I went to Gold court square with my master, adept Fohrbosle. My brother Buzz was also there with his master as were my friends Qssim and Jeddergail with their masters. Our masters were all competing in a competition of their skills. As we watched we noticed 3 humans who appeared to be acting in a suspicious manner. They headed into the deeps and we followed them to a room above Khar-Rhuz where they joined several others who were trying to cut the ropes holding the main light crystal. We attacked and killed three, capturing the other two. They confessed to being members of a cult who worshipped the horror outside the gate to the kaer. They believed if they worshipped the horror it would give them power.
We were in Okorus when we heard a scream. We investigated and found a questor to the passion Murbruge called Logan had been killed. Jedder cast a spell which allowed her to experience his death. He had been beaten to death by someone called Angius at the order of a black robed figure who said he had interfered for the last time and had been warned of the consequences. On the floor the Word Upanda had been written in blood. It trailed off at the end as though it was unfinished. There was also a human skull covered in a red mud on the floor, and a broken sword hilt had been driven into his back. A silk worm cocoon and white mulberry leaves had been pushed in his mouth. We realised he had probably been trying to write Upandal, the passion of Construction, a statue of whom was in Gold court square. We called the watch to inform them of the murder. They knew of Angius the mad, he lived in the death pits.
We went to the death pits to find Angius. Jedder said she knew the way but then got us lost in the deeps. I had to follow our tracks to get us back to the entrance to the deeps. She managed to find the way to the death pits on the second attempt. There was a deep wed mud in the death pits much like the mud on the skull. We searched for Angius and found his hut. When we tried to question him he attacked us and we had to beat him unconscious and take him to the watch. We then went to Khar-Rhuz to inspect the statue of Upandal. I found a journal hidden at the base which had belonged to Logan. From it we learned the black robed figure was called Silverbrow and belonged to ‘The gate cult’. Logan had hired a dwarf called Pelneris to follow Silverbrow. He discovered the cult had a lair in the deeps hidden behind an illusionary rock face, and had also followed Sliverbrow to the temple of Greed where he had disappeared. Silverbrow had connections with the merchants and worshipped the passion Raggok, an evil and twisted passion. We went to the dwarf bar in Khar-Rhuz to find Pelneris. The dwarves there were rude, threatened us with violence and told us to leave. We decided to stay in a nearby inn overnight and look for Pelneris at the mine entrance in the morning.
In the morning we went to the mine entrance and asked after Pelneris. He was pointed out to us and we got him to draw us a map to the cults lair. We followed it and found where the entrance was supposed to be. I tried walking into the rock face and found I was able to walk straight through it. The others followed me. Beyond was a brown robed figure which Jedder identified as some form of undead. It moved slowly until we injured it, at which point it went berserk. We succeeded in killing it. We continued into the lair and were ambushed by 2 figures who we killed, though Qssim was wounded. We searched the lair and found a blood charm and potion in a chest. Otherwise it was quite empty.
We decided to investigate the temple of greed next. Qssim stayed behind because of his injuries. I found seven sets of tracks leading into the temple, though six were very old. We followed the tracks and they lead to a stone plinth. I examined it and found a secret trigger which when turned ccw-ccw-cw caused the plinth to slowly descend. Stairs led down, and at the bottom was a tunnel with rails for a mining cart. We followed the tracks until they turned down a side tunnel. Jedder fell down a pit trap and was impaled on spikes in the bottom. We had to leave the temple so she could get her wounds tended. As we left a figure appeared through a door in a cave further down the tunnel and fired an arrow at us. Buzz kept watch on the temple after we left. After a couple of hours Sliverbrow came out. Buzz followed him to the council chamber where he met with Glyndella, one of the weapons merchants.
As we went through Sleepers square in the morning we found blue crystals had started growing from the plinth of the Obsidimen. We estimated it would only be 2 or 3 days before the whole plinth was covered. We continued to the council chamber to speak with Glyndella. Buzz spoke with her while we kept watch. He claimed he had been sent by Sliverbrow. She invited him to go back to her house, and we followed discretely. As soon as Buzz entered her house she attacked him. Buzz flew up her chimney though could not escape as there was the normal grid placed at the top to stop windling thieves entering the house. She had lit a fire before we arrived to assist Buzz. When we joined the fight Buzz was able to escape the chimney. We were able to subdue her. When we interrogated her we discovered she had a tattoo of a gate with a leering face on her ham. She said her master was powerful and she had been supplying Silverbrow weapons. We left her in the care of the watch after pointing out she was a member of the gate cult.
We were in sleeper square when we were approached by a dwarf called Dolas. She was a member of the city watch and said councilman Joran had assigned her to help us with our investigations into the gate cult. While we were talking to her we heard screaming from lake Vross. We ran to investigate and saw a vortex forming in the centre of the lake from which rose a huge figure. Buzz thought it was a water spirit which would have been in the lake to keep the water pure. Buzz spoke to it. It said ‘the crystals’ were causing it great pain and he had to attack the boats. Buzz commanded it to move to lake Sumven in Shal’ Minar. It obeyed and said it was not in pain there. We then went back to the temple of greed. When we got to the cave with the door we were ambushed by four cultists. After a short fight we killed them all, but had to retreat back out of the temple because Dolas had been seriously injured and knocked unconscious. We found our masters had returned while we were in the temple. They had an important announcement. They said they were going to leave the kaer within the week and go to fight the horror outside.
We rested for a few days while Qssim and Dolas recovered from their injuries. While they rested, the rest of us spoke with T’schrrt Zru’ul, a T’skrang wizard who had gone to investigate the source of the blue crystals. He said they had swam down to the confluence (a place deep below lake Vross) and then followed a passage to a cave covered in the crystals. There he found a crystalline spider which he and his companions fought and killed. He said he believed the threat from the crystals had been removed. I went to check on the sleepers. The plinth was covered in the crystals, and the sleepers skin had a slightly blue sheen. I went back the following day and the crystals were still spreading, possibly a little faster. We informed T’schrrt who said he would investigate further.
In the morning we went to a leaving ceremony for our masters as they were about to go and confront the horror outside. After the ceremony we went back to the Temple of Greed for another attempt at the cult lair. We encountered no resistance getting to the cave where we previously fought the cultists. There were two doors. Qssim examined them and declared them to both be trapped. He investigated further and identified where darts would fire out of the walls when a door was opened. There was an old weapons rack in the cave and I suggested he use it to cover the dart holes before the door was opened. The doors were locked but Qssim was able to pick one of the locks. Beyond the door was a large cavern with two raised platforms, and beds for the cultists. At the far end was an altar to Raggok. Silverbrow and four other humans were inside, and there were 2 creatures flying about which Jedder identified as Krill worms. We attacked the cultists. During the fight Dolas was hit in the forehead by an arrow, killing her instantly. Buzz avenged her when he incinerated her killer with one of his spells. When the fight was over Sliverbrow was unconscious and the other cultists were dead. Jedder was able to command the Krill worms. Apparently they have some natural affinity with nethermancers. We searched the cavern. In a chest we found four potions labelled ‘booster’, a cloak I identified as being made of Espagra hide, ten sticks of firefly chalk which could be used to make illuminated marks, five light crystals, a ceramic pot, ten heat stones in a bag and a box containing 300sp. Jedder took Silverbrows grimore. There was a tunnel leading out of the cave. As we explored it we heard the sound of running water and the floor started to become wet and slippery. Buzz had decided he would walk rather than fly but slipped and slid down the tunnel. Luckily he was able to stop himself sliding because the tunnel ended at a fast flowing river. There was a boat tied up, and we assume this was the escape route for the cultists. We took Silverbrow and the body of Dolas to the watch and spoke to councilman Joran Hardhelm. He promised to find us a replacement for Dolas and help to swim down to the confluence to investigate the blue crystals.
Joran arranged for the T’skrang warriors (Kriklas, Pal’Shamar and Shisha’Kas) who had accompanied T’schrrt in his expedition to the source of the blue crystals to accompany us when we went to find out why the problem had not been resolved. There was no sign of T’schrrt making any plans to go back and investigate himself. Joran gave us some potions which would allow us to breathe underwater. The T’skrang aided us in swimming down to the confluence. Qssim did not come with us as he was feeling unwell. We emerged in a tunnel studded with blue crystals. We followed it for about an hour, and as we went the number of crystals increased until finally we came to a cavern which was covered in the crystals. As we entered the cavern we heard a voice say ‘You did well lizard skins, these flesh sacks will serve the master well’. A spider that looked to be made of crystal then descended from the ceiling and the eyes of the T’skrang glowed blue as they drew their weapons and turned to attack us. Clearly they had not killed the spider on the first expedition, rather it had been able to control them. We retreated back into the tunnel for cover as Buzz cast a spell to make the floor slippery, slowing their pursuit. We killed Shisha’Kas but Buzz was hit by crystals from the spider and collapsed. Jedder dragged him down a side tunnel and poured a potion down his throat to revive him. We then continued to retreat down the side tunnel. After about an hour we came across a group of 8 dwarves mining. One, called Barvin lead us back to the Kaer. We went to the council hall to report what had happened to Joran. He sent some of the watch to find and apprehend T’schrrt who was likely to also have been under the influence of the spider.
Joran assigned 3 dwarves (Hofur, Sunar and Vignor) to aid us when we went back to kill the spider and T’skrang. Barvin lead us back to the crystal cavern and we attacked the spider. The fight did not go well. The dwarves proved to be far less capable than we expected and were quickly defeated, with Hofur being decapitated. With the dwarves down the spider attacked me and knocked be unconscious with one blow. Luckily Buzz was able to hit the T’skrang with a spell which stopped them spitting some blue liquid on me. Jedder grabbed me and again we retreated. I regained conscious when he gave me a booster potion. Barvin was affected badly and it took some time for him to calm down enough to be able to lead us back to the Kaer. We reported what had happened to Joran, who then sent Leldrin and 12 dwarves to go and defeat the spider. When Leldrin returned he reported the spider and T’skrang were dead, but one of the dwarves had been killed. Beyond the spider Leldrin had found a portal into astral space. He went through and captured a minor horror known as a crystal entity. The spider had been a construct made by the horror. He recovered a 400 year old journal which described what had occurred. The journal was written by Ghandoz, chief architect of Kaer Ardanyan. It told how he had found and kept a blue crystal which had fallen from the sky. The crystal had been the crystal horror which slowly corrupted him over a number of years. After the collapse of the temple of Rashomon (now known as the temple of greed) Ghandoz retreated to the farthest depths of the deeps while the horror slowly fed on his misery and paranoia. Leldrin had also found some objects which he gave to us as he thought we would gain some benefit from them. I received a bow, Buzz received a small pouch which was cold to the touch, and Jedder received a small statue.
We rested for a week. I did some research and discovered the bow I had been given was called Thornsting. Our masters had not returned and were now 3 days overdue. Joran asked us to leave the kaer to find them. My brother Buzz would not be coming with us as he was needed in the kaer to help with the elementals that were disturbed by the crystals, but Joran introduced us to Sudrabar Deadbolt, an Orc warrior who would accompany us. We were given a 400 year old map which the librarian asked me to update, a weeks worth of rations each, camping and hunting gear. We were taken to freedoms gate and let out of the caisson one by one. Beyond the caisson was a short tunnel which emerged into the outside. I have never seen a space so large. There were far more trees than I had ever seen before. Many of the birds and animals I recognised only from books I had read. I searched for the tracks left by our masters. I found their booted tracks, and also tracks of a 3 toed, 4 legged creature which I estimated to have been about 7ft tall. I also found tracks made by 3 waggons and four 4 legged creatures. The booted footprints stopped and there were some drag marks leading to the wagon tracks. There was blood, as well as burnt remains of arrows and some armour. There was also some strange green liquid. Clearly there were other people outside and our masters first encounter with them had not gone so well. We followed the tracks south for about an hour before we came across an overturned wagon. A dwarf called Egin was trying to right it. He said the scourge had been mostly over for 40 years and most of the horrors had gone. He had been heading north to Bartertown when his wagon overturned. To the south was Servos, though that was a bad place full of bandits and there were rumours that slavers operated from a place called Servalen with slaves being sold in Vivane or the Triumph skyship. He offered to give us an up to date map if we helped him right his wagon. Jedder and Sudrabar tried and failed. Sudrabar accused Jedder of getting in his way, then with a loud grunt righted the waggon on his own. There were some large creatures nearby that Egin said were called Brithan. Jetter decided she would try to tame one for a mount. When she approached it, she was attacked. Sudrabar stepped in and killed it, and Jedder used a spell on the other which seemed to tame it. Egin offered to pay us 100sp per day if we escorted him to Bartertown. He said it was a good place to go to get bore information and to buy supplies so we agreed. We camped for the night as it was getting late. Sudrabar took first watch. We were attacked by three giant birds which were able to breathe an orange gas which paralysed Sudrabar, though he was able to shake off the effects and raise the alarm. After we defeated the birds Sudrabar resumed his watch, though he did not wake anyone else to take their shift until morning. Jedder accused him of getting drunk and falling asleep.
We spent an uneventful day travelling towards Bartertown. In the evening we came to a village called Tardin and were met by their eldersman Malarin. He asked us to perform some crafts to prove we were not tainted by a horror before we entered his village. He said the village had been formed when the inhabitants of the local kaer had emerged. He told us that the local nethermancer called Stratham was missing. He was last seen going back to the kaer to perform some rituals. He also said there had been several deaths in the village recently and other villagers who had entered the kaer had returned mad. He believed there was a horror in the kaer and asked for our help. When we agreed to help he gave us a map of the kaer and a description of Stratham.
Jedder had a panic attack in the morning at the thought of going to face a real horror so we had to leave her behind in the village. I followed Strathams tracks into the kaer. There were a number of traps in the tunnel leading into the kaer, all long since triggered. We followed the tracks into a cave that had been divided into separate living quarters. Nothing of value had been left behind. The tracks lead on through the market. There were several sets of tracks going back and forwards. I chose to follow the tracks that lead towards where we were told Stratham used to live. The tracks led to a wall. A quick search by Qssim revealed a recessed stone button which when pressed, raised a secret door. It looked like it could fall down again at any moment so we jammed it in place with a broken chair leg. Ossim found a trap just beyond the door which he disarmed by poking it with another broken chair leg. We followed the tunnel to a triangular shaped cave with a meditation areas marked on the floor, a brazier in each corner and a bookshelf. Two decaying corpses (a human and an elf) rose up and attacked us as we entered the cave. Like the undead we previously encountered, they went berserk when injured, though we were able to defeat them quickly enough. I found a journal on the bookshelf. It described how Stratham had summoned and imprisoned a horror more than 40 years ago and that he had murdered some of the villagers while under the control of the horror. He needed Rishanns bane, a dagger from the hero Farliss to defeat the horror which he expected to break free from the imprisonment spell imminently. The journal finished abruptly. There was a doorway leading out into another tunnel which went to another cave in which was a bookcase and a desk. There were another two corpses on the floor, but these did not rise to attack us as we entered. We found Strathams grimore on the bookcase and kept it in case it was of use to Jedder. There was a corridor on the far side of the room which lead to a door. When we approached it glowing runes appeared and we got a feeling of danger. We decided to follow the other sets of tracks in the marketplace to see where else Stratham had gone. They lead to a robed corpse lying in the centre of the marketplace holding a scroll tube. The robe was embroidered with silver and gold designs. We appeared to have discovered the fate of Stratham. When we turned him over we found he died with a look of pain and terror on his face but there were no wounds on his body. Underneath his corpse was a dagger with an ebony handle, runes on its blade and a deep blue stone in its pommel which started glowing. The scroll case held a map which was similar to the one we received from Malarin but also showing the hidden rooms we had found.
I continued to follow the tracks as it looked like Stratham was returning from somewhere. They lead to a small room built of stone. There was an inscription carved above the open door which read ‘Here lies Farliss the great’. Inside was a coffin which had been opened. It looked like Stratham had taken to desecrating tombs as well. As we now had the dagger which Stratham believed would defeat the horror, we went back to the door with the runes which we believed was where the horror was imprisoned. The door was locked, and when Qssim picked the lock he set off a trap which caused the floor in front of the door to heat up and turn to glass. Luckily Qssim jumped back just in time. Beyond the door was a chamber. In it was a creature with a four legged lizard like body and a human torso. It carried a long spear. It said it was the horror R’ishann and that we had freed it. Sudrabar hit it with the dagger. There was a blue glow from the wound. I was able to wound it with my bow, but it seemed more susceptible to wounds caused by the dagger. Qssim kept feeding Sudrabar potions to heal the wounds he was receiving from the horror. Finally when we killed it there was a flash of blue light and it disappeared leaving only the spear cooling on the floor. We then went back to the village to tell them what had happened and to inform them we had defeated the horror. The villagers gave Sudrabar and Qssim horses in payment.
As we continued on our way to Bartertown a saw a 30ft long blue flying creature which went into a dive to the ground. When we went to investigate we were confronted by the creature which we were surprised to find could talk. It said it was called Parazaine the blue and that it was a dragon. It told us some orc mercenaries lead by humans had stolen a book from him and taken it into a cave which was too small for him to enter. He asked us to return the book to him in exchange for some diamonds. He warned us not to open the book. He said he had seen our masters fight the horror to a stalemate and it had crawled off to lick its wounds. Our masters had been captured by slavers. We negotiated that he would take us to near where our masters were being held if we recovered his book. Qssim had been suffering from a flare up of athletes tail so decided to stay with Egin while we investigated the cave. We attacked and killed the orcs that were guarding the entrance. There was a series of caves going into the cliff connected by a series of tunnels. We continued into the caves and killed another four orcs. On one we found a piece of parchment addressed to someone called Brog. It read ‘As agreed payment will be made at completion of the task. Bring some men. Don’t let them nose around.’ And was signed Vallan. We continued further into the cave system and encountered two humans. One was dressed in plate mail and was holding a great sword. The other was wearing travelling clothes and a cloak. We killed them and recovered a grimore from the guy with the cloak. We continued and encountered two more humans, a male and a female. We recovered two more grimores from their bodies. Jedder kept one of them. The man was wearing highly polished chainmail. When I looked at it with astral sight I could see threads running through it. I stopped looking in the astral plane quickly though as I saw something slithering there. There was a coffer in the cave, and we found a key on one of the bodies. Sudrabar picked up the coffer and set off a trap. A dart fired at him but bounced off his armour so he put it back down. We continued deeper into the cave system and came to a room which was completely dark. It must have been a magical darkness as our lights did not penetrate it. From within came a voice. It said its name was Morbius and that he belonged to the cult of the great hunter. He said the cult was dedicated to killing evil dragons and that Parazaine was trying to corrupt embryonic eggs. He guessed we had come for the book and said it had been written by a powerful horror called Verjigorm. They had stolen it from Parazaine as it contained the spell he was using to perform the corruption. Morbius came out of the shadows when we demanded he reveal himself. He appeared to be a creature made of shadow. He said we should kill the dragon and that if we did we could keep its hoard. We tried to attack Morbius and were unable to hit him. Luckily he found it amusing and when we stopped attacking he said he would help us if we attacked the dragon. As it looked like we had little choice we agreed. Morbius then produced two healing potions which he gave to us. He seemed not to be bothered about the people we had killed. We rested in the caves until Sudrabar was healed of his wounds. Morbius told us he was a slip shade and came from an elemental realm called the shadow realm.
The dragons lair was about five miles from the cave. We travelled there in the evening as Morbius said he disliked travelling in daylight. The lair was at the top of a cliff face. I flew up while the others climbed. Morbius lead us through the lair. The dragon was slumbering. As we crept towards it, Sudrabar trod on a bone and woke the dragon. He said we had recovered the book, then when he got close enough to the dragon he attacked it. The dragon breathed electricity on Sudrabar and Jedder twice. We all scored wounds on the dragon, though Morbius’s blows were far more telling than any of ours. Jedder scored the mortal blow to the dragon, but not before Sudrabar was lying bloody and unconscious on the floor. We poured a healing potion down his neck and gathered as much of the hoard as we could carry before fleeing the lair. Morbius told us we could contact him through an elf called Norarethal who ran a silk shop on Royal road in Bartertown. He was also a member of the cult of the great hunter.
Nothing further of interest happened on the way to Bartertown. When we arrived Egin paid us each 500 silver coins for our escort services and told us he had a house in Cloak Lane. We were told mounts were not allowed in Bartertown and had to be stabled outside. Qssim paid the 10 silver/day fee. Sudrabar objected to the charge and sold his horse to the stable master instead. Jedder was told her Brithan would cost 20 silver / day, so she just let it wander loose outside. We went to an inn called the Juggling Shadowmant to find lodgings. The barkeep was a troll called Brainbiter. I took a room with Sudrabar, the others took individual rooms. They cost us 1 silver each per night. Brainbiter asked us what our groups name was and whether we had taken an oath. Apparently there are many famous adventuring groups and Brainbiter thought we could not become famous without a name. In the evening we ate in the inn. Sudrabar spent the evening with two other orcs, got drunk and made quite a commotion before passing out.
We spent the day in Bartertown. First we went to see a dwarf called Zognar who traded in armour in Sword Lane. He bought several sets of armour we had acquired in the orc caves. We then went to a jewellers to sell the gems and jewellery we found. From there we saw Hiermon, a wizard who lived in Candle Lane. We sold him two grimores we had and hired his services to investigate the item history one of the thread items we had. It would take him a week per item, so we found several other individuals in Bartertown who could find the history of several other thread items we had. We also visited an alchemist called T’asta that Qssim wanted to see, and I found someone who could train me a Zoak to ride in a week.
We went to a noticeboard that the locals used to post adverts for the services of adventurers. There was a notice from someone called Darron who was looking to hire a group, so we went to find him. He traded in a range of items and regularly sourced unusual shells and inks from a village called Lang on the bank of the Coil river. He had sent couriers to the village and they had not returned. He grew up in Lang and had friends and relatives in the village whom he was concerned for. He wanted us to look into the fate of the couriers and recover the strongbox they were carrying. It contained 500 silver coins. He would pay us 300 silver each and would arrange passage on a boat called Cassara captained by Seandra of house Vistraman.
We set off in the morning. Our plan was to stop by Kaer Ardanyan to let them know it was safe to emerge, then continue on to the river to catch the boat. The sky was very dark and there was water falling from it. I remember reading that water that it was called rain. I hate this rain stuff. It was cold and made me wet. Qssim seemed to like it. The day was uneventful and I started looking for somewhere to camp for the night. There was some trees that would give us shelter, but I also found a cave which would keep me much drier. Inside the cave there were three passages leading further in. I found the tracks of at least a dozen dwarf sized creatures that were only an hour old. We explored one of the tunnels and found it split into many more. We heard chanting from deeper in. The voices seemed to be chanting ‘Gob’. I had heard of creatures called Bog gobs. They were wicked yellow eyed creatures. We decided the cave might not be such a good idea and went to camp under the trees instead. It stopped raining during the night.
It started raining again in the morning. Did I mention how much I hate rain? It is cold and I hate getting wet, it is harder work to fly when my wings are wet. We had travelled a short distance when we saw smoke rising from a large bowl in the ground. Sudrabar and Qssim attempted to gallop towards the smoke and both fell off. As I was on Sudrabars shoulder at the time I had to take to flight to avoid landing in the mud. Sudrabar, being an orc, cannot fly, so he landed in it face first. When they had recovered their horses we continued to the edge of the bowl. From there we could see a slave caravan that had been attacked. There were three wagons. Two had large cages, the third was fortified. All had been destroyed. The fortified one had been torn in half. There were bodies lying everywhere. There were tracks everywhere, including one I recognised as the horror that had been outside our Kaer. The tracks were heading off in the direction of our Kaer. Qssim found a badly burnt satchel containing burnt papers. Jedder sensed an elemental earth spirit called Grom. It said the area was tainted by a horror and that it was approaching again. We fled south and decided it was clearly not safe for our Kaer to emerge yet. We found the village where we had to catch the boat. It was already docked at the jetty. We found T’Sella the dock master. He said the boat ran once per day. To get to Lang the boat would stop and we would have to take a rowboat up a tributary then walk for about an hour to get to the village. We would need to meet the boat at the same place and time the following day. If we missed it we would have to wait another day for it. The boats crew were T’Skrang. There were ropes hanging all over the boat which they used to swing on to get round the boat quickly. Sudrabar took a bet with one of the crew called T’Shar that he could swing out on the ropes 3 times in a row without falling in the river. Needless to say he ended up getting wet. Still, at least he has had a bath now. When getting a lift on his shoulder I had found the smell quite unpleasant sometimes, especially when he waved his arms about. When the boat dropped us off Sudrabar and Jedder took the task of rowing us to the village with Qssim giving helpful advice. It took us several minutes to get moving. Apparently the water spirits would not pull the boat along when they put the oars in the water. Sudrabar and Jedder had to move then about in and out of the water before the boat started moving. From my vantage point sitting at the front of the rowboat it looked like quite hard work. On the way it stopped raining and the sun came out. I like it when the sun is shining. I don’t like rain. My wings get wet and I feel cold when it is raining. We got to the beach where we had to leave the rowboat. There was another rowboat there already. It had water in it, and looked like it had been there a while. There was a well worn path leading away from the beach. As we walked along the path we came across the body of an elf. There were 3 sets of dwarf and one of elf tracks. There was also 3 sets of tracks which had been left by four legged, three toed creatures, though smaller than the horror. When we looked round we found the dwarf bodies where they had been dragged into the undergrowth. They looked like they had been burned to death and their lower legs had been chewed off. We also found the locked coffer we had been asked to recover. Jedder cast a spell so she could experience their deaths and learn how they died. They had been attacked by three large lizards. The lizards eyes glowed blue and they had breathed balls of lightning which killed the elf and dwarves instantly. We continued down the path to find out the fate of the village. We came across 3 more bodies, and elf, a dwarf and a human. They wore poor clothes and no armour. While we were examining the bodies we were attacked by the three lightning lizards. It was a difficult fight as they were able to fire the bolts of lightning from long range but finally we killed them. Sudrabar lulled out their eyes as they looked like they could be valuable. On one of the villagers’ bodies we found a stone dagger which obsidimen used for rituals. We continued to Lang. I did some aerial reconnaissance and the village appeared deserted, though I did see the bodies of two obsidimen, 2 dwarves and three humans. There were plumes of smoke form some of the buildings, which looked like they had burned though the larger central building looked undamaged and there was a steady plume of lighter smoke coming from one wall. Jeddergail went into the village graveyard and cast a spell which caused four skeletons to rise from the earth and start following her around. I don’t understand why she would think it is a good idea to do that. Graveyards are where people are laid to rest when they die. They are not for passing trolls to stock up on minions. Sudrabar and Qssim went to investigate the central building. As they entered the building the dead dwarves and humans suddenly animated and moved to attack us. Sudrabar charged them and Jedder sent her new minions to attack them as well. They were difficult to destroy, already being dead. We finally destroyed them but two of Jedders skeletal minions were destroyed. The other two were badly damaged so she dispelled them and the bones sunk back into the ground. Hopefully she will have learned that the dead are best left to lie in peace. In the central building there were rows of benches and a set of stairs leading down to the cellar. There was a door at the bottom of the stairs that was locked or barred from the inside. Qssim knocked on the door and we heard a voice asking who we were. They were scared and would not open the door. Qssim tried singing to them to prove he was not horror tainted, but to be honest his singing was so bad that I wondered briefly if in fact he had somehow become tainted. I told them we had been sent by Darron and convinced them to open the door. They said they had been attacked by the brothers, a local clan of about a dozen Obsidimen. They did not know why they attacked but said they could not be reasoned with. We got directions to their life rock but decided to rest until the following morning before going to see what was up with the obsidimen.
We ate breakfast then went into the forest to look for the obsidimen. There were creatures in the treetops. I kept getting glimpses of something moving. Jedder did not have any skeletons to protect here today, and was not likely to find any in the forest so she would have to look after herself. Suddenly a 2ft tall monkey landed on Sudrabars shoulder and bit him. Five others also jumped from the trees and attacked us. We killed three of them, but Qssim was repeatedly bitten, with one ripping out his throat in a very fatal way. We killed another of the monkeys and the remaining two fled back into the trees. Jeddergail frantically thumbed through one of the grimores we previously found then cast a spell straight out of it. The spell restored life to Qssims dead body. The result was someone who talked and behaved like Qssim. I hope it really is Qssim and not some horror inhabiting his body. It certainly seemed that casting the spell had horror marked the grimore in some way and Jeddergail had to hurriedly burn it. After burning the grimore, Jedder cast another spell allowing her to speak to the spirit of the forest. It said a horror called Shan Trel had tainted a region of the forest on the bank of the river. It had tainted the stone men and creatures of the forest, encouraging them to attack everyone. We decided that we could not fight a horror in the astral plane, and would not be able to reason with horror tainted obsidimen so we would be better returning to the village. We persuaded the villagers to set up a new village further away from the obsidimen on the bank of the river where the passing boat would be able to stop and merchants could trade with the villagers. They asked us to help them start building their new village.
We spend 6 days helping the villagers. At least the others did. I was not going to be much use building huts so I did some hunting and fishing instead. We then spend another two days travelling back to Bartertown. When we arrived there had been a large noticeboard erected with a crowd gathered round it. The notice said the great library of Throal was offering to buy copies of adventurers journals. I picked up my bow and zoak before we went to the great library. Before I can put another thread into the bow I need to discover its real name. Throal was an hours walk from Bartertown. We had to go out of the great Throal gate and walk through some tunnels into the mountains. The library offered to pay me 840 silver coins for a copy of my journal.
I spent a week researching my bow. I found Jaarth was a pre scourge windling archer who used his bow to defend his clan based in the Thornspike jungle against Theran slavers from Parlainth. The bow was lost in Parlainth when one of the clan went to explore the lost city. It was not the name of the bow, but gave me some idea where to go to investigate further. Jedder spent the week researching some new spells and Sudrabar paid someone to research his armour while he went drinking, gambling and whoring. During the week we also visited Norarethal, the proprietor of the silk shop on Royal road Morbius said we should contact. We were lead into a back room where we met Morbius. We were told the tale that many years ago the warrior passion Thystonius visited Norarethal in a vision and told him to form an organisation to oppose the plans of evil dragons. The Throal empire is in league with a dragon called Icewing who lairs in the Throal mountains and if we joined the league we would gain enemies in Throal. Icewing has dragonkin servants. Dragonkin are smaller dragons who can change shape and appear as namegiver races. Icewing is also in league with a powerful elf nethermancer called Tyllan who formed the cult of Verjigorm, named after the horror who wrote Parazaines book. The cult of Verjigorm operated from a temple of Raggok about a day east of Servalen. We took a blood oath to scout the temple and report what we found. As we were in a silk merchants I also took the opportunity to buy a nice red silk shirt and trousers.
Sudrabar wanted to go to the temple via Vorst. He said he needed to explore the tomb of the orc king Runvir to learn the name of the previous owner of his armour. We met with the dwarf Egin who was travelling to Haven. We travelled with him to the river before he turned East and we caught a boat downriver. It was the Cassara, the same boat we previously took to Lang.
We travelled on the Cassara down river to lake Ban. There were towers several hundred feet high rising out of the lake. These were the visible parts of the town of house V’strimon, the T’skrang who live in the lake. We camped on the east shore of the lake overnight. While Jedder was on watch she saw a sky ship pass overhead.
We travelled along the Old Theran road towards Vorst. I flew ahead scouting and saw six namegivers riding draft horses down the road towards us. There were three humans, an obsidiman and their leader was an elf called Erithian. They called themselves The blood brothers and were from Haven. They had been adventuring in Parlainth and were going to Bartertown to trade what they had found. They told me Parlainth was full of horrors but also there was much treasure to be found. Horrors were not the only danger. There were creatures called falsemen which were Theran constructs that had been corrupted by horrors. They came in several forms - straw, wax, stone and steel. As they had been to Parlainth I asked about Jaarth. They had heard of him and said they had heard a rumour that a group of adventurers had found a bow in the smalls (an area of Parlainth). They said an orc called Oneeye in Haven might know more but warned I should be careful as he tries to fleece people sometimes. By this point the others had caught me up and joined the conversation. They told of their adventures in Parlainth. One of them, a human called Alvar had just been marked by a horror when another horror appeared, removed the mark, said thank you then provided to chase the first horror. Very strange behaviour I thought for horrors. Jedder took a look at three grimores they had found in Parlainth. Two contained nethermancer spells of 10th and 15th circle, but when Jedder looked at them in astral space the 15th circle grimore looked horror marked. When she did this Alvar started screaming then exploded in a shower of blood. As this happened the other members of the very aptly named blood brothers galloped off leaving their grimores behind. Jedder built a fire and we burnt the marked grimore and Alvars body, the skin of which had started creeping on its own. Qssim picked up Alvars sword and dagger, and looked spaced out for a few moments. The sword had other strange behaviour. We tried to bury it and the sword flew into Qssims hand. We finally got the sword and dagger buried, but Qssim suddenly doubled over with stomach pains. They passed quickly but it was all very suspicious and I started keeping a watch on him. Finally we arrived in Vorst. They demanded to see us perform crafting skills to prove we were not horror tainted. Jedder did some acceptable bone carving and Qssim sang exceptionally well and were let in, but I was tired from a hard day and did not carve so well, and Sudrabar made a mess of some body piercing so the villagers declared that was evidence of us being tainted and would not let us in. Qssims singing allayed my fears that he had somehow got horror tainted by the sword. I set up our tents with Sudrabar out of bowshot of the village then I went hunting and killed some small furry creature which we roasted for supper.
Jedder and Qssim came out in the morning. Jedder cast a spell which created a circle around all of us. She declared it proved we were not horror tainted as someone who was would suffer extreme pain. Qssim did not seem to suffer any discomfort either. The villagers took us to Runvirs tomb. There was a large cave with a door at the far end and a skeleton of a horse in the cave. The villagers would not enter the cave but Jedder had no problem in entering and animating the horse skeleton. No doubt she intends to animate the remains of Runvir himself as well. Qssim found and disarmed a trap in front of the door. We then proceeded through the door and down a short corridor which ended with a portcullis behind which was a circular platform, and a door to our right. There was a small room beyond the door containing cogs, gears, and a handle which Qssim pulled. That caused the portcullis to raise. We then stepped on the platform which started to descend. As Jedders skeletal horse did not fit on the platform she dismissed it. As we descended Sudrabars dagger glowed slightly brighter blue. When the platform stopped descending we went down a short corridor to a room with a door on each wall. The left door was ajar but stuck. Sudrabar forced it open. It was a gear room like the one above. The door to the right opened into a room with rotting furniture. A black fog started forming on the floor then rose into two humanoid forms. The attacked Sudrabar and Qssim, paralysing them. I killed one with an arrow to the head. Jedder drove the other back away from Qssim then I killed that one as well. The fog dissipated leaving the decomposing bodies of two namegivers. They wore symbols of the passion Murbruge round their necks. The last door lead to another large room which had two doors on each side and a large set of doors at the far end. There were three piles of bones on the floor. Unsurprisingly Jedder decided to disturb their rest and animated them. The four side rooms all contained a stone casket and the skeletal remains of a large horse. Behind the double doors at the end wa a stone wall. Qssim walked into it with a loud thud, proving it was not an illusion. Sudrabar hit the wall with his mace to little effect. Qssim then announced he knew what to do, and when he touched the wall it melted away. It seemed a bit peculiar, like he had suddenly learned to cast spells. There was another room beyond with a door on each wall and display cases along the walls. There was a rotting corpse leaning against one of the display cases and the door to the left had been broken open. Sudrabars dagger started flashing a repeating pattern of bright blue then a less bright blue like there were two horrors nearby. Beyond the broken door was a corridor with several collapsed side corridors. At the end was a circular room with stairs leading down. We decided to explore the rest of the current level before descending. Back in the room with display cabinets Qssim examined the door directly ahead of where we entered. It a magically locked but he used his abilities to unlock it. Inside the room were six skeletal figures crouched by the door and a stone slab in the centre of the room that rose to the ceiling. The slab had six alcoves each containing another skeleton. Above each alcove were inscriptions in orcish which Sudrabar said was the names of six servants of Runvir. Sudrabar concluded the armour he needed to find the owners name of had been Thom Hornbreaker because the only skeleton which was not wearing armour was in an alcove with that name. Sudrabar declared he would do great deeds in the name of Thom and a bright flash flew from the skeleton to Sudrabar. Most of the weapons and armour in the room had crumbled to dust, but there was a longbow which had belonged to Logar Jawbones which was still in good condition. Sudrabar said he would take the bow and use it to smite the enemies of orcs. Jedder wanted to leave the tomb because ‘we had got what we came for’. The rest of us wanted to explore further so Jedder got in a huff and left. The rest of us explored the last door leading from the display cabinet room. It lead to a room with a fountain in the centre. Qssim stepped into the water and a voice spoke ‘What do you wish to know?’ He said he wanted to know about his bracers and wa told ‘Seek out Ristular, beware of Ristul’ I stepped into the water and asked after my bow. I was told ‘The answer you seek is in a darkened alleyway of the smalls’. Not really much more use than what I previously learned from the namegivers we encountered yesterday I thought. Sudrabar asked whether we had the power to defeat the horror here and was told ‘One of you does’. Clearly a reference to his dagger which was so useful in defeating the previous horror we fought. We went down the stairs into a grand hall with a door at the far end. There were tapestries on the walls depicting the reign of Runvir. There were more display cases with some interesting items we decided to examine more closely on our way out. No point carrying anything heavy before we have to. Beyond the door in the far wall was the throne room. Hovering near the throne was a horror resembling a jellyfish hovering in the air. Qssin shouted ‘Die Scarvik’ and charged into the room. I have no idea how he knew the name of the horror, but he did not seem scared of it. I fired some arrows at it, and Sudrabar attacked it with his dagger. As we fought a beam of darkness dropped from the ceiling and formed into the shape of a namegiver with five arms. It said ‘Leave the horror to me, run!’ and attacked the jellyfish. The jellyfish said ‘Blugathon spare me’ and started backing off. Sudrabars dagger was glowing a brighter blue than we had ever seen before. Sudrabar stabbed the five armed figure, but the blow seemed to wound Sudrabar far more than it. Fighting a creature with the ability to reflect wounds onto its attacker was not ever going to end well, so Sudrabar hastily left. I followed him, and Qssim quickly followed us both. Behind us there was the sound of the roof collapsing Outside the tomb the sky above was dark. We saw a beam of darkness shoot into the sky heading north east towards Parlainth. Sudrabars dagger had stopped glowing. We spent the day with the Vorstains celebrating our ‘victory’.
In the morning we hiked back to Lake Ban and caught a ferry going to Servalen. The captain charged us extra to drop us off before Servalen. One of the humans on board got upset about the delay while we got off and started complaining. He said he was a slaver called Fengis Kul and when questioned further claimed to have our masters. Jedder cast a spell on him which immobilised him in pain. He had six companions, one of whom said the high value slaves were taken to Triumph. Meanwhile Sudrabar who hates slavers had been quietly building into a rage suddenly attacked and killed two of the slavers. Qssim grappled one and the other three jumped over the side of the ferry. In his rage Sudrabar stabbed Qssim while trying to kill the one he was holding. At least that is what he claimed afterwards when he calmed down. Sudrabar killed Fengis and the salver Qssim has holding, then we killed those in the water with arrows. The captain of the ferry was upset about us killing paying customers and told us never to get on his ferry again. We set off through the jungle towards the temple. We came across a camp fire with three tents and three dwarves. They said they were following orders from king Varalus III and we had to go back as we were not allowed in the area. We got them to draw a map of the area we could not enter and it looked like it was a circle round the temple. We promised not to enter the area, then circled round and doubled back to the temple. We could see a courtyard with two humans standing in front of a statue of Verjigorm. When we approached they ran off screaming ‘intruders’. We killed one but the other ran into the temple. Morbius appeared and told us the plan had changed and that we should kill everyone in the temple. Morbius turned back to shadow and seeped under the door, then the door opened. We went in and Morbius attacked archer who was waiting in ambush. Qssim opened another door and was attacked by a namegiver with huge claws. Jedder cast her pain spell on Qssims attacker, paralysing him. Sudrabar attacked another group of namegivers advancing down the corridor. We killed the archer and claw man but Sudrabar was being attacked by another ten individuals and matters just got worse when another figure emerged who Morbius identified as the dragonkin Rathan. Morbius attacked Rathan as he transformed into a 5ft long dragon with blood red scales while the rest of us fought the ten namegivers. Sudrabar was injured and fled into a side room seeking cover while he drank healing potions. The rest of us kept up the fight. Sudrabar came back to the fight but Qssim was hit in the head and killed. Jedder began preparing her last chance spell to try to bring him back. We finally killed the last of the namegivers and turned to help Morbius with Rathan. Unfortunately Morbius was killed by Rathan. Jedders spell brought Qssim back from death but Sudrabar was knocked unconscious by Rathan. As we would not be able to defeat a dragonkin by ourselves, Jedder and myself fled. Rathan did not follow, so after a while I crept back in to discover the fate of Sudrabar and Qssim. There was no sign of Rathan, and I found Sudrabar and Qssim lying where we left them. I used all my healing potions, and all the potions I found on them to try to bring them round. I was able to bring Qssim round but Sudrabar remained unconscious. We dragged Sudrabar out. Jedder pointed out that Sudrabar had an ability to increase his ability to withstand injury, but if he sustained injuries that would otherwise kill him, he would die when the ability ended. Though Sudrabars survival was still in question, we noticed the rents in his armour were slowly repairing. We crept back into the temple to try to find more healing potions for Sudrabar. Qssim found a box but when he opened it he set off a trap which rendered him unconscious. In the box we found a healing potion, a map and a booked titled ‘Tylanns backup spellbook’. We dragged Qssim back out of the temple and gave the healing potion to Sudrabar, finally bringing him round.
Qssim wrote a song about our fight.
Bravely bold Sudrabar Rode forth from Bartertown. He was not afraid to die, Oh brave Sudrabar. He was not at all afraid To be killed in nasty ways. Brave, brave, brave, brave Sudrabar. He was not in the least bit scared To be mashed into a pulp. Or to have his eyes gouged out, And his elbows broken. To have his kneecaps split And his body burned away, And his limbs all hacked and mangled Brave Sudrabar. His head smashed in And his heart cut out And his liver removed And his bowls unplugged And his nostrils raped And his bottom burnt off And his pen.... Brave Sudrabar ran away. Bravely ran away away. When danger reared its ugly head, He bravely turned his tail and fled. Yes, brave Sudrabar turned about And gallantly he chickened out He beat a very brave retreat. Bravest of the braaaave, Sudrabar!
We spent four days travelling back to Bartertown. We rode back to Lake Ban, took the boat North then rode the last stretch back to Bartertown. When we arrived we reported back to Norarethal. He was not happy to learn of the death of Morbius. We told him that we were going to Parlainth. He told us Haven was run by an ex adventurer called Torgak. Another of his adventuring group was a T’skrang called Vardeghul who now sells information in Haven. The smalls used to be a residential part of the city and was named because of the narrow passages there.
We stayed in Bartertown for a week while Qssim and Sudrabar paid for the item history of some of their weapons and armour to be investigated.
We rode South to the river then spent five days on a boat travelling to the end of the Onman river. Qssim lost all his money gambling and had to borrow some from Sudrabar. When he could not repay him, Sudrabar used Qssims body to practice his tattooing skills. When the boat finally dropped us off we rode North on the Old Theran road for the rest of the day before making camp.
We continued North, and saw smoke rising in the distance. I investigated and found it was coming from the remains of a village. There was about a dozen huts which had been destroyed. There was a coral with dead animals inside, and the palisade was on fire. There were dead namegivers everywhere. As I approached I heard a voice calling ‘help’ in Throalic. Sudrabar tried to jump the palisade, but his horse refused and threw him face first into the fire. The others just rode in through the open gate. There were three namegivers still alive, an Orc, a Windling and an Obsidiman. The Orc kept asking for healing and claimed they had been attacked by Orc mercenaries. The Obsidiman said a small red dragon had attacked. I was concerned one of them could be Rathan in a namegiver form so looked into astral space so see what was up. Instead of a dragon I saw three black swirling objects in the place of the namegivers and another figure in the sky with a writhing face of worms. The village did not appear at all other than a few decaying ruins. I recognised from my studies that the figure in the sky was a powerful minor horror called a wormskull. The other three were deceivers who were able to read and project mental images, and gained power by making people suffer and absorbing their emotions. When I stopped peering into astral space Sudrabar and Jedder were carrying the Obsidiman into one of the huts. I warned Qssim they were horrors, and when Sudrabar came out of the hut I warned him as well. Qssim attacked the windling while Sudrabar rushed back into the hut and attacked the Obsidiman. The horrors started casting spells at us, wounding us all. Sudrabar struck the obsidiman with his mace, but the blow was reflected and Sudrabar only succeeded in hurting himself. Seeing we could not hurt the horrors without injuring ourselves, we made a hasty retreat. Behind us the village shimmered then vanished. In the evening we made camp. As it got dark we could see another campfire in the distance. I went to investigate and found five namegivers round a campfire. They called themselves Ruinstalkers. They sold me a map of Haven and some healing and booster potions. I turned down an offer to buy a spider they said could heal. Qssim sang his song about Sudrabar, which went down well.
It took another 2 days to get to Haven. We booked a weeks board at Sergals common house. We tried Loaks legacy first, but it was not very nice, and we were told the Restless troll was expensive.
We spent 3 days resting and recovering from our wounds. As we prepared to explore Haven we heard shouts from outside. Haven was under attack from Parlainth. Minor horror constructs called gnashers who looked to be all mouth were jumping over the wall. Sudrabar ran forward and hit one with his mace. He then for no reason threw his mace away and started hitting them with his fist. They surrounded him and he went down in a shower of blood. Qssim shouted for help and two trolls came. They appeared much more competent than Sudrabar, and the gnashers were quickly dispatched. The trolls were called Selak and Hookhoof, and were members of Torgaks adventuring group. Jedder poured healing and booster potions down Sudrabars throat to bring him round. We went to Torgaks supply shop and were paid 1500sp for our help in defending the town. From there we went to Vardeghuls lore exchange and traded information about Jaarth for a map of the smalls. We were told Garlic One-eye could be found in the restless troll, so we went to the restless troll to speak with him. He said hideous looking windlings had attacked him in the smalls from an area of unnatural darkness. One had claimed to be Jaarth and spoke like they thought they were protecting Thornspike jungle. He claimed Torgak had stolen his wedding ring and he would lead us into the smalls if I got it back from Torgaks bedroom. Not being a thief I turned him down.
We spent a month waiting for Sudrabar to recover from his wounds. Qssim bought some recipes and tried making healing and booster potions. He managed some booster potions but the healing potions were beyond his skills. Just as we were getting ready to leave I got ill. The others decided to go and do something for Sudrabar while I recovered, and invited a dwarf called Thorbar to join our group. I have attached Jeddergails record of what they got up to.
Hello. My name is Jeddergayle. You will have read about me in Flit's journal. I'm the Troll Nethermancer who left the Kaer with Flit and T'Qssim. You might be wondering why I am suddenly appearing so prominently in Flit's journal. Well, let me tell you... We were just about to finally set out for Parlainth when Flit came down with a bad case of Windling Whooping Cough that left him bed ridden for a few days. Our original plan had been to head into The Smalls to try and find out more information about Flit's bow, which we now decided to postpone until he recovered. Shudrabar suggested that instead of going to The Smalls we go to The War Zone and try and find this Never Surrender person who was supposed to have information about his mace. We agreed this was a good idea, and Flit asked me to keep a small journal of our trip so that there would be no gaps in his story of our group. The first thing we decided was that we needed some help. Shudrabar had heard from someone he met in a bar somewhere that there was a Dwarven Weaponsmith called Thorbar who was getting fed up with working a forge all day and wanted to do some more adventuring. We went to meet him and he seemed very friendly so we asked him to come along with us. Shudrabar was extremely happy at the prospect of having someone on hand to look after his weapons and find out information about his Thread Items! Thorbar suggested that we visit a Troll called Pagmor who ran some kind of betting ring to do with The War Zone. It turns out that The War Zone is full of creatures called Falsemen who were constructs before Parlainth vanished. When the city reappeared the Horrors had made them insane and all they did now was constantly fight over the few prominent features left in The War Zone. Pagmor takes bets on how many of these features a particular group of Falsemen recover in a week. He explained to us that there were three groups: Guile, Smasher and Never Surrender. He went on to explain about their hierarchy and the different types of Falsemen, but I wasn't really paying attention. He was an oily creep who could barely keep his eyes off me. He tried to hit on me, but he wasn't a gentleman like Torgack who understands the meaning of "no" from a female Troll. Pagmor was only interested in one thing from me so I kept my distance from him once he'd made it obvious. He had an airship that he uses to fly over The War Zone to verify the outcome of the fighting for his betting purposes, and Thorbar did a fine job of negotiating a good price for Pagmor to fly us to The War Zone on the following day. He is almost a good as haggler as Flit. Obviously T'Qssim couldn't resist having a bet and he placed 100sp on Never Surrender. The boys then wanted to go and buy some oil. Shudrabar explained to me that there are four types of Falsemen: straw, wax, stone and steel. General Never Surrender, who we need to talk to, is a Stone Fleshman. They wanted some oil in order to get fire to Straw and Wax Falsemen. This meant a trip back to see Torgack who confirmed to me that Pagmor was an oily creep. Once he found out we were going to The War Zone he offered us 2000sp if we could find a shield called Strikeback. Thorbar and I both thought that if Torgack was offering 2000sp then shield must be worth considerably more. As Thorbar uses a shield himself I suggested that if we do find it then he should keep it and we can tell Torgack that we didn't have any success. As a Weaponsmith Thorbar had heard of Strikeback and knew what it looked like. We also hired Selak, one of the Troll Warriors who had saved Shudrabar's life on ramparts, from Torgack for our trip. The following morning we boarded Pagmor's airship. I have to say that it didn't look very safe and there seemed to be a lot of bits missing. Pagmor was obviously very fond of his airship and that was slightly reassuring. I was very excited, having never been on an airship, but I discovered that airships aren't like boats and as we took of all kinds of strange sensations assailed my stomach. I wasn't ill like T'Qssim, who was very, very ill, and I feel sorry for anyone who was underneath the airship as we passed over, but I did have to spend the entire flight sat down and not moving, so I missed seeing the ruins of Parlainth from the air. Thorbar assures me it was an extremely impressive sight. Ooh, I forgot to mention that before we set off T'Qssim told us that the previous night he'd met some humans who claimed to be followers of the person who made the braciers T'Qssim was wearing. They were journeying south to the coast to a place where there was supposed to be some information about Ristular and they wanted T'Qssim to go with them. He persuaded them to wait for him, and we agreed that once we had finished with Parlainth that we would travel south with humans. Pagmor flew us to General Never Surrender's command post which was in a ruined tower called The Citadel. He gave us thirty seconds to climb down the ladder, which with four of us and given the height, seemed a little mean, but he was worried about his airship as he claimed the Falsemen did have some ballista. We all made it down safely apart from Thorbar who was still climbing down when Pagmor declared the thirty seconds had passed and he started ascended. Thorbar jumped and I managed to catch him, although I forgot how heavy his impressive suit of armour was and it hurt quite a bit. Fortunately Thorbar wasn't too badly hurt - the last thing we wanted was one of our fighters injured before we'd even started! We approached some Falsemen who were outside The Citadel in the hope of asking to see General Never Surrender but quickly discovered that they only understood fighting. Our attempts to explain that we wanted to talk and not fight were simply not understood. Thorbar then said that we wanted to join up to fight, which was inspired, as they understood this and took as to see the General because he sees all new recruits. The General was capable of thinking a little bit more abstractly and when Shudrabar showed him his mace the General understood what we wanted. Of course he would only tell us if we fought for him, but after our previous interactions with Falsemen that didn't come as a surprise. It turns out that he was previous owner of Shudrabar's mace. With this information Shudrabar immediately made a Blood Promise in order to activate it's next Rank whereby he promised never to be parted from the mace. Given how frequently he throws it away in combat this could be an interesting Promise for him to keep. Thorbar then pointed out that the General's second-in-command, a fearsome looking Steel Falseman, carried a shield that matched the descriptions he'd read of Strikeback. He spoke to the Steel Falseman to discover that he was a Brigadier and confirmed that it was indeed Strikeback. He was then very persuasive and got the Brigadier to agree to fight at the front of coming battle with us. In all the confusion of the battle we were hoping we could somehow come between the Brigadier and his shield. The battle turned out to be very underwhelming. It's almost as if the Falsemen are somehow aware of the futility of their fighting and only make a token effort. It is as if they have no choice but to follow their instructions to fight but do so with as little effort as possible. From the history books we read that our ancient battles were for the annihilation of enemy. The Falsemen fight until one side retreats then both sides stop. We were fighting for control of a bridge across the giant chasm that has split The War Zone in two, and after the boys had burnt and killed a few enemy Straw Falsemen they retreated. There was a Steel Falsemen with the enemy and the Brigadier and he traded a few blows but it was obvious they were not attacking with their full might. The only interesting thing that happened during the fight was when T'Qssim threw Dollas' sword into the chasm. Honestly! You'd think the boys would look into getting straps fitted for their weapons as they seem to drop them with alarming regularity. Once the Brigadier ordered the Never Surrender troops to break off we knew we had to immediately strike to try and get the shield off him. He looked very strong and very well armoured and once the boys started attacking him they made very little impression. It seemed wrong to destroy the Brigadier over a shield but we seemed to have very little choice. That was until Thorbar, in a particularly impressive move, ducked under the Brigadier's defences and with amazing skill cut the two leather straps which secured the shield to the Brigadier's arm and it fell to the ground. Shudrabar wasted no time in grabbing the shield at which point we all fled - we had what we came for so there didn't seem any point putting ourselves at more risk, although T'Qssim was keen for us to continue fighting in order to secure his bet against Never Surrender. Obviously we weren't going to do that, and instead we followed the chasm towards the centre of Parlainth from where we knew we could enter The Lanes in order to get back to Haven. All we had to do now was survive The Lanes....
I was feeling better in the morning and the others had returned. We all decided it was time to make our adventuring group official and chose the name ‘Sentinels of Ardanyan’. We also created a logo for our group.
I spoke with Osic, an adventurer in the inn where we were staying. My map had directions from somewhere called the boneyard. I was told that was the name given to the twice borns tomb. ‘Twice born’ was the leader of the undead in the catacombs. I agreed to give 10% of whatever I got while searching for Jaarth in exchange for a bigger map of Parlainth. I was pointed to a hole in the wall of Parlainth which would provide us with a safer route to the area. I was leading from the air to get a better view of the area when the others just vanished. While circling round looking for them I came across the area of darkness marked on my map. I was fired at from the darkness but managed to convince Jaarth that I was not a threat. I asked about his bow and was told the name was written in his journal which was with his master wormskull in the catacombs. I have no idea why he could not remember the name himself. He wanted me to join with him. I said I needed to go and find my friends first. I flew off and found the others quickly. They did not give me a good explanation of where they had gone but said something about a building that had changed. We went back and Jedder dispelled the darkness. The windlings of Jaarths group looked more like maggots with wings. We attacked them. Four were killed including Jaarth, but a fifth escaped into a building. I was nearly killed by their arrows during the fight. Jaarth had armour, a bow and knife which were all thread items, but looking in astral space showed they were all corrupted. We followed the windling into the building. There was no sign of him but Qssim found a flagstone which glowed when he touched it and runes appeared round it. Qssim touched it again and was knocked unconscious for about 5 minutes. Sudrabar tried hitting it with his mace and went mad, running about for several minutes and discarding all dis clothes. A naked orc is not a pleasant sight. Eventually Jedder translated the runes and worked out the order they needed to be pressed to disarm the trap and lift the flagstone. There were stairs leading down to a corridor with a door at the end. Qssim disarmed several traps. Beyond the door was a bridge over a river of bright green water beyond which was a room. Qssim got splashed by the water as he crossed the bridge and found it had healing properties. We filled several vials and we drank some of the water to heal some of our wounds. Sudrabar decided he would take a second drink. As he did the water in the vial turned bright red and Sudrabar was transformed into a female orc. We all thought that was very funny and served him/her right for not being careful. Sudrabar, or Sudrabarina as we are now calling her, did not think it was so funny. I found tracks of the windling in the room so we knew we were on the right track. There were also some skeletons on the floor which Jeddergail could not resist animating. There was another door at the far side of the room beyond which was a magical shield. Jedder tried dispelling it which only caused it to change shape into a blade and attack her. Sudrabarina hit it with her mace and it vanished. We went through another door into a huge vaulted chamber. In the centre was a windling next to a horror which was covered with pink worms. We attacked and I quickly killed the windling. It was a difficult fight. Jedders skeletons helped distract the horror for a while before they were destroyed. We finally killed the horror, and Qssim did not even get killed in the fight, but Thorbars face was horribly distorted by one of the horrors magical attacks. We searched the rest of this part of the catacombs, and found a coffer which contained a grimoure and Jaarths journal.
Jaarths Journal Raquas 16th 1040 TH The Therans think they are better than me. Me I pepper them with arrows from afar with my ever faithful bow – harresatis’s fury and hide in my beautiful Thornspike forest. They cannot see or hear either me or my loyal followers. They will learn the hard way not to cross Jaarth the Archer! Teayu 3rd, 1041 TH Still they come and still we repel them. These Theran soldiers are legion. They must have used magic to find us and Arrath died today – a lucky shot if ever I saw one. These Therans are not as useless as I once thought though they still retreated. Cowards! Mawag 19th, 1042 TH The Therans sent a Drakkar today, immense and swift and belching fire down on my beautiful forest. I had no recourse but to order my followers to retreat whilst watching our home burn. Veltom 21st, 1043 TH The Therans think they are invincible in their great city of Parlainth. A blight on the land and my beautiful forest if ever there was one. The trees have still not grown back yet from when our home was destroyed. I will teach these Therans the true meaning of revenge. Charassa 14th, 1044 TH The strangest thing happened, I was leading my followers into Parlainth on a sortie when the air around the whole city shimmered, and a terrible darkness enveloped me. When my vision returned the surrounding forest had been replaced by a sea of black swirling mist. I fear the Therans have invoked some terrible magic and I have stumbled into it! ? It’s been months now. I don’t know the date. All my followers are dead, killed at the hands of the horror corrupted Therans in some sort of insane civil war, the horrors idea perhaps? I found refuge in the residential quarter, plenty of small buildings to hide in and prepare traps for the horrors and their foul creations. Perhaps I can holdout? I miss my forest. There was also a picture in the journal
We spent the next 5 weeks in Haven. Thorbar wanted to research some of the items we recently found. After five weeks he had found the shield strikeback was called ‘Strikeback’, The sword whose blade kept turning to smoke was called ‘Smoke’, and an amulet was beyond his ability to research. I paid Vardeghul 500sp to research the picture / map I found in Jaarths journal. She said it was of a town called Linandru which was at the delta of the Thunder river which flowed from the Thunder mountains. They specialised in gold mining and trade with Kathay which was far to the East across the Aras sea. Over the weeks Thorbars face healed slowly and returned to normal.
Qssim had arranged to travel to Aras Nehain (which is near Urupa) with a group of humans describing themselves as followers of Ristular to find out more about his bracers. Their leader was called Alvar. Slightly oddly they had been willing to wait weeks for us to be ready to leave. We travelled south on the Old Theran Road all day before making camp. Sudrabarina was on watch when she woke up everyone claiming she had seen something. As her dagger was also glowing blue we were all staring out into the darkness trying to see what was out there when something black attacked. It seemed to reach out and touched Sudrabarina, who immediately fell asleep. At this point things got confusing as Alvar claimed it was a nighttwist and was expected. He said Sudrabarina had been chosen by Ristular and Qssim was blessed by Aras. Thorbar cast a dispel curse on it, which drove it off. I remembered that I had read a legend about Ristul. It was a horror that was more an idea than a physical creature and had driven three passions insane. We questioned Alvar further. He said Aras Nehain was a Cliffside kaer inside which was an abyss containing Ristul. Sudrabarina woke up and Alvar claimed he had received the gift of Ristul. Jedder looked at them both in astral space and said neither appeared horror tainted. Alvar and his group left, though Alvar told Qssim his bracers were called Tassulina first. Further proof he was untrustworthy as there was never any need to go to Aras Nehain. Obviously Alvar had other motives in wanting us there, and gained something from telling Qssim the name of his bracers.
We decided to go to Servalen to try to find out the fate of our masters and spent the day travelling south. In the evening Jedder checked Sudrabarina again in astral space. She saw a little piece of her pattern fly off.
We spent the day travelling south, reaching the river in the evening. Jedder checked Sudrabarina again and saw further small pieces of her pattern break off. She deduced that it was spell casting and activity in astral space causing the damage and eventually her pattern would be destroyed completely. We changed our plans and decided to go to Aras Nehain to look for a cure.
We caught a boat to lake Ban, then another to Urupa. The city was at the base of a cliff with the river dropping over a waterfall. Everyone had to take a path down. I flew down and met them there. In Urupa I asked about Linandru and was told it was a post scourge trading town of mostly T’skrang and windlings. Jedder found a wizard called Anshi Kathayan to ask about Sudrabarina. She was told of a nethermancer spell called shatter pattern which might help but it was far beyond Jeddrs ability to cast even if she was able to obtain a copy. There was also the possibility to draw the corruption into a spell matrix but that would permanently ruin the matrix. It was also suggested trapping the spelltwist in a spell matrix for further study.
Anshi needed a few days to prepare so we decided to travel to Servalen to look for our masters. We took a boat back to Lake Ban then another on to Servalen. The streets were filled with mercenaries and slavers. There were also some Therans – they had symbols on their armour like the symbol on Thorbars new shield. We talked in a bar and found out the slave market ran each day at midday. The slave master was a Theran called Kerzalan and had an underling called Snorlak. As Sudrabarina has a tendency to attack slavers we left her and Jedder in a bar while the rest of us went to the slave market. There were ten slaves being sold. Qssim spent 600sp on the first slave, an orc. Thorbar then bought a dwarf and a human archer after talking them down to get them cheaper. I bought a female orc called Pahok who only cost 25sp and a windling girl called Pooth. She was more expensive at 120sp but I could not allow her to remain a slave. The third slave I bought was Sham’Sim, my brother Buzz’s master. He cost me 1400sp though Jedder later contributed half the cost. I went back to collect my purchases and asked about the availability of slaves with the skills matching our masters. I learned that they had been shipped to Triumph a few weeks back. If Thorbar had not spent so long in his pointless research in Haven we would have been in Servalen before they left. We left Pahok, Pooth and Sham’Sim in a tavern room before returning to the slave market with the intention of freeing the rest of the slaves. Thorbar and Qssim went in with Jedder and Sudrabarina to collect their purchases. I waited outside until I heard the sound of fighting. The guards who were guarding todays slaves were killed. I shot one that was trying to flee through the eye. We then continued deeper into the slave pens where the majority of the slaves were being held.
Hello. It's Jeddergayle again. It is with much sadness in my heart that I have to bring to a close this journal of Flit. Both Flit and T'Qssim gave their lives fighting the slavers. While their deaths fill the rest of us with sorrow we take much comfort that they died for a noble cause; defeating horrors, defending one's home, fighting for the liberty of fellow Namegivers, these are all things worth dying for. T'Qssim in particular exhibited outstanding bravery during the fight by placing himself in great peril in order to save both Shudrabar and Thorbar. Once we had located the location of the slave cells Shudrabar boldly marched in only to be confronted by two Ogres and a fearsome looking tiger beast that none of us had ever seen before. Wisely appreciating that she might have bitten off more than she could chew Shudrabar retreated to join the rest of us at the entrance to the slave cells: Shudrabar, Thorbar and T'Qssim took positions inside the room, while Flit and myself covered them from the doorway. We quickly dispatched the tiger beast and were coping with the two Ogres, despite them being phenomenally tough to drop, when the noise of our fight alerted more guards and six Elven slavers arrived. They were much more nimble than the Ogres and were able to disarm both Thorbar and Shudrabar. Fortunately they both had backup weapons, but it meant that they were not dealing as much damage as they usually would. We'd only been able to dispatch one Ogre, and the remaining one with the Elves were pounding our fighters. Shudrabar found herself having to deal with three Elves and it was clear that she was in trouble: she was bleeding from a horrific amount of wounds and was looking very shaky on her feet. Sensing his friend's peril T'Qssim heroically ignored the remaining Ogre that was attacking him and interposed himself between the Elves and Shudrabar to allow her time to heal. Flit and myself also switched our attention from the Elves attacking us to assist Shudrabar. While this change of tactics allowed Shudrabar to heal up it meant that Thorbar was fighting unassisted. To our shock he collapsed under the onslaught of the Elves fighting him. Without any concern for his own safety T'Qssim rushed over to Thorbar's body and, finding him unconscious but alive, poured a healing potion down his throat to restore Thorbar to consciousness. With Shudrabar in better shape this now allowed Thorbar to heal up. Unfortunately T'Qssim didn't have to access to the healing Talents available to Shudrabar and Thorbar, and his actions had exposed him to significant damage. When two more Ogres arrived in the corridor where Flit and I were we knew were in serious trouble. Flit and I moved into the room so as to not get flanked by the two new Ogres. One of the Elves pounced on Flit as he flew into the room and dealt him a massive blow that killed him. We were able to finish off the remaining Elves before the two new Ogres arrived, but three Ogres was more than a match for the badly injured T'Qssim, and a powerful blow from one of the Ogres felled him. He gave his life to save Shudrabar and Thorbar, and he will be forever remembered in the annuls of The Sentinels of Ardanyan. Shudrabar, Thorbar and myself were able to drop the remaining Ogres but by the time we were out of danger there was not enough time for me to reattune the Last Chance spell and return Flit and T'Qssim from their netherworlds. And so we bid a sad and final farewell to our two good friends. They sacrificed themselves for the freedom of their fellow Namegivers, and their songs will be sung for a long time to come. Hello. This is Jeddergayle again. With Flit's sad absence we no longer have someone who can keep a journal of our adventures so I decided to take up the quill until we do find someone. We suspect that the Great Library might not be so welcoming of journals with gaps in them, and we also feel a small obligation to our future readers. We didn't really have much time to say a proper farewell to Flit and T'Qssim as we were conscious that we had many slaves to rescue and there could well be more slavers around. We decided to be sure that we'd dealt with all the slavers before releasing the slaves as we didn't want to place any of them in more danger. We did locate a Blood Elf called Arrowdawn Draknall who was in a cell by himself. He claimed to be an Adept Archer and, as he was in good health, we immediately released him in return for his assistance. We did encounter a few more slavers but the four of us made quick work of them. We also located Kerzalan, the leader of the slaves, and Snorlak, his underling. Arrowdawn had obviously suffered extremely badly at the hands of the slavers - we found an awful torture room in our search of the compound - and he was quick to slay both of the leaders. We felt it would be inappropriate to interfere as we could not begin to comprehend what he had been through. We found ourselves with about 100 ex-slaves in various stages of health. Some were very badly diseased and malnourished, and sadly not all of them would survive the journey ahead. We managed to find 7 who had military experience and were in reasonable condition so we disguised them as slaver guards while Thorbar went back to the Inn to retrieve the others we had freed during the auction and to collect our mounts. Once they had returned we decided that the least desperate option open to us was to head to the docks and try and grab a boat. It was an extremely risky plan, particularly as Thorbar and Shudrabar were still injured from the fight, but the other options we considered were even more risky. We ascertained that there were probably enough newly freed Namegivers with experience of boats for us to crew a boat ourselves. And here it was that Thorbar's business experience acquired from studying as a Weaponsmith came to the fore. His haggling and powers of persuasion were staggering to behold! Once we had left the slavers' compound he first persuaded a patrol that we came across that all the "slaves" were being moved to boat as plague had broken out among them. Not only did the patrol believe him but he was able to get them to escort us and clear a path, which greatly improved our progress. Slightly surprised at arriving at the docks without having to fight any further slavers we proceeded to embark the free Namegivers onto the first boat that looked like had the capacity to hold them all. This obviously invoked the ire of the captain, who, incredibly, Thorbar was able to convince that not only was this an authorised operation but that the crew were in great risk of plague the longer they stayed on the boat. So they started the boat for us and then fled! It was a marvel to behold Thorbar's skill - we'd managed to rescue everyone without any further incident. It still amazes me when I think about! We had previously decided to take the free Namegivers to the village of Lang that we had saved and helped rebuild a while ago. We knew that they would be welcoming of more Namegivers to help the community prosper, and the land around the village could easily sustain this influx. Unfortunately they weren't so welcoming of Blood Elves and poor Arrowdawn had to spend the night on the boat. I feel for Arrowdawn because, as a Nethermancer, I know exactly how frustrating it is to have to deal with stupid prejudices. In the morning Shudrabar declared that she wasn't feel very well so we decided we should return to Urupa as a matter of priority and get Anshi's assistance in trapping a Nighttwist and hopefully curing Shudrabar's Pattern. We arrived without incident and Anshi cautioned us that Nighttwists were formidable foes. Goodness, she wasn't wrong! It was an extremely tough fight trying to subdue the creature. I was on the brink of collapsing, Arrowdawn and Thorbar were both badly injured in the battle, and even Shudrabar was worse for the wear despite the fact that the Nighttwist didn't attack her. It must have been something to do with the link between them that was established when Shudrabar was "infected", and this manifested itself in the battle whenever Shudrabar hit the Nighttwist as she received the same damage that it did. Fortunately just before I was about to pass out my Astral Spear spell finally subdued the Nighttwist and I was able to trap it within one of my Matrices. It took Anshi a whole day to work out what she needed to do, which was a nervous time for me as I had to constantly monitor my Matrix to ensure the Nighttwist didn't escape. However, when she finally discovered what to do the Nighttwist vanished from my Matrix and Shudrabar was surrounded by a glowing light. When it cleared he had been returned to a male Orc and his Pattern was completely clean! He seemed mightily pleased to have been returned to his male form, but I'm hoping that his time as a female Orc might have given him some insights no other Namegiver has ever had and perhaps temper some of his excesses - after all we'd never have been in this mess with the Nighttwist if he hadn't got drunk that night...
Last updated: February 27, 2014