Journal of Valrin Hearthstone
798 A.Z. Date unknown
Ironforge is in dreadful trouble. My king, Craildoth Ironforge, and his council have agreed that we must seek aid from outside our halls. Orcs and foul necromantic creations that dig like demons have begun invading our mines and ambushing our warriors. As our strength declines, that of the orcs seems to grow and they have a powerful leader behind them. They have entrusted me, Valrin Hearthstone, priest and warrior of Thadar to go to the human kingdom of Ravikka and try to convince the reigning king, Shaldar, to aid us. This is no easy task, as Ironforge is more or less located in Stronghal territory, but our pleas towards that kingdom fell on deaf ears though they’ve readily taken our tax monies. Even as I write this, I’m sailing down river with a few of my kin on a barge bound for Van Dorn. I have a scroll and a chest full of gold and gems to present to this human king, in hopes it will sway him to action.
During my travels down the river, we encountered a human by the river who was heading towards Ravikka and seemed to be starving. I invited him onboard, so I could get the news of the land and a feel for what was going on in the nearby human kingdoms. Bradavere is a warrior and was willing to accompany us to Van Dorn, as long as we could provide him with a little food. He keeps to himself and knows more about rafting on a river than any of my Thadan brethren.
After a few days on the river, the currents brought us to a town that Bradavere says is Van Dorn, Capitol of Ravikka. After finding an inn that was run by Thadan called the Rotten Apple, I made my way to the castle and began trying to arrange an audience with the king. Eventually, I was led into an anteroom where I met several young men, and an elf that were about to go before the king.
Shortly after they had left, I was called before King Shaldar. Presenting him with the scroll and the chest, he dismissed his court and told me that he would have to consider this before he could act. I told him of our desperate situation and that much delay might find that all of my kin would be dead. He promised to act in haste, and told me that that in a few nights he was holding a small festival. The leaders of the other countries that composed Athelgard proper would be there and he would discuss with them the risks of aiding my race, as well as the possibility of war with the nation of Stronghal, ruled by King Orgden and Queen Peridu.
As I left his royal presence, I felt as though my mission would be a success. While leaving the keep, I was accosted by a man, Trathinas of Cocus, looking for stout warriors to aid his beleagured town of Cocus from orc attacks. Since I was in town and acting as an ambassador for my people, I felt it might be best if I helped him. It seems as if the young men and elf that was waiting in the antechamber will aid him as well. We introduced ourselves: Keniron is a human warrior-priest of D’Khaz, Ezekiel is another fighting man, Niun is a mage and noble, and the elf is Timinon, a woodsman and warrior. I told Trathinas that I might have someone who would be willing to tag along and he welcomed all the help he good get. After bidding them a goodbye till the morrow, I returned to the Rotten Apple and explained what was going on to my kin, lead by Zadreas and Dagar Crackbeard. They’re going to remain in Van Dorn until we can take word to Ironforge. Bradavere seems interested in helping the town of Cocus so he’ll join us.
We travelled to Cocus, which is a small town with a wooden wall for defense. There are few guards as it seems they’re suffering from a disease that weakens and disables men. We manned the walls and waited. Around midnight, we noticed a storm approaching and the wind began to pick up. Soon afterwards, we started to hear drums and wild calls; the orcs were upon us! We fought like madmen as the orcs tried to scale our walls and thought the town was finished when a lightning bolt came down from a cloud and blew the gates to smithereens. A few orcs made it through and into the town, but we got our second wind and somehow managed to kill off their leader and the remainder of their force. After a short rest, we ran into town to see what mischief the remaining orcs were about and set upon them before they could get away. The town was saved with only a few of the townfold killed and a small portion of the town burned by the orcs.
We rested the rest of the day (17th) and then headed back to Van Dorn, since the festival is to commence tomorrow.
I’ve been invited to sit at the king’s table during the festival, to participate in the conversation dealing with my kin. Using what funds I had available and those that we got off of the orc invaders of Cocus, I was able to purchase a very fine set of clothing to wear to the ball.
That evening I drunk and ate with the lords and ladies of Athelgard. Of particular interest is King Xadin, who is a young man that has ambition to spare and walks with the air of a dangerous man. Later still, King Shaldar, King Xadin and myself held a conversation with the Queen of Saradynn concerning Ironforge’s plight. Shaldar and Xadin both seem to want war with Stronghal and are massing troops and weapons for open war in the spring of next year. The other nations of Athelgard are less optimistic, but are willing to go along with Shaldar and Xadin. Thus, it was decided that if Ironforge would supply Ravikka with a small amount of gold every year, they would secretly send a force of men to garrison our mine and help us drive off the orc invaders. True to his word, Shaldar began making preparations that very evening and by morning of the 20th of Myritul, we would be on our way to Ironforge.
Also at the ball, I met a young woman of beauty who seemed bored with the ball. We got to talking and I found out she was the daughter of the Queen of Saradynn and a paladin of Rhithain. She had a radiant spirit, but seemed unhappy to have to endure time in the atmosphere of a noble festival.
All preparations have been made and the men are assembled. I’ve invited my companions from Cocus to join us at Ironforge and they have all accepted my offer. Thus, with my Thadan brethren, we head back to my home. Heath Kenerdon is leading the hundred men-at-arms and his second in command is Norvis Thunderbird. A couple priests of D’Khaz have also come along, by the names of Kelvis and Derru. I just hope we can make it there in time to save my people.
We’re going to follow the river as much as possible and try to skirt any Stronghal towns along the way to keep from alerting them.
River trolls attacked our large force…by the gods how can anything so stupid and ugly survive. Still the creatures did manage to mangle about six of our men-at-arms before they were hacked into bits and thrown upon the fires. That same day, a number of ogres tried to shake down our force but discovered that crossbow bolts are very poor payment when you’re on the receiving end.
We’ve arrived at Ironforge and there are still Thadan defending the halls, though decidedly not as many as when I left. After being received by some Thadan on the surface, we were led through the iron gates and defensive structures of the surface into the underground tunnels that are home to me. As we past the Wall of Deeds, a runic history of Ironforge since its founding, I noticed several new runes that indicated that King Craildoth had been killed in a recent battle and that his son Derdoth had succeeded him. Saddened by the loss of our king, who I new personally, we went to the throne room and I presented my companions and Heath Kenerdon to the king of Ironforge. After the introductions and telling my tale to the king, he met privately with Heath and they settled whatever business was necessary establishing our debt to Ravikka. We rested and got the men in some barracks.
In a few short days time, King Derdoth and his advisors decided to use the men that had garrisoned with us to launch a surprise strike at the heart of the Orc problem. One of our sentries has recently saw the leader of the orcs, a foul half-orc necromancer priest, in the lower halls and through stealth was able to find out where he was encamped. We decided on a three prong attack: One frontal assault, a flank assault through an adjoining tunnel, and an assassination team to travel through secret tunnels and attack the leaders encampment. These attacks would have to occur simultaneously for our plan to work. After pleading with the King, I was granted the honor of leading the assassin team composed of the two Crackbeard brothers, 5 Thadan warriors, 2 Thadan tunnel-scouts, Adree, Keniron, Bradavere, Timinon and Khodon, a fellow priest of Thadar and second to the high priest.
Thadar was with us that day as we entered the secret passage and made our way down the tunnels. Just as we approached the position, the other forces made their attacks distracting the orc leader’s guards. We fell upon the outer portion of his encampment and began battling towards the center, where the leader was casting foul spells upon us. Brave Timinon was affected by a spell and ran off in fear of the orc. It was a tough battle and every second we felt as though we could all die. Eventually, we managed to hack through his minions and before he could turn and run, I cut him down with my axe. After that, the battle turned into a rout and many orcs were killed or taken prisoner as we sent them running back to the hellpits that spawned them. A great celebration was held after the battle and our deeds were added to the Wall of Deeds. King Derdoth rewarded everyone on the assassination team with an Ironforge ruby each: Mined, cut and polished in Ironforge itself by our master miners and craftsmen.
After the battle, I spent the next few days visiting with family, friends and receiving instructions from the higher ranking priests of Thadar. I found out that Heath Kenerdon was returning to Ravikka and leaving Norvis Thunderbird to run the garrison of men remaining at Ironforge. My companions were also returning to Ravikka. I supposed that I would not journey with them, since my place is Ironforge, but King Derdoth summoned me to his chambers with the highest ranking priest of my order. There we discussed the need to have a set of Thadan eyes and ears in the lands of Ravikka, since everyone could feel that war was coming soon. I volunteered to go to Ravikka and act again as an ambassador for my people, serving the interests of King Shaldar while in Ravikka. I was given knowledge of a special spell that would allow me to communicate with Ironforge once every 10 days, though only up to 10 words might pass. Bidding my family and clan goodbye, I left Ironforge hoping that through our efforts we had secured peace for my home in the near future.
Date unknown Our travels back to Van Dorn were relatively uneventful, besides for a few wandering creatures that got taught a hard lesson from our combined might.
After reaching Van Dorn, I spoke again with King Shaldar and he told me that he’d find me some use for my services while in his kingdom, for which I was glad since Thadan hate to be idle. A few days of sitting at the Rotten Apple and I received a letter to head to Orides and aid Lord Drannis Whiteward however he wished. My companions happened to be heading to Orides, so we took off to the city. Ken filled my ear with tales of his home and the fine inn known as the Indigo Bliss.
Unfortunately, our travels were not so pleasant as before. Coming to a crossroads, Timinon and Ezekial saw a faint bit of smoke ahead and surmised that bandits had attacked. They ran off leaving me and the others trailing behind, but their courage did not avail them as they were set upon by a bunch of orc warriors. Brave Timinon died in the battle, but we avenged his death by slaying all of the orcs. We buried the elf under a large oak tree at the crossroads a little north of the town of Riverside. After finishing with last rites and saying our goodbyes, we headed on to Orides.
Orides is a trading town well situated on both the North Sea and the Northrock River. Several roads of good engineering quality lead from the town making it a likely place for merchants to frequent. Approximately 10,000 men live in this city, which recently has seemed to have a troubled past. Most of the men in the north are large, but the men of Ravikka border on being called trees. They seem hard working and unafraid of challenges.
Date unknown After settling in at the Indigo Bliss, I went to the administration building and reported to Lord Whiteward, offering him a letter from King Shaldar explaining the situation. It seems the Lord Whiteward wants me to translate a tome that he has in his possession, evidently a sort of diary or journal from one of my kind who helped build a series of secret passageways and catacombs underneath the city. Supplied with a scribe to turn my translation into the common tongue (which I don’t know how to write), I immediately began work on the effort. I estimate it will take at least a couple of weeks to make the translation.
Date unknown While staying at the Bliss this morning, a large northman suddenly went crazy and attacked us. We noticed he was foaming at the mouth, and though we tried to disarm him, we had to eventually put him down to keep him from injuring someone else.
A little investigation into the situation revealed that he had friends who didn’t take kindly to our killing him, though in self defense. Seems there is an illegal drug being sold heavily in Orides called “snow” that can take someone into a berserk, murderous, rage if too much is imbibed.
Date unknown I’m about halfway finished with the journal and I’ve been making quite a few mental notes as I translate, just in case I might have use for this information in the future. Lord Drannis swore me to secrecy concerning the passages, and I’ll keep my word to him.
Our party met several interesting fellows today: Cade wears grey-robes and is tall and bald, Kamer is a big man even for northmen, with blond hair and a well-used longsword, while Durvall is a smaller man with black, oily hair and a pencil mustache armed with twin scimitars. We met them in the Bliss and Cade seems interested in our abilities; though we’re not sure for what Cade stands. My companion Niun has returned to Van Dorn as has Ezekial to spend more time with his noble family.
Date unknown We met a young man, Larrion, with a two-handed sword today, who’s looking for adventure at the bottom of a bottle. Though his behavior sickens Keniron, I like his spunk when he’s not completely intoxicated and have allowed him to join if he wants. It seems there are several sides interested in gaining our services and we don’t know who the Lord supports or not. Some seem connected with the drug trade, which makes me loathe to join with them. Though we don’t trust him, we’ve decided to aid Cade in taking out a smuggling ring near the docks. Our battle plan was flawless, but luck was not with us and several of our party almost perished. My companion, Bradavere, fell in the battle never to rise again. The last thing I remember as I fell unconscious was a crazed farmboy yelling at the top of his lungs and getting the better of the few men left standing.
I came out of unconsciousness to find us victorious as several of the town guards were aiding us to our feet. It seems the farmboy, John William, had saved us but was under arrest since it appeared that he had murdered almost everyone in the room. I vouched for the lad, saying that without his aid, I would have surely perished.
John William met with us and decided to keep company with us. Evidently, the smugglers had killed his father and what we had seen was desperate revenge on his part.
Date unknown The translation is completed. Lord Drannis has told me that his brother, Peldor Whiteward, is leading a company of men down to Brell Cove as an orc army rising in the Karthuin hills is threatening that town. I told him he could count on our group to go, since I’ve never turned down the opportunity to kill an orc.
The next day we were travelling south towards Brell Cove when Peldor received a message at Notchrock from the Lord of Foss looking for help with a series of undead attacks. Peldor told us to go to Foss and take care of the undead, while he and his men advanced to Brell Cove.
Travelling the small dirt roads leading to Foss through the bustling mecha that is Dundoth, I see what they mean about rural farming villages. The one noble in these towns is the only one with a proper house. After reaching Foss, we spoke with the Lord of the village, who treated us as beggars instead of his town’s saviours. We left with a foul taste in our mouths from dealing with such a stuck-up, incompetent natterling, but went about our business anyway. It seems that zombies or some such evil has been attacking farm families outside of town. We went to one such farm and holed up for the night, hoping to draw the undead to us. We had no luck that night, so in the morning we began looking for tracks . Sure enough, we located a trail that led off into the dark forest.
Following along, we found ourselves first ambushed by forest trolls and then by living corpses with hatred in there yellowed eyes. Continuing along the path, we came to a mansion built in the woods, though it was slightly in disrepair. Before we got two steps in the front door, we were attacked by a horde of undead being led by a grinning, female corpse that spoke in eerie tones as it cast necromantic magicks at us. We battled inside and outside the mansion until most of my companions were unconscious or dead. Drawing on Thadar’s might, I made myself invisible to the undead creatures and attacked their foul leader, who I cut down. In spite, the rest of the undead turned on me and I knew that it was likely my time. As I began uttering my families funerary chant, a peculiar creature must have heard my roaring words, as in walked a woman that seemed to be made completely of ice. With her help, I was able to put the undead back to rest and aid my companions. Her name is Quillothra and she doesn’t know where she came from, but she wants to return to the North where ice is always present. We owe her a debt of honor and I swore then and there that I would take her to the North.
We spent the next few days looting the mansion and loading up our wagon. Seems this was the place of Blake and Helen Ramsey, both dabblers in the magical arts. According to a journal we found, Helen had begun messing with the Black Arts and fell in love with Vey’Ghul. As madness consumed her, she killed her husband and child and began animating all manner of creatures to serve her. It seems at some point, she died but such was Vey’Ghul’s power that she rose as some lord of zombies. Our wagon was quite full of loot, including several grimoires of necromantic affiliation such as “Revelations of the Prince of Twilight.” Keniron read several pages of the black book to me, but that was all that I could stomach of such filth.
Date unknown Headed back to Brell Cove with our wagon of loot. Seems the orcs have formed an army and something seems to be drawing them to the Karthuin Hills like a magnet. At Brell Cove, we met the mayor, Renae Stalgo, grand-daughter in-law of Brell Stalgo, the famous gladiator who founded Brell Cove and defeated the ancient green dragon in the hills. We were told that Brell and a companion returned after killing the dragon, gathered several mule teams and wagons and headed back into the hills but were never heard from again. Quillothra wants us to take her north right now, but Ken and I explained that our duty required us to report to Peldor and aid him right now. She convinced Larrion and the farmboy to take her North by themselves, so our party split up and headed down different paths.
Other notable people in Brell Cove: Deref Forason is woodsman and priest of Csaea who roams the Karthuin hills, Dort McCullan is the elder of clan McCullan, Wessen is the local priest of D’Khaz, and Ellith is a bandanna-wearing elf warrior of local fame.
As we sat in the inn waiting to be off, I met a strange Thadan named Chagg. He doesn’t seem very intelligent, but he can whittle a fine toothpick. He caries a huge two-handed mace and wears a suit of beat up chain mail. Not much of a conversationalist, though.
Peldor and men have been through Brell Cove and made their headquarters at Cedar Point. We pushed on after meeting the above personages and reached Cedar Point.
Date unknown Peldor wants us to lead a raiding party on an orc encampment nearby. He’s hoping that our attack will make the orcs think about defense, which would help to limit their numbers. Our attack was successful and we surprised the camp and killed all of the orc warriors present. As we returned towards Cedar Point, we heard yelling from a mile away and horns signifying battle from the town. We ran that last mile as fast as we could to find the gates of Cedar Point demolished by several giants and the guards fighting like mad to be able to retreat from the lost cause. We attacked the rear of the orc, ogre and giant force making a hole for the rest of the men-at-arms to squeeze through. Keniron single-handedly cut one giant down with a vicious blow that nearly split the creature in twain. After this display of swordsmanship, the orcs gave us space and soon we were acting as rearguard as our force retreated back to Thur with 40 of 250 men.
Eleasias 20th Peldor has found a half-orc named Krasz who wants to aid us. Krasz was raised by the halflings at Lakewood. He says he’s feeling an irresistible pull on his body and mind; like he’s being drawn to a source of power. I recommended we let him lead us to the power and destroy it.
We travelled back to Brell Cove to resupply and get to the other side of the river. Several of the menfolk of Brell Cove are coming along on this adventure including Deref, Ellith, Chagg, and a couple of the McCullan clan men.
Followed Deref & Krasz into the Karthuin Hills to a gorge south of the Karthuin Ruins. From our position above the gorge, we could see several cave entrances below us. Down we went into the cavernous tunnels, sloping passages, and confusing array of choices to follow. Luckily, Krasz led us with certainty and eventually we came to a passage that had seen lots of travel, where we slew some trolls, before continuing on deeper into the earth.
Eleasias 21st A little farther we entered a small room in which Krasz started holding his head and declaring that “It was very close.” A little further along the single passage, we entered a cavernous chamber with a crystalline obelisk standing vertical from the floor, pulsing with a pale red light. Three powerful orcs were about the obelisk and they turned on us to defend this crystal of Xu’Dann. One was the same as we had battled before in Cedar Point, being under the affects of a Mirror Image and Blur effect. Another had spider eyes and the ability to throw webs, and the last had priestly magicks that he used to hold some of our party. It was a brutal fight, in which some of the men from Brell Cove perished as well as Krasz, but we eventually overcame the evil trio.
After trying to destroy the crystal obelisk with mortal weapons and failing to scratch its surface, we surmised that we needed help. Deref told us of a mage nearby these parts that might help. Deref took off to get Geiger, the mage. After several hours of waiting, Deref and Geiger, who is a legless man that seems to float about, entered the barricaded chamber. Geiger used mighty spells to remove its magical protections and we used a variety of mining and stonemasonry techniques to topple and destroy the crystal. In exchange for his services, Ken and I agreed to owe him a future favor…though I dislike owing anyone favors, particularly wizards.
Eleasias 22st After marching most of the night, we returned to Thur and relayed our success to Peldor. Peldor told us the orcs in Cedar Point are in-fighting and that instability natural to orcs seems to be back in affect now that the crystal obelisk has been destroyed. Peldor is going to hold at Thur for a while and has released us to our other obligations, which means we’ll try to catch up with Larrion and Quillothra after we finish whatever mischief Geiger has for us.
Deref and the others returned with us to Brell Cove where we buried those who fought valiantly but perished. Deref led us to a small cottage in a secluded part of the woods where Geiger makes his home. Ken was wearing a dragonseye medallion that we had recovered from one of the orc leaders. It must have caught Geiger’s eye, because he offered to free us from the favor we owe him in exchange for the medallion. We bargained a little and he agreed to identify several of our magical items, also. We left some items with him and started off to Lakewood so we could tell the halflings of Krasz brave sacrifice to save Thur and possibly Brell Cove.
Eleasias 23rd As we were heading to Lakewood, we met a young fellow named Gabriel Twomoons. It seems that Gabriel and Ken are past acquaintances from Orides. He’s heading to Goldfork to return some horses and invited us along. Since we had no immediate need to go to Lakewood, we headed back to the Bent Shoe in Brell Cove and had lunch on our way to Goldfork. Ellith, the bandanna wearing elf warrior, came in during lunch and we learned he is the owner of the Brell Cove stablery.
After lunch, we headed to the stables to see if we could find some horses to ride. During the time, Gabriel told us of the increasing problem with the drug known as “snow.” He and a companion were attacked by two drug-users in Goldfork. Gabriel barely survived that encounter and only by good fortune. It seems the drug problem has spread beyond Orides.
Leaving Brell Cove’s gates a few miles behind, we saw an armed group of men-at-arms approaching carrying a banner with an armored gauntlet and a longsword behind the gauntlet. Ken recognized the heraldry and told me it was the battle banner of the Kenden family, a noble family in the service of Ravikka. Sir Darinius, a knight of Ravikka and priest of D’Khaz, and his son, Darikar, (as we came to find out) led the company.
As they began to near our position on the road, a dark cloud appeared on the horizon, rapidly moving in our direction. In moments, we could tell it wasn’t a cloud but a formation of small (5’ long), black, dragon-like creatures which flew over our heads and back towards Brell Cove. We doubled back hurriedly to Brell Cove, where the guards were quite freaked out though they hadn’t saw anything matching the little dragons description. As we got near the inn and began conversing with Sir Darinius about what we had saw, the wizard Geiger bustled by screaming that the things were coming back.
Almost instantly, the sky darkened and a swarm of the miniature flying dragons attacked us. We retreated into the inn to keep their numbers from overpowering us. As the inn erupted into a whirling melee and a cacaphony of weapons, screeches and wing buffets, Geiger unleashed spell after spell at the creatures. Finally, we killed them off and drove the others away after barricading the windows and doorways. Geiger told us that the creatures are after him and he thinks it’s because he aided us by destroying Xu’Dann’s obelisk of power in the Karthuin Hills. He told us the creatures are definitely the handiwork of a high priest of Xu’Dann. Ken and I told him we would stand by him since we had brought this wrath upon him. Darinius and son agreed that they would see this threat gone as well since their mission of bringing reinforcements to Brell Cove was complete.
We headed to Orides that afternoon for new orders, travelling with Geiger. Geiger is a bit disturbing since he has no legs, but just sort of floats wherever he wants, but I guess wizards are all strange in their own ways.
Evidently we were walking straight towards the priest of Xu’Dann because after a few miles we came upon a group of ogres, giants, mini-dragons and their half-orc leader. A mighty battle commenced with Geiger flying off a bit being pursued by the dragon creatures, where we could see him repeatedly fireballing the area around him as he was protected from fire. Meanwhile, we were dealing with the giants and ogres, while the half-orc, dressed in black field plate, began casting magicks of a foul nature. Young Darikar was affected by one of the priests spells that caused him to be paralyzed and he toppled to the ground, only to watch his father be cut down by the half-orc’s blade. The fight was definitely going against us with most of our group unconscious or dead, when I finished with the last giant and stepped up to face the priest of Xu’Dann. We parried and circled, though he was a bit better warrior than myself. Geiger struck him with some magical missles, allowing me enough time to execute a spinning maneuver that got through his defenses and landed my axe deep in his side. Looking as though he couldn’t believe the battle was over, the half-orc tumbled to the ground, blood flowing freely from the fatal wound. To make sure, I stepped over and decapitated the beast with a single stroke. What remained of his party of ogres and giants fled after seeing their leader dead. I began checking the rest of my companions and found that they still lived, with the exception of Sir Darinius. Geiger flew back nearby and told us he believed the threat to his life was now over. He told us that our bargain still held and promptly teleported to his home.
Upon searching the bodies of the evil priest’s forces, we found an unconscious Larrion and Quillothra bound in one of the giant’s bag. Laughing at their predicament, we freed the pair and asked where their companion John William was, but was told that he had ran off when the giants attacked them. Almost without skipping a beat, Quillothra demanded we settle our debt of honor to her by taking her to her home in the north. We found quite a bit of loot from the evil creatures, particularly the magical field plate and sword that the half-orc had been wearing.
After cleaning up in the nearby river, we continued to Goldfork. Darikar asked that he could continue with us to Orides to receive new orders and sent his father via ship to Van Dorn to receive burial at his families estates. We stayed the night at the small inn at Goldfork, though I’m sure Darikar got no sleep after his recent loss.
Eleasias 24th Around noon, we arrived at Orides and reported our news to Lord Drannis Whiteward. After retelling the story of our recent battles and adventures, he explained that there is a pirate problem cutting off the sea trade to Orides and the Belleville Bandits are cutting off the trade route to Anthus in the east. Also, the city cemetary was recently animated and undead were running rampant. A vampire and necromancer were seen in the cemetary as the undead began appearing. And to top it all off, the drug problem is growing rapidly. By the gods, Orides certainly has its fair share of problems, but it’s good to be back to enjoy the comforts of the Indigo Bliss.
After washing off the road dirt and enjoying a tankard of brew and a smoke, I headed out about town. I wandered into a jewelers shop, run by Pete. He told me business was bad and he was thinking of moving to Van Dorn to live. He’s willing to take a few of the precious stones and gems that we found recently and try to sell them for us on commission. He told us that I was lucky to have stopped into his shop, since he considers his rival, Torinson, a crook. When I inquired why he thought poorly of his competition, he explained that Torinson’s business hasn’t been hurt nearly as bad by the pirate and bandit activity. Pete thinks that Torinson may be a fence for the bandits or pirates. Probably just professional rivalry, but I’ll keep an eye out, nontheless.
Lord Whiteward told Darikar to stick with us. It looks like a new companion has joined the party has joined our merry band, and an old companion has been refound. We began inquiries into a ship to take us north and generally just enjoyed some down time while Lord Drannis figured out what we needed to tackle next.
Eleasias 26th That evening I was enjoying a nice draught of Thadan ale and a fine cigar at the Bliss when Durvall came into the inn and spoke with the night bartender. Shortly thereafter, Jazz, the gnome manager of the Indigo Bliss and business tycoon, came by my table and told me Durvall was asking questions about my business. I thanked Jazz for the information and we spoke about various things in a friendly manner for a time.
Much later in the night (and quite a few pints too…as I remember), Cade and Kamer showed up at the Bliss. They spotted me (likely downing another tankard or blowing smoke rings) and headed to the third floor of the Bliss, which is where the sleeping rooms begin. Around midnight, I called it an evening and went to bed with a slightly spinning head. Nothing occurred that evening…though it wouldn’t have mattered much if it did since I’m sure I could have slept soundly through just about anything.
Eleasias 27th Got up with a hill giant-size hangover, but went to train with the D’Khaz priests just to show them that Thadan can endure anything, whether it be combat or liquor. At the temple, we heard news from the acolytes and headmaster that Lord Sinvall of Anthus had come to Orides to speak with Lord Whiteward concerning the Belleville Bandits destruction. After we were cooling off from our training, Cade and Kamer showed up. We talked with Cade and he told us that he is working for Drannis. He told us that the priest who raised the undead in the graveyard is actually a follower of Xu’Dann who has managed to acquire a powerful ring, an artifact holy to Vey’Ghul, the bonelord. Supposedly the ring has the ability to control vampires and lesser undead. To try to take out this powerful evil, he wants us to take a letter from Lord Whiteward to a Selena of Highhedge, a reputed follower of Vey’Ghul. Cade thinks that her knowledge of the artifact and abilities may allow us to overcome the priest of Xu’Dan. We told him we could leave within the hour.
I spent the better part of the hour running from armorer shop to shop looking for a Thadan-size suit of chain mail. Luckily, I found a suit that would fit without too much discomfort. Then, I stopped by Pete’s fine jewelry and converted some of my coin into jewelry and gems for easier travel. I also commisioned Pete to make me a platinum septum ring with my Ironforge ruby inset and an inscription in Thadan runes for the words faith, family, and forge. Pete does good work, for a human, but I wish I could get one of the old jewelers at Ironforge to make it.
While out and about hunting for some armor, I could have swore that I saw V’Naius exiting an armor shop up the street. He was fully cloaked and hopped off the porch when he saw me. I hurried up to try and catch up, but he had already disappeared around the corner and down an alley. I thought he was dead…how strange.
Meeting back at the Bliss, Cade came by and gave us two scrolls: One to Selena and one to me from Drannis. My scroll said little except that he thought this mission prudent and approved of me trying to find Selena. We spoke briefly with Jazz about storing some items at the Bliss, which he agreed to since we were serving the Lord of the town. We left my damaged scale armor and a set of magical half-plate armor at the Bliss. After buying a few cigars for the road, we headed out of town.
By the early evening, we had made it to One Tree where we found a tavern full of the local peasantry. Ken, Darikar and the rest were tired and headed off to bed, but I decided to regale the locals with a few of my best stories. Soon, they were hanging on my every word and we made so much of a ruckus that Ken and Darikar went off to find another inn for some peace and quiet. Those boys need to learn a little endurance, but it gave me a good chuckle. The people here seem goodly and hard working, at least the lower classes.
Eleasias 28th Travelled the day and reached Hedgehope in the afternoon. Guards challenged our party at the gates and told us to talk to Jason Tillmore at the Hedgehope Inn after we mentioned our business. They seemed to choke up and became much less talkative when we mentioned Seleva…was it fear on their faces?
Jason Tillmore is the town leader and described Seleva as a witch and blight upon Hedgehope. He seems to harbor deep resentment towards her, though she seems to just want her privacy. He was a little upset that the Lord didn’t send us here to kill her and was surprised to hear that the Lord of Orides might traffick with a witch. After telling him of the undead at Orides and how Seleva might be the only one who can help, we were able to convince him to aid us. Jason agreed to send his nephew, Jarod, with us to guide us to her tower.
A little later in the evening, Jarod took us upstairs where he told us that two women (one dressed in chain mail and sword, and the other dressed in black robes) had headed to Seleva’s tower recently to visit and haven’t came back through Hedgehope since.
Eleasias 29th Early in the morning (hell, it was still dark) we headed to Seleva’s tower. After knocking, we were greeted by the two women: Aravela (the warrior) and Sinn (a necromancer/priest of Vey’Ghul). It seems they are the daughters of Seleva and have taken over the tower as their birthright. Aravela considers herself a patriot of Ravikka and agreed to aid us by returning to Orides with her half-sister. Sinn seemed to be more interested in the our skulls than the conversation, until we mentioned a vampire was in Orides. This is dark business allying ourselves with such creatures of the dark. I loathe every moment in their company though they are both quite beautiful by human standards.
As we began travelling back to Orides, Aravela informed us that the ring in the possesion of the priest of Xu’Dann was a powerful artifact known as the Ring of Necromancy, which was made by their great grandmother. They feel that it shoul be returned to their family…or at least a follower of Vey’Ghul. I definitely don’t like the idea of that ring being anywhere except in a lead coffer buried under a few tons of rock.
By pushing our horses, we were able to return to Orides late in the evening. We left word at the administrative building about the success of our mission and headed off to the Bliss to clean up. There are quite a few new wanted posters hanging up now…mostly for Logran the pirate and Thadreus, the Belleville Bandit.
While having a drink at the Bliss, a young man named Tavvis came by our table inquiring if we had some magical items that protected one from fire that he might be able to purchase. He told us that Thadreus is rumored to have a flaming sword that can shoot balls of flame and he intends to take him out. We told him that we didn’t have such items and he went off to other tables.
Later, Ken came into the Bliss with a pale complexion. Seems he had saw the vampire in an alley speaking with a robed figure. Cade, Kamer and a tall woman who introduced herself as Bellva, a wizard by her looks. They had met with Aravela and Sinn and seemed pleased in the half-sisters abilities.
Eleasias 30th We got up and went to the temple to train. Afterwards, I went by the wizard’s tower and left a few items with his half-orc butler so we could find out what they do, getting a scroll in receipt from the shifty-eyed minion. Spent some time at Zeke’s armor shop, who I had paid to allow me the use of his forge and supplies to repair Ken’s armor while he sized my chain. Cade showed up at the Bliss in the evening and told us that the raid on the priest of Xu’Dann would probably occur sometime in the next few nights time.
Eliant 1st That morning we trained at the temple of D’Khaz, then went by the local wizards and picked up the magical longsword. I returned to Zeke’s armor shop and continued repairs on Ken’s armor. I received a message from Cade to go to the Silver Jester after sunset. After a good half day of labor, I went by the Jester to check it out, then returned to the Indigo Bliss.
On the way to the Bliss, I met Captain Vozz and Annavera Whiteward, eldest daughter of Drannis and wizardress. After saying hellos and such, I continued on to the Bliss.
That evening, we went to the Silver Jester, but heard noises from a nearby alley before entering. Investigating, we found two corpses and V’Naius, who had just finished the two men. At length, he told us he was leaving town because he no longer wanted to serve the side he was allied with. He told us to “Trust No One.” Since I had his father’s mace, he asked a personal favor to have it back, which I agreed too. He acknowledged that if I needed his aid, he would be willing to help and said he was headed to Van Dorn.
Afterwards, we headed to the Silver Jester to meet Cade. Instead, we found Durvall in the tavern, who told us nothing was going on tonight because the plans had been ratted out. Lord Drannis had issued orders for Cade’s immediate arrest, but he had escaped after being declared a traitor. Durvall said Lord Whiteward is a manipulator but he cares about his politics. Glendar, his son, is ambitious, unscrupulous, and untrustworthy, probably behind quite a bit of the evil that this city experiences. He told us the lords should not be trusted, either, since when Lord Sinval came to town, Lord Whiteward’s whole demeanor concerning Cade reversed. Looks like all of our planning to take out the undead in this city is a loss.
We returned to the Bliss, but couldn’t locate Ken. We looked in his room, which looked normal. After checking at the temple, we were told by one of Jonnathan Cross’s acolytes that Ken was asked by Lord Whiteward to deliver a message to Lord Greenstar of Chussin. Returning to the Bliss, I had a note that said Aravela and Sinn were leaving since Cade was gone. Also in the note, Sinn said that her information sources had saw Yardain, the wicked priest of Xu’Dann rumored to be controlling the vampire, meeting with Lord Sinvall. Evidently, the priest and vampire have left peaceably and Cade has been falsely implicated as a traitor and made to flee. I understand little of these actions, save that V’Naius’s words seem to ring truer everyday. I’ll trust no one except my companions and my axe’s keen blade.
Eliant 2nd I arranged a meeting with Lord Drannis in the morning. Due to the recent actions of himself and Lord Sinvall, their has been a change in plans. He wants us to deal with the bandit problem to the east and then we can take Quillothra to her home in the north. His lordship allowed us to borrow some horses so we could make it to Brell Cove to pick up some items that we had left with the recluse wizard, Geiger.
On the return trip from Brell Cove, we encountered some ogres and an intelligent ogre that cast spells and used magicks. We defeated them in combat, with Gabriel distinguishing himself by uppercutting an ogre and knocking the creature unconscious. Of course, he wouldn’t have been using his fists if he could keep a hold of his battle-axe, with which he nearly decapitated me. Up the road a bit, we found four mutilated peasants. Building a pyre, we burned their bodies while Ken and Darikar said some last rites. We returned to Brell Cove and told them of the peasants.
Eliant 3rd Arrived in Orides around noon. Talked to Captain Vozz about the Belleville Bandits. He told us their leader is Thadreus, who is armed with a flaming sword. We began scheming together a plan to fake a merchant caravan to draw out the bandits.
After making a few inquiries about caravan guards, we were approached by a tall, thick bald man who introduced himself as Inviden, wayward son of Drannis. Since rumors have it that he’s a capable warrior, we hired him and left him to find us a few more good men to act as guards.
Eliant 4th We trained at the temple of D’Khaz, like we do almost everyday. That night, a man named Tavvis joined us for a drink and told us we were fools for hiring the drunkard, Inviden. We’re thinking about getting Tavvis and friends to go on the caravan instead of Inviden. We had a long discussion about how the bandits may be a revolutionary faction gathering funds via banditry. I think this Tavvis knows a little more than he’s letting on and I don’t trust him. What Thadan ever believed in revolution? Only humans would need revolution, since their governments don’t seem to represent the people anyway.
We heard that Inviden had killed a man in a duel that night.
Eliant 5th During training, Inviden showed up and wanted to prove that he was the right man to take with us on our little caravan ruse. We through down and battled it out…whipping ass and getting whipped in return. Darikar and Ken think he’s the better man and I agree since I don’t trust Tavvis. At least Inviden doesn’t seem the type to have hidden agendas. Afterwards, I got out of there and headed off to make sure our caravan was ready. Went by the Bliss where a man called Noth was speaking with Gabriel about joining our little caravan. He wants to come along with his friend Barritt. This caravan is starting to look more like an armed patrol.
We got on our way around mid-morning and passed through Belleville heading to Anthus. No attacks or anything odd sighted. After getting to Anthus, I went about looking for some cargo that needed to be escorted to Orides. I found a produce merchant, Tarrin, who knew a fish merchant who needed some Sword Trout hauled to Orides and Van Dorn. Sure enough, I was able to broker our services to Ereforth, the fish merchant, for 150 gp.
Eliant 6th We returned to Orides with the fish, and still no sight of the bandits. Got our items back from the local wizard and Pete of Pete’s Fine Jewelry decided to tagalong as we headed to Van Dorn. Some of the trout are to go to the temple of D’Khaz for the meals of the high priest, Teraldis Alanthar.
Eliant 8th Got to Van Dorn and stopped by the temple of D’Khaz. I was able to trade some spare magic armor for a fine suit of Thadan Plate armor that they happened to have in their treasury. We got a tour of Darikar’s noble house and visited his family while in town.
Eliant 10th Left early in the morning to Orides after picking my armor up from the armorers guild where they were repairing and shining it up. I’m quite pleased to be in such nice armor…the workmanship of a Thadan is a fine thing to wear and this armor feels as light as my scale armor but is much better quality.
Eliant 11h Arrived in Orides late in the evening. We’ll head back to Anthus tomorrow, hoping to draw the bandits out.
Eliant 12th We found a few boxes typically used to carry art works and spread some rumors that we were hauling a gift of art from Van Dorn to Lord Sinvall of Anthus.
Around noon, we past through Belleville towards Anthus. Shortly thereafter, the bandits ambushed us and in a hail of arrows Gabriel perished. After a hard fight, we triumphed though their were many casualties. The survivors of the fight were me, Ken, Darikar, Inviden, a female bandit archer who ran away, and Thadreus, whom we captured after he tried to blow us all up in a suicidal fireball.
Speaking with Thadreus, we found that Tavvis’s story was true. Thadreus fancies himself a revolutionary trying to fulfill a vendetta against Lord Sinvall who he says killed his father unlawfully. He told us Sinvall was an evil man and a priest of Xu’Dann. Not knowing what was truth and being somewhat convinced by the earnestness of the man, we agreed to let him go if he promised not to continue his banditry and fomentation of revolution. Inviden convinced us that hanging him would serve little purpose besides adding to Sinvall’s enjoyment. Thadreus led us to a storehouse and we took the loot that he had got via banditry on our wagons, but left all the arms and armor that he had secured in an abandoned barn close to Belleville. Afterwards, we let Thadreus go with his flaming sword, since it was an heirloom from his father.
Outside of Orides a good way, we halted and made sure that our story was straight. We had several badly charred corpses with us from Thadreus’s fireball, so we decided to say that we thought one of the corpses was him, but couldn’t be sure since we were blinded a little by the explosive blast.
We returned to Orides in the early evening. As we solemnly made our way through the streets bearing Gabriel’s body, the townsfolk made way for our procession. After dropping him off at the temple of D’Khaz and explaining the circumstances of his loss, we were told that they would hold funeral services tonight. I stopped by the administration building to meet with Lord Drannis, but an assistant told us to come back in an hour, as the lord was busy.
In an hour, we retired from the Bliss and went to the administrative building. Lord Whiteward heard our story concerning the Belleville Bandits and how Thadreus, the chief bandit, seemed to die in a fireball, though we couldn’t be sure (as we lied concerning how we had released Thadreus after capturing him). The lord assumed that Thadreus might still be alive, but acknowledged that the threat of the Bellevile Bandits was ended.
In the meanwhile, Drannis explained that he had found a ship to take us into the north. The ship is called the Black Ice and captained by Dajee Racewater, a personal friend of Glendar Whiteward. He has a full crew of battle-hardened sailors onboard and they are hauling a valuable cargo of Ice Crab to the North, hoping to tempt the pirate Logron into attacking. By the gods, I have to go onto the water and these humans want to make our ship bait. The Black Ice sets sail in two days time.
Drannis also said that Xolkan had sent an emissary to join us on our quest to take Quillothra to her homeland. The emissary will meet us at the Bliss. He is a half-elf priest of Aura, named Erith Tellakura. Went back to the Bliss and everyone introduced themselves and had a drink together. Ken and Darikar told us a story of how they had interrupted a hold-up at a small store a few blocks away and had captured the would be thieves.
Eliant 13th While waiting for the ship to leave, we divided our treasure and went to get our magic items from the local mage and his scruffy half-orc butler. Since I was there, and don’t relish making anymore visits than required, I dropped off some potions to be identified, as well.
Afterwards, I strolled through Orides and stopped by Pete’s Fine Jewelry to find my platinum and ruby septum ring was finally ready. After picking up a nice looking emerald, I went down to the docks and found someone to pierce my septum. The local armorer allowed me to restock my armorers kit, while his apprentices buffed and polished my plate mail. Found some warm clothes.
I went to bed early that night, figuring that I might not sleep well when not on solid ground. Shortly after I got to sleep, I was rudely awoken by Ken beating on my door. Seems that he had been ambushed and burned by some kids in an alley. We got on our armor and headed out into the night. After a bit of persuasion, we found out that a lame boy called Nylo was probably behind the attack, running much of the youth gangs out of his home. Evidently, Nylo is the younger brother of one of the ruffians that Ken and Darikar brought to justice yesterday and holds a grudge. We broke into his home and told him his present course would bring him to ruin, which he laughed at and told us to look at his present condition. Feeling pity for the boy, Inviden said he would deal with it and more or less adopted the family. I can’t understand humans…a Thadan community would have adopted the boy and made sure he didn’t turn to a life of crime. If he had, he wouldn’t live long enough to plague the community that’s for damn sure.
Eliant 14th Near dawn, we went to the docks and boarded the Black Ice. Captain Dajee is a well-groomed man with intense eyes and a commanding nature. While loitering on the docks, we met a young bard of D’Khaz, Rinoso De Montoya, whom having heard of our exploits and quest wanted to join us so he could immortalize our adventures in song and story. Maybe I can learn some more storytelling skills from this human, though it’s not bloody likely. Ken and Darikar are game, but Larrion and Erith seemed a bit put off. Quillothra, as usual, is apathetic unless it concerns getting her to her home in the ice of the north.
It wasn’t too bad on the sea for the first couple of hours since it was very calm as we left. However, the sea got a little rougher around noon and I retired to my cabin feeling the swaying motion would be the end of me. I got out my bag of rocks and pebbles and scattered them all on the floor and made myself lie down upon them. Just being in contact with rocks and stones makes me feel a little more stable while on this tossing ship.
That evening we dined with Captain Dajee and his officers. Rovin is the 1st mate, a lithe half-elf. Harev is the ship’s wizard, recently hired to provide support in case Logran attacks since he’s rumored to use wizards in his piracy. Balou is a pale-skinned young lass who acts as the 2nd mate. Our meal was good and we swapped stories, while Rinoso played us a few songs.
Eliant 15th The others spent the day adjusting to the sea. When it was relatively calm, I would make my way to the upper decks and have a look about me. The war machines on the Black Ice are interesting and I spent a few hours watching as the crew practiced their use.
Eliant 16th I was working on my letters with Darikar during mid-morning when we heard a cry of alarm. Getting our armor on we rushed to the top deck, where we were told a ship was spotted on a course for a strafing run. The Black Ice ran up a “pirate” flag and the other ship decided to relent. They came nearby and Dajee spoke with them before they headed off to the south.
About mid-afternoon, battlestations were again declared. This time it was Logran and his pirate ship. While in preparations to combat the wicked pirate, our mage Harev betrayed us and after a few balls of flame our cause was lost. Dajee took to the skies, flying about and I think he slew Harev in aerial combat, but couldn’t be sure. Preferring to fight on a larger ship instead of getting to a lifeboat, I tried to persuade the others to fight on but it was no use. Quillothra used some of her ice magicks to recover our retreat, as we secured a lifeboat and began rowing away from the burning Black Ice. The pirates didn’t seem interested in us and we were able to get away. This little boat is crowded with us and near to the point of taking on water. I detest the sea and just hope I’ll be able to make it back to land.
We managed to row away from the combat between the vessels and headed south with the currents. We saw another lifeboat of sailors and Balou was with them. Trying to stick together so we could use her sailing skills to aid us. That evening, clouds covered the stars and a storm began to pelt us with rain and high winds. Only fervent prayer and a lot of bailing got us through the next few days.
Eliant 18th After rowing in the storm, we finally sighted land and made haste in our rowboat. By the gods, I hate ocean travel but would much rather be on a big ship than a small little boat. After landing our boat on a beach, I immediately found some rocks and did some solemn praying to Thadar and Or’Dukall for getting me back to solid land.
After the others had dried off and such, we headed along the beach to the east. Arith scouted a farmhouse nearby and we spoke with some locals who told us we were a little west of Tilsor in Ravikka. After thanking the farmers for directions, we headed into Tilsor, where Ken has evidently had a few adventures before he met up with me. Something to do with the lord of the town being worthless and not serving the populance as a man of D’Khaz should…whatever. I’d say most of the human lords I’ve encountered fall into that same category, though Shaldar seems to have his act together.
After getting a room at a small inn, we sent a letter to Lord Drannis Whiteward of Orides explaining how pirates and our ship’s mage had attacked us, but had escaped nevertheless with Quillothra. While in the inn, we also heard rumors of trolls attacking the fishermen of Tilsor and how the lord was not really doing anything to curtail these attacks. We spoke to the Lord Crothus intent on offering our aid, but sparks flew immediately between the lord and Ken such that we just left without much being said to prevent someone from being killed. Still the people pleaded that we do something to restore their livelihood, and being men (and Thadan) of good we acquiesed. Going to where several attacks had occurred in the recent past, we camped with a roaring fire hoping to attract the stupid buggers and draw them out.
Sure enough, the trolls attacked later that evening, but were a little surprised to find armed men who could fight back. In a few moments, three were cut to bloody ribbons, while a fourth ran for its pathetic life into the blackness of the North Sea. We left Erith to burn the troll corpses in the fire and chased after the fourth. Using a spell that allowed us to breathe underwater, we tracked the troll back to its lair, which was a small cave near the top of a deep chasm. We went back to dry land, dried ourselves off, and slept the sleep of the righteous.
Eliant 20th After waking up and praying to Thadar for aid in our mission to irradicate the trollish nuisance, we went into Tilsor to get some rope from the good townsmen. Returning to our camp, we again used our spells to allow us to enter the murky depths and with the rope entered the caverns. The troll defended its lair, but was no match for such a group of accomplished warriors. After summoning some magical fire to send the troll to the hell all of them so richly deserve, we proceeded to loot the lair. We found quite a bit of coin and such, but the most interesting thing we found was a necklace with a starburst bloodstone that radiated magic and had writing on it in a strange language. After recovering what loot we could, we exited and informed the citizens of Tilsor that they could return to their fishing areas without fear.
By the afternoon, we arrived at Orides and met briefly with Lord Whiteward who is setting up passage to the North for us again. Afterwards, we stopped by the wizard’s tower and picked up some items that we were having identified. By the gods, I’d like to split that half-orcs skull everytime I see him, but I suppose I shouldn’t let my preconceptions drive me. After all, it was only a month or so ago that I saw how valiant a half-orc could be as he fought for his own sanity against the pull of Xu’Dann’s accursed crystal monolith. Ruminating on these thoughts, I went to the Bliss for a bath, a tankard of Thadan ale, and a nice cigar.
Eliant 21st Seems our old companion Larrion is back in town. After speaking with him for some time, he wants to try and redeem himself by seeing Quillothra to the northlands. He told us that he’d had an epiphany and is trying to turn his life around by belief in the tenants of D’Khaz. Ken and Darikar seem pretty skeptical, but I think the young man deserves another chance. Perhaps my influence and teachings will grant him some patience and much needed resolve. Also, maybe we can moderate his drinking a bit.
While waiting for our ship to arrive in port, we spent time training, selling our latest loot from the trolls and getting the wizard to look over the necklace that we had found.
Eliant 23rd Went by the wizard’s tower and got the necklace back. Seems that the inscription on the necklace is Latin and says “To the Queen of Northern Ice, always with love.” The necklace has a magical effect such that it’s protected from the ravages of time. Quillothra didn’t think the necklace belonged to her, so we’re still puzzled about who the Queen of Northern Ice could be. Oh well, we’re heading to the North tomorrow so I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
Eliant 24th Early in the morning, we boarded the ship known as the Red Sprite, captained by Johnathan Jaskans. Seems seaworthy enough and no wizards aboard. Once again, I spent most of my time in my cabin lying on some rocks and pebbles that I had brought onboard. Sitting up or standing up when the seas are anything but calm makes my stomach flip-flop like a fish out of water. I’ve been slipping a few prayers to Or’Dukall between those to Thadar…anything to make this voyage shorter.
Eliant 28th The Red Sprite arrived at Elkpoint on the Badger Isles in the morning. Captain and several sea dogs went onshore to discuss business and returned a little put out, it seemed. We left shortly thereafter and followed the coast towards the northern port of Mortgar.
Marpenoth 1st Received the “alls well” from Ironforge via divine sending spells. I’m so far away from my people, and a bit lonely. However, the mountains that I can see in the distance to the north-west of Mortgar are much larger than any that I’ve seen before and I’m told are rich beyond measure.
We arrived in Mortgar late in the afternoon. I think I was the first one off of the Red Sprite and I remember stumbling to get past the docks and onto some stone or earth. Mortgar is a dock city, independent in it’s own right and has about 10,000 souls within it’s stout borders. As we made our way to an inn, many ladies of the night offered their services to me (some for free) and frequently spoke of a Red Thadan.
As we travelled the city, we met a large man who we saw as a kindred spirit. His name is Azrael Windspeare, a red-haired man larger than Darikar who hunts/traps in the north and a follows the faith of Csaea, the mother. Azrael took us to the Red Thadan Inn and over the course of the evening gave us much useful information:
Sherikk Kisvoth is the wealthiest man about these parts, and was the first human to set up a mining operation in the nearby Grava-Ghorgall Mountains. He has a number of Thadan working for him according to Azrael.
The legend of the Red Thadan is interesting. The Red Thadan was once a king of a great hall and Thadan realm in the Grava-Ghorgall Mountains. An army of giants killed his people while he was away. Returning to find his people dead, he tracked down the army of giants and slew them all single-handedly until he was stained with their blood. Renouncing any ties to civilization, the Red Thadan now wanders the mountains slaying giant kin with his beard shaven, evidently waiting for the proper time to reform his kingdom.
Impressed by Azrael and his knowledge of the area, he offered to accompany us north to Unvar, which we readily accepted. So far, I like the men-folk of this area. They are hardy, and not afraid to carve their own destiny out of mountains, forests, or frontier. I’d like to speak with some of the Thadan in this area, but none were about the inn and we’re leaving in the morning.
Marpenoth 2nd After buying some mules and several weeks of food for each member of our party, we took off towards Unvar in the north. Past Unvar, civilization rapidly fades and we’ll be into the territory of the barbarous northmen.
Marpenoth 6th Arrived in Unvar in the late afternoon. Found a small inn called the Gold Stop Rest and managed to find some more food and supplies, including a nice large tent. We said our goodbyes to Azrael and parted company. Quillothra is pleasant to be around as long as we’re making progress towards the north. It’s freezing up here, but luckily the weather has decided to cooperate.
Marpenoth 10th We’re continuing to travel north by northwest. As we were bedding down that night, several white wolves that breathed a cone of icy cold attacked our party. After a hard fight, we survived and the winter wolves were beaten off, but not before they froze our mules solid. The north is dangerous and we’ve only started to penetrate the most dangerous territories. Several of us are using the wolf pelts as defense against the cold.
Marpenoth 15th A white dragon attacked us out of nowhere today. All we knew was that suddenly a draconic hand tried to scoop up Ken and fly off. Quillothra, whose power seems to grow each day as we progress into the north, used her powers to summon a wall of ice in front of the dragon such that it crashed and let go of Ken. As the dragon tried to recover it’s wits, the party attacked it and quickly ended its life. We found that Ken was alive though badly hurt due to the fall. Darikar and my curative magicks brought him back to health and we continued into the north.
Marpenoth 21st We’ve been encountering some dragon-like creatures over the last few days, though they don’t have breath weapons. We’re conserving our remaining rations and I’ve been creating food and water thanks to the grace and blessings of Thadar. It will do my companions well to eat some gruel and stonebread. Late in the morning, we entered the frozen forest known as the Icewood. It’s quite beautiful when the sun is out as the crystalling reflections dispel all shadows and you’re walking in pathways of light on the white snow.
Marpenoth 25th We met with some barbarians today. During the course of trying to communicate with the northmen, Darikar accidently traded his family’s war banner for a well crafted drinking horn carved out of ivory. Since you can’t go back on a trade, according to barbarian custom, he’s been sulking lately and very dissonant.
Marpenoth 27th We’re continuing to the north. Quillothra says she is feeling a definite pull and is guiding us towards whatever she is feeling. We entered another wooded area and found a river flowing from the south south-west to the north north-east. We’re following along the river’s bank, hoping for a bridge, downed tree or a shallow fjord. We’ve also been blessed by a light snowfall.
Encountered some more barbarians today. I’ve been trading a few gold rings for a huge tiger’s paw (complete with claws). I hope I never meet up with a tiger corresponding to the size of this paw. I’ve been wearing it on my helmet, since it is definitely distinctive with it’s white and striped pattern.
Marpenoth 30th Quillothra says she feels more powerful now and has used her new powers to allow us to walk atop the snow layer and to better endure the cold. By the gods, why couldn’t she have done this a month ago when we were first setting out. I’ve been nearly frozen for a month. This land is an icy plain in which you could walk for days and never see a landmark. I just hope she isn’t leading us to our doom. Heh…no since in worrying about that since we won’t see it coming, not with this blizzard that we’re travelling through for the past few days.
Uktar 2nd Blizzard has finally stopped and we can actually see beyond our noses. We’ve been using ropes to make sure no one gets lost as we walked in the blinding snow. My beard looks as though I were several hundred years older. After travelling most of the day, we came to a series of interconnected structures with smoke rising out of chimneys. Where there is smoke, there is fire…and I’ve been cold for several weeks. We headed to the structures in hopes of getting a hot meal and warming ourselves by the fire.
Inside we encountered hundreds of the northmen barbarians and met with their leader, a huge barbarian claiming to be Urstag, demigod of the North and patron of the northern barbarians. After speaking with Urstag, we were welcomed into his hall and allowed to sit and drink by the roaring fire. During our brief stay, we also met Sonja, wife of Urstag. After some discussions with her, we realized that the necklace that we had found in the troll lair near Tilsor might be referring to Sonja. We gave her the necklace in the spirit of good will and appreciation for allowing us to warm our bones at her lordship’s hearth. Sonja told us that the necklace was made for her by her father (though she didn’t mention who that was).
After getting a belly-full of ale and warm foods, we headed back into the cold anxious to complete this long quest.
Uktar 11th Thinking that we were easy prey, a group of five frost giants attacked us. The combat was ferocious with everyone squaring off against the powerful giants and Quillothra using magic to summon walls of ice and jagged shards from the ground. At one point, I was combatting three giants by myself. Needless to say, several of the party nearly went on to what lies beyond, especially Darikar, who took several blows that no human could reasonably survive. Thinking the worst, I went to check him for any signs of life even though I had little hope…and found the slightest bit of fight still in him though it was diminishing. Praying to Thadar for guidance, I begin to work spells that would both cure his wounds and guide his spirit. It was a relief when that ugly face opened its eyes and recovered enough to look back at me.
Uktar 20th Erith and Ken have went hunting using some magic that allows them to walk in the air. While they were gone, we continued to the North over some rickety looking ice formations. Moments after I had commented on how faulty this looked, a small tremor causes a collapse and we found ourselves in some kind of ice caverns fifty feet below the surface. Exploring about a bit, we found a tunnel leading down from our present predicament. Since we didn’t have anyway to scale the walls of the chasm, we went down. I was being lowered down when we heard hissing and a kind of clicking echoing off of the walls. Next thing I knew, I was being attacked by several draconic ice lizards with 4” claws and long, nasty teeth. After a protracted battle, in which the creatures mauled my armor with their rending attacks, we managed to secure the room and settled in for a rest…and to catch our breath. Evidently, the lizards didn’t understand and we had to beat off several more waves. During one of these battles, Larrion suffered a vicious wound in which most of his mouth was obliterated. He won’t be asking any ladies out until he gets that fixed (‘cause he can’t talk and he’s not pretty…)! About the time that we thought another wave of the creatures would spell our doom, Ken and Erith found us and got us to the surface.
After resting the night and regaining the blessings of our respective deities, we went back to the caverns to exterminate these creatures that had nearly ended our quest. However, we found that the tunnels were empty and the lizards had evidently fled.
Everyone’s armor took a tremendous beating between the giants and the ice lizards. Using Thadar’s orizon of mending and the judicious use of the supplies in my armorer kit, I was able to field repair our armor so that it still did its job. However, my precious Thadan plate mail was so badly damaged by the ice lizards that its enchantment was lost. It’s still the best armor, cause it was made by Thadan, of course, but the loss of enchantment is vexing. If I had a forge, I might have been able to prevent this with proper care, but in this winter wasteland a forge is probable a thousand miles away. Curse those ice lizards and giants to a smouldering, volcanic hell!
Uktar 23rd Trudging through the snow. I’ve seen enough snow for forty lifetimes, but I’ll be damned before I quit. Quillothra will make it to her home, by Thadar’s beard. Her powers are growing the further North we go and now she’s made it where we walk on top of the snow…most of the time.
Uktar 27th Late in the day, Quillothra just stopped and said, “This is far enough.” Sounds good to me though it don’t look any different from the wintery wastelands that we’ve been tromping through for the last month. At camp, she explained that a great white dragon lives nearby and that we must defeat it if she is to live safely here. Actually, she wants to defeat the dragon in honorable combat so that it must serve her for several years as she gets “acclimated” to her new surroundings. We agreed to help her…the chance to endure a dragons attacks is worthy of a priest of Thadar and the D’Khaz twins (Ken and Darikar) just want to make war on anything. Quillothra told us she would favor us greatly if we could succeed at this last request. Did she say last request?
Uktar 30th We’re travelling near an icy mountain where Quillothra is sure that the wyrm lairs. Due to Larrion’s sharp eyesight, we saw the dragon gliding down to attack us. In preparation, Larrion and Darikar used some magical potions to make them faster in the upcoming combat, while I drew on Thadar’s blessing to enhance my health and strength. The dragon breathed upon us with its powerful breath and then we came to blows. I felt the dragon’s claws and powerful jaws as it attempted to bite me in twain, but was able to drive it back with pure Thadan axework. Meanwhile, Larrion and Darikar attacked its flanks and soon the beast was brought to heel. After using a few curatives to insure our survival and the beast, Quillothra spoke to the great white wyrm in some hissing, draconic tongue and some agreement was reached. Larrion, Darikar and Keniron were so spun up about the battle that they trained with weapons for the remainder of the day. I worked on my armor, attempting to patch up the damage done by those gods-forsaken ice lizards.
Feast of the Moon After awaking and eating some of Thadar’s bounty, Quillothra told us that we had helped her immensely and that she felt well enough to make it in the North without our help, now that she had the dragon as a pet. She bent over and kissed me on the mouth (how improper), and as she did breathed into my lungs a freezing cold wind. I thought for a moment that my whole body would just freeze solid right then and there, but soon a feeling of warmth spread from my chest to my entire body. Turns out that I can’t feel cold anymore…normal or magical it seems…complete immunity. She did the same to the rest of my companions. After bestowing upon us this favor, she looked a bit tired, but still had enough power to summon gigantic birds made completely of ice for our journey back to civilization. As we ascended into the air on the backs of the ice falcons, we saw Quillothra mount the white dragon and fly off as well.
We drove some pitons into these ice creatures for support before we flew off, which was a damn good idea. I’ve been hanging onto mine for dear life since going into the air. I’ve been too many places that Thadan should leave to others: the air and the ocean. Our place is on the ground or under it…but Thadar teaches we should endure. As such, I’ll endure this experience, grow stronger from it, and just hope I never have to repeat it.
Nightal 2nd Great…we found out that these birds don’t land or let us have any breaks. This is a straight flight back to civilization, but we have to marinate in our own filth during the whole time. Well..things could be worse. At least I have food since Thadar is granting me the ability to make it…the others are having to eat rations that have been frozen for a month!
Nightal 5/6th The birds made of pure ice that have flown us from the winter wasteland of the North finally set us down a little ways from Unvar. We immediately stripped down and jumped into the nearby frozen waters trying to wash away the accumulated filth from the past six days of flight.
Nightal 6th Went to a little tavern in Unvar in the morning. Met a traveler heading North by the name of Mack armed with a beautiful scimitar. Just a little later, Mack was called out by a gang of assassins from Xorgar. He charged out the door and we followed to see the fight. We were held and generally dealt with by the bounty hunters and their wizardress companion, before Azrael Windspear (F/P of Csaea) and his companion Javin (a priest of Iccitha) chased them off. A man by the name of Tronnick came to investigate the noise and found his brother was killed by the assassins in the melee.
Mack then told us he was an ex-assassin of Xorgar and that they were sent to put an end to him. Tronnick thirsted for revenge and Mack (who seems to have a death wish) insisted we go deal with the assassins or else they might come back for anyone who interfered. After following a blood trail outside of Unvar, we came upon the assassin’s camp and killed them all except for the sorceress. Mack died in the fight, but fought bravely till the last.
Nightal 7th Went back to Unvar and healed our wounds. The woman mage came back and asked for some of the items of her companions and Mack or she said she would return to Xorgar and send them after us next. Deciding that we had already had enough of Xorgar and its assassins, we relinquished several of the items in question.
Azrael and men were gathering plants in the mountains and then heading to Mortgar. Tronnick decided to come with us, since he was raised in those mountains but had no living relatives there. After a little coaxing, he told us he was raised by hill giants until one day the Red Thadan descended on his tribe and wiped them all out in a matter of seconds. We decided we would accompany Azrael on his journeys and then check to see if a boat was available in Mortgar.
Nightal 13th Arrived in Vandin after trekking about the lower mountains for a while. Shortly out of town we encountered several giants, which our party made destroyed in short order. No one was slain, including the men-at-arms, from our side. Later that day, several ominous dragon-like creatures flew over us. Azrael seemed to think they were bronze dragons.
Nightal 14th Arrived at Mortgar in the afternoon and went to the Red Thadan inn. After asking the patrons concerning a sea-worthy vessel, we were put in contact with a big man with a holy symbol of Or’Dukal displayed prominently on his chest. He introduced himself as Captain Zaimer Tiderius of the ship Maelstrom. He’s looking for some adventurous types to help in clearing a sunken building and is willing to give us free transport to Orides and shares of the booty, if we aid him.
Nightal 15th Talked more with Zaimer aboard the Maelstrom. Seems that the building he wants to visit is a sunken temple of Quivos that he’ll turn into a shrine to Or’dukall. He also spoke about trying to find and purchase the Crimson Velvet, which was evidently the pirate Logran’s flagship. We left that day to find the temple.
Nightal 19th We located the temple and are making our first forays into the depths. We encountered many sea-trolls and huge octopi, but found much treasure. Decided to rest and go at it again tomorrow.
Nightal 20th Went back to the underwater temple. I strongly dislike all of this traipsing about underwater, but luckily Thadar granted me the spells necessary to go into such a terrible environment. Inside the temple we fought water elementals within a tower until we eventually defeated them. Zaimer touched a crystal ball sitting on a pedestal in the room and electricity shot through all of us. Zaimer bid us to leave and get back to the surface so he could attempt something. After we got to the surface, we noticed dark clouds rolling in and soon a huge peal of thunder announced a column of lightning striking through the ocean. As this immense bolt of lightning continued the whole underwater temple began to lift out of the ocean, such that the tower was sticking up out of the ocean. After a minor earthquake and a final display of lightning’s power, the tempestuous clouds broke up. Zaimer returned very happy and told us the temple’s name was the Ocean Spire and he’ll be the headmaster.
We hopped into our small lifeboat and began rowing back to the Maelstrom, but when we arrived the ship was gone. All of our booty from the previous day had evidently enticed the crew to mutiny and they took off with the ship. We swore that they would be found and punished appropriately for their leaving us in the middle of the ocean. Zaimer told us the closest port was Folix and we began heading that way. Thanks again to Thadar as he nourished our bodies throughout the ordeal on the waves.
Nightal 22nd Rowed for days and finally reached the coast.
Nightal 23rd Travelling south through the snow. Tronnick looks a bit cold, but the rest of us are quite comfortable.
Nightal 28th That evening we found a river, which Zaimer says its only a little way till Folix (probably a day away).
Nightal 29th Arrived in Folix. The locals are excellent horsemen that worship mostly D’Khaz (OOC: Kind of a cross between the Native Americans and Mongols). Folix has stone walls and gates, however, it’s a town of several thousand.
We headed to the inn (Sally’s) and got some rooms. The armorer allowed us to use his forge to make some repairs on our equipment. The townspeople are a little snooty and smart mouthed for my taste. Yz Drav is the priest of Quivos who has built a temple in the town, much to the displeasure of the locals. Dundrow Redhawk, leader of the town, told us of a destroyed temple to Quivos a little to the north of Folix.
Walked through the streets to the newly constructed temple of Quivos, since Zaimer wanted to speak with Yz. Tried to get an appointment and was rebuffed by his Yz’s underling who had the audacity to call me a “Dwarf”. They slammed the door in my face before I could grab him and beat some sense into him.
We’re looking for a ship to come into Folix so we can get out of this godforsaken hole, but our luck is sour. Zaimer has taken off in a small boat to try to find the deserters aboard the Maelstrom.
Hammer 1st We celebrated the new year by holding a mini-tournament of arms to please Thadar and D’Khaz. Larrion seems to be buying into the D’Khaz faith. I’m happy that he’s found something other than the bottle to console his troubled soul.
Hammer 2nd Met the insulting acolyte and had a duel in the streets. I was blasted by a powerful lightning/cold blast (Quivos’s fury?) and eventually fell unconscious after trading blows with the little man. Darikar and Ken found me and brought me back to fighting conditions. Soon afterwards, Yz Drav and his cronies showed up and we had ourselves a little standoff. Seeing that we were outnumbered and that a huge storm had seemed to just whip itself up at Yz’s call, I had to swallow my thirst for vengeance and diffuse the situation, even enduring the insulting comments of the acolyte (“Bitch Dwarf” indeed). Yz actually spoke with us afterwards concerning the sacred animals outside of Folix (Blackhorns), the Undead to the north and the Ocean Spire. He’s getting a ship next spring, for what purpose I couldn’t tell, though with Quivos its probably not anything good.
The acolyte will die by my hand, but we Thadan have patience. Several years from now, he’ll be my bitch, if Thadar grants me the pleasure.
Hammer 4th After practicing my human letters so long, I’ve finally learned the intricacies of the tongue.
Ken and I have been running as practice. On one of our daily runs, we encountered some giants that were fleeing from some enraged Blackhorns. We dealt with most of the giants, but one fled as a huge Blackhorn came running past. The Blackhorn impaled the giant and then proceeded to electrocute him. Quivos and her cows can go to hell.
Hammer 18th Still waiting for a ship to come into Folix. We’re growing restless and want to be back to the lands we know. We’ve taken to patrolling outside of Folix, just hoping for some action. Much to our chagrin, we encountered a huge snow burrowing wyrm who had superhot fins. Eventually, we made the wyrm flee our might and after a day of tracking it, we lost the trail. We headed back to Folix the next day.
Hammer 19th Got back to Folix, but still no ship. We decided to make the journey by land and took off that day to the south.
Hammer 20th Sent a message to Ironforge, but got no message in return. What’s going on there? Has the war started between Athelgard and Stronghal?
Alturiak 1st We have made progress and are starting to come around the southern tip of the North Sea. We entered a wooded area late in the afternoon and encountered a large group of trolls outside of their den. We decided to clear the den (a small cave) and looted the treasure within the cave. After gathering it up, we emerged and were immediately attacked by a group of goblinoids (bugbears) who used hit-and-run tactics to get us into the forest. Tronnick was separated from the party and presumed dead. We stopped following the bugbears who were just leading us to firing positions, and ran back to the presumed safety of the cave. We arrived just in time, as a large green dragon swooped down and breathed its poisonous breath weapon upon us. Running for the back of the cave and choking on the nasty vapors, we survived though not by much.
Evidently the dragon is leading the group of goblinoids, because shortly afterwards the bugbears began trying to assault our position with missle weapons. After a staunch defense they left us alone, only for us to find out that they had built a fire and were trying to smoke us out of the cave.
After a bit of prayer and preparation, we charged out of the cave ready to go to our respective gods in glorious battle. Ken sacrificed himself as he played the target for the initial onslaught of the dragon’s fury. We emerged shortly after the breath weapon and slew the dragon and drove off its werebat allies, though Darikar and Larrion took grievous wounds from the lycanthropes. Some centaurs who aided us during the battle, led us to a deep cavern (the dragon’s lair) after we had finished burying Ken.
Alturiak 4th Looting the dragon’s lair. We have found much treasure and items, though getting it to the surface may be a problem.
Alturiak 5th That night we were attacked by more of the bat creatures. They took our rope that we had used to descend into the cavern, and thus we are trapped until Thadar grants me the spells to begin blasting our way to the surface.
Alturiak 10th Working our way to the surface, very slowly. Larrion turned into a bat creature that evening and flew away before I could stop him.
Alturiak 15th Darikar turned into a bat creature that evening, but I incapacitated him before he could flee. After the night was over, he returned to his normal form. I told him he actually looked better as a bat, but he didn’t find it that amusing.
Alturiak 19th We finally broke through to the surface. I’ve been using rockburst and stoneshape spells for the last several days to get us out of the cavern. Praise to Thadar for granting me such tools to use in his service.
Alturiak 20th As we headed towards Stronghal lands (assuming the worst about Larrion), we encountered a female druid who I talked into guiding us to the nearest town of size. Come to find out that the nearest town if in the River Kingdoms to the southeast. Mentioning the fate of my Larrion, she communicated (?) with the animals and managed to locate him wandering in the woods. After a day or so, we met up with the dazed Larrion and I kept them tied up at night so they wouldn’t try to escape again.
Alturiak 25th We entered the River Kingdoms, where all cities are built on the rivers. Theirs a law that says no roads can be built, so all trade occurs on the large and plentiful rivers. We exited the forest and began walking through farmlands towards the city of Yuldei.
Alturiak 28th Arrived in Yuldei (OOC: Very much like Venice). The whole city is built basically in the middle of a lake with river flowing in and out. All travel between areas is done by ferry, so we hired a ferry guide to take us throughout the city. The city is large (~50k population) and congested with boats of all sizes.
First, we headed to the temple of D’Khaz to see if they could heal the lycanthropy afflicting Darikar and Larrion, but had no luck. They directed us to the temple of Csaea, where we procured a cure from Wilsha, high priestess, for a reasonable price.
Afterwards, we headed to a nice inn and got a bath, smoke, and several bottles of whiskey.
Alturiak 29th We spent the day shopping, selling jewels from the dragon’s lair, and identifying the mysterious items that we had gathered in our travels. The bejeweled amulet that we got out of the Ocean Spire has sea elf writing on it that says “Enlividellas”, which was a sea elf prince who was questing to save his people. The amulet has divination spells making it extremely easy to locate.
Speaking with various people allowed us to find out about the gladiator pits of Xol and how the Red Swath is the current champion. The pits are called the Fane of Blood. The doubles champions are two women slaves (one is an elf) who’ve worked their way to the top in the games. Why would anyone fight in such an environment? It seems that some humans relish killing as much as Thadan relish gold.
Chess 2nd We got our items back from the wizards and armorer’s guild in Yuldei. Speaking with the court mage, we hired him to transport us to Van Dorn for 4000 gp.
Chess 4th Teleported to Van Dorn. Went to Darikar’s family home and found out that the army had shipped out a couple of weeks ago to attack Stronghal.
Chess 5th Bought some warhorses and traveled to Fort Thair. Stayed the night and went on to an army camp. There we found Darikar’s grandfather commanding the camp and were told of the latest news. I found out that Ironforge had been betrayed to Stronghal forces by the Lt. Norvis Thunderbird. Thinking that all of my kinsmen were dead, I stumbled out of the tent, questioning myself and how Thadar could allow such actions. Sleep would not come so I drunk myself into a stupor so I could no longer think on the matter. During the night, I received a vision from Thadar of two earth elementals strolling up to me standing outside of Ironforge. They told me my kin were coming to me and to wait for them. Praises to Thadar for answering his servants questions and reassuring my faith in him.
Chess 10th Late in the evening, two Thadan came into the camp: Onis Rocklam and Zadreas Crackbeard. They told us of the treacherous Norvis who attacked the sleeping Thadan in their barracks and opened the outer gates to the Stronghal forces at the same time. A few warriors survived the massacre and raised the alarm, such that about 40 adolescents and 20 women managed to get to safety in the mines. Hiding and fighting from the mines, they Thadan managed to escape the pursuing Stronghal forces and made their way to Van Dorn where they are staying at the Rotten Apple Inn. I asked whether my sister, Gilta, survived the battle but Onis just shook his head. That night we approached Darikar’s grandfather with a plan to sack Ironforge and he told us he would ask for volunteers to accompany us. We left with 50 volunteers the next morning.
Chess 13th We took 50 brave volunteers to attack Ironforge, but we had to cross the river. Coming upon a town overlooking a bridge over the river, we attempted to parley such that we could cross peacefully and not threaten their village. They gave us their word that they wouldn’t attack and treacherously fired at our column as we were marching to the bridge. After crossing the bridge and losing more men to their arrows, they thought they would sally out of their gates and destroy us upon the historic corpse fields. Much to their chagrin, they found the fighting worth of angry Thadan and resolute warriors of D’Khaz are worth more than ten men-at-arms as we devastated their forces, who fled like whipped dogs back to their village. Enraged at another bit of human treachery, Zadreas recommended we sack the town and our remaining men-at-arms agreed that revenge should be made against the lying village. Chopping down a few trees to use as battering rams, we shattered the gates and quickly dispatched the remaining guards. Marching to the town square, we were charged by the town commander and the townsfolk, who broke like waves upon our invincible island of deadly steel. Eventually, the commander was killed and the townspeople decided to flee instead of throwing their lives away in a futile attempt to drag down warriors of our stature and toughness.
The remaining men-at-arms numbered nine from 50 and desired to go into the town and loot. We gave the leave to do so with orders to return at an appointed time. Darikar wandered into town when the men didn’t show, only to find them drunken and disorderly, raping and murdering peasants while looting. He slew the rapist in his disgust for their very unreligious efforts, since they all purported that they followed D’Khaz teachings. The men came to me that night seeking protection from Darikar’s flail, and disgusted at the actions of the group, I sent them back to the army camp with their loot.
Chess 14th Waking into the morning, we decided to brave Ironforge without the men-at-arms. Shortly after entering the foothills, we encountered a brownish, dragon-like thing with multiple legs that spat acid on Onis and Zadreas. Onis’s family armor was destroyed, while Zadreas suddenly turned to stone before our eyes! The stunned group quickly recovered and slew the monstrous creature, but the damage was already done. With heavy hearts, we turned from vengeance to return to the army camp, disappointed and missing another dear friend.
Chess 16th We were attacked by some Stronghal horsemen scouting the area, but in the end they donated their horses to the Ravikka army. After reaching camp, Onis and I spoke about relocating our kinsmen to the Karthuin hills. Maybe, Shaldar will grant me a small boon for the little services with which I have aided his kingdom. Going to Darikar’s grandfather, we learned that Shaldar had been kidnapped by a group of evil priests and mages, right out of his command tent at the front. Even though the shock of the news was great, Darikar’s grandfather produced a letter asking that those in charge of Van Dorn offer my clansmen all the aid that they could spare.
Chess 18th We left for Van Dorn, by way of Fort Thair.
Chess 21st Arrived in Van Dorn in the evening. We went directly to the Rotten Apple Inn and commiserated with our remaining clan, though the news of Zadreas was a blow to them all. The Rotten Apple is owned and operated by good Thadan people and I’m glad my people have had a reasonable place to stay in these dark times.
While in Van Dorn, we heard that the evil priests had attacked the barracks and advising council had been assassinated. Descriptions of these evil-doers are posted everywhere and a 1000 gp reward exists for information leading to their capture or death. 10,000 if the whole group is brought in or slain.
Chess 22nd We went to meet Killian, a priest of D’Khaz, who is serving as the acting regent until an official regent is chosen by the council of lords. Basically, he doesn’t have the official authority to grant land or make deals of this magnitude. Since a regent is to be chosen very soon, we decided to go prospecting in the Karthuin hills looking for a good mining camp. Rumor is that the lord of East Haven, Dralmath, is likely to be chosen as regent since he’s second in line to the throne.
Headed to Orides on our horses and stayed the night. While there, Jazz filled us in on all the local goings on. We found out that the lord of East Haven had been assassinated by the same group of evil priests/mages and now it was likely Sinvall would be regent. Disturbing news since its rumored that he’s a priest of Xu’Dann. Might be some truth to that rumor, since we found that the captain of the guard was none other than Thadreus (Bellville Bandit) who wanted nothing more than to kill Sinvall when last we spoke. Jazz spoke like a civil war may break out between Shaldar’s son and Sinvall’s side. Onis dislikes the whole business of being anywhere close to human contact and wants to go to the North and into the great, giant-infested mountains.
Chess 23rd Went by Brell Cove and visited with the folk there that I know from the Orc invasion. Afterwards, I went to Geiger’s home and asked if he could help me retrieve Zadrus. It cost me close to 2000 gold coins after bargaining with the wizard, but having Zadrus alive is worth a lot more than that to me.
Chess 24th Went back to Geiger’s house in the morning and Zadrus was awaiting me on the front porch.
We returned to Van Dorn.
Chess 25th After writing a letter asking for regent Sinvall’s aid in going to the North, I gave up waiting for a response and headed to Orides to try and find a ship capable of taking my clan north. While there, I began to have second thoughts about taking the young into such a harsh environment, particularly when some of them have not been sufficiently trained in their crafts. Onis and I will discuss this and see if we can’t hammer out a plan for our people to follow.