The Wilds Await

Ring-around-the-skull
Session 56, Grin dies, but does he?

The first thing you see when you step out of the skull is a large obelisk,Ida told me its Kierans lands and we should stay in the skull. We fly over a small lake as we travel with the skull, as we arrive at the third stop of our journey we step out from the skull to have a look around the weather is as harsh as ever. The ice seems week in the swamp that we arrived in, the winds travel to the north, north-east. We were set upon by some lizard creatures with black and green scales, with some lizard pets. We fought with our hearths pounding and one lizard snuck up and took a big bite that would of killed any normal man, Ida took action and used the power of Vondal to bring him back, we finished the remaining lizards and got back in to the skull.

The fourth stop was on top off a vast pyramid the wind still traveling north east, the fifth stop was to a colder place like none before the wind traveling to the east. Ida told us that this was the stop we needed to get off. We had some real trouble lighting fires, we agreed that we took too much damage and should travel to the first stop and then rest. The skull set down on the edge of an ice cliff we can't see the bottom of it the wind traveling to the south.

We travel to the next stop and we settled down next to some craggy hills and Grin and Andreth falls asleep Ida has to slap Grin until he wakes up Andreth however started to freak out as soon as i touched him. We land at the north side of Leihre and Ida point to a spot and say the their is a city named Varkoran. As we touched down at the 8th skull landing the old guys hands started to freeze, ida started trying to heat some water to help Andreth. We started a fire pit in the middle of the skull using Grins coal, the skull sets down on a island the wind blows towards the south-west. using my rangership we are north west of were we tried to find Allodheim by 170 miles ish. As we are sitting in the skull Brian starts to freak out as a Wilder is approaching the skull, I do my best to calm him down and then we mange to hide in the skull as we mange to escape.

We travel to the 9th skull landing and it is next to a black fortress but we cant see it, at the 10th landing Ida tells me it is close to Kongsholm, we returned to the first skull landing and we try to rest for the night. As we awake in the morning our rations had been stolen by a horde of stoats, me and Grin went to hunt down the stoats. We found the camp, but we were ambushed by three Windigos and we just ran back to camp Ida told me that her and Andreth were set upon by a group of wargmen but they were swiftly dispatced.

As the skull land we ventured forth to the 2th skull Landing, one guy stands in the skull opening wielding a black shield with a red cross on it. Grin gripped his weapons as soon as he knew they were Kierans men. Ida stepped out of the skull what followed i am not sure of but it sounded like Vondal was pissed, a heard shooting outside the voice said for Valkoon, one foe took a misstep and Acre to a mighty swing and after some bright light and som sounds the guy was as dead as a stout we dispatched of them quickly but some of them got away. They fought with good skirmishing tactics using a frontline of battle hardy warriors and archers sitting and hiding among the trees.

After the battle we decided to walk back to the first platform, with my great rangershipping it took us two days travel north-east to get to the skull, on the second day of travel some wolfs stalked up on us but Brian using his ferocity scared them away. as we were waiting for the skull platform to returned a storm started to creep up on us, as i started to dig we found a cave underneath the skull platform inside the cave there is a hallway leading to a magically trapped door, Andreth muttered something about Evocation and illusion with a hint of abjuration.

After coming out of the cave, Ida felt the distinct smell off greasy fur, reminiscent of Lithar and his caves, but much newer, and more strongly then ever before. We waited for about half an hour and the skull came back to us and we went home. Brian was happy to be back.

 

 

Log written by Adam (Bodi), edited and posted by Jimmy (Ida)

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Long Hallways and dead bodies. Is that a voice?
Session 55

29 of Froar – 31 Froar

Ida,  - Jimmy
GREYWOOD  -Cosmic 
Buldrak    -Mem
VARIS   -Wolf
Oamon  -Charlie

 

All the humble participants met in a local tavern to discuss our plans for this adventure. When we arrive at where the skull platform was supposes to be it was gone. The dragon guardian told us the main skull platform hasn't appeared since a titan took it off to the evergreen. However a second platform does appear in its stead. The Titan of Frost seemed to be the one who used it, with a war band to exterminate a problem in the evergreens.

With the skull platform missing we starts casually investigating the temple. finding a lot of imagery. One with a white bear and a black bear pointing with an axe in their paws. Looks very humanoids. Lady Ida called them "ursa" or "ursine".  We also finds alot of other carvings… there being a shrine of Vondal close to a skull platform. And Genasi forming a circle around the elements. Aswell as what seems like elves with a stag (presumed white?). Greywood also noticed an special dwarf with a endless mace between his legs.  

After hours of waiting and investigation a black skull seems to just approach through a nearby wall. It started as a just black rock. It's a rather big skull yet smaller than the usual one we takes. We walks into it and gets… taken to somewhere that only the gods knows… We come out to find ourselves on an island. We decided to move south and then to the west… following the river.

We found a juvenile boar as we traveled. Luckily I (Varis) spotted it before the party was able to and send it running off before some of his more savage party member found it. After sending it off they continued and I (Varis) got a feeling of wanting to go straight west. However a great river halted us from going there. We ended the day finding a great spot to rest… by the blessing of Dunmore.

During the night we got ambushed by a small group of fast and agile owlbears. During the combat it looked dark as Baldrik went down and stopped moving. I (Varis) happened to get ninja'd by a flying owlbear and dragged into the river. Greywood with the finest marksmanship I (Varis) has seen saved me (Varis) from being fish food and taken down stream. After dragging myself (Varis) onto land again i crawl over to our dead Baldrik together with Lady Ida to check if he is dead…. which he is. Lady Ida casts "Revivify" and brought our Firebeard back to life.

After licking and tending to out wounds we travel further south following the river again founding a statue with Titonic writting and more marks of Vondel. Mentioning about a safe place in a cave further south. After a few miles more… we found this said cave. We enters it…. after stalking around in the cave we hear screaming… and even later we find a giant bile of bones that is picked clean… human… dwarfs… elves… Later we found a HUGE creature that seemed struck with disease and embedded in in crystals. It looked huge and might… but went down after a few blows. In everyone's disbelief… we treaded careful past it and into the cave. Came across a seriously long hallway made out of some sort of marble… with alot of depicturing of the same white and black bear… fighting each other. Together with some people with round shields and ships.

Following the hallway after a while we find more fresh corpses and lightning which isn't the lightning of Vondel. More hallways to the left and right now. We choose to go right first. We see more pictures about people moving from place to place along the walls. Perhaps our previous skullwalkers in some way? Ida then starts to strip of a monk or priest type found further down the hallway then janking him and says she will "revenge" him. Wierd…. We find more and more bodies as we go trough the hallway. I (Varis) is no longer thinking this is a safe space that was told about on the previous statues. Ida seems like this place.

We come across something that seem to form and electrical fence. Ida, Greywood and Oamon tries to get through but Oamon seems to be repelled. The rest of us takes a not so.. lightning filled. Inspecting some corpses we find on the way. I (Varis) finds another follower of Dunmore. The inspecting of the other bodies was not shared… but we moves on to another set of electrical fences with seems to be easly dispelled by Oamon. We find a throne room where we meet a white furred.. bear man of sort.

Ida seems to talk to it with what seems to be just one word. It responds but i don't speak this language that they are speaking. It seems to be wounded and looks corrupted. The bear seems to hold on though sheer force of will.. or perhaps pure strength. After talking with it.. or Ida does the creature dies and Ida electrified it to dust. Following shortly the lights went out and Ida started running. We followed into a room where the voice keeps speaking and a black circle appears. Making us run screaming like a gang of maiden tavern wrenches. It was a long run and we ran face first into many black circles who blocked all sight. Some of us looked a little worse coming back out from them. While we ran the voice keeps talking and talking but I (Varis) was too busy focusing on self preservation to pay it much heed.

Close to the exit we came across something that looked like a huge troll with a belly smiling and having teeth's of its own Also seems to be clad in makeshift bone armor. Battle ensues…

During the battle everything went to black… I (Varis) got back to life thanks to Lady Ida. It seems like Greywood and Baldrik went down aswell as she heals them. Lady Ida says that Oamon met his fate and she electrified his body. After taking his graceful healing potions we felt some relief and Varis (me) managed to safely escort the party back home.. through a bandit ambush… almost another night attack and was I (Varis) presumed to be a pack of wolves. We got back to the platform that same day..

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Seeking the Serpent
Bodi don't fear no reaper. Session 54

12th of Froar:


Gleipnir tells me as a side-note while we head over to the skull that the Children of Korsh are the dwarves of Sarek, we then surmise the location of the poacher to be about a days walk north of the Eyrie. A problem I have been looking for an answer to for so long, kept by my teacher, unbeknownst to me.

As we enter Sarek, there is a moderate blizzard going on.
Bodi having gone this way before is confident in his skills in finding our way to the caves in the east. We have no trubles, and set camp in a crevace, the night passes in silence.

13th of Froar

We head towards the coast.
As we get close we all fall into a pit-trap except Grin. It takes some time, but we manage to get out again with some help from Grin and ropes.
The biggest challenge was Brian the Wilder, but we took our time and succeded.

Wilders:
    Bull-like animal, more reminiciant of a mammoth with serrated tusks, small horns and a bull face instead of a trunk and ears. it also has 3 rows of sharp as hell teeth. Sarekians call these "Wilders", the one Bodi owns however is certainly a juvenile, because the stories tells of these things growing as large as the trees of the Northwood.

We arrive in the cave and go to the southeast to find the seeker, Gleipnir, Bodi, Brian and I took a psychic blast to the face from the seeker. While we were dazed, Grin fought 5 Draugr to a standstill and Andreth blasted the seeker down. As we came back to our senses Gleipnir healed Bodi who had taken the brunt of the psychic damage, and I unleashed a beam of lightning onto the Draugr, mostly killing them. We easily finished of the last 2 with a bit of hacking and slashing. we were victirious in a fashion. Both Gleipnir and I prayed to our gods (Muradin and Vondal) for healing and it was given.

Our path next led us past the whirlpool and into the Serpents lair, where we find a giant serpent of Sandstone. It sprayed us with a poisonus breath beam, and layed Bodi out cold, as Grin jumped atop its head and started wailing on it with Bluesteel and Balanus. Meanwhile Gleipnir and I summoned our ancestrial Guardians, his being noble Dwarves from times forgotten, in gleaming mail weilding warhammers and battle axes, as for my ancestors, this is my first time seeing them, they were mighty Sarekians, 7 feet tall, in armor of a make I have never seen, weilding axes and swords, looking fierce, more akin to Gods, not men.

Brian, for his part left Bodi's butt behind as he rushed in and gored the serpent in the face, and Andreth finished it of with a blast of his eldritch magics.

Seeking through the lair we find 12 eggs, 9 of which we take to the shrine of Lir, the 3 remaining ones we smash against the rocks. I heal Bodi and the others and we take a short rest at the shrine.


14th of Froar

We headed back into the serpents lair.
We found 3 Obsidian pearls and 1 slightly larger black orb in the mouth of the serpent, and walked on deeper into the lair. It seemed empty and deserted now that the snake was dead, but we suspected there might be a mate and we ventured towards the water following the trail of the snake, it was significantly larger than the 1 we fought. we would not be surprised if the snake dug out the river stream in the cave.

We tried to head outside but it was hailing fist sized blocks of ice, Hroth was having a laugh with Vondal apparantly.
We stayed at the shrine for the dead god Lir for the entire day.

15th of Froar

hail had stopped, but it was snowing still.
      We headed outside onto the Ice and straight north. After 10 miles we spotted land to the North-East. Gleipnir used the "Orb of the past", that we got the last time we visited the cave. it gave him the distinct feeling to head north-east. After getting onto land I stowed away all symbols of Vondal and we got ready to seek Allodheim.
     Bodi showed us the ruins of a old derelict village a few 100 feet from the shore. Surely a old fishing village. We headed there to stay the night, as we had walked our fill for the day.
As we got there we find it abandoned and ruined, as we thought. We found a stone house that was mostly intact and we decided to stay there.

As we set up camp all was quiet, and so was the night.

16th of Froar.

As we awoke it was eirly quiet. the snow has cleared up, and there was no wind.
Bodi seeked his knowledge of the weathers and predicted fair weather for the next few days, baring that Vondal did not take a dislike to our mission.
We headed North after packing up camp, after about 5 miles we came across a giant circle entrenched into the land, reminiscent of a pit. In the middle there is a pillar of some sort.
Each step leading up to the pillar was 5 feet tall, and the central pillar was around 9 feet tall.
It had writing on it but none of us could read it, but we found some weird markings like a indentation in the rock.
Gleipnir told us it seems like some sort of button, as grin accidently stroked some letters and the letters glowed blue for a short flash, the stone glides inwards, and a ladder is revealed leading down into the earth.

Initially Gleipnir though it might be a tomb, but quickly changed his mind, this was a prison. and this is a back way in, and the words and wards seem to be a warning.
Grin said we need to find out what lies bellow, so we left Bodi and Brian upstairs to guard the entrance, as the rest of us headed down into danger, I cast detect magic to find traps as we ventured inside.
     The tunnels and pathways were all made by magic. The entire place was silent as the grave. Gleipnir checked the stonework, and found the entire thing just fashioned by magic to look like bricks, confirming my suspicion that it is all hewn out of magic, and not made by hand.

The entire place is encased in abjuration magic, bound into the rock behind the tiles, to hide it from the naked eye. It is not hostile, but seems like a magical equivalent of a murder-hole in a gate, or a dissuasion to enter by any means other than the entrance.

We found some bowls that at one point held water, but did not any longer. The door in front of us was metallic and contained writing carved into it. In magical sight the writing came across like an illusion, spelled out in Kothic, in front of the door.

      "Medes, Dine, Erin and Apeltos as the last survivors and true heirs of Lir have made this our final pledge. To ensure the noble oath of our Sire remains even after he is dead, for no strength left in this world could be relied upon to stop the leviathan should it be set free. Should you be sent by the Feral One to end what he could not finish at Allodheim then step in and feel the fury harboured in the death throes of the Lord of Tides."

      I declined stepping past this point, but Grin lept forward as he wanted to meet the god of the seas from Sarek. I instead carried the things that the others didn't want to bring back up to Bodi and Brian. Bodi, Brian, and I played a game of Rock, paper. and Scissors to pass the time.

Grin and the others came back after a long while and tells us what passed downstairs:

      "spirits pledged oath to stop Leviathan, Lir is dead, he fell i Allodheim, 3 of his kin are in the prision to make sure Jormungundr is not freed from his shackles. Apetlos was one we spoke to. Koros unable to escape during the masters reign, they fed on gods blood . Cannot say for sure but koros may have shares same fate as other gods whom perished to the masters, though we dont know if thats true or not. Dror was the favored son of Lir (his student), Dror is  A lirian, the last pure bloods of Lir alive. Dror roams the city of Allodhiem. We need to seek the library in Allodhiem to learn more tho we need to find lirs bloodline to gain access. The books there are dangerous, some are wrttien in the hand of Dror himself and might get your eyes burnt out." 

      The task might be arduous, so we talked about the possibility of us killing the poacher first as time is slowly running out on that task.

They found a book down there titled "Allodheim, seat of the Lord of Tides". It has had entries added to it after the tome was written, it is in other hands and inks. I tell then I can have Håkon translate it for us from Glarnic to Kothic.


We then headed back towards home, over the ice, and set camp in the hills
I killed some stotes during my watch, but the night otherwise passed in silence.

17th of Froar.

We kept heading towards home, the wind blew but walking was nice, for this time of year.
We found a cabin on our trek, but it was in bad shape, like something had attacked it, as there were humanoid bones littered inside and around it.
Andreth set the remains to rest with the help of the rest of us, except Grin.

Brian went berzerk on our next leg of the journey, having found a small pack of Stoats. 
We kept on keeping on and set up camp for the night. The stoats had followed us but we chased them of again.

During the night on my watch the temperature got so warm we needed to shake off our bedrolls and the snow around us started melting. Solam seems to want out again. But I think Hroth might deny him the opportunity.

Andreth and Grin seemed unable to sleep, they kept tossing and turning for the remainder of the night.

 

18th of Froar.

The warmth persisted and there was thunder in the air, but we saw no lightning.

We got to the skull around mid day and decide to head over to the bloodaxe.

the next 2 days went past in silence.

21st of Froar

By half day we arrived at the fane to the bloodaxe.
Bodi stepped right on up and grabs the axe on the throne.

Some time later he came back to us, and told us his tale, that the bloodaxe is amazed, that bodi did not look up to the challenge, but has surprised him positively.
He was asked to tell of the adversary he remembered the most. Bodi replied Morelion. It was a tough fight.
BA thinks its time bodi gets his own weapon, Bodi smiled to this, but BA is not going to give it to him.
Bodi asks what he must do to obtain it, and the answer is to kill the current wielder.
Bodi askes for the name of him, and BA askes what if its not a him. bodi is dumbstruck for a short while.
"150 miles SW of here, in a myre, a swamp so foul that it does not freeze,
inside is a foe, a huntress, a slayer. bodi will know her, for her scale is skin, her tail and face of a lizard.
black and green of scale, she stalkes the swamp." 
BA askes that bodi gathers companions, to go slay her, and bring back bothweapon and head. Only then BA will give Bodi more tasks and boons.
Bodi agreed to this task. BA shaked bodi's hand, almost pulling Bodi off of his feet and Bodi feels strength enter into him as he woke up with us.

Bodi tells us his boon is for us to travel faster in his company, where Bodi goes, we do not relent easily.

I tell bodi that I know where the Myre is located by skull. That he only needs to stay on it until the 3rd location it travels to on its 10 platform run.

We then decide to head to Vondals shrine, it takes 2 days.

23rd of Froar

We get to the shrine of Vondal as I wanted.
I have Gleipnir and Andreth help me get ready for communion.
I then talk to my god, asking what he wants me to do going forward regarding, Lirians, Jormungundr, Allodheim and the masters.

In my mind the reply of Vondal booms, "You have proven yourself, and your questions are just. I cannot answer the one regarding Jormungundr.
Regarding your path, go to Varkoran, my god city. It lies under the north face of Leirhe, there you will find answers.
Learn whatever the Lirians have to tell you, they are knowledge seekers and not easily fooled."

I thanked him and left with the others.

24th of Froar.

We get back to santaur.

We sell 9Snake Eggs for 675 gold
3 Obsidian Pearls for 600 gold
We net 230gold each from the sale after taxes. All in all a good trip.


Excerpts from the journal of Cleric Ida Valfarsdòttir, Skjoldmøy of Vondal, Blessed of Hess, and Blessed of Geena.

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Maephoon, Froar 13th-21st, 1186
The end of Selarmin's short adventuring career and a long conversation with the monks of Mystwatch

West Marches field report by Capt. N. Greywood
To be delivered to King Godric I

Dates: 13th through the 21st of Froar, 1186
Location: Maephoon
Attending: Capt. Nevin Greywood, Jin, Virgil, Pahgigoth, Selarmin

Assigned to establish communications with the monastery of Mystwatch, I once again had to lead a group of primarily unprepared “adventurers” (with the exception of Jin, who did not seem to deserve the reputation he has around Santaur) into unknown dangers in the realm of Maephoon. 

Froar 13th

We made our way to the skull platform, climbed inside the waiting skull, and traveled without incident to the first landing in Maephoon. Following the directions provided to me by Scarloc, we followed the road to the east for a small while, then north, and then west. 

During our travels we passed by the tree of Kalas and had a short conversation. She reported that the nightly darkness slowly destroying what was left of the land continued as before. She also suggested that if we were to help her, as well as others like her, the darkness might be stopped. 

I asked her about the monks of Mystwatch and she said that they have vaults filled with artifacts that were left behind by the old rulers. They gather them to keep them safe so they may not be misused. They would be helpful to fight off the darkness but they are too dangerous for us to use. Even the monks might not be able to use them.

She also spoke of 2 more skull platforms in Maephoon. In addition to the 2 that we have already discovered, there are at least 2 more: One to the east by the city of Torreket and once far to the south on a mountaintop. 

The Fyr used to visit Kalas but it seems they have a new god. The Fyr decorate their equipment and land with images of a man with the head of a rooster and the body of an insect. Kalas does not know the name of this god, and it’s possible that it is a seraph.

Kalas gave me a few acorns to plant so that more shrines to her may grow and we continued on our journey until dusk. As we prepared to make camp for the night, Pahgigoth tried to convince the rest of us – including 2 actual wizards – that he can conjure axes but it was obvious to all watching that he was just pulling them from his coat. I do not know what Pahgigoth’s goals are or why he pretends to have magical abilities (or why he thinks anyone would be convinced) but it is difficult to go into battle with a man you do not trust at your side and I most definitely do not trust such a foolish liar.

That night, our camp was visited by a strange humanoid with black skin and crab-like claws for hands. Selarmin informed us that it’s a Meenlock, a creature that feeds on fear and can teleport from shadow to shadow. They don’t like light, so we scared it off with some fire (Pahgigoth threw a torch at it and claimed to be casting fireball) and it disappeared, never to return.

Froar 14th

In the morning I forage in the nearby forests and find enough berries and melons to feed all 5 of us for the remainder of our journey. Pahgigoth and Virgil asked to see one of the seeds of Kalas and when I handed it to Pahgigoth he promptly ate it. I believe it made him ill for a moment but after his stomach settled he said he felt full and refreshed.

We had north to the river and make our way along the riverbank to the west. The water is dark blue and black. There is no movement and no fish or birds until a few miles later, when a large shadow appears under the surface. It seemed to be rising from the depths but it soon descended back down again.

We continued on and came across “the eternal campfire,” as Scarloc had called it. It was indeed curious to see a fire like this with unburning logs and no one to attend to it but we did not stop to examine it. The river ended but we continued west until we reached the base of a mountain and made camp for the night.

Hearing noises during his watch, Pahgigoth went to investigate and found a group of chicken-like creatures (which I later learned were called cockatrices) attacking a giant blueish-white spider. The bites of the cockatrice were having a strange effect on the spider and it was slowly beginning to turn to stone. 

Now the best course of action here would be to ignore the skirmish and only prepare to defend ourselves in case they moved closer to camp, but the fool Pahgigoth decided he wanted the spider as his “familiar” and attacked the cockatrices.

No sooner than he decided to join the fight, the spider vanished, most likely by some form of teleportation, and then it was the cockatrices vs Pahgigoth. We all joined in the fight but Pahgigoth took the majority of the 8 cockatrices’ attacks. It was only with his orc-like fortitude that he was able to avoid being turned to stone like the spider. Between my arrows, Jin’s fists, Pahgigoth’s axes, Virgil’s grease, and Selarmin’s fire, we slew the entire lot of them in an impressive group effort. 

Our victory was short-lived, however. Once the battle was over, we returned to rest for the night and a few hours later were awoken by a loud rumbling, growing closer and closer. Suddenly a massive creature that looked like it was made of stone emerged from the ground and landed Pahgigoth. I attempted to stab the creature but my sabre was unable to penetrate its rocky skin. Jin knocked him back but the creature leapt at us and landed on Selarmin, crushing him. Jin finished off the creature and we looked to our fallen comrade but there was nothing to do. He had been killed instantly, utterly crushed by the foul beast.

Without much else to do, we decide to bury him there but first Virgil did a strange thing. He took out a vial and collected some of the deceased’s blood. He said it was part of a study on how magic tended to run in families but Jin seemed suspicious of that story.

Froar 15th

His body buried, we continued our journey southwest along the base of the mountain until we found the valley Scarloc described and traveled it to the west/northwest. Along the way, we spotted in the distance some large flightless birds, similar to an ostrich but with a parrot-like beak. We steered clear of them and continued until we found the path into the mountains.
Decided to press on, we took the path to a fork with 2 roads. Knowing that the road to the right would take us dangerously close to some wyverns, we took the left road. Along the way, we noticed the runes Scarloc mentioned and continued until we found a cabin carved out of the rock in the mountain. As nighttime was approaching, we decided to use it for shelter and slept inside.

Froar 16th

The night passed without incident and we continued down the road in the morning. When we reached the end of it, a strange feeling of serenity came over all of us. It was as if we were in a place where everything was in order.

Up ahead was another hut made of stone and as we rounded the bend we saw the monastery of Mystwatch towering above. We had finally arrived! 

Outside the hut a massively-furry bovine with a cart stood nearby. On the cart was an enormous statue of a bull with a ring through its nose. The material of the statue was strange, and it looked like the bull’s skin was made out of metal plates.

Jin spoke with the locals around the hut and they explained that they found the statue by the river, as if it had been washed ashore. Since Virgil was now our only wizard (despite Pahgigoth’s inane insistence to the contrary), he went up to the statue and used his magic to try and discern what it was. After about 10 minutes, he told us that it was a creature that had been petrified but was due to recover in about 3 hours. Given the size and nature of the beast, we determined it would be best to get it away from the local villagers before this happened. Jin sent a local to get one of the masters from the monastery to help us and we had the furry bovine take the cart to the edge of the nearest cliff.

After a short while, a regal looking man, bald and with a long beard, came down from the monastery. He wore gold and jewels and sat atop something that looked like a donkey. He dismounted his ride and walked to the petrified creature, his sandals making oddly loud crunching sounds on the ground.

He turned his attention to us and blamed us for bring the animal. He didn’t trust us because explorers from Midgard had previously lied to the monks. I apologized for the behavior of the earlier visitors and explained that the villagers brought the creature up here. He seemed to accept the explanation but still wanted nothing to do with us. With nothing left to do, Jin kicked the cart off the cliff and it crashed far below so that the creature would not be anywhere near us when it awoke.

The master eventually agreed to converse with us the next day and returned to the monastery. We found a villager who would let us spend the night in his barn and rested.

Froar 17th 

We awoke in the morning and we were met by a monk student who led us to the door of the highest tower in the monastery. It was a metal door and featured the image of a woman holding a torch, which was radiating a magical warmth. We were announced as visitors to the master Kassandros and were allowed inside. The tower smelled of perfume and spices and there was a metal staircase leading up about 30 feet. At the top is a wooden door to a room with thin walls of translucent material.

As we climbed the stairs, they were worn and marked, as if something extremely heavy had been using them for quite some time. At the top of the tower was one big room with large windows. In the middle were a large yellow and orange mat and a great table. At the end of the table is the same bald man with the long beard that we had met the day before. 

We sat down to speak with him and I immediately thank him for meeting with us and apologized for the actions of the previous visitors from Midgard. I explained how the high risks of exploring the newly opened realms attracted a mix of people with a wide degree of motives, many of which did not appreciate the order that the monks work so hard to achieve.

Pahgigoth told Kassandros that he wanted to establish trade between their two worlds and the monk was agreeable to the idea. He mentioned that they needed food.

When asked about the darkness affecting Maephoon, he said that it had been there much longer than he had, though the monastery pre-dates it. Most of their knowledge about the past has been lost to the ages, but it is believed that a malicious entity ruled the valley a long time ago. It robbed it of its resources and then left. This entity did not bring the darkness but the monks believe that they left the valley in such dreadful shape that there was room for something to take its place. They survived because of ancient and powerful wards but they don't have records as to what the wards are or who put them there.

Jin asked about the artifacts that the monks kept. Kassandros said that they were secured from the ruins of the old masters. They are guarded and few have had much luck going getting to them but the black elves and their horrible servants seem to not be affected too badly so they have taken many of the monks’ ancestral tombs as their homes.

The dark elves were slaves to the masters but now roam free without purpose. They have taken control of some artifacts that relate to elemental forces that they use to create servants. They don’t come out in the daytime so the elves might have a dislike for sunlight.

The monk also spoke of the Fyr goatmen. They take up new traditions quickly and forget old ones. They’re easy to sway and take up new gods to find someone to protect them. They’re currently allied with a not-so-friendly force that appears to be an upstart deity who rose after the darkness came.

I asked Kassandros about Kalas but he said the monks are not terribly familiar with her. When I requested a tome for her, he said he would have the monks try to find one.

Getting back to the dark elves, Kassandros asked if we could clear one of the tombs they have taken over. He warned us that many of the black elves have taken up necromantic practices and it would be horrible if they turned the monks’ ancestors against them

Kassandros then offered to take us to the vault where there were many artifacts stored. We descended the metal staircase, which creaked with each step that Kassandros took, as if it was under immense stress. He led us to a trap door and through a network of dark tunnels to a wide natural cavern. The tunnels twisted and turned and had many forks and junctions – without someone to guide us we would surely have been lost. 

In the cavern he pointed to a seemingly random spot, knelt down and said an arcane word. Then he reached down and a blue light covered his hand. When he pulled his hand out from the air he was holding some sort of longbow. 

As the only member of the party skilled in using one, he offered it to me but cautioned that each artifact can only be used by the right person – and if held by the wrong person the consequences might be dire. I considered his warning but something compelled me to accept his gift. He handed it to me and I saw a vision of a black glowing wisp that swirled around me. It made a scoffing sound and involuntarily dropped the bow. It seems the artifact did not want to be in my possession but luckily I felt no ill effects.

The monk took the bow back and placed it back into the nothingness from which he produced it. When he stood up he as now holding 2 arrows, which he again offered to me. A bit wary, I accepted his offer and took them in my hand. I once again sow the image of a black wisp but this time it lit up to a soft glow and I felt a wave of warmth across my body.

I had a new knowledge, as if rediscovering a forgotten memory though it was one I had never had. When the monks’ valley was still green, special arrows were made of mountain crystal. They were designed to slay beasts and would never break, so they could be re-used if retrieved. I thanked Kassandros for his gift and he turned his attention to Pahgigoth.

Despite my disdain for the false wizard, I pity want he went through next. Kassandros pulled out artifact after artifact but each time Pahgigoth attempted to hold one, he was rejected. He held no less than 5 of them – an amulet, a gauntlet, a ring, a sickle, and a blood red robe – and was rejected every time. The combined rejections took their toll on the simpleton and I fear that he has become quite mad as a result. It is possible now that the fool believes his own claims and actually thinks himself a wizard. 

The sixth attempt for Pahgigoth was finally successful. A falchion that Kassandros presented to him finally accepted him and Pahgigoth was able to keep it.

Jin was handed a pouch with a shiny powder inside and, perhaps because he is a monk himself, was accepted by the artifact right away. 

A younger monk delivered to us a map of the area around the monastery and we discussed with Kassandros the surrounding areas. As it turns out, the quickest route to Mystwatch from Midgard is to take the newly discovered smaller skull. From its landing in the brambles, there are 2 options. The most direct route is to travel west up the mountainside (passing the location where we found the entrance to the dark elves’ lair and the spot that Comet planted a shrine to Kalas) for about 7 miles and then climb the side of the mountain southwest for 5 more. An easier route, however, is to go west from the skull platform along the north side of the mountain for about 9 ½ miles. Then take the path that goes up to the mountain until it meets up with the paths we took to get to Mystwatch, but from the other direction.

He also showed us the location of the tomb he asked us to retake from the dark elves. It is located south of the mountain’s peak, through deep snow. He warned us of large men-like creatures with white fur that hide in the snow. It is hard to see them until they spring upon you so when traveling to the tomb we should be cautious of their attacks.

The young monk also gave me a book he found on Kalas. According to the tome, she was not a very major seraph (when compared to the other seraphs of her time) but she looked over the Fyr’s forest and was their most honored goddess. She kept the magical forest in check so it was clean and growing well. The book states that she required a lot from her servants, which might have led to the Fyr’s abandonment of her. The book did not specify what she required, but it was probably sacrifices, or work, or constant devotion and attention.

After our illuminating conversation had finally concluded, we broke bread with some of the monks (Pahgigoth ate a batallion's share of cake) and retired back to the barn at the end of the day.

Froar 18th-21st

The following morning we said our farewells and began the journey back to Midgard. We retraced our steps and traveled the land swiftly, without encountering any of the dangers that plagued our voyage west. It was as if the god of the realm had decided we would be able to return home without any further incidents. 

Along the way, as we visited the spot where we had buried Selarmin, we found the petrified remains of a giant spider, most likely the one we had seen fighting the cockatrices. Pahgigoth claimed it was a different spider and that his familiar was fine. He was unconvincing, as usual, though I worry that with the toll of the artifacts’ rejections on his feeble mind, he may actually think he was telling the truth.

We passed by Kalas again and I placed the tome about her at the base of her tree. She seemed grateful and thanked me for my efforts.

Finally we reached the skull platform and only waited a short while for a skull to appear. We climbed aboard, returned to Midgard, and informed Santaur of Selarmin’s demise. I have seen Maephoon claim 2 of my fellow journeyers and twice that number gravely injured. I do not wish to return there any time soon.

 

View
Harrasic Park
Snails, lizards and bushes oh my!

After the discovery of the Crystaline Skull the Company Sergeant Assembled the Party of;

Yevelda
Gawain (R.I.P.)
Pahgigoth (pronounced giggo)
Bodi
Aodi (R.I.P.)

Yevelda's Notes;

After journey in the skull party landed in a jungle forest. There are ruined stone pillars all around the landing site and a big stone arch, climbing it offered good views. Saw body of water to north and another south. Mountains to west. Forest extended beyond horizon in the east. While surveying, the halflings attacked wildlife, pretty shelled snails about size of cat. Slow moving but very hardy. Also poisonous. Extreme poisonous. Don't touch. They like to live in the trees and brush and drop down on things but they hate smoke so are easy to keep away.

We travelled north for two days to reach the coast. Hard to tell time as the sun in this world does not move, we were there for 5 days total and it was always overhead. During our first camp a group of people passed, they were clearly extremely sick, you would mistake them for corpses if they werent moving. They came and attacked us but were not very hardy. Strangely, they dissolved into smoke once felled. After finishing our rest we followed their tracks which lead north but then diverted hard west as we passed into an area with slightly less dense foliage. We decided to leave the track and continue towards the coast.

In passing we encountered a grove of roses near a large pond. I approached the bushes but the plants turned out to be animate and bloody thirsty, wrapping me in thorns until cut down. Another similar creature attempted to drag Aodi into the water when he approached the pond so we withdrew from the area and coninued on.

At the end of our second day we came within view of the coast I had seen on the first day. It looked like either a bay or a large lake. There was an oddly shaped peninsula jutting northward. I had hoped to investigate it after resting but our sleep was disturbed by another creature. It was a lizard large as a castle tower passing nearby our camp. We scattered into the underbrush thinking it would carry on and leave us but Aodi attacked from his hiding spot, his crossbow bolt struck a horrific blow but did not bring the beast down. The battle was one for the ages, Bodi was almost swallowed whole but my javelin found it's eye and it then lay dead.

The following morning trophies were gathered from the beast, using fires to keep the snails at bay and then the party resolved to drag it's head back as our prize. Despite my amazing strength and Pahgigoth's lesser but better than the others' strength it delayed us greatly heading south again. On our third camping we were again interupped during our rest for the day. Flowering bushes of a different sort than the ones from the pond but equally animate and hungry tried poison and then dissolve Gawain and Bodi's animal. Their poison missed Gawain but they put the animal into a sleep that it couldnt not wake from. A Snail attracted to it's helplessness sadly killed it.

After destroying or shooing the snails and nearly dying to their poison Bodi attempted to give his animal a send off by fire, but burning the body attracted even more creatures. 4 lizards about the size of a person atleast, they had feathers and moved quietly and showed unnerving cunning but we were still able to dispatch them with some effort, adding to our haul of claws and teeth. After this incident however we were severly taxed, Gawain and Aodi were also showing signs of disease so the opted to abandon the prize of the giant lizards head to return quicker.

Our fourth "night" was interrupted when another large lizard, this one as big as a draft horse i estimate, crept through the foliage and surprised us. I was almost killed, twice and it did not look good for us until Aodi poked the creature with a needle he'd taken from the plants the previous day. Almost intantly the lizard fell to the ground asleep and we laid about it wildly until it's head was a red mush. At least I did so. One cheap shot for another.

We had taken even more injuries in the fight which slowed our progress back and we had to force march at the end of the fifth day rather than spend another dark-less night with the creatures here. Yet even on this final day we were not spared interuption. Just as we approached the skull device that would take us home a man heaving with living worms that crawled through it's flesh assailed our group. It hissed something in an unknown language, pointing to Aodi and Gawain then attacked them. Our blows had little effect on the creature and it managed to infest both of them with it's worms before we clambered into the skull. It killed brave Gawain while Aodi ran to lead it away from us, before he succumbed to the infestation and dropped also. The worm-man then pointed to the skull and it began to depart as if commanded.

From my position laying almost dead in the skull's mouth, my last sight before the clouds took our vision was Aodi's body twitch and rise. It waved to us.

View
Kungsholm, there and back again. Session 51
Skull Merry-go-round, and the wise old blind one.

4th of Froar.

Yarid, Oamon, Greywood, and me set out to Sarek.

 

Vondal and Hroth are in a good mood, and Solam is at his weakest.

We decided to explore where the skull goes, so here is a short description of what we found, we only ask that this information is used wisely, and that others Check the time and direction the skulls head to verify our findings:

First skull: <u>the original platform, close to Volkenheim, where everyone sets out from.</u>

Second skull: <u>To the south, it is in Kieran's lands. We are told by a person there that we are not wanted there, and will be attacked if we leave the skull at this location. This is southwest of the first skull.</u>

Third skull: <u>The Platform is located in a Myre, could not get my bearings on where this was in location to the others, maybe if we pay more attention the next time, but we tried to keep warm.</u>

Fourth skull: <u>The platform is located on the top of a pyramid with a crown over the skull, at least 3000 feet up in the air. Surrounded by a massive ruin. Goes on for miles.</u>

Fifth skull: <u>North west. Dives into a valley of frozen mist. We could hardly see outside of the jaw, so we kept safe inside.</u>

Sixth skull: <u>North for 3 hours. The platform is in a Barren wasteland, only a ice fortress is to be seen to the north, about a mile away, in the shadow of the Mysts.</u>

Seventh skull: <u>South-East up a slope. Wast mountain range, wind at our back.
The foot is visible, middle covered in storms, and the top out of reach of the storms.
Much fluffy snow up towards the glacier surrounding Leirhe. at least 20,000 feet tall. Skull looks upon the north face of Leirhe. We arrived around midnight.</u>


5th of Froar

 

Vondal and Hroth are still in a good mood, and Solam is at his weakest.


Eighth skull: <u>North-East, East. We arrive on a small island. There is no signs of civilization or life, open planes and trees/bushes. North-Northwest of Volkenheim. might be the blood island. The platform has deep grooves carved into it. done by something large, like a 4m tall cat or some-such. Most animals on the island are big, like elephant, bear and the like. Hunters paradise.</u>

Ninth skull: <u>South for tens of miles. Lands elevated, Leirhe to the West. Plains sloping to the south from the north, there is a fort of stone to the North, similar to Santaur in architecture, but in dissaray. Very early morning, slightly after first light in Santaur standard time.</u>

Tenth skull: <u>The one we found not that long ago. wind directly from the east. not that far off from Kungsholm.</u> 

We head out from the skull. Sun is still not showing to the west.

We come across a trail that seems like someone pushed a barrel full of warm water across the snow. upon inspection the footprints are in fact of a warm lizard like creature that is quite large, broader than a man, about twice as long, not a barrel.

Yarid speculates it might be a creature that likes cold weather, and that cooks knights in their armor and eats them. We choose to disregard the tracks and have Sleet do aerial recognizance, it informs us of a object about half a mile to the east of us. Its a 5×5 meter square thing, looks like walls that are naturally vertical. The edges are to straight to be a hill.

We dig out a timber wall under the fluffy new snow. Oamon finally finds a door after some digging around the building. We knock but there is no reply. We enter and find it to be warm, with a fire going. We see the back of a chair, occupied by a thin being, hunched over. Infront of the figure, there is a table with a candle or a torch on it, otherwise it is just like all the other cabins.
As we move around the chair we se a old man with thin gray hair and beard, wrinkled skin and liver spots. He sits up in the chair but does not look at us.

Yarid casts detect magic, and finds out the candle is a continual flame, and that the heat is magical in nature. I greet him and he finally speak up, claiming to not have had company for a long while, and that he has lived here for a decade.
He says he is called Thorvid, the blind one by the people of Kungsholm. Ida remarks that it is a bit on the nose, he says they are not mistaken, non the less. He also claims we are half a days march from Kungsholm, but that there is no point in going today. As at the end of Calsar, and the first half of Froar, no-one leaves their houses, he is also suprised that Hroth has not claimed our souls yet.

Kungsholm is built in the ruins of a older city, and is quite the sight to behold, or at least he has been told this.

Yarid askes the man if he has warded the hut himself, but Thorvid claims it always has been, from ancient times. As there has ever been a blind-one living there, and there ever will be.
 

Thorvid postulates that there might be more than one at a time, but they all share a common trait, they are Witchlings, cursed ones, and they all see visions of a city, it is wast, and seems to be made of white stone, with a hole in the wall, inside is a library, it is always the same, for as he grew older, the city grew livelier, the hole got repaired, and the snow melted away, he sees a man, that is more than a man, as tall as a building, which is why the streets are so wide, but the man can shrink down to human size, he has along hair and a beard, it is white as snow, and has lost his left eye, he spends most of his life reading, and is also a caster of wards, but most of this only comes in glimpses, and over time. Also he has a hooded man he speaks with, in white robes, who wields a trident like staff, except the spike in the middle is the head of a staff, and the two other prongs crown over it.

Yarid recognizes this figure as Lir, God of the waves, from Allodheim, father of a bloodline of people that are mainly scholars, famed for collecting knowledge.  I tell Yarid in no uncertain terms that Lir is dead and buried. But yarid claims the blood still might give boons to the people, granting skills in magic and a long life. Even a dead god might erect a Fane around himself, and it might not be safe.

Thorvid has not heard of Nemir, when I ask him about him.

He tells us to either head south to the sea, then east,  alternately head east until the sea, then south, Kungsholm lies by the sea.
I set down a lightning rod 20 paces away from the hut, to let Vondal know not to hit the hut.

The old man gives us shelter for the night, so that we may set out in the morning to find Kungsholm during the day, even if we are not allowed in, or to talk to anyone.


6th of Froar.


Wind is picking up slightly. Vondal is afoot. 

as a parting gift he tells us that the servants of Hroth poses as people and send them out to seek shelter, and then kill the givers of respite, and this is why the people of Kungsholm shy away from people in the dead of winter.

Despite this ee head to Kungsholm. The ruins grow more and more frequent as we get closer to the fortress city of Kungsholm. No force in Sarek could bring down this mighty city. 
We see lights burning in the several towers we see. The city wall even stretches out into the sea to protect the harbor.

I'm certain there are people in the guard post but they do not notice us, so Yarid sends Sleet up to have a look. Inside the architecture matches the rest of Kungsholm. It seems like just one big building an the port, not longhouses like in Volkenheim. It however is big enough to house at least a few 1000 souls. the scale is rediculess to say the least.
Yarid yet again has an insight, that it is manmade, by one of the Older civilisations of a forgotten age. A relic of the ancient past.

We head back to the cabin of Thorvid. During our trek, Greywood heads off course, and we find a brushlike tree, but all the leaves have been burnt of, and the branches have been cut or rent of, lying next to the roots. it smells of scorched wood. Not only is it recent, but it is caused by lightning, even though we did not hear thunder. This is clearly a miracle from Vondal, and a sign to me. Yarid finds a hole under the roots. Inside the hole I find a tunnel, that gets larger, it leads into a snow cave, inside of it there is a chest with pelts and human trophies, furthermore there is left a kind of offering, a book lying on a log, at the foot end of the pelt on the floor. It's clearly a Lithar cave, but Vondal wanted me to find the book.

I inspect the leatherbound tome, like a journal, it looks ancient, and upon picking it up, I notice it is spattered in blood, and has faint claw marks, as if carried here by a clawed creature.
I show Yarid, but he does not know the language. but he can tell its really old. He casts Identify on it for me, and learns that it has at some point been the target of divination magic, and that something powerful had seeked it out, and brought it here.

We head back out, and tell the party we shall head on. The rest of the journey back to Thorvids cabin is silent.


I speak with Thorvid as the others sleep, he tells me that of all the ruins in Sarek, the skulls are the newest, by many thousands of years. The snow conceals a lot of Sarek's history, fabels and myths, and only we can prove what is what, by going out and looking.

He goes on to tell me that blind ones can communicate when they sleep. I ask if he can ask other blind ones to come find us by the skull platforms, but he says that being blind and walking around is a bad Idea, but he will ask non the less if some will send someone to meet us, if able.

He adds that latly he has had visions of a fellow blind one in a cell of black ice, and of one next to a large pillar that radiated heat and light like the sun.
He also talks of people that come to visit, to scald, threaten, ask questions or other thing, but he does not know of much else of interest to us.

I ask but he has not heard of the Children of Korsh, so my search continues.

I go to bed, for we must wenture out during the middle of the night to catch the skull.


7th of Froar.

Vondal puts a strong wind at our backs, to get us home on time I guess.

We head out during the night, a storm on the horizon, and we make it to the skull before the storm hits us. On our way we find canine tracks heading south but disregard them, Yarid does send out sleet to look, but she finds nothing before it gets to cold, and heads back to us.

We place the sleds next to the platform on the first skull, as always, before heading home to Santaur.

 

Excerpts from the journal of Cleric Ida Valfarsdòttir, Skjoldmøy of Vondal, Blessed of Hess, and Blessed of Geena.


 

View
Cavern of the Draugr
From the journals of Gleipnir Oathold

Calsar 42nd-44th 1186

The party:

1. Bodi, Ranger, Halfling

2. Ida, Cleric, Human

3. Grin, Swashbuckler/Bard, Human

4. Gleipnir, Cleric, Dwarf

5. Acre, Paladin/Warlock, Half-Elf

Leaving the 42 of Calsar, my party and I headed out across the deep winterlands of Sarek.  Our new party mate Acre was advised to bring winter cloaks and tent for the lands of Sarek were at their coldest, and Vondal's storms would not be forgiving.  Fortunately for the party, Bodi and Grin looked up into the sky and predicted that though Sarek was cloaked in snow, the skies would be clear for the next two days.  East by northeast the party marched onward, hearing lightning strikes, and picking up the occasional hypothermia.  As we neared our quarry some 40 miles, we spied the frozen sea of Volkenheim.  Reaching the coastline, we moved east along the beach trekking near the mountains and foothills, as our journey east was halted by the Myst.  Chance looked kindly on us, as we spied a natural fjrod with running water, that spilled into the sea.  Following the fjord into the mountain-range, there lay the Cavern of the Draugr.

 

These strange aquatic men used the natural barrier of the cavern's fjord, which hindered our progress inwards, to delay invaders and launch their raiding longboats made of both baleen and wood into the sea below.  Kin to the sea, these strangers had the look of sailors, yet their skin was pallid and pruned, with chitinous plates and writhing reeds of seaweed growing twixt muscle and bone.  If their appearance gave off an air of menace, they certainly intended violence as we made our presence known.  However, before we could ambush the guards, the natural challenges of the fjord had to be met.  Luckily with my rituals of water-walking and Grin's blade Balanus, the party gracefully strode upon the fjord's tides.  Battle was joined, and our heroes surprised the guards with arrow and steel.  Just past the cavern's entrance a longboat rested along docks, and upon its decks many Draugr bombarded ballista bolts at our party.  Yet our courage would not falter, and boarding the ship we slew its crew even as Ida's incantations rent the ship's hull with Vondal's lightning.  With the ship ablaze and sinking, and the party having vanquished this vanguard, we swiftly made beachhead onto the shores of another dank tunnel.

 We explored the interior of this tunnel, but alas we were delayed.  A returning patrol had seen the ship ablaze, and followed our tracks in hot pursuit.  Quick thinking from Bodi split our enemy in twain, as his spike growth made the tunnel's entrance perilous ground.  The Draugr seeing their companions ripped by the spinney growths, attempted to cut us off, and headed south towards another tunnel.  Thus the cat and mouse chase began.  Eventually, we discovered them, though they had gotten to this southern tunnel faster.  The rapids of the river had carried them quickly and our blades crossed once more.  We dispatched this weakened patrol, though amidst their company a new Draugr, a larger man all but covered in chitinous plate, made this execution difficult.

The battle ended, a ghastly bride of the sea suddenly appeared in our brief respite.  Coming from the lower tunnel, she had sea salt strewn hair, and a waterlogged gown, yet she meant us no harm.  In fact, through my ward Ida's translation we parleyed with the sea witch.  Speaking in Glarnic, the Draugr introduced herself as Adonia, and explained her situation.  While she believed she could not defeat the threats within the cave, and therefore leave, she hoped we would be capable of freeing her from these threats.  Three foes lied in the cave: to the southwest was the local leader Morelion who kept the Draugr in check, to the southeast was the abominable squid known as the "Seeker" who bestowed the Draugr curse upon captured living, and also to the southwest a giant slithering sandstone snake blended in with its domain.  If we defeated Morelion we reasoned the raids who be hindered.  However, if we could slay this "Seeker" the creation of Draugr would halt in this area for a time.  Adonia explained that the "Seeker" was a grave threat in close quarter, and should be slain from afar.  In addition, she feared that if the "Seeker" was near her it would dominate her mind, and she would be under its influence once more.  The snake has been in the cave long before the Draugr claimed it, and Morelion has ever since been feeding it.  Before we ventured on the hunt for Morelion, we thought it prudent to follow up on another of Adonia's suggestions.

 An altar was hidden in the northwest of the cavern, dedicated to Lir, the dead sea god who was slain by Vondal.  Adonia recommended we find this altar and defeat the Draugr guards, for she would then regale us with lore from her past.  We agreed and set off through the winding tunnels.  Soon we sighted the altar, but no sooner than that we were sighted by the guards.  This small skirmish was dealt with rather swiftly, a taste of what was to come.  The altar now free of Draugr, Adonia thanked us and said that she would remain with this altar every new moon.  She also told us of the path of Vondal, that leads to the city Allodheim, which is the god-city of Lir, and the place where Vondal slew him.  From this cavern, we would have to travel north along the frozen sea.  Oh I forgot to mention, this place seemed dwarven in stonework and may have been an old hold of my people.  Anyways,  the final leg of our journey lay before us and we ventured south towards Morelion.

Speedily our feet carried us to Morelion's sanctum where we fought him and his elite guards.  It seemed at first we were overmatched, having to fight with two fronts.  Grin and I held the coridor leading to Morelion, while Ida, Bodi, and  Acre fought Morelion and his minions.  The greatest of Morelion's men along with his champion came down the corridor to break our defense, and aid their master.  Thankfully, through Grin's bladework, and my wards and spells their advance was thwarted, with the champion and his brutes laying cold on the damp cavern floor.  Meanwhile, Bodi, Ida, and Acre had their hands full, so much so that Bodi nearly lost life.  Fortunately Acre provided Bodi the healing he needed to entreat Bloodaxe for a boon.  This set wrath against Morelion in true form, and with claws, lightning, and eldritch fury Morelion fell.  Exhausted beyond belief, we slumped for a moment and thought our woes behind us.  It would seem Morelion had one final trick from the grave.  The flail he had wielded found its way to Ida's hands, and soon its heads found their way to Bodi's.  As if possessed by some corrupt spirit Ida attempted to kill Bodi.  Thankfully through quick intervention we prevented this, and learned that the flail would test those that sought to wield it.  Acre would be the one to pass this test and learned that its name was Brotið Ósk, or in Kothic means "Broken/Shattered Dream/Wish".  After our toil with the Draugr, we thought it best to head home, and return for the "Seeker" on a later date.

View
Morrendeep and Mahal
Correspondance of Eddon Grey

To the honored Lord Bryn of the Dwarf Clan Redbeard,

Good tidings from your friends in Santuar. I hope that you and your kin have enjoyed good health, good hearth and prosperity. I must tell you that those that dwell here in Westmarch have done superb work on the Wall of Pelias, it looks a remarkable edifice. Pleasing to eyes of it's garrison while surely a thing of dismay for potential assailants.

My purpose in writing to you however is not to praise your people, though it would be no waste of paper to do so, but to inform you of our latest attempt in Morrendeep. I apologise for the time it has taken us to make our return there but I am sure given the immense dangers squatting in the depths there you will forgive us our preparations. Chiefly they were gathering artefacts of power, the drornblades Escarra and Belanus and too Cavarel, the Sword of Kastus once wielded by St Cuthbert himself. It was good that we did for these weapons are keen to destroy servants of the hated 'Masters' whose crimes against all our peoples are too great to number. Those servants by the way, which occupy your ancient Kin's home.

Now with the aid of such blades we were able to penetrate much farther into Morrendeep, beyond the guest redoubt and into part of the city itself. We had a battle with animated skeletons, these were once my own ancestors that died attempting to cleanse the taint from the place, and risen by it's curse. I was pleased to put them to rest properly. However a patrol of the Draconid's spotted the carnage of our battle and fled to warn their compatriots. We gave chase to halt their alarm but in the process attracted the attention of a deadly five headed hydra. Fortune favored us in the encounter for it was a creature of the Masters and we were able to lop it's heads off with fire and our blades before it could wreak havoc – but it did not favor us in that we had been delayed long enough for one of the surviving draconid's to set up their call.

We began to beat a hasty retreat, bitter disappointment on our lips at being driven back so soon – yet the elven eyes of Master Scarloc spotted in the distance, beyond a great garden of mushrooms and series of canals a brightly light, intact structure – he spotted the fane of Mahal. Immediately Gleipnir turned toward it instead and the rest of us gladly followed, surging over the waters until a great skeletal creature of wings, talons and hate rose out of the waters. It was stronger and feller even than the hydra, but once our feet stepped onto stone of the fane, our power waxed and it's waned. I myself was able to deliver the blow with Escarra that shattered it's reanimated spine into splinters. Following that, we entered.

It is a grand place, the only space comparable I ever entered is the Cathedral of Kastus in Kingsbridge. Mahal's resting place dominated, a magnificent stone sarcophagus with space underneath for the pious to recline in close proximity. Lining either side of it were a strange sight, trees made of stone but living and growing. Laden heavily like an apple tree before the harvest, though these fruits were shining gems that sparkled with their own light. In front of Mahal was a sepulchral Anvil large as a horse for the altar – we placed upon it our offerings and they were accepted. Gleipnir, donning his vestments sought a communion.

Things went strange then. For an instant everything became dark, but the welcome dark of one's bedroom just before slipping into a restful sleep, and I had the impression of tolling bells. Low and sonorous. And then we were outside, within sight of the Pelias wall. In each of our hands a boon in the form of one of those crystal fruits, which we later discovered enchanted our weapons. Gleipnir informed me that while it was an instant to me and the others, he had experienced much in that time and talked directly to Mahal and was given truths. One of which was the gospel of Prince Garek;

I must tell you first, the prince had died as you suspected, I believe before we even made our first attempt to locate him. However he had succeeded. He had found and retrieved the High Hammer. Having sent the key back though, he could not make use of the secret door and made for the main entrance. Something dark and terrible met him there, overwhelmed him and dealt his fate. He surely died a great hero, and as the first wielder of the hammer in many centuries there can be no doubt that his soul will find it's way back to your people, if it hasn't already. Mahal also said that having wielded the hammer, the Prince's body has not rotted and the curse has not touched him. We do not know what the fate the Hammer has, but next time we venture to Morrendeep we will retrieve your Prince and we will bring him home to you so that he may rest in state.

 

Fare the well friend,
Signed: Sir Eddon Grey of Northmarch

Post Script: I have included with this letter a copy of the layout of Morrendeep that we have so far explored, this is from a sketch to the best of my recollection after the fact rather than a true map but I believe it might be of interest to you and and your people as well as us here.

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The love between Bears&pigs Session 49

Date: 28th of Calsar
Part: Scarloc, Lilly, Ida, Eddon, Jin.

Dear Mother,
It was a wonderful day, There many great deeds achieved again this day. one can even say this will be a day to remember. although my memory maybe not the best mother. I will try to remember this one. We where trying to bring our people in alliance with the Ursea the race of bear people. mighty warriors and ex-army of the master a valuable ally indeed.


It all started in a tavern like many of the great stories do begin. with some heroes or wanna be heroes that want to make a name for themselves. you won't believe it we had our cocky ranger Scarloc, our lovely healing maiden in heavy armor who wields lightning Ida,  a snotty confident pretty boy noble with a shiny sword called Eddon. and I kid you not mother we even had an elf kid who shoots pinks arrows and is like super cute, she calls herself a heroin of justice hahaha what an innocence, You do know mother I have a weakness for these children who lost their family. I think I will look after her when I have the chance.


So after some discussion in the tavern, Pretty Boy arranged some horses for the party. they said I moved too fast without a horse so I wasn't given one, a Good thing to these nags where fine but they had defects the one was too docile and the other one was a scaredy cat. it was hilarious to see them try to get the beasts under their control. could have helped by injecting my Ki into the creatures, Strenght isn't given it is taken, Those words from father is the only relevant sentence he spoke that stuck with me. After they spoke in length with a sergeant at the wall about the location of a tower called Riverguard, I must confess Mother I did like my decision to bring the pretty boy along, cause he knew a lot and he was good in a fight which I will describe later on.
We also got flare's from the sergeant if the need was really great they would send men to aid us. two of them flares even cause they botch sometimes and ending up in a dud or worse a spark of fire in one's hand.

well after some travel following the cocky ranger, we found this tower. And I must say mother it was interesting. there were tracks all around of these bear people.
after some inspecting the ranger beckoned to silence cause he saw movement. Apparently this was a Ursea, but he got spooked by some crazy elven war cry from our ranger.
Even though I was upset by this I learned one thing! we can't speak their language, but you know mother your boy is full of tricks, and got a knack of getting what he wants at the right time. I spoke with my friend and he gave me the power to speak their language, Don't worry mother he is not after my health and body like father we are just good friends.
so now we waited, while we did the other guys weren't that sure about staying at the tower I did my best to postpone us leaving cause the scout did see us and we were in small numbers if these creatures were warriors they would come and seek us out. Letting the others know would probably only spook them so I kept it silent I know mother I should try to be nice to them more often, try to make friends?! Well while they were looking around scarloc eventualy found a hidden latch at the base by some ruins. and here comes the weird part, he was rubbing his blood on the floor. Yeah I know right and they call me weird. Silly thing is when we both dropped our blood on the hatch it opened, how he convinced me to do it, I still don't know. maybe I like the guy, he is kind of like an obnoxious brother to me hahaha father would have loved that wouldn't he?
Well being the most agile I hoped down, and took a look at the bottom there was a door but it looked caved in, Curious great claw marks where seen though. I have to ask the Ursea what that kind of creature would have been to make that on solid stone?
When we left the pitfall it closed on its own after a short while, curious right well mother from this part it get even more interesting. We heard great roaring sounds, these sounds where from the Ursea and they where large and magnificent mother, the warriors from the story's. I started to communicating with them, they where friendly at first until the smelled Varos his smell on me. The Iron Lord his smell stil lingers on me after all these years. When you did your best to cleanse me. But it matter not after quick thinking and showing them the rest of our party, The fair Ida who commands storms they liked this. But again pretty boy saves the day without even knowing. They know the famous dragonblade he wields. Called Escara, good thing too! after this I did my best to convince them help us in battle against the Tuskers. there where some words spoken some harsh some gentle. the small one Lilly even had the stones to call them monsters, Mother she is the bravest or stupidest little elf I have ever seen. Either way they informed us of something "larger" helping the tuskars. Giants mother, really giants we where going to face giants. I was looking forward to it. there blood and eyes hold great power for me as you know mother. Scarloc after some bickering cause I wanted to go being so excited, went scouting alone Until Vaas thats the Champion Ursea all dressed up into custom plate armor. I gave him a false name don't worry mother they wont find out my real name, cause it holds power over me dont worry I think things trough sometimes. well anyways he want his lead tracker Vrenga to go with Scarloc. They headed off, not long after they came back and say it was doable, so he went to the water and talked to some water spirit to keep the horses and donkey safe. I have not seen this before I have to keep a closer eye on scarloc, he is meddling with too many gods and greater beings. This will consume him if he is not careful. All that power is hard for one person to wield.
The hunt though Mother it was glorious, we arrived in the nighttime the moon its highest, at easily one of my favorite times. So Scarloc and I went to look at this cave ooowh what did that stink, we found one giant in the cave though, So when I had it's attention three arrows flew past and this giant was hurt oowh my. I dropped my caltrop and ran out. another hail of arrow and the first giants fell. I ordered the Ursea to guard our rear against the tuskers. We had to prove by taking out the giants that we are capable warriors and we can be trusted to have their backs when they need it the most. and that we trust them enough to turn our backs to them, at least that was my ideology at this moment, the heat of combat couldn't think of anything better. the other giant soon joined the melee he was cut down swiftly like the first one. the rear did a tactical blunder instead of seeking refuge at the back of the mighty Ursea, they choose to go up the slope and where ambushed, what Happened exactly I can't tell but it was bloody. when the third giant came the battle was really on its highest peak. blood flying everywhere this pretty boy he swung his sword with great efficiency, and the arrow and spells where flying around my ears, I feel like I've grown weak in my time of isolation in Morrendeep. but we fought like lions and the Ursea where having fun slaughtering the Tuskar behind us. We felled the third giant and only the Champion and its spellslinger remained with a few lower helpers. Scarloc went down, and I heard A great cry and fury scream of lilly in the distance. I was worried mother I really was. when I left the last boar to look at the situation, to my shock it wasn't lilly down but Ida, she wasnt moving and pale. My eyes have never deceived me mother she was dead. While pretty boy saved scarloc. he didn't hesitate a minute and was praying something in elvish to some god I don't know, yess yet another one! Ida came back to life. this was not possible her spirrit left her body. it was shortly said a miracle. The Ursea where celebrating with a Roar of Fury, they had seen the same that my eyes saw. the elven maiden of sort walking away behind the brush. they saw this as a sign for our friendship. and we where marked by them. except for lilly she refused, maybe smart choice but I can't let this friendship pass me by! they hold answers I seek. they warned us though, Stay clear of the Karnass: black pelt and red claws, these are not so friendly. While the party went to explore the caves they found a giant treasure hoard, Me mother no I was outside harvesting the giant parts and making sure could get the body's of the main two tuskars that spelslinger and the champion cause I need them. They need pack animals for this gold so we went to take a look at the stockade before we went for the animals.
we found a couple of things, a scroll written in blood which scarloc, wanted the young to read I was angry at this statement I controlled it though and explained it to him. a childs mind is not able to resist against any mind controlling effects. we found some other bone artifacts which they destroyed. the same with an altar which after it was destroyed, gave a black talon. We could have learned so much from this in the right hands. they destroyed it mother they gave away the chance of information for a chance to be good, really well I cant say this was wise but they acted on their best interest. Pretty boy decided to call the stockade. Fort Ida, I think he is trying to court the lady. They could be a good match mother!
So they headed back and I stayed behind at the stockade so I could, Speak more with the Ursea and being the one who is the most ruthless of the party. Guarding these wild lands would probably be best suited for me at this point. I did ask at Eddon if he could ask the earl if I can be named the official Diplomat with the Ursea. I invested my earnings from the mission into building a Hall fro healing and resting in Fort Ida. I did hear I missed a great party back at Santaur, But well I'm not much liked by the others mother so I think I'm best serving our kind here making sure they are safe from the real evil that is out there. I'm coming for you father for what you did to mother.
I know you will never read this Mother, but when I reach the afterlife I will tell you all the stories and adventure your son has undertaken and the friends he made. For I do not always act rationally I will protect them, with a dark fury they will never understand.

30th of Calsar Signed,
Jin Son of Varos of household Ironlord.

 

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A new Skull, Session 48
The long trip north.

13th of Calsar

Yarid, Greysome, Oaman, Grin, and I head into Sarek.


The days of Solam are over for this year, as he stuggles to even show his light over the lands. Light Wind and Snowfall greet us upon our arrival.

    After getting to Sarek we trek over to the closest cabin I know off, as the sun was already setting. We find the cabin unoccupied so we huddle in for the night.

14th of Calsar

Vondal seems to be stiring in the east. 18 hours of lightning storms.
      We head out towards Volkenheim, the storms are thunderous but the winds are slow moving, despite not hearing eachother, we walk on. I see some snowlynx prints in the snow, but other then that we make a steady pace. during the night snow starts to fall heavily during Grins watch.


15th of Calsar


Snows still falls as we pack up camp to head out for the day.Vondal left, and Hroth decided to show up during the night. Light Snowfall.
      Shortly after leaving the site we are set upon by 2 snowlynx, hiding in the snowstorm.
Greysome takes a beating early in the fight, and Oamon secures the first kill with the help of Grin.

The second lynx then leaps atop Graysome and rips his throat out in a vicious attack, it then drags him of into the snowdrift. Yarid smacks it with shatter, and I end it with my sacred electricity.

We go through Greysome's stuff, and Grin says we have to bury him, even though I suggest we leave him to feed the wildlife. Grin sets fire to him and we watch him sink into the snow.

At the end of the day, we  walk downwards and onto ice. We step back onto land and set up camp. During Oamons watch we are set upon by Atseli, white draugr like creatures of ice and death. Oamon takes one down, and I turn the rest to dust, thanks to Vondal.

 

16th of Calsar.

Hroth has settled, slight breeze. we walk straight to Volkenheim with out incident across the Iced sea.

      In the town square we find Thane Rolf sentencing a man named Haakon to exile, I say I will take him with us on the morrow when we leave. Rolf is happy about this, as Haakon wont just go out to die alone in the dark cold wilderness.

Oamon decides to hand one of his swords and 25lb of our collective lynxmeat to Rolf as a gesture of good faith between Volkenheim and the people of the Earth from which he is a ambassador, and the rest of us. After this we decide to sleep in the guesthouse. 


17th of Calsar.
Light Wind persists
      We follow the coast north past the river and find a Vik full of Draugr guarding a ship.
I follow the tenents of Vondal, and task the others to attack them, without mercy. We destroy them and their ship with swift and furious justice. The rest of the walk is slow but silent.


18th of calsar
 

Heavy Snowfall, Hroth is at it again. this is his time of year after all.

     After a 6 mile march  we find the body of a dire bear buried in the snow, shot down with black corrupting arrows. Haakon tells us about the feathered one, valkires bring things killed by their black arrows, to her, to rise again in her service.
They live a days march away from the stoutfolk that are in service to the stern lady, atop a place called the Eyrie, black as night against the horizon, pestering the children of the stern lady. The Eyrie supposedly lies a few days Southwest of the Westwood. And the Westwood is situated South of the Twin Lakes.

We walk north towards the cursewood and settle down for the night, on my watch I need to chase away some critters, otherwise silent and still.


19th of Calsar.

Heavy Snowfall & Light Winds.
      We continue north down the hill and end up getting lost in a snowstorm.
Sometime during the day we hear trembling underground, we believe it to be a giant purple worm. We stand still and wait for it to pass. Rest of the walk is done in silence.


20th of Calsar.


Light Snowfall
     Snow finally lets up, and we find ourselves next to the sea, and we can see what Haakon calls the island of blood. It is where Holmgang's are traditionally held, it is an elevated stone platform 60 feet tall with area for spectators to witness the two fighters duel it out on the blood soak round slab or rock surrounded by a 15 feet wide gap.

Holmgang's are for settling disputes between people, from Thrall to King as to not risk anyone else but the two who are in conflict.


21st  of Calsar.


Sunshine and a slight breeze.
     We keep following the coast nothing of note happened this day.


22nd of Calsar.


Light Snowfall
        We get ambushed by a catlike humanoid, reminiciant of a lynx. It hit like a bull, and had the ability to heal, but thanks to Grin with Bluesteel, we denied it the ability to heal, and made short work of it there after, but it was a hard fight.

After this fight we lick our wounds and follow the coast eastwards, We find a second skullplatform in Sarek, by nightfall, we stay there to see when it arrives and when it leaves.

23rd of Calsar.


Light snowfall.
      At the first rays of light, we take it back to the first one, then back to Santaur.

We sell the 2 lynx pelt, the meat and claws/fangs. We also sell Greysome's gear and that of the Lynx like creature. 

 

Excerpts from the journal of Cleric Ida Valfarsdòttir, Skjoldmøy of Vondal, Blessed of Hess, and Blessed of Geena.

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