Shadows of the Rift

Rage and Raven: Temple of Vengeance (Part Three)
Part Three

24 Awakening 508

The party has made their way out of the catacombs of the temple and back into the large sanctuary area. It is late in the day and the party is wounded from their various fights with the ghouls. The party decides to head out of the sanctuary and camp outside of the temple. Lenoria channels energy from her goddess and heals the party of their wounds.

The night passes without incident.

25 Awakening 508

The following morning, it is noticed by Rhain and Lenoria that Alun is not looking at all well.

Rhain asks if the young man can continue. He says that he can. Kerra gives her brother a chastising look and asks “Are you sure?”

“Yeah, I can keep on,” he says.

However, Lenoria determines that the cause of the problem is ghoul fever, brought on by the bite of one of those foul creatures in the catacombs. It is potentially fatal, and if he succumbs, he could become one of those creatures.

Alun and Rhain turn white with fear. Lenoria is rattled by the information she has brought to light, but Kerra brings up the fact that there must be some good gods in Tarsas if the evil temple they’ve been exploring was rooted out by them. The party decides to return to Imth to seek out a priest to heal him.

The party travels down the mountain trail into the foothills of the Et’tir Mountains. Late in the afternoon, the party finds itself about to enter an area between two foothills. Lenoria notices the glint of the setting sun off of metal at the top of one of the hills.

“There’s metal ahead of us on the hill ahead,” she says as she draws her morningstar. The rest of the party readies themselves as they hear the TWANG of a bowstrings coming from the hills. Alun is hit with an arrow, as is Lenoria.

Alun takes off running around the side of one of the hills. Kerra hustles forward to confront one of the archers on the rise, a hobgoblin. She decapitates her opponent in a mighty slash of her longsword. Kerra is shot with a longbow. Lenoria casts magic weapon on Rhain’s axe. Rhain hustles closer to the next archer, falling ten feet short of the other hobgoblin.

Alun darts between the hills. Kerra hustles to the next hobgoblin and attacks, missing the hob. Rhain moves forward to confront the hobgoblin and attacks, missing the hobgoblin as well. The hobgoblin drops his bow and draws a longsword, attacking Kerra and missing. Lenoria leads the mule towards the site of battle.

Alun sneaks behind the hobgoblin and stabs him hard with his short sword. Rhain attacks and misses. Kerra moves in and attacks, hitting him her longsword. Lenoria continues to lead the mule forward. The hobgoblin attempts to attack Kerra and misses as well.

Alun stabs the hobgoblin with his short sword and the creature falls. Rhain looks perturbed that he didn’t get slay the creature. Lenoria moves forward and channels energy from her goddess to heal the party, and in the process, causes the hobgoblin to rise once again. Rhain rushes forward to deliver a coup de grace to the dazed hobgoblin, severing his spine and slaying him once and for all.

The hobgoblins are looted of armor, weapons, and coin. Then Rhain decides to see if can track where these two hobgoblins came from. He finds a trail that leads deeper into the hills, away from the direction that the party is headed. They decide to abandon the trail and head to Imth, but to lay out the hobgoblin bodies to mark the trail.

They travel on for the rest of the day, camp for the night, and the night passes without incident.

26 Awakening 508

The party travels through the forest throughout the day. The trees are thick and close together, blocking much of the springtime sun.

Late that afternoon, as the party makes its last push before settling in to make camp, everyone hears a rustle in the underbrush as an angry boar emerges from the underbrush, approaching Rhain. The party makes ready with their weapons. Alun throws one of his daggers at the beast while the boar gores Rhain. Lenoria calls down a blessing from her goddess while Kerra lashes out with her longsword, injuring the fierce beast. Rhain deals a mighty blow to the creature, that by all accounts should have felled it, but the creature fights on.

Alun throws another dagger, misses the creature. Rhain then deals the creature another mighty blow, but fails to still the raging beast. The boar tries to gore Rhain again, but misses him. Lenoria touches Kerra to bestow a Bit of luck upon her, which was fortunate, as Kerra was able to finally kill the beast.

The party decides to go ahead and camp and butcher the boar for meat for the day.

The night passes without further incident.

27 Awakening 508

The next morning, Alun is decidedly worse. The party continues traveling for Imth, traversing through the forest. At the end of the day, Alun and Rhain hold up short, having heard a noise in the underbrush. The sound is near Lenoria, who did not hear. Rhain draws his axe and approaches the underbrush, investigating with it. He moves aside a branch and uncovers a dirty-faced dwarf. One side of his head is shaved.

“Come out of the brush,” Rhain says.

Emerging from the brush is a dirty-faced dwarf with one side of head shaved. His dirty clothes have obviously been caught on brambles and been torn. He is unarmed and wears no weapons.

“I don’t want any trouble,” he says in Tradespeak.

“Good, I don’t want any either,” Rhain say.

“If you can spare it, I can use some water,” the dwarf says.

“Why are you running around in the woods without water?” Rhain asks.

“I escaped a mining encampment in the mountains with just the clothes on my back,” the dwarf replies.

Lenoria offers the dwarf her water. He takes a pull off the skin and hands it back, saying “Thank you.”

“I have no love for the Tarsians,” Lenoria says.

Rhain asks her about that and Lenoria explains that her people have been at war with Tarsas before, that there’s a history between the peoples.

“If I’m ever in a position to do you a kindness, my name is Tannic Stonehaven,” the dwarf tells Lenoria.

Lenoria introduces herself. “Where do you come from originally, Tannic?”

" Originally, Khazak-Ur " the dwarf says.

“You just going to run through the forest, or are you going to run to a town?” Rhain asks.

“I’m going to run to the city and try to stowaway on a ship,” Tannic says.

“Stowaway?” Rhain says, incredulous.

“It’s not my favorite way to travel, but I’ve got to get out of here,” the dwarf says.

The party discusses trying to shave the dwarf’s head to throw off any suspicion that he’s a runaway slave. Tannic acquiesces and is thankful that they are willing to help.

“You do me much kindness. Thank you all.”

They also give him 25 gold pieces and 11 copper from the money they got off the hobgoblins. Alun seems to balk, but he is outvoted.

“Do you know anything about the Tarsian churches that are around here? We’re looking for one that can cure disease,” Lenoria asks.

“Cure disease?”

“Yes. Our friend here is sick.”

The dwarf takes a step back away from the group.

“It’s not that kind of disease,” Lenoria reassures him.

Tannic says, “There’s a huge temple to Praathi in the city.” Lenoria is able to identify that faith as the Queen of Dusk and Twilight, a goddess of the balance and neutrality. “There’s also a temple to Irthani.” Lenoria recalls that Irthani was the faith that cleared out the evil temple they were exploring.

They go to part ways with the dwarf when he brings up the fact that they are both heading to the city and suggests that they go together. At first the party balks, thinking that someone is hunting the dwarf. He says that he has seen no sign of hunters in three days. They decide that that is long enough and allow him to travel with them to Imth. He agrees to part ways with them before they go through the gates.

Lenoria asks him if he knows anything about mules and Tannic replies that he has had little experience with mules.

As this was getting toward the end of the day, the party decides to make camp. They also share food with Tannic.

The night passes without incident.

28 Awakening 508

Alun is still looking and feeling poorly, though Lenoria tried rousing him with a Bit of luck. He looks as bad as he did the day before.

The party and Tannic continue on through the forest a short while and emerge at the walled city of Imth. The pennants of gold with the scorpion emblazoned upon them snap in the breeze. They see a line of merchants and other folk waiting to get into the city.

The party gets in the line, parting ways with Tannic. When they get to the guards, one of them points at Alun and asks “What’s wrong with him?”

Lenoria steps in and says, “He’s always been sickly. He’s not as strong as you are.” The guard says “Very well.” They pay their gate fees. Another guard asks her “What about all this equipment on the mule? Are these goods for sale?” Lenoria says “It’s for back-up. My friend breaks a lot of weapons.” The guard eyes her suspiciously, but lets them pass without charging them duties on goods for sale. Finally, they’ve made it into the city.

Lenoria and the others all ask about for the temple of Irthani. Kerra manages to get someone to give them directions to the temple.

Following the directions, they arrive at an ancient building that has clearly seen better days. Out in front of the building is a stone statue of a Eudaimon, its stone weathered and worn.

The party go inside the temple. The edifice is supported by many stone columns. The columns bear many carvings and mosaics of Eudaimoni combatting Kakodaimoni in the sky and on the ground. Milling about are men and women with shaved heads wearing blue robes trimmed in green. One of the blue robed men approaches the party and says something in Tarsian. Rhain asks if he speaks Tradespeaks and the man nods.

“Our friend here is sick,” Rhain says.

“Oh?” the man, presumably a priest, says.

“Ghoul fever,” Rhain elaborates.

“Can one of your order fix that?” Lenoria asks.

“Forgive the indelicacy of the question, but usually there is the matter of a donation to the temple for the services rendered.”

“Usually the donation would be a hundred and fifty gold.”

Lenoria looks to Alun and Kerra. Alun looks a bit more pale, but his sister nods in agreement.

“Okay then,” Lenoria says.

“Come with me, young man,” the priest says. Alun follows the priest. “If the rest of you will wait here in the sanctuary.”

“How long will this be?” Rhain asks.

“Not long.”

Lenoria looks around and sees a wide range of folks in the service of Irthani, young and old, men and women.

After a relatively short amount of time, the priest returns with Alun in tow. Alun doesn’t look better, but the priest says that he will not succumb to the disease. Kerra hands the priest a small pouch of coin and says “Thank you.”

Rhain asks Alun if he feels any better. Alun says no, but that they explain to him that they removed the disease so that he would no longer succumb to its effects. Rhain thinks that maybe he was already healing from the disease and that the priests just took the money. Despite Rhain’s reservations, they decide to move on and let Lenoria diagnose the disease with her magic in the morning.

They move on to the marketplace to negotiate the sale of their goods. Lenoria negotiates the sales. They are not met by friendly merchants, but are not met with hostility either. The markets in Imth appear to be stable. They get a fair market price for their goods.

Rage and Raven: Temple of Vengeance (Part Two)
Part Two

22 Awakening 508


Lenoria has been revived with the help of a potion provided by Rhain. The party is surrounded by the bodies of three fallen hobgoblins. Alun, Rhain, and Kerra strip the bodies of gear, including studded leather armor, shields, longswords, longbows, and arrows. Lenoria casts healing spells on herself and on Rhain. Finally, the party is ready to continue through the foothills of the Et’tir Mountains. They unhitch their mule and march on for the rest of the day.

That night, the four take watches. First Alun, then Lenoria, followed by Kerra, and finally Rhain. The night passes without incident.

23 Awakening 508


The party emerges from the foothills and into the mountains proper, following a narrow pass. As the band passes through a particularly narrow portion of the pass, they are ambushed by another band of hobgoblins. Two archers surround them on the ridges while another approaches from the front and another approaches from the rear. Lenoria places the blessing of her goddess on the party. Rhain takes care of the hobgoblin approaching from the rear while the archers continue menacing the party from the ridges. After felling the rearmost hob, Rhain rage-climbs the ridge nearest him and spirits of his ancestors attack the archer. Alun continues to throw daggers at the other archer while Kerra takes on the foremost hob. Lenoria gives Alun a “bit of luck” in the form of a spell while Rhain grapples his foe to the ground and continues to shiv him with a dagger. Lenoria takes out her light crossbow and trains it on the other archer. Meanwhile, Rhain has slain the first archer and is calculating his next move. The foremost hobgoblin takes off Kerra’s ear as Lenoria takes out the second archer with her crossbow. Rhain runs and jumps from the ridge, miscalculating slightly, and jumps over the foremost hob. However, this puts him in a flanking position, with the hob between him and Kerra. Lenoria emits healing energy over the whole party as the last hob is slain.

These hobgoblins are stripped of armor and weapons and the party continues down the pass. The pass eventually widens and the group is able to make a passable camp.

The night passes without incident.

24 Awakening 508

At mid-morning, the pass begins to incline and narrow into a footpath. The party comes to a stone courtyard in front of a large structure on top of a plateau. The courtyard is dominated by three large columns of carved obsidian depicting Kakodaimoni confronting their archenemies, Eudaimoni. There is also a 10’ obsidian statue of Shazira in her aspect of a woman with a face of smoke and a long-hafted axe. There is a also an open set of double-doors into the structure at the head of the courtyard. Alun is elected to check out the courtyard and the double-doors.

As he carefully approaches the double-doors, a swarm of bats suddenly emerges from within and engulfs the young rogue. He cries out in pain and in alarm. Rhain lights a torch while the others ineffectively try to beat off the swarming creatures. Rhain eventually manages to scare off the vermin with fire, but not before Alun’s face and arms are covered in tiny bits and scratches. Alun continues to search out the courtyard and finds nothing of interest.

They stake the mule out on the plateau and approach the building. Alun takes the lead, with Rhain close behind with a torch and his axe. Lenoria follows with Kerra in the back with Light cast on her sword.

The doors open into a long, high-ceilinged sanctuary. The floor is of tiled stone. The ceiling is supported by broad pillars of obsidian collared in gold. The pillars are carved with more Kakodaimoni warring with Eudaimoni. The walls are painted with depictions of the goddess Shazira in all of her aspects, the smoke-faced judge, the flame-haired warrior, and the red-beaked raven of death. The party’s footfalls echo in the wide, high room.

The room ends in a wide a platform approached by a series of steps. Atop the steps is a toppled brass statue of the flame-haired goddess behind an altar with chains on it. Beside the altar are two cold braziers. There are also two large pillars flanking the statue. On either side of the platform are two doors, one on the left, one on the right.

Before checking out the doors, it is decided to check out the platform and the statue. Alun moves forward to do just that, approaching the toppled statue. He moves around to check it out when the party hears him say, “Guys, a little help!”


Rhain runs around the other side of the platform and sees a spider, the size of a man, menacing the young rogue. He also now sees its large, funneled web set up behind the statue. It strikes at Alun, biting him. Rhain, in turn, strikes at the spider, doing it a great deal of harm. Alun attacks it with his short sword, also doing it a bit of damage. Finally, Rhain takes it down, it turning over onto its back and its legs curling up in its death throes.

Alun continues his search and finds a secret panel in one of the pillars. It hides a spiral staircase leading down. They elect to follow it.

Heading down the staircase, they emerge into a sizable room with an open door leading west and a door leading south. They decide to go south. They move into a smaller room with two barred double doors—one set leading south, the other leading west. They open the southern doors and see that they lead into a hallway and some catacombs. They head back up and take the open door to the west. This leads into a room that appears to be a series of opened cells. The room ends in a closed door. Alun checks it out and finds no traps and that it is unlocked. Opening it, they discover another sizable room with chains on the walls and bolted to the floor. There are no other exits from the room.

They return to the room leading into the catacombs and search it out. Sure enough, Alun finds a secret door leading into what was probably a treasury—and now only contains a few (eleven, to be exact) copper coins.

At this point, they elect to go into the catacombs.


As they explore the grid complex of the catacombs, Rhain hears movement. Alun is then surprised by a gaunt figure that emerges from around a corner—a gaunt figure with sharp teeth and claws. As Alun engages with the creature, Rhain flips over and around Alun to get to the other side of him in the hallway. Alun finds himself paralyzed by some sort of toxin exuded by the creature. Lenoria blesses the party. Rhain manages to slay the creature and then whacks its head off with his axe for good measure. Alun recovers from his paralysis after a few moments and decides to search the catacombs for baubles with Kerra while Rhain and Lenoria take point.

Eventually, the four catch up to each other and, once again, movement is heard up ahead. Rhain stealths ahead with everyone following quietly behind. Then Rhain attacks around a corner where the movement was heard. Soon, another of the creatures is dispatched. The party explores the grid pattern of the catacomb, Rhain and Lenoria in the lead and the Lanyons in the rear, and finds nothing of interest. They head back upstairs into the sanctuary.

Session Twenty-Nine
Spirited Arrivals

25 Ardor 508


The party goes back to the Whistling Spirit after their night at the fights, slightly dispirited after Rilka’s announcement that she would no longer be participating in the shenanigans. Everyone heads back to their rooms for a night of rest.

Surm is awakened by a moaning sound that fills the room. He wakes his brother, Mõrvar, who stands in front of the door with his great sword, Deathblow. Surm illuminates the room with dancing lights. Nothing in the room seems to be making the sound. Surm searches the room for a source of the sound. His thoroughness is rewarded—a worn portion of one of the support beams reveals that a metal rod has been inserted into the beam.

First the two brothers decide to head to the room above them, so they go upstairs—then they change their minds and go downstairs to the common room. They light their way with a light spell cast on Mõrvar’s sword. They head into the kitchens and Surm sees movement near a door at the rear of the room. He casts dancing lights to illuminate the room and catches a serving in the light. Brandishing his dagger, Surm demands “What are you doing here?”

“N-nothing. What are you doing here?” the boy responds.

Mõrvar intimidates the boy into submission. “What are you doing here?” he demands to know.

“I just do what the innkeep says!” the boy squeaks.

“And what is that?”

“Guard this door.”

“Take us to him,” Surm says.

The boy goes to the door and knocks twice, opens it, and leads the two brothers down a staircase into a basement lit by lantern light.

The innkeep is at the bottom of the staircase, along with a series of support beams with pins sticking out them. He greets the boy before he sees the two armed Northron men. “Torny what’s going on?” Then he sees the brothers. “What’s going on?” he demands. “Why are you not in your rooms?”

Surm explains that they heard moaning and came to investigate and that now he’s caught red-handed. The innkeep continues to bluster, but between Mõrvar’s intimidation and Surm’s diplomacy, he is persuaded to give the brothers a full refund of the party’s stay at the inn. The innkeep takes them to his small office and gives them the coin for the refund. Before leaving, the innkeep is told to keep up the moaning sounds for the two half-orc companion’s rooms, however.

The brothers head upstairs and Surm proceeds to wake up Savaric and Rilka, asking them if they heard the moaning. Sure enough, there is moaning in their rooms. It seems to be alternating back and forth between the two rooms. Mõrvar convinces Savaric to look upstairs. In the meantime, Rilka stays in her room and listens.

While Savaric is upstairs and Rilka stays in her room, Surm and Mõrvar stack the furniture in Savaric’s room.

Surm casts ghost sounds of moaning moving down the hall and hangs out of his room. When Rilka pokes her head out to investigate, he asks if she heard that moaning. She continues to stand in the doorway listening when Savaric returns, having found nothing of interest upstairs.

The two half-orcs decide to sneak downstairs and see what they can see. When they get to the bottom of the stairs, they surprise the innkeep, who blurts out “It’s not my fault!”

Rilka demands to know what he means by that, though he demurs, saying that it was just a reaction to being startled. Savaric says “We hear it too. We’re trying to find it for you.”

Meanwhile, a wailing begins to take place upstairs. People begin opening their doors to see what the fuss is about and then shutting them and locking them as the wailing begins to grow.

The wailing seems to unnerve the innkeep. He says, “Look, I’m just doing what I was told.”

“What were you told?” Rilka asks.

“To make the moans! Look, I already gave you people a refund.”

“Who told you?”

“The two Northrons.”

At that, Rilka goes upstairs and confronts Mõrvar and Surm, chasing Surm around his room. Savaric and Rilka eventually return to their rooms to find their furniture stacked in ways that no human being could possibly stack them. . .

26 Ardor 508

The next morning, Savaric tips the innkeep ten gold pieces—but Surm gives the man a look and admonishes him until he gives the half-orc the money back. Rilka buys everyone a nice breakfast, congratulating the brothers on being clever last night. After a hearty meal, everyone loads up and gets on the road to Aldasar.

Along the way, the party discusses the possibility of hiring out porters and guards to oversee the party’s camp. Various pros and cons are hashed out. Regardless, nothing can be decided until they get to a city.

They arrive at Aldasar, the capitol of Leilior, at sunset. After paying the gate taxes, they head to Umbergrow and Waigh’s, a posh inn near the city’s center. After paying for rooms, baths, etc., they come down to the common room in their “fancy” clothes. Mõrvar, Savaric, and Surm discuss the possibility of going to find another underground fight and try to persuade Rilka to come along. They eventually persuade her to come.


They change out of their fancy clothes and head to the docks to gather information about the underground fight scene. They discover that there is a certain warehouse where such fights occur. A burly half-orc guards the door and questions them about their intent. He warns them that there is a door charge of five gold pieces each. When told that there is a contender among them, he tells them to find Cairicol. He can usually be found near the betting booths.

The half-orc lets them in and they enter a makeshift vestibule where a man flanked by two burly guards is collecting the five gold piece cover charge. Once the cover charge is collected, the party enters the warehouse proper. There are three fighting circles set up with a spectators watching and a row of betting booths lined up along the far wall. It doesn’t take long to find Cairicol, a human who seems to be directing much of the action.

Surm introduces himself and points out that he has two contenders here that would like to fight. One is undefeated and one needs to be broken in. He asks if they do pairs fighting. Cairicol allows that they do, when they have the pairs worth doing it with. Mõrvar makes a point to act nervous, to get into the part of a new fighter, hoping to drive his odds up. Cairicol gives them 1 in 4 odds and will work them in tonight. Have them ready in half an hour. Remember: no armor, no weapons, and no magic. Surm and the promoter shake on it and Cairicol goes to make the arrangements.

Surm makes his way through the crowd, trying to get a sense of who their going to be fighting. He hears that they are going to fight a set of twin half-orcs by the names of Kortash and Burask. Surm tries to convince some of the nobles in attendance to come watch the fight with him, but has no luck.

The fighters are fairly evenly matched. Nevertheless, Mõrvar and Savaric are victorious. As the party are collecting their winnings, Cairicol approaches Surm about having Mõrvar fight more often, asking how long they’re going to be in the city. Surm demurs, saying that they are not going to be staying in the city and don’t know when they’re going to be back. Surm once again tries to work the room, but fails. In the meantime, Mõrvar and Savaric invite Kortash and Burask out for drinks.

The party and the two half-orc twins all go for drinks at a dive tavern called The Dented Mug. The twins are originally from Leilior and work on the docks here in Aldasar, when they’re not fighting. They’ve been in the city for five years. The party tells stories of their adventures. During the evening, Kortash subtly moves his chair closer to Rilka. During a lull in the evening, Surm goes to leave. Mõrvar shakes hands with the half-orcs and goes to leave as well. Savaric takes the hint as well. Rilka and Kortash have an exchange, where he says that she has plenty of men to walk her back to her inn, though she says she wouldn’t mind another. So Kortash walks her back to the Umbergrow and Waigh’s.

Once at the inn, Rilka and Kortash have another drink while Mõrvar attempts to flirt with the innkeep—and is shot down. Rilka and Kortash chat for awhile and finally she asks him if he wants to come upstairs he does and they do.

Mõrvar manages to have no companionship this evening. He goes upstairs and wakes up Surm to discuss the possibility of hiring Kortash and Burask as porters. Surm doesn’t want the bother of hiring more half-orcs into the party.

27 Ardor 508


Rilka and Kortash head downstairs for breakfast. Everyone (save Kortash) is dressed in their fancy clothes as they have breakfast. Surm asks Kortash to step away for a moment, and he does. The party then discuss the possibility of hiring Kortash and Burask as hirelings. Surm is still against it, but most of the others seem to be for it. It is finally decided to ask if they would be interested. They bring Kortash back over and make the proposition. He says it sounds like a good deal, but would have to talk to Burask about it first. He excuses himself, kisses Rilka’s hand, and exits.

Rilka stays at the inn to wait for Kortash and Burask while Savaric goes shopping at the armorer and Mõrvar and Surm go looking for a job.

Savaric manages to secure a masterwork agile breastplate.

Rilka greets Kortash and Burask, who return to say that they are “in” and would like the job.

Surm gets word that there is a dwarf by the name of Kragar Stoneanvil at Uilliam’s Resting Place who is looking for adventurers. So he and his brother head to that inn to inquire about the job. Kragar is there and is the only dwarf in the common room. The quest is to go to Jossia, to the Daggerspine, where there is an abandoned dwarven outpost. The outpost is overrun by creatures of the Underdark. Kragar wants the outpost’s leader’s journal/logbook. The leader supposedly never made it out of the outpost alive. There is little in the way of dwarven treasure left there, as the outpost was abandoned, but the party is welcome to whatever is found. Kragar just wants that journal. He will pay 500 gold pieces, 250 now, 250 upon delivery. Surm manages to talk him up to 1000 gold. They will know the journal by the seal of the outpost prominently on display on the journal. Kragar will be waiting for them at Uilliam’s Resting Place. Kragar takes 500 gold from his strongbox at the inn and pays the brothers half the agreed rate.

Once the brothers return to Umbergrow and Waigh’s, they see that the two half-orcs have arrived and are willing to be hired on as porters. There is talk of drawing up a contract, but it is agreed that their word, and the party’s word, will be their bond. Pay day will be when they arrive in a city. Their new job will start tomorrow. With all in agreement, the half-orcs take their leave to make their final arrangements.

Next Surm returns to the marketplace and hires a footman and two guards. Mahgnus will oversee the camp while Alasir (a former city guardsman) and Sorcha (a former mercenary) will guard it.

Once those arrangements are made, Surm returns and the party makes various plans for provisioning, including tents. After all the arrangements are finally made, the party beds down for the night.

28 Ardor 508

The entourage gathers downstairs at the inn. Once all the gear is gathered, the party rides out of Aldasar toward the north.

The day passes without incident. In the afternoon, the city of Kivley looms in the distance, but the party decides to bypass it.

The night passes warm, but quiet.

29 Ardor 508

The day passes warm and without incident. The city of Skeene is passed in the afternoon.

That night, Surm is attacked by a dire wolf, but the creature is eventually dispatched by the party. Rilka and Mõrvar drag the corpse out of camp and Savaric collects the creature’s teeth. Alasir finishes Surm’s watch, as he’s too traumatized to finish.

30 Ardor 508

This day is passed without incident as well. The party rides around the city of Braith at the end of the day. Rilka reorganizes the guard shifts to ensure that Surm doesn’t guard alone anymore.

1 Longday 508


The party travels northwest into Jossia and arrive in Yrda by sundown. The people there openly stare at the stately entourage that enters the rural village. The group is eventually met by the King and the elder-priests of the village, as identified by Rilka. One of the priests, Lazar Gonlafasson, is Rilka’s adoptive father and priest of Bruni. The two embrace and greet each other. The King welcomes them to Yrda and says that this is indeed a great day of homecoming, for another of their prodigals have come home. Leglaf Alefsson has come home as well. There will be a celebration in the main hall. The party is led to the center of the village to the main longhouse. . .

Session Twenty-Eight
Flames, Halflings, and Fisticuffs

18 Ardor 508


As the party comes downstairs from their suite in the Rampant Unicorn, dressed in their fancy clothes for their visit to the local shrine, they spot a merchant checking out. He’s berating the innkeep, obviously upset about something. “It’s outrageous! Outrageous I tell you!”. The merchant spots the party coming down the stairs and makes a point of pointing at the innkeep again. “Outrageous!”

The party eats a basic breakfast in the common room and notices the merchant group that Surm spoke with last night. There are close to twenty of them, making preparations for their journey. They also have an entertainer in their group—Mõrvar notes that she is pretty. They also have a healer, a priest of Cereth—Surm finds this interesting. Nevertheless, the party lets them alone and they move on, following their plan to go to shrine of Wygulf Darkbane.

As they get in line to go on the ferry that runs to the island shrine, Furfur takes off. After a brief discussion, the party changes their mind about going to the shrine and turn around and head toward the road to the mountain pass. As they move, Furfur returns and alights on Mõrvar’s shoulder.

As they approach the pass, they see the larger group at the beginning of the pass. They note that they have six wagons has part of their entourage and their six guards and various members on horseback. The party passes the group, shouting greetings and salutations as they go by. Mõrvar winks at pretty entertainer as he passes.

They ride throughout the day and make it through the pass and out the other side and camp in the forest at sundown. on the other side, making it to Ornis.

During Mõrvar’s guard shift, Furfur flies from his shoulder over to Savaric’s sleeping form and looks around his hand and flies back. “You should have the ring,” the bird tells Mõrvar.


“Savaric should have the ring,” Mõrvar counters.

“You could do much,” Furfur says.

“I can already do much,” Mõrvar says, confident.

“You can do more,” the bird presses.

“Then Savaric would do less. We would all do less. We are a family. We are strong together, me Savaric, Rilka, and Surm.”

“Surm doesn’t trust you,” the bird says, slyly.

“He trusts me so far. He knows how far I can go.”

The bird says no more that night.

19 Ardor 508

Everyone changes into traveling clothes and the party continues traveling down the trail toward Glofthall.

Around noontime, Surm, Rilka, and Mõrvar notice a large dragon-like creature flying down toward them from sky. The three cry “Scatter!” and put words to action. Furfur flies off.

Unfortunately, in the scatter action, Surm and Savaric are thrown from their mounts, just as a ball of fire erupts around them. Surm is caught up entirely in the flames, while Savaric manages to avoid some of their deadly force. The drake lands and engages with the Ranger.

Mõrvar stops, dismounts, and goes looking for his brother. Surm looks for cover. The drake bites viciously into Savaric. Rilka dismounts and heads toward the drake while Savaric attacks with Edgefrost and notices that the cold seems to adversely affect this creature.


Then Rilka is there and attacks and misses. Mõrvar casts True Strike on his weapon and moves in. Savaric misses the drake with his weapon. The drake goes to bite Savaric again and misses. Surm, from his newfound position of cover, casts Ray of Frost and damages the drake.

Rilka attacks and hits the drake with her falchion. Surm hits the drake again with a Ray of Frost. Savaric hits again with Edgefrost. The drake tries to hit with a tail swipe and misses. Mõrvar hits it and finally slays the drake.

Rilka gathers the horses while Savaric gets the teeth and talons off of the drake. Savaric and Surm treat each others wounds. Finally, the party is ready to move on. They continue through the forest until they make camp for the night.

20 Ardor 508

The party breaks camp in the morning and continues through the forest for the rest of the day. At the end of the day, they arrive at Glofthall. After paying their gate taxes, they head to the Lost Griffon, an inn near the market center. It’s a modest inn, nothing fancy. There are some common merchants inside, some barmaids, a couple of lady-adventurers inside, and a pair of dwarves.

The party get rooms, a meal, and seat themselves in the quiet common room. Everyone seems to be minding their own business. After a brief discussion, they decide to get a job on the way to the north. So Surm approaches the innkeep and asks if he knows of anyone heading north looking for caravan guards or if there is a gathering place for people looking for such work.

The innkeep says that he thinks that those dwarves are heading north. I don’t know if they need guards. Or there’s the market center. Surm returns to the table and announces that he will be going to the market center in the morning.

21 Ardor 508

Everyone is dressed in their “Captain Rilka” costumes and head out to the market center for Glofthall. At the center of the marketplace is a series of large posts where various postings are to be had: wanted posters, bills, workers wanted, etc. There are also criers out soliciting work for various outfits. Savaric and Mõrvar get distracted and want to go check out the postings but Captain Rilka tells them to “stay in formation” and they stay with her. Surm asks them to hang out at The Hound, a nearby tavern, while he checks the posts for work and possibly becomes a crier himself, soliciting work.


Surm checks the posts and doesn’t have much luck finding something appropriate for their group. So he joins the criers in soliciting work. Before too long, he is approached by an old man who says he’s headed north. He’s a chandler—he makes candles and other wax products. He’s got two wagons. He and his wainwright are heading north to Pylar and could use some guards on the road. Surm impresses him with their credentials of “Slayer of a Dire Wolf in Jenna” and the letter of reference from Kyra Feldane in Skeene for helping with a murder investigation. The old man wants to meet this “Captain Rilka”. So Surm leads the old man to The Hound where the rest of the party is waiting.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party has been waiting at the The Hound. The Hound is mostly occupied by clerks and scribes from the city courts. So it is certainly not the lively tavern that Mõrvar was hoping for. Surm leads the old man to the party and introduces him to “Captain Rilka.” The old man’s name is Daveth Shandrel. They work out the details of the trip. He also comments that he’s never traveled with a half-orc before, but then she’s probably never traveled with a wax-work before. Then comes the negotiation of price. Shandrel proposes pay of 3 silver per day per guard. Surm proposes double pay due to military experience, unless he’s also going to pay for food. Shandrel proposes 4 silver per day, but he’ll also provide food. The deal is made.

They return to their rooms at the Lost Griffon and let the innkeep know that they want to be woken up before sunrise.

22 Ardor 508

The party is awakened shortly before dawn. They gather their belongings and ride out to the market center to meet Daveth Shandrel and Jory at their wagons. Daveth introduces Jory, another grizzled older man. Rilka arranges which guard goes where and the group heads out of the city, heading north up the road.


It’s a warm summer day. The day passes without much incident and without much chatter. Both Daveth and Jory are fairly taciturn men. As the sun goes down, Daveth asks if one of the men can scout out a place for the wagons to pull over. Rilka has Savaric do it. Savaric scouts ahead and finds a clearing and yells back about it. The group pulls over and starts making a camp area with tents. Rilka and company set up on the perimeter and take care of the horses.

During the first guard shift, Surm’s guard shift, he hears a friendly voice call out from the darkness “Hail to the camp!”

Wary, Surm calls out “Who goes there?”

" Jonstan Longstaff is the name. I saw your fire and thought ‘safety in numbers’ and all that. Nice night to camp to though, don’t you think… " and he goes on like this for a good five minutes.

“Come into the light.”

“Alright. Perfectly right. You can’t be too careful, I always say. Ruffians about these days…” He continues to speak as he comes into the light. He’s a halfling, dressed in traveling clothes and a hat. He’s got pouches on his person and a backpack and bedroll. He’s carrying a fishing pole which he has cocked over his shoulder “…and they had the worse fishing holes I’ve ever seen…”

Surm, wary that this might be a distraction for ruffians, looks about for others, and wakes up Rilka. Rilka checks out the halfling and asks him what his business is and he says, amongst other things, he’s on his way to Kalimsport to fish in the ocean. “Biggest city in the world, you know…” Rilka decides to wake up Daveth. She does so and updates him on the events and the old man comes over to loquacious halfling. “Oh, this is your camp. Well you can’t too be careful, I always say…” The old man asks Rilka if he’s armed. She checks him for weapons and finds only a sling. “Well, it’s only for one night and he seems harmless enough. Alright.”

So they clear him out a space in front of the fire and during the night, each shift notifies the other of the halfling in camp—with an admonishment to NOT wake him up to talk to him. Mõrvar stares at him as if he might be illusion during his guard shift.


23 Ardor 508

Rilka wakes up Daveth, and then wakes up the halfling. Mõrvar is standing over him, intimidatingly. He tries to strike up a conversation, but is even cowed a bit by the staring Mõrvar. Still, he wishes them all good journey and make his way down the road, south, to Kalimsport. The party all check their belongings—nothing is missing.

They all march up the road. It’s another warm summer day that passes peacefully. Savaric has trouble finding a clearing for the wagons to camp in that evening, but eventually finds one as the sun is barely visible on the horizon. The night passes without incident.

24 Ardor 508

As the group travels this morning, they pass a group a of old men in robes and large floppy hats scouring the wilderness for herbs. Around noon, they pass Tower Iosabail, one of the Towers of Wizardry that dot the land.

As the day wanes, Savaric eventually finds another camping spot for the wagons and the night passes without incident.

25 Ardor 508

This morning, Daveth informs them that they will be entering the city of Hollton to crossover their bridge into the city of Pylar. They’ll probably get into the city of Hollton by tonight, but he’s not sure if they’ll make it to the gate at Pylar in time, as they shut at nightfall. Hollton is in Ornis, Pylar is in Leilior

They ride through another warm summer day and arrive at the gates of Hollton in late afternoon. The gate taxes are paid by Daveth. As they ride through the city, slowly with the wagons and traffic, the sun is going down. Surm rides ahead to the bridge gate. “Captain Rilka is escorting Daveth Shandrel and will need to cross. They are currently waylaid by traffic, but will be here.” The guard responds “We’re not familiar with Captain Rilka, but we’re happy to oblige if they’re on their way.” Surm stays with the guards and makes some small talk.

The wagon finally breaks through the traffic jam and makes its way through. Daveth pays his fees and they are in Pylar. He makes his way to the market and sets up his wagons. He then settles up and says that he was happy to do so—though it was a quiet trip, you never know what you’ll find and they did a fine job of keeping an eye on things. Daveth then gives them some recommendations on some local inns. He tells them about the Lively Falcon at the North Gate, to stay away from The Goblin’s Teeth, and that the Whistling Spirit is nearby, but some people say its haunted. They say their goodbyes and move on.


After a brief discussion, the party decides to stay at the Whistling Spirit. Savaric and Rilka seem fascinated by this ghost idea. Surm and Mõrvar, not as much. When they get there and arrange for their rooms, the half-orcs quiz the innkeeper on the ghost. At first he kind of pooh-poohs the idea, but then he warms to the idea that there strange, unexplained noises and moaning in the inn. He doesn’t claim its a ghost—but he doesn’t discount it either. The noises have been there for the past few years. Nobody’s found a source for the noises.

Mõrvar and Surm try to get Savaric to get out and come with them to fight at the Goblins Teeth. They also convince Rilka to come, too. “Someone’s got to watch your backs…,” though she protests the cheating plan they have to cast mage armor on Savaric.

They go into the Goblin’s Teeth inn. It’s a ramshackle inn on the riverfront. A wide variety of races are inside—humans, half-orcs, dwarves, half-elves. They find a table and sit down. “What’ll it be?” asks a half-orc barmaid. Rilka orders four ales. Surm asks her about the local fight club. " I don’t know nothing about that. But you might ask Murtog. " She points to a large, bald human sitting at another table.

Surm and Mõrvar head over to Murtog’s table. Surm asks about the local fights. Murtog looks him up and down and laughs and says he doesn’t look like a fighter. Surm points at Savaric and says “That’s my boy over there. He’s undefeated.” The two discuss his history and Murtog seems to know of Rollgut over in Jenna. Murtog says he’ll have to see him fight. So he says to follow him.

As Surm gathers up Savaric and Rilka, he casts Mage Armor on Savaric on the sly. They follow the human to a riverside warehouse that has fighting going on inside. He asks them to wait while he makes arrangements. Murtog returns and says that because he’s an unknown, the best odds he can get is 1/10. He fights for a purse of 10 gold. "Get your boy ready, " he says.

Savaric gets ready while the others (except for Rilka) place their bets. Then he’s brought to the ring and meets his challenger—a half-elf. Lithe and athletically built. The referee shouts “Fight!” and the two go at it.


At first, Savaric clearly dominates the fight. He’s got the speed and the muscle on his opponent. But, his opponent seems to be able to take his blows. But then, his foe gets in really good punch, crushing Savaric’s trachea. Now the half-orc can’t breathe. He’s holding his breath and hoping he can take out the half-elf quickly and get to some healing before he keels over. Finally, he does just that. His opponent falls and his companions bring the healing wand over to administer healing to his crushed windpipe.

Mõrvar and Surm collect their winnings, but Murtog comes by and warns, not in a threatening way, that “If I were you, I’d take your winnings and get the hell out of here.” Mõrvar shakes hands with him and they make their way out.

Rilka sees the others making their way out and makes her way out as well. She is not impressed with the night’s shenanigans. She tells them that from now on, for fight club nights, they’re on their own. She’s not participating. Surm seems hurt. “You’d let us go to a place like that without your back up.”

“Yep. If you’re picked up by the watch, I’ll come bail you out.”

“Places like that, you’re not picked up by the watch. There’s a reason why they’re by the riverfront.”

“Then we’re in a quandary.”

They return to the Whistling Spirit, mood soured by Rilka’s pronouncement.

Session Twenty-Seven

3 Ardor 508


At the Dusty Cartwright, Mõrvar has arranged for everyone to have rooms and a meal tonight. He and Furfur go upstairs to get cleanup and then return to the common room. Once there, Mõrvar scopes out the room, looking for Seela. He spots her sitting with another man at a table. The man looks to be an adventurer, beefy but with a pretty face. He orders Seela a drink and has it delivered to her table.

Finally, Surm, Rilka, and Savaric return from selling off the party’s goods and conducting business. Rilka arranges for a runner to take her clothes to a nearby laundry, an idea that Surm and Savaric use as well. They then arrange for hot baths to be drawn for each of them. Eventually, they come to the common room, clean and no longer in their soiled travel clothes. In fact, Surm has purchased new courtier’s clothes in the latest Eacenian fashion with new jewelry to go with them.

Mõrvar buys a bottle of whiskey for the table and another bottle to be sent to Seela’s table. They discuss various topics while at the table, eating and drinking. Mõrvar brings up, yet again, using Magrathar’s keep as a base of operations. He also brings up the possibility of using his share of the proceeds to invest in a tavern. The party discusses Seela and her new beau (or “john” according Surm) and whether or not Mõrvar should go and talk to them. They also discuss their plans for heading back into Jossia and visiting Rilka’s home village. The debate is whether to sail to the Leilioran highlands and then travel into Jossia (which would be the shortest route), or to go by land and take work along the way. They consider taking a the pass at Wycliff thorough the Slayt Mountains. They also consider visiting Surm and Mõrvar’s uncle Thormax while they are in Jossia. Finally, they decide to go by land through Wycliff. Surm says that they should plan on leaving in a couple of days, giving time for preparations and such.

At this time, Seela and the young man approach their table. He puts out his hand to Mõrvar and says “Thank you for the bottle.” The two men shake hands. Mõrvar asks him what brings him to Jenna, that he looks to be the adventuring sort. He answers that he’s here for some rest and relaxation between journeys. The man wishes them all a good evening and departs upstairs with Seela.

“Took what’s yours,” Furfur croaks.

“I’ve already had it,” Mõrvar remarks.

Rilka excuses herself and heads to bed. The three men then discuss the possibility of going to the fight club, maybe betting on Savaric again, like they did last time they were in town. Savaric doesn’t want to fight, he’d rather just watch the fights and bet on them. Discouraged from the idea, the men decide to head to bed as well. Before heading up, Mõrvar manages to convince a woman named Davra to come to his room with him, ensuring he doesn’t spend the night alone.

4 Ardor 508

The next morning, the party arranges for another night’s stay with meals and then heads out into the marketplace to make preparations for their journey.

Surm wants everyone to get courtier’s clothes like him in order to boost their reputations with the upper class. The rest of the party grudgingly decides to go along with the idea. The tailor they choose seems uncomfortable with fitting the half-orcs, prompting a decision to outfit Rilka and Savaric as accompanying soldiers with impressive uniforms.


They then go shopping for horses, saddles, and other supplies for the journey. Ilona expresses excitement to be traveling again.

The party then visits Danu Berstrom, a purveyor of magical potions, trinkets, and the like, to discuss selling their magic scrolls and to perhaps buy another. He welcomes them to the shop and remembers them well, though not being dressed so well as now. Surm negotiates the sale of some potions and scrolls to Danu and then brings up the fact that he would like to buy a scroll of Animate Dead.

“Why would you want that?” Danu asks, distaste clear in his voice.

“I find that it comes in handy when fighting an aberration from another plane and when you need to carry a lot of goods,” explains Surm. “Is it illegal? Or merely distasteful?”

Danu explains that it is merely distasteful and that he doesn’t carry such a thing. However, if they insist upon finding one, they might try the night market. Mõrvar asks if he can recommend a magical weapons dealer and Danu suggests Aethel Troos. Rilka recalls that this was the person with whom they dealt last time they were in Jenna. With that, the party makes their way from the shop.

At the shop of Aethel Troos, Savaric inquires after composite longbows. She has one available, but not a price that Savaric is willing or able to pay. Mõrvar would like to see her greatswords, of which she has two. Mõrvar decides against the purchase. Savaric sells back the magical longbow that he had bought from her the last time they came in.

They then go to see a more mundane weaponsmith about crafting a masterwork greatsword on order for Mõrvar. It will take eleven days, but it can be done. The sword will have a black tongue, a silver crossguard, and a pearl handle with the name of the blade etched upon it.

The group then discusses the possibility of hiring a professional valet/porter to watch over their goods while they explorer various places. Various scenarios are presented, but in the end, it is decided to forgo the hireling. They also discuss the dispensation of their group funds.

That night, the party goes to the night market. It is a seedy place, with darkened stalls and many shadowy corners. Asking about for a purveyor of scrolls, they are directed to Zanu. Zanu’s shop is small, comprised of a small building with a stall affixed to its front. The man himself is a shady-looking character in dingy, black robes. Surm asks him for a scroll of Animate Dead. Zanu responds by asking if he wants an arcane scroll or a divine one. Surm says that he wants an arcane scroll. “It’s a pricey proposition,” the man says carefully and names his price—eight hundred gold pieces.

The group discusses whether or not it will be paid for individually or by the group. Everyone ends up chipping in for the scroll. “Bloody bones, bloody bones,” Furfur cackles.

5 Ardor 508

Rilka looks into the possibility of placing her money in the Bank of Eacenia. The man at the banking hall does explain the way that the process works to her: a one-time 1% fee for depositing and the multiple branches in cities in Eacenia at which one could withdraw with the proper writ and proof of identity (signet, signature, etc.). However, she is told that her prospects are “very discouraging” for being able to do business with them. She makes her way out.

Savaric and Mõrvar discuss the possibility of investing in various ventures in the city before deciding to wait until they get to Leilior.

Surm conducts his own business in town.

15 Ardor 508

Finally, all business in Jenna has been conducted. Mõrvar has his masterwork weapon and the party is ready to depart. In the interim, they decided to go via the pass at Riverton as opposed to Wycliff since they had already lost so much time in Jenna.

This morning, the party heads out of Jenna on Scribner Way East and leaves the city en route to Riverton. There is traffic this morning on the road near the city, but that soon gives way the further the party travels east. The day is warm and uneventful, and, at sundown, the party makes camp off the road. They prepare a fire and set guard shifts: Surm, then Rilka, then Savaric, and finally Mõrvar. The night passes without incident.

16 Ardor 508

That morning, in the camp, Savaric speaks to Ilona about Furfur, asking her opinion on the strange bird. She says that he’s “very crass.”


As the party continues down the road that morning, Savaric and Surm spot something in some nearby brush. Savaric is able to identify it as a body. Savaric stops to investigate. The rest of the party stops as well. He finds a man in commoner’s clothes, covered in blood, with a slit throat. Looking around the area, he finds goblin tracks.

Savaric wants to hunt them down, while Mõrvar couldn’t care less and just wants to move on. Savaric and Surm examine the body and determine that the man was probably killed a few hours ago. Surm brings up the possibility of a bounty on goblins in the next town. At the very least, they know that they are in the area. They could take them out with a preemptive strike or wait and see if they are accosted later by the foul creatures. It’s decided to pursue the goblins.

Savaric tracks the goblins into the forest to a large hedge of brambles. Mõrvar, Savaric, and Surm stalk stealthily forward toward the brambles while Rilka waits behind with the horses. Furfur is invisible on Mõrvar’s shoulder.

Inside the brambles, which catch on all of their clothing as they try to stealthily make their way through, the three make their way toward a clearing in the center. They all see still forms through the brambles in the clearing, but Savaric notes that the forms are actually six goblins—5 prone and sleeping with the sixth sitting up with his back to them, picking his nose. Savaric slowly and carefully changes out his weapons and draws his bow, hoping to take out the one that’s awake. Surm and Mõrvar position themselves to deliver coup de graces to two of the sleeping ones.

Savaric fires two rapid arrows at the goblin—and misses with both. Mõrvar and Surm slay their sleeping targets and the goblin that is awake turns, its finger still up its nose and screams incoherently at Savaric. Furfur flies off and Ilona comforts Savaric on his missed shots.

The goblin rushes forward toward Savaric and attacks, hitting him with the short sword it carries in its other hand. Surm turns and starts running through the brambles, yelling for Rilka. Savaric draws his sword and misses the goblin. Mõrvar, meanwhile, slays another two sleeping goblins in one blow.

The goblin takes another swing at Savaric and misses. Savaric misses the goblin. Mõrvar slays the final, oblivious sleeping goblin.

The goblin takes another swing at Savaric and misses, but this time Savaric hits the creature with Edgefrost. Mõrvar moves into a flanking position against the remaining goblin and swings, slaying the creature. Furfur flies back, cackling “Blood and bones, blood and bones.”

By this time, Rilka and Surm have met each other at the edge of the brambles. Surm explains that there are goblins in there and Rilka heads in, expecting trouble. She finds the clearing and discovers Savaric and Mõrvar searching it and the bodies of the slain goblins.

Savaric finds a bit of overturned earth at the center of the clearing. Mõrvar digs it up by turning his Traveler’s Any-Tool into a spade. Buried there, they find a sack of coins, gold and silver. Finally, everyone emerges from the brambles to load up and head back to the road leading east.

The rest of the day and night are uneventful.

17 Ardor 508

The day’s travel is uneventful and quiet. The road is in good repair and it is a warm, summer day in the forest. At sundown, the party finally arrives at Riverton. As the party reminiscence about their last visit to the town, they decide to pay a visit to the shrine of Wygulf Darkbane in the morning. Surm asks about for the most upscale inn in Riverton, and they decide on the Rampant Unicorn.


The party then enters the very spacious inn, filled with merchants and other well-to-do folk and their guards. They go to the innkeep who promptly lets them know that they can’t serve all of them. Everyone in the inn have been eying half-orcs since they came inside.

“Why not?” Surm asks.

“Because we have a reputation to maintain.”

Disgusted, the half-orcs leave.

Mõrvar asks if their money isn’t any good here, indicating the half-orcs. The innkeep responds that he doesn’t know how they came by that money, so no. Surm even offers to pay twice the rate for the half-orcs to stay, but the innkeeper insists that their reputation is on the line.

Mõrvar has had enough. He intimidates the innkeep into allowing Rilka and Savaric to stay, but at twice the rate. The crowd, who has been watching the spectacle, murmurs. Furfur sits on Mõrvar’s shoulder and cackles. Surm shakes hands with the barkeep, but instills in him the touch of the grave. The barkeep is shaken. Surm says that he almost made an enemy this night. He then demands that someone come and fetch their things. A boy is summoned and, once the half-orcs are retrieved from outside the inn, everyone heads upstairs. “It’s a shame,” Ilona says to Savaric, “I’m sure they’d like you once they got to know you.”

They arrange to have a suite. It is made up of a sitting room and three bedchambers. Everyone cleans up and dons their new courtier’s clothes and heads downstairs. When they hit the common room, they can tell that conversations become muted. Surm looks down his nose at everyone as they walk about to select a table, and chooses a centrally-located spot. He then summons a table wench to take their dinner order. He orders the banquet for everyone and Savaric gets a bottle of their best liquor, Acheran brandy.

Service is slow, but the banquet is abundant as course after course comes out. Rilka spends most of their multi-course dinner looking for threats while Surm tries to maintain a facade of gentility and class—a facade that Mõrvar ruins by announcing to the room that “Wine is for pussies”, noting the drink of choice for most in the room. Much to his chagrin, none of the women in the room seem to be interested in Mõrvar. The only one in the room who doesn’t seem to notice the party as something outre is a paladin of Barthal, who sits alone and minds his own business.

Surm eavesdrops on a nearby conversation, hoping to hear of someone heading through the pass. He does hear someone at one nearby table mention the pass and that arrangements have been made to stay in Glofthall. Surm politely inserts himself into the conversation, saying that he overheard that they were going through the pass and would they be interested in joining forces for safety during the journey. The merchant at the table allows that they are going through the pass, in the morning at that. As to joining forces, he simply shrugs and says “It’s a free road.” Surm is not encouraged by the conversation that the group actually wants to join with theirs.

After dinner, everyone heads upstairs to sleep. Savaric sleeps in the sitting room on the couch while the others take the bedchambers.

Session Twenty-Six

25 Illumination 508


The party is in the altar room with the double-doors shut against the gate room. Furfur flies back to Mõrvar’s shoulder. Brother Thorne indicates the bloody skeletons standing eerily still with Surm and asks “What manner of abominations are these?”

Surm explains that he used the scroll they found in the scriptorium to raise the skeletons in the gate room to help against the Gibbering Mouther. “Can you not put them back?” asks the priest. Surm cannot. Then the priests readies himself and offers to put them to rest. Surm asks him to stay his hand, citing the practicality of having more hands to haul loot out of the pyramid and to fight creatures should the need arise. Everyone else in the party agrees with Surm. The priest is clearly not happy, but acquiesces.

Next the party discusses and catalogs the gear found on the skeletons and how to divvy it up. On one of the skeletons is a silver ring, which Surm gives to Mõrvar. Both experience a profound loss of experience when handle the ring. Surm puts on the ring and hears a female voice converse with him in Tradespeak in his head. “You’re not Matyas. . .” The ring, which is called Ilona, seems saddened by the loss of Matyas. It comes out that Surm doesn’t “feel right”, that he is “too bound”. The ring allows its bearer to hide. Finally Surm takes off the ring and gives it to Savaric. He, on the other hand, “feels right”. Apparently his alignment is more to Ilona’s liking.

Surm tries on the lightweight armor on one of the skeletons and wills himself to fly, and flies about the high-ceilinged room. He also tries on the broad belt found on one of the skeletons and feels his strength increase by a significant amount. They already know about Edgefrost, having secured that weapon during the fight with the Mouther.

After a debate about who should get what, it is decided to “draw straws”. Rilka gets the armor, Surm gets the sword, Mõrvar gets the belt, and Savaric gets the ring. Surm gives Savaric the sword Edgefrost to fight with during their time in the pyramid.

Mõrvar then has a brief conversation with Furfur. He asks the raven who named him. The bird shrugs. “Are you from this world?” The bird winks at him. “Do you know how to destroy the pentagram?” The bird caws “No!” and hops from foot to foot.


Finally, the party returns to the large, lavish bedroom and begins to search it again when another Shadow creature attacks. Brother Thorne calls upon the light of Halor and attacks the Shadow, but also inadvertently kills one of Surm’s skeletons. Mõrvar finally slays the creature after it attacks and injures the priest. Surm has one of the skeletons carry its fallen comrade and the party continues to make its way toward the staircase leading out of the upper level of the pyramid. They have gathered all of the rugs from the bedroom and rolled them up, hoping to sell them at market in Jenna.

On the spiral staircase, the party is accosted by yet another Shadow. Once again, the priest calls upon the power of his god and two more skeletons fall. This time Savaric deals the final blow to the Shadow.

Finally, the party makes it to the second level and barricades themselves into one of the bedrooms to camp for the night. After about an hour, to the disgust of Brother Thorne and the fascinated delight of Surm and Mõrvar, the skeletons that fell in battle rise again. Furfur laughs, his cackles echoing in spacious room.

26 Illumination 508

The party gathers up their rugs and takes them downstairs towards the first level of the pyramid. Furfur keeps looking back at the priest and the skeletons and snickering. However, Mõrvar is surprised by a Shadow creature on the staircase and is touched by its cold fingers. Savaric eventually takes it out. They take the rugs to the entryway of the pyramid and shut the front door of the pyramid. They then travel downstairs to the treasure room to gather the treasures there and return to the entryway door. Miraculously, they make this journey unaccosted by Shadows.

Calculating the time between now and nightfall, the party decide that they don’t want to be caught in the jungle at night, so they decide to spend the rest of the day and night encamped in the entry way of the pyramid. Savaric and Ilona talk in his head for much of the day.

27 Illumination 508

The party rises bright and early and leaves the city down the broad avenue by which they entered. They find the hacked trail they left through the jungle and follow it through much of the day to their base camp, arriving on the beach around sundown.

The camp is much as they left it, if a bit dirtier and damper.

30 Illumination 508


Food stores are starting to run low and the party is speculating on the effects of half rations. Fortunately, near sunset, they see a ship out on the horizon. It is The Blackmore Lady. A rowboat makes its way to shore with the first mate, Dunamaer, at the helm. She helps them load their gear and booty into the rowboat.

Finally, Brother Thorne summons the light of Halor upon the skeletons, bearing them all low. He then takes out a flask of holy water and sprinkles it upon their bones, ensuring that they will not rise again.

They all load into the rowboat, with Furfur on the prow, and head to the ship.

The captain welcomes them aboard and turns the ship toward Jenna.

3 Ardor 508

At the port in Jenna, the party has a distasteful encounter with the port authority where they are charged hefty import duties on their booty, as imports for sale. However, it is an indication of the sheer amount of booty they have. Upon disembarking, Rilka, Surm, Savaric, and Brother Thorne head to the temple of Halor to see if they will allow them to use the temple as a base from which to sell all of these goods. Mõrvar and Furfur will head to the Dusty Cartright to secure them all rooms and baths and such. Mõrvar also intends to see if Seela is still there and to hook up with her once again.

At the temple, the party meet Abbot Sylus and are told that the temple will, indeed, allow them to use them as a base of operations in this instance, considering Brother Thorne’s role in the expedition. Also, for the tithing of 100 gold pieces, they would be willing to cast Restoration upon Rilka and cure her of her affliction. She accepts and is cured, having her Constitution restored. At this point, the party begins to sell off their bounty and split up their proceeds. . .

Session Twenty-Five
The Gate

24 Illumination 508 (cont’d)


The party stands at the base of the staircase heading into the second level of the pyramid. Mõrvar determines that, from an architectural standpoint, there are probably three levels to the pyramid (if all three levels follow the same scheme). The stairway is wide and steep. Savaric takes point, looking for traps, with Surm and Mõrvar behind him. Rilka and Brother Thorne take up the rear.

As the party makes their way up the staircase, Rilka is attacked by one of the Shadow creatures that have beset them throughout this journey. Fortunately, it misses her. The party rallies Rilka. Brother Thorne moves to allow Mõrvar to come into the fray. The priest also brings forth the light of Halor against the creature. Surm casts mage armor on Rilka to give her further protection as the creature touches her, draining her of her strength. Finally, Mõrvar finishes the creature off and it dissipates back into the darkness.

The party regroups and continues back up the stairs. They finally come to the top of the landing and find that can continue straight down a corridor or turn to the right. They continue straight. Continuing down the corridor, they come across a set of double-doors to their right, or the corridors continues. They decide to investigate the double-doors. Savaric checks them for traps, and finds none. They are unlocked. Surm suggests that the ranger look for signs of the previous party, the one that explored the area a century before. The half-orc finds none near the door (the current party has already messed up any chance of that), but does find signs of movement further down the corridor. Satisfied that they are on the right track, the party decides to open the double-doors.

The door opens into a large scriptorium. Racks of scrolls line the floor, as do several large, closed wooden cabinets. Several of the scrolls have been disturbed and have crumbled to dust on the floor. Savaric, Mõrvar, and Surm search the room while Rilka and Brother Thorne keep watch for more shadows. The room is illuminated by the sorcerous light provided by Mõrvar.

Over the course of their searching, the three discover that the cabinets hold more scrolls. Also, Surm discovers two metal scroll cases with indecipherable script written upon them. Savaric discovers another metal scroll case with the same indecipherable script. Opening the scroll cases carefully reveals carefully written scrolls on thin paper. Surm is able to read the two of the scrolls—one is for an Animate Dead spell, the other is for a Bestow Curse spell. He is unable to decipher the third scroll. Neither is Mõrvar. Surm attempts to take one of the other scrolls from the rack, but it crumbles in his fingers.


The party then leaves the scriptorium and returns to the hallway. Savaric attempts to track the previous group. He tracks them straight along the corridor, to a right turn at the back wall of the floor. Turning right, the party finds a series of four bedrooms, each well-furnished with a bed, a well-made rug, a wardrobe, and side table. Inside the wardrobe are well-made, but outdated clothing. Mõrvar appraises the rug alone to be worth seventy-five gold pieces. In three of the four bedrooms, money of a strange mint is found stashed away.

In the fourth bedroom, as they are searching, a Shadow emerges from beneath the nightstand to assault Mõrvar! The party rallies and Brother Thorne calls upon Halor’s light once again, but Mõrvar finally strikes the killing blow against the creature and it dissipates—but not before its cold touch weakens the sorcerer-fighter.

The corridor circles back down and the party finds that they can turn to the left, continue down, or they can check out set of double doors to their left. They decide to check out the double-doors. These open into a large library. Rows of narrow bookcases line the room. The party enters and begins their usual search protocol. As they begin to search, Surm notices a raven suddenly appear on one of the bookshelves. The large bird then takes off and flies across the room, shitting on Brother Thorne in the process, and lands on another bookshelf.


After a series of frustrating interactions with the bird, they determine that its name is Furfur, that it is “more than a raven”, that it was here when the previous party came through, and that they met their fate upstairs at “The Gate”. It seems to be able to talk, somewhat, and is intelligent. It likes to dodge questions with a wink. It also seems to have taken a liking to Mõrvar—who seems to have taken a liking to the bird.

Furfur settles on Mõrvar’s shoulder as the party makes their way from the library and back into the corridor. As the party makes their way down the left corridor, on the other side of the series of bedrooms, Surm notices that the raven, who is “more than a raven”, preens and keeps looking back at Brother Thorne in a mocking manner.

About halfway down the corridor, a door is found on the left. Savaric checks it out, but no traps are found. The door is unlocked. It opens into a large room with a wide spiral staircase leading up. They decide to leave the staircase until they finish with this floor. They return to the corridor and head down to the final turn. Here they encounter, once again, a series of four, well-apportioned bedrooms. The party searches all of the bedrooms and find nothing further of interest.

Finally, the party heads for the spiral staircase. As they head up to what Mõrvar believes to be the final level, they encounter yet another of the Shadow creatures. During the fight, Furfur seems to turn invisible on Mõrvar’s shoulder. After a brief fight, Rilka delivers the killing blow.

The staircase ends at a large landing with a door. Savaric checks it for traps and finds none. It is unlocked. After a brief discussion of a plan by Surm, they open the and Surm casts dancing lights inside. Looking about, sure enough, Surm sees one of the Shadow creatures lurking about, avoiding the lights. They shut the door.

Now they go in with a new plan. Rilka and Mõrvar burst in with the priest on their heels, ready to channel his energy at the first sign of spotting the creature. Surm casts his lights about and, once again, the creature is there. It rushes forward toward Rilka and Mõrvar. Brother Thorne calls upon the light of Halor, but it seems to have no effect upon the creature. Rilka is touched and turns pale as as a great deal of strength drains from her body. Finally, the creature is dispatched, but Rilka is in bad shape. They retreat to the first bedroom they encountered to camp and to recover.

25 Illumination 508

The next morning, Brother Thorne casts two lesser restoration spells upon Rilka and Mõrvar and takes one of his vials of potions. The party then regroups and heads back upstairs.

The room where they defeated the Shadow the previous day appears to be a large study and alchemical lab. The chemicals in the lab apparatus have long since evaporated, but the rig seems to be intact. A long row of books, written in that indecipherable script, line the back wall. The party searches the room out but find nothing further of interest. There is a curtain covering an arched doorway along one wall, the party enter the arched doorway to find a large bedchamber. The room is lavishly furnished with a large bed, wardrobe, brass bathtub, rugs, etc. As the party begin to search it out, a Shadow detaches itself from the wall and attacks Savaric! The creature is quickly dispatched. Nothing further of interest is found in the bedroom.

Another curtained arched doorway leads into a large altar room. Another hideous idol to whatever dark god was being venerated down below dominates the room. Another bloodstained altar lies here as well as two long-extinguished braziers. The party search this room as well and find nothing of interest.

Finally, a set of double doors lie between them and the next room. The party believes, based on their mapping of the area and Furfur’s talk of the party coming up here, that this is the final room of the pyramid. If the previous party came up here, this must be where their bodies lay. Surm asks Furfur about the shut doors, if the party that came before them shut them. The raven only winks at him, infuriating him. Rilka says a prayer for courage to Bruni. Savaric opens the doors.

The doors upon a large room. In the center of the room is a large, bloody pentagram, the blood looking thick and wet despite the years. A sickly glow emanates from the center of the pentagram, causing Savaric to become sick. Around the pentagram are four skeletal corpses, held together by their gear.

The party begins to discuss their options and what could have happened here so long ago. No one knows how to shut off this gate or what to do about it. Brother Thorne thinks it was open when the party got here a hundred years ago, that they didn’t open it. That’s all he can tell about it. Mõrvar begins to mage hand weapons from inside the room to them, starting with the longsword that one of the corpses is wielding.


He manages to get the longsword—which has the word “Edgefrost” written in Leilioran on the blade—to Savaric when the air in the room displaces and suddenly, in the center of the pentagram is a creature of nightmare. Its body is a mass of flesh covered in hungry, toothy maws. All of those mouths let loose a cacophonous scream as it enters the room, causing the party to cover its ears. It begins to squelch its way toward the door, not bound by the pentagram in any way. Furfur takes off from Mõrvar’s shoulder and flies to the back of the altar room, turning invisible.

As the rest of the party forms a battle line, Surm rushes into the pentagram room. He skirts around the pentagram and the creature and makes his way around to the far side to the corpses lying there. He begins to drag them toward the near side of the room.

Meanwhile, the creature slowly makes its way through the door to the waiting party. It seems to focus on Rilka and bites at her with its many mouths, scoring several hits. The others seem to be having a hard time hitting its amorphous body. Rilka scores a few hits, but it keeps biting Rilka and then manages to latch on to suck her blood. She must then try to detach herself from the odious creature. Brother Thorne casts healing spells on Rilka to keep her body and spirit alive.

Finally, Surm has gathered all of the corpses together. He then removes the scroll he found in the scriptorium and casts animate dead on the corpses of the previous party. They rise as bloody skeletons. He then orders them to attack what he knows to be a Gibbering Mouther, a foul aberration. The abominations do his bidding and attack the creature from the rear.

Finally, Mõrvar strikes the killing blow on the creature. It shakes and gibbers no more, sinking to the floor, a mass of lifeless flesh…

To be continued…

Rage and Raven: Temple of Vengeance
Part One

7 Awakening 508


At the Dragon’s Flagon in Kalimsport that evening, Lenoria secures a private room while Rhain decides to sleep in the common room. Both decide to wash the stink of their ship passage from Jirra with a hot bath. After their baths and a hearty dinner, they discuss the possibility of finding new jobs in the marketplace the next day. The common is busy with various merchants and travelers. There are mostly humans here, though a few dwarves and halflings come in through the night.

Finally last call is sounded and preparations are made for those that are staying in the common room to bed down for the night. Lenoria says goodnight and heads up to her room. Tables are moved and bedrolls and put down. Finally the door is barred and Rhain settles in for the night.

Later that night, the big man is awakened by the sound of a halfling’s foot scraping a window shutter as he makes his way none-too-stealthily out of a window. The barbarian quickly makes his way across the room, dodging sleeping bodies and grapples the halfling down. The smaller man attempts to get away but fails. Rhain pins the halfling to the floor and demands “What are you up to thief?”

“Me? I…I was just going out for some fresh air!”

At this point, other sleepers are starting to stir. Rhain quickly checks for his own pouch, finding none. “You there!” He points to one of the other guests. The other man asks, “What do you have there?” “A thief. Hold him down while I search him.” The other man checks himself first and apparently doesn’t like what he doesn’t find because he comes to help the big man hold the halfling down. Rhain searches the smaller man, who protests loudly of his innocence through the whole affair. Finally, Rhain throws several pouches and a small knife onto the bar—after. pocketing his own pouch from the stolen loot. He then shoves the halfling out the open window. “If I catch you again, I’ll kill you,” he says to the form running in the darkness. Everyone collects their pouches and few men pat the Northron on the shoulder. After giving one of the other halflings in the room a dirty look, Rhain goes back to sleep.

8 Awakening 508

That morning, one of the victims of the theft, a cheesemaker named Rolyn buys Rhain’s breakfast and accompanies him and Lenoria at the meal table. He’s an amiable sort and hopes to secure a deal with the Dragon’s Flagon to supply their cheese. After a pleasant meal, the two adventurers part ways with the farmer and head to the marketplace to look for work.


The best job they find is guarding a caravan for a merchant by the name of Danwyn Rosell. A midsize troupe of wagons (five) is heading to Crownport and needs a band of fifteen guards. The guards will be lead by a Kuskar by the name of Luvar Cruzo. The pay is three silver pieces per day, with food on the journey. The caravan will be returning, but there is no contractual obligation on the return job. Both Lenoria and Rhain debate whether to return to Kalimsport with the caravan or stay in Crownport and look for work. At any rate, the caravan is leaving the following day from the northwest gate. So the two sign on and decide to move out from the more southerly Dragon’s Flagon and into an inn closer to the northwest gate—the Enchanted Staff.

Fortunately, the innkeep at the Enchanted Staff didn’t seem to recognize Rhain—as Rhain had previously been thrown out of the common room there for brawling. Nevertheless, the two enjoy a nice evening there with entertainment from a female half-elf bard and go to sleep in comfortable beds.

9 Awakening 508

This morning the two pick up their horses from Corwyn’s hostelry, as well as a day’s refund from their previous payment and head to the northwest gate to meet up with the caravan. The two meet Luvar Cruzo, a brusque man with a magnificent mustache who tells that as long as they fall into line, there should be no problems and directs them to their places. Rhain immediately begins to check out the various females in attendance—both caravan staff and guardswomen. One guard catches his eye and he immediately begins to strike up an acquaintance with her throughout the day. He name is Eva and she has been on a number of guard duties and “exploration” gigs. Rhain manages to flirt with her and avoid the stern gazes of Luvar throughout the day. Meanwhile Lenoria discusses the various threats to the caravan with the Kuskar: hobgoblins, bandits, etc.

Finally, the caravan calls a halt in the evening and circles up to form a camp. Rhain is called to task by Luvar for falling out of line to talk to Eva, though the big man assures the guard leader that he was merely keeping an eye on potential threats. That night, both Lenoria and Rhain try to maintain friendly relations with their fellow guardsmen on their watches. Both agree that the job is pretty boring.

11 Awakening 508

The past couple of days have passed pretty much the same as the first. Rhain has continued to try and make time with Eva while evading Luvar while both he and Lenoria have tried to keep their wits about them during the boredom of the job. The only difference to mark this day is that Eva asks if Rhain where Rhain is staying in Crownport. She says that she usually stays at Silvercask’s when she’s in the city and suggests that he stay there, too. She also indicates that she’ll be following the caravan back to Kalimsport. It’s easy money. Rhain is non-committal about his future plans but says that she should save them a place at Silvercask’s when they get free of the caravan.

The caravan pulls into Crownport a couple of hours after sundown that evening. Eva indicates that some money probably changed hands to allow this happen. Nevertheless, the guards all follow the wagons to a warehouse in the market district and stand guard as the goods are unloaded. Finally, Luvar Cruzo calls for those that want their pay for this leg of the journey to come with him. Rhain and Lenoria come with him and collect their nine silver and indicate that the caravan shouldn’t wait on them to return. The two then head to Silvercask’s to meet Eva.

The two arrive at Silvercask’s Nimble Cartwright, a comfortable inn near the warehouse in the market district. Rhain is in a celebratory mood and buys ale for the table. Introductions are made between Lenoria and Eva, though the former soon gets the idea that her company isn’t required and makes her way closer to the stage to watch the bard, leaving the barbarian alone with the guardswoman. Soon the two head upstairs to her room.


Lenoria watches the bard spin tales and sing songs for a while and then buys the performer a mug a ale, who takes the drink in stride and toasts her with it. Between sets, she invites the man, a human, to her table for drinks. He takes her up on it. He’s a handsome man, a bit older than her—though not by much. His name is Frandwyn Dell. He notes that she is Sianaean, though is not familiar with the term “Lightbearer” when she brings it up. She brings up the fact that she and her companion are adventurers looking for work that is a bit more exciting than guarding caravans and thought that maybe a bard, such as he, may have heard of something that could pique her interest.

He gives the question some thought and says that he has come across something that could be of interest, but it’s not local. It could require some travel. . .“Nevermind that,” she says. “Go on.”

In Tarsas, in the Et’tir Mountains, is an abandoned temple to Shazira. During an ascension of the church of Irthani and a decline of Shazira, the temple was raided. The priests of Shazira were routed and their idols were toppled. However, according to some, there was a secret chamber that the priests of Irthani did not find that held some of the secret treasures of those evil priests, including a final sanctified idol of Shazira that the good priests did not find. This rare find would be worth much to the right buyer. . .

The bard would be willing to give directions to this temple for a finders fee of twenty gold pieces—but would be willing to negotiate with the comely priestess over. . .breakfast. Lenoria agrees to spend the evening with the bard and goes to his room for the night.

12 Awakening 508

That morning, after not-so-fierce negotiations over breakfast, Lenoria gets Frandwyn to give over the directions to the temple for a finder’s fee of ten gold pieces. Eventually Eva and Rhain come downstairs for breakfast and then part ways, Eva heading back for the caravan and Rhain to hear about the new work that Lenoria has somehow lined up overnight. The two go to Lenoria’s room where she tells the story as related to her by the bard about the temple. After hearing the story, they decide that they need to recruit a rogue—and decide that Alun would be perfect for the job. They also remember that he and his sister, Kerra, were heading to Crownport last they heard so that they might be in the city.

They decide to gather up their belongings and seek out their former compatriots. Lenoria begins to make inquiries, having their first names and descriptions only. But luck seems to be with her as someone recognizes the Lanyons, saying that if they’re in town, they’re probably at the Ebon Hound. So she and Rhain head in that direction. Sure enough, they see the brother and sister team in the common room, both surprised and dismayed to see them. Rhain wastes no time in setting up the job for them and soon begins laying out what they need, specifically a rogue they can trust, which is Alun. Alun seems flattered, and enamored with the thought of treasure, though his sister seems skeptical—still if her brother is in, so is she. So with the Lanyon’s in, they head up stairs to Alun’s room to plan out the details.

After settling the details of the journey, the four head out to sell off Rhain and Lenoria’s horses and to find a ship willing to sail to Imth in Tarsas. Kerra also clues them into the state of the economy in Crownport, that it will be better to buy food here as there is a surplus of staples (foodstuffs, cloth, etc.) and so it is cheap right now. That’s music to party’s ears. So they stock up on rations while they’re at a discount. She also tells them that in Tarsas things will be hard—foreigners are not protected under the law there so if they get in trouble they could be treated badly—maybe even enslaved. At least, that’s what she’s heard.

They do manage to secure passage on a ship sailing to Imth, The Blue Seeker, captained by Araldan Rosewell, a half-elf. It can leave this evening with the tides if the party is ready. They are, so they pay their fees and load up on the ship for a night journey out of Crownport toward Tarsas.

14. Awakening 508


After two days of sailing, the ship arrives in the port at Imth in the afternoon. The ship is boarded by dark-skinned men with long, braided hair and forked beards. Their hair is festooned with beads and jewels and jewels. After they negotiate the various taxes and fees with the captain, they turn their attention toward the passengers. “Foreigners, eh.” they say in a thickly-accented Tradespeak. “Well, watch yourselves here, barbarians.” Rhain attempts to engage them in banter, asking if their country is not friendly, but they’re having none of it. They turn on their heels and stalk off after taking their exorbitant gate fees.

Once they exit the ship, Lenoria begins asking about for a friendly inn. After avoiding the “Amorous Demon”, they are directed to the Naked Shepherd, a foreigner-friendly inn run by a half-elf female by the name of Phamea. Rhain seems to have noticed that Tarsas runs on a caste system denoted by the various hairstyles employed by the people around him. Phamea seems to have assimilated into the merchant class of the city, wearing the braids and beads, but is friendly and does not upcharge the obviously foreign party before her. “I was a foreigner once,” she says.

Once the party gets settled into their rooms, they come down to the common room to get a meal. There seem to be a lot of travelers in the inn, more foreigners than locals, but still a fair amount of locals. A pair of said locals come stumbling toward their table, one following behind the other, obviously trying to hold the larger, drunker one back. The drunker one comes up and says something in Tarsian to table, but his eyes never leave Lenoria.

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand,” she says.

The other man looks pained. “He says ‘How much for the Sianaean harlot?’”

“Tell your friend to leave,” Lenoria says.

“I’m trying!” the other man says and tugs on the arm of the larger man, who makes a circular motion at his face, obviously indicating Lenoria’s tattoos and saying something in Tarsian.

At this point, Rhain sighs, stands up, and points at the door. Lenoria looks around for the innkeep, who is making her way to their table. She then looks the drunk man dead in the eye and says, in Sianaean, “Go. Away.”

The man looks to Rhain, then to Lenoria, and to Rhain again, and then goes back to his table. The innkeep arrives and apologizes. “He’s such a troublemaker. I’m sorry you had to deal with that.” Lenoria shrugs it off and decides to head to her room. Everyone else follows suit.

15 Awakening 508

That morning, the party loads up and finds a muleskinner that happens to be foreigner-friendly and does not overcharge them for a mule to load up their gear for the coming journey into the mountains. After loading up the mule, they head south out of the city toward the temple, according to the directions given to them by the bard.

It’s a warm day and pleasant; the day passes without incident. That night, the party makes camp, establishes watches, and passes a pleasant spring evening, camping in the woods.

16 Awakening 508

That morning, the party breaks camp and continues on their way through the forest. That afternoon, a boar breaks out of the foliage and attacks Rhain. After a tough fight, with both Rhain and Kerra getting gored, Rhain finally finished the beast off. Lenoria applied her healing magic to the injured warriors. On the up side, the party did manage to save a day of rations by skinning the beast and cutting a day’s worth of meat off of the carcass.

22 Awakening 508

The party has been traveling through the forest for a number of days. The weather has been pleasant; early springtime sunshine and mild nights. They’ve managed to travel without being accosted for nearly a week. Today, the terrain has changed as they’ve entered the foothills of the mountains and left the forest behind.


As the group travels through the hills, their complacency is challenged by the twang of a longbow and the snap of a missed arrow striking the earth near Lenoria. Suddenly, they hear war cries from ahead and behind them as two hobgoblins begin charging toward their group. Alun begins throwing daggers while Rhain moves to the hobgoblin at the rear and Kerra moves toward the hobgoblin at the lead. Lenoria casts her goddess’ blessing over the party. As Kerra and Rhain take on their respective hobs, Lenoria soon learns that she is still the target of the archer located on a nearby hill. Alun continues to throw daggers at the lead hob. Soon, it falls as Lenoria climbs the hill to face the archer. It draws a longsword and cuts her down. Kerra moves to take on the archer as well. Rhain takes out the rear hob and moves to take on the archer with the others, finally cutting it down with a mighty blow.

With all three hobgoblins down, attention is now paid to the fallen Lenoria. Rhain gives Kerra a potion to administer that he had gotten off of an assassin on a previous adventure. He was pretty sure it was a cure potion. Kerra gives Lenoria the potion—it is a cure! Lenoria comes to and asks what happened. The rest of the party catch her up on the result of the ambush. . . TO BE CONTINUED

Session Twenty-Four
The Demonic Depths

23 Illumination 508


The party stands in the entryway of the central pyramid at Salvi, deciding their next move. Passageways beckon to the left and to the right. A hideous demonic statue, its arms outstretched and its hands forming some sort of baptismal font dominates the room. Savaric searches the statue but finds nothing out of the ordinary. The ranger then looks for tracks in the dusty entryway, but finds none. The party then decides to head left, with Savaric leading the way.

After following a long corridor, the half-orc comes to an arched doorway leading into large room, the boundaries of which reach beyond the limits of Savaric’s darkvision. He can see disturbing, somewhat primitive wall paintings of priests summoning demons and having congress with them and not much more. Surm summoned forth dancing lights and cast them into the room to shed more light upon the subject.

With more light shed upon it, the party can discern that the room is a huge sanctuary, supported by pillars painted with pictures similar to those seen by Savaric on the walls. In the center of the room is a huge stone altar with bones chained upon it. At the rear of the room are two, separate, steel doors and a large hideous demonic statue. After some debate, the party decides to head toward the left-most of the steel doors as Savaric checks the path for traps. Surm sends the dancing lights toward the altar and statue in case anything untoward should happen there.


As the party slowly makes its way through the room, Surm sees shadows gather at the altar, coalescing into a humanoid form with dully glowing eyes. The form howls and then flies toward the party! It has a form similar, but not exactly the same as, the shadows that the party has fought before. The glowing eyes are filled with anguish and hate. The party takes up positions surrounding the form and begin to do battle. Brother Thorne’s prayers seem to have little effect upon the creature. It touches Rilka, sapping her of her health and vitality. But, finally, the creature is dispatched with an angry blow from Rilka’s glowing blade.

Finally, the party makes it to the steel door, finding it devoid of traps and unlocked. Savaric opens the door and looks down a long hallway, noting a couple of arched doorways and another steel door. The hallway curves back down to the left and looks like it curves down further away to the right, around the other side of the sanctuary.

The party then decides to search the altar in the center of the sanctuary. They note that it has grooves etched into it, designed to catch blood and funnel it into receptacles at each of the four corners. Brother Thorne prays for the soul of the departed sacrifice victim on the altar. The party also searches the bronze idol and finds nothing of interest. Surm goes ahead and opens the other steel door, which opens into the long hallway that Savaric has already looked down. The party then spends more time in the sanctuary as both Savaric and Mõrvar search out the entire room, finding nothing.

Next, Savaric is sent through the right-most steel door and into one of the arched doorways in the adjacent hall into a room dominated by a large, dried-up fountain. Rotted cushions litter the floor. More arched doorways lead to the left and curtained doorways lead up into another chamber. A wooden door leads down. The party decides to leave the fountain room for later and follow the hallway down around the sanctuary. Savaric leads the way.

At the end of the hall, the corridor the curves again and ends in a broad staircase leading down with a wooden door beside it. The door opens into a large linen closet with several large cupboards filled with ancient, well-made linens. The closet has another door that corresponds to the wooden door in the lower part of the fountain room. The party takes this shortcut back into the main corridor and checks out the steel door in the hallway.

The door is declared unlocked and free of traps, so Savaric opens it and enters. It appears to be a dressing chamber of some sort, probably for the priests of the temple. There are six large wardrobes in the center of the room, each with sets of well-made (if ancient) vestments inside. There are also dressing tables along the walls. No one, including Brother Thorne, can identify the religion being practiced here.

The final arched doorway opens into a large dining room with two long banquet tables dominating the room. A sideboard is set at one side of the room and fraying rugs are set upon the floor. There are arched doorways to the right of the room.

The party decides to leave the dining room for now and follow the hallway along the other side of the sanctuary wall. Following the corridor, they find that it curves once and ends in a broad staircase leading up.

Now the party decides to return to the dining room and search it more thoroughly. As Surm and Savaric begin to search, Savaric sees a shadow break away from near the sideboard and begin to glide toward Surm. An alarm is called and the party converges on the creature. Though Surm is injured, Rilka manages to dispatch the creature. The room is searched and two sets of silverware are taken from the sideboard.

The arched doorways lead into a spacious kitchen area filled with old utensils and such. A steel door leads off from the top of the room and arched doorways lead off from the right into the fountain room. The party searches the kitchen and the fountain room, finding nothing of interest.

From the fountain room, the party enters the curtained-off room at the top. The curtains break away with age and decay revealing a spacious bedroom with a small bookcase, a bronze bath tub and large bed. The books are fragile and written in an unknown script, though many are illustrated and obviously erotic in nature. A debate ensues as to whether or not it will be worth their while to take them, and it is decided to leave them.


The party then returns to the kitchen and searches the steel door. No traps are found and the door is unlocked. Inside is a storage room with barrels and broken sacks of old grain and such. Surm and Savaric search the room and find nothing. Mõrvar, on the other hand, is convinced that something is in this room and takes a long time searching it out. At first, he finds nothing. But finally, after much trial and error, he does find a secret door behind the barrels.

Savaric finds no trap on the secret panel and opens it. It opens into a narrow corridor leading back down toward the sanctuary area. He leads the way, looking for traps. Eventually, the corridor leads to a locked steel door. The half-orc checks the door for traps and finds none. Surm steps forward and begins fiddling with the lock. After much trial and error, he eventually trips it and opens the door. At this point, Mõrvar announces to everyone that it is probably nightfall.

The door opens into a long room with a trapdoor in the floor at the end of it. There are three cupboards affixed to the walls. Inside the cupboards are three sets of ancient clothes, three belt pouches with 10 gold, 10 silver, and 10 copper pieces each, and weapons. The coins, of an ancient and unknown mint, are taken from the cupboard. Mõrvar wants to take the ancient weapons, as they may be of worth (two are deemed to be masterworks), but he is persuaded to let them be for now as this may be a good place to hole up.

Savaric checks the trapdoor for traps and finds none. He opens it and looks down and smells a whiff of the sea. He also sees the interior of a cave.

The party decides to camp inside this room. They go back and shut the secret door in the storage room and assign shifts for the night.

24 Illumination 508

After an uneventful night, Savaric goes down the trap door ladder. Surm sends down his dancing lights behind him. The rest of the party follow soon after.

Once down in the cave, the party can see that there is an underground river nearby to the trapdoor ladder. There is a rowboat beached nearby. Behind them is a worked-stone wall and a steel door. The large cavern is supported by natural columns. It is damp and smells lightly of ocean. Mõrvar immediately goes to check out the rowboat.


As the rest of the party decides what to do next, Brother Thorne calls out to Rilka. Emerging from the camouflage of the gray stone of the cave is a oozy creature who attempts to slam into the female half-orc! As the rest of the party takes up fighting stances and begin to engage, it becomes apparent that the creature’s ooze is acidic and can damage their weapons and armor. Surm identifies the creature as a " gray ooze " and tells everyone that its touch is acidic and that it is immune to fire and cold. It attacks Mõrvar and attempts to encompass him but fails. Rilka changes her weapon, protecting her magical falchion and attacks with her longsword, losing the weapon but finally vanquishing the creature.

The party then decide to check out the door. Savaric checks the door for traps and finds none. Surm picks the lock and trips it. Savaric looks in to find a modest room with a table and chairs with two cupboards and another steel door leading out. Surm and Savaric search the room, finding more ancient clothes and weapons in the cupboards, as well as belt pouches with the 10 gold, 10 silver, and 10 copper denominations. Once again, the half-orc checks the next door for traps and finds none. Surm unlocks the door.

The door opens into a long a corridor. Gazing down, Savaric can see where the corridor continues or one can turn left. A debate ensues as to whether to turn back and go upstairs—the most likely course of action that their predecessors from the journal took—or to continue in these underground chambers. Finally, it is decided to find out where all of these corridors lead before heading back up.

The party decide to take the side corridor leading left. Savaric leads the way looking for traps—and finds one. Surm attempts to disable the trap, but fails—but fortunately does not spring the trap. He tries again—this time springing it. A large axe swings down from the ceiling, narrowly missing the sorcerer. The trap does not reset itself. The party continues down the hall, making their way around the ominous weapon.

Finally, the party comes to a dead end. Surm and Savaric search and Surm finds a secret panel in the wall. No traps are found and the panel is opened. It opens into yet another long corridor leading to the left and to the right. The right corridor ends in a broad staircase leading up. The party decides to leave this for now and return to the previous corridor.

The corridor turns twice, ending in a steel door. Before approaching the steel door, Savaric pauses, sensing the presence of magic. Surm searches the area and, in fact, finds a magical trap, which he then disables, saving his friends the trouble of having the area filled with fire.

Savaric then searches the door for traps and finds none. Surm then approaches and begins to disable the lock on the door when a magical arrow of acid appears and embeds itself in Surm’s chest. The party manages to neutralize further damage with water, but Surm is quite put out with Savaric’s trap-finding ability. Finally, Surm manages to unlock the door and open it.

Inside the room are a variety of objects on stone pedestals:

  1. Bronze sculpture of a warrior woman
  2. Jade sculpture of a cat
  3. Coral sculpture of a dancing girl
  4. Bronze sculptures of two comely courtesans, one male, one female
  5. Painting of a weeping man
  6. Ivory and copper necklace with matching bracelet
  7. Coral necklace with matching earrings
  8. Silver armbands etched with dolphins
  9. Jade and silver brooch
  10. Silver dragon ear cuffs

Surm and Savaric search the room for traps and find none—though they do find a secret panel at the top of the room. Searching the panel for traps, they find one and Surm manages to disable it. They open the panel, revealing a smaller room with 4 bags set upon the floor and another set of pedestals and objects:

  1. Gold wristbands with emerald insets, etched with wyverns
  2. Platinum scepter with gold inlay
  3. Gold armbands etched with griffons
  4. Gold and silver and pearl inlay shadow-caster of woodland animals

The bags are revealed to be filled with more coins, of various denominations, of that strange mint. Mõrvar returns to the first room and appraises the various items on the pedestals. After a brief discussion, the party decides to leave their finds here, as it seems to be a safe room and the traps have been found and disabled.

The party then go back to the stairs and travel back up to find that, as suspected, they are the broad stairs they found beside the linen closet. They then go back down the stairs and follow the final hallway to its conclusion, where it ends in a steel door. Once again, Savaric checks its for traps and Surm unlocks it—eventually, after much trial and error.

The door opens up into a holding chamber with ringed with a series of barred cells. Several of the cells still hold the skeletons of humans. Savaric and Surm search out the room, finding nothing but a cabinet filled with old torture implements. Brother Thorne says a prayer over the souls of the fallen prisoners while Rilka insists on Surm unlocking the cells with remains in them to search them out. Mõrvar wants to use his acid splash on the lock to unlock them. Finally, the party decides to give it up and head to the next level of the pyramid. . .

Session Twenty-Three
Beset by Shadows

21 Illumination 508 (10:00 am)


After establishing their base camp on the Isle of Salvi, the party begins to fight the terrain of the forest and head toward the ruined city. The forest is eerily quiet—no creature sounds save those made by the party. After trudging about eight miles through the forest, several of the party notice a figure in the brush staring at Surm. Then, the hideous form rises up, its head comprised completely of a maw of teeth surrounding a single eye and attacks! After a hard fight, Savaric finishes the creature off.

Surm and Mõrvar identify the creature as a Div, an Aghash to be specific. The creature is from another plane of existence and is the embodiment of the “evil eye”; it also has a special hatred for the beautiful people of the world, wishing to curse them in heinous ways. After a brief discussion of what to do next, they decide to hack their way back to their base camp, making a trail. Mõrvar helps by splashing sorcerous acid along the way. They leave the Aghash’s body behind and hack their way back toward the camp, lighting their way with Surm’s ioun torch as the sun sinks behind the horizon.

As they hack through the heavy growth, Mõrvar, Savaric, and Surm notice a shadowy limb move away from the trees toward Rilka. A fight with the incorporeal shadow creature ensues, leaving Rilka weakened, her strength sapped by the cold touch of the creature, but Mõrvar eventually slays the creature. The party continues to hack their way to base camp.

When they finally arrive at the camp later that night, they build a fire to keep the shadows at bay and establish guard shifts. After a long day of battle and little progress, they settle in for a night of rest.

Savaric and Surm are awakened by the shouts of Brother Thorne shouting about the “Light of Halor cleansing the darkened corners of this realm!” Savaric leaves his tent to see what the trouble is and Surm wakes his brother, Mõrvar as he goes to do the same. The priest is facing another one of the shadow creatures. Another fight ensues and the creature is finally dispatched.

The party decides to build more fires to spread the light around so as not to be caught unawares by the dark creatures. Rilka is also awakened and alerted to the danger.

The party is awakened again during Savaric’s shift, as he is accosted by one of the shadow creatures. This one shrug’s off Brother Thorne’s initial attempt to burn it with Halor’s light. Mõrvar eventually strikes it a killing blow.

Fortunately, the rest of the night passes without incident.

22 Illumination 508

The next morning, the party packs up some of their gear, leaves some of it in their tents, attempting to anticipate what will be needed in the journey ahead. They then start heading down the trail that they have carved into the forest. After heading the eight miles down the carved trail, they begin hacking again through the overgrowth. A couple of hours into the trailblazing, another shadow creature makes an appearance. A fight begins and this time Surm dissipates the creature. The party makes it another eight miles or so through the forest as the sun begins to sink behind the horizon.


Finally, they see a pair of strange obelisks marking the entrance to the city. A wide avenue stands before them. The obelisks are marked in a language that is unfamiliar to all of them, including the priest. As the sun is rapidly setting, they party decides to find shelter quickly. They duck inside a nearby home and search it out quickly. Finding little of interest and nothing dangerous, they decide to hole up in the living room. The party establishes a series of guard shifts and decides to rest for the night.

During her shift, Rilka is attacked by a strange dog-like creature with hand-like paws that blinks in and out of existence. The creature speaks, swearing vengeance on those that strikes it. Savaric finally strikes it down and decapitates it. The rest of the night passes quietly. . .

23 Illumination 508

The party emerge from their makeshift camp into the city and begin making their way down the avenue toward the main pyramid. Along the way, they encounter a long-dried fountain flanked with a pair of dead trees. From the shade of the trees emerges a shadow creature that is quickly dispatched.

Approaching the pyramid from the north wall, there is no entrance. There are elaborate wall carvings depicting demonic figures devouring sacrifices being offered by men and women in elaborate headdresses. The party follows the wall to the east and eventually to the south before finding a set of open double doors leading inside.

The double doors open up into a smallish room dominated by a demonic statue with outstretched cupped hands that form a font for anointing oil or water. The red and gold paint is faded with time. Long abandoned wall sconces dot the walls. Hallways branch out to the left and right of the room. . .


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