Exile on Drochtrèdia

A Return Voyage, a Village Retaken

While keeping watch in Paddywack and helping with the Palisade and reconstruction efforts, Brennus has time to contemplate on the last few days. Not something he does very often, but then, he tries to keep himself busy just for that reason.

Brennus, Stor, Mac, Merpip, and Naivara set out from Mariner’s Landing with intent to return to Paddywack, the village inhabited by these strange “Bullywug” frog creatures. They wanted to try and use baubles and gold to convince this… King Glackbrack to move his people out.
Figured it would be good chance to get out of the town, and maybe a good chance to get a little battle in, find some loot. Turns out my hunch was right.

They sailed around the peninsula, and decided to try and sneak past the village up the river a ways and double back down on foot. Mac thought maybe causing a haunt on the village would make the Bullywugs more willing to relocate. Unfortunately, the boat got stuck in the silt and mud of the delta, and the group was attacked by a number of strange Impish creatures made of mud.
Never seen anything like those things. Not very strong on their own, but wouldn’t want to get swarmed in the mire. This is a strange place, and I don’t think it’ll get any less strange from here out…

Having defeated the attack and having made their way up the river, the group was spotted by a few fishing bullywugs. With that, they made their way to the village, with Merpip and Naivara trailing stealthily behind. They met with King Glackbrack, and Mac and Stor did indeed use the trinkets and small chest of gold to convince him to move his people out (with a little magical suggestion from Mac). On the way out, another Bullywug challenged the king for his position. The group decided to side with Glackbrack, and the rebels were dispatched without much issue. With that, the Bullywugs made their way out of the village, leaving it empty and open.
Lots of people here using magic. Well, that’s not my area, and they can have their spells. Still, that loud crash of thunder on my spear was good. And I like a good song.

The group investigated the mansion in the village again (this was Brennus’s first time seeing it). Some of the group spent some time talking to the Fey doorkeeper of the house, gaining some interesting information about the house’s former master (name??) and a “River King” archfey. Seemingly the only way to get the fey to let them into the house was to either bring back their master, or what was left of him.
And now there’s fey too. I remember tales from my homeland. Most of the ones in those harsh hills were far less kind than these guys. Those stories rarely ended well.

Some of the group returned to Mariner’s Landing to inform the Guilds and leaders that there was now an empty settlement to be rebuilt and repopulated. Some stayed in Paddywack to keep watch, but nothing of note happened. They returned with guild members, and have set about helping with some rebuilding of the town. Now, the party must decided how to split the town and how to trade or sell it to Mariner’s Landing for settlement.
Can’t say I expected to end up with part of a town on my first trip. Not bad. Even found some houses that might still be livable without much work. Don’t know what it’s all worth, but those bards seemed good with money and talking. I’ll take my part of town and let them help with the deal. Just gotta keep it simple. Stick to what you’re good at, and don’t get attached. There’s still a long way to go.

Some potential plot hooks (let me know if I missed anything):
- A giant (two-story) Conch shell on the Southmost fork of the peninsula. We avoided it, but it seemed to have a Fey feel, according to our ranger.
- The mansion in the village is still closed to us. The master (or his remains) have yet to be found. (I don’t remember what direction they said he originally left in).
- Mention of a mysterious “River King” fey being. Sounded very powerful and very dangerous.
- Well, we have a settlement now, so there’s a lot of open-ended possibility there through the rebuilding
- References to elven ruins and the Capitol of a previous civilization on the other side of the Phantom Peaks

Map of the village:
20180202_221009.jpg

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Halls of the Mountain Kings
Dwarven Spelunking

Gilvaldellin and Billy Hill drafted an ace team of dwarfs to explore a mountain they had previously discovered. I dare say if we had a single less dwarf, none of us would be here today. The team included Wengruck, Mr. Highpeak, myself (Derg), and the aforementioned Gil and Mr. Hill.

5 days traveled and we reached the foothills of that majestic mountain on the horizon. As we headed toward the mountain, we caught a glimpse of some large winged creature. The coming snow storm made identification difficult, so we continued into the mountain.

We followed a non-natural tunnel, curiously labeled ‘Route 5’, previously explored by Gil and Billy. This led to what appeared to be a small rest area with stables, where we were ambushed by some grotesque creature. It was quickly dispatched, as I investigated a nearby pictorial description of the tunnels. A quick sketch of the map:
Tunnel_Sketch.png

We continued down this ‘Route 5’ until we spotted a wonderfully dwarven fortress carved into a large cavern. As we strolled up, we were greeted with a barrage of arrow and ballista fire. We were able to preserver, and reach the inside of the fortress, mostly due to Billy having some tricks up his eight horrifying sleeves.

Upon entry, we found several more hostile dwarfs, that seemed to be unnaturally clinging on to life. They did not have the quick wit and responsiveness one would expect from dwarfs, and were under some sort of powerful necromantic spell. Unfortunately we had to kill several of them, but we made a fascinating discovery. There was a massive room filled with coffins, many of which were housing well preserved, barely breathing dwarfs! It is less terrifying than it sounds. I have hopes we can find some way to return our brethren to life.

Inside the depth of the keep, we found an older dwarf, who was under some spell to repeat a ritual. He was speaking lines off of some notes he had in front of him, and was not very responsive to query. The notes, translated into common, are copied below:
Words_Read_by_dwarf.png

I must warn you, this is a crafty spell; obviously made by dwarfs. Few would realize this, but there is a clever trap that will be triggered if you speak “Geisterwachter” aloud. So please take care if you return.

He tended an intricate ritual. We discovered powerful flows of magic from some spell a distance away. This dwarf’s ritual seemed to be siphoning energy from this passing spell, and redirecting it to the dwarfs in town (both sleeping and awake). Gil had some ideas to try to reverse this magic, but we were concerned about wagering the lives of so many.

Be wary of the undercarriage of the fort. There are nearly a dozen earth elementals that will try to kill you. For no good reason.

We made a hasty escape, and brought with us one of the sleeping dwarfs. We hope someone in town will be able to keep him alive, and hopefully we can learn more soon. This mountain needs to be spelunked further, and I have hopes that Bruckschloss could provide a strong outpost for further exploration. Particularly if we could wake these dwarfs.

There is also mention of “the Verghead”, most likely deeper in the mountain. This, as well as the many tunnels, should be explored. I am fascinated by the powerful magic at work here, and will push forward in all attempts to understand it. Provided is a quick map of the fort:
BURCKSCHLOSS.png

Mr. Highpeak was originally going to create this adventure log. He made a wonderful pictograph of our adventures, but I thought some slight elaboration would be helpful. For posterity, his pictograph is included below. I am very proud of him:
Mr._Highbeak_s_map.png

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Return to the southern settlement

Gilvaldellin, Mac, Peren, Stor Lingo, and Billy went back to the southern delta with the hope of clearing out the area for a future settlement. On the second morning of the trip we found a gravestone for a ‘Jovash’ with a symbol to Pelor, most likely from Lieutenant Roth’s soldiers. By going in a straight line it only took us two days to reach the village of Bullywugs. Mac did a little recon while invisible. There are maybe 200 Bullywugs in the village, which they call Paddywack. They have a collection of knicknacks that King Glackbrack considers treasure. The town is in ruins, consisting of a waterwheel and rows of houses and a well kept mansion on a hill. The king lives in a shack next to the mansion, and a group of fey creatures live inside. They are keeping everyone out until their master comes back from somewhere South. The bullywugs get mad at the suggestion of leaving, but they have been terrorized by a creature that smells magic called Mr Rickets in a sunken lighthouse in the delta. We got kicked out of town and so went after Mr. Rickets. It was a large lobster like creature (Chuul) which we beat largely by attacking its mind. Several pollywogs attacked us at the same time, but we killed them all so the story is Mr. Rickets killed them. In his lighthouse we found a few magical items but there must have been more left behind that the bullywugs got. Once we brought the body or Mr. Rickets to Paddywack they were much more amenable to us welcomed trade with powerful allies.

I probably made this a bit too long and I’ll try to make further ones shorter or better organized. Comment below if I forgot anything.

remaining hooks:
-The fey master of the mansion is still somewhere to the south west
-trade has opened up with the village of Paddywack
-a new settlement area still needs to be found for the colony

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Mr. Clappy
To the tune of Mr. Crowley

Mr. Clappy, what is left of your head?
Oh Mr. Clappy, did you think you’d be dead?
You always pursued the magic
Wanting to keep it all
The battle was almost tragic
Yeah, you struggled in a Wizard’s call

Mr. Ricketts, did you think your poison was pure?
Mr. Nasty, we had no hope for rapport
But you collected things sacred
Murdering bullywogs since your birth
Keeping the lighthouse a secret
Everyone scattered before your girth

Mr. Clappy,  Will you succumb to our force?
Mr. Clappy, you picked the wrong course
The actions took were drastic
But they heard the Bards’ call
The stories we’ll tell will be classic
Of the mystical Chuul’s fall

Was it polemically sent
l want to know what you meant
I want to know, I want to know what you meant, yeah

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Discovery

Displacers
Danger
Down…but where do the tunnels go?

Darkness
Decent
Dwarves…but where are they now?

Drochtredia
Death
Druids…but where do their powers lie?

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I see ghouls

“Listen up boys and girl, and I’ll tell you the tale of the Misty Ghouls and our brave adventurers Mac, Kaumuali’i, Tso, Peren, and Wengruck. Skirting wide around the forest, for the blight wasnt their enemy today, they headed north to the East road. But whats to the east? you say, but nobody knew. They just had the legend of the Lonely Tower and an unlabeled map to guide them.

For three days they rode into the unknown ‘till the road split. To the left was North Baybridge, to the right South Baybridge and Dorak. Maybe things would have been easier had they gone left, but life never is easy is it. And on that road, they found the pale riders. Tall and proud, riding great horses, the first bit of civilization we’d found on this continent were from the ghoul empire.

Knowing that we represented all of Mariners Landing we let them escort us deep into the ephemeral cloud of the Slavers Mist. Only a scant murmur of light could make it through the mists and at best the sun hung as a pale orb, seemingly always on the horizon. We traveled for days? weeks? it was impossible to keep time or direction in the mist. Our escorts weren’t much for conversation either, and had no need for sleep.

Eventually, a great city emerged from the fog. A remnant of a once greater civilization than the ghouls, now with thousands of people living there. Their commanders weren’t interested in any trade or alliance with Mariners Landing though. They were more interested in their own war, for across the vast Bay Bridge were the ghouls viscous enemy, the Sahaugin. And those thousands of people weren’t there willingly. The ghouls kept them as slaves, to help hold their half of the bridge for the last few centuries.

There were pockets of resistance growing though, and we connected with the Alpha Squad. As soon as we got the chance we took out a few ghouls and made a mad dash from the front lines with the Alpha Squad and a handful of others. I cant say the Sahaugin were friendly, but at least they didnt keep slaves and they had a use for inside information.

They’re using the city across the bridge for the fountains so they’d always be close to water above ground. And right in the middle of that city, we found what we were looking for. A statue of Brave Bonri himself, pointing our way to the west. There’s at least a shine of truth to that tale, and a dragons horde could be waiting just past the tip of those stone fingers. But that’ll be an adventure for another time.

You see, our heroes had to get back to the Landing. With all the whaling we’ve been doing to fight off the blight we’d already attracted their attention. The Sahaugin had been using those whale for their side of the war against the ghouls. They gave a dire warning, to be given to Captain Quinston, that the whaling was to be stopped immediately or else. But now we know there’s a war going on, and there’s only one side to be on. We all came here, through some means or another, for freedom from our own Empire. Slavery will not stand.

(Plot hooks:
the Sahaugin are at war with the Ghouls and their slaves across the bridge.
The statue of Bonri points the way towards the Princesses Tower through the mountains to the west.
No more whaling, so Mariners Landing has a limited amount of oil left)

_Through misty hills to the Baybridge below.
Odin, please watch over the war slaves soul.
Caught ‘tween the waves of Sahaugin folk,
And only the undead waiting at home.

If this is to be our home,
We should all fight together
Secret resistance grows,
Into the night.
South Baybridge blood,
Mixes with foam.
An empire that’s never seen the light.

I see ghouls, inside the shadows.
I see ghouls, enslaving cities.
I see ghouls, hiding in fog.
I see ghouls, an undead disease.
Some day their going to come for me.

Centuries of war, oh it’s never going to end.
These slaves fight on, for the last time.
With Mariners at their side,
Alpha Squad dares to turn the tide,
Their taking freedom for a ride.
This is where our fates collide.

I see ghouls, inside the shadows.
I see ghouls, enslaving cities.
I see ghouls, hiding in fog.
I see ghouls, an undead disease.
Some day their going to come for me. _

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The Horny Deer

A Druid and two Rangers know the weed
Makes a deer a dangerous thing
Intent to trample and make you bleed
Particularly when there is no Bard to sing

William Hill changed his form
And popped the deer in the mouth
But Gil is not here to inform
That even a wolf should run south

Peren showed up but can’t make out
Who be friend from foe
And tiny Merpip entered the bout
Only to be crushed by a toe

Is it a moose?
Or an Elk?
No, it’s only a horny deer!

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Search for a Ley Intersection

XX Kuthona, MMXVII

Dear Diary,
I have arranged an expedition to seek out the ley intersection I know must exist in the mountains. I plan to follow the tributary I found at the pool of wealth alluring, it is attuned to a magic that seems to resonate well with me. Perhaps I should contemplate what my affinity for illusion magic says about myself as a person, but that will be for another day.

Peren has agreed to accompany me on this expedition, as well as a dwarf named Billy, a gnome named Merpip, and a human named Stor. This should be sufficient for my needs. It will be cold in the mountains, and the expedition will be long. I spent what money I had left on provisions and warmer bedding. Father always said to never do with a spell what I can do with the right tool. Perhaps the climbing equipment I purchased will finally be of some use.

Should this expedition prove a success, the Arcane Consortium has promised MMCCCXLV in gold for such a find, and I think I can leverage this to finally gain membership with the organization. I would be their youngest member, but perhaps people would begin to take me seriously as a wizard.


XXII Kuthona, MMXVII

Dear Diary,
We departed today, the tributary leads north, northwest. There is a forest here, similar to the creeping wood, though the blight does not seem to have taken a complete hold here yet. That might merit some study.


XXIV Kuthona, MMXVII

Dear Diary,
Killed a basilisk today. Collected an eye and the contents of the stomach for Duncan. Between this, the bullweed, and the maps, we should turn a profit regardless of the outcome. I have killed a basilisk and fought a dragon twice, yet I am still disregarded despite my obvious talent and high lineage. What does it take to impress these people?


XXV Kuthona, MMXVII

Dear Diary,
Billy, Peren, and Merpip were severely injured by a deer today, a buck judging by the wounds. Why they left without Stor and myself is beyond my knowledge. Tonight has been difficult, this is the second festival of Deep Roots without my parents. It has become a sort of deep hurt now, easy to not show, but I don’t think it will ever leave me. I don’t think I want it to. At least we have venison.


XXVIII Kuthona, MMXVII

Dear Diary,
We reached dangerously high in the mountains, but the ice and thin air made the climb far too perilous. We turned back to investigate a tunnel we saw earlier. We have made camp for the nig (the text scratches off here in a blotch, as if it was suddenly interrupted)

Addendum: There are displacer beasts in the mountains, they seem to have been affected by the strong illusion magics of the ley line. I will need to contemplate this.


XXIX Kuthona, MMXVII

Dear Diary,
The tunnel leads to an impressive roadway. It appears to be an entire complex of dwarven construction, but by all indication now abandoned. I wanted to explore further, but the darkness soon began affecting Stor. We had to leave. Time to return to Mariner’s Landing I suppose.

Plot Hooks:
-Explore the Dwarven Tunnels
-Hunt a Displacer Beast for its Magic Pelt
-Climb the summit when it has thawed to map the ley line
-Explore the less blighted forest

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Desolation

In this adventure the goal was to respond to a farmers notice of ‘somethings been killin me sheep. help. -ed’. with not much to go on for who or where the farmer is, Mac, Kau, Peren, Gil, and Wengruck began with the hopps farm from the Beer Run Beasts adventure. They directed us towards the mill, where the Mill Keepers wife seemed to be able to see the future and would get confused as to what things had happened already or were still in the future. We stayed the night there, and she pointed us north to find good grazing land for sheep.

We crossed the river and followed the northern bank to the west, the Creeping Wood ominously lurking on the other side. After a day Gil’s owl Saila spotted a pack of gnolls coming our way. Kau used his surfer skills to get safely out of range in the water, and Gil used caltrops to comically devastating effect. That afternoon we found a body of a gnoll who’s chest had been caved in by blunt force trauma. In the evening we spotted Farmer Ed, and he took us to the body of his latest lost sheep farther up the river. All of the killings had happened in the river.

The next morning we got to his flock of sheep, protected by a few dogs and large rams, which had caved in the knolls chest previously. They got so big by eating small amounts of Bullweed in their feed while maturing. While Ed was gone in the night the beast had killed one of his dogs. Never kill the dog. Now we had the kill the thing. The flock was camped out in the ruins of a town, with an old church in it. covered in vines. Inside, the podium would only open when sunlight fell upon it as this was the church of some sun god (not Pelor). there were a few scrolls there. When Wengruck got to close to the vines they latched onto his Staff of the Forest Defender and tried to drag it off. he grabbed it back , but some vine blights and twig blights crossed the bridge to fight us.

We set about making preparations for the fighting the beast at night with wooden stakes, illusions, and surprise. When it got dark, a storm rolled in and the green dragon seen previously with it. It had gotten bigger. It was just about to fall for the trap when for stupid, stupid reasons this bard ran into the open. Its breath weapon killed Mac dead in one hit. It tried to drag her body off, but her friends wouldnt let that happen. When all hope seemed lost, a lightning bolt from Odin came out of nowhere and shocked Mac out the dragons mouth and back to life. After that the dragon barely escaped with its life and we dont expect to see it harassing the farm animals again.

Mac however now owes her life to Odin, to serve him as he see’s fit. Whatever that means.

Open hooks:
The ruined town had a road and a sign, pointing east to the Bay, west across a bridge into the forest
The dragon is not dead yet, but hiding in the woods. Mac is now afraid of dragons.
The Mill Keepers Wife can see the future.
Those who wanted to got a lamb as a reward, to grow into a ram in spring (with proper feeding)

We’d heard there was a farmer Ed,
Who raised his sheep and found some dead
But you don’t really care for livestock, do ya

The gnolls came on, first four then five
A hunting pack, not all alive.
They were hobbled and we beat them, hallelujah

hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

Our group was strong, there is no doubt.
Mac, Wengruck, Kau, and Peren stout
Gil and his bird composing incantation.

We came upon the ruined town
The farmer there, his dog was down.
And all around were signs of Desolation.

Desolation, Desolation, Desolation, Desolation

The dragon had been here before
He’d killed the flock, would come for more.
We’d faced it once but it fled in vexation

He lit upon the church of sun,
And in the rain the bard did run,
With a fury it reigned down its desolation.

Desolation, Desolation, Desolation, Desolation.

In the poison cloud it all went dark,
The music dies, the fading spark,
No more crowds to cheer her on in adoration.

Then there was a god above,
Odin’s thunderbolt was filled with love,
For the broken bard, she was gasping, Hallelujah.

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah.

It’s not a thing you can let go,
Not knowing why your life is owed
And every breath you draw means something to ya.

It’s not a song to warm the night,
It’s not a cry born of a fright,
It’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah.

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, halleluuuuuuujah.

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The Hullabaloo

Dracon, Gilvaldellin (Gil), Mac Woodfleet, Peren, Yi Sun-Tso, Goblin

(This is a call and response song. You can find the tune here)

Mac and her crew
sailed across the sea.
to Drochtredia,
land of mystery
Out the southern gate,
past the ocean blue,
thats where they found
The Hullabaloo.

(Chorus) The Hullabloo?
Now what is that?
Its something found
by the singing Mac.
Its big and loud,
and smelly too.
Thats why its called
The Hullabaloo.

Past the wishing well
across the Burning Hills
Goblins and Wargs
are minor ills.
In the WanTing Moore
our Luck came through,
but up ahead,
was the Hullabaloo.

(Chorus)

More goblins came.
Tso ran the beasts.
Dracons fire burned,
and the racing ceased.
Tracks 5 foot deep,
and 10 feet through.
Goblins ride with
The Hullabaloo

(Chorus)

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