Dorset Style - 06. Kingmaker

Sarenith 4713 - to Varnhold

Varnhold: Each house was a similar scene: mundane activities abandoned, mid-chore, and livestock lay dead and rotting.  Some house bore signs of looting, while others did not.

Hogkeeper’s Farm

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This structure, though fairly new, is poorly built. The clapboard walls have large gaps and its roof sags alarmingly. Behind the cottage sprawl a mud-filled enclosure and a covered shed. The smell of decay and filth emanating from this dwelling is horrendous.​
​Around the muddy pigpen are scattered the rotten, half-eaten corpses of a number of feral hogs, now covered in clouds of fat black f lies. One wall of the pen has collapsed, allowing (in an ironic turn of events) a particularly massive feral hog (equal to a dire boar in size and ferocity) to enter and feed on the bodies of his starved kin. ​

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Attacked by crows in the barn, however there is also a Raven, and it following us…

The crows seem to have been in the hayloft and determined to peck at Amina.

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It seems that the place is crawling with Spriggans, prehaps they were what happened to all the people of Varnhold.

When the gnomes first traveled to the mortal realm from the distant land of the fey, some found the Material Plane so strange and terrifying that they lost their sense of joy. Seeing only the threats of the new world but none of its wonders, they grimly resolved to survive no matter the cost. Their innate magic responded to this twisted goal by reshaping them in mind and body over the course of many generations, transforming them into the creatures known as spriggans. Love, happiness, and beauty have no meaning for these poor souls, so they lead lives of violence and malice. The best they can manage in place of positive emotions is a muted satisfaction when they make another suffer.

Spriggans resemble ugly gnomes with an alien, feral appearance. Many are gaunt and haggard. When magically enlarged, they look the same except much more hale and muscular.

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Some tipsy ones drinking the supplies even decided that we their new more comfy home was being invaded.

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That raven is still watching us, always just a little to far away…

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In the rooms of the stockade, they find that the place has throughly searched and vandalised.

They do manage to recover a destroyed map, but are able to piece it togehter showing some of the local area and some of its known dangers.

The boss Spriggan, who had a bag, which when it was empied just kept pouring more and more stuff out of it.

They discovered the spoils of the spriggans’s looting; a sizable haul.  What they did not find was anymore clue as to the missing townsfolk. 

Amongst the items that came out of the bag of holiding was an ancient nomen centur relic – a bow called skybolt.

There was also Maegar Varns sword. With his family crest on the Pommel

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Crossing the river, a lobster/crab like thing attacked, when a little too close to the pool (or found by the squeaking petrified captive spriggan.

The pub: the waterhorse

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A two-story inn stands just off the village commons. A sign above the door depicts a rider clinging to the back of a madly galloping horse with a green mane and a fish’s tail extending
from its hindquarters. The inn’s walls are painted a cheerful shade of yellow to complement the red shutters.

Carved on the floor was the word “NOMEN,”

Within they found the research of Ervil Pendrod, a visiting professor who had been summoned by Maegar Varn to investigate a relic and recently been unearthed. 

No evidence of the heavy jade bracelet was discovered, but Pendrod’s notes indicated some connections to ancient Iobaria, supposing the recurring name “Vordekai” to be an ancient Nomen deity. 

“Vordakai—perhaps a Nomen centaur god?”

And so it was, high upon the Torres and well above the Vale’s Stairs, where rises
from the high water a stony isle of dire report. Known as Vordakai’s Island to those
that do live thereabout, some legend of its name doth come down through the locals.
For they speak of a guardian that doth destroy all who would set foot upon its
accursed shores. They did name no fewer than a twelvecount of their hero-knights
who had left their bones upon its rocky shores over the years after having tested their
mettle against its dread warden, ’til none would any longer go there for fear of its
hidden terrors. And the name of this terror was given unto this Island.

Church of Erastil

A small church stands here, its whitewashed walls and stainedglass windows gleaming in the sun. The bow symbol of Erastil shines like a beacon above the doors. Behind it on one side sits a neatly kept parsonage, and on the other a low hill holds the beginnings of a small cemetery.
While searching the church reveals a hidden drawer in the altar that contains several scrolls the priest had stashed in case of emergencies: three scrolls of cure serious
wounds, three scrolls of remove paralysis, a scroll of restoration, a scroll of break enchantment, a scroll of breath of life, and a scroll of raise dead.

To the Nomen Centaur lands

They claim an area called Dunsward.
​This easternmost frontier of the Stolen Lands borders the steppes of Casmaron and the ancient ruins of Iobaria. Tribes of barbariccentaurs regularly traverse these low, grassy plains seeing no distinction between this region and their pastoral homeland. Proud and suspicious of humanoids, these tribes avoid what they consider human lands, holding to an ages-old unspoken truce, and are both easily and violently provoked should their plains feel humanoid boots. Although the Brevic city of Restov lies nearby, the lands south of the river have traditionally been held as existing beyond Brevoy’s borders and are trod at great risk.​**

Kankerata

Linguistics check: The name means “World Chewer” or “Earth Eater” in the Iobarian dialect of Sylvan.​

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A number of strange furrows scar the grass in this area, disrupted here and there by sinkhole-like depressions and mounds of earth and soil. This region is the territory of a single, cantankerous bulette that the Nomen have named Kankerata (“world chewer” or “earth eater”). Kankerata has dominated this region for decades, contrary to the typical behavior pattern of bulettes (normally, these beasts move on to find new territories once they’ve hunted their current one out). By now, it has almost become a part of the Dunsward’s landscape. The centaurs are fond of daring each other to race through Kankerata’s network of drifts and nests—they view this feat as a test of bravery and often use it to settle disputes.

The Nomen Centaurs

The Nomens’ campsite is currently located in the southwestern Dunsward. The camp itself sits in a low hillock surrounded by a sea of grass. A large bonfire dominates the center of the camp, around which more of the horsewomen dance in a primal rhythm long lost to the civilized soul. A scattering of opensided hide huts numbering no more than five score are ranged around the hollow, inside which other members of this tribe congregate, eat, or sleep. Everywhere, the heavily armed and armored centaurs sharpen weapons, tend to gear, or walk patrols, all with a feral economy of movement and sound. These are the true inheritors of an age long gone when the steppes rang to the thunder of their herds and the fury of their war cries, while the first inklings of civilization clung to shorelines and riverbanks like children to their mothers’ skirts—afraid of the dark wilderness and its wild masters. The encampment is home to the majority of the Nomen centaur tribe, a matriarchal culture dominated by its warrior-women and led by a war-priestess dedicated to their Mother Moon. In all, there are 200 centaurs in the tribe.

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Aecora Silverfire -

Asking about Vordakai

After a moment, she admits that the name is not unknown to her. According to their traditions, “Vordakai” is a “slumbering warlord from the time of the mother tribes.”
In other words, this Vordakai is an ancient, powerful figure from a point in the distant past. Aecora apologizes for being unable to give the PCs more information, as her tribe has
lost much of its history in the years since they were dispersed by Taldor’s army.

A place to the west called Olah-Kakanket—the “Valley of the Dead.” This place is taboo to the Nomens, but their traditions also dictate that they must watch the valley for signs of disturbance or strange awakenings. Recently, a Nomen huntress claimed to have seen a strange and frightful shape lumbering amid the stones of Olah-Kakanket. Aecora ominously
wonders if, perhaps, the humans of Varnhold with their insatiable curiosity and drive to expand and conquer might have entered Olah-Kakanket, and if this, perhaps, might be tied to the vanishing.

Quest: Rescuing Xamanthe

The Nomen who claimed to see a strange shape lumbering deep in Olah-Kakanket was her headstrong daughter Xamanthe. When Xamanthe confronted Aecora, demanding to learn more about the site, Aecora was unable to satisfy her curiosity. Xamanthe has been missing for several days now, and Aecora fears the worst—that her daughter has broken tradition and entered Olah-Kakanket to investigate it on her own. The possibility that her daughter broke this taboo is painful for Aecora to contemplate, but the possibility of the loss of her daughter is yet more painful.

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12 th March session

We find out that the fish (silver eels) from the special lake are the fishy equivalent of goodberries.

Cleansing of Candlemere – consecration done, Will-o-the-wisps have buggered off.

Going along road through pass through mountains, towards fort for Varnhold. Near river, we find ford across river, as we approach there are signs from a distance of carrion birds circling.
We stop the wagon a way away and approach on foot.
Stones and boulders are very black, almost hexagonal. Not flat but easy enough to get a wagon over it. Rope guidelines across river have been downed, there’s a wagon with 2 corpses in. Look to have probably been attacked with bladed weapons, they look like traders. Wagon looks to have been torn apart and scattered. We go to investigate. We get closer, looks like they were attacked when they were making camp. Bodies show sign of constriction and blunt damage as well as slashing damage, also poison and possibly magic missile damage! Wow, someone really went to town on these guys, and horse had totally panicked. Numerous tracks away from this, up towards mountains, 6 distinct different types – large as a person but leaving almost snakelike track, human sized track, large humanoid tracks in boots. Wagon has not been completely stripped of its contents. We bury the bodies and note the merchant’s mark, also pick up what’s left of the valuables and mend the wagon and take it with us. Probably all happened about 4 days ago. We move on, but will bear this in mind for the way back.

We head up into the pass, which is only way through, single watchtower on top of pass at its highest point. No sound from the watchtower. Tower has an entry door that we can see to access. Door still intact. Aria takes a while but picks the lock and opens the door. Entrance is a double door. Cade and Amina advance in. Nobody home. Things left in working order, rotting food on a plate near an outlook slit, spear leaning against wall. Space for 6 people here. 4 rumpled beds, boots at feet of beds, as if people went to bed, cold remains of a brazier on top floor lookout point. No orderly abandonment, disappeared/left mid watch. Nothing to indicate what happened. From top of watchtower we can look down to Varnhold, across the farms to the town of Varnhold itself. Place looks as if nothing has been tended for a couple of weeks, there seems to be movement in Varnhold, but no people, can’t see pigs moving at Tannery pig pens.

We “look for clues” in tower. We find the log of the sergeant in charge of the tower. 3 weeks ago, this group arrived here, week after they arrived they stopped seeing normal activity in Varnhold, sent 2 men down to the town, they didn’t return, and after that there is no entry in the log. This does not make sense.

Heard in past of one or two people going missing like this, but never heard of a whole community going missing. Previous examples have been teleported to other planes. Normally combat involved but there are magics to make people disappear. All buildings and other creatures are still here, it’s just the ‘people’ who seem to have vanished, but no sign of violence. Magic = targeted disintegrate, but might leave dust; teleport; disappearing into ground. Not enough evidence to narrow it down, but all possibilities are high level magic and individually targeted. Or you kill everyone and disappear the bodies. Could this be the work of the centaurs magic users?

We run through possibilities of how to avoid being caught out by this if there is some sort of area effect in place still active that targets creatures over a certain size (since birds are still here but we can’t see the pigs). Cade calls his contact to try and find out if that is the case. The answer comes back that we will NOT automatically disappear if we go down there.

We will have to take the horses as no-one with us to tend them. Come in to North of town, first building we come to is a fairly new building, it’s the pigs pen, not very well constructed, emanating smell of decay and filth from it and behind it. We tether horses and go take a look. Head for the sty, it smells terrible, fighting bouts of nausea. A feral hog charges us and breaks through the poorly made fence. We kill it. It had escaped its own pen and got in and eaten the other pigs, which are now rotted and covered in flies. Rena casts purify food and drink so they are now edible and less stinky.

Then we go look in the house. There’s a lot of half eaten food on plates, more than a day’s worth of food lying around, sink is full of dirty dishes, clothing lying around – whoever lived here was a slob. Book on taming wild animals, very battered and scribbled in.

House opposite is a farm house, much tidier. Chicken coops but no birds in them, just feathers. No eggs. Abandoned in middle of early morning activities, small family probably. Rena casts spell – Discovery torch. Other building next to it is the tannery. The tanner was Tristan Beservar, journeyman, here to help Maegar Varn, wanted to experiment with tanning process so moved on to his own business to improve his craft rather than following traditional methods. Something not quite right about shape of hide here – oh ffs these are centaur hides!

We move on. 2 houses across the way are farm houses again. 1st one normal activities interrupted, 4 adults probably, all male, 2nd house 1 woman and 3 men in this one.

Big house on waterfront is the Brewery. Wagons here near loading bays. Brewery has been doing well, make a dark stout that is popular with folk in Haven too. Barrels ready to be shipped, interrupted mid loading. Run by a gnome with a couple of dwarves working for him. Notes on wall suggest there was a shipment going to Restov and one to us. There’s a loose floorboard under one of the brewing vats. Cade and Aria check for traps. Don;t find any. Pull floorboard up, and find a lockbox. Aria opens it, money and a unique recipe for their stout. Replace it as we found it. We stable the horses and the cart. We move down to the ford and try to cross, we notice in water in deep pool to side of ford, there is a tunnel of some sort heading down towards main town itself. Aria suddenly makes us stop moving. She feels there is danger in the road. Rena pokes with his spear where she points. There is a camouflaged spiked pit trap. Which suggests whatever made everyone disappear, stayed behind and made a trap. Aria says its well made. We go round. We head for the big house to the south west of the ford. Blacksmith’s. Livestock here had been left behind. All dead, being feasted on by crows. Attacked by a murder of crows (swarm). We acid and fireball them into oblivion. Troughs are empty, so they died of thirst not hunger as there is grass here.

Now head up the hill to the fort where Maegar Varn and co live. There is a fire smoking in the stockade’s compound. We walk round to the gate. Helmets visible over wall. The sharp eyed in the party notice that the ‘people on watch’ haven’t moved, so they are probably just helmets. Rena asks them to open the gate (which is partially) , a creature (see picture) throws a dagger out at us, then runs away into one of the buildings. Amina runs after it. We fey type humanoid called a Spriggen, chaotic evil, live in tribes. Can change size, can be small or large, this one is large. We beat him and manage not to kill him, just, and tie him up against a post, unconscious and badly hurt but not bleeding out. We move on to Hallit Gurney’s place. Cold and abandoned. We stop and listen to see if there is anyone else in here with us. We hear something from the corral shed building to the south. 2 more spriggens appear from being invisible. We fight. We hear a wolf howl. A bunch of wolves join the fight after we kills spriggens. Everybody’s dead, Dave.

There are sounds from inside the main block house, as if someone is locking and barring doors. We avoid the pit trap outside and break the door down. Inside is a murder alley with arrow slits. They shoot at Aria and miss. Then they target Tallis’s shield which takes damage. Rena mends it. We break down the next big tough door. We check in the well room before we move on. Aria searches the room, notices a concealed hidey hole at the top of the well which contains 6 potions. Well is deep and dark, but dont think theres anyone hiding down there.

We go through the next door, 3 rooms plus staircase: armoury, lots of weapons and armour, they’ve been rifled through. No magic in here. Next room is Hallit Gurney’s room. Has been thoroughly searched and trashed. Final room (bottom of stairs) is the bunkhouse for 6 guards. Aria checks for traps on door, let’s us know there are people inside. There’s snoring. 2 spriggens pretending to snore. 2 crossbow bolts. Oops, they’re dead.

We go upstairs. Stephan Lorentis’s dovecote. Cages have been opened, feathers everywhere, no birds left alive. Next room is guardroom. Ambush! Trapdoor in ceiling, well used ladder. Governor’s quarters empty. There is a partially destroyed map which we take. Master of despatches quarters, nothing of note. general destruction. Kitchen and stores final room this floor. Much bigger and meaner looking spriggen in here. Club and crossbow. Looks lean and trained. Tougher fight than the rest, but got him. This has been ruined as well.

So we head upstairs. On top of watchtower, watch post, view of whole town and surrounding area. The spriggens have not been up here. We can’t see anything moving, apart from that pesky raven watching us again. We go back downstairs all the way and go to question the surviving spriggen. Cade casts a spell so Rena can question the spriggen. It says they found out they could get into empty human place, better than cave. Sense motive says he genuinely has no idea what happened to humans. All gone when they came here. They’ve not been in the tunnel that comes in from the river, doesn’t know about it. Doesn’t know anything about the raven either. Fire on tower not lit, so they came to investigate, and claimed it for themselves. So we put him at the front and go back to explore the town.

Notable buildings/contents: Common where there is a well, decaying spriggen body is bottom. Our spriggen tries not to let us see it. We don;t want to drink from that. Cade fetches it out. Near river on way to get cart, spriggen gets really nervous. Pool water has big monster in, will eat you! We decide to pick a fight with river monster. Amina bathes in the river to get spriggen blood off and tempt the monster.

It’s a chuulk! Big crabby arms. Aquatic aberration. 8 feet tall, weight 650 lbs, armoured crustaceans, pincers, can paralyse victims. It attacks Amina and grapples her. It gets thumped.

It’s an escape tunnel from the well inside the stockade, and the potions are waterbreathing potions. The monster must have moved in quite recently. There are spriggen corpses in the tunnel.

Cottage neat and pretty curtains. Been thoroughly looted by the spriggens.

Potter’s house has had its magic front door kicked in, remains in garden of several clay vessels and statues. As we search house, we notice there is a chest behind a hidden door, inside it is set of flagons and platters hand detailed in platinum. Has symbols of House Surtova in design. Is very valuable and has been a commissioned job. Small placard saying its been commissioned for Eldest daughter’s wedding. we’ve not been invited sulk.

House built into hill – open door hangs askew. Old man part of original group. Been looted. There is a handaxe on table as if someone was mending it when they left. There’s a journal hidden here. It’s written in Skald, Aria casts spell to read it. Badly damaged, records descriptions of skirmishes they’ve had here with centaurs, against idea of an alliance with them, last entry about 2 weeks ago, and page torn out, 2 months ago there’s an entry that says found bracelet by river, pages torn out, there’s a symbol that Cade thinks is a warding off bad luck. we also find a folding boat.

Next place is the Waterhorse pub where we stayed. Scratched into inn door is the word Nomen in common. In the main common room, there is a giant sized spriggen standing perfectly still, holding a book. Back of his head is totally stoved in, but his face betrays no sign of his dreadful wound. Basically frozen in time, no blood etc from wound. It’s under a magical effect (detect magic). Likely to be released from stasis in near future, he was frozen, then someone stoved his head in. Looks like the book was read and was magically trapped. Was a one shot spell. Rena takes the book. Find some research materials, some downstairs and some in the occupied guest room. Lots of history books. Magic type books. So there was a research mage here.

Looks like there is a room that was recently occupied (as in up to 2 weeks ago). Belongings seem strangely familiar. We think it might be the historian type Restov we met. Letter from Maeghar Varn describing a jade bracelet he wanted him to come and study. The bracelet isn;t here though. Notes in his handwriting ’Vordecai, perhaps a notification sent to your god" next to passage in book about the Isle of Vordecai.

One of guest rooms has a very expensive viola in it, we take it for safekeeping.

Then church of Erastil. There’s also a parsonage and a cemetery with 14 wooden grave markers. Hasn’t been desecrated. Wooden box on altar with scrolls. Magic scrolls. 3 cure serious, 3 remove paralysis, 1 restoration, 1 break enchantment, 1 breath of life, 1 raise dead. We take them too.

Weavers cottage. Abandoned toys in front garden. Family with 4 kids. We spot a very starved looking calico cat. Collar with name on it. Bloody raven is still watching too. Rena charms and feeds it. It’s called Dragon. Bet the kids named it. We take it with us.

The Grange. Cargo place. Barley and grain. Overrun with rats.

Gem cutter’s house. Demolished the house, walls have been torn apart.

We’re back at the stock house. Lots of BP worth of stores here. Best gear is with the guy in the kitchen. And the map. Magical bag of holding. Pour out lots of coins and gems and jewellery. No jade bracelet. There’s a magical longsword with symbol of House Varn on it. It’s a Defending Longsword. There’s also a Centaur ancestral longbow.

Rena has some suggested questions for the ancestors:
Is Maeghar Varn still alive? No.
Is Maeghar Varn’s son still alive? Yes.
Are the majority of the people of Varnhold still alive? Yes, in a way.
Are they captured in stasis? An equivalent of.
Will investigating the Isle of Vordecai help us locate and free the missing people? Yes
Is the Isle of Vordecai in the middle of lake Silverstep? No
Is the Isle in the Nomen Heights? Yes.
Is it North of current location? No. Ask the centaurs, it’s their knowledge you need.
Was Skybolt given willingly? No.

We deal with the swarms of rats in the grain store. Purify the befouled well water as well.

We send an animal messenger to Jayana Varn at the castle, to tell her of her father’s demise and to get her to marshall 2 small armies to take over the watchtower at the pass and the fort in Varnhold itself. So leave Paladins to defend the west, Stags in Peacehold, use fey sorcerors in watchtower and rangers in the fort.

So now we’re off east to see the centaurs. Gulp! They’re nomads, we’re heading to what the map thinks is a camp. We’re not exploring we’re just travelling straight through. Next hex along, in afternoon, we find old campsites, not recently used. We keep looking, towards time we think we should pitch camp, area of grassland we are about to enter, we find strange furrows in ground, sinkholes. Camps we saw were all in rocky areas. Amina thinks its a Bulette. They are sense movement above ground. Not friendly. Rena knows about underground creatures that can burrow, see in dark, can jump out of ground to attack. Tend to be solitary and consider large swathes of territory they consider theirs.

We set up a thumper to draw it out. It comes out. We fight. We knock it down, and then we coup de gras it. Rena wants it as a trophy.

We need to pitch camp here. Rena sets up his oasis. Not many animals around, oddly enough.

Moving on looking for signs of centaurs. Well on through day, a bunch of centaurs come riding towards us in a thunderous manner. Shrill howls, aggressive, waving weapons at us, ride round our group, trying to intimidate us. Rena uses his megaphone voice to say “take us to your leader”! They’re not keen on us, but after we show them Skybolt, they agree to take us to the leader (and the rest of the tribe). Take us to a camp, what we know about them – Nomen tribe is offshoot of mighty Valshalkis, translates into Thundering Hooves. Once roamed Northern Kasamar, but migrated. Tribal tradition, guardians. Matriarchal society led by war priestess worship Desna, tribe has been in conflict with humans since Taldan explorations, to current day. Females are warrior class, males are hunters. Hide huts and tents. Heavily armed and armoured centaurs everywhere. Many start war cry when they see us, children hide when they see us. Taken to one of biggest hide huts. Not a small tribe. Tent is near fire. She tells her warriors to shut up, doesn’t want to hear why they’ve brought humans. Rena tells her what’s going on. They are the guardians who protect against Vordecai. He is a slumbering warlord of old, from very distant past. The place they may not go, the Valley of the Dead, the humans of Varnhold may have gone there and awoken something. She suggests we start there. She will give us directions. Rena asks her if we can start peace talks, begin a peaceful existence, we follow good gods as they do, no reason for us to fight, in fact it would be utterly wrong. She shows us on map where Valley of Dead is, and warns us about – on F9 on Nomen heights map that is the Valley: points out that F7 there is a landmark Linorans Grave – bones of a long a dead something on the hillside, its holy to them so must be respected. Can hunt mastodons there for food. We stay the night, will set off next morning. As we set off next morning, she takes us to one side, asks us quietly (almost embarrassed) could we look out for her daughter, strange shape lumbering in that area, and daughter went to look and has been missing several days now, hopes she has not broken the taboo, but wants her found and brought back, basically.

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Sarenith 4713
GM Log

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On Starday, the 1st of Sarenith a messenger arrives with a formal note from Restov.

Greetings from Restov and congratulations on your triumphs. I hope that we are entering a time in which these lands will be called stolen only in history texts!

Yet it would seem that for all your victories, your fellow colonists to the east have met with trouble. The settlers of Varnhold are not responding to messengers — and indeed, some envoys have gone missing as well. You may have noticed this on your own, (given your alliances with them), but as the political climate here in Restov grows more turbulent, we find ourselves increasingly limited in the amount of aid we can send. Certainly, we cannot send troops south to Varnhold to investigate without our overly watchful lords to the north misinterpreting the act. And so it falls to you, I fear, to investigate the Varnhold mystery. For if something dire has befallen the colony, you must realize that your own could be next!

Trusting in your discretion and expedience,
Jamandi Aldori — Swordlord of Restov

SPY REPORT:

Jamandi Aldori and Varnhold were in negations to find a good site to build a new dueling school.)

SPY REPORT:

Northern Brevoy has become quite concerned with
Rostland’s interests in the Stolen Lands, and the political
climate in Restov has become dangerously tense—at this
point, any perceived interest in the Stolen Lands could
well be interpreted by Issia as proof that Rostland is
attempting to increase its holdings in preparation for
civil war.

RUMOURS & GOSSIP
This is also supported by rumours in your own town of a couple of people who have not made it back who were expected. Also no birds have been recieved by Jayana Varn (daugher of Maegar Varn, looking to marry King Rena) who is currently in Peacehold as part of the diplomatic envoy arranging her marriage to King Rena.

Edrist Hanvaki also has approached the kingdoms patrols, and is worried about his brother Tomin, who was recently visiting friends in Varnhold, is several days overdue from returning.

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Desnus 4712 - Desnus 4713
GM Log

Desnus 4712

A visiting celebrity went to Reembrance Hold and many people flocked to there to see him.

Sarenith 4712

A Plague swept through Thornhold! it was however stopped quickly by the healers of the Kingdom.

Ambassadorial report from Mivon

These past few days have been very productive here in Mivon.  I’ve learned a good deal about the politics that drive this nation and some of the nuances of the houses on the High Council.  Currently, I’m in meetings with each of the houses and will send you a full report on my findings as soon as they’re concluded.

Political power in Mivon is expressed mainly in martial prowess.  They have a system known as The List, which ranks one’s skill with the blade. To move up in power, one must move up on the List.

As you can infer, Mayor Selline is at the top of The List and rarely sees a challenge come his way.  He does not claim to be a swordlord, as four of the nine houses are led by, but in fact Selline makes no claims at all, which is interesting seeing as most people here strive to get their reputation with the blade out into public hearing.  It makes me believe the man much more dangerous than he looks.  None doubt his skill.  None dare to doubt it.

Outside of the High Council, there are two other significant power groups that exist here.  The first is the Houses in Exile, which is headed and represented by Lady Andara Gisvet.  These are the twenty minor houses of Mivon, whose views she relays on the High Council.

Second is called the League of Merchants.  They control nearly all river trade in Mivon and are at constant odds with House Zerov, which sits on the council and would like to have more of an influence in that enterprise.

I will be spending some time this week specifically learning more of the trade that is done in this nation and see if there are some specific trade goods that we might one day be able to supply.

Your loyal Ambassador
Burtaesh Chuskhu

Erastus 4712

Crypic message from New Stetven arrived.


“Find Hencheck, beware the guild.”

No action taken on the message recieved.

Arodus 4712

Spy Master Report: Intercepted report made by an unknown individual in Peacehold.

The document looks damaged and incomplete..

Looking at the population the size of this fledgling kingdom is only the size of a duchy. I am aware that their is the potential that Rena the “king” is actually of noble and common blood. I believe he is of House Lebeda, they have not acknowledged him, and he does not have the cortly graces of one who has been brough up in such a manner. However if House Lebeda were to acknowledge him this would cause the Rostalandic claim on the stolen lands to be greater, and may stimulate the agitation bewteen Issian and Rostlandic peoples. We my need to move quickly to do this, due to Elanna Lebeda curent machinations in getting her daughter married to Nikoli. The house is not as cohsive as she would like us to believe.
If we wish to use this fact, it may be in a best intreast for a test of for example kinsight to be used and recorded, should and entered into one of the churches archives so we can use at a later date, though hidden enough that if will not come to light unless poltically advantageous forourselves
We need an individual under our influence that could conduct and report this in a manner just added to archives without being read.

If Rena was to be recognised as a Bastard it could be intreasting to set up some poltical marraiges, which could be either used to destablise or stabalise Brevoy as needed. There should be some intreasting bridal choices. of course there is also the issue of what to do about input from outside of our control. Reports I have recieved from my counterpart in Drevlev demense would indicate they would not get involved with Haven, however Maegar Varn is another issue, and seems to have a lot reasons, and good starting place for establishing closer ties with Haven. Mivon is the other likely candidate to become involved – though the poltics there are instreasting to navigate and I would be intreasted to see how the Kingdom of Haven deals and learns about their ways.

The coin Barons of the river kingdoms, are here and present in Mivon but are currently making their assessment, they have not made their move. If we would like to reduce their influence, the church of Abadar would need strenghting here. They currently have a paladin of Abadar as there highest ranking member who works and judge and contractal obligations. He would need support and education if the coin Barons make there move.

The aspis consortium are currently not here, to busy in Numeria find artifacts etc. There are others who are intreasted in the potential lost history and artifacts from the days of Taldan expansion here, nothing signifcant has been reported, and keeping as such would mean that this group are not likely to show up here. A contact in Pitax has reliably informed me that they are looking at making inroads in that area.

Goldfoot Mercantile have made no approach into Haven, they have been looking more to the area controlled by the Drelev Demense.

Mivon – There are various immigrants from this area here in Haven, though looks like there is an ambassador of kind here (he keeping himself quiet) we are not sure where he has come from. The High council or the exiled houses though unlikely to be from the league of merchants

Haven seems to be unaware of the outlaw council, so have not tried to become involved in the poltics of the river kingdoms. Them becoming involved with this would certainly cause a lot of tension on the southern brevoy border which is not something we want at this time as it would be counterproductive. It would also could be very counterprodive for Haven. If they do become aware and want to get involved any suggestions on how we should handle it. My though would be to get them allied with Mivon (the exiled rostlandic noble houses) and get them to be their voice without causing another detsablising shift and another conflict so close to Brevoy.

It was intreasting news about the family artifact of house Lebeda, Indeed I think the knowledge should be let slip, and I am sure that someone will be sent to acquire the item for Mendev. Though suggestion from the divinations suggest that it surfacing would have the most effect in Spring 4714. Sarrona Lebeda could also be strongly influenced in the future of her noble house with the events of this, I have been not give insight into how this may be so. – please let me know how we can get this relic back into play and upto Mendev.

Rova 4712

Tatzlford is really doing well this month however even by their standards was a good month. Latricia Evanore credited the towns devotion to Erastil for the bountiful harvests.

This months spy report detailed some of the notable changes in Brevoy poltics

King Noleski Surtova is now declaring himself as King not regent

House Lebeda, have been seen to withdraw militry support from the Drelev Demense who they back in hope of opening up trade routes.
The marriage between Lady Elanna and King Noleski Surtova seem to be increasing.

Political situation – tension between Restov & House Aldori and New Stetven & House Surtova.

House Aldori, under their leader, Jamandi Aldori, expanded out from Restov to ‘protect’ the empty Rogarvia manors in the south. It is the first time in many years that the Aldori have united behind a common leader and acted like a Noble House – the first time since their destruction by Choral the Conqueror nearly 200 years ago at The Valley of Fire.

There are murmurings from the North as to how the Aldori are getting above their station.

Now that the Bandit and Troll (?Centaur problems?) to the South of Restov have been dealt with or protected against, they have been reducing their southern defences and and bolstering their Norther Lines.

House Medvyed

Their strength is in defence – the people know the wild lands and can ‘disappear into the hills’, Stoneclimb is difficult to besiege. The people (and the rulers) are happy with the simple life. However they make some of the best mountain scouts you have ever met. Again they seem to be recruiting young men into the defence of their communties.

House Medvyed has a passing interest in the settlement of Varnhold as Maegar Varn is the third son of one of their lesser barons.

It is rumoured that House Medvyed is associated with Duma the Sly, a bandit who roams the southern Gronzi Forest. He certainly seems to leave them alone, and concentrates his attacks on Royal messengers, merchants and tax men. They have not increased the protection of this area.

Conflict potential

The Rostland Plains were once the domain of the Aldori Sword Lords, but was lost to House House Rogarvia. Since The Vanishing they have been trying to recover their old lands. However, House Surtova also claim those lands …

The Rostland Plains were once the domain of the Aldori Sword Lords, but was lost to House House Rogarvia. Since The Vanishing they have been trying to recover their old lands. However, House Surtova also claim those lands …

The Rostland Plains were once the domain of the Aldori Sword Lords, but was lost to House House Rogarvia. Since The Vanishing they have been trying to recover their old lands. However, House Surtova also claim those lands …

Lamashan 4712

The spy network was able to get dteails reports on size of the brevoy noble house holding and some details of house Lebeda and House Surtova militry.

Neth 4712

Recieved a offical letter from varnhold, as some of kingdoms citizens have been poaching fish.

The weather was exceptionally benfical to the kingdom, the normal harsh weather was much milder than normal.

Kuthona 4712

The castle is Valorhold is completed, and citizens are glad of the shelter in the bitter winter months. However the mild weather of the previous month has left people un prepared for the normal seasonal weather that occured. some citizens were caught unaware and un prepared.

Thornhold become quiet vocal that places like valorhold get their own castle yet they have very little…

Abadius 4712

Wow is been 30 months since Haven was founded!
Thornhold were granted their tavern. Finally a place to warm up in this bitter winter.

Calistril 4712

Those smugglers were trying to get the fish again, though the patrols are putting a stop to it, so no more complaints from Varnhold.

Pharast 4712

A Castle at Ancestor Hold is built increasing the defences of kingdom. Some worry with the way Brevoy is behaving will they take offence at such a move?

Gozran 4712

Lamashtu cult has tried to establish itself in Firsthold. It is belived that they arrived from the North (Brevoy).

Desnus 4712

The temple of the Elk has finally achived its former glory and this ancient place is now a cathedral for the God Erastil.

For some reason, the people around want the farmland to return back to wilds. (it is beween Kobolds and on the varnhold border)

Sarenith 4713

- Summer has arrived….

and so has a letter from the Swordlords…

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Desnus 4712
GM Log

1st Desnus 4712 – Meet Munguk

munguk.jpg
The group meet a very hungry and depressed hill giant called Munguk. He does not like to fight, makes blue wolf berry moonshine. He is also looking to be part of group and find a female hill giant to be his wife.

2nd Desnus 4712

Area explored borders Mivon and has the Little Sellen River heading sound into Mivon. (This is an offshoot of the East Sellen river that branches further east at Mivon is know as the Little Sellen for its relatively narrow width; this river averages 90 feet across and 20 feet deep.

3rd Desnus 4712 – Abandoned Ferry Station

​Half-collapsed, rotting wooden buildings stand on each bank where the Shrike River branches off of the Little Sellen River. The buildings have been used as lairs by kobolds, mites, and even a few groups of bandits in the past, but currently the yare unoccupied.​

Shrike River: Splitting from the Little Sellen, the Shrike is named for the numerous flocks of birds that nest along its length. Averaging 300 feet wide and sometimes reaching depths of 60 feet or more, the Shrike would make an excellent trade route between Brevoy and the southern lands, were it not for a pair of 30-foot-high waterfalls that make safe river travel impossible between the two points.

4th Desnus 4712 – Border with Mivon

track a large wolf pack who have been troubling the border.
spend day taming and training the alpha.

5th Desnus 4712 – Border with Mivon continued, Remembrance Moon, continuing training wolves and exploring

6th Desnus 4712 – Border with Varnhold, nothing notable in plains

5th Desnus 4712 – enraged owl bear passage coming south, heading into a cave.
owlbear.jpg
Dead mother owlbear and 2 baby owl bears, one baby very ill due to starvation. surrounded by a number of dead bandits.

The leader of bandits dead wearing ring, with map of owl bear lair, and also Peacehold

Green hair and gem ring – cursed, cause owl bear to be friendly then turn into a rage.

Kingmaker__2_-_Rivers_Run_Red.jpg

It was then imperative for the silent sword to return to peacehold. If it had not been for the sterling work of the officals in peacehold and the army within its newly built walls there is do doubt that a lot more people would have been killed and the it would have been more than the destruction of half of the temple of aroden and some block of houses.

Grigori.jpg They were also greeted by a troublemaker named Grigori.

A charismatic orator arrived a day after the quiet blade last left town and has been
giving speeches criticizing and denigrating the leadership and their actions. More and more of the townsfolk are gathering to hear him talk, and he’s building a wellspring of support among the disaffected settlers in the town.
When the quiet blade arrived back in town after finding evidence of the trail of destruction by the enraged giant owlbear Grigori was giving a talk in thea square, speaking of the their “gross negligence” in abandoning the town to “go gallivanting through the Narlmarches on fool’s errands” and leaving the town exposed to banditry, monster attacks, and worse. He brings up the town’s recent werewolf troubles and the owlbear attack.

Malgorzata_Niska.png
While they are brough back into town and catch up on the months adminstrations it is brough to their attention: that rumors fly that a secret mystery cult dedicated to the hag-goddess Gyronna has taken root in the town. As goddess of hatred, extortion, and spite, Gyronna’s cult represents a threat to any community, and tales abound of isolated communities throughout the River Kingdoms that tore themselves apart from within due to the machinations of the Angry Hag’s priestesses. It has been linked by the spymaster to the increased problem of births and the mad ravings of a wise woman in peacehold.

On investigating they narrow a list down too 12 suspects who would fit the profile of the type of person who would be attracted to Gyronna’s cult (adulterous wives,
embittered prostitutes, and spurned lovers.)

With this knowledge they investigate these woman, and get reports of these women. They then interview all the women at Lady Samantha Gorna place. They believe that two of these women belong to the cult and set a tail of them.

This leads them to a barn, where Cade is able to see what happended after they dispeared confirming that they are part of a cult of Gyronna. They are able to work out that some of the women have not gone so far as they cannot be rehabilitaed but the others are sentanced to death for their nefarious and vile activities.

The cult is still in its early stages, comprising only six cultists under the leadership of a cleric of Gyronna named Malgorzata Niska. By day, Goody Niska is a respected midwife, a position that has enabled her to recruit new members to her growing flock, as well as providing her opportunities to steal newborn babies and swap them with changelings.

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Late in the Months of Gozran 4712
GM Log

Moonday 23 Gozran 4712 – explore area that was inhabited by trolls

Toilday 24 Gozran 4712 – Tree of stars

Lehava in return for becoming a guardian of the tree, starts to change to fae, and binding to the glade.
This is a sacred site to the Gods, and Gozreh presence can be felt here.
If the dead unicorn is returned its very rare miracles may be used to resurrect the unicorn.
In the morning three unworked but seasoned pieces of wood appear, the group aware that this is a gift from the tree to make three sceptres as symbols of rulership within the kingdom.
(ooc mechanic: if making sceptre of suzerain, then it will grant one of the requirements for making of the item)

Wealday 25 Gozran 4712 – Explore border hex with Mivion

Oathday 26 Gozran 4712 – Faerie dragon sharonaa, who wants to become a familiar

Fireday 27 Gozran 4712 – signs of acid damge, beleived to be a Forset Drake

Forest-drake.jpg
A lone forest drake, a degenerate cousin to green dragons, patrols the woods in this region looking for prey. While not as intelligent as a true dragon, it possesses savage cunning. It might set up an ambush for a small group of travelers or stalk a party until it can pick off a lone straggler or two.​

When it is tracked back to where it came from, they find its lair. This tangled thicket is littered with rotting meat, cracked bones, and scattered items of gnawed-on equipment.​ Strewn about the underbrush are the discarded possessions of the forest drake’s most recent victim, an unfortunate elf scout. Most of the gear is ruined, but the following items can still be salvaged: a ripped and broken masterwork chain shirt, a masterwork darkwood longbow, and a tattered, bloodstained cloak of elvenkind.​

AMINA (The elf was wearing an amulet of Sevenarches, of note that the Sevenarches is a holy site of elves, but they have banned from entering by the human settlement. Some elves, have started to look at radical solution to the human infestation problem.)

Starday 28 Gozran 4712 -

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March 4th session
After the trolls

We are unlikely to be able to claim the territory here, too far away really. Maybe in a year’s time, if we worked really hard and just concentrated on getting here.

So we spend the next day exploring the hex. Uneventful day. There are very few sentient creatures here. Wonder why? Also a lack of big game. We’re going to move on and explore the south west hex. Head off to explore border area. While exploring, there is a particularly dense forest area, very overgrown, trees are very ancient, we find a clearing/glade, massive tree in the centre, burn scars, lightning marks on its base, huge even compared to the other ancient trees, glade is strangely tidy and well kept, tended, no saplings encroaching. Feel its very beautiful, tranquil, restful. We rack our brains for legends, we sit down just outside glade, centre of glade light seems to have stars floating in it above tree – There’s been talk that somewhere hidden deep in woods there is a magic tree called The Tree of Stars, items can be magically restored here, unicorns are born here, elves can be reborn as unicorns here, demons/devils burned to nothing by touching tree, in roots is a gem crown, tree fated by gods to grow here and is revered by gods, could be secret druid tradition that they come here on pilgrimage once in their lives…..so maybe that’s the answer rather than a fey living here. Amina wonders if a unicorn could be REborn here?

As we walk closer, Lehava stops and sits down. She says she has a decision to make, the glade is offering to break the curse, but she will stop being what she is. She will become a fey and tied to the tree. She stands up, decided to stay, and she is starting to change appearance, she suddenly looks healthier. We stand aside, it takes over an hour, she goes and puts her hand on the tree, and then tells us that as guardian of the tree, she offers the hospitality of the glade to us. There is one who should be returned here. We say we will bring the unicorn back here. She says the unicorn itself will chose whether to be restored to life or returned to nature by a miracle of the tree.

She asks that the place be offlimits to the woodsmen and settlements as part of the kingdom. We will make it law. Make it a green place of Gosray and druids. Likely to become a place of pilgrimage.

We rest overnight, awake refreshed, on beds of moss as if designed for us, by each of us 3 rulers, dropped from tree is a piece of ancient and seasoned wood – will need craftsmanship to make it into an item, but it looks like it could be made into a sceptre. If we wish to make it into a Suzerain sceptre, there will be no penalty for lacking one of the items needed to make it.

So that’s the hex explored.

We move into the hex next door (border hex). Not much activity here, no signs of people, some troll traces. Uneventful day, large food sources are mostly gone, as are predators. When we make campfire, while Sienna is singing, an invisible fairy dragon is listening (Cade can see invisibility). She appears and we welcome her in. Rena gives her his Goodberry. Her name is Sharonaa, she wants to become a familiar to a wizard, Amina suggests that she might like to stay with the elven vintners till she finds a wizard.

We set off again next morning, heading up one hex.

Another wooded area, not many beasties again, however signs of some human activity (though not recent). In more northern part of hex, start to see occasional damage, hunting trails and wagon tracks, that have been cleared a bit, maybe in recent months, carts have been this way but overgrown. Patches that have been burned away, or damaged, some rocks have become pitted, acid has hit them. There were rumours of a dragon, but hopefully its a forest drake – they can spit balls of acid. Can breathe underwater. Considered degenerate green dragons, savage cunning, not as intelligent as a true dragon. Lawful evil. So of course we try and track it. We’re about as stealthy as a mack truck. It’s very quiet, no birds etc, so we guess we’re getting near to its lair. Yep, there it is. We beat it to a pulp very quickly. Then we track back to its lair. Godsawful smell. Rotting meat, cracked bones, equipment, this thing’s been here quite a while. Has been eating Mivon traders. Broken masterworked chain shirt, dead elf’s body, been dead a couple of weeks (identifying items – a scout amulet with a symbol on it from Seven Arches in south western river kingdoms – we know that Seven Arches very important to elves, but humans taken over, and have banned elves from entering their own holy site – elves are rumoured to be looking at extreme measures to remove human occupation), a masterwork darkwood longbow and a magical cloak (tattered and bloodstained) of Elvenkind. Hex is explored.

Rumour that there’s an elf gate in Seven Arches. Kyonin, ancient homeland of elves, borders on Seven Arches. Long distance gate, there is a network across the planet. Elves disappeared about 10K years ago and came back about 2K years ago. Elves call them Iadora. 6 active ones known of. There are rumours of others existing. Taking amulet and burying elf closer to road. Need to try and let someone know.

Another hex, not in the woods this time. South east. Uneventful day. Border hex. Wild country, signs of trolls here, and towards south on border, bands of hostile, aggressive fey. Night also uneventful.

Next hex is border of forest, and plains. Lizardfolk come this way a bit, we see patrols. We ask them to take and preserve our trophies (hodag, drake, and troll heads) for us, and ship back to Peacehold. They want paying. 10gp. Uneventful day and night. Next day we head south east. Rena can currently cast Grove of Respite.

Next day we are out in the plains, bordering on Mivon. More signs of hostile fey, all leading south to Mivon border. Looks like they’ve attacked trade caravans in this area.

At night, Cade and Rosa’s watch is disturbed. Sound of several large bodies approaching. Trolls x 5! Rosa wakes us up. We fight. We win. We go back to sleep.

Trolls have loot. There are corpses, peasants and caravan workers, there are 300gp worth of salvageable goods (nails, wigs, merchant scales), a scroll case with scrolls, masterwork small sword short & a few gems.

We hear really bad drunken singing from a distance. So here is the giant we were warned about. We meet Mukmuk. He doesn’t like fighting, he’s hungry and needs beer. We talk to him, feed him and give him beer, and he agrees to basically work for us in some capacity in return for food. He will travel with us and we will try to find him permanent employment, and a wife – maybe as a construction worker. He comes with us and will help look after horses if we’re attacked. He’s been making a map on the back of an animal skill. He’s carrying a wand of Hideous Laughter, and a Necklace of Fireballs II.

We zigzag back south around river to explore some more. Then head back up following river to where it splits, Little Stellen river heads along, Shryke goes up to Candlemere. Abandoned ferry station. Buildings have been used as lairs for various creatures, but currently unoccupied. Piers for ferry, and there is a small ferry, which can take one wagon at a time across the river. No ferry keeper. We will have to get ourselves across. Uneventful day exploring.

At the border, more signs of fey again. Evidence of fight between 2 different fey group, so they’re not organised. During following day we see signs of wolves, large pack hunting (12 ish). Stayed away from river, mainly on this side. Tracks look like normal wolves. We track them. Oh look, itsa woolluff. Rena charms the alpha, and attempts to handle animal to make friends with it and the pack….He casts Create food and water, the alpha eats, then the others warily join in….He starts trying to train it. There’s some dissent, alpha has to injure a couple to keep them in line.

Next day Rena changes his hex to be able to speak with them, continues trying to handle animal. We finish exploring with the pack in tow.

As we move on, there’s a sign of a day old ish, recently felled trees, churned earth, trampled bushes, coming down from the north. Coming from OUR kingdom and going south. Huge sized creature. Metal claws. Bits of leather fur and feathers behind. It’s by the river, we think maybe in a cave…Yep, its a cave. Bits of broken trees outside, and dark fur snagged on them. What IS this thing? Ceiling height average 10 ft. Inside – large cavern, full of carrion of offal, fungi on floors and walls, loadsa bugs – 20ft high. Tunnel slopes down to south, thinner opening to north. Oh boy! Most of the fungi are not edible, but not a problem, however by entrances something called Violet Fungi, they really like rotting stuff, including human flesh, they don’t have brains, and can’t be poisoned, they have tentacles. Large poop pellets, like birds might produce. Looks like it’s an owlbear. Go up to narrow cave, it’s full of webbing. Unlikely the big guy came this way. Full of spiders. Medium sized spiders. Cave weavers, quite aggressive. They have tremor sense, can web people, better in webs than out, can see in dark. We fight them.

Then we find a shambling mound with a symbiont centipede swarm in the middle and kill them too.

Then we run into an enraged giant owlbear. Ouch. We eventually kill it. There’s a dead body in here too. Its wearing a ring of green hair twined round gems. It appears to be a Ring of Animal Friendship to you at first, but its actually cursed, and sends the creature into a massive rage. The green hair is significant, we found it in the stag lord’s amulet. Fey queen probably. Cade can feel vile hatred coming off the hair. Also find 2 potions and a load of other stuff.

Next cavern behind owlbear is a big dead animal, plus half a dozen humanoid bodies. Lots of insects in here, flies. Fairly recently dead normal sized owlbear, 2 dead owlbear cubs and 1 surviving one. Hole in the ceiling. Rena casts charm animal and casts create food and water. Poor little owlbear :( We don’t let it gorge and make itself sick though.

There are more spider webs up through the hole. Rena sends a lantrern archon up, it reports 2 evil creatures with 4 8 legged pets. He sends it up to kill them, it doesn;t come back.

So we go up there. 4 spiders and 2 ettercaps. WE manage to kill them too.

We need to get home, that owlbear may have already been to Peacehold, the map the dead guy had showed Peacehold as a target.

So we go home via the trail of destruction left by the owlbear. Which coincidentally goes through many of the unexplored hexes. We arrive home 6 days after the attack. Walls of Peacehold still standing, gates are being repaired, plumes of smoke, fields have been torn up and livestock flattened, everything is very subdued, like people are in shock. People are pointing at the owlbear corpse on the cart. Man in one of the squares, sort of holding court, audience captivated – how dare we have let this happen. Very good speaker. Rena reacts and tells him off. We talk the crowd round. He slinks off. People are already muttering that he came here deliberately to cause trouble, he’s only been here about a week, around the time of the attack by the owlbear. Madam Gorner tells us it’s likely he is spy. He came from the west, coinage is not Drevlev, is holding court in the Tavern, he’s an entertainer/performer, has a LOT of cash on him. He must be reporting back to someone, so we need to find that out. Madame says nothing found out so far. Amina suggests askign the fairy dragons to spy on him. She suggests finding out what languages he speaks. There is unrest amongst female population, saying some of babies are changelings, been going on a while…Higher than usual death rate in babies. We send for priest of Pharasma. Rumours of cult to the Hag goddess. Cult of Gyronna (evil goddess), often bitter ex wives, spurned lovers and prostitutes. Holy symbol is a bloodshot eye. Rena suggests we travel to the south and talk to the swamp witch. He thinks they might have tried to talk to her to recruit her. But we’d need to get her mushrooms. We could ask the gnomes to explore, but people on their own down there are being lured off to their deaths. So a group is ok, but we probably need to go deal with the issue.

Rena suggests Stas should be given a position, since he identified and even attacked (and survived) a dangerous monster. He’s a lumberjack. We go find him in the pub, restore his honour, and for his honesty and standing by his honour, we raise him to the People’s Council of Haven. His mates are stunned that it was real. He’s equally stunned but chuffed.

Send the blood back with Svetlana to give to Bokken when he comes in to trading post next.

The trolls were something Restov asked us to deal with a while back. Troll patrols start dispersing as the month wears on. We will spend the month in Peacehold. We send someone to Restov to let them know about the trolls. They send back 2000gp for us as a group, and 10 BP for the Kingdom. Not forgetting the 4BP from Mivon troll loot.

We get a list of a dozen women who fit the profile of possible cult followers. 2 of them work in the brothel.

Fatima – she dreams of marrying up in life, skilled woodworker. Has a husband who is away a lot. He’s not faithful either, she hoped she might marry a client, but they have horribly spurned her, she’s overly passionate and a bit of a thrill seeker.
Beverley – depressed about a lot of things, she loves being with her children, only really smiles when shes with them, would do anything for them (all teenagers) split with husband who stayed behind, she hates him, comes from Northern Brevoy piratey area, very working class, very athletic build, supports her children in sports etc, no formal education of her own.

We are going to interview all the girls in the brothel, reinforce separation of madam G from us to make sure girls are all happy working there. Have church of Pharasma sit in as well, as responsible for childbirth and healing etc.

We will publicly oversee the inspection. Are the girls happy, anything they want to share, anything that’s happened to them here…..make sure they’re not exploited etc.

When we chat with Fatima, she seems happy in the brothel, life with husband not great he cheats on her, works in brothel to rub his face in it, hates elves. We ask why she’s struggles with carpenter work, her merchanting skills are terrible, but if we offer her to woodwork around castle so she doesn’t have to sell, she likes that idea. So she will become salaried royal carpenter. Some of the others love their jobs. Some do it because not sure what else they could do. One is brainless. Cade notes to the Watch to investigate if Fatima’s husband dies in next year. Beverley a nihilist by nature. Only thing that shows she is human is her kids, 12, 13 and 14 years old. Hates her hubby and men in general, sense motive tells us she is working in brothel to use men. Comes across as adept at manipulation, no schooling, undisciplined, she would be scary if trained. Youngest boy and girl are very athletic, very sporting, win lots of competitions, utter disdain when I mention monastery. Not very forthcoming when I suggest we should help her kids get into competitions. We need to make sure that the kids get a chance to enter competitions at the Archers festival. Seems to lose interest when we talk about them growing up.

Overall it seems most are happy at the brothel.

Other people on list of suspects:

Edwith is a commoner, absent minded, always losing things or having items stolen.
Enna is a former slave, makes herself look like a witch, wide hat, has a green fire drake companion
Hodi is a merchant, husband repeatedly cheats on her.
Ceci worked in church of Abadar, but also other churches, always in whichever one is flavour of month
Astor helps husband repair weapons
Alia has had a recent falling out with Pharasma who wouldnt help with women troubles, then went to Erastil male priest and bitched about not undertsnading
Wilthdis is another trader, unmarried, loggers know to avoid her as she is horrible to them, likes inflicting pain on others
Gloria is a map maker, has a habit of falling for wrong kind of man and being downtrodden, loves colourful clothing, always seems to be smiley and nice despite being abused a lot. We ask her if she would like to be map maker for the kingdom, she asks very sensible questions about what sort of maps we want, – tactical, explorer, travel guides – she suggests we employ her full time as map maker. She’s very organised, wants to know about buying goods to make the items, does she have a room in castle or work from home? We agree we will find her a room, and arrangements to get supplies of paper and ink etc. She is so eager to please, we can see why so many men have taken advantage. She may be unable to say no. We set her rules about who she can accept work from.

Laria – very large lady, taller and stronger than most humans, very powerful, (str 18!), skin dark and tribal tattoos on face and skin. She likes to show off skin, wears some revealing tops and skirts, hair and eyebrows shaved, missing an eye, lots of piercings, very calm and doesn’t get riled when people have a go at her appearance. She is available for advice or protection to women, and is trained as a sage, but not keen on having to deal with people. She’s on the list because she’s scarily different. Works out of the docks.

Esper Accord – she is a heavily built young woman, not especially imposing, confrontational, seems to be high on something…..she takes everything the wrong way, looking for an argument all the time, looks down on everyone. Merchants area. Unmarried has several suitors. Born to wealthy landowner, minor noble, in frontier town in rover kingdoms right at southern end, family had a summer home, she used to go play in an old dungeon quite far away and her family went away and never came back for her. About 12 when that happened. Survived all that time on her own. We want to investigate the family, so we send messengers out and they come back after a few days. Their summer home was in Northern river kingdoms, her family didn’t know where she was after search parties sent out, they’ve never been back to the summer home – We send correspondence to the family to tell them she’s here.

Beverley one evening seen sneaking out towards out of city to a barn on outskirts. When watching, in attendance Aria observes. Can’t see what’s going on, couple of hours in there, then 7 leave. Edwith, Ennen former slave, Ceci, Astor, Alia, Goody Nisker the best midwife in town (non Pharasma). Once they have gone, we will go into barn and have a look, there is a concealed trapdoor with a cellar below, we find a simple altar of stones and gems with glaring bloodshot eye, Cade and Rosa look back at what has happened in the last 8 hours, and Rosa can share the memories with anyone who wants them. Goody removes her nice appearance and she is the leader/recruiter, they are all cultists, she performs dark rites, and ask them for info for other people who can be recruited. Ceci is trying hard to be second in command. They butchered fluffy animals during ceremony.

Rena is asking for whether the women are unrepentantly evil.

Beverley is unredeemable, Adwith can be saved, Ennen maybe, Ceci no, Astor yes, Alia no. Nisker is human, maybe powerful hag priestess.

So we set the watch to secure the location of the women and isolate them, the army to secure the barn so the evidence cannot be destroyed, and we go after Goody Nisker.

As its evening, they have all gone home. So we go to Nisker’s house, knock on the door, tell her its the king, she says she’s just making herself decent and will be out in a second.

She opens the door, and invites us in. Says she is surprised to have us come to her .

There are 2 patients here (mother & child).

Rena tells her we’ve just come from the barn. She is under arrest. She threatens the mother and child if we take her. She channels negative energy for 10 damage. Rena cures child, it cries and wakes up. We hit her hard and kill her. Rena heals the mother and child up. The mother DID see the Holy Symbol used and heard the threat to kill the mother and child, but not impressed with us for going ahead either.

Rena explains what was going on. She isnt happy, we have not gained a fan.

Ceci has been desperately trying to be a priestess, she answers door, lets us in, crowing that she has important visitors. She’s on her own, no-one else at risk. She tries to turn evidence on the others. We dont make her any promises. We will get the Watch to search the house.

Beverley at home with kids who are in bed, doesn’t invite us in, we ask her to step outside, same speech as before. Tell her the children will be raised by the state, the watch will take care of them for tonight. Shes muttering and miserable, blaming the world but not herself.

Alia next, is home, lets us in, same speech again, asks, wants a moment to get ready to come out, but we throw a cloak over her and take her as she is. She wants her father’s ring, its in a box, its a poison ring. Cade empties poison out, and gives her the ring. We will be adding poison to the charges.

Ennen next – she begs not to be enslaved again. Nothing akin to it. We tell her it will be raised at her trial. The fire drake wants to come with her. We say it can go with her, Enna is keen to have him free, we see this as her route to redemption, happy for it to be around her and free.

Astor – her husband disowns her. Rena says it will be investigated to see why Astor was driven to such measures, hopes the husband comes out blameless. We are aware he has spent all his time and their money on another woman. Husband is a dick, clearly. It comes out he has spent all their money trying to woo someone else.

Ceci tries to damn everyone else as much as she can.

We sentence the unredeemable to death, the redeemable are sentenced to keep no animals for 10 years and to train with Phrasama as midwives, and the ex slave will be imprisoned and Pharasma will try to rehabilitate her by education while she is in prison to draw her to healing etc, if she rejects it, she will stay in prison. In a month’s time, Ennen is reported as understanding and ability to learn things is more biased towards druidic. So we will call upon Erastil priests to nudge her towards druidry. Eventually we will send her to Jhod at Bearhold to look after.

Astor is not wanted anywhere near patients, cannot deal with people, no bedside manner. Has had some animal training in the past, she’s very practical and good at making things, its suggested she might be useful as a vermin trapper. Also very good at making medical equipment. Her husbands business declines rapidly after she leaves.

Esper Accord – her family would like for her to come home, or they will come to her, they spent 3 weeks looking for so believed her dead, they didn’t come back as they didn’t want to relive the pain, they will pay through Abadar Church to get her home. She’s still pretty bitter but she will go. So we lose a citizen.

“Cry for help” area – woman’s voice trying to get us to split up up, other voices , traps, concealed hideouts, those of strong mind don’t get affected. When we find it, it can mimic our voices perfectly. It is intelligent creature, Lacotta, talent for mimicry, tortures then eats people. Along Little Sellen river trade route. Bodies etc in lair tortured to death. Has accumulated wealth, some of which have been eaten and pooped back out. Someone had a blue dragon hide breastplate and matching shield (not magic).

Rabble rouser tried it again, he gives up eventually as we just keep talking him down. Some of coins are PItax coins, but there’s no real evidence to tie him back there.

We go mushroom hunting, carnivorous plants around them. Creature that lives there sounds like it might be a Tendriculus, CR6 creature, it’s a plant, it can hide in undergrowth, it can paralyse and eat you alive. It can regenerate, fire damage doesn;t heal as fast. We spot it. We lure it away. Its a result of corruption of nature, not natural, it understands a few words in a single language, certain creatures can secure an alliance with a single one. Not necessary for the black rattlecaps. Arranged for someone to keep feeding it, in return for it guarding the flats and allowing it to harvest the mushrooms. And we went and saw the witch and gave her the mushrooms. She likes us now.

We take the unicorn’s body to the Tree of Stars, very fey looking Lehava is there. We lay the unicorn body at the base of the tree. After a short while, the unicorn starts to breathe, and gets up, but it’s horn is still missing :(

It confirms that it was a deranged, corrupted nymph that killed it. We ask what it will do now.
It will continue to look after the forest. It would appreciate it if we find its horn and return it.

We are negotiating with Mivon. They’d be interested in treaty, and a re-established trade route along the Little Sellen river to Restov. They’d like a big building for their embassy. We take a smaller one in their kingdom, because money.

We agree to consider extradition on a case by case basis. Citizens of each country are bound by the laws of the country they’re in. They have a law of any road, any river – free travel which has to remain unobstructed, so no tolls. We agree borders.

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ADMIN NOTE

New version of Realmworks available for anyone who uses revealed info on there, though as not real time updating I had not been using it much like that.

New version of herolab to download and update.

Current D20Pro version is 3.6.11 – check this is the one you are running. will give the ip address on sykpe when we start (64 bit install file is dropbox) or Mc/ £2 bit versions also available from there web page.

Latest version of Kingdom Manager App is version 1.1.1.5
the last one I used was showing as 1.1.0.0 i had to uninstall to reinstall. I have place a copy of install file in dropbox or you can go to daddy DM page for Kingdom Manager

Please export copy of current version of character to D20pro files for my easy use for battlemapping

Many thanks

Abs

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Off adventuring again...

18th Gozran 4712

Head to Lizard folk village and talk to their new Shaman, stay the night.

19th Gozran 4712

Explore the area: Meet some hostile creatures (Boggards on patrol) two of them have sacks with dead creatures in. (A grig and a lizard folk)

20th Gozran 4712

Continued exploring, and found where the Grig came from and met his friend, who sang a wake song. Sieana was able to tell them about the Boggard attack.
They also learnt that Boggard become paler as they get older.

Starday 21st Gozran 4712

New Moon

Woken up during the last watch of the night before, there camp is in the path of some playful.

A huge deadfall of trees and brambles lies in a mossy heap here, a mountain in miniature left from a violent windstorm several seasons ago. Numerous cavelike hollows can be found throughout the deadfall—one particularly deep cavern. his cavern is the home of a fantastically rare and legendary monster—a hodag. The creature’s den is a 30-foot diameter chamber, the ceiling of which is a tangle of dead trees that forms a natural dome-like ceiling. Dozens of bones and half-eaten carcasses (including those of several lumberjacks and bandits) litter the lair, for the hodag is a messy eater.

The creature charges out of its Lair. Spikes cover the body of this vaguely reptilian creature, jutting forth from nearly every angle. The beast’s gaping mouth is filled with
dagger-sharp teeth, and a sinister crimson glow fills its eyes. Squat and powerful, the creature’s arms terminate in massive clawed feet just as suited to digging as to rending a foe limb from limb.

Hodag.jpg

Siena is able to tell them that legend says that the River Kingdoms, where the Sellen River collects its tributaries into a mighty torrent flowing toward the lands downstream, tales of a hodag capable of flight keep travelers watching the skies as they move through the region. Stories dispute the origin of this terrible beast, with some claiming the creature resulted from a mad druid’s magic and others saying its mother was a powerful manticore. The mysterious claw marks high in several of the region’s trees are cited as evidence of the beast’s fearsome climbing ability.

Sunday 22nd Gozran 4712

​A narrow path winds its way up the hill, a steep cliff face on one side and a sheer drop-off on the other. At the top, the path follows a wide ledge, where the corner of a weathered stone building juts from the side of the hill.​

RW-636194162891492164-5.png

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7th January session

So, here we are, still on the shores of Candlemere…next hex over is the lizard village, we didn’t really explore this one. So we head over to the village, where they offer us the old ancestor spirit’s hut to stay in. They seem quite peaceful, but still got stockade and guards on duty, shaman comes to speak to us. Not chosen a leader yet, everyone is a bit afraid of the idea of having responsibility for what the clan does. Rena asks if they understand why we deposed the previous leader? The shaman does – intelligent creatures should not be food. Rena suggests the shaman should use his wisdom to choose the next leader. Shaman says that tradition is it should be one of the best warriors – so he suggests a tournament to pick the best. Rena agrees that’s a wise idea. Shaman suggests the consorts should have a voice as well – the ‘mother’ should have a voice. Rena agrees. He suggest the tribe become vassals, and explains the benefits to both sides. Amina leaves them a letter promising safe passage & assistance to the bearer through the kingdom to deliver a message to us if they need to. They warn us there have been hunting parties of boggarts in the area recently.

We have a quiet night. Watches are maintained anyway. They even make us smoked fish for breakfast. Rena casts purify food just in case.

Travelling about during the day, it’s a bit chilly for Gozreh (April). Few degrees during the day, freezing at night. Not long after lunch, we’re in a forest but somewhat swampy area, hear something loud (not stealthy) sound in the distance – voices speaking a language we don;t recognise, medium creatures moving around. We stop wagon and listen. Go to investigate. See creatures rather like something we saw in ruins elsewhere, froglike creatures. We think they’re boggards. Yep, we pool our knowledge – have their own language, generally vicious, nasty, vindictive, disorganised, cruel on a whim, good jump, slightly amphibious, swamp creatures, terrifying croak to scare creatures. We hear them drawing weapons. There are 5 of them. We fight and kill them. One of them has a bag containing a dead grigg, the other has the head of a lizardfolk. Lehava casts Gentle Repose on them (5 days of not decaying). Quiet night, then next day we move on. Still heading west.

2 hexes near border with Mivon (undefined border). Need to remember to negotiate before we try and claim it (should we wish to)

Still in forest. Day is uneventful, we see boggard tracks just seem to be those 5. We find the kill site of the grigg, and its nest. Looks like they specifically hunted it. Probably 2 days ago. We search the nest, couple of pretty things woven into nest, nothing of value – like to attract someone because on outside. Been torn apart. Seems to look to be quite a young grigg. We look for other nests in the area. Cade and Amina spot another nest. We speak the grigg, Aria makes some wine for it, and Rosa helps her make a little song to tell the last minutes of the dead grigg’s life. It had only been alive a short time, but ok in this dangerous place, and they had a little competition to make their houses bright and nice. Then the boggards came in – they come in from the swamps, not round here. They were looking up in the trees for things, and they were looking in all the ruins as well. They didn’t spot this grigg, but they spotted the other one’s next and just went in and killed him, left all the shinies but took the body, but then they stood round and seemed to be choosing who got take the body. Then she praises her friends pranks and how funny they were.

Boggards usually come in spring (the bright coloured ones, they don’t get light coloured ones). Boggards start off bright coloured when they’re young, get darker as they get older. An ancient one will be white. WE take her nest down and put it on the wagon, and we take her and it with us, she’s going to go and live with Tyg and cop where it’s safer. She offers to sit watch with one of us. Her name is Sienna. She takes third watch with Amina and Rena.

Aria and Rena’s watch, they hear something coming, large and boisterous. Then we hear a roar. Sienna stays with Lehava on the wagon. We move a bit towards the noise and away from the camp. Coming storming in towards us are a shedload of bears! 2 adults and 2 youngsters on a rampage, playing, but pretty destructive. Amina knows if they feel threatened they will attack, they might just roll through our camp if we don;t threaten them, best way to divert them is to use a natural thing they won;t want to go into, e.g. fog, bad smells. She shouts that to others. Rena creates the illusion of a bear to the north of them. They head away south again. Hurrah! Everyone goes back to bed. New moon tonight, Star Day. 4712 Gozren.

Now we’re heading to where Stas said the Hodag was. In the morning, starting to warm up, area has a lot of deadfall trees (bears! storms!). Cavelike hollows where roots of bigger trees torn up, Cade spots a very deep one. Looks like its been turned into a den of some sort, bones and half eaten carcasses, including humans. Uh oh! Den is 30ft diameter chamber with tree roots forming a ceiling.

Reptilian creature, dagger sharp teeth and red eyes. It charges. We fight it an kill it, we go through its lair and find stuff. Including Stas’s spear. Hodag had managed to get it out of it’s back. We take it with us on the wagon as a trophy. We are a bit mental.

We camp in peace that night. Grigg tells us there’s been a legend for ages about this, but nobody really believed it. Some think its caused by druid magic, others say born from powerful manticore.tl:dr – nobody really knows. 700lb of dead magical beast. She’s sure it was male. Females dont have horns. Rena asks about trolls. More activity slightly futher south. Apparently they have a leader now, since about 4 yrs ago. Some say hes one of the fey queens lovers. Fey queens consort the count, he was a member of the eldest, rulers of fey, she decided she was newest member of The Eldest, which annoyed them, so they sent a devil off tokill her, and sent the count to the plane of shadows, he’s not been heard of since, she disappeared for a while and then came back several years ago, gone completely mad. We should get people to look into fey legends of the area and learn as much as we can about queen. Grigg says theres a very old dwarven place in the rocky hillside, wonders if the trolls are there, shes never been there herself but it is south from here. TRack the trolls to find the place.

South into next hex. We find hillside with sheer cliff face, path goes up, sheer drop on one side cliff on other, building like a watch tower, looks like natural thing that’s been adapted. We spend some time looking for somewhere to safely hide the wagon, lots of small ruins dotted around, so we leave it there with Lehava and the cat and the grigg, no tracks or anything comes into it. They will need to be quiet and not have a camp fire.

As we approach up the path as stealthily as we can, get near arrow slits, a yell at top of lungs comes out of arrow slits. Deep bellowing voice, shouting to eveyone ot wake up. Amina opens door, dimly lit entrance room. Two big creatures inside. Troll!

A trollhound arrives. Looks like a monstrous cross between troll and warhound, extremely violent, regeneration similar troll, can inflict disease on those they savage. And another troll further back. Another thing comes up from a corridor to the south. Rena has a new friend, a dire boar who is pretty cool.

There’s a horrible smell coming from the stairs to the south, troll toilet.

To the east is a big chamber with carvings on wall that have been defaced. a headless humanoid corpse lies on a bloodstained table. There are dog type things to the north and another chamber to the south.

To the south there are 2 more trolls and another thing – a 2 headed troll. We know this thing doesn’t regenerate as well as a normal troll.

Now we come across something that throws magic items that do damage. King of the trolls,

Looks like a rock troll in the background – they really can;t stand daylight.

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