Exile on Drochtrèdia

The Final Resting Place
The Tail of How We Didn't Die to the Queen of Death (Yet)

Send to:
Flate’s Flask’s and Flammables
Mariner’s Landing
Droctredia

TO: The People of Mariner’s Landing
FROM: Your friend, Tahli
-————————————————————
Hello Mr. Flate,

I didn’t know where to mail letters to Mariner’s Landing, so I hope this finds you well, and that you distribute this letter amongst the citizens of the town, and all my friends.

My hands are still shaking a bit. I can not return for this exact moment to Mariner’s Landing as I find myself with a companion who is not welcome there. I am staying with Windrinse Highpeak for now with the dwarves. I have yet to meet most of them. I need to tell you about what happened in our adventure north.

Arrival:

Gilvaldellin (Gil), Windrinse Highpeak, Gerald Poh, Valen Aldarin, and Myself all followed Gil as far north as I think anyone has been to investigate a vision Gil had of a necrotic cave plaguing the leyline. It was over a hundred miles away, but Gil had a fabulous wagon that floated and was pulled my an incredible horse made of water! It galloped so fast I thought we were flying. After 5 days of travel along the mountain ridge we found the canyon Gil recognized. It was darker than normal here. Everything felt still and grey, as if devoid of color and emotion. There was minimal life…and it was so still. We found a body that seemed to be young, but he just withered away, almost as if he died of old age.

The Cave:
At the end of the canyon we find the pit that Gil saw in his vision and descend the staircase to see what lies below. At the bottom is a small pool of rainwater that trickles down the hall, leading lower and lower. The walls had fantastic markings on them, depicting burial rights, souls being put to rest, and clergymen, with one black, hooded, dark bishop depicted as a powerful person.

Down the hall we find a room that has four shadowy cloaked figures holding a pedestal over a pit. There are also sick beds, an alter, and pews. We looked around for a bit and I heard spatterings of a voice coming from farther down the hall. We take a look into the next room and there is a corpse with this manic look on it’s face, and we are attacked by an Alip. It was this maddened ghost like creature that could walk through walls and howl so loud we were stunned. Despite this, we dispatch the creature, and look around some more. It seemed as though clergymen lived here, and they were healers of some sort.

Going Farther Down:

Eventually we decide to see what is in the pit the four statues are holding. We take an old gnoll body and put it on the pedestal, and after a bit it descends below, where something drags it under. The statues emit a paralyzing gas when it does this. We climb down and dispatch two skeleton gnolls, and continue on our way.

We were faced with a series of hallways blocked by one way doors with part of an inscription on each one that said the following:

“All are welcome, sick or healthy, all may come to take your rest
Admit there is no second chance, come and join in the final dance
Go not to heaven’s distant strain, nor hells that seal with curse and chain
You built this place with blood and bone, where should one rest but in Her home
We welcome you with open arms, so sleep here deeply safe from harm
Our children left will surely know we’re always watching from below”

The hallways were lined with hundreds of skeleton’s graves. They were decorated with pieces of their past, including robes, jewelry etc. We prop open the doors with bone, and Windrinse takes a few rings to pocket. After about the 5th room, Windrinse has the idea to look back to find the doors have been shut. We can’t open them, but I try laying a hand on one and it does open. It seemed to respond to my necrotic energy. Skeletons awaited us on the other side and told us it was a one way trip to meet the queen of death. Naturally, we continued downwards.

The Final Resting Place
Finally we find a large room with a throne perched atop a pile of skulls. The bishop sat on the throne, with two statues guarding the room as well. His voice was chilling but enthralling. He wished us here with open arms, and invited us to meet the queen of death. I wanted to meet her badly, but after a pause, he stood to hurry us to our inevitable graves. His hood fell back, revealing he was a Bodak, and that was all I remembered for a minute. I woke up to someone pouring a health potion down my throat, and for a few seconds, people just kept falling over dead. He face was horrifying, it’s jaw fell open nearly a foot down, and it was death to gaze at his eyes.

The fight was grueling and horrible. We were on the smallest of health at all times, and he seemed to be invincible or resistant to nearly everything we threw at it. He called two ghosts to aid him, and one did something to me. I….I aged 30 years. My face isn’t the young face I remembered the last time I looked in a mirror, and my hands have started to show lines. I am not old, but I have lost my youth…it saddens me to think about.

Outside the door, I activated a wall of fire stick, scorching a dozen skeletons. Windrinse and Gerald managed to continue hacking away at the Bodak, but they could never stay up. Most of mine and Valen’s efforts were spend healing the party. Gil surprised me once by turning me into an elephant!! I killed a ghost as this mangificant beast, but Gil was knocked unconscious shortly after, rendering me back to my original state.

The fighting continued and we all though hope was lost, but the Bishop continued to wither, and eventually it started to panic. At the end of the room there was a dark pit, calling strongly to us. Gil made an illusion to displace the pit in the Bodak’s mind, and it dove into the ground in confusion. It was haggard and panicked and frightened, and we were weak and tired and out of potions and spells. Valen bravely threw one last radiant beam towards the bodak, it flinched violently and dove headfirst into the pit. The remaining ghost shortly followed. The fight was over.

The Queen

The party wanted to take a long rest here. I thought it was a horrendous idea seeing as there was a literal pit to death calling at us to run into it in this room. Gil set up a hut for us to hide in, and we compromised at a short rest to lick our wounds. A ghost came to keep an eye on us, but returned to the pit after a while. Windrinse tried to intimidate it but was obviously whimpering like a small child the entire time. I don’t think it was very effective, but it gave us a few laughs which were a welcome comfort.

Then I heard her. This voice was in my head asking me why I came here, and I told her the truth. I was here to learn how my magic works, why I have it, and where it came from. Why do things I touch wither and die? Why do the corpses not bother me, why can I poison and rot whatever irritates me and why do I just know I can bring something back to life soon?

She said she could teach me…she said she was the end of Droctredia. She was the Queen of Death and she promised a silent and a deep slumber with no war, no fighting, no pain, no harm. It would all just end. It could be peaceful and numb. She said she used to be a half elf like me, and she was tired of the plagues on this land, so she rose to power. She is the reason why the dragons do not own this land. She wanted me to stay, to aide her as a living thing. I could know everything I ever wanted to know.

I wanted to go with her to be honest. It was the most tempting offer I have ever faced, but Gil kept me sane enough to deny her request. She said that if we returned the things we stole, she would let us leave, just this once, however, she wanted to see what her world has become in her absence. A skull dislodged itself from the pyramid and rolled to my feet. It would be her eyes, and one day I could return with it, full of memories of Droctredia. I will carry it with me from now on. This is why I can not return to Mariner’s Landing. The party was uncomfortable bringing it to a place so safe. We returned the items we stole, and she was true to her word. The skeletons let us pass, and returned to their slumber.

I hope I can return soon, I need to make my acquaintance with these dwarves and see what they have to say about this whole ordeal. But for now, my best wishes and kindest regards. I hope this letter bring you the information you need.

Your Friend,
Tahli

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Bees
Bees.

The Outset

Azoth, Captain Lingo, the Cleric Wengruck, the Druid Caeladyn, and I set out from the docks aboard the Skinblanthir after I explained what exactly my ‘Help wanted ad’ had meant. Everyone seemed in good spirits, especially Captain Stor who had just recovered from our last journey up the waterfall. I’ll admit that I had yet to fully recover from that adventure myself. I still had a vague feeling of unease from that night spent in the alcove which I elected to ignore and focus on the task at hand.

The Landing

We spent a short day rowing to the peninsula where Stor and Caeladyn had seen the bees near the hut, and I promptly decided to try to follow the bees home. They were not going home. As I wandered in circles in a flowery and grassy field the others discussed the problem. Perhaps we should search for the hive or wait for nightfall to follow the little creatures home. Once I decided my circling was fruitless, I agreed with them and we set off into the tall grass to find some beehives.

The Redcaps

As we set off Azoth picked me up and set me on his shoulder (to my surprise), I was mildly embarrassed and uncomfortable, but now I could see more than a few feet in front of me and the grass wasn’t hitting me in the face anymore so I didn’t protest. From my vantage I spotted some movement ahead in the grass and alerted my colleagues to a couple red hats bobbing around in the grass. We prepared an ambush with an illusion of a great deer and waited. They were two Redcaps who were quite competent fighters, but we dispatched them and took some time to recover from our wounds.

The Halfling

Stor sat in a nearby tree to keep watch while we all rested. When it was time to move on Stor returned to the group with a halfling named Marie who he cheerily introduced as a good friend who was also in the tree and who claimed to live “west of here”. The members of the party who didn’t know the Captain were skeptical, but if Stor trusts someone, I tend to trust them as well. She did make a passing comment about my quality of sleep which I found strange, but I wouldn’t doubt that I looked a little haggard after the day of sailing, hiking, and fighting so I passed it off as nothing and she joined our little group.

The Bees

At this point Caeladyn and Wengruck, the only ones seemingly capable of finding bees, found a small grove of trees with a hive high in the branches. And so began the most complicated part of our adventure. After a bit of discussion, I used my climbing kit to ascend the tree and reach the hive. It took… a while. Upon reaching the bees I tried to calm them by communicating with them. Of course, bees aren’t known for their intellect, nor do they have a hive mind, so they didn’t pay me much attention. Having expected this I used a torch to smoke them and pacify them so that I could cut the hive down and lower it to the others. Unfortunately I did not have enough rope to reach the ground. At this point Caeladyn climbed the tree partway as a spider and waited to catch the hive and tie another rope around it to lower it the rest of the way. Surprisingly, the bees did not like what was happening to them, and the ball of angry bees approaching Caeladyn seemed to inspire some worry in my companions. Wengruck took immediate action by climbing the tree and summoning a small rainstorm just above the hive which made them much less aggressive and gave them time to lower it to Azoth’s mage hand.

The Hag

From my vantage point in the tree I noticed a dark blob rushing through the water along the coast. I pointed it out to the others and Stor used his spyglass to see a hag, king Glackbrack, and some bullywogs along with a toad creature come out of the water. Marie suggested we run, and Caeladyn started down the tree. In order to reach the ground quickly, I decided I would jump from the tree, after all, it had to be the fastest way down. Wengruck caught me halfway down almost as if he knew I was about to jump, which was probably good as I regretted jumping as soon as I had done it. He carried me to the ground where Caeladyn had wrapped the hive in a blanket and turned into an elk. He put me onto the elk’s back and we took off away from the hag. A lengthy chase ensued which ended with Marie nowhere to be found and the Succubus from the waterfall road in her place. Strangely there was far less suspicion about her now that she wasn’t a halfling anymore. We decided to make a stand and fight the creatures behind us, Azoth making his fabulous fortress, Stor setting some traps, and all of us nursing our wounds.

The Fight

The hag arrived with her large toad companion and we immediately began fighting. We all fought well and managed to defeat the toad creature and even the hag. However, just as she fell King Glackbrack arrived and sent a bullywog to help her escape then caused a cloud of fog to obscure her completely. At this point we had identified the hag as the one who lived in the conch and terrorized New Blainsport regularly. I leapt from the fortress and dashed into the fog hoping to land a killing blow to end the threat permanently. Unfortunately in my weakened state I misjudged my location in the fog and found a bullywog instead. I don’t remember much from then on until I woke to an enormous flame wall and a charred Glackbrack laying nearby with the succubus standing over him.

The Return Home

We escorted the three bullywogs we captured back to Mariner’s landing by land where they were arrested and likely put away for questioning. I hope this leads to less violence around New Blainsport in the future, though there is a hag out there who will likely hold a grudge.

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Underwater Spelunking

Kaltharax walks into the Driftwood Inn. After ordering a drink at the bar, he turns to some of the other patrons and says, “Come, friends! Listen to a tale of greatness!” While several of the other drinkers seen intrigued be this announcement, most turn away in annoyance. Undeterred, Kaltharax continues.

“It all began at Kerrhylon the Mighty’s homestead. Her, Captain Stor Lingo, the intrepid Merpip, the brave young Mordecai Brown, and myself, Kaltharax the Magnificent, set out to explore an underwater cave system that had been found a few months ago. While Kerrhylon doubted Mordecai’s abilities, I was sure that he had a great destiny to fulfil.

“After an uneventful trip to the river, we came upon the cave. The entrance was below water because a beaver had built a dam just downstream. While the rest of us discussed our options, Merpip brave went into the beaver dam, and found that Droctradian beavers are quite large creatures! This one had a litter of kits, so we knew that destroying the dam was not an option.

“At this point it was decided that Kerrhylon would swim ahead into the caves. She found three passages: the first contained overturned book shelves with moldy books. The second, giant spiderwebs that blocked the entrance! When she explored the third, however, she encountered a slime creature that tried to eat her! Only her quickness saved her, as she was able to escape back down the passage were the creature was too large to follow.

“Kerrhylon reemerged from the cave and told us of her findings. We all then ventured into the cave and went to the room with the books. The room was of unnatural construction, as if it had appeared there from somewhere else. The stonework there was very smooth, unlike the rest of the caves. While we were there we examined the books. Most were destroyed beyond recognition, but a few were still readable. They were primers for several different languages. There was a tunnel on the other side of the room that lead to a small chamber. Inside was the dried-out husk of a basilisk! What the creature was doing here before it died none of us knew.

“We then decided to venture into the room with the spider webs. We we all reached the room, I cleared us a path with a mighty gout of fire! It was at that moment that some sort of squid-like creature dropped from the ceiling right on Kerrylon’s head! As fought it off, suddenly it was enveloped in a shroud of darkness. Two more dropped down; I count one on my shield, but Merpip had on land on his head as well. It was at this moment that Mordecai showed his greatness. He bravely leaped into the darkness surrounding Merpip, and with a single mighty blow struck down the creature!

“After finishing off the other two, we ventured further into the cave. There we encounter a rock monster of some kind. They said it was from the plane of Earth. The creature was eating gems out of geodes it found here in this chamber. Captain Stor was able to converse with the creature with the aid of the books we found. It told us that the spider traveled through dimensions, and that the creature wanted our help to catch it so the creature could catch a ride with the spider to another plane. We agreed to help it.

“Mordecai, in a show of great bravery, went over to the web and pretended to be caught in it, so as to lure the spider into out plane. It took the bait and appeared out of nowhere and attacked us! We were ready for it and Karrhylon lassoed it as Stor threw a grappling hook at it. We held it as the rock monster climbed under the spider and held on as it blinked out. Unfortunately, Stor was too close to the spider and was pulled along with it!

“As Stor tried to cling onto the spider in the hope that it would go back, it turned and attacked him! Stor was faced with an impossible dilemma: his only was home was trying to kill him! It was at this moment that Mordecai noticed that as the spider moved on the other plane, it rustled its webs here on ours. He came up with a brilliant plan. He and I ran toward the web trying to lure the spider back. It worked! The spider came back, and it brought Stor back with it! This time, when we drove the spider back to the other dimension, all of us stayed on our own dimension.

“As we were preparing to leave, we discovered a magic scroll in one of the books, and a magic ring inside the throat of the basilisk. The creature was too dried up to be able to collect anything of use from its corpse.

“Mordecai ended this adventure with an incredible back flip”, Kaltharax proclaims as he concludes his tale.

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Waterfall Wonders
A Keep Lost

Date: Unknown

Something is wrong…very wrong. While we have all survived the trip up and over the water fall on the Blainsport River, I am ill with fatigue and weakness. As soon as we make port at the Landing I shall go to the clinic. Gil suggests the Consortium and Peren the Advocates. Maybe someone will know what to do. I fear falling into the Etherial Plane while fighting the Fey Spider has split my soul in two.

As for the expedition, we have mostly terrible news. The Feywatch was occupied by evil forces from hell including ogres and bearded devils. Our battle flag no longer flies over the tower. I also suspect yet another hag is present, possibly named Annie. Both Merpip and I are greatly distressed by this loss and can only blame Captain Quinston for failing to garrison the fortress. Valen seemed disturbed at such evil forces and wished strongly to retake the Keep but no good plan seemed to take form.

We met with the Fey creature McGrogan. He seems aloof to the new occupiers. Something seems off though almost as if he is complacent or aiding these forces. He did remind us that Billy has a date with the Moon king.

After killing two ogres, one by a brilliant longbow shot by Peren, we chose not to engage the Keep forces and instead approached the Waterfall. It was four or so days from Blainsport. Behind the waterfall was found not a dragon, but instead, a riddle of a poem warning travelers. All of us pondered meanings of this poem.

To avoid the first obstacle, Gil hoisted us over the cliffs. We marched onwards to a bridge guarded by a troll demanding payment. Gil fooled him with a piece of coral after my grease spell failed.

We then encountered the ladies, one a redhead and one a brunette. Two nearly naked damsels blocked our path sealed in invisible fields of force. We knew one could be a friend but not whom it was. After numerous questions I realized we could determine a liar by asking if they were attracted to me. One said no and the other yes. Clearly we knew who was lying. Peren released the darker haired of the two and she quickly changed into a winged creature clad in leather who thanked us for setting her free. The redhead simply vanished.

We marched on until dark where we found a small cave and a skull. Another riddle was etched here. It referred to a highwayman and someone named Flain. I don’t understand its meaning. Again my sleep was interrupted and I feared my death would be soon.

In the morn we tied ourselves together and nearly lost Merpip in a gust of wind. We did survive despite my clumsy knotwork and poor reactions.

Next we came upon a swamp with water dripping out of rock. I tasted it with regret as it was water mixed with oil. We took a flask of it based upon our reading of the first riddle. Thankfully it may have saved my life by doing so.

Crossing the swamp, a mass of entangled vines and debris attacked. It seemed immune to most of our efforts but finally Peren landed another spectacular shot and bubbles were all that remained.

My health remained perilous so I asked the party to hurry. We found a hill with a tree named Stoop. After providing the oil water from the swamp to this creature, Peren learned it was cursed to kill any that touched its sap. We have returned samples of this poison. The tree told us about the land beyond but to use the water below to get back to the waterfall. Gil very much wished to continue but we ran low on supplies and I had become a burden to the mission.

We rested one more night and I expected not too last. Strangely, as my nightmares returned, a winged figure guarded my soul. This fiendish woman which we had freed earlier claimed me as hers and fought ghostly figures away. I rested well the rest of the night protected by my lady of darkness but my constitution appears permanently withered.

We found the Feywatch deserted when we returned but Gil’s loyal owl noticed an invisible presence so we fled. The Feywatch is lost. Another hag may be after us. Something evil lurks in the tower. Beware all who travel in the area and may my existence be saved by Gozreh or my new fiendish friend.

Captain S.L.

New Hooks:

  • Retake the Keep
  • Finish the puzzle run up stream into the wilderness
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The Second Obelisk
Also with Dragons

Tahli Karan
25th of Desnus
Notes from the Grey Hills

Aiden Montyouc, Gilvaldellin (Gil), Caeladyn, Peren, and myself travelled with Captain Von Blitz once again to Fort Dawnbreak with the hope of checking in with the fort’s progress, and finding the second obelisk to clear another patch of fog.

The fort has been coming along well for the amount of men they have. The women and children have taken up farming, and the men are training and building defenses. They are in desperate need of stone, wood, and people. We spoke to a man named Devin from Mariner’s Landing who seems to be the leader of the fort. He informed us small ghoul scouting parties have been frequently spotted, so we set a trap for one to interrogate.

We set up a false camp outside the fort and waited for ghouls to arrive. There was a group of 5 with two 2-headed wolves alongside. We dispatched all but one and interrogated it. It informed us of the following:
1. The 2nd obelisk was a half day’s journey on the road past the turn for Wyrmroost.
2. The ghouls were building up defenses just past the fog. There was a fort that was plotting to destroy Ft. Dawnbreak once they were ready.
3. The ghouls live in the Catacombs underground. This is where they are made, and there is an entrance somewhere in the Capital. He made it sound like these catacombs were immense, nearly 5 times the size of the grey hills. Whether that is in depth or not we are not sure.

After interrogations, Aiden decided for the rest of us that it would not be smart to let this ghoul live. We slept, and set on towards the fog in the morning. About midday a black dot in the sky was spotted. It was moving quickly….VERY quickly. We dove out of the way and in front of us landed a black dragon, slightly larger than Willowbite. “Give me one to eat and I will let the rest go” it offered. Terrified we approached and raved to it of it’s majesty. Aiden offered up a coin taken from another dragon’s hoard which it took, significantly wounding Aiden with just it’s reaching grasp. His name was Sorthan the Black, the Corrosive and Majestic. After a long time of praising this terrifying beast, we mentioned the ghouls just beyond the fog, and managed to begin to convince it to let us witness it’s majesty in action while it destroys the ghoul’s fort. Final persuasions were shaky, but with the team’s combined effort we managed to convince it to let us witness it’s destruction without eating us.

We set on towards the fog with the dragon flying high above us. When we found the fort….it was chaos. The dragon wreaked acidic havoc and pain on the fortress and it was a horrible and traumatizing sight to behold. We found some human peasants running about and managed to get a dozen to escape the devastation and make it to Fort Dawnbreak. Terrified for our own lives, we slipped away into the fog while the chaos ensued.

Another day’s journey and we made it to the second Obelisk. This one had a cavern underground we needed to dig to discover. It was a cave with a few different levels to it. On the second level we fought an Earthen type elemental which summoned two others just like it. When we broke it’s concentration, these two dissipated and it was just the main elemental to fight. We killed it without too much issue and made our way down to the third level.

On this level we found the bottom of the obelisk with a large stone surrounding it with four corners protruding out, ivory veins running in and out of the nearly polished stone. From previous experiences we figured we ought to destroy these stones, so we got to hitting. Unsurprisingly, a mountainous mound of moving boulders rose up and the fight was on. It was a slow fight, but eventually we found destroying the corners of the stone uncovered a bright green gem which dealt great damage to the mountainous elemental. We had two of the four gems destroyed when the elemental grabbed Peren and shoved him inside of itself, suffocating and beating him. A good while seemed to pass and we thought we may have lost him forever, when suddenly a tree pushed his way out with a great shove and toppled to the ground, freed at last.

The remaining stones were destroyed and the elemental fell to the ground. We relaxed thinking the fight was over, when suddenly the ground started to shake violently. The cave was collapsing over our heads. We sprinted to the top, nearly getting thrown off a collapsing ramp, but with just a minute to spare we all managed to get to the surface to find a cleaner air. The fog was dispersing and the ridge Wyrmroost sits on came into view in the distance. Our mission was successful.

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Eastern Island Exploration
Island Description & Jornal Entry

The Eastern Island: (soon to be named)
Explored and mapped by: Captain Stor Lingo
Kaumuali’i, Lord of the Ocean
Gil, Renowned Wizard
Merpip, Landowner
Tahli, Necromancer

The island is oblong in shape running roughly east-west with a dock and tower on the westernmost shore. The tower is made of a light stone and has a curved window bulging out of it pointing west. We hypothesize, due to the concave roof with a hole in the center, that it is designed to catch and hold rainwater. From the tower a path goes north and south around the edge of the island. The southern path is collapsed at a small bay and is impossible to traverse without a 20 foot bridge. The northern path wraps all the way around the island to join up with the southern one at the gap. In all, the loop is about 3 miles of fairly easy terrain. Behind the tower is a currently dormant volcano with rather sheer sides. The volcano nearly splits the island in two, it’s sides reaching down to the water’s edge. To the east of the volcano are hills decreasing in size from the volcano to the shore where there is a small abandoned settlement we estimate to be more than 100 years old. Besides the tower and dock these are the only buildings on the island. The village is in a small depression which is filled with about 1 foot of water and the few buildings still standing are rotting on stilts raised above the water. The location of this village and it being the only one on the island sparked some discussion among us, and further study may be required to determine why it lies in such an inhospitable area. The area between the village and the volcano is a fairly dense tropical forest full of birds but devoid of spiders and monkeys. The waters surrounding the island are very deep and appear to be infested with some kind of human-fish creatures called not-sahuagin. These creatures are very dangerous and hostile, they can speak common, and some appear as humans. Be cautious when approaching anyone on the island, do not travel alone near the water, and do not leave ships unguarded.

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Witch Hunt

XXVI Gozran, MMXVIII

Dear Diary,

Captain Lingo has put together a crew to investigate the conch shell near the pool of false wealth to help make the waterway between Mariner’s Landing and New Blainsport safer. He asked me to come along to offer guidance on magical matters, to which I happily agreed. I have been wanting a chance to test my skills against another spellcaster and I have some ideas regarding the pool, making that safer to study would be in my best interest.

XXVIII Gozran, MMXVIII

Dear Diary,

I write this on my first of two watches for the evening. Nerves are wearing thin and I do not know what dangers the night holds. We found an abandoned homestead with some unusual tracks around it. Large webbed foot, three toes. I really should brush up on my biology. The druids, Billy and Caedalyn, were at a loss as well, so I didn’t feel so bad. Naivara looked around the homestead and said the area was clear, but as we looked around large thunderheads started to form in the distance. In hindsight I can tell this was unusually rapid, but we decided to hunker down in the house to weather the storm. Stor was very prepared for this outing and we arranged barricades of wooden spikes around the door and windows, just in case something tried to make its way in. Caeladyn and Saila returned and informed us that they were being followed by a gaunt figure that had managed to stay in their peripheral vision. We decided to take some additional precautions and made an illusory door to fill the empty doorway after everyone had returned. That was when Caeladyn saw the creature out the window. She panicked and scurried away while we all braced for an attack, but nothing came. Moments after, a half rotten fish dropped down the chimney leaving a terrible stench that I quickly masked with some prestidigitation. The storm has reached its full height, the ceiling groans in protest to the wind, but it should hold. We have doubled the watch, and I have two shifts since I do not sleep.

XXIX Gozran, MMXVIII

Dear Diary,

We survived the night to find a ring of dead and half rotten fish, eels, and vipers surrounding the house, which I have decided to name the Stormward Estate. From there we proceeded to the conch, knowing that the hag was well aware of our presence. The conch has an entryway about 20 feet tall and is possibly 120 feet at its fullest height, it would make an impressive calling horn. Upon approaching the entrance, we were beset by a few hundred rats, in swarming mentality. Naivara and Billy held them at bay while Stor, Caedalyn, and I struck at them with spells and arrows. From there, I sent Saila into the conch under the protection of an invisibility spell. We determined it was safe to enter, and sacrificed about 15 or so of the poles Stor had brought along disarming shark jaws enchanted to serve as a sort of hunting trap. As it turns out, the hag, Granny Jetsam, decided to abandon her conch. We found a message scratched into the wall that read…

“Nice of you to finally drop in
Hate to rob you of your your shoppin’
but you invaders just aren’t stoppin’
so Granny Jetsam’s gone-a-hoppin’”

She was even courteous enough to include the necessary apostrophes when leaving off the last letter of the words.

Despite her cleaning, we did manage to find a few items of note after sneaking past a few Myconids and opening a locked chest. After examining her “garden” of various fungi and the oven she seems to use as the crucible for her work, I have concluded that Granny Jetsam has been arming bullywugs with various fungal weapons and inciting them to attack New Blainsport. She has also been cooking up a few terrors. I am not entirely sure of what nature, but she has some sort of creature lurking about. The shark jaws later rearranged themselves into a sort of shark jaw construct, like a tooth skeleton golem, could it be more of something like that? The only remaining clue we have was a partially damaged piece of paper that seemed to have the letters “ERHOB”. I am unsure if that is the beginning, middle, or end of the word, as the page was burned partially. I must think more on this, as Granny Jetsam is clearly a foe to be reckoned with.

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Enter the dragon('s lair)

From the Journal of Duke Aiden Montyouc

24th of Gozran

After returning victorious from the grey hills Tahli, Mac, and I took a moment to celebrate our small victory. After a few rounds of beverages Peren and Brennus came to join us so that we could plan out our next mission. I am concerned about Mac’s commitment, everytime someone mentions the green dragon I see her eyes glaze over and a look of dread come across her face. We get a general semblance of a plan and prepare to head out at first light. We load up our provisions and stock up on anti-toxin from flate who was very irate that we give him any notice and bought almost all of his stock.

25th – 29th of Gozran

We hit the road at first light heading to Ed’s farm, day was very uneventful aside from watching peren fail to spear any fish as we all “enjoyed” our dried rations around a fire.
The next day was more of the same until once again as with yesterday our ranger who in the past was so reliable with finding food in nature failed to find anything. He kept repeating that all of the berries he knew were safe were “out of season” right now, we all nod along but im beginning to worry about him.
Perhaps it is my hubris but the monotony of safely traveling along this road is beginning to wear on me. I believe that Drochtredia is beginning to make me crazy when safe travel makes me more paranoid than being attacked on the road. We were so excited as we watched from afar as peren snuck up on a small pig, we could almost smell the bacon, but just as he was about to strike with his bow we heard him mutter something a look down at his belt. As he did the pig took off and tried as he might peren just could not hit the beast. I am worried that our encounters the past few weeks have begun to affect his mental state.
I must say I was skeptical at first but Peren’s ability to fish was finally proven today and he speared two nice sized bass in one fell swoop, ever the performer and after watching his less successful attempts our gladiator friend Brennus managed to spear one on his first try. Peren was less than amused…
After my last trip here I never thought I would say this but ed’s place was a wonderful sight after the true boredom of safe travel. After speaking with ed we threw Tinker, the faerie dragon, some chicken and began our trek into the forest.

29th of Gozran

I truly despise this place….. We ventured along the road for some time until our ranger decided to step on a tree root that woke the tree from its slumber. Recognizing it not to be a blighted creature we chose instead to take flight and out run the creature till it got tired of chasing us. The remainder of the day went well, we camped on the road to avoid any other creature but one thing is bothering me. I kept catching our ranger talking to his belt, he is truly an odd one.

30th of Gozran

Today a strange thing happened, while we were making our way towards the temple we heard the cries of a pers…a thing in need of help. It took the form of a boy and a dog carrying something of great power and kept shouting “help, its right behind me, its coming.” we felt the earth shake beneath our feet. I prepped my gauntlet and rapier while brennus formed up at the front with his shield and spear but almost as soon as this appeared to us all it had vanished. I am worried that the forest might all be driving us mad, we chose not to speak of this over dinner to keep up morale.

Journal of mac woodfleet

1st – ??? of Desnus

We shouldn’t be alive. Not all of us, or maybe any of us. Looking around at my companions scattered through this broken church as we lick our wounds we certainly don’t look fortunate. This is twice now I’ve survived certain death from that dragon. The first time I was saved by Odin, this time we were saved through bravery, sacrifice, and no small amount of luck.
As soon as we found those kobolds outside of The Barrow temple we should have turned back. They should have…. No, ‘I’ should have listened to myself. The others didn’t know any better. I got so panicked when we found out their lord Willowbite was the dragon that I blasted Aiden and tried to run, but they held me back. And I didn’t want to be in the forest alone. Then that Kobold left with the Adder Staff and the next day as soon as I showed my face the dragon appeared. I was frozen in terror. Words which usually flow out of my mouth stuck and tumbled like broken glass. We were stuck then. If we left, Willowblight would follow us and strike when it pleased. If we stayed in the barrow we would be surrounded by it servants and it could open the barrow with the staff. The only option seemed to bring the fight to it, and Aiden was very convincing that we could do it.
We made our way to the dragon’s lair and things happened very quickly. Psalme got caught in a net and around the other corner was the dragon’s lair. We were immune to the dragons poison thanks to the tablecloth, so it ran off and we went to fighting the kobolds. It snuck up behind us while we were split, but we managed to fight it off again. It ran away through the waterfall, and in our great pride we decided to stay and mop up after a rest. That was our biggest mistake. For all we knew the dragon was panicked and injured, it wouldn’t have followed us. So while we got our rest, so did it. When we found the captive green faith druid Fea’lor we didn’t question his promises that just through that door we’d find fabulous treasurers. All we needed to do was insert my lute. And then our hope came crashing down along with the dragon that descended behind us and the wall that sealed off my lute and broke my hand, as instead kobolds were revealed behind the door. That lute was something that made me special and now its gone.
Brennus and Peren fought valiantly while Tahli and I did was we could from around the corner but there was no winning that fight. Aiden had tried his bravado and it nearly killed him. We tried to run but we couldn’t get away. Brennis saw this and in a heroic act stood in the way of Willowblight to give us the time to get away. It’s one thing to die to a great beast, but it’s another thing altogether to knowingly choose death so other can live. There wasn’t much I could do with my lute gone and hand broken, but I couldn’t just leave him without trying. I grabbed a handful of sand from the river bottom and used all the magic I had left on a sleep spell, and by some miracle it worked. Brennis didn’t have to die. Kobolds were all around the river bank outside the cave and it was only a minute before the beast awoke with a roar, but the river was carrying us quickly downstream.
As terrified as I was (and still am) of that dragon and as much as we lost that day, it was good that I got to face Willowblight again. Seeing the bravery of Aiden, Perrin, and Brennis in the face of the beast was inspiring. We should have turned back many times, but we had managed to enter that dragons lair, kill his followers, injury him gravely, and come out of it alive. That is no small victory, and one that neither I nor Willowblight won’t soon forget. Soon, once we are a bit more powerful and more prepared, we will fight that dragon again, and then I swear to all the Aesir that we will not run and he will not get away.

Something about that cave had me worried though. Those Kobolds had been doing a lot of digging lately. While that trap seemed to be designed specifically for me, my ego’s not big enough that I think all of it was. And Willowblight had some sort of stone white necklace on. It knew we were coming, it knew about the weapons of the forest, and it seemed to resist one of my spells. Maybe it’s the Blightmaster, but at the very least Willowblight is working towards something more than we understand.

The Journal of Aiden Montyouc

??? of Desuns

I do not know what day it is, I am grateful that Ed put us up in this old halfling church but one thing is certain I MUST retrieve that letter. I managed to retrieve the ring I had placed in the wax envelope while Mac wasn’t paying attention but I wasn’t able to get it all, the blasted envelope fell apart with the letter mostly intact. I only gave her that blasted thing because I was sure I would meet the cold embrace of death in that place and I could not stand the idea of dying in such an undignified manner….I will carry on with my mission but retrieving that letter, before everyone in mariners landing knows my secret, must remain at the forefront of my mind.

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Lightbringers in the fog

Have you ever heard the story of how we saved hundreds of slaves from the ghouls and brouight the first light of day to that blighted land?

It all started when a young sorceror with ashen hair heard about the scouting mission that had taken place from the lighthouse and into the gray hills. As excited as Tahli was to help the poor slaves of the fog, she was very eager to meet the ghouls head on. Aiden said he wanted nothing more than to help ‘his people’ there, and along with Azoth and Merpip our team was set. We knew that even if we were to succeed we would need a lot of help, so with Azoths advice we informed the captain of our goals. Once we had secured the slaves we would send a messenger pidgeon to let the ships know to launch. We’d have our backup, but dont you forget that it’d take over a week to cross the Godsmouth Gulf. An extra week to hold out alone behind enemy lines.

We landed at the lighthouse on the end of the peninsula and from the maps I had made earlier we made our way through the fog towards the giant obelisk. We couldnt tell anything from it the last time we were there, but we knew there was something more and I hoped that this group would be more successful. The fog was as oppresive as ever, and once we got to the obelisk Tahli bottled some of the fog for study later. We could tell the tower went up 100 feet and was surrounded by a circle of obsidian boulders. Using his flame gauntlet Aiden was able to melt one of them and thats when the real trouble started.

The ground shook and from the deeps below living rock began to attack us. It looked like a giant torso that moved through the earth as easily as if it were water. Its speed and ferocity were amazing and fighting it was futile. We found its weakness though when we found the source of its power. each time we destroyed an obsidian boulder it would shake and howl in pain, each time being more effective than the last. And when the elemental creature finally fell the magic of the fog fell along with it. For the first time in hundreds of years, the sun shone on the peninsula again.

Now we could see everything around us. The land was pale and dead from the lack of sunlight. And even more sobering was that just a few minutes away from the obelisk we found the remains of a great beast. Its ribs were over 60 feet wide and age had bleached them as white as snow. It was the skeleton of a great Hullabaloo ox, and we didnt want to stick around long enough to find out what managed to kill such a great beast, even if it had been centuries ago. As quick as we could we made our way westward towards Wyrmroost. Our last trip had stirred up so much chaos there, and with the fog disappearing on the peninsula we didnt know what to expect. Through the dragons teeth mountains the fog rose again. it seemed that the obelisk was only one of many, which would need to be destroyed light could truly shine again.

Under the cover of fog we snuck our way into Wyrmroost, as we didnt know if the people there were friends or foes. As dismal of a sight as it was before in many ways it was worse now. We could see that the people were starving and injured. Once we had killed Duke Nerond they had risen up and seized their chances. Even after all those generations, they still had some spirit left in them. Maybe it was the help of the Realtra gods of their ancestors. Whatever it was they had managed to hold the ghouls inside of their castle, couldnt sweep them out yet. With a ghoul army approaching and nowhere for them to go it seemed to only be a matter of time before the end came to their revolution.

We were able to save the day with a clever and carefully executed plan in which Azoth and Aiden distracted one of the guards and the rest of us battered down the gate. With that access point available we called to the rest of the slave folk and cleared out the castle. Try as we might the guards would not back down, as the ghouls were the only thing offering them a life after death. But that is not real life, that perversion of malice and inequity that was the ghouls. That was not a life worth living.

We needed to stay ahead of the invading forces, so we rushed all the remaining slaves out of town and into the light as fast as we could. The light would make the ghouls weak, but it wouldn’t stop them. We gathered ourselves at the far lighthouse and began building what fortifications we could. Word had been sent for our reinforcements, but a much larger war was just over the horizon and through the mist, and while these slaves were untrained and ill equiped they have a warrior spirit. They had their freedom and sunshine now, and I pity any ghoul that tried to take it away from them again.

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The Assassination of Duke Nerond

What follows is a collection of accounts I have assembled to more accurately detail what I suspect is an event we shall see the effects of for years to come. Whether our actions were foolhardy, craven, or noble, and the moral implications surrounding such matters, I will leave for you to decide. Hindsight offers a perspective more keen than any crystal or lens.
- Gilvaldellin, Wizard

Log For the Sailing Vessel Skithblathnir
Captain Stor Lingo in Command

Date: 6th of the month Gozran

Departed Mariner’s Landing early morning with 10 crew, 4 passengers, and 2 birds. No cargo. Mission to explore a lighthouse off the eastern peninsula and then hit and run attack on the alleged Ghoul Empire in the North. Crew well equipped and morale excellent. 1 gold bonus provided per man.

Passengers: Mac Woodfleet, Peren, Gilvaldellin, and Aiden Montyouc (crew warned to secure valuables),

Good to see Wizard Gilvaldellin again after so long an absence. Showed him crossbow and how the mending is still holding up.

No issues at sea.

Date: 7th of month Gozran

Seas calm.

Date: 8th of month Gozran

Fog setting in; hard to see coast line. Compass keeping us off the shoreline. 90 degrees East and Steady

Date: 9th of month Gozran

The fog is thick on the coast. Depressing land.

Date: 10 of month Gozran

Crew bored but doing well. Saw lighthouse on the coastline. Continuing Eastward.

Date: 11 of month Gozran

Lighthouse spotted. Old stone cut pier in good condition. Docking executed well by crew. Structure is unique and not like other lighthouses seen before. Strange reflections near the top of structure. Stairs leading up the Cliffside. Crew ordered to remain with ship. Passengers disembarking to investigate.

Date: 12 of month Gozran

Close call yesterday for Master Gilvaldellin and myself. A water trap sent him falling back into the sea and we had to pull him up. I was trapped by some sort of lizard statue holding a trident. Had to jump onto Aiden to survive. Mac attacked by seagulls. Sailing west to land in Ghoul territory.

Date: 13 of month Gozran

Landed near lighthouse in the fog. Command turned over to First Mate Fimak. Crew promised 2 GP bonus upon safely returning in 4 days time to extract landing party. Captain Stor Lingo out.

Date: 14th

Captain departed to shore. Rowed back to lighthouse.

Date: 15th

Whale spotted.

Date: 16th

Message via bird. Signed Captain Lingo with orders to delay by four more days. Sent note affirmative via bird. Food supply dwindling.

Date: 17th

Caught some fish.

Date: 18th

Crew member feared lost at sea. Found in Captain’s quarters. 10 lashes administered.

Date: 20th???

Sailed for pick up. Out of smoke.

Date: 21st?? of Gozran

Command returned to Captain Stor Lingo. Crew did well. Commendation to First Mate for keeping crew mostly out of trouble. Bonus paid. They say we stink pretty bad. Heading back to Mariner’s Landing at full speed. Low on food. Translation of Ghoul books going slowly due to hunger and thirst..

Date: 24th?? of Gozran

Returned Mariner’s Landing and heading to bathhouse and then Driftwood for large meal. Almost had to eat the birds. Passengers disembarked with gems, captured armor, and some books.

No casualties. No damage to Skithblathnir.


From the journal of Gilvaldellin, wizard.

III Gozran, MMXVIII

Dear Diary,

Mac has been talking for days about getting “the sneakiest people” in Mariner’s Landing to go, in her own words, “cause chaos” in the Derakul capitol. Firstly, I don’t know what she could possibly mean by that, is she implying I’m some ruffian? Those days are well behind me! Secondly, chaos is a horrible plan, basically by definition. I really think we need something more refined for our modus operandi.

IV Gozran, MMXVIII

Dear Diary,

Captain Stor agreed that we needed more of a plan, and since we’re taking his ship, I think his vote counts more than mine. We’ve gone through several maps, the plan is to hit the island off the coast of the hills first and see about that third lighthouse. Securing that gives us a staging point, and possibly funds in the form of a bowl of elemental command to help pay for the expedition. From there, we’ll venture across the channel and land at the bay by the second lighthouse. From there, we’ll venture into the dutchy of Duke Nerond and see what can be done from there, I believe the focus is on reconnaissance.

V Gozran, MMXVIII

Dear Diary,

Everything is in motion, we depart tomorrow.

VI Gozran, MMXVIII

Dear Diary,

Looks like we are supposed to stow our valuables. I have asked Saila to fiercely peck at anyone who touches my books or alchemy supplies! Captain Stor showed me his crossbow, the string I mended seems to be holding up well. That spell has gotten me through some rough days.

VIII Gozran, MMXVIII

Dear Diary,

These last few days have been fantastic. I’ve had so much time to read and practice my primordial. Saila has been a little bit restless though. Apparently a side benefit of a folding ship is that it doesn’t tend to accumulate rats, I imagine they’d just pop out whenever you folded up the boat. Unfortunately, that’s largely what she does to pass the time when sailing. I offered to change her into an octopus and let her swim around, but she seemed very offended by the suggestion. She still hasn’t quite forgiven me for the spider incident. She’s trying her hand at hunting seagulls.

X Gozran, MMXVIII

Dear Diary,

Saila has learned the difference between an albatross and a gull. Apparently the sailors believe that an albatross will ward away “bad magic” and such. They were rather cross at Saila chasing one. Ridiculous. We saw the lighthouse, and should be landing tomorrow. I am eager to have a reprieve.

XI Gozran, MMXVIII

Dear Diary,

This lighthouse is very different from the other two. Firstly, it was trapped, and I was subjected to a most undignified fall. Thankfully, the water didn’t damage my tome or any of my scrolls. Secondly, there is a complex structure at the top, which I believe amplifies the powers of an enchanted trident, guarded by an animated statue of some kind of sea dragon. I should tell Kau about this.

XIII Gozran, MMXVIII

Dear Diary,

We crossed the channel and landed today, I forgot how quiet the grey hills could be. Truly this is a cursed land. Perhaps it just needs a few albatross to fix it.

XIV Gozran, MMXVIII

Dear Diary,

We had a chance to closely observe the black dragon obelisk today. It is clearly magical in nature, though I was able to confirm that with a basic divination. The obelisk itself is about sixty feet square at the base and possibly a little more than one hundred feet tall, though difficult to say for certain. More interestingly however, it is surrounded by a ring of stones I advised the party not to break. In the arcane arts, a circle serves two purposes, keeping something out, or keeping something in, and I am definitely not interested in trying to break such an ancient construction without some more information.

XV Gozran, MMXVIII

Dear Diary,

We found Abel’s farm. I am glad to see he is still doing well, though he seems more paranoid than last time. I think my associates unnerved him somewhat. We sent Saila off with a letter to the crew of Skithblathnir to delay four more days.

Addendum: We were beset by what seems to be a courtier in the court of Duke Nerond. The subsequent interview with the ghoul Nadar, now deceased, was quite enlightening. We now know that the family Liadom rules the Derakul empire, and that they are served by grand dukes, who are served by dukes. There is a grand duke Carric, served by dukes Nerond and Olsten. We also learned that Nerond’s dutchy, Wyrmroost, is short on personnel due to the baybridge conflict, and that Arjhan is the captain of the Wyrmroost guard. It would seem we picked an ideal location for some scouting. The Derakul seems to be either in or under the mountains, there’s definitely more to be learned, but unfortunately Nadar came down with a severe case of out existing his usefulness. None will mourn his passing.

XVII Gozran, MMXVIII,

Dear Diary,

I don’t know what I expected to happen, but tyrannicide wasn’t on the list. Duke Nerond is dead. We entered Wyrmroost in disguise, using garb we took from Nadar and his retainers. A little makeup and some cantrips, and we were easily able to enter the city with no provocation of the guards, all of whom seemed to be human. Wyrmroost is crumbling in more ways than one. There’s barely any people there, and its north border seems to be slowly eroding into the sea. We entered the keep, met Nerond in his library, and slew him and his guards. Mac left some books containing teachings of an old faith to some of the remaining humans. We grabbed a few books from Nerond’s library (and a really neat wand) and fled.

XXI Gozran, MMXVIII

Dear Diary,

I don’t know how to describe what it feels like to be back on the sea. I have left the grey hills behind, yet a part of it is carried with me. I try to remind myself that my first priority is my own survival. The world is not a forgiving place, it rewards violence and greed, and if anything my recent success in life is proof of that. Still, the conditions those people live in, the Derakul are predators, keeping the humans there for cattle, making them covet undeath as the only escape from their suffering. Nadar mentioned that this “order of ascendant elves” might be involved somehow. Is this why the dwarves of Bruckschloss were so afraid of me? What would the ancestors judge of me if I did not face this corruption? I have become very good at surviving, perhaps it’s time to start doing a little more.

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