Thandoria

Of Nixies and Quest Chains

We cut off the head and tail of the wyvern.

  • wyvern head and tail

We then galloped back to town to search Grigore’s room in the inn. However, the only thing we were able to find was a bag of caltrops under his bed. (I assume that’s enough for the possession -4 to will saves on scrying?)

Tal scribed a scroll of see invisibility.

  • 1 scroll of see invisibility (-67.7 gp from Tal, -7.3 gp from party)

We headed off in search of the dryad that we had heard about. En route, we found a deep pool surrounded by felled trees. Near the pool, we spotted a freelance band on loggers, two of which were guarding the pool. We saw the head of the loggers arguing with the pool, and soon after saw a nixie floating in the water 20 feet from shore. We deduced that she had charmed the two loggers guarding the pool.

The nixie, Meliause, told us that she had politely asked the loggers to leave as she did not want the trees to be chopped down, but that they had refused, forcing her to charm them. We told the loggers that we had claimed this area and that they did not have permission to chop down trees here. They agreed to join our kingdom and relocate to one of our logging camps. Meliause also demanded reparation for the five trees that the loggers had cut down, and suggested that we ask the dryad about feather tokens capable of restoring the trees.

We continued on our way to see the dryad. We found her by an enormous oak tree. A satyr was walking in front of the tree, looking dirty and battle-worn, and as if he was trying to make a decision. Sounds of weeping were coming from the tree. As we approached, the dryad Tirasea, emerged. She told us that they were besieged by a treant who was rampaging the forest to the south. It is called the “scythe tree.” She asked us to slay it and offered us 6 tree tokens and 5 goodberries as a reward. She also shared some information about the local area:

  1. A haunted old keep is to the southwest (where the will-o-the-wisps are, I assume)
  2. A mad hermit (Bokken’s brother) lives with a puma companion
  3. The lair of the lizard king is to the west of Candlemere

We went to the reported location of the treant and found the area ravished. We felt like we were being watched, and saw the treant approaching. After a brief battle, we defeated it. Inside the tree, we found:

  • 3 pieces of amber (100 gp each)
  • 42 cp, 55 sp, 60 gp
  • silver ring (we should appraise this)
  • robe of vermon (cursed item)

The dryad learned of our actions through whispers among the trees. When we returned, she rewarded us:

  • 5 goodberries
  • 2 potions of cure moderate wounds (Larken and Verrak)
  • scroll of summon nature’s ally II (150 gp)
  • 6 feather token tree (5 given to replace the trees cut by the loggers)
  • wand of cure light wounds (46/50) (Liliana)

We went to meet Bokken’s brother. We didn’t find him in our search of the area, but he surprised us at night and attacked along with his puma. Unfortunately, we were forced to kill them.

  • +1 leather armor (1,160 gp)
  • +1 whip (2,301 gp)
  • +1 shortsword (2,310 gp)
  • ring of protection +1 (Verrak)

We buried Bokken, and then followed his tracks back to a hollow oak tree in which he had been living. Underneath a pile of leaves that he used as a bed, we found a wooden plank covering a hole with a chest. Inside the chest we found:

  • potion of cure light wounds
  • potion of invisibility (Tal)
  • 164 sp, 31 gp
  • tarnished silver locked with a faded portrait of a young woman (Bokken’s mother) (value 10 gp, but Bokken will pay 300 gp or 900 gp in potions)
  • a magical cloth with a map to the hidden burial cairn (but we already found it)

After selling loot that we didn’t want, the state of the party is:

Current party loot:

Weapons:

  • 650 arrows
  • 120 small darts
  • ritual barbarian dagger

Potions:

  • potion of shield of faith +2
  • potion of lesser restoration
  • potion of cure light wounds

Misc:

  • 220 days of rations (since we’ve been kingdom building for a while, this number should be updated)
  • bag of caltrops (previously possessed by Grigore)
  • dire boar pelt
  • dragon scale to make x2 small Hide Armor
  • black dragon scales
  • winter wolf pelt and head
  • wyvern head and tail
  • 3 dust of illusion
  • silver ring (we should appraise this)
  • robe of vermon (cursed item)
  • 5 goodberries
  • 1 feather token tree (maybe sell it?)
  • tarnished silver locked with a faded portrait of a young woman (Bokken’s mother) (value 10 gp, but Bokken will pay 300 gp or 900 gp in potions)

The party has 11,149.42 gp.

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Of Barrows and Traitors
Bats... Why'd it have to be bats?

We took the pelt and head from the Howl of the North Wind and headed off towards a barrow, which was the burial mound of a fallen barbarian king from thousands of years back. Along the way, we heard a rumor that the tower of the castle on the island of the will-o-the-wisps marks the boundary between this world and another.

Loot:

  • winter wolf head and pelt

We searched the general area in which the barrow was reported to be for an entire day, but did not find it. That night, we all had haunting dreams of seeping black mist surrounding us and we each had a vision.

Larken: The Beating
Liliana: The Bear
Tal: The Joke
Hawk: The Inquisitor
Verrak: The Desert

The next morning, we spotted a crack in the side of a hill, which we determined was the entrance to the barrow. As we squeezed our way into the crack, Larken had a vision of the unicorn. The first path we headed down came to a dead end with a hole in the far wall. Hawk poked a stick into the hole and hit something, but the wall collapsed on his arm. After we pulled him out, we were able to dig out an old dagger as well, which Tal recognized as a barbarian ritual dagger.

Loot:

  • ritual barbarian dagger

We then went down the other paht and came to an octagonal chamber with a guano covered floor and cobweb covered murals depicting village life. Despite this clue, we were still taken completely unaware when we were attacked by bats shortly after. Liliana cast ghost sound, attempting to confuse their echolocation. Tal cast web in an attempt to trap the swarm. In the circular chamber beyond, some bloody skeletons and a wight appeared. While Tal attempted to deal with the bats, the others went to slay the undead menaces. The chamber had four exits topped with monstrous faces. The party triggered a plate in the floor causing the faces to breath a breath of despair weapon. The party attacked and slew the skeletons. Verrak took out the wight, but more appeared. Tal set the web on fire, causing some of the bats to flee and killing the rest. He saw the bloody skeletons rise, and informed the party that they could only be permanently slain if Liliana first cast bless upon them, which she did. The second wight vanished into the walls and reappeared elsewhere, but was eventually slain as well. A third opened the sarcophagus of his long-dead love, but we dispatched them as well. The wight from the cairn had been carrying a bastard sword, but it morhped into various other weapons when grabbed and shocked most of those that touched it. Eventually, Larken was able to grasp it without being shocked. The murals in the back room had been defaced by repeated hits with a weapon and were beyond our ability to decipher. We also found a dead man in the central chamber who was wearing a ring.

Loot:

  • +2 faybane greatsword (Larken)
  • mwk greatsword that Larken had will now be sold
  • ring of sustenance (Liliana)

When we returned to our kingdom, we found that Loy Resben and his wife Latricia were scouting for a good location near the Tatzylwyrm ford for a settlement to join our kingdom. They are fishermen and told our scouts that they sought an audience with us. Before we could meet them, we heard that a rabblerouser was criticizing our rule by the statue of Liliana. His name was Grigore. Liliana went to confront him, and was able to sway the crowd to her side. We then met with Loy and his wife and Liliana granted them permission to form a town for us.

The next day, Grigore was back and Liliana again attempted to beat him in debate, but she was unable to sway the crowd. Grigore accused us of bringing trouble to the kingdom, causing monsters to invade, and using the wealth of the lands solely for our own benefits. He let slip that he was from another kingdom come to investigate ours, and Tal suggested that he may be a spy. Almost immediately after, we got word that a wyvern was attacking in the woods to the northwest. We convinced Grigore to accompany us in our fight against the wyvern to see how we dealt with such threats. He was reluctant, but came along after Liliana promised that no harm would come to him.

The wyvern grabbed Liliana and dropped her from a great height, but then landed and was surrounded by the party before it could rise again. Grigore attacked Tal, revealing that he was indeed a spy. The two fought a duel of magic (Grigore being a bard) while the others defeated the wyvern. After the others had defeated the wyvern, Grigore attempted to flee, but Tal cast pit on the ground below him. From the bottom of the pit, we heard him casting a spell, but were not able to identify it. When we got to the pit, we did not see him in it. Tal cast glitterdust, but did not locate him. We surmised that he had cast vanish or invisibility and somehow escaped the pit before we got to it. Despite our best efforts to locate him via scent and via detect magic, he eluded us.

Current party loot:

Weapons:

  • 650 arrows
  • 120 small darts
  • ritual barbarian dagger

Potions:

  • potion of shield of faith +2
  • potion of lesser restoration

Misc:

  • 220 days of rations
  • dire boar pelt
  • dragon scale to make x2 small Hide Armor
  • black dragon scales
  • winter wolf pelt and head
  • 3 dust of illusion

After selling Larken’s old greatsword and spending 14,000 gold on various magic items, the party has 7,190.8 gp.

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Crackjaw, Werewolf, and Wolves
The Reader's Digest Edition

(I’ve misplaced the notes I took, so this is a summary from memory. If I find the notes, I’ll update this later.)

We heard rumors that some of our citizens were up to something in an area up the river to the west. We haven’t followed up on them yet.

Some of our pioneers we sent to explore did not return. We found that they had been killed by a giant turtle called Crackjaw. We were offered a reward of a ring of feather fall by a local fisherman if we killed it. We killed Crackjaw. We found a corpse and an elemental gem (water). We claimed the ring as a reward. Hawke is using it for now.

When we returned to town, we found that some livestock had been slain in an attack and later a maid and a shepherd had been killed in separate attacks. We investigated and determined that they were killed by a large wolflike beast. We investigated and determined that the attacks were being committed by a werewolf. We tracked him down to an inn where he was staying, and found a piece of the maid’s ear (still containing an earring) under his bed. We searched the town with the help of the guards, but were unable to locate him during the day. At night, we found the werewolf stalking his latest victim, a merchant visiting the town who was considering setting up a trade route. We were able to subdue the werewolf without killing it and imprisoned it securely. The next day, he reverted to human-form as a barbarian who was unaware that he was a werewolf. We offered him a pardon in exchange for his agreement to work to pay restitution to his victims and had Jhod come to cure his lycanthropy.

We went exploring and came upon a pack of wolves led by a white wolf called “Howl of the North Wind.” After a deadly battle in which we were forced to use the elemental gem, we managed to kill all of the wolves.

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Spring Cleaning
In Which We Complete Various Mundane Tasks, and then Become Kings (well, Consuls...)

After defeating the Stag Lord, we questioned Akiros about the rumor that the Stag Lord was keeping his father, a druid, imprisoned in the back area of the fortress. Akiros confirmed this, and helped us lure the druid out of his prison without a fight. He was named Nurgra the Decrepit. He fell before the body of the Stag Lord and wept, thanking us for saving him from the Stag Lord. In his youth, he had belonged to the green faith (as a worshipper of Tanistria), but had taken a wife in contradistinction to the rules of his order. When his wife died while giving birth, he decided to perform a human sacrifice as part of a bargain to restore her life (as opposed to doing the sensible thing and finding someone to cast raise dead). However, his wife’s spirit reappeared during the ceremony and cursed him. The order of druids tried him for his crime and declared him a heretic, but spared his life so that he might raise his son. He blamed his son for the misfortune and mistreated him horribly, including exposing him to extreme weather and torturing him near to death with acid, horribly scarring his son’s face. It is for this reason that his son took to wearing masks and eventually donned the helm of the stag. Later, his son gained the upper hand and began to torture his father, leaving him trapped in the basement of the fortress as a guard to the treasures contained there and as a healer for the bandits (although the bandits disliked his sticky hands and so preferred to hide their wounds and let them heal naturally). After meeting us, he had a sudden change of heart and became a paragon of all that is good and virtuous in the world.

Meanwhile, Auchs showed his toys to the kobolds and played games with them. They were impressed by his grasp of strategy. Whether this says more about his intelligence or about the intelligence of the kobolds only time will tell, but let’s just say that if he were playing Puerto Rico, I think the player sitting to his left would win.

We then began Operation Let’s-Take-Everything-That-Isn’t-Nailed-Down-And-I’ve-Got-A-Hammer-Just-In-Case-Anything-Nice-Is-Nailed-Down.

Loot off the Stag Lord:

  • +1 leather armor
  • masterwork longsword
  • composite longbow +1 (2 strength bonus max) (given to Verrak)
  • composite longbow (2 strength bonus max) (returned from Verrak to the party)
  • amulet of natural armor +1 (given to Verra)
  • potion of cure moderate wounds (given to Larken)
  • stag helmet (magic: +2 competence bonus to perception, 1/day or 3/day for followers of Calen: as a free action, gain an insight bonus against a target to treat them as flat-footed) (3500 gp)

Loot from his chest:

  • 141 gp
  • polished azurite crystal (9 gp)
  • carnelian (80 gp)
  • piece of hematite (13 gp)
  • shard of obsidian (14 gp)
  • red garnet (100 gp)
  • pewter belt buckle with an image of entwined succubi (30 gp, given to Raj, of course)
  • silver charm bracelet (60 gp)

Loot from crates in the storage area:

  • 10 longbows
  • 260 arrows
  • 5 shortswords
  • 5 spears
  • 4 50 ft lengths of rope (used to hang the corpses of bandits from the walls)
  • a set of chisels, 2 hammers, 3 tins of iron nails
  • 4 leather armor

Loot from Dovan:

  • masterwork studded leather armor
  • +1 rapier
  • 3 daggers
  • silver Stag Lord amulet (20 gp, and it’s finally time to sell these)
  • turquoise earrings (30 gp each)
  • pouch with 28 gp and 2 pp

Loot from Auchs:

  • potion of lesser restoration
  • Stag Lord amulet (20 gp)
  • he was allowed to keep his toys (although we didn’t check if they were masterwork… hm…)

Loot from the basement:

  • trade goods (pelts, furs, tobacco, iron, bronze, miscellaneous armor and weapons, sets of tools) (7000 gp total)
  • 4500 cp (given to the kobolds; in exchange, they will transport the trade goods to Oleg’s for us)
  • 2052 sp
  • 1894 gp
  • 21 pp
  • stolen jewelry (so… that means it’s unowned, right?) worth 3000 gp

Other loot:

  • 8 horses

Perlivash and Tig Titterut caught up to us. We talked to them and Akiros about the surrounding terrain and were able to map it from their descriptions.

We returned to Oleg and he offered to buy the Tazlworm heads (for 600 gp and 400 gp) and the dragon head (for 1000 gp credit). We turned in Breeg to Kestin and received a masterwork great sword, a small masterwork scimitar, a masterwork katana, and a masterwork morningstar (given to party members). On the way back to Oleg’s, we also threw the Stag Lord’s body into the Shrike at Nettle’s crossing. Nettle’s undead form rose from the river and pulled the body down, leading to both of them dissipating. His +1 ranseur washed ashore (given to Verrak).

We escorted Jhod, Nurgra, and Akiros to the Temple of the Elk, and then explored the remaining forest. Akiros prayed to his god, Flamrick, who told him that he should seek atonement through battle.

While exploring, Raj spotted a stone cairn. Liliana identified it as a barbarian burial method and prayed to Calen to see if it would be alright to desecrate the grave by digging it up. Surprisingly, Calen didn’t mind. However, we disturbed two whiptail centipedes that lived in the area, who burrowed out of the ground and brought the corpse of the barbarian up with them. We dispatched them without too much trouble, although Hawke was mildly poisoned. The corpse of the barbarian wore a green ring with the image of an eel and a frog. We took the ring and then reburied the body. In the morning, Tal cast identify and found that the ring was a ring of swimming. The ring was made for nobles of the Tiger Clan. We also noticed in the morning that we all had purple hair (except for Raj, who normally had purple hair and now had red hair)—a prank by Perlivash and Tig Titterut who had cast prestidigitation on us. Tal cast prestidigitation to return to normal those who wanted it. Verrak opted to retain purple hair. The fey told us about a “very bad man in the forest,” who we surmised was the trapper Brieg. They said that “something might have happened to him” and eventually admitted that they had killed him. They said he had a magic axe left with his corpse.

While exploring, we found Brieg pinned under many logs in a trap of his that had been triggered prematurely. Raj noted that the rope in the trap had been severed by something sharp, such as the teeth of a faerie dragon.

Loot:

  • +1 handaxe

We also spotted some elk. Raj cast speak with animals and they warned us of many traps to the north. We searched for and disarmed the trap, although Raj and Verrak stepped in the traps. We also found a dead hunter in a trap.

Loot:

  • longbow
  • 20 arrows
  • leather armor

We arranged to take him back to Oleg’s to see if any other hunters could identify him, and then bury him.

We then headed towards the reported location of the frog pond. We followed a path through a stone arch. Negra came out from the thicket and said he had befriended the giant frogs (and taken one on as his animal companion). He invited us to their hot springs. He said he had had a dream to come to the spring, and that it was sacred to Calen. He hinted that the Tazylwyrm lair might also be a sacred site.

We explored the terrain around the lair and were attacked by a will o’ the wisp. Raj first tried to reason with it and then tried to intimidate it, but neither strategy was effective. Tal was knocked unconscious by a poorly fired arrow from Verrak, and the will o’ the wisp fed upon his dying energy. However, he was quickly revived, and magic weapons (some enchanted by magic weapon by Liliana) and Tal’s wand of magic missile brought about the end of the aberration, though just barely. As it died, it warned us that its “brothers of Candlemere will come after [us].” Tal recognized the name as that of a ruined tower in the lake to the south, which was made back in the age of destiny. The lake is rumored to be haunted. The corpse of the will o’ the wisp dissolved, leaving a skeleton key. The key was magical, but its aura was not that of any known school of magic.

We headed north to report the completion of our charter. Baron Janovar told us we should travel back to seek an audience with King Zabin Arloran. We bought noble outfits for the audience.

  • 6 noble outfits (-300 gp)

When we met the king, he told us that another adventuring group, the Iron Wraiths, had met their end in the lands to the west. The group sent to the swamp had set up a fortress and the mercenaries sent to Shadowvale were successful, had been knighted, and had set up a city. We were also knighted, and dubbed the Elk Lords at our request. (The name impressed the king.) Hawke and Liliana were accepted back into their noble houses and no longer regarded as bastards. We received a second charter from the king, granting us the right to rule a nation to the south, with promises of support, units, and settlers. Liliana was declared consul. The king told us that Calenthor was a friendly nation, Shadowvale was neutral, and Pitaro to the south was a villanous nation of smugglers. To the northwest, Thalia is a city of theieves. The king would like to open trade with Pitaro. We declared out intention to name our first city Invictus Lux.

While in the capital, we bought another wand of _cure light wounds and Tal was granted free access to the royal library, copying spells into his own spellbook for only the cost of materials. Like an ideal gas, his arcane knowledge expanded to fill the vessel in which it was contained.

  • wand of cure light wounds (-750 gp)

I’ll update this with a current party loot summary later. In the meantime, let’s do magic item wishlists in the comments, as we should have enough gold for lots of it.

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The hunt of the Stag Lord

The party woke from the night of sleeping at the temple of Calen and decided to head back to Oleg’s. The headed over the Thorn river and into the bandit camp. The bandit camp had been cleared and both towers removed. Tracks headed to and from the south. At this point Hawk fell off his saddle as a patch of grease magically appeared underneath him. The party was also greeted by a badger with the voice of a wooly mammoth. The party quickly surmised the Fae were playing tricks on them. Liliana offered up a gem to coax them out but it was instead stolen. Two more gems and Raj’s naked statue later, the Fae revealed themselves as Perlivash, a Faerie Dragon, and Tyg Tittertut, a Grig. They told the party that they had seen smoke off towards Oleg and offered to help against the bandits.

*- deep green spinel (90 gp)
*- shard of blue quartz (25 gp)
*- iolyth (50 gp)
*- nude carving of a monk (85gp)

The party rode towards Oleg’s at a quick pace. We encountered six more Grigs, who joined up with the Fae and rode on ahead. Next the party encountered a troll on the road. The troll had just knocked a hunter unconscious as the party rode up. Hawk took a blow from the troll and Raj used his bardic knowledge to let us know the troll was weak to fire and acid. Tal used his acid splash to stop the troll’s regeneration and party quickly surrounded the troll and cut it down. Liliana wanded the hunter, who confirmed that Oleg was under attack by bandits. The party remounted and continued on.

The party found Oleg’s to be in disarray. The gate was smashed in and many corpses littered the ground. The party found all the named characters (poor red-shirts) still breathing and quickly healed them up. Oleg’s had fought off the Stag Lord and greatly diminished his forces. The party decided to give chase, as they were only two hours behind. They sent the Fae off to try to waylay them.

Masterwork Composite longbow –
+254 gold (Ari + Troi corpse gold)

The party followed the tracks east and then to the south. They tried to cut off the Stag Lord by taking the shorter path through the berry thicket and arrived at the Stag Lord’s fort. The sentries at the fort noticed the traveling band and blew the feeding horn for their pack of zombies. Fifteen zombies shambled forth and attacked the party. The party hacked them apart, and then headed towards the river crossing hoping to catch the Stag Lord outside his fort. Unfortunately, the party encountered the Stag Lord’s tracks heading back to his fort. They then journeyed to the Kobold cavern to rest for the night and ask for help in assaulting the fort.

Hawk, Mikmek and Raj set out to scout the fort in the middle of the night. They found a secret door and called the rest of the party to join their infiltration. Raj had a nice conversation with some horses, who gave a basic layout of the fort and description of the bandits. Hawk, Mikmek, and Raj took out all the sentries in the watch towers without raising any alarms. Hawk took two from behind by scaling the walls of the towers. Mikmek would have alerted the guards if it wasn’t for Raj’s sleep spell that caught a guard right before he was about to shout a warning. Zheeg was captured for Kestin.

The Kobolds setup in the large watch tower, a kobold band and Hawk scaled the roof and the rest of the party lined up on the inner wall. A giant melee then ensued. Kobolds rained arrows down into the central courtyard, and the party charged in. Hawk danced with a giant simpleton Auchs upstairs, but was ultimately kicked off the roof. The Kobolds with him then forced Auchs to surrender. In the main room, many of the bandits fell quickly. Unfortunately, one of the bandits was able to let out an owl bear. The party was gravely wounded, and Liliana used 10 charges of her healing wand in the battle. The battle finally came down to Akiros, a fallen paladin of Calen; Dovan a rogue; and the Stag Lord. Dovan was taken down by Larken. Akiros was convinced to change sides by Liliana. Akiros felled the Stag Lord and the battle was finally won.

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Werewolfs, and Dragons, and Bears! Oh My!
Or, Hey Dorothy, lions and tigers ain't nothing on our troubles.

Raj decided to keep the jade carving of a nude female elven monk; we’ll subtract 85 gp x 60% = 51 gp from previously calculated party loot. Raj will pay this out of his share of loot.

After resting up and smoking lots of meat from Tuskgutter, we made our way to the Temple of the Elk. It was a ruined structure surrounded by columns, with a pool of fetid water in the center and a broken staircase topped by a statue of Calen at the far end. We headed into the temple reverently and carefully explored the foyer with the pool. Tal’s familiar, Andarus, warned him of something moving in the woods, but before the party could check it out, the crazed bear that we were seeking appeared at the top of the broken stairs. Tal began to cast enlarge person on Larken, but was then attacked by the creature that emerged from the woods: a werewolf. It bit Tal, infecting him with the dreaded disease lycanthropy and tripping him. Through fantastic luck, he somehow managed not to lose his concentration on the spell he was casting, and an enlarged Larken moved to face the bear, striking a mighty blow against it that caused the bear to bleed profusely. At about this time, Liliana noticed that the statue of Calen was beginning to move and was, in fact, a gargoyle. The water from the pool also began to bubble profusely. The bear attacked the Oracle, Liliana, with a strange fervor, which we later learned was due to its religious craze due to a curse placed upon it by Calen. Liliana was knocked unconscious. Larken was attacked by the werewolf and also contracted lycanthropy, before being knocked unconscious. Tal cast grease under the werewolf, tripping it and buying the party some time to focus on the threat posed by the bear. Shortly thereafter, the bear met its end. As it died, it returned to the form of an elderly human who breathed a sign of relief, and then crumbled away into dust. At this instant, the gargoyle and the werewolf also crumbled away. The water in the pool began to glow and we decided to drink from it. The water had been blessed by Calen, and healed our wounds and cured our lycanthropy.

Liliana received a vision from Calen. In the vision, she learned that the temple of Calen had been abandoned many years ago and that the old keeper of the temple had gone mad with desperation and fear as the lands around the temple were overtaken by evil creatures, so that he eventually lured a bear to the temple and sacrificed it to any who would answer his call. (If he thought that was a good idea, I expect he must have rolled a 1 on his knowledge (religion) check.) For his lack of faith, Calen cursed him by turning him into a bear to replace the one he had killed, making him immortal but lacking the intelligence to understand this, until someone worthy came to end the curse. We found nothing of interest in the temple, but spent some time cleaning and restoring it as best we could. Hawke was given a vision of a great statue of a horned god, a male avatar of Calen, in the forest to the southeast that had been forgotten for a long time. The goddess wanted us to go clean and restore it. Raj prayed to Calen in front of the pool and was granted a vision consisting of three images: The Hidden Truth, the Mute Hag, and the Waxworks. We stayed the night at the temple before leaving to find the statue. While we slept, we each received a vision from Calen in our dreams.
Larken: The Unicorn
Tal: The Tangled Briar
Verrak: The Rabbit Prince
Liliana: The Avalanche
Raj: The Liar
Hawke: The Carnival

We left the temple on the 14th of Talor, with the moons in the sky in alignment. While heading towards the statue and mapping the surrounding area as we went, Andarus spotted something and alerted Tal. We heard a “blooping” sound similar to that of the jumping wormlike creature we had seen before, but one that sounded much larger. We temporarily halted our plans to find the statue to look into this. Following Andarus, we came upon two burnt out stone buildings that Tal identified as likely having been a watchtower for the old empire. The buildings were decrepit, roofless, and missing doors. They were surrounded by tracks from all directions, and pools of sticky grease and slime were all around the area. Raj cast speak with animals and learned from Andarus that two creatures lived here, which we were able to identify as a slurk, a walrus-like jumping creature we had previously thought to be a worm, and a boggard, a toad-like creature with bulbous eyes and warts. We knew that they were normally pretty savage, so we were on our guard. Hawke and Raj attempted to sneak up on the structure, but Raj ended up making a ton of noise and alerting the boggard. It came out of the hut riding upon the slurk, brandishing a weapon. It talked in a guttural voice in a language we did not understand, but with a few words of common mixed in. Hawke was able to understand the word “truce,” and quickly told the boggard that we meant it no harm. He offered it some of the smoked meat from Tuskgutter as a gift. Raj attempted to sing a pleasing song for the boggard, but felt strained and tongue-tied, and so delivered a song so agonizingly painful to listen to that we wanted to weep. Luckily, the boggard found this pleasing to listen to. The boggard told us that the area around the river was his kingdom, and that he was named Garoom and his slurk was named Oogaboog. His left hand was almost obliterated and he ranted about how bugs had run him off from his swamp to the forest. Despite the language difficulties, we finally pieced together his story: he had decided to devour the sacred blue fireflies of his tribe, believing that this would give him the strength to wrest leadership of the tribe. Unfortunately for him, this was not the case. He was captured by the priest-king of the tribe and sentenced to death after a series of humiliations. Before his execution, however, he was able to escape his binds by using a rock to pulverize his hand, and to escape.

He offered us mushrooms to eat, which after Liliana cast purify food and water upon them, we agreed to do. Garoom was disturbed by the casting due to his fear of the priest-king, but Liliana was able to convince him that it was just a blessing for the food. Not wanting to risk another outburst, Tal decided against casting prestidigitation to make the food tasty, so we had an unpleasant meal. Raj’s curiosity led him to touch the slime on Ooogaboog, which then hardened to the texture of cold tar on his hand, much to the amusement of the boggard. However, he was quickly able to break the tarry slime off of his hand. Garroom offered us a reward for killing Tuskgutter, who had been a menace to him in the past.

Loot:

  • deep green spinel (90 gp)
  • shard of blue quartz (25 gp)
  • iolyth (50 gp)
  • -1 days ration as a gift to the boggard

We stayed the night, and Garoom told us of the dangers of the forest. There were faeries to the north, who play tricks on the eyes. A unicorn lived to the south, but had gone missing. The tribe of boggards lived to the southwest. Giant frogs lived in a pond to the northwest. The statue to Calen was to the west.

The next day, we headed to the statue and cleaned it. Hawke attempted to make a wreath of flowers and to put them atop the statue to decorate it, but he fell while climbing the statue. Tal used prestidigitation to place the wreath. Raj sang a song praising the statue. We noticed that no creatures came within a certain distance of the statue, so we decided to camp there for the night. In the morning, the statue had a divine glow, and all of our piercing and slashing weapons had acquired a keen edge (CL20, one week duration). Larken had a dream about the unicorn in which he had been afraid, but had the fear banished by the unicorn. The unicorn then touched him with its horn, which broke off, covering him with blood. We headed south to seek the unicorn.

We found a clearing in the woods with a stink of moldering plants and a strange quiet. Larken felt the urge to follow the trail down, and we followed him. The ground gave way to an insect-infested swamp, and we saw a white unicorn lying dead with its horn broken off. There was no obvious cause of death, but we saw that the unicorn had been blind at the time of death. The casters in the group sensed an aurea of necromantic magic arising from around the unicorn. We noticed that the corpse of the unicorn was strangely undecayed, but our knowledge of the planes was not sufficient for discovering why this was the case.

While we were examining it, a young black dragon appeared from over the swamp. We feared that we could not run away from something as fast as it and so resigned ourselves to a horrible fight against it, likely resulting in our deaths. The dragon hit several of us with an acidic breath that did grave harm to us and then attacked in melee. Luckily, its attacks were weak and ineffective, perhaps due to the intervention of Calen or the spirit of the unicorn, and it even accidentally bashed itself in the head with its own wing, partially crushing its skull and deeply damaging its intelligence. Tal cast enlarge person on Verrak, and the ferocious barbarian wounded the dragon deeply. Larken also did a critical wound to the dragon. Tal cast a few ineffective magic missiles from his wand while the rest of the party did some meaningful damage. Eventually, the dragon felt its breath becoming acidic again and attempted to fly upward to reposition itself for another devastating attack on the party. However, the melee fighters around it took this opportunity to get in one last hit each, slaying the evil beast. We skinned its corpse and took its head as a trophy.

Loot:

  • black dragon scales
  • black dragon head
  • -1 potion of cure moderate wounds used during the battle

We took the corpse of the unicorn back to the Temple of the Elk for burial. Along the way, we ran across Garoom, who suggested that we should talk to the fey in the Faerie’s Nest to the north about the fate of the unicorn, as they might know what had happened to it. When we arrived back at the temple, Larken had an insight that we should place its corpse within the waters of the pool. He carried it into the pool, and the water again started to bubble and glow, and the divine grace of Calen surrounded the unicorn and removed the magical effect that was preventing its corpse from decaying. It quickly decayed to nothingness within the water. Larken was granted a vision of the unicorn in battle, in which it was blinded and killed by a powerful fey creature that marked its corpse with a powerful spell to prevent its decay. The shadowy fey creature killed the unicorn in an unnatural and ceremonial way. It was late and we wanted to sleep, but it occurred to us that the now-again glowing water could heal the boggard’s demolished hand, so we did a force march to his ‘castle’ and told him of the miracle. He agreed to accompany us back to the temple and drank the glowing water, restoring his hand. He thanked the “foreign gods” for this miracle. In thanks for our telling him of this possibility, he agreed to train slurks for combat riding for us. While the boggard luxuriated in the pool of glowing water, Raj attempted to sing another song for him, but was unable to intentionally recreate his poor performance from before, resulting in a piece that the boggard did not like. However, Garoom gave him instruction on how to sing ‘well,’ and the boggard sang an ear-curdling song while Raj accompanied him.

Party loot:

Weapons:

  • 370 arrows
  • 120 small darts
  • 12 small spears
  • small masterwork cold iron sickle
  • masterwork cold iron long sword
  • x7 +1 flaming bolts

Potions:

  • 1 shield of faith +2

Pendants:

  • 3 silver Stag Lord pendants

Gems:

  • deep green spinel (90 gp)
  • shard of blue quartz (25 gp)
  • iolyth (50 gp)

Misc:

  • Tuskgutters head
  • black dragon head
  • polished wooden case with 8 bottles of liquor (worth 160 gp)
  • 273 days worth of rations
  • Dire Boar Pelt
  • bear pelt
  • dragon scale to make x2 small Hide Armor
  • black dragon scales
  • dust of illusion (3 uses worth, IIRC?)

Party Gold – All rings, statues, gems, etc. sold and everything converted to gold
5449.3 Gold
250gp trade script at Olegs
51gp owed to party by Raj

View
Kobolds and the Wild

The party decided to rest overnight at Tatzylwyrm ford to regain their spells and recover a little bit of damage. They awoke the next morning and headed towards the Sootscale caverns. En route, a grizzly bear came crashing through the undergrowth and attacked the party.

Hawk decided to play tree jumper after missing the bear with his bow and eventually fell out of a tree behind the bear. Between the bear biting, clawing, and grabbing people; Liliana, Adalia, and Verrak all hit the ground unconscious and bleeding. Tal, Mikmek, Larken and Hawk eventually brought the bear down, with Mikmek getting the final blow in. Mikmek was now the bear slayer.

The party used a scroll of light wounds to get Liliana up so she could heal the party.

-1 scroll CLW
+1 bear pelt

The party skinned the bear and asked Mikmek if he knew of any place to rest. Mikmek told the party of an old cave up north. The party decided to head up there to rest and lick their wounds. While traveling north, the party encountered what looked like small humanoid tracks with claws. Hoping there was a Kobold ambush ahead, the party sent Mikmek to investigate. Luckily, it was an ambush by his fellow Sootscales, and they were soon oohing and ahhing at the devil statue and the giant bear pelt. The cave was not found during the search of the area and the party decided to camp in the open.

On waking, Hawk told the party of a vivid dream he had that night. He was searching the hills above us, moved a rock, and a bright light shone from it. Liliana told Hawk that such divinations were often from the gods, and that he should not ignore them. The party joined Hawk as he retraced his footsteps from the dream. Hawk quickly found the rock he had saw in his dream and called Larken over to push the rock out of the way. Larken easily lifted the rock to reveal a cavern underneath. The party descended underneath and found a small hallway with coffins and a large cavern with a bronze Minotaur statue in it. The statue had “May you shine like golden stars” written in celestial on it. Tal noticed the eyes were magical and activated a light that made the opposite wall of the cavern shine like stars. The party investigated and Hawk was able to deduce that this was a Radium(magcal gold not the radioactive poison gas) vein. Mikmek said that this was a shrine to their old god Rizidius, the god tied with the birth of the universe. The party agreed to keep the presence of the mine secret and resealed the cave. They then headed to the Sootscale caves, with their new Kobold friends in tow.

As the party was going in, Tals Hawk sent him a sense of surprise and danger. Tal surmised that Tickbiter had seen them approaching and had gone to warn his master. The party was lead past Tartuks cave and brought to Chief Sootscale himself. They presented the chieftain with the Sharptooth statue. He looked at it in great concentration and finally smashed it into bits on the floor. Rising, he declared that Tartuk’s reign of terror was at an end and now the bigguns and Sootscales were going to kill him. The party and kobolds rushed towards Tartuk’s cavern and got peppered with magic missiles for their trouble. After following him into his home cavern, the party was met with a Wack-O-Kobold conundrum. The walls of the room had curtain paneling, with enough room for the Kobold to hide behind. They could hear him casting spells and scurrying around, but not his exact position. After playing with the curtains for a bit, the Kobold, mirror imaged revealed himself in a corner and felled Verrak with a magic missile. Verrak was brought back by Liliana. Tal greased the are and everyone readied themselves to charge the sorcerer. Tal was brought down by Tartuk but Liliana brought him back with a scroll. The sorcerer decided it wasnt in his best interest to be gang raped by angry humanoids and took flight towards the ceiling. The party proceeded to pop images here and there with their ranged weapons and the Kobold tribe’s help. Tartuk felled Sootscale and knocked Mikmek down, and caused some of the Kobolds to flee. Liliana rallied some of the Kobolds with her warcry. Eventually Tartuk was brought down by combined fire(More 1’s rolled this session than I have ever seen).

The party quickly looted the area looking for valuables while the Kobolds lifted Mikmek on their shoulders and took turns stabbing Tartuk’s corpse. Mikmek attained lawful neutral status from all his good deeds.

Wand of Magic Missile CL3 28/50 -Tal
Masterwork cold iron sickle 320gp -Party Loot
Bracers of armor +1 -Tal
+1 Light steel shield -Liliana
x7 +1 flaming crossbow bolts -party loot
Boots of Elven-kind -Hawk
copper left to Kobolds
2123sp
302gp

In a bag was found the loot from the Mites
320sp
249gp
100Pp
10 Radium pieces
Magic dust of Illusion
Svetlana’s wedding ring

The party found and read Tartuk’s journal. Apparently he was a gnome who had accidentally been resurrected as a Kobold. Being shamed, Tartuk had run off and caused several Kobold tribes to go extinct attacking human settlements. A scroll of flight was found in his journal, which Tartuk had planned to commit suicide with.

x1 scroll of fly Tal

When Sootscale awoke, he awarded the party with a large Topaz. Sootscale agreed that the tribe would no longer attack humans and that the party was forever-more their allies. The Kobold tribe also filled in some of the party’s map for them. The party gifted the tribe with the grizzly bear pelt and left them all the copper coins from Tartuk’s stash. Sootscale and Mikmek revealed that the caverns were a silver mine. The party then left the Kobold camp. Mikmek was proselytizing about Kalen, a nature goddess he had learned about from Jhod.

Topaz 500gp

The party headed towards Nettle’s bridge to see what they could find out. The party investigated a burned out house and finally rang the bell at the end of a destroyed bridge. An undead Nettle’s rose from the depths and gave an ultimatum to the party to put the Staglord’s body into river or to join him in the depths instead. The Staglord had had Nettles killed for his bridge, and he had risen from the dead to seek his revenge. The party agreed to kill the Staglord for Nettles.

The party explored up the east plains on their way back to Olegs. They avoided a troupe of what Tal thought was boars and a trio of Trolls. The handed the Fang berries in at Bokkens and bought 6 potions of cure light wounds.

x6 potions CLW
-210gp

The party arrived at Olegs and triumphantly rode into the gate. Svetlana was delighted to see her wedding ring finally returned. Oleg was surprised to see the Taztylwyrm corpses with the party as he had neglected to mention he had an outstanding bounty for the head of one. Oleg was convinced to buy both heads from the party. The wyrms were then skinned.

Enough dragon scale to make x2 small Hide Armor
900gp

In the intervening days, a caravan had arrived and dropped off the supplies the party ordered.
+1000 trade script
Wand of CLW 50/50 -750 trade script
Anvil -5gp
x2 masterwork shortswords
400gp for Kressle

The party dropped off their loot and immediately set out to grab Tuskgutters head for Vekkel. The party headed to the lair while exploring the unsearched areas en route. The party reinforced the rickety bridge with ropes and then headed towards the lair. They were met with the charge of a huge Dire boar as the rode up to Tuskgutters lair. Adalia took a tusk to the chest, but stayed standing and struck out with hooves and bite, giving as good as she got. The rest of the party circled the boar and began hacking away. Tuskgutter struck Verrak, but then was quickly felled. The party spent the rest of the day skinning and then smoking the 2000 pound boar. Liliana and Tal could keep the meat fresh and tasty with, purify food and water, and prestidigitation.

x250 rations
boar pelt
Tuskgutters Head

Party loot:

Weapons:

  • 370 arrows (subtracted 10 from loss of firing into wooded areas)
  • 120 small darts
  • 12 small spears
  • small masterwork cold iron sickle
  • masterwork cold iron long sword
  • x7 +1 flaming bolts

Potions:

  • 1 shield of faith +2

Pendants:

  • 3 silver Stag Lord pendants

Misc:

  • Tuskgutters head
  • polished wooden case with 8 bottles of liquor (it’s probably too late to use these to bluff our way into the Stag Lord’s fortress, so we might want to sell them for 160 gp)
  • 274 days worth of rations
  • Dire Boar Pelt
  • dragon scale to make x2 small Hide Armor

Party Gold – All rings, statues, gems, etc. sold and everything converted to gold
5500.3 Gold
250gp trade script at Olegs

View
Finishing off the Mites
Being an account of how we switch from mite puns to skunk/skank puns

Still limping from our wounds taken in our disastrous invasion of the caverns of the mites, the party returned to Oleg’s. When we arrived, Svetlana introduced us to Jhod Kavken, a newly arrived priest of the goddess of agriculture and nature, Calen. He dressed like a hunter. He told us that he had heard of our exploits and come from Brennen in order to meet us and offer his help. However, Verrak noticed that he had been in battle recently and sensed that he had been in pain and that there was more to his story. As many of us were feeling particularly clumsy as a result of the poisonous bites of the vermin in the mite caverns, we were eager to avail ourselves of his healing services. While under his care, Liliana convinced Jhod to open up about his past, and he revealed that he was a priest among the Kalenthar at the edge of the Zaith empire and that his life had been going badly for many months. He admitted that he had been all but excommunicated after he had helped form a lynch mob against a traveler who was suspected of being a werewolf and a killer. Hours after the lynching, a hunter named Ragnar caught the actual killer, who turned out to be nothing more than a warg. However, the traveller was later discovered to be a bandit spy, so that his lynching brought Jhod shame but not quite excommunication.

During this time, we also returned the crates that had been stolen from Oleg by the Thorn Ford bandits. The satisfaction of the good deed was its own reward.

Hawke also suddenly noticed that he wasn’t very proficient with handaxes, but he arranged with Kestin to trade his two masterwork handaxes for masterwork short swords. Verrak also placed an order for an anvil, to be delivered along with the swords.

After we had recovered from the poison, Jhod prepared oatmeal for us and told us about a recurring dream he had been having about an abandoned and overgrown temple of Calen in the forest that was guarded by a possessed bear. Mikmek, our favorite kobold, confirmed that he had seen the temple before, but warned us that the bear was very dangerous, which means a lot coming from him, because that guy is so fearless that I wonder how he’s managed to live this long. Mikmek said the temple was called “Temple of Elk” due to an elk-shaped landmark and that the temple was near the Thorn River. Jhod asked us to find it and re-consecrate it. In exchange, he offered us his spellcasting services for free for the rest of our lives (except for expensive material components). He also gave us two potions of cure light wounds (already used).

Mikmek also told us more about the kobold’s lair and said that the sorcerer who was ruling them was called Tartuk and had a raven familiar named Tickbiter. But, he also called Jhod a sorcerer, so he probably doesn’t actually know the details of how Tartuk casts spells. He reiterated the offer of the kobold tribe’s friendship in exchange for recovering their holy statue and freeing them from the sorcerer, but warned us that the kobold chieftain might side with the sorcerer if we went to them without the statue, since he was convinced that the kobolds could not win without the magic of the statue.

We explored the area around Oleg’s, going east towards Bokken’s and a ways to the south. For superstitious reasons, we made sure that the area we explored each day was always in the shape of a perfect hexagon, since a hexagon has six sides and there were six of us (as the lazy louts Troi, Ari, and Torgian had decided to stay at Oleg’s). Before we explored, Jhod performed an augury for us and predicted we would not run into trouble while exploring. While we were doing this, Tal consulted with Liliana to produce some scrolls of cure light wounds. Due to our being inspired by some songs that Raj had sung for us, we managed to scribe four scrolls in two days for only 25 gp in material components.

+4 scrolls of cure light wounds
-25 gold (party loot)

The six of us then headed towards the mite caverns. When we arrived at the sycamore tree, we saw tracks leading west away from the tree. We explored the caverns, but found that all of the mites had abandoned their lair. We appraised what they left behind, but considered it a step below junk. We did discover a list the mites had left in their war room on the status of their war with the kobolds, which suggested that the kobolds had taken Svetlana’s ring from the mites. Mikmek confirmed this and offered us both the ring and a large topaz when we returned their statue.

We followed the tracks west to a rickety bridge. We met a hunter named Adar Stonebrook at the bridge, who told us he had found the horses that had escaped from the bandits at Thorn Ford. Adar’s father was a stone mason, but he left to become a hunter as he didn’t like the trade. We offered to let the hunters keep the horses under the principle of “finders keepers,” thus winning us the friendship of the hunters. Adar warned us that we should cross the rickety bridge one at a time, and Raj’s knowledge of engineering confirmed that the bridge would hold if we did this, so we were able to cross without issue. Before he left, Adar told us that he had also heard of a bear at the temple in the woods and that it screamed at night as if it were in psychic pain.

Following the tracks, we came upon bushes of fang berries that we wanted to gather for Bokken. The bushes had huge thorns, but we were able to gather enough for seven potions in 35 minutes through two simultaneous castings of mage hand. However, some spiders had been watching us from within the bushes and attacked us as we were completing our gathering task. They first shot webs at us and then approached to attack, but were able to defeat them quickly, although Hawke felt his strength drained from their poisonous bites.

We continued following the tracks of the mites into the forest. The hawk Andarus sensed something dangerous and alerted us, but before we could react a thylacine attacked and knocked Tal off his horse. The melee-oriented members of the group defeated the beast before Tal even had a chance to figure out what was going on.

The tracks ahead began to meander, as if the mites weren’t quite sure where they were going. Sometime around here, Hawke fell into a pit trap that the mites had prepared for any pursuers. We camped for the evening, but send Mikmek and Andarus ahead to scout out the mites. We found that the mites were fortifying an island in the middle of the Skunk River and that they had somehow gained the alliance of some tatzlwyrms. During the night, Larken saw some dancing lights in the woods, but didn’t bother to wake us. Luckily, they went away.

The next morning, we continued towards the mite’s island. We came across a small worm-like creature that jumped along making a “bloop” sound, but we avoided it. We came upon a sentry of the mites hiding in a tree. Hawke and Larken snuck up on it and shot it dead before it could alert the others. We took its horn, which was also a step below junk.

When we came upon the fortifications, we hid in the woods and blew the horn to trick the mites into leaving their fortifications. Two mites went to investigate. Hawke attempted to jump from a tree to kill them, but failed miserably and almost died. Luckily, we were able to put one mite to sleep and shoot the other dead before they could finish off Hawke. Then, the leader of the mites ordered the others to attack, as he entered battle riding a tick. Two tatzlwyrms also attacked. Larken tried to restrain Mikmek, but he charged in to attack the mites. Through unbelievable luck and through avoidance of the vermin, Mikmek somehow managed not to be killed. Tal cast what was most likely the most effective grease spell in history due to the poor tactics of the mites. The worms attempted to grab Liliana and her horse and breathed clouds of poison on them. Both Liliana and her horse eventually fell unconscious from the poision and damage, but we eventually killed or put to sleep most of the mites, killed the tick, and finally killed the leader of the mites, prompting the others to surrender. We used the two potions and one scroll of cure light wounds (three scrolls left).

We explored the cave on the island and found the kobold’s statue, Raj’s stuff, and other items. Detect magic determined that the statue was not magical; silly kobolds.

Loot:

  • 12 small spears (more like sticks with daggers on them)
  • 193 cp (aw yeah! how exciting!)
  • 120 sp
  • 320 gp

In addition, we found the skeletal remains of an explorer in the cave.

Loot:
scale mail +1 (worth 1200 gp, Liliana will take it for now and sell it for party loot later)
masterwork long sword made of cold iron (330 gp; we said we’d sell it, but I think Troi might be proficient with longswords, so perhaps we should hold off until we see if he wants it)
rotting leather backpack with:

  • 38 gp
  • 520 sp
  • pewter drinking stine (worth 12 gp)
  • silver ring (worth 35 gp)
  • jade carving of a nude female elven monk (worth 85 gp; let’s sell it before Torgian sees it)
  • watertight scroll tube containing a partial map of the NW corner of the Greenbelt (Liliana took the scroll tube)

We also took the corpses of the tatzylwyrms, in anticipation of skinning them to make armor.

Mikmek excitedly cheered the victory of the kobolds over the mites. (He also leveled as a ranger.)

View
Exploring the Stolen Lands and the Mite Caverns
Mitey Trouble in Little Cave Town

The party returned triumphant over Kressle and the bandits the following day. They were greeted by their old friends as well as a mercenary guard contingent from Zaith that Oleg and Svetlana were waiting for.

The guard contingent was led by Kesten Gacen, an apparently depressed and morose man. Liliana and Verrak spent two days with Kesten before the rest of the party returned and had learned he had come from a noble house. Kesten had been sent into exile after he had been discovered having a relationship with a commoner and shaming his family’s noble name. Liliana having a long, horsey face, of course stuck her nose into it and tried to raise Kesten’s morale. He just grumbled at her, but seemed to have a slightly better outlook. Kesten also came bearing a map of the area around Olegs and saved the party the trouble of having to map it themselves. Right before the part left, Kesten implored the party for funds to help fix the catapults at Olegs. Only one was working and the other three needed around 100 gold in repairs to make them fully functional. The party agreed this was acceptable and funded the repair of the catapults for their new home.

Kesten told Liliana of a man named Falgram Sneeg, a Phalimerian man which he used to work with. He had stolen their equipment and ran off into the forest to become a bandit. If he is returned alive to Kesten, he can promise 4 masterwork weapons. If dead, two masterwork weapons.

-100gp party loot

The party negotiated with Oleg to try to sell the loot gathered from the bandit camp. Oleg cried poverty, as the party had wiped out his liquid coinage with his previous purchases. Liliana negotiated a 10% price increase to trade goods for trade post script at Olegs (can sell for 60%) in the future.

While the party was seated by the fire eating dinner a traders cart came rumbling through the gates. Oleg introduced his friend Vekkel, the one legged trader. When asked about any news of the stolen lands, Vekkel launched into a tale on how he lost his leg to Dire Boar named Tuskgutter. He offered the party his masterwork longbow and +1 animal bone arrows if we were to bring back Tuskgutter’s head.

All this talking had apparently driven Ari and Troi to distraction and the party came out to find them saddling their mounts to head south to the Mite cavern without the rest of the party. Liliana pressed on them the danger of heading south without support and promised to start their journey the next day.

The party then set out to Bokken’s to buy potions. The had a nice ride to his shack in the hills where they were immediately greeted by an explosion and a dirty disheveled man. Liliana made calf eyes at Bokken and greeted him as if he were the king at court. Bokken’s crazy eyes lost a little of their madness and his rictus-like grin became a little less disconcerting. Liliana negotiated to buy 2 cure light wounds a cure moderate potion from Bokken( Dual 20’s on the diplomacy checks, 30% discount, promise for Liliana to get fang berries). While Bokken’s back was turned, Liliana pinched her nose, coughed and motioned for Tal to prestidigitation the horrid stink away from Bokken. Tal just grinned and enjoyed the prissy human’s discomfort. Bokken said that he needed fang berries to brew any more potions. Liliana promised that they would be back eventually with fang berries.

-280gp party loot
x2 Potion of cure light (already used)
Potion of cure moderate

The party then headed south to the claw tree found on the map found in the trap door spider’s cave. It was also a landmark for the directions the Sootscale Kobolds had given the party to the Mite caverns. The tree was a lonely lightning struck husk, alone by itself on top of a hill. The party approached the tree and immediately sensed strong evocation magic. Being cautious, they had their resident trap expert Hawk investigate the area. He was sure there were no mundane traps and let Verrak and Larken start digging at the base of the tree.

Troi grew quickly bored and started ranging around the area. He noticed something coming towards the party’s position and went still and quiet, waiting to see what it was. He spied a group of mites stealthing up on the party to attack the outsiders for desecrating their shrine. He warned the party of their imminent danger and combat was joined.

Troi and Larken let loose with their bows. Verrak pulled his great sword, foamed at the mouth and charged. Liliana and Adalia charged towards the nearest mite and spitted it on her lance. Tal armored himself and greased up a mite who fell to the ground. Ari catapulted from her mount String like a crazy monkey and landed in the upper are of the claw tree. As the mites were falling on one front, Ari noticed another group coming from behind to try to flank them. She shouted to the rest of the party that help was needed. Her mount String then proceeded to murder the group of mites trying to attack him. Ari fended off two mites trying to climb her tree with the help of Hawk and his dual axes. Verrak’s horse Buttercup took a dart in the shoulder and screamed in pain which sent Verrak flying back to cleave the offending mite in twain. Tal spent his time dazing mites. Larken dropped his bow and charged in with his sword and Liliana spitted another mite on her lance. Combat was over and only two horses had sustained any injury.

After calming their mounts and taken stock, the party gathered up the mites darts and daggers and finished digging up the box under the claw tree. Still leery of the evocation magic coming from the box, Liliana mage handed the lid off the box and the contents out of the box. There was no trap and treasure spilled onto the ground.

Loot:
x96 small dart (20 to Lorken)
x12 small daggers -party loot
75gp Silver Ring party loot
Wand of Burning Hands 11/50 -Tal
Masterwork Dagger – Ari
Cloak Leather – party loot
Spell Book – Identify, Reduce Person, Mage Armor, Silent Image, Unseen Servant -Tal

The party decided to camp for the day and explore the area before facing the mites. Exploration went smoothly and the party mapped the area well enough to satisfy their charter. During the night Troi saw a grizzly bear pass by the camp but it did not attack.

On their track south Troi thought he saw something moving in the woods. Ari’s druidic instincts told her to go into the forest and find the creatures. Troi and Ari moved forwards into the woods while the rest of the party took up defensive positions. Troi sees what he initially takes as tree branches are the giant rack of huge elk. The Elk notice Ari’s druidic nature and come and empathically bond with her. They tell her that she is going into danger in the mite territory. They show her the tree and that the have vermin and a large blood sucking creature in their caverns. Ari thanks the Elk for their warning and comes back to the party.

The party continues to the mite tree and reins up outside. Liliana tries to talk to the mites in Sylvan but no answer was forthcoming. The party circled the tree and looked for an entrance into the mite lair. After about an hour, Hawk found what looked like a primitive locked entrance hidden in the roots. He undid the root and the party dismounted. Liliana, Hawk, Larken and Verrak descended into the mite lair. In the first room, two mites with caltrop firing catapults were waiting. Hawk took a face full of caltrops coming into the door. Liliana and Larken charged into the room and fell victim to the caltrops. Larken smashed one mite into next week and the other fled down a tunnel. The rest of the party joined in the room. Liliana prepped a catapult to fire down the corridor the mite had fled down, while Hawk found a secret door behind the second catapult. Hawk, Lorkin and Tal entered the secret tunnel and found a mite with three large centipedes. They decided to flee back into the main chamber with the rest of the party and caltrop the way in. Liliana noticed something coming from her tunnel and fired her catapult, but somehow got her arm trapped in the mechanism. It did not matter, as caltrops would be no use against the swarm of thousands of centipedes coming for the party. The party immediately begin withdrawing back up the tunnel. Tal started burning the swarm with his wand of burning hands and Verrak reached into Tal’s pack and threw an alchemist’s fire into the swarm. The party backed into the tunnel entrance and he swarm followed. Hawk pulled out a container of lamp oil and waited for Tal to exit the swarm and coated the area with lamp oil. Tal then activated his wand of burning hands and finished crisping the rest of the swarm.

Liliana healed up the party and they decided that they would re-enter the caverns. The blocked the secret entrance into the main room and headed down the main corridor. Upon nearing the room, the party began hearing wailing cries. Larken headed into the room first and saw that the mites had a Gnome and a Kobold prisoner. Tal put a group near the Kobold asleep and the rest of the party entered into the fray. Nine mites and eighteen seconds later, the party took stock of their situation. Ari and Tal had heard the mite and large centipedes trying to break through their makeshift barricade during the combat and overheard the Mite vermin trainer sceaming about coming around the other way.

The gnome introduced himself as Raj, a traveling minstrel. The Kobold introduced himself as Mikmek, the last survivor of a Sootscale raiding party. Both agreed to join the fight and the party rounded the corner to observe what looked like a large cavern filled with roots. Liliana took one look at that cavern and knew it was going to be trouble. She announced to the party that they should go around and try to flank the rest of the mites using the other path. Unfortunately for the party, Troi had other ideas.

Troi leaped out onto what looked like a root climbing path and did not see the false knots set by the mites. As he slipped towards the cavern floor he noticed two things before he caught onto another set of roots; One was the statue for which they had come for about forty feet up the tunnel past the cavern and the other a fifteen foot long centipede rising from the depths below.

Troi had enough time to scream out a warning and try to climb back to his friends before being batted unconscious by a swift blow by the centipede. Raj cast an illusory gaggle of tasty gnomes to play with the centipede while Liliana rushed forward to retrieve the fallen ranger, calling for a general retreat. Verrak took point ready to punish the giant centipede if it tried to follow the party back and everyone else pulled out their ranged weapons. The centipede flailed at Raj’s illusion and noticed it wasn’t real. It then lunged at the barbarian. Arrows, darts and Verrak’s great sword met it as it came barreling into the room. Alas, it was not enough, and the centipedes crushing jaws felled the barbarian. Liliana, seeing there was no running, dropped Troi and charged the giant centipede, gashing it with her morning star. Larken come forward with his greatsword to help Liliana and got caught up on the low ceiling. It was then fortune favored upon the party. The centipede came in to try to bite Larken, but fell to the ground as the root it was resting on tore from the ceiling. Larken took this opportunity to strike, and lopped off the head of the centipede. The party then quickly withdrew back to the surface. They waited a few minutes to see if the mites would follow, and seeing no signs of the mites, mounted up and made for Olegs.

On their way back the party encountered a giant mound of rotting foliage raise from the ground. Liliana took one look at the monstrosity and for the second time that day, called for retreat. The party was chased down two ravines before they escaped. The party finally reached Olegs; poisoned by centipedes, exhausted, and much worse for wear then they left two days ago.

-excerpt Liliana’s journal

…One would think that one so connected with nature would learn to respect it a little bit more than our traveling companion Troi. I though I might have trouble with half-Orc, or the kleptomaniac Gnome, but no, it is our ranger. First we encounter him and Ari trying to run off alone and then his rash actions in the mite cavern not only nearly killed him, but put the rest of us in grave danger. If the mites had broken through into our rear, we might have all been killed while trying to deal with that monstrous centipede. If his rash actions continue, I will not put any more of our party at risk to try to save him.

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The Bandits of Thorn Ford

The party sold the goods we had taken from the bandits in the previous session to Oleg. 808 gold was reserved as party gold and each of the eight members took 100 gp of the remaining gold. We asked Oleg to look into ordering a wand of cure light wounds for us. Svetlana told us that there was a hill in the forest on which moon radishes grew and asked us to gather some for soup. Troi noted that moon radishes are hallucinogenic and tend to cause vivid dreams.

We left Liliana and Verrak to guard Oleg’s trading post until reinforcements arrived and headed south towards Kressle’s bandit camp at Thorn Ford. Wary of being ambushed in the forest, we instead went south through the hills to the east of the forest. Tal’s familiar, the hawk Andarus, was sent ahead to scout the camp.

We came across a group of traders led by Barik Gladstone heading north towards Oleg’s with a load of goods. We stopped to talk and learned many rumors:

  1. An old man named Davik Nettles built a bridge over the Shrike River, which is located to the southeast. Nettles died and he now haunts the bridge.
  2. Off to the west, a hunter named Brieg Orlivanch has been setting up bear traps that could easily trap people. Brieg has gone missing and may have joined the bandits.
  3. The bandits are led by someone know as the Stag Lord who wears a stag mask. (Kressle later confirmed this.)
  4. The bandits are part of a cult that worships animals. (Kressle later denied this.)
  5. There are mites and kobolds to the south-southeast.
  6. The forest is guarded by a unicorn named Shir-akel, but it may have been driven out by the bandits.

We continued south and came upon a copse of trees. One old tree had a fallen sign, but on closer inspection it had faded to illegibility. A trail led off into the hills, but we did not follow it.

The terrain became increasingly rocky and we decided to walk the horses after Ariadne’s got its hoof caught. The weather also became increasingly stormy. We came upon a number of skeletons of animals and eventually a skeleton of a human. Soon after, we were surprised by a trapdoor spider that bit Larken and poisoned him. During the battle, Larken was grabbed by the spider and thrown into its pit. Luckily, he was able to catch on to some webbing and climb down to the bottom of the pit, where he found a partially-eaten human corpse. After we killed the spider, we looted the corpse.

Loot:

  1. Leather armor (10 gp)
  2. Short sword (10 gp)
  3. 10 gold pieces
  4. A silver Stag Lord amulet (we’ll keep these for use as disguises)
  5. A pair of masterwork boots (I can’t find the cost of boots, but masterwork will add 150 gp to it, so let’s just call it 150 gp. We agreed to let Torgian take them on condition that he pay for them from his share of our loot.)

Inside the boot, a zipped-up flap contained a drawing of a claw-shaped dead tree on top of a hill. An X was drawn in blood under the roots of the tree.

We continued onward towards the bandit camp and met up with Andarus. Using speak with animals, we got some intelligence on the exact location of the camp, the basic layout, and the last known positions of the bandits. We saw a wandering troll en route to the camp, but avoided it. We tied up our horses a fair distance from the camp and snuck up on it from the west and cast a sleep spell when the changing of the guard was occurring at the nearest tower, taking out both the old guard and the replacement. Hawke and Torgian snuck towards the eastern guard tower, while the rest of us attempted to create a diversion by spooking the horses. However, the bandits did not hear the horses escaping over the sounds of the storm. Hawke and Torgian realized that the plan had failed and attacked the other tower. They captured it, but in the process the bandits used a thunderstone, dazzling the attackers and alerting the bandits. Additionally, Kressle had spotted us earlier and had moved to flank the group at the western tower. After a tough battle in which several party members were reduced to negative hit points, we successfully killed all of the bandits except for Kressle and captured her. While being interrogated, Kressle told us that she had been forced into banditry as a child, had been caught by two of the Stag Lord’s men who tried to rape her, and that she had been recruited by the Stag Lord as he was impressed by her ability to fight off her would-be rapists. Under interrogation, she revealed that the bandit organization was large enough that not all of the bandits recognized each other and that entry could be gained to the Stag Lord’s fortress to the south via the password “By the bloody bones of St. Gilmorg, who wants to know.” She noted that the high-quality alcohol we found in the loot was intended for the Stag Lord (and that he was expecting it tomorrow). The Stag Lord was a drunk and half the man he used to be. He may be crazy and Kressle has never seen him without his stag-mask helmet. Kressle also confirmed the story of the bandit interrogated at Oleg’s about how Svetlana’s wedding ring had been stolen by mites. She said the mites stole two bags of loot, but the bandits hadn’t bothered recovering it since it was mostly copper pieces. The claw tree from the treasure map is 20 miles due east of the camp and the mites are in a sycamore tree south of the claw tree.

Loot:

  1. Potion of cure light wounds (which had to be used immediately, unfortunately)
  2. Studded leather armor (25 gp)
  3. 2 masterwork handaxes (given to Hawke)
  4. 4 daggers (8 gp total)
  5. pouch with 85 gold (1 gp for the pouch)
  6. 12 short swords (120 gp total)
  7. 12 longbows (900 gp total — nice!)
  8. 12 leather armor (120 gp total)
  9. 220 arrows (party loot)
  10. 24 days worth of rations (party loot)
  11. 120 gold from the bandits
  12. polished wooden case with 8 bottles of liquor (20 gp each, but we might want to keep these to deliver to the Stag Lord as part of a ruse to gain entry)
  13. a silver Stag Lord amulet
    In the cache under the tower:
  14. four small tents and one medium tent (distributed to party members)
  15. 321 silver pieces (32 gold, 1 silver)
  16. 90 gold pieces
  17. silver earrings (150 gp)
  18. wooden music box (90 gp)
  19. 3 crates of furs and hides (50 gp each, although they were stolen from Oleg, so we’ll ask him about a reward for their return instead of selling them to him)

As the party was in poor shape, we stayed a day in the bandit camp to heal and then headed back to Oleg’s with Kressle as a prisoner using the same path we followed to get to the camp. Along the way back, we heard some singing in draconic. We tried to contact the singers, whom we found to be kobolds carrying large baskets full of moon radishes. Torgian used dancing lights to awe them, and they mistook him for the Moon Radish God. We learned that they’re from the Sootscale tribe and that their chieftain had been cursed by a sorcerer who had already killed off two tribes of kobolds by tricking them into attacking villages. They have a mite prisoner, but the mites have stolen their sacred statue. To get to their camp, we go east from the river crossing by the bandit camp, across a rickety bridge, and end up at a wall with little holes in it through which we can enter their lair, the Sootscale caverns. We told them that we plan to drop off our prisoner at Oleg’s, and then recover the statue from the mites and bring it to their caverns and help them defeat the evil sorcerer. They also mentioned that the sorcerer sometimes has purple hair and looks like a cross between a gnome and a kobold. We suspect necromancy. In thanks, they gave us a basket of moon radishes. We then returned to Oleg’s without incident.

Combined with the old stuff, our current party loot:
Weapons:

  • 380 arrows

Potions:

  • 1 shield of faith +2
  • 2 vials of antitoxin

Pendants:

  • 3 silver Stag Lord pendants

Misc:

  • polished wooden case with 8 bottles of liquor (it’s probably too late to use these to bluff our way into the Stag Lord’s fortress, so we might want to sell them for 160 gp)
  • 24 days worth of rations
  • 3 crates of furs and hides (worth 150 gp, but belongs to Oleg)
  • 1 basket of moon radishes (we’ll give these to Svetlana next time)

Oleg was out of cash, but we gave him the loot to sell on the condition that he give us 60% (1434gp x 60% = 860 gp, 4 sp). Add to this the coins we’ve taken (with the silver converted to gold), and we’ll have 2005 gold and 5 silver (of which 808 is gold from before) of party cash. Items given to particular people are not listed above.

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