Into the Wilderlands

An Eye for an eye
Session L as recounted by Quentenius Weatherby III
18th Day of Firebloom

We thought we had found refuge in a Druidic enclave known as Darnegal, but all we found was a community founded on cruelty, selfishness, and denial. I feel somewhat uneasy even calling this place a community because I have not seen any person show concern for anyone other than themselves.

The druids either do not see the moral decay that has permeated every soul within this wretched land or the corruption runs so deep that even they must tread with caution. I pray that it is the latter.

The wealthy merchant families squabble amongst themselves and see each family and person as obstacles or tools for their amusement and prosperity. This place is so fragmented by constant subterfuge, theft, murder, and crime, that I almost feel that an organized thieves’ guild would be preferable to this land of eternal chaos. But I must not give up hope yet. Perhaps we can tip the balance and help the druids make this place hospitable once again. If we fail, I do not know what good will ever befall these people…

Dorrestral, the man we once rescued from gnolls, still remains imprisoned for allegedly murdering his close friend Surovoy . While the druids claim that there is insurmountable evidence of his guilt, I do not see how anyone could believe that a man so brimming with life and laughter could be the miscreant they claim he is. Though we are beginning to discover what truly transpired, we find ourselves more and more at the mercy of scoundrels of all kind and their ilk. Finding Ogre Magi hairs and ichor at the crime scene and after accidentally telling a man named Karn that we thought he was guilty of deceit, destruction, and spreading the plague, we raced to the inn so that we would not be helpless prey in a town that swarms with thieves in the night.

We were not fast enough.

Though we were able to reunite with friends and find new allies, we were ambushed and Oisin nearly killed! Worst yet, Spark, our beloved gnome with the heart of a giant, had not been seen since he took to the streets, searching for his stolen holy symbol and demanding justice and equity in a land that knows neither

We survived though, which is all that one can hope for when everything and everyone is bent on stealing rather than giving and ignoring evil instead of confronting it. That night we interrogated our assailants, but only gathered that Karn could be found at “The Flop”. As Oisin, Farekith, and I prepared to talk to the only eye witness to the crime, we received a package that contained Spark’s bright red mustache and a letter telling us to “stay put”. It seems that someone wished to trade Spark for the ruffian that we interrogated.

But as my companions refuse to let evil have the initiative, we left the inn and spoke to the only one who could clear the name of the falsely accused. Blood was spilled, but as bloodshed should never be glorified, I will only say that the fair lady who found herself in a desperate time and place finally revealed a host of names that implicate Karn and his thugs in the murder of Dorrestral. I would write more, but our recent actions have made us enemies of both the city guards and the criminals they knowingly or unknowingly protect. We must act quickly and decisively to save our friend, the falsely accused, and the city from chaos, suffering, and death. I hope fate has not yet given up on us.

From the journal of Quentenius Weatherby III

Session XLIX : Murder mystery in Darnegal
as recounted by Oisin on the 17th day of Firebloom

Arriving at the druidic enclave, Darnegal , we took residence at the Dancing Centaur, an inn popular amongst travelers. We broke bread with the trio we rescued , Dorrestral, Survoy & Mariella. Afterwards, Surovoy left with a very attractive (for a human) female and some of our group opted to explore the town by way of the various inns.

Upon waking the following day, Mariella came to us saying the bard Surovoy had been murdered, supposedly, by the cleric of the House of Secrets, Dorrestral. We agreed to investigate as witnessing the two the night before we could not believe Dorrestral would murder his friend.

I purchased nicer clothes in order to be able to make a more positive 1st impression. While in the market, I caught a nasty human thief trying to pick my pockets. I called for the guards after he attempted to start a fight and feigned being hurt by my accusation while clearly showing his disgust of my people by slinging slurs for the elven kind. Having better things to do, I let him leave after making sure my belongings were not taken. Upon meeting my friends I told them of the thief and to check to make sure no one was missing anything. Spark discovered his holy symbol had been taken. Spark was distraught so I helped him attempt to find the thief but, after a little while we stopped the search and attended to other things.

Returning to our inn, we encountered Terasin, the druid for whom we had been looking in order to give to him a green book containing the last will and testament of Feodol, his late friend. He gave us information and a reward for our efforts but not before he an Spark found themselves embroiled in a theological tiff resulting in Spark storming off in a huff. Huffs and tiffs! This was developing to be one kind of night!

As Mariella was no longer welcomed at Dorrestral’s church, we offered her a place to stay. Next, we went to the Golden Goblet to talk to the nobles to see if we could find out any information about Karn.

At the Golden Goblet, we encountered the mysterious Karn himself. After accidentally** revealing who Mariella was and that we were looking to him for answers concerning the plague, we ran back to the inn to regroup and arm ourselves. Meeting my friends we agreed to seek out Karn but noticed Spark was no where to be found…

Session XLVIII: Over the hills & through the woods...
As recounted by Rossi

Not much happened on the first day after I parted ways with my caravan. Opting to go south, I traversed the Majestic Mountains via the road called the Emperor’s Way.

The following day I was gladdened to espy a village in the distance and my spirits were lifted by the prospects of ale and a cooked meal. By the gods was I wrong! The people I approached in the field were savage & ill-intentioned as one of them tried to bite me. I tried to flee and was going to die fighting when an arrow appeared in the neck of one of the grey people. A Sylvan man rode to the rescue and offered me his spare horse to escape.

We rode swiftly away and rejoined his motley group of friends who were encamped within a cave some distance away. I gathered that these companions were well traveled and I was fascinated to hear of their journeys . This is what Fharlanghn has called me to do!

We spent the night camping by firelight at the mouth of a cave and rode away in the morning after hearing buzzing noises. The other party members said it was gnolls. We tried to evade them but they stayed in close pursuit despite the fact that Valas, an experienced ranger, tried to mentor us in covering our tracks.

We found a stone house with a strange man standing in front of it. He wasn’t too friendly and left. I wanted to fight there but we went into the woods to lose the pursuers again. We found a crevasse in the earth where it looked as if a giant dwelle. We ran from that too. I’m not sure how brave my companions are. While were getting away, my horse became lame but Fharlanghn granted me the ability to heal it him so that I was able to continue our journey .

We then came upon a stone door set in the hillside. Translated runes indicated it
was the hall of the hill chief. Unable to enter it, we left. We happened upon the Emperor’s Way again and heard a great noise from the distance. I thought it might be a vision but there was a real dragon on the horizon!

After crossing the road, the gnolls caught up to us and I witnessed some true bravery in the battle. Though I am not yet as strong as my companions, I was able to help them defeat the gnolls, which were quite fearsome!

Now it was time for some proper travel without being hounded every step. Finally, we arrived at Darnegal. I don’t know where this path leads but I know it will be a journey worth taking.

Session XLVII as recounted by Quentenius
15th day of Firebloom

My last thoughts before drifting could not be true, I ruminated. My new friend and ally, Taron, transformed into a cursed, nightmarish creature, stripping him of his reason, and leaving him as a bloodthirsty fiend controlled by nothing but his animalistic passions!

Upon awakening, my friend had disappeared but soon returned with two of our missing comrades. He acted as the friend I once knew, but even he did not deny his horrific transformation into a were-creature.

For some unknown reason, I greeted my friend and accepted him back into our group. I must have been mad! But when I looked around, all of my companions seemed happy to see him once more. My only conclusion is that we must all have lost our minds, to be in denial of what we all saw, or worst yet, I am the only one of my friends who is not a were-creature. Why else would they accept a monster into their midst?

Regrouped once more, we set out to rescue a group of people captured and enslaved by gnolls. Perhaps this is why I refused to believe that my friends were all evil bloodthirsty beasts. They seemed to be risking their lives for others, but I was still wary and uncertain. Perhaps they were luring me into a trap to make me one of their own. I could not abandon those enslaved by the tribe of gnolls and I could not abandon a friend who could need my help. We continued our search for the enslaved, though I thought, I might find nothing but my death.

Soon we discovered the gnoll camp. Feng charged the horde with a rage and hatred of evil that I had never before seen. In fact, all my friends risked their lives for these people even though we didn’t know any of the prisoners. I was relieved and glad that I stayed with my new found friends. How could I abandon such allies who were willing to sacrifice for people they had never met?

The fight was not easy. The size of the horde was greater than any of us anticipated. We were soon overwhelmed and when I saw Fang take a near fatal wound, I thought we were all going to die. I found myself in a moral dilemma. I just put several of their warriors to sleep with a well-cast spell, but I knew that they were just the first wave to strike my comrades. I could either hope that my spell would keep my enemies entranced or I could end them with the sword. Torn as I was, I killed my enemies. I could not risk the lives of my comrades because of my moral objections, especially when it looked like we were going to be overrun and killed.

Eventually, we were victorious, but Taron once again transformed into a were-badger. After the battle had ended, he fled into the wilderness. As my friend risked his life for ours, I must find a way to save my friend before his soul becomes corrupted like the monster that cursed him.

From the journal of
Quentenius Weatherby III

As recounted by Oisin

After securing the Ram’s Head Inn, the party met with their fellow adventurers from some previous exploits. Represented were Quentenius, Oisin, Taron, Feng, Nigel, & Magnifico.

A few of us heard a strange noise and went outside to investigate. It would seem that a pack of gnolls was invading the town. Quentenius volunteered to provide a distraction so that we could set up a counter defense. We stepped outside and were greeted with arrows and stone.

The gnolls attempted to surround our location. Magnifico sang a song that lifted our spirits, providing our group with strength and focus to help strike down our foes. I took to the inside of the inn to better position myself to strike and avoid enemy arrows. Summoning a celestial eagle to aid my companions, it soared into battle, striking down a gnoll before returning to its plane. Taking cover from the window, I let loose several arrows eventually striking one enemy down myself. The gnolls were slain while we took the leader, Snaggletooth, prisoner.

The next day, my fellows interrogated the gnoll. While preparing my spells for the day, I heard the gnoll say they had taken elves prisoner from previous raids. I stormed into the interrogation and jammed an arrow into the creature’s leg and demanded to be led to the place where his tribe held the prisoners. It was agreed to scout the gnoll camp.

Embarking into the foothills of the Majestic Mountains, we traveled into a low lying area that filled with a fog so thick I could not see more than a foot in front of me. We saw what looked like lantern lights and heard people speaking the common tongue and went to investigate. As we ventured further we came to a cavemouth.

As we approached it, a great black bear came out and attacked. Noticing a floating globe I deduced we had been led astray by will-O’-the- wisp. I was greatly surprised upon attacking the creature with magic missiles it seemed to easily avoid the attack. When the bear was vanquished the tiny creature vanished.

Thereupon, I heard a voice in my head calling out to me and several others, it would seem, all of whom had recently slain gnolls. It claimed that it (he?) would give us great power and to help us slay gnolls. Compelled by my thirst for knowledge and for any additional help in rescuing the gnolls prisoners, I followed the voice.

Passing through a small fissure in the back of the cave, we came upon a stream and 2 gnome statues. A globe of darkness descended upon us as we started to cross the stream. Hanging back I saw floating squid-like creatures flying to attack. After defeating the creatures, we approached the but pathway the gnome statues started to block our path.

Then an apparition warned us not to venture further. Not heeding its warning, the statues then attacked us but we were able to destroy them with minimal effort.

Descending into a small cavern, we saw a sword, audibly calling out to all to pick it up and take vengeance on gnolls.

Scourge.jpgAfter an encounter with a creature made of water, Feng picked up the sword. It called itself Scourge and compelled Feng to decapitate our captive gnoll before allowing him to sheath the blade.

With our gnoll guide slain, we had to figure out how to find the gnoll encampment. As we exited the cave into the moonlight, I witnessed Taron shapeshifting into something I’ve never seen before: a human-sized badger!

Session XLV: Enter the Xosa & onto Catellan
As recounted by Oisin

Having encountered a mix of summoned rats and rat swarms beneath the abandoned hamlet, we decided to return to the surface. Topside, we saw a Halfling fleeing from three men clad in black & red on horseback.

Having expended my spells down in the tunnels, I unslung my bow and held back as my companions entered combat to assist the poor, little fellow. After a prolonged and bloody battle, just when the raiders seemed to have won, stealing one of our horses to boot, my companions managed to take down the leader and one of his comrades and drove the remaining one off.

Opting to return to Hindfell and rest and heal before embarking to the druid enclave, I spent most of the next day copying a new spell from my new companion’s spell book and the remainder of the day seeking out a wizard with whom to trade or converse. I was told of a person named Redman Dumple, one of the remaining members of some conclave called “The Nine” but did not make his acquaintance.

My companions decided to head to the temple of the Spider God for healing before heading out into the Wilderlands. There, Taron was able to garner their services in exchange for an impressively-sized ruby.

Upon reaching the Catellan, we found it deserted with a smoking pile of corpses in the town square. Hearing a banging sound coming from the nearby inn, we went to investigate.

The noise emanated from the root cellar, the trap door of which, was barred. We decided to let whatever was out to see if we could question what had happened. A grey skinned female monster attacked us. Thankfully, it was a quick battle and the monster was destroyed easily.

Upon searching the inn, we found a ledger indicating a priestess, her elven handmaiden and a male companion were recent guests. The journal described how the companions were attempting to locate and stop the source of a plague which they thought to be passed from a merchant named Karn (who mysteriously arrived and left days before the enclave was abandoned).

Was the grey skinned female monster one of the three companions that were staying at the inn? Time will tell as we continue to investigate.

Session XLIII: Magnifico’s travels begin & the Ivory Tower
Waterday, 12th of Firebloom, BCCC 4433

Great fortune, Fate has finally been kind to me! With coin purse depleted from recent travels, I headed home to Hindfell. There, I paid a visit to my father, but for an unimpressive supper, though, he had not the time for me. I subsequently took to singing for my future suppers at the Wayfarer’s Inn. But, alas, let me get to the best part: death came calling but not for me!

Without going into detail, one night, the 11th of Firebloom, to be exact, was magnificently eventful. Spells were thrown, skin was charred, and blood was spilled. I watched the events unfold before me as a group of what seemed to be inauspicious travelers were targeted by the Vermillion Mage and his cohorts. By the gods, could these travelers handle themselves! They might very well be my means out of town if I could but persuade them to let me join them…

The next morning, the inn was in shambles and the bar was closed. I descended from my room to see further divine luck! Those same adventurers were seated round a table! But how was I to convince them to allow me into their ranks? They hadn’t noticed me yet as I skulked from around a corner, eyeing their demeanor. On second thought, had they caught me looking, things might have turned out worse for me.

Unannounced, a Tharbrian Chieftain named Mauric 10c0a5bf95cba6c603ff27be2a70c220_1_.jpgand his retinue entered. The barkeep, Varlec Threefingers immediately served him a drink although previously he had declared the bar to be closed. The travelers stated they were bound Northeast to Catalin to seek some druid. Mauric was heartened to hear this and encouraged them to leave forthwith. He also warned them to beware the Xosa clan, notorious reavers and raiders.

From previous passerby, I’d heard of an ivory tower just west of Catalin that was said to be haunted but laden with spoils. I figured this information, along with my scintillating companionship, would entice the group to let me join them. Who could say no to having Magnifico the Magnificent around them at all times!?

As I formulated my persuasion into words, a wizened figure suddenly appeared in the shadowed corner of the room. 1778e88945a30eee63fcacab7b4d502b_1_.jpgI watched he & Taron discuss some matter. From what I could overhear, something about replacing animals or magical beasts, I couldn’t quite catch it all. The group turned to discuss amongst themselves, then turned back to the mage who then cast two spells of great power on two of the adventurers. So great in fact, I could not tell what magic it was! The mage then vanished into the shadows.

Now was my chance! I moved in and introduced myself. They were not overly impressed by my previous night’s performance but I could not blame them, for I was uninspired and Fate had chosen them as the stars of the evening; it’s the only explanation of how they could have escaped that battle alive! Further using my charming personality, I convinced them to let me join them. Oh fortune’s favor, the future adventures that await!

We set out into the pouring rain to the marketplace. The group split up and visited various shops. When the group reconvened, we all agreed that everyone should have horses or some type of transport. I threw in my contributions but the elf, Valas, covered most of the cost. I received quite the spirited palamino but the beast learned to accept my commands. From there, we got food and drink supplies then headed out towards Catalin.

Fate would have us off course as we headed towards our destination, instead ending up at the ivory tower. We soon found out the rumors to be true, that it is haunted by a robed ghastly apparition.

As we approached closer, a ghastly shriek filled my ears. The next thing I remember, I was back outside the keep’s ruined walls with some of my allies who experienced the same thing. We would be brave this time and I led the way, filling my allies’ ears with harmonic melody and drowning out all else. The ghost continued to shriek but this time it affected no one. As we got closer, we inspected the tower and noticed what seemed to be a transparent wall of blue force magic preventing the ghost from reaching us. The figure gazed at us with malcontent as we were clearly disturbing his sanctuary.

As we further explored the ruins, we took up arms of steel and magic against the creatures that made the rubbled keep their home. 8edab6c751b1817d8ab0cb95ba587703.jpgBeetles and other foul insectoids the size of dogs spit bile and clawed at us, only to be defeated by our group’s superior strength and tactics. I played my mandolin and filled the air with poetic inspirations that further led my allies to an overwhelming victory.

Valas then noticed something in a unkempt orchard on the far side of the tower. As he approached, thorny vines entangled and lashed at him. The orchard was alive! I swung desperately as the hedges as did Nigel the dwarf but to no avail, we could not cut him free. Valas managed to escape but the orchard continued its onslaught of vicious whips. Thinking quickly, Valas covered the plants with oil and Spark lit it ablaze! Feng, the Half-Orc, and Taron, the other elf, charged in and cleaned up what remained of the orchard.

I don’t remember much of the last battle. 5d89cc4d27e2c99b65aa0b151b53b30a.jpgA beetle the size of a horse emerged from the rubble. We readied for combat and some of our attacks glanced off its carapace as it charged our group. I awoke to Spark’s healing touch and they explained I was trampled by the beast and thus, missed Valas’s perfect arrow shot that found a small gap between the massive chitinous plate.

From the ghostly shriek, we lost 2 horses and those in better shape went and tracked them down. As dusk began to fall, the group agreed it was time to rest before even considering exploring what has turned out to be quite the dangerous place.

Session XLI: Feodol's Basement (as recounted by Karn)
Airday, 11th day of Firebloom; More fun than a barrel of...

After the defeat of Belak the Outcast and his minions beneath the Sunken Spires, the party rested for the night. Erky Timbers, Feng, and Karn along with newcomer, Sebian, decided to head out while the rest of the party packed up the camp. With the goal of returning the signet ring found upon the now dead mage to her family, they set off towards the village of Hindfell

Upon their arrival, the half orcs found the guardsmen, part of a contingent known as the Crimson Keepers, to be rude and unhelpful and, thusly, perceived Hindfell to be a bit inhospitable to non-humans. A helpful, yet dubiously crippled beggar named Irfun pointed out the Hucreles’ compound on a low rise across the market.

The busy market square had an array of interesting shops and vendors and was made busier when a procession of dancing people in golden spider masks came through while the crowd threw coins and trinkets at them. Apparently, they were worshippers of Nepthylis, the spider god of prosperity, although most of Hindfell was said to practice ancestor worship. Also creating a stir was the sighting of one Commander Zaberiot astride his black hippogriff circling the bazaar with his company’s banner fluttering from his lance.

The adventurers made their way up to the Hucreles’ yurt (it was a very impressive, as far as yurts go) and returned the signet ring. The party regaled him with tales of their exploits (judiciously leaving out the part about Feng cleaving Bradford or how they slew Sharwynn). Feng also returned the family heirloom, Shatterspike. They were rewarded with drinks and a coffer of gold. They inveighed upon Sir Hucrele to let them keep Shatterspike and he was so inclined if only they rendered assistance to an associate of his…

It is here where present difficulties began.

Hucrele’s associate, Larissa Batharda, was influential in “less than legal circles” and her father, Feodol Batharda, had recently passed away. Overcome with grief, she sought aid to get her father’s will from the basement before her scheming brother could get it. The party said they’d think about it and stepped outside to discuss. Irfun the beggar, now uncrippled, ran up with a message from her brother, Dennel Batharda aka the Vermillion Mage, imploring the adventurers to get the will before his scheming sister could get to it. Both siblings promised a large reward.

After attempting to verify the legality of their venture, the party entered the dilapidated manor house and went to the basement to find the will. After much searching, they found a pipe and apple tobacco, a smoking jacket with dried fruit in the pockets, a magic spoon, and a loose stone which they pushed in. Nothing happened. After racking their heads, they pushed the stone to the left and a secret door opened. The next room had a starving guard dog in it which they dispatched easily. Therein they found cinnamon scented candle in a tin that said “Remember” and another container marked “Helpful” with 6 magical grapes. The next room had some old trophies and deeds on the walls, a busted up suit of armor, and a congress of monkeys. Oh, the monkeys!

They tossed rocks at the party when they entered. However the rocks were actually thunderstones and struck everyone deaf. Karn dumped the fruit on the ground and it placated the monkeys. Then, an angry Feng chopped a monkey in half and the simians fled through holes in the walls into the next room. After the barbarian bashed in the door, the leaders of the monkeys, 2 medium baboons attacked. The party was pretty angry at this point and proceeded to slaughter all the little troublemakers. It was messy and satisfying.

Finally, behind a metal door was the will on a desk at the end of a room. As Karn was approaching, something unseen bit his leg. Since no one saw what did it, he quickly ran to the desk, grabbed everything on it and ran out of the room. On the way out his other leg was bitten.
A reading of the will, revealed Feodol didn’t want either of his greedy offspring to inherit his wealth. Instead, his last wishes were to bequeath his earthly possessions to a druid named Terasin to whom he owed a life debt.

After discussing the matter, the party agreed the will should go to said druid. When they attempted to leave Feodol’s basement, however, representatives from both the sister and brother were there and demanded the will. Sebian tried to outsmart them and turn them against each other but they were too stupid to outsmart. So he chucked a bunch of monkey thunder stones at them and then the group killed the big thug while the mage ran away.

So now, both mages and thieves are looking for said will whilst the group has decided to give it to the aforementioned druid.

Session XXIII: Beneath the Twisted Tree
14th of Dewsnap, BCCC 4433

Cal’renn, the warlock, Soz Ticonderoga, and Corwin embarked once more to face the challenges of the twisted tree.

Upon gaining entrance, the party immediately noticed that things were awry. The central fungal patch showed signs of having been burnt and there were several corpses of Midwynnian woodsmen suspended and punctured by the tree’s interior roots.

As they pondered their next move, they were joined by Atos’ old nemesis, Vortigern GameofThrones.jpgwith a man-at-arms in tow, claiming credit for the carnage within. It would seem that the herbalist, Termion, growing impatient with the lack of success from the adventurers in accomplishing their mission of gathering specific components, had farmed out the task to others.

Vortigern proposed an alliance and Cal, with trepidation, accepted. Inside, found himself at odds with a violent toadstool when he went to investigate a fungal patch off to the side of the tree’s interior, shattering his masterwork dagger in the process. Further investigation yielded a hidden tunnel leading downward into the tree’s roots.

In the earthen passages underneath, Corwin blundered unawares into an intersection where he was set upon by a twain of viscous badgers lying in wait. With the aid of his compatriots, the viscous beasts were dispatched and masterwork crossbow bolts sized for a small wielder were unearthed but not before Corwin was incapacitated. With his wounds bandaged, the unconscious ranger was left behind, topside.

The remaining adventurers pressed on…

Further ahead, they found a mold encrusted room and a pair of severed arms upon shelves bearing interesting looking bracers which Vortigern laid claim to and to which Cal meekly acquiesced. Also found was Crone’s Ear, one of the herbalist’s sought after morels.

Forging onward into the next room was something’s lair, short & scaly, ill-tempered & spell throwing, it cursed: Away! Away from here! This Skunge’s home – mine, mine, mine! Back to sky with you all! You no get my blood bite! It all for me, I make it! You no get my blood bite! It all for me. You no get blood bite for scale brothers – it my glory! It my creation!

Aided by dire beasts both rat & badger and a summoned swarm of bats, the diminutive caster sent the party running but alas, Vortigern’s lackey woodsman and the luckless warlock were run down and slain by the raging, blood thirsty badger.

Back at Midwynn, the remaining twain, quest completed, were each rewarded by Termion the herbalist with a brace of useful potions and coins.

A grim bargain, the reward gained, paid in blood.


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