The Night Below Osteth

Tragedy On The Moors/Infiltrating Broken Spire Keep

After defeating the bandits in the Garlstone Mine and discovering the door therein, the group decided to pay Tauster a visit in Thurmaster to see if he could provide them with some sort of insight about the key they would need to open the door to the caverns below. Upon reaching Kuiper’s Farm, the party realized it had recently been the site of at least one battle involving orcs, Kuiper and some sort of large animal. Koreth discovered and followed tracks into the forest, eventually leading the group to a clearing where a large bear was battling a group of orcs. At the battle’s conclusion, Kuiper caught up to the company, informing them that the bear was in fact a local teen named Maxim who happened to be a wearbear. Kuiper took the boy to help him begin to learn his abilities and limitations, and the party continued on to Thurmaster.

At Tauster’s tower, the wizard shared the news that he had found a possible place to take the broken ring of Water Elemental Control, but didn’t have the ability to copy the key or summon its mate. On a long shot, Tauster attempted to use the key to scry and learn the location of either the second key or its owner, and managed to find the owner, the cleric who led the attack against the party on the river barge. Armed with a detailed description of the place the cleric was at, the group next traveled to see Count Parlfray, who was able to give them directions to the place in Tauster’s vision, a local landmark known as the God’s Hand. Upon reaching the Hand, the group discovered the cleric was gone and had, distressingly, left behind the remains of the guard escorting the envoy from Tol Kien to Haranshire. One of the soldiers still clung to life, if only barely, and was able to point in the direction the cleric had taken the survivors, the general direction of the Thornwood.

The party decided to regroup and resupply in Milborne before attempting to find the Keep in the Thornwood. While there, they reconnected with Tauster’s apprentice Marita, who was there to visit her family and fiancee, before meeting with Garyld, the old ranger who doubled as the town’s sheriff. Garyld offered to set up a meeting with the druid Oleanne, who could possibly guide the company to Broken Spire Keep. The meeting was set for two days’ time, and the party proceeded to prepare for their expedition. The morning the journey was to start, the group received terrible news; Marita was missing, and her supplies were still in her room at the inn.

A decision had to be made, and the party moved to track down the kidnappers using what they hoped would be a shortcut, bypassing the meeting with Oleanne entirely. Using Quinray’s knowledge of geography and Koreth’s wildnerness lore, they were able to find a hidden path leading to a waypoint where the kidnappers had stopped to rest. After a short but pitched battle, the company defeated the bandits and rescued Marita.

At this point, the party could have taken the opportunity to take Marita back to Milborne, but wanted to capitalize on the chance to take the slavers by surprise. To everyone’s surprise, the young wizardess told them she wanted to join the group rather than go back if it meant the difference between taking the bandits by surprise and having to take the keep from prepared defenders. Thus, the party decided to take the kidnappers’ equipment and cloaks (which smelled of fish), and pose as the villains to gain entry to the keep.

With the aid of a scrap of paper with partial directions found on one of the kidnappers, the party was able to find their way to the keep, avoiding an array of traps en route. The company was able to talk their way inside the gate, finding themselves face to face with what appeared to be the bandit leader, an attractive brunette human woman armed with a longsword and a swordbreaker dagger, who spoke briefly with the half-orc gate guard. Gnarl attempted to convince her that the party had attempted to stop the kidnappers from capturing Marita and had fallen in battle, with the survivors brought back as captives. Unfortunately for the group, the captain decided she had no need of a female dwarf captive and ordered Ember’s execution. In an attempt to save her life, Gnarl tried to persuade the captain to let him keep Ember as his prize, at which point the captain pointed at Koreth, ordering him to kill the dwarf. When the ranger balked, the captain’s suspicions were confirmed and she ordered the rest of her guards to attack the party.

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Bandits of the Mine

As the group faced off with the group of bandits guarding the mine shaft, they were unaware they harbored a traitor. The gnome Tinsley was secretly one of the bandits, and it didn’t take long for him to seize the opportunity to turn on the party. Under the cover of an obscuring mist created by Barrah, Tinsley stabbed Quinray in the back before retreating into the shadows. In the meantime, the rest of the group battled the guards and their second gnome ally. The tide of the battle quickly turned in the party’s favor, with one of the gnomes and the leader of the guards managing to escape down the mine shaft.

After a short rest to heal and catch their breath, the party followed their enemies. While exploring below, they discovered the diseased body of a wizard floating in a pool, as well as a cavern containing a singing shrieker which attempted to mesmerize the party so that its violet fungus companion could rot their bodies, giving the two fertilizer off which to feed. Luckily, Gnarl was able to counter the shrieker’s ability, allowing the group to make their escape.

However, the escape proved to be short-lived, for upon exiting the fungus cavern, the group was confronted by the remaining guards from above, as well as their allies, a pair of evil priests and their zombie minions. In the pitched battle that ensued, the group looked to be on the verge of defeat a number of times, ultimately defeating the villains by the slimmest of margins. After resting and recovering, the group discovered the bandits’ treasure, including a spectacular magical house, as well as a passageway deeper underground, blocked by a huge set of bronze double doors, requiring a set of two keys to open. The party recovered one key from the bandits’ treasure, but without the second key, they were unable to open the doors. The group must now decide what their next move will be.

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Into the Darkness

The group returned to Kuiper’s Farm to meet up with the experienced ranger, who explained that he had been able to find the ogre’s path through the Hardlow Woods to the Great Rock Dale, where it continued on to the west. He agreed to accompany the group through the woods, where they were attacked by a group of dire wolf-riding goblins. The monsters were quickly defeated, and Kuiper left the group with directions to follow in order to continue backtracking the ogre’s trail so that he could try to find where the goblins came from.

As the party neared the western edge of the Hardlow Woods, they noticed an unusual glow at the edge of their vision. Investigating, they found a path which opened into a glade which was somehow lit in spite of the fact that the top of the grove was enclosed by the branches of the surrounding trees. In the center of the glade was a depression which turned out to consist of murky ground. Unfortunately, it turned out there was a reason some members of the group found the glade unsettling, as it was the Gleaming Glade of local legend, the site of a battle between an evil cult and forces led by a member of the Parlfray family, and inhabited by a number of undead, most notably a white wraith. After a pitched battle, the party defeated the wraith and its allies, and while sanctifying the site to ensure the dead would not rise again, the group discovered long-buried treasure, almost certainly the spoils of the battle with the cult.

After clearing the glade and resting, the party resumed following the ogre’s trail, following it into the Great Rock Dale, which proved to be essentially just a large, deep canyon. Despite reports of the dale being the primary source of evil creatures threatening the area, the group crossed the dale without incident, eventually losing the creature’s trail on the other side, in the area of the mines north of Milborne. Using the rumors heard from the locals, the party decided to explore the old Garlstone Mine first, due to it having been abandoned for many years. Descending into the darkness, the group discovered little but dead ends at first, before coming across a lone gnome hiding in the shadows. Introducing himself as Tinsley, he explained he was an adventurer, the lone survivor of an attack by a group of kidnappers, who he believed had their headquarters deeper in the caverns. He agreed to accompany the party deeper into the mine, explaining what he had heard of the mine’s history and pointing out some of the dangers therein. Eventually, the party found an old mineshaft out of which a group of armed figures looked to just be climbing.

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From Blue Goblins to Dark Magic

After meeting with Carman, the party set out to investigate the strange phenomenon of the New Mire. Nearly two weeks’ search led the group to a farm on the edge of the Patchwork Hills, where they met a young boy who told them a tale of frightening blue-skinned demons, which were deduced to be some unusual type of goblin. The party set out into the hills, following the boy’s description of where he encountered the creatures, eventually locating their lair. The goblins turned out to be stupefyingly cowardly and poor (as well as blue), and the party soon discovered they were in possession of a magical ring that might be the source of the waterlogging of the area. The goblin shaman was reluctant to give up the ring, as he claimed it was a gift from his god, Maglubiyet, forcing the party to give up a set of bracers of armor in exchange.

The group returned to Carman with their findings, collected their reward and proceeded to take the ring to the nearby town of Thurmaster in hopes that the local wizard, Tauster, could decode some of the item’s mysteries. Upon reaching Thurmaster, the wizard was easy enough to find, as his tower is easily visible from well beyond the town’s walls. Tauster turned out to be a cranky but (eventually) helpful old mage. While the rest of the group talked with the wizard, Thaelen ventured outside to chop some wood, where he was caught off-guard by a flare spell cast by Tauster’s apprentice, a young human woman named Marita. The party learned that Tauster had come from the mainland many years prior after a disagreement with his Guildmaster, but that he still had some contacts who he could contact to learn more about the ring. Marita turned out to be the fiancee of Andren, one of the young men who runs the Baron of Mutton back in Milborne. Tauster advised the party to head to the northeast to talk to Count Parlfray, who would be more open to aiding them in their mission to explore Vo Mandig’s new domain, as well as to meeting with the Duchess’s representatives.

After spending the night in Tauster’s tower (the lack of comfort still being far better than the fleas, grime and slop available at the local tavern), the party set out for Parlfray’s keep, which was under siege by a large creature resembling an ogre. The combined efforts of the party and the keep’s guard were only just enough to bring the monster down before it managed to break down the gates. The captain of the guard turned out to be Parlfray’s young son, Lyntern. The count met with the group to thank them for their efforts against the monster and to pledge his loyalty to the the Duchy. The party decided to investigate the origin of the ogre, which had been surgically and/or magically altered, tracking it back to the west, to the edge of the Hardlow Woods. Before plunging into the unfamiliar forest, the party decided to head to the southern edge of the wood to speak with the ranger Kuiper, who has the responsibility of watching the Hardlow Woods and a large portion of the lands north of the Churnett River. Kuiper volunteered to track the creature’s trail into the forest to allow the group to venture back to Milborne to gather information and supplies.

On the trip back from Milborne, the party was forced to camp down just a few miles from Kuiper’s farm due to heavy rain. Just before dawn broke, a group of bandits attacked from the forest, getting the drop on the mostly sleeping group. Six men armed with a variety of melee and ranged weapons, as well as scrolls and alchemical items, plus a flying priest with dark hair and a swarthy complexion, they gave the party everything they could handle, but in the end, the group managed to kill all but one bandit, who fled into the wood to the north and the priest, who flew off to the south.

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Catching the Kidnappers and Making a Deal

On the heels of the attack on the caravan master, the group sprang into action to rescue Quinray and the young woman from the village. Ember talked to one of the young men acting as a member of the city guard to get an idea of the lay of the land, then was able to secure a horse from Andren, one of the men who runs the Baron of Mutton. Gnarl was also able to come across a horse to ride, though his was gained through far more questionable means, as a trader had left his horse saddled in the stable while he went inside to look into lodging. Kell and Koreth pursued the kidnappers on foot, using Koreth’s tracking expertise. Barrah, realizing she alone in the group could overtake the villains, took to the water, using her natural ability to swim to quickly make up ground. Meanwhile, Thaelen was left with the task of working with the local guard to determine exactly what had happened.

While the others worked on pursuing their quarry, Quinray was jostled back into consciousness. Initially hesitant to give away his awakening, he was unable to squirm free of his bonds, but was able to drop a map case behind him as a clue to follow. Eventually, the sorcerer decided he had to take a chance and began actively working to escape the man carrying him over his shoulder. Quinray managed to slide down the man’s back, throwing him off balance. However, he soon discovered that he was outnumbered six to one. Just as the bandits closed in on him, he heard a shout from the darkness. An arrow whistled into one of the thugs, followed closely by the untrained riders on their borrowed horses and Kell brandishing his twin swords. Then from the water burst Barrah, cutting off the kidnappers from their boat. Quinray endeavored to cast spells with his hands bound together, managing to wound the man trying to flee with the young woman over his shoulder. After a few tense moments, the group was able to slay the entire group of ruffians, saving both Quinray and the girl. After checking to be sure the woman was uninjured (though still unconscious), the party decided to return to Milborne rather than attempt to rouse her while still in the wilderness. After receiving assurances that the woman was truly all right and would be willing to talk with them the following day, the group retired for the night, attempting to rest up for their morning meeting with the town’s mayor, Darius Carman.

In the morning, Quinray, Koreth, and Barrah made their way to the Carman Mansion, where they were made to wait for what seemed an extremely long time. Upon being admitted, they informed Carman of Milborne’s new status as a part of Vo Mandig. The mayor did little to hide his disdain for the news, but ultimately agreed to engage in talks with the duchy’s official representatives if the group agreed to look into a local problem for him. Much of the farmland to the south of Milborne had been slowly turning to marshland with no explanation, potentially hurting Carman’s finances. As a show of good faith (as as payment for services rendered), Carman promised to pay the group 50 gp each, with an additional reward of 1000 gp for the group if they manage to solve the mystery.

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Session 2: A Meeting, an Ambush and a Kidnapping

The caravan embarked on its journey south and west down the mountains. Near the last pass out of the mountains, the travelers came upon a lone figure lost in some sort of trance. The trance prevented the elf from noticing the approach of the caravan, and as some of the outriders questioned his motives, an orcish battle cry rang out. Rising up from cleverly hidden battlements carved into the walls of the pass, javelins rained down on the wagons and their protectors while a few larger orcs (those known as Hrekkah in the tongue of the Isle Elves) charged the caravan to engage the strongest-looking guards. Quinray was cut off from the rest of the group and helped to defend the caravan against an attack from the rear. Meanwhile, Koreth and Gnarl provided support while Barrah, Kell, Ember and the elf closed to melee with the Hrekkah. The elf was caught off-guard by the strength and tenacity of these orcs and quickly cut down. Fortunately, the attackers had underestimated the strength of the caravan’s guards and were driven off in relatively short order, allowing some timely first aid and magical healing to save the elf’s life. He introduced himself as Thaelen, a practitioner of the arts of the magus and offered to travel with the caravan for a while as thanks for his rescue. After a total of roughly one month of travel marked by stops in towns and villages near the previous border of Vo Mandig, the company reached its first unmapped settlement, the village of Milborne. The caravan master and Quinray left the others to find the town’s leaders and set up a meeting to deliver the news of the village’s new standing. The rest of the group enjoyed a (mostly) relaxing evening, topped off by a nice dinner in the town’s nicer inn, the Baron of Mutton. As the dinner came to a close, the peaceful evening was disturbed by shouts from the caravan master that seemed to have been cut off in reverse. The party stormed out the doors of the inn to see the caravan master under attack from a pair of thugs. Koreth and Barrah noticed a second, larger group of thugs fleeing into the night with two individuals slung over the shoulders of a pair of their number. The party looked to make short work of the pair of thugs, but were slowed by an attack from the shadows at the hands of a sniper. The would-be assassin was found and neutralized, but not before she and her fellows had managed to slow pursuit significantly. Ember helped the injured caravan master back to the safety of the inn, while Barrah cast a spell to allow herself to move more rapidly in a chase after the kidnappers. As the rest of the group decided what course of action to take, the caravan master groaned to Ember, “You’ve got to stop them. They’ve taken Quinray, and a local girl. I don’t know what they mean to do with them, but you can’t let it happen.”

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Session 1: Introduction to the characters

Briefly, all characters were introduced along with some back story and how we came to be joining the caravan. Most joined without incident. Joe, Rob, and Mike’s characters joined to travel south and remind some of the distant keeps and duchies of their obligations to pay taxes. Jon’s dwarven fighter decided she had done enough smithing and wanted to get out and see the world. Baarah, having arrived from the southern archipelagos, ended up snowed into the northern provinces for a very uncomfortably cold winter (understanding, at last, why these dry-landers insisted on always wearing so much clothing,) and was joining the caravan to head south and go explore some of these disturbing dreams of Umberlee’s forces mustering in the south. Pat’s gnome bard decided that he had warn out his welcome with the locals (admittedly, the numerous warrants sworn out against him helped) and, after some skullduggery and chicanery, ended up signing on as…moral support? We’re not sure. In any case, assembled at last, the caravan headed south.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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