Titan's Teeth

Meeting a Fellow Knight
5th of Remembrance - 10th of Remembrance, year 382

Where the group travels towards Oldhelm, meet Knight Lazarus, and decide to topple the baron through politics, to get Zorg elected as the new baron.

Dreams of Darkness

(5th of Remembrance, night)
  • Zorg was sleeping in his armor.
    • He dreamt that he was meeting with Maruk, in a dark, stone throneroom of some sort.
    • Maruk once again asked Zorg to join him, stating how it was Zorg’s destiny to rebuild the empire, after Maruk had torn it down.
      • He did not hide the fact that the whole endeavor would be much easier, if Zorg was on his side.
      • He claimed have sacrificed his physical body to Taros in exchange for immortality.
        • He didn’t think Zorg should do the same, since he would need to produce heirs for the empire.
      • When Zorg claimed to be killing the Dark Elves in self defense, Maruk questioned whether they had actually ever attacked him.
    • Zorg ended the meeting, by telling Maruk that he would get his answer soon.
    • Maruk replied that then he would probably have to warn “him”. And the dream ended.

Village of Decay

(5th of Remembrance – 6th of Remembrance)
  • The group travelled west, and camped outside of Ironhold.
  • Then they struck south, reaching the village of Maplelyn.
    • The closer the group got to the village’s meeting hall, the stronger the smell of decay got.
    • Zorg looked inside the building, and saw hundreds of bodies, huddled against the walls, rotting. Men, women and children.
    • Ragos was pulled in to do an autopsy, and got rather queasy from the smell and sights.
      • He couldn’t find any cause of death by performing an autopsy on one of the bodies.
      • But he identified a small in the air. A certain herb that becomes poisonous when burned.
      • The group reasoned that the herb had killed the people, though whether on purpose, by accident or by some third party was unknown.
    • The group decided to leave the village behind.

The Stone Benches

(6th of Remembrance evening)
  • The group continued south from Maplelyn along a dirt track, through uncultivated grassland.
  • By nightfall, they spotted something out in the grass, and decided to investigate.
  • The things in question was a circle of six stone-henge-like benches, too large to reasonably be benches for people, reaching about chest height.
    • Further investigations by Thrunn revealed that the pillars supporting the benches went deep underground.
    • The group also found runes on the benches.
      • The runes appeared to be in the Dark Speech script, but not the Dark Speech language.
      • Viconia tried to discern the meaning of them. The lines on the six benches are short, and each look to say about the same thing, but with different names.
        • One theory was that it was a burial ground.
  • The group camped for the night close by.

Further south

(7th of Remembrance – 10th of Remembrance)
  • The group continued south along the dirt paths, passing an abandoned village, and made camp when they reached the road between Deepbell and the eastern hamlets.
  • Next day the continued west to Deepbell.
    • Along the way, they spotted a dire bear to the north.
      • Ragos turned into an eagle to take a closer look.
      • The bear appeared to be moving north.
      • The dire bears usually stay away from civilization, but there was some worry among the party that they would have to deal with it later, when repopulating the barony.
  • By nightfall, they had reached the campsite that the dwarves had made outside of Deepbell, and decided to camp within the “moat”.
  • On the 9th, they continued south along the main road, making camp outside of a small hamlet.
  • On the 10th, they continued south, and then decided to go cross-country to some watermills to the east.
    • Reaching the mills, they found them abandoned.
    • They then continued south, until they spotted some riders coming north towards them.

Meeting the armsmen of Knight Lazarus

(10th of Remembrance, early afternoon)
  • The four riders turned out to be armsmen of Knight Lazarus.
    • They were suspicous towards Zorg and company at first, given how they were being wanted by the baron, and Maros had disappeared.
    • Viconia convinced them that there were no problem, and that the group was heading to see the baron right now.
    • So the lead armsman, Armand, invited them to Lazarus’ manor, firm in the belief that Lazarus would give them hospitality.
  • So they traveled south with the armsmen.
    • Zorg managed to make himself onpopular with Armand, by accidentally insulting the importance of Lazarus.
    • Viconia on the other hand managed to make herself very good friends with Armand.
      • He may indeed have the hots for her.
      • He did reveal most of what he knew about the military and political situation.

Meeting the armsmen of Knight Lazarus himself

(10th of Remembrance, late afternoon)
  • They arrived at Lazarus’ manor without incident.
    • It was a single manor house, surrounded by work buildings.
      • A lot of the buildings were pens and slaughter houses, now empty.
  • Putting their wagon in the stable, they went into the manor house with Armand.
  • There they were greeted by the housekeeper, a robust, late-middleaged woman.
    • She was not pleased with the sudden appearance of new guest, and was not afraid to tell Armand so.
  • They did manage to extracate themselves, and Zorg, Thrunn, Tarkin and Viconia went in to see Lazarus, while Faris, Rudolf and Ragos waited outside.
  • Zorg straight-out spilled the beans about the situation, and then let Viconia take over to really convince Lazarus.
  • Lazarus was convinced, and they started talking about what could be done about the situation.
    • Simply storming or infiltration Highcastle, and taking out Terell was discussed.
    • Instead the group decided that it might be more worthwhile to go to Wyrmycia, talk with the knights that has retreated south, and come back with their forces, plus any that the Empire will lend. And then hopefully get Zorg elected as baron by a noble council consisting of those knights.

What is known

  • Terell got his family killed off by Dark Elves, though none of the knights of the barony appears to know this.
  • Terell commands some 15 armsmen and 30 soldiers, fortified in Highcastle.
  • Knights Corben and Marc are part of his inner circle, and each command 4 armsmen.
  • Knight Manneville is an older knight, but also more interested in money than honor. He should command 8 armsmen.
  • The knights might be at their own manors, but they are just as likely to be at Highcastle.
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Three Days of Forced March
16th of Books - 5th of Remembrance, year 382

Where the group force marched with the dwarves the rest of the way to Deepholt, trained and recuperated, and then ventured out again, heading for Highcastle and Oldhelm.

Loot

Tarkin found

  • Potion of Invisibility
  • Scroll of Summoning Ritual (partially identified)

Force March to Deepholt

(16th of Books – 18th of Books)
  • In the immediate aftermath of the fight, Tarkin found some items of interest on the dark elf summoner.
  • The dead and injured were loaded on stretchers, and the dwarves started a force march to Deep Holt, travelling eleven hours each day.
  • By the 18th, the group reached Deepholt.

Meeting with High Helm Durahim

(18th of Books, evening)
  • The group (except Rudolf) took the time to get a nice bath just after arriving to the holt. Then Zorg, Ragos, Tarkin and Viconia were off to see the High Helm.
  • The High Helm explained how they were protecting the descendants of Verenox, and sought advice from the adventurers concerning further security arrangements.
    • The ‘guests’ were currently lodged in the old prison, with one way in and out, and the entrance watched by priests with spells running, to ensure that invisible enemies couldn’t infiltrate.
    • Construction were under way for a newer structure, which would try to make sure that enemies could not enter through the walls with magic, by suspending the room inside a larger room.
  • The high helm also offered to provide the party with rooms, which they accepted.

Training

(18th of Books – 2nd of Remembrance)
  • The group honed their skills for the next step of the journey.
    • Viconia was out and about, spreading stories of the groups exploits, and racking in money at the inn during the evenings.
    • Rudolf and Ragos collected the armor for their respective pets.

Leaving Deepholt

(2nd of Remembrance – 4th of Remembrance)
  • The party decided that their next order of business, was to take Baron Terell out of the picture.
  • The were gifted a wagon with four horses from a merchant that was stuck in Deepholt for the duration.
  • The first two days went without a hitch.

The wolfpack

(4th of Remembrance late afternoon – 5th of Remembrance day break)
  • Late on the 4th, the party spotted a pack of wolves shadowing the wagon from a nearby hill-ridge
  • The group reached a camp site without incident, and set up camp, aware that the wolves had continued shadowing them.
  • During the first watch, Tarkin and Wren heard (and scented) the wolves approaching camp, and then leaving again.
  • During the third watch, Ragos transformed into a wolf. He also heard the wolves circling the camp, and decided to approach them, instructing Mongo to keep guard.
    • Ragos challenged the alpha of the pack, subdued him and killed his brother. He was recognized as alpha of the pack, and sent the pack east to look for food.
  • He then returned to camp, and the rest of the night went quietly.
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An Ambush on the road to Deepholt
13th of Books - 16th of Books, year 382

Where the group is ambushed by a large force of dark elves and goblins (and a demon) on the road between Wymar and Deepholt.

Journeying North

(13th of Books – 16th of Books)
  • The group travelled back north with the dwarves.
  • Ragos came to talk to Faris, and struck up a relationship.
  • The first two days took them up north past Ironhold.

The Ambush

(16th of Books, just before noon)
  • The group was ambushed.
    • The ambush was sprung early, due to Rudolf spotting that something was wrong.
    • A major demon was summoned among the front of the column.
    • 25 dark elf warriors rained down arrows from atop a low ridge, just north of the road, supported by a summoner and a bard.
    • 26 goblin warriors attacked from the front.
    • 10 dark elf assassins covered the area in magical darkness, and moved in to kill under its cover.
  • However, the group prevailed.
    • Zorg and Thrunn killed first the demon, and then the goblins.
    • Rudolf picked off most of the assassin’s, thanks to being able to see through the magical darkness,
    • Ragos, Mongo and Wren took care of most of the dark elves up on the ridge.
  • There was unfortunately casualties.
    • Faris was hit and broke her right leg.
    • One of the descendants of Verenox was killed, three were heavily wounded, and the two remaining were also wounded.
    • Eight of the dwarves were killed, and ten were wounded, among them Tir Thulrem who took quite a volley of arrows.
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Besieged in Deepbell.. briefly
12th of Books - 16th of Books, year 382

Where the party escorted a group of Verenox’s descendants from Orhurst to Deepbell, got besieged by dark elves in a guard tower, defeated the dark elves, and joined up with dwarves from Deepholt outside the town.

Gifts

Deltir gave Tarkin enough sacred candels for a single casting of the Zone of Truth ritual.

Taking it Easy

(12th of Books, morning to evening)

To Deepbell

(13th of Books, early morning to early afternoon)
  • The group left Orhurst shortly before dawn, bringing with them three of Verenox’s descendants.
    • That left another three descendants in Orhurst.
    • Sarkos and Deltir wished the party a good trip.
  • When leaving the town, Viconia played a melody to give everybody a bit of energy. It worked.
  • Shortly after leaving the town, Rudolf and Viconia heard some bird calls that they could hear were fake. The party deduced that it was the dark elves signaling that they had spotted the party.
  • Nothing happened on the trip, though. The group reached Deepbell without running into any danger.

Settling down in Deepbell

(13th of Books, early afternoon to late afternoon)
  • The group entered the town through the north gate, and installed themselves in one of the guard towers built into the town walls a distance from the gate.
    • Their horses were stabled in one of the stables near the gate.
  • Tarkin ensured that the next towers over on either side were had their doors closed and barred, so that nobody could sneak onto their section of the wall.
  • Then Tarkin kept watch with Rudolf atop the tower.
    • In the late afternoon, they spotted something on the northeastern horizon, which looked like the dwarven detachment from Deepholt approaching the town.

Dark elf siege

(13th of Books, late afternoon)
  • Ragos were taking care of the horses, with Zorg keeping watch.
    • Ragos spotted dark elves sneaking down the street towards them, and he and Zorg decided to make a tactical retreat to the tower.
    • Shortly after Rudolf could hear the horses scream as they were killed.
  • As Zorg and Ragos reached the tower, Rudolf spotted movement among the houses, and shot a couple of the dark elves as they approached.
    • Still, a large group reached the houses close to the tower, and moved inside, where they could not be seen from the tower.
  • The dark elves tried approaching the tower, carrying tables as shields against Rudolf.
    • However, Tarkin summoned a Dire Boar from The Faerie, which starting killing them and flipping tables (allowing Rudolf to kill the now exposes elves).
    • During this first fight, it became apparent that there were casters in the buildings, which knew, among other spells Daze Monster.
    • The casters managed to target and daze Tarkin and Rudolf, allowing the two last elves of the table squadron to climb onto the wall without being shot by Rudolf.
    • Then John leapt from the top of the tower onto one, ripping into him and toppling him from the wall.
    • The other was frozen by Tarkin when he emerged from the daze.

Wounds

John: Nasty scar patch on his left hind hip, now unable to grow fur.
Caused by rotting flesh from a necrotic spell.

  • The second part of the battle was initiated by a second Dire Boar summoned by Tarkin (after the first had been dazed), which charged into one of the buildings occupied by the dark elves, and started killing them inside.
    • This prompted the fighters of the party to try to make their own crossings to the buildings.
    • Zorg managed to get charmed by one of the casters, but snapped out of it when the caster was killed with a combination of Tarkin’s (summoned) hell hounds and frost blast.
    • Tarkin summoned a trio of hell hounds from The Burnt Lands which caused havock.
    • Thrunn and John took one house, with John almost dying when he charged in first, into waiting arrow and spell fire.
      • John did go down during the combat from a blast of necrotic energy from the caster.
    • Though some of the dark elves tried to flee, none managed to escape. Rudolf picked off those that managed to leave the battlefield.

Post-Battle

(13th of Books, late afternoon to evening)

Loot from Casters

3 Bandages of Healing

  • After the fight, the group searched the bodies, and then waited for the dwarven detachment to come closer.
  • Once they were relatively close, the group walked out to meet them.
    • Given that the horses had all been killed by the dark elves.
  • The dwarves welcomed them, and suggested that they camp a distance from the town.
  • The dwarves proved to be quite adept at creating a defensive perimeter.
    • One quarter maintained an outside perimeter.
    • Half dug a trench around the entire camp.
    • The last quarter dug in stakes, that the dwarves had been carrying (two a piece), and set up the rest of the camp with tents and a large cookfire in the middle.
    • It was all accomplished in half an hour.
  • The group relaxed for the rest of the day.
    • Zorg mingled successfully, by sticking to discussions about axes.
    • Thrunn got in a fight with a trio of hotheads which didn’t like the fact that he was an outcast dwarf.
      • Rudolf tried to join in as soon as he got a chance.
      • But the fight was quickly broken up by other soldiers.
      • The trio got a talking to by Tir Thulrem.

Journeying North

(13th of Books – 16th of Books)
  • The group travelled back north with the dwarves.
  • The first two days took them up north past Ironhold.
  • But on the third day.. Ambush!
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The Moment of Truth
8th of Books - 12th of Books, year 382

The party convinced the group of soldiers that they should travel with the group to Orhurst, where the High Priestess of Shadari, Deltir, would be able to cast a Zone of Truth. Then the party would be able to prove to the group the truth of their words. The priest, Borden, and the soldiers agreed, and the group set out. During the trip, the party, through its behavior, managed to generally convince the group that they were generally trustworthy. Reaching an abandoned village near Orhurst, Zorg and Thrunn entered the town to find Deltir, while the rest of the group camped inside the village. During the night they were attacked by dark elves, but handily defeated them. Next morning, shortly before Zorg and Thrunn arrived with Deltir, Maros tried to escape with the guards, but the guards were talked down. After that, the ritual proceeded without a hitch.

Post-Battle

  • Maros and Borden ended up being cared for by the soldiers, under the watchful eye of the party.
  • Borden woke up the next morning, and he and the soldiers were convinced to follow the party to Orhurst, so that the High Priestess of Shadari, Deltir would be able to cast a zone of truth, under which the party could declare that they were not traitors.
    • The soldiers and Borden considered the town of Orhurst a town of thieves and outlaws.
    • Borden knew of Deltir by reputation, and it was a good reputation.

Travel to Orhurst (8th – 11th)

  • The trip to Orhurst went without a hitch.
  • Maros woke up during the trip, but told the soldiers not to tell the party.
    • One of them still did, though, so everyone knew that he was just pretending to be unconscious.
      • They let him keep up the pretense, though.
  • Viconia became pals with some of the soldiers on the trip, while Ragos and Tarkin got their trust.

Visit to Orhurst (11th)

  • Arriving in a long abandoned village near Orhurst, Thrunn and Zorg would go in alone, since the soldiers didn’t want to venture into the town.
  • After entering the town, the pair found Sarkos, who offered to help them talk to Deltir.
  • Venturing down to the temple of Shadari, they found Deltir, who immediately agreed to aid them, considering the casting of the Zone of Truth as part of her duties.
    • However, it would have to wait until the next morning.
  • So, Zorg convinced Sarkos to reluctantly open his secret stash of booze, and the trio enjoyed a night of booze (though only a limited amount) and women.

Attack on the Camp (12th)

  • Out in the village, in the early hours before dawn, the camp was attacked by dark elves.
  • However, though the dark elves managed to take out one of the guards, and injure a couple more, they caused no damage that couldn’t be solved with a couple of healing spells.
    • All the dark elves where killed, with the last one being chased down by Ragos in eagle form and Tarkin’s summoned Lantern Archon.
  • After the fight, Maros was found whimpering in the corner of his tent, with brown pants.

Morning Rebellion

  • After the fight, most of the party went back to sleep again, with only Tarkin staying up.
  • All the soldiers stayed awake, not feeling comfortable just going back to sleep after such an attack.
  • After everyone else were asleep, Tarkin saw Maros talking with the soldiers.
  • Shortly after, the soldiers seized Tarkin, and started dragging him back towards the horses, accompanied by Maros. However, the noise woke up the rest of the camp.
  • Negotiations were had.
    • In the end, it was Borden that convinced the soldiers to return Maros, so the ritual could reveal the truth.
    • And thus the situation ended.

The Ritual

  • In the early morning, Zorg and Thrunn set out from Orhurst with Deltir.
    • Zorg and Sarkos were hung over, Thrunn was not.
    • Thrunn shared his horse with Deltir, and tried to flirt with her. She politely answered his questions, but didn’t seem swayed by the dwarf.
  • When they arrived back at camp, they quickly got a report on the situation.
  • Then they had to dig up an area of ground, so the ritual would have a flat area to be performed on.
  • Deltir performed the ritual informing that it would probably last a matter of minutes, so everyone should prepare their questions beforehand.
  • Borden asked his questions first
    • Do you work with Lord Maruk: No
    • Do you work for any of the dark powers: No
    • Do you work for the betterment of Wymar: Yes
  • Next the group asked Maros a series of questions.
    • He was not himself working for the dark elves or any dark powers.
    • He didn’t know that Baron Terell was working with dark elves or dark powers.
    • He did suspect that Terell was involved in the murder of his father.
    • He would often refuse to speak, or take a very long time thinking about an answer.
  • After the ritual, Borden and the soldiers decided that they were going to stay in Orhurst, and keep Maros there as well.
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Meetings on the road to Orhurst
5th of Books - 8th of Books, year 382

Thrunn figured out that his younger brother had been taken by The Gatekeeper. The group prepares to travel to Orhurst and return with the descendants of Verenox that were trapped in that town. They arranged with High Helm Durahim to have a group of dwarven soldiers, and then set out on the morning of the 7th. Shortly after leaving Deepholt, they encountered the noble Maros Lankhall with escort, who wanted them to return with him to Oldhelm. Distrusting the man, the group declined, and traveled on alone. However, it seemed that Maros was following them, and on the night of the 8th, Maros and his soldiers tried to attack the groups camp. This went very badly for them.

Thrunn’s Village

  • Viconia retired to the inn in Deepholt, to play for the night.
  • The rest of the group arranged to sleep in the village, among various families where members were out in the wilderness, patrolling for goblins.
  • Ragos went to bed early, and Tarkin sorta just hung around.
  • Rudolf convinced a young member of the Stonehammer family to wrestle with John, by doubting his bravery.
    • Rudolf convinced John to fight the dwarf, by pretending that the dwarf would eat John’s meat.
    • John proceeded to try and tear out the dwarf’s throat, rendering the young lad unconscious.
    • Zorg gave the dwarf a healing potion, but the dwarf was still left with an, admittedly cool looking, row of scars over the left side of his face, from John’s claws.
    • Rudolf managed to convince everybody that he hadn’t meant anything bad, by having John attack the lad. Just an honest fight. Rudolf were prohibited by the chief from having anyone else fight John.
  • Rudolf’s host family, the Ironbreakers, thought it was awesome, teaching those stuck up Stonehammers a lesson, and invited him back to their house to continue drinking.
    • Rudolf tried to dominate the bragging sessions with his own adventures, but the Ironbreakers would cut him off to tell about their own awesome adventures.
  • Zorg didn’t make any friends per say, but did get some talk in about fighting techniques with some of the more experienced members of the tribe.
  • Thrunn went back to his family’s house with his mother and three older siblings.
    • They talked about what had been going on.
      • The tribe had been forced to ask Deepholt for help with food, once the game started to die off during the long winter. The tribe was trying to get self-sufficient again as soon as possible, to avoid further debt to the hold.
      • Goblins had tried to attack the village. Their heads were stacked in a pyramid out back.
    • Thrunn inquired to where his youngest sibling, Addan, was. The rest of the family was a bit confused.
      • Then Thrunn remembered that Addan had been missing for years.
      • The last time he had seen him, was during a family dinner when Addan had left the room, shortly after followed by The Gatekeeper.
      • Thrunn tried to convince the rest of his family that he had misspoken. His mother didn’t believe him, but steered the conversation away. His sister Ingla, however, was clearly suspicious.

Preparations for Orhurst

  • On the morning of the 6th, Viconia arranged for a meeting with High Helm Durahim.
  • They arranged that a unit of 50 dwarven soldiers would be sent out, to meet them at or on the road to Deepbell, and then escort them back, once the group had picked up the descendants of Verenox in Orhurst.
    • They would head out on the same morning, but given the group’s greater speed on horseback, the group should definitely reach Orhurst first.
  • They met Tir Thulrem, the officer of the group that would be sent out, who seemed just a tad young (younger than Thrunn) for a commander of 50 men.

A meeting on the road

  • On the morning of the 7th, the group left Deepholt, while the dwarves expedition was gathering its men to leave as well.
  • Approximately an hour out from Deepholt, they encountered Maros Lankhall, a priest/wizard-looking guy and eight soldiers riding in the opposite direction.
    • Zorg recognized Maros as one of the nobles who had been part of Baron Terell Orbon clique, when Zorg was visiting Baron Serbon Orbon’s court.
    • The soldiers seemed to really dislike the party for some reason.
  • Maros told Zorg, that he was there to escort them back to Oldhelm, so that they could coordinate their efforts with the new Baron, Terell.
    • At this point the party was also told that the baron and his oldest son had been murdered by dark elf assassins.
    • During the conversation the caster of the other group cast Detect Magic on the party, and seemed to share the information with the soldiers. This seemed to make the soldiers even more unhappy.
  • In the end, Zorg didn’t trust Maros, and it was agreed that Maros and his group would ride on to Deepholt, and stay there for a bit, so that the two groups wouldn’t need to travel together back to Wymar.

Travelling the road to Wymar

  • The group traveled through the mountains for the rest of the day, and at the end found a campsite that was easily defensible and well hidden in the form of a ravine. Comfortable, however, it was not.
  • During the night the heard another group of riders hide past their hideout, from Deepholt to Wymar. They didn’t see who it was.
  • They were pretty beat the next morning from the bad sleep of the canyon, but continued on.
  • Close to noon, they came past another ravine, where it turned out to be the campsite of Maros and his group. The group passed without interacting.
  • When it came time to camp, the group had left the mountains, and entered the forest.
    • Rudolf found a campsite that was easily defensible from the road, though left the horses easy to be seen. The group was camped at the top of a 10 foot dirt ridge, oriented towards the road. Tents were set up to protect from the rain, and a shift schedule set up.

Throughout the 7th it was cloudy, with occasional drizzles.
On the 8th the drizzles turned into actual rain.

Night Ambush

  • During Tarkin’s ridge, he had Wren stationed down near the road in hiding.
  • Wren spotted riders carrying a light approaching from the Deepholt direction. Tarkin set about waking up the rest of the party.
    • Zorg (with the help of Ragos), Thrunn and Viconia began putting on their armor.
    • Rudolf moved to the ridge edge, to watch the road also.
    • Tarkin watched the situation through Wren’s eyes.
  • The riders were Maros and his group. Seeing the party’s horses, they dismounted and semi-stealthily approached, though they seemed unaware of the camp and onlookers atop the ridge, given the darkness and rain.
  • Once they had approached a certain distance, Rudolf began shooting.
    • The caster was short with two arrow, and went unconscious.
    • Then Maros was shot twice (once in a buttock, once in his left hand, severing his thumb), falling unconscious as well.
  • Then Wren chased away the group’s horses.
  • In the end, the soldiers semi-surrendered, agreeing not to fight, but not willing to give up their weapons.
    • It was found out that they considered the party traitors, with the fact that they were carrying multiple magical items containing corrupt magic only heightening their suspicions.
    • The caster was, according to the soldiers, a priest of Iroh.
    • The soldiers were to get the priest into their custody, and hopefully wake him so that he might use some divine magic to verify the truth of the party’s explanation.
    • The party wanted to keep Maros in their custody, but agreed to let a soldier see to him, and to not take him away where the soldiers would be unable to ensure that they weren’t doing anything to him.
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Bringing the Descendants to Deepholt
29th of Harvest - 5th of Books, year 382

The party interrogated one of the assassins, learning that they were watching Highspring. At the suggestion of Eram the White, they decided to bring the surviving descendants of Verenox to Deepholt. The trip was made without incident, and the dwarves took over the duty of protecting them. Job well done, the party visited Thrunn’s clan in the nearby village, and participated in the ensuing feast.

Setting up for Interrogation

  • The assassin that survived was marched into the keep’s dungeon, and tied to a chair.
  • To keep everything as safe as possible, the party (including Rudolf) moved their sleeping quarters into the dungeons, to be nearby if the assassin tried anything.
  • The descendants of Verenox were also moved into the dungeon, since the party would then also be able to guard them at the same time.
    • Aiden, a male halfling. Had an alchemist shop in town, but when bankrupt when it was robbed (by Rudolf).
    • Keira, a female human. Blond, big-chested and pretty. Typical barmaid material.
  • The party guarded the assassin in shifts during the night.
  • The assassin tried to slip his bonds during the night, but the discovery of this just resulted in him being more safely secured.

The Interrogation

  • The interrogation stretched from late morning to just after lunch. The main participants were Zorg, Thrunn, Rudolf, Viconia and Eram the White.
  • Eram attempted a Detect Thoughts spell twice, but both times the assassin resisted.
  • The interrogation was interrupted several times so that the group could talk privately, without the assassin listening in.
  • During the course of the interrogation the assassin suffered the following injuries:
    • Three lost nails from his right hand.
    • Two lost fingers from his left hand (pinky and ring finger).
    • Acid burns to face near left eye (just a couple of drips)
  • The following information was learned
    • He spoke only Dark Speech, but seemed to understand Dranisian.
    • The assassin’s had scaled a wall to enter the keep, that the guards had thought too hard to climb.
    • There are four dark elf clans in the forests west of Wymar and north of the Shadow River.
    • The clan that he was from had some 50 members.
    • Dark elves were stationed to watch the road leading from Vale, as well as the river.
    • Lord Maruk is said to be alive in the Darklands.
  • At the end of the interrogation, it was decided to keep him alive, guarded in the dungeon, so that Eram might extract more information from him if possible.

To Deepholt

Purchases

Rudolf: masterwork light chain armor for John. 2000 gp (paid). Ready on the 12th of Books.

Ragos: light chain armor for Mongo. 500 gp (paid). Ready on the 19th of Books.

  • It was discussed to bring the descendants of Verenox to the empire, but was decided that it would be safer to bring them to Deepholt.
  • It was also decided that while the descendants in Orhurst should also be brought to Deepholt, the group would make a second trip, so as not to put all their eggs in one basket.
  • The rest of the 25th was spent gathering supplies, food and armor for the descendants. Six horses were acquired; three draft horses and three riding horses.
  • In the early morning hours of the 26th the group set off. Riding for 9 hours, they finally stopped when Tarkin’s and Thrunn’s horses started to limp.
    • Ragos found that they both had a sprain, but spent some time gathering herbs in the forest and made a cold poultice that allowed them to heal up, more or less, during the night.
  • Next day the group travelled on, and reached Ravenhold after about 7 hours ride. They spent the night in an inn, just inside the gates of the city.
    • The corpses in the city had started to rot, the stench drifting everywhere.
  • Over the next two days, the group reach the mountains, and early on the 5th of Books they reached Deepholt.

In Deepholt

  • The descendants were handed over to the dwarves, who knew of their importance (having been kept up to tabs by the barony of Wymar), and the dwarves promised to keep them safe.
    • Apparently the tunnel between the Underdark and the mines had been heavily fortified by the dwarves, since the invasion during the goblin war.
  • Afterwards, the group shopped around.
    • Rudolf commissioned an armor for John from Master Urdin. Without flinching he paid the exorbitant price to have the armor done as fast as possible.
    • Ragos found a cheaper smith in Maltharn, and commisioned an armor for Mongo, then begged Zorg for the money.
    • Viconia arranged with the inn owner to get free room and board in exchange for food and shelter.

Thrunn’s Village

  • Zorg, Ragos and Mongo stepped outside of Deepholt, and Ragos tried out his new shapeshifting abilities, taking to the sky as an eagle.
  • Shortly after Thrunn, Rudolf, John and Viconia also left Deepholt, heading for Thrunn’s village. Zorg joined them, and convinced Rudolf not to shoot down the eagle that was following them.
  • When they reached the village, they were quickly mobbed by robust, scarred, barbarian dwarves welcoming Thrunn back.
  • The group was led to the main hut, where Thrunn and his mother got to sit at the high table, while Thrunn told his stories about where he has been.
  • Zorg, Rudolf and Viconia also came inside, while Mongo and John stayed outside.
  • Viconia joined the musicians, and more or less led the band.
  • Zorg and Rudolf just watched the proceedings, until the dwarves started wrestling match in the middle of the room.
    • Rules: Bare chest, no weapons, knock the opponent out of the circle
  • After the first match was over, Zorg and Thrunn stood off against each other, rather evenly until Zorg used his greater size to throw Thrunn from the circle.
  • Rudolf challenged Zorg next, but wasn’t nearly as good a match.
  • So Zorg challenged the room. Up stepped the village champion, Ermrik, a heavily muscled, middleaged dwarf.
  • The fight was hard, but in the end Ermrik managed to topple Zorg out of the ring. No hard feelings were had as Ermrik helped Zorg up.
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Cleansing of Ravenhold and Return to Highspring
22nd of Harvest - 29th of Harvest, year 382

The party cleared the fortress of Ravenhold of goblins, took the road west through the forest to Highspring and shared information with Eram the White. While the group was resting, dark elf assassins attempted to kill the descendants of Verenox in High Spring, but the group managed to save two of the victims.

Clearing the Fortress of Ravenhold

Loot from Chief

Goblin potion of healing (Tarkin), keen, demon-possessed greatsword (Wren?)

Loot from Shaman

Goblin potion of invisibility (Rudolf), goblin potion of moderate healing (Tarkin), goblin potion of levitation (Tarkin)

  • 50 goblins, plus a chief, a shaman and a couple of subchiefs had set up shop in the fortress, and were roasting human meat harvested from the town.
  • The group headed straight for the sounds of goblins and engaged them.
  • Most of the goblins were killed, with some escaping. The group suffered relatively few wounds of their own.
  • The group split into teams, and hunted down the goblins that had escaped into the fortress. Vren killed some, Rudolf McCliff and John killed some, Zorg and Ragos never caught any, but did cause some to flee the fortress. Thrunn covered all entrances to the fortress with decapitated goblin heads. Tarkin started the process of identifying the magical loot.
  • The group spent the night in the fortress, with no goblins returning.

Travel to Highspring

  • The journey took four days along mud-soaked roads and damp fields. Melting snow had made everything wet.
  • During the first night, a trio of wolves tried to sneak up on the group during Rudolf’s watch. Rudolf put them down in an instant.
  • The wolves were made into roasted wolf, to supplement the group’s provisions.
  • Otherwise nothing of note happened, with the forest being eerily empty and quiet.

Scouting Highspring

  • The group arrived to the edge of the Barony of Vale at dusk. It was decided to send Rudolf ahead to Highspring to scout out the situation.
  • Rudolf entered the town through the secret tunnel, and evaded the guards outside. He then proceeded to the Archer’s Rose, avoiding the soldiers patrolling the streets.
  • The owner of the Archer’s Rose happened to be inside, and Rudolf quickly quizzed him about the town’s situation: goblins attacks, dark elf assassins, food rationing. In the end the owner recognized him, and Rudolf took his leave.
  • Rudolf returned to the group, and informed them of the information. They decided to camp out in the forest, and go to Highspring in the morning.
  • During Thrunn’s watch during the night, he witnessed some humanoids sneaking out of the forest and heading towards Highspring.

Visiting Highspring

  • The next morning, the group went into Highspring. Entry was relatively painless, but once inside, they were held under guard until Eram the White arrived and could verify that they weren’t assassins under magical disguise.
  • Eram escorted them up to the Baron’s keep, and informed them of the situation.
    • Goblins were attacking outlying villages and farms. Soldiers with Valish cats had been dispatched to try and protect the settlements.
    • Food was rationed due to the long winter and missing harvest. The town had enough food to handle a siege, but rations would get pretty small before the next harvest.
    • Dark elf assassins were trying (and in some cases succeeding) in infiltrating the town, and killing of descendants of Verenox. The town had been unaware of their goal in the beginning, but now all known descendants were being protected at the baron’s keep.
  • The group decided to rest up at the keep. Ragos and Tarkin honed their skills. Rudolf instead rented a room at the Archer’s Rose where he met Viconia.
    • Rudolf attempted to quiz the inn’s owner about good businesses to burgle. As a result he got an honor guard from Eram, which felt that they really needed to protect him any time he wanted to walk around town.

Assassins!

  • On the second night at the keep, those sleeping there were awoken by shouts from the rooms where Verenox’s descendants were living.
  • Everybody got out of bed, and ran to the location. Rounding the corner, they saw two dead guards, and two dark elf assassins.
  • It turned out that the assassins had cast a zone of silence over the entire assassination area. It also turned out that there were two more.
  • The assassins killed two of the descendants more or less before the group could react. Another (a male halfling) was seriously wounded (but healed by Ragos afterwards), while the last (a female human) emerged unscathed, except for the trauma of having a naked Thrunn splash her with the blood and brains of her assailant.
  • One assassin was kept alive, thanks to healing from Ragos.
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Death of Cassandra and return the Grey World
?? - 22nd of Harvest, year 382

Next stop was Cassandra’s castle. First Rudolf shared the story of his first kill to the Gate Keeper. It was while he was still living wild in the forests. For several nights, he had nightmares about fairy creatures following him. Then one day he saw two fairies moving through the forest accompanied by a fey hound. The fairies were grey of skin and red of eyes, with one being about human size, and the other being half as large. Using a homemade bow, Rudolf had shot first the larger one, and then the smaller, and then fled before the hound could get him. He now remembered that the Gate Keeper had also been there, and Rudolf had been about to shoot him, but the Gate Keeper had ducked behind a tree before he managed. The day after the kill, he had returned to the site, and instead of finding two dead fairies, he had found a dead hunter and his son. Shaken, Rudolf had gathered their valuables, and ventured to a nearby village, where he had told that he had found them dead in the forest. This marked the point at which he left the forest.

The Gatekeeper accepted the story, and then inquired whether the group might want an escape pre-prepared in case they needed to flee from Cassandra, He would just need another story in payment in exchange for such an escape. So Thrunn had shared some memories about his family, at home with his mother and brothers and sisters, eating his mother’s soup. Sharing this memory, he remembered the Gatekeeper had also been there, standing in a corner, watching. At one point when one of his younger brothers had left the room, the Gatekeeper had gone with him.

The Gatekeeper accepted the memory, and handed over a stone, and told them that they just needed to throw the stone through an opening, then passing through that opening would return them to the Emerald Spring.

And so he led them through a bit of forest, and into a snow storm. When the snow fell away, they found themselves in front of Cassandra’s castle, with Cassandra, her lieutenants and scores of dark elves. And John by Cassandra’s side. Cassandra welcomed them back. And then Rudolf plucked the last fireball from his necklace of fireballs and threw it at her.

In the ensuing fight, John, burned by the fireball, attacked Zorg, and Zorg had to knock him out. Veraden hid the center of the battlefield in thick fog, while Thrunn and Zorg tried to make their way to Cassandra. Rudolf and an enlarged Vren brought down dark elf after dark elf, while Ragos and Mongo tried to survive wave after wave of dark elves in the middle. Vren was taken down by the combined onslaught of Azata and Cassandra.
Then first Veraden was brought down by Zorg and then Azata by the combined effort of Zorg and Thrunn, though Thrunn was much worse for the wear, after having been double-teamed by Cassandra and Azata for maybe half a minute.

With Veraden and Azata down, Cassandra attempted to flee, but then Medusa turned her to stone. While the last dark elves were being mopped up, Medusa swarmed forward, unfroze Cassandra’s chest, cut out her heart and ate it. The sole surviving dark elf immediately fell under her control. A physical change came over Medusa as well, her grey snakes and scales turning a vivid red, as she became the red baroness.

After this followed a couple of discussions. First Zorg convinced Medusa that he should be allowed to have Cassandra’s head as a trophy. He now carries the petrified head with him. Next (after some haggling about the exact way to go about it, and a threat of suicide), Rudolf handed over Titania’s brush to Medusa, and then traded it back in exchange for a promise that he would never commit suicide or otherwise hurt himself in put pressure on Medusa.

Next Mab showed up, in a black, enclosed sled pulled by dire reindeer. She brought with her the three items of Titania, and handed them over to Rudolf. She promised that the group would be welcomed in the Winter realm in the future, as long as they obeyed the guest rules. Rudolf stated that she would be welcomed in Marshalborg, and that there were no guest rules there. She would be able to do whatever she so pleased. Mab promised to take him up on the offer.

After Mab left, Tarkin got Medusa to give him a token of Medusa’s castle, with no strings attached. With this in hand, they first used the Gatekeeper’s token to venture back to the Emerald Spring to get healed up. Then they used the castle token to return to Medusa’s castle, and then trekked across the Burning Plains, where they ran into the usual burned fey, as well as a bear.

Once on the other side in the Summer realm, they ran into a Centaur, and got it to show them the way to Titania’s castle. Here Rudolf gave back her brush and her three items. The group also rested up, and trained while the trolls put the last touches on Rudolf’s Truesight Goggles, which he collected before leaving. Titania gave an ominous warning about Marshalbourg being empty, which prompted Zorg to hurry the group back to the Grey World.

When they returned to the Grey World, they saw that the snows were melting. Trudging through the cold muck, they returned to Marshalbourg, to find it eerily quiet. In the village, they found a bunch of dark elves waiting for them. Led by none other than Samor, the dark elf whose hand they had cut off. Samor was there to deliver a letter to Zorg: Maruk’s Offer. Zorg made a counter-offer by bludgeoning Samor with the flat of his blade, which Rudolf took at a sign to put two arrows in his head. Then another arrow just be sure that he was dead. In the ensuing melee, the group was left with four prisoners, which was reduced to three after Zorg quartered one alive as an example to the others.

Spending the night in Marshalbourg, the group took their prisoners to Orhurst, where they were welcomed by Sarkos. The group found that they had been gone for eight months. Winter had lasted all summer, driving most people who could leave, to journey south to the empire. Orhurst, which had grown by several thousand refugees, was being sustained by Zorg’s magical pot from Marshalbourg. Sarkos also informed that dark elf assassins were once again trying to kill the descendants of the lich Verenox. By interrogating the captured dark elves, the group found that the baron was dead, having been replaced by a baron loyal to Lord Maruk. Highspring was still outside of the reach of the dark elves. And apparently the lochlanders were still a problem for them.

The group decide to travel to Highspring, by way of Deepbell and Ravenhold. They managed to scrounge some short rations from Sarkos, and filled up on stew from the pot, before starting to trek east. Two days later they reached Deepbell. The city was abandoned except for the starved, thawing corpses of those citizens that had not left the town.

Next they ventured north to Ravenhold. Ravenhold seemed likewise abandoned, except that goblins had moved in. There were goblin shouts from the fort, and bodies had been dragged into the street and harvested for the meatiest bits. The group decided to find out what was going on in the fort. They all managed to get up on the fort’s walls, and Rudolf snuck just inside the fort, no problem. Then the rest of the group tried, and Zorg attracted the attentions of Worg’s in the fortress courtyard. A short, unproblematic fight followed, but now the goblins were aware that they were here, and shouts arose from inside the fortress.

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The Quisling Nest, The Heart of Cold and The Moonwell
Outside of time

Leaving the Meadow of Dreams behind, Tarkin told the Gatekeeper about his first summoning, where he, self-taught, had summoned a gremlin. He now remembered that the Gatekeeper had actually been there, on the other side of the summoning circle. Accepting the payment, the Gatekeeper lead them to the Quisling Nest.

The group moved forward, until they could see an opening leading into a hill. The tree in this area seemed to be covered in rime, in cobweb patterns. Thrunn, keen-eyed, spotted frost spiders ahead. A couple of larger ones, but also hundreds or thousands of smaller ones, covering the trees, masquerading as rime patterns.

The group decided to light torches, in case the spiders should decide to attack. When the torches were lit, the spiders suddenly started moving, swarming down the trees to gather in a large swarm between them.

What followed was a battle of attrition. While spider swarms continuously nibbled at them, the group first fought down the first, then used a fireball to take out a second wave, then fought down a third wave, and then charged into the nest once reinforcements seemed to have been depleted. Navigating through the tunnels, they encountered the Quisling Spider Queen, surrounded by swarms of more spiders. Another fireball took them out, and combat was initiated. Ragos was given the token, and tried to reach the crystal in the middle of the room, which seemed to be a node of power, but on his way there more spiders swarmed into the chamber. Finally, with the Quisling queen almost dead, and spiders swarming everywhere, Ragos put the token in the node. The spiders immediately withdrew slightly, and after a brief hesitation, the group ran out of the nest, spiders continuously just at the edge of vision.

Ragos told the Gatekeeper the story of how he had encountered Mongo in a circus, and had freed him, forming a strong bond with the ape. In return the Gatekeeper lead them to The Heart of Cold, a frozen, snowy plain. Thrunn was buffed with spells to protect him against the cold, and sent into the snows. It did become extremely cold, but the spells managed to protect the dwarf, and he deposited the token without much fanfare, and found his way back to the group.

Next Zorg told the Gatekeeper about how he met his mentor in the Blackwatch, when he was being attacked by bandits, and the mentor stepped in to save him, wielding a large two-handed axe. With this payment, the Gatekeeper lead them to the Moonwell.

Here the group fought two humungous white bears, killing them, and finally placing a token in the moonwell, bringing it under the control of Orellia the Grey.

This fight, as well as the Quisling nest, had taken a lot out of the group, and they decided to revisit the Emerald Spring before taking on Cassandra. Zorg told the Gatekeeper a story about how, during his training, one a hot summer day, he had shit his plate armor, and nonetheless kept training to avoid calling attention to the fact. The Gatekeeper accepted the story, and lead the group back to the Emerald Spring, where they healed their various wounds and ailments.

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