Legends and Lore

Introduction

You awaken to the smell of freshly baked bread shortly after sunrise on a cool fall morning. Street vendors and merchants can be heard wheeling their carts across the cobblestone streets to the market square. It isn’t long before the morning streets are bustling with business. The cool morning air finally begins to warm slightly as the sun rises to the east. After a good nights rest you make your way out into the city streets of New Haven to run some early morning errands.
City skyline
It is on these busy streets that you catch word of preparations being made for a merchant caravan to make the biyearly trek to the distant town of Hommlet. This small town of less than one thousand inhabitants was discovered just three years ago, and remains the only other known settlement in the area to date. You’ve thought of joining up with just such a caravan over the past several years, but the extreme dangers involved with such travel requires serious thought. It’s well known that of the five previous caravans, three have failed to return, and no survivors have ever been found. You decide to think it over since the deadline for signing up as a mercenary is still two weeks away.

Completing your morning routine you then decide to stop to check out the news post outside the Griffon’s Nest Inn. Curious, you hope that something might peak your interest. Apparently the city guard is looking for a few good sword-arms to strengthen their numbers. Patrols around the perimeter of the city walls have been on the increase as of late.

Another post is looking for adventurers interested in delving out into the darkness beyond the safety of New Haven’s city walls. A meeting is set for tomorrow evening at sundown at the Griffon’s Nest Inn. There is no signature hinting at who might have left the announcement.

Winter is now closing in fast, and you know your personal coffers are running low once again. Sickness is said to be spreading in the poorer districts of the city, and there is growing concern that this winter could see a much higher mortality rate than usual. Not to mention that poor crops this fall are sure to lead not only to a food shortage this winter, but inflated prices!

Tired of the never ending routines of daily life and the struggle to survive, you’ve finally decided it’s time to take control of your destiny!

View
The Story Begins (Episode 1)

You make your way through the bustling streets of New Haven later that day, as visions of your future cloud your thoughts. Having checked out all three of you possible leads for employment has made one thing obvious, things are worse than you originally believed. None of the jobs you inquired into on this fine fall day payed particularly well. The only real positive you could see was that some of the employment opportunities had perhaps more of an upside than others over the long term.

Replaying these thoughts through your mind time and again, you continued to make your way towards home. Guards often pass you by with their well kept armor glistening in the waning sunlight, swords at their side. Maybe it was true that the pay wasn’t great, but the opportunity to protect and serve had some appeal, plus there was surely an equipment allotment?

Then you began to notice that the city around you had grown much more quiet. But it was the smell that quickly gave your location away. Looking up, the run down buildings were the first tell tale sign that you were passing the lower district slums. People lay about in the streets, some looked unconscious, while others were overcome with coughing spasms. Then you spotted several rats making their way along the base of several buildings before scurrying down a nearby street drain. Quickly you cover your face before hurrying along, but not before spotting several city guards loading bodies into a cart!

The next night you made your way to the Griffon’s Nest Inn. Curious about the mysterious meeting taking place. It was there that you met the proprietor of the establishment, Borsk, a heavy set bartender with a graying goatee. He directed several individuals toward a large table where an older man, with a white beard, could be seen sitting near one of the large fireplaces. A small crowd was slowly assembling around the table. Apparently a past adventurer himself, the Old Man was now looking for a younger generation to lead an expedition into the darkness. The funding for such an excursion coming from his own pocket. After a short negotiation four other individuals and yourself showed interest in his offer. Several of the attendees seemed anxious to begin. It was decided that you five would meet at the Griffon’s Nest Inn at sunrise tomorrow.

View
The Darkness Beyond (Episode 2)

At sunrise the next morning a rag tag group of four (the mysteriously cloaked individual was noticeably absent) arrived at the Griffon’s Nest Inn as planned. After a quick meeting with the Old Man the group departed for the Deadwood Forest. Nearly three hours later the group finally had made it through the farmlands to the lightly wooded outskirts of the deep forest, but not before meeting a loner named Dirk heading back towards town. After a short conversation Dirk decided to join the small band of companions bringing their number to five.

The lightly wooded land seemed simple enough, light foilage had little effect on the groups ability to see or scout ahead. Then nearly an hour into the woods the companions noticed they were being followed. A short time later they finally caught a glimpse of whatever it was that remained just out of sight, a small humanoid dog-like creature that stood perhaps three and a half foot tall. Several in the party moved toward the little critter, but then took notice that the trees beyond began to shiver with movement, as numerous others quickly retreated. The companions would continue to notice the small dog-like creatures to their right flank throughout that morning.

Later Robyn scouted ahead and spotted a large humanoid attempting to create a fire for cooking. The creature stood nearly ten foot tall with a muscular physique. Apparently irritated with its inability to start a simple cooking fire for its recent kill, the ogre seemed prepared to give up. Luckily the companions realized they might be able to avoid conflict by offering to start the fire. After a short negotiation, and a little smoozing, the incredibly large ogre agreed to allow the group safe passage as he began to cook a warm meal.

Later that afternoon the group began to make its way into the more heavily wooded interior of the forest. The difference was noticeable as the darkness under the thick canopy seemed oppressive. Visibility was now down to perhaps ten feet with the thick foilage obscurring line of sight significantly. Also one couldn’t help but notice that the small dog-like creatures that had once followed their every move were nowhere to be found. The group pressed onward even as shadows seemed to dance about the woods, yet always seemingly just out of sight? Many began to rub their eyes in an attempt to refocus. It was shortly thereafter that many decided something out there just wasn’t quite right, and the group took up a defensive position in a circular pattern, backs turned inward toward one another. Shadows of darkness continued to dance about in the woods around them. Then the temperature began to noticeably drop. Suddenly Altain collapsed unconscious and a figure shrouded in darkness was suddenly hovering right behind the companions! The group scramble quickly in all directions trying to avoid what seemed as nothing short of death itself. Hearts raced as each tried to make sense of what was now transpiring before them. It wasn’t long before Dirk also went down from death’s deadly touch. The situation was quickly growing more dire when finally the remaining three companions rallied to their dying companions cause and finally drove the darkness away.
WraithThe group continued delving deeper still. Several hours later the woods turned unnaturally cool once again, and an uneasy feel began to grab hold of the companions. Perhaps a minute later the ghostly image of an elf began to materialize before the party. The two elves, Wolven and Altain, stepped forward hoping to avoid yet another conflict with the undead. While other ghostly elves began to materialize around the group the two companions attempted to negotiate safe passage, but it became obvious that an alternative route would be needed to press onward. However Altain had one last question for the ghostly elf before him, he simply wanted to know if this entity recognized his fathers name? The response was simple and to the point – the name Moonfire seemed familiar! It was a rare clue, and Altain Moonfire was content with any information that might help him unravel his families mysterious history. The group then slowly made their way around the perimeter of this particular part of the deep forest.

Later that night another attack took place. Shadows once again began creeping towards the sleeping companions, and their crackling campfire unnaturally began to dim. An attempted whistle from Wolven failed to awaken the companions as they suddenly came under attack from two hounds of shadow and darkness. Luckily the group managed to quickly react to the unexpected attack, successfully driving the shadow hounds back to the darkness in which they came. The remainder of the night was thankfully uneventful, but some still had the feeling that something lurked in the darkness just beyond their fire lit camp, it’s dark piercing eyes ever watchful.

Day two was met with two more beings shrouded in darkness, but this time the party saw the darkness manifesting in advance. United, they successfully pushed the unnatural beings back into the darkness, as they had the others the previous day. Some amongst the group then suggested they return to New Haven to report that the woods were haunted, but others argued to press onward. And so it was the companions moved deeper into the darkness beyond…

View
Lost (Episode 3)

As the companions continued to move deeper into the darkness of the Deadwood Forest some began to feel a chill upon the early evening air, and then the pitter patter of rain on the canopy above. A short time later they found themselves shivering uncontrolably before suddenly sensing the horrific presence of an unwelcoming spectre. Thankfully the companions once again fought bravely despite the unnaturally cold aura that emanated from their enemy.

As the daylight hours began to wain Coren spotted a bony finger protruding from the leaves of the forest floor. Inspecting it further, yet very carefully, he concluded that it might be best to leave it alone. But it was too late, before he could react Robyn suddenly stepped forth and revealed the remainder of a human skeleton. Frustrated at his companions carelessness, he repremanded Robyn, and then proceeded to collect the numerous pieces and placed them in a large sack (and then sarcastically stated that they now had a new travel companion). None could quite figure out what the apparently disturbed half-orc might be up to?

The next day started like any other, surrounded by the thick wooded forest with no escape from it’s depths in sight. It was also becoming obvious to some (like Robyn) that the group was beginning to lose its way. In particular a discussion between Coren and Altain seemed to alarm Robyn. So he quickly decided to climb a large tree nearby to take a look for himself, but upon reaching the very top he suddenly lost his delicate balance. Those below stood in shock as they heard the crashing of several scores of branches, before realizing the lucky rogue had managed to finally catch himself half way down the towering tree! Finally with another close call Robyn finally made it to the top, but what he saw gave him little hope, a canopy of trees for as far as his eyes could see with overcast skies concealing the sun. Soon they were back on the trail (although there was no trail to speak of) and pressing onward in whatever direction they determined to be southwest? It was nearing dusk when the group had yet another extremely dangerous encounter with a wraith cloaked in darkness, nearly killing Robyn and Wolven. It was during this moment of extreme danger that the group witnessed the unexpected. Altain began to swing his sword in a massive arc as arcane symbols of burning crimson light trailed the now glowing red blade! What they had just witnessed they could not be sure, but there was little doubt of its effectiveness. Then finally the darkness was once again pushed back, and the group found itself once again thankful to have survived, as they prepared to settled in for the night. Each wondering what exactly it was that they had just witnessed this night?

The next morning the companions awoke to an immense downpour, and the ground on which they slept was becoming a muddy mess. But good news was to be had at last, as the deep woods began to give way to the much more sparsly wooded outskirts of the forest. Unfortunately that also meant a drenching amid the constant downpour without the protection of the thick conopy above. Battling the soggy conditions of the cool fall air the group continued pressing onward into the late afternoon when they suddenly heard an immense screech up ahead in the distance. Then a few minutes later the smashing of branches and twigs close by, before the forest floor began to tremble with the footfall of what would prove to be a very large enemy. Crashing through the trees was a creature much larger that a grizzly, fur and feathers covering the beast head to toe, and an owls beak capable of tearing the flesh from anything unfortunate enough to end up it’s immense claws. It didn’t take long for Altain to find himself within the powerful beasts claws before pulling off what many of his companions could only describe as some sort of magical power, as he suddenly appeared outside of the creatures long reach! But there was no time to ponder, as Coren soon fell unconscious in a pool of blood. This time it was Dirk’s opportunity to prove his worth to his new companions, as he consistenly outflanked the owlbear and then delivered the final deadly blow. Coren was stabilized, and thankfully survived, but it was yet another close call that had everyone deeply concerned about their mortality.

As dusk approached the companions began to prepare camp as the rains continued to fall mercilessly upon them. Many fell asleep quickly as a number of watches came and went through the night. Then something was spotted in the distant woods? It appeared to be the light of a mysterious lantern swaying in the wind? The group was roused from their sleep, and it was soon decided that they should investigate. Soon the group could make out a small three-story tower just ahead, but also in the trees surrounding them numerous sets of reflecting eyes. Before the companions could react a pack of wolves sprang from the dark clusters of trees, and soon the group found themselves surrounded. It was then that they heard the yell of an elderly woman beckoning them to make haste toward the tower. But the muddy footing of the forest floor made escape nearly impossible, and each companion was quick to realize they would once again need to make a stand. The battle was short lived, and soon the group was able to make their way toward the light of the tower.

Inside the tower the companions were introduce to an elderly woman named Treona, and a regal man of nobility named Kiris Alkirk. Their shock of seeing others so far out in the dangerous woods was evident, as was their praise of the companions fighting prowess. Sitting inside by a warm fire, it wasn’t long until Treona asked the group for a possible favor. She then told them of a town three days travel to the southwest called Kiris Dahn. It was there that a legenday slaying stone of power had apparently been forgotten by the sands of time. Treona needed someone both strong and brave to find this stone, and then return it to her so it could be destroyed. She then explained the history of Kiris Dahn and the fact that Kiris Alkirk had apparently been the last ruler of the town, which eight long years ago was invaded by a goblin horde. She also explained the fact that there were originally believed to be eight slaying stones (all spent in the past to defend the city from powerful enemies), until her recent research revealed an unkown ninth stone! It was a dangerous mission to be sure, especially considering that the goblins were now believed to inhabit most of the northern end of the town, but she seemed certain that these men had what it took to be heroes. As the conversation continued it became obvious that the group would be willing to accept the quest at hand, and the conversation began to turn towards more strategic details. Treona believed it was safest to enter Kiris Dahn at its southern end to avoid much of the goblin horde, and she hoped that the stone might be discovered in either the old library, one of the temples, or the Kiris estate. After much discussion it was finally time for all parties involved to turn in, and the companions were invited to spend the night, but not before Treona made one last request. She wanted five books saved from the overrun city if at all possible, and expressed her sincere gratitude to them all should they happen to retrieve them. As the group snuggled in by the warm glow of the fire, and began to drift asleep, none could imagine what might await them in the ruins of Kiris Dahn.

View
The Ruins of Kiris Dahn (Episode 4)

That night the companions slept through another cold and dreary night, but this time in the warm confines of the tower kept them dry. Awakened at sunrise to the sound of a wooden spoon striking a sturdy fry pan. A hot breakfast awaited them after an evening of uninterrupted rest.

After the group was well fed, and the necessary information had been covered, the group headed out into the wilds once again. This time however they intended on avoiding the deep woods at Treona’s suggestion, and instead stayed to the lightly wooded outlying areas. This proved to be a wise choice, as the companions not only made up for lost time but continued to travel without incident over the following two and a half days.

Then on the third afternoon the ruins of Kiris Dahn finally came into sight. A rickety palisade at the town’s entrance was the only sign remaining of the old gate that once welcomed visitors during more peaceful times. Unfortunately three small humanoids could be seen guarding the city gate, and unwilling to announce their presence with a sudden attack, the companions wisely decided to make their way through the surrounding woods to the more secluded field to the east, where they made a less conspicuous entrance.

While making their way through a residential district they spotted what appeared to be a tent city near the southern part of town, and nearby a small dog-like humanoid was being beaten by several goblin guards. Choosing to remain out of sight however, the group quietly continued towards the ruins of the library. The structure still stood, but many of it’s walls had tumbled down, and books and scrolls were now exposed to the elements. It was there that the group discovered an intact wing of the grand building. There they disposed of nearly a dozen small goblins before finally discovering two of Treona’s requested texts, along with many others the group deemed worth saving. Then before departing it was decided that Altain should cast one of the three ritual scolls given to them by Treona, but the slaying stone was not detected.

Next the group began to make it’s way towards the temple district when they suddenly found themselves nearly surrounded by unsuspecting goblin guards. Luckily they managed to duck into an abandoned building nearby without notice. It was there that they witnessed many of the goblins curiously inspecting anothers face, and a strange scar over the small goblin’s right eye. It was quickly becoming evident that the guards were going nowhere fast, so it was finally decided that the group would escape using the back door. It didn’t take long to realize however that the group was not alone, as swarms of rats suddenly poured from two directions enveloping several of the companions. To make matters worse two blood sucking bat-like creatures with four wings soon joined the fray. The swarms of rats neartly proved too overwhelming, but the companions fought bravely and prevailed in the end. With several of the companions seriously wounded, and Altain unconscious, the group decided to rest for the remainder of the day.

Well rested the group prepared to press onward, but not before checking the remainder of the building. Two sarcophagus were soon discovered in a nearby room, apparently the resting place of past members of the ruling family. After the combined effort of several companions, both heavy stone lids were slowly maneuvered to the side of each sarcophagus. The human remains inside the first sarcophagus wore a golden crown studded with sparkling red and blue gems. The second sarcophagus’ remains wore an elegant silver tiara, and a stunning golden necklace. Each knew immediately that treasures such as these were extremely rare, and their value was most likely beyond imagination – especially in New Haven’s struggling economy where gold was non-existant.

Once again prowling the streets of Kiris Dahn, the group continued to make their way towards the temple district. Remnants of holy shrines still remained, but in a state of unrecognizable disrepair. One even bearing the symbol of Bane, crudely etched over another unnamed god of the past. But one shrine grabbed Robyn’s attention in particular, the Shrine of the Moon. Although the rogue could likely not explain why, he just happened to spot the worn engraving of a crescent moon on a nearby stone. It was a shrine to the goddess Sehanine, a god Robyn had learned of and worshipped though his childhood due to his mother’s influence. During a time of disbelief amongst the vast majority in the world, Robyn could only wonder if this might be some kind of sign? He began to wander towards the welcoming sight, with his companions not far behind eyeing the dark shadows of the ruins surrounding them.

View
The Guardian (Episode 5)

As the companions followed Robyn further into the temple of Sehanine several in the group noticed movement from behind an elevated water basin at the center of the square forty-foot wide room. Approaching carefully, the group managed to coax a disheveled man dressed in worn leather armor out from hiding, and they soon learned his name was Kiris Hoyt, a possible heir to the ruling Kiris family bloodline. The group began asking Kiris Hoyt about why he stayed after the fall of Kiris Dahn eight long years ago, and how he managed to survive without being discovered by the town’s conquerers? The man began to explain how his family had abandoned him here as a power play. It was a clear attempt to cut him from the distribution of family wealth in his eyes.

It was during this conversation that Hoyt suddenly snapped to attention, as the thunder of dozens of little feet could be heard approaching from the temple’s northern and southern entrances. Soon nearly a dozen goblins blocked the groups escape route, their leader waving about a silver dagger while yelling “kill the rat man!, them too!, kill all rat mans!!” Kiris Hoyt began to stumble backwards, as a look of shock filled his eyes. Then he began to transform. Bone and sinew began to snap and pop, while Hoyt’s fingernails and nose began to elongate. He was quickly transforming into a humanoid rat! Within seconds Hoyt bit Robyn and Dirk as arrows began to fly from the goblins at the southern portcullis. From the northern exit more goblins approached with worn short swords in hand. Coren moved to the northern stairs to block their entrance, and quickly disposed of the ragtag group with a series of impressive flying leaps and spins. By this time Hoyt was on the move, making his way towards a metal door on the eastern wall. It was obvious that the rat-man was badly wounded, but those wounds were slowly mending before the companions eyes! Unable to stop Hoyt’s escape Robyn quickly moved to lock the wererat inside the hallway. Both Coren and Dirk apparently disagreed however with Robyn’s strategy, as they knocked him unconscious in order to prevent him from blocking the door. It appeared to be playing out just as they had hoped as Altain had the opposite end of the hall blocked as well. Then an unexpected turn took place as Altain was struck with one final blow knocking him unconscious, which allowed Hoyt to escape through the southern passage! But not before the wererat picked up a silver dagger near the now dead goblin leader Triflik.

Coren, Dirk, and Wolven quickly gave chase as they climbed rooftops and scrambled down alleyways. Luckily a blood trail left by the wounded rat-man allowed the group to track Hoyt back to the ruined library several blocks away. But it was there that the pursuit stopped, as the trail of blood abruptly ended. Most likely the result of the creatures unusual ability to heal. Meanwhile Dirk was left wondering about the silver dagger, with the hilt exquisitely crafted to resemble intertwining serpents, and whether it might have been enchanted?

It was during this disappointing chase that the group of three discovered another abandoned wing of the massive library. Bookcases had been pushed aside as though a large beast had moved through the area, and three large brassy scales lay upon the floor nearby. On the other side of the bookshelves a stone wall panel had been tossed to the ground, revealing an empty alcove. There the companions discovered gouges from giant claws all around the corners of the alcove and on the wall panel. Coren began to wonder if perhaps a large dragon had beaten them to the last remaining slaying stone? If true, the guardian of the stone would most likely be more dangerous than anything they could have ever imagined.

Unable to pick up on Hoyt’s trail, the three companions returned to the temple district where they found Robyn (now conscious) watching over Altain near the water basin. Thankfully both were still safe, although Altain was still unconscious. They then decided to use their second ritual scroll of detection in an attempt to detect the lost slaying stone. Unfortunately the slaying stone was not detected however, and the group decided they needed to press onward. Now the group only had one scroll of detection remaining and they knew they needed to make it count.

Altain was now being carried by Coren as the group made their way to the Kiris Mansion. But as the group neared the towns stables growls could be heard emanating from inside, and a small voiced yelled out in what sounded like the goblin tongue. Deciding to check the stables, the group discovered two goblins watching over a half dozen wolves. Fortunately the companions were able to take the two goblins by surprise, giving them no time to release the viciously trained animals. It didn’t take long before the enemy was silenced permanently. It was then decided that everyone was in need of a good nights rest, and this temple seemed as good a spot as any, so the group holed up there for the remainder of the night.

The next morning Altain had once again regained consciousness so the companions began to make their way northward towards the mansion. The city seemed different in the light of day, and the companions couldn’t help but notice an area to the east of the Kiris mansion where steam seemed to be filling the morning air. But with little time to contemplate what it might be the group quickly press on, but both Robyn and Dirk complained of an unusual sensitivity to the morning light. Each was running a slight fever, and both were now left to hope that it would disipate over the next day. But Dirk had other things on his mind as well, as he constantly kept one eye open for Hoyt, or more importantly Triflik’s blade in which Hoyt had so conveniently walked away with.

View
Triflik's Blade (Episode 6)

Refreshed the group of companions decided to make their way north toward’s the old Kiris Mansion. Thankfully both Dirk and Robyn’s fever began to subside as the early morning progressed. Both feared the possiblility of contracting a filthy disease from the rat-man, Kiris Hoyt, and were thankful to have escaped the encounter with their health intact. Dirk now hoped that he might get another chance at the rat-man, and the enchanted dagger Triflik’s Blade, which the rogue believed should rightfully be his.

It didn’t take long before the group encountered their first morning watch, as a group of nearly a dozen goblins was spotted up the street. But this group was apparently in a hurry, as they jogged past the hidden companions. The guards were heading south towards the neighborhood the companions had previously spent the night, the stable district. The five companions knew it was time to make haste, wishing to be nowhere near the vacinity when the goblin bodies were discovered. It was during this moment of realization that Altain attempted to divert the goblin’s attention by chucking a large rock across the street. He did this after noticing that kobolds were hiding in the early morning shadows of the ruined buildings on the other side of the street, and knowing that the companions presence inside the goblin infested city might soon be discovered he hoped to create a diversion, but the attempt failed as the goblins continued south without as much as a glimpse to their right.

After sneaking inside the mansion the group encountered numerous goblin guards. But these seemed trivial in comparison to the hobgoblin mounted upon a large drake! The beast seemed to be a cross between a great cat but with numerous features reminicent of a dragon. Muscles rippled under the drakes reddish hide as its hobgoblin master thrusted his spear at the surrounding invaders. The stone floor just inside the mansions front doors was soon slick with fresh blood as the battle for control of the premises continued. Soon Altain was struck with a significant blow, but refusing to fall he continued to fight until finally succumbing to his wounds. Shortly after Altain fell, so did his companion Coren, as he was flanked by several goblins, reminding all of the companions that goblins are often a weak race but in greater numbers can prove to be extremely dangerous. Finally after a hard fought victory the group tended to their fallen comrads, but for one fallen hereo it was too late. Coren could not be revived, the wound in his chest was significant enough that Dirk had little doubt that the half-orc had most likely died instantly.

With heavy hearts the companions began to search the mansion before finally deciding to utilize their final scroll of detection, but once again with no success. Finally Dirk decided to bury his half-orc companion Coren before moving on. He began to pile stones using nearby rubble from collapsed portions of the Kiris mansion, while Robyn Graves watched nearby, until Coren’s remains were completely covered. Dirk was left to wonder why the other half-orc, Robyn, refused to assist?

Once again the group headed out, and once again carrying their unconscious companion Altain. This time they decided to head east toward the mysterious steam they had spotted earlier that morning. There they discovered hot springs undoubtedly used for bathing at one time in Kiris Dahn’s past, but probably rarely used now by the dirty goblin population. It was in this steam covered acropolis that the companions suddenly heard a booming voice. After several questions, and nervous answers by the companions, a large brass dragon suddenly appeared from the clouds of surrounding mist. The powerful dragon seemed less than amused by those seeking a powerful item known as the slaying stone. Finally after a short exchange the irritable dragon told the small group of would be heroes to be gone, and then slipped into the curtain of mist and vanished.

Unsure what to do next, and convinced that the powerful brass dragon guarded the slaying stone, the group decided to head south towards the kobold slums. It was there that the group ran into several goblins. But as the goblins attempted to arrest the rag-tag group, and then tried to elicit a bribe to release them, violence suddenly broke out. Then one goblin attempted to flee as his companions quickly collapsed around him, but he didn’t get far, as he sped around a corner and into the waiting arms of a heavily cloaked figure.

The companions began to give chase when they suddenly heard the goblin squeal, and then his lifeless body came flying out from behind a nearby building. Out stepped a heavily cloaked man who introduced himself as Fin LaVie. He carried no weapon, yet carried himself with what could only be described as a quiet confidence. He explained to the group that he had lived in Kiris Dahn before the city was over run with goblins eight long years ago, and offered to assist the companions through the now dangerous city streets. The group politely accepted his offer.

The five individual continued south into what seemed to be the poorest of poor neighborhoods, the kobold slums. It was there that the group noticed a parculiar sight near one of the south western city walls. Two mechanical dogs appeared to be keeping watch as their owner, a kobold, looted a nearby abandoned building. Reacting quickly the group moved to apprehend the small kobold, but not before falling under attack by his mechanical canines. But as the companions fought off the enchanted mechanical canines it was Dirk who delivered a deadly blow to the kobold, only to discover that the small creature was wanted alive for questioning?!

Thankfully the remaining enchanted canine soon stood down with the expiration of his owner, and the sudden appearance of another kobold named Spolis. Spolis agreed to talk, and explained that Speelock was merely trying to survive in the harsh slums of Gorizbadd (Kiris Dahn’s new name under its goblin conquerers). The companions wishing to befriend Spolis explained that the goblins had shot the innocent Speelock with an arrow. They offered their heartfelt condolences as the small kobold cursed the goblins. The unsuspecting Spolis seemed to buy into the companions story, after all it made sense, as the goblins were always picking on Spolis and his kobold kin.

The guilt ridden companions decided they needed to rest, and the ruined building in which they met Spolis seemed as good a location as any. Meanwhile Spolis excused himself and took a few minutes to attend to the enchanted dog sitting outside. Saddened Spolis soon returned, and promised the companions to keep their secret, as long as they promised to kill as many of the cruel goblins as possible.

Realizing their was little for them to investigate in this area of town the group decided they need to return to the hot springs on the northeast end of town. They felt more comfortable negotiating with the large dragon with their new partner, especially with his knowledge of Kiris Dahn and its past. Armed with this new hope, albeit a mysterious one, the group began to make its was back to meet with the dragon.

View
The Slaying Stone (Episode 7)

The companions prepared to move out of the kobold slums in the dead of night feeling it would be safer to move about the ruins of Kiris Dahn under the cover of darkness. But before they managed to make their way out of the slums they spotted two goblins pinned against the wall of a nearby house. Five orcs surrounded the goblins as two of the orcs held their heads still, while another heated up a red-hot branding iron. It didn’t take Robyn long to react as he quickly knocked an arrow, and his shot was deadly accurate, as the arrow shot between two of the orcs and struck one of the goblins square between the eyes killing it instantly. Quickly four of the orcs charged. In the ensuing melee much of the party became seperated before Altain found himself suddenly attacked from behind. It was the wererat Kiris Hoyt who had suddenly dropped from a nearby rooftop. Altain now found himself flanked by his orc adversary on one side and the wererat on the other, while his companions continued their battles in other nearby streets. Finally after several exchanges Altain began to prevail as he dropped his orc enemy, and the wererat began to flee towards the rooftops. But the chase was short lived as Altain quickly gave chase and delivered the death blow on the roof of a nearby structure, sending the lifeless body of the wererat crashing to the cold dark street below. The silvered-steel dagger known as Triflik’s blade sent clattering upon the cobblestone street as it flew from Kiris Hoyt’s lifeless hand.

Altain made his way down from the rooftops above to inspect the body. After collecting the enchanted dagger Altain noticed that the body of the wererat had transformed back to his human form of Kiris Hoyt. Not long after, other members of the group began to appear at the scene, but not Robyn. The rogue had been cut badly and had fallen unconscious a few blocks away. Fortunately the bleeding had been stopped by one of his companions, but he was now unconscious. It was another close call in the dark ruins of Kiris Dahn.

After a short rest on top of a nearby tower. The group prepared to make their way to the hot springs, but not before Altain gave the dagger known as Triflik’s Blade to Dirk. The rogue eyed the dagger with a sparkle in his eyes, as he had feared the wererat had once again escaped with his coveted prize. Thankfully it had turned out that this was in fact not the case.

Steam filled the air as the group made their way through the acropolis and the hot spring baths of Kiris Dahn. Carefully Fin led the way through the steam-ridden location before discovering the dragon’s lair. It was there that he began to negotiate with the irritable dragon known as Tyristys. Fin LaVie proved to be much more skilled in the art of negotiation, as he soon won the dragon’s confidence. They promised to protect the stone from the evil inhabitants of Kiris Dahn with the hope of destroying the slaying stone once and for all. The dragon was more than happy to rid itself of the troublesome stone.

The companions then returned to the slums in hopes of finding information that might lead them to the last book Treona had requested. It was supposedly a black book which seemed little to go on, but they hoped one of the kobolds might be able to help? While walking these slums they soon discovered a littany of traps down a small alley with a group of kobolds hiding in a building nearby. Thankfully they mananged to once again gain the trust of the little dog-like creatures, but they were of little help in locating the black book. However they did manage to negotiate two small vials containing liquid which the kobolds had apparently recently discovered. Unfortunately the kobold could only tell the companions that the liquid could “make feel good.” Altain inspected the liquid before the companions agreed to pay 75 gold pieces for the two rare vials. Altain believed them to be legendary potions of healing, but couldn’t be certain. If this proved true the significant price would prove well worth their investment.

Once again the companions headed north hoping to secure the final text before leaving the ruined city. This time they hoped to secretly make their way through the goblin neighborhoods of the northern portion of the city, an area they had previously avoided due to the large number of goblins living there. It was just outside this goblin infested district that the group was ambushed by another group of orcs. It quickly became obvious that these orcs were different though, as they seemed to have a well thought out plan. The companions found themselves assaulted from numerous locations forcing them to spread out in several directions. Luckily Robyn had begun regaining consciousness just as the battle began, and soon proved able to join the fray. But things quickly became dangerous when Fin discovered an orc wolf-shaman hiding around a nearby corned while another orc was engaged in hand-to-hand combat with Altain. Soon a phantom wolf attacked the group from behind before vanishing. Then the next thing the companions knew blue streaks of lightening filled the air around them. It wasn’t long before Fin dropped to the cobblestone street unconscious. Altain was also in dire straits but somehow had managed to stay on his feet. Then another streak of lightening filled the air, this time striking Robyn before suddenly jumping to Wolven!

In a nearby alley Dirk was facing off against another orc, who he would soon realize was Vohx. The orc leader had the rogue in trouble, yet somehow Dirk managed to move about skillfully to avoid what might have proved to be a number of deadly attacks from the orc swordsmen. Then Dirk heard his companions approaching from behind. It was the reinforcement he needed. The orc, Vohx, quickly took cover behind a nearby building as he shouted an angry challenge towards whoever currently possessed the fabled slaying stone. Vohx hoped his challenge would be accepted by one companion foolish enough to challenge him one on one. He knew it was his only hope of escape as he was significantly outnumbered, his orc companions bodies now laying lifeless in nearby streets. It was then that Vohx noticed one companion stepping forward. Vohx leaned out to measure up this foolish advisary, now thinking his opponent had taken the bait! But it was Vohx that soon discovered he had been duped, as Altain removed a glossy black stone from his cloak and began to chant a series of arcane commands. Red ruins began to glow upon the glossy black stone and then a blue beam shot forth striking Vohx. Rage suddenly filled the orc leader as he recklessly charged ahead. Altain had no time to react and he quickly braced himself for the sudden assault. The powerful orc struck visciously knocking the swordmage unconscious, before suddenly expoding himself! The bloody remains of the orc leader rained down as the companions scrambled to Altain’s unconscious body in an attempt to treat his wounds. They quickly stopped the bleeding and stabilized their fallen comrad, before inspecting the other dead orcs nearby.

As the companions returned to the wolf-shaman’s body they were surprised to see Fin standing nearby. Many had thought their guide had fallen in combat, but now questioned what they previously witnessed? They then moved to the orc wolf-shaman where they discovered what they were looking for – a black book. But it was obvious to all it was not just any black book, this book was the deepest black imaginable, so black it in fact that its edges were nearly indiscernable. Even more strange was the fact that it seemed to ooze whisps of black energy?! Fin LaVie stepped forward to take possession of the strange book, as others in the group strongly suggested that he not to open it. Tension filled the suddenly quiet street, as many wondered about the strange fascination Fin seemed to show towards the mysterious tomb. Thankfully Fin followed the numerous requests and kept the book shut, and each of the companions was left wondering whether the groups newest memeber could be trusted?

Exhausted the group returned to the kobold slums for one final nights rest before heading out from the ruins of Kiris Dahn the next day. But before turning in Robyn pulled out a scroll he had discovered in the wolf-shamans backpack. He began reading about the severed-eye orcs of the northlands, and their history in the Ironwall Mountains. It was one of many lost history’s of Sarsis, and one the rogue hoped might prove useful someday in the future.

View
A Hero's Welcome (Episode 8)

After departing Kiris Dahn the group headed towards Treona’s Tower on the outskirts of the Deadwood Forest. On the first night the group prepared to rest after finding what looked to be a good spot to make camp. The early part of the night passed uneventfully until Dirk’s watch. It was then that a dark panther-like cat suddenly sprang from behind the unsuspecting rogue! Luckily, Altain was already well rested and quickly reacted in an attempt to protect his travel companion. It was during this attempt to drive off the large feline that large tentacles were noticed protruding from behind the strange creatures front shoulders! There was no time to contemplate however, as the Eladrin swordmage moved to strike but somehow missed? Struggling to focus, Altain noticed the cats uncanny ability to displace its location – seemingly appearing in one spot and then actually being in another! The remainder of camp quickly awoke following the sudden attack. Soon each of the companions engaged the beast, each in the group fighting to their strengths. Finally the displacer beast was put down after a difficult battle. Thankfully none of the group had fallen, and it was becoming evident that their combat prowess was growing through their numerous experiences together.

A day and a half later the group finally arrived at the old stone tower. There they were warmly welcomed by Treona, who excitedly ushered them inside before calling Kiris Alkirk down to join them. Soon the group shared their experiences, and then presented Treona with the remnants of the slaying stone. Treona seemed relieved at the success of the project, and showed little disappointment in the fact that the companions had found it necessary to use the stone. She also seemed elated at the return of her five requested books retrieved from the ruins. As the night grew late and the talk of adventure died down the group was once again invited to spend the evening. The next morning a hearty breakfast was served while Treona disappeared upstairs to fetch something important in order to show the group her appreciation. Soon she returned with a strange reddish tinted set of leather armor called Crimson. Her eyes gleamed as she presented the ancient armor to the companions while explaining its importance in history to the Kiris family. Shockingly the group soon learned that the armor was in fact over four-hundred years old! The group was stunned at Treona’s generosity. All agreed that Altain would dawn the enchanted leather armor. After all he often found himself deep amongst the enemy and would make the best use of the amazing gift.

Not long after, the group departed north towards the swamp lands. The companions made the decision to avoid the deep interior of the Deadwood Forest in order to avoid the undead spirits of those forsaken woods. They had decided that they were too late to catch the departure of the merchant caravan from New Haven anyway, and instead made the fateful decision to head the caravan off somewhere to the north in the Misty Marshes. Quickly they moved northward realizing that their plan might prove to be a long shot, but still willing to take the chance. None of the companions had ever been in the mysterious marshes before, but many in the group had heard its legendary tales. Stories of strange lizard-men were often bantered about in local taverns, as well as mysterious lights off in the distance. It was well known that more than one hapless explorer had vanished out in the deep and forboding mists.

The next day the group began to sense the approaching marshes as the ground below their feet took on a spongy consistency, before finally giving way to ankle deep water several hours later. The damp and putrid smell of rotting foliage and stagnant water filled the senses as the group pressed deeper still. Sounds of insects and frogs filled the air making it difficult to hear much else. Soon the group was soaked from head to toe as they pressed onward, slowly making their way north to what they hoped would be some semblance of a washed out road. The marshes waters were now knee deep as the group struggled ahead until they finally came upon a small piece of dry land with several trees. It was there that they agreed to set camp for the night, unwilling to press their luck in finding another dry campsite.

It was this first night surrounded in the deep darkness of the swamp that the fog began to roll in as air temperatures began to noticably drop. Then the first of the legendary lights suddenly appeared in the distant darkness. At first the group tried to ignore the mysterious lights, but finally fell into temptation as some decided to investigate. Little did they expect the hypnotic effect that soon overcame several of the companions, as the lights began to pull them farther out into the fog filled darkness. Thankfully the affected companions soon broke the trance however, and returned to the safety of the campfire, but only after attempting to attack the strange floating lights. A passionate discussion ensued amongst the group leading many to agree that the lights were best left alone. Finally it was decided that guard duty would be continued throughout the night, while the strange lights continued their vigilant watch in the distance.

Several hours later the camp was awoken by a sudden flurry of activity as Robyn was nearly eaten by a large crocodile! Thankfully the half-orc managed to scrample away with limbs intact. It was at this moment that the strange lights began to close in on the camp as well, apparently looking to take advantage of the sudden panick! But once again the group fought bravely as one, and the hungry reptile finally met its end. Then the strange lights returned to hover in the distance, ever watchful. It had only been a half a night in the dark and misty swampland, and many were already wondering what they had gotten themselves into? As dawn broke the next morning most in the group were suffering from exhaustion from a long and difficult night. The fear of attack, plus the mysterious watchful lights in the distance had proven too much to bare, and a good nights rest was had by none.

Exhausted, the group prepared to press on…

View
The Misty Marshes (Episode 9)

Upon waking, the group quickly packed up camp and continued their trek northward. There still had been no sign of a road, or anything remotely resembling the remains of any such man made structures up to this point. Many in the group began to openly question the decision to press onward deeper into the mysterious swamp. Wet, cold, miserable, and tired many felt it was time to head back to the Deadwood Forest to the south. After a short discussion it was finally agreed that the group would press northward for the time being. It was often during these heated discussions that Fin LaVie began to notice that Dirk was often following his lead, and agreeing with Fin on what might be the best course of action. It seemed a bit odd, but then again Fin couldn’t argue with such sound judgement.

Later that day the companions began to notice a presence nearby, as though the group was being watched. Then late that night their fears were realized when Altain was hit with a poison dart while the remainder of the camp was asleep. Luckily others woke due to Altains words of warning before the surprised Eladrin fell unconscious. However not much else came from the short lived attack, as several shots into the marshes were believed to have hit their mark, but no bodies were ever found? The group did manage to catch a quick glimpse of their attackers however, lizard-men, before they managed to vanished into the dark waters of the surrounding swamp.

The next day a submerged road was finally discovered as the group continued pressing northward. It was then decided that the caravan in which they sought had most likely already passed. This lead to the decision to head west in the hopes of catching up to the caravan. It wasn’t long before ruts in the mud below the waters surface would lead the group directly to the wagons. But what they discovered was not a pleasing sight as wagons stood nearly wheel deep in the mud and water, their skeletal horses still strapped into their harnesses! It appeared to be some sort of ambush, but the supplies of the caravan were strangely intact? Arrows and a few small darts providing the only little evidence to what might have happened. It was then decided that the hours were growing late, and the group decided to set camp nearby the wreckage. It was during this late hour that someone took note of four parallel tears in one of the covered wagons. Each was spaced approximately ten inches apart, they appeared to be the large claw marks of an unnamed creature.

Then during that nights rest Altain heard something moving in the water somewhere out in the darkness. Nervously he awoke his companions while the sounds of snapping wood broke the silence of the night. Soon the large creature came into sight, it’s large green body covered with numerous large warts – a troll. The massive creature stood atleast twelve foot, and it’s heavy breathing could now be heard sniffing the night air. Then it picked up on the parties scent and the first volleys were quickly released towards the massive enemy as it approached. But to the groups dismay they soon witnessed the creatures wounds healing nearly as fast as they were inflicted. The troll was regenerating before their eyes! Then the creature landed a massive blow with its fist, and Altain collapsed unconscious!! Luckily one of the companions retrieved the unconscious man from the water before his lungs fatally filled with the putrid waters of the swamp. The battle continued for nearly a minute until finally the large troll fell. Relief rushed over the group as they contemplated their good fortune. Then suddenly the creature burst up from the dark waters and fatally struck Dirk with a massive blow to the head, killing the unfortunate rogue instantly! Quickly the others rushed to fell the beast once again, but it was too late for Dirk. His lifeless body was beyond repair, his head crushed in on the left side from the powerful blow.

This time a burning arrow fired by Wolven dropped the regenerating troll once and for all. It was from this fortunate shot, and the need for a light source, that the companions discovered the power of fire over their now fallen enemy. Shortly after the group witnessed an incredible sight the like of which none had ever witnessed before. The unconscious Altain was given one of the mysterious liquids the group had discovered earlier in their journey, and the Eladrin’s wounds began to mend before their very eyes, and then swordmage’s eyes slowly began to open! It was an elixer of healing from ancient times long forgotten, and the group found themselves marveling at its divine power. Unfortunately such gifts were nothing short of a miracle during these dark times, and all quickly came to the realization that each should be used only under the most dire of circumstances.

The remaining companions took to the nearby trees for protection for the remainder of the night. With heavy hearts over the loss of yet another companion each began to ponder their own mortality. It would prove to be yet another difficult night, as another emotional loss wore on many of the companions. Then as the gray-dawn of the Misty Marshes approached, the group listened as nearly a dozen crocodiles tore the final pieces of flesh from the nearby troll carcass. Never had each been more thankful for trees than on this night.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.