The Dark Carnival

Dwarrowhill Mine

Late overnight April 15/16 the party arrives Darrowhill.

April 16

Wake and go to town of Silverton, arrive by lunch.
At breakfast, we are approached by an old gentleman who says he’s the leader of the miners guild in Silverton named Laglidin Cladinias. Asks us if we are the men that have been sent here to investigate the problem at the mine. He says the town leaders received a message by carrier pidgeon, saying to watch for my associates arriving to investigate your problem. Signed by one Mr. Burns.
Malenko “Yes we are.”
“Very good.”
Silverton is a small mining village, grew from Gannu merchant family starting things here. The patriarch Jasper discovered silver here 100 years ago. He spent life savings on mining operation, town then grew from the mine’s success. Many other silver mines found in the area since then. Most are actualy owned by outside interests. Local populace does the mining, storage, caravan work, etc. Several raids on shipments going from here. Goblin raiders come from the hills and overwhelm them.
The original mine (east of town): After several months of mining, a large underground chamber littered with bones was discovered, with huge silver nuggets. Miners were frightened, so priests were brought into bless and excorsise the mine.
2 and a half years to the day after the first vein discovered, broke into a deep pocket unleashing a vampire!!! More than 20 miners were killed before they were ablet o push her back into her lair..
Malenko “Oooh, a her.” Dahlia knew he’d say that.
“….they were able to use magic to lock her away. The miners turned on Jasper. He was lynched, wife, pregnant with child, run out of town. As they were chased out, the folk yelled curses, burned down their house, grounds of house sown with thorny vines to never be used again. Family has never been back.
They blamed Jasper for pushing the mine deeper and deeper past the bone room, which they felt should have warned them to cease. Jasper had become too greedy.
This mine was the most profitable. They closed it up permantly post vampire.
All other mines have been found to west of Silverton.

No one knows where the goblins come from, but suspicion is the mine is their camp since they might know that no man goes near it. Most of the transit goes south toward Dwarrowhill. From there goes all over. The shipments are being hit tween mines and Dwarrowhill.
Attacks have been happening for a few months. About a month ago, some of the mines to the west were sabotaged, equipment stolen.

If we succeed, we will be rewarded handsomely.

Caravans don’t run on set schedule, just leave when enough ore is ready to go. Also, the goblins don’t hit EVERY caravan. The ones lesser guarded are the ones generally hit.
Elric “What determines how many guards are with a given shipment?”
“Whoever is in charge of the shipment. There is a minimum that the guild/Silverton provide. After that, its up to each individual mine owner, or his distributer, etc. Some will pay extray money, others don’t. It’s random, though bigger the shipment, more they are willing to pay.”
Typical attack of goblins is in the dozens.
Elric “Let us know while we are here before any shipments leave of a small enough size to be attacked.”

In town, we lunch et al, get word on on other rimportant people:

  • Forbear the Smith, also the sheriff; he’s a huge man; can make mst. work stuff!
  • Blass Anains the speaker to the town council for years, and owner of SIlver Cup Inn, where we stay. A 2 story Inn.
  • Rena the midwife: trustworthy, herbalist, healer; has small bit of Adept magical ability
  • Moses Ereint the town judge, owns Rusted Pick
    All have lived here for years, and middle age at least.

Rusted Pick trade goods: general store; no weapons nor armor
The House of Thorns, Jasper’s old place, is halfway tween the town and the old mine which is about 8 miles into the mt’s to east.
One church in town, a god of earth and wealth.

Early evening, main townsfolk begin to show up. A local bard arrives as well, moved here 4 months ago. Gar figures he’s a spy.
Gar tells Malenko to send the wraith to scout out the old Jasper house ruins.
Jeb leaves to the nearest mine that was sabotaged/stolen from, with Elric and wolfy. He will talk to the miners for details.
Gar and Malenko will talk to the forman, owners, etc who come to town for the night for more details on things.
Jeb say to ask someone if there are any portraits of Jasper left, in town records or something.

Evening:
Those in town spread out to talk. It’s not common knowledge amongst folks nor miners, but important people know that the loss of revenue lately is going to slowly choke the life out of the town. It’s not dire now, but its going to be.
Rena says, as town doctor, says if we need any of her assistance she is happy to help.

Forebear truly is a hulk. Worked as a smithy since 12, father taught him. He’s passed on. His dad was the smith here, too. The dad was the first of the family here, but the old timers talked about Jasper a lot then. If the other mines hadn’t been found before the disaster at the 1st, there never would have been a town at all. Jasper only owned the one original mine.
No mines have changed hands or been bought out by outside buyer either.
Gar to the group “I think someone from Jasper’s family is here for some payback.”
The mine foreman and officials say, about the raids, the goblins don’t just kill all blindly. They attack; resisters are killed; otherwise they are only after the silver. They usually take the carts and wagons it was already on, sometimes they use their own carts. They always find the wagons abandoned later on. Pack animals are not recovered. Concerning the mine attacks: there were 3 simultaneous attacks; goblins broke into and destroyed/damaged operational stuff like tracks, cars, support beams, broke picks, and stole mining equipment; a few fatalities; odd thing about both caravan and mine raids is the goblins carry off ALL of the dead, theirs and the humans.
Malenko “Not good, that usually means they’re eating them, or a necromancer is involved.”
No attempt to follow the goblins has been made. No banner do they fly.
No one seems to suspct the bard of anything. He now has his own house rents. He spends little time socializing, other than performing evenings. Otherwise, they are not really sure where he is during the day.
Rena says check with the speaker for access to old records and such.
Dahlia tells Malenko to get a good look at the bard’s face to compare to any picture we may find later.

Jeb at mines:
Jeb puts on a good performance for them, and his wonderful company, loosen their tongues and all. Brings some good wine too.
They give same story town gave about mine raids, but: after a few drinks one guy “I’ll tell you what I saw…”
Other guys yell he’s crazy!
“I saw it, I saw it! I was right there!”
Others “You’re an idiot!”
He swears he saw a walkign talking man sized rat telling the goblins what to do in goblin language. He was in one of the tunnels during the raid and in a small recess passage.
Others “Aw geez, not this story again. There are no walking talking man sized rats.”
Jeb tells a tale of wererats.
They think the local bard is a great guy, very friendly. Walks throught he crowd, meetin’ and greetin’.
Nothing new and unusual in last several months leading up the the problems. No one else from any other mines saw a rat at the other 2 mines.
Back to town. Promises to send more wine for them tomorrow night, for their hospitality.

Wraith Charles at the burned down house grounds:
He finds nothing, really. It is certainly a black spot on the earth, from being created out of such hate and vengeance. Otherwise, nothing.
Back to town.

April 17

Right after breakfast, we go to see speaker about town records.
He takes Jeb right in, no problem. By hall of records, he means room. Lots of local history here: old miner journals, sketch maps, etc.
Blass doubts much is here we look for, all of the Gannu stuff at the house and the mine was burned, closed off, respectively.
Blass finds nothing, then kind of sits back watching Jeb work his skills. Jeb finds a family portrait of Jasper and his wife!! Handsome man, Blass says keep what we need. Jeb assures we’ll bring it back.
Jeb spends all day in here looking for references to Jaser, especially around the time of his fall but finds nothing much at all; only vague references to the vampire and the mine itself. It was the magic of the priests who forced it back in the end. No maps of that mine either. He knows the Guild will have no map of it this long after, either.

While Jeb is there, the rest of us go to the burned out house location.
We latent evidence of people here, for certain, around the grounds.
Elric and wofly search the perimeter. They see signs of activity, small booted feet moving around the area all over. Not sure of timeframe, but been at least a few days since most recent. Hard to tell with the rocky terrain.
No disturbance of the remains of the house itself.
Elric leave wolfy here to let him know, telepathically, if anything comes through.
Malenko sends his raven familiar south to scout for goblins.
Back to town.

In town:
We get word that the next caravan is in 2 days. Could be the goblins were on their way to an attack point. Or they were generally in this area.

Malenko looks at the picture: there are some similarities, but in Malenko’s opinion its not enough to guarentee relation; but could be.

We see the church. He says he can bless us some water, and we can get garlic at the general store or Inn’s kitchen.

Tonight:
Malenko uses his knock scroll to break into the bard’s house and look around while his performance is going on, taking his undead and dog with him. It’s a small place, bedroom and common room. In the vanity, he has a large collection of makeup, and other accoutraments for prosthetics. Disguise!! All being used regularly!!! That’s why the pic only resembled Jasper a little bit.
He leaves, being sure to lock up behind. Malenko has Charles check the grounds as well, but finds nothing.

April 18

Up early. Stop at store for travelling rations, oil, and final gear. Wraith Charles hides underground.
Stop for 2 vials of holy water and wafers he has made thus far. Elric has fashioned woodens takes already.
We are approached by Forebear “I am coming as official sheriff in town, to let you know, since you have been investigating, it appears that our bard friend has moved out. I was doing my morning patrol and saw his front door open. He has cleared out.”
Hmm.

We walk to the mine. Half a day trip there. Pick up wolfy on the way. Underbrush is dense, trail is rough. Mine lies open! It had been boarded up when Jasper affair went down.
Elric finds lots of movement of lots of goblins around the entrance all over, and regularly.
Dahlia and Barry, w/ darkvision, enter first. We follow down a passage of several turns into a collapsed area. Footprints disappear at it though. Elric finds a hidden latch opening opening a hidden door into a 40×50 room. A gang of goblins turn and see us, going for their weapons lying near. Unfortunately for them, Dahlia and Vic, now standing behind Elric and Barry, are faster.
Vic cuts one in half. Malenko enters with is flame blade. They counter attack with melee and javelin throwers as Barry enters but misses, then Elric fires as Haarkon joins the fray. Haarkon crits smashing its head like a watermelon.
Vic cuts 2 in half as Dahlia evicerates hers multiple times. Malenko burns his to death, Barry hits kills his goblin.
All the remaining gobins engage.
Last goblin is attacked by Haarkon DEAD.
One door on the southern wall.
Wolfy eats the head of the goblin killed by Barry. Barry drags the body into a corner and eats much of the insides. It will not become an undead.
Down a bit, it goes straight to a door and a right tunnel has a door along it before a turn.
To straight door first, 30×40 room filled with 3 long tables. Each half left over food and drink. Smells of rot and stale; firepit. No doors lead out.
Barry eats his full and we go back to take the west passage to the door. Elric says no noise. 30x square room. Solid table, messy room. Corners have piles of dirty clothes; several bedrolls lie about. No other doors. We leave the room, putting Barry to watch the rear with his darkvision from a good 30’ back. As our rear is passing the door, Barry behind them, they hear rustling from some of the soiled clothes. Out from underneath, giant rats come out, attacking Ulfar and Gozar. Ulfar shines here, talking out 3 of the 4. Gozer kills the last.
Meanwhile, at the end of the passage, Elric has found a secret door on the southern wall. He opens it, into a 50’ square room. It reeks of piss. It’s a goblin sleeping chamber. A horde of goblins realize we have opened the door.
Into the room full of goblins, 50’ square, smell of piss and bodies. Nasty nest area, lots of dirty straw matts and bedrolls. Ulfar and Vic lead the way in. They are ready for the fight.
Vic charges in, leaps into their midst and kills 3. Ulfar is missed by arrows as he charges as well, and slays 2, wounds another.
Gar in the hall as they prepare to enter as well "Don’t go near the woman!
The goblins surround Vic and Ulfar, who are but 10’ from each other.
Elric hits one of the archers, who are behind the rest, twice, while his wolf charges across and hits the other 18. Jeb begins a lively tune.
Gar and Haarkon move into the room.
Vic readies Vorpal Hurricane and they attack.
She mauls all on her and Ulfar but 4. Ulfar kills 2. 2 left, flanking Ulfar, both miss.
Elric finishes off his archer, as does wolfy.
Only door opens into a hall east and west. West, 20’ and ends. East, goes about 60’ and turns south.
No light.
Gar “Which way wizard.”
Malenko beats around the bush.
Gar to Dahlia “Are you sure he’s a wizard black elf. Not like any wizard I’ve ever met.”
Finally, Mal sends Haarkon to search the dead end for secret doors. Finds nothing.
So, the other way and turn south. 40’ then right and quick south again. 80’ further to a east turn. 20’ then north 60’ then east. 20’ ahead is a door and hall continues south. No obvious noise, and still no light but ours.
Gar “Wizard, listen at the door.”
He hears nothing. Malenko turns the knob, and it opens up.
40’ square room, 3 double wooden bunks each ending in an old lockless chest. No one in here.
Gar and Malenko search, but nothing of value. Definitely higher rank goblins though.
Gar does find a small purse under a mattress with 10gp.
Beds still flea and bug ridden.
Now continue down the hall, to a turn east. 60’ and back north long hallway. At this turn, Elric finds a secret door. Ahead it turns east 40’ to a turn north, but 20’ down is a door.
First, Elric opens the secret door by pushing a brick. 40′ × 30′ room, 3 large crates w/ red lettering across their sides in the common tongue ‘dwarrohill mining guild’. It must be part of the missing silver!!! No other exits, nor secret doors. Malenko wizards it open. Inside, is indeed lots of silver ore. Good, what we expected. Haarkon looks it over, "in this crate is approx 1500gp worth of ore. Should weigh about 600lbs each. Nothing in here to help move it either.
We check the room further. Gar enters first buy triggers a portcullis trap, striking him as he dodges, knocking him into the room. On the 2nd try, they lift it up. It does not appear to reset. Jeb braces each side with a Vic javelin and go in. The crates are locked.
We have to leave it her for now, and reclose the secret door, portcullis down.
Mal listens at the door, hears nothing. Gar looks down the next turn, and it goes into darkness but 20’ is an opening to west and 40’ same to the east.
Gar proceeds, looking down the first opening ahead while Vic opens the door w/ Mal and Haarkon. He sees another hall branching off ahead and it continues north.
Room: 6 small tables randomly around, rotting food. Cauldron and workbench, bags of flower moving on their own (eww) in one corner. No visible exits. We leave this one go.
Gar and Haarkon continue forward to see how it ends. It totals about 120’, they find another west hall, and at the end a door on northern wall and turns west again.
We take the first hallway east. Barry stays put, watching all the hallways here at our rear.
Its a long, long hallway. At 120’ or so, a hall branches south. Another 40 down this main hall and it turns south. We take the first. It goes 40’ south then turns west for 40’ ,turns south. At 20’, a hall west to a door to the north. 80’ further also ends at a door.
West first to the door there. Mal hears nothing. He opens the door and gets out of the way. Gar and Ulfar stand ready. 30′ × 20′ room, walls of draping black and red scarfs, swaying as if a wind.
Statue to a half rat half man ting statue of green stone. Red gems for eyes. It stands at an altar with used candles.
Gar “Some sort of rat god. It’s true.”
We investigate, finding there are 17 scarves in all. 2gp each. Marble statue is big, 6’ tall, 300 lbs. Malenko appraises it "To a collector, that thing would be a good 650gp. The rubies alone are 100gp each.
Scrolls lie about the statue. Malenko investigates them. They are written in Sylvan. Elric can read it! They are religious. Lots of moldy food offerings. Elric and Malenko go over some of the scrolls briely together, working it out to be describing an evil religious canon of Narrimunth, the rat god, lord of disease. Mal has heard of this deity.
Jeb “Obviously a disgusting creature.”
To a collector, scrolls worth 25gp.
Continue further to the next door at the end of the hall. Mal listens, nothing.
Gar “Wizard it open.” Mal does.
Gar leads the way in. 20′ × 40′ appears to be a rick bed chamber. Black candles light the place. It is a collection of bedroom furniture from obviously wealthy families. Broken shields with crests adorn the walls. Including shield above bed, black falcon holding a pick and shovel in its talons.
Elric “Sounds like the town’s founders bedroom?”
Jeb recognizes that as the Ganu family crest, indeed.
Mal inspects the heraldry, and it is all family crests from this general region. Whoever’s room this is has been around this area a lot, possible kill trophies or stolen. But for the Ganu one, they are all current in styles.
The candles Elric thinks have been treated with a strange liquid, and common for Elven ritual.
Sylvan, Elven, Rat god, goblins? What is going on?
Malenko wants all the ritual candles.
No secret doors so back up, and contine to east to the turn south. It goes 60’, turns west, then south, then east to a door. Mal listens, hears movement. Door is unlocked. Jeb sing an old elf battle hymn and Gar and Ulfar bust in!!!
ITs a throne room to a harry large goblin, flanked by 4 other goblins to either side weilding spear. Several other goblins stand tween us and then.
He knows we have beein slaying his tribe, and demands our names so he knows who he is about to kill.
Gar “I am The Great Gar the Barbarian, son of the Grand Nuge!! I am here to destroy you!!”
“Well then , it is time to show you why lawrence put me in charge”. Says something in goblin and both sides charge.
The front 4 goblins are ready for melee. The 6 behind x bows, as does the chief.
Gar rushes past our left and hits the first royal guard. Dahlia tumbles through the first line, eviscerating the first blade.
Vic moves in, damaging one in the front line.
The chief shoots Ulfar, tosses it down, and starts convulsing. He’s turning into a wererat!
Vic “Wizard, what do we need to kill it!!”
Mal “Magic and silver!” He enters and fires a bolt of arcane energy at the chief 9.
The front force retaliates. The xbow men step back and fire again, the others melee including one who charges Malenko crits. Dahlia deflects the only bolt that would have hit her.
Haarkon moves in and attack’s Vic’s “May I kill it?”
Vic “Yes I’m bored with only 1.” He kills it.
The guardsmen move now, 2 on Gar and Dahlia each hiting Dahlia once.
Ulfar attacks Malenko’s attacker 10
Dahlia crits 23 on a guard/11. Vic moves to where she can attack 3 goblins. She drops one, crits another for 8 bleed, crits the next as well DEAD. Gar finishes off his initial guard.
The chief, now full man rat, wielding an axe, jumps down adn engages Gar miss.
Mal steps aside and shoots the king again but fumbles the spell turning the chief invisible.
The goblin rabble continues their attack.
Haarkon moves to help Dahlia killing a guardsman. Then Dahlia is hit twice by guardsman, Gar once, Vic twice.
Ulfar kills Malenko’s attacker. Dahlia kills a guardsman and hits another twice. Gar hits a guardsman twice. Vic kills another mook, the crited one bleeds out, cleavs a guardsman 21, hits another guardsman 21 DEAD.
The invisible wererat chief attacks Vic, hitting with the axe twice, then he bites her. The invisibility remains.
Malenko’s spell fails.
The last xbow man misses Haarkon. Haarkon moves and retaliates 17 DEAD.
Ulfar charges in and attacks the chief’s space but whiffs; Dahlia dices up her final foe, a guardsman; Gar kills the last guard; Vic misses the chief invisible twice.
Chief turns to Gar now, hiting with axe once 5, and bite 2. Still invisible.
Malenko casts again, trying to target his invisibility spell and dispel it. It works!!! Haarkon rushes him, trying to take him to the ground. His AoO bites Haarkon, who knocks him over!
Gar and Vic hit once, as does Ulfar. Dahilia crits, granting all around and AoO, only Gar misses.
He stands up and bites Ulfar 5.
Another round of our attacks, and Vic’s second attack brings him down! He reverts into a goblin. Gar demands his beheading and quartering.

Loot in this room:
Ratman:all lvl 4 mstwk.
small battle axe (plus 1 crit range)
small studs (25% negate crit)
lt steel shield (plus 1 def)

Grate of black tarnished silver, with arcane and divine runes, words, and symbols. Malenko detects abjuration. As we rest, he detects more upon it. Deciphering the carvings, it is a permanent ward of protection vs undead. The grate looks like its been here for a long time. This must lead to the vampire. So, we don’t take that off.

We plan on staying the night outside, but move on to clear the other tunnels first. We backtrack to where we had left Barry, and continue west. 80’ and turns north 30’ to a door. 40′ × 40′ room, 2 round tables and many straw beds. Door to east. No ememies so we search. Elric finds secret door in northern wall. Opening to a short hall to west ending in a secret door obvious from this side. It goes into the initial guard room behind us.
We take door to east, hall then turns north to door and 2 halls cutting east.
Haarkon goes for his tools this time, and fails to unlock it. Malenko wizards it open; room filled with crates, boxes and crude old weapons but serviceable. It’s the armory. We search in case we can find anything decent. We take some ammunition, but Haarkon and Barry find 2 mst. wpns, both level 4: shortspear (armor piercing ignore 2 pts DR); Greataxe (plus 2 damage). Vic takes the spear.
The others are connecting halls, one has a door. Small room with 10’ long table and 5 chairs. Silver candlestick (5gp) rests in the middle, empty weapon wrack.
Elric finds secret door by wpn. wrack, a single loose stone. Inside is a piece of old folded paper. He hands it to Jeb, it speaks of the original attempt to thwart the vamp: it is a woman, very fast and strong, wammy powers. At least one group seemed to go in to slay it, and there was a disagreement among clergy on how best to handle the situation.
Back to last door at end of the long hallway.
Magical Darkness!! Inside, soft squeaking nose which gets closer once door opened!!
Elric “Step back”.
We all get back against the wall, but are assaulted by dire rats!!!!
Though on guard, we are not ready to attack and they flow into the hallway first. 2 on each of Gar, Vic, Ulfar, and Mal. One each on Elric and Gozer, including Filth Fever saves. They’re tougher than we expected, taking a bit of time to clear out, and a few of us may have contracted filth fever.
Malenko tries to dismiss the Darkness, and succeeds. Just a big room full of garbage. We search; finding nothing.
Now, the last hall going east out of the long hallway. Same length as other hall that led to rat king. Turns north eventually, then west 100’. At the 60’mark is a door on south wall. Elric finds a secret door 40’ down on south wall. The pasage also continues to another door after an additional turn or 2.
Gar opens the first actual door into a macabre room: skulls of several humanoid races hang from chains. Halfling crucified on one wall; stink of incense and death. We search but find nothing. No vampire bites on halfling visible.
We go to regular door at end of passage. Gar opens this door as well to a small room, a personal shrine to a rat deity. A gang of large rats, black fur, squeel loudly and attack.
Elric fires, bringing one down with crit for intell. to 0, hitting another for 10; then wolfy rushes in and hits another.
One attacks wolfy, 2 on Gar. Gar hits back, and Malenko takes on the other on Gar. Wolfy fumbles, hitting but it may start a grapple for free but DEAD.
They miss Gar and Malenko. Gar’s fumbles, so hitting but stunning self for 2 rounds. He kills it, and Mal kills the last.
We search.

Rat god statue: Jeb knows it as the rat Lord of Filth, a different rat got from Lord of Disease. Worth 50gp to collector, made of granite that Haarkon says “appears to be from the mines near Dwarrohill. So, this statue most likely manufactured there.”
Elric “Maybe there’s a wererat presence there.”
Jeb “Might have to look into that.”

Now the secret door. Just as we go to open the door, Elric notices a trap. No one can disarm it. Gar puts his shield up, gets low, and pushes through quickly. 5 bolts fire from the the end of the hallway. 1 malfunctions and hits low just out of the wall. Jeb, Elric hit once, Gozer twice.
Jeb “Oh my, I’ve been shot!”
In the room, dust covered floor of a 30×30 room, 2 glowing balls of light on iron wrought candleabras aside a large stone coffin, carved in the relief of a man holding a mighty sword. This is not the mine founder, Jeb says.
Mal says the spheres have a permanent light effect upon them. The candelabras are 40lb and 50gp each, 6’ tall.
Malenko says this was Huerin Oralese, great warrior from town of Negdenburg near this area; general from time shortly after Masters’ War. Died 50 years ago via assassin’s poison blade. His followers whisked his body away to a secret tomb. Rumors, his followers sought a way to revive him from death to lead the town’s army vs the assassins that killed him. Whole place coated in dust, coffin sealed with lead.
Gar feels like not desicrating his tomb, seeing no reason to. We search around the room in detail, but find nothing else.
We close the place off and leave it as is.

Time to camp.

We bunk down in the first big guard room, 40′ × 50′. Elric, Jeb and Wolfy take first watch. Dahlia takes 3rd shift to morning. Middle shift is Haarkon Gar.
Barry is always up.

April 19

Back to town; tell them about silver, they just have to get it with the proper equipment, we’l show them where it is.
Malenko and Jeb search archive for any evidence of Nedgenburg vistitors around the right time, but find nothing.
Renna the midwife gives care to our potential filth fever for half price. Vic is the first to look sick, this evening. Renna starts with her and saves her from the effects! Being the leader, Gar is next by right of honor; then Ulfar, then everyone else.
We have just missed the full moon, so we have until next month to wait. We need to find a true caster/get back to Burns before the middle of May.

April 20

We stay here and relax, waiting any more filth fever.
Elric leads the workers up there the next day so they can start getting their silver back.
No filth fever today. Renna thinks we look clean, healthy. So, tomorrow we plan to head for the vampire. Malenko calls his bird back.
Malenko and Dahlia to to the mine tonight, to get the wraith up.

April 21

Morning, back to mine. Lunch before we head in. Wolfy has to stay on the goblin level, just to keep eyes and ears at our rear.
The wight can’t pass by the warded grate, nor can the wraith.
We want to leave the grate in tact, obviously.
Elric is still pissed at this undead/necromancer situation. Sgt and Erik will get an earfull upon his return.
We have Charles look inside the sarcophagus of the hero to see if there is anything with the body. Body, armor, sword, and small chest at his feet. The blade looks in fine shape, all else is old and rusted away. It is a bastard sword.
Gar “Pillage and plunder!!”
Ulfar wants to arm wrestle him for it.
ELric “True, we may need the magic against undead.”
Gar “We will borrow it.”
Chisels and hammers out.
Malenko offers herbs to make Vic stronger in order to break it off. Vic is amiable but its too harsh of side effects short term. So he enhances her str 2, magically.
2 tries, and with Jeb’s inspiring competence, Vic with aids from Elric, Ulfar and Haarkon open it.
Gar grabs the sword. He swings it around.
Inside chest:
7 potions, Mal id’s:
1x remove disease
6x cure lt wnds (1d8 plus 5)

We take them. Giving thanks to Huerin’s memory. Jeb will specifically mention Huerin’s help in his song of our victory, keeping the places unmentioned.
Malenko jests of raising him as an undead servant, Gar insists he will not. Malenko magically restores the rusted metal of the helm (lvl3), breastplate (lvl 4 inc. dex bonus by 1) and hvy steel shield (lvl 3)., and improves them to mstwk!! Just for the sake of Huerin. Generous move, but if this was meant to sway Gar in any way, it doesn’t.

Down we go! It’s a ladder, 20’ down to the floor below.
Unworked stone walls on this level; rough hewn; doors are simple wooden; halls 10’ wide and 8’ high; rooms are tapered roofs 8’ high on sides to 10’ in center.
We hear voices from top of the ladder, Elric say sits Goblin speak. Sounds like bored guards on duty.
Haarkon was going to lead, but we want to go quietyl. Whelm starts whispering for him to kill.
Dahlia “Stay here for a moment, I’ll scope it out and signal you” to Haarkon. She goes first to a 50’ room. Goblins are playing cards, not on high alert. Seem to have no idea what happened above. There is one door out, on the southern wall. She drops and dashes to the door whistling for Haarkon.
Haarkon slides down the ladder as quickly as possible, landing with a bit of a thud and clang of plate but none the worse for wear, whelm slamming into the floor and sending out its wave. 4 goblins fall to the floor stunned.
Haarkon is attacked by 3, hit twice, Dahlia 5 at the door all miss, one fumbles sending his weapon flying across the length of the room. Dahlia kills 2.
Elric fast clims down, and stunt swings from the bottom rung into flank with Haarkon, but crits a sgt not engaged yet 14 and throat bleeding 2d6, begins drowning in his own blood. Another charges Elric miss. Haarkon is hit, Dahlia missed all 3 times.
Dahlia kills 1. Elric hits the charger; sgt bleeds 5 panicking; Haarkon kills his last.
Dahlia’s 2 step to flank but miss; Elric is hit.
Dahlia hits 3 times but fails to kill; bleeder dies; Elric kills his last; Haarkon crushes the skull of a stunned goblin.
Dahlia is missed both times; the stunned stand up now.
Dahlia kills 1 and wounds the other; Elric literally cuts his in half at the waste; Haarkon hits 15 staggered.
1 left on each of us now, Haarkon is hit as the goblin passes out; Dahlia kills hers; Haarkon finishes off the KO’d; Elric staggers his.
That last one swings at Elric miss and passes out.
Elric “Crush his skull, Haarkon” he does.
Opens into a hallway going 10’ west and turn ssouth; 30’ east and turns north. We check both turns first: the southern goes 40’ and turns east; the north goes 80’ and turns east. We take the latter which then turns south 80’ and turns east.
20’ turns north for 100’ turning west, but also hall at the 20’ mark.
This is all very winding and winding, and long. Jeb is keeping directions so that we don’t get lost.
Finally we come to a door. Gar hears nothing. 50′ × 30′ room like an office, with lots of crates stacked 3 high, desk covered with papers and books.
Malenko makes for the desk and searches through:
Detailed paperwork concerning theft of ore from other mines (where, when, how much) and a mining operation from this mine as if its current and ore is outgoing. Names are listed as to who is buying silver, but no places. Interestingly, we have heard no noise of mining ops. Until Dahlia enters the room a moment later. Further down the halls is a shaft in the floor, from which she hears work.
The crates are all empty, for packing the silver out of this mine.
The shaft goes straight down, a winch mechanism operates an elevator that is at the bottom right now. No light below. The hall ends in the shaft.
Elric :“Well, this isn’;t good. They aren;t taking that silver up the ladder we came down. The vampire has a way out then, if she still exists.”
Gar “Whoever started this operation either already killed her, never woke her up, or made their own deal with it.”
Malenko “They were taking no prisoners, I doubt the vamp is subsisting on goblins.”
Hmm.
Elric communicates with wolfy, and Mal with his raven, to start searching the vicinity outside for activity.
Elric checks the hall floor, and he can tell they bring ore up off the elevator into the crates.
Mal commits the names and important details to memory, Jeb writes them as backup.

We continue on this floor to secure it. More winding and winding. At one point there is a hall that even Dahia can’t see the end up, with an opening parway down.
We take the long hall to the visible cut off. More winding and winding.
Next a door ahead and one to the south. Dahila checks ahead down the south.
The room ahead is 20 × 20. Human and dwarf bodies hang from the room, parts mixed, heads and limbs strewn.
Already animated dead turn to us and luch forward.
Gar “Necro wizard, do something!”
Malenko makes to take them under his sway, but they are already ruled over. It’s a test of wills to rip them from the enemies sway. He does! Taking over all 8.
“Follow me now.”
Gar “So there is another necromantic villain here.”
All the zombies were originally human, corpses of miners, teamsters, etc. Recall, all dead bodies vanished from the attacks. Now we know at least one reason why.
We use them as our lead, and cotinue on.
Later, Elric comes across a secret door. We investigate that before moving on. It slides silently into the wall, right. 20 × 20 room. Floor covered in cave in debris, but one wall has partially covered writing. Zombies clear it away.
Elric notices an amulet in the rubble as they dig around, finding an amulet. Mal and Jeb take a look. Mal knows it as Amulet of Prot vs Evil (allows wearer to cast spell of same name 1/day).
Message is in dried blood:
“No yee who enter here, that this place is a cursed as Jasper Gunnu himself…”
Big warning to all who enter to get out asap.
We soon wrap around back to the ladder room, passing a door just before. Whelm senses goblins from the room.
Gar listens first, hearing a lot of goblin talking. Dahili runs down the hall to the previous turn, to check if the hall looks like it may enter the same room. It does not, but turns south then west 60’ to a door, at which point it turns south too. She returns and reports.
Haarkon throws the door open, to a multitude of goblins standing around a fire in the middle. They turn as a group. One points and screams “Arathra!” aka attack in goblin.
Haarkon and Vic rush in to meet their attack.
Vic hits so hard it knocks the first one into the fire, which kills the staggered creature, then cleaves another DEAD. Haarkon moves in straight ahead.\
They surround Haarkon and Vic, Gar just outside the doorway waiting to move in.
They hit Vic 4 times, for no damage. Gar jests “Perhaps they are illusions.”
Haarkon is hit once. taking his first actual damage because of his plate armor like their wps are made of clay.
Haarkon misses then whelm disintigrates him. Vic takes out 5.
Haarkon is hit once out of 4 attacks, Vic twice out of 3.
Vic drops a few more but misses with her 2nd attack.
The one goblin hanging back, we assume a leader, now moves into the opening.
They hit each of us once. Haarkon drops one.
Vic clears the last 2, leaving the one who lagged behind. He misses Vic. Haarkon retaliates 19. Vic finishes him off.
Gar pulls the 2 KO’d of to the side. We wake them up and Haarkon questions them. Mal uses some. We question them.
They say his chief is Rez-zomer (That’s the guy we killed upstairs, the rat king); the necromancer is Narzi Hillspeck, a gnome; knows nothing of a vampire; he knows not how his chief and the wizard were working together; there is another entrance to the mine on this level, through which they remove the silver; he is only a mine guard and sometimes goes on raids, knows nothing of how deliveries or pickups of silver are made; they are mining on 1 level below this, as deep as at least these 2 know it goes.
Malenko “I have a feeling the vampire is on a lower level than the goblins have gone” and wants to remove the ward above, since the vampire has other exits to use if she exists.
Since they gave up, we give them the choice of death by hammer, blade, or turned in to the town. Malenko adds the opportunity to be hired on as a hireling, pakrat, etc, with opportunity for advancement.

Halls: rough stone, 10’ wide and 7’ high
Rooms: 7’ high at walls, 10’ to 11’ high at center
Walls are considered unworked stone

Laglidin Cladinias: head of miner’s guild

View
Gretchen's Forest
Yanath and company help an old friend of Mr. Burns

April 10

Burns told us Gretchen is very reclusive. Most will likely have not heard of her on the highway.
Late, Yanath et al arrive Brimmin. Inquire about fording the river north of Skellig. They say we can ford it at the bend about 18 miles north of the town.
We ask about any news of issues in the forest to the west, any requests for assistance by the small settlements there; universal answer is no.

April 11

We ask the sheriff if he has heard of any troubles west. He puts us in touch with the local woodsmen and huntsmen. He says that’s a bit far from our jurisdiction. If that area needed help, they would probably ask it of the cities to the west of the forest. However, there have been odd rumors, though not particularly in that specific area but the hole gilderwald forest, has had strange things going on. Random person or 2 disappear, sightings of strange creatures, supposedly a few have been killed even. In general, it is an old deep forest. Those who live there are hearty by nature. Human or otherwise.
Locals say there are small, scattered settlements in the deep woods to which we go. Also, inhuman beasts roam free. It is devoid of official patrols of any sort.
Camp just at the Elbe River’s green edge, NE of Skellig.

April 12

Ford the Elben River at the bend east of our destination.
We stow and camouflage the wagon away safely.
In the stretch before the Wiesen River, we hear noise in front of us.
Yanath signals for All Quiet. Eagle Eye immediately watches one flank, Iggy the other, Hawkeye the rear.
Sounds like at least 3 men, but no more than 8. Seem to be just walking normally. Not responding to our presence.
Yanath sneaks ahead and sees 5 men, dressed as if on a hunting trip. Couple have pelts and furs they have gathered. They are moving south.
Yanath “Hail good men.”
They are startled, reaching for hatchets and such, at first.
They inquire what I am doing here.
Yanath inquires about Gretchen. They know of here. The leader says she lives across the Wiesen a few miles or so. Near the base of the high top. “Very reclusive, secretive old lady. Does have dealing with our town.” A small hamlet just south of here called Wieston. They invite us to follow, they can get us across the Wiesen and to her place easily. Nearest ford otherwise is 10 miles north.
Yanath agrees. The leader is Fraunk, they are indeed hunters.
Yanath warns him not to be startled by a few of our crew. He calls them out and all introduce themselves.
We make it to Wieston by late evening. As we approach, something seems not quite right. Some people are rushing around, smoke is rising from one spot close to the river which the hamlet is right adjacent to.
Fraunk “Lords of Light!”
We all hurry into town together.
A man stops, yelling of things that came out of the river and attacked, killed several men. A trading ship docked was burned and killed most of the crew.
No one has ever seen anything like them, he says, but they were lizard like and humanoid.
Fraunk is distraught “We have never had any problems like this. I have to talk to my captain” and goes off.
The new guy explains Fraunk is a member of the militia.
Yanath offers us to see to wounded with Hawkeye, if he will lead us. He does. Yanath sends Iggy and Gwana to riverbank to check things out. Tanaron and Eagle Eye accompany them.
Wounds are certainly from claw and fang, by far.
Ragnar helps clear damage at the docks.
They find no dead, human or otherwise. Whatever it was definitely came from the water. They had clawed feet, and tails. The ship is still afloat but essentially destroyed.
Sounds like lizard fold, so far.
They took every body they killed with them. There are 4 charred bodies from the fire they left behind at the boat. A group of 5 men approaches, all crew from the trading boat. The Cpt. introduces himself as Smith, he and these 3 are last alive out of 12 men. He witnessed 2 of his men dragged away during the attack. He has never seen anything like them, horrible lizard like creatures. Gray green scaly skin, man sized but smaller than average man. Primarily fought with natural weapons but some simple clubs too. Johnny was for sure dead when they took him; Marcus he thinks was alive. The ship burned after they boarded because in the fight a lantern was knocked over.
Once the fire started they started to retreat off the ship. Smith says they seemed to be heading south when they withdrew. The entire river is navigable from Wodan lake to here, no falls and only minor rapids; and fairly wide from 900’ and 1200’ across.
No word of such things from nearby settlements either, others in town say.
A militia man arrives with word that the Cpt would like to speak to us.
We gather together and meet him, along with Smith.
The Cpt. seems like a man who has seen some action in his life mid 30’s. He is Drake. Fraunk told him about us. He asks of our assistance in hunting down these things that attacked. They don’t have much in the way of rewards for us. We can stay as long as necessary for free, guide us across river to her area, eat for free, and offer any assistance they can.
He says Gretchen does trade with Wiesen so he has met her.

April 13

Drake says, besides him and Fraunk, there are 20 other militia types.
Smith says he is a river trader, that’s his job, for a few years now and has never had anything like this happen before. These creatures are surely new to the area, he says.

Yanath sees to the wounded, and we make for Gretchen with Drake’s guide. We are ferried across the river to a small dock. There is a lantern there to signal for the ferry, as well as a bell. A path here leads to Gretchen’s house.
It is only about 1000’ up the path to her hut; 1500’ from there to the base of the hill to the north.
Forest seems healthy all during the trip.
Her hut has a nice clearing around it; garden; smoke from the chimney.
Yanath and Gwana approach and knock. A moment later an old crone opens the door, hunched over holding a walking stick.
We tell her Burns sent us, she beckons us all in. It’s a bit of a tight fit inside. There is one common room and her bedroom.
“You must be the ones that he really likes, or really hates. He either sinks highly enough to send you here, or low enough he expects you to fail and rid him of you.”
She explains: Strange happenings in the woods began several months ago; creatures she had not seen for many years appearing, many who have never been in these woods; unnatural things in some cases. At first one here, one there. They would show up, then vanish. Then more of them, and making their homes in the forest. She did her best to keep things in check “but I’m not what I used to be”. That’s why she sent for the help. It is only getting worse. She believes she may be the reason behind it. She will not divulge her past with Burns, since he did not, but in their younger days Burns and her, with some others, were influential in certain circles. Since then, people ha e resented that.
Old vendettas coming back to haunt her. The only reason she believes this: about the time this all started, she noticed on the hill above her home, a man dressed in black. He camped there for 3 days, directly overlooking her. Shortly thereafter the first of the creatures approached her hut. 5 days consecutively. Then the number increased when the first 5 failed. Then the instances in the forest in general increased.
There is a dwarf settlement in the hill, and a small elf enclave deeper in the forest. They never encountered him.
“In my hut I feel completely secure, but away from it I am not nearly as so.” So she never approached the man.
No pattern to the new monsters, varying things. She has not heard from the dwarves nor elves in a month. But that happened sometimes anyway.
We give her the bad news about the attack on Wieston. She is very sad.
The elves are just under a mile from here.
When Yanath asks she says, by the details we give her of the attack, how far she thinks they might go from their home for a night raid.
“I’m not sure, but I’ll find out.” She goes outside, holds her staff overhead and chants. After a minute she sits, as if in a trance for a couple minutes and snaps out of it.
“I know exactly what they are: troglodytes. Horrible creatures they are. I faced them many, many years ago.” Don’t usually live this far north. Vicious. They eat their prey (as we suspected). Only eat their own in an emergency. Not smart, but can be cunning. They have a nasty stench to be on guard against; secrete an oil when angered or fighting that smells terrible. They are chameleon like, can blend in to surroundings. They tend to lair underground, close to water; have darkvision. She’s almost positive the lair will be on the side of the river as the hamlet.
She says we are welcome back at any time. Her circle is highly secure.
Yanath asks her to use her knowledge of the areas herbs, he wants her to make something of scent to help guard our smell vs the trog stench. Nose plugs of some sort.

She tells us of a cave entrance to a stone door up the high top to enter, so as to meet the dwarves. She gives us a plant sprig, which will show them we come in her graces. The guide will stay her at her hut.
We leave for the dwarves first and arrive w/o incident. The entrance is a well disguised door. If we didn’t know it was there, most would miss it entirely!
We knock with a dagger hilt. A few moments pause and a small peep hole opens next to the door “Who are you and what do you want”.
We show the good will token, tell him we want to talk. The door opens to a dwarven warrior.
They are very much on guard still. Obviously troubled.
Even Rags can fit comfortably in here.
The 2 guards lead us to an assembly hall and meet the leader: Frigg Longbeard.
They are glad to hear Gretchen lives; they have had several incidents here; unable to get out and trade for a month. First, a group of their traders was going toward the river and in that short time were beset upon by 2 monstrous spider. 4 were killed/captured. Warriors were sent to kill them but on the way down they were attacked by a few fleshy undead. They killed 1 of our men and the rest retreated.
Then, they sent out a full force. On the hillside searching for the undead layer, and hill giants came from the hill’s upper reaches. They retreated.
Seems to us like someone is trying to keep them in here.
They have not found the undead lair, they know the giants are at the top the hill somewhere.
Minimum number of Hill Giants is 3.
He offers a contingent of men, led by his son Grigg Stoneskin, for any engagements we plan on.
They know nothing of the man in black camping on the hill.
We tell them to just stay hunkered down, we’ll be back.

Back down to Gretchen, tell her we met the dwarves. We lunch with her. She gives us a different sprig as a token for the elves.
Next, elf village. The guide will assist with Gretchen’s directions. We make it to the area, no thanks to the guide.

A voice calls out, from an elf we never saw. We present the sprig and a couple elves appear out of the foliage. Their outfits are top notch, helping them to hide very well. Yanath wants one.
They lead us to the tree village. Up a spiral stairway into the treetops we go. Their leader Glamar welcomes us.
We tell him all we have encountered and heard of thus far.
He says, from the west, they have run into a type of troll they have not seen before. Mujltiple, working together it seems. More intelligent than the norm. Blend in with the forest better. From the south, bands of orcs but not your typical orcs. Again, much better in the forest, quicker and wilderness skilled; not as bestial as normal orc and more cunning.
Farther to the south, they like to wander a lot and explore, groups of skeletons wandering in the forest.
None of these has found the elven village, but they have encountered the orcs and trolls several times. They have easily avoided the skeletons. Additionally, at least 3 giant spider nests they are aware of. The one at the dwarf hill makes 4.
Glamar says, if we plan on fighting these creatures, he can give us a cadre of him warriors to assist. 27 men, including the cpt of his men named Elebor.
We scetch the area out with the elves, plotting out the areas of distinct trouble and sightings that have caused harm, hoping to be able to triangulate to a source of some sort.
Oddly, the elven town seems most centrally located. But it is somewhat centrally located in general compared to settlements and such in the woods.
He does say, there are 2 things of suspect though: further to the south there is an old tower left over from the master’s war. Now a ruin. Just over a mile from here through dense forest.
Another cave on the dwarf hill, higher in elevation than the dwarves, in which nothing that they know of has lived for a long time. It has a bad vibe to it for as long as they know.
They know of a couple caves on this side of the river, likely too small to be a layer they think. They don’t know enough about the town side of the river.

Back to Gretchen’s to check in. All is well. She is doing some pot brewing; working on our stench guard. She will contact us in village tomorrow
She knows of the cave on the hill the elves spoke of, and is sure the dwarfs do too. Her recommendation is don’t go there. It has been abandoned for years, but what used to live there was very evil: a dragon!! A very big dragon. Dead since shortly after the Masters’ War. Other evil things took up residence there since over the years. Some for loot, others felt they could feed off of the aura of the evil beast. It has been well over 10 years since anything lived there.
Yanath “Seems like the obvious home of the undead, especially if no one including dwarfs enters it. If they never looked there, they wouldn’t have found them.”

Back to village.
It is well guarded by the militia. Those living nearby outside of town have moved in temporarily.
We tell Drake all we have done. He thinks of a couple possible trog lairs if they are underground. He is also a hunter and trapper so knows the area. There are 2 caverns along the river, both to the south. He can take us to them. The closer one is larger, just over half mile away, but does not go as deep into the earth. The further one goes down steeply overall, not as many branches, just under a mile away.

We get a good dinner and a full night’s rest.

April 14

Early morning, Gretchen is calling for the ferry.
Yanath, Hawkeye, Gwana and his shorties meet her.
She says nothing she knows of will negate the stench. But, something will help to temporarily protect. She gives us a cask of liquid. You soak a fabric material in it, and use it as a face wrap. It will help to ease the stench’s effect. It does only last until it cools and dries, so put them on as close to before combat as we can. She says the range of their stench effect is considerable. Probably 30’ or so. But once you resist from a particular group, you should be good for about a day.
Smith and his 4 crew insist on joining us, and can not be reasoned with. They want payback. Yanath leaves Dog back in town. Trogs are going to be too disgusting to bite.
Drake guides us to the caves.

We walk along the river bank the entire trip.

Abouf halfway to first cave, EE sees something in the water, just off the bank about 30’. Not sure what it was. Iggy, HE, and Booty look into the water and see footprints in the mud, trog prints but not fresh. Yanath, on the forest side of the group, sees a couple remnants of something eaten…human. More than 1.
We move off the bank a good 50 yards and continue.

Further on, now closing in on the first cave. We see some animal bone piles around the cave entrance. Its on a rise past the bank; entrance is more of a hole which turns flat after a few feet drop. Lots of trog footprints at the edge of the cave moving to the entrance. Fairly large cave, Ragnar is good thus far.
Yanath jumps down first, followed by Gwana. 15’ wide passage we enter in. As we go in, we do see mujltiple side tunnels quickly.
Ragnar and Booty next, then Drake flanked by Iggy and EE; then Smith and 2 of his men, then his other 2 men, then HE, then Kell and Tanaron. Booty is left as a quick warning system of trogs entering from the river.
It does not get much deeper as we go. Lots of passages though.
At a side passage, Gwana takes a look and sees a glint. He moves up quietly toward it and finds a full skeleton. The glint was off a gem in the pommel of the handle of an old blade he or she had. Does not seem to have been eaten by trots. Its older than that. The passage goes no further. He takes the blade.
Then branches to left and right as well as straight. Both sides quickly turn parallel to central passage. The central opens up wider ahead. We go straight.
Yanath suddenly stops Gwana “You see that?” he didn’t.
Yanath sees a web at the point it widens to the room like a sheet blocking the way. Every one is on guard.
We start to notice the walls are sheathed in webs. Yanath orders a withdrawal out of the cave. We start to move.
Behind us, Yanath and Gwana see a big spider crawl on the sheet, on the other side, looking at us.
We keep moving at normal speed, not a rush nor slow.
Tanaron and Kell (wielding sword and torch), now in the front, think they just saw movement.

A web is thrown at Tanaron but misses, from about 40’ up the passage on the ceiling.
Iggy at the front fires miss/10. Yanath assesses opponent.
The front spider crawls forward and misses Tanaron with a web again.
From the sides at the middle of the group come another from each side. Iggy and EE get hit with webs!
HE and Tanaron then kill the rear spider as Gwana stokes. Ragnar then cuts EE free, who takes his down with 2 big shots. Cpt. Smith moves to Iggy but only damages the web. The spider in the room crawls over the web and into the passage, running up the hallway to Gwana and Yanath and bites Gwana 4. Drake fails to cut Iggy free as Kell moves to Tanaron to see further down the hall. He sees no more spiders in view. Booty calls upon the fire spirits.
Yanath slashes at Gwana’s 16/10.
Iggy’s spider rushes toward him but misses. Gwana kills he and Yanath’s. EE fires tween Iggy and Smith 12.
Rags hits the same 16. Smith attacks it and crits with his cutlass DEAD.
We back out of the cave. We’ll return for any loot, but we need to hit the trogs. We can’t risk lots of ability damage prior to engaging the trogs.
Fingerbang has seen nothing while we were inside. We continue south.

Soon, Gwana sees something move in the water, looked suspicious, like maybe part of a head. Its gone just as quick. He keeps seeing it periodically.
Iggy notices movement out in the woods to our left. A shape there, then not there, following us but not too close. At least 60’ at closest.
HE in the rear sees the same basic thing as Iggy.
As we are getting close to the caves, Yanath stops “Huh, look at this.” Finding a spiked trap in the rough path we have been following. He calles EE up to cover more area in front of us. We slow down a bit to be more alert.
In the last 100 yards to the cave entrance, we avoid about 8 more traps in all of different sorts.
On the flanks and rear, same bried signtings continue.
We are super on the alert.
Ground now more rocky as we close in, less tree cover. There is a small rocky knoll in which the cave mouth lies.
Drake says the cave is going to be a bit more cramped for Ragnar.
EE watches the river side, which slopes steeply to the bank. Gwana and HE patrol our other flank as Yanath and Rags approach the entrance.
Yanath and Gwana enter, followed by HE and Smith.
Suddenly, out of the woodland side, whooping it up, comes a group of trogs! Moving against our body of men at the woodline. They hurl javelins: 3 at Tanaron all miss; 4 at Kell hit 3 times; and 4 at a Smith Crewman miss.
SMith and his crew line up and ready. Tanaron sets his spear; EE keeps watching river. Yanath stays put to watch the cave for attack.
EE sees 6 trogs breech the surface and move up the drop off below him. 3 are ahead of the other 3. EE hits 16. Rags deftly rushes down the slope and hits one DEAD. Iggy fires at the end of their line to our right DEAD. Yanath tells Gwana to charge out, he does to in front of Iggy and throws a spear 14 at the next in line. Booty Inflicts and kills him. Drake moves to stand next to EE and readies.
They charge in. Our ready attacks go: Kell crits 11 and 3 con. damage plus 1d6 bleed. Tanaron kills, Fingerbang 10, Smith and crew as well.
One leader remains to their rear as they engage.
Booty and Kell double over sickened, as well as Smith and 3 of his crew.
We quickly have 5 of their front line down, and 3 from the river, when the leader enters vs Gwana. But, HE is now sickened as well.
We clean their clocks.
About 7 rounds later, the sicknesses end.

Gwana leads the way in, using his darkvision. Fingerbang about 30’ behind him.
First 40’ or so is a steep slope downward before a slight downgrade another 40’. Then it steepens again to a right turn as well as straight. The turn goes to the extent of his sight, so he calls Bang up to look, too. He sees that it opens up at the 60’ into a room.
Straight 40’ is another opening to the left, straight continues to another room at the end.
They check the right path, we come to the intersection, Booty watching the straight path. Iggy hits a tripwire, but dodges the spear trap.
The right path opens to a room about 40′ × 60′. Gwana spots a trog blending into the terrain. Bang sees at least 4, spaced out around the room.
Gwana sends Bang along the cave wall to the right while he strolls right into the room.
He hears a hissing, like a language and they spring upon him with a hail of javelins. It stinks.
Suddenly we hear from him “Oh Gods, it stinks in here!”
Yanath “Wraps at the ready!” They converge and pass out the wraps.
Bang gets sickened!! There is 11 of them.
Gwana stands his ground, urging them to charge. 3 attack Bang, the rest Gwana but for the leader who hangs back.
Yanath sends Drake and 2 men to Gwana, the rest follow Yanath to the next turn which extends just past our torchlight.
Gwana massacres all those around him. The leader engages him but misses.

Yanath moves into a larger room with Smith, Iggy, and 2 crew. They see nothing.
Drake and 2 crew arrive to Gwana.
Gwana misses twice. Bang still fighting his 3.
The leader fumbles, drawing and AoO from Gwana DEAD.

Tanaron, Kell, HE watch the hall forward, Booty back to the rear.
The stench hits as 11 now spring out at Yanath’s men. All saves are made thanks to the wraps!
Yanath and Smith rush one each, the crew protect Iggy who fires at the bigger leader

In Gwana’s room, Drake and men engage w/ Bang. The last on hits Bang 7.
Gwana runs out of the room to the intersection, seeing Booty down ahead of him.
Bang kills the last trog in the room.

Drake and his men leave, following Gwana.

The trogs in Yanath’s room engage, 3 miss Yanath; 3 attack Smith; 2 on each of his crew in the room. The leader throws a 2nd javelin at Iggy but misses. Yanath then kills 2; Smith and crew battle back; Iggy crits the leader DEAD and hits a trog on a crew.

Drake, Booty and 2 men arrive at HE et al. Gwana charges straight down the hall to the room at the end hitting a trap blindly, a slab swinging down like maul 8. Kell follows behind him now, having reapplied his wrap.

Smith is hit a couple times; Yanath is missed; each crew is hit once. Yanath finishes his; Smith and 1 crew each kill one now as well; Iggy fumbles hitting himself for the 2nd time today. Then he kills one on a crew.

Kell and Gwana move into a 60’ x60 or so room. Gwana “There’s nothing in here” Kell “There everywhere!” Kell hurls his torch at one and nails it.
This is a higher room, 40’ or so, with a ledge halfway up at the rear.

Fight wages on in Yanath’s room, Yanath moving to help a crew. One trog dies from crit bleed. Iggy fires at 2 wounded trogs, dropping both. 1 remains, on Smith.

Those in the hallway redo their masks.
Javelins loose upon Gwana, all 11,for 2 hits and a crit stunning him. Kell moves in and misses.

Smith kills the last man in Yanath’s room. Yanath and Iggy move out to the hall.

The 8 javelin throwers charge Gwana. 2 others flank Kell. He kills 2 of them; Gwana picks up his wpn and hits 14.
They go at Gwana in melee, hitting several times for minimal damage.
Kell does very little, hitting only with his short sword.
Yanath and crew enter the fight, Tanaron dropping Kell’s last man. Yanath misses one of Gwana’s. The 2 crew with him are sickened.
Gwana kills all but 1 of his, which hits Gwana with club and crits with his claw. Gwans finishes him off.

Up the wall to one side of the ledge is a crude stepway to the ledge. Along the front of the ledge is a pile of stones.

As we approach the steps, 4 trogs throw rocks at our first 2 men to the pathway up but miss.
Gwana goes up the steps to engage the first one. HE and Iggy fire up killing one together. Bang flies up and engages as well. Yanath follows Gwana up; as he is, a rock is tumbled to and hits Yanath 5.
Battle wages on. The one who dropped the rock is much tougher. Yanath engages first, Gwana joining thereafter. They take him down, the King of these Trogs!!!

Into the last cave, some animal and human remains. This is the last of the cave. We find their treasure ‘horde’.

3000 sp
1500 gp
gold chalice 300
disguise kit

We give it a last detailed search, and it is empty. There is no deeper cave going into any underdark, it’s a closed system.

Back to the spider cave. We send the cpt. and crew back to bring some oil as we gather kindling. Once together, we burn the web cave out. Later in evening, we search it and find it devoid of any more danger.
Drake does say that, though they will have the random monstrous spider in the woods, this was exceptionally dangerous. Their size and number.

Treasure:
300sp

Back to town. Smith and his men are happy to have been part of getting their vengeance, and Drake is very happy about our success.
Small celebratory banquet.

April 15

We ask, and Smith says he will need about 3000 to get a new boat once back in civilization.
He offers himself and men as fellow travelers, mercs basically.
Drake is always willing to help for a specific fight, especially near town. But in general he needs to stay here.

Visit Gretchen early in morning. She’s a bit frantic, has bad news. She was out in the woods with nature, and thinks she saw a dragon! Something flying, circling above the hightop yesterday. It flew up to the higher cave. Her eyesight isn’t what it used to be, and it wasn’t a very big one if it was one.
We were going to go to the cave while here already, now we certainly do not want a marauding dragon at our rear to fry the town or Gretchen while we are elsewhere.
She gives us some landmarks to follow in order to find it: go to the dwarf cave and walk around the hill at the same elevation, you will see it above. It’s about a mile and a third or so.
It’s a good hour of walking.
About halfway from dwarf cave to the other, we see something flying above and circling the hill.
Smith has a spyglass!!! Good show, Smith “Looks like a dragon to me.”
Yanath takes a look instead. It looks like a dragon to him, all right. As far as he could guess having never seen one, like most people.
He gives it to Booty since he has knowledge arcana “Definitely in the dragon family. It appears to be not a real dragon per se. It’s a creature called a wyvern.”
Yanath “I was hoping that was the case. We do have these where I come from, occasionally. Unusual to be this far north, though.” He is fairly sure they don not breath anything on you, but they do posses a venomous stinger.
Yanath orders us to hunker down, hoping it will leave to hunt away from the hightop, then we can get inside and ambush it. If now, he does not want to engage it out in the open, no knowing its full potential.
It flies another loop, lets out a roar. A minute later a second one appears!! They circle spaced out. It appears they are circling above us, and closing in like birds of prey. They probably spotted Smith’s men.
HE, and Yanath climb trees carefully.
They dive!!!
The 2 initial targets are 1 of Smith’s and Perfect Kell. They both are grabbed, but not before EE hits Kells who blinds his, and Iggy, Yanath and HE hit the other with bows.
The 2 are carried upward about 30’ above.
On the 2nd, who took the crewman: Yanath hits twice, Rags hits same with javelin, Iggy, Smith hits with x bow
EE nails Kell’s. Booty casts at the same one It hits Kell with stinger but he makes the save, and it moves up.
HE hits it 10. Kell stabs it 12/14/5 with his short sword.
The other flies up and stings the crewman limp.
EE hits Kell’s 12/10.
Iggy and Yanath nail the one with the crewman. Ragnar hits a max range javelin throw at it also.
Booty Commands the wyvern to drop Kell into the treetops. He does a fine job of slowing his fall by using the trees as best as he can but plops onto the ground hard.
It flies away in the direction of the cave.
HE hits the other 9. Tanaron runs for Kell.
The other wyvern flies away with the crewman.
We make for the cave mouth fast, before they can lick their wounds.
It’s another half hour up to the cave entrance.
Kell “I had it under control the whole time. I survived fine, better me than you guys.”

The entrance is big, obviously. Very big. Very dark.
Yanath and EE quickly smell something like decay from within.
Yanath goes in and looks for blood, and he does find it.

We enter, passing partially devoured animals as we go, moose, elk, bear, etc.
We then hear noise ahead. Yanath hears the sound of eathing.
Sending Fingerbang ahead to scout, Yanath brings his rangers up with he and Gwana for an initial attack if necessary. The rest to move in on the next round.
Bang returns “That’s not a wyvern.” He saw the dead crewman’s body devoured by 3 undead. Ghouls or Ghasts most likely.
It continues on past them.

Yanath, Tanaron, and Gwana lure them to attack. The archers, just out of our torch light and behind his, hit them as they get to our line.
They see us and run to the attack.
Yanath’s is killed by his, Tanaron AoO and HE shot. Tanaron and EE hit the middle one hard. Iggy and Gwana hit Gwana’s on the right.
They each hit, then HE kills Gwana’s. Iggy turns on Tanaron’s and kills it.

They were eating the crewman.

We march forward, gradually sloping downward. Yanath has Booty apply Darkivision to himself and EE. Those 2 and Gwana, with Booty scout ahead, while Fingerbang watches our rear.
We soon come to a point where it opens up.
Iggy fires a lit arrow straight across about 100’ away. Still can not see the other side. Looking up as it flies, the ceiling is more than 60’ hit. In the light, we do see glimmering on the ground. 2 more lit arrows, at an angle left and right. We catch glimpse of the ceiling, some 100’ up. Treasure for certain. We see both sides of room. Maybe 180’ at its widest.
Bang flies up to the ceiling, looking for wyverns and ledges. He goes straight across first. About halfway across, he sees at the far end a large outcropping with a nest on it; maybe halfway up. He sees the 2 wyverns in it. They seem resting right now, do not seem to have responded to our light.
He cuts sharp right to the wall. We move to our light sources. Underneath the outcropping nest, he sees a man dressed all in black standing there, arms crossed inside his sleeves, looking in the direction of our entrance. Behind him is a man sized passage out. He returns to us and reports to Booty/Gwana, then Yanath.
We reach the middle of the room, and there is a decent treasure pile.
We hear the cry of the wyverns!
3 more burning arrows are fired in that direction, but we see nothing. In all the light, several of our more observant guys see more ghouls to our front. EE sees ghouls coming from our right and alerts Gwana and Booty.
Yanath tells Booty to light the place up.
Yanath sees 3 ghouls coming at him. 1 jumps at Gwana paralyzing him on our right. 1 at Ragnar at our left. 2 at Tanaron and a crewman in the rear. 1 jumps EE on our right who steps back to HE behind him. Then, another jumps Smith, beside Rags. This one smells excessively bad. He is paralyzed. Another ghast runs past Gwana to Iggy.
Booty then casts: the ghast at Iggy is under his control and the 2 ghouls on Gwana/EE are halted. Bang flies over and smacks Gwana’s.
Then the wyverns attack EE and HE. Both are hit by 1 talon. Both are carried upward.
1 crew runs to help Smith and his sickened by the ghast. another helps the other crew next to Tanaron.
Tanaron moves back and stabs at the ghoul vs his crew, hoping his will have to come at him and provoke AoO.
HE stabs his arrow into the flesh tween talons and wriggles free!! Falling 20’.
Yanath then cuts his down.
Something puts a whammy on Booty’s spell, he can feel it.
The ghouls then attack, Tanaron’s indeed moving at him.
Ragnar then kills his ghoul and cleaves Smith’s Ghast.
Iggy tries HE trick, but fails miserably. Iggy steps back and shoots his halted ghast twice with fire arrows.
The halted undead remain so. Smith is missed by his ghast.
Bang kills Gwana’s; Booty hides behind Iggy. Kell hits twice DEAD.
HE wyvern circles back around the fight, in the air. As does the one with EE. It stings him, making the save.
HE stands and fires into the dark at EE wyvern, wildly missing. Yanath runs to the wall so as to climb the nest.
The halted ghouls attack again: 1 at Gwana just as he comes out of the paralyzation.
The crewman w/ Tanaron gets paralyzed. Tanaron’s steps up to attack him again but miss again.
Smith finishes his ghast off. Rags charges Tanaron’s DEAD. Iggy hits his ghast twice. EE tries again but fails to escape.
The ghast at Iggy now comes out of the halt and attacks him, missing all 3 times.
Kell drops his short sw, grabs his torch, and moves toward Yanath.
Gwana kills his ghoul.
Yanath yells back for Bang to fly to help EE. He flies right to it, catching up.
EE is flown further, almost to the nest, but misses with the sting.
The second dives in right at Ragnar. Both talons hit home, grabbing him and lifting up.
The rear crew kills the last ghoul. Tanaron kills the ghast at Iggy.
End of undead.
HE runs for Yanath.
Yanath gets to the wall, seeing the passage out that Bang saw but no black man, and starts climbing, deftly getting about halfway up.
Ragnar breaks the grapple and falls 20’.
Iggy runs for the ledge. SMith stays with his men. Kell gets to the wall
The wyvern gets to the nest, and misses its sting vs a full defense EE. It is still holding him though.
The other wyvern is up there flying, we hear its flaps making it for the ledge and lands there in the nest.
He and Tanaron make it to the wall.
Yanath climbs over the edge and assesses wyvern. All but Ragnar are now at the wall, who stands up and moves toward us.
Bang, having clung to the claw next to EE, enlarges himself to draw attention from EE’s position.
There is only about ‘15’ from their position to the edge.
Yanath is attacked by the other wyvern’s bite, 2 wings, and stinger. Only 1 wing hits 15. The other attacks EE, squeezing for 25.
Yanath moves in to attack the one who attacked him. It’s AoO bite misses, he hits 10.
Kell arrives at the ledge. Others are climbing. Bang hits EE’s 16/13. EE fails to escape the grapple.
EE’s now turns to FB, while still holding Tanaron down, hitting with bite and both wings. The other misses Yanath completely. Tanaron hits EE’s 10.
HE arrives.
Yanath hits 11/miss as Iggy arrives. Rags starts to climb.
Kell moves in, provoking the AoO and bites him , so that Bang can retreat safely. Kell attacks EE’s. Tanaron hit it as well. Gwana arrives. EE fails to escape.
Yanath crits 10 with a chance to permanently blind, but it makes it. Then hits 15.
Iggy goes for a climb stunt but fails.
Ragnar arrives. Kell hits twice 11 total. Gwana goes after EE’s. The AoO hits 27 bite. Gwana hits 17.
EE fails to escape.
EE’s wings Gwana 14; wing misses Tanaron; bite misses Kell; stinger hits Tanaron 11 plus constitution down 7.
Iggy is winged 18 by the other; the other hits Yanath; HE is bit; Rags missed by the stinger.
Tanaron misses twice.
HE rapid shoos, stinger misses AoO, hits 9/12/5.
Yanath hits 7/miss; Iggy fires again at Yanath’s at point blank range (stinger AoO hits 15, he makes the save) crit 27 with flame arrow/5 DEAD!!!!
Kell fumbles (-1 attacks for the encounter or until he rolls a critical)/ crits 11 cutting off a talon around EE.
Ragnar joins in vs EE’s as Gwana kills it!!!!!!!

We go to the dwarves and tell them of our victory in their accursed cave. They are happy to provide lunch!!
They set us up with pack mules for our loot in the cave. His son and some of the warriors will help escort as well.

We loot the place:

GP 7000
2700 PP
9 gems 10gp
12 gems 50gp
3 gems 100gp
8 gems 500gp
1000gp gem

We stop at the druid’s place on the way back to town, telling her the good news.
This takes the rest of the day.

Yanath treats us all for ghoul fever and tends to our wounds.

April 16

No one comes down with ghoul fever!!
Drake says we can leave our loot at his barracks station.
EE sees up on the hill, movement on the top. From here, they can only be giants milling about.
Meanwhile, HE says he sees smoke coming from the woods to the south. Towards where the tower area. Not a forest fire, but not just a camp fire either.

We decide to go for the tower, but for Gwana/FB/Booty. They will go to the orc area to scout out what is going on there and where the orcs are hanging out.
We stop at Gretchen’s first. She is communing, and does not even realize we are there at first.
She is glad to see us. She was one with the surrounding nature, told that the skeletons to the south have begun moving north, in this direction. At least dozens. Perhaps a couple miles away. A few hours. She also had a vision of the man in black. He was at the tower.
Tanaron, at a 9 con. today, runs back to town to warn them of the skeletons and to get defenses ready. Tanaron will keep point watch, in the woods, as a warning system.

We move to intercept the skeletons, getting to elfs as fast as we can. Gwana/Booty/FB split off at this point to SW, to spy and get the lay of the land concerning the orcs.
We tell the elves of the skeletons. We get their Elebar and his patrol ready to rock and move out with them. The elves lead us, geographically. A group of them fans out ahead as picket line of scouts as we go.
A bit over half a mile further, Elebor stops us, listening “one of my men has spotted the enemy”.
He lets out an animal call and an elf returns: reports there is a healthy horde, at least 50. Walking in a loose line 3 to 4 deep. Elebor says he can split his men into 2 groups and hem in their flanks while we attack at the middle.
Yanath “Sounds good. Let’s do it.”
Elebor takes the right.
We hide. Ragnar will attract there attention and we will ambush.
Kell gets 2 torches ready to use as flaming clubs. Iggy has short range blunted missiles.
The skeletons carry shields and one handed weapons.
When they are about 50’ away, we hear the elves hit their flanks to our right and left.
The sides turn to confront them, leaving the center cut off from the flanks for us.
Rags comes into their view and they quicken their pace.
Yanath and HE sneak in w/ terrain adv. Kell lights up and comes into view. Smith’s 3 men are in the rear with EE and Iggy.

They move again and we strike. As they do, it seems that wherevef there is a gap it seems they are simply continuing forward. Only those blocked stop to fight.
Our rear guard intercepts all once they move again.
Ragnar starts cleaning house in the middle.
Kell handles his with perfect skill. Yanath, once finishing off his 3, runs for the left flank to check on the elves. Kell does the same to the left. At that point, there are only 3 total left at our center.
HE follows Yanath those last 3 go down.

At our flanks, there were less skeletons than we thought, or less engaged and there are several or more missing. We help them clean up the flanks. No losses for the elves.
After a short rest, the elves say they did notice the smoke from the tower. We continue on to it.
We can see by the tracks that a few skeletons reversed upon our attack, going back to the tower.

Soon enough, the tower comes into view ahead. The smoke is indeed originating from the tower itself, out of the rooftop.
We gather all the scouts together with us. Elebor says he’s going to take a few men, sneak up to the clearing of the tower, and check the perimeter out.
Several minutes, and they return “I don’t know who or what is in that tower right now. It must be something evil.” They circled the grounds, which is surrouned by skeletons. More than he wanted to count. All are facing outward, on guard. Even from that distance, he could feel the evil, a cold, from the tower.
Kell “Sounds like a powerful necromancer.”
Also, all the skeletons are armored as well, mostly hauberk.
Yanath thinks we should get the dwarves as well, with elves, all with blunt weapons, to attack the perimeter so that we can get inside.

We go back north to the elven town. The elves will patrol the area, so that we know if they are marching again. We rest here.

Meanwhile, at Gwana,
They reach the area. Booty uses spirits to assist their search, moving cautiously.
Later in the day, an arrow hits Gwana. A voice tells him in orcish to leave they’re forest. FB goes to smallest size and buzzes around looking for him. The voice and arrow came from opposite sides.
Gwana says he wishes to sign onto the warband.
Booty soon sees the orc in a tree above them, in camoflage and with green skin. Gwana assumes its a subtype of orc who are naturals in the forest.
He tries to bluff his way into them making a deal to join up. Says they were hanging out with a bunch of human rangers who they thought were just looking to make money. They turned out to be do gooders instead so “we left them behind”.
Response: if you wanna be in our clan of reavers, go and bring your friends back here.
Gwana says he already told them to bugger off, so the friendship is over. He does know where they stay.
“If your human friends won’t accept you back, but you know where they are camping, then you can take Urgrok with you and show him where. When he comes back and gets more of my men, you can lead us to victory against your former friends. If you are willing to do that, and turn on your former bonds, you can join my men.” Gwana is to lead Urgrok there, stay there while he returns to get a fighting team, then after he can join.
Gwana agrees. Urgrok comes out, another green skin orc “You took that arrow well”. This is the guy who shot Gwana.
Urgrok “Lead the way”.
Gwana hopes to catch the Yanath et al on their way back to the elf village. FB zooms ahead to warn us of what is going on.
Gwana finds, during their walk, that Urgrok only speaks orcish and goblinid.

FB reaches us and flies up to Yanath. He explains what happened. Yanath says we’ll follow through with it. He asks Elebor for a good spot that we could camp as the bait, with the elves on the perimeter to spring the trap. He is able to do so to the SW of the town. FB is to lead Gwana and Urgrok there.
FB then flies back to Gwana to show them our camp.
Urgrok inspects us from their hiding spot. He’s a bit surprised and perplexed by Rags, asking if he’s an ogre “we might need to capture him”.
Urgrok “Good job. You wait here. If they break camp to leave, then you need to have your fairie follow them to let us know where they have gone. I’m going back to get Sgt. Ugluk. I will be back shortly with the rest of the men.”
He rushes off.
We set up some simple snare and delaying traps around the camp. 8 of the elves will sit out the battle unless necessary, they will cover the orcs rear to eliminate any who flee the scene.
It’s a solid couple hours before they arrive to Gwana. THey are either overconfident in how good they are, or they completely underestimate us. Or they really are as good as they think they are. They have brought 18 men. Including Urgrok and Ugluk (they look similar, even for orcs).
They spread out, forming a semi circle attack line. Longbows out, they begin sneaking forward. The 2 leaders, plus one other, hang back with Gwana and Booty.
A couple hit the snares, another on a punji stick. Ugluk immediately “I knew you’d betray us”. They all 3 draw swords and attack.
The fight begins with HE and Yanath (punji spike orc) each dropping one with bowfire, Kell establishing position. Then Elebor starts the archer fire from the forest.
Gwana is waylaid by the 2 ldr orcs, one a crit that drains 1 cha.
Rags then charges the orc who stumbled over the tripwire vine DEAD. Iggy then kills. Smith and his men draw x bows and fire as the orcs fire. Even those at Rags back up to shoot him.
Gwana retaliates against Urgrok first, crit DEAD. His cleave on Ugluk 16, then hits him 13.
Gwana is missed by the 3rd orc at him. FB attack this orc.
The rest of the elves fire away, as does EE who pins his to a tree with a kill shot, then hits another for 10.
HE finishes off that one and wounds one who stunned himself with a fumble card; Yanath kills another. Kell holds in case of unexpected surprises.
Elebor wounds one.
vs Gwana “you killed my brother!!!” hitting Gwana 9.
Iggy rapid shooting hits the stunned orc DEAD, then kills 2 others.
Rags is left with only 1 orc to confront, and he crits him DEAD.
Gwana hits Ugluk 15/14 DOWN. He cleaves the orc vs FB 14 DEAD.
END fight.

Yanath tells the elves to watch the outside!! There may be another wave, they seem more wiley than regular orcs.
No more enemies appear.

We head back to the elven town. Glamar invites us to spend the night at their town, up in the trees. We accept. He wants to know all that happened, so we report in detail. He agrees the man in black must be a necromancer. But he has never seen or heard of one in this area.
We sleep.

April 17

Morning, just after breakfast, a frantic elf enters and speaks to Glamar in elfish. Glamar sends him on his way, turns to Yanath and “I hate to impose upon you, and ask for assistance, but it seems that a couple of my people taken by spiders.” He wants us to help take care of the spider nest to the NW of here, but not so far as it is in the troll area. They were in a small grotto and the webs came at them. They have taken at least 4 elfs.
Yanath “We must go now then. Time is of the essence.”
Elebor and an elite squad joins us. The elf who returned in a rush will lead us to the site.
It’s less than half a mile away. The guide stops us once we are close.
He points ahead to the attack "We never even saw webs, they just came from the trees.
Yanath asks if there is a rocky area or cave nearby, but there is not. Only dense forest.
Smith recommends burning the woods, Elebor nixes that idea.
After a couple other ridiculous ideas, Yanath thinks we could smoke them out with smokey burns. Elebor says we need to carefully figure out the circumfirance of their web, Yanath agrees.
Yanath takes 2 elves, Elebor 1 elf and Kell. The rest stay back from the area.
Yanath sends FB up into the sky above the canopy, to see if their webs are visible at the roof.
We go slow and methodically.
FB does see web above, across a fairly wide area. No sign of spiders though. Near as he can guess, a 300’ diameter area.
Yanath and one of his elves spots and draws out the edge. Elebor and his man do the same for the other side. There is a layering effect to the webs. Feelers go from tree to tree, then the sides will be open. Behind there, the sides will be spun with feelers, and so on. Like a checker board. There i always a safe way to go, throughout though, if you pay close enough attention. We confirm FB’s general size guess and mark the area off.
From the size of the spiders who attacked, and the size of the area, Yanath’s guess is that there could be not more than 5 of them.
Kell and one of the elves run back around to tell the others while Yanath, Elebor, and the other 2 elves start to smoke them out from the wind side.
Elebor then tells Yanath the 2 of them should head in, low, and torch some of their webs directly. As they do, they come across many desecated remains.
Inside, they see a spider above and ahead scurrying into our trap.
Elebor “We need to see if my people are sill alive”.
We search together. As we near the center, Yanath spots some larger bundles of spun web.
Yanath “You keep an eye out with your bow and I’ll climb up.”
Yanath climbs faster than Elebor has seen a man climb before.
Inside the first, Yanath finds a young elf, alive but comatose. He lowers her down. Elebor begins to cut her free. Inside the next, Yanath finds another elf and lowers him.
Yanath climbs back down. We continue on, leaving them leaned against a tree. Elebor suddenly stops, and as Yanath comes to him he sees a young elf man sucked dry of fluid.
Yanath “We are doind well. I was hoping to find 2 if we were lucky.”
Yanath suddenly spots an ambush! “Look out” and they both jump back a a monstrous spider lands right where we were standing a moment before.
Yanath engages with Death’s Master and Elebor fires 2 arrows 7/crit DEAD.

Cut to our men lying in wait. They hear rustling in branches ahead, then out of the foliage appear 3 spiders above moving fast. Our archers and crossbows fire. HE takes out the right. EE and an elf take down the right. In the center, Smith’s 3 men wound one badly. Iggy finishes it off.
FB flies up to make sure nothing else is getting away to the sides. Soon enough, he spots one moving out of the eastern side pulling a cocoon behind it on the ground. FB decides to attack!! DEAD!! FB goes to medium sized and drags the body back. We all get together. A final search shows that all the spiders are dead.
FB cocoon is a elf still alive as well!!
3/4 young elves alive is a big win!!
We do find random loot about the area:

50gp in a single pack next to a partial skeleton
ivory statue, maybe 3’ tall, inlaid gems 1200gp

Back to the elf town. Still early in the day.
We go north back to Gretchen’s. She doesn’t look very happy, has been having horrible nightmares. Last night was the worst, got no continuous sleep at all. Each time, it was a nightmare of her own death. Different each time: devoured by ghouls for one. Each time the man in black was standing in view, watching her death happen. She thinks he is using magic to infiltrate her mind.
We explain all that happened at tower and such.
Yanath sends FB to go get Tanaron, who should be 1 point away from full con. by now with the help of the herbalist/healer in town. He also reports to Drake all that has transpired before they return.
Once he arrives, we talk about using the cave to get to into the tower. Next, we go to the dwarfs and tell them the state of affairs, that we may be calling upon them to attack the skeletons around the tower with the elves. Also, we want them to explore the cave at the wyvern nest to test the depth, direction of the cave the man in black escaped through.

We get there w/o incident. The 5 dwarves, with Yanath, Gwana, Booty enter the tunnel.
It is a very simple, generally mansized tunnel north. W/in a few hundred feet it branches up and down. We take down first which goes another 80’ until we see a red glow at the end. We slow down, approaching carefully. It is a glowing portal.
Yanath “Just as I expected.” It appears it is made out of blood, painted over the dead end into a doorway shape, shimmering. We are leary of it only letting a certain persons or persons through obviously.
When asked, Booty knows of blood cults around the world, Mostly they are evil. He knows nothign specific of a gate such as this, nor how to safely activate it.
We backtrack and take the path up. It goes a couple hundred feet sloping, leading to light of the outside.
Yanath has the others stay put, as he and Gwana sneak to the entrance. From here, higher up now, we can see that there once was a ghoul feeding area (lots of gnawed remains; faint ghoul stink), so they were not sharing the same nest area as the wyverns. Looking down and to the east we can see a camp of some type. That is in the direction of the giants. Grigg appears, and looks in the direction “That looks like a hill giant camp all right. Dirty, unkempt.” We see no movement there at the moment though. Disorganized.
Not good that they are all gone at once.
Yanath “We need to get out of here now” through the tunnel fast. We need to get back to Gretchen’s fast. On the way, we get a vantage point where we can see the town, and scan back toward the Hill Giant area looking for Giants on the move. Nothing. Then, path of least resistance to Gretchen’s. He sees them!! At the base of the hill going in her direction. They are behind the treeline mostly, but he thinks several for sure. Not in a hurry though.
We move fast!! These 5 dwarves volunteer to stay with us. Yanath asks Grigg to try to judge the Hill Giants fighing numbers by the size of the camp. He figures, by his experience, its not very large. Perhaps 5 or 6, but less than 10 certainly.
We should reach Gretchen’s first, but maybe not by much, if that is indeed where they head.
We arrive, no giants in sight. She is there and fine. She says she, her wards, and her friend outside can handle them. We look out again, and see a Treant on watch.
Yanath asks her to commune, try to find out where they are heading.
She does, though warns it will be difficult with little rest. It fails.
We make for their direction to pick up their trail.
SMith and his men stay at Gretchen’s.
We find the trail easily at the base of the hill. They bypassed her hut, going south. We move to catch them. Not long after, we catch sight of them ahead, 3 that we can see. At that moment, from far behind us a loud horn blares. Grigg confirms that is the dwarven alarm calling the men back. Their front door may be getting attacked.
Grigg and his men book it. Yanath sends Rags back with them. We get just ahead of the Giants then we simply pace them, making a wide berth so as to be able to move swiftly.

At Rags,
as they are going up the hill they see smoke billowing out of the dwarf entry cave. Once they arrive they see the door is broken outwards! Huh? The 2 sentries are both dead. Grigg leads the way in, ready for confrontation. They hear the sounds of combat from inside and they run for it, and the bellowing of Giants…..and something else.
A multifront combat, fighting 3 giants. In amongst the battle is another creature.
Rags “What is that?”
Grigg “I’ve not seen one if many years as a young dwarf. An umberhulk!”
Rags “Time to get Rough.”
Grigg goes to find his father and lead the troops vs the Giants. He gives Rags the use of the other 5 dwarves here to take on the umberhulk.
Rags “Leave me 2, take the rest”. Grigg leaves the 2 Sgt’s, taking the warriors with him and rushes off.
The hulk standing alone, couple dead dwarves near it, and a couple others standing as if confused. It sees Ragnar and bellows something in a gutteral language and advances on him and the dwarf sgt’s. 30’ away it gives him a strange stare with its multi eyes.
They make the save and does not confuse them.
The dwarves advance on it 20’ and fire xbows, both hitting. Rags charges 19.
It full attacks, claws and bite, 12/10/15.
Both dwarves miss. Rags hits twice 21/18.
It retaliates, 12/10/13.
Dwarves fire, hitting once for max damage.
Rags crits 31/22 DEAD.
Combat still wages with the dwarves. It’s then Rags sees a Hill Giant running for the exit, which Ragnar is in his way of. He is quite wounded already. Rags moves to block, hacking at his legs.
It hits Rags 21. Rags retaliates 15/19.
The dwarves pull axes and attack, one hits.
It attacks Rags first 16, then misses a dwarf.
Rags hits 21/17 DEAD!!
The have defeated the other 2 Giants nearby. They took quite a few casualties however.
The umberhulk burrowed in right by the gate and burst it from the inside, through which the giants stormed.
The chief is wounded but alive.
Many casualties saved by the arrival of Rags and Grigg, including possibly the chief’s life.

At Yanath:
Yanath sends Tanaron ahead, on the giant’s path, to see if they are meeting anyone who is waiting or approaching. As we hoped, he finds nothing.

They are definitely making for the tower’s area.

Yanath and Hawkeye scout ahead, to find the best terrain within which to lie in wait. Yanath tells Booty to prepare any mental based attack like stun, daze, confuse, etc. As we know hill giants to be dumb.
They walk into our midst and 2 are stunned by Booty. He says the other 2 will unstun as soon as they are struck. The other is perplexed until he is attacked by bowfire from Iggy, HE and EE, and Gwana and Kell rush in and flank him. Yanath is in the rear and fires as well. All archers hit. Gwana smacks his head on a tree branch on his way in, confusing him for a round into babling incoherently.
It smacks Kell good as all but Gwana continue to waylay him.
Gwana then snaps out of it and finishes him off with 2 mighty stabs.
We surround one of the others and hold until Yanath gives the word, striking in unison. It snaps out of it!!
He hits Yanath and Tanaron, dazing and blinding the latter for a round. Then we cut him down.
Moving to the next, we gang attack but he remains stunned!! Another round of gang attacking finishes him off.
We make certain they are dead.
Searching their pouches and such:
incense
pair of boots
quills and ink
giant bowl and spoon
150’ of strong rope
string
170’ strong rope
5 sticks charcoal
comb, large sized
6 sticks charcoal
dice
whetstone
bowl and spoon, large sized
cooking pot, large
drinking horn, large

We run for the dwarf stronghold and meet up with Ragnar, picking up Smith and his men first. That fight is well and over.
Next, to the hill giant camp to search the place. Smith and his men, as well as Grigg, join us. It is even more filthy than it looked from a distance.
After looking around a while, Grigg is a bit confused. He thinks we are missing some hill giants. Two of them. But, this camp isn’t abandoned. Looks like they are planning on coming back. He thinks there is treasure of their’s behind a boulder that is out of place. Rags with some help push it out of the way. Underneath, in a hole, rests their loot.

100pp
2 × 10gp gems
3x 50gp hems
100gp gem
4x 500gp gem
50’ silk rope
mst studs
mst comp long bow
32 mst arrows
half plate

We take the trail the which we spied the giants taking earlier, hoping to find where the other 2 split off. Yanath and HE find it easily; they cut west through the forest, separating from the 3 that went to the tower at the base of the hill and skirted it westward. Sending them in the general direction of the trolls.
We decide to follow the trail immediately. Grigg is joining us (no other dwarfs though); he wants a piece of the giants. Yanath follows it with ease.
We go past the hill, into the deep woods. Yanath, HE and Iggy lead the way, tracking quietly.
All 3 stop, noticing a spot just ahead where the giants stopped briefly. Some other creature was there too, like they were all meeting, sitting down likely. They all went off together in a SW direction. We think, perhaps, to the troll home base.
We continue on, more stealthy.
We stop simultaneously. We get behind cover, hand gesturing to each other in our Meanderwood Ranger sign language. We all spotted 3 trolls ahead hiding up in the trees! Waiting positions. Does not appear they saw us yet. They are also not as large as your normal type troll. Only like very tall humans.
Yanath assesses, as does Hawkeye.
Yanath slinks back and informs the rest. He sends EE on a wide sweep around the left of Iggy and HE to come up on them from another side, while Yanath leads the rest to a perfect spot to draw the ambush out, which we will be ready for.
After giving EE a few rounds, Yanath leads the others on at a leisurely pace, readying tokens as we go.
As soon as our 3 archers see them about to make a move, they loose!! EE crits big.
We mostly react slow though. Tanaron moves to the nearest and luckily can reach him, hitting Iggy’s 9. Iggy fires again hitting twice.
Then they attack. Each have a javelin and throw and leap out of the trees. Tanaron is missed; Kell is missed; Grigg is hit.
Up close, we can see they have the same posture as a normal troll, but are surely more intelligent.
We engage, Gwana helping Kell, Yanath help Tanaron. HE and EE also fire on the same. Tanaron’s crit kills it though.
Iggy kills the last as Grigg finishes his.
They do not begin regenerating, but they were fast healing as we fought them.
We stowe these bodies away. Gwana wants to burn them, but HE says the others will see the smoke.

Path continues in generally SW angle. Finally, the giants turn straight south. We have only seen one single definitive troll track this entire way, it remains with them. We turn with the trail, the underbrush is heavier now.
Another quarter to half mile, slow moving. The front 3 hear some type of a gathering happening, at least a few hundred feet ahead. Lots of non human talking. Giants for sure, plus a lower gutteral speak; as well as other noises of a camp.
Front 3 make for the camp, scouting for wood troll watchmen. In total, they spot several green skin orcs hiding in the brush keeping an eye out.
Yanath sees 7 of them!! That’s just on this side of the camp! We estimate they are about halfway to the camp from where we first heard them.
Yanath and HE sweep around right, Iggy gets EE and sweeps around their left. We make for the camp to get a look, and to scout for more lookouts.
First leg, Yanath and HE see 2 more green orc guards; Iggy and EE see 2 orcs in a tree. One turns fast in their direction and they stop in their tracks. It heard them, but has not spotted. The 2 say something back and forth, pointing in our direction. They seem to be arguing. They blow each other off with gruff words and give up on us.
2nd leg: Yanath and HE see 2 more orc guards in position. Their 3rd leg, they see 3 together this time. Suddenly one starts pointing. One raises its bow to fire at HE but misses. They do not see Yanath. He starts making for the tree as HE draws their attention as they fire back and forth. HE has 2 dead before Yanath suddenly swings around from their blind side up in the tree and beheads the last one.
They pause, checking to see if any other guards hears. None did.
On ther other side, snuck better this side and spot the 3 guards. On their 3rd leg, EE spots the 3 guards together; however he steps on a twig. They swing around, looking our direction. We stop dead again, not moving a muscle, hoping to wait them out again. They talk back and forth. One of them points over our direction, looking with his bow aimed. The other 2 start climbing out of the tree. Iggy takes aim on the one remaining, EE on one of the 2 approaching cautiously, drawing swords and bucklers.
We wait until they are one move away from us and fire. EE kills immediately with a heard shot, Iggy hits right through the eye DEAD also. EE then kills the 3rd before he can breath.
Both are now halfway to the other side of the camp.
Yanath decides to take advantage of the opening in the defenses, he and HE move in to get a visual on the camp. Fairly large, tents set up, bonfire at the center where a meal cooks. 2 hill giants sit in the middle of the camp with a bunch of the orcs. We guess at least 50 orcs here, and at least 3 wood trolls as well. They look like a raiding group on the move. Further south is where we encountered the orcs originally, so perhaps they all met here earlier. East of us is the elven town. They must be making their play on the elves now!
Iggy and EE figure the guard positions follow the same pattern overall moving forward. So they turn back to report at the main body.

All meet together with the main body. Getting late in the day now. We make for the elves, and fast. We decide that it is worth trying to get to the town and dwarves to try to bring reinforcements before they may execute their attack. Tanaron runs for the dwarves, and will stop at Gretchen’s on the way; FB flies for Weiston.
Quick rest at each place before heading back with the reinforcements. Drake, Fraunk, plus 20 militia; plus Grigg and 26 dwarves. Gretchen says she can summon some woodland creatures to asssist us. She will do that from here, what she can she will send on ahead to meet us. The elven ldr Glamar will know what to do when they arrive.

Once everyone is there late into the night, we get a lot of rest at the elf town.
Overnight, nothing to report. Yanath, Iggy, EE and HE, and FB have been making for the enemy camp since after getting several hrs solid rest.

April 18

Morning:
Yanath et al get to where the camp is at and its stil there, fully occupied. Hmm. There are a lot more guards. The majority of troops are sleeping right now. Yanath is sure they are resting for a night attack tonight!!!!
He sends FB back, full speed to report and call our force to attack them here!!
On the march they come, meeting us.
The animals can only take command from Glamar, who stays back with them to guard the town.
By the increase in guards, there are definitely more than 50 orcs in total. The outlying watchmen are more spread out, each w/in sight of the nearest 1 or 2 others.
FB turns tiny and shapes into a bird. Inside the camp, he sees that it is not a trap on us, they are indeed sleeping to resting. One large tent is certainly the troll’s, it has a lone troll sitting outside the tied entrance.
He returns.

Plan: The elves will attack the perimeter guards. At 2 points, we will attack with them to break a whole and get into the camp fast so as to catch the camp off guard, hopefully getting into their tents before many are ready to fight.
The humans and dwarves will be split in half; Gwana plus Booty and FB, Rags, Grigg with one half including Fraunk and Drake make up one group. It is on Grigg, Gwana and Rags, plus some other dwarfs if need be, to eliminate the HIll Giants; Yanath, Iggy, Tanaron and Kell the other half, including Smith and his 3 and Elebor make up the other group. Yanath will go straight for the wood troll tent w/ Tanaron, Iggy and part of the force. while Kell and Smith plus the rest of the force go for orcs hopefully still in their tents and off guard. EE and HE will attack with the archers on Gwana’s side. When it seems stable there, they will enter the camp. Same with Elebor on Yanath’s side.

Our initial attack on the guards opens the 2 holes fast. Alarms are of course called out by their guards. We get to the edge of the camp, and any orcs who were walking around awake are moving to wake others up. We make our attacks. HE and EE remain on the outer attack, as does Elebor, to ensure it goes swimmingly.
As planned, most of our troops hit sleeping or just waking orcs. Our other 2 forces make fast for the center, meeting little resistance on the way though activity is slowly growing. And yelling from outside the camp is less, but the ones that are yell louder.
When we get to the troll tent, there is no troll on guard like there was before. But the 2 giants are up and ready to go. They were likely more lounging than sleeping.
Iggy hits this side of the tent with 2 flaming arrows to get their attention there, and Yanath tosses in 2 alchemical concussion grenades.
Tanaron immediately leads the dwarves in. One is dazed, the other 4 are fine. But with the fire and grenades they are confused and we get the first hits but they react quickly. 3 of the dwarves go down, but only KO, before we take them all down and DEAD. The dwarves give a fine showing, especially the Sgt. Ugly hits for multiple crits. Yanath suffers one hit, by a crit fumble from a dwarf.
At the Giants:
Gwana and Grigg take one, Rags the other. Booty starts it off with force magic blast to Ragnar’s. The 2nd goes immediately for Grigg at first, then quickly turns to Gwana. The Giants start putting a big hurting on Gwana and Ragnar then. Booty hits Rag’s again with a elemental column of flame. Rags then slashes so broadly he cuts the Giant’s hide away from it. They take the 2 giants down, but Rags and Gwana are severely damaged.
Both groups meet up in the central portion of the camp. By now, the elves have joined in the camp melee as well having eliminated the watchmen.
Certainly more orcs are down than dwarfs, men or elfs.
A big badass looking grees orc appear with an entourage and see us; orders his force charge us. 8 in total about 20’ from where they came from around a tent.
Iggy hits the leader, Rags and Tanaron ready attacks, and they hit us. 2 go down from Rags and Tanaron immediately. The leader comes in last, going after Rags. We take them down, the dwarfs staying back due to injury.
In the general fight, we surely have the upper hand in the encounter. At this point, we have them outnumbered. One enemy group organizes a controlled retreat, led by a quality leader orc, on the far western side fighting through some elves that ran into them on the edge of the camp. Otherwise, most are surrendering or running around fighting in ones and twos chaotically. The dwarfs take no prisoners.
The elves see one small group of orcs reatreating into the woods together but are unable to stop them. We send a harrassing force, just to make certain they really plan on running away rather than turning around and harassing us. We’ll need to loot this camp, after all.
We loot and look for any important stuff and info for the rest of the day. Yanath sends EE, HE and Iggy to track the orcs all day and be back after dark, just to know what direction they head in. When they return, they report they have gone west toward the previously known orc area. So, there must be more still there. Whether there are more trolls, we do not know.
We have a lot of wounded. Our actual dead is about 15 total.
We did capture some 11 orcs. Yanath puts Gwana, Booty and FB to interogating them: They do say their main force is still at their camp; the orc Sgt. claims they are about half original strength after this fight; he knows there are still trolls left north, but does not know how many. Both the orc and troll camps were not static; they move around. They will surely move it once the escapees get back. He knows the tower as an evil place, home of the person who brought them here to do this job, which was to eliminate all of the residents of this forest to eliminate allies of the druid. He has no idea why. They were indeed on their way to sack the elfs tonight. The rest of the orcs were to then meet them there as the base of their next op. He knows not what or when the next move was. So far as he knows, like we figure, these 2 giants here are the last.
He then has an offer, one orc to another: if we let he and his squad go, they will just go to their original home, leaving this area altogether.
Gwana “No good, I’ve known too many orcs.”
A map of the area is found, will things like the town, Gretchen’s, wyvern cave, tower all marked.
We keep the orcs captive for now.

We give all loot to be divided amongst the elves/dwarves/humans. The elves think we should be in charge of the prisoners, do what we please. The dwarves feel they should all be killed or made slave labor. Drake says he can keep them locked up in town until they can be sent to the nearest capital to be dealt with. We have Drake take them back and lock them up.
The elves go home. The dwarves and humans travel with the prisoners back to their homes.

We hang with the elves tonight. They thank us profusely. They feast us. Smith and his men stay with us. We ask Fraunk the Forester to hang with us to, and he takes us up on the offer. Yanath has been trying to foster a relationship, maybe get him to join the crew when we leave. He is a bowman, hunter, trapper.

April 19

Gretchen’s animal guards, bears and a pack of wolves mostly, break up during this day.
We have minimum 3 days before a sizeable enough force of our allies is well enough to really help us vs the undead.
We decide to go to the orc and troll areas and at least spot them, figure out if they are heading this way or camping, and where. Yanath, to find the Trolls, takes Fraunk, Kell, Tanaron, Gwana, Booty, FB. To Orcs: Rags, Iggy, Smith and his 3 men, HE, EE.

Trolls:
We split into 3 teams.
1) Yanath and Fraunk: find definite evidence of trolls moving in the last day or so but lose it deeper in
2) Gwanna, Booty, FB nearest the hill, with the spyglass: find some small signs early on of something moving around but nothing else.
3) Tanaron, Kell: They actually track some signs back to a troll camp, abandoned a day or so ago. They think for sure 5 or more. Tracks lead out heading south.

We all meet north at the base of the hill and report. We make for the camp Tanaron found fast to pick up their trail southward.
We quicken our pace. Yanath takes the tracking point, aided by Kell and Tanaron, and even at speed follows them perfectly. Soon enough, it’s clear they moved out overnight for sure, so they are way ahead of us. Even if they went to the tower, they may be there already. It leads into the orc’s old camp!! Now abandoned. Yanath finds their path on the move south. We follow.

Orcs:
Split up into 3 teams also.
1) Iggy and Rags
2) HE and Smith’s 3 men
3) EE with Smith

All 3 see general movement at first, probably old patrol trails and such. Then, 2 and 3 somewhat larger movements of maybe a dozen, probably last night, moving west.
Moving further, all 3 come across the orc paths moving west still. They 3 paths converge at the orc old camp. They have since moved on. All 3 groups meet there. The patrols were looking out for us following them back from the battle. The tracks out of the camp go south.
We follow them south, regular pace. It’s so easy, Gwana could do it.
The force turns SE at one point, which means to the tower. Damn. About half mile from the tower, Iggy, HE and EE go on ahead stealthily.
Smith “How far are you going to go?”
HE “Until we locate the camp. They can’t all fit in the tower.”
Smoke rised from within the tower. They also have to bypass several skeletons roaming the woods. Thanks to Malenko, we figure taking them out alerts the necromancer of their destruction.
The camp is set up around it. The orcs and trolls surround it, mostly resting; the skeletons that were in the open area tween forest edge and tower are gone. Only a few guarding the door into the tower itself now, plus the forest roamers.

HE leads them backtracking to find Yanath. We run into them soon enough, on their way here.
We leave FB behind to watch and warn us of their movements. The rest head for the elf village.
On our way back, Tanaron, Iggy, and one of Smith’s men hit web simultaneously!! We have stumbled, in a thick forest area, into a fairly large giant spider web.

Kell starts to cut Tanaron free, Smith’;s other 2 their 3rd. Fraunk, Yanath, HE, EE, Iggy ready with bows; Smith with x bow. Gwana rips himself free. Rags helps as well to free. Just when the other 2 about free, we hear the spiders closing in.
They are smaller than what we have fought thus far, medium rather than large. From all around us.
Our ready shots go off, but they have cover. HE assesses instead.
We make short work of them. HE, EE, Fraunk giving a great show of it.

Loot:
GP 80
1 dose antivenom vs spiders in particular

Now, to the elven town we arrive. We report the situation.
We stay here again tonight.

April 20

Early morning, back to Gretchen first to inform her of recent events.
Yanath “We need to get into that blasted tower. I don’t want to put all these people at risk again if I don’t have to.”
She is very disconcerted about all the evil consolidating.
She says she will put her thought and powers into the problem, might take a day or 2.
We say go for it.

We make for Wieston to see everyone, and report.
Drake is going to send a few men to Brimmin for some authority on the matter of the captured orcs.
We help to start fortifying the town even more for the rest of the day.

April 21

Morning, Yanath goes to see Gretchen with Dog and his rangers, Iggy, Fraunk,
She has 2 ideas, but must still determine which is the best way.
First option: call up her nature allies, have them fight a harassing action to distrac them, so we can get through their lines and into the tower.
Second option: get something to help get us directly into the tower w/o any fight through their lines. Flight, burrowing. Size is the issue, to get our entire crew in there.
Second is the best, but the first is the easiest to prepare.
Suddenly, the warning horn blows at the dwarves.
We make for the dwarf enclave and fast!!!
The door is open and we rush in, hearing lamenting within. We run, passing by some dead dwarves in the halls!!! They look torn by animal claws.
In the lower chambers, meet some wounded dwarfs. Grigg is there standing over the body of his slain father Frigg Longbeard.
They were attacked by 3 umberhulks. On their way out, the umberhulks left an open tunnel behind them.
Yanath “That’s odd.”
Grigg "That’s the bad news. The only reason to leave a usable tunnel is either to draw people in, to kill, or for a force to come here and attack.
They specifically targeted his father a la assassination via Umberhulk.
This could be more than just a track to kill us, could be to get us in there and trapped so that they can attack Gretchen/Wieston w/o us there to defend.
Grigg would love to go after them for vengeance, but he is the ruler and can not risk being lost.
Yanath knows Grigg will hate this idea, but he thinks Grigg and his people, being relatively small, should pack up all valuables and move his people to Wieston for the time being. We can’t be trapped here guarding them, can’t risk being trapped in the tunnel while the enemy wastes all of them, etc…
Grigg does hate it, but knows he can’t defend vs 3 umberhulks.
Grigg agrees, in the end, this is a wise choice and they pack up all they can and we all get to Wieston by tonight. Plus, the dwarves will ge great at assisting town defenses.

We stop back at Gretchen’s and report.
She says she feels she can call a few larger flyers to transport us to the tower. It will take time to Call them, like another 2 days. If you are in more of a hurry, she can do the first option.
The flyers is more assured of getting us in; distraction or not we could get caught on the outside. The more times we are slowed down going through their lines, the more attention we will attract to stop us at all costs. But, its risky for Wieston being attacked w/in 2 days.
Yanath makes a quick trip to the elfs to try to get them to Wieston as well. At first, they think they are safe enough. Yanath stresses this isn’t so much for their safety, as helping their neighbors as well, working together for a forest you all have to live in together.
Glamar then agrees.

Back we go.

April 22

Defense building continues.
Hanging out at Gretchen’s. She has found, through her communing with the surrounding wild, in the highland to the south, an aerie of giant eagles to assist us. 1 person per eagle; fly by drop onto roof of tower; 10 eagles.
That leaves Rags out (very possible he won’t fit into the entrance nor around the halls well anyway), same with Smith’s men (we don’t want them vs undead anyway) and Dog. FB can fly himself. Yanath and his rangers; Fraunk, Iggy, SMith, Booty, Gwana.

April 23

The eagles will ready tonight, they will fly us in at the end of dusk/beginning of night.
Rags will keep watch over Gretchen, with Smith’s 3 men and Dog.
Tanaron runs for the tower, bringing FB back.

Elves will keep scouts out, watching for anything coming toward Wieston.

The eagles arrive, Gretchen speaks to them in an unidentifiable language. They rest until its time to go.

Evening comes, and the eagles fly us south for the tower.
They dip in a line, dropping us off 1 by 1, right after one another. Gwana and EE, of course, stumble on the landing and take 2 and 3 damage.
Yelling from the camp below. A few arrow potshots at the big eagles but nothing hits. Gwana says they are only aware of the eagles, it seems.
The eagles are leaving, they are gone. We are going to be on our own getting out if the death of the necromancer does not send the enemy forces away.
There is a hatch offcenter, and a chimney that is smoking as always.
Hatch is locked from the inside.
Gwana and Kell pull and pull, snapping the latch.
Steep stairway down. No light below, FB says it appears empty. Primarily storage of crates, chests, ect. One small room is sectioned off though, closed door.
Gwana leads the way down. Yanath says no torches until we are down the stairs so that no one from outside can see the light.
Smith “A fine idea, Yanath. Very smart. We could have been finished before we started.”
We close the hatch behind us. No steps down visible. Kell checks the door, no noise and not locked. Gwana leads the way in. Lit torch on wall; steps in the room going down. A box at top of steps holds lanterns and torches.
There is also light and noise on next floor down.
FB carefully checks it out first. It leads to a large lab. The tower tapers inward slightly as it goes up, so this floor is slightly larger than above. Bookshelves, experiment tables, etc. 2 small parts are sectioned off as small rooms, closed doors. 2 men are working, humans it appears, in black robes. A humanoid dead body rests on one of the tables, headless and disected. As well as 2 green orcs guarding one of the doors. Steps going down are not in sight. The orcs watch in our general direction, so surprise is not asured.
The inner stair wall is not floor to ceiling, it has a ledge following the steps down that some of us could spring over and down, or shoot from.
EE and Iggy start taking a bead on the orcs as Yanath and Gwana skulk to the bottom.
Iggy and EE each kill their orc in one shot. Iggy and Yanath move on the lab rats. They each wear the medallion with the runic symbols we found days ago. They react in shock of our attack. Yanath and Gwanda take down the lab geeks. They are indeed humans. We take their medallions. Kell moves in to check the 2 doors, HE with him. The other move into the room. Tanaron at the steps.
Orc door is locked from this side, bolt. The other is locked from the other side.
Yanath unlocks the bolt, Gwana looks in. Same as above, top of stairs going down.
Both of the lab geeks have a key to the other door, leading to their bedroom. 2 sets of bunkbeds, so 2 more of these lackeys are about. Nothing important in here.
Booty checks out the lab: lots of books in different languages, mostly alchemical work and magical rituals; disection; etc. Very technical. Also, lots of reagents and jars with specimens in them of various small creatures. It seems to be an elf that is the body on the table.
Light and noise from down stairs, so we keep this door closed while we are messing around.
We begin sneaking down, lots more talking and noise. Yanath leads the way, its primarily orcish speak. Nothing important, soldier talk.
Yanath sees About 60’ diameter floor; stairs open into a common room; 2 doors on far side, wall between them goes from one to the other, so could be one larger room with 2 doors in or 2 separate rooms divided by a wall. Bunch of orcs sit at the table and around, and a forest troll as well; perhaps 12 green orcs.
We line up our bowman on the steps, Yanath leading Kell and SMith at the bottom. Gwana is ready to leap from above. Yanath is seen as he spies around the corner so charges the nearest orc. The jig is up fast. Iggy crits the troll, spinning him around so flat footed for next round. Gwana leaps up down to right at the line of sitting orcs, spearing one dead. Ee hits an orc at the far head of the table; HE assesses orc.
Yanath take his down but misses the next one; Iggy hits troll 12/12; Gwana moves and stabs 2 orcs killing both with the cleave included.
The troll then charges Gwana and hits.
Kell moves forward of Smith but then the orcs move and a couple catch him alone, he hits 10. The orc shot by EE runs to a door while yelling instructions, unbolts and opens it. Yanath is attacked by his but missed. Gwana is attacked but missed by 1 orc; The last 3 flip the tables up for cover vs our bows, as instructed. Kell is crited 12 fatiguing him.
Smith moves up beside Kell and joins the fight vs his 2.
EE takes down the orc at the door then misses the troll; Smith kills his orc at Kell; HE hits the troll twice bringing him down, then hits the orc at Gwana; Yanath hits only once but steps aside to open shots from the steps; Iggy shoots Gwana’s orc dead, and hits Yanath’s 14; Gwana grabs the table and pulls down toward himself. The 3 orcs weren’t expecting that. Fraunk hits one of them now.
Yanath’s orc begins commandint. One of the 3 runs through the open door; the nearest to Yanath moves to Kell/Smith but misses, the last jumps atop the upturned table vs Gwana but misses. Yanath is missed, the orc fumbling and getting stabbed himself DEAD.
SMith kills his; HE hits Gwana’s 13; Gwana runs past his orc getting hit with AoO 10 and chases the runner; Yanath moves and hits Gwana’s DEAD.
Kell runs after Gwana, who has rushed down the stair by himself. Kell hears a ruckus and Gwana running wild down the stairs below. Kell calls back to the others!!
Gwana catches the orc at the bottom, grabbing by the back of his shirt; the ground level of the tower. It’s one big open area, a multitude of baddies. Undead, orcs, and trolls.
We rush to the steps after Gwana, Kell catching up to him first.
There are more than 20 enemies here, the undead are skeletons.
Gwana stabs the man he has been chasing twice DEAD.
5 orcs charge them, Kell delaying his action until they are on he and Gwana. 7 other orcs form up on the far wall across from the steps, drawing bows, 5 in front and 2 behind them.
Gwana is hit once of all the attacks .
Kell slaughters one of the orcs and hits another; of the 3 green trolls, 2 now throw javelins at Kell but miss, before the last enters the open space at Kell
Now the skeletons: they begin wandering toward the stairs at Kell/Gwana at the base of the steps and along the stairway. There are 12 of them.
The archers get to the steps and start aiming over; Gwana prepares vorpal hurricane; Yanath is readying to leap down into the skeletons after assessing.
The orcs miss as Gwana kills all 3 orcs; the readied orcs now fire into the opening in the line: Gwana takes a crit 21; Kell is hit once 4; Smith is missed badly.
Kell hits the troll 6 and crit 19 but drops his longsword from the mighty blow.
The troll misses Kell all 3 times!! Skeletons now fill the ranks of the orcs at Gwana/Kell.
Smith attacks the flank orc on Kell over the banister DEAD; HE kills one orc archer and wounds the next; EE hits a troll that’s out of combat 20/12. Yanath makes a jump stunt off the banister, over Kell, for 23 DEAD. Fraunk hits the wounded orc archer DEAD; Iggy aims a full round; Gwana kills a skeleton, cleaves another.
The orc archers fire, hitting Fraunk and EE once each. Kell recovers his sword, Tanaron stabs from the steps and past Kell hitting the troll.
Troll misses Kell three times again; the other 2 trolls throw javelins at Yanath miss and Tanaron miss.
Yanath gets surrounded by 5 skeletons now, but they are assessed and all miss. A couple others go at the edge of the banister at the bottom vs Smith and Tanaron all missing; Gwana is hit once by a skeleton.
HE kills another archer; EE crits the troll 29 DEAD and 12 to the other troll unengaged.
Yanath kills another skeleton; Iggy fires at the troll he has been aiming at, which EE just hit, crits 42 and 2 con drain (card) DEAD!! He then hits Kell’s troll 12. Fraunk wounds an orc archer; Gwana steps forward into the skeletons w/ Yanath 15/9 DEAD cleaves another 15.
The orcs drop their bows, and charge, drawing blades, but for 1 of the 2 in the rear. He runs to the front door of the tower, and begns to unlock the door.
Kell hits the troll 12 then Tanaron finishes it off.
3 skeletons now attack Kell hit once; Yanath is missed by 2 of them; Gwane is attacked by 3, and hit once.
EE and HE nail the orc at the door, 4 arrows, but he does not stop.
Yanath hits a big orc on him twice; Iggy fumbles; Fraunk, with a last second “one inch higher” from HE, hits him 8 DEAD!! The orc had al locks undone, was about to lift the bar!!! Someone outside knocks at the door now.
Gwana slays an orc, cleaves a skeleton DEAD, then hits a skeleton 16.
Kell kills a skeleton; Tanaron runs to the door and starts relocking it.
Skeletons hit Gwana, Yanath once each.
Smith fumbles; HE and EE hit Yanath’s tough orc DEAD. Yanath kills the last orc.
Gwana kills 2 skeletons and wounds another.
Iggy pulls out his light mace and joins the skeleton fray 5.
Kell is crited 10 and 7 dex damage; Yanath is missed; Gwana is hit twice.
Smith kills Kell’s skeleton. He, at the top of the steps, hears a noise. Turning, he sees the 2nd door opening up “We’ve got company!” A large red gellatinous thing begins to slob into the room upstairs.
“Everyone off the steps!!”
He runs down the stairs.
Yanath “Booty, what is it!”
He runs up enough to see it “I don’t know, but it looks like an ooze of some kind. Difficult to kill.”
Yanath kills a skeleton. Now 2 left. Gwana kills the last 2.
Yanath tells Gwana to yell out the door all is ok, just a drunken fight. Yanath orderd, quickly, broken chairs, tables and such oiled at the bottom of the steps and lit. Hopefully it will stop or at least delay this large red colored ooze.

Kell kills the last at him and Smith with a crit
Gwana hears the orcs outside being ordered to cut down a tree, for a makeshift ram. We line up the large tables to the sides of the bottom of the steps, dowsing the tablet tops in oil. Once the ooze is there we’ll light them, all of us behind the tables, leading the ooze to the front door vs the orcs.
Iggy fires an acid arrow up the steps at it, as it reaches the top of the stairs, Booty beside him. He hits it 7 plus 6 acid. It didn’t react at all.
It gets to the bottom, moving at a man’s pace, leaving a trail of red mucus. We light the tables at its flanks. It shoots a tendril out at Smith, while reaching over to light one side, hitting with the slam but no special effect.
At the top of the steps is a man in priestly robes, motioning to cast a spell.
HE hits him twice, missing with a third arrow; Yanath climbs to the bannister and moves up. The necro misses him with a beam. Iggy crits the necromancer, arrow throught the bicep for 15 plus 4 str damage DOWN.
The blob stops tween the 2 burning tables and launches a bunch of tendrils out.
We are getting terrible feelings and brief visions of terrible things, seeing ourself die, or others, etc.
EE is hit, and it latches on for a second drawing blood out, then pulls it back. 1 str adn 1 con gone. Kell is misssed, as is Smith and Iggy.
The fire seems to be doing nothing.
Yanath drops a rope down the side.
Gwana opens the peep hole to look out. 5 zombies are pounding on the door, orcs spread out behind them. Further back, they are debranching a cut down tree.
EE puts 2 arrows into the blob. “Booty, the blood sucking! Does that give you a clue?”
He says it is basically a blood blob, made of blood. This is no type I have otherwise heard of or seen. Very different, extremely rare or even unique.
Yanath “Gwana, attack it!”
Booty casts a cold spell onto the blob 37. Still, we can not tell if it did anything.
Iggy hits it with fire arrows.
The blot begins to ooze over the table to its left, to EE’s horror.
Yanath “Damn it Gwana, attack the blob!!”
It overruns EE!!!!
Fraunk goes right up the rope!!
Kell “Eagle Eye!!” and hits it twice.
FB “I have it!! It’s a blood angel, an outsider but with blob traits as well. It is only here via summoning. We’re screwed! It’s one weakness on this plane is the blood of the summoner.”
Yanath and Fraunk take off to find the necromancer, straight to the one room we ignored, where the blob came from. FB follows them.
It lashes out at us again, hitting Kell, Smith; and Gwana twice.
Yanath, Fraunk and FB get to the room. This is definitely where the ritual took place, arcane markings on the floor. The necro is standing there, the man in black.
He has many cuts visible on his arms.
“You fulls should not have interfered in my affairs.”
We rush him as he forms an arcane blade of black energy.
Gwana, Smith and Kell go full defense mode, EE is failing in his attempts at breaking free.
HE comes in range, to take up an attack.
It lashes out, once at each of the 4 around him.
Upstairs we engage the necromancer. When his blade hits us, it causes a chill in our very soul. FB becomes medium size.
Fraunk crits, cutting his speed in half, dex damage and 10 pts.
FB “Get his blood on your weapons!!”
Smith is close to going down. HE is critted.
Yanath hits twice, gut slashing him. Tanaron hits once, FB twice, Fraunk misses.
He hits Yanath twice again.
He says “You don’t know whose plans you oppose. You stand no chance of defeating the Malenko.”
Tanaron “You’re not the real Malenko.”
“So, you know another. Tell me where he is, so I may defeat him and take his life energy.”
EE is KO’d. Smith falls KO’d.
Malenko steps back, grabs his amulet, and vanishes as he says “this is not the last you have seen of me”.
From downstairs the blob disipates into a mass of blood on the floor.
Gwana checks on the army. They have almost finished fashioning the ram.
Yanath et al get back downstairs.
We get everyone upstairs to the labs and the necro’s rooms, but we find no other way out.
We hear noises outside, lots of commotion.
FB flies to the roof to see all the undead now fighting the others of the army, w/o the necro’s control.
Through the forest, coming this way, is Ragnar with Smith’s men, a force of the elves, dwarves and Wieston folk, including the treant. Reinforcements have come!
We watch as our allies reach the edge of the clearing, loosing missiles into the orcs and trolls before wading into the battle.
They scatter immediately, leaving only the undead to fight. Short work is made of the skeletons and zombies handily.

We come out to meet them. Gretchen is here, too. She says once we were in the tower, she had already had this group making there way here on foot, knowing we may be caught in the tower. She didn’t want to risk the leadership being killed not breaking the army. She also sent a sprite with us into the tower, unknown to us, linked to her so she knew our progress precisely. She had to know the necromancer was gone beforer she showed herself and this force.

So, victory in this forest of Gretchen’s is ours.
She suspected it was a ‘Malenko’, but thought this particular one had been dead many years.
The Malenko’s, far as she knows which is not the entire story, are multiple. All essentially the same being, or part of some same being perhaps. They have existed for a long, long time. One theory is that if there ends up being only 1 left, it inherits the power of all the others. Possibly a Master, or just a super arcanist.
Yanath “So it could be a Master who assured his existence into the future in this manner.”
“Yes, possibly.”
Very similar to Keraptis in White Plume Mountain, except if its true Malenko was much more successful.
She says we should probably watch our back. It has been some 20 years since she thought he died, so he can hold a grudge. We are lucky that he took the blood angel with him when he left, for it is very powerful. Typically, when called to our plane, if they’re master dies they are free roaming killing all in their path. He must have not wanted to go through the effort to call another.
She is beyond grateful.
Yanath gives out many congrats to a terrific team effort wonderfully executed by all.
Iggy “If they are all part of the same thing, does that mean our Malenko’s blood can hurt the blood angel?”
Gretchen “A great question, and very possible but I can not be sure.”

Back to Wieston.

Loot (army):
GP: 3000
SP: 500
2 statues: 90, 600
4 smokesticks

Tower:
SP: 3000
gp: 500
3x 100gp gems

April 24

Nothing but rest.

April 27

Back in Brimmin. Stay here the night.

Frigg Longbeard; son Grigg Stoneskin plus 26 fighting dwarves.
Glamar; Cpt. Elebor and 26 fighting elves.
Stench Guard: once applied to fabric you have 5 combat rounds before it dries up. You only must have it on during the initial exposure saving throw. It grants a +5 to the save. The cask has a total of 40 applications in it. Used: 20

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Winter's end; new friends

Dahlia gives Burns a detailed account of White Plume Mt., including the Keraptis baby. He says how unfortunate it is that such power (the weapons) were destroyed; and he will “keep an eye on” the baby.

The barbarians, the Crimson Knights, and the rangers all arrive in Holst before the time that the carnival is moving on; all meet and fall in as pals.
All the other 3 groups felt a compulsion of sorts to end up in Holst.
Each group was greeted by Smithers and a few other carnival officials. Sgt. actually knows Mr. Burns, as well as Malenklo and Dahlia from years and years ago. They are offered a place to lodge and provisions for their stay. Offered job opportunities come spring.
The barbarians agree “nothing else to do”.
The rangers look to Sgt. who agrees.
The Knights are the only ones who really have to think about it. However, they are travelling from home seeking glory, a crusade for notoriety and prove themselves in the greater world and return better men. They have their entourage of groomers, servants and the like appropriate for each of them. They feel it seems odd, not able to really put their finger on it, what’s different recently. Everything since right before they reached Hazlet has just felt….off. In their whole perception of time and being. Hmmm. They ask Smithers, to see if Burns can explain anything. “Probably just being so far from home”. Burn does say that even this long after the Masters, there are still ‘mystical fields’ and such that they may have passed through. Bunch of mystical mumbo jumbo.

Dahlia, after seeing Drow for the first time, asks Burns about it. He confirms that she is indeed a dark elf, a Drow. She was not raised by them however but by the carnival, as she knows. He explains she will have a much longer life than man. He says she was ‘captured’ from a dark elf group by wandering barbarians. Burns purchased, protected and raised her. Other than that, he knows nothing else.

Winter ends w/o incident. Burns did have feelers and scout elsewhere, advertising and other things he is interested in. One of his runners checked in on Lupidides even (Burns really knows all) and reported he is well and still on the inside. Burns feels Bosmus may should probably indeed follow on his revenge. Lupidides has information for sure. Burns gives Bosmus his blesssing to take a group to settle things “as long as you realize once that job is over, you return here”.

Fall moves on, the carnival will move now. Burns wants to visit Imbrundia this year, sooner rather than later. There ill be a large celebration in the spring he wants the carnival to take advantage of.
Burns call a select group to a meeting about potential action coming up soon: Gar, Dareth, Tom, Yanath, Sgt, Malenko, Dahlia. He has lines on jobs with benefits.

  • A town off in ??: something unusual is going on at a mine nearby; no one is saying exactly what and not getting much attention from anyone else. Burns, however, wants to find out what it is before it gets the attention. It will have to be dungeon crawlers. He says that group can break off from the carnival at Ham.
  • South of the same mountain range, there is a petty warlord who was small time in scale. But in last 6 or 8 months, seems to have grown in power. His area has grown a little too fast. Suspiciously so. Has not drawn much attention from the closest King. His man in charge of that area has said not much; he has either not done anything or can’t.
  • In the forest to the west he has an ‘old friend’ there. She has lived there peacefully for many years minding her own business. She was able to contact him recently; having problems with monsters in the woods that were not problems before. Maybe a new force in the area. She asked him for assistance. That is personal, not carnival business so he would look very favorably upon solving it.
    Yanath "This is something you would want someone to look into asap, not just wait until we are moving up the north road to the capitol and break off. Go asap.

There are other smaller things, but he will get to those later.
He’s thinking maybe 8 guys or so to each place should suffice, but whatever we want, go for it.

Bosmus wants to leave within a day or 2.
There are obvious choices to make, but we want each group to be somewhat rounded.

To mine:
Haarkon, Gar, Garth, Ulfar, Dahlia, Malenko (plus dog and 2 undead), Elric (and dire wolf).

To Burns’ friend:
Yanath (plus dog) and Meanderwood Rangers, Ragnar, Iggy, Umgwana (plus Booty and Fingerbang)

Guttenburg:
Bosmus, Furnok, Lord Byron, Hunk, Nunu, Billy

To Warlord:
Cpt. Dareth, Lord Evan, Sir Garth Gri mson, Tom and Blue Crew 2, Sir John, Sir Damon.

The rest of the rangers and Vic and Ulik will lie in reserve. Vik is NOT happy, and almost thrashes her cousins to leave them behind bruised and bloody.

The carnival will move out April 7, 1 week from now.
Next day, April 1, Yanath suggests that Dareth take a ranger with him, as well. Elric tells Sarge of his reservations of travelling with an arcanist and undead. Sarge reassures him he will be fine. Anyone but Sarge, Elric would insist on not being along with such companions. The elf and his wolf are uneasy about the undead.

Bozmus and Furnok leave morning April 2 for Ferd to check in on Lupidides and hopefully finish things with Adolphus and Gerber. Arrive late April 3. Lupidides was told, come beginning of season, check for us a couple times a week at the Inn for us.
Bozmus wants to lay low until he makes contact, so we keep to ourselves and eat in.
Billy and his fighters get into the underground shindigs, waiting to hear from us. Byron stays with the thieves.

April 5: Lupidides arrives. We introduce him to Lord Byron.
Lup says it took him a while to get a job. He didn’t have to kill anyone, but did poison a servant to the point where he needed to be replaced. It is a fairly secure compound. After Malenko’s attack in Guttenberg, he is a bit paranoid. The construct you spoke of is still his guard. Average of 30 guards at the compound at any time working in shifts, but are all live in. Servants number about 15. Most are just peons, like Lup. He does have a personal chef; personal butler/assistant who is the house steward; head gardener; and alchemist.
Gerber himself works in alchemy.
Bosmus “I knew he had an interest in it, but not that he himself practiced it.”
Lup can give us a good layout of the 3 floor estate. Entirety of the grounds is 80 yards x 80 yards and is indeed walled, w/ primary front large double gate (w/man door built into the main doors), as well as a shipment receiving door at the back wall. Servants go out to unload everything. Delivery men never enter. That door leads directly into the storage building which then leads into the compound.
The front gate always has at least 2 men. No one gets in w/o being an expected visitor or well known associate. Passwords are sometimes given to the person to give to the guards, other times they are on a list with a detailed description. Appointments are set up via the steward.
Back door guarded by 1 man at all times on the inside (bell to ring on outside), and also the door from the storage shed into the yard. He stands inside the compound.
2 walking patrols on the grounds always.
House is centrally located. Servants quarters, guard barracks, guardhouse at front gate also on the grounds. A few other small outhouses; between house and storage shed is the external kitchen.
The house is NW of Ferd; the main gate faces east. Garden is on NE corner of property; just west of that is servants; guardhouse is to the South of main gate; barraks to west of that. NW and SW corners are copses of fruit trees, and some underbrush like little private nature areas.
Walls are 15’ high.
He can give us exact layout of 1st floor; only some info on 2nd floor; no info on 3rd. That is Gerber’s bedroom, lab, etc.
House itself is N to S 60’, and 80’ E to W. Front door faces main gate, goes into a foyer. 3 doors out of that room. South to waiting room (dead end); West door to hall goes to servant’s room one way and formal dining room the other. A door from there leads out to cookhouse.
A long hall way on west side has stairs to 2nd floor and door to guard room with at least 1 man at all times waiting for alarms raised.
House has a servant entrance as well. Each floor has a bath with indoor plumbing.
2nd floor has another guard room at base of steps going to 3rd. They are in a different place than first, on the SE corner. There are guest bedrooms and a sitting room.
No basement.
He has come across no hidden passages. Lup says it is difficult to search for them.
For first 2 months, he was never allowed to do anything alone. Still, there are always servants or a guard moving around you. When one gets a job at the estate, you are given an amulet which ID’s you as staff (he wears it now). If forging is an idea, do NOT ask around here in Ferd. Only one man does it here, and it’ll get around to him.
All weapons and shields, other than maybe knives, are checked at foyer.
Employees leaving have to be scheduled, so one can’t just leave for his couple days off and pop back in. So, in order to forge the amulet, we would have to get someone to come here with their tools and make it her in town. Lup could not leave long enough. They are taken back, of course, when someone quits.
The construct guardian is not always with him. Any time he leaves it goes. If he is walking the ground, it is at his side. So an ambush assassination means you will have to deal with it.
Adolphus has visited. He came shortly after Lup getting the job. He stayed about a week but has not been back since. The local sheriff is a regular visitor to the house as a friend. Dinner at least once a month.
Gerber does leave the grounds for the city periodically, but most entertainment is brought to him. When he does he is always heavily protected. The construct typically joins him!! So he has been seen out and about with this thing. Also, at least half a dozen guards including the cpt. of the guard who is a known badass. Nothing regular that we can plan on.
Before too late, Lup has to head back. He will try to get more in depth now that he has backup and can dip out in an emergency.

So, it’s now info gathering in the city.
Furnok starts hitting up street urchins, contacts and the like he knows from the past. Billy, the seedy underbelly.
We are trying to get info on the property, Gerber himself, especially find former employees to get info from them, business dealings. We will begin tomorrow.

April 5:Nunu and Bosmus are going to inspect the outer rim of the property, a feeler op, at night.
Perimeter is fairly well lit, especially at front gate. Plenty of light w/in the house and lots of windows; see people moving around inside.
More light is coming over the wall then from a few torches. The grounds inside must also be well lit.
We keep watch late into the night. Lights at the gates never change. The house lights, of course, begin to dim or go out. 3rd floor lights remain on very late, sometimes lights at one area on NW corner are of a different color and flickering, so that window is likely the lab. The grounds lights dim considerably but still light sources throughout.
They return.

Over this and next couple days:
Billy: not much word on Gerber. He is not known to attend the underground fights but has been known to request fighters to come out to his compound to entertain guests. Once, a very well known promotion fighter he DID actually come into the city arena to see. Was not an illegal thing like this though.
Billy puts the word out offering private shows.
Furnok: Finds 2 ex employees that still live in the area that we may want to talk to. Ex employees who quit his service tend to move away shortly after. Those that are fired often disappear, a couple have ‘committed suicide’.
These 2 are one man and one woman. Both quit. The man was a guard up until a couple years ago but should be trustworthy. Was there a couple years and quit suddenly and never really spoke of it. He works as a bartender at an inn called the Black Talon. Name is Henry. The woman was one of the housekeepers; worked there as recently as 8 months ago (just prior to Lup). She had worked there for some time but not from Furd originally. Had been passing through and was likely in right place at right time to land the job. Quit suddenly like Henry and moved into town, bought a small house, and cleans houses and such. Also, never has gone into detail about her time at Gerber’s.

Bosmus talks to some toughs in case we need muscle, the knuckles, skulls and fangs. He finds that they have no interest. He gets a universal “That place is heavy” and they want no part of it. When asked about what scares them off, they are apprehensive. They say the 2 biggest reasons to want no possible fight with Fritz and his men: there are a lot and none of them are wimps; the construct. They know not what it is, but they did see it in action once, years ago. Gerber was in town and appeared to be alone. Couple thugs tried to mug him until the thing hit them out of no where and crushed both of their skulls in a short fight. If we can guarantee that thing is not any part, come back and talk again. Otherwise, forget it.

We also find the location of the amulet maker.

April 7: Carnival leaves today. The group going to help Burns’ friend will not stop with carnival along the route. They are making straight for the NW forest.

April 8

Carnival in Erich today.

Lup meets us again with new info. Gerber had a visitor arrive yesterday, a merchant from somewhere further south, darker swarthy tones. He is there with a female companion. First visitor in couple months, other than the sheriff. The man is staying at the compound, it seems for at least a few more days. They talk in the sitting room on the 2nd floor. The alchemist supped with them.
Otherwise, business as usual.
He says he’ll take a risk if it looks like he can, to get up to the 2nd floor and see what they might be working on. He thinks he may be able to put the right person out of commission for a couple days. If so, he may get picked to fill the void.

Furnok goes to meet Henry, the former guard. He goes to the Inn and hangs in the tavern. Lord B offers to join him. Furnok sends him off, instead, with a few of his street operators (Byron refers to them as toughs, and Furnok quickly corrects him) to ‘run into’ the girl and do his poet/knight thing. Her name is Sofia. Byron’s pickup line isn’t particularly great. He’s not really rebuffed, but not real suave either. He makes another move shortly later, which is even worse. She remains indifferent.
For tonight, Furnok is just being nice and starting to make a friend. He starts off a bit slow tonight though, but ends the night better than he started. Tips well.

Late night, Nunu and Boz back at the compound. They are testing a corner with a grove. Boz climbs up at the right rear grove. This is the corner from which we can see the lab window. He can see the back and side door from here both have lanterns hung at them. Servants quarters to our left. The delivery shed straight ahead has a guard at the door to the yard too.
All doors visible have lantern at them, lit, as does the outhouse past the servant’s quarters.
Nearest tree to the wall would be a jump check, but not a hard one.
He lays in wait, watching. The 2 man patrol goes by. They check doors to house as they go, making sure they are locked.
Once they are out of sight, the 2nd patrol indeed comes by, doing the same thing.
They do not seem to approach the wall or into the grove. Rather, sticking close to the house.

April 9

Byron approaches Sofia again. The Skulls offer to fake a mugging, with Byron chasing them away with a good thrashing "just give us the signal’ they say.
She’s impressed at Byron’s diligence and agrees to a drink, during which she opens up more to him. He does not push the job question yet. Byron invites her to dinner, pick her up at her house. Perhaps a ride into the countryside at some point. She agrees for tomorrow.

Furnok back to Henry’s bar. Tonight, he puts on a masterful display, keeping Henry involved in the tomfoolery. They plan to get together for drinks the next night. We’ll each bring a couple friends to the tavern.

Billy and the fighters keep on the circuit.

April 10

Late, Yanath’s NW forest group arrives Brimmin.

Morning April 11

Carnival leaves Erich.

Byron meets with Sofia for a ride into the countryside and really pours it on excellently; gets her to mention that she worked for FG some time ago. She gets into no specifics, but says “just something about that place felt wrong to me” so gave her notice.
It’s hard to get her to explain further. He keeps trying to get back to it but she is kind but evasive. He leaves it be for now; still having dinner later. Maybe some alcohol will help.

Out to dinner, enjoying a nice meal and drinks. He broaches the subject again. She looks across the table at him, then glances around. Leaning in closer “I’ve never mentioned anything, why are you following me?” to Byron.
Byron “I insist, you have the wrong idea, Miss.”
She does not believe anyone would ask of that place, stands up “have a good night” and walks away.
He gives the signal as he follows behind her down the street, yelling goodnight and apologies to her; then the knuckles make their move to mug her! They grab her, drag her into the alley. There is Tony and 2 dudes holding her mouth closed attempting to disrobe her, going through her purse. Byron counts to 5, and rushes for them, gallantly saves her in the knick of time.
He yells “Brigands!”
They draw out their knives and clubs and Tony “This don’t concern you.” He draws his sword.
They look at him and flee for their lives hahahahaha!! Perfectly executed by the Knuckles.
Byron “Are you ok?”
She is very appreciative of the help, but soon as she composes herself she asks “Were those your men?”
Byron “Not in the slightest. I do not associate with common ruffians. I am a Lord and knight.”
“Why are you testing me?”
Byron comes clean about needing info because we are out to get said merchant, as he is our enemy. She ponders and asks “if you know who I worked for, tell me his name.”
Byron “Fritz Gerber.”
She leads him to her house. As soon as they are inside, she battens down the hatches, tight. She explains that some of his servants have worked for him for many years. they are the ones who work closest with him. The others may work for a year or so, but come and go. She always felt uneasy on the grounds altogether. Strange things happening; Fritz and his close servants (alchemist, steward, cpt of guard) all seem off. Always watching us. There were stories about some who left the job and were never heard from again. Also, strange goings on at night. Once a delivery came well after dark, she heard the bell at the rear delivery entrance. Saw, while taking a night walk, the alchemist and steward plus 2 others go to the gate to meet the delivery. Brought in a large box, like a coffin maybe. Shortly thereafter the lights in the lab were on upstairs. Like work was being done. Never saw anyone harmed herself, but they are very suspicious and protective. WHen she left, she was told by the steward never to speak of my employment and never to even mention that I had worked there to anyone or they would find out. Never came across anything hidden, like rooms or passages. Strange visitors periodically, as well as many traders. 2 of the most common were Adolphus (every few months) and a man whose name she never got. Smaller, pointy ears. Last time he was there they were having a very animated discussion about something.
We figure that’s Tregoss.
Now that she is done, she asks Byron if she can provide her protection if need be. Other disappearances or deaths seemed to have been preceded by them mentioning their work at the house.
Byron will stay the night to make it look good.

At the taverns with Henry:
Furnok and a couple of his pals are out with Henry and a few of his. Drink, carousing, gambling.
We act out that a couple of us are worried about something, then another knuckle comes in and whispers something, and we are all distraught. Henry asks, and we say a friend
back to Fredrik’s
Henry pretends to know nothing.
Another ruse.
He is evasive.
Asks to check us.
Gives in.
He was allowed to the upper floors of the house. On rare occasions he was called to the 3rd floor. Only twice though, and never beyond the hallways. Never in any rooms. Gerber is EVIL, Henry says. Always felt that he was odd, like all of his closer workers; trust very few. The group of them, plus friends are part of some secret organization. They do horrible things. Publicly he is only a wealthy eccentric merchant, though wasn’t always so wealthy. Henry can give us some backstory on the man he has heard, of when Gerber was younger even:
Only a moderately successful local trader as a young man. Then got involved with a group of merchants and expanded primarily with the help of a much more successful businessman. He took Fritz and Adolphus under his wing. Over the years, expanded in influence and wealth. Somewhere along the way, something happened where Fritz and Adolphus became involved with this organization, whatever it is. They turned on the older partner. His understanding is that they had him killed and took his fortune and holdings as their own. This guys name was foreign_(Bozmus uncle) No one speaks of it anymore though. No one speaks poorly of Fritz around here. The final straw of Henry leaving the job was that he had a friend who worked as a guard there; loyal, never caused any trouble. Was on leave for several days and had come into town. Got drunk one night and started spouting of about things he had seen and heard out at Gerber’s compound. When he returned to work, the Cpt. (same as now) was waiting with a squad of men. They took him into custody, led him into the house. You could hear the screams for several hours, then they brought him back out and took him to the courtyard where they hanged him. The made sure he choked to death; he didn’t die quickly. No one ever saw the body again. Henry quit not too long after. The friend’s family (wife and kids her in Ferd) were told he had taken his last months wages and skipped town. No investigation. None of the workers could tell anyone any different or we’d be killed. When Henry quit, the steward said to never speak of anything that happened or they’d find him._
He hopes we can get rid of Gerber, whatever we have planned. Otherwise “I’m probably a dead man.”
Furnok insists Henry stay here. He does not know Sofia.
We ask about his guardian, Henry just says it’s a large stone and wooden construction that follows him around. When it’s not visibly with him, he does have a way of calling it to him almost instantaneously once he summons it.
Furnok “I thought so. Did you ever notice him wearing anything, like jewelry, a particular piece every single day not matter what else he dons?”
“Yes” a ring and an amulet. The amulet has a symbol on it. We have him draw it for us: a circle with a horses head inside, surrounded by 6 runes. For sure the alchemist, Cpt. and Steward all have the same amulet.
So the ring is likely what summons the construct.
None of us recognize the symbol. He thinks it’s from the Master’s time.

April 12

We meet at Fredrik’s and trade info. So, how to get to FG, what the heck is he involved in.
Lup reports again on schedule "You guys better just hang out in here, Fritz is coming to town today. Has business to attend to. It’s him, his steward, and a cadre of his soldiers, plus a couple other servants. It’s his wagon, plus 2 others driven by servants. The other soldiers escort on horseback.
Furnok tells Byron to get to Sofia and get her over here, too. We send a couple knuckes out to watch their entrance into Ferd.

As they approach the city, they are met by a couple horsemen. One of which is the sheriff. There is a discussion with Fritz into the carriage for a few minutes, then the riders return and the convoy continues on.
The 2 servant wagons with 2 guards each breaks off into merchant district for business. every shot a servant goes into, a soldier follows him in and the other stays with the wagon.
Fritz’s carriage continues to a rendevous in the wealthy sector, stopping at the home of the mayor. Fritz and the Steward go in with 2 guards. The others stay outside (one is the driver; one at the front door; other 2 patrol perimeter).

Meanwhile: Lupidides says has made it upstairs. He got the man sick right before he was supposed to take care of a duty upstairs to wait on the visitor from before who is still there. So, they grabbed Lupe as the only option on such short notice. Not much to tell from that short opportunity. He was able to snoop a bit though. There are 5 rooms: 2 guest beds, a sitting room for meetings and relaxing; an office; and a guard room. He saw only the siting and 1 guest room. Others were locked.
The merchant is some type of desert people. They talked in a language Lupe does not understand. Probably the visitors language.

We make fast for the house FG is at. Fast disguises for Furnok and Boz. We check the perimeter. They do not seem to be expecting an attack.
Furnok comes up with a quick scheme.
We watch a couple open windows on the first floor. One leads into the kitchen, the other a study or sitting room which seems empty.
Furnok, Nunu, and Boz make their move into the house with perfect stealth. Room is empty. it’s a library.
Boz heads out into the 1st floor to scope things out: who is servicing the meeting, where everyone is. Furnok starts rifling through the paperwork in the library for any fishy business dealings.
He hears then sees activity from kitchen, couple cooks making light fare, and couple servants waiting for their time to take things upstairs; and noise from upstairs. He goes upstairs and hears talking down the hallway behind a closed door. There is a minimum of 4 voices.
Back down to hall and he hears a ring “order up”. A waiter walks out with a tray loaded with glasses and beverages. He goes upstairs, Furnok says let him go. They are still cooking so there are more deliveries to be made. Especially the after dinner desert or brandy will the the time to strike. What they are saying may be very very valuable.
Boz follows behind the waiter and knocks 5 taps. The door opens, Boz ducks into a door down the hall and closes it to a crack open; luckily its an empty bedroom. The man who opens the door is one of Fritz’s guards. The waiter enters the meeting. Boz waits for the waiter to go back downstairs then returns to listening in. Difficult to hear what is being said over the clanking of glasses at first. Then hears Fritz speaking of having his current problem dealt with “and if you can’t do it for me, I have someone else that will”.
The other voice replies that we will do all we can, but it is highly irregular. Another voice jumps in “if you need more manpower, I can authorize it”. Perhaps the sheriff came here before we arrived.
Another waiter comes up the steps, tray of food tween his sight and Boz thankfully or Boz would have not made it into the side room in time. Same generic knock, no pattern. After a few, the waiter leaves again downstairs with empty tray.
Boz returns, saying its getting busy up there. Furnok sends Nunu up to act as warning of the bell being rung signaling the next servant.
So back to listening. For a while, its mostly eating. Then Fritz “So sheriff, what is your proposition on how to handle this problem?”
Sheriff replies that this may not work as smoothly as some of your previous problems. There appears to be a stranger involved (we can tell he is searching for words).
Mayor “Look, look. Have the stranger arrested on any charge you can think of. Once he is jailed, we only need to keep him out of the way for a short time to take care of the problem.”
Fritz “And the 2nd problem?”
Sheriff “That one is easy. I just need to form a brute squad for a raid. If in the process, there was to be fatalities, that is to be expected at times when you are dealing with gangsters.”
Fritz “Hmm. Very good, very good. And my 3rd problem, I can take care of on my own. It will be a great pleasure for me to handle that on my own.”
Mayor “Will you need any type of disposal afterwards?”
Fritz “Oh no, I have larger plans for him.”
Back to general convo for a while. Then the sheriff asks Fritz if he is planning on taking another trip to see Adolphus soon. Fritz says “soon enough. I do have to conclude my business with the Sheik before I can leave. Now that the weather has broken, I plan on going to see Adolphus soon to plan our next step for our brothers to the north.”
Mayor “Bloody shame that that whole op was taken down after so many years of thriving success.”
Fritz “Yes it was.”
That seems to be the end of their business talk. But, right as Boz is about to stop listening, he hears Fritz say something in a language he partially understands: the assassins ‘cant. He says ’i need you to take care of our mole tonight’. The 4th voice, who has said nothing since early on, replies in the same ‘cant “of course master it shall be done”.
Boz and Nunu return to library.
So, the stranger could be Byron, the squad to hit Fredrik’s house, the one Fritz is happy to take care of on his own could be Boz, and the mole Lup.
We abort. Back to Fredrik’s and tell them they need a new hideout.
Henry and Sofia say they knew they shouldn’t have talked to us.

Fritz leaves the house soon after, meets the others at the merchant district, and go back to his compound.

While all of this was going on, Billy was approached. Guy says he’s a promoter as well and has a fight for his ‘big guy’ if he wants to take it. “Since your man is a monster, I got someone who brought in a monster of his own.” No one else wants to fight it. It’s about 9’ tall. Billy sets up a meeting in 3 hrs, guy gives Billy the address, to see it and decide.
Billy, Hunk along, smells a potential trap, but there is potential money involved so he goes.
The place is a warehouse with attached office. Lights inside are on. He pauses, really smells a rat. Seeing nothing really off, he knocks and they are invited inside.
Besides the promoter, there is a couple thugs we pass on the way to the back of the warehouse to a caged area. Growling comes from ahead and the sound of something eating. Around the corner, a large green thing in the caged off area, back to us, feeding. It is humanoid; green skin, muscular but thin; black hair. The food might be human or humanoid as well.
Billy immediately recognizes it as a troll.
The promoter lays out the terms, from the man who brought this creature and wants to put it in the ring to fight. He knows the creature is unkillable. 2 ways of winning on your end: incapacitate or last a predetermined amount of time before it kills you. You lose if Hunk dies.
He gives us time to think about it, but not too long, If he has no takers he is leaving town.

Back to meet the others. Night time now. We go to different tavern altogether, separate part of town.
One of the knuckles comes over to Furnok and says they just raided the old house, but they were cleared out first. The sheriff seems none too happy. Sofia’s house was visited by the sheriff and a deputy personally. Finding no one home he was visibly angry. There are patrols out in the streets right now looking for “all of you”. He says leaving tonight is too risky, its that bad. They are looking for Boz, Furnok, and Byron. Billy and his fighters have not been with us much and seem to be unlinked to the rest of us. They continue to stay in a separate place.
We hang tight, crappy little place out of the way.
Furnok takes first watch, Boz mid night, Byron morning.

During Boz shift, hears a wagon pull up outside. Large and covered, stopped right in front of the place.2 guys climb off the drivers position, look around then open the back. 1 of them enters, the wagon shifts a bit, then he climbs back out with a leash. At the end is the troll and go to front door of the building. Boz wakes us up.
Furnok looks out the 2nd floor window we are at. Looks clear. We grab our stuff and down we go. Lupe is first one out. Furnok drops a rope for Sofia and Henry while Boz ties it off. They go next. Sofia almost slips just outside the window, slowing us down, then makes it. Henry then succeeds. Furnok then jumps out the window and lands deftly. Boz climbs down. Byron is last one left, standing at the window. He hears sniffing outside the door and movement. He makes it down as we hear the door crash open. We rush for their wagon!! The troll sticks its head out the window and roars as we drive away full speed ahead, Byron following us on his mount. We pick up Billy and his crew and load him into the wagon. We ride for the exit toward Fritz’s place, hoping they’ll let us out if they recognize his wagon. Gate is closed, but they give us no hassle. Out we go then cut west toward the carnival.
Hunk “You mean I’m not going to get to fight the troll?”
Billy “No Hunk. No troll fight.”
Lupidides has stored the amulet under a floorboard in the last place we stayed.

We have confirmed for sure these guys were involved with the slavers, but there is something larger going on also. Furnok thinks this try to kill Fritz is over. He wants to head east to Aldon straight through. Sell the wagon and draft horses, get riding horses and go straight south until we hit the river, cross and once on the road, back through Halst and catch up to the carnival.
Everyone agrees. Boz figures, he’s waited years for this, it can wait a little longer.

April 13

Carnival in Daschau and sets up shows.

By tonight Boz and crew arrive exhausted at the riverbend south of Aldon where we camp.

April 14

Boz and crew, night, arrive Halst and stay overnight.
The warlord and mine groups leave for their respective missions.
Mine group heads for Dwarrowhill. Just north of that town, up the river, is the mine in question.

April 15

Darrowhill group, late overnight, arrives.

April 16

Carnival leaves Daschau, arriving in Ham same day. Sets up a one day show for the next day.

April 17

Boz and crew arrive Ham, meeting carnival.
Report to Burns, show him the runic symbol. He says it is that of one of the greater Masters, Peldan, but slightly different in a couple ways. Could be a Return cult for Peldan. He says there are a number of such sects out there. He thinks we should do more investigating into this plot.
Hopefully, our hit on the slaving put a sizable dent in their pocket books, and so delays any nefarious efforts.

View
The Mountain Fort of the Slavers

On Day 50 we leave, following the map east and north. Afte 3 days we reach our destination and reconnoiter for a couple days, but not much activity but for guards on the walls.

Day 52, after dark

We enter walls of fort and fight our way through the first and second walls, making our way through the muddy courtyard where we are ambushed by an ankheg before continueing on. Then rest for a while into the next day before continuing on. We use the left wall to get to the roof of the main complex, where we are surprise attacked in the dark by archers, followed by orcs climbing from the inner courtyard below. We defeat them, finding the hole into the ‘kitchen’. We climb down into the courtyard and enter the forward doorway.
We fight our way through to the left first, before resting for the night in an abandoned section to the right side of the fort.

Day 54

We get into more serious fighting and finally to the main confrontation in the kitchen.

Day 55

Into the dungeon, a major battle in the torture room after getting past the magnet hall and bypassing the oily hall by finding the secret door.
Several other large battles ensued, including one which forced the elf leader of the enemy to flee the room. This battle was particularly great, Gwana getting particularly wounded by the elf woman after charging her by himself.
A marathon day of action took us through the night and into the next day 56, including meeting some of the skilled labor of the slavers (a secret treasure room found nearby). We convince some to join us instead and return to civilization and the carnival with us. Upon leaving that area we encountered the enemy awaiting us outside the kitchen and were victorious.

Day 57

View
Bessel and the Slavers
Yanath, Black Tom and company get quickly into the meat of it.

Bessel is a walled port town. Being on the northern hinterland of civilization, with more primitive societies over the waters, well knows raiders and slavers.
On Day 41, Furnok enters the town first to reconoiter:

  • Surge in raiding lately
  • A known crew of slavers called the Raiders of the Yellow Sail has been active for the last few months. They strike the area periodically, actually. Previously used hit and run tactics with low casualties and would often ransom those whose families could pay. Often took bribes to not attack a town
  • Now, more deaths. Attempts to pay have resulted in money taken but no one returned. Bribes given and attacked anyway
  • Land forces and sea forces;merchants do deal with them and visit the town to the east on the coast that is there base: an abandoned town once called Highport. A temple in the center is there base. Much of the town is partially ruined or on its way there
  • Local militia forces not strong enough to deal with the problem
  • Hillmen from the east also visit the slavers at times
  • Town eader offering a reward for any heroes who can deal with the issue.

The next day, day 42, after getting all the info from Furnok, Tom enters town with Kell and Tanaron. Yanath, Hawkeye and Eagle Eye head for the slaver base to recon, and Uumgwana goes to join the slaver so we have a man on the inside.
Leader tells Tom a 5-man adventuring party volunteered early on in the process and never returned. The temple has a main gate, with a secret door in the rear of the temple compound. There is no information on #’s of slavers, but they have orcs as well as humans. It is a half day ride there. They sell their slaves in foreign lands over the sea.

Yanath’s Scouting (same day and next day, day 43):

  • small camps of nonhumans are dispersed throughout the old town, including orcs, halforcs nad some ogres
  • Half ruined temple is the only decent structure in town. Most of the camps are outside at least to some extent. The HQ is however quite large. Guards are not too diligent during day, though more so at night
  • 5 Ships lie at rest in the bay, mostly human crews but some half orcs. Many stay at the docks and/or on boats all the time
  • Pens of slaves at the docks
  • Outer and inner portcullis protects gateway
  • The temple once was a grand 3 stories, but at some point obviously burnt; now only 1 story

Umgwana arrived late and spent the night with an orc camp.

Day 44

A couple merchants with guards arrive by land, right up the road from Bessel; they are challenged at the temple gate prior to entry; then are allowed to enter in small groups

Also, a boatload of slaves departs in morning

Early in the morning, Uumgwana taken to temple seeking to join. Some orcs are within wall and a half orc looks Gwana over in the courtyard. Checks out his fangs an spear. Asks his accompanying orc a few questions and “Yoiu’re hired”. He spends that night with the orcs again.

Day 45

Couple more merchants arrive from the road, and from the east mounted hillfolk come. Grooves left by the wagons of the merchants are deeper when they leave than when they came.

Tom arrives with Kell and Tanaron, so after nightfall we find secret door and enter, exploring the rubble-strewn passages and rooms. We battle a ghast w/4 ghouls and flee from a Basilisk thanks to Malenko’s warning! Attack a camp of nonhumans and crush them utterly.
After making our way through the tunnels of large ants and a weavil-like insect, we reach a ladder going up. Pushing a stone off the top is Umgwanna, coming up into a temple room in the main complex finally. After he fakes being an orc merc who is simply lost, he makes his move after pretending to move to replace the stone cap. We start entering the room a couple at at time and battle ensues. The last enemy is the female, who is shot down by Yanath, Hawkeye and Eagle Eye as she runs down a long hallway outside of the room. Meanwhile at the bottom, Tanaron and Ulik are surprised by the rescued slave we have had with us, who turns out to be a doppleganger. The assassin succeeds in dousing the light for a brief time but it is lit again and the Ulik and Tanaron kil him.
After more exploration, we reach the main courtyard where they lie in wait for us and put up a difficult fight, leading off with volleys of crossbow fire and a primitive flamethrower. Uumgwana and Furnok make for the flamethrowing wagon at the outset and eliminate asap. It’s a fierce battle but we win.
After a good rest we find our way into the main prison area underground. Another battle, led by Ungwanna and Yanath, in a room of 2 long twin lines of cells, is won by us, Tanaron using his speed to reach their rear and block the escape of a visiting merchant. We secure the entire place and send Tanaron running to call upon the local authorities who arrive the next day. Evidence found on maps of slaver routes gives us a couple leads should we desire to track them further. The slaver fleet in the harbor flees. This has gone well into Day 46 and we are exhausted at this point. Most are down much if not all of their reserve, a few wounded beyond that even.

By Day 46

We are back in Beseel and rest a few days before following the slaver map into the mountains.

View
White Plume Mountain
Malenko and company reach the Mountain

Plume to north, Great Swamp north of it, Twisted Thicket to south and east with pass tween the Castle Mukos to west. Malenko says Keraptits here long before Mukos Castle, and likely during. Place called Dead Gnoll’s Eye Socket tween thicket and plume.
-Find area w/o difficulty, come up around twisted thicket into Plague Fields from SW. Yellow River flows from MT by town. Few animals and sparse vegitation along banks. Is a deadland where farms once grew. Town run down, decrepid buildings and abandoned for years. No one at all.
-To Ringland. 10’ tall palisade around village w/ stone towes, grazing animals outside, only few hundred people. Trails leading out to south, west, and north, plus one we rode in on. See tower guards and 5 at only gate to town. Say PF empty 15 years now. “Damn river, everything dies, animals and crops wither and die.” Say crazies all the time lookin for Plume. 90% never return. Knows of no specific successes himself. RL a town of trappers and hunters mostly, though some wishful miners. Few farms. None have gone to Plume recently through here. Faces in smoke seen recently, most assume the Keraptis of legend who lived there long ago. Story of great wizard ages ago. It always smokes though, nothing new. Mukos is about 200 years old. Says go to 3 other places in town for more info: Sebastian and the Ringland Inn, the Hunter’s Guild, and Monrik the local arcanist.
Malenko, Dahlia w/ wights and Haarkon see Monrik. He came here to get away from harassment for arcane power. Didn’t come here specifically, just where he ended up. In his 40’s or 50’s. Was here since befor PF abandoned. River flows into MT from north, then out of it again south. Inside something contaminates. This began about 15 years ago. Always smoked even prior. Faces only last couple years. His opinion is that it is K’s face. Mukos was a noble who moved into area to set up own lands. Build castle to west of swamp. Road from here goes part way to it. Soon after build, disappearances inside it, others endless nightmares of being chased. One day, Baron disappeared. Inhabitants left. Says Plume area was on border of lands of a few Masters. Tells of humanoid raiders attacking the town here and there, from MT. He helps defend and repair afterwards. Ask cpt. of guard for more info. Attacks less often now. See Hunters for info on Dead Gnoll’s ES. There’s a row of buttes. ES a strange formation on what looks like the head and shoulders of a supine hyena w/ 1 large cut in SE section (the ES). 13 miles east. 80 years ago last known time someone entered Plume and came out with success and $.
Iggy, Ziggy, Boz to Hunter’s Guild. Talk to Otis Hilltopper. 6’2" with alegut. Says nearest any get to Plume is Dead Gnoll’s ES. Nice big cave there. Safe camping spot. Mukos a nasty place. Always feel like being watched, dread inside there. Great Swamp is deadly, can traverse it but mighty slow. Knee deep much of way, nasty beasts and quicksand. Subhumans and, supposedly, even fouler things. To edge is a witch named Thingizzard. Stay away from there, does not like trespassers. Some have succeeded in bartering for potions and such. To north, far past great swamp, though none know for sure cause no survivors, supposed to be a dragon. Just a rumor, never seen it in these parts. Says he can guide to ES and stay with horses/supplies up to a month, for pay. 13 miles to it. Easiest approach to MT. Can get to base sooner, but much tougherr climb. There is a trail to an opening into MT from ES, but never been. Tells of wandering subhumans, incl. orcs, gnolls and bugbears, plus human brigands too. They do raid towns here and there, as south rim of foothills lined with villages and hamlets. Attacks vary from 20-100, usually top out at 40 though.
Pits to Inn. Patrons say “We stay clear of Plume, monsters always wander its slopes. Crazy wizard locked self inside long ago, since ‘for great grandad born. No one goes closer than Dead Gnoll’s ES.” Mention face. Sebastian says “my recommendation, go home.” Been here long time, 3 groups of treasure seekers, none came back. Does not know of story from 50yrs ago Burns told us about. Oldest in town only 50’s or 60’s anyway. Rumor of monsters in swamp, including Bog Mummies (malenko never heard of them).
All meet at Inn. Sleep there that night.

Day 38

In morning go to Mukos. Road goes 3 miles, then 3 more overland. Central tower mainly intact, but overall little more than rubble. Iggy says no recent traffic, but surely looters and vagrants here in past. Search whole place and nothing of interest. Dahlia, at one point near end, continues to insist she sees movement out of corner of eye. Take her out of walls, leaving Mal w/wights and dog inside. She still sees them, starting to unnerve her. Malenko attacked by small hairy creatures! Fights them off just as we get there. They have a paralyzing poison in their claws. Dahlia continues to see them on way back, Malenko can do nothing to help. At inn, smokes a drug w/ her and she sleeps, guarded by pitfighters and wights. They are attacked by a gang of the creatures, who ‘dimension door’ in (as Malenko calls it). Dahlia down 3 in all abilities from the paranoia. Fight off attackers, who try to DD out with paralyzed victims. One or 2 escape, get 4 bodies. Dahlia gets better fast now, Malenko sees Monrik and trades a body for cask and preservative for his. Maybe can trade other 2 to Thingizzard for stuff.

Day 39

Head for Thingizzards. We avoid most of swamp. During the trip, attacked by a gang of gnolls, who we handily defeat. Then Hunk and Ziggy hit patch of quicksand, which we pull them out of with much effort.

Day 40

Arrive at Thingizzards after dark. 4 bog mummies watching us at a distance, look like small creatures. Malenko knocks on her door and she answers. “My swamp, no one comes in or out w/o me knowing. Those who dare harm it or my children (bog mummies) face my wrath.” We tell her we are not here to do any such thing. Explain who we are and why we are in area, seeking information. She has been here a very long time but claims to know nothing more than the rumors we already heard. About Plume says "seem someone trying to make it look like K is back. Malenko asks how she knows it isn’t K. Answers “if K were back, everyone would know he is back”. Even she is not sure about her age, but she lived here since K showed up. They left each other alone. Mukos left swamp alone as well, but it was a bad idea where he put his castle, cause of the meanlocks. When we say we were there, she cackles finding it quite humorous. When asked about the gnolls, laughs and points at another bog mummy that was a gnoll. Has no idea why they are more active lately. She says she has had no visitors, but Malenko doesn’t believe her so presses her, diplomatically. Admits that just a gang of gnomes who had the audacity to kill one of her children. Malenko and Haarkon notice she is fingering a 3 bladed dagger while talking. We try to reassure her we mean no danger to her. Some of us buy some potions with gems. Malenko tries to deal with her for teaching dark secrets to him, but she is uninterested in sex and says it would take too long to teach things he would want. Recalls long ago hearing of the Attercops and a cult but not in this area. We get out of swamp and camp at river finally around 2AM. Sleep til 10AM and back to ES for mules and gear. Get there around dinner time 2 days later. Move til dark, which gets us to base of Plume. Camp, attacked by gang of ogres overnight and defeat them.

Day 41

Cave mouth 600’ below summit. A trail leads directly to it. Get to entrance, which emits a steam and vapor eruption every several minutes, which we are hit with once inside the room. Takes a bit to find the whole, which is a spiral stairway heading down 100’ into a chamber. Nearly dry here. Southwall full of murder holes. We give wrong password but insist we are here to join Keraptis’ forces. Gnome guard leader Kabyle comes out to meet us. Says there are 4 factions here, all led by a false K, “only ours is the true K”. Current password is good for 24hrs = ‘gnome’. Shows location of pit traps in room so we can avoid. Gives us a magic scroll, a lvl 5 magic missile 3/day. Anyone can use it. Wears armband with K intertwined with snakes, which he gives us all. Must kill all w/o it. Gives us direction to K. Cross a lake on boat, told to spread the red dye as we go to keep the Kelp Devils away. All gnomes but for 4 ogres. See GK, says his magic trident stolen by thieves who came through a secret door along one side of the lake. Wants us to get it for him. Tells us the other FK are an ogre, human, and moldworm. Also an evil band of creatures, humans-gnomes…, who are the ones who stole Wave.
We go through secret door, come upon woman named Kuhlefaran. Tell her we are falsely working for the false GK, and we are here to eliminate all the FK. Says they are the resistance against them. She takes us to see the leader, through pyramid room where we are attacked by an invisible giant crab. It is a bloody fight even with a glitterdust part way through, which we eventually retreat from. Kuhlefaran has no idea where it came from, saying it has never been here before.
Resistance made up of 12 gnomes, 3 humans (Marthea, Hammond, Kuhlefaran), Ogre named Garcon and one meanlock, Henri, who left Castle Mukos to be on his own. There is a tunnel from the main room, a secret exit being an old lava tunnel. Leads to outside at base of Mt.
Leader is a large gold-skin man named Nix. We meet him in private. Tells how he was here prior to FKs. The gnomes inhabited the Mt. already, the original K had mainly gnomes. Garcon used to follow one of the FK. The humans were all adventurers who decided to stay and fight the FKs. He himself once worked for the true, original K! Says how K had insights of the time of the end of the masters coming. To protect himself, spent years researching a solution. He opened a doorway into the shadowplane, to go through and come back when right things happened here. 4 weapons of power helped him open gate, Wave-Whelm-Blackrazor-Frostrazor. Nix wants them all to reopen gate to bring real K back.
Recently, 4 FK. Gnome named Nightfrear, Ogre named Spatterdock has warhammer Whelm, Killjoy the human has the sword blackrazor, and Mossmutter the moldworm has the sword frostrazor. Nix stole Wave from Nightfear. All the FK have personae, memory and powers of the real K. Use of our scroll turns you into a drone of sorts to it’s FK. Some have partial power, some complete imprint. The 4 FK read scrolls with the complete imprint. The more people read the partials the more powerful the FK gets. Each FK has multiple drones. These will fight even past the death of their FK. If you kill an FK, he will transfer to a drone.
He will give temp sanctuary to us and send Henri with us. Wants us to find Wave, a trident, and bring it back. He had sent a group of his gnolls to hide it at Mukos, the swamp or , w/o telling him. They never returned.
-other lava pit goes deeper, but they have run into dangerous creatures w/in it. It can lead you to Spatterdock’s area.
-Mossmutter is an intelligent moldworm, made so by accident of magic when he ate a FK. Very large. Real K created the scrolls as an attempt to keep self around but avoid Master’s fall. Thought someone else reading them would bring him back, but didn’t work. FKs can make more.
-He wishes to use all the weapons for a ritual in the Fane deep in the volcano, bringing real K back. If he does, all FK will die.
So, obvious to us Wave rests with Thingizzard. We stay that night, rest whole next day and night, and leave through lava tube the next morning.

Day 43

Leave for Thingizzard, accompanied by Henri. Arrive after dark. Mal flanked by Boz and Dahlia knocks on the door. Rest of party 30-40’ back. She claims no knowledge of Wave. Malenko sure she is hiding something. Boz sees her fingering her dagger. Malenko suggests a temporary trade, Wave for Malenko’s soul-in-a-jar until we return Wave to her, once we have defeated the forces of Plume. nce late.
We tell Henri on the way back about Nix’s plans to bring back the real K, but he cares little. Just glad to know he no longer lives at Mukos.
Back to resistance late. Nix comes in and we show him Wave, but he says for us tokeep it for now, and use it to do battle with the other forces in the Mt.

Day 45

Go for the crab, hoping it is still damaged. If it is healed, that means someone with necromantic power is behind it. IT IS HEALED! AAARRG! Ziggy wields Wave. After an easier fight than last time, with Malenko eliminating the invisibility for a longer period of time, we kill it. Ziggy gets kill shot with Wave.
Next, into the dangerous deep lava tunnels to explore. Nix says so far as he knows Spatterdock knows of tunnel also but also does not use it.
We explore a maze of tunnels, finding copious amounts of fungus, including some that explodes it’s poisonous spore; a room with mushrooms as large as a man, covered in translucent sacs that explode with an acid; encounter and kill a Mossworm in a room with an obsidian cairn. Continue east into another mushroom room, with the sacks bursting spontaneously as we skirt the wall past them. Find a steep downward sloping tunnel, but ignore it and continue.
Come to a large room and search around. Find 3 dead gnomes, killed via mouth and lung fungal infection. Relatively recent. At a fork beyond, see a dim glow from NW passage.
At Y-intersection, attacked by 3 bloodwights and fight to a stalemate. Flee past them to a 50′×50′ room with a large pool taking up most of it. A sloped ledge goes around it but is very dangerous. It is a 20’ drop into the pool. Much of the rock covered by a slick silvery substance. Malenko says likely an arcane energy byproduct of whatever was once in the pool/what pool once used for. We run back past slugs to the mold-worm room, then to dead gnome room. Has 2 more passages out. Take north hall to another room with a moldworm. Backtrack to 2nd hall, irregular shaped room with phosphorescent lichen. Around a giant boulder stand 4 human sized/shape creatures. They are Fungus Hulks. A boulder fills an entryway behind them, blocking it. Likely an entrance to Mossmutter’s territory. Malenko insists on seeing K. One leaves and returns w/ a gnome acting like he is wearing a brand new Edgar Suit. It may be a subsumed mind. Talks with them but they won’t let us in unless we submit to becoming moldy. We withdraw.
Take the downward tunnel, which after a few hours Haarkon insists must continue to the infamous Underdark. Most of us have never heard of that. Back to Nix’s area to rest. Says pool was originally a K experiment to manufacture a pool of pure ‘life principle’. Found it to be very volatile. Diffucult to control what it would to to a bather. Some good, some bad.

Day 46

We ask Nix some ?‘s. Subsumed minds would likely not flee or hide if we attacked a given K’s forces. If you kill a false K, they can take over a nearby drone. We decide to make an attack on Nightfear. We will pass back the way we came, cross the lake, make our way into his chambers with Wave then attack. The resistance will hold the forces in the complex of rooms connected to the mountains main entrance.
4 gnomes, 2 fore and 2 aft, accompany us so as to deactivate traps on the door to Nightfear. it is a large room but much taken up by his dais, which is fronted by 4 Ogre bodyguards. Only 4 of us make it into room when Bozmus backstabs him from the shadows, seemingly killing Nfear.. Hunk, Haarkon, Malenko and Dahlia also in the room. 2 Ogres quickly eliminated mostly by Dahlia and Hunk. Nunu is just outside the doorway at the T-section with Mal’s dog, followed by Iggy/Ziggy, Billy and the undead at our rear. We are accosted from hidden murder holes on the walls of the entryhall, and by gnome warriors on our flanks then gnoll mercs from our rear. A great melee ensues as the back door in the chamber opens and the real Nfear arrives. He delays us with mirror image, then tries to slay Mal, Boz and Hunk with Circle of Death but fails. Meanwhile, Nunu faces the Gnome champ and is almost defeated. Dahlia, after eliminating a few mirror images, moves back to the hall to stop Malenko’s undead from creating more, while also taking down enemy warriors. She succeeds on 3 but can’t make it to a 4th (gnome) who rises as a Wight in 1 round. Nunu is heavily damaged, as is Hunk by the end via 2 Cones of Cold from Nfear before he, Mal and Boz take him down for good. Hunk, Dahlia and Iggy clear out the archer rooms to end it all. The resistance pulls gets control of the planks, trapping Kabyle and any other soldiers in their section. Mal’s bird says no one has left the mountain by the main entrance so they are all certainly still there. It’s still a ? whether Nfear had another drone to inhabit back with Kabyle. We search and loot the chambers, and by his arcane writings Mal says Nfear pretty much sucked at all he was trying to do.
We attempt a truce with Kabyle, trying to bluff him to join us against the false K’s but he magic missiles first Mal then Haarkon through the door’s peephole. We leave him covered by Nix’s men and rest for the day.
h4. Day 47

Back into unexplored tunnels, staying on this level. Find a hitherto unknown to all secret door from cave into hall near Nix’s guards. Encounter a super tough ghoul that escapes us after giving us a beating. Mal, Haarkon and Zig all paralyzed.

Day 48

Mal, Haarkon, and Zig do not come out of it until this morning. Haarkon and Zig come down with Ghoulfever.
The resistance cleric aids Ziggy and Haarkon, while we all go to meet Spatterdock with Nightfear’s head. Nunu, Hunk, Dahlia, Iggy, Malenko and Boz are all forced to read the imprint from Spatter’s scrolls or the jig would be up.
Back to resist. with the vampire.
On the way back, we get the drop on the vamp and defeat him in the hall. We then try to race back and beat him to Spatterdock:
We first eliminate 9 drones by expending some of our fireballs from the imprint scrolls after killing all the guards in the entryroom with the murderholes.
Then we battle a flesh golem, which Malenko quickly outwits by getting it buried in a pit full of mud. Across the chasm, we see Spatter standing there, awaiting us. After some talk, we decide that it is far too dangerous to cross via Nix 2 or 3 at at time. Spatter could easily get us all killed while in midflight.
Nix says that by the # of drones we killed, there may be 1 or 2 that must be with him.
We retreat and explore last area: appx a 30′×30′ room w/ 9 hanging cages. Nix goes back to his folks. We rescue Snarla, who mistakes Bozmus for some fellow named Burkette who is her lost lover. For now, Bozmus goes with it. We meet and speak to the Gynosphinx inquisitor, and Malenko successfully answeres his riddle. He will leave us be and tell no one we are here.

Last direction: fungus room.
Return to resist. We rest entire next day and night, so..

Day 50

Back into the caves to tackle the advanced Ghoul, and this time we are victorious. We explore the 4 other fissures afterward.

On day we leave Plume, Slaver group deciding which tunnel to take. Plume group spends 1 day in village, 1 1/2 days to Ferd, stay all next day. 1 day ride to carnival.

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Guttenberg II
After Gerber break-in

Day 27

-Letters carefully written, lots of talk of ‘Ferd business’ but vague. Also talk of getting expedition to White Plume going in near furure anf for FG to begin logistics. Nothing about why.
-Ask Burns about the construct guarding FG. Could be many things, but most sounds like a Shield Guardian. Created by magic usually to guard the magic user. Not free thinking thing. Always an amulet which is the controlling device. Wearer is the master of it. If destroyed ceases function until a new one made. If stolen, new user has control.
-Get Horgis listening for what’s going on at FG’s. At night, says he’s real nervous and may leave city for Ferd if anymore trouble! HA!
Go over maps and key, which is to the Ferd map.
Ferd: Initials FG, AS, B and T mark 10 places in the town. Assumption is T=Tregoss, B=Boltz, FG=Fritz Gerber, AS=Adolphus Stein who is the other man behind the fall of Boz’s uncle along with Gerber. Some sort of takeover or partners?
AS= one merchant; council building
FG= one merchant; Hall of Records
B= sheriff; building that was Boz’s uncle’s house; an apothecary
T= Thieves’ Guild; Blacksmith shop; armor/wpn smith
Bessel: Port to north, on fringe of civilization. Rowdy town. Trades a lot with northern lands. Word of problems recently, violence and disappearances. 3 symbols on map, but not on key.
White Plume: old fortress of a Master. Map geography very good, Yanath says could definately find it to NW in hills. Malenko and Dahlia ask Burns, says the Master’s name was Keraptis. “I wouldn’t go there”. Rumors it is well defended by creatures and magic, but high potential rewards. Rumor that some 50 yrs ago, some adventurers went there and returned with fabulous riches and magic. Made them very powerful and famous for a short time, but all met untimely demise. Most don’t return, or return crazy.
Cavern: Dan needs to refresh memory
Guttenberg Countryside: no symbols, just topo. Some cave entrances and homes. Yanath, Iggy and rangers make circuit around city to explore region. Return late on night of Day 29.
To north: Find entrance to an old mine, long abandoned. Come across 3 room cavern, with a recent camp inside. Using tracking, see that a group came from town direction and stayed probaby night before, then went west. To south: come across small house, farm of Bartholomew which is marked on map. Says lived here all live, lives alone. Says mine was silver. Ask him of any interesting places, says cave to west of here. Eagle Eye and Hawkeye notice partially hidden trapdoor in the ground near the animal pens. We small-talk and head for cave. Leave Tanaron and Hawkeye at distance w/spyglass to spy. See him go into hole for about an hour once.
The cave is larger than other, with stream through it running from an even larger one. Has evidence of regular animal presence. At the rear is a fissure we shimmy through, opening into a room w/ small stream. Follow several passages, including the large stream which leads us all the way to the sewers under the poor district of Guttenberg.
To east, come across old delapitated 3 story tower. Evidence or ransacking long ago. 1st floor had decayed furniture and evidence of fire. 2nd is sitting area with couple side rooms. Skeleton in corner with blade marks on bones. Must have been deeply cut. Also a dining room with 2 skeletons in servant’s clothes. In bedroom is a woman’s skeleton next to another wearing studs w/broken sword. 3rd is master bedroom with 1 soldier skeleton, lab/study with skeleton wearing fine clothes, and a storage room. On roof, another fine-clothed skeleton and a soldier. Good bird’s eye view of area. Can see, by terrain and growth, once inhabited with farming fields. Tower likely from when entire region was the frontier before civ. pushed to Meanderwoods. Meet back with Hawkeye and Tanaron. Approach house overnight, can hear some sort of insectoid sound from below trapdoor. Remain cautious and head back to Guttenberg.

Day 28

-Carnival leaves for Ferd. Burns will give Dahlia and Malenko early leave for off season in order to travel to Bessel and White Plume. It will winter south in Holst.
Furnok, Boz, Percy and Dahlia ride ahead of carnival to Ferd to investigate leads on map. They arrive in Ferd late this same evening.

Day 29

Carnival arrives in Ferd late.
Our 3 find all labeled places. Couple guys Boz knows from guild say new guy coming to town talking to head of guild several times last few months. General uneasiness about him though. Guild and sheriff always had ‘understanding’, but lately unexpected crackdowns on thieves, crackin skulls. They are too low to know of any specifics. Boz uncle’s house now a general store. FG’s Ferd house is outside of town, walled estate with guards/servants even when he’s away. Guarded better than Guttenberg house.
Furnok and Bozmus attend underground pitfghting event. See Nunu win a match.
Guttenberg: Make a false attack on FG to force him to flee into Boz hands at Ferd. Malenko leads undead through sewer, with Haarkon and ?, break through gate but all men hit with some sort of symbol of sleep. Barry leads undead up unlocked trapdoor (treasure gone) and attacks first floor then sets fire to house. Leaves, pulling out our men. Thugs hired by us then hit-and-run-attack one of man-doors at wall.

Day 30

-Carnival sets up in Ferd.
-Dahlia introduces Boz to Lupidides in the carnival. Talk at length about Boz’s history w/ Adolphus and Gerber. Lupidides agrees to attempt long term infiltration as a spy as a soon as he can get inside after carnival heads south.
-Back to pitfights at night. Furnok makes good friends with a halfling manager named Billy, who introduces us to his talent: Nunu and Hunk. Hang out with them next couple days and they decide to meet rest of party.
-In Guttenberg, hear that FG leaving in evening for Ferd after our attack last night. Send Malenko’s raven to Ferd to find Furnok/Boz, with note alerting them of his movement right into Boz hands. 3 covered wagons, 2 carriages, and 10 armed/mounted guards.

Day 31

Carnival opens for 2 days. FG in Aldon. Raven arrives and finds the thieves.

Day 32

FG arrives in Ferd

Day 33

Carnival packs up, leaves w/ our wagon train the next morning. Dahlia et al with pitfighters leave for Guttenberg, arrive late this night.

Day 34

Carnival leaves Ferd.
In Guttenberg, party meets over breakfast and we leave after lunch. All north to and along river to foothills of white plume.

Day 36

Camp at edge of hills

Day 37

To Bessel = Yanath + rangers, Tom and Blues, Furnok, Uumgwana, Booty, They will arrive in Bessel on day after dinner, day 41. They run into no trouble on way.
To Plume = Iggy, Malenko, Dahlia, Bozmus, Hunk, Nunu, Billy, Haarkon.

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Still in Guttenberg
Day 26 on 1st log timeline

Tom and his boys take duty on the poor quarter streets all day. No trouble. Dahlia, Malenko + dog, Percy and Barry follow sewer map and find gated section under estate. 4 gates. Magic way through and find drainage grate in courtyard of estate, another just inside wall, and a ladder going up. They count paces from courtyard drain to ladder.

Furnok(as Lias) and Bozmus research merchant and estate layout in morning, disguised as architects. Then get Dahlia/Malenko’s paces at lunch, disguise themselves as delivery men and forge delivery documents to the estate. Successfully get in. Guard post on roof of house. Club the 2 big guys in storehouse and store bodies on wagon in empty barrels, use Dust of Illusion to look like them and make their way into house. First they count paces as cross courtyard and into house, find a storeroom downstairs with several chests and the trapdoor to sewer. Unlock it for later. Then Bozmus searches 2nd floor Furnonk the 3rd.

Furnok finds a large meeting room for business, a small secondary office, and most interesting a room with a collection of maps with symbols on them marking things, but none have a legend. Recognizes one as White Plume Mt. area, another as Ferd, and another as Guttenberg countryside. Another is a partial of an unknown but apparently large cave system.

Bozmus finds nothing of importance, but doesn’t make it far before he’s seen by a maid. Clubs her down, then runs into the butler and a guard, then more guards called after he bluffs that he thought he saw someone upstairs he didn’t know. Clubs the butler down and hits himself, saying they were accosted by intruder. Furnok shows up bluffing he heard the talking and was only looking for Bozmus. Told to carry injured butler downstairs to a sitting room. KO maid left w/ them. Boz puts butler’s clothes on and Furnok the maids, head to back storehouse. Put clothes into barrels, illusion cancels. Club each other. Guards get there a few minutes later and they bluff they were drubbed by the 2 big guys when they first arrived. Told to go ahead and leave so they can deal w/ emergency. Back to meet party at dinner.

Yanath and Iggy et al arrive around dinner time, w/ Dahlia’s armor. Rest and take night duty in poor quarter. Dahlia, Furnok and Boz, Eagle Eye, Malenko + dog and Barry into sewers. Leave Barry and dog and enter house. Find lots of loot in chests, attacked by mimic. Malenko makes deal for it to join us if we feed it gold and food. Give gold from one of chests, Dahlia/Barry get Rodan One-Eye from jail and feed him to mimic. Lets us go. Sneak upstairs.

Furnok takes Eagle Eye and Malenko to maps to memorize and copy. Malenko memorizes Gutt. environs and cavern, EE copies just enough of Bessel and Ferd to find marked places. Malenko takes map of White Plume. IK another as partial of town of Bessel. Nothing on 2nd floor, so up to 3rd. Find a few guards gambling, including one that Boz followed here to begin with, talking that they think was us responsible for break in ealier. In another section, find the main office down hall from door Boz can’t pick. Search it and find letters from Tregoss and Boltz to thiss guy as well as the key to the map symbols (Malenko memorizes). Boz heads back down to locked room. Hear guards from other room +2 others coming and they rush through door, Boz tripped alarm we couldn’t hear here. Take them out quick, Furnok to check on Boz. See him heading back. Says merchant in other room guarded by some sort of gold and wood construct. General alarm raises, we take letters after Boz and Dahlia coup de grace sleeping guards and we rush to mimic room. Malenko shrinks mimic enough to get into sewer and Barry carries it back. We all escape.

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Sequence up to start of website

May 1st: campaign begins. Meander campaign lasts about 4 months.

Starting about Sept 8:
1)All arrive in Axenbough from final trip to old ruined fort to go into rune-locked area of caves and transporting treasure back. Furnok is just on the next map, having already left to set up carnival’s next deal in Guttenburg. Banquet with Madigan!
2)Furnok arrives in Guttenburg. In Axenbough: divide loot.
3)Most of party, and carnival, leave Axenbough for Brighton. Iggy, Yanath and rangers stay behind for final stay with family and friends.
8)Party and Carnival arrive in Brighton
9)Leave Brighton
15)Rangers leave Axenbough
17)Rangers arrive Brighton
19)Party and Carnival arrive Guttenburg
22)Rangers leave Brighton
25)In Guttenburg: raid poor quarter cop shop; Tom=special constable;question dead bodies;Fend off night attack at cop shop.
26)Rangers arrive Guttenburg. Final day carnival is open.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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