Mug Bearers of the Oaken Table

Adventure 06 - Session 02
A Name from the Past

Quick Recap:
* Encountered General Bradwarton
* Traveled to the Ruins of Fastormel
* Repelled Nexull

This entry will be brief, which is not due to pressure of time or inconvenience but a more serious nature:

The area I am in is filthy.

A sewer! Never once in my youth when I dreamed of high adventure did I envision sloshing through muck-infested puddles, full of pestilence and more disease ridden creatures that even I have read about!

Yet here we are, alive at least, which I cannot say for the poor troglodyte creatures nearby. What is it down this dark and mysterious tunnel before me that would cause these creatures lay down their lives to protect it? Whatever it is, it is precious enough that someone would see fit to summon a guardian Naga to protect it! Whiskers and beards what an unusual creature!

But enough of that. What is of utmost importance, and what prompts me to put quill to paper is a mysterious figure we encountered in the throned room above. A figure who tried to kill us. A figure….who should have been long deceased.

Crowfinger… Borrit Crowfinger to be precise. A Necromancer, and a nasty one at that, in his day and age. According to history, the Crowfingers were an accomplished family from the country of Damara. Many of the kin were practices in the arcane arts, with several turning towards the darker arts of Necromancy.

It was Borrit however, that truly mastered the art, becoming so feared that many within the kingdom feared his very existence was a factor in the events which led up to the Time of Troubles. In 1376 DR, over 100 years ago, Borrit was tried on heresy charges and hanged. Following his execution, there are no further records of the Crowfinger name, and the family property was found abandoned and promptly seized by the state.

Yet tonight we encountered the man, or someone pretending to be him. His power appeared so great he could summon the dead merely at whim, and held the vampire lord Nexull a captive puppet for his macabre pleasure. Truly, it appears we may have put and end to the foul sorcerer, but I have reserves that our party, accomplished as it is, could vanquish a fiend that evaded death and certainly has outlived his normal lifespan.

About Nexull
We again encountered the vampire Nexull; however instead of the robust, elegant and graceful creature we encountered earlier we now found a distorted creature: twisted, stretched, and awkward in movement. What caused this radical conversion?

As always, there are mysteries within mysteries. But for now I must put quill to rest, as this sickening smell defeats me! I know I have a ritual somewhere for this!!!

Adventure 06 - Session 01
A General Request

Quick Recap:
* Traveled to Nenlast on Blacktongue’s Order
* Encountered Zombies, Minimal Survivors
* Uncovered Blacktongue Setup
* Defeated Tulka Deathrattle

We were thrice blessed to escape the doomed town of Nenlast with our skins intact. It was almost certain that our end would come from the hundreds of gnashing, wailing zombies which littered every crevice of the town. Their horrid shreiking cries will haunt my dreams for quite some time.

But as it is, we are alive… For now at least.

Given our former employer’s decision to ‘terminate’ our services (and ourselves!), we agreed that travel along the main road may not be advisable. It is unknown how far Blacktongue’s reach is, although certainly his agents have been seen as far east as the Five Leage and as west as Winterhaven.

Instead, we ran west, along seldom used footroads known best by our elven and goliath comrades. Our goal was to reach Fallcrest, safely, to what ends I don’t think any of us were 100% certain. However all those half-laid plans were put on hold when we met a most unusual creature; a creature named General Bradwarton.

It was a satyr, a creature of the Feywild of which many have entered the forests of the Realms. He spoke in an unusual accent, one mixed with excitement and enchantment – maybe that is how they speak in the Wild. His companions, huge beasts called Owlbears, a ferocious mixture of two creatures into a feral incarnation. I had once seen a painting of the creatures in the grand room of Lady Acolades of Djed Thymar. Hindsight now tells me that I should have focused more on the painting, and less on the sweet smell of Acolades…

But I digress… It not without reason that he had initial suspicions of us, travelling in our condition and away from the now-cursed Nenlast. And in fact it took a good measure of reassurement that we were not (err no longer) aligned with those who have caused such recent havoc within the Vale.

About Little Petunia
Even the smallest and youngest of Bradwarton’s owlbears soundly thrashed our goliath champion in a friendly wrestling match. I hesitate to think the wounds a full grown and unfriendly one could enact.

Bradwarton informed us that the evil found in Nenlast has spread elsewhere, and suspects one source to be within the Ruins of Fastormel, a town which fell during the Bloodspear War. The General urged us to investigate the issue, offering several items of value as pre-payment for services. One of which I currently possess; a magical cloak which provides additional protection against attacks to the body and mind. These items were part of Bradwarton’s order: The Scales of the Chameleon, which assist in outfitting adventuring parties who are allied to ridding the realms of evil.

Armed with new items, we travelled northeast, to Fastormel. A thick mist obscurred much, and on arrival we were hard-pressed to even see the structures in front of us. Finding what we believe to be the central tower, we descended below.

We were not alone…

Several humans, involved in unknown activity, were interrupted by our advance. Behind them, a trio of coiled serpents, Cobalt Serpents to be precise, giant snakes with debilitating gazes. Victory was to be ours, but not without expending a deal of our reserves. And this was only the entryway.

Moving past the entrance, we then found ourselves within a fiendishly trapped corridor; a single step in the wrong direction would cause razor-sharp teeth to project from holes lodged in the ceiling. Clever but devlish! To add complexity, a porticullis sealed shut, barring our exit! Our teifling, full of tricks, provided a means of bypassing the gate, but the trap-tiled corridor was still a concern each of us had to cross.

The corridor opened into a darkened room; movement could be heard within. A sunrod showed the area to contain several coffins amidst a cobweb lined room. And the undead that once rested within them.

Amongst the rabble of moaning and gnawing we heard a deep voice, “I am Nexull. To defeat me is impossible.” What this creature was, a vampire lord perhaps, is unclear. However he spoke with poise and confidence to assert that we were not the first to combat him. And potentially not the last…

The gnawing teeth and battering hands of Nexull’s minions proved difficult, even more so when Nexull managed to enthrall our goliath, exposing our vulnerabilty. Clever positioning and raw firepower proved the stronger however, and we were able to force Nexull to retreat (for the time being perhaps…).

As I close this entry, we are still within the walls of an unknown building. Heavy cobwebs obscure areas, and there is at least one passage unexplored. And potentially, a vampire lord waiting for revenge…

Adventure 05 - Session 06
Heroes to Henchmen - Part 8

Quick Recap:
* Solved the Murder of Tock
* Fled from a Hydra in Fallcrest
* Deposited the Succubus with Warlock’s Guild

It was certainly refreshing to be free from the yoke of impending trial, and to have a moment’s peace.

Too bad it did not last…

We sought to complete our business with our ‘employer’ Lord Blacktongue, and be done with the devilry with which our party had been drudged into. The witch Denoa was no more, and we were to collect our rewards. To his word, the vampire did compensate us as expected, with our Goliath acquiring a fearsome axe. May the Tymora grant us the luck to return the item, into the creature’s smoldering corpse!

But there was no time for idle daydreams, Blacktongue demanded another task from us, and he could not be bargained otherwise. A simple delivery, so it seemed, up to a colleague of his within the lake town of Nenlast. I felt somewhat relieved at this, as I knew it was home to our Elven lady. Maybe a reprieve nestled within a comfy Inn, sipping spiced cider while watching the final ships pull in their winter catch would be enjoyable.

If only we were so lucky…

We should have seen the signs. I should have seen the signs… The eery silence, the absence of people, and that faint taste of iron in the air. It wasn’t until we actually arrived in the village proper that we realized something was amiss. And by then, it was too late…

Zombies, hundreds of them… what must have been the whole town – converted into a sick mockery. We managed to encounter a handful of survivors; poor panicked souls too scared to be rational. Our best efforts to rescue them were only marginal – out of six original survivors only two managed to escape Nenlast at all.

About Sturdy Harry
In Nenlast we met an interesting companion of an injured halfling paladin. A boar mount, extremely obedient, almost to the point of having supernatural intelligence. Indeed the porcine possessed powers granted by divinity, and was a fierce ally in the cold twisting alleys of Nenlast.

It is sad his rider did not survive; hopefully Sturdy will find his way to Hammerfast or other sanctuary.

And there were others we could not save. A captain and crew, hopelessly battling some sort of sea creature! They cried for our assistance but we had to choose between them and our existing refugees, who were already running as fast as they could away from the lake.

And into the heart of the village.

I could hear the undead shuffling into motion with every noise we made, every twig broken heard by nearby creatures with only one desire: to feed. And a new enemy, a skeletal snake flew between rooftops, diving down to inflict venemous bites at leisure. Twice we smote the creature and it returned, again and again resurrected into it’s skeletal animation. What the blazes was this thing!?

We hoped that Blacktongue’s comrade, a ‘Tulka Deathrattle’, was still alive and able to shed light. We heard drums, and hoped it was in fact her calling for help. We raced, leaving the dead in burning heaps as we exhausted some of our best powers to reach aide quickly. It was only when we saw the skeletal serpent coiled around the shamaness that we knew the treachery of Blacktongue.

The village, destroyed by Tulka herself, now a shell of lifeless undead. At it’s center, the shamaness and her foul snake. The message we delivered was in fact our death sentence, as ordered by Blacktongue and to be carried out by the current inhabitants of Nenlast. Tulka had not only zombies, but shadowy allies with her which could drain your very essence – and we could hear the multitudes being drawn in by their drums, all hungry to feed!

We were indeed lucky to find a smith who made such beautifully balanced throwing axes. It was unfortunate that they were not sufficient to prevent his own death however.

By luck alone, we overcame Tulka and her minions, but the throngs proved far too many to destroy. As I write this, we are hiding, in our poor Elf’s former residence. If she is grieved by these events, she certainly hides it well, or is in shock. Or it could possibly be the elven way – my history of elven customs is shaky to say the least. Regardless, we will allow her time to recover what sentiments she must as well as investigate for surviving friends, but only as far as safety permits…

Beyond that moment – we are again unemployed. Our list of enemies has increased, and our ability to escape this village alive is in question.

Just another day of adventuring it seems! Bahamut Protect Us!

Adventure 05 - Session 05
Heroes to Henchmen - Part 7

Quick Recap:
* Defeated Denoa
* Acquired mysterious Amulet “The Child”
* Heading North to Hammerfast

I shall never in my life forget the cursed name of Milstone

And the mystery surrounding it, or ‘they’ shall I say. In fact, were it not for a compassionate ally (whom shall remain nameless, for their own safety), we may never have uncovered the bizarre series of events which led us to the House of Milstone, and to our freedom.

I move too fast. Let me begin this entry by recalling that we were to stand trial for the murder of young Tock Seekingstone, an official of Hammerfast and son of a prominent Guildmaster. By local custom were were permitted a tenday to build our case, afterwhich trial would begin with our without our presence.

In my days of training within the Order, it was mandatory to attend city trial. It was pounded into us that we must not only be able to define good from evil, but also that we understand the reasons for Law within society.

Of course with such ample background I felt it would be upon my shoulders to lead the defense, should our case go to trial.

Through a certain ‘gift’, we were able to unravel clues which pieced together the construction of the Temple outside Fallcrest, and hinted at other, more sinister plots. Further investigation led us back into the heart of Fallcrest itself!

The Succubus Captive

Indeed I am glad to be rid of that harpy beast! How our Eladrin managed to safely dispose of it he would not say. That alone leads me to worry for our future…

Our troubles however, did not end once we breached the city wall. Nor did it immediately lead us to Milstone, the enemy of which I wrote of earlier. Instead we travelled to the Docks, to an unassuming warehouse – oddly guarded by unknown eladrin. Inside the warehouse we faced a creature the likes of which we’d never seen: a many-headed serpent, of no allegiance to those who guarded her. Truly it was our first encounter where discretion was the better part of Valour – for we left those poor souls alone with the creature as we ran as far as we could from those Docks. But not without first gaining a clue…

Our next stop, a salty tavern on the worse side of town. We are looking for a man we cannot identify save his name: Milstone. Even with plied drink we could not loose lips, for the excitement was directed toward an exhibition of combat – an underground Arena!

About the Arena

I was extremely surprised when our tiefling decided to be our champion for the evening. One would assume that our Goliath would have that spotlight, given his size, stamina, and limited capacity to avoid confrontation.

Our teifling’s heroics gained us temporary comraderie amongst the crowd, which was sufficient to link a name to an address. Much to our surprise it was just round the corner!

On the dreary street known as Block Alley lay the House of Milstone. Dark and unkept, the facade matched the exterior of the other buildings occupying this lonely stretch.


Inside, we found not one, but two assassins, heavily tattooed halflings with foul demeanors to match. These creatures were masters of an unarmed form of combat, allowing them to redirect attacks to nearby allies! Only through sheer determination to survive did we best these two, capturing them for evidence as the true murderers of poor Tock Seekingstone.

The Soul Knife

From the Milstones, we have acquire a wholly evil item. A blade, capable of extracting the very soul from a dying creature! An item such as this can do no Good within the world, and I fear our Goliath fried may be tempted with it’s evil powers.

Adventure 05 - Session 04
Heroes to Henchmen - Part 6

Quick Recap:
* Saved Mushi and Galwik
* Accused of Murder in Hammerfast, Trial Pending
* Purchased Maps from Old Gaff
* Heading South to Denoa’s through across the mountains

It is done. The witch Denoa is no more.

And yet, although we have accomplished our mission, there are now more questions unanswered than when we began.

I write this entry still in her cave, the sickly smell of foul incenses burning my nostrils, while my comrades perform their standard plunder for rewards. And as I write, I ponder:

  • What was this creature, this hag in human’s clothing?
  • Why did Blacktongue desire her dead, when clearly she did not know of him?
  • Who belong to the names Denoa mentioned: Agatha, Stravalla, and Myrtlemai?
  • What of the strange amulet that can communicate through thoughts?

As I write and ponder, I also cannot deny the existence of gnawing pangs, urging my more baser desire to join my comrades in exploring what riches might be available. Already I possess an item of the former witch-hag, a leather sash designed to hold multiple flasks, elixirs and other bottled items.

Likewise did my companions acquire objects of magical nature, and both Mysterio and I agree there is still a good chance of finding tomes, scrolls, regeants, or other ritualistic components once the damage has been cleared away.

Damage. That is a very good word to describe the condition of things. Broken glass, overturned furniture, torn and shredded volumes, all of it scorched and burned. And above and below the wreckage are various bodies of strange creatures, from grub-like worms to imps to hounds of pure shadow. The creature Denoa – whatever she was – indeed challeged our endurance to the limits!

Questions, always more questions. There will be time for discussion of these matters, but that is not for now. For now I will close my entry, so that the child in me may join my companions in the hopeful search for wonderous treasure. Let tomorrow be the day of worry, of dangerous travels, of addressing wrongful accusations, of mysterious pendants, of bound devils and of accursed employers!

Until then – may Bahamut protect us (and Tymora favor us!)

Adventure 05 - Session 03
Heroes to Henchmen - Part 5

Quick Recap:
* Battled Lothar at Five League
* Defended caravan against one-eyed halfling
* Deposited dead dwarf magistrate at false temple

In Fallcrest, the party found me absent at the rendezvous hour, which I’m sure caused them much grief, dismay, alarm, and concern. In my stead I had sent High Priest Gundlemar to deliver a message, that I had to atone for my knowledge in the lies surrounding the dead magistrate, Tock Seekingstone.

I will say how grateful I am, that although my companions can at times display attitudes that are less than pious, less than honest, and less than noble, they do stick together and defend their own through thick and thin. Had they not, both Galwik and I would forever be encased within the icy tomb trap in the devils lair.

About Priest Tad
Not only did Grundlemar accompany the party to our rescue, but also the new found ‘Priest’ Tad. It seems the former guard has managed to convince himself of his devotion, and even now practices teachings within the House of the Sun. I swear though, if I hear him refer to our Divine Platinum Lord as ‘The Dragon Dude’ one more time, he’ll need Bahamut’s protection from my wrath!

Good Lord, have I just become my teachers?

Cold and wet, but alive, we headed to Hammerfast. Unsure of our fate, we met with two of the town leaders, Marsinda Goldspinner, whom was Galwik’s mother, and Geld Seekingtone, who was Tock’s father. Not even I could successfully implore our case to the furious Geld, who demanded death. High Master Goldspinner however, was more even tempered, and so began our ten-day before a trial would be held in the murder of Tock Seekingstone.


  • It was once a dwarven cemetary, raided by orcs, and now is a city
  • Dwarfs, Orcs, and the ghosts of both live under truce within the city
  • The city has four wards: Gate Ward, Trade Ward, Lore Ward, and Craft Ward
  • The city is along a major trade route between Sembia and Cormyr
  • The city imposes a tax on all goods and treasure entering the city

Our stay in Hammerfast was brief: we first had a witch to slay (if we could find her!)before we could build a case for our innocence. We did try briefly but unsuccessfully to gain an audience with any of the city leaders to explain our case. In fact the only person even inclined to speak with us openly was an elderly conman, interested in parting us from our coin in return for torn maps and shady information.

I would consider our time with Old Gaff wasted, were it not for a vital (and costly) piece of information regarding Denoa’s whereabouts: “Follow the Gargoyles”. Truly, we did find the winged demons, travelling southward and set out through the mountains towards them.

Not accustomed (and nor will I ever be!) to mountaineering, the journey was slow and perilous. The mountain range has many dangers, and our first day alone we raced through burning geyser fields, battled ogres across a rope bridge, even managed to outsmart an orc tribe by offering ‘magic lard’ (truly a stroke of genius on the part of Jub-Jub and Mysterio! Bravo gentlemen!).

We still have at least a day’s journey; the dawn’s early rays will light the path of the winged beasts which will eventually lead us to our wretched quarry.

Adventure 05 - Session 02
Heroes to Henchmen - Part 4

Quick Recap:
* Party tasked by Blacktongue to kill witch Denoa
* Defeated devil lair beneath false temple
* Carrying captured succubus and unknown dwarf corpse in Bag of Holding

We travelled eastward on horseback, along the Trade Road towards Hammerfast, where we believed we could get some answers regarding the whereabouts of the witch Denoa.

Although the journey is over easy ground, the distance could not be accomplished in a single day, at times we camped along the roadside, but we knew the Five League House would provide us with at least a night’s stay.

Felicity and the Five League House
I’m not sure why our elven companion is so adverse to entering this establishment by the main door. Whatever the case it’s become somewhat standard for her to make a delayed entrance through our room window… What will she ever do if we obtain a windowless one?

All I can say is that for his sake I hope the Innkeep never sets foot within Tymanther. The man, Barton, refused to even look in my direction as thrice I asked for services!

While Karrock took care of arrangements, Mysterio managed to roust a conversation up with a the leader of party of dwarfs, Galwik Goldspinner. We learned they were guarding a caravan from Hammerfast to Fallcrest. Versed in their tongue, he managed to overcome racial boundaries and soon we were all seated enjoying drinks and waging our earnings on friendly games of chance.

And then… trouble entered…

Skull and Bones
Although the fates have never blessed me as a successful gambler, I do enjoy testing my luck from time to time, especially when the game offers cultural insight.

Enter Skull and Bones…

The game is simple; a pair of dice and a wager against the outcome. Dwarfs however, seem to enjoy adding verbal insults, and even physical accosting, to the winner of each round. I assume this comes from their their aversion to losing money, their standards of physical endurance, and a basic love to punch things…

Lothar, with his entourage of thugs, entered the Five League. Wasn’t that mongrel supposed to be in Winterhaven? Apparently some of his associates were already in the establishment, and once eyes met he made his way towards us, barging into our game.

Apparently none of his pack knew dwarven customs for after the first Roost member received his ‘winnings’ a wild bar fight ensued. Taking sides, we joined the fray, allying with the dwarfs and against our employer. I take a modicum of comfort in knowing Barton’s misfortune as tables, chairs, mugs, and other furnishings were destroyed in the ensuing melee.

Although we won and forced the curs from the establishment, the dwarfs suffered many injuries, and it required quite a bit of coaxing (and gold) from Galwik to get us to replace their injured as caravan guards, who had to head back to Hammerfast for recovery.

The Corpse of the Dwarven Magistrate
The corpse we carry belongs to Tock Seekingstone, a young magistrate for Hammerfast’s Trade Guild. The dwarf apparently left his caravan early to secure trade agreements with Fallcrest and fell to the devils’ trap.

This would be fine if our eladrin did not speak falsely and comment that we saw this very dwarf alive in Fallcrest. Thinking quickly (and rashly) we stealthily redeposited the corpse back at the temple in the evening while on guard duty.

Now acting as caravan guard, we moved back towards Fallcrest, away from our original goal. Their cargo must have indeed been precious, for we were ambushed by a mixture of bandits, kobolds, and goblins, working for an eye-patched halfling. It seemed their prime target was to retrieve certain cargo items, and sacrificed many of their kind in their attempt. Only their leader escaped, barely, and without a single prize.

The One-eyed Halfling
We now have a name to match this villain: Serlek. Why he was ambushing the caravan, or how he even know if its cargo, is another unsolved mystery.

The day was ours, and we headed into Fallcrest triumphantly. For some of us, it was another mission accomplished; more coin for the purse. For others, it brought guilt which must be attoned…

Adventure 05 - Session 01
Heroes to Henchmen - Part 3

Quick Recap:
* Winterhaven taken by Blacktongue
* Party tasked by Blacktongue to kill witch Denoa

Leaving Winterhaven, our journey continued eastward, back through Fallcrest on our way to find and destroy the Shadar-kai witch Denoa. “Somewhere in the mountains” were our directions – blast those rocks stretch for hundreds of miles! And only given less than two ten-day to complete our task…

It would take a divine miracle to save us.

Along the trade road, we spotted an outdoor temple. The Platinum Lord! I rubbed my eyes, had they deceived me on my prior travels down this road? Damn to my day-dreaming fancies, they may one day be the end of me!

My self-admonishing would have to wait, for we then we heard the unmistakable sounds of battle…

Hurrying, we found a lone dwarf, surrounded. From his attire one would guess a merchant or scholar; he did not even possess a weapon. His enemies, a pair of fiends, black-winged and wielding greatswords. Creatures of the Hells. With them were several cultist lackeys, loyal to the false power and certain madness such devils promise.

Fiends! In Bahamut’s Garden! The Sacrilege! The Arrogance!

Mustering our morale we charged in, attempting to save the helpless dwarf. The devils and their minions fought back, and who emerged victorious is still unclear. For while we managed to send them back to the Hells, they took the life of our nameless dwarf.

A trapdoor led down, beneath which showed the temple for the facade it was. A nest of devils, led by a beguiling succubus, was using this lair to summon more of their foul kind for reasons unknown. A statue of the Lord of the 7th, whom I shall scribe, overlooked an icy pool of death.

About The Pool
No mere pool, this deadly trap encases those foolish enough to venture near it in an icy tomb. It was our unfortunate mispleasure to find no only the bounty-hunter Pip within, but also the elven pair from Harkenwold. Why or how they arrived here is still a mystery.

I would say in all our battle this one was the most perilous, for these villians were well versed in coordinated tactics, and my over-zealousness at the mockery to my Lord may have caused me to act less than rational.

The trickster attempted to barter with us for her escape, promising valuable items for her unconditional release. Enraged, I forbade any parlay with the creature and together we subdued her, bound her, and forced her into our Bag of Holding. May her fiendish soul experience a thousand torturous deaths.

With the fiend caged, we recovered the fallen dwarf from above. A badge identified him of someone of importance, however we still lacked information. A quick burial was all we could provide the others, along with a vow to uncover the mystery of their deaths.

About The Temple
When time permits, it will be my duty to return and perform proper consecration services to restore balance to this tainted spot.

We head East, towards the mountains, with an unknown corpse and a bound fiend in our possession. Although victorious, I cannot help but ponder if our situation is now worse off than before…

Adventure 04 - Session 04
Heroes to Henchmen - Part 2

There we stood staring at him… The rot of Harkenwold, a blight on all that is good and humane.

Lord Blacktongue,the vampire, the reason for all the suffering we’ve recently been through.

Our lovelorn tiefling could barely restrain his contempt for this creature and the pain he had caused. I could hear knuckles crack and brows furrow; although in our battle-weary state we were in no condition to battle such a vicious foe.

And this foe was not alone.

From a darkened corner, the beast emerged. He was man-like, although far larger – at least 7 feet if not taller.

One might mistake this ‘thing’ for an ogre or mishappen troll, were it not for the distinct human features and an array of patchwork stitching across every angle of his body. No – a Golem, perhaps… foul abominations fused with magical life.

Without word, the beast lumbered over to recover the dead sorcerer’s body, and retrieving his prize moved to his master’s side.

About The Creature
This thing was able to bring a fully healed warrior to the brink of death with a single blow!

Footsteps heralded the arrival of others. First, a man: large, bare-chested, with a bestial quality to him. We recognized him immediately as the lycanthrope we encountered inside Shadowfell Keep.

Behind him – a woman: young, delicate, graceful. This was Kat Kip, whom I’d only briefly once before but heard several tales.

Battered, surrounded, and outmatched, we knew our only chances of survival was parlay.

Our Demands: That Blacktongue stop their attacks on Harkenwold and leave.
Their Demands: That we assist in establishing their new base to the west in Winterhaven.

It is with heavy heart that I write of the unfortunate events after, and of the victims of the small town of Winterhaven. Though intentionally we bore no ill-will, our party has nonetheless been involved with either the sale, displacement, or murder of just about every resident in the town and its borders.
The Great Lord will be displeased indeed unless I can attone for our party’s sins! Mercy on my soul!

If only we had stopped in Fallcrest to learn of current events!

I wish I could write that we were unsuccessful in our mission to assist Blacktongue, but alas the fates were set against us. Try as we might, the devilish powder made its way into the town’s food, and within moments the effects had begun. Shorty after, they arrived, to reap their reward and dispose of those villagers who showed signs of resistance.

About our Relationship with Blacktongue
It appears lines are divided within the party regarding our current situation.
Some, such as our goliath and elf, are clouded by promises of riches and fame. Others, like as our tiefling and eladrin, are consumed with bitter hatred. As for myself, I know my faith as well as my limits. I must learn the devil’s dance before I can foil his step. May his Lord guide us.

Our sins committed, we were free to leave. The promises of riches however was too alluring for some of our resource-minded team. The request to slay an evil witch, well some measure of redemption was better than none! Slaying evil at the behest of evil – oh if fat Friar Feargus was here to debate that topic!

Once again we had to leave the residents of Winterhaven with hope Avandra would shine fortune their way. If we were ever to free them, we would need to find the right opportunity – we may need some of that fortune ourselves!

About the Mysterious Powder
As one of faith, I am horrified as the effects of this unknown drug.
As a man of science, I am amazed.
Just what is this substance?

Adventure 04 - Session 03
Heroes to Henchmen - Part 1

Honor, Justice, Righteousness, Nobility. Those are the precepts of my faith. And I have failed them all.

I last penned of druids and turtles and disgusting swamps, and that tale is weeks in the past. We left the swamp, bearing gifts from Ranme to help us cleanse the Raven Roost. We arrived back in Harkenwold, to see once again the town had been attacked. The Inn of the Slumbering Serpent had been targeted, and hideous creatures had dragged poor Ollwyn into the night!

We vowed to his wife Belba that she would not be a widow this eve, and mounting phantom steeds chased after the creatures and their captive vintner.

Our magical mounts covered ground quickly, and soon we were upon our quarry – a pack of ravenous ghouls… lead by Priest Abramo! Steel, spell, and arrow challenged venomous claw and tooth, while the priests tested skills of divine grace. More than once paralyzing toxins ravaged our bodies, most noticibly poor Jub-Jub, who seemed to get the worst of it.

In the end however, Abramo and his beast pack were felled and by good Bahamut’s grace Ollwyn brought home to recover.

A Belated Prayer for Priests Abramo and Misha
Unfortunate souls!
May you be judged fairly and with even hand
As you meet eternal rest beyond

We spent the shortest time possible in Harkenwold, first to ensure that Abramo was safe (there was a rather nasty mob of villagers wanting possession of him – some rather suspicious if you ask me), and then to update the Baron on our situation. Finally our group was in dire need of rest, which we took at the Slumbering Serpent.

In the morning it was noticiable that something had unnerved Jub-Jub over the course of the evening. He informed us that his missing love Kat, the reason we came to this dreary locale, visited him in the evening. She warned him to leave, then attacked bearing fangs. He believes she is now a vampire – things did not look promising.

They still do not.

In the morning we rode North, on normal mounts, to the base of the Raven Roost. A squarish complex, obvious of military origin; I’ve seen plenty similar in D’jed Thymar and the surrounding lands. What was new and peculiar though, was the thorny briar-like growth which surrounded the complex, including the front doors.

Ranme had warned us of this – ‘Daggerthorn’ I believe he called it, and not native to the realm. Luckily we had in our possession a concoction from the ‘mad’ druid which would weaken and wither the plant, at least temporarily. We decided on a direct attack, through the front doors in the light of day. If vampires were to blame this could be our best chance.

We were wrong.

Inside, we suprised a sorcerous man behind a desk, who had apparently expected someone – just not us. He was not alone however, a pair of wicked zombies came from shadowed corners to assist in delaying our intrusion. As we battled, we noticed corpses crawling out from drainage grates within the complex. A slow steady stream of shambling undead made way towards us as we fought against mage and his fearsome bodyguards.

The sorcerer moved to higher ground, transforming into a misty cloud and floating to the balcony above. We had seen this trick before, while investigating the whereabouts of the local Tanner, whom we also believe to be a vampire. Scales might how many vampires are there in this infested area?!

I may never know the answer – for then… HE appeared…

The wizard fell; by arrow or blade I cannot remember. But shortly after our tiefling screamed, an arrow launched, and then – bats… Countless bats, screaching flapping wings everywhere!

Bats around us, around the zombies (who had unanimously and mysteriously stopped their assault), around the whole room, all combining to form a figure!

It was a man, of average height and weight, neatly dressed, with short blond hair. He was clean-shaven, except for a small patch between lip and chin. His eyes, one blue one brown, and blackened tongue were the only noticable physical flaws. Until we saw the fangs…

THIS was the leader of the nest. Lord Blacktongue, as he introduced himself. He spoke in a style and manner of a lord, or someone accustomed to the rules of nobility. From where, none of us could guess.

Behind his genial facade however, was an aura of death, and power, and misery. He radiated it, and now I know firsthand what my teacher-priests could only reference in tomes and texts.


Adventure 04 - Session 02
When Harriet Met Jub-Jub...
If there is one thing I have learned in my short time with our company, it is that Adventuring is a Dirty Business…

About Mysterio
Our warlock’s business is as much a mystery as his name, whatever that may be. I admit I know little about his kind and far less of profession, and has he his way I never will. I suspect he has dealings with infernal creatures; now a homunculus-like imp perches atop his shoulder like some mocking gargoyle… dragon’s beard what have I gotten myself into?!

We continued South, through Harken Wood. Over soiling mud through thrashing brush we went, in search of this ‘Ranme the Hermit’ (or ‘Ranme the Mad’ – depending on whom you are speaking with).

To say that ‘we’ found ‘him’ might be a bit stretching, although certainly we were aware of the beasts of the wood which tailed and flanked us through our search. Even now I’m unsure what my final assessment is of the man, although I will say in his favor that he was able to cure our goliath of his diminutive situation in addition to providing us assistance.

In fact if it wasn’t for Harriet, I would say I was quite fond of the fellow…

Ah Harriet… The one item Ranme ‘forgot’ to mention. One would think a monstrous turtle with a temper for trespassers would be an important fact to include when sending one on a mission.

Perhaps in the long run it is a lesson for us to learn about reconnaissance and preparation. I must say I would very much to have liked to see Jub-Jub successfully calm that reptilian beast!

“In the end the old man did not even need the reagents he sent us for; they were just part of his evening meal…”

Heading back, we once again found tragedy in Harkenwold; several building were ablaze – including the good Inn of the Slumbering Serpent! While we found Belba alive, Ollwyn was apparently taken in the night by several fiendish creatures… ghouls by the description. A hag’s beard, more ghouls?!

Deciding to pursue, we headed North – riding nightmarish steeds produced by our warlock. North, in the direction of the Raven Roost, the location indicated by Ranme as the source of the taint which has cursed the barony. Sehanine was with us that evening, and by moonlight we caught up to the creatures, galloping ahead of us on all fours. At the head of the pack was a mysterious robed figure, whom we found to be Priest Abramo!

The creatures halted as our party bore towards them, and Jub-Jub launched the first volley whilst standing atop his steed. Fearless, the creatures advanced, raking claws grasping at both horse and man. It would be a lie to say that each of us did not feel the numbing sting of ghoulish claw.

About Ghouls
Woe to anyone who must stand unarmed before a ghoul. Both strong and fast, they are excellent climbers and fearless. But it is their touch which is most deadly; a single scrape from a ghoul’s finger can leave you immobilized…

How we survived that ordeal is a mixture of Avandra’s grace and Bahamut’s wing! (And if I might add, a bit of draconic healing…) Even I felt a moment of despair when Abramo banished our warlock, effectively removing him from the latter half of combat. Justice was meted however, as one-by-one Abramo and his fiendish minions were felled low. All praise Bahamut!

Tattered but alive, we now face a decision: do we forge ahead, battered and bruised, to the Raven Roost? Or do we turn back to replenish, knowing full well our actions may create dire repercussions for the residents of Harkenwold…

Adventure 04 - Session 01
A Summary of Things Which Were, Part 2
By skin and scale the six of us barely escaped that foulborn swamp!

A solemn song and prayer to those we had to leave behind, bound in servitude within that marshy bog:

“O’ Platinum Scales
Rest your shielding wing
Round those your humble servant could not save
And offer strength to be brave
Against unknown pain and suffering-”

We had all made a promise to our tiefling friend, and it was my our duty to see it done. Something to do with arrows and werewolves or something… he didn’t elaborate quite clearly but I’m pretty sure this was not to be a compensatory assignment.

“The inability to save those poor souls has plauged me with no small amount grief. Once our current business is concluded, I may in fact pay the libraries of Fallcrest University a visit to find out what denizens lurk within that cursed glade”

Anyway the six of us set out, making headway Southeast from Fallcrest to Harkenwold, travelling along a rather unused road. In two day’s time we reached the tiefling’s Barony; by far the most queer and unsettling village I’ve yet to visit in my tenure…

I will not delve into the unlimited reasoning as to why I found this place so queer and so unsettling, however I will share just some tidbits and events to properly catalog our journey while advancing our story:

Ten Reasons Not to Visit Harkenwold
  1. There’s a slight but perpetual fog surrounding the area
  2. Except for frogs, worms and ravens, there’s little if any natural wildlife
  3. A vicious collection of wolves, dogs, and a giant centipede attacked us
  4. The local blacksmith is quite insane, and attacked without provocation
  5. A house burned in the middle of town and no one can offer answers
  6. Residents who frequent the local Inn just sit and stare in silence
  7. A pair of unknown elves are seen wandering around, unapproachable
  8. Bodies are mysteriously exhumed from the local graveyard
  9. Villagers are said to disappear for weeks at a time
  10. There’s no temple to Bahamut (the worst offense of all!)

Working for the village regent, Baron Stockmer, we investigated the local oddities on his (and our non-compensatory tiefling’s) behalf. Our trail finally became heated with the dragon’s fire, as we discovered the local priests were involved in the kidnapping of at least one lass! Unfortunately before we could interrogate the pair properly, one was killed while in jail while the other presumably escaped!

Both myself and our eladrin friend were most dissatisfied with the level of security offered by the town officials, and his words to them, although base, echoed my silent sentiments and ire.

We now head South, at the behest of the mysterious elves who only recently unveiled themselves as allies of Stockmer. We head deep into the woods, to find a lone hermit named Ranme, who may be able to shine light on this ever-twisting puzzle…

About Jub-Jub
I’m uncertain what bonds Harkenwold to our tiefling friend; surely a man of his talents could find better places to put his services to use. From the few stories he’s shared I’ve conjectured that he may find some solace in being close to the mountain caves from which he first emerged after years of orphaned solitude within the Thunderspire Mountains… Or that there’s something within those endless caves which he still desires…

Adventure 03 - Session 01
A Summary of Things Which Were, Part 1

It appears the task of chronicling our journey has fallen unto me, Mushi Stormscale, Initiate of the Bronze Flame. As these papers are in such shoddy disarray, I feel it best to recap some major points and advance our story quickly to the current state of affairs:

Although paper and quill were unceremoniously thrust into my lap (by those who shall remain nameless…), in hindsight I find myself the most qualified among my colleagues to adequately (and with a level of literacy) account for our brave and adventurous tales.

Summary to Date

Our adventuring party, whom to this point have been undecided on a name, had just disrupted an evil ritual aimed to release an ancient Wyrm (curse their lot!). With Bahamut’s protecting grace we dispatched the forces of evil, however I fear that dreaded Keep will forever be a damned place.

If only the party would accept my offers to name our adventuring team. I’m positive they would be most appreciative of the prestigious titles I could conjure. Just the other day I came up with, “The Stormscale Protectors”, and “Mushi and his the Fearless Five”.

Our team now measures six, after rescuing a shifter who until recent was associated with a less-skilled and more-unfortunate party. The whereabouts of our eladrin friend remain in question, although I we suspect his body may be still within the overtaken town of Winterhaven. The residents of said town have fled South, where they seek refuge within the city of Fallcrest.

About Karok~
This shifter fellow… no one seems to know much about him. It’s evident he has a measure of skill in combat. Unfortunately he seems prisoner to some cursed artifact, a stoppered bottle which randomly traps and releases him.

We spent only the shortest time in Fallcrest refueling supplies. My years involved as an ambassador immediately sensed growing tensions between Lords Markelhay and Padraig. In addition to our desire to infiltrate Winterhaven, our tiefling has some sort of engagement or appointment, and is marking daily the passing of days. I’d be more interested had I not other pressing matters which required my attention…

Before leaving, I we managed to uncover information regarding a shipment headed to the warband controlling Winterhaven. We acquired a wagon and attempted to disguise ourselves to infiltrate the humanoid town.

Unfortunately, our plans did not go as expected, and we were forced to fight through hordes of hobgoblin guards. By sword and spell and Bahamut’s grace we pushed them back, and made our way to where we believed our mysterious warlock was to be found.

There we found him, his corpse still in suspended state save for being without clothes. My hunch was correct, and thankfully I had the insight to bring a ressurection scroll, acquired at no small cost from my good friend Highpriest Grundlemar.

Midway through the ritual, we encountered some of the elite warriors within the encampment, including their leader the masked hobgoblin Grimm. Our party intercepted them while I completed the restorative ritual, but Grimm’s forces were overpowering. We were captured!

Instead of keeping us prisoners (or worse) Grimm decided to have us escort other captured Dalesfolk south to an undisclosed location. It grieved me terribly to be helpless to save these poor souls, although I we managed to allow a few to escape. The rest we handed to an army of goblins dwelling in a swamp two days south of Winterhaven.

Quick (albeit foolish) actions on our eladrin’s part saved us; causing a diversion between the two parties and allowing us escape. You would think a race with such prolonged lifespan would appreciate the value of living – however his interest in his fiendish art is proof enough (to me) of his instability.

Racing quickly, we escaped capture by both the hobgoblin slavers and the swamp goblin army. Eventually we made it back to Fallcrest, the six of us, alive and well… Bahamut be praised!

Adventure 02 - Session 15
Showdown with Kalarel

The party, bloodied and weary from combat, still had one final task ahead of them. They must descend down the blood-slicked chains to face the ritual in progress, and stop the restoration of the dragon Shadraxil to the mortal realm.

One by one they began their descent, moving as quietly as possible. The floor beneath the chains were thick with pooled blood, unfortunate victims from the proceeding above. The room was spacious; against the western wall was another raised altar prefaced by a wide staircase. To the north, a small humanoid army watched a robed human, drenched in sweat. The man possessed an aura of foul power, and his voice droned the deafening words of the ritual heard throughout the keep. To the west, unseen voices lent their support and strength to the drenched priest.

Behind the army and behind the priest and over the blood-stained floor hovered a sickening sight: a stone-wreathed portal, spinning and twisting, its center as black as ink. Within the blackness, tentacles and clawed hands pushed inward, attempting to spill out from the other side.

Without haste, the party launched into combat. Mushi calculated that the ritual’s completion was close at hand, and no effort should be spared!

The evil priest was not without preperation, for within the shadows lurked many minions. Several hobgoblins guarded Kalarel, ready to intercept any who came close. A shadowy wraith-like figure appeared from the shadows. Most disturbing however, was the discovery of a half-score of goblin shamans, working feverishly with Kalarel to complete the portal!

Killjoy charged the hobgoblins standing one against many while Jub-Jub and Mushi unleashed wave after wave of spell and arrow. Felicity moved to confront the shadowy wraith, uncertain of it’s power. Meanwhile the priest and shamans continued to chant…

Blow by blow, the forces of guards began to thin, allowing opportunities at the priest behind. Felicity managed a killing strike which left open ground between her and the goblins. Sprinting, she climbed the short stairs to the altar where they practiced their wicked ceremony. One by one she stabbed and sliced, killing each one in turn. But not before each managed to bring the ritual closer to completion…

Kalarel was now engaged, inter-mixing spell and chant in an attempt to keep the ritual alive. His involvement helped balance the scales, and soon the party was on the defensive, using spells and potions to remain alive!

In a brief moment of desperation, someone remembered the Hand of Torm statues and tossed theirs into the portal. At once the portal flared, almost angrily as the statue passed through it’s boundary. Reacting, the party members each began to throw theirs into the portal. Realizing the ritual was being undone, Kalarel reacted fiercely, pushing forward to keep the party on the defensive while continuing to mend his work.

Using the last of his reserves, Mushi cast down and blessed the unholy ground, causing both relief to his friends and pain to his foes. The scales once again tipped, and this time Kalarel was pressed on defense! As he backed away from the painful earth, he stepped too closely to the domain of the portal. Black tentacles reached out, en-wrapping the priest head to toe as they dragged him screaming into the inky portal. When the last of his body was through, the tentacles retreated back into their portal, which fell over with a thunderous crash!

Kalarel was defeated, the party victorious! Solemnly, the party said soft prayer for their fallen mysterious eladrin, who was not there to share in their joy. Suddenly, Felicity remembered the strange map left by Splug…. could there be something to this?


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