Campaign of the Month: September 2018

Shadows of the Rift

Session Twenty-One
Something to Prove

11 Illumination 508 (cont’d)

After dinner with Lord Coln and the party’s business is conducted, he decides to turn in for the night. Surm asks if Riverton has a library and the nobleman responds that the town does not but he, himself, has a modest one. It is mostly made up of the journals of various hunters and such, detailing their kills and their travels. The group asks if any of them were supernatural in nature and Lord Coln replies that, yes, probably some of the creatures were supernatural, especially those hunters that went close to the Rift. Savaric asks if there are any tales of werewolves. The lord does not know. At any rate, Lord Coln bids them good night and gives them permission to peruse his library if they wish.

The group takes this opportunity to discuss their future plans. Surm wants to go to a larger city, one with libraries and sages. He hopes to find a magical item to quest for in order to boost his strength. Rilka wants to find a bank in the city to store some of their riches. Savaric wants to make a home base of some sort, perhaps a buy a home. Mõrvar proposes staying in one area and becoming well-known. Surm disagrees with this proposal—he wants to establish a more far-flung reputation and leave with the people’s good will behind them. Bounty hunting is also proposed by Mõrvar as a possible profession, which is agreed upon by most of the group, though no one has any idea how to break into the trade. It is finally agreed to leave in the morning for Jenna, the nearest large city, and see what it has to offer.

12 Illumination 508

The party leaves Lord Coln’s lodge and travels down the pass into Riverton. They immediately visit a livery in town and negotiate a price to rent horses to use to travel to Jenna. The stablemaster, Saren, will accompany the troupe to Jenna and charge them 4 copper pieces per mile per horse (not counting his own horse, of course) for the journey. This price seems amenable to all involved, even Surm, who also negotiates the sale of the his mule to the man for a more-than-fair price. Saren says that he will be ready to ride by this afternoon, so the party asks if they can leave their gear at the stables while they wait. The stablemaster says they can, so they do, while the party leaves to buy an additional tent and to wait at a tavern. Throughout their negotiations with Saren both Surm and Savaric notice that while the man is friendly, he seems a bit wary of his half-orc patrons.

After buying their tent in the marketplace, the party is looking for a tavern at which to wait out the day. As they make their way through the town, they come upon an alleyway and a large vacant lot. From a group of people gathered in the lot, the party clearly hears a voice say “Just stay down, half-breed!” Savaric and Mõrvar approach the group, with Rilka close behind. Surm reluctantly follows, not wanting to get involved.

In the lot is a gang of about six men surrounding what looks to be a half-orc wielding a scimitar and wearing spiked hide armor. Two men are lying on the ground bleeding, forming a gap in the circle through which the half-orc is visible. Savaric and Mõrvar approach the group and one of their number acknowledges them, motioning to another of his comrades who turns to face them. “You asked for a half-breed?” Mõrvar asks, innocently, and Savaric says that he finds that insulting. Finally, after a tense, silent stand-off, the gang moves to attack and a fight ensues. While the party mostly sticks to non-lethal damage, the half-orc at the center of the conflict seems to have no qualms about shedding blood. He manages to down one of his opponents while the party manages to subdue the rest. Savaric ends the conflict by tackling the final opponent and locking him in manacles.

While the others attend to the wounded and decide what to the captured man, Mõrvar asks the half-orc what started the conflict. “I was walking down the street and I would not yield.” He turns to address everyone and says in Tradespeak “I thank you for your valor,” and then turns to the half-orcs and says the same thing in Urkhani. When Mõrvar acknowledges the same in Urkhani, the half-orc seems surprised and pleased and responds in that tongue “Ah! You speak a civilized tongue!”

When the half-orc notices the others deliberating over the fallen man, he walks over and spits on him and says “Come, let’s live this one in the dirt where he belongs and get a drink together.” As everyone gets ready to go, Mõrvar goes to the man, applies his chill touch to him and whispers “Next time be more careful who you’re prejudiced against. Now take your friends and leave.”

As they make their way to the nearest tavern, the half-orc introduces himself as Marek. He hails from the village of Karsk in the Isles of Urkhan. Everyone else introduces themselves and they all find themselves at The Ancient Toad, a modest rustic tavern. They all settle in around a table and someone asks Marek what his profession is. He says that back home his is a warrior and a raider; that he is currently on a quest. After a pregnant pause, Mõrvar asks him what that quest is. Marek leans in conspiratorially to tell and then seems to think better of it. “Drinks first!” he says and takes everyone’s drink order, calling a wench over. He also seems to take an interest in Rilka, referring to her as “m’lady”.

After everyone has had their drinks, he once again leans in conspiratorially and reveals to them his quest. In Karask, he is a member of the Black Talon clan. According to Black Talon clan lore, this “hero” Darkbane slew the clan’s priest of Saarask back in the day, an orc called Truarsk. If Marek can spit in the eyes of the paladins of Barthal and desecrate the tomb of their hero, the slayer of Truarsk, then perhaps Marek is more than a useless half-man after all. . .Marek has traveled a long way to Riverton to complete his mission and return to Karsk with proof that he has completed the deed—a relic from the dead paladin’s casket. The end of his quest is finally in sight. He will impress Gurach with his prowess and his strength.

After he finishes his tale, Marek takes a long pull off his mug and eyes the party. “I think today was a good omen. I have been given capable friends to share my burden. This quest will not be easy. But, with help, perhaps I can succeed.”

Surm is not buying any of it. “No.”

Mõrvar seems skeptical as well. The two half-orcs are silent.

Marek seems to sense their reluctance and mistakes it’s source. “It is also said that the hero’s treasure has been buried with him.”

Surm rolls his eyes. “Oh, and graverobbing as well.” Mõrvar says that the party has already made arrangements to move on to the next city and that they have other plans.

Marek seems put out by this, but then recovers and orders another round of drinks. “Very well. Then another round for my friends and benefactors.”

The party stays for another round, but after a whispered discussion regarding the implications of being seen with Marek in public and his chances of success, and the chances of the two half-orcs being cast as innocent bystanders in court of public opinion of Marek’s crimes, Surm says to Marek, “You know, we can’t leave until we get your word that you will not do this quest.”

“What do you mean?” Marek asks. “What does this mean for you?”

Surm goes on to explain how they would all, especially Rilka and Savaric, could be implicated in his crimes if he were to get caught—and that there was a. high chance of him getting caught. Plus, that it was simply a bad idea. The risks were too great for too little reward. He could bring the paladins of Riverton down on his clan for this quest. Eventually, Marek rises, places gold for the drinks upon the table, takes up his backpack and gear, mutters “You have my word,” and leaves the tavern.

After a brief discussion, it is decided to take Marek at his word.

The party finishes their drinks, during which time RIlka reveals that she cannot remove her jaunty hat—the one she found down in the ruins they discovered in the mountains. Mõrvar theorizes that it is cursed and that a remove curse spell will be needed to remove it. Everyone—except for Rilka, of course—seems fairly amused by the situation.

After drinks, the party head back to the stables where Saren is putting the finishing touches on the readying the horses. Soon, they are leaving Riverton behind, with Saren leading the way and setting a brisk, but far from breakneck pace. The late spring air is warm and weather is fair. The rest of the day and night is uneventful and pleasant.

13 Illumination 508

This morning the two parties part ways with wishes for mutual good journeys.

The travel toward Jenna is pleasant and warm, as has been the usual on this journey. The day goes by without incident and the party stops at the end of the day to make camp. Saren anticipates making it into Jenna the following morning. As the party is making camp, Surm notices something up in the trees stirring the branches and taking in a large breath—something large, green, reptilian, and scaly. . .

Another pleasant spring day of travel with Saren leading the way to Jenna.

The evening brings a surprise as the party meets another party of adventurers on the road wishing to share a campsite. This new party is traveling on the road toward Riverton and is lead by a woman wearing a longsword and a breastplate who greets the party with a “Hail and well-met!” The group acknowledges the greeting and the woman asks if they can share the campsite for the evening. Surm allows that they can, that there would be safety in numbers. The others come forward and begin making camp and introductions.

The woman leading the band is named Bayhild. Her companions are Wulf, a wiry man dressed in leathers; Cynric, a smallish man in long blue robes; and Gisel, an attractive young woman with a lyre who wears a motley-colored cloak. As the groups settle in to camp together, Wulf begins sharpening his knives, keeping a wary eye on Savaric’s new-found snake companion, Victor. Gisel entertains the company with light music. Cynric begins studying a tome on his lap. Bayhild sits quietly. The other group begins to mingle quietly, with Mõrvar taking a special interest in Gisel the bard.

Rilka approaches Cynric and asks if he is a spellcaster. He acknowledges that, yes, he is a wizard. She begins to tell him about her problem with her hat and asks if he can help. He shakes his head and seems genuinely sad that, alas, it is not within his power to help. She says “thank you anyway” and pulls away to let him continue his study.

That night, the two parties join each other in guard duties and Mõrvar joins Gisel in her tent.

14 Illumination 508

The next morning the two parties part ways with wishes of good journeys. Saren then continues to the lead the group toward Jenna along the road.

At the end of the day, as the group is making their evening camp, Surm notices a large creature—a large, scaly reptilian creature—above them, rustling the branches of the trees, and taking in a large breath. He yells for everyone to move and take cover and suddenly he and his brother are engulfed in an acidic cloud. Savaric begins firing arrows and Rilka takes cover behind one of the large forest trees. The beast then begins to swoop into camp, attacking Savaric. The ranger continues to pelt the thing with arrows while Surm fires his crossbow and both Rilka and Mõrvar attack the beast as it descends. Finally, Mõrvar manages to deal the killing blow the beast and it falls from the sky into the campsite. At this point, a disheveled Saren is coaxed from his hiding place.

Savaric identifies the beast as a Forest Drake, a degenerate cousin to a Green Dragon that plague the deep forests. He then expertly skins the beast and takes the teeth and talons. Unfortunately, he manages to mangle the acid glands of the creature when trying to extract them.

After the excitement of the battle, the rest of the night passes without incident.

15 Illumination 508

This morning sees the group arriving at the eastern gates of the city of Jenna.

Rage and Raven: A Risky Business

4 Awakening 508


That morning, at the Dragon’s Flagon in Kalimsport, Alun and Kerra Lanyon bid Lenoria and Rhain Ortha good journey, as they decide to move on and look for work separately. Rhain takes some offense, but not too much, and then he and Lenoria make their way to the marketplace to shop and to look for work. In the course of exploring the southern marketplace, Lenoria hears about a Talyk Skewes, a businessman who holds court in main market district in an exotic rug shop, who is looking for “talent”. As this seems to be their best prospect outside of manual labor, the two decide to cross the city and explore the option.

It’s noontime by the time the two cross the city to the main market district. Skewes’ rug shop is near The Enchanted Staff, the inn that Rhain had been thrown out of previously, so they have a landmark with which to find the place. The shop itself is large, though not ostentatious. Outside are few of the shop’s wares on display as well as a boy, about thirteen, hawking the wares of the shop. He cries out about the exotic rugs from Sianae, Tarsas, and Kuskar. Rhain approaches the boy and asks if he is Talyk Skewes.

“Oh no, I’m not Master Skewes.”

“Well, we’re here to see Talyk Skewes.”

“You’ll need to go inside, then.”

So the two head inside the shop, where there are more rugs on racks and on the walls. They are met by an unctuous man in fine clothes who asks if may be of assistance. Rhain once again asks for Talyk Skewes.

“And what may I say this is regarding?” asks the salesman.

“We heard that he is looking for talent.”

“Very good then. Wait here.”

After a short wait, Rhain and Lenoria are led into a small office made smaller by the crowd of men inside.


They are met by a round man, bald in fine clothes with a slightly oily disposition. He takes each of their hands and introduces himself as Talyk Skewes. A large desk dominates the background that is flanked by two armed guards in fine, loose-fitting clothes that Rhain notes probably cover armor. Sitting beside the desk is a small, nervous-looking man facing the two newcomers. Rhain and Lenoria introduce themselves to Skewes and then Rhain steps forward and introduces himself to the seated man after he is not included in the introductions. The seated man is taken aback but indicates that his name is Ervyn Grybbin.

Rhain and Lenoria take their seats. Skewes takes his seat behind his desk and begins without much preamble.

“You’ll have to forgive some circumspection on my part. I have many rivals in my business ventures and I wish the details of this venture to remain vague unless we come to terms.”

“Rivals in the rug business?” Rhain asks.

“Ah, my other business ventures. I have many fingers, many pies. Rugs are just one of them. At any rate, I beg your pardon. Master Grybbin here is one of my agents. I will be sending him to conduct some business for me to a certain city. He will conduct said business transaction, then return to me. I wish him to travel in safety to said city, conduct his business successfully, and return to me safely. That is the nature of the job I propose. Safeguarding Master Grybbin as he conducts my business.”

“Bodyguards, then?” Rhain asks.

“Essentially, yes.”

“How much are we paid?”

“Ah, bluntness. I like that.”

“Seems the most relevant question. . .”

“Twenty-five gold up front. Twenty-five gold upon Master Grybbin’s safe return. I have arranged for the travel expenses for Master Grybbyn and his escort. I estimate that it will be not a bad payment for three days work.”

“Three days?” Lenoria asks. “Will be traveling overland or by ship? What about the stabling of our horses? Does that count as travel expenses?”

“These are details, my dear. We have not come to terms, yet,” Skewes replies, smiling. " What sort of skills do you bring to me? I can tell that you, dear lady, are Sianaean and, unless I miss my guess, an adherent of Imtiau. But you, " he says, pointing to Rhain, “I can see are a Northman but I know not what skills you may possess.”

“My axe. Daggers. My fists. But mostly my axe.”

Skewes nods. “Very good, then. Fine skills for a bodyguard. So, do the terms of the job seem amenable to you?”

Both Rhain and Lenoria nod in agreement.

“Very good. Your skills seem to be in accordance with my needs. We have come to terms.” Handshakes are shared all around.

“Now,” Skewes says, a frown creasing his round face. " I must bring a bit of unpleasantness to our friendly gathering. In completing this task for me, I consider us all to be friendly. But this must be said. Master Grybbin will be carrying a sum of funds upon his person in order to complete his duties. Should you, my friends, decide the allure of this sum to be too much and decide to take it and betray these friendly feelings we have nurtured. Well, let’s just say that I have many connections throughout Tarsas, Sianae, Ornis, Kuskar, and other lands and that it will be difficult to find future work of any nature. I hate to bring this up, but, again, I feel it must be said. But enough of that.

Master Grybbin will be setting sail on The Remedy tomorrow morning for the city of Jirra. You may find him at the docks on the morrow. The journey to Jirra should take most of the day tomorrow. He will be attending an auction in which he will be acquiring an object for me, a magical orcish holy symbol. Once he completes his task, he will re-board The Remedy and return to Kalimsport. I do not anticipate any hiccups on the journey, but as I said, I have many rivals that would love to see me fail in whatever business transaction I attempt. "

“This ship, The Remedy, is it your ship?” Rhain asks.

“It is not my ship but it is a ship I’ve employed many times. The crew and captain are trustworthy. But they will be taking on other passengers.”

“What about stabling for our horses?” Lenoria asks. She attempts to make the case for that being part of the travel expenses for the trip. However, Skewes dismisses her argument. “Stabling your beasts is your own affair. However, I do know a man who will treat you fairly.” He gives her the name of a hostelry that he recommends.

At that, Rhain and Lenoria rise to leave with a promise to meet Grybbin on the docks at the The Remedy in the morning.

Next the two fetch their horses and belongings from the Dragon’s Flagon and meet with the hostler that Skewes recommended. The man, Corwyn, was more than happy to accommodate the duo’s horses, even going to far to accept payment for one week with a promise to refund the difference should the two return sooner. The hostler even agrees to hold the belongings that are in the saddlebags. Then the two decide to take up residence at an inn closer to the docks. They pick The Shattered Club, a meaner inn than the Dragon’s Flagon, but clean enough for their purposes.


At The Shattered Club, they see more of a racial mix than at the other inns they’ve stayed at. There are half-orcs, dwarves, half-elves, and humans in here. Many are obviously sailors and rough folk. The common room is loud and rowdy. A barely-passable bard plays on a corner stage while the sailors dice, laugh uproariously, drink, sing, and employ the trade of both men and women of the night. Rhain and Lenoria order the fish stew and some ale and take a table in the common room.

As the two enjoy their dinner and discuss their new employment, an altercation breaks out across the room. A dwarf and a half-orc call out drunken insults to each other. As the crowd eggs the on, the insults become less and less funny and more and more bellicose, the dwarf has finally had enough. He hurls his wooden tankard and beans the half-orc upon his head. This appears to be the unwritten signal for a general melee as fights suddenly spring up all around the common room. The innkeep, an older red-haired wench, takes up a large club from behind the bar and begins clouting those that get too close. Lenoria and Rhain sit in idle wonderment at the violence that has erupted around them.

The door to the kitchen springs open and out comes a heavy-set man wearing a dirty apron. “Gods be damned! Not again!” he roars and wades into the melee, men and dwarves and half-orcs bouncing off his thick gut and fists as he tries, unsuccessfully, to break up the fighting. A man falls into Lenoria’s lap and is pulled away by another who punches him in the face. Rhain manages to dodge a falling man who careens toward their table. So far, neither have been pulled into the fight.

Lenoria looks across the room to the bard, who cowers further into the corner, protecting his instrument. Rhain debates trying to make his way to the stairs and up to their room, but decides its too far. Instead, both of them decide to make their way to the bar where the innkeep is racking up an impressive tally. After narrowly dodging another combatant, the duo make their way to the innkeep. “Are you still serving?” Lenoria asks. The innkeep looks at her incredulously as she beans another drunken brawler. The cleric gives her a silver and the innkeep serves them up two mugs of ale.

The two watch the fight for a few moments from the bar. It’s starting to die down a bit as some of the more drunken of the fighters pass out. Rhain jumps up on the bar. “Is anyone here from The Remedy?” He receives no response. “Oh well. I guess I don’t have a side,” he laments as he continues to watch the fight from the bar. Finally, the brawl dies down to nothing, with the remaining combatants giving up and Laris, the cook, stomping into the kitchen after giving Lenoria a curious stare after she makes some comments about the fight. The innkeep lets them know that Laris is going to charge those that pass out in the common room for sleeping there, as well as for the broken furniture and such. He doesn’t hope to get much out of the sailors—as they tend to disappear on their next trips—but he gets what he can the next day. Rhain and Lenoria then make their way to their rooms for the night.

5 Awakening 508

The next morning finds Rhain and Lenoria on the docks looking for The Remedy. They find ship along with Ervyn Grybbin waiting for them. He is waiting with a leather satchel with an elaborate inset lock and another bag. After an awkward greeting, Ervyn pays them their 25 gp due to them as the first part of their payment. Rhain and Lenoria then fall into line surrounding him and the merchant’s agent then calls up to the ship, announcing himself and that he has business with the captain. A half-elf peers over the ship’s deck and lowers a plank to allow them aboard.


Once on board, they all can see that other passengers have arrived as well. One is an attractive woman with reddish-brown hair and a mole on her cheek. Another is a paunchy, well-dressed man with sideburns and a mustache. Another is a weather-worn man in his thirties with a longsword and leather armor and traveling clothes. Another is a blonde, matronly woman in fine clothes. As for the crew, they seem to be a hard-working efficient lot. Mostly human, but with a few half-elves and even a halfling among them.

The three are approached by a straight-backed woman accompanied by a barrel-shaped man. The woman introduces herself as Captain Tamsyn Yew and the man as her First Mate Branek Venton. “I’m given to understand from Master Skewes that you have security concerns you wish to discuss. Come to my cabin.” So the three follow Captain Yew and Master Venton to her cabin.

All settle into the cabin and the Captain gets down to business. “I understand you have a parcel that you wish to keep safe. And that these two must be your personal security. Is that correct?”

Grybbin simply nods.

“If you wish, I can keep the parcel in my care for the duration of the voyage.”

“That will be amenable, Captain.” As Grybbin passes the satchel over to the Captain, he adds. “I would not suggest anyone tamper with that lock, by the way.” This solicits a raised eyebrow and nothing more from Captain Yew.

With their business concluded, the three leave the Captain’s quarters and Grybbin says he’d like to go up on deck to see the ship pull out of the harbor. Lenoria takes the lead and Rhain follows Grybbin.

The rest of the passengers, with the exception of the weather-worn traveler, seem to have had the same idea as Grybbin. All are leaning against the guardrail and watching as the ship pulls away from the great harbor of Kalimsport, greatest port in the known world.

While Lenoria stays with Ervyn Grybbin, Rhain decides to chat up the attractive red-haired woman, who introduces herself as Meliora. The two share a few awkward words, where the woman reveals that she is visiting family in Jirra. Little more is said and Rhain makes his way back to the others. As the ship breaks away from the harbor into the open sea, the heavy-set fellow attempts to introduce himself to Grybbin, but Rhain inserts himself between the two. The man indicates that his name is Caswyn Pynwarden and that he is a man of business. He apparently owns an alchemist’s shop in Jirra and had been conducting business in Kalimsport, establishing connections with herbalists and such. The conversation is brief and decidedly awkward, as Caswyn attempts to talk around Rhain’s bulk. Eventually, Grybbin, Rhain, and Lenoria head down into the galley.

Rhain and Lenoria encourage Ervyn Grybbin to take the lead in conversations if he wishes, otherwise, they, as the bodyguards, are going to steer him away from people as potential threats. Grybbin says that he will try, revealing that he is relatively new to his position, though Skewes is trusting him more and more with new jobs. This will be the first auction he has actively participated in, though he is familiar with the process.

The weather-worn traveler comes down into the galley and gets a snack and props himself into a seat and begins to doze.

The blonde matronly woman comes downstairs and seats herself at the table. She addresses herself to Grybbin. " You work for that Talyk Skewes, don’t you? "

Grybbin asserts that he does.

“My name is Angelet Rosewall. I’m a weaver. I’ve been trying to get my designs into that rug market he’s cornered.”

Grybbin nods. “It is a tough market to enter these days. The competition is fierce.”

“Indeed,” Angelet says and leaves the galley in a huff.

Soon, Meliora comes down and grabs a bite to eat. She joins them quietly at the table where Rhain attempts awkward small talk once again, and then she leaves. Finally, Grybbin grows tired of staying in the galley and wants to go up on deck. “Let’s get some fresh air,” he says.

Once up on deck, Lenoria notices that Meliora is missing. While Rhain waits with Grybbin, Lenoria does a quick sweep of the deck. No Meliora. She then goes down and listens behind the door to Captain’s quarters. No noises there. She then goes down to the cargo hold.


First Lenoria casts light upon her holy symbol and begins to search out the hold. As she begins to search, she hears the noise of movement. Suddenly she cries out in pain as blade penetrates her back! Lenoria turns and faces a petite short-haired blond woman wielding a short sword. The cleric yells “Assassin!” as she begins to engage her. However, the assassin proves to be too skilled and cuts Lenoria down.

Meanwhile, Rhain hears Lenoria‘s shout from below decks and grabs Grybbin, heading down into the hold. Once he gets into the hold, he sees Lenoria’s inert form bathed in light and blood. Going to investigate, he sees a shadow move. He strikes swiftly, attacking half-blindly with his axe, surprising his target. He grinds the assassin down with his axe, her body slumping into the light.

Rhain calls up for help, for the ship’s doctor. Some armed sailors come down to check out the shouting and say that they’ll get the Captain. Rhain curses them, says he needs the doctor, not the Captain. While the sailors go to fetch the officers, Rhain takes the opportunity to check and take the assassin’s belt pouch. It contains a vial, a supply of gold coins, and a set of tools. These he pockets. Soon the Captain and First Mate arrive, demanding an explanation of the situation. Rhain tells them what happened. The First Mate is apparently skilled at healing and goes to stabilize Lenoria’s wounds. He then assesses the assassin—she is alive, but barely. The assassin is then divested of her weapons and armor and taken to the bilge where she will be secured and guarded.

Rhain then asks if there is a place where Lenoria can be placed to rest. The Captain offers her quarters. He then asks for Caswyn Pynwarden to be sent there as soon as possible. Soon Rhain, Caswyn, and Grybbin all meet in the Captain’s quarters with Lenoria’s unconscious form resting on the bed. Rhain asks Caswyn to confirm that he is an alchemist and Caswyn corrects him that he owns an alchemist’s shop. He knows a thing or two about alchemy, but he has a staff that knows more. Rhain wants to know if he has something that can help Lenoria. Caswyn avows that he may have something in his cargo that may help. He seems a bit reluctant to fetch it until Grybbin assures him that he will be compensated for his trouble. He then goes to see what he can find.

While Caswyn looks for something to help Lenoria, Rhain gives Grybbin the vial he found on the assassin and asks if he knows what it is. Grybbin says that it must be a potion of some sort but knows nothing more. This seems to frustrate Rhain, but Grybbin says that potions are not his line. Soon Caswyn returns with a potion that he administers to Lenoria that revives her and mostly heals her wounds. Rhain has Caswyn appraise the assassin’s vial and he asserts that, while he can’t analyze it without equipment, he thinks that it is similar to what he just gave Lenoria. Grybbin pays the man five platinum pieces for his trouble and he leaves.

The three then go up on deck and talk to the Captain about the missing Meliora. The Captain sends some men to begin searching the ship for the missing woman. Meanwhile, Rhain goes into the galley and confronts the weather-worn traveler who never left the galley throughout the altercation with the assassin. The man simply shrugs it off and says that he likes to stay out of trouble.

The three wait on deck as the Captain’s men search the ship. Soon, they are presented with the what the men find—Meliora’s dress and a reddish-brown wig found down in the hold. They decide to go to the bilge to revive and question the assassin. The Captain allows it.

Lenoria uses the healing spells granted to her by her goddess, Imtiau, to revive the assassin. She is reluctant to talk at first, but Lenoria manages to intimidate her into spilling her secrets. She works for a man called Gerens Belyarrow. Grybbin confirms that this is one of Skewes’ rivals. The assassin was hired to take out Grybbin so that he could not complete his assignment. As far as she knew, Gerens has no agent at the auction. The group has no further questions for the assassin and leave.

Once outside the bilge, the Captain asks if they are satisfied. The response is not really, but that they got all the information they could out of the woman. The Captain indicates that the assassin will be turned over to the authorities in Jirra when they put into port. Rhain wonders why the Captain doesn’t just hang her while they’re out at sea, before they put into port. After a moment’s discussion, the Captain is convinced and has the First Mate make the arrangements for execution.


As the ship is being guided into the port at Jirra, the Captain conducts the execution of the assassin, Meliora Trevarrow. Other ships watch on in interest as the woman is hung from one of the yardarms. The other passengers on board the The Remedy watch, mostly white-faced and in discomfort, with the exception of the weather-worn traveler, who takes it all in with detached indifference.

Finally, the ship puts into port at Jirra. As they disembark, the group is stopped by Caswyn Pynwarden, who offers to treat them all to dinner tonight. Grybbin accepts and arrangements are made to meet at six bells at the Viridian Chariot, a well-to-do inn where the group will be staying. Pynwarden is pleased and makes his way into the city. The group does the same.

The Viridian Chariot is a very fancy inn near the city’s center in Jirra, at the base of Charter Hill. Grybbin pays for a suite of rooms as well as for a change of clothes for Lenoria and Rhain, as theirs are blood-spattered and in need of mending. Baths are had as well and at six bells Caswyn Pynwarden comes calling. He suggests dining at a tavern called The Cat and Bear near the harbor and Grybbin seems amenable. A carriage is waiting so the group load up and head out.

The Cat and Bear is a well-to-do establishment in a well-lit neighborhood with a high militia presence. Well-heeled patrons wine and dine in the posh tavern. Pynwarden is a good host, suggesting food from the menu, engaging in convivial conversation, and ensuring that they all have a good time. However, long into the dinner, Lenoria notices that Caswyn has just slipped something into Grybbin‘s drink. She nonchalantly overturns the drink, making it look like an accident, and notes the look of annoyance on Caswyn’s face. She then hints at Grybbin that they need to go and, thankfully, he seems to take it and agrees. The three leave the tavern in a hurry, much to Pynwarden’s consternation. Rhain asks if Grybbin wants him to ask Pynwarden what it was he was up to—indicating that there are ways to make him talk. Grybbin says he just wants to get back to the Viridian Chariot.

Back at the inn, Lenoria searches the room for anything out of the ordinary and finds nothing. The three hole up for the night in Grybbin’s room, with Rhain and Lenoria sleeping on mattresses on the floor in front of the door and window.

6 Awakening 508

During the day, the three hang out in Grybbin’s suite, with Lenoria using her prayers to purify their food and water against contamination. They also make arrangements for a carriage to take them to the auction house at six bells. They decide that they will take all of their gear to the auction and not return to the Viridian Chariot for the night in order to throw any more potential assassins off the trail.

At six bells they meet the carriage down stairs and take it to the harbor district where the auction house is. The auction is going to take place in a small warehouse. Other carriages are parked outside. Some have coats of arms, others are public carriages such as what the group took. Grybbin pays the driver to wait on them to conduct their business.

After presenting his credentials at the door, Grybbin and the two bodyguards make their way inside. The small warehouse is tidy and neat. Seats have been laid out and small stage erected where the lots will be presented. Guests are milling about, waiting for the auction to begin. It looks like others have brought bodyguards as well. Grybbin takes a deep breath and introduces himself to a few people before settling into a seat near the center of the room. Rhain takes a seat beside him while Lenoria continues to roam about the room. Soon, the auction begins.

Most of the lots are sculpture and pieces of art. These are high worth items and this is clearly and exclusive auction. Finally, the item Grybbin is waiting comes forward. The Symbol of Sanguine Protection. It is a silver holy symbol of a spear head. Bidding begins at 5000 gold pieces. At first there are several buyers, but soon this whittles down to three, then down to two—Grybbin and a middle-aged Southron man with a mustache. In the end, Grybbin gets the piece for 12,000 gold pieces. He seems pleased.

Later, all of the participants wait to be called into the warehouse’s office to settle their account. They wait to hear their lot number called. Finally, Grybbin’s number is called and the three go into the office. Grybbin removes a silver key from his pocket and unlocks the satchel, removing a stack of platinum coins and an assortment of expensive gemstones. After a long period of assessment by the auctioneer, the account is settled and Grybbin takes possession of the piece, locking it in his satchel. The three then head back to the carriage, escorting Grybbin.

They decide to take rooms in The Hare’s Meadhall, a comfortable inn there in the harbor district. They once again take a suite but Lenoria and Rhain sleep on mattresses on the floor of Grybbin’s room, on guard for trouble. The night passes without incident.

7 Awakening 508

The group boards The Remedy early in the morning. Captain Yew has taken no further passengers for the return to Kalimsport—no one has asked after the display in the harbor upon their arrival. The journey to Kalimsport is uneventful and a welcome respite from the excitement of the initial journey. They arrive at the port city at sundown and take a carriage to Talyk Skewes’ rug shop in the market district.

Skewes welcomes the adventurers and his agent, clearly pleased to see him and that his mission was successful. He gladly pays Lenoria and Rhain for a job well done. Rhain and Lenoria tell Skewes about the assassin and the possible further attempt by Caswyn. Skewes allows that he knows Gerens Belyarrow—that he is indeed one of his most hated rivals—but that he knows nothing of this Caswyn Pynwarden. The bidder at the auction is probably Kalib, an agent for one of his lesser rivals.

Skewes clearly wants to get back at Gerens for trying to thwart his ambitions and kill Grybbin. He indicates that his sources tell him that Gerens is seeking an object to place on the market. Would they (Lenoria and Rhain) be interested in finding out what that object is? The two demur, saying that their talents do not lie in spying. Skewes says very well, that he will keep them in mind for other work. He asks if they’re staying in Kalimsport. They say that they are, so he says that if he has work, he will find them. The two also negotiate the sale of the assassin’s lockpicks with businessman as well. As they go, Grybbin thanks them for saving his life.

After their business is concluded, the two decide to head back to the Dragon’s Flagon for a drink.

Session Twenty-Two
Wheeling and Dealing

15 Illumination 508 (10:00 am)


The line of folks waiting to pass through the gates at Jenna is quite substantial as it is Market Day. Wagons laden with wares to be sold crowd the road and horses jostle pedestrians who await their turn to pay the gate taxes. Finally, after waiting a couple of hours in line, the group make their way through the gates, pay their way, and arrive inside the city.

Saren leads them through the city toward his sister livery station where they will drop off the rental horses. Rilka asks if he has any suggestions for inns and he points out that they are passing the Whistling Hunter as they go through the eastside of the city and that the Dusty Cartwright is in the market district, near the livery stable. Rilka thanks him for the information. Finally they arrive at the stable and the party collects their gear and thanks Saren for his services. They then decide to haul their gear to the nearby Dusty Cartwright for rooms. Mõrvar and the half-orcs throw intimidating glares at people who cross their path as they haul their many belongings across the busy streets.

At the Dusty Cartwright, they discover that the inn only has two rooms available—it being Market Day, accommodations are scarce. The group decides to take the rooms and double up. The innkeep will provide cots for the extra person in each room. Once everyone settles into their rooms, they decide to meet together in one room to discuss their next plan of action—namely, what goods will be sold at market.


After the discussion, the group heads out into the market place to begin selling their wares. Surm asks the innkeep if he knows of any vendors of exotic ivory or gemstones and he replies that they are in luck, with it being Market Day and all, such a vendor is in town and not far from the inn. The innkeep gives them a couple a names and sends them on their way.

At the ivory dealer, Surm tries to talk up the price of the Slurk tusks that they had collected in the mountains, but the dealer would only give them their market value. They next make their way to a dealer in clockwork devices to sell off some excess mechanical gears, a key, and a music box they found. Then they make their way to the gemologist to receive coin for some gemstones that they had acquired. The gemologist is fair dealer and gives them what they had appraised the stones for.

By this point the sun has begun to set, but vendors have begun to put out torches and continue to do business into the night. The group now make their way to Scribner’s Hill and begin to inquire of its citizens about who to see about curse removal—the concern is the hat that seems to have permanently attached itself to Rilka’s head. They are given the name of Brunhild Corth a wizard who is associated with the University. In fact, she has rooms near that institution where she can be found.

They follow the directions that they are given and arrive at a narrow building in a crowded neighborhood. Surm knocks and the door is answered by a slightly disheveled woman in robes with spectacles worn at the end of her nose. “Yes?” she asks. “Can I help you?” Surm explains that they are there because they were told that she could remove curses. The woman avows that she has performed that spell from time to time and invites them inside to discuss it.

Inside her home they see that it is cluttered with papers and books but also contains a large perch on which sits a formidable hawk which watches them as they enter. She sits them down and they further explain that the curse appears to be on the hat that Rilka is wearing. “Ah,” Corth says. “I will be able to remove the curse enough to remove the hat, but not permanently. Do not place the hat on your head again once it is removed,” she explains. She also states that she will need to review the spell as she has not cast it for a while and will be available in the morning. So the group says that they will return then to actually have the curse removed. For the service, Brunhild will charge 280 gold pieces—upon delivery of the service, of course.

Before leaving, Surm asks for recommendations for purveyors of magical wares. Brunhild recommends a Danu Berstrom for magical potions and trinkets and a Aethel Troos for magical arms and armor. Both are colleagues of hers and fair dealers. She gives them directions to their shops in the market district and bids them good luck.


Walking along the well-lit streets of the market district, the group make their way to the shop of Danu Berstrom. First they ask to sell off some of their more magical wares, namely a scroll in their possession. Danu offers to see them in his office, if they leave their weapons with his associate. The group agrees and leaves their formidable armory with the associate. It turns out that the scroll is of flaming sphere. But, Danu gives them a fair price and a deal is struck. They inquire after items that can improve attributes or offer protection. Danu says that he has nothing that can help in that regard, but he can help on the front of protection. He has rings that offer protection of various degrees. He also has a brooch that can offer protection specifically from magical missiles if that is a concern. After hearing the prices for such trinkets, the group decides to wait and see what sort of armors the group can afford with their newfound wealth. They bid Danu goodnight and say that they may return.

They then head to the shop of Aethel Troos to see what sort of weapons and armor she has to offer. Rilka inquires after a falchion and, as luck would have it, she does have a magical falchion (+ 1) that glows with the light of torch. They also inquire after armor that reduces the arcane failure chances for those that cast magical spells. The best that Troos can offer is mithral armor, that is more lightweight than regular armor and thus offers a reduction in that regard. She has a magical mithral chain shirt and regular mithral chain shirt to offer. Savaric inquires after a magical composite longbow. She does have one in stock that he can purchase. In the end, the group purchases all of these items.

The group then returns to Danu Berstrom’s shop where they pay him to identify some of the potions that they have acquired, as well as a wand. The wand Is wand of cure light wounds, though it has been heavily used—many of the charges have been used. The potions are of mirror image and true strike. The group decides to keep all of these items and not sell them to the dealer. They ask Danu for advice as to acquiring something to raise attributes and he suggests talking to a sage.

At this point the group decides to return to the Dusty Cartwright for a meal and to turn in for the evening.

16 Illumination 508


First thing in the morning, the group returns to the home of Brunhild Corth to get Rilka’s hat removed. Brunhild lets the group in bright and early in the morning and sets Rilka down on a stool and gets to work. She waves her hands over the half-orc’s head and says a few words and reaches down and lifts the hat off of her head. Happy to have the cursed item off, the group pays the wizard. Surm inquires about sages in the area and Brunhild puts them onto the path of Cuthmund Weldwyn. He has an office on Scribner’s Hill.

The group heads to the office of Cuthmund Weldwyn. They find his shop high on the hill, near the University grounds. They open the door and a bell rings revealing a cluttered office and a young woman working at a desk. She looks up, distracted, and welcomes them. Surm asks if she is Cuthmund Weldwyn and she says that she is not. Surm states that they have been sent by Brunhild Corth to see him. The young woman says that she will announce them. She then heads to a back office for a few moments and then returns and says that Master Weldwyn will see them.

Cuthmund Weldwyn is an older man with long hair and large sideburns. He welcomes the group into his cluttered office warmly and bids them welcome. He does mention that is not often that he has those of the " Urkhani persuasion " in his office, indicating Rilka and Savaric. Rilka responds that it is not often that they meet with scribes—meaning sages, but accidentally insulting the man with the wrong title. Surm acts quickly to try and recover the situation and get to the point of their visit. He explains that they are looking for some magical means to increase strength, and perhaps find hordes of treasure along with it. Weldwyn seems to catch his meaning and says that he can perform these researches for the fee of 15 gold pieces per day. He will, of course, attempt to be expeditious in his endeavors. If they are staying here in the city, he can send word to them when he finds something of interest. A deal is struck and introductions are made all around.

As the group is leaving, they decide to look for something to occupy their time while they wait for the sage to find their information. They ask about and discover that there a couple of bounties being sought for local bandits to be brought to the authorities alive. One is being sought for 30 gold pieces, the other for 50. Names and descriptions are provided. They also discover that a local farmer named Fenrik that is seeking help with a beast that is slaughtering his livestock. They decide to pursue this option.

The group is dressed in their “Captain Rilka” uniforms (as their other clothes are currently being laundered), so they go with this persona. As they approach the land to which their information led them, they see a group of farmers gathered around something in a field near the edge of the forest. Surm begins calling out “Make way for Captain Rilka! Make way!” This gets everyone’s attention and a path is cleared, revealing the torn remains of a draft horse.

As Savaric begins to assess the area for tracks, Rilka begins asking questions about the attacks. Apparently over the past five nights livestock have been attacked out in the fields. Fenrik hasn’t been able to figure out what’s doing it so he’s sought help. Whatever it is it’s large. Savaric confirms this with the size of the tracks, though he can’t discern too much else. He can, however, pick up a trail that leads into the forest. Also, whatever this is it has torn apart the horse with tooth and claw and has eaten the meat. Surm declares that Captain Rilka and her crew will hunt this creature down, much to the delight of Farmer Fenrik.

Savaric follows the tracks through the woods to a moss-covered hill with a large cleft cracking its outer face. The half-orc has now determined that the tracks are definitely canine and large and a quadruped—the assumption is that this is probably a dire wolf. The group pauses before approaching the cave to form a plan. They decide that Savaric and Surm will sneak into the cave and try to take the beast unawares. Rilka and Mõrvar will wait just outside the cleft, on either side of the opening, ready to strike in case the creature comes out.


Savaric and Surm approach quietly through the cleft in the hill’s face. Surm stops once he runs out of light but the half-orc continues on into the darkness, aided by his darkvision. Both can hear the soft snores of some creature sleeping soundly. Savaric can see a large wolf, its head propped up on its paws, snoring soundly. The half-orc draws his longsword quietly and approaches, careful not to wake the great beast. Closer and closer. Quietly, he takes a deep breath and plunges his blade deep into helpless creature, over and again, killing it. Announcing that its safe, he then begins the work of taking the creature’s pelt and teeth.

“Make way for Captain Rilka!” Surm cries as the group returns to the group of farmers who are still congregating around the horse carcass. “What’s this?” Farmer Fenrik says as Savaric presents him with the pelt and teeth from the dire wolf. And then Surm then entertains the farmers with the story of the how they encountered a much more lively dire wolf and vanquished it. The farmers are enraptured by the story and by the pelt that comes with it. Fenrik says that he doesn’t have much in the way of gold to repay them for their service. Surm assures him that it is not necessary, that someday Captain Rilka may call upon him for a favor one day and that will be repayment enough, to remember the story of the red-eyed dire wolf. The farmer then bids them all farewell and “may the gods smile upon you!”

The group then returns to the city and pick up their laundry and return to the Dusty Cartwright. There they recount to all who will listen the story of the dire wolf. Mõrvar also finds companionship in the form of a young woman named Seela, who seems very impressed with the group as a whole and Mõrvar in particular.

17 Illumination 508

The next finds the group hanging out at the Dusty Cartwright for a while. Seela joins them, much to Mõrvar’s delight and Surm’s consternation. He worries that Seela is not only diseased but also after their money. However, as far as he can tell, she only seems impressed with the group and taken with his brother. Unknown to Surm, Mõrvar has asked Seela to find a friend to accompany his brother, perhaps loosen him up a bit. Seela responds that she’ll see what she can do. After a while, the group decide to leave the inn’s common room for a while and look for something else to do.

At Rilka’s request, they look into finding a shrine to Bruni. Unfortunately, none can be found—most people respond that they don’t even know who that Northron deity is. Savaric decides that he wants to fight, so Surm decides to accommodate him by looking for some sort of underground fighting ring. He asks about and finds out that one exists in a dive bar on the west side of town called Graywolf’s. He’s to ask for someone named Rollgut when he gets there.

Graywolf’s lives up to its reputation as a dive. All manner of scum are sharing drinks here. The place looks rowdy and dirty. The barkeep polishes mugs with a dirty cloth. They ask about a “Rollgut” and the barkeep indicates a half-orc sitting in the back corner of the room. The group approaches. “What do you want?” he says.

Surm says that his boy here (indicating Savaric) is looking for a fight and that he heard this is place for it. Rollgut asks the other half-orc if he’s ever been in a fight. Savaric nods. Bare-knuckled? Savaric nods again. Seemingly satisfied, Rollgut offers to lead them downstairs, apparently where the fighting takes place.


Down in the basement, there is a gathering around a fight in progress. A makeshift booth has been erected to take bets. Rollgut leaves the group and gets into a discussion with another man, apparently about Savaric. He returns and says that the kid can fight and, as he’s a newcomer, he’s got 3 to 1 odds. He’ll be fighting that man—the half-orc points out a large man who is stretching In a corner of the basement. From the size of him, he could be a Northron.

While Surm and Mõrvar place bets at the booth, Rollgut explains to Savaric that no armor or weapons or magic is allowed in the fight. Savaric says he understands. The others return and help strip Savaric of his armor and weapons—and Surm surreptitiously casts a mage armor spell on him in the confusion. Meanwhile, the other fight ends and Savaric and the other man—who is apparently named Wulfgar—are lead to the fight area.

The fight is announced by a halfling with an amazingly full-voice. As soon as he exits the ring, the fight is on. The two exchange a series a hard punches and near-misses—even with the mage armor, it appears that the two are well-matched. However, then Savaric deals a crushing blow that leaves the other man reeling on his feet, staggered. It’s apparent some real damage has been done. Surm calls out for Savaric to back off and he does. Wulfgar puts up his hands in surrender and the halfling comes forward yelling “Wulfgar has forfeited! Wulfgar has forfeited!” A companion of the big man comes forward and pulls him away from the ring. Savaric’s companion’s go to join see if they can help—except for Mõrvar, who goes to collect their winnings.

Surm offers to assess the damage done to the man, as he has skills in healing. Wulfgar’s companion lets him. He has suffered internal bleeding but it appears to have stabilized. He has also, obviously, been pummeled pretty well. He offers his “Northern brother” a potion to help with the healing—Wulfgar takes it. Its helps with the pummeling damage but not with the internal bleeding (that would take a lesser restoration). Surm tells him that they are at the Dusty Cartwright if they want to look them up for a drink. They do not get to see many of their northern brethren these days. It turns out that Wulfgar is one of the Ros tribesmen of that region. Wulfgar reaches up and shakes hands with Savaric. Before they go, he notes Rilka’s symbol of Bruni and says that he is an “honorable god”, though he is not a worshipper.

The group take their winnings and head back to the Dusty Cartwright. There Seela is waiting for them with a friend—Kaydra, whom she introduces specifically to Surm. Rilka buys a bottle of good wine and Surm decides to go to bed. Kaydra is decidedly put out, but Mõrvar manages to entertain both women through the evening, ending the night once again in Seela’s bed.

18 Illumination 508

The following morning, Cuthmund Weldwyn’s assistant is awaiting them in the common room of the Dusty Cartwright. “Master Weldwyn has some information that may be of interest to you.” The party all accompany her back to Scribner’s Hill. There they are met by the sage who greets them warmly, but gets right to business.

He has found some journal fragments from an Eacenian cleric of Ithya, Cwenwyth Coulstan. She traveled with a band of explorers who had traveled to the Isle of Salvi to map the ruined city there. Coulstan was the sole survivor of the expedition and her journal fragment from a hundred years ago is the only remaining relic. The expedition was made up of two warriors, Aine and Fenalla Morren, sisters from Leilior; Caldriel Woodspring, an Elven scout; Matyas of Otori, a Kuskar Wizard; and Cwenwyth.

According to the journal fragment, Aine bore a belt that granted her “great strength, belying a woman of her size.” Also of interest:

  • Fenalla is described as wielding a sword named Edgefrost that “bathed itself in ice."
  • Caldriel bore a suit of chainmail that he claimed belonged to once to a celestial.
  • Matyas is described as bearing a ring that allowed him to slip away from conflicts when the need arose. This ring is also described, interestingly, as being a “companion” to Matyas.

The expedition met its end exploring a tower in the ruined city of Salvi. Cwenwyth escaped and made her way back to Eacenia and retired from adventuring, according to the library’s records. She had barely made it out of the city with her life, much less with the intact journal. According to the record—she wanted to remember her friends but forget their violent ends.


The sage also provides a copy of the actual journal fragments in question, detailing some of what the group encountered in the haunted city. Based on the findings of the journal, which described shadowy forms that sucked the life force and vitality from its victims, the party decided it would be in its best interest to find a priest to accompany them on the expedition. They decide to approach a priest of Halor, Lord Sun, for this particular journey.

From Master Weldwyn’s office they head across the city to the religious district to approach a priest of Halor with their offer. The temple to Halor is an open air affair with a large obelisk that acts as a sundial. Priests in red robes, trimmed in white, roam the area, speaking with worshippers and counseling those that seeking the god’s healing light. The party approach one such priest and ask to see if there is a priest among their number that quests. As a matter of fact, there is one, Brother Thorne, who has just recently returned from such an outing. Brother Thorne is pointed out to them and the party approaches him. After confirming his identity and that he does, in fact, conduct quests on behalf of the church, he offers to speak with them away from the temple. He takes them to a small office area away from the main shrine.

Surm describes the gist of the quest and the terms—a share of the treasure outside of the four main magical items. They essentially want a priest to help protect them while they are treasure hunting. The city is probably too big to eradicate all of the “evil” within, but this they can, perhaps, do. Brother Thorne is in. Introductions are made all around. They will be leaving within the next couple of days, so provisions will need to be bought soon. Brother Thorne will do so.

The party leaves the temple to go buy their own provisions in the marketplace. Afterwards, they then head to the harbor and meet with the harbormaster to find a ship that is slated to go to Tipoli, the nearest port city to Salvi. The Blackmore Lady puts out the next day. The group then heads out to meet with the captain of the ship to negotiate the price of passage. They find the ship, meet with Captain Danwulf Heldane, and make the arrangements. They also make clear that there is a fifth member of their party who will be meeting them tomorrow. So long as they pay, Captain Heldane has no issues.

The group then heads back to the temple of Halor to find Brother Thorne to tell him that they will be leaving in the morning. He seems surprised but says that he can make those preparations. He will meet them at The Blackmore Lady in the morning.

They then return to the Dusty Cartwright. There, once again, Seela is waiting for them. That night Mõrvar tells her that they are going on a quest and they will be leaving in the morning and that he hopes to see her again when they pass through Jenna again.

19 Illumination 508

The next morning, Mõrvar says goodbye to Seela. Then everyone hauls all of their belongings out to the docks to meet The Blackmore Lady. Sure enough, Brother Thorne meets them at the docks in front of the ship. The group boards the ship and the priest pays his way. Soon after, the ship sets out from the harbor toward Tipoli.

The day’s journey is largely uneventful, though it seems particularly hard on Surm, who spends most of the day feeling ill and fatigued.

20 Illumination 508


On this day Surm is feeling much better and seeks an audience with the captain. He wants to know if the captain knows of any who would be willing to sail directly them to Salvi. Captain Heldane says he doesn’t know too many mad enough to travel to a haunted island. But that he might be willing to, if the price is right. The two enter into negotiation and arrive at a deal. For fifty additional gold pieces, the Captain will put off at a reasonable distance from the island and have the first mate row the party out to the island where they will make a base camp. After ten days, the ship will come back. If there is no signal fire, the ship will come back in another ten days. If there is still no signal fire, then the Captain can assume the party isn’t coming back. But if there is a signal fire, the Captain will send the first mate out again with the dinghy to fetch them. The group also purchases 10 more days of rations from the ship’s stores for Brother Thorne.

21 Illumination 508

About ten in the morning, land is spotted and a hush falls over the crew. The Captain tells the group that the first mate is ready. Everyone gathers their gear and gets lowered into the dinghy and into the water.

The island is eerily quiet. So is the first mate. She rows silently toward the island. No sound is made but the oars through the water. Finally, landfall is made on a wide beach and base camp is made. The first mate wishes them luck and crawls back into the dinghy and begins rowing back toward The Blackmore Lady. Soon, the party is alone on the island.

Or are they?

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. . .

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. . .

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-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…

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-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-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.