Exile on Drochtrèdia

Return to Beneath the Mountains

Concerned for our slumbering brothers in the mountain, Mr. Highpeak, myself, and honorary dwarf Gilvaldellin decided to return to Bruckschloss. Having previously been stumped by the slumber ritual, despite our considerable arcane talents, we brought along experts in divine magic in the form of paladin Gerald Poh, cleric Valen Aldarin, and a trio of talented acolytes of the Forge of Moradin.

As we headed toward the mountain, Mr. Highpeak led us in a different and arguably more efficient path than our first venture. This path had the good fortune of running along side of a dam created by an adorable colony of beavers. I found this but a nice spot to relax and enjoy nature, but luckily the more perceptive members of our group noticed some sort of underground cave where the water was backed up. We had more pressing matters to attend to, but the relative close proximity of this cave to the town makes it a prime location for future exploring! It’s location was recorded by Valen, but if you go to check it out, be mindful of Mr. Highpeak’s hunting trap. I am not sure if he remembered to check it…

The tunnels within the mountains remained similar to how we left them. We did not run into any surprises until we reached the cavernous opening that houses Bruckschloss. There was an eerie glow emanating from the center of the fort. The outskirts were covered in thick webbing, which continued to encompass most of the cavern. I heedlessly stomped forward, sure that this webbing was from an unannounced return trip from our good friend Mr. Billy, who is some sort of Spider-Man. We were quickly accosted by what I assumed was Billy’s children. This assumption was quickly proven incorrect, as they attempted to stab us repeatedly. Mr. Hill would raise much more well behaved children than that.

They were led by a more plump, and even more spider-y one who possessed powerful magics. These spider-creatures would continue to harass us throughout our journey.

As we approached the fortress gates, we spotted a large, out of place rock. Having previously dealt with elementals here, I decided to launch a welcoming firebolt to see if it was a friendly rock. It was not a friendly rock.

Our attacks were ultimately ineffective. Most glanced off, and it was evident that if we did not keep our distance we would become puddles. Most of the members of our party quickly devised a plan involving a dangerous bridge and a deep chasm.

Working together, Mr. Highpeak bravely hid in the shadows until his time to shine, gripping one end of a rope while the elemental passed right by him. Gil slowed down the progress of the elemental with his clever illusions. Gerald and Valen positioned themselves on the other side of the bridge, anchoring the other end of the rope until elemental was in position. As soon as the elemental stood at the halfway point of the bridge, Mr Highpeak rushed out, clothes-lining the elemental to the edge of the bridge. As the elemental held on with the last bit of his strength, Mr. Highpeak looped the rope around the chains, and leaped like a madman, delivering a flying wack at the elemental. It tumbled to its death.

The clever reader may be wondering where I, Derg Stonesmasher, was during this frantic, well-executed, and heroic display. I was elsewhere, working on a genius, but much less successful plan. I was on step 2-C of a 17 part plan-on the verge of being eaten-when I looked down to see that my friends had already dealt with the problem.

Inside we found a powerful guardian defending the slumbering dwarfs. It would smash anything that came withing a certain range of the door. Valen’s divine knowledge lead us to believe that this guardian had a limited amount of smash remaining. We did not know how much, so the dwarfs of the party decided to test it by walking toward it, and getting smashed. I woke up 12 seconds later with the guardian still standing, and Mr. Highpeak looking fairly bloodied.

Eventually, one of the spider-jerks was tricked into coming near, and the last bit o’ smash was expended. As the defense fell, the spider-jerks decided that it was a good opportunity to attack. We barely held them off, but ultimately were successful.

Over the next few days, the acolytes have been able to waken the dwarfs. The dwarfs were put into this slumber to avoid a terrible plague that impacted the surface world. It is unknown what will become of the dwarfs in the short term, but we do know that there could be even more suffering dwarfs deeper in this mountain. They talk of a large city, Verghead, where there could be many more.

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In Search of the Master of the House

Log For the Sailing Vessel Skithblathnir
Captain Stor Lingo in Command

Date: 18th of the month Pharast

Departed Mariner’s Landing morning with 10 crew and 4 passengers. Cargo of Crossbow Bolts, Fabric, and construction materials. Destination New Blainsport. Crew standoffish but cooperative.

Passengers Mac Woodfleet, William Hill, Tahli Karan, and Merpip. 1 Raven also on board.

No events worthy of notation. Crew morale good.

Date: 19th of month Pharast

Arrived New Blainsport. Cargo unloaded at destination. Garrison morale poor from harassment by Bullywugs and forest creatures. William Hill dealing with dangerous plant life encroaching area. Mansion remains intact. Crew bedded near docks and ordered to stay in New Blainsport. Note to revisit Bullywug King and enforce agreement.

Sailed to lighthouse with William Hill in tow. For some reason he asked to be keelhauled. Nothing additional located.

Entered Blainsport River heading West. Expecting river to turn South. Mac assisting with navigation of boat. River staying in Westerly/Southwesterly direction.

Encountered odd woods on Southern bank of River. (Later identified as Emerald Forest.)

Keep on Northern Bank spotted too late by Tahli and myself. Successfully executed hard rudder 90 starboard to Southern bank. Took arrow fire from Goblins resulting in severe wounds to Tahli. Formed defensive line on Southern bank and held off fierce attack by Bugbears and Goblins. Tahli unleashed hell itself using stick found in Druid laboratory. Multiple enemy killed or scattered by Mac, Merpip, and William Hill. Captured 1 Bugbear.

Startled by strange forest creature named McGrogen. Very strong and entangles using it’s own hair. Proclaimed himself Guardian of the Emerald Forest. William Hill asked to meet McGrogen’s boss. Meeting in the works for a couple months time. Druid’s are strange. Mac entered into formal agreement with McGrogen to exchange information on the River King in return for removing Bugbear’s, including a deranged Barron Bugbear, from the Keep across river. Informed by McGrogen of a large waterfall upriver. No hope of sailing without bypassing waterfall.

Forest inhabited by Sprites. Merpip very tense. Camped upstream for the remainder of evening.

Date: 20th of month Pharast

Mac developed plan for captured Bugbear to lure out remaining Bugbears from Keep allowing infiltration of vulnerable northern wall. Bugbear prisoner, enchanted and sent into Keep, successfully pulled 8 other Bugbears out and across the river. Merpip led party to Northern wall without detection. Tahli and William Hill fell alerting garrison of our presence.

With surprise lost, Mac flew over Keep to attempt closure of Portcullis thus trapping Bugbears outside of Keep. Mac shot down by Goblins and feared dead. Note effectiveness of Goblin fire against flying creatures.

Fearing Mac dead, rest of party entered Keep and began clearing room by room. Hobgoblin assisted by Goblins detected taking Mac’s body into a prison cell. Fight ensued, heads were lost. Mac revived. Three prisoners in cells, 1 woman, 1 man, 1 hobgoblin.

Portcullis secured after many Goblins defeated. Bugbears returned shortly thereafter, Barron included. Fierce fight resulted in deaths of all Bugbears, additional Goblins and a Hobgoblin. Fascinating that William Hill used bear-shape to crush several Bugbears. Crossbow has performed well since mending by the Wizard, Gil. Note to thank him again.

Two prisoners assisted fight. Woman transformed into a Bugbear and displayed Wizardly powers. Appears to have successfully stolen the Barron’s powerful sword and disappeared via Astral projection according to Tahli. The Hobgoblin fought well and turns out to be an Ambassador of sorts for a Western Empire of Hobgoblins who strangely worship Hullabaloos. Note to explore deeper to the West if we can find way around the waterfall.

Appointment with Ambassador in six months time back at the Keep. Not sure what will come of it.

While questioning the freed prisoners and McGrogen , captured by the Bugbears previous night, the whereabouts of the RiverKing were revealed. He lies 300 miles (12 days march) to the South through the forest. His palace lies on a wide river over 600 miles from a Southern Ocean. Near the Riverking exists another tribe/group of humans who fly under the banner of a green clover, under the rule of a Lady McNeven. Note to explore coastline until mouth of this new river is determined.

Date: 21st of the month Pharast

Keep looted and secured. Overall the fortress is in good condition. Merpip named it “The Feywatch” to which all parties agreed. Placed markers and flag to prevent incursions by unwanted guests. Note location unsuitable for sea based operations but Caption Quinston may find it of use.

Returned New Blainsport to find crew busy with construction duties. Crew all accounted for and more than ready to return to Mariner’s Landing.

Date: 22cnd of the month Pharast

Passengers and crew safely returned to Mariner’s Landing with loot. No casualties. No damage to Skithblathnir.

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Building Infrastructure (Securing a Road)

After the work caravan reaches Blainsport, Brennus retires to his small home in the town, still very run down and empty, manages to get a small fire lit in the dusty fireplace, and takes some time to reflect on the past few weeks while he warms up.

He had gathered a group to serve as security and help for the guild laborers that wanted to build at least some kind of road to connect Blainsport and Mariner’s Landing. It had been him, Aiden, Merpip, Kaumuali’i, and Peren. The trip was scheduled to last sixteen days, and there were 21 members of the group outside of them.
Wasn’t the most exciting job, but someone’s got to do it. We need to actually be building this place up, while everyone is out wandering around finding all these fancy places and things. Eventually, we’re gonna catch the wrong kind of attention, and if we don’t start bulking this settlement up, we’re not gonna be able to stop it.

The first several days of the trip went smoothly. The only interruptions were some mostly harmless pranks by some halflings and the appearance of a Goblin warg rider. Peren took it out with a well-placed arrow, but it confirmed Peren’s information of the land being inhabited by Goblin tribes. Aiden encouraged some of the Halfling antics, while Brennus strongly discouraged them.
That was the first warning sign. Where there’s one Goblin, there’s bound to be dozens more. Wargs are nothing to take lightly either. But there was nothing to do but keep moving.

The first major problem came when the expedition had to move through some woods. Inside, the group was ambushed by two Carrion Crawlers. They were killed, but after keeping two members immobilized for most of the fight, it was too close for comfort.
Never run into those things before. I managed to get a few good hits in, but… well, if I’m honest, that poison kicked my ass. Probably would’ve been dragged off if not for the others. Gods, being frozen up is awful.. at least let me go down fighting.

After that, the rest of the expedition continued on, moving into more swampy terrain. It was here in the last leg of the journey that the Goblins finally attacked the caravan. The caravan was blocked in by quicksand in front, with the enemy at the flanks and rear. The group leapt to the defense, and a hectic and chaotic melee ensued. Some wagoners panicked, causing a collision. Some of the expedition were injured, but only one was killed in the fight. Eventually, the bloodied group took down the Goblins and Bugbears and the expedition managed to get out of the swamp. No further attacks happened, and the road was successfully finished after about seventeen days.
All in all, things went better than I figured. Lost a wagoner, but expected more death than that once the Goblins showed up. Group held up well in that fight. The road isn’t safe yet.. there’s gotta be hundreds of goblins out on that route, even if we didn’t see em. But it’s built, and that’s progress.

As for payment, originally the guild had said 1sp per mile, for 100 miles, which is 10 gold. I never tried to argue with that (got really busy), though maybe a more charismatic person could get more out of it.

I don’t think I missed anything major. I don’t remember any new quest hooks or anything along the way.

The only other interest thing I can think of is that we saw a symbol for one of the Goblin tribes, so I assume there’s more tribes around and they’re probably all fighting among each other.

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The Princess in the Tower

You’re not supposed to believe everything you read or your told, especially when it comes from a bard like me, but i swear that every word of this is true. As true as the tale of The Princess in the Lonely Tower.

Peren, Kau, Aiden, Billy, and I went venturing back to the Bay Bridge, but this time knew well enough to stay left at the fork. The Sahaugin aat the northern city arent a very welcoming folk, but it was good to talk with Gavrosh again. Their war with the ghouls hasnt changed and there’s been little success in rescuing those that Alpha Squad left behind. The Sahaugin want the whole bay to themselves and wont stop until they get it. They may be a problem once that happens, but right now I like knowing that they are giving the ghouls hell.

We didnt stay long in North Baybridge though as we had a mission. We started in from the statue of Bonri and headed off in the direction he pointed, North North-West. For a week we traveled, following that pointing finger towards the broken mountain. It looked like the top section had collapsed in on itself, some cataclysm leaving the peak jutting out of a crater.

As we made our way through the winding switchbacks towards the summit there was a distinct lack of animals nearby. While we were wondering where these large white messes came from, the results were thrust upon us. Three great Perytons descended upon us. I was able to distract one of those stag headed birds temporarily with a treat, but the rest stayed out of range as they attacked. We had to lash out as they dive bombed us, and if they werent slowed down they hit harder than a boulder. Our steeds earned their feed that day though, as we used them for cover and we took the bird beasts down. Aiden used his razor sharp daggers to carve the heart out of the last of them and took it as a trophy.

Just up the mountain slope we found their nests and a clutch of eggs, and more importantly the entrance to a large cave system. The tunnels were large and it looked like several passages had collapsed. Inside one of the tunnels chambers we found a few barrels of long spoiled alcohol that bore a shining star emblem. Another tunnel was filled with a large pool of water. In another tunnel we barely manged to catch ourselves before walking straight into a web of hungry spiders. And in another tunnel we found treasure beyond imagining.

This cavern was enormous and stretched back farther than we could possibly see, And it was filled with piles and hills of golden treasures. Recalling the legend of the Lonely Tower, we realized how much danger we might be in and extinguished our lights and quietly backed away. Aiden was barely able to control himself around all those jewels, but with a little encouragement he was able to limit himself to a few handfulls.

The next morning we explored the last section of the caves and the mountain tunnels opened up to the orange shimmering deserts and a tall white tower shimming in the bright sunlight. There was no discernible entrance to the tower, but with the help of my lute I was able to fly to the top balcony and attach a rope for the rest to climb. On the top floor we were greeted by the ghost of the Princess in the Lonely Tower herself, only it turns out she wasn’t a princess. Solira Orlirin was a political prisoner who long long ago knew the secret schemes of the Order of Ascendant Elves. The Order was seeking true immortality and they pursued their goals at the source of their power, underneath the Capital City to the south. She told us that she was imprisoned to keep her and her conspirators out of the Order’s business, and now this land was cursed from their actions. She could not tell us much about the great dragon Statagh as she had not seen him in many many years. It seems that everything in the legends was true, though it was missing a few bits. For several centuries Solira had lived in this tower and watched the outside world move on. The magic of the tower would mend anything that was inside of it, so all the furniture was permanently pristine. Solira only died when she grew to despondent at her blight that she refused to eat and starved herself to death.

In the basement of the tower we found the backside of a great locked door. Just on the other side we saw a great stone golem standing watch, so we slowly closed the door and headed away. Upon conversing with the ghost we took her body with us from the tower so that we could bury her somewhere cold and green, unlike the desert that had been her surrounding for so long. As we left her spirit faded, hopefully finally at peace. We think that the area near Mariners Landing would make a great burial site, after Professor Fiddget has had a chance to look at her.

Upon leaving we decided to take care of the spiders nest and reduce the horrid smell of the cave whiskey in one move and we made short work of the spiders. Aiden’s curiosity, and the rest of our’s, wasn’t quite so easily sated when it came to the treasure room though, so we sent the rogue back in to take a peak. As quiet as a church mouse he crept through the piles of treasure and grabbed a few of the nicest items in arms reach. Hanging from the ceiling was a small glass orb with a tiny skeletal creature in it that could move with impossible speed. Just as Aiden was getting close to look at the tiny creature the pile of treasure began to rumble. and clatter. and a terrifying beast emerged. Larger than the dragons of legends past and without a scrap of flesh or hide on it, a skeleton began to rise from its slumber with Aiden on its head. That sneaky rogue though flew out of there like a bar of soap in a bath tub and he was beyond those who were waiting before we knew it. We sprinted out of the mountain as waves of gold roiled behind us. The whole mountain was shaking itself apart as we got to our horses and galloped to the trees. We didn’t see the beast from our hiding place, but we heard it come raging around the mountain as it searched for those who had stolen its treasure and its tower prisoner. Those who come next should be well prepared, for now that the dragon has been awoken I doubt he will sleep so deeply again.

Quest hooks:
-Now that we’ve found The Lonely Tower, the legend tells of 7 other locations of ancient Drochtredia that we can explore (N S E W NE NW etc…)

-There is a massive horde of treasure guarded by a skeletal dragon that we left behind

-the pool of water in the cave had an underwater tunnel that lead off in the direction of the tower that could only be accessed with a dragon’s claw (possibly dragonborn).

-The skeleton in the orb is definitely Watchamadingle the quickling.

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The Legend of the Forest Temple

Swept up by the rush of stepping foot in mariner’s landing Aiden was quickly talked into a journey to a forest temple by Captain Stor Lingo and the next day he met up with the motley crew of Peren, Mac Woodfleet, Stor Lingo, and Tahli Karan. After making a quick stop for last minute provisions we set out for Farmer Ed’s and then the forest. Travel from Mariner’s Landing to Ed’s was mostly uneventful save for a curious bear that we stumbled across. Thankfully it was our fortune to discover that the bears in this land are quite fond of honey and we continued to Ed’s peacefully.

Upon Arrival to Ed’s we discovered he was not there. We Investigated the mill near Ed’s place because of some strange occurrences and discovered a mischievous fairy Dragon named Tinker, he seems to be mostly harmless and loves chicken. We then carried on our mission and traveled into the woods.

Our first day of travel through the forest went peacefully but the next we discovered a small blighted goblin, which after some good trash talk from mac, we swiftly defeated without much injury. Some time later we arrived at what we believed to be this temple that we had been told about. The area just outside had 4 small houses each of which the contents were either ransacked or spoiled aside from some curious documents written in druidic.

The temple itself appeared to be more like a cave in the side of a bluff and its entrance was covered in vines. Peren stepped forward and touched the vines with his sword of vengeance and as he did the vines opened and we were in. The next day we explored this temple all the while dodging traps and countermeasures we initially thought were designed to keep things out but as we delved deeper into this meticulously designed structure we found what appeared to be a druidic research facility and in its deepest darkest chamber we found a former Druid of this group completely consumed by blight.

Upon defeating the Blighted creature we stumbled upon a journal detailing that the facility was used by the druids to study the blight but one of their members, Ta’lor Tranth, had tried to weaponize the blight and in doing so eventually fell to it. He had been sealed away to keep it from spreading but it found a way out and began to overrun the druids. See no other solution the leader of the druids, Jakam Harly, sealed the facility and activated all of the containment countermeasures in hopes it would not spread and his former friend could not harm anyone else. We also discovered a sealed vault that contained sticks covered with runes and a Gauntlet on a pedestal. The party gathered the items and after deducing that we had searched everywhere we decided to gather what remained of the blighted druid and present him to Na’lor in Mariner’s Landing for research purposes. As we left Aiden re-enabled all of the traps and Tahli closed the vines at the entrance with the magic staff. so it should be noted that its a bad idea to re-enter without someone handy in that field.

Our journey home was fairly uneventful and upon arrival in Mariner’s landing we headed straight for the Advocates of the land after convincing the guard to let us present the corpse to Na’lor.

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Light in the Fog
Gil invited me along on a voyage to the grey hills along with Gerald Poh, Dracon, and Brennus Artaius. Gil bought us passage across the sea with Captain Von Blitz so we could investigate and return a magical bowl he and Dracon found in a previous expedition. The journey took a week, and we arranged to meet back with the ship in a weeks time.

The fog was so thick in this new land I could barely see a few yards ahead. But when we reached the beach, Gerald and Brennus secured the boat and we made our way to the lighthouse which would stand as our rendezvous location. We had to climb our way inside the lighthouse (which still housed the magical bowl) and discovered a frightened human man named Dale had boarded up the entrance. He informed us that there was an attack on a northern lighthouse by some shark people that came from the sea. These shark people were at war with the duchies run by ghouls. Dale was a surf under Ghoul Duke Nirand. Some of the group members said the attack sounded like the Sohaugin, but I wasn’t sure what they were talking about.

We set north for second lighthouse, and arrived after 2 days walk. I don’t know how people stand the deafening fog. We also met a cow farmer who did not like us at all along the way. He seemed like a nice gentleman.

We encountered a squadron of humans a ghouls at the northern lighthouse. We sneaked past the first guards but were discovered behind the lighthouse and a fight broke out. Nearly instantly Brennus was struck hard and fell to the ground. We kept fighting and got Brennus a health potion amongst the struggle before it was too late. We killed most of the soldiers before a few more reinforcements came, and then fled inside the lighthouse. We pursued and Brennus and Gerald broke the doors open, and we finished the fight inside, killing all the guards.

This new lighthouse also had a bowl and the group agreed we should take it with us. It was heavy and bolted firmly. Brennus and Gerald freed it by beating the stone floor apart with a hammer. We also saw a rotten beached whale on the shore. Gil set a spell to float the bowl on a disk behind us and we returned to the southern lighthouse.

A strange thing happened on our return. The fog cleared and up on a hill was a giant blackened statue of what appeared to be a dragon’s claw. I wonder what it was.

Back at the southern lighthouse we discovered Dale had left with our longboat, so Gil sent his owl Salem with a message to Captain Von Blitz. We set to free the second bowl when we were greeted unexpectedly by a small band of Sohaugin. There was a human there willing to speak with us and we informed him of our fight with the ghouls. They were thankful of our service and agreed to let us on our way. As they were leaving 4 ghouls dressed as royalty appeared and fought with the shark people for a bit. When we joined the fight they fled and we couldn’t catch them in time. We believe the lead Ghoul was Duke Nirand.

Finally, we returned to the ship with two magically bowls in tow. I can’t wait to see what magic the bowls have to offer.

-Tahli Karan

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A Return Voyage, a Village Retaken

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Map of the village:
20180202_221009.jpg

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Halls of the Mountain Kings
Dwarven Spelunking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Return to the southern settlement

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

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

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

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Mr. Clappy
To the tune of Mr. Crowley

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

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

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

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

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