Wayward

Another One Bites the Dust

We set out once again into the dead city. This time with the guidance of someone who knows the city and the patrols around it. Shell has not let us down and we quickly make our way to the next point of focus. It is a ruined tower. A quarter of its wall is collapsed in an eight foot pile of rubble. It wasn’t difficult to climb over, even Onundr was able to make it over without assistance. Inside the tower we found a stewart tending to a pillar. covering the wooden pillar were spikes nailed into it, and each spike had some object impaled through it. All around the pillar was a mass of wispy presences. Each of which seemed to be attached to one of the objects. As we approached we could hear them trying to talk to us. Somehow they even seemed to know details about us and beckoned us in. It was impossible to concentrate with in the din. We commanded the stewart to stay where he was as we attempted to study the pillar. He seemed nervous and was attempting to leave when Demyan tried to calm him. It was then that the stewart revealed its true form. We were not dealing with a feeble old man, but a soul sucking fiend. A lengthy battle ensued made more difficult by the constant barrage to our senses from the souls bound to the pillar. Additionally there were 4 areas around the pillar that seemed to incite the spirits to lash out against us. During this battle, Renardo fell. The fiend managed to suck the living essence from his body as he turned to dust.

It took us some time, be we were able to defeat the fiend and set the souls free from their bondage. A silence fell over the tower and the area of the city surrounding it. It was a great relief. We collected what remained of Renardo and headed back to the jungle. due to the circumstances, we did not make camp, but instead used our exodus knife to carve out a safe space to attempt to bring Renardo back to the mortal world. After we brought him back, we rested.

When we emerged from our space, it was just turning dark. This would be first time we set out at night to enter the city. Hopefully the darkness would help give us some cover. Once again Shell lead us quickly through the city to the last of the 4 places set up to bring this city closer into shadow. This section of the city felt different from the others. everything was tense and I could feel a pit of anger beginning to grow in my stomach as we approached our destination. As I got closer to the building, I could not make out much more that a doorway ahead of me. I drew my sword to shed some light. As I did so, I regretted to see a mass of fleshy undead creatures pushing their way out into the street. It was almost like the bodies oozed out of the door. More and more just kept coming out. They tried to grab at us to want to pull us into their mass. The tension and anger that we all felt drove us to attack mercilessly. It was not long until we defeated them at which point it took all of our self control to not try to tear each other apart. What ever was hear are generating so much pain and hate, we needed to find it and destroy it.

We entered the building to find horror worse than what we fought in the streets. every surface of the building was covered in ichor. We ascended to stair to find some poor soul impaled by so many weapons but still kept alive to suffer an eternity of torment. We know that all the hate and pain we felt was coming from it. We had to find a way to give relief. We were careful to not cause anymore pain and for some times did well at this. we extracted all the weapons from this body save one, a small stone dagger. As Navi tried to remove it, she jerked and nearly cut the things head off. In a spasm of agony it finally died. However, the hate we all felt contained to persist and with this dagger in Navi’s hand, the hate welled up inside of her as she lashed out for us. We tried to subdue her as she made attacks toward each of us, and finally one to herself. As she lay unconscious on the floor, we were able to briefly disenchant the knife and remove it from her. It was thrown into the corner of the room as we tried to smash it. The blade seemed to call out to us to pick it up, and it took all of our will to resist it. After of few more blows, it was destroyed and the hate we felt dissipated. We retreated form this place back into the jungle once more.

We debated for some time of how to honor our half of the bargain. Renardo did not want to let her do freely. Renardo and Onundr did not want to leave this place until the evil that exists in the city had been extinguished. We tried to contact Zamphas to see if he would allow us to teleport her to his keeping. We did not get a reply. It was then decided that we would have to open a circle to Mirosh and escort her there. I am not convinced, as my comrades are, that letting her go free posses any threat. Nonetheless, I would not abandon them at this point either. We opened the teleport circle and as we were about to walk through, the vegetation around Onundr’s feet grew up around his legs and ensnared him. He began to speak to speak to someone who was not with us. He explained later that someone had called out to him begging him not to abandon them here. Things on both sides of the circle were becoming tense. Demyan slashed at the vines and cleared them completely as I threw my notes and charts of the stars through the circle. The circle closed, we were still trapped here.

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Stranded in a Dead City

It has been difficult to maintain this journal since we arrived here. This city, which we do not yet have a name for, has a way of oppressing anything that lives within its walls. Out side of the walls is a dense jungle that oppresses in its own way. At least the undead do not travel outside of the walls, and we can make camp and get what rest we can without being attacked.

Each day we head back into the city only to have to retreat to the jungle after about half of the day. On the first day back in, we came across a pillar being protected by a few skeletons. It was difficult to subdue them, not because they were powerful, but the pillar emanated some power over the area. After we dealt with the skeletons, we were able to deactivate the power of the pillar. Almost instantly, everything became lighter. It was as if we were being suffocated and then suddenly we could breath freely again.

After a retreat back into the jungle, we began our search of the city. As we got further away from the pillar, the feeling of the city oppressing us returned. After a while, we came upon a massive pile of bones in a plaza of the city. We attempted to approach with care, but we were spotted by skeletons hiding in the shadows. One blew a horn and the pile of bone rose up against us. Once again, it was a difficult battle made worse by something in the surrounding area. Once we dispatched our foes, we noticed a strange and sickening magical aura emanating form the now still pile. Burring in it was a sphere. Like the pillar, we studied it and sought to disable its hold on this quarter of the city. Our attempts did not go well at first as our fumbling woke more fiends from the pile. We were able to eventually release its grip and once again, it was as if a weight had been lifted from our chests. Exhausted from the ordeal, we made camp in the jungle once again.

In the morning, Demyan noticed smoke coming from the quarter of the city were we found the pillar. We decided to investigate. The undead are not known for using fire. When we came upon the source, we found some of the undead performing a ritual. We believe that they were attempting to create something to replace the pillar we deactivated. This dark ritual focused on the death of 4 human and the attempted death of a 5th. We interrupted their ritual and saved the 5th’s life. This person’s name is Shell. She lived in the city and was there to aid in the ritual. She claims that she was not aware that she was to be sacrificed. We have learned much from her, most of which is very disturbing. Onundr and Renardo are both very displease with the Heket worshiping taking place in this fell city and wish to see it cleansed.

We took Shell with us out of the city and into the jungle for the night so that we could interrogate her further. We have learned that there are 2 other locations in the city which focus dark energies to help bring this place closer to the shadow plain. Additionally, there is a “master” in the central structure of the city. This master, who name she claims to no know, or refuses to speak, holds other humans in its service. these people live here with the undead and serve Heket. She explained that this master is no of the living. Which strikes me as very odd is that she does not speak the trade language and only speaks a form of High Elvin. it is rare to hear elven spoken in this way any longer, and when it is heard, it is usually in addressing some of the eldest of the elves, the few who are left from when they came from the moral plain and into the Feywild. It is unsettling to think that maybe this master might have once been eledrin or elf.

We have struck a bargain with Shell. She will lead us to the other two places where they still have devices to focus the dark energies into the world, in exchange we will help her leave this place. Unfortunately, Renardo’s impudent tongue have only manages to strain relations with Shell. I do not think she trusts us, and from what Renardo has said to her without any council from the group would give anyone pause to trust. I am not even sure he will honor our bargain with her when it comes time. Perhaps it is because humans live for such a short time that they do not have to live of the consequences of broken bargains that they so easily betray others. Atleast for now he will go along with the plan.

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What is the Sickening place?!

After we all rested in the space provided by our Exidous knife, it was mid morning. Despite how abandoned the ruins look, while we rested something had been in the hut. What ever it was, it left little trace, just enough that we know it was there.

The hut appears to have have been over grown by the vegetation for what could be centuries. We examined the hut closely and only found some figures carved into the well fit stone work. It also appears that there were more carvings around the doorway, but they have been completely defaced. After searching a few of the other surrounding huts, similar carvings and defacement were discovered. We don’t know if these carvings hold any special meaning.

We appear to be in some ancient city. There is a main road in ruins, but it is strange that the vegetation doesn’t grow well through it, what little there is is dead and wilted. The sounds of the jungle surrounding us are distant, like something is keeping the wildlife away. It is unnerving.

There is a hill to the east where it appears that the top is shaved off. Trying to look at it makes any of us with magical abilities sick. What ever it is that is there or not there, it is wrong.

We agreed that we need to move on, we are most likely under someone surveillance, and how ever we got here, it was not natural, so staying here would not be wise. We can not take the body parts from the avenger with us in a place like this, and we can not simply leave them. Onundr would not allow it. Using the collapsed roof of one of the huts we build a funeral pire and began burning the body. The air does not move much and a large column of smoke began to rise. It was not long until we drew unwanted attention.

This is a blasphemous place. We were surrounded be the undead. The first that were upon us were archer skeletons. I had hardly a moment to react before right out of the ground in front of me rose a stony skeleton. I took cover by teleporting behind a wall were one of the archer skeletons were. I could hear that me comrades were also engaged and when i looked around there were two large undead skeletons that appeared to be part ogre and part horse. What ever created them has no reverence for the dead. The battle did not last long as these undead were weak and fell easily. I fear that this is only the beginning of something much worse to come.

Onundre and Navi have a ritual that allows one to take the head of the dead and see the last few moments of their life. Its an abomination, but they used it on one of the skeleton archers. What ever Navi saw after performing the ritual upset her greatly. She would not say much other than death was here. She began to immediately draw a teleportation circle on the ground before her. After she explained a little more of her vision to Onundre, he began to assist her with urgency.

As they completed the circle, this place began to oppress us more than it already was. Something brought us here and had no desire to let us leave. The portal opened and the sight beyond was not of Mirosh as it was supposed to me, but of some blacked ruined city. Something on the other side saw us and began to run at us with hunger. The portal snapped shut, removing the tip of Navi’s finger, just before the creature could make it through.

Our escape was blocked and once again, we were engaged by the undead. A regiment of undead solders was advancing on our position.

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Touched By The Hand Of Hrumnir?
Torn asunder and reassembled by chaos.

Date: 05/23/2011
Title: Touched By The Hand Of Hrumnir? By Önundr Tyggrason
Regions: Hralfsted, The Kingspyres, Unknown to the far south

We quickly took down the golem and dwarf after the zealot fled the battle. Navi ran down the corridor and turned to acid as she went to the other side. She located the lever to open the gate. We gave chase, but it was difficult since we were all running. The corridor wound its way deeper into the mountain. There were many choke points for would be attackers, but no one was defending the abandoned town anymore. It emptied into the residential area.

We made some frantic searches. Renardo’s keen eyes spotted some blood along a window sill. We found a trail that went in and out of buildings to make us lose time. It eventually went down a flight of stairs. The made for the stairs. More blood. After five twists we found an old storage space. The other side had large stone double doors. Navi could detect magic on the door that was not active and magic on the other side that was what we were looking for.

Demyan checked for traps. Nothing. He opened the right door half way. Someone tried to push back. It was time for battle. Almador threw open the other door. The zealot was standing on a teleportation circle with boxes on top of parts of it. He rolled up his scroll and stepped forward with his hammer. Our previous battle continued.

Almador ran into the room to be on the other side. He was pushed back to the circle. A familiar odor greeted him. It was the same smell he had in the dwarven mines before the firelings blew up several crates of explosive powder that caused us all to almost fall to our deaths! A brazier was set in the middle. Each box had a soaked cord coming out of it. Almador’s extensive knowledge of teleportation made it clear destroying a teleportation circle does bad things to time and space. He cut the cords from the boxes. The zealot saw what he was doing and reengaged him. The swordmage made a wild swing with his long sword and hit a crate.

The wooden side broke spilling powder all over him and the floor. He moved back, but it didn’t matter. The crazy dwarf calmly took out a piece of flint and struck it against the head of his hammer. It ignited the powder.

I’m not sure what happened after that. All I know is that we all should have died. The figure on top of my rod glowed brightly. Everything was like liquid gold. We were somehow… removed from what was happening and deposited… somewhere else. It was crushingly painful. All was dark and dusty. My body ached and burned with excruciating pain. My clothes were constricting my limbs. Everything was wrong. Someone was moving near me. I called out. Navi and Demyan responded. Navi scavenged the floor and found a potion. She found a dying body and fed it a (thankfully) healing potion. It was Renardo. My hands came across a sunrod. It worked. Now we had light. Almador also laid, but I could not find a potion. There were any on my belt. For that matter, my belt was missing as were my clothes. I seemed to be wearing parts of everyone’s clothes. We all were. Much of our gear was scattered throughout the room fused together at random. Some of our items were ok, including all our magical stuff. There was also plenty of gore. Whatever spared us didn’t spare our two enemies. Someone eventually found a potion and fed it to Almador.

We spent the next several minutes trying to find clothes that would match us. It appeared Renardo court clothes are the only ones that survived as they were. Figures. Almador opened the door of the dusty old house to look outside. It was warm. Much warmer than where we were. It looked like an ancient town. Studying the clear night sky for a few minutes, Almador came back inside. By his calculation of position of the constellations he has been mapping, we are way far to the south. Have we arrived on the southern continent or some other place even further?

There was no time to think about that now. We had to sleep. I took out the exodus knife to make a safe room inside the house. We gathered as much of our enemies’ remains as possible and brought it in with us. Needless to say, we also took anything of value we could find. Renardo kept insisting we send a box of the guy’s remains to the Dagda. It was frustrating to have to explain to him that we don’t do that in dwarven society. He then suggested we disenchant the hammer and send a speck of residuum. Sigh. That is the same. We’ll burn the remains the next day and be done with it.

We’ll have to decide if we want to teleport back to our tower or stay and explore. I do not know if my mother and father live. I dare not issue a sending to them. If they are alive, I hope they are set free. Maybe the Dagda’s fanatic followers will think I perished with their zealot.

It was difficult to sleep with so many unanswered questions and the worries of live that hang upon my existence. When Almador woke after his trance, he saw footprints in and out of the room we appeared.

Loot
XP: XP: 1080 each, 50 for snacks
Avalanche Hammer
Fleetrunner Boots
Gauntlets Of Ogre Power
Bloodthread Cloth Armor
Diamond Cincture
Holy Symbol Of Dagda +3
Mask Of The Eye Leech

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CHARGE!!!
Diplomacy this!

Date: 05/09/2011
Title: CHARGE!!! By Önundr Tyggrason
Regions: Hralfsted, The Kingspyres

Renardo apologized for his earlier outburst. Easily forgiven. Almador even told me he was going knock my ass out and drag me down below to challenge the guy. All nice of them, but that’s not necessary now. With anger and purpose, I am ready to take charge of my own destiny, no longer satisfied to be the pawn in a false game.

We marched down the passage way. As we got close to the plaza, we could see guards posted on either side. We wasted no time engaging them. The hooded avenger was hiding behind the building in front of us attack as soon as possible. He was eager to bat my friends aside to get to me. The bottleneck was not working to our advantage. Some of them cleared out to the right only to be greeted by a ballista from the far corner.

We all managed to get into the plaza and take down the guards by the door. Demyan sent his wolf to keep the dwarves with the ballista busy. As we began to gain ground against the zealot, he activated the giant golem on top of a central building. This whirling construct of death was going to be a problem.

The battle dragged on and we were all running low on powers. I ate up the majority of our healing abilities since I was taking an incredible amount of abuse from this guy. Now I know how Almador feels in most fights. Just when it looked like we might have him, the coward ran off. And he could run! Faster than any creature I’ve seen move. He ran past everyone and pulled a lever to close a gate behind him.

We were stuck on the plaza side with the golem and one dwarf by the ballista.

Loot
XP: 250 each

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Prophecy Revealed
Mistaken identity and the sacrifices we make.

Date: 05/02/2011
Title: Prophecy Revealed By Önundr Tyggrason
Regions: Hralfsted, The Kingspyres

Two hill giants and a bear emerged from the trees. It took some time, but we managed to kill one of the giants and the bear. We pursued the fleeing giant down the path, but couldn’t find him (amazingly enough). He didn’t get as far as where we kept our animals. It must’ve run headlong into the forest off the hill. I found an old dwarven waist cincher on one of them. I threw it in my pack. There were a bunch of other miscellaneous items we grabbed while Renardo and Demyan brought the animals back.

Once the horses were secured to the wagon, we were off. We took a wrong turn somewhere and had to backtrack. That wasn’t easy as the wagon had to go backward slowly until we could turn it around. When we made our way up again, Demyan saw another marking post. It read, ”...so to all who comes to Hralfsted.”

If this was a warning, we ignored it. We spotted a depression off the trail that ran parallel to it. Renardo went down to scout it out. It opened up to a paved plaza. It was getting dark and the plaza offered shelter, but it looked too good to be true. We decided to set up some eyes of alarm and camp on the trail instead.

The next morning was filled with the smell of bear meat over a fire. Demyan was cooking up a fine breakfast. With our bellies full, we explored the plaza. A great battle took place here a long time ago. The gates were smashed in. Hints of magic hang over them. Navi saw something glint in the sunlight. It was a fallen dwarf in armor killed by the collapsing building on top of him. It wore a necklace. I picked it up and noticed it was a holy symbol of the Dagda.

We decided to send a scouting mission below. Renardo and Navi accompanied me with the magic lamp. More remains littered the hallway. Corpses of dwarves and giants were everywhere. My people paid a heavy price for every inch they gave up. After descending a hundred feet, a large stone door cut into the rock opened into a giant plaza. I could see the forge to the right. There were even more corpses down here. The entire place had been looted eons ago. I performed hand of fate to ask which of the three passages would lead to my mother and father. One passage would surely lead to the residential area, another to a mine, the third is anyone’s guess. It could possibly go to other towns. The hand pointed toward the passage that likely led to residences. I asked what direction and it pointed downward to the left. Again, this would seem like it would be from the residences.

With our scouting finished, we made our way back to the surface. The plaza was empty. There was no sign of struggle. Maybe walking through the door teleported us somewhere. There were some tracks. We followed them around the corner. They were drinking. What the hell were they thinking moving the cart out into the open like that?

We told them what we found. Before going down, Almador pulled me aside and looked at me more seriously than I’ve ever seen him. He asked what he should do if my parents are in jeopardy. Everyone else stopped what they were doing and listened. I had been dreading this moment almost as much as the confrontation below. How could I ask my friends to surrender when their lives are not what my enemy wants? In the end I could only tell them what I would do. If I see my parents are going to die, I could not watch that. I would sacrifice myself for them.

When I finished, a voice behind us rang out saying he’s glad to hear what I just said. We turned and saw our assailant with the hood from Tumbledown. He somehow managed to find out about our arrival and ruin our surprise. He told us he wanted me to follow him down below. Then he pulled out a coin from a back pocket and said if there is any violence, he’d signal to kill my parents. I said I’d only go down accompanied by my companions. He said it was acceptable as long as there is no violence.

We cracked some sunrods and followed him back down into the plaza. Six dwarves with crossbows surrounded my father. He looked unharmed. The look in his eyes was happy, but then it turned to sadness. He mouthed, “I’m sorry.” There was a lot of shouting and demands. Finally, our enemy gestured to led my father come forward to tell me “the truth”.

I told me I was adopted, that I’m a fourth son from the Blackrock clan. My name appears in her lead book; therefore I am cursed. LIES! All lies! How could my father and mother not be just that? These fanatic followers of the Dagda must have forced father to say such hurtful words. I wanted to strike them all down as they stood, but I could not. My father would surely die and my mother was nowhere to be seen. They wanted to take me and my father to her. The hooded man swore he would let my parents go back to their lives if I exchanged my life for theirs. What could I do if I want to save them? This must be one huge misunderstanding.

My comrades were all twitchy as they couldn’t understand what was being said. I finally agreed to go with them, but asked that I be allowed to escort them to the surface to part ways before returning. He allowed us to go.

Once up top, I briefly filled them in on the situation, omitting the part about being adopted and all that. I was going to give them most of my gear and go back down alone. We argued a lot, but I couldn’t let them die for me. I angered Don Renardo so gravely that he said a few cutting words and walked off. I prayed to Hrumnir for some guidance, but there was no response. In a desperate attempt, I made a sending to my mother. “Respond in twenty-five words. Will they let you go if I come with dad? How can I save you? I am at Hralfsted with Dagda.” Her response was that she had lived a full life, that I should live on, and that she loves me. I could never say no to my mother. She always knew what was best for me even I thought I knew better. As I became older, I understood her wisdom and aspired to be like her. I hope that I can now be humble and selfish enough to accept her wisdom one last time. No child wants to see his parent die, but even more tragic is the parent who witnesses their child’s death. There is no guarantee that any of us will live or die during this ordeal. I know the stories of old of fourth sons. I read Kier the Destroyer over and over as a child. Some were great heroes while others fell into infamy, but most amounted to nothing, assassinated by a rival clan or crushed under the burden to create a new dwarven golden age.

After receiving the sending, I fell to the ground, tears streaming down my ashen face. It took several minutes to gather my thoughts. “My mother replied. She wishes that I live. If it is true that I am a child of prophecy, we have stories and songs of great heroes from our past. I do not claim to be any such hero, but I do believe I have a choice to do something positive for my people. Hrumnir would not have chosen me to represent him if this was some cosmic game. Our gods do not war amongst themselves like others – at least not after the godswar eons ago when Duer betrayed us and was forever banished to the darkness. If I give myself up and my parents are returned to their home, what would happen to them if I am able to escape? It is time to end this nonsense! My friends, if you are still with me, will you stand with me to end the madness below? I would like to save my parents if that is possible. Maybe my church can protect them. Hrumnir called me for a purpose. I think my mother understood that. Whatever the outcome, if I live, I’d like to speak with Priestess Gudrun in Portti Linnoitus. She was the one who sent me to the world above when this all began. I’d also like to speak with Abbot Tasgall in my home town of Kolme Puroihin, but it might not be prudent to journey so far into my homeland if there are others who are seeking me out. Let us draw up a battle plan and return quickly. We have delayed for too long.”

Loot
XP: 550 each, 50 for snacks

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Arrival In The West
The old man knows more than he's letting on.

Date: 04/26/2011
Title: Arrival In The West By Önundr Tyggrason
Regions: Somewhere probably on the coast of Nehesh, Seaharrow, Hralfsted edge, The Kingspyres

We dove back into the sea and made our way back to shore. The captain and crew cheered when we showed them the threat had been eliminated. I took out the exodus knife and carved an entrance on the side of the ship for all the injured to recover. The rest of us slept on the ship or on the beach. The next day they put their three dead into the water for burial. Renardo and I were allowed to pray on their behalf. I worked with the captain to make the ship whole again.

Once the ship was in working order, it took a good portion of the day to get it back into the water and in deep enough water to sail away. The next four days were thankfully boring. We arrived in Seaharrow, four and a half weeks after setting sail from Mirosh. That’s almost as fast as our teleport plan, but by a hopefully unexpected route. As the crew went about their docking duties and unloading cargo, the captain called us in. He gave us half our deposit back and called it even on the rest of what we owe. We had saved many of his crew’s lives and possibility all of them from the sahuagin. We could not accept the half of the deposit. The captain nodded, took it back, and flipped a coin to Don Renardo to raise a glass to him. With that we deboarded and parted ways. Only time will tell if Almador and Vikal shall cross paths again.

The halfling’s wagon suffered some damage from the storm. We went about fixing that before rolling out of town. In the meantime, we asked around to see if anyone had heard of Hralfsted. As luck would have it, a wizened old dwarf approached Demyan when he was fixing his cart and pointed out a loose joint. Demyan tightened it and sized up the old dwarf. Though slightly hunched, he could see the once very muscular build. He might have been an adventurer. He struck up a conversation with the oldtimer. He mentioned our trade mission to Hralfsted. The dwarf raised a brow and told him the town had been destroyed when he was a wee lad. He drew closer and whispered that it was located a week west into the mountains. He gave the halfling a knowing pat and walked away without another word.

By the time the wagon was ready for the road, it was late. We rented rooms at the nicest inn in this small coastal village. We debated whether we should go west or to Portti Linnoitus to seek more information. Ultimately, we decided to go seek out Hralfsted first. If my parents were there, then we save them faster. If not, then we would have the place scouted and return later. Almador looked for a cartographer in town to buy a map, but none were to be found.

The first five days were peaceful and scenic. Demyan spotted something on the sixth day. We explored the area. Some stones with dwarven runes were mostly obscured by the tall grass. “Here ends Hralfsted. Beware.” Demyan advanced over the ridge. Ruins of an abandoned village were on the other side. Renardo scouted the village, but came back with nothing. He did see the road led up the hill. We followed the trail up until it was too dark to travel safely. I carved an entrance large enough for the cart with the exodus knife. The animals were alarmed and unhappy. That in turn made us very unhappy as they pooped everywhere and whined all night.

We continued our ascent the next morning. It was slow with the cart. As we crest a rise, there was a small plateau area for us to stop. I thought I saw two silhouettes dart behind some large rocks half a mile away. I quickly inform the party. Renardo snuck ahead to investigate. A minute later, CRACK! The hollow, brittle log he stepped on was so loud even we could hear it. Large boulders rained down in the area he was in. I could hear him scream from the impact. He ran his ass back to us for some quick healing. Demyan moved all the animals down the trail and had his wolf companion guard them. We were to guard the cart from getting hit. Horns blew in the distance. The sound of battle approached us.

Loot
XP: 200 each, 50 for snacks

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Sahuagincide
The hunt for bigger fish.

Date: 04/19/2011
Title: Sahuagincide By Önundr Tyggrason
Regions: Somewhere probably on the coast of Nehesh

I cast comrade’s succor and dark light once we had a quick rest. I asked the captain if he knew the ritual for water breathing. He did and was happy to cast that on us so we could clear the sahuagin nest. We swam out a bit and approached from the sea instead of following the shoreline where the rocks might be treacherous. The rough waters were still painful.

I spotted something at the edge of the dark light, but I couldn’t make out what it was. As we approached, a sharp disturbance in the waters brought us to attention. Some sahuagin, a large shark, and a water elemental attacked from all side. It was surreal to be attacked from above. After defeating them, we found the cave mouth.

The cave stank of rotting fish and seaweed. We hadn’t made it far inside before we were ambushed by a gang of those foul sea creatures. As we fought our way to the back of the cave, we saw a different looking creature with four arms wearing a crown and wielding a trident. Skillful as it was, it was no match for our merciless advance. Once victorious, we took the heads as proof and threw the bodies into the sea to feed whatever lives there, but not before stripping the big bad (dead) boss of its loot.

Loot
XP: 610 each, 50 for snacks
Reproachful Trident +3 (Party)
Ring Of Fireblazing (Demyan)
4 x Healing Potion (Party)
Residuum (200 gp) (Önundr)
Silver Ingots (2000 gp)
Dwarf Statue (500 gp)
Small Chest (100 gp)
Priest Item (900 gp)
Coral Headdress (1800 gp)

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Several Ways To The Same Destination
The storm.

Date: 04/12/2011
Title: Several Ways To The Same Destination By Önundr Tyggrason
Regions: Mirosh, Phedros, Somewhere probably on the coast of Nehesh

I made it clear to everyone that I would be going home. They were free to go to the Feywild, but as true companions, they stood by me and my plight. I am grateful to such loyal friends. We spent the night going over our options.

We could teleport to the Inkhera. From there we could teleport to the Free Cities before going north or simply ride west from the Neheshi capital. We could also go to the Feywild and head west before looking for a crossing. The last option was to take a ship north around Neheshi and Soria. There was a lot of debate. We ruled out the Feywild as there is no reliable passage from the west and we would not know what the time difference is coming back. Teleporting to Inkhera might be expected and also incredibly expensive if we look for a way to teleport to the Free Cities. I did not want to revisit any place I had passed on my journey east. That left the sea. Have I mentioned I hate sailing?

The next morning, Almador went to the dock looking for Vikal. He asked him if he’d join us (no) and if his ship, The Hag, would be available for us to hire. He arranged a meeting later. When he returned to the inn, the eladrin set to work drawing a detailed map for Salandara. Once he was done, he grabbed Renardo for a meeting with the captain. They negotiated a price for passage with the two of them working on the ship. They also secured passage for the halfling cart and the animals though the captain was less than pleased with this additional cargo.

When they came back, we were told to load up. We did just that as Almador met with the cook and the sea witch. He reported that it went well. When we raised our suspicions about her intentions once returning to the Feywild, we finally believed that she would not betray him by saying she gave him a strand of her hair. Navi and I immediately stopped protesting at that point.

I ran off to do some last minute shopping and reluctantly boarded the ship. Almador and Renardo were put to work by the bosun, Mireck. Demyan set up the kitchen in his cart which was near the ship’s galley. I didn’t have anything to do, so I hung out in the cart. The less time I spend on deck the better. Navi put up fabric walls around her sleeping area and disappeared behind the curtains.

As the ship sailed, winds favored us. When I wasn’t sick, I made rope and helped in both kitchens. Demyan made delicious pies I could smell, but not eat lest I throw them back up. They were too savory for my seasick stomach. The crew were initially suspicious of their halfling passenger, but they could not resist his baked goods. They were a hit. This gave him an idea. He could sell recipes. I helped him translate some of them into dwarven and neheshi.

Then all hell broke loose. The ship tipped violently. I was tossed to and fro so hard that I received cuts all over from various sharp objects and smashing my body into the side of the ship. We stumbled up to the deck just in time to see a twenty foot wave washed some of the crew into the sea. Renardo made a daring climb up a mast to trim a sail, preventing it from breaking. Those of us unworthy of the sea dragged injured crew below to tend to their wounds. An hour later the ship was washed ashore.

As soon as my head seemed to be swimming in only one direction, I went up to survey the damage. I grabbed the nearest broken beam and cast make whole. It repaired some of the damage, but there was just too much destruction. The captain ran over and told me to hold off. He seemed relieved by what I did. Many of us went down to the beach. I stared out at the still raging sea with Navi and Almador. Suddenly, there was a lot of movement amidst the water.

A large group of sahuagin emerged from the sea. Great. The two casters stuck in the front with a small army approaching. Almador defended us while I took out groups of area attacks so Navi could slowly retreat to higher ground. I was forced to summon my angelic messenger to air us back on the ship. It was a slow grind, but we got them all except a caster who disappeared back to the depths. I ran around with my messenger to provide basic healing to all the injured crew.

The captain thanked us for the help, but was worried that there would be a nest nearby. We could see caves in the distance. I suggested we cast make whole on the ship a lot to get out of here fast. I asked who the ship’s caster is. He whispered that it was him. It wouldn’t be possible to get the ship back in the water today.

Loot
XP: 610 each, 50 for snacks

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Tower Of Power
Acquiring a wizard's abandoned tower - blessing or curse?

Date: 03/22/2011
Title: Tower Of Power By Önundr Tyggrason
Regions: Mirosh, Phedros

A knock came way too early in the morning. A page from the teleportation offices was sent to fetch Navi, no doubt to grill her about her intentions as a Neheshi. The rest of us (sans the halfling who stayed with his kind) got dressed in our finest and headed to the confederacy’s offices to attempt to lay claim to the tower we’d been living in.

None of us were fluent in Phedran. There was no way we could convince anyone we should own anything in a land where we don’t speak the native language. It was decided the Atrianoi would prove to be the best advocates. We asked around at the large temple in town. A lawyer named Idris offered his assistance. A human in his late 30s/early 40s, he would help with research Phedron law, perform translations, and be an advocate on our behalf. He insisted that we donate the money we’d spend for his services to the church. He came across as an upstanding no nonsense sort of guy. Bribery and skullduggery would get us in some serious trouble. For an additional charge, the Atrianoi would allow us to use their library.

We wasted no time researching. As land holders that would be responsible for the area, we’ll be required to submit to Phedron law. We may have to uphold various decrees. Taxes would be subject to improvements of the area. This took up the entire day.

When we returned to the inn, Demyan informed us he went to gather information. A ship named the Dancing May spotted ghost lights in Crystal bay. The current adjudicator is ill and close to death. Many close to him are jockeying for the position. I hope that doesn’t affect our chances of getting a land title.

At dinner, Almador sat with his eladrin companions. He must’ve said something to piss off Salandara. She abruptly left the table shortly after starting their meal. Our friend seemed satisfied, the cook seemed relieved to have Almador’s companion.

The next morning Almador met with Lahack to ask him to find information about their missing bosun at the dock. Navi was gone from our suite before we got up. She was to spend another day at the teleportation offices. The three of us were also back at our task to get a land title.

Almador was quite charming with the clerk. He was able to convince him of his knowledge of Phedron history (gleamed only yesterday!) and land claims. Before Idris could argue on our behalf to the magistrate, he needed to know many details. Renardo did a great job to conveying what he needed to know (and leave out what he didn’t need to know). Only a follower of Fortuna could um… speak so eloquently… Unfortunately, the magistrate was booked the remainder of the day. Besides, it was approaching dinner time and Almador had to be there for another session with the sea witch.

Demyan went to the docks seeking rumors. He talked to a Captain Maximillian. He took the sea witch out to the island with the ghost lights. He said he’s been a changed man since, but didn’t elaborate. There were several stories of Salandara going to the docks to warn sailors about the approaching bad weather, though no one could see anything like it on the horizon. She was never wrong. Most are weary of her, especially after she hurt some people who stupidly tried to rob her.

Dinner was uneventful, boring even. We found Demyan at the bar and went out for a good time. He took us to a seedy bar called The Selkie. It was good time. Almador apparently went out with Lahack to try and find us, but our paths never crossed.

I was a bit hung over from all the ale I had the night before. I was having a dream about hammer striking an anvil repeatedly, but it turned out to be someone at the door. A page was summoning me to the teleportation offices. I quickly dressed and went with him. I spent a portion of my day in interviews and was finally given the ok to study the teleportation circle to use in the future. I signed a stack of papers and had to read through all their rules.

Having been here almost four days, this was my first bit of free time. I paid the small dwarven community a visit. I met a likeable forge priest named Oglaf Foundrasson. I was able to trade Hand Of Fate for the Cure Disease ritual. This will come in handy in our travels.

When I returned to The Star, Almador and Renardo were celebrating their ability to convincing whoever they spoke with to see the magistrate the next day. Demyan didn’t turn up any more information. Shortly after Almador sat down for dinner with him usual companions, he got up and approached Navi. To our surprise, Almador asked her to sit at their table.

It became apparent there was a contest of wills between Salandara and Navi. The Neheshi caster not only held her own, she seemed to excel in some area of magic. The sea witch was most impressed. She seemed much more relaxed and was even friendlier toward Almador.

We returned to The Selkie again, this time with Almador and Lahack. Sadly, we were tossed out when Fortuna’s chosen started a fight over a card game.

Before the others got up, I spent an hour praying to Hrumnir to guide our words so we may succeed in our meeting with the magistrate. The three of us met up is Idris as usually and went to our meeting. To our dismay, we were sent to the see the sub-magistrate; however, Idris lobbied so hard that he was assured the land title would be sign to us (Almador, Renardo, me). The first citizen of Hofstrens will have to write a report in a year’s time to access what we have done. The more improvement, the less in taxes we pay. We paid the clerk the 100 gold fee and left in celebration.

We wasted no time the next day hiring a company to oversee improvements for our area. Our list of priorities included draining the swamp, road improvements, and fortifications around the tower. They were also told to hire as many local lads in our area as possible, ensuring employment to those we are now entrusted to look after.

That evening, Salandara wished all of us to join her for dinner. Renardo didn’t say anything too dumb and even managed to get the barest of smiles from her with tales of his homeland. She questioned me extensively about rituals and teleportation. She seemed pleased with what I had to say. We continued to having dinner together for the next few nights.

One night before the Salandara came down for the evening meal, Demyan burst into the inn with an eladrin in tow. He newcomer approached Almador. The greeting was abrupt and matter of fact. He was glad to see Almador alive. This was their missing companion – Vikal. He sailed the seas and believes something bigger is happening. He will not be travelling with us. When the sea witch came down, she told us she’d like a private dinner with only the ship’s crew.

Vikal declined her offer. He argued with Salandara then tossed his bosun whistle to Almador. After that he left. It was as if time stopped. Her anger was palpable in the air. Slowly everyone around them went around their business. She whipped around to our eladrin companion and demanded they go to the portal. He said he’d discuss it with us.

We went spoke about it in private in our suite. It was certainly an option to journey through the Feywild. In any case, it would not be a big deal to take her to the crossing even if we don’t go with her. Our business in Mirosh was complete.

On our way back from The Selkie that night, I received a most alarming sending. “I have your family. Arrive at Hralfsted on the day of chastisement or they die. Your life for their.” The voice was the same as the one who attacked me in Tumbledown! I was barely able to send a response back. The message was immediately relayed to my somewhat drunk companions. Needless to say, it was a sobering moment for all.

We rushed back to the inn where I performed my own sending to my mother. I should have warned her she only gets twenty-five words. She did manage to tell me they were captured three nights ago.

Loot
XP: 575 each, 50 for snacks
Land rights to the tower and the surround area (Almador, Önundr, Renardo)

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