Into the Forest
5 April 2011
By Velin (Simon)
With the villagers hiding in the forest and Altais back from dying Kantalar declares we should fight the large White Dragon it may give us a chance to escape. We fought the Dragon until Altais was exhausted from healing Thoradin, he held the dragon at bay stoically. The dragon was bloodied but not near death. We retreated into the forest to find another way to take the villagers to safety. Altais and Thoridan led the villagers further into the forest. Kantalar let the horses go, hoping to distract the dragon and made his way back to the group.
Meanwhile Velin fell out of a portal onto the forest pathway as the group with Altais and Thoradin leading walked along the newly discovered path. After a bit of conversation Velin joined with the group and made camp. A falcon appears and drops a message. It is from Tabiel and it her falcon companion Tully. Kantalar returned to find the camp.
Rested, the group moves on and notices there is this little shadowed creature with lots of sharp teeth following them. The little shadow creature pops up trying to tell us something then disappears again. We keep moving down the path and discover a fork and a tree is on the side of the path with a messaged carved in elven. We decided to go down the path toward what is described on the message on the tree. We make our way into a beautiful forest enclave. The flowers described in the message are before us then a female humanoid creature (dryad) begins talking with Kantalar and invites 5 of us to enter their garden sanctuary. We negotiate some terms of understanding regarding the villagers and speak to the men of Fernwell about the situation. We enter the sanctuary and the lady requires us to disarm and take off our footwear. Reluctant to disarm the party moves forward and Velin crosses the stream in the middle of the garden. Immediately 6 more of the creatures appear out of the trees and Velin is dominated into crossing the stream and striking at Thoradin (of course he missed haha). The party backs off and the situation calms down. We respect the Dyrads wishes. Kantalar jumps into the pond into the middle. He is immediately refreshed. Thoradin does the same. The dryads offer us some fruit which we share with the villagers later. The dryads request that we bring back one of the Shadowfell creatures , like the one we have seen before, back to them so they can question why they are present in the forest. We agree to do this quest as long as they help us find a way to to bring the villagers to safety. We explain the situation to the men of Fernwell.
So off we go to capture the Shadowfell creature. We enter into combat and immediately Kantalar goes down after two crossbow bolts hit him and then he critically hit by a shadowfell creatues shroud. Altais bring him back quickly and Kantalar uses his second wind. The encounters is challenging and Adaris runs away. Kantalar strikes down the flanking creatures. Meanwhile, Altais and Thordin go down. Velin conjures a pillar of lightning. He is doing his best but then he goes down. Kantalar attracts the attention of the remaining opposition and then uses first aid to bring Altais back to consciousness. Altais then brings the rest of the party back to life and we overwhelm the rest of shadowfell creatures easily. As we return to the dryads we find Adaris’ stuff scattered on the ground, he is missing and so is Anarus’ tome.
We return to the Dyads and hand over the shadowfell creature. The dryads explain that they have way for us to escape through the Feywild plane if we travel along the leyline to another marker stone where we will open a portal into a place that is near Hanreth. We take this to the villagers with Altais and Velin convincing them that this is the way out. Kantalar backs them up. Thoradin is growling under his breath about his need for beer. We try to rest but then it becomes chilly and a voice (A BIGGER DRAGON) above the forest threatens destruction. At this point in time the dryads open a portal to the Feywild and the party and villagers make our way through into another dangerous place with no rest.
After going through the portal we find ourselves in a cave. Out of the cave we come to beach surrounded by cliffs. There is no simple way up the cliffs. Kantalar climbs up the cliff and sets up a piton pulley system with Thoradin to haul everyone up the cliff. We get Altais and the men from the village to run a two piton pulley systems and after about 5 hours everyone is up and we make our way in to the Feywild. Kantalar scouts ahead and sees an ambush up ahead. He brings the party forward and Velin stays with the group. A magic-using type guy talks to us demanding with give something to him on behalf some other guy who wants it. We have no idea what they are talking about and so the encounter begins and then it ends with all the Skellies wiped out and the two main guys dead.
We continue on our way. Kantalar sees a bridge and campfire across from the bridge he calls the party over and noticing that there a gap in the bridge. Velin tries to negotiate with the large Eladrin creature but obviously is not going to help us unless we may him the richest humanoid in the Feywild at 500gp per person to cross the bridge. Kantalar scouts to the north and discovers another group of Shadowfell idiots. He returns and reports. Velin and Thoradin have been thinking of another way to cross the river. Several times Thoradin tries to speak to the Large Eladrin creatures in Dwarvish with no success. Kantalar quips, “Nobody understand Dwelvish in the Feywild”. Kantalar scouts to the south of the river and finds that it leads to a very large waterfall. The view across the river is very picturesque. Velin insists on his plan to chop down some trees to cross the river while Altais tries to explain all the problems involved with his not well thought out plan. Thoradin is thinking about his little axe trying to cut down trees. Kantalar returns and sees the good in Velin’s plan. He and Thoradin go down river and Kantalar gives him his big Axe (Urgrosh) to fell a tree across the river. Thoradin only just succeeds. Kantalar returns while Thoradin makes some nice steps on the tree and clears the branches. Altais is surprised by the success of Velin’s plan. They gather up the villagers and then the group moves on to finding the maker stone back to Kestria. We arrive and speaks the words to answer a riddle, ‘marked boy’. The portal opens and we find ourselves near Hanreth.
Settling the Villagers
5 April 2011
By ? (?)
By Velin (Simon)
The trek had been long and hard and when the hillside horizon finally gave way to the roof tops and flags of Hanneth a collective sigh of relief and exhaustion sounded out among the villagers. We approached the town but were met by military men with stern faces.
“You cannot enter Hanneth, the city is closed.”
“But we have sick and weary villagers needing rest.”
We recounted our tale, villagers in the path of rising waters, leading them to safety just to be chased by a dragon.
“Dragon, hahaha there aint no such thing as a Dragon.”
We were surprised as our wounds both of the flesh and the mind told otherwise.
“You can only go to the refugee camp where General Caleth will deal with you. Those are my orders.”
For what we had been through, the miles of travel, the cliff pulley, the Feywild and dragons, these last few hundred feet seemed like miles but at last we had a place to rest and food to eat.
Lieutenant Ephrim with his scowl of annoyance and eyes that peered down from his up turned nose filed us into the refugee camp like cattle led to slaughter. It appeared that they thought us a threat or perhaps to be spies as was the hushed conversations between soldiers behind tents. After a patronizing wait we were graced with an audience with General Caleth, an equally mistrustful and arrogant rank. The initial talks went badly as we told of our exploits, omitting the existence of dragons.
The general at first was unimpressed at our selfless aim to help those in need and ordered us prisoner, with a view to execution but a few lucky words caught his attention.
“I see you are possibly of use to me. If you are who you say you are then you will attend to my men and your usefulness will come to light. A strange illness strickens them, go to the infirmary and uncover the truth before the Archprelate of Menon (religion) arrives. It can only do you well if you solve this problem, if you fail you will prove to be nothing and you will be dealt with."
With a glimmer of hope we set about solving the mystery that may solve our dilemma. Altais and Velin strode to the infirmary to examine the ill, Thoradin to the camp’s gathering place to speak to the soldiers. Kantalar sneaks of to check out the whole campsite.
Altais was quick to find no natural sickness nor disease and Velin eliminated an Arcane source. The illness would send soldiers to the infirmary in the mornings and appeared to effect only the low level military men. We spoke to Erasmuth, a healer that cared for the men and he described their shaking and cold fever symptoms.
Meanwhile Thoradin sourced information from the camp. They spoke to soldiers and captains and all the while the one twig filled eyebrow of Thoradin rose with suspicion.
“It’s in the beer”
Thoradin stated as if it were as clear as words in the sky.
“Soldiers come in sick in the morn, their beer is poisoned.”
While Altais remained in the infirmary doing what he could, Velin headed to Thoradin to share his information. We agreed that Thoradin may be right and we head out with our hypothesis in hand. We questioned and talked and quickly learned that traders from Hanreth would bring liquor for the men each night and they would drink heartily. We set about, a plan to question the ale bearers as they arrived.
In their quest for information the group made new acquaintances of Boris ans Sierka, two warlocks, a male and female counterpart.
“Why are you doing this anyway” Sierka asked
“We have a moral obligation to these people.” Velin offered
“We can help.” Boris offered.
Thoradin grunted, universal Dwarven for Welcome to the party.
Proudly Velin shared an idea, a wizardly experiment to test their theory. He would take saliva and blood from the victims and feed it to some small animals. If the animals become sick it would point toward poison. He left Thoradin and Kantalar to set about his plan. With the aid of soldiers and the healer he acquired rats and pitched his tent from his grand scheme.
The other companions located the sight of the nightly beer consumption. Thoradin trod the earth and his beer attuned senses found wagon tracks and the likely spot for the swill. Kantalar headed back into the camp to uncover whispered words and shadowed actions via his own stealth. Altais sent word that several soldiers had died yet others had recovered completely.
“Surely we have to tell the soldiers that their ale is poisoned” Sierka quizzed.
“If we’re wrong the beer men would be in great danger.” Velin offered.
“And we’d be undermining the General’s authority." Kantalar replied.
“Anyway it could always be food poisoning instead,” Boris offered.
The situation grew more complicated with every passing moment. More and more possibilities arose.
“Without evidence it’s all pointless anyway.” Velin stated just as he darted off again to check on his rat volunteers.
“But, the soldiers?” Sierka’s concern was sincere but little could be done.
The night came quickly and the liquor had arrived. A strong gray draft horse pulled a wagon loaded with barrels and peeked with a cooked pig. Velin had returned with news that his tested rats had fallen ill with the same sickness. As the merriment got underway Thoradin and Kantalar made themselves known socially to the ale servants. Prinath Redman, a large burly man, carved the pig while Prole Teslin, a short joyful fellow, attended to the liquor. Thoradin drew the first mug of liquor and with courage drank it in.
With a spat he bellowed, “There aint nothing to this, you got something stronger?”
“Hahaha” Prole replied, “You’re a comedian.”
“I aint laughin’, you gots better?”
“Ah my friend, this is made from distilled turnip, mixed with the distilled juice of the cashew apple, it’s an age old secret passed to me by my grandpapa.”
Kantalar’s keen eye noted a quiver in the man’s voice and a poker tell that gave him away.
“Tells ya what, tomorrow night I’ll bring somefin’ even you’ll appreciate master dwarf.”
Velin returned with another scheme.
“Can you get me some liquor and meat from the pig?” he whispered to Thoradin. “I’ll test them on the rats,” and with his samples in hand he scurried wizardly back to his canvas lab.
Kantalar had taken up residence by the barrels and settled himself into a shadow. He watched as Prole served two mugs from common barrels but strategically served the third swig from a single barrel.
“Bitter this one,” Thoradin mumbled as he drank back the clear liquor acquired from the specified barrel.
Throughout the night Velin traveled back and forth from his tent to the bonfire where the soldiers drank ale. On one trip to the fire he was startled by the appearance of a shadowfell creature, the same kind that had appeared to them on the road through the Ashengrove Vale.
“Neffrin sniblin,” it bellowed. Having no patience for it’s trickery and deceit Velin attempted to grab it, the creature deftly avoided his less than martial advance and surprisingly jumped back and produced a note. “Sniblin neffrin trittii,” the creature cackled once more. Reluctantly the wizard took the note and the creature stepped back into the shadow of a tent and was gone.
The night wore on and it became clear that Prole, the server of liquor, only provided the bitter samples at his leisure.
Kantalar and Thoradin spoke.
“Vat three’s got the poison in it,” The dwarf tapped on the bitter barrel.
“We’ve got em then,” said Kantalar.
And then in a scene not unlike the ones from comedy theaters of Rolo, Thoardin hoisted the bitter barrel upon his Dwarven shoulders and ran. Needless to say the camp was surprised but the servers were quick to chase him. Prinath was fast on his heals daggers in hand and with a flick two thin blades spun through the air to sheath themselves deep in to Thoradin’s back. Like a jack rabbit Boris was as equally quick off the mark and a seething line of frost shot from his hand. The area exploded in arctic crystals and Prinath writhed in pain. Kantalar was next to Prole who had drawn a small crossbow. Sierka slapped the draft horse and the wagon was off, barrels rolled everywhere and tables crashed. The area was awash with drunkards and combatants. Thoradin did his best to escape with the poisoned liquor. Kantalar did his best to defend him. Boris and Sierka spouted arcane rumblings as magic flew. Finally the stewing soldiers in their drunken state stumbled, ran and stammered after the bolting wagon.
Prinath and Prole came to realize that their plan was up and they fled, Prinath headed south-east out of the camp and Prole scampered into the carousing pen and disappeared between the enclosed horses.
“What is going on,” a soldier demanded in his authoritative voice. He had stepped from his tent into the chaotic mess.
Sierka gave a quick reply sending him to the chase. The scene slowed, Thoradin stood paused at the corner of a tent not sure which way to run, Kantalar did his best to run down Prinath but his vision was marred by the poison daggers.
General Caleth, flanked by several officers, strolled into the camp. “Explain,” and with a word the scene halted. Between panting breaths Kantalar addressed the General. “Alright, you lot to my tent, you clean up this mess,” the General spat.
With heart rates returning to normal the now six adventurers gathered before the general.
“Who are these two? I thought there was only four of you!” General Caleth bellowed.
“They were helping the others,” Lieutenant Ephrim replied.
“The liquor is tainted!” growled Thoradin.
“Sir the spirits brought in from Hanreth was poisoned” Kantalar offered.
“Ah that makes sense. It would seem Lexin got you again.” Kadaris offered with a sly smile.
“What proof do you have.”
Velin hurled the sack of dead rats onto the general’s desk.
“Get that off my desk.”
Velin eyeballed the general but did not move. Sierka with a wiser mind reluctantly lifted the rats from the table.
“I tested saliva and blood from the soldiers in the infirmary. The rat subjects became ill.”
“Liquor, poisoned.” Thoradin offered.
“Well it seems you have solved the problem, and just in time. You six are free to come and go, my clerk will draw up travel papers.”
“So we can assume that the villagers we came with will be treated kindly and justly?” Velin asked.
“The people will be cared for.”
At long last we came to rest out long traveled legs on tavern benches and wash away the dust from the road with trusted ale.
“Ah, it aint Dwarven but it’s some fine ale,” Thoradin reluctantly agreed.
“So now what?” Sierka asked.
“To the Split Oak to fight us some hell hounds,” Thoradin barked.
Velin produced the note and read it aloud, “You possess arcana that belongs not to you. You will rendezvous with me to return the item by the first night of the waxing of the eye of Zehir. Manifest your presence in the shadow of the split oak to your north under the high gaze of Zehir. Without compliance, Vecna’s hounds will run you down, steal your souls and deliver them to the Votaries to become experiments on undeath. Signed Redgraw.”
“Vecna’s hounds sounds like fun,” Thoradin offered as the adventure drew to a close with the six discussing their plans.
“It’s the moon I tell you, waxing of the moon!” Sierka offered, annoyed that no one else got it.
Kantalar explains about the Note from Redgraw who is a part of this Druidic Cult that is the Votaries. Traevis and his brother Willem were caught up in that group. Traevus (Half-Elf useless dead necromancer) was trying to save his brother by getting the evil book from Anarus (ghost because Traevus, his student, killed him). Anarus is defeated and Traevus is dead. The Druids probably have the book from Adaris the previous Wizard. Now they probably want the glowing blue rock.
Kantalar explains that he has no interest in doing anything the note says. Why play along with someone else’s plan when you can simply ignore them. This is not the first time they tried to get the whatever it was they wanted from our group. When we were in the Feywild they send some guys and group of skeletons to fight us and they did not survive.
Kantalar says, “If this Redgraw guy cannot be clear in communicating what he wants then we are not obligated to pay any attention to his petty little demands, let him play his game solo. Besides I do not think that Velin is going to give up that Blue Rock now he has possession of it and all its power” :)