So, we’re heading out again. Off into the hills on a foggy and overcast day. There is a rough path.
We run into wolves. Amina gets a cracking hit in and kills the first one outright :) They’re with the Warg, we kill all of them.
We head east afterwards. We take the corpses, when we set camp in the evening, Rena skins them all. We find wolves etc avoid us, the horses are uncomfortable but not panicking.
3 watches tonight. Nothing bad happens. Rena, Amina, Cade in order.
Hilly area next day, burial mounds. We find one that is cracked open. Woman propped up on the outside of the mound – halfling, dressed like an adventurer, very badly injured. Tells us there are bats in the mound and they chopped her to bits. Her wounds are still bleeding. Rena casts cure light wounds. She’s now a lot better off. She says she can fully heal herself later. Aria – archaeologist…Looks almost like a small human child, not a halfling, but trying to look older. Light crossbow, short sword, leather armour. Rena casts again to heal her up. Rena casts barkskins, and casts light on each of us.
Apparently the first room contains a lot of nasty little bats.
Mosaic on wall depicting man fighting, being killed by small green fey like woman. Lots of bat poo on the floor. As we move in, hundreds of bats on ceiling, not cobwebbed. They start flying around frantically. We acid them to bits.
In next chamber is a skeleton, Rena Mage Hand’s its hand, gets a tarnished copper ring which is magical. We go up and to left, there’s a chamber lined with biers of dead warriors i.e. oh poo they’re skelly undeads . Then a bunch come in from behind us as well. We manage to kill them all.
Final chamber lots of carvings etc of scenes of battles. Battered as if fighting has happened. A withered corpse stands up clutching a glaive. Feeling of menace in the area. It’s a cairnwight. Type of undead, can drain energy, vulnerable to resurrection(!). We manage to kill it. Its glaive is magical, fey bane…. Ancient barbarian warlord, laid to rest with guardsmen, his brother tried to claim the weapon instead of burying it with warlord, so he rose as a wight and killed him and came back here where he’s been ever since. His name is long lost. Stone faces in trapped middle room representations of 4 winds which are malevolent spirits.
Aria had heard rumours about this, she wanted to find out more about the fey in the area. She’ll be using the cairn drawings to expand her information and take it back. She’s going to have a look around and then head back to Peacehold. We go back to the wagon for lunch and then continue onward.
Rest of hex, nothing eventful. Night’s rest.
Heading north east to an area we have not previously explored. Hilly area. In foliage at bottom of a hill, movement. Creature appears. Shambling. Immune to electricity, no mind affecting…..Don’t try burning it…..We kill it. Eventually. A herbalist had requested one shambling mound’s worth of sap so we will drain it and take it back.
Rest of day is very uneventful. Very bright day with snow on ground. Quiet night.
1 day of hunting and gathering then on into the new area. Cross the river, just as we are doing, we are attacked by a barghest, have DR and very fast to respond, outlawed by us, creature of lower planes.
We kill it, and search around and find the barest remains of some people, their bodies have clearly been consumed by the beast. 3 lots of belongings. We remember that these things get more powerful by eating innocent people. It was obviously ambushing people near the river crossing. Rest of day uneventful. Make camp for the night, by the Durden (sp?) river.
New day uneventful, weather is snowing now. Night’s watches uneventful too.
Next area is where Arven has his secret fishing hole. We manage to find it. Weather is cold, water has ice in it, -2 to -8 in water. Clear skies. We find the turtle and kill it. There’s a corpse on the beach, had a sickle, but its mostly destroyed/eaten. Dead druid when detect magic, we find something – underneath his body, just into the water, half buried in the mud, is a magical gem. When its smashed it will summon a fairly sizeable water elemental under control of the person who smashes the gem. Rena takes it. Rena mends the sickle. We take the turtle corpse up to the wagon, camp for the night and then head home.
We go find Arven and the herbalist to let them know what we’ve achieved. Arven is thrilled, and gives us a gift he found while fishing, a ring which he thinks is magical – ring of featherfalling. Elspeth the herbalist is delighted with the shambling mound sap, her herb garden is getting a bit big for her, she gives us 600 gp and 3 potions of cure moderate.
We also end up with 1200 gp from the kingdom for killing the warg.
The people want to build a monument in Peacehold to Beaky the owlbear, as a reminder of how we deal with monsters.
Cade goes out for dinner with Aria, she babbles at him about how wonderful and exciting everything is.
Next day we are asked to attend the temple as people are getting a bit worked up. Series of attacks around town, people just starting to link them, Kesten has been trying to deal with it quietly, livestock (sheep) in outlying farms have been slaughtered in pens, but now 2 people have been killed as well. Shepherd called Bevan, who we know, his son was killed, and last night a maid at the inn was attacked on her way home after her shift (in town). Mutilated, probably by man sized animal like a wolf or warg, partially eaten. Cade looks around in town, Amina goes out to the outlying farms, Rena reassures the people of peacehold. He appeals for everyone to tell their story to the guards, either eye witness accounts or second hand tales. He gets some info – both nights there had been sound of wolf howling. Occasional word werewolf muttered. People point at suspicious characters…..Attacks were all at night. Rena points out it could also be a warg like Howl of the North Wind. Rumour that town has a cult that people are joining. No-one knows exactly what the cult is.
Amina – goes out to various places were sheep were torn apart, by time get to 4th one, all been killed by large man sized creature, discover tracks of large wolf, follow to nearby copse of woods, tracks do not re-emerge, but bare human footprints come out and lead back into town, but they are obscured near town by other people’s tracks.
Cade – looks into barmaid’s movements, she left after her shift around 2-3 a.m., returns home near edge of town. Body – she’s got defensive wounds. She’s been ripped into and partially eaten.
Rena communes with ancestors – asks how best we find the werewolf before it strikes again.
So we instigate a curfew, even guards must be inside, but armed and ready. Anyone found on the streets will be guilty of putting town at risk. After dark we hear wolf-like howl.
One outside town, then not long afterwards, we hear one closer in. So we go in that general direction. Heading for the inn which has horses stabled in a tent affair outside it. We all see a skulking form near the inn. Half man half wolf form. There are 2 types of werewolf, afflicted has less control, usually hybrid form as default, inherited can choose form, have damage reduction silver, we now have silver weapons. He’s carrying a greataxe and wearing hide armour, both of which are odd. WE are well prepped and kill him. He turns back into human form, man with beard, in tribal hides, fits description of Kelids, nomadic tribe in Numeria area. We need to find out where he’s been staying, make sure there aren;t any more. Hope he came here with it, not got it here. We hope to track his movements. Manage to follow his recent tracks, leads outside of town, makeshift camp, bedded down and then got up again. Looks to be one person camp, his belongings here, camp fire, bedroll and blankets, backpack with food. Some things are missing eg shaving gear. Trail that’s older, probably early yesterday, from town.
So we head for the inn to see if he was staying there. We go up to the room of the one guest with a greataxe, barmaid says he kept to himself, hasn’t been around today, he was drinking heavily to try and stop bad dreams, he’s been here 2 weeks. He’d been having the bad dreams for a couple of weeks. He came through Drevlev Demesne. So either have have a werewolf between here and Remembrance, or it’s in Drelev. We serach his room. WE find a severed ear under his bed. Could have dropped off clothing or something. Barmaid’s ear (earring). We take his belongings and leave. Conclusive proof he killed the barmaid. Need to take body to Temple of Pharasma. We need to let Drelevs know about this.
We head out west again after a rest, and making sure people know the werewolf is dead.
Wagon caught in middle of river, driven by some stupid gnomes, now we’re trying to push it out. The gnomes are going underwater as the wagon starts to go under. We get the wagon out of the water and it starts to come towards us. They’ve lost quite a bit of the goods that were on the wagon. They are cheering at our success.
Gnomes suggest making a fire and having a meal to warm everyone up.
We move on – sounds like the trolls are not much of a problem. We move up river, we come across loggers, and a fey in the river, they’re at odds.
Melianse, is a Nixie. Green. Protect their areas , will spill blood if they have to. We get them to agree to us replacing her 5 trees (hopefully by getting feather tokens seed things from a dryad in the next hex to the north west) and them working together in future to make sure it’s for the best for everyone. Stas is one of the loggers. He wants us to help him with something, he has lost his spear to a Hodag. Magical beast with spikes, large quadripeds. Can be 10ft long. More intelligent than a normal animal. Can’t be tracked. Glowing red eyes. He saw it in the Narlmarches south west of here, 2 hexes along to edge hex, then down another row, on row with Candlemere Lake, but at the end of row. He will give us his magical spear, but its currently in the beast’s back, He just wants us to prove he wasn;t drunk.
We move on, rest of day in uneventful. We camp.
We move on. Find a lovely clearing with a pool, woman kneeling by it, weeping.
Badly injured satyr in the bushes watching us. Dryads are a type of fey, dr cold iron, tree dependent, can hide in and use trees to move around. Says she was attacked by a creature that will eventually come here and kill her when it finds her home – an evil tree that wants to destroy the forest. She says she can tell us where it is…Lehava heals them. Teracia is her name. A Sithe tree is the problem. Huge plant creature that can move around – evil version of a tree ent. It likes darker places, hides amongst trees and attacks prey. Dryad flesh is intoxicating to them. It is likely to still be south east of here. About 6 miles away.
We spend the evening there, and make sure they are healed. We leave Lehava with them. Gives us 5 x Goodberries to take with us. Cures 1 pt of healing each or is 1 meal. Next morning, Rena has changed, not green any more – there is a radiant light in his eyes and a faint smell of smoke about him.
Been going for about half an hour when we smell sweet sickly smell of decay. Sickly trees in the area, and the tree canopy is sort of mouldy and blocking out the sun, there’s a clearing ahead (in dim light), about 50ft across, bones strewn on forest floor.
Rena summons an ancestor, carrying an Aldori duelling sword. We prep for a fight. He instructs it to protect Amina. The evil tree is stealthing toward us. Some of us spot it. We set it on fire. It dies. We put the fire out. There are some things in its roots. Robe of bones, money, silver ring, some amber.
We go back to tell the dryad she’s safe.
The two fey look a lot happier and healthier. She would like to work with us and guard the Narlmarches against threats on Borders, she’s now the Guardian of The Narlmarches. Tells us location of some hidden things she couldn’t get because of the ent (2 cure mods, scroll of summon natures ally 2, wand of cure light with 26 charges – we get these when we go back to the other hex where the ent was) , plus 6 feathertokens/tree. Rena asks her about the ancient sycamore, she says she will send her satyr to look at it, so she can see what can be done.
No further adventures in this hex. We head west. The next hex is devoid of anything at all.
So we go south east to the next hex. This is the one with elven ruins/dancing lady. There’s a pond at start of river, there’s a ruined keep. Mostly dilapidated but some bits still solid. Very ancient elven design of fortification, most this age would have collapsed.
We buff before going in through a hole in the wall. Damp foggy day. Difficult terrain, inside as well. WE move slowly round the courtyard. One of the towers has a lot of rubble inside. Second tower is when things kick off. Vines and a beastie – assassin vine! Plant immune resist certain types of energy effects. Beastie is a type of fey – grim stalker. Nasty side of nature, very evil. Vines attack. Something sneaks up on Rena – its a Quickling. They are susceptible to slow spells. We manage tokill the vines and the grim stalker but not the quickling which escapes.
We head for the north entrNCE INTO THE CENTRAL TOWER. Vaulted ceiling, floor is tiled. Frescos of elven stuff on walls. There’s a staircase goes up. AT bottom of steps there is a trap on one of the squares. Mist set off by Rena. We all make our fort saves.
See some type of fey creature, baobahn sidhe. Circular room, big windows with vines, glass ceiling, motifs carved in walls. Flowers on floor. Alluring graceful elven woman in room. It’s the dancing lady. It’s a long fight. We kill her. Phew!
Move on to the North East tower. Rat swarm dealt with. Charnel house inside. Yuck.
Move on to the final tower (south east). Roof missing, vines make up a roof, is a living space for a small creature with furniture (its Rigg’s lair). Bloody scalps nailed to wall as decoration. Trap making equipment, also hidden in rafters 20ft up is an urn. Amina climbs up and finds a clay urn stuffed with coins and gems…Masterwork short sword (small). 119 gp, 131 sp, 27 cp, dozen different gems worth 1800 gp.
Then we go on and look round all the areas we’ve cleared.
Check the front gate, there is a trap on the portcullis. Rena engineers a lock so it can’t work for the next 6 hours. We loot the place.
Rena explains his attunement to spirits of the kingdom as the reason for his changes of appearance, and the different spells he has.
Under the rubble in the south west tower, we find a mithril statue of an elven woman. Is a representation of elven goddess of art and architecture.
Grimstalker in his tower locked chest, break it open, fine velvet cloak worth 10 gp, gold necklace worth 100gp, silver ring with emeralds worth 300gp, masterworked short sword worth 510gp with gems on it, 76sp, 31gp,
Dancing lady – a life sized statue of elven woman dancing worth 900gp weighs a lot, masterworked harp , a jade statuette 75gp coiling snake, ancient filigree elven water clockwork weighs 200lb, snow white bearskin coverlet worth 50gp, 2 royal outfits, courtiers outfits, wooden coffer contains exotic perfume in 3 vials 100 gp each,
We leave the fort, finish checking out the hex, then camp for the night. Then we are attacked in the night. Amina’s watch. 9 hungry wolves. Rena calls the horses in to us and sets them to ‘guard’.
Next hex along is the one that we went into briefly, go into blighted hollow and pick up the gifts from the Dryad. Rest of day is uneventful.
So we then go north west to give the tokens to the Nixie. Is now the 18th of the month.
She doesn’t want the extra token, and she will keep an eye on the rivers for us, and pass info on to Madame Gorner.
We move on again.
On the 19th, it’s miserably wet, 4-7 degrees, all day.
This area of Narlmarches doesn’t have a river or anything notable like that. Towards evening, we come across a hollow oak tree with crude furniture inside and a mad looking man with a big cat – it’s a puma. We call out to him. Rena asks for his name, but apparently he doesn’t remember it. He asks if we want to come into the dry. We go in. It’s all very basic. He plays an imaginary pipe. He is missing a little finger. Think he’s Bokken’s brother. Trying to remember details about him. He’s not a nice seeming person, we’re not entirely surprised when he attacks us. His puma attacks too while Amina is outside at the wagon. Amina kills the hermit. Rena attempts to handle and befriend the puma. He manages to get it to be more friendly inclined towards us.
Rena leads the cat away, Cade searches the tree, we agree to take him back for Bokken to see/burial. It appears he has a collection of small worthless trophies of people he has killed. He was a serial killer. We take the collection as well to see if it might help identify the people he killed.
We go on to explore the rest of the hex. We leave the Narlmarches and wander into a swamp.
Storm in the early hours overnight. Looks like we’re at the Old Beldame’s place. Rena looks all shiny and healthy and not green, he uses a spell to amplify his voice to call out to the old lady. No response. So we move up to a hillock nearer the edge of her fence. There’s a gate with a big bronze bell. Rena shouts again. A scarecrow moves around a bit in the garden, then stops again. Rena calls again, she calls back and tells us NOT TO COME IN THE GARDEN. We move to the gate.
WE tell her we’re explorers, she tells us to go explore somewhere else. We tell her we rule. Tell her about Peacehold. He asks her whether she trades and in what? She says black rattle cap mushrooms (hallucinogenic and painkiller). She keeps the scarecrow to keep unannounced visitors out. She wants people to keep out of her garden, no draining the swamp (it’s good for growing herbs), and keep the noise down. She will give us 100 gp per mushroom. They only grow in the mud pit which is apparently dangerous. She can make magic items. We agree to try and find her some mushrooms. We will finish our exploration and go back to Peacehold and see if anyone knows about the mid pits. Uneventful day other than it chucks it down with rain in the afternoon. We camp overnight. Rains all night, next morning it clears up a bit. Rena asks the ancestors where the nightly storms are coming from. It’s weather from somewhere else, not directed at us. We head home.
Weather next day is warmer, dry and sunny. Get back to Peacehold on the 21st.
WE need to let people know about the Dryad Guardian, the Keep, the Dancing Lady, the Scithe Tree, Bokken about his brother, robe of bones to Pharasma (they give us 6 vials of holy water), – Lily offers us a magic ring in exchange for the mithril, water clock goes in castle. Big statue goes in castle.