Dorset Style - 06. Kingmaker

29th October

We discuss whether to let the Rushlight festival go ahead, Irrevetti having announced that the prize for the winner is the Rod of Lordly Might. This is currently packed away with other stuff to go to the festival. It’s up to us what we want to do. It’s a good 6 weeks away, so parties probably having been sent out yet by the other Lords. Doubtless they will be sending envoys to find out whether it’s going ahead. So yes, we’re going ahead, and we’ll enter.

There are some pirates we need to deal with before then.

Also we need to get the stallions back to windchaser so he knows what’s going on and whether he can trust us.

We need to deal with Mivon.

Carnivorous trees need dealing with. There’s also a bunch of thieves guild people camped out. The weretigress was their captain, she’s now dead.

There’s also the business with the sleeping creature called Hooktongue which is probably an ancient water wyrm.

We need a chat with the Mivon envoy chappy. We meet him in the pub. He gets us drinks. He tells us he’s here for his own safety and that of his loved ones. He’s effectively in exile. Rena tells him honestly what we’re thinking. He comments that Selline is getting on a bit, he’s still mayor because Tellick defers to him, nobody can beat him. Tellick is protecting him while he learns everything he can from him, and will probably take over once he’s finished learning. Rena proposes bringing his family here to protect them, and then we would sponsor him to challenge the Mayor. He’s to let us know what he needs. He will organise getting the people he wants to rescue together in one place so we can go and get them.

Sarain would like to be independent and not have a constant war between Mivon and Pitax over who controls them.

We’re going try and find the Cat’s Paw camp and try to recruit them as a rogue army for us. We go Air Walk and find the camp. It’s in G9.

G7 is where the Pitax army is that needs disbanding. Word sent to do this.

E6 is the location of the Tusker Riders.

So we walk into Cats Paw camp. Rena uses Clarion Call to tell them we just want to talk, and that we have already defeated their leader, Alyson the weretigress. Slowly one person comes to the front, clearly scared. Get impression they’re taking visual clues from someone else. We can spot someone in crowd, sort of hidden in the crowd, that the ‘spokesperson’ keeps looking at. Everyone around them is very uneasy. There are snipers around with stuff trained on us. The spokesman tells us he is the war leader, but can;t speak for everyone. The chief torturer is the guy in the crowd. Speaker not sure whose orders the snipers are following. Rena makes the offer to them. Speaker says that they will need to make the decision as a group. Emphasises their loyalty to each other. Asks about pay. Rena says yes, if they become an army for Sanctuary. Says it’s unlikely the chief torturer will be welcome. Lots of others look like they may be of the same mind as him. We look around at them trying to gauge how many of them there are. Around 500!? (Huge army of humans, snipers, masterwork weapons, magic armour – very scary bunch). Going to be hard work shifting this group’s attitude. However they agree to do it. We need to put someone strong in charge of them, as they will need a strong general. Terrion Numesti, possibly?

We’re off to see the giants on mastodons, and pick a fight. There are 50 of them. We wait for them to stop so we don;t have to attack while they’re mounted. We go invisible and Zone of Silence, buff, and then surprise them. We take out their handsome leader early on. Its a long fight but eventually we kill most of them, and then chase down the badly injured ones that ran away. We talk to the mastoodons and let them know that Hillstomper is waiting to welcome them back, and those that weren’t from his herd should go too.

Eliste Strocalle of Darkwind Trade House, lots of people suspect she’s a bad ’un, but no actual witnesses prepared to come forward.

Xapiri Yasmina has more or less forced the Cattenei family to give her the controlling interest in the trading house, she could ruin them. Nothing provable. Very mysterious, nothing known about her.

The drug dealer has gone underground.

The theatre is putting on much better quality performances now.

There are two towers, the Tower of the Fallen – they used to bury people on the hill but it attracted ghouls, so they created underground sepulchres; and the Lighthouse which was damaged by pirates and left to rot, people think the drug dealer had been using it recently as his lab. Sewers need repairing and clearing as well. Irreveti had neglected a lot of things during his reign.

Thinking of sending the cohorts into the mountains and pay adventurers to explore the rest of the unexplored territory here.

Cade uses abilities to look at Yasmina to see if she is what she appears. She is disguised and has used some illusion to help. She has branding that suggests she is or was a Chelaxian slave, and a Tiefling.

Evindra has taken up residence in Pitax when she’s not following us and the sword around. Spending a lot of time in The Crow’s Feather, which is very expensive and not very good, but strangely is doing very well. It seems the landlord has lots of books, but if you want to read them, you have to buy the food and drink. He’s got a lot of old history books, and wizard stuff.

We go see Dr to tell him about the town that phases in and out. He tells us about gates and anchors to the first world. If you anchor something in one world to another, they’ll take on some of characteristics of the other world – e.g. snow and ice where it shouldn’t be.

Rena asks him about the story of the nymph who went mad and became the fey queen, and how they took her capacity to love and made it or put it into an item. Rena says he doesn’t understand the logic, wonders if Dr does. He says the Eldest do not feel and reason the way we do. It would be a very different type of justice system to ours. Just giving her back her love will not change her nature. Only the Eldest would have the power to use it to its full capacity. It may be the key to getting her love back, which might mean her Love as well as the emotion. It could be a key to the Shadow Plane. Destroying the sword might release it, or trap it forever. There might be a way to use it that might allow her to be reborn. Dr has a lot of speculation but nothing concrete and definite. There must have been a reason for her passion and love to be taken, as justice. There must have been something more to it than just her falling in love and declaring herself an Eldest.

Rena thinks we should go look at these carnivorous trees in the woods where we think there may be a link to the plane of Thousand Breaths.

We send explorers out to cover everything except the woods.

Cohorts come back and report Thousand Voices is more swampy and tangled near a big waterfall, many of trees have been burned or melted, there’s a dragon skull impaled on a rock. Typical signs of a black dragon lair, specifically a black dragon wyrm. This fits the description fits the lair of the black dragon who killed the dragon we resurrected. Looks like it may currently be empty, for at least one season, judging by the regrowth.

In this hex, something feels very very odd, but don’t find anything that would explain it. Best they can describe is that it feels closer to the first world than anywhere else they’ve ever been.

Cohorts face off against a beastie. It eats rock and it can Stonestep. We beat it.

Aria spots a tree that isn’t quite a tree (in B9). The cohorts move away from it and head home.

We all troop back a day or so later to have a look. We go in very cautious. Aria identifies it as an advanced Quickwood. Its a plant creature. Quickwood wood is very absorbent of spells (can be used to store spells), they are resistant to spells, and almost extinct for this reason. Trees have 360 degree vision up to 360 feet around it from a sort of clairvoyance using oak trees in the area. If its connected to an oak tree, it cannot be flanked. Immune to lots things, including electricity, fire and mind affecting stuff. Not renowned for being especially evil, though it will kill people if it comes across them in the woods. It is just a carnivorous plant.

We go into see it. We find it. It attacks. We knock it down, then revive it and Rena tries to persuade it to work with us by joining a druid grove and working with the druids. It agrees. Takes a while for it to get its head round difference between animals and humans. It agrees. Its been here a very long time. Its aware of how close this is to the fey world. Beware the Castle of Knives, its a ruin in here. When it shows, it will be close.

We round up some druids who are delighted at the idea of working in the Thousand Voices with the Quickwood.

And then we go look at the Dragon’s Lair. We take down the dragon’s skull and bury it. We go look at the waterfall to see if there’s anything behind it (like a cave). Nope, but in the pool there is a nest at the bottom. It was a big dragon. We search the nest. There’s an odd coin or two but clearly the treasure hoard has been taken elsewhere. There’s no magic here either.

We wonder if Irrevetti had access to this, however, judging by the ledgers, no. He took on a very wealthy kingdom and bled it dry.

We finish exploring the area.

Next stop, Rushlight festival. We think we might enter archery, we ask people about the logsplitting contest – female human from Daggermark has tell tale signs of being a sorceress. Mr Levixian brew blackberry mead. Wants people to drink it in the midnight joust as the sponsorship would boost his business. Bertrand Orelen lost tournament 3 years ago, thinks there’s cheating. Will give magical arrows to anyone who can spot and expose a cheater at this year’s festival.

Archery first: Rena enters. Pitax (well, Sanctuary). Aria watches for cheating. The Daggermark candidate is switching arrows. She shouts it out. He is checked and he is indeed cheating. He’s disqualified. Florante Mayank from Grouton, takes her time, one shot per round, aims for green target. Mivon shooter is making a show of it, trying to get crowd on her side. Half orc from ???? goes for red target. Winner by one point is Florante Mayank.

Test of the axe: Crowd is mocking Daggermark contestant, who is small, slim female sorcerer. Joint last are Pitax and Daggermark but Amina has done more damage to her final log. Grouton comes higher only because of the extra two handaxes he threw. Then Mivon and Timon, and Cade wins.

Boasting: Rosa wins, Daggermark, Aria, Tymon, Mivon, Grouton disqualified.

The Midnight Joust: We win. We win the festival overall and get our Rod of Lordly Might. Get some magical arrows. 3 flaming burst and 5 magical beast slaying arrows.

The mead guy gets his orders and boosts our economy.

View
Mivon duelling notes
Sources

http://www.epicwords.com/wikis/22830

https://pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/List_of_Suitors

https://pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/Mivon

http://kingmaker.frozenstar.net/NPC/ViewNPC.php?lname=Tellick&fname=Gaspar&title=

View
7th October

The fight goes quiet, We go looking for Irrevetti. To the south we find a troll nest (at least 8 trolls probably use this), and a strange bedroom for a large human. There’s a chest in here as well as the big bed. Signs of there being more than one occupant. There are bloodstained manacles on the bed. Aria opens the chest. There is a load of money in it – a wages chest, belonging to the captain of the guard. Probably one of the people we fought that came in later.

To the north we find a room full of dirty laundry and dirty dishes, we remember Irrevetti had supposedly sent all the servants away. On one table is are 6 half eaten meals, still warm, so we interrupted somebody’s breakfast. We find more sleeping quarters. And long corridor with lots of doors off (unlatched doors, like sleeping quarters). Tallis finds a storage room, very cluttered, mostly mess room supplies. We find the kitchen, but nobody in it. We find a privy and someone hiding in it. They tell us Irreveti’s room is downstairs. Rena asks them to agree to take no more part in the fighting, he agrees, very scared. We tell him to go to the kitchen and take anyone else who doesnt want to fight and stay there. We find another one and send him to the kitchen,. There is a corridor to the south with secret doors in it. We find another store room (cleaning and bedroom stuff). More bedrooms. A lot more bedrooms. One of them has someone in it. They surrender and head for the kitchen. We keep going, more corridors. We find guest quarters. There is cat hair in here. Guess the weretiger assassin was staying here. There are lots of war books in here. We found the library. Books are a bit questionable in subject – lot of rubbish, some poetry, but there are some decent books on local and noble history. Next to it is a conservatory, lots of musical instruments. There appears to be a solarium above it. There are 2 guards in there. They surrender.

WE go downstairs in the library. We find a chamber decorated with lots of hides and bones and stuff of animals. There are also two huge dogs, a human that is being mauled by the dogs, and something thta looks like a gargoyle. Amina recognises it as being indeed a gargoyle, they can fly, they can see in the dark, difficult for inexperienced adventurers to hurt as the damage often bounces off. Dogs are a type of hell hound (Nessian) size of a draught horse, like huge wolves, rumoured to be type kept by Asmodeus, tireless trackers, fierce and snarling horrors in combat, immune to fire, breathe and fight with fire damage.

FIGHT! More join the party after we open the double doors, including a troll. There’s a room down the corridor with some giant cats in, locked from the outside. We leave them there for now. Move on to another room with A CREATURE IN IT. It’s a Remorra(?).

Several years ago in one of Irreveti’s many expeditions, went to the realm of the ? Lords, brought back a creature which he led back through the city to great fanfare, it has been used to entertain guests of his , he’s fed it prisoners and criminals, Aria says creature is predator, not normal that it could be led through a city, had to be under someone’s control. Never attacks audience, just the ‘food’. We leave it locked in. At the end of the corridor, stairs go up again.

At the top of the stairs we find a fighting pit. We are on the floor level, there are balconies above, 20 ft high. There is a secret passage across the pit from us, under the spectator gallery to a corridor behind.

Amina is aware of smell of sweat in the year, suggests troll and humans sparred here earlier but no evidence of death. We climb up onto the spectator balcony. We find stairs (50ft down) and a secret door, with more stairs down. Very difficult to spot this secret door.

At the bottom of the stairs we find a door and it opens into Irrevetti’s bedroom, he’s in there with a creature that looks like a nymph, but isn’t. The creature is Spirit Naga. Charming gaze,poisonous bite, clearly got magic due to shape changing. It’s really hard to hit. It takes some work but we defeat them. Irreveti yields just before Amina strikes a killing blow, so she subdues him instead. The naga is dead.

T-Rex checks out the pool for us. Room is full of fancy valuable arty stuff. Also on the naga is a magic ring. Irreveti has a rod which looks like it becomes a pole arm. A nice breast plate (mithril), boots, item with very strong enchantment on it – heard rumours about stuff from Numeria, think its one of those – potions, 2 scrolls, and a wand. Has a master key for the whole of the palace. There seems to be a flow of water in the pool, it’s not static, there’s a current, there seems to be an in point and an out point. Amina can’t see what it is, so Cade goes to have a look and finds secret doors. There is something floating on the water into one of the chambers, its a sword wrapped in a white shawl. The other door opens into a tunnel that seems to go on for a while.

We go get Evindra and ask her about the sword. There was a prophecy that the sword could destroy Nerissa. Rena reminds us of the prophecy about our kingdom. There are things that can awaken the sword: defeating powerful creatures of the first world, certain magics of the first world. We need to keep the sword covered or hidden, until there is a relevant battle that could be used to awaken it.

We now need to dash off and stop executions, and we’re going to take all the guards with us. We find the diva and the rest of the prisoners.

We head to the executioners’ scaffold, but Cade is coming separately with Irreveti, flying in last minute. Calvos tells us something about the gargoyle . A few years ago, there was a serial killer in Pitax, the Riverfront Ripper, Irreveti and his guards captured the killer and gave him a job. It was the gargoyle, he told Calvos that he was the killer, he was employed to torture Irreveti’s prisoners. At 10 minutes to midday, it goes quiet as the wagon with the prisoners in arrives. Rena uses clarion call to shout ‘hold the executions’. It goes quiet again. Rena appeals to the crowd, have you not had enough blood. Irreveti has fallen, he took you to the very brink of war that would have seen you and yours die. This man has committed kidnap, murder, torture….Calls him a tyrant and a slaver. Tells them about the gargoyle. They start cheering Rena and hailing him king.

The headmistress is neutral good. Yasmina is lawful evil. Kharne Vereel probably neutral evil. Nunzia Arpia, he is the master of ceremonies and counsellor (true neutral), Hadreth Sodorak female dwarf grand diplomat has also done a lot of smoothing over , Cattenei head of family were founders of Pitax, not too bad, Strocalle are utterly mercenary, Liacenza son runs tavern (hates Mivon because they stole family lands). Master of ceremonies has been known to lose orders if they dont suit how he thinks things should work.

Suggest we need to talk to Athalia, a druidic nymph who cares about justice, the cheese monger, Liacenza family.

We call the servants back in to clear up the mess (and so they can get paid).

Rosa and Aria run round hoovering up the magic items and loot.

So called hero going round stirring up trouble in taverns, saying we’re rubbish and he should be leader.

Approached by a noblewoman who wants to know what we’re doing about leadership.

Belind Howton, proper noblewoman, doesn’t want to be involved in leadership, what she really wants is for people to know she’s a great benefactor and her family are wonderful, a couple of monuments and a theatre in her name would be fabulous. A fortune teller told her to buy a thing because the future leaders of Pitax would need it, something that can make a significant difference in our endeavours. He said she should buy a rare book called Zidiggers Picnic. Amina and Aria remember its a short picture book published in PItax 42 years ago, painter made it, after frenzied journey into another realm, made book as a record, woodcut illustrations, he went mad 3 years after the incident, went on a killing spree killing someoen every week, used a citizen to recreate scenes from his journey, book is now a highly sought after collectible, worth 1500 gp, mint condition is 500gp. Said to give you a map of the Thousand Breaths. She swears fealty to Sanctuary, follows Abadar.

Zuddiger’s Picnic is a short picture book, written and published in Pitax 42 years ago. – important guide to Thousandbreaths.

​The author and artist of this book was a talented painter named Karn Zuddiger. His inspiration for this book was not imagination but the result of an actual horrific and frenzied accidental journey through Thousandbreaths. This adventure and his miraculous escape did not leave him unscathed—mad with inspiration, he spent the next 3 years of his life crafting the woodcut illustrations and story for Zuddiger’s Picnic, hoping to drive out the images in his head with art.​ ​Only a month after the book’s publication, however, Zuddiger succumbed to the madness inflicted by his trip through Thousandbreaths — creating the book had not expunged his visions, only inflamed them. He went on a killing spree, murdering a new victim every week and using the remains to restage scenes from his illustrations for the citizenry of Pitax to find the next morning. He was caught soon enough and swiftly executed, and the majority of his books were burned by shocked and scandalized parents.

Hailing from Pitax, Aurex Thewsen often brags about his dragon-slaying skills. He challenges the leaders of the Stolen Lands to prove their worth by slaying a dragon themselves, in order to prove why they should remain leaders in the River Kingdoms.​

Belinda Houten is looking for a legacy; she wants a theater and several monuments built and dedicated to her family name. She happens to possess a book that a strange fortune-teller told her the leaders of the Stolen Lands would some day need, but she won’t part with it untill she has her buildings.​ – Build a theater and four monuments in Belinda’s honor (all must be in different cities). ​

Weird rumours about a sculptor who created gargoyles out of rivals who he had turned to stone. He works only at night.

Are we going to leave town and map the area, and who will we leave in charge?

Some of the trade house people come under the heading of unrepentant evil – we will have to deal with them.

We leave the headmistress to keep things ticking over while we’re out trying to kill an army of wyverns.

Evindra wants to stay near the sword, so she will go wherever the sword goes.

Rena wants to try and see if the cats and the other beastie have been trained at all. He talks to the cats and they agree to follow him if he will lead them to food and hunting. The other thing is a magical creature and he’s not sure what to do with that one.

Prophecy thing from Rena again – The upstart waits to tie her land to yours to bring destruction as the link manifests .

We set off to try and find this wyvern matriarch, exploring on the way. E9 first, D8, D7, C6. On the day we reach C6, don;t seem to be many large animals here, we are on Pitax river, narrow, lots of brambles and small annoying things e.g. crows, ticks, etc, but some of us can see someone has been living here, there’s a campsite. Someone who is trying to hide. We decide to try and track them. Camp is one person, light on foot, able to travel through the brambles – druid or fey perhaps? Rena thinks druid, they might be able to help with this wyvern. Worth finding them. We manage to find the camp, they’re there right now. Smell of meat cooking. It’s a ranger, two old tents, very well hidden camp. She has set up very conveniently to be hidden, close to water, but also good position to observe others, wears filthy rags but has well looked after short swords.

She’s going to lead us to where the Eater of Kings is tomorrow but not get involved.

An immense wyvern, a matriarch of her kind, has laired in Hungerdark for nearly 2 centuries. Known by the regional barbarians as Minognos-Ushad (“Eater of Kings”), the wyvern has survived countless attempts to slay her and has more than earned her name from the countless warlords she’s consumed. Although quite old, Minognos- Ushad is still very dangerous. She spends an increasing amount of time slumbering in her den, emerging once every few months to seek out prey in Glenebon’s hills.

We fight and kill her but she poisons Cade. He recovers. We go to the wyvern army with the matriarch’s head, and try to communicate with them. Two of us speak draconic, so we go to try and negotiate. Rena tells them that she is gone, Irreveti is gone, we wish them to fight willingly for us. They agree to take her old territory and we now have to feed them.

View
9th September

Selling some loot at start.

Ancestors have sent a warning. War with Pitax is machinations from fey queen, designed to weaken us for something she has planned in future. “The war of the river kings, to weaken you the foe. The bastard of numerian loins who changed his names, who wields alien power and changes from the unworldly influence, a pawn corrupted by a memory, but duplicitous. With his passing changes will come, blooms of destruction if unstopped a bottling will occur and the lands but a wasteland with no witness.”

Irriveti lives in the palace [no 14 on Pitax map]. It is NOT walled in.

We need to consider if we are going in disguise on this mission. Buying scrolls of seeming. We think at least one of our spies has been captured, and obliviously the abbey didn’t go as he planned, so he knows we’re coming. He’s dismissed his palace servants. His armies have been instructed to move towards our kingdom. We have some time, but not much. There are 2 places that might be of interest as a base of ops before we go in – the Falling Star Tavern, ramshackle inn, always busy, lots of students and performers, lots of drinking and smoking, place of people who are conspiring, known to be anarchist student hangout, there is a performer’s troupe that has had one of its members kidnapped by Irreveti, they want to save her – OR the other, much harder to find out about, is a cheese and butcher’s shop famed for its foodstuffs, but all walks of life go there, the owner has not put prices up so everyone goes there, a jolly chap, everyone should be able to enjoy food, spies think he is managing to hide people at his establishment. There were a couple of people who were wanted fro questioning, but they were nowhere to be found, only thing they had in common was they’d recently been shopping at the cheese shop. Still not found the bandit woman yet sadly.

Palace – no floor plans, but originally mansion of eccentric wizard, ‘the palace of a thousand doors’, single floor layout, external walls and roof very thick, not been able to use any detection spells through the walls, her spy who was looking at the palace was dismissed (servant), not able to detect any magic causing anti scrying on the walls, at several points there are spiral stairs up to watchtowers on roof, will raise alarm on anyone coming in from above. Fireplaces in great hall and kitchens are blocked by grates, windows are leaded crystal with steel bars in them, and mostly lit with everburning torches, patrols all the time, so probably have to go in through entrances rather than other ways.

We could try and find the bandit woman, or ignore her, but what could we offer her, realistically? We’d probably have to arrest her later if we take over Pitax…

Pitax Politics – Power brokers in order of decreasing influence
Castruccio Irovetti, King of Pitax
The Bandit Houses.
Xapiri Yasmina
Kharne Vereel
Atalia Gitaren​

Xapiri Yasmina – a merchant from Cheliax, owns a controlling interest in The Serpent’s Breath Trade House and thus has influence over who can trade through Pitax.​

​Kharne Vereel – a Gnome, is the not quite so shadowy leader of the Pitax Underworld. He controls a semi-legal group of drug manufacturers and dealers based in the Rose Tower. They even pay taxes – good friend of Irreveit

Atalia Gitaren – Headmistress of the Academy of Grand Arts​ – COMPASSIONATE, WILL BREAK LAW IF needed, had butted heads with Irreveti.

Castruccio Irovetti, King of Pitax. Came to Pitax about 15 years ago and has ruled the city for most of that time. He controls /owns The the Iron Fox Trade House house, much of the New Ruins District. He also owns farmland and wineries around the disputed town of Sarain (that is reputed to be the best wine producer in the region.)
His officers include General Avinash Jurrg (an Ogre Mage) and the barbarian Villamor Koth (Captain of the Guard and Irovetti’s bodyguard).

The Bandit Houses.
Long ago, a group of bandits fleeing reprisal in Brevoy founded the safehold that would become Pitax. Their leader, the bandit lord Cesare Cattanei, became the patriarch of the Cattanei family, esteemed residents who ruled over Pitax during the early centuries of its existence. Descendants of the other original bandits also formed three other influential families: the Liacenzas, the Vascaris, and the Strocalles. Technically the bandit Houses share rulership of Pitax with Ivoretti, although their influence has reduced significantly over the last fifteen years.​

​The Cattanei Family: Though the Cattanei family had the greatest role in founding Pitax, its influence in the city diminishes with each passing year. Salvarri Cattanei (Head of the Family) recently took control of the The Red Crescent Theater, more in an effort to curry favor with Irovetti than to make a contribution to the fine arts. They used to own The Serpent’s Breath Trade House but were forced to sell a controlling interest to Xapiri Yasmina, a mysterious merchant from Cheliax.​

​The Liacenza Family: the Liacenzas controlled much of Pitax before the arrival of Irovetti. . When they lost their controlling interests in the famed vineyards of Sarain and the Iron Fox Trade House to Irovetti, their influence declined greatly. The family’s head, Gasperre Liacenza operates out of the The Falling Star Tavern (in the New Ruins District) as the warehouses of the Iron Fox remain under Irovetti’s control​

​The Strocalle Family: The The Darkwind Trade House of the Strocalle family currently enjoys the greatest wealth of Pitax’s Trade Houses, but it wields disproportionately minor influence. Simply put, no one in Pitax trusts the Strocalles. Their loyalties lie first with profit and second with members of their own house, with all others being a very distant third. Strocalle treachery weaves its way throughout the history of Pitax. Of all the families, the Strocalles maintain the closest ties with the city’s criminal element. Eliste Strocalle controls both the Darkwind Wind Trade House and the Strocalle family. ​

​The Vascari Family: With their large warehouse at the docks of the Sellen River, the Vascari family controls the ships that make their way to Pitax. Unlike the other Trade Houses, they keep few holdings within the city, but their rule over the river makes them a force to be reckoned with. Every sailor in Pitax owes allegiance to the Vascaris and the The Riversong Trade House. The Vascaris follow the rule of Jhofré Vascari​

Dwarf based on docks is very neutral, has managed to stay out of Irreveti’s way because he has such a good rep for sorting stuff out.

Abadar does not have a big following in the city.

There’s a priest of Desna, and a Callistra cathedral, high priest is a middle aged confirmed bachelor, sharp tongued, knows a lot more about the city than you would expect from a simple priest, is compassionate, will go outside the law.

Falling Star Tavern owner (Gaspio someone) is youngest son of remaining brother from original ruling family.

Has a few very loyal followers, Alison, Marshall of Pitax, currently guest of Irreveti: Abina Durg is General of Pitax, he is an Ogre Magi: Getane is the Warden (was, we killed him): not sure who the Treasurer is: half elf counsellor (female) can often soften or deliberately misinterpret things at time (may be reason there’s not been all out war so far): spymaster is male gnome called Civis: Villemor Koff, a Tiger Lord, controls an army, not sure why he follows Irreveti: Kob Moleg, not in Pitax, is the head of tuskriders, giant, not sure about his loyalty:

Heralds and Wardens are elite troops who report to him direct, then conscripted armies.

Academy was built by Irreveti, where the Licanza family mansion used to be. We wind walk in and head for Headmistress’s office. Middle aged woman, hard at work, looks frustrated, we change back into solid and then knock on her door. She looks puzzled. Then recognises Rena. Rena tells her we’re being forced to act because of actions of Irreveti and his army pointed at our kingdom. She says that getting rid of Irreveti is the way to stop bloodshed, we’ll also have to take out everyone in the palace, and he has other loyal followers. We’d then need to get the support of the people afterwards. People angry about conscription, people with friends and family in prison. She says that with the right play etc she can commission a piece for the theatre and then the street performers will copy it, which will get the word out to the people. Also mentions Littletown, it’s a ruin. His wyvern army is there. Liberate that and it will really help. Irreveti destroyed it a couple of months ago because it was home to someone who tried to start an uprising against him. There are 100 Wyverns. Do this AFTER we take out Irreveti. She tells us the HP of Callistra, he runs the building, but there is a brother and sister who more or less run the faith, she’s not sure where his allegiance lies. Probably a good person but doesn;t have much power in the city. She says the other people might be 2 of the bandit houses, they don’t like Irreveti but want power, so allies afterwards, would be useful to get the nobles onside, they’ll back us if they feel they feel they’re in a good position. The Strocalle will grab for power themselves, so not an ally even afterwards. Licanza family might talk to us beforehand (Falling Star Tavern), and the cheese merchant who really doesn’t like Irreveti. Irreveti had his son dragged out and murdered in front of him during one of the crackdowns. A good person, very genial, and what he says is heard by a lot of people. He’s not political in himself, but could be useful to pass on things we want said widely. Might have information that could help us.

Palace – front entrance (to the west), northern door is the service entrance. Both are guarded, but the main is less well guarded, but gets quickest response when alarm is raised. There are portcullisses etc on servants. Throne room – main entrance, then go straight on.

All detection spells stop at the walls. We know there’s an Ogre Magi in there. Generally found in cold environments. Can fly, charm people, go invisible at will.

We go through the roof. People in watchtowers are on the lookout for anything coming in. We pass through in gaseous form. They don’t spot us. Phew!

We’re inside. This place is really tough to get into. Now we have to find the throne room! There’s a slight breeze. Let’s head that way. There is movement on the other side of the secret door the breeze is coming from. 3 Pitax heralds (archers) in a passageway with slits, bows ready to shoot outwards. We move past them and into a wider corridor. Then we head east.

We find the throne room. 2 trolls, 2 heralds, the general, and Irreveti. The general shouts an alarm and others start to come in. Irreveti teleports away when he gets badly hurt.

Alasen joins the fight, invisible, she’s a weretiger in hybrid form. She can pounce and track by scent, in tiger and hybrid form. Cade can see her, Rena casts Invisibility Purge. More trolls and the Tiger Lord arrive.

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Alerts Opportunities and Threats

Eater of Kings

The legend of Minognos-Ushad, the “Eater of Kings,” has figured prominently in local barbarian lore for ages. If someone were to slay this ancient wyvern matriarch, the legend would do much for that ruler’s kingdom. Slay Minognos-Ushad and display her head in the capital city would do much to increase the prestige of the kingdom.

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Wanted: Kob Moleg

Following a string of giant attacks on caravans to the West, wanted posters have gone up. Chieftain Kob Moleg has ruled the hill giant tribe known as the Tuskers for many years. Strangely handsome for a hill giant, Kob is indirectly responsible for the majority of his tribe’s destructive acts in the Stolen Lands. Though the bounty on his head is a pittance, killing him or defeating his tribe will make the region safer.

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into enemy territory
GM Notes - Glenbon Uplands Erastus 4714

​The swordlords sent a relatively experienced band of adventurers known as the Iron Wraiths into the Glenebon Uplands, charging them with purging the hills of the Tiger Lord barbarians and, eventually, to make diplomatic contact with Pitax to work out border issues.​

​The group sent here in the orignal charter were the Iron Wraith which have not been heard from, they never established a kingdom.​

Pitaxians roam this area and claim the area to the south.

19th Erastus 4714

Spymaster stumbles in to the camp dying from grevious injuries

Irovetti’s agents are developing a “super weapon” in a remote ruin in the Branthlend Mountain foothills

Is this true and Irovetti’s men have developed a mass cloudkill device, an army would have little chance against its devastating effects. The heroes need to Whiterose to determine whether such a device exists, and if it does, to capture or destroy it.​

Sunday 20th Erastus 4714

This long-necked dragon has steamy breath, a lashing tail, and a back covered in hundreds of quills.

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These creatures have Poison Quills, and can send a Quill Barrage.

A peluda’s back and tail are covered in sharp black quills. A creature that strikes a peluda with a melee weapon, an unarmed attack, or a natural weapon takes piercing damage from the peluda’s quills and risks being poisoned. Weapons with reach do not endanger an attacker in this way. Any creature that grapples a peluda takes piercing damage and risks being poisoned on its turn each round.

A peluda is vulnerable to attacks against its tail. Any attack that is not an attempt to sever the peluda’s tail (including area attacks or attacks that cause piercing or bludgeoning damage) affects its body. To sever the tail, an opponent must target the tail and attempt a sunder combat maneuver with a slashing weapon. The opponent must deal enough damage on a single blow to reduce the tail’s hit points to 0 or fewer. If the tail is severed, the peluda can no longer attack with it and takes bleed damage each round.

Peludas loathe all weak, fragile creatures smaller than themselves, especially humanoids. Some hunt in nearby farmlands before returning to their own lairs. Some are worshipped as gods by lizardfolk or other swamp creatures, though a peluda’s short temper means it may eat its devotees if affronted.

21st Erastus 4714

Whiterose Hill & Whiterose Abbey

Whiterose Abbey Lore

Whiterose Abbey is located atop a foothill on the southern slopes of the Branthlend Mountains in the shadow of the great Mount Branthlend itself, about 80 miles north of Fort Drelev it is the area known as the Glenebon Uplands.​

Whiterose Abbey is abandoned, and has been for decades. It was built by the church of

Cayden Cailean, and for many years the priests who dwelt there were renowned for their rich and potent wine. It’s located about a dozen miles southeast of Mount Branthlend.
The monks of Whiterose Abbey were master brewers and vintners, blessed by Cayden Cailean for their vow of silence, and any liquid brewed in their blessed vats gained unusual potency and marvelous flavor.

Abbot Ildeben was murdered and the brethren poisoned by the abbey’s gardener, who went mad with jealousy after being repeatedly passed over for advancement.
A beautiful water spirit named Evindra dwelt in a subterranean pool somewhere below the abbey, and it was through her grace and advice that the priests were able to brew such potent alcohol.

The murderous gardener practiced dark magics in the vineyards and sometimes was overheard raving about the “voices of the stars.” He was a lunatic whom the church assigned to the remote abbey in an attempt to hide him away from the public.​

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The party upon finding whiterose hill entered the walled area and witnessed the unatural growth, the wild nature, the odd humidy and ripples in the plant life by no apparent breeze.

Knowledge (nature) confirms that the wilds seem unnaturally verdant here and suggests that a magical inf luence is behind the hearty growth.​

Knowledge (planes) suggests that the boundaries between this world and the First World may be thin in this region. Yet for all this eerie atmosphere, the gardener himself does not manifest directly except in a few specific locations detailed in the encounter text.

Few signs remain of the expansive vineyards that once surrounded the hill, although here and there, overgrown posts and tangles of wild grapes hint at the region’s past. Three partially collapsed buildings slump near the wall to the southeast of the hill’s peak, once guest lodgings, a stable, and a wagonhouse, respectively. To the west of the hill against a steep, vine-covered slope stands the ruins of the winery itself, while at the hill’s peak looms the stone abbey.​

Priests of Cayden Cailean were taken by the beauty of the white roses that grew upon the hill, they chose the hill as the site to build a remote abbey and winery. Over the decades that followed, the need for companionship eventually drove Evindra to contact the priests, and they welcomed her presence, seeing her as a benevolent spirit once she began to teach them the secret of how to enhance the quality of their wine by using purer forms of water and more efficient methods of filtration.

It all came to an end when the church sent an awkward and embarrassing member to the abbey—a lecherous and somewhat deformed halfling sorcerer whose skill at gardening and cultivating vineyards only just kept him in the good graces of the church. They did not excommunicate him for his borderline acts of heresy, but rather entrusted him to the priests of Whiterose, hoping that the remote location would soften his eccentricities. Yet when the gardener first encountered Evindra, he became obsessed with her, and one night he stole her shawl and in so doing gained a considerable bargaining chip, for Evindra was a nereid, and her shawl contained a portion of her soul. The gardener forced Evindra into a watery form and imprisoned her in a beautiful water clock so he could keep her to himself.

In imprisoning Evindra, the gardener discovered the treasure she had been guarding—an exquisite sword. And with Evindra imprisoned and no longer able to keep the sword’s emotions in check, the potent weapon began to stir. It began to drive the gardener even more insane with Aklo whispers from the First World, amplifying his jealousy and paranoia, driving him to believe that the other priests at the abbey coveted his bottled bride. Driven beyond reason, he used Briar to slay everyone else in the Abbey, then retreated into hiding in the subterranean pool below. The abbey’s remote location and the half-hearted investigation by the church (who ruled that the priests had been slain by brigands) ensured the gardener’s isolation for many years.

The gardener was slain by an unknown group who took Briar and Evindra’s shawl.

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Ruined Winery

​Whiterose Abbey built its crushing, filtering, fermenting, and cooperage facility on the northern side of the hill, next to a tunnel entrance in the side of the hill leading to the mystic subterranean pool that long served as the lair of the abbey’s “guardian spirit,” Evindra. ​

​Today, the buildings that once sat against the cliffs along the northern face of Whiterose Hill have fallen into ruins, but the entrance to the tunnel, while somewhat overgrown with hanging vines, is still quite obvious to anyone who approaches.​

​This long tunnel bores straight into the hillside. For the first hundred feet or so, the tunnel contains long side tunnels opposite narrow alcoves. These side tunnels are dead ends that were once used as cool storage. Some still contain barrels of supplies, lumber, and tools or large barrels of wine long since soured.​

​The Cistern

The tunnel ends at a large, vaulted cavern filled with a crescent-shaped pool of softly rippling, crystal-clear water. The northern arc of the pool cuts across the end of the passage, separating the tunnel from an island covered with softly writhing green mold and pale fungus, although a rickety-looking wooden bridge spans the fifteen-foot gap.

On the island itself, numerous large wine casks lie around a large central pool of glowing blue water, while along the cave ceiling thirty feet above, what appear to be a half-dozen pinpoints of light slowly wriggle and move, almost as if forming and reforming strange constellations in a false night sky.​

​For many years, the nereid Evindra watched over the sword Briar, which was kept in the cistern of glowing water in the center of this room. Created by ancient First World minions of Nyrissa’s enemies to keep Briar immersed in purifying waters that would dull its emotions and help hide it from its mistress, the liquid in the cistern is a potent magical fluid that enhances any liquid it is mixed with. Evindra showed the monks of Cayden Cailean how to enhance their wine using waters from this pool, but they have additional effects on poison, alchemical liquids, potions, and elixirs as well.

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The ghost of the now-nameless gardener who went mad and slew the priests of Whiterose Abbey haunts this chamber, though his presence can be felt throughout the entirety of Whiterose Hill.

​The gardener’s influence manifests in other ways as well, causing vegetation to shift and writhe at times without an apparent breeze and causing weeds and vermin to grow to excessive size and strength. At night, the susurrus of the fields and vegetation rustling is unnerving in the still air, and tiny motes of sickly green and pale yellow light generated by languid firef lies the size of apples bob and dip in the air.​

The “stars” are in fact six advanced will-o’-wisps that have grown powerful feeding upon the ghost’s anger and jealousy; they have allied with the ghost by forming strange patterns of stars for him to gaze upon.

After defeating the will o wisps (bigger and more advanced than normal ones, and the ghost of ​The gardener they find a cask which was his secret place, with a bed, a rod and a exquiste water clock. the rest of this room seem to have been pillaged already.

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The water clock which was hidden the cask is not magical, but it does function as a prison for the nereid Evindra simply by containing her in her water elemental form, mixed with a healthy dose of water from the magical cistern. In this state, Evindra cannot communicate and is effectively unconscious (although neither does she have a need to eat or drink in this state). The gardener hoped some day to be able to force the neried to be his wife, but never found a way before Briar’s influence drove him mad. When the water clock was drained, Evindra can reform into her humanoid shape, that of a breathtakingly beautiful nude woman with pale skin, pointed ears, dark hair, deep blue eyes, and webbed fingers and toes. She thanked the quiet sword profusely for rescuing her and just as quickly begs them for her shawl.

The group came up through the well (An overgrown well behind the empty building – Contemplation Quarters it is a drop of a full 80 feet into the cold water of the pool below.) ​This long hall is flanked by a row of doors on either side. Every door is ajar, and the rooms are virtually identical in their sparse furnishings.​ These rooms were the study and meditation chambers for the most devoted priests who had completed their training and taken their vows before the abbot and the assembled brethren.​

Atop Whiterose Hill, at the end of the overgrown track, lies a weed-choked cobblestone plaza. To one side stands a vinedraped bell tower. Facing the plaza, the weathered doors of the abandoned abbey hang askew.​

Belltower
A trio of fallen iron bells lies amid a pile of broken beams on the floor within this partially collapsed stone tower.​ A Pitax herald stands guard atop this tower, the party geased him into not raising the alarm of them approaching the ambushes inside the Abbey sanctury.

Narthex
​Spiral stairways curve down to the west and up to the east in this entry room. The walls and ceiling are tiled in branching vine patterns, but beyond the entryway corridors branch to either side, while a heavy curtain shrouds the sanctuary.​
The doors can be opened easily, but the creaking noise alerted the party when the herald entered through these doors once he no longer break the geas.
The stairs to the east lead up to the bedrooms of the librarian, while those to the west lead down to the kitchens.

Vestry ​A number of hooks sit on the wall of this abandoned vestry; heaps of ancient cloth are piled on the floor below.​ ​The mounds of cloth are nothing more than rotted cloaks and old robes bearing the symbol of Cayden Cailean.​

Sanctuary

​This long, colonnaded hall is marked by rounded bays that run along either side, each containing dusty old barrels. Piles of wood mark where kneeling benches have long since fallen to ruin. Above, wooden rafters form a complex network of supports for the roof, while below, numerous bedrolls and alchemical supplies of obviously recent manufacture sit on the floor.​

The bedrolls are used by the soldiers, but they’ve arranged them along with several alchemical supplies so that it looks like a group of “poisoners”

Gaetane.jpg Gaetane and his soldiers are here, they had not been alerted of the approach of King Rena and his people, so were caught while at rest. Gaetane himself was in the rafters above.​ However he was spotted and due to entering the building in flight and hidden they dropped on him unprepared and killed him before he even reacted to their presence.

​All of the heralds and wardens, but not Gaetane, have become quite unnerved by the strange aura of the place and are shaken for the duration of the battle – the soldiers are visibly uncomfortable about being in the area.

King Rena and his companions, dropped all of them to the floor except the late joining herald from the belltower. Rena then healed those unconscious stopping them bleeding out and told them to yield and that they would become prisoners of war and be treated fairly and well. Some of the men were worried about what effect this would have upon their famailies, as deserters etc families are punished for the conscripts failures.
Rena said that it would be clear that they were captured and didnt yield, though many are still worried.

Gaetane: halfling wererat ranger – deceased
Pitax Heralds – 3 surviors, 1 death
​Pitax Wardens – 7 surviors, 1 death

Leaving Tallis, Rosa and Aria behind Rena, Cade and Amina ascend the staircase

Library
​Many moldering books and scrolls sit on the sagging wooden shelves that line the walls of this chamber. Another stairwell curves up to the floor above, while a wooden double-door hangs open to the south to reveal a small bedroom.​

​The few surviving books are mundane tomes on religion, viticulture, and old tales of bravery by religious figures from a variety of faiths. The room to the south was the librarian’s bedroom.​

A drawer in a narrow desk against the west wall contains the librarian’s personal journal, a small leather affair with elaborate knotted designs, as well as a thick tome with soggy leather covers. The journal indicates that the librarian had a growing worry about the gardener’s interest in unnatural topics, including a book the librarian obtained for the gardener but did not give him (lying that the bookseller had cheated him).

This book is in fact the tome with the sodden covers; it has no title and is written in Aklo. It is difficult to read but if consulted for 10 minutes, it grants a +2 circumstance bonus on Knowledge (dungeoneering) checks and on Knowledge (arcana) or (nature) checks dealing with astrology, astronomy, or the stars.

The book is worth 100 gp.

Abbot’s Chambers
​This room holds a desk engraved with the icon of a wine cup, perhaps indicating the study of a leader of the order. A large and quite old bloodstain mars the floor to the south.​
The east was the abbot’s personal shrine, while the other area was his bedroom.
This was the room in which the gardener murdered the abbot — As Amina entered this area she felt a sudden sharp pain in their neck. She had a sudden conviction that some unseen force has just cut through their necks with an incredibly sharp blade. As a result the group stoped went ack to the staircase and Rena communicated and soothed the haunt.

The sensation passed quickly, leaving an eerie white scar around their necks. (which dispeared when she was magically healed later)

After having gone up they then went down. The stairs led into the Kitchens. ​Large clay and stone ovens fill the far wall, and the open hall has long tables for preparing food and basins for washing. Crocks once filled with knives, long spoons, and other kitchen supplies have spilled their contents onto the countertops, which are covered with a film of dust and debris.​ This room and the one to the west are where the priests once cooked and prepared meals.

Priests’ Cells
​This long hallway contains nearly two dozen narrow cells, each furnished with an equally narrow bed. Old bloodstains mar the walls and floor in many places here.​
While this location is where the gardener slew the majority of the abbey’s priests so long ago, it is not their unquiet spirits that lurk here now. Instead, a string of eight will-o’-wisps lurk in the area. Normally content to bask in the echoes of the terror that still infuse the walls here and feed off of the gardener’s hatred.

Wine Cellars
​This wine cellar is filled with enormous wooden racks containing hundreds of wine bottles, their corks sealed with white wax stamped with the rose goblet sigil of the abbey.​
Although most of the wine has soured, a dozen bottles of incredibly fine Whiterose chardonnay remain; these bottles have aged quite well and are worth 1,000 gp each.​

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12th August

Off to explore D2 and hopefully run into the bandit/general woman who is Irrivetti’s enemy (although we doubt we will like her as apparently her objection to him is that he has taken control of all crime in Pitax, and she prefers her crime free range).

Hill giants are known as Tuskers. Chieftain is Cobmolek, ruled for many years, strangely handsome for a hill giant, he is responsible for all the destruction caused by his tribe. Hillstomper thinks they are probably south from him, in the hills.

We skirt round the edge of the mountain range, don’t run into anything problematic. To the south of this is hills. Towards evening, after made camp, there’s a disturbance before bedtime. Something coming towards camp. Smell of blood wafting towards us. Unpleasant smell on top of that. Probably human stumbling towards us. Male human stops just away from camp, very pale, blood and filthy bandages. Putrid smell and another odd smell, that is familiar from wounded soldiers, smell of approaching death. Fingers broken, nails removed, tortured, missing an eye, has been burned. Has been prisoner in Pitax for some time. Says hes escaped, left for dead because of wounds, but learned something that he needs to pass on. Rena casts Heal. He looks much better all of a sudden. He’d got intestinal wounds as well, but all this is now fixed. It’s surprising he survived this long.

He says he is a loyal servant of the kingdom, captured while spying. He has overheard that there is a plot to develop a poisonous weapon that will attack a large number of people. He managed to relay a message back to Madame, and she told him roughly where we were. Place called White Rose Abbey, it’s rumoured that the people working on this weapon are there. In close foothills to Thousand Voices Woods, so to southern side of mountains. (Roughly hex D4). We thank him. We tell him we see him home, Rosa will take him.

Rena sends separate report to Gorner about this spy of hers, she tells him that those injuries are designed to cause a long, lingering, agonising death. Also, White Rose Abbey – there is an elf [name] druid who says there is an area in that location where something is killing the vegetation on a hill near White Rose Hill. We find out some history about the Abbey. It’s not good. Possibly creatures from beyond the stars (with tentacles and stuff). Apparently there was also a benevolent water spirit under the abbey. Don;t know what happened to her. No further issues. We move on. Nothing during the day. In the evening, while we’re looking for somewhere to camp, we see a dead mammoth with multiple quills sticking in it, and damaged by fire (bigger than porcupine quills). There is a type of dragon which uses poisonous quills and fire breath, it’s called a peldua. Long necked lashing tail, back covered in quills, steamy breath, they generally found in pairs or very small group, hatred of anything weaker/smaller than themselves – they are large – very short tempered. Tails are most vulnerable bit of them. Any attack that is not an attempt to sever the tail, sunder combat manoeuvre with slashing weapon, enough damage in single blow to reduce tail to zero. There are signs of at least 2 of these creatures. Not flying. We track them towards their den. We beat them. Their hoard is mostly pretty things, mostly large piles of coins, some gems (no diamonds), masterwork dark wood lute, it’s very heavy this lot! Then we pitch camp for the night. Uneventful.

We move on to White Rose Abbey. It’s a bit wild now, but not quite as wild as it should be. Lots of vegetation on hill, overgrown trail that used to be the road. Stone wall around the edge. Once you get inside the wall, the air is thick and humid like a greenhouse, the vegetation moves without breeze, plants are excessive in size to what they should be. Any vermin we see are Rodents of Unusual Size. Pale yellow light from fireflies the size of apples. Definitely magical influence. eerie atmosphere. Boundary between the world and the first world is very thin here. 3 partially collapsed buildings near the outer wall. Probably a wayhouse for visitors, stable, wagon house. The white roses are a rare type of rose, typically used in flower arrangements for funerals or to mark sorrow. Rena takes a cutting. Eventually we get to another set of buildings as we walk around the wall. Also ruins. Looks like this was the winery. Entry into hillside here. The buildings are really rickety and risk collapse. We look into the cave. Very straight man made tunnel straight into hillside.We walk in. Weeds peter out quite quickly. Lots of alcoves in these tunnels, end in dead ends. Quite cool in there. Some of them still have tools and wine etc still in them. Rena casts purify on some wine and tastes it – it’s very very good. Barrels marked with White Rose symbol and another one for an organisation called the Star Stone Brewers. Part of Cayden Cailean, brewers across the nation, anyone can join, they teach how to make good beer and wine, and they can be useful in problem solving. Main function is helping find homes for orphans. Not above breaking the law to help rescue orphaned children. No mercy to those who take advantage of orphan children. Tunnel about 900ft ends in high cavern with crescent shaped pool, island in middle, covered in green mould and fungus. On ceiling are half dozen pin points of light that keep moving.

That fungus is being manipulated, not normal, but doesn’t seem to be an ooze or similar.
Light on ceiling are enhanced beyond normal will o the wisps. We move in to fight them.

A manifested ghost appears. Male halfling, looks to be monk and sorcerer. This is the gardener. He’s nasty. We dispose of him and the wow’s. We need to work out how to get rid of the ghost permanently. We look around for clues. The water in the cistern is very glowy blue. The water is somehow enhanced but we’re not sure how. One of the casks scattered around cistern has a secret hidden door in it. Aria checks it for traps and opens it. Inside it is a halfling sized hideaway. In there is a small bed of furs, a rod which he was wielding in his ghostly form, and a beautiful and intricate water clock. Rod is magical. It’s a metamagic rod of lesser quickening. Rena casts Ancestral memory. This water has special properties in making stuff e..g. fab wine, stronger potions. Neriads are water creatures, they have shawl with a portion of their life force in it, if you destroy it, they will take con damage till they die. The water clock seems to date from about the time when the gardener went mad. We look at it to try and drain some of the water out of it. Two auras in the water, one from the cistern and something else as well, when trying to close it, it resists the closing. Rena tries to identify the school of the aura, it’s living, not a magic thing. Rena asks the ancestors. Neriads can go into water elemental form. We think this could be the neriad. We put it into the cistern, and prepare for a fight just in case. Then drain the water into the cistern, and he channels positive energy into it. Slowly a beautiful naked woman appears in the water. She gets out of the cistern and says thank you. Rena asks if she knows how to lay the ghost to rest, she doesn’t know when he became a ghost. He had her shawl. She thinks something was in the cistern, but it’s gone now. It must not be let out. The sword of the Briar. She was the guardian of the sword. Her name is Evindra. It’s intelligent, very deadly weapon. Tied to it’s creator, who is in the first world. Nymph queen made it (i.e. fey queen). When it awakens we will see signs. It’s currently dormant and she was it’s protector. Can she feel its presence? She can’t. She thinks the fey queen probably sent for it, and whoever took it killed the guardian. Perhaps the minion she sent has deceived her

It’s been about half a century since the abbey was decimated. Ghost stories have been the last decade. She says the fey queen has long had an interest in the stolen lands.

She tells us about Nerissia, the nymph/fey queen…Nerissia wanted Briar, which was kept here, so probably whoever killed the gardener took the sword, but the minion has not given it to her yet. Nerissia fell in love with one of the Eldest Fey (most powerful residents of the first world, like demi gods). Count Ranalk was his name. She rose in power very quickly, so she declared herself one of the rulers, which didn’t go down well with the rest of the Eldest, sent a Jabberwock to slay her and exile her lover to the Shadow Plane. She survived, but has a hell of a grudge. She created her own realm called the 100 Breaths, it’s sort of a first world plane but very close to the material plane. Stolen Lands are very close to this. The neriad was ordered to guard Briar since before humans first came to these lands. She cannot disobey the order, she is sure the shadowy fey that brought it (from an eldest) would kill her. Sword is in form of a bastard sword, but when awakened it can change its form, and can kill denizens of the first world. It is filled with sorrow. It was the thing that enhanced the water.

Before the gardener came here, he was already on the verge of being excommunicated from the church of cayden caillean. But then he became obsessed with her, and then stole her shawl and tried to use it to bargain with her. Then he imprisoned her. Before that no-one would have known Briar was here. She could hear what he told her in the clock. He went mad. He threw Briar out of the cistern and she thinks used it to murder everyone in the abbey. She thinks its about a decade since he stopped talking to her. Its within the timeframe of the start of Irriveti’s reign.

Rena promises to get her shawl back. She suggests that the ghost may already have been laid to rest, as the fungus is turning back into normal fungus. Rena explains why we came here. She suggests she may be able to help. She thinks a trap would be laid in the main gate of the abbey, but there’s a hole in the ceiling here, you would go straight up into a well and out just the other side of the contemplation chambers, which are on the side of the cathedral, so if they were lying in wait for us they’d be looking the other way. Rena casts wind walk and up we go.

There are 2 shambling mounds in the graveyard so we avoid them. We go look inot the contemplation chambers. Not ruined. Just very dusty and not much in there. There is some movement and the occasional glint of sunlight bouncing off something in the belltower. We go up. There’s a man in a chain shirt keeping a lookout towards road, has a whistle and a short bow. Go down stairs. Bells are on floor, no stairs, so he used some other method to get up here, he didn’t walk. Rosa casts telepathy and then puts a geas on him to not raise the alarm. He’s wearing Pitaxian insignia.

We go into the cathedral. Rat bloke is up in the rafters. 4 guys in lighter armour like guy in tower and 8 in full plate. There are potions and stuff on floor as if they’re going to spring up at sound of whistle and drink invisibility….

We win. We save many of them from death and take them prisoner. They tell us that there was a plan to use Rena’s adventuring nature to ambush him, either to do it themselves or let the other creatures that were already here kill him and us. Their orders were to protect Getane.

We leave cohorts guarding prisoners and go to look in basement for wows and upstairs as well. There’s a bedroom upstairs, there are some books up here, drawer in desk has librarian’s personal journal, librarian was worried about gardener’s interest in dodgy topics, also a soggy book which was his apparently, its about astrology, astronomy and the stars, despite it having got wet, its worth 100 gp.

Next floor – desk, possibly leader of order, bloodstain on floor, Amina has sudden conviction as she goes through door, that some one has just sliced through my neck with a knife, eerie white scar on my neck as if it happened, Rena casts calm spirit. Nothing else happens. Rena tells everyone to go back onto the stairs.Then speak with haunt. Asks questions.

Who are you? High priest of Cayden Caillean.
How did you come to haunt? Murder of self and all followers in place, and ruin and abandonment of sacred place.
How can we aid you to your rest? Give my people the burial they deswrve, tell the story, and rededicate place
Where is the body of your murderer? Don;t know.
Any message you want to pass on to world before passing on to Cayden Caillean’s world. No

So we need to find bodies.

We go on to basement. Clay and stone ovens, tables, basins for washing, it’s a mess hall..
Long corridor with lots of doors offf it. Narrow cells and beds, blood everywhere. Skeletons here. Death and decay and terror. Lots of wows here, but normal ones. Amina kills them.

More stairs down. Wine cellar. Couple of bottles of really nice chardonnay.

WE dispose of the shambling mounds as well. Well, Cade does.

Then we look at burying the bodies and fetching the High Priest of Cayden Caillean to do the service etc. Wardens and were rat too. The gardener and high priest are already lying in the graveyard. Rena casts spell Call Spirit on the HIgh Priest and the librarian. They come and tell their stories ending with murder at hands of gardener. Didn’t expect what happened, very grateful to water spirit for the water that allowed them to make such exceptional wine. Amina makes notes. They are buried with due ceremony and HP suggests we have a drink in their honour. He can re consecrate the cathedral too. He says if we end up claiming the land, he would like to have this rebuilt as the centre of their faith. Rena says we will do our best to expand in this direction.

We teleport and fly people back to Sanctuary. Take the prisoners to Valourhold. Jail, lots of troops, and also hidden away so the prisoners less likely to be spotted. The Abbey will count as a temple.

On return to town we get wand of stoneskin with 35 charges from druid who wanted hillside sorting out.

The soldiers also confirm that the Rushlight festival is when the armies will move on our kingdom. Bless ’em, I think they like us.

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Invite to Outlaw Council 4714

The Council has continued to meet each year in Daggermark since its founding over 90 years ago. The meeting hall is considered to be neutral territory.

The rulers of all the kingdoms are entitled to attend, but most weight is given to the leaders of the more established regions – currently considered to be Daggermark, Gralton, Lambreth, Mivon, Pitax, the Protectorate of the Black Marquis, Sevenarches, Tymon and Uringen. A lord must attend personally in order to have a voice – proxies are not allowed to address the council.

15th Toilday 4714

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Invitation to Rushlight Festival

​Greetings from His Supreme and Inimitable Magnificence, Castruccio Irovetti, by the grace of the gods the rightful King of Pitax, Marvel of Numeria, Master of Mormouth, and Prince-Regent of the Sellen.

It is with great delectation and delight that I greet you, my fellow River Kings. I would be honored if you would accept my invitation to attend the fifth annual Rushlight Tournament as my guests. I know you to be discerning rulers, and trust you would not dare miss such an extravagance, for I plan for this to be the finest Rushlight yet! And to sweeten the pot, as it were, I have secured a mighty magical item, a gold and gemstone rod of lordly might, which I am willing to bestow upon the Kingdom that proves itself by fielding the true Rushlight Champion! Could this champion be one of your own? Please confirm your attendance via this invitation’s courier. I look forward to your attendance!

— King Castruccio Irovetti of Pitax​

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16th July Session

We have an invitation to a meeting of the Outlaw Council during Erastus (2 months time) in Daggermark.

Also been invited to the Rushlight Tournament in Pitax. In a few months (7th of Rova). First time we have been acknowledged and invited. Need to think about who will represent us in what events.

Brevoy peace conference idea seems to be regarded as a good idea, but we’re not regarded as neutral. The Issians think we’ll side with the Rostlanders.

When we get back to Ancestorhold to drop off the horses, there’s a messenger waiting for us to deliver this. His Supreme Magnificence etc etc Irreveti. Waffle waffle, join him at the Rushlight festival. Very fancy paper invitation. Has a golden gemstone rod of might as the prize for the winning kingdom. Rena says we will attend. The messenger flourishes and leaves. Events are likely to be: archery, test of the axe for lumberjacks, bardic competition (test of boasting), and the midnight joust (likely to be a full moon night). We need for Tallis and Cade to see which one of the is likely to be the best at jousting.

Rena asks the ancestors whether waking and destroying the great beast in the Hooktongue lake would be to the benefit of the kingdom. The answer is yes. Is it an animal? No. Is it evil. No. It’s a magical beast. Is likely to awaken in the next year? Maybe. Will it take a specific action from someone else to waken it in the next year? Probably. Would Erastil look favourably on destroying the creature. No. We’ll leave it alone for now.

We’ll head out north and west looking for barbarians and hill giants while we explore.

We occasionally hear about people and creatures turning up around the kingdom that aren’t really from here. In the hills there are rumours of a small black dragon being chased off by winged creatures, it had heard that a dragon had moved out and was looking for its own space. People still not happy about area where we found the naga cult, bad smells, vapours and liquids in that area. And the gem trade is still on the rise. Someone somehwere has found something in the kingdom, a mine or something, that should be a kingdom resource, and is using it for themselves. We decide to pop down there first. X8 hex, bottom of Lake Silversten. Cade teleports us. We explore looking for signs of people travelling. A few families have set up fisheries businesses since we were last here. It’s sheltered by the mountains. We meet a couple of the families. We ask if they’ve seen people that could be smugglers. They say the Little Sellen river has more traffic than it used to. We head down there to take a look (X9). It’s not all that well travelled. We do find some tracks towards the western end going North-South. Coming up to the river. So we follow the tracks to the south. Hard to follow in places. There are several lots of tracks, more than one journey, if we weren’t searching for them, we’d not notice them. They have been hidden. Tracks are heading to W10. It’s a small group of people. Quite a lot of stony outcrops in the hills here, they are generally rocky hills. Amina and Cade notice a strange unsettling sound , as if the hills are whispering (wind through the tunnels). Once we point it out, Rena starts to notice. We spot a sort of rainbow prism effect on some of the fissures. " large hillsides in the main. Very narrow slit with a multitude of different coloured crystals in it, all damaged, would need cutting down. Yep, these are gemstones. Cade just spots a hidden campsite. Amina tries to sneak up and get a look. She gets there and finds, secluded in a naturally formed dip in the hillside, 4 small tents and a load of goats and a campfire that has been made to cause minimum smoke. 4 people sat round the firepit. Not familiar, look very well equipped, used to being out in wilderness, these are professionals. 3 humans and a dwarf. 2 don’t seem to have obvious armour, other 2 have chain shirts, 2 have whips and all have swords. Well established camp. We prep up for a fight and then teleport into the camp.

Dwarf raises his voice in a chant. Fascinates Rena. Cade attacks one of them. Amina knocks out the dwarf and punches one of the others a fair bit. They argue it’s theirs because it’s never been claimed by the kingdom. One of them keeps concentrating as if he’s talking to someone in his head. They ask Rena if he’s saying the River Kingdom rules don’t apply here. They’re all very smiley and smug despite being arrested and shackled. We strip them and replace their clothes with spares of our own. There are anomalies with 2 of their shirts, turns out to be glamoured armour. All the armour is very nice, lighter than it should be. Gemcrafting kit. Very skilled. Weapons. 2 glamoured mithril chain shirts. 2 whip feather tokens. Silver raven figurine. 4 badges, 2 silver, 2 bronze, with a Aspis consortium symbol on. Lots of other more standard kit. Dust of tracelessness. Aspis consortium are unscrupulous multi national trade organisation. Mainly based out of Cheliax but work everywhere. Founded about 200 years ago as a trade and venture group. Business practices – will do whatever is necessary to achieve their goals. Will sell to both sides in a war. May even encourage strife if there’s profit in it. General perception of group – have mercenary army, happy to trade slaves, obey letter of law in each nation to avoid arrest, black market, will steal to order, the bronze/silver/gold are tiered ranks within the agency, so these guys are actual agents, not freelancers.Silver guys are often quite autonomous, they’ll have been assigned here but are then left to do things their own way. Pius and Miander are silver. We will have to take them to a jail ourselves as they won;t allow us to teleport them. We will have to take all their gear with us as well in case they are found not guilty. We persuade them eventually to accept the teleport. Yaster seems to know an awful lot about everything, but nothing in great depth. Yaster has 2 magical effects running on him. Sana has one. Pius tried to hide items by shrinking them. Miander and Pius have a continual magical effect on them. Lots of transformation and transmutation effects going on here. And an abjuration.

We manage to get them back and handed over to the authorities. We need the most capable, intelligent, educated, strong magistrates to sit in judgement on this one as we have to be careful not to violate the River Kingdom freedoms. We’re going to struggle. Most of it is circumstantial evidence. Rena goes with Commune. They’re unrepentantly evil, they’ve been smuggling gems into Sanctuary. Amina and Church of Abadar to put their heads together to advise Rena on what to do about the Aspis Consortium trying to start a war!

While we’re dealing with this for a week, the cohorts are off exploring. N7 and 3 below. Come across a few boggards in N7. M7 was where we fouhgt the naga that was controlling boggards, nothing else to worry about. L7 has nothing in it, we meet some bogstriders out for a wander. South to L8 – nothing of interest here. K8 – bogstriders on patrol. J8 – nothing. J7 – plains, a few wild horses that aren’t part of Windchaser’s herd. I7- plains. They come across some shambling mounds. So then H8. Nothing special.

We go north to find the giants. L1…nothing there. Move on to K1. We have a run in with a lone ettin, but it’s not an issue. J1 – uneventful. H2 where the mine is. I2, I3 and J3 as well. Nothing to worry us. Snakes, zombies, elks, odd ettin, calaphagar, other odds and sods. H4 – Cade spots some quite old human remains in bushes. He goes to look. Been there a long time. Carefully start to reveal the body. Been here about 400 years. Likely to be one of the first river kingdoms settlers. Taldan explorer. So from the time of the first shrines, now lost. Male corpse, has a heavy steel shield decorated with a coat of arms, everything else has rotted away or rusted. Not a noble family we recognise, looks like a Taldan noble family, defunct for quite some time, very obscure. Bones suggest he was well fed and healthy, no sign of what caused his death, skeleton is pretty intact. Body was placed there deliberately, shield covering it. No blood on the shield. Detect magic on shield. Tis magical. Bastion shield. Has Determination on it.

Onwards! Still no giants.

Cohorts meanwhile are in H6. In L10 they find something. There are slugs. 2 of them are fighting. Two male giant slugs. Type of behaviour typical for fight over mating rights. They are damaging the area. Once they spot us, they stop fighting and start attacking us. We win. Tallis is amazing.

Total 19 days exploring, cohorts continue while we go home to do kinging.

We debate whether to attend the Outlaw Council. Do we want to? Since we don’t consider ourselves part of the River Kingdoms, what is the point. Have we got a goal in mind? Could we learn anything by going? Gorner tells us usual discussions include: common interests (they came up with river freedoms); banditry, assassinations, theft, smuggling are ok, but they come down hard on slavery; focus on any current issues (e.g. blocking trade/movement freedoms) – so it could be a place to start a trade negotiation if we wanted/needed any.

We decide to go. But without cohorts. We fly to Daggermark. We aim to arrive a bit later in the day for dramatic effect. And to try and avoid being stabbed. There is a big hall that’s been put aside for this, not the military presence you might expect, people seem to almost be avoiding the entrance to this building. As we enter, no attempt to disarm us or control what we take in. We are asked to make sure we understand the rules, which we don’t, so Rena asks for them to refresh his memory – no harm to another council member while in here, River Freedoms count in here, everyone can discuss their concerns and suggestions, no aggressive overtures, no trying to forcibly convince/persuade someone of something. Rena is the one who speaks, someone else can speak for him but it’s deemed to be words from his mouth and he takes responsibility for them. We take the cohorts with us. We find a space for ourselves in the council chamber. Make notes on the reps from things like Assassins and Poisoners Guilds. Other nations have advisers with them. Mivon and Pitax are here (Mivon has brought his deputy), Pitax has brought head of Thieves Guild. Uringen and Seven Arches seem to be more our kind of people. The Black Marquis has an obvious adventuring party with him (we need a rogue!!!!). He’s definitely a pirate. He seems to confer with his group and ask their advice.

We sit back and watch what happens……People wondering where Tymon is, it’s unusual for him not to be here. Powerful merchants have been going missing of late, this needs dealing with, because it’s disrupting trade and goods going missing. We must not impede travel though. Rena asks if there is a pattern to the disappearances. They happen at river confluences. Happening along the main Sellen river, from Riverton, Seven Arches, Gralton, Beringen, Pitax. Have hired a couple of adventuring parties to investigate, been gone a week roughly, been going on about a month, trade consortia are all irritated by this, all the major trade corps are being hit, all the big guys, Rena tells them about the Apis Consortium’s business in Sanctuary. Normally apparently its Red Mountains who try to make inroads here. Likely there are spies in the trade orgs that are feeding them info. Rena gets into a bit of an argument about murder and river freedoms with Irrivetti. He says he thinks Irrivetti is almost trying to defend this group, whoever they are. Irrivetti says no attacks actually in Pitax, only on border, no-one would dare do this in Pitax. A few people leave the venue and go into a pub/temple just across the courtyard to get refreshments. A few people say Surtova was clever putting Rena in between him and expansionist Pitax – like a firebreak. Rena says Surtova has his own things to worry about with Brevoy possible civil war, Rena says he likes to think of us as keepers of the peace! Rena wants a chat with Uringen, Seven Arches, Mivon and possibly Black Marquis for shits n giggles. Mivon have had issues with Pitax looking to expand, or did until we moved in – now we’re the number one target. Mivon will be going to the Rushlight Tournament. They discuss the vassal state that attacked us and the failure of the attack, that Irrivetti will certainly not admit to it because it failed. Rena plants the seed of the idea of a future alliance with Mivon. Not likely to form a treaty that allows us to call on them if we get attacked! He doesn’t envy our position in the world. Things may change if the world changes – too many unknowns now. He offers to introduce us to any other leaders. Rena says Uringen. He tells us about them. Urignen exists in 2 parts, 1 in the centre of town fades in and out of reality, so there’s a mayor for the static part and one for the unstuck part. Lady Aurelia is the mayor for the unstuck part (Pharasma). Canarvon Miren is the static mayor (Erastil). Rena asks to be introduced to the static mayor. Unstuck part spends a lot of time in the first world, and are asking us to keep our problems to ourselves with the fey queen. We will try not to cause any issues for them. Offers a potential trade agreement, various people interested in rare ingredients within their lands, stuff that can’t be found outside their forests, she thinks we might be most interested in a thing called the Salve of the Second Chance. From the forest spirits of the Embeth Forest, they’ve developed a distillation of Night Moss, 2 things they create which they can sell – distillation affects people as per one of the common distillations, the other however is intriguing, if smeared on the body (parts) of a recently deceased person, it mimics reincarnation spell. If you use it during new moon, recipient of reincarnation has more say over what they become. Cost – second chance stuff costs 1600gp for a single dose. Rena says that is well worth the trade. They can only make a couple a month, they offer us the chance to buy one a month, in return they suffer from raids by less civilised denizens of first world, their seers have seen Rena have influence on the first world, they’d ask us to intercede for them. Rena assures her will do whatever we can. He asks if there is anything we can do for the outer city. If we come across any research on the planes they’d be interested in it. Families are often split in two, Lady Ogden has been able to cross boundaries, most people are stuck in one part or the other – only a few, mostly gnomes or magic users, who can travel between the two. Finding a way of people being able to go back and forth would be a huge help. We think the Doctor might be interested. Rena looks forward to working with them to bring peace and order to the River Kingdoms. Next up is the Black Marquis. Very dashing chap. Eloquent in a piratical way. Rena is interested in hearing about the lands, Emerald Spire is something he has heard of, and the humanoids of Loric Fells – do they cause him any problems? Hes interested in trade – via the waterways. Sense motive suggest profit, but keeping himself afloat, increase trade share to increase other kingdoms’ need for him to stay in charge of his kingdom. Seven Arches – not terribly interested in open diplomacy. Won’t say why they don’t allow elves. Get impression that the mayor doesn’t know the reason, but the druid The Voice of the Wind looks like she knows, hes been told by the council of druids. Oak stewards are a group that give laws, harsh tax regime, treat sick and injured, but are draconian and unsympathetic. Rena asks her outright. She tells him speculation on the idea that the elves brought something back with them when they came back could result in the end of the world. Elves need to stay away because otherwise they would suffer horribly and would have to be put to death. Rena asks about plague and she is quite firm that he should stop, and support the perception that they just are racist to elves. Or the world could end. Etc. They would be happy to trade with us. They produce food. They don’t have mineral resources, so they would be interested in ores etc.

Tymon is a land that mostly follows Gorum. Leader is a gladiatorial champion half-orc. Good place for trade in martial goods.

Sanctuary is asked in council if we can confirm that the azure lilies have been destroyed and people trading in them have been arrested. Rena says poison is illegal in Sanctuary. But it doesn’t contravene the River Freedoms. They probe around what that means. Rena stands on the fact that the lilies are different to alcohol for example. Pitax and Daggermark are trying hard to trip Rena up over Sanctuary’s laws vis a vis the River Freedoms.

Lumber consortium is raised as an issue in several kingdoms. 3 people at least have been stopping people moving goods they consider to be under their guild’s purview.

We decide it’s time to leave. So we teleport out.

Irrivetti seems one of the more charismatic people there, diplomacy in the mid 20s type of level. Rosa draws him so that we can scry him. He stays in the pub at the council for quite some time. He leaves around mid day with quite a large retinue, travels by road back towards Pitax.

So now we go giant hunting. We explore as we go. HIlls at first, nothing exciting. We wander a bit too far and end up in Numeria. Hex B2, we encounter a lot of dead creatures. Mostly creatures that have been slaughtered, but not for food. Rena takes out the spyglass and looks around to see what he can find. The tracks looks like owlbears. Probably half a dozen. So we track them back to their cave. And kill them. 2 of the owlbears have embedded in their skin metal collars they seem to have outgrown. There are corpses here, where they have hunted and brought back here to feed. There’s the odd human corpse. We bury them.

Then we move on. Finish exploring and have a peaceful night. Next day while exploring along the northern edge of Bransomething mountains, we find a large box canyon into mountain side, peaceful calm about this place. Occasional circling bird above one area within the canyon. Its a mammoth’s graveyard type place. Something has taken up residence, that isn;t a mammoth. Also see a very battered wounded, hiding mammoth. We cautiously approach. It gets up and moves slowly and painfully towards us. Putting a lot of effort into coming towards us, so we move to meet it. It is awakened. There is a linnorm in their holy place. This the guardian. It was the same druid that awakened Windchaser. Rena casts Greater Path of Glory on the mammoth. It heals. Linnorms lots of different types, they are sort of inferior dragons, they have colours that denote their ability, primal intelligence, if you slay one, you will be cursed, they are immune to curses themselves. Wingless dragons. Breathes magma. We head off to fight it. Apparently it can heal itself,. Likely to attack us on sight. It does. We manage to kill it and avoid the curse.

Hillstomper gives us some ivory from the mammoth graveyard to try and cut down how much people try to kill mammoths for their ivory. We hope we can one day claim the land and ban the ivory trade. Rena asks if he has heard of giants that ride mammoths. He thinks they are with the baRBARIANS. 50 mammoths were captured and taken as giants’ mounts.

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