The Underlord

As the party moved towards the chasm which Murf had fallen in Grisha heard the sound of movement from the ceiling. In the shadows at the edge of the torch light a strange insect like creature appeared to be moving above the party. Kosef, Rakham and Talia began climbing down the steep chasm wall. As they did the creature ejected a stream of filament from its trunk which splatted against Talia’s shoulder and chest and pulled her up from the ravine and across the floor directly underneath the creature. The small draconian creature hiding in Talia’s cloak hood flew upward fallow the strand and began stinging the creature.  Adda rushed to Talia grabbing a hold of her while Kosef attempted to cut the strand which was attached to her but both his weapons became stuck to it. Adda tried to pull Talia’s cloak off and free her from this web like strand but it pulled tore Talia’s skin as she did. Talia lit a torch and began to burn the strand while the rest of the party attacked with crossbow bolts, daggers and Lief burned it with rays of fire. A string from the small dragon seemed to freeze the creature and after a few more injuries it fell from the ceiling bouncing once and falling into the ravine. Using fire Kosef was able to free his weapons from what was left of the strand.

By examining the fallen body in the ravine Grisha noticed that as he cut the creatures trunk like appendage its blood seemed to dissolve the web like substance. He took the blood and used to to dissolve the web from Talia. He also took three vials of the blood.

The party then left Lief guarding the body of Elfhildr and followed the trail of blood, sound of water and the dragon through a passageway that lead to the river, passing two other branches of the cavern along the way. Talia recognized the area from her vision as they party turned left and walked downstream along the river. Soon the river broadened and the current slowed and three dockers were visible, two on same bank as the party. A single wooden rowboat was tied to the first dock. A passageway lead away from the river from the dock on the opposite bank. The trail continued down the river and turned to the left and stairs led away from the river near the first dock. Grisha examined the boat and it appeared to be made out of normal wood.

The party then made their way up the stairs and saw the passage opened into a huge cavern with many faint blue light lights scattered around it. The sounds of gruff voices and movement could be heard echoing throughout the cavern and a foul smell permeated the space. Kosef also noticed a bright torch light far across the open cave. As the group debated what to do Grisha heard a sound from behind them and saw there were now two boats tied up to the dock. As he moved back to the group two creatures followed. They looked similar to the creature Talia had seen in her vision carrying Murf. The creatures were carrying fishing poles and fish which they set aside as they drew there weapons. One of them was wearing the hat that Grisha has lost in the river. She carried a war pick. After some gesturing by Grisha that they didn’t want to fight the female creature with a war pick raised motioned for the group to move forward. The party continued with these two creatures following behind them. As they entered the enormous cavern they saw scattered simple stone buildings among rocks and rough ground. There seemed to be several levels the were above the ground floor on the left side and back of the cavern. At the edge of the torch light more of the same creatures gathered and surrounded the party but let them continue forward. Among the sounds of their deep voices Kosef heard the sound of a whimper which sounded human from near one of the closer buildings. Kosef again noticed the torch light which he had seen earlier but it was much closer this time. In the light he could make out a human male dressed in a cloak walking along the upper level with two of creatures from this town. When the man noticed Kosef looking at him he turned away quickly and continued walking

After a few minutes party approached a set of wide rough steps that lead between an embankment to a higher level. About halfway up the steeps stood a muscular creature standing full head higher then the rest with chain armor and a great sword across his back. He spoke rough common and halted the group asking why they should be allowed to pass. After explaining that they were looking for a smaller companion he said they must speak with The Underlord but he did not agree to let them pass without a “Kotul”.

The crowd grunted in approval and formed a ring as one of the creatures stepped forward holding a great ax. After a brief debate Kosef stepped into the center of the circle and the crowd went silent. More creatures had gathered now and watched in excitement. Kosef crouched waiting for the muscular creature to make the first move. It came forward half cautiously but then raised its ax for a mighty swing, as it did Kosef darted to the side slashing both of his blades deep into the creatures leg.  As it stumbled to keep its balance its ax swung harmlessly past Kosef. The two opponents turned and faced each other again, one grimacing and favoring one leg as the crowd let out what sounded like a deep groan.  Kosef rushed forward again slashing at the creatures other leg driving his blade to the bone, the creature realizing it could not stop the blow brought its ax in a wide swing slashing deep into Kosef’s back as he tried to spin away. The crowd gasped and roared as Kosef turned to face the creature again, his grimacing in pain. The creature stared back, both legs weakened and bleeding badly.  With a burst of speed Kosef lept backward away from the creature, taking both swords in one head he brought a dagger from his belt and flung it toward the creature sinking it into his chest. The creature clutched the dagger and pulled it from his body not realizing he was already dead…

The rest of the creatures groaned, while a few grunted. Kosef picked his dagger up from the ground and handed the creatures great ax to Adda. Grisha rushed forward and packed Kosef’s wound with healing paste as Kosef coughed up a little blood. Then Grisha boldly approached the creature who wore his hat and tried to take it. As he did she drew her war pick but he managed to retreat quickly.

The party was then lead up the stairs and across another area scattered with larger buildings and up a ramp into a chamber partially build into the back of the cavern. There another of these creatures with protruding teeth in his lower and upper jaws sat on a large chair made of broken wooden parts. It easily stood over 6′ tall and its broad muscled body was covered in a thick layer of fat. The Underlord as he called himself asked what price they would pay for Murf in broken common. Another of the creatures, dressed in a cloak watched the party and seemed to advise The Underlord. The party placed a vial of blood, several giant lizard scales and some gold and silver on the table and the Underlord agreed on the price and told them to leave and not return unless they brought slaves.

The party lifted the unconscious Murf and hurried out of the cavern followed by the first two creatures who they had encountered. They seemed to be upset and arguing with the larger creature with the great sword. Grisha managed to speak with female creature and  offer silver for his cap which she took and then left. As they reached the river they heard splashing of oars in the water and saw the faint light of a torch moving away from them down the river.

The party backtracked and retrieved the bodies and found Lief and Elfhildr waiting for them at the first river. Kosef returned the mushroom Grisha had taken to Lief and negotiated for Lief to try and arrange a meeting with Deline Darr. Together they managed to make their way across the rivers and back out of The Underfarms. There they brought the bodies to the temple and made their way to The Helping Hand to rest for the night. Lief said he would try and contact Kosef at The Helping Hand in a few days.

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The Fall of Murf

Talia knocked loudly on the portcullis and the mining went silent. Five creatures approached and negotiated with Kosev in broken undercommen. They agreed to let them pass through the mine one at a time. The party moved through the mining area and the solid stone door closed behind them. The passageway climbed gently for a few minutes and the sound of rushing water grew louder until the group came to water rushing over smooth stone almost 20′ across. Grisha turned into a bear and with Talia and Murf on his back walked across the river. Talia untied the rope which had been attached to her and attached it to Grishas bear form. Adda, holding the rope followed across the river slipping and falling once but managing to hold onto the rope to make her way across the river. Adda tossed the rope back across to Kosef and he followed across the river carefully. Then Rakham also crossed the river using the rope.

Continuing forward Kosev heard the sounds of clicking and scraping but the sounds moved away as he approached. He found the carcass of an insect like creature with a segmented body about 10′ long with six legs. It torso a bit upright with armored plates around its chest and head. Two huge spiked mandibles protruded from it insect like mouth.  It which was bloated and partially eaten. Adda investigated the body and found it had been killed by weapons and had some burns as well. Its mandibles had blood and torn cloth on them. Rakham harvested some parts from the six legged creature with huge mandibles.

The group continued and the cavern opened up into a large chamber. On the right the floor dropped away into darkness, on the left there was a small opening about 20′ up the wall.  Near the center of the chamber two bodies lay broken on the rocks. As the party moved into the room a voice or warning cried out from the opening in the wall. A hunched figured appeared on the far side of the chamber speaking Kosev’s name. As the party approached with the light a sturdy hunched humanoid dressed in long dirty robes stood in the corridor. Its face was a mouth filled with with sharp slender teeth and in place of eyes a single dark void.

Talia fired her crossbow, striking it through its robes. The creature shrieked, “You hurts me, I hurts youuu” and it emitted a green beam of energy wrapped in tendrils from the dark void in its face. It struck Talia pulling her life from her. She managed to pull away feeling severely weakened.

Adda raged and Grisha changed into a bear and both rushed forward. As they attacked a second creature a second creature climbed up from the darkness on the right side of the chamber. Murf cast bonfire but the creature seemed to channel his magic and the fire appeared under Kosef. Kosef backed away from the edge of the chasm with Talia but the creature conjured a whirling cloud of daggers upon them. Talia dropped Talia to the ground unconscious after being struck by several of the blades.

Grisha and Adda fought the first creature injuring it badly but as then its dark eye opened again unleashing green tendrils of energy which drained Grisha from his bear form. He responded by turning into a wolf and leaping onto the creature biting its face and knocking it to the ground. Again it’s green energy pulled at Grishas life force and he reverted by to his natural human form.

With a crash a human dressed in robes fell to the ground from the opening up on the wall. He fixed his spectacles and rushed to Talia’s body trying to stop her bleeding.The wizard tried to climb down from the opening in the wall but fell. He then tried to help Talia but could not.

Meanwhile Rakham fired his crossbow but failing to hit the creature several times. Murf rushed forward and tried to stab with his dagger but missed. The creature grabbed Murf with its large clawed hands and pushed him off the ledge. He let out a scream as he fell crashing into something below and then another scream and he fell again. With another winching crash the party hear Murf weakly cry out, “I am ok guys” and then a few seconds later, “There is something down here, help!” and then silence.

Suddenly a muscled woman appeared out of the darkness of the corridor to the right,  wielding a long sword she run to Kosef’s side and attacked the 2nd creature with her sword. The creature struck her twice with its powerful clawed hands as Kosef slashed at it with his blades. The creature again attacked the unknown woman but she managed to grab its claw pulling it off balance as she brought her long sword down on its back slicing a deep gash. Kosev followed up by slashing both of his blades across its neck and it fell to the ground.

With the first creature on the ground Adda ran and slide down to Talia, wrapping her in a healing hug. Talia regained consciousness. The first creature let out a terrible cry as its companion fell to the ground. It rushed forward and struck with its claw knocking the long sword wielding woman to the ground unconscious.

As she fell the spectacle wearing man waved his hands and cried out and three rays of flames erupted from his hands burning the creature. Grisha now back in his human form called fire into his hand and launched it striking the creature again and it fell to the ground dead.

The wizard cried out “Hildr” and rushed to the fallen woman’s side, administering pressure to her wounds and stopping her bleeding. He then introduced himself as Lief Ric and said he was a member of The Arcane Society and was her gathering mushrooms for study when his group was attacked by the two wicked creatures.  Isek Redstone and Siff Dran were both killed but he managed to levitate himself up into the opening in the wall to escape but became trapped there.

The party investigated the dwarf and human bodies. They had been partially eaten and had obviously been dead for a few days. Next to one of the body was two large sacks filled with parts of mushrooms. Grisha concentrated for ten minutes and sensed a faint yellow glow of conjuration magic coming from one of the mushrooms. He took it and put it in his back under the protest of Lief who said The Arcade Society would not be happy about it.

As the group recovered from the battle Adda went out of the room for a few minutes and rested in the passageway leading in. Kosef joined her for a bit before returning to discussed what to do next. They heard a sound as an armadillo like creature with long feathery antennae entered the room. It seemed to be attracted to metal as it approached the party members with metal weapons. It’s antennae turned several metal items to dust and then it seemed to eat the dust.  Talia fed it several crossbow bolts but it would not stop and eventually Adda knocked it off the ledge.

As the part continued to discuss what to do next Talia stepped away from the others and sat down. She breathed deeply reaching into her own mind focusing. She again saw the forest she had seen while she was unconscious, she approached a huge tree that seemed to be shaped into a three raised seats, in the middle, the highest seat sat the Ward King. He offered her a book and she accepted it. She opened her eyes and looking down at the book in her hand, it had a bark like cover and root like bindings. She opened the book and saw the three hills district of Tordan, it was more lively, more populated and less dilapidated.  People walked the streets and the markets bustled. As quickly as it came the view faded and she herself in the Temple of Nian training. A voice in her head said ‘Help Alail”. Then she saw Murf being carried over the shoulder of an ugly muscle bound humanoid with stone colored skin, a dome like head with protruding jaws. The creature walked along a river down stream. Again the view was gone and she saw The Ward King again, he slowly waved his hand and nodded. She looked down as she felt something moving in her hands. A tiny colorful dragon with butterfly like wings looked up at her curiously.

 

 

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Search from the Dead

Continued deeper into the tunnels, passing through several caverns. Saw a dead familiar squid like creature with five eyes and long tentacles which was being eaten by beetles. Killed one of the beetles and they fled. Investigated corpse and saw it was slashed to and pierced by an arrow, not killed by the beetles. Continuing they came to a river with a rope tied across it. Grisha fell while crossing the rope and almost drowned. The party was able to pull him out of the water but he lost his hat.

The party rested on the other side of the river and were attacked by a stalactite, several others ran moved away and the party moved into the cover of the passage way.

As the party continued they came to a junction in the passageway which split in four directions.  Kosef lead the party straight following his vision to a solid stone door which seemed to be barred from the other side. With a handle but no visible lock or later Adda and Rakham tried to force the door open but were unsuccessful. The party backtracked and went to the left at the junction. As they moved through the irregular passageway Kosef noticed a small opening  on the right near the ceiling. This vision now showed this as the path he should take. However it was a small opening so they hoisted Murf up to it. As he crawled forward the sounds od metal hitting stone grew louder until the rock opened up above a huge natural cavern bigger than his vision could see.

Murf could make out six humanoid creatures smaller than a dwarf but bigger than a halfling They were stocky with huge eyes, dressed only in shorts and small tops as they mined ore from various parts of the cave and loading it into carts. Several other taller elf like creatures with huge eyes, long straight hair and sagging skin watched over the carts which were attached to six-legged beasts which pulled the carts away when they were filled.  However the way forward was blocked by metal bars so Murf climbed back to the party and told them what he had seen. The group continued forward through the tunnel and shortly came to stairs the lead down and to the left. Again Kosef’s sight showed him that this was now the shortest path. At the bottom of the stairs the corridor continued forward but was blocked by a portcullis. A smaller tunnel lead off  this one and climbed to a small opening about 20 feet above the cavern farther left. From there another door was visible which lead out of the cavern and in the direction which Kosef could see the group needed to go.

The party discussed what to do next and decided to return to the portcullis and try and talk to the strange creatures of this hidden world.

 

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D&D 5e rules: Stealth, Hiding and Attacking

Stealth and combat are one of the areas of 5e where there are actually a lot of grey areas in the rules. This is probably intentional to allow for different situations and give the dm to make judgement calls.

Hiding:

  • You can’t hide from a creature that can see you clearly.
  • If a creature becomes aware of your position you are no longer hidden.
  • An invisible create can always try to hide.

Finding a hidden creature:

  • In lightly obscured areas have disadvantage on Perception checks that rely on sight
  • A creature suffers from the blinded condition when using vision to see in a heavily obscured area

Attacking:

  • Attacking a target which can’t see or hear you gives you an advantage on your attack role. However you do not always get an advantage on attacks when hiding. You must meet the previous requirements.
  • Attacking while hidden reveals your position regardless of if you hit or miss
  • If you are hidden at the start of an encounter you surprise creatures unaware of you and they cannot move or take a action on their first turn.

Next, using these guidelines I will explore some possible scenarios for melee and ranged Attacks.

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Fighting in Darkness

Leaving Taegan’s hut Murf, Rakham and Adda went to the pool after Murf dreamed of it during the night. At the pool he say an image on the surface of a older being sitting in a throne of  an old tree, below him the pale lady and another pale creature say. Murf’s eyes met the older being and then he say Tordan flurishing, lively and then suddenly he say it change quickly falling into ruin. Then the pool surface cleared and he saw a book under the water. Adda held him over the surface as he reached down and grabbed it. Then they walked to the temple of Nian.

Talia spent the previous day training with Egel after speaking with Idunn about joining the temple. The next morning Adda joined her and they trained for the first half of the day while Murf read his book. When Talia and Adda finished their training they found Murf and Talia looked at what he was reading and was drawn to it. She heard a voice in her head asking her to join the Ward King.

Grisha remained behind and spoke more with Taegan, asking if Taegan could teach him more or help him befriend animals. Taegan said you must prove you are an agent of balance and nature. Then Grisha returned to The Helping Hand and met with Kosef there. Soon Talia, Murf and Adda joined them. Kosef explained what he has remembered happening in Weyfort and what he knew of the Shagar.

Then the party went to check on the poster to see find the name of the woman who was wanted for killing her family. While reading the poster they noticed Laney Darr watching them from an alley.  Kosef and Adda approached her and Kosef offered her a deal, he would turn the wanted woman, Erika Brandvell over to Laney and she would forget about Talia. She agreed if he included the difference  in the bounties which was 150gp, they settled on 100gp but said he only has 5 days.

Next the group went to The Temple of Elil and agreed to retrieve the bodies for them in exchange for the dropping the charges against Rakham and Murf. The priestess cast something on Kosef and he could feel which direction would lead them to the bodies. They headed to the underfarms.

Traveling down past the underfarms they turned right and passed through a guard post manned by two trihill patrol guards. They opened the portcullis for them and said if they got into trouble retreat to the gate and they would try and support them.

The party descended deeper passing several tunnels in which Grisha marked their path at each junction. After what seemed like at least two hours the tunnel opened up into a large cavern with scattered giant mushrooms growing throughout. Making their way through the mushrooms a violet colored one sprang to life attacking the party with tendrils. It manages to hit Kosef once before it was killed by a dagger, several sword strikes, a hurled ball of fire and a great ax split it in half.

The party noticed a cut mushroom stock as they continued and then another one. Soon they saw a new mushroom which Murf recognized as the same type as the cut stock.  Kosef hurled a dagger at the mushroom and it began emitting a ear piercing sound. After a few more attacks the mushroom collapsed to the ground and fell silent.

As the party continued the cavern became tall and narrow, like a fissure. After a few minutes a flapping sound above caught their attention darkness descending on them engulfing Talia. In the darkness Adda slammed her ax into a stalagmite breaking the handle in half. As the creature tried to fly off with Talia she released a burst of flame killing the creature and dropping her back towards the ground. Murf tried to catch her but ended up on the ground as well in a heap.

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Crushing Diamonds

As Adda left The Helping Hand two armed guards approached, both dressed in the brown and gray of the trihill patrol. Their shock at seeing a Tiefling passed quickly and they nodded and continued past towards The Helping Hand.

Soon after Murf, Rakham and Grisha had fallen asleep in the upper level of a ruined building Grisha had been staying in for the last few days Murf and Rakham were awaken by George yelping. Murf looked up to see a toothy maw surrounded by writhing tentacles above him. He used his fey presence but it didn’t seem to have an affect, then as he tried to roll off the platform he became tangled in his blanket and only managed to bump into Rakham. The creature climbed down the wall above the three companions and on of it’s tentacles stung Murf through the blanket. Rakham grabbed Murf and Grisha and rolled of the platform, as he did he lost his grip on Grisha but managed to pull Murf with him. While Rakham was able to land on the group gracefully, Murf fell flat in front of him. Rakham then ducked under the platform that he had been sleeping on mere seconds ago drawing his sword and shield.

Murf scrambled to his feet and rushed out of the ruined building onto the street but as he did Rakham watched the segmented body of the creature with its numerous legs climbed down from the platform and followed Murf across the ruins catching up to him just outside the doorway.

As Adda walked through the dark streets of Tordan she heard the cry of a familiar voice in the distance to her right. She turned and rushed down the street towards the sound. As she approached she saw Murf coming out of the doorway on the side of the street. As he did a creature with tentacles standing just a bit higher than Murf emerged from the building biting into his side almost engulfing him in its tentacles. She dashed forward and slashed the creature with a glancing blow from her great ax. Rahkam attacked the rear of the creature gashing it with his short sword. Murf broke free and protected himself with armor of cold energy. The creature followed, striking Murf with a stinger link end of its tentacle. As it did a blast of cold energy release from Murfs wound driving the creature back but it quickly turned and bite Adda racking down her shoulder and arm with its teeth.

Adda grabbed Murf, picking him up and retreated up the street away from the creature. The guards she has seen earlier ran towards her from The Helping Hand and continued to the building. Murf magically ignited a small fire under the the creature but it pulled back quickly. Then it turned moving towards Rakham and attacked him. stinging him once. Even in his weakened state his dwarf blood resisted the poison.  He backed away from the creature moving out of the ruined building. The two guards reached the doorway and attacked the creature with their spears hitting it twice. The creature turned and climbed up the wall over the building as Rakham hit it with a crossbow bolt and Adda with one of her hand axes. The creature disappeared over the wall and into the darkness.

As Adda asked the guards to keep watch as she found Grisha and carried him back to The Helping Hand. Murf and Rakham searched the next building over and found a burrow with a trail of blood into it. Murf slide in crashing to the bottom and Rakham followed behind. Following the small burrow in a crouch Murf crept around the corner and spotted the creature looking at him. It rushed forward at him but he managed to evoke a small fire in front of himself and the creature turned and disappeared from view.  Murf extinguished the fire and him and Rakham caught the tail of the creature retreating through another tunnel. The floor of the room had scattered bones, coins, rotting clothing and leather. Rakham and Murf gathered up the coins and returned to The Helping Hand.

Grisha woke up and Adda led him to her room in The Helping Hand before she made her way to The Temple of Nian. Rakham and Murf sneaked into their room and rested the night there.

The next morning Grisha and Rakham wounds had gotten worse. Grisha headed to the temple to seek help while Rakham and Murf went to ask around town for a healer. Grisha made his way to the Temple of Nian first. There he met with Arnaka and Adda who had been training the using of healing spells. Even Arnaka took a sharp breath when Grisha revealed the wound in his shoulder.  He cut a split in Grisha coat and inspected the wound showing Adda the dark pattern extending from the wound and the red puffy areas around it. He also noted the temperature of the skin around the wound was very hot. He told Grisha that the temple could save him if he agreed to pledge an allegiance to Nian. Grisha asked a few questions about the pledge but decided against it when he saw the ritual bowl with some type of binding runes on it. Arnaka warned him that he would die in a day or two without magical treatment. Arnaka instructed Grisha to keep applying the healing salve saying it would give him more time.

Rakham and Murf headed to the east market noticing two new posters along the way. One was for the woman who murdered her family and offered 200gp for her capture. The other was for the head of a flying beast hunting the road to The Dwarf Wilds. It was described as a winged beast covered in spines which was attacking horses, oxen and humans along the road. They continued to the central market and Ilka’s blade. She was busy working on another high quality great sword. When she took a break Rakham paid her 2gp for the space and told her he would not be working there anymore. She said he was welcome to come back and work as they had extra smith work. He asked if she would be interested in the Chalcedony gems they had found and she recommend he try The Finest Gems down the street.

They found a small wooden sign, the corner broken off. Pushing the door open it hit something inside but they managed to squeeze into a small stuffy room littered with scattered books, small boxes, cloth rags, pouches, several small tables and magnifying lens. A middle aged Halfling looked up at them, her thick brown curly hair was shoulder length and a bit disheveled and she was dressed in a green vest and trousers with several pockets. She was friendly and spoke in a squeaky voice and her name was Tyme Reedfellow. Rakham managed to haggle the sale of the three Chalcedony gems for 8pp and agreed to return if they had more gems. When asked about any other healers Tyme got uncomfortable but quietly told them about a healer who lives across the Summer Bridge on the left just passed a huge tree growing out of a building.

Meanwhile Grisha slowly made his way to the Temple of Eiah, there he met with a healer but was unwilling to commit to this temple either and made his way back to the temple of Nian. There he and Adda left the temple and encountered Murf and Rakham as they passed the central market. The group decided to go and seek the aid of Taegan.

After an hour and a half they arrived in Taegan’s glen. He grimaced looking at the wounds and instructed the party that they needed the powder of two small diamonds to heal these wounds. The party then returned to The Finest Gems. Tyme seemed quite happy to see them except for Adda whom she seemed a bit concerned about. She managed to find a small diamond which they agreed to purchase for about 200gp in coins and the gold cloth ribbon and leather belt set with Malachite gems.

Returning to Taegan just before nightfall with the gem Taegan invited the party into this hut which lead to a elegantly shaped underground living quarters. There he began the preparation and rituals and in the morning he pulled a black smoke from both Grisha and Rakham and healed them of most of their wounds.

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The Island part two

In the morning at the helping hand Murf took a bath and Grisha ate breakfast with George. As Murf emerged from the bath room he overheard a woman speaking with Dagmar about the wanted posters. She left three posters with him and said she would be back in two days. The posters showed 350gp reward for Talia, 150gp for Rakham and 100gp Murf.  Dagmar warned the party that Laney Darr would return in two days and she should be taken very seriously. After much discussion the party decided to have Dagmar go speak to the Temple of Elil on their behalf. Then they headed for the island.

Heading south to the river first they spotted the old Temple across the river and thought about investigating but continued on toward the island. Passing the summer bridge they continued and noticed a trail of something large dragging along the same trail. It branched off after about ten minutes and they saw large round footprints. They continued to the island and noticed the boat was no longer at the shore but was on the island. Grisha turned into a bear started swimming toward the island with Adda. As they did Rakham noticed three giant flies circling above the ruined keep.

Rakham fired his crossbow at one of them striking it, then the three creatures flew across the lake toward the group. Murf put the largest one to sleep after it had been hit by Rakham’s crossbow attacks, and it fell into the water. The other two attacked Rakham and Murf as Talia went unconscious from the terrible sound of these creatures. Adda and Grisha managed to swim pack to shore where Grisha attacked the fly attacking Murf and Adda joined Rakham fighting the other.

Grisha hit the strange armored fly which was the size of a large dog with his claws and teeth before it stabbed him just below his neck with its pointed proboscis. The dagger like point sunk deep into his shoulder as his form changed from a bear back to a human. Murf was able to stab the fly twice his his knife.

Rakham and Adda hit the other fly several times but Adda accidentally hit Rakham and herself in the process. Then it stuck Rakham with its dagger like beak injuring him badly. A black spiderweb like patter spreading out fro the wound. As the injured creature struggled to fly after another strike Rakham struck a clean blow separating its head from its body.

Then out of the water the first and largest fly emerged but before it could attack a terrible bird like cry from the island called both the surviving flies back across the water.

Murf managed to awaken Talia with a hard slap from her half conscious nightmare like state. Then the party hide under some thick foliage and rested for an hour. Grisha tried to heal his wounds with good berries but they had no affect. Rakham’s wounds also would not heal.

After rested for an hour and returned to the three hills.  Talia took Murf and Rakham went to the temple of Nian and met with Arnaka but Rakham refused treatment at the Temple of Nian when told he would have to swear not to go to the other Temples. After meeting with Arnaka Talia stayed at the temple while Rakham and Murf returned to near the Helping Hand but went to Grisha’s hovel instead.

Adda went to the Helping Hand where a master bard was playing for a packed room. His name was Doran the wonderer.  While Adda listened to he music Dagmar caught her attention and said he has spoken on their behalf with the Temple of Elil and negotiated an agreement for the Temple to Drop all charges against Murf and Rakham. In return they would retrieve two bodies from the Underfarms. Dagmar said they could get more details at the temple if they agreed to the terms. After playing for some time Doran took a break and Adda approached and spoke with him for a bit about his travels and his tricks for staying alive that he had learned in the dungeon of the Tower of Knobs. It grow dark more quickly than expected and Adda left the Helping Hand to return to the Temple of Nian as darkness fell across Tordan.

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The Boar of Varrngan

Rakham spent the previous day creating a set of studs for his leather armor. He purchased the materials needed and was able to create all the studs. In the morning Rakham continued his work at Ilka’s blades on converting his leather armor to studded leather made some progress.

Talia attended class at the temple of Nian with Kalpana while Adda trained with Arnaka. After class Adda ran into Dagrun who was lingering in the hallway. She recommend he try becoming a healer when he mentioned how he wanted to become one. He seemed very excited by this idea and ran off to speak with Arnaka or Idunn Kanta’lil.

At midday the party met at the Helping Hand and Grisha lead them back to the house where he found Kosef. In the main room there was only a wooden box with some scattered toys, one of the a doll dressed as a member of the Tri-hill patrol. Talia also found a brown cloak and shirt with the Tri-hill patrol emblem on it which she took.

While Adda and Rakham made there way into the cellar, Talia heard a sound from the back room. She quietly moved down the hallway and observed a dog like creature licking the dried blood from the the mattress. She returned to the main room while Grisha recited some form of ritual.

The cellar looked like it had not been used for a long time. A few empty crates and a barrel lined the walls. The ceiling however had runes drawn in some kind of dried blood in a large circle. It looked like it had created semi-recently. The floor showed some recent disturbances but no one investigated them throughly.

George started yapping and Grisha stopped his ritual as George rushed to Grisha’s side. The party waited quietly in the building as an older man with a walking stick moved past the building.

The smaller room contained a bunk bed also covered in blood. Another small box of toys contained a small horse and cart as well as a stuffed animal in a form similar to the animal Grisha had guarding the door. Talia took them.

The larger bedroom floor and mattress was covered in dried blood. It appeared that all personal goods had been removed. Tracks could be seen in the blood and after much searching the group was able to identify a single set of bare foot tracks in blood leading away from the room and out of the building to the left.

Grisha changed into a large black wolf and smelled the pillows and was able to identify a scent on one of the pillows, as well as the cloak which Talia had found. It was also on the tracks leading out of the building but could not be followed on the recently rain cleaned stone street outside.

The party returned to the Helping Hand and then Talia lead them to find Taegan. After an hour of wondering in a circle a Boar lead them to the glen where they met with Taegan previously. Several other boars and sows and piglets roamed the grassy hillside nearby. Talia knocked on the door and Teagan emerged followed by the enormous boar. Talia told him that the hunt would occur in 3 days. He said that was good, there was still enough time to prepare. He would protect the boars of this area but was concerned about the boars in the old city.

He then asked the group to follow as he followed a small path leading out of the glen to the north. Teagan lead the group out of the glen and through a long abandoned part of the city eventually leading them to a small hill with what looked like an ancient temple at the top. Its circular walls build with large stones still standing although many parts had broke away and lay scattered around the hill. Above the entrance to the temple a large circle area was noticeable empty, now just smoothed stone.

As they group approached a deep breathing could be heard from inside and at the entrance Taegan reached into his shirt and grasped the stone hanging from his neck, mutter a few words. As the rest of the party gathered around they could see a creature sleeping in the center of the round stone walls taking up almost all of the same. A giant boar like creature unlike anything they had seen or heard of before. It’s tusks were longer than Talia. Its enormous body covered in coarse black hair which raised and lowered with its breathing as it slept.

Taegan explained that this was a remnant of Varrngan, the forgotten god.

“I fear if the balance is upset he will awaken bringing chaos and destruction to Tordan. This is why you must make sure the boar hunt does not upset the natural balance.”

“Since Lord Dorgan began the hunt fifteen years ago the harmony of nature has been challenged and is beginning to shift.”

After discussing the creature the party walked back to Taegan’s hovel but before leaving Grisha and Taegan paid there respects to the creature. Upon returning to Teagan’s hovel Grisha also asked if he could come and spend time with the boars here which Teagon replied.

“They are beasts of free will, if they accept you, you are welcome”

Talia asked told Taegan if he knew of the pool to the south and that the Dawn Lady had guided her here. Taegan chuckled and stroked his beard with his cloven hands before speaking.

“The pool may guide you to the Ward King but not the Lady of the Dawn. Trust not in the Fey, they are chaotic and whimsical with their own agendas and goals. They give nothing without cost. Stay clear of the Dun Lord.”

With that the party returned to the Helping Hand as the sun began to approach the horizon and dusk settled on Tordan.  After visiting Kosef in the Helping Hand, Talia and Add set off to the Temple of Nian. On the way they noticed three new posters on the wanted board. All three looked familiar. They immediately made there way back to the Helping Hand and notified Rakham.

In the morning Rakham went and commissioned a new set of clothing and a haircut and then worked at Ilka’s blades on paid working, paying for his space for the day and pocketing a few gold for himself. Ilka had more work in the coming days as well, they had received a large order and were currently making spear heads.

Talia and Adda trained at the temple in the morning with Arnaka. They were also joined by Dagrun. Early in the morning a woman came in with a deep puncture wound in her side. Arnaka sprang into action assigning tasks for everyone as they got her on the medical table.  Adda was able to heal her to prevent further blood lose. Then Arnaka showed how to apply the bandages and the woman and two men who had brought her in left the medical room and met with someone else from he temple. Then Arnaka lead the group in some ritual and prayers which Talia grasped rather quickly. Dagrun didn’t seem to make much progress much to his disappointment. He did seem rather distracted through the morning which could have been the cause for his lack of learning.

The party regrouped at The Helping Hand near midday to prepare to return to the island…

 

 

 

 

 

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The Book

Talia made her way to the Temple of Elil. As she entered a priest greeted her and asked whom she was here to mourn. When she mentioned Loru and Garin he motioned for a priestess who asked to speak with her for a moment. She lead Talia into a small office like room down the set of stairs.

“You are a friend of Loru and Garfin and no others have come forth to mourn them.”

She pulled two packs from behind the desk placed them in front of Talia.

“Please choose what you will leave with them for their journey onward. These will determine the choices they have for their journey, choose carefully.”

Talia looked over the items, the rapier, ocarina, Garin’s long sword, and decided to leave all their items with them. The priestess nodded in approval and thanked Talia.

She lead Talia to the lower level where the bodies rested on raised stone slabs and left. After standing quietly near the bodies for a few moments Talia removed her book from her pack and placed it on the stone slab, she then pulled the crystal from around her neck and stabbed it into the book. The crystal struck the book and sunk into it and arcane runes appeared across the cover of the book from the crystal. Then Talia declared she wanted nothing to do with this book, or its powers. Suddenly the room darkened as a gust of air extinguished the candles in the room. A figure of a tall woman dressed in a flowing gown made of leaves appeared floating above the body and the book. Her presence overwhelming and terrifying. Looking down at Talia with a scrawl.

“You dare renounce The Dawn Lady? You will not be given another chance!”

Talia responded yes and the crystal fell to the stone as the book and the Lady disappeared. Light returned to room but the candles seemed to flicker for a minute. Then Talia heard another voice, a deeper darker voice.

“There are others choices, join the Dun Lord”

The room returned to normal, the reddish glow from the lanterns and orange glow of the candles dimly lighting the room. Talis took her crystal and placed it on Loru’s body and left the temple.

She and Adda made their way to the Temple of Nian for the evening.

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Frogs and Toyja pods

Upon returning to the Helping Hand Adda asked Felicia if she would check on Kosef and make sure he was not injured. Felicia said she would check on him and asked if they would be interested in retrieving some of the black toyja pods and a giant frog from across the summer bridge. Dagmar also have Adda a notice for Kosef which she placed in his room by his bed.

Around midday Adda, Murf, and Talia heading for the summer bridge by way of the river. As they crossed the bridge they heard the soft sound of a bell and a crusty looking dwarf with an eye patch scrambled out from under the bridge to block their path. He asked for gold for the bridge maintenance and after some negotiation they agreed to pay 4 gp for round trip passage across the bridge.

After crossing the bridge the road continued through a narrow stretch with a few building which looked to be maintained along the side of the road. A feeling of being watched crept over the group so they investigated the nearby building. After looking at the front of the building and seeing a solid door and lower windows which had been bricked up Talia tried to climb to the second story windows but could not climb the weather smoothed stone. Around the side of the building Adda helped Talia up the 3m wall. At the top she could see a large well kept garden on the inside. At the window a Halfling appeared with a large crossbow. Murf cast sleep on the window and head the sounds of others inside the building falling asleep. The halfling’s skin at the window turned into what looked like wood and she told them to stop and they did.

They continued to the swamp area and found the tree with black toyja pods. While Murf collected the pods a large frog moved to the bank and grabbed Talia with its tongue. Adda raged and rushed forward striking the frog with her axe. Talia tried to stab the frog but couldn’t get her arms free as it bit her repeatedly. Then it turned and dove into the water. Adda tried to hit it as it did but she slipped in the mud. The frog and Talia disappeared under the murky water but suddenly tendrils of black green energy momentarily erupted from the waters surface grasping for living beings. Then Talia splashed to the surface and the frog floated to the surface unmoving.

With Talia safely back on shore and Murphy carrying a bundle of toyja pods the group noticed something large swimming toppers them under the water. Adda healed Talia and managed to grab the dead frog while Murf kept the giant snake at bay.

The group hurriedly left the water, returning to the road and making there way back to the Helping Hand.

Upon returning to the Helping Hand the group spoke with Kosef and Grisha who had found him in an abandoned building and brought him to the Helping Hand.

Talia made her way to the Temple of Elil to say goodbye to Loru and Garfin.

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