Talowdale

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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First Session
Wherein the party is formed and encounters a most dread hole.

The party was hired by three villagers from Talowdale; Garth, Miriam, and Torc. The party agreed to protect the village for one year in exchange for a salary of 50GP plus room and board.

The first fight of untested adventurers

In order to pass the many checkpoints on the way to Talowdale the party hired themselves out to a merchant caravan as protection in exchange for 20SP per person. On the last night, barely a half-mile out of town the caravan was attacked by three wargs and two goblins. The party fought as individuals in a mainly disorganized fashion but were able to dispatch their foes quickly with minimal damage to the caravan.

A dungeon in the hills

The next morning the party was introduced to the village elder over breakfast and set to their task of ridding the village of goblins. The ranger was able to track the warg attack despite a tricky path and by afternoon the party was at the entrance to an old cellar in the ruins of a stone fort.

Ehlonna the bard proceeded first down the narrow stone stair identifying one trap and then turning back after determining that a long hallway laid at the bottom of the stair. The rogue disarmed the identified trap and during the debate about who would take point, Capt. Biggy attacked the trap. That attack revealed that the trip wire activated an alarm. Everyone hid for several rounds and nothing appeared to happen but the rogue heard the pitter-patter of unshod feet upon stone.

A chance encounter with a hole

The argument about who should take point began afresh and eventually What the monk decided to proceed down the stairs. Immediately there were several volunteers to follow from a safe distance. As the timid first-level adventurers suspected, the goblins had heavily fortified the entrance to their cave with traps and as What proceeded a mere five feet into the dungeon he stepped upon a painted tarp that had been laid across a 10×10x10 pit. (no spikes, no acid, no poisonous insects, no rats) What failed his reflex save and took 8 damage out of his 9 hp but survived his system shock test. The monk and cleric helped What the monk out of the pit and healed him. Next, the other monk chose to attempt to leap the pit. At a DC 10 with a couple ranks in jump this looked like the easiest task of the day. Unfortunately this easy task had significant negative consequences. The second monk fell into the hole. Captain Biggy McLarg-Huge of the Biggonites managed to jump over the hole and when he hit the ground, set off a crossbow trap. Captain Biggy then helped the second monk up on the far side and the acrobatic rogue chose the much more difficult maneuver of clinging to the wall and ceiling and inching over the hole at a greater height. Captain Biggy, tired of all this trap nonsense charged at his maximum speed down the narrow hallway setting off another three crossbow traps reducing himself to 3hp and passed his system shock test. At this point goblin archers began firing at the party from the dark end of the hall. Captain Biggy McLarg-Huge of the Biggonites in a true display of dungeoneering began attacking the darkness with his spiked anchor-chain. Sarah the fighter attempted to leap over the pit and failed, taking 9 damage out of her 10hp. The monk and cleric climbed into the hole to treat her wounds where they would be safe from the goblin archers.

By this point Ehlonna had traveled back to town and gotten a couple of boards to make a makeshift bridge over the hole. Captain Biggy McLarg-Huge of the Biggonites, alone at the end of a dark hallway, under fire by goblin crossbowmen, and having the appearance of a porcupine from the number of crossbow bolts sticking out of his sides, began loudly calling a retreat. A couple more rounds of missile fire from the goblins, combined with the fact that they were hired on salary, convinced the rest of the party that retreat was a wise option.

sleepless nights

Most of the party realized an attack from the goblins would be forthcoming that night. However the priest was out of spells for the day and the town was entirely unprotected. Ehlonna AriEr gathered up 50 or so villagers to begin setting up road blocks and bonfires. The cleric slept and prayed. The rangers and mage took a wagon load of straw down to the waterfall where the warg attack had crossed the river the previous night. Captain Biggy McLarg-Huge of the Biggonites and Ehlonna AriEr took some villagers up on the wooded ridge overlooking the village and most of the men of the village took to their roofs at the direction of the ranger.

Five goblins attempted to sneak around the bonfires using the river for cover. Two of them were killed by missile fire before making it across the river where they were slain by Ehlonna AriEr and Captain Biggy McLarg-Huge of the Biggonites.

The application of brain power

The next day saw a busy cleric using his magic and healing skill to bring the party back to fighting strength. While the healing was going on the ranger, mage, monk, and bard discussed what they knew about the goblins and decided to set a trap for them. The party had previously asked the villagers about the goblins and learned that the gobs would attack whenever there was any attempt to plant the fields. So the party split into two groups and took up positions around the goblins cave entrance and in the field with the villagers who began planting. The cleric saw a gob spy from across the field at far too great a distance to make chase. The rangers and mage around the cellar entrance saw the spy enter and waited for the first gob to stick his wrinkled green head out of the stairwell and fired on him.

The first three gobs dropped immediately, the remaining goblins passed their morale check. A thunder stone was thrown from the stairwell deafening Pythagos McTherian and the gobs began charging out of the stairwell. Another three dropped and they just kept coming. Three more goblins fell to missile fire but now there were four entering melee combat range. Pythagos McTherian stepped out of hiding and cast burning hands managing to pass his deafness check and managing to catch all four of the goblins in the plume of flame. They came away only singed but having faced so many casualty’s and suddenly being faced for the first time with a human who can make fire shoot out of his hands, the goblins failed their morale check and retreated into their dank stinking cave.

The party then summed up all their courage and ran screaming back to the village.

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Current Treasure (1st session)
Loot! loot! loot!

Coinage

270 cp 8,325 sp 3838 gp 70 pp

Weapons and Armor

15 light cross bows

150 Stone Bolts

10 short swords

26o x-bow bolts

2 small shields

8 long swords

7 poor quality splint mail

2 Splint Mail

1 Special Sword – Falchion

20 Spears

10 Alchemist’s Fire

4 Tanglefoot Bag

10 Thunderstone

5 Medium-sized Chainmail

5 Tower Shields

5 McQuedle

EXP

*600 exp before personal exp bonuses.

personal EXP bonuses

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Session 2
Wherein the Party Finds it's Feet

Youth, Cut Short.

The party returned to town from their raid on the goblin warren to discover two of Duke Staggreig’s men holding a boy prisoner. They had the youth bound by manacles to a stump and announced he would have his hands chopped off for thievery. Ehlonna AriEr shot the soldier that raised his halberd to enact the punishment and the gathered townsfolk took a collective gasp of shock. Pythagos McTherian Cast the sleep spell which knocked out both guards, the boy, and one other villager. Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites quickly bound and gagged the soldiers and Cup unbound the boy and tended to the guard who had been shot.

Hobarth Burgher expressed concern that his villagers would now face the wrath of the Duke because they would take the blame for hiring these foreigners who had shot the Duke’s men. So a plan took shape where the Duke’s soldiers would be delivered to the King’s soldiers at the checkpoint. Once there the King’s guards required a small donation to the maintenance of the highroad before they could think of a charge to hold the Duke’s men on. 10sp poorer and one conflict averted the party headed back to town.

The Fall of the Westmoon Goblins

The previous efforts of the party to rid the region of the goblins who bear the mark of the Blue Fist had resulted in a dramatic reduction of the goblin’s numbers. Only five remained. Those five were in the process of retreating from the area under cover of darkness. Ehlonna AriEr had been sent out into the fields to scout for any goblin activity and spotted them attempting to flee. She returned quickly to the village and rounded up most of the party to head out and cut them off. Cup and McRunfast stayed behind to protect the town. The party caught up with the goblins a mere 300 yards from town. Combat ensued. Four goblins were felled quickly and one was captured. The prisoner was locked up in a dog kennel in the basement of the Boar’s Rest.

The next morning, Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites tortured the goblin for information. of course goblins are not that difficult to bully so the goblin give up very much information. He translated the map and documents the party found on the body of the leader of the goblins. He told them where all the traps were in the warren, where the secret entrances to the real warren were, and about the goblins treasure.

The party grabbed an ox cart and ran out to the dungeon and retrieved the loot.

Bridge Out

Upon returning to Talowdale, the party was approached by Rothgar the Teamster that led the caravan the adventurers came to Talowdale on. He complained to the party that the bridge to the West of town was out and the Kings men refused to repair it because they were under constant attack from orks and goblins in the region. Pythagos McTherian just so happened to know engineering and offered to design and build a new bridge in exchange for 50gp from the teamsters.

The party hired several carpenters from the village and drove a cart of materials out to the site of the old bridge. Once there the party took up defensive positions and began the work of building the bridge . During the night a group of bugbears bearing the mark of the broken tooth tribe were spotted attempting to sneak up on the party in the night. The party then shot at them. The bugbears returned fire with spears. Melee combat was joined and the party emerged victorious. The carpenters returned to work and the bridge was built in record time, 32 hours. The teamsters were pleased that they could move on and unload their merchandise and so they paid happily.

Pleased with their own work the party set to carving the King’s decorative seal into the new bridge. Ingrid “The Fang” Svenson failed her forgery check and directed the carpenters to carve lions into the bridge where the King’s seal involves dragons.

A New Acquaintance

On their return to Talowdale the adventurers met their first random encounter. Wayzig Garmottin Glinpen Badgerhole Bighill Bunkpest Dalwick Handig Pilwin Ellyjotwiss the Alchemist appeared from a cloud of smoke, colored and shaped to match the appearance of his wizard mark. He is a traveling alchemist salesman and offered the party goods and services that are unavailable elsewhere. When he appraised the gems they got off the goblin leader, the XP from the value of the gems shot them up to level 5. Pythagos McTherian bought some spells to fill in his book and the party then moved on to town.

Mail and Illness

Pythagos McTherian went to the checkpoint on the highroad to inform the King’s men about the new bridge. While there he received a spell scroll and magic ring in the mail from his master. The next morning Pythagos McTherian, Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites, and Ingrid “The Fang” Svenson, all woke up with Cholera. With the help of some healing they only spent a day in the latrine.

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Session 3
Wherein the Party Begins to Discover the Size of the Enemy.

Tying up loose ends.

The party shared information and spells. They talked with the villagers about constructing defenses for Talowdale.

The party also decided that to best protect the village they must investigate the information they have about The Snakebite Forge. They also decided in order to do that effectively they must make sure that the broken tooth tribe of goblinoids was dealt with.

Newcomers

There were two new additions to the village. A potter and a baker. They brought a new energy to Talowdale sparking the beginning of the rebuilding of the south side of the village.

This Campaign is Now Incredibly Awesome

The party headed out to check on the status of the Broken Tooth tribe. Before reaching the bridge, Cup spotted a pair of deinonychus hiding in the brush on the side of the road. McRunfast cast charm animal on one of them and succeeded in his attempt to mount the animal. Causing much confusion in the other deinonychus in the pack. The party was tailed by the dinosaurs back to the bridge. Attempts to lure them out with food failed. Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites and Whuh Sdat remained behind to set a trap for the raptors while the rest of the party moved off to track the bugbears.

Whuh Sdat sat in the middle of the road on one end of the bridge while Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites hid in the bushes nearby. One of the deinonychus appeared at the opposite end of the bridge and watched Whuh. Biggy realized that the raptors were using exactly the same tactics as they were.

That moment of realization was punctuated by a surprise attack on Whuh Sdat from behind by other members of the pack. He was hit by a jumping charge and knocked prone. Whuh Sdat shoved the deinonychus off, did a kick stand to instantly get his feet, and knocked the other deinonychus unconscious with his bare hands. Biggy ran up and joined the melee only to be attacked from behind by another three deinonychus. They didn’t know and couldn’t have known the horrible mistake it was to charge a warrior who can threaten a 10’ radius. The three deinonychus took two attacks of opportunity before even reaching combat. A flanking maneuver by Whuh brought a successful end to the combat and an end to the pack of deinonychus.

Vengeance Carries a Silver Piece.

The party regrouped and pitched camp so as to covertly observe the entrance of the Broken Tooth tribe’s cave. They observed the women and children fleeing the cave. They then entered the cave to discover no resistance only treasure. Unfortunately the value of the treasure was mostly in the form of huge, one ton, basalt statues of drakes. Much of the rest of the day was spent hiring men to construct heavy carts and moving the statues back to the village. The party discovered that the statues were once destined for some royal construction project but were captured by the Broken Tooth. Pythagos McTherian sent word of the discovery to the king and bribed the captain of the checkpoint to ensure the letter would reach its destination.

A New Voyage

After much thought and some preparation the party set out East to see about this Snakebite Forge they had heard about. With two new ox carts loaded down with all their possessions and treasure and provisions for the trip they left Talowdale a mere two weeks after first arriving there.

They managed to pass the first checkpoint with forged travel documents. Hours later they heard the drumming of marching soldiers and took a moment to consider their options. The rogue scouted ahead and discovered this was a squad of Blue Fist hobgoblins.

The rangers and rogues hid and the magic users made the rest of the party invisible with magic. The hobgoblins spotted one of the rangers, halted and took up a firing line position. Whuh Sdat, displaying his lack of familiarity with magic stepped out of the area of effect of invisibility, taunted the hobgoblins and took a step back, negating the illusion and revealing the rest of the party. Pythagos McTherian let fly with a prepared fireball, incinerating six of the eleven hobgoblins, including their leader. As trained soldiers the hobgoblins calmly reformed their ranks into a skirmishing formation in order to avoid further magic and opened fire on the mage. Three bolts hit the carts and two hit Pythagos McTherian. McRunfast cast entangle on the remaining hobgoblins, entangling them. Three rounds of missile combat followed and the fight ended with Whuh Sdat knocking the last hobgoblin out with non-lethal damage.

The Party Discovers That Both John Yoo and Torture are Wrong.

The hobgoblin prisoner was tied up and interrogated. He revealed that Grom the Blue Fist had unified all the northern tribes of green-skins. He also revealed that his group was traveling to the desert to enlist the help of a dragon.

The party then took the prisoner to the next checkpoint. Pythagos McTherian asked about a bounty on hobgoblins and dumped out a sack of heads in front of the king’s soldiers. Ehlonna AriEr and Whuh Sdat objected to this. Everyone else lost 100xp for committing a chaotic evil act.

An Elf is Haughty, and the Party Arrives in Duke Staggreig’s Keep.

The party randomly encountered a traveling elf on the highroad. Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites insulted the elf. Ehlonna AriEr had a conversation with the stranger about the worrying events in the world. Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites picked the elf’s pockets and then threw his own money back at him. The elf, not wanting to get into a fight with armed and belligerent humans let the petty theft and insult slide.

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Wherein the Party Battles Groups of Foes
Well . . . Shit

Arborath

Thick McRunfast and Ehlonna AriEr purchased horsed for themselves at the marketplace in Arborath. The party also bought a chest to hold their growing horde of loot.

injustice

They witnessed atrocities of injustice at the hands of the men of Duke Staggreig. A man who was resisting being conscripted for the war effort was executed in the public square as a deserter. A boy who was accused of stealing an apple was whipped with chains by a guard.

Rumors Abound and lead to realizations

Rumors were heard that the Duke was marching his army against Norge, an ally of the King. And that the Duke’s allies were goblinoids. The party discerned that since Duke Staggreig’s allies were the northern warlords, the northern warlords have orcs among their ranks, and the hobgoblin they had captured said that The Blue Fist Orcs had unified all the northern tribes, Duke Staggreig must be allied with the Blue Fist Orcs.

Moving On

The party briefly debated the wisdom of hiring on mercenaries and equipping them with the gear they had been taking off the gobs they fought. They soon realized that with war fervor in full swing, they would be imprisoned or executed if they tried to hire any soldiers in Arborath.

The next morning the party awoke to strange silence in the city and a powerful wind from the previous nights storm. They found their way to the public square where the army was marching out of the city, headed north into the mountains and on to Norge. The party saw their friend Miriam and the men from Talowdale marching off as part of the archers brigade. The army’s ranks stretched into the thousands and the parade out of town took more than a few hours. The party decided to leave town while the whole place was focused on the army and headed out the south gate on their way to The Snakebite Forge.

Sudden Combat

Ehlonna AriEr noticed some gargoyle statues above the gate that she was sure were not there when the party came in the day before. She shot at one with her crossbow inflicting damage on the evil creature and initiating combat against 13 flying enemies.

The gargoyles flew in a figure-8 in and out of the gate of town and attacking the party members as they swooped by. Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites struck many attacks of opportunity deeply reducing the ranks of the attacking creatures. The oxen began to panic and Ehlonna AriEr calmed them with her bardic singing. Thick McRunfast remained steadfast, pivoting on the spot and firing many arrows. Cup kept everyone at full health. Shifty McPardee hid beneath a wagon and shot at the flying creatures. Whuh Sdat ran at the flying gargoyles, lept into the air, and struck the beasts out of the sky with a flurry of blows.

Trollish Fortitude

The party went south through two tolls and then headed East into Bergen. Two days into Bergen they began having a discussion regarding the nature of trollish regeneration and Whuh Sdat announced he was looking for trolls. The GM happily provided a dozen trolls to make the day complete.

In the evening on the second day Whuh Sdat saw 12 trolls 100 yards down the road.

The trolls charged. Thick McRunfast cast entangle, and many were caught. Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites and Whuh Sdat ran forward into melee. Ehlonna AriEr took the wagons and retreated. Missile fire and melee combat were exchanged for a few rounds. Two trolls were unconscious but four had freed themselves from the entanglement and six more would enter melee in the next round. Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites was injured and it looked like the tide of combat was on the side of the trolls. In the next round, the front row of fighters expected to die.

Pythagos McTherian then appeared and cast fireball into the center of the mass of stuck trolls, singing them but slaying none.

The trolls became further entrapped in the remaining effect of entanglement. The bard cast Tasha’s Uncontrollable Hideous Laughter on one of the free trolls before it could enter combat. Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites and Thick McRunfast continued to deliver upwards of 30 damage each round to two targets a piece. The party stayed spread out so the trolls could only engage one of them at a time.

Combat slogged on. 10 of the original 12 trolls were still standing. The weather turned violent again as a hail storm rolled across the darkened countryside.

Another fireball, and prodigious use of alchemist’s fire began reducing the trolls numbers. Massive damage and a growing conflagration turned the tide in the favor of the party. Cup heroically ran into harms way to deliver much needed healing.

Limbs were severed from the trolls and soon the charred road was covered with blood and writhing troll parts.

The party emerged victorious with no fatalities.

Cleanup

Thick McRunfast tracked the trolls back to their lair and after the application of strangth from the party as a group, they were rewarded with 2000gp and several gems. Pythagos McTherian also directed the removal of the troll blood for sale as a spell component when, almost miraculously, Wayzig Garmottin Glinpen Badgerhole Bighill Bunkpest Dalwick Handig Pilwin Ellyjotwiss the Alchemist appeared to buy the troll blood and trade with the party.

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Wherein the Party Has Many Encounters on the Road
Healing Draws Renoun.

Taking Stock

The party spent two days encamped at the site of the battle with the trolls dealing with its aftermath. Thick McRunfast and Pythagos McTherian were busy extracting the greatest monetary value from their victory.

Wayzig Garmottin Glinpen Badgerhole Bighill Bunkpest Dalwick Handig Pilwin Ellyjotwiss the Alchemist Appeared and this allowed the party to replenish their alchemical supplies and convert their new found wealth into much needed spells. A wizard with three spells is just a wizard with three spells regardless of what level he is. Wayzig also liberated the party from the burden of the imprisoned gargoyle and trolls blood they had so carefully extracted.

After carefully transcribing and learning new spells and arranging their inventory, the party set out again to the East.

I Failed My Save vs. Plot

The party moved into a riparian landscape and became only slightly more nervous. As they were traveling they encountered a man and woman who were refugees, and as they passed the woman went into labor. Cup lept into action shouting, “Bring me clean towels and hot water!” For which he was awarded 100xp. The various members of the party attempted to lend a hand but were mostly in the way because only the priest knows healing. Somehow it didn’t occur to them that this strategy might be putting all their eggs in one basket.

The Tides of War

During the two-day birthing, a column of Bergen solders marched past. Heading West. It took the party the rest of the day to realize that this means they were heading in the direction of Talowdale and that Bergen is allied against Duke Staggreig. Still they chose to press on East.

Congratulations!

The human refugees gave birth to a healthy baby boy. This boy was promptly blessed(?) in the name of Olidammara.

An Unpleasant Encounter With a Town.

The party at last reached the checkpoint at Thurmaster and promptly ran afoul of every person they met. In his efforts to negotiate the price of a ferry ride Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites threatened the ferryman and terrified him to the point he will have nightmares of the huge anchor, soaked in troll blood. Once inside the town, the party encountered their first example of racism on Verland. A drunken man who loudly expressed the superiority of the Angil race and disparaged those of northern or elvish dissent. The drunk was quickly pummeled by everyone in the party and only rescued by the efforts of Whuh Sdat and the town guard. The town guard turned out to be an arm of the Cartographers Guild. The local Shipping Warden took exception to two guild members raising a ruckus in his town and sent seven of his goons along with them to be sure the party did not come back to Thurmaster for at least a month. As he left town, Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites shouted an oath to not protect this piss-ant town if it falls under attack from The Blue Fist Orcs.

Fire in the Night

By the time the party reached an acceptable distance south from Thurmaster they could see fire in the distance. Pythagos McTherian cast Fly on Whuh Sdat who flew out and saw the gruesome end of a pitched battle. Hobgoblins of The Blue Fist Orcs and the forces of Bergen had done battle. All that remained were a dozen or so Hobgoblins delivering the coup-de-gras on wounded and unconscious humans. Whuh Sdat flew back with Cup, and Ehlonna AriEr followed closely behind on her war-pony.

There was not much of a fight to speak of. Whuh Sdat created a more pressing distraction for the Blue Fists then slaughtering the helpless and Cup proceeded to cast mass heal. Two rounds of this action saw 20 more human archers fully healed and the Blue Fists in rout.

I Don’t Want Her, You Can Have Her, She’s Too Fat For Me.

The soldiers attempted to swear loyalty to Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites, but he had different ideas about what his followers should look like. So the soldiers and Cup decided that it made much more sense for them to follow him since he had saved their asses. With that decided, the group of 91 soldiers performed last rights for their fallen comrades, equipped themselves anew from the battlefield and burned the gobbos.

How To Proceed?

In the morning the party pressed on south along the Churnett River and came to Milborne. Most of the soldiers from the night before were born in Milborne and asked for leave to check in with their families to deliver the news about who had lived and who had died.

The party asked around and discovered that the swamp that lies ahead is much larger than they expected and can most reliably be navigated by canoe. Which presents a problem for the three wagons and 100 followers they have amassed.

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Wherein The Party Floats Around In The Swamp
Ouch! That was my foot!

New Faces

As the party began preparing for the trip into the Snakebite swamp, Donald Oates, a paladin arrived. He rides a triceratops and has a squire. He is a paladin of Pelor.

The party reacted to the addition of a new member in the way these things usually happen; by acting as if they had always known him. Which was odd because this was a real-world introduction between strangers as well.

Rovarath the Black

The day after Sir Oates arrived a dragon buzzed the town. When Cup’s troops were beginning to assemble, some of the townsfolk on the edge of town started shouting and running, pointing up and behind them. “It’s Rovarath!” The soldiers all dropped to the ground and covered their heads. A gigantic dragon was in the North Eastern sky swooping above the fields outside of town.

Its entire body is a matte black. There are two long horns protruding forward from its forehead and extending beyond its nose. It has a long frill starting behind its head that runs down the center of its neck and back which it retracts and flares as it twists and banks in the sky.

As the dragon turned it dove gracefully toward the earth swooping down and touching the top of the tall grass, it sailed over the fields and reached down with one talon. As it did so one could tell how terrifyingly huge this monster is. Stretched out, it is half as long as Milborne. In modern terms, ts as big as a hockey rink or a garage used to store school buses.

It reaches down and scooped up three sheep in its paw and left a gouge in the earth the size of an irrigation ditch. It then flew over Milborne. Everyone but the paladin was overcome with paralyzing, pants-shitting fear as its shadow passed over the tiny town. The dragon then flew off and disappeared into the swamp.

After some investigation Donald Oates learned from the villagers that Rovarath has lived in this swamp for longer than any human settlement has existed here. Living with the dragon is like living in the foot of an active volcano. Once in a while the dragon comes to town. Sometimes he just takes some sheep, other times he hauls people from their huts and vivisects them in the town center, or he will just knock down all the buildings. Its capricious and evil and destructive.

The Outer Swamp

The party learned that those that travel too far into the Snakebite swamp are never seen again. They took some of Cup’s followers as guides since most of them had grown up here in Milborne.

The party devised a system whereby they would head into the swamp in ten canoes and boats would be tied together with fifty foot sections of rope. Making this a long procession.

They cautiously approached the place the locals said was the furthest it was to go safely. The first canoe, piloted by Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites pressed on. Nothing happened. The next canoe passed the point of no return. Nothing happened. by the time all the canoes had moved fully into the depths of the Snakebite swamp the party was convinced that this was simply an idyllic natural environment.

The party cruised about in their canoes heading South pressing through the swamp toward the forge. The first day ended and some in the party were convinced that they should have reached the sea by now, given the size of the swamp.

A hail storm began at night and Ehlonna AriEr cast Leomund’s Tiny Hut. The entire party spent the night inside with some members taking watch. Nothing happened.

The next day passed much like the first except they spotted a lizard man watching them from the bog water. When Whuh Sdat attempted to speak with the lizard man, it submerged himself and swam off. Thick McRunfast attempted to track the lizard man but with limited success. The party passed a second night in the magic hut.

The next morning the party was up and in the boats before the spell ended. The third day in the swamp passed like the first two. They woke up, morning ritual, Thick McRunfast found some plants to make into an insect repellent poultice. (for which he received 50xp for preventing the party from getting malaria). They saw herons, geese, ducks, fish, turtles, snakes, crocodiles, dinosaurs.

As they came around a bend in the river Whuh Sdat spotted two lizard men who were spear fishing. The party was quite conspicuous and so the lizard men spotted the party quite easily. Again Whuh Sdat attempted to begin a parley and again the lizard men rebuffed him by diving into the water.

One of the lizard men stood watching the party for a few seconds and when it was apparent that the party meant to get close enough to talk, he dove in the water and swam away. This same lizard man stopped, turned back and watched the party from a submerged position for some time.

Progress

The party chose to stop on the island where the lizard men were fishing from. They reasoned that this must be their tribe’s territory so they will be back. The party wanted to make contact with the locals since the lizard men had traded with the humans of Milborne in the past and the paladin did not detect evil from them. The party reasoned that the lizard men might be aligned against the evil orc army in the swamp. They made camp for lunch and set a watch.

Cup got to thinking about their progress over the last 36 hours. He knew a thing or two about deception and he also knew what it was like to be the butt of a joke. Cup cast detect magic and discovered the party had been circling around inside an illusionary terrain for two days.

For once “I DISBELIEVE!” was the appropriate answer and the illusionary swamp disappeared to reveal the real swamp.

Whuh Sdat decided to hop into a canoe and check if he could follow the lizard men any easier this time. He headed in the direction they went and discovered a statue of Rovarath surrounded by bushes on the East bank of the river. Pythagos McTherian was able to identify the writing on the statue as a dialect of draconic. The inscription declared the swamp and all of the sea to belong to Rovarath the Black.

There Were Never Really Any Negotiations

Just then the party became aware of a group of six lizard men standing on some rocks downstream behind a thick wall of foliage. The individual lizard men were painted with the markings of a coral snake. The chief was decorated with colorful feathers from the birds of the swamp. The shaman was decorated to look like Rovarath. He had carved bones into a set of horns for his head, he was painted black, and had made fluffy wings of black feathers attached to his back.

The chief was the only one that spoke. He spoke only in a broken dialect of the branch of Draconic particular to evil dragons. The Chief told the party that this is Rovarath’s swamp and he rules it. He warned the party that they should leave the swamp.

Whuh Sdat offered that the party was not concerned with dragons and only sought to remove the Blue Fist from the swamp and that if the lizard men would be kind enough to let the party pass. Pythagos McTherian boasted that the party would sweep through the swamp and destroy the orcs with ease.

The lizard man chieftain only repeated his warning to leave the swamp.

Pythagos McTherian then threatened that the party could easily destroy the lizard men, lay waste to their lands, and bring down their god. By now Donald Oates had summoned Mildred and emerged through the brush to punctuate the threat. The chief was visibly shaken and the party passed by without conflict.

The party pressed on in the direction of the forge trying to close the distance before nightfall. They pressed on into the night and another hail storm kicked up. The party took refuge under their canoes for an hour or two and when they emerged they discovered one of the canoes had been damaged. It turned out that one of Cup’s followers was a carpenter and could repair the canoe. By now it was nightfall and the party chose to make camp.

Chemical Fire in the Darkness

Being experienced adventurers, the party knew they would be attacked by the dragon this night. They set an extra careful watch. On the first watch Thick McRunfast saw a lizard man out in the darkness of the swamp. Their eyes met and the lizard man slunk back into the darkness. Nothing happened.

Three hours later, one of the soldiers said he thought he saw something up in the trees. Perhaps a bird, but birds don’t fly about at night. Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites applied his Wis 6 to the situation and decided it was time to start gambling. The soldier agreed since he needed something to take his mind off this dragon business.

This time something happened.

Rovarath stuck his head down out of the trees and sprayed his acidic breath weapon into the magical hut. Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites and Whuh Sdat managed to dodge the blast entirely. One of the soldiers was killed so completely there was not enough left of him to fill a Dixie cup. Another of the soldiers lost his left leg up to the knee. Julius took a heavy acid burst to the stomach, completely dissolving his abdomen away. Cup was splashed by Rovarath’s acid and lost his right foot.

The members of the party that could still move sprung into action. The lizard men struck fast with poison darts but did as much damage to themselves as to the party. Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites laid waste with his anchor while swimming upstream in the river. Donald Oates mounted Mildred and stampeded across the shaman and his attendant. Thick McRunfast let fly with arrows.

Pythagos McTherian sought to teach this dragon not to trifle with a mage. He leveled his hand and cast a bolt of blue burning electricity at the fleeing beast. The lightning bolt struck Rovarath square in the side, doing nothing. A quick check of his mental inventory reminded Pythagos McTherian that some creatures have magic resistance and it is very rarely total immunity.

The Usefulness of Magic

After the immediate threat of stabbing had been dealt with and the horrified screams of the mutilated party members had subsided there was a surprisingly calm discussion of the limits of their healing magics. Without access to regenerate the lost body parts would be lost permanently. There was talk of teleportation but humans have been forsaken by the gods and would have no healing magic and Pythatos has never been to any non-human racial lands so teleportation to a useful destination would be impossible.

Cup decided that he would rather have a hollow foot to hide stuff in anyway. So heroic measures would not be needed on his behalf.

Taking a Different Approach

One of the lizard men allowed himself to be captured by Whuh Sdat. This was the one that had been seen fishing earlier that day and the two of them had an understanding that the lizard man felt did not warrant this unprovoked attack. He explained the situation to the party; The Blue Fist Orcs pay tribute to Rovarath the Black with the coins they mint and Rovarath lets them use his swamp. The Orcs send and receive their supplies from ships at a dock on the ocean. He took the party to the spot where the tribute is paid to the dragon and he showed them the end of the swamp where they could safely make camp by the sea. He stayed with the party because his tribe had basically been destroyed that night and he could see the capricious nature of their god.

Pirates!

The party decided to take to the seas and cut off the Blue Fist supply line. They reasoned that a few weeks of loosing supplies and an inability to pay off Rovarath would weaken the orcs and get Rovarath to do their work for them.

Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites sent word by messenger seagull to his band of pirates who were waiting off shore for their captain. Now the party is cruising in style in a bio-magi-mechanical whale-submarine from the outer planes.

Oh yes. It’s come to this.

I’m Gonna Ptero-You A New Asshole

When he was keeping watch on the ship Whuh Sdat was snatched from the top of the ship by a Pterodactyl and carried off. He punched that sucker right in the guts. It died and crashed into the sea taking Whuh Sdat with it. Shifty McPardee saw all this and got the pilot to drive the ship over and pick up Whuh Sdat.

View
Wherein the Party Attacks the Snakebite Forge
Fireball only goes so far.

Preparations

Brick and Stone. Wood and Nail.

Pythagos McTherian teleported with Shifty McPardee and Whuh Sdat to Talowdale. When they arrived they discovered the town is undergoing a transformation. There is a new mill, this one built from stone and has a waterwheel in the Rennar River for power. The bakery and potters workshop are complete. There is a new stone bridge across the Rennar. The wooden palisade around the village has been completed and is replete with watchtowers and gatehouses at either end of the village. There is a new boathouse on the river. Most strikingly the number of residential cottages has more than doubled, extending the village to both sides of the river. The fields were even full of quickly growing crops.

Plot Laden Encounters

Pythagos McTherian walked to the town square and found Hobarth Burgher negotiating with some of Duke Staggreig’s men. The soldiers were insisting rudely that the providing of a few conscripts could never realistically pay the taxes on this village for the year and the village would provide the conscripts and taxes demanded of them one way or the other. Pythagos McTherian walked up and demanded to know what this was about. The leftennant shouted, “Who the hell are you?” “Pythagos McTherian Royal Wizard.” There was a brief exchange of words and looks and the leftennant made a hasty retreat.

Shifty McPardee went to the checkpoint on the highway to send word to the guild and to put out notice the party wished to hire a contractor to build fortifications. He already had post waiting for him from the Cartographers Guild informing him that he had just been promoted to the rank of “Director of Shipping” for the Talowdale region. The letter further informed him that a construction crew and staff would be dispatched to construct the regional guild office.

Upon returning to the village and seeing the that it was full of refugees Shifty McPardee established a makeshift soup kitchen in the Boars Rest inn in the name of the Guild. Essentially buying a meal for everyone in need.

Shifty McPardee then went to Hobarth Burgher and discussed plans for buying up land for projects for the adventurers and the Guild.

Whuh Sdat and Pythagos McTherian encountered Lontros the Red sitting in the Boars Rest among the refugees. He was obviously one of The Eight so they bought him a drink and sat down to introduce themselves and have a chat. Lontros said he had just came from the east having been pushed west by the war and was hoping to go into Pearl Reef in order to avoid forced conscription into one of the conflicting forces. Since Pearl Reef has been blockaded by the Bergen navy he was considering scuttling that plan. Pythagos McTherian asked if Lontros would stay in Talowdale and help him establish a school and magical research academy. Lontros declined saying he would rather go into hiding till the conflicts settle down. The two wizards agreed to exchange correspondence.

Tiny Rocks With Disproportionate Significance

Later, while walking through town Pythagos McTherian encountered another one of The Eight, Iocletian the Near-sighted. Iocletian is a man entirely absorbed in the pursuit of his research. Barely noticing anything unless he thinks it might have some bearing on his theories. Iocletian revealed that he was traveling to Talowdale because of its relative peace and security and because the local mines would be useful for his research involving minerals.

On inquiry Iocletian happily stutters through his theories with speech heavily laden with spellcraft jargon. Iocletian has noticed that magic is easier to comprehend and perform on the continent. He suspects that there is something different about the environment of the island of Verland that accounts for this. He has confirmed that the difference is with Verland by communicating with extra-planar creatures and with wizards from other parts of the world. Iocletian further believes that the difference can be accounted for by geology. He believes that a certain igneous crystal endemic to the soil and rocks of Verland is responsible. This mineral is so minuscule as to be nearly microscopic. He has alchemically refined some for a year and produced a sprinkle of crystals about the size of table salt granules. He has noticed that magical beasts will reflexively clean themselves of any material that contains this mineral. He also has noticed a correlation between deposits of this mineral and the behavior of humans and non-magical animals.

Refugees & Rumors

Whuh Sdat remained in the bar and chatted up the refugees. He learned that Duke Staggreig had withdrawn the bulk of his forces from Norge to counter the attack from Bergen. His army was able to entrench in Arborath before the forces of Bergen cut off the mountain pass. The Duke broke the siege of Arborath and rode out with his army to invade Bergen. To replenish his ranks Staggreig had sent for another round of conscripts and supplies.

Bergen had apparently made a grave miscalculation of the forces in play in this conflict. Norge was still falling rapidly. There were even unconfirmed rumors that the capitol was burning. The alliance of the northern warlords and The Blue Fist Orcs even without a heavy contingent of allies from Staggreig, were much more than the warriors of Norge were capable of dealing with.

The Bergen navy had blockaded Pearl Reef in order to cripple Duke Staggreig’s supply line. However, the Duke marched his army straight into Bergen with an exceptionally aggressive attack. The reports are that his forces are making startling progress across the north of Bergen.

The Kings best general, General Wayland has taken the Kings elite troops to secure the highroad in order to prevent any of the kings outposts from being captured.

The Capitol Steps

Pythagos McTherian, Whuh Sdat, and Shifty McPardee then teleported to Arconston.

Pythagos McTherian met with the commander-in-chief of the Kings military and received a commission as a general in the kings military. He also received a letter of marque for Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites’ piratical activities. Pythagos also requisitioned a ship and detachment of marines to be sent to assist his efforts at overthrowing the Snakebite Forge.

Pythagos and Shifty spent some time in the library of Estnod Dragonswing, learning some new spells.

Shifty McPardee returned to the thieves guild office to retake his burglary examination. This time he made it past many traps of increasing deviousness and brutality to escape with his hide intact and successfully proved his master burglary skills.

High Seas Swashbuckling Action

A Blue Fist merchant ship approached from the East bearing food for the forge. The Whiskey Twin moved into position to block their entrance to the harbor and surfaced. There was ship-to-ship missile fire and two of the Biggonites went down manning the ballistas. Biggie and Ehlonna boarded the enemy ship and slew most of the crew. Ehlonna did a moonsault over the edge of the enemy cog firing her crossbow down into the head of a goblin as she sailed overhead. They captured three goblins and Ehlonna retrieved the captains charts and ships log from the captains quarters.

Back on the Whiskey Twin they submerged. A trio of enemy warships emerged from the forge and rescued the sinking merchant ship. One was a galleon, probably the most advanced ship on the sea in this era. Once that was complete, two of the warships set course West and disappeared over the horizon.

The capture of the prisoners and records filled in many gaps in the party’s intelligence. It revealed that the Blue Fist have an entire professional military that is separate from their civilian population. The Blue Fist maintain trade routes with the continent and they have a major hidden port on the Eastern tip of the island called Skullport.

Assault on Snakebite Forge

Pythagos McTherian used magic to fly over the forge and make a map and teleport some allies into the forge near a building that they learned housed the commander. Shifty McPardee hid in broad daylight and scampered up the side of the building. He peered inside the building to find out it was operating much like an office with all the paper pushing one would expect from a highly organized centralized sophisticated military organization. Finding an empty office he cut through the glass and helped the party members up. They made their way up to the third floor to confront Baglor Bone-Marrow the commander of the forge.

I cast Fireball! I cast Lightning Bolt! Oh Shit! I cast Teleport!

The fight began with Shifty McPardee getting off a sneak attack on one of the sub-chiefs working in the office. He didn’t go down. Shifty stabbed him again. The Hobgoblin didn’t go down. The party spent their surprise round and the next one in a slug fest against a room full of hobgoblin sub-chiefs. In the third round Whuh Sdat had made it to the door to Baglor’s office but Baglor had the initiative so he kicked that door down and hacked into Whuh with his man-slayer axe. Whuh Sdat got the hell out of the way.

Pythagos McTherian fired off a fireball into Baglor’s office hitting Baglor, Ubjarajha, and two guards. The guards, all the office furniture, and portions of the stone walls were incinerated out of existence by the vigorous magical fire. Baglor charged out of his office straight for the mage. Crashing through the chaotic combat all around them.

Pythagos McTherian fell back covered by his party members and let fly with a lightning bolt. Baglor kept coming, nearly slaying Whuh Sdat in the process.

Everyone used their next round to run to Pythagos and he teleported them back to the Whiskey Twin.

Break Damn You!

All this time Donald Oates and Ehlonna AriEr were causing a diversion at the seaside gates to the forge trying to batter them down with Mildred, Donald’s triceratops mount. They slammed into that door for well over ten minutes while taking crossbow and ballista fire from the walls. Ehlonna AriEr took out several orcs with her crossbow.

When they finally had battered the door to pieces they only found a portcullis behind it being backed up with archers and trolls. They decided to withdraw back to the Whiskey Twin.

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