The Wilds Await

Arachnophobia

7th of Froar to 10th of Froar

Puck, Ignis, Yolu and Nestrin attend

 

After the success of our previous excursion into Maephoon, I had hoped to once again gather a group of capable Skullwalkers to assist me in a few other areas of interest that caught my attention while I was researching the crystal mines.

My call to adventure was answered by two faces I recognised from our delving into the mines; Puck and Nestrin, they'd already proven themselves capable warriors and a new face amongst them, Yolu. Unfortunately with such low numbers and limited knowledge of the dangers we faced in fighting the Master's foul remnants, I felt it better that we find another pursuit on this day. Little did I know at this time the danger and cost this thinking would lead to.

Puck mentioned something about helping frogs kill spiders, I wasn't so sure about the idea but I'd not encountered anything about either of these creatures before now other than an almost incomprehensible 'report' from master Gigo and was curious to find out more about them.

We made our full days travel along the road leading South-West from the Blooms Peak skull landing. The trip was a peaceful one thankfully and as the evening drew in we began to set up camp alongside the river. Sometime during setting up the tents we noticed some strange movement within the water. This seemed a familiar phenomenon to Puck and also apparently the thing we travelled there seeking. Several strange humanoid frog creatures came out of the water, quickly making way for a single hulking toad which moved straight toward Puck who had at this point produced some sort of strange amulet.

The toad who had up until this point looked like a mindless creature suddenly had a strange look come over it's eyes and it began to speak. It tasked Puck with bringing it the bodies of dead spiders and also of the spring further upstream, lamenting the disappearance of it's previous lizard occupants. The magic involved with the possession of this creature seemed unpleasantly familiar to me and has come up a few times in my research. However I knew Puck to be an honourable man and trusted his judgement in this matter, putting my concerns down to mere paranoia.

At first light we set out on our way toward the spiders territory, progress was extremely slow but we had to be careful not to get spotted moving around before we were ready and lose our element of surprise. By nightfall we'd moved into an advantageous position to begin picking off spiders relatively unnoticed the following morning. The night passed uneventfully and we began moving further into the spider territory. As we travelled something that Puck identified as one of the Spider's assassins appeared in the distance; it seemed to know we were there and started to approach us although it didn't seem to be showing any signs of aggression.

When the creature drew reasonably close it began to speak, informing us that it was merely inhabiting the body of one of the spider queens creations. It identified itself as Birme; one of the few remaining members of the old guard and spoke of a council previously formed of the Seraphs of Maephoon during the height of the Master's tyranny. This council contained Opocalia; god queen of the spiders we were currently hunting, Cirial; the necromancer recently freed from a madness that caused him to decay the forests of Maephoon and my lord Raknajel; the first phoenix. There were apparently more Seraphs than this on the council but these are the only ones we currently know the whereabouts of. Birme went on to say that we should not help the frogs by bringing them spiders because the frogs are using powers left behind from the Masters and whatever it is that possessed the toad we spoke to was the direct cause for the remnant Master's magic spread across Maephoon. He called the creature 'The Eye' and said it was split into crystals spread throughout Maephoon. I asked if Birme could arrange safe passage to Opocalia to negotiate some sort of cessation of hostilities so that we can pool our resources in fighting the only threat that has ever mattered. Birme said he'd do what he could but commented that his relationship with Opocalia was more strained these days.

Puck was not happy about going to speak with the spider Seraph as he had some unpleasant interactions with her in the past. Apparently she had tried to eat him on their first encounter. I'd hoped that such pettiness could be put aside when the threat of the Master's was involved.

Birme had abandoned his vessel showing his true form to be that of a small serpent. He hopped into Puck's boot and lead us safely through the spider territory to Opocali's brood. As he promised we were able to reach the spider Seraph without any bother from the spiders that scuttled around the forest.

Talks with Opocalia didn't go quite as I'd planned, it seems her time away from the other Seraphs has left her quite unstable and the death of her spiders also seemed to have factored into the unreasonable attitude she had. I thought after she looked into my mind she would see the wisdom in joining forces to take on the blight still maligning our shared land but then she looked into Puck.

Needless to say I think I may have misjudged Puck. The expedition has revealed that he is both willing to side with those known to be furthering the Master's plans and has also made some questionable choices in the past.

All that being said Puck is still my friend and seeing Opocalia intended to kill him, crushing him to death before our eyes we had no choice but to fight the spider god. I blessed Puck with the protection of Raknajel and made one last attempt to reason with the spider but she wouldn't have any of it. Her spider minions began to move in around us and Opocalia herself proved to be a powerful sorceress. I summoned all I had into inflicting the ashen grasp upon her and Nestrin employed a similar power using a spell gem he'd found in the crystal mines; both of us guided by Yolu's predictions were able to wound the Seraph grievously. Unfortunately Nestrin was not experienced enough in facing such a mighty foe and was quickly slain after proving himself a true threat. Puck also fell unconscious to Opocalia's focused attacks that even Raknajel could not protect him from. Luckily Puck seemed to have his own god's protection and came back in the form of a large wolf. Seeing my companion was okay I unleashed several bolts of Raknajels fire into the nigh impregnable armour of Opocalia rendering her silent.

Birme informed us that this wasn't the end of the spider Seraph and that we would be wise to leave before she regained her strength and created a new avatar. We raided the lair for anything that might be of use to us and began making our way home. We stopped along the way to bury Nestrin, we owed him that much. I left a note with Opocalia in hopes that we could still work together against the frogs and any others furthering the Master's prerogative. I warn any other's venturing near Opocalia's brood to be on guard, I fear this breakdown in negotiation will have made the spider queen and her minions hostile to any skullwalkers she encounters from now on.

May you forever walk beneath the wings of the First Phoenix.

Ignis Wraithrazer

 

 

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the hard night!

 

puck, sparex, nastrin, yolu  whent 2nd of froar to the torraket magoncracy.
not much happend on the way to the Magister city saw some birds amd plant, 
when we came near the city gate, we had to pay the toll to get in with our stuff.  wich puck gladly payed, we then met up with a young adventuer who had been outside of the wall 3 times!

 not long after we found our informant in the city. wich led us to Baz and his intrest for antiquet. And thats how it turned out to a merry hunt true all of the city. sneaking abit around in the nightfall finding the black market.  in a back yard in a chest we found a old magicbook, and some antiquet vases and coins.  after that we headed back to Baz and got our share of the cake and  spent most of it drinking and partying all night long in the taver of piston or so, before we headed home in the morning. 
 

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Crystal Depths

39th of Calsar – 42nd of Calsar

Present: Ignis, Scarloc, Puck, Gleipnir, and Nestrin

My first journey out into new territories has made me realise I need more experience in the ways of the adventurers life before I make my way to alien lands where I do not understand the customs. It was with this thought in mind that I have decided to focus my endeavours on my home land of Maephoon. What good is it for me to find a new path for my city if it falls while I leave it to fend for itself?

Excited by the recent discovery of one of the myriad vaults that litter Maephon I decided to look into the locations of some other possible vaults and the treasures held within. Although many a lead petered out into nothing or was too obscured in the mire of hearsay and conjecture I found a solid source that indicated the broad location of a long abandoned mine.

The mine was used by the Masters before Racnajel drove them away and seemed to be primarily a source of gemstones which we would later discover to be quite interesting indeed but I am getting ahead of myself. The texts also mentioned several constructs and magical traps within the mine used to deter those whom did not belong. It seemed dangerous but with the wing of Racnajel to shelter me I knew I would succeed.

I posted an advertisement for stalwart adventurers, those who have experience in these matters and preferably for a reasonably experienced caster as there would surely be a spell sealed door which would require casting ability that exceeds my own to enter.

I was not disappointed, I could tell immediately that those who had heeded my call were seasoned professionals. Gleipnir was obviously a powerful avatar for his pantheon. Scarloc a skilled bowman that seemed to walk in an aura of shadow that made it difficult to discern his outline in all but the brightest light. Puck seemed to be a caster unafraid to push the boundaries of the arts to achieve the power he had quite obviously attained. Finally there was a dragon born named Nestrin, although new to the ways of skullwalking like myself he seemed to be a capable martial artist that would undoubtedly come in handy, my people have long relied upon the adage that if you are to go out in the wilderness of Maephoon you should always bring a monk.

The first leg of our journey was swift, with the capable guidance of Scarloc we followed the fastest route to our destination following the road leading North East from the skull at bloom peak. It should be noted that the forests are now looking decidedly more lush and free from the terrible blight of corruption that they had previously suffered and the areas that still suffer the ash blight are receding rapidly.

Our intended path did bring us through the Fyr Fields. The Fyr were as curious and suspicious as ever but Gleipnir had apparently done their people a service in the past and possessed a trinket to prove his standing with them that eventually convinced them to allow us passage through the fields. It should be noted though that they were still not happy about this and it would be in ones best interest to go around their sacred grounds in the future.

After crossing the Fyr fields we continued to follow the road leading West/South-West through the mountain path and eventually set up our preparations for the nights rest there. During the night Scarloc and I heard the sound of a Quickling approaching at significant speed (as Quickling's generally do) and no sooner had we roused our party to let them know we might have company than the small blue skinned fey skidded to a halt at the entrance of our encampment. The Quicklings rarely pose any threat to travellers and are usually too busy running a delivery to even stop but Puck seemed to have some sort of affinity with him and after some conversation and handing over 50 gold pieces the Quickling chucked us a black gem, telling us not to touch any similar gems we found within the mine as they were dangerous. The stone was certainly valuable and it was becoming apparent what the Master's wanted with the mine. The gem itself was magical but it also seemed to suck all the magic out of the area around it. Any caster like myself would surely have an unpleasant time if they touched it but the potential for crafting was enormous. These stones would surely be of interest to the Magister's of Tarroket.

We set out at first light, rallied by the promise of the unique treasure to be found within the mine. It only took another half days travel to find the entrance we sought. As we approached something caught the keen eye of Scarloc whom darted off in pursuit. With a little help from Rac we found the location of what seemed to be some sort of serpentine creature made of stone and of considerable size at that. The creature seemed put off by direct conflict and continued to run away and hide amongst the other rubble with which it blended so seamlessly. We surmised that it was a fruitless task to chase the serpent further and left it. Other's travelling in the area should be careful as the creature is still out there and although it did not attack, it was definitely stalking us.

We made our way into the mine and descended for some time down the worked stone tunnels leading further and further into the centre of the mountain. We stopped briefly about halfway down in what Gleipnir informed us was a storage room of sorts but was ultimately empty and not our goal.

After finally reaching the mine proper at the bottom of the seemingly infinite staircase we began searching for any signs of either the treasure we sought or the guardians that were apparently supposed to impede our path.

As we began to move through the mine we came across some more gems, not the 'void gems' we'd been shown but strange purple crystals that emitted a faint glow. At the same time we found signs of others exploring this cave system. Scarloc noted faint footprints in the dusty floor and although it had been several months since these people had entered the mine there were no signs of them leaving again. We decided to follow the footprints along the left hand path leading further into the cave and it should be noted that we left the right hand path unexplored.

We finally reached something akin to a working mine, piles of gems lay in the centre of the first room and the unfortunate remains of a man lay crushed beneath a fallen crystal in the corner. After a quick preliminary scout of our immediate area I found a fiery sigil on the floor with several bodies immolated within it's area. Hopefully they find peace within the eternal fires of Racnajel.

Scarloc returned from his scouting to report seeing several scorpion like constructs accompanied by golems. We quickly prepared ourselves for a fight and sent Scarloc forward to initiate combat as he was most able to deliver quick surprise attacks. He did not disappoint, unleashing two arrows deep into the gem lined chitin of a scorpion. The other constructs seemed to notice the death of their own and had readied themselves out of view. The combat was drawn out and messy, Gleipnir was caught in the powerful claws of the scorpions and Puck took some heavy blows leaving him barely holding onto consciousness. I was able to hold the attention of several of the creatures for some time but their numbers continued to grow and eventually I fell to a blow that even the wing of Racnajel could not deflect. Much to my shame I had to call upon my lord to intervene on my behalf using precious reserves that I am perhaps not worthy of receiving. I got to my feet and was relieved to see the face of Gleipnir who still remained upright, thankfully Racnajel had continued to protect him long enough for us to come out victorious despite my own weakness. Never again.

We pressed on further into the mine, spurred on by the sound of bellows pumping and increasingly potent flame somewhere further in. It seemed that we had taken care of the construct denizens of the mine but the arcane traps remained. Sure enough we eventually came across a Dwarven forge, enchanted to run itself without the waterwheel used to power it. It's fires and the magic that surrounded it left no doubt in my mind that this forge was used to create magic items and would be of great interest to the Magisters of Tarroket. They of course have a similar forge of their own but production is limited and a second forge would be an enormous boon for the community.

We continued through what remained of the corrupted Dwarven mine and eventually found the vault door sealed with the magic lock found throughout Maephoon's most dangerous and valuable areas. Gleipnir was the only one of us with the magical knowledge but after our last fight lacked the basic spells to open the last lock. I broke the last seal and we made our way through the doorway. Within was a final bastion for the Dwarves. Six beds were arranged around a statue to what appeared to be a Dwarven god, much to Gleipnir's frustration the god depicted seemed to be a mishmash of Dwarven deities sculpted by someone who perhaps only had distant memories of them. In an adjacent room we found a diary that described the Dwarves plight.

It seems during the time when the Master's power was at it's zenith. Rather than seeking shelter in Tarroket beneath the flaming wing of Racnajel like most the Dwarves fled to the mine and sealed themselves in. Unfortunately the Master's took interest in the mines potential and easily took over. Corrupting it's purpose and subjugating the Dwarven miners within.

With our mission a success and valuable information for the Magister's in Tarroket, we took our leave of the crystal mine and made our way home. Luckily we weren't bothered on our journey home other than spotting a strange light floating around during one of our watches but no further danger's made themselves known.

It seems that Gleipnir has reservations about 'allowing' others to use the forge that he sees as a right only belonging to his Dwarven people. Xenophobia seems to be common amongst all Dwarves, not just those in Dorredun. Nevertheless, Gleipnir has proved himself a powerful Magister in his own right and a dutiful man. The least I can do is try to grant him an audience that will ease the burden on his mind… even if ultimately he has no say in the matter.

May you forever walk in the warmth of The First Phoenix.

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A Deepening Abyss
From the journals of Gleipnir Oathold

Calsar 32nd – 35th

 

The party:

- Gleipnir Oathold, Dwarven Cleric

- Andreth, Human Cleric/Wizard

- Sir Eddon, Human Fighter

- Lilly, Elven Wizard

- Reygar, Goliath Barbarian

- Vaki, Goliath Barbarian

 

I want to preface this journal entry with a dwarven adage I learned once.  Stone is worked not by speed by skill, and not by the rush but by time.  So in time I hope we will be able to pierce the depths of Karrendor, but I don't and can't in good conscience recommend anyone go there for your own safety.  It is quite dangerous and we nearly lost two of our members to the horrors.  What's worse I won't be able to provide the same level of protection in the future, meaning if you can't afford a 300 gp diamond I can't ressurect you.  I only say that after having burned much of our money upon this venture with little to come away with, but two near deaths.  In that we are wiser, and I am glad for it.

Within the Axe and Thistle our party did meet,  I thought highly of each of the assembled members, knew they would not abandon one another to hardship, and were capable combatants besides.  As we left for Sarek with reigns and sleds upon our backs, Eddon thankfully pried himself away from his duties as Hand, and made himself available to aid me.  I'm equally grateful the lad didn't perish beneath Karrendor, or I'd have some explaining to do to the Earl.  The skull soon whipped through clouds and the air took a sharp spike of cold.  We'd arrived into Sarek during its harshest months.  I had to practically scream the instructions to place hands upon one another in a circle, so as to physically link for the teleportation.  Apparently this worked far faster than I thought it would take, and we were suddenly spirited into the antechamber of Karrendor.

I had no idea where we must go specifically to find my kin the Darsha with the long absent halls, but I knew that inevitably we would find the fane of Korsh on the last level of Karrendor, and it is likely there they would have made their last stand, or if we were lucky they would still hold the hold-city proper.  Unsure of this, we trekked out from through the entree chamber, and began stalking the halls for clues to the stairs that lead below.  The first sign of Karrendor's doom came not from monsters, but the very air.  Or more specifically, the air near the floor was tainted with some foul poison, invisible to the eye yet wholly dangerous and suffocating.  It seemed the top layer of Karrendor was reserved to hosting guests to the hold, as we found bodies of humans, robed Lirians most likely, that had traveled here hoping to meet with Dorsh and her priests for guidance on the newcomers to Sarek.  Eddon procured a journal from one of their trucks, along with some rather nice silks and a few pieces of jewelry.  However, this retinue of death seemed not wholly dead, as they rose from their beds, and assaulted us.  I theorize now that it was perhaps this poison that had slain them in their sleep, yet their undead state I couldn't fathom, as they came at us from all sides.  Slow, ambling, yet filled to explode with the same noxious gases the floor held, these zombies were dangerous and were it not for the clever, and some what foolish use of beds, perhaps our casters would have been overwhelmed.  Thankfully Vaki, Eddon, and…even Reygar held out as I held my breath…heh.

With the corpses defeat came more discoveries.  Past their rooms, we found signs of melted stone that seemingly was drawn from the wall to birth something in the adjoining room.  This hole in the wall ran like a vein of metal in the unworked rock around Karrendor.  Unsure of the nature of these scorch marks, we proceeded to finish exploring the northwestern corridors, and discovered a Warsworn, or a soldier in Varanor's army.  The construct had long since lost its flame, and was but a shell now, its head caved in and scorched by tremendous force.  Yet surrounding its feet were similarly decomposed corpses to the Lirian retinue zombies we had fought.  It seems he had died well and in battle.  The only other interesting thing of note about the Warsworn was the Karr-forged blade held in his long-dead hand.  Reygar hoped to pry it from the statue, but alas Vondal yet found him unworthy to wield such a weapon, and spurned his attempt.  The lad, in his haste wished to cut the blade from the Warsworn, I warned against such action, but ultimately I am no Einhardjar and left it for him and Vaki to decide. 

Heading east through the empty halls, Andreth was soon struck by a vision of the nearby chambers.  Apparently a deadly invisible for lied within and threatened any and all who would venture there.  In response, we agreed that Lily should cast invisibility about herself, and remain slighly ahead of the party to give us forewarning of foe.  Though this seemed to do little good from protecting us from the real danger.  We passed by many of the eastern rooms, seeing more of these bloated corpses lying in beds, and wishing not to fight them.  As we began to slip into the southern halls, a great light flickered behind us,  turning in horror we saw likely what was born from the slag whole we had investigated.  A great colossi hands wreathed in flame, made from some deep black stone lumbered down the hallway 15 high.  Seeing our approach the construct hurled flame, a great conflagration indeed, undoing all the healing I had previously provided the party in the entry chamber as we made our approach east.  With the party scorched, some even nearly dead from the blast, our only hope was to down the beast before it could slay us.  In steady fashion, my companions and I crippled the creature, though fire seemed to heal its creation, and the elements of frost that Lilly wielded seemed far less effective.  In spite of its thick stone, we crack the colossi to its knees, and brought low we thought our task finished.  No sooner did that thought cross my mind, then one of those horrid wraiths aparated near the alone Lily to compound our woes, and bring her low.  She struck the poisoned floor dead in seconds, and just as it appeared so to did more of those gas-filled zombies.  The rest of us stuck by each other, and praying that Andreth's purification would work I revivified Lily back from death.  Luckily, Kaveral came through and she did not rise a specter as my daughter had.  With a sigh and a prayer, we burned away the wraith from existence waiting for it to make itself known, and dealt with the zombies quickly and efficiently.  Upon the now ashen remains of the colossi was a strange amulet and as I picked it up a vision of the door that leads below appeared to me.    Two of these amulets would be needed to make our way below, and the 2nd was likely in the hands of another of these horrid Flamewroughts.  However, the ragged state we were in would drain me of all the magic I had remaining, so it was decided that we would garrison ourselves within the antechamber.

This did not have the desired effect of safety.  And soon, deep into our slumber, a creeping shadow made its way into the room.  A strange spider that feasted upon the fears of those it caught had like smoke, slithered beneath the door we had barricaded, and once again nearly slain Lily and Reygar while they were both on watch together.  The creature feared the light, clacking at it through its shadowy mandibles, and as Vaki's sunhammer cast about the room, the spider's powers of fear seemed diminished.  With renewed courage, we chased the spider out of the room, and once more did it become as smoke and slithered its way to escape.  It was at this point, I realized that the journey would claim likely all our lives, and we agreed to flee Karrendor and journey to the skull in the Southwood.  Luckily we made it past the skeletal drake that guards the gates of Karrendor, and ran only afoul of Kieran's men, whom we promptly avoided thanks to a storm that had crept in.  I am not sure if any in my party were ready for such a monumental task, but I hope that the next time we go, we will be more prepared.

 

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Blizzards, crevasses, blizzards and worgmen and blizzards
Winter, again

Present:
Andreth, Human Cleric 1/Warlock 6 (Niko)
Bodi, Halfling Ranger 8 (Adam)
Kogan, Dwarf Ranger 4 (Zil)
Reygar, Goliath Barbarian 6 (Luchie)
Savric, Human Fighter 7 (Simon H)

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Report of the events of the hunt for Worgmen and search of their presumed origination, Hulderheim, from the 15th to the 22nd of Calsar, year 1187, under the banner of Lord Westingford’s Men, by Andreth Norian, deacon in the Church of Kastus in Santaur, Westmarch.

To my beloved temple brothers and sisters as well as the Earl and his honoured council.
When our resident Beastmaster, Bodi, approached me to accompany him and his select party to the lands of Sarek once more, I must say I was not entirely thrilled. Traversing the freezing reaches nearly cost me several fingers last winter. Yet somehow I complied to his request.
On our arrival we were met with horrendous weather, even by Sarekian standards. Deafening wind and a hailstorm to tell the grandchildren about. A retreat was not too far however as we knew from one of our past journeys. The cave housing an evil left there by the masters and where we had previously lost valuable companions. The door was sealed once more and so we could rest easy this time.
On the third day not counting the day of our arrival, the blizzard finally tempered enough for us to leave our shelter. The coming hail still reduced our sight to barely beyond a few dozen feet and considerably slowed our advance. We must have not made it more than a dozen miles of progress southwest. Aside from Reygar making a blundering descent into a snow covered crevasse the day’s journey went well.
A distant thunderstorm awakened us to the coming of the next morning. Kogan reckoned it was not of natural origin. Many of us had faced Vondal’s outbursts before and felt fortunate not to be in the way of one this time. Much more minute trouble was had as were had however. Reygar had lost some rations to thieving stoats and Bodi’s instincts to him we had taken a path too straight south. Even with the assistance of the cold adjusted Reygar he had had and would continue to have trouble taking us through the icy landscape. We ended our fourth travelling day not too much closer to our destination.
Before any of us could begin lay down for our earned rest our camp fell under an attack. Four larger than man, pear white wolves bounded out from the snow right beside us, catching everyone but Bodi off-guard. Biting cold crystalline mist flowed out of their bodies, causing immediate harm and even putting out our newly lit fire, leaving Savric and Reygar blind in the early night. Savric luckily managed to get a torch lit and place it out of the frosty monsters’ reach, allowing him to join the fight. Through Kastus’ might I leap to the sky, out of the wolves’ reach, knowing I could best lend my support from above. Bodi had gravely wounded one of the attackers by this point. We all concentrated our efforts and brought it down swiftly after. Savric took his chances with point blank shots on one of the remaining three and was rewarded by hits which surpassed even Reygar’s mighty greatsword swings. The wolves claws and teeth had expectedly little effect on our now enraged goliath but he was beginning to show signs of exhaustion from the cold mist freezing his old burn wounds. Most alarming though was the situation Kogan found himself in. He was left fending for himself with one of the creatures still in perfect fighting condition, while we dealt with the others. His valiant struggle almost came to an unexpected end when the frost-imbued monster tore through his chain mail, leaving him dazed on the ground. We were able to rush to his aid and get him up before the thing had the chance to land the final blow however. The final wolf was brought down seconds later. After confirming all threats were gone, Bodi hurried to conserve some of the icy animal’s light blue essence into a bottle. Indeed these were not natural inhabitants of the wild. Instead of leaving behind a corpse they melted like snow.
Barely had we recovered from the shock of the fight and closed ourselves into our tents when Bodi called everybody to get on the move. This time it was something we had no choice but to flee from, the embodiment of winter itself, as far as we knew. An enormous creature believed to be a giant, surrounded by miles and miles of air that freezes everything it touches. Our nightly escape took two hours, enough for three of us to get frostbitten.
The fifth day was when things turned around for the better. Bodi was able to get us back to the right path and we avoided conflict with any native “wildlife”. On our east by southeast trek we did come across a deep crevasse with a perilous ice bridge leading to a  den of a sizable cat creature. Inside were signs of human-like behaviour, for example a pelt rug and tied string. Luckily for us the owner wasn’t home at the time.
The weather had shown signs of clearing up the day before but it was on the sixth day that it truly turned favourable. Instead of a blizzard we had the pleasure of making it across the frozen landscape with only slight wind against us. After making it no more than 5 miles southeast, we spotted a sizable ravine with a sturdy path over it. On the opposite side however, are a half-dozen four legged animated skeleton and one alive worgman. Thanks to our more nature attuned companions we managed to creep close enough to clear them all out of our way in just two volleys of bow and magic fire. The worgman was only carrying a small amount of food which led us to believe their lair must be located nearby. We decided to head deeper into their presumed territory with care.
A crumbled building came to our view an hour or so after us passing the bridge. With our ranger’s magic keeping our steps light we managed to get right beside ruin which was revealed to likely be an old church or chapel by the next door graveyard. Inside the building were armed worgmen and their apparent chief. We laid waste on the abhorrent creatures and slaughtered them with ease. Despite the likely futility of the effort Bodi advised us to keep the chief alive, we obliged. He took a while trying to interrogate the feral man-thing with only progress to speak of was a faint direction for more of its kind, directly south. I made use of the time by performing a simple ritual of magic detection. By the time I was ready to scan the immediate area, Bodi had lost his patience and soon after pummelled the worgman to a pulp, with Brian eagerly feasting on the remains. It was then that I made a most interesting, and also worrying observation. Bodi’s companion was taking in the magic contained in the worgmen’s flesh by eating it. When Bodi learned this he immediately made Brian regurgitate what it had eaten though it had no effect on the dweomer. I believe the magic that transformed the worgmen into what they are now was then imbued to Brian instead. Bodily changes were not observable at the time but Bodi tells me Brian has recently began licking his face as well as panting, like a dog would. Before we left I glanced around the graveyard and its recently exhumed graves, finding no magical traces. I didn’t learn anything from the writings and symbols on the tombstones either, though Santaur’s library and the church’s own archives might reveal more.
It had been a long few days and if the journey there was anything to take from, we thought it to be wise to turn back before the weather turned against us again. My request to climb one of the nearby mountainsides to get a good look what was south, in the direction that the worgman chief pointed to, was denied; we didn’t have the time. Likely right as my companions were, I was left dissatisfied. It was then that Kastus came to my aid. A vision showed me rising hundreds of feet in the air, so I could see over the now puny mountains and beyond. By his glory was it sight! Between two crescent shaped mountain chains spanned numerous ruins with an intact construction in the middle. It stood taller and more intricate than what I could think the worgmen themselves to ever build. It was clearly also of newer make. After giving it some thought later on I have come to believe it is related to a seraph or other entity important to these worgmen.
e decided to cover more unexplored ground by going the eastern way on our way back to the skull platform, around 12 or so miles northeast from the graveyard. There we camped by a large gold engraved gate by a mountain. I hear a similar, ten times larger one exists somewhere in Sarek. Apparently one needs to have sufficient favour with the dwarven deities of the realms or be of affluent and pure of nature to wish it open.
Later that night we got to meet one of Sarek’s other freaks of nature, the sweltering, wintry heat wave. Air all around us became excruciatingly heated in a matter of minutes and lasted for much too long. It subsided in time but didn’t let us have a restful night of rest.
On the seventh and final day, the only event of significance was us coming across a huge and majestic stag. Bodi attempted to make contact with it by using his natural beast speech but didn’t manage to convince it to stay put. Knowing what he gets himself into on a weekly basis, might have been wiser indeed for the deer to stay away.
 

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Gigo log do

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Freak accident in the woods.

5th of Plenth to 9th of Plenth

Rend, Dolphus, Reygar and Ignis Attend

(Several sections of the following document have been hastily scribbled out and second or even third attempts made to describe the events)

A large Half-Orcish fellow, Rend and I were lead to a skull platform by a slightly wild eyed Dwarf named Dolphus. There we met up with an equally unstable looking gentleman that was wearing very little other than a remarkable beard. The bearded one known to me as Reygar was in the process of strapping vast quantities of flasks to his mule. The purpose of such things were slightly lost on me but I knew I was in the presence of far more experienced adventurers than myself.

Upon our arrival in Doredun I was told we would be heading to meet with the elves in order to discuss a diplomatic solution for the trade embargo they had placed upon the Dwarves of the lands, whom we have apparently set up trade routes with.

We travelled for some time toward what I assume was the elven tree city described to me before we departed, it was at this point that things became a little tense. During our nights rest Reygar had been visited by some sort of powerful old man who caused his tongue to swell uncontrollably within his mouth and throat, he was still struggling when I awoke from the commotion. I acted as quickly as I could and reduced the swelling in his tongue enough for him to remain conscious but he had been rendered even more incomprehensible than before. We finished our rest and began preparations for the following day.

We had built a makeshift raft early in the morning as a form of faster travel and a good job too. It wasn't the most sturdy looking craft but it seemed like it would do the trick.

Our negotiations had apparently failed before they started. Elves from the city began to attack us from the river side and a fire that had recently broken out in the forest began to roar out of control, rapidly closing in toward us while we tried to fend off the barrage of arrows that rained down on us.

By the use of various projectiles and with a little help from the shelter of my lords fiery wing we somehow survived the onslaught cutting down the elves and escaping the grasp of the incoming blaze. I do not mind such things as all is reborn in the ashes but the others have not yet allowed themselves to be taken under the protection of Racnajel's holy fires and would likely see the fire as an end to their journey.

Once we cleared the elven ambush we continued on down the river toward the dwarven city. Dolphus didn't seem to have too much trouble getting us into the city, and we were given a place to stay for the night. While I took my watch to make sure no one tried to steal from us in the night, an old man appeared right in front of me. None of the surrounding dwarves seemed to be able to see this old man but I was sure that he was real. The old man told me that he was the guardian of the forest while some sort of nature entity slept. He seemed rather upset that we had been near the fire when it broke out and said that we needed to pay for the damage. He suggested that three of us needed to die in order to make up for it. This didn't make sense to me, more death doesn't balance anything. Death is balanced by life. That is the eternal nature of the life, death cycle. Anyway, long story short the old man left and deafened me.

The following morning we made our way into the inner city and at this point I was required to hand over my religious items as worship of any god other than theirs is forbidden within the city limits. I decided to sneak one of my holy symbols in as I refuse to be severed from the first phoenix no matter the cost.

Within the city we met with a scholar in order to locate a skull platform more conveniently located in relation to the Dwarven city. Despite my impaired hearing I was able to gain access to the scholars libraries and along with the scholar herself I was able to find a reference to the skull platform which I later confirmed with Dolphus. While I was at it I also found a book written in Erdari that contained some very limited information about our newfound elderly friend. It seems he is some sort of high ranking cleric for the force of nature in these lands. The nature power itself is currently in a state of slumber much like many of the Gods but his envoy seems to be a force to be reckoned with in himself.

On our way out of the city I commissioned one of Dolphus' relatives to create a stone holy symbol for me to place in the burnt forest. Hopefully Racnajel can help it on it's path through the fire burned cycle of life and spring anew, strengthened in ash blessed by the first phoenix. Perhaps this will sate the old man's fury and allow him to complete the stages of loss.

We made our way toward the reported location of the skull stopping along the way when we were confronted with yet another forest guardian. This time a wolf like creature covered in moss and vines. It appeared to possess significant telepathic abilities which seemed best avoided. We skirted round the creature and continued on our way toward the skull platform. Without much trouble we were able to summon the skull to this new landing point and ride it back to Santaur.

I advise that any future parties visiting Doredun are weary of the old man forest guardian he seems to hold skullwalkers responsible for the forests destruction and will not rest until a price is paid.

May you all walk in the warmth of the first phoenix.

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Venom Quest

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Yarid

Yolu

Fisher

Brianne

Vaki

 

 Well, I wished to continue my study of this place called Solara and follow a lead that I had gotten on a trip there before. I needed some travel companions to aid me along the way and found some familiar and new faces arriving at the tavern. The old companions Fisher, Yarid, and Vaki have helped me through many difficult a task so having them really eased my nerves. Another mage Yolu who also happend to focus in divination as well and Brianne seemed to be a sturdy fighter. We debated for a bit about what to take on the trip and eventually gathered the supplies we needed to leave.

 On the first day between Fishers guide and Vaki's ability to speed our progress we traveled quite fast and accurately about 64 miles a day and soon reached an abyss of a crack in the land where we rested unhindered. We continued the next day and Fisher expertly found the path we were looking for into the mountains and continued on our way into them. We needed to rest there and this night was not as kind to us. A great gryphon had attacked us but between my and Yarids spells it could not do much while the others pummeled the beast with their weapons. We then pulled the thing apart for its things we could sell. Once again we set out the next day out of the mountain pass and into some plains and followed the river just past them as my directions were given. We decided to rest just before the desert next to where the river was about to die out. Our rest went fine for the others but when I woke up and started mine there was a strange creature that appered that people of the land call the stranger its a gostly figure with its face covered up. The land around it went silent and it seemed powerful but did not attack. Not wanting to make an enemy of this creature I offered hospitality and it joined us by the fire and I fed it. The creature did not eat normally but what I had offered it suddenly vanished from my hand. We later learned that if you offer respit to this creature you gain a gift and if you turn it away it will curse you. The next day we set out for the city which was in reach. We arrived at what seemed to be a dried up river bed. 

 As we continued following this river into the pass a lake appeared and signs of fishermen on the lake let us know we were in the right place. We called one over to ferry us into the city which was located under a waterfall and looked beautiful. I recommend it to any who would take the trip as a vacation spot. We asked locals about the city and where to find things and let our horses rest after their long journey and got a place in the tavern to sleep. At the market we traded off our goods for some coin and headed on our way to the temple. Men with blindfolded eyes walked the streets as part of Dagerii's faith. We found the temple and had the guard let us in where we were showed around by a man and were able to see the Fane of Araniea a daughter of Dagerii. And after talking for a bit a man by the name of Huan came out of the fane who was one of the circle the only ones who could enter it. We had a meal with him and were told of a mission that we could complete and a reason for my arrival here. Their lake is starting to dry up due to some dwarves in the north converting a river away from the falls causing their lake to dry up. I will have to try and fix this issue soon for them although their need will not be dire for another fifty years. He also told us of some wells that can transport you great distances in these lands. We need to figure out what they are and how to use them if we wish to travel quickly between these lands. After this our party returned home unhindered this time and with much more knowledge of the land. 

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Awakening a warsculpted
Back to the fort in Sarek

Savric, Bodi, Vaki, Gleipnir, Reygar, Fisher

 

41st Penth – Calsar 4th

Again we set out to the fort at which we last met a sorry loss. This time we had slightly less gearand looked a little less conspicuous but only a little. For we still had with us two goliaths a minotoar and a ballista on a wagon. Not that it mattered as when we arrived in Sarek hail like I've never seen was falling from the sky. You'd have to be hardy or stupid to travel in such conditions for the force of it could kill a weaker man and that's on top of the fact that you could barely see what was in front of us.

Considering the companions we had with us we thought we'd take a gamble and push on in the storm, Fisher thought it would last about a day so if we could make quick progress to the fort we could use it as cover for our attack. They would not see nor hear our attack through the cacophony.

It was tough venturing through it and we got well and truly pummelled having to rely on Gleipnirs healing but thankfully our plan seemed to be working and we were able to wheel our ballista right up the gates without being seen or heard. We tried to take the ballista through but after a little fumbling with it decided it was best to leave it outside and make good for escape if things went bad.

 

We scouted out the doors on the buildings which took some time as it may as well have been dark with the hail blotting out the sky. As Gleipnir and Reygar and me approached one door, whilst Vaki and Bodi moved to the back of the building we must have given ourselves away. For the door swung open and two warriors peered out into the storm, weapons in hand. Into the fight we dove, Gleipnir reigning down blows upon them, I was able to let loose some arrows but to little effect.

A couple of warriors ran for the other door to get help but were flattened as Vaki flung the door open toppling one to the floor. Into the hut we pushed, as I continued to let loose arrows at melee range, close enough to see the determination in their faces and even hear them sing, even knowing their death was imminent. Within under a minute the house was clear and we made our way to the next.

 

We moved again to the next house and Vaki again threw the door from it's hinges as I fired a volley of arrows into another warrior waiting within. At this time we must have roused the rest of the camp, for from behind us a man with what looked like smouldering coals as eyes came towards us arm outstretched. He summoned forth magic as he strode at us and a great fire ball engulfed us, most of us managed to cover ourselves to avoid some of the burning but Fisher caught the full flame and was wounded. Gleipnir and Reygar rounded on the wizard and swiftly ended him and the tracker that was behind him loosed an arrow then dissapeared into the storm.

 

With the second hut all finished we moved North through the camp, noticing what seemed to be flashes of lightning dully illuminating through the hail accompanied by great rolls of thunder. We pushd for the next hut dissoriented a little and flanked by archers in the storm, the fight became confusing. I found myself turning to our rear, engaging some warriors and archers approaching our flank, Vaki and Gleipnir at my side. We became split from the others.

 

The warriors tried to put up resistance but had no chance with the might of Vaki and her terrifying strength. As we approached where the statue and shrine were, we could see the great statue moving, swinging its longsword and battleaxe and striding from the stone ring. I loosed an arrow which pinged off of it.

The figure turned to us and said that we are not foe and then stomped off into the storm.

 

We turned North again to regroup and assist our friends, I caught a couple of arrows in the side as we moved across the paddocks between the huts and I nearly lost sight of Vaki and Gliepnir. I headed towards what looked like the glow of fire in darkness, when I caught sight of them again. Loosing another arrow as I came towards them, felling an off guard warrior on the fence.

The next seconds of battle seemed a blur for I caught more than one arrow, taking me to an inch of my life. Looking around I could see Brian was down and unmoving and a wall of flame rose up to my left. We again had enemies closing in on us flanking me, which between us we felled where they stood. Feeling another blow would fell me, I took cover with Fisher, whilst taking pot shots at our assailants. Gleipnir soon rejoined us, having revived Brian and carrying a badly burnt Reygar, with charred skin though still just alive. He was somewhat monstrous to behold. In the distance we could hear other fighting, though all our party now seemed regrouped once more.

 

Soon the sounds of battle had died down and we could just hear the crashing of the hail stones around us. Gleipnir had gone off to investigate and soon came back and led us to a building to the West. We entered and the great stone statue stood in front of us, surrounded by dead, including what looked to be the leader of the fort.

He asked where the fourth chosen of bloodaxe was and Bodi and I looked confused, for there was Vaki, Bodi and myself but those others that had chosen to take the path such as Olgar had perished, he said there must be a fourth.

He none the less thanked us for waking him, so he could once more defend Varanor's shrine like it was intended. I interjected to say that the bloodaxe had sent us, to retrieve the quiver from the shrine.

He just said “Karrforged” and stormed out of the door towards the shrine, showing us the quiver upon the bowman's back. I climbed upon the rock and took the quiver, it looked dark like obsisian, not dissimilar to the axe of the bloodaxe itself, with similar arrows tipped and fletched in red, with lines of silvery red streaking upon the shafts. They looked beautiful to behold.

I climbed back down and thanked him and he again thanked us for awakening him, it must have been the blood and battle that did so. The men here had been draining upon him and he had only nearly woken once before but only enough to see what was happening.

Gleipnir had previously informed us that Varanor was an ancient name for Vondal. He had many questions for the warsculpted, for he was ancient and could enlighten us more. He told us he was sculpted in the time of Varanor, thousands of years past, even before the times of Remaron, Intina and Tamos. He told us he was made in Varkoran, Varanor's city and he was one of 999 warsculpted. Part of an army called the one thousand, who among them stood Kaz known as The storm of blades carrying a battle axe and longsword and Firr who we now know as the Blood axe. He also told us this army of warsculpted had mortals that then served them, a lesser part of Varanors army. These mortals were named Kaerls, though some of them in ritual proof of combat, after felling nine foes were able to exhort themselves to Einherjar, who would serve as honoured retinues of the warsculpted.

We asked him if we could gather the bodies and start a ritual fire but he forbade us and told us to leave his body garden, it would deter others from coming back though he did not truly wish to leave them in this way. We would stop back again and keep a close eye on Keiran this bandit king, he is an enemy of the bloodaxe and must be dealt with at some time.

The next day we gathered our things and left to visit bloodaxes thane, in a storm we happened upon a place Bodi had once been before. He told us that a member of their party had collapsed the cave two years ago and he sort of owed but didn't really to excavate it. I chose not to ask any more questions and our party seemed the sort to be able to carry out such work quickly, so we excavated it and moved on.

 

We again stopped at the dark stone door that we stumbled on before, the one we had linked to Hess. Gleipner confirmed it carved with glarnic inscriptions, from them he could tell the door was some kind of prison door and that it held something. We chose not to touch it and carried on for the thane of bloodaxe.

 

When we spoke with bloodaxe he appraised us knowingly and nodded at the karrforged arrows upon my back. “Did he awaken?” was all he said, I replied that he had despite us having no prior knowledge of what we were to have expected. He seemed pleased with us, though he is not an easy one to read. We mentioned the warforged or Varkaron had asked where the fourth chosen was. We also mentioned we had a candidate that had assisted us, who was strong though currently in bad shape. We brought forward Reygar to within his hall, his skin still charred and peeling. Bloodaxe eyed him and said he would need to prove himself and asked for us to suggest an appropriate challenge. We settled that Reygar should accompany Gleipnir to find Korsh, the stern mother in the halls of Karindoor. No easy task.

 

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Four fingers and a thumb?

Session date

Date 6th of Calsar

Party: Vidar, Gwillym (until he got drunk), Yulo, Yarid, Fynn and Virgil

The party had gathered together, notes in hand with the promise of adventure and in return magical items. The proposition seemed too good to be true but worth investigating. We started in the tavern and after being berrated by the barkeeper for not drinking enough decided to be on our way, briefly checking the past logs for directions of where we needed to go.

 

With little effort we came across the skull platform and set about our way, it was different to others I've travelled on as it burrowed deep into the ground. I thought I'd try and play a tune to relax myself and the party but I was drowned out by the rumbling of the skull as he hurtled to our destination.

 

We arrived into a cold snowy world and before us stood a great statue of a dwarf with hammer in hand and behind a vast building with large doors. The group inspected with statue further that appeared to be magical and Yulo on touching it vanished from in front of us but luckily returned within a minute, teleported back to us from the skull platform.

 

We entered into the doors and one of the dim corridors within, in the store rooms lining the corridors stood many rows of plate armour and other boxes that may have previously held things to store. The corridors were much like a maze and larger rooms were filled with more statues and curiosities.

 

After some walking we came across a fountain, I was quite parched and Gwillym had informed me the last water he drank had made him feel rather good, so I tried some and was immediately teleported to a bed in an inn. This whole place seemed very odd and for my entire time I was unsure what was real and what was not. I was followed by Gwillym and Yulo and Yarid's bird sleet, Yarid did not seem bold or stupid enough to follow immediately.

Exiting the room we came into a bustling bar, full of people and a lute player in the corner, I took it on myself to join him in playing but he was not very good and rather much put me off, causing the crowd a little displeasure, he swiftly packed up and begun to leave. The barman looked unhappy so I continued to play and was able to rouse the audience into a merry state which appeared to appease the barman greatly. For he offered a free shot from a crystal decanter, which Gwyllm quickly stole before I could claim it but it was ok for I was able to claim another. A curious drink, a wave washed over me as I drank it and made me feel much healthier. Though the barman did look at me oddly as I put the shot down.

 

We enquired where we may find the Sir. Nigel we were looking for and were directed to a shady looking man in the corner. He asked us to retrieve some documents for him and in turn he'd reward us, he shuffled around under the table a little for some items. He seemed a rather unsavoury sort to me but we'd come this far.

We were led to back room and told we could take a few magical items up front to help us on our way and were to return with the documents, we agreed and drew some out we thought may be useful. At this point Yarid decided it safe to join us and he came, also two more joined our group walking into the room holding the same notes we had brought with us, Fynn a wild looking man and another man Virgil dressed in robes. It was handy they came for the strange drink the barman gave us seemed to have gone to Gwillym's head and he had vanished off to the bar where he continued to stay and down more drinks.

With our new party we followed the directions we had been given, encountering a few more oddities along the way until we came to the hole in the wall we'd been told about. There was a riddle “what has 4 fingers and a thumb yet does not live?” to get through but Fynn a true warrior thought that wasn't for him and decided to pull down the wall and climb through, a very handy solution.

We entered what appeared to be a cave of sorts and came across a giant named John, that Yarid had initially cast a spell at. It didn't hurt the giant but somewhat upset him. We realised he wasn't a threat and was quite friendly though a little slow, he carried a large teddy bear. He said he was sent to meet us and take us to where we needed to go, so we followed him out into Einshire and into town. Some of the others wished to visit some mages so we went into a wand shop where they chatted a while. Virgil purchased a wand and I had suspicion Yulo used some more devious means for the proprietor said we seemed a nice bunch and proceeded to give us four more wands completely free. Yarid like me also appeared little unimpressed and suspicious of this.

We were taken to the mouth of a cave by the Giant name John and told what we needed was inside. After a little hesitation and investigation of a strange pot, that turned out to be empty we ventured in. There was a great roaring deep within the cave but luckily it was not the source of that noise that first set upon us. We encountered a giant withholder, a thing with many arms with a taste for magical weapons. We retreated and let it come to us as we rained magic upon it, I tried shooting it with my bow to little use, for it just caught and ate my ammunition. It consumed our items and regenerated but after a substantial effort and thanks to Finns powerful blows we were able to fell the beast.

Further investigation of the cave showed that within dwells a dragon, as we were a little tired and not equipped for such a fight we chose to leave in one piece and return to the bar. John escorted us back where we handed back the items we retrieved from the belly of the withholder. We may not have got the documents but we had killed a fearsome monster.

After a few drinks at the bar a awoke within my bed, with a rather sore head and I wont elaborate on the rest. It's a strange world, full of many strange things out there.

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