Campaign of the Month: January 2013

DANgerous Kalamar 4

Crucible Adventure Log
Session Listing

Part I
Session: Title: Date Played: Absentee Players:
Session 1 A Volunteer Assembly Pt.1 Apr. 06, 2012 -
Session 2 A Volunteer Assembly Pt.2 Apr. 13, 2012 -
Session 3 The Journey Begins Apr. 20, 2012 -
Session 4 Hometown Burdon Apr. 27, 2012 -
Session 5 Lnonven… May 04, 2012 FalseParadigm (Gram), Eviltim (Hilg)
Session 6 The Replacements May 11, 2012 -
Session 7 At Last! Itven! May 18, 2012 sagatalpha (Stoat)
Session 8 Itven Investigation Pt.1 May 25, 2012 sagatalpha (Stoat), Eviltim (Hilg)
Session 9 Itven Investigation Pt.2 Jun. 01, 2012 FalseParadigm (Gram)
Session 10 Discovery at Bolnven Jun. 08, 2012 -
Session 11 The Dark Lady Jun. 15, 2012 FalseParadigm (Gram)
Session 12 Battle of Bolnven Jun. 22, 2012 FalseParadigm (Gram)
Part II
Session: Title: Date Played: Absentee Players:
Session 13 Trail of Vleddril Pt.1 Jul. 06, 2012 -
Session 14 Trail of Vleddril Pt.2 Jul. 13, 2012 FalseParadigm (Gram)
Session 15 Liberation Assault Pt.1 Jul. 20, 2012 FalseParadigm (Gram)
Session 16 Liberation Assault Pt.2 Jul. 27, 2012 FalseParadigm retired from game
Session 17 The Voyage Home Aug. 10, 2012 -
Session 18 A Brief Respite Aug. 17, 2012 GTB on hiatus (stuck working nights)
Session 19 Rise of the Fang Pt.1 Aug. 24, 2012 -
Session 20 Rise of the Fang Pt.2 Aug. 31, 2012 sagatalpha (Stoat)
Session 21 Detour to Durlden Sept. 07, 2012 Eviltim (Hilg)
Session 22 Battle of Ldamven Sept. 14, 2012 Eviltim (Hilg)
Session 23 Invasion! Sept. 21, 2012 -
Session 24 Aspect, Ascendant Pt.1 Oct. 05, 2012 sagatalpha (Stoat)
Part III
Session: Title: Date Played: Absentee Players:
Session 25 Aspect, Ascendant Pt.2 Oct. 12, 2012 Doombinger (Rarnok)
Session 26 Temple of Brovadol Pt.1 Oct. 19, 2012 -
Session 27 Temple of Brovadol Pt.2 Oct. 26, 2012 -
Session 28 Journey to P’Bapar Nov. 02, 2012 -
Session 29 Into the Voldorwoods Nov. 09, 2012 -
Session 30 Boulder’s Betrayal Nov. 23, 2012 -
Session 31 Against Aspects Pt.1 Nov. 30, 2012 -
Session 32 Against Aspects Pt.2 Dec. 07, 2012 -
Session 33 Campaign in Korak Dec. 14, 2012 -
Session 34 A New Investigation Dec. 21, 2012 sagatalpha (Stoat)
Session 35 The Patrol Dec. 28, 2012 sagatalpha (Stoat), Eviltim (Arkus)
Session 36 Challenge to the Death Jan. 04, 2013 -
Part IV
Session: Title: Date Played: Absentee Players:
Session 37 Godspawn Revelation Jan. 18, 2013 Eviltim
Session 38 The Sun Slayer Jan. 25, 2013 -
Session 39 Destination: Salido Feb. 01, 2013 -
Session 40 Blast from the Past Feb. 08, 2013 -
Session 41 Minion of Malice Feb. 15, 2013 -
Session 42 Portal of Nine Hells Feb. 22, 2013 -
Session 43 Circle of Exarchs Mar. 01, 2013 -
Session 44 The Turning Point? Mar. 15, 2013 -
Session 45 The Shadow Fortress Pt.1 Mar. 22, 2013 -
Session 46 The Shadow Fortress Pt.2 Apr. 19, 2013 -
Session 47 The Void Mother Apr. 26.2013 Eviltim (Azravan)
Session 48 Undeath, undone May 03, 2013 -
Part V
Session: Title: Date Played: Absentee Players:
Session 49 Know Torment May 17, 2013 -
Session 50 Eyes of the Deep May 31, 2013 -
Session 51 Incognito Jun. 07, 2013 Eviltim (Azravan)
Session 52 Descent into Darkness Jun. 14, 2013 Doombinger (Rarnok)
Session 53 Endgame Jun. 21, 2013 -
Session 53 “Endgame” will be available to read soon!

 

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A Volunteer Assembly Pt.1
A Volunteer Assembly Pt.1
The Party







Companions

"I shall always remember it as if it were but yesterday. The kingdom of Cosdol, the place of my birth and the home I have known all of my days, was beset by adversity. It was 1043 Y.K. and a great tsunami had washed over the eastern shore of the Voldor Bay, wreaking havoc in its wake. Thousands died in that terrible tragedy, and thousands more were left with nothing but ruined homes and waterlogged corpses. Refugees flocked to the capital city of Cosolen, seeking succor.

Initially, these poor souls were met with open arms and offered charity. However, as their numbers grew by order of magnitude, they soon exceeded the ability of even the capital to house and support them. The city’s officials began to turn them away, encouraging them to seek aid in other parts of the realm, but still they came… even the passage of a year’s time did not cease their arrival. The ruling elite debated the matter endlessly, but could reach no consensus.

It was during this time, that Prince Sevlen – being a kind and chivalrous man, and sympathetic to the plight of the refugees – reluctantly permitted the creation of a shanty town outside the city’s walls that became colloquially known as Eastpeg. The conditions were squalid, and food was scarce. Thieves and scoundrels were said to roam the muddy paths between tents and arguments over scraps of land were commonplace. There were brawls, assaults, and occasionally, even murders.

The honorable city watchmen bore the brunt of these burdens. Where they once policed a genteel citizenry, they now were forced into the role of hated minions of the establishment and compelled to engage in argumentative confrontations with the increasingly numerous and often cantankerous (if not outright violent) throngs of refugees. Further stressing them, the economic despair inculcated a criminal element hitherto unknown in Cosolen.

Amidst these hardships, reports from those settlements remaining in the lands east of the Voldor Bay were both numerous and alarming. Wild beasts roamed the ruins of villages and towns; villains unchecked by the order of civilization grew more bold; disappearances and missing persons were recorded throughout the region; and finally, humanoid war bands were mobilizing at the edges of civilized lands, and raided the outskirts with near impunity.

Indeed by every estimation, the well being of the kingdom hung by the finest of threads. Chaos loomed on a dark horizon, and uncertainty pulled at the strings of every heart. More so than at any time since, new heroes were needed to assist the overwhelmed defenders of peace and tranquility."

- Except from “Crucible of the Blacksoul”
  Written by: Glandal Volren, 1070 Y.K.



In the aftermath of the disastrous Voldor Bay tidal wave, Cosolen – capital of the Kingdom of Cosdol has become the makeshift home of thousands of citizens displaced by the devastation. Despite the passage of a year’s time, refugees continue to flock to the city, far exceeding its ability to house and support them. Urged by the city’s ruling elite to seek aid in other parts of the realm, the destitute mass of humanity has instead established a massive, ever-growing shantytown that has come to be known as Eastpeg. While a generous harvest has thus far provided some measure of relief to the increased need of food, the sheer number of refugees heavily burdens the economy.

Amidst this hardship, reports from the remaining settlements of the Voldor Bay region have poured into the capital. Wild beasts have been spotted exploring the ruins of villages and towns; villains unchecked by the Crown’s reduced patrols grow increasingly more bold; disappearances have been recorded across the area; and humanoid raiders are mobilizing at the edges of civilized lands. Chaos threatens and fear is taking hold. With the well-being of the kingdom hanging by a thread, new heroes are needed to assist the overwhelmed defenders of peace.

Diaday, First of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

With support from prominent members of the religious community of Cosolen, Headmaster Glandal Volren of the Cosolen Military Academy has procured a commission to appoint investigators on the Crown’s behalf to aid a small town in need of assistance. The party comes together as one of the volunteer teams seeking to be chosen for the task. But they must first prove themselves by besting their competition in a series of challenges designed to determine who possesses the necessary skills and dedication for the assignment.

Given the remainder of the day and the night to prepare and rest, each member of the party makes ready in their own way. While his companions make themselves comfortable, Stoat uses his time to visit a contact out in the city proper – the alchemist Plenthal Levnis – to continue his training in the craft of poison making.

Pelsday, Second of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

The party assembles under the watchful eye of the High-Elf priestess Zelaena Onaeriel – one team amongst four – to face their first test, dubbed the “Tankard Challenge”. With tankards of ale depicting the suspects of a fictitious murder mystery, the party must ‘unmask the killer’ by avoiding the poisoned drink in a toast with dire consequences for failure.

The tense moment following the toast quickly passes as the group learns their choice was indeed the correct one. But where to go now? The murderer’s tankard proves to hold more than poisoned ale, and a strange key leads the party on a search of the Academy grounds to find its matching lock. Persistent investigation pays off and the magic of the key is soon uncovered. The door is found but proves to be both stubborn and dangerous in its own right.

Meliantan Daheriel finds himself petrified with but a single touch of the door’s handle, forcing the remainder of the group to take extra precaution (and in the case of Brendolm Minel – reconsider participation in the challenges). Gram Swiftaxe attempts a complex application of force using rope and makeshift pulley, but is unable to open the door. In the end, the group gains entry via a rear window and removes both magically sealed door and frame for good measure.

Inside, an illusion hides the true condition of the room, and its wounded occupant. Maldus Randorian and the recovered Meliantan are able to see the room for what it really is, and help their friends look past the false landscape presented by the spell. The wounded man, Jiffar speaks of the villains who ransacked the room and kidnapped his roommate Jaren.

Having now completed the second challenge by discovering the identity of the kidnapped victim and the location where he is held, the party readies itself for the final test…a daring rescue mission from the training area known as “The Fort”.

Read about this session from the eyes of Meliantan Daheriel in his book The Wanderings of Windfeather

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A Volunteer Assembly Pt.2
A Volunteer Assembly Pt.2
The Party







Companions

Having been lead to within sight of “The Fort” by their new acquaintance Jiffar, the Party is greeted by the Headmaster and informed that their final challenge is to rescue the student Jaren, held captive within the walls of the training complex. “The Fort” itself is an imposing structure, with a sturdy palisade and a man-made moat. Posted guardians stand at key points atop the wall – armed with longspears and missile weapons.

Pelsday, Second of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

The Party substitutes their arms for non-lethal practice weapons, under the trained eye of Academy weapons instructor Frenid Rolcon – and are provided with one charge wands to replace destructive spells…it is only a test after all.

Dividing their resources, the group splits up to learn what they can about “The Fort” and its defenders, as well as to seek out aid in the form of additional manpower. Burdon and Brendolm scour the grounds, seeking willing participants to help siege the defensive position. Meliantan seeks help of a different sort, but his attempt to reinforce the Party with Cosolen city guardsmen is ultimately unsuccessful. Stoat and Gram slip away for a scouting mission, while Maldus distracts “The Fort’s” wall guardians with holy scripture. Hilg seeks greater weaponry, but is unable to acquire it.

The scouting mission takes a turn for the worse when Gram is spotted by “The Fort’s” defenders and forced to withdraw. Alone at the base of the defended walls, Stoat puts his small size to good use and finds a point of entrance in a drainage pipe. With no way to contact his allies on the outside, Stoat attempts to connect with the only friendly person he can, the prisoner Jaren. A valiant attempt to liberate the hostage ends with the Halfling added to the dungeon’s cell.

Outside, Brendolm and Burdon return with a dozen willing hands and ladders to mount an assault of the mini-complex. Gram, unwilling to leave his friend stranded behind enemy lines, redoubles his efforts and manages to infiltrate the compound and join Stoat and Jaren in a fight against the dungeon’s jailors. The struggle goes unheard by the rest of “The Fort’s” occupants, who find themselves preoccupied with the arrival of a much larger raiding party than anticipated.

The battle begins and the Party finds that despite being outnumbered, the guardians of “The Fort” are tough defenders and give no quarter. Their fortifications even the playing field and the invading force suffers many unconscious ‘casualties’, including five of the seven group members. In the end, the battle is won and “The Fort” overcome. Meliantan laid “The Fort’s” captain low with wand in hand while Stoat withdrew with Jaren to the safety of the Headmaster’s observation post. A horn sounds the end of the clash and the party is declared the winners of the Academy challenges.

A brief celebration precedes a trip to the Palace of Prince Sevlen, where Burdon finds that a past performance has earned him great esteem in the eyes of the Prince – who quickly demands a song to be played for his Court. The Bard’s performance awes the crowd and validates the Prince’s words of praise, allowing the group to move onward to the details of their commission.

Away from the eyes of the Court, Prince Sevlen reveals that the disappearance of a squad of guardsmen in the small town of Itven has hampered the movement of valuable minerals mined from the Napalago Hills. Unable to distribute the ore to the northern territories of the kingdom due to the lock down of the valued port, the Kingdom stands on the verge of being economically cut in two, which would surely lead to even greater difficulties in undoing the damage caused by the great tidal wave.

Provided with a payment for traveling expenses, and the Golden Alliance teamster Roth to track the journey’s finances, the Party strikes a deal with both the Prince and the powerful merchant guild. A 60/40 split with Prince Sevlen and the Prince’s cut made up to the group on behalf of the Golden Alliance for maintaining their lucrative trade routes. The agreement is signed and the party rests, ready to depart at first light.

Read about this session from the eyes of Meliantan Daheriel in his book The Wanderings of Windfeather

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The Journey Begins
The Journey Begins
The Party







Companions



Now officially declared as the Cosolen Military Academy’s investigative unit, and having been given Letters of Commission from Prince Sevlen, the time has come for the Party to make final preparations for their journey from Cosolen to Itven. The Golden Alliance teamster Roth agrees to meet with the Group once all purchases of equipment and provisions have been made.

Katarday, Third of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

Moving quickly about the crowded streets and markets of Cosolen, the Party members acquire necessities for the trip, and say goodbyes to friends and family. Stoat returns to the alchemy shop of Plenthal Levnis and purchases equipment to continue his training of poison craft where time permits; Maldus and Meliantan procure tents and travel bedding, while Burdon and Gram see to food, rations and feed – and the hiring of a cook to accompany the team.

Standing firm on the matter of hazard pay in the event of combat, the cook Malmir Rondnel proves to be a bit stubborn, but nonetheless fair, and comes under the employ of Gram Swiftaxe and the investigative unit. He is instructed to meet up with Roth and the party members at the Military Academy once all supplies have been gathered.

Meanwhile, Brendolm receives a pair of visitors – his cousin, the Cleric Thespian Dendrala and his younger sister Leshia. After warm greetings are exchanged, Leshia informs her brother that she has come to request a portion of the money he was given by Prince Sevlen. With their father off seeking glory, their mother dead, one sister taken in a raid and another paralyzed, Leshia states that she and the youngest Minel sibling Briet cannot adequately maintain the family’s farm by themselves.

Requesting 60 gp for the hiring of five field hands, one personal aid and a mercenary to protect the farm over the three summer months, Leshia is overwhelmed when Brendolm instead gifts her with a writ for 300 gp, his entire share of the travel money granted by the Prince. The pair travel to the temple of the Courts of Justice where the services of Grandon Minguld, a fellow Paladin of The True, are acquired to look after the Minel homestead in Brendolm’s absence.

Elsewhere, the Half-Orc Druid Hilg revisits his mentor Welitryn Harrobalaea and uses his portion of the travel money on valuable potions of magical healing. Six potions are granted and the eager Druid makes his way back to the Academy grounds. By mid morning, the Party is finally gathered and ready to depart the safety of the Kingdom’s capital.

Outside the cities walls, the Party’s first obstacle is the shanty town of Eastpeg. Thieves and ruffians alike seek to challenge the Group, but quickly find such efforts fruitless. While Brendolm single-handedly delivers a would be thief to the city’s guardsmen, the remainder of the group stands its ground against an assembly of the vile Pox gang. The arcane arts of Meliantan Daheriel prove potent indeed, and the villainous scum scatter like so many rats.

As the group moves onward a full day’s travel away from the city, their sleep is interrupted when the Pox returns seeking vengeance for their earlier slight. Standing his ground against the charging thugs, Burdon yells forth a warning, rousing his slumbering companions. Even with the element of surprise, the criminals prove no match for the Party and are soundly defeated. Of the attackers, three remain. Two in custody and one – the roguish Defon – amongst the Party’s number, having lost his memories to the witchcraft of a summoned Fey.

Fireday, Fourth of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

Scouting ahead of the Group’s wagon on the back of Kir, his faithful companion and riding dog, Gram spots a large force bearing the banners of the Young Kingdoms nation of P’Bapar. Known to be trading allies with the kingdom of Cosdol, the caravan of merchants and mercenaries soon makes camp for the night and contact is made with the Party. The language barrier between the Party and the caravan’s forward guard is overcome by Meliantan Daheriel, and the group is invited to share the campsite and learn of the caravan’s run in with the bloodthirsty Broken Fang Orcs.

As Maldus offers the gifts of his healing magic to injured caravan guardsmen, the mercenary captain of P’Bapar tells of the orcish attack, a host of some four hundred or more orcish warriors. Worse still, the body of one of the fallen orc leaders is brought forth, and shown to be wearing fully plated armor, custom fitted to his humanoid corpse. While potentially a random acquisition on the part of this particular orc, both the Party and the P’Bapar mercenary captain suspect something more. None sleep easily that night, but they manage, all except Hilg who is plagued with nightmares of vicious slaughter from rampaging orcs.

Homeday, Fifth of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

Bidding farewell to the merchant caravan, the Party resumes its journey with a renewed sense of urgency. The heat of the summer sun begins to take its toll on the Group, but they persevere, unwilling to be deterred. Pressing on a full two hours past their normal day’s travel, the Party comes at last to the walled town of Ldamven. Exhausted and in need of rest, the Group is happy to turn over their Pox prisoners to the local constabulary and take up rooms at the “Silver Pony Inn” where the comfort of civilization and warm beds await them.

Godday, Sixth of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

Rejuvenated after a night of peaceful slumber, members of the Party are approached by the town’s constable with good news, the Pox prisoners were wanted men, with prices on their heads. Going forth with ledgers in hand, Brendolm and Roth make their way to the office of Ldamven’s magistrate who issues forth a tidy sum of 140 gp. Brendolm is also given a listing of two hundred names, people who have been reported missing both in Ldamven and from neighboring farms and villages.

Containing no obvious pattern, the listing of missing persons is added to the Group’s documents and the Party prepares to investigate the next matter brought to their attention, word of ruins a scant four miles to the north, after an ogre sighting on the outskirts of town.

Read about this session from the eyes of Meliantan Daheriel in his book The Wanderings of Windfeather

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Hometown Burdon
Hometown Burdon
The Party







Companions





With the safety of Cosolen but a distant memory, the Party’s arrival to Ldamven offered a chance for rest in warm beds and to be relieved of their Pox prisoners. A visit with the local magistrate had provided the Group a list of missing persons and a possible suspect for some of those on it… on ogre recently slain by the town’s soldiers.

Godday, Sixth of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

Thinking that perhaps the ogre slain by the town’s soldiers has been responsible for some of the missing persons, Brendolm suggests the Party start at the ruins four miles north of town and see if there is any evidence that the ogre used it as a lair and perhaps if any missing persons or remains can be found. Burdon and Gram decide to ask around town first and learn that the place was once the home of a “powerful warlock”, said to have been an eccentric man.

Leaving Malmir and the wagon safely in town, the rest of the group moves north on foot or mount to the ruins, where a second ogre is discovered. Roth and Defon stay to the rear as the Group attacks the beast and renders it unconscious. Scouring the grounds reveals a Locked Chest, and a staircase to the tower cellar that can only be reached by someone incredibly small. Stoat manages to slip through and finds a lovely Elven woman trapped down below, who immediately charms him with a successful Gaze.

Under the charms of this vision of beauty, Stoat no longer concerns himself with questions such as ‘how has she survived down here all this time without any supplies?’ and instead focuses on helping his friends clear away enough rubble to free her. Meliantan and Roth are sent back to town to return with the wagon, as the Party digs and moves rocks for the remainder of the day and into the night to free the muse down below.

Once freed, the Elven woman Dokari refuses to leave without her possessions, a footlocker trunk that she is unable to move on her own. The PCs grow increasingly suspicious of her behavior and soon discover she is an illusion, apparently being maintained by someone, somewhere. Of specific note was a pristine crystal ball – which Dokari refuses to be away from at anytime. Roth’s return with the wagon interrupts the issue and the Group decides to take the item back to Ldamven and explore it further within the safety of the walls.

The Party loads the unconscious ogre onto the wagon and returns to the town. Dokari accompanies them for the four miles, an amazing feat for an illusion so far as anyone in the group can tell. Once back in Ldamven, Brendolm insists on ensuring the acquisition of the item is in line with their commission so the Party once again returns to the magistrate, who agrees to consider the matter and look over the Letters of Commission carefully. The ogre is turned over to the town’s constable, who states his intention to question the beast.

Veshday, Seventh of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

Checking in with the magistrate, the Group learns that he agrees with their interpretation of the letters, and that the crystal ball belongs to them. It is given over to Meliantan who seeks out a fine pearl and casts an identify spell to learn the orbs’ secrets. He discovers that the item is in fact intelligent and that Dokari is the illusionary ‘body’ of this mind. Someone (Argenon?) has invested a great deal of time and energy into enchanting permanent spells onto this crystal ball…spells intending to turn this intelligent item into a ‘lifeform’ for sorts.

Meliantan and Dokari speak and agree to help one another reach their respective goals. She tells him that her former master, the wizard Argenon Remel was working with her until he left some twenty years ago and never returned. Meanwhile, the others learn that the interrogation of the ogre was successful and that the beasts were driven away from their normal area of the mountains by orcs who killed many other ogres. Stoat uses tooth and nail taken during the interrogation and turns them to a small profit.

Having found no clues to the missing persons for the time being, the Party relaxes for the remainder of the day and readies to depart the following morning to continue onward toward Itven. A local locksmith, Smitty is hired to open the strongbox and create a key for it, as well as to repair some minor damage. He does so and instructs Gram that the box can be picked up first thing in the morning. Stoat purchases a set of locksmiths tools, and after a minor attempt to swindle the tradesman, comes up without the desired masterwork set he wanted.

Diaday, Eighth of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

Departing at first light, the Group leaves the town of Ldamven and resumes its course along the coastal roadway. Set to pass next through the hamlet of Ewden, Burdon requests the group go around, but is unable to sway the others. The detour would certainly be large and would delay the Party greatly. The Bard sighs heavily, and when pressed as to his reasoning, reluctantly admits to originating from the tiny fishing settlement.

After the full days’ travel, the group arrives to the hamlet well into the night, a fact that Burdon is thankful for. They find a spot on the common room floor of the “Saucy Wench” and stay as near to the fire as they’re able. The little inn isn’t much, but it is certainly more hospitable than the water soaked ground outside, courtesy of heavy rains the night before. Hilg finds that for the fourth night in a row, he is again assaulted by dark nightmares in his sleep.

Pelsday, Ninth of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

Intending on the briefest of visits, the Party speaks to the first authority figure they can find, the young Drut Neln, son of the Reeve. Neln is a brutish man, and displays a readily apparent dislike for Burdon or “Burdie” as he refers to him. His cruelty and corruption are obvious, so Brendolm seeks out the Reeve, Mirtran Neln to investigate further. The Reeve proves to be a bit less than honorable, but offers to exchange a favor in return for the Party to motivate the hamlet’s serfs to greater returns.

Investigation finds that the quotas placed onto the workers are far greater than their simple number can hope to achieve, which leads the Party to speak to the greater authority of the Bailiff, Esel Dolmonostor. A fully unconcerned man, Esel begrudgingly agrees to accompany the Group to see the foul treatment of the peasants. Sir Purthal Voren, the reluctant lord and protector of the hamlet goes as well, and both are unhappy with the results of their trust in the Nelns.

With assurances from both Bailiff Dolmonostor and Sir Voren to fully investigate the actions of the Nelns and to improve conditions in the hamlet, the Party makes ready to move onward. Stoat reveals to his friends that he has acquired the ledger of Drut Neln, containing proof of illegal profit, while Burdon provides 30gp to be given to his wife and two daughters. He also vows to square up with his old rival at a later, more convenient time.

The road to Lnonven proves to be an interesting one, as a disabled wagon still attached to its horses is found alongside the roadway. The Party can at first find nothing else, until Maldus Randorian hears a distant woman’s scream and spurs the Group into action. A troupe of bandits gives chase to a young woman, having slain her brother on the hillside. The Party engages the fiends, and quickly end the confrontation, making prisoners of some of the men.

The young woman introduces herself as Cosva and tells of how she and her brother were making their way home to Lnonven when the men disabled their wagon and tried to take her. Burdon learns that his youngest daughter Aemys Brazebay has stowed away aboard the Party’s wagon, an issue that annoys him greatly and forces the question of how to return her. Meliantan reveals a fine locket on the person of one of the men, a locket that Brendolm instantly recognizes as belonging to his sister Regila Minel, who was taken from his family’s homestead by raiders several months ago. Brendolm makes special note of the man who bore the locket and the Group presses on, arriving to Lnonven with Aemys, Cosva, the slain brother and the prisoners at nightfall.

Read about this session from the eyes of Meliantan Daheriel in his book The Wanderings of Windfeather

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Lnonven...
Lnonven…
The Party







Companions





Following the investigation and gains at Ldamven, and having set into motion changes in the hamlet of Ewden, the Party’s trek to Lnonven was fret with both danger and revelations. The would-be kidnapper Sevrinvaln Limnurn was found to possess the locket of Brendolm’s kidnapped sister Regila; Aemys Brazebay was found to have stowed away in the Party’s wagon; and the young woman Cosva had been saved.

Katarday, Tenth of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

After a night’s rest at Lnonven’s “Flying Leviathan”, Brendolm questioned the villainous Sevrinvaln Limnurn as to his possession of Regila Minel’s Locket. The thug revealed that he was in the employ of the vile criminal Grusenomar Vleddril, a terror of a man with a knack for murder and mayhem. He went on to explain that Vleddril had been the previous bearer of the locket, having taken it from the neck of Regila after he had lead the raid on the Minel hometead. Limnurn himself had merely acquired it in a card game, played against Grusenomar while the men had been in Ldesden together.

Thoroughly disgusted by the reprehensible man, the Party turned him over to the local constable, and with Cosva at their side gave sworn statements as to his conduct on the coastal roadway and his participation in the murder of Cosva’s brother. Limnurn and his accomplices were promptly jailed, and set to face the magistrate for their crimes.

Meanwhile, Gram cursed himself after making a discovery of his own. In the Party’s haste to move onward, he had forgotten his Locked Chest back at Smitty’s shop in Ldamven! Anticipating no danger to the Group while within the confines of Lnonven the dwarf elected to make a hasty return trip to reclaim his property. Hilg traveled with him as escort, not wishing to chance his friend becoming a victim to the dangers of the roadway…dangers both had witnessed firsthand.

It was after the departure of two Party members that the relative tranquility of the morning was broken with the arrival of a small cart and the shouting of soldiers from the town’s watch. A local farmer possessing burning acidic injuries writhed in the back of the cart and after being healed by Maldus spoke of beasts from underneath the ground at his farm. He claimed his wife was still there and begged the Party to help her.

The remaining Party members gathered and headed toward the farm, slightly behind the local constable and a squad of his soldiers on horseback. They arrived a short time later to find the soldiers retreating, having lost a man and sustained grievous injuries to a handful of others. The constable stated his intention to return with more men and advised caution if the Party intended to move forward.

Braving onward, the Group spotted the fallen soldier and the farmer’s wife, both motionless on the ground. Moving toward them to investigate further quickly provoked an attack by the farm’s other occupants, a pair of Ankheg! The first beast emerged from the ground, practically on top of the Party and immediately attacked. The second came from the far side of the farm house and began moving toward the Group.

Already at less than full strength with two of their number on the road, the Party found itself in a world of hurt at the conclusion of the battle. The Ankheg had been slain, but at great cost to the Party itself. Maldus and the memory-wiped companion Defon had suffered near fatal wounds, while Meliantan, Burdon and Brendolm lay dead. Only Stoat remained standing, traumatized and unsure of what to do.

The Halfling stood numbly until the return of the constable and his reinforcements. Two dozen soldiers broke down into squads and searched the remaining areas of the farmhouse, barn and shed. No further creatures were discovered. Aided by the constable, Maldus recovered and used his powers of healing to fully repair Defon. The surviving investigators gathered their fallen brethren and retreated to Lnonven.

Brendolm was reincarnated at a local temple to The True after an arrangement was made to pay a portion of the spell’s cost up front with additional payment to be made later. The spell was successful, but his human form was gone, replaced by the much smaller stature of a Halfling body. Meliantan, being largely mysterious to the group, was entombed in the cemetery just outside of Lnonven – his journal placed into the grave with him by Stoat.

Maldus took possession of the fallen Sorcerer’s Map of Cosdol, as well as the otherwordly crystal ball and accompanying personality Dokari.

Fireday, Eleventh of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

Being only a single day’s ride from Burdon’s home town of Ewden, and needing to return Aemys to her mother anyway (she had refused to go with the Dwarf and Half-Orc the day before), the remnants of the Party spent the day riding back to the tiny fishing hamlet, carrying the Bard’s remains with them. His body, money and possessions (including his fine Turtle Shell Lyre) were given to his wife Eivn who comforted her daughters and had him buried alongside his older brother Vin – taken years before by a winter’s flu.

Elsewhere, Gram and Hilg arrived to Ldamven late in the evening, having left Ewden earlier that day. They procured rooms at the “Silver Pony Inn” once again and prepared to speak with Smitty the following morning.

Homeday, Twelfth of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

With Burdon buried and their job done, Stoat, Maldus, and Brendolm depart Ewden and return to Lnonven, traveling with Roth, Defon, Malmir and Dokari. Having retrieved the valued Locked Chest they were after, Gram and Hilg also spend the day traveling, departing Ldamven and arriving to Ewden – to discover the fresh grave of their friend and teammate. They spend the night in quiet remembrance of the brave Bard.

Godday, Thirteenth of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

Amidst a full day of heavy rains, both segments of the Investigative Unit traveled once again. From Lnonven, Stoat, Maldus and Brendolm began the first day of their journey to Cunvden, seat of Duke Ilthan’s fief – and the location which hopefully held some fresh faces to join their band. They pitched their tents alongside the coastal road, praying for a peaceful night’s rest. A day behind them, Gram and Hilg returned to the “Flying Leviathan” in Lnonven, following a soaked day’s passage from Ewden.

Veshday, Fourteenth of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

Arriving to Cunvden in the late afternoon, Stoat, Maldus and Brendolm paid a visit to the home of Duke Ilthan, intending to offer their services and request further information. They were greeted by the Duke’s Chamberlain and informed that the Duke presently resided in Cosolen, and had left his chamberlain to look after his affairs. The trio exited the estate and sought out lodging, preparing to do some recruitment the following day.

Still a day’s ride back, Gram and Hilg paid a visit to the resting place of their second fallen companion, the Sorcerer Meliantan Daheriel before embarking on the first leg of their journey to catch up to their friends. By nightfall, they had covered roughly half the distance, and made camp, intending to arrive to Cunvden by midday or so the following day.

Read about this session from the eyes of Meliantan Daheriel in his book The Wanderings of Windfeather

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The Replacements
The Replacements
The Party







Companions






Reeling from the loss of roughly one third of the Investigative Unit, the remnants of the Party in Lnonven had buried their dead and pressed onward to Cunvden in the hopes of recruiting replacements. As the governing seat of the fief of Duke Marren Ilthan, the small town of Cunvden once held prominence and prestige. Its near desertion in the aftermath of the tsunami from the Voldor Bay has left it a broken ruin of a settlement, barely classifiable as a village.

Diaday, Fifteenth of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

Set to connect with Cunvden’s watch commander Captain Birorn regarding honorable and trustworthy men to employ, Stoat, Maldus and Brendolm rose after a restless night at the “Hopping Sailor” and made their way to the town’s center – one of the few places in good repair. As promised, the Captain was there, and informed the group that he had a number of mercenaries in his employ, some of whom with contracts about to expire. He bid the group return a few hours later and he would introduce them to the men when they assembled for role call.

Brendolm elected to wait and take in the sun while the others returned to the inn and devoured a meal prepared by Malmir the cook. Two familiar figures soon approached, and the human-turned-halfling stood and waved to them. They did not recognize his new form, but he knew them well. Gram and Hilg had arrived, and were surprised to see the new body of their friend and teammate, but happy all the same. The entirety of the remaining investigators were reunited at last and found renewed strength in each others’ company.

The time of the role call soon arrived and the investigators found themselves inspecting the men under the Captain’s command. Two in particular, the tall and brawny Kalamaran Relmir Dilomas, and the heavily scarred Zeph Proctor were most impressive and proved amicable to a working relationship in the prince’s name. In the meantime, the pair’s final mission for Captain Birorn was at hand – a mission that had room for additional manpower.

Eager to see the pair of warriors in action, …and make a little bit of money in the process, the investigative unit joined the Captain’s forces and set a trap for the thieves who had been looting the ruins of homes belonging to wealthy members of Cunvden’s population prior to the tidal wave. The thieves, rallied under the name “Night’s Shadow”, deferred to the criminal Ichrinthan Stroon – the ultimate target of the Captain’s efforts.

With Captain Birorn discussing the finer points of a position with some of his other soldiers, another ‘employer’ made her rounds and encountered the Party. The wealthy Sarenva Blord attempted to hire the Group to track one of Stroon’s men to the “Shadow’s” lair in order to retrieve personal items for her. This however, would require the escape of one of the men, exactly what the Captain was paying the Party not to allow. Brendolm issued a stern rejection and the heiress left to resume her business, stating that the offer remained if he should change his mind.

In the interim, Stoat made inquiries as to archers of note or renown in the kingdom. The legend of the Minel Flashfire bow was mentioned, much to Brendolm’s chagrin. But the real story of interest was of Hanadrel Rolendar, said to be a Ranger of unmatched skill. According to the story, she was part of the adventuring band containing Argenon Remel – previous owner of Dokari’s Crystal Ball. In all the group was Hanadrel the Ranger, Argenon the Wizard, Kovayl the Fhokki Fighter, Gonjeyla Sarazi the Gnomish Cleric and Lombord Talrek the Dwarven Rogue.

The story was cut off then, as Captain Birorn called for the troupe to move out. They made their way into the ruined upscale district. A perimeter was Formed around the latest target house of Stroon and his thieves, and the Party hid themselves and lay in wait. Movement was soon spotted and the villains found themselves under attack. Though the battle went decisively in the favor of the Party and Captain Birorn’s men, one thief escaped, slipping away past a momentarily distracted Hilg.

With the bulk of the thieves captured, the Group returned to the town’s center and the Party received payment for the night’s work. Brendolm made arrangements for a rider to take his payment to Lnonven on his behalf – his debt to the church now paid in full. For their part, Relmir and Zeph had been impressive in battle, even risking life and limb in the engagement. They were welcomed to the Investigative Unit in an official capacity.

Pelsday, Sixteenth of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

With their contract to the Captain now completed, the Party revisited Sarenva Blord with regards to her previous offer. The escaped thief offered the opportunity to track him and search for the lair, and the Group was no longer in the employ of the Captain, so her offer was no longer counter to their mission. Her desire to retrieve the stolen items remained, despite the earlier rejection. As such, a deal was struck and the Party was once again on the trail of Ichrinthan Stroon.

As the Group made preparations to follow the tracks, Brendolm revealed a new addition to the Group. Longing to once again possess the benefits of Bardic Music, he hired Cosdrelita the Bard to travel with them. An aspiring adventurer, the woman was excited about going and went without complaint. The cave was soon found and the Investigative Unit entered cautiously. Gram lead the way, and took a beating at the hands of numerous minor traps that guarded the cavern’s entrance.

Inside, the remainder of the thieves were discovered and the Party went about its work. It was a tough battle, nearly costing the life of Relmir to the daggers of the “Night’s Shadow” Rogues, but when all was said and done, the cave had been cleared and Ichrinthan Stroon was in custody. The return to Cunvden proved a lucrative one, as the Party was given both the reward money for Stroon’s capture, and the personal reward of Sarenva Blord for the return of her items.

Katarday, Seventeenth of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

Now possessing the monetary means to afford upgraded equipment, the Party chartered passage with Captain Rantron Alon aboard the vessel “His Majesty’s Audacious” and sailed back to Cosolen to resupply. The long day of sailing ended with a happy return to the capital at nightfall.

Fireday, Eighteenth of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

Flush with cash and in the familiar surroundings of the Cosolen streets and markets, the Party went about purchasing equipment and visiting friends and family. The magical item broker Forberon proved a busy man, as the Group had much need of his services. All told, thirteen minor magical items were purchased, and enchants were placed onto two others. The Investigative Unit had begun making the transition into heroes.

Stoat took the opportunity to stop in and visit Plenthal Levnis while he was in town. The alchemist identified the type of poison taken from the “Night’s Shadow” thieves. Brendolm took time to return to the Minel farmstead and check on the progress of the summer season. He found that all was well, and the Paladin Grandon Minguld had thus far lived up to his word. Relmir stopped into the local Temple of Armed Conflict and made a hefty donation of 1000 gold coins.

Also during the day, Stoat took up a collection from amongst the Party to hire men of skilled labor from amongst the refugees in Eastpeg to form a work detail to establish a presence in Cunvden and help in the rebuilding efforts. A total of 700 gold pieces was gathered and a number of workers were interviewed and sorted through. The payment was handed over and the group’s leader was instructed to use the money to purchase supplies and passage to the town. It would still take some time for the initiative to get underway, but it was a valuable step toward rebuilding the broken lands.

As the sun set, the Group found comfort in the beds within the capital’s walls. Their return voyage aboard the “Audacious” was to depart at first light, and from Cunvden they were only a day’s hard ride away from Itven, the location of their primary mission for His Highness Prince Sevlen.

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At Last! Itven!
At Last! Itven!
The Party







Companions






Rejuvenated after the acquisition of two new faces to replace fallen comrades, the Party had been paid handsomely for both the capture of wanted criminal Ichrinthan Stroon and the return of valuable items to the wealthy heiress Sarenva Blord. A brief return trip to Cosolen for upgraded equipment purchased from the wizard’s guild broker Forberon had increased the effectiveness of the Party dramatically and the time had now come to re-board “His Majesty’s Audacious” and press onward to Itven.

Homeday, Nineteenth of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

Expecting a relaxing day’s travel aboard the “Audacious”, the Party was surprised to hear the startled cry of Brendolm’s hireling Bard Cosdrelita above on the ship’s main deck. Being in the captain’s stateroom sharing a drink with Captain Alon, Gram was the closest, and thus first on the scene. A full half dozen thugs were at the bow of the ship, one with a dagger to Cosdrelita’s throat. They shouted angrily at the dwarf and other nearby crewmen.

Relmir Dilomas arrived next, his position in the ship’s galley placing him nearest behind Gram. He bid the ruffians remain calm while stepping forward slowly. The bandit holding Cosdrelita tightened his grip and pressed the dagger into her neck harder, ready to draw blood at an instant’s notice. The brave Fighter was forced to stay his efforts, as he could do nothing for the time being – at least not without costing the beautiful Bard her life.

Below decks, in a quiet place where he had been working on his poison craft in solitude, Stoat lay unconscious – the victim of several more enemies who were making their way through the lowermost decks of the vessel. As these thugs readied for the second stage of their plan, the remainder of the Party arrived to the ship’s main deck accompanied by Defon.

Hilg broke the standoff, holding his hands upward as if suing for peace. He issued the command word for his Gloves of Lightning and a bolt shot forth into the lead bandit. The moment’s distraction was enough for Cosdrelita to wrench free and dive to the ground. The Party seized the opportunity and launched their attack against the bandits. The front-line members of the Group charged forward, as Hilg stayed to the rear, guarded closely by Defon the rogue.

With the bulk of the Party fully engaging the enemy, the second phase of the villainous plot began. The enemies from below decks who had rendered Stoat unconscious burst forth from the hold and charged forward, trapping the advance Party members in the middle. One bandit rushed toward Hilg and Defon at the rear. A dagger attack came at the Half-Orc. Not from the onrushing thug… but from Defon! The Party’s memory wiped rogue ‘ally’ had turned traitor!

With the charges of his powerful gloves already spent for the day, Hilg quickly found himself in a bad spot, pincered between two vicious rogues alongside the outer wall of the captain’s stateroom. The cuts and gouges he received were brutal, nearly taking the life from him. In a last desperate attempt at survival, the Druid shoved past the rogues, and raced into the captain’s stateroom, their daggers ripping at the flesh of his back.

Severely wounded and holding the door from the inside, Hilg struggled against the two rogues who sought to burst into the stateroom and finish him off. The remainder of the Party was still in the thick of combat, unable to come to his assistance. A number of enemies had been slain, but the Group was still boxed in…the Druid was on his own. Calling upon his druidic magic, the Half-Orc took the shape of a tree, rooting into the floorboards and holding the door fast.

Back outside on the main deck, the rest of the Party fought against a veritable swarm of enemies. Whirling blades cost them dearly in the form of injuries, but the powerful healing magics of Maldus Randorian stemmed the tide, and the battle slowly began to turn against the villains. The towering warriors Relmir and Zeph took up defensive positions around the busy Cleric while Brendolm and Gram defended the delicate Cosdrelita from harm.

Unable to get into the stateroom, Defon and his accomplice pulled flint and tinder, setting fire to the door. If they couldn’t break it down, they would smoke the Druid out. Meanwhile, the battle on the main deck was now firmly in the hands of the Party, and the villainous rogues were falling quickly. The traitorous Defon found himself forced to abandon his place at the door and he raced to the ship’s stern – lightning new fires on the lines of the ship’s rigging.

Seeing Defon depart from the plan, the accomplice lept into the fray against the Party, trying to aid his friends. Inside the stateroom, Hilg took advantage of the situation and resumed his normal form, healing himself and using his magic to douse the fire with a guiser of conjured water. He summoned a Pixie defender and opened the door, ready to fight once more.

The battle now fully in the Party’s favor, the last holdout of criminals was overcome. The Pixie’s attack once again robbed Defon of his memories and Brendolm scored the final blow against the bandit ringleader. Those criminals still alive surrendered and the fires to the rigging were quickly snuffed out. Now came time for explanation. Who were these men and what had they done to make Defon turn against the Party?

Speaking quickly, one of the thugs explained that they were of the Pox gang, run by the woman Gulda, and had recognized Defon when he came to Eastpeg seeking devious types to help him murder Hilg and get revenge against the Party. It turned out that Defon had felt slighted after nearly dying with the Group at Lnonven and then being given none of the spoils save for 2 gp. The “king’s ransom” paid to Zeph and Relmir after only one mission had pushed him over the edge.

Additionally, after spending much time wondering how he had come to be traveling alongside the Party with no memories, it had occurred to the rogue that Hilg was capable of summoning a creature that could rob men of their memories. He decided that this surely must have been what happened to him, and vowed revenge. The trip to Cosolen had given him time to seek out villainous men in Eastpeg, who just so happened to wind up being the Pox gang he had once belonged to.

With his memories of the plot erased, Defon stood before the Party and questioned them as to his origin and reason for being on the ship. Hilg gloated at the defeated rogue and branded him a traitor, declaring that his memories had been stolen as punishment for his treason. He went on to insist that if Defon wished his memories back, he would service the Druid for one year’s time as payment. The rogue was angry, but begrudgingly agreed to the deal.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Group checked in with Captain Alon who informed them that the damage caused by the fires had thankfully not been bad enough to stop the ship from continuing onward. The ship reached Cunvden late in the evening and the Party reclaimed rooms at the “Hopping Sailor”.

Godday, Twentieth of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

Turning over the captured Pox to Captain Birorn, the Party prepared for the trip to Itven as Stoat and Brendolm informed him of the work detail they had put together to assist in repairs to the town. The captain thanked them for their efforts and warned them of the lack of roadway between Cunvden and Itven in the aftermath of the great tidal wave. He cautioned that their wagon might not make the journey then left to bring Chamberlain Lellen up to speed on the impending arrival.

The road toward Itven was as difficult as the Captain had warned, but the Party managed ten of the twenty miles in the first day. Numerous minor troubles cropped up, but the Group handled each in turn, finally making camp at nightfall. If all held well, they would arrive to the target of their investigation the following day and could begin.

Veshday, Twenty-first of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

As the Party once again pushed and pulled their wagon through the road-less tracks toward Itven, Gram decided to scout ahead and see that the way was clear. Atop his faithful riding dog Kir, the Ranger pressed further and further ahead, unaware of a danger that lay nearby – a danger that soon made itself known. Reacting to Kir’s warnings, Gram was able to flee a hidden creature before it could strike and eventually made his way back to the Party.

Returning with the full strength of the Group, the creature was discovered as being a Displacer Beast, and was not alone. A second Beast appeared from the treeline and the Party was forced into combat. A clever blinding spell from Maldus gave the Investigators the upper hand, and the Beasts were soon defeated. The Party followed tracks back to the creatures’ lair and chased off one last Beast before deciding that they had been sidetracked long enough.

Having gone four hours out of their way, the Party was forced to travel for an additional six hours before finally reaching Itven in the earliest hours of the following morning. The gate guardians attempted to speak with them, but the Group would have none of it. So thoroughly exhausted were they that they immediately collapsed into their beds when ushered into “Two Shrews Inn and Tavern”. The following morning, the real investigation would begin.

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Itven Investigation Pt.1
Itven Investigation Pt.1
The Party







Companions









The two days of arduous travel over the road-less miles from Cunvden toward Itven had been rough on the Group and their mounts, and had doubtless caused many minor damages to their wagon, but at last after twenty days since their initial departure from Cosolen the Investigative Unit had arrived to Itven – source of the call for aid that had spawned the chain of events leading up the present. Were answers finally within their grasp?

Diaday, Twenty-second of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

Waking to find a small audience of locals awaiting any news from them, the Party was quickly met by Constable Grond Plonnor who informed them he would be escorting them to the Lord-Mayor’s office as soon as they had made fully ready. Malmir the Cook teamed up with one of the two Inn’s owners Strodilma Pandenma to make breakfast and provide drinks.

Once completed, the Group joined the Constable and moved out of the inn and into the main street toward the Town Hall. They were quickly joined by an armored female warrior who introduced herself as Sendrita Fordril. The Constable attempted to send her away, but Brendolm insisted on hearing her out. As the discussion was underway, Maldus looked to the woman and discovered that he was seemingly blacking out at the sight of her.

Leaving his physical body behind, Maldus’ mind’s eye departed and the Cleric found “himself” in a darkened corridor before a blackened steel door. The door was rimmed in crimson light and radiated intense evil like the heat of a nearby flame. Maldus shoke uncontrollably and realized a large shadow had overtaken his own. Heavy bestial breathing came from behind him. As he turned to see what was there, a horrified and agonized woman’s scream jarred him from the vision and brought him back to Itven.

Fully back in his body, Maldus interrupted the discussion in progress and informed the Group of his vision – they were surprised, having noticed nothing unusual. Brendolm offered that perhaps the Lord of Silver Linings was trying to tell him something through the vision. The idea was certainly possible, but Maldus believed a message from Selandi would be more hope-filled.

With no answer immediately available, the Group pressed onward to the Lord-Mayor’s office. The woman Sendrita accompanied, acknowledging to the Constable that she had indeed previously agreed to allow the Party to speak to the Lord-Mayor before she would ‘get her chance’.

Passing the militiaman Celdren on watch outside the Lord-Mayor’s door, the Party was seen into the office, where they were officially introduced to Landren Thalrel, Lord-Mayor of Itven. Zeph, unsure of the specifics of various titles and niceties, did his best not to flounder during the meeting – eventually standing back and allowing others to conduct the discussion.

In addition to the typical welcome and assurance of support from the town’s members, the Lord-Mayor had another topic he wished to discuss. He informed the Group that Sendrita would be requesting to join them in their investigation, a request he wished them to allow. He explained that Sendrita proclaimed herself a Paladin of The Eternal Lantern, but displayed no abilities or talent for the role. The Lord-Mayor believed her a helpful, but misguided woman and sought to keep her from harm in the protective company of the Party.

Agreeing to allow her to join, the Party departed the Lord-Mayor’s office and met with Constable Plonnor and Sendrita. They accepted her offer and listened as she told them of how she had been forsaken by Bleslelna and denied her abilities, though she knew not what she did to be punished in this fashion. Constable Plonnor broke the conversation off and the Group learned of the “homestead incident” at the residence of the Galborn family.

Dolran Galborn was a graduate of the Cosolen Military Academy who had settled in Itven years ago and raised a family with his wife Olelta. The family had a farmstead at the far edges of Itven and lived mostly in solitude. This solitude was broken recently when a strange woman emerged near the home wounded and telling of being followed. Dolran sent his son Hurthral to fetch the Constable while his wife and daughters took the young woman inside the house.

When Hurthral returned with the Constable and a squad of four soldiers, the young woman had fled and Dolran was missing. The soldiers fanned out to search for him while the Constable spoke to the Galborn women. Moments later, he realized that his soldiers had stopped calling and were now missing as well. The Constable retreated with the family back to Itven. Since that time, a number of strange disappearances had occurred.

Speaking to the Galborn family gave the Party additional details of what events that transpired before the Constable had arrived. Dolran had taken his woodsman’s axe into the trees in search of whoever was chasing the young woman and had apparently been injured. His cry of pain could be heard, which petrified the new arrival and sent her fleeing the farmstead. The women tried to stop her but could not. They feared what may have happened to Dolran and hid.

The Party saw inspecting the Galborn Homestead as the next logical step in their investigation and moved with Sendrita, the Constable, and a squad of militia conscripts. Dolran’s son Hurthral also requested to join the group, and was permitted to accompany them as well. They reached the homestead and Gram took to tracking the missing soldier’s footsteps. Hilg and Stoat took up a watch at the farmhouse, searching for any signs that the young woman had returned.

The trail took the Group deeper into the woods where evidence of the soldiers being carried away was found. The process was interrupted when the entire group was entangled by the woodlands themselves! Two large plant lifeforms had been lying in wait and had wrapped the investigators up with their power. Brendolm was unable to escape, the limited strength of his new Halfling body working against him. A long vicious vine-arm lashed out and struck Cosdrelita mightily.

Relmir was the first to break free, his arm protected from being fully entangled by his massive tower shield. Zeph also fought his way free and the two Fighters engaged the nearest creature. The riding dog Kir was also able to slip loose and warned the Party of another threat in the area. A vicious Dire Boar that lumbered near the Group, slowly approaching. Kir’s barking drew the Boar’s attention and Gram was only barely able to share a magical gift of speed with his companion before it was forced to flee from the larger animal.

Maldus found himself busy indeed, as the plant creatures inflicted brutal blows to several Party members and militia men. He struggled for every step through the squirming, gripping plant-life around his legs but managed to fight his way to those in need of his healing touch. Gram managed to free himself just as the Relmir and Zeph had slain the first creature.

Battling back choking vines and flailing tendril-like vegetation Zeph, Relmir and Gram surrounded the second plant creature and soon put it down as well. The remainder of the company worked their way out of the quagmire of shrubbery and plant-life as Gram located the trail of Kir and the Dire Boar. Once all were free, the group took to following the trail.

Making a wider path than the riding dog and Boar, the Group stumbled upon a horror that the animals had narrowly bypassed. Inadvertently snagging a tripwire, one militia man froze while the remainder of the company dove to the ground. A huge scythe-like arm swung from the height of a nearby tree and impaled him, sweeping him up into the canopy. The massive trap struck fear and surprise onto the faces of all but one…Constable Plonnor.

After prodding from the Party, the Constable admitted he had seen a similar device before. On a much smaller scale of course, but he knew the creator. A wanted criminal that he had once captured and then let go, his brother through marriage – Ervaln Norforn “The Architect”. The Party pressed on cautiously, fearing they were drawing near Norforn’s lair.

Discovering from the tracks that the Boar had given up the chase on Kir a short time later, the Party was elated and soon found Gram’s beloved companion. The animal was heavily winded, and lay on the ground. The Group produced water and feed and decided it best to make camp. Darkness would soon be upon them and they could certainly use the rest. Watches were set and the Group bedded down.

On watch in the blackness of the night, Brendolm and Sendrita roused the company after hearing strange noises. A search of the surrounding area revealed that the Boar was still nearby. The company surrounded the area and an ambush was set. They charged the creature and decisively laid it down. Gram suffered a massive wound when the creature had gored him, but survived with Maldus’ aid.

Pelsday, Twenty-third of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

The company woke somewhat groggily following the lack of sleep brought about by the return of the Dire Boar. There was one pleasant enough side effect however. With the large amounts of meat harvested from the Boar, the company’s breakfast was a veritable feast of bacon, pork and eggs foraged by Gram in the earliest hours of the morning. The day ahead would potentially hold more battle and death, but for now, they were happy.

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Itven Investigation Pt.2
Itven Investigation Pt.2
The Party







Companions









Taking up the investigation of the missing guardsmen from Itven, the Party had discovered evidence suggesting the men were somehow incapacitated and carried off. Pursuing this lead had placed the Group into the nesting ground of Assassin Vines and had resulted in Kir fleeing a Dire Boar deeper into the woods. Tracking Gram’s companion had taken the investigators off of their original trail, but had inadvertently revealed another target of interest, wanted man and brother through marriage to Constable Plonnor…“The Architect” Ervaln Norforn.

Pelsday, Twenty-third of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

Growing concerned that a new day had dawned and the Group had yet to return, Stoat and Hilg took to the last known path of their company and began their own trek through the woodlands. They located the site of the Assassin Vine battle, and soon encountered Gram, who had been dispatched to ride to the homestead and lead them to the company. En route, he informed them of the discovery of the trap and the possibility of locating Ervaln Norforn.

With the company once again at full strength, the Group pressed deeper into the woodlands and eventually came upon a clearing encircled by a wicked bladed fence. They surmised that this most-assuredly must be the lair of The Architect and made preparations to enter. While a Fey creature summoned by Hilg scouted the clearing, the Group made it’s plan. They would surround the clearing and send a team in to capture Norforn or – failing that – flush him out to the others.

Being the swiftest member of the Group while astride Kir, it was decided that Gram would lead the company members surrounding the clearing. He, Sendrita Fordril, Hurthral Galborn, Constable Plonnor and the militiamen ringed the clearing while Cosdrelita and the rest of the Party approached the entrance at the center of the fenced landscape. Brendolm stayed ahead, walking point, and encountered the first of The Architect’s traps.

Additional blades, hidden amongst the tall grasses created a labyrinth of sorts and the Halfling Paladin called for the Group to stop. Moving into the maze, Brendolm learned that the hidden weaponry was also set to erect itself and create new walls, barriers that responded and changed based on his steps upon pressure plates hidden in the dirt and grass of the ground. He traversed the arrangement as best he could, but in time found himself boxed in on all sides.

Trapped in the maze, Brendolm learned that there was a penalty for his wrongful steps. The barricade of blades – reacting to the formation of a boxed in location – cut, slashed, gouged and stabbed him heavily before reverting to their standard wall-forming angles, leaving him stranded. Unable to press onward, he called out his pattern of steps so that a different path could be forged by another, hopefully with more success.

Hilg took to the task next, coordinating with Brendolm as to the steps not to take. As the Half-Orc moved through, his path soon took him into the location that Brendolm was trapped in, albeit from another direction. This time the barriers moved and allowed them access forward. A few movements later, the tall Druid was able to hoist the Halfling up and over the blade-wall, landing him next to the entrance, where the bladed labyrinth was able to be deactivated.

The inside of the lair proved to be just as dangerous, if not more so than the exterior. Puzzles, traps and additional blades sought to rob them of their progress and their lives as they moved through the subterranean passages. Relmir Dilomas suffered the worst of the injuries, being impaled on a wall of sharpened spears when a tilting floor released by a pressure plate caused him to fall forward and slide into the trap.

As the Group entered the final chamber, they discovered Norforn waiting for them, having been alerted to intruders by the sounds of triggered traps and howls of pain. They stood at the bottom of a pit with vicious predators in side cages. The Architect stood on the upper level above, largely unable to be seen. It was clear to the Party that their adversary intended them to fight against the large cats from the cages, while he himself fired arrows from above.

A lever was thrown and a portcullis dropped across the entrance, cutting the Party in two. Thinking quickly, Hilg summoned a large bear into the chamber, mauling one cat through its bars before the cage could even be opened. Zeph called upon his great strength, lifting the gate and allowing the remainder of the Group to enter. The remaining two beasts attacked the Group as Hilg’s summoned bear vanished from existence.

Believing he had everything well in hand, The Architect rained arrows at the Party, never thinking that he himself would come under attack from the rear. The look of surprise on his face when he was swiped by a second summoned bear filled Hilg with glee, and allowed the Group below to focus its attack on the cats. Norforn, taken completely by surprise suffered massive wounds and was forced to flee through a rear exit on the upper level.

Defeating the cats at last, the Party learned of Norforn’s escape. Following the trail of blood spatter lead them to the rear exit, far outside the surrounded clearing the rest of the company was holding… Their prey had slipped right through their fingers and escaped on horseback. The company regrouped inside the lair and plundered the vast riches The Architect had once enjoyed, making camp after. Any return from the lair’s previous owner was considered unlikely at best.

Katarday, Twenty-fourth of Declarations, 1044 Y.K.

Returning to Itven, the Group decided to take care of side business: identifying items acquired from the lair, burying the slain militiaman and paying his family a stipend, as well as bringing Roth up to date on the totals within the mission ledgers with money and items taken from the Norforn lair. Maldus had a bit of side business of his own to conduct, paying Defon a sum of 751 gp for services thus far. The rogue was stunned, having only been treated poorly as far as he knew.

Brendolm also conducted some side business, hiring the militiaman Celdren to travel to Cosolen on his behalf to procure and return with a specific magical shield that was to be purchased from the wizard’s guild broker Forberon. The woodcutter received a payment up front, with additional money to be collected upon his successful return. Brendolm also instructed Celdren to give the shield to Maldus if he himself were dead or missing.

For his part, Celdren eagerly accepted the assignment – being a man longing for a bit of adventure in lieu of his typical days of cutting wood in near solitude. Traveling to the capital to purchase a magical shield for an adventuring Paladin might not be a grand adventure, but it was certainly a step in the right direction, and a new contact for potential further missions.

As the hireling assembled his things and exited the town, the Party prepared to leave as well, intent on getting back on the trail. The day was still young enough to move onward, and with their deviation now completed, they could resume following the tracks left behind at the site of the missing soldiers. With any luck the Group would have news for Lord-Mayor Thalrel and the Galborn family the following day. With still greater luck, the missing men might still be found alive.

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