The Fallen Skies

In Desriador

Having traveled by magic portal from the keep in the Chertwall, the party find themselves in the Dragonborn ruled city of Desriador.
Tolan, after using an arcane ritual to gather information and intelligence on Desriador, led the party to an inn called the Thorny Crown in the neighborhood called the Gardens. He spent a good ten minutes at the door to the inn, making eye contact with all present, before finally giving the all-clear and entering. Rooms were procured quickly. The Thorny Crown is managed by a husband and wife team and is quiet and slightly upscale. The patrons tend to be merchants who deal in linens, cloth and other fine goods for sale in the market of the Gardens. They were able to provide Tolan, for a small extra cost, with access to a basement workshop.
The undercity of Desriador is comprised of 5 neighborhoods. The Wet is an area that was once a lake- it is now a maze of homes and workshops for craftsmen employed by the Seven Clans above. The streets of the Wet are generally flooded most of the time, and the further one goes west into the ruins, the deeper and colder the water gets.
The Gardens were once the parks and gardens kept by the rulers of Sochester. Now sunlight filters down through cleared rubble from the plaza above. The Gardens are connected to the surface by the main thoroughfare out of the undercity, past a strong Dragonborn fortification.
Between the Gardens and the Wet lies the neighborhood called the Warrens. The ruins of the Sky Keep intermingled with the houses and buildings of Sochester have become inhabited again by those who sheltered here under the Dragonborns’ protection. Many who dwell here will make the daily trek through the Gardens to work on the fields or plantations maintained by Desriador outside the city. Some will clamber up one of the 4 great Stairs through the Sky Keep into the Towers of Desriador where they work as servants or agents of the Seven Clans.
North of the Warrens is the Pit. The Dragonborn clans maintain fighting pits on the surface here, and the underworld of the Warrens has moved gradually into the ruins below the Pits. They are said to service the fighting pits above as well as relay certain merchandise that would not be permitted transit under the watchful eye of the Clans. Many goblins, minotaurs and other non-human troops of the old Sky Tyrants have taken up residence in this area as they were pushed out of the Warrens.
The last neighborhood in the undercity is simply called the Holes. This is a slum and dark prison beyond the Pit, where those with no hope or employment may find themselves lost.

Into the Chertwall

After an interesting conversation with the old man at the bone pile, the party went to sleep, camping rough beneath the cloudy sky. The closer they were to the old man’s campfire, the less impacted they were by cold and rain…leading Tolan and Cirindal to suspect a powerful ritual magic at use.
Later in the night, they were awoken by the old man who stood now clad in old fashioned Cathmerean legionaries armor, and commanded them to ready themselves, and to stand against that which was coming.
As lightning flared overhead and pale mist began to leach from the bonepile, the heroes took their places, readying themselves against the presence they felt pushing out from the Shadowfell, testing their resolve to stand and hold.
First came three tall men wearing crowns and masks of beaten gold and clad in shimmering mail, bearing long ash-shafted spears, who stalked forward from the mists to stand proudly before Tolan, gazing down upon him from their regal heights.
Son of our sons, the Circle Unbound yet sits silently and unheeded. Carry word if you can that the Veil is again joined and the souls of the Lost cry out to the Unfound, raising a chorus to the Saints and the Old Green Gods. An Enemy of Myriad and Legion stirs the Forgotten Realms; the pride of the Fey fades and only Children of Anurayak will face the Invaders. Decide if you shall yield the way or defend the Ancient Foe.
Turning, they took up positions of guarding before fading into the mist.
Then a strange, tall humanoid figure bearing short rods, cloaked in green and grey moved to stand momentarily before Xandfere, leaning to whisper to him before shrugging and stalking past to vanish into mist.
Four young children, leaped and tumbled out of the mist to take up position about Nivek, circling him, and watching warily over their shoulders. They seemed to call out to him, before bloody wounds began to appear on their small bodies and they collapsed to fade into the earth.
Four warriors with green covered shields then marched forth to stand and salute Hengest. Again, their words went unheard before they turned to face the now palpable sense of dread coming from the bone pile.
Finally, a lone Eladrin noble, clad in finest courtly garb, strolled to stand before Cirndall, and his words were clearly heard.
You are not the Thief, though you bear the taint of his teaching. You will find him soon for his enemies, both ancient and recent, seek to find their way here. When you do, you will return to me that which he took. I can find you now and can take your soul for mine when I choose. Now, a taste of that which hunts us all and seeks to return to the forests around Mithrendain. Do not let it pass.
As he spoke, he looked sadly over his shoulder where now a giant skeletal dragon, formed as if from smoke and ash, clawed madly at the Veil Between the Worlds. The Eldadrin Prince faded, leaving the scent of pine and grave-ash in his wake.
Four giant skeletal forms took shape at the feet of the dragon and lurched down the bone pile, as they old man called upon the heroes to defeat this foe, as he would stand in their stead!
The battle was furious, but the combined martial prowess and magical skills of the Flaybridge Five quickly shattered the skeletons, somehow cancelling the ritual that the dragon was casting and preventing that creature from crossing over.
The Old Man healed the party wounds, gifted them with small rewards and relayed the words that had gone unheard.
To Xandfere: Apprentice—vengeance is not the path. Victory is but the instance before the next defeat. The Ways are opened and our Homes await. Beware the…
To Nivek: Last of our Five, Last of our Fist. Death is not a stranger nor should he be feared. The Old Masters stir in their hiding places and call out for Service; forget your oath! Foreswear the Vow! Live for those of us who are Fallen. Fight for those who can hear the Voice! Forgive the Unforgiven and Beware the Caller in the Dark.
To Hengest: Brother! Have you seen the Captain? The Giants come and bring with them the deviltry of Lies and Magic. We need his guidance and his commands. The Saints called and he took his place but what of us who always fought beside him? There! The Giants, the come and they bring enough for all!
In the morning, after much discussion and conversation with the old man, and secure in their knowledge that the Veils were open now, the heroes turned their horses towards the Chertwall to the south and rode hard for the hills.
Arriving at the foot of the ridge, they could make out the remnants of the ancient fortifications that ringed the central valley of the Chertwall, where the old mines had been. Tolan relayed that the fortifications pre-dated the Cathmerean Empire, but had been strengthened and added to by which ever power controlled the hills. At either end, east and west, were said to be great towers and gatehouses, enchanted and warded by the Sky Tyrants themselves. As the party began to ride westward at the base of the ridge, they began to note sections of the hilltop walls that had been destroyed or had fallen.
Leaving their horses, more or less secured, in a copse of trees, the heroes began the hard climb up the Chertwall ridge. Scrambling over scree and fallen rock, pulling themselves up short cliff faces, they managed to reach the base of the wall near a large hole that they presumed had been made during the Giant War. As Xandfere ghosted up to the wall to scout, and the others puffed and wheezed after the long ascent, the expected ambush occurred. Ogres, goblin archers and hobgoblin witchery did not stand long against the onslaught as Tolan lay down a cloud of poison gas, Hengest lent martial aid about the field, Xandfere slew from the shadows, Nivek flew to the wall top and beat the archers down, and Cirindal cut down any foe brave enough to face him.
Looking past the wall into the valley below, they saw to the west a keep from which flew the Crescent Moon banner matching the heretical sigil of the followers of Lars di Meravayn, and presumably where the missing churchmen were being held. To the east, just nearly out of sight were the towers and gatehouses, with a large army of what were presumed to be hobgoblins camped out.
The hilltop wall circled the valley, some 15 miles in length, and 5 to 7 miles across. Spires of rock were connected to the hilltop defenses by arching bridges, held aloft by ancient design and magics. The heroes would need to travel eastward to a tower and bridge connected to a lower spire, around which they could just pick out a circling staircase down to a lower plateau from which another arching bridge might give access to the Meravayn Keep. Their course was set.
Bridge 1
< Tower and crossing to inner spire.
Bridge to keep
From spire to Meravayn Keep >

Camping at the Bonepile

Having returned to Saxenford for their rewards, and a surprise enobling, the heroes discovered the disappearance of Canon Camifray. What is even more dreadful is that the Instrumentality of the Night he had been studying has also disappeared. Further investigation revealed that Camifray was last seen in the company of a pair of Fenrisian knights who had sought his aid in investigating heresy amongst their brethren. Camifry, Canon Merton and Vicar Holder from Fuilache, were drafted into investigating the heresy amongst the Fenrisian settlers of Westmarch; all three were aware of the Instrumentality and the plots uncovered.
On the way to Westmarch, the heroes encountered yet another strange portal a-birthing to the Shadowfell. Though it was yet unformed, it solidified their unease at the fact that some strange Fey/Shadow war was being rekindled, and Cirindal seemed to be involved.
A brutal and nearly overwhelming hobgoblin ambush was defeated, but not before Tolan Medrash, the Knight Magus of Flaybridge, was felled with grievous wounds. Luckily, moments before death, Nivek the Dragonfist managed to force a healing draught down the plucky wizard’s throat staving off his one way trip to the Shadowed-land and beyond to the realms upon which the One God’s Eye has never fallen.
In Westmarch, the heroes were greeted and welcomed by Count Magnaur of the White Swan who offered them food and shelter and heard their tale. He, having but lately survived an assassin’s dagger, was able to share his own concerns about a Fenrisian former priest, Lars di Meravayn,who had taken some followers south to refuge in the Chertwall from whence they planned to turn to brigandage and slaughter. Count Magnaur proved to be a nobleman who was trying to create a safe haven for his exiled followers and had rejected Lars di Meravayn’s plots. There was some suspicion raised that di Meravayn was working with a certain violet eyed dwarf…
Count Magnaur gifted Xandfere, the Hidden-blade, with a powerful artifact which he believed to be the long-lost, and damned, Tooth of Fenris. It was this blade that the assassin had used against the Count and very nearly drained his life completely. With this dagger in hand, Count Magnaur was certain, and pleased, that the Knights of Flaybridge could bring di Meravayn and his followers to their rightful doom before any further innocents were hurt. Our heroes hope to find the missing churchmen in the Chertwall with di Meravayn’s traitorous knights.
On their way towards the Chertwall, our heroes turned aside to investigate an odd mound that rose out of the flat plain. The mound turned out to be a large pile of bones, near 40’ high, nestled amongst the ruins of a forgotten town. Here they encountered an old, old man who was engaged in carving the Names of the Dead onto granite stellae, and claimed that at night the shades came forth to whisper their secrets to him. He hinted at something powerful trying to cross over and our heroes decided, as it was late in the day, to camp with the old man, drink some tea, and see what would develop.

The Library has been Taken

The brave heroes have fought their way past nasty traps and vile monsters to gain access to the hidden library of Eth’yk Zakfaern, located within a Sky Tyrant hunting retreat in the hills to the east of Saxenford.
The gravest threat faced was a terrifying undead beholder! After defeating this monstrosity, the party chased the southron necromancer, Tethyrian Vor, down through a strange elevator room the hidden library deep, deep within the earth.
The battle with Tethyrian and her undead minions was long, as the heroes were exhausted and short on resources. Any mis-step was likely to lead to death and total defeat. Luckily, their superior numbers and command of martial, arcane and psionic skills over-whelmed the necromancer and she fell. Even in death, she attempted to pass her spirit on to continue the battle in the hollow shells of her two Dreadguard Warriors. Sadly, for the forces of evil and darkness, these two also fell before the onslaught of the heroes.
In the library, they were able to recover many lost books and scrolls; knowledge and writing that dated back to the early eras of the Cathmerean Empire. Other works were stolen from far off Morrigain. And of course, the rare gem was also found— scholarly works written by the learned of the Sky Tyrants themselves. This was verily a treasure trove for scholars and sages!
Amongst the lore recovered:
The Diary of Tethyrian Vor
On the Keeping, Training and Dominating of Dragons: Only half a dozen ripped and torn pages were found of this tome, all seeming to be connected to the controlling of dragons upon waking…
A Manual of Planes: a tome again written in the language of the Sky Tyrants
The Lineage of Lor’hazak: A Cathmerean tome listing the crimes of Unsainted heretics in the Norlandian domains of the Cathmerean empire, including locations of secret temples destroyed by the Imperial forces.

Journal 2, Entry 4

I have been ignoring my journal, I’ve been too tired most nights to write anything down.
We’re come south pursuing the dwarf, looking for a hunting lodge he used. We’ve fought Kenku, and most recently an Owlbear.

It was unbelievably fast for something so big, this horrible beast combines the raw strength and power of the noble bear with the merciless hunting instincts of a bird of prey. Were it not for the fey powers of Cirindal I’m sure the beast would have torn me in two.
I suspect I would rather do battle with Giant-kin than face another such beast, for the thing held no fear of fire or weapons, only an endless blood-lust.

The creature stood some 12’ tall, and it’s claws could strike well beyond the reach of a man or elf with a sword. It’s thick fur and hide absorbed blows that would have sundered Plate armor, and it’s terrible screech was deafening at close range.
Altogether unpleasant and to be avoided in the future.
Most folklore regarding owls as omens of death can be trace back to these horrible fey beasts.

Recalling an entry in my masters copy of the “Blodeuwedd Wilds” I removed the fur and feathers from it’s right claw and dripped 4 drops of my blood on the paw. I then cast a magelight on the paw. The blood soaked into the hide and after a moment revealed a fey spell, which appears to be aspected to the winter court! I have copied the spell into my spellbook and find myself eager to test it’s efficacy.

I am worried that the more I use the destructive magics I’ve learned, the more I look forward to doing so again. Perhaps that’s what the dragonborn priest meant when he called me a slayer.


A Review and some Tales

Having survived their encounters with goblins,lycanthropes and brigands, Tolan, Cirindall, Nivek and Zandfere returned to civilization, collecting their rewards from the Factor of Harm. Travelling to Saxenford, they spent a few days relaxing, shopping, and enjoying some peace and quiet. Finally, they decided to act upon the information given to them by the priest in Fuilache, to pursue knowledge of hidden shrines to the Unsainted and to track down the vile dwarf kidnapper, Ulforrs Brighteyes.
A quick journey to Lokri and a meeting with Canon Camifray of the Chapel there resulted in a new objective. Camifray is reputed to be an expert on the Unsainted and other heresies of the Church, although he feels his knowledge pales in comparison to that of Brother Nails of Grammercy. Camifray related how he apprenticed with a Sky Tyrant map-maker and scholar before the Fall, and how this Cartographer had maps and lore related to the Unsainted in Norlandia, which was stored in a secret library at a Hunting Reserve, which Camifray believes is located in the hills east of Saxenford, above the ruined villages of Galewick.
Leaving Camifray with a strange artifact to study, our heroes rode back through Saxenford and took the trail to Arrayn, with the intention to cross the River Flay and follow it to the confluence with the Gale River, then follow the Gale to the ruins of Galewick and then find the tributary leading to a waterfall beside which the Sky Tyrants had built a hunting lodge. Even then, this sounded easier than it would be.
At the ferry over the Flay, near the ruined town of Flaybridge, they stumbled upon a crow-man plot to steal the ferry. Tracking these creatures, known as kenku and probably descendants of prey released by the Sky Tyrants, to their lair in ruined Flaybridge, our heroes wreaked bloody vengeance upon them.
Continuing their journey, they encountered a young elf named Luthan who begged a boon of Cirindall, the Eladrin of the Autumn Court. Luthan and his tribe had lately been plagued by a vile owl bear and had been driven from their refuge. Luthan had sought the aid of various mercenaries and adventuring types, but they had met defeat. Now he begged for aid from the Eladrin Cirindall, a plea that resonated with Cirindall’s ancestral title of Seneschal of the Autumn Court.
The Owl Bear proved to be a vicious, wild creature. Cirindall had a brief encounter with a gnomish woman, stranded from the Feywild, who was hiding in a tree. What was worse, a band of thieving kenku and their pet cockatrice lurked nearby to salvage and scavenge off the fallen. The magic of Tolan, and the martial prowess of Cirindall, Nivek and Zandfere soon brought these villains to justice.

Luthan’s Tale

I am the eldest of my tribe and I have only seen 22 summers. I apologize for misleading you but we have learned that we cannot trust everyone we meet. My grandmother told me tales of when my people were kings over this land, before the Kornish men came. Then we served the Autumn Court before the Sky Tyrants came. Then we were slaves before the Fall. After this we were free with only our parents’ parents to teach us. We hid in the wilds and stayed alive.
Last year, the Half-Elven came and talked of reclaiming our places as kings of this land. Ashamed I am that my elders listened and aided Tethyrian Vor. Our greed and ambition blinded us to her evil. The dwarf with the violet eyes came at her side, and in one night of blood slew our tribe. I fled with the youngest and we have for the last six months hid in the vale where the owl bear recently laired. There are 15 of us, and you have shown me bravery and valiance in battle. You have shown me honour and I will lead my tribe out of the wilds— we will go to the Autumn Court and seek refuge there, outcasts no more.

Offa’s Tale

I’m Offa, daughter of Ferrath, arcanist of Ebayan’s Tower. I was traveling to Mithrendain when I “sensed” a gate in the veil open nearby. I was curious since no gates in the veil in these parts..err, in those parts, had been open for nearly 20 years. I could not help myself and went to examine it, leaving my traveling companions behind. It was small, surrounded by feystool mushrooms— a natural opening in the veil! Not one made by intellect or art! Really quite astounding. As I probed it, I must have come to close and I found myself here…and already I knew the gate was ill. Before I could turn to return, that…that…owl bear charged me. I threw what little defense magic I could at it and then ran for my life… I ended up in that tree for three days…watching it circle the vale and then coming to shriek at me. In those three days, I could see the decay and death grow from the gate… not right, not natural…
Come, I’ll show you the gate! Wait. It was here. It is gone… no, sense of the Feywild here anywhere. THERE! See that mound…of bones…that is where it was.
Now—how do I get home?

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.

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.

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.

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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