Deorcholt

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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Soon, it will begin.

“The game is afoot!” Well, not now. But soon. We’ll be starting in August.

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Episode1

The adventure began in a slightly seedy tavern named ”The Green Dragon”. It was the day of King Connor I’s coronation, and all were enjoying the holiday. At the bar sat three seekers of fortune. The mage Lodivico, the orc savage Yazzi, and a mysterious bard who claims his name to be Tomas.
Banter ensued. Yazzi caused the narrator to become incapacitated with laughter on several occasions. A barmaid named Maud was less than impressed with the advances of Tomas. Lodivico spent freely and became Razzi’s best friend.
Lodivico attempts to convince the others to partake in an opportunity of dubious morality, and is met with agreement. He leaves to set up a meeting.
Alas, this plan was not to be. At least, not for the moment. For as he was walking, he heard a blood-curdling scream, and bravely went to investigate. In a blind alley, he found a corpse rent apart, with the eyes, tongue and internal organs all missing. Nothing had been observed to leave the alley. The bloodsplattered walls held graffitti, which was partially visible through the gore. The words “where flap the tatters of the king” was written in the ancient language of the gnomes. What the rest of the message might have been, or its significance is unknown at this time. A trail of blood indicated that the missing remains of the deceased were dragged into a storm sewer, the opening of which was roughly 12”x 4”.
At this point, a passing woman saw him standing over the corpse, and began to scream for the guards. Lodivico used his magical arts to become invisible, and fly from the scene. He returned to ask the guard what had happened. He was stopped by a member of the Inquisition, and told to mind his own business. As Lodivico prepared to leave, the Grand Inquisitor recognized him as the son of Sira, and demanded to know what his involvement was. Lodovico pled ignorance, and the Grand Inquisitor warned him that if he was following in his father’s footsteps, the Inquisition would see him dead.
Lodivico returned to the tavern, and began to share his tale. He stopped when Tomas warned him that others were eavesdropping on the conversation. They left to find Lodovico’s “uncle” a gnome named Archaelos, who was a mighty wizard.
The lights were out, and nobody answered the door. An early-game attack of common sense convinced our intrepid heroes that kicking down the door to the house would be a bad idea. And so they went to the house of Lodivico (which had been in his family for some time).
At the house, the bard Tomas noticed that a stone above the fireplace mantel glowed with the same magical aura as a bracelet Lodivico wore. The stone concealed a hiding place, in which were found a black book written in the ancient language of the gnomes, a small scrap of parchment on which was written an unknown language, and a black velvet bag containing 5 large and corroded coins of an unknown metal. The coins depicted mythical creatures, and no one was able to identify their origin or significance.
There was a knocking on the door. It was Archaelos. He came in, and warned Lodivico to forget what he had seen that night. He stated that it was Sira’s obsession with “the beast” which had led him into darkness. Lodivico asked him about the mysterious parchment, and was told to burn it. Archaelos left. Razzi stoked the fire to burn the book and parchment, but Lodivico stopped him.
Lodivico has expressed an interest in studying the book, and seeking knowledge of the parchment. Thomas has asked Yazzi to teach him archery. All returned to their own places to contemplate the events of the night, and try to get some sleep.

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Episode 2

Lodivico kicked out the other adventurers so he could study the black book. He quickly determained that the spells contained therein operated differently than the magic he was familiar with. It seemed to him that the spells were more of a supplication for some powerful entity to provide the effect on behalf of the caster. In any case, he was certain that the power for the spell was coming from elsewhere. Most of the spells included were necromantic in nature. Tired, he went to bed, and then slept until late in the morning.
After getting kicked out, Tomas went to The Stag and Crown and performed. He wound up spending the night with a cute brunette whose name he does not remember. The next morning, he preformed at the grand market, then went to The Green Dragon to wait for Lodivico. It was later in the afternoon when he went to Lodivico’s house.
No one quite knows what Yazzi did after he left. But he wasn’t seen again for over a day.
By the time Tomas returned to Lodivico’s, the mage had taken the opportunity to painstakingly transcribe two lines from the scrap of parchment. He planned to have the Inquisition identify the language for him, so that he could use his magical talents to decipher it. But just in case, he asked Tomas to stand watch outside the Temple, and if he were followed, to run back and remove all the items stored behind the magical stone. He gave Tomas his key.
Lodivico used his magical skills to shield his mind, and entered the Temple. He asked for directions, and was given them. He approached the secretary for the Inquisition, and said that he’d stumbled across something which might interest them. The secretary fetched an Inquisitor, a priest of Grotz, who said he’d have it translated. Lodivico offered to stay until this was done, and found a spot on an uncomfortable marble bench. A short time later, the Grand Inquisitor himself came out, pointed at Lodivico, and said “You. Office. Now.”
The office was suprisingly asture. The accoutrements of a priest of Zult were in evidence, and a window into how Halig’s worldview was etched into the marble above the door. It quickly became obvious that Halig could easily detect when Lodivico was lying to him, and had some inkling of what the full document would say. Namely, that it was an unholy pact, and that it seemed to directly reference Lodivico. He asked Lodivico to bring in the effects of his father, and offered to translate in exchange. Then he let Lodivico leave. Another Inquisitor, this one a priest of Vogel, followed at a distance.
Tomas saw the very large, very intimidating Inquisitor following Lodivico, and took off at a run. Lodivico was forced to cast a flying spell on himself to beat Tomas home. And then had to wait until Tomas turned up with the key. Lodivico handed the black book to Tomas, and told him to hide it. They agreed to meet later at The Green Dragon. Lodivico took the coins and the parchment, and walked off towards the Temple. Tomas took the book, and stashed it in his mattress at his place. Then he went to the Green Dragon, where he began singing songs and telling stories.
On the return trip, Lodivico was playing with the coins as he walked, only to have them snatched from his hands by a street urchin. The timely intervention of the following Inquisitor allowed them to be recovered without violence.
Upon his return, Halig looked at the coins, and tossed them back to Lodivico, saying he wasn’t worried about them. He then began studying the parchment. He looked up, and asked Lodivico if his father had given him anything just before he was seized. Lodivico said “no”, and Halig seemed to accept the lie at face value. He then asked whether or not Lodivico had found his father’s grimore. Again, Lodivico responded with a “no”, but this time Halig called him on it, saying “you need to destroy it. And I know for a fact that your uncle would give you the same council.” True to his word, he gave Lodivico a translation, which seemed to imply that Lodivico’s death would seal the pact, and let Lodivico depart in peace. But Lodivico knows Halig’s reputation, and doubts that he’ll just let things lay. As he was leaving, Halig called out “if you happen to find the spot where your father and his friends preformed their unholy deeds, we’d be interested in knowing.” He also gave Lodivico a silver penny, and told him to have a drink on him.
On his walk back to The Green Dragon, Lodivico saw some graffitti written in the language of the fey. It talked of their numbers, and the coming fall of man.
In the Green Dragon, Tomas was having a rousing good time. Lodivico entered, and eavesdropped on a conversation between two gnomes (in gnomish) who felt that someone named “Charlie” would be making his move soon. Drawing upon his background of being raised by gnomes, Lodivico greeted them warmly, bought them some beer, and they all toasted “God save the King” while passing their tankards over a glass of water. Soon the gnomes left, and Lodivico inconspicuously shadowed them until they left the city. (For some reason, most gnomes do not like to be in the city after dark and there is a stockade just outside of the city walls that caters to them.) Then he returned to The Green Dragon.
Meanwhile, Tomas was having a grand old time. Lodivico waited to talk to him until Robert Fitzbob started kicking everybody out. Then they went to Lodivico’s house, and talked things over. They quickly realized that “Charlie” was Charles Higgenbotham, heir to Rufus Higgenbotham, who had been deposed by a human usurper some four decades before. They also realized that the current king, Connor I had not yet reached his seventeenth year, and might be vulnerable. They decided to sleep on it. This time, Lodivico invited Tomas to stay with him, and Tomas did so.
They were awoken early the next morning by Yazzi pounding upon the door. They talked about what direction they should take, with Lodivico having pronounced mercenary leanings and foreswearing his interest in his own past. It was agreed that currying the King’s favor would be a good idea. It was decided that the best way to do this, would be to hunt down and kill “The Beast”. Lodivico loaned Yazzi money to buy an axe, and Tomas went along with him so that he didn’t get taken. Meanwhile, Lodivico went by himself to The Dirty Wench, the roughest dive on the waterfront. He was rather out of place in his fancy clothes. He then loudly announced that he’d pay 100 silver to any man brave enough to face The Beast with him. He was quickly mugged, stripped, and thrown in the Tiffin River. From this perspective, he noticed some sort of cave under one of the docks, with some worked stone surrounding the opening. He used his magic to send a message to his friends, asking them to come aid him.
Lodivico climbed out of the river, and stormed up the bank. He then proceeded to throw exploding balls of fire at The Dirty Wench, shouting his name, and that no one who transgressed against him would escape unscathed. He then realized that most of the town was built of wood and thatch, and used his magic to try and contain the fire he’d started. Bucket brigades began to form, and the flames were beaten back. Within a few minutes, his friends arrived, and they went down to look at the cave.
At this time, it was still early afternoon. Lodivico cast a light spell on Yazzi’s axe. Yazzi entered first, and there was a bit of excitement as perhaps a dozen rats rushed past him, trying (successfully, for the most part) to escape to the river. Inside, the room was small, roughly four yards square, with a raised slab of black stone in the middle. The walls were scorched and blackened. The black stone slab had grooves for liquid to drain, rusty manacles on either end, and crusty brown stains, of which our protagonists cared not to speculate much. As he approached the slab, Yazzi felt the air grow cold and the hair on his arms start to rise. He told the others, but they could sense no magic. Yazzi seized the manacles in an attempt to rip them away from the slab, but was quickly possessed by the insane and bloodthirsty spirit trapped within. The other adventurers heard the gleeful cackle, saw the demoniac light behind his eyes, and saw him draw his axe, so they were not completely unprepared when he attacked. Still, he did have the advantage of surprise. Tomas was the closest, and did yeoman’s work defending against initial rush. He also knew that he was extremely lucky to do so, and took the first opportunity to run. Lodivico took to his heels as well, and dove into the murky water of the Tiffin. The possessed Yazzi buried his axe in Tomas’ back, and Tomas fell unconscious. Seeing no other victims in the immediate area, he climbed the bank and proceeded to rampage. The onlookers and bucket brigades were dispersed by his fury, and an unknown number of people were killed. A minute later, he recovered, having no memory of the rampage, but aware that something wasn’t right. He returned to find Lodivico healing Tomas. Lodivico went back into the chamber, and found a partially-burned piece of paper containing some cryptic but ominous writings.
It is nearing mid-afternoon. Tomas is badly injured, and in no shape to travel. Lodivico is exhausted, and his energy reserves are depleted. Fire is spreading. And everyone is realizing that they’re in a lot of trouble.

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Episode 3

While confusion reigned, our erstwhile heroes departed the scene, following the Tiffin River upstream until closer to the heart of the city, and then slipping through alleys back toward Lodivico’s house. Halig Rind was waiting for them, though they did not see him before he coughed politely. Yazzi immediately recognized him as being a powerful shaman. He was carrying a familiar black book under his arm. He said, “There were better ways to alert us of your father’s shrine.” He also chastised Lodivico for not destroying the book.
Lodivico took exception, and demanded to know why he should give information to the Inquisition, when the Inquisition was not giving information to him.
Halig Rind said that he had come to provide warning, but had now changed his mind.
After a rather reluctant apology was tendered, Halig Rind warned Lodivico that his uncle Archaelos was quite upset with him (something about having several of his properties go up in flames very recently). It is unlikely that Halig Rind’s original intent was to offer such a mundane warning, nevertheless, it was all he offered before taking his leave.
So our brave protagonists went to Tomas’ house instead. There, they rested. Tomas was healed, and Yazzi too the opportunity to cleanse himself of any lingering taint. Tomas was sent out for food, and to get Lodivico some clothing. While he was away, Archaelos and a couple of assistants came calling. Lodivico and Yazzi snuck out the back door. Tomas returned, and was spotted. Archelos told him that there would be a reward for bringing in his wayward nephew.
Yazzi tried to catch rats for the better part of an hour, then gave up and turned to pigeons. He was very successful with his bird-calling, and the local pigeon community has named him an honorary statue. A pigeon was killed and dressed. Yazzi and Lodivico pestered people with the corpse until someone gave them a pittance to go away.
Tomas went to the Green Dragon to wait. He was greeted warmly, and played. Eventually, Yazzi and Lodivico showed up. Lodivico was still smelling of raw sewage and wearing only a loincloth. He haughtily demanded food, drink, and a bath. Matilda Fitzbob wanted to see the color of his coin before letting him stink up the joint. He reacted poorly and made some statements that would have gotten him slapped, even had they been true (which they weren’t). Matilda attempted to slap him, but he successfully dodged out of the way. Robert Fitzbob grabbed a cudgel and came out from behind the bar to investigate the commotion. Lodivico further embellished his claims of carnal knowledge in front of the girl’s armed father. Then he got clubbed like a baby seal. Yazzi removed Lodivico from the tavern. Tomas tried to smooth things over, but it was a bit late for that.
Tomas caught up with the other two, and encouraged Lodivico to go see his uncle. Lodivico agreed. It was a tense meeting, with Arachaelos watching with steely eyes while Lodivico talked. And talked. And talked some more. Convinced that the damage was due to stupidity, not direct hostility, Archaelos told him that there would be an accounting, and then told Lodivico to “Get out.” Lodivico was reluctant to go, and had to be told to remove himself two more times. As he left, he could hear Archaelos muttering very uncomplementary things about humans (in gnomish, of course). Tomas was paid 20 silver pennies for bringing him in.
Convinced that nobody was going to try to kill him, Lodivico went home, took a bath, and actually put some clothes on. Yazzi stayed with him. Tomas went to the Stag and Crown to play, and was welcomed.
After a while, Lodivico and Yazzi wandered over to the Stag and Crown. Their reception was much colder. The glares clearly indicated that orcs were not welcome in such refined company. Stanton Edwards gave voice to the complaint. Lodivico tried to pass Yazzi off as his servant and bodyguard, but he didn’t have to appropriate savoir faire. He came across as a poser, or even worse, nouveau riche. Stanton told Yazzi to remove himself and his pet from the premises. Lodivico reacted poorly to this slight, and told Stanton to do something anatomically impossible. Chairs were pushed back, and swords were drawn. Due to an unexplained period of flux, the normally null magic zone of the grand market allowed Lodivico to use his magic.
Lodivico and Yazzi faced off with Stanton Edwards, Floyd Fink, and Gene Hasselblad. Stanton attacked Lodivico. Due to defensive magic, he did only minor damage. Lodivico hit Stanton with an ice dagger, which stunned him. Yazzi and Floyd sparred with each other. Gene moved around the table. Stanton shook off his stun. Gene charged recklessly into the fray, and was cut down by Yazzi. Floyd and Stanton ran away. Lodivico hit the fleeing Stanton with a flame jet, and Stanton fell unconscious. Lodivico cast a healing spell on Gene. Then the magic died again.
At this point, they decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and chose to leave. Unfortunately for them, they had raised an uproar in one of the most heavily-guarded spots in the world. After 6 seconds of running, Lodivico bowed to the inevitable, and surrendered. Although heavily outnumbered, Yazzi fought on for the better part of a minute, shrugging off grapples, recovering from being knocked prone, and receiving any number of vicious blows before finally falling unconscious from his accumulated wounds. It is safe to say that witnesses now have a much greater respect for the Marcher nobles who have to deal with orcs on a regular basis.
Tomas provided a soundtrack for the hostilities, but really didn’t see any pressing need to get beaten up or arrested.
The sun sets on the day with Lodivico and Yazzi being drug off to the hospitality of the dungeon, while Tomas spins yarns about the daring heroes who are pushing the barbarians back from our borders. The smoke of burnt buildings (or is that bridges?) catches the departing sunlight, and briefly turns everything red, before it fades to black.

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Episode 4

Lodivico was returned to his cell after yet another round of interrogations to find another prisoner sharing his cell. The prisoner gave his name as “Garth” and they made each other’s acquaintance. They also noticed some scribbling that a former prisoner had left on the wall. Shortly thereafter, Lodivico was removed to face his punishment. He was paraded to the stocks with an accompanying chorus of catcalls and boos. He was locked in, and his left ear nailed to the lower portion of the stocks. A guard makes a point of noting that the ragamuffins up front were from the orphanage that Lodivico had burned down. They had rocks. The guards stepped away, and a fusillade of stones and rotten vegetables rained down upon the miserable criminal.
When the crowd had tired of their sport, the guards opened the stocks. But the coward refused to tear himself free of the nail.
He stood there, a pitiful excuse of a man, for hours.

Tomas watched from the crowd. Eventually, he got bored and wandered off.

Archaelos eventually freed him, and whispered in his ear, “Leave. And don’t come back until you’ve redeemed yourself.”

A young nobleman named Garvin (who had previously referred to himself as Garth) made Lodivico’s acquaintance for a second time. They quickly reached an agreement to exploit each other. Garvin evidently wants a greater understanding of magic, but Lodivico’s motives are more uncertain.

The pair returned to The Green Dragon, where Lodivico managed to talk Robert Fitzbob out of clubbing him like a baby seal. (Mainly by trading on his companion’s noble status.) He was less successful mollifying Maude, and she lit into him until bodily restrained by Garvin. At which point, she appealed to Garvin to defend her honor. The scurrilous charges Lodivico made had become clear, so Garvin backhanded him. And Lodivico passed out from accumulated wounds.

Tomas returned, with information that a giant orc had been seen leaving town in haste, and on horseback, with Forstrang Beran of the Kingsguard two days prior. Evidently bound for distant Ceald, at the far corner of the kingdom, and not far distant from Yazzi’s tribal lands.

Lodivico came to, and healed himself. He tried to talk Robert into fronting him a loan. Robert reached for the club. Lodivico pled that he was leaving town for an extended period, but needed some help. Robert brightened at that, and gave him a small wheel of cheese.

The next morning, they left the city. And began a long walk of some 110 leagues (as the crow flies), which would take them over a month to make. Fortunately, roads are few, while inns and waystations are fairly frequent. A bard was a great enough novelty that Tomas being along kept the expenses minor, and generally assured the travelers of a place to sleep in the main room, often not too far from the fire.

For the most part, the trip was uneventful. Aside from some sightseeing, Garvin seeking his favorite garlic, and Lodivico being freaked out by a whore, the most interesting thing occurred on the night of the eighth day, when the party stopped in an isolated tavern hard by the Great Green Swamp as night was falling.
Despite being isolated, the tavern was fairly full, with a bard already in attendance. The bard challenged Tomas, and told a tale of impending evil. The crowd preferred Tomas, and his more uplifting story of a man becoming a God. The other bard left the tavern in disgust and foul temper. Lodivico followed him outside, but he’d already disappeared into the gathering mist and moss-shrouded trees. Lodivico decided that discretion was the better part of valor, and returned to the tavern.
The next morning, the party woke up in dew-covered blankets, surrounded by a few blackened timbers from a building that had burnt down in some time past, and very hungry.

It was the 8th of Tirianmonth when our footsore heroes reached Ceald. First frost is only weeks away, with snow expected in about a month-and-a-half. As they trudged up the hill to the town’s gate, they anticipated rest. Alas, it was not to be.

They entered the town and the public square. There they found a dead, emaciated orc hanging from a gibbet. Facing the corpse was a beautiful woman trapped in the stocks. She was obviously pregnant, her eyes were red from crying, and a sign proclaiming “orc-whore” hung from around her neck. Her skirt was hitched up around her waist, and it was evident that a number of the townsfolk had taken advantage of the situation. Tomas attempted to join their number, but was physically restrained by his travelling companions.

They went to find the town’s Justicar Sir Winfred, Garvin’s brother-in-law. Sir Winfred welcomed them, but when was asked about the whereabouts of Forstrag Beran and the orc accompanying, he balked. He said he had some information, but insisted that they do something for him before he would share it. They agreed.
He referenced the sad scene that they’d just passed, and told the story of a young woman and orc who had fallen in love and were secretly married. This was, of course, illegal, but Sir Winfred had a fair amount of leeway in applying the law. He accepted the orc’s vow of allegiance, levied a fine, and gave them an extended period of time to pay it, expecting this to be the end of it. But it wasn’t. The community was not willing to accept the situation. No one would trade with the young couple. They were unable to pay the fine. It’s likely the only food they had, was what they were able to steal. In the end, Sir Winfred claimed, he had no choice but to accede to the demands of the townsfolk. His charge to the party, was to take the young woman to a place of safety. He also warned them that she would find no warmer welcome among the orcs than she would among the townsfolk, indeed, it would be worse.

They accepted. Garvin recalled Skeldergate Convent as being not terribly far away, and they figured it as their best bet. They removed her from the stocks. She was dazed, barely aware of what was going on around her. They tried to take her to an inn, planning on setting out first thing in the morning, but were refused service because of her. They decided to try a temple instead, but noticed a mob gathering, and heeded Lodivico’s advice to get out of town as quickly as possible.

Garvin returned to the town for dinner with his sister Anne and brother-in-law. They encouraged him to make something of himself, stressing the importance of gaining martial prowess and land. He seemed less than enthralled with the advice.

Garvin rejoined the party, and they made a cold camp out on the moor. During his watch, Lodivico saw the light of fire above the town walls off in the distance. Shortly thereafter, he heard horses moving quickly down the road, towards the village they’d passed through earlier that day. After they were gone, he woke everyone up. The girl began to scream upon being touched. Tomas held his hand over her mouth to quiet her. She thrashed and tried to escape, but it worked, after a fashion. She regressed into catatonia fairly quickly. They decided to travel by night. Lodivico used levitation to bring the girl along.

They approached the village as the sun came up. They saw black birds spiraling overhead. The villagers were dead, except for (maybe) a few kidnapped young girls. They looted the village for valuables and food that had been overlooked, and found a place to sleep until dark.

They traveled all night, and reached the convent just before dawn. They waited until they saw some sign of life behind the walls, which wound up being the morning opening of the gates. They were greeted with silence, and directed to the temple. Tomas elected to stay outside. They opened up the doors, and much to their surprise, found Yazzi. He gave them rib-crushing hugs, was amazed they’d traveled so far to find him, but has not yet shared any stories he might have. They talked to the Mother Superior about the girl. She instructed a couple of her followers to take the girl “into the inner sanctum, and see that she learns to know peace”. That a priestess of a death-god would say something like that might ordinarily be a cause for concern, but Gavin and Lodivico were already obsessing over a magical black sword laying on the altar. They asked the Mother Superior about it, but she told them that if they didn’t already know, it wasn’t their concern. She warned them not to touch it. Lodivico cast an “analyze magic” spell. The Mother Superior seemed amused by this. He learned that it was bound tightly with the cords of fate, but little else. They left the temple, and Yazzi greeted Tomas with another rib-crushing hug.

It’s the 10th of Tinianmonth, about an hour after dawn. Three of the adventurers are drop-dead tired.

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Episode 5

Garvin was quite disturbed to realize that the grounds of the convent were a graveyard. Intimidated by the large monuments, he encouraged the others to leave. Not exactly thrilled about being on ground consecrated to a god of death, Lodivico and Tomas were quick to agree. Yazzi didn’t seem to understand what all the fuss was about.

Then Lodivico realized that they’d left the girl with alcolytes of a god of death, and that the Mother Superior had promised she “would know peace”, which sounded oddly euphemistic. He stopped a woman and cast a truth spell upon her. Her vow of silence interfered somewhat with clear communication, and some exaggerated gesturing followed. It seemed she indicated that the girl would not be killed. Reassured, Lodivico allowed himself to be led forth.

As they were leaving, Gavin noticed that a monument he passed by was for Manfreid Higgenbotham, and that this was far from the largest monument on the grounds. But he was not inclined to investigate further.

They camped just outside the convent wall, and got some sleep. They left as the sun was setting. The sister at the gate did not see them go.

They followed the road towards Stonegate, a nearby border castle. It was dark, and the wind was shrieking across the moor. The moon was four days from full, but still hours away from rising.

Then they felt something odd underfoot. Slippery and making moist sounds when trod upon. Garvin reached down to feel, and felt something warm and rope-like. His hand came away wet and sticky. They cautiously backed away from the spot, and Lodivico cast a light spell on Garvin’s drawn sword. A scene of slaughter was revealed. The remains of an entire orc raiding party lay in front of them, torn to bits. Also present were the bodies of some beautiful women, naked, with a silver symbol of a ewer hanging from around their necks, and pierced by many arrows. Gavin froze at the sight. All around them, the cry went up Iä! Iä! Aoooooooooooooo! And the Chosen of Kyre descended upon them.

The battle was brief and bloody, lasting only 6 seconds. Lodivico and Tomas almost died. Gavin held his own, but only just. Yazzi saved them.
Even so, had the Chosen not already been injured and their numbers diminished, it would have been certain death for our erstwhile heroes.

They could see flames from torches on the castle wall, and limped towards the safe haven, only to find the gates closed and barred. Garvin hailed the sentry atop the wall, gave his name and lineage, stated that they had just survived a bloody fight, and requested entry.
The guard informed the party that the Lord of the castle had ordered that none be admitted until his Lady and her attendants returned from their religious observances.
Garvin started to argue, but Lodivico quickly shushed him and drug him away.
They got out of sight, and then off the road, going uphill to the South until they encountered the ley-line. Lodivico took advantage of the stream of magic to largely heal the hurts the group had suffered. Then they bedded down for a few hours rest.

Not terribly long after dawn, they spied a heavily-armed group of horsemen making haste down the road in the direction that the party had been travelling. They took this as their cue to depart, and started South-East across the mountains, reasonably sure that the rough terrain would make tracking and catching them more difficult.

In the late afternoon, they started looking for a sheltered place to spend the night. They found a small cave. On the wall of the cave was scratched:
At the sound of the drum
Out of their holes they come
They come
The party unanimously agreed that maybe they should travel farther that day.

That night, shortly after dark, they heard drums. Drums in the deep. Even though the source was a league or more behind them, the sound seemed to shake the very mountains. Drifting on the wind, they were able to hear the faint sound of screams. The rest of the night passed uneventfully, but sleep was somewhat less than restful.

On the twelfth of Tinianmonth they continued to trek through the mountains. They found a meadow full of dropweed, which absorbs magic and releases poisonous gasses when crushed underfoot. Most of the party deliberately walked around the meadow, but Gavin wanted to pick one of the pretty purple flowers. His sinuses do not thank him for the decision. Later that afternoon, the party was chased by a boulder that seemed to be sentient. It was trying to crush Yazzi to death (and having some success) when Lodivico levitated it to a spot that it could not roll out of. The night passed peacefully.

The next day, they passed into a high-magic zone about mid-morning, and the mountains gave way to a green valley, extending miles in every direction, surrounded by mountains, and obviously well-populated. None of the party had ever heard of such a place, and Lodivico immediately concluded that it was a secret gnomish bastion. He has unequivocally declared that he will not set foot in the valley, as he does not believe doing so is worth his life.

And so we pick up. It is mid-morning on the 13th of Tinianmonth. Autumn is underway. The nights are getting colder, and the trees have begun changing colours. The mountains continue to the East-South-East and to the West, with the valley sitting astride any more Southern route of travel.

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Episode 6

The characters skirted the valley and approached Moelwyn Mawr. They discussed various plans for their future. They spied a dragon sitting on its snow-capped peak. After watching it for most of the afternoon’s walk they noted that it had not moved at all. As they passed around the base of the mountain, Lodivicopulled Tomas aside to conspire. Yazzi and Garvin took this opportunity to start climbing the mountain. Yazzi cut a rowan wand to count coup on the dragon. Lodivico used his magic to fly, so he and Tomas arrived at the top of the mountain just as Yazzi and Garvin were finishing their climb. Yazzi attempted to count coup on the dragon, only to find that the dragon was an illusion. Since the illusion was dispelled at the touch of the rowan wand, Yazzi has formed some interesting delusions about his coup stick. There was a whizzing sound, Lodivico felt a pain in his side, and became drunk. Confusion reined for a few moments. Then they heard a whizzing sound, and Garvin’s left arm became paralyzed. Like Sir Robin, they boldly turned their heads and fled. They soon realized that two of their party had been elfshot, and that lifting the curses were beyond their abilities. They worked their way around the mountain (keeping a respectful distance), and found themselves on the wrong side of the Spofford River. Which was already fully-formed when it flowed out of a dark and ominous cave at the base of Moelwyn Mawr. It looked like there was a small path beside the river leading into the cave, but the PCs chose not to investigate. They managed to transport themselves across the river with the help of Lodivico’s magic.

Around mid-morning on the 17th of Tinianmonth the PCs found their way to Strathingham on Waterford, a major village (having a church, a tavern, and a blacksmith!) Garvin had grown up in the area. His family’s manor was not far distant, and he was known on sight. In the village square stood a post where official announcements. Among marriage bans, Garvin found a poster announcing him as a wanted criminal for the murder of Ayleth Terrowin and attempted murder of Sadon Terrowin. A crowd was beginning to gather, and a few villagers were seen running off. Garvin and Yazzi quickly removed themselves off into the woods West of the village, while Lodivico and Tomas went into the church to seek help with their curses. Tomas was distracted by a priestess of Jivin, and Lodivico was pulled aside by a priest of Vogel. Both were encouraged to turn Garvin in for a share of the reward. There was the sound of hooves in the square, and both decided to depart in haste. (Over the objections of the priests.) With the help of a flight spell from Lodivco, Tomas went East. Lodivico, floating more slowly, went West, with seven armed horsemen following at a walk.

In the meantime, Garvin and Yazzi had found the shack of Old Man Mcgillicutty, who was able to remove the curse from Garvin. Yazzi got a jug of a fairly noxious, but very potent, alcoholic brew (with minor hallucinogenic properties). They began to walk back towards the village. Before long, they came across a troop of horsemen who were looking at something up in the air. The troop was led by James Agee a knight who had long been a rival of Garvin’s own family. Garvin and Yazzi attempted to hide, but weren’t very successful. The chase was on, and Lodivico was relieved that he was no longer being followed. The chase was over quickly, with Garvin in a small thicket. His surrender was demanded. Yazzi counted coup on the backside of a horse, which nearly ran Garvin over in its haste to get away from the demented savage.

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Episode 7

After a tense stand-off, Garvin surrendered. Yazzi found Lodivico and took him to get his curse removed. Sober for the first time in days, Lodivico was much relieved. They went looking to see where Garvin had been taken.

Meanwhile, Tomas returned to the village in time to see seven horsemen and a captive go up the hill to the keep just outside of town. He went into the tavern, impressed the tavernkeeper, and waited for the others.

It wasn’t terribly long before Yazzi and Lodivico found him. They started discussing plots to free their friend, but a lot of the less-industrious members of the village decided to treat the arrival of strangers (who were somehow tied in with some infamous happening) as a holiday. They were quickly the center of a good deal of attention, and subject to a great deal of curiousity.
The PCs did not take this well. Lodivico used his magic to threaten one of the more forward villagers, and was instantly accused of being a witch. Yazzi attempted to intimidate the villagers into silence, and thinks he succeeded, at least for the moment. The villagers chose to depart in haste.

The PCs at last had a chance to plot. And came up with a hare-brained scheme based around faking the existence of a dragon.
It didn’t work out so well.
Tomas spent the night entertaining the knight and his household behind the security of stone walls, and became quite popular. The others caused a fair bit of property damage (some of which Garvin was able to use his sorcery to mitigate), and (it being after dark on the 17th) were hunted by the Chosen of Kyre. With wild things abroad, the villagers were all safely indoors and did not see the show put on for their benefit.
Lodivico used his magic to get to safety, but Yazzi had to kick in a door to find shelter. The compromised door was less than ideal for keeping out the monsters, so Yazzi wound up standing in the doorway defending the villagers he’d exposed to danger. He managed to fight off the two monsters that had pursued him before he lost consciousness.

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Episode 8

Lodivico spent the night huddled on the roof of the keep. It was cold. The roof was steep, made of slate, and quite high above the ground. He didn’t sleep very well.
At the crack of dawn, James Agee left the keep, and walked down the hill to see how his village had fared. Lodivico followed, at a distance at first, much closer by the time they’d reached the village. Immediately apparent were two decapitated and naked male corpses, bearing the gaping wounds of mighty ax blows. Two peasants were industriously repairing the door to their hut. At questioning from their lord, they hailed Yazzi as their hero, who had protected them from the ravening beasts at risk of his own life. Sir James was quite impressed, and asked for the peasants to awaken Yazzi. After a brief conversation, Sir James told Yazzi to take the religious symbols to the church and turn them over to a priest, lest the beings continue to hunt him. And to fix the barn he’d partially tore down. Yazzi asked why a lord would allow such creatures to hunt his peasants. Sir James replied that someone had tried to suppress them once, and that it hadn’t gone over well. When pressed further, he said it was before his time. He returned to the keep.

Lodivico partially healed Yazzi, and offered to take the religious icons to the church. After a bit of persuading, Yazzi gave them over and Lodivico left. Lodivico witnessed Old Man McGillicutty in the square, speaking loudly about the end of time being near, and the return of the horrible kings of old. He was silenced most painfully by a priestess of Jas, who reprimanded for breaking his oath, and drug his writhing body into the church. Lodivico left the village to loot Old Man McGillicutty’s place.

Tomas had a pleasant night, and was treated to an extra ration of bacon by the cook. He overheard talk about the omens of a fire suddenly starting, and dying of its own accord nearly as quickly. He spoke of dragons, and the nervous people appreciated the joke.

Garvin was brought down to break his fast. He ate, with a couple guards watching him. Then they tied him to the chair with a couple of cords. One went into the back, and came back with a truly ridiculous amount of rope. They proceeded to cocoon Garvin, asking Tomas to help them make the prop more impressive. Tomas was half-hearted in the attempt. A guard shoved an apple in Garvin’s mouth as a finishing touch.

Sir James returned. Soon after, the sounds of hooves in the courtyard announced the arrival of visitors. Garvin’s brother Sir Richard and stepbrother Pa Draig entered. Sir Richard refused to look at Garvin, while Pa Draig keep stealing horrified glances at him. Sir James announced that he’d had a stroke of good fortune, and he meant to profit by it. Either by Sir Richard withdrawing his challenges, or by selling his brother to “the black-hearted bastard”.
Sir Richard glared at Garvin, and said through clenched teeth that although he hated one of his own blood being turned over to Terrowin, he would “not trade my birthright for a mess of pottage”.
They stood there, glaring at each other, and in the distance was heard the sound of church bells.
More bells of closer towns joined the chorus.
The bells of this village began to chime.
And the two knights, hard men both, stared at each other with faces gone ashen.
Outside someone shouted. “The King is dead, long live the…” And silence reigned..

Sir James broke the silence by noting his luck had suddenly turned, and asking Richard if he wanted Garvin. The offer was curtly refused. Sir Richard departed to raise his levies. Sir James looked at Tomas and indicated Garvin, saying “Get him out of here. And if he ever mentions being here, take the knife I gave you, and slit his [censored] throat.” He walked off, shouting that he wanted the levies raised and prepared to march by DeathNight.
Tomas cut Garvin free, and they hurried down the hill to the village, where they saw Yazzi sitting in the shade while a couple of peasants were repairing a barn. They asked Yazzi where Lodivico was, and Yazzi told them that he’d gone to the church. They went to the church, but Lodivico was not there. They also heard a bit about how the priest of Vogel wished to have “a little discussion” with him. They decided they needed to find Lodivico, quickly.

Lodivico tossed Old Man McGillicutty’s place, finding silver, and evidence that Old Man McGillicutty had some dealings with the Fey. He found an iron cauldron, and with the help of his magic, melted down the holy symbols of Kyre. After a bit of a nap, he went back to the village where he encountered the other members of the party, and they left in haste.

They attempted to seek refuge on the lands of Sir Richard, but Pa Draig met them at the border and turned them away, saying that they did not need such a powerful enemy, especially in such an uncertain time. So they left and found a tavern.

Garvin sent Tomas to give a message to his brother about the gnomish forces gathering unseen to the North. Lodivico pawned the cursed silver off on the barkeep in exchange for some travel rations.

They headed South, to Eayrre. The trip passed mostly uneventfully. They arrived at Eayrre on the morning of the 21st of Tinianmonth. They split up. Tomas went to listen to rumors in the taverns, Garvin went to try to get access to private libraries, and Lodivico disappeared. (Yazzi is tagging along with Garvin for the moment.)

The War of Succession looms on the horizon.

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