05 January 2024

The Mystery of the Conjurors’ Enclave

 Our heroes:

  • Barehands Brawlsmuch - half-orc monk
  • Dragonspirit - human cleric of Bahamoot
  • Phia the Fighter - human rogue
  • Sorcy Skullfoot - skeletaling sorcerer
Barehands, Dragonspirit and Sorcy were celebrating their escape from the Magus Mif’s Cursed Caverns back at their usual booth at Granny Blinkins’  Inn of the Flower Princess when they were approached by the female rogue Phia the Fighter. She had heard of their growing renown and figured her expertise in dungeon threat mitigation would be much needed. As they were discussing her membership in the company, they were approached by Maertyn, an emissary of the lord-mayor of Wendover. He tasked the company with investigating the strange going ons in the Conjurer's Enclave. Maertyn gave them license to what plunder they recovered as well as a reward from the office of the lord mayor.

The next morn, following a night of revelry at the Inn of the Flower Princess, our brave company entered the Conjurer's Gardens the exotic grounds that houses the enclave. A dense wall of trees, vines and shrubs lay before our heroes, to the northeast the tops of two battered guard houses could be seen while to the south east, looming on the bluff above, lay a mouldering manor of scarred obsidian. The garden gate hung open to a lush, overgrown space filled with flora alien to this world. Fauna unseen but heard rustled and cried in the verdant foliage. In this open space an old campsite lay rotting while to the north sat a locked gate. Barehands, impatient to with the machinations of rogues, broke the gate down revealing a fountain filled with crystalline water standing as regal juxtaposition to the large fungi that guard it. A strong, sweet smell of decay permeated the air. A rickety ladder lay against the far wall. The guard houses lay to the east, behind a gate thickly bound with vines and interwoven trees. While investigating the fountain, our brave company was attacked by four gigantic mutant creatures combining all the worst features of a vampire bat and a mosquito. These they battered with such alacrity that the buzzing aberrant insects fled or died within moments. Turning their attention to the gate, Sorcy investigated the blocked gate only to be assaulted by the living vines and grasping leaf hands of a carnivorous plant. While blade and Sorcy's chill blast had little effect, the power of Bahamoot's flame quickly dispatched the sentient weed. Climbing the wall our party finally encountered the two battered guard houses they had seen in the distance. They stood vigilant next to a broken gate leading to a manmade rise to the bluff above, parallel to the obsidian walls, creating a deep moat to the manor’s gatehouse.

Looming above the  the valiant company, the ruins of a  gate house standing two stories tall with an intact iron drawbridge drawn up. The platform in front of the gate would be the perfect target for defenders of the past to target foes. A shear gap some 8 feet wide and thirty feet deep filled with sharp refuse and detritus yawned before the gatehouse. Behind the gatehouse rose a once magnificent but still impressive manor, its walls scarred by time, war, monsters, and magic. Using the ladder they had recovered earlier, the party made short work of crossing to the gatehouse and lowering the drawbridge.

Before them a broad courtyard with mossy, broken black stone stretched before the manor. Debris of various types and age lay about from crates, barrels and mouldering sacks strewn about the courtyard. In the northeast corner a giant’s skull lay upon the ground. Across the courtyard the entrance of the manor was sealed by a closed portcullis. The party recovered some minor treasure in the courtyard. Sorcy investigated the giants skull, which spoke as he approached:

I don’t have eyes,
But once I did see.
I once had thoughts,
Now white and empty.

To which Dragonspirit answered "a skull". The meaning and purpose of the riddle were not immediately apparent. Phia meanwhile found and disabled the trap on the manor's portcullis allowing Barehands, with some assistance, to lift the heavy iron gate.

Inside the gate lay an ornate great hall  fallen to decay and neglect. Large columns rose twenty feet in the air supporting a darkly stained wood ceiling. On the south wall a large fountain long idle held brackish green water. A large dining table in the middle of the room lay on its side while a second one bore the petrified remains of  a distant repast. Four sconces remained standing, oddly still lit. On the north wall to the right stairs stretch both up and down, while to the left stairs to that tower have collapsed upon themselves. But what drew our doughty quartets immediate attention were the three hideous creatures, appearing as nothing more than lumps of man-sized blobs of molten, stinking flesh, that oozed across the floor towards them. Our brave team engaged in combat Barehands with his flurry of martial blows, Sorcy with his spellcraft, Phia's bow and short blade, and Dragonspirit's divine flame. A hard fought battle injured Barehands and Sorcy but left them victorious.

After the battle, they found some trinkets of treasure but also rudely carven on one of the tables: "Beware the madness beyond the door of the black sapphire! The northwest jail has an answer you will seek.” They explored the once a decorative patio, behind the great hall, overlooking Conjurors’ Park. The patios stones now broken and riddled with moss. They ascended the stairs to a once elegant chamber with a fireplace, beds, and desk. A large mirror leaned against the wall, seemingly out of place with the other furniture of the room. The once lavish study and bedroom had become the roost of a large winged reptile, who snaps irritably in their direction. Again, our party's puissance won out and the great flying lizard fled with grievous wounds. They found another riddle on a scrap of scrollwork:

What has cities, but no houses;
forests, but no trees;
and water, but no fish?

Again answered by Dragonspirit's wisdom as "a map". They also found a conjuror's spell book appropriated by Sorcy and a ring of protection which Barehands donned. They decided to rest in this easily defensible room and explore the lower and likely more lethal levels of the enclave in the morning.

The next day the doughty party followed the stairs curving off to the left, down into the dark. Barrels were stored haphazardly next to the stairs and a corridor of rough hewn stone stretched into the darkness. Using torches they discovered scratches in the floor as if something were dragged to and then up the stairs. The air was stale and dry, this long stone corridor stretched off to the south. About halfway down corridors disappeared into the gloom to the east and west. At this juncture a mirror faced northwest catching the party's startled reflection. At at the end of the long hallway a second corridor opened up to the west.

The adventurers opted to pursue the age old rookie mistake of splitting up with Phia and Dragonspirit exploring to eastern corridor while Barehands and Sorcy proceeded straight ahead. Phia and Dragonspirit found their way seemingly  little used and curved southward before being blocked by crates and barrels. Behind this stacked decree the southward trajectory of the corridor terminated by an old cave in. On the west side a branching tunnel had been walled off. A small area of bedding was tucked into the corner. A mirror standing propped in the corner. A mottled brown, bony, semi-humanoid creature with long tendril-like limbs ending with four fingers, lined on the inside with spines, skulked in the shadows near the ceiling. It’s elongated face ends in a grotesque, snarling, mouth filled with jagged teeth. The commotion from the choker quickly summoned Phia and Dragonspirit back to the other half of the party. With melee and magic they subdued the grotesquerie who bartered information about answers to the riddles they had found for its life. After that they broke down the walled of passage finding a treasure chest. Unfortunately they did not check for traps and sprung a poison gas trap which weakened Sorcy. However they did acquire Bahamoot's Claw a magical long sword, bracers of defense AC 15, and sacks filled with 400 gold suns. The choker fled through cracks in the cave in too small for the party to follow.

The party backtracked from this dead end and headed down the corridor west. This corridor ran a short distance before doubling back to the north. At the corner is a mirror. A little further on the corridor ended  in a closed door to the west. Phia was able to disable the lock and the door creaked open revealing an antechamber. On the west wall a grotesque green monster framed the doorway into an extravagant crypt. A large sarcophagus lay embedded in the floor. After carefully ascertaining that no traps were laying in wait, Barehands used his steel sinews to open the crypt, revealing the dusty skeletal remains of a conjuror. His head was pierced with many arrows as if he were wearing a painful crown. He wore faded but elegant robes. His eyes glowed with a menacing green light as he began to rise from the sarcophagus.

“Who disturbs Xuan Cong?"

Explaining their mission, Xuan Cong requested they help him seal an open portal elsewhere in the dungeon. He was cursed to never die while this extradimensional portal lay open. He was also forbidden from leaving the crypt but if the mystical mirrors between the crypt and the summoning chamber could be aligned correctly he would be able to reflect his magics to them. He noted that the mirror frames could not be turned physically but required a three word pass phrase. He did not realize that some of the mirrors had been removed from their frames, nor could he after centuries recall the pass phrase. Xuan Cong did tell them that his "friend" in the courtyard might know one of the pass phrases.

The party returned to the unexplored southern end of the north-south corridor. A west ward bend ran about half the distance of its parent before terminating in a door.  About midway a mirror was turned toward the near wall opposite a closed door with a black sapphire. Heeding the earlier warning the party proceeded to the end of this corridor. Behind this door they found a damp jail with four cells in varying states of disrepair. A round table served as the desk of the jailer, a seething devil who deftly wielded a vicious, saw-toothed glaive, while below its toothy maw writhed a hideous, twitching beard. The fight with the devil was grim but ultimately victorious. On the wall of the northwest cell they found the final riddle:

What goes through a door but never goes in or comes out?

With much pondering did Phia finally land upon the answer of a "keyhole".

Backtracking once more, the party finally braved the door of the black sapphire. The thick door opened slowly as if hesitant to enter the room beyond. A strange miasma was felt rather than seen as they entered the room. Each step was met with a resistance both from within but also from the strange atmosphere of a world inextricably alien to our own. In the middle of this room lay what can only be described as a round portal to a place that would shatter the minds of mortals. Tentacles as thick as trees waved in the vomitus haze, their tips, cruel with bladed spines and ooze dripping suction cups tested the membrane separating our two worlds.

The party retreated and returned the missing mirrors to their frames before using the key phrases to realign the mirror frames to give Xuan Cong the line of sight he needed to close the portals. The portal collapsed and Xuan Cong disintegrated in relief. Our brave heroes returned to the Inn of the Flower Princess.

31 December 2023

The Escape From Magus Mif’s Cursed Caverns

 Our heroes:

  • Barehands Brawlsmuch - half-orc monk
  • Sorcy Skullfoot - skeletaling sorcerer
In the darkest pitch of midnight, Barehands and Sorcy regained consciousness. As they regained their senses, words appeared on a iron-bound door glimmered magically, "Welcome Ye To The Tests of Mif's Caverns. Prove Thy Worth And Find Six Cubes To Set Thee Free." They entered the warren of carved tunnels, off to their left the the buzzing of great insect wings behind a locked door which they wisely left sealed. Around the corner they came upon a sleeping cleric of Bahamoot, Dragonspirit. He asked to accompany them in their escape. He was able to provide them with the first of the cubes.

After exploring the warrens the trio found a vast underground lake stretching to the limits of a vast, damp cave. Off to their left a whirlpool spun hungrily next to slick stepping stones leading to a rocky island with a central cave. As they descended the rocky steps to the lake, a gigantic spider sprang to attack but was beat back by the might of our three heroes. However, as they crossed to the first stepping stone both Barehands and Sorcy fell in. Barehands was saved by his great strength and pulled himself from the water. Sorcy spun helplessly toward the sucking maw of the whirlpool only to be saved by a well-timed rope cast from Dragonspirit. They continued cautiously across the rocks, until Sorcy spied a sack on a distant rock and sprang in after it. In it he found another of Mif's cubes but on his return swim he was coiled up in the sinewy length of a sea serpent, Ocean Mist On A Winter Morn. She had been trapped down in this lake by Mif many years ago and had recently laid an egg. She offered to help the adventurers if they agreed to help secure her freedom by breaking Mif's enchantment preventing any exodus from these caves.

The island was essentially a ring of rock surrounding a crater-like cave beneath the sepulcher waters of the lake. Our humid heroes clambered down into the cave, where they discovered a third of Mif's cubes. They then followed it down and back into the lair of gargantuan spider, clearly the sire or dame of the spawn they had fought earlier. Using a his magic, Sorcy both finished the beast but also set its foul nest ablaze, causing foul smoke to come pouring forth. Barehands managed to recover the fourth cube from the flames. They returned to the lake and found Ocean Mist On A Winter Morn in a panic, imploring them to take her egg with them as the smoke grew denser.

The three, wet and befouled in soot, took her egg and scrambled from the island up to a crevice leading to a twisting maze of waterworn caves. They passed several crystal formations until they arrived at pool of luminescent, turbid, undulating, verdant goo. In its acidic embrace floated the fifth of Mif's icons which deft acrobatics allowed our heroes to liberate. They then explored one of the side passages and discovered the final of the cubes. Bringing these cubes to the exit of the other passage, allowed them to pass the seal of Mif and in doing so trigger the magical destruction of the caves.

19 February 2022

Town of Wendover

 Our heroes are:

  • Barehands Brawlsmuch a half-orc monk
  • Sorcy Skullfoot a skeletaling sorcerer. Skeletalings are halflings changed by the necromantic energies of the Barrowlands to become sentient skeletons.

Inn of the Flower Princess owned and operated by Granny Blinkins

The Race of Wendover is a two person race in the early Planting after the snows have melted. Racing against Barehands and Sorcy were (1) two autonomous skeleton warriors from the Barrowlands of the Undead Clans near Sorcy’s homeland, (2) the goblin Bentback riding the were-warg Lupus Tyranus, and (3) gnoll ranger Snarls-at-Fools carrying the dwarven thief Durick Deepgrotto. One of the autonomous skeletons was destroyed when Sorcy charmed them to help “their” team of Sorcy and Barehands. Lupus Tyranus was injured but healed. Snarls-at-Fools and Durick were injured by Sorcy’s magic missile. They tripped our heroes but they were able to recover only to be brought down by Durick’s attempt to throw a knife at Barehands. Our heroes won 100 gold suns each.

The lord-mayor of Wendover then hired our heroes to investigate a seemingly abandoned home in the roughest part of town where some neer-do-wells were allegedly hiding out. He promised them 500 gold suns if they brought them in. Sorcy and Barehands recruited from their fellow racers and the autonomous skeleton ASU71248 and Durick joined them. Durick picked the lock of the front door and Barehands, eager to mete justice, charged through only to be trapped under a cunning rubble trap. Our heroes were ambushed by a gang of kobolds, the Nastoids. Sorcy used his grave touch to cause one to flee, while a fierce melee ensued whilst Barehands struggled to free himself. Sorcy exchanged spellfire with arrow fire and dropped another gang member. Meanwhile Durick and ASU71248 defeated the other two kobold gang members.

With the autonomous skeletal unit guarding their kobold prisoners the remaining three searched the house’s main floor. Sorcy discovered a cache of healing potions and Barehands found 10 gold roses. On the second floor, Durick spied the last Nastoid kobold fleeing across the rooftops of  the densely packed warren. They found nothing else of value in the ruin.

They then changed their focus to the basement, but Durick failed to discover a poison gas trap on the basement door. He was seriously injured but stabilized by Barehands who dragged him outside to further recover. Our heroic duo explored the basement, finding no  treasure, but missing a trapdoor trap that dropped them, after many minutes of sliding, in a dark room, black as pitch, where they promptly lost acquaintance with consciousness.

28 January 2018

The Quest for the Tears of Achlys: Part I

As the horde of Sakkarot Fireaxe laid waste in the East, the Nessian Knot guided by the vilely beautiful Theodora travelled West to the fortress-town of Farholde. Despite several attempts at flirtation, the succubus repelled the Woodsticks amateurish advances. As they neared Farholde, Adrastus teleported in to instruct them on their next mission: to brave the Caer Bryr to find the Horn of Abbadon which was used to imprison the demon Vetra-Kali. Unleashing Vetra-Kali on the Talingarde would cause a plague called the Tears of Achlys, further causing ruin and discontent with the Church of Mitra. The complex ritual to free Vetra-Kali would take time and Adrastus instructed the Nessian Knot that they would need to hold the Horn of Abbadon for sometime to complete it. The Seventh Knot was to serve as security while the Ninth Knot, our villains of the Nessian Knot freed the demon.

After landing in Farholde, the dark party learned of a Mitran nunnery in the fortress-town. They also heard rumors going about:

  • The Knights of Eron, loyal to Mitra, have gone mad. They burn anyone with a black cat as a servant of Osmodius. This is the worst inquisition in 20 years.
  • An elf named Aiden was staying at the Wandering Friar Inn. He journeyed into the Bryr with some Illiri guides and has not been seen since.
  • Lord Welsher, the lord of Farholde, has gone East to help in the fighting. His steward, Sir Valen (a distant relation of the King) holds the castle.
  • Old Devil, a dread cyclopean tiger, has been prowling South of town, again taking livestock and a few peasants.
  • The trees walk deep within the Caer Bryr.

Recognizing Aiden as an agent of Thorne’s, they bribed their way into his rooms, finding gold and a map to the Horn. Meanwhile, Thedora had made contact with an elven noble indebted to Adrastus Thorne. The noble gave them audience, and after establishing their credentials offered what blackmarket aid he could. As the Seventh Knot spread rumors of a serial killer in the town, the Nessian Knot slipped into the thick woods of the Bryr.

They travelled South until they met the guardian of the Horn of Abbadon, a pompous windbag treant. Using the combined mystical and martial might of the Nessian Knot the sentient tree guardian was rapidly brought low. The murderous group then came upon the twisted spire of the Horn of Abbadon. They first decided to investigate the caves at the base of the tortured peak, proceeding to the largest, a gapping, diseased maw in the middle of the Horn. Inside they were ambushed by bullywogs or bogwarts, who used strange croaking to strike fear in the Knot’s heart. During the fight, Grumblejack underwent a strange, painful transformation, arising more powerful than before (#levelup). The Nessian Knot slew the slimy toad people barring their way and journey deeper into the bowels of the Horn.

15 October 2017

Reaping the Harvest of War!

3rd Thank’s Day, Tower of Balyntine, Talingarde: No rest for the wicked. On the eve of the visiting troupe of actors to the tower, the Nessian Knot decided next to assassinate Tassitus. Pretending to replace the guards outside the Lord Commander’s chambers the Knot scaled the wall down to Tassitus’s chambers. In his rooms they appropriated his spell book as well as a vial of concentrated tincture of wolfsbane before finding a strange ice golem in his laboratory and a cauldron of brewing. The Nessian Knot laid ambush, Ulmaticron stealing Tassitus’s voice as soon as he entered his room with the might of the Woodstick and Brand causing the mage to flee. As he turned to bespell the Nessian Knot, Brand grappled the mage, crippling his spell casting ability while Ulmaticron and the Woodstick stabbed the magister to death. In his dying moments, Tassitus sacrificed himself with a fireball spell, injuring all in the room. The Woodstick then roused the ice golem and as it chased the rogue to the window, Brand threw Tassitus burnt corpse at it. The Nessian Knot made good their escape reassuming their guise as guards. It took the Lord Commander and the lives of eight guards to disable the ice golem. The tower assumed that the magister had been slain by his crystalline discovery.

Over the next few days, the Nessian Knot in various guises, bought all the arsenic in the area.

4th Mitra’s Day, Tower of Balyntine, Talingarde: Disguised as servers, the Nessian Knot was able to discretely add both the wolfsbane and arsenic to Mama’s stew, killing nearly a third of the guardsmen and incapacitating another third. The Tower was now severely weakened, down to a third of its strength, three of its four captains dead, its magister dead, and its chaplain vanished. Pretending to be the relief for the Lord Commander’s guard, the Nessian Knot infiltrated the Lord Commander’s chambers. They ambushed him most vilely in his sleep, he made good account with his blade before falling to the Knot. They secreted his body in the ice golem’s table in Tassitus’s laboratory.

The Nessian Knot then disabled the Seal of Balyntine, a great stone that could have sealed the donjon and trapped any invaders inside. They then went to the guard tower, dispatching the four guards, disabling the burning sand, and disabling the portcullis and drawbridge. Next they slew the four guardsmen who crewed the ballista before releasing the flare that would bring Sakkarot Fireax and his horde. Thousands of bug bears poured into the Tower and Balyntine and put Talingarde’s northern fortress to the torch. As the bug bear army grew, the townsfolk fled and more humanoids came to join the great march South. Both Adrastus Thorn and Asmodeus are pleased...

26 August 2017

In brightest minds, in blackest ops. No good is it if the body flops

3rd Sun’s Day of Fall, Aldrick, Talingarde: Disguised as Captain Varning and two of the guardsmen the Nessian Knot found an outlying farm putting all but a single child to the sword and then burning it the ground. They left behind Captain Varning’s family crest ring. Assuming the guises of passing big game hunters they returned to the Lord Dalliance and allocated rooms. The Nessian Know learned more of Mama, who cooks the beef stew every week in honor of her two sons who used to serve the garrison. They heard rumors of their own nefarious deeds outside of town and that night searched the inn’s basement to after much, much and a good deal more searching they found the secret passage to the Tower of Balentyne. They entered through the Dwarven Vault where they found 12 bottles of elven wine and nearly a years worth of garrison rations. Brand silently entered the armory and smithy above the vault before finding the nearby room of Captain Varning. Here he stole the dead captain’s treasure and extra uniform.

3rd Mitra’s Day, Lord’s Dalliance, Aldrick, Talingarde: The Nessian Knot forged two notes, one to Kathleen Mott from Captain Eddardly begging her to come to the Lord’s Dalliance tonight, so that he might worship her in his arms. They asked she come at 9 bells and a quarter. Similarly they sent a note to Captain Eddardly as if from Kathleen Mott, begging him to meet her at the inn at 9 bells and a half. Then using their rings of disguise and Captain Varning’s uniform impersonated Eddardly reserving a room at the Dalliance. Kathleen Mott sent a response implying a forbidden love. The Nessian Knot then spent the day uncovering the alchemist in town who had enough arsenic to poison the entire tower. When Kathleen Mott arrived, she was ambushed by Brand who stunned her with his martial prowess. Ulmaticron and Brand then faked her suicide, murdering her in cold blood with a knife in her bosom. Meanwhile, the Woodstick disguised as a simple peasant ran to the Tower yelling about murder most foul. When Eddardly arrived he turned pale and screamed, he was nearly catatonic when the guardsmen arrived. Captain Mott was so enraged that he slew Captain Eddardly and was sentenced to Brandescar Prison.

3rd Two’s Day, Tower of Balentyne, Talingarde: Disguised as servants, the Nessian Knot infiltrated the Tower of Balentyne and over the next three days learned that Tassitus takes his meals in his room. He is gruff and dismissive, two guards are stationed outside his room at all times. They also learned of Father Donagan the garrison’s cleric, who is jovial and loved by all. They learned the name of the fourth Captain, Barhold. On the third day, Brand made a pretext to visit Mad Martin the master of the rookery. He then stunned Mad Martin and threw him from the ramparts much to distress of the ravens. Ulmaticron then forged a note for Father Donagan seemingly written from a possessed but ashamed Captain Varning who asked the priest to come help him the next day.

3rd Wedded’s Day, the Wilderness, South of the Tower, Talingarde: Disguised again as Captain Varning, Ulmaticron ambushed Father Donagan, with the rest of the Nessian Knot. Grumblejack decapitated one of the acolytes with a single blow, while the other fell to the Woodstick’s rapier. Father Donagan attempted to use spell craft to defeat his foes only to fall before the might of the Nessian Knot. And the plot to topple Talingarde continues, the party has used 9 days of a possible 28 days to bring the Tower of Balentyne to it’s knees.

13 August 2017

Sowing the Seeds of War!

Thorn Manor, Old Moor Road, Talingarde: Having completed the training and forging of the Nessian Knot, Adrastus Thorn was ready to start the downfall of Talingarde. Adrastus told the Woodstick, Ulmaticron and Brand about a plan to bring war to Talingarde and topple the followers of Mitra. They would deliver weapons and armor to Sakkarot Fireaxe, a bug bear chieftain, and his hordes who were gathering near Lake Tarik. With these armaments Sakkarot would unite the barbarous humanoid hordes (note: hordes not whores, Woodstick!) for a push into Talingarde. The Nessian Knot would travel by longship, the Frosthamar, captained by a berserker named Odinkirk. Due to Odinkirk’s inflexibility at bending the knee to the Asmodians, Adrastus ordered his and his crew’s death. The Nessian Knot was then to infiltrate the Tower of Balentyne, kill it’s commander, and throw open the gates for Sakkarot’s hordes. They were then to break the clay tablet that Adrastus had given them.

The Camp of the Fireaxe, Lake Tarik, the North: After a long journey along the coast and into the icy rapids of the Tyga, the Frosthamar, laden with crates with a flaming axe on them, reached a large encampment of bug bears, goblins, and free roaming polar bears, scattered around a rickety pier stretching into to the frigid waters. With Grimjack translating, the Nessian Knot was able to make contact with Sakkarot, a massive, highly intelligent bug bear bearing an enormous flaming axe, who commanded his hordes to honor (rather than eat) his guests. After feasting on a titanic dire boar, Sakkarot summoned the Nessian Knot to his yurt and questioned them on their motives for betraying Talingarde. Brand rambled ecclesiastic about being a weapon of Asmodeus wrapped in a meat puppet. Ulmaticron indicated that as an inquisitor Asmodeus was a more rewarding deity, and the Woodstick likely betrayed that he was in all actuality a spy of the Mitrans. Sakkarot would grow his horde over the next two weeks but would not be able to keep them in an idle state for more than four. The Nessian Knot had a month to topple the Tower of Balentyne.

Hidden Cove, Lake Tarik, Talingarde: Odinkirk and the Frosthamar delivered the Nessian Knot to the Southern shore of Tarik, upon which the Knot fell upon the captain and his crew. A pitched battle commenced with the raging Odinkirk grievously wounding Grimjack before the rest of the party could bring him a cold death. After restoring Grimjack they put the Frosthamar to the torch.

2nd Free Day* of Fall, Lord’s Dalliance, Aldrick, Talingarde: Leaving the monstrous Grimjack in the forest outside the town, the Nessian Knot disguised as simple laborers infiltrated the town, gathering at the only inn, the Lord’s Dalliance. Through the wit and guile of the Woodstick (surprising, we know) much rumor was gathered including:

  • Surprisingly for xenophobic Talingarde, a gang of dwarves lead by the grouchy Barnabas are repairing the Tower of Balentyne. The tower is actually of ancient dwarf make. Barnabas can drink anyone under the table.
  • Tassitus, the creepy magister, is working on something in his tower…something unnatural that was recovered in the North.
  • Captain Varning is leading another patrol out of town tomorrow for 4-5 days. Most think that this is just an excuse for him to get out of drudgery around the tower and to go galavanting around.
  • Mad Martin tends the rookery in the watchtower. He loves his ravens and is very eccentric.
  • Lord Thomas Havelin is the most honorable and capable commander of the tower. If he can’t do it no one can.
  • How did the ugly Captain Mott get and keep his wife, the most beautiful woman in town, Kathleen Mott?
  • Captain Eddardly is handsome, gallant, and unmarried.
  • There are about 100 soldiers in the tower.
  • Mama’s beef stew is served every Mitra’s Day to the entire garrison at the Tower of Balentyne. Mama is a local legend for her cooking.
  • The Lord’s Dalliance allegedly got it’s name because it used to be a brothel with a secret tunnel to the tower.
  • A traveling theatre troupe is coming to a do a performance for the garrison next Thank’s Day.

The Nessian Knot then bought rounds of beer for Barnabas and his work gang, before offering them whiskey that they had “liberated” from the Frosthamar. Back in the dwarves quarters the Nessian Knot watched the dwarves crew drink itself into oblivion, except Barnabas who wanted to wrestle. Brand escaped several pins before putting Barnabas in a resounding slumber with a stunning fist. Woodstick stole the dwarves map of the Tower and then the Nessian Knot fled the inn and their assumed identities.

2nd Satyr’s Day, North of the Tower of Balentyne, the North: Captain Varning’s patrol was met with two felled trees one in their path and one behind them. The Woodstick sank a goose-quilled shaft deep into the captain’s side, while Brand and Grumblejack ambushed the front of the party, and Ulmaticron sealed their only avenue of escape while ushering them into the afterlife. Grumblejack smote the trees and earth around Captain Varning and his mount with great fury but could not smite the gallant soldier (Aside: I rolled a 3 on a d20..5 times…in a row. That happens 1 in 3,200,000 times). Brand used his lethal strikes to break the bones and burst the vital organs of the captain’s nearest men. The Woodstick struck exposed targets with hemorrhagic results. Ulmaticron used his arcane powers to destroy and suck life from the guards he killed. In the end, the Nessian Knot still stood and the patrol lay dead and dying around them. Time to make use of Captain Valentyne’s poor reputation and begin to break the Tower of Balentyne...

*The Mitran Week: Sun’s Day - Mitra’s Day - Two’s Day - Wedded’s Day - Thank’s Day - Free Day - Satyr’s Day