Dominion Twilight

Session 10

Meddling In Local Politics…Yet Again

- near Mayfort, Selday, 22th of Hamsur, 8633 (day 50) –

Our adventurers advance towards Malloy Castle whilst still debating whether their ploy of the replacement C.A.R.T. they made is going to work or not. Whilst they walk through the gates, being led in by the castle guards, they know they have to run with it now.

They immediately are ushered to a large room near the throne room where a council meeting is in session, again being disarmed in the progress. When they walk in they see that Danius Romani (MoJ), Suaul Prius (MoU), Saundra Revell (MoE) and Dari Xarot (MoR&D) are present with the meeting being overseen by King Malloy.

Once greetings have been extended to the group they are invited to report back on the situation in Nidusu. They relay what they encountered in the caverns conveniently leaving out the bit where the main protagonist seems to be Faizo’s dad.

Once they’ve relayed the whole story and some clarifying questions have been asked Malloy seems to take a pragmatic almost casual approach to the situation informing the group he will send a MoU representative to Nidusu to check the situation out.

He simultaneously reveals he has some good news from Erech: An assassin has killed Colonel Orban. The assassin has disappeared without a trace and although the Councillors of Erech claim to know nothing about it this seems beyond credulity. The councillors have once again made a deal with the soldiers. They have retreated back to the fort however now 200 men from Erech will join them whilst at the same time releasing any soldier that wanted to leave and return home. A soldier has become a general but oversees the fort together with a local administrator who is named Sanna. Taxes will be levied at point of entry (either fort or harbour) and soldiers will receive a rather very good pay now rather than keeping tax money. Finally Malloy informs them that unfortunately there has been no progress on the information requests they had lodged at their arrival in Mayfort and that for now there is no immediate need for them. They are free to collect their pay for the mission and to go their own way.

Dari at this moment springs up and excitedly tells them he will come with them as he has something wonderful to show them. Leaving the council meeting behind them Dari first leads them to the MoE office where they each receive a bag of 5000 Gp. Dari then, whilst almost jealously glancing at the money, leads them to his R&D office.

Here he shows them a white lily. When the group, understandably so, doesn’t react very excitedly he starts to widely exclaim the purpose of this magnificent flower which he has called a Whispering Lilies. They come in pairs and grow within a day or two after being planted. When only one bulb is planted, both plants in a bonded pair appear white, but change colour when the other half of the pair is planted. If the one plant dies, then the other also withers and dies. When the matching lily is planted, the first changes colour so that anyone monitoring it will know to listen to it

The most interesting use of these flowers is that their roots transmit communication that can be only be heard and interpreted by the bulb’s other half. Speak into an open flower, and the message comes out of its twin.

Dari by now is almost besides himself with joy. The group however reacts luke warm to the idea although they (fain?) gratitude when they receive five seeds.

Dari then enquires where the C.A.R.T. and when he learns it’s in the courtyard he says that he will get Coryn to retrieve it as it seems he is already busy in his with his next project, whatever that may be.

The group leave him behind happy for him to retrieve the C.A.R.T. at a later time. When they receive their weapons back Dave immediately notices his beloved greatsword is slightly heavier than normal. Upon inspection he notices a small paper of parchment has been attached to the hilt.

When outside the castle he let Faizo reads it: “we got an interesting proposal for you. Meet us on the north side of the coliseum tomorrow at sundown.”

On the way to the Warrior and Pipe the group discusses what the note could mean and what to do with it. They agree to scout the meeting place first and they all agree they should see what the proposal is.

They walk to the coliseum and take stock of the meeting place but it’s rather unremarkable comprised solely of arid dry land and the outer wall of the coliseum which stands about 25 meters tall.

They discuss various options but in the end agree just to turn up and see what happens.
Back at the Warrior and Pipe Dave immediately takes out his lute again and starts to play two songs called ‘Whispering Lilly, don’t look silly at my willy’ and the more downbeat ‘Grandma ain’t fat, she is just undead’. The second song dampens the mood a little after it had been lifted by the first light-hearted willy song. He however still collects an impressive 14 Gp from the appreciative crowd.

Kai and Faizo have long since retired to their bedrooms, not wanting their eardrums to be damaged by the awful sounds of Dave’s lute and Dave decides it’s time to call it a day as well.

At dawn break they all go shopping together. Dave procures a better broadsword, trading his trusty old sword in for a discount. Kai stocks up on various items to be able to make potions. Faizo unsuccessfully tries to find a masterwork crossbow but puts in an order with a willing merchant, accepting he will pay a premium price for it.

When dusk sets in they make their way to the meeting spot and not long after having arrived a large man comes around the corner. He is an above average length heavily build male with curly brown hair to chin length. His eyebrows are thick and heavily arched and below them sit a set of electric blue coloured eyes. He has a hooked nose and you notice he also has a mole on his forehead above his left eye.

After exchanging uncomfortable pleasantries he immediately gets down to business:
I am a member of a group that is concerned with the future of Ergon. We are being led by a powerful person who is close to Malloy. This group was started by my boss when it came to our boss’ attention that atrocities were been committed in the name of urbanisation. My boss had first believed in the mission that Malloy has started but has now lost faith in that Malloy the right man for Ergon.

In fact my boss believes that he is actually damaging Ergon’s interests by obsessively focusing on the ‘war’ with the Freedom’s Alliance.

Now, we’ve been following you since your arrival in Ergon and understand you to be morally correct group and have seen how you’ve dealt with the situation in Samadea and in Nidusu. We have also heard about your role in Erech.

This has led us to believe that you are the right people for our cause.

Now before I go ahead it would be silly to assume you would just voluntarily throw yourself into local politics without proof of these atrocities and a reward. I can therefore reveal that we know that you’ve requested certain information from King Malloy at your arrival in Ergon and that he has told you that he could not find what you were looking for.

But we know in fact that there was information found that is now purposefully being withheld from you. We also can get our hands on this information, information that we believe is very important to you. This then shall be your payment for helping us.

Of course there could be other rewards in the future but for now this will do I hope.

If you are willing to help us please travel to Tungar and ask the warden of the Silver Sun and order a plate of mutton and ale. After this has been served go to the warden and ask if he is sure if the mutton has been well cooked today. Things will take care of itself then. Our local contact will then lead you to the site of a massacre so you can see for yourself what evil is hiding beneath the veneer of urbanisation.

Having finished the adventurers ask some clarifying questions and sniggering a bit at the, perhaps a little too presumptuous, naming of the group as the Justice Collective.
The man is all business however and pins them down for an immediate reply to his proposal. When they ask if he can give a hint as to what the withheld information by Malloy might be he says that it might be regarding the location of the village where Kai says he is from. This makes the deal and they agree to the deal.

They however have not promised to act on it as soon as possible so the next day they all go their own way. Fayzo stays in his room the whole day apparently crafting an item. Kai goes outside the city to make healing potions and Dave dresses up as a hobo intent on hitting the street trying to learn some more about the alleged massacre in Faeryl and / or the Justice Collective.

After a few days they reconvene and Dave says he has had three confirmations of the rumour but had a total blank on the Justice Collective. They decide this is enough information and they go to a stable where Dave surprises everyone by buying a round of horses for everyone. Faizo in the meantime has gone back to the merchant and to his joy he has a masterwork crossbow. Some clever negotiating brings the price down to an acceptable level for Faizo and a deal is made.

Faizo requests a white horse but not appreciating the apparently arrogant request the stable owner gives him his blackest horse. Faizo defiantly names it Snow Flake. Dave calls his horse Dave and Kai doesn’t want to name it (yet?).
They set out to Tungar and on the way sleep over at the Blue Axe. Nothing out of the ordinary happens and the next day they ride into Tungar and have no problem finding the Silver Sun.

They walk into the pub that is empty and order mutton and ale. Dave is very conscious to order ‘mutton and ale’ specifically. The barman seems to get what Dave is hinting and merrily walks off to shout the order through to the kitchen.

Once the food arrives Dave walks up to the barman and asks if the mutton has been well cooked. He in turn says that they should follow him to the kitchen where he can show them how the mutton is cooked, giving a big wink in the progress.

Faizo proposes to eat the mutton first however as they are very hungry as they’ve travelled all day. They wolf down the food and then follow the barman into the kitchen. He disappears and comes back down and shouts that’s ok to come down. The local contact is surely to make an appearance now.

Faizo mouths drops when the person who comes down the staircase is instantly recognisable as the half-elf cook Luthien who they had met on the Providence on their journey from Erech to Mayfort. She lets out gasp as well as she momentarily cannot comprehend why foreigners she barely knows are contacting her with regards to the Justice Collective.

But the upshot is that what could have been a tense situation is instantly transformed in a casual affair. They go to the bar area and share a drink where Luthien explains that the massacre site they want to visit is near here and that she had first hand seen the horrible carnage. She had made a complaint to the local Urbanisation but she had been fobbed off with a cursory ‘we’ll look into it’. Later she had, out of the blue, been contacted by a agent of the Justice Collective who had recruited her. Their visit had been the first ‘assignment’ since joining about eight months ago.

Having told this Dave and Kai exchange glances and proclaim they are really tired and are going to sleep. They leave a slightly awkward feeling Faizo behind who, when prompted, tells his whole life story to Luthien. She is taken aback at the misfortune he has had to endure during his life and a Faizo feels a warm feeling emanating from her. They then also call it a night.

The next morning they rise early and after eating mutton, yes mutton, for breakfast, they head out towards what used to be Faeryl.

They enter the woodlands area they recognise as the same kind of woods that they have liberally burned to the ground further east. The whole rides takes no longer than 20 minutes.

In small clearing in the forest the remains of three burnout farms can be seen. Luthien explains that for generations the same families had lived here and that was the reason why they refused to move to an urbanised town. Having initially been left alone they were in for a horrific surprise when it seemed the hamlet was ambushed, it’s residents (23 in all) escorted away and the building razed to the ground.

Luthien explains the mass grave is just minutes away. The adventurers decide to investigate the scene and they all take a farm to have a closer look at.

They find nothing of interest apart from Kai who finds a hidden cache of items that contains:
- A book with an indecipherable first page. It tells the story of the Oracle who now lives on Krogh Rise
- A sling glove with bullets (1 x smoke, 10 x moaning & 10 x plain)
- 2 x bolts (hushing, sleep)
- Magical growing beans x 5

Kai keeps the book and the sling glove for himself whilst giving the bullets to Dave with Faizo receiving the bolts. Faizo is very intrigued by the book as it’s emanates a strong aura. Kai is at first unwilling to even give it out his hands causing instant suspicion as to the book’s power. When he eventually allows the others to look at it Dave decides to try to read the first page. He instantly gets a splitting head ache and has light blotches in his eyes.

This makes them decide to put the book away for now until perhaps the next day when Faizo can use this identify magic spell again.

Luthien then demands they move on, seemingly a bit irritated over the squabbling over dead people’s stuff. She leads them further into the woods until they reach the site. She explains that they’ve left the site as it is to serve as proof this really happened. They briefly move away some of the earth but as soon as the earth gives way to bones they decide they’ve seen enough.

Luthien is then finally ready to give them their mission. The Justice Collective has reason to believe that this was done by a rogue element of Malloy’s army called The Enforcers. They are currently believed the be operating in area where the ‘war’ with the Freemen’s Alliance is being fought. She asks them to find this group and kill them as it is believed they have and are committing similar atrocities over there.

The group eagerly accepts the mission and with that Luthien turns to Faizo and asks for a personal favour. She wants to visit the Oracle for guidance from Gozreh, who she serves. However the journey there is very perilous, Gozreh according to legend made it very difficult as he wanted his advice not to be an easily claimed privilege.

Faizo without consulting, and possibly love struck, loudly proclaims that he is more than willing to follow suit. Dave briefly queries if the party will be split then but Luthien assures they all need to come as it will need all them to make it through the dangerous journey alive…

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Session 9

About Killing Evil, a Family Reunion and Facing Up To The Consequences Of Your Actions

- Caverns near Nidusu, Jannaday, 26th of Zepha, 8633 (day 39) –

In the last session a shocked Fayzo was left behind to face the enemies all alone. He decides to start running away. Before doing so, he does manage to skewer two demonchildren-heads together with an arrow, killing both at once.

He however suffers greatly from a negative energy attack. It is not looking too good for Fayzo who desperately is wondering where Dave and Kai have gone.

Dave and Kai find themselves next to Elizar once more. The wizard looks incredibly exhausted and is holding a big bag that he empties in the hands of Kai. Out come 14 potions of moderate healing. With that he seems to use his last powers to teleport them back to the cave. They find themselves short however, in a tunnel somewhere. It doesn’t take long though for sounds of a fight to reach their ears, and relieved they sprint up the tunnel towards the cave.

Having been reunited with an even more relieved Fayzo, Fayzo relays what Skargul had shouted and they all realise now what it means: damage heals him and healing damages him.

Having realised this now they close quarters with the necromancer after disposing of the children with relative ease. Having gotten to striking distance of Skargul they are lucky a few times where an apparent easy strike is botched by Skargul and especially Dave can count himself lucky he is not close to death.

They start to lob healing potions to Skargul and the screams of agony confirms their theory! He is getting weaker and weaker and eventually an epic diving move from Kai results in him landing on top of Skargul and he thrusts a potion into the mouth of the necromancer. This is the killing blow and he falls to the ground, his body disappearing and leaving just his robe behind.

The heroes cheer as this fight was a hard one before they realised how to dispose of the evil creature. They now also spot the mirror at the back of the cave which is on top of some sort of altar. Giddy with anticipation of what they will find they rush up to the mirror.

Fayzo gets there first and the mirror seems to be some sort of a portal or view to somewhere else as he can look into what appears to be a room in a castle or stone building. People are walking past until one notices him. The person gestures and an Elfish man in black and red robes appears. He inquisitively peers into the mirror, has a realisation, pulls over one of the people milling around him, slits his throat and with the body, blood pouring out, dips his fingers in the blood. His hand blood stained he starts to write on the mirror. On it the following letters appear:

H E L L O

S O N

Having written this message his face contorts in anger and he smashes the mirror causing the picture to disappear and the mirror becoming a normal mirror yet again.
Having witnessed this horrific event happen he turns to Dave and Kai and explains his past and how he has an estranged dad who it seems, is not estranged anymore. Where this dad is or what his intentions are is not clear but that they don’t seem to be pointing to a happy ending seems clear!

They backtrack with Slosh through the caverns having asked the guide to lead them back to the graveyard entrance they entered the caverns through.

At one point Slosh directs Dave into a tunnel where he promptly gets attacked by a grey ooze taking damage in the progress. Slosh laughs and says that that should teach him to cut his tail off.

Dave immediately tries to retaliate again with his friends holding him back but Slosh has seen the writing on the wall and disappears in the dark leaving the group lost and stranded.

Kai’s natural senses however lead the group back to the entrance after he recognises a few landmarks no one else would have noticed. When they finally climb out into the sunlight a sense of relief washes over them. After all the darkness and evil they’ve witnessed it feels like they are back in the land of the living once more.

They track back to the village and go straight to Elizar and relate the story. Elizar also asks them to take care of Zinnia the Zombie Grandma. They go to the barn and dispose of her easily. The group then decides to apply make-up to make it appear she died of natural causes (yet again) instead of revealing the dark truth. They prop her up in such a way and put flowers around her so that when the relatives enter to say their goodbyes all they see is their peaceful granny rather than an undead abomination.

They then decide to recuperate in Nudisu as they are all badly beaten by the travels into the caverns. During this time Fayzo spends a lot of time with Elizar who teaches him the Admixture School of magic. This will greatly enhance his capabilities in the near future.
Once they are all well rested they decide they need to travel back to Mayfort and tell everything they witnessed here. On their way back to the C.A.R.T. they start to anxiously ponder on the fate of the vehicle as the forest diminishes as they travel forward and gives way to a burnt out landscape, the result of the fight with the needle teeth children they had.

When they arrive to the area where they think they left the C.A.R.T. it becomes quickly apparent that this has been lost in the fire as well. A massive part of the woods has been completely destroyed.

There is nothing left to do but continue on foot. As they travel they debate about what to tell Dari about what happened to the cart when they hatch a plan to procure another cart and make it look like the cart they took with them and simply say it has been broken.

On their travels they stop over again at the tavern on the road between Mayfort and Samadea. There it is very busy, much busier than normal and after asking around they find out that there are a lot of refugees from neighbouring Narfuq pouring into Ergon. They are apparently migrating from a general sense of breaking down of order in the already pretty lawless Narfuq. It seems bandits and monsters are roaming ever further into the periphery of the province.

The next morning they continue to Mayfort and once again see the town appear on the horizon. They’ve been gone for just over a week but it feels like much longer than that. Getting closer to the capital of Ergon they all start to wonder if they can pull off the swap trick with the C.A.R.T., and bluff their way out of a sticky situation.

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Session 8

Confronting Evil

- Caverns near Nidusu, Jannaday, 26th of Zepha, 8633 (day 39) –

With the sound of the lute ringing through Kai’s ears he throws his staff into the air and transforms into a lion, catching the falling staff theatrically between his jaws. Then lowering it to the ground he leaps forward and position himself next to Faizo.

Fayzo is ready to unleash another flaming sphere and as the ball of fire rolls forth the Ghul tries to get out of the way. The rhythmic pulsing of his body though hampers his movement and he is engulfed in flames. Almost simultaneously Fayzo points his head towards the bloody skeletons and unleashes a breath of fire that envelopes the skeletons. When the light diminishes again all that is left are two piles of scarred bones on the cavern floor.

With Leng still chasing the rhinoceros the attention again turns to the lute playing barbarian bard. Bolstered by the surprise success his melancholic song is having he immediately switches to a more happy upbeat tune and announces that the sight of the slaying of the skeletal has given him a ‘boner’. Starting his new happy song he however notices that this time the undead creatures in front of him no longer react to the song.
He thinks quickly on his feet and instantly switches to one of the Raging Few’s many hits, the classic ‘Don’t Drool You Filthy Ghul’. The party is relieved to see the undead creatures shudder almost violently to the faster cords being strung.

Despite being hampered by the violent cords involuntarily affecting his muscles, the Ghul lunges forward and wildly slashes at Fayzo. He hits Fayzo squarely on the head grazing his face causing a bleeding to start that does not immediately seem to stop.

The battle has become close quarters now and any tactical advantage is lost by both sides. Fayzo again tries to hit the Ghul with his flaming sphere but he misses on both occasions, the Ghul seemingly anticipating the repeating attack.

Exasperated he tries twice to stab the creature with his glaive. However he fails both times, the second time missing the Ghul by an inch.

Kai by now accustomed to his lion form uses his claws to good effect and plants several hits on the vile creature.

Dave seems back to his normal self and decides to run forward and, whilst continuing to play his lute (now playing Eat Stool You F#cking Ghul), jump up in the air, do a round house kick and decimate the monster with the sheer force of his kick. The execution is a solid 10 but it takes all the concentration the dim barbarian can muster and his kick grazes the head of Ghul instead of really connecting.

The Ghul retaliates by slashing at Dave’s head, causing a wound to open as well where blood gushes out.

By now however it is obvious that the Ghul is almost finished and Kai once more springs into action, jumping onto the Ghul whilst slashing the creature with his claws. Mid-flight the Ghul completely disintegrates and by the time Kai lands back on the ground all that is below him is the robe and the stench of the undead foe.

The adventurers have overcome their sternest test yet much to the relief of said adventurers whom immediately start to focus on the wounds that have been caused. Whilst tending to each other they are suddenly surprised by a movement of air and as they look up they are flabbergasted to see in front of them the elder from Nidusu, Elizar.
He immediately tells them not to fear him and that he is here to help. A conversation ensues where he confesses he has not been entirely honest about who he is. In times now gone by he was one of the grand wizards in the region. He fought many a battle against evil forces and having secured the safety of the region he retired from public life content to live out his days in peace and quiet.

When he encountered the zombified woman he was first in a state of denial and refusing to acknowledge what the presence of the undead must mean but with the adventurers arriving he was shaken out of his naïve state of mind.

Just now he had picked up on a magical lute being played and using this as a target he teleported to the location knowing he would meet the brave group. He went on to explain that at his age his great strength was waning and he could not partake in the fight. In fact he seemed to hint at that it was unwise for him to be even seen by the potential evil forces.

He urged the adventurers on to further explore the cave until they would find the cause of the zombies and expressed confidence that, having found the creature, they would be able to slay the assumed necromancer and end the evil that is brewing.

He handed over three potions of moderate healing and asked Dave to hand over the sheath of his broken sword. When Dave handed over the remnants of his once proud companion he turned around and with suddenly light emanating from his hands he turned back once again and handed over a new sword to Dave. Dave showed off his barbarian origins by almost shrugging his shoulders and muttering an ‘oh thank you’ to Elizar. And with that Elizar disappeared as sudden as he had arrived.

Fayzo, critical half-elf that he is, immediately examined the potion he received, while Dave didn’t hesitate and was already downing his potion. Dave seemingly unaffected by the potion, Faizo shrugged his shoulders and also drank his potion. Kai saved his for later as he was not that badly hurt by the fight.

Fayzo and Dave (Kai still being in lion form) then discussed what to do next. They decided that it was a good time to rest. They made themselves as comfortable as possible and decided who would stand guard first.

After the hard fight the rest was oh so good. However not many hours into their blissful sleep they are awoken by Kai who, in lion form, seems to gesture towards the far end of the cave which they had not fully explored yet.

They immediately jumped to their feet and started to slowly follow Kai and Leng. As they got closer to the other side of the cave they could now also hear what the animals heard before. The rattling of a chain.

Taking some time to figure out where exactly it came from they were confident the sound was stationery. They continued their forward progress and soon they could see two tunnels. With the sound coming from the smaller left tunnel they enter it. Not long afterwards Dave can see chains on the wall and bones and remains lying on the floor. Then he makes out the shape of a lizardman tied with a chain to the wall.

At the same moment they hear a draconic voice quietly asking them who is there. They round up around the lizardman and Fayzo acts as interpreter. The lizardman introduces himself as Slosh, a member of the tribe of Gabrycg (The Shadowy Marsh in human tongue). He is a scout and part-time guide in the upper and lower cave systems. It was on one of his scouting missions that he was caught by a Ghul and brought here. He was with several humans but he tells the adventurers they were used as snacks by passing cave giants. He is the last snack remaining and strongly urges the group to free him and get out of here as fast as possible.

The group however is not keen on the idea and they discuss the option to use the lizardman as live bait. However Fayzo is disgusted by the idea and while the other two are still mulling over the idea he frees Slosh from his chains.

He wastes no time and starts walking towards the exit of the tunnel. The others soon follow and Dave quickly ties the arms of Slosh, not convinced that he can be trusted.
Slosh realising he is in a bad bargaining position continues to lead them forward. Meanwhile they discuss what it is they want to do. First Slosh offers to lead them out of the cave but as he realises the group is intend to go deeper into the cave, he offers them to lead them to the ‘meeting hall’ of the evil forces that are gathering in this section of the caves.

Not entirely sure what the guide means they nonetheless decide to follow the lizardman. He takes them on a walk through many tunnels, taking a left here, then taking a right there. The group tries to memorise as much as they can of the route taken but have to concede that it would be hard to backtrack without the help of the lizard guide.
Eventually he stops and gestures towards a small opening under the ceiling of the tunnel. He says that this is a safe shortcut to the aforementioned meeting hall. However the group doesn’t trust it and demands he takes them the normal unsafe route.

He grudgingly complies and shortly afterwards they arrive at an intersection with a larger tunnel that again seems well trodden. Slosh gestures them forwards and they continue onward on the smaller trail. It finally curves around and they see an opening in front of them opening up into a massive cave.

From their vantage point the cave has a waterfall on the left hand side coming out of the wall and creating a stream that winds it ways down the left hand side of the cave disappearing into a massive schism that dissects the cave in two parts. Two bridges cross the schism to essentially an island locked in between the schism and the right hand wall. On the island there are dozens of zombies locked on the island by two large gates on the bridges.

Slosh whispers that they have arrived at the meeting place of the evil forces that have moved into the cavern system. He gestures everyone to lie down and wait until something happens.

They don’t have to wait long before a thumping sound far in the distance reaches their ears. It becomes louder and louder and they realise a large creature must be approaching the cavern.

Shortly after a row of vile evil creatures walks into the cave. It is led by a ghul, followed by a cave giant which is leading a large group of zombies. These are flanked on each side by two more ghuls. Circling around the group are five needle teeth children who are excitedly scurrying around and through the group of zombies.

At the end of the group is a humanlike creature who Slosh identifies as the leader of the group and the one who is responsible for all the upheaval in this area.

Staying as silent as possible the group watches in horror how the cave giant suddenly lunges and grabs one of the zombies and starts to eat the undead creature, biting it in half, guts pouring out of the victim.

The giant is loudly berated by the human in the group. He then gives orders to get all the zombies over the bridge onto the sort of prison island. He then proclaims he needs to inform the boss that another shipment is ready and walks off with the children in tow.
Slosh quickly gestures the adventurers to follow him as this is the chance to corner the leader and make him pay for all the trouble he has caused. He says he knows where he is going and he can lead them to that cave through a different route so not to alert the human to their presence.

What follows is another trek through the caves with twists and turns following each other in quick succession. Once they arrive at the hole in the ceiling Slosh demands they take this shorter route as to have any success at catching the human unawares.

Dave however struggles to get through the small tunnel and much to the dismay over everyone he takes his sword and cuts off Slosh’s tail proclaiming it will grow back. He then uses the blood pouring from the severed part as a lubricant.

No one agrees with the action taken by Dave, least of all Slosh himself who must be thinking he is travelling with a group of lunatic hobos now. However the need of the situation pushes them forward.

They get to the end of the tunnel and crawl out of the smaller tunnel into the larger one they had travelled through before. Ahead of them, walking into a reasonably well lit cave is the human who Fayzo suspects must be a necromancer.

They all decide that the time to act is now and fire of a various barrages of arrows and magical strikes. As it’s from some distance they have varied success and the humanlike turns around and shouts: “Í am Skargul, I heal from harm and bleed when mended! I cannot be harmed, your lives shall be ended!”. As it’s in draconic only Fayzo can understand this however.

After this ominous proclamation, Skargul unleashes a frightening stream of negative energy that looks very lethal. Alerted to the fact this this enemy is for real and not to be taken lightly they all mentally prepare for a tough encounter.

Kai tries to escape an attack by the children by leaping into the arms of Dave. As soon as he has done that they suddenly disappear.

A shocked Fayzo is left behind to face the enemies all alone.

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Session 7

Dungeon Crawling

- Caverns near Nidusu, Tyrday, 25th of Zepha, 8633 (day 38) –

Dave watches horrified how the blade of his sword dissolves, irretrievably damaged by the acid of the ooze-like creature. The enemy has been dealt with but at what price?! Even a creature with his intelligence realises immediately that this is not a good thing!

Helpfully Faizo suddenly remembers that he heard a rumour in Mayfort that there was a large cavern system below the mountain populated with many an evil creature. Dave sarcastically applauds Faizo for remembering this important bit of information directly after they encountered an evil creature in a cavern under the mountain.

The heroes quickly decide what to do and a combination of pride and bravery pushes them onward and forward. They quickly make their way past the remaining ooze-like creature and manage to slip past it without it striking out.

Having come to the exit in the cave they see that it opens into a large cave. Dave being the only one who can really see in the dark, he can see that it opens into a large cave. To get into the cave they will need to traverse down a rocky slope and be careful not to fall down it. Kai and Faizo however misjudge the loose nature of the rocky surface as they cannot really see that well in the dark and both slide down and are fortunately to be able to stop their slide a few meters down.

Unharmed they continue their downward progress. However when Dave scans the area in front of them again he suddenly sees three silhouettes appear on the far right of the cave. The sound of bones being rattled together suggests the nature of these new arrivals.

It does take not long for them to realise what these creatures are as suddenly three arrows whistle through the air. Kai and Faizo see the arrows break against the rocks next to and above them. Dave however sees an arrow strike his arm!

Without hesitation he picks up a large rock and throws it towards the skeletal archers. It hits one of them, shattering the archer into pieces. The other two archers continue advancing on the heroes.

Kai decides the best thing to do is lie down to make it difficult to hit him. Faizo however charges forward grabbing his beloved Evolon in the process.

Dave takes another pot shot with a rock, this time missing it. By this point Faizo has almost reached the archers but manages to take one down with the reach of his glaive.

Dave has another go at rock throwing and the third one is again shattered and collapses in a heap of bones. Dave eagerly searches for loot but finds nothing of value while Faizo studies the broken armor the archers wore but finding no clue as to the origin of these undead foes.

They decide to press on into a tunnel that is in front of them. However it leads to more graves that have been empties from below. Realising that they have no clue where these graves open into they decide against opening a grave from the inside out and return to the cave. Here they find an exit at the far right of the cave (far right as seen from original point of entry into the cave).

By now Kai has thought of an innovative way of providing a light source. He casts light onto a rock and they throw it forward 20 meters or so. They walk towards and pick up the rock to throw it ahead of them once more. This way they always have a light source ahead of them.

Going into the tunnel they notice that the floor has signs of a lot of recent traffic passing through. They proceed a little more careful now. And when they see the tunnel opens into another, even bigger cave, they proceed with extreme caution into the cave.

Fortunately the slope is such that they can easily walk down it. Arriving at the bottom they see that the cavern floor is littered with bones. Faizo picks one up and sees that there are bite marks on them. Also a lot of the bones are either shattered in pieces or broken.

A bit unnerved they are brought to instant vigilance when they pick up a scuffling sound to their right. Kai throws the light rock in the direction of the source of the sound. As the rock lands they see a dog or wolf like creature scamper away into the shadows.

Convinced the creature is not a danger to them they walk over and corner it against the wall. It turns out to be a hyena. As Kai tries to talk to it Faizo offers it the bone he was holding. The hyena, although in a defensive stance, seems not afraid of our adventurers and it eagerly takes the bones Faizo offered.

They consider what to do but decide to ignore the creature when Kai is again unsuccessful when trying to communicate with it. Also Leng seems uninterested in the animal. When they walk away the hyena however does seem to follow them at a safe distance. Perhaps another animal companion?

They quickly find another exit to their left and start to follow this. When they come at a large bend they hear noise ahead. It sounds a bit like the boney sounds the archers they met earlier made. They decide that Dave will scout ahead, being the only one who has dark vision as the light stone is sure to notify anyone or anything of their impending arrival.

As he walks away Kai and Faizo see that the hyena walks past them to follow Dave. Faizo is immediately suspicious as Dave had in no way tried to interact with the animal. He mutters quickly to Kai to ‘do something’. Kai tries to come up with an ingenious plan but fails and they are forced to watch the animal disappear with Dave into the darkness ahead.

Dave in the meantime makes careful progress further into the tunnel. He soon reaches the end and sees it opens into a massive cave. He pushes himself against the wall and edges forward to the entrance into the cave. Having manoeuvred himself into a position where he can safely take stock off the situation he sees five skeletal soldiers about 30 meters ahead of him. They seem to be heading to the tunnel he is in.

Right at that time his warrior instinct takes over and he lunges backwards sensing a great danger developing there. He is just in time to see the hyena change into some kind of aberration. The creature’s body seems to be made of equal parts bone, leathery flesh. It’s feet are that of a goat and its hands are massive claws. It’s eyes light up red, revealing a face like a skull with sharp teeth lining its beak. It’s body is half covered by a worn black robe.

Dave reacts immediately by shouting ‘Kai, Faizo, hyena, monster’ and turns around and runs into the cave towards the undead soldiers.

Kai and Faizo hear the panicked words of Dave echo through the tunnel and run towards it. Having arrived at the entrance, they see Dave running away from them with the creature chasing him. They can also see to their dismay that the creature is easily catching up with the fleeing barbarian.

Faizo doesn’t hesitate and aims his crossbow and an arrow catches up with the creature planting it in his back. At this point Dave, either stupidly or brilliantly, tries to retrieve his grappling hook and rope whilst running. It turns out to be stupid idea as he fails to grab the item from the bag of holding. At this point the creature, a Ghul, catches up and plunches his claws into the torso with Dave taking considerable damage from the attack. He doesn’t hold onto Dave however and while in forward motion Dave gets another brilliant or stupid idea and suddenly stops, turns around, kneels on one knee and offers it a bone he had on him. As Faizo and Kai look in either awe or disbelief they see the chasing Ghul hit Dave in the shoulder knocking it out of balance and over Dave.

Kia meanwhile calls upon nature to deliver a rhinoceros and with nature obeying the druid the beast appears out of thin air in front of them. However, not having dark vision and basically being blind, it stampedes straight ahead. Dave just barely manages to roll out of the way. The rhinoceros continues and knocks over three skeletal soldiers before disappearing into the darkness.

Kai also issues Leng with a ‘defend Dave’ command. However from Leng’s viewpoint the rhinoceros was the last thing to attack Dave and it chases after the stampeding beast.

Faizo meanwhile shoots of another arrow but misses. The Ghul has composed himself and closes the distance with Dave biting him in the shoulder. Dave is now seriously wounded and he suddenly remembers the boots of teleportation he is wearing and in the blink of an eye he is behind Faizo and Kai.

Kai now being the foremost adventurer is attacked by the Ghul and two soldiers taking light damage as most miss, the creatures apparently misjudging the small size of the gnome druid.

Realising serious artillery is called for, Fayzo casts a Flaming Sphere spell. The resulting globe of fire is directed towards the Ghul however is able to jump out of the way.

Dave watches on, and not having been this desperate before, severely wounded and attack after attack failing, is overcome by melancholy and grabs his lute and starts playing a sorrowful song. As the first string is touched the sound reverberates through the cave. Immediately Kai and Faizo see the creatures ahead of them shudder at each string of the lute being played…

Our heroes:
Dave Dunker – Level 4 Half-Orc Barbarian.
Kai Kibbfrenn – Level 4 Gnome Druid.
Fayzo Thidius – Level 4 Half-Elf Wizard.

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Session 6

Undeadly Problems

– Forest south of Krogh Rise, Selday, 24th of Zepha, 8633 (day 37), early evening –

Kai looks down in horror at what was a small child but now turned into some sort of demon spawn. He tries to shake free but fails. The child aberration tries in turn to attack him but fails as well to get a good grip of his former protector. Dave then shows what he thinks of it all by slicing and dicing the child-like aberration, his small twisted body falling apart in two gory pieces.

What then ensues is a frantic move up the path away from the children. To prevent the children from approaching too fast Kai casts a Plant Growth spell which instantly brings up a thick undergrowth restricting movement quite heavily but he leaves the path free of this spell’s effects. He then subsequently casts an Entangle spell that restricts movement of creatures, and this time all creatures are affected, even the adventurers. Fayzo gives a telling glance over to Kai surely remembering his ‘helpful’ sleeth storm in Samadea.
The children however are prevented from closing the gap and the adventures try to retreat to the path outside the Entangle spell’s effect (fourty yards).

Dave and Faizo both attempt ranged attacks with the sling and crossbow. Dave manages to kill one while Fayzo, hampered by being entangled, manages to again hit nothing but the air. Kai casts a fireball but he has no more luck than Fayzo and hits nothing but the undergrowth and trees behind the children starting a small fire much to his own disgust at nature being harmed.

In the meantime Fayzo manages to accidently hit a child behind the one he was aiming for killing it instantly. He then quickly casts Arrow Eruption spell which causes the arrow lodged into the forehead of the dead child to light up and duplicate four times, rise up and with a thud slam into the foreheads of four surrounding children. They however don’t cause enough damage for an instant kill and the children awkwardly stumble forward with arrows lodged into their foreheads.

Meanwhile Kai, overcome by guilt, has chosen to summon water onto the starting forest fire. It turns out to be futile as right after Fayzo blasts a massive cone of fire killing children but also instantaneously starting an even bigger fire that rapidly spreads.

Having escaped the area of the Entangle effect now the adventurers quickly become more lethal with their attacks. In a combination of fire, magic missile and good old sword swinging they manage to kill all but four of the fourteen demonic children.

Fayzo however has dealt the most damage and is the first the four children attack after having tried to attack the far larger Dave beforehand. Overcome with evil rage they successfully launch themselves at the thin frame and manage to almost kill Fayzo with their horrifying teeth. Fortunately for Fayzo they don’t manage to grapple him and he hastily retreats as far as he can run.

Kai and Dave then step in to finish the last of the aberrations off and the threat has been dealt with. Dave immediately find the mangled corpse of the child that got them into this mess and takes the head and stores it into the bag of holding. Kai and Fayzo seem disgusted but also not confident to stand up the barbarian.

Attention quickly turns to the heavily wounded Fayzo and Kai is quick to give one of the powerful concoctions he brewed up in Mayfort. Along with a potion Fayzo himself has he quickly regains health and they are able to quickly depart the scene leaving behind them a forest that is being engulfed in flames.

They walk as far the disappearing daylight allows them and then make a camp for the night. Despites their trepidations nothing happens during the night and they sleep well into the late morning waking up refreshed and ready for a new day.

– Forest south of Krogh Rise, Suneday, 25th of Zepha, 8633 (day 38), late morning –

There are no further encounters that day and when the forest gives way to more hilly terrain and see houses further up the hill they know they must have reached Nidusu.
It seems to be a small village that lies at the foot of the mountain Krogh Rise. It is surrounded on three sides by hilly ground leading up the mountain. The area behind the village continues to slope gently upwards from here while on the sides there is hilly terrain but it is very steep and goes over into rock formations. The village is therefore located in a sort of pass. The ground the village is built on is a mixture of rocky formations and arable land.

They approach a young dwarven boy (with a full beard!) and ask him where the leader can be found. He mumbles to go to the second last house on the left. Having seeked out the house of the apparent leader they knock on and an elderly man opens up and recognising the badges of the Ministry of Justice they are welcomed into a very simple stone house.
Kai and Faizo gladly accept a cup of some sort of tea while Dave’s initial joy at being offered a drink disappears when he realises it’s not alcoholic.

The man introduces himself as Elizar and he is the de facto leader of the village although it seems this is more of an unofficial title than a real noble position. He is very courteous and speaks much more eloquent than you would expect from a man who lives in a remote mountain village.

After some back and forth questions and the adventurers relaying the story of the attack of the children, with Dave helpfully brandishing the decapitated head of the child, Elizar seems very concerned and even more eager to bring them up to speed.

He explains what happened in the village over two weeks ago when a woman who had been buried two days before came walking into the village. She was instantly recognisable as the deceased woman but had red eyes, her skin had turned a greyish colour and she spoke a language that no one understood.

He also hints at a past he is unwilling to divulge on when he says he thinks he recognises the old revived woman as an undead creature. However the villagers, and especially the family ofthe grandma, are unwilling to accept this and hope that she can be cured and brought back to life. He therefore felt he was unable to do what had to be done, i.e. put the woman out of her misery, and they reached a compromise by locking her into a small barn and wait for officials to arrive.

He suggested that the party should get rid of the woman in a quiet way while he would make up a story to the villagers of the woman having being taken elsewhere.
The party makes it way to the barn and quietly try to open the door however the woman is stirred into action, her red eyes glowing menacingly. While Dave keeps her at arm’s length Fayzo realises he can understand the language she is speaking, it’s Draconic. She mutters something about having to obey, return and complete her task. Fayzo tries to talk to her but all he can extract from her is that she obeys the master, whoever that may be.

A discussion ensues about what to do with the woman and what to do next. They agree that they will not kill the woman as Elizar has requested and just leave her in the barn while they will investigate the graveyard.

They fetch the dwarven child, called Obok, and he leads them silently up the hillside on the right. After a trek upwards of a few hundred meters they arrive at a ledge with nine very simple graves lining the edge and a further four more on a second row. Obok points at the innermost grave and then makes off back to the village.

Kai notices that the sand is slightly sloping in the middle perhaps indicating that there is a space below. Dave enthusiastically grabs his spade and starts digging, seemingly not perturbed by desecrating the grave.
However when he is only just started all the earth falls down into a gaping hole at where the grave used to be into an apparent tunnel. While Kai and Faizo are discussing what to do now, Dave is already jumping into the hole feet first.

The hole is not that as Dave had already seen and he finds himself in a tunnel that has obviously been dug out of the earth they are now in. The others follow and they notice that the tunnel continues behind them to the other graves that are also dug out from below. They realise they are unto something bigger now and eagerly progress into the tunnel, Dave leading the way.

At the end of the tunnel they can either go left or right. Exiting he tunnel dug out into the earth they now see they have entered what appears to be a natural cave tunnel system. Looking left, the tunnel continues with a tunnel branching off to the left. Looking right they see the tunnel splitting in two branches.

They decide to go left and immediately take the left turn which ends in small circular cave. Here Kai noticing two glistening patches on the floor. Giddy with excitement he throws all caution into the proverbial wind and rushes to the spots hoping they will reveal treasure.

He gets the shock off his life literally when the patch transforms into an ooze like tentacle which slams him hard and then grabs him around the waist getting significantly wounded in the process, especially by the acid that seems to be covering the thing.

Dave and Fayzo rush to help and both deal significant damage to the thing, however it is not killed. Fayzo takes acid damage from the touch attack and Dave’s sword seems badly affected by the acid.

Kai manages to break the grab and runs away to safety. Dave then hits the thing again and it falls into a oozy puddle on the cavern floor. They then also notice the second glistening patch is slowly sliding across the floor towards them…

Our heroes:
Dave Dunker – Level 4 Half-Orc Barbarian.
Kai Kibbfrenn – Level 4 Gnome Druid.
Fayzo Thidius – Level 4 Half-Elf Wizard.

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Session 5

Moral Conundrums

- Mayfort, Selday, Tyrday 11th – Selday 18th of Zepha, 8633 (day 24-30), early evening -

Having travelled for two weeks and being confined to a small ship for two weeks, our adventurers decided to take a week out. They split up and enjoy the first time they can really relax for almost a month (travelling by boat for two weeks is not exciting but nor is it relaxing). It has after all been quite an eventful time since meeting up together!

Fayzo spends time exploring Mayfort and getting to know all the nooks and crannies as well as any valuable gossip that might be floating around.

Kai retreats to nature and brews up all kinds of potions as well as trying to teach Leng more tricks, however he is once again unsuccessful in trying to dampen the fierce free spririt of Leng.

Dave hangs around aimlessy and one night agrees to come with Fayzo to the Warrior and Pipe pub so Fayzo can perhaps engineer a chance meeting with Luthien, the half-elf cook from the boat. Luthien is not to be seen however so Dave starts to play his lute. Much again to Fayzo’s obvious surprise people in the pub look up surprisingly, not sure what to make of this Barbarian Bard with his broken lute. However when he starts to play his second tune everyone in the pub is paying attention. They all cheer Dave on and seem well impressed. Dave is however not fazed at all by this and immediately tries to use the situation to his advantage by going around with the bag of holding. Only a few people throw coins in but one guy in particular seems to offer quite a few coins. After Dave is finished he comes forward and introduces himself as Elysian Nero, a sponsor of local musicians. He seems eager to take Dave under his wing and support him in becoming a more well known musician. He especially seems impressed by the unusual style of lute play. Dave is somewhat hesitant, but agrees to stay in touch whenever he returns to Mayfort. With the day coming to an end, Fayzo and Dave call it a night and head back to the castle.

Mayfort, Selday, 18th of Zepha, 8633 (day 31), morning –

The next morning they meet up with the king once more to offer their services and also to ask the King about the promised support for their own personal goals. The King explains that his mission is a very important one and that he needs to be sure that he can fully trust people around him to spread and support his gospel of urbanisation. He therefore asks them to fulfull a task for him to prove their mettle.

He asks them to contact Suaul Prius, the Minister of Urbanisation. They are being escorted there by Ardaan Malloy, the King’s son and also Grand Vizier of Ergon. He is about 29 years old. He wears a large dark cape with matching clothing underneath with a sword on the hip and really big fancy belt around his waist. He has a very neatly trimmed beard and curly hair at shoulder length. He comes across to the adventurers as arrogant and pompous.

He leads them into a room where Suaul awaits. He greets them and then also calls Darius, minister of Justice, into the room. They explain that due to a rebellion in the North West of Ergon there are short of troops that are normally stationed in the villages. Therefore there are some issues that require attention but haven’t gotten any.

The most pressing issue is a case of corruption that has been uncovered in the village of Samadea. The local administrator for Urbanisation there, Kimo Tatwyn, seems to have lined his pockets by overtaxing the local people. King Malloy, upon hearing this, was furious as he sees anyone who tarnisheh his urbanisation programma as an enemy of the state. The punishment therefore is very clear: death by beheading. This has to be done on the town square with the whole village being present.

The adventurers are tasked with traveling to Samadea and passing the sentence there. To give them the appropriate authority they receive badges that, when worn, give them authority to carry out orders on behalve of the King. People will also recognise the badge and the authority that comes with it. After a quick discussion the adventurers decide to accept the mission but promise themselves that they will first make sure that Kimo is really corrupt before beheading him.

When being shown where Samadea is they also realise that Ergon is quite a bit bigger than Darandis. To get to Samadea would require many days of walking. However when discussing this Suaul buts in and tells them to go down to the Minister of R&D, Dari Xarot.

Fayzo, anticipating some sort of magical invention being presented, rushes excitingly ahead. They meet up with Dari. Dari has a noble stamp on his features— dark hair, blue piercing eyes, and a hawkish nose. His features are aristocratic and he seems to be in good shape for a man in his thirties. He seemed almost giddy with excitement when he meets the adventurers.

He also introduces you to R&D Wizardry Assistant Coryn Warron. Coryn is not beautiful but to call her ugly would be unfair on her. She is tall with flowing blond hair. She seems to be in her midthirties but appears older as Dari. She expresses how happy she is to be working here with Dari. When she says this a sideway glance of almost exasperation from Dari can be seen.

After the introductions Dari proudly shows what appears to be a regular cart. However he explains, his voice trembling with excitement, that his cart can be powered with magic. Once magic is infused in the box at the back the cart will travel forward for two hours. A stick in the front acts as a makeshift steering wheel. There is only one problem: it does not have a break as he has not found a way to neutralise the magic once infused into the cart. Another limitation is that it can only be used on paved roads.

He also gives them a bag of gold coins that is from the personal treasury of the King. In case of accidents the afflicted party should be compensated. 20gp for an injury and 100gp for a deadly collision. Dari explains that King Malloy knows that with every step taken that leads to progress there will be unfortunate casualties. But if that is the price of progress the King is willing to pay that price.

Once outside the adventurers decide to name the vehicle C.A.R.T. (Completely Awesome Riding Transport). They can’t wait to get going and immediately set out for Samadea. At the speed of approximate 18 km per hour they speed over the paved road leading to the west of Ergon. On the route there they occasionally use Dave as a sort of mist horn by having him shout at travellers who are in danger of being overrun by the C.A.R.T.

Dave’s impressive vocal talents suffice however and they arrive outside Samadea unharmed and without incident. The travel has taken two days and in between have slept in a roadside tavern called the Blue Axe.

Outside Samadea they try to come up with a strategy to come up to enter Samadea unnoticed but the plan they hatch, put Leng in front of the cart and roll into town, miserably fails and everyone notices the strange group arriving in the village. Fortunately it is evening and not many people are on the street.

The first thing they notice is the planned nature of the town. The roads are all straight and form blocks of housing. The more you get to the center the more organized it becomes.
The middle of the village has a square where the administrative offices are located as well as the barracks. This is where Kimo’s house can be found.

They decide however to first find evidence for the alleged crimes that he has been charged with. The idea is to go to a pub and ask a reasonably drunk person for his opinion. They quickly come across a pub called the Sage and Flagon. One person sits in the corner and he seems reasonably drunk. They group buys him a drink but quickly take it away again once they realise how drunk he is.

He still seems able to answer questions however and they ask in a not-so-roundabout way what he thinks of Kimo. It quickly becomes clear he hates Kimo for all the money he has extracted from the local populace. On top of that the guy offers that Kimo is also an ‘aaarrshhhhhole’.

This final statement seems to take away the remaining doubt the group has and the mission to behead Kimo is on! They discuss amongst themselves how to approach this and come to an ingenious plan: Fayzo and Kai will act as guards for a loosely bound Dave. They will then knock on the door of Kimo and pretend they are soldiers who have captured a criminal. Dave will then break loose and capture Kimo.

Having made the plan they don’t waste any time. They easily identify Kimo’s house, the biggest one on the square. Having knocked on they wait eagerly for the door to open. Once it does however they are thrown off guard by a woman opening it and not Kimo. It turns out to be Kimo’s wife who asks them what they want. They ask to urgently speak to her husband.

She closes the door and they hear some mumbling inside. After a minute a man opens the door, who angrily demands to know what they are bothering him with at this late hour. Taken aback by the ferocity of the outburst they sheepishly explain their situation. He shouts at them to put the prisoner in the barracks and that they also should find a sleeping place there. With that he slams the door shut in their faces.

The heroes realise that their plan might need another approach and decided to retire for the night in the barracks and deal with Kimo the next day.

Samadea, Jannaday, 19th of Zepha, 8633 (day 32), morning –

The adventurers wake up in the barracks and hear already the bustling activity of a town square. Dave idly starts playing his lute while they think of what to do next.

Suddenly Kimo walks into the doorway completely surprising the group. He sees Dave untied and demands to know why the prisoner is unbound and apparently at ease with his captors. Sensing that that any attempt at subterfuge is now lost Dave springs into action. He uses his boots of transportation to instantly appear behind Kimo and grab him.

Fayzo meanwhile walks out of the doorway to check for incoming trouble. And trouble there is. When he looks left he sees six scruffy fighters standing in a group, four melee fighters and two archers. Immediately recognising the danger Fayzo uses his magical abilities to breath a massive cone of fire in the direction of the bandits. All hair seared of their bodies and burned greatly the bandits are not deterred however and launch strikes at Dave and Faizo. Dave especially gets hit hard as he his with his back towards the action and unable to defend himself as he is holding Kimo.

Enraged by the sudden attacks Dave takes his sword and skewers Kimo onto it after which he bites Kimo in his neck. Fayzo and Kai are understandably shocked by this barbaric violence.

Fayzo has by now retreated into the barracks and is planning to spew more fire onto the bandits. However before he can do this Kai tries to help his comrades out by calling upon nature to create a circling storm of sleeth around the barracks building. Suddenly our heroes cannot see outward anymore but nor can the bandits peek in, especially important considering the archers lurking outside.

However they are now stuck inside the barracks, unsure of how the bandits are faring outside. Faizo takes moment to consider who he will heal and moving to Kimo, only Dave’s desperate pleas convince him otherwise and reluctantly he injects some healing energy into the battered body.

It soon appears the bandits are desperately trying to escape the frozen winds and icy sleeth as they one by one appear in the doorway where they are easy pickings for the adventurers. Sensing the end of the fight at hand Fayzo uses his magic to relay a message via a booming voice outside the area affected by the sleeth and calls for all villagers to gather in the square.

Dave meanwhile, slightly recovered starts a little sprint to the doorway, uses the icy floor to glide into the sleeth storm and takes a wild swing with his sword whilst gliding over the ice. The gods favour the barbarian and Dave feels the sword slicing through the body of the last remaining melee fighter.

By now the storm subsides and the adventurers discover the archers have fled the scene, wisely so it would seem judging at the remains of what used to be tough fighters just minutes before.

More than half the village has gathered on the square and our heroes don’t waste the opportunity pass the sentence. Announcing the crimes Kimo has been found guilty of corruption Dave prepares for the serious task at hand and covers his head with the bag of holding. Remembering where the barely alive body of Kimo is he swings violently with his sword, the head coming off in one big blow. Just before he his beheaded Kimo can be heard whispering: “I should’ve been minister of economy”. Perhaps the ramblings of a dying man or perhaps a hint at the motive of his rampant corrupt activities.

Most of the people watching on erupt in cheers and applause. Dave doesn’t hesitate and picks up the head of Kimo and puts it in the bag of holding before Fayzo and Kai can intervene. They decide to leave the scene and return to the C.A.R.T. and make for Mayfort to not waste any more time in this village.

Outside the village Fayzo and Kai ask Dave to take the head out of the bag and bury it which he does, but he doesn’t appear happy about giving his prized head up.

Then they make haste and travel an uneventful journey back to Mayfort. Here they report back to Suaul on their successful mission.

He immediately offers another mission to them, this time promising monetary reward for this, 5000 gp each. Greedily the adventurers agree.

He explains that in the small mining village of Nidusu a strange occurrence has been reported. Allegedly a grandma that was buried has walked back into the village, alive! Suaul can’t hide his incredulity at this story but he admits it still needs to be investigated.

Mayfort, Suneday & Selday 23th and 24rd of Zepha, 8633 (day 36 – 37), morning –

The adventurers decide to not waste any time and to make immediately for the small village. Faizo especially seems to be almost excited by the prospect of what he hopes to find here (undead creatures).

Nidusu lies at the foot of the massive mountain Krogh Rise, that lies in the middle of Ergon. This mountain is surrounded by first hills and then big forests. Because of this they can only travel for one day in the C.A.R.T. and they will have to leave it at the edge of the forest. They hide the C.A.R.T. by covering it in the bushes and Fayzo leaves a magical mark on a nearby tree to enable them to find the C.A.R.T back upon return.

They venture into the dense forests over a small path that leads them further and further into the woods. Krogh Rise towers in the far distance. Having made good progress they suddenly hear a childlike sobbing sound. Around a bend they discover a small boy who is crying inconsolably. When he sees the party the boy curls up into a fetal position, seemingly scared by the sudden appearance of the band of adventurers.

Kai immediately consoles the boy and tries to put him at ease. The boy explains that he had went for a walk outside the village to find honey but he is now lost and has no idea how to return. It is obvious the boy is scared however Fayzo doesn’t immediately trust the situation. So while Kai takes the hand of the child and starts walking up the path Fayzo secretly does a Detect Magic spell. He however doesn’t get anything back from his magical command. Grudgingly he bemoans the fact they have become babysitters now.

After walking for a long time and the boy constantly chattering to them and asking all sorts of questions about their gear and battles they had they notice dusk is setting in. Kai also notices now that the forest has gone silent, devoid of any natural sound. Concerned he urges the group to come to a halt. He offers to scout ahead but the boy is unwilling to let go of his protector and Kai therefore asks the group to wait for half an hour. However nothing happens during that time and just when they are set to continue suddenly they notice red eyes appearing around them in the forest line. They appear to be eyes of small creatures as they are no further from the ground than 30 – 60 centimeters.

Kai feels the small hand squeeze his and he turns his glance down to comfort the child. However what he sees is no longer the child they had escorted this past few hours. Instead Kai looks down into a set of glowing red eyes. The boys smiles slowly, the grin spreading like an oil-slick on a pond, contorting his face into a horrifying rictus that bares his teeth. You can’t call them teeth, as you stare at them, they are fangs, hundreds and hundreds of tightly packed, thin, and razor sharp fangs that fill that enormous grin that stretches from ear to ear.

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Session 4

Truth Revealed

Erech, Suneday, 25th of Maniyah, 8633 (day 7), around noon –

It doesn’t take long for the party to reconvene at The Dancing Sailor Tavern. They enter with trepidation and look around. They finally locate the assassin in his little hideout below the bar. He quickly locks himself in and starts talking through the door. It seems he wants to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the situation. Dave seems open to the idea, but Kai and Fayzo are less keen. Fayzo decides to kick the door in and deal with the assassin hands-on. This quickly turns out to be a bad idea though, as a katana is stabbed through the door, nearly nicking Fayzo. He falls backwards and slumps to the floor, lucky to be alive.

The assassin continues his negotiation, offering a way out of this that is satisfactory for all involved. He introduces himself as Namaan, an assassin hired by Councilman Cir Dourrae. After some back and forth he agrees to cancel his assassination of the remaining councilmembers and lay low for 24 hours while the party confers about what to do next.

As they leave The Dancing Sailor Tavern Fayzo returns 300gp of the tavern’s owner’s money to the register, as he confirmed with the assassin that the owner had kept his word.

The party returns to Turach and asks him to harbour the three senators that were still on the assassins hit-list. He agrees, and the senators are sent for, and asked to arrive in disguise back at Turach’s mansion.

After several hours the men arrive, and our heroes relay the entire story of what has transpired so far. The councilmen are furious, especially Arval. He thinks he knows exactly what is happening. Cir Dourrae’s term is almost up, and he wants to stay in power for longer. The councilmembers on the assassination list were the key figures that voted against an elongation of the term that the councilmembers sit. Furthermore, with the goings-on surrounding The Citadel, it appears Cir may have struck a deal with Orban to get solitary power over Erech and become a self-proclaimed king.

It is agreed that Cir should be arrested as soon as possible, and that the party should steer the assassin to kill Orban instead.

Erech, Selday, 26th of Maniyah, 8633 (day 8), 09:30 –

The following morning comes, and with it a welcome break in the lousy weather that has plagued the Darandis province for the last few days. Dave, Kai, and Fayzo are enjoying another luxurious breakfast at Turach’s mansion when their host arrives and tells them something is happening at the councilhouse-square. Our heroes rush over, and as they approach Cir Dourrae is starting a speech.

He strikes fear into the people of Erech. He announces that the council has agreed to allow a detachment of the regiment from The Citadel to enter the city to “safeguard” Erech. They will arrive in a few days’ time.

With Arval’s suspicions now all but confirmed, the party returns to Turach and agrees with the councilmen in hiding to blow the whistle on Cir now, before the regiment has gained access to the city. Dave is tasked to run and get the barman from The Dancing Sailor Tavern. The only living witness that can link Cir Dourrae and the assassin together.

With the barman retrieved, everyone starts walking towards the councilhouse in a large procession. Our party, including Leng, the three councillors, presumed dead, and the barman. Obviously drawing attention, a large group of people starts following to see what is going on. Once at the councilhouse, our party, the witness barman, and the councilmen go in, whilst the public is asked to wait outside for an important announcement.

Once inside, the head of the city guard is called for, and he is ordered to close all city gates and let no one in or out. Not even councilmembers. Furthermore, all councilmembers are sent for, to be brought to the councilhouse as soon as possible. All but Cir arrive in short notice. Once there, they are told of what Cir has done, and why Arval and the other targeted councilmen were forced to fake their own deaths. Once the barman has had his say, the remaining members of the council are swayed into believing that Cir had more than dishonourable intentions. They decide that the populace of Erech should be informed.

From the balcony of the councilhouse, the entire story is once more relayed, this time to the awaiting masses that grouped outside the councilhouse. Afterwards the council adjourns to deliberate. The party decides to return to Turach.

Once there, it becomes clear there is little left for them to do. Dave, Kai, and Fayzo each receive 5000gp for services rendered from Turach and the city. In turn, they are tasked with delivering a letter to King Malloy, leader of the land of Ergon. This letter asks for support for Erech and the entire Darandis province, which is believed to be under siege from Orban and his regiment shortly. The land of Ergon is eastwards of Erech, a fortnight of sailing away.

The rest if the day is spent buying supplies with their newly acquired riches, and generally preparing for the journey they are about to embark upon.

Erech, Tyrday, 27h of Maniyah, 8633 (day 9), 07:30 –

The next morning our group gathers at the port, where Turach has organized for the party to come aboard a small 8-crew trade-vessel christened Providence. This ship will voyage to the city of Mayfort, capital city of Ergon and hometown of King Malloy.
Upon boarding the vessel, Kai immediately recognises a statue and altar devoted to Gozreh, god of wind and waves. As a devout follower of Gozreh, Kai takes a moment to pray for a safe voyage and successful completion of their assigned task.

Over the next eleven days Providence sails steadily along the coast towards Mayfort. Meanwhile, our adventurers befriend the crew of the ship. The captain of the ship is named Alamran. Furthermore there’s Navigator half-orc Agar, Guards half-orc Sisima and dwarf Ukran, Cook half-elfLuthien, and the three Sailors human Ting, dwarf Narvi, and halfling Erhard. A friendly enough bunch, the crew seems close-knit yet business-like in their jobs. Fayzo takes an immediate shine to the other half-elf on board, Luthien the cook.

Various other events take place during their two weeks at sea:
Kai feels the urge to fish, but catches a Ring of the Grasping Grave instead. Some of the more superstitious crew on board claims this to be divine intervention, seeing as Kai has been praying to Gozreh every morning since leaving Erech.

Fayzo finally succeeds in learning Spider Climb, by carefully studying the Scroll of Spider Climb he acquired three weeks earlier.

Fazyo is also delighted to find the crew plays Pai-Sho, his favoured betting game. Not only does Fayzo win a respectable 10gp, but he also appears semi-successful in charming Luthien over the course of several games of Pai-Sho.

Mayfort, Selday, 10th of Zepha, 8633 (day 20), 07:30 –

After eleven days at sea, the party arrives in Mayfort. It is immediately clear that Mayfort is much larger than Erech. In their brief walk through the city the group notices an amphitheatre, but undoubtedly the most eye-catching feature of Mayfort is King Malloy’s castle; Towering 200 meters above the city, standing on a sharp cliff, the castle features two towers, one big, and one smaller. Upon arrival, our party is immediately taken to see the king. Entry to the throne room for an audience with the king requires the surrender of all weapons. Fayzo refuses to let go of his beloved glaive Evolon, and decides to stay outside. Dave successfully hides a slingshot in his baggy clothing, as a backup if things go south. Then Dave and Kai enter for a conversation with the king.

Kai hands the king the letter of introduction and the letter requesting help for Erech. After quick consideration the king appears helpful, honest and sincere. He confesses however, that he cannot send help to Erech at this time, as all his military power is currently tied up in matters of his state. There is an armed conflict in what the king refers to as the “non-enlightened” areas of Ergon.

The king is a big proponent of urbanization, even going so far as to instigate compulsory relocation of entire populations to pre-built towns and villages. Not the entire populace of Ergon is happy about this, or even recognizes King Malloy as their leader. They have taken up arms and are resisting the urbanization process.

King Malloy suggests the party rest up. He graciously grants them room and board in his castle. He lets the group know that he will call upon them in due time to grant them a quest to complete, and do their part in unifying, urbanizing, and enlightening Ergon. In return, he will pay and promise to send an armed attachment to Erech as soon as one is free for redeployment.

Our heroes:
Dave Dunker – Level 4 Half-Orc Barbarian.
Kai Kibbfrenn – Level 4 Gnome Druid.
Fayzo Thidius – Level 4 Half-Elf Wizard.

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Session 3

Chasing Leads

The Gully, Jannaday, 21st of Maniyah, 8633 (day 3), 23:30 –

As our heroes climb out of The Gully, with the Kromax children in tow, an unrelenting downpour descends upon them. The still-burning remnants of the Goblin out front are quickly doused by the rain, whilst Dave goes out and finds the horses The Raiders used to get here. With their newly acquired transportation, the party sets off back to Ivona, to return the children to their father.

A few hours pass as the horses find their way in the dark across the hilly terrain. At last the group reaches Ivona and immediately enter the house that Farmer Kromax was being treated at. Upon seeing the safe return of his children, the man breaks down in tears of joy, as well as sadness when hearing the news of the death of his wife Drynga. Leaving the newly rejoined and grieving family to their devices, our group asks around in the village for any information regarding the list of names they found in The Gully. However, no one has heard of them.

Fayzo writes a letter to Turach telling him of the assassination hit-list they found. He arranges for a farmer going to market in Erech to bring the letter to Turach the following day.

Ivona, Keleday, 22st of Maniyah, 8633 (day 4), 06:00 –

Our group realises they have a long journey ahead of them. They need to reach The Abandoned Farm by noon tomorrow, and it is about a day’s ride away. So they decide to leave immediately. As they travel, Dave reveals more of his life’s story to the group.

Using the horses the group makes good time, and they reach The Lucky Fox Tavern around 13:00. They decide to enter for a quick rest and to ask around for more information. The inn-keeper tells them of the history behind Thuria, the large city left abandoned and shrouded in dark mystery. He also mentions that soldiers from The Citadel came to his tavern yesterday. They had never done that before, as they usually keep to themselves in The Citadel. Once more, our heroes have a reason to doubt whether the agreement between Darandis and The Citadel is still being kept.

In a fit of fancy the group decides to try their luck in a gambling game of dice. Both Dave and Kai lose 25gp, whilst Fayzo is able to barely scrape by and break even. Not wanting to thwart fate the guys decide to leave with the rest of their wallets intact, and ride out the remainder of the trip towards The Abandoned Farm.

To take shelter from the rain they make a quick stop at a shrine for the god Abadar, but find nothing of interest. They continue their journey, and it is still raining when they finally reach the farm around dusk.

The Abandoned Farm, Mystraday, 23rd of Maniyah, 8633 (day 5), 06:00 –

After sleeping in the still reasonably intact barn, the party awakens after a rough night. Wolves were heard all throughout the night, and Kai is worried about the horses, which they left outside. There is no time to check on them though. In a few short hours the meeting between The Raiders and the soldiers from The Citadel is supposed to take place. Fayzo and Kai prepare their day’s spells, and Fayzo also takes the time to learn the Obscuring Mist spell, by scribing the scroll he attained from Turach’s villa.

Their hope is to fool the soldiers into thinking Dave and Fayzo are part of The Raiders’ group, by disguising themselves. In case that plan fails however, Kai will be hidden nearby disguised as a tree by means of a spell he knows, and they feel confident they can ambush the soldiers.

Exactly at noon, as expected, the delegation of The Citadel Soldiers arrive. It’s just two of them, with a wagon filled with supplies. The leader of the two seems somewhat taken aback that Bosek, the leader of The Raiders, isn’t present. Some quick bluffing by Fayzo and a few intimidating words by Dave quickly convince him everything is on the up and up.

As they depart, they present Dave with a note from Colonel Orban, the leader of The Citadel which seems to indicate they are aware our party is investigating the unrest in the region, and that Colonel Orban wants our heroes assassinated as well.

As the soldiers drive off, the party is shocked at how relatively easily that actually went. With the new information in hand, they decide to get back to Erech as soon as possible and relay all the information to Turach Lorenu. As they try to gather their horses however, they find that they were indeed attacked by the wolves last night. As Leng takes a quick nibble for the road, the party sets off on foot, determined to travel at least to The Lucky Fox Tavern before nightfall.

That evening, around 23:00, they finally arrive at The Lucky Fox Tavern, again drenched in rain. Once more they ask the inn-keeper for information, something of a recurring theme at this point. The inn-keeper, named Heriad, tells them that “The Dancing Sailor” as mentioned in the note is another tavern in Erech. The party sleeps in The Lucky Fox’s Inn and has a really good night’s rest for the first time in a few days.

The Lucky Fox Tavern, Istiday, 24th of Maniyah, 8633 (day 6), 08:00 –

The next morning our heroes continue their journey to Erech, only stopping shortly to take a look in the Abadar Temple near the city. They arrive at Turach’s door at the end of the day.

He seems visibly stressed and shaken up. He mentions receiving the note Fayzo wrote to him just this afternoon. He reveals that the names on the assassination hit-list are all councillors in Erech, and that the name on the top of the list, Conamas, already died last night! Everyone agrees to send a quick word of warning to the remaining three councillors on the list to have additional guards around them at all times, after which they go to sleep.

Erech, Suneday, 25th of Maniyah, 8633 (day 7), 07:30 –

Over breakfast several topics were discussed. It was agreed that the party would go to The Dancing Sailor Tavern to investigate the threat on their own life, before returning at noon to Turach to go over to the councillors together and inform them of the danger. The party also inquired into their agreed-upon rewards from Turach, who had resolved to help the party by using his connections. He offered to send word to a king he knew in a neighbouring realm, that could help Fayzo with his quest for Arcane Knowledge, as well as offer our adventurers lucrative jobs. Our heroes agreed to stay here and continue the investigation into the assassination-conspiracy here in Erech before doing anything else.

At around 08:30 Dave, Kai, and Fayzo leave the villa for The Dancing Sailor Tavern. Kai decides to leave Leng behind in the villa for now. Kai and Fayzo enter the bar first, and pick a table in the corner to observe the room from. Dave enters a few minutes later, and walks up to the barman. In his usual grunt-like voice and unintelligent way Dave asks the barman for information regarding “the three” [wink, wink]. The barman seems to know what Dave is talking about, as he asks Dave to follow him to a separate room. A few short moments later the barman appears once more, and walks out the front door.

Dave steps out moments later, and sits down on a table close to that of Kai and Fayzo. Using a bit of quick magic Fayzo is able to silently communicate with Dave, and ask him what they should do. Dave suggests one of them follows the barman, just to see what he does. He was supposed to bring someone that could answer Dave’s questions. Kai decides to jump up and follows the barman outside.

Several minutes later he comes back in, and sits back down. He immediately lets Fayzo and Dave know that trouble is on the way. The barman didn’t trust Dave and brought two armed thugs back to the bar.

At that very moment they enter the bar, and immediately walk up to Dave in a menacing manner. Dave decides not to wait for their cue, and flies into a rage, throwing a table at the two thugs. A fight breaks out, and most of the other clientele in the bar run out, with the notable exception of a threesome of rather drunk sailors who seem to think this is some kind of in-house entertainment act.

After several blows back and forth between Dave and the thugs, Dave is in a bad state. Fayzo decides to jump in by electrocuting the nearest bad-guy, and Kai does the same by calling down a lighting strike. Together our heroes make quick work of the thugs, and turn their attention instead to the barman, who had made himself scarce.

From the threatening side of Fayzo‘s heavy crossbow, the barman is more than happy to spill the beans on what he knows. He says he was hired by Cir Dourrae, one of the city’s councillors, to relay the information of the three adventurers to whomever entered the bar asking for them. He also mentions that the assassin that presumably killed councillor Conamas has been staying in a secret compartment in the cellar below the bar. Kai and Dave go out to investigate this claim, whilst Fayzo stays upstairs to keep an eye on the barman. Fayzo decides to teach the barman a lesson by taking the money he was paid by Cir Dourrae for his assistance in this evil plot. He empties the cash register which had 600gp in it.

Kai and Dave return with the news that Kai found guard-duty rosters and assassination plans for all three of the remaining councillors on the assassination list. At the top of the pile was councillor Sanna. The barman says that the assassin left a little while ago. With a few last threatening words to the barman, and a promise of a repayment of his money if he doesn’t mention the three of them were there, our heroes run towards where Sanna lives to try and stop the assassin.

Upon arriving at Sanna’s extravagant home (they asked a random person where he lived), a servant opens the door. He immediately understands this has to do with the message from last night, indicating that Sanna was in danger, but regrets to inform the party that Sanna went to the market a few moments ago, without any guards. Fayzo asks for the servant to join them, and together all of them run towards the market.

Right as they see Sanna among the multitudinous shoppers, Kai also sees a suspicious hooded figure aiming a blow-gun at the councillor. With some extremely quick thinking, he casts a Wind Wall into existence. Half a second later, as a dart from the blow-gun flies towards Sanna, it is redirected upwards by the Wind Wall, and misses its target. The assassin looks over at the source of this powerful spell, and realizes he has been made.

As Dave yells for Sanna to “Get down!”, the assassin runs past Sanna and appears to slice him with his dagger, before booking it in the opposite direction of our heroes. Dave and Fayzo start chasing him, whilst Kai tends to the wounded Sanna.

The moment the assassin and his pursuers leave the business of the crowd, Fayzo takes aim and fires his heavy crossbow, but misses. Dave continues running and gains a bit of ground on the assassin, who still has a significant lead. As the assassin dives into a side-alley, Dave decides to split off one alleyway earlier and runs up and climbs the side of a building to get to the roof just in time to see the assassin harm a horse which comes careening through the alley towards Fayzo, still hot in pursuit.

With Fayzo losing more and more ground during these set-backs, it is up to Dave to catch the assassin from above. But he too has a bit of bad luck, missing a jump from one rooftop to the next, and falling back down to the ground, losing valuable time.

Meanwhile, Kai is doing his utmost best to save Sanna from death. He quickly surmises that the dagger Sanna was sliced with was laced with black adder poison. With this knowledge, Kai rapidly uses his healing skills to save Sanna from the brink of death.

In another part of town, the assassin now has a significant lead, and takes the opportunity to create another distraction whilst crossing a bridge. He stabs an innocent bystander in the chest, and throws the man over the side of the bridge into the canal below.

Fayzo yells for Dave to keep going, he will save the man. Dave does as he is told, and runs straight past the drowning man, choosing instead to chase down the assassin again.

With a gracious and heroic leap Fayzo jumps into the canal below, towards the drowning man. Once in the water however, he is so weighed down by his robes and weaponry, he can barely stay afloat himself, and has no opportunity to save the innocent man.

Dave realises that the assassin is running straight for The Dancing Sailor Tavern, and thus decides to back off slightly and observe the tavern from a distance as the assassin enters. Once inside, Dave closes the distance and beckons for the barman to come outside. He asks whether the assassin is inside, and whether or not the barman kept his mouth shut about our three adventurers having been there earlier today. When the barman confirms both statements, Dave gets everyone out of the bar and locks the door. With the assassin now locked inside, he waits for the rest of the party to arrive…

Our heroes:
Dave Dunker – Level 1 Half-Orc Barbarian.
Kai Kibbfrenn – Level 3 Gnome Druid.
Fayzo Thidius – Level 3 Half-Elf Wizard.

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Session 2

Goblin Barbecue

The Old Abandoned Mine, day 3, just after sunrise –

As they clean the Giant Spider-blood off of their weapons, the party hastily exits the Old Abandoned Mine. It is clear The Raiders, and the kidnapped Kromax Family, are not here. They meet back up with Rada at the mine’s entrance, and discuss their next move.

Rada offers to guide them to The Gully, the next possible location of The Raiders. The party agrees this is the best course of action, and they set off together. After about half a day’s walk through hilly and rocky terrain, they catch their first glimpse of The Gully.

It appears an old structure is hewn into the sides of The Gully, with a bridge connecting the two sides. The way into the structure is at the top of the southern side of the divide, where an ancient tree marks the entrance. The party spots two Goblins sitting on the branches high up in this old tree. Obviously standing guard, and with a clear view of the surrounding area. Our heroes decide to wait it out for a while, and try to get closer under the cover of darkness. This also gives them a few hours to rest up from that morning’s tiresome battle with the Giant Spiders.

At around 23:00 the party decides to move in for the attack. Under the dim light of a half crescent moon Dave, Fayzo, Kai, and Leng sneak upwards on the hill and towards the large ancient tree. The goblins appear to still be in the tree. Kai elects to move ahead and attack first, as he is the smallest and sneakiest of the lot. Several moments later, Dave and Fayzo are astounded as a glob of fire, courtesy of Kai, appears out of thin air and hits one of the goblins in the back of the head, setting him ablaze. Some quick spellwork by Fayzo results in a Force Missile punching the flaming goblin out of the tree and smacking into the ground, clearly dead.

In the light of the still burning goblin-corpse, his compatriot exits the tree and prepares to fight back. He does not get the chance however, as one swift swish of Dave’s broadsword cleanly slices him in twain.

Exuberated by their prompt victory, the party locates the entrance to The Gully through an opening at the base of the tree’s trunk, and descends into the complex.

The first room our heroes come across is completely empty, save for a lit torch on the wall. They hear animated conversations emanating from a corridor just up ahead though. As they walk towards it, they find themselves interrupting a group consisting of a human warrior, a gnoll, and two orcs engaged in some sort of lively tabletop game.

The diverse group does not appreciate the interruption, and another brawl ensues instantaneously. Through a combination of Dave’s massive power, Fayzo’s frequently inaccurate crossbow, Kai’s helpful supporting spells, and the occasional bite by Leng, the party once again comes out victorious, after the last orc still standing surrenders and begs for his life.

After being tied up, a quick interrogation reveals that the leader of The Raiders is a human bandit named Bosek, and that they are simple mercenaries hired to cause trouble in the area. The orc also divulges the location of the kidnapped Kromax children, which he says are held just downstairs.

Further interrogation is halted by the sudden appearance of a shortbowman taking aim at the group. The kidnapped orc quickly identifies him as Zita, one of his compatriot mercenaries. Thankfully Zita misses, and Kai is able to destroy the foe’s shortbow by using Warp Wood, after which the now unarmed raider runs out of sight, further into the complex.

As the party gives chase, they come across the bridge that crosses the divide of The Gully; A narrow, rickety construction of rope and wooden planks. Whilst crossing, they notice a female human body laying down in The Gully’s depths, clearly deceased. This is likely Drynga, the kidnapped Kromax wife.

Once on the other side of the bridge, our group finds themselves in a room adorned by a demonic-looking statue, stairs leading away to the right, and a ladder going up to the left. Upon deciding to take the stairs down, where the captured orc said the children would be, the party is attacked by Bosek, the bandit leader, who jumpes down from the ladder.

Yet another scuffle breaks out, and Bosek proves to be a formidable opponent. In the midst of fighting however, Zita, the shortbowman that escaped earlier, pops up from the right-side stairs holding one of the kidnapped children at knife-point. He is demanding to be allowed to leave unharmed, in exchange for the life of the child. Dave, not to be outdone, immediately reciprocates by grappling with Bosek, and manages to get him in a stranglehold as well. He threatens to kill the bandit leader if Zita doesn’t release the child. There is no honour among crooks it seems however, as Zita does not seem keen to agree to that exchange. Fayzo allows Zita to pass, but keeps his crossbow aimed at the kidnapper. Once at the other side of the room, Zita pushes the child forwards and dashes across the bridge. Fayzo fires his crossbow at the fleeing criminal, but once again misses miserably.

As Fayzo fawns over the child and Kai quickly finds the other lost kid, Dave manages to secure Bosek using his net and some rope. Bosek refuses to talk however, and neither torture nor bribery appears to be able to change his mind.

Instead, Fayzo and Dave decide to investigate the last few rooms of the complex to see what they can learn. Aside from finding a simple chest containing 3000GP, they also find some intriguing scraps of paper which offer further clues as to the bigger goings-on here in Darandis Province. In addition to what appears to be an assassination hit-list, there is also a letter detailing the time and place for a resupply meetup.

With new wealth and clues in hand, Fayzo and Dave rejoin Kai, Leng and Bosek in the room with the statue, and the party decides to take a good look around. The statue stands with its arms stretched out to its sides, and its palms up. Kai notices the arms appear to be movable. Dave places a rock on one of the hands, and the arm slides down a few centimetres. He then places the rock on the other hand, and the one arm moves back up, whilst the other slides down.

The group agrees to place a second rock on the other hand, to lower both arms simultaneously. For fear of traps, they decide to place to second rock by means of a long pole and a rock attached to a piece of rope. This ends up being a wise decision, as the moment the second arm comes to a rest at its lowest point, a giant boulder falls from the ceiling towards the ground in front of the statue.

Unfortunately for Bosek, the boulder falls right on top of where he is lying tied down. The crunching splat resulting from the boulder hitting the ground reverberates around the room, as our heroes flinch in disgust at the horrible end of Bosek’s life.

This horror quickly turns to curiosity and intrigue however, when the statue rotates to reveal a hidden doorway behind.

Behind the statue, through the hidden passage, our heroes find a medium-sized circular room. At the far wall the statue of a giant gargoyle dominates the room. Old and decayed skeletons line the sides of the chamber. The attention of the adventurers is drawn to the centre of the room however, where a large adorned wooden chest sits temptingly.

Once again expecting a trap, Dave ties a long rope around the chest and the group walks out of the chamber. Standing in the doorway, they try to pull to chest towards themselves.

The moment the chest moves, the gargoyle springs to life and menaces towards the adventurers. Kai, thinking quickly, hastily conjures up an illusion of a person within the chamber. As that is happening, Dave flies into a rage and runs out into the room to attack the animated statue. Chunks of rock crack and break as the half-orc barbarian wildly swings his broadsword against the gargoyle’s stone figure. Enraged, the gargoyle takes flight, and charges, menacing its razor-sharp talons.

It is confused by the illusionary humanoid however, and attempts to attack that instead of Dave. It flies straight through the magical image, and gives Dave the opportunity to strike once more with increasing fervour. With one last ear-ringing screech the gargoyle bursts into a billion little pieces.

Our heroes quickly open the chest to find some cool objects inside:

As they divvy up to loot, they discuss their next moves;
- They have to return the children to Ivona.
- They should also send word to Turach Lorenu of their progress so far.
- They also need to be at that meeting place at the appropriate time as mentioned in the recovered letter.
- If the captured orc is still where the group left him, they should convince him to help them with that meeting, or hand him over to the appropriate authorities.

Our heroes:
Dave Dunker – Level 1 Half-Orc Barbarian.
Kai Kibbfrenn – Level 1 Gnome Druid.
Fayzo Thidius – Level 1 Half-Elf Wizard.

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Session 1

Unrest Brewing

- “The Lucky Fox” Tavern, midnight -

A bloodcurdling scream pierces the night.

Dave, Kai, and Fayzo exit their individual chambers, which fate would have it, were side-by-side. All three immediately notice a hysterical woman in the hall, screaming and sobbing about a monster she saw. She points to a room across the hall. A dark figure is seen swiftly entering the door, which then swings to a close.

Dave, Fayzo, and Kai stack up at the door to investigate. Dave, a simpleton barbarian, is highly annoyed with being disturbed during his slumber. He kicks the door in, and jumps inside.

Through the door-opening a menacing sight greets our heroes. A hyena-like humanoid is standing over the figure of a man in his bed, with a dagger ready to strike.

Dave doesn’t think twice (or even once, really…), and bull-rushes the monster. He slams it over the bed and into the wall. Fayzo quickly jumps in and fires a bolt from his crossbow, but misses.

Kai joins the fray and blinds the monster with the dazzling bright light from his Flare spell.

The monster is severely disoriented. A giant half-orc bulldozed him into a wall, an arrow whizzed by his head, and a bright light flashed in front of his face, all in a matter of seconds. Dazed and confused, the hyena-like monster swings his claws wildly, but hits nothing but air.

Dave Dunker has had enough. With a great big swing of his greatsword, he cleaves the beast in half, separating its head from its body.
The man in the bed sputters in disbelief. Drenched in the still spurting blood of the monster, he professes his eternal gratitude towards the group of adventurers.

As Fayzo retrieves his crossbow bolt and investigates the monster’s body, the man in the bed introduces himself as Walda, a local merchant trader. He also identifies the monster as a Gnoll, an intelligent but vicious monster that is not normally seen in these parts.

As the barkeep of the tavern comes to investigate, and offers the men a free pitcher of ale for their troubles, Walda requests that the three heroes accompany him to Erech, for protection. Upon arrival, Walda promises that his friend and colleague Turach Lorenu will reward them handsomely for the job.

After some discussion the group agrees, and a party is formed.

The following morning, at first light, the party prepares to set off towards Erech. A short exchange of nervous glances and questions of sanity arise as Kai walks out with a tiger by his side. The rest of the party is slightly uneasy and unsure as to how well Kai can keep the wild animal in check, seeing as it is larger than the tiny gnome. Kai introduces the tiger as Leng, and assures them that he is a friendly and loyal companion. As it is about a day’s walk to Erech, there is no time to argue the point, and thus the party sets off.

The road is paved and well-travelled, and the journey is completed uneventfully. Upon arrival in Erech, Walda immediately takes them to his trusted friend Turach, who lives in a giant villa adorned with a lavish garden and courtyard. Turach is obviously a very rich man.

As they enter the home, Turach jovially welcomes them in his home, and when told of the previous night’s encounter, thanks the group profusely for their heroism. He invites the party to stay in his home, and asks them to accompany him at dinner that night.

Each of our three heroes spend the rest of the afternoon separately. Fayzo takes a long relaxing bath. Kai walks through the garden to investigate the plants, and is joined by the local gardener, who fixes him a healing kit from the various healing herbs in the yard. Lastly, Dave spends the afternoon practising playing his Lute. It does not sound good.

During an extravagant dinner held at the villa that night, each of our heroes is granted 100GP for their troubles, and is invited to take some helpful supplies from Turach’s storeroom, should they need them. The men discuss the events that transpired, and the possible reasons behind them as well. It is decided that the party will investigate a raid on a nearby village, which may be related to the unrest that seems to be brewing throughout Darandis province.

After dinner the party takes a quick look in the storeroom. Dave grabs a fishing net, a climber’s kit, and some other useful items. Kai grabs a veterinarian’s kit and a bunch of potions, whilst Fayzo obtains three powerful magic scrolls.

The following morning Kai wakes up early and leaves for the market, where he buys a set of leather armor. Afterwards the party sets off towards Ivona, the small village that was raided.

After four hours or so, they arrive in Ivona. Fayzo questions some villagers and quickly learns that the raid was on a farmstead owned by the Kromax family. The man of the house was severely injured and left for dead, whilst the wife, and their two young daughters were kidnapped by the attackers. The Kromax’ only son, Rada Kromax, was not home during the raid.

The party walks over to where the man is being treated for his injuries. He appears unconscious. Kai, the druid, stays by his bedside to try and heal the poor farmer. Dave and Fayzo meanwhile, walk over to the farmstead that was attacked.

It appeared to be completely burned to the ground. Some quick investigating revealed several tracks in the mud and ash that suggested that the attackers were of Gnoll and Orcish race. Dave and Fayzo quickly walked back to their companion, who in the meantime had been able to revive the injured farmer.

Farmer Kromax revealed that he only saw a sinister- and scruffy-looking human attack him with a dagger. He did not know what happened to his family, or where they were.

His son, Rada, however said that he saw the attackers leave on horseback towards the hills to the north. He posits that there could be only two places the raiders could have gone. Either The Old Abandoned Mine, or The Gully.

The party decides to head off towards The Old Abandoned Mine, and Rada should guide them there. Night falls swiftly however, and the party is forced to stop for the night and make camp.

The following morning the party treks the last few kilometres to The Old Abandoned Mine. Rada stays at the mine’s entrance. He’s not equipped for fighting. The party enters the mine with an eagerness for justice.

After just a few hundred meters however, they come across a crossroads. They can either go straight, or hang a right. A few moments of debate, and the party decides to go right. But at that very moment, from the front, they hear an ominous clicking and ticking sound.
Two Giant Spiders appear from the darkness and attack. Their poisonous pincers biting into Dave, who bravely takes the spiders head-on. A difficult battle ensues, made even more challenging when four more Giant Spiders appear. It is a battle wherein Dave and his immense strength and rage prove indispensable. Kai with his healing powers, and his voracious tiger Leng are also invaluable in defeating the spiders. Fayzo is able to reliably execute the weakened foes with a few well-placed spells and crossbow bolts.

As the last of the spider-corpses thuds to the floor, the party knows two things;
- They work well in a team, and are up to great challenges because of it.
- They are looking in the wrong place for the kidnapped Kromax family-members.

They agree to leave the mine for now, and haste over to The Gully, where they now believe the raiders and kidnapped family to be…

Our heroes:
Dave Dunker – Level 1 Half-Orc Barbarian.
Kai Kibbfrenn – Level 1 Gnome Druid.
Fayzo Thidius – Level 1 Half-Elf Wizard.

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