PREVIOUSLY: Having narrowly escaped an altercation with the priests of Razmir, the heroes commence an investigation of their own into the Razmirans and the Rangers Lament. Eventually, the heroes discover that someone else is also watching the tavern, and the heroes rush to capture the would be spy. Unfortunately, the heroes lose the fleeing man, the result of which poses more questions than answers. Eventually, the heroes return to their inn for the night, and upon rising, they learn that the council has made a decision regarding Kassen’s plea for help. After a trip through Tamran, the heroes arrive at The Forest Bounty, a feast hall at the edge of town as per the instructions from the Tamran Council. Upon arrival, the heroes are greetings by a tall, sturdy man named Reginar who directs them to Aromina whom has come personally to deliver the news. Unfortunately, the news Aromina delivers is devastating – the Mayor of Kassen’s requests for assistance has been denied. However, Aromina suggests another course of action which may lead the council to change their minds. Aromina sheds light on the happenings of the Church of Razmir and her concerns in regards to their activities. She implores them to help her with an investigation into the church’s doings by infiltrating the church. Kal bluntly refuses, whilst the others agree. Aromina says that she may be able to find another recruit to assist which may require some more delicate negotiations…
EVENTS: Armomina provides the group with directions back to the Gar’s Last Meal as the location of the person she believes could take Kal’s place during their infiltration of the Razmir Church. Armomina asks that if they are able, to return to her within the week to report their findings, and if not, she will assume the worst.
As they arrive at the inn, the same inn that they had stayed at since arriving in Tamran, they are shocked to learn that the person Aromina suggested was none other than the elf that Evarl had clashed with only two days earlier.
The meeting went as expected, with Evarl and the elven woman, now known to be Delshandra Laetanlhûn, or “Shandy” (as both Evarl and Nell had nick-named her), trading verbal blows. Delshandra accepted the letter from Armonia which explained what was required. Delshandra accepted considering that the invitation was from her half sister. She further suggested that they utilise the assistance of a young man who had only arrived in Tamran that afternoon from Kassen, and had been asking questions about the group. Delshandra then went and fetched Zevan, who had travelled cross country after delivering the Wizard Aroth Mentinjek to Holgast in Kassen.
The heroes greet their long missed friend with open arms and quickly shared their experiences since they parted at Morrie’s Farm. As the afternoon began to turn towards night, Kal and Delshandra bid the others farewell, allowing Evarl, Nell, Sam and Zevan to make their way back to the Ranger’s Lament. The plan was that Kal and Delshandra would watch and await their signal.
Upon arrival, the group notice that the Ranger’s Lament was empty, save for Rolen Oggersmith who appeared to be cleaning the bar in preparation for some event, the smell of fine food hanging in the air. The group are greeted by the burly bartender, and are advised to take a seat and the ceremony will take place soon. Nell asks after Rolen’s offer of employment from the previous day, to which he replies in the affirmative, stating that she could start the following Moonday if she so desired.
As the late afternoon turned to dusk, several other people attended the Ranger’s Lament, including several villagers, a guardsman and a young disheveled man. Sam approached this young man, and casually asked him a number of questions. The man was rude, and clearly mentally disturbed. Sam left him to his own devices, and casually watched him from across the room.
Eve had planted herself in a corner of the room to get a better vantage point as had Zevan but in the opposing corner, to keep a watchful eye on the door coming in and out of the back of the Ranger’s Lament. Nell remained with Sam, keeping note of the people who were arriving.
As night fell, Rolen closed the front door, latched it from the inside and begun setting the stage for the ceremony. Drapes were pulled, and several of the torches were snuffed out. A short time later, Evarl heard a knock on a door from somewhere in the back room, and Rolen quickly moved to the back to attend to whichever visitor had arrived. Whispering of voices could be heard from the rear, and Evarl caught a glimpse of some robed individuals standing around the kitchen area through the gap in the door as Rolen exited to continue his preparations.
As night-time engulfed Tamran, the group heard the chiming sounds of ceremonial cymbals. With that, the door to the rear room opened and several white robed acolytes entered the room spraying what appeared to be holy water and incense around the room in an attempt, Nell presumed, to ward of evil spirits and cleanse the room.
The Acolytes were shortly after followed by 2 grey robed priests who chanted a prayer in an ancient tongue unrecognisable to the others. Finally, a black robed priest entered the room in complete silence, and moved towards the podium at the front of the inn. The acolytes helped the priest to the stage. The group noted that the acolytes and priests appeared to have all of the exits covered, and that it would be difficult to escape. Suddenly, there was an overwhelming silence.
After stepping up onto the stage, the figure in the black robes turns to the audience, his face hidden behind an iron mask. With a strong voice, he calls out, “You have come here to seek the power and glory of Razmir, and I am here to tell you that he has found you worthy!”
At that, all of the other priests chant in one voice, “All praise the Living God!”
“He is proud of you,” the black-robed figure continues, “for taking this, the first of 31 steps to enlightenment, the path of righteousness, the stairs to power and glory. Razmir is the one true god. What other god so richly rewards those who follow him? What other god lives among his people, guiding them with his wisdom and his might? What other god can lead you to true salvation? None of them! Only Razmir can offer you the power, the fortune, and the glory that you desire. Will you join him?”
The black robed priest then folded his arms and waited for an answer. Many in the room yelled praises or affirmed their willingness to give themselves to Razmir. Nell, Sam and Zevan all pledged themselves, whilst Evarl was more reluctant. The lead priest then publicly questioned the young elf further until she at least agreed to hear what the priest had to say.
The priest then continued a sermon, preaching to the people in attendance, and finally offering food and drink to solidify Razmir’s offering of charity to the people of Tamran. With that, Rolen and another of the priests appeared from the rear room. Eve however noted that by her count, there was one larger priest who had not yet appeared. This made her more wary.
Eventually all patrons were served food, and all of the heroes bar Evarl and Nell appeared to take part. Evarl refused to eat completely, whilst Nell pretended to consume, moving much of the food that was on her plate to Sam’s who she believed would be less affected if the food was poisoned.
It was not long before the effects of the food took hold. Several of the villagers were the first to collapse, followed soon after by the young disturbed man, then Sam and Zevan. Nell faked her collapse, hoping that she would be able to remain conscious and see what they would do with them. Evarl defied the request for the priest to eat. Evarl noted all the people asleep and then confronted the lead priest. Evarl thought trickery would be the best employ, and so stated that he was interested in the “tricks” that the “church” was employing, and wanted to join for that reason, not a sense of honour to Razmir. It was clear that the priest would be unable to convince the elf, so instead he threatened the life of his friend Nell, in an attempt to force him to eat. The elf refused, telling the priest to kill the red haired woman as she meant nothing to him. Evarl was clearly hoping that the bluff would work against the clearly more experienced priest. Nell felt the blade at the base of her skull, but remained still. Evarl could not bear to be responsible for his friend’s death – it was going to be a battle of wills – and battle that Evarl was sure to lose. Evarl raised his hands, allowing the priest this victory. Evarl then saw some of the priests moving the unconscious bodies into the back room. No wishing to be knocked unconscious, Evarl convinced the priest to hoodwink him instead. With that, the large burly priest exited from the back of the inn, and placed a sack over Evarl’s head.
The patrons, including Evarl, Nell, Sam and Zevan were taken down into an underground tunnel and placed in a group of underground cells. Where they were, was anyone’s guess, but Nell, who was still successfully faking being unconscious, believed them to be directly under the Temple of Razmir…
PREVIOUSLY: The heroes arrived in Tamran and after meeting with a shady elvish assassin, they obtained lodgings at the riverside inn of Gar’s Last Meal. The following day, the heroes made their way to the Tamran Council to deliver the letter their had received from Mayor Uptal in Kassen seeking assistance from the council. There, the heroes met with Speaker of the Leaves Speaker Mayslen Torgun. The heroes also asked to speak with the Speaker of the Heart, to which they were then introduced to Speaker Aromina Yasgon. The heroes presented their plights, and their adventures thus far, including their run in with the Molthuni Privateers. The heroes were rewarded for their deeds, and advised that their response would be provided the following day. In the meantime, the heroes then ventured to a placed called the Rangers Lament, a place eluded to in a note the heroes had found in Kassen’s Crypt. Before entering the tavern, the heroes happened across a sermon being conducted on the steps of the Church of Razmir, located directly across the road from the tavern. Interested in what they had to say, Sam moved in for closer observation, whilst Evarl worked the crowd. Nell and Kal however remained behind the crowd to observe the happenings for a discrete distance. Evarl spotted one of the priests, who was moving through the crowd, steal from Sam. Evarl accused the man of theft, and the lead priest started making his way towards the commotion…
Surrounded by a somewhat bewildered crowd of onlookers, Evarl stood ready to battle, as Sam had a hold of the young Priest whom has supposedly stolen from him. The Senior Priest of the Razmirian Church had by this stage made his way through the crowd and had stopped in front of Evarl. Meanwhile four of the city guards moved into the crowd in order to dismantle the situation, whilst Kal and Nell, still situated on the outskirts, prepared for a battle. The Senior Priest called to the crowd for calm, and spoke directly with the younger Priest.
The Senior Priest asked his younger clergyman to empty his pockets. Evarl called for others in the crowd to checks theirs as well and was surprised that many did as she asked. The younger priest reached into his pocket and revealed a small pouch originally in Sam‘s possession. Several members of the crowd also claimed that they had been stolen from. The Priest handed the pouch to the Lead Priest, along with several; other items of value, holding his head in shame as he did so. The Senior Priest turned to the crowd stating that even members of his own church were not immune to the meddling ways of the other false gods. He posed a series of questions for the crowd to contemplate after which he turned his attention to Evarl. He touched the young elf on the shoulder while motioning for the younger acolytes to take the thieving priest into custody. The Senior Priest apologized to the young elf for the misunderstanding and for his clergyman’s behaviour. He also directed his apology to Sam and returned the pouch containing approximately 80gp. The Lead Priest encouraged both Evarl and Sam to visit their next sermon at the square, and not be swayed from the teachings of Razmir because of one confused man’s intent. The Lead Priest then bowed, and promptly left with the acolytes in tow. As the Lead Priest and the other younger priest who had also been working the crowd reached the top of the stairs, Kal stepped forward giving praise to Erastil, and shed holy warmth across the crowd (burst). Some members of the crowd turned their attentions to Kal, asking for forgiveness, whilst others seemed even more bewildered. The younger priest pointed out Kal to the Lead Priest, at which time the Lead Priest bowed in Kal‘s direction before turning his back and walking inside the temple.
With the Razmiran Priests back in their temple, and the crowd dispersing, the heroes regroup to discuss their next move. After a brief discussion, the heroes decide to venture into the Ranger’s Lament to continue their investigation. Evarl, in the meantime suggests she check out the back and scope out the surrounds.
Kal, Nell and Sam entered the tavern which appears to be somewhat slow for this time of day. Kal took a seat at a nearby table to distance himself from the other two, while Nell and Sam went to the bar to speak with the barkeeper. There they meet with a somewhat placid but friendly man named Rolen Oggersmith. He explains that things were going well for the bar. With that, he openly charged the heroes at least double the price for ale. Nell continued speaking with Rolen, offering several more gold pieces than were necessary in an attempt to loosen his lips. The tactic failed, but appeared to make an impression as at one stage Rolen offered Nell a job due to her skills that she learned behind the bar at Kassen. Sam downed several drinks but managed to remain sober for the time being.
Meanwhile Evarl made her way around the building and was confronted by two guards who recognised her from the altercation with the priests earlier. Evarl explained that it was a misunderstanding and sweet-talked one of the guards to join her for a drink. The guard and Evarl then made their way to the front of the Ranger’s Lament. Once inside, the young elf assisted the guard to get drunk, which unfortunately revealed little other than he claimed that the businesses in the area paid the guards well to keep an eye on things.
Kal and the others attempted to find out further information about recent jobs on offer that were being advertised at the tavern, in particular the job offers which lead the mercenaries to venture to Kassen’s Crypt. The guard and the the barkeeper both remain silent but did mention a Kobold issue in the outskirts of town, which they think may somehow involve a Dragon. The heroes then notice a flyer near the front door asking for assistance with a neighbouring dragon with a reward of 1gp per Kobold killed.
As the afternoon progressed, Kal learned from a local fisherman that he recalled a job being called for a couple of months back. He claimed it was seeking the assistance of more mercenary types for a job up north. He claimed that he thought he saw several of them return a little over a week ago, and each one appeared a lot worse for ware. The fisherman explained that he knew little else and soon after left. The heroes also notice during this time that the bar is emptying as the afternoon progresses, rather than getting busier, which would be the norm for a tavern of this type. As darkness approached, Rolen calls last drinks and ushers the heroes outside, along with the remaining patrons. As they leave, he offers Nell a more full time position if she was interested. Nell says she will consider the offer.
Once outside, the heroes again discuss their next plan. Evarl suggests that she monitor the tavern from the roof top of a nearby business whilst the Kal, Nell, and Sam remain nearby in case the plan is foiled or if Evarl is spotted. Sam suggests they wait at a small tavern nearby that he spotted on the way to the Ranger’s Lament, which appeared much busier and would make a good place to remain inconspicuous. The group agree and set up for the night.
During the evening, Evarl noticed that at about 8 o’clock, Rolen closes all the shutters in the tavern, but remained working inside for a time. About 2 hours later, she notices Rolen exited the tavern and lock up for the night. Evarl observes nothing else until she realise the tavern was also being kept under surveillance by another person who appeared to be hiding behind a chimney a little down the street. Evarl attempted to quietly spring from the roof to get a better look at the person.
Meanwhile, Sam, who was enjoying taking turns monitoring Evarl‘s position, observed a flash of someone running across the road, and yelled out, “Eve?” Sam’s somewhat loud whisper gave away Evarl‘s position, and the person who Evarl was trying to intercept, fled the scene. As Evarl increased her pace, with Sam not far behind, she came face to face with a group of street thugs in a back alley – all of whom were clearly waiting for trouble. Sam in the meantime had called out to Kal and Nell, both of whom discarded their drinks and attempted to join the chase.
The gang dropped what they were doing and immediately threatened Evarl. Evarl, wanting to continue the chase rather than be dealing with a bunch of misguided miscreants, tried to claim that she was chasing someone who had over a 100 of her gold, and they could have some of it if they caught him. Clearly Evarl was less than convincing, even after Sam barreled around the corner in hot pursuit. It was a stand off, until Nell and Kal arrived. Using her seductive charm, Nell explained that she and her friends were part of their crew, and that they best let them through. The gang allowed the heroes through, although what “crew” Nell was speaking of seemed to be a mystery. Either that, or the thugs were somehow bewildered with Nell’s beauty.
As the four hastily ran down the alleyway, they came to a pathway which was blocked but recently disturbed. Evarl was the first to bound over the blocked pathway, closely followed by the others.
Further around another bend, the heroes were confronted with a tall fence with barbed wire at the top. Evarl and Nell seemed to climb the fence without difficulty in order to continue the chase, however Sam and Kal had more issues with transversing the obstacle. Eventually, Kal boosted Sam over the fence to continue the pursuit.
Meanwhile, Evarl and Nell got sight of their target after making their way through a construction site as the cloaked figure made his way into a slum area. Unfortunately this was the last they saw of their quarry. Kal and Sam soon joined their search, but were unable to locate the shadowy spy. Kal then observed the thugs they had encountered earlier who were making their way towards the heroes. It was quickly decided it best they return to Gar’s Last Meal to rest for the evening.
The heroes return to Gar’s Last Meal and upon rising the following morning, late due to the heroes activities the previous evening, the heroes are greeted with a fine meal cooked by Puglas himself. The meal was presented by his daughter Melanie whom Sam had been admiring since their arrival in Tamran. Melanie presented the heroes with a letter, sealed with the symbol of the Tamran Council. Kal opened the letter, and read that they were to meet Speaker Aromina Yasgon at the Forest Bounty on the outskirts of town where she would be able to deliver the news of the council’s decision at midday.
The heroes prepare and obtain directions from Puglas before heading out into Tamran. After an hour, or so, the heroes arrive at the [[The Forest Bounty | Forest Bounty] and find a large feast hall, bustling with activity. They are approached by a tall man who Evarl recognises as the man they were chasing the previous evening. He introduces himself as Reginar Lacklan, aide to Speaker Yasgon and escorts them to where Speaker Yasgon was seated.
Firstly Aromina delivers the devastating news – the Mayor Uptal’s requests for assistance had been denied by the council. However, Aromina suggests another course of action which may lead the council to change their minds.
Aromina explains that she is just as concerned about the Razmirans in Tamran as the heroes are with the Razmiran’s involvement in what occurred in the crypt. Aromina claims that she has been building a case for some time against the Razmirans, but that every time she has attempted to get to the bottom of their scheme, she comes to a dead end. She admits that the brutal nature of the Razmiran ways has either seen her agents disappear having infiltrated the Razmiran’s compound, or that they have been found floating face down a few days later at the mouth of the Marideth River. Most of the deaths have been blamed on Molthuni spies, and Aromina has struggled to keep a lid on her investigation, in particular since she believes that Razmiran’s may be making an attempt to influence the Tamran Council itself, especially as her investigation seems to lead to Speaker Mayslen Torgun.
Aromina says that the “cult” of Razmir first appeared in Tamran about 2 years ago, as a small band of missionaries. They soon raised the funds to build a temple, which was constructed over a year ago. Their power and influence in the city have grown ever since, and the local guards seem to give them no heed, even going so far as to dismiss any reports of their foul practices. Aromina suspects through corruption that the city guards help protect the temple, watching out for thieves and intruders.
Kal then explained that they learned from a fisherman that a group of mercenaries were employed by someone to head up north a few months ago and returned just over a week ago minus a few of their number.
Reginar confirms this and adds that he had observed that when the group arrived, they hurried back to the temple all under the cover of darkness. Less than two days later another group, this one led by a female cultist in blue robes, left the temple and boarded a boat. He thinks this might be the temple’s leader, but he cannot be sure. Evarl asked for a description of the woman to which Reginar obliged. Based on the description, Evarl suggests that it sounds like Iramine.
Her findings were such that members of the cult go out frequently to aid the poor and proselytize, however she suspects this is just a cover for their more illegal activities, such as thievery, blackmail, and extortion. She claims that her agents have seen the Razmiran Priests beat a man to within an inch of his life, claiming the humble cobbler stole from the temple, while the city guards merely watched the event and took no action. The heroes confirm these claims, stating that they had seen some of those things the previous day whilst watching the temple, and its neighbour, The Rangers Lament.
Reginar adds that from his observations, members of the faith heavily guard the temple itself day and night. He claims that the priests hold no public services, other than the ones held on the front steps of the temple, so the only real way in is to join their religion. Aromina adds that her agents have established that the Razmirans interview applicants at the Ranger’s Lament every Fireday.
As a result, Aromina implores them to help her with an investigation into the church’s doings by infiltrating the church, going so far as to offer her own gold to fund an expedition to Kassen. Kal bluntly refuses to assist, claiming that pretending to be a priest of another church, little less an evil one, would be against his beliefs. Kal however does encourage the others to try. Evarl, Nell and Sam agree. Aromina says that she may be able to find another recruit to assist which may require some more delicate negotiations…
PREVIOUSLY: The heroes continued their investigation into the substances located under the ancient Dryad tree which revealed little other than the culprit was a pale skinned gnome. From the descriptions provided by the magic shop owner however, the gnome was suffering from the bleaching. During the investigation, the heroes’ investigations flushed out a Molthune spy who they apprehended and brought before the authorities. The heroes were rewarded for their good deeds, and soon after left Three Pines Ford behind. As their journey continued, the heroes along with the crew of the Black Mist were forced to deal with a ferocious storm. Having survived the ordeal, the heroes continued onto the last leg of their journey to Tamran. Shortly before arriving in the city, the Black Mist was set upon by Molthuni Privateers. The heroes fought bravely, and thwarted the Molthuni plan. Now armed with the heads of several of the Molthuni sailors, the captured letter of marquee and several documents detailing Molthuni attack plans, the heroes make their way into the Tamran Harbour to continue their quest to seek aide for their hometown of Kassen…
The heroes arrive under the cover of darkness, and moor the Black Mist on one of the many jetties which dot the harbour. Captain Walren thanks the heroes for their assistance and recommends that they visit the council chambers in the morning with the informant they obtained from the Molthuni Privateer vessel. The captain also recommends they stay at an inn called Gar’s Last Meal and provides them with directions. The heroes farewell Captain Walren but not before he lets them know that should they need his services, he owes them a debt of gratitude.
The heroes then make their way to the inn. Cautiously, the four make a plan to enter the inn. Evarl states that she will move to the rear of the establishment and scope for any unusual behaviour, whilst the the other three enter via the front door.
Inside, the heroes find nothing but pleasant talk and run-of-the-mill sailors telling tall tales, including that of the inn-keep who regales a story to a bunch of younger fisherman about how he managed to lose his arm to the giant sizes Gar Fish who’s stuffed remains rest quietly about the bar. The heroes separate and start conversing with the locals. Nell, in particular, grabs the attention of some of the fishermen about her and her friend’s exploits with vanquishing a crew of Molthuni Privateers. Her stories, and her appearance, eventually grab the attention of most onlookers in the bar. This leaves Evarl with little to do other than keep a watchful eye on people coming and going from the bar. Meanwhile Sam and Kal scope out the bar and listen to the inn-keeper’s story. Eventually, after learning very little other than the people in the tavern appear to be happy fisherman and sailors, and little more, Nell negotiates with the inn-keeper, Puglas Tamall for food and lodgings. The group make themselves comfortable and quench their thirst and hunger in a nearby booth, whilst Evarl continues to keep a watchful eye on the door from nearby.
During supper, Evarl observes a female elf dressed in dark leather clothing with 2 blades across her back enter the front door and make her way upstairs. Evarl excuses herself and moves through the crowd to follow the stranger. As she begins to make her way up the stairs, she is knocked out of the way by a heavy-set half-orc carrying what appears to be two jars of a bubbling liquid. The half orc barreled down the stairs and through the main doors, before a flash can be seen in the main street. Kal sees the half orc, and asks one of the waitresses who that was. The barkeep overhears the question and say that it was Mila, a female half-orc that has been told one too many times not to mess around with her experiments in her room.
Meanwhile Evarl continued her ascent up the stairs. The distraction however was enough for her to loose track of the elf. Slowly, Evarl made her way up the corridor of the lodgings, in an attempt to find the mysterious elf. As she came to the second last door, by chance, Evarl spotted a shadow from under the door. As a result, Evarl was not caught off guard, as the door burst open, a knife wielding elf standing in its archway. Evarl first attempted to trip the elf, but the elf was quicker and slashed out with her knife. The knife cut Evarl on the thigh, the pain searing through her leg. The clearly more experienced elf moved quickly, and before Evarl knew what was happening, she was on the ground, the elven female on top of her, a dagger leveled at her throat. Evarl attempted to parley with her clearly more experienced kin, but it was a useless gesture. Evarl felt the cold blade against her skin, a small trickle of blood morning its way down the side of her neck. The elf leaned in, and whispered in the the younger elf’s ear. It was a warning, to stay out of the elf’s way. Evarl agreed as the older elf stepped back and slammed the door of her room behind her.
Evarl, somewhat shaken, and furious that she had been bested, returned to the tavern to tell her friends what had occurred. Kal quickly healed Evarl of her injuries, and suggested that she do as the elf suggested, and stay away. After dinner, the four walk up to the beds, and enjoy their evening’s rest.
The heroes rise at dawn and venture downstairs for breakfast. Puglas prepares their breakfast which allows the heroes to ask a few questions. Puglas explains that there is very little going on in Tamran at the moment, other than the ongoing war with the Mothuni. When asked about the council, Puglas explains that given it was Oathday, the timing was perfect for the heroes to present their findings to the council. Puglas also offers directions to the Rangers Lament although mentions that it is not as nice an establishment as his own. Evarl also asks Puglas about the elf, to which Puglas becomes grim, stating that her name was Enar, and that the group give her a wide birth. Kal reiterates Puglas’ warning and suggests that they make their way to the council chambers. Puglas further explains that the council are hopeless at making decisions, and that Forest Marshal Gavirk has become nothing more than a figurehead and bureaucrat. Puglas then leaves allowing the heroes to their meal. A short time later, the heroes leave and venture into the city.
The city of Tamran is a busy place indeed, and Kal mentions that he is overwhelmed given that Tamran appeared to be over 10 times the size of their small home town of Kassen. Upon arrival at the council chambers, the heroes join a line of what appear to be a mix of adventurers, fishermen, sailors and other townsfolk, all keen on gaining some favour with the council.
After many hours waiting, the heroes are ushered into a room where they meet with Speaker Mayslen Torgun, the Speaker of the Leaves. Kal mentions that they have brought word from Mayor Uptal in Kassen in the form of a letter, asking for assistance. Kal also says that their orders were to ask for Speaker Aromina Yasgon. Kal then hands over the note to the speaker. Speaker Torgun reads the message, and tells the heroes to remain in the room whilst he fetched Speaker Yasgon. A few minutes later, Speaker Torgun returns to the room, with Speaker Yasgon in tow. Speaker Yasgon then reads the letter. The heroes then present the story of their victory with the Molthuni Privateers and present the papers and evidence of their victory. Speaker Torgun becomes very interested in their story, but shows little interest when they then explain the reason for their arrival in Tamran, in particular their belief of the involvement of Razmiran followers with the theft of the amulets from the crypt, which they further believe has caused the undead uprising in an around Kassen.
After speaking at length about both events, Evarl and Nell both sense that Speaker Torgun was more interested in the Molthuni papers and the threat that posed, whilst Speaker Yasgon showed great interest in the Razmiran involvement. However, both speakers note that no decision could be made until the council met later that day. The heroes advised where they were staying and were told that a decision would be made regarding Kassen‘s fate by tomorrow. Speaker Torgun further offers a reward of 500 gold for their information about the Molthuni Privateers and offers his thanks for the bravery the heroes had shown.
The heroes then leave the council chambers and ponder their next move. After a short discussion, it is decided that the heroes make their way to the Ranger’s Lament. After travelling on foot across various bridges and walkways, they arrive at the location of where Puglas had indicated twhere the inn was. The heroes are concerned however when they seen an assembly of people outside of a large Razmiran church, situated across the road from the Ranger’s Lament. The heroes observe a masked dark cloaked Priest sprouting the virtues of Razmir to the crowd from the top stair of the temple, the assembled villagers listening intently to his preachings. The heroes’ listen for a short time, and observe four white robed masked priests standing between the crowd and the head priest, positioned in such a way to be standing on the first step of the temple. The heroes also observed two masked, grey robed priests moving through the crowd, asking for donations.
Sam, who had always shown little interest in religious teachings, was enthralled at what he heard the priest tout, which resulted in Sam moving further into the crowd to get a better look. Evarl however, was suspicious, and began making her way through the crowd as well, but more to keep an eye on the priests. Nell and Kal remained at the rear. During the sermon, Evarl noticed one of the priest’s pick several townsfolk’s pockets, including that of Sam‘s. Evarl immediately moved towards the priest and attempted to pick the item back that Sam had “lost”. Unfortunately, the priest obviously had a keen eye and was able to spot the elf’s advance. The priest pointed the tithing-box at the elf as he reached arms length away from the priest. The Priest then asked the young elf for a donation. Evarl was outraged, and accused the priest of stealing from his friend. The priest claimed it to be a false accusation, and accused Evarl of being a sinner and stealing the item himself. The head priest, from his position at the top of the stairs, further accused Evarl of misdoings, claiming that he was one of the many reason that Razmir had come to Tamran. Sam could not believe what he was hearing, and moved quickly to the priest who Evarl accused of stealing from him, with the intent of upturning the priest until his supposedly stolen property fell out. The head priest started to make his way through the crowd, his intention, to put a stop to this nonsense…
PREVIOUSLY: The heroes arrive in Three Pines Ford. After meeting with a shady elven inn-keeper, known by Evarl to be a retired assassin, the heroes come across a call for help from a druid who is keen to learn why one of the ancient three Dyrad Trees, after which the town is named, has begun to die. The druid provides a guide in the form of a fighter named Voldar Riffolk, who agrees to assist the heroes. Shortly after accepting the druid’s call for assistance, the heroes stumble across a tunnel under one of the trees. Upon investigating further, the heroes learn that the trees are being somehow magically poisoned with ritualistic necromancy, but not before being set upon by several tainted fey. After defeating the creatures, the heroes return to the druid who confirms their theory, but explains she would need to examine the site further. In the meantime, the druid suggests the heroes visit the magic shop called the Ageng and Elyelen’s Vault where some of the supplies for the evil ritual may have been purchased from…
As night fell, the heroes bid their fare-well to the druid and her assistant Voldar Riffolk, and made their way back to the Black Mist. Given the late hour, the four aimed to return to their investigations in the morning at the alchemist shop. During the evening, Evarl and Nell noticed that the ship was under surveillance by a cloaked individual. Rather than starting an incident, the heroes kept the man under close watch, but by the end of first watch, the man had disappeared.
As dawn broke, those heroes who were not on watch were awoken to the sounds and smells of cooking bacon and eggs, courtesy of the Black Mist‘s first mate, Ewem. After breakfast, the heroes made their way through the busy morning markets to the alchemists store, known as Ageng and Elyelen’s Vault. There, they met an aging female dwarf shop keeper named Ageng after whom the shop was named. Kal and Sam engaged the shopkeeper in conversation whilst Evarl and Nell looked about the store. Eve noticed that the store was well stocked, but was dusty in some areas. In a corner, in a particularly dusty section, both she and Nell noticed a rectangular shaped print indicating that something had been there recently. Meanwhile, during the discussion with the shop keeper, Kal discovered that the powder was definitely sold at the store, and that powder and wax of the kind that was found at the tree would be contained in an alchemist kit. When Kal asked if one had been sold recently, the shopkeeper became tight lipped, claiming that she may know more if a purchase of some goods was had. After sampling the store’s wares, Kal made a purchase of some Oil of Bless Weapon for 50gp, after which the the shopkeeper became more loose lipped.
The aging dwarf revealed that a pale skinned gnome had attended her shop just over a day ago, and had made a purchase of a portable alchemists kit, and points to where Evarl and Nell were examining. She further explained that the gnome said little, paid extra for the purchase of the kits, and left. Nothing else was purchased.
During the conversation with the shopkeeper, a man enters the store, remaining near the front door and examining books. Evarl noticed the man to be similar shape and build to the humanoid who had been watching the Black Mist the previous evening. Evarl slipped up next to the man without him noticing, and carefully watched his movements. Suddenly the man turned his head towards the young elf, nodded, and then bolted for the front door, dropping the book as he ran.
The man dashed across the road, with Evarl in hot pursuit. Nell and Sam following closely behind. Evarl caught the man slipping into a general store across the road, and followed. As she approached however, she heard commotion from within. As Evarl darted into the store, she noticed the shopkeeper assaulting the would-be-spy with a broom, and a tray of eggs smashed on the floor beside them. The woman was yelling for the man to get out. Evarl took advantage of the situation, and grabbed a hessian bag from the counter. Whilst the man was otherwise occupied, Evarl forced the bag over the man’s head in an attempt to drag him to the ground. The shopkeeper, an elderly woman, went to threaten Evarl, thinking that she was about to be robbed, but through fast talking, Evarl convinced the woman her that she was there to apprehend the would-be criminal.
Nell remained on the roadway, as Sam dashed across the road to join Evarl in the store. Kal and the dwarven store owner joined Nell on the street to see what was going on. Suddenly from around the corner, three guards barreling towards the direction of the disturbance. Nell engaged the guards in conversation, claiming that it was only her Uncle that was have a reaction of some bad stew. The guards, somewhat bedazzled by the red-haired sorcerer’s words, held their ground, seeming to believe her.
Meanwhile inside the store, the man had escaped by cutting open the bag with a concealed knife. The man spun to face his attackers, and the old shopkeeper backed away. Evarl drew her sword, and threatened the man to surrender. At that moment, Sam burst through the front door, his intimidating prowess convincing the man that surrender was a good option. Evarl quickly questioned the man, but he was more that tight lipped that the dwarven shop-keeper. With a few jarring blows from Sam‘s fists, and the fact that he saw the guards awaiting him outside, the would-be spy loosened his tongue. The man, named Ewis Arrerk, spilled the story, stating that he worked for an accountant named Andre Colton who was a spy for the Molthune Government. The man claimed that he was regularly paid by Andre to keep a watchful eye on the new-comers to the town, and report back any unusual activities. He claimed he had been tracking the heroes since they arrived, but did not expect them to be as resourceful and perceptive as they had been. When asked about the gnome, the man knew nothing, although had heard them talking about it in the magic shop.
With this confession, Evarl and Sam took the man outside and handed him over to the authorities. Nell, not wnating to be accusing of lying to the guards, and perhaps thereafter being dragged away, slunk back into the magic store until they had left. Meanwhile Evarl, Kal and Sam followed the guards back to the Three Pines Ford Keep and spoke with the Captain of the Guard. The heroes told them of the story and what the man had confessed. The heroes were commended for their efforts, and awarded 400gp as a reward for apprehending a Molthune spy.
Meanwhile Nell commenced her return to the Black Mist. Whilst making her way through the docks, Nell overheard a group of sailors claiming that they were from a ship called the Grinning Parrot and that had come from up river a few days earlier. She further heard that some were claiming that they had be haunted during their trip by what they identified as a ghouling halfling with pale skin and eyes. Nell deduced that this was a similar description of the gnome the magic shop owner had seen previously. Nell then returned to the boat and was later joined by the other three heroes. After sharing the reward for the capture of the spy, the heroes and Captain Walren’s crew prepared to set sail. Shortly before leaving, the heroes learned that the Molthune spy, who had been acting as an accountant had got wind of the situation, and had fled the town. The crew then fare-welled the town, and the Black Mist then headed off down the Tourondel River to continue its journey to Tamran.
Th third day was relatively uneventful, as the crew made their way through the mouth of the river an into Lake Encarthen. As night fell, the eerie light show of bright green and blue flashes on the horizon from the direction of what was known as the Isle of Terror haunted the heroes. This prompted Kal to seek guidance from Erastil, after which he cast a divine spell which provided him with the fore-sight to predict the oncoming weather.
The evening of the forth day saw a violent store reek havoc on the ship. Crewman Anthond Bowe was injured during the storm, and was taken below decks to rest and recover. The rest of the crew handled themselves remarkably well, gaining the praises of Captain Walren.
On the evening of the last day, approximately 2 hours out from Tamran, a mist had formed, which Kal had also predicted, which blocked the way into Tamran‘s bay. Captain Waldren was wary, and readied everyone, except crewman Bowe who was still unwell, for battle. Evarl was the first to spot the ambush, a cutter vessel flying a Molthune Privateer flag came into view.
Evarl warned the crew, and Nell yelled out, claiming that the Black Mist was a plague ship, and not to come closer. Evarl could clearly see the crew of the incoming vessel, who comprised of seven soldiers, and a Captain. Evarl confirmed that Nell’s plan appeared to have worked, as most of the men aboard the vessel appeared uneasy. However, instead of the ship moving away, the Molthuni Captain yelled for his men to burn the boat. With that, two alchemist’s fires were thrown at the ship. Evarl and Sam were quick enough to move to a position where the containers would land. Evarl caught the first, but Sam was not nimble enough, the flask slipping through his fingers, and the contents smashing on the ground under him. The explosion engulfed the young warrior, however the discharge was not as bad as he first though although he was now covered in partially flaming goo.
However, Nell‘s distraction was enough to allow her to unleash a burning hands spell, across the middle section of the Molthuni ship, which caused the deaths of several of the Molthuni crewmen. Ewem flung a spear in the direction of another crewman, which collected the sailor in the chest, sending him skittering across the deck. Several of the sailors attempted to swing across to the Black Mist, with two reaching their intended target, and another making it only to the side rail. Evarl took it upon herself to deal with this poor sap, while Nell stepped back to again flame the advancing sailors. Meanwhile, the Molthuni Captain had swung across the stern of the ship to engage Captain Walren himself in combat. The two traded blows, but clearly the aged dwarven captain was no match for the much younger Molthuni. Kal quickly cast a spell on Sam to further protect him in the fight, as Sam raced to protect Captain Waldren. Several of the sailors continued their advance, with Ewen receiving several severe wounds from Molthuni blades. But the attacks were not enough to sway the Kellid’s respove to protect his ship, and with the assistance of Kal, and Nell‘s magic missile spells from her wand, two of the would be pirates fell. Sam bravely defended Captain Walren, and soon after beheaded the Molthuni Captain. Having seen his captain beheaded, the last surviving privateer jumped into the shadowy depths of Lake Encarthen.
The heroes initially considered taking possession of the Molthuni ship, but upon further inspection found that it was heavily damaged, and not just from the fire caused by Nell’s spell, but because it had been neglected and severely damaged through attacks from other vessels. The heroes, after some suggestions from Captain Walren, cleared the ship of its cargo and supplies, and sent the boat to the depths of Lake Encarthen.
During the search, a locked safe was located, the contents of which were a small treasure of coins, a magical feather token, and a letter of marquee from the Molthuni Government. Also found board were supplies, and a series of military orders pertaining to ship movements in the area. Captain Walren informed the heroes that this would be an advantage as they would be able to claim several rewards for the recovery of those documents, and for the heads of the Mothuni Privateers from the Tamran council.
With that, the heroes and the crew of the Black Mist continued on their journey, and soon after arrived at Tamran…
PREVIOUSLY: The heroes race into the forest near Morrie’s Farm in an attempt to track down the remaining orcs and their possible leader, a young mage named Aroth Mentinjek. It is not long that they discover the camp and set about to attack. After a harrowing battle, the orc leader, Zulgha Bloodbone lay dead at Sam‘s feat, while Evarl grappled the young mage to the ground to answer for his crimes. As the dust settled, the mage explained the misunderstanding, all caused by him using a charm spell on the unsuspecting orc leader. This lead to a chain of events whereby the orc leader thought the young mage wanted the owner of Morrie’s Farm’s daughter, Jessika as his bride. The heroes soon after returned to the farm, and after a short rest over-night, continued their journey down the river towards their final destination of Tamran…
The heroes arrive in Three Pines Ford. Captain Walren advises them to follow his lead as he introduces them to harbour master Braffolk Gysby. The talk slender gentleman is quick to explain the need for calm in the town and although stern is pleasant to the heroes, encouraging them to stay.
As dusk was well underway, Sam was the first to mention his thirst and asked the others where the closest pub was. Evarl, who had formerly travelled the area, mentioned the Sly Harlequin, an inn nearby to the docks which, although somewhat unsavoury, could be a good place to learn more information and gain an ale. Before leaving, Kal asks the harbourmaster whom should the heroes should tell about an orc attack they witnessed recently. The harbourmaster thanks them for the information, but states it would be better delivered to Lieutenant Boarhelm in The Keep. Eve volunteers to do that, after she guides the heroes to the inn.
Whilst making their way there, Evarl explains that he plans to introduce the rest of the party to the elven proprietor named La’Slaan, whom he explains is a retired assassin, and then afterwards will go to the keep to offer information about the orcs that attacked Morrie’s Farm. The others agree, and they soon arrive.
The Inn is in full swing, with many of the dock workers and proprietors finished for the day. It is not long after the heroes enter that they greeted by the softly spoken and far from talkative La’Slaan. Evarl explains to La’Slaan about what had happened in Kassen, and why they were in Three Pines Ford. It is not long before Evarl realises that without speaking a word, he had perhaps revealed too much. La’Slaan thanks them for stopping by, and offers them a free ale, after which she disappears to mingle with the crowd. As the drinks arrived, Evarl checks to ensure the drinks were not poisoned, to which they were not.
Whilst drinking the somewhat putrid brew, Sam spots a sign asking for assistance. The signs was completed by a local druid, who is offering a substantial amount of gold for further assistance. Knowing that any leads at the inn may have dried up, the heroes grab the flyer and make their was to the Herbalist’s shop called Wolfmourne’s Elixirs & Herbs.
Upon arrival they are greeted by it proprietor, a middle-aged half-elven woman named An’lau Wolfmourne. An’lau explained that she had recently discovered that one of the ancient Dryad trees was dying and that she could not explain why. She states that she was in the middle of concocting an Elixir to use on the trees, but would like assistance with identifying the cause. The heroes accept her call for assistance, to which she then offers the guide of her employee Voldar Riffolk.
Voldar looked clearly out of place pruning flowers and the like for An’lau. En-route to the Dryad Grove, he explained that he had lost a couple of gambling debts and was faced with having to sell his precious swords to make ends meet. Voldar explained that An’lau was nice enough to take him on, but it was the swing of his sword that he missed most.
As the heroes arrived, they examined the area. Sam took to making an attempt to talk to the trees, at one stage stabbing the ground beneath the tree. This action produced a thick foul smelling oil like substance coming from the ground, like the ground was somehow bleeding. Kal and Nell examined the magic properties of the area and the trees, establishing that the trees had somehow been magically affected with some type of necromantic effect and also poisoned. Nell suggested that it was cursed perhaps similar to the trees in Southern Fangwood, but could not back up her theory. The two also learned that the trees were free from disease, proving that it was not a naturally occurring effect. Evarl and Voldar looked around the area and found a depression in the ground approximately 50 feet from the tree itself. A closer examination showed that it was perhaps a sinkhole of some kind, caused by something burying under the ground.
The heroes moved to examine Evarl‘s find. Sam searched the area for a fallen branch in order to prod the hole to see if it would collapse. Soon after, the hole collapsed revealing a sink-hole leading some 20 feet beneath the surface. One by one, the heroes disappeared down the hole, with Sam lowing each down, before lowering himself.
Inside the tunnel, the heroes discovered that its creation was only recent but was completed by unknown means. Evarl identified that was last used only recently. Upon moving down further, Kal and Evarl discovered that at the end of a tunnel lead directly towards the tree, and ended in what appeared to be a small room. The tunnel and room were somewhat cramped, but Evarl spotted tiny footprints similar to that of a small humanoid such as a halfling, goblin or gnome. It was Voldar who correctly identified the tracks as that belonging to a gnome.
Kal meanwhile discovered what appeared to be a makeshift alter standing close the the tree root system. The alter appeared to have been recently used and had remnants of a red powder and a purple wax.
As the heroes examine the room, five creatures emerge from the brambles. Having been under the employ of An’lau, Voldar had learned a thing or two about Fey creatures and quickly identified the larger creatures as a Debased Dryad and the smaller ones as Twig Blights.
The fey creatures caught all by Evarl by surprise, the Debased Dryad ensnaring them all in an entangle spell. The heroes fought valiantly, and eventually eliminated the threat. At the end of the battle, Kal was the worst for ware, having been poisoned by the scratches from the Twig Blights.
Upon closer examination of the area, Evarl discovered that the red powder and wax were placed specifically in a pattern of some sort. Kal identified its placement as some type of religious ritual. The exact purpose remained a mystery to the heroes, and after taking some sample, they returned to report their findings to the the druid An’lau.
The heroes arrived back at the town at night and took up with An’lau in her shop as she was packing up for the night. The heroes provided An’lau with the samples they had found, and she identified them as being spell components of a type of ritual. She would examine what the heroes had found later the following morning, but stated that the only place items like the powder and wax could only be sold at Ageng and Elyelen’s Vault, a magic shop in the middle of town.
An’lau explained that the store was named after Ageng and Elyelen Dankwater, after two elderly dwarves, one of which, the dwarven man named Elyelen, had died some years back, but that Ageng his female companion, had continued on at the shop. The heroes agree that they would follow that lead and report back to her in the morning. An’lau thanked them against for their assistance, and soon after the heroes made their way back towards the harbour…
PREVIOUSLY: The heroes begin their journey down the Tourondel River on their way to Tamran. Along the way the heroes discover that orcs have moved into the Fangwood forest, and later their discoveries became more real when they realised that the outpost they were due to collect supplies from had been attacked by those same orcs. Things become more strange when the heroes learn that the orcs are being commanded by a young Mage who had only visited the outpost hours earlier…
Having healed from the wounds inflicted by the orcs, Zevan and Kal make their intents clear in that wish to move into the forest to hunt the orcs back to their camp before night falls. The rest of the group agree, whilst Captain Walren decided to remain at the farm to protect Morrie and his daughter.
Zevan leads the group into the forest, following the still quite visible orc tracks. Zevan notices that the orcs are using an established path which is unusual for them as they would normally move through the undergrowth to hide their numbers and their approach. After a hour, as the last of the light disappears through the trees, the heroes come across an encampment nearby to the ruins of an old cabin in the woods.
Zevan and Evarl both notice a number of orcs hidden in the ruins, and Evarl attempts to climb the tree to get a better look. Although she managed to keep herself hidden, a sudden noise from Evarl trying to climb the tree, alerted the orcs to something in the forest. Suddenly, a large orc steps out of the tent, and three orcs step out using the ruins and undergrowth as cover.
Evarl, Nell and Zevan open the attack with missile fire, both by arrows and Nell‘s newly found wand of magic missiles. The chieftain, Zulgha Bloodbone, quickly retreats into the tent. With that, Kal sees an opportunity, as several more orcs spring up within the confines of the ruins. Kal then yells out, in Orc tongue, that the Orc Leader had fled the battlefield like a coward and that he would soon be felled in great combat. Sam took queue of Kal’s words, at least to his level of understanding, and ran down the path in order to reach the orc chieftain’s tent. Whilst still attempting to climb a tree, Evarl heard a high pitched voice yell the words, “No!”, coming from the direction of the tent. A moment later, the orc leader appeared and bellowed his war horn. More orcs appeared, with Evarl and Zevan counting at least 8 in total.
Meanwhile, Evarl managed to make her way into the tree, and whilst assisting Nell and Zevan by keeping a watchful eye for further orcs appearing from the ruins, she spotted someone else inside the tent. Could this be the mage Jessika and Morrie were talking about?
Nell and Zevan continued keeping any orcs advancing through the forest at bay, while Sam continued his advance towards the tent. Eventually, the young warrior arrived, and sized up to the huge orc chieftain. The orc chieftain raises his menacing great-axe and bellowed at Sam and to his orc horde, in an attempt to intimidate the young warrior, and rally his troops who by this stage were somewhat confused, as Kal continued to embellish the exploits of what he hopes Sam would do. Unfortunately, after a few blows, it quickly became clear to Kal, that Sam may have met his match.
Kal cast a divine spell to shield his friend from injury, transferring any blows against Sam to Kal instead. It did not take long for this to become a reality, with 2 further blows landing solidly against Sam‘s body, both of which caused not even a scratch on the young warrior. However as the spell was meant to work, wounds suddenly opened on Kal’s hardened skin, almost bringing the young Cleric to his knees. Kal realised that he was meant for this task as his Orc blood kept him awake throughout the ordeal.
Nell, continued firing her wand against those orcs who were yet to believe Kal‘s words, and Zevan continued firing arrows in support. Evarl, now in the treetops, made her way across to the clearing where the orc was fighting with Sam. Evarl let off a couple of arrows to assist the young warrior. Seeing that it would take more than a few to fell the mighty orc, Evarl thought it best to try a different approach, and ran behind the tent, to get a better look inside.
As Evarl moved under the lip of the tent, she was surprised to see a young man dressed in traveling robes, and glasses seated on a small makeshift chair. The young man was as surprised as Evarl, and said, “Help me!”. Evarl, not trusting the man, after all, she had built a distrust of mages over the years since witnessing her parent’s death at the hands of Iramine. No wanting to kill the man, nor allow him to be casting spells, she quickly tackled the man to the ground. The man let out a squeal, and attempted to cast a spell at Evarl, but without success. Evarlquickly pinned him to the ground. There was to be no further attempts to cast a spell this time.
Meanwhile, outside, with several solid hits, Sam eventually brought the orc chieftain to the ground, with the final blow removing the orc’s head from its shoulders. With their chieftain dead, and many of their numbers lost, the remaining few orcs fled into the forest.
Evarl in the meantime brought the mage out from the tent to be interrogated by the group. The man, clearly a bit distraught, saw the dead orc chieftain, and thanked the heroes for their efforts. He introduced himself as Aroth Mentinjek, a mage who was travelling from Tamran to a small town called Kassen where he hoped to meet with a wizard. He explained the story that he was travelling along the river and came across Morrie’s Farm. He further explained that he was greeted by their hospitality and met Morrie and his daughter. He and Jessika immediately became friends, and he felt they could be more romantically between them. So after dinner, he made his move. Unfortunately, when she rejected him, he took off, ashamed and embarrassed, and ran into the forest. By the time, he realised what he had done, he was well and truly lost. Whilst searching for a way back, he was set upon by the orcs and their leader. He only did what he thought was his best chance of survival, and attempted to charm the orc chieftain. He did not realise however that his actions would cause the orc leader to treat him as his best friend. The young man spoke no orc-tongue and he believes that whilst trying to convince the orcs to let him escape, he somehow gave them the impression that they should attack the farm and bring Jessika to him. By the time, he realised what was going on, 5 of the orcs had headed off down towards the east, and the orc chieftain brought him to his tent.
Aroth apologised for his actions, and asked for the heroes to take him back to the farm so that he may apologise to them as well.
The heroes then made their way back to the farm, and allowed Aroth to speak with Morrie and his daughter. Aroth was shocked with what had occurred, and offered to help in any way he could. After a long discussion into the night, the heroes, Aroth, Captain Walren, Jessika and Morrie got some sleep. At dawn, Zevan spoke with the rest of the heroes, and let them know that he would escort the young mage to Kassen, and that if he was able, would catch up with them later. With that, Evarl, Kal, Nell and Sam departed Morrie’s Farm with Captain Walren and his crew to continue their journey along the Tourondel River to their final destination of Tamran…
PREVIOUSLY: The heroes investigate the history behind the two pieces of the amulet stolen from Kassen’s crypt along with rumours of undead walking the Kassen graveyard at night. Whilst staking out the graveyard, numerous zombies scramble from the graves of recently deceased townsfolk, including those who died in the lumber mill accident. After banishing a number of zombies, and then fleeing back to the town, the heroes give warning to the village elders and the city watch. A battle occurs outside the town walls with the zombies, throughout the evening. The next morning the mayor pleads with the heroes to travel to Tamran to seek aid from the Forest Marshal to which they agree. The following morning, the heroes prepare to leave for their long journey to Tamran.
The heroes assemble at the docks and are greeted by the Mayor. Soon after, he introduces them to owner of the vessel they would be travelling on in order to reach Tamran, namely the Black Mist. The ship’s owner, Captain Walren, a surly dwarf with an eye patch, and peg leg; a mysterious Kellid man named Ewem; and their man-at-arms Anthond Bowe. Before they set sail, the Captain put his new seamen through their paces. Zevan and Evarl are found to be excellent all rounders, but their keen eye-sight makes them perfect for work in the crows nest. The others however are given positions as deck hands.
The Captain explains that the trip will take approximately 7 days to reach Tamran, and their first stop will be at a farm and reply station called Morrie’s Farm, almost two days travel from Kassen. From there, they would travel and do a short stop off at Three Pines Ford, before continuing along the Nirmathas coast until they reach Tamran.
In the morning of the first day, the heroes, attempt a spot of fishing, with all by Nell and Sam catching at least one fish. Around lunch time, several of the heroes spot a group of large crocodiles, lying motionless on the shores of the river. As the ship passes, the crocodiles head into the water, but cause little hindrance to the heroes. On the afternoon of the second day, Nell spots 5 canoes hidden in the bushes and reeds along the edge of the river. When pointed out, Zevan identifies the canoes as being of Orc design and requests a closer look. The heroes bring the ship to a halt and head along the shoreline to examine the canoes more closely. Evarl heads to the trees in order to keep a watchful eye out for an ambush, while Zevan leads the others to the canoes.
Closer inspection of the canoes show that they are designed to hold a maximum of 3 orcs each, and Zevan confirms tracks indicating that approximately 15 orcs headed from that location into the forest a mere day earlier. Kal asks how many settlements are around the immediate vicinity, to which Zevan states that there is only one, that being Morrie’s Farm.
The heroes return to the Black Mist, and soon after continue their trek down river. At dusk on day 2, the heroes arrive at Morrie’s Farm. As they round a bend in the river, they notice smoke coming from what appears to be the location of the farm. The heroes dock with the short jetty, and along with Walren, carefully make their way to towards the homestead.
Zevan and Evarl stealthily make their way through the crops, while Nell, Kal, Sam, and the Captain walk up the roadway to the farm. Zevan is the first to hear the sounds of Orc, identifying two in the adjacent barn. Nell, attempting to move quietly, gave Zevan‘s position away, and a short fight ensued, with Zevan felling one, and injuring the other, whilst Nell fired off two bolts from her wand, which appeared to annoy the beast more than injure him. The second orc however was determined to rid the world of the human and advanced hastily towards the young ranger. Evarl in the meantime watched two orcs in the main bedroom, ransacking clothes and various items within. Evarl spotted the orcs as they rushed Zevan’s position, and so moved briskly to a position where she could not be seen. Through the undergrowth, Evarl unleashed an arrow into the last of the two surviving orcs, firmly placing the arrow where the orc’s brain should be. The body of the orc, in turn, fell quickly at Zevan‘s feet.
Meanwhile Kal and the others move towards the house, with Kal banging his shield loudly in an attempt to gain the attention of the orcs. Evarl moves back to her position, and again sees the orcs, completely oblivious to Kal’s disturbance.
Zevan, Nell and Evarl hear the distant sound of a scream, and make their way around the homestead to find the front of the house on fire. Between the forest line and the homestead Zevan spots an orc carrying a young woman who is screaming. While Nell attempts to dowse the flames with a nearby pail, Zevan and Evarl set upon the fleeing orc, and rescue the girl. Kal, Sam and the Captain make their way to the rear of the homestead. Sam, who by this stage is keen for a fight, leaps through the bedroom window and attacks the orcs. A short battle ensues, and as the dust clears, two headless orc corpses lie motionless on the bedroom floor.
Sam enters the main area of the home and locates an unconscious older man, and 3 dead bodies. Whilst Zevan comforts the woman, Evarl and Nell head into the house and meet up with Kal, Sam and the Captain. Walren identifies the older man as Moritz “Morrie” Woldeng, and the young woman as Morrie’s daughter Jessika. Kal lends some divine magic to revive Morrie and heal his more serious wounds.
After a short time, the heroes ensure the premises is secure, and soon after Kal gathers the group and the survivors in order to heal their remaining wounds in particular those of Morrie, Jessika and Sam. Morrie and Jessika meanwhile explain that as they were sitting down for supper, 6 orcs barged through the front door demanding that they hand over Jessika as she belonged to Aroth. Morrie further explains that Aroth is name of a young Wizard who arrived the previous night, stating that he was traveling to Kassen in search of a wizard named Holgast. During dinner, he and Jessika appeared to be bonding but later, when the young man made romantic motions towards the young woman, she explained that she was already betrothed. The young man, who was obviously devastated, fled into the forest. Jessika, who is clearly confused at what the orcs had demanded, pleaded with the heroes to find Aroth, and attempt to explain why he has sided with the Orcs. The heroes help clean the homestead whilst pondering their next move…
PREVIOUSLY: The heroes begun their journey back to Kassen, a two day travel over ever so familiar ground. Whilst travelling, Kal became ill and diagnosed that he was infected with the plague from the rotted zombies. Kal soldiered on, and the heroes soon arrived at Kassen to a heroes’ welcome. Celebration turned to sorrow as the heroes revealed that many of the townsfolk were attacked by ruthless undead. As the festivities dwindled, the heroes returned to their homes to speak with their mentors and families. The heroes purchased new equipment and resupplied their used resources. During that time, it was found that strange happenings were occurring around the village. Sightings of ghosts and skeletal forms moving through the night were coming to the notice of the town hall. Meanwhile, Zevan and Asina Silvers begun sharing more time together, something that Kal has not taken kindly to…
The following morning the heroes meet up at the riverbank as they have done for many years. They decide that they should start an investigation into the stolen amulets. Kal notes that there are several other things which have been going on around Kassen such as the diseased brownies and their connection to the Fey Queen that they claim is returning, and the poisoned honey.
The heroes split up and start their investigations. Evarl says he will keep an ear out as to what is going on at the bar; Nell says she will ask her father what he knows about the amulets; Kal agrees to speak with Father Prasst; and Sam agrees to find out what he can about the Browie situation.
Sam finds little to nothing about the current situation with the happenings in the woods, other than the logging operation is still in shut-down much to the dismay of Colbin Vetnar.
Kal speaks with his mentor Father Prasst and establishes that he knows little to nothing about the undead rising other than to confirm Kal‘s suspicions that it would have possibly something to do with stolen amulets. Kal questions Father Prasst about Tamran, specifically about the Ranger’s Lament, querying the fact that the priest had spent some time there. Father Prasst, somewhat dismayed about this line of questioning, claims to never have heard of the Rangers Lament and suggests that Kal continue with his studies instead of worrying about what goes on in the capital.
Meanwhile Nell returned home, and spoke at length with her father, Moltus Vargidan about the history of the area, specifically that of the amulets. Moltus explained that years ago, before the town of Kassen existed, three heroes – an elven sorceress, a great and mighty warrior and a holy knight by the name of Kassen found an amulet in an ancient dwarven crypt, in the distant Mindspin Mountains to the west. The heroes were able to establish that the key was to a treasure beyond their wildest dreams, however its location was a mystery. Moltus continued that before the three could find out where the treasure was, the three had a falling out. The three split the treasure they had accumulated over their time together evenly, including the key. As fortune would have it, the key split into three parts, and each of the three gained a piece so that none of the three would ever be able to gain access to the treasure without the other’s knowledge. And so, time passed, and Kassen founded a new home on the side of the Tourondel River, which eventually became the town which bore his name.
Moltus continued, stating that what was not readily known was that Kassen’s former friend Asar had become a warlord of sorts, accumulating a loyal army of followers. Asar’s yearning for power and wealth took new meaning as he turned his sights on Kassen, for in his mind, Kassen would never leave his new home to seek out the riches the key would unlock. Instead Asar chose to take Kassen’s piece by force, which resulted in the deaths of many villagers, Asar’s forces, Asar himself and of course Kassen.
When asked, Moltus told his daughter that he did not know the whereabouts of Iramine nor the location of the treasure that the key unlocks.
Evarl meanwhile delved further into his subconscious in an attempt to recall the events of his parents death and that of Iramine. Coming up with a black, other than Iramine was definitely responsible, but not in the way he first though. Evarl learns that Iramine was after him and when his parents refused, that was the reason she killed them. Evarl also learned, that due to spending some time tending bar, that a number of farmers, hoping to quench their thirst over lunch, were speaking of rumours concerning undead walking the Kassen graveyard at night.
Later that afternoon, the heroes, less Zevan who was spending even more time with Asina, returned to their secret rendezvous point on the riverbank of the Tourondel River a short distance out of town, and shared what they had found. It became apparent that the most pressing matter was that of the undead.
Later that night, the heroes, again less Zevan, staked out the graveyard. Evarl kept first watch, whilst the others rested. It was not long before Evarl woke his friends regarding the numerous zombies that were scrambling from the graves of recently deceased townsfolk, including those who died in the lumber mill accident.
The fight was swift, with only Nell suffering severe cuts from a ravenous zombie. With more zombies than the heroes could handle, the group fled back to the city to warm the city watch.
During the evening, several battles occur outside the town walls with the zombies, and skeletons of even older corpses through to the early hours of the morning. By daylight, numerous bodies lay at the gates to the village.
The next morning the mayor pleads with the heroes to travel to Tamran to seek aid from the Forest Marshal in order to deal with the potential unrising of undead. The heroes agree and so later that afternoon, the heroes prepare to leave for their long journey to Tamran…
PREVIOUSLY: The heroes, having narrowly avoided the trap set to protect Kassen’s final resting place, have come face to face with Kassen’s enemy, the Mighty Asar and a small army of skeletal warriors. The battle was fierce and bloody, with some of the heroes falling with near fatal wounds, but eventually Asar, and his minions were laid low. As the heroes recover, and light the lantern with the Everflame, the spirit of Kassen appeared with a warning that his and Asar’s amulets had been stolen, and that their removal had created a tear between the plane of negative energy and the mortal world. He explained that the only way to reverse the tears effects, and seal the rift, was to return the amulets to the crypt. With this information, and a small reward of treasure from Kassen in their possession, the heroes begin their journey home.
The heroes begun their journey back to Kassen, a two day travel over ever so familiar ground. Whilst travelling, Kal became ill and diagnosed that he was infected with the plague from the bite of one of the rotted zombies. Kal soldiered on, and the heroes soon arrived at Kassen to a heroes’ welcome. Celebration turned to sorrow as the heroes revealed that prior to their arrival at the crypt, that many of the townsfolk had been attacked by ruthless undead. As the festivities dwindled, the heroes returned to their homes to speak with their mentors and families.
The heroes purchased new equipment and resupplied their used resources. During that time, it was found that strange happenings were occurring around the village. Sightings of ghosts and skeletal forms moving through the night were coming to the notice of the town hall, happenings that the heroes felt were best dealt with by them…
PREVIOUSLY: After dealing with three large carnivorous frogs, the heroes pushed on through knee high water in an attempt to find what they believed to be a wheel which would help them raise the gate preventing access to Kassen’s Tomb. They soon discovered the room, but not before disturbing eight angry skeletons, hell bent on preventing them from reaching their goal. The heroes were successful and successful raised the gate, but now only destiny can tell what fate lies beyond…
The heroes, enter a long room with deep pits on either side. Two statues stand idol on the other side of a narrow bridge, both seeming poised in protection of it. Sam is the first to step across the bridge, but not before one of the statues races forward pushing the young warrior back.
Clearing another test or trap set to protect Kassen’s final resting place, the heroes manage to work around the trap by dexterously avoiding it, and using rope to swing across the chasm. Two large brass doors greeted the heroes at the other end of the room, their markings showing that this was a door of great importance. Sam, again, was the first to push them aside o reveal the heroes worst nightmare.
Now in undead form, Kassen’s mortal enemy, the Mighty Asar reveals himself to the heroes, leading a gang of skeletons against them. The battle was fierce and bloody, with some of the heroes falling with near fatal wounds. Eventually Asar was laid to rest permanently, and the heroes were victorious. As the heroes paused to count their losses, Zevan lent forward to light the lantern with the Everflame and an apparition of Kassen appeared before them.
Kassen explained that many years ago there was a battle that he and his fellow villagers fought against the Might Asar and his legion of men. Kassen knew that Asar was not satisfied with the arrangement that had been made between himself, our companion Iramine and Kassen himself regarding the search for the treasure they had worked so hard to find. All that he wanted was Kassen’s part of the key to seek the treasure for himself. This hatred and yearning for wealth was his undoing. Eventually both he and Asar, along with many men and women fell in the battle for defence of the village. This crypt, an ancient, long abandoned and unused dwarven burial crypt had been used by Asar as a launching point for raids on Kassen’s village. It seemed apt that the crypt be the place where all of the dead be laid to rest.
Kassen further explains that some of the bandits who were slain by the raised Asar took both Kassen and Asar’s amulets, but nothing more. Kassen warns that the raising of The Mighty Asar is not the only thing that has been released with the removing of the amulets, and he hopes that the heroes can find them, and return them to re-seal the link between the world of undeath and the mortal world. The heroes agree.
The heroes are presented with part of Kassen’s burial gifts, and Kassen provides a final warning that the raising of The Mighty Asar is not the only thing that has been released with the removing of the amulets…
PREVIOUSLY: In a small village in northern Nirmathas, strange happenings are afoot. Who of its citizens will step forward to help, and who will be propelled towards riches beyond their wildest dreams…
EVENTS: Ekat Kassen was a crusader and fortune seeker who came to serve Lastwall in the year 4515 AR. While he fought with distinction, he soon realized that he wanted more from life and left the Lastwall military to find his fortune elsewhere. His travels took him all over the region around Lake Encarthan, and he decided to settle down in 4522 AR after a very profitable adventure.
Using a sizable portion of his fortune, he set out to tame a small area of the Fangwood on the banks of the Tourondel River, making it a natural stop-over for those traveling up and down the river to Skelt. For the next 10 years, the town, which was then known as Kassen’s Hold, grew and prospered.
All that changed when Asar Vergas came to Kassen’s Hold with a host of mercenaries under his command. Asar was an old companion of Ekat, and the two had traveled together for some time before splitting up after their last adventure. Over the years, Asar became sure that Ekat had cheated him after that adventure. Promising great wealth to his mercenaries, Asar raided the town relentlessly for 2 months. Finally, the townsfolk managed to locate Asar’s camp in an ancient crypt deep in the forest, and Ekat himself went out to deal with his old companion.
The battle was terribly bloody, with only a few townsfolk coming back to tell the tale. In the end, Asar was slain and his mercenaries scattered, but Ekat suffered a mortal wound. He died 2 days later, on the 11th day of Neth, 4535.
In honor of their beloved founder, the townsfolk buried Kassen in the ancient crypt, interring his bones in a place of honor, above the simple sarcophagi used to inter Asar, his mercenaries, and the townsfolk that lost their lives in the bitter struggle. They placed an eternal flame above Kassen’s final resting place, so that all who visited might find warmth in the wilderness.
After the defeat of Asar Vergas and the death of Ekat Kassen, the surviving townsfolk drew closer together in mourning – and in pride at what they had come together to accomplish. Old feuds were forgotten for a time, and the traditional Nirmathi independence of spirit bent to an appreciation of what the community as a whole could do. As the generation that had fought alongside the paladin aged, however, they were unhappy to see their children and grandchildren falling back into old habits, holding grudges that drew lines of division in the town, now simply called Kassen, and disregarding the hard lessons of community that their forebears had paid for in blood. The town elders came together to devise a way to convince the youngsters of the benefits of working together, and so the Quest for the Everflame was born.
Once in each generation, generally every five to seven years, the young adults of the town participate in a coming-of-age ritual that recreates the quest of Ekat Kassen and his followers into the wilderness. On the late autumn day that marks the anniversary of the day Kassen set out on his last march, the chosen young townsfolk gather in the square and are solemnly sent off with a lantern from the Greathall, to light it at the eternal flame in the crypt of the fallen paladin and bring it back to town to be preserved through the cold winter, a symbol of the town’s history and resilience. What happens while the fledgling adventurers are away is a secret closely guarded from the younger residents, but when they return a few days later, the town holds a great celebration in their honor, using the fruits of the year’s final harvest. Those who return with the lantern are hailed as the heroes of Kassen and are henceforth viewed as fully-grown citizens, marking the end of any apprenticeships. The Quest of the Everflame celebration, therefore, is often the background for engagements and weddings, as well as land and business transactions as the heroes prepare to enter adult life.
Although most of the inhabitants of Kassen have gone through the Quest for the Everflame, all seem to have taken an oath not to tell anyone uninitiated what exactly is involved in the ritual. Most adults only smile secretively when asked by a child. If approached during the Quest of the Everflame celebration, returning heroes are equally non-forthcoming; some will rumple the children’s hair and tell them not to worry about it, while those more fond of the limelight will spin wild tales about wrestling trolls or defeating squadrons of orcs from Belkzen. Every child in Kassen seems to know of a vague and distant relation some generations ago who died during the quest, but as their own time approaches, the adolescents grow more dismissive of the dangers, rolling their eyes and declaring it’s only some lame trick of their parents that couldn’t possibly be all that interesting. After that, most young people are too busy in apprenticeships and jobs and courtships to give much thought to the ritual.
The year is now 4709 AR, 174 years after the death of the town’s namesake, and the town’s Mayor has decreed that a group of youngsters will again make the pilgrimage this year. There are still a few days until a decision is made of who will be bestowed this great honour.
Our story begins on the banks of the Tourondel River a mile or so out of town, where a group of young friends enjoy some down time, each one pondering their chances of earning their place in Kassen’s history…