Dragonclaw Barony

Insect Valhalla

The Thirteenth day of Thrice-Milce, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

Insect Warren

While the construction of Odd Fellows Hall was occurring it became quickly apparent that the Odd Fellows would need to fill their now empty pockets. Needles spoke of an insect warren deep in the Norwood that might help their current budget crisis. It was rumored to be filled with gems, however most who went in hunting for them rarely came out. A few years ago a respected Ranger in Norwood named Niroth went in to rescue a mining party that was trapped and was never seen again. It was said that he was carrying his magical bow called Maurunya, the “Flame Finger” at the time of his disappearance. While Alaktyrr stayed to oversee the construction, the rest of the party headed out to find the warren. Since Needles and Bark were very familiar with the Norwood they were able to guide them directly to where it lay.

The ground in the area was riddled with holes but it took them awhile to find one big enough they could climb down. Eventually a large entrance hole turned up and they clamored down it.

(Area 9) The hole opened up to an underground pond and as soon as they entered it they were attacked by two giant mosquitoes but Kain and Andy were able to swat them out of the air with their weapons. The party figured they were living in the pond so they followed the shore along the north wall and headed through a passage going north. They decided on a marching order of Kain and Clarabelle in the front, Domino and Bark in the middle and Needles in the back with his bow. Andy would scout a bit ahead of them.

(Area 27) As the passage turned east it became carpeted in leaves and the leaves and debris were covering small deep holes. Unfortunately Andy had to find out about them the hard way, having her leg go in one and injuring herself (rolled a 1 to fall in and 3 hp damage). Once she fell in one, she was able to use her swortsword to find the other covered holes. She signalled the party to be careful crossing. After they were across, it was decided that Needles would take point for awhile.

(Area 24) At the zig zag in the corridor Needles could see a large fern growing along the walls and ceilings. That was all he could see before had to dodge a wall of thorns being shot at him. One got through his defenses and struck him (20/2hp). He quickly sought cover around the corner of the corridor. A quick discussion ensued. Whatever the plant creature was, they weren’t sure they wanted to face it but there was no other way to go on, except through it. The assumption was that plants hate fire so Andy,Needles and Bark made fire bombs out of two of the Oil Flasks she was carrying. Kain and Domino would close to attack and Clarabelle would fire off her Fire bolt. All 3 of the flasks struck their target as did Clarabelle’s Fire Bolt spell but it became obvious to the party that the plant wasn’t taking as much damage as it should (1/2 damage on fire based attacks, 10 hp total). Andy and Domino closed on the creature when it let loose another barrage of thorns. Andy, bark and Domino were hit (2,4,1) by the thorns. Andy and Needles fired a volley from their arrows and Bark threw his spear but only Andy was able to hit. The oil from the last round sputtered and burned out doing a little more damage to the plant (5hp). Clarabelle fired her magic missile at the creature hoping do some more damage. As Domino and Kain almost got in range to attack the monster, it had another nasty surprise, belching out a shower of acid at them. Domino didn’t get out of the way in time and took the full brunt of the attack (12 hp) but Kain was able to dodge and only took some (save vs DR 6hp). Andy and Needles fired another volley of arrows, both striking the plant creature true, immobilizing it, allowing Kain and Domino to crush it with their weapons. Domino was near death from the acid so Bark lent his healing skills to the poor cleric (8hp healing).

The plant was hiding a T intersection, with the passage they were on continuing west and another going south. The party decided to try the passage going south. It went south about 40’ before turning into a Y, one going SW and the other E.

(Area 25) Trying the east passage it quickly turned south but where it turned the walls were covered by various berries. Both Bark and Needles declared them edible and the party grabbed what they could and had a quick snack. While the others kept watch, they allowed the more injured to take a small rest. They then packed up as much as they could for later and carried on.

(Area 26) The passage zig-zagged going mostly south until it opened up into a larger chamber. Needles and Andy were taking point and saw 5 very large Ants in the middle making a home here. When they reported what they had found to the others, it was decided they would backtrack to the Y and take the SW passage. Following that passage brought them to another Y with on passage going W and another going S.

(Area 18) Following the S passage it opened up into a large cavern. There Needles and Andy saw a giant Snake hanging from the ceiling, but it also saw them. Andy ran back to tell the rest of the party while Needles fired an arrow into the snake (19/1hp). The snake attacked Needles but was unable to get a bite into him. Needles fell back to shoot another arrow but not before the python was able to bite as he slipped away (parting shot 25/5hp). Needles returned the favor by burying another arrow in the snake (24/6 hp). It then ran into the business end of Clarabelle’s mace, finishing it off. After killing off the creature, the party found the two crushed and mostly digested corpses of two dwarves. A quick check of the bodies and their possessions turned up a potion of healing and potion of gaseous form.

(Area 17) Following that chamber South the party came upon another Y, one going SW, the other SE. However that wasn’t the only thing they found. In this area the soil beneath them was rich and dark, and when Bark stuck his hand in the earth, he pulled up one of the biggest earthworms the party had ever seen. The place seemed to be full of them and luckily the worms didn’t seem to be anything other than big, and were of no harm to the party.

They followed the passage going SE but it quickly came into a larger passage going N-S. They could see another passage entering from the W and with the short distance assumed the other passage they were just add fed into this one as well. They decided to head West down the passage and soon it turned south.

(Area 12) As Needles and Andy came down the passage and into a larger chamber they were greeted with the sound thorns flying at them again. Andy dodged out of the way but Needles caught one before he was able to get to cover. It looked to be another one of those plants. Quickly deciding they didn’t want to deal with another one of those plants right now they backtracked to the large W-E cavern heading E.

(Area 16) Just before the passage began heading NE, There was an opening to the south, inside this room they saw a large pool of water being fed by a waterfall coming from the surface. The water was cool and fresh and the party filled up their water skins here before proceeding.

The NE passage dumped out into a myriad of passages going in every direction. They decided to follow the northern passage which turn back west before going north then west as it narrowed down to only 5 feet.

(Area 26) At the end of that passage was a large chamber opening up to the north. There they saw the same ants busily working in the chamber. However some loose dirt came loose from where they were looking from, alerting the ants to their presence. Luckily Needles and Andy were able to react before the ants, deciding that this wasn’t the place for a fight, running back down the passage they just came. The ants gave pursuit but soon stopped and wandered back to the room(using pursuit/evasion rules, Needles and Kain doing a double run put enough distance between them so the ants did not see them at the end of the round)

Quickly leaving the northern passage they followed another going East. It had a few small offshoots that lead to dead ends before stopping a chamber to the North and another passage going south.

(Area 10) The chamber to the north had another two passages leading off to the North and West. It was full of leaf litter and muck. While they were going carefully checking for traps and holes, the floor began bubbling up and out of the muck came 12 giant centipedes. It was a quick fight with the party dispatching the centipedes with only Bark taking a small bite from one of the creatures (2hp).

(Area 7) The party followed the west passage but it soon turned north as well. At the end of it, it looked as if the other passage going north came into this area as well. This area was getting filtered sunlight and therefore small trees and grasses were growing from the floors and walls. Needles spotted a Giant Praying Mantis hiding inside the area. He whispered for Andy to go back and tell the others while he would take a shot at it. Needles hit the Mantis and soon the rest of the party had joined the fray.The mantis sensing this was a fight he couldn’t win, suddenly took flight and squeezed through one of the small holes in ceiling(failed morale).

(Area 8) Following another passage north they came across a pool. In roughly comparing it to the map they made they saw that this pool was most likely the same pool they saw when they first entered the warrens, but on the other side. They weren’t sure if there was a way to get to that side from here but decided to come back later and find out.

(Area 6) Backtracking to where they fought the mantis, they followed another passage going east. This opened into a large cavern where more giant ants were going about their business. As quiet as Andy and Needles were trying to be, the ants detected their presence. As the ants charged the passage Needles backpedaled and fired an arrow as one of the ants closed the distance and attacked Andy, biting her hard (16/6hp). Clarabelle charged up to fill Needles spot and to block the ants from coming down further as Bark cast entangle right in front of her and Andy, trapping the ants and allowing Andy to fall back without being attacked. Kain stepped up to fill her position and him and Clarabelle began their attack on the entangled ants. Andy quaffed the healing potion they had recently found and took a breath. Needles was firing on the frontline of ants knowing that if he missed, he could hit his partners but so far his aim had been true, and between him and Kain they finished off one and hurt the one that took its place. Domino took the time to bless Needles longbow, making it even more deadly. Kain struck a flurry of blows killing another ant. Clarabelle took out another two and soon there was only one left. before it could even think about escaping, Kain connected with both weapons, finishing it off. They searched the area but found nothing other than the dead ants they killed.

With the party pretty banged up and both Bark and Clarabelle out of useful spells, they decided to backtrack to the area with the small pond and camp their overnight. Domino healed Bark and Needles (5hp/6hp) and Needles had two batches of his salve to help heal Kain. Clarabelle decided to go strictly offense the next day, prepping her Fire Bolt and Magic Missile spells.

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Wrenwald

The Eleventh day of Thrice-Milce, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

Wrenwald Estate

As the party finished burying Justin Wrenwald they began to wonder what would happen to the estate now that the Wrenwald family was no more. That night they hatched a plan to turn this rundown estate into a place they could call their own.

Step 1 – The Town: The town was free to govern itself and would no longer have to pay ‘Protection Tax’. They would just pay what they would normally owe the Barony. The party did promise any assistance they could to the town but would stay out of its day to day affairs. To seal the deal they presented the village Elder (Merin O’Mud) with the magical pitchfork (Trident +1) they had found in the barn.

Step 2 – The Cleaning: The manor house and its surroundings were in bad shape. They began by cleaning out the area of all all undead. The human zombies and skeleton remains were buried in the graveyard and the creatures were burned. They also dug up all the plants in the garden and burned them as well. They then began to drag out all the refuse and worthless items. On the upside of this, 6 of the eggs in the coop were found to contain liquid gold valued at 100gp each. They also found 3 unidentified potions and a gold staff worth 1000 gold pieces(none of the party wants to talk about how they had to retrieve that).

Step 3 – The Arrangements: Andy and Domino headed to Edgemont while Clarabelle and Kain headed south to Aethere Keep. Andy sold all the items they found and Domino petitioned Tiri Soul for some money to build a small temple to Chordax at the Manor House. Andy was able to get 180 gp for the items but Domino was only able to talk Tiri out of 100gp towards the new temple. Clarabelle told her father, who was the Warden of the Celes Valley (everything to the east of the Celes River from the Sylvanwood to the Norwood) about the Village of Wrenwald paying their taxes directly to him. She also petitioned him for some money to help rebuild the manor to house some men at arms to help protect the village and the surrounding area. He gave Clarabelle 500gp to help rebuild the manor and also gave her 6 men at arms (2 light foot, 2 heavy foot, 2 archers). She also found that the 3 potions she found at the manor were useless and dangerous, most likely left to be found and taken at the wrong time. But she was able to get a good price on the Golden Eggs and the Gold Staff (1350gp)

Step 4 – The Mentor: Clarabelle had other intentions while she was in Aethere Keep. Try to find somebody to help watch over the Manor and provide them with the assistance they would need. They found that person in Alaktyrr Rilyund, a Drow cleric of Kamrynn and a sometimes adventurer with The Stormcrows, her family’s adventuring guild. He had been wanting to set up a small temple to Kamrynn, the goddess of Nature for awhile and what better place than a small town on the outskirts of the Norwood. He would accompany them back to Wrenwald.

Step 5 – The Engineer: With the money she received Clarabelle was able to pay an Engineer to come to the Manor and help them rebuild it. It was mostly to rearrange the downstairs of the manor and to build a second story above the Barn to house the men at arms.

Step 6 – The Construction: With everyone back at the Estate, the construction began in earnest. With the offer of 1gp a day, They found plenty of labor from the village. In what was an unusual compromise, Domino and Alaktyrr decided to build the temple together, coming up with a plan to share the temple between both Gods. Overall it cost them 1300gp to rebuild the house and add the second story to the barn with an additional 600gp to build the small temple. They also had to pay the Engineer for his assistance at 750gp.

The Company of Odd Fellows now had a place to call their own and on the Eleventh Day of Thrice-Milce the Christened it ‘Odd Fellow Hall’. It wasn’t near done but Alaktyrr promised to oversee the construction while they figured out what to do next to fill their near empty coin purses.

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The Zombraire's Estate Part 2

The Twentieth day of Newmonth, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

The Wrenwald Estate

The evening was uneventful. Even though they could hear unidentified moans coming from outside, nothing disturbed the room they were in. The next morning the party rose as soon as they could see light streaming through the boarded windows. After eating they decided to try the southern door on the east wall.

(Room 8b) After checking the door for traps and listening for noises they entered the room. What they found was the manor’s kitchen. It was well equipped but now its stone mills, cupboards, utensils and ovens were overrun with mice, spiders, and other vermin. A quick search found nothing of value.

(Room 8c) After the checking the other door on the east wall, it was opened. A quick inspection showed that this was a bedroom, what the party didn’t expect was the four skeletons in tattered maids outfits cleaning it. As soon as they opened the door, the skeletons all turned towards them and attacked. Andy charged in taking on the Skeleton 4 in the back but missed (12). Skeleton 1 closed to the doorway attacking Clarabelle but missed (3). Skeleton 3 also closed to the doorway attacking Kain and hitting him (18/4 hp).Clarabelle focused her attack on Skeleton 1 in front of her, delivering a crushing blow and destroying it (16/8hp). Kain could not do the same to Skeleton 3, missing it(12). Skeleton 4 attacked Andy and raked her savagely with its bony fingers (20/6hp). Skeleton 2 also attacked Andy but missed (3). Needles rushed into the room to help Andy, Striking Skeleton 2 with his Axe (16/3hp) but not killing it. Domino then was able to enter the room turning the skeletons. They began a mass exodus from the room. Skeleton 3 ran out of the room but Clarabelle caught it with her Mace on the way by destroying it. Skeleton 2 also began moving towards the door but not before Needles could deliver his finishing blow (22/1hp). Andy also hit Skeleton 4 as it began to flee but not enough to destroy it before it left the room. Bark was waiting outside and finished it off in the hall (16/4hp). After the fight was done they all entered the room and inspected it more. The master bedchamber contained its own northern fireplace, a draped master bed, a writing table, a wardrobe, and a night table. All the furniture was in moderate condition, old, worn, and faded, but usable. On the writing table they saw a quill and ink, and five parchments. Three of them were uncompleted spells, but one was a Sleep scroll, and the other is a Shield scroll. The silver candlestick holder beside the parchments looked to be worth 15 gp and the fancy pair of gnome-made spectacles were worth 50 gp. An inspection of the wardrobe contained faded garments, none of any value.

It was at this point that they realized there were no more doors in either room, but that there was no way this was all there was to the manor. A quick walk outside around the manor showed it was much larger than what they had already explored. They came back into the bedroom and began to search for hidden doors. Clarabelle soon found the entrance on the eastern wall but not how to open it. Andy searched and found a button under the night table and when she pushed it, the door came open.

(Room 8e) This was the lowest chamber of the four-story tower, with a set of circular stone stairs in the northeast corner connecting it to the next level. The floors are made of wood higher above and the ceiling is 15 high. This bottom level is a private commode, with a wooden structure over an out-pit. The chamber smells awful, yet the smell is old and musty with age. Laying on the wooden structure are a few scrolls of esoteric philosophy written in the gnomish tongue. The party knew there was a room or rooms missing on the first level so they decided to search for other secret doors in this room before heading up the tower. Bark found the secret door along the southern wall and the small switch to activate it was right next to it. Getting the group together they hit the switch and opened the door.

(Room 8d) This hidden chamber was a mage’s library. The walls were lined with shelves, and two tables with chairs sit in the midst of the chamber. Everything is coated in the dust of the ages, however; it appears this chamber hasn’t seen guests in a very long time. On one of the tables a cracked crystal ball sits. Hundreds of books lined the shelves , many of their faded titles looked valuable and important, but their contents are now lost to history. Clarabelle case detect magic to see if there was anything important hidden among the shelves, but instead got a faint glow from the shelves themselves. After seeing that there was some sort of protection on the books, none of the party felt like taking a risk and touching them. As they were investigating the room 7 winged creatures flew in from the secret door they left open. Since the characters were busy looking at things they were caught off guard when the creatures came in (1-4 to be surprised by the Stirges from room 8 e3)) All but Domino were caught flatfooted and he crushed Stirge 6 before it could attack, killing it. The rest weren’t so lucky as the rest of the stirges attacked. Stirge 2 missed Clarabelle (3), Stirge 5 hit Domino and attached itself to him(19/2 hp), Stirge 4 missed Needles (4), Stirge 1 missed Andy (3), Stirge 3 missed Bark(11) and Stirge 7 hit Clarabelle (19/3hp) and latched on. Domino took an awkward swing at Stirge 5 that was attached to him, but was able to kill it (17/2 hp), Stirge 2 missed Clarabelle again(2), Needles missed Stirge 4 in front of him (9,1), Kain attacked Stirge 3 but was unable to connect (9,4) but Clarabelle was able to hit Stirge 7 attached to her, killing it (20/5 hp). Kain attacked Stirge 3 but missed (12). Stirge 4 attacked Needles but missed(13), Andy attacked Stirge 1 but also missed. Domino freed from the Stirge on him attacked Stirge 2 (17/5 hp) killing it. Needles made a dual attack on Stirge 4, he missed with his main axe but hit with the hand axe (7,19)(5hp) also killing it. Kain attacked Stirge 3, hitting with both blades (13,16,12 hp) slicing it into pieces. Andy took a swing at the last stirge, Stirge 1 and connected, killing it (19/6hp).

After the surprise attack by the stirges it was decided that the party would tend to their wounds before moving any further. Needles whipped up some salve for Kain (3hp). Domino healed Andy up to full health (6hp) and handed Clarabelle the last heal potion (6 hp). With everyone healed up as much as they could, it was time to head up the tower.

(Room 8e Second Level) After climbing the stairs they came to the second level of the tower. This level contained a table and three rickety chairs, and a series of old rusty instruments for navigation. They looked useless now, but spoke of a time when this room had seen better days. The walls were covered with tattered yellowed maps of the world, including Albion, Lllancrest and even Kar’tegra. Most of the information has been faded away and the party was disappointed in what secrets they must once have held! Nothing else of value could be seen so they headed up the circular stairs.

(Room 8e Third Level) This room was obviously an alchemist laboratory once, but the tables are broken and overturned and almost all the glass work is broken. Interesting stains and acid burns can be seen here and there. A very large empty bird cage sits in the middle of this chamber; it is the home of a flock of stirges that attacked the party earlier. From looking at the open cage door it became apparent that somebody or something had let the stirges out. The party knew that something was waiting for them on the next level. Domino decided to bless Needle’s Long Bow giving it a magical enhancement and Clarabelle used the Shield scroll on herself to help her out on what she felt was going to be a tough battle.

(Room 8e Fourth Level) The party rushed up the stairs, with Clarabelle and Kain taking the lead, and Bark and Needles right behind them. In the middle of the room, was what at first appeared to be a zombie, but as it smiled evilly at them, they knew it was much more than just that. Bark leapt upstairs. casting entangle right were the creature was standing, causing vines to wrap themselves around its feet. Andy snuck upstairs, hiding in the shadows(12) and moving silently (32), getting behind the Zombie and stabbing it with her Short sword (Sneak attack 19/ 9hp). Needles came up to the foot of the stairs, firing a bow at the creature, but now knowing it wasn’t the best weapon for the fight(16/2hp). Now it was Kain’s turn to join the fight, with his Katana held in both hands he attacked connecting with a hard strike, literally cutting the creature in half and killing it (18/10 hp).

DM Note: The poor Zombraire rolled dead last on his initiative, allowing all 6 characters to get in an attack before he could. I even allowed him to cast ‘Protection from Good’ before the start of the fight, giving him an extra 2 AC. But I wasn’t planning on the thief succeeding in both the hide and move silently, which allowed her to move behind the Zombraire and hit it with a successful sneak attack. With only 14 HP and her taking off 9 in one hit, it was over before it started for Justin Wrenwald.

After the creature fell to the ground the rest of the party came upstairs. Clarabelle had her suspicions that the creature was a Zombraire, a rare intelligent magic using Zombie. When she found the wand on the corpse it confirmed her suspicion. She also found a magical ring and a set of keys. She could also could tell that the Zombraire was the former owner of the Manor, Justin Wrenwald III. After the death of the Zombraire, the illusion hiding two very large windows
open to the north and east faded away, letting in the light. The roof was rotting like everywhere else in the forsaken house. Inside they saw a telescope , a table covered with parchments with scrawled astrological notes and mystic symbols, a umbrella case full of rusty implements of torture, and manacles hanging from the rafters which could imprison up to four occupants. A quick check of they keys they found on the creature showed they were for the manacles. Andy doing a more thorough searching found what appeared to be a spellbook hidden in the rafters. It contained: Magic Missile, Floating Disk, Protection from Good/Evil, and Continual Light. It was given to Clarabelle for her to study. Investigation of the Wand and Ring found them to be a Ring of Protection +2 and a Wand of Illusions. The party remembered the trail that led to the graveyard and thought the least they could do was to bury Justin with his ancestors. So Kain and Domino wrapped Justin’s body up with some heavy fabric they found in this room, and carried him downstairs.

When they arrived at the hall and cautiously opened the door to the outside, they got the sense that the curse that was placed on the estate was lifted with the Zombraire’s death. The air outside seemed warmer and the garden, which was growing obscene undead plants the day before, was filled with withered plants and the smell coming from it was almost gone. As they went out the front gate, Needles checked the chicken coop and saw that it contained only the unmoving carcasses of dead chickens.

(Area 9) The party followed the smaller trail around the estate until they came to the padlocked gate of the cemetery. It took a few minutes but Andy was able to pick the lock and open the gate. The graveyard within was swampy and the leaning, fallen, and broken tombstones account for nearly 40 graves within. Here and there a coffin had resurfaced,and showed signs of having been chewed on. There were three sturdy above ground vaults, but none looked like they would be easy to get into so it was decided that they would find an empty spot to bury the last of the Wrenwalds. As they began digging however, 6 large rats came from a nearby hole and attacked them. the party dispatched them quickly though and carried on. However another 6 rats came from another hole and attacked them. This happened a few times before they were able to finally rid the graveyard of the rats. Kain and Clarabelle had been bitten but investigation of their wounds showed they were OK (Kain is immune to poison and Clarabelle cleared the roll). They finished burying Justin and Domino said a few words over his grave.

DM Note: I didn’t feel like tracking this whole battle with stats, needless to say the party took them out with one hit, I did 6 rats at a time x3, then the last 9.

(Area 10) While they were finishing up the burial, a raven came to them cawing ‘Follow me… follow me’ and flying off to the west. It would hover around and come back saying the same thing, so once they were done they followed it out of the graveyard to a grove of trees to the west. There they found a dryad tree and an exhausted looking but jubilant Dryad. She introduced herself as Luacia and asked the party if they were the one who had lifted the curse from this place. When they replied that they had, she asked if any of them were injured. When Kain came forward she didn’t know what to think of this odd unnatural creature but because the curse that was slowly killing her was gone, she blessed him with healing(5 hp), then thanked the entire party again for saving her and her tree.

The party headed back to the Estate itself, thinking to stay one more night here before heading back into town. But as they were looking at the estate they began to think about what was going to happen to it now that the Wrenwald were gone. It was then that they began formulating the idea of maybe making the estate their home, investing some money in fixing it up. Domino talked about seeing if the temple of Chordax would allow him to set up a small temple here, maybe where the dead garden stood now.

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The Zombraire's Estate

The Nineteenth day of Newmonth, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

The Wrenwald Estate

The party crossed the Celes River the next morning and headed across the grasslands northeast towards the Norwood. The first day proved uneventful, and they set up camp on the outskirts of the Norwood that evening. The next morning they entered the wood and had what could have been a deadly encounter with a young green dragon hunting the forest. Luckily Needles was scouting ahead and saw the dragon, coming back and steering the adventurers around it. The party arrived later that morning in Wrenwald. They found the villagers uncommunicative and had a hard time getting information out of them. They finally found someone who would talk with them and from there they got more of the story. It seemed that the Wrenwalds were throwing a party for their friends when the Swamp Witch came to the door and demanded to be let in as an honored guest. The Wrenwalds laughed at her, and had the guards escort her off the estate. For this insult the Swamp Witch cursed the family, and horrible magics rose from Dark Realms. Many simply died; others transformed into living death, and the very estate itself took on the taint of Evil. A few villagers who served on the grounds escaped to the village to tell the awful tale, and since that night the villagers have avoided the grounds like the plague. It is said the ghosts of the dead still haunt the grounds, and the sounds of life can be heard from within, but when people go to investigate, they never return. The current village elders have done nothing to alleviate the towns fear of the estate, and has decreed that anyone going to the investigate and not returning shall be deemed a suicide.

With that information the party headed towards the estate which was north of the small town. The road to the estate was rutted and overgrown, with little sign of traffic. It was about three miles to the abandoned property through some light woods which become more unhealthy looking and dead the closer they got to the estate. The last mile of the trek was marshy and filled with biting insects. Sick looking black birds flew from tree to tree and eyed the party hungrily. When they got near the ruins they saw a smaller path leading off deeper into the bog behind the estate.(Area 1)

(Area 2) The road ended as it came up the estate walls, where the party saw an old cart blocking the entrance and the bodies of 3 dead men and a donkey laying around the cart. As the party approached the cart they were horrified when the 3 men and the donkey rose from the road and attacked them. Before the others could even react, Domino held up his holy symbol and shouted ’Be Gone Abominations! and all of the skeletons, including the skeletal donkey turned and ran into the woods surrounding the estate(Turn Roll 13/11 HD). The other members all gave Domino a pat on a back before moving into the estate.

When they entered the estate everything looked normal, some chickens were milling around a coop to the left and some workers were tending to a small garden to the right.

(Area 4) However as the party approached the garden they saw that things were not right at all. The workers attending the garden were zombies, a mix of men, women and children. And the garden they attended to was undead as well, growing rotting fruit that filled the estate with a nauseating smell. The zombies attacked as soon as they saw the party, shambling through the garden at them. Domino once again had the power of his god behind him, his divine might stopping the charge of 4 of the zombies, who then went shambling off in different directions(Turn Roll 14/8 HD). This only left 3 of the creatures left. Andy took aim with her bow and let loose and arrow but the shot went wide(11). Kain pulled his Katana and began closing with the enemy. Needles fired off an arrow and hit a zombie, but didn’t seem to do much damage(18/1hp). That got the zombies attention though and it lumbered towards him. The rest of the party besides Needles and Andy decided to close with the creatures, Domino putting himself between the zombie and Needles. Andy made another wild shot(5) and one of the zombies crashed into Kain, his claws ripping into the samurai(20/7 hp).Kain wielding his Katana and small blade retaliated scoring multiple blows (19/8hp,14/7hp) slicing the zombies to pieces and killing it. Needles took another shot at the trailing zombie hitting it, but once again not seeming to do much damage (24/1hp). The zombie rushing towards Needles crashed into Domino instead but could not deliver a blow (11). the second zombie trailing behind finally got into the fight and attacked Clarabell but failed to hit her (6). Bark attacked it from the side scoring a hit with his spear (22/8hp), the tip coming out the other side and eviscerating it. The zombie dropping dead as he pulled the spear out. Domino took a swing at the last remaining zombie attacking him, hitting him with his morningstar, but doing very little damage. (16/1hp). Andy didn’t want to risk firing at the last zombie, being so close to Domino so she hastily holstered her bow and drew her shortsword. Kain closed the small gap and engaged the last zombie from the side, once again scoring multiple hits (20/10hp,14/6hp) and demolishing his opponent, leaving it twitching in the garden.

A quick look at the premises showed the manor house right in front of them, and a barn and chicken coop to the west side of the estate. A quick poll deciding that they would investigate the coop and barn first before entering the home.

(Area 7) A walk to the coop showed an even more disturbing site. The chickens mulling around the coop were actually dead, the few walking around in various stated of decomposition. With the coop door securely closed it was decided that it wasn’t worth the risk of opening it and being attacked by the chickens inside, especially when more could be heard inside the coop itself.

(Area 6) The double doors to the barn were rotting so after a quick check they were opened up and the party slipped in. They were greeted by the unmistakable moans of more zombies and the 4 milling around the barn soon turned their attention to them. Kain engaged one zombie but his first swing was wild, causing him to miss both attacks. Domino stepped into the room and once again called apon his god, causing two of the zombies to quickly shuffle out of barn and into the wild (Turn 16/5HD). Needles went after one of the remaining two zombies, attacking with his axes. He missed the first swing but was able to connect with the second (11, 19/6 hp). Clarabelle closed with the one to the south, hitting it with her longsword (17/8hp). Bark went down to assist Clarabell but couldn’t hit the zombie. Andy begin moving to help Needles. The second Zombie got his claws into Clarabell causing her to cry out in pain(17/3hp). Kain closed with the zombie attacking Needles and once again quickly dismembered it. (15/4hp,17,9hp). Domino, unsure how hurt Clarabell was, went to her assistance and Needles moved towards the center of the barn. The last Zombie was a wily one and dodged both Clarabell and Bark’s attack before hitting Clarabell again with his claws (16/1 hp). Kain also moved towards the center of the barn and Domino decided it would be better they took out the zombie first before worrying about healing and closed to attack but swung wildly, actually losing his morningstar in the process (1 and decided to crit fumble that one). Lucky for him Clarabell hit the zombie hard with longsword, taking the creatures head off and killing it (19/9hp).

After the fight it became quickly became apparent that something was in the 5 barn stalls. They chose to investigate the two stalls to the north first, starting with the one on the right. Kain kicked in the stall door and there inside was what had one time been a cow, but was now nothing but bones. As soon as Kain kicked the door, the skeletal cow charged barely missing him. Domino took a swing at it as it went by but missed it(12). Needles backpedalled to give the front fighters more space to fight. Clarabelle took a swing with her mace but missed as well(12). Bark and Andy also backpedaled, unsure how they were going to fight this creature.The Cow plowed into Clarabelle, knocking her off balance and smashing her with its hoove (20/6hp). This allowed Domino to get in a good attack from the side and he blasted the cow with his morningstar (20/10hp). Bones went flying yet the cow still remained standing. Kain could not take advantage of this and missed his strike and Clarabelle didn’t recover enough to hit either. The cow charged through the group, taking his aim at Bark this time and pounded the druid back (20/6hp). Domino sensing the cow was almost down delivered another smashing blow, crushing what was left and killing the undead creature.

Worried what was left in the other 4 stalls, the party regrouped in the barn and assessed the situation. Domino called on Chordax to heal Clarabelle (CLW 5hp) and Bark used his druidic arts to heal his own wounds (CLW 5hp). Once they were healed they decided to to investigate the rest of the barn. Clarabelle noticed the moldy hay in the corner and decided to investigate. She saw the handle of what she assumed was a pitchfork and grabbed it, deciding to use it to poke through the hay. While she was poking through the hay she noticed two things, the hay was infested with Rot Grubs (by grabbing the pitchfork first she never actually made contact with the hay) and she got a funny vibe from the pitchfork. After moving quickly away from the hay she cast ‘detect magic’ on the pitchfork and sure enough, it gave off a glowing aura( A +1 Trident). Fueled by the excitement of finding a magic item in the barn, the party decided to try another stall. They picked the second stall against the north wall.

This time they set 4 of them on either side of the door and set Needles and Andy back with some bows. Kain used his hand to push the door open and sure enough, another skeletal cow came bounding through the door. Kain attacked quickly missing with his Katana but striking with his smaller sword (11, 15/4 hp) and Domino came in right behind him to finish the skeleton off (17/10hp). This plan seemed to be working so they tried it again on the northernmost stall on the west side of the barn, this time sitting Bark back with Andy. This one came out a little faster than expected getting an attack on Kain before he could react. Luckily the attack missed. Needles (14, 1hp) and Clarabelle (16/9hp) then finished it quickly. On to the next stall, same plan. But as soon as the door was opened Andy and Bark could see something was different. This cow was still flesh and bone, except the flesh was rotting and putrid. And to make matters worse there were two zombie women actually milking the zombie cow.As soon as the gate was opened they stopped what they were doing and lurched out. The party decided to take a step back and allow the zombies out of the cramped stall to better attack them. They may have questioned that decision when one of the zombies(17/6hp) and the zombie cow(19/3hp) were able to make successful attacks against Bark and Kain. Kain repaid the favor by shredding the zombie cow with his blades (26/11hp, 14/8hp)dropping it to the ground dead. Domino and Needles closed on the zombie attacking Andy but only Needles was able to make contact, hitting it with his hand axe (5,17/3hp). Bark(21/1hp) and Clarabelle(22/3hp) attacked the other zombie, both scoring hits but because they were armed with blunt weapons, not doing much damage. Both Zombies(18/4hp)(22,1hp) got through Bark and Andy’s defenses. Needles finished off the one attacking Andy (15/8hp) and Kain took care of the one attacking Bark (CRIT/11HP). That left one door left but with Bark pretty banged up they decided to put him farther away from the fight. Another stall, another zombie cow and two zombie milkmaids. The plan this time was to be further away, not allowing the zombies to close before the party could attack. it almost worked but one zombie was able to close with Kain and get in a successful attack (19/4hp). Kain returned the favor, striking true with his Katana and killing the zombie (22/10hp). Andy and Domino went after the last zombie with Needles and Clarabelle engaged the zombie cow. Domino connected with his Morningstar (17/3hp), hurting the zombie but not killing it. Needles buried his handaxe in the Cows head, instantly killing it. Clarabelle jumped over the dead cow to engage the last zombie and hit it with her longsword (18/3hp), staggering it. It turned towards her and attacked but missed. Domino also hit it (19/2hp) and Needles finished it with his battleaxe (CRIT/9hp).

With all the zombies and skeletons destroyed, they checked all the stalls. They were sickened when they saw that the milk buckets were filled with a vile gray liquid that could only be called ‘Zombie Milk’. They did notice that one of the buckets was much nicer than the others and quick investigation found it to be silver and fairly valuable (worth 30 gp)After dumping it out and rinsing it with a vial of holy water to be safe, it was stored away.

Bark was handed one of Domino’s healing potions (4hp) and Needles gave Kain some of his healing salve (1hp). The party was pretty banged up but with the exception of Bark, still in pretty good shape. It was decided to keep him out of battle as much as possible.

(Area 5) The party left the barn and could see the well to the north of them. The could see a body slumped against it and decided to investigate it, being wary in case it got up. The body didn’t get up and they could see it was a skeleton in rusty chain, holding a broken sword. Another sword had pierced the armor and was stuck in the well behind it. The shortsword appeared to be dirty but in overall good condition. They questioned why this sword was able to keep the skeleton from rising, so Clarabelle cast detect magic on it and saw that it too was magical (+1 Shortsword +2 vs Elves and Fairies). Andy was tasked with holding on to it.

(Area 8) With the rest of the estate explored, it was time to go into the Manor house itself. The house had an elegance in former times but not sat forlornly with all its windows boarded up. The roof was decayed in many areas, letting in the elements. In the northeast corner a high bell tower rose out of the structure, and the windows in the tower weren’t boarded.

(Room 8a) The party entered the manor house after inspecting the entry door and finding no traps. Upon entering they found a hall dominated by two long mead tables with benches. A cold fireplace stood on the north wall, and tapestries in various states of decomposition hung from all the walls. On the east wall was a large and heavy portrait of three generations of the Wrenwald family in happier times which was still in good condition. Below that was a podium placed to address the tables, a cobwebbed gavel still sitting on it. The skeletons of 15 people were splayed about the chamber, intermeshed with old filthy wooden goblets and plates and rusty knives. The party became instantly ready but the bones did not rise up from where they lay. However just as they were beginning to relax a maniacal laughter filled the room, causing them to reach for their weapons one more time. Soon after a wraith appeared, Its incorporeal form difficult to see in the darkened hall. Clarabelle spotted it and cast her new flame missile at it striking it and leaving a residual fire burning(4 hp). Kain used the strike to charge in with his recently enchanted katana, taking a two handed swing at the creature, hitting its ethereal form. (19/5 hp). Bark drew back and threw his spear, also striking the wraith(16/4 hp) and Needles followed suite tossing a flask of holy water (19/2 hp). The wraith clawed desperately at Kain but was unable to hit him. Andy closed with her short sword, striking the wraith again (20/ 5hp). Domino decided to call upon the power of Chordax to enchant his weapon, hoping to get into the fight soon but didn’t get a chance as Clarabelle hit it squarely with her mace, its screams of rage dissipating into nothing (18, 8hp). The party breathed a collective sigh of relief that they the were able to dispatch it quickly. Afterwards they searched the main hall and found that the gavel on the podium was worth something (worth 15 gp) so they kept it. They also were considering staying the night in this room and when the fireplace was examined they found a Dwarf skull with its eyes inset with two rare gems (worth 250gp). They handed the loot to their favorite fence (Andy) for trading in later. With that they secured the door they came in and the two doors leading further into the house and settled in for the night. Before resting, Domino cast his last heal spell on Bark, bringing him almost back to full health (CLW 4hp)

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The Town of Edgemont

The sixteeth day of Newmonth, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

the Town of Edgemont

After escorting Elias back to his home and resting there for a week, the party headed off to Edgemont. They followed the Wyvernhall Road and the trip east was uneventful. They arrived 4 days later in Edgemont and decided to get a room for the night before seeing Tiri at the temple. They tried getting a room at the Unicorn’s Horn but it was full, so they headed over to the Broken Oar. The food and rooms were both simple but good and nobody had any complaints. As usual they got alot of stares from the locals but nobody was brave or stupid enough to mess with them.

The next morning they headed over to the Temple of Chordax and met with Tiri Soul. She was surprised to see them so soon but was happy nonetheless. She brought them into her private chambers and explained the task she had in mind for them. Recently a villager from Wrenwald, a small town on the outskirts of the Norwood came to the temple with a disturbing story. It seems that the family the town was named for, the Wrenwalds has fallen under some sort of curse and that their estate is haunted by the undead. When she asked the villager more details, he wouldn’t say much, just that the Wrenwalds had angered the Swamp Witch and it was she that cursed them. With the mention of the swamp witch both Needles and Bark looked at each other before Bark said, ‘Aye we’ve heard of the witch ourselves, and we know she is not to be trifled with. The elves of the forest tend to give her a wide berth.’ He then told them what he knew of town of Wrenwald as well. The town was actually founded right after the Albion/Llancrest war. When the barony got word that a band of Llancrest loyalists were living in the forest, they sent in a Wizard, Edgar Wrenwald, to flush them out and destroy them. But when he found them, he struck a deal with them instead. He would become their overlord and as long as they paid him his protection tax, he would keep the Barony away. He then paid the barony a small percentage of what he took every year and they left him and the town alone. The last they had heard, the town was being run by Justin Wrenwald III, a direct descendant.

The party was a bit nervous about this adventure though, because they really weren’t equipped to handle the undead very well. Tiri laughed and said she understood, before going to the door and waving someone in. She introduced him as Domino Orderis, a member of her order and the newest member of their party, at least for this trip. With the introductions made, the party began their preparations and decided to meet early tomorrow morning, to catch the Ferry across the river.

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The Lost Tome

The Twenty-Fifth day of Hardmonth, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

The Library of Marishelli

A little over a week had went by since the adventurers returned to Stone Bottom. One of the most interesting things to happen to them during that week was a visit by Berethani Anandórë, the shopkeeper from The King’s Aid. He told them the potion they brought him was no potion at all but a gas with some very interesting properties. When inhaled by someone they break out in uncontrollable laughter, to the point where they can do little else. Berethani offered them a interesting deal. If they would give him the potion and he was able to reverse engineer it, he would allow them to buy more of the gas, for just the cost of the materials. He even had a name for it, ’Jester’s Gas’. Clarabelle didn’t see the harm in it and agreed to the trade.

Then on the Twenty-Fifth day of Hardmonth, Clarabelle and Kain were surprised when Pherbius entered the Minstrel’s Flask looking for them. He said the Elias wanted to speak to them about an important matter as soon as they could round everyone up. Clarabelle and Kain were already getting restless so this gave them the excuse they needed to get out of Stone Bottom. They gathered their equipment and stopped by Andy’s home to see if she was interested, where after a few minutes she was also packed and ready to go. They left Stone Bottom but made a detour to find Bark and Needle’s campsite. Although they did get a message to Bark and Needles after first entering Stone Bottom, the two decided to stay outside of town instead of coming in.

They got to Elias’ home later that afternoon. After some quick hellos he got to the point. He had recently received some news that someone is hunting the rumored Eye of Igor. He explained that it is a magical device that could be used to make an army of Flesh Golems and there aren’t many uses for doing that that aren’t suspect. He said he and others are trying to track down who this mystery person is and beat them to the relic but he has another job for the party. He wants them to find the lost tome ’Frankenstone’s Monster’. This book has the rituals needed on how to destroy the artifact once they find it. The Mad Sage Marishelli was known to have held the only known copy in her library but she has not been seen in years. Her library is rumored to be filled with strange constructs and odd beings tasked with guarding the library. As dangerous as it might be, he needs the party to recover that tome. He then offered them 500 gold pieces if they can recover it plus whatever they recover from the library. When the party consented to the task he handed them a general map that would lead them to the library. It was located along the foothills on the northern edge of the Barrow Woods about 2 days march from Elias’ home. As a way of thanking the party for their help, Elias taught Clarabelle his own personal spell, Flame Missile. This spell is much like magic missile but is fire based and continues to burn after the missile hits. Clarabelle inscribed it in her spell book for later. He also presented them with two potions of Cure Light Wounds.

They left early the next day and headed south east, soon crossing the Wvyernhall Road. They decided overland would be the quickest way to their destination so they continued on their course of south east, cutting through the grasslands and farms of southern Stony Bottom Vale. That night they came upon an abandoned farm and after investigating it, decided to set up camp there and rest. The second day was pretty much the same as the first except they began skirting the northern edge of central Dragonclaws and moved east. They came across a small mining town and although it had no inn, they were able to buy some food from the locals and camped for the night outside of town.

Early the next morning they worked their way up an old abandoned road and soon came upon the Library of Marishelli. the library looked to be in good condition except where the roof had collapsed on western side of the building. There was a pair of double doors leading into the larger wing of the building on the north east side so they decided to enter in from there.

(Room 1) After checking the door for traps and not finding any they entered into the main room. The room appeared to be almost like a tomb. There was a large sarcophagus carved into the shape of a beautiful woman who appears to be lying in sleep more than death. In 3 of the corners of the room are 3 large statutes of misshapen creatures facing the woman, almost as if they were guarding her. An inspection of the room found nothing, although the statutes were giving off a faint magical aura.

(Room 2) The door into the next room was locked but Andy proved her worth by picking the lock and gaining them access(rolled a 32). This room was lined with bookshelves holding a large assortment of books. Also on the floor were dozens of dead, winged creatures about the size of a cat. Their broken bodies were bat-like and bug-like at the same time, with the wings of a bat and a proboscis like a mosquito. Bark kicked one of them and said ‘Stirges, and it looks like they didn’t die of old age’. In looking at them it was easy to tell that some were missing a wing or a leg. The party spread out to search the bookshelves and found a note stuck in one of the books(found the note/missed the treasure). It contained only one word ‘cyclonic’. There were 3 doors leading out of this first wing of the library so the party decided on the door going east. Andy didn’t detect any traps or hear any noises on the other side of the door so she opened it.

(Room 3) As soon as she swung the door two braziers in the middle of the room lit up by themselves. Without entering she looked inside and could see that this room also contained rows of bookshelves. She quickly explained to the party what happened and the decision was made to check the floor for traps. She didn’t find any so it was decided she would go in. With her stealthiest movement she snuck into the room but got no further than 5 feet when a strong gust of wind blew the braziers out and a booming voice said “Who disturbs my slumber? Say the password or die here today!” From the torchlight behind her she could make a large man wearing exotic clothing staring at her. Then it hit her and she yelled out ‘CYCLONIC!’ He nodded to her and with a puff of smoke disappeared. The rest of the party entered the room and they gave the room a thorough searching but could find nothing. It seemed odd that this creature would be protecting nothing at all. They decided if the rest of the library proved fruitless they would come and search this room again.

(Room 4) The party backtracked to the first room of the library and decided on the door going south. Andy checked it and found nothing so the door was opened and she gingerly entered. The room looked more like a long hallway than a room. The north and south walls were lined with dusty unused bookshelves but nothing else. They went back to the first room and tried the only door they hadn’t looked at yet, the one going west.

After the usual check the door was opened revealing a wide hallway going west. There was a wide opening along the north wall and a door further down on the south wall. The party decided to explore the door going south and Andy went down to check the door. Unfortunately she missed the pressure plate in front of the door (I gave her a 1-2 on 1d6 spot and she missed it) and a Javelin shot out of the end of the wall. However a quick back flip out of the way caused the javelin to skip by her harmlessly(needed a 12, rolled a 12). She carefully went back to the door and pushed the pressure plate again with her sword but it looked like it was a fire once trap. She applied the same gentleness in checking the door for more traps but didn’t find any. But the door didn’t open either. It was locked. However Andy was on a roll (literally rolled a 02) and easily picked the lock to open the door.

(Room 6) She opened the door without entering, worried about a trap on the other side. The sight on the other side was gruesome. The room was choked with humanoid corpses. The bodies of orcs and ogres lied in tangled heaps where they died. After she checked the floor for traps Andy entered. The floor was sticky with dried blood and it appeared that the orcs and ogres died fighting each other. The rest of the party entered the room and checked the bodies. They seemed to be largely stripped of valuables and the only things left were the broken weapons on the floor or still stuck in the bodies. The only thing in the room was a few empty bookshelves and another door further down on the north wall.

(Room 7) Andy checked the door but found nothing so the door was opened. On the other side was what appeared to be a small closet. It contained a curious array of machinery. Winches and levers projected from every wall and chains with handles dangled from the ceiling. On the other wall was a faintly glowing pictogram of what looked like a statute and a red bell. First the party had to figure if they even wanted to mess with this since they were unsure what it did. However Clarabelle put it together that maybe the statute meant the 3 statutes in the first room. Andy decided to get in there and see if she could work the thing figuring it was just like a complex trap or lock. Andy pulled a few different levers and soon a series of clicks and whirls were heard and the glowing pictogram went blank. The party assumed that whatever Andy did, she did it successfully(rolled a 22 on a remove trap).

The party backtracked to the wide opening in the hallway. There they saw a parallel hallway with a door opening on the west wall and a strange device in the alcove of the hallway to the east. It was a pedestal about 3 feet tall made of black stone with a metal ball on top. Whatever it was it made the party instantly nervous so Andy checked the floor directly in front of them (which was directly in front of the door) for traps. She didn’t detect any traps (rolled a 65) so she gingerly stepped onto the floor… and was hit by lightning that arced from the ball on the pedestal to the door. Andy wasn’t fast enough to dodge this one (9 on DB save) and caught the full brunt of the electrical charge and dropped stunned to the floor (6 hp damage). Cain grabbed her by the legs and pulled her back into the other hallway. She was hurt and smoke still streamed from her frizzled hair, but she was alive. Bark cast a heal spell on her and after a few minutes she seemed like she was back in good shape(6 hp restored). They didn’t want to risk poor Andy again so they had Needles enter the hallway this time. He was prepared for the worst but the trap didn’t fire. Kain got brave and joined him but still nothing happened. At this point the party figured whatever that thing was it needed to recharge. Needles listened at the door and quickly retracted his hand as soon as it touched the door. The door was ice cold and wasn’t shut all the way. He also noticed the faded sign on the door that read ‘Rare Books and Scrolls’.

(Room 5) Needles prepared his bow and entered the room silently hoping to get the jump on whoever was in here. As soon as he opened the door he knew despair. This was where the roof was collapsed and the room was open to the sky. The floor was littered with the remains of the roof covered in sheets of ice and the outlines of humanoid forms could be seen frozen against the wall. A white dragon smiled at him wickedly and loosed a frozen blast of ice (23 hitpoints). Bark saw it in time and moved out of the danger zone and Kain was not in front of the blast; Needles, Andy and Clarabelle weren’t so lucky. Needles and Andy were able to partially dodge it(saved vs DR 11 hp dmg) and didn’t take as much damage as they could have but Clarabelle caught it full blast and went down under a blast of cold, not getting back up(0 hp). Kain leapt over Clarabelle to the safety of the other hallway and then dragged her with him. Andy and Needles were both unsuccessful with hitting the dragon with their bow as they moved into safer positions.

Now out of the dragons reach they first healed up Clarabelle (2 potions – 11 hp). the party could hear the dragon hammering the walls to break through but the walls held. A desperate plan was initiated, distract the dragon and have Andy run by. Bark ran back into the hallway and cast entangle on the dragon, knowing even with its strength it would take a few seconds to extricate himself from the vines. Andy sprinted into the room trying to get to the chest (double run) while Kain and Needles came in and attacked. The plan seemed to be going awry already as both Kain and Needles were unable to do any damage to the Dragon. However Bark was able to attack with his spear, striking the dragon in the chest( 6 hp). With an angry growl the dragon let loose another blast towards the door(27 hp) killing Needles (-14) and Bark (-6). Kain was able to Dodge some of the blast but still took some damage(DB Save 13 hp dmg). He saw his friends go down and roared with fury, but even in his anger he could not make contact. Andy took the time that the dragon was battling her friends to open the chest and look inside. She grabbed the book, a bag of coins and a short sword, leaving a heavier suit of armor behind. Clarabelle came into the room and engaged the creature with her mace also trying to distract it. The dragon struck back, hitting Kain with his claw (4 hp). Both of them saw Andy behind the dragon pocketing the book so they knew it was time to leave the fight. Kain and Clarabelle took off down the hallway (dragon missed parting shot) and Andy decided to climb over the wall where the roof was collapsed, easily scaling it(Climb Wall Success).

The dragon realizing its mistake, turned towards the escaping Andy and took flight, landing on the grass outside the library to block her way. But Andy had no intention of running that direction. She climbed back over the wall (climb wall success) and ran for the interior door(double run). She could hear the roar of frustration from the Dragon as she made the door. While Andy had been distracting the dragon, Kain and Clarabelle were able to pull the bodies of Bark and Needles out of the hallway and into the safety of the library wing. They could hear the dragon bashing at the walls but luckily it seemed Marishelli had paid for good stone constuction and the dragon was unable to breach the walls. All three were hurt pretty bad by the encounter and unfortunately they had used all their healing potions as well. They knew they had to get the book back to Elias but they weren’t in any shape to travel. It was decided to wait until nightfall and then send Andy out alone. They both knew she would be able to move more quietly at night than a minotaur or soulforged.

(Room 3) Andy escaped off into the night without drawing the ire of the dragon(move silent success), so Clarabelle and Kain just had to sit tight and wait. They found a rug in one of the rooms and used it to drape the bodies of their fallen comrades, Bark and Needles. They had plenty of rations and the braziers in second wing of the library lit up as soon as they entered the room, giving them plenty of light. They decided they would wait a week and if nobody came they would be healed up enough to try sneaking off in the night. But on the fourth day they were startled when they saw Elias and another person pop into the room via teleport. Elias let them know that Andy had made it back to his home with the book intact. When Andy relayed what had befallen the rest of the party, Elias called in a favor with a friend and teleported them both back here to assist. He introduced the woman as Tiri Soul, a cleric of Chordax. After introductions, she asked where their fallen friends were. When Kain pointed out the covered bodies on the other end of the room, she nodded, closed her eyes and touched Elias on the head(resist Cold), then did the same to Kain and Clarabelle (Cure light wounds) before going over to where the dead bodies lay. Elias then quickly laid out the game plan. He wanted them to wait on the other side of the wall from the room where the dragon was. He would engage the dragon first and as soon as it released its dragon breath he wanted them to come around the corner and engage it.

(Room 5) Elias threw open the door and let loose a fireball before the dragon had a chance to react. The fireball ripped into the dragon and even from the other side of the wall, Clarabelle and Kain could feel the heat from the explosion. They could hear the dragon screaming in pain until finally there was silence. A slightly smirking Elias came around the corner and said ‘I guess that went better than I thought’. As they walked by they could still see the smoldering corpse of the dragon burning in the room.

(Room 3) When they entered the second wing they were pleasantly surprised to see both Needles and Kain standing up, although a bit wobbly. As they approached their recently dead comrades, Tiri said to them ‘Your debt to my God has not been paid in full. When you have fulfilled your promises to my friend here, come see me at my temple in Edgemont.’ Then she nodded, smiled, and touched her holy symbol, disappearing from view. Elias patted each of them on the shoulder and said ‘Who here is hungry for BBQ’ed Dragon?.’

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Back to Stonebottom

The Fourteenth day of Hardmonth, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

The Town of Stone Bottom

The adventurers got to the outskirts of town that afternoon. Because they were unsure of their status in Stone Bottom, they didn’t want to march right into town. So they sent the only person who didn’t start off this adventure in jail, Andy, into the town to find Petyr. She found in him the Minstrel’s flask and told him that the party he had sent to find Quasqueton was back and had the map.She mentioned they were waiting outside of town because they were unsure of the welcome they were going to receive if they came through the gates. He made reference to the fact that he didn’t think they would survive so he didn’t think that far ahead. With that he told her to go back out to them and wait about an hour. It would take him at least that long to make the arrangements so they wouldn’t be arrested on sight. She returned and told them what Petyr had told her. The party was nervous because they weren’t sure if they were going to be double-crossed or not. In fact at this point Bark and Needles said they would not go into town but would set up camp near the underground entrance they escaped the town from. If they didn’t hear from them in two days they would sneak into town and find them. They gave Andy the treasure they had gathered while in Quasqueton for her to sell for them and Needles asked for her to pick him up a quiver or two of fresh arrows as well. After some firm handshakes and hugs, Clarabelle, Kain and Andy headed into to town.

As they were passing through the gate they held their breath, but besides some dirty looks from the guards, they passed through unchallenged. Petyr was waiting for them inside the gates. He told them he didn’t like to do business on an empty stomach and led them through the streets of Stone Bottom to the Minstrel’s Flask. They found a table and sat down, where Petyr ordered a wine and the house stew for himself and some mead and a mushroom soup for Clarabelle and Andy. Kain decided to just get things out in the open so he threw the map on the table and said ‘our end of the deal is done’. Petyr looked both of the maps. One of them detailing its location and the other a map of the stronghold itself. He nodded in satisfaction and said ‘indeed it is!. And as my way of apologizing for my men, let me offer you a discount on the cost of a room here at the Flask. The normal rate is 5 silver per day but while you are here in town, the cost will only be 2 silver. Also if have items of interest to sell, see Edal Schultz over at the Shiny Bauble and I’ll make sure you get the best price on your items (75% of worth). Speaking of which, where are your 2 half-orc friends?’ Clarabelle thought it best to not be too forthright so she said they parted ways soon after finishing up the stronghold. Petyr then shook their hand and said thanks once again before whispering something to the innkeeper and leaving.

The day was still fairly early and both of them were still banged up from helping out Pherbius and Elias so they decided to take him up on the healing from the temple of Malorie. Nadar did give them some trouble until they mentioned the torches and that point he acquiesced. He cast a healing on both and though it didn’t make them completely healthy, they felt much better than they did before. the next stop was the Shiny Bauble where they sold all the trinkets they had found on their adventure. At this point the party decided to split up. Andy was going to find an armor and weapons shop to pick up some things and Clarabelle wanted to find a potions/magic shop to see if they could determine the mystery wand and potion they had found. Since Andy actually lived in Stone Bottom she didn’t need a room but said she would meet Clarabelle and Kain for breakfast tomorrow at the Minstrel’s Flask.

Andy bought a nicer set of leather armor as well as a shortbow of her own. She also picked up some arrows for her and Needles, including a small set of silver arrows, just in case. With her purchases complete she made her way back to the small cottage she called home.

Clarabelle took the potion and wand to the King’s Aid and asked the shopkeeper if he could identify them. It took only a few minutes for him to tell her that the wand was a ‘dud’. It was imbued with magic but the spell was never absorbed. Now she knew why she couldn’t identify it. The potion had him stumped and he asked if he could have a day or two to study it. Since it looked like they might be in town for a few days she told him that would be fine and that she was staying at the Minstrel’s flask and could be reached there. After a long week sleeping on the cold ground she was looking forward to a nights rest in a bed, even if most of them were too small for her.

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Taming the Flames

The Thirteen day of Hardmonth, in the year 400 BY

Company of Odd Fellows

Elias Firebrand’s Home

The adventurers had safely made their way south from Quasqueton, and were now heading west on Wyvernhall Road when they were approached on the road by a young man waving frantically at them. After catching his breath he implored them to help rescue his brother from the clutches of a Demon who had invaded their home. After calming the boy down they got the full story. His name was Pherbius, and him and his brother Finn are apprentices to the Mage Elias Firebrand. Their master had to leave home on business and while he was gone they accidentally let something loose that invaded their home. Finn told Pherbius to leave while he would go back in a try to fix what they had done. Pherbius waited outside the home and when Finn didn’t come out he decided to go get help. The adventurers quickly decided they would help and told Finn to lead them to his house.

He lead them down a small path heading north and eventually they came to what could only be called a man-sized halfling burrow. This was the home of Elias the mage. The party decided to be cautious. Only Kain, Clarabelle, Bark and Andy would accompany Pherbius into the house. Needles would stay outside and guard the entrance as well as scout the area. Andy checked the front door and after finding nothing, opened it up. They were presented with a tough problem already. The hallway wasn’t that wide so they were only going to be able to go in single-file.

(Room 9) Andy led the way and about 25 feet in came across two doors. One going north and the other west. Pherbius mentioned that the west door was only a closet but they thought better safe than sorry so they checked it first. Andy could tell immediately that something was wrong. The room was hotter than normal and smelled of smoke and burning cloth. She poked her sword into the coats and was surprised when a lizard like creature jumped out of the closet at her. Before she could block it, it had clawed and bit her, causing her clothes to catch fire. Andy in obvious pain, knew she had to get clear of the closet, so she risked opening the door to the north to make room for the others. Kain quickly jumped in to take her place, taking a wild swing at the creature, missing it completely but noticing another had also crawled out of the clothing. Clarabelle slid up behind him and quickly identified the creatures as Fire Salamanders, luckily they weren’t full grown or the party would have been in real trouble. However she also knew that only magical weapons hurt them and as nice as Kain’s katana was, it was only a mundane weapon. She knew she was going to hurt his pride but she told him to move forward so she could attack from the front next round. This would also allow Bark to get in some blows since only him and her had magic weapons at this point. She let loose a magic missile at the Salamander that attacked Andy, sizzling its body but not killing it. The other Salamander attacked Kain but was unable to make contact with the nimble samurai. However the first salamander was able to get a claw into Kain, but not causing too much damage. Andy now in the next room took a quick look around to see if there any threats before she worked on putting out her burning clothes. Kain came into assist, allowing Clarabelle and Bark to engage the Salamanders. Clarabelle and Bark had no luck hitting the creatures. The first creature attacked Clarabelle and landed a flurry of attacks, staggering her back. Clarabelle decided she would attack once more before getting out of the line of fire. She had no luck but knew she couldn’t stay any longer and moved into the next room. Bark quickly took her place and plunged his magic spear into the first Salamander, killing it. Kain grabbed the mace from Clarabelle and told Bark to slide over, he was coming in. Bark took a parting shot at the last creature but was unable to hit it. The Salamander was able to scratch Bark as he slid over. Kain came back into the hall and a small battle ensued between the lone Salamander and Kain and Bark, but finally Kain laid a devastating blow onto the creature using Clarabelle’s mace, crushing and killing it.

(Room 1) With the salamanders dead the characters all entered the room to the north and looked around. Pherbius said that this was Elias’ study and library. There was a large desk in the middle of the octagonal room, as well as large shelves of books against the walls not occupied by doors leading out. Once the adventurers verified that the room was clear, Pherbius entered behind them. He went to the desk and began perusing an open book, telling the party that it contained the ritual needed to close the door the two apprentices had inadvertently opened. After committing what he needed memory he told the party he was ready to move on. There were 3 doors leaving the study so the party decided to try the going east. Pherbius said that door should lead to the master’s bedroom and he was quite nervous about entering it.

(Room 7) Andy listened and checked at the door but was unable to hear or find anything. The door was locked so Andy did her best to try and pick the lock but was unable to. It was decided for now that they would leave this room alone and come back to it later if needed.

Leaving the north door alone, the party went to the east door and had Andy check it before opening. She didn’t find or hear anything so she opened it and went through. the door opened to a junction of hallways, one going south to what looked like a dead end,One going north and ending in a door, another going east, also ending in a door, but having another door half-way down going south. When asked about the hallway going south, Pherbius mentioned that Elias was planning on adding on to his home but that was as far as the construction went. With that direction eliminated the party decided to check the north door. Pherbius said that was the common room and the north door in the study also lead to the same room.

(Room 2) Andy once again taking point, checked the door and found nothing. Getting a nod from the others, she opened the door and entered, the others following quickly behind. The sight in front of them and the wailing from Pherbius almost broke their heart. In what was normally a beautiful common room with a huge fireplace and comfortable chairs laid the dead and slightly charred body of a young human male. Pherbius’ crying let them know that the dead body was most likely his brother Finn. The walls and furnishings were also scorched leading the party to believe there was some sort of fiery explosion that occurred here. Kain gently picked the body up off the floor and laid it on the couch. They left the room, going back into the hallway, giving Pherbius some time with his brother alone.

(Room 8) While they waited for Pherbius, Andy studied the first door going south in the east hallway. There were strange runes outside the door that she didn’t understand. Clarabelle came up beside her and said she that one of the runes was for fire but she couldn’t make out what it was used for. They both decided to wait until Pherbius rejoined them before opening the door. A few minutes later a still shook up Pherbius told them that the door was actually used to incinerate the daily trash and refuse. He opened the door and showed them the small closet and pointed out the holes in the walls where fire would come out and burn the trash. He said Elias hadn’t taught them how to use it yet, so he didn’t know how to operate it. As he slips to the back of the group he points to the east door and says ‘It has to be in there somewhere, there is no where else it could be.’

(Room 1) The party decided to go back to the study and heal up a bit before taking on the last of the rooms. Both Clarabelle and Andy took some serious damage from the Salamanders. After Bark cured Clarabelle up a bit it was decided that Andy should stay to the back since she was still pretty injured.

(Room 4) Back to the door Andy listened and could definitely tell there was something on the other side of the door, an almost chuffing kind of sound, as if from some sort of dog or canine. She slipped to the back of the party and Kain kicked open the door and moved in quickly. In the center of the room were three worktables filled with various devices, but that’s not what caught Kain’s eye. On either side of the room by the north and south wall was a hellhound, smoke drifting from their noses and eyes burning red. He knew he would have to take these out quickly, so he yelled out, drawing power from his KI and made a two handed sweep at the hound by the north wall and struck a mighty blow, cleaving the hellhound in two before it could make an attack. Bark closed with the last hellhound and charged in with his spear stabbing it fiercely. The spear pierced the animal but it still remained standing but it was obvious it was seriously injured. The hellhound snapped weakly at Bark but was unable to hit him. Sensing that they had the upper hand Clarabelle came around the dog from the north and swung at it with her mace, finishing it off. A quick look around the room showed they had killed the only two creatures in the room, the workroom had been cleared.

Pherbius entered the room behind them and pointed out that the door in the upper east wall is where the accident happened. The door behind them on the west wall is the bathroom and the door to the south is his and Finn’s bedroom. Deciding they didn’t want to wait any longer, they chose to go through the east door.

(Room 5) Andy went to check and could immediately feel the heat radiating out from the door and a roar, as if a large fire was burning on the other side. She stepped back and let Kain open the door once again. As the door opened up, Kain was hit by a blast of hot dry air, and ash flowed out of the room and on to the floor. As Kain looked into the room, he could tell that it was different than the rest of the house. The ceiling rose up 40’ feet in the air, and was made of tiled mosaic patterns. But the thing that drew is eye was the the column of fire going straight up to the ceiling, the heat coming off of it in waves. Besides the column of fire there was nothing else in the room. They cleared the way for Pherbius to enter the room and begin his ritual as they waited in the workroom outside.

(Room 4) As the party was waiting in the room they heard muffled shouts and curses coming from the study. Bark began laughing as he told the rest of the party to get ready because bugbears were coming. When Clarabelle asked him what was so funny he said ‘It seems that Needles already introduced himself and they are wondering who the hell is shooting at them’. It was quickly decided they would engage the bugbears in the workroom. Kain tossed Andy his short bow and quiver to give them some backup. Bark went the east hallway and begun bellowing insults in his best Orc voice trying to draw them into the room. The Bugbears came in fast and furious making attacks against Andy and Bark, one giving Bark a deep gash with his battleaxe before Bark returned the favor and skewered him with his spear. Andy fired an arrow on the run, injuring an already injured bugbear. As the combatants circled each other the party noticed each of the bugbears had already sprouted at least one arrow so Needles did indeed give them a proper introduction. Kain finished off another bugbear with his katana and Andy proving herself a decent archer finished off the same bugbear she had hit before. The last bugbear seeing his 3 comrades go down in quick succession, decided this fight wasn’t worth it and took off down the hallway. With Needles waiting outside, they doubted he would be getting very far.

Soon after there was a large intake of air, followed by a loud bang coming from the room Pherbius was in. This was followed by some strange noises and a pop coming from the room they hadn’t checked (Pherbius and Finn’s bedroom). As the party rushed to the summoning room, an exhausted Pherbius came out of the doorway and let them know ‘Its done’. They peeked in and saw the flaming column was gone and that the air was already much cooler.

(Room 6) Now that they saw that Pherbius was okay they investigated the room to the south. Upon opening the door they saw that this was indeed a bedroom, with a twin bed and a dresser on each side of the room and a large animal skin rug on the floor. The room smelled of sulfur and burnt fur but no creatures could be found in the room, even after thorough searching.

With the portal no longer a threat, the party members helped remove the bodies from the burrow and afterwards helped Pherbius bury his brother Finn. By the time they finished, it was late and the party decided to stay the night and head out the next morning. In case more bugbears decided to come visit, they each took a turn at the watch. It turned out to be an uneventful night and the party woke up the next morning and prepared to head out and back to Stone Bottom. But before they could leave, Elias had made his return. At first being wary of these strangers, he warmed to them after hearing Pherbius’ story of how he and Finn had accidentally opened a portal to the plane of fire and how they helped him close it, then turned around and helped defend it from a Bugbear scouting party. He even made sure to tell Elias how they helped clean up the burrow and then helped him bury his own brother. These words moved Elias and he went into his bedroom and returned a few moments later with a bag full of coins. ‘Its not much, but I hope it will convey my thanks. I also noticed you took some grave injuries assisting my misguided apprentice. When you get into Stone Bottom, go the Temple of Malorie and ask for Nadar Sweetcorn. Tell him that healing you will close the books on what he owes me. If he gives you any guff, tell him I said ’we know its not Malorie keeping those torches lit 24/7.’ He’ll know then that I truly sent you’. With that the party gathered up their gear and their bag of coins (400 gp) and set off to town.

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Backstory: Company of Odd Fellows

The First day of Hardmonth, in the year 400 BY

The Town of Stone Bottom

How the ‘Company of Odd Fellows’ ended up together

Questions have arisen in how our hardy adventurers from Stone Bottom ended up working together in the first place. Was it a search for treasure, a taste for adventure? They would like to say it was all of those, but the real answer is a bit more interesting. They did it to get themselves out of jail.

Our story starts with our young Soulforged Samurai Kain making his way from Edgemont, employed as a caravan guard. As they were traveling along Wyvernhall Road, the caravan came upon a half a dozen mercenaries harassing a young woman along the road. When the caravan leader asked if there was a problem, he was brusquely told to move on and this didn’t concern him. The caravan leader, not wanting any trouble did just that, but Kain hung back and approached the soldiers again. ‘What honor is there in accosting this defenseless young girl?’he asked. One of the soldiers, a man with a twitchy eye, sneered at him and said ‘This isn’t none of your business metalhead, move on or you’ll be the one begging for mercy.’ Kain glared at the man and said ‘Big words for a man with no honor!!’ before slipping his hand under the hilt of his Katana and pushing the sword up with his thumb. The soldiers all focused on this new threat and ignored the young woman they were just recently harassing. She used the distraction to put some distance from her and the upcoming fight.

Six on one is never good odds in a fight, but luckily for Kain somebody else happened upon the engagement on the road. Clarabell Mu, a fledgling arcane warrior was returning home from Stone Bottom after delivering a message for her father when she came across the showdown. 6 men facing down the oddest looking person she had ever come across. Instead of just going past it she decided to find out what was going on and see if she could prevent any bloodshed. Both parties were surprised when a female minotaur walked in between them holding our her hands in supplication. ‘Hey Hey Hey.. lets try to work this out without violence! So what’s going on here and how can I help?’ In answer to her question one of the soldiers took a swing at her with his sword, answering the question for her. She dodged out of his way and before any others could react she whispered a few words and five of the six soldiers hit the ground. At first Kain thought she had killed them until he could see by their heavy breathing that they were merely asleep. The only one left standing was the one who had addressed Kain earlier and he was nearly spluttering with rage, his eye twitching madly. ‘Nobody messes with the Black Fist!!’ and with that he charged directly at Kain. As he closed the space between them, Kain cocked his fist back, and instead of hitting him with the sword, he yelled out a word and struck the man with his fist, dropping him like a stone. All six men lay on the side of the road unconscious.

Standing there in the midst of the fallen men, Kain and Clarabell Mu made their introductions. Kain explained his odd looks by telling her he was from a race called the Soulforged, sentient constructs living in a land on far side of the Badlands. He then told her of his training with a Samurai master and his employment as a caravan guard. Clarabell explained her odd looks by telling him she was a Minotaur, also originally from the Badlands but now living in the eastern Dragonclaws. When he asked how she made them sleep, she told him of her training as a sword mage, able to use both weapons and spells together. Kain quickly told her of how he ended up facing the soldiers before her arrival and she was happy to have ended up on the right side of the fight. They found the young girl hiding not too far away and escorted her back to her home in Stone Bottom. She explained that the soldiers were mercenaries from the Black Fist and that they would not be happy when they came to. So the three of them left quickly. Walking briskly they overtook the caravan and arrived in town later that evening. They were thanked by the young woman, who told them it might be a good idea to stay away from the Minstrel’s Flask, a known hang out of the Black Fist. So after being paid by the caravan leader, the two headed off into town to find a place to rest. Clarabell knew Stone Bottom fairly well and led them to the Magnificent Hero, the oldest Inn in Stone Bottom.

After sharing a meal together(and getting strange looks from the other patrons), they decided to call it a night and head to their rooms. Since Kain’s caravan duty was up he had offered to escort Clarabelle back home to Aethere Keep so they were planning on getting an early start the next morning. Unfortunately that never happened. Just a few minutes after going to their rooms, a loud crash could be heard coming up the stairs. Both of them peeked out of their room to see what the ruckus was and saw a dozen town guards rushing the hallway. When the guards saw them they halted and drew their weapons. One left the main group and approached them warily. Stopping just out of weapons range, he pointed at both of them and said ‘You both are under arrest for attacking citizens of Stone Bottom and for interfering in a military matter. Please come with us quietly or we will be forced to use violence’. Kain was already tensing up when Clarabelle put a calming hand on his shoulder. ’I’m sure its just a misunderstanding and we can get this worked out’. With that Clarabelle and Kain followed who appeared to be the leader of this group while the other soldiers went into their room and gathered up their equipment and supplies.

Kain and Clarabelle were led to the headquarters of the Town Guard, and from there were taken down into the cellars, which housed the town’s jail. With nary a word to them, the guards pushed them into a cell and closed the door behind them. The only light was just a few sputtering torches along one wall but it was enough to show them that the jail was in good shape and nothing short of a key was going to get them out. It was at this time they noticed movement in the cell next to them. ‘Greetings my brothers.. welcome to the Stonebottom Inn’. Not seeing who was speaking to them they moved closer to the bars until they could make out the two large human-like shapes in the next cell. Both were startled when the shapes moved closer and they saw they weren’t human, but were half-orc instead. And not only that, but that they were almost identical in their looks. the puzzlement on their face must have been evident because both the half-orcs started laughing. One stuck his hands through the bars and said ‘We don’t bite.. well at least most of the time. My name is Bark and the quiet one next to me is my brother Needles. We are originally from the Norwood but our recent travels brought us here to this wretched town’. With that Bark spit on the ground to show his distaste. Introductions were made and Kain and Clarabelle found out that Bark and Needles were orphans raised by an Elven druid. Bark took to his father’s druidic calling and Needles became his protector, a ranger of the woods. The only crime Needles and Bark were guilty of was being Half-Orc. They had come into Stone Bottom for supplies but wound up being thrown in jail for no real reason. That was over two weeks ago and they still don’t know when they will be getting out, or if they ever will.

It had seemed they had just fallen asleep when the clanging of footsteps and keys woke them up. A solitary man was approaching their cell with a torch.He stopped just outside the cell door and peered in. ‘Ahh it looks like I won’t have to wake you after all. My name is Petyr Tumengorámë and I am Captain of the Black Fist Mercenaries here in Stone Bottom. It would seem that you met one of my sergeants, Arty Ralinski outside of town this afternoon. And as sure as I am that Arty no doubt deserved the whipping you gave him today, I can’t have people thinking they can openly defy The Black Fist’. So with that opening comment he told Kain and Clarabelle that they had two choices. They could rot in this cell forever, or they could take on a job for The Black Fist. When asked what the job was, he told them of the hidden Stronghold of Quasqueton, and how he wanted them to find it for him, and when they did, explore and map it. He even told them that anything they found within the stronghold was theirs to keep. ‘And don’t even think about saying you’ll take the job then disappear. The reach of the Black Fist is long. We would find you.‘. Clarabelle approached the cell door, bending over and looking the elf in the eye. ’We’ll take the job, but you have to do one thing for us. These two in the next cell deserve to be here as much as we do. Set them free to accompany us. They have skills that will help us in this endeavor’. Petyr laughed and said.. ‘I like your style Minotaur! Consider it done!’.

With that he unlocked the cells and lead them through the darkened streets of Stone Bottom. He came to another building and led them inside and down to the basement. It was difficult to see but it was obvious he had opened a secret door and led them into a small tunnel that appeared to be heading west. After what seemed to be a mile of walking, they came to a ladder heading up. After climbing it, it was apparent that they were outside the city, the lights of the town showing dimly to the east. They found all their equipment in piles right beside the exit, including enough rations for a two week journey. Petyr handed them a map of the region, with a few Xs marking the probable locations of Quasqueton. He gave them a quick smile before heading down the hole. The party quickly donned on their gear and decided to head out. They were tired but knew they needed to put some distance between themselves and Stone Bottom before first light.

The ‘Company of Odd Fellows’ first adventure had begun.

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Day 5 - In the Stronghold

The Tenth day of Hardmonth, in the year 400 BY

Company of Odd Fellows

Stronghold of Quasqueton

The party knew from looking at the map that they had successfully explored and mapped most of the first level of Quasqueton. However they also realized that they were getting low on supplies and that they would most likely need to leave the stronghold and head back into town after today. They knocked the coal dust off of themselves and their equipment and headed out. The first place to go was the door right down the hall from where they slept. A quick listen and look at the door by Andy came up clean so the party opened up the door and went inside. As they had suspected before, they were close to the forge and they found it in this room. The part they entered was empty except for some blacksmith tools but the northern section of the odd shaped room contained the forge as well as 3 fire pits. Both looked like they hadn’t seen any recent use. There was another door leading out of this room heading south. An inspection proved fruitless so they decided to kick the door open and head on in.
The door banged open to two orcs standing in the room, weapons ready. However the orcs must have been expecting them from the south door and had their back to the party. By the time they turned around, the party was already moving forward for the attack. Needles moved to the back and let two arrows fly, striking the first orc in the room. Meanwhile Kain and Clarabelle moved in for melee combat and quickly had the two orcs on the ropes. But another orc had climbed up from the level below via a hole in floor and snuck up on Kain. He tried to stab Kain in the back but luckily Kain sensed the blow and was able to dodge the blade. It was the only attack he would try as the next round saw both his friends killed, one by another arrow from Needles, and the other by Kain’s katana. The last orc fled the room through the south door, but the intrepid thief Andy gave chase. She caught him in the hallway, striking him down with her short sword and ending his life. By the time the other adventurers could react, she was already coming back into the room, cleaning the blood off her weapon.
An inspection of the room showed another section of the forge, the only oddity being the 3 foot hole in the middle of the floor on the south side of the room. Clarabelle found a log and was able get one end of it burning brightly before dropping it down the hole. It landed on a hard surface about 40’ feet below them. There was a rope tied to a tie off which must have been how the orcs entered the room. Some tugging on it showed that although it looked sturdy it might not be able to hold the weight of the more solid adventurers. The mystery of the hole was almost enough for them to miss a spear laying by the south door. Bark picked it up and noticed it was a finely crafted weapon and decided to cast detect magic on it to see if the spear was enchanted. His hunch proved right and he was now the proud owner of a magic weapon (+2 Spear).
The party rolled out their map and looked at all they had explored. They felt like they had found all that could be found, but one triangular area gave them pause. Since they had to head that direction to leave the Stronghold anyways it couldn’t hurt to take one more look. Their hunch proved them right as Andy was able to easily find the secret door in the hall.
Once the door was found, Andy listened at it and could definitely hear the sound of gruff voices talking on the other side but couldn’t tell the language. Needles took her place and quickly recognized the language as goblinoid. A quick plan was put into place. Clarabelle would open the door just as Bark called on nature to fill the room with entangling vines. The rest of the party would put their melee weapons away and pull forth their ranged weapons. Needles had to keep from laughing as Kain pulled out his short bow. It just seemed funny to him. Bark readied his spell and as soon as the door opened cast entangle. It worked perfectly as it started from the middle of the room spreading out. All but two of the surprised hobgoblins (and one lone orc) were quickly stuck in the vines. Needles saw two archers in the back of the room raise their bows and released his deadly twin strike, killing one archer and severely injuring the other. The hobgoblins were having a real tough time in the vines, most couldn’t move and the two who could were only moving slowly. The party cut the hobgoblins down before the vines retracted, scoring multiple hits with their bows. Bark finished off one hobgoblin by piercing him through with his new magic spear while Clarabelle let loose a flurry of magic missile attacks, killing one goblin she could barely even see. Only one hobgoblin escaped the room, trying to engage Clarabelle before she could cast. However while he was trying to stab her, Andy slid around behind him and stuck her sword squarely in his back, ending his life. The group as a whole was suddenly seeing Andy in a new light, and vowed not to piss her off.
With the last hobgoblin killed and the entangle spell dissipated, the party checked the room. What they found were a variety of different construction supplies, either not used during the building or set aside for future building that never happened. In the corner they also found one Scroll of Sleep, possibly dropped by one of the hobgoblins trying to escape the vines. Clarabelle pocketed that scroll for later use.
With this last room found, the adventurers felt they had fully explored the first level of Quasqueton and that it would be prudent if they headed back since Stone Bottom was at least 2 to 3 days walk from the entrance. Needles and Bark assured them that once they got outside they would be able to help keep them fed while they traveled back.

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