These are incomplete, as I did not keep great logs at first. We have some attempts, then moving well into the future to get more detail. The Timeline has a record of the events, without the details. As the events of the first two books are not documented in a campaign dairy as such but built on memory and the text of the books themselves. I have done the best I can to piece together the events. I am sure of much of what is described, but not as sure of the sequence of events based on the non-linear format of the books. The first adventures were played in 2013 – Bryan
The following is a history of the adventures of the Founders of Thylicia and their Companions. The Exploration Charter was first given to the individuals who would become the Founders in Pharast (March) 4710.
When the newly formed party arrived, they were greeted warmly by Svetlana Leveton, wife of Oleg, who had prepared a hearty stew, warm bread, and has even a bottle of wine to thank them for coming to their aid. Oleg made sure to be busy repairing a leak in the roof over the and when he climbed down to greet them, he was sweaty and gruff. While Oleg liked the idea of having extra help to defend against the bandits, he was disturbed by the implications that the group was being sent to explore the Greenbelt.
When the Levetons realized that the young adventures were not there expressly to aid them, Oleg grew upset. Svetlana humbly asked the group for assistance, offering them free room and board for the night to help deal with the bandits the next day. The Bandits attacked three months ago, and they return the first day of each month for the past three months, within an hour of sunrise. They threatened to burn down the post and take Svetlana and rape her. As the next day is the 1st of Pharast, Svetlana was certain the bandits would return. They always seemed eager to hit and run, so she felt their camp was a day’s ride away. Appalled at the bandits getting this far north, the party is more than willing to stand up to the bandits. Little did the group know then how important this day would become in the future.
The next morning, the group ambushed the bandits, killing most of them in a quick battle, but managing to capture their leader, Happs Bydon. After some persuasion, he admits to being led by a woman named Kressle. The party takes his Stag Lord silver amulet and the bandit’s clothes and find out the location of their camp. They ask Oleg to have the captive turned over to the next group headed back.
Svetlana asks if the party can find her wedding band, she would dearly love it returned. Ayrn makes a personal promise on this regard.
Heading south through the forest, the group explored and discovered the radish patch Svetlana asked the group to find. Laying about it, were four sick Kobolds who choose to fight to the “death” to defend “their” patch. Defeated, the group stripped them of their weapons and sent them away, figuring that if they could make the trip home all but naked, they would live. They made note and promised themselves to collect these upon their return. But they had bandits in their sites. Ten miles south of the glade with the delicacies, lay the Thorn River Camp. This was their objective.
Pretending to be Stag Lord Bandits the group works to infiltrate Kressle’s group at the Thorn River Camp. Ayrn and Tracil try to talk, with Grundur and the caster in back. It did not go well. A skirmish started, and Grundur changed into the fray. The archers in the camp towers began firing, and one struck Caleb. He dashed under the tower to be safe from arrow fire. In reprisal, he uses Burning Hands to fire up through the tower at the threat. The fight rages, but the party finally mange to turn the tide. Kressle used Dust of Dust of Disappearance. Licking their wounds, the group regrouped and recovered at Oleg’s.
Conversation Recorded by Tarcil Ayrn: “We were lucky to make it safely out of that last scrap. I blame myself. We were following my plan, and it almost led to Caleb’s and Micki’s death. We were ill prepared for the fight, and then once we tricked our way to victory, we were forced to dispatch the bandits in the night and in the dark. That was most distasteful”. “I propose that we engage in more caution. As much as I want to emulate my hero,” Ayrn raises his mug, “Even he started young and inexperienced. Perhaps I am too eager to be there, having watched friends grow up, and move on my whole life. As we move ahead, I think we should seek a path that we can manage.” “I also suggest we think more about battle. We are fighting as individuals. We need to think as a team. We cannot leave Micki and Caleb isolated again from Grundur or me. Even Tracil needs some space.” Micki: “I have to say it is nice to have a big armored person close by to duck behind, since most everyone is bigger than me that shouldn’t be too hard. The excitement of a fight is hard to beat but one has to live through it to truly savor the experience, so having group coordination sounds like a good thing.” Micki looks around at the surrounding wilderness and Tarcil busy with his map and sighs, “Mapping, ugh, what a dull charter. Still we may run into some dangerous wildlife that we can clear out. I can always hope anyway.”
Staying outside the woods for a while, they group found an area with the skeletons of boars, deer, bears, and a few humans. This was the lair of a trapdoor spider. Thus, began Caleb’s journey into the hatred of nature. After a quick battle, the party defeated the spider and finds a bandit body, with another Stag Lord Amulet and a map to a tree over an “X” pointing to something buried.
The group journey’s to see Bokken, about 15 miles from Oleg’s and he asks them to gather supplies for him, telling him where there is a patch of rare Thornberries (Ed Note: really rare, as the players misremembered Fangberries as Thornberries and it stuck much to the bemusement of the GM)
Looming over all the hills in the northern Kamelands, there was a graying hulk of a sycamore tree clinging precariously to its last years of life. The 100-foot-tall tree was a well-known landmark and visible for miles around—but was also well known to be infested with mites. The group was able to see the mites from afar and decided to avoid the mites for the moment and press on in their exploration.
Further south, they find the dead tree and treasure marked treasure and dug up Digging up the cache which is wrapped in a heavy leather cloak and consists of a masterwork dagger, a wand of burning hands (CL 2nd, 4 charges), a silver ring worth 75 gp, and a spell book.
As the party explored the low hills, they discovered a hidden Gold Mine. They made careful note of this fact and decided to keep it to themselves. They had a mission and were not about to start a mining operation, especially in these wildlands.
Returning to Oleg’s the party encounters Jhod Kavken, exiled priest of Erastil. He asked the heroes to seek out a lost temple of Erastil somewhere to the south. He warned them that a large bear seems to be guarding the site, and that something isn’t quite “right” about the bear. The party set back out into the forest in order to find the forgotten temple. As they journeyed Southwest, the encountered many traps set by a hunter, they later found out was named Breeg Orlivanch. The group spends time disabling the traps, which are a hazard not only to wildlife but people.
As they searched the forest, they found Breeg Orlivanch, killed by one of his own traps, which delighted the party that this particular menace was over. Continuing the search, the group found and ignored a hot spring with giant frogs, leaving that menace for another day. At last they found the Temple of the Elk, hidden in the forest. They confronted the mad bear, a former priest of Erastil trapped in bear form. Defeating it, they are able to free him, and restore the temple. Upon return to Oleg’s they told Jhod Kavaken who was able to move to the area and start to restore the temple.
Deeper in the forest the found an ancient statue to Erastil, humanoid with a deer head that stood before an old hunting lodge, now long gone.
The body of a dead unicorn proved a mystery to the party. Its horn had clearly been removed after it had been slain, but they could out figure out how it died.
Ill rumors found their way to the party’s ears, and they hurried south to investigate. What they found was a dark summoning circle and a foul ritual. In a hard fight, they managed to kill the dark wizard and end his unknown plot.
Tangled in a pit surrounded by a thicket, the party found a trapped Thylacine. The were able to able rescue her, and Ayrn adopted the grateful creature, naming her Farrah.
The group was then able to find the Thornberries, in a thicket. These rare berries grew in a long thing valley between two low hills. Unfortunately, most of the thicket was covered in spider webs. The party was faced with a swarm of spiders who picked Caleb as their first target. Ayrn was unable to help. Eventually the swarm was defeated, and the group was able to collect the Thornberries for Bokken.
*Journal of Ayrn Valyar: “Thoughts on the Wilderness”*
Ayrn: “It has been a much more fruitful month. This is a lawless land, full of bandits and foul creatures. It does not need to be mapped; it needs to be tamed!” Ayrn finished his sentence slamming his now empty mug down for effect.
Tarcil: “I am surprised at how many people are this far south of civilization… it’s a lot more populated than we thought…” “Bodes well for the future of this area and possible development. Oleg stands a chance to get in on the ground floor.”
Ayrn: “Provided we all survive long enough to deal with the things out there.”
Caleb: “ Wooden walls and a roof provided a degree of security but right now I felt even that lacked the fortitude of stone. I nursed my drink hoping it would be a salve to my wounded pride. Looking back, my reaction was more severe than I would normally allow. But what was I expecting? Another giant trapdoor spider or something more? Staring into those vacant insect eyes and feeling the brush of their coarse hairs reminded me of something. Flashes of purple spines and webbed blades. Huge shapes slipping almost silently in the cold dark. A frozen plateau, a word, Lang? Leng? Fevered dreams or forgotten memories? Ayrn’s declaration wakes me from my reverie. / My friends are excited about what we’ve uncovered so far and what it could mean for the future of these lands. I glance out into the yawning maw of night and my blood could hear the promise of unhallowed secrets. Waiting just for me. “I hate nature…”
Ayrn: “Better not let Micki hear you say that.”
In the planes past the woods, stood alone cairn, the burial place of a barbarian leader. Hidden in blackberry bushes, the party almost missed the cairn. The group debated on even if they should disturb it at all. In the end, they were respectful and did disturb the cairn, and restored it when they were done, leaving the ring they found.
Exploring the Narlmarches, the party encountered ruined stone buildings inhabited by Garuum the boggard and his living crown, a male slurk. As the boggard was not aggressive or a danger, the group made peace with him, and left him to his “kingdom”. When Thylicia later claimed this region, Garuum fell under the protection of the Crown.
In a remote section of the Skunk river there was a ford created by sandy sholes. Since dredged by the kingdom, this created a natural choke point in the river which was home to two tatzlewyrms. The group was able to make quick work of these creatures and noted this area might be good for a settlement one day. When the man would become Lord Rezbin came looking to settle, this was the area he choose. Wanting to name the area after the defeated foe, Ayrn overruled him and said the settlement could be names “Rezbin”. Little did anyone know when the wyrms were killed, how key the city of Rezbin would be to the Hooktounge Slough
*Journal of Ayrn Valyar: “Thoughts on Swords and Worms”*
The past several days have been interesting to say the least. The other groups are starting to build more traffic in the Stolen Lands, perhaps even asking others to start to settle the area. We cannot even move in that direction unless we take care of the Stag Lord. We are more ready for that then we where several weeks ago. Have to take out those mites. Still, I feel some pressure to move forward. We helped another cleric to the old Bear Temple. I have to say it is looking better. From there we found a boggard living in ruins in a swamp by itself. It was hard to see it alone. I understand being cut off from one’s people. Along the way we have encountered a rogue, Vashrah., who is good with a bow. Not a bad looker either. We finally encountered not one, but three, worms that clearly had been attacking travelers for some time. They posed a pretty big threat, but we managed to take them down. I am not sure how Tarcil managed to get free of the one that grabbed him. I was glad our rouge friend was along. The dead had quite a number of weapons on them. I think we are equipped to take on the mites at least. They will be a good test on how we might fare against the Stag Lord.
Ayrn: “Tarcil I can easily wield the Axe and Sword. You take one of these for yourself. We need you able to stay safe. I am not sure where we would be at this point without your advice”.
Tarcil: Well, that is mighty kind of you. I will take you up on your offer. Of course you may find it “handy” to have a weapon you can so quickly throw always available. I certainly will put this to good use….cold iron can always come in handy when dispatching certain evil nasties.
The highly aggressive boar, nicknamed Tuskgutter presented a significant danger in the area. The heroes cornered Tuskgutter a hollow under a large fallen pine tree, in a den of littered bones. They dispatched the beast.
Davik Nettles was a retired Brevic engineer who once ran a toll bridge until being murdered by the Stag Lord. His uneasy spirit stalked the area, seeking vengeance against the Stag Lord. Unable to leave the area, he could not find rest until the Stag Lord is dead. The Party did not attack, but talked to the poor soul, and promised to throw the Stag Lord’s lifeless body into the river after he was defeated.
Now feeling experienced enough to deal with the mites, the group heads to the ancient tree and into the caves below. They were able to dispatch the mites and found an odd statue in the process and, Svetlana’s missing wedding ring.
Moving boldly south, the party confronted the Kobolds in the area. It was clear they were being stirred up by their leader, who was in actuality a cursed gnome. The party rid the Kobolds on this dangerous “leader” and Chief Scootscales took over again. They returned to him the statue recovered from the mites, and introduced the group to Erastil, sending the Chief and key community members to study, moving this tribe away from evil and towards a more neutral disposition.
*Journal of Ayrn Valyar: “Kobalds and Mites”*
Despite Grunduar’s protests, our use of the kobolds in the silver mine to help defeat the mites worked out well. Tarcil and Miki are pretty sure we can turn the Kobalds to follow Erastil. As we move towards consolidation of this area, they could be useful mining for us. Maybe this can be the start of something wonderful. Kobalds are annoying but have a hard lot in life. Maybe for once, something better can be done. I have worked on a flag and crest with the party. Maybe we are dreaming big, but I think we can do something positive here to make a lasting difference.
Now ready to confront the real disruption in the land, the group scouted the ruins that were the base of the Stag Lord. After much discussion, they decided to try sneaking in. The resulting battle was brutal, with Ayrn, in front with his dwarf companion, taking blow after blow. Final victory over the drunken bandit leader came just in time, as Ayrn staggered down. However, victory was theirs and the bandit stalking the land was defeated.
They threw his body into the river and the undead Nettle could have peace. The group returned to Oleg’s almost a year after they had started. The Staglord was no more.
Be it so known that the bearers of this charter, having delivered the northern reaches of the Greenbelt from the scourge of banditry, having provided detailed maps of the lay of the land, and having done no small amount of work in the exploration of said land and the culling of hostile monsters and indigenous hazards, are hereby granted the right to rule. The nature and laws of rule are theirs to define, and the wellbeing of this new nation is theirs to protect. In accordance for providing a stable nation to the south of central Rostland, let there be a generous stipend of funds, support, and advice provided to this fledgling nation as a token of Restov and Brevoy’s goodwill, such that future relations between kingdoms might be mutually beneficial. So witnessed under the watchful eye of the Lordship of Restov and by the authority granted by Lord Noleski Surtova, current Regent of the Dragonscale Throne.
On Pharast (March) 1st, 4711, Ayrn Mordun-Valyar read these words aloud and founded the Kingdom of Thylicia. The reality is a large tent city at the crossing of the Three Rivers. But a Fishery and Farms are quickly established. The settlers from Brevoy and Restov are eager to start their new lives It is not until Desnus (May) until the Capitol, Stagfell is founded.
In the first weeks, in a large tent, Ayrn woked with the likes of Drunduar Donderson. Drundur would go on to build the aptly named Founder’s Taverna First Inn in Roval (September) finally giving the Founders a place to rest and hold court outside a tent, much to the relief of Caleb.
It was in Erastus (July) of that year where the Kobolds joined the fledgling nation, driving home its multiracial nature. In Lamashan (October) Galie Balikson arrived and brought his architectural skill and helped the would be king plan the city to be and designed Castle Mordun. Galie Balikson would go on to be the Royal Architect for Thylicia.
By the new year, Stagfell had attracted the rich Conley Family who established the Crystal Feather Magic Shop. It was clear the new nation was now a source for not just the downtrodden.
The Founder’s adventures in exploring and taming the Greenbelt would take the rest of 4711, all of 4712, and a good deal of 4713. When they were not adventuring, they were personally seeing to their jobs within the Kingdom:
They would spend much time on claiming and developing the lands of the Greenbelt, and building up their population, establishing other cities, such as Silverwarren, Ashrak, Rezbin, and Coppertree.
The Founders were now focused on expanding into the Greenbelt. They had already been using a rough map of the Stolen Lands, which Tracil was dutifully expanding as they went. They divided the land into hexagonal regions 12 miles across, which were a little over 93.53 square miles. The then started a more systematic search of the Greenbelt, surveying land and clearing it for future settlers. They set off into the land. They decide to start northwest, along the edge of the Narlmarches and work south.
Deep in the Narlmarches, Tiressia the Dryad and her lover the Satyr Falchos are threatened by an monstrous scythe tree. The Founders greet the lovely Tiressia who plays the damsel in distress with Falchos hiding in the trees. The players were more the willing to deal with this evil, and while the emergence of Falchos ends any ideas the men of the party have romantically, they promise to kill the tree.
The fight goes easily for the party, you use fire at range, and create water to stop any spread. Upon return, the grateful dryad gives the party Feather Tokens to create trees and promises to keep the party informed. Ayrn pledges to protect them both. While she offers them her weapons, the party demurs, noting she needs them, taking only the feathers and the offered healing potions and wand.
The party moved forward to explore the forest to the west and encountered a tense stand-off. A band of freelance loggers under the leadership of a man named Corax had recently decided to harvest a grove of coachwood trees in this glade, unaware that a nixie sorceress lives in the pool. The nixie, Melianse, did not take kindly to the loggers despoiling her home and unsuccessfully attempted to scare them off with ghost sound and obscuring mist. When that tactic failed, Melianse charmed two of the lumberjacks, who stood guard in front of her pool. Since both men were good workers, Corax resisted the urge to fight through his onetime employees but was fast losing patience with the nixie afraid the blow to his reputation in his men’s eyes if he dithered.
The Founders immediately intervened, frowning on the Corax’s actions. Tarcil immediately goes to work on both and negotiates the release for the loggers. Ayrn and Miki both are aware of a coachwood grove to the north. Miki offers the use of the Feather Tokens to replace the trees and advises the lumberjacks that they should only cut where Miki suggests. Miki further talks to the nixie and suggests her guidance in the future. Again, the Founders have made an ally, and Ayrn swears his protection for her and her grove.
The group is rather please with themselves, having made allies of fey in two days, feeling this might secure them in the future, if they are in conflict with refuges from the First World, little knowing these fariee were already disliked by the architect of the storm which would befall their kingdom.
Moving South, the party encounter the Mad Hermit, the younger brother of Bokken. Because of their contact with Bokken, the party is not taken in by the crazed rouge and are able to dispatch him.
Headed to the river, the party hears the cries of human children. They find Lizardfolk keeping them in cages and torturing them at the behest of and “ancestor sprit” It is clear to Miki that this is really a Wil-o-sip, feeding on the fear of the children. The party is able to defeat the wisp
Hargood joins in trip to Candelmere Tower and the defeat of the Willowisps and convince the tribes King, Vesket that it was a fraud. With strong diplomacy on the part of the party, the Lizardfolk release the children. Vesket states there are more “sprits” on the island in the middle of the lake. When the party says the plan to head there, he gives them the “Spirit’s” treasure, including a ring of water walking, which Ayrn claims, but then notes Grundur can use it more. The Founders invite Vesket to travel to the Temple of Erastil, much as they did the Kobolds. Vesket sends with the party on of their great warriors, Hargood, who would be Grundur’s cohort, and eventually Warden of the Watch.
The party uses its floating boat, with Grundur pulling it using the ring of water walking and go to the old tower on the island in Candelmere. The whole area has a magical effect of fear, which has attracted wisps to feed. Based on Miki’s experience with the last one, she notes she can use magic to give everyone resistance to electrical damage. The party soon discovers they are immune to the creatures attacks, and they stop using any charges of wands and simply slay them all. The area cleared, the party returns to the growing settlement of Stagfell.
The party finds not all is well in Stagfell, as a young woman who works at the First Inn has been murdered by what sounds like a werewolf. Also dead is Beven, a herder. A half dozen sheep were also killed. The party is able to track the killings to a traveler, Kundal. They find the unfortunate Kundal and are able to capture him and get him cured by Jhod.
The Kamelands are full of predators and hungry beasts, and the worst are those who can think and reason. One such menace, a cruel and cunning worg named Howl-of-the-North-Wind, has claimed a large section of the Kamelands as his territory; he and his pack of ferocious wolves are quick to attack any intruders, pursuing them for miles if need be to finish the job.
Alerted by the citizens of Stagfell, the Founders head East to kill the menace, and easily deal with the large worg and its pack of wolves. They continued on, following the map they found with the Mad Hermit to the Lonely Barrow.
The isolated barrow mound of a fallen barbarian warrior-king stood in this section of the Kamelands for untold thousands of years. Over time, the earth near the mound subsided, opening a crack in the side of the tomb and awakening the warlord’s undead guardians, who were sworn to defend their lord and his sepulcher even beyond death. The warlord himself, now known as the Lonely Warrior, had risen as an undead blasphemy himself. Still bound inside his crypt, he raged against the walls of his prison, dreaming dark dreams of conquest and blood. Yet for all their wrath and hatred, the undead of the Lonely Barrow have relatively little impact on the surrounding terrain. This, along with the fact that the tomb is not easily distinguished from the other grassy knolls dotting the landscape, means that the barrow went overlooked.
The Founders followed the map they obtained and entered into the crypt. They purged it of the undead guardians and rendered it safe. The bodies they left behind now rest in peace.
On their explorations as they moved back to Stagfell, the group took on Old Crackjaw, killing the giant turtle, who had a keen interest in Miki’s gnomish flesh. However, they took the dead body back to Stagfell and Drundur at the Founder’s Inn, who made a mighty soup and mounted the shell in the Tavern.
After a hard journey of exploration and the defeat of Worgs to the North, and the undead of the hidden crypt, the group finds Grigori standing amid townsfolk claiming the Founders are only enriching themselves and not Stagfell. Ayrn, in no mood for sedition, leaps from his horse and tackles the startled Grigori outright. Hauling him up, Ayrn calls out his sedition and lies in front of the townsfolk, clearly disrupting his hold. Ayrn’s friends notice the fear of the citizens and step in, with Tracil calming Ayrn, and Caleb stating that there is a jail, and that a holy paladin of Torag could be trusted to deal fairly with the rabble Rouser. Ayrn agrees and goes for a drink. Caleb and Torag take the man for a trial, find him guilty and sentence him to work in the mines of Silverwarren. While this causes some unrest, the Founders are more than able to manage it.
Back from the expedition and resting, the party is at the local Inn and Tavern, now called the Founder’s Tavern and First Inn. A new server, Fyonia Wyst, is serving. She is an Elf who has a clear Drow heritage. Her initial rebuff of Ayrn starts a romantic chase that will result in Fyonia marrying Ayrn and becoming Queen.
The party goes seeking the “Witch” of the swamp and are able to lower her fears. They even find the tuskshrooms in the nearby mudbowl and have a new resource for their kingdom. Caleb is applled to again fight an aberration of nature, this time a Tendriculos to clear the resource.
Other creatures the group is forced to deal with is an angry hill giant, deal with a cruel leucrota and kill a forest drake. I have no memory of any of these
The Founders encountered the Narthropple Expedition, a group of gnomes exploring the Greenbelt, whose horse are stuck in the river. Between Ayrn and Miki, the party can free the horses. Tarcil uses his diplomatic prowess to trade information with the Gnome about sites on the map. While the Gnomes want to go on exploring, Barry Stroud a human mage with them does not. He has had enough of the wilderness and wants a change. He latches onto Miki as the person able to get him out and becomes her cohort.
As Thylicia, and most importantly, Stagfell, as grown, Caleb’s Cohort tells him of the growing danger of a Gyronna Cult. The group is very concerned and take immediate action against the Hag goddess, worshiped is so much of the river Kingdoms. They find and deal with the cult. Ayrn is quoted as saying “I am for freedom of worship, but not the worship of foul gods and demons. Evil deeds follow the worship of evil in this world and demands the souls of the evil in the next.
On the Second Moonday of Lamashan (October), the 8th day of that month of the year 4712, Castel Mordun was opened. Ayrn is crowned King of Thylicia by Grundur. Then, with Tracil and Caleb at his side, and Fyonia with Vashra and Miki at hers, Grunder performed the ceremony to marry the King to his bride.
There are mass celebrations in the City and throughout the Kingdom. The Elven Moon Dance Hall is built to commemorate the events. Ayrn and Fyonia perform an elaborate dance after the wedding to the joy of those at the reception. By the end of the year, Thylicia would be connected by roads to Restov via Oleg’s Trading Post, now a strategic fort.
The Founders were approached by a ruddy, friendly, and energetic man named Loy Rezbin. He and his wife Latricia already have plans for a village deep in the Narlmarches at a ford on the Skunk River where, until recently, a pair of tatzlwyrms dwelt. They ask the PCs for support to get this village started. Ayrn agrees, but vetoes calling it Tatzlford, not wanting a settlement named after an enemy, and instead suggests Rezbin, after him and his wife. He also notes that Thylicia does not yet control that area, and to wait two months until the have extended control and roads to his location.
The group faces Troll attacks caused blood and terror in the southern Greenbelt. Restov sends a charter ordering the new nation it sponsored to do something about this meance. The Founders move to face the Trolls who have taken up in an old dwarven fort. The group assaulted their fastness and burned them out, room by room, letting none escape. Make sure to burn every last bit of their bodies,
Long ago, before the fall of the Starstone, when the Verduran Forest stretched from the World’s Edge Mountains to the Lake of Mists and Veils, the elves built an outpost far to the north in what is now the northern River Kingdoms. When they fled Golarion at the onset of the Age of Darkness, the elves abandoned this outpost as they did so many others. Centuries later, after their return, they found that while humanity had overrun much of Avistan, the Stolen Lands had become a wilderness untouched by both elf and human. Moved by this, they left their ancient keep abandoned, and in the ensuing centuries even the elves forgot about it. Yet elven architecture is built to last, and the outpost, though now in ruins, has survived the passage of time mostly intact.
The keep was now home for a wicked fey, a baobhan sith. Her presence attracted other evil fey to the area. Dark fey preyed upon the infrequent travelers in the areas and enough hunters and trappers would go missing near the ruined keep that most gave it a wide berth. The Founders could not resist investigation.
Fighting Fey who controlled nature, the group grimly worked to eliminate the evil creatures in the old elven keep. They resist the charms of the “dancing lady” and kill the fey, who cursed Grundur, but her evil magic was no match for the iron will of a Paladin or Torag.
The loot included furniture that Ayrn commissioned sent back to Stagfell for the castle under construction.
The Founders return and find an giant owlbear has attacked the settlement. There are destroyed buildings and dead citizens. Ayrn vows to track the owlbear to its lair. The Founders also agree it is time to establish a city guard and build walls around what would become the Castle and Military Districts.
They track the owlbear to its lair which includes attack by more spider swarms and a shamble. It also leads to the discovery that the person who sent it was tricked by somebody, into using a cursed ring which enraged the creature. Who?
The Founders could not be sure and turned to the care of Thylicia. Their next great adventure would come in 4714, with news their sister settlement, Varnhold, had gone silent. Ayrn would wait two months before leading an expedition to Varnhold, secure his beloved kingdom first.
Caleb hears of a Land shark to the West towards Varnhold, and Ayrn suggests an expedition because of boredom, and those areas need to be explored. Taalen and Vern, fresh in from the long way from Varnhold, overhear and are interested as it is towards their home, and that Ayrn appears territorially expansive in that direction. Grundar was busy helping Hargood with a prison break. The Team explores to the East (HA5,HC5), killing a land shark and chimera, respectively. Micki took the hides, to convert the land shark into armor and the Chimera for a nice wall hanging. In the Breath attack, most of the mounts died, and Taalen was near death. Both fights were over in less than two rounds.
When the group gets back to Stagfell, news breaks that Varhold has ceased all communications with the outside world.
Setting out to explore what had happened to Varnhold, Taleen and Vern returned a few days later, leading back refugees from an attack on the farms closest to Varnhold. By a group of cyclops. Aaron assembled the group including Barry, Hagrood and Vashra to go to Varnhold to discover what was going on.
Following the tracks of the cyclops, Ayrn and Mickey were able to lead them into a mountain pass an ambush point. The group had a hard-fought battle against cyclops ease. Emerged Victorious and hurt. Ayrn led the team to the outskirts of the where they camped for the night after exploring the cave works I'm securing several magic items well prepared group of cyclops.
Seriously concerned for of the Kingdom Ayrn instructed Vashra, Hargrood and Barry to return to Stagfell in the morning. Grunduar worked with Hagrood on plans to prepare The Watch for an attack. Miki worked with Vashra to form a plan to personally guard the Leviton’s, as they travel back and forth. Barry was charged to take a message straight to the Queen, that if she did not hear back from Ayrn by the end of the month, she was to construct a fort in the ruined farm hex and deploy the Kings Rangers to that fort. Barry was to use a sending spell when this had been accomplished.
The next morning the trio set off group backtracked towards the fort Vern and Taalen said had been built by the city of Varnhold. They found the fort open it was as if everybody suddenly stood up and orderly left the fort. Fearing the worst the group made haste to the city of Varnhold, and it too was completely abandoned. While searching Taalen’s home and other homes in the area, it was clear that somebody had looted the homes the absence of their owners. During their investigation of the city they were call fae, which were easily bested by the party.
The group moved on towards the Nomen Tribe of Centaurs in a heavy rain, taking 5 days to cover the ground. On day 6, the Nomen approach the team and Ayrn formally asked for treaty with their leader. They are taken to the High Priestess and explain the situation. The Group then left their mounts and headed south to a cyclops graveyard from before the time of man. The ascend towards the spire of an what they assume is an undead creature. They easily best a Zombie and summoned cloud, and noticed a Raven spying on them, but it teleported away. They used their folding boat to cross to the island and bedded down for the night.
The next morning, the team entered the ancient fortress and began a long drive to find and end what they were now convinced was an ancient Lich. They fought through several guards and traps, eventually finding the missing Nomen princess. Keeping her well to the rear, the beleaguered group pushed ahead to confront undead in thrall to a mighty Lich.
Along the way, they found gruesome evidence of the undead eating townsfolk. The horror of the plight of Varnhold grew, and their determination to put this evil to sword, axe and fire grew. At last, they found the chambers of their foe.
This was the fight they expected. Grunduar charged the Lich, while the rest of the group engaged the other undead. The dwarf Paladin reared back to strike and, at a touch, the lich paralyzed him. Aghast, Tarcil pulled Grunduar to safety. Taalen had an answered prayer and was able to restore Grunduar to action. As the fight wore on, the undead fell. Again, Grunduar faced his foe, and again, he was paralyzed.
But the fight was taking its toll on the Lich, as Ayrn fought the Undead, the spell casters burned and tore away at the ancient evil. Finally, the Lich fell, and the group signed in relief. It would be a day before Taalen could restore Grunduar and Farra, who were both paralyzed. The party searched the room, and were astonished to discover the dread lich kept his phylactery on his person. The took the evil artifact from his eye, the very thing that let him take the souls. They also found soul jars and released the soul of a townsfolk. Seeing her immediate trauma, they kept the rest of the jars closed, until they could return to Stagfell and priests to minister to the people. After a day’s rest, Taalen restored those paralyzed, and using Taalen’s mystical mounts, they tore across the countryside to Stagfell. Ayrn ordered Miki to take flight as a bird, and tell the Noman High Priestess what had happened, and that the Sovereign Monarch of Thylicia would welcome her at Castle Stagfell where he would Treat with her. Miki was then to fly back to Stagfell, and in fact, she beat them there.
The Queen and Miki met the rest of the party returning to Stagfell, and together they road into the city to much fanfare. There was much work to be done in running the Kingdom, and as soon as they arrived, the Founders were set to work. At Ayrn’s request, Vern oversaw the preparation of quarters for the coming centaur delegation. Taalen worked with the priests to prepare to revive the few remaining citizens of Varnhold. After a busy week of solid government work, the remaining Varnhold citizens were revived and offered entry into Thylicia, which they accepted. The High Priestess had a reunion with her daughter, and also accepted the treaty offer from Ayrn. The City broke into a great celebration, as the tension from the threat form the West broke.
The month of Lamashan 4714 was stressful for the Thylicia. While the Lich which all but destroyed Varnhold was defeated, the King had to race back to a Kingdom in distressed state. Unseasonable heavy rains destroyed crops. Rumors of disaster were starting, until Miki flew in to report the defeat of the Lich. An overjoyed Queen Fiona, road out to meet the returning heroes, who had been rejoined by Miki.
Moving to work, the Varhold souls left were returned to the world, and ministered too by priests of Sarenae. As the backlog of work for the Kingdom was done, Ayrn added drafting Treaties to Tarcil’s duties. By the end of the month, the Nomen and Varnhold were united with the Kingdom of Thylicia.
After several months of consolidation and expansion, rumors of trouble once again make it to the ears to the Founders. Fishermen were missing at the edge of the Varhold Territories. Miki and Caleb organized a plan and brought it to Ayrn. Again, tired of just rule, Aryn jumped at the chance to lead the Founders into the field. Vashra asked to come along, as Grunder was on a holiday in Garass.
The group set out towards the Nomen Heights, taking a new pathway, exploring along the way. Excitingly, they discovered a rich iron deposit which Ayrn marked down to be a new mine. Seeing giant owls overhead, Ayrn initiated contact, and Miki negotiated with them, promising not to destroy their range with settlement. Taalen rolled his eyes at Aryn’s commented on air cavalry in the future.
Ayrn also discussed Peerage for Vern and Vashara, promising them Peerage in the next Ennobling Proclamation. Taalen turned down an offer to be High Priest.
Moving into a valley, there was a partially sunken boat. Ayrn and Tarcil moved to explore the area, and Aryn was attacked by a giant fly trap. While Ayrn did significant damage too it, he was promptly trapped between the deadly leaves. The rest of the party came to his aid, and quickly, the magical plant was dead. It was clear this was what killed the fishermen. Taalen said some words over the area.
Moving deeper, the group head what sounded like whispering voices around several holes in the ground. Miki turned into a snake and poked her head in. She say a gem mine, but before she could report it, 6 Chimera attacked the party. After a tense fight, all 6 were killed, with the final being killed mid air by Miki and Very as an air elemental and using fly spell respectively.
Ayrn noted that he was taking a skin to hang behind his throne.
|Campaign Dates||Pharast 1st & 2nd 4717|
Pharast 1st 4717
It is Founder’s Day in Thylicia! Things kick off with a dawn speech at the Varn Arena by the King:
“Six years have passed since a caravan of settlers came to Three Rivers with the audacious idea we might form a new Kingdom, free of the politics of Brevoy, where hardy souls might cut out their own lives from a newly tamed wilderness. Some of you here tonight were there at the beginning, tilling the land, and making the first spring planting. Others were helping to clear the land for Stagfell itself. ”
“How much we have grown since 4711. We have founded five cities and towns and incorporated three others. We have built a Kingdom based on trust and understanding, where many races live together as equals before the law and equals in society. It has not all been easy. We have faced attacks from outside, from a giant Owlbear and a werewolf, to the threat of an ancient lich. In our short time, we have already faced plague and flood, a cult to an evil god, and foreign paid agitators. As Thylicians, we have been able to weather these challenges. I am grateful for the strength of my peoples.”
“Thylicia is a secure Kingdom, with abundant resources, and armies to defend her. We trade north and south and are at peace with our allies. We know not what the future holds for us, but we are secure in what we have accomplished. Celebrate today! Today our kingdom starts into its seventh year!”
Ayrn Lifts his ceremonial silver tankard
“May the gods bless Thylicia!”
The arena is open to jousting and other feats of strength, ability, and magic. Though it is a holiday, the markets are open for business to sell to the throngs who have traveled to the city for the day.
After the opening ceremony, each of the Founders set about his or her tasks. Grunduar is drinking at the Founder’s Inn, where the owner, his cousin is hosting a rolling all day party. Miki is making the rounds of various events, but also checking in with her Marshals. Caleb makes his brief appearance at the opening ceremonies and then slides back to his office along the secret pathways beneath the city of Stagfell. Tracil escorts diplomates from Restov to upper class events, including the Thornberry wine tasting, and Conlley show.
The King and Queen open the games and then work to attend parties and celebrations throughout the city. They have personal attendants with them, and both the Thane of Silverwarren and Thane of Ashrak. Notably absent were, the Duke of Varhold, unable to attend as he was settling a dispute between new immigrant hunters and the Nomen and Lord Rezbin, who was overseeing the interrogation of a criminal who would turn out to be far more than just that.
During the day, Gurnduar hears giants are moving from the north as part of a larger force from Numeria and are carrying strange weapons. He passes this on when Ayrn visits, who sends his attendant Mack to run tell his secretary, Bernon Woolyn, who can inform Caleb’s people. It seems unlikely Numeria would attack the Kingdom, but maybe there is something to the motion.
Caleb sends forces to investigate rumors of undead in the muck in the bogs. While Miki hears of a brewing storm over Candlemere. The Founders work together not to bother the King during the day and order forces to investigate.
Caleb is reminded by Lily of the dinner 20 minutes ahead of time, and says she will be his date. He dresses and rushes downstairs to dinner.
That evening, at dinner in grand hall at Castle Mordun is a smaller affair, with the Officers of the Kingdom, nobles, and select citizens of importance or with some relationship to the Founders. Tracil is there with his visitors from Restov. Chef Cammon outside himself, and the dinner is a big success
Ayrn rises to make a speech, having the court bard, Dothriel, hand out the gifts.
“Your Highness, Thanes, Lords and Ladies, Officials, Diplomats from Restov, and Citizens, thank you for coming. While today we celebrate the last six years of Thylicia, I want to recognize the individuals who have personally put everything on the line. Without them, my Comrades in Arms, we would not have a Kingdom to celebrate.”
“Taalen Hightop has moved on to new challenges. Varnhold is not what it was, and I can understand. We offer a toast to Taalen. May he be a voice of conscience to whomever he is with.”
“Chief Constable Hargood, you have been instrumental in keeping our cities safe, but before that, you cemented the peace with your people by helping us defeat the Wisps. We grant you a Cloak of the Comrades and a Jade Kirin.”
“Magister Stroud, your service as Magister filled an empty role. Our schools have grown and prospered under your leadership. Before that, however, fought against the beasts wilderness. For that We grant you a Cloak of the Comrades and a Jade Kirin.”
“Dearest Fyonia, you have proved to be an able administrator in your own right, and a gentle ruler. Most important, you have agreed to rule at my side. You have also fought at my side, and the side of our friends. For that We grant you a Cloak of the Comrades and a Jade Kirin. I also give you these bracers and ring, so that next time you are with me you are better protected.”
“Governor Vern Reome, Duke of Varnhold, could not be with us. He first fought for Varnhold and then has led it. The restoration of the city has been a wonder to behold. We are grateful. For his service at our side, We grant him a Cloak of the Comrades, Silver Dragon Scale Mail, and a Jade Kirin attached to this necklace. You may notice the 5 pearls. Each of these let the user resummons spent magic. Finally, as a symbol of his office, We present this Staff of Mithral Might.”
“High Sheriff Nomlynn, Countess of Nomlynn. Vashrah, you joined Us before Thylicia was born. You helped defeat the Staglord. You were there to support our cause when Grunduar was on Crusade. Your service to the security of this Kingdom has been outstanding. We grant you a Cloak of the Comrades and a Jade Kirin. We also present you with this Silver Dragon Scale Shirt. For your office, we present this longsword, its handle with jade, onyx and gold inlay, representing Thylicia itself.”
“Marquee Miki, Duchess of Narlmarches. You have been a source of delight for me since we met. It has been hard to keep this work a secret from you, with your closeness to Barry, however, We are happy to present to you a Cloak of the Comrades, and these natural boots which should help you in swamp, where the water might be over your head. For you too We have a necklace. This carries 7 pearls, the Jade Kirin, and an amulet, which you will find aids an attack with fist, or claw or bite, or horn.”
“Keeper of the Keys, Tillinghast, Duke of Candlemere. You have great discretion and insight. We also value your willingness to forge again and again into the wilderness. We present to you a Cloak of the Comrades and a Jade Kirin necklace. We had to send away to New Stetven for this next item. We present to you a Staff of Divination. Just do not use it to spy on me.”
“Grand Diplomat, Tarcil the Mythologist, Duke of Lindar. We are writing new myths now, no? You have been a steady council, who helps put Our rulings into perspective. Without you, the Grand Law would not have been written. We present to you a Cloak of the Comrades and a Jade Kirin necklace. We also give you this Cube of Force. Use it wisely. Finally, as a symbol of your office, this Scepter.”
“General Grunduar, Duke of Coppertree, and friend. I watched you grow from child to playmate, to brother in arms. You have been with me for decades. You are my dearest friend. I present to you Cloak of the Comrades and a Jade Kirin necklace. You will notice this necklace also includes a hard bit of hide. That should offer you more protection. But, I am most proud of presenting you with this Axe. It is both Cold Iron and Holy. Someday I expect you will be using it to avenge wrongs perpetrated on the innocent.”
“Please join me in celebration Our Comrades in arms with a toast. May the gods guide us to victory so that we may continue to secure this Kingdom for years to come!”
Ayrn raises HIS tankard and drinks, with much celebration.
During the speech, Caleb was handed a note detailing the threat to Rezbin from his sources, but he did not disrupt the proceedings. As Ayrn works the room. Fyonia is brought a message from her by Nene, her secretary. She catches Aryn’s eyes who reads it and immediately takes it to Caleb. He puts Fyonia in charge of the guests and summons the rest of the Founders to his private office. There, with a map of the kingdom adorning the wall, and a large conference table, the Founders planned their next moves.
Word had come of armies headed towards Rezbin. To the south, a unnatural storm was swirling above the Candelmere. Caleb already had missing agents in the area. Both areas needed investigation, but Ayrn decided to prioritize the second largest city in the Kingdom. He turned to Senna, Tarcil’s cohort, and the kingdom’s High Sheriff. Vashrah, take Senna and investigate the storm. Senna has mystical ability. Please be careful. I do not want you dead.
With the night already wrapped in a snow, signal lamps were less than fully effective. The Founders would go fly to Rezbin and take Hargood and Fyonia with them, much to the Queen’s delight.
Well wrapped for the trip, the party sails through the night on their Jade Kirins, taking a mere 3 hours to cover the distance, Miki inn the lead as she has flow this trek before. Arriving in the wee hours of the morning, the team split up. Caleb and Miki went to the Watchtower to warn the units of the new flying Founders, while Grunduar and Hargood went to ready the rangers of the King’s Trackers. The rest headed straight to the Rezbin Manor to meet with the Lord. He described a tale of a woman, Kisandra Numesti, who had fled to the city with a story of a small number of troops headed against Rezbin from the north.
Tarcil and Caleb went to the city jail to interrogate her and briefed the party. She comes from the Drelev Demesne, on the far side of the Hooktounge Slough, established by Baron Hannis Drelev of Brevoy. Her father, Lord Terrion Numesti, is a knight who once served the baron but then went against him and was thrown into the dungeon as punishment. Kisandra begs the King to rescue her father Terrion from the dungeons below Drelev Keep and her sister Tamary from the Tiger Lord barbarians, who have taken her. She also makes a plea for Thylica to remove Baron Drelev from power and seize control of the city of Fort Drelev, and rescue its citizens from the baron’s despotic rule. Several small units were threading their way through the woods towards the city. Kisandra recounted to bands of Drelev's mercenaries along with Tiger Lord barbarians, and huge Ogres and Trolls ahead of them. Alarmingly, Kisandra reports that Drelev has surrendered to the will of the Barbarians and Lord of Pitax to save his own skin.
While Rezbin readies its forces, manning the walls with the Marshal’s Unit, and preparing the Trackers to sortie, Ayrn proposes a plan: Fly in and take out the monsters in front, letting the armies deal with the larger numbers as needed. The group agreed and took a quick break before heading into the forest with the intent to ambush the approaching forces.
Pharast 2nd 4717
As the sun is starting to rise, Miki and Ayrn scout out a good area for ambush and help to hide the group. The armies have lead elements of Advanced Ogres and Trolls followed by two human groups of mercenaries and barbarians.
While Tarcil gives an inspiring speech, the already transformed Miki entangles the mercenaries with the forest itself. Caleb causes tendrils of dark energy to grab at the Ogres and Fyonia sends a fireball against the Trolls, with the wet snowy ground stopping the spread of a fire. The enemy is startled as Ayrn, Hargood, Grunduar and the young Thylacine companions Felix and Flip charge forward. In this initial attack, the concentrated melee fells two of the Trolls.
Round 1 The ogres are first to respond, with three of the four giants breaking free of their entangle and closing on Ayrn and his companion, Felix. Miki joins Flip in her attacks, and blades, teeth and claws fly, tearing apart trolls and ogres alike. . Grunduar calls on Torag with a mighty smite, his holy energy infusing Hargood, Miki and Ayrn. Hargood becomes the focus of the troll’s rage.
Fyonia sends Ball Lightening into the fight, but the troll dodges the attack while Caleb puts three ogers into confusion. To cover himself and the two casters against any advancing melee, Tarcil spawns Shocking Image Arrows from the handful of mercenaries not entangled fall from the sky striking Ayrn for minor damage, and the barbarians surge forward towards the fight.
Round 2 The free ogres attack Felix and Ayrn, while the confused ones stand staggered, one hitting himself in the head.
Using the power of Torag, the melee combatants kill their opponents, each moving on to the next. Hargood takes more damage but continues to fight.
In back, Fyonia moves the balls of electricity to attack another troll, burning with their arcing damage. Tracil inspires Ayrn to make his blow more keen, and Caleb looses a fireball against entangled targets, burning them all.
As a troll stands back up, Grunduar casually cuts it in two.
Round 3 The remaining Ogre frees himself from the black tendrils and runs into the forest his will broken.
Tarcil steps forward and heals Hargood from behind. The Melee group ends the large monsters attacking them. As the fight ranges, a mounted man cast dust of dissapearnce upon himself. With no one to attack, Ayrn yells to Felix “Track!” and send him to chase the man.
Fyiona launches a fireball against the advancing barbarians, who die in flames before they can close on the combat.
The fight finished, Miki and Ayrn race to trace the fleeing commander, but lose his track at a distance. They both expect he teleported away, with the abruptness of the loss of the trail and the sudden lack of a scent. The sun is growing in visibility as they return to the battlefield where the troll bodies are being burned and the rest of the bodies being searched. The group would rest today in Rezbin and return to Stagfell in the evening. The Kingdom is alerted to this threat and this army has been managed. Now the group must understand the threat at Candelmere before another, larger force descend on the young kingdom.
|Campaign Dates||Pharast 4717|
Pharast 2nd 4717
Once the battle up river from Resbin was over, the group spent a couple hours searching the bodies and organizing the villagers in the cleanup effort to dispose of the dead bodies and carry off the loot. A silver raven Hovers down to Ayrn with a message rolled up in its claws. When Aryn takes the message, the raven flies over to Caleb and turns back into a figurine once in Caleb’s possession.
The Message reads: King Ayrn Valyar, Sovereign Monarch, First of his Name,
The storm hovering over Candlemere island is definitely magical in nature. The winds were too strong for the flying mounts. The water is too turbulent for the folding boat. We will need something larger to reach the island. There has been an excessive amount of lightning that seems to be concentrated near one part of the island as best we can tell. The storm has spread wider over the last hour and looks like ti is not going to end any time soon. The strangest part is the lightning has a purple hue. This is something very dangerous that I believe needs to be stopped as soon as possible.
Vashrah Nomlynn, High Sheriff
As Ayrn was reading the message, Fyonia and Miki walk up. They inform him of a something they had heard some of the villagers talking about. When the Queen pressed for information, she was told a very large beast with the head of a dragon, huge long body like a serpent, and four clawed limbs had attacked and eaten some traveling merchants a few miles away from the Temple of the Elk. Two survivors had made it to the Temple. A Rezbin local was there and heard what had happened and had gotten back to Rezbin as the battle had ended. The temple has sent a courier to Stagfell with a message for Ayrn. The hiding survivors watched the beast leave, flying south with everything it could carry.
Meanwhile in Stagfell, Magister Barry Stroud has and audience with a moderately wounded lizardman soldier and a human soldier with minor wounds. They were in the forest a couple miles north of Ashrak engaged in training drills with some of the Marshal’s forces when they were attacked by a huge beast with a dragons head, serpent’s body and four massive clawed limbs. Both units took some losses.
“It was like the beast was toying with us! The beast is magical. Several of our ranks were turned to stone then smashed to pieces, including my brother”. ”Stated the lizardman.
The two soldiers present a petrified human hand and a petrified lizardman head as proof. The beast headed south after the fight.
Barry pulls out a message scroll and sends the information he just learned to King Ayrn through the semaphore system.
”Times look bad with events unfolding at Candlemere and now this beast attacking citizens and soldiers in the forests. I fear that both threats are in dire need of attention. News of both is starting to spread to the capitol. The citizenry are growing concerned.”
Ayrn leaves the rest of the work on the bodies to Loy Rezbin and has the group fly back to Stagfell to plan. Once there, he asks Tarcil to take Senna and provide escort of the three diplomats from Restov back, using the signal towers to have fresh horses prepared along the way. Restov needs to know that there are armies on the move to the west, and to see if there is any word from the group sent in the Hooktongue Slough.
Vern arrives at Stagfell shortly after the King, and is given his items of power. He is alarmed to hear about the attacks on Rezbin and the temples. He does report the human bigot who murdered the centaur has been appropriately tried and put to death.
Aryn orders the creation of two groups, one to go after the beast, and one to check on the Island of Candelmere. Everyone would fly to Ashrak and sperate there, with the Candlemere group taking the galley Cyclops to the island. The others would head south of the city and explore the last traces of the monster. Aryn ordered a day’s rest within the safety of Stagfell, so that everyone could face danger fresh.
Pharast 3rd 4717 Leaving the island party behind, Aryn leads the others into the forest, scanning for Flying into the Forrest, Aryn spots footprints in the dirt near the lumber storage building. Using his ranger magic, he is able to touch the footprint and receive a vision of a dragon like creature. Green, but serpent-like. He described the monster to the group, but even Miki was not familiar with it.
The group moves forward, and Aryn calls out for the beast to surrender in the name of the King, but as he calls, they encounter a disheveled man running from the direction of the lumber buildings.
”Sire! A monster attacked us. I am all that is left!” the man cried as he runs up, not looking entirely in command of his senses.
Aryn was suspicious. The man seemed genuine and Fyonia noted no magical effects. Aryn sends him to the back and tells the group to spread out, as if they were facing a dragon, they did not want to be in once place with a breath weapon attack. As they move ahead, a cackle and the unmistakable sound of spellcasting come from behind them. Ayrn turns to see the old man unleash a lighting bolt at the party.
The old man laughs saying “What fun! And a pretty elf for me to add to my collection!” as he transforms into the forest dragon they seek, to their horror, as the dragon is able to strike Fyonia. Ayrn quickly casts his own spell to make the foul dragon his enemy as he uses his celestial armor to at the dragon. The dragon’s frightful roar causing Hargood, Vern, Fyonia and Ayrn’s thylacine, Felix, to run. Miki transforms into an air elemental and she and Flip help Aryn surround the monster. Aryn’s nimble nature allows him to strike first, and his blades whirl, forcing through the creature’s defenses, striking tender spots. The dragon responded with biting and clawing Aryn, but this distraction allowed Flip to get in a lucky bite. Miki tried to polymorph the dragon, but its spell resistance stopped her spell. As the fight continues, Ayrn’s swords deal their dance of damage, while Flip keeps the dragon flanked, and Miki hovers over it to keep it in check. A quick heal by Miki keeps Aryn in the fight.
Sensing a need to make a change, the dragon laughs and declares he is going after Fyonia. It burrows into the ground. Miki has her own manic laugh and the her body of air becomes a body of earth, and she earth glides along the surface, using her tremmorsense to track the dragon. Aryn follows, staying in the air so that the now underground dragon cannot track him. This is clearly not what the beast had intended, and it erupts to attack Miki, landing frightful blows on the transformed druid. However, Ayrn is able to skirt the dragon and attack it from behind, in the most devastating flurry of blows yet. The monster seems surprised to find it is dead.
After the battle, the panicked party calms and pulls together. Vern goes to get the army unit to retrieve the body and carry it to the city of Ashrak. He tells Miki he wants Barry here tomorrow to preserve the corpse and Speak with Dead to find out where it stashed its treasure.
As they groups escorts the body to Ashark, a silver raven descends looking for Aryn with news of Candlemere Island.
Pharast 3rd 4717 Caleb directs the Cyclops to a small landing area. There is already a small craft ashore, the boat his researchers had used. The party moves up the trail to the ruined tower. Caleb notes that the fear effect seems missing, but there is a sense of greater power. Around the tower are now four pillars. Grunduar and Caleb recognize these as similar to the cultist towers from seven years ago, when they were exploring the Greensward.
Caleb uses his staff to send an arcane eye to investigate, and there are several creatures, who appear to be transformed humanoids, chanting. As they watch, lightening flashes from the pillars and around the tower, mixing with dark energy to summon strange matter to rebuild the tower.
Grunduar has his divine spirit of his armor burst forth in spell resistance. Vashrah slips into invisibility using her ring. The group moves towards the entrance and Caleb and Barry launch attacks. Barry throws a fireball, encompassing most of the room, while Caleb entangles them with black tentacles. The female wizard at the back dispels Caleb’s effect, but not before they take damage. Then the fight it on.
The casters trade spells, with fireballs going both ways. Barry is almost killed and staggers to the side. Gurnduar lays on hands for Barry and then leaves Jhod to keep up a frantic fight to keep everyone alive. Caleb uses his staff for chain lightening three times in the fight, while Barry joins with a lightening bolt, even though it strikes Caleb. Magic missiles fly from the casters in front, though Caleb’s broach protects him, and the spell resistance protects Grunduar. Vashrah uses her arrows to great effect, then moves in with her sword. Moments after she asks Caleb what is going on, she is turned to stone.
Meanwhile, Grunduar is taking the fight to the pillars. He smashes the first and charges the second. Thanks to Caleb’s haste spell he makes good time. As the last of the cultist followers fall, he smashes the final pillar. The enchantment on their leader, the half-elf, fails, and she loses consciousness. As the pillars disintegrate, the strange materials of the tower crumble and fall upwards. The tower’s fear effect returns.
Jhod immediately wants to hallow the ground, and senses that using a stone to mud charge from the wand can destroy the last of the runes. Caleb is able to use a stone to flesh scroll to restore Vashrah who is startled to see the fight is over. Grunduar muses the best way to secure the site is to build on it, and muses how boring Ayrn will want to be in naming the site. He then suggests sending a message to Ayrn, and Caleb does so.
It is a somber victory, with all but one of the explorers having been consumed by the void energies. Only the half elf was able to retain some sense of herself. The others bodies will have to be burned.
Pharast 3rd and 4th 4717
After the Magister’s questioning of the body, Aryn orders it be loaded onto the Cyclops and brought in triumph to Stagfell. Miki is eager to see what armor she can make from it, and it will be another trophy and warning against attacking Thylicia. In his mind it will help with the growing unrest.
Grunduar and Caleb to have Gaile Balikson to survey the island and prepare it for building.
”We have ignored it for too long, Arry, and this was the result. Time to put it down for good.”
Ayrn agrees and notes he will put it on this month’s planning. ”There are several projects needed: Expanding Rezbin and Varnhold, rebuilding the lumber yard, and supporting the army. This will be part of it.”
Scenes off Stage
The rest of Pharast
Aryn decides it is time to move the borders to the west for more defense in Depth. To the north, he wants to build a canal to allow the boats to enter the Hooktounge Slough. In the south, it is past time to claim the remaining parts of the Narlmarches. With Tarcil away in Restov, Caleb and Grunduar engaged in survey of Candelmere, Aryn take Vern and Miki to explore the areas. The entry into the Slough is all quicksand, and a dangerous pathway. Vern notes it will take double the cost to build the canal, but Ayrn is determined. In the south, the exploration of the forest is easy, until they encounter a squad of pixies.
Here at the edge of the forest, the swamp gives way to a much less waterlogged terrain in this region. Trees grow more frequently, providing plentiful shade along a fast-moving creek. Sunlight streams through the canopy of leaves overhead and birds chirp to one another somewhere high among the boughs. In hiding are a band of particularly sadistic pixies. After befriending a pack of worgs, they had established this part of the forest as a rendezvous point. They group try to surprise the trio of Kingdome leaders, but they are no match for the skilled characters. The pixies and worgs are swiftly defeated. What little the group is able to gather during the fight, the pixies are engaged in a sort of contest to see which of them can wreak the most havoc on the humans who have been infiltrating the Stolen Lands, hoping that their antics will eventually attract the attention and favor of the fey queen. None of the pixies have actually met this queen, but they hoped that with a few more months of cruel practical jokes that might change. Their jokes have ranged from the annoying (spiking milk left on porches with hot pepper juice) to the downright cruel (kidnapping babies and leaving dead mites or shaved bear cubs in the crib). For several days, the pixies were resting here, sharing tales of their pranks and plotting new ones.
Barry is at last able to get the dead dragon to reveal its horde location, with his third attempt. It turns out the dragon was using the old abandoned keep. With everyone finished with their duties, they head out as a group.
Returning to the ancient dwarven guard post, there seems to be no evidence of the dragon having ever being present. With Grundor leading the way and Aryn and company close behind, each area of the dwarven guard post appears unchanged since the defeat of the trolls. Making your way to the rocky caverns carved into the back of the guard post, everything remains unchanged until you reach the cavern used by the troll leader. The trolls makeshift bed and throne are gone. The back wall has been carved back another twenty feet with a ten foot wide opening in the center. Here, a new stairway descends into the darkness curving downward deeper into the hills and well below the forest floor. After thirty feet, the stairs continue descending into a wide open cavern cleanly and meticulously carved from the bedrock. The ten foot wide stairs continue to curve down along the wall another fifty feet into the earth dragon’s lair. Half way down, magic braziers ignite throughout the chamber revealing the one hundred and fifty foot circular room with an eighty foot ceiling. Decorative columns carved from the stone make the wall in twenty foot sections. Small alcoves carved into the walls display statues of various creatures in all types of combat poses. All are well lit by the Braziers. The floor of the room is cut smooth and even.
Various treasures are displayed around the room. Jewels and coins are strewn about as if they were of lesser importance to the dragon. A sixty foot wide raised area directly across from the foot of the stairs three steps higher than the floor is what appears to be a crude shrine area. This raised platform is circles by 6 humanoid statues. The center of the platform has an empty pillar. Closer inspection reveals the area to be the dragon’s bed. Starting to the right and circling around to the left, the humanoid statues are evenly spaced. Each is of a different type of stone and all are wearing armor, clothing, and wielding weapons as if fighting for their lives.
The first one starting on the right is a statue of a female half-elf fighter made of Rose Gold marble Her hair is short cut to her jaw line she wears chainmail armor with a slight greenish tint. Evidence of a back pack can be seen underneath the green trimmed grey cloak she wears. Her hands hold onto the hilt of a masterfully made longsword held out as if braced to meet a charge. The middle finger of her right hand wears a platinum ring. Her face shows only anger and resolve. The name carved at her feet reads: Jocelyn Primrose. Next is a Limestone statue of a human female ranger. She is wearing and earth colored studded leather armor and an empty quiver on her hip. Part of her back pack can be seen from under her green cloak. Closer inspection reveals it to be a handy haversack. Her stance is more defensive as she is crouches possibly taking a step back with her left arm raised forward. She holds a finely crafted bow in her right hand; her left hand bears a platinum ring on her ring finger. This hand is up before her face with the palm out in a defensive manner with her face frozen in a scream of pain and agony with her long hair blowing back in an invisible wind. The name carved before her reads: Emerald Sevallis.
The next statue is female elf made of opulence pink marble. She wears a fine blue robe with knitted patterns of electricity. She has both arms raised before her also in a defensive manner, both adorned with platinum bracers. Her left foot is back a step braced for an impact. Her head is turned slightly to the left with her lips parted and her teeth gnashed together in a grimace of pain, with her right eye closed and her left eye open trying to look forward. Her hair pulled back into a long braid rides down the front of her left shoulder almost reaching her waist. She has a ring on each middle finger, gold on the right and platinum on the left. She has a dagger grasped for a downward thrust in her left hand. Hanging from her hip is an empty satchel. This may have once contained a spell book. The name carved before her reads: Thaliese Galewind.
Next is a tan sandstone statue of an outsider female, Caleb thinks she may be a native outsider known as a Suli. She appears to possibly be a paladin of Iomedae as evidenced by the highly polished half plate armor emblazoned with the holy symbol on the chest. She has short cut straight hair that almost reaches her shoulders. She appears to be moving forward in an attack with her stance. Grasped with both hands is a finely polished greatsword caught half way through its attack. Etched on the blade near the guard is the holy symbol of Iomedae. Tarcil notices she may have a ring on her right middle finger under her gloves. A strange heat radiates from her forearms. Her face forged in righteous fury, her mouth open in the middle of an unknown shout. The name carved before her reads: Laura Cornell “The Justice of Iomedae”.
Nest to last is a green granite statue of a stunning female half orc. She stands tall with her feet shoulder width apart, arms stretched out to her sides, head facing up in a shout of rage. Her long matted hair flowing down her back just below her shoulder blades with various twigs and beads tied within. Her left hand shaping claws in her rage is adorned with a platinum ring on the middle finger. Her right hand grasps a mighty greataxe held aloft easily. This barbarian’s fine hide armor does little to hide the firm muscled and well curved figure beneath. The name carves before her reads: Volath.
Last in the circle is a human priest of Sarenrae made of white marble. Worn over her deteriorating priestly robes is a highly polished breast plate marked with the symbol of Sarenrae. She is down on one knee with her scimitar held defensively before her with her left hand supporting from the dull back of the blade, defending against an unseen attack with her face looking forward in obvious pain but her mouth frozen mid word, possibly in prayer with her long hair blowing back behind her. She wears a platinum ring on her right ring finger. The name carved before her reads: Lillian Chambers “High Priestess, now my prize”.
In the center of the platform the empty pillar is inscribed: Queen Fiona “Crown jewel of my collection” looking around at the statues, it is obvious that there are previous victims of the dragon. Attacked, petrified and taken from their homes to end up as trophies in the dragon’s lair. It seems that only their flesh was petrified leaving their gear intact. With Caleb and Miki working together, they determine that the stone to flesh magic can reverse the petrifaction, but they fear resurrection spell will be needed to revive them afterward. Tarcil agrees, noting that in his studies, these sorts of dragons petrify a body at the point of death.
Aryn decrees the bodies will be buried in Stagfell in the military graveyard, with honors. He further notes that yet again, some part of the nation they have left untended has fallen to evil. He declares this keep will be rehabilitated under the watch of the Marquee.
|Campaign Dates||Gozran 4th - 5th 4717|
Gozran 5 4717
With dangers threatening from the west, and the discovery that the abandoned keep was used by the dragon to stage against the Kingdom, Ayrn declares they have been idle too long and need to push into the Hooktongue Slough itself.
Caleb brings word of undead lurking in the marshes, attacking people in the forest areas added to Thylicia last month. A cleric asks Grunduar for help with giant dragonflies even further south. Looking at the map of the area, marked off into 12 mile wide hexagons, Aryn comments, ”I have never wanted to acquire marsh and swamp as part of the Kingdom. It requires manpower to patrol and support and offers almost nothing in return. We can set up fisheries for any poor souls who want to try to make a living that way that will just support the hex. But, we have to face the danger.
Tarcil brings in a missive. It seems Ambassador Luin Mizaki of Tian Xia is headed with a party, to arrive on Gozran 7th. Ayrn notes this gives them enough time to search one slice of the swamp. The Diplomatic Corp can get things ready, and the day after Ambassador Mizaki arrives, the meeting can happen. Ayrn puts it to the group where to go next. Miki leads the discussion, noting that undead need to be delt with immediately.
Gozran 5 4717
They group heads out to explore the swamp. On the second day, Ayrn notices an arm sticking out of the bog, still gripping an axe. It had been pulled down into the mud. Grundaur and Vern scanned the area for evil and magic, which they saw, as several bog mummies erupted from the wet ground and moved to attack.
The seasoned group of adventurers held their ground and waited for the monsters to approach. Aryn used his bark skin spell and attacked the mummies as they approached. Grunduar set off his group Smite effect, and Tarcil and Caleb inspired and cast haste. Miki took the form of an Earth Elemental. The monsters attacked and managed to strike Vern, but now the characters attacked. It is a storm of blades, slams and claws, as the group runs through the undead, returning the corpses to a real state of death. Vern is infected with mummy rot but is easily healed the next day with the Jhod’s magic.
The team (minus Vern and Caleb who escorted Vern back to Stagfell for treatment) finished exploring the area and heads home the end of the next day. The 7th is spent with initial meetings of the Ambassador and his party by Tarcil. The 8th is the formal meeting. Ambassador Mizaki notes that this dragon killed their royalty and is responsible for the death other others. Ayrn notes the statues, and that the bodies were buried in the military cemetery because while stone, they were dead and that the Kingdom does not have the ability to return them to flesh or to life. The delegation steps forth to ask for the bodies back saying they have the ability to restore them, and they would like back the holy items the dead were carrying. Ayrn is quick to point out that by rights, everything in the horde of the dragon is rightfully the property of those who slew it, and Miki, breaching decorum, shouts out ”Like salvage rights”. The delegation agrees, and offers over the market rates for the times, to which Ayrn agrees. He instructs his secretary, Bernon, to make the arrangements, and asks Jhod to coordinate a formal procession to exhume the bodies and take them for resurrection at the Cathedral.
Finally, the group offers to build two temples, one to Iomedae and one to Sarene anywhere in the Kingdom at their expense, and that they want to open relations with Thylicia. Aryn leaves the details of that with Tarcil.
|Campaign Dates||Gozran 13-15 4717|
After the meeting with the embassy, the characters get down to work with administrative tasks. Ayrn is adamant about moving the construction forward. Vern and Barry set about their first full month in their new roles. Barry is working overtime getting Vern up to speed. Kisandra Numesti, whom the group interrogated in Rezbin, brought alarming news about Fort Drelev and the actions of that Baron. Without knowing the location of the Barbarian Tiger Lord, the party is not sure where to go to rescue Kisandra’s sister, Tamary. However, they do know the location of the Baron’s fort, and that is a target to investigate. Ayrn floats the idea to move directly on the Keep before exploring the region to get there.
However, both Miki and Caleb report that there are strange goings on in the farm homes along the forest line. Animals were being found, dead by acid attacks. More alarming, eight babies were kidnapped with shaved bears left in their cribs. Clearly, the action had to be at that point. Ayrn dispatched Miki to talk to the friendly fey, Tiressia and Melianse. They report that they have seen spritescoming from the swamps. These normally will conduct pranks, but this sounds like something they are being coerced into. She and Ayrn work to track the sprites and are able to track them to the edge of the swamp by the end of Wednesday. They assemble the team and move into the swamp.
After a few hours, they hear crying in the distance. Ayrn turns to Miki to ask her to fly reconnaissance. She nods and dismounts but Caleb says “I have this” and pulls forth his staff of divination and uses clairvoyance to monitor. There he sees the wailing infants, laid out for sacrifice in front of bowing sprites. Large half boggards, half dragons emerge from the swamp and move towards the infants. Ayrn tells the party to ready for a fight and they first plan to race there on the mounts, but Caleb again comes to the rescue. He uses the dimension door to send Tarcil, Aryn, Felix and Vern to the site, with the promise to come along with Miki and Flip in a moment. The three men arrive and startled the boggard-dragons. The three deftly collet the infants and put them with Tarcil who readies the cube of force. Then, Aryn moves to attack the beasts. He quickly cuts into the closest one and starts the fight. Tarcil puts up the cube, making sure to leave Vern free. The creatures use their acid breath weapons, which hurts Felix and Vern, but the cube saves Tarcil, and Ayrn dodges out of the way. Vern attacks and Tarcil uses a performance to degrade the attackers. The fight is on.
Caleb and Miki appear behind the sprites, and Caleb growls ”Who is responsible for me having to be in this swamp?!” The sprites scatter and run, leaving Miki as a crocodile and Flip to engage in the fight. Ayrn makes shape quips to the enemy who has ordered children taken. It is a tough battle, with Vern and Felix taking damage, but as Vern literally cuts the last one to shreds, destroying even his armor, four black dragons to erupt from the swamp and take up threatening positions. This fight is not over.
Miki transforms to an air elemental and rises. Caleb takes now chances, and just manages to penetrate the spell resistance of a dragon with feeblemind and it flies in circles and back into the swamp, no longer intelligent. Ayrn is every bit the king as he challenges the Dragons.
”Are you the puppet masters who commit this act of war against Thylicia?” The dragon’s response is they are only here to kill the half-breeds, as the dragons land. But despite that statement, the remaining three fire their acid breath and batter the cube of force, and damage most of the party, and putting Felix at death’s door, and Vern close to dead. Tarcil drops the cube as Vern scoops up Felix and Tarcil heals him. Vern retreats and the cube goes back up. Tarcil is able to stabilize Felix and he plays his dirge to demoralize the dragons.
The group moves to engage, with Miki and Ayrn flanking one dragon. A storm of swords does over a 100 points of damage. A dragon is able to breath again and further weakens the party. Caleb is able to hold monster on that dragon, and now their forces are curt in half. Ayrn begins to offer orders, but the remaining dragon casts darkness and plunges most of the party into being unable to see. Miki can still see with her darkvision and moves to attack. The dragons move forward and cast another darkness even as Ayrn backs out of the first darkness field. Caleb casts blink upon himself and prepares to risk a fireball at point blank range, hoping he will blink out when it goes off. The fight is dire.
But then, unexpectedly, the two dragons take their paralyzed companion and fly away at top speed. There is no way for the party to pursue. Seeing them fly away, they heal themselves, and they get the babies home. Miki is able to make sure all the babies are returned to the right parents. Ayrn tracks down a sprite and corners it, delivering a speech that leaves it running in terror. Ayrn and Vern then complete the exploration of the region. They find some of the giant dragonflies that are a threat and give that information to the crafter asking for them, to let him hire someone to gather his resources.
The Treasure recovered: 800 Gold 250 Silver 3 +2 Morning Stars 2 +2 Leather Armor
And most importantly, the safe return of 8 babies.
Still remaining is the mystery of who is behind the fey activity. Again, fey have moved against Thylicia in an uncharacteristic way.
Ayrn instructs Caleb and Miki to send teams to investigate the area. Miki sends several groups to scan the shoreline, and a group of all dwarves to pose as traders entering the city.
|Campaign Dates||Desna 1st – 5th 4717|
Two weeks since the teams have been sent out, there has been no word back. Ayrn is meeting with the Privy Council, composed of the Kingdom Leaders, save Tarcil, who is in Restov discussing a trade deal to sell watertowers and maybe a water treatment plant. The Privy Council meets in chambers of the same name, behind the throne room, adjacent to the King’s and Queen’s offices. Also present is the King’s personal private secretary, Bernon Woolen. The Council is discussing the week and month ahead.
Rumors of a giant elasmosaurus in Lake Hooktounge have been brought to Grunduar by a distant cousin. There is a taxidermist who wants to stuff it. Caleb also notes that someone wants slug spit for potions. Ayrn notes that they will be moving into the lake and is concerned about there being a great monster. However, it appears that the monster has not been seen for some time.
Ayrn also inquires about the giant dragonflies to Miki. He is reluctant to wipe out such creatures unless the pose a significant danger to settlers, who in this case, would be little more than fishers. Miki assures him they can be kept under control and managed.
During the meeting, Garum the Boggard, who arrived at Stagfell that morning, finally manages a message through to the King, requesting an audience. The steward seems most embarrassed, but Ayrn lights up and asks to have Garum sent in. Garum informs the group in his broken common that is he is angry at the leader who banished him, and he wants to return to his tribe. It seems his anger has been growing, and he misses female companionship. He notes that his people live near the lake, in a village larger in number than “The Lizardmen” meaning Ashrak. Ayrn agrees they will help and asks for Garum to be set up in the Castle for the night and for Jhod to minister to him. Garum offers his “magic bug” which is an Ebon Fly as reward, but Aryn asks Jhod to teach him to use it instead.
Turing back to the meeting, a Silver Raven comes to Miki with a missive to meet her teams at the Temple of the Elk. Disaster has fallen the all Dwarf team that went into Fort Drelev itself. Aryn notes the Manticore has already sailed from Three Rivers to the edge of Lake Hooktounge, using the newly created canals and can be of use. The team completes their business. Vashrah offers to come, but Ayrn demurs. With Fyiona pregnant, and Pitax pulling strings, he wants to keep a strong presence within Stagfell itself.
The team then flies to the Temple of the Elk to meet with the devastated teams. Their report While there, Kisandra Numesti, approaches them. She is staying at the Temple to recover from her mental trauma in the peaceful surroundings. She gives Miki a ring and says to take it to the Madam at the Brothal, Satinder, who is a priestess of Calistria. The priestess knows a secret way into the fort. Ayrn seeks to have a controlled expansion to the fort, but his friends disagree and feel the matter is urgent. He agrees, and they go to the Manticore and sail it through the Lake, arriving that evening. Using Prying Eyes Caleb is able to scan the town. The human guards retire to the Fort, while hill giants come into the city to guard it. Miki assumes the form of an owl and flies in with the ring to make contact with the priestess. They have a brief conversation and then the druid returns to the ship. Knowing the secret way in, the team makes for the beach and enters into the tunnel.
They quickly encounter a locked gate, which Grunduar tries to lift but cannot. With a smile, Caleb uses a Wand of Knock to open the gate and the team moves through. In the water ahead, two black puddings emerge and move in on the heroes. Caleb hits them with a fireball to start the fight, while the three men attack. Still an owl, Miki flies past and makes sure there are no more surprises. In two rounds, the puddings are bashed and burnt to destruction. Only Vern, failing both reflex saves, takes damage from their bursting deaths. Ayrn notes that Grunduar must be learning from him, as he deftly avoids the damage. The puddings behind them, they find the remains of one of Miki’s team, and the former priests of Erastil, their bodies picked clean by the puddings.
The group moves forward to open another door that leads into Fort Drelev’s tower. They find secret doors and stairs leading up into the fort. Most importantly, they find the remaining members of Miki’s squad, as well as Kisandra’s father, Terrion Numesti. Miki flies the Manticore to have a Lizardfolk sailor come to the shore, and Grunduar takes them to the spot to send them out on one of the folding boats. Then the group gathers and uses the ladders to head up the fort and into trouble. Immediately, as they encounter two guards headed down. Aryn and Vern charge and kill the two in a round. Miki decides to become a leopard to stalk up. Grunduar hangs back, as he is not stealthy. Now with two sets of keys, they open the door and Ayrn spies two more guards. He sneaks up to them, hasted, and easily slays them both, his blades flashing in the dim light. Searching, the find secret doors leading to secret ladders up and down the length of the tower. Ayrn creates a harness for Miki and they use the ladders to head up. The next stop ends up being the kitchen, where Ayrn surprises three women servants. They do not cry out an alarm at him due to his raised finger. They are more slaves than servants, and a quick set of questioning gives them knowledge of where their key targets are and where the guards sleep. Ayrn sends them down the ladders to the basement and then the group goes to strike.
}} The group splits up, with Caleb, Grunduar, and Vern going for the mystical advisor, Imeckus Stroon. Aryn and Miki, still a leopard head up to deal with the Baron Hannis Drelev, his wife, Pavetta and Mistress, Quintessa Maray. Both teams time their attack to go off together, however, because Miki and Ayrn are not sure which room, they are behind the other three, and only engage after the fight below is over.
Gurnduar tries to open the locked door and fails, causing enough of a racket to awaken Stroon. By the time they get into his room, Stroon is up and ready for action. He has placed a Wall of Force between him and the doorway. Caleb grins and uses Dimensions Door take all three through the wall to engage the magic user. He attempts a Disintegrate spell, but the eldritch knight and his paladin companion attacks foils it. The two cut him down as he tries to flee for the door. The fight is over quickly and easily.
Meanwhile the pair upstairs first looks into the room Drelev to see it empty. They check on the mistress, but she is alone and asleep. That leaves the chambers of Drelev’s wife. Approaching the door, they hear an argument going on about Drelev’s sleeping with a mistress. It seems the Lady Pavetta is none too happy about it. Drelev ends the argument with the statement:
“I will do what I like, I am the ruler of this city!”
Aryn kicked open the door and drew his swords saying,
”You are no longer the ruler of this city. I, King Aryn, Sovereign Monarch of Thylicia, remove and arrest you for crimes against Brevoy and your people.”
The Baron yells for guards, snarls and pulls his own blade and turns on Aryn. The fight is on. Miki leaps to menace Lady Pavetta, telling her to surrender. Pavetta, is frightened and throws a vase at Miki and scrambles away. Miki, seeing she is not a true threat, orders her to ”Stay!” as the woman cowers in the corner, her dagger drawn.
The Baron draws first blood, striking Aryn with a critical hit, and Aryn feels the blow. However, he does not telegraph the damage, and instead taunts the Baron.
”I see you are poor a swordsman as you are a leader and a lover”
Aryn’s blades flash and spark, as blow after blow lands, piercing the evil ruler, and delivering shocks as well. Aryn is fighting is chosen enemy, and the Baron is a poor match. While he manages to land another hit, he is then distracted by the leopard attacking him, biting and clawing. The Baron drops his sword and surrenders. Miki stands on his chest while Aryn dispatches the guards who burst into the room, then Aryn ties him and his wife up. They turn for the mistress only to find her hauled back upstairs by Caleb and company. It seems she is, in fact, a spy for a River Kingdom City of Daggermark. She had snuck downstairs to be intercepted by the trio. Grunduar insisted she not leave taking her up to meet the King. Ayrn “asked” for her to stay, and she was kept under escort.
The group easily eliminated the guards and secured the servants. The group waited for daybreak, sending Vern, polymorphed as a guard, to hand out barrels of ale to the departing hill giants. Miki returned to the brothel to tell Satinder the keep was secure and the hill giants would shortly be no more.
Flying their Jade Kirins they located and attacked the drunk giants during the day, with Caleb trying out his new “toy”, raining fire from above. The group returned to the city to tell the people of their liberation and to thoroughly search the Fort.
Staff of Fire to Caleb, Cloak of Resistance +2, Ring of Protection +2, Masterwork Dagger, and a Spellbook.
3450 Gold worth of Gems and jewelry, 2500gp worth artifacts from burial mounds (may be a bargaining point)
200 gold in chests
65pp, 8000 gp, 3200 sp (all previous taxes)
Ring of Evasion to match the one of Water Walking Grunduar already has, which can be worn as a set as one ring. Rod of Splendor
Potions: Cure Serious Wounds, Darkvision
Lord Numesti’s equipment which is returned to him.
|Campaign Dates||Desna 6th – 14th 4717|
After managing the hill giants, the group returns and Aryn addressed a gathered crowd despite Miki’s attempts to interject:
”Citizens, you days of terror are over. The Baron, his wife, and conspirators are dead or in chains. This settlement is now under the protection of Thylicia. We will clear Lake Hooktounge and bring this under the umbrella of our nation. We pledge that this settlement shall be repaired, starting with the city walls.”
A citizen challenged the King from the streets, ”How do we know your guards won’t rape and rob us too!”
Aryn responded, “We can assure you The Watch will not be like your guards before. And, since there are no guards now, we will be keeping a watch on those here. If someone wants to hurt or rob his neighbor, it will be noted and delt with. General Grunduar, as a Paladin of Torag will conduct the trial this week. Justice will be served.”
They will have their work cut out for them, as the town is impoverished and will take 50 build points to restore. Ayrn notes he is focused on walls and tenements first. The group had the rescued citizens offloaded from Manticore and searched the keep for its remaining treasure. They set off to start exploration on the eastern end of the lake. While the first day was uneventful the next day was not. Miki choose to play as a huge giant squid in the lake and she and Caleb ended up in a teasing game of him fishing, while she tugged the line. Then, a series of ripples came across the water, and a dragon turtle came charging at the ship. Aryn and Vern cast waterbreathing and free movement with wands on the three on the boat, while Miki took a bite out of the turtle as it went past. Striking the boat, the turtle managed to capsize it. While the Lizardfolk crew helped the others, Miki tried to grapple with the turtle but it wrested itself free. She decided to concentrate holding up the ship. Meanwhile, Ven and Caleb bobbed to the surface and moved to attack. Ayrn, using his celestial armor flew up from the tilting boat to engage the beast literally face to face. The beast cried ”Stay out of my lake!”, but Ayrn yelled back with authority ”You attacked our ship, which is an act of war. Stand down of your shell will adorn our new city!” The Dragon turtle responded with a spray of steam as its breath weapon. The fight was on. While Miki saved the ship, the other three quickly took down the turtle. Dead, it sank beneath the waves. Miki summoned water elementals to help get the water out of the ship and dragged Manticore to shore. Exploration would have to continue from the air.
While the Manticore was being repaired in the upper marsh, the group noticed the monster they had been looking for, Little Hookie, who was in fact the size of the ship! Miki assumed a smaller form of that type and, casing speak with animals used wild empathy to befriend the beast. In their conversations they agreed for the beast not to bother any surface ships. They further find out the disturbing news that there may be a giant black dragon asleep in the swamp. It is the one think Little Hookie hides from. The exploration continues, and they find another ominous footprint on the south shore of the lake. It looks like a giant frog print. It is the next day, while hovering over the city planning to take the Boggards that they find out what it was from. A scream goes up as a man is sucked of the docks by a long tongue and swallowed whole. The group races to the beast as people scatter. Ayrn moves to engage and is immediately grabbed and paralyzed by its secretions. Miki sends balls of lighting at it and then takes the form of a Grizzly Bear and attacks with Vern joining while Caleb strikes with arcane energy.
The fight goes poorly for the Melee combatants. Aryn and Vern both get grabbed and paralyzed. The creature is only slowed by electricity and resistant to fire. Miki risks attack to heal Aryn, who has been bitten into unconsciousness. Caleb manages hold monster which gets it to drop Aryn and Vern, but it recovers and grabs Aryn again. Growing desperate, Caleb should “I’M SORRY!” and hits the monster with a fireball killing it. Aryn is again near death and Miki moves to heal him.
Aryn says as they settle back into the city, the Boggards saved for tomorrow ”No wonder Baron Dralev did not claim the lake!”
|Campaign Date||Densus 15|
Aryn instructs Miki to reconnoiter the Boggard Village as a Raven and she easily returns with evidence of some large guards clearly abusing local citizens. Aryn asks her to stay a raven and hide in a tree, while Caleb and Vern will stay up at altitude. Ayrn and Grunduar will descend to talk to the Boggards with Garum and the two thylacines. Ayrn lands with standard in hand and he shouts out. The guards take note, and the smaller subjects scatter.
”I am the King of Thylicia, and we come to bargain” in Common, with Garum translating into boggard. The larger of the boggard guards says,
”King of Thylicia, you are about to become lunch!”
The guards close, and Garum steps back. The Thylacines move back and the two large guards close on Grunduar and Ayrn. Vern drops to add his sword, and Grunduar activates his group smite. The fight is on. Both guards manage to land hits on Grunduar and Aryn, who just shrug it off. Clearly underestimating Aryn, the first guard is cut to ribbons, and falls in a bleeding heap, as Aryn lands every hit with three critical blows for over 200 points of damage. Grundar engages his foe and starts and gravely wounds it.
The fight continues, with Caleb providing controlling spells and AOEs from the air, including sleep, fireball and chain lighting. Miki summons her ball lighting and shouts orders to Flip. Miki flies into the fight to heal Ayrn but switches to Vern who is at 3 HP. They fight on, dropping guards until a cleric appears. Aryn disengages and flies to meet him, as Miki goes to land on Vern’s shoulder instead. Vern throws his sword to engage the evil cleric boggard, while, then steps aside so Grunduar can charge him.
Miki helps the pets with the guard they have engaged by using her whirlwind which eventually kills him. The cleric keeps healing, using his amulet, but the group fights away. One of his guards is left laughing by Caleb. They soon defeat the other guard and with concentrated fire, and what seems like the never ending lighting balls from Miki, take the evil creatures down.
After the fight, Garum is quick to claim the tribe for his own, and Aryn just rolls his eyes. He says he will consult with the party around what do wo with this small (now less populated) village. The all question the powerful magic items the hands of these boggords. This area now secure, Aryn knows they can send in teams to claim the lands between Thylicia and Fort Drelev.
|Campaign Date||Densus 16-30|
The leaders are set to working at their day jobs, cramming a month’s worth of work into six days, as they normally due when adventuring. Fortunately, the new Prime Minister, Angela Thornberry has been working closely with the Queen. After the first full day, Ayrn invites the members of the Privy Council to a dinner and he engages the group in discussions about his plans for Fort Drelev, starting with renaming it Fort Hooktongue. His goals are to place the region under the administration of Agatha Lakebourn, wife of Count Lakebourn. He also ponders if Garum should be Thane or noble of any sort. The immediate plan will be to clear more land to claim to have a strong link to Fort Hooktongue, including helping the boggards subdue the giant dragonflies for farming.
Tarcil gives a report on his time in Restov. It seems that the leaders of Brevoy and Restov are growing more at odds. Brevoy is increasingly unhappy with the might of Thylica. Instead of there being four, petty kingdoms, there is a growing nation. Restov is having to be less public about its dealings with the new kingdom. Ayrn wonders if they need to cool relations to avoid being dragged into a civil war. The council, however, supports finalizing the plan for building the embassy. As Caleb notes, it was the Swordlords who granted them the charter and sent them south. Ayrn agrees and says they will send clear messages, as so often in history the lack of such clarity has started wars.
Once they have cleared the land of creatures and claimed it, the pressing issue in the Slough are the barbarians. There are still captives held. Ayrn suggests that since the burial ground was towards the north, maybe that is where they should search. Caleb offers to send out teams to investigate. Ayrn is adamant they do not engage anyone wanting to avoid deaths and rape.
Having drinks after dinner, the Council muses on the threats to Thylicia. Daggermark, the most powerful city on the River Kingdoms is interested, while they have just taken a city from control of Pitax, and that is bound to upset Castruccio Irovetti, its petty tyrant lord. If Brevoy and Restov do come to blows, there is danger from the north. Turning to Grunduar, Ayrn asks him to explore raising more armies, maybe even a calvary centaur unit. As the King’s Rangers will be moved to the newest city, and the Paladins in Stagfell will move to Rezbin, it is clear there is too much for three armies to protect. The group breaks on this somber note. The past year was one of peace, but this year is proving to be one of renewed dangers, which is ever expected in the Stolen Lands.
That night Caleb is struck with voices in his dreams, playing on his dislike of nature. He comes to Ayrn and tells him the troubles. He affirms he has his people watching him and sweeping his room. Ayrn takes the news and promises to help if he can. That day he goes to Barry and asks him to research items that might shield the mind ”for my crown” that Barry agrees to look into.
After getting the work of the week completed, Ayrn leads the group in Exploration. Tarcil is sent back to Restov to oversee the construction of the Embassy. The rest of the group head north, to secure the northern area with the dragonflies in the marsh (Hex SL6). This takes three days to scour the area, and Gaurm brings in his groups to net and begin taming the giant insects. As the boggards work, the group moves 12 miles over (Hex SI5). Ayrn and Miki note they hear a cry for help from below, near a place of solid ground. Grunduar and Vern race down, with the other three hovering. At first, they see nothing, but then a strange tentacle with a claw whips out of the water and attacks Vern by grabbing him. The party responds. Miki drops down into the water as a alligator, while the paladin attacks with his hammer. Vern throws his sword and teleports to it. Ayrn charges in. Despite the beast reaching out to grab Caleb who had struck it with a shocking grasp, by the end of the next round, the monster is poked to shreds. Caleb slashed into the water to be immediately lifted on Miki’s large, scaley back. Caleb could only be struck that this sort of experience did not help with the voices. Once Caleb was on dry land, Miki scoops up items dropped on the floor in her jaws.
Caleb reports more voices that night, screaming awake while Grunduar is in guard duty, but waking everyone up. He admits to the rest of the party what is going on, and how he is putting precautions into place. The party expresses sympathy and returns to rest. Ayrn and Grunduar muse a bit about their friend, wishing they could do more.
The next stop is searching the final area with the Dragonflies, down to the south. (Hex SL10). They easily find the dragonflies but notice that there are dead dragonflies. Caleb and Vern stay airborn at a distance. Grunduar and Ayrn hover at 30 feet while Miki takes the form of a plant and moves to investigate the creatures. Caleb hears the voices again and cries out as a fireball explodes amid the three. Vern, Grunduar and Aryn move to encircle the caster, a spirit naga, who has been the source of Caleb’s torment. Miki hits it with a spell of her own, which it is able to resist. With a snarl, Caleb strikes the foul beast with hold monster before it can do anything else. The more powerful magic takes hole and before it can act again, the three men cut it apart, unwilling to try so subdue something so dangerous.
The rest of the time exploring this month is simple, with the rest of the area being cleared, and the boggards being brought into explore. After 9 days in the swamp, everyone is ready to go home.
|Campaign Date||Sarenith 1-2|
At Ayrn’s order, the leaders of the Kingdom begin their monthly work. Tarcil is again in Restov on a diplomatic mission, and Ayrn reads his dispatches. They go late into the night, with Fyonia calling Ayrn to bed at 1:30 in the morning by the water clock. The group retires. That morning, around 3 am, alarms are sounded. Everyone is awakened by their staff and roused to action. Stagfell is under attack by faerie creatures!
From his bedroom window, the King can see the fires in the city. The Military, Shops, and Residential districts are under attack. Quickly, the groups divide into three: Grunduar and Hargood to the Military, Caleb, Vern, and Lilly to the Shops, and Miki, Barry, and Ayrn to the Residential. With a stern order for Fyonia and Vashrah to remain in the castle from Aryn, everyone departs. Each team encounters fire and death. Grunduar and Hargood immediately engage a Grimm and Stroke Lad along with several Gremlins. Slowed by the Paladins in the Garrison, the creatures had not get destroyed more of the district. The two warriors carve through the Fey, resisting the evil aura of the Grimm and making fast work of the attackers. The two can see Garrison itself is heavily damaged as is the adjacent military academy.
As they fly over the city, Ayrn directs Miki to coordinate on the houses, while he goes for the larger creature attacking a shop. Already, they see the damage done by the monsters in this district, unchecked by a military force, and more than a match for any members of the Watch on duty. Miki and Barry strike at the Gremlins attacking the citizens. With so many targets, Miki adds two lions to the mix and plucks a Gremlin into the air. Between her, Barry, Flip and the lions they make fast work of the Gremlins and move to aid the fight in the shops. Meanwhile, Ayrn and Felix descend and attack the Baobhan Sith, sucking the blood from the poor city Fletcher, Delann. Aryn challenges them as the King, and the creatures threaten the Queen. Ayrn noted this seems to be the only insult that any monsters seem to have against him. He grins evilly as the creature claws and bites at him, barely scratching him. In a storm of blades, the evil fey is devastated and reeling. Felix moves about to flank. While the Sith does manage to land another hit, blades and teeth rend the monster asunder. Aryn races to help with the Gremlins and then too leaves for the shops. Behind them, the theater, Barry’s shop, some houses and lay smoking, while the Tournament Inn lay in ruins from the fight within its walls. In the shop district, a different sort of fight is underway. While there are again the Gremlin shock troops, there are two Bogey Men, stalking the shops. Leading them was a slender elf-like woman, half Fey, throwing spells. Already, her magic had destroyed Vashra’s shop an several houses. Gnesti’s and the Elegant Gown both were on fire. Flying in, the nation’s Keep of the Keys directed the action. Soon they were engaged with a horrible menace, one that was able to attack and severely wound Lilly. Caleb ended up face to face with the monsters, as they tried to frighten him. But Caleb does not scare. He laughed and taunted the monsters and along with Vern engaged them face to face. As the half Fey Half Elf sorcerer continued to devastate buildings and attack, Caleb launched a feeblemind spell at her, rendering her dumb. Now the tide was turning. The Fey began to run, one taking their leader and one going gaseous, but they would not get away. Caleb’s fireball incinerated them, including the sorcerer. Vern and Lilly worked with the Marshals who entered the district to mop up the Gremlins.
Miki and Grundaur and the worked to heal who they could. While the damage was bad, and several lives where lost, Stagfell as a whole was not threatened thanks to the actions of the heroes and the quick acting by locals to fight the fires. Knowing sleep was not happening for any of them the rest of the night, Aryn and the group help settle any fires and get anyone still injured to the hospital using their mounts to traverse the city is minutes. Ayrn makes know that this month’s build plans are all set on rebuilding and he tells Barry to look at permanent Alarms to detect invisibility at every gate. At a cost of $5000 gold for each gate, Ayrn thinks it is worth it.
Ayrn hopes the settlement of Oakwell Keep and Crooked Falls, and the establishment of their Watchtowers will help settled the city, as will the immediate rebuilding of damaged structures. Ayrn is relieved that the city already had no unrest as this will upset everyone. Clearly, though, it is time to expand the Watch to cover the growing number of districts.
|Campaign Date||Sarenith 3-30|
The Founders and their companions spend the day helping get the emergency past directly, helping to clean the ruins, reunite people with their lost ones. The list of dead is the worse in one day since the founding of the Kingdom.
Three shop owners, Delaan Arjon the young elvish lady who opened and ran Delaan’s Peng and Pilin. Allie Sanderson the teen daughter of the butcher Milton Sanderson who ran Skins & Saddles. The seasoned Dwarf Taven Owner, Monduara, who’s laughter and joy will be missed from the Tavern on the Green, Stagfell Stables, and the Tournament Inn. With Vashrah’s shop also targeted, and the comments about the Queen, Ayrn suspects an animus against women. Elsewhere in the city, 29 other civilians died in their homes, through direct attack and collateral damage, men, women, and children.
For military damage, 12 staff and 7 Paladins of the Knight’s Aster died defending the Garrison. In the Officers Academy, 17 students, all upperclassmen, perished holding the foul fariee at bay while their classmates fled. The Marshal’s forces charged into the Shopping district losing 17 of their number. The Watch, scattered across the city and not designed for a sudden attack was slower to respond in numbers than military units. Those on duty in each area died to a man.
Ayrn sends an emergency recall sending for Tarcil to return to the city by the next morning. He tells the rest of get a good night’s sleep and then informal mid-morning meeting of the Founders in the Sovereign Tower. Ayrn invites Vern, as he has been a loyal companion at arms.
The next morning, everyone meets in the sitting room on the third floor of the Royal Tower. Ayrn meets with the Founders plus Vern, as equals. He is clear he wants everyone to say what they feel, and he lays out his ideas and asks for any input or additional things to be done.
Armies and Defense
Create Permanent Symbols of Healing
Fey are an increasing issue
There is general agreement on his talking points, however, Caleb expresses a concern that further entry into the Slough might provoke more of a response. Miki also notes that the barbarians have Thylicia citizens as slaves. Ayrn protests these are Fort Drelev citizens, to which Miki and Gunder reply that they are now ours. Caleb does note that we do not yet know where the barbarians are, and we need to locate them. Ayrn assents to these points, but events would still force them into the swamp.
During the week of busy government work, the Founders take part in a memorial service in the cathedral, Jhod leads the services, with additional devotions for the military led by Grunder at the Academy. Aryn also makes a speech to the people in the Arena, promising additional protections, and that rebuilding is already underway. Miki meets with Melianse and Tiressiato get information on fey activity from them, but both report they are not in contact with other of their kinds now they have allied with the Kingdom, an ominous development. They will continue to report anything within the areas where they live.
Midweek, in the evening after the services, both Caleb and Miki receive reports from their respective teams. From the Marshals, it seems that a group citizens fled then Fort Drelev, headed south in an attempt to then get to Thylicia. They are somewhere to the west of the Slough. Worse, the Keeper of the Keys reports that an enormous 8 headed hydra has been seen in the swamps. Ayrn directs the group to complete their government duties and they would start to clear the swamp. Heading back into the marshes of the Slough, the group finishes the exploration of the area with the giant slugs. Ayrn wonders if they could be a resource, but Miki does not think there are enough to register. Moving west, the group finds who call themselves “Ses’h” in Aquan. Vern is able to communicate with them using tongues and comprehend languages. They tell the party that the Boggards have preyed upon them Through Vern, King Ayrn offers protection, and they say they have to go to their leader, Tok-Tekt. They also note a dangerous Hydra to the west. The party tells the strange creatures to head home and prepare for their arrival. To make their offer good, Miki becomes a huge water elemental and captures a wealth of fish for the fishers to take back. Bog Striders The group aggressively moves to where the Bog Striders tell them the hydra is lurking and are horrified to see the refugees moving through the marshes, in what is clearly the trail of the hydra. As they swoop down to talk to the group of humans, the hydra erupts from the marsh and slithers onto land. Unlike reports, it has 10 heads, not 8. Springing into action, Caleb attempts a hold monster but the creature shrugs it off. Vern lays down a haste and Aryn, Grunder, and Miki (as an earth elemental) move to engage. As the monster moves forth, a ring of harpies come flying in to attack the monster with arrows, ignoring the heroes below. Miki has her pet guard Vern when he comes down to attack. At first, the monster unleashes a strong series of attacks with its many heads, hurting Grunder, Ayrn, and Aryn’s pet, Felix. The Harpies filled the air with arrows and they rained down on the beast. Then it was the turn of those on the ground. The group unleashed a storm of steel upon the monster, while Caleb drained its energy. Even with the attacks the creatures wounds were healing. The harpies scattered while their leader landed a fireball, uncaring for those on the ground attacking.
As the fight continued, the hydra was unable to heal its damage quickly enough. With additional drains by Caleb, the monster could no longer strike its humanoid tormentors and it falls silent. The group backs away, as they saw wounds closing, and Caleb stopped its regeneration with a mighty fireball. The harpies move to retreat, and Ayrn called to them. They reveled this hydra had destroyed their home. Worried about a band of harpies causing trouble, Ayrn ponders his options. Harpies are not pleasant creatures, and often cause problems. However, the mountains Tors of Levenies in the southeastern corner of Thylicia are unsettled and far away from any other settlement. Ayrn offers these as an area to settle, but they would have to follow The Great Law of the Kingdom, which protects the rights of others. The harpies are divided. Ayrn gives them a pass to go to Stagfell and get a copy of the law. Caleb makes it clear that such offers do not come lightly or often, and if the harpies cause problems, they would be delt with permanently. The harpies fly off, less arrogant in the face the heroes quiet resolve and obvious power. Grunder escorts the refugees up to Foot Hooktongue.
With that settled for the moment the group heads to the Bog Striders home and offer formal protection for themselves and their clutches of eggs under the green and gold flag of Thylicia. The Kingdom would build fisheries that they could operate. The group assures them that Boggards, their chief foes, have already been delt with. Both groups would be under protection and not to interfere with each other. The Striders agree, and Thylicia has made is strangest allies.
The group, in whole, or in smaller groups, finish conducting the month’s survey. A mysterious plauge erupts in the city, requiring the direct intervention of Jhod and the various churches. All believe that the cause was another vector of damage, left by the fairies who attacked Stagfell. It takes over 10,000 gp in value to manage the crisis, but the Kingdom stops the plague in its tracks.
Another month, and the marshy lands will be fully mapped. Then the search for the barbarians can begin in earnest.
|Campaign Date||Erastus 1-29 & 30|
As the month gets started, word comes from the Harpies that they will settle in the mountains in the old dragon’s lair. While they promise to follow the Great Law of Thylcia, Ayrn asks Miki to communicate with the giant owls and have them keep an eye on the new settlement. The majority of the harpies are still unorganized and evil. With almost 200 of them, settling them seems far safer than letting them roam wild. Aryn also declares that when the take control of the marshes, the boggards and bog striders will be a protectorate. No one thinks that the Kingdom is ready for giant bugs in the House of Commons.
Ayrn rolls out a plan at the end of Sarenith to finish the exploration of the Marsh by the end of the month of Erastus and complete the whole of the Hooktongue Slough region by the end of Arodus. This plan involves rotation of the Founders and their cohorts to maximize exploration while still meeting governmental duties. In the second week of the month, Aryn takes Fyonia on a summer cruise from Stagfell to Lake Silverstep using one of their ships. The Tour gives them a week together, away from work, for perhaps the last time before they are parents. The leisurely trip is uneventful, and does give local farmers a chance to see the royals sailing by and even some face to face visits with the King and Queen.
No plan survives contact with the enemy Caleb and Miki bring reports of activity at the edge of the Slough. Aryn had already planned to search outside the marshy lands for the and decides on a quick substitution to check out the hills.
Miki’s hears from her marshals they have spotted part of the Chimera pride hunting in newly developed Thylicia territory. Farmer’s livestock has been aggressively attacked and carried off and the newly arrived locals are starting to fear that they are next on the chimera's menu.
As Keeper of the Keys, Caleb receives reports of a possible resource for the kingdom: a large field spanning several acres full of ripe of cloudberries have been found. The cloudberries are a semi-tart fruit usable in pies, jams, and alcoholic drinks and are growing in a large meadow that overlooks the northern reaches of Hooktongue Slough. While his team hid under cover, they spied several tribesmen and women harvesting the berries into large baskets. A random elk was also speared a drug off with the group. After the barbarians left, they waited and observes several more elk enter to snack on the berries. As the team was leaving, they saw the elk take off running, all except one standing still as a statue showing there seems to be a dangerous predator here that needs removing. The group decides the chimera pride is most important to take on and heads to that location. Ayrn confidently tells Barry to be ready to come out tomorrow with Preserve hide spells ready and sends word to Fort Hooktongue to send a team and the Manticore to prepare to send hides back to Stagfell.
Flying over the hills, Miki’s and Ayrn’s practiced eyes spot the entrance to a cave. The five party members land and cast various magic to improve their fighting ability. Grunder and Ayrn, lead the way inside, with Caleb, Vern and Miki behind. In the low light of the cave, there are three chimeras. Grunder and Ayrn charge towards their foes. Ayrn has his pet Felix surround one, while Grunder engages another. Miki leaves Flip to guard Caleb and darts past him, turning into a rhino as he falls behind, and gores the middle creature. Vern engages with Grunder and the fight is on.
Two more of the monsters land at the entrance of the cave, and Flip turns to growl at the creatures facing Caleb. Ayrn jokes across the cave with his best friend that he was worried today would be boring. One charges past, avoiding the bite of Flip and stab of Caleb, but no Caleb’s hold monster. Felix finishes the one Aryn was fighting, and Aryn turns to attack the immobile creature. As Miki terminates her target, Grunder and Vern move from their dead chimera to intercept the one at the cave entrance. Half a minute later, all the creatures are dead. Ayrn leaves Miki to search the cave, along with Grunder to gather and bury the remains. Miki uses an earth form to help dig, while the other three finish scouting the surrounding hills. They regroup later to settle in for the night, planning to scout the cloudberry hex the next day.
|Campaign Date||Erastus 31, Arodus 1-2|
The group awakens to a pouring rainstorm, with winds requiring skilled riders. After a brief discussion, Ayrn and Grunder take Caleb and Vern respectively, while Miki becomes a huge air elemental to carry the pets. They travel to the area where the cloudberries were located, with no one managing to be dismounted or slammed into the ground.
As they approach the area, the rain slackens. A lone gray moose stands looking for predators while the rest of the herd mills about. The group lands at a distance, and Miki goes up in her normal form with speak with animals to talk to the lone moose. It is silent, and as she approaches, she sees it is stone. She talks to the other moose, and they are afraid of predators. The team is immediately concerned about monsters, and Miki asks questions to rule out basilisks and cockatrices. As they wonder, the monsters rustle in the grass and Miki tells the moose to run. Ayrn stays on his mount and places a blindfold on his face, casting barkskin. Miki similarly armors up and transforms into a fire elemental in the hopes that form will be immune to the attack. They both leave their pets to guard Caleb.
The grass erupts with adracolisk, a black dragon/basilisk hybrid. Caleb wonders just what black dragon was getting busy in the swamps. In the air, another of the hybrids flapped into the area. Miki and Caleb moved towards the one on the ground, while Ayrn directed his mount to take him to the one in the air. Swinging based on the flapping sounds, he did manage to connect, but unable to dodge on his own, he and his construct mount took acid damage from the thing’s breath.
On the ground, Caleb reached the creature first and struck it with a mighty blow of his holy axe, but in an unlucky twist, the dwarf managed to lock eyes with the creature and was turned to stone. Miki engaged the monster on the ground from behind, but it would soon turn to use its acid on her. Caleb, flanked by the two thylacines began to use /disintegrate/ on the monster. Two more flew in, one landing by Caleb and one moving to menace the blind Ayrn. Vern flew up to engage the one on his King, striking it deeply, but, he too was caught in its gaze and Aryn heard his friend fall to the ground below with a thump. However, Aryn was close to the monsters, and his swords managed to find their marks and damage the creature with steal and shocking damage. He told his mount to not let himself be flanked, and fighting through acid breaths, claws and bites, Ayrn manages to take both down, the body of one falling directly onto the now stone Vern. Meanwhile, Caleb continued his assault with spells, the monsters again avoiding the worst of the damage, while the two pets defended him. Flip turned to stone on his attack, but Felix kept up his biting, staying between the monster and Caleb. Miki sent ball lighting to help her friend, and then continued to fight the monster, her flicking eyes avoiding contact with the monster. Finally, the spell of the sorcerer struck true, and the dracolisk on him vanished into a cloud of ash as Ayrn’s mount brought him into range. Before Ayrn could turn to help Miki, her fiery hands put an end to the last of the attackers. It was then the group heard Vern calling for help, from under a corpse.
The group rushed over to find their friend, covered in hot blood, flesh. Miki surmised the blood might have done it, and in short order, Grunder, Flip and the stone moose were alive again. The team is healed by Grunder and since it is early in the day, they follow the tracks of the barbarians. There are enough that even the rain has not wiped away all evidence from the eyes of Ayrn and Miki. They end up finding a camp to the northwest, outside a cave near a small stream. Undetected, the group is able to see six prisoners within a wooden cage, and an array of barbarians camped outside the cave.
The group contemplates waiting for night, and then falling upon them with a surprise attack. Ayrn asks Caleb for control, not death, and then, thinking about it, pulls his standard from his bag of holding and mounts it on his Kirin. He and Grunder ride across the stream and call out to the barbarians. In a game of good cop/bad cop, with Grunder being quite intimidating, the two demand the release of the prisoners in exchange for the barbarians going free. They are even offered refuge from reprisal at the hands of their fellow tribesmen.
One member, a woman, calls to her leader to agree, noting that the King of Thylicia and his Comrades in Arms engaged and destroyed a small army in less than 5 minutes by themselves. Their leader contemplates the serene elf and menacing dwarf before them, the green and gold banner flapping in the wind. He agrees, saying they will move on their camp today, and the King can have the prisoners. Miki and Caleb make a camp with the pets, and the others use the Kirn to fly the prisoners back to Fort Hooktongue. Aryn sends another message for collection of the newest dracolisk corpses as well. They spend the night at the settlement, and plan to reengage with the others in the morning to investigate the caves, hoping to put an end to the barbarian menace by one means or another. Will King Aryn’s history of adoption of others into the Kingdom hold? Time will tell.
|Campaign Date||Arodus 2 - 4|
Ayrn leaves Vern behind to coordinate with the prisoners and sends for Hargrood to join them. They return to Caleb and Miki who have watched the entrance to the cave. Having scared off the last group, Ayrn is confident they can go in and root out the barbarians who are left. Hargrood and Grunder lead the way, with Aryn bringing up the rear. Headed down a hallway, Miki notes this is more a tomb than a cave system. Ahead is a misty room.
Inside the room, statues depict well-proportioned Kellid men, each set in a different war-like pose. More concerning are the denizens on the other side. Three human women and one tiefling woman stand in the corner behind two babau demons. Ayrn recognizes them as clerics of Gyronna, one of whom is the same one who caused trouble with a cult in Stagfell in Kuthona 4713! The fighter and paladin move forward and Miki turns into an earth elemental while Ayrn flies over the heads of the rest with his celestial armor. While Grunder, Hargrood and Miki slam into the babau, while Aryn goes for the woman in red. The four humans are clerics, while the tiefling is a wizard. Spells are traded back and forth, as well as claws from the demons. Aryn and Miki regret not putting barkskin on themselves, much less Grunder. Caleb finds that their resistance absorbs some attacks. He does manage to capture one in black tendrils but the fight is not the walk over that the party thought they might have.
The Tiefling throws a baleful polymorph at Caleb, who is suddenly a lizard; a cleric tries to slay person on Grunder, but he shrugs off half the damage. The party is closing in on the casters, much more grim, and with none of the banter of their last big fight. The Tiefling moves forward and teleports away with the lead cleric, leaving one in red and one in black, despite Ayrn’s stab down to him. This leaves a cleric in black and red.
The demons delt with, the others fall onto the remaining clerics and give them no opportunity to surrender, less it be a trick. With the reaming two dead, Grunder Miki, and Hargrood quickly search their corpses, while Aryn rushes to Caleb, who is writing in the dirt, dispel clearly having kept his mind. Ayrn picks up his friend and promises to get him to Barry, and gives him a pocket to ride in. They have Miki try to collapse the entrance, but magic in the stone won’t let her. She uses her elemental powers to push dirt up against the entrance. Back in Stagfell, Miki is able to restore Caleb to normal, and everyone is healed.
Two days later, on the 4th, a fully restored group hits the tombs. Moving the dirt aside, the group reenters the misty room to tap the walls and find a secret door to the south, hidden by an illusion. Moving into the room, it is one with four boulders that clearly are meant to be placed into indentations. Caleb transforms into an aberrant beast to help move stones. Ironically, Ayrn has the easiest time moving the largest stone, but in short order the stones are moved. Grunder and Aryn venture into the next room to check it out. As they do so, the trap resets, rolling the boulders down. It takes a few minutes for the group still in the room to move them again and all advance. Columns of iron weapons wielded together, emerge from the floor. There is a square plate of iron beneath them. A single iron wheel protrudes from the floor in the middle of the room. Ayrn laughs and flies over to the wheel and slowly spins it for several rotations to open another door.
The group enters into a room that has four massive pillars holding up a large dome up 50 feet. At the center is an Iron Golem resembling the god Gorum. The monster moves forward to attack. Barry holds back to guard the rear and the melee characters attack. Most of the team is poisoned as they fight the monster, weakened by its gas breath, but they take the creature down and heal up. It is clear this tomb has a series of tests. They have passed three so far. Who knows what else is in there?
Grunder calls on his dwarven heritage to notice a secret door in the chamber. Down the hall way is a magical heavy fog which restricts all vision, magical or otherwise, to five feet. Sigils mark the walls of this dark passageway. Judging by the dust and abandoned cobwebs, it appears to have lain unused for centuries. Barry is able to note that the sigils crafted on these walls represent a personal rune for all the champions who once fought in Armag's armies on the plains of Rostland. Gorum himself wove the magic contained in them to deny Pharasma’s victory when her avatar struck down Armag and his followers.
As the group moves down, they hear skittering down the hallway. A Derghodaemon emerges from the darkness. Grunder and Miki engage, followed by Aryn. Barry and Caleb follow with spells. Its grinding fangs temporarily cause Hargood to be feebleminded, but the group kills the outsider and he recovers as its body melts away. As they heal, Barry explains to the group that the creature must have been attracted by the The infusion of battle and war in the walls These insectoid derghodaemons hail from the realm of Abaddon. Personifying death from being eaten alive by predators, derghodaemons are often encountered as scavengers on battlefields in the outer planes—or in places where violence and death create compelling lures. This particular derghodaemon may have been drawn through and bound to this hallway with the aid of magic during the tomb’s creation, dwelling here ever since.
The party explores the tomb, finding a task of balance that Ayrn uses the last minutes of his armor to fly the party across while Miki, still an earth elemental, finds weapons in pits on either side; the magical remains of people who failed the task long ago. Later, the group ignores a pillar jumping trap, where wind blows one of into ants. Miki trigged the ants, and at Caleb’s shout, hid in the wall as the used two fireballs to deal with them. It was easy to scramble across then.
The next trap was a room of Bloody Skeletal Champions. As the party entered the room, they were standing on a ledge. Caleb and Barry both knew they would regenerate given time unless killed by a blow from Grunder’s axe. Using his arcane master, Barry cast a maximized fire ball and incinerated over half the group. The rest jumped down the ledge to mindlessly attack the party and were quickly wiped out. Grunder made sure no body would rise again, and the group moved on.
Along they way, the group continued to fine chambers with artifacts, so value in the past, but now of much greater value since they are now ancient. They party leaves these alone for now. And move forward, seeking their enemy, the head of the barbarians, Armag. They enter a large chamber. Two churning fountains take up alcoves to the east and west of this immense chamber, their water cascading down the faces of beautifully rendered maidens as if they were crying for the souls lost in battle. Directly ahead, four rows of intricately carved columns reach deeper into the chamber, resembling armed soldiers kneeling in honor of the massive statues of Gorum at the chamber’s far end. A set of stairs descends into a passageway to the north, they see a man praying. Aryn asks if he is Armag. He instead says he is a shaman, Zorek. Grunder steps forward to intimidate the shaman, not realizing that because he is wearing the two barbarian rings the shaman is more inclined to listen to him. Supported by the other characters, Grunder makes a strong case for them to pass, and Zorek steps aside. Miki directs the two thylacines to watch the man, while the group moves into the next room.
Finally, the group sees their prey. Ten flickering braziers cast long shadows across this huge chamber, their wavering light gleaming from walls spattered with blood. The air reeks of decay, for the violently hacked bodies of a dozen men lie strewn about the chamber. Grunder knows enough about dark religions to know that this man must have killed his own guards to gain power. Several Bloody Skeletal Champions are around him, along with a Stone Golem and Golem Guard on each side of the room. Aryn steps forward and calls out the barbarian leader, who only snarls at the king. The Golems are all motionless for the moment, but the Skeletons move in.
The charging skeletons push up against Ayrn, but are unable to hit the nimble ranger. Aryn calls for Barry to strike, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer obliges, with a carefully placed maximized fireball that strikes all the Skeletons and Armag without hitting the golems. Aryn relies on his reflexes to save him and is able to lean out of the effects. Most of the skeletons drop in the reign of fire. Grunder, Miki and Hargood take out the rest. Unfortunately, the stone constructs begin to move towards the party as Aryn closes on the barbarian who is healing himself with a potion. Aryn hits him with a critical strike and the two begin a personal melee as the rest of the party deals with the golems. One of the guardians tries to strike Aryn, but he keeps dodging it as if it was not there, intent on taking out his rival for leadership of these lands.
Barry turns his magic to cast a web to stop the stone golem and golem guardian on the right. Caleb follows up with black tentacles. This lets Hargood and Grunder smash into the other two. Miki goes under the floor to emerge and attack the other golem, flanking it. As Aryn stabs Armag many times, but the barbarian is raging, and he lands hard blows against Aryn. The king looks grim and Grunder allows a blow upon him to race to his friend and heal him. Renewed, Aryn explodes in a frenzy of blows killing Zorek. The stone constructs stop moving.
Resting a moment, Grunder lays on hands to himself, and Aryn begins healing the others. The tentacles continue their damage until the spell runs out, but the web is still there. Miki goes to check on the shaman, but he had moved away from the pets with a blade barrier blocking the exit and it is still there. Miki is able to talk to both with her magic to get the story. Exploring the tomb, the group decides to return the sword being wielded by Armag using mage hand to the tomb and start making plans to close this place up. They have no intention of taking any of the armor or weapons from the tomb.
The shaman Zorek returns, and the group asks him what happened here. All he says is that he is here to guard the tomb and let anyone pass the tests. Grunder and Caleb are quick to say that is not going to happen anymore and that the temple is going to be close off. Zorek is silent but the two free golems start moving to attack. Aryn calls for Miki to use a whirlwind on the shaman and she transforms into a huge air elemental and sucks him up. The constructs close on them, and the shaman is able to cast a stone wall to block the passage between rooms. Barry laughs and uses dispel magic to remove the wall, and the rest charge in. Caleb suggests taking the shaman out of the temple to break his connection with it, and she does. The man ages and dies, and then his body turns to dust, scattered by Miki’s form.
The group relaxes, now the last of the great threats in the Hooktongue Slough has been delt with. The tomb will be cleared, other than the sarcophagus and sealed. The artifacts will return to Stagfell for the museum. In all there were 6,700 gold worth of artifacts, a +3 Great Axe (18,150 gp), Scrolls of Blade Barrier, Lessor Planer Ally, and Magic Vestment (LC 16).
Now, a month’s worth of work exploring would put another quarter of the Stolen Lands into the reach of the Kingdom.
|Campaign Date||Arodus 17|
Having returned to Stagfell to complete their government work, Ayrn let’s the ground forces of the Keeper of the Keys and the Marquee explore to find the remaining hill giants. Now the marshy areas of the Slough are explored, the hills and planes of the rest of the region can easily be covered on their flying mounts in a few days. Ayrn wants no surprises. However, surprises abound.
At home, wild summer flowers are being left at the window in the King’s Tower of Aryn’s and Fyonia’s quarters. The invisibility alarm is going off as this happens. Miki uses her magic to query the stones and they report fey leaving flowers. Ayrn orders the window’s shut and barred with their steel shutters. Vashrah is ordered to attend the Queen any time Ayrn is not present.
As the message comes in that the giants have been found, the army at Fort Hooktongue says that five armies are approaching and the giants are on the move. The Founders move to Fort Hooktongue immediately, with Hargood and Barry in tow. Once they arrive, they can see no evidence of any armies for dozens of miles away, not even tracks of their passage. Feeling this might be an illusion, Ayrn orders the group north to deal with the giants. The Lizardfolk army is sent to the swamps, while the King’s Rangers are ordered to Leveton.
It is an easy task to find the giants, who have gone to an ancient cyclops structure, some sort of colosseum. The group flies down, and Grunder challenges the giants, who simply rage and attack. Miki becomes a huge fire elemental, while Aryn, Grunder, Hargood and Vern wade into combat. Caleb and Barry launch spells of destruction to aid their companions. While it is a brutal fight, the giants are killed, save for a half giant man and his giant mate. The two surrender, saying their children were being held hostage. Ayrn gives them two days to clear out of the region, taking anyone with them who will go. After that, he promises to return and deal with the problem permanently. It has not passed his notice that giants attacked his city of Rezbin.
The group heals up and teleports back to Fort Hooktongue to face the five armies that have teleported to the city according to a silver raven that arrived.
|Campaign Date||Arodus 17|
Teleporting to the city, the group immediately heads up to the top of the walls to find out what was going on. There were five armies that appeared out of nowhere! They were now attacking the city. One army was all orcs, while its companion was a mix of orcs and worgs. More concerning was the army of hill giants throwing stones, while two other armies supported and used siege engines to threaten the city. Ayrn and Grunder talked about targets, but then the sky grew dark, and lightning rained in a magical attack. Caleb was able to see an Ogre Magi casting and knew his target. He jumps into the river and became an aboleth, swimming towards his target. Miki flies to take on the other army with siege engines, taking the form of a huge fire elemental. Grunder and Hargood land amid the giants and flank their leader. Ayrn and Vern, left behind, pick the two armies in front of them and attack their leaders.
The Knights of Torag and the Far Watch remain in the city to defend the walls, while the Lizardfolk army emerges from the water looking for blood.
Ayrn is easily able to cut the ogre leading the second army to ribbons. He then proceeds to charge forward in a whirlwind of blades, killing all the orcs and worgs around him. Both swords crackle with electrical energy as they kill foe after foe.
Grunder and Hargood pound on the giant leader, who focuses on the hated dwarf in front of him. While he lands some solid blows, the giant falls to the teammates. The two turn and begin to slay the other giants ahead of them.
Vern uses the Staff of Fire to quarter the army with walls of fire. As he does this, a well placed spear knocks him from his mount and he falls to the ground. However, he leaps to his feat with a 20 on his acrobatics roll and cuts into his foe. As he goes this, the Lizardfolk army slams into the quarter of the orc army they can reach. The army disintegrates as Vern kills the leader.
Meanwhile, Miki has been burning the engines of war with her army. They had explosives, and these go up in plums of fire, killing the orcs around them. Miki strides from engine to engine as the armies leader moves to the rear.
Caleb emerges from the water and uses the Staff of Lightning to send out chain Lightning to set off the explosives on this army’s engines and causes great damage. The Ogre magi seems to have a broach rendering her immune to spell attack, but it is failing. Caleb continues with the chain Lightning, devastating the army around her.
As their armies start to break, Vern and Aryn fly to help the others, with Vern going after giants and Aryn going to the leader of Miki’s army. Seeing he will engage, Miki goes to help Caleb, transforming to an Air elemental. Seeing her coming, Caleb gestures as if he is summoning her, and Miki lands, sucking up orcs as she moves towards the only leader left standing. With the last chain Lightning, the caster’s broach shatters, and Caleb grins. He steps back and extends his aberrant arms 15’ and a sickly green ray of disintegrate emerges. The ogre magi is turned to instant dust, scattered by the whirlwind that is Miki.
The armies are routed with the Lizardfolk killing anyone they can get their hands on. Miki presents a captured lieutenant for interrogation to Caleb, and the shaken and demoralized orc relates they were hired by a Grimlock fey. Caleb does not understand how such a low powered creature could amass this army. Clearly, there is more to the events.
For now, the group helps to clean up the area and Grunder notes that the walls have taken some damage. The party will finished exploring and clearing the area and push the Kingdom of Thylicia further west to secure through defense in depth.
End of Book 4: Blood for Blood