World of Eon

Freeing the Lizardmen

The group moves north, deeper into the swamps. The humidity is stifling, but the party is set to go north. The Bard does mutter some more about how he is not pleased, but otherwise remains cool.

The travel through the swamp is not easy. There are thousands of nasty insects flying around their heads. The wetlands they travel through irritate their feet. And the ranger in the group promises a long journey before them.

One night, the party is not sure which as the days are nearly identical, the swamp mist fogging the landscape, The group are ambushed by lizardmen. The battle goes well for the lizardmen, who are scattered about their home biome. The ambush is well co-ordinated, the group from Moran is caught off-guard and holds the upper hand long into the battle.

Things look bleak for the Bard, Thorax, Naloor and Ardan. They battle as well as they could, but the lizardfolk keep coming out of the mists. Naloor does rally his friends with a well placed attack with his morningstar on a lizardman, smashing the snout off one of the attacking soldiers (He rolled three twenties in a row!).

Then, as the tables were finally turning, a sudden exclamation is heard in the mists: “Ha-HA!”

The fog parts as a new fighter enters the melee, a tall, blonde musclebound man, screaming at the top of his lungs as he slices a lizardman in two with an lethal, ancient looking greatsword.

It is Janthro, seemingly raised from the dead.

The battle is soon won by the group, who now surround this new arrival in awe and bewilderment.

The group is at first weary of this new arrival, both Naloor and Thorax not believing their eyes. Last they saw, Janthro had been killed by a Maraborian general outside the dwarven city of Cayley.

He tells how he was in the afterlife, standing at the crossroads between his final journey and a forested trail. Then, before he could even make a choice, the form of his old friend Albrecht arose up the path. Pleased to see his friend, Janthro speaks to Albrecht to find out that the small paladin does not know how he arrived here, nor does he even know where ‘here’ is. He explains that he has been helping the people of Lytton fight the evils of Marabor. He succeeded, and as soon a he left the city, he found himself walking up that very path.

The pair of them decide to walk down the very path Albrecht walked up. The descend into the forest and suddenly find themselves in an arid, sandy forest, a massive red sun directly above their heads. They are confused, but both walk forward until they find a huge crater hundreds of feet deep. It ends in a strangely reflective liquid that is not unlike a liquid. Janthro looks at Albrecht then leaps in.

Janthro explains that he has found himself in the very Halls of Tycho, where he speaks with the God of Freedom. After some discussion on awesomeness and Freedom, Tycho takes Janthro to the tomb of his previous Champion, offering Janthro his sword. The Champion, Arik awakens and tells Janthro to fear the sword and it’s powers, for it can end even the most mighty warrior. With the Sword in hand, Tycho laughs merrily.

Janthro is now atop the Tower of Tycho in the Freelands of Tycho where he meets the Avatar of Tycho. They speak for a while, and Janthro is then released into the world, a Risen Martyr with the quest to rid the world of Tyranny (or something like that). He ventures to regain his friends, which he has now done.

The party can hardly believe their eyes. Especially Thorax and Naloor. The Bard, on the other hand is rather upset at this turn of events. He knows by the stories that have been told that Janthro is a natural leader. The party already respects and loves him, now with his return the Bard’s status in the group is only going to falter.

The party continues northwards.

Their plan is to reach the nearest city and obtain horses, then continue towards Avon and cross the Maraborian border.

However, one night, while Janthro watched the party sleep, they were yet again ambushed by lizardmen.

The battle lasted only a few minutes, but the party came out on top, easily slaying the lizardmen who beset their camp. However, now the party was becoming weary. These lizardmen were no ordinary lizardmen. They were heavily armed lizardmen wearing metal armour and wielding axes and spears of higher quality. Lizardmen of this region are tribal in nature and wield stone weapons and hide armours.

The party decide to seek out the root of this change in the lizardmen population. Especially after seeing slaughtered villages a few weeks before.

The party follow the trail of the lizardmen, coming to large clearing in the swamp. Before them lay a flattened patch of dry ground, cleared of all vegetation. The ground had been trampled by hundreds of not thousands of lizardmen. Standing in this large clearing were three ziggurats. One larger then the other two laying in the centre. Lizardmen were patrolling and wandering around the entire complex.

Janthro reports that there are at least seventy individual sources of evil that he can sense.

It would seem the party had stumbled upon the source of the evil lizardmen.

The party is well aware that even with Janthro risen and with them, they stand no chance against such a large force of lizardmen. The only way they can overcome this is through stealth.

The Bard, taking this opportunity to reassert his skills for the party nominated himself to go forth and learn what there is to learn about the complex. He is accompanied by Ardan the ranger, equally skilled in the arts of sneaking.

The pair slowly creep up to the fringes of the vegetation surrounding the ziggurats, watching as hide. They learn little. There are a good many lizardmen walking about the dry land, coming and going from the three ziggurats. There are some standing guard atop the mighty pyramids and others patrolling the perimiter. It becomes clear that this is not only the centre of the lizardmen who have been plaguing this region, but also a military base: and maybe something more.

The Bard then explains that he is going to enter the complex himself. With the asistance of Naloor, The Bard is given a magic touch, allowing Naloor to see through the eyes of those he touches. He turns himself invisible and heads in, hoping to hear something the lizardmen speak on. Indeed, he easily creeps forth and listens to a pair of lizardmen speak about their families and wishing to see them once again. Hoping to get a rise, The Bard fondles the pair of lizardmen who both become very… freaked out. The Bard uses his mental prowess to suggest the lizardman head to his highest ranking officer and touch him, thus passing along the spell. This way the party could then see the commander of the complex and learn valuable information.

The Bard returns, sharing his news with the rest of the party, and waiting for news from Naloor.

The party believe that the group of lizardmen are there as soldiers. It is entirely possible that their families are in a ziggurat, or outside the complex all together.

The chain continues for two touches, when a lizardman of high rank begins to walk up the ziggurat under the suggestion to see his superior officer and touch him, congratulating him on a job well done. He goes through the stairs at the top, noticing an old hunched lizardman in the shadows. He goes into the lit corridors and finally ends up at a pair of double doors, where he is allowed in. As soon as he passes through the doors, the connection the spell gave is severed.

The Bard, yet again, attempting to reassert himself in the party says he will attempt to give rise to a rebellion in the lizardmen.

The party is weary as there now is a greater threat in the complex. Something very powerful is either aware of the spell put on the lizardman, or powerful enough to cast an anti-magic field around their lair. Nevertheless, The Bard feels fuelling a rebellion is the best thing to do.

Invisible again, The Bard sneaks into the camp and attempts to give rise to a rebellion. His attempt seems to have worked, but he is suddenly made visible. The lizardmen atop a ziggurat point at him and spells and arrows begin to fly. The Bard flees, only to be held magically as he hides behind a ziggurat. The party then leap into action, led by Janthro screaming at the top of his divine lungs.

In the distance, there is a rebellion forming, as lizardmen clash against lizardmen. But before the third zuggurat another battle is forming. The PCs battle against lizardmen, hoping to claim a foothold so they can free The Bard.

The battle is hard fought Naloor and Janthro are in the midst of the fighting with Ardan a few paces behind letting loose arrow after arrow. Swarms of Lizardmen fly down the ziggurat attempting to overpower the group, but each wave is pushed back.

Moments later, the party is given a break, as the spell on The Bard ends, he is now free to move. The party rescue him, and move off to the wilderness once again.

They have disturbed a wasp’s nest. They are aware that there will be trouble. They are wounded and need to recover. Naloor suggests going to the nearest settlement and hope to find some solace. He hopes to find the nearest lizardman community, one of the friendly ones. Ardan believes that wasting time will only end his search for answers as to what is troubling this region.

Janthro cares not for rest and only wishes to see Freedom delivered. He wishes to attack as soon as possible.

The party decide to rest that night a fair distance away from the complex, then attack as soon as they can. In the morning, the party regroups and plans their next action.

Again The Bard attempts to infiltrate the complex and rise a rebellion. This time, he hopes to get a much larger rebellion to occur. Instead of causing a small group, he plans on using a lizardman to incite the rebellion for him, heading straight to the far zuggurat and inciting it there. He hopes a large enough group will rise, allowing the party to strike forth into the heart of the complex.

And his plan works.

The party moves forward, attacking lizardmen who see them. They swarm yet again from the near ziggurat, but the party is prepared and experienced, fighting them off handily. They slowly ascend this small ziggurat and look at the complex in chaos.

Janthro does not wish to stop. He revels in this wonderous turn of events, laughing loudly atop this stepped pyramid. His friends are wounded, being look after by the healing hands of Thorax and Naloor. Looking across the field, the party have a rough idea that their plan is working, the lizardfolk’s numbers are dwindling. They can now launch an assault on the main ziggurat, seeing what is inside that mysterious room.

Naloor casts a holy spell, allowing the party to cross to the other pyramid walking on a bridge of light. They run across, surprising the lizardfolk at the other side. They slowly overpower the lizardmen here, watching as the rebellion is slowly crushed beneath them. As the party heads into the ziggurat, The Bard once again uses is abilities of the mind to suggest to the lizardmen that there are indeed more rebellious scum in the other ziggurat, and these non-lizardmen are of no threat. Again, the Bard prove useful, giving the group free access to the ziggurat.

Inside the stone construction, the party slinks down corridors, following the lead of Naloor whose eyes have come down this very path. They cautiously step down stair after stair, through torch lit corridors until they find themselves before the double doors of the room where their spell had ended.

Inside they see large lizardmen with muscular builds guarding a strange looking, huge snake with a vaguely humanoid face. The battle begins, but before any strikes can be made, Ardan tosses a necklace into the room. It is a simple chain with icicles frozen to it. When it lands, there is a violent snowstorm, hail falls from the ceiling and a blinding sleet fills the room. The party wait on the outskirts, fighting the remaining lizardmen as they filter out. When the effect ends, they charge in finishing off the hardy lizardfolk.

Outside, the lizardmen seem to be released from a spell. They shake their heads, and begin disarming themselves. They apologise and beg forgiveness.

There are nearly a hundred dead lizardfolk around them. These remaining lizardmen are granted their forgiveness and let to eke out whatever life they may find.

The party learn through the marking on the walls and the loot that they find that Marabor has somehow infiltrated this area years ago. A man named Bidsek had come, offering them a great deal of wealth. Then these lizardmen were slowly added to a growing army, feeling compelled to fight against other tribes, to dominate the swamp; for they had the sole right to rule their people. This went against all what the lizardmen believed, yet they felt that it was the only way to survive. They do not know how many villages or tribes have been wiped out due to the intervention o Marabor.

With Freedom restored, and the secret of the strange lizardmen solved, the party now move out of the swamp, heading to the Parsetan city of Garda. Ardan decides to join with the group. The issue with the lizardmen which he began investigating seems to lead to Marabor. He wishes to see this to the end.

After weeks of travel, the party finally makes it out of the swamp and into grasslands. They continue to Garda and enlist the services of the elven smiths and wizards to empower their weapons.

With their treasure identified, all the things of little uses sold, and new items bought, the party then outfit themselves with horses and head towards the border of Marabor.

At the river crossing before Avon, the party moves off out of sight of the city and Naloor once again calls upon his god tog ran them passage across the river. They ride across, unnoticed and are now, once again, in the realm of the enemy.

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The Secret Weapon: Lizardmen

The party is returned to Cayley via the Teleport spell that The Bard found in the noble’s room in the roadside inn north of the border between Moran and Marabor.

Sadly, the teleport was not without error, as Thuk’k was teleported partly in a staircase, his feel having to be amputated. Thuk’k is now spending the remainder of his time in Cayley forging and selling weapons. He has become liked by the dwarves.

The remainder of the party: Thorax, Krulk and The Bard now meet with the King to discuss what to do next.

They sit in the Chamber of Discussion of the Dwarven City of Cayley. The Baron Skelefdallen, Kind Breward and a number of advisors discuss what the party have discovered and discuss what the new plan would be.

The discussion lasts well into the night before the party is relieved to prepare for what is to come, though they are not entirely sure what that will be.

The following morning they are brought back to the Chambers of Discussion. The King believes that the next step towards Moran’s victory is to find out as much about the secret weapon that Marabor is creating. With that information the party should do what ever it can to disable, sabotage or destroy the weapon – if they are able.

Baron Skelefdallen interjects saying that a direct assault on Marabor will prove to be a disaster at this time. The armies of Moran are still attempting to gather, though the reports of the mysterious ‘ghost armies’ attacking some cities have now dwindled thanks to the help of Sir Albrech. Moran will send an army northwards to the border in the hopes to draw Marabor’s attention to it’s southern border while the party sneaks into the western border.

The party is confused by the ghost armies and is very interested in the whereabouts of their friend Albrecht, and asks for more information. They are told told that some cities, including Lytton, Antares, Cypres and Malder are attacked by forces that seem to be there during the night, lobbing flame filled glass balls at the cities that shatter into razor sharp shards, slicing the Moran defenders apart, while burning the fortifications and severed appendages. In the new dawn, the battlefields around the cities seem to be empty and devoid of any sign of an offensive army.

The King, though, is happy to report that Lytton has been able to defend themselves with the help of Sir Ablrecht, who has since disappeared and has not been seen or heard of since he saved Lytton. The information on how to defend against these ghost armies has been spread around to the other affected areas. Baron Skelefdallen believes that the armies should be gathered in no more then a month, and prepared to launch an attack on the border then.

The magical intelligence on Marabor suggests that the Maraborians are defending against any magical intrusion into their areas through a variety of magical wards including locator spells cast when anyone teleports into their territory. The number and location of any party, regardless of how small they are, when teleported into Moran territory would be immediately known and a large force would be dispatched to intercept. The suggestion, then, is to teleport outside of Maraborian territory and walk. The suggestion is to enter from the western border, near the Maraborian city of Avon. The plan is to teleport into the far eastern area of the Parsetan countryside.

The party agrees to work for the king, and arrangements are made for the Royal Wizard Pythar to teleport the group far West, across the Sea.

With Pythar is his runeborn assistant Number 9 (Or was it 6? Pythar didn’t know) that the party refers to as Ambrecht. The party reacquaint themselves with Ambrecht.

He is as happy as he ever was. He has stopped playing music as much as he has before, because he is very busy helping Pythar.

The party then ask Ambrecht if he would like to come along with them to fight the evils of Marabor, but he declines. He feels his place is at the side of Pythar. Once again, the party try to make him see the relationship with Pythar is one sided. Ambrecht, too loyal, or naïve to see disagrees.

With the chat with Ambrecht complete the wizard teleports the party to the western border of Marabor.

Almost immediately, the party knows something is amiss.

The air is stuffy, humid. The ground below them is soft and muddy. They realize they are standing in a small pond of mirky water. There is the constant buzz of insects around their head.

They were in a swamp and no where close to where they thought they were to land.

Krulk examines the surroundings and sky, and tells the party to head north. If anything, they have been teleported much further south then they thought.

After days of travel, the party finds themselves no further along then they expected. So, then the turn east, hoping to exit this infernal swamp. And they do: to the ocean.

Krulk remains scouting ahead of the party, trying to see anything that he can before the party can become aware of it. They walk northwards along the beach. The party is not pleased. The Bard believes that Pythar has betrayed the party, intentionally sending them away from their destination, possibly to another continent entirely.

Krulk returns to the party explaining that he has found something. The party enter into the swamp, following Krulk until they find a ruined village.

The thatched roofed cottages have been burned and there are many dead bodies littering the soggy ground. All lizardfolk.

The party begins to investigate what they found, learning only that the village was ransacked by someone, slaughtering the entire population.

Then, Krulk returns, with a band of lizardfolk. These lizardfolk are wearing armour, armed with metal spears and accompanied by fish men wnd crossbows. They attack the remaining members of the party, The Bard and Thorax, while Krulk leads them on.

Thorax watches as The Bard turns invisible. He is now left alone in a village being attacked by lizardfolk and fishmen. He is greatly outnumbered. So, he turns and runs into the nearest hut, hoping to escape.

It is not long before The Bard attacks Krulk, for backstabbing them. Then two new attackers appear, a man in full armour bearing a shield and a Symbol of Lyon and another man, dressed in brows ad greens appears seemingly out of nowhere, firing his bow into the lizardfolk band.

Thankful for the assistance, Thorax and The Bard press on.

Krulk demands the party surrender, but they do not, instead they manage to kill all the lizardmen. They also kill the lizardmen, using magic ice to freeze them into place, their bodies falling backwards and forwards with sicking snaps and pops.

The party now meets these two people who have assisted them. The first is Naloor, returned.

He tells his story of how he returned to the Shrine of Lyon and spoke to the Avatar. He explains that he was unhappy with his current choice in life and wished to return to being human. He explains that many years ago he became an Elan, a secretive group of psionically active humanoids who changed themselves into psionic entities, losing their past. With the experiences in the Shrine, and climbing the mountain Naloor has decided to repent and change himself.

The Avatar allowed him to stay and helped him remove the Elan part of him. He was restored to human form and retrained as a favoured soul of Lyon. With his training complete, Naloor was sent, by divine will, to this swamp to assist his friends in the downfall of Marabor.

The other mysterious benefactor is Ardan, a ranger of these parts. He explains that he is attempting to find out who, or what, is causing the deaths of all these lizardfolk. He has learn that there is a large cult of lizardmen slaughtering smaller tribes, but for some reason he has been unable to find them.

The party agrees to combine their efforts.

The Bard and Thorax now know that they are outside the Freelands of Tycho in the swamps that run along the eastern shore. Far to the north lies Parseta and Marabor.

It will take the group nearly a month to reach the border, and another month to enter far enough in Marabor to arrive at the supposed location of the Secret Weapon they have been sent to locate.

Thorax sends a message to the king, and the response comes quickly, telling him that the forces of Moran will wait a few extra weeks for the group to move northwards before sending their forces to face Marabor.

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Entry into Marabor

The party now enters into the wilds of northern Moran. Here the lands are rocky, cold and rough. They hav left behind the farm lands and now entered into something akin to badlands.

They travel for days, the air gaining a chill in late summer. The trees around them are near bare, the fir needles clinging to thin branches. Their feet scraping against rough, untrod, rocks. Then, suddenly, they feel the ground shake.

Before they know it, three massive creatures, covered in armoured hide spring from the ground, their maws closing in on them in surprise. Suddenly, they are wounded, Drask is near death, and there is no way to escape.

The Bard quickly attempts to charm one of the creatures, while being protected by Jaymes. Thu’kk is in single combat with one of these massive beats, while Drask is clinging to his new found freedom by a thread.

It doesn’t take long for these creatures to devour Drask. But The Bards spell is working on one of the creatures, who soon charges the others roaring at them in a display of authority. Thuk’kk escapes to stand near The Bard just before Jaymes is smashed by the creatures claws. The Bard quickly casts invisibility on the remaining pair and escape narrowly.

Now the group is once again at a loss, their numbers have dwindles even more, only three survive: Thuk’kk, The Bard and Thorax. Even the elements seem against them, but they continue on. Now that they are out of the territory of the land sharks, the head towards the border of Moran and Marabor in the hopes of learning something about their only clue: the magical wood.

Summer has now ended and autumn cools this harsh land. The trio slowly make their way along the western side of the last mountains of Moran.

They are stopped by a group of defenders of Moran, hooded and camouflaged in the grey lands. They explain that they are the only scouts that watch the border. The trio enter their caves: a last haven before entering enemy territory.

These soldiers have not heard of the magical wood that the party searches for. They know little of trade, but there have been some people going through the gates. The soldiers can only watch, hoping their number and position will not be revealed.

The remaining Trio tell of their plan to head to Distin in the hopes of finally tracking down their magical wood, or at least learn something of what their enemy is doing. Two orcs, loyal of Moran, step forward and wish to give their services to them.

One is a trained scout named Krullk. He holds numerous throwing axes and claims to be a quick flash on the battlefield. The other orc has heard tales of The Bard and joins along side him as his bodyguard.

Thorax has reservations about this new party. He is now surrounded by two orcs, a half-orc and a curious human. He knows that many orcish tribes have reverted to the Gods of Eon, becoming citizens of light, but that doesn’t change the deep history of mistrust and blood these two people share.

With their newfound comrades, the group investigates the border. Running the entire length of the border – as far as the group can see – is a twenty foot tall wooden wall. They walk along it (out of range, of course) until they see a gate within the wood. Then they wait.

They waited for a trade caravan, and they find one. They stop the wagon and ask to learn of it’s cargo, and hopefully use the wagon to infiltrate the border. The driver is very nervous and refuses to allow the party to see the wagon. His friend is killed by an orc, and the wagon is annexed.

The driver is very cautious and warns the group not to examine the cargo. Of course, they do so. In the wagon are two boxes, one large, the other small and long. both have warning written on them in numerous languages: each saying: Danger do not open.

As if we thought otherwise, the party continues to examine the box. What danger could lie in here that they have not already faced? They knock on the box, and it knocks back, rocking the crate slightly, the rattle of chains heard within.

They conclude that what ever is in there is intelligent and chained, unwilling to be sent to Marabor. The party believes it to be a dragon, and when the peer within, they are correct, a brass dragon resides within, chains surrounding it, making it nearly immobile.

The party removes the box and opens it, freeing the dragon which then shatters the chains restraining it. The other box contains three eggs: the children of this dragon.

The group speaks to this dragon, hoping for information and assistance, but find none. The dragon is mostly interested in small talk and conversation and seemingly does not understand the magnitude of the situation. The group explains how they wish to enlist the dragon to assist them in attacking Marabor by setting a trap. The dragon is not amused. The conversation continues, leading to many circles where it becomes apparent that the dragon is unwilling to help, and the group is unwilling to play it’s games.

Frustrated, the dragons uses it’s breath weapon to put the group to sleep. When they awaken, the dragon an it’s eggs are gone. But the wagon remains.

Now, the group turns their attention to the lone survivor of this wagon: the driver. They speak to him, threatening him in the way of this group and soon learn that he was sent to bring the cargo to a location on the way to Distin in a day.

The group uses the wagon to gain entrance to Marabor. The Bard rides the wagon out front, accompanied by his bodyguard wearing a large straw hat that is used to hide his un-human features.

They ride the wagon calmly through enemy lands, the wall and mountains fading behind them. Then, they see two men standing aside the road. They nod, as if expecting the wagon. There is little talk, then the pair lead the wagon to a small roadside inn.

The plan is working wonderfully. The Bard and his bodyguard stand outside, awaiting the arrival of the noble with which they will trade, while Krullk hides within the wagon. They hope to surprise their enemies.

The noble arrives out of the inn flanked by two soldiers of Marabor. The pair who led them here are standing off to the side. They are unarmoured, dressed in lose fitting clothing with staves.

The Bard begins to speak with the noble, attempting to fish as much information out of the man before his true identity is discovered. Not much is gleaned, and combat is quickly begun.

Krullk teleports out of the wagon and begins to lob axes at his enemies, while the Bard tactfully navigates the battlefield. Thuk’kk and the other orc wade into battle, smashing and slicing all they can. The battle is hard fought, but in the end, the party emerges victorious.

The roadside inn took some damage from the battle—mainly in the form of The Bard’s Wand of Lightning Bolt. They enter the inn and speak with the owner, who allows them to head upstairs (mostly thanks to the Bard’s Hat of Disguise)

When they enter the room of the noble they killed, they find a neat room, filled with little of interest. With nothing much else to do, The Bard uses his Scry ability to watch Bidsek, the Maraborian whose name seems to pop up constantly. The Bard watches him finish a meal and be lead out of a beautifully ornate room to meet with someone, but then the spell’s duration expires.

But now, they have information. They find a scroll of Teleport as the others search around for more clues. The group decides to use the scroll to return to Cayley and talk with The King.

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Old Friends and New Acquaintances

We continue on the adventures of the Northward Travellers after they leave the survivors of a large village that was burned to the ground by Marabor. The group decides to head north, following their only lead they have: the trail of the magical wood.

A few days into the journey they stop for a well earned rest, but when they awake, they find their numbers dwindled, a note in the place of Naloor’s bedroll.

The group, confused and concerned, retrieve the letter and read it:

Dear Friends,

I regret to inform you that I must leave your company. A number of events have conspired to make me realize that this is the best thing for the group, and for myself.

First, the death of Janthro. While it has taken some time to settle in, I realize that his death shocked me deeper than I had originally realized. His death was needless, and stupid, and could have been avoided. It made me question the reason for doing what we needed to do. Is this the ultimate outcome of our journey? I didn’t dwell too much on this at first, as I had more pressing concerns to occupy me – namely, the curse.

Upon reaching the Temple of Lyon, I felt as though a great weight had been lifted from me. Besides the removal of the curse, I met others there of a like mind. While it was a temple dedicated to Lyon, I still felt at home there. But upon leaving the temple, I had a vision in the Mirror of Truth that haunts me. I saw myself, as I existed years ago. A self that I still admire, but I had thought I had moved on from. Having seen it, it made me realize that perhaps I haven’t moved along as far as I had first thought.

But the final straw was the Dragon. I could barely contain my own hatred of the vile thing. It was all I could do to not throw myself at it. I realized at this point that I was a danger to myself and the rest of the group. But more importantly, it also made me realize that I still struggle with an inner chaos which I had thought I had put to rest.

More to the point, I no longer feel so connected to our quest. So I have decided to take up semi-permanent residence at the temple of Lyon, until such time that I achieve the peace that I seek.

Regards,

Naloor.

Saddened by the loss of Naloor, the party then strikes forward. They number only four now. The group slowly loses numbers as they continue, and some have doubts of whether they will succeed now that so many who have fought along side the King have turned aside. All that remains now is Thorax. Albrecht has left on his own quest, Janthro fell in single combat with a Maraborian General and now, Naloor finds himself changed in such a way that he can no longer continue on the quest.

Yet, Thorax, The Bard, James and Thuk’kk continue northwards.

After a day of travels, the party then encounters a small, pristine, yet vacant village. Standing before them is a small woman. They party moves forward to speak but she shyly turns away. When pressed she explains that the village has been cleared out by a group of kobolds, many of which are still being held as slaves. She tells the party where the kobold lair is, and asks them to go through it, and save the remaining members of the village.

The woman is found out to be wearing a Hat of Disguise, but her true form could not be determined.

The Bard did wish to obtain the Hat, and made a deal with the woman to be given the Hat when he returns with the other members of her village.

The party does so, finding the lair with relative ease, then entering and slaughtering the few kobolds within.

They found a chained kobold in a corner who spoke common, pleading for his life. He explains that he is Drask, a kobold from the Freelands of Tycho who came here to escape persecution by other kobolds. He is not a evil, slave-driving kobold who worships evil gods, but a kobold, like the others of his kind above ground, who strive for harmony. Their tribe has come to Moran to seek trading arrangements. However, they have been overtaken by members of their tribe and Drask, the chosen representative, has been captured.

The Group frees Drask and he thanks them, saying that his sister and other villagers are waiting for them above. They travel down the long winding path that leads to the exit, then climb back into sunlight. Outside, they soon find the village burnt and slaughtered kobolds laying about.

Drask cries for his tribe, and especially his sister.

The Group remains for a day in mourning.

Drask decides to join the group. He feels that now, without his tribe behind him, he has nothing else to do, except fight for the freedom of Moran.

The group welcomes Drask, and they head northwards.

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The Shrine of Lyon and The Ruined Village

The party was brought forth to the Avatar a few days after arriving. Many of the group wandered the halls and learned of the greatness that is held within. Naloor especially learned a great deal from some friends he made, particularly of the secrets of the Mind and it’s relation with the Body.

The Avatar told the group that they were on a dangerous road forth, where death would meet them at every turn. There is a strong possibility that they will not return from where they are going. They would be going deep into the heart of the Lands of Tyranny. The Avatar was very silent on whether or not they would emerge victorious.

At the end, the Curse from the Stones of Zysis was lifted from those who were effected.

After leaving the Shrine of Lyon the group heads north, crossing the Dividing Hills to the Northern Province. Days of travel in the cooling winds brought no new information on their quest.

They were heading north following the trace of the magical wood that had been sent north. Then the party comes to a burnt landscape filled with dead bodies. The party examined the grizzly scene.

They found that there were nearly ten thousand bodies, equally divided between those dressed in Moranan and Maraborian dress. There were severed bodies, large scorch marks and shards of razor sharp glass scattering the battlefield. The party remained long enough to determine that this battle ended only days ago.

This confused the party attempted to reason why there were Moranan soldiers this far north — and this numerous as they were told that there were not enough soldiers gathered in any one place to launch such an attack. They gathered all information they could but still, nothing seemed to make sense.

They then continued northwards. After a few days, they came across another smouldering pile of ash, the size of a large village. As they grew closer to investigate, they were ambushed by bow wielding humans.

The humans are the last remnant of survivors of the burnt village. They were hoping to find more Maraborian soldiers to kill if they came back to this location. The party were curious, believing they can link the army that lies southwards to the burnt village here.

The Humans tell the story of the Maraborians coming to obtain a shipment of magical wood that was shipped north here. There were some strangers who came into town a few weeks ago asking about a shipment of wood. They wanted to know when it was leaving, and if it could leave any sooner: it was desperately needed in the north. This worried many of those in the trading business as there was just a shipment sent north days earlier. They grew suspicious and soon found out that they were a stop along a trade route that traded with Marabor. The goods were magical wood cut from their own trees. The shipment that left recently was was one of the shipment of magical wood, but they could not stop it, but the one they currently held they could do something about. So the village decided to put a stop to this and forced the Maraborians out of the village.

Soon after an army returned and laid waste to the village in a day. Their attack was precise and focussed on the citizens and away from any area of trade of wealth. The remaining citizens (who had not fled at first sight of the approaching army), more concerned about the welfare of Moran then their lives and torched the remainder of the village, especially the magical wood.

Now that their goal was taken from them the Maraborians slaughtered and enslaved many of the remaining villagers, then continued south. What happened then is unknown.

The party tells of the discovery of the armies in the south, which brings both joy and sadness to the remaining citizens of this burnt village. The party then wishes them well as they move off in the hopes of finding the other magical wood shipment. The citizens declare that they will head south to civilization.

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The Road North

The party leaves Pallas after spending the day with the one they have named Ambrecht. They sold some goods and were able to pick up some pearls for Identify spells. They head north towards the Shrine of Lyon.

The journey was fairly easy. The weather was pleasant for the most part. Though there was rain, it was light and cooled the adventurers more then hindered them.

A few days into their travels, before they reach the Dividing Hills, they come across a small village. The group stops there, running low on food (even though Thuk’kk as been hunting birds – mostly for himself). They talk to the townsfolk, learning that there has been raids in the village, done so by gnolls. They also learn that there has been a travelling group of clerics that have passed through, also being harassed by the gnolls.

The group seem to be only slightly interested. They do care for the village and it’s welfare. The Bard seems to be rather interested and suggests to the party that they follow up on this.

The group then begins heading off in the general direction of the gnoll lair. They soon find a line of tracks that are easy to follow. It is believed that it can be one of the clerics who were walking along the trail. The path leads towards an old ruin comprised of ruined houses and walled dug out with an old wooden roof. It leads inside the earth. The trail leads in there.

The party enters the dug-out, and slowly make their way into an eerily empty cave complex. They travel carefully through it, making as little sound as possible. Yet, there is very little noise. If there are gnolls in this complex, they are being more quiet then the party.

Down the main hallway, the party sees hanging axes. As they near, they realise that it is a trap – a sprung trap. They continue carefully down this corridor, that begins to turn back into itself, making a deathly spiral leading somewhere, yet is filled with sprung traps. Some prove to be more difficult to move past. They climb and jump over open pit traps. Many leap over with ease, however Thorax has difficulty. He removes his armour and attempts to leap across, but nearly every time, he doesn’t make it across. Luckly The Bard used his trollgut rope and helped the dwarf out of each pit.

At the end of the singed, bladed and pitted spiral, a staircase led down into deeper darkness. The party began to slowly descend, and found themselves in a large room with a pile of gold in one corner, a large chest in the other. As the room grows lighter, a man emerges from behind the gold, a wide smile on his face.

He welcomes the party, claiming to have been waiting for them. The Bard smirks, and it becomes very clear that this meeting was set up. The Bard and this gentleman, Jaymes have known each other.

Jaymes tells the party that he led the party here, disarmed the traps (though some he failed to, and was harmed by them) and slaughtered the gnolls. He says he was too late to save the clerics, but has left the treasure untouched for the party to divide between them. A gift, he claims.

The treasure is substantial, but many eyes go towards the chest. There are coins and gems in the pile, but perhaps the chest contains much more. The Bard heads over to it, opening it, and there is a click and a flash of fire. The Bard leans back, getting slightly singed as he does, his flexible body allowing him to avoid much of the flame burst.

Inside the chest are a number of items, some very intricate, and others humble. The group takes the treasure and keeps a weary eye on the new member of the party and move to leave. However, as they lift treasure from the chest, there is another click and whirr of machinery. The party investigates, yet nothing seems to yield any results.

They climb the stairs, looking down the corridor and realize that the hall is nearly empty: the traps have been reset. Jaymes declares that he can disarm the traps, and does so on the first one after a few failures.

Thorax has a better idea, however. He goes down to the lower, treasure chamber, and uses his Nevis given ability to mould the ground above them, allowing them to climb out of the treasure chamber and into the southern corridor. They avoid the traps and escape the gnoll lair.

With their new ‘gifts’ they turn north, heading towards Mount Atna, upon which sits the Shrine of Lyon.

The climb was easy. There are ancient stairs to assist those who wish to meet the Avatar and complete holy pilgrimage. The group did not wait, but climbed these stairs, higher and higher.

A landing appeared, a sort of camp to rest. The group did not wish to wait, instead wished to continue; they found the way blocked. An old man stood before a gate. The gate itself was decorated with the moon Elysai. As the neared the man did not pass, even when asked too. He said that those who are too pas must answer a question, or remain here. The group agreed.

The question was asked to the party: “Those who climb must be aware of themselves. What is your greatest fear?”

The old man then said that they need not share their answers with the others, but could speak to the man separately. They all did, and were allowed to pass.

The climb became a little more difficult, but yet again, a camp was in sight just beyond. This camp was sparsely populated, a number of clerics of Lyon and other faithful. again, there is a gait blocking off the rough staircase up the mountain. A man in the way.

The gate, as the group draws nearer is drawn with the moon Supral around it. The cold white of her face gleaming off the sunlight.

The man asks the group another question, yet again giving them the choice to answer in private. The question demanded the group to divulge their deepest secret to the man. They each answered in their own way and were allowed passage.

Again they climbed up the mountain, and again they came to landing with a camp upon it. This time much smaller, the camp contained only a few tents. But, as expected there stood a gate behind which was another staircase leading up to the summit. it is, of course, guarded by large muscular blonde man.

“In order to pass, you must declare to me, publicly or privately your deepest wish.”

Again each member of the party answers the man’s question and is allowed to pass. The group answers the question individually and are allowed to climb the final leg of the mountain. Shortly afterwards, the group reaches the summit, laying their eyes on the shining, glorious Shrine of Lyon.

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The Satyr's Woods

We left the adventures in Pallas, where they recovered from Bryce Holdgate’s parties and the attack of a cell in the Tall Pined Lumber Mill.

The information they have gleaned from the interrogation of the remaining members of the cell pointed them towards an oak forest two days to the north east. They took their time in Pallas resting while others went shopping for magical goods.

It was around this time that Albrecht disappeared. He left a note saying that he has been called away on a holy mission from Tallin. He would meet the party when he was done. He wished them luck, and has not been heard from since.

Undaunted, the party leaves Pallas behind and travels to the north east. The journey is easy and untroubled. The warm summer sun is pleasant upon their faces. The Bard, using his newly acquired magical item, transforms himself into the bet shape of an old man, wrapped in an old cloak.

The oak forest they find is a beautiful testament to the glory of nature. The group enters wearily, watching their surroundings carefully expecting an attack from any side. After all, agents of Moran live in these woods.

The forest then takes on a rather odd look. There is a clearing, it can be called, of stumps, about five feet wide. The stumps look very recently made, however there is a fully grown tree sprouting from the centre of the trunk. The new tree looks at least six years old, maybe older (no one in the party really knows). What does strike them as odd is that every tree that they can see, growing out of stumps or otherwise exudes a magical aura. A moderate magical aura to be exact.

The group continues deeper into the woods, coming to an idyllic grassy clearing roughly thirty feet in diameter. The golden sun filters through the trees creating pillars of light that draw the travellers to it.

They are wary, but press forward, and a joyful satyr emerges from behind a tree, a wide smile on his fay face. He greets the adventures into his forest and wilfully answers their questions.

It become very clear that Birchheve is a kind soul who only wants to help the group. It is very clear that he knows little of any wood that has been taken from the forest. He has been here for about a year, finding parts of the forest cut down. He and his brother decide to repair the forest and set to re-growing the oaks.

Birchheve is unaware of anyone wanting to hurt him, let alone kill him. He has not spoken to any humanoids in a long time and no one has really entered the forest in the past year, save a centaur and other satyr.

The party also see a massive bear sleeping against a large tree. It does little, just sleeps.

The party quickly become frustrated and are about to leave when Birchheve begins walking away whistling a wonderful tune. This gives the Bard an idea. He challenges, in good faith, to satyr to a whistle-off. The winner has to tell a secret to the loser. The loser can deem the secret not good enough to be told and request a new one.

The pair begin, and Birchheve is the clear winner. So, The Bard leans close, whispering to the satyr: “I am the King of Moran.”

The satyr is in shock and surprise, leaning back and laughing. He soon climbs a tree and hands The Bard a crown of oak that he fashioned from the limbs of a tree. The King and his knights are requested to stay in the forest while and be guests at their table.

The rest of the party is in shock, but say little. They want to se how far this goes.

The group sit on the grass at low wooden tables, eating the bounty of the forest. Redoak, Birchheve’s brother joins the group. Although there is a fear of poisoning, the food is wonderful.

The bear still sleeps.

As the sweet nectar the fey bring out begins to empty, there is more requested. Naloor excuses himself as Redoak goes to refill the nectar decanters. He stealthy follows, and watches as Redoak refills the decanter, but sees no foul play. He does see, however, that Redoak does not look pleased.

Back at the table, the ‘King of Moran’ graciously accepts his hosts’ offer to spend the night.

That night, The Bard turns invisible and follows the two satyr to their small grove, and listen as they speak to one another. Although the Bard does not understand their language, he quickly does, and learns that they are indeed lying, just as the party expected at first. Birchheve is attempting to calm Redoak, saying that the party will leave soon and they will be back to living as they once were. They know that the old man is lying and is not the king.

The Bard returns to the camp and the night passes.

The next morning, the ‘King’ confronts Birchheve and says that he is pleased to have met a kind subject and will be staying in the forest indefinitely. The hospitality that Birchheve and his brother have shown has pleased the king greatly and will be – in time. For now, this forest will become the centre in which Moran will be rebuilt.

Birchheve is somewhat upset, claiming that he is not a follower of Moran, nor it’s king, bus simply being kind to a ruler of humans. The claim that the king has over the forest is unfounded and is akin to tyranny.

The King is silenced as he realizes that this is true… but then shifts his form into that of Shada, the wizard who was sent to Kill Birchheve! (Thanks to his hat of disguise)

Birchheve paces backwards as Shada (of the Bard) says that she has come to do what is needed to be done. Birchheve refuses saying that he has done what has been asked and nothing more or less. The wizard has no power here and should leave. The trees are healing and he has been given his payment.

This is enough for the party to show the guilt of Birchheve, and they attack.

Combat erupts in this idyllic forest. Birchheve begins playing his pan pipes, awakening the bear and attempting to charm the party. It does not work. In the meantime, Naloor, Thukk and Thorax charge and attack Birchheve and Redoak. The Bard and Thorax face Birchheve and the other two face Redoak.

Suddenly there are arrows fired from the trees, hitting oak and humanoid alike. The giant bear attacks the party, ripping through them.

Thorax is able to hew Birchheve in two with a mighty blow from his dwarven axe. Just in time too, as he faces off with the dire bear with The Bard near him.

Naloor and Thukk attempt to render Redoak unconscious and succeed shortly after Birchheve is hewn down.

The party converges on the dire bear as Thorax is knocked down with a hefty blow from the razor sharp claw of the bear.

As arrows fly through the forest, the party attack the bear. It grapples with Thukk, claws at The Bard, all while Naloor ties up Redoak and searches for the archers in the trees. The Bard revives Thorax, then turns invisible and is lost in the chaos.

As the bear nearly kills the party rendering Thukk and The Bard to the brink of death, it is brought down.

The arrows are no longer shot from the trees and an eerie silence settles in the clearing.

The bard is not seen for a few seconds before he reappears in the middle of the clearing, gasping for air. The party then searches the two satyr, finding only a well made and non-magical belt and a strange wooden hoop with four handles and a thin piece of twine in it.

Leaving the dead bear and satyr, the party tend to their wounds and head off towards the Shrine of Lyon.

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Pallas

We begin in Lawfulwagon.

In light of recent events the group decides to head north to Pallas on the way to the Shrine of Lyon. The long journey away from the Dwarven Mountains was long but uneventful. Summer is now embracing the continent of Moran making the journey a pleasant one.

The party arrives at Pallas on Batenbury 29th. The city is the second largest in Moran. It’s rapid growth thanks to a vivid economy and friendly faces.

The Bard, who was introduced as Eric Lamont explains that he is indeed Bryce Holdgate, a child of a wealthy noble from Pallas. He has family in Pallas and they are expecting Bryce. The party is curious, but says little.

Bryce leads the group deep into the city, through the outlaying communities, through the gates and into the Administrative ward, where the Holdgate Manse is located. At the door the butler, Martin, greets the party. He looks both surprised and pleased that Bryce has returned. Martin instructs Bryce that he is expected in the family sitting room by his two brothers.

The party is brought through the Manse, a well decorated and clearly old building. There as been much care put into the care of this house. The sitting room is a medium sized room – many city folk would be overjoyed to have a house the size of the Holdgate sitting room. Seated at one end of the room, adjacent to a burning fireplace are the two Holdgate brothers, Anamar and Hayson.

Anamar is a tall quiet gentleman. His refined features speak to a life of study and thought. He seems to be a decade older then Bryce and half as much older then Hayson. Hayson is the second child of the family, looking nothing like his brothers. He is short and sharp featured. His hair is close-cropped. Around his neck is the symbol of Lyon.

Bryce is pleased to see his brothers, but they seem none to please to see him. Anamar mentions a letter sent to him by Bryce a few days ago mentioning that he was working for the king. When a latter arrived from the king, there was no mention of Bryce Holdgate. Hayson is quick to point out that Bryce has lied his way into something else.

The brothers banter back and forth as Naloor and Thorax stand nearby. They learn a bit about Bryce though from the conversation: he has been in trouble with money, been in with ‘the wrong crowd’ and has committed at least one murder (to which Bryce claimed to be in self-defense). Whatever the crimes it is clear that if there were outstanding warrants on Bryce, his brothers would have had him arrested the moment he stepped into the Manse. Instead they are simply displeased with his choices in life.

Bryce quickly moves away from these accusations and references to his previous life and refers to the letter he wrote asking if the preparations have been made. The brothers nod, saying that the Tall Pines Lumber Mill has been commissioned to build a wagon for the group, and a party has been planned for the following night. The brothers have the letter sealed from the king, and hand it to the group. It is addressed to Thorax, Naloor and Albrecht.

Pleased, Bryce retires to his room, and Naloor and Thorax are shown to comfortable rooms themselves.

The next morning, Thorax and Naloor go t the City Council office to retrieve gifts from the King that were mentioned in the letter. There they also receive a package for Albrecht.

Bryce heads off to the Tall Pines Lumber Mill to see the wagon that is being built for him. The wagon is of fine quality and nearing completion. He pays the workers and asks questions of the group. He learns that the Mill has been sold since the cell has been discovered and destroyed. The original owner moved West a month ago. The new owner is attempting to keep business going. Bryce suggests that he will buy into the business, giving the owner a chance to turn a profit and not lose what Bryce calls “an institution.”

That night the Holdgate residence held a party. It was organized at the behest of Bryce there are many guests, most of which are high-class nobles. There is tension in the air, however as the reclusive wizard, Pythar may make an appearance.

Naloor and Thorax are out of their element in this party. They see all the well dressed folk wandering around, engaged in conversation that have little to know long-term meaning. They decide the best thing o do is sit at a table and eat, while keeping an eye out for anything peculiar.

Bryce, however, is in his element. He mingles, rubs elbows and talks his way around the room like a hummingbird plucking nectar from flowers. But, catching his eye is a man in military dress uniform looking out of place.

The man is Sergeant Everias. The man arrived at the party without an invite, but with purpose. Bryce speaks with him, finding out that Everias wishes to speak to Pythar, thanking him for the work he has done for the city of Pallas in locating and destroying Marabor cells. In the mean time, Bryce speaks to Everias about the more recent events in Pallas.

Everias tells Bryce that the cell that was in existence was eradicated a month ago. The members were publicly hanged. The most recent shipment from Tall Pines was intercepted in the North and returned to Pallas. The shipment contained oak timber, boards, barrels, baskets, boxes, crates, nails, hoops, awls, hammer heads and some other lumber working tools. Pythar was asked to look at the shipment, and has but has said nothing about it. The shipment was brought to the Tall Pines Lumber Mill and within two days the shipment was set ablaze. The investigation that took place after the fire was set revealed that it was a mundane fire and was deliberately set via a torch that was strategically placed.

At this time in the party there is a loud round of applause. It seems a small group is surrounding a well dressed gentleman telling a story. There is a sudden flash and clouds form in the room, then snow begins to fall. In the middle of this story is Pythar, arms open, a wide smile on his face. He tells of his adventures on the Plain of Tycho, where it starts snowing. Before he can get any further he is approached by Bryce and Thorax (who is not pleased that someone has the gall to make it snow in someone’s house!).

Pythar is pulled away from his story by the pair and asked to stop the snow and clean it up as it is rude. He apologizes and asks for his assistant, named Number Six to clean it up for him. Number Six is a well dressed runeborn in flashy attire, a wide brimmed hat with feathers and baubles dangling from it. His amber eyes look around kindly accepting his master’s orders. He goes around, quickly dispelling the magically created snow. Thorax is amazed t see one of these creatures and is even more surprised to find out that Number Six in not a paladin.

Pythar is brought to a quiet side of the party where he is met by Naloor and Sgt. Everias. Thorax and Bryce continue to speak to the gentleman.

Pythar is very flighty, but is obviously highly intelligent. He reveals that the wood that was originally shipped to the North was magical. Its magic was hidden by powerful abjuration spells when it was located, Pythar realized that the spells on the wood were meant to protect it from harm, and discovery. The major schools involved were divination and abjuration. He would have liked to investigate the wood further, but its destruction has stopped him from doing so.

The group the decide to head to the Tall Pines lumber mill to look for the invoices of the shipping that took place. Everias takes Naloor and Thorax, leaving Bryce behind at the party: his brothers were not pleased that he was going to leave. In fact he took the opportunity to take the pair upon the stage and sing together.

With the invoices in hand the group return to the party and begin scouring through them.

Bryce sees the party to the end, but before leaving becomes good friends with Number Six, teaching the runeborn how to play his lute. The creature makes a quick study, playing wonderful music, and singing beautifully. As Bryce needs to speak to Pythar once more and help his new companions in searching through the invoices, he gives Number Six his lute and then tells the band to play, teaching the runeborn how to play music. Bryce then pats the runeborn on the shoulder, christening him Ambrecht (Amber (from his eyes) + Albrecht).

The trio then speak to Pythar privately along with Sgt. Everias. They speak on the wood and anything else that was suspicious about it.

One thing that did interest Pythar was the origin of the magic in the wood. The magic was not put upon the wood, but was a part of the wood, much like bones are a part of a humanoid. This means that the wood was grown with these magical properties within them: a very rare thing indeed. The fact that they were oak was also something of great interest.

Sgt. Everias mentions to the group that there is no oak forest around that is forested by the lumber mills of Pallas. There are some days away, but the cost of foresting timber from those forests are not worth the work.

Everias mentions that he would like to use the notes that the group found from the dragon to set a trap for who ever set the fire in Tall Pines. The party do not respond just now, occupied with attempting to keep Pythar on track.

With the invoices in hand, the trio search the notes to see if they can find anything of any interest.

They spend the entire night looking through the invoices, going over each others work, cross referencing every now and again. What they find is that not every shipment that was sent out matches up with an acquisition made in a forest. Meaning: there has been some wood that was cut down that was not recorded. It is clear now, that there is an oak forest out there that the members of the cell used to make the magical wood that they desperately attempted to keep secret.

The group feel that their job is done. They have information that will assist them in the future, and help protect the king and country. Thorax and Naloor and desperate to head to the Shrine of Lyon to remove the curse. The trio then gather their goods and prepare to leave the next morning.

Everias returns that morning, just as the group is packing their new wagon. He asks once more if he can get the group to help him in locating the newest cell in Pallas. He asks for a copy of the notes and hopes to set a trap for them.

The group agree and give Everias a copy of the notes, allowing him to use them. The party then lie in wait at the Tall Pines Lumber Mill.

Sure enough, the word that Everias set out is picked up by a group. They raid the Mill in the late hours of the night. Two swordsmen enter the mill and are quickly ambushed by Naloor and Thorax, who disarm them. Bryce becomes invisible and heads out the door, seeing two archers and a woman standing twenty feet away from the open door. She soon asks what is going on, and there is no answer. The two swordsmen soon attack Thorax and Naloor, but Bryce uses his invisibility to surprise and decapitate the woman. In the following seconds, Bryce incapacitates one archer with Hideous Laughter, and puts the other one asleep. He then ties them up. Meanwhile, Thorax and one swordsmen grapple for near a minute, while Naloor pummels the other. Soon, the swordsman Naloor is fighting runs, heading our the door where Bryce greases the ground, causing him to fall. Naloor quickly knocks him unconscious.

The trap has been sprung, and those interested in recovering the notes have been captured, their leader (a wizard) killed.

The adventure ends there, the group standing victorious and unscathed above their victims.

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Lost Citizens of Lawfulwagon

Outside Lawfulwagon the party traveled to the mountains. They wanted to find the reason why people had disappeared.

Shortly after they left, however, Xerxes bid the party farewell. He kept his reasons to himself and disappeared into the shadows.

About an hour later, they heard a strange song being sung in the wilderness. Immediately fearing that whatever evil had plagued this area had found them they readied themselves, however a short while later they realized that this was the song of one man, traveling through the forest as themselves.

The man is The Black Fox, a man of great renown who wishes to find out why the people of Lawfulwagon have disappeared. Not only that, but he is quite ready to join the group that he had heard so much about.

The Black Fox joined the group, and they continued towards the mountains.

A tall mountain stood before them. There was a steep winding path leading up to a scar in the mountain wall. From their vantage point they could see that there was an opening. The began to head up the trail. Just then, three figures emerged, ugly, naked, foul, winged creatures whose body and hair seemed to be caked with dried blood. They screamed and leapt into the air, harassing the party as they rose the path. Soon they realized who had been taking the citizens of Lawfulwagon, as one began to sing a hauntingly beautiful song that tugged at the hearts of the adventures. But they stayed true to their cause, and pressed the attack.

At first the party was struck at unawares, unprepared for an arial attack. For a moment, nothing happened, the creatures flew down, flashing their sharp claws at the group as they dodged out of the way. But then Naloor and Albrecht (riding his trusty feline-steed Percival) were able to move up the mountain path and attack these winged creatures on even ground. The creatures fell to the earth amid screams and blood. The third one was too bright and maintained a high altitude amongst it’s attack on The Black Wolf, Eric Lamont. Naloor sped up the mountainside and leapt to the creature, just able to land hits on the creatures thighs as he fell. He used the side of the mountain to slow his fall, but it was a little too much, even for him. Above, Albrecht and Percival did the same, leaping onto the creature and ending it’s life. It’s body fell, along with Albrecht and Percival.

The Black Fox, who had seen these creatures centuries ago, before he was turned to stone and revived named these creatures harpies. The rest of this foul nest must be disposed of.

The group slowly went up the remainder of the mountain path and peered into the depths, there was an arrow that fled from the darkness hitting an adventurer. Albrecht casted light on a stone and threw it into the cave, allowing the party to see within. There was two more harpies and a third, wearing armour and wielding a bow.

A quick combat round ensued, ending with the death of the foul harpies.

All around the party lay the bodies of what looked like twenty people. Some were gnawed on, clearly by the harpies. Others had their fluids drained from them, and others still seemed to have been charred.

Eric examined the bodies using his worldly experience and believed that the bodies that had been drained were killed by spiders, giant spiders.

As the group gathered treasure and explored the cave, Albrecht searched for more evil. He concentrated and located nine signs of evil beyond the cave wall. The group then discovered a secret door and entered deeper into the cave.

Before them (as Albrecht brought his lit stone) were nine large spiders. They watched the group carefully, not making any movement. At their feet were numerous bodies that also had their fluids drained by these foul creatures.

I should be made known, as Albrecht realized, that these creatures, although clearly the culprits for eating the bodies about them are not evil.

Albrecht led the assault on these creatures who quickly banded together to defend their home. The battle was swift, and no real harm was done. The spiders threw many webs at the party, and although they were tangled they were able to fend off these beasts. Only Naloor was poisoned.

The party then searched this chamber, while Eric moved on ahead hoping to do some reconnaissance. He pushed on, his hand against the wall beside him, walking in the dark carefully. Behind him the glow of Albrecht’s light stone gleamed. Then suddenly, before him was a faint red light, like a fire.

Eric The Black Wolf moved on, curiosity tugging on him. He entered the room and hid, but whatever it was that produced such a glow knew he was there and began to speak to him.

As the pair spoke, it became clear to Eric that there was a dragon here. He claimed not wishing to harm the adventurers, but having some information for them. As the remainder of the party arrived, the light filled the room, showing a red dragon sitting on a raised platform.

The dragon’s name is Oralexeyon. He admits that he has given a home to the harpies and spiders to feast upon stray wanders in exchange for the treasure they hold. The harpies, for what ever reason, Oralexeyon does not say, spread further and drew forth citizens of Lawfulwagon. Oralexeyon is not remorseful, nor does he seem to mind that a party has killed his companions. He then holds aloft a crumpled up parchment in his clawed hand claiming that he has vitally important information to the party and wishes a trade.

The party, faced with such an evil force demand the information immediately. When they are not given it, they assess the situation. The dragon, although red, is only ten feet long. It is clearly evil. For a moment, Oralexeyon drops the paper, and Eric steals it with magic, then Albrecht charges, releasing all his power upon the dragon.

Oralexeyon yells, then delves into an attack on Albrecht, gashing him with his maw, rending him with both claws and battering him with both wings. Albrecht is near death with a single hit. Meanwhile Eric grabs the paper, places it on Percival and the faithful feline-steed runs off down the cave towards the exit.

However, after the attack on Albrecht, the stout warrior flees, knowing when he is bested. He is followed by Naloor an Eric, who flee all the way back to Lawfulwagon.

There is no sign that the dragon gave chase.

In Lawfulwagon, Eric is dawning a disguise, planning to leave with this tale and his life. Naloor is preparing to do the same, but with Albrecht. However, a strange man knocks on Albrecht’s door requesting the party’s presence on Oralexeyon’s cave once again. The man says that the dragon is willing to overlook the haste in which the attack was put forth upon him, and is still willing to trade with the group.

After reading the paper that was found in the dragon’s hand, the party decides that they should head back to the cave and see what can be traded.

The dragon, being much more kind then any of them could fathom, offers them the remainder of notes he discovered on a body for the return of all the treasure that they stole from the group.

The party quickly agreed and left the cave hastily.

It is still not known why the dragon, clearly an evil creature would make such a one-sided trade for information. Back in Lawfulwagon, the party read the notes.

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Lawfulwagon

After weeks of receiving little information from the various scouts that have been sent out from Cayley, those in charge sent for the party to meet in the King’s Chamber. There, the King, Baron and his advisers spoke on the lack of activity of the Maraborians. However there was one tidbit note: there was important information that should have arrived, but hasn’t. The party was to investigate.

Enter Xerxes. Literally. From the shadows.

He has been watching the group since the General who killed his father was slain on the battlefield by Thorax’s magical necklace. He followed them into the King’s Chambers and appeared out of the shadows to pledge his sword to the adventuring group. It didn’t go over so well, in fact, nearly the entire room drew their weapon the moment this interloper appeared. Xerxes was not alarmed. He spoke to the gathered people and eventually calmed them down – though Albrecht took a little more calming then others. Eventually, he was given leave by the King to join the group as they investigate the village of Lawfulwagon.

The journey was uneventful. The party arrived in early evening and went straight to work. The party took a room at the inn, quickly realizing the fear these people had for outsiders. Their fear is caused by the disappearance of four people over the past few weeks.

Xerxes went to the tavern to gather some more information and found that the citizens were not too pleased with his existence in their quaint village. Many left the tavern as he arrived. Xerxes learned of the disappearances and that those who left the village simply walked out of the town, towards the mountains.

However, the real reason the group was here was to investigate the general store, where a known Maraborian cell was operating. While Albrecht and Thorax distracted those up at this hour, Xerxes gathered more intelligence on the store.

Albrecht and Thorax had a difficult time dealing with the citizens in the Tavern at first. Many saw Albrecht as a threat to their safety, a manifestation of the unseen evil that has been kidnapping their fellow citizens. There were harsh words, drinking vessels, slurs and threats thrown at the pair, but their patience paid off when the angry mob left the tavern, leaving the more lenient behind.

From them they learned a very important clue: there was heavenly singing heard when these people left the village, headed towards the mountain.

Xerxes, the patient man he is, waited and waited, watching the general store from the rooftop of another building. He spent most of the night watching carefully, but all he gleaned was a flicker of light from what probably was a candle.

He moved into to investigate.

Being a master of the shadows, Xerxes slipped into the room and carefully sneaked (along the walls and ceiling of course) to see this room. He peered inside and listened as two individuals spoke on missing documents. It seemed that some rather important documents were missing and one gentleman Telelion was suggesting that the ther, Estak had stolen the documents and was hiding them. Estak on the other hand said it was Channa, the shop’s owner.

With this information, Xerxes left (shortly after Telelion went to sleep in his own room downstairs) and gathered his comrades.

The planned to raid the room, Xerxes entering first, using his stealth to sneak into the building and wait, while the others move in. The noise the others would make would alert the others who would charge upstairs, a pincer being created between the group and Xerxes.

It did not happen that way. The group did make enough noise to wake Estak, who awoke, took out a weapon and spoke from his room, demanding who ever was in the shop to show themselves.

Without much waiting, Naloor charged and attacked Estak and within a few moments, the man was subdued. The group went downstairs and eventually all the residents of the shop were found and held at sword point.

The trio of surviving cell members were interrogated via a zone of truth spell.

Telelion told of how the documents were lost. They contained valuable information pertaining to a weapon the Maraborians were designing that they would be using shortly in the war. He believed the papers to be stolen by Channa. The documents were received from Pallas through trade: costing him five-hundred gold. The correspondence with Marabor was through a gentleman named Bidsek, thought they never met.

Channa is a bitter woman who is looking for tyranny. She has little love for the players and tries at every turn to thwart their questions. She does not give any valuable information at all, other then the feeling that there are some who actually seek to be commanded.

Estak is a frightened man who seems to only want to live. The information he gives is out of fear. He tells the party that he stole no such documents and only ever did what he was told. Nothing has come from it, and now he is in grave danger of being killed himself. As there is little he can tell the players he begs for his life, and a quick stab by Xerxes ends his pitiful life.

Telelion was quickly and as painlessly killed as possible, as he provided information to Xerxes.

The party then left the village of Lawfulwagon to enter the mountains and see if they can find who, or what, was taking the population of Lawfulwagon.

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