Of Far Realms and Fey

Leaving the Tower
Mr. Crowley Explains It All

Leaving the tower

Mr. Crowley came into Arizona Mantooth’s room and began furiously creating magical wards throughout the room, explaining that they would prevent any words spoke in the room from being heard outside of it. Crowley asked Arizona if he would like his friends summoned, as there were important words to be had. Arizona refused, and Crowley began to explain:

Arizona is one of seven tattooed individuals known as the Children of Zhudun. Starlord Lykurgis hunts them because he is planning to perform a powerful ritual that uses all seven of them as reagents. This ritual will supposedly open a rift between the Far Realm and the Prime Material Plane, which will allow the elder gods full access to both planes, most likely with disastrous effects. Lykurgis actually has already attempted the ritual, but something went very wrong and the seven children, who were kidnapped at a young age specifically for this purpose, were teleported to various locations around the world. The tattoos they bear act as a sort of magical magnet, drawing the children towards one another, and when the tattoos are close enough, they begin to react, which Lykurgis can detect and dispatch The Takers to bring them back. Crowley also revealed that Arizona is in fact the most important of the children, and is known as The Pupil of The Eye of Zhudun.

At this point, Arizona asked Crowley to summon the rest of the party, and he explained to them all he had heard. Arizona suggested simply killing the other Children at the tower, but was dissuaded by his fellow adventurers and Crowley. Crowley stressed that since Arizona had not been captured and had in fact come here of his own volition, Lykurgis had no way of knowing he had ever been here. Killing or leaving with the other Children would tip their hands that they know of Lykurgis’ plan, so they decided it would perhaps be better to maintain the element of surprise. Upon Crowley’s suggestion, they headed for the only non-Lykurgis’-portals method of transportation to the Material Plane from the tower: the Lightning Train. Before they left, Crowley handed Arizona a signet ring, explaining that it was key to returning to the tower if he so chose.

The Lightning Train was a very fancy and comfortable train car that rode on rails using rings of cold elemental lightning. They boarded the train and left, hurtling through the Astral Sea back towards their home.

The Ghost Town

They arrived at a sparse wooden platform, and Lizzie Barden sent the train back to the tower, as per Crowley’s instructions, so as not to raise suspicion at its absence. Looking around, they found themselves in a seemingly abandoned town. Soon, they realized that while there were inhabitants, they were all undead: several groups of skeletons were patrolling the town.

The party decided that stealth could potentially lead them out of this town without the need for a fight, and so set to sneaking between the sparse buildings and trees, attempting to make their way out of the town unnoticed. They were unsuccessful, however, attracting the attention of one of the wandering pairs of skeletons, they were forced to fight. The battle attracted several more attackers as it raged on. Arizona suggested making a run for it and indeed, made it all the way to the gates, but his friends stayed and fought, so he slung spells from the gate while still attempting to convince them to just leave. Eventually, all but two of the skeletons had been defeated, and those two continued to patrol, unaware of the pitched battle that had taken place. After bringing Jewelington Garnet III back from death’s door, the party managed to slink past the two cyclopean skeletons that remained and walked outside.

When the party turned back to face the town, only Arizona could see it. A powerful illusion had been placed on the entire town, making it seem to be a sheer cliff face overlooking the ocean to anyone who was not wearing Crowley’s signet ring. Turning back to the little-used road in front of them, it suddenly occurred to them: they had no idea where in the world they were.

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Episode 3
The Tower of Starlord Lykurgis

The party emerged from the mysterious portal to find themselves at the base of an enormous tower, in a room full of slaves mining coal from the ground, overseen by a Dolgaunt taskmaster. Upon seeing the party, the Dolgaunt yelled out “Intruders!” alerting the other creatures further up the tower, and then ordered the slaves to attack the party.

Lizzie Barden incited a slave rebellion, turning the slaves against their masters, while Vlad the Inhaler and Gunk faced off against a pair of Dolgrim that came down from the floor above. The entire time, the party was being pelted by arrows from above by several archers. Eventually, Saarsgardyn was fed up with this annoyance and used his Vine Whip to begin pulling the archers down from the floor above, through the very holes they were firing through.

From the third floor, the party began hearing some ominous chanting, but could do nothing about it, as they were tied up on the bottom floor with the Dolgrim. After a few more seconds of chanting, they heard a scream that was equal parts joy, pain and terror, and a few seconds later, the top half of one of the chanting creatures fell to the bottom floor of the tower with a wet thud. Looking up, they could see an amorphous blob of eyes and teeth working its way towards them: the creatures had summoned a Gibbering Mouther from the Far Realm and were rewarded by becoming its first meal.

The Mouther did not distinguish friend from foe and caused some significant damage to one of the archers before seeing the veritable buffet of heroes and slaves running around on the bottom floor and plopped itself down right in the thick of things and started wrecking havoc, managing to knock Gunk and Vlad unconscious before the party finally finished it off.

When the dust cleared from the fight, only a single slave of the original 10 remained alive. Jewelington Garnet III befriended him and the party (+1) headed upstairs to investigate. At the top of the two flights of stairs, the party noticed a huge glyph inscribed in a circle. Jewelington (slave in tow), investigated the glyph and found it to be the power symbol of a ritual of sacrifice. Unfortunately, the slave was overcome by the residual power of the Far Realm still active in the glyph and was killed instantly. Undeterred, Jewelington refused to let the corpse of his friend go and held it like a rag doll.

Continuing through a large set of doors, the party continued upwards through the tower. Coming to another, larger set of doors, they cautiously opened them and entered an enormous library. In the middle of the room was Mr. Crowley, the tower’s butler, and behind him, Zisa Skiprock, seeming none the worse for wear, outfitted in a nice dress and sitting in a comfortable chair drinking wine. “Ah,” said Mr. Crowley, “Master Mantooth. You’ve returned.”

After some serious questioning, Arizona and the rest of the party decided to stay at the tower and await the arrival of Starlord Lykurgis, in order to get some answers as to Arizona’s past and why he and the other tattooed youths were being hunted. Arizona was escorted to his room, where he found an exceptional staff that was apparently his before he left (a +2 Hellfire Staff).

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Episode 2
Arizona's past catches up with him in Fallcrest

The party awakens at Mother’s house to the smell of breakfast pie. While they eat, Mother tells them that they should see a friend of hers in Fallcrest: Reinhardt Moonridge, a high-ranking bishop of the Church of Bahamut. She thinks they should tell him of the cult they put down in the nearby church. They agree to do so and head towards Fallcrest.

Once in the city, the party decides to split up to cover their bases more quickly. Vlad the Inhaler and Jewelington Garnet III both head to the church to talk to this Reinhardt, Lizzie Barden, Gunk and Saarsgardyn head to the militia’s headquarters to speak to Eckard Van Hyden about the fall of Vale’s Keep, and Arizona Mantooth, having little love for authority or clerics, heads into town in search of drink and women. They all agree to meet later at the Arcanist’s Library of Fallcrest.

Lizzie and Eckard

Lizzie, Gunk and Saarsgardyn walk into the offices of the militia and speak with Eckard. Eckard is surprised to see them back so soon and is dismayed to hear the news of the deaths of so many soldiers. “In all honesty, though,” he says, “I am not surprised. The orc patrols were getting more aggressive. I just didn’t think they would escalate so quickly.” He sits in quiet contemplation for a moment, then, steepling his fingers he turns to Lizzie and asks, “Tell me, Lizzie, if you were in charge of the militia, what would you do? I am loathe to start a costly war with the Stonemarch orcs, but I will not stand by and see my men slaughtered.”

Lizzie replies that she thinks the best course of action would be to send their party into the Stonemarch to fight the orcs. Eckard laughs and says “Six people against ten thousand bloodthirsty orcs? You truly must have a great desire to die.”

Lizzie explains that the six of them could carry out assassinations. After all, the orcs at Vale’s Keep had a leader, so if the orc leaders are removed, the threat will be, at the very least, lessened.

“Interesting,” says Eckard. “I will keep this in consideration. We will see how this orc situation plays out and, if escalation is imminent, perhaps we will do just that. In the meantime, however, if you and your friends are looking for more work, I have heard disturbing reports from a small village near here. I cannot spare militia men to investigate, but would be happy to send you.”

Eckard also gifts the party the Ear Choppa’, the knife they were given earlier to carry out their first task.

As they are leaving, an aide enters the room and whispers something to Eckard.

“I see,” he says. “It seems your friend Arizona is in a spot of trouble. I suggest you see to him soon.”

The three of them hustle off to the Library to find him.

Vlad and Reinhardt

Vlad and Jewelington make it to the Reinhardt’s chambers with no difficulty. The discussion starts off on a tense note, as Vlad does not like the familiarity with which Reinhardt refers to Mother, and Jewelington is oddly aggressive throughout the entire proceedings. Things calm down when Reinhardt reveals that he used to be an adventuring companion of Mari’s and tells a few stories of the trouble they used to get into.

“But come,” Reinhardt says, “that is not why we are here. Your mother mentioned something of some goings on at the church near the Cloak Wood. She was strangely cryptic, but I suppose space is an issue when one delivers one’s messages by ferret.”

Reinhardt reveals that Mother’s ferret, Podo, had delivered word of their arrival earlier that day. Vlad walks Reinhardt through the events at the church, including the fact that the priest was seemingly taking orders from a pair of Beholders and how the priest sacrificed himself to bring “The Child” into this world.

“I had my suspicions that the Far Realm had a hand in this in some way. Thank you for confirming those,” said Reinhardt. He reveals that there have been two other cases of small congregations of Bahamut worshipers being turned to some sort of snake-themed cult recently. All three of these cases have eerily similar details: parishioners and priests being twisted both physically and spiritually, defamation of relics or likenesses of Bahamut, and heavy snake-based motifs. “It cannot be a coincidence,” Reinhardt concluded.

Vlad and Jewelington ask if other religions have reported cults like this as well. Reinhardt responds that there has not been a meeting of officials from the various religions in a while, so he will call one. He has not heard anything to that effect, but then, he has been attempting to conceal this from the public to minimize the chances of panic, so probably other religions would be doing the same thing if it were happening to them as well.

“I shall think more on this,” Reinhardt told them. “I have a feeling I will have need to call upon you and your friends again regarding this. I do hope you will answer that call when it comes.”

Having nothing more to say, Vlad and Jewelington start out the door when a man enters and speaks to Reinhardt.

“Your friend the sorcerer seems to have found himself the center of some unwanted attention,” Reinhardt tells the two. “You may want to make your way to him as soon as possible.”

Arizona

While walking the streets of Fallcrest looking for a bar to settle into, Arizona’s left arm starts to throb with pain and he notices his mysterious tattoo is glowing. From behind him, he hears a sharp intake of breath of someone else obviously in pain. He spins around only to see a small figure rushing away from him through the crowd. He also notices he is one purse full of gold lighter than he was a few moments ago. He gives chase in an attempt to get his cash back.

After running for a short while, Arizona fires a blast into the crowd ahead, trying to knock the thief down. He misses his target, but manages some collateral damage. He yells at the pickpocket to stop and manages to intimidate her into stopping and raising her hands.

Arizona strides up to the small woman and promptly lashes his staff across her face. She cries out, apologizes and gives back the purse. She is answered with another staff-blow to the face. As the public beating continues, small details begin to leak out that there is something greater afoot.

“Stop! Please stop,” she says, “or he will find me. Find us! You are marked, just like me!” The small woman is a halfling, Zisa Skiprock, and she bears a tattoo on her left forearm in the same fashion as Arizona. She also correctly guesses that Arizona woke up one day around his sixteenth birthday with no memory of anything that had happened previously, as the same thing happened to her. She explains that she has met two others as well, with tattoos like hers, probably arcane runes of some sort, though she cannot find any book that explains them. Arizona’s tattoo looks different than the others she has seen, it being a spiral, while the others have all been several connected straight lines. When she met the others, their tattoos glowed, and soon after that “The Takers” came. She has avoided them twice, running as fast as possible, not looking back. She knows that The Takers are agents of a man named Lykurgis, though he calls himself Starlord Lykurgis. She does not know why they hunt her and the other tattooed people she has met.

Arizona grabs Zisa by the arm and hauls her off to the Library to meet the others.

The arrival of The Takers

The party gathers on the stairs of the Library. Zisa and Arizona explain the basics of the situation to the others, who seem to take Zisa’s side in the whole “maybe you shouldn’t have beaten me with your staff” argument, much to Arizona’s chagrin.

Behind them, at the other end of the courtyard, two star-filled portals open up and huge, pot-shaped contructs scuttle out on insectoid legs. Each is marked with a symbol, one that matches the tattoo on Arizona’s arm, while the other matches Zisa’s.

The party rushes towards the construct matching Arizona’s tattoo and begins to attack. The Taker ignores them, hoisting itself up on its huge legs and walking right over them. Arizona finds himself compelled to stumble closer to the Taker on each turn, while Zisa seems unaffected. Then, a huge rasped tongue shoots out from the top of the Taker and fastens itself around Arizona’s neck and begins pulling him towards its gaping mouth. Arizona is pulled into the Taker just as it lets out a psychic scream, dazing the entire party and sending it reeling backwards.

Saarsgardyn attempts a new tactic and tries to scale the Taker and attack it from above, hitting the sphincter that keeps that top of the Taker sealed as the Taker proceeds to scuttle back towards the portal from whence it came.

Curiously, Arizona finds himself in a pleasant and cozy study, filled with infernal tomes of power and fine liquors, sitting in an overstuffed leather chair. He soon realizes that this is a charm that has been placed on him and the study slowly turns into the grey mottled flesh of the inside of the Taker. He fights his way towards the mouth above him.

Meanwhile, just as the Taker is about to take its final step into the portal, Gunk fells it with a mighty blow, and Arizona struggles out from its top, just in time to see Zisa’s Taker walk through its portal, despite the barrage of arcane energy that Jewelington was constantly flinging.

Instinctually, and to the chagrin of several of the party members, Jewelington flings himself into the now-closing portal in a perhaps-misguided attempt to save Zisa. The party quickly comes to the conclusion that they must follow, or else Jewelington is certainly lost. Everyone follows through the portal, with Gunk and Saarsgardyn quite reluctantly bringing up the rear.

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Episode 1
Meet the Cultists

After finishing off the animated statues of the aspects of Bahamut, the party hears a heated conversation coming from the east. Immediately, Saarsgardyn and Jewelington‘s blood begins to boil: the argument is in Deep Speech, the language of the Far Realm. Jewelington and Vlad the Inhaler sprint toward the sound, ready for a fight, but Saarsgardyn holds Jewelington back, while Lizzie Barden convinces Vlad that perhaps some recon would be appropriate before charging into battle. Fortunately, Jewelington is fluent in Deep Speech and can translate the conversation (telepathically, even) to the other members of the party. It seems to involve Reverend Bertok, the head priest of this church, and another, unknown party. Bertok is relaying the visitation of the party upstairs to this unknown person, obviously worried that they will interfere. The unknown person dismisses this possibility, claiming that “the Child”’s entrance into this world is assured and everything is going according to plan.

Arizona Mantooth and Jewelington spring into action, with Arizona shapeshifting into what appears to be a fellow cultist, taking Jewelington prisoner. Rounding the corner, they see that Bertok is talking to two Beholders, who seem to be overseeing the operations here at the church. Using their telepathic link, Jewelington tells Arizona what to say in Deep Speech to attempt to suss more information out of the trio. He initially does very well, convincing the Beholders that he has indeed captured this Shardmind snooping around. The charade goes south rather quickly, though, when rather than killing Jewelington outright, he asks to torture him for information. Bertok asks for Arizona’s name and Jewelington really strikes out on a good Far-Realm-inspired name, so Arizona goes with “Carlos Rodriguez” and the fight is on. The Beholders tell Bertok, “Go. The Child requires blood to enter this world. See to it that it is fed.” A cloud of insects encircles the priest and he is gone.

The Beholders do a very good job of neutralizing Vlad with a nasty combination of Immobilization Rays, Exhaustion Rays, and Telekinesis, but it leaves them precious little time to deal any real damage to the other members, and the party wins the war of attrition. Most of the way through the fight, Arizona retreats, only to return disguised as Bertok to attempt to inform the Beholders that the ritual has failed. He manages to dupe one of them, and Jewelington takes the opportunity to pretend to take Bertok hostage while firing over his shoulder, whereas Arizona plays his part by pretending to attack Gunk, but truly aiming for the Beholders.

With the Beholders dispatched, Jewelington (as usual) overreacts a bit and plunges his arms elbow-deep into the eyes of their fallen foes and covers himself with gore. Everyone else just kind of looks the other way for a little bit. Catching their breath, they notice a small hallway down which the sounds of a struggle can be heard.

They reach the end of the hall, which opens up into a large ceremonial room with a three-inch-deep reflecting pool beneath an immense statue of Bahamut holding a brass brazier. There is no fire in the brazier, though. Instead, Bertok stands inside with Mother bound before him, a wicked dagger in his hand, muttering in an unknown language. The arrival of the party distracts him just enough for Mother to roll off the brazier and scuttle into the corner. Bertok, knowing his days are numbered, shouts out “Chtenff ron’ai gof’nn Yig! Nog Ch’ebumna hai! Nog Ch’ebumna hai! Nog Ch’ebumna hai!”, plunges the dagger into his own neck, and opens his own throat. He tumbles into the reflecting pool and, upon hitting the water, sinks into the floor.

Impossibly, a silhouette appears in the pool and begins rising to the surface. From the water springs a huge Avatar of the cult’s unknown God: a 25-foot-tall monstrosity with an enormous snake head, whose body is made up of a writhing mass of smaller snakes.

Jewelington opens with quite a doozy, critically hitting the Avatar with his Crown of Stars. The Avatar lashed out at the party with its snake-arms, but Vlad held its attention quite well, not allowing it to take many (if any) attacks of opportunity without being punished. The Avatar rampaged through the room, knocking down half of the party and dealing a significant amount of damage, but in doing so it expended quite a bit of energy and disbursed into three smaller masses of snakes. After killing off these swarms (aided in no small part by the Five Storms of Gunk), they reformed into the Avatar, which was quickly put down by another critical hit from Jewelington.

Vlad rushed to Mother’s side only to find that she had already released herself from her bonds. Arizona was skeptical of the old woman not joining the fight, but was calmed when he remembered she was not carrying a weapon. Upon scouring the room, Saarsgardyn found another, much larger egg-shaped emerald shoved into the torso of the statue of Bahamut, as well as a small polished bone figurine in the spot where Bertok hit the water. The party left the now-abandoned church and headed for home.

Mother gave the party the name of a high bishop of Bahamut in Fallcrest who should be contacted regarding the cult in his church, and they all settled down for a well-deserved night of rest.

END OF EPISODE 1

Up next: Arizona’s murky past has a dim light shone upon it in Episode 2

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The death of Azog Grimtooth

After a short rest following the defeat of the enemies in the barracks, the party pushed on to the heavy oak doors that led to the war room. Knowing that Azog Grimtooth most likely was inside, they pushed open the doors.

Sure enough, Grimtooth stood behind a large table covered in maps and notes left over from the previous occupants. Though he was slightly surprised that the party had managed to make it to him, he bellowed the order to attack almost immediately and the fight was on. His minions fell quickly to the fists of Gunk. His archers fared much better, managing to put several arrows into Saarsgardyn at point-blank range and one into Arizona Mantooth after he shapechanged into an orc to mock them. Nevertheless, the archers fell as well, and then it was just Azog and the party left.

The remainder of the fight was fairly brutal, with Azog raining several terrible blows upon Vlad the Inhaler, knocking him unconscious twice, but each time Lizzie Barden was there to bring him back from the brink. Eventually, Azog was brought down and the party claimed his ear, along with his retinue’s.

Eager to bring the news of the fall of Vale’s Keep to Eckard Van Hyden‘s attention, they set out on the long walk back to Vlad’s house, roughly one day’s journey from the Keep.

END OF THE PROLOGUE EPISODE

BEGINNING OF EPISODE 1 – Meet the Cultists

The party arrived at Vlad‘s house and were greeted by Vlad’s pet ferret, Kodo. Investigating the house, they found a pie left on the table by Mother (now cold), and a note explaining that she had left for the nearby church of Bahamut to offer a donation and prayers to the souls of the recently killed villagers, to let them know they had been avenged. Vlad’s danger-sense began tingling (mostly because Mother was not at home; this may well be the longest he has gone without seeing her) when he noticed that the note was dated yesterday, and the church is a mere 2-3 hour journey from home. After Vlad and Lizzie convinced the rest of the party to help out, they all headed to the nearby church.

The journey to the church was uneventful, as expected. Upon arrival, the party is invited into the church by the head priest, who invites them in to listed to the sermon that is about to start. Lizzie takes point on the speaking and told the priest that they were looking for Mother. The head priest explains that he remembers seeing Mother earlier in the day, and that she made a donation and offered some prayers for her fallen friends. Vlad walked off to question the parishioners to no avail, as they were all invested in the sermon that was occurring.

Seeing this, Arizona walked directly up to the altar where another priest was speaking and interrupted the sermon, asking everyone if they had seen Mother. After a very awkward pause, it became apparent that no one would be answering him. He attempted threatening the priest giving the sermon who, terrified, said no one had any answers for him.

Meanwhile, Lizzie took a look at the huge tapestry of Bahamut hung along the back wall. She noticed two things:

  1. The depiction of Bahamut seemed to have been vandalized, but the damage was done at or near the time of the creation of the tapestry.
  2. There was a secret door behind the tapestry, though there was no obvious way to open it.

Lizzie rounded up Vlad, Jewelington, and Arizona (who was in a heated argument with the head priest on the appropriateness of threatening a priest during his sermon), thanked the clergy and walked outside, joining Gunk and Saarsgardyn, who chose not to go inside and were instead discussing Gunk’s troubled past and Dragonborn rights in general. The party decided that they would avoid direct conflict with the people in the church, but that something fishy was definitely going on. Arizona disguised himself as a parishioner of the church (they were all dressed in similar heavy robes and hoods, concealing their faces, making it fairly easy. He listened to the rest of the sermon, noting that it was in a language he had never heard before, then managed to look through the reliquary and at the tapestry before leaving to report back to the group.

Gunk then snuck into the now-empty church and opened the secret door behind the tapestry. The group then descended into the catacombs under the church.

Walking down the nearby hallway, the party is surprised to see six statues of Dragonborn flip out from the walls. Each statue is built to evoke an aspect of Bahamut: 4 of them hold two scimitars, representative of the swift justice that Bahamut brings, 1 holds an enormous maul, representative of the strength of Bahamut, and 1 is clad in plate mail and holds a huge shield, representative of Bahamut’s protection.

Unsurprisingly, when passing the middle two statues, all six spring to life and attack the party, obviously protecting something in the catacombs. They are quickly finished off, and the party notices that in each statue’s torso is crudely jammed a small egg-shaped emerald. They pocket the emeralds and take a quick rest to recover their strength.

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The adventure begins
Session number 1

The party begins to take shape as Lizzie Barden, Arizona Mantooth, Gunk and Jewelington Garnet III all sign up as mercenaries in the employ of the Fallcrest Militia. Lizzie to fight evil and gain glory, Gunk because he needed some money, Jewelington as practice for the imminent war with the Far Realm, and Arizona because if you work for the military, you can kill people without being prosecuted. Eckard Van Hyden, head of the Fallcrest Militia, immediately recognized them as “ringers” and pulled them into a special strike group under his direct command.

Eckard tasked the four with reporting to Vale’s Keep, an outpost located on the King’s Road, just on the outskirts of the Gardbury Downs. Recently, orcs from the warrens in the Stonemarch have been getting more and more bold, attacking caravans, stealing provisions and livestock from rural farmers, and even taking the torch to small villages under the protection of Fallcrest. Eckard wants answers, as this is fairly unlike the orcs, as they mostly keep to their territory, and the troops at Vale’s Keep would have more information. He also gave the four of them a wicked looking knife and told them that he would pay them 25 gold pieces for each orc ear they brought back (but only the right ears, as proof of death).

The party set off along the King’s Road, but after several hours of travel, they came across an oddity: a dead orc alongside the road, next to an overturned cart. A quick assay of the situation revealed that there were several more sets of footprints alongside a well-worn cart-path heading into the nearby woods. Some humanoid and others bear-like. After taking the ear of the dead orc, they followed the footprints into the woods.

There, the party came across a small village with all but one of the cottages in flames. There were bodies scattered about the floor of the clearing, mostly the villagers with an orc or two thrown in. In front of the only non-flaming house stood two people, an older woman and a handsome young warrior. The two fought with equal aplomb, but the sheer number of opponents looked to be too much for them. Luckily, the party stepped in, finishing off the last few orcs. Gunk collected the ears from the fallen foes as the two villagers looked on. The party saw then that the two warriors were protecting the unconscious body of a creature the likes of which none of them had seen. The older woman introduced herself as Mari Foxglove (but that everyone called her “Mother”) and her son as Vlad. She invited them inside for some pie as she tended to the wounded creature.

The party sat and talked among themselves over pie (with Vlad), this being the first real chance they had had to speak to one another. Vlad excused himself to his room to be alone with his herbal supplements, and Jewelington awkwardly tagged along, standing far too close to Vlad the entire time.

After a few hours, Mother emerged with the creature she was taking care of. She introduced it to everyone as being a Wilden, a protector of nature, whose name was Saarsgardyn. It did not take much convincing before Saarsgardyn and Vlad both joined the party—Saarsgardyn because the orcs are obviously harmful to the woodlands, and Vlad for revenge and basically to prove his manhood.

In the morning, after another pie, the newly formed party continued down the King’s Road to Vale’s Keep. Upon reaching the fortress, they were greeted with a grisly sight: the keep had been hastily decorated with the remains of the soldiers garrisoned there—heads on pikes, bodies hung from the ramparts, et cetera. As Jewelington wept at the sight of such slaughter while standing far too close to Saarsgardyn, a black barbed arrow landed at his feet. Looking to the top of the fort, several orc archers stood alongside an enormous, armored orc carrying a wicked battleaxe. He announced himself as Azog Grimtooth, the new master of Vale’s Keep. After trading a few words with the party, Azog raised an enormous black horn and blew into it. The door burst open and several orcs came pouring out to meet the party. Azog turned on his heel and strode back into the keep, confident that his troops would dispatch the enemies.

The battle was hard fought, with several orc berserkers charging headlong into battle while others threw vials of flaming liquids into the fray while keeping their distance, and all the while, the archers let fly from atop the keep. Saarsgardyn managed to snare one of the archers with his Thorn Whip and pull him from the roof, ending him with a rather sickening crunch many feet below, while Gunk rained down blows upon foe after foe. When the dust settled, the party had five more orc ears and they headed into the fort.

Inside, the party came across several orcs who had recently been dicing at a large table in the barracks, a hobgoblin futzing with a footlocker, and a bugbear overlooking them. No words were exchanged, just blows. The orcs charged into the fray, but one of them was cut down almost immediately by the party. They did not, however, notice the second bugbear who had been skulking in the corner. He caught Jewelington unawares and picked him up by the throat, attempting to choke the life out of him. Arizona, being backed into a corner, struck out with his staff at the beast, but the bugbear moved Jewelington to absorb the blow instead. Jewelington managed to teleport away from the bugbear’s grasp soon after that. The hobgoblin, seemingly attempting to open the footlocker, was really attempting to trigger the flame trap attached to it, sending a gout of flame into Vlad, who shook it off easily. The battle ended and five more ears were added to the party’s inventory. In the trapped footlocker, the party found a pair of boots that granted their wearer cat-like reflexes and a circlet of metal leaves.

The sat for a moment to catch their breath in the quarters of the fallen soldiers…

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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