Siliceous

A Catalyst for a Future Hero?
January 26, 2013

Jan 21, 994
6:00 p.m.
Current party loot = 38,901 g.p.

After bursting into the ancient temple, discovering recent human sacrifice/bloodletting that appears connected to a magic circle and a likely escape by teleportation of the Imix followers, the group quickly makes sure this level is safe. Ja’Elle detects distant voices, down a stone, spiral staircase, well below the earth.

Bui uses a ritual to redistribute the party’s heal surges. Kissandi and Ja’Elle search the dead from the previous encounter. Tyzzer is given the loot found including a Ring of the Crimson Sun (LVL 14) and a Flame Rose consumable (LVL 10).

The group is refreshed and ready to descend the well worn spiral staircase to the crypts below.

Ja’Elle scouts ahead in the dark. After waiting fifteen minutes, the others go to look for him. Kissandi lights a torch. On the second level down into the earth, Kissandi is able to discern how to track Ja’Elle using light footfalls in the dust.

Before reaching Ja’Elle, the noise made by Kissandi and Tyzzer has woken some moaning undead who approach the party from the darkness of the crypts.

Ja’Elle hiding in the shadows, unnoticed by the zombie, lets one go by. After a zombie rips Kissandi’s flesh, causing ongoing pain, Tyzzer directs Kissandi’s attack and she sets slashes the zombie so hard that it explodes and takes out another zombie in the explosion. Bui is attacked, but is able to quickly destroy another zombie.

The zombies do not last long and the party is reunited.

A dense fog blocks light into another area of the crypts. Scouting ahead again, Ja’Elle enters a shrine and workroom. Edgar mumbles incoherantly to himself, using a sickle to rip apart the flesh of a recently dead victim. Two howling spirits float nearby. Several gravehounds appear to circle and tear at the flesh of other newly dead victims on the floor. Two coffins stand nearby.

Kissandi follows and is quickly attacked by the gravehounds. Bui and Tyzzer join the fray.

The gravehounds do not last long. Edgar was quickly attacked by Tyzzer, who then gave effective orders to Ja’Elle and Kissandi to surround and attack him, too. Radiant energy and damage from the Raven Queen and Fharlanghn seem to temporarily interrupt Edgar’s crazed joy in mutilation. Before Tyzzer directs Ja’Elle’s killing blow, Edgar calls out and a mummy opens one of the coffins and enters the battle.

The mummy sows fear and pestilence. He calls for the heroes to leave his crypt and enfeebles Kissandi. All within 25’ of the mummy have reduced defenses and are slid whenever starting their actions.

Bui temporarily stops the mummy from being able to attack.

In less than a minute, the heroes heavily damage the royal mummy. Ja’Elle lands the final jab.

A search of the area uncovers amazing gems in the mummy’s coffin and a hidden note under Edgar’s worktable. Edgar was clearly a follower of Orcus and others had brought him their recently dead to work on. It appears the heroes put an end to that operation. Hehe.

Leaving the cemetery, Vinny nervously approached the heroes, impressed and a little scared. He invited them back to his farm.

Vinny’s parents seemed surprised to see adventurers and were clearly protective of their farm and children. The heroes were kind in word and deed. Kissandi gave the family a gemerald. Ja’Elle began teaching Vinny and his brother to juggle. Tyzzer, Bui, and Ja’Elle all gave good advice to Vinny’s father, who was worried that Vinny may leave the farm to adventure.

After a good meal and rest for the night, Kissandi finally shook off the mummy’s curse and regained her strength. Not only that, the entire group leveled up. Ja’Elle gained confidence in his athleticism and acrobatic ability. Kissandi got a lot more durable, having survived many harrowing experiences. Bui has better honed his skills of intimidation. Tyzzer has learned enough through experience and his readings to Enter the Crucible and resist 10 damage and not be weakened for one encounter per day.

The heroes realized that this family has been different in that they were completely good, with seemingly no bad intentions, unlike so many others the group had recently encountered. Ja’Elle put a mark of the thieve’s guild on the door as a sign to look out for and protect this family. As the group left the farm, they reentered the capital city, civilization appeared starkly less civil than Vinny and his family.

In Lambasa, the heroes split up. Ja’Elle went to talk to rogue’s and leatherworkers to try to have improvements made to his clothes. Kissandi and Bui sought to find a fresh scent on the trail of Mulligan Finch. Tyzzer looked for Atli or another member of the Silver Hand to alert them that the heroes felt the cult activity in the capitol was more pressing than the giant raids.

Ja’Elle had some success, but will need to return in over a week and see if the work is done to his standard.

Kissandi and Bui went back to the storefront, to the hidden door in the alleyway that led to the basement where the ritual was performed, and eventually to Elrilmarioum at the University. They found there was little recent activity. Mulligan Finch is nowhere to be detected. The only recent clues were leading to the cemetary, temple, and crypt that the heroes just saved. It appears the heroes averted a likely undead attack on the city. It also appears that the scent of the Imix cult activity has gone further underground over the past couple days.

Tyzzer met Lyrie Akenja and her white cat. Lyrie, a member of the Silver Hand, and a scholar, advised Tyzzer to follow his brain and not his heart and to take Sarax’s advice. She said she understood why Tyzzer wanted to deal with the cult and wouldn’t stop him, but hoped he would see why Sarax had selected the heroes to deal with the giants. Tyzzer suggested to Lyrie that the Silver Hand might join with the WJN to form a larger network of allies.

The group met back up. Before leaving town, the group was able to appraise the jewels and gems from the mummy’s tomb, and found them valued at 14,000 gp.

Meeting Atli the next morning, the group sent word to Nan that they would meet him in Unrick as quickly as their phantom steeds could carry them. Atli provided a map of the area they were going to from those who had recently shared the location of Howling Crag.

After four days of travel, the group met Nan Hornberg in Unrick. After sharing past experiences including the hill giant steading stories, Nan advised the group to hire one or more henchmen to translate giant to common. He told the group it was important to stop the stone giant raids, but the goal this time was to fracture the alliance, not necessarily destroy all the stone giants because normally stone giants are not evil. Something seems to have changed recently at Howling Crag with the stone giants led by Thane Arnak.

He advised the party to talk with Unrick locals about a recent delegation sent to Howling Crag, to talk with elves in Darkgleam military encampment in the Mystic Forest who were recently attacked by the giants, and to dwarves in Ironcrown who may know more about Howling Crag.

The heroes went to Darkgleam first and met with Lyfalia, a female elf. The group gained a minor quest from her to retrieve the battle standard, atop which is a golden falcon. The elves take it as a sign of ill omen that the falcon was lost. Return it if you can. Bui asked about the WJN in the open, and Lyfalia seemingly upset left. Tyzzer tried to make things right, but the group was unable to gain any more insight at Darkgleam.

Next the group returned to Unrick, met an elder dwarf by the name of Glint. Glint gave the party another minor quest, saying that a delegation sent to negotiate a truce with Thane Arnak never returned. The group included a human noble named Merlian Saar, his two bodyguards, and their guides, a pair of goliaths. Find and rescue any survivors. Glint was hired as a translator and he tagged along with the party.

Next, the party made their way to the dwarven clanhold Ironcrown. The dwarves, until recently, had good relations with the stone giants under Thane Arnak and hoped those could be restored. But, now many were worried.

A couple dwarves were convinced that Arnak still commands the giants of Howling Crag, but feared that a dark influence has persuaded the thant to act against his better nature. A couple other dwarves said that half a year or more ago, Danica Stonesong, a dwarf from Ironcrown, went for business to several locations including Howling Crag. She hadn’t returned and they didn’t know if she ever made it to Howling Crag, but said that the dwarves and stone giants had generally good relations for decades until quite recently, and hoped to restore the good relations with the stone giants.

The group used streetwise, diplomacy, and their studies of history to uncover that the giants always have a roc-mounted sentry watching the road to the crag and the environs around it. It’s nearly impossible to avoid notice while approaching the crag. The group also learned of a secret tunnel north of the crag.

After considering three possible entry options, the group established a cave just outside of sight of the area of Howling Crag and made their way to the secret tunnel at night.

Under the cover of night, the group found a boulder. After some effort, Tyzzer with the help of others was able to move it enough so they could enter.

A 15 foot wide stone tunnel leads to the warrens, sloping upward gradually, going several hundred feet. Then, a wall blocked the way.

Tyzzer, mustering all his might, pushes against the wall. Despite much grunting and foul language from Tyzzer, the wall refuses to move even slightly. As Tyzzer is doubled over and gasping for air, Kissandi inspects the wall more closely and discovers handholds ten feet above the ground. Glint whispers something to Ja’Elle. Ja’Elle steps up to Tyzzer and asks, “Would you like me to get that?” Tyzzer, thinking the halfling must be kidding or delusional, barely even looks up to acknowledge him. In a blink, Ja’Elle has scrambled up onto Kissandi’s shoulders. From there, he pulls gently and the wall slides out of the party’s way. Ja’Elle looks down to see an astonished expression on Tyzzer’s face. Ja’Elle crosses his arms smugly and smiles.

As Tyzzer looks on in amazement, he only then notices a sign on the door. He rolls his eyes and slaps his forehead, when Glint translates the solitary word: “Pull.”

The warrens opened up before the heroes…

It is now Feb 1 at about 11:00 p.m.
Total party loot = 52,000 g.p. (SUBTRACT cost for Ja’Elle’s taylor, etc. and for Glint)

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Saving Rowena and Vinny
January 11, 2013

Jan 17, 994, 10 pm (38,901 gp)

Arriving back near Lambasa, with two days for an unwanted mission from PR III to find out about the local elf network to save Rowena, the four reenter the capitol. Seeking information, Bui meets with Vale Temeros. Vale alerts Bui of a dragonborn seeking us. We give some money to a nearby barkeep who sends two halflings out to find this dragonborn. One returns with Atli. Atli has a lot to say: “I heard you were here, but when I arrived you were nowhere to be found. Word came to the Silver Hand that the Steading fell by your hands, but you had been captured. Then we heard you had been seen in Lambasa. Sarax sent me to let you know you are needed.

The mission you accepted, against the giants cannot be delayed further. Delays lead to more towns, farms, and civilization being laid to waste. We fear destruction by the giants will escalate even further if you don’t act quickly.

We have learned a about the location of the Stone Giants. We believe those serving the giant hordes come from Howling Crag. We gained the information about this from dwarves who live near the King’s Mountains, who you helped. The Stone Giant Thane Arnak is the least likely to join the other giants. However, Stone Giants have emerged from Howling Crag to join the rampaging hords. The dwarves are convinced that Arnak still commands giants at Howling Crag, but fear a dark influence has persuaded the Thane to act against his better nature.

Check in with those communities around Howling Crag that still remain and with Nan Hornberg, who will meet you in Unrick. Before you leave, send word to Sarax, so he can get word to Nan and ensure he is there to meet you when you are to arrive.

Javok found us. He recognized the silver cufflink worn by Rowena. Where is she? Javok said he did all he could and put his life at risk a couple of times to keep you alive and to bring us what news he could."

The group goes to Elrilmarioum at the University.

Elrilmarioum feels that the Woodland Justice Network needs Laeralin back, but advises against giving PR III any names of any council members, including Leogrator. When told of the actions of the Imix cultists in town, he asks the party to help with that problem. The group hesitates to do this right away because of Vale’s advice to not fight on the streets or in city shops.

After a good night’s rest at the University, the group spends the better part of the next day and a half plastered. In a moment of clarity, Tyzzer attempt to return to the castle were thwarted when he found it closed and heavily guarded.

Returning to the spot in the woods used last time, the group was transported back to PR III.

After PR III thanked Bui for sharing information about Leogrator and the 12 person WJN council, he told them that someday he and the party would be allies. Then, Zarenthal returned and transferred the party with Rowena back to just outside Lambasa.

The group took Rowena back to the Elrilmarioum at the University, so she could recover and regain her strength by communing with Corellon and all the beautiful art at the University.

After receiving and following council from Elrilmarioum on how to best proceed quietly in Lambasa while trying to thwart the Imix cult, the group returned to the secret entrance to the basement under Bamrah’s. Ja’Elle scouted and then the group descended two flights of stairs and entered the room together.

Upon entering, at first glance, it is a nearly empty room. Only one figure remains, tied to a wall. Ash covers the floor, nearly a half foot deep in front of her. Tied into charred ropes, a humanoid, severely tortured hangs limply on the wall, still lightly weazing … her wrists, where the ropes are still tied are severely chaffed, almost aglow…clear lash marks all over her body, neck bleed, weep, and have a similar almost fiery glow. As Kissandi and Tyzzer hustle towards her, she says “no…it’s too late for that.” Then her body almost takes on a life of its ow and she says, “the others… the others… they are monsters… they are lost… destroy me… you must… you… you will know what to do… follow the symbols and colors to help others.”

Kissandi cut the ropes that held her, quickly prayed over her, realizing she was transforming from life to undeath. After giving her a quick death, Kissandi prepared her body and ended the transformation.

Searching the room, the group found Drawmig’s Instant Summons Ritual laying amidst the ash and 1 Potion of Vitality and 1 Elixir of Fortitude LVL 13 in a nearby sack.

The group also found geometric symbols and colors (blues, yellows, reds), in some sort of a pattern. Using prayers and perception, the group uncovered this must be directions to another location where the cult might be found. Kissandi prayers to the Raven Queen led to the symbols sparking. Bui was able to discern that sparks pointed west, but the group could not figure out enough to go on from just the clues.

Next, the group went to a Pelor shrine on the west side of town. With the help of a female dwarf cleric, the party was told that their was an abandoned old temple two miles west of town. Kissandi left so fast that all the dwarf cleric saw was a cloud of dust.

The group headed west, through some farmsteads, reaching the not-so-abandoned temple when Kissandi spotted some movement by a nearby scarecrow. A small boy, no more than eight years old was trying to watch what was happening through the fence and in the graveyard. Quickly the attention of the party turned to a graveyard with numerous skeletons and zombies rising from the graves in the nearly frozen earth.

Kissandi, servant of the Raven Queen, seeing servitors of Orcus mocking death and all that is sacred, flew into battle. Initially met at the entrance gate, Kissandi and Ja’Elle were able to move freely about the battlefield throughout the battle, and seemed to have a 10-15 foot shield between them and their enemies because of Ja’Elle armor of repulsion and Kissandi’s ability to push away her enemies. Tyzzer and Bui held fast at the gate, protecting young Vinny, the boy who watched in amazement and fear as the heroes helped rid the cemetery of so many vile monsters.

Kissandi using a sort of black magic, destroyed many of her foes with radiant powers and drawing the majority of their focus and their attacks. Kissandi destroyed the wrackspawn that momentarily trapped Bui in an extradimensional space inside of itself.

Ja’Elle dealt a ton of damage and the killing blow to the Deathpriest of Orcus. He also destroyed the wrackspawn that had weakened Bui and Kissandi. He leaped over a fence to flank a wight near the end of the fight.

Bui called upon the god of travel to empower his attacks with radiant energy, damaging and destroying undead. His power to heal all of his allies, but Kissandi more than others kept everyone on their feet and the monsters at bay.

Tyzzer stood tall, protecting Vinny while commanding the battlefield, giving Kissandi and Ja’Elle great advice on how to land damaging hits to the enemy and using inspiring words to renenergize his allies.

When the dust settled, the heroes destroyed eight zombies, seven skeletons, three sparks (small fire elementals), two wrackspawn, two Orcus cultists, and a Deathpriest of Orcus. A few other undead retreated including two blazing skeletons and a regular skeleton, along with two cultists (likely Imix), a salamander archer, and a firey humanoid leader-type. By the time the heroes overcame their foes and entered the temple, it appears the enemies that fleed were gone.

The temple contained what appeared to be a magic or teleportation circle that had been defiled by the blood of two cultists who appeared to have had their blood spilled all around the magic circle on the floor.

The heroes have just entered the temple as the encounter continues next time (no short rest yet).

Vinny’s fear has been replaced with awe and inspiration. His families farm may soon be safe again…

Time = January 21, 994 at 6:00 p.m.
38,891 gp
Distributed two potions found this session & ritual

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Playing with Fire
December 28, 2012

January 16, 994 at 8:00 p.m. (38,913 g.p. in party loot)

Rowena is held captive. The group is hummingbird free, has already uncovered some “mundane” information about the Scarlet Guard in Lambasa, and plan to meet by 6:00 p.m. on January 17 in the woods west of Lambasa, at a specific location given in the hummingbird note.

As the group approaches the city gates and see elves being checked, they realize that they weren’t checked these past days, since being sent on this mission. That is not true today. Kissandi slips by with her hat of disguise. Bui’s ID is given a thorough check before the party enters Lambasa. Bui asks the Scarlet Guard helping with the ID check if he knows Dunvan. No dice.

Once inside the gates, the group splits up. Ja’Elle looks to the local Thieve’s Guild for information about PR III. Kissandi goes to the University in search of more knowledge about Imix. Bui and Tyzzer begin their search for Dunvan by looking for Scarlet Guard at familiar taverns.

With leads from fellow Thieve’s and payment to said thieve’s for their services, Ja’Elle followed a trail of information, eventually leading to a woman and two of her friends in a bar. After confronting the women, Ja’Elle continued to follow the chain of command upwards until it reached a man by the name of Mulligan Finch, a man who owns and runs a local robe and cloak store on Infernal Alley. Ja’Elle snuck in overnight, found a backroom with a man sleeping, held a dagger to his throat and gathered more information. Ja’Elle needed to wait until morning until Mulligan Finch would return, a man with a long white beard. Ja’Elle mentioned PR III to Mulligan Finch, left and then tried to scout the building. Over an hour later, he followed a man (the man he held a knife to last night) back to what seemed to be his home. After returning and continuing to scout the store, eventually Ja’Elle noticed Kissandi, Bui, and Tyzzer walking Infernal Alley, seemingly looking for him.

Meanwhile, Kissandi uncovered a book with a chapter on Imix in the University library. With some help, she was able to discern some information about Imix. To learn more, Kissandi took time to uncover some shadowy figures. With some keen observation and the ability to improvise, Kissandi was able to gain access to a basement game of cards. She endured an initiation beating by a large thug at the behest of a small, squeaky man. By about 5:00 a.m. Kissandi convinced the group that she was trustworthy and they took her to a ritual sacrifice by fire, two levels below a place called Bamrah’s. Kissandi, with a flare for the dramatic said let’s take this to the street and then made an effective escape. A little later, Kissandi met back up with Tyzzer and Bui.

Tyzzer and Bui returned to the Dire Gar. There, they met a familiar member of the Scarlet Guard, Hagar, who Tyzzer spoke with the other day. Noticing they upset him when they brought up the names of those mentioned by Van Devries (Dunvan, Malagar, and Fech), they asked why? He said that Malagar was disgraced, but he did not know the other two. Talking to a few others in the Dire Gar and another bar, Tyzzer and Bui got shoulder shrugs, confused looks, and a few others who had no specific evidence but concurred with Hagar that Malagar’s name was not well thought of here. Tyzzer and Bui hoped others would come to them with information and hung out in the bars. Then, they returned to the inn and met up with Kissandi.

Kissandi told Tyzzer and Bui about the ritual sacrifice. They wanted to right this wrong, but wanted to find Ja’Elle first. It took quite some time to find him, or really for Ja’Elle to find them. When Ja’Elle noticed them walking Infernal Alley looking for him, for a little fun, Ja’Elle relieved Tyzzer of a jeweled scepter from their last journey into the Steading. Ja’Elle quickly returned it, saying, “sir, this must have slipped out of your pocket,” with a smile on his face.

The group shared stories. Ja’Elle and Kissandi realized that Mulligan Finch, the owner of the robe and cloak store was also present and seemingly leading the ritual sacrifice by fire that Kissandi witnessed.

A plan was made. The group surrounded the cloak and robe store. Ja’Elle unlocked the two back doors. Kissandi, wearing the hat of disguise entered, talked briefly with Mulligan Finch. Finch quickly summoned help, the large cultist from the night before and slipped out a door to a back room. At the one minute mark, the group burst in through the doors. Ja’Elle closed and locked the front door. Kissandi and Ja’Elle made quick work, killing the cultist in less than 10 seconds, before he could make an attack. The group searched the first floor in seconds and found Finch was gone. Kissandi quickly noticed a section of the floor with a secret door.

Quickly and clumsily the group hustled to the dark lower level. Kissandi was able to find fresh tracks. Following the tracks led to a room with what clearly was a teleportation circle, recently used. Mulligan Finch had escaped, but his identity is now known to the group.

While trying to deactivate the portal, Kissandi prayed to the Raven Queen. Receiving a clear message that she, Kissandi, was on an angelic mission, it is her duty to prepare the dead for their journey while protecting them from undeath, to punish those who seek to escape death, and to find if there is truth that Imix has sought an alliance with Orcus and/or Vecna. Ja’Elle, Tyzzer, and Bui were able to do a little damage to the portal, but it is clearly still functional.

Kissandi hurried upstairs and began a process to prepare the dead cultist’s body for death, using a couple of coins to cover the eyes. The rest of the group tried to hurry her along, but were soon convinced to help her prepare the body, however disgusting a job it was to do.

With only an hour left before needing to depart for the woods, the group decided to go a couple blocks down the street to Bamrah’s to right the wrong done at the sacrifice the night before. While Ja’Elle snuck around and picked the lock to a concealed entrance to the lower level, a man intentionally got Bui’s attention. Bui followed the man he had never met, but recognized as a friend. He was Vale Temeros, a dark skinned member of the Sojourners. Vale advised Bui of the help the Sojourners provided to keep their last encounter in the storefront unnoticed, but that would not be possible if they continued killing others during the light of day on the busy street.

Bui was easily able to convince the others to hold off on raiding the location of last night’s sacrifice.

Kissandi noticed a person that must have been following the group for the past day and a half, a bearded man. Kissandi confronted the man. Soon, the man named Kerrigan was surrounded by the party in the middle of Infernal Alley, a busy street with lots of businesses and bars, known for its high level of crime and higher numbers of city guards.

Quickly intimidated, Kerrigan told the party he was paid well by Alepup and by Mulligan Finch to observe for them. Bui, through a feat of diplomacy was able to convince the group not to kill or cut out Kerrigan’s tongue. Bui sent Kerrigan away believing Kerrigan was convinced to change his ways.

Tyzzer sprinted to the castle and requested a quick meeting with Van Devries. Tyzzer disclosed everything to Van Devries, but during the conversation was disturbed by Van Devries’ reaction and now believes Van Devries is part of the problem and possibly part of or connected to the Imix cult.

Tyzzer made it just on time to meet the group in the woods as the teleporter activated and brought the group back to PR III.

The group, still armed, appeared back in the jail cells. After a short discussion with Zarenthal, PR III returned flanked by two fire archons.

PR III has one more mission for the group, to find information about the local elf network. He seems set on making an alliance with the PCs. He told the group they are not much different than he and that by sparing their lives, he realized they could be a powerful ally in the future.

PR III sees himself and the group as more than pawns in a game controlled by leaders or gods, but instead as those who should oversee things and make a more perfect world together. According to the group, his views of a more perfect world don’t seem to mesh with the group’s. He disagrees.

Rowena, unconscious but alive, was dragged in upon request. During the discussion, Bui recalled ally, bringing Rowena into the cell with him. He healed her and asked if she was okay.

Over the last day, the group learned:

  • PR III works with the Imix cultists, but is not a religious fanatic.
  • the Imix cult has run wild in Lambasa.
  • Tyzzer no longer trusts the Scarlet Guard, even at the highest level (e.g. Van Devries).

The hope is to free Rowena. They have two days to fulfill PR III’s next mission.

The teleporter takes them back to just outside the city walls of Lambasa.

January 17, 994 at 10:00 p.m. (38,901 g.p. in party loot)

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Double Agents

Scene One:
Start Time: Ja’Elle & Rowena 8:00 a.m. on Jan 12, 994
Javok leaves, saying he will be back in over a week, likely a week and a half or two with allies who can help return to the Steading. Ja’Elle and Rowena take an extended rest.

Scene Two:
Start Time: Kissandi, Bui, & Tyzzer unknown
As you awake, cold and without your armor or weapons in separate prison cells, you see a burst of light zoom across the sky. A male tiefling with a scar under his right eye, and a dark cloak and cape enters the hall and talks with the group. After the tiefling leaves, the group is introduced to PR III. He enters, flanked by two fire archons. After noting how impressed he has become with the exploits of the PCs despite their going counter to some of the work he has been backing, he tells the PCs he has spared their lives. He says he wishes to make an alliance with the PCs and to test them simultaneously. He has Ja’Elle returned to an adjacent cell and then shows the group a hooded and bound Rowena, whose life he holds in the balance. The group is told to choose two of three missions, accomplish them, and her life will be spared. The choices are noted below.

Story notes – PR III, tiefling tough guy, Zarenthal (magic circle), and some fire archons visit the captive PCs - PR III has spared the PCs lives and plans to enlist them or form an alliance with them. He gives the group a choice of fulfilling 2 of 3 missions. Rowena’s life is being held in the balance. All missions involve infiltrating a group and returning with names of important individuals in each group. The options are: Scarlet Guard, local elf network, and the Sojourners. The group chooses the Scarlet Guard and the local elf network. 2 mechanical hummingbirds are sent with the group presumably as spies or a way for PR III and his forces to view the PCs actions, the group is teleported via magic circle by Zerenthal to just outside of the capital, Lambasa, to start with the Scarlet Guard.

Rowena’s Story – captured while trying to keep track of Ja’Elle on the scouting expedition to the Steading, held hostage by PR III who said she will be killed if party does not complete their two chosen tasks.

Ja’Elle’s Story – scouted Steading, lost Rowena, back to cave, Javok returns much earlier than expected with a group that he says will value what you offer them but assures you can help you find your friends, Ja’Elle is captured by 20+ cultists & knocked unconscious (betrayed by Javok?), reunited with party in prison cells, in Lambasa with spy hummingbird, distracts bird with help of Kissandi, writes note, seeks and finds Knix, Knix has other rogues mug Ja’Elle – smash mechanical bird to bits – put under a barrel and spike the barrel into the ground, pays Knix with leather armor +3 & hires him to set up hits on Bui and his spy bird (Bui repels all attempts), stays away from meetings, getting info from thieves guild, so not to be seen by the other bird, eventually reunites with party outside of town after Kissandi gives the all clear in the birds. He prefers not to return to PR III, and plans to research PR III over the next 22 hours.

Kissandi’s Story – In prison, Kissandi seeks reassurance and receives it from the Raven Queen that her service is still needed. Seeing the passing comet (?) in the sky, Kissandi realizes that this may be supernatural and something meant to honor a god other than the Raven Queen; after accepting the offer from PR III and regaining her equipment, she immediately uses her falchion to smack a mechanical hummingbird just to see how well it is made. As a hummingbird stays with Ja’Elle, Kissandi follows and watches. Kissandi helps distract the bird, allowing Ja’Elle to scribble a quick note. Later, Kissandi sees Ja’Elle slip into a dark alley, and finds him being “mugged” by a few rogues. Ja’Elle isn’t putting up much of a fight and Kissandi realizes it is a set-up to destroy the bird. She doesn’t interrupt and it works. Then, she and Ja’Elle travel together, looking for ways to knock off the other tracker hummingbird. When reunited with Tyzzer and Bui, Kissandi joins them in a meeting with Van Devries, a representative of the king at the castle. After trying to convince Van Devries to help destroy the other hummingbird, Kissandi is dismissed and sent back out. Outside the city walls, the second hummingbird bursts into sparks. Kissandi notices the sparks form a burst 10 circle around the group, with all but two of the sparks quickly fading. She looks at the two that remain and they form part of the outline of a piece of parchment. The parchment directs the group to meet at a defined location in the woods just west of town in exactly 24 hours. Kissandi relocates Ja’Elle in town and brings him back out to meet with the party. She discusses possible options for the party for the next 22 hours and what to do about going into the woods for the likely transportation back to PR III in 22 hours. Over the next 22 hours, she plans to do some more research about Imix.

Bui’s Story – (surprise…Bui is a Sojourner – this may or may not be known to the rest of the party) Bui was graced with one of the two hummingbird trackers. He ventured into town and went to talk with people about the Scarlet Guard, trying to talk with those who he thought would know little and may provide poor information to PR III. He wanted to avoid Dunvan, a former friendly Scarlet Guard contact, if at all possible. Later in the day Bui was jumped by a few rogues. With some quick thinking and good use of his skills, he was able to shake them off. In the ordeal, he lost a potion of healing and his purse was lightened. At the inn where he stayed, his subconscious woke him up in the middle of the night when, once again a couple of rogues were approaching, this time sneaking in the shadows in his room. Using astral flare, he lit up the room and scared off the rogues. He reported the incident to management and they did all they could to make it up, offering him anything he wanted for breakfast and making his stay at the inn free. Bui received a note from his friends saying that he would be jumped again and to let it happen. Instead, Bui decided to stay in only heavily populated areas and well-lit areas so as to avoid being targeted a third time. Upon meeting his fellow adventurers he became aware of their intentions to destroy the tracker hummingbird, of which Bui was not convinced was the best plan, thinking it could lead to Rowena’s demise. Tyzzer was even more adamant about protecting Rowena. Bui joined Tyzzer and Kissandi in meeting with Van Devries. Bui was disappointed when Van Devries gave Dunvan’s name along with the names of two other unknown Scarlet Guard in the presence of the hummingbird. Once the full party was reunited, Bui suggested Ja’Elle research PR III while he and Tyzzer find Dunvan to try to help him and/or get information from him, before the timer with 22 hours left goes off.

Tyzzer’s Story – Tyzzer did not have a hummingbird tracker, so he set off to find out information about the Lambassa Scarlet Guard. He went to a guard house and met a dwarf Scarlet Guard at the door. After rediscovering that Scarlet Guard do not have higher ranks, Tyzzer asked for someone who may have more leadership or could be more helpful. He then met with a dragonborn warlord named Khiraj. He and Khiraj shared battle stories and discussed why Lambassa was in need of their skills right now. Upon Tyzzer’s request for a place where city and Scarlet Guards hang out, Khiraj suggested a seafood bar, The Dire Gar. Tyzzer ate and drank with city guards and commoners and took a lead from one to go to meet Shanks, a city official, inside the castle for more information. Tyzzer continued to ask how to become a Scarlet Guard and how to help the land. After sharing information about PR III and the hummingbird constructs, Shanks said Tyzzer should speak with Van Devries, a close helper of King Goodwell II. Van Devries seemed convinced that the best way forward was to have the PCs serve as double agents, uncovering as much about PR III’s whereabouts as possible while going along with PR III’s plan, and revealing as little as possible. Van Devries asked for a meeting with the entire group later. Ja’Elle did not attend. At this meeting, Van Devries gave three names of Scarlet Guard (Dunvan, Malagar, and Feck). He had told Tyzzer earlier that some information must be released to satisfy PR III and not blow cover for the PCs. Then, the three were separated because of Bui’s hummingbird. Tyzzer was summoned to meet with King Goodwell II. Tyzzer and Goodwell spoke and Goodwell thanked Tyzzer for serving the crown and the country and said to follow Van Devries’ plan. After the last hummingbird self-exploded and was gone, Tyzzer was quite upset with Kissandi and Ja’Elle for not protecting Rowena and trying to destroy the hummingbirds. Tyzzer clearly wants to preserve Rowena’s life first and foremost. He agrees with Bui to try to help him find Dunvan while the other research PR III and Imix before the 22 hour timer runs out.

Part of the Story of the Sojourners – Sojourners are a loosely organized organization of people who help those less fortunate than them. They are somewhat covert and at least nationwide organization in Terkent. The Sojourners recognize one another by a compass that is displayed in different ways on each Sojourner. Sojourners sometimes work solo. Other Sojourners receive aid from and know many others. Part of the reason the Sojourners don’t have a leadership is so that they can operate behind the scenes helping others without politics or money (bribes) influencing them.

End Notes – Ja’Elle plans to search town for more information on PR the third, Kissandi plans to research Imix, while Bui & Tyzzer look to find Dunvan. In just under 22 more hours, the group was instructed to go to a specific location in the woods west of town. The group has not decided whether all will go, if Ja’Elle will stay behind, or what they will do. Questions have been raised about the benefits and drawbacks of going or not going. On one side, the fear is that Rowena could be killed. On the other is that PR III has not been proven trustworthy or not to be trusted. Information gathered may help with the decision.

Current time is January 16, 994 at 8:00 p.m.
Current party loot = 38,913 g.p.

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On the Knives Edge
November 30, 2012

Jan 11, 994 at about 3:30 a.m. (party gold = 22,308)

In the last segment, the party just defeated Nosnra and the iron dragon Feramaug and hit a milestone.

After carefully considering plans, the group sent Ja’Elle up the stairs where he found a single room with a single unlocked chest. Inside were 21 bone scroll tubes. All but one of the tubes were empty, which contained note signed by Obmi referring to King Snurre, and urging Nosnra to increase the raids against humans after meeting at Howling Crag.

Next, the group sent Ja’Elle into what appears to be Nonra’s treasury. Ja’Elle sprung a trap but with some luck avoided falling into a pit. After leaping back and forth across the pit, Ja’Elle brought the contents of three treasure chests back. He kept LVL 17 +4 repulsion leather armor. Tyzzer kept the bejeweled gold scepter (7,500 gp) and gold-emroidered vest sewn with gems (2,500 gp). Tyzzer fastened the gem to his bastard sword, making it a LVL 15 +3 righteous weapon. Kissandi took the LVL 17 Cloak of Resistance +4. Tyzzer took the platinum brooch shaped like the holy symbol of Lolth (2,500 gp) and four gems worth 500 gp each. The group left a chest with lots of gold pieces (4,000 gp) in it and a cask of excellent wine (500 gp) here to pick up later, if possible.

Next the group sent Ja’Elle into the stream and had him swim a short distance toward the mines. Ja’Elle didn’t get far before calling the others into the cavern. As the party entered, four umber hulks burrowed up from underground and attacked. Bui recalled an ally. Tyzzer helped his allies shift back. Ja’Elle was slippery enough to escape and Rowena stayed back far enough that eventually the party was able to retreat far enough that the umber hulks stopped their pursuit. Only one umber hulk was damaged in the battle. This was a close call for the party, but a crafty escape.

Next, the party decided to go to the other part of the mines. Partway in, out of the dark, two tentacles grabbed Bui and Rowena. A cave roper started to real Bui in. Rowena was able to break free. Out of the shadows, Ja’Elle darted in and critically hit the beast. Tyzzer charged in to defend his allies. When the roper was bloodied, Bui planted the standard of the silver dragon and used his own glorious presence to quickly reduce the will of the enemy. Rowena eventually came up to attack from close quarters. The roper was never able to land a direct bite, but did further weaken the party. Ja’Elle dealt the killing blow to the roper.

After the roper was defeated, 10 dwarf slaves emerged from hiding saying the stone giants had left them here, the orc slaves were gone, and thanked the party for defeating the roper. The group found more treasure including a golden skull with gems for eyes (1,500 gp), a cured displacer beast fur (1500 gp), and 1200 gp loose in coins. The coins were added to the other chest with loose coins. Tyzzer took the skull and fur. The dwarves carried the treasure chest now with 5,200 gp and the cask of excellent wine (500 gp).

The party next went to the smithy and released the fire elemental that was imprisoned there after Rowena used her ritual to communicate with it, asking it to destroy the cultists on the main floor.

The party went up to the main floor and found a secret door in the single room Ja’Elle had been in with the unlocked chest. The door led to Nosnra’s den, which had chairs covered with stitched human skin, and a mounted head of a great white stag on the wall. Kissandi was found laying on a bearskin rug. After reviving Kissandi, the group decided to continue out of the Steading.

The dwarves hung back in the great hall as Ja’Elle scouted ahead. The cultists were in the entryway. A negotiation went wrong and it turned into a battle. After a fairly quick battle, Tyzzer was knocked unconscious. Bui and Kissandi dropped their weapons. Rowena ran from the Steading. The cultists yelled for Rowena to stop. She did not. Airnys, the Imix cultist leader sent rivulets of fire at both Kissandi and Bui, knocking both unconscious. Ja’Elle snuck away and escaped through a chimney. Before he escaped, Ja’Elle saw evidence that the fire elemental had done some harm to cultists. He also saw Laerthar the stone giant and his two stone giant allies dead amongst many dead cultists from a recent battle.

Tyzzer, Bui, and Kissandi were captured by the cultists.

Rowena and Ja’Elle both made it to the cave where they found each other and Javok. They requested Javok get help. He said it would take days to a week for him. Ja’Elle and Rowena planned to await help.

Until next time…

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Nosnra and His Pet Dragon
November 10, 2012

Jan 11, 994 at 3:00 a.m. just after an extended rest… (total party gold = 22,308 gp)

After receiving instructions from the cultists, the group descended to the lower level, with the distinct possibility that they just saw their last extended rest. If they clear the lower level, the cultists may allow them to live.

From the bottom of the stairs, Tyzzer scanned the room. Ja’Elle scouted ahead and noticed some movement behind a nearby door. Soon later another battle with Nosnra began.

Two hill giant avalanchers met the party in the doorway. Two orc ruffians hit the gongs repeatedly during the battle. Nosnra and his wife, Morzul, used ranged attacks to start the battle. The stone giant, Laerthar, used his petrifying gaze throughout the encounter.

Bui kept Nosnra from attacking for several rounds of the fight, before Nosnra finally saved out. Ja’Elle made his way around the battlefield, felling enemies quickly. Tyzzer and Bui held the giants at bay, while Rowena stayed back in the stairwell and used ranged attacks to help weaknen the giants.

The group made quick work of one of the hill giant avalanchers, one of the orc ruffians, and Morzul.

Nosnra, the other hill giant avalancher, and Laerthar held their own. At one point, Ja’Elle and Bui were petried and Tyzzer was unconscious, with Rowena in the stairwell. Nosnra used this chance to escape. The second orc ruffian also ran away during the fight.

Two additional stone giants showed up with ten more orc ruffians.

Once the second hill giant avalancher died and a few of the orcs were destroyed by Rowena, the other orcs made a run for it.

Hope was fading for the group as the stone giants looked fresh and the party was out of healing powers. Laerthar offered an olive branch…allow he and the other two stone giants to leave and they would stop fighting. After a quick negotiation, the party told Laerthar that leaving via the stairs they descended would be sure death at the hands of the cultists above. Laerthar said another stairs could be found, but Nosnra and his dragon would be in the way.

The group decided to take a short rest and were urged by a small, old man in a red cloak to use a ritual to redistribute their healing surges. They spent 10 minutes and then tracked Nosnra to a room with walls bristling with spears.

Ja’Elle slipped in, found a dragon and got back out. Rowena never entered. Tyzzer and Bui entered. The portcullis descended with Ja’Elle and Rowena out and Tyzzer and Bui inside. The dragon and Nosnra quickly did over 90 damage to Bui and knocked him unconscious…

Tyzzer revived Bui quickly.

Bui and Rowena neutered the dragon. Bui reduced the dragon’s damage by 10 and Rowena used mass resist lightning to reduce the dragon’s damage further. Bui recalled an ally and brought Ja’Elle past the portcullis. Rowena got their on her own with her fey step lacings.

The group worked away. Tyzzer proved to be quite the fighter again in both battles, dealing damage as much or more than directing others to deal more damage. Ja’Elle delivered the killing blows to both Nosnra and Feramaug, his pet dragon.

Moments in both battles looked like sure defeat. With a strange turn of events with the Stone Giants and great battle tactics by the party in the battle against Nosnra and Feramaug, the group came out victorious so far.

What awaits next could bring great reward or could all crumble beneath the group.

Kissandi still needs to be found. There must be treasure here somewhere. There is surely more to kill in the mines – for sure that rock beast with a long reach that had been described earlier. Could there still be dwarf slaves there? The unnatural flame in the forge must be investigated. The tenuous alliance with the Stone Giants may prove helpful or costly. Another staircase is nearby. Can it be used to sneak past the cultists, or will the cultists be there, too?

Will the heroes escape the Steading? So many possibilities for next time.

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Cut Scene - A Deal You Cannot Turn Down‏
November 7, 2012

You are weakened to the point where fighting the cultists is a certain and quick death. (Kissandi – unconscious and captured by the giants, Tyzzer 1 HP & 0 surges, others unknown but not as good without Tyzzer & Kissandi)

After a short discussion, the leaders of the two groups of cultists approach Rowena, Bui, Ja’Elle, and Tyzzer.

Clearly upset by the unexpected turn of events, Airnys (Imix cult leader – Red Robed Mage Type Leader) and Erogani (other cults leader, Drow Arcane Guard) address the four of you. They seem not fully convinced that you follow Imix. However, they make it clear they want to give you a chance to prove yourselves as true believers. To do this, they say all who dwell in the Steading must be destroyed, and you must destroy them.

The cultists say the only way you will prove that you are true believers is to enter the lower level and clear everything living. If you perish in this mission, you will be celebrated as martyrs for the cause. If you survive and clear the Steading, you may be spared your lives and recognized as true believers depending on how you accomplish this victory. If you do show faith and you honor Imix by destroying the hill giants, their allies, and any other living creatures in the lower level of the Steading, and then make a great sacrifice to Him, you will be bestowed with Imix’s grace.


On your honor and your word that you will do as they have ordered, the cultists post guards over you and over the stairwells, so giants do not emerge/escape while you take an extended rest and level up.

You are given your weapons back as you descend the stairway, knowing that you must clear the level, likely without the chance to take another extended rest and at least initially without Kissandi who was taken below by the giants. If you clear the lower level, you may still escape with your lives.

Rowena endures the high fever through the night and recovers her will. She has bested Greater Moon Fever and is back to being the “normal” Rowena again. The fever is gone and there is no longer a penalty to her Will.

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One Side Retreats, the Other is Captured!
September 14, 2012
  • January 10, 994 around 5:30 p.m.
  • Major fight against the giants continues.
  • The new kitchen staff arrives to aid the giants.
  • The next round, Morzul (Nosnra’s wife), Laerthar (the stone giant), and 14 young hill giant arrive.
  • Rowena uses her fey step lacings to teleport away from the party and into the fray with the young hill giants. She destroys all but one of the young hill giants and an ogre with a single fire attack.
  • The party focusses fire on Vaarg and destroy him.
  • Ironjaws, Nosnra’s bear, is killed.
  • Several more giants are killed.
  • Kissandi is knocked unconscious and is dying.
  • She is stabalized with two strikes.
  • A hoard of Imix and some other type of cultists arrive.
  • It seems Nosnra thinks they have arrived to aid the party.
  • Nosnra orders the giants to grab the elf. They push forward, grab and drag Kissandi to and down the stairs.
  • The party allows the cultists to surround them, eventually surrendering weapons to them.
  • Meanwhile, the drow-led cultists (non-Imix worshippers) destroy a giant who is stopping them from pursuing Nosnra and the others. The Imix worshippers destroy the last ogre and a giant who were in the front line of the battle versus the party.
  • Attempts to bluff and negotiate with the cultists are neither a complete success or failure.
  • We end in quite a predicament. Kissandi is an unconscious prisoner of the giants who have descended to the lower level Tyzzer has 1 HP and 0 surges. Ja’Elle is surrounded by faceless cultists. The cultists have taken begun to take control of the situation, and it appears the party may be captives.
  • Next time, what tact will the party attempt to make the most of this turn of events?

Total party loot: 22,308 g.p.
Current conditions: Kissandi unconscious and captured by Giants, All others hurting and ‘captives’ of Imix Cultists. All have more than enough experience to level up after the next extended rest.
Date and time: January 10, 994 at 6:00 pm

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A Little Ruse and a Series of Fortunate Events
August 31, 2012

Notes 8/31/12

Continue fight!
• Nosnra shoots a crossbow at Rowena, but I bravely intercede and take the brunt of the attack, convincing Nosnra that we are willing to negotiate
• The chief tries to take our weapons and we protest, but eventually give in. Nosnra’s hill giants take the weapons we dropped.
• Alex leaves Steven hanging with a double high-five, but eventually comes around with a burner!
• Vaarg needs to be forcibly removed from the hall. Rowena taunts him mercilessly about his dead wolves.
• Kissandi and Rowena continue to feel the effects of the werewolf’s attacks after the fight. We are worried that they might become infected with lycanthropy.
• Bui attempts to convince Nosnra to reveal his plans, but Nosnra insists that we should have brought information.
• Bui and I convince Nosnra to allow us to accompany a scouting party to Utini and Agion, but he will not give any information about his giant allies.
• We are escorted to the stone giants’ room to spend the night.
• Bui heals Kissandi of his affliction, but Rowena says she can shake it off. Woof.
• Tyzzer asks the hill giant guarding our room if we can worship at the temple.
o Bui convinces Nosnra to let us go with an escort. Nice job, Bui!
o Entering the temple, Bui recognizes that this is a temple dedicated to The Elder Elemental Eye.
o The reflective surface on the wall behind the alter shows monstrous reflections of us.
o We move up and Bui and Kissandi investigate the alter. Kissandi spills her blood on the alter.
o Bui steps around the alter and gazes at the mirror. A “Y” shape is burned into his forehead. He feels the urge to do something bad . . .
o Bui attacks Kissandi! Kissandi leaves the alter. She’s just not that into this.
o Bui is compelled to touch the alter, which causes a large purple gem with black veins to materialize.
• Bui takes the gem and is freed of his domination and scar.
o Rowena approaches the alter and discovers that the wall behind it is a link to the Far Realm. Can we destroy the link?
• No.
o We head back upstairs with our proof of the temple (gem).
• Ja’Elle does his sneaky thing even though there is a hill giant in the room guarding him.
o Tries to hide under the bed. The giant sees him all the way.
o Ja’Elle tries a different tack “I wanna show you a trick . . .” Ja’Elle hides from the giant.
o The crafty halfling then charges in and smacks the giant up.
• The giant doesn’t stand a chance.
o Ja’Elle walks around for a while, gets bored, then returns to the room.
• The gang returns the room to find it dark and suspicious. Ahh, Ja’Elle.
• As we sit around stratergizing, suspicious giants come in to attack us!
o Big fight
o The chiefy joins the fight!
o Vaarg and some more wolves join the fight!
o Rowena puts up a strategic Wall of Fire in the hallway
o We are holding our own, and in a good position, but how many waves of giants can we take on?
o To be continued . . .

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The Demise of the Steading: Part 1 by Tyzzer Zaneen
August 17, 2012

January 10, 994 at 2 a.m. Tyzzer Zaneen writes:

After enacting Ja’Elle’s entertainer plan to rid the Steading of a few more giants, our company retreated to the safety of the cave from which we first set out, making sure to cover our tracks through the river in case we were being followed. As we approached our cave, which we assumed was well hidden, several of us noticed a small light as if from a hooded lantern, or a child’s nightlight in the back of the small cavern. Ja’Elle scouted ahead and felt confident enough to announce himself. The three figures turned around, and we recognized our fellow adventurers, Laeralin, Fumaro, and Tekal, who had come to offer help and information.

Laeralin gave us two notes left by Javok, the orc we freed. One was from Javok letting us know the context of the other note and telling us of an unnatural flame the dwarf slaves wanted us to check out in the smithy forge. This second note was from PR III to Nosnra, the hill giant chief, and made it clear that the mysterious PR III is behind the hill giants’ raids. It also suggested a religious aspect to the evil that has befallen our beloved country, which I believe makes it even more imperative for us to investigate the temple underneath the Steading in order to know exactly what the motivations of our enemies are, and potentially discover a weakness in their defenses. If nothing else, it will make sure that we are prepared for whatever we are to face in the weeks to come. The second note also gave us the information that reinforcements would be arriving at the Steading in the next day.

At this point, the three travelers asked to talk to us, dividing into two groups. Tyzzer, Ja’Elle, and Kissandi talked with Fumaro and Tekal, while Laeralin talked with Rowena and Bui, the two with elven blood. We did not share much information from these discussions, but it can be assumed that what we talked about helped form our strategy going forward.

I believed that with the giants at the Steading weekend, and reinforcements still at least a day away, our best strategy would be a straightforward assault on the giants. After discussion, however, it became clear that posing as the reinforcements might allow us to infiltrate farther into the heart of the Steading. This could allow us to obtain the information we seek, namely the map of the other giant fortresses, without having to fight. What swayed me to this tactic was the argument that even if this plan failed, we would still be able to enact my “kick the evil giants’ asses and take the map” plan. The note indicated that the reinforcements would prominently display red diamonds on their attire, so with the help of the druid Fumaro, we gathered berries and made a dye with which to paint our armor and robes. It was decided that there was no way to disguise Ja’Elle, so he would pose as a prisoner, giving further credence to our story that we (the imposter reinforcements), met with the heroic adventurers who had previously attacked the Steading (us), thus winnowing our numbers. With a plan in place, we slept as Laeralin, Fumaro, and Tekal kept watch.

The next morning, we set back out to the Steading with the intention of approaching from the road we assumed the reinforcements would come from. As we made our way to this road, we spotted a large group heading toward us. The party hid, while Ja’Elle scouted. Ja’Elle confirmed it was a giant raiding party including three hill giants and eight bugbears. Once the group got within range, we attacked! We were able to make quick work of them with Rowena showing her strength by dispatching the bugbears in two bursts of flame, and Kissandi flying across the battlefield slashing with her falchions that never seem to miss. These were not the reinforcements mentioned in the note, but they were undoubtedly heading to the Steading, so is was fortunate that we were able to fight them on the road before they joined with their evil kin.

We continued on our way and were eventually hailed at the front entrance of the Steading. When the gates opened, we were confronted by a grotesque giant named Vaarg and several large wolves. We introduced ourselves as the anticipated reinforcements and confidently demanded an audience with chief Nosnra. Cautious but convinced, Vaarg escorted us into the great hall, which was much how we left it. The chief, his pet bear, the stone giant named Laerthar, and several other hill giants occupied the chamber with Vaarg and the wolves. We had determined that Bui would pose as the leader of the group, so he began persuading Nosnra that we were indeed the reinforcements he was expecting, and trying to get him to reveal his plans. The chief was clearly more interested in making our “prisoner” Ja’Elle pay for what he had done the day before, but Bui was able to convince him that the halfling was a valuable source of information and that PR III would be angered if we killed him without first questioning him.

After several tense minutes of diplomatic negotiations, Nosnra finally seemed to believe our story, then asked us to prove our faith. At this point it seemed inevitable that our ruse would be discovered. I attempted to appease the chief by kneeling, but Bui did something I did not anticipate. He attempted to push Ja’Elle into the smoldering fire in the center of the room. Ja’Elle resisted, but I caught on to Bui’s intent and confidently walked through the fire, making a show of reveling in the flame. I emerged on the other side quite injured and still on fire. Bui followed suit and did not fair any better.

The chief was still not completely satisfied and commanded Vaarg to challenge us to combat. The hunched giant underwent a monstrous mutation and became a fearsome, slobbering werewolf. We moved into combat strategically, attempting to keep up the ruse that we worshipped the same god Nosnra worshipped. As usual, Kissandi flew into battle with glee, while Bui and I supported from a short distance. Rowena was again a powerful force in the fight, putting the giant werewolf and his pets to sleep for a while. This unfortunately did not last for long, and the battle continued. During this time, Ja’Elle could not keep his impatient hands and feet under control, and several times attempted to move away from his spot in front of the chief. These efforts were met with threats of swift retaliation from the surrounding giants. Soon, I saw an opportunity to place myself in a strategic melee position, but quickly became the favorite target of the werewolf giant. Were it not for Bui’s healing, I surely would not be alive to be writing this account. After killing both wolves, it was clear that we would soon destroy the giant abomination. Chief Nosnra called a halt to the fight, but Rowena’s emotions were too high, and she pressed on. Obviously not a man who is used to being defied, Nosnra did not ask twice, but rather launched himself into the fray.

Total party loot: 22,308 g.p.(added wealth gained from returning raiding party)
Current conditions: In the middle of the 2nd battle since an extended rest. All except Ja’Elle spent action point. All but Ja’Elle bit by Vaarg – must save at end of encounter.
Date and time: January 10, 994 at 2:30 pm
Separate quest cards being developed from Laeralin and from Fumaro and Tekal

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