The Warning

Episode 10

Book II

Rising Tide

Following the funeral for Lucas & Neema, the dwarf and the gnome are soon approached by representatives of the Consortium. They want answers. During a painfully drawn-out session of the court before the representative parties, Deldund and Hobbes both realize that what the Consortium needs is someone to blame that isn’t already dead. The people here are going to demand action after a tragedy this traumatizing. They even cast some doubt on the pair’s innocence due to the wicked rumors spread by Nimseo and Gardal before the group made it back to South Landing from their jungle trip.

The two of them are quick to focus the attention on the ship of Nims’s mercenaries that did manage to sail-off with the rest after Lucas’s boat was overturned. Despite the deaths of their leaders, these criminals can still be brought to justice. The Consortium, amid their infighting and borderline hysteria, seize upon the opportunity and immediately assign the task to the short duo.

Their names cleared, Hobbes and Deldund return to the Sea Dwarf to plan their next move. They spend the night, and when they arise, they find the resident dwarves literally disassembling the entire establishment. Asking the barkeep, they’re shocked to learn that the entire inn is actually and dwarven sailing ship that’s been pulled into a cavern carved out to shape it precisely. They assist the band of dwarves in readying their ship for the sea, including the massive effort of hauling it from the cavern at high tide.

Hobbes and Deldun are both largely at a loss as to what they should do next. Both know that the box cannot be allowed to pass to any other’s hands, and both realize the implications of the spreading ships from the South Landing docks; but there seems little they can do to stop them all from reaching innocent ports.

The dwarves sail north, Deldund and Hobbes aboard if for no other reason than getting away from South Landing and the tragedy it represents. The curiosities of a dwarven ship are enough to distract them for a few hours, as they marvel at the nearly unbelievable shape and seemingly ineffective sails and stare at the manually-driven propeller shaft inserted below decks. A manual screw, the barkeeper/Captain explains, is as reliable as dwarven arms; the folly of men to rely on something as fleeting as the wind confounds the stout sailors entirely.

The trip is uneventful for the first day, crusing out past the Daggers to avoid running afoul of sub-surface stone pillars. Soon after dawn on the second day, however, the lookouts spot ship rocking the surge, jammed upon stone teeth and listing badly. As Deldund and Hobbes near the ship with a band of dwarves in one of the Sea Dwarf’s ingeniously hidden launches, they see not a shred of movement; not even sea birds.

Once aboard, they begin to search for any survivors, but find the deck deserted. They open the holds: one is filled with shuffling livestock that are soon discovered to be infected and undead. Hobbes immediately sends alchemical fire to cleanse the hold, and the zombified beasts burn in silence. The other hold contains cargo strewn about. In searching it, they find a handful of sailors crushed amid the unsecured crates and barrels. Next they enter the crew quarters, and there they find a larger part of the former crew. Unfortunately, the crew immediately charge them both with unholy hunger. These zombies are quickly laid back to rest, and the pair depart the ship as the flames begin to consume it. Disturbingly, it does appear that the burnging ship’s launches are missing, likely rowed to toward the sea cliffs a mile west. The implications are concerning, but they have no way of following them with any effecacy at the moment.

Another ship is observed the following night, a few miles ahead of them the lookouts spot its cruising lanterns. As they seem to be overtaking the vessel, however, there is immediate concern. The Sea Dwarf is a very slow vessel, and while it can maintain its speed while becalmed, sailing galleons far outpace her. Nearing the ship, they see the lights are not laterns, but fires on the decks and above. A full scale battle runs the length of the ship, apparently under attack by pirates arrived in small dinghies now lashed to the sides. The dwarves and Hobbes immediately take to a launch and make way towards the fight. Arriving, howver, it’s difficult to tell the pirates from the crew, and they’re left with one option, defend the brightly-uniformed officers near the helm. Before much longer, the battle is turned and won, and they set about controlling the many fires. During this phase, Delund notices several of the bodies begin to take on a darker aura…he immediately begins cleansing the area with holy prayer, channeling Moradin’s honor to destroy the undead before they fully awaken.

Deldund and Hobbes work their professions to clear the ship of any remaining infections of dark plague, and they bid the crew good bye. The Sea Dwarf continues her trek, and near the end of the fourth day at sea, the end of the Daggers comes into view, along with the lighthouse of Dalda. The next morning, they attempt to enter port, only to find that all of the docks are already full. Ships not only fill up every pier, there are half a dozen anchored out in the bay. There are many with Oslander flags flying, and they cannot easily pick out which one might by Nimseo’s. More concerningly, they can’t determine which of these ships just came from South Landing, but it’s quite apparent the potential spread of this disease is quickly becoming a very, very big problem.

They take a launch to the docks, along with a handful of crew and the Captain, intent on warning the Horselord of the danger already inside his city. Hobbes and Deldund implore the court regents, but the hordes of upset merchants, captains, and foreign nobility already assembled foil their efforts. Instead, they approach the Shrine of the Sun, imploring the Pelorite clerics to listen to them. High Priest Amisus soon emerges from his chambers at the commotion and they relate to him the danger. Immediately, Amisus directs his acolytes to the docks to begin cleansing them in holy light. Meanwhile, he himself accompanies the travelers back to Horselord Dale’s court. With the backing the High Priest, they’re granted an audience. The words appear less impactful on the Horselord than they should be, and they are quickly told to assist Amisus in dealing with the situation. Amisus nods gratiously and they leave the Horselord.

They High Priest makes his way to the Court of St. Cuthbert and Gelnor’s Lodge to share the news with them, and holy men descend upon the docks with deep sense of purpose. To lay the spirits of the dead back to rest from such an unholy curse as undead is one of the few common threads that bind all goodly faiths together, and the unity of purpose is easily seen.


Experience: 2000 xp to Deldund and Hobbes Spizzlecog
Treasure: None
Hero Points: None

Episode 9

To Distant Shores

Having defeated the spearhead of the horde south of the city, Lucas and the other paladins redirect and charge towards the city center, the Marketplace, as they hear screams and battle from that direction. Upon arriving, they find the Cuthbertian priests advancing into the zombie-infested markets on the north, the dwarves slowly advancing from the east, and near the center Lady Nareve lashing out with arcane fire. Quickly organizing themselves into a battleline with the Cuthbertians and Dwarves, they set to taking back the markets.

Tracking Hammerfel’s aura south from the Carnivale towards the Consortium, Deldund and the rest of the party see the battle and redirect to aide their allies. While everyone is heavily engaged against flying, undead Chulucaw and zombified jungle creatures, one of the dwarves fighting alongside them does something very unexpected. Lucas turns around at a tug at his shoulder, and sees this dwarf running toward the docks with his backpack…the backpack containing the Kenoran Box. Screaming out, he and the party give chase to the disguised Hammerfel.

At first, the other goodly forces are confused and pre-occupied with the zombies, but when Gardal begins to defend himself with channeled unholy power, the Cuthbertians take notice and give chase. As the zombies fall into pursuit of them, the Paladins likewise break-off and the entire force is charging through the ruined markets toward the docks. The ships there are all preparing for departure as the zombie frenzy descends and their captains become desperate to escape. Gardal nearly kills Lucas, cursing his sword arm and body and bestowing a hellish blight through his indiscernible holy symbol. Deldund and he exchange curses and insults as they run, and when Hammerfel runs straight off a dock towards a departing ship, Deldund leaps without a thought. Hammerfel, through some dark gift, stands above the waves and runs as if on land; while Deldund is sunk to the bottom by his heavy armor. The rest of the band charges up the dock to fire arrows at the fleeing dwarf, and Lucas recognizes an Oslander flag flying on the nearest ship.

Deldund pulls himself from the sea and runs down the beach to a rowboat, without a thought for his safety he pushes out into the water in pursuit with a righteous fervor. As Gardal reaches the netting on the back of the ship, Neema strike true with an arrow and the traitor dwarf falls from the ladder, bag in hand. His dark spell keeps him above the waves, but the ship is underway and pulling away quickly. Nims appears on the rear of the ship, and leaps into the water when he sees Gardal fall. They all watch as the ships launch is lowered to the waves to retrieve him. With Nims swimming and his loyal fighters rowing out to the downed dwarf, Neema dives into the water and swims forward with unnatural speed thanks to some tincture prepared by Hobbes. Two paladins join the gnome and Lucas in another rowboat and begin the chase soon after Deldund is knocked from the fight by the enemy archers, left bleeding in his boat as it bobs in the sun.

Neema catches-up to Nims, holding the bag, and they struggle in the water as sharks begin to circle; drawn by the blood of the arrow-stuck dwarf and injured Nimseo. As Neema and Nims struggle at the bottom of the ship, Lucas, Hobbes and the paladins advance towards them, racing the other launch. Arrows are traded between both parties, and as Nims gains the upper hand against Neema in the water combat, his sailors reach them first and pull them aboard. The paladins are close behind as they reach he side of Nimseo’s ship and are hauled up. Neema, unconscious from her injuries, is being passed over the rail when Lucas calls upon all of his holy might and channels a healing wave across the intervening space. His blessing breathes life back into her limbs, and as he awakes in the surprised arms of the sailors, she twists from their grasp. She grabs hold of the bag with the Kenoran box and leaps over the rail into the shark infested waters next to the paladin row boat.

The same healing power affected Nimseo, and in his madness he leaped off the ship as well. Panicked for their captain’s safety, two of his crew leapt after him and landed in Luke’s boat. With all of these bodies trying to climb into the rowboat, the dinghy capsized and everyone was pitched into the water with the blood-crazed sharks. The resulting frenzy saw Neema break into swimming sprint for shore with the box and Hobbes on her back, Nims in desperate pursuit. Lucas struggled in his full plate armor to stay afloat, but failed miserably thanks to Hammerfel’s curse. He began to desperately strip off his armor as he sank toward the bottom of the sea.

Deldund drifted in a hazy state near death in the boat far behind them, for some reason looking at Hammerfel as they both lay on a bed of moss in some kind of tinkling cavern-dream state.

The sharks went after Neema, some others stayed to drag sailors under. The paladins continued to fight the sailors even at their extreme disadvantage while Lucas continued to sink. Arrows were fired at the fleeing southlander and gnome, and the sharks nipped at both them and Nims. Nims was the next to be dragged beneath the waves by frenzied sharks. Halfway back to shore, an arrow drove deep into Neema’s back, piercing a lung. She began to sputter and fail, and a shark was able to grab hold of her. Hobbes was forced to let go as the Weapon of the Cathar was drug beneath the waves by a predator she finally could not best. The flailing gnome managed to dog-paddle and sputter his way back to Deldund’s boat, nearly drowning himself repeatedly along the way.

Lucas finally freed himself from his armor, but he had already sunk nearly to the bottom, sixty feet below the bloody frenzy at the surface. He thrashed his arms and legs, weakened by Hammerfel’s curse, and even his prayers to Heironeous were not enough to draw him back to the top. He thrashed violently as water rushed into his lungs and his body spasmed desperately for air. Then he stopped struggling, and drifted back down.
The gnome pulled himself over the edge of Deldund’s rowboat, and proceeded to exert himself in rowing the craft back to shore. As it ran aground, he examined the dwarf, and could not find a pulse or breathing through his thick beard and skin. Concluding the blind priest had also fallen, the gnome pulled the rowboat upside down over them both and the box, protection against the raging fight still burning across South Landing, and passed-out, exhausted.

When he woke hours later, he trudged south to the Turtle Pits and found Cocolongo still hiding with the Capiberras. They both went to the healing tents, and with great effort Hobbes was able to find a cleric to come collect Deldund’s body. When they arrived, the cleric exclaimed that the dwarf was in fact still alive! He prayed to the Lightbringer, and was able to warm the dwarf’s heart enough to wake him from the cloying death-nap. Deldund’s emotions were mixed. His obsession had been fulfilled, Vengeance had been met out upon Gardal Hammerfel’s traitorous soul.

On the other, the noble Lucas Dragonheart and loyal Neema were both dead in the process. Even Hobbes, truly shaken by the fact his life had been saved by Neema at the expense of her own, and the realization that he had not doubted to risk his life to save his comrades and the Kenoran box, found himself at a total loss for words. They collected what few possessions remained of their friends, and Deldund himself performed last rites for both of their souls, sending out burning boast for them both in company with the Paladins of Heironeous and goodly priests despite the massive reconstruction and clean-up still required across the city.

Neema awoke on a sandy, breezy beach. As she stood and looked around, she saw ancestor spirits gathering at edges of the forest. As she continued to turn, she suddenly came face to face with the same Warrior Spirit that had been drawn into her veins by the Shamans in her village. The ancestor placed a hand on Neema’s forehead, and motioned toward the trees, “Welcome home, child of the Cathar.”

Lucas awoke to the sound of waves as well. He looked up to find himself in the back of a rowboat, with a bearded man in simple robes rowing them along. The man was wearing a prominently displayed symbol of Heironeous on his breast and greeted the young paladin, “Good morning, Lucas Dragonheart.” Luke was confused, and questioned the man. He continued, “It is a Good Morning, Champion.” As they approached the shore, Lucas saw the biggest temple-fortress he had ever witnessed rising from the rocks. It was far beyond anything he could comprehend in Osil, or any other mortal place.

“Is this Elysium?” he asked

“Yes, champion,” the man chuckled as they rode ashore. He stepped from the boat and offered hand to Luke, “Well come along, Dragonheart. You were called by Righteous One, and the shedding of your mortal coil does not your duty shed. There is much work yet to be done.”

On the empty docks of South Landing, the burning boats drifting out to sea, Hobbes and Deldund contemplated their situation in silence. Their enemies lay dead beneath the sea, but so do their friends. Friends they had not realized had touched so deep a nerve in them both. The strange Kenoran box rested safely in their hands. South Landing was still smoldering, purging the population of infection. Far more concerning, Every ship at anchor had sailed-off in a panic, which gods knew how many of their crews already infected with whatever hellish plague had been visited upon the city (which Deldund has no doubt was Hammerfel’s doing). They could spread the devastation to every port of Henal and beyond. The situation was dire, but they were exhausted and at loss for what to do. For now, they stared into the setting sun at two smoking pyres and mourned the souls they bore…

End of Book 1

Experience: Enough to bring Deldund & Hobbes to 6th level
Hero Points: 1 to Hobbes Spizzlecog, 1 to Deldund Stonefist

Hero’s Honors: Lucas Dragonheart & Neema – DECEASED; new characters begin play with two hero points instead of one; and may begin play at equal level to the rest of the party (Level 6).

Episode 8

Voices from Beyond

Advancing into the lower level of the temple, the party finds several inches of standing, fetid water throughout the room. An incantation is said that causes light to gather and reflect off Luke’s helmet as thought it were a torch. That light in turn scatteres across the surface of the rippling water as they advance through it, throwing waving patterns of light across the phalanxes of stone pillars holding up the ceiling. This room is far larger than the temple above it, and seems to extend out under the couryard.

They find the walls lined with cubbies, some empty, some holding disintegrating wooden boxes or earthenware dishes or containers. Four stone boxes line one wall, one of which is open. After a bit of digging beneath the plants and loam, they find an undorned skeleton within it. Removing the other lids, they find three more skeletons, bedecked in simply decorations. A hearth against one wall appears to have been used for cooking, and a richly engraved bronze bell stands in a stone frame nearby. The inscriptions appear to be prayer chantries, and are written in ancient Kenoran. The walls are again embellished with pictographic bas-reliefs of the life of Agus Tevidus. Over the hearth, the phrase “Sacris Tevidune” is written in old Kenoran.

After a careful search, the determine everything of value has already been taken from the chamber, likely by whomever left the dissolved, zombified corpses on the stairs. While Deldund and Hobbes search the walls for any hidden clues as to what else may be hidden, Neema removes the dagger that was explained by her shamans to speak with dead spirits. Looking at the rotting skulls of on the stairway, she decides what must be done.

The first spirit, in great confusion as it moves it’s disintegrating jaw and speaks throught he dagger, explains that it was dead from a snake bite before it walked for a long time, and then began to melt. It mentioned the master being angry when they arrived, and something about burning bees. Lucas soon observed what Neema was doing and immediately stepped in to find out what she thought she was doing. Upon realizing a spirit was in the area, he quickly began to administer last rites to the victim of pudding. The spirit thanked him and proceeded into the hereafter.

The only spirit remaining would Jajey’s, and with some trepidation, Lucas and Deldund allow Neema to use the dagger on his corpse. They summoned Cocolongo from his melancholy to say his final good-byes, after they’d asked Jajey what had transpired before his final demise. He share that Hammerfel had killed and raised Jajey’s body soon after determining which way this temple was located and about how far he had to travel. Hammerfell was enraged to find the stone tablet in the sarcophagus, but Jajey was not entirely there when it occured, and isn’t able to tell them what the dwarf was expecting to find. Cocolongo says his good-byes, and Lucas give Jajey his last rites and guides him to Heironeous’s care.

Meanwhile, Deldund locates some kind of elder-Rol dwarven run on the back wall of the hearth, which is natural stonecunning finds unnaturaly smooth. Hobbes helps him identify the rune as a stonelord’s clanseal, from the ancient dwarven clans involved in the 100 Year War. The seal belongs to Clan Holbellow, a clan now residing amid the Algranor region, but one Deldund has little direct knowledge of. Hobbes continues his sacred duty: the painstaking search for any possible hidden secret or treasure in the room. He’s prayers are answered when he runs across a series of finely disguised bricks that can be pushed into the wall. He does what any good gnome would do, and begins pushing them at random. A trap door opens up beneath his feet, but both he and Deldund are able to avoid falling in as water rushes to fill the hole. Both of the them keenly observe that the water is not filling the hole as fast as it should, and the conclude it must be going to somewhere.

With nary a second thought, Hobbes ties a rope to himself and leaps into the swampy jungle water. He holds his breath while exploring the walls, and is able to find a stair way. A stone door of somekind blocks him from going up them above water level, and he begins levering his trusty hooked-hammer. Eventually makes an opening wide enough to stick his head through, and observes a stairway leading to another doorway. With another deep breath, he returns to the main chamber and excitedly gathers the others. Deldund accompanies him, and they find themselves in one of the sealed stone long-houses in the courtyard. A quick search turns-up finely jeweled ceremonial weapons and devices, which Hobbes quickliy squirrels away for the trip back north. An identical door opposite the hearth from the first leads to the other long house, which must have at one point been stocked with foods or linens now long-consumed by the jungle.

With little more to learn from the ancient walls, Deldund, Luke and Neema seek isolation and begin to ask their divine guides for direction. Neema goes to the tree-tops. Lucas retreats to the courtyard where he can perform the katas in sight of the open sky, and Moradin remains near the ancient seal of his elder dwarf. Deldund is granted a visions and knowledge of Stonelord Holbellow and the building of Sacris Tevidune, as this place is called. He notices the dwarf lord in the same spot Deldund now sits, and the dwarf speaks, as if to him: “A Friend’s Final Desire”. When he awakes from the vision, he notices something else examining the the rune. His gift-sight from Moradin slowly reveals a hidden inscription, one that resonates with the aura of law. Studying closely, Deldund identifies the words “A Friend’s Ultimate Desire” in elder-Rol. Deliberating with Hobbes, they try several phrases, and finally, realizing they are in the tomb of Agus Tevidus, who dedicated his life to a single cause, Deldun says “Revenge” in elder-Rol. Immediately, the smooth back wall of the hearth ripples.

Gingerly, the dwarf puts both hands on the stone, and they sink into it like a rich mud. He slowly feels around until his hands close around something metalic, with chains attached to it. He pulls the item out, and it’s revealed to be a pair of unattached manacles. The radiate a lawful aura, with a quick prayer, Deldund also identifies an abjurational magical colour. Again, Hobbes offers his aid despite any protestation, and identifies the manacles as having the power to block a creature’s ability to shift it’s planar location, keeping them in place on the mortal plane.

In the Courtyard, Lucas works off his frustrations in an exhaustive combat drill-katas, as the daily rainstorm begins, he increases the pace, chanting the recitations of his faith. Towards the end of a katas, the feels the tingle of lightening again, as he did on the clifftops near Bajan’s lair. He is struck again by a vision, but this one is far less violent. He sees the face of a man he worked with at the Healing Tents of South Landing, but the man his obviosly deceased from some illness. As he continues to watch the man, his eyes suddenly snap open in a cloudy stare, and his jaw flexes, as if discovering it can. Lucas awakens laying on the flagstones, and leaps to his feet. He charges down the stairs into the basement to find Delund examining the manacles.
“We need to go…Now.”

They gather Neema, whose been following her warrior ancestor throught he treetops. The ancestor spirit points the way back toward South Landing, and they begin to double-time it back to the port city. On the way, the residents of the Sea Dwarf in South Landing send Deldund a missive through the aether, Hammerfel has returned. They will hold him until Deldund’s return.

According to dwarven law, Deldund is the only one who can enact vengeance upon the traitor dwarf, for he alone bore witness. The others must wait for a Clan Lord’s Judgement to act, and there are no Clan Lords in the southlands. They would have to transport Hammerful far north to the holds of the Eastern Clans. Deldund pushes himself to travel faster. The loose their way in the unfamiliar jungles a frustruating handful of times, but eventually come tumbling out of the trees on the coastline. They’re south of the city, and immediately begin marching up the beach. Near the turtle farms, they smell and see the smoke from a mass funeral pyre. Assuming the worst, they leave Cocolongo and the capiberras at the turtle pits and make haste to the city. Enroute, they encounter a zombified gorilla in the undergrowth, and make quick work of the unholy beast. They charge into the city, weapons ready to fight a horde of undead, only to find the population acting completely normally.

Confused, they begin asking citizens of the pyre. They discover this is normal, as death rates in South Landing from various jungle diseases are relatively high, and the jungle quickly exhumes any buried remains. Knowing that more must be afoot, Deldund begins hauling to the Sea Dwarf. As they make it to the Market place in the city center, they see a familiar face: Nimseo Borlin. Nims immediatly challenges them, and calls his nearby followers to aid him. He calls for the guard, and the party splits-up: Deldun, Hobbes (despite Bajan’s Ghost imploring him to save the Carnivale entertainment district), and Neema sprinting into the crowds toward the Sea Dwarf, and Luke making for the healing tents to warn the clerics and palladins of his vision and the undead threat.

An intense chase through the market crowds unfolds, with Neema vaulting over stalls and running along canopies, Hobbes sliping beneath carts, through legs, and around stacks of goods, and Deldund simply straight-arming and shouldering his way through the masses. Twice, Nimseo and the mercenary militia nearly catch them, but they’re able to get away. Stumbling and panting up the walk to the Sea Dwarf, the propietor comes out at the noise, they all hussel inside, but before they can get much said, Nims and the guards arrive with a member of the ruling South Landing Consortium. After intense negotiations, which several times devolve into shouting matches between Deldund, Nims, the Consortium representative, often drowing out Hobbes well pointed, practiced legal remarks, it’s decided they must all appear before the council to establish who legal owns the Kenoran Box.

Keen arguing by both sides leads to a difficult decision for the Consortium. Not wanting to set any potentially harmful presidents regarding salvaged or reclaimed goods and artefacts, they side with Hobbes and the party. Granting them legal ownership according to salvage law. Nims is enraged, and stays to argue his case as the party returns to the Sea Dwarf.

Neema, who stayed behind at the bar to keep watch over their belongings, hears something amiss from the dwarve’s make-shift jail cell. Turning to the dwarf with her, they decided to investigate. Rounding the corner, the pair of dwarves that were supposed to have been guarding Hammerfel burst from behind the door, and lunge at the pair of them. It’s quickly obvious that they are not of their own minds, and Neema is forced to begin slaying them. The dwarf proprietor is felled quickly, and Neema, wounded severely, must barricade herself in the prison cell itself. The zombified dwarf warriors work to break through the door, and Neema realizes that Hammerfel is nowhere to be found. She locks herself in the iron cage at the center of the room and readies her bow to fire at the door when the zombies break through.

Meanwhile, Luke makes it to the tents, and is begins discussing the issue with his fellow devout, word spreads quickly, and soon defensive prayers and healing auguries are being cast to find out if any in the area are afflicted with zombie plague. Soon after, screams are heard from the edge of town, and warning horns sounds. The Champions of Heironeous ready for battle, and Luke’s horse comes whinnying to his side. There appears to be a new vigor in the horse’s step, and with the other palladins, Luke mounts and charges toward the screams for help.

As Deldund and Hobbes return to the Sea Dwarf, they sense something very wrong. They rush inside, only to encounter the zombies dwarves. The dispatch them both quickly, and break through into the jail cell. Shocked, Deldund quickly ascertains that Hammerfel has escaped, and according the auras in the room, he did so by traveling staight through the stone wall. They all three quickly leave the bar and begin their search, which leads them to the Carnivale district. People are, by this time running in all directions, beset by lurching zombies traveling about in clutches. They destroy the few they encounter, but are far more intersted in finding Hammerfel before he escapes. At the southern edge of the city, Luke and the Palladins charge into battle against a spearhead of zombies, fronted by undead giant gorillas. The battle claims two, but the zombies are felled by the team of holy warriors.

The city is now in the throws of a chaotic assault, and somewhere in the screams and running masses, the traitor Hammerfel is escaping justice…

Episode 7


After Cocolongo awoke from his coma, the party descended to the forest floor to begin the trudge uphill to the “Man Nest” Neema was able to find ahead. Reaching the floor, they were shocked to realize the entire ground was moving beneath their feet. Suddenly, the massive swarm of ants began to bite, and climb, and before long Deldund, Hobbes and Lucas were all covered in biting ants.

Neema jumped into action, dragging the dwarf from the ants swarms and trying to get him and herself up a tree, away from the ants. Hobbes was over come with the pain and the biting, but after a few moments was able to begin loosing alchemical bombs into the sea of insects. The fire burned gaps in the wall of bugs, and he made his break for it. Lucas, lifting Cocolongo over his shoulder as he was engulfed in ants himself, charged through the same flaming gap in the ants as Hobbes, but as he did so the ants began to wear him down.

Lucas was able to get to the other side of the ants, where the ants overcame him and he collapsed. The ants continued to swarm him, and the others were able to clear the ants from him just as Deldund rushed-up to bring Lucas back from the brink. The group picks off the last few ants as they begin the trek further south.

Pushing up-hill through the jungle for the rest of the day and part of the next, they eventually comes across the hedgerow surrounding the stonework structures atop a sheer cliff found by Neema the previous day. They climb over the hedgerow and begin investigating the compound. Hobbes was keen to locate and remove any traps before his burly companions set them off. Neema assisted him with this while Lucas and Deldund investigated the wall itself and the sculptures up on the pedestals. Clearing away vegetation on the wall, they were able to see some kind of inscription.

Hobbes, utilizing his elixirs to see the meaning behind the words without actually knowing them, was able to translate: With allies and aides, many weeks across the land, the fallen king was brought

The inscription is otherwise uninformative, but clarifies that this place must be some kind of tomb, or at minimum a retreat, for a ruler from the time near the fall of the Kenoran Empire. The artistry of the sculpted figures on the pedestals confirms this.

After a great deal of painstaking exploration of the courtyard, Hobbes is unable to locate any traps, and the party is unable to find any way into the out buildings on either side of the main hall. Hobbes locates some kind of sealed, hidden door, but can’t open it. The only clue is a word of sealing inscribed in some ancient form of Rune-Rol, a ceremonial alphabet used in many dwarven rituals.

Luke and Deldund uncover some kind of large map or vista engraved on the front side of the main hall, in the center of which is a representation of a life-sized henge. The henge matches perfectly with the one jutting out from the outer hedgerow-wall. They can’t find a door anywhere near it, however, until Neema spots something strange on the side of the building. Investigating, she determines the anomaly to be the tracks of large group of humanoids leading straight up to the wall. There, she discovers a partially open door.

The part quickly investigates, discovering an antechamber, and then a claustrophobic tomb dominated by a sarcophagus covered in Kenoran language and filigree. Eight busts stand on pedestals around the sarcophagus, a male and female of dwarven, elven, human, and halfling features. The walls are covered in bas-relief carvings. Deldund identifies the craftsmanship as solely that of Dwarven Stonelord…master craftsmen among a race of master craftsmen. More concernedly, Delund observes a latent evil aura in the tomb, the remnants of a powerful evil desecrating this room almost a month previously.

Hobbes approaches the sarcophagus with a methodical calm the party has never before seen in him, and he slowly uncovers the nested layers of the burial box. As they reach the center, an iron-wrought chest not much larger than the gnome himself, they notice how many traps have been bypassed already, and as they open the final lid, they discover a stone tablet with a crude smiling face gouged into it. Their disappointment becomes caution as Hobbes hears movement in the antechamber through which they all entered the main structure. A moment later they’re attacked by stone warriors bearing a striking resemblance to the ones Deldund and Lucas studied outside.

The guardian statues are defeated in short order, and the precious stones that once harbored their eternal, mystical engergy are collected by Hobbes and the others. For Cocolongo, the moment is still bitter, for his talisman has been guiding him to the sarcophagus all along. Finding it empty proved what he fears most, his brother JaJay is almost certainly dead or the talismans are not working as they should.

Deldund again notices dwarven craftsmanship it its finest as he feels around the sarcophagus itself. He notices tell-tale features indicating that the entire sarcophagus should be able to slide somehow. Several moments of intense effort pushing against it by half the party fails to budge the heavy burial device. Hobbes, previously noting that the busts are attached to their pedestals and are able to rotate, begins attempting various combinations. With more time to assess their findings, the iron chest in the sarcophagus seams an ominously perfect fit for the Kenoran Box.

Meanwhile, Lucas and Deldund turn to study the bas-relief epics carved in the front wall. The mural is a collage of scenes from the War of Liberty, including an ornate portion telling of the final battle between Tevidus and the Archfiend. At some point Neema, watching their activities with a detached curiosity, suggests that Hobbes angle the heads to look at their homelands. He does this with the heads of the dwarves, elves, and halflings….but the party is at a loss as to where the humans should be faced, given that humans have no particular homeland. Neema is first to realize the expected homage to the ancestor’s spirit, and suggests the humans should gaze upon the sarcophagus. Hobbes does it, after which the sarcophagus was able to be pushed with a single finger to reveal a steep stairwell into darkness.

On the stairwell, they find a trio of partially destroyed and dissolved zombie remains, once of which is wearing the matching talisman to the one Cocolongo is wearing. The bodies are all lying in a partially dissolved state. Deldund’s able to identify the strange ooze the remains are in as a the remnants of a black pudding, infamous living slimes that consume any organic material they come in contact with…with surprising speed. The grim and disturbing discoveries create a urgent discussion among the group, and it’s only after several minutes that Cocolongo’s shuffling above reminds them of his concern. Deldund, trained and practiced in such matters, informs the southlander of his brother’s demise, no truth spared. Hobbes even attempts to ease the young man’s pain in the only manner he knows, and offers Cocolongo a soothing concoction.

They stand at the top of a hidden staircase into the understory of an ancient tomb, built by dwarves, and apparently the hiding place of the Kenoran box…and it appears Gardal Hammerfel has come and gone.


Experience: 1300 XP/Character
Hero Points: None
Awesome Points: 5 XP to Neema the Weapon, for figuring out the final piece of the puzzle and crazy acrobatics.
Pity Points: 5 XP to Lucas Dragonheart, for nearly dying from wretched, horrible ants.

Treasure Found

Jajey’s Brother Bond Talisman worth 200 Kingmarks as set w/ Cocolongo’s

Precious stones in total worth 2500-3500 Kingmarks

Ivory Burial Chest worth 1500-2500 Kingmarks intact (300 lbs)

Iron-wrought Burial Chest worth 700-1200 Kingmarks intact. (400 lbs)

Stone Sarcophagus worth 2000-3000 Kingmarks intact (~1500 lbs)

Stone :-) …. Priceless.

Episode 6

Episode 6

Hominidae belli

After following the river far enough to see it traveled in the direction they needed, the party took to on a crude raft they built from a pair of logs. As they descended the unnamed river, they licked the wounds of their battle with the Oracle. Hobbes fell ill trying to fight off the Jungle Fever they’d all seen in the hospital tents of South Landing. Despite himself, Deldund did his best to tend the gnome.

On their third day on the river, Cocolongo indicated it was time to begin hiking south again. They banked the raft and made significant headway. Tree signs indicated they were traveling through at least partially inhabited territory. They encountered no tribes, but did contend with a strangely aggressive flock of chulucaw (venomous hunting birds), man-traps, another shadowmonkey observing them from afar, and a single log trap (which killed another of their dwindling herd of capybaras). After several confusing observations that Cocolongo’s amulet appeared to be changing heading, the party realized that the very trees around them were shifting positions while they weren’t looking. Hobbes, his gnomish instincts recognizing the pattern, discovered that the entire area was enchanted to lead them off-course. They immediately began following Cocolongo’s direct lead, towards an unchanging destination.

They made camp in the trees after pushing deep into boggy, quicksand-prone territory on the first night from the river. During the night, Hobbes heard strange sounds in the blackness, though never saw anything approach. During Luke’s watch, however, he sensed the approach of a villainous creature. After a moment, he could tell it was massive, and climbing. The creature reached their level of the under-story, and let out a howling ape-like roar. A second creature had approached opposite the first, and their roars immediately woke the sleeping adventurers. A chaotic few seconds saw one of the large apes leap to the forest floor and the other fall dead from the trees, another victim of Luke’s flying morning star as it made to retreat into the jungle.

The next day, advancing on a slight incline out of the boggy land into rockier rain-forest floor, Neema spotted movement in the under-story from her tree branch. While the group continued on, she stalked the beast, following it all the way to the canopy during the day’s rain shower. The over-sized gorilla, much like the ones which had attacked in the night, perched on a treetop and scanned the surrounding greenery below and around it. Neema also noticed a distinct cluster of trees rising above the jungle like a small island several miles ahead along the path they were following.

The Weapon stalked toward the ape, firing a pair of arrows from her hidden position and disappearing below the canopy. The ape pursued, and she loosed another arrow just as half a dozen of the great, shaggy beasts ambushed the rest of the party 100 feet below, throwing massive stones at them.

Neema hurried down the trees, great ape pursuing her, to where Luke, Deldund, Hobbes, and Cocolongo were surrounded by raging, giant gorillas. A pair of apes pummeled the brush around the gnome as he desperately weaved and flung his volatile concoctions, while Deldund and Luke fought back-to-back against three. Cocolongo, inspired by Luke’s fearless challenge against one the larger specimens, readied his short spear against the sixth gorilla. Fending off the huge, flying limbs of their attackers, the party eventually began to turn the battle. Just as two were felled by Luke and Hobbes, the sixth attacker connected with Cocolongo, slamming him viciously into a tree with a sickening crack. Neema slew the ape which she’d hunted in the treetops, and the remaining gorillas began to retreat, bloodied, into the jungle. Luke threw his morning star again, staggering one of the evil beasts, and the haggard gnome flung his hammer, knocking it to the ground.

Neema shot another dead as it attempted to drag one of its compatriots into the trees. The rest fled into the vegetation. Deldund struggled over vine and tangled root to reach the crumpled southlander, discovering that their guide no longer drew breath. With a short prayer to Moradin and heroic effort, the blind dwarf breathed life back into the young man’s broken body, although it would not be until the next afternoon that Cocolongo would wake.

Luke slapped the largest vile ape to struggling consciousness and growled to it in the celestial tongue, certain it was pit-touched. The gut-churning words of the divine language drew no response, and Hobbes quickly came to aide in the apparent interrogation. Drawing on his kind’s kinship with animals, Hobbes asked the wounded creature why it had attacked them, and, prompted by Neema, what lay ahead of them in the forest.

The beast responded quite simply: the party was intruding on his family’s home, and had been warned to leave. They had not. It also told him that something called a “Man Tree” or Man Nest lay ahead, made of rock. It was unable to elaborate, and seeing no further use to allowing an evil creature to live, Luke drove a righteous fist into one of Hobbes’s bombs in the beasts heavy jaw.

While Deldund tended their wounds and watched over the comatose Cocolongo, Hobbes and Luke piled the gorilla corpses and lay traps around them hoping to catch small scavengers or returning apes while they slept in the trees above. The next day, Neema scouted ahead through the treetops, eventually coming across a steep rise, at the top of which stood some kind of stonework structure surrounded with pillars and a high hedgerow of vines. She brought the information back to the party, arriving shortly after Cocolongo awoke from his sleep with aching bones and a bruised body. Deldund was able to mend the man’s bones with Moradin’s blessings and attentive treatment.

None of them had any inkling of what this place could be, but with Cocolongo’s amulet directing them there and the strange attacks they’d been victim to as they approached the place, it promised to provide them with much needed answers.


Experience: 1400 XP/Character
Hero Points: None
Awesome Points: 5 XP to Luke Dragonheart for defeating another two enemies with a thrown morning star.
Pity Points: 5 XP to Hobbes Spizzlecog for getting the fever and getting caught in the Monster Mash.

Episode 5

Rabbit Hole

The party, advancing through Green Claw territory south of the Cathar village, is ambushed by a kobold trapping party. After a confusing few moments, the kobold leader, Mygzalazala, agrees to show them a tunnel through their territory. The kobolds seem conflicted about offering assistance to outsiders, but Mygzalazala seems to think it will be seen as a favor to the allied Cathar…a favor they’ll have to repay. One of the kobolds lets slip that there’s an “Oracle” at the end of the tunnel, but refuses to say anything more when it becomes obvious the characters didn’t know about it.

The tunnel appears to have been cut by a stream that dives underground, and the party advances up stream, heading slightly off course from Cocolongo’s directions, but at a far faster and safer rate than the forest floor can offer. They sleep in the tunnel overnight, the next day emerging from a cave in. They find themselves near a wide, dark brown river. In the middle of the river, a large sinkhole appears to have dropped out from underneath the riverbed. Water falls from the edges with a dull roar, crashing into the shadows within.

They also stumble across an abandoned camp site on the river bank, with evidence showing it was occupied two days ago. Supplies and tracks on the shore suggest whoever camped here had intended to return.

Investigating the sinkhole while trying to make a crossing, Neema sees some kind of sculpture and other intriguing items beneath the falling water. As she turns to inform the party, Neema spots a pair of elves watching her from the treeline.

The elves explain themselves as scouts. They believe they’ve tracked a drow raiding party that attacked their village to this sinkhole. As it may be an entrance to the Underdark, they’ve decided it warrants long-term observation. With some prodding, they do reveal that some kind of creature lives in the sinkhole, calling itself the Oracle of Sulkai; but they do everything they can to convince the party to move on. They even explain that the former occupants of the abandoned camp site were last seen entering the sink hole, never to reemerge. They’ve heard the creature demands offerings, and if they are not acceptable the visitors do not emerge

As is becoming a pattern within the group, an argument erupts over investigating the sinkhole. Deldund is absolutely opposed to any further delays, citing that every hour spent sidetracked from pursuing Hammerfel is an hour closer they get to losing the trail. Luke is bound by code not to consort with the forces of evil, as this oracle sounds to be from the descriptions they’ve received, and wants no part of it either. They’ve also got to save Cocolongo’s brother Jajey, before Hammerfel decides he’s no longer required.

However, Neema is desperate to find out who or what her Gigi is, the imposter spirit that helped prevent her execution at Theynehold in return for a future “favor”. Consulting her ancestors, she decides this oracle may have answers. For Hobbes’s part, the possibility of treasure and discovery is enough to have him leaping headlong into the dangerous river towards the sinkhole. He’s swept away and only saved from a violent drowning by Neema’s quick efforts.

Deldund is adamant that they need to keep moving toward Cocolongo’s brother and Hammerfel. He brushes-off Luke’s concern about aiding the elves by inspecting the hole; citing it as an elvish matter to deal with their internal divisions. Most dwarves view the schism between drow and surface elves as an embarassment. They remember when the two diverged and consider it a failure of the elves to deal with a traitorous faction. In light of recent events, it’s an all too bitter reminder to the blind dwarf of what Moradin expects of him. With renewed determination, he sets off down river, the direction Cocolongo’s amulet is indicating.

Luke, torn between helping the elves prevent a future massacre and pursuing an immediate threat, decides that they are at the sink hole now; it won’t be much time lost considering how far they may still be from the enemy expedition. And so Luke, Hobbes, and Neema descend into the sinkhole. They’re attacked by some kind of hydra, spewing acid streams from its many heads. The creature nearly kills Neema, but Luke summons his conviction and strikes home with several blows. He dispatches the monster with well-aimed throw of his morning star as it attempts to flee.

As the hydra falls, a strange voice echos through the chamber. A woman appears from an alcove at one side. She approaches Neema, addressing her by name, and offering her knowledge in return for an offering. Luke senses a strong evil in the woman, and readies his blade. Neema ignores the Heironite’s objections and parlays with the oracle. The woman demands a personal sacrifice from Neema, a weapon symbolizing her status within the tribe.

Unwilling to part with the Dagger, or her bow and aztcoatl, Neema offers a dart. Insulted, the woman opens her eyes wide and they flash a brilliant green. Neema turns to stone. Immediately, Luke attacks the woman, but she’s very quick and he can’t seem to strike her. As she slows him with some kind of magic, Deldund falls from the sinkhole’s edge, having returned at Cocolongo’s shouts from the river’s edge that something was amiss. Immediately identifying the woman as nothing less than a Medusa, and knowing his blindness renders him immune to her gaze, the dwarf rushes her.

The Oracle steps away, offering to further parlay for their friend’s return to flesh. The holy men both sense the power of this creature, and though they are happy to die in the defeat of evil, there is a much bigger threat to deal with elsewhere. When Hobbes desperately tries to open parlay, they grudgingly agree to cease their attack momentarily.

Hobbes convinces all sides to deal for Neema’s return to flesh, and their safe passage out. The Oracle demands sacrifices from all. Hobbes gives away his chance to ever consult her powers. Deldund relinquishes his honor-bound duty to destroy an agent of evil. The Oracle seems unimpressed until Luke whispers an offer in her ear. Smiling, the Oracle agrees, and returns the southern hunter to her flesh before leaving to her alcove. The party drags itself from the sinkhole. Luke is very quiet, frustration gripping his expression; he refuses to answer the others’ curiosity about what he sacrificed for their freedom.

With yet another devastating set back and an even larger rift between the paladins and what they see as the gnome’s selfish disregard for the lives of his companions or the gravity of their mission, the group trudges off down river along the bank.


Experience: 2000 xp/character
Hero Points: Lucas Dragonheart, for great sacrifice to benefit the party.
Awesome Points: 5 xp to Lucas Dragonheart, for killing a hydra with a thrown morning star.
Pity Points: 5 xp to Neema the Weapon, for getting turned into a rock.

Introduction & Episodes 1-4

Introduction Text for Players:

“For the last month, strange things have been happening. You aren’t sure you’re actually seeing them, since most everyone else doesn’t notice. They’re little things, a murder of crows making a series of sharp turns for no reason, a cloud turning storm-black for only a moment. A strange whistle on the wind. You can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong, but you can’t define it. Just about everyone you speak to doesn’t understand what you’re talking about, it’s just an average spring.
Yesterday, on your way about your business you found yourself walking alone. You suddenly smelled garlic on the air, and pine sap. There was a clattering noise nearby, but you didn’t see anything. It ceased quickly. There was nothing around. You haven’t slept well in days.
This morning, once again, you wake hours before dawn; you couldn’t fall asleep last night, but you’re none-the-less wide awake now, well before any of your family or neighbors. Thunder rolls in the distance and the smell of rain wisps through the window. To your confusion, the stars are crystal clear outside, barely a thread of clouds floats on the horizon. No one has any answers, and your frustration is mounting.
The sea is angry, you can hear the surf crashing, but there’s barely a wind. Looking out over the gray crests, you notice a light in the distance. Another few moments and you realize it’s a ship, blinking “distress” with her lanterns. That’s very strange; she’s far out to sea, directly east. Most ships come from the north or south, closer ashore; except for the local fisherman, but they don’t stay out after dark, most of them don’t even have lanterns. Is it another trick of the eye?
You dress and run outside, but you can’t see the flashing anymore…"


Each of the characters is living their own life; whether that means they’re a fisherman from Kardam, or a half-orc hunter from the harsh northern tundras. Whatever their station, fortune, relations, or profession they all begin to have a “feeling”, unexplainable tricks of the eye and gut-feelings that something is going to happen, something bad. No one around them or in their lives seems to share these experiences. They cannot find help explaining them from leaders, mentors, religious figures, even direct prayer. The best any of these authorities might be able to afford is that the characters need to step-back and take a break or, alternatively, follow their instincts. This will largely depend on their cultural backg
round. Obviously, the more superstitious cultures of the Tundra would be inclined to follow these portents, with people around them both fearing and waiting on the next thing the character says.
Alternately, a Kard horsemaster would be more likely to assume the character is under some sort of extreme stress and try to get the character to take a week off, travel, and get their head right.
The characters themselves have been dealing with the insomnia, the seeming hallucinations, the strangeness for weeks. They’re frustrated, on edge, and their performance, personal grooming, or health might be weakening. All things that their companions, family, and workmates would likely be noticing. Again, different cultures will have different responses, as appropriate.
As we begin, the mind-tricks have increased to a level of realism that’s genuinely disturbing. The first morning, they all wake in their usual, perturbed fashion and get out of bed at the sound of rolling thunder. The sky is clear. Once again, they return to their beds, but this time another surprise is waiting.
Their sheets, furs, or the grass under them as they slept, is tousled and matted as it usually is. However, this time the wrinkles and depressions look like a map. As they stare at it, the map becomes clearer. Once they’ve had a minute or two to absorb the information, hundreds of insects (bed-bugs, worms/beetles, spiders, centipedes, etc,) begin errueruptingm beneath the sheets/grass/furs and spreading across the bed/ground. After about a minute, the room/area returns completely to normal, with nothing amiss aside from whatever the character did in response to the bug-eruption.

The map will stick in their mind. Even if they don’t normally remember maps well, they’ll be able to recall it in detail. Until they leave, every time they lay down at night they’ll have ‘creepy crawlies’. When they sit down for meals, they’ll feel ‘creepy crawlies’. When they start to walk down the road in the direction the map seems to lead, the feeling of foreboding will abate somewhat. This could be as simple as the sun coming out, a fresh breeze, or some other portent of good luck. . As soon as they deviate from that path, the foreboding will return

Once they begin traveling along the path set out before them on the map, they will continue to feel better. They’ll be able to sleep through the night for first time in weeks, although they will still wake early. Nothing more will be revealed to them, regardless of how hard they pray or how much they do. It’s worth mentioning that the feeling isn’t a ‘pull’ or a ‘call’. They just feel like something’s wrong if they aren’t moving in the right direction.

Deldund was stumbling through the Algranor foothills in his search for Gardal Hammerfell, the traitorous dwarf who helped massacre his clan and flood Mountain’s Gate Hold with dwarven blood. As he walks the tradeways, blind but for the permanent gift of detect alignment bestowed by Moradin upon him, Deldun feels greet winds bending the trees to reach down to him. He boards a ferry, and is nearly drowned when a wave of water descends the river, carrying him downstream on the spinning raft, smashing him against the rocks. He manages to pull himself ashore and find a travelling merchant. The merchant has a map, and casting trueseeing allows the dwarf to “see” the map’s lines. While the merchant is explaining where they are, albeit dubious that the crazy-looking dwarf can actually see the map, a bee lands on the parchment and begins to stab its stinger furiously into a southern port. Desperate for any sign from Moradin as to where he should go, the dwarven cleric seizes upon the message…

Luke was riding guard for a caravan of pilgrims from Eere Dal. The highland winds blew grasses strongly south, but only he appeared to notice. After awaking to see the strange blinking out to sea over the sea cliffs, he noticed the map in the grass as explained above…

Hobbes was taking his business partners and wagon along the roads from Sandwatch into southern Osil when a butterfly landed upon his map, in a precise location. His gnomish proding could not budge the bug, it insisted on the spot before flying southeast. The next day he parted ways with his company, desperate to appease whatever nagging premonition consumed his subconscious…

Neema was stalking her jungle home in solitude, as is her way. She shot a monkey from a tree for her evening meal, and upon finding it, noticed its blood running across the ground in rivulets that formed a map. A rhinocerous beetle ambled its way to a stone, a place on the blood-map, and began to turn about in circles. When she told her Shaman of the incident, seeking guidance from the ancestors, Neema was told to follow the signs of such obvious direction. And so she did, braving to leave the murderous shelter and shadow of the Jungle for a cold, unfamiliar world that bore a very different kind of hositility toward her…

The following are unedited campaign notes, copied from my shorthand, in-game Excel ledger up to this point in the game. Starting with this week’s session, the adventure log will be properly presented in full-english, albeit still in brief summary

All of them arrive in the hamlet of Wyndor, part of Theynehold in the central Kard coast. The community is excited for visitors, and opens their homes; though they are completely unware of what brought these newcommers here.

Neema last to arrive in Wyndor; distrusting of everyone, she hides in a massive tree on the cliff’s edge, where her inner “compass” had drawn her. Hobbes spots her, attempts to reveal subtly w/ mage hand. Fails. Surprises her, she shoots him as readied action from hiding. Luke and Deldund calm situation, all discover they share the strange feelings/nightmares/visions.

Episode One


Night of the storm at Wyndor, Shipwrecking Nimseo Borlin. Sinkhole “window” through the cliff near their tree “shows” PCs Nimseo’s drifting body. Neema immediately climbs down, swims out. Luke & Hobbes get rope/wake Deldund. Neema struggles, is beaten in surf. Others throw rope from cliff top to her, eventually pulling her up along with Nimseo, unconscious. PCs bring Nimseo to temple.

Nimseo awakes, confused & demanding they help him rescue his crewmates, also concerned about the ‘cask’. The party helps him get out to sea (Neema leads to fishing boats), and they go to the shipwreck. The PCs see a strange taint in the water, looks like blood, in a wake heading north. No one else on the fishing boats sees it, but when they spot a sail in the distance, weaving through the stone pillars, the crewmen confirm it. At around the same time, Nimseo spots the wreck. With potential survivors in the water, they all decide to go to the wreck. The distant ship is too far for them to catch it. They go to the wreck, retrieve survivors, and search for Nimseo’s lost cask and his friend Lought. Finding neither, they all return to the fishermen’s landing; along the way learning from survivors that pirates attacked the ship and captured the captain and some other survivors.
The party assists the people of Wyndor in caring for the wounded sailors (Hobbes: tinctures, Deldund: healing, Neema & Luke: general aid). After dinner, Neema goes out to Tree while Hobbes entertains, Luke & Deldund speak with townsfolk. Neema spots strange web in chute made day before, notices same pattern in the web as was on a recent page in the journal found on Nimseo that Hobbes mended. Pattern disappears quickly, another figment. She searches for spiders in the area, finding none. Deldund goes out toward tree, Neema tells him of web, he sees a whispy pattern, with faintest of evil traces. Fetching Luke, they investigate further. Luke goes down into chute, seeing pattern in web before it disappears again, and tries touching web. He is attacked by abyssal spider, and falls from cliff, breaking a rib. Neema helps him kill spider, quickly climbing down. Hobbes hears the scream of Luke falling, and comes out to help, Neema fetches Priest of Gelnor to assist, Luke is patched up, but rib still hurts. They burn the spider’s corpse, identifying it only as evil & extraplanar. Nimseo, when they return from cliffs, speaks to them about Bajan the pirate, and asks them to help find him and rescue Lought & the cask, which has a box inside with the pattern they’ve seen in the web on the top. He’s heading to Theynehold, and asks them to join him. They agree.

PCs join Nimseo and a handful of riders from Wyndor in traveling to Theynehold. They arrive that evening, on the eve of Festival, a major Kard holiday. Nimseo splits off, apparently speaking to townsfolk. Hobbes goes to marketplace to set-up wagon, then assists Luke in shopping. Neema window-shops, curious and disturbed by northern commerce. Deldund speaks with locals, unintentionally with Bloodmasters (breeders for the King’s Stables). He learns details of Bajan & hideout, and of Pogarn, a Ridge Rider who can help them find the caves. That night, with trouble sleeping, all PCs (at different times) wake and go outside finding a column of rats scurrying by with tails erect. Hobbes, Neema, and Luke follow, Deldund goes back to bed. Hobbes & Luke were up first, and follow rat column to alley by bakery. Neema winds up there, too. Rats run under crates of grain, they investigate crates and find a Scope, Snorkel, & Grappling hook inside. Nightwatch stumbles across them vandalising crates and when PCs try to explain, the items found have turned into sticks & flash. Neema hides quickly, but Hobbes & Luke are arrested. In jail. To Luke’s dismay, Hobbes escapes cell, rearranges watch offices, and returns to cell. Hobbes also messes with unconcious prisoners, one of which catches him, punches him, chases him and begins swinging at Luke. Luke knocks him out.

Neema tells Deldund that Hobbes & Luke arrested. They go to get them released, fine is 50 karn(gp) or they can work in the stables for the day. Hobbes charms watchman, reducing fine to 35 karn. Fine is paid. Neema & Hobbes investigate the bakery and storehouse (which turns out to be a mill as well), and find nothing out of the ordinary (but they are occupied buildings and they can’t search them). Festival Parade and events are watched, Deldund speaks with Bloodmasters again about meeting Pogarn later that evening, they arrange it. Nimseo is absent, trying to speak with the Horselord Ashon Theyne.

Episode Two


Depart Theynehold w/ Pogarn + 4 Ridge Riders in search of Bajan’s hidden bay. Kards cannot attack without due cause, cannot invade Bajan’s hideout due to political complexities of Theyne’s court.

Lukas stumbles upon the inlet, Party makes camp several miles away to avoid discovery. Neema & Hobbes scout after dark. Lookout is alerted, Neema attempts to leap across inlet to silence him, fails and falls to water below. Hobbes attempts to silence lookout himself, fails, and lookout leaps off cliff into water below with Neema. Neema subdues him, and swims with him to lifts at end of inlet. Climbs lift ropes, pursued by rest of pirate watch. Cuts ropes at top, destroying lift. Takes prisoner back to camp

Prisoner pirate interrogated. Tells of secret entrance to inlet in exchange for freedom. Luke alters deal to not turning him in for piracy, but for hooliganism. He can’t just go free. 1 ridgerider brings him to Theynehold. Party searches for and finds secret entrance. Progressing down it, battle with a Shadow. Nimseo uses Swan Boat token at bottom to escape, Hobbes sets off firetrap at bottom. Party approaches pirate hideout. Nimseo and Hobbes negotiated with Pirate Lieutenant about Lought’s ransom, while Deldund & Luke, severely weakned by shadow battle, remain in boat. A price is agreed (4000 gp) and party leaves, boat disappears. They have 4 days to bring payment to ceremony grounds.

Nimseo returns from Theynehold trip w/ Lought’s ransom. Pogarn, Nimseo, Deldund, & Luke depart for ceremony ground for exchange. Hobbes & Neema return to hideout, intending to free prisoners in exchange for Neema, or foment uprising in camp. Bring Ridgeriders along in event prisoners can tell them that they are being held against their will as slaves, which arguably allows RRs to identify Bajan as a threat to the hold and assist. The exchange goes smoothly until Lought is woken, rages and attacks pirates. Panicked, pirates attack Deldund, Nimseo, and Luke. There are only five or six, and Party fraction kills 4, captures lieutenant. Meanwhile, Hobbes and Neema enter hideout, attempt to trade prisoners of Neema, but fail. Decide to attack and foment prisoner revolt. Attempt fails, Neema is nearly killed and Hobbes is captured by pirates. Neema returns to camp, Hobbes is chained w/ prisoners. Paladins & Nimseo return w/ prisoner, who they then send along to Theynehold. With Hobbes now captured, mission turns more imediate.

Over night, Hobbes frees self, and fellow prisoners. Hatches plan for 1/2 to break for it w/ the wounded, and 1/2 to take the Sea Serpent. He assists with taking of Sea Serpent, but is forced to flee into water after losing fight with pirates in camp. 1/2 escape w/ wounded prisoners up the secret entrance. Other half is killed or recaptured, failing heist as Hobbes hides on the anchor chain of the ship until dawn. Midday, he hallucinates summoning a celestial hawk to attack watch captain, then has to change hiding place to below stern, in the water. At dawn, RRs and party search for alternate point to access water line, as pirates must have used some way other than lift to get to the exchange site. They find a small beach cove w/ switchback path about five miles north of the inlet, they return to camp, as this doesn’t offer them a good way of getting at the camp unseen or in any condition to battle their way in if necessary. Midday, escaped prisoner makes it to PC camp, explains events. Captain is near dead, Deldund temporarily stabalizes him, Nimseo volunteers to ride him to Theynehold for critical further treatment. Other wounded are treated, and plan to rescue Hobbes and other survivors is hasitly made. Party + Lought approaches inlet. Neema remains on cliff to take-out lookouts while Lought, Deldund, and Luke jump off cliff into water to assault Sea Serpent and burnt pirate camp. Neema is forced to swim to rescue as Palladins nearly drown, Hobbes is able to swim to relative safety of the secret entrance. Lought makes it onto Sea Serpent, after setting it alight w/ Hobbes’s grease. Luke & Deldund make it ashore in camp and begin fighting. Lought is beset by pirates after they extinguish the deck fires. Pirates swarm to repell assault. RR’s standby a mile or so from the inlet. Bajan is killed, pirates retreat in Sea Serpent out to sea. Bajan’s chamber looted, Hobbes dyed with itching-powder by a trap. They find the Kenoran Box, a creepy dagger of Veccna, and other valuable art pieces and weapons; along with a lot of coin.

Later, Lought takes Kenoran box, becomes somehow enchanted, and runs for it after throwing down thunderstone and deafening Neema. Party pursues, Neema kills him. Much confusion, Pogarn & RR’s didn’t see whole incident.

Episode 3

Right & Wrong

Nimseo returns to party from taking injured captain to Theynehold. Goes nuts upon hearing of Lought’s demise. Blames Neema entirely. Demands his property. Party convinces Pogarn to let them talk Neema into cooperating with trial rather than forcible arrest.

Return to Theynehold, Neema placed in jail, trial set for two days. Party gathers intel on advisors and how legal system works. Nims refuses to associate with them.

Trial begins, arguments made by Hobbes, Luke, & Deldund; box discussed, Horselord decides to encase in Lead, dump in blue water. Process begins. 1 of Horselord’s advisors wants to keep box for bargaining with whatever dark power may come for it.

Overnight, Neema makes a deal with a “voice”: a favor, to be determined, for her guaranteed freedom. The verdict comes down: exile and branding. It’s carried out quickly.

As lead block cools, Deldund & Hobbes guard it. Nims approaches, enraged, and demands his property. He storms off, convincing Horselord to let him escort box to port town of Dalda nearby for disposal. Party nips that in the bud by stealing away in the night with the lead block. Head south towards Neema’s home and South Landing in search of answers (and old friends).

Overnight, they’re ambushed by theives. Two killed, three captured. Major justice debate ensues, Luke wins and takes two back. One (Quarl Whipsman) makes a deal under duress with Hobbes to serve him for at most a year or two..

Party, having travelled south, encounters Kard military patrols as they approach the border. They claim to be searching for rare alchemical reagents, with Lucas as leader. They are allowed to pass, even Neema (their ‘guide’), but warned that Southlanders don’t ask questions first.

Party reaches South Landing, the first major city of the South Lands after the Dagger Coast, and thus the most bustling in world culture and trade. They search for signs of Hammerfel, reagents, and likely ways to take the box into the jungle forever. Hammerfell was here, about a month ago, and took a large group of mercenaries with him into the deep jungle, he hasn’t returned and no one is quite sure where he went. He was apparently pretty good at keeping that hidden (a difficult task given the city is filled with treasure hunters, and treasure thieves).

The party purchases several capybaras to transport the box (now removed from lead) and their supplies through the dense jungle, while stabbling the horses and wagon with the livestock vendor. They’re going to leave Quarl with the wagon (he’s been poisoned by Hobbes’s long-term toxin, which requires regular doses of his antidote. Hobbes believes this will keep him in line). Deldund asks around about Hammerfel, turns up little other than he was here & left a month ago. Luke heals sick in missionary, Neema stays near Hobbes to avoid arrest. At end of day, Luke finds mystery note, they meet Cocolongo at turtle pits, agree to his offer, get him drunk enough to tell truth about his brother Jajey. O/N in town.

Episode Four

Welcome to My Home

Party starts off towards Cathar village, 50 mi away @ 10mi/day through jungle. End of day 1, attacked by Giant Frilled Lizard, scare it off, but not before significant harm to Luke. Rest of night uneventful aside from large animal noises below them.

pre-dawn, swarm of big mosquitos attacks Luke, drawn by the bloodscent.

Transit jungle, pass through territories of Raybolt, Chi-gar, Ahkigot, and Green Claw without incident, bypassed Moon Eater zone, although something whisked through the trees of their camp one night. Noticed a Shadow Monkey (the smoke monkey) observing them, tried to get a reaction out of it (Hobbes tossed stones and spokein tongues) but it did nothing but stare. Almost attacked by a sweet corpseflower plant, but Hobbes scared it off with a fire bomb.

Arrive Cathar village. Chieftain Kesh is visibly displeased, but allows them in on insistance from the shamans. Shamans already knew they were coming, begin ritual immediately to determine a solution to the “voice” and the deal it struck with Neema. They determine that the voice is a Gigi, an imposter spirit that make themselves seem like ancestors. They cannot defeat them, but they believe a powerful ancestor spirit could. They invoke the summoning, using Neema the Weapon as a vessel for the spirit. The ancestor appears (female cathar, tiger skull, warpaint, bone-covered spear) and she flashes a powerful aura before being sucked into the open wounds on Neema’s palms. The aura disappears inside of Neema’s, which Deldund finds disturbing. Next they discuss the kenoran box, which they can tell nothing more about. The veccna blade is determined to have a draconic activation phrase, it requires blood to be spilt upon the blade to read it. Hobbes just so happens to have a couple of jarred giant mosquitos, he bursts one and spreads the bloodmeal on the blade. then He reads the draconic inscription, an idiom for peering beyond the veil of death. The blade glows a dull crimson, and the small skull begins to whisper on it the hilt. He can just barely make out the voice of Bajan, who’se ghost has been manifesting in the hut with Hobbes. The shamans and Deldund/Luke determine that the blade can be used to speak with the soul of a dead victim who has not yet had final rites performed. Deldund is disturbed by this. The shamans are insistant that this weapon found the Weapon, and that Neema should keep the dagger. They view it as a gift fromt the ancestors to their tribe. They want Neema to go out and continue to follow the ancestors guidance, and to find a way to defeat this Gigi, as tribal honor demands.
Hobbes attempts to steal gold necklace from one the old cathar…which goes predictably. They chase him out of the village. This is a blow to Neema’s reputation, she is angry. She knows her tribe expects her to kill the gnome now. As the party leaves the village in uneasy silence, they start southward, following Cocolongo’s amulet toward Jajey, and, hopefully, Hammerfel. A ways into the trip, Hobbes rejoins them. Neema, very angry, yells at him. The tension between them bubbles over into a violent fight, throwing bombs and arrows. Luke and Delldund break it up, are now equally pissed. Cocolongo wonders what the hell he got himself into…so do they capybaras, who’ve been getting picked-off one by one by night predators throughout trip.

Party moves into Green Claw Kobold territory and begin stumbling into traps. Hobbes is caught in a few, at one point party needs to lift huge log off of him. Party is attacked by a Giant Stick Bug, they scare it off before it eats the gnome. Bugs pester mercilessly. Jungle seems to be fighting over which part gets to eat the party. Their prayers go unanswered lately….Morale is low and getting lower.


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