Ceinwen Vale

Someone's poisoned the water hole!

After taking back the King’s Seat from the upstart Hobgoblins, Thomas Tresendar and William Rose began organizing the rebuilding of the fortress. A small detachment of militia and laborers were sent to begin the preliminary repairs of the walls and the main quarters. Things did not go smoothly however and William Rose received a message saying that the well in the center of the castle had frozen and an unnatural cold was wafting up from the depths. That was the last communications from the men in days.

Rose explained the situation to some of his men, Vic, Lance and Zek, and sent them on their way to see what was troubling the castle. Rose warned them that there was probably something sinister afoot and to send word if they needed help.

After a day of traveling the adventurers reached King’s Seat and find it surprisingly devoid of activity. The laborers and soldiers were no where to be found although the evidence of recent work of many people moving around were clear to see. Tents and temporary lodgings were stocked with food, cooking pits abandoned. The three approached the main keep and finding the gates locked hear a shout from a window above.

“Be ye amongst the living?! I’ll send you back to the grave otherwise!” A helmeted fellow screamed down at them.

Lance inquired, “Good sir! Let us in, we’ve come lend assistance by order of William Rose!” Before Lance and company can strike up further conversation they hear shouts coming from the window above and possibly the sounds of battle. The same voice floats down do them from above over the din of metal on metal:

“Under the keep! That’s where you need to go! Something’s bringing the dead back to life under the keep! We sent some men down there and they never came back!” And the sounds of battle continued from above, drowning out whatever else the soldier had left to say.

The company heeds the advice of their fellow militia member and head under the keep. Using the same passage they used to sneak in only nights before they find that the environment has changed a bit. The air is considerably cooler and the further in they go the colder it becomes. The flow of water at the end of the tunnel is frozen and where it once trickled from a small crack in the stone there is a large hole in the cave walls leading to what appears to be a long abandoned catacombs. Judging by the placement of the debris Vic realizes that something blew out this wall from inside, some sort of immense and powerful force created the new opening revealing to them the entrance to the crypts.

The group decides to move forward and they are greeted by a strange sight. At the end of a long corridor two glowing orbs seemingly hanging in midair flank a large wooden door. A strange symbol is carved both of the doors. Two suits of armor stand in front of either door and a beautiful, if rather faded, red rug adorns the floor beckoning would be guests to enter. The bodies of two men, clearly the missing militia members, lie of the floor. One of them in a pool of blood and the other holding a bloodied short sword.

Vic and Lance move forward in an attempt to inspect the bodies. Zek feels the orbs burning into his Drow eyes and the piercing light causes him to hesitate entering any further into the room. Vic sees that one of the militia men was killed by a stab wound, presumably by the soldier holding the sword on the the ground. That soldier, oddly, appears to have been suffocated to death. Vic then sees a blood stain in the center of the rug and a small tear in the center of the blood stain. Confused by the strange scene the party investigates further.

Suspecting a trap Lance moves ahead and casts mend on the rug, hoping to repair the rug and disarm whatever trap or foul play may lie in wait. The moment Lance touches the rug the suits of armor spring to life, the swords in their hands dance away from them with a life of their own and the rug rears its head and dives at the nearest adventurer.

Zek, using his innate Drow magic, reacts in time and drops a sphere of darkness on the room thus preventing the animated objects from seeing the party without revealing themselves to attack. Lance, blind in the darkness, retreats back to the entrance of the corridor. Vic steps ups and trades blows with whatever unfortunate object steps out of the darkness and before long the swords and suits of armor are lying on the ground, lifeless. The rug attempts to grapple Vic and smother him to death but Vic uses his Paladin’s diving magic to put an end to the troublesome rug.

The party realizes that in an attempt to save his friend from being smothered, one of the unfortunate militia members stabbed the other through the rug instead. Now facing the hoard of Animated Objects on his own, the remaining militia was quickly overwhelmed and smothered by the rug.

Moving forward into the newly discovered basement of the King’s Seat the party comes to a sort of welcoming foyer with more statues and suits of armor on raised daises. The room continues into another long hallway inset with alcoves and containing more of the floating light orbs. At the end of the hallway is a small trunk with two robes in it and a stone table with a bowl carve into its surface full of frozen water. Zek examines the robes and notices on the front of them they have a symbol for the sun and the moon, respectively. Zek informs the group that this is probably a preparation station for priests or holy clergy to perform a sort of cleansing or ablution. Lance, not wanting to take any chances, knocks over the stone table and destroys it, sending the ice skittering down the hallway towards the entrance.

Vic tests the door in front of them. It is getting colder the further they go and the door is freezing to the touch. Seeing no signs of traps, however, the party continues forward. The area beyond the door is completely dark and the light from the floating orbs penetrates only a few feet into what appears to be a stairwell that winds down into the darkness. Lance lights a torch and takes note that the flame barely produces light and flickers as if constantly fighting to be put out.

At the bottom of the stairs the group finds they are not empty. In the center of a long, narrow room is a wooden table with six chairs around it. The head and the foot of the table are empty but the other four side chairs are inhabited by humanoid forms in heavy cloaks. They are also encased in solid ice and it is impossible to tell their facial features beneath the ice and in the depths of the hoods. However, Zek finds that he can make out what he thinks are symbols for constellations. With all of the ice covering he can’t be sure but he recognizes the symbols used to dictate constellations from his arcane studies.

In the western wall Lance sees a massive fireplace set for a fire. Kindling and wood have been set up and it appears that the fire only need be lit and it should light right up. Vic inspects the door in the north wall and finds that it too, like the inhabitants of the chairs, is covered in ice. Frozen solid. Lance, hoping the fireplace is the answer to the frozen door, plunges his torch into the awaiting kindling and watches as the flames lick greedily at the dry wood quickly turning into a blaze.

At that moment the ice recedes from the four men seated at the table and they look around bewildered. Lance, always the diplomat, yells out a greeting but is met by snarls and one man screeching “Death to the unbelievers!”.

Zek casts a suggestion on one of the apparent cultists who runs off to the entrance of the dungeon checking to see if there are any more intruders. Vic launches into melee with the other three and Lance, finally able to fight in some illuminated quarters fires off a volley of arrows. The cultists are all dealt with quickly and the party quickly realizes as they fall the ice of the door melts away and they are free to continue further into the depths.

Going down some more steps the party comes to two doors. Checking the western door first they find a dark room full of what appear to be bathtubs. Seeing nothing of importance in bathtubs they continue through the northern door and into a massive ceremonial chamber set up as if some sort of church or place of worship. Two rows of pews are visible upon first entering. A small stone bridge spans a now frozen stream that splits the room. On the other side steps lead up ten feet to a raised platform. A door in the western wall comes to Zek’s attention and he moves to inspect it. Vic and Lance head up to the platform and find a five pointed star in the middle of a circle carved into the floor. The five points each lead to a fountain and four braziers stand empty circling on the outside. In the center of the star is a deeply stained part of the floor and what appears to be a pedestal intended for holding books or tomes. It is unlike anything they have ever seen but it is clearly the center of some sort of unholy ritual.

Zek, meanwhile, has noticed a glyph of warding on the floor in front of the door. Realizing this could be hazardous to his health Zek backs away and uses his mage hand to open the door, setting off the trap, which he unfortunately finds himself within range of. Luckily for Zek he is agile enough to avoid a blast of Divine energy. As he collects himself a cold wind blows out from door. Lance’s torch immediately goes out and the room is plunged in darkness.

Vic and Lance hear Zek cry out in pain and they turn to assist their comrade. Blind in the darkness Lance fires some arrows in the direction of the gasps. Vic rushes down the stairs to see to shadowy forms floating around Zek’s fallen form. The forms turn to challenge Vic and put him down as they did his unsuspecting friend.

Vic calls on his divine wrath and smites one of the fiends. The shadow demon falls quickly to the holy blows of Vic and is sent back to the abyss. The other demon, seeing a chance to make a break for it, speeds off into the darkness. Lance lights a torch and rushes to Zek’s side. Vic and Lance stabilize him and then turn to follow the escaping demon.

They search the bathtub room and find no sign of the demon. At this point they realize the evil creature has surely escaped. Zek inspects the bathtubs and the layout of the room and realizes that this room was a sacrificial room. The bathtubs are stained with blood and he finds pipes running from the drains of the tubs into the wall. Zek hypothesizes that people were sacrificed in the tubs, their blood ran from this room to the fountains which flowed into the grooves carved into the floor making the unholy symbol of the five sided star within the circle. The pedestal was a summoning font and the whole ordeal was to summon and control demons to the will of whomever was doing the summoning.

With the departure of the Shadow Demon, warmth slowly returns to the area. The stream melts rapidly and begins to flow again. Through the other door the party finds a massive reservoir of water and tiny bit of light coming down from above. They are directly below the well of the King’s Seat.

The party heads back up to the surface and rescues the surviving militia members and laborers. They launch into their tale that two nights ago the water in the well froze. Well two men went down to check on it thinking it was awfully strange. They were gone an hour when something deep underground shook and already loose debris and rubble came raining down in the less stable parts of the castle. Most of them ran inside in an attempt to save whatever parts of the structure they could, fearing a larger earthquake might be coming when the hobgoblin and goblin dead they had piled up began coming back to life and drove them deep into the heart of the keep.

“Whatever you fellas did down there worked. All at once the moaning stopped and they started dropping like flies!” Says one of the militia men. “We appreciate what you’ve done for us and we’ve got to be sending a messenger bird to Rose and let him know what’s happened. Would you mind staying for at least a night or two? We’re a bit shaken up and could use the help cleaning up the place.”

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The King's Seat, not the Porcelain Throne

It all began in the beginning. William Rose pulled his newly minted militia members into his quarters and laid out a cunning and dangerous plan:

The King’s Seat, the long abandoned former castle to the north, had become occupied by a group of Hobgoblins and their allies and they had turned to raiding the locals in an attempt to carve out their own territory. It was up to Ceinwen’s militia to drive them out and rid the lands of this new threat. William was to lead the main force in a feigned frontal assault on the fortress during the night and preoccupy the majority of the forces within. Meanwhile his infiltration team, Lance a young and brash human bard, Bargle a wandering Tiefling sorcerer, Zek a diminutive and seldom noticed Drow Sorcerer, and Vic a devout Half-elf paladin, were to sneak into the castle through a cave system carved out by the castle’s water supply. Once in the group was to rely on stealth and surprise to fight their way to the Hobgoblin commander and cut the head off the snake as the saying goes.

The party, in high spirits, left in the wee hours of the night and found their way into the caverns that years of erosion had eaten away at. They were immediately set upon by a group of spiders who spit their webs into the parties’ ranks in an attempt to trap them and make them another easy meal. Luckily the adventurers were unaffected by the webs and quickly dispatched the spiders.

After the short fight the party took in their surroundings. The cave was deep and held several shallow pools and a steady stream cascaded down the sloping floors. Going forward it was infested with thick spider webs that slowed their progress. Zek used his Mage Hand spell to assist in moving through the thick webs and hoping that any other spiders in waiting would target the hand and not the party. Lance, blind as a bat in the darkness followed faithfully in the center of the group, led by Vic and Bargle.

Upon thorough searching of the cave system the adventurers found a side room which contained the last spider of the caverns. Bargle Eldritch Blasted the spider out of existence and the stench of burnt spider filled the room adding to the stink of the bloated and half-eaten corpses left by the spiders.

Finally the group came upon a twenty foot cliff-face with a small passage near the top that they were told led to the former dungeon of the King’s Seat. Lance commanded his rope of climbing and secured a way for the party members to all scale the obstacle and squeeze through the fissures in the stone that eventually placed them in the dungeon. The only problem being they found themselves in the locked confines of the holding cells. Not to be turned away by hazards, whether natural or man-made, Zek used his thieves’ tools to successfully pick the lock and get the party free. They climbed the spiral staircase up into the fortress to begin their assault from the inside.

Sneaking up the stairs the party catches two goblins asleep on guard duty. Vic and Lance silently make quick work of the guards. Vic then listens at the southern door and hears voices arguing in goblin. He alerts the party that there are at least two Hobgoblins on the other side and it sounds like they’re arguing over some sort of bet or gambling dispute. The party prepares themselves and rushes in catching three Hobgoblins by surprise. Two of them are grappling on the floor and a third is swiping coins off of a table into a small pouch.

The adventurers come in blasting. As the two fighting on the floor slowly realize what’s happening they rush to get their weapons and are shocked to see the rapier wielding Half-elf has already dispatched their comrade. The hobgoblins are quickly overwhelmed and the group enjoys the spoils of their victory by pocketing the wagers of their little gambling game.

Listening again at the western door Vic hears several voices speaking in hushed tones. He believes that these higher pitched voices are probably those of goblins. Lance quietly opens the door to get a better view of the room and he sees a large room with some makeshift tents littered about and five goblins huddled in the center. One of them is clearly the leader of the group and is telling the others to quit their whining and stay put or else they’ll get tossed into the fighting outside.

After taking stock of the situation Zek casts a minor illusion of someone screaming for help in goblin from another door in the room they’re looking into. The goblins perk up and the goblin chief sends two of his guys to go check it out. The goblins quickly rush off to fulfill their leader’s commands and leave the door open behind them in their hurried flight. Vic rushes in and quickly engages the remaining three. Bargle and Lance rush in and take up position behind some cover to attack from a distance and Zek shuts the door the goblins just exited through. Unfortunately there is no way for Zek to lock the door as the mechanism had rusted away years ago and the two goblins come back accompanied by two Hobgoblin guards.

Vic, Bargle and Lance use their combined might to slay two of the lesser goblins quickly and the goblin chief retreats to cover hoping the reinforcements that just busted in the room will take some of the heat off of him. Unfortunately the goblins and hobgoblins fall a ray of frost spell from Zek, some eldritch blasts from Bargle and the rapier of Vic. A few well placed arrows from Lance and another eldritch blast from Bargle puts an end to the Goblin chief.

The party takes stock of the situation and explores a few rooms that have come to disrepair and rubble over the years. The shouts of and sounds of battle preparations from outside alert them that the rest of the forces are falling for Rose’s distractions and they hurry their pursuit of their target. Vic and Lance bar the main gates from the inside with hobgoblin javelins scavenged from the dead to ensure they don’t get surprised by any hobgoblins wandering back into the keep. They eventually find the Hobgoblin Warlord and some of his personal guards in the western rooms of the castle.

Surrounded by four of his personal guards the warlord orders them to loose a salvo of javelins at party and Vic takes the brunt of the assault. Lance engulfs the group in faerie fire and Bargle and Zek launch magical attacks of their own in response. The hobgoblins close on the group and the melee begins. Vic puts down two of the injured guards and the others, including the warlord trade blows with him. Hearing the fighting two more guards from an adjoining room join the fray and attack the party.

Zek casts a major illusion of a white dragon swooping into the courtyard of the keep confusing the already preoccupied hobgoblin troops into a frenzy. He then casts mirror image on himself and jumps into the fray to take some of the heat off of Vic. Bargle and Vic meanwhile have dropped two more hobgoblin guards with attacks of their own. Lance casts a spell of his own and the warlord is overcome with a fit of hysterical laughter, watching his comrades fall around him as tears stream down his face. He is helpless and can do nothing to overcome the effects of the spell Lance has laid upon him.

The party eventually dispatches all of the hobgoblins. Vic heals himself with his lay on hands ability after taking the brunt of the attacks for most of the evening and is ready to finish the mission. After beheading the warlord the party removes the javelins from the front door and march into the parade grounds of the keep to view the mayhem ensuing outside. The dragon illusion has gone and a small group of hobgoblins have organized themselves and are marching towards the keep, towards the party.

Vic tosses the head towards the advancing hobgoblins and shouts “Your leader is dead! Who’s next in line?”. All hell breaks loose as the hobgoblins, whether out of panic or out of an already brewing inner struggle for power, turn on one another. Not waiting to see who comes out on top, the party quickly withdraws to the caverns below the King’s Seat just as William and the militia break through the now crumbling disorganized defenses of the hobgoblins and mop up the remaining groups.

In the days following the surviving hobgoblins have been rounded up and are now being held in a holding camp set up on the outskirts of Ceinwen. A cache of fine weapons and armor made by the former Smithmaster of King’s Seat, Hallowbrook, were found and distributed appropriately amongst the militia. Also, several tomes and record books were recovered from the library and personal quarters of King Yarvish and are being studied by Tresendar’s sages and historians. Rose dispatched a unit of ten men to man the fortress accompanied by some local laborers and masons to start the reclamation process of the King’s Seat and the hope is the fortress will be operational in a couple of months. With no setbacks things should move rather quickly.

The infiltration force settled in Ceinwen for some much needed rest and await their next assignment. Except for Bargle. He was last seen leaving the Stonehill Inn and heading south.

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Bastards drifting...
Full Frontal

It all started with a Penis factory

Chapter 1: Hitting the bottom
The Ceinwen Militia has hit some hard times recently… Their #2 was hung… I am not talking the good hung (huge penis), but literally hung in the town square for treason. Unfortunately, he took a bunch of the militia down with him, so there is a bit of a shortage of protectors. The townsfolk don’t feel safe, and yet the mayor wants to expand their influence all the way back to the King’s Seat. Even when new recruits show up, they are in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions: a brain… and an athlete… and a basket case… a princess… and a criminal. No, wait, it is actually a Drow (Zek), a Half-Orc (Boar) and a Arian (Lance). It’s enough to drive a man to drink.; which brings me to Padraig… Defender of the hills, turner of undead, now senior member of the militia, and a bit of a drunk… He will be the leader of the first mission. Thankfully it is one that gets these guys out of town, yet gives them a chance to acclimate into the militia. Letters have been sent, deals have been made, and it appears some back-up is on its way from Windholme. William heard back way earlier than he thought (truth be told, he didn’t think he would hear back at all), so the Ceinwein militia is going to meet them, and lead them back… like bosses.

Chapter 2: Breakfast is served… cold
After about 3 hours of travel, the team came across a couple of very large canines picking away at a deer carcass. Seeing their first action, Boar and Paddy spring into action, charging head long into a scuffle. Much to the chagrin of Zek and Lance, this leaves an opportunity for a couple of bugbear to step in and cause a ruckus. After some hammering, some humming, and a flurry of blows, our heroes won the day.
*that carcass was pretty putrid. This was probably the umpteenth time it had been is used in creating this ruse. A ruse so successful that the bugbears had 23 gold to show for it.

Chapter 3: Blinded by the light… or just blinded by the night (dumb humans)
The rest of day went pretty uneventful. To pass time during their trek, Boar played his Lyre (competently, though it had but 1 string), Paddy Drank, Lance worked on his set list for when they got back to town, and Zek squinted. Night was falling, and a glorious river was just ahead… what a perfect place to camp. Camp was made on the South side of the river… rivers are loud, trees obstruct viewing, and the night is dark. The first watch was mysteriously interrupted when Boar heard some scuffling in the distance, and being the nice guy he is, decided to investigate on his own… allowing his comrades to continue sleeping. Moving closer, Boar was finally able to make some shapes in the distance… large wolves and humanoids appeared to be fighting. I’m not sure if he stubbed his toe while jumping off the bridge, or if something bit him, but he let out a yell, and charged in. Next thing you know… Padraig is sprinting towards the sound of the scream, Lance his emerged from the trees and is running like water… Zek did his best impression of a bush. The direwolves, knowing they were now outnumbered significantly, scurried off. The damage they left in their wake was massive… 1 dead, 5 severely injured. After some small talk, and figuring out that these were the groups that were supposed to meet up, Padraig did a lot of healing and then helped Lance find a lost comrade… Boar helped move camps across the river… Zek did his best impression of a bush… I think… I honestly can’t remember.
The rest of the night went UNEVENTFUL!

Chapter 4: Barbarians at the gate
Day 2 started off well, the half-elves were feeling much better, the wind was blowing, the birds were singing, then all of a sudden, there were 4 barbarians standing the roadway. Boar immediately recognized these gentlemen as friends (though they didn’t realize it at the time, and of course Padraig went to help translate. Though a little rough at first, the barbarian type fellows immediately eased up when they noticed how drunk Padraig was, and realized that these guys were not a threat. I think the conversation went a little like this…
Norin: Are you drunk?
Padraig: Damn right I am… do you want to kill these guys with us?
Norin: huh, who are they?
Padraig a bunch of half-elven bastards from Windholme
Norin: Half-Elven… hmmm… let’s go have a chat, and you may get your wish

Th Half-elves immediately closed rank as soon as they saw the barbarians approaching… Jairus even trying to use some of his guile to convince Lance and Zek that Boar and Padraig were being escorted back against their will. The warriors and rogues readied their bows. With fight or flight overtook the 2 gentlemen that had stayed behind. Zek headed off for the trees, while Lance tried to help from his current (hoping the half-elves would be too distracted with what was heading their way from the south. Zek didn’t stay out of the fight long and was able to convince one unsuspecting gentleman that he was better off far from there. Lance was able to use Faerie Fire for the betterment of his group, and was proud to do so. The fight didn’t last long… the barbarians didn’t even rage (mostly because I forgot to).
There were 2 prisoners… 1 went back with the barbarians, while Jairus went back to Ceinwen. It took some time, but it was discovered that:

  • They weren’t from Windholme at all, and instead were a group of marauders from the Hollow Hills called the Bastard Drifters… a group consisting of mainly half-elves.
  • They intercepted the message from William Rose and decided Ceinwen was a prime place to strike next since the barbarians had just about run them out of the east.
  • Jairus was only the leader of this small band… there were others.

William’s life blows…

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Piercing the Veil
The fall of the Lady

“Ah, so nice of you to bring me so many tender tasties.” – Black Morwen to Ny’All as he prepared to strike her.

7 Marpenoth (Leaffall), DR 1523

As Tinith hog-ties Lord Arkhelm, the party decides what to do: they will go to the cave and expose the Lady for the monster they believe her to be, hopefully gaining Arkhelm’s trust and confidence in the process. The party inspects the pendant that Arkhelm is wearing, but they find no religious symbols and Angel is only able to determine that it is magical and from the divination school. They proceed down the trail as it opens onto the beach. Before them stands a large cave entrance in seaside cliffs.

Proceeding inside cautiously, they encounter a woman in a fortified rock formation that is being used to hold her. Arkhelm confirms that this was the most recent “offering” to the Lady. She begs to be released when a scream comes from further in the cave.

“Mother!” she cries, recognizing the voice. “You have to help her, please!”

The party offers to help, but maintains that she should find somewhere safe outside. As she leaves, they throw Arkhelm in the prison cell in her place, so that he can witness whatever horrors inhabit this cave.

As they sneak closer, the tiny entrances to this section of the cave open up, revealing a collection of disgusting macabre: gut and bone decorates the entire cave, bottles of preserved body parts and unrecognizable creatures are haphazardly scattered about and the smell is awful. Tinith and Ny’All both get close enough to peer further in and see an ugly woman being tortured by a kind of hag. As Ny’All moves to sneak up on her, she speaks without turning to face him, clearly aware of their presence.

“Come to join my dinner?” the hag asks.

Ny’All continues the conversation, hoping to distract her as Tinith nocks an arrow and aims at the woman who identified herself as Black Morwen. Suddenly, he feels a hand on his shoulder. He turns to find the woman they freed from the cave, but her face begins to melt away into the form of an ugly green hag. Simultaneously, the other women in the cave begin to cackle and their skin sloughs off to reveal the hideous visages of sea hags.

As they begin to chant and call to each other, the party moves to attack. Ny’all leaps in and deals Black Morwen a few slight blows, retreating to the crevice he sprang from. Tinith runs back to the other entrance and takes a shot, but it misses wide. Then the hags begin to chant another set of spells.

As the second sea hag, Peggy Pigknuckle, points at Rangoris, his mind is suddenly filled with visions of the fall of Solon. He is forced to replay in his mind the horrors that befell him mere moments before Kelemvor chose him as his instrument. Frightened and hounded by demons from his past, he is paralyzed in fear as the chanting continues.

Black Morwen’s eyes turn from cloudy white to the black from the void and she gazes at Tinith who doubles over, stomach roiling with sickness. Finally, the last hag and apparent leader of the coven, cackles and points at Waingro, who feels briefly paralyzed, but manages to fight off the effects.

Waingro moves to envelop the hags in darkness, but as the magic in his blood bubbles to answer the call, a hag gives a series of sharp commands and the magic fades. Tinith, not wasting the opportunity, plunges the whole cavern into silence, negating the magic of the hags as he shakes off his magically induced illness. Angel moves in to attack, propelling herself horizontally into the melee. Denied their magics, the hags move to escape but their exits are cut off, and they are cut down one by one as the party does what they do best: win.

Investigating the room, they recover Rangoris’s heartstone, as well as a few coins. They leave to clear out other areas of the cave. In one corner, a nest of spiders and phase spiders falls to their fire and melee prowess. In another, a pit of snakes is crushed by sword and glaive. In the final section, a series of beholder look-alikes explode, causing Angel to feel nauseous and ill. The fungus and pudding that accompanied them fell quickly under the adventurers onslaught. They investigate further to find a pool with a mithril chain shirt, a jar of a magical substance and two potions.

Returning to Arkhelm, they unbind him and show him the menagerie that resided in the cave. Having been here before, he admits that he’s never seen this side of the cave. To him, it always looked simple and pleasant. As the party reveals to him what the Lady truly was, he feels sickened. “All those people. They were… eaten?” he asks. Angel confirms his suspicions and explains that the undead leaving was not caused by the Lady, but rather by a group of adventurers who killed a necromancer who was aspiring to be a lich.

When they return to Torvin Springs, Arkhelm informs the populace of what happened. They immediately feel regret for their actions and are saddened to learn they were duped by creatures of obviously evil intent. As payment for their efforts, the towns people offer the adventurers all the items they had previously offered to the Lady, but the group declines. "Use this to restore your town to its proper place, " Angel tells them as she refuses their gifts.

Not willing to let the adventurers take nothing from this, the towns people offer to let them stay here, for free, for as long as they need. Captain Tyrol Fessender returns from his dealings with the local lumberman to find the villagers asking what they can do to help and he immediately sets about barking orders to those that have any knowledge whatsoever about boats.

The party members look at each other, reflecting on all they’ve done in such a short time. Smiling, they disperse into the village, ready to take some much needed downtime.

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Shipping Out
A rescue and an intriguing rural mystery...

“I really must insist. The Lady is not to be disturbed. As Her voice, I speak Her will. You must come with me, if not willingly, then by force.” – Lord Arkhelm, to the party as they sought the Lady of Torvin Springs.

6 Marpenoth (Leaffall), DR 1523

As the sun began to rise on a new day, Tinith notices an oddity: the flap on Rangoris’ pack has opened of its own accord. Waking the rest of his companions, they set to work trying to find the perpetrators of the deed, but there are no tracks around. Rangoris investigates the pack to find that his heartstone is missing. With nothing to do but continue on toward Southshore, the party makes their way to the shore and turns south.

Around mid-day, they hear the low tones of a conch shell echoing through a fog that has come up. As they draw closer, a cloud clears to resolve a caravel stuck on a sandbar and listing to a side. Upon it, crawl a number of aquatic humanoids: sahaugin. From this distance, the party can see that the sahuagin have incapacitated or killed the crew and are binding them in seaweed. The clouds roll back in, obscuring their view as they stand on the shore, preparing the next move.

In a bold move, while everyone else begins to swim toward the sandbar, Angel backs up a few paces and launches herself in a mighty leap to the deck of the ship. As she blasts through the fog, she alights on the deck… and quickly finds herself surrounded by a number of the mer-creatures, including one large, four armed menace armed with a trident. The ensuing combat is one sided and sees Angel bloodied by the creatures as the sahuagin priestess implores her god to paralyze the paladin and the other creatures take full advantage. Waingro, attempting to save Angel from her self-imposed plight, summons a magical darkness to surround her, in the hopes that the blinded creatures may fail to hit his companion.

The spell half works, forcing the baron and priestess into the water and toward the other party members. The remaining sahuagin flail into the darkness with their spears and, though Angel is able to shake off the effects of the hold person spell cast upon her, she falls to the deck of the ship, bleeding and unconscious. Waingro stops concentrating on the spell in order to counter the magics of the aqua-witch, as the rest of the party members set up for a combat against the baron. Rangoris lays a sahuagin out with his shield whilst simultaneously lashing out at another with his rapier. The baron bites and sticks Rangoris with his trident as he retaliates. Ny’All, having disentangled himself from a sahuagin leaping from the ship, moves to the barons side and begins harassing him with attacks as Tinith takes out the sahuagin on the fringe of the melee.

A few well timed hits see the heroes standing victorious. Ny’All moves to stabilize the bleeding paladin, who after a brief pause begins freeing the captives and asking how she might help. Captain Tyrol Fessender, a halfling trader, begins barking orders to anyone who will listen and within a few hours they have the worst of the damage temporarily patched.

Fessender regales the party with tales of his recent travels and his newly altered near future plans. In order to execute a more complete repair of the ship and make her truly seaworthy, Fessender suggests that they need to stop at the nearby village of Torvin Springs. He estimates that it will take them about a week or so to complete the repairs and only then can he continue on to Southshore with his new passengers. “As long as you can bear the delay,” he says, “bringing you to Southshore is the least I can do for the aid you gave me and my ship.”

When the party asks for more information about Torvin Springs, the talkative man is less forthcoming. “I don’t know much,” he says, adjusting his overly large captain’s hat. “I wasn’t even going to stop there on my way back through. The folk there have gotten weird and hermetic. My last reception was cold at best.” He goes on to explain that about a year ago, a figure townsfolk call “The Lady” appeared to help stifle the blights on the land and the undead that had been harassing them for generations. All she required in turn was a person of elven descent delivered to her cave outside of town monthly. A “land ho” cry from the lookout interrupts the conversation as the captain leaves his cabin to see to the duties of guiding the ship safely into the bay.

The party slips below decks and turns to Eric Eastman, intending to question him about his past. Though he has remained with the party, it is obvious he has only done so in order to keep an eye on the book the party retrieved from Querellon. Glowering at them as Angel implores Hoar to establish an area in which no lies can be spoken, it is obvious that the enchantment has not taken root on Eric. Giving up on the interrogation, the party members flop into the hammocks of the fallen crew members and promptly fall asleep.

At dawn the next day, Captain Fessender wakes the party for transport to the shore in a long boat. Eric puts up a fuss about needing to keep an eye on the journal, but they rebuff him. His anger at being denied access to this object he had sworn to protect is quite apparent as he goes back below deck, cursing. Fessender leads the group, disguised as humans, to the small town where they find very simple stone and sod houses loosely scattered around a town center featuring a simple but beautiful church and a statue of a hooded, benevolent looking woman. Ny’All strikes up a conversation with a local who informs him that Lord Arkhelm is the “voice of the Lady” and leader of the congregation. The local invites Ny’All and his friends inside, but the request is politely refused as Ny’All leaves a small gem at the base of the statue as an offering. While doing so, he notices a number of valuable looking items hidden under offerings of flowers.

As the party leaves to go find the Lady at her cave, two church knights step out to announce the mass and the citizenry begins filing into the building. The party gets about a mile down the worn trail when a voice behind them shouts for them to wait. They turn to find a man in white robes and the two knights running after them. The man, after catching his breath, announces himself as Lord Arkhelm. Apparently, a church member let him know that strangers were in town and when Arkhelm left to invite them in for mass, he found that they were headed down the trail.

He invites them to turn around, saying that their was just recently an offering to the Lady and that it is not a good time to bother her. As the party continues to refuse, things come to a head. “I really must insist,” Arkhelm says. “The Lady is not to be disturbed. As Her voice, I speak Her will. You must come with me, if not willingly, then by force.”

Needing little prompting, Tinith and Ny’All spring from hiding places in the deep shore grass to attack. Ny’All executes a blistering combo that leaves Arkhelm crumpled on the ground, blood leaking from his nose where it was broken by the pommel of Ny’All’s rapier. The knights, having been caught off guard, barely have time to draw their greatswords before they are killed.

As Ny’All draws his short sword from the visor of the last knight, he begins to feel a deep affinity for this sword, excluding even his own well used and cared for weapons. The sword reveals itself as a sword of vengeance, imbued by a vengeful spirit. In spite of this, Ny’All gathers the group to discuss his plan for Lord Arkhelm. Using the materials at their disposal, he wants to offer Arkhelm himself to the Lady of Torvin Springs.

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Descent into Madness
A ritual interrupted, Nykel lost, a demon defeated...

“You know not what you mess with here, brother. Join me, or die. This fight cannot be won.” – Nykel to Tinith before a glabrezu demon unveiled its true form.

5 Marpenoth (Leaffall), 1523

After taking a short rest to recuperate after the naga battle, the heroes proceed to the heart of the city: an elaborate stone construction shaped like the top half of an egg, the sides of which were permeated by holes that complemented the intricate design. On the way, Tinith and Ny’All see a lone elf, painting elaborate patterns on the wall with his own blood. When Tinith moves closer to inspect the man, he notices that the patterns are intricate and deliberate, clearly not some meandering artwork by a deranged mind. The writing continues on every building face from this point on.

As the party tries to get the attention of the mumbling elf, nothing seems to thwart him from his task, until Rangoris tries to erase the writing on the wall. Abruptly, the man screams and leaps at Rangoris who deftly slips the attack and drops him to the ground with a shield counter attack. Waingro summons a fire to spring into existence but the man is only singed by it as he falls. When Ny’All pummels him unconscious with the guard of his rapier, the heroes bind the man.

Tinith hears an approaching trample of feet coming from around a bend and nocks an arrow, waiting until he sees the two werewolves and handful of demonic manes turn the corner before releasing. The arrow sails true, and a manes disappeared into a noxious yellow haze that quickly dissipates. Ny’All dodges and treks through the overgrowth to close the gap between himself and the creatures, and deals a vicious blow to one of the werewolves. As the creatures surround him and lash out with tooth and claw, Angel springs to free him, obliterating a werewolf as she lands. As the fight draws to a close, the heroes emerge victorious and return to the bound elf.

It is clear to Waingro that the man is struggling against some form of enchantment. As Angel casts detect magic, the man and the walls begin to glow: the man is indeed charmed which is curious for an elf, while the walls hold some form of conjuration magic. When the bound man identifies that demons are behind this magic, he screams with pain. Suddenly, one of his eyes slides to the side as his mouth freezes in a gruesome mask and he shudders out his last breath.

When the party arrives at the city center, the spy a hastily constructed pen filled with feces and dead bodies that appears to have been torn into by mortal hands. This, they presume, is where the various commoners performing the ritual tasks have been kept. They proceed to the stairs to the top of the central, domed structure and tie themselves together as a precaution against falling. As Ny’All passes over a stone, he feels it start to give and leaps to the next as it tumbles away into the undergrowth 50 feet below.

When they climb higher, they begin to hear voices speaking from the platform 10 feet above them. Tinith immediately recognizes the voice of his brother, Nykel.

“Yes, Lord Solonar, the ritual is proceeding as planned. It will be ready by tomorrow night.”

“Good,” a booming voice replies. “We shall at last restore this city to its former glory. Thank you, faithful Nykel.”

Upon hearing this, the party immediately frees themselves from the rope. As the rope hits the ground, Angel leaps onto the platform, but the clanking of her armor ruins the element of surprise. Ny’All and Waingro rush up the stairs to attack, scoring a few hits as Nykel retreats, unslinging his heirloom bow and firing a pair of arrows at the caster. The werewolf guards close to strike at Waingro and Angel both, but Rangoris rushes up the stairs and knocks a werewolf from the platform, hearing it splatter on the ground a few seconds later. He then turns to deal with the remaining wolf as Angel leaps to attack Nykel.

Uttering a sacred vow, she devastates Nykel as Tinnith steps onto the platform and fires an arrow at his brother in support. He staggers and stares at his brother, sneering.

“You know not what you mess with here, brother. Join me, or die. This fight cannot be won,” Nykel says, pulling the arrow from his chest. At that moment, a bright light flashes and the white elk aspect of Solonar the Hunter appears in the tree. As the light fades, the beauteous form dissolves around him, leaving a hulking glabrezu in it’s place. Immediately a sphere of magical darkness engulfs the platform as it rushes toward Angel.

Rocked by this demonic revelation, Nykel snarls, drops the bow and rushes into the darkness, transforming on the move. The party hears a scream, a thud, and the sound of bark being shorn away from the dead and bleeding heart tree as Nykel uses it to control his fall and escape.

As the party swings at the darkness, Waingro uses the truesight gifted by his patron to attack and aid his fellows. Undeterred, the glabrezu lays about with fist and pincer, heavily damaging a number of party members. Suddenly, the darkness dissipates and they see the demon lift from the ground and move to strike at Ny’All on the other side of the platform. A bloodied Ny’All disengages and consumes his last remaining healing potion to stay in the fight as Rangoris shouts insults at the demon and sprays it with a vial of paralyzing carrion crawler fluid.

The demon turns and chuckles, lashing out at Rangoris with a potent attack. Tinith, resolving to not give chase to Nykel takes a breath, nocks an arrow and carefully aims at the demon’s eyes. As the demon turns toward him, time seems to slow. Tinith releases the arrow and watches it fly, willing it to strike the demon. The arrow buries deeply into the eye socket of the demon and it begins to dissolve and bubble away into viscous goo, screaming as it does so.

Taking a much needed rest, Tinith notices that commoners around the city appear to be waking from their dazed state and wander off to find their way out of the city. The demons he can see all collapse, presumably returning to the depths of the Abyss. The werewolves begin to separate into packs and flee the woods. Where Nykel went, there is no way of knowing. He contemplates this as he picks up his family’s bow and feels the familiar weight of it in his hands once more.

After the rest, the party goes to the tomblike structure on the platform and opens it to discover Eric Eastman chained, gaunt and the victim of obvious torture. Before him is a book. Waingro deduces that this chamber is the focus of the spell, the place all the energy seems to have been directed.

When questioned, the party gets little from him: only that he was bringing this demonic tome to Southshore to be destroyed. Waingro stiffens as the fingers of a familiar entity creep into his mind:

“Take the book, Waingro. Keep it safe,” whispers the voice and he feels compelled to obey, depositing it in the bag of holding. Eric fixes Waingro with a baleful eye and vows that he shall be the one to protect the book, not the party, though he is too weak to carry through on any sort of threat. The party dismisses this as they release him and tend to his wounds.

Traveling to the base of the tower, the party discovers a cache of spoils stolen from travelers and traders on the road. Among the pile of gold and precious items, the party finds a magical suit of platemail, slippers of climbing and a magical shortsword carved with the leering face of an Elven god.

Upon donning the platemail, Angel finds herself able to read abyssal. Suddenly, the writing on the walls becomes clear and she relates the writing to Waingro who deduces that the spell being wrought here was a summoning spell of greater magnitude than he could comprehend, and that some of the words must be demonic names.

Turning her new found ability to the book, she puzzles out the first entry before the party decides to leave. Eyes on Angel and Waingro as they travel, Eric journeys with them out of the forest, where a long march ends in a rather pleasant campsite just outside the forest. The moon is rising, full and bright and the distant baying of wolves is only slightly unsettling as the party drifts into a fitful but necessary sleep.

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A Jaunt in the Woods
Dismemberment and a host of demonic enemies

“Puny mortals, you will all DIE!” ~ unnamed Hezrou, seconds before being skewered by both glaive and rapier simultaneously.

4 Marpenoth (Leaffall), DR 1523

Deciding to head to Blackwood and hunt for Bloodfang, the party first heads south, then leaves the trail, covers their tracks and marches through the grasslands north. Upon entering the forest, Tinith extends his senses into the wood around him and curiously detects undead and demonic presences. On guard, the party continues on and establishes a camp.

While setting up sound and hunting traps, the party hears distant cries of fright and pain. After investigating, they find a small clearing littered with the bodies of traders in various states of dismemberment and disembowelment. One man managed to survive. Waingro quickly stabilizes his wounds, a magical fire cauterizing the stump of a severed leg.

“They were beasts, they were. Horrible beasts!” exclaims the man. After extracting a promise that they will not be mentioned, Angel summons an ethereal elk to bear the man back to the Forks Fort Inn. The party returns to camp to rest for the trials of the coming morning.

Sleeping through the baying of wolves, the party wakes to find themselves set upon by a group of werewolves, dire wolves and regular wolves. Tinith spots the dires from his perch in a tree and commences laying down a hail of arrow fire, dispatching a wolf. Ny’All moves in to kill the other wolf with shortsword and rapier as Angel jumps into melee with the dire beasts to distract them.

She finds herself quickly surrounded by dires and weres, but manages to fend them off as Rangoris rushes in to bash a direwolf off its feet. He quickly turns to strike at a werewolf, kicking his foot out as it staggers backward, sending it to the ground. Waingro unleashes magical energies, that backlash and cover him in grease once again, after three bolts of magical fire blast from his spread hands.

When the combat comes to a close, they break camp and set out to track the werewolves to their lair. Shortly, they find a cave with a bag of holding, potions and gems inside, obvious spoils from their harassment of the Windholme trade road.

After a quick rest, they continue following the tracks to a despoiled clearing and the nexus of many tracks both coming and going. As Tinith pushes on, a pair of vine blights and a shambling mound shake loose from the undergrowth and lash out at the party. Deftly reacting to the ambush, the party kills off the corrupted plants. Tinith notes that only a great evil can cause a blight, lending even more credence to the theory that there is something very, very wrong in this forest.

As the sun climbs in the sky, the party, still traveling in the rough direction of the center of the forest, hears a nearby thrashing and roar. In their minds, a voice speaks of their doom as a horrible stench assaults their nostrils. A hezrou bursts from the underbrush to attack, but, hampered by the broken terrain, it manages to just get to the party before an inspired Angel and Rangoris finish it off.

By noon, the party reaches a clearing that contains an overgrown city. Though it’s hard to tell given the extensive damage, this appears to be an old elvish ruin that exists now only in legend. Vague historical references suggest that this was the location of one of Kelemvor’s orbs, as several members of the party recall.

As they approach a ruined archway, they note three skeletal serpents guarding the entrance. After they sneak into position, Waingro lets loose a devastating column of fire from his hands. The party members all witness as the flames stagger one of the undead creatures but as they turn back, they notice that in Waingros place is now a content meadow sheep, calmly bending to chew some grass.

With no time to be distracted, the heroes jump into battle. Ny’All finishes off the naga that Waingro hit, as Angel, Rangoris and Tinith lay waste to the other guardians.

As they find a place of relative safety to recuperate, the party notices that art and writing carved into the stones seem to indicate that this is indeed the lost Elven city and that the orb of Kelemvor once resided in the large structure in the center of town that they can just make out through the ruins and overgrowth.

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There was a Thunder Fight!
Were-banditry and another piece of the puzzle

“What are you—? What did you just—? Do you have any idea how expensive—? I’m not cleaning this up. Why is he glowing?” – Nathan, barkeep and owner of the Forks Fort Inn

3, Marpenoth (Leaffall), DR 1523

After spending a few days in Ceinwen tending to their affairs and preparing for the coming battles, the party prepares to head south toward Blouen Village. Tinith believes that the disappearances there are related to Nykel, the were-brother that slaughtered his family. Waingro is understandably distressed, having just been given a notice that he was wanted for murder in that town. They agree to go at least as far as the Forks Fort Inn before making their mind up about a final destination.

As Rangoris wakes from his carousing in the morning at the Sleeping Giant, he comes downstairs to find a distraught William Rose. “Lord Tresendar is going to have Eberk killed,” he tells Rangoris when questioned. Knowing he and Angel have the ear of Lord Tresendar, he asks if there’s anything they could do to help. When Rangoris refuses, Rose returns to drinking, more hopeless than before.

With the execution by hanging set at noon, the party meets and leaves town in the early hours. The first day of travel is uneventful, they pass a handful of wagons and caravans heading both directions, see few signs of bandit activity, but encounter no major obstacles. As they break camp, Tinith scouts around a bit and notices an old, overgrown stone guard tower hidden in a thick copse of trees. The adventurers decide to investigate.

As Tinith and Ny’all move around the tower, Ny’all steps on a weak spot in the underbrush and makes some uncharacteristic noise. A head pops up and looks out from between the merlons and shouts “Intruder!” before disappearing from view. Tinith immediately scampers up the nearest large tree to get a better view of the situation while the rest of the party rushes through the woods to assist.

Ny’all looks up to see two wolves baring their teeth at him who he narrowly fends off, throwing some defensive blows that open up wounds along the side of one of the creatures. Inside the tower, the man has transformed into a werewolf. TInith yells to the others to capture one for questioning. As the battle ensues, Tinith is almost laid low by ferocious bites and vicious swipes of claws, but Angel lands next to the creature, proceeding to unleash righteous fury on it, while Rangoris springs free of the trees to plant the werebeast on its back with his shield.

As Ny’all rejoins the group, Waingro covers his escape from afar, blasting at the two wolves with scorching flames. They proceed to reveal themselves as weres as well, but the party takes good advantage of the transformation time, killing one and capturing the other two.

The interrogation reveals that Bloodfang, the name of Tinith’s were-brother, has ordered them to harrass the trade roads and woods between Ceinwen, Windholme and the Forks Fort Inn for reasons unknown. Once wrung dry of information by Angel, Waingro and Tinith, the were’s were dispatched and their belongings searched. Rangoris touched Tinith with a heartstone “just in case” to cure him of any potential lycanthropy he suffered from and as they rested, Angel began some cleaning up of the tower and the path leading to it so Ceinwen patrols might use this as an outpost.

Continuing the journey, they arrive at the Forks Fort Inn just past 1 o’clock to find the place full to bursting and loud. While Ny’all applies his River Rat disguise to Waingro, the other three enter the inn, taking particular note of a wagon which stands completely empty. While Rangoris orders a round of drinks and begins dicing (to the cheers and applause of almost all the patrons), Angel asks Nathan about the goings on. He points out a particular group that has been sitting around for a few days.

Waingro and Ny’all enter, and Waingro heads toward the table that Angel pointed out. The leader of this little band of assumed River Rats begins questioning him about the cargo, its lateness, and where Eberk is. After a brief conversation Waingro gathers that these men are to take the captured heroes to The Rat King, but are wondering why Rangoris is not among the cargo. Thinking Waingro a newly bitten whelp, they direct him to get more alcohol.

At this point, patrons have begun exiting to get back on their way. Rangoris takes a couple of ales (and his winnings) and saunters up to the table in question. “Have some beer, lads!” he cries. Then immediately upends the table, slamming three of the men into the wall. Taking full advantage of their surprise attack, the party dispatches first the leader, then the most dangerous looking foes in order. As Waingro moves up to attack, he catches two of the men in a Thunderwave, unleashing a boom that shatters any glass in the establishment.

All hell breaks loose. Outside, whinnies and neighs from startled horses, mules and donkeys accompany cries from handlers who lost controll of their mounts. Inside, slack jawed patrons begin running for the exit and Nathan begins raising a cry of incoherent disapproval. Both men are launched from Waingro and rise to find the tiefling glowing too brightly to look at. Tinith fights through the crowd, jumps on a table and begins peppering the remaining men with arrows, as Ny’all dashes in, dispatches a man, and begins to guide the patrons to the door.

As the fight winds down, the party captures a single man, leaving the other six in a spreading pool of blood. Interrogation reveals the specific spot the men were to take the heroes. “Do your worst,” the captive says, to which Ny’all gives a brief, but bloody and satisfyingly silent response. As the man slumps over, Nathan’s panic raises to a fever pitch.

Rangoris offers the man a bag of gold for the expenses and begins dragging the bodies to the trapdoor and dumping them in the Whiterun as Ny’all leaves to calm the patrons and beckoning them back inside to help clean. Having gone to the outhouse to remove his disguise and let his skin stop glowing, Waingro returns to find Nathan begrudgingly accept Rangoris’ offer as the bar wenches and some of the more intimidated patrons begin setting the place to rights.

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The Coming Dawn
The plot is revealed...

Backlit by the embers of the burning house, the party turns to the task of capturing Eberk. Sneaking up to his house, Ny’all and Tinnith notice several guards waiting around and two horses. While Ny’all goes to grab the others, Tinnith gets on one of the horses and sets about creating a distraction. The surprise works to such great effect that the party dispatches all of the guards without much fuss. Eberk holes himself up in the house, only to be gang-tackled by the adventurers and stripped and bound.

Waingro and Angel convince him to join in a ruse: they will deliver Rangoris and Angel, under the appearance of having been captured, to a rendezvous point about a half hour away, and collect whatever gold that Eberk was promised. Dressed as guards, the party encounters a group of men heading into town to find out why everyone is late in delivering the captives. They buy the ruse, and continue on their way.

At the rendezvous site, the party is directed to begin unloading the captives into cages on rafts that were intended to carry them to the Whiterun and beyond. The party beckons the thugs to come help at which point Tinnith and Ny’all begin bickering about how to distribute the cargo. This distraction allows Waingro to cast thunderwave on the separated group and spring the trap. Immediately, the party sets to work on the stunned criminals.

Angel leaps off the back of the horse into a swirling melee in which the tangles with the superiors. Rangoris does the same, charging into combat and laying out enemies with shield and rapier, both. Ny’all immediately dispatches a thug with a sneaky dual-rapier attack. They retaliate against Waingro, beating him about the head with their maces. Suddenly, three images of Waingro appear, along with a magical patch of grease, thoroughly confusing the thugs and causing them to fall.

Finishing the lackeys, the party turns its attention to interrogation of two of the apparent leaders. They learn that they were going to meet up with a convoy at the Forks Fort Inn, and from there, they were going to deliver the heroes to the Rat King. As the party prepares to leave they hear a sickening series of crunching sounds; where once was a bound captive is now a fleeing giant rat! Ny’all leaps to grab it, and does, which Tinnith then skewers.

As they take their prisoner and Eberk back to meet with William Rose, they encounter the three men returning from the town and set an ambush. As they blunder into a hunting trap that Tinnith laid out for them, the party springs into action. Ny’all lunges forward, piercing the head of the closest man with his rapier, but as he withdraws it, the wound closes! Angel subsequently slayed two of the three wererats in a display of martial prowess. A burst of magical energy explods from Waingro and the magicks cause a unicorn to appear just as the third man-rat hybrid is dispatched. Tinnith uses his elven ways to soothe the beast, and it touches the most wounded party members with its horn, causing all the cuts and scrapes of battle to close before bounding off into the woods.

Upon returning to Ceinwen, the party was rewarded with a minor amount of gold and the respect of William Rose. He pulled Waingro to the side to inform him that he was a wanted man, but that he would not pursue that any farther as he has shown himself to be a decent tiefling. Rangoris notices an interesting flyer requesting information about the whereabouts of missing persons whose names are all familiar to him. Thomas Tresendar comes in, asking about the happenings of the previous night. After the situation is explained to him, he tasks the adventurers with rooting out the reason behind the attacks, and ensuring that no further attacks befall Ceinwen.

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Oh, What a Night!
Late night revelry turns to chaos

“You have until tomorrow at sun rise to tell me what you find. But Rangoris, though you are named Darkblade in some circles, please, return my friend Eberk to me alive. I want to hear from him what his part was in all this.” ~ William Rose, head of the Ceinwen militia

After a day of Heroes’ Day celebrations, the party was headed to bed in the small hours of the night, when peace was shattered by a sudden scream. Two guards bring a woman into the inn and set her by the fire.

Tinnith rises from his spot in the corner and sneaks out a window, which everyone notices but pretends not to. He then took time to scout around outside, finding a bit of curious evidence with how the paths of the guards and the woman met up.

After a series of questions, the party grows suspicious of the woman. Rangoris heads upstairs to rearm himself, but by the time he returns, the supposed victim has revealed herself as an assassin and was eviscerated by Angel, empowered by Hoar’s divine wrath. The guards move to protect her, but they too are struck down, easily handled by the heroes and their new companions. On her body is a curious piece of parchment with descriptions of the heroes.

A scent of fire and town alarm bell lead the party to a burning house, supposedly the residence of the dead assassin. A townsperson implores them to save a child inside the house. Suspecting a trap, half of the party enters, while the others surround the house. Four people lay dead inside, but the bodies are not recently deceased and the throats are cut.

Even given the safe guards, only Tinnith notices that several of the onlookers separate from the group to try to trap the three in the house. One man shouts orders to make sure Angel and Rangoris are captured alive. After a battle and a chase, two of the men, one a leader, the other a bandit are questioned. One reveals that he is Eberk’s man, in it for the gold. He is carrying a copy of the same parchment describing the heroes. The other says that he is a River Rat here on orders from The Rat King but that Eberk was organizing all this.

After executing both prisoners, the party turns to see William Rose, head of the town guard, confronting them with questions about murder and arson, and their involvement. Rangoris shows him the parchments and the man immediately recognizes Eberk’s handwriting. Three of the guards start refusing the orders of their commander and acting of their own accord.

After a brief engagement, one betrayer is captured and Rose gives the party full license to root out what is going on, with two conditions: they have until the next sun rise to report back to him, and if they find Eberk, spare his life. If they fail to report, he shall resume his investigations into their part in this story. Except Waingro… who’s “the most decent tiefling devil I’ve ever had occasion to meet.”

After Rose leaves, the party interrogates the bound guard and as they leave to pursue Eberk at his residence, Ny’all dispatches the traitor to ensure that “there are no loose ends”.

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