Among the Elves

The party reconvened at The Grinning Goblin and spoke of their next move. They discussed news of Aegishand’s home, Eltgaard and the dangers there as well as a means of locating this forest spirit of the Elernain that seeks to restore itself. The party decided that this spirit must be the same that cursed poor Werler who was last left distantly to the north east of Tradekeep at Vaelyngroth and so made the elvish fortress their destination. After crossing over the mountains, then east along the Eredral River, and into the Elernain the party arrived to Vaelyngroth two weeks after leaving the Goblin.

When they arrived they found that the fortress appeared nearly exhausted of troops. In fact, when the party implored the castellan for assistance in their quest to locate Saazixthumei he refused unless they agreed to help him first. Reports of monsters, invaders, forest spirits and the undead have caused a great deal of unrest in the region, but Commander Calundor claims that he does not have enough troops to counter these threats. The party chose to help a pair of scouts in their mission to rescue a group of human and elf commoners being held captive by a vicious band of gnolls believed to be in the service of “the Warboss.”

The journey to the gnoll camp took a day and a half and the mission was a success. There were nine prisoners held in plain sight in a sturdy wooden cage located centrally within the camp. The camp itself was protected by a wide stream of the Eredral river to the north, a natural cliff wall to the south and makeshift walls to the east and west. The party devised a strategy to rescue the captives and split up. Solgrin and Gylek assaulted the front gate slaying many gnolls with axe and spell. Larkspur and Aegishand snuck into the camp, sprung the captives from the cages and ferried the commonfolk across river using a makeshift raft. Solgrin slew the gnoll chief and Aegishand personally rescued a captive too injured to move by his own power, carrying him to safety on his back.

The party returned to Vaelyngroth, Calundor was pleased and permitted the party access to the magic divining pool. Within the mystic waters the party scried Saazixthumei using a set of three scales recovered during their battle at the Four Winds tavern. Beholding the divination they saw before them a dark hill in the wood inhabited by hundreds of poisonous spiders of monstrous size. Under the dark boughs of the trees was the entrance to a rock tunnnel occupied by dozens of savage orcs. Deeper in still the party saw a bio-luminescent grove of tree-sized mushrooms and carpet-like fungus. Finally beyond this they saw a grand hall, perhaps of dwarf-make, filled with mountains of treasure and atop the highest pile of coin rest a great green dragon…

A Return to Tradekeep

The party departed Westwater after witnessing two men charged with grave robbing be executed by way of the “breaking wheel.” The journey back to Tradekeep took nigh on two weeks as the party marched out of Vyankal across the bridge at Deepfoot’s Crossing, through a pass in the Suncrest Peaks and down into Bravaul. Once back to the city the party stopped by the Grinning Goblin to speak with Erel about recent events who reports that the Baron’s men had captured and publicly executed Willem the Black to set an example for all other wouldbe thieves. The party set their sights on the Wane & Wright trade company, for it was the Wane & Wright co. that sponsored the Dragon Knight’s trade mission into Vyankal.

At the Wane & Wright headquarters the party spoke with Sir Kaymo, a head merchant, who revealed that his company was paid a high price to keep their silence and not ask any questions of the Dragon Knight’s business to the north. This only made the party more suspicious, so they looked into the whereabouts of this secretive client and discovered that he was staying at the Four Winds tavern. When the party arrived they entered the inn room of their target and read through a number of letters of correspondence, one of which was signed by Saazixthumei. The letters, maps and other evidence suggests that this mysterious (and apparently wealthy) man had been hiring adventurers and mercenaries to recover items of value from various dungeons, vaults and other secure locations throughout the area. These items are seemingly being used as sacrifice or some other ritual to “restore” this Saazixthumei.

During their investigation a trio of dark-clad characters returned to the inn room and immediately took to combat with the party. A powerful wizard, a cunnning rogue and a mighty barbarian engaged the party directly. Through clever use of spell and tactics the party took down their attackers and identified this mysterious wizard as simply “H” by the design of his signet ring. The party recovered some magical items and left the scene.

Sojourn in Vyankal

Of late the party has been traveling and staying within the grey and haunted lands of Vyankal. They came there after receiving a tip from a mysterious elf sage they rescued from a temple of Iess located in Tradekeep. The elf sage said that he could see that many of the members of the party bore the burden of death on their shoulders, that they were “surrounded in death.” He said that he gained this sight after visiting a haunted hill in the far east of Vyankal. After many other adventures the party made their way to this hill, did battle with a number of fierce guardian wolves and communed with the spirits of the dead.

Each member of the party had their own experience, often seeing friends and family that had long been dead. Some learned of past events, others forecast things to come. After the party had heard all that they would and were about to leave, a ghostly form appeared and cursed the party if they did not do as he commanded. The spirit bade them to destroy his tomb so that no living creature may enter it and defile it any longer (as he implied that it had been defiled). The party accepted this errand, as they had little other choice.

After a distance of walking and numerous battles, the party managed to collapse the tomb and rescue the “defiler” the spirit had mentioned. They returned to the city of Westwater and did battle with an arrogant human warrior named “The Dragon Knight.” After slaying the evil Dragon Knight the party reclaimed a stolen ward-stone which was said to keep the city of Westwater safe from the evil curse magic of Vyankal. Once the stone was returned to the temple, the party headed out of the city with a small band of merchants that had come to Westwater in the first place in the company of the Dragon Knight.

On their way back to Caelildran the party won a treasure map during a gambling match with some merchants. The map lead to one of Vyankal’s many tombs, so the party stopped to investigate. The tomb was located beside a recently-vacated village. The party explored its depths, defeated its guardian and claimed the treasure for themselves. When they surfaced from the tomb they were confronted by a bizarre scene of ghosts carrying our their daily activities from life. There was one woman who was still alive, though possessed by an evil spirit of Zethos. The party learned that the woman had lost her son, pleaded for help from the village folk. They refused to assist her in the search for the boy, she was taken by grief, and cried out to any who would listen. It was the god of death who lent his ear and gave her a dark gift. One by one she drowned the children of the village in the town well. The party performed an exorcism of the spirit of Zethos and when the woman awoke she remembered nothing. They took her back to Westwater and turned her over to the temple of Iess for a life of servitude to the church as penance for her sins.

The party then turned back to the road and made for Tradekeep to investigate the Wane & Wright Trade Company, for it was Wane & Wright co. that sponsored the mission for the Dragon Knight to come up to Vyankal in the first place.

Out of Time
The battle for Northwater and the fate of Dalun

After long and perilous pursuit the party, Aegishand, Solgrin, Larkspur, and Goltheiron, caught up with the vile Enchantress. It was her agents who defeated them back in Bravaul and it has been her cultists behind the strange weather anomalies and all of the suffering brought upon the innocent. Their journey has taken them to the embattled city of Northwater where a dark warrior and his demonic legions seek to create a blood sacrifice worthy enough to invoke the dark god, Dranoth.

The city was beset by many foes; monsters, soldiers and sorcerers ran through the streets doing combat with Berrund Rothgotsson’s men. Innocents and warriors alike were killed in the fighting. Some died where they stood while others burned alive taking shelter in their homes. The streets of Northwater were stained with blood and the fires of war raged across the city. Amidst the fighting the party made allies with Mammonfoodle, a gnome wizard, and Gylek, a dwarf cleric who would later become a friend and ally. The party navigated the burning streets and confronted the Enchantress on the fields of battle before the city. In a trying contest of sword and spell they were able to defeat her, reunite all the shards of the fractured time crystal and in that instant re-write Dalun’s history.

The party found themselves transported to a bizarre and featureless realm of infinite vastness that existed outside of reality itself. A divine being made of pure light appeared before the group speaking on behalf of the gods. It explained to them that they would have to choose between destroying the time crystal, which would allow time to continue to flow as is, thus the world would keep all of the good and all of the bad. Alternatively the party could bring the crystal back to Dalun, unleash its power, and decide which time continuum the world should assume. As it was also explained that the Enchantress’s master plan was to split time itself into numerous concurrent streams. In one time continuum Dalun is destroyed by Dranoth and his champion Sohtaj. The Enchantress sought to use the power of the crystal to make permanent that dark reality.

A lengthy debate began. Solgrin and Goltheiron felt the crystal should be used to right all of the wrongs that had taken place and to restore Dalun to a peaceful state where the cult of Dranoth did not exist. The fighter and the paladin made the argument that they have successfully used pieces of the time crystal previously on their quest to heal the land and reverse the devastation wrought by the Enchantress and her minions. Larkspur was convinced by this and came to agree with Solgrin and Goltheiron. Uncertain, Mammonfoodle, flipped a coin, attributing one side of the argument to heads and one to tails. As a result of the coin toss the gnome changed his mind and agreed with Solgrin, Goltheiron and Larkspur.

Aegishand and Gylek stood their ground and felt that an item as powerful as the time crystal should not be used by mortal men. They argued that it is too great a responsibility and the uncertainty of what will happen when the crystal is destroyed is more dangerous to consider than Dalun’s present fate. Gylek, in particular, voiced his opinion that while it is regrettable that so many have died defending Northwater it would not be worth risking everything in hopes for a better outcome.

The discussion lasted hours, perhaps days, it is difficult to say as time flowed differently within the extra-dimensional space between the mortal and immortal realms. However, in the end the party decided that the crystal should be returned to Dalun and its power used to change the past to bring Dalun a brighter future. The temporal magic of the crystal was unleashed, shattering the stone into thin air undoing all that the cult of Dranoth and the Enchantress had ever done. All of the destruction, suffering, and death was in that moment undone. Dalun was spared and a new course for its fate was set.

The ramifications of this choice may never fully be understood for only the members of the party have any knowledge or recollection of the events surrounding the time crystal. The world now behaves as though the crystal never was, but its memory endures in the minds of a handful of brave adventurers…

Righteous Vengeance

After Larkspur stole the planar gem that held A’eziel’belloc’s realm intact the party used its power to free the trapped souls and escape. They awoke near the burned-out ruins of the tower they were slain in all those days ago and made their way back to Tradekeep. They spoke with Erel at The Grinning Goblin who remarked that he just spoke with them moments ago, he explained to them that apparently they, themselves, were asking him how to get to the Temple of Iess here in town. Erel thought it odd that they would need directions because he thought everyone in the party was familiar with the city by now, but he told them how to reach the temple all the same. The party discussed these bizarre events and decided that their very own blood mimics must’ve been released form the Silt-Lord’s domain just as they were.

Upon arriving to the Temple of Iess the adventurers found a demonic creature and the blood mimics torturing some the priests of the temple. They did battle with the creatures, taking revenge on their blood mimics and banishing the demon. They rescued what priests they could who offered them what advice and treasure they had.

After a time the party would continue their quest to pursue the cult of Dranoth.

Death is not always the end...

After a tragic battle with a group of powerful cultists hiding out in a ruined fortress in the Green Country the adventuring party was slain. When they awoke they found themselves in a hellish landscape of fire and brimstone. They were escorted by demons into the forges of a greater demon who said to them upon their arrival:

“I am A’eziel’belloc, the Silt-Lord and master of this domain. You stand in one of the Thousand Realms of Dranoth, God of Vengeance. You have been brought here from many places across the eddies of time and it is here that you will remain for an eternity. For while there is one way to leave this place, you must ask yourselves what you are willing to sacrifice in order to return to your lands. For if you enter the Forge of Sorrows and barter with the Shaper of Men, he will reforge your destiny and set you on a new path, a path of vengeance that will take you far from here just as Dranoth once did a millennia ago. So do not despair, my servants, for there is always hope for your… salvation.”

It was here that the adventurers were made to toil in a wicked afterlife, but it was also here that the adventuring party would make a powerful ally who would ultimately help them escape. After many hours or days, perhaps, of working in the Silt-Lord’s demon forges the adventurers made a deal with a mysterious alchemist. This man, maybe even a lesser demon, offered to create “blood mimics” out of the party. These mimics would take the place of the adventurers in the forges and work in their stead. This would give the adventurers time to steal away from their miserable work and explore the hellish landscape.

The tunnels underneath the demon forges were populated with wayward dead, wandering demons and even a city of lost souls. Eventually the party made allies with a paladin named Goltheiron who would later help them escape by acquiring weapons and a planar stone responsible for binding the power of the Silt-Lord’s domain to the demon.

Battle in Bravaul
Siege of the Goblin Fort

The adventuring party had been doing some work in and around Tradekeep, some of which was for Baron Vaustburn and some of it was for themselves. After a time the group set their sights to the Green Country to address the growing issue of banditry. Solgrin Drothspell enlisted a force of Shield Bearers of the Dragon mercenaries combined with a group of Bravaullian Scouts recruited by Aegishand and Larkspur to assault a nearby goblin fortress. The adventuring party and their allies attacked the fortress during the daylight using siege weapons built in the field. The combined force proved a greater match than the goblins could handle and the adventuring party destroyed the fortress and rescued numerous prisoners in the lower dungeons. The party won a good deal of recognition and a handsome pile of loot.

A New Adventure

Four strangers all connected to a retired adventurer arrive to the Grinning Goblin, a small tavern in the city of Tradekeep. Larkspur, a halfling archer travels from Rokourd to meet an old friend to discuss a vile curse that has been laid upon him numbering his days. Aegishand, a dwarf thief, has departed his home in Eltgaard to keep secret a magic gemstone he stole from a powerful warlord in the region. A dark swordsman with an even darker past, Solgrin, has come from Burndordraath to plot his next move: hide from his foes or confront them with bloody vengeance? Mogroth, a half-orc traveler, has been all across Dalun and recently has been made to deal with the grief of loosing his betrothed. She had been captured by evil men, now likely slain, he wishes to find her, confirm her fate and claim the gift she intended to give him – a gold-threaded belt.

The men were to meet with their mutual friend, Erel, once an infamous thief with a long and profitable career and now a retired adventurer and barkeep. However, their meeting quickly turned from discussing plans for the future to fighting for their lives!

Heroes and Exiles

The Party: (Donnus, Valus, Koradus, and Aldrick) arrived in Northwater on June, 29th of the current year.

The refugees were safely escorted into the city where they dispersed. The group began to make their way toward Northkeep to meet with the the Earl.

As the party walked through the city Donnus’ amulet began to buzz and six portals of demonic origin appeared. Six chitinous demons leaped out of the portals. The party fought valiantly to protect the innocents around them, but some were eviscerated before the group could save them or distract the demons. The party managed to destroy one of the unnatural beasts before the other disappeared in a red magic mist.

The party, broken and bleeding, is taken into custody by the city guard and escorted to Northkeep. The party is led before Earl Barrond and the court where they are accused of summoning the demons. The Earl pardoned them, and recognized them as valiant heroes for their efforts in freeing the refugees and battling the demons.

However, in the same breath he explains that villains or not they represent a danger to the town of Northwater because they somehow attracted these demons. The Earl declares that they must leave the city, but that they will be granted an audience with the Earl’s advisor, Dauthir, to attempt to make their case before they leave the city.

After they are removed from the Earl’s court they are escorted, ostensibly, to Dauthir. However, their guards deny them audience with Dauthir.
They attempt to bind the party for the trip out of the city. Most of the party acquiesces, ready to leave the damned city, but Aldrick resists.

The guards bludgeon Aldrick senseless, nearly killing him in the street before they allow the group to carry him out. For a silver piece the party had their belonging returned by a vagrant boy.

A lone rider approaches them as they leave the town. The rider wears only a simple brown cloak, but he reveals himself to be the Earl’s adviser, Dauthir. He says that he wishes to speak to them, despite their banishment at the Earl’s order, for the good of all of Northwater.

Fearing that the party’s enemies may be around he ushers them into a nearby tavern and they gather in an isolated booth.

Dauthir explained that the party had been marked. He believed that our battles with the devils caused us to “stink of the hells”. this caused us to be targeted and seen by demons, and become accidentally involved in the cosmic battle between the forces of evil. He stated that this taint must be cleansed.

Donnus revealed his unorthodox faith (which can be viewed here)

To remove the “stink of the hells” we must return an item of power to it’s place of origin and destroy it there. The Amulet of the Centaur Chief was put forth as an item of power which could have the effect of removing the taint from us.

Centaur Battle

The group was joined by Valus Thayne.

The group, with the help of some nomads and a few armed refugees, engaged in in a large battle with a centaur war-band.

Highlights:of the battle:
Eldhiron broke the initial spearhead with a wall of nausea and then caused widespread confusion and disruption by calling down a storm of blinding dust.
Donnus carved his way through numerous enemies as he fought his way to the heart of the battle.
The centaur chieftain-shaman appeared at the forefront and was met in combat by Koradis. With help from Valus and a nomad the chieftain was slain, causing the centaur warband to break and flee as the situation turned from an all-out battle into a rout,

Following the battle, Koradis heroically rode through the night seeking aid in the form of food, water, and medical supplies from the nearby castle of the nearby lord. The rest of the group stayed and kept watch over the vulnerable refugees. The following day Koradis returned with a wagon full of supplies for which he was forced to trade his beautiful Bregohar steed.

The group decided that they would make the journey to Northwater with the refugees and ensure their safety along the precarious road.


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