The Wilds Await

Tentacles, Tongues, and Tetanus.

Ignis, Bodi, Savric and Gigo attend.

37th of Froar – 42nd of Froar

After becoming sidetracked on my last attempt to rid the sewers of corruption near Tarroket I came to the conclusion that a change of team may be in order. Puck seemed slightly biased in the situation and would possibly prove himself an obstacle at an important juncture so I put out a new call for aid and was pleased to see some seasoned adventurers heeded that call. I've read many logs detailing the heroics of both Savric and Bodi so I had high hopes for the mission this time around. Also Gigo turned up but the man can swing a weapon with a ferocity I've rarely seen and doesn't seem present enough in reality to know that he's being hit which makes him a useful fellow to have between oneself and the enemy.

We arrived at the skull platform South of Tarroket and began following the vague directions I'd gleaned from my research into the spreading corruption. We headed South East Until we began to notice some of the corruption seeping up into the ground causing polluted swamp lands to form. Following the veins of corruption west we eventually found the entrance to the sewers. It was late in the day and we were exhausted from our travels thus we decided to camp out for the night before making a start of navigating the sewers in the morning.

Anyone entering the sewers in the future be warned, the place is labyrinthine in nature and it is almost impossible to accurately decipher direction down there. After wandering around for most of the day we ran into a strange tentacle flailing monstrosity pulling itself around within the sewer waters. The creature was luckily felled quite easily but may have proven difficult if we had not been so swift to bring it down. Unfortunately the corrupted monster had time to let out an ear shattering screech before it perished which summoned several gibbering mouther's. The disgusting amalgam of limbs and slime seemed to favour attacking Gigo but I was able to keep him safe for the most part and between us we felled them without incident. Once the fight was over I cleansed the corrupted bodies with holy fire and we moved on. After a little more wandering around we realised that we'd been heading in what was quite obviously the wrong direction for the entire day and were about to head out to the ocean.

Annoyed by our mistake we decided to find the safest place we could for a rest so we could make a fresh start in the morning with clearer and hopefully more intelligent heads. During Savric's watch a creature was spotted in the water, Savric alerted us to it's presence but it was very difficult to see it until it emerged. A large; blue, frog appeared and immediately attacked Savric wrapping the archer in it's tongue and then proceeding to try and eat him. Our attacks were chipping away at the creatures substantial fortitude but Savric wouldn't survive being eaten alive at the current rate. I blessed him with our lords protection to bide the time until we could finally fell the beast. Gigo put his impressive strength to use pulling Savric free from the toads bind. One thing to note is that the toad was able to negate magic that targeted it if the casters force of will was not strong enough. This should be a concern for the city of Tarroket as more of these creatures could pose a significant threat. Once freed Savric made quick work of the toad with an arrow to it's brain. Once again I used the fire of The First Phoenix to cleanse the masters corruption from the toads remains lest it spreads to other creatures.

During the remaining rest Gigo and Savric fell ill. It seems the sewers are rife with a variety of unpleasant diseases. At this point we realised it would be wise to head home and come back another day more prepared with the knowledge we gained from this initial excursion. At what we assumed to be dawn we began making our way back toward the entrance. Toward the end of the day we reached our point of egress. Just as we were about to leave we heard an increasingly loud buzzing. We quickly found a nook in which to weather the swarm of 500 or more blood sucking insectoid abominations.

I'd hoped to see sunlight after spending two days in that wretched sewer. Unfortunately we reached the surface at nightfall and required a camp immediately as our diseased companions were not in any condition to press on. During the night we were attacked by an amorphous blob of black ichor which began slowly making it's way toward us, seemingly with the intention to absorb our party within it's acidic form. Bodi laid down a thicket of brambles which slowed and tore into the blob and a few bolts of my lords flame seemed to do a hefty amount of damage. It was at this point that Gigo unleashed an torrent of tentacles to attack everything around him. Which one of you thought it would be a good idea to teach him to do that spell? (I'm looking at you Cecil!) Nonetheless we were able to fell the creature despite it splitting into two smaller versions of itself just before death.

Our diseased party members were feeling worse by the minute so at dawn we headed directly North back to Tarroket where Gigo and Savric were cured and I reported back to the Magisters.

Anyone going to the sewers in the future should take precautions against disease and be ready for the many abominations within.

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

Ignis Wraithrazer.

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#104 Oh jeez.... Who is Sheera?

"The Entity"

5th to 7th of quickern

Dear diary.

 

oh jeez what a week. Father Sent me here to do trade and make connections i doubt this is what he had in mind.

 

After getting back home from that awful ordeal with those thieving bullies who left me for dead in the forest tied to a tree only to have the near godlike Sheera show up to free me and set me out on a quest, i wasted no time in tracking down this ranger that sheera wanted me to go with.

 

A few copper pieces and some kind words later i learned that he was to be part of a adventurers group that forming up and making ready to leave. so i rushed out to meet them.

There was a man named Sandro half mistaken for a commoner, but judging by his weaponry he was there for business.

Rend a towering half ork.. (half giant??) who was kind enough to assist me in burying my chest before we departed.

Doofus a Dwarf with a speech impediment, who apparently was the one organizing this gathering, there was Talk of doing trade with a settlement of dwarfs, my kind of adventure

And the man i had been looking for, he went by the name Roar. i was sure this was the man i was to find as he kept an unusual companion, a wolf. Surely a sign of Sheera.

We traveled via a giant skull, to another place I don't know where. Then another skull appeared, this one covered in moss and other growths. The party didn't seem to mind and off we went, the whole thing really upset my stomach.

I managed to befriend the halfork with the help of a few coppers, he agreed to carry my belongings as they were weighing me down. i only kept the most important things on me like handkerchiefs, extra cloths, it was so cold and drafty there im lucky i didn't catch something, oh and the ointments to keep bugs and other crawly's off me. but i think i went through like 4 handkerchiefs beacus of my allergies, the little wolf That traveled with us surely didn't do anything to help with my asthma either.. Terrible way to travel 2/10

 

Anyway the Roar guy was the one guiding the way so I thought surely this is the will of Sheera so i didn't Really disapprove when he said he was taking us somewhere else rather then to do trade with the dwarfs.We were how ever lead right into this giant Worm thingy that came out of the ground and enveloped my carrier serve..eeh i mean the Halfork named Rend. Everyone just sprung into action like they knew exactly what to do, there was arrows,magic,chopping. even some nibbeling from the wolf.Roar even breathed out some sort of ash like he was a dragon or some sort. Surely, this is the man Sheera wants me to follow.

fearing that  m̶y̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶s̶ ̶w̶e̶r̶e̶ ̶a̶b̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶s̶w̶o̶l̶l̶o̶w̶e̶d̶  he'd get eaten i granted him some of my Magic, giving him the additional Strength equal to that of an oxen. In addition the might granted to him by his barbarian teaching he stood his ground like a mountain of livening muscle! Like some sort of exaggerated marble statue depictinga ancient warrior god. The others continued their onslaught of arrows and magic while I helped as bestAs I could with my magic.

 The dwarf with he speech impediment, Doofus must have been very nervous because he sweated so much greasy stuff that it covered the ground for several feet.i scooped some up in a vial for later examination and testing, before continuing helping to defeat the worm.

Now i can't take all the credit because I did see the Commoner man land an impressive shot with his bow, while i was pelting it with rocks. but i definitely dealt the killing blow with a well aimed rock to the tail of the worm(that must be where its heart is).

 

After the battle i tried to retrieve some of the poison that was dripping in its mouth but was unsuccessful the bow man Sandro said he could give it a try, so i i handed him A̶ ̶v̶i̶a̶l̶ t̶w̶o̶ ̶v̶i̶a̶l̶s̶ three vials. but he broke them all.i made a note of this in my ledger to make sure i was compensated for this destruction of  my property.

i Tended Rends wounds as best i could with some ointments and a few bandaids before we set off again.NOTE : Dwarf grease dose not have healing properties, and by the look off Rends face, tastes horrible.

 

Roar continued to lead us so again i just kinda rolled with it. while explaining for the 5th time who Sheera was and how she had helped me out of my pickle.

There was some commotion due to a mountain top disappearing before our eyes, and a shockwave of dust and other debris sweeped over us making it hard to breath, oh jeez how my asthma acted up, i dont think il breath right for a month.

Rend got hit in the face by a rock from the debris,and i coughted for hours, but othertwise no one was harmed. I wonder what happend to the mountain top.

Roar lead us to a seemingly nice place to set up camp. so while Doofus and rend pitched their tents and went to sleep for the night i set up a campfire and made some nice gefilte fish to share with my new friends. While it was cooking i thought it best to practice some hornblowing, and rock throwing, Roar and  Sandro  was clearly impressed by my good aim, and nice horn blowing .so much so roar had to sit down and think about something.

 i was going to ask him about Sheera and other stuff but  Sandro insisted that i teach him how to make gefilte fish, surely he smelt it cooking. so after a quick cooking lesson i busted out the hummus and we had a nice meal.

i think  Sandro  might be allergic to some of the ingredients though as it seemed to give him gastric distressas he suddenly got up and ran away.

I asked the others if they wanted some but they didn't say much so i kinda just threw some into their tents for them to enjoy later.

Roar and  Sandro came back soon after,  Sandro  did look a bit worked up. but i guess Diarrhea dose that to most people.

 

The next morning i found out that Doofus the dwarf had left the group before sunrise, speaking about urgent family businiss.Thats when we got attacked by a hulking monster.

only it was not a monster. it was 'a new adventurer' come to help since doofus had left.Reygar it called itself. about the size of a Towns Gate and a beard the size of a tree. the others greeted himKindly, and Rend seemed to know the creature so alright i guess..

Roar  lead us onwards.To a Village that had just been raided, sacked. Attacked? all of the above works.the houses burned down so that only the fireplace remains. Almost everything was in utter ruins.the Mountaingiant thought it funny to pick me up and roll/throw me into a shed as i tried looking around the ruins for any Valuables. i don't like the giant man, i think he gets off on bullying lesser beeings.A trait that is all to common in creatures bigger then others. . just wait untillSheera awards me for completing her tasks and i don't  know.. Bestows me with some ancient strength  like in the tales my grandmas read to me l̶a̶s̶t̶ ̶w̶e̶e̶k̶ when i was little. then we'll see who's the weakling!

 

 Sandro found an eleven arrow tip amongst the burned rubble. did elves really do this? all i found was a finger.oh.. right that is still wrapped in my handkerchief..eeew..

Roar found some tracks that lead out of the village and said we had to follow them, so we did.It was starting to get dark so we stopped in a clearing near a nice little pond. while the others talked about Something i thought it was a good opportunity to make a fire and boil some water to replenish our waterskinns.as i put the kettle on everyone is just Staring off into the forest.

What had drawn everybody's attention was a magnificent looking creature,Like a a forest and a wolf had a baby.this creature would be it, Surely this is a sign from Sheera that im on the right course. As the party steers on, the creature speaks inside my mind, and by the look of the others, in theirs swell. now i don't really

remember what it was, as i was eating at the moment and that sorta muffled the voice alittle bit. But whateverit said it was enough for Roar to stand completely down and to warrant a berserk charge from the hillbrute and his college Rend ( i thought you were cool rend.).

As killing a creature that clearly was in Sheera's service felt wrong i took Roar's side in this. Sandro used some magic to communicate further with the creature and said that it said it was after vengeance. Roar explained that the Two Barbarians had burned down a forest for some reason that baffled me. and that was why the Creature was here seeking vengeance. I was told to it best to stay out of it.

 

Now. since my journal might be used as evidence i have to go into a little bit of details first before continuing.According to Roar there are some laws in place regarding cowardice or desertion? of your party members.As in leaving them behind, or not coming to their aid in combat.( like those thieving bully's that left me tied to a tree.but that did lead me to meeting Sheera.. so alright i guess)

BUT there's also laws about not forcing your companions into situations like this.i have to swing by the library and get som books on local law before my next outing. So i don't just end up executed on the spot for no apparent reason.

Anyway. From the commotion over the hill it didn't sound like it was much of a fight, although i did see Rend topple over at one point. but he was back up soon after.

Now as i see it if they needed aid they would've said so right?. but all i could hear were what i can only classify as ….Barbarian Noises.

 

I think Sandro got hit in the head with something because at one point he stood up and tried to fire an arrow at the Creature, while giveing the Barbarians a smile and a thumbs up.. but.. yeah that detent work out. in any case it didn't

take the ragebrothers to slain the beast but that did not seem to sathe h̶i̶l̶l̶b̶r̶u̶t̶e̶ Reygar bloodlust as he came walking up

to roar and punching him in the face so hard that roars cloake seemed to flow in an ethereal wind, but roar himself didn't

budge much ( sheera surly has granted him great strength)h̶i̶l̶l̶b̶r̶u̶t̶e̶ Reygar started shouting at us for not helping in the fight despite them barely havening any scratches on them, and was saying he was going to execute Roar on the spot for it. Rend pulled a knife and shoved Sandro into the pond.The party was now at an Tiefling Standoff.

 

Roar kept his composure and said that h̶i̶l̶l̶b̶r̶u̶t̶e̶ Reygar was not the only one to brake the laws in this case as he had just charged off on a whim. but the Giant's bloodlust was up and he was set on executing Roar. Not sure what kept him from doing so, as i doubt theres anything any of us could done to stop it.

Thus the Standoff with the playground bullies continued. Sandro tried to brake the ice but was promptly ignored.

 

I could sense Roar weighing the his options, and im glad he chose the one he did, as i have no doubt what the outcome of the battle would've have been.Roar simply walked off,as if darning Raygar to make good on his threats.I was eager to follow him.

but Rend was still in possession of my backpack. And i was not about to return withouth my belongings a second time. But as he was still in an intense Staring contest with Sandro i had to climb him and retrieve my things.This must be what its like to ride a wild horse, because Rend started kicking and moving to shake me off, thinking this might be what starts the allout fight i panic and blew my Signal whistle hoping for roar or anyone to come to my aid, Reygar the bully that he is smacks the whistle away from me,(thank Sheera he didn't actually hit me!) i tore off my backpack room Rend and Ran after Roar, stopping only  to look back at Sandro, surely he would come to his senses and come with us. But alas, he stayed with them.

 

Roar made us walk for a while before deciding it was time for camp. The night passed uneventful
Giants makes horrible companions.. 1/10 would not adventure again.

 

We made our way back to the skull transport thingy's and eventually back to town.I think Roar will take this matter of death threats to court, and i will agree to be a witness or help in anyway.This place is not lacking of brutes, and i will do whatever is in my power to see that they are brought to justice. in this case, And especially in the case of those two who left me tied to a tree!

 

But for now i need to get more healing ointments and Roots from the alchemists, and see a doctor as i think im about to get a ear or sinus infection from all the strange things iv been exposed to on this trip  ( Big dried mucus marks on the ) paper. Ooh jeez, and i better buy some more Handkerchiefs too. I wonder if anyone has caught all my pigs yet..

Signed :  Bodel Hershel faystein

GeFilte Fish recipe

13 patties

3,5 pounds of white fish.

1 cup Cold water

3 Onions

4 Carrots

Sugar

Salt

Parsnnip

4 eggs

Ground pepper

Dash of Matzha meal

Fish heads/bones/skinn for 'stock'

 

 

1. Place the reserved bones, skin, and fish heads in a wide, very large saucepan with a cover.

Add the water and 2 teaspoons of the salt and bring to a boil. Remove the foam that accumulates.

 

2. Slice 1 onion in rounds and add along with 3 of the carrots. Add the sugar and bring to a boil.

 Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes while the fish mixture is being prepared.

 

3. Place the ground fish in a bowl. finely chop the remaining onions, the remaining carrot, and the parsnip; or mince them by hand.

 Add the chopped vegetables to the ground fish.

 

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, the remaining teaspoon of salt, pepper, and the cold water, and mix thoroughly. Stir in

enough matzah meal to make a light, soft mixture into oval shapes, about 3 inches long. Take the last fish head and stuff t

he cavity with the ground fish mixture.

 

5. Remove from the saucepan the onions, skins, head, and bones and return the stock to a simmer. Gently place the fish patties in the

 simmering fish stock. Cover loosely and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Taste the liquid while the fish is cooking and add seasoning to

 taste. Shake the pot periodically so the fish patties won't stick. When gefilte fish is cooked, remove from the water and allow to cool

for at least 15 minutes.

 

6. Using a slotted spoon carefully remove the gefilte fish and arrange on a platter. Strain some of the stock over the fish, saving the rest in a bowl.

 

7. Slice the cooked carrots into rounds cut on a diagonal about 1/4 inch thick. Place a carrot round on top of each gefilte fish patty.

Put the fish head in the center and decorate the eyes with carrots. Chill until ready to serve. Serve with a sprig of parsley and horseradish.

 

Characters/players

Bodel – Simen/Tzark

Dolphus – Jimmy (left early)

Rend -Niko

Roar- Wolf

Sandro – Iron (?)

Reygar- Luchi

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#103 Hostile lands have no friendlies...
everything hurts :<

Nix, Bodi & Brian, Gleipnir, Sandro and Efrexsoda + Cart :o

8th Quickern – 15th Quickern

Mission is to visit Kongsholm and explore on the
way there.

Day 1
We meet up by the skull. Eager to head to Volkenheim
we travel northwest, Following Bodi and Brian as we
travel. during our second part of the day a smaller
snow  starts coming down, limiting vision. Brian & 
the wagon hits a pitfall and gleipnir fall down with
the animal and is stuck with the wagon on top of them
Sandwiched down there as we are attacked by an ambusher
Bodi is quick enough to get out of the falling wagon
and assault the ambusher. Which is an Windigo?

Then in the middle of combat the wagon seems to grow
a life of its own and drags itself back out of the
trap (animate object). We quickly dispatches of the
ambushing Windigo as it runs away. But as it dies
a blob or orb seemingly filled with lightning that
should give off light but don't comes out of nowhere
next to the cart. Bodi and Brian combines and charges 
it. They combine with Efrexsoda goes for it.

The orb atatcks everyone with an attack on our minds.
Sandro went down after the second and most of us are
wounded and Nix tosses bless around to help bring it
down but loses consentration. We Bodi and Brian stops
wounding it and says its to hardy for us and we are 
all on full retreat. During the retreat we loose 
Efrexsoda and the orb. Nix finding Sandro in the dark
after he ran off in fear of the orb… 

Efrexsoda is missing while the rest of us meets up.
Nix heals those in need direly by the healing of the
Misstress. We thinks that the thing is after our
missing member. We come to the conclusion that its
simply to dangerous to go back after Exfrexsoda.
The Orb is finding us and we unable to wound it 
is the worst scenario. We walk an hour before setting
up camp. Discussing about what to do with the Efrexsoda

Best case he move back to the platform and goes back
home. Or going to Volkenheim. We are betting on that
he does either of those… 


Day 2
We sets up the wagon for the night and its continues
to blow. A storm becoming rougher and rougher. As we
rest in the wagon the storm rips the roof off. With 
some relativly quick thinking the ideas of digging
down or making  a new tarpet is made. With a roofless
wagon we flip it upside down and plug the holes as
we have a missarbable night.. we surive it but have
to spend the first moment of respite to get some wood 
and remake the wagon in a shadow of itself. We try once
more for Volkenheim and…

THEN We are viciously ambushed by two felines. One
takes a bite off me (Nix) but otherwise gets a swift
victory. After some heal and skinning the animals
we finally makes it to Volkenheim. 

As we approch we meet a smaller guard that seems to like
me. Then Gleipnir calls for someone on the wall and this
person disappers and after a while women and children and
even more guards appears on the wall. I feel like i am 
some sort of excotic animal here… A captain.. or a jarl
comes out from the wall after the gates opens and him and
Gleipnir talks. I could hear it was more or less explaining
my purification. This captain came up to me and i bowed my
head to him. Only respectable to do of course. He wanted to
have my paw cut on his sword. He seems to have tensed less
after 'seeing' the results but nonetheless i was not allowed
to enter the city as a 'beast' Me and Bryan got left outside

And of course the Bryan become a hard  thing to handle almost
immidiatly. After getting him off my back for but a few moments
i at least managed to steer him away from the wall of these 
tense people and we went for a ride… They were quick to raise 
shield and ready arrowswhen i mentioned the word 'feral'. 
Perhaps i shouldn't have said it the way i did. "I might go…
feral". I did have a good laugh at least. Tho perhaps not the
best way of… breaking the ice.

The others got to go in… at least i was promised good food?
Now if this damn beast would behave…

Day 3-8 
we stay in Volkenhaim. Well they do. Me and Bryan get
to have the great 'honour' to sleep outside that wall of theirs.
But Gleipnir is a kind soul. Perhaps much like my own. Tho i do
have a knack to show my ungratefulness from time to time. While
i was 'living' outside the walls i wasn't completely left alone.
Gleipnor provided food, drinks and company. While i miss the 
softness of a bed and the warmth of a tavern or an inn… it could 
have been worse. Bodi was with me to and told lots and lots of 
stories but i lost interest long before they started. They was
to grand to believe. Besides if it wasn't for the fact that
Bryan was out here and stuck with me i probably woudn't see him 
much during these days. But i might be wrong in that regard…

First time traveling with this birdman. His tounge is taunting and
makes my fur raise when he was very taunting to the guards of the
town. But i suppose they very less tense about him and his tounge
and more occupied with me. I think its the most attention i have
had in my sort life. The Mistress's blessing proving its worth i 
guess? It did also make banished from entering the town… so its
a bitter sweet blessing at this time. But i am now pure from the
taint put upon me by that frog and Puck. While i am now most 
gratefur to be alive i wasn't having the same attitude when i was
a tained giant. Alltough i feel weaker and changing between wolf
and volkin hurts as hell. I wonder if that will change as time 
passes? Perhaps i get used to it… or my Mistress might remove
that pain as i prove myself for her.

On another note i don't seem to have this legendary hearing most
say that wolves have… i mean they perk up and listens around 
as wolves do… but.. uhm… i do have the scent. I can smell 
quite alot. I don't show it alot. Never been that kind of man…
Do i even call myself a man now? Hmm… If the natives are all
as welcome as these 'Volkenheimers' then i guess i got alot of
'warm' welcomes in the future. I do have a worry about going to
the heartland of these people. The High King might not be to 
fond of my more native kin. Tho i feel like saying i am not a 
native one to him will do nothing more then raise a brow on him.

On a brighter note Efrexsoda comes walking up to us at Volkenheim.
He did receive a much warmer welcome then i did. As he was taken
by the city guards rather forcefully. He was rather cold and all…
I guess him being a druid was better then me being a holy man. ..
uhm.. wolf of Hess? Also given the interactions i believe
that he might have been here before. I'l just sleep out here in the
wagon like the priest i am. Not priesty enough for the people of
Volkenheim to be allowed in of course. Supersticious and judgemental
people they are… but at least Gleipnir does get me food and drinks 
so i could be worse. Thought i would prefer to be inside the walls…

- Nix

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Meeting of Wolves
From the journals of Gleipnir Oathold

Froar 31st – 36th

The party:

1. Gleipnir Oathold, Dwarven Cleric

2. Puck, Human Warlock

3. Reygar, Goliath Barbarian

4. Sparax, Former Furbolg Cleric

 

A strange group met in the inn of the Axe and Thistle on the winter morn of Froar.  Gathered together were former strangers and strange men, where even the yellow eyes of Puck was not out of place.  Indeed it would be this very trait that would aid our company in negotiating with Hnessa, Grandmother of Sheera.  Learning of my hopes to ascertain here desires for Kieran, the party agreed we would make a quick jaunt to Volkenheim and then head north up the coast.  Eventually we would find the beginning of the Curse Wood, and from there Hirkar, the shaman of Hess, would hopefully help us commune.  Agreed to the plan, we set off from the cold into the colder.

As our skull laid down upon the platform we realized almost to late that our journey through Sarek would not be an easy one.  Greeting our steps was a blizzard of singular proportion, and aimed to strip us of our very breath.  Setting about quickly, we placed shields and tents up to break the wind, while magic was used to temporarily give reprieve from winter's biting winds.  It seemed near over as soon as it began, and after one night in the hoarfrosting night, we awoke to a rather calm if cold day.  We searched around and discovered we had barely covered some sixty feet from the skull platform, yet were felt far further during the actual blizzard.  The gods would be fickle however, as though we had clear weather our journey would be blighted by other perils.

We marched towards the north in hopes of reaching Volkenheim before the wind turned.  Indeed it did not, but a strange occurrence attacked the party.  A magical frost clinging to the ground as a fog attacked and sapped the bodies of my companions.  Were it not for my magical protections, or the giant men's hardy constitutions we might have lost our minds to the cold.  Puck, however, was not so lucky.  Unsure of what to do, Puck declared that we should "Charge the frost!" and took off as a madmen into the cold.  It was after we caught up with him, hoping he had gained some insight, that I realized what was happening.  Hypothermia head set in, and stripped Puck of his rational thought.  However the "charge" had lead us to deep into the frozen mist to turn back, which we learned when we attempted a quick march to the northern coast.  Our backs to the rocky beach, we would surely have perished if we did not think quickly.  With Sparax now engulfed in madness as Puck was, I desparately prayed to the Lord of Storms for aid, hoping Vondal's eye would blow this frost away.  Sacrificing much wealth, even creating an altar of steel, to draw the lightning.  A boom and a crack came and went, nearly sundering my hypothermic companions to smoking bodies.  Terrifying memories of past burnt corpses gripped my mind, yet Reygar and I seemingly empowered by Vondal, ran faster than I had ever made my legs move before.  Perhaps even the Eddon's stable master would have been impressed.   Reygar and I made our way northwest along the coast, running with adrenaline, and Reygar carrying our unconscious companions.  It seemed that in spite of Vondal's aid, we would still die, for in our haste to leave we had left near all our provisions and supplies.  Reygar thankfully still had the strength to dig holes into the snow to at least escape the wind.  Fate, refusing to allow so easy a challenge to go unaswered, provided a final challenge in the form of cave bear.  As Reygar arose from the second hole, having just finished digging, the great bear attacked!  Realizing the lad held no weapon, I threw my hammer to Reygar, hoping he could slay the beast before it caught scent of the singed flesh of our friends.  With magic and steel, we repelled the bear, even managing to save Puck who had some how stumbled out from his hole in his stupor.  We beded down and desperately rested our weary bodies.

 

Whether Fate smiled, or desired revenge for the dead bear I don't know, but morning came and with it more madness.  Puck it seems had not fully recovered his mind, and decided that our journey to Hess had been far too slow to his liking.  A scant few miles from where we rested we chanced upon an elk of immense size, which Puck proceeded to use to transform us to the shape of beasts.  I for one didn't appreciate suddenly growing fang and claw, even as our companion Sparax seemed used to shedding his former skin.  And just as compelling did the spell feel upon the flesh, so to did it pull us north to the Curse Wood.  I am unsure how far we ran, but arrived in a place I didn't relish returning to.  The Glade of Hnessa, the fool had taken us straight to her fane, smack dab in the middle of the bloody Curse Wood!  We were fortunate that Hirkar was there, and that The Grandmother of Wolves was not awake in full, else I doubt she would have heard much more than my impudence for challenging her desires.  However, to Puck's credit, we did manage to negotiate successfully with Hnessa, gaining a year of Kieran's life under my care, and Puck would now be part of Hnessa's family?  I am unsure on the last bit, as I was distracted by the feeling of fur on the back of my neck.  We also learned more of Hnessa and the troubles she endured being the only active full god in Sarek.  Much had been placed on her shoulders, and she hoped to alleviate that burden in a particular order.  I believe her that she does care for the land, but her methods seem callous to my taste.  Perhaps having a rightly and good Father has made me blind to her woes, but I did not understand the necessity for harshness when she could teach.  Then again that isn't Hnessa's way, nor could I expect to ask that of her.  So I settled for Kieran's life, hoping that the mage would not prove a grave error.  We shall see.  Finishing our conversation with Hnessa, we were again transformed to beast and set to return to the skull platform we had left from, and I for one am glad to be in my own skin!

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#101 Elven Peace Mission
Need them elves :O

41st Fluor – 4 days

Yarid, Roar, Scarlock, Gleipnir, Sandro , Sleet and Tiny wolf 
are on a mission to heal the relation with the elves. 

Day 1
we encounters a large unit of ducks.. in the hundreds
Seemingly migrating to a tree that attracts birds. Sandro sends
his bird familiar (owl) to keep and eye on them. We also meets
these fiend hounds once more. Two of them. Scarlock more or less
took care of them. The rest…. helped? Me (Roar) and a hound
had a breath-off Ash & Smoke vs dark smog. at the end of the day
when we was to set up camp Scarlock was approched by a Imp but
was unable to understand its lanquage. Me (Roar) and Gleipnir
understands it and it was here to 'payback' Scarlock for something
done at a tower and invovling cultists. Scarlock denied the ruby
that was offered. Sandro took it after Yarid deemed it not cursed
or magical

Day 2 
we make our way to the hearth tree. We got found by the 
evles by on eof their birds. I (Roar) presume they found us a long
time ago but now they allowed us to know. Later we seem to found
a camp of elves, 5 in total. We introduce ourself. We found out
that the part invovled in the burning was Dolfus, a half orc,
a half giant and a fiery man? Fire man? Gleipnir wants to eagerly
defend his 'kin' Dolfus and negotiate on his behalf. We get the 
that Dolfus and his party has damaged and angried someone far
more powerful then the elves. Before we left Scarlock was pulled
away from a short talk with the Druid of the group.

After such we go to the gates and we approch the guard. This by 
Roar's +1 random guard. We chat about the local rumours and his
promotion. Not much could be gathered from this one. Shortly after
we are getting a escort into the city by 6 fully armoured elven 
guards. War causion i presume with our dwarf Gleipnir. We get taken
up the elevator and escorted through town. Where we get alot of 
eyes upon us. Eventually we are going into a secondary tavern
diffirent from the one I (Roar) has visited before. This one seems
filled with drows and other 'secondary' citizens. 

During our down time the dwarf and the parties goes to their own
business. The Dwarf starting drinking some sort of clear liquid
squeezed out from a intestiments. Yarid gets called out and steps
out. Sortly after he comes back and Scarlock and Roar are told to
prepare for a nightly travel. We leave the Sandro to guard the dwarf
in a tavern with some odd smiles at our arrival… at least the dark
elves. We get picked up at the night and we visit the weaver and 
give him some outside food and drinks. His room just as sad to see
as ever. Not sure if there is anything we can do to at least 
improve his living… situasion. After this we went to the head 
druid as happy to see me as ever. After the burning of the forest
the Head druids and the other druids powers her diminished and
after asking what we can do to help the strange tree was brought
up again. And he seems interested in the ducks and ducklings.

Scarlock starts a conversation about the elves and where they come
from. Some unknown names was mentioned. We agreed to invastage the
odd growth that attracted birds. The Head druid also set up a 
meeting with the fat elf about the visions on the ashen wolf. Then
we head back. The information that the party that burned the forest
used the river to escape at great speeds. So fast they went out of
the territory the wood elves could hunt them.

Day 3
We come back to the Dwarf and Sandro talking with a big buff dark 
elf. We didn't talk to much about the events today. Not before we
leave the city. But first.. a bath for them.. getting high for me.

We leave shortly after I (roar) arrive back in the tavern and heads
to this odd bird summoning three and we talk about our talks in 
the town. Scarloc shows us a medallion of a false god? A shadow
that they worship. Chosen for themself. It being in everyone 
shadow and comes out when you worship it and needs it. It casts
foul magic and works from the shadow. It prefer ornate and find
things in sacrifice. We travel until midnight.

Day 4
We wake up on day four and we enter the area of this mystical bird
attraction tree. We found a hollow turtle shell that something
is inside and pokes out at us. Cackling as it does. We try and get 
it out of the shell but we fail. It just says to not touch the fruit.
Eventually the 3 feet tall half humanoid, half plant comes out. The
skin made by bark and leaves, A spike on his shoulder. Claims to be
the protector of the tree? He claims to protect the tree and the 
tree will protect him. he been alive for 10 moons and been born
for 10 moons ago. 

Sandro starts trying to climb the big fruit tree and missarable fail
… twice. The first time he got lucky and with a small scrath. The
second time was more brutally and he gots knocked out cold. Gleipnir
Saves the dumbass from his death and goes into trade with the thing…
Seemingly a older human colored male with grey hair came wanting 
information and traded for it. Yarid discusses with the Barkling to
trade and got glasses on an offer. They seem to allow the sight to 
be real up close. After Gleipnir uses an hour to make the thing a
spear. The glasses and the spears get chained. 

Also I (Roar) masterfully outtracked Scarlock in a tracking 
competition of the old man. Sadly after 120 feet the tracks got lighter
and lighter. until they seems to have levitated or otherwise been 
lifted of the ground. Making Roar unable to follow them despite his
great tracking. After this we makes our way back home and we spots
2 bears. They are fighting over something. We ignore em and get to 
the tree of messages and leaves a message for the elves to find as
we get back home. 

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The Balance of Men and Gods
From the journals of Gleipnir Oathold

Froar 8th – 11th

The party:

1. Gleipnir Oathold, Dwarven Cleric

2. Bodi "Fierce Tongue", Halfling Ranger

3. Reygar "Scorched One", Goliath Barbarian

4. Yarid, Human Wizard

5. Sir Eddon, Human Fighter

 

Gathering the party together, it was agreed that Karrendor and the path leading to it must be made safe before adventurers could help to clear its depths.  Reasoning this, I gathered my companions and we headed upon the frozen plains of Sarek to scout and declare war upon Kieran's men if need be.  This would be done at Eddon's request as he provided a runestone in Glarnic & Kothic to Kieran listing our demands, and hoping the "Bandit Lord" would see reason.  Upon the 8th of Froar we began to scout out the surrounding countryside of Kieran.

 

At the second skull platform we laid down our cart, that held the runestone, and discovered this fabled "Sun Pillar".  An obisidian monolith stood in what appeared to be a spring meadow, with grass growing in the middle of winter.  Strange as it was Yarid and I saw to the magics of the pillar, and determining it held no threat Eddon approached.  Investigating was rather easy as the god who dwelled in the pillar seemed eager to speak in Glarnic, a favored Draconic tongue of Eddon's.  Eddon asked who he was and what gods he considered kin.  The strange being responded with, "I am the dawn, so in the dark i cannot hide I seek to illuminate the land i made, then plunged into darkness," and "The one who sails the mysts I would consider a brother."  Realizing we could do nothing more for this creature without Fisher's aid, we decided to make our way out onto the plain to search for Kieran's outposts.

To our surprise and Reygar's non-arrowfilled hide the outposts were for the most part bare.  Neither men nor supplies were left, and it seemed we would have free reign to roam and scout Kieran while his men wintered at his fort.  In each of these outposts we stayed, Yarrid mapping its position, and Reygar ever eager for battle with Bodi's uhh.. enthusiasm carved our declaration upon the wooden pallisade with the Company's banner inscribed below the threat.  We eventually chanced upon corpses, the first was frozen seemingly slain by a stab wound through his belly.  Unable to determine more we ventured further afield and found a gruesome sight at a close by outpost.  As if a giant had smashed through the gates and cut these particular men to ribbons.  Taking a guess that this was Kas, The Storm of Blades, handiwork, as his post was near, we sought out the war sculpted to confirm.

The meeting with Kas did not go as smoothly as I would have liked.  Apparently Eddon's ancestors had a bit of a rivalry and his defense of Yarid, whom the warsculpted despised to no end, did no favors in our negotiations with him.  Kas it seemed had joined our war a bit too early, and thankfully we managed to talk him to and give us till the spring to secure the "surrender" of Kieran, and the immediate halt of all prodding Kieran's men had done or ever would do to Kas's fort.  Thanking him for his patience we left post haste before hostilities could erupt, and little did I know that I would have to promise even more than quiet time in Casa de Kas.  Bodi and Reygar were strangely religious and seemed to wish to bring the men Kas had spike down and sacrifice them to Bloodaxe.  At this point Eddon needed to return to his duties in Santuar, and we hoped to trade the Hand for a Fisher.

 

Froar 13th - 23rd

 

The party:

1. Bodi "Fierce Tongue", Halfling Ranger

2. Gleipnir Oathold, Dwarven Cleric

3. Reygar "Scorched One", Goliath Barbarian

4. Yarid, Human Wizard

5. Fisher, Wood Elf Ranger/Rogue

 

We picked up our trail once more into Kieran's lands.  This time with our friend Fisher in tow.  We believed that with sufficient time we would not only scout Kieran's lands, but also negotiate directly.  Arriving on the second skull platform, Fisher was eager to present his newly "acquired" amulet to the pillar.  Apparently the lad had a strange experience involving fire with the amulet, and believed this pillar was connected.  Unfortunately, Fisher received no response though his hand touched the monolith.  We therefore continued on our quest to scout the remainder of Kieran's lands.

Retracing our old journey's steps, we continued on from Kas's outposts, grateful to no longer need to speak with him.  we journeyed west and south, tracing both the northern bordering outposts, and the glaciers' trek through Kieran's lands.  We discovered what could be called "passes" on the eastern and western borders of Kieran's inner lands.  Along with an inner ring of outposts that surrounds Kieran's main fort.  This was however not the only discovery we made.  Kas was not the only bloody hand to be had in Kieran's lands.  It seems the prodigal son of Volkenheim had run afoul of Lithar and drawn the attention of Hnessa.  Lithar's message written in the blood of Kieran's men warned the "Bandit Lord" to, "Seek out Hess in the Curse Wood or the lives of your people are forfeit."  I feared that Lithar would be hasty in executing these orders out, and hoped to stave off this doom, in order to discuss passage through Kieran's lands, and perhaps gain an ally for Allodheim.

In perhaps a foolish hope, I decided to summon Lithar to explain his actions, and perhaps reason with the…man.  Gathering materials and conjuring a proper altar to Hess and powering my own power, I hurled a message at the wandering werelynx, and he came in but the blink of an eye.  Perhaps it was Lithar's presence, or Hess's altar allowed for it, but the passage of time seemed to come to a halt.  In addition, Lithar's hands ran across each of my companions and tasted from them their blood, which I did not appreciate.  He then turned to me and did the same, sending a shiver down my spine.  However my Father would be proud as I stood firm against the beast and asked plainly and clearly why he was threatening Kieran, and what had he been doing here.  His response was that of animosity and threats, but I chided him, reminding his duty to Hnessa, and that we had an arrangement that he was impugning on.  I also explained Kieran's significance, but scoffing Lithar paid little attention to anything other than the blood.  He than left, and I received word from Hess that night, that I should not do as I had done or else.

After we discovered the ring of outposts around Kieran's fort, we decided we had best make haste before Lithar made good on his claim.  Indeed, it seemed rather simple to find the man, he was even willing to leave his fort and speak with us inside our cart, though later we learned that Kieran's magic had allowed his son to take his place for this meeting.  I showed him the message written upon the runestone, and understand both the severity of the threat, and the speech in Glarnic, Kieran's boy agreed that we could come into the fort.  Before we were allowed to far in, we were stripped of all, but one effect.  This allowed me to ensure Kieran's honesty during our negotiation, as the blessings of Mahal would ensure neither party could lie.  Seeing the ritual but agreeing to not deny it, Kieran answered our questions.  We spoke of his character, his past with Volkenheim, his intent, and his current predicament with Hess, and our past battles with his men.  At first things were fine, but when Fisher came clean about the attack on now Kas's fort Kieran was adamant that we make amends and see to negotiating with Hess on his behalf, or we would not be allowed safe passage through his lands.  Agreeing to this I gave my key to Karrendor as collateral so that he would know we would have to return to tell him how we had done.  For my part Kieran seemed a good man, one with family, and the necessity to surround himself with unscrupulous characters may be forgiven along with his past failings in honoring oaths, so long as he helps us in securing Allodheim and Karrendor.  On the other hand, Bodi seemed rather cross with Kieran, describing his tantrum as, "a little bitch" and said he was not sorry for the fort.  I pray that we can see peace here and not more unnecessary bloodshed.  I go now to Hess to acquire her word that she will not slay Kieran.

 

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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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