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Darkness Rising 
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Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am
Posts: 510
Post Darkness Rising
Cast of Characters -
  • Current Characters
    • Cob - Male Half-Elf Cleric (Firthnach)/Illusionist (Multi-Class)
    • Amiri - Female Half-Orc Barbarian
    • Endrill - Female Human Ranger
    • Bunny - Female Human Knight
    • Judin Okosk - Human Monk

  • NPCs With the Characters
    • Yolla Tanfoot - halfling female - Freed from goblins outside of Endsmeet, party is escorting her home to Hemelsville

  • Former Characters
    • Doraz - Elven Thief - Last Session 4 - Left the company after defeating the goblins outside of Endsmeet, returned to Greenbriar
    • Eklisia - Female Human Cleric (Tuatheal) - Last Session 4 - Left the company after defeating the goblins outside of Endsmeet, returned to Greenbriar

  • NPCs
    • tNelag - Half-Orc warrior - Endsmeet, works at the Cockleburr Inn and Tavern, hired on to help find Havrin's family taken by goblins
    • Chris and Shala Olvenher, their son Dillin - half-elf and his human wife, merchants - Freed from the goblins outside of Endsmeet, they are traveling to Gaxmoor to open a new shop
    • Havrin, Ialla, Rog, and Cenna - human farmers - Live in Endsmeet, Ialla and the children Rog and Cenna were freed from the goblins
    • Seldoc - human Ranger - Ranger of the Knott
    • Otto - Human Merchant - Runs the Cockelburr Inn and Tavern in Endsmeet
    • Ularin Delsgoth - human merchant - Lives in Greenbriar, is cousin to Alix, a druid of the Darkenfold, sent the characters to Endsmeet to aid in the search for Havrin's family
    • Shar - human Cleric - Met in the 3rd level of a mountain chapel, as with Bran when first met he was mute, but after the freeing of the spirits of the couple he could speak
    • Bran - Human Male Warrior - Brought to life out of a painting in the first level of a mountain chapel
    • Mailina [deceased] - A powerful sorceress, once a member of the Senate in Brindsium, left when she could not convince them to expand their borders to offer protection to the growing communities to the west, died in her tower when an experiment when horribly wrong
    • Kerin - Apprentice to Mailina, the only apprentice to survive the blast
    • Chulto - Have not met but is being sought out in connection to the death of the Sorceress, was an apprentice to her
    • Greldor - Mayor of Hemelsville, father of Veril
    • Veril - Constable in Hemelsville, was enamored of Mailina
    • Heirald - Not met, a sage/astrologer in the town of Kandus, Chulto was supposedly sent there by Mailina
    • Eric - Townsman of Hemelsville, accused Cob having seen him exit the Sorceress' tower just prior to the explosion
    • Graetta - Wench at Marik's Tavern in Hemelsville, daughter of the proprietor, was in love with Chulto, broke down when told of his role in the death of the Sorceress
    • Marik - Owner of Marik's Tavern
    • Jorus - Met at Marik's Tavern, works at the Brek Ranch, told them of finding Chulto tormenting and tearing apart a live chicken, no one believed him when he talked about the apprentice
    • Ingvol - Bartender at the Slippery Eel Tavern in the old fisher town in Hemelsville
    • Sarha - Wench at the Slippery Eel
    • Helga - Wench at the Slippery Eel, didn't much like Chulto, "he liked the rough stuff" which she did not
    • Frieda - Not met, wench at the Slippery Eel, disappeared in the days leading to the incident with the Sorceress, was Chulto's favorite
    • Rufus - Captain of the guard at the keep construction site, also is the architect
    • Burne - Not met, Wizard, often travels between the court in Brindsium and the construction site
    • Senator Haslithon - Not met, Senator of Brindsium, was good friends with Mailina

Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:12 am

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am
Posts: 510
Post Re: Darkness Rising
3/11/2017 - Session 1
O.Y. 1946, Lothian 23 - Darkenfold Forest

A group of young adventurers takes their leave of Ularin, a merchant of advancing years, after escorting him to the village of Greenbriar, his home. Heading to the Long House to take some rest, and enjoy a good meal and drink. They enjoy the comforts of the inn, and while taking breakfast the not Ularin enter and seeing them come to join them.
Ularin Delsgoth wrote:
My friends, I thank you for your escorting me back home here to Greenbriar, but I fear I have heard dire tidings from Ends Meet. My cousin Alix, a Druid of the wood came to my home and told me of a number of raids on Ends Meet by various bandits, the last a group of goblins, pillaged the farm of Havrin, one of the village elders. The goblins wrangled the cow, bull, and horse from the barn before setting it alit. Worse, the elder’s wife and two of their children were tending to the livestock when the raid came. They were also taken, while Ornil, his eldest son, was found slain, the black shafts of goblin arrows in his back. Alix is looking for someone to help, the Rangers are too few, and all but one are too far afield to be able to help in time. I told him of the stalwarts that lead me through the forest, you my friends, and he asked if I would approach you to ask your aid. The Druids have little with which they could repay your time, but he has sent for what treasure they may have. For your help in securing the town, he offers a ruby of a size that would fit a pommel socket, clear and with no blemish. Further, if you are able to set out and find where these goblins are based and can eliminate the threat, and additional sum of 5,000 silver coins will be provided. Saving Ialla and the children is the ultimate goal, and if you can accomplish this, an additional 5,000 silver coins will be yours. Alix had to leave before the sun rose this morning, yet he left a pigeon with me, and has instructed me to send it on its way with your response.
The party discussed it among themselves and replied that they would undertake this dangerous journey. Ularin was happy and presented the part with a potion that would cure wounds and a small, cracked wand, that has little power remaining, and cannot be imbued with more due to the damage it bears. This wand will conjure magical darts that will strike their target unerringly. After a bit of planning the group left the inn heading down the Old Post Road through the Darkenfold towards the hamlet of Ends Meet.

One night while resting in their camp, the group was set upon by a small pack of wolves. Three had found them and started their attack, the party not having a large fire, the creatures were drawn towards the dim light and snarling leaped upon the two guards as they began to shout to awaken their comrades. A flurry of blows were attempted by Amiri and Eklisia, with little success, the wolves struck some telling blows as the rest of the party begins to stir. The battle is not waged for long as one of the wolves lifts it's head back and howls loudly, drawing in the rest of the hunting pack. Endrill seems sad but determined to strike blows at these creatures, doing what nature has decreed for them, still her and her companions lives are more dear to her than the wolves. Six more wolves bound from the forest, one with a lighter pelt than the others, this one bigger and death can be seen in his eyes. The struggle continues back and forth, blows being struck from both sides before the last of the wolves is slain. Using the powers granted by their deities, Cob and Eklisia tend the wounds of their friends.

A few more nights pass on the road before the companions reach Ends Meet. Being looked at warily, most of the group sits at a table as Amiri and Cob go to the bar and order some drinks. Talking with the proprietor, Otto, for a while, they mention the druid and Havrin, before joining their companions at the table. One of the wenches that overheard their discussion exited out a door in the back of the inn, this door leads to the kitchen. Taking note of this Doraz exits the front door in an attempt to see where she had gone, but he is unable to trace her and stays outside watching the area. Amiri had taken note of tNelag, a large brutish looking man she recognized as a fellow half-orc, this man was cleaning behind the bar, and is obviously the muscle that keeps trouble at bay. She talks with him and asks if he would join them on their journey, he accepts, but looking at the, in his words "scrawny" group but demands a triple share of any treasure they find. Through much discussion, they get the brute to accept a double share. Bunny, who is deceptively strong, challenges the half-orc to arm wrestling. She initially thought this was to get him down to a single share if she wins, that is quickly cleared up and 10sp is wagered. It wasn't even a challenge as tNelag slams the womans arm down immediately as they are released to start their contest. The group is eager to get going and tNelag tells them to wait as he trudges up the stairs to his room. All this while Otto is yelling at the half-orc, cautioning him not to go, to remember the fate of his friend, Otto's cousin, while the two had been "traipsing about putting themselves in danger, and for what..."

A few minutes pass and a small group is seen heading towards the inn, the wench Wanise is with them. Doraz informs his friends of this and they all exit the inn, perhaps over cautiously. The group approaches, and it is found that Havrin is among them, looking haggard and despairing for his wife. They re-enter the inn as tNelag is coming down now in a chain hauberk, carrying a spear and a war hammer slung from his belt, Amiri tells the half-orc that they will be a while, grumbling he heads back up stairs to change back into his working attire. The group talks with Havrin and asks him what he had seen.
Havrin wrote:
I was out in the fields to the south when it happened. The sun was going down, and I was returning with the ox and cart when I saw a glow coming from the north. I rushed up only to find my barn fully aflame. I did not hear any of the livestock or anyone from my family as I had expected. I quickly began running around and I saw some small footprints in the damp soil near the barn. Then I saw some of those damned black arrows and my heart sank. I checked the house, the storm cellar, and ran around the barn, and that is when I found Ornil lying face down in the dirt, two of the goblins shafts in his back. <Havrin chokes up> I… I am sorry, it is till so raw. Others had shown up thinking to help with the fire, but instead they had to restrain me as I had slipped into madness and was trying to follow the tracks. I cursed them all, but still they held me, for my own good. It is my shame, what I called the good people, my friends. My wife and two other children are gone. I do not know if they live, or if… if… No I can’t think like that, they must be alive. Can you? Will you? <he breaks down again> I can’t pay you, most everything of value was in that barn. I would give you the deed to my farm if you could only bring Ialla and the little ones back to me.
Bunny, always striving to help the weak and downtrodden, says the group will aid him, but will not accept his farm, that the druids are seeing to their reward. tNelag comes back down the stairs and the group looks over at him, Amiri says, "We are leaving now to make for Havrin's farm to see if we can catch the trail of the goblins." Grumbling, and stomping heavily, tNelag heads back up stairs...

Arriving at the farm, they see an ox tied to a post near the house, but the barn has been totally razed, burnt-out. Havrin shows them where he found his son, the black arrows still in the ground. The trail is going cold, but there is enough in the soft earth to begin to follow. Before they take their leave a young man is seen running up the road. He relates a tail of being ambushed the day before. He was part of a small caravan heading up to Petersboro. They were attacked by a bunch of goblins, he escaped and hid until they had left. He mentioned that they headed towards the North-West as best he could tell. The ruins of their caravan are perhaps 15 miles down the road... Thinking that the goblins were probably the same ones that had attacked the farm, the group opted to follow this trail as best they could.

The group made good time, crossing the Mistbane River at Merrics Fork, they found the trail more difficult to follow. They traveled until close to dark and stopped off the trail, Endrill covering their tracks as best she could. Lighting no fire to hopefully minimize their chance of being found, the night passes uneventfully. In the morning they continue and find much fresher tracks coming from the south. This trail was now easy to trace as they continued into the foothills of the mountains. The elf spots a pair of goblins walking outside a small cave that the tracks head towards. The find that they can approach unseen if they skirt around and come from high on the ridge above the cave. The barbarian and thief are able to move with enough stealth, lowering themselves on ropes before dropping onto the goblins when at their widest point from the cave entrance, to catch them unawares. The battle is quick, with Endrill dispatching the second goblin with her bow after it was grievously wounded by those on the ground.

Entering into the chamber they note -
Entrance Chamber wrote:
The cavern is dimly lit by the sunlight from outside. You notice a musty smell and a dampness in the air as soon as you enter the cave. Blankets are scattered about the place on the floor, and a crude table with four chairs sits in the far side of the cave. Directly ahead a small passageway opens into another area, though the light quickly fades. {There are seven goblins lounging in the area, they spring to their feet when the first of you enters the cave!}
A battle ensues and the advantage swaying between both sides, at one point the goblin wielding a staff mumbles something unintelligible, and a fan of flames erupts from it's hands catching three of the party in the conflagration. tNelag, with two mighty swings of his hammer turns the tide of battle with Cob as he unleashes two of the magical darts from the wand. In the end, a bit bloodied, the party slays the goblins, finding little of value they rest for a moment before pressing on...

Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:12 am

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am
Posts: 510
Post Re: Darkness Rising
3/26/2017 - Session 2
O.Y. 1946, Lothian 30 - Darkenfold Forest

Having bested the goblins guarding the entrance to the caverns, the group moves deeper into the caves. There is a heavy musty smell of dampness, and the cave floors appear very clean, as if washed recently, odd that is. When leaving the entrance, the passage way splits off to their left, and continues on ahead angling slightly right. The light from the cavern entrance is growing dimmer as they head towards the passageway across the cave, and Judin lights a torch. A couple of quick nods and they choose to follow the path straight ahead, which soon ends with cavernous passages going both to their right and left. As they approach, Doraz catches a slight glint out the corner of his eye to the left. As they investigate, they see that the walls and ceiling in the left hand passageway is covered with a glistening coat of green. Being wary, they opt to head in the other direction, thinking to come back this way only if the must.

Continuing to the right the natural cave passage twists to their right, and back to the left before it again forms an intersection, one bending sharply on the left, while the one in front of them continues on, slanting slightly to their right. Looking down the left they see it soon comes to an end, there is a form covered mostly in webs, little movement is seen, though from the fluttering of the chest it does appear to be breathing. The group now notices a large network of webs filling the back section of that small cave. Bunny, ever eager to help those in need rushes forward, but then thinks to stop as she realizes something had to have made these webs. Looking up and around she doesn't see anything and cautiously approaches the form, she quickly sees that the fluttering is just some loose webbing that is caught up in the slight drafts in the underground. As Judin approaches and puts his torch to the webs, a large spider drops on Bunny, it is a good thing she had thought to watch for such and was able to bring her shield up as it came down on her. Biting at her while clinging to her shield, its eyes glowing red in the firelight, it just misses sinking it's fangs into her exposed neck as she rushes towards the wall, seeking to crush the spider between it and her shield. The chattering of the arachnid exhibits that she has met with partial success, the creature is hurt but not slain. Amiri rushes to her aid as do other party members and they are, thankfully, able to slay the beast before it could strike the Knight and flood her veins with poison. The desiccated corpse is searched to see if they can find any evidence of whom this was, so they may bring news back to the village. The dead woman was obviously an elf, and while there is little left but the tattered remains of her clothes, a silver ring is found on her finger. Cob checks the ring over, and decides to place it on his finger. With nothing else of value, the clerics say a blessing over the dead elf and the party retreats from this cave.

Returning to the other corridor, the dank musty smell grows stronger, and the air feels noticeably more damp. The passageway turns to their right then back to the left before splitting again. To their left they see it very quickly would turn right, while to their right they see it continue on with a side branch on the right about 30' down, continuing past to the edge of the torch light. As they approach this branch on the right, the passage ahead can be seen bending slightly to the right. From the right they pick up a strong scent of feces and urine, concerned about leaving a foe at their back, they head down this corridor and find that it ends in a tight wooden fence roughly 8' high. There is a gate set into the fence, a small pile of leather sits off to the left near the fence. Beyond they see a group of large dogs that have taken note of them, and are giving some low growls and woofs. The group debates on what they should do, while a pair of them investigate the pile of leather, finding it to be straps, crude padding with leather covers, some sort of saddle. The dogs are growing more agitated, and being barking and growling in earnest. Endrill, sadly, draws her bow and starts to pick off the creatures and the others begin slicing the straps of the saddles. After a minute or so, the lookouts, Judin and Cob, note a group of goblins rushing down the corridor that had continued past this branch. Five goblins had come charging out of the darkness, death and fury in their eyes. They give out a cry and prepare for battle. Cob unleashes a Color Spray spell, causing two of the goblins to fall unconscious, the other three continued, though a bit of hesitance now. The entire party, save only Endrill comes to fight the goblins. Blows are stuck back and forth, and during the battle, Eklisia swings clumsily, tripping over a loose rock on the cave floor and loses the grip on her sword. Telling blows were struck by both sides, until the goblins were slain. The clerics worked their healing magics to aid their compatriots while Endrill had slain four of the five large war dogs, the last hunkered down behind one of the slain dogs. Endrill coaxes the dog to come closer with some jerky from her pack, when the dog rushed for the tasty morsel, she raised her bow but could not bring herself to slay this one last beast. Instead she coaxed it over with more of the jerky, and when she thought it safe, opened the gate to approach the creature. Giving it more jerky, she stroked it's neck and it nuzzled her hand, still smelling the jerky on it. The dog follows her around as she walks, and she periodically doles out a small piece of the cured meat to it.

Thinking it not wise to stay where they were, the group continues down the corridor, past the bodies of the dead goblins. It soon branches in a Y pattern, but the quickly note that these passages would simply rejoin as one 40 or so feet ahead. At this point the can continue ahead or head off to their left down a much wider corridor, to which they continue forward. This eventually opens into a large chamber, the smell of rotting flesh permeates the air, as they note that this was used as a bed chamber, though obviously not for some time. On a small table next to the crude bed is an unrecognizable lump of rotting flesh, the small chest near the bed has a broken lock, and has been obviously ransacked, there is nothing of value found. Retracing their steps, the head down the wide passageway and after 20 or 30 seconds they come to another junction leading left and right. "Right has been good so far," Doraz says, and he leads the way in that direction. The passage twist left and right a bit before coming to a sharp bend to their left, in the middle of the bend, on the floor, there is a symbol carved into the rock, and painted to resemble a bloodied two handed sword. After pondering over this for a bit, the clerics strike on it's meaning. It is the symbol of Thorax "Bull Hound" the god of the goblins. This does not portend well. Continuing down the corridor, it opens into a larger cavern, they pick up the scent of dried blood, of which they see a lot smeared across the floor. Before the party can do anything they are blasted with a fan of fire, scorching a few of the group, they quickly see the source, a goblin dressed in robes, with another behind him. This battle takes it's toll and the creatures unleashed their magics and fought valiantly before succumbing to the adventurers. Searching their bodies they uncover some jewelry and a little coin, as well as the crude, but wicked maces the two carried. Searching the rest of the chamber they find a pair of beds with sacks at their feet, and pegs in the walls holding some cloaks and robes. Nothing much of interest, other than a small back with a bunch of small metal balls in it. With many in the party being injured, they decide to take the beds from this area and retreat to the abandoned room. As they take the sack stuffed with straw used as a mattress from one of the beds a small canvas bag is found. There is some sort of cloth in the bag, and as they go to empty it they here the clinking of glass from within. As they empty it out they find a bone scroll case and two clear vials, one with a dark red liquid, the other a lighter shade of red. Investigating the scroll, Cob finds that it holds a Cure Light Wounds and a Cure Serious Wounds spell.

Retreating to the abandoned room, they erect a barricade across the corridor entryway. They use what magics they had left to heal, not using the newly found scroll, and pass a remarkably uneventful night...

Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:13 am

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am
Posts: 510
Post Re: Darkness Rising
4/9/2017 - Session 3
O.Y. 1946, Lothian 30 - Darkenfold Forest

Having barricaded themselves into the large unused cavern, the part spent a rather uneventful night, remarkably so based on the slaughter they had committed the day before. Using some of their healing magics, they dismantle the barricade and exit the chamber, returning to the bed chamber of the priests of Thorax. They opted to continue through the chamber and exiting out the passage in the SE portion of the cavern. Following this they come to a three-way intersection, one branch heading to the north, the other continuing to the SE. Being confident the passage to the north would connect back with the passageway they have already come through they scouted it quickly to verify their thoughts. Continuing to the SE the passage comes to a T intersection going north and south with the smell of smoke coming from the south. Exploring to the south they see -

Temple Cavern wrote:
A rough stone block stands at the far end of this cavern. The block is covered in dried blood. The makeshift altar, as well as the walls, are covered in the same runes you saw in the passageway. Atop the altar is an two-handed sword, the blade is black and sparkles with light coming from below, it has dried blood and gore hanging from it. A large fire pit has been dug out of the mud of the floor, the smoldering embers of a recent fire remain within it. A blackened skeleton, roughly human sized, lies partially covered in the pit.

The smoke obscures their vision of the pit, and as they approach, four skeletons emerge from the pit to attack, followed by a goblin that was on the other side of the pit. The battle took little time as the party finally found their stride on the attack. Still they did not emerge unscarred. As they were finishing with the skeletons and goblin, a pair of goblins come charging out of the darkness from the passage they entered this cavern. They too are dispatched with comparative ease. Amiri, admiring the two handed sword on the altar takes it in place of her own. The clerics decide the runes of the evil god should be defaced, as Amiri and tNelag (their half-orc companion from the village) work to turn the altar block over a few times until it rested half in the fire pit.

Backtracking they continue up the passage to the north. This opens into -
Sorcerers Bed Chamber wrote:
This living area contains one large crude bed, a small chest stands beside it. Sitting mats are on the floor next to the chest. Sitting with its back to you is a female goblin.

Amiri charges with her new two-handed sword, but when she strikes the goblin there is a jolt from the sword that strikes at her spirit, draining some of her life energy. Shocked by this she drops the blade. Rox, the war dog they had liberated suddenly bites at Endrill's leg. Endrill turns and the ranger recognizes rage in the dog's eyes. Was it this goblin that turned her? Sadly she turns on the dog, using the flat of her blade not wanting to slay the beast she had bonded with. The goblin suddenly disappears, as the rest of the party begins to move to find theirr now invisible foe. They block off the exit from the room, as some work to subdue Rox. Doraz works back towards the door before running into the invisible goblin. Amiri hearing him exclaim he found her leaped into action, and bringing her two-handed sword down, causing thief to back pedal lest he be hit by the barbarians wild swings. Impacting the now dead goblin sorceress multiple times with her great blade. Cob approaches and get the barbarian to calm and begins searching the invisible dead goblin, feeling around as best he could. He finds a gold earring set with a ruby, a silver ring, and a silvered dagger. Taking their time to search the room, not much of value is found until they open the small chest. It is filled with clothes, but taking that all out they find a false bottom in the chest hiding some coin, a scroll, and a book written in goblin.

Leaving this area and heading back towards the entrance since they found no other passages here, they come back to the passage leading up to the dog pen. It suddenly dawned on them, all of the bodies of goblins that they slew were missing! Not knowing what to make of this they press on coming back to the passage leading to the entrance cavern, where there is a green slimy covering on the walls. They head back towards the entrance cave, remembering there was another passage heading to the east. As they approached that passage, they are assailed by a number of goblins from the entrance cave. This battle was touch and go for a while before the tide finally tuned in the favor of the adventurers. Heading down the way to the east they find another large cavern -
A Pile of Bones wrote:
This ceiling in the passage leading to this cavern slopes away from you, growing ever higher, it must be 20’ above you. The cavern itself is empty, save for a large pile of bones.

As they approached the pile of bones six skeletons animate and attack them. Tearing at the party with their bare hands, the skeletons deal little damage before they are able to return the bones to a state of rest with the clerics providing them a blessing to find their eternal rest. Disheartened that this cavern is another dead end, they decide to return to the passage with the slime and proceed down it.

The slime it seems is just a mundane sort growing here with plenty of moisture, and some dim sunlight filtering in from the entrance. As they continue the corridor is quite long, twisting a bit before opening to the south east leading to what looks like another cavern, and branching due west. From this direction they hear some sounds, not quite sure what it is and they decide to head down that corridor...

Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:14 am

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am
Posts: 510
Post Re: Darkness Rising
4/22/2017 - Session 3
O.Y. 1946, Lothian 30 - Darkenfold Forest

The party cautiously continues down the corridor to the west, and soon is able to identify the sounds as goblins, chanting some horrific song. The corridor continues to the west and two branches are seen to the north, from which the sounds are emanating, while a bit further ahead another, large passage is seen to the south. Bracing themselves for another fight, Amiri leads the charge into battle with the goblins.

Goblin Guard Quarters wrote:
This chamber is well appointed, five large beds sit with partitions between them, and at the foot of each bed is a leather bag. Sitting at a table in the center of the room are five large goblins.
As the battle is joined it is obvious that these goblins are tougher and more skilled than their compatriots. The group utilizes the two passageways into this cavern to their advantage, by attempting clogging the second way out. Judin stands watch as he cannot fight into the cavern. It is not long before more goblins are seen coming up from the western passageway, the sounds of battle calling to them. The party is holding their own against these tougher foes when the largest goblin they have seen, and another dressed in robes come from the passage to the south. tNelag, now deep in the cavern to the north roars in outrage as they run past the group, heading east. Judin gives chase and sees more goblins pouring down the passageway from the east! As the rest of the party finishes the goblins behind him and start coming to his aid, the goblin in robes attempts a sleep spell but fails to drop any of the heroes. Judin again uses his superior speed and begins to chase after the goblin chieftain, but the sheer numbers of goblins are to much for him on his own and he falls before being able to catch him. The rest of the party has little trouble with the remaining goblin rear guard and find their fallen companion, bloodied and near death but still breathing in gurgling gasps. The clerics are able to restore him to consciousness with their healing arts. Returning to the cavern they search, finding little of value, only spare goblin clothes and a few coins. Beaten and bloodied, they resolve to continue on to find the hostages.

Heading to the west, the passage way is split by a column and then turns to the south, sloping downwards fairly steeply. This opens to a huge cavern, to the east is an underground pond, their torchlight reflecting of of it to let them just see a ledge with something on it on the far side. Quickly checking and finding the western reaches of little import they return to the edge of the pool, and yes, there definitely looks to be a chest on that ledge! Is this the treasure horde of the goblins? Amiri tests the waters and is surprised when the very water itself seems to come to life and begin pulling her into the frigid water, it is actually trying to drown her! The party, now cautious of the water but wanting to save their friend springs into action and find that blunted weapons work better against this creature. It is a few touch and go moments before the water seemingly collapses, freeing the half-orc. Not sure there aren't more of these things about, but still wanting to get to the chest, Doraz and Cob wade into the water, it grows deeper the further they go until it is up to their chins. Doraz is able to reach the far wall, swimming to attain the rough wall, and climbs it to the top.
Elevated Shelf wrote:
Bats scurry away as soon as you climb to this platform. It is cramped, being only about 4’ high. A chest sits near the edge.
Examining the chest, he doesn't think it is trapped, but the lock has long since rusted and will not give to his picks. This is not the horde of the goblins, what is it? He notes the bottom of the chest seems fairly well rotted and spends a few moments digging at it with his dagger before a few blows makes the bottom come loose from the rest of the chest. In side is a small fortune in coins, actual platinum pieces being found! There is a small case of some sort that is rotted, and within he finds more rotted wood, like it was once some kind of stick, with two silver rings circling the stick. Pocketing all of these he dives back into the water and motions to Cob that they should return to the shore.

Mon May 29, 2017 11:42 am

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am
Posts: 510
Post Re: Darkness Rising
6/4/2017 - Session 4
O.Y. 1946, Uthdain 9 - Darkenfold Forest
[Cast of Characters updated]

Having gathered the treasure from the ledge beyond the spring fed pool, the party returns down the passage they entered the cavern from. Passing the caverns where the goblin chieftain and his guards had taken residence, they continue to the east. Being cautious and moving slowly, they come the the junction, where to the north is the way out, and the larger cavern to the east lay unexplored. Entering this large cavern, they find it littered with sleeping mats, piles of straw, and other such forms of bedding, this was where the main goblin force had used as a barracks. A passage exits to the north. The lack of goblins had the characters emboldened and they open the gate. The corridor twists and turns, it smells of waste and rot. They turn the final bend to find another makeshift fence and gate. The light of their torches illuminates a group of beings beyond.
Captives Found wrote:
A wooden barricade and gate has been erected at the opening to this cavern. Beyond it smells of urine and feces waft from beyond it. Looking through the fencing, you see, huddling against the walls, five humans (two females and three children), a male half-elf, and a female halfling.
The party talks with this rag-tag group of captives, the half-elf steps forward to talk, his name is Chris, he states that he is a merchant from the south, his wife, Shala, and he were part of a caravan that was raided a few days ago. One of the children is their son, Dillin. The halfling, he states, is Yolla, she was also travelling in the caravan with her husband when they were waylaid. Yolla and her husband fought the goblins and both were injured. Brandel, her husband, was here, as was another man that was unconscious when Chris arrived, but both have gone missing a day or two prior, taken from the pen by the goblins. Yolla is in critical condition, deep infefected lacerations, and a wheezing breath, show her to be near death. A bit further away is a woman that he has not spoken with much, she claims to be from a near by town, and the two children are hers. She has kept to children and herself, not even giving him her name. Endril speak with her and finds that she is quite beautiful, earning her trust, she learns that this is Ialla, the children are hers, these are Rog and Cenna, Havrins family!

Continuing to speak with Chris, they learn he is from Brindsium and is heading to Gaxmoor to open a new trading branch in that locale. He notes the strong box the party has taken is his, and asks for the party to return it to him, he will give them a reward of 150GP each, a rich prize indeed! The acquiesce, and will help him take the goods to Endsmeet.

Yolla is distraught over her husband, she mumbles her worry as the clerics tend her wounds. They learn that she and Brandel were only recently married, and were travelling for their honeymoon. She regains enough strength to leave the caverns, though breaks down when the party tells her of some of the remains they had seen, certain that it was from Brandel. She is eager to leave the caverns and return home.

They party exits the caverns with the captives, keeping them in the center of the their order to provide maximum protection for them. This is good since along their way back to Endsmeet they are assaulted by a group of Orcs and an Ogre. The clumsy humanoids alerted the group before they sprung their ambush, allowing for most of the adventurers to ready for the attack, stepping forward to keep the creatures off of those they are protecting. While most of the part engages the orcs, Judin moves towards the ogre. Fighting with great ferocity, the battle does not last overlong as the party fells the attackers.

Arriving back in Endsmeet, the town rejoices at the return of Ialla and the children. They open the hearts to the others returning the with characters and all receive food and shelter. A celebration is had outside of the Cockelburr Inn and Tavern the second night after they return. Here Chris and Yolla both approach the group asking for their aid. Chris wishes to continue his passage to the north and has made a generous offer if the characters will come as guards, or to return a message to his brother in Brindsium, to which there is an offer of coin, along with additional coin when delivered. Yolla seeks to return to the home that her and Brandel were gifted, a small estate on the southern coast, in the burgeoning town of Hemelsville. She offers the party a sum of 2,500SP if they will escort her there. The mayor introduces the group to Seldoc, a Ranger of the Knott. Seldoc gives the characters their promised reward and states that there is going to be an expedition to try and find the goblins to eliminate the threat. He can offer little but asks the company to join in the endeavor. Given these options the party deliberates and decides to aid Yolla in returning home, and will also carry the message for Chris to his brother, since Hemelsville is along the way to Brindsium.

The next day they meet with tNelag to settle up on the treasure pulled from the caves. His demands are heavy, one of the magical golden rings, the magical dagger, the rough amethyst and coin. He was adamant on the ring and stone, and after much negotiation with the stubborn half-orc the party finally reaches an accord with the warrior and they part amicably.

Also departing the party are Doraz and Eklisia, the pair decide to head back east to Greenbriar to rest and spend time helping that community to expand. The western reaches of the Darkenfold hold many dangers to which they are not ready to endure. They part hoping to see the others again one day.

After a week of rest and recuperation, the group sets forth, they purchase a raft to take downriver. As they travel they marvel at the sites of the forest, amazed at the diversity of vegetation and the creatures along the banks of the river. They beach one night and meet a small party coming up from the mountains to the south. They talk of a pass they had traversed, a bit tricky to find, but it makes the travels through those highlands much easier. One of this group is a wizard of no mean power, or at least that is what he claims, and learning this the group asks if he could review some items they had procured. To which he agrees, for a fee. Perhaps this was a bit reckless on these fledgling adventurers part, but they do produce the items they had taken from the caves. They learn over then next few minutes that what they had recovered were -
  • The gold ring inset with a diamond is a Ring of Disappearance, a ring that can cause the wearer to become invisible, but it has a limited number of uses
  • The two plain silver rings that were found with the rotted remains of a wand are Rings of Shielding, capable of erecting such a barrier of equivalent strength as the spell once per day
  • The obsidian dagger is of minor enchantment but will aid in combat (+1)
  • Upon seeing the obsidian two-handed sword, the wizard wanted no part of that item and refused to touch it, he does relate the name of the blade as The Vengeance of Thorax
They spend the night with this group, safety in numbers, though they insured that they had at least one member on each watch, just to be safe... In the morning they decide they want to venture overland, for with the guidance of the wizard they believe they can find the mountain pass, and they were going to need to abandon the river at some point in any event. The strangers buy the raft from the party, the hard toil of poling upstream will still provide them faster passage, and safer, than walking the banks of the river.

After a few days of travel, reaching the mountains, they enter the rising land looking for the pass. The skies begin to darken as they find what they believe was described to them. Continuing to the south, following the meandering way, the skies open up and a heavy rain begins to fall. Darker and darker still the skies become as the roiling clouds unleash their fury. Lightning and thunder assail the party as the seek for someplace to shelter from the storms fury. In a particularly long streak of lightning traversing the clouds Amiri spies a strange site, a small stone tower atop a cliff that appears to be in the shape of a star. One of the star points seems to have crumbled a bit a good distance down from the top, still the tower looks to be their best bet to escape the weather. It takes the better part of an hour, but they finally reach it and find the door unlocked. Entering they see the floor is of marble in this roughly hexagonal room with nooks in each wall, an altar stands in the center of the chamber. The chapel has been vandalized, the ruins of the benches and other accouterments lie scattered about. In each of the nooks in each area of the room there are some paintings visible at the edges of the torchlight. Those near the door where the party enters shows the chapel looking as it had when first built. Walking across the area Amiri lifts a torch and views the painting, a group of six orcs can be seen. To the astonishment of the company, the orcs suddenly come to life and jump down from the painting...

Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:36 pm

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am
Posts: 510
Post Re: Darkness Rising
7/15/2017 - Session 5
O.Y. 1946, Uthdain 13 - Darkenfold Forest
[Cast of Characters updated]

The party is in a chapel on top of a star shaped plateau, they walked through the chapel to the southern wall, raising their light to see better the painting above their head, the painting springs to life as the six orcs suddenly come to life and attack. Yolla lets out a squeal and backs away from the battle, hiding behind the small altar in the center of the chapel. Blows are struck back and forth before the orcs are suddenly laid low. The party marvels at the situation as the orcs bodies suddenly disappear. The next alcove over shows another scene of battle, this time prepared, the group sets out to see if this painting comes alive, and it does as soon as the light they carry fully illuminates the subjects. This time three goblins assailing a burly man can be seen as they materialize in front of the group. The battle is joined with the party and man quickly dispatching the goblins before they wink out of existence.

Cob and Endrill try to get the man to talk with them, questining him about his name and where he is from, but the man remains mute, gesturing such that the party determines the man cannot speak. Twice more they find paintings that come to life, one a single ogre, the other a bull-headed man. Each of these act slowly allowing the party with the silent warrior to quickly lay them low, and just as with the dead from the other paintings, they to disappear.

The strange runes on the floor are recognized as words, and after a little effort, the party figures out that the phrase is as follows - When the light of light comes to lifeless eyes and mortal sword slays flesh immortal then will the dumb speak the dead die the dark god topple and the chapel of silence be clean again.

The storm rages outside as the party looks around the chapel. A fourth alcove shows a series of mountains, while the alcove where the entry way is shows scenes of the tower, much as it had been when first built. Night has fallen and the moon, if it could be seen, would have risen high in the sky, the hour is growing late. Not comfortable here in the chapel they search around and soon find that the altar in the center of the chamber can easily be slid to the side. Beneath the altar a spiral staircase descends into the darkness.

Descending the stairs they come to a level where the floor is littered with skeletal remains in heaps, the area is a hexagonal room with a door in the center of each wall. Yolla looks warily on the piles of bones and does not want to descend fully, but Cob is able to show her that they are harmless so she climbs down the rest of the way. The group determines to open the door to the south, beyond they see an altar showing scenes of planting and reaping, the walls covered in a rich brown velvet curtain, behind the altar is a large skeleton, dressed in wealthy peasants attire, kneeling with it's hands in the appearance of prayer. Deciding not to enter at this time, they close the door and look into the door to the left. This door opens to an area nearly identical to the last, but this is adorned in green, the skeleton adorned as a hunter, with scenes of a hunt on the altar. Again they open a door, this one to the North-East, this room is identical to the others but colored in gold with commerce scenes engraved in the altar, and the skeleton dressed as a merchant. The northern door opens to a room of red, the skeleton has clasped in it's hands a large two-handed sword with head bowed in supplication, scenes of battle are viewed upon the altar. To the NW the room is a rose-colored hue, the skeleton in womans clothing, while the altar is carved with the sights of hearth and home. Finally the door to the SW is opened and a deep blue scene unfolds with the skeleton dressed as a mariner as the alter shows sailing ships and ocean sites.

The party deliberates and decides they will enter the northern room first, the one of red and containing the warrior skeleton. Yolla remains in the central chamber as the others enter the room and investigate. The altar is quite ornate as they marvel at the carvings upon it. The skeleton is a fearsome statue, around which Judin walks cautiously to peer behind the curtain behind it. A blank wall is seen, but Judin studies it closely and searches around and finds a worn area on the wall which, when pressed against, the wall slides to the west, when suddenly a bolt flies out and hits Cob in the shoulder. The room beyond is triangluar and is covered in a thick layer of dust. The area is filled with weapons, armor pieces, along the back wall there is a long bundle wrapped in a warriors cloak. As they search the area, the dust is disturbed causing some coughing and wheezing, but also shows some hints of gold, which, when uncovered shows a golden helm and a sword with a golden hilt. "Hey, I bet the riddle above can be solved with these things," says Judin as Cob is saying something much the same. Trying to place the golden sword on the altar has no effect. Amiri unwraps the bundle to find a well made, but plain sword within. "Lets try this on there," she says, but again there is no visible effect of doing so. Frustrated, Judin says, "There is something we are missing, lets check the other rooms."

Deciding to check the chamber with the altar dedicated to hearth and home, little is found in the area, but another sliding panel is found behind the skeleton. Beyond the triangular room had obviously been looted at some time. There is a broken clay pot, and a churn laying on it's side. Looking in the churn, a dirty scrap of paper is found. Looking at it, there is some strange script upon the paper, it is handed to Cob who's eyes widen as he say with a good deal of awe in his voice, "This is a scroll of healing, it can heal the most grievous of wounds and cure disease and many of the most serious of afflictions." He rolls the paper and places it in a bone case. Sweeping through the area one last time, a small golden thimble is found in the corner to the right of the door. While a trap door is located with another set of stairs leading down. "Should we go down?" asks Cob. "No, lets see if we can unravel this riddle, perhaps once we check the other rooms it will become clear," Judin states.

Next checking the golden chamber of commerce, it is much like the others with a sliding panel on the wall opposite the door. The door opens revealing a deep pit, the bottom of which cannot be seen. This takes the entire area of the room. Probing with his staff Judin finds it sinks into the darkens as he prods downwards with it. Turning the group heads to the hunting chapel. Here as the door opens it shows signs of the dust having been disturbed. Nothing is found in this room until Endrill spies an ivory horn hanging high above the door. Climbing onto Bunny's shoulders she is able to scramble up and pull the horn down. "These things have to have something to do with that riddle," Cob says, "I just don't know how they fit together." Judin agrees and again they try to put the horn on the alter to no avail.

They resolve to check each of the remaining rooms and try to ponder how they can solve this mystery. Thus they move twords the rich brown chamber. The door is opened and Bunny and Amiri move into the room. Each suddenly assaulted by something darting from the shadows. A dagger bites deep into Amiri, as the thieves spring their attack. With a melee ensuing, one of the thieves is quickly dispatched, while the other, weakened by multiple blows, throws down his dagger and begs mercy. Relenting, not wanting to slay the unarmed man, and hoping to gain information they parlay with the thief, but he discloses but little information, and finally before the party can react he stealthily reaches into a pouch at his side and throws out some sort of powder causing many of the party to cough and gag, choking on the dust. He breaks for the stairway, trying to flee, but he is to slow as Judin catches him and strikes him low. Each of the thieves had sacks with coins on them, one of the also had a ring of platinum set with three pearls. Taking a breather, the grouip decides to continue, despite the late hour. Opening the sliding panel, Judin walks in and steps into a large steel trap that slams shut about 1/4 of the way up his shin. Crying in pain, he shouts, "Why didn't I look this time!!!" prying the jaws of the bear trap open, the monk is freed. The triangular room holds a table upon which is set a bowl filled to heaping of grain, while to the right of the table is a small golden scythe, and to the left a miniature iron plow. "Dammit, I know these play into this," Cob exclaims, "what are we missing???"

Opening the last sliding panel in the room of deep blue, a silken sail comes spilling out into the room. Pulling the sail fully out of the room, they find a small by finely carved ivory ship. "Ah, perhaps in the morning, a fresh look will aid with this, lets fortify up in the hearth and home room, and see what we can determine with some rest and healing." Cob looks at the others, they nod in agreement. Making themselves as secure as possible, they pass the night, each disturbed by the same dream...
The dream wrote:
The chapel seems filled with light and a happy throng of people, and it is apparent that a wedding is in progress. Just as the priest pronounces his final blessing upon the betrothed pair, the scene fades. A new scene follows it — a scene as sorrowful as its predecessor was joyful. Again the chapel is full of people, but this time all are weeping. A funeral procession escorts two shrouded bodies to their tombs and tearfully places them within. Once again the priest pronounces a final blessing and the scene fades.

A third scene follows; again the chapel is full of light. The adventurers themselves are the only ones in attendance, but suddenly they are struck dumb with surprise as the figure of a lovely woman appears at the altar. Silently she beckons to the party, and each member senses her promise that person (the one who is having the particular dream) boundless reward if he will but follow her. Just as that character steps forward, there is a blinding flash and a stalwart man suddenly stands beside the lady with a sword in his hand. While the lady begins to weep entreatingly, the man steps to prevent anyone from approaching her. He sadly shakes his head in refusal of the lady’s pleas. The scene then gradually fades...
Once they are all awake and eating a quick breakfast they talk about the dream, and ponder its meaning. Trying to put the objects down on each altar, as seems logical, nothing happens, so the party decides there must be more clues elsewhere and decides to descend the stairs below the trap door. But just as they move to the first step, the skeleton in the room suddenly animates, as do the bones in the central chamber. a few of the doors to the other altars were left open and more of those larger skeletons begin to move on the party. The fight does not last very long, though some heavy blows were taken by the group, Amiri taking a particulary painful wound from the large skeleton from the warriors room. Fearing that the skeletons may come to life yet again if they attempt to descend the stairs, they opt to dump them down the pit in the golden room. Having done so, and taping some of the limited resources for healing, they feel strong enough to descend...

Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:04 pm

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am
Posts: 510
Post Re: Darkness Rising
7/22/2017 - Session 6
O.Y. 1946, Uthdain 14 - Darkenfold Forest
[Cast of Characters updated]

With a bit of trepidation, the party steps foot on the stairs to head down, they breathe a sigh of relief when they do not find any more skeletons assaulting them. The stairs descend down and the group notices that the walls down here are filled with a number of cracks, some thin, some large enough to put your hand into. As they reach the bottom of the stair they hear a the crowing of a creature that looks similar to a chicken, a large malformed chicken that is! With a cackle the thing attacks the party. The group strikes a few blows on the beast before the thing is able to bite Cob, as it withdraws its beak, Cob falls motionless, becoming grayish in color, soon it is obvious that he has been turned to stone. Back and forth blows are struck with others just barely avoiding the same fate as Cob. Finally the creature is slain, and the party looks in wonder at what had happened to their friend. Standing, not sure what to do, the silent warrior taps Bunny and motions holding up one finger, and gesturing like putting a ring on. "What, does he want us to put a ring on Cob?" Bunny asks. Ok, Bunny has her moments of... lets just say, naivete. Then it dawns on her, "No, not on him, one of us, what ring? Oh, I know!" she jumps up and down clapping, "The one with the three pearls!!!" The mute man gestures again and the group thinks he is saying to ask for something, no, that isn't it, after he motions in the shape of a bottle, then flutters his fingers above it like smoke, then stands with his arms crossed. Remembering an old story, Judin says, "The ring will summon a genie? That can't be right... Genies grant wishes in the old story, is that what he means?" The party is discussing this, with Judin relating that the genies might grant the wish, but often pervert or twist them, especially for the greedy. They determine to try it no matter how unlikely it seems, and Bunny says, "I wish that Cob was not struck by that evil chicken thing." With that Cob was returned to flesh and blood, but Amiri cries out suddenly, a bite showing on her arm while Cob's seemed to disappear. Amiri feels a bit sick to her stomach but is able to fight off the feeling, and smiles when she remains flesh. "Now, let's not try that again shall we? Let's get out of this room, quickly."

The triangular room has a door in the SE that opens to a hexagonal room with piles of rubbish in it, a door directly across to the SE is then opened. The central hexagonal room, as they had seen in the floor above, has a central column, the outer covering has crumbled, and the interior has also collapsed, the stairs down not accessible. There are doors in each of the walls here, and they decide to check the door to the north. As they open the door, they cover their eyes as the room beyond is filled with daylight. There is a gaunt man sitting with his back to them, looking out to open air, where they would expect a room to be beyond a door, if the layout was identical to that above. There is a bed, a water basin, and a cooking circle here, this man has obviously been here for some time. As they approach to speak with him, he stands and turns, he is gaunt, almost emaciated, the dirty, tattered clerical robes hang loosely from his frame. They ask his name, but quickly determine that he is mute, as is the big warrior that has been joining them. Endrill offers the man some food, which he happily takes. He motions at them, and the party all feels refreshed, their wounds all but healed! Judin starts as the plain sword he was carrying tingles and seems to vibrate. "Here, someone take this," he says, "Not sure, but this thing must be magical it is vibrating, and I don't want it, can't use it really, not my style. I was carrying it for the group, but someone else may benefit from it more than I." They find that, while he cannot talk, the man can read and write, though his wording and script is quite archaic, they are able to communicate. He does not have much he can really them them about this dark god mentioned in the passage above, but he knows it must be defeated somehow. He introduces himself as Shar, and the large warrior, a man he has met on occasion, as Bran. He doesn't know where Bran comes and goes to, and nods and smiles at the story of him appearing out of the painting above. When asked where the tombs are, he motions behind the party then off to the left. The party shares more information with him before taking their leave, with Yolla staying behind with him until they can return for her.

Heading back into the central chamber, the group moves to the SE door, opening it, the room beyond is dark, it is a palpable darkness, seeming to even dim their torches, and a chill is in the air. Being on edge at this strange room, they begin to move cautiously in, to find the door on the opposite wall to see if there are stairs to descend. They get about halfway through the room when, with a roar, a grey skinned humanoid shaped creature, with long claws and teeth, glowing red eyes, and the smell of death assails them. The meele is not long, but it is costly as both Judin and Endrill are struck by the foul creature and feel some of their life-force drain out of them. The creature is felled, and in a rush to leave this room, they find the door opposite and find a spiral stair heading down.

The Dark Ceremony wrote:
The stairs leading down are dark, but as the party approaches the bottom of the incline, characters become aware of a ruddy glow emanating from floor level below. After descending several feet further, they will exit into a large room similar in size and shape to the chamber on Level 1. The stairway descends into the alcove in the SE. As each character enters, he or she quickly becomes aware that a temple service of some sort is in progress and feels compelled to quietly join those standing at the back of the congregation.

The congregation fills the areas in the NE, SE, and South alcoves. Wide staircases going down are seen in the recessed areas in the North and South West, while the alcove directly across from them is curtained off from the main chamber with black velvet.

In front of the curtain stand a black-robed priest and his scarlet-clad acolyte. Before them in the center of the room is an elaborately carved hexagonal altar of obsidian, in the place where the center column appears in each of the above levels.

As members of the party watch in fascination, the priest intones a long passage in an unknown tongue while the acolyte chants occasional replies or affirmations. Suddenly the priest seizes the acolyte by hip and shoulder and raises his body high overhead. In another instant, he brings the body down on the altar and buries his fangs in the acolyte’s neck. After taking a long, ceremonial draught for himself, the priest catches the rest of the acolyte’s life blood in a black basin. He then proceeds on a meandering path throughout the congregation, splashing blood on their faces and dipping their hands into the basin. When the supply of blood is used up in about five minutes, the priest utters a strange cry. Suddenly, Endrill begins to walk in a trancelike state toward the altar.
This shocks Bran, Amiri, and Judin out of the effects of the magical compulsion, Bran is able to grab the ranger as she tries to walk through the congregation. The priest screams again, this shocks the rest of the party out of the spell, and also has an effect on many of those other here, at least half of them see the dark priest, scream and run, the others seem to still be in his control and attack the party. Amiri grabs for the plain sword as it was vibrating even more vehemently, and while she can still feel the vibrations when she draws it forth, they do not seem to affect her grip on the blade. Cob pulls out the wand of magic missiles they had received when going to rescue Havrins family and unleashes two missiles at the priest. He howls in outrage as the missiles strike home. Amiri charges the priest, noting its pasty white skin and long fangs. Striking out with the blade the priest howls in agony as it bites deep into him, and bursts out shedding light like the sun. Judin and Bunny are fighting off the humans attacking them, Bunny trying to keep from killing her opponent, and is able to knock him unconscious. Judin shouts at her, "What are you doing, these are willing participants in this foul ceremony, they deserve no mercy!" Bran charges and while Judin and Bunny work on fighting off the congregation, the silent man and Amiri land more telling blows on the priest, Endrill, now free of the charm also swings at the creature, her blade striking, but there is no resistance and it seems to pass harmlessly through him. A look of panic in it's eyes, the priest suddenly changes into a bat and begins to fly away. Cob is able to send the last of the missiles from the wand at the flying creature which ends up felling it. Falling to the ground and transforming back into his humanoid shape, Amiri runs up and repeatedly stabs the creature. At this, the remaining humans turn and flee the chamber. The fallen priest turns into a cloud of gas and seems to be fleeing from them heading towards the velvet curtain, Amiri runs to stand between it and the cloud, over the next 30 or 40 seconds this chase is on until the cloud is able to make it's way into the cracks in the wall and disappear.

"What was it trying to reach behind that curtain?" Juden asks. As the group walks over, they each ponder this, and as Judin opens the curtain, they look upon something so vile, the visage of some dark deity, that they are also struck dumb. Their stomachs churn and they fight down bile, until they gather themselves and regain their composure. Still though, none can speak. The visage of the evil god is carved upon the lid to a stone coffin. Bunny lifts the lid and underneath is the priest! Laying still, with arms crossed over his chest, the creature looks to have been healed of much of the harm dealt to him. This alarms Amiri such that she uses the blade to chop off the head of the priest. At this Cob pulls the remainder of the creature from the coffin. Pantomiming in confusion, the party is not clear on what they are looking at. As they try different hand gestures to determine what to do next, Cob notes that the headless body is starting to claw it's way over towards the head. Amiri again stabs the priest multiple times thinking, "WHY...WONT...YOU...JUST...DIE?????" After a few minutes of trying to get each other to understand, they finally get clear to bring the thing up to Shar to see if the cleric knows what to do. They drag the body upstairs and when exposed to the sunlight it seems to wither and eventually give off wisps of smoke until it finally disintegrates. Still unable to speak, they resolve to head back down in search of the resting place of the bride and groom...

Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:48 am

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am
Posts: 510
Post Re: Darkness Rising
7/30/2017 - Session 7 (time-shortened session)
O.Y. 1946, Uthdain 14 - Darkenfold Forest
[Cast of Characters updated]

Climbing down the stairs the company returns to the level of the dark altar. Looking around one more time they find nothing of interest and head down the stairwell in the southern portion of the chamber. The chamber they descend into is roughly hexagonal in shape, much like a couple of the levels above, except there is no central column present here. As they reach the lower portion of the stairs their torch light reveals a large number of skeletons, forming a guard for an aisle leading into the darkness. They stand at at attention, swords clasped in their hands, point down. Walking down the aisle, being wary of the skeletons, they spy a pair of thrones with a man and woman seated on them, they look real but do not stir as the light reaches them. Suddenly the skeletons come to life and attack the party. Cobb pulls out his holy symbol and calls upon the power of his god, driving a large number of the undead back from him, many disappearing into the darkness. The others fight desperately as the skeletons continue to come for them, many appearing from the darkness. There seems to be little threat to the party as the skeletons fall quickly. The party spills some of their own blood, but finally the last of the skeletons fall. Taking a deep breath, they find they are still unable to speak.

Approaching the thrones, the figures on them are recognized from the dream they all had, this is the couple they saw married, then carried on biers near the end. The woman is the one that was pleading for them to come, and the man is he who shook his head while looking at the characters. Now they stand, looking imploringly at each of the party members, they make motions holding their hands out in front of them, and pulling them in to their chests. The party looked on a bit perplexed at first and then they understood, the pair was asking them to thrust a sword into their bodies. They do this and there is a bright light, the walls and floor shakes for a moment, then a sound is heard behind them. They turn and see Shar descending the stairs. He smiles and speaks to them, "Thank you my friends, you have expelled the dark god from this chapel, and freed the spirits of Owen and Andrea. They have gone to their final rest with their gods, some of whom you have already met, and the others now stand ready to come and thank you. But first, beneath the throne is a reward. I know the minions of the dark god tried to take it at one time but were unable. Take what you will of it, but the other items from the altars above must be returned." Beneath they find a large trove of treasure including some magical scrolls, a magical hammer, shield, and platemail armor, along with two necklaces and two rings that do not show magical aura's to the detect magic spell that was cast. One of the scrolls contains some illusionist spells, while the other turns out to be a curse, and Cobb is afflicted with some rotting disease as he reads it. Shar is unable to help, but then it is remembered the ring that granted wishes, it is used to cure the cleric, but then is held without power. The gods of Owen and Andrea then appear, and with another bright flash of light, the party returns to the first level of the chapel, and take part of a funeral procession, interring the couple into their tombs. The gods smile at the characters and the one that looks like a farmer speaks to them, and tells them the history of the dark gods minions slaying the couple but placing a curse upon them so their spirits would be held with their mortal forms. The priest below was a Vampire, and while weak for his kind, was still able to overcome the chapels defenses, and despoiled the tombs of the Owen and Andrea. Placing them on the thrones below, drawing strength from them to beguile the commoners of nearby communities, those that were present at the dark ceremony the party beheld, and almost lost a member to. The vampire being slain did not free the chapel from the taint of evil, that only happened once you had severed their spirits from their bodies. None had seen that when they could not take the treasure below the thrones, that instead they placed a cursed scroll there. But, you had the means to restore your friend to health.

The characters asked about the nature of the items found, and were informed of the strength of the magical weapons and armor found. They are free to take all that they had found in the chapel except those items from the altars below. They replace the items and gather up Yolla, the rig a travois to haul their treasure, this will slow them significantly, but such is their due.

Resting to heal, they leave the chapel and again journey on the path towards the south-lands...

Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:15 am

Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 7:00 am
Posts: 20192
Location: Arizona and St Louis
Post Re: Darkness Rising
I can see why you do such write ups with how much time passes between some of your sessions. Glad to see its still going on!

Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.

Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:06 am

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am
Posts: 510
Post Re: Darkness Rising
Treebore wrote:
I can see why you do such write ups with how much time passes between some of your sessions. Glad to see its still going on!

Thanks, yes, challenges at times getting everyone together, we try to get at least one in each month, preferably two or more if we can. We are scattered around the country, and some travel quite a bit for work. August was a challenge with GenCon in there (we do a full week of gaming so we lose two possible weekends unless we all get together the weekend prior), and September there was this little storm in the southeast... Anyhow, last nights session was good and I will be posting it today.

Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:14 pm

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am
Posts: 510
Post Re: Darkness Rising
9/23/2017 - Session 8
O.Y. 1946, Uthdain 14 through the Feast of Unmaking 3 - Darkenfold Forest, Guarded Hills - Town of Hemelsville
[Cast of Characters updated]

Battered and bruised, the party leaves the chapel after sunrise and returns to the path heading south through the mountains. They rejoice as the lands continue to descend and they see the forest ahead, the Elkhorn Deeps, here they should have respite from the evil humanoids as the region is oft hunted by elves, and the Dryads are even beginning to have a resurgence with other fey returning. As they follow the trail, it seems to become more overgrown as they move to the south. Endrill once spied a party of elves watching them from a distance, though they did not approach, they did obviously take note of the group, and seemed to point in their direction a number of times. There seemed to be a discussion among them, a bit heated, but one finally made a chopping motion with his arm and the others stopped. They watched a while longer them moved out. The journey through the forest was thankfully uneventful. Moving slowly with the horde of treasure, they relied mostly one foraging for sustenance, both Endrill and Amiri returning with enough to provide good meals for a few day on each hunting foray. When they come across a stream, running cool and crisp, they refilled their skins. The dread weight they carried from the chapel slowly seeps away as the tension seeps away. Yolla, still in deep mourning even seemed a bit brighter as they drew closer to the coastline. The reach a more well worn path, actually of such good quality you could call it a road, heading east and west. "This should ease our passage, and with our burden that will be a welcome relief, let's follow this way," Cob exclaimed. Indeed, their pace did quicken as they headed to the east, though still much slower than they would have gone if not overburdened as they were. Along the road they had passed near to some small settlements, and even a way station, few travellers are on the road though, and little news of import is learned along the way.

It takes about a week from the time they left the chapel until the way ahead seemed to ascend a bit, Yolla becomes more excited, but a shadow also looms over her face, "We are getting close now, I'll be..." she chokes up a bit, "home soon." As they grow closer, Yolla tells the party of the town, how it has grown since the Sorceress Mailina had come and built a tower there. She petitioned the Senate and finally won at least some small accord, the Senate is funding the construction of a keep, not far from her estate. Another days travel and they see some fields ahead, well tended, and recently tilled for crops. She tells them of an estate just past hers, as you head to town, that has been abandoned for quite some time. The locals believe the place to be cursed or haunted since all that have taken ownership have died under mysterious and unexplained circumstances.

As they continue down the road Yolla at first smiles before her face darkens, pointing forward she says, "This is my home," as tears begin to fall. It is a bittersweet moment for the halfling, home at least after her ordeal, yet facing her life now without Brandel. "Come let us take some rest, I must pen letters to... to... out families to let them know what has happened. You are welcome to stay at my estate, though the Wayfair Inn is new, and if you wish to stay there, there will be no hard feelings." Yolla's estate is of a good size, plenty of fields to provide for their family, with plenty to trade. A small paddock for horses and a some cattle can be see near the barn, and pen for pigs and coop for chickens is also seen. A small pond stands nearby, with some troughs leading to the paddock for watering the animals, a counter-levered winch with a large bucket on the end can be easily worked to move the water. The manor house itself is well appointed and has enough rooms that each character has their own place. Yolla gathers the servants for a meeting, after which they come out, obviously distraught, and crying over the loss of the master of the house. Yolla again repeats her offer for the characters to stay, and they thankfully accept. "There is also the matter of your payment," she motions to one of the servants who opens a small chest, filled with 2,500SP. "I cannot thank you enough for saving me, if only Brandel cou... could be here. But, no, you did what you could, please I must go rest. You have but to ask the servants for anything you need." And with that she turns and leaves. The characters are lead to their rooms, and are shown where the baths are. Their traveling clothes are taken for cleaning, and the next evening there are some new clothes laid out for them.

Amiri breaks the silence the next morning as they gathered for breakfast, "That bed was bad, the floor much better, to soft. Just as we will get if we eat like this," she waves her hand over the table, "not that I am complaining!" she laughs, crumbs spewing from her mouth as she does so. Wiping her mouth with the sleeve of her tunic, "Yolla, anyplace here we can spar with others, maybe someone good with sword to teach new trick?" Yolla says that Veril, the town constable, trains the militia, and then there are the guard up at the construction site, but she doesn't know what they do there. Cob asks about temples, to which their host says there are some small chapels in town, but the temple of Posiden (also called Ea-Lor) is the main center of worship here. Up in the eves of the forest, the druids practice the old religion, and the folk to the north of town revere there teachings at least as much as that of Ea-Lor. After breakfast the party decides to head into town, first stopping at the tower of Mailina to see if she can help Cob learn more of his magic, and see if there is anything of worth that she would part with, or that she could make for the party. "

There is another man there, talking with one of the apprentices, handing him a small package and receiving payment. "Alas, no, your skill with the arcane arts is far different from mine, and I fear I would be of little help. But in thanks for your rescue of Yolla, please feel free to use the apprentice's workshop and library to see if it will be of any help. Normally would not allow this but for other wizards of note and their apprentices, and that at a cost," she smiles, "but this once you may be free to use it for now. Know that the end of the month my tower will close at sundown, I have the culmination of some research to complete, and none shall be allowed entry but my apprentices." Cob thanks her as his eyes glitter at the prospect of having a workshop to use. "As for your other queries, I am not in the habit of selling to those I do not know and respect, but perhaps we could work out some minor boons, it would be good for some of my more advanced apprentices. This will have to wait until after my experiments are completed though."

"Oh, one more thing," Cob says, "This wand is empowered to call forth magical missile, but it seems to be drained of any more power. Is there perchance a way to imbue it with magical energies such that it would again function?" He hold forth the magical wand.

Taking it, Mailina says, "I will have one of my apprentices take a look at this tonight, though again, if we find that it can be so empowered, it will have to wait until after the start of Feast of Unmaking at the earliest." With this the party departs.

Heading to the Town Hall, the party notes the building is used for many purposes, from council hall, to jail, the offices of the mayor, and a small medical facility. Entering they talk to Veril and strike a bargain to use the training grounds, with his tutelage at a cost of 500sp/week. A steep price with the proceeds all going to the town, with most being funneled to the construction of the keep. Despite many grumblings, the group soon determines that they will pay the cost asked, better to have good will with the town, and it's constable than the coin holding them back and slowing them down. "Let me pay my thanks for your help with Yolla, for myself and the town. The couple had only recently come to live, but Brandel was here often during the construction of their manor. Many in town are saddened by his death, though happy at Yolla's safe return. It will be a pleasure to spar with you and test your mettle." The group asks about the old abandoned estate, and the constable says, "Yes, the place is cursed or something, there have been many unexplained deaths there." When they say they had heard those stories and thought they might investigate the place for the town, he tells them, "Unfortunately no, the Council has held that none should go in the house without their leave." Asking if they can speak with the council about this they are told, "Perhaps, they are to meet during the Feast of the Unmaking, you can petition them then." Thanking him they leave.

The next week passes fairly quickly, a good camaraderie is built with Veril, his skill is better than that of the PC's, but their muscle strength returns, and the quick twitch muscles improve under his guidance. Cob perhaps the lesser of his compatriots as he would leave early to work on his studies in Mailina's tower. While there he scribes the Silent Image and Obscuring Mists spells on the scroll found into his spell book, and researches a new spell that will allow him to scribe in the Invisibility and Guards and Wards spells as well, if he chooses to do so, since they are beyond his ability to utilize or transcribe. This new spell, Write, will insure that his hand is steady, insuring spells he can utilize will scribe unerringly, and allowing those spells beyond his ability to be written without error. With each spell he transcribes, the writing for it fades from the scroll.

Uthdain 30th, one of the apprentices approaches Cob, "Sir, unfortunately this wand will not accept any additional arcane energy," he points out some small cracks in the wood, "If we try to imbue any power, these will foil those attempts at best, at worst it could cause a missile to go awry." Cob nods and thanks the young woman. "Also, we are reaching the time of the experiment," at this a man enters and speaks with another of the apprentices, delivering another package, he looks over as he hears the woman continue, "I am afraid you will have to leave," as she escorts Cob out of the tower.

Cob returns to the road and begins walking to the west, after about 5-10 minutes the sky lights up with the brightness of day, and a second later a great thunderclap hits him, louder than just about anything he can remember, as he feels the force of the blow. Turning, there is a column of orange with roiling clouds of smoke above it ascending from the top of the tower. Stunned for a moment, he starts to run back towards the tower. Those at Yolla's hear the sound of the explosion, and seeing the mushroom cloud and glow of the fire coming from the east, they quickly run in that direction as well. As Cob draws near, he hears the sounds of others coming from the direction of town, there is a man at the end of the path leading from the road to the tower, waving people in. Veril is heard yelling, "You crazy old man, get out of hear, weak fool!" Coming out of the tower, emerging from the smoke, is the Mayor, Greldor, covered in soot. One of the buckets of water being drawn from a well is handed off to someone that takes the Mayor aside, and helps him clean up, but the sputtering and coughing of the man cannot be easily quelled. The mass of the fires dies down, and Veril exits the tower. A man runs up to him and points at Cob, "That is the man I told you about, I saw him leaving the tower just before this happened!"

Veril looks that the man a bit exasperated, "Are you sure?"

The man nods, "I even heard one of the apprentices tell him to get out, I know he had something to do with this!"

He approaches the party, "Cobb, I am sorry, but you will have to come with me. Your friends can take your possessions, but you are being accused of this crime, I have no choice." The party protests, but Cobb calms them and says that he will submit to this. He knows that he is innocent and believes this will be proven out. Veril turns toward the other man who was turning away, "Wait Erik, you were in the tower just before this you say?" The man turns and nods. "Then you must come with me as well, you are also going to be held until the truth of this matter can be discerned." The man protests. "Enough!," shouts Veril, "You are as much at suspect as this man," he waves at Cob. "You claim to have seen him in the tower, thus you also were in the tower and could be at fault, be silent." The man begins to protest, but Veril pulls his hand back, the man cringes and is cowed.

Shouts come from the tower, "There is one that is alive!" On hearing that a couple of men rush in with a stretcher, when they come down there is a man, severely burned and unconcious, "We found him pinned against the wall, a cabinet on him, it is a miracle, but it must have saved him from the worst of the blast!" Cob has them stop before they leave and casts a cure light wounds spell on him, which soothes some of his wound, but the man remains unconscious. They rush him to the town hall...

Bunny asks Veril, "Can we go in and check the tower?" He denies the request.

Juden states, "But he is our friend we want to prove his innocence, can we stand watch around the tower at least?"

Getting in Judens face, Veril raises his voice, sounding much as he does when instructing at the training grounds, "NO! Your friend is accused yes, that puts at least some suspicion about yourself and these others," as he waves at the rest of the party. "Do you think we could trust you or your opinions in this matter? No, we could not. Perhaps that was part of the plan all along. If you are found near the tower you will be arrested yourself! Now go back to Yolla's, and don't even think about leaving town." As he is staring into Juden's eyes during this, they seem to tell a different story, like he doesn't mean what he is actually saying and want the characters to stay and watch the tower. Juden puts on a mask of anger, and waves to the rest of the party to leave. When out of earshot he tells the party his suspicions. And they plan to set a watch for the remainder of the night. Amiri will take the first watch, and Endrill will take the second. The night passes, with still a bustle of activity, the bucket brigade continuing to hand up buckets, the fire is out for the most part. Nothing seems to stand out to the pair as they report back to their friends.

After taking a brief rest, the group travels in to the Town Hall and talks with Cob, when Veril comes in he says, "My friends, I am sorry for this, I truly believe you are all innocent, but the accusations made required that we hold Cob, but as Erik also told that he was in the tower prior to the blast, he is still here as well. I am sure once we can complete our investigations, you will be exonerated. I ask only for your patience a little longer." They discuss who might have had motive, but Veril does not know any that would have done something like this. He tells them, "Chulto is still unconscious, the clerics have worked what healing arts they have but have not gotten him to awaken. They fear the blow to his head may have caused sever injuries and do not know if he will be able to recover. They cannot say one way or another, they would have thought he would have at least stirred, but nothing as yet." Asking for permission to perform an investigation of their own, Veril agrees and hopes they can find something to help get to the bottom of this. Perhaps it is all just a horrible accident, Rufus will be investigating the tower to see if he can find anything that may have triggered this, or been a catalyst to make the experiment to go awry. He also relates that many of the apprentices often visited the town and held some friendships outside the tower. They ask about investigating the abandoned estate again and are again rebuffed, "Perhaps when Senator Haslithon arrives the Council will meet and you can get permission then." Looking quizzically at him, "Oh, we sent out messenger pigeons last night, and I am sure when he hears of this, the Senator will come with all haste. He was a great friend of Mailina, once colleagues in the Senate before she left."

The group proceeds to the temple of Poseiden, speaking with the priests, they ask if there is anything that can be done to perhaps bring Mailina back from the dead, and they sadly state that no priest of that power is present here. Juden asks about the possibility of speaking with the dead, he had seen that done once at the monastery he had studied at. The cleric stated that he wish it could happen, but that this caused the spirit of the dead to be again linked to their corpse, but the damage caused by the explosion and resulting fires caused damage to them that makes this impossible. The party thanks the priests and leave, discussing their next steps.

It is decided that Amiri and Juden will head into the old fisher town down in the chasm that forms a cove where the docks are built along the Silt Bay, while Endril and Bunny go talk with Rufus. The Ranger and Knight arrive at the pavilion that Rufus works from, but only one would be allowed in to talk with him. Bunny enters and Rufus motions for her to sit and asks what she has come for. Tossing her hair the Knight says, "Well, I was wondering if you had a chance to investigate the tower yet." He tells her that he has not, but once they say the last of the hot spots are out he will be heading up. "Did you know the Sorceress?" she asks. He responds that he did, not well, but that the former Senator had lobbied for this keep to be built, so he has had many discussions with her about the placement, and how to best work for the protection of the people here. "Anyone that you know that might have had ill will with her?" To which he replied, "No, oh sure she had those in the Senate that were opposed to her in many things, including this keep, but none that would go this far." Bunny thanks the man as she leaves, and offers her aid, as well as that of the others of the company should he have need.

Juden and Amiri head down to the old original part of the town, now little more than slums where the independent fishermen live, as well as many of the laborers of the town, they find there are two taverns in the area, one known simply as "Tavern" the other is the Slippery Eel. When they learn of the two, the look at each other and say at the same time, "The Slippery Eel." Wending through the streets of the old village, they note the place is dirty, the people look to be poor, and the smell of fish pervades the area. They reach the Eel and take a seat at the bar. The barkeep, Ingvol, looks at them, "A bit fancy for the Eel aren't ya? Not that I mind we get the fancy folk here at times, the prices are lower here," he winks at them, "and ya kin find some action here that ya might not up above, eh?" he laughs. "What is yer pleasure?" To which the pair ask for ale. The man grabs a couple of mugs from behind the bar, looking in them he blows in one of them and taps it upside down on the bar before taking the top off of a barrel and dipping the mugs in. Setting them before the pair he asks for 5 copper. Looking at the drinks dubiously, Juden takes a small sip from his, while the brew is strong, it tastes horrible. The pair talk with Ingvol, asking about the Sorceress and if anyone might have a grudge with her. "Ah, terrible that is that she died, but then again, she was the one responsible bringing those stiff's in here with that keep, so perhaps it isn't so bad after all. But no, I don't know anyone who would have done dat." They ask a few more questions, not getting anything much of worth, they leave, leaving their mugs full.

Heading back to Marik's Tavern up near the bridge over the river in the upper portion of the town, where they are to meet with Bunny and Endrill, they enter to see the pair already seated at a table. They join them and order ale and lunch, the wench, a comely blonde brings it to them. They ask her about the town and the Sorceress, she is distraught over the loss of the woman, "She was kind and often would help others in town." When they ask about the abandoned estate, fear comes over her face, "That place is haunted, the ghosts there kill people you know, I would never go near that place." They finish their lunch and exit the tavern, Endrill notices a bird flying into the coop above the Town Hall. The group decides to head to the townhall, in the hopes that they can hear word of the tidings brought by the bird. This one had returned from a keep in northern Brindsium, they are sending troops in for additional security, as well as Senator Haslithon, whom was spending time for the festival with the lord of the keep, he should arrive by ship in a few days. The group pretends to have come in to talk with Cob when Veril comes down reading the message and relating what it says to them. As they are talking the healer comes in to tell Veril that Kerin, the surviving apprentice, had awakened, he can talk with him, but for a short time.

The apprentice when queried relates what he remembered, "We were working the rituals when something odd happened. Chulto, showed up in the chamber. He wasn't supposed to be there, he was sent out somewhere by the Sorceress, where exactly I can't remember. It was strange, there was some sort shimmering around him. He hit me as he jumped onto the dias, it knocked me off the platform and as he impacted my mistress, grabbing for the Orb she was working the ritual on, there was a bright flash and I felt heat, and slammed into the wall before everything went black. And I don't remember anything until waking up now." Veril asked a few other questions, finally asking why Chulto might have done this, but the apprentice said he didn't know, Chulto was soon to complete his apprenticeship, maybe he just got power hungry, but he doesn't know. The healing woman came back in and told them they had to leave, that Kerin needs his rest.

As they are leaving Bunny asked about Chulto and if there were any in town he was friendly with, to which Veril said, "He frequented with many in town, but he did seem to take a special liking to Marik's daughter, Graetta. And I know he spent time in the workers camp at the construction site." He doesn't have any other details to share with them about the apprentice.

Both Cob and Erik are freed from their cells and Erik looks at Cob, apologizing, "I am sorry sir, what I saw and heard, and the explosion happening just after you left..." He holds his head down, Cob accepts his apology and tells him that he will hold no grudge, he understood why that would be seen as suspicious. Erik leaves as they talk further with Veril before leaving the Town Hall.

Talking with the others, perhaps the wench serving them might have been this girl Veril spoke of, so they decided to return to the tavern. The young blond was happy seeing them return, "Oh back so soon," she smiled thinking of the tip the party left the last time they were here. Bunny asks her about Chulto, and the girl brightens even more with a broad smile, "Chulto is a good friend of mine, he is not in town though, the Sorceress sent him about west to see some sage, Her.. Har... Harold or something like that, he left a few weeks ago and was to be gone a couple of months, I was sad to see him go, but all things considered, I am glad he wasn't here." She covers her mouth, "Oh that sounds terrible, I just mean if he was here he would probably be d... d... no I can't even say it." Bunny relates what was learned from Kerin, and the girl breaks down shouting, "NO! THAT CAN'T BE TRUE!!! NOT CHULTO, HE WAS KIND AND WOULD NEVER HURT ANYONE!" As she continues her father comes over and tries to console her, Bunny asks him about the young man, "I though he was a good man, he and my Graetta spent much time together, he had even recently come to me to ask, no I can't say that now." Bunny tries to pry, but he holds up a hand and says, "Not now! Let me take her back."

When he leaves another young man walks over, "May I join you for a moment?" When the party says yes, he says, "My name is Jorus, I work up at Brek's Ranch, I could not help but overhear Graetta's dismay. She loves Chulto, but he is not the good man he pretends to be. I caught him once, just outside the ranch, he was tearing a live chicken apart, slowly, a sadistic look on his face as he did so. I confronted him on this and took the chicken and broke it's neck to put the poor thing out of it's misery. He kept everyone fooled, no one would believe me, perhaps they will now." He says this with no glee, but stating it with a seriousness that bordered on sadness. "That scum used to spend quite a bit of time down in the old town, who knows what he did down there, but I bet he fed his darker desires there. I feel sorry for that young lady, to have her dreams torn from her by this foul creature." They party questioned him on Chulto's current whereabouts, but he said he hadn't seen him for a while and wasn't sure where he might be. Though he said, "Mailina did often send her apprentices out on various tasks and they could be gone for months at times." After a bit of additional talking, he states that he needs to get back to work, the party thanked him.

The group again decides to split with Bunny, Cob, and Endril going back to the construction site to talk with the workers that Chulto might have befriended, while Juden and Amiri were going to head back down to talk to Ingvol at the Slippery Eel again.

Reaching the workers camp, they find that the workers here have frequent turnover, but two have been around for some time, and were often seen with Chulto. Seeking them out they ask the pair about the apprentice and learn much of the same, that the pair was surprised that he would do something like this, when asked about where he was sent to, they said that he was heading to a town called Kandus to see an astrologer but they could not remember his name. They haven't seen him in a while so they thought he had gone there. Giving the pair some silver, they grin and as the party is walking away they hear one say, "Lets not tell anyone else, this is for us..." The pair then decides to scout out the abandoned estate before returning to the tavern to meet their friends. The place is in disrepair, a pair of doors, the more ornate on the sea side of the manor, with a smaller entry on a cracked and overgrown patio. The windows are exceptionally dirty, but all are intact. Where they can see into the house they see rooms in disarray. They search to see if they can find any evidence of recent passage, but the grounds covered with weeds, tall grasses, and dried leaves, they find no evidence of such. Bunny thinks that is a good sign that perhaps the house does not have anything to do with the explosion as they had begun to think, Endrill sighs and says, "I know you are not very wise in the ways of the forests, but conditions like this are extremely easy to use to cover your tracks. So even if someone did come this way, if they knew what they are doing, they would be able to hide their passage easily." Bunny looked crestfallen, and says, "Then unless we want to go in, there is nothing else we can do here now." Cob says they should not go inside, and Endrill nods her head and motions back towards town.

The half-orc and monk make their way back to the Slippery Eel. Ingvol sees them and laughs, "Did ya realize you didn't drink yer ale and come back fer it?" The pair laughs with him and orders another pair of ale's and asks the barkeep if they knew Chulto. His face grows a bit more serious, "Yes, he was here quite often. He enjoyed the girls you know?" He winks and smiles. When asking about where he might be, he said that he didn't know, but called over one of the wenches, "Sarha here knew him, honey come here."

The girl walked up swinging her hips, looking the pair of adventurers over, she smiled, "Oh are you a couple, do you come as a package?"

Ingvol growls, "Quiet, they are not here for that kind of business, they are looking for information, do you know where Chulto went?" She stammered and stuttered and when a silver coin was produced she said that he went out east somewhere, maybe even all the way to Brindsium City. Juden and Amiri look at each other and Amiri asks if the girl knew who he was going to see, to which she replied, "Someone called Boras I think." Amiri said she knew she was lying and sent her away.

Ingvol scowled at the girl, "Why did you lie? We will discuss this later..." he waved the girl away. "If Frieda was here she'd know more, she was his favorite, if you know what I mean." he give a lurid grin. Asking where Frieda is he says, "I don't know she didn't come in to work a few days back and I haven't seen her since." Seeing another girl, "Ah he was with Helga before, and she is a good friend of Frieda, Helga, come here." When she was near he asked, "Helga, I know I've asked before, but these two are also looking for information on Chulto, and we think Frieda may know more. Do you know where she is?"

"No," the wench says, "I wish I did, I am worried about her." Amiri asks about Chulto, "He was scum, you know, he liked the rough stuff, and that wasn't for me, not for any amount. Frieda seemed to like it, though I tried to talk her out of it she wouldn't listen." When asked if she knew anything else about Chulto, "Well Frieda did say he was going to see someone out west, the guy's name is Heirald, some smart guy or something." The girl didn't have any more information for them, they gave her a silver piece and left the Eel, again, their mugs still full of ale.

On their way out of the slums Juden notices that a figure in a hooded black cloak is following them. He alerts Amiri and they decide to continue to see if the person follows them out of the slums. Before they exit the area they are assailed by a pair of thugs, brandishing short swords the thugs attack, but the monk and barbarian quickly dispatch them, but the man in the hood appeared behind them again and throws a dagger that sinks into the back of the monk. The monks spins and takes a few steps towards the would-be assassin, then suddenly his head spins as the world does before his eyes, he sinks to a knee and begins vomiting profusely. Amiri didn't seem to notice this and rushes after the man that had ducked around a corner. When she reaches that corner she finds that the man had disappeared. Returning to the monk, she helps him walk as his strength has faded from him, as he continues to heave every dozen or so steps. Getting him back to the medical facilities at the Town Hall. The healer takes the dagger and smells and tastes the glistening portion of the blade that did not sink into Judens back. She makes a face of disgust and reaches into a cabinet and tosses some herbs to an aid, "Steep that is some water to make a tea." She grabs some other ingredients and takes them to a mortise and pestle, working them together to make a poultice that she applies to the monk's wound, black tentacles extending out over his back from the puncture, before attaching a bandage. The monk feels a sting, the the antiseptic effect of the poultice numbs the pain, and drinking the tea the nausea passes. "He will be weak for a day or two, but should heal up quickly after that."

Kerin's eyes go wide when he sees the dagger, "That looks like Chulto's dagger, see there on the pommel, that is his families crest."

Amiri looks at him as Veril walks in, asking what happened. Amiri relates the story before asking the constable to let their friends know, and to have them meet back at Yolla's place...

Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:51 am
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