Well, now I know know why Master Bruyard never had a familiar! I returned from settling Xandfere in a cot in the kitchen to find my dragon happily burning & eating my first journal. I managed to save my first two entries and my transcriptions of Lil’Joe’s story & Seargent Thurlow’s report – but the rest are lost.
Rather than re-write it all I’m going to summarize and start fresh.
We escorted the facto rof Harm into the woods and he successfully made his deal with the lumber camps. In our travels we were joined by Xandfere, who was recommended too us by Dorian the Green, the wizard/ranger advisor to the Thane of Fuilache (Aether the bastard).
Xandfere is looking for 3 of Ulfors Brighteyes’ former followers, including Cabal Tor, an there were rumors Cabel was in the lumber camps.
Arriving at the camps we discovered Cabel Tor had recruited others to loot some ancient ruins deep in the Aching Forest. After the factor was happy we took out leave & tracked down the ruins. We found the remnants of a camp & one Survivor (Lil’John). We slew many creatures that Cirindall identified as Xivorts, twisted descendants of a fey-born folk called gnomes, who were servants of the Fomorian in their war against Mithrendain and the Eladrin cities. Those loose upon the world will find dark places to hide in and are often enslaved by more fell and powerful fey creatures. They use poison & hit/run tactics, and had at least one spell caster whoss magic drew upon the powers of the Shadowfell.
We recovered a decent amount of treasure from the ruins, including a spellbook which I have begun to study, and a suite of enchanted relics from the elder kingdoms. We also ran afoul of disease-bearing stirges, and all became quite sick. We returned to Fuilache to rest, be healed and frankly escape the haunted woods for a time (ghosts of Seven Start Sept elves kept visiting our camps). Cirindal vanished while “fey-stepping” upon our return home, and the arcane traces of his traveling created a rather excessive etheric disturbance. Very troubling.
The local priest there suggested we see Canon Mertyn in Saxenford, as apparently he has information about hidden shrines of the Unsainted we discovered south of Fuilache.
Nivek and Xandfere continued asking around about Ulfor Brighteyes and Cabel Tor, and rumors hinted they might be working with a group of bandits out east. I’m not sure of all the details – for franklly I was still feeling quite ill from the aftereffects of the treatments to alleviate the Stirge-sickness, but somehow we agreed to aid the Factor of Harm again.
I’ll lay it out as concisely as possible, (insofar as I understand the situation):
- A Local bandit lord (nicknamed “the Ogre”) has kidnapped the Factor of the “king” of Arryn.
- The our “very good friend” the Factor of the “king” of Harm has agreed for some strange reason to pay the ransom to get his rival released. (He’s either a complete idiot or an evil genius.)
- Our “very good friend” hired us to help pay the ransom & escort the Factor of Arryn to safety.
Xandfere and Nivek seem to think the Ogre’s men might be sheltering Cabel Tor or Ulfor, and that’s why they want us to go along.
- The Ogre will meet with us an an Inn off in the wilderness, where we & two of the factor’s men will wait with a chest of gold(ransom) along with a couple of the Ogre’s men (who would already be at the Inn) while the Ogre goes off to get the prisoner.
Frankly I wish we’d just headed back to Saxonford.
So – we arrived at the Inn, saw the bandit’s horses in the stables, go inside & the grossly fat Inkeeper and two slutty looking serving girls offer us food & drink. We ask after the men we’re supposed to meet (I’m already getting a bad feeling that the Ogre’s men are not in the common room waiting on us) and the Inkeeper says there are no other travelers staying at the Inn.
We don’t buy it – try pushing out way into the back and the serving girls slough off their human skins to reveal their true rat-faces. The inkeeper roars and pulls out a huge Axe as he sembles into boar-shape.
The creatures go down hard (as we have no silver weapons with which to strike them down).
The Common room is a mess, the remains of the the bandits we’re supposed to meet are in the stew-put, and Xandfere appears to have been poisoned in the fight. I’ve given him what purgatives I had with me, he’s sleeping now in the back room.
I have a bad feeling about this exchange with the Ogre. Nivek, the factor’s guards & I have searched the rooms to ensure no-one else is here & cane up with the shape-shifters cache of loot (including a magic sword that should please Xandfere when he wakens).
Once I’ve secured the new journal and the rest of my books from my familiar I’m going to prepare another dose of the purgative, on the off chance that Xandfere needs another dose.
Hmm I should take some hair and blood samples from the shifters as well, they’ll be useful ingredients for any transformative rituals or potions.
Tolan, in an Inn in the middle of nowhere.