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3 Mar

Looking into her eyes, I remember time spent and fantasies brought to fruition.

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17th of Tarsakh 1483 DR

4 Aug

17th of Tarsakh 1483 DR

 

My Dearest EB

I hope that I am able to get this letter to you, but I have my doubts as to when it will be delivered.

As I’ve previously related to you, after the defeat of the Black Spider and his nefarious scheme and the god-like shot by Fletch Mcgonagal that killed the green dragon plaguing Thundertree these past fifteen years I spent some time apart from my companions.

I was able to advance my Spellbook and acquired several more spells. Keeping two books current has proved to be a bit of a drain on my finances, but as our master always said, nothing worthwhile comes free!

One of the ways I’ve been making a few extra coins has been to act as Fletch’s agent in Neverwinter and Waterdeep. He is trying to restore his homeland to its former glory by drawing settlers back to the town now that the dragon is dispatched.

On this latest visit to guide the most recent batch of stalwart settlers to Thundertree, Fletch informed me that his loggers have been reporting some Owlbear sightings. The territorial natures of these foul creatures make them a threat to be swiftly eradicated. With this noble thought in mind, I set out with Fletch, Hazadad Brightaxe (a most noble dwarf cleric), Dr Ian Malcolm (a learned half elf hailing from The Lady’s College, a satellite campus of the great University of Silverymoon), Dagnal Fireforge (a dwarven ‘acquisition specialist’), Gracekahn Eaglescar (a human barbarian from the Icewind Dale area I believe, most likely from the Tribe of the Elk), and Therensian Nodel (a Moonelf Bladesinger). We traveled swiftly to the area where the foul and unnatural Owlbears were said to be hunting and began OUR hunt.

After several days hunting, we awoke to find that the forest had changed. Indeed I do not know where I shall find a courier to carry this letter to you as none of us has recognized the area we now find ourselves in. This is a strange, haunted forest and all of us have seen impressions in the trees that convey a horror and fear. Dagnal even thought she saw ghostly images of people and animals in the fog as we settled in for the night prior to awakening here. Fletch attempted to climb a tree but I used Bird to get a higher vantage point and gain the lay of the land. Bird showed me a wagon trail not far to the north of where we now found ourselves. Grace and Fletch were able to locate wagon tracks and determine which way they had been heading so with the notion to find some sign of civilization we set out along the track. After about half a day’s travel, we came to a stone and rusted metal gate attached to a huge wall that stretched off into the fog. This structure was created using a style of stone work unknown to either of the dwarves. There were flanking statues, cast down and beheaded, on either side of the gate. Fletch started to climb up the wall using climbers tools, while I sent Bird up and over the wall. Bird saw a continuation of the fog shrouded trees and the road which continued past the gate and bent off to the left. We attempted to force open the gate, but with a blood chilling squeal they swung open, almost as if pulled by unseen hands.

Passing through the gate we found a human corpse, several days old clutching a letter sealed with a stylized raven. The author claimed to be from a land called Barovia (I do not recall our master ever mentioning a land, duchy or kingdom with this name during his geography lessons). We traveled onwards, surrounded by close set pines with a strangely tortured look to them accompanied by the howl of a wolf in the distance. A short walk and the trees opened up to a misty clearing, within a decaying, abandoned village. Traveling through the few, boarded up shacks, we came to what was probably the mayor’s house. Imagine our surprise to see two human children a girl and a younger boy, I would put the girl child at maybe eight years, perhaps younger, it can be difficult for me to tell with the young of your race, and the boy, her brother, perhaps two or three years her junior. The children claimed to have been scared out of their home by a monster within, they could not specify what it was, only that they had heard the growls and scraping of claws from down in the cellar. The urchins, strangely dressed and remarkably clean, claimed not to know where their parents were, but only that they were probably within the house somewhere.

Hazadad, taking the lead as is wont of his noble character, opened the door which revealed a foyer, within which was a coat of arms, a golden windmill on a red field. Beyond the foyer was a hallway, apparently running the length of the house, woodland scenes covered black stained wooden paneling along the hallway. We found several rooms off this hallway including a dining room, set with service for eight, a kitchen in which no food was being or had been prepared for some time, a den or study decorated with the preserved and stuffed heads of several normal woodland creatures and an arms cabinet, which held several crossbows and bolts, and a cloak room where Fletch attempted to steal a top hat, but at the group’s vocal objections he relented and did the right thing. One must not abuse a host’s hospitality, even when said host is absent.

There was also a stairway leading up the second floor, to which we now ascended. Near the top of the stairs, we found a faded family portrait, in which we recognized the sister and brother whom we had spoken with outside, although the painted was from several years prior to our encountering them, although if the age difference was accurate then I would suspect the children of having elven blood in their veins (clearly not the case from my visual inspection of them). The family portrait included the parents the father holding a newborn, still in the swaddling clothes typical of your species, although the mother’s face conveyed a look of disgust and abhorrence towards the newborn, perhaps the child was not hers.

The stairway opened to a hallway, similar to the first floor, running the length of the house. In the hall were four doors, two of which were flanked by decorative suits of armor bearing spears.   We found some bedrooms, a library (none of the titles were of any I recognize) and a conservatory which had the most peculiar looking dulcimer.  Finding nothing of interest we proceeded upwards to the third floor.

At the top of the stairs leading to the third floor was a dusty, cobwebbed black suit of armor, similar to those below save for its coloration and obvious years of neglect. But as Grace went to pass it by it sprang to life striking her and drawing a small gasp of pain, gritting her teeth Grace, along with Therensian, struck the animated armor, causing but minor damage to it. But remembering our master’s advice on combat with constructs, I cast Felthig’s Disjunction and shattered the bonds holding the suit animated at which point it fell to the floor with a crash and clatter. The suit of armor appeared to have been guarding a bedroom, from the looks of it, the master bedroom; there were two stained glass French doors which opened out to the front of the house. The doors were opened, but the children were no longer in sight, nor did they respond to our calls. Another door on this floor opened to a nursery within which resided a black shrouded crib. Peering from the entry way we could see a bundle as if of a babe in swaddling clothes within, I used the Wizards Handy Assistant spell to open the bundle to see what might lie within, but naught was to be found, save a long piece of cloth, wrapped into a bundle. At this point an incorporeal, long haired female came screaming into existence and made to strike at Fletch and I. Evading the creature’s horrid touch, our party surged forward and swiftly struck the creature down where it evaporated into a noisome mist. Grace, looking for action, opened another door which revealed a linen closet, complete with broom. The broom was enchanted to animate, which it did, striking at Grace but failing to land any substantial hits. The broom quickly succumbed to the flashing blades my companions wielded. The final room was a double door bedroom which appeared to have been untouched for more than 50 years. Finding no obvious means to ascend to the fourth and final floor, we re-searched the third floor and Fletch found a secret door that led upwards.

The stairway leading to the final floor was filled with dust and cobwebs, looked to have been unoccupied for every one of the 50 years the bedroom downstairs had been untouched. At the top we found a short corridor, filled with dust and cobwebs in similar fashion to the stairway; two doors were the only thing apparent in the corridor. One door was secured with a padlock, the other merely shut. Grace opened and looked into the unlocked door and found a creepy doll, similar to the one clutched by the little boy from outside, but looking much older and worn. Dagnal was able to jimmy the lock to open it, revealing a small, mean looking bedroom with two small skeletons inside. Skeletons about the same size as the children from outside,,

As we approached the skeletons to inspect them, the two children suddenly appeared and spoke with Doctor Malcolm briefly, then burst apart with a whoosh and disappeared. It was at this point that Fletch started insisting that we leave and Doctor Malcolm started acting, almost childishly.  I fear that these two have been possessed but Hazadad will be the final judge of that.

 

Respectfully Yours

 

Biri

3rd of Elesias 1492 DR- Session Five

24 Dec

3rd of Elesias 1482 DR

 

My Dearest EB

Come the morning, we finalized our deliberations, the majority of the group wishing to visit Agatha the Banshee. So back to Coney bury we went. On the walk thither, we discussed various means of treating with the dread spirit, and how to determine the best areas to search for her lair. The legends I remember reading and the stories we were able to discover within the local lore, all indicated she has led a stationary and almost benevolent aspect towards the local countryside.

 

After spending a night in Coneybury, we began our search and soon found a narrow and somewhat overgrown pathway. Deciding, on a whim to follow it, we soon found ourselves at a small wicker dome house. The structure lacked a door and we could see old furniture of elvish design, it appeared to be from the Fourth Crown War era, possibly the Third. Thran and I elected to remain outside, while the rest of the group, as hasty as all the young races can be, entered Agatha’s home uninvited. Suddenly, there she was, Agatha, in all her horrid and beguiling beauty. To see one such as she was, twisted and changed to what she is now, a pity. Hazadad attempted to introduce the group, Xenya’s voice being taken away with fright. Agatha rebuffed him and looked threateningly upon those within, screeching her displeasure. And then, my dearest EB, the nobility of the young races rose up in Xenya, finding the courage, she swept forward, charming the undead creature and getting the information concerning the whereabouts of Bogentle’s Spellbook out of her. Agatha related how she traded the book for a bauble from a practioner of the black arts of Necromancy, one Cernoff, a wizard from the city of Erebor.

 

We then traveled back to Phandelen.  It rained all of the second and part of the third day on the walk back.

The radäg made a simple minded, but round about intelligent observation. He advised us to bathe in the rain. Quite a droll comment, at least it shows that the concept of hygiene resides in his brain. This does seems to lend credence to the theories of Vithu of T’u Lung, in which certain basic tenets of civilization lay within every thinking creature. I shall have to ponder this some more.

 

Arriving back in Phandelen, we rested, relaxed, bathed, in tubs with hot water, not the tepid rain, and spent a night carousing. I did not stay long for the festivities, retiring to my room to study and practice the Art. In the morning we went to the Town Master’s hall, where we turned in the radäg ears for our reward. The Town Master was suspiciously absent, or perhaps it was due to his short human attention span. So few of your species has the drive and concentration to achieve what you or any elf could.

 

After collecting out fee from the town, Thran and Fletch returned to the Inn to have a beer (or three). Xenya and Gregori went to see the local Priestess, to report their success in getting the knowledge she requested. Hazadad and I went to the orchard to speak to Darren about the undead and to let him know the area was now cleansed of their taint. Darren made us an offer to join a different ‘secret society’, the Order of the Gauntlet. Honor and Vigilance are their credo. We turned him down, although I think Hazadad has begun to question his commitment to the society we have joined.  Traveling back to the Inn, we met up with the rest of our comrades and split the loot we had acquired. I confess, the provincial nature of this town can be distressing. I cannot acquire the necessary ingredients to scribe some of the spells in this new book to mine. It’s quite irritating. We discussed going after and attempting to find our former employer, but in the end, decided to go to Thundertree.

 

We spent two monotonous days walking towards Thundertree, but those dull hours, were soon to be paid for. As we sat around our encampment for the night, we heard a rustling in the undergrowth, which turned out to be an Owlbear! Thankfully I was on the other side of the encampment when it came out, looking for dinner, but poor Gregori got in one swing and then the rabid beast was upon him. I saw it bat him about like a piece of fluff with its claws and sink its fangs into his side. Oh how the blood sprayed everywhere. But that was the beast’s last action as our group sprang into action like a well oiled machine. Fletch sunk two shafts into its throat, one of them up to the fletching.

Hazadad moved forward and healed Gregori, the blood fountain ceased and the radäg’s skin took on a much healthier hue. Xenya stepped forward and shot it with her bow, while I cast the Fiery Javelin spell our master used to favor.  All this damage flung the beast back and it crashed to the ground, dead.

 

Seeing the beast’s corpse on the ground, the Dwarven brothers took it into their skulls to sample the flesh of the foul, rabid beast. Fletch assisted them by skinning the animal. We slept the night away and morning found us on the road to find Cragmaw Castle. Passing across a ford, we found ourselves on a path. A path that led through a ruined town, the shattered shells of buildings, choked with trees, new growth upon an old scar. We could see a ruined tower up upon a hill near the center of the former city and set forward to inspect it. We soon found a sign warning of Zombies and Plant Monsters. Ignoring the sign we moved onwards into the town. Fletch brought us to the section of town where he used to live, before the dragon. We wandered and explored the ruins, searching for Fletch’s former home. Fletch tried speaking to some of the vegetation, and they seemed to respond to his voice, beginning to move about. Fletch finally found the ruins of his parent’s house and started looking about, when the small plants Fletch had been conversing with, moved in and attacked him! They were easily dispatched, but I wonder, what has given them the hateful life they now possess. Fletch found his childhood hidey hole, where he was wont to keep his treasures. It now held someone else’s treasure, a chest in which we found 90 Lions, 160 Falcons, and 700 Thumbs. We continued our exploration, coming upon the ruins of an old Inn. Inside as we poked around for a suitable place to spend the night, we came across some more Zombies. These however burst into a cloud of choking ash when they were given the final release. We decided not to spend the night in the Inn and continued on our way. We did come across another living being, an old human; we wondered if this was the Druid, Rydoth, who had traveled towards this place. The old human, he never gave his name, but told us that the Zombies were the result of an evil emanation coming from Mount Hotennow. He further informed us that a green dragon laired at the top or the hill in the ruins of the old tower. Based on his descriptions, I estimate the Wyrm to be a young adult or perhaps a small adult. If we take on the beast, it will be a hard struggle. The old man also gave us directions to where the Herbalist shop was located. He drew for us, the location of Cragmaw Castle on our map. Also this region is haunted by some large, poisonous spiders near the base of the hill and a group of black masked and cloaked men have claimed the eastern section of the town. All this activity gives me hope that perhaps the Wyrm is asleep as their kind are wont to do. If the Wyrm is not however asleep, but in fact may have a mutual arrangement with these groups, I can see a perilous time ahead. I do fear for my comrades and my own life.

 

We stayed the night by the old man’s home and in the morning headed over to the eastern side of town. We ran into some large spiders and quickly killed them all. Thran chopped his way into the webs and found a desiccated elven corpse still in its leather armor and bearing a short sword.  The corpse had a potion of Healing upon it along with 23 Lions and 35 Falcons. We continued onwards and soon found the old Alchemist’s store. Once we found the store remains, it was simple work to follow the directions and recover the Emerald pendant.  Poking around some more, we found a ruined forge and two Zombies within. These were soon dispatched.

 

Moving down the road we soon located the headquarters of the black masked humans, they appear to be some kind of cultists. I must end my letter here as we are to soon engage the cultists.

 

My Warmest Regards

Biri

2nd Elesias 1482 DR – Session Four

23 Nov

2nd Elesias 1482 DR

 

My Dearest EB

It has been both tedious as well as exhilarating these past four days.

Before starting out on our hunt for the Radäg pit, Hazadad put forth a proposal to the group that we amend, well replace, our group charter.

After much discussion, we decided to stay with our current agreement.

All through the day we walked, searching for sign of the beasts, but to no avail. Fletch found us a suitable campsite by two oaks and an elm. It was a pleasant place to spend the evening, but our morning visitors were less than welcome. During the false dawn, we were beset by a flock of stirges! Thankfully the foul bloodsuckers were swiftly put down.

Walking again throughout the day, we came upon the ruins of Coneybury near the end of day. Hazadad noticed some smoke rising to the southeast of the ruins; he thought perhaps a campfire or several.

Fletch and Gregori found us the most defensible place to stay, the ruins of an inn. Time and battle had worn the place down, until now it was nothing more than some tattered walls. We switched the watch rotation and Eldon and I drew the midwatch. During our watch a gang of Hobgoblins attempted to ambush us, but noticing them I was able to alert Eldon and waken Fletch. Eldon melted into the shadows and I heard the chanted glyphs of a Sleep spell. Alas only one fell prey to his spell. I decided that discretion was the better part of valor and cast Invisibility upon myself; I then quietly walked unseen towards the one that Eldon had ensorcelled. Fletch chose that moment to lean up and feather two of the brutes with his arrows. Thran, also having been woken up, stood up and whacked one with his axe, staving in its chest.

Xenya rose up to attack one with her blade and Eldon took advantage to rip it’s kidneys out. Meanwhile another Hobgoblin rushed Hazadad and struck our healer, Hazadad reacted by casting Sanctuary upon himself, confounding the Hobgoblin. Calling upon another of the new spells I learned, I cast a ball of flame aloft, where it split into three fiery javelins. These sped off to pierce and burn their way through the one attacking Hazadad, killing it and wounding another brute that had been standing off, firing arrows at us. The last two chose that moment to run, but the Dwarven brothers, as befits the honor of their race, did not let go of the grudge. Thran advanced and cast Guided Bolt at the fleeing archer, while his brother advanced and also cast Guided Bolt at the other fleeing beast. Both died from the damage inflicted. This left only the sleeper, deciding to end the things misery quickly, I cast Shocking Grasp upon the thuggish beast, but I stumbled at the end of the incantation and the spell was not as powerful as I had hoped. This resulted in the beast wakening instead of expiring. Gregori rushed to confront the Hobgoblin, getting a nasty slash across both his thighs. Fletch picked that moment to sink an arrow almost to the fletching in its chest, killing it. We searched the robbers, coming up with eight Lions, six Falcons and two Thumbs as well as a wanted poster. The poster showed a poor representation of one of the dwarf brothers, we could not decide which, offering 25 Lions for their capture. After a short rest to clean up, we ate and headed off towards the smoke Hazadad had seen the night before.

 

We walked another day, coming upon the ruins of a watch tower upon a hill. Approaching the tower we were assaulted by a deathly stench of decay and soon spotted Zombies, shambling about a camp. The camp consisted of a large colorful tent and a table. A human wizard, dressed in red robes with a large tattoo on his forehead came out, asking our business in the area. We talked for a few moments, until suddenly Fletch drew and loosed, striking the wizard. The wizard, I later found that the fellow was a Red Wizard of Thay, commanded the zombies to attack and began casting a spell. Thran rushed a zombie and struck it down, returning it to its rightful state, dead. Hazadad meanwhile, cast guided Bolt at the human and killed him. We then led the zombies on a chase and slowly shot or chopped them down. We searched the wizards tent and recovered five Tricrowns, 20 Lions, 20 BlueEyes, and 35 Falcons, a pearl, which Eldon estimated to be about 100 Lions worth, a Potion of Healing, a bone tube with a Scroll of Darkness written on it, and a jeweled box, within which lay a Ring of Minor Protection. I was also able to recover the fellow’s Spellbook. I think I will take what spells I can and convert his, into a backup Spellbook. We found notes indicating that this foul human was looking for magical artifacts here at the tower and that he feared the Orc gang to the south at Wyvern Tor. We spent the night quietly at the ruins and in the morning, headed south towards Wyvern Tor.

As we searched near the Tor, Fletch spotted a cave opening, with one Orc guard, watching as best it could while the light hurt its eyes. We devised a plan, where Gregori would attempt to close with the beast, holding Eldon as a “captive”, the two of them attacking when at the guard. Unfortunately Tymora’s hand was not upon us, Hazadad struck his shin and his resultant cry of pain alerted the Orc. Hazadad quickly recovered and cast Guiding Bolt, slaying the foul Radäg.  With a foul stench and crass cries, the Orc boss and his cronies came boiling out of the cave mouth. I cast Magic missile,  my glowing darts of force striking him at the same time as the shafts from Fletch and Xenya. Eldon chose that moment to cast his Sleep, sending the leader and one other off into slumber land. The remaining Orcs rushed Gregori quickly surrounding him. It was at that moment that the Ogre appeared. Sizing up the ongoing ruck, it strode forward into battle with a look of brutish glee upon its face. The brothers and I piled on our most destructive spells into the large humanoid while Fletch feathered it with as many arrows as he could, still it strode onwards, intent on Gregori. We continued to concentrate our fire and attacks on the Ogre, and dropped it just as it got to Gregori. Xenya expended a Sleep spell and put half the remaining Radäg to sleep. We then dispatched the remaining ones on their feet, and then the sleepers, leaving only the boss still alive. We questioned him, learning he was from the north, having drifted into the area with thoughts of plunder in his simple little mind. After confirming that there were not more Orcs in his band, we dispatched the thing. We took a rich haul of treasure from the Orc gang consisting of 30 Lions, 62 BlueEyes, 180 Falcons, 750 thumbs, and 3 vials of perfume, which Eldon figures he can get 30 Lions for the lot.

We bedded down and began to discuss where we will go next. Only the morrow will tell.

 

Salutations my friend

28th of Flamerule 1482 DR- D&D session three

18 Oct

28th of Flamerule 1482 DR

 

My Dearest E.B.

 

We took a short rest and then continued our exploration. Opening one of the doors we discovered, we found Yarno’s Lab with his connected Study/Bedroom. He was not at home when we first entered, but after a few minutes of poking around in his things, he came walking in. I’m not sure who was more surprised, Yarno or us. Yarno however, recovered first and quickly turned tail and fled. We gave pursuit with Gregori in the lead, following him through the cavern and into a passageway. Gregori finally caught up to Yarno in the old well room, where Yarno called for help and then cast a Hold Person upon the poor radäg, leaving him prey for the Red Brands who answered Yarno’s call. The Red Brands quickly converged upon Gregori, one of them managing to strike him. Eldon rushed forward and eviscerated the one who injured Gregori, while Xenya ran into them and cast a ThunderWave, bowling the remainder back away from Gregori. I conjured a Chromatic Orb and scored a hit on one, watching with some satisfaction as it burrowed into his chest, bursting it from within. Yarno had by this time scampered off, most likely to whine to his foul master over how his plans were upset. The last of the Red Brands, seeing how quickly his comrades had been dispatched, ran off after Yarno. Eldon was quick to give chase and quickly caught up to him. The Red Brand shortly came tumbling down the stairs and dashed his brains out on the stone landing. I found out later that Eldon had hamstrung him and he slipped and fell down the stairs. Eldon decided not to chase after the wizard alone and rejoined us. By this time the brothers had come up and Hazadad healed Gregori’s injury. We decided not to pursue the wizard as by this time, his lead was quite great, if only we had one of the 3/7th, we might have had a chance of tracking the scoundrel down.

 

We searched the bodies and the room they made their ‘barracks’, discovering 62 Lions, two potions, which later I identified one as a Healing and the other Invisibility, various foodstuffs, two Garnets which Eldon thought would bring 10 lions each, 15 BlueEyes, and 28 Falcons. Some of these were found in a oilskin bag suspended inside the well. We backtracked and ransacked Yarno’s rooms, finding several interesting items. It seems that Yarno has been attempting to brew potions of Invisibility, but thankfully without any success. I was unable to find the villain’s spellbook, but did find a Dwarfish journal, which detailed a magical mace, Er Mong, commissioned by a temple of Lathander. This divine weapon, was lost when the mines were collapsed as a possibly deliberate attempt to deny the mine and Er Mong from the evil hordes invading the Dwarven hold. I was able to secure a store of some reagents from Yarno’s lab, notably Dragon bile, powdered NightsBlade and some Mercury.  We also found Yarno’s personal stash in his chest. This consisted of 130 lions, 180 Falcons, a silk pouch containing 5 Carnelians, 2 Peridots, and a Pearl. Eldon estimated the gems to be worth 180 Lions in total. Exploring the last of the doorways, we found the Red Brand’s ‘armory’, a pitiful store of substandard weapons and cloaks. We did discover a sealed door, Hazadad and Thran believed the runes to indicate undead sealed off within, so we bypassed it, only to discover that we later looped around and found the room behind it. This was the family crypt, which had several sarcophagus and a few skeletal guards. Upon entering the room, the guards animated and attacked us. We were able to put them down without any further injury to ourselves.  Beyond that, we found a jail cell being guarded by two Red Brands, whom we quickly slew and released two human women and boy being held within. We found three platinum signet rings upon these, booty stolen from who knows where. I did not recognize the coat of arms on the signets. We decided to leave the ruins as there was naught left to fight or explore, except for the aberration living in the cavern. Eldon led the former prisoners out outside while the rest of us when back to the cavern, where Hazadad and Thran descended and dispatched the foul thing. Further study leads me to believe it was a Nothic, a foul devolution of a former wizard. Some of us E.B. delve into things best left unstudied. The Nothic had a treasure hoard, as its kind usually do, consisting of 120 Lions, 160 Falcons, two potions of Healing, a scroll with an Augury inscribed upon it, and a magical long sword. We were able to identify it as being called Talon, from the runes on the silver chased scabbard.  The group eventually decided to give this to Gregori. He seemed pleased to bear the blade when I related it’s tale to him. Talon used to belong to Aldrich Tressendor, he who was known as the Black Hawk. The hawk fell while fighting Orcs below the manor and had been buried with his weapon. I suppose that the thing stole it from the crypt, as all know how their ilk covert magical items. There was also a handful of Alchemical grimores, and a faint necromantic aura about the crevasse. We left and soon joined with Eldon and the freed prisoners, one of whom was the missing herbalist’s wife (his son was the boy we freed). On the trip back she stated that she had nothing of value to offer. from where her family hailed from. She offered us a reward an emerald necklace, a family heirloom, located in the family herb and alchemy shop. That shop being in ThunderTree,a ruined city somewhat to the north.

Upon arriving back in town we reported to Sildar, who awarded us 200 lions for dispatching the Red Brands. We relaxed at the Inn while we split our loot and planned our next move. Between my research and Sildar’s information we found out that 500 years past, a group of Humans, Dwarves and Gnomes, banded together in the Phandelvers Pact, and created a forge, the Anvil of Spells, where mighty magical items could be crafted. We also found rumors that Agatha, the Ban Sidhe may have been connected to ConeyBerry at some point. We agreed to set off in the morning to clear the band of Orcs we had heard tell of.

During the relaxing and carousing we did after returning victorious, Thran approached his brother and me on behalf of a secret group, the Lords Alliance. Sildar had apparently spoken to Thran and Thran felt that the only members of our company worthy to join were his brother and I. We are now charged to seek out and combat evil where ever we may find it. We were each given code names, mine being Cloak and yes, a bit melodramatic I agree.

I shall write you further after we return from the foul radäg’s camp.

 

Respectfully Yours,

 

Birel

D&D after-action report; session 2

23 Sep

28th of Flamerule 1482 DR

 

My Dearest EB,

We resumed our travels after gathering the goods of the Merchant House LionShield, quite a large amount of food stocks, armor and sundry goods, and proceeded on our way to Phandalin. Arriving at Phandalin we returned the goods belonging to the LionShield Castors, receiving 50 gold Lions for our troubles, then proceeded to deliver the goods and cart we were hired to deliver. Gundren’s people paid us our 10 Lions each and we proceeded to the Stone Hill Inn to meet Sildar. While certainly no Inn of the Eastern Delights, it had a quaint human charm and the food was the best the town had to offer. We hired several rooms for our party while Eldon disposed of the frog figurine and gold teeth.

 

We heard several tales of a local gang of bully boys, the Red Brands, attempting to extort the local merchants, first from the factor at the LionShield Castors, then from the innkeeper. The factor at Gundren’s supply house, Darren, informed us of the proper name for the mine our employer was attempting to find, the Lost Mine of Phandevers Pact. I do recall some fragments of tales concerning the ore, and how it was easily enchanted. I must remember to write Wicus Sunstryke and ask him if he has any further knowledge of the place within the tomes of his library.

 

After splitting the proceeds from our journey, Aisha and Lord Bernard informed us that they would each be going off ways separate from our own. Over dinner we met Xenya and Gregori, two fellow adventurers after Hazradad struck up a conversation with them. While I can understand Hazradad speaking to Xenya, she does show the best of her parentage, Gregori is the by-blow of an orc! Xenya seems to be an up and coming minstrel, while the radäg is as barbaric a fighter as I expected based on his looks. I must say however, Gregori does possess a highly developed sense of honor, quite unusual for one of his kind. Over the course of our meal and the drinks afterwards (the dwarves can certainly drink), we heard several tales, of the nefarious Red Brands, and reports of orc raiders out towards the eastern end of the Tribor Trail. The lad who worked in the kitchen mentioned that a playmate of his was run off by bandits near Trussendor Manor. We surmised that it might be some of the Red Brands (oh how right we were to be) and decided to speak to his playmate, Carp, the next day. One oldster mentioned that undead had run someone off a digging by the Old Watch Tower. Sildar mentioned that the leader of the Red Brands was one Glastaff and he had a hidey-hole under Trussendor Manor. We resolved to speak to several witnesses for the tales we had heard, as well as speak to the Town Master, Arbin Wester.

 

The next day we scattered soon after breakfast, some to investigate, others to sit back and guard the hearth, so to speak.  We all gathers shortly after noon and over lunch shared the knowledge we had gleaned. Our company had learned that Arbin, didn’t think the orcs east or Tribor’s trail, were much of a threat, but offered 100 s Lions to eliminate the Wyvern Tor war band. He grudgingly agreed to pay 120 Lions if there were more than 5 orcs. When pressed about the Red Brands, he downplayed it with such nonchalance that Eldon’s ears peaked up, we believe he might be on the take from the Red Brands. Darren asked for assistance in finding and getting back into working order the Lost Mine of Echo Cave. There is also apparently a 500 Lion reward for driving off the Chieftain and his mob from Cragmaw Castle. The Priestess at Tymora’s shrine requested our aid in finding and asking a question of a local Ban-Sidhe named Agatha. The Priestess wishes knowledge of a spellbook, Bogentle’s Spellbook. I’ve heard that name before, but for the life of me, I cannot recall where I heard it. If you have knowledge of this caster my friend, I pray that you enlighten me as to his (or her) character. Agatha apparently likes fine goods, especially jeweled combs to straighten her tangled locks. We were promised 3 potions of healing as payment for returning with knowledge as to the whereabouts of the book. Agatha makes her lair somewhere to the north of Tribor Trail, back in the woods. Apparently this Ban-Sidhe has been a local fixture for quite some time. Some of us made a trip to one of the outlying farms where we met Guillen Alderleaf and her son Carp. Carp related how he saw some of the Red Brands hiding in a thicket, where there was a tunnel. Carp let us know that this wasn’t far from Trussendor Manor. After lunch, we decided to go and check out the main hangout of the Red brands in town, the Sleeping Giant Inn. This was a decrepit place and there were four of the scallywags lounging on the front porch. Xenya attempted to talk her way past them, but they were spoiling for a fight. I will never understand the human predilection towards banditry and how they will prey upon their own kind. Eldon showed them the sharp ends of his blades and quickly put down the leader, permanently. For a Halfling, he does scare me, almost as much as the Severed Kin. We soon knocked the fight out of the rest, along with most of their lives. One we were able to capture and he spilled his guts, letting us know that the remainder of his gang was in Trussendor Manor. We were also able to find out that Arbin had been intimidated by the Red Brands, which explains his willingness to ‘look the other way’. The bandit let us know that there were nine more of the Red Brands located in Trussendor Manor and that Yarno, the human wizard, had disappeared near there. He also claimed that the Red Brands had killed Threlldrendar. We determined that come the morning we would travel to Trussendor Manor and find and eliminate the nefarious Red Brands.

 

We left in high spirits, and traveled a short distance outside the town proper (well what’s left of it), and quickly found the thicket that Carp had told us of.  Entering the thicket we found the secret passage and followed it down. After a short distance the passageway opened into a cavern with several natural buttresses and a deep chasm in the middle that was spanned by two wooden bridges. There is some aberration that haunts the cavern as it began to speak to us in a simple, animalistic voice. After a brief conversation where it expressed an interest in something to eat, Hazradad offered it some of his rations in exchange for information. We learned that the Red Brands regularly passed through its cavern, tossing it captives or slaves who had died. The radäg agreed to let us pass if we left it the corpses of those we might kill. There were several passageways leading out of the cavern, all of them showing at least some or in some cases, extensive working to shore them up and improve them. Picking one at random, we followed it a short way when it suddenly descended a flight of stairs with a door at the bottom to the left and a passageway leading to the right, also ending in a door. Hazradad and Eldon snuck ahead and listened at the doors, hearing snoring at one and boisterous conversation at the other. Picking the far doorway with the conversation going on, we prepped in the hallway and then burst in the door, catching four of the Red Brands by surprise. Eldon dashed in and eviscerated one, while Gregori ran forward and swung mightily and missed. Xenya skipped in and stabbed her rapier into one, I followed her and channeled lightning into his brain, killing him. Eldon rolled under the table and gut and heart thrust the third. Gregori after a few missed swings finally caught the last one, beheading him on the table. It was then that we began heading a commotion from the door we had bypassed. Eldon had thoughtfully spiked the door closed, and whatever it was began to batter at it in a vain attempt to open it. We quickly ran over to contain them just as the door began to give way. Gregori blocked the door with three Bugbears attempting to make their way out. Between Gregori’s axe and Eldon’s knives, the first beast went down. The other two went down after a hard fight in which Gregori took some serious cuts which Hazradad healed. We discovered a goblin, the Bugbear’s manservant; the foul little thing had passed out upon seeing Gregori. Interrogating it afterwards revealed that Mosk was the (now dead) leader of the Bugbears and they had come at the behest of the Black Spider to assist and whip the Red Brands into shape. Additionally we learned that Yarno, whom we thought to be a friend of Gundren, turned out to be in league with the Red Brands. Hazradad dragged some of the dead Red Brands out for the aberration to munch upon.  We plundered the dead and came up with an iron key, a gold earring with a ruby, and eye patch set with some semi precious stones, 15 lions, 22 blue eyes, 88 falcons and 75 thumbs.

D&D after-action report; session one

23 Sep

27th of Flamerule 1482 DR

 

My dearest EB,

I have wonderful news. Recently I have become acquainted with a diverse company. We were hired to protect the good s of a dwarven ‘merchant’ to a rough and tumble place, Phandlin. They consist of a pair each of Humans, Halflings and Dwarves. There is Lord Bernard Stonehaven, not quite as stuffy as his name would suggest, a quite capable warrior, and Fletch McGonial, an archer almost good enough to qualify for the 3/7 Rangers, one wonders if he has a touch of the blood in his ancestry. Asha Highhill is able to hide as only the wee folk can do, although the other Halfling, Eldon Laughingleaf, seems a bit, how shall one say, vicious is too strong a word, but I would not wish to be on the receiving end of his blades. The Dwarves, twin brothers, Hazradad and Thran Brightaxw, are drawn to two different faiths. They have the blessings of their Gods and have proven themselves courageous although Thran is a bit more cantankerous than his brother. Before meeting Gundren Rockseeker, we all met and discussed how we should handle certain mundane tasks. It was decided that we should split any and all proceeds eight ways, with the extra share being a party slush fund. Thran volunteered and was unanimously accepted as party treasurer. Fletch was chosen to be the war leader, while Lord Bernard and Eldon are to represent us in more mundane matters. With these minor matters behind us we set out from Waterdeep.

It was a beautiful midsummer’s day as we walked alongside the cart with our patron’s goods. The goods in question seemed mostly to be mining implements and gear, one wonders what he is after. It was an uneventful morning and most of the afternoon until we spied, as we came around a bend in the road, two dead horses, feathered with black fletched arrows. We went back a short ways, no mean feat with the cart, I will never understand people’s reliance on oxen. They are a most dull and intractable creature. But I digress; we brought the cart back up the road and using the Halfling’s native skills at hiding, secreted the cart and our patron’s goods out of sight. We then cautiously proceeded back to the site of the ‘ambush’, with Asha and Eldon scouting our flanks in the underbrush. We were almost upon the dead horses when several arrows flew out from both sides while several Goblins advanced and made to attack! I saw Lord Bernard stagger from the force of one arrow that buried itself almost to the fletching in his side. Doughty warrior that he is, he yanked it out and prepared to meet the Goblins. Thran and Hazradad called upon their respective Gods and channeled the radiant holiness into the vile creatures, one of which seemed to glow from within before collapsing into a pile of ash. I watched as Fletch sunk his arrows into several goblins, pinning the eyes of one to the back of its skull.   I heard a yelp of pain, then Asha came running out to the road, blood streaming from a nasty arrow shot to the knee. Calling upon the power as taught to us by our master, I caused several of the nasty creatures to fall asleep, while Lord Bernard used his blade to respond to the affront of being shot. In as many moments as it took to look around the band of Goblins was slain, they numbering almost a dozen. I recognized the horses as being those ridden by Gundren and his bodyguard when we had last seen them. Eldon was able to find a path behind the blinds that the Goblins had hidden in, leading off the Gods knew where. Fletch was able to discern that nigh onto a dozen or more had passed that way, dragging two creatures with them. We decided to follow the trail in hopes of rescuing our patron and his body guard.

The trail led on a ways into the countryside before leading us to a clearing wherein we spied a cave mouth, partially obscured by thickets. The keen eyes of several of our party espied the Goblins on watch and Fletch demonstrated his mastery with the bow by slaying one, while Eldon snuck up and gutted the other. Passing by the dead guards, we came into a natural tunnel with a shallow stream flowing out of it. We found a small cave off the path with three half starved and obviously angry wolves. Hazradad demonstrated his connection with the beasts, winning their trust and then releasing them. They quickly and happily left that vile place. A shallow crack was found which led to a midden heap over which we could see an opening. Lord Bernard scaled the rock face, bringing my rope with him to assist the rest of us getting up. Hazradad quickly followed with Fletch and the Halflings ready to follow. Thran and I kept an eye to insure we were not ambushed. Suddenly there was an enormous roar and a bestial growl soon followed by Hazradad flying down and landing on his face. I fear that it was only due to his brother’s divine aid that he got up. Lord Bernard quickly, although not as fast as Hazradad, descended and rejoined us. A large goblinoid came to the edge of the shelf recently vacated by my comrades and began shouting threats at us. Klarg was its name, and a fouler looking brute I have yet to meet. We left and went back to the main tunnel with Eldon in the lead, when suddenly there was a roar and a rushing of water which quickly became a flood. All of us, save Fletch and Lord Bernard were washed out into the clearing. Drying ourselves out, we waded in behind the Dwarven twins to rejoin our comrades in a side corridor they had found. This soon ended in a partially collapsed rock face, resembling a stairway. Hazradad used his keen Dwarven understanding of the rock to climb up and secure us entrance into the cave system. Having a choice of left or right, we went to the left, following the flickering of a fire we could not immediately see. We entered into a medium sized cave in which dwelt more of the foul Goblins. Taking the fight to them we forced our way into the cave, cutting down a few until I was able to see and cast my Sleep spell again. This left us with the leader, a slightly larger Goblin, who then dragged a beaten and tortured Human to the edge. He threatened to kill the Human if we did not surrender, while we kept the stupid brute talking, Hazradad worked his way under where the Human was dangling and once he was ready, Fletch skewered him with a pair of shafts! This left us with two breathing but sleeping Goblins, one of which it was soon determined didn’t speak a word of Common. Slaying the beast, Eldon interrogated the last Goblin and learned the layout of the remaining cave system and where Klarg could be found. The Goblin also informed us that Klarg and his band had been hired to waylay our patron who was taken not back to where we had followed but rather had been sent to the Black Spider. I know not who that person is, but Asha seemed to shudder when his name was mentioned. Eldon then stabbed the Goblin in the back, eviscerating him before our shocked eyes. Cleaning the debris out of the way, we set a guard and rested for the night.

Gundren’s bodyguard, Sildar, mentioned when he was recovered that our patron had discovered what he believed was a long lost dwarven mine, which supposedly has magical properties imbued in the rock and ore.

When the morning came I readied myself with my ever trusty Sleep and Mage Armor. Our plan was to advance into Klarg’s stronghold, where I would put as many Goblins to sleep as I could, while the rest of the party would dispatch the rest. We hoped to do this before Klarg and his pet, a wolf named Ripper, could enter the fray. Hat is just what we did, although I foolishly, advanced to begin slaying the sleeping Goblins. I had just dispatched one when with a horrific roar Klarg entered the fray and was intent on smashing me into the rock with his Morningstar. The Gods smiled upon me and caused him to slip in the gore from several of the now dead Goblins. At that point it was quick and bloody work to stab, slice and shoot the remaining Goblins, Klarg and Ripper. We were able to recover quite a store of looted and stolen goods which we decided to move and pile onto the cart and bring them with us to Phandelen. We also recovered a store of coin, some potions of healing, a carved jade frog with bulging gold eyes and 3 gold teeth (I believe they may have come from the bodyguard’s mouth). Gundren’s bodyguard suggested that we continue with all haste to Phandlin, where we might enlist a hireling of Gundren, a Human wizard named Yarno to assist in determining where Gundren had been taken. Thus decided we strode as fast as our feet would bear us onto Phandelen.

Yours respectfully

Birel

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