere. However, his newly acquired healing wand is missing. The halfling is a bit angry finding that he was deceived by this trickster hawk.
Morning arrives, and the heroes prepare to head back out on the trail, northward towards the mountains that now tower in the distance…
SESSION 14: The Lost Monastery of the Trinity [Dec 11, 2018]
The heroes head out along the trail in the morning. After a few hours, Zelmar notices a person sleeping against the side of the tree. Zelmar, Qhude, and Skarvist sneak ahead and check it out. They find a human corpse leaning against the tree, the person’s head bludgeoned hard, their skull fractured with blood and brains spilling out over a sack nearby. In the sack, they find two iron dwarven-made goblets with opal gems. Naroo checks out the body to determine how long it has been there, but instead finds another goblet nearby. The iron cup is covered in blood and dented. Naroo suspects it was the murder weapon. However, then the goblet animates and comes to life slamming hard into Naroo’s head. The others leap into action and quickly break the goblet before it can do more harm. Naroo patches himself up and the heroes continue on with their new treasures.
After a a few more hours and a hearty lunch, the heroes hear the sound of beautiful music floating through the forest. They think it may be a fey creature of some sort. Kofaer decides to investigate, and Qhude and Zelmar reluctantly follow. As they get closer to the song, deeper in the forest, it begins to captivate and entrance them. Both Kofaer and Qhude drop their weapons and wander towards the music with a blank expression on their faces. Zelmar worries about the source of the song and summons the tangling vines from the forest to grab and hold his two friends in place. Zelmar then screams for help from his far-off friends. Naroo, Bez, and Skarvist hear Zelmar’s voice and head towards the sound. Jeva stays back on the path. When Skarvist nears the music he too falls into a stupor. Thankfully, Naroo and Bez are able to tackle the half-orc and tie him up. Bez stays with Skarvist while Naroo looks for Zelmar. When Naroo finds the others, he helps tie up Qhude, freeing Zelmar from concentrating on his magic. Qhude then breaks free from the song and squirms out of the ropes. He then helps tie up Kofaer. Naroo and Qhude then pick up the burly dwarf as Zelmar leads them back to the others. Meanwhile, the lilting tune gets ever closer. Naroo gets a brief glimpse of a winged, demon-like woman in the canopy above.
Eventually, Kofaer and Skarvist break off the enchantment and everyone returns to the path and hastens away from the music. The lilting song follows them for nearly 30 minutes before fading away. The heroes then travel a couple more hours before finding a camp for the night. The night is uneventful, but the party grows worried about their diminishing rations. The next morning, they head out and climb up the trails ever deeper into the foothills of the mountains. A few hours in, the heroes come across the corpse of a dire wolf, but Skarvist gets a glimpse of a large dangerous creature and convinces the others to flee. Zelmar determines that the creature Skarvist saw was a manticore, a most dangerous foe.
The heroes then reach a high, upper plateau in the lower end of the mountains. In a great clearing of the surrounding forest stands a broken monastery. The heroes approach cautiously, but are waylaid by a trio of angry wolves. The heroes make short work of the canines. They decide to make a base camp before exploring the ruined monastery. Naroo finds a good camp a few hundred yards from the ruins and they work to cook the wolf meat they just collected. Jeva agrees to stay at the camp so that the heroes can explore the monastery without endangering her. Qhude gives her his sai for protection.
After a hearty meal of wolf meat, the heroes then head into the ruined monastery’s courtyard. They find faint tracks of kobolds and some quadrupedal mammals. They also find the corpse of a dead explorer. Skarvist steals the coinpurse from the corpse before the others notice, but provide a vial of some potion to the others. The heroes then head into the monastery proper, find a large shrine ahead of them. They look about, finding much debris. But then two viscous creatures attack from above with long tentacles. They are chokers! The heroes try to fight back, but the chokers get their tentacles around Naroo and Skarvist’s necks. Skarvist is able to break free, but Naroo is nearly strangled to death. The other choker then grabs Kofaer and begins to choke the life out of the dwarf. Qhude is then grabbed by the other choker. Bez and Zelmar throw spells at them with some success.
Naroo and Kofaer are now quite blue and it seems like only moments before they will die of suffocation…
SESSION 15: Secrets of the Lost Monks [Dec 18, 2018]
The heroes are in a dire situation as the two chokers continue to strangle Naroo, Qhude, and Kofaer. Zelmar blasts one of them with magical balls of force, nearly felling it. It falls to the ground limply, freeing Qhude and Naroo from its tentacle-like hands. Skarvist is then grabbed by the other choker and is nearly killed as his clavicle bone cracks and breaks from the strain. Eventually the others are able to fell the final choker before it can finish Skarvist and Kofaer off.
The young adventurers patch themselves as best they can, but then head directly back to their camp to rest for the night. Naroo searches for Jeva, and finds her hiding in the woods. Naroo patches their wounds up as best he can, but Skarvist’s broken clavicle will take many weeks to heal. They set in and thankfully are not attacked during the long night.
The next morning, the young adventurers head back into the ruined monastery (leaving Jeva at camp again). They check the two doors near the entrance. The first is just a coat closet and storage room, emptied. The other has a stuck door. After they break the door open, they find that someone had propped a chair up to prevent it from opening. They find a skeleton of a monk on the ground with an empty vial laying at his feet. Zelmar confirms that the vial contains traces of a potent poison. A small scrap of parchment reads, “Forgive me Aedin, my brethren and I have lost the light.” The adventurers then explore the ruined chapel, but find little of relevance. They then head into a side door into a ruined library overrun with fungus. A cloud of spores permeates the room and Kofaer, Skarvist, and Zelmar contract a fungal disease called shadow spot. Naroo warns them that the fungus will eventually reach their brains and kill them in a number of days. Zelmar finds a prayer book of the Trinity with a magical scroll inside.
The adventures then check the room across the hallway. A trap is set off and some rocks and a small anvil falls on Kofaer’s head. Before they can do anything else, they see a kobold at the end of the hallway, yelling at them in the dragon tongue. A fight breaks out and the kobold fires its crossbow at them. As Qhude charges at the little reptilian, he finds that wolves have come to attack as well. Eventually the adventurers face off against three wolves as well as the kobold. Kofaer tries to attack from the side, heading back through the chapel. He faces one-on-one with a wolf, but completely fails to trip it and falls flat on his face. The others throw spells and fire crossbows down the hall as Qhude keeps the wolves at bay. Kofaer is able to charge in just as a giant warg joins the attack. The warg is far more formidable, able to withstand many of their attacks. The kobold comes in to help, but is quickly beheaded by Kofaer. Then the adventurers chase off the warg with a few well-placed blows. They then finish off the wounded wolves. Qhude ensures that the warg flees from the monastery and their campsite.
The adventurers then head into the room from whence the wolves came. They find a ruined desk where Zelmar finds a secret compartment that contains an old journal.
They quickly learn that perhaps the monastery was not ruined by a goblin attack, but something from below in the depths of some dwarven ruin under its foundation. After looking through the journal, they explore the nearby room where they find a stairway down that may have once been hidden by large stone flagstones. The stones now are broken and scattered along the stairs. They believe it heads down into the dwarven ruins. Skarvist finds a high-quality rapier behind the broken desk. They then decide to look elsewhere before heading down below.
The young adventurers then head down the hall and check another nearby door. Inside, they find the remnants of an old armory. Skarvist finds two arrows hidden in a crack. Zelmar informs them that they are magical and with Naroo’s help determine they are magical sleeping arrows. Naroo also notices a secret door. Skarvist checks it out and they open it to find a small hall with four jail cells. As they peer into the darkness, three skeletons charge out of the cells, the tattered remnants of their monk robes are still clinging to their aged bones…
SESSION 16: The Ruins of Toil [Jan 1, 2018]
An unholy glows in the eyes of the skeletons. They clatter forward, still dressed in the tatters of their monk robes. The young adventurers charge in and strike, but find these skeletons to be stronger and less aged than the ones they fought in the Everflame Crypt. However, with some luck they are able to defeat them and gain control of the secret jail in the monastery. Qhude finds a fourth, inanimate skeleton in the back cell. Naroo examines it and finds that it seems like the person died in peace. The skeleton clutches a beautiful white staff with the symbol of the Trinity on one end and adorned with a few bright-red cabochons. Zelmar examines the magic of the staff while Naroo tends to everyone’s wounds. The wizard learns that the staff is a powerful magic staff used to channel healing energy. Naroo is glad to wield it, and decides to leave his morningstar at the campsite.
The young adventurers then find a ruined chamber filled with sleeping bats, they leave them undisturbed. After much debate, they head to the watchtower near the monastery’s entrance. Inside the stuck door, they find numerous boxes and crates covered in cobwebs. Skarvist enters to explore, but is then waylaid by two giant spiders. The half-orc is pinned in place with webbing as the spiders bite at him. Qhude and Kofaer charge in to injure the spiders while Naroo tries to heal Skarvist. Bez sings cheerful spider-songs as Zelmar contemplates throwing fire. Eventually, one of the spiders is felled and the other flees to the corner of the room. Zelmar throws a ball of fire at it and incidentally burns up all the webbing in the room, harming Naroo. The spider seems to be seething in the upper corner of the watchtower. The heroes then enter and are able to explore the boxes and crates. Unfortunately, they only find the rotted remains of food and ale. Bez climbs up the rickety wooden stairs to the lookout-post on top of the tower, but finds little more than an expansive view of the wilderness.
The adventurers then head down the dark stairway into the dwarven ruins beneath the monastery. When they reach the bottom of the stairs, they come across numerous kobold warriors guarding a broken monument. Two kobold slaves seem to be mining the obsidian from the dwarven monument. The kobolds immediately attack and a battle breaks out. The heroes prove too formidable and Kofaer cuts off a few of the kobold’s heads in sweeping arcs. Eventually, all the warriors are killed and the slaves proclaim the adventurers as their liberators. Zelmar speaks with them in the tongue of dragons. He learns that their tribe was subjugated by the Bloodscale tribe of King Merlokrep. The kobold king resides in the deeper caverns below the dwarven ruins. They say that the dwarven ruins are quite dangerous and that they only come up here to gather resources. They also inform the adventurers that living human children were brought past them by the Bloodscales, but they don’t know anything else. The adventurers grant them freedom and the kobolds rush out into the wide world.
After some debate, the heroes decide to head back to camp to treat their wounds and allow Naroo time to learn the powers of his new healing staff. So they head up to the surface and run into the two very-bewildered kobolds they released. Zelmar arranges for the kobolds to have the party’s protection from the Bloodscales in exchange for them to hunt birds and gather food for them. The kobolds follow them back to camp where they meet Jeva. The kobolds, named Keek and Bur, seem eager to help out and begin preparing nets for bird-catching. Naroo attunes to his new staff and treats everyone’s wounds. After a few hours of rest, the heroes head back to the dwarven ruins.
The heroes examine the entrance area where they fought the kobolds and the broken dwarven monument. Kofaer reads the dwarven inscription to the others.
“…Toil is the only true path to Salvation. Those who will not work shall have their blood boiled in the Dark Furnace for all time… there is no decadent paradise awaiting us after death, as our corrupt forefathers claimed, only industrious labor in Nuegar’s Forge awaits the faithful, this great work is its own reward… the unfaithful, they will serve in the end, their blood and bones shall stoke the fires of our industry… the world will burn to the glory of Nuegar.”
Kofaer then explains how a few centuries a powerful cult of Nuegar was expelled from Brong and was rumored to have headed to the Golbez mountains to found their own stronghold. It seems the heroes have found that lost settlement. The cult worshiped Nuegar as the master of the Dark Forge, who expected endless toil from his followers and swift punishment to those that were deemed lazy.
The heroes then head to the next chamber, where they find a giant slag pit. The magma burns hot and warms the room. Skarvist then runs afoul of a small hot ooze creature. With some quick attacks, the heroes destroy the ooze and proceed into the next door. They find a headless corpse being eaten by a handful of giant rats. The heroes quickly fell the rats, though Naroo takes a few bites and worries he has succumbed to some disease. The heroes then explore the corpse of what appears to be a dead adventurer. They find a bloody note balled up in his hand.
…I warned Kemmrick: The secrets of the dwarves should remain beneath the ground, but he would not be placated. We’ve already lost Martren, and without his divine guidance we are truly lost in the dark. Monsters lurk in every shadow, but something worse jangles in the deep. I feel its evil from afar, like a blistering heat threatening to melt away my soul. The Dark Smith might be forgotten, but I fear one of his vile servants still prowls these halls, keeping the fires of Nuegar burning for hundreds of years…
…their shrieks tore my courage from me and left my heart cold. I don’t know what they did to me when their rancid-tasting lips locked on mine, but my thoughts jumble now, and my hair falls away in bloody clumps…if only Martren were here, he would know what sickness ails me and pray for my salvation. The only prayer I can muster is that this plague takes me before that hellish shackled servant of Nuegar returns to drag me off in chains as he did Kemmrick. I still hear his screams in my mind…
…ears wet…thirst so thirst…lost in the dark…tongue gone now… itchy…face rot rot rot…blood tastes good…fly soon fly.
The heroes look about tensely, beginning to worry about the other dangers lurking in the darkness of these ruins dedicated to an evil god.
SESSION 17: Disease, Death, and the Dead [Jan 8, 2019]
The young adventurers continue on into the next chamber, finding an six-sided chamber with four iron double-doors. In the center is a large obelisk of strange metal, covered in small bits of greenish ore. Kofaer moves in to examine it, but a trap is triggered. The obelisk activates as a powerful magnetic lodestone. The doors are pulled shut, locking the heroes inside. Two other doors are pulled open, releasing three fiendish floating heads, with long venom-dripping fangs. Kofaer and Naroo are then immediately pulled by the magnetic obelisk, which attracts their metallic armor. Skarvist too, soon joins them as the rivets of his studded leather pull him in. The others work to fight against the fiendish floating heads, called vargouilles. The battle goes quite grim as one of the vargouilles shrieks a terrifying sound, causing many to be stunned with magical paralysis. The vargouilles then move in to kiss their stunned victims, transferring the fiendish curse that made them what they are. The heroes eventually fight back felling the vargouilles and Skarvist is able to disable the magnetic obelisk, freeing everyone from its grasp.
Zelmar is nearly dead from the attack, so Naroo patches up their wounds as best he can. He notices that many of them are afflicted with diseases, like filth fever, shadow spot, and the vargouille transformation curse. So the heroes head back to the camp to try and see they can do. Naroo prepares numerous concoctions of teas, salves, and herbs, trying to tend to himself and his friends’ ailments. They spend a whole day resting from their afflictions. The next morning, Naroo succumbs to filth fever and is unconscious with a blazing fever. Additionally, the vargouille transformation has begun its effects upon the halfling. Zelmar is near dead, blind and incapacitated from shadow spot as the growing mycillia of the fungus reach into his brain. The others are doing substantially better, with only Kofaer and Skarvist suffering mildly from shadow spot disease.
They rest all day and through the night. The formerly enslaved kobolds, provide plenty of birds for them to eat. The next morning, Zelmar seems to be dead, having succumbed to shadow spot. Naroo is feeling much better, however, and analyzes Zelmar for any signs that he can be saved. He decides that brain surgery might save the elf. He enlists Skarvist to assist him, with Kofaer serving as a nurse. Bez places focusing songs, while Qhude mediates away from the action. Jeva seems quite frightened by the whole affair. The surgery is intense, but Naroo is able to sever the fungus’ connection to Zelmar’s cortex and thus saving his life. With a couple magical healing spells, Zelmar is conscious and able again, though a bit traumatized seeing his skull cut open and his brain being worked on. After he is all patched up, the heroes decide to venture into the dwarven ruins again, hoping its not too late to save the missing children from the Bloodscale kobolds.
They return to the lodestone room and head out into another hallway. They find a old bedroom of one of the dwarven leaders of the toiling cult. A small homonculus construct tends to the broken skeleton of the dwarven priest, the skeleton’s head shattered from a strange hammer contraption affixed to an anvil. The heroes notice a black gauntlet upon the skeleton’s hand. Zelmar identifies it as magical, but decides to analyze it another time, feeling it is not safe. They also find an obsidian tablet within the nearby desk. It reads that the dwarven leader killed himself after seemingly failing in some task. Bez takes an obsidian statuette of an owlbear as well.
The heroes then enter into a secret door where they find a chamber that allows one to listen and eavesdrop on other chambers in the complex. They listen in one of the corners, hearing a young girl seeming to be in a scuffle with some kobolds. Before they can rush towards the sound, the heroes are waylaid by an incorporeal shadowy form of a dwarf. The undead spectre seizes upon Zelmar and tears into his life-force, felling the elf quickly. It then tears Zelmar’s shadow from its body, which immediately rises out to attack its former friends. The two shadows strike at the heroes. Thankfully, their prior experience with these creatures allows the heroes to defeat them quickly. However, the heroes must rush off towards the sound of the young girl, unable to even mourn or think about the dead elf upon the floor.
The heroes charge down the hallway, trying the northern path first. Skarvist listens past a secret door, but hears numerous kobolds arguing ahead. The heroes decide to head south instead and avoid the kobolds. They rush through the corridors and head north down another corridor on the western end of the complex. They hear the faint sounds of the scuffle far ahead down the hallway. However, between them and the sounds of the young girl, is a floating suit of dwarven scale armor. The dwarven spectre floats towards them with a rusted glowing axe nearby. Kofaer and Qhude charge at the ghost, but find themselves caught in a sticky gelatinous material that paralyzes them upon contact. The gel begins to burn and eat away at their skin. The others continue to strike at the armor inside the gelatinous cube, not knowing what they truly fight. Eventually, Kofaer breaks free and warns them about the monster’s true form. Naroo then summons a powerful weapon of Solarus to aid him. After some time, the heroes are able to destroy the gelatinous creature. The armor and axe clatters to the floor. However, the heroes rush northward towards the sound of the young girl. There is no time to waste…
SESSION 18: The Children and the Knight [Jan 15, 2019]
The young adventurers charge down the hallway of the dwarven ruins beneath the lost monastery. They enter into a large dining chamber where numerous kobolds are yapping at a young girl who is throwing rocks at them. The heroes charge in and strike at the kobolds, quickly felling them and rescuing the young girl. She introduces herself as Kimi, a tough 12-year-old from Kassen’s farmlands. She explains that she, Savram, and Jurin broke out of the kobold’s cage and escaped into these dwarven ruins. Jurin was then captured by a “smoke monster” and Savram fled in a separate direction. The heroes explore to the north and find Savram hiding in an ancient ossuary. He is a quiet, younger boy of about 9 years. The heroes then decide to look for Jurin. Kimi leads them down a long hall where they pass a double-door closed with chains, then reach another double-door at the end of the hall.
Meanwhile, back on the forest trail leading up to the lost monastery, two young men make their way towards the ruins. One is dressed in breastplate armor, carrying a heavy shield and sword, all emblazoned with symbols of the Trinity. The other dons studded leather and carries a bow upon his back, though his arm is in a sling. The knight-in-training, Diarmuid helps the other Templar soldier, Belun head towards the ruins. They discuss the monstrous beast that nearly killed them and flew off with the corpses of their three companions. They hope that the travelers they are tracking might have supplies to aid them in their quest to find the missing children.
Back in the dwarven ruins, the heroes burst into the next room, finding numerous kobolds led by a kobold shaman. The heroes enter into melee finding the kobolds to be as easy to fell as the other ones. However, the shaman seems quite potent, using powerful fear magic upon Qhude and then shocking Kofaer to near-death. However, the heroes are about to take them out. They then learn that more kobolds are attacking from the north and they prepare themselves. Soon, more kobolds come through the northern door and rush at them. The young heroes charge forward and take out the remaining kobolds. However, one of the kobold scouts manages to slink its way down a deep well using a mechanical contraption. The heroes patch themselves up somewhat and check out a nearby door. The door has chains upon it to hold it shut.
In the forest above, the two Templar soldiers find a campsite in the woods outside the ruins. There are six tents around a large fire-pit. There are numerous birds in a spit being roasted and many more dead birds nearby. Horrifically torn and eaten corpses of two kobolds hang from a nearby tree. The two travelers grow a bit weary about who these people they have followed may be and what their intentions might be. They decide to seek them out within the nearby ruins.
The young adventurers then open the door, pulling off the rusty chain. Inside, they find a corpse of a kobold torn apart and mostly eaten. Surrounding the corpse, are six ghoulish dwarvens feasting on the raw flesh. They eagerly turn to face the fresh meat nearby and leap at them. The ghouls bite and claw ferociously, leaving claw and bite marks upon Kofaer and Qhude. Eventually the ghouls break through the doorway and strike at the others. Qhude and Kofaer and Skarvist succumb to paralysis, with Naroo soon following. The ghouls tear at them trying to get at their supple flesh beneath their clothes and armor. Poor Bez tries desperately to help his friends and keep Savram and Kimi safe. Just as things seem most grim, Diarmuid and Belun charge into the room. Diarmuid cuts down the ghouls just as the others break free from the paralysis. Soon the heroes are able to fell the undead beasts.
The adventurers introduce themselves to each other and they quickly decide to head back to the camp to tend to their wounds before searching for the other children. On the way up, they grab Zelmar’s corpse. Kofaer also grabs the ancient dwarven armor they found and the black-steel gauntlet. When they return to the camp, the heroes are appalled by what happened to the kobolds. Naroo, Bez, Kofaer, and Skarvist go looking for Jeva, but she cannot be found anywhere. Kimi says that Jeva did not go to the old sawmill with them. There were five of them: Kimi, Mikra, Savram, Jurin, and Hollin. Both Naroo and Diarmuid patch up everyone’s wounds with their medical skills. After about an hour of rest, Belun and the children hide in the monastery’s secret jail chamber, while the others head back into the ruins to look for the other children.
The heroes then head back to the well-room where they fought the ghouls and step towards the old mining tunnels. Kofaer confirms that the tunnels are from dwarven iron-vein mining, but he cannot account for the thick, acrid smoke in the caverns. The heroes proceed cautiously, with Diarmuid leading the way. They then come across a burning canine, a devilish beast. It’s crimson eyes glow with an infernal light…
SESSION 19: The Slave of Toil [Jan 22, 2019]
The heroes are a bit wary of the devilish canine that charges at them. It bellows forth a blast of searing hot flames that sears their skin. It then charges in and bites at Skarvist, nearly killing him. Kofaer picks up Skarvist and the heroes retreat back to the next chamber, trying to keep the beast at bay. It blasts fire again, nearly killing Naroo and Bez. The others surround the fiery hell-hound and continue to strike it with all their fury. Eventually the beast is destroyed and the heroes head back up to the secret room with Belun and the children to patch up their wounds and rest.
The heroes decide to rest through the long night into the next morning. The diseases that have plagued the young adventurers seem to have largely dissipated. However, Naroo seems the worst effected, with his hair falling out in large clumps and his skin turning a ghoulish-gray color. The heroes then continue back down into the depths, ready to face the “smoke-monster” that took young Jurin the previous day. Skarvist sneaks into the smoke-filled caverns and find a huge forge. A large dwarf-like creature, covered in iron chains, pounds a blacksmithing hammer upon an anvil. It seems to be crafting another set of chains. Young Jurin, a chubby boy of about 10 years, is chained up and gagged next to the anvil. Skarvist returns to the others and relates the situation. Kofaer recalls stories of his youth of the forge spurned, a cursed, undead spirit who kidnaps children and toils endlessly. Naroo recalls the creatures can only be permanently destroyed by breaking its chains. They prepare themselves and charge in, ready to fight the beast.
Kofaer and Diarmuid charge in, flanking the monster, while Skarvist springs in whenever openings appear. Qhude takes a side position, trying his best to hit the beast with his bo-staff. Bez sings from the sidelines, while Naroo tries to provide whatever healing he can. The battle is fierce and the great beast throws its deadly chains upon its enemies, igniting them in a searing fire. Eventually, the heroes are able to wear out the undead beast and knock it down. Kofaer then immediately goes about destroying the creature’s chains upon the forge. The others treat their wounds and rescue Jurin. The young boy seems quiet and shy, but glad to be free from the monster.
The heroes return to the secret chamber and treat their wounds, leaving Jurin with Belun. They they head back down to explore more of the place, hoping to find Mikra and Hollin. They come across a small kitchen, where Kofaer finds three “Boom” stones. They then explore the barracks, with a row of uncomfortable stone beds. A nest of giant mosquitoes, called bloodseekers, is seen in the corner. The creatures fly in at them looking for blood. The battle is quick, but the creatures manage to siphon out quite a bit of the heroes’ precious life essence.
The heroes then heal up before heading towards a central room where a large fountain spews forth super-heated steam. In the foggy concealment of the steam, the heroes hear little creatures scurrying about. They finally get a glimpse at them and see little electric lizards…
SESSION 20: Traps and Kobolds [Jan 29, 2019]
The young heroes charge in at the electric lizards in the steamy room. The fountain in the center of the room continues to spew forth rolling clouds of super-heated steam. The heroes have trouble finding the lizards in the steam. The creatures bite at them and occasionally unleash a powerful bolt of electricity upon them. In order to reduce the steam, Naroo throws a blanket over the fountain. But finds it has little effect on the steam coming forth. The heroes manage to defeat the lizards, and Kofaer is able to dissipate the electricity in his armor into the floor with Skarvist’s forced help.
The heroes then head into the next chamber. They find two rows of statues on either end of the long room. One row depicts proud blacksmith dwarves with large hammers, the other row on the far side depicts caricatured dwarven guards with spears. The heroes believe this to be a depiction of the cult of Nuegar fighting in the Forge War against the rulers of Brong nearly 500 years ago. Subsequently, the cultists were exiled from Brong and believed to have settled somewhere in the Golbez Mountains. Now the heroes know the ruins they explore to be one of those locations.
The heroes step into the chamber, and Skarvist looks ahead for dwarven traps. However, he finds that his foot triggers a pressure plate. The entire room suddenly rotates on its side, sending the heroes hurtling downward towards the statues with spears. They take many wounds from the pointed spears, but manage to avoid death. However, then the statues on the far side, now on the ceiling, come crashing down bludgeoning the heroes. They, too, survive the attack, but are nearly defeated. Naroo heals them with a powerful blast of healing energy. The heroes then step out onto the wall-turned-floor as Qhude attempts to climb up towards the now perpendicular doors. He manages to climb up the hard, cracked masonry blocks and throws down a rope to his friends. They all try to climb up, with Kofaer and Diarmuid going first. Qhude is barely able to hold the rope, but through a feat of strength manages to hold it steady as Kofaer climbs up. Diarmuid struggles on the rope as Skarvist tries to follow. Kofaer helps Qhude hold the rope and Diarmuid eventually climbs up as well. As Skarvist climbs up, the room suddenly reverts back to its original orientation, sending the half-orc sprawling across the floor.
The heroes quickly head into the next chamber before the trap is triggered again. In the next room, they find numerous dwarven names inscribed on obsidian walls. Kofaer recognizes many of the clan-names as those of the cultists who were exiled from Brong. However, he finds one peculiar name with a button under the runes. He presses it and reveals a secret door, back into the listening chamber. Naroo heals up the party and they head out towards the old magma forge and the small tunnel that descends down into a cavern.
The heroes crawl their way down the narrow tunnel into a large cavern, filled with stalagmites. Diarmuid leads the way, and just as he gets to his feet, he is accosted by a giant bat. The creature strikes at him with its deadly fangs. The warrior raises his shield and tries to keep the creature at bay. Then another creature strikes at him from the side. What he thought was just another stalagmite in the cavern, suddenly grew wings and clawed at him. It was a gargoyle with a hard, rocky skin. Qhude joins the warrior and they soon nearly kill the bat, which flies off. The rest of the heroes then join the fray against the gargoyle. It’s tough hide is like stone and they find their attacks cannot penetrate easily. The battle is long and fierce, but they eventually fell the beast.
Qhude and Skarvist then scout ahead in the dark cavern-like tunnels. They hear a large group of kobold miners up ahead. The heroes then send Bez to instigate the kobolds as they prepare an ambush in the cavern. Bez perfectly plays his part, though he finds himself in danger as kobolds riding slurks charge in at him. The slurks are ugly creatures with giant fang-like tusks, they also leave behind a slimy trail where-ever they travel. Bez rushes back towards the others and the slurk-riding kobolds follow. Soon the ambush is released and the heroes nearly fell the first rider. However, the kobolds quickly realize the trap and pull back. An enraged Kofaer charges after them. Skarvist follows, felling an unconscious kobold on the slimy path. Diarmuid takes offense at Skarvist’s callousness and gives the half-orc a stern warning about harming the helpless. Eventually Kofaer comes to his senses and returns. The heroes decide they cannot take on the kobolds with all the greasy slime left by the slurks. So they flee up the tunnel and back to the secret room of the monastery.
The heroes rest and patch up their wounds. Naroo seems to be combating the dreaded vargouille transformation well, but his ghoul fever worsens. The heroes prepare for another venture back into the dangerous ruins and underlying kobold caverns…
SESSION 21: The Kobold War [Feb 5, 2019]
The young adventurers march bravely back down into the dwarven ruins, eager to find the missing children. Although, Skarvist is secretly more concerned with finding the Star of Righteousness and getting handsomely rewarded by Rizack, and Kofaer is just happy to have enemies to vanquish. The heroes decide to check out the deep well-like structure where Qhude saw a kobold descend. Bez and Kofaer look over the device and determine that it is basically an elevator, using a large cauldron as a means of coming up and down. Diarmuid and Bez head down together first. They descend down into a square storage room of the dwarves, though two tunnels break into the room’s walls. As Bez and Diarmuid look around, they see kobolds riding slurks charging in at them to attack. Qhude immediately leaps down, using the chain to spin his way down the tunnel then funnels his energy into a flurry of strikes at one of the slurk-riding kobolds. Skarvist similarly slides down the chain and strikes at the enemies. Diarmuid holds the line while Bez sings encouraging tunes. Kofaer and Naroo call the cauldron back up and patiently wait for a safe way down.
By the time Naroo and Kofaer reach the chamber, the others have felled some enemies and scared off the other slurk-riding kobolds. The heroes try to pursue, but Qhude is bombarded by arrows from hiding kobold hunters. Finding that northern route too dangerous, the heroes follow the slime trail to the east, following Skarvist and Kofaer’s lead. They eventually wait out for the slime to dry out before continuing. They then charge into the next chamber, finding a slurk breeding pen. The entire cavern is covered with the slimy, gray ooze. The heroes charge in and fell the numerous slurks, but a kobold ranger manages to escape. The heroes slowly approach the next chamber, but decide to explore some side tunnels. They eventually double back to a chamber that is now empty, finding the kobolds have vacated the area. Bez finds remnants of what Naroo identifies as chunks of eggs.
The heroes explore a side cavern and find a large kobold hatchery. There are numerous eggs and young kobolds. A single midwife kobold tends the flock, seemingly ignoring the heroes. Skarvist and Bez express interest in eating the eggs, eager for something varied in their diet of mostly birds. However, Diarmuid pushes everyone out, not wishing to see any harm come to the younglings. The heroes head back down the northern tunnel. Bez identifies some seemingly innocuous fungi as dangerous shriekers. The heroes decide to try the eastern path to avoid the shriekers.
The heroes cautiously enter the next chamber. It is a large sleeping area for the kobold tribe. Numerous crossbow wielding archers and spear-wielding soldiers charge at the heroes as they enter. Diarmuid holds the line, bracing his shield against the attacks, calling for the others to fall back. However, a slurk manages to stick the knight’s feet to the ground and Diarmuid cannot retreat with his comrades. The others then charge back in, as Bez has a plan, calling for Qhude to follow him. Qhude uses his mystical techniques to flash past the shriekers into the main cavern, behind the charging kobolds. Bez bravely follows, though he finds the shriekers nearly deafen him. Qhude and Bez charge in from behind as the kobolds press their attack upon the others. Bez charges towards the kobolds and unleashes a powerful dissonant blast of energy across them, causing numerous slash marks to bleed upon their reptilian skin. Qhude tries to protect the goblin, but soon finds himself over-matched. Diarmuid and Kofaer charge forward at the other entrance, taking numerous crossbow bolts and bites as they press inward. Naroo stays behind them, careful to apply what magical healing he can. Skarvist eventually joins them to help take out the slurks.
The heroes continue to press their attack. The cavern’s walls echo with the sounds of ricocheting crossbow bolts, wild screams, and painful grunts…
SESSION 22: Death to the Chieftain [Feb 19, 2019]
The heroes continue to press in upon the kobolds within the large cavern. Kofaer charges in wildly, while Diarmuid carefully presses his advantage. Naroo stays back, trying to keep everyone on their feet. Skarvist sneaks in for easy attacks, then sneaks back into the side cavern. Bez and Qhud try their best at their side attack. Bez and Skarvist fall during the battle, but Naroo is able to revive them. Eventually the heroes are able to press in and finish the kobolds and their slurk allies. Diarmuid is able to get the final kobold warrior to surrender and they ascertain that there are more kobolds on the way. While the many kobolds lay dead around them and the heroes look upon their many wounds, they determine that they must flee. The sound of the war drums and shouts of more kobolds echo in the large cavern, heading towards them. Kofaer picks up their restrained, kobold prisoner, and the heroes rush down the corridors, trying to escape the encroaching war parties.
The heroes charge away into the cramped tunnel that heads up into the dwarven ruins, placing the heavy rock-like corpse of the gargoyle into the gap to slow the kobolds ascent. The heroes then charge down the halls of the dwarven ruins and into the chamber hidden in the lost monastery’s armory. Belun and the children are growing worried and strained, eager to leave the madness of this place. The heroes re-secure the door and prepare to treat their wounds and rest. After a few hours of resting, they hear the sound of the kobolds war drums all around them, though the kobolds are unable to break into their hidden chamber. The heroes and the children sit quietly trying to remain hidden as the kobolds seeming search for their enemies. Thankfully, the kobolds seem to give up on the search and quiet descends again upon the upper ruins.
After a long rest, Naroo seems to be in even better spirits and his hair seems to be growing back. Diarmuid is able to partially communicate with their prisoner kobold, and he learns that there are at least 20 kobolds remaining and they plan to sacrifice the children. Skarvist adds that he heard kobolds will sacrifice the children of their nearest enemies when they wish to claim new land. The heroes then prepare to descend again into the depths of the kobold warrens as night falls. They creep their way back into the dwarven ruins, finding many crude traps placed to slow their progress. Thankfully, Qhude’s keen eyes and Skarvist’s disabling skills, prevent most of the traps from being a concern. The heroes head to the elevator-like shaft and pull the cauldron up to them. Skarvist prepares to rig it to continuously rise and descend, making it unusable. However, the kobolds seem to have rigged it with an alchemist’s fire bomb. The cauldron explodes as soon as it reaches the top. Thankfully, Skarvist was able to leap out of the way before being blown into cinders. The broken contraption falls into the pit, making a loud racket and disabling the elevator system.
The heroes descend down the tunnel, finding the gargoyle has been removed. They encounter a few more traps as they make their way through the caverns. When they return to the main kobold warrens, where they fought their last battle, they find that the kobolds have removed the dead and many of their belongings. Diarmuid catches a flicker of a kobold fleeing into a side tunnel, likely telling the others of their arrival. The heroes then charge into the next chamber, where they find nearly twenty kobold warriors ready to fight. A grand battle ensues as the heroes charge into the chamber, cutting down the weak and untrained soldiers with little effort. The heroes then face head on with the stronger warriors and the mighty kobold king himself. Qhude heads off down a side tunnel, distracting the kobolds there and keeping them busy. Diarmuid and Kofaer charge in swinging their weapons heroically. Skarvist makes a few well-placed strikes, while Naroo keeps his healing magic handy. Naroo also places a powerful spell upon Kofaer’s axe, causing it to radiate powerful magical energy. Kofaer uses the axe to cut down his foes, knocking kobold heads to the floor with mighty sweeps.
Bez uses his mysterious magic to weaken his enemies and his encouraging songs to boost his allies. The kobold king summons a powerful lemure devil to join the fight, then summons a great ball of fire that blasts Kofaer. The fight gets tense as the heroes close in around the sorcerer-king. The red-scaled kobold then launches a powerful blast of fire magic at Naroo. The ensuing blast greatly insures everyone in the cavern, singing their skin, but the heroes persist. Kofaer then leaps upon the kobold king and sweeps the king’s head clear off. The lemure disappears with its summoner as the heroes finish off the other warriors.
The heroes now prepare to charge into the next chamber where they hope to find the last missing children before its too late…
SESSION 23: Victory at Last [Feb 26, 2019]
The heroes charge into the next cavern, hearing the screams of the remaining children. They press forward, only to find that the way has been blocked by a wall of impenetrable darkness. Qhude attempts to light a powerful sunrod, but it seems to have no effect. Kofaer charges in, his dwarven eyes allowing him to see in the darkness. The dwarf presses inward and fights against the two remaining kobold warriors and a summoned sloth demon. The others slowly eke their way inward, despite being blinded by the lack of light. The heroes press their attacks facing against the mighty kobold shaman who readies a dagger over young Mikra’s chest. The kobold shaman throws mighty spells against the heroes. The shaman kills Mikra, sending Kofaer into a rage. Qhude faces off against an imp in the bedchamber, but the imp seems to offer a truce after being struck by the monk’s staff. The imp, named Sithmut, returns the wand it once stole from Naroo. Qhude then takes the wand and brings it to Naroo, which greatly helps keep the party alive. Kofaer, Skarvist, and Qhude then corner the shaman and Qhude is able to grab him and crack open the kobold’s skull. The others are then able to finish the other enemies off.
Hollin becomes catatonic seeing Mikra’s dead body after the darkness dissipates. Naroo and Diarmuid say prayers over the dead boy and they wrap him for transport outside. The others look around for items. Diarmuid takes an expert-quality dwarven-made sword from the dead kobolds. Diarmuid also takes the Star of Righteousness hanging from the kobold shaman’s neck, it now includes the stone described by the monk’s diary. He finds no magic upon the holy relic and places it in his pocket. Bez takes the kobold chieftan’s powerful hat of disguise. The heroes return to their secret hiding place, with Qhude carrying Mikra’s body and Kofaer carrying the catatonic Hollin. Sithmut takes a liking to Bez and his magical prowess, offering to serve the young goblin. The imp takes the guise of a small hawk, taking perch upon the goblin’s shoulder. Bez then tries to identify the black-steel gauntlet Kofaer carries, but is unsuccessful. Discouraged, the young goblin thrusts his hand into it and finds it bound to his fist permanently, turning his arm into a fist of black stone.
The heroes return to their secret chamber and rest for the night, healing their wounds as best they can. After much discussion, the heroes decide to gather what food they can find before heading on the long journey home. The heroes release the kobold captive, having Sithmut translate for them. They free him to reform his tribe in the warrens below. Naroo and Diarmuid bury young Mikra near the burial site of Zelmar. The heroes also search for signs of Jeva. Naroo finds evidence of Jeva’s tracks as well as those of a large wolf in the area, they all seem quite old and he cannot determine if she still lives. Skarvist is able to fell a small deer with his crossbow, but the others are not so fortunate in finding food. Bez and Sithmut sneak down into the kobold warrens and Bez uses his mighty stone-fist to kill the two kobolds and chop them up. He takes their meat and their eggs, telling his friends that it was from a basilisk lair. They quickly see through the lie and Naroo and Diarmuid have stern words for the goblin. Some of the heroes are willing to eat the meat and eggs, however, so they keep them for their journey.
The heroes then head off down the trail, six adventurers, Belun, and the four children, Kimi, Savram, Jurin, and Hollin. Kofaer is still forced to carry the young Hollin who remains catatonic. Kimi has gotten very quiet upon seeing Mikra’s dead body. After a few hours of travel, they see a great beast prowling above them, flying low to the canopy top. They identify it as a manticore, eager for more blood….
SESSION 24: The Perilous Journey Home [Mar 5, 2019]
The heroes frantically try to run from the large lion-like manticore as it swings back towards them above the tree canopy. The heroes scramble their way through the forest, Naroo and Kofaer mostly trying to guide the children along the quickest route while Bez and Diarmuid distract it. Qhude and Skarvist likewise try to trick and disorient the beast. Over time the manticore manages to hurt them with bites and throwing spikes from its tail. Naroo is able to heal most of their wounds as they run. However, Bez is eventually bitten and flung into the forest, left for dead. Thankfully Skarvist spots him and is able to rescue him before he is eaten. Naroo leads the entourage into a deeper section of the forest where the thick canopy blocks the manticore from its fly-by attacks. The creature seems satisfied pushing them out of its territory and eventually flies away.
The heroes catch their breath and decide to make camp in the deep woods. They rest soundly that night. The next morning, the heroes decide to gather more supplies as their food supply is running thin. The group splits up with Qhude and Belun watching over the camp. They get some time to talk and Belun helps explain the requirements for joining the Templars. Meanwhile, Kofaer manages to fell a small deer that Naroo spotted. Bez, Diarmuid, and Kimi likewise find many edible nuts in the woods. They then pack their things up and prepare to head out. Naroo is able to lead the heroes back to the hunting trail and they travel far that day.
That night, Diarmuid and Qhude find Jeva wandering the forest outside their camp. Once they reveal that they have saved the children from the kobolds, her form shifts and she becomes a deadly werewolf. She seems eager to finally catch her elusive prey. Diarmuid yells for the others to awaken and he and Qhude attack the beast. Many wolves then charge into the camp biting and pulling them to the ground. The battle is quite fierce but the heroes eventually defeat the wolves and the mighty werewolf. The heroes are forced to burn away Jeva’s remains. After the battle, the heroes worry about the lycanthropy curse affected one of those that were bitten: Qhude, Kofaer, and Belun. Sithmut explains what he knows about lycanthropy, knowing that some herbal cure may help if they can administer it within a week, though he cannot recall what they need. There is much tension that night as the heroes worry about their predicament and who among their companions they can still trust.
The next two days, the heroes make great progress down the rolling trails of the forest. On the second night, the night of the full moon, the heroes agree to tie up Belun, Kofaer, and Qhude far from the camp and each other. They hope that the full-moon’s light will determine who is a werewolf. They stay up all late that night, with Skarvist continuously monitoring their friends’ conditions. He finds that Qhude does indeed change into a black wolf, tearing his way out of the rope and heading off into the forest to hunt. Kofaer does not change shape, so they release him. Belun turns into a wolf as well, though he does not seem able to escape his bonds.
The next morning, they release Belun after he reverts to normal form. He seems to take the news of his lycanthropy quite uneasily. They then find Qhude naked in a clearing nearby, with a dead half-eaten deer next to him. The heroes gather their things and head back out towards the town. Later that day, they reach the old sawmill and this time decide to explore the ruins. Qhude finds a trapdoor that leads down into a rank cellar. They find the remains of a ritualistic killing, much like how they found the kobolds in their monastery camp. They piece together that this must have been Jeva’s lair and she was the one who kidnapped the other missing children in the area.
The heroes continue on the road towards Kassen. As they near the town center, they run into Aranma the ranger on patrol. She seems quite joyful at their success. Qhude speaks privately with her and she reveals that she does know a possible cure for lycanthropy, however, the belladonna is both expensive and possibly deadly, and must be administered as soon as possible. Qhude asks for two concoctions to be crafted for the following night. Skarvist heads to his grandfather, Mayor Uptal, who immediately arranges for men to bring the rescued children to their homes. Skarvist then heads to Holgast’s tower to inform him of Zelmar’s death. Naroo heads to Mikra’s farm to inform his parents about his passing. Kofaer and Bez head to the Seven Silvers tavern. Qhude heads to Ilimara’s house. Diarmuid, with the Star of Righteousness in his pocket, heads to the Trinity encampment eager to speak with Rizak and Stralbod.
SESSION 25: A New Quest Dawns [Mar 12, 2019]
The Heroes of Kassen have returned to their home town late at night, after dropping off the rescued children who are escorted home. Naroo heads over to Mikra’s parents house and gives them the news about their dead son. Skarvist heads to Holgast’s tower and gives Zelmar’s signet ring and spellbook to the old wizard. The old wizard promises to send a letter and the ring back to Zelmar’s parents in Elienspar. Qhude and Naroo head to the tavern and get rooms for the night as Kofaer and Bez also head to the tavern for a few drinks before bed. Diarmuid checks in with Stralbod and promises to give a full report the next day. Kofaer learns from his uncle Braggar that his mother received a disturbing letter from Brong. That night, Bez stays with Kofaer at the smithy, sleeping to the banging of smithing hammers.
The next morning, Diarmuid greets Rizak and the two agree to have dinner together that night and exchange coins for the holy artifact at that time. Kofaer and Bez awaken to some wonderful oatmeal made by Fissara, who then speaks with Kofaer privately. She says she is worried about Kofaer’s safety, as she received a letter from Brong saying that Ukdrim’s crypt, Kofaer’s father, has been vandalized and his remains are now missing. She warns her son to stay in good company, as the Osodaroth, a necromatic cult, may be after Kofaer. Ukdrim was meant to sacrifice Kofaer as a baby and Fissara fears the cult may still wish the deed to be done after all these years. Both Braggar and Fissara are wary about Kofaer telling this to his friends, seemingly wanting to keep the news of their exile from Brong a secret.
Diarmuid then helps Qhude gather Belun and the whole party heads to the crypt beneath the temple of Baldur to administer the belladonna poison to counteract their lycanthropy. With Naroo and Diarmuid’s help, the two are able to ingest the poison without major complications, they now just hope that it was successful in eradicating the lycanthropy. They also hang out in the tavern for some time, so that Diarmuid can write his full report with the help of his friends. He leaves out any information about the Star of Righteousness and the fact that Belun and Qhude were bitten by the werewolf.
Diarmuid then heads to Stralbod and turns in his report. Stralbod says he is quite impressed and that Rizak has recommended him for a promotion and he agrees. He offers Diarmuid one more quest to earn his promotion to Sergeant. A minor nobleman named Elias Kyle has gone missing. He was sent from Korenhold to survey the lands along the Feyreach River for the optimal location for a new fortress. He was due in Kassen about two weeks prior, but hasn’t arrived. Stralbod asks Diarmuid to gather his new friends, the Heroes of Kassen, and find the missing surveyor.
Diarmuid accepts the new quest and spends the day training with Qhude and the other templars. Bez and Naroo hang-out, as Naroo seems quite melancholy from the loss of life at the Lost Monastery. Skarvist spends time with his grandfather, who informs him that he is retiring as mayor, hoping to spend more time fishing and cleaning out his house. Kofaer and Braggar work on Kofaer’s new axe, learning its magical command word to create light. That evening, Diarmuid meets with Rizak and they have a wonderful feast at the inn. Rizak pays Diarmuid for the Star of Righteousness and they both discuss how the church needs reforms.
The next day, the heroes meet with Knight-Lieutenant Stralbod Kain, who gives them more details about the quest and they agree to do it for 125 silver coins. The heroes are given use of one of Mayor Uptal’s row-boats. He also informs them to speak with Knight-Commander Karrick Ushmil in Fort Nambold to learn where Elias was headed.
The heroes set out along the Feyreach River, reaching Namport after a couple days. They stop at the Chubby Axe for some wonderful fried-fish for lunch before heading to the market for some shopping. They then head to Fort Nambold and speak with Karrick Ushmil. The Knight-Commander gives them a list of all the villages that Elias intended to visit and survey near. He also informs them that he was worried about Elias, as the surveyor confessed to be trying to quit drinking and was a bit stressed about the effort. So the heroes head out to the first village, Swordstream. They reach the pristine streets of Swordstream that evening and speak with a caretaker of Baron Drenan’s manor house. She admits that Elias Kyle did stay at the manor house for a couple days, that he was polite and quiet. She informs them that he was headed to the village of Anthera next.
The heroes then stay the night at the Silver Flood Inn, heading out the next morning. They reach the farming village of Anthera around noon and head to the community hall to speak with Councilman Edmon Treo. Edmon informs them that he hosted Elias Kyle for a couple days while he surveyed. However, things went sour after Elias accidentally drank some wine from a swapped mug. Edmon says that Elias then cursed at him and his friends before storming to bed. He then left to Julkuron early the next morning.
The heroes decide to head to Julkuron and continue their search for the missing surveyor…
SESSION 26: The Search for the Surveyor [Mar 19, 2019]
The young heroes head to the village of Julkuron across the Feyrun river. They continue to chase Elias Kyle and see what has become of the missing surveyor. The head into Julkuron and quickly learn that the town was also besieged by goblins during the attacks last year. A small portion of the town is rubble and has seemingly been burned into ruin. Bez is not given a warm welcome and he uses his magic hat to take the visage of a halfing during his time here. The heroes head to the Jester’s Pride Tavern and learn from the bartender that Elias Kyle had spent all day drinking in the inn. Mayor Darren Famo confirms this story saying that Elias hardly did any land surveying. He came into town early in the morning and drank the day away. He then vomited in the mayor’s manor and left red-eyed early the next morning. The heroes decide to camp the night outside the small town. They then head upriver the next morning.
Hours later, the heroes arrive in the small hamlet of Namford. The most prominent feature of the small hamlet is the large stone church dedicated to the worship of St. Aedin and the Trinity. An elderly gentleman, Chaplain Dekshure Abigar, is pleased to meet the heroes and informs them that Elias Kyle stayed with him when he was in town. The chaplain helped advise Elias on his drinking problem and Elias was quite productive surveying the surrounding area. The two shared meals and spent much time talking about redemption. The chaplain also informs them that Elias planned to head to the village of Ravenfield to make up for what happened at Julkuron, and even planned to return to that village after Kassen to properly survey its surroundings.
Chaplain Abigar invites the heroes for dinner at the local inn and they agree. They all part ways for the rest of the afternoon, with several of them learning about the tomb of Sir Willigan, a templar knight of some renown who had fallen in the battle against goblins a century ago. The church was built to commemorate those who had fallen in the battle. Eventually, everyone meets up at the Spiritfire Inn, where Chaplain Abigar buys them a keg of ale to share. They have a fine meal and speak long with the Chaplain, who seems eager to get information from outside his small hamlet. He even tells some rumors he heard about Princess Nirea the Crusader, who is rumored to be fighting for the commonfolk of the Righteous Hills against the goblins. She is the true daughter of King Umbrar Kassintius, the current King of Korenell. She had previously been living in a cloistered convent of the Trinity. However, the King’s bastard son, Drelmar, is set to inherit the throne, due to Koronell’s strict agnatic primogeniture succession laws. Drelmar is believed to be a pawn set up by the Trinity church to further uphold the Law of Faith in Governance that maintains the Trinity Church’s control over the country. Chaplain Abigar then ceases such talk as he fears the nearby pilgrims are listening.
The heroes then stay the night at the inn and head out early the next morning for the village of Ravenfield. They reach the upriver village around noon, rowing their way up the small stream that flows from the surrounding marshes into the Feyrun. They find a sprawling, somewhat dilapidated village surrounded by harvested grain fields, marshes, and swamps. The heroes meet with a few strange locals and learn about a upcoming Founder’s Festival being held in town that day. Eventually, the heroes come across numerous signs that the villagers have a very strange worship of the goddess Pelaria, likely due to their isolation. The heroes run into a runaway giant mosquito, or stirge. Thankfully, Diarmuid remembers Chaplain Abigar speaking of this town’s strange customs for keeping these creatures as pets and does not strike the beast. The creature is somewhat domesticated and belongs to a young boy named Ornigaard. The young boy thanks them for catching his pet, named “Applesauce” and brings the heroes to meet his father, Viorec Korzha.
Viorec is a friendly farmer who tells the heroes a little about the town’s strange ways that have helped them survive in these swamplands. He invites the heroes to join them at the Founder’s Feast that day. The heroes head over to the Mayor’s house where they run into a brutish, strong man that seems to be itching for a fight. Then a tall man with piercing eyes comes out and greets them as Mayor Andretti Kriegler. He apologizes for his brother Leonard’s actions and tells the heroes that Elias Kyle did stay in town with him. He says that Elias surveyed the land nearby during the day. However, Elias refused to join him for dinner that night and when the mayor returned from dinner he found Elias drunk, having broken into the mayor’s wine stash. The two argued and Elias threw a wine bottle near Andretti before heading to bed. He left just before dawn the next day.
The mayor invites the heroes to stay in his manor and make themselves at home, and to come for the festival and feast starting soon. He heads off to help with the festival, his brother Leonard following him. The heroes head into the house and snoop around. They find strange effigies of Pelaria made of flayleaf, a mild intoxicant, illegal in most parts of Koronell. Bez smokes it and confirms its effects. Diarmuid explores the pantry and finds black mushroom, giant tick legs, and stirges. He nibbles on the mushrooms. Naroo and Skarvist find strange drawings in the mayor’s library, they seem to be ancient Arathian prayers, artistically depicted, venerating someone called the Thorn Queen. The heroes then check the bedrooms upstairs and find a room for each of them. One of the rooms seems to have been used, the others have a thin layer of dust. Skarvist searches the used room, hoping to find a sign of Elias, but finds nothing out of the ordinary.
The heroes then see Leonard come home and so they head out to the Founder’s Festival. The find the festival grounds has over one hundred people eager to begin the games. The heroes play the first game, called the Dreamer’s Leap, where they jump over a bonfire. Qhude, Skarvist, and Bez easily clear the jump. Next, they play a game called Falling Stars, where they throw javelins at distant targets. Skarvist notes that it is odd that those devout of Pelaria call javelins her sacred weapon, calling them falling stars. In truth, Skarvist knows that Pelaria’s sacred weapon is the bow. The heroes participate in the games, but Skarvist, Bez, and Kofaer do not do well. Next, the villagers set up an arean cage for a series of raven fights. Bez adds Sithmut, who turns into a raven, to the roster, calling him “Sithy”. Sithy quickly wins the tournament, nearly killing the first two ravens, and succeeding in killing the last one. Bez is somewhat upset with the imp for killing the raven. However, Bez does win an honorable seat next to the mayor during the feast. He also finds that the villagers do not show any prejudice towards his goblin heritage.
The other heroes play a game of three-legged race and attempt to run down the field strapped to each other. Skarvist and Naroo come close to winning, Kofaer and Qhude keep falling over. In the end, some villagers win the race. The town then prepares for the next game, who can capture the greased pig….
SESSION 27: The Cult of Ravenfield [Mar 26, 2019]
The heroes get excited as they line up around the perimeter of a roped off area of the festival. A crowd of the Ravenfield villagers gathers around them. Skarvist and Qhude volunteer to join the sport of chasing the greased pig. They are joined by a young man of the village. Soon the farmers bring out a large pig. Qhude immediately notices that the pig seems either sick or drugged. He asks the young man about it, but the man doesn’t seem to know much about it. Then the contest begin, with Qhude immediately leaping forward upon the pig and grabbing it. He utilizes his trained techniques to hold the greasy pig steady. Skarvist moves in, but cannot get a hold of the beast. Then the other young man leaps upon the pig and manages to pin it almost immediately. There is much cheering as he wins the contest. However, the creature suddenly convulses and shudders before falling over dead. Then a strange transformation happens and the pig grows a third pair of legs and strange flytrap like fungal tendrils from its backside. It’s eyes glow a furious red as it animates and attacks. It bites the young man sending him sprawling backwards. Qhude then pummels the creature as Skarvist heads back for his rapier. Diarmuid charges in. Kofaer does so as well, after carefully putting down his foaming beer. Bez then uses his magic to send Kofaer’s mug sprawling at the pig, but instead heads into the nearby grasses. Diarmuid then cuts the beast open it falls dead. Naroo examines the creature and determines that it was infected with some sort of demonic fungi.
The villagers seem quite shocked at what happened, as Naroo then heals the hurt young man. Qhude notices that the town doesn’t seem as shocked as he would expect. The villagers tell the heroes that horrible things just sometimes happen in Ravenfield, and they have grown somewhat used to it. The villagers then try to burn the corpse, but when that fails, they throw the body into the river. The mayor then calms everyone down and the merriment begins again. The heroes earn a seat at the mayor’s table and the take part in a long feast of black mushrooms, flayleaf salads, fried silkworms, smoked tick legs, and stirge blood sausage. As they eat, three young women of the village recite the town’s history and perform, trying to compete for as Founder’s Feast Queen. Shel Lupescu, a beautiful blonde woman, eventually wins and dons a crown of vines and flowers. Some of the heroes then take part in the drinking and dancing and have much fun. Skarvist and Shel dance quite a bit and it is clear that she fancies him.
Eventually, the party seems to stop abruptly, as the night grows and all the villagers are eager to be blessed by the dream tender on this sacred night. The heroes are escorted by Mayor Kriegler to his manor house and they all head to bed. The heroes meet privately in one of the bedrooms and decide to set a watch. Qhude watches first as the others sleep. He then sees Shel Lupescu sneaking up asking where Skarvist’s room is. She then convinces Skarvist to join her for a romantic tryst out in the nearby fields. However, as the two young lovers embrace each other, Skarvist finds that Shel was simply distracting him as two strangely dressed cultists surround him. They knock him out and poison him into sleep.
Qhude then awakens Kofaer to rotate the watch, telling him that Skarvist is out and should return shortly. However, after another half-hour goes by, Kofaer wakes Qhude up to indicate that Skarvist never returned. The two then awaken Diarmuid to keep watch as they go investigate where Skarvist went to. Qhude and Kofaer find the lovers’ tracks and the sign of many booted feet out in the field. They are then accosted by a few stirges and cultists. Qhude rushes back to the others as Kofaer attacks and yells for help. Bez awakens and joins DIarmuid in the hall. They then hear calls for help from outside. They awaken Naroo and the three of them rush out to find Qhude and Kofaer struggling against the cultists. Kofaer fells most of them, but Qhude is knocked out by a sleeping poison. The heroes take the unconscious cultists into the house and patch their wounds. They then awaken Qhude by treating his toxin. They try to get information from the cultists, but it proves of little use. They check out the field again, but find only a shinguard of Skarvist’s armor.
The heroes explore the two other bedrooms in the house, finding only a foul-smelling brown stain in Leonard’s bed. In Andretti’s room, they find a secret chest under a floorboard. Inside is an old journal of the Kriegler family and a signet ring. Diarmuid identifies the signet ring as something a Koronellian noble like Elias Kyle would likely wear. The heroes then head out to town looking around the amphitheater. They find that the effigy of Pelaria is missing. Kofaer is expertly able to track small flakes of its corn husks to an old and dilapidated farm. The crumbling, sagging house seems empty and quiet, but outside is the effigy. The heroes head towards the house when the effigy comes to life and attacks them. The heroes charge into battle, circling around the strange scarcrow. Then some cultists charge out at them from around the house and from the front door. The battle gets fierce and dangerous as the sleeping poison on the cultist’s sickles threaten the heroes. However, they are able to defeat the effigy and destroy it, then cut down the remaining cultists. The heroes clamor into the house and find Skarvist, naked and unconscious in a small, rusted iron cage…
SESSION 28: The Ruined Farmhouse [Apr 2, 2019]
Qhude immediately unlocks the rusty cage and Kofaer pulls out the unconscious Skarvist. The heroes look about the dilapidated farmhouse while Naroo and Diarmuid bandage the unconscious cultists’ wounds and tie them up. Kofaer then throws Skarvist’s body over his shoulder as they look about the place. They head into the next chamber, finding a large crude botany lab, with numerous strange plants and mushrooms that they do not recognize. In one corner, is a giant compost heap that reeks of garbage and filth, but upon it grows many of the black mushrooms the heroes had eaten with the town’s feast.
As the heroes move in to explore the laboratory, Naroo is suddenly grabbed and nearly crushed by a giant animated slime mold. The heroes react quickly and chop the strange entity down into pieces and free Naroo from its grasp. Bez heals Naroo with he strange occult magic. The heroes then explore the laboratory, but are still unable to identify the many plants. However, they do recognize one dish of spores as being the same as the Abyssal spores that infected the pig during the festival. Diarmuid encourages Bez to burn the lab, but first wants to explore the rest of the farmhouse.
Qhude and Naroo explore the front room of the house, while Bez and Diarmuid head up the ladder to the loft. Qhude finds glowing candles and glint of metal in the front room and heads towards it, but soon finds that the room was trapped and part of the house caves in on him and Naroo. Thankfully, they are not injured greatly. Bez then finds a small closet at the end of the loft and inside discovers a strange and old quilt depicting mosquito-masked cultists and stirges circling a central figure covered in black tumors caressing a bound prisoner. The embroidery depicts the victim smiling pleasantly as a ghost-like form leaves his body and accepts the embrace of the cancerous cult leader. Other scenes depict flourishing crops beneath the watchful gaze of the sacrificed victim’s spirit. The heroes recognize that this quilt indicates the this village’s vile practices may be many generation old.
The heroes then explore the back room of the farmhouse, finding a room filled with numerous silk larva and moths attracted to a lit lantern. Bez moves in to burn up the moths with his flaming corn husks, but is soon attacked by a giant spider-like monster. Qhude leaps into action, grabbing Bez and pulling him to safety. The heroes then charge in at the beast, which is now shrouded in illusion magic. It shoots webs at Kofaer then goes invisible. The heroes search about the room, trying to find the beast. But it then reappears in the hall, striking at Naroo. The heroes are able to close it in and eventually strike it down quickly. Naroo is able to treat the poison it inflicted upon Kofaer and Diarmuid. Bez identifies the shape-changing aranea monster, and indicates that it was likely taking the form of the old weaver they met upon entering the village.
The heroes then head into the basement of the farmhouse where they find a crude mosquito-like effigy. Skarvist identifies it as an interpretation of the goddess Sethma the Plaguebringer, particularly her aspect as goddess of parasites. The heroes also find a freshly dug grave in the earthen floor of the basement. Kofaer, Qhude, and Diarmuid dig up the recently buried body of a red-haired nobleman who they believe to be Elias Kyle. Naroo finds that he was sacrificed in some strange ritual, his belly full of corn husks and dead stirges. The heroes also find numerous robes and masks of the cultists in the room. Diarmuid and Kofaer take the body of Elias outside as the others follow. Diarmuid and Naroo want to give him a proper burial. However, as they get outside they decide to look around outside the farmhouse some more before lowering their guard.
The heroes head into the backyard where they find a large flayleaf trellis. They also find a fetid pond with a dead calf floating in it, the entire surface covered with mosquitoes, flies, and their larva. The heroes head to a nearby barn and peer inside. To their horror, they find four misshapen humans that seem feral. The mongrelmen attack them and they are forced to knock the feral men out, though Kofaer manages to cut two of them in half. Skarvist determines that some foul aberration, not of this world, likely fathered these malformed men. Kofaer finishes them off after Diarmuid determines that they may not be redeemable. The heroes then find a shrine at the back of the barn where the mongrelmen had accumulated various items. Skarvist finds all of his belongings in the pile. Additionally, they find two powerful wands of magic that Bez takes.
As they exit the barn, they see Leonard Kriegler standing guard at the entrance to a corn maze on the end of the farm. He charges at the heroes, but then his form changes shape as he comes closer. He becomes a faceless monster, resembling the cancerous creature seen on the quilt. The monster is accompanied by a giant swarm of mosquitoes that hone in on the heroes. The heroes quickly maneuver around the faceless monster, taking it out rather quickly. Qhude leaps upon it and partially tears its head off using his tiger-like pounce. The mosquito swarm then takes some effort to disperse.
The heroes then look on at the entrance to the corn maze, knowing that there is something in that maze that the cultists wish to keep hidden…
SESSION 29: The Blightspawn of Sethma [Apr 23, 2019]
The heroes march into the cornfield maze behind the abandoned farmhouse. The wild field composed of corn, wild grasses, and sheets of spider webs glistening in the dew of the hanging fog. The mess shimmers like ghosts in the moonlight. The heroes press in through the maze eager to find the source of the chanting that can barely be heard over the thick air. The heroes then reach the center of the maze, finding over twenty masked cultists standing in a ritual. A large blood-stained timber altar bears the unconscious and tied form of Shel Lupesco. Standing over the altar, is a wild-eyed Mayor Andretti Kreigler. He holds a ritualistic spear. All the cultists around him have swarms of mosquitoes swirling around their bodies. He calls out to the heroes to drop their weapons and join the ritual. The heroes refuse and a battle breaks out with the enraged cultists. Bez also notices that Sethmut sits upon Kriegler’s shoulder.
The heroes charge in cutting down the cultists that get in their way. The wild cultists strike fervently, their faith leading their strikes. Kriegler summons a demon to strike at Naroo, but the others are able to fell the beast. Kreigler then throws other dark spells at the heroes as they cut their way through the throng of cultists. Eventually the heroes reach Kriegler and strike at him, however, they find he has numerous magical protections. They cut and slash as he wears them down. Kofaer is nearly felled but keeps fighting in a maddened rage. Qhude pulls Shel away from the cult leader. Bez convinces Sethmut to leave Kriegler and rejoin him. Then the heroes surround the cult leader strike down Kriegler despite their bloodied and wounded bodies. Kriegler seems to cry in pain as he dies, his body bulging with something inside. It seems to be growing rapidly. Diarmuid throws his body on the fire as the others move away from it. Skarvist rushes off with Shel.
Then a great mosquito-like beast bursts forth from Kriegler’s burning form. The enraged monster sends out waves of intense lethargic energy. The heroes push through the lethargy and strike at the great beast. Sethmut charges in to strike but is quickly pierced by the blightspawn’s stinger and killed, the imp returns to its home plane. Bez is quite upset by this as everyone continues to throw all they have at the beast. Qhude and Diarmuid then mange a series of deadly strikes upon the blightspawn as Skarvist stabs it from the side. Then the great monster flies into the fog above and disappears. Naroo and Diarmuid patches up everyone’s wounds as Qhude notices the creature flying far in the distance to the north.
The heroes return to the Kriegler Manor with the unconscious Shel after burying Elias Kyle. They rest for the night in the manor and question Shel in the morning. She informs them that she was to be sacrificed to help cure Mayor Kriegler’s apparent infertility. The heroes also learn that the cult of Sethma has been operating in town for generations, posing as followers of Pelaria. Shel believes that the frequent sacrifices to Sethma keeps the blight away from their lands. However, she has also heard that the blightspawn must be kept in check by the Kriegler family or a great doom will fall upon the land. Shel agrees to leave the village and start a new life elsewhere to atone for her misdeeds. She hides in the manor while the heroes speak with the townspeople.
The heroes gather the townspeople and Skarvist convinces them that they were sent by Pelaria to eradicate the cult from their town. The townspeople decide to stay and repair their town and help burn the old farm and bury the dead cultists. The heroes promise to send over a priest of Pelaria to set them on a proper religious faith. The heroes then head over to Namford with Shel where she dons a new identity and pledges herself to the Trinity and life at the church of Chaplain Dekshure. The heroes then return to Kassen and receive their reward from Stralbod. Stralbod also informs them that Belun had succumbed to lycanthropy and was killed by the templars. Stralbod also promises to keep a good eye on Ravenfield as they recover from the ordeal.
Before the heroes leave, Rizak approaches them and asks them to accompany him as bodyguards on his venture to Korenhold to present the Star of Righteousness to the Cardinals. He expects he will be promoted and moved to Korenhold. He also promises the heroes plenty of coin for escorting him safely to the capitol. He tells them to inform him when they are ready to set out on the long road to Korenhold…
SESSION 30: The Escort [Apr 30, 2019]
The heroes spend some time enjoying Kassen before heading out on their journey with Rizak. Rizak says he is eager to present the holy relic along with the heroes that helped retrieve it. It is clear that he expects to be promoted for having it retrieved and hopes to secure a permanent position in Korenhold, away from the northern frontier of Kassen. They decide to wait a week before setting out on the journey.
Bez spends this time with Father Prasst, who has grown exceptionally weak as of late, barely able to leave his bed for very long. Naroo helps out with healing local farmers for the Trinity church. Kofaer works at his uncle’s smithy while Qhude works at the lumber warehouse. Skarvist helps out at the tavern and Bez performs at the tavern each night. Diarmuid shares stories of the Trinity with local people. After a week of these activities, the heroes prepare to head out on the long journey to Korenhold.
Before they leave, Knight-Lieutenant Stralbod Kain speaks with Diarmuid and warns the young knight not to get involved in the politics of the church and to keep an eye on Rizak. The heroes then gather together and take a boat down to Namford. They reach the small hamlet that evening and find Chaplain Dekshure and Shel at the local inn. Skarvist and Shel begin to form a romantic relationship while Chaplain Deksure seems wary about Rizak’s ambitions. The heroes then leave the next morning, with Skarvist promising Shel that he will see her when he returns. The heroes then reach Namport that night and rest at the inn. The next morning, Rizak and Diarmuid head to Fort Nambold to speak with Knight-Commander of the North, Karrrick Ushmil. After the short meeting, Karrick speaks with Diarmuid alone. He seems to be trying to ascertain if Stralbod is trying to usurp his position and he seems to trust Diarmuid’s judgement. Diarmuid assures the aging commander that Stralbod doesn’t seem to have such ambitions and really does want to protect the northern border with a fort.
Rizak and Diarmuid then rejoin the others at the Chubby Axe for some excellent fried fish and wine. They then decide to set out by foot towards Sonvera. The heroes spend the next week travelling along the busy travel roads, passing merchants, pilgrims, and other travelers on the way. During the journey, Kofaer tells Bez about his father’s involvement with the necromatic cult, the Osodorath and how his father’s body has recently gone missing in Brong. Bez buys the dwarf some drinks to help him not worry about the situation. Naroo and Bez chat as well, ensuring their friendship has not been tarnished by Bez’s association with the imp, Sithmut.
One day, as the heroes find themselves in a wilder area of rocky hills, a great, giant humanoid beast with two long tusks charges from the nearby woods. The heroes leap into action and surround the beast that they identify as a troll. The battle gets fierce and dangerous as they find the wounds they inflict upon the beast heals quite quickly. Skarvist is thrown to the ground and his back cut open, nearly felling him. Bez and Diarmuid are able to save him with some magic. Qhude cleverly pulls out a bottle of lantern oil and prepares it to explode. He hands the makeshift-bomb to Bez. The warriors then continue to cut and tear down the troll as Bez throws the fiery grenade upon it. With the flames searing its skin, preventing its regeneration, the heroes are able to fell it, with Kofaer cleaving off its head. Just as the heroes are victorious, they are greeted by four armored knights of the High Templar who thank the heroes for intervening. The heroes then head out towards town to rest. Diarmuid then comforts Rizak, who seems rather frightened from the attack.
The heroes then rest at the inn and set out again the next morning. The heroes travel for four days, but the weather grows increasingly dour. At first it gets cloudy and dim, but then on the fourth day they find themselves greeted by a powerful thunderstorm just as it grows into evening. Rizak is unsure of any towns nearby and they are unable to make a camp in the deluge of rain. They heroes then see a large manor house on a nearby hill. They head over and find the place rather eerie, seeing two blue eyes shining at them behind a window. However, no one answers when they knock. The door then opens by its own accord. The heroes enter to get out of the storm but are quite cautious about the surroundings. The door slams shut behind them and Skarvist finds that it is locked tight. Then they find that the nearby statues are actually living gargoyles.
A battle ensues with the gargoyles, but the heroes manage to defeat them quickly, penetrating their stone-like skin with powerful blows. With the gargoyles defeated, the heroes look about the manor, trying to decide what they will do next…
SESSION 31: The Haunted Manor [May 7, 2019]
The heroes step into the eerie manor’s foyer after defeating the gargoyles. They find a small griffon statue with an arm held out as if it was knocking on a door. Kofaer pulls the arm and they hear a grating sound in the distance. They then step into a tea room where they find that the statue’s arm acted as a lever for a secret door to the east. The heroes, however, head south. As they pass through the tea room, the grand glass chandelier falls to the ground in a loud crash. The heroes then enter a dining room where a ghostly scene of a dinner party begins to play out. A dark brooding ghostly man sits at the head of the table. As Skarvist steps in to talk to the man, the party ceases and the man screams at them. Then the ghosts disappear and the room catches fire, covering all surfaces with ethereal flames.
The heroes rush out of the fiery room and the fires subside. The heroes then pass through the dining room and find a large ballroom. Another ghostly scene plays out where the same man, but younger, discusses leaving with a mistress. The heroes then enter as the ghosts vanish. Skarvist then finds a single gold coin hidden in the sooty fireplace. The heroes then step out into the indoor, glassed pool room. Skarvist and Kofaer head over to examine some skeletal corpses. Then massive zombie claws reach out for them from the algae-covered pool. Kofaer is pulled into the water, but Skarvist manages to dodge the arms. The heroes rush in to help as they stab and cut at the undead beneath the murky algae-covered water. Kofaer nears drowning as he fights the zombies off. Qhude leaps down into the water upon the zombies to help Kofaer escape. They manages to fell the zombies and crawl out of the murky water. Kofaer finds an ornamental sword as he exits.
The heroes then head into the secret door where they find that only one secret door linked to the griffon statue can be opened at a time in the hall, thus the party may need to separate. Kofaer, Qhude, and Naroo scout ahead to the other side, finding an old bedroom and a training room. Kofaer breaks the door of the bedroom and finds a crumbling journal where a man explains that his Lord is under the influence of a witch. Naroo finds a magical scroll in the desk. They then return to the others and manage to cram the entry-way couch between the closing door, allowing both doors to stand partially open. The heroes and Rizak then all crawl over the couch into the secret chambers. They notice burning marks in the training room and open the double-door into a burned-out library. There are blackened skeletons upon the floor. Skarvist and Qhude then check out a cloak that seems unharmed by the fires. The cloak then animates and attacks them.
The cloak is an aberration cloaker and wraps itself around Kofaer, it’s mouth biting and eating him. Kofaer once again struggles for breath as the others hack away at the beast. It releases powerful fear-inducing moans that sends Bez and Rizak running away. The heroes chop away at it as Kofaer manages to break free and hold the beast down. It eventually releases another moan that paralyzes Diarmuid and then engulfs the champion. The heroes manage to fell the beast before anyone is killed with Kofaer chopping it in tow with a magical axe, thanks to Naroo. Naroo is able to discern that Kofaer is possessed by some sort of spirit when he is enraged. Kofaer worries that it is his father’s spirit, but also hopeful that it is not.
The heroes then decide they need to rest for the rest of the night. They first attempt to rest in the entryway, but are disturbed by creeping sounds. They continue to try with Skarvist and Kofaer taking watch. Suddenly, something tiny sneaks up on Skarvist and slits his throat with a long knife. The wound is so deep it damages his spinal cord. Diarmuid is able to save Skarvist’s life as the heroes awaken to an evil red-eyed doll running around with a knife. The manage to scare the doll away and treat their wounds as best they can. They decide to then rest in the ruined library, locking and sealing the door as best they can. They again hear the creeping of the doll outside the door, but are able to get the rest they need. The next day, the heroes step out of the sealed rooms and find a ruined war room behind a secret door. They then return to the entrance where they find that it is near noon, but still cloudy and gray outside. The entrance door is still locked and sealed.
The heroes then head upstairs, where they find a strange green glow, but are unable to identify it’s source. The heroes then head down a hall into another room where they find a skeletal scribe let a ghostly woman pass. Kofaer breaks the scribe’s desk, and the skeleton turns to ash. Bez then grabs a magical scroll that fall out of the desk.
The heroes then prepare to explore more of the eerie manor and understand what dark forces are at work there…
SESSION 32: Dark Energy and the Hag [May 21, 2019]
The heroes find that the door into the next chamber, past the clerk’s desk, is locked and reinforced. The heroes then return to the hallway and begin searching the many doorways. They come across two empty bedrooms, though one carried a hidden potion. They then find a washroom with a ghostly apparition doing laundry. In the next chamber, they find two swinging doors that enter into a kitchen. As they enter the room, a few of them feel a cold sensation on their necks. Then knives, forks, and other kitchen elements come flying across the room, striking at them. The heroes find the room infested with a dangerous poltergeist. Qhude, Bez, and Diarmuid all succumb to fear and flee. The others find there is little they can do and retreat to the hallway. The ghost does not seem to follow them.
The heroes then make a plan to return for the small chest after resting for many hours in the small secret room. When they return to the room, Kofaer bravely marches in and grabs the chest. The poltergeist throws more sharp kitchen utensils at him. He leaves the kitchen and the ghost does not follow. In his rage, Kofaer tears the chest apart, dropping numerous silver coins upon the ground. The others pick them all up and divide them. The heroes then find another washroom where the ghostly apparition of the lady of the house lies in the washtub. Her wrists are slit and ghostly blood pours from her veins into the bath. Naroo attempts to calm the spirit and send it forth to the afterlife, but the spirit is disturbed. It lashes out at him before disappearing.
The heroes then find that the next door is locked and they hear sounds of many creatures seemingly trying to break out. They decide to leave the room for another time. The heroes then head into the basement, down the spiral staircase. As soon as they enter the large cellar room, the door slams shut. It is locked by a 4-digit coded lock. A noxious green gas then sprays into the room. With limited time the heroes look about trying to figure out the puzzle. They find an unfinished flesh golem and some notes on the lab’s table. The golem is attached to numerous metal coils and alchemical devices. There is also a couple buckets of embalmed body parts. The heroes quickly decipher the riddle in the lab notes and try the numbers in the lock with no effect. They then understand that only the golem knows the correct combination. So they use the numbers to pick out the correct body parts, as each are tagged with a number. Naroo quickly attaches the golem’s hands, feet, and brain. Bez is then able to discern how to activate the device and electrify the golem. He pulls the lever and the golem awakens. The flesh golem immediately sits up, walks over to the door, and presses in the correct combination. The door opens and the gas ceases. The golem then falls apart upon the ground in a fleshy heap. Bez finds that the device that awakened the creature seems to be unusable.
The heroes quickly leave the basement and head back to the locked door on the second floor. Again, they hear the creatures trying to get out, but they are desperate to find a key to get through the final door. Skarvist unlocks the door and it immediately is thrown open as a pack of ghouls charge in at the heroes. The heroes quickly slash and cut at the ghouls, slowly cutting them down. Kofaer is paralyzed during the attack, but the others prevail. After the ghouls are defeated, the heroes explore the area, but find only another potion, the needed key is still missing. As the heroes head back into the hallway, they find the small evil doll with the red eyes staring at them across the hallway. It wields a knife in one hand, still stained from Skarvist’s blood, and holds an iron key in the other hand.
The heroes charge at the doll, who quickly sneaks away into a side room. The heroes spread out and ready themselves for the doll as it tries to run past and cut them with its knife. They eventually stop her escape and force the doll into fighting. Kofaer and Diarmuid take many cuts from the doll, but they eventually destroy it. The tortured spirit inside is finally free. Kofaer breaks the doll into tiny pieces in his rage. The heroes take the key and open the room past the clerk’s office. They find a small waiting room where they see a ghostly scene of the dark woman they had seen before handing a doll to a young girl. The young girl then appears bloodied and cut before disappearing. The heroes then head to the next set of doors which appear stuck. They notice that the doors have a faded family tree upon them. Kofaer manages to push the doors open and the heroes enter into a large bedroom.
On the ceiling of the chamber, a man is stuck to the surface in a black muck. Green, necrotic energies are draining from him and filling the house. Most of the energies seem to flow into a lifeless body slumped in a chair. As the heroes enter the room, trying to make sense of all this, the body steps up and transforms into a purple-skinned old woman with curved horns, a hag. The heroes charge at the hag, surrounding her. She then drains their strength and blasts them with magic. She then cuts at them with her razor-sharp claws. She nearly kills Diarmuid. Naroo then saves Diarmuid as the others continue to strike at her. Skarvist makes quite a few lucky shots from the corner with his crossbow as Bez throws spells and tries to swing at her with the Fist of Nuegar. Then Kofaer cuts into the hag’s neck and her heads rolls off onto the floor.
The man in the ceiling is then released and falls to the ground, he mouths a “thank you” before turning into ash. The entire building then begins to writhe and rumble as the necrotic energies holding it together fade away. The heroes find themselves in danger as the building begins to collapse…
SESSION 33: The Harrow and the Murder [May 28, 2019]
The heroes try to escape the collapsing manor house. The wood and structure of the house seems to rot and collapse before their eyes, as if the passing of the years have finally set upon the structure’s integrity. Naroo tries his best to help the others as everyone dodges, weaves, and pushes debris aside, scrambling for the exit. Rizak and Bez are the first to exit with the others to follow. Diarmuid is the last to leap from the fallen structure as it collapses into a heap of destruction. As the heroes look back at the ruins, they see only a ruined stone foundation, covered in tangled vines and vegetation, as if the building had never been and was already lost to time.
Rizak is quite frightened from the ordeal and is eager to head towards safety. The heroes camp for the night in a hidden hillock and set out the next day for the nearest village. On the way to the village the next day, as they see the houses on the horizon that evening, the heroes are attacked by a quick-moving corpse that springs from the forest. It’s eyes glow red with hatred as it charges at Kofaer. The corpse appears to have once been a dwarf, and judging by its wear, had traveled quite far. Rizak identifies the undead monstrosity as a revenant, one bent on Kofaer’s destruction. The heroes struggle to take down the determined monster. Kofaer falls into his rage, but this time, he finds that the spirit within him grows ever stronger in fighting this foe. The attack is brutal and Naroo uses much healing magic to keep Kofaer alive. Diarmuid tries to speak with the monster, using the spirit-tongue of the undead. He learns that the angry spirit is that of Kofaer’s father, Ukdrim. He wishes to fell Kofaer in service to the dark cult he once belonged. Eventually, the heroes are able to fell the revenant, but then find the vengeful and incorporeal spirit of Ukdrim still strikes at them. A few powerful attacks then sends the spirit of Ukdrim fleeing into the woods. Kofaer grows worried that his father’s spirit will never rest until he finishes the task and kills his son.
Soon the heroes reach the small village of Vertuse. Rizak asks for a couple days to collect himself after the ordeal at the manor house and the attack of the undead. The others busy themselves with minor shopping and enjoy the small carnival that is in town. Each hero finds themselves receiving a fortune or harrow read by a wandering gypsy. Diarmuid learns that his path will fork in the near future and he will have a hard choice to make. Skarvist learns that he does possess his father’s broken tusk, and that someday he will find him, though he may regret it. Naroo finds his loyalty will not falter in the future and that a great trial of destruction is ahead of him. Bez learns that his gauntlet can be removed but to be wary for betrayal. Kofaer learns that he will need to deal with his father when the time is right. Qhude learns that he will one day find a new mentor and master new techniques when the time is right.
After a couple days, Rizak seems in better spirits and the heroes set out once again. They soon reach Sonvera after a few days, but Rizak does not seem to want to spend much time in a “city of sin”. During that evening in the city, Bez speaks with his old manager and confronts him on shorting his pay, but Lalord just tells him he learned a valuable lesson. Skarvist seeks the Temple of Hermaen and pays the priests to heal his injured spine. The rogue is quite glad to have his freedom of movement again. Bez then finds a strange magician named Xander who can help him remove the Grasp of Nuegar from his arm. They agree upon terms and Bez returns the next morning to have it removed. Xander keeps the evil artifact as agreed.
The heroes then head out from Sonvera, travelling for a few days towards Korenhold. They then reach the small village of Halroun where Rizak’s friend, Baron Toren Thugosh resides. The heroes spend the night at the inn, expecting to feast with the baron the next evening. However, early the next morning, the heroes hear screams. They find Baron Thugosh with armed templar soldiers trying to arrest the heroes for the murder of Rizak. The heroes try to make sense of the situation, but are quite confused. The are forced to fight against the soldiers. Kofaer cleaves off one of the soldier’s heads, sending the Baron rushing off and screaming down the street for help. Qhude chases after him and tries to stop him, but Diarmuid wants to reason with him. Eventually they let the Baron flee. Meanwhile, Skarvist breaks out onto the roof and breaks into Rizak’s room. He steals Rizak’s travel bag and a letter upon the desk. As the heroes gather their items, Qhude finds a strange Arathian book under his bed, it is dedicated to prayers of Seth the Destroyer. Naroo finds that Rizak was stabbed repeatedly by two varying-sized daggers.The heroes then all flee the inn as they hear the thundering beat of templar knights charging in the distance.
The heroes reconvene in the woods outside the village. They are confused about happened and why they were named as murderers of Rizak. They are now fugitives of the law…
SESSION 34: Fugitives [Jun 4, 2019]
The heroes discuss with each other about to do given the horrible situation they are in. They are currently fugitives from the law, seemingly framed for the murder of Rizak Klemocc, a priest of St. Aedin. Skarvist shows everyone the letter he found on Rizak’s desk. It clearly implicates the heroes as conspirators to extort the church in exchange for a holy relic. Diarmuid finds that the letter is also in Rizak’s handwriting, but the knight does not believe that Rizak would have done this willingly with a sound-mind. Qhude also shows the Arathian prayerbook of Seth that was under his bed at the inn, a clear attempt to implicate him. The heroes are unsure who or why anyone would frame them for Rizak’s murder, or why Rizak was murdered in the first place. Qhude discusses leaving for Korenhold and trying to disguise among the denizens of the city, however, the others are interested in heading back to Vertuse to try and get evidence concerning the many letters Rizak sent out when they rested there after the haunted manor.
The heroes then hear knights thundering along the roads, likely looking for them. The heroes then decide to head towards Vertuse, travelling through the wilderness away from the trade roads. Skarvist and Qhude steal fresh produce from the outlying farms and gardens and Naroo and Kofaer forage in the woods. They take what food they can and travel through the wild country towards Vertuse. After a couple days of travel, the heroes come across two pilgrims who are visiting the 27 holy sites of the Trinity. The heroes pretend to be pilgrims and knights-in-training and pretend they are also heading towards Namford to visit the Tomb of Knight Servius Natali. After a short chat, the heroes continue on their way, knowing their deception was mostly successful.
After a few more days of travel, the heroes come across some bandits in the hills not far from Vertuse. The heroes make short work of the bandits and manage to capture two of them, named Rethen and Rolthig. Rethen seems to repent and promises to stop his banditry, but Rolthig seems defiant. They let Rethem go free. Eventually the heroes argue over the proper way to dispense justice to the murderer, Rolthig. Kofaer wishes to cut off his hand or otherwise kills him, Naroo and Diarmuid feel such a course is a bit brash. But they know that they cannot bring the man into the authorities. Eventually, Skarvist stabs the man’s heart and executes him quickly.
The heroes continue onward, reaching Vertuse that afternoon. They see some knights, including an inquisitor outside of town, seemingly looking for something. A messenger reaches them and delivers some news that sends them returning to the village. Diarmuid knows that an inquisitor knight would likely be assigned to hunt down any fugitives, and thus one was likely assigned to them. Skarvist and Kofaer sneak into town disguised as mere travelers, while Bez sneaks in disguised as a poor child (using his magic hat). The three return with some information. They learn that there is an encampment outside of Vertuse, but the knights there are looking for bandits in the region. That night, Skarvist hides along the main road, looking for messengers. Sure enough, one comes along and Skarvist steps out and is nearly trampled by the rider’s horse. During the scuffle, Skarvist manages to steal a letter from the messenger’s saddlebag. He returns the letter to his friends, and they learn that news of their travel northward was about to reach the inquisitor and they best be on the move before the inquisitor does get word of their location. The letter was signed by Namish Kolgim, Knight-Commander of the East (headquartered in Sonvera), addressed to the inquisitor-knight, Teldan Vermuk.
The heroes decide to cut across the trade road eastward towards the Myrillian River. They push through the next day and reach the river the next evening, tired and exhausted. Thankfully, Skarvist finds some freshwater prawns for them to eat that night, and they rest until dawn. The next day they head south into a small fishing village. They find that there are a small gang of pirates hanging out on the docks and a large sailing vessel out on the river. The heroes approach and learn from the crewmen that the ship is looking for recruits and they also wish to avoid the Templars. The heroes agree to board the ship and speak with the first mate.
On the ship, they meet a red-headed woman named Rinee who is the first-mate of the ship, the Star Rudder. She explains that they are a merchant and smuggling ship out of Rizzi and that they expect to pick up some cargo this evening. She sizes up the heroes and sees that they may be useful crew-members and trustworthy. She explains that she doesn’t know where they will be off to next, as it depends on their cargo and the captain. They notice she wears a holy symbol of Zallus the Liberator Then the captain comes out. He is a middle-aged man in worn-out noble’s garments. He introduces himself as Elek Lule, or Captain Lullaby. He sizes up the heroes and agrees to let them work on his ship until the next port. He explains that they are smuggling people, rescued slaves from Arathkelsara. They intend to rendezvous with the ex-slaves this evening and head out to the Rizzian colony of Gessedo. It is on the western shore of the Inner Sea, far south of Arathkelsara in the Jungle of Snakes. He hopes the selicean slaves will be able to find a new life there as free-citizens.
The heroes agree with the ships mission and help load in the ex-slaves, ten selicean women, children, and men. Naroo and Diarmuid treat their wounds and diseases as Kofaer and the ship’s cook, a half-orc named Grulgos, feeds them. The captain then has a quick meeting with the crew, assigning everyone’s duties, before they shove off, down the river… towards freedom…
The End of Act II
Act 3: Heroes’ Calling
A year has passed and the heroes have continued to serve as crew-members of the Star Rudder, supporting its freedom-fighting mission. They have learned much over the year, helping rescue slaves from Arathkelsara, then bringing them to various ports in the Inner Sea. The heroes have helped out with twelve slave runs since joining up. They have also been able to enjoy the occasional shore-leave in Rizzi, Ramona, and Veracas.
They have learned that a Templar inquistor named Teldan Vermuk has been looking for them in Korenell, but so far they have avoided detection. They were forced to stay hidden when in Korenellian waters, but have otherwise been able to enjoy most of the ports the ship has visited. As far as they know, they are still wanted in Korenell for the murder of Rizak Klemocc. At times, the heroes yearn to return home and see their friends and families again.
* Diarmuid – The knight was slow to accept his fate as an outcast. He kept trying to think through the evidence and understand what happened to Rizak. Eventually, he let the matter go and fell into a calm enjoyment of his new life, finding solace and peace in each hard-working day. He took this time to step back from the mantle of leadership and just enjoy being part of the team. As the blessings of Solarus continue to flow through him, he knows his mission has been just and good.
* Skarvist – The rogue has found that life at sea agrees with him. He has proven himself to the crew, showing them how to distill rum and brandy. He also serves as a bartender to the crew during off-hours. He also started a regular dice game that has caused some tensions between winners and losers. Somehow, the rogue always seemed to be gaining the upper hand. Captain Lullaby has found Skarvist to be a great asset at the pirate ports. The rogue’s silver tongue has helped them gain information and resources that would have otherwise been out of reach.
* Bez – The bard has become the crew’s primary entertainment and source of joy. He has spent his time at sea writing numerous new songs and melodies. In the evenings, he provides entertainment to the crew with his music. When the crew is docked at port, Bez always makes an effort to book a gig in a tavern and demonstrate his newest songs to travelers. He has found that his musical notoriety grows and many are eager to see the goblin perform. He also greatly loves sharing new ideas with other travelling musicians.
* Naroo – The healer has become an indispensable member of the crew, quickly earning Captain Lullaby’s favor. Over the year, Naroo has treated numerous diseases, poisons, and wounds, making nearly every crew-member eternally grateful to the halfling. Captain Lullaby particular likes having Naroo around to help make tough decisions, relying on Naroo’s unerring compassion to guide him. Naroo finds the mission of the Star Rudder quite agreeable, knowing that he is truly doing good in the world. He has also had opportunities to visit his family in Rizzi a couple times.
* Kofaer – The warrior has become somewhat legendary among the crew-members. He has singlehandedly defeated various sea-monsters and enemies that have threatened their missions. He always proved to be the most tenacious when facing adversary. The dwarf has also proven to be handy off the battlefield, helping Grulgos with cooking, and occasionally mending weapons and tools when necessary. The spirit of Ukdrim never visited Kofaer again, but the dwarf never stopped looking over his shoulder.
* Qhude – The monk has found life at sea quite beneficial to his self-discipline and focus. He was often able to find a quiet area of the ship for meditation and sparing with crew members to hone his skills. Qhude was promoted to third mate and found himself in a position of leadership during much of the voyage. He would often lead away missions to meet up and rendezvous with the escaping slaves. Captain Lullaby found Qhude’s practical demeanor and ability to speak easily with the rescued slaves quite an asset to the ship’s mission.
The heroes recently stopped in the Korenellian colony of Arthvera to rescue a few slaves and then set out to bring them to Gessedo, a Migaran colony. As the ship neared its destination, a great storm blew in unexpectedly. An onslaught of winds and rain buffeted the sailing vessel. The crew worked their best to keep the ship upright and afloat. Water streamed into every nick and cranny, and some crew-members and the rescued slaves had to create a bucket brigade to keep the lower-deck from filling. Then a great blast of wind threw the ship over and everyone on-board went tumbling out into the turbulent and stormy sea.
SESSION 35: Ship Wrecked [Jun 12, 2019]
A few days prior to the fateful storm, the Star Rudder was docked at port in Arthvera where they picked up a few escaped slaves and travelers willing to pay for passage to Gessedo. The heroes met with some of the passengers, including Annabella, an artist and acolyte of Venya. Gallio Menius, a hopeful minor nobleman from Rizzi, who is hoping to establish a papaya farm on his new land around the Rizzian colony. Another traveler, Mr. Blackwell, said little about himself, but based on his clothing and etiquette he was likely someone of some status. The last traveler was a Selicean explorer named Umuzu. She had explored most of the jungles in the Inner Sea, and now hoped to start charting the Jungle of Snakes around the new colony of Gessedo. The heroes help the travelers and ex-slaves on board. Much work is put into bringing all of Gallio’s farming equipment, even with the help of his dozen indentured servants. Once all were on-board, the ship set sail for Gessedo.
The trip to the new colony was only a few days and Captain Lullaby felt that taking some travelers would help pay for the Star Rudder’s expenses for their mission. As the ship neared Gessedo with clear skies ahead, a sudden storm appeared out of no where. The sky darkened and the winds began to pick up. Fearing the worse, Captain Lullaby ordered the crew to board the travelers, ex-slaves, and Gallio’s equipment onto the rowboats, knowing that with some muscle the small vessels could reach the shore before the storm hit. The crew did so, sending the three rowboats laden with crates and people towards the shore. Rain began onslaughting the ship and the waves begin to rise with wild oscillations. The crew attempted to steer the ship towards port, but the sea had become a wild, vengeful beast, unable to be tamed. Soon the ship’s main mast cracked and fell over, causing the ship to spin and break under the numerous forces.
The heroes were then surrounded by the turbulent noise of water and storm. They held feebly to planks of drift wood as the waves bounced up and down in the choppy waters. The storm still raged above and the wind bit at their faces and stung their eyes with a salty spray. They were each alone and could not see anyone else in the darkness and chaos. The ship was no where to be seen. Their strength grew weak and they felt that they could not cling to the debris much longer. They then awoken to the light of the morning sun. Their lungs each stung with pain as they expelled salty water. They found that the six of them where each sprawled out upon a sandy beach. They were rescued by a fisherman from Gessedo named Raulnold. He tells them that he found no other survivors. The heroes do see some bodies floating out in the sea, clearly dead. The fisherman gives the heroes a ride to the nearby colony.
As the heroes arrive in the Gessedo docks, they find that a drunken man is assaulting and threatening Gallio Menius. The heroes come to the nobleman’s rescue and manage to cower the drunk. Soon a woman arrives with two militiamen. She apologizes for the man, named Theos Votto, who lost his wife and son to malaria last year. She introduces herself as Sheriff Adaela Praet, the military leader at the colony on behalf of Count Narsus. She tells the heroes to seek free lodging at the Stone Hall, the local inn. She promises to send men out to try to find any additional survivors and equipment from the wreckage. The heroes climb up into the town away from the haphazard collection of buildings along the muddy shores. They climb into the upper cliff-sides where swampy jungles surround a walled town. They find the Stone Hall and rest for the day after their ordeal.
When the heroes awaken later that day, the come down and find Sheriff Praet offering a large meal and drinks. She tells the heroes that no others survived the wreckage and fifteen of the thirty-two crew-members were found dead, but no sign of Captain Lullaby or First Mate Rinee. The heroes accept the news grimly, trying to decide what they can do with themselves. Sheriff Praet asks the heroes to perform a task for her, and head to nearby Fort Braccio to check in on the soldiers stationed there. She hasn’t heard from them in about two weeks. While this wasn’t unheard of, it was somewhat unusual. She explains the Fort’s location, about 12 miles down the coast, and offers 100 silver for completion of the task, since the outside jungles can sometimes be dangerous. She also asks the heroes to ask around town, as others may have need of errands to the fort.
The heroes explore the town of Gessedo. They first visit Oyin’s Emporium where they meet Mirya Oyin, a widowed old woman with a lot of bite. She asks them to deliver a package to a nearby farmstead on the way to Fort Braccio. The heroes then meet with Vethorn Valgardson of the Northwind Smithy. He is a quiet, stern half-elf/half-noradrie from Aelgard. He asks the heroes to bring back payment (95 sp) or his weapons that he sent to Fort Braccio, including ten swords and 144 crossbow bolts. The heroes then meet with Heri Lightfoot, a halfling alchemist who is looking for ingredients near Fort Braccio, she hands them a list and description of the plants she needs. On the way out of town, the heroes stop at the Countinghouse of Hermaen where they meet with Baldra Sifreth, an older woman who is looking for her acolyte Quinn Vanicus who has not returned from Fort Braccio in over a week. The heroes agree to find the man.
The heroes head out of town, stopping at the sawmill and then the farmstead to drop off the package. After a few hours, they reach Fort Braccio as evening draws in. The fort is a simple square structure, walled in with rough logs and perched on a short hill overlooking the nearby marshlands and coastline. Two-story towers anchor each corner of the fort, connected by wooden ramparts. As the heroes reach the front door, they find it has been broken in, as if rammed with something heavy. There are some faint, large reptilian footprints outside the gates.
The heroes enter the courtyard and find two bodies pierced with spears. They then have to kill a few compsognathus dinosaurs who were eating the corpses. Upon inspection of the bodies, the spears appear to be hunting spears of the local Sahajo tribe, a known isolationist and peaceful tribe of Seliceans. The second body is clearly Quinn Vanicus, and the heroes take his holy symbol of Hermaen. As the heroes attempt to explore more of the carnage at the fort, they are then assaulted from above by a sniper. With a few quick shots, Naroo takes a near-fatal arrow and falls to the ground. Diarmuid is able to revive the halfling. The heroes eventually find a lone lizardfolk archer firing at them from the high wall. Qhude and Kofaer climb up the wall to assault the archer, as Diarmuid begs them to not kill him. Diarmuid, Naroo, and Bez head inside the fort, finding more wreckage and carnage from a clear assault. They then run into some hungry centipedes in the nearby kitchen.
Meanwhile, Skarvist finally is able to climb up the wall just as Kofaer and Qhude corner the lizardfolk and force her to surrender. She explains, in broken Selicean, that her name is Zooif and she came to the fort just as the Mireborn tribe of lizardfolk were leaving. The Mireborn were carrying numerous corpses of Sahajo hunters. Zooif then decided to use the fort as a blind for hunting. She was exiled from a lizardfolk tribe far to the south and is not a member of the Mireborn tribe. Qhude lets the lizardfolk leave. The others join back up and they explore a few areas of the fort. They find a small lockbox that they are unable to open, then find a soldier’s corpses haphazardly stuck into a trunk, clearly killed by humanoid-sized claws. They also find a strange footprint in blood inside a meeting room. Naroo finds a large collection of healing supplies along with expert-quality healer’s tools. Skarvist finds an herbal bundle meant for Heri in town.
The heroes continue to explore the fort, trying to piece together what really happened…
SESSION 36: Investigation and the Storm [Jun 18, 2019]
The heroes continue exploring Fort Braccio and piecing together the attack that felled its soldiers. The heroes head into one of the other watchtowers across the wall and discover the commander’s bedroom. Before they can examine the room, they are waylaid by numerous spiders and two large hunting spiders. They quickly dispatch the spiders, even though both Qhude and Naroo suffer some poison effects. Qhude then looks at the lump in the bed and finds the dead corpse of the commander of the fort. A strange note is attached to his chest. It reads, in the common Nomen tongue:
The heroes find it strange that the otherwise isolationist, peaceful Sajaho tribe would attack the fort because of the river. The heroes then hear a loud bang beneath them where a trapdoor is partially hidden from a toppled bookcase. They open the trapdoor and let out a young Selicean tribesman name Muhdzuzi. He speaks with Qhude in Selicean, relaying that he and his tribesmen were assaulted by lizardfolk nine days prior and sought refuge in Fort Braccio. They were unable to speak with the colonists at the fort nor warn them about the lizardfolk, who came and attacked, killing everyone. He then says he had to stay quiet, fearful of a lizardfolk hunter that came after the others left. He has survived on rations and drip water for the past week.
The heroes help the young man and allow him to follow them to safety. They find two keys on the commander’s body. One of which opens the lock-box they found previously. The small box contains numerous alchemical bombs. They then find the box of rations in the storage chamber below. The heroes then explore the next watchtower, finding many dead Sajaho hunters seemingly killed by crossbow bolts of the fort soldiers. The wreckage in the room shows signs of shrines to various deities. As the heroes look about the bodies, they are possessed by haunted spirits and impale themselves on the crossbow bolts. Naroo studies the phenomenon and eventually determines that the souls of the Sajaho need to be put to rest to calm the haunting spirits.
The heroes continue searching and find some dead guardsmen, one beheaded, with some strange frostbite wounds. The heroes then find a crate of construction supplies in the next room. The heroes then cross the courtyard and enter the armory, using the commander’s key. Inside they find various arms and armor, including the crate of weapons that the Northwind Smithy requested returned. Skarvist finds a high-quality studded leather armor set and dons it. The heroes then gather the medical supplies, construction supplies, box of rations, and armory goods and pile them onto makeshift carriers to bring them back to the colony. They decide to sleep for the night in the protection of the fort and then set out early the next morning.
As the heroes get closer to the town, clouds have darkened the sky and a light rain clouds their views. A storm seems to be brewing out at sea as blackness can be seen on the horizon in the west. The heroes head into Gessedo and find Sheriff Praet orchestrating people to board up houses and for others to take shelter in the Countinghouse of Hermaen or the Stone Hall. The heroes offer their services to help and the Sheriff makes them all deputies for their service to the colony. They quickly discuss what happened at Fort Braccio, but the impending storm leaves little time for discussion or decision-making. They are able to convince Sheriff Praet that lizardfolk attacked the fort. The heroes leave the supplies they brought with the Sheriff and set out to help board up houses, orchestrate people, keep people’s spirits up, and moving supplies to where it needs to go.
As the heroes finish up most of these preparations, Sheriff Praet tells them that there are three stragglers who refused to come to safety. She gives their addresses to the heroes and they set out to try to convince them to come to shelter. They first head over to Amal Rashid who they find the be quite agoraphobic. Skarvist, however, uses his silver tongue to convince the shut-in to head into the shelter. Qhude then escorts the nervous man up to the Stone Hall. The others head over to Maso Pareto’s house who seems to be looking for a lost cat named Delour. The heroes convince Maso to head to shelter and that they will look for Delour. Qhude returns to the others and they head over to find Mirya Oyin. The fussy old woman seems to believe the hurricane is her late wife reincarnated, but keeps trying to change the subject and is not eager to leave her shop. The heroes eventually convince her to go as long as they name the hurricane after her late wife.
The heroes then search about for the missing cat and hear the whining of a cat in the wall of debris that was used to build some barricades against the rising waters. It seems the cat is caught in a covered wagon buried in the barricade. The heroes go to retrieve the cat but are attacked by some wayward water elementals. The larger elemental proves to be a powerful foe, but the heroes eventually prevail. They pull the small black cat out of the debris and head back towards the Stone Hall as the wind increases in intensity.
As they pass one of the side streets on the upper cliffs, they see a large humanoid figure ransacking houses. Skarvist and Qhude sneak along to see what it is. It is a large virulent jungle troll. It immediately senses Skarvist and charges towards him, nearly felling the rogue with swift cuts of its razor-sharp claws. The heroes charge into action trying to do something about this monstrous troll as the hurricane rages towards the colony…
SESSION 37: The Stormcaller and the Hurricane [Jun 25, 2019]
The heroes keep striking at the vicious troll. The heavy rain and stormy weather roars around them as they strike at the large green humanoid. Bez steps in and blasts the troll with an array of scintillating colored lights. The troll stumbles blindly, allowing Skarvist to finally stop feigning death and escape its clutches. The troll still lashes out with its claws and tries to bite at the heroes. Kofaer continues to cut into hard with his magical axe. Diarmuid manages to throw an acidic flask upon the troll that reduces its ability to regenerate. Qhude then grabs a flask of acid and slams it hard into the troll’s side. The monk then tears into the troll with many brutal tiger-strike attacks. The troll tries to flee into the rainy streets, but Qhude follows with unnatural speed, facing off against the troll alone in the street. Qhude eventually succumbs to a powerful side-swipe that tears a large gap into his stomach. But as the monk falls to the ground, the troll falls over as well, as the acid continues to eat away at its skin. The others find Qhude and are able to save the man from death, though he will likely forever carry a scar upon his torso. The heroes find a magical wand among the fallen troll’s stolen belongings.
The heroes then rush back to the Stone Hall and return Delour to Maso. The heroes then treat their wounds as the storm reaches its peak. Diarmuid notices that there is an area of concentrated lightning strikes out near Island Town and the barricades. The townspeople grow worried as Sheriff Praet has not returned from investigating the lightning. The heroes then charge out into the stormy weather and head down towards the barricades and the unnatural lightning. They find Sheriff Praet unconscious, beaten by clubs, surrounded by hulking lizardfolk warriors. Standing on top of the barricade is a lizardfolk shaman who seems to be working some magic from the storm sending strikes of lightning down upon the town.
The heroes charge in, but the shaman summons the nearby plant-life to grab and trip the heroes. It slows them down, but a few are able to escape and confront the warriors. Kofaer falls into a rage and strikes the first lizardfolk warrior and beheads it with a devastating blow. The others are more cautious as they attack. Meanwhile, the shaman throws powerful spells down at them, throwing bolts of lightning and summoning a deadly viper. Eventually, Qhude is able to climb up the barricade and approach the shaman, but the shaman throws a spell into Qhude’s eyes, rendering the monk blind. Diarmuid moves in and rescues the unconscious Sheriff, bringing her to safety. Skarvist tries to stab at the shaman from the waters below as Qhude stumbles around the barricade trying to locate the shaman. Kofaer then climbs on top of the barricade and rushes at the shaman with Diarmuid. Kofaer and Diarmuid then fell the shaman with calculated strikes. The unnatural lightning immediately ceases, but the storm of the hurricane reaches its peak. The heroes grab Sheriff Praet and head to the Stone Hall, pushing their way through the intense wind and rain.
The heroes treat their wounds and rest over night as the storm rages outside. The next morning, the storm has been reduced to a light drizzle of rain. However, a great hurricane still looms in a blackened sky out at sea. The town is most gracious for the heroes help and they are brought to a town council meeting at the Narsus Estate. They meet with Sheriff Praet, Count Lethar Narsus, Banker Baldra Sifrith, and Lethat’s financial advisor, Hamsa Gadd. The heroes are thanked for the efforts and rewarded with a few magical trinkets. Baldra also rewards them for finding what happened to her acolyte, Quinn. The heroes then volunteer to explore the surrounding jungles and try to find the source of the storm that threatens the colony. The heroes are also encouraged to find the Sahajo tribe’s village, Kashil, especially since Hamsa Gadd accuses the Sajaho of attacking her expedition last year.
The heroes head out and spend the next couple of days helping out the town. Sheriff Praet asks the heroes to head to her cousin Jheri’s dika plantation outside of town to check on him. The heroes also agree to escort Muhduzi back to Kashil. Additionally, the heroes get wind that the Cobalt’s Eye, an exploration vessel set out to explore the jungle’s to the south might have wrecked. The rumor is that the ship was run aground and did not make it out of the river delta, Count Narsus asks the heroes to find out what happened and possibly get the passenger log of the ship if the worst has happened.
With all of these missions and a vast marsh and jungle to explore, the heroes set out away from town. The travel for about six hours when they feel they have lost the loose trail towards Jheri’s plantation. They decide to cut their way through some deep marsh-waters. However, the heroes soon find the waters are infested with a swarm of leeches. The heroes take many bites and lose much blood, but manage to climb out of the infested waters and pull off the tenacious creatures. The heroes continue on their way towards the plantation…
SESSION 38: Jheri Rescue and the Sahajo [Jul 02 2019]
The heroes treat their various wounds from the swarm of leeches. They then continue their journey towards Jheri’s dika plantation outside of Gessedo. After a couple hours, they reach a small wooden cabin surrounded by rows of dika trees. The heroes cautiously approach the cabin, but find it unlocked. Skarvist and Qhude enter the door and hear the faint sound of a man’s voice faintly pleading for help behind a closet door. Skarvist boldly steps forth, stepping in a puddle of murky water. However, the puddle reveals itself to be an ochre jelly and pounces on Skarvist. It’s acidic body scorches into the half-orc’s skin and nearly kills him. The others leap into action and try to hit the jelly. Naroo heals Skarvist back on his feet, allowing him to escape. Kofaer charges at the strange creature cutting into it with his axe. However, that only seems to split the creature into two small, separate oozes. In a maddened rage, Kofaer accidentally creates six of these creatures that continue to reach out and eat at his friends. Eventually the heroes are able to use bludgeoning weapons to slam the creatures and destroy them.
The heroes then rescue Jheri Praet from inside the closet and get him onto his bed. He seems to be dying of red ache disease and hasn’t had water or food in many days. The heroes provide these for him, as Naroo tends to his disease. The heroes stay the night in the small cabin as Naroo and Diarmuid tends Jheri. By the next morning, his health has greatly improved and he is capable of joining them back to Gessedo. He hands them some magical scrolls that belonged to his father as a token of thanks. The heroes then return to Gessedo, travelling all the next day with Jheri Praet.
Upon reaching the town, Jheri thanks them again and heads off to his cousin’s house to get more bed-rest. The heroes spend the evening in the town, with Bez playing at the Stonehall Inn with Skarvist joining in the fun. Naroo ponders at the river’s edge and looks out to sea. He finds that the great storm on the horizon seems eerily closer today. Diarmuid spends the evening patrolling the town, taking his position as Deputy Sheriff seriously. Meanwhile, Kofaer and Qhude search for Muhdzuzi to see if he is ready to return to Kashil. They find the young man in a makeshift shelter, trying to understand the colonists’ culture. The heroes rest for the night and head to the store to pick up provisions in the morning. Mirya gives them a pie when they enter and they sell some items and procure some rations for their journey. The carpenter Theos Votto passes by and apologizes for his behavior when they first arrived and thanks them for helping out his town.
The heroes head out into the wild marshlands outside Gessedo with Muhdzuzi. The first day they only encounter a dangerous gas pocket, but are unscathed thanks to Qhude’s keen senses. The next day, they reach the Kashil tribe’s village. The tribe seems quite apprehensive about them and do not approach. Eventually, an elder greets them in the Nomen tongue, she introduces herself as Zaahku. She thanks them for returning Muhdzuzi but says she does not trust them yet to answer questions. She tells them they can earn their trust by retrieving the tribe’s cauldron from a water-creature named Guugwha. Guugwha extorted the tribe of its cauldron when they settled in the area and now lives in a waterfall up river. Zaahku does not want Guugwha killed, but would like the tribe’s cauldron returned. She mentions that Guugwha particularly likes coral capuchin eggs and tells the heroes where the small creature’s dwell. Before the heroes leave, Muhdzuzi gives them elixirs of courage as thanks.
The heroes leave the tribal village and head towards the coral capuchin cliffs, Coracap Rock. Along the way, they are accosted by a pack of troodon dinosaurs. The heroes easily defeat the hungry beasts and even stay for a couple hours to cut out the best cuts of meat. The heroes then reach the cliffs over the northern river. There are numerous jungle-covered islands in the wide river. The heroes stand on a high cliff facing another about 100 feet away. Both cliffs are about 50 ft from the ground. They see many small pink creatures flying near the far cliff, presumably over their nests. The heroes then send Qhude and Skarvist to swim across the river and sneak up to the coral capuchin’s nests. Bez then tries to distract them with music. Kofaer joins in, but quickly gets angry that they won’t leave their nests and tries to scare them away. When that doesn’t work, he throws a javelin towards them. Frustrated, Kofaer leaves Bez and Naroo and joins Diarmuid down on the beach. Naroo manages to get their attention with a silver bell. Then Bez throws a glowing rock, which then sends all the creatures flying madly towards it, hoping to catch it before it falls into the river. Qhude and Skarvist prepare to make their dash for the nests…
SESSION 39: Coral Capuchins and the Great Guughwa [Jul 09, 2019]
Qhude and Skarvist charge out towards the high cliffs and the coral capuchin nests. The cute pink fish-like creatures fly towards the glowing rock projected out into the air. The creatures fight over the glowing rocks as Naroo and Bez continue to toss more into the air to continuously distract them. Kofaer and Diarmuid watch the ordeal from afar down by the beach, keeping an eye on the rope back to shore. Skarvist and Qhude manage to climb down the cliffside to the nesting ledge and sneak over to the nests. They see as many as thirty or more nests, each with an egg or two within them. Skarvist grabs two eggs and Qhude grabs three, they each then scuttle back up the clifffside just as the coral capuchins notice their pillaging. The capuchins get angry and prepare to attack, but Naroo casts a powerful enchantment that calms some of them and reduces their hostility. One still goes after the two egg-thieves, while two more, unaffected by the spell, charge at Naroo and Bez. Kofaer charges up the hillside to help just as Bez summons a globe of impenetrable darkness around himself. Unfortunately, the coral capuchins are able to see well as Kofaer and Bez in the darkness and strike at them.
Kofaer fells one of the coral capuchins in the darkness then moves to fell the other. Qhude is forced to fight one of them and fells it with quick blows. He then flees into the jungle with Skarvist, down towards the beach. The other heroes take off, leaving the last three creatures in a daze as they get away from the cliff sides. Qhude and Skarvist swim back through the river and the party makes some distance away from the area. They take their 5 eggs and decide to head towards Guughwa’s waterfall, hoping they have what they need to bargain with the water-creature. They follow the nearby stream and reach the waterfall by midday. They search the large pool of water surrounding the waterfall, taking note of the many eggshells on the far beach, seemingly on display. Soon they are greeted by a giant crab-like creature who speaks Selicean.
Bez is unsure of what the creature is, but recognizes that it is not naturally of this world, and likely hails from the plane of elemental water. She introduces herself as Guughwa and seems to demand flattery and tribute from the heroes. Bez launches into a song about the strength and beauty of Guughwa and seems to convince her to accept their company. She tells them she is willing to trade for the Kashil tribe’s cauldron, but 5 capuchin eggs are simply not enough. She requests at least 10 eggs, and if they bring 20, she will grant them a magical trinket as well. The heroes say farewell to Guughwa and head back towards Coracap Rock, arriving late in the night.
The heroes spend the next couple of days working on building a cage to trap the remaining coral capuchins inside. They hope to then sneak over and take the rest of the eggs they need to trade with Guugwha. Bez and Kofaer work hard at building the cage with sticks and twine, while Naroo and Qhude forage for food. Diarmuid keeps watch during this time as Skarvists devises and constructs a trapping mechanism for the cage. After a couple days, the heroes finish the cage and Skarvist sets it out on the cliffside opposite the coral capuchin nests. He leaves some magically glowing stones inside along with one of the capuchin eggs. They heroes manage to get the capuchins’ attentions and soon the creatures come to check out the items as the heroes hide. As the capuchins grab the items, the mechanism activates and the cage traps them inside. Qhude and Skarvist then swim over to the island and grab the remaining eggs, leaving a quite a few for the capuchins. They then head back to the others. As the heroes prepare to leave, Naroo calms the creatures again with his magic as Skarvist tries to open the cage. However, the creatures strike anyway and Skarvist is bitten a few times. The heroes manage to scare off the creatures and they are able to flee into the jungles, leaving the coral capuchins behind.
After a few minutes of hiking, Skarvist notices that his skin itches and he greatly desires to wetten it. He heads towards the river, with the others following, and he immediately bathes in the water, finding instant relief. It seems that Skarvist has found the mythical curse of these creatures. The heroes decide to camp the rest of the evening and set out tomorrow, hoping to find a solution for Skarvist’s affliction. Late that night, while the others slept, Skarvist was bathing in the river’s water during his watch. He then hears the sound of many creatures coming towards them at a hurried pace. He calls out, just as many lizardfolk come charging along the beach towards the heroes. Everyone climbs out of their tents and jump to their feet to engage in combat with the ferocious lizardfolk. They seem to have the same markings as the Mireborn fought previously at the colony’s barricades. During the battle, Bez is nearly killed by a wayward stone sword by the biggest brute. Thankfully, Naroo was able to save the goblin’s life with healing magic. After a rough fight, the heroes manged to kill one of the lizardfolk and knocked the others unconscious. The heroes patched up their enemies’ wounds and tied them up together. The night hits its peak as the heroes decide what to do with their captives…
SESSION 40: The Mystery of the Lost Expedition [Jul 16, 2019]
The heroes decide to sleep through the night with a double-watch, keeping an eye on their lizardfolk prisoners. The next morning, there is some debate about what to do with them, with a vote being held. Skarvist, Qhude, Kofaer, and Bez manage to override Diarmuid and Naroo’s moral objections and kill the unconscious lizardfolk. The heroes then gather their camp and head out back towards Guughwa’s waterfall. They are able to trade with the great water-creature, giving her twenty coral capuchin eggs in exchange for the Kashil tribe’s cauldron. Guughwa brings out a large iron cauldron set with handles. She then gives them a magical wand as well. The heroes then carry the large cauldron with them as they follow the stream back east towards Kashil village. Qhude and Kofaer toil with the cauldron’s weight as they travel along the marshy trails.
The next day, the heroes reach Kashil and show them the cauldron they recovered. The tribe is quite grateful and the elder Zaahku invites them to stay for a grand feast and ritual. The heroes gather than night around a grand bonfire which holds the returned cauldron over it with a bubbling stew. The tribesfolk perform a ritual and dance around the heroes that lasts for over an hour and then set headdresses upon their heads, inducting them into the Kashil tribe of Sahajo. The heroes then join in the feast of the stew and speak with Zaahku. They learn that a group of outsiders came to these lands many decades ago and they were called the Storm Breeders, as they were storm cultists. She tells the heroes where they can find the ruins of their village. She says that there are great ruins of a temple that these people built in the area, but she does not know its location and forbids the others to look for it, knowing it could be dangerous. She also tells them that the Mireborn lizardfolk were pushed northward by an aggressive boggard tribe and now have no where else to settle. They had previously only came to these lands to occasionally fish and bury their dead.
The next day, the heroes set out towards the old Storm Breeder village, following the streams north and east. Later that evening, they reach the stone ruins of an abandoned village. They find a large wooden statue depicting the Selicean deities, Abalassi the Skyfather and Selino the Seafather. There is also an inscription written in Arathian venerating these deities. The heroes look around the ruins and Kofaer finds the remnants of an old journal. Through the text, they learn that the Storm Breeders that came here left a settlement called New Tanis following an exiled cultist named Chitauli. The heroes guess that these were lower-class Arathians who followed the ways of the Seliceans and likely fled religious persecution in Arathkelsara.
The heroes rest the night in the ruins of the village and forage what food they can. The next morning, the heroes decide to head back to Gessedo to resupply and share what they know. On the way back, they get the impression that some Sahajo hunters were following them, but no confrontation came of it. The heroes returned to town late in the night and get some good sleep at the Stone Hall. The next morning the heroes meet with Sheriff Praet, who invites them to dinner that night and arranges a meeting at noon with Count Narsus. The heroes head to the Count’s manor house and meets with Lethar and Hamsa. They share what they found and Lethar and Hamsa provide their own comments on the matter. It becomes clear that Hamsa is keeping some secrets about her failed expedition last year. However, Count Narsus provides more information about what previous expeditions had found in the wilds. He points the heroes towards some tar pits to the north where it was known that lizardfolk liked to camp. Additionally, he points out some old Xaya ruins they had discovered on the eastern coast. He also asks the heroes to look into the Cobalt’s Eye and see what became of the ship, hoping they can retrieve the ship’s ledger. He wishes to inform the families of those that had died. Count Narsus then gifts the heroes a deed to a plantation on the western end of the colony, thanking them for their efforts.
The heroes leave the manor house and run into a young Selicean man named Kanjo Arram. He explains that his master Magdi Kukoyi, a priest of Hatsi-Enib went missing in the expedition funded by Hamsa Gadd. He has no money and no closure for his master and asks the heroes to find his master’s coin purse and holy symbol so that he can return home. The heroes agree to do what they can. The rest of the day is spent relaxing for most of the heroes, who hang out at the Stone Hall enjoying the dryness. Diarmuid and Qhude, however, head out to the plantation to take a look at the land conferred in the deed. They find that the land needs much work, but could potentially be a thriving plantation given time. Later that evening, the heroes head over to Sheriff Praet’s house and find Adaela and Jheri greeting them with much food and wine. They have a grand feast and speak of many things. Adaela explains her formed life as a Trinity solider in Korenell. She then warns them about the Ariana Consortium, believing that this global trade conglomerate has much at stake in Gessedo and she believes that Hamsa is a member. She tells the heroes to be wary as they may have spies anywhere in town.
The heroes then say goodbye and are given two bottles of a magical brew as parting gifts. On their way back to the Stone Hal, Naroo hears some shouting in the rain. The heroes head out and investigate, finding a bunch of thugs dressed in the garb of the town guard trying to beat-up or kill Kanjo. The heroes rush in and kill a few of them, while the rest scatter into the streets. They manage to capture one of the thugs. They learn from Kanjo that the thugs warned him about talking to the wrong people about his master Magdi. They take Kanjo to the Stone Hall with them, along with the unconscious body of the thug…
SESSION 41: Search for the Cobalt’s Eye [Jul 23, 2019]
The heroes rest for the night in the Stone Hall as the storms and rains continue outside. The next morning they try to deal with the thug they captured and try to learn who hired him. Naroo and Diarmuid head out to get Sheriff Praet as the others interrogate the thug. They only learn that some unknown man hired them to make Kanjo “disappear”. He did not seem to know who this man was. He eventually identifies two other guardsmen that participated in the attack, but did not know the other participants. The heroes eventually release the thug to Sheriff Praet’s custody. They then discuss with Kanjo on how best to protect him. They decide it would be best to bring him to Kashil village away from any Ariana Consortium members. However, the heroes decide that they will first look for the Cobalt’s Eye on the eastern coasts and that Kanjo should accompany them.
The heroes are able to borrow a boat from the fisherman, Raulnold. They use the rowboat to cross the wide channel to the eastern island. They secure the boat and then begin exploring the coasts, trying to find any sign of the lost ship. After a long evening of searching, the heroes find nothing and rest for the night. The next day they head out and search all along the coasts, heading east. They get closer and closer to the dark maelstrom of the hurricane as it swirls and thunders in the eastern waters. The heroes are then attacked by a pair of water elementals. The strange creatures strike out at them along the beach. The heroes rush in to face their foe as Bez calls for Kanjo to run into the nearby trees. The heroes soon find that the elementals are too much for them and they slowly retreat back towards the trees. As the elementals leave the comforts of the watery sea, they seem to slow as they march towards the heroes. Naroo shouts a magical command that sends one of the elementals fleeing back into the sea. The other, however, presses on. Qhude, Diarmuid, Kofaer, and Skarvist all step in and hold a line against the towering water creature. Bez and Naroo stand in the back using their magic. Eventually the creature is slain.
The heroes patch up their wounds and continue onward. Bez and Kanjo enter into a long conversation about the Selicean pantheon and the tenets of Baldur. Bez finds he identifies with stories of Xjango the Drummer. The heroes then make another camp on the far eastern shores, hiding in some rocks against the winds. The next day they search far and wide along the coasts and eventually Skarvist notices a mast of wood sticking out behind a rocky cliff. The heroes head down towards a hidden beach where they find the devastation of a shipwreck. The boat is torn asunder with some parts floating in the water and others scattered across the beach. There are also many bodies scattered along the beach, rotted and decayed in the two weeks since the boat likely crashed.
The heroes then find that some of the corpses animate and attack. They jump to action and charge at the zombies. The heroes make short work of the monster, with Kofaer cleaving two of them with one fell swoop of his mighty axe. After the zombies are destroyed, Skarvist and Qhude volunteer to swim into the broken ship and look for anything useful. They manage to swim down into the underwater hold and break into the captain’s office. They find a small locked box inside and a few coins. They then bring the box to the surface and open it to find the ship’s passenger log. The heroes are glad they were able to fulfill Count Narsus’s request, but now they stand among the numerous corpses of the Cobalt’s Eye and must decide what to do next…
SESSION 42: Discovery of the Xaya Ruins [Jul 30, 2019]
The heroes take the newly found passenger log of the Cobalt’s Eye and tuck it into their damped belongings as the endless rain continues. They decide to cut across the eastern island towards the rowboat and return to Gessedo as quickly as possible. They make it about halfway there that day and then rest for the night. Late that night, Bez is sitting on a rock in the rain, watching the comfortable tents of his friends. He hears the sound of a creature leaving the water and looks over to see a large crocodile charge out of the nearby swamps. He screams for help as the beast lunges at him, grabbing a hold of his clothes.
Diarmuid leaps up to help, but gets tangled in his tent for a moment. The others all step out to help fight the beast, as Kofaer stands and tears his tent apart in a maddened rage. Kanjo flees away from the raging dwarf as Kofaer charges in. The heroes then surround the large beast as it grabs and thrashes Bez. Eventually they fell the beast and Bez’s wounds are healed. Kofaer then spends the night cutting out choice cuts of meat from the carcass and repairing his tent. Late the next morning, the heroes take advantage of a slight break in the rain to head out towards the rowboat. They then are able to reach Gessedo that evening, resting in the comforts and warmth of the Stone Hall. Kanjo seems particularly anxious about returning, but Qhude promises to watch over the young man.
The heroes then purchase some supplies the next morning before heading out, seemingly forgetting about the passenger log they just retrieved. They head towards the northeast, eager to find and explore the ancient Xaya ruins that had been noted by previous explorations. The heroes spend the next couple days travelling to the site and reach the area near noon the following day. After searching the area for clues, Skarvist eventually spots the broken tower perched on the high seaside cliffs. The heroes approach the area cautiously, but find only remnants of a lizardfolk camp that seems to have been abandoned for six weeks or so. There are various ancient paintings on the broken walls depicting dark-skinned people sailing and reading the stars. There are also newer paintings depicting lizardfolk fishing and roasting shark meat.
Naroo examines some nearby bones, but is soon attacked by hungry, carnivorous vines. The heroes pull back away from the vines as Kofaer charges to attack them. Eventually Diarmuid and Qhude join the fray and they are able to cut and fell the many vines. Naroo then examines the bones to find that they belong to lizardfolk that likely fell prey to the vines. The heroes also find a broken stairwell that heads down into some hidden depths of the ruins. It seems the lizardfolk tried and failed to removed the heavy stones blocking the passage down into the ruins. Kofaer is able to easily throw the stones aside, harnessing his inner rage and strength. Skarvist then leads the heroes down into the dark caverns.
Below the surface, the ruins expand into large, wide rooms. Though the black-walled rooms are quite broken and aged. They find old fishing supplies and broken pottery, they also see a large chest along the far wall. As the heroes search around the place, Skarvist approaches the chest. It seems to be locked, so he pulls out his tools and begins to work the lock. He then finds that his hands stick to the chest, just as two pseudopods appear out the sides and strike at him. Qhude charges in to attack the chest, leaping in like a tiger, but soon finds his own hands stuck. Naroo identifies it as a mimic, an aberration adept at deception. Skarvist manages to escape and Kofaer retreats to make some distance. Bez blasts it with magically thrown rocks as the others all use ranged weapons upon it. Diarmuid then faces off with the mimic and the others eventually fell it with well-placed shots.
The heroes then search about the ruins of the southern end of the chamber. Bez then shouts with glee as he discovers a secret door in the southern wall…
SESSION 43: Xayan Treasures and Return to Kashil [Aug 6, 2019]
The heroes gather around the southern end of the chamber in the ancient Xaya ruins. Bez cautiously opens the door he accidentally discovered behind the dead mimic. The door creaks open and they see a dusty tunnel turn to the left into darkness. Skarvist and Diarmuid step into the front of the group as they cautiously step down the tunnel. The light from Qhude’s compass and Naroo’s staff glisten on the limestone walls. After a short tunnel, the heroes enter into a larger chamber where there are stone tablets up on shelves along the walls and a great statue of an ancient Xaya warrior wielding a spear. As Skarvist examines it closer, he notices a large skeletal form rise up nearby. It swipes at him with long sharp claws. It appears to be a long dead giant. Kofaer, Diarmuid, and Qhude charge into the room to strike at the monster as Skarvist flees for the entrance-way. Bez sneaks in the room and throws one of the stone tablet’s at the beast with his magic. The others scold him for it and he begins to throw discarded rocks instead, continuously singing a courageous song. Eventually, the heroes are able to surround and destroy the powerful skeleton.
Naroo patches up everyone’s wounds. Bez then hears strange whispers in the air around him, unsure of where they come from. He follows the source to a strange pendant of an unblinking eye lying upon the base of the statue. He picks up the item and feels a surge of strange energy tingle up his arm. He drops the item in fear and takes to examining it upon the floor. After a short time, he sees the pendant magical auras and learns its powers. Meanwhile, the others examine the stone tablets and determine that there is ancient Xayan writing upon them, but they are unable to read the ancient script. They then turn to the small chest in front of the statue. Bez then dons the amulet he found and seems to call on its occult powers to aid Skarvist with picking the lock on the chest. Bez feels a strange tingle of power and faint whispers in his ears as he does this, and Skarvist feels a strange tingle at the back of his skull as if he was sharing his body with someone else for just a moment. The chest opens and the heroes find two strips of beautiful cloth with golden filigree and Xayan runes embroidered upon them. Qhude dons the ancient hand-wraps, finding they make his honed strikes even more precise. They also find an ancient runestone that bears a powerful arcane rune on the small stone tablet. They know it will take some skill, but the rune could be transferred to a weapon to increase its power.
The heroes look about the rest of the Xaya ruins and only find another cavern where it seems the mimic was attempting to breed itself. The heroes then climb out of the ruins and head out into the rain and watery terrain. They spend the next couple days travelling across the endless swamps, bogs, and eventually thick jungles and high grasslands. They then reach Kashil village. They speak with Zaakhu about taking in Kanjo and eventually are able to convince her to let him stay. Zaakhu then gives the heroes a small brass key that her grandfather had found in the Sky Temple ruins, hoping it would be of use to them. The heroes stock up on food and supplies from the Sahajo tribespeople and set out northward towards the tar pits. After a few hours of travel, they set up camp and rest for the night.
After only a couple hours into the rest, as the others are fast asleep in their tents, Kofaer sits with his cloak over his head clutching his axe in his hands watching the darkness through the rain. He fails to notice a few lumbering corpses crawl up the small hillock and strike at him. Kofaer roars for help as his eyes glow with blue energy and he strikes at the undead monsters. The rousing calls wakes up the others and they all climb out of their tents and prepare to meet their enemies…
SESSION 44: The Tar Pits and the Lost Camp [Aug 20, 2019]
The heroes charge out of their tents striking at the undead monstrosities climbing out of the marsh-waters. They are soon able to destroy the foul creatures and put an end to their evil existence. The heroes rest for the night and continue on their journey the next day, heading ever northward towards the tar pits. The next day, the heroes reach the fetid waters and bubbling tar pits. They approach cautiously, trying their best to make headway in the thick, swampy waters. Skarvist scouts ahead and finds a glowing campfire in the drizzling rains deep in the tar pits. Qhude and Skarvist scout ahead of the group, finding that numerous lizardfolk warriors rest near the campfire, roasting some unknown meats. The lizardfolk guard then sees Skarvist and readies a javelin to throw at the rogue.
Skarvist stands out of the brush and raises his hands in peace, trying his best to make peaceful hand gestures and speak to the lizardfolk. They creatures do not seem to understand his language, but gather the general meaning of his behavior. They lower their guard and allow the heroes to come into the camp. Skarvist and Diarmuid do their best to make diplomatic relations with these Mireborn lizardfolk, hoping to get some information about the unnatural storm buffeting the region. However, the lack of a shared language makes the negotiations nearly impossible. The heroes then hear the sounds of battle deeper in the tar pits, it is a thunderous battle-cry of a large Mireborn warrior. The other lizardfolk rush out to watch the fight as the large warrior seems to be facing a huge ankyosaurus by itself. The heroes rush to help the warrior, learning that this warrior had some prominence in the tribe and likely holds much important information.
Kofaer charges across the rickety bone bridge over the bubbling tar, his axe held high. Qhude rushes over quickly with Skarvist as they try to distract and disorient the great dinosaur. The great warrior, named Achahut, continues to strike and fight the rampaging beast. Naroo and Bez come to aid with spells and healing. Kofaer then charges at the beast and slashes it with his axe. Achahut then chastises the dwarf in the Common tongue, saying it is her will to die honorably in battle. However, the heroes healed the warrior enough that Achahut was able to fell the beast.
The heroes approach the warrior, who only seems saddened by her victory, as she was ready to fall in battle. She claims that she and her tribesfolk here have been exiled by the other Mireborn and are without a tribe. She had argued for diplomacy with the “smooth-skins” in the region, hoping to gain hunting rights from Gessedo and to live in peace in the region. However, an upstart shaman named Daruthek convinced the chieftain that they could conquer the region instead. Daruthek had the tribe moved to the Sky Tempest Temple where he and his shaman acolytes control the tribe and likely are responsible for the storms. The heroes offer Achahut and the exiles to join them as members of their own tribe, offering them rights to their land after things are settled. Achahut agrees to this. She has the heroes promise to only harm Daruthek’s followers and show mercy to the rest of the tribe. She also tells them where to find the Sky Tempest Temple along with the failed Ariana Consortium camp.
The heroes take this newfound information and head towards the Ariana camp, hoping to find more information and any sign of Magdi Kukoyi’s whereabouts. They spend the next two days travelling deep into the jungles towards the ruined camp and temple. They fight a pair of river drakes along the way, but are able to easily defeat them. They then reach the camp the following day. The place is ruined and there are many decaying corpses and signs of the Mireborn attack. With such clear evidence of Mireborn, they are unsure why Hamsa Gadd insisted that the Sahajo were the attackers. The heroes then find a holy symbol of Hatsi-Enib and the small familiar of Magdi, a creature of the elemental plane of water, named Argil. Argil tells the heroes he is looking for his master and offers to join them looking for him. They learn also that Magdi was a member of the Storm Breeders, but not of the sect that created the temple many years ago. They adore storms and rainy weather, but never seek to disrupt the natural balance. Magdi join the Ariana exploration, but was taken captive by the lizardfolk during the attack.
The heroes head towards the temple ruins with Argil riding in Skarvist’s pocket. They fight off a pack of deinonychuses on the way, easily felling and scaring off the predators. They then continue, hurrying their way towards the ruins.
SESSION 45: The Sky Tempest Temple and Chieftain Sathva [Aug 27, 2019]
The intrepid heroes heroes charge bravely through the thick jungles many miles west of Gessedo. With Argil helping them find the way, the heroes soon reach a clearing in the thick woods. A large stone temple stands in the middle of a wide clearing set beside a large pond. It is the Sky Tempest Temple. The stone structure stands only barely above the trees, with a 5-ft high foundation of stone blocks and walls about 15-ft standing on the foundation. Vegetation covers the stone edifice, showing clear signs that nature has reclaimed most of this man-made structure. Numerous wood and thatch shacks are gathered on the western edge of the clearing, on the edge of the pond. There appears to also be shacks built up on the foundation of the temple.
Skarvist and Qhude scout ahead, sticking to the thick foliage around the clearing, trying to get a sense of the structure from the northern end. A patrol of Mireborn lizardfolk pass nearby, and for a moment, the two scouts fear they are seen. However, Skarvist and Qhude manage to return to the others and report their findings. As the heroes discuss what to do next, the Mireborn patrol returns to the edge of the clearing and seems to spot someone in the underbrush. The lizardfolk then charge into the woods towards the heroes. Diarmuid stands before the others and tries to talk down the charging lizardfolk. They hesitate for only a moment, but it is clear they do not understand the champion’s words. A battle ensues, and Kofaer and Qhude charge into the fray. Bez and Naroo stay back providing assistance as Skarvist sneaks towards them. The heroes resort to using nonlethal means as they knock out and subdue the lizardfolk. Qhude gets into a scuffle with one that is quite angry with him. The monk then lands a powerful punch and knock the lizardman out. Eventually, the heroes knock out most of them, with one having fled and the last surrendering.
They speak with the surrendered lizardfolk and Qhude finds it speaks some Selicean. Naroo patches up the injured Mireborn as Diarmuid and Qhude arrange a diplomatic agreement to meet with the tribe’s chieftain. The heroes then follow the Mireborn into a greatly sized hut up on the foundation of the temple. They then realize that the temple has no roof in most parts, to better see the sky above. They are brought before a huge lizardfolk, Chieftain Sathva. She speaks Selicean and Qhude is able to translate between his friends and the Chief. The heroes try numerous arguments to persuade the Chief to stop following Daruthek’s mad schemes. They manage to convince her that they can defeat Daruthek and that the people of Gessedo will create a lasting peace with them. Diarmuid reluctantly offers the deeds to the land given to them by Count Narsus. This act seems to persuade the Chief and seems to remove her last bit of hesitation in trusting the heroes. With the Mireborn now controlling official lands outside of Gessedo, the Chief feels her people have a lasting place in these lands. She agrees to join the tribe of the “smooth-skins” and offers to help the heroes defeat Daruthek. Sathva then hands over a large jade seal that she says is required to open the doors to the under-temple where Daruthek and his followers reside.
The heroes then ask about Magdi Kukoyi and learn that he is a captive here. The lizardfolk escort the heroes to his prison and release him. He is a middle-aged Selicean man with naught but a set of worn green robes and a wooden staff. Magdi is quite grateful and happy to be reunited with his familiar, Argil. The heroes then make camp in one of the huts by the pond, where they promised to stay hidden from Daruthek’s followers overnight. They rest for the night and speak with Magdi about what he knows. He does not seem to know much about the temple’s specifics, but does know that the Storm Breeders that built the place became tempted by some “dark and evil elemental forces”, and lost faith in the good Selicean deities, like Hatsi-Enib, Abalassi, and Selino. He says that Daruthek seemed to be working with some dark spiritual force in the temple and has also thrown his allegiance to these evil elemental lords. Magdi knew little about the temple complex, other than two jade seals are required to open the door to the lower layer and that the south-east corner seemed to be haunted.
The heroes set out the next morning. Magdi somewhat reluctantly agrees to follow them, preferring their company than being alone with the lizardfolk. The heroes stride into the temple’s main plaza and find a large pool of muddy water. They then hear a voice from it claiming to be the “spirit of the temple” and asking for tribute in coins. The heroes throw a few coins in the water, but soon begin to feel something is not quite right about this voice. Four ooze mephits then leap out of the muddy water, throwing blobs of acid at them and summoning forth a great hazy mist of poisonous air. The heroes cough and vomit as they try to flee the area. They then regroup and charge at the mephits. The battle is long and painful as the mephits easily evade their attacks in the mists. Eventually the heroes are able to fell the sneaky tricksters, but not without taking many wounds.
As the heroes recover from the battle, they look about the temple…
SESSION 46: The Sky Tempest Temple Ruins [Sep 3, 2019]
The intrepid heroes tend to their wounds from the ooze mephits and decide to continue to explore the upper portions of the Sky Tempest Temple. In the southeastern portion of the large open-air building, they come across a shrine dedicated to the good Selicean deities of nature: Hatsi-Enib, Abalassi, and Selino. Naroo, Magdi, and Diarmuid pray upon the nine stone pillars and receive divine blessings from the power of the altar. The heroes then head south into an open chamber with skinny pillars rising out of the floor. A red silk string is strung between the pillars and bells and chimes hang there. As the heroes enter the room, they are suddenly overcome by feelings of intense remorse and regret. Skarvist feels the haunting curse the worst, feeling the painful shame most strongly. Naroo pulls out his holy symbol of Solarus and tries to plead with the spirits within. He is able to temporarily make the spirits subside and learns that they must bury the bones around them and ensure a proper burial.
The heroes gather the bones in the room, and as they do, they find a scrap of old parchment. It is a strange final letter written in Selicean by one of the former Storm Breeders. It seems they had much regret for what they had done to aid Chitauli in binding this temple to evil. The heroes then bring the bones of the dead out away from the temple and bury them in a shallow grave. Magdi then says an appropriate prayer over the deceased. Skarvist then immediately feels the painful shame release from his heart. The heroes return to the chamber and find that the bell and wind charms fall from their strings and break. Save for one made of copper. Naroo examines it and finds it to be a magical conduit to Abalassi and can summon divine winds of that deity.
The heroes then step into the next chamber and find identifiable, broken statues. In the next room, there is a large obelisk with several lightning rods built into their construction. There is also a skeleton of a person clinging to one of the rods. The other hand holding a jade disk. As the heroes enter the chamber, static electricity and energy surge through the obelisk and two lightning elementals form nearby. The heroes charge in but soon find that these elementals are quite powerful. Qhude ducks into the room and quickly grabs the jade disk. The heroes then charge in and strike at the electric creatures. The elementals throws bolts of surging electricity at the heroes and Skarvist takes a near fatal blow. His heart stops for a mere moment. Thankfully Naroo and Bez are able to save the half-orc’s life and the heroes are able to surround and defeat the elementals.
Bez then charges with the jade seal towards the door with the others behind him. They place the second seal on the door and open it into a large chamber with a descending stairway. There is also a large slab ceiling in this chamber, unlike the others. The heroes close the door and take the seals, deciding to explore the under-chambers later. Qhude is worried about being attacked from behind. The heroes explore the northeastern portion of the temple and defeat a shambling mound plant creature, but find little else in that broken section.
The heroes then head to the northwestern portion, finding the lizardfolk’s midden pile. Skarvist sees something metal glinting in the debris and climbs into the foul trash and filth. He pulls out a pair of mithril bracers. He is soon accosted by a swarm of centipedes. The heroes move in to help but also draw the attention of the boggard alchemist to the north and the old chieftan lizardfolk, Elder Othok, to the west. Elder Othok tries to wrestle with Naroo, but the halfling manages to barely slip his grasp. Diamuid tries to plead with the alchemist, but the boggard doesn’t seem to want to talk. The boggard throws explosive bombs of alchemist’s fire at Diarmuid, who then charges in to attack. Magdi is able to talk down Othok, trying to explain what they are doing here. Kofaer takes out the centipede swarm and helps Diarmuid, Qhude, and Skarvist deal with the alchemist. After many explosive bombs, the heroes manage to kill the boggard, with Kofaer slicing the creature through its head. Qhude and Skarvist are forced to roll around in Othok’s mud pits to get the burning acid off their skin.
The heroes then explain to Othok what they are doing and the Elder challenges them to a wrestling match. Kofaer volunteers to fight the large lizardfolk. He takes off his armor and they climb into the mud pit. During the fight, Skarvist dons the bracers without identifying them. After a quick struggle, Kofaer pins the much larger lizarfolk to the ground. Elder Othok then gives Kofaer his magic belt. Bez also identifies the magical bracers, telling Skarvist they help repel arrows and bolts. The heroes then decide to return to the lizardfolk camp and tend to their many wounds before venturing down below. They rest most of the day and regain what magical power they can.
As the heroes prepare to head back out into the temple, they hear an argument between two lizardfolk cultists loyal to Daruthek. They are arguing with Kaxli, the lizardfolk who brought the heroes to Chieftain Sathva. The heroes grab their weapons and gear and prepare to strike. Qhude and Skarvist sneak out the back of the hut as the others prepare to charge out…
SESSION 47: The Storm Seed of Cold [Sep 10, 2019]
The heroes prepare their assault on the Mireborn cultists who pushed Kaxli. Qhude and Skarvist sneak out the side of the hut and along the foundation of the temple. Bez then charges out and sings a song to distract them. Then Qhude, Skarvist, Kofaer, and Diarmuid all charge at the cultists to aid their ally, Kaxli. The battle is swift and decisive. The heroes then take the fallen cultists to the midden room for the centipedes. Kaxli thanks them for coming to his aid and the heroes now feel a greater push to enter the lower chambers and to stop Daruthek and his allies.
The heroes open the great stone door, affixing the two jade seals into the depressions. The door opens into a dark chamber with steps heading down below. Kofaer steps in to examine the remains of a broken statue as Naroo examines the murals on the wall. As they do so, two undead shadow spirits attack them through the floor. The heroes prepare their attacks, trying to strike at the incorporeal spirits when they emerge. The battle is quite draining and Naroo’s shadow is ripped from him again. Many others feel weak and enfeebled from the shadow’s touch. The heroes are able to slowly defeat the shadows and the additional one from Naroo. Kofaer and Bez then examine the statue again, finding that it has strangely shattered rather than been broken by pickaxe or time. Magdi notes that is must have shattered when it was put under the ceiling, as it is against Hatsi-Enib’s wishes to be parted from Abalassi, the sky. Naroo notes that the murals depict the themes of both Selino and Abalassi.
The heroes treat the injuries and regain their courage before descending into the depths. They find a roaring sound of wind and storms below them as they descend. They soon find a swirling torrent of storms over a channel of water below. There is a strange magical platform that floats above the water and is tied to the northern entrance-way. Skarvist throws a rock into the stormy clouds and finds it quickly struck by lightning and turned to dust. The heroes decide to explore the area around them and get on the platform and follow its circular course around the stormy center. They find four passageways in each corner, but one is blocked by debris. They also spot an underwater tunnel to the southeast.
The heroes decide to head northeast where a frigid air blows from afar. They step into an icy room, covered in frost and bearing two statues of the evil elemental lords of air and water. The heroes pass through a prayer room into a larger chamber with two gargoyle statues and an icy-prison. Within the prison is a blue, floating crystalline orb. The heroes look around at the statues and are immediately assaulted by the gargoyles that spring to life. The gargoyles prove to be powerful combatants and their stony skin makes injuring them quite difficult. However, the heroes persevere and are able to defeat the beasts. They then decide to break the orb, which Bez and Magdi identify as a Storm Seed, suspecting it links the hurricane to the energy of the elemental planes. Knowing it could be dangerous, Skarvist volunteers to shoot the crystal with a crossbow. Qhude breaks the bars of ice and the heroes head near the platform to escape quickly. Skarvist shoots at the crystal several times, but eventually shatters it and it explodes with powerful energies. The half-orc rushes to the others, but finds a slushy gelatinous cube falls down on his way out and engulfs him.
The heroes charge at the cube trying to destroy it as Skarvist is paralyzed inside. Qhude tries to pull Skarvist out, but finds it nearly impossible to do so without getting pulled in himself. Bez gets absorbed by the cube as the others surround and strike at it. Naroo sends waves of healing energy out to keep his friends alive inside. Eventually, the heroes destroy the cube and release their friends. They treat their wounds and discuss whether they should flee to the surface and gather their strength before going on. However, they also fear that the cultists will know of their presence now and would make a second foray quite difficult.
Qhude then spots a concealed door and he and Skarvist explore the long passage behind it. They find a small library on the far side, though it contains a pack of feral ghouls. The heroes decide to pursue a different course and take the floating platform to the southwest corner. Skarvist and Qhude scout ahead, finding a large bunk chamber. However, they seem to have been spotted by the three cultists in the room. The lizardfolk prepare to destroy the intruders…
SESSION 48: The Storm Seed of Fire [Sep 17, 2019]
The intrepid heroes prepare themselves as the cultists summon forth venomous vipers to attack them. The heroes move in at the cultists who return attacks with magic. One cultist is cut down and the other is greatly injured. The third tries to flee, but Skarvist throws two well-placed daggers into his back. After the other cultists are felled, the heroes search about the barracks. They do not find anything of interest, but do find the heat begins to drain them. Skarvist and Qhude open the next door to the east and find a large furnace chamber. There are numerous iron furnaces against the eastern wall and many various forging and cooking supplies on the western wall. They see three desiccated, mummified corpses near the western door.
As the heroes move into the room to check on the corpses, they find that the furnace doors swing open and sweltering blast of heat assaults them. The heroes retreat to the barracks as Diarmuid and Naroo identify the presence of a malign spirit in the chamber. Naroo raises his holy symbol of Solarus and tries to reason with the haunting spirits, but these ones do not wish to communicate. The halfling feels only intense rage from the malign presence. The heroes decide they should try to put the three corpses to rest, hoping that will settle the haunting spirits. Bez, Skarvist, and Qhude charge into the heat blast of the room to quickly grab the bodies. However, Bez decides to head towards the far door and rushes into the next room. Skarvist and Qhude call out for Bez, but decide to bring the bodies back to the barracks, hoping that the goblin will follow them.
Bez steps into the next chamber where two large pools of boiling water sit with a floating red crystal above them. Waves of intense heat radiate from the fire crystal. Before Bez can leave the room, however, a massive crystalline golem composed of solid ice charges at him from the corner. Bez screams for help as he tries to dodge the ice golem’s swinging fists. Kofaer, Qhude, and Diarmuid rush into the room to help their overly-curious friend. They try to fight off the golem, making desperate strikes into its icy core. Skarvist uses the attack as a distraction and moves towards the fire crystal and pokes it with his rapier. He finds that it does not budge and that the heat near it is so intense that his clothes begin to catch fire. The rogue rushes around the perimeter of the room, trying to put out the flames. Meanwhile, Bez pulls forth a scroll of a powerful telekinetic spell to push the golem into the boiling water pit. However, the golem seems to firmly rooted to be affected by the magic. Diarmuid and Qhude managed a few well-placed blows that begin to crack the golem’s structure. Bez then attacks the fire crystal, hoping it will end the intense heat, but his spell barely cracks the fragile glass. Qhude then throws a few shurikens at the crystal and it shatters in a fiery explosion. Kofaer then lands a powerful blow that breaks the golem into shattered pieces.
The room begins to cool off immediately and the heroes look about. Skarvist and Qhude manage to unlock the long chest in the corner of the room, finding much dust and decayed items inside. However, there is a magnificent curved longsword inside that shimmers with mithril filigree along its blade. Its bronze hilt depicts a mermaid’s tail with overlapping fish scales. It is an ancient Xaya weapon and Bez is able to identify the very potent evocation magic within the sword. Diarmuid agrees to wield the blade. The heroes decide to take a couple hours to patch their wounds and cool off. During this time, Skarvist and Naroo decide to throw the desiccated corpses into the now-cooled water pits. This immediately ends the haunting in the furnace chamber. The heroes are then able to discover a set of expert-quality glassblowing tools among the furnaces.
The heroes then head back to the icy chambers and down the secret tunnel to face the ghouls. They ready their shields and weapons as Diarmuid kicks the door open. The ghouls charge at them, but the heroes are able to hold their defenses. Kofaer charges into the room slashing and felling one ghoul, then knocking a bookcase over upon another ghoul. Diamuid, Naroo, and Qhude then help Kofaer finish off the others. As the final ghouls fall, a lizardfolk cultist enters from the southern door, seemingly to see what the loud commotion was. The heroes charge at the cultist with Kofaer cutting the first one with a powerful slash. Bez then knocks it out by telekinetically throwing a rock at its head. Diamuid then steps in and cuts down the other two cultists with two well-placed, wide-arching sword slashes. The heroes look about the chamber, finding the second chamber is a great library of the Storm Breeders. There are numerous books on natural phenomenon, weather, the elemental planes, and the surrounding regions. There are also some personal journals of the lost Storm Breeders, including some written by Chitauli, the nefarious sect’s founder. Skarvist checks the ruined library where the ghouls were found and finds two scrolls that Bez was unable to identify.
The heroes then push to the next room, opening into a large chamber with numerous glass and metal contraptions that seem to be attracting lightning. Electricity sizzles and arcs between the objects. There is a yellow crystal floating at the far end of the room. As the heroes move forward, they suddenly find a ghost-like figure appear near the crystal. It appears to be an Arathian based on its shape and ghostly clothing. Naroo and Diarmuid both correctly guess that this is Chitauli himself, forever doomed as an undead wraith unable to fulfill his life’s purpose. The wraith curses at the heroes and prepares to charge at them…
SESSION 49: The Stormbreeder Wraith and the Djinni [Oct 1, 2019]
The heroes stand across the room as Chitauli the wraith materializes on the far side. He stands next to a yellow crystal that occasionally sends arcs of electricity across the room that spread to nearby metallic orbs throughout the room. The heroes charge in at the wraith who then summons forth two flighty air elementals. Kofaer fills with rage and his eyes glow with the spirit inside of him.The possessed dwarf then charges in at Chitauli landing a powerful blow. Diarmuid follows making deft cuts at the incorporeal wraith. Skarvist rushes into the room, striking at the storm crystal, but he fails to break it with a single blow. Chitauli then reaches out to stop him, sucking the life out of the rogue. Skarvist falls to the ground unconscious and near death. Qhude rushes into the room to help and immediately breaks the storm crystal sending a surge of lightning across the room. The heroes then notice that Chitauli himself seems to be the new nexus of the electric energy.
The heroes continue to strike at Chitauli and his minions. The air elementals fly away and around their enemies, striking at anyone they pass by. Their strong gusts of wind hit hard upon Naroo, Bez, and Magdi. Naroo does what he can to stabilize Skarvist’s wounds, but is soon knocked out by Chitauli. The heroes look quite dire as Diarmuid soon also falls to the wraiths draining attacks. Magdi is knocked down by the air elementals and only Bez seems to be in decent shape. Kofaer continues to make desperate strikes at the wraith and eventually destroys him with a powerful blow. The heroes rush to those that have fallen and pass around healing potions and elixirs. They then spend some time treating their wounds while keeping a close eye on any who would disturb them.
After an hour, Skarvist hears some lizardfolk cultists coming towards the room. The heroes prepare an ambush and prepare for an attack. Skarvist drops some spiky caltrops near the door. The lizardfolk cultists enter and are immediately besieged by the heroes. The battle is quick and the heroes defeat them. They then decide that they have little energy left to continue fighting any remaining cultists. The heroes head back up to the surface and find that the rains continue. They rest in the lizardfolk village through the rest of the night. The next morning, they find there are strong winds and a great storm had descended upon the land. Magdi indicates that the hurricane has reached landfall and is likely assaulting Gessedo with great force.
The heroes head back into the Sky Tempest Temple and head to the northwest doors. They find that the door has a brass keyhole that is similar to the key that they received in Kashil by Zaakhu. They find that the key opens the locked door and seemed to disarm some hidden trap. They find a nest of bee hives and spider webs in the next chamber. Qhude and Kofaer enter the chamber and begin to set up oil and fire to burn out the nests. However, they are soon attacked by a giant spider hiding in the webbing. As they fight and quickly defeat the spider, Qhude is then attacked by another much larger spider. The second spider has a ghostly blue body and is as large as any human. It bites and strikes at him before disappearing again into thin air. The heroes come forth and prepare to fight the invisible beast. It reappears and strikes again, grabbing Qhude and attempts to suck the juices out of the monk. Qhude barely manages to break free and flees down a nearby stairwell. He the finds three lizardfolk cultists attacking him and throwing fire at him. Diarumuid and Kofaer strike at the spider and Diarmuid is bitten hard with the dangerous poison coursing into his veins. Naroo does his best to help treat the poison as Bez psychically throws stones at the spider. The spider is killed and Diarmuid is able to recover from the poison. The heroes then charge down the stairs, quickly defeating the few lizardfolk cultists.
The heroes then find in the chamber below is a ring of brass rods entrapping a swirling whirlwind inside a cage. Powerful winds seem to flow from the cage into a narrowing tunnel towards the storm nexus in the temple’s central chamber. Kofaer vaguely sees a large humanoid shape in the cage. He bashes down one of the rods and whatever magic entrapped the humanoid seems to break. A giant-sized, blue-skin djinni genie then breaks out of the cage. She has flowing white hair and her torso is little more that a swirling cloud of air. She introduces herself as Lady Fafrail and thanks them for saving her. She seems quite weakened and uninterested in helping mortal, “lesser beings”, but she does give them some magically enhanced wine before disappearing back to the Elemental Plane of Air. The heroes sip and enjoy the wine before they prepare for the final confrontation with Daruthek.
SESSION 50: Daruthek, Peace, and the Pirates! [Oct 8, 2019]
The heroes gather together and stride down the steps from the side chamber into the large room that once housed the stormy nexus. The raging winds and storm are gone and there in the center of the gear-shaped platform stands a strange mutated lizardfolk. He has white scales and blue feathers growing out of his body. It is Daruthek, the tribe’s shaman and he has clearly been touched by the planes. He has a few lizardfolk cultists with him. They immediately summon a shroud of mist to surround them and hide their presence. The heroes prepare themselves as the floating platform connects with their entrance. Kofaer and Qhude then leap into the mists striking at the lizardfolk within. Skarvist charges in as well. Bez, Naroo, and Magdi prepare spells on the side platform. Naroo summons a blast of wind, but it seems unable to clear the powerful mists. Diarmuid readies his own charge until the winds die down. Daruthek then appears and blasts a powerful bolt of lightning at the heroes. Diarmuid, Qhude, and Naroo are all struck hard by the blast and are nearly killed. They fall unconscious, fallen upon the ground. Bez rushes to Naroo and revives him with a soothing dweomer. Naroo then unleashes a blast of positive energy that heals everyone in the area.
Qhude leaps up and begins to strike at Daruthek with Skarvist, while Kofaer cuts down some of the cultists. Two air mephits then begin to cause trouble around the platform, striking at Naroo, Bez, and Magdi. Magdi blasts one of them with a freezing ray, but the other still claws at them. Qhude and Skarvist get a few small hits on Daruthek, but the powerful shaman then summons a geyser of water that slams Qhude. The monk is knocked unconscious again and sent flying into the waters below the platform. Skarvist leaps in after him, but fails to land the dive and ends up sputtering on the surface. Seeing Qhude fall, Diarmuid picks up Naroo and flings the halfling into the water where the cleric is able to send another blast of healing energy. Qhude awakens and swims to the surface. Kofaer then charges at Daruthek and slams his axe into the lizardfolk shaman, felling him. The other cultist and mephits fall shortly afterwards. The heroes take the dead cultist’s coin and Daruthek’s spear, which appears to be of ancient Xaya origin.
The heroes then notice that there are the corpses of young lizardfolk on the altars, clearly sacrificed to fuel the stormy ritual. The heroes head to the surface with the bodies where Kaxli helps ensure they are given proper burials. The heroes then meet with Chieftain Shathva and they talk about what to do next. With Daruthek’s influence taken away, the Chieftain wishes to march with the heroes to Gessedo to forge a peace and claim the lands that were given to them. The heroes have a grand feast with the lizardfolk before setting out to Kashil. They reach the village that night and the heroes negotiate a tense mediation between Zaakhu and Shathva. In the end, the heroes successfully get the Mireborn officially indoctrinated in the Kashil tribe. There is another grand feast and ceremony that night. The next morning, the heroes head towards Gessedo, adding Zaakhu and some Sahajo to join them. Late that evening, the heroes reach the walls of Gessedo and the lizardfolk and Sahajo look over the land they will inherit. They also find that Gessedo has suffered much in the hurricane, as many buildings seems disheveled and broken.
The heroes bring the two leaders into the town where they find Sheriff Praet, Count Narsus, and Hamsa Gadd greeting them. Magdi and Kanjo confront Hamsa for her underhand dealings with the Ariana Consortium, especially trying to kill Kanjo. The heroes chase her down as she tries to flee and Sheriff Praet locks her up for her crimes. Count Narsus then meets with Zaakhu and Shathva to negotiate a peace where all three groups can grow and prosper. The heroes then have a more subdued night as they help many survivors of the storm and lay down the fallen.
The next morning a ship is seen coming into the harbor for the first time since the storm began. It bears a Korenellian flag. Some of the heroes hide, but Kofaer, Diarmuid, and Naroo head to the docks to get a closer look. They find the ship belongs to the Korenellian Messenger Service and they bear letters for the Star Rudder. Diarmuid and the others speak with them and learn that there is a package for Skarvist and a letter for Bez. They gather their friends and the messenger gives them their messages. They then seem to be hastily preparing to leave already, warning of a pirate ship spotted on the seas.
Bez reads his letter, reading what he believes to be the last words of Father Prasst. The news strikes him hard and he runs off to the Stone Hall. Skarvist reads over his package and a letter from a law office in Korenhold, called Binkett and Bong. It seems that all charges have been dropped and the heroes are free to return to Korenell. It suggests they come to their office in Korenhold to discuss the trial. He also finds a letter from his grandfather, who has sold all his land and belongings to fight the charges in court over the past year. There are also two letters that his grandfather mentions he found in his old manor. One is addressed to Skarvist’s mother, Delia, the other seems to be a letter his mother was never able to send back.
Before the heroes can talk about this joyous news of their innocence, another ship is seen coming into harbor. It is a massive black warship, with numerous ballistas on the side, along with numerous rowboats that are now descending into the water. The Korenellian messenger believes it to be the notorious slaver of the Inner Sea, known as Blacktusk. The heroes prepare a barricade and gather the townspeople and guards to prepare a hasty defense. Soon scores of rowboats, filled with bloodthirsty pirates land ashore in Gessedo. The heroes try to hold the onslaught, but there seems to be an endless number of the black-hearted thieves. As the heroes hold the line at the docks, Qhude looks out to the water. Standing at the front of one of the rowboats is a man he recognizes. It is a half-orc with a crimson bandana and green-tinged skin. His teeth are dark and decayed and his two protruding tusks are stark black. One of his tusks is broken off at the tip and his mouth seems to droop on that side. It is the slaver-captain that kidnapped Qhude and his family many years ago. The one responsible for the young monk losing everything he once loved…
SESSION 51: A Father for a Father [Oct 15, 2019]
The intrepid heroes continue fighting the slaver-pirates on the docks of Gessedo. The battle is fierce as Qhude, Diarmuid, and Skarvist fight on the now darkened docks. They blindly stab and slash at enemies as the pirates do likewise to them. Kofaer climbs out of the water onto the docks and helps cut down pirates heading towards the barricade. Naroo and the guards try to keep back a pirate climbing over the wall. Bez throws powerful spells, using his growing depression as a source of baneful, melancholic magic. As the heroes take out this wave of pirates, another rowboat lands on the next southern dock and charge outward. The heroes charge in and fight this new wave bravely. After a few moments, the pirates lay dead and the heroes stop to treat their wounds.
Qhude looks out, trying to find any sign of the black-tusked half-orc who enslaved his family over a decade ago. He sees the fires burning and chaos to the south, the sounds of battle resonate off the buildings over the waves. He rushes forward without waiting for his friends. Skarvist notices this and chases after him. Naroo heals everyone with a blast of holy energy just before everyone follows. Naroo and Diarmuid try to catch up to the others. Meanwhile, Qhude is waylaid on the bridge by a band of pirates coming from the south. After he is shot at and bombs are thrown at him, he takes cover until his friends arrive to help. The heroes charge into the fray and fell the pirates with quick attacks and good tactics. Naroo heals and saves Qhude from certain death. The pirates are slain and the heroes take a moment to treat their wounds before charging into the southern square.
As the heroes enter the small square of the dockside village, they find scores of pirates looting, pillaging, and breaking things around them. In the center of the square are many dead town guards. Sheriff Praet is unconscious on the ground and Count Narsus is beaten and bloodied. The black-tusked half-orc, captain of the pirates, the notorious slaver of the Inner Sea, Blacktusk, holds his cutlass to the Count’s throat. He demands the heroes to stop and lay down their weapons. Diarmuid steps forward, trying to reason with the pirate captain. Qhude, however, is overcome with emotion and rage. His many years of discipline and control are broken by the intense fire he feels in his heart for the one who destroyed his family. Qhude charges forward, leaps over the pirates in the front, and slams his fist into Blacktusk’s sword. He only loosens the blade and is unable to disarm the pirate captain. Qhude then swings his other fist hard into Blacktusk’s face. The half-orc growls at him and the pirates all around break out into a combat frenzy. The heroes try to hold a line around Diarmuid and Kofaer, but they are greatly outnumbered.
Skarvist then nimbly moves in, rolls into position near Blacktusk and draws forth the chain around his neck, revealing the broken, blackened tusk dangling at the end. Skarvist then tells Blacktusk, “You defile Delia’s name and the love she bore you.” The pirate captain lowers his sword. Skarvist pulls out the letters of his mother and father and presents them to Blacktusk. Skarvist tries to explain that he believes he is Blacktusk’s son and that his mother, Delia, still loved him. The pirate captain calls out a halt and demands a parley with the heroes. They all lower their weapons and the heroes are escorted to Blacktusk’s galleon. The heroes sit and wait as Blacktusk is inside his quarters upon the boat for nearly a half hour. Skarvist uses the time to explain to the others about the information in the letters, revealing that he believes Blacktusk to be his father. He explains that Blacktusk, or Drogdar, was willing to give his life as a lucrative slaver up to be with his love, Delia Uptal, if she responded that she still love him. However, while Delia had written him back, asking him to help raise his child, she unfortunately was never able to send that letter and died in childbirth. Jonark, Skarvist’s grandfather, must have never seen the letter either and never knew who his grandson’s father was. In the end, Delia died, leaving Skarvist alone with his grandfather in Kassen and Drogdar must have simply assumed Delia did not return his love and had abandoned him. Additionally, the letter reveals that Drogdar made much of his fortune selling slaves who were enemies of a King Jambe of Dagasas. Qhude finds this information interesting. The name Jambe is familiar to him, as Qhude recalls his parents cursing that name when he was young. He wonders if Dagasas is where he is originally from.
Drogdar then returns from his quarters and he clearly was trying to reconcile the fact that Delia had still loved him. Skarvist attempts to convince the slaver to give up his life. Diarmuid also tries to encourage redemption. However, the pirate captain refuses join his son. He does, however, call back all of his pirates and ends the raid on Gessedo. Before he leaves, he asks Qhude his name, then laughs when he hears the answer. The heroes then return to the docks of Gessedo as the pirates pile into their galleon and set sail back to the open sea.
Qhude is awash in emotions and he rushes off to the lands outside town to meditate and recenter himself. The others try to do what they can to help around town. Count Narsus is taken to the manor for a funeral service and the heroes hear that Rizzi will likely send another governor in his stead. Sheriff Praet is brought home where Jheri accompanies her. During this time, Naroo comforts Bez about the death of Father Prasst. The Korenellian messengers approach Naroo and arrange to leave the following morning for Korenhold. Magdi and Kanjo wish to join them as well, eager to get out of Gessedo. The heroes prepare for their departure, saying good-bye to the wonderful colony they have come to know as home over the past month…
The End of Act 3
ACT 4: The Storm Breakers
SESSION 52: Return to Korenell [Oct 22, 2019]
The heroes say their goodbyes to Gessedo and prepare to leave with the Korenellian Messenger Service. Before they leave, Kofaer takes off to do something quickly. He heads to the many grave-sites outside of town and leaves a small emblem of Rolk, dwarven god of war. He says a quick prayer to the war god, though he finds that something doesn’t feel right. He begins to reconsider paying homage to a god of battle and considers finding a new patron deity. Kofaer then heads back to the ship and on the way he finds Qhude. It seems the monk has reluctantly decided to return with the others to Korenhold, hoping he might make some sense of what has happened to him and get more information there. Jheri then comes over to Kofaer and Qhude and gifts them a bag of pirate loot, thanking them again for everything they had done for Gessedo. The two catch up to the others and share the loot, finding many coins. There is a magical belt of lifting that Qhude accepts and a magical suit of stealthy armor that Skarvist accepts. The heroes then board the ship and head out for the long two-week journey to Korenhold.
During the long ocean voyage, the heroes find the food to be quite unappealing, only hard tack and the occasional dried meat. Occasionally, Naroo uses his magic to conjure more tasteful meals, but the magict makes it seem a little off. The heroes spend much time contemplating on their successes and failures, honing new skills, and retraining various techniques. Qhude barely speaks to anyone during this trip, spending much time meditating and thinking about his family. Bez, likewise, seems to be avoiding the topic of Father Prasst, trying not to deal with the news. Skarvist, too, spends much time thinking about his father and whether the dark-hearted pirate could ever be redeemed. Diarmuid seems to spend much time in prayer, seemingly wrestling with some decisions he must make. Naroo and Kofaer do their best to keep up morale as they begin to share a few conversations about faith.
After two long weeks, the heroes reach the city of Korenhold. They climb out of the boat in the docks district and say farewell to Magdi and Kanjo. The heroes then head up into the merchant’s quarter and Bez drops some coin on some rooms at the Red Tankard Inn. Both Qhude and Diarmuid seem to disappear as soon as the heroes check in and the others assume that they both have some business in their old hometown. The heroes then sit down to a mighty feast of meat and mead. During the meal, Bez inquires about a local music hall called the Skelter. Bez heads over to the music venue and arranges for a gig that night with the club owner, a gruff, middle-aged man named Harlin Draylest. Harlin insists on giving Bez the mainstage with the original performer, the depressive Joe Krimly, to open for Bez. Harlin also insists on advertising the show widely tonight and foregoing the usual password. He offers Bez 40% of the door sales. Bez returns to the tavern beaming with delight. Bez then decides to take a nap and practice his music as Kofaer, Skarvist, and Naroo head over to the law office of Binkett and Bong to learn more about the court case.
When the three heroes reach the extravagant law office, they are greeted by an energetic middle-aged man, Jeremiah Binkett. The man seems quite overjoyed to meet everyone. He explains how he feels like he knows them all quite well from doing research for their case and admires their heroic deeds. He explains some details of the case and allows the heroes to ask some questions. He suggests that the Ministry of Faith stopped pursuing the case when it became clear that someone hired the Black Blades to assassinate Rizak Klemocc. The heroes grow concerned that someone wanted Rizak dead, either because he knew something dangerous or because someone wanted the Star of Righteousness. The heroes invite Jeremiah to join them at Bez’s show that night before they return to the Red Tankard.
During the afternoon, Kofaer and Naroo decide to head to a local temple of Solarus. It is a modest sized temple and they meet a kindly older gentleman. Kofaer seems to show some interest in learning more about Solarus and pursuing a new faith. The older priest, named Fenzisk, enjoys talking faith and philosophy with Naroo and they realize that Fenzisk used to have conversations with Diarmuid years ago. The old scholar asks Naroo to send Diarmuid over to him as he wishes to see his pupil again. Naroo and Kofaer promise to return for morning mass.
The heroes then grab another meal and a few more drinks before sundown and Bez’s show. The heroes head over to the Skelter where Bez gets to meet depressive Joe Krimly. The hall opens and the place quickly becomes packed with young people eager to hear “The Bez”. The down-and-out guitar player, Joe, opens the show, which eventually leads the crowd to boo him off stage. Bez then gets on stage, throwing a wild performance enhanced with Skarvist’s acrobatics and the occasional magical lights and sounds. The crowd loves the show and Bez signs numerous autographs and gets invited to many after-party’s. Jeremiah Binkett introduces himself to Bez after the show and Harlin promises Bez his cut the next day. The heroes decide to head to an after-party in the docks district where Naroo and Kofaer stay only an hour or so. Naroo gets to meet a young half-Zali man who’s father seems to be Mort the Eternal Ember. Kofaer and Naroo then leave while the night isn’t too late since they have mass in the morning. Skarvist and Bez stay out until dawn and return to the tavern quite inebriated. They wave to Naroo and Kofaer on their way to bed as the other two head to mass. Bez collapses in his bed where he falls into a very vivid dream about a forest of tentacles and confronts a massive face of concentric eyes. A single large red eye is seen in the center and he hears a name whispered… “Thulugoth.”
SESSION 53: The Prince and the Wraith [Oct 29, 2019]
The previous day, we find that Qhude had left the others shortly after they arrive at the inn. He wandered into the old docks district along the broken bridges and walkways that he had known in his early years. He spent a couple hours in reflection before coming across his old friend, Imiard. He learns that Imiard is still working as a thief, now leading his own groups of youths under the watchful eye of the local thieves guild. He is quite surprised with the changes that have come over Qhude and seems somewhat jealous of the fantastic items the monk carries. He offers to share some important information with Qhude if he is payed. Qhude agrees to pay and learns that there are a couple Seliceans warriors looking for him in Korenhold. He finds this new quite intriguing and spends the rest of the day searching in vain for these people.
Diarmuid, likewise, leaves the others shortly after their first meal on dry land. He heads to the manor house of Lord Ramah Bumur, his adopted family. He finds that the manor is still in good condition and there is a new butler to greet him at the door. However, Lord Bumur is quite busy and arranges for a lunch together at the local pub. Diarmuid gets the sense that he is not welcomed at the manor house anymore. He walks around the district and gardens, recalling the time he had spent in the city as a youth. When the noon hour arrives, Diarmuid heads to the pub and meets with his adopted father. Ramah seems quite tentative to meet with Diarmuid. He explains that the family had to formally cut ties with Diarmuid and disown him during the murder accusations. Ramah was trying to maintain the favor of numerous noble houses that donate to the charities he oversees. He apologizes to Diarmuid and seems truly remorseful for what had been done. Over the dinner they are able to catch up and salvage their relationship. Diarmuid shows his father the powers he has been blessed with as well. After lunch, Diarmuid then spends the rest of the day wondering around Korenhold, dealing with the news.
The next morning, Kofaer, Naroo, and Diarmuid head out to the Temple of Solarus to attend mass. They hear the many wonderful sermons of Fenzisk on kindness and compassion. Some of the attendees stand up and tell of the deeds of kindness they performed recently. The three heroes then meet with Fenzisk after mass and have a philosophical and religious discussion concerning the Trinity and Solarus. After a meal and a long talk, the heroes decide to look for Qhude who said he had someone to look for that day.
The heroes find Qhude walking the streets and together they are able to find the Selicean warriors at a tavern in the Tradegate district. Qhude then meets with these strangers and learns that he is a lost prince of Dagasas. His uncle Jambe had exiled Qhude’s father, Jama, to take the throne when their father died. It was Jambe who reached out to Blacktusk to begin enslaving his rivals, ensuring he’d have no political dissidents to oppose him. Now, those devoted to Jama and his family are trying to form a resistance and retake Dagasas. They beg Qhude to help them. They also inform Qhude that his sister, Sizani, is alive and living in the pirate town Ramona. Qhude agrees to follow these warriors to his sister and perhaps help them retake his homeland. He says good-bye to his friends and promises to send word should he need help in his quest.
Diarmuid, Kofaer, and Naroo then return to the Red Tankard Inn and meet up with a very tired Bez, who is still trying to get the nightmare he had out of his head. They inform him of all that has happened with Qhude. Skarvist then joins them and after some discussion, the heroes decide to head to Kassen. They arrange to join a merchant caravan to Sonvera, then take a ferry up to Namport. From there, they walk the familiar roads into the town of Kassen. After a few weeks of travel, the heroes reach Kassen, where much has changed. The Trinity camp is gone and they find a large stone fortress on the hillside north of town. It is still incomplete, but many sections are finished. The heroes go their separate ways then. Skarvist heads to his grandfather’s new shack outside town. Bez heads to the Temple of Baldur and finds Shalee is running the temple after Rantal Prasst’s passing. She is feeling pressured to sell the temple to the Trinity church and build a shrine on the outskirts where more of her community live. Naroo heads to Londora’s house and learns that she is now mayor of the town. She has run Corbyn out of town for his poor behavior against women and the sawmill is now being run as a cooperative among its employees. Diarmuid stops at Ilimara’s house and informs her of Qhude’s new mission. Kofaer says hello to Braggar and promises to help with the blacksmithing.
Eventually, the heroes, except Skarvist, rejoin at the tavern for a few drinks. They say hello to Jimes and find an old friend there. There is a scout who works for Kassen named Barasus. He has long been a family friend of Kofaer, Braggar, and Fessara and a frequent attendee of the tavern. Additionally, Diarmuid fought alongside Barasus during the Goblin Wars years ago. Berasus was the only man who witnessed Diarmuid’s holy gifts when his life was saved by Diarmuid’s healing touch. Fessara then pops into the inn and invites all of them over for a late supper. The heroes share a number of drinks and even trick Naroo into participating. The heroes then head over to Braggar’s house.
When they near the house, they hear Fissara scream in terror. They charge into the door and Kofaer watches as Ukdrim the wraith reaches out and drains the life out of his mother. Braggar and Kofaer both go into a mad rage striking at Ukdrim and the additional shadows that appear. The heroes rush in to help and they all strike at the incorporeal undead. After a fierce battle, Ukdrim flees and the shadows are destroyed. Braggar and Kofaer look upon the dead Fessara and Braggar grasps Kofaer by the collar and begs his nephew to join him on a quest to Brong for revenge.
SESSION 54: The Journey to Brong [Nov 5, 2019]
The heroes stand over the wreckage in the smithy. They all look down upon the paled, wrinkled body of Fissara Lingrim. Her once dark hair now stark white. Braggar reaffirms his desire for revenge which is echoed by Kofaer and Barasus. Braggar cuts his hand and declares a blood-oath before his friends, passing the knife to all who would join him. Kofaer and Barasus do so as well. Diarmuid reluctantly joins. Naroo and Bez do not take the oath, but Naroo does point out he has already taken an oath to destroy undead and will help hunt down the wraith. That night the heroes and Braggar bring Fissara’s body to the church of Baldur, waking up Shalee with loud knocks. They then bring Fissara’s body to the morgue below and Shalee agrees to prepare a funeral service for her the next morning. Naroo, Bez, and Kofaer work on cremating Fissara. Braggar heads out to gather supplies. Diarmuid and Barasus also gather what supplies they can.
Meanwhile, Skarvist spends the evening in his grandfather’s new small house on the river in the small village outside Kassen that has acquired the nickname, Riverreach. They spend the evening catching up as Jonark bakes some mushroom muffins. The next morning, Diarmuid heads over to the new fort north of town and speaks with Knight-Lieutenant Stralbod Kain. Diarmuid informs his former superior about his desire to formally resign, bringing in his sword and shield. However, Stralbod offers Diarmuid a covert position as a Knight-Errant for the church under his command. He has become increasingly interested in signs of corruption in the upper-echelons of the church and wants Diarmuid to pursue the investigation, since he trusts Diarmuid’s commitment to good and honesty and knows he can operate outside the eye of the church’s hierarchy. Diarmuid seems reluctant at first and Stralbod suggests the young knight think it over on his journey to Brong and he can decide when he returns. Diarmuid agrees and head back to town. On the way, he runs into Skarvist and informs the half-orc about what transpired last night and how they are planning to head out to Brong later that day. Skarvist rushes back home to tell his grandfather and prepare for the journey.
Later that morning, the heroes head to the church of Baldur, where the funeral mass for Fissara is held. Everyone grabs their bowl of stew and a mug of ale to sit and mourn the death of a devoted follower. During the funeral, Kofaer speaks up about his mother and encourages the community to pull together and keep the church for Baldur. Braggar says a few quick words about his sister. The funeral then ends and Barasus approaches Shalee, asking her to refrain from selling the church as well. Kofaer clutches the small metal urn that carries his mother’s ashes. The heroes then gather around a wagon and two strong draft horses that Braggar had procured. Before they leave, Jonark says a few words to his grandson and the others, visibly frustrated that they are always off on an adventure, but sending them off with a large basket of mushroom muffins.
The heroes head out on the long journey to Brong. They pass through the Righteous Hills and hear much murmuring in the small towns and villages about Princess Nirea and her defense against goblin attacks. Th heroes celebrate Bez’s birthday in a small tavern en-route with much ale. The heroes then head into the Basmian Scrublands, known to be afoul with dangerous creatures and bandits. One night on the journey, the heroes are attacked by a pair of basilisks. The battle is dangerous as the heroes try to repel the monsters whilst avoiding their petrifying gaze. Unfortunately, Barasus succumbs to the gaze and turns to stone. The basilisk then attempts to drag the statue off into the thicket. Thankfully, the heroes fell the other basilisk and are able to rush after the second one and kill it before Barasus is taken from them. Bez recalls that basilisk blood can revive those petrified and soon Barasus is revived by the blood of his would-be captor.
The heroes continue for many more days and soon enter into the outskirts and foothills of the Lionheart Mountains. There they encounter a lone bandit on the road who halts their wagon. Barasus and Kofaer intimidate the bandit with glares as they ready their axe and arrow. The bandit seems to think better of it and rushes off into the thickets, a dozen other bandits join him in flight. The heroes continue onward, glad that they could avoid a fight. The heroes then reach the hills of the Brongus Cliffs and pass through numerous villages and trade-towns where dwarves are the most common resident. They spend a good night in Kalbarden, a major trade hub, before reaching Brong itself two days later. The mighty mountain rises high into the sky with a beautifully designed town below the towering peak. The heroes enter into the town, known as Mirkarakden [Skymountain Town]. They check into the Vazrrik Inn and have a grand feast of wondrously palatable foods and hearty drinks.
SESSION 55: Exploration of the Dwarven City [Nov 12, 2019]
The heroes share a few drinks at the Vazrrik Inn in Mirkarakden and chat about what they should do next. Braggar decides that he will stay at the inn and not enter Brong itself, as he does not wish for Kofaer to be identified by association. He warns the others about the Osodaroth and their many spies that likely hide in the city. The heroes then split off with Bez, Braggar, and Skarvist staying at the tavern. Skarvist chats with the locals but learns little important. Diarmuid learns much about the districts of the city by asking around town. He lists many landmarks inside that might be worth visiting. Naroo chats at a local shrine to Solarus with an attached medical clinic. He volunteers to help for the afternoon and learns a few facts about the city as well. Kofaer and Barasus head towards the city gate and listen to the sound of the wind blowing through the organ-like tubes that gives the city its name. They notice that there is a long line to enter the city and decide to get the others before proceeding.
The heroes rejoin at the tavern and say farewell to Braggar. Diarmuid purchases two kegs of ale and some mugs to bring with them to the line to enter the city. They notice that the the guards are searching visitors quite thoroughly. They join the end of the line and find there are two dwarven merchants in front of them and a human family behind them. Skarvist chats up the dwarves and learns that half-orcs and goblins might have some trouble with prejudice in the city, particularly Bez. Bez uses his hat to disguise himself as a halfling. Diarmuid chats with the family behind them and learns of numerous places in the city to visit. The heroes get the opportunity to enjoy the numerous carvings and faces on the outer walls of the mountain. After near half an hour of waiting, the heroes finally reach the end of the line and are split up and questioned. The guards go through their things, seemingly extra cautious about poisons. They also ask them questions about their visit. Kofaer gives the fake name, Wefak Riknaggeh [Noblebreaker] to hide his disgraced family name. Bez gives a halfling name, Ooran Littlefoot, but is pulled aside into a small room for extra questioning. He soon learns that the guards can see through his magical deception and he acknowledges being a goblin. Eventually, his friends vouch for him and he is let free into the city.
The heroes walk along the grand halls of the Marrorden district passing shops, taverns, and entertaining pubs. There are grand temples as well. Kofaer leads the heroes to the Temple of Rolk the Warmaster where they find numerous acolytes wrestling and sparing. Kofaer talks with the priest and soon confirms that Rolk is not the deity for his heart any longer. The heroes then head off exploring the halls. They eventually make their way down into the Morden district where they find many modest dwelling and simple taverns. Barasus gets the feeling they are being followed, but cannot find a source of this feeling. The heroes then come across the Draghzgoruz Mornitat [Blackbone Inn] a simple, but comfortable inn off the main avenue. The heroes purchase beds and rooms for the night and have a fine meal of mushroom stew and strong ale. Skarvist is able to learn from the tavern patrons that a famous prospector named Tanrord Karnaggeh [Stonecrusher] was found dead in the mines. He seemed to have been strangled to death. The heroes take note of the news and head to bed after a night of drinking.
The next morning, the heroes overhear more news about the death of Tanrord the prospector. Diarmuid, Skarvist, and Bez decide to head out and gather information about the dead prospector while Kofaer, Barasus, and Naroo decide to head to the temple district to help Kofaer on his spiritual search. Kofaer leads the others to the Temple of Brog the Hearthmaster. It is arranged like a giant feast-hall with numerous kegs of ales and cauldrons of stews. Quickly Kofaer speaks with a priest of the temple and soon feels that Brog more closely resembles his heart. He also believes that he can venerate the entire dwarven pantheon without devoting himself to a single deity. Meanwhile, Diarmuid and the others quickly learn that the Grunthrynaz [Mining Guild] is looking into the murder of Tanrord. The three head down into the deepest reaches of the city into Mornden district. They past the grand Temple of Lagmud the Torchbearer towards the mining guild. They speak with the guild-master who is happy to learn that the “Sturmnauggeh” [Stormbreakers] are interested in helping solve this crime. The heroes learn that the body was found in a new deep mine-shaft far below the mountain. They arrange for the miner Stror Brodmum to escort them into the mines the next day to see the site where the body was found.
The heroes all reconvene and go on a site-seing tour. They head down into the Kodkodden district and see the many magma forges and smithies. Diarmuid sells the dwarven sword he found beneath the Trinity monastery in the Golbez foothills, learning it was made during the Brong civil war. The heroes then head up to the highest halls and view the many facades of the greatest dwarven clans and the mountain-king’s palace. They explore the crystal gardens and the many pillars showing off the ancient heroes of the city. Kofaer confronts a historian and learns that his family name, Linalf, is all but extinct and that their honor can only be restored through grand deeds of a descendant. The heroes explore much of the city and partake of the interesting crafts and food. Skarvist then notices that they seem to be followed again, but again cannot find the source. The heroes then retire back to the Blackbone Inn for the night.
The next morning, the heroes head down to the Mining Guild and meet the prominent miner Stror Brodmum. He leads the heroes down into the mines, deeper and deeper into the earth. They take many numerous tunnels and forks, then down multiple elevators on pulleys into the deepest section of the mountain. After a few hours, Stror stops and send the heroes down the tunnel where he found Tanrord. Stror stays back to do some prospecting, unwilling to see the site where he found Tanrord again. The heroes head into a cavern that eventually ends in a small, round cave. Naroo and Diarmuid find signs of dried blood scrapped on the rock in a strange non consecutive line. The heroes then feel a vibration as a large earth elemental bursts out of the rock with a gaping maw. It has a smaller dog-like elemental that attacks the heroes from behind. The heroes try to defend themselves against these forces of nature…
SESSION 56: Murders Most Foul [Nov 19, 2019]
The heroes stand strong as the large earth elemental slashes and bites at them. The large beast has a huge gaping maw surrounded by three eyes and three long clawed hands. It spins and slashes out at them causing great lacerations. Diarmuid, Kofaer, Skarvist, and Barasus surround and hold the beast at bay, but can only take so much of its onslaught. Bez throws magically charged rocks at it while Naroo tries to use his healing magic to keep his friends alive. The battle goes on for quite some time, until after a number of lucks strikes, Kofaer is able to fell the beast with a final blow. The heroes treat their wounds and collect themselves after the battle. They then search around the area for any more clues as to how Tanrord Karnaggeh was murdered.
The heroes head back to the entrance of the mines with the prospector, Stror Brodmum. They decide to head to the nearby Temple of Lagmud to possibly examine Tanrord’s body for any clues. They enter the grand temple and are greeted by the priests. The priests allow them entrance into the morgue on the honor of the Riknaggeh family (Kofaer’s covert name). They follow an acolyte down into the large morgue, passing many chambers with dwarven corpses on stone pallets ready to be processed for funeral services. They reach the small room holding Tanrord’s body and the acolyte leaves them to examine the body. Naroo and Diarmuid looks the body over for any signs or clues. They only learn that the dwarf’s neck was squeezed quite tightly with inhuman strength, crushing his larynx and arteries in his neck, which explains the blood splatters. Naroo also notices that he was strangled from behind.
While the heroes are looking at Tanrord, they overhear the acolytes bring another body into the morgue. Barasus and Kofaer overhear that someone died in a tavern while on the privy. Kofaer steps down the hall and asks about the deceased. He learns she is an elderly dwarf named Avlu Gorgrund [Wildmaul]. She was a famous warrior from a previous generation. Kofaer calls for Naroo to come and check the body. The halfling quickly finds some odd signs. Even though Avlu was quite old, her hair was unusually stark white and the tenseness of her eye and face muscles suggest she was in a state of extreme fear when she died. Kofaer and Naroo think that the wraith of Ukdrim might be responsible, but are unsure why. The heroes head upstairs and talk briefly with the priests, who also talk of another dwarf who has gone missing last week on a hunting expedition. The priests suggest they head to the Mornol Olat [Dead Ale Tavern] in the Tagvosden [Deepcliff Halls] district to learn more about Avlu’s death.
The heroes head up the Ekrund to the Deepcliff district, where they find sprawling tunnels and natural caverns where numerous homeless and mentally-unhinged dwarves roam about. There are numerous thugs eyeing them as they walk about. Kofaer gives some money to the homeless, but soon finds that only draws more to them. So the heroes eventually leave the crowds and make their way to the far side of the district into an enormous natural cavern. There is a sharp cliff that drops down into a deep lake, called the Grimmor [Dark Lake]. Near the lakeside cliffs is a huge pillar of stone, and built into it is a large tavern called the Mornol Olat. Barasus notices that they are being followed, but chooses not to give chase. The heroes enter the tavern and find that many faces turn to look at the unusual group. Naroo puts out his glowing staff and the heroes enter the dark tavern. There are many shadows of dwarves hidden in the sprawling place. The waitress comes to talk to them asking them to find a seat and brings a round of poor-tasting ales.
The heroes ask the waitress about the death of Avlu. The waitress, Kafola, admits she was the one who found Avlu and the heroes convince her to sit and take a break to talk with them. She says that she found Avlu in the privy late last night and that it was unusual that her hidden streaks of black hair were gone and she seemed more aged. The guards did not agree that anything seemed amiss and labeled the death as age-related. She also says she saw an elderly dwarven man, a strong-looking man, take something from Avlu’s body when the guards weren’t looking. After some more conversation, Kafola and Kofaer realize that there is some familiarity among them. The quietly admit to belonging to the disgraced Linalf clan and Kofaer learns that Kafola is his half-sister. Her mother, Yeva Zunthog, had her out of wedlock with Ukdrim before Ukdrim had met Fessara. Kafola then encourages the heroes to not pursue these deaths, as it will only end in danger. She seems to fear the hidden powers at work in the city.
The heroes say farewell to Kafola and head out into the city streets of Tagvosden. As they pass through a narrow alleyway, they are accosted by six dwarves brandishing swords. They tell the heroes that they should leave Avlu’s death be. Barasus, Kofaer, and Diarmuid try to intimidate the dwarves as well, but it only reduces into combat. The battle is quick and fierce. Bez manages a blast of powerful occult magic, sending forth dreadful barbed tentacles, but he cannot help but notice that these tentacles remind him of his dream of Thulogoth. The others charge in at the dwarves to help Bez and soon the most of the dwarves are killed, with one getting away. Kofaer slams the last thug into a wall and tries to intimidate some information from him. He learns only that someone paid these thugs to threaten and attack the heroes. The situation gets more complicated as some corrupt guards step in and threaten everyone with jail until the heroes are able to bribe them.
After the whole ordeal in Tagvosden, the heroes return up to Morden and the Draghzgoruz Mornitat [Blackbone Inn] where they finally get a good meal before they rest for the night. The next morning they hear additional news about the death of Sturbiot Dronragg [Thunderpelt], a famed rich hunter and former warrior. He had apparently gone missing on a routine hunting expedition last week. His family is seeking information or the recover of his body in order to proceed with his funeral. The heroes head up to the Marrorden district and find the grand manor of the Dronragg family. They have a quick meeting with Nevli Dronragg, a beautiful older dwarven lady, who seems to think the heroes were sent by her servants as mercenaries to find Sturbiot’s body. The heroes do not deny this and agree to find his body. She sends her servant, Vezi, a young female dwarf, to lead the heroes to the site of the hunting expedition outside of Brong.
SESSION 57: The Hunt and the Bronze Pin [Nov 26, 2019]
The heroes head out of the city of Brong and stop in Mirkarakden to see Braggar. The dwarven smith is quite inebriated and seems to be having difficulty dealing with the boredom. The heroes have a quick drink with him before setting out into the hinterlands outside the city. The dwarven guide, Vezi, leads the heroes into the foothills away from the high mountains of the Brongus Cliffs. After travelling for eight long hours, the heroes finally reach the hunting site that night. They set up camp and sleep for the night. The next morning, the heroes find that they are in a sloping land with a stream to the south and a rolling grassland plateau to the north. The heroes split up to search for any tracks or clues of the hunters. Vezi stays behind at the camp. Skarvist and Kofaer head west along the stream and find nothing more than animal tracks. Naroo, Diarmuid, and Bez head east along the stream and find animal tracks as well. Though they find evidence of a dwarven booted footprint. It seems one of the hunters felled a large deer near the stream. Barasus heads north into the grasslands alone, discovering a number of booted footprints heading into a flat area with numerous soil mounds rising above the grass. He finds dwarven booted footprints along with two other tracks. One appears to be anhkrav tracks, a large predatory insect. Barasus cannot identify the other clawed tracks.
The heroes regroup at the camp and Barasus leads them northward to join him into what is likely anhkrav territory. They follow the booted tracks and it seems that the clawed prints increase and catch up to the dwarf. Naroo identifies the clawed tracks as those of dwarven skeletons. It seems Sturbiot was felled by a pack of skeletons and his body was likely taken by the anhkravs. As the heroes piece this together, a hive of anhkravs arise and attack the heroes. The heroes are blasted by acidic sprays and Bez’s leather armor is seared nearly asunder. The heroes gather together and fight back against the swarm. They eventually fell five of the beasts and send the six one fleeing into their hive. The heroes return to camp and patch up their wounds. They then head back to the ankhrav mounds and Skarvist leads the group down into the swirling tunnels. They eventually find a larger chamber where the last injured ankhrav guards over their young. There is also a pile of rotting bodies stacked in the corner. Skarvist attempts to pull a corpse with a dwarven boot out of the pile, but a deer carcass nearly falls on him. Barasus then steps in and easily lifts the dwarven corpse out of the pile. The heroes bring the corpse to the surface and examine it away from the hissing ankhrav.
The heroes find that the body matches the description of Sturbiot Dronragg. They also find a small bronze pin on the inside of his jacket. It bears the visage of a dwarven warrior.
Unsure of what the pin means, the heroes take it and bring Sturbiot’s corpse back to camp. They ask Vezi about the pin, but she doesn’t seem to know anything about it. The heroes then pack up their camp and make the long 8 hour journey back to Brong, with Kofaer, Diarmuid, and Barasus taking turns carrying the corpse. When the heroes reach the city, they are stopped by the town guard and Vezi has to explain why they carry the corpse of the dead. But soon the heroes are able to enter, though Skarvist finds another member of the Durdain (guardsmen) following them. The heroes head to the Dronragg manor and speak with Lady Nevli. They are paid for returning the body and leave the manor. As it is late, the heroes head down to Morden and the Blackbone Inn where they rest for the night.
The next morning, the heroes find the tavern patrons whispering among themselves. Barasus overhears the talk and asks the bartender about what is going on. It turns out that another famous dwarf has been found dead, seemingly died in her sleep. Her name was Thressa Brolwok and she was a popular politician and councilwoman for the city and a former warrior of some note. The dwarves seem worried about these strange deaths happening so closely to each other and brings some fear similar to what happened a few decades ago. The heroes decide to head to the Temple of Lagmud to see the body of Thressa. They are admitted and the priests thank them for returning Sturbiot’s body. The heroes are escorted down into the deeper morgues where they find the body of Thressa on a stone platform. There is an old dwarven warrior standing over her. Barasus notices that the dwarf has slipped a bronze object into his pocket. The heroes confront the aged dwarf about the object, but the dwarf doesn’t seem to want to give up any information.
The lights then flicker as undead shadows strike out from the walls. The heroes draw their weapons and spells to defend themselves. The mysterious dwarf joins them in combat and after a grand battle, the heroes are able to defeat the many shadows. After the fight, the mysterious dwarf seems to trust the heroes. The dwarf introduces himself as Onon Khanaurolk [Warseeker], the leader of a secret organization called the Bronkhazi [Defenders of the Stone]. He explains that it was his organization that defeated the Osodaroth 35 years ago and drove them out of the city. Now, he fears, the Osodaroth are seeking revenge and killing off the heroic knights that led that fight. Now he is the only one that remains out of that group. He explains that the bronze pins are held by members of the Bronkhazi and he retrieves those held by the fallen. He intends to head back to a secret redoubt hidden near the dwarven trade town of Kalbarden two days from Brong. The redoubt is hidden along the Tagdrin [Deep Road] in the Tag Mordtag [Deep Underground] near Kalbarden. The heroes offer to join Onon and try to protect him from any attacks from the Osodaroth.
SESSION 58: Spirit of Ukfaer [Dec 03, 2019]
The heroes talk with Onon Khanaurolk and agree to accompany the dwarf to Kalbarden, a trade town about two days from Brong. He will lead them to the Bronkhazi Redoubt hidden nearby. The heroes stop at the markets of Brong to restock some supplies then head to Mirkarakden to pick up Braggar. When Kofaer tries to awaken the gruff dwarf, he finds that Braggar is quite hung-over and unable to think clearly. The heroes gather their supplies and prepare their wagon and horses. Eventually Braggar joins them and they are able to set off. Onon speaks little of the Bronkhazi and their sacred oath to protect the dwarven cities. He speaks with Kofaer, mentioning how he knew Kofaer’s grandfather, Ukfaer. But Braggar seems to not want Onon to say too much on the matter.
After a couple days of travel, the heroes reach the trade town of Kalbarden. The surface town seems little more than a hamlet. But after they stable their horses, Onon brings them to a large stone building that contains two massive steam-powered elevators. The lifts bring them down deep into the earth, where they find a large cavern. Numerous stone buildings surround the northern side of a large underground lake. There can be seen a massive steam waterworks and enormous metal-works. As they reach the cavern level, Onon asks the heroes to meet him at the Stone of Elders, a small temple, as he needs to chat with some officials in town. The heroes agree, especially since Naroo’s magic can detect Onon’s location and condition from afar. Many of the heroes look about the interesting dwarven city, asking about local gossip. They only learn that the locals feel there have been more strangers passing through the city recently. Braggar brings Kofaer aside to view the metalworks. He talks about his father, Ukfaer, and wishes to know how well Kofaer trusts Onon. It seems Braggar did not know much about his father’s work and mostly kept in touch through Fessara when he left Brong.
The heroes reconvene at the small temple and Onon meets up with them. He then leads the heroes down the Tagdrin [Deep Road]. After about a mile or two away from the city, Onon leads the heroes into a nondescript side cavern. He then opens a secret door and ushers the heroes inside. They walk down a straight hall that leads to two large bronze double doors. They bear large symbols of the dwarven warrior that was on the bronze pin. The heroes cautiously enter the temple. They find the entrance foyer has three dwarven corpses upon the floor. Onon recognizes them as Bronkhazi guards. The heroes prepare their defenses and cautiously enter the next chamber. They find four dwarven skeletons blocking their path. With a quick battle, the heroes fell the skeletons. The remain cautious, believing that the Osodaroth might still remain in the redoubt.
The heroes enter in a large hallway with many rooms. They then hear a commotion in a nearby room. They look inside and find a number of dwarven thugs tearing through a small tavern. The heroes rush into combat. The thugs fall easily to their blows, but a Osodaroth cultist then appears sending dark magic at the heroes. The battle is quick and decisive, the heroes fell the cultist and thugs. They find there are five more corpses of Bronkhazi knights strewn about the room. A secret door is opened on the far end. Onon confirms that the door is the only other entrance to the redoubt. It appears this is where the Osodaroth entered.
The heroes then head into a nearby trophy room, filled with felled beasts on one end. On the other end, are shattered display cases that seemed to hold a set of armor and weapon of importance. Onon brings Kofaer over to a portrait of Ukfaer Lingrim, Kofaer’s grandfather. As the two near the portrait, everyone in the room is beset with a vision of Ukfaer’s final days. They see Ukdrim’s betrayal and how Ukfaer sacrificed himself to ensure Fessara could flee with Kofaer while still allowing the Bronkhazi to successfully strike at the Osodaroth 35 years ago. Kofaer now knows with certainty, the spirit inside of him is Ukfaer. Onon explains that Ukfaer used to be the leader of the Bronkhazi and was a dear friend of his. Onon says they must recover Ukfaer’s stolen armaments so that Kofaer wield the might of his grandfather.
The heroes explore a nearby chapel before heading across the complex into another series of chambers. They find a small infirmary and a props room for the theater. The heroes then look through the theater where they are accosted by two cacophonous spirits. The heroes are blasted by insane babble but quickly dispatch the spirits. The heroes explore around the theater before entering into a southern chamber. They find a small library where some dwarven warriors of the Osodaroth are peering around. A fight breaks out and the heroes try their best to hold back the dwarves. These dwarves are heavily armored and work conjuncivelty with their shields. The heroes take some wounds as they continue to strike at the Osodaroth warriors.
Session 59: Fall of the Bronkhazi [Dec 17, 2019]
The heroes continue to hold a line against the Osodaroth warriors, slowly cutting through the dwarf’s defenses. Skarvist finds a few lucky strikes and is able to fell a couple dwarven warriors. The others press in and soon the Osodaroth warriors are felled. The heroes look around the library and they find a powerful scroll that Bez takes. The heroes then find a dumbwaiter that heads down into the kitchens below. Skarvist convinces Bez to descend down the dumbwaiter who discovers some rust monsters eating the silverware down in the kitchen. The heroes decide to deal with the monsters later and head towards the main hall doors.
As they near the doors, Naroo and Barasus notice up on a balcony there are two Osodaroth thugs with bows. The dwarves fire down at the heroes, who quickly scatter for cover. Bez and Naroo head down side paths to avoid shots as the others charge up the stairs. Barasus draws his bow and fires back at the thugs. Eventually, the heroes charges into the upstairs and begin cutting into numerous Osodaroth thugs. They form a strong defensive wall as the thugs charge in at them. Barasus and Naroo eventually join the others while Bez throws spells from down below.
The main hall doors then open behind Bez, as an Osodaroth warrior and a skeleton clamor out. They charge at Bez, who manages to scramble out of the way and blast them with a flash of colors. Taking advantage of the delay, Bez heads up the stairs. However, then another set of doors opens and reveals another dwarf warrior and skeleton. Behind him stands an imposing dwarven knight with a dark helm. He seems to be wearing Ukfaer’s armor, from the portrait. He also wields Ukfaer’s hammer. The dark knight throws the hammer at Bez, hitting him hard. The hammer then magically returns to the dwarf’s hand.
Meanwhile, up on the balcony, the heroes continue to cut into the dwarven thugs. They then hear a muffled call for help in one of the nearby bedrooms. This surges them onward and they fell most of the dwarven thugs. Bez calls for help and most of the heroes head down to assist. Bez climbs up the stairs out of the way, where Skarvist and Barasus finish off the final thugs on the second floor. Kofaer, Braggar, and Onon all charge at the dark knight as Diarmuid tries to hold off the other dwarven warrior and skeleton. The dark knight slams them hard with the hammer, his blows quite powerful. Braggar is slammed to the ground. Naroo sends out a powerful pulse of healing magic that sends a surge of courage through the heroes. Barasus finds a perch up on the balcony and rain downs some arrows at the other dwarven warriors. Bez then prepares a scroll and charges down the stairs, throwing a powerful dispelling dweomer upon the dark knight’s hammer. The dark knight then throws the hammer at Bez, who is hit hard by its blunt end. However, with the magic dispelled, the hammer falls at Bez’s feet rather than returning to the dark knight. Braggar, Kofaer, and Onon try to maintain their attacks while the dark knight is weaponless. Skarvist moves in to find good flanking positions. The dark knight then grabs an axe from the fallen Bronkhazi soldiers, cutting deft attacks into his many assailants. Naroo strides in and keep everyone healed. Barasus then picks up Ukfaer’s Hammer and charges at the dark knight. Kofaer then makes a mighty blow, then Onon lands the felling strike. With the dark knight defeated, the heroes tend to their wounds. Onon takes Ukfaer’s Hammer and Ukfaer’s Breastplate and gives it to Kofaer. He then shows the heroes a note that he found on the knight, who was named Keden.
Keden, Now is the time. Strike at the Bronkhazi and fell their leader, Onon. With the last of our enemies vanquished we’ll be ready for the Ritual of Undying. Return to the Forbidden Path of the Deep Underground and join us as soon as the deed is done. Khyber
Onon explains that the Grimdrin [Forgotten path] is a very dangerous route in the Deep Underground that veers off from the road to Brong. It used to house old mines, but they were abandoned long ago as various monsters kept turning up. It is quite a dangerous area and Onon knows that the Osodaroth were rumored to have a fortress there over a century ago, though he suspected that it was destroyed long before he was born. Onon also worries that the Ritual of Undying is the same ritual they were attempting in Brong 35 years ago. He is greatly worried about what the Osodaroth might do to Brong. He knows that an army cannot descend into the Grimdrin’s tight tunnels, but a powerful strikeforce might be able to strike at them. However, he feels the need to warn Brong of a possible attack and to take care of the deceased, tending to their families. Kofaer volunteers to head into the Grimdrin and face the Osodaroth with his friends. Onon then has Kofaer kneel and he knights the young dwarf as a Knight of the Bronkhazi. They decide that Onon and Braggar will take care of things here and warn Brong. While the heroes will head into the Grimdrin and see what they can learn about the Osodaroth’s base of operations and try and stop the Ritual of Undying [Drazhthark al Mornsli] before it is too late.
SESSION 60: The Breathless Labyrinth [Jan 7, 2020]
The intrepid heroes spend the night at the Bronkhazi Redoubt, helping them prepare the dead and clean up after the Osodaroth attack. Barasus asks the Bronkhazi smith to assist him in transferring some magical runes to a dwarven battleaxe, expecting a short-hafted weapon to be of more use in the deep tunnels. Onon spends the night searching through the archives. The next morning, Onon speaks with the heroes and explains all he has learned through the archives left by Ukfaer, who was the expert on the Osodaroth cult. He warns them that the Ritual of Undying harness the power of stolen souls and sends out a massive necrotic blast that instantly kills people in the vicinity, turning them into undead monsters. He also realizes that all the “missing” persons along the Tagdrin, which many had assumed were due to monsters, may have been the Osodaroth gathering souls to power the ritual. After three decades of activity, they assuredly have enough to cause great devastation upon Brong. Onon knows that the Forbidden Path, the Grimdrin, is believed to head beneath the city of Brong. That is likely why they chose to perform the ritual there, in an old stronghold that belonged the the cult centuries ago. Onon warns the heroes that the path down the Grimdrin will be treacherous. He expresses the irony that they would not have even known about the Osodaroth’s ritual had they not sought vengeance on the Bronkhazi and Fessara. Onon helps the heroes gather supplies, such as additional weapons, healing elixirs, and plenty of food rations for the journey. He then gathers a cart and two ponies to ferry the heroes down the Tagdrin towards Brong. After a long day of travel, Onon stops the cart at a side passage from the main road, pointing the way towards the Grimdrin.
The heroes say their farewells to Braggar and Onon before heading down the dark path. After a few hours of travel, they reach an old mine shaft that cuts into the cave fissure. The heroes follow the mine shafts very square paths. The heroes then smell a foul decay and are accosted by a number of dwarven ghouls. They manage to defeat them rather easily and continue searching for the natural caverns into the Grimdrin. They eventually follow a tight corridor and find the natural fissures that make up the Grimdrin. After a bit, the heroes find a cavern with bio-luminescent fungi. Barasus studies the fungus and deems it safe and even okay to eat. After many more hours of exploration, the heroes come across a large cavern with more luminescent fungi. Skarvist and Barasus scout ahead and discover strange grooves in the ground and fungi spores in the air. They then find a giant flying fungus creature descend from the ceiling. It grabs Skarvist in a long writhing tentacle, piercing him with its barbed ends. Barasus hacks the tentacle and frees Skarvist. They call for help from the others and they decide to flee from the great beast. Bez identifies the fungus creature as a drakauthix, remembering that it has a weakness for fire. Diarmuid throws magical holy fire at the creature as the others try to flee. Kofaer and Barasus strike the beast head on. Kofaer has to drop his grandfather’s hammer to continue the fight. Most the the heroes manage to get away, but the creature seems to be gaining on them. Naroo then cleverly uses his magical chimes to summon a gust of wind. The gust of air blows away all the creature’s spores, making it effectively blind. This act gives Kofaer enough time to summon his grandfather’s hammer to his hand, and for everyone else to run down the corridor away from the beast.
The heroes hide in a small side-cavern to catch their breath. They spend an hour tending their wounds before pushing on. After a couple hours of hiking, they come across a large fissured cavern where numerous boulders have tumbled down, blocking the way greatly. Now the path is a giant three-dimensional labyrinth that involves climbing, crawling, and otherwise squeezing through very tight and uncomfortable spaces. Naroo takes the lead for the party, hoping Solarus’s light can guide the way. Barasus helps as well. They do well at first, but soon get lost and run into areas of low oxygen. Only Skarvist seems fatigued by the lack of air, however. Then Naroo leads them to a dead end where a pocket of deadly gas assaults them. The heroes scramble up a cliffside, trying to get away from the low-lying gas. It dulls their senses and clouds their minds. They do their best to hold their breath as the climb up the cliff. Barasus makes it up first and helps Bez get to the top. Skarvist slips and falls to the ground, where Naroo cannot seem to get any progress. Diarmuid and Kofaer then make it up and throw a rope down for Naroo and Skarvist, who are just barely able to make it up before they pass out from lack of oxygen. Now, most of the heroes are light-head and hazy from the toxic gas as they sit huddled on a cliffside, only four by ten feet in size, lost in the very center of the breathless labyrinth, miles beneath the surface of the world…
SESSION 61: Goblin’s Fall [Jan 14, 2020]
The heroes gather themselves a bit after their near brush with suffocation and death. They decide to continue on despite their exhaustion and fatigue, knowing that they cannot rest in these tight caverns. Naroo continues to lead the group onward. They encounter another pocket of stale air and become more fatigued and spend another couple of hours seemingly lost and disoriented. Kofaer decides to take over leading the exhausted group and after a few more hours they finally exit the breathless labyrinth and reach the larger caverns. The heroes catch their breath and decide to set up camp immediately in the large cave. They set up in the corner and Bez takes the first watch. The time goes by smoothly until Skarvist’s watch. The half-orc hears the faint sounds of scurrying in the cavern and moves to wake up Diarmuid. However, before he reaches the knight, he sees a little blue gremlin charging at him. Skarvist calls out and a short skirmish takes place with the little mitflit gremlins.
The heroes vanquish the gremlins and the last two run away to the south. The heroes continue resting and sleeping off their fatigue with no more interruptions. Feeling emboldened and coherent once more, the heroes continue onward along the caverns. They eventually come to a large cavern with a huge central pillar of crystal with thick red bands of rust and hematite. They find four rust monsters eating at the iron in the stone. When the heroes approach, the creatures immediately turn to face them, sensing the delicious steel in their hands. The battle is quick and fierce, and the heroes successfully slay the beasts. However, Barasus’s axe is nearly destroyed by the monster’s oxidative attack and Diarmuid’s armor is quite rusted over. After the battle, they heroes take a break as Kofaer does his best to repair the armaments.
The heroes continue onward for many more hours, passing through tight corridors, narrow fissures, and wide caverns filled with phosphorescent fungi. The heroes then come to a large cavern with a gushing waterfall coming out of a set of stalagmites and stalactites the make it appear as if the water flowed out of a giant sharp-toothed mouth. The waterfall flows down into a small pond before gushing down into a 10-foot diameter tube in the ground that seemed to go on forever downward. The heroes continue down the winding cavern, eventually coming to a point directly below the waterfall cave. The near-endless fall opens in this chamber with the waterfall flowing down the center of the chamber. There is a slick, narrow walkway around the waterfall to the continuing path. The way ahead looks dangerous, so Skarvist goes first with a rope attached to his waist. He makes it easily. Bez then volunteers to go next. The goblin holds tight to the rope and head down the slick ledge. He then slips and grasps the rope tightly. However, Barasus loses his grip and the rope goes loose for just a second. Bez barely manages to grab the slick ledge, but then as he tries to pull himself up he slips again and falls down the endless shaft into the surging waterfall. His comrades scream his name. But it is of little use. Bez is lost. The rest of the heroes manage to make it past the waterfall, with Naroo nearly falling, but managing to climb up the ledge. The heroes take a moment to lament the loss of Bez. They then continue on, knowing that all of Brong is depending on them.
After following the caverns for another hour or so, the heroes come to another glowing chamber. Barasus and Skarvist scout ahead and find a rainbow garden of fungi, complete with a cobblestone road to various side passages. The two scouts then see a pixie flying among the mushrooms and a couple dog-faced gremlins in the corner. They decide to head back, but Barasus makes an unfortunate noise that attracts the pixie’s attention. Skarvist tries to parley with the fey creature, but she doesn’t seem interest. Skarvist rushes towards his friends as the pixie summons the fungi to stretch long mycellia to wrap at their feet. Skarvist manages to get away, but Barasus is held firm by the fungi’s grasp. The others come charging in after Skarvist tells them what happened and they find a number of mitflits joining the fight as well.
The heroes quickly take out some of the mitflits, but find the pixie’s magic to be potent. She sends Diarmuid to sleep with a magic arrow and soon has Kofaer and Skarvist charmed to not hurt her. Additioanlly, the heroes seem to find constant bad luck as they fight against the fey creatures. Then, a red cap comes out and starts slashing at them with his little scythe and kicking at them with his pointed iron boots. Naroo comes in a summons a mighty wind with his magic chimes, sending the pixie slamming into the back wall of the cave. She then disappears from the rest of the fight. The heroes eventually surround the red cap and cut away at the little bastard until he falls. Naroo also locates a hidden pugwampi gremlin that was causing all the bad luck. After felling the fey creatures the heroes try to figure out where to go next…
SESSION 62: Assault on the Osodaroth Fortress [Jan 21, 2020]
The heroes look around the remains of the fey creatures they felled. They find little of use. However, they notice a small cave where the redcap likely resided. Skarvist and Kofaer check out the tiny cavern and find a number of magical trinkets. They find a magical fear gem, a potion that can turn one’s skin to hard tree bark, and beautifully constructed lute, that appears to be made of fungalwood and uses various jewelry bent into position for the tuning knobs. The strings are composed of rainbow colored pixie hair. The sight of the lute only make the heroes long for their lost companion, Bez. However, they decide to press onward. Naroo ponders a moment to consider where the waterfall likely leads and sets a path to the northeast down a sloping tunnel.
Meanwhile, Bez awakens and finds himself on a rocky beach near a roaring waterfall. The water rushes down into a wide subterranean lake in a large cavern. He finds that his bag had spilled open and his items are scattered about the shore. He grows saddened when he finds his favored lute shattered on the nearby rocks. He gathers his things and uses a magical scroll to heal some of his many bruises. He then sees a small fleck of light enter the cavern through a side tunnel. He peers at it and finds it to be a tiny fey pixie. She seems to be hiding from something and catching her breath. Bez introduces himself and manages to calm to pixie who seems to fear for her life. He quickly learns that his friends may have killed the pixie’s allies and unwittingly freed her from the redcap that was a ruthless boss. The pixie, named Liza Willowclove, eventually agrees to escort Bez back towards his friends.
Soon Bez runs into his friends in the tunnels. They are overjoyed to see him. They give Bez the lute they found and Liza admits that she has been making it for the past couple decades. She is overjoyed that a mortal would want to use it to create music. Liza also admits that she knows the way to the dark dwarves, the Osodaroth and that her former redcap boss liked to prey on them and try to steal things from them. She leads the heroes down into a massive canyon that is at least a half-mile wide and untold miles long and deep. In the far distance there are some massive, building-sized stalactites that house lights. There is also much phosphor-luminescent fungus providing a pale glow to the cavern walls. The heroes then see some strange fey creatures fighting with Osodaroth dwarves.
The heroes rush into to help, finding that the dwarves are attacking a small group of deep gnomes. The battle is quick and fierce and the heroes manage to save a couple of the gnomes. The gnomes promise to lead the heroes to safety and escort them to their secret village, hidden in one of the many fissures that connect with the massive canyon cavern. They have the heroes cover their eyes as they open a secret door. The heroes are then escorted into a small gnome village. They are greeted by the village elder, a gnome named Patamot the Sage. Patamot offers the heroes a place to rest, but says they cannot leave until he decides if he trusts them. He leaves them for the night, giving the heroes plenty of time to rest and recuperate.
The next morning, Patamot meets with the heroes. He says he trusts them and shares everything he knows about the Osodaroth. He informs them that the leaders of the Osodaroth dwell in a massive stalactite that hangs over the canyon, called Brongar’s Fall. To reach it, the heroes will need to enter into the Osodaroth fortress on the north side of the cliff and find the mobat stables. They can then use the bats to fly over to the Inverted Tower where the leaders dwell. He cautions the heroes about using direct force and suggests they use subtlety and stealth to reach the stables. The heroes are then escorted back to the cliffside canyon. The heroes spend some time debating their move and eventually head over to the entrance of the Osodaroth fortress.
They enter the fissure and find a small entrance to the side and a wide fissure the continues onward. They decide to check out the small entrance where they hear running water. They come into a large cavern where a waterfall gushes down from the west. An ornate stone bridge stretches before the falls in front of a massive door beset in the mouth of stone dwarf visage. Half the dwarven visage appears skeletal. The light of the heroes is seen by a number of dwarven thugs guarding the entrance. Soon a battle breaks out as the heroes dodge arrow fire from across the bridge. They then charge across to meet their enemies head on. One of the dwarven thugs manages to flee into the massive door. Soon he returns with the dwarven beastmaster. The beastmaster brings in a trio of powerful beasts: a cave drake, a cockatrice, and a giant scorpion. Naroo manages to temporarily passify the drake for a moment, but the beastmaster strikes it to break its trance. The heroes take out most of the thugs quickly, but now they must contend with the mighty beasts…
SESSION 63: Tomb of the Fallen Knight [Jan 28, 2020]
The heroes continue to strike at their enemies, standing at the entrance-way to the ancient Osodaroth fortress. Kofaer is picked up by the giant scorpion as it tries to crush him. However, the enraged dwarf, filled with the spirit of his grandfather Ukdrim, slams his axe upon the best and fells it in a wild swoop. He then lands on his feet and slices the cavern drake’s head cleanly from its long neck. The heroes then surge upon the final dwarven warriors as Skarvist lands his rapier cleanly into the cockatrice’s eye. The heroes then decide to climb to the high stone ledge above the door as Naroo and Diarmuid tend to their wounds. After a short break, they find that the entrance is still quiet and the explore other options to gain entry into the Osodaroth fortress.
After much searching around, the heroes determine that the main entrance is the only likely way to enter. So they head down the long dark tunnel into a large circular room. It appears to house many side chambers where the beasts they had recently slain likely dwelled. The heroes search through the area and find a few trinkets in the beastmaster’s room. They then find what appears to be the lair of a possibly quite large dragon. They steal the dragon’s small horde of coins, gems, and jewelry. They then find the dragon’s stash of corpses in a nearby room. The heroes then find their way back into a grand fissure that seems to have cleaved through the center of the fortress. The follow the fissures narrow cavern to an ornate door with dwarven runes of death and undeath upon it. The heroes then head south into a natural cavern where they find that the waterfall continues onward into a carefully carved channel. The water is about 2 feet deep, but the heroes are reluctant to try and cross the water. Bez notes a strange, eerie green glow coming from where the water flows.
The heroes then follow the fissure farther eastward where they see a large stone bridge, high overhead. It had broken and crumbled but may have connected a passageway above. Skarvist decides to try his grappling hook and climb up to the bridge. However, he finds that his hook fails him halfway up and he lands with some pain. Stones and pebbles make a bit of a noise as he fell and the heroes decide to flee the scene back to the natural cavern. They then wait for some time until they are sure no one has come looking for them. The heroes then decide to enter into the ornate door to the north. They find a small chamber with a door covered in dwarven runes for death. It is flanked by two statues of dwarves in the process of transforming into undeath. There are also two stone carvings in the side walls depicting dwarves returning from death as undead creatures. Naroo decides to look closely at one of the murals and discovers a secret door.
The heroes follow the secret door into a untouched burial chamber. The room is in tatters and ruin and contains many stone sarcophagi. The dust on the floor suggests this chamber has remained undisturbed for many centuries. The heroes climb inside and find that dwarven skeletons rise to attack them. However, the heroes quickly dispatch these undead enemies. They search the room, but find little of use. The heroes then head eastward where they find a very ornate door covered in many finely detailed scenes of undeath and conquering. Kofaer points out in the center is a dwarven figure wearing heavy-set armor and a black-horned helm. He seems to be leading an army of undead. The door tells a story of a fallen knight of the Lindain [Steel Warriors] of Kalavar who became a champion of undeath and created the order of the Osodaroth.
The heroes step into a recently excavated cavern where they find a large pile of gnomish corpses piled around a central pillar. The pillar is covered in green glowing runes that quickly animate the gnome corpses into giant zombie-like aberrations. The heroes leap into combat and hack away at the zombies. They many to fell most of them, cutting the large disjointed abominations apart. Then Naroo blasts the pillar with positive magic, cutting off the zombies from the necrotic source. The rest of the zombies collapse immediately. The heroes examine the pillar and Bez learns that the pillar is drawing powerful necromantic energy from some other, likely nearby, source.
The heroes continue, following the excavated tunnel, into a massive tomb. It appears to be the tomb of the fallen Lindain knight and his loyal followers. Soon these warriors arise, showing themselves as undead ghasts, hungry for the flesh of the living. The heroes try to hold their own at the entrance to the chamber as the ghast claw and bite at them. They leap over the front-line warriors and try to get at Naroo and Bez. Then the main sarcophagus opens and an armored ghast emerges. It wears the same armor and helmet depicted on the door. It is the fallen knight, arisen as a ghast. The heroes try to hold their ground as this abomination of pure evil stalks towards them…
SESSION 64: The Children of Thulugoth [Feb 4, 2020]
The heroes continue to strike at the ghasts, cutting them down one by one. The armored deathknight ghast then strides forward clawing at Kofaer. Barasus, Skarvist, and Diarmuid then surround the ghast as Kofaer is able to cut it down. The heroes explore the ancient tomb, trying to find any remnants of the ancient dwarves. Bez and Skarvist find small bits of jewelry as Diarmuid and Naroo examine the ancient armor of the dwarven deathknight. He appears to have been wearing the ancient armor of the Lindain, a noble order of dwarven knights from Kalavar. Bez identifies many ancient protective magics on the armor and Diarmuid happily dons the knight of a former champion of good.
The heroes leave the crypt section of the fortress, heading towards the high, broken bridge again. Skarvist makes another attempt to throw his grappling hook, but again cannot make a firm purchase on the rock face. The heroes then think they hear some movement and rush back to the caverns. Kofaer heads forward to see in the darkness. He sees three Osodaroth warriors coming towards him near the bridge. They spot him as he tries to flee the scene. Kofaer then pretends to be his father Ukdrim, returned to flesh. He learns that the Osodaroth leaders await for Keden’s return to begin the ritual. After Kofaer admits that Keden is dead, the warriors ask Kofaer to fetch Khyber from the Inverted Tower so that the ritual can begin. Kofaer pretends to agree and leaves the dwarves.
Kofaer returns to the others and explains what he learned. The heroes then decide to head past the broken bridge and see where the warriors might have gone. They find a fortified drawbridge to the south and a reinforced arch to the north. They head northward where they quickly battle with some fire elementals that rise out of a magma fissure. The heroes then find a large mining cavern where the Osodaroth have recently dug into an iron ore vein. The heroes then continue along the natural cavern towards a hot spring. Beyond the spring is a cracked stone bridge over some boiling magma. They see a small gemstone in the distance beyond the fog of the bridge. Kofaer determines that the bridge is too dangerous to cross and they send Liza to retrieve the gemstone. It appears to be a well-sized ruby.
The heroes then climb the stone stairs in the mining cavern where they find a recently used magma forge. They then find a locked door that Skarvist is able to expertly unlock. Inside is a small armory. It appears that most of the items have been taken, however, the heroes find three magical armaments. The first is an ancient Arathian rapier called Goldsting. The second is a leaf-shaped glaive called Razorleaf, made by the elves. The final item is a dwarven hauberk covered in protective runes once owned by a dwarf named Ekelgi, Naroo dons the hauberk, as Skarvist takes the Rapier, and Barasus takes the glaive. The heroes then look across the upper portion of the broken bridge, but decide it is unsafe to try an cross the gap.
The heroes return to the natural caverns to explore the eerie light they saw. They work together to cross the fast-flowing waters and head into a large natural cavern with a small pond. Barasus discovers some strange mucus-like substance that numerous fungi feed upon. The heroes then discover a large column covered in ancient occult runes. Bez and Skarvist piece together some of the story, learning that a being named Thulugoth dwells beyond the stars and wishes to snuff the stars out into darkness. The heroes then see two giant amorphous blobs, covered with eyes and mauling mouths. The blobs move towards them to feast on flesh.
The heroes mount a defense, the creatures soon start gibbering loudly. The sound distorts their minds and they have trouble telling friend from foe. Then creatures then engulf both Diarmuid and Barasus into their bodies to eat them. Diarmuid blasts the inside of the creature with fire, but eventually falls unconscious and begins dying. Barasus manages to eventually force himself out of the beast. It then engulfs Skarvist, but he manages to escape as well. During the fight, Kofaer bashes the creatures with his mighty hammer, as Naroo summons Solarus’s morningstar to strike at them. Bez throws powerful stones. Eventually the beasts are slain, and Diarmuid is saved from death. The heroes then decide that they need to rest if they are to proceed to fight more of the Osodaroth’s minions, but question if they have enough time before the Osodaroth perform the dark ritual…
SESSION 65: The Nueggrimnur [Feb 11, 2020]
The heroes decide that they must rest if they are to continue their fight with the Osodaroth. They debate over the best place to do so: should they return to a safer place near the entrance, or to the small hot spring? They eventually decide to hide in an offshoot cave not far from the cavern where they fought the monstrous children of Thulugoth. As the heroes look about the dead-end cavern, they notice that there is an entranceway on the high wall, a small alcove into a hidden chamber. Skarvist and Barasus climb up there and find an ancient dwarven skeleton, long rotted out. They also find a few magical trinkets in the skeleton’s possession. They call for the rest of the heroes to climb up into the hidden alcove and they rest for the night. Over the night, the tunnels are silent and they feel assured that the Osodaroth have not been overly active while they rested.
The heroes then pack up and head back down the caverns towards where they found the pillar dedicated to the dark being known as Thulugoth. However, while crossing the fast-flowing stream, Kofaer slips and falls, sending Naroo sprawling down the waterfall. The halfling falls about 15 feet into a large cavern where he manages to grasp the stony edge of a little island. Kofaer follows him, sliding down the waterfall and landing on his feet in a heroic display. The two then notice a magnificent stone monument in the center of the chamber, on a small island within the flowing waters. The stone is covered in glowing arcane and dwarven runes. Within the framework is a large glowing, green crystal. Naroo is unable to understand the device, but knows that it is a profoundly evil artifact connected to necromancy magic. Kofaer is able to read the name of the device, “Nueggrimnur” [The Dark Crystal].
The other heroes climb down past the waterfall and join their allies. Bez examines the Nuegrimmnur and determines that thousands of captured souls are imprisoned within the crystal and can be used to project a powerful necrotic blast upward towards Brong, killing everyone in the city and turning them into undead. It is just as Onon had warned from reading Ukfaer’s notes on the Osodaroth’s Ritual of Undying. Bez also determines that a keystone is missing that allows the user to access that power. After much debate, the heroes decide to continue exploring to find the key to the mobat stables so that they can confront Khyber, whom they believe has the Nuegrimmnur’s keystone.
The heroes explore the area around the dark monument where they discover a much weaker knock-off of Nuegrimmnur built into a stalactite. Bez is able to find a small amount of soul-energy trapped within. He is able to use is magical skills to release the souls trapped inside and absorb some of the latent spell energy for his own use. The heroes then discover a small vestibule with numerous writings about Nuegar the Dark Mage, treatise of necromancy, and tomes on the Unknowable Thulugoth. Diarmuid decides to burn the books, not wishing such dark knowledge out into the world.
The heroes then decide to head into the main Osodaroth lair. They decide to climb up the side of the cliff-side, up to the broken bridge’s south side. With some effort, they all make it up the shear wall and creep into the dark halls of the Osodaroth fortress. They discover a small guard room and an overlook to the main drawbridge. They also overhear some dwarves talking about growing impatient waiting for Khyber to return for the ritual. They also learn that Ukdrim was Khyber’s apprentice. The heroes manage to sneak into a small alchemist’s lab, though it had been unused for many years. They then discover a dwarf named Grimdur Blackbane with some guards sitting in a dining chamber. They manage to avoid them and head back around into a broken stairwell. Skarvist and Barasus then explore down the western hallway, which unfortunately leads to Skarvist accidentally setting off a fire-spray trap.
With the trap sprung, the nearby guards charge out of their room with Grimdur. However, the heroes are well-placed and ready. They strike on Grimdur and slay him quickly. They then charge into the dining room and fell the other guards. Diarmuid then leaps upon the final guard and wrestles him to the ground, where others help restrain, tie, and gag him. After they clear the bodies from the halls, the heroes interrogate the guard. They learn that the leader of this fortress is a dwarf named Khulzon who is waiting for Khyber to return from the Inverted Tower. They also learn that the mobat stables are north of the beast-master’s lair and they now have a key from Grimdur. However, the heroes decide to stay and take out Khulzon the Dread Knight.
The heroes knock out the guard and explore the chamber nearby. They decide to direct a pincer attack on the guards in the main hall, so Kofaer, Naroo, and Skarvist take the southern door, as Barasus, Bez, and Diarmuid strike out of the secret panel door. Soon the heroes charge into the outer hall and strike at the guards. Naroo releases a powerful blast of calmness that incapacitates one guard into the corner to rethink his hostility. The heroes cut down the guards, with Barasus, Skarvist, and Kofaer slaying them with fury. Diarmuid charges in, but is dropped by a few axe cuts and arrows that sends him near death. However, Naroo revives Diarmuid quickly and the two hold firm as the formerly incapacitated guard charges at them. The others charge into the main hall to finish off the final archer. The battle continues…
SESSION 66: Khulzon and the Shadow Dragon [Feb 18, 2020]
The heroes quickly finish off the last two Osodaroth warriors in the grand hall of the Osodaroth fortress. They then sneak back into the secret chamber connecting the main hall with the dining room, where they spend half an hour tending their wounds and preparing for the battle with Khulzon the Dread Knight. The heroes then head down to the large ornate door, which Skarvist unlocks using a key taken from Grimdur Blackbane. Inside the large door, they find a massive grand hall with a skeletal dwarven head carved into the far wall. A massive throne sits in the skull’s mouth where it’s jaw would be. Sitting on the throne is a large dwarf in heavy plate armor. The armor is dark black and designed to resemble a skeleton. He wears a large horned helm and wields a massive warhammer. Standing beside Khulzon is two dwarves in dark robes, with naught but their beards protruding out of their hoods. Another guard stands between the heroes and the Dread Knight.
Khulzon stands and charges at the heroes, with his hammer held high. The heroes charge in at him, with Kofaer striking at him head on. Barasus fires a few shots at the Osodaroth necromancers before Bez covers them in an impenetrable darkness. Diarmuid and Skarvist charge in to strike as Naroo holds back to prepare healing spells. The Osodaroth necromancers then summon large daggers of pure force to strike at Diarmuid and Skarvist. Barasus is forced to drop his bow and strike at Khulzon with Razorleaf. Bez dispels the magical darkness, finding that the dwarves see through its shadows with ease. Diarmuid and Skarvist move around to fell the necromancers, but are both bespelled by a powerful necromantic curse. Both Diarmuid and Skarvist are then nearly killed by the necromancers and Khulzon seems to grow in strength off their dying breath.
Naroo is able to revive Skarvist and Diarmuid, who then fell the necromancers. Then the heroes surround Khulzon and try to breach his armor. Khulzon tries to convince Kofaer to join their cause, as with Ukdrim deceased, Kofaer could be Khyber’s next apprentice. Kofaer rejects the offers as he summons Ukfaer’s spirit to aid his strikes. The mighty warrior Khulzon fends off the heroes’ attacks for many moments, but eventually succumbs to their strikes and falls. The heroes feel quite drained after the battle with Khulzon and the necromancers. They search the area, but discover that there is little left to explore in the Osodaroth Fortress. They head back to their secret cavern and rest for most of the day, keeping an eye on the path to the Nueggrimnur. After the day passes, the heroes head out.
They make their way through the beast-master’s door to the mobat stables. They find a round cavern with numerous spikes of rock protruding out into the void of Brongar’s Fall. Ten mobats sleep on the ceiling of the cavern, perched above them. Bez is able to sing a song to get the mobat’s attention. He soothes one of the creatures and mounts it. Soon, everyone else is able to calm a mobat and mount it. Then the heroes set off flying through the dark cavern towards the Inverted Tower. The faint lights through the windows of the giant stalactite shimmer in the distance across the cavern’s expanse. As the heroes fly through the air, a warm wind blows through the cavern. All around them, sparkles of star-like lights glitter on the edges of the cavern walls where phosphorescent fungi glimmer.
The heroes then hear a deafening roar across the chasm and a black shadow flows towards them. As it gets closer, it is clear that it is a large black dragon, with shadows on the fringes of its wings and tail. The dragon charges straight at them as the heroes attempt to get their mobats to fly towards the Inverted Tower. Many of the heroes manage to get their mobat’s to the tower’s landing bridge, however, Diarmuid is struck by the dragon and nearly killed by it’s slashing claws. His unconscious body manages to stay upright in his saddle and Naroo heals him before he falls. The dragon then sprays a line of poisonous gas that sears Diarmuid and Naroo’s skin. They fly towards the others as Kofaer keeps trying to lure the dragon towards him. Barasus lands on the tower’s bridge and fires a few arrows at the dragon. The dragon the strikes at Skarvist and Kofaer. As the dragon circles for another attack, the rest of the heroes manage to land on the tower’s bridge and brace themselves as the dragon veers towards them with a mountainous fury.
SESSION 67: The Inverted Tower [Mar 3, 2020]
The heroes hold the line as the dragon charges forth, spraying a line of poisonous gas that causes some of the heroes to cough and gasp for air. The dragon then slashes and claws as it hovers in the air over the pit. The mobats scurry to the furthest reaches of the chamber to avoid the dragon. Berasus keeps firing at the beast, his bow now glowing with Naroo’s holy magic. Kofaer keeps throwing Ukdrim’s hammer at the beast, knocking off scales for Berasus to target. Diarmuid and Bez are nearly killed by the poisonous gas, but Naroo is able to patch them up. Skarvist heads out the doorway onto a wide open space where the wooden walkways extend to the other giant stalactite of the Inverted Tower. He sees numerous cages with dwarves in various states of decay. A few seem alive, but unwell, while others are no more than skeletons.
A few of the others come out onto the walkway as Berasus and Kofaer try to hold off the dragon. Bez sings a mighty song that echoes song the walkway. The goblin and half-orc then notice that a few of the seemingly dead dwarves in the cages are trying to escape. Two of the undead wights escape and try to get at the few living dwarves. Diarmuid and Skarvist charge around the walkway to protect the remaining caged dwarves. Meanwhile, the dragon falls below the tower and swoops back up to release more poisonous gas upon Kofaer and Bez. However, Naroo blasts the dragon with his Chimes of Wind, sending the dragon sprawling beneath the walkway again. The dragon then flies beneath the walkway and returns to strike at Naroo. It slashes at the halfling, knocking him to the ground. The injured shadow dragon then steps down to eat the halfling when Naroo blasts it with a holy lance. The magical bolt tears through the creature’s jaw and blows its head off. The dragon’s form topples over the side of the walkway. Naroo then blasts one of the wights to oblivion as well.
The heroes then continue fighting the wights, with Berasus holding a fight against one on the north end of the walkway. Kofaer throws his hammer across the divide felling one of them. Berasus fells the one attacking him. Then Diarmuid and Skarvist finish off the last wight. The heroes pull the last three living dwarves out of the cages. They learn that the are dwarven merchants who were heading to Brong, likely many weeks ago. They say that the Osodaroth cultists have been trying to get them to eat their brethren and turn them into ghouls. Their names are Hodd, Zagg, and Ugra. The heroes treat their wounds while Bez finds a large number of alchemical items to forage from the makeshift garden on the walkway. The heroes then cautiously enter the Inverted Tower.
Inside the door, the heroes find a lavish sitting room with an adjoining dining room. It appears to be quiet. They explore the area and find a lavatory with a invisibility potion inside. The heroes contemplate taking a longer rest, but soon hear some gaurds coming up the stairs towards them. They hide in the lavatory as the guards come in. The guards seem to find everything in order and sit down for a meal. During this time, Skarvist and Berasus sneak up towards the guards and ambush them. Kofaer then charges out of the lavatory. Soon the two guards are killed and the heroes throw their bodies off the walkway. They dress up two of the dwarven merchants in the Osodaroth armor to help disguise them. However, soon the heroes hear more sounds and prepare another ambush. This time an Osodaroth mage steps into the room and is immediately killed by Berasus and Skarvist. It seems another dwarf down the stairs hears something amiss and runs off, fearful of trouble.
With their stealth finally exhausted, the heroes head down the stairs carefully. Skarvist comes to a door and discerns that there is someone trying to be quiet inside. Berasus and Diarmuid pretend to be a loud group which causes a dwarven alchemist to step out of the door to throw something at them. However, Skarvist leaps out and stabs the alchemist. The alchemist panically throws the bursting alchemist’s fire and rushes back into the room. Skarvist persues as the others head down the corridor. Soon another mage appears and blinds Berasus with a spell. The warrior, however, drinks a powerful elixir to try and restore some of his sight. Skarvist finishes off the alchemist and everyone charges at the mage. Naroo looks around the rooms as he joins them. Soon the heroes are cornered in the corridor trying to fell the mage. The Osodaroth mage casts a powerful spell upon Diarmuid, furthering his change into a ghoul. Berasus then cleaves the mages head clean off with his Bronkhazi axe. The heroes catch their breath…
SESSION 68: The Dark and the Light [Mar 10, 2020]
The heroes catch their breath and search the rooms nearby. Bez moves to check out a glowing crystal skull, but it unleashes a magical trap that sprays a poisonous gas into the air. The heroes are greatly weakened by the gas and only Diamuid and Barasus managed to avoid it. Naroo does his best to heal everyone but he knows his resources are exhausted. The heroes then discover a few alchemical formulas and a secret wine cellar. They decide to head back to the Osodaroth Fortress with the three merchant dwarves. They feel that if they rest and guard over Nueggrimnur they may be better suited to take out Khyber. So the heroes return to the mobat stables and take their six mobats along with the two additional creatures that were already present. They return to the secret cavern in the Osodaroth fortress and rest for the night.
Over night, Naroo tends to Skarvist and Diarmuid who are both inflicted with ghoul fever. Diarmuid is on the verge of dying and becoming a ghoul. The next day, Kofaer, Bez, and Barasus escort the three dwarven merchants to the gnomish village, where Bez is able to secure them lodging and safety in case the heroes cannot return. Naroo spends the entire day treating Skarvist and Diarmuid. After another full day, both Skarvist and Diarmuid recover from ghoul fever. The heroes then rest for that night so Naroo can get the sleep he needs. As the heroes head out early the next morning, they decide to check on Nueggrimnur.
As the heroes approach the flowing water towards the glowing crystal, they overhear numerous dwarven voices chanting in ritual. The heroes rush down the waterfall, with Barasus and Diamuid just tumbling over the side. Bez and Kofaer climb along the sides and Naroo simply slips and falls his way down. Skarvist expertly flips and lands on his feet, slashing his rapier at the nearest dwarven guard. There is Khyber along with two of his apprentice necromancers and two Osodaroth guards. The heroes move in to stop them and the necromancers break their ritualistic chant. Khyber tries to convince Kofaer to follow his father’s footsteps and join the Osodaroth. However, this only sends the spirit of Ukfaer out in full force, possessing Kofaer and giving him a ghostly strength. Khyber blasts the heroes with a powerful lightning bolt, which nearly kills Barasus. Kofaer then charges at Khyber as the others try to fight of the guards. Bez revives Barasus and Diarmuid fights over him. Skarvist cuts at the necromancers and Barasus eventually moves in to help.
Skarvist is then touched by both necromancers with a powerful ghoulish curse, giving him ghoul fever again. The half-orc drops to the ground fighting off the necrotic death. Naroo stabilizes the rogue, but know she cannot heal him as his flesh becomes more like the undead. The heroes charge at Khyber who is throwing powerful spells at them. The mighty necromancer nearly kills Kofaer, but fails to drop the enraged dwarf. Diarmuid then approaches from behind as Barasus cuts at him with his glaive. After a few deft attacks by both Barasus and Kofaer, Diarmuid moves in a cuts Khyber down with a fell swoop of his sword.
With the Osodaroth defeated, the heroes turn their attention to Nueggrimnur, which is pulsing with bright energy. They notice that the keystone has been placed and Bez determines that there is no going back now. Nueggrimnur will release its energy with or without the heroes’ intervention. Bez is able to steer the device to point straight down into the earth. Naroo, Bez, and Diarmuid begin praying to Solarus and channeling positive energy into the crystal, hoping to reduce its overall power. In the meantime, Kofaer and Barasus grab Skarvist and rush their way away from the fortress. After channeling what energy they can, Naroo, Bez, and Diarmuid prepare to unleash the remaining energy straight into the earth. Naroo feels the blessing of Solarus within him as he does so, an orb of light surrounds him and he feels the unfiltered glow and infinite kindness of his goddess.
Nueggrimnur shatters and a great blast of green necrotic energy surges into the ground, leaving a small crater that quickly fills with the flowing waters. The three heroes head towards the cliffs to find the others. Bez begins writing a new ballad in his head to commemorate the occasion. They find that Solarus’s miracles has somewhat revived Skarvist and the heroes all head to the gnome village. They spend a couple days with the gnomes to recuperate where they are celebrated as heroes. The gnomes explain that they found the secret passages that the Osodaroth used to quickly reach the upper abandoned mines. They gnomes escort the heroes through these tunnels and after a couple more days, the heroes return to Brong. The heroes head to the Brong courthouse to meet with three Judicators in an effort to restore the good name of Clan Lingrimdug. After much explaining of their story, citing Kofaer’s knighthood in the Bronkhazi, and Bez singing of ballads of Kofaer’s deeds, the heroes are able to convince the judges that Kofaer’s family’s honor should be restored. This restores Kofaer’s right of citizenship to Brong and allows his mother to be buried with her ancestors in the Halls of the Dead beneath the Temple of Lagmud. The heroes take another few days to shop and sell their treasures in Brong before they prepare for the long journey back to Kassen.
ACT 5: Civil Unrest
SESSION 69: Respite and Murder [Mar 20, 2020]
The heroes gather together in Brong, shopping in the grand markets, selling off their treasures and purchases runes and items. The heroes then head back towards Kassen with Braggar. The twenty day journey is mostly uneventful, as many stories of the past few weeks are told and Bez perfects numerous songs and ballads about the grand quest. Bez and Liza become more acquainted and Bez finds that the pixie is a great musical muse. The two work on some songs together over the journey, much to the annoyance of some of the others. The heroes then reach Kassen and find the town seems somewhat unfamiliar after their long absence.
Barasus heads to the tavern and chats with Jimes about the news in Kassen and shares some stories with the Storm Breakers. Bez heads to the Temple of Baldur and talks with Shalee. The young priest seems lost on what to do with the chuch, seemingly mourning for Father Prasst as much as Bez. She seems to be torn between preserving Rantal’s memory and the church with the financials and needs of the local Baldurians. Naroo meets with Londora and Holgast and learns about the goings in town. He seems to think that a temple devoted to all the Eastern Pantheon might serve the region better and allow Shalee to keep the church operational. Diarmuid meets with Stalbod and they discuss his new position as Knight-Errant. The aged knight alludes to a new quest, but insists that Diarmuid rest and write his report of his doings in the west. Kofaer and Braggar find the empty home to be a silent grave to Fessara, his mother, and they discuss selling things off and starting a new business in Brong. Skarvist meets with his grandfather and spends some quality time fishing.
Over the next few weeks many things occur. Naroo, Bez, and Diarmuid help Shalee arrange a grand feast for the town where the Temple of Baldur will be rededicated as the Prasst House of Worship, dedicated to all deities of the Eastern Tradition. Diarmuid meets with Stralbod again and learns that a powerful terrorist group within the Trinity Church and Templars seems to be causing trouble in the west. They seem devoted to a very strict and ancient interpretation of St. Aedin’s teachings. They have been burning shrines dedicated to other deities and threatening those that do not swear allegiance to the Trinity Church. Stralbod asks Diarmuid to keep this a secret from his friends for the moment. Skarvist heads to Namford to meet with Shel, but finds that she is engaged to a dockworker in town and is pregnant with his child. He spends the evening hanging out with the couple, but it just makes him more depressed as he see that she has moved on without him.
The heroes gather to celebrate Kofaer’s birthday, where Braggar had secretly stored numerous kegs and foods for the occasion. A grand surprise party is held at the smithy and the two dwarves share the news with their friends about leaving town for Brong after they can sell off their goods and lands. A couple weeks of relaxation and monotony go by, then the feast begins. Londora has arranged for Kassen to declare a holiday for the feast and all the townsfolk, Trinity soldiers, and stonemasons gather in the town’s square to celebrate the temple’s re-dedication and re-purposing. Shalee, Naroo, and Bez all give grand speeches for the occasion and the Temple’s dedication to Father Prasst. Additionally, there is games, music, and much food and drink as everyone enjoys the holiday.
After another week, the heroes seem to be enjoying their return to normalcy. Barasus has taken more scouting work for the Trinity soldiers, tracking the region north of Kassen for signs of danger. Bez helps Shalee with setting up all the new shrines to other deities in the church. Diarmuid trains with other Trinity soldiers and gains some renewed camaraderie. Kofaer and Bragger finish off their orders and begin packing up the smithy. Naroo spends much time working on Solarus’s shrine within the new church. Skarvist spends much time with his grandfather, fishing, baking, and talking about old times and new stories of adventure.
As the heroes gather in the tavern in the evening, a pallid man stumbles into the tavern. Skarvist recognizes it as the gravekeeper in Namford. The old man tells of an attack at the church. The heroes gather their belongings and take a boat to Namford. They arrive late that night to find a group of people gathered at the docks. They meet with Drollen Hass, the dockmaster, who tells them to head to the church. He is trying to keep everyone from fleeing town. The heroes head up to the church and find Chaplain Dekshure Abigar murdered upon the floor. His blood drawn into a Trinity symbol. They also find Shel Lupesco crucified upon the statue of Korrond and her pregnant belly slashed open. The heroes learn that the Crimson Crusaders likely attacked the church and killed Dekshure for being a heretic and Shel for her “impurity”. They also find a teenage girl who was hiding under the pews during the attack. Skarvist is able to learn all about the attack. The heroes the find the body of Javin Grubb, Shel’s fiance in the next room. The heroes learn that some Trinity soldiers were seen leaving town by boat after the attack. The heroes discuss their next actions, trying to figure out how to hunt down these so-called crusaders and get revenge….
SESSION 70: The Second Sunrise Circus [Mar 24, 2020]
The heroes leave the Church of Namford, knowing there is little else they can do there. They head to the docks and speak one last time to the dockmaster, telling the heroes again that the raiding knights seemed to head west up the river. The heroes row hard west against the currents of the Feyreach River, deciding to stop in Ravenfield. They grow worried that the town of devoted Pelaria worshipers might also be targets for the Crimson Crusaders. The heroes reach the wet and muggy village as the dawn light crests over the eastern horizon. They find that most of the village is burned and destroyed and discover a few charred corpses in the buildings. They cannot see anyone around who survived the attack. Based on the flames, the heroes suspect that the village of Ravenfield was burned before the Crimson Crusaders went to Namford to accost the Church.
The heroes row the long way back to Kassen, reaching the town close to noon. The guards that greet direct the heroes to Stralbod Kain, who wishes to see them immediately. The heroes head up to Stralbod’s office where they find the Knight-Lieutenant pacing in a restless fervor. His eyes bear the dark patches of a sleepless night. He tells the heroes that the province of Seveland to the west has been attacked and held by the Crimson Crusaders. He has learned through spies and messengers that Baron Casper Sevelius is being held hostage in Sevel Keep. The Crimson Crusaders have many numbers that seem to swell with new recruits as existing Templar soldiers and knights switch their allegiance to the terrorist group. He asks the heroes to head to Seveland and try and rescue the Baron. He believes that the Baron can then unite the remaining loyal soldiers and civilian militia to retake the Keep and stop the Crimson Crusaders.
Stralbod also expresses his worry about who he can trust in the Templar hierarchy and the Trinity Church. He does not know who is loyal to the Crimson Crusaders. He does inform them that Baron Sevelius was a known supporter of Princess Nirea, the King’s daughter and so-called false heir to the throne. He was also known to be a worshiper of the Eastern gods and supporter of reducing the power of the Trinity church and restoring the power of the monarchy. Given that the Crimson Crusaders are so well armed, Stralbod suspects that another Baron or the Trinity church itself is financing the terrorist group to push out Baron Sevelius’s power.
The heroes head over to Barasus’s house and spend the day discussing their options over a keg of ale. They speak with Aranma the ranger, who informs them that she did find tracks of armored soldiers moving south near the Gray Lake east of Kassen. Jimes brings over another keg of ale and shares his disguise box with them. The heroes decide to pose as a troubadour circus group called the Second Sunrise Circus. Naroo poses as “the Ringleader”, Barasus is the blind archer, Wingo the Wind. Bez is Gibblesnarf the Goblin Bard with Diarmuid as Reynard the Rugged a singing and musical pair, Kofaer is Grunji the Strongman, and Skarvist is Orkrest the Singing Acrobat. The heroes load up their weapons and armor beneath their belongings in a cart pulled by an old draft horse. They then set out for Seveland.
After a long five-day journey during a particularly wet season, the heroes arrive at a checkpoint outside Albridge. They manage to talk their way past the Templar soldiers and make way to Albridge. Before reaching the village proper, they find a woman is being harassed at her farmhouse where Crimson Knights are trying to break in. The heroes fake a broken wagon wheel and try to get the knights to help. Soon a battle erupts and Naroo throws a great blast of Solarus’s fire upon the blasphemous knights. The other heroes charge in bravely as Skarvist sneaks around the side. Kofaer slams the wagon wheel against the nearest guard and summon Ukfaer’s hammer to strike with. Diamruid holds the soldiers at the gate, but they soon see two soldiers drag the woman outside and stab her for her “sins”.
Skarvist rushes into the farmhouse from a side door and the heroes fell the remaining knights quickly before the can flee. Naroo heals the woman before she dies from blood loss. The heroes pile the bodies of the crimson knights into the nearby workshed. Naroo speak with the woman who is saddened by her husband, who was just killed by the knights. The heroes convince her to run to her cousins house as they prepare the farmhouse. They find a signet ring of the Kahara family on the leader of the knights. The Kahara family is known to dwell in the Wellspring Valley to the south. Naroo takes the ring, finding it is imbued with great magic.
The heroes return to their troubadour disguises and continue into Albridge proper. They find the town mostly deserted in the perpetual rain and head into the Freckled Dog Tavern. They find the tavern is quiet with a few townsfolk on one end and five Crimson Knights on the other end. The heroes are able to gain the appreciation of the crimson knights through their troubadour antics and earn the right to perform in the tavern. The soldiers are led by a knight named Halbridge. After the soldiers leave, Naroo shows his Solarus symbol to the barkeep who then invites them all upstairs to their quarters. The barkeep, Ansan, reveals himself to be a a spy of Baron Sevelius and informs them that an agent of the Baron named Catten Vaas hides in the town of Sevel and is looking to mount a rescue mission to free the Baron. The heroes accept their quarters and begin to decide their next course of action…
SESSION 71: Rizak is Kizar [Mar 31, 2020]
The heroes spend the night in the Freckled Dog tavern. The next morning, they decide it would be best to head to the town of Sevel and try to find a way to rescue Baron Sevelius. As they head out, the barkeep, Ansan, tells them to ask around for Catten Vass at the tavern in Sevel. She is an agent for the Baron and may be leading the resistance. The heroes prepare their wagon to leave, but run afoul of a few crimson knights heading into the tavern. It is the same group that was present the night before, led by Halbrigg. Diarmuid and Bez concoct a plan and give a show to distract the guards by singing the Ascent of St. Aedin. This seems to ease the knight’s worries and they allow the heroes to head to Sevel town.
Along the journey to Sevel, the heroes come across more Crimson guards. However, the heroes are easily able to dissuade the guards from examining their items. The heroes also learn that their weapons will be confiscated at the entrance to town. The heroes then reach the outskirts of Sevel. Bez and Kofaer construct a hidden rope attachment to a cache of weapons under the wagon. When the heroes roll up to the checkpoint, they find four guards. They are able to mostly deal with the inspection by maintaing their ruse as the Second Sunrise Circus. However, the guards then notice the hidden cache of weapons under the wagon. Bez pulls the rope and the weapons are released as combat breaks out. Bez charms one of the guards with his persuasive magic as the other heroes fight and defend against the other guards. Soon the guards are slain and the final guard, Jared, is sent to fetch Halbrigg in Albridge.
The heroes realize the carnage at the entrance likely alerted guards high on the keep’s walls. The heroes rush into the forest as two more guards come towards them. Bez and Diarmuid remain out in the carnage. Bez is crying while Diamuid pretends to tend the dead. Diarmuid is able to convince the guards that the attacker headed eastward. One of the guards charges to the east as the other heads north to the keep to gather reinforcements. After the guards leave, Diamruid and Bez hear a whispered voice shout at them. They see a leather-clad woman hiding among the bushes. She tells Diarmuid to gather his friends and follow her. The heroes listen, believing she is a friend of the resistance fighters.
After circle around the town, the mysterious woman brings them into a small encampment hidden in the woods. She reveals herself to be Catten Vass, the leader of the resistance and a loyal agent to Baron Servelius. She informs the heroes that the resistance has been forming a plan to infiltrate the keep and rescue the Baron. After some discussion, they agree that the Stormbreakers, the heroes, would be best equipped to infiltrate the keep while the resistance fighters stage a disturbance in the town square. The heroes agree and go over the plan with Catten. The heroes then head back towards the keep and sneak their way past the new guards at the checkpoint.
The heroes then head through the woods outside the keep to find the secret sewer entrance. They find the entrance and are able to sneak across the lawn without drawing too much suspicion. They are then able to unlock the sewer grate and sneak inside. They then find a trapped secret door. After some failed attempts to disable the trap, Diarmuid is able to bash the deadly spears. The heroes then head up into the castle’s cellars. They easily bypass a few locked portcullises and make their way up a trapdoor into the Baron’s counselor’s office. From here, the heroes need to sneak past the hall towards the stairs. Most of the heroes are able to make it, but Naroo and Bez nearly draw an attack from the guards. However, Diarmuid is able to diffuse the situation and the heroes are able to ascend to the second floor.
The heroes then cross a long hallway, avoiding the guard patrols by pretending to be a prison chain-gang led by Diarmuid and Barasus. On the third floor off the keep, the heroes cross the castle’s battlements and head into a nearby tower. Skarvist is able to quickly fell the solo guard and the heroes head towards the prison. In the prison chamber, Diamruid and Kofaer rush the two guards. Diarmuid struggles with his guard, but Kofaer is able to knock them both out quickly. The heroes then find Baron Sevelius and many of his loyal subjects locked up. The Baron is quite grateful for the rescue. The heroes then escort the rescued prisoners back the way they came and out into the forest.
When the heroes return to the resistance camp, they find it somewhat destroyed, but they hear sounds of combat in the town square. The heroes rush into the square with the Baron at their side. In the square they find numerous Crimson Knights felling the remaining soldiers of the resistance. Kizar Melcock, the leader of the Crimson Crusaders, stands there with his high helm. He taunts the heroes, speaking of their blasphemies as the heroes charge in at the Crimson Knights. A great battle erupts on the town square as the heroes cut down the knights, working their way towards Kizar. Barasus quickly makes for the nearby stage and pelts Kizar with a few arrows. Naroo and Bez throw powerful spells at their enemies as Skarvist, Diarmuid, and Kofaer cut down the guards in their way.
In the end, the heroes face Kizar. Diarmuid managed to trip the mighty knight and his helmet bounces off his head. It reveals that Kizar Melcock is really Rizak Klemocc, he wears the Star of Righteousness upon his neck, it now glows with magical power. Kizar throws powerful spells at his enemies as the heroes try to strike down the knight. In the end, they manage to defeat Rizak and Barasus stabs him with his spear. However, Rizak then disappears with the magic of the amulet, promising revenge on the Stormbreakers and the corruption of Korenell.
The heroes help the Baron restore his barony. They find many of the crimson soldiers come out of a spell and apologize for their misguidance. Other soldiers have run off, still swearing allegiance to the dark power of the Crimson Crusaders. The next day is a mighty celebration in Seveland where the Stormbreakers are greatly celebrated. Skarvist finds it to be a quite enjoyable birthday.
The Stormbreakers then find themselves pledged to help the growing problems in Korenell. There are whispers of invasion from the north and the growing civil war between Princess Nirea and the Trinity Church to claim rulership over Korenell. Bez separates from his friends, saying his farewells. He heads out on the road to go on tour, using his fame as “the Bez” and a Stormbreaker to keep tavern and inns stocked with avid fans from Sonvera to Rizzi.
In the dark, hidden reaches, deep below the earth, miles below the city of Brong a creature stirs. A single, massive skeletal eye socket appears in the darkness as a feral red light ignites it with mockery of life, with undeath…