The Fallen Skies

Journal 2 Entry 3
Goblins, Innkeepers

Some of the Earls Scouts have happened by to report that a large war-band of goblins is massing in the area – the bulk of the tribe is likely moving elsewhere, but they send off raiding parties.

With out luck they will be coming here. We’re better off defending this place, as we can’t get to any other shelter before nightfall. Did I not say earlier that I wish we’d just gone to Saxonford.

With any luck though we’ll be able to kill a few of the evil, murderous little fiends.
______________________________________________________________________________________________
Spent some time searching & securing the Inn – discovered the Innkeeper & family held prisoner in the cellar. Unfortunately they’re now about to be attacked by Goblins.
They help us secure the windows and doors, then hole up in the kitchen while we put up some makeshift defenses outside. It’s hard to plan when we don’t know where they will come from, and when they can see in the dark and we can’t.

The hardest part is the waiting for nightfall, so we cut stakes, make torches and prep a huge bonfire.
______________________________________________________________________________________________
What a brutal fight – goblins on wolves with axes, foot soldiers running everywhere, javelins being hurled out of the darkness. Even with our torchlight it was hard to see hit them in the shadows. I managed to escape wounding, but Cirindall and Nivek are both quite battered by the assault, as is Hengest.
It was exhilarating & terrifying all at once, and it’s not over.Some escaped, and we can hear them out there in the darkness, hooting & screaming, massing for another attack. Hengest has gone to check on Xandfere, and see if he’s recovered enough to join us. Then I must rest & prepare my spells for the next wave.
Goblins

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Journal 2, Entry 2
Return from the Wild, Anatomy of a Shifter

Cirindall has returned.
There was another ripple in the veil and he appeared in the courtyard of the Inn, weary and slightly confused.
Apparent he was dragged fully into the realm of the feywild and from there into the Shadowfell, and then here. In one step he has traveled across two realms and leagues! Mere hours seem to have passed for him, yet he has been gone for days.
He received some sort of warning of danger from the Shadowfell, mention of an ancient race of giants called the Formorians, and he mentioned beast-lords whose descriptions seem to match those we found in the ruins in the Aching Forest.
I’m troubled by this – when the Sky Tyrants fell the veil between our realm and the outer worlds was sealed to prevent the Tyrants return. We’ve seen incursions by the Fell Taints, the Xiovart shadow-shapers and now Cirindall’s mad journey.
I’m concerned the relic I carry in my pack might be part of this weakening – it’s said there were 99 Instrumentalities, what if this one was not the only one activated – could they be weakening the veil?
Something to research when we return to civilization. For no we have to get food & drink into Cirindall and explain the situation.

Oh – this Inn – it’s an old Tyrant way-station that’s been converted. The back half burnt down years ago and is just piles up against the rear “wall”. It sort of looks like a someone built an Inn into a Hillside.

Shifters are interesting – their internal organs, even their muscles seem to transform to accommodate their form. The bones look like they stretch, break and almost instantly heal when they semble. All the organs are fresh, and frankly look like those one finds in calves and kids – fresh and pink. I would imagine that their life-span could be incredibly long.
Tolan
WereratWereboar

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Journal 2, Entry 1
Hungry Familiars, annoyance factors, Inns in the Middle of Nowhere

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.

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Lil' Jo's Story

Li’l Jo relates some of his story and shares as much about Cabal Tor’s actions as he can. He is grateful for not being murdered and for being brought to the enchanted sanctuary where his wounds begin to heal rapidly. By morning he is able to walk, and he offers to accompany you all on your further foray into the tunnels, for a small wage or share in treasure, or he is more than happy to climb to the surface and await you all there. He would appreciate the company on the hike back to civilization…
Lil jo

I was working at Eldon’s camp with Cabal, Wonda, Virgil, Thorgist, and the Caldur brothers. It was ok work, but hard, and Eldon was in no hurry to pay us out rich. Me and Virgil came down from northwest of here. Our folk were veterans of the Sky Tyrant’s Bluesteel Legion, and our folk stood against the giants and the Woden-hounds when the fall came— we grew up in the Legion fort and did our time for Captain Asmor— but Virg’ had a problem with a girl, so we traveled. We never took to the brigand trail like a lot of others did, but we stood up when pushed…you know how it goes. We fell in with Thorgist a while back out west at Ailsbury and Thorgist suggested we come east to Saxenford where he had kinfolk. We saw lots of folk settling and farming and Virg’ and I decided to get some coin so we could buy a farm, legal like and protected.
The three of us been working for Eldon best part of the season, that was where we met Cabal Tor. He was full of stories that one, and scary to boot. He was from north of the great forest and claimed to have been a Red Fist hunting the elf-folk for the Directorate before the Fall. I don’t know as I believe him as he’s not that old, but he’s got the right kind of cruel for that. He told us about the raiding his gang did out west, hitting the settlers and what-not. I said to Virg’ that men like Cabal Tor were why we needed the coin to buy in a legit farm with a lord or militia, not to set out on our own. The women at the camp sure liked Cabal, though, and he took up with Wonda the cook pretty quick.
We all decided to come here when the brothers, Morphy and Jerrol, came into camp with the silver and jewel plates they’d found. Digging up silver from an old ruin seemed like easier work than chopping timber for ol’drunk Eldon, and with enough of us going, it didn’t seem like too much danger. Hunh…laugh now, I guess.
We set up our camp, as you found, and didn’t have too much trouble at first. Some wolves came prowling by but we showed ‘em off. Morphy and his brother had already done some scouting around and warned us off crumbled court. While some of us started digging into the hole they’d found near the statues, a few of the lads from down south went mucking into the ruins in the swamp. They lost a lad to a great water lizard; don’t recall his name. They also said they’d seen things moving in the woods over that way… elf ghosts or goblins or what have you. Whatever they were, they didn’t trouble us and we stayed on our side of the river.
The hag hole was a shock, but Morphy and Jerrol said that if we stayed away we’d be good. Was it Gantnor or Eirena who said they saw the hag down there, don’t remember…but, aye, just like in the tales, an old, withered witch woman. They said they weren’t spotted and we waited for the hag to come grab our souls but she didn’t and we kept digging until we got into the old rooms. We didn’t get far before those little blue bastards cut into us. Jerrol and Morphy went down first, netted and gutted while the rest of us were fumbling with our gear. I can still hear their screams as those little bastards dragged ‘em away and butchered them. I ended up with Virgil and Cabal Tor down that passage where you found me. We ran into more of them at the orange pool, and once I went down, Virg’ said he’d hold the hall while Cabal dragged me out to safety. Bastard, tucked me into that dead end and took off. Said he’d get help. Said he had something to offer the hag, like in the stories,… knew he’d found something he wasn’t sharing. I was bad, poison in my veins, but I held out and I saw your lights… Don’t know what happened to the others… you all say they’re dead, eh? Should have stayed to tree chopping…
Cabal Tor, he was full of talk. He was curious about Asmor’s Hold but he talked more about joining his friends in the Uldthain Hills or checking out stories of the Unseen Queen… all places that would offer refuge to a murdering bandit like him, I suppose. He did talk about his old gang and how they ran afoul of the Silent Men…(here Li’l Jo gazes at Xandfere for a moment before continuing) and how he’s going to avoid mad dwarven types as long he lives…and he said that is why he ain’t never going to Grammercy.
That’s about all I know…

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Sergeant Thurlow's Report

As requested, by the order of Thane Anders, I am setting down the events of yesterday on paper to be sent to his grace, Earl Alther.
I am Thurlow, Sergeant of Fuilache, and veteran of the giant war. I stood the wall at Fuilache when the Skullcleaver raged, and I did not fall back from the gate. I’ve fought the goblin raiders and held against the cursed magic of the Barrow-Lord. I am a veteran and I stand by my word.
Thane Anders commanded my squad to travel down the road to Saxenford and find the ruined farmstead of Holgrid White; from there we were to seek out and destroy the nest of giant ants found by the mercenaries in the employ of the Factor of Harm. My lads were confident about our ability to handle some big bugs, particularly if the three mercenaries had been able to raid the nest and escape unscathed. I will say, I was a bit relieved to have the three join us, as they could give us a hand and some information on what we’d find.
The mercenaries were a strange lot. An Eladrin of the Autumn Court, very skilled with sword and his fey magics. A brawler from Grammercy, I think he said, who we laughed at when he said he went into battle with naught but his fists; none of us laugh at him now. And a stick of a lad from Saxenford who is a wizard of the old ways; he’s young, aye, but brave, and now gathering a fine collection of scars.
The mercenaries had us search around the farmstead and copse of trees for some old ruins, but finding naught, we cleared our way to the ant hill. I’ve seen strange things in my life, but an ant hill standing near 20’ up, and wider than a wagon at the top, was new. This was my first clue that things weren’t going to be easy.
As soon as we entered, with rope and torches ready, we were attacked. Flying critters, thankfully not fully grown, or at least not as big as the burrowing ants from the ground, attacked almost as soon as we started roping in. We found that the tunnels were trapped with collapsing floors, dropping us into acid filled pits. And the ants would swarm along the ceilings to drop on us unaware, or burrow up through the ground to take us from behind.
We set up a cordon around the rope, and left two men there to guard it. And a good thing we did, for it became a safe place to evacuate the wounded.
I have witnessed heroism and the valor of soldiers, but seeing how Nivek and the Eladrin, Thornquill, fairly flew about the small tunnels and caverns was something I’d never seen. As soon as one of my troop was hard-pressed or in danger of falling, one of those two would be there, to take up the slack and drive the ants back. And the wizard, casting flames about, shaking the ground and driving, always driving, the ants back into the dark. His magic did make my skin crawl at times, but no more than the glee that Nivek the Stonefist took in smashing ants to pulp with his bare hands— ants whose shells kept our spears and arrows at bay.
We finally fought through to a cavern that Tolan the Wizard said was the Hive Queen’s chamber. I and three of my troopers were still on our feet, and ready to give good account of ourselves. Battle was joined almost immediately and my troop and I, shamed I am to report, were overwhelmed by the Queen’s acid spray.
We won this battle, I can report, due to the courage, the skill and the power of the three mercenaries. Tolan the Mage was grievously wounded, but a healing elixir fixed the hole in his guts nicely. My men and I recovered, scarred and burned, and were able to pull back to the entrance, after burning the Queen and her eggs.
I commend Thornquill, the Eladrin, Nivek the Stonefist, and Tolan of Saxenford, for the service they did. Their first foray against the ants was for coin; this second proved them to be good, honest men of valour.

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Journal 1, Entry 3
Ants, Horrors, Relics & stolen children

We followed the cries of the children down to another cavern, it’s floor pitted with deep pools of glowing green water, and a small horde of ants. We dispatched these drones & warriors more swiftly, however it was difficult not to stumble into the slimy pools in the chamber. multiple tunnels exited, but we once again followed the tunnel at which the childrens cries were loudest.

This tunnel led to a horrible chamber filled with the carcasses of the farm animals the ants had dragged back, as well as an cold, unnatural mist. The mist was generated by a stone plinth in the center of the chamber. Two more of the Fell Taints attended the Plinth, and hidden amongst the carcasses were another small horde of ants. We triumphed, though I missed the end of the battle, having been knocked unconscious by one of the warrior ants. Nivek & Thornquill found a cache of enchanted devices within the plinth, one of which was a healing potion – which they used to bring me round.

We quickly moved on through the tunnels following the childrens cries and found them in what could only be the buried remains of a old cathmeran ruin. The ant tunnel gave way to a timbered & shored up earthwork cave, which led to a small chamber where the children were held. The chamber was guarded by some sort of small stone homunculus or stonework golem – they were fast, but having been warned by the children we were able to dispatch them quickly.

We recovered all but one of the children, the youngest (Micah??) had apparently been taken by a “dwarf with purple glowing eyes” through a “glowing doorway” just before we arrived.

Thornquill & I explored the chamber & found no doors, trap doors or secret passages. The wall upon which the children had seen the door, however, still emanated traces of magic. We surmised that this dwarf had opened a temporary portal or gate to elsewhere. Neither of us has the expertise to identify where the gate led, let alone re-open it.

The chamber where the children were held was very old, containing symbols & icons of pre-Cathemeran heretic saints. A stone chest in the chamber contained more coin and an enchanted headband that allows for the translation of languages. The markings on the chest denoted it as belonging to an officer of one of the Sky-Lord directorates – though it;s hard top know how long the chest had been here. also within the chest was a bag of newly minted gold coins from Arryn.
I’m sure the Factor will be interested in hearing that.

We took along the plinth as well, I’ll have to confirm it, but I suspect it is one of the ancient Cathermeran relics referred to as “The Instrumentalities of the Night”. It is quiescent now, but while it held enchanted item within it’s secret compartment it evoked the chill mist that covered the floor of the chamber, and I suspect it may have been part of whatever dark magics called the Fell taints through the Veils into our world. Thornquill could sense an other power source similar to this nearby. I am going to suggest we return to the ant-hill to ensure no other such relics remain active.

We have continued on to town return the children to their mother, and to rest & tend our wounds.
I fear I shall not sleep well tonight, every time I close my eyes I recall the maddening whispers of the fell taints, the phantom touch of their tendrils in my mind, the pressing darkness of the earth & the horrible clicking of the ants.
Perhaps Nivek has the right of it, he was into his second bottle as I returned to my room.

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Journal 1 Entry 2
Following the Ant Trail

Ant2The farm has been ravaged by the giant ants – we found what proved to be the farmer killed during the attacks. The ants seem to have carried off or killed any livestock. A brave soul called Hengest joined us at the farm, he has some skill at healing & is obviously skilled in the martial arts. We debated immediately tracking down the ants (for a fear they may attack other farmsteads), but we decided we should report back to to the Factor as we have been paid to escort him north to the mills.
We reported back & (how I missed this I’ll not know) it appears that the farm-wife had children taken by the ants! The Factor asked us (and Hengest) to rescue the children, offering an extra 50 gold to do so, sadly the Factor only seems motivated by making a good impression on the locals.
Nivek seems especially pleased by the extra coin, though I suspect Thornquill would have attempted the rescue without additional inducement. I fear this search will have a tragic ending, for I can’t imagine the children will be alive when we find the nest.
Find the nest won’t be a problem, annts the size of ponys leave a fine trail for an eladrin tracker like Thornquill.
-————————-
The nest was..unexpected.
A mount like you’d expect, though roughly 50’ across and 20 ‘high at the center, but they’ve turned the soil to stone through some alchemical process that smaller ants don’t seem to use – though the beasts can easily dig through it. I suspect only the outer layers of the anthill is solid (perhaps a handspan?). I’ve made note that I need to keep a good distance away from my companions to make best use of my spells, both the arc of flame and thunderstaff would have been useful in the fight, but each would have caught my new companions in their effect.
Interestingly the ants appear to have been controlled by a very rare extra-dimensional creature known as a thought eater. One of a class of creatures know as Fell Taints, alien beasts that slip into our world from their home dimension to hunt. The Thought Eater, according to lore, is a rather minor scavenger in it’s home dimension, akin to a fox. In our world the bizarre looking mass of tendrils uses a psychic assault to numb the minds of it’s victims, slowing & eventually immobilizing them so that it might feed of their bodies & psychic energies. They are said to be particularly susceptible to psychic spells & most likely psionic powers. We managed to slay it with spells & weapons, though it’s extra-dimensional nature made it very difficult to hurt. I’m not sure if we slew it or if it simply retreated to it’s home dimension, as no body was left.
We’ve decided to venture down into the nest (massive hole, ringed with narrow grooves, possibly to make the climb easier for the ants – we’re using a rope.
Thought eater
-————————————————————————————
Tougher ants down here – I have to get quicker on the draw, everyone leapt into action again before I could bring to bear an arc of flame – still the magebolt serves it’s purpose.
The place seems guarded by soldier ants – much tougher, and they have a poison stinger. We’re battered & tired, but no one has received a serious wond yet – though Thornquill came close to being poisoned. We prevailed & despite all odds we’ve heard the cries of the children off in two of the tunnels. Down we go.
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Journal 1 Entry 1
Bugs at the Farm

The time has finally come, a servant of Castigation has come to the Crowned Rose to claim one of the bundles and I finally have a chance to repay our family’s debt to the Eladrin.

Thornquill is the name the warrior-mage goes by, and the bundle meant for him contains an enchanted blade. He has not been forthcoming with it’s powers, and I do not wish to pry.
He has come from the south on a nameless mission, but has readily accepted my offer of aid, so I can only guess he was told he could find allies here in Saxenford.
I introduced him to Nyvek, as the man is clearly in need to some coin, work or goal and sitting in our tavern day after day nursing an ale is not doing him much good. I hope one day Nyvek will be forthcoming as to how such a highly trained warrior came to such low station, but we all have our secrets so I will respect his silence on the matter.

Within a day of Thornquill’s arrival the Factor from Harm was in the Crowned Rose looking for the Eladrin, seeking his aid in contacting the various lumber mills in the northern reaches (the King is building boats & is seeking a good lumber contract.) He’s offered us each 25 gold to accompany him on a tour of the mills. Thornquill’s travels are taking him north to the wood anythi, so he signed on. Nyvek is only too glad to have coin again. I of course will go where the Eladrin leads until fate decrees otherwise.

A few hours from Saxonford we found a farm=wife bleeding at the side of the track. We could see smoke rising from her nearby farmstead, and she claimed the “buggins” has attacked her family.
Leaving the factor & his hired guards to help the woman, Thornquill, Nyvek & I advanced to the farm to find two burned outbuildings and 6 pony sized insects (they resembled ants) tearing at the remaining structures.

Nyvek launched himself (weaponless!) on the roof of the farmhouse to attack three of the bugs, while Thornquill & I engaged on ones on ground. Master Thornquill wields magic in a way that I’ve not seen before – channeling his magic through his swordplay. I did not have enough time to study his or Nyvek’s battle techniques & tactics as the fight went much more quickly than I would have expected. The Burning Hands spell is quite effective, but I find the summoning & controlling a fire warrior very tiring.

More later, I think Thornquill has seen someone in the ruins of the outbuildings…
T.M.

Ant

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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