Exile on Drochtrèdia

Dark Fey and Sleeping Dwarves

A party of Lexa, Tahli, Merpip, Mordecai, and myself (Derg) wandered back into the fine settlement of Bruckschloss. The others had heard my earlier reports of horrid fey creatures and hoped that Merpip’s extraordinary fey-hunting skills could be put to good use. Furthermore, the previously slumbering dwarves are a prime resource for knowledge of Drochtrèdia’s history.

As we arrived in Bruckschloss proper, we were greeted by the dwarves. I lead my new allies to the barracks, where I knew my good friend Dwögar would be. Unfortunately, the slumber still weighs heavy on all the dwarves’ minds, as Dwögar could barely remember me. He was unable to remember Gil at all, which I’m sure would hurt poor Gil’s heart. Not as much as it would hurt mine, if Dwögar somehow recalled Gil but not me; but, luckily that was definitely not the case.

Dwögar’s long term memory did not fair any better. He could recall very little of his time before the slumber, which made him of limited use to us. Luckily, he informed us that we could have access to some of their records if we were to assist with a small issue that had arose.

Apparently, a duo of dwarves had been taken during routine scouting to the south. They were presumed dead, as no sign of them had been seen for several days. I knew only the most foul creatures could possibly take on not only one, but two dwarves. We quickly agreed to recover their bodies, and deal with whatever monster had caused their deaths.

We followed what I believe to be Route 6 south. It appeared to be a tunnel of dwarven make. Nice and wide, ceiling not high enough that terrifying creatures can recede into the darkness. Perfectly dimensioned. Despite this, we were nearly ambushed by a drider. Luckily Merpip has an impressive awareness of the fey, and Tahli was able determine its precise location using the Detect Poison and Disease spell, which I had very recently learned! Funny how when you think you create a spell, you always see someone else use it within a couple weeks. Especially if it was a difficult one, that you struggled with for months. “Whew that was difficult, surely no one else will be using this all willy-nilly!”, you think. Three hours later, someone you’ve never met is expertly casting it in a high-pressure situation, saving your life, while you sit there wondering why “silver” doesn’t rhyme with anything. “Gold” and “copper” do. Even “platinum”.

Anyways, this drider was terrifying. He hurled at us with a whirl of longswords and biteybites. As this was my first time seeing Merpip, Tahli, and Lexa in combat, I spent most of my time shielding blows and examining my new allies’ skillsets. The most surprising was Lexa, whose mastery of magic is so considerable that I was unable to identify a single spell that she cast. My current theory is that she is a powerful abjurist, who can conceal her spells in such a way that her enemies are wholly unprepared for what she is to deliver next. I think there is much I could learn from her.

When the drider finally lay dead, we continued down Route 4. Eventually we reached an intersection, with a powerful, stout, expertly crafted, dwarven watchtower hewn into the rockface. There was some sign of recent activity, so we decided we were not too far off the trail of the missing dwarves. We had a choice to explore westward, or downward (as we approached the intersection from the east). It is of note that we did not explore the westward path at any point of this adventure. Merpip was able to use his heart (which is where I believe rangers get their magic) to feel where the nearest fey were. They were located to the south, so we headed there to enact our revenge.

A few yards into our journey, an umber hulk made an unplanned visit. His visage was horrid, with a mere glance causing confounding fear. I could have stood there for hours, trying to figure out why this horrible creature was the way it was. Why is it vaguely furry, but only in some places? Are those another set of eyes, or is its nose in a terrible place? Three sets of mandibles? That is too much. Luckily, Mordecai told me to avert my gaze, so these questions quickly left my head.

The umber hulk had knocked many of us unconscious, but we left no one behind, and fought to the brink of death to slay this monstrosity. Mordecai tried to turn the battle with is Stag Bag, but apparently it has been re-enchanted into a Weasel Wallet. That is a Gil “improvement” if I’ve ever seen one. The weasel did fight with fervor, and I cannot fault it for its effort. Who knows if we could have survived with out the slight annoyance of a weasel in the peripheral of the umber hulks gaze.

Wounded, exhausted, and kind of hungry, we decided to camp for the night. Taking inspiration from the classic gnome play, “Weekend at Bernilian’s”, we propped up the umber hulk near the entrance to make him look like a horrifying guard.

I was strangely awoken from my slumber by Mordecai. He seems to have been yearning for the education that he has previously absconded from. I will say he was an attentive listener and tried to understand my spells to the point where he suggested minor edits. I think he has potential, and hopefully I can turn him back to the way of the book.

The next morning, we continued our search. To our surprise, we quickly ran into a pair of dwarves. To our greater surprise, they were alive! To our even greater surprise, they ran up and recklessly attacked us. Through some liberal application of Hold Person, as well as good old fashion roping, we were able to detain the clearly mind-affected dwarves. I identified the spell cast on them and learned that the spell would only hold in a certain range of effect. We quickly returned north to the tower, to let their minds clear.

They confirmed that they are the dwarves we are looking for, and that some horrid spider-ish creature had controlled their minds. They remembered little, so we told them to return to Bruckschloss while we deal with the mysterious enemy. Merpip once again pinpointed their location, but first Tahli wanted to take a quick sojourn at a nearby cave that was filled with refuse. No judgement.

She quickly called for my assistance to see if there was anything of value hidden there. 11 minutes of nearly vomit inducing ritual later, and I was able to cast detect magic. I located a magical ring that I knew was a Ring of Mind Shielding. A few things happened very quickly, so I may not get the order exactly right. I said “Oooo!” and placed the ring on my finger. Tahli exerted a sudden and powerful necromantic spell upon a skeleton obscured in the refuse. My new best friend says “Are those my bones?”

This slightly relates to my previous musings on the nature of magic, and how some spells seem to come easy to some while they are tremendously difficult to others. One thing I was certain of, before this very event, was that no one could accidentally cast a spell. In my opinion, that is what I saw Tahli do. There was a small glimmer of excitement when she saw the remains of Bones McKenzie (I’ll get to that), and then she cast what I would describe as a tremendously difficult spell with no effort or even recognition that she was doing anything. Necromancy is hard to deal with. It usually takes years of study to carefully control life and un-life. To impose control over a risen form takes carefully constructed spells with well-studied boundaries. Yet somehow, she just did it without trying. It was 90% impressive, 10% frustrating.

“Are those my bones?” the voice inside me proclaimed. The Ring of Mind Shielding seemed to be housing a soul. After some internal discussions, we decided that they were probably his bones, and that he was fine with them being used for whatever purpose Tahli saw fit. We also learned that his memory was not too good and he could not remember his name. I dubbed him Bones McKenzie, but he slightly prefers Kenzi. I think that is because we are such good friends, so we have nicknames for each other. He can call me Der.
Apparently, if one dies while wearing this ring, their soul may be transferred into it. This prospect excites me greatly in many ways but horrifies me in one. I would like to have this on public record:

Please, for the love of Gond, if I die and my soul goes into this ring: Do not resurrect me. I am disturbed by the possibilities of what may happen if my soul is in a ring but I am resurrect to a body. What if there are two of my souls? What does that mean about souls? What if my soul leaves the ring, but my consciousness remains? There are way too many questions. Please just take the ring and give it to someone who yearns for arcane discovery. Or a dwarf. Preferably someone who is both.

Myself, Tahli, Bones McKenzie (soul), and Bones McKenzie (skeleton) returned to the party. After some minor gasps and such, I informed them that everything is all right, and the soul that previously owned the skeleton is fully consenting to its use. With that matter behind us we continued south to get our minds taken over by spiders.

The foes we approached ended up being Neogi. Powerful mind-controllers that certainly don’t like being hit with a ton of fire on their stupid extruded faces. There was a pair of Neogi, one of which got a little over zealous, and walked into the danger zone near Merpip, Lexa, Tahli, and Bones McKenzie (skeleton). The Neogi was expected to murder a handful of people under the Hold Person spell, when suddenly dwarven torch explodes out of invisibilty. Me and Bones McKenzie (soul) had been sneaking around invisible, and unleased one of my more impressive scorching rays. The blasts distracted the Neogi enough that he could not hold on to his hold person spell, which allowed for the party to make short work of the danger zone Neogi. Mordecai made a series of impressive acrobatic displays, jumping all over the place around the remaining Neogi. I do not fully understand the Monk arts, but I am sure that he inflicted tremendous pain that was imperceptible to the untrained eye. A short time later both Neogi were slain, and any webs or egg sacks nearby were fully torched.

We returned to Bruckschloss, having earned access to their written records. Through a combination of their records and Kenzi’s memory, we found out that the blight may have something to do with why the dwarves were put into their magic slumber. We learned we have no idea who exactly cast the powerful spell keeping them alive, but that it is coming from somewhere else. The “Queen of Death” moniker did not seem to jog any memories. I know that Kenzi knows more. Hopefully his memory can return some, or we can find a way to help him remember. Either way, it is the start of a beautiful friendship.

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The New Yorick Road

Brennus Artaius
Daedrick Blackheart
Immeral Eathalena
Lexa
Wengruck Fireforge

Upon Arrival in Mariner’s Landing I immediately set to work. If I am to gain the favor of the all-father then I cannot just rest and be a eldhúsfífl. I overheard word of a quarry and of skilled dwarves in the area and after assessing the “quality” of the walls of the city I determined the best thing for everyone was to speed up the stone delivery for this city.

Going to the local tavern I managed to recruit a few promising candidates and a few that I was unsure of. A few days later everyone arrived outside the guild as I had instructed them. The boss of the guild caravan told us we would be paid based on our performance and I made sure to point out the weak links he needed to watch out for.

The first few days of work went by fairly uneventfully aside from the cleric leading us in the wrong direction for a day or two. We managed to correct this and find the stream that lead the last party to the quarry but on our third evening we were set upon by a pack of wolves.

The Cleric and his Ram, I really need to get one of these, made quick work of the first two wolves and while the rest of the party assumed battle formation I took my opportunity to charge. It had been too long and I had been itching for a good fight so I charged one of the wolves while slathering myself with the meat from a fresh kill and prepared to strike the beast down when it came at me. Just as the beast charged in three booming lights went flying by my head and like that my enemy was dead. The cowardly elf use his sorcery on my foe and ended it before it had its chance to fight me, my glory denied.

Day 4 and 5 went by uneventfully aside from some rain and confirmation that the cleric had gotten us lost but we were apparently back on track. On the evening of the 5th night I refused the help of the elf who had denied my glory and took watch myself. Towards midnight I heard a rustling in the tree above me and as I looked up a smile spread across my face. I immediately alerted the others and went into a frenzy as several giant spiders lept from the trees and attacked us. We dispatched them rather quickly and the cleric gathered a vile of their venom to experiment with back in town.

Days 6-9 went by without much of interest. I grew ever more restless, I am here to fight things and so far there hasn’t been much to fight. The elf kept mentioning an Ape following us, not sure what that is but it doesn’t sound very tough. Eventually we found the beautifully constructed Dwarven road to the quarry and began the last bit of our travel.

On Day 10 this “ape”, or whatever it was, found us. It came barreling through the forest at our side, knocked over our wagon, and beat one of the crew to a pulp. This beast towered over us all but I went into a frenzy and began attacking the beast. Soon after the courageous brennus and lexi followed suit. The cleric charged in with his ram and we had the creature surrounded, all the while the elf hid like a coward until he finally popped up and made a box appear over the beasts head. The beast confused and cornered hit itself in the head and accidentally cut its own throat. I made sure offer the group the beasts heart as is tradition in my clan, I had doubted them all but they had proved themselves to be valiant and courageous warriors, well almost all of them.

The next day I made sure to follow my clans tradition of celebrating a victorious battle by painting my body with the runes of victory and spending the day naked. The others seem put off by this display but it did not stop me from following my traditions, the gods must be shown their respect when they have delivered you to victory. After a few hours of marching we managed to make our way to the so called “Big Mac Quarry”. In the ruins of my people we found a great statue and when one of ours said they detected magic in the sword by its side we knew we must investigate further. The gods took humor in our endeavors and took away the good fortune and coordination we had found in battle leaving us in a ridiculous display of clumsiness but after some time we had managed to remove the sword from the statue.

After much discussion the group signaled for me to claim its power, a shining beacon of hope emerged from the sheath. Tunglskin, or moonlight in my people’s tongue shall be thy name. The elf managed to find a ring but we were unsure its properties. The guild happy with the road paid us for our good work and out of respect we named the road after the fallen worker Yorick, thus the New Yorick road was opened.

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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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