Titan's Teeth

Early Winter
13th of Books - ??, year 381

The group returned to Southden, got their reward and a job offer, and then journeyed north back to Wymar. They found an early winter setting in, and decided to venture into the Faerie to see what was going on. There they found the Summer Realm covered in snow, and Queen Titania weakened.

Reaping The Rewards

  • After harvesting the dragon, the group returned to Southden, and was brought immediately to the palace.
  • Imperial Elect Lucius Surius welcomed them personally.
    • He offered them a job as special agents serving him directly.
    • The group promised to think about it, but said they needed to return to north first (they didn’t tell Surius, but they wanted to get their favor to Titania out of the way).
  • Afterwards they talked with the bureaucrats, who calculated Rudolf’s weight in gold (since he was the one who killed the dragon).
    • The group managed to convince the bureaucrats to get the gold paid out in merchant notes.
    • It took a day to get the merchant notes arranged, during which the group enjoyed the hospitality of the palace.

Back North

  • Surius borrowed the group an imperial messenger yacht to take them up-river.
  • On the way north, they experienced seasonally early snow. Rudolf figured that it was very early for snow to appear.
  • Once they reached the first ford, they had to change over to one of the river rafts heading north.
  • They got back to Marshalbourg
    • They found a thriving smuggling activity on the docks, and Zorg had received a message from the baron, asking if he could do something to curb the rampant smuggling. Since Zorg had an agreement with meister Sarkos he decided to do nothing.
    • Otherwise, the village was progressing nicely, with a finished palisade and the militia regularly venturing out to keep the surroundings safe from goblins.
    • Zorg gave 500(?)gp to Giles for the continued development of Marshalbourg.
  • Then they went into the forest, to cross over into the Faerie.
    • It had at that point been lightly snowing almost continuously for several days.

Rudolf’s New Gear

Goggles of Truesight crafted from the Dragon Eye.
Armor of the Shadow Dragon crafted from Dragon Scales.
Ring of Darkvision traded for Dragon Blood.

Tarkin’s New Gear

Fey Shirt traded for flasks of Dragon Blood.

Thrunn’s New Gear

Dragonscale Breastplate crafted from Dragon Scales.

Zorg’s New Gear

Dragontooth Axe crafted from a Dragon Tooth.
Ring of Strength crafted from Dragon Tooth and Dragon Blood.

Zorg’s New Gear

Dragontooth Axe crafted from a Dragon Tooth.
Ring of Strength crafted from Dragon Tooth and Dragon Blood.

Winter in the Summer Realm

  • In the Faerie, they found the ground covered in snow.
  • They found a fairy shivering in the cold, and got it to show them to Queen Titania’s castle.
  • The fairy told them that the Summer Realm was in crisis, with winter covering the land, and Titania weakened by an unknown condition.
  • Once at the castle, Rudolf visited Titania who was bedridden.
    • Titania figured that the curse could only be cast by someone who had access to some of her magic.
    • This brought on the thought that since Cassandra the Red had been gifted the Dancing Staff and Returning Hammer for the release of Lem, she might be responsible.
      • Rudolf also, to himself, considered that the fey that he traded the Oathbow with, might have worked for Cassandra.
    • Titania also reluctantly admitted that if the group were to solve this problem, it would amount to a favor large enough to wipe all their debts with her.
  • The group figured that they might have to fight Cassandra to get the items back.
    • They partly figured this, because they really wanted to kick her ass. They had been seriously tired of her manipulations for some time.
  • Before they left, however, the group decided that they would like to spend some time training, and wanted to avail themselves of Titania’s trolls to craft them some magic with the dragon parts they had acquired. Seeing as how time had no meaning in the Faerie, they could take all the time they wanted to prepare.
View
Meeting Queen Mab
Outside of time

The group journeyed out from Queen Titania’s Castle. It was snowing rather heavily at this point, and the snow was reaching them to the knees, even here in The Summer Realm. They decided to cross The Burning Plain for maximum speed, and did so without much trouble. The burning skeletons that tore themselves from the ground this time around were easily handled by these elite adventurers.

Once on the other side they used a place token to find the stone circle where they had previously entered Cassandra’s realm, wading through the deep snows to reach it.

At the stone circle they saw furrows leading from the stone circle, where other creatures had previously left the site. Following one, they found Veraden, a spooky fey lady shrouded in darkness. Zorg and Thrunn, able to see her clearly with their darkvision, immediately fell in charm with the fey. Tarkin inquired if she could lead them to Cassandra’s castle, and she agreed. On the way, however, she suggested to Zorg and Thrunn, that they might want to go to her place instead, and they agreed.

As they trudged through the snows towards Veraden’s den, the darkness steadily grew darker, until Tarkin cast a light spell. The light upset Veraden greatly, and she hid until Tarkin dampened the light with a cloth. A stray comment, then made her realize that they were heralds of Titania, and that Rudolf, one of Titania’s sons, were with them. She quickly agreed with Tarkin that it might in fact be better if she led them directly to Cassandra, instead of the detour.

At Cassandra’s castle, Rudolf vouched for the rest of the party, and they went inside. Journeying through the halls, Rudolf saw the chance to pilfer some trinkets.. poorly, though none of the witnesses mentioned anything. Veraden led them to Cassandra’s majordomo, a black satyr, who in turn lead them to Cassandra. Veraden waited outside.

Cassandra was more than willing to help the group, though she was disappointed that they had arrived too late. She had already Titania’s artifacts over to Queen Mab. Cassandra would, however, be willing to hand over a place token to reach The Crossroad and Queen Mab’s court. All she required was payment. After some discarded suggestions (including Tarkin as a slave boy), Rudolf ended up agreeing to leave John with her, until they next returned to the castle, at which point John would be returned.

With place token in hand, they then ventured to the Crossroad. There they saw the guardian, and entered it, reaching Queen Mab’s Court.

In one of the clearings of the court, they met Derlan, a fey lord who had recently acquired himself a realm, thanks to the Winter Realms expansion. Before this he had apparently worked as a mercenary, and he applauded the group for the nice work they had performed for Cassandra, in destroying Sirius the White’s well.

Apparently Sirius passed nearby, as two of her riders dropped by shortly, though they didn’t seem interested in the party.

Shortly after that, one of Derlan’s people had found the Queen, and led the party to another clearly in the court, Orellia’s clearing, filled with benched and columns of grey stone. Queen Mab was seated with Orellia at the high table, conversing. At the high table, as far from Orellia as possible, also sat Medusa.

Rudolf, trailed by the party, made their way through Orellia’s entourage, only being stopped shortly by a Minotaur desiring to fight Rudolf in single battle to claim his head for Orellia. Rudolf declined, but promised a match later. Rudolf then reached the high table, and for once was polite in his dealings, greeting Queen Mab. Queen Mab in turn finished her conversation with Orellia, and led the party to her private throne room.

There the party tried to convince her to hand over Titania’s artifacts, but had problems getting Mab to agree, since she was quite happy with the current situation. As possible prices, she mentioned Rudolf becoming one of her Winter Knights, or the party performing rituals in the grey world, to drive winter further south. In the end, another solution was settled upon. Rudolf would be life bonded to Medusa, would kill Cassandra, and would then have Medusa raised to new baroness of the red. Mab would be allowed to redraw the borders of the red barony following this transfer of power, and would deliver Titania’s artifacts to Rudolf at Cassandra’s castle.

Rudolf agreed, and was life bonded to Medusa. His life is her life, and vice versa, and he is now able to feel her moods, and approximate position.

View
Preparations against Cassandra
Outside of time

Knowing their mission, the party decided that they needed to know more about Cassandra and her powers before they were to face her. They were directed to Queen Mab’s library, cave underground carved from the frozen dirt, in which stood shelf upon shelf of books both benign and not. There they met the Centipede Librarian, who seemed quite willing to provide them aid, though short of words and protective of his books.

Tarkin got to researching, learning fact upon fact of Cassandra and her powers and limitations. As he did he was slowly freezing to death in the cold of the library, while watched over by Zorg and Thrunn.

Meanwhile Rudolf was conducting his own research. First he learned about his family, consisting of Queen Titania, King Oberron and his 20+ brothers. He spent some time reading about the exploits of his brothers, generally coming to the conclusion that they all looked to outclass him in one category or another.

Next he looked into the malevolent books of the library, taking a book written in Abyssal named Rituals and Portals. Before the Centipede Librarian would allow him to read it, it locked him inside a separate reading room. There he managed to not accidentally cast any spells, but instead memorized a ritual to summon a Hellwasp Swarm. The memorization did cause some impairment to his mental faculties, and he wont be able to control any swarm that he summons. But the spell is there if he needs it, buzzing in the back of his mind.

Once the group met up again, a plan was formed from the facts learned by Tarkin. The group would try to remove Cassandra’s five nodes of power from her influence. Rather than destroy them (since this would be troublesome for Medusa once she took over), they would instead transfer them temporarily to another baroness, from which they would extract the promise that the nodes would be returned to Medusa as soon as she became Baroness of the Red. For this purpose they would seek out both Sirius the White and Orellia the Grey, hoping to give each baroness half, so as not to cause too great a shift in power during the mission (one baroness with all five nodes would control two thirds of the winter realm and might do something unfortunate, before Medusa became Baroness of the Red). One the nodes were taken from Cassandra, the group would seek her out, kill her, and have Medusa take over her position.

With this plan in mind Medusa lead them first to Orellia. Orellia was quite willing to go along with the plan. She promised that she would return all five nodes as soon as Cassandra became the new Baroness of Red, and promised that she wouldn’t try to stop the group from killing Cassandra. An additional deal was struck, in which Orellia would protect the group against Cassandra’s charm abilities, in exchange for a deal where both Orellia and Medusa + the group promised that they would never act against the other party. Medusa extracted the additional concession that she would get to keep her lair.

Next the group ventured to the clearing of Sirius. However, there they found that Cassandra was also there, talking with Sirius. As soon as the group entered the clearing, Cassandra loudly fingered Rudolf McCliff, announcing that he owed her. It soon became apparent that Rudolf and Zorg had killed some of her minions on their last visit to her castle, and thus Rudolf had broken the rules of hospitality.

Cassandra could have claimed Rudolf for her own due to this offense, but was willing to settle for less. Possible options included Zorg or some of Rudolf’s blood. In the end it was agreed that Rudolf would bring her a personal item belonging to Queen Titania within a year.

With this new mission hanging over their heads, and Sirius talking with Cassandra, the group decided to cut its loses, and leave all the nodes to Orellia (she had been quite earnest that she would give them back, and do nothing to impede Cassandra’s death).

So the group left Queen Mab’s court, and traveled to Medusa’s lair, where Medusa picked up several items, including some oils to be rubbed on the eyes to see that which is invisible, and some healing potions.

Next the group traveled to Queen Titania’s castle. There Rudolf and Medusa met with Titania who was still quite weak and bedridden. Titania was quite disappointed with the deal that Rudolf had made with Queen Mab, but decided that it couldn’t be helped. She also voluntarily handed over one of her own personal brushes, in return for Rudolf losing any favor that he might have earned for returning her items to her. While he was there anyway, Rudolf promised her a favor in exchange for her getting the troll smiths to quickly craft a small necklace of fireballs.

View
The Emerald Spring and the Meadow of Dreams
Outside of time

The group journeyed of from Queen Titania‚Äôs Castle headed to Orellia the Grey to pick up the tokens that she had offered them. On the way they passed a trio of Mastodonts, huge rock creatures which ripped rock from the ground and crushed it to eat the gravel. Reaching Orellia’s mountains, they traversed up the road leading up the slopes, while under surveillance from her gargoyle guards.

The entrance to Orellia’s castle, a grey bastion of elegant stone, was guarded by a pair of Urguai. The stone guardians let them inside after a command from Medusa, and Medusa swiftly led them through the castle, past Orellia’s courtiers. In Orellia’s throne room few words were spoken. Orellia directed them to pick up the tokens that would be used to take over Cassandra’s nodes of power, and the necklaces that would protect them from Cassandra’s charm powers. The group tried to press her for information, but was unwilling to pay, when it turned out that she would want a favor in return.

Outside the castle, Medusa conjured the Gatekeeper, and Rudolf payed the Gatekeeper’s price by telling a story about how, during his training to the Blackwatch, he was caught by a teacher doing something quite embarrassing.

The Gatekeeper lead them to the Emerald Spring. Rudolf scouted ahead, and spotted Chrosnar the Giant resting on his throne over the spring. After a quick discussion about tactics, the group moved in, and relatively quickly brought down the giant through a combination of ranged fire from Rudolf and devastating melee from Thrunn and Zorg. Wounded, the giant fell back and offered surrender to the group, but Thrunn simply moved in and dispatched the giant with two mighty blows.

Those that needed it healed up in the magical spring, and Tarkin placed the token in the spring with the help of Zorg. The ground shook, as control of the node of power was passed to Orellia. Then Thrunn offered a story to the Gate Keeper of how he had once allowed a human woman to braid his beard. He had been in love with that woman. Accepting the payment, the Gatekeeper led them to the Meadow of Dreams.

Several tries were made to penetrate the fog that shrouded the Meadow of Dreams, but those that ventured inside quickly feel into a sleep-less dream. Luckily the victims were secured to a rope, and could be pulled out by the rest of the group, once it became apparent that they had succumed.

First was Rudolf, who dreamed that he was ambushed by goblins in a forest, but escaped, only to witness a large goblin army on the move.

Second was Thrunn, who dreamed that he was in the mountains near his childhood home, and found a dwarven caravan that had been attacked and massacred.

Next they tried sending in Vren, without a rope. Through her eyes, Tarkin witnessed her moving through the fog, fighting imaginary foes, and at one time passing just past the font at the center of the meadow.

After a lot of discussion, it was finally decided to send in Rudolf and Thrunn together, tied to the same rope.

The pair first dreamed their way into a ruin, dodging traps and kobold ambushes, before finding a temple to Tiamat with a dragon statue covered with gold. However, when they tried to loot the statue this time, the statue came alive and attacked them. Through fireproof armor and some luck, the pair overcame the dragon, and Rudolf stuffed his bags with dream gold. Rudolf also tried placing the token on the altar of the temple, hoping that it might be the node of power, but nothing happened.

Leaving the ruins, the pair entered the streets of Highspring, and was beset by dark elf assassins. Fleeing across a square, they sought refuge in the temple of Castiri. There they talked with one of the priests, telling him that they were in a dream, and asked if he could lead them to the node of power. The priest acknowledged that they were in a dream, but found this a problem, since they couldn’t offer him any knowledge to the real temple of Castiri while in this dream. He offered his help, however, on the promise that they would come to the temple once they had returned to the real world, to accept a mission to bring the temple a specific piece of knowledge that they were looking for.

Rudolf and Thrunn agreed, and the priest led them down the stairs, and through the large double doors that would under normal circumstances have led to the library. In this case, it lead into a small forest clearing, at the center of which stood a font. Rudolf placed the token in the font. And both the people in the dream, and those outside felt the earth shake. Expecting the dream to end now, the pair offered their goodbyes to the priest, only to stand there awkwardly when nothing happened.

Meanwhile in the real world, the rest of the group took the shaking to mean mission success, and dragged the pair back out of the fog, before applying a bit of physical abuse to wake them up.

View
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.

View
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.

View
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.
View
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.
View
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.
View
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.
View

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