Unearthing the Past

Moving On With Life

The next two days pass as the party recuperates in town while helping to teach the townsfolk to defend themselves. Frequently found at The Sitting Duck Inn, Edgrin Galesong spends most of his time playing slow and melancholy tunes on his lute. At dinner he opens up to the party now and then, recounting specifics of his adventuring party’s time in the ruins and then telling a short story of a humorous event that happened to a party member before realizing they are now gone and returning to a solemn state. During this time, Njord “The Goat”, more than anyone, appears to provide the most solace to Edgrin Galesong and the two seem to bond over shared stories of lost friends and past victories.

One morning over breakfast, Edgrin Galesong thanks the party for all they have done and mentions that he and Njord “The Goat” have discussed in length what life holds in store for each of them and that there is little left for him in Marienheim. He then announces that on the following day, when the next caravan departs for Stotzingen, he and Njord “The Goat” will be accompanying them.

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A Welcomed Return

With Hollin freed, the party was free to return to Marienheim with the children. On the way out they made one last search to find any loot that might be stashed away. Looking through the King’s den they were able to recover various trinkets along with several polished chunks of obsidian that had been stacked near the wall to serve as a crude mirror.

Edgrin Galesong, solemn over the loss of his comrades asked the party if they would assist in bringing the remains of his friends back to the surface so they may be given a proper burial. Taking various scraps of cloth and kobold spears, the party was able to carry the former members of the Gray Eagles back above ground. When the party reached the surface it was dark out, but the third moon was beginning to set signaling that morning would be coming soon. As dawn broke, Uthad lead a brief ceremony for the dead before heading out.

Returning through the woods took longer than usual as the children needed to stop several times to rest or needed help through the thicker foliage. Even with the delay, the only signs of life the group saw were a few tracks that led into the brush. After several hours the thickness of the woods lessened and sounds of the lumber camp could be heard ahead. The wood cutters, having heard news from town of the childrens’ disappearance, offered to take the children to town via horse drawn wagon. The trip to town took less than an hour, but when the first child stepped from the wagon and great crowd of people swarmed the wagon. Cries of joy echoed through out the town as the parents and those close to them celebrated the return of their children.

Thuldrin Kreed, Gavel of Marienheim, personally declared the day one of celebration and ordered a feast for the saviors of their fair town and protector of their children. Twice disaster has struck Marienheim and twice the party rose up and delivered the town from evil. During the feast, Kreed made an announcement, thanking the party and announcing that before dinner he had sent a runner to Stotzingen, the regional capital, to inform Lord Ravencrest of the party’s actions and to formally request the formation of a volunteer militia and to send individuals from Stotzingen to help train these troops. He also announced that the party, if they accepted, would be given informal positions as high ranking members of the militia. Thought they fight in the name of Marienheim, unlike the militia men they will not be directly bound to the city and could come and go as they please.

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The Last Child

After a brief rest the party continued on. Moving north the party entered a room where the walls and floor were covered in a slick mucous like substance. As they moved forward they discovered this room was full of cages where the slurks were raised. Killing the slurk wrangler and his assistant the party wrapped around to the west and found a pair of kobolds lying in ambush for the party. Luckily for them, the kobolds expected them to come from the south rather than the north however, so they were able to surprise them.

Njord “The Goat” Scouted ahead and found to the east and believed he found another group of kobolds waiting in ambush and beyond he discovered a nursery for young kobolds. Returning to the slurk kennel the party moved to the north again and came to a cross road. On the wall in the eastern passage was a note in Draconic that Niene was able to translate to “Darky-dark below, and whispers soft and low. Evil lurks, its lipless mouth smirks. Do not go! Only Death below!”

Scouting forward again, Njord “The Goat” discovered the west passage looped back to the south and reconnected to the room he believed held another ambush party. When he moved north he discovered one large room that held the host of the kobolds. Most of them were at rest, but a pair of guards could be seen moving about. Creating a distraction, the party was able to draw most of the kobolds to Njord “The Goat” and Uthad while the rest of the party circled around and attacked from the rear. Dyne opened up on the group with flaming hands and immediately melted 3 of the creatures into bubbling pools of goo, setting the mood for this encounter. As they wore the group down a handful of the creatures ran north to alert others while another one ran to the south to get more guards, but even with their addition the party was able to easily defeat their foes.

During the fight, Dyne looked down a corridor and discovered what appeared to be the throne room of the kobold king, who rather than attack, held his guards back. Once the group they were fighting was defeated the party moved into the throne room and was greeted by King Merlokrep, who welcomed them and offered the party a great feast before they lay their lives down on the sacrificial altar for the “dark one”. Merlokrep showed greater signs of mutation than those the party had fought before and when informed they would not be sacrificing themselves, Merlokrep became confused and demanded that if they not lay on the altar, then they fall before his axe, Manfeller.

Edgrin Galesong, enraged by finding the one responsible for his friends death fought with a vigor no one had seen in him before. Once the king and his royal guard were dead, Edgrin slit the throats of a group of kobold zealots that sat in the room the entire time praying, before moving on. To the east a passage lead to the private chamber where the king’s consort was found. Initially the consort attempted to seduce the party, but when this failed she attacked but was easily slain.

Moving further east the tunnels smoothed and became more like a stone carved hallway, which based on what Niene had seen before confirmed that these passages were not natural in design but were more of the same ruins that had fallen into a great state of disrepair. The tunnel roof fell back as the party continued on until they found themselves in a great cavern with glowing crystals littering the ceiling, creating a twilight sky in the cavern. Across the ceiling and walls the party could make out homes and sculptures of dwarven design, indicating that this was most likely a central chamber for an ancient dwarven city.

In the center of the chamber was a round platform that circled a great runestone. The stone itself appeared to be covered with a thick layer of the mold that the party had dealt with previously and before it lay an altar and pair of braziers. Upon the altar lay Tyran, a ranger that traveled with Edgrin’s group. As they approached a withered kobold shaman cries out and plunges a dagger into the chest of Tyran, who cries out and dies. The kobold pulls the heart from the man’s chest and raises it to the sky spitting out arcane and ancient words that cause the heart to burst into dark flames. The party engaged the shaman in combat who summoned a swarm of insects to help him fight, but it helped him little as the party cut him down in record time. Two creatures lay on the ground at the base of the altar as well, like a human corpse but without any bones or organs. Kicking the braziers over and using their own powers, the party destroy the abominations.

The last child, Hollin, was recovered. He lay bound near the altar, wide eyed and catatonic from seeing the murder of Tyran before him. With all the children recovered, the party begins their return to Marienheim to reunite them with their families.

Loot/XP:

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Story Time - Le Petite Chevalier

After fighting the group of gricks, the party attempts to rest in one of the best defensible positions they have yet found. With the sound of random Kobold patrols and various inhuman noises frum deeper within the ruins, the group finds that the children are having a difficult time coping with their situation.

Recalling a story told to her in her youth from her homeland, Niene pulls out one of her tomes and finds a story to entertain and calm the children: Le Petite Chevalier.

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The Continued Search

Several hours of rest was just what the party ordered, allowing them to collect themselves and bandage their wounds. However during this time Uthad and Niene decided to attempt to return to the monument room that contained the poem and attempt to make a quick transcription. While there they also decided it would be prudent to check the listening chamber and see if they could identify any more threats they may encounter. Most of the ruins were deathly silent, though in a few rooms they were able to hear various things. In one room north of the rest of the party they heard what sounded like children sobbing and quickly marked that location as the next to check. They also were able to hear the sound of a group of kobolds down the hall, but listening for some time Niene was able to figure out that it appeared that the group was unhappy with their leader and a religious leader of sorts in the small band was preaching of the error of their ways. With any luck they might be able to get past this party without too much trouble.

After returning to the rest of the group, the party began collecting their gear and preparing to continue the search the group noticed a eerie green glow that seemed to be coming from just down the hall and growing stronger. As the party watched the form of a armor clad dwarf floated into the room, casting a bright green light all about it. As the party watched, the form moved to each of the corpses of the kobolds in the room and appeared to destroy them in some way. The undead being an affront to his god, Uthad attempted to turn the creature, but with no effect. Unsure of the reason for the failure, the party decided to attack. Once in combat they quickly realized that rather than the undead form of a fallen dwarf, they were fighting a gelatinous cube that contained the armor of a fallen warrior. After defeating the creature the party was able to clean the warriors gear up and collect it. Included in which was a stone affixed the the head of an axe, which produced light as strong as that of a torch.

The party quickly moved north into the room where Uthad and Niene heard what sounded like children crying. As they opened the heavy stone doors they realized there were in some sort of an ossuary. Lining the walls were several burial platforms that held the bodies of just over twenty fallen dwarven warriors. As the party moved forward the skeletons arose and began shambling toward the intruders. Calling upon the power of his god, Uthad clutched his holy symbol and cried out for Pelor to strike down these abominations. Just as he finished uttering his prayer the holy symbol burst forth with a bright light and each of the undead creatures was consumed by a fire as bright as the sun. When it all ended the corpses were nothing more than dust and the rest of the party was in shock of what just happened. At the end of the hall the children that were hiding also seemed to be in shock as their crying stopped and they peered around the corners of the altar they were hiding behind. Mikra and Savram had run into this room to escape the kobolds and in the process one had been struck by on of the undead on the arm, but nothing that couldn’t be easily addressed.

Moving on with two new companions, the party moved east down the corridor. Turning north at a fork the party stumbled into what appears to have once served as an abattoir, though at this time it served as a feasting ground for a group of zombies. A quick inspection of these creatures identifies them as several of the former monks of the temple above them. They also seem to be covered in growths of some sort of mold. Calling upon his god again, Uthad once again attempts to turn the creatures in the room. Though not as successful as last time, many of the creatures are greatly harmed and easily finished off by the party.

Continuing into the room where the kobold group was overheard, the party found a group of five kobold warriors lead by a mystic who called himself Kerrdremak. Aware of the discontent of this group of kobolds, and with a little help from Edgrin Galesong and his bardic abilities, the party was able to convince the kobolds to leave without so much as a fight.

To the north the party found an old well that had been turned into something of an elevator by the kobolds. After dispatching the guards, an inspection of the lift found that if they put too much weight (close to 600lbs) on it then it would collapse, but if they were careful they might be able to use this as a means of getting to the lower levels quickly. Continuing on from this room the party moved into a series of collapsed tunnels that were choked with smoke but seemed to lead to the source of incessant hammering they had heard earlier. As they moved deeper the party was attacked by what appeared to be the remains of a human, though only his skin. Uthad once again calling upon the powers of Pelor attempted to turn the creature attacking them. Not only was the creature before them harmed but from the next room they heard an angry and pained cry and a break in the hammering. Dispatching the creature at their feet the party moved to the entrance of the room containing who or whatever was hammering. The smoke was thick, so much so that they could barely see more than 5ft in front of themselves. Once again an attempt to turn the creature was made and it clearly was unhappy with the results. Engaging the creature in close combat the party found that it was some sort of dwarf, though twisted and warped by some unknown power. It now was wrapped in chains that seemed to behave more like tentacles and it poured smoke from its mouth. The fight was long and hard, but they were able to dispatch the creature and next to its anvil found another of the children, though he was close to death from choking on the smoke for so long.

Moving back to the previous room with the lift, the party was able to address the children’s needs and plot their next moves. Before continuing deeper the party wanted to be sure they had cleared out all the rooms. Moving back towards the entrance they entered a room that had not been searched yet. Unfortunately this room served as the roost for a group of stirges. Once they threat was removed the party discovered an ancient stone tablet in the foot chests of one of the foot lockers of whoever lived in this room previously.

Returning to the lift room, the party descended into a store room of sorts that had several tunnels leading out of the room. Checking a store room to the west the party came across a wounded choker. It appears that the creature had been in a fight with a small kobold party and been gravely wounded and left for dead. Knowing the threat they pose and fearful of it recovering and being another obstacle, the party quickly euthanize the creature.

Moving North-east, the party comes across a group of kobold slaves and their watchers, mining at the various rock formations in a large cavern. Engaging them in combat the kobolds are quickly overpowered. An examination of the head guard shows that once again he is deformed and hideous. Moving into a room to the south the party finds two creatures known as gricks, feasting on the remains of some unlucky kobold guards. Drawing the creatures to the mouth of the cavern, the party dispatches them one at a time. Dragging the bodies of the kobolds and the gricks further back into this room, the party decides to take a break and tend to their wounds.

Loot/XP:

  • 2675XP each
  • 1 set Mithral Plate Armor (dwarven)
  • 1 Masterwork Dwarven war axe
  • Removable crystal set into back of axe blade. Glows with the light of a torch.
  • stone tablet
  • Chronicle of the Faithful
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The Missing Children

While having an evening meal at The Sitting Duck Inn, Uthad, Dyne, and Niene noticed a crowd gathered outside and the sounds of a woman sobbing coming from somewhere in its midst. Upon investigation they found that the woman in the middle was the mother of a young boy named Mikra who had been missing all day. The woman had searched all over town for him and his friends and been unable to find any sign of them. At this point a halfling named Njord “The Goat” spoke up and indicated he had been confused for one of the children earlier in the day by one of their friends, when he investigated more the child told him the group had been dared to spend the night in the ruins of an old halfway house that some believed to be haunted. Believing he could lead the way to the ruins, the party enlisted the help of the halfling to act as a guide to the ruins.

After about an hours ride the party came across the tracks of some sort of creature. Dyne was attempted to track it but from what he could tell the tracks looped and backtracked with no purpose before disappearing in the direction of the woods. After some thought into the matter, Uthad and Niene were able to identify the tracks as those of the animated cauldron that had been set wild from Ulizmila’s Hut. Continuing on the party arrived at the burnt out ruins of the halfway house. Searching through the ruins the party found a trap door leading to the cellar of the house. In the basement lay the body of a woman that fit the description of Elara, or at least what remained of her. The corpse was badly decayed and it showed signs that the throat had been torn out by come creature. The walls of the cellar were splattered in blood and sported a pair of manacles while in the corner sat a table with two silver daggers and a bundle of badly decayed Wolfsbane. As the party investigated they managed to stir up a large spider and her brood, though were quickly able to dispatch them.

Returning to the surface the party noticed signs of a struggle between what appeared to be the children and a group of kobolds. While investigating the party heard something moving around in the bushes. Njord “The Goat” was unable to sneak up on it, but it was not long after that that a small girl named Jeva walked out of the world. The girl could not have been more than 9 years old but was covered in scars. Jeva claimed to be the only survivor of the fire and had been living in the woods since. When asked about her scars she would only say that the mistress Elara only meant to help her and that they were for her own good. Showing interest in Pelor and claiming she knew where the kobolds took the children, Jeva lead the party into the woods.

After some time had passed Dyne’s time in the wilderness lead him to believe they were being lead in circles, which Uthad and the others agreed that they felt they were not moving in the correct direction. Jeva, clearly hurt that the party would not trust her, fell to the back of the group and as the party came to the edge of the forest to gain their bearings, she managed to disappear into the woods. After a search it appeared that Jeva had run off and hidden herself in the woods fairly well.

At this point night had fallen and tracking in the dark foods would have been next to impossible. Setting up camp for the night the party set up a shift to allow individuals to keep watch over the camp site. A few hours into Uthad‘s watch a loud snarl was heard from the treeline just before a large beast lept from the woods. The creature, dispatched easily by the party turned out to be Jeva, the girl had been transformed into a werewolf and given the scars and items found in the basement of Elara’s house, it would appear the woman was trying to cure the girl of her curse, though ultimately unsuccessful in her attempts.

As morning rose the party continued on the trail of the kobolds. Along the way the party came across a group of bugbears that had killed a woodsman and were arguing over what parts each would eat. Getting a sneak attack in, the group quickly managed to overwhelm and defeat the bugbears and buried the woodsman so no other creatures could desecrate his corpse.

Continuing on through the woods the party followed the trail back to the monastery they discovered previously. It appeared that the kobolds drug the children through the small passage found in the cellar. Njord “The Goat” moved in to scout the tunnel out as it was easier for him to move through it. After about 20ft the tunnel opened into a ruined tunnel that showed signs that it once was a carved hallway, but over time had collapsed and became little more than a collapsed cave. The passage way winded down some ways until it wrapped around and led to a staircase that was in much better condition than the rest of the hallway.

The staircase opened into a large entry room whose domed ceiling sported a carving with the sun with its rays streaming down the walls. In the center of the room was a obsidian obelisk which, on closer inspection, was being mined by a group of kobolds to be taken deeper into their lairs. Quickly dispatching the group, the party moved east into what appears to have once been a room for smelting ores but now served a sinister purpose in some sort of ritual. The stench of boiling flesh, bone, blood, and hair drew the interest of a carrion crawler which took particular interest in Njord “The Goat” as he would make an easy dinner. Dispatching the creature, the party moved north until they came to a circular room with a large obelisk in the center and doors at each of the major cardinal directions. After some investigation the party surmised the room was a sort of trap and found the only path through the room where they could move without activating it. While passing the west and north doors however the party paused to listen and heard the sound of wet leather slapping against its self.

The party moved east out of the room and continued down a hallway that lead to the north before turning west into a room. On the floor lay they corpse of one of the monks from the monastery above, torn into two pieces. As they approached, the upper torso began moving and attacked the party. It appeared as though the corpse had been flayed open and a large pulsing cyst sat in its center. Once the creature lay dead the party discovered a secret door that lead into another chamber that allowed anyone in the room to listen to anything in the rest of the complex. While little could be heard in most rooms they did find a map of the ruins and hear what sounded like a battle between a group of kobolds and at least one of the children.

Using the map to find the most direct route, the party moved south into a room that held two large obsidian tablets that appeared to be a litany for Pelor. Continuing the party passed into a room that once again had a sun emblem carved into the ceiling, however in the center of this room stood a grand statue that appears to have been built in honor of Pelor, surrounded by a large number of kneeing dwarven sculptures, with his hand held high as if holding a sphere of some sort, however both the sphere and the head of the sculpture had long been removed. The next room they entered was covered in a thin veil of mist, possibly coming from the fountain in the center of the room, however rather than spring water the fountain flowed with a thick syrupy ooze. As the party moved through the room, the ooze began to flow out of the fountain base and move toward them. Being pressed for time the party hurried past and continued onto the location of the fight between the kobolds and children.

When they arrived they found a group of 7 kobolds being held back by one of the children, a young half-elven girl named Kimi, and a portly halfling bard who later introduced himself as Edgrin Galesong, a member of a local group of adventurers called the Gray Eagles. His party had heard of the ruins discovered by the party near Huln’s Lode and had gone to explore them. While deeper in the system of caves and ruins the party stumbled across the lair of a tribe of kobolds and all but Edgrin and his friend Tyran had been slain. When the children had been thrown in the cages with them they had done everything they could to help them escape however Tyran and one of the children had been shot with a crossbow bolt that seemed to put them to sleep and were retaken prisoner. As they made their way toward the surface another of the children was taken by a creature living in a ruined cave that connected the lower and upper levels. The remainder had made it to the room the party had found them in, however the kobolds ambushed them there. Kimi and Edgrin Galesong had managed to hold the kobolds back while the other 2 children made an attempt at escape, but had only been able to run deeper into the ruins.

Investigating the kobolds they fought before, they had little of value on them, though the party did notice that the kobold leader’s face was warped and twisted in an unnatural fashion. Being in need of rest and healing needs, the party fortified themselves in what appears to have been a small kitchen attached to the side of the larger room they were in before. In the process they uncovered two vials of an unidentifiable liquid. Deciding to rest for a short time and then continue the search for the children, the party set up a small rotation to keep a look out for any hostile creatures in the area.

Loot/XP:

  • 1988XP each
  • 2 Silver daggers
  • 2 vials of unknown liquid
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The Return to Marienheim

In total your trip through the vale lasted just over two days. On your way back you encounter a party of three woodsmen who claim they are searching for any signs of Friedrich Ravencrest and two of his companions who went into the woods to hunt, drunk. You are pretty sure the bodies you found have devoured by the Tatzlwyrm and the woodsmen confirm their identities after seeing the signet ring you collected. They seem unsurprised at his fate and comment that the woods are full of dangers and while they had warned young Ravencrest of them though he had dismissed their comments as needless caution. The group offers to lead you through the most direct route to the lumber camp, and from there you are able to get back to town. As you leave they ask you to inform Gavel Kreed of the fate of young lord Ravencrest.

You arrive in town a few hours later and find 4 freshly covered graves along with 3 newly dug ones. Going straight to Laurel’s shop you find a mini-riot being held back by the town guard. Several people are screaming about how they or their loved ones are sick, how Laurel should be giving away her her potions for free, how they do almost nothing and so forth. When the guards realize who you are, they usher you in immediately. Laurel, obviously stressed doesn’t notice you immediately. After a few moments she turns and sees you and jumps in surprise.

Gods! How long have you been standing there! It doesn’t matter, do you have the ingredients? No matter what I have tried, the best I can do is help people with the pain, but its just not good enough.

She takes the bag of ingredients you collected and inspects everything.

I am impressed, these ingredients are in exceptional condition. I will begin brewing the potion immediately. There is enough here that I could give everyone in town a dose. I am sure Kreed will be very happy to hear, his profits have apparently been through the floor with everyone sick or thinking they are sick. From what I can tell, this potion also works as something of a immunization against the Blackscour. I will make sure you each get a dose from the first batch, we don’t want you getting ill before the town can properly thank you!

Laurel immediately pulls out the largest cauldron she has and starts dumping in ingredients, shouting at the guards outside to fetch her fresh water and anything else she may not have immediately on hand.

Relieving yourselves from the shot, you head to the town hall. After announcing yourselves you wait over an hour before Kreed has time to see you. He seems unimpressed by your tale at first until you inform him of finding the body of young Ravencrest at which point his ace goes pale.

Lord Friedrich? His father is going to hold me personally responsible. Do you have proof its him? I mean it could have been anyone, maybe they just decided to stay out in the woods for a while, you know these noble types, camping for the fun of it…

You hand him the signet ring and he stares at it in his hand.

I don’t know what I am going to do. I… You said you buried him under the oldest tree in the vale? If anyone asks he was buried with full honors of state, a regal ceremony. I will have to send men out there to retrieve the bodies so they may be sent home to his father. Thank you for giving him a proper burial, I will find some means of compensating you.

You have is attention now and continue with your tale. You begin telling him of the fight with Graypelt but the disbelief is clear in his eyes, that is until Dyne unrolls the fur across the floor of his office.

There has been a reward on his head for years. Since long before I was appointed here. I will see to it that the reward is paid to you in full. Please continue

You continue on with the story and he shows concern with not only the condition of the monastery, but the mention of black mold covering everything. He calls in an aid and has him collect a number of men to go and investigate the ruins to see if it is the same mold or not. Though Laurel believes she can cure and inoculate the entire town, he is not willing to take any risks and wants to wipe out any traces of the mold.

He seems less that concerned about the witches hut, but does raise an eyebrow at the mention of an animated cauldron running rampant through the woods and says he will send word to the logging camp to keep an eye out for it. At this point he offers you free lodging in the town inn and mentions that his aid will pay you accordingly.

On your way out you are presented with a small bag by the aid, 15gp per person and another 25gp reward for finding Lord Ravencrest and killing Graypelt.

You decide to head to the inn for dinner. After your meal the assistant that paid you earlier comes in and tells you Laurel has finished her first batch and they were ready to test it out. He leads you back to the shop where several guards are keeping the crowd back, though before you are within sight of the store a sickly sweet smell almost knocks you over. It only gets worse as you enter the door, its like the smell of a dead animal rotting and sweet mash made to brew alcohol. Laurel is hovering over a cauldron, sitting at a small table to the side of the hut is a man who you would guess is somewhere in the middle of his 40s. As you stand there he hacks and coughs several times into a rag, before pulling it away. You notice that the rag is now quite bloody as well and it is clear that this individual is in the final stages of the disease. A few minutes later Laurel announces that it is ready and fills a small cup, no more than a shot glass, with the brew. She takes it over to the individual who stares at it for a few moments before drinking it in one gulp. He gags almost immediately but manages to get the foul smelling concoction down. He sits there for a full minute, seemingly unaffected, however just as he begins to ask if he should be feeling anything he starts coughing even more violently than before. His coughing fits become more and more violent, throwing him out of his chair. He struggles to stand as the guards back away from him for fear of catching he disease themselves. He manages to hoist himself on the table where his fit seems to calm for a moment. Then in one last fit he coughs up a disgusting ball of mucus, blood, and mold and collapses on the table.

Everyone in the hut seems afraid to say anything, however before anyone can react the man stirs. Slowly he manages to push himself up and inhales a deep breath, followed by an amazed expression on his face.

I… I can breath again!

They interview the man for a few minutes and he informs everyone that while his lungs burn a little bit, he is no longer having trouble breathing. After a few moments the he reports that the burning seems to have lessened a bit and while some soreness remains he feels quite better. Uthad and Dyne both use their abilities to discern his condition as best they can. Everything they know indicated that the man has rid himself of the disease and the remaining soreness will go away as his body heals.

Laurel presents each person in the hut with a small cup holding a sample of the brew and orders them to drink up, explaining that the last thing anyone needs is the Gavel, his guards, or the adventurers that brought the cure back becoming ill before they have a chance to give the cure to everyone in the town. With some hesitation, each of you brings the potion to your lips and drinks every drop. You all almost gag. It has to be one of the foulest thing you have ever tasted. The smell of rotting meat and alcohol is only multiplied in the taste. As it goes down you each feel a slight tingling in your chests, but is subsides after a few moments. Two of the men in the group start coughing and one hacks up a small lump, but other than that everyone seems to be fine.

Kreed and his men immediately begin preparing doses and handing preparing to supply the entire town while Laurel prepares to brew another batch. Having done your part everyone returns to the inn for the night, planning to spend the next day researching what you can about everything you have come across in your adventure.

Loot/XP:

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Marienheim's Last Hope

Over a month had passed since Dyne, Niene, and Uthad had ventured into the ruins and fought the kobold raiding party. They were hailed as heros and were the talk of the town. They were bought drinks and invited to tell stories at the tavern and it wasn’t uncommon to hear someone recounting how they had slain an entire army of kobolds and spit in their dragon master’s eye.

As time wore on though, things slowly started to return to normal. Every now and then the group would have someone nod to them on the street or a pat on the back, but after a while the town returned to business as usual.

After another shipment of food was running behind from Marienheim, Huln Deepiron requests the group accompany him to town as he meets with the mayor to find out what is going on. As the party arrives in town the see several graves being dug outside the gates. As they travel through town the group saw many people coughing and wheezing along with a large line of individuals outside one of the buildings in town.

Huln returns from his meeting with the town gavel, Thuldrin Kreed, and informs the party that the citizens of the town seem to have a disease called Blackscour Taint. A town crier announces a reward of 15gp per person that will retrieve the ingredients for a cure for the disease. The party proceeds to the town hall to speak with Kreed. When they arrive they find a short line of individuals that are after the reward as well, including one little old woman. Upon speaking with Kreed, he informs them of the need of Ironbloom mushrooms, “rats tail”, and Elderwood Mold. Unable to provide the party with specifics he directs them to speak with Laurel, the town herbalist and sends a messenger boy with them to allow them to bypass the long line outside her shop.

Laurel, dismissive at first, tells the party what she knows of the disease and cure ingredients. The disease is spread by the Blackscour mold. According to her, her grandmother learned her herbalism skills from a old witch in the vale named Ulizmila. Laurel has been brewing a variety of potions and salves to cure the disease though she has little luck so far. There is one potion she has not tried, but she does not have the time to gather the ingredients and is unsure of their exact location. She informs the party of what she knows about each of the missing ingredients. Elderwood Mold is reported to grow on the oldest tree in the vale, Ironbloom Mushrooms were reportedly grown by the monks at a Darkmoon Vale Monastery on the other side of the woods, and the rats tail may be found in Ulizmila’s hut. She gives the group a rough drawing of the region and circles the area where she believes the tree is and marks a lumber camp on the map telling them that she believe the loggers may have a better idea where to find the exact locations.

The party sets out for the logging camp and meets a man named Milon whose young nephew is ill with the Blackscour Taint and immediately takes them to the foreman, Jarlben, who who after some prompting by Milon, finishes filling out the party’s map with what he knew of the area.

The party sets out toward the oldest tree in the vale, however along the way the hear the whimpering of a small animal. As they get closer it becomes apparently that a small Darkmoon Firefoot fox has become stuck in a trap and is close to death. The party frees the creature, but the creature was the bait for a larger trap set by a hobgoblin hunter and his two pet crows. Quickly dispatched, the party heals the young fox and begins to move on. It however becomes apparent that they have gained a new party member. As they continue on they discover the body of a dead pixie. Investigating the site it appears that someone had captured and killed it, believing that upon death its body would turn to gold, however being a woodland creature it instead turned to wood.

As the party travels, the dense trees and thick brush of the forest give pay, parting seemingly in respect for the titanic darkwood tree that dominates this clearing. Several times taller than a temple minaret, in on the direction the obviously ancient tree reaches into the sky with branches like a giant’s arms, while in the other it plumbs the earth with roots thicker than a man’s waist. Its limbs broad and strong, its bark thick and so richly colored as to almost be black, and its leaves the size of bucklers, the giant thing is less a tree and more a cathedral of boughs and branches.

While approaching the tree, three bodies are seen hanging from one of the lower limbs. Slung over by some kind of animal, Uthad spots a reptilian creature slithering down the trunk of the tree to advance on them. The creature, a Tatzlwyrm, is quickly dispatched. The party discovers the entire base of the tree is covered in the mold they are looking for and after collecting more than enough for their needs, the proceed to take down the bodies (those of several young men that had gotten drunk and disappeared weeks ago) and give them a proper burial.

The group set up camp for the night, however during Dyne’s watch a loud buzzing is heard from the far end of the clearing. The party investigates to find a giant mosquito moving through the woods. Preferring caution over valor, the group allows the beats to continue on its way. In the morning they set out toward where the loggers had marked the location of the Darkmoon Vale Monastery. After traveling for little over an hour the ruined monastery comes into view. Made of simple stone blocks, worn smooth with the passage of time, the stout building is falling apart. Sections of the slanted shale roof have collapsed and the portions of the outer wall have crumbled. Weeds and wild thorn plants run rampant across the field leading up to the place, leaving only the slightest indication of a path that ends at the ruined front doors.

After scouting out the yard the party finds the remains of a unlucky adventurer next to the well. Alerted by the Darkmoon Firefoot growling at the door of the watch tower, the party tears the door open to find Graypelt, a worg who was something of a local legend for terrorizing villages with his pack of wolves. After a fight that seemed to last ages, the party strikes the worg down and takes his pelt as a trophy. Moving further into the ruined building the party faces off against a kobold watchguard, a pair of darkmantles that had roosted in the ruined alter room, and a pair of skeletons in a makeshift prison. While searching for clues the group finds a tunnel leading through the ground through the cellar. Both in the tunnel and the library above the group finds mold covering everything in sight. Knowing if they don’t return soon the number of dead in Marienheim will grow, the party chooses to save exploration of the tunnel beneath the monastery for later.

With the hours getting late the party the party sets up camp in the makeshift prison as it appears to be the sturdiest room available to them. Sometime in the middle of the night the party hears scuffling out in the courtyard. Looking outside, the party sees an undead kobold walking slowly across the courtyard. Uthad, follower of Pelor cannot such an abomination go and charges in for the attack. Swinging at the creature it gives no resistance, or even signs that it is aware of what is going on around it, and is easily dispatched with a single blow. The party disposes of the corpse and in the morning travels to the location of Ulizmila’s Hut.

As they approach the location on the map that indicates the location of the hut the sounds of the forest become suddenly distant as the trees part, opening into a small, almost perfectly circular glade. At the center squats an ugly straw and stick hut. From the thatched roof dangle bundles of gnarled roots and old dried carcasses, all clattering together like gruesome wind chimes. A dozen or so crudely crafted scarecrows stand guard over the glade like silent watchmen for the witch’s home.

Mindful of the idea that a witch might lay in wait for the party, Dyne reaches out with his mind and searches for any traces of magic in the hut. After several minutes of searching only two things in the hut show any signs of being magical, a small spherical item he believes to be on one of the shelves of the hut and the cauldron in the middle of the hut. Studying the cauldron, Dyne is able to see three strands of magic running through it. He plucks the first string like that of a banjo and the cauldron comes to life but seeing nothing in the hut disturbed it immediately goes back to sleep. Trying again, he is able to sever the first string. While severing the second, the cauldron sprung to life and went mad, bursting through the wall on the far side of the hut and escaping into the forest unhindered. With the threat gone the party are able to collect the rat’s tail and any other items of interest uninterrupted. The largest item of interest was a small shrunken dwarven head, fashioned into a necklace and radiating with a faint aura of magic, a few tribal sculptures and statuettes, and a pouch of materials that Dyne feels are most likely used in some sort of magical ritual. Having gathered everything asked of them, the party sets their sights on returning to Marienheim.

Loot/XP:

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Missing Food Shipment

Sometime mid morning, Huln Deepiron made a request of the patrons of The Rusty Kettle Inn. The latest shipment of food to the village from Marienheim was well over due and no word had returned from the boys that had been sent out to retrieve the cart and lead it back to town. Huln asked for a group of volunteers to venture out down the road and find out what had happened to the food and return with it, as the town was in the midst of a heavy winter had the food was desperately needed.

Dyne, Uthad, and Niene volunteered their services and set out down the road a short time later. Having only traveled a few miles the party crested a small hill and heard yapping, almost barking noises on the other side of the hill. As they moved closer the party saw a small massacre with several small, lizard like creatures searching through the cart and struggling with the remaining horse. Thanks to Dyne’s knowledge of the region and creatures of the wild, the party was able to tell that a small gang of kobolds had ambushed the traders on the way to the village.

The party quickly dispatched the kobolds, even managing to take one prisoner that had become entangled in the horses reigns. A quick survey of the site showed that only half the caravan was accounted for and less than half the food was in the wagon. A clear set of tracks lead to the south-east through the snow. The party lead the wagon and their kobold prisoner, now bound, back to the village and handed ownership over to Thorin Anvilmar who sent them back out with the promise of sending others to come after them as soon as they were free.

The party returned to the location of the massacre and set up camp near by for the night. When morning broke, they followed a set of clearly defined tracks a ways and found a set of rocky outcroppings with a small cave. Niene managed to see a pair of beady eyes staring out at her from the cave entrance. Ingeniously, she pulled out her spell book and using the divine power detailed within, was able to infuse a small stone with the power of the sun, illuminating anything around it. Throwing it deep into the cave a pair of kobolds who were waiting to ambush the party turned and were entranced by the glowing stone, giving Uthad ample time to close the distance and dispatch them.

Moving deeper into the cavern, the tunnel abruptly ended at a large stone door which gave entry way to ancient Ruins. At the entry way the both Uthad and Niene noted a carving of the ancient symbol of Pelor. As they moved into the room carefully they discovered a small group of Kobolds dining on the remains of the other horse from the caravan. Using surprise and strength, the party burst out slay two of the four kobolds while Dyne dashed to the door leading deeper into the caves and slammed it closed before another larger kobold was able to join the fight. The warrior kobold managed to get the door back open, but not before the others had been slain and the party was waiting for him.

A cursory glance at everything in the room made it clear that at one time it had been used as a staging room for excursions deeper into the ruins. The kobolds had discovered this room and added to it from what they stole from traders along the road. The party discovered a good deal of various items used for digging and excavating as well, though some of the food from the cart was still missing.

Moving deeper into the ruins, they came across a door marked Mausoleum that had been barricaded by the kobolds. Not wanting to risk unnecessary danger at the moment the party left the room be and moved further down the hall where they found a shaft with a ingenious lift designed to ferry people between the multiple floors. Making a quick stop on the 2nd floor, it was clear that the kobolds did not frequent this floor and had not been there for some time. The only room that was accessible had almost collapsed in on itself with rubble strewn about.

Continuing on the party moved to the bottom floor and were greeted by an ambush of six kobolds, one armed with a small crossbow who fired and missed as soon as their feet were visible. One of the kobolds let out a screech, calling out the name “Graal” before being locked in combat. The party fought valiantly and Dyne surprisingly burst out bouts of flame and lines of frost during combat. As one of the kobolds fled, their leader was seen making his way to the fight. Niene chased after the last kobold, just missing him as he fled, however the kobold leader kicked him in the face as he lay prone before his master. The leader attacked Niene with a clawed club, knocking her unconscious. Seeing this Dyne used the inherent powers of The Weave and blasted the creature with a crippling strike, sapping him of his strength. Unable to hold his up club, he struck at Uthad with his poisoned claws, scratching him deeply but Uthad was able to overcome its effects with little more than a burning sensation in his wounds.

In the final room the party discovered a ingenious puzzle, that when solved would give access deeper into the ruins. While looking for a means of solving the puzzle, the dwarves Thorin promised to send after them. The dwarves quickly discovered that it was an ancient dwarven puzzle that required water to be poured in the center of the room, which would then drain away and unlock catches hidden in the floor and open up the passage.

Deciding to return to town for the time being, the party returned to the 2nd floor to ensure nothing was left uncovered. While searching the room, one of the dwarves was attacked by a creature later identified as a Choker. The creature rendered one of the dwarves unconscious in short time, but was quickly cut down and the party continued on their way. On the way out of the ruins, they noticed a small group of dwarves pointing at the mausoleum door and whispering amongst themselves, but were quickly lead outside and escorted back to town as brave warriors returning to battle.

Loot/XP:

  • 850XP each
  • Kobolds
    • 3 Small Light Crossbows
    • Small Dagger
    • 1G, 30S
    • 2 Unidentified Gems
  • Supply Room
    • 60 Standard Crossbow Bolts
    • 2 Small Hammers
    • 2 Lanterns, no glass (1/2 standard price)
    • 4 Flasks Lantern Oil
    • 3 Broken suits of Dwarven Scalemail (can be repaired into 1 suit, or sold at 1/3rd normal value each)
  • Kobold Leader

Notes:

  • More to come later on what happened since return to the village.
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The World So Far

Seven years ago a small party of dwarves set out from the mountain kingdom of Karak Algaz looking to discover new sources of minerals and wealth and expand their kingdom. The party, lead by Huln Deepiron settled in at the base of the Sturmberg Mountains and founded the camp of Huln’s Lode. Initially the village struggled, finding little more than worthless rock and barely enough metal to craft even a dagger. Two years passed and the camp came close to collapsing multiple times. Had it not been for the generosity of the villagers of the near by city of Marienheim the dwarves would have surely died.

Just when things looked their bleakest, one of the dwarves struck iron. As they dug deeper into the heart of the mountain it became clear that it wasn’t a small vein, in fact it was one of the richest veins the dwarves had seen. As the news got out, people migrated to the camp looking to find their fortunes or improve their lives. In the following years the camp went from a handful of dwarves to somewhere near 200 inhabitants of every walk of life, though humans and dwarves still make up the majority of the population.

Due to the friendship struck up between Huln’s Lode and Marienheim, a partnership was formed. Iron was sent via ferry from the village down to Marienheim and in return food, various goods, and payment was sent back via horse drawn cart. Several businesses sprang up in order to take proper advantage of this setup and for he last few years it has worked out pretty well.

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