Dragonclaw Barony

The Day of Wonder Festival

The Company of Odd Fellows

Hommlett

The day of the festival arrived and the party set forth to celebrate with the town. the celebration was going strong, with many of the villagers wandering the town, taking part in many of the games that had been set up, and of course partaking in all the wonderful food and beverages. the party also tried out some of the games, Bark losing out in an arm wrestling contest to the local woodcutter (nobody wanted to arm wrestle a minotaur. Needles bested a few of the local hunters to win the archery contest. Kain won the drinking contest (a bit of cheating on his part) and Clarabelle graciously lost out on the pie eating contest. They meandered out to the grove where Alaktyrr had set up his house of worship and were pleasantly surprised to find he had made some more healing potions for them, with each of them buying two of them from him.

After a few hours of wandering around and enjoying the festival, they decided to head back to the Estate and get some rest. As they they were heading northward, they saw a blinding flash ahead of them and all of them were driven to the ground. A strong sense of unresolved vengeance washed over them before they all passed out.

They all awoke at the Estate the next day, with the soldiers keeping a worried eye on them. They were told that they were all found passed out on the road and were immediately brought to the estate. Calmer, the head cleric of Chordax said he could find nothing physically wrong with them and said they would probably be fine with bed rest. It was at this time that Domino spoke up. He told them that the presence they felt was Vorhaze, because on the Day of Wonders, the Gods can walk the earth if they so choose. No words were spoken to him but there was an immense sense of anger, and a location, An old crypt deep in the Norwoods. Domino didn’t know where it was but he had a ‘feeling’.. a sensation of being pulled. If they followed that, he was sure they would find the crypt.

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Home Again

The Twentieth Day of Holy Month, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

Odd Fellows Hall

the Adventurers made their way back to Aethere Keep, where they informed the Duke that Duvessah was okay but they had inadvertently foiled an assassin’s plan to kill her and steal her treasure. They stayed the evening at the keep before heading for Odd Fellows Hall the next morning. They followed the Celes river northwest where they ran into a large contingent of soldiers escorting Lord Cordwell to Aethere Keep. The soldiers were leery of strangers so the party kept their distance as they passed.

they turned north and headed towards Wrenwald and The Odd Fellows Hall. When they arrived in town they could already see the changes made by freeing the townsfolk from the the tyranny of the Wrenwalds. The first thing they were told is that the townsfolk had officially petitioned to have the name of the town changed from Wrenwald to Hommlet. I word that meant ‘home’ in old Llancrest. Nobody could blame them from wanting to distance themselves from a word associated with their former landlord.

The village elder invited the party to a big celebration to mark the name change. It would be in 10 days time during The Day of Wonder and since they were a major factor in all the goods things happening to the village he was hoping they would attend. The party assured him they would be there. He shook their hands before they made their way home to Odd Fellows Hall.

They got their first surprise when they saw that The Church of Chordax had already sent replacement priests to fill the hole left by Domino’s convergence to another faith. One was a dour man named Tarjon, and the other was a younger acolyte named Calmer. They also found that Alaktyrr disagreed with the new cleric so much that he gave up the temple and set up his worship of Kamrynn in a small grove outside of Hommlet. The captain of the guard, Brekken, had been put in charge of keeping an eye on the manor since his departure.

Brekken filled them in on all that had happened since they last left. A few weeks ago, Brothers Tarjon and Calmer showed up and announced they would be in charge of the temple and had the paperwork from the High Cleric to prove it. Within 3 days of their arrival, Alaktyrr had thrown up his hands and moved out of the Hall, setting up a small area of worship in a grove right outside the town. The two new clerics have been very active in recruiting new members for the flock and now many of the townspeople have been converted to the worship of Chordax. They feel that this temple is a sign of the new strength of Hommlett and they will never be oppressed again. While others still worship what they consider the ‘Old Faith’, Kamrynn and the balance of nature. The rise of the new church has began to put a strain on some of the old friendships in the town, since the religions don’t see eye to eye.

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Duvessah's Tower

The eighth Day of Holy Month, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

Duvessah’s Tower

The Mayor of Gulltown, Teknikal Suh’Poort provided the adventurers with a wagon for their travels to Aethere Keep. When they got there they were offered a job by the Duke, Romain Instellius, to check up on a mage by the name of Duvessah, who lived in her personal tower in the Eaglewood. The Duke would consider the job payment for assistance in building Odd Fellow Hall.

With map in hand the adventurers set of to the tower. The trip took two days and was uneventful. They found the tower in a large clearing, a large set of double doors as the only entrance. approached it.

ENTRY LEVEL:

The main, and apparently only, entrance to this fortress is a large set of double doors facing to the southeast. You notice strange runic writing on the door as you approach.

The adventurers had the mage read the runes as the rest stood away from the door. When the runes were read, a Fireball exploded at the doorway. The mage dodged the explosion but still took some damage from the spell. She used the Dragonclaw medallion to heal some of her wounds. The Thief checked the door for traps and found the door unlocked and untrapped but heard sounds on the other side. On opening the door they saw a large rust monster. The Druid attacked it while the ranger took it out at range.

This room contains two large bookcases along the south and west walls of this chamber,
reaching from floor to ceiling. These are filled with various scrolls and tomes.
Along the north wall is a work table. Two shelves, one above the other, run along the north and
east walls just above the table. They hold jars and bottles containing a variety of substances.
South of the work table, along the east wall, is a statue of a muscular man, standing in an attitude of parade rest.

The party avoided the statue and moved along the south wall. They encountered another rust monster but were able to kill it before it could close. The thief was then swallowed by a carpet trapper and had to be hacked out by the rest of the party. She used the Dragonclaw Medallion to heal her wounds. The party then continued to hug the wall til they got to the door going into the tower itself. They took the circular stairs heading up.

TOWER LEVEL 2:

This level of the tower looks to be where Duvessah stores her treasures and other valuables. There are three chests in this room, one against the north wall, one one each in the south east and west corners of the room. All appear to be closed. There is also a suit of armor hanging on an armor rack against the south wall.

The adventurers, heeding the Duke’s warning that nothing should be touched, ignored the chests and continued up the stairs to the next level.

TOWER LEVEL 3:

This level appears to be a small living area set up for relaxation and meditation. There are a couple of overstuffed chairs in various places as well as large pillows strewn about. In the northern wall, is a raised stone slab that seems to be the resting place of a very small dragonlike creature that is peering at you through half-raised eyelids.

The creature didn’t immediately attack them so the mage approached it cautiously and began a dialog with it. He told the creature that they were sent to check up on Duvessah and that they meant no harm. As proof they showed that they had not taken anything of value from the tower. The small dragon decided to accompany them to her quarters on the last floor. With Dragon in tow, they moved up the stairs.

TOWER LEVEL 4:

The central stairs end at this level, but another small spiral staircase climbs to another level from here. This room is devoid of all furnishings and is completely empty except for the two strange creatures stomping around.

The party had never seen the like of these creatures before. The dragon related that they were her mistresses personal guards and she created them herself. Nobody but her could get by them, not even the dragon was allowed upstairs. The party would have to fight them to get to Duvessah. The fight proved to be tough with the mage going down from an acid attack before the party was able to destroy the Pipe Beasts. Some healing from the cleric and a potion got her up and around. With the healing out of the way the party climbed the stairs going to the last level.

TOWER LEVEL 5:

As you come upstairs into the last level of the tower, you catch a shadow out of the corner of your eye before spotting a blade coming at you.

When the thief got to the top of the stairs she was attacked by two assassins from the sides of the stairs. She moved out of the way after the attack and let the samurai up behind her where his katana and a magic missile from the mage took out one of the assassins. The other lost his heart for the fight and jumped out a window. When the party investigated they found a rope and climbing equipment. the assassin was beating a hasty retreat and had no chance to be caught by the adventurers so they let him flee.

They found the mage in a deep slumber and it took a considerable amount of effort to wake her up from her magical exhaustion. Once awakened and made aware of the threat that the assassins posed she was visibly relieved the adventurers had come along when they did. She showed them the magical item she was working on. It was a suit of armor and sword that was made especially for fighting powerful undead creatures with the ability to drain life energy. She made it for a friend, a high level Paladin named Sparrhawk who was especially fond of battling the undead. Then she made her way down to Level 2 where she opened up the one of the chests and gave each adventurer 2500gp for their help. She also gave them a scroll, ring and potion from her magical collection as way to further say thanks.

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Newton and Beyond

The Third Day of Holy Month, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

The Odd Fellows delivered the leaders of the Sapphire Crown to the Capt. of the Guard and the Duke personally to make sure they were going to be taken into custody. The Duke was overjoyed at their assistance and threw a small feast in their honor where they received ‘The Claw of Dragon’ medallion for their assistance in removing the slavers and bringing the Sapphire Crown to justice. He also showed them some of his finest rooms and allowed them to stay as long as they needed to heal and recover. The Odd Fellows took him up on his offer and spent a week in Newton, resting and relaxing. Kain also took this time to make another payment towards his custom Yoroi. Feeling refreshed and rejuvenated the party headed back to Gray Cliffs

When they arrived they they found Capt. Ibenre and his crew at The Crossed Swordfish Inn. They let the Captain know they were ready to sail for Gulltown as soon as he was ready. After a day of preparation the ship was ready to set sail and the Odd Fellows set out towards home.

The captain kept the ship within sight of the shoreline as they skirted the Elvenwood so the trip was mostly uneventful. They were approached by one ship of questionable reputation but a well aimed arrow from Needles convinced that captain to keep his distance. A few days after they entered Elfwood Bay. They could see Tumba Alu, the Elven port city on their left. When asked about the name, Captain Ibenre told them it meant ‘deep water’ and was also the elvish name for the Elfwood Bay as well. Soon after they made port in Gulltown, the Odd Fellows parted company with Captain Ibenre but not before he told them how they could reach him, if they needed his assistance in the future.

Not soon after, as they searched for lodgings in Gulltown, they were approached by soldiers of the watch. They told them the Mayor of Gulltown had been waiting for them, and would like to speak to them at their earliest convenience. The day was still young so they followed the officer to the town hall, where they met Teknikal Suh’poort, intrepid adventurer and now the newest Mayor of Gulltown. Teknikal and Clarabelle had known each other for years, so they hugged each other warmly before getting down to business. He told them that Duke Romain Instellius wanted to meet with them as possible. He put them up for the night, and the next morning they headed out to Aethere Keep.

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A Matter of Justice

The Sixteenth Day of Goodmonth, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

Abandoned Dwarven Mine

The party left Newton while it was still dark, heading south in their wagon, before doubling back west towards where the mine was located.

Due to Needles excellent tracking abilities they were able to avoid what seemed to be a group of mercenaries providing scouting and lookout for the mine and arrived without incident.

1. Entrance

The path dips down into the mountain where it ends with two large wooden doors securing the entrance to the complex. The doors look like they have been recently beefed up with new lumber.

Andy was sent ahead to check the door and found a particularly nasty guillotine trap that she was able to disable. The door was unlocked and as far as she could tell there was silence on the other side of the door. The party entered and entered the hallway which immediately ended in a intersection. From the intersection they could see that it went at least 30’ west and east except that just up the way in the eastern hallway was a door going north. They decided to head right to the east. As Andy approached the door she could vaguely see that the hallway went east a bit before heading southeast.

6. Dining Area

As you near this room, you can hear the sounds of varied conversations along with the unmistakable sounds of people eating. You can hear forks clanking against plates, heavy cups being set down and the occasional burp.

It didn’t take a thief to be able to hear the obvious sounds coming from the other side of the door. A quick plan of attack was formed. Domino would use Vordane to cast Hold Person in the room, Bark would cast entangle in front of the door and Needles and Andy would rain Arrows into the room while Kain and Domino kept them engaged at the door.

They kicked the door open and saw 6 men sitting around a table, two on one side and 4 on the other. Bark cast entangle and Domino made a snap judgment to cast the spell at the 4 men on the right side of the table. 2 of the 4 immediately went stiff as the spell surrounded them. But the other two jumped and began grabbing their weapons as did the other 2. Besides Domino and Bark casting their spell the element of surprise didn’t give the party first blood as all the other attacks failed. One of the fighters, a small burly halfling jumped on the table and began to taunt the party about their aim as the fighters ran into the vines, unaware of their effect on them. The Halfling was smarter than that and told the man next to him to head for the kitchen door, then took off, taking an arrow from Needles for his trouble. The Cleric followed him as the guards charged headfirst into the vines and were entangled. As the cleric went through the west hallway and the halfling went to follow another arrow from Needles found him. the guards took their cue from the Halfling and began frantically working their way through the vines toward the other door. One broke free and began moving away but was struck down by another arrow from Needles. The other guard soon joined his friend as Kain and Domino both attacked him. With everyone fleeing to the other room, Bark dispelled his entangle spell and the party began entering the room. needles ran to the opposite wall to get a bead on what was waiting for them in the east hallway. He saw that it was stairs leading down. The other party members quickly bound the two guards who were still under the hold person spell then moved to the east and kicked in the door.

5. The Kitchen

This room appears as if it was originally built as a small forge with large hoods extending from the ceiling to vent out the smoke. However it looks as if the recent guests have converted it to a kitchen, using the forges as firepits for cooking. There are some open barrels and bags of foodstuffs sitting in the corner and the smell of cooking meat permeates the room.

Domino charged in and struck one of the guards waiting for them before he could react. But the halfling was waiting to the side and took a swipe at him with his battleaxe. An arrow followed them in as Needles hit another guard, another arrow from Bark and Kain’s Katana soon finished that guard off. Andy tried to leap into the room but was literally swatted out of the air by the guards, followed by a devastating blow from the Cleric. The fight moved into the kitchen and blows were traded by both sides with Andy having to extricate herself from the battle in order to quaff a healing potion. But the party soon prevailed and the mercenaries were killed. In the kitchen they saw another hallway leading off the the northwest. They also saw another hallway leading off to the northeast in the dining room they were just in. They had Andy stealthily follow the hallway leading from the kitchen while they followed behind at a distance. The hallway climbed up some stairs before it opened into a wide chamber. Although this chamber was also lit it was not as brightly lit as both the kitchen and dining area they had just left. Andy could make out a murky opening to the north with what looked like a bridge crossing it.

.7 The Bridge

As you reach the end of the wide hallway, you can see that it opens into a large chasm that drops into the murky darkness below. There is a wide bridge that spans the chasm to an opening on the other side. However, there is a timber barricade in the middle of the bridge manned by armed troops. At first glance it doesn’t look like there is a way around the barricade.

With the rest of the party waiting in the hallway, she went north. As she went out onto the bridge she could see some sort of barricade constructed about 40’ out on the bridge itself with movement behind it. Without wanting to risk detection she snuck back to the party. The decided to work the large chamber south.

.4 Ambush Alcoves

As you walk down this large corridor you notice three evenly spaced doorways on the west side
of the wall. There are small rooms behind them that appear to be empty.

While investigating these alcoves they found that they were some sort of spell on them that made them look empty even when they weren’t. But luckily they were all actually empty behind the spell. Working their way back south they came across a a well at the end of the chamber as well as the first passageway they came across when entering the mine.

.3 Deep Well Alcove

This large alcove has a large cistern well in the middle of the floor. A newly constructed timber frame sits over it, holding a rope and large bucket that looks fairly new as well.

Since the well seemed to be getting use from the new occupants the party risked a drink and found the water refreshingly cold and clear and felt a bit more rejuvenated after drinking it. Following the hallway back to the door back to the kitched they decided to continue following the hall where it began to head southwest. At the end of a short run, it ended in a door to the southwest. After Andy checked the door they entered the room cautiously.

.2 Storage Room

This room is being used as a storage room. There are barrels of dry goods and other foodstuffs. It looks like there is enough food here to feed a small army for a few months. There is also a small beat up chest in the corner of the room.

Among the various foodstuffs they found a small chest containing 540 gold pieces and 3 gems that looked to worth about 50 gp. In the chest they also found a note that said Black Fist: For services Rendered -BL. They split up the gold before heading back to the Dining Area. There they followed the other hallway they saw where it turned north before ending abruptly at a chasm.

13. The Chasm

The original stone bridge crossing the chasm here has long been destroyed. However on the north end of the chasm there is a makeshift bridge that is in the raised position. From the looks of it, it’s meant as a means of quick egress and there are no cranks to pull it up or down, just a set of ropes keeping it in the raised position.

Their choices were to try to figure out a way to bring this bridge down or risk a fight with men behind cover on the other. Since Needles has the best aim out of all of them, he was tasked with trying to cut the rope with an arrow. After 4 unsuccessful tries he hit the rope, cutting some strands but not enough to sever it. Around the same time Andy heard something coming from below them. She peered over and saw something large coming up the chasm wall. The party drew weapons as Needles frantically tried to drop the bridge. His second shot hit the rope again, yet the bridge still held. It was then that the two monstrosities made their way over the ledge. Two enormous barbed snails made their way over the ledge and into the hallway. Both fired their barbs at Needles since he was in the front, one of them finding its mark. The snails were relentless and their bites soon left Needles near death, forcing him to make a fighting withdrawal to let Kain take his place. Kain also felt the sharp teeth of these snails but his Katana made short work and he kicked the carcass off the ledge and back into the chasm. Domino followed his lead and crushed the other snail under his mace.

another two shots and Needles was able to fray the rope enough for it to break. They were expecting the bridge to just fall, but it obviously had some counter balances on it and it came down smoothly, actually extending as it fell into the horizontal position on their end of the walkway. They sent Andy over to investigate and with her hurried movement back over the bridge they knew something was up. She told them there were 2 more snails in a room beyond the bridge, eating two hapless guards. She thought they may be able to sneak around them if they were quiet.

12. The Barracks

As you come down the hallway and round the corner you see the 5 men stopped cold in the middle of this room. What has their attention is two giant snails making a meal of two unfortunate guards who either didn’t see them or were asleep. The snails are near the south door, blocking any means of exit through that direction.

Unfortunately Domino’s less than stealthy movements caused the snails to stop their meal. With that plan blown, the party decided to seize the initiative and attack. With more room to maneuver the party was able to quickly dispatch the two snails without receiving a single wound. The passageway to the east opened into a more natural cavern where it led around the corner to the northwest. They followed the passageway where it meandered west until they saw a small alcove going north. At the end of the alcove was a trap door in the ceiling but the party was unable to reach it to get it open.

So they continued to follow the cavern as it wound its way northwest until it began to curve around south. They came to a door in the cavern wall.

8. The Armory

This hollowed out cave is being used as a makeshift armory. There are racks of long and short swords, Long bows, spears and daggers. As well as an assorted variety of leather and chain armor. There are also small barrels filled with arrows and two full quivers of arrows hanging by a peg.

All the weapons in the room were mundane with the exception of the two quivers, which radiated magic. The magically imbued arrows made them more more deadly than normal arrows (Arrows +2)

As the cavern turned south it began climbing and there were some roughly hewn stairs carved into the floor to assist the climb. There was also more light coming from that direction as well so Andy tried to be extra quiet as she worked her way ahead of the group. She came to a Wye and could see that further south was the other side of the bridge and the men manning the barricade. To the Northeast she saw a larger cavern being guarded by six men.

She went back and told the party what she saw. They were assuming that the men they were looking for were somewhere in the area to the east of them but that between the six guards and the men at the bridge they would be surrounded pretty quickly no matter who are where they attacked first. They looked at the map and kept coming back to the trapdoor they couldn’t reach and how most likely it came up in the area where the ringleaders were most likely at.

So using the last of the Potion of Gaseous Form, Andy snuck past the guards and into the room.

9. The Meeting Room

As you round the corner the passageway opens into a large open chamber. There is a masked man standing on a platform at the northern end of the chamber. He is addressing 4 other masked figures in a tone loud enough to be heard from where you are. He is expressing frustration that inside sources are telling him that the new captain is on their trail and that more desperate measures may need to be taken. One of the men in the crowd speaks up about the necessity of killing the new captain and maybe even the Duke himself. At this point everyone begins to speak at once and the conversation is lost.

She worked the edges of the cave wall trying to stay out of the light. She rounded the corner and went into the next room where she saw the trap door towards the south wall.

10. The Fallback

Another large chamber cut into the stone, but smaller than the one to the west. There is nothing of note in this area except for a square opened trapdoor near the southern wall. There
is also a pungent smell drifting from the smaller alcove to the east.

She had to wait until the potion wore off before she quietly opened up the trapdoor and lowered the rope ladder down to her waiting companions. With everyone up they decided on a plan of attack. Domino hit the ringleaders with a hold person spell while the rest of the party moved into the room. The hold person only got one of them so Andy followed behind him with her bow drawn and pointed at them. The party got the drop on the guards hitting a few with arrows but this is when things began to go terribly wrong. The guards all turned around and to a man throw flasks at the party and green explosions reigned down on them, mortally wounding Kain and severely hurting the others. The Odd fellows knew they had to close to melee or those explosive flasks would kill them, so they all moved to engage the party. However the explosions gave the ringleaders the break they were looking for so they began running towards the south west entrance. Another hold person from Domino caught two more though. Needles did the next smartest thing, he stood with one foot on one of the spellbound leaders, daring the guards to throw the fire and risk killing one of the men that paid them. The risk paid off and they decided to close to attack him. Now that the explosives were out of the picture, the party fought on and took down the rest of the men just in time for the guards from the bridge to come running in. With swords pointed at the throats of the men who were supposed to pay them, the mercenary guards surrendered. The guards and the leaders of ‘The Sapphire Crown’ were bound hand and foot but as injured as the party was, they figured it was smarter to send Needles back to Newton to get help.

While he was gone, Andy and Bark investigated the last small section of the cave they hadn’t looked at yet.

11. The Lab

The overpowering smell of chemicals permeates the air here. In the north corner of the room a small laboratory has been set up. There doesn’t seem to be anything being made at this moment but the smell tells you that it’s been used recently. In well packed crates next to the lab there are 10 corked flasks containing a green liquid.

It didn’t take an alchemist for them to figure that these were the same flasks the guards had used against them. They carefully carried the crates back to the room where the captives were being held.

Later that evening Needles arrived back with a contingent of Town Guards, who trundled the prisoners into another wagon. Once they were secure, the guards escorted the prisoners and the Odd Fellows back to town.

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Return to Newton

The Fourteenth Day of Goodmonth, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

Newton

An uneventful trip up the Gray Cliffs road led them to Newton a few days later. They immediately noticed a much heavier guard presence at the gate and their wagon was searched thoroughly before they were allowed in. After finally entering the town, they left their wagon at the public stables, paying a much higher stable rate than they were expecting. It was still early in the day so they went to the castle to try and get an audience with the Duke. They experienced a heavy resistance to allowing them in until the chamberlain heard who they were. Once he did, they were immediately led to the Duke’s private quarters.

He greeted them with a smile but it was obvious there was a sadness and wariness to his demeanor. When asked about the stories they heard in Gray Cliffs, he told them he would explain later, but now he wanted to hear about their trip. The party told him about the Slaver’s Fortress and how they fought a pitched battle with the slavers and their guards. All of the Slavers were killed but a few guards were left alive. The party put them in the slave pens with about two weeks worth of rations but recommended the Duke send some troops to secure them and the fortress. They told him about the Elven sailors they rescued and how Capt. Ibenre mentioned that there may be more behind this slave trade and that possibly a Kar’Tegran presence may be involved. This seemed to trouble the Duke even more but he was glad that for now, this problem had been put to rest. He called to his chamberlain to get a message to Turkey to send a small unit to Frog Island to secure it and the prisoners. He then mentioned the promise of payment and had the chamberlain bring them 3000 gold.

Now that the previous matter was closed, he told them about the events that occurred in Newton since they were last here. After they had left, The Duke tasked the Capt. of the Guard to investigate the alleged involvement of Bailey Laquin with the assassination attempt on the Odd Fellows outside of Mosquito Marsh. While Andrea was investigating Bailey she came across some information that led to an even deeper conspiracy of prominent members of the community dealing in stolen goods and illegal merchandise. Rumors in certain circles called this group ‘The Sapphire Crown’. It was while she was looking into this group that she was killed in the Farmer’s Market. While the Duke was filling them in, a man entered the room with them. The Duke introduced him as Ben Stocks, The new Captain of the Guard. It was at this point that Ben took over the story.

He told them that a break-in into Andrea’s home around the same time as her death was no coincidence. He also found Andrea’s files in his desk, as if she knew someone was after them and didn’t want to leave them in her own office. This was enough to get his suspicions up that whatever happened to Andrea, had to do with this investigation. He told nobody about this matter, and when he was appointed to her position he took it upon himself to investigate the matter quietly without telling anyone else what he knew. Ben was a ranger and scout with the military before he joined the town guard and he was able to follow some of the people named in the file without being seen. It was during a surveillance of one of these men that he was led to an old abandoned mine outside of town in the foothills to north. Staking out the mine, he saw that over the last few days the named leaders of the group, including Bailey Laquin have all left town and headed for the mine. He felt he had enough information to bring these men to justice but without knowing who he could trust, he was afraid the members would be tipped off to any organized attempts to arrest them at the mines. When he approached the Duke with his concerns, he was told of the parties imminent arrival to Newton and the Duke’s hope that they could be convinced to take on the task of bringing ‘The Sapphire Crown’ to justice. Now that they were here and he had told them the story, he asked them for their assistance. The Duke sweetened the pot by offering them another 500gp each as well as another potion of healing for everyone in the party. The party told the Duke to keep his money, they would do it just for paybacks on Bailey.

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Town of Gray Cliffs

The Tenth Day of Goodmonth, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

Gray Cliffs

The sea journey from Frog Island the Town of Gray Cliffs was uneventful. The crew kept the ship within sight of the coast and had good winds throughout the trip. The journey gave the party a chance to recuperate from their injuries sustained during the prolonged battle inside the Slaver Fortress and the brisk sea air and warm sun allowed them to relax for the first time in weeks. They arrived in Gray Cliffs a few days later. Before heading into town, the party asked Capt. Ibenre if he would be willing to take them to Gulltown once their business with the Duke was completed. He agreed to their proposal that they hire him and his crew for the month at the cost of 600gp. He told them they could find him at the Crossed Swordfish Inn when they returned from Newton. The party sold some of the items they recovered from the fortress and purchased a small wagon to take them to Newton.

While they were selling their items and getting restocked, they were hearing of some unrest in the town of Newton. There was an explosion in the Farmer’s Market and a dozen innocent people were killed, including the Captain of the Town Guard, Andrea Grusky. Rumors were floating around that some Llancrest Loyalists were behind the explosion.

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Slavers Fortress

The Sixth Day of Goodmonth, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

Slavers Fortress

The following morning the party woke up, packed up their belongings and headed down the trap door. The passageway eventually widened out to a larger hallway that descended down a staircase before turning south into what looked like a dead end. The dead end turned out to be a cleverly hidden door that opened inward, which suggested it was intended for quick egress to this hallway from the other side.

Andy listened at the door but didn’t hear anything but decided to open the door as quietly as possible. The door was was well balanced and opened inward without making any noise. The hallway on the other side was well lit and a quick glance showed that door was at the intersection where a hall going south met a hall going East-West. Andy could see 3 armed men about 30’ down the south passageway and another 2 men about 20’ to the west where it ended. All of them looked to peering through arrow slits in the walls. A discussion in the hidden room formulated a risky plan. Use an illusion spell from Bark’s wand to hide them from the soldiers in the south hallway. then sneak out the door and take down the two guards in the south, quietly if possible. That plan fell apart when the first guard heard Andy’s approaching footsteps and turned towards them. Domino used his mace to hit them with Hold Person and they both fell to the ground. The party quickly and quietly bound them.

With the illusion spell still hiding them from the guards to the south they decided to try the same plan of attack, Andy getting in close, Needles with a arrow notched and Domino hitting them with another hold person. Andy was able to get in close but her skills weren’t needed as all three of the guards fell over stiffly as the spell hit them. Quickly and quietly the dragged them to the hidden room and bound them as well. Andy followed the hallway down to where it turned east. She saw two more guards down at the end where the hallway turned south again as well as some stairs heading down to the south. With not knowing what was down the hall or stairs, they knew they risked detection but with only two guards they were hoping to take them down quickly. Only one went down from the spell but Andy was right behind the other, silencing him quickly.

Stationing Kain and Clarabelle at the stairs the other four members worked their way down the hallway as it went south. Andy snuck down to the end and saw that there were two more guards but that this was the end of the hallway. She snuck up on the nearest guard and backstabbed him and although the wound went deep, the guard turned around surprised. Needles who was further down the hallway let an arrow fly at the other guard, killing him instantly. The stabbed guard pulled out a whistle and let lose a short burst before Andy stabbed him again, finishing him off. Not sure what the whistle entailed, Needles and Andy moved back to join the rest of the party near the stairs. Kain and Clarabelle moved to cover the hallway north and were surprised when they saw a wall open and a man in robes step out from it. He was looking the other direction as he came out and didn’t see Kain and Clarabelle standing there. Clarabelle yelled out ‘Caster!’ and loosed her Firebolt at the surprised mage. Kain ran at him with his Katana held high, his weapon cutting deeply into the mage as an arrow released by Andy struck his as well. The mage was able to dodge the second set of attacks before casting ice storm, pummelling Kain and the now melee ranged Clarabelle with ice pellets. This allowed him to pop open the secret door and slip inside. Right after two more guards rounded the corner of the stairs coming up. Bark, Needles and Domino stayed back to take on the two guards while Clara, Andy and Kain pursued the wizard. It took them a few seconds but they found the opening to the secret door and bounded in, but by then the wizard was gone through what looked to be another secret door. Meanwhile the other 3 quickly took care of the guards and when it looked like the threat from that direction had passed, moved to join the others. Andy found the secret door and Clarabelle and Kain, piled in to find the room empty, but the trail of blood leading to a door to the north. By the time they got to the hallway on the other side, the wizard had warned the barracks and guards were streaming out into the hallway. Clarabelle case one of her magic missiles at the front lines and Andy released an arrow as a major engagement in the hallway took place.

The party fought half the guards as they came through the door, Bark’s entangle making it impossible for them to move as Kain and Domino cut through their ranks. The other half of the barracks tried to flank the party but were met by resistance from Domino, Needles and Andy while Bark tossed flame bombs at any one in range. However while the party was engaged the wizard alerted the other slavers to their presence and two capable fighters joined the fight from the east while two rogues came in from the east. But the party stood fast and was able to cut them down. As they were breathing a sigh of relief another small cadre of guards came from another area and as the party was mopping them up, they were ambushed by a Lightning Bolt cast by the wizard. With no regard for his own men, it cut the last two of them down and almost took Clarabelle and Bark down as well. But both clung to life and Clarabelle fired off her last magic missile, finishing off the heavily wounded wizard.

Not sure if there were more guards or worse in fortress they quickly used as much of their healing potions and spells to get them up and running, all of them hoping they wouldn’t run into any more. Since they were nearest to the barracks, they searched it first but didn’t find much other than dirty laundry. They backtracked to the room the wizard slipped through and were able to find a not very well hidden concealed door where they came across a large chest full of gems and coins. This wound up being the only treasure they found as they investigated the fortress. But when they discovered the slave pen, they came across 6 men tied to shackles along the wall. When they were freed, one of them introduced himself as Capt. Ibenre, the captain of the ship they found docked earlier. He mentioned that they were tasked by the elven court to investigate the disappearances surrounding this area. When his men docked the ship, they were attacked by orcs and humans and all but him and 5 of his men were killed. He told them the leader’s name was Morgath who ran the group with his mistress Sharana. From what he could gather, Morgath and Sharana were both in the Barony military before being discharged for misconduct. They then put together this crew and got started in the slaving business, although from some of the things Morgath mentioned to him he got the sense that there was something bigger than them involved, possibly even Kar’Tegra involvement.

Most of the men were pretty weak so they brought some food and water in from the barracks to feed the captives. They also found most of their gear in a box in the corner of the pens. They let the men eat and get dressed while they finished searching the fortress. Besides the treasure in the wizards hidden alcove there was nothing to be found. Although they did find that some of the slavers did have some equipment of magical nature which they gathered up.

Captain Ibenre offered to sail them up the coast to the Town of Grey Cliffs, saying it was the least he could do after rescuing him and his crew from either slavery or death. The party was more than willing to take him up on the offer, avoiding the trip back through the Mire Wood and getting a chance to recuperate on the ship.

The Odd Fellows helped get the ship ready to sail, and they set forth the next morning for Grey Cliffs, leaving Frog Island behind.

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Arrival at Frog Island

The Fifth Day of Goodmonth, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

Frog Island

With Needles out front using his tracking skills, the party was able to avoid any unnecessary encounters in their travel to the Island.

As they approached the island they could hear the guttural voices of Lizardmen up ahead. Needles snuck forward and saw that there were a total of 10 of them, and from the looks of the shackles they were carrying, they had just brought the slavers more human captives. There was talk of circumventing them but neither Kain or Domino were having any of that. Anyone dealing in the trafficking of living creatures did not deserve to live.

The Lizardmen weren’t expecting any resistance this close to the island so were unprepared for the parties attack. Each of the characters attacked from afar and decimated the Lizardman ranks and by the time they closed to melee, there were only two left who were quickly dispatched by Kain and Domino. Early in the fight Domino used Hold Person to bring one of the Lizardman down. Now that the fight was over as a lesson to anyone else wanting to deal with slavers, they chained him using his own manacles and left him to find his way home.

The party found a small boat at the dock on the mainland and used it to cross over to the north docks on the island. After tying off the boat they worked found a path heading deeper into the island. They came to an intersection, with one path leading directly south through the middle of the island and two paths branching off towards the outsides of the island, one southwest, the other southeast. Needles found some recent footprints going down the southeast path so they chose that as the path they would take.

Working their way down the path they came to where another path intersected it. A quick inspection showed that this path led to some sort of lookout. Needles scouted ahead and saw that there were some orcs manning the lookout, obviously looking for ships or anything else moving close the island. They were set in 3 groups of 4, but didn’t seem to be too interested in their job, some were eating, others were playing dice. Needles signaled that he would take the group in the middle, Andy the group to the south and Bark, shifting into Bear form would take the group to the north. Needles and Andy’s bow struck down two of the orcs quickly. Needles was able to take another out before the rest of the orcs could react. But react they did as one charged at Bark the bear and slashed him with his longsword. Andy found herself quickly surrounded but was able to dispatch one of the orcs with her shortsword. Kain got into the fray, helping out Bark who was also surrounded by orcs. Domino soon joined him and took down another orc, thinning the ranks surround Bark considerably. Two of the orcs attacking Andy broke off and ran after Needles and Clarabelle. Needles took a deep cut before killing the orc with his bow at point blank range. Bark the bear finished off the last guy on him, allowing Kain and Domino to help out Andy. Soon they had killed all the orcs at the lookout. Bark had taken some heavy damage in bear form and as soon as he transformed back into his normal shape, Domino healed him.

They continued to follow the path as it traveled southeast. Eventually the path started turning due south. Here in a clearing they smelled something that seemed familiar to them, but not in a good way. With the rest of the party holding up, Needles scouted ahead. Moving silently he came across a lone troll gnawing on what looked like the remains of a human leg, a rusty shackle still attached to the ankle. Enraged by what he saw, he stepped back a few yards and let on of his fire arrows sail, hitting the troll solidly. The troll was angered but also shaken by the burning arrow that just hit him. As he began to charge Needles, Needles released another arrow, with another coming right behind it from Andy. Both hit the troll and he went down. The rest of the party quickly closed around the ‘dead troll’ and covered it with oil, before setting it on fire.

The party continued to follow the path south until they came to the other end of the island. Here they discovered another dock that was much more well maintained then the docks on the north side. Tied to the mooring was a beautiful medium sized sailing vessel, which looked distinctively elvish in make. The boat and docks were guarded by a small contigent of orc soldiers but the party wanted to investigate this ship and felt they could easily take down the guards. 4 of the guards were on the dock and two were on the bow of the ship.

Kain and Domino moved towards the docks, Domino using Vordane to cast hold person at the two closest orcs. One was able to shake the spell but the other immediately went rigid, locked in the spell’s effect. Andy and Needles let their arrows fly, Andy’s staggered her target but he didn’t go down, but Needles target fell forward off the end of the boat and into the water. As Kain closed in and finished off one, Needles was dropping the rest like flies, with one left standing, it through down its bow and pleaded for mercy. The party found a small holding cell in the ship and locked both the remaining orcs in there. They investigated the rest of the ship and saw that even though the ship was in overall great condition, it had recently come under attack. From the higher vantage of the ship they could see what appeared to be a small villa to the northwest of them, so they followed the trail up from there.

The villa looked as if it hadn’t been occupied in decades but did look it was built in the near past. Some guesswork on the party’s part figured that it probably belonged to the pirate leader before the island was raided. The villa consisted of a number of strong stone structures including the main house, which was painted in a color that most people would call gaudy. There was a large swimming pool in the front that was half full of murky brackish water and dead leaves. Movement in the water suggested that something had made the pool its new home and nobody was in mood to dive in and find out. They also came across a small quarters where the groundskeeper and servants lodges as well as a stable.

The ranger found some tracks leading off from the stable to the east. The tracks were a combination of human, lizardman, orc and ppossibly elf. He worked his way quietly along the edges of the trail, where he came across an wide entrance going into the hill itself.

You see a fortified dungeon entrance, with short tower-like emplacements bracketing it. You can see arrow slits in the emplacements, which would allow guards within them to fire arrows (or worse) at anyone trying to enter. The floor within the entrance is covered in sand, which has been raked into lines.

Needles made his way back to the party where he told them what he had found. This was most likely where the slavers set up shop, but getting in through the front door would be difficult. the sand was there to make sneaking through the entrance difficult. Wondering if the construction of this underground area coincided with the building of the villa, they decided to go back and give the villa a thorough once-over to see if there was a secret entrance to the dungeon somewhere in there.

DM Note: I had not planned on having a back door entrance to the slaver’s fortress but sometimes you want to reward your players for smart play instead of just bull rushing the front door.

A check of all the structures in the villa, revealed a trapdoor under some moldy hay in the stables. The party quietly dropped down into a very small, cramped hallway that would only allow them to travel single-file. Although it was hard to get their bearings, the tunnel did seem to continue in a direction that would take them towards the underground fortress. Instead of following it now, the party thought it would be better to rest for the day since it was already late afternoon, and get an early start in the morning.

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The Trip Back to Crooked Rock Tower

The Second Day of Goodmonth, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

Crooked Rock Tower

The trip from Newton back to Crooked Rock Tower from Newton was uneventful. With them traveling by wagon instead of walking the trip only took them a little over a week and because of the armed escort, they weren’t disturbed by Bandits or wandering creatures. They passed through Mosquito Marsh where they let the community know that representatives of the Duke would be occupying the tower for the foreseeable future. Everybody was glad to hear that, knowing that it would make things a little more stable for their small town.

The Odd Fellows helped Daveak and his crew get settled in before sitting down and consulting the map they took from the dead Lizardman Chief and compared it to a map they had of the Mire Wood. Comparing the two, they saw that the Lizardmen had been traveling to Frog Island, a small island off the coast of The Mire Wood with a very long and unsavory reputation. Preparing their gear they decided on setting out the next morning.

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