The Blade of the Raven Queen

The Roof, The Roof
The Roof is on Fire.

Calming Kurst down they convince the young pathfinder that rushing off now could be a mistake. Lucius suggests moving off to camp and come the following day will prepare a charm person spell to get more answers from the unconscious elder orc.

The group moves off and with Kurst as their guide find a secluded, out of the way spot. The day is spent doing maintenance on arms and armour.

As morning light begins to break the darkness, Jurgen notices a line of shadowy figures traveling in the distance. Safe in the Hut he thinks nothing of it but quickly reconsiders when his mount attracts unwanted attention. Sending it off into the low hills he wakes a few of the Ravens and they watch the approaching figures, revealed to be orcs with a few ogres and a chained giant. Having lost the scent and not approaching close enough to the hut the orcs move off.

Packing up the group watches as Kurst and Lucius take the Orc into the hills away from the others. Successfully charming him, Lucius finds that his attitude becomes friendlier but is still confrontational and … Orcish.

“Why is that Human here!?” it demands. Lucius calmly explains to it that he cannot speak the orc tongue so he has his minion translate for him. Kurst frowns slightly but says nothing. Lucius reveals to the orc that he is here to help them. He wishes to join in the sacking of Trunau so that he can be placed there as the ruler after the orcs have finished with it. The Orc nods and questions Lucius in regards to his allies and why he is interested in helping. Lucius convinces him of his sincerity, dodging the orcs demands to kill Kurst as sign of trust, and gains the following information.

  • Banter has taken the tribe down to the Foundry which is in Steel Eater orc territory. Lucius probes and finds that the Steel Eaters are a tribe that make arms and armour for the surrounding Orc Tribes.
  • A force of Twisted Nail orcs have been sent to Trunau, they are to take the city.
  • They left two days ago. It is a four day trip.
  • Only the dregs of the Tribe have been left behind. The Horned one is gathering orcs to his Banner.
  • Lucius politely thanks the orc and then Magic Missiles him in the chest. Killing him.

Kurst wants to head back immediately. No one argues the point when Kurst suggests a straight path in. Instead of taking the better part of three days it will take them only two. They should arrive either at the same time or shortly after the orcs do.

Luck is on their side as both day and night go by with little interference. Perhaps the large force of Orcs that had gone through previously scared off any predators.

Getting to the hills beneath Trunau as evening begins to descend the Ravens see that Trunau burns fitfully. The gates are open and siege weapons are lined beneath the palisade walls, manned by orcs and a Giant.

Wasting no time the group rushes into combat.

  • Lucius banishes a Flind war leader wielding a triple headed flail of skulls.
  • Fireballs from both Eevi and Lucius rain down on the Gnoll Pack that has arrived to reinforce the orcs.
  • The Giant is stopped in its tracks as Sascha engages it.
  • The battle goes quickly and even with a fresh wave of gnolls coming to join the fray the Ravens prove their might.
  • The Flind reappears slavering madly from its time spent trapped in the Astral Plane.
  • It is quickly and brutally put down. It’s return attacks missing or proving ineffective.

Kurst breaks off as the fight ends. He makes a straight line for the town gates where only a couple of orcs can be seen. Invisible Eevi follows him watching over Kurst even as he dispatches orcs with his arrows.

The Iron Ravens take the time to search the bodies as Jurgen puts Siege Breaker to use smashing the Mangonels.

Entering town behind Kurst Eevi sees that the main gates are slightly battered, the lower area is abandoned and empty and that a few of the homes here and there have catapult damage. She sees Kurst sneak his way past orcs he can’t handle alone and watches as he kills orcs that are alone or in pairs. Making his way to the middle ground they pass the Hopespring seeing that the cliff wall there has been smashed revealing a dark entrance within.

Flying up to the top of the fortified gate Eevi lands there a moment.

The Ravens enter, trailing by a few minutes. They find the place empty and abandoned. Aldonis rushes to where Bridge would be stabled and sees that the animals are no longer there. He can only assume that they have all been taken up into the higher sections of Trunau. Breathing a sigh of relief he imparts onto the group his higher understanding of Trunau’s tactics. “They must have opened the gates to funnel the orcs into the center killing ground”. Jurgen shoots back that “Gates are Expensive to repair!”

As they dispatch a couple of looting orcs they see coming from the Hopespring a Giant chained at both wrists and ankles. Goaded it follows its handlers and rushes into the group.

  • The giant pounds into the group and the orcs. Killing two of its handlers.
  • The giant fights ferociously but without much hope. It’s remaining handlers are killed and it too is eventually felled, though not before an Orc caster falls into the waters, his invisibility canceled by his sudden death.

The decision is made to head into middle Trunau to help the residents fight back the invading orcs.

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Tears of the Dragon
Yes, yes they ARE going to attack you.

Elrik is still pointing upwards when the first Wyvern swoops down and attempts to knock Jurgen off his Mount. Wounded the Ram rears and Jurgen is thrown from the saddle.

  • A second Wyvern descends in a fly-by attack slashing the Ram but missing with it’s venomous stinger.
  • A small Red Wyrmling lands and unleashes its flame breath searing Lucius and Elrik.
  • Cute as a button the little dragon roars excitedly, hopping about and singing those in it’s path.
  • Lucius Earthbinds a Wyvern, forcing it down to the ground where it continues to press the attack.
  • Severely hampered by it’s inability to fly, it finds a Raging Barbarian and a cruel blade tearing into it’s leathery hide.
  • Kurst fires his arrows, missing more often than not.
  • Aldonis holds his shots, taking the time to let the monsters get into melee range with his companions before unleashing devastating arrows into their distracted hides.
  • Manto engages a Wyvern but finds herself on the receiving end of a poisoned stinger. Grimacing she collapses.
  • Eevi and Elrik revive her with quick Healing Words.
  • Jurgen casts Bless and targets Himself, Sascha and Aldonis.
  • The Earthbound Wyvern falls as Sascha plunges her sword deep into it’s guts, tearing her blade free she sprints towards the next, slashing it viciously even as Aldonis lines up a shot, waiting for the creature to react to his allies attack.
  • The bouncing, energetic baby Dragon roars a little roar and moves to catch Aldonis and Elrik in it’s flaming breath.
  • Jurgen slams his shield into the dragon’s side sending it sliding prone into the dirt.
  • The remaining Wyvern gives off a piecing call and the dragon begins to fly away but Hammer, Arrow and spell bring it crashing to the ground.
  • Seeing that it won’t be able to get the still living ram, the wyvern flies to the dragons body and snatches it away, intending to fill its belly with it.
  • That proves to be it’s downfall as concentrated fire brings it down.

Checking for wounds the Ravens find that they have weathered the attack well. Eevi and Lucius both pop a Leomund’s Tiny Hut with the intent to rest in one while the Red Wyrmling is skinned in the other.

The smells of blood and the bodies of the dead wyverns have attracted attention. The morning finds the group waking to the sight of Orcs camped a hundred feet off. The Hut, coloured to blend into the surroundings, seems to have kept them undetected. The orcs are tending to their camp, a large cauldron steams atop a fire.

  • Engaging from the Hut, the Ravens surprise the Orcs.
  • Jurgen steps out boldly and with Kurst translating behind him he tells them to move along or face his wrath.
  • The orcs blink surprised and then start to laugh. Axes are hefted and Javelins are cocked.
  • “On your fool heads be it” Mutters the dwarf as Sascha tears out of the Hut, her ground eating sprint taking her to the back ranks of the Orcs and before they have a chance to react she’s gutted one and moved on to the next wounding it deeply.
  • Undaunted the orcs rush forwards aggressively. Greataxes chopping and Javelins flying. Jurgen bears the brunt of the first charge as Sascha distracts the back ranks.
  • Aldonis picks off targets that are engaged with his allies while Elrik moves to form a shield wall of sorts with Jurgen.
  • Eevi casts Greater Invisibility on herself and bolsters her allies with Inspired Words while using cutting words against the orcs. She offers to do the same for Kurst but he shakes his head no and begins to fire arrows into the orcs.
  • Lucius unleashes a fireball. Many orcs are killed in the flash of flame.
  • Aldonis moves to engage the Orcs in melee, his Fast Hands equipping his shield as he puts his bow away.
  • Sascha continues to hack into the orcs at the back, her return blows fell two more orcs.
  • An Orc caster slaps a warrior on the shoulder, casting a spell on the Orc Blade even as he advances into the front line, engaging Jurgen.
  • Another caster kneels by the burnt bodies and with a handful of dirt and ash, Animates them back to life as Zombies.
  • Aldonis’ rapier finds each opening with deadly precision his quick reflexes and shield minimizing the incoming damage.
  • Jurgen and Elrik stand side by side, shields up and weapons raining blows. Jurgen knocks the Orc Blade off his feet.
  • Another fireball goes off, more orcs drop.
  • Sascha chases down one of the Orc casters and kills him.
  • The back ranks broken and the front line failing, the orcs nonetheless continue their assault.
  • Elrik breaks off from the melee and holding the golden falcon symbol of Freya high, obliterates two of the zombies before engaging the last one as it shambles into the path of his mace.
  • The last few remaining enemies are downed. The bodies are searched and everyone packs up their gear.

The afternoon finds the party up the mountain trail. Kurst has led them up to a small dip in the road before the Twisted Nails home. Aldonis is sent to scout.

  • He sees that the Orcs in the camp are the old and the infirm.
  • There are several rough mud and thatch huts and a large bonfire in the center of the clearing.
  • In the very back is a cave, and within he sees the dark shape of something Huge moving about.

Returning to the group he brings them up to speed. A plan is hatched. Aldonis and Sascha will enter into the camp and kidnap one of the Orcs.

  • Aldonis and Sascha make it into the camp without difficulty, they scout out one or two of the huts finding that they are large enough to hold 40-50 orcs each but only hold a half-dozen old or infirm orcs doing maintenance work on gear or structure.
  • Aldonis targets a wandering Elderly orc and attempts to knock it out with a pommel strike. He misses as some unknown instinct causes the orc to duck as it drops its load of wood.
  • Grimacing, Aldonis curses under his breath as he watches the Orc draw breath to call an alarm.
  • Sascha KO’s the Orc with a well placed punch to the jaw and picks up the slack body before beckoning Aldonis back towards the group.

Setting up camp an hour away in a well hidden nook at the base of the mountain, Kurst begins to translate for the heroes as they interrogate their prisoner. The Orc spits and growls but perks up when they talk about Banter, who he calls the "Horned One’. He gives them only that the tribe has mobilized, that the old and Infirm have been left behind, that all they are good for is to die for the tribe. His gaze chances upon Kursts Trunauian emblem. A wicked smile creases his face and guttural laugh begins deep in his gut.

“Trunau will burn boy …”

He lunges for Jurgen, intent on biting him. The dwarf slams his shield into the orcs face knocking him out.

Aldonis looks troubled even as Kurst goes pale.

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The Horns of Obsession
Much ado about Not much.

Having slept the night away at the Ramblehouse The Iron Ravens gather their gear, make sure the mounts and wagon are going to be well taken care of and make for the gates at first light.

At the gates they stop a merchant coming in. He is accompanied by three fairly well armed individuals who give the Ravens the once over. Speaking to him reveals that the roads are quiet and the only activity seen lately are the gnolls on the hills.

  • A Plan is made to go ‘Speak’ to those gnolls.
  • Several hours of travel north, towards the covered bridge crossing the river Belkzen leads them to the spot where they noticed they were being watched from the hills. Once again, in the distance are watchers, squatting as shadows in the afternoon sun.
  • Jurgen approaches them on his Summoned Steed but they keep their distance. It is clear that they do not want to tangle with a well armed group of travelers.
  • There is much whingeing and fired accusations about the intelligence of this plan.
  • The Ravens return to Trunau and take the day to figure out what they want to do. It is quickly determined that traveling without a guide through Orc controlled territory would be akin to suicide.
  • During the day Eevi and Manto play some music and entertain Cham and the guess at the Ramblehouse. They also pump patrons for information learning that the lands around are within Orc territory and that there are several qualified guides that could be hired. Word is put out that they are seeking such a guide.
  • Jurgen spends more time with Sara and Agrit, bringing more libations.
  • Elrik and Sascha spend a quiet day.
  • Aldonis and Lucius secure both rooms and stabling for the next ten-day.
  • The following morning Kurst Grath is at their usual table. He offers his services to guide them around some of the hot spots towards the Mindspin mountains and to where the Twisted Nails tribe make their home. An agreement of Ten gold pieces up front and ten more on completion of the trek is made.
  • There is mention of being able to buy an Orc token that would provide ‘safe’ passage through Orc controlled territory. But the price could be anywhere from several hundred gold to thousands. The closest tribe that could conceivably provide such a token are ‘The Broken Spine’s but Kurst suggest they may not be the best to buy from as their tribe has recently become southern Belkzen’s laughingstock.
  • Freetown is brought up, a non-Orc town that buys it’s independence through ‘taxes’. It’s a den of scum and villainy and closely watched by the Cleft Head Tribe.
  • They learn of the Black Sun, Bloodied Gauntlet and Empty Hand tribes.
  • Kurst only asks for time to get his gear and meets the party at the gates. He leads them north up the road past the Gnoll Hill and then at the river Belkzen he turns east to follow it. During the trip he stays well ahead of the group as both trail blazer and scout. Sascha joins him and he shows her the trail marks. Due to his pathfinding skills it takes half the time it would normally. (Two Days)
  • At the mid point of the second day Kurst stops the group and reports that there is a group of Ogres making camp just beyond a crest in the hills. He marks four and a tent large enough to hold four more.
  • Engaging the monstrous humanoids Manto is felled quickly by well thrown Ogre Spears.
  • From the tent a huge humanoid emerges, ripping the cloth off it’s too large body. The ogres have a Hill Giant.
  • Kurst stays back, he helps Manto to her feet and then provides covering fire with his bow.
  • Sascha and Jurgen close the distance quickly. Sascha Rages.
  • Despite a size and strength advantage, the Ogres and Giant are quickly taken down.

Amongst their belongings they find coins and a filthy pair of supple leather bracers.

Taking a quick rest, they push on and Kurst leads them to the trail that leads into the Mindspin mountains, up towards the Twisted Nail Tribe.

Elrik pipes up at this point and says “Hey, are those things up there going to attack us”?

tbc

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The Horns of Rage.
or "Banter must DIE!"

Gathering their gear The Iron Ravens make good on Jurgen Frostbeard’s plan to head south and find the Minotaur known as Banter Cull.

Road.jpg


Travel is easy and light with Sascha leading the way along Ophir’s well maintained main roads. Their first day of travel is uneventful and the evening’s rest around the (watched) campfire proves to be quiet and peaceful. The second day goes by with the same idyllic scenery and as the sun begins to set they come to a crossroads with a sign. It reads Rosso Torre. On the wind Elrik, Aldonis and Sascha hear faint music, lyrical words that can’t quite be understood. Aldonis is faintly unnerved as the dagger at his hip seems to vibrate faintly in conjunction to the music.

As the group stops to ponder the meaning of this, Jurgen pushes to continue south, saying “It will be there when we get back, mark my words … laddie.” lucius finds himself agreeing with him, while Elrik and Sascha remain neutral. At Eevi’s insistence, she and Sascha head in the direction of the music while the rest of the group continue down the road towards a known travelers shelter.

  • Eevi and Sascha find the source of the singing. It comes from a ruined tower about thirty minutes down the path. The song is Elvish, and is a warning, stating that the individual being held is being kept captive against her will, that the tower should be avoided. The song also sings about large captors, one with two heads. Eevi and Sascha give each other a look and then double back to meet up with the rest of the group.

Once together again, the Ravens follow Jurgen’s plan to continue down to Trunau. Making a note to come back to the tower on their way back to Cauldron.

On the third evening, when camp has been made and Jurgen takes his turn keeping the watch a wanderer comes to the campfire, announcing his intentions as peaceful and just seeking a warm fire and people to share the night with. Accepted he comes into the firelight accompanied by a large fierce looking dog. Introducing himself as Thomas of Littlegarden he sits and shares the fire. During the time he spends awake with Jurgen he relates some of what he knows in regards to Trunau and the surrounding Orc Tribes. The following day he travels with the group and splits off when they get to the bridge that crosses the River Belkzen.

On the final day, as they begin to make the last leg of their journey the keen eyes of the group make out humanoid figures trailing alongside them at a good distance. The figures simply watch, squatting on a hill.

Arriving at Trunau, the Ravens are stopped at the gates and asked their business. They are passed through when it becomes plain that they are merely travelers.

  • The group go the Ramblehouse, an Inn run by a female halfling named Cham Larringfass. Lucius buys out her two comfortable rooms and rents a third common room. Money is spent freely and a favourable impression is made on their hostess.
  • Aldonis stables the mounts and impresses upon the stable boy the importance of taking care of his horse, Bridge.
  • Jurgen crosses the road outside of the Inn with a jug of Cider and visits ’Clamour" the local Smith. Within he meets Sara Morninghawk, a half-orc of impressive stature working the forge. He makes small talk and shares drink with her. He then gets to meet her wife Agrit Staginsdar and promptly has his mind blown by the fact that Agrit is both married to Sara and a practitioner of the Arcane arts.
  • Eevi, Sascha, Manto and Elrik drink and eat, resting themselves after their 4 day trip.
  • They find out that there is a local Temple to Nike Goddess of Victory and to Tyche, goddess of good fortune.

The following day they speak before Trunau’s Council. Jurgen is surprised to see Sara is one of the Council members. The Council leader, Halgra repeats much of what they know in regards to the new threat. They confirm that Banter has been in the area and has taken command or has been hired by the Twisted Nail Tribe. Information is shared, a map is promised and rewards hinted at before the adventurers are dismissed.

They pass a large Cauldron just outside of the longhall where they met the council. The stone it rests on is called The Siegestone

On the walk back they are accompanied by Jagrin Grath, chief ranger of Trunau. He bids them to be careful and to not follow the foolish behaviour exhibited by the Tirades of the Raven mercenary group that was destroyed in the foothills of the mindspin mountains not too long ago.

  • Graffiti is seen on several rock outcrops and hillock within town.

The Ravens decide to rest the night, and make fresh on their journey come the dawn.

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A Midnight Guest.

The Iron Ravens take a few days to rest. Efforts are made to buy diamonds for Elrik’s Revivify spell. Aldonis makes an appointment with Jenya Urikas to ask about the White Hart. She is unable to give much in the way of details but does point him towards Shensen Tesseril, she also promises to use the Spear of Athena in an attempt to divine some answers for him.

By the end of the week Eevi awakes at the temple in a darkened room, she is attended by acolytes and given some form of citrus drink. One acolyte, a woman with red hair (though her face cannot be seen in the deep of her cowl), guides her to the great doors and gives her a gentle push out into the sunlight. She is greeted by most of her friends, Sascha Øksdóttir, Elrik Bjornsson, and Manto Sotirelis. The others having had business or no interest. The Acolyte tells the assembled party that lucius should be up and about soon as well.

That evening, as Eevi sleeps as though dead again, Aldonis “the Grey” hears a strange noise coming from beyond his room door. Clutching his valuables and reaching for his bow he strains to make out the sounds but does not move from where he is lying.

His door handle shimmies, but the locks and restraints hold fast and whatever it is moves on.

Elrik awakens to a deep numbness in his feet and legs. Something is wrong! Sitting up he tries to shift his legs to stand and finds they do not respond. At all. Throwing back the covers, his Darkvision and hands see that he is slowly turning to stone. He is Immobilized!

Something large rears up in the dark corners of his room and he makes out the flared hood of a Giant Snake with a familiar Humanoid face. The Naga they had defeated at the Slave well is there. "All iss well, Do not Ssstruggle it Suggests.

Elrik Screams!

  • Jurgen wakens with grunt, grabs his Warhammer and rushes towards the stairs at the back.
  • Manto opens the door and peaks her head out sleepily
  • Sascha bursts our of her room, two handed sword at the ready, completely naked. Looking down she steps back into the room and comes back out with Vakar and her trusty cursed shield.
  • Aldonis approaches his door but does not open it.
  • Eevi rolls over and snores softly.

The fight is quick and brutal. Arrows and spells, Hammer and sword. Elrik fights off the petrification and joins the fight when it moves out of his room down to the lower level.

  • Eevi pokes her head out of her room and complains, loudly, about the level of noise and if Everyone could PLEASE keep it down.

The Naga fights fearlessly always trying to find a new position or advantage but the Iron Ravens soon bring it down once more. Immediately the fireplace is brought to life and the body is thrown into the flames. The smell of roasting snake fills the house quickly. Some return to their rooms to get clothes, others sit around the burning body and discuss. Plans are made to see what and how this thing had followed them here to Cauldron.

Downtime.

  • Aldonis finds that the leather they had skinned from the Naga the first time has gone missing from the leather workers. All that is left is black ash.
  • Eevi buys a 1 year membership with the Bluewater Academy, warns them about the Naga and also alerts Lieutenant Skylar Krewis.
  • Manto assists with the daily routines at the Church of Athena
  • Jurgen takes his jar of Naga dust and seeks advice from the Dwarves of Tahn Buhldir. They are unfortunately not well versed in whatever this thing is.
  • Sascha gears up and disappears on a nature scout into the surrounding wilderness.
  • Aldonis meets with Shensen and learns that the White Hart is a powerful but non-traditional druid. It is an Awakened animal. Aldonis also warns her about the were-boar hunting it. He then commissions Oghren to make Iron Raven tokens.
  • Elrik pays a steep 100gp to access the arcane and religious texts held by the Cathedral of Hades. He learns much.
    • Nagas are intelligent serpents, created as immortal guardians by a humanoid race long lost to history. When this race died out, the nagas deemed themselves the rightful inheritors of their masters’ treasures and magical lore. Nagas never feel the ravages of time or succumb to sickness. Even if it is struck down, a naga’s immortal spirit reforms in a new body in a matter of days, ready to continue its eternal work.
      Benevolent Dictators and Brutal Tyrants. A naga rules its domain with absolute authority. Whether it rules with compassion or by terrorizing its subjects, the naga believes itself the master of all other creatures that inhabit its domain.
      Rivalry. Nagas have a long-standing enmity with the yuan-ti, with each race seeing itself as the epitome of serpentine evolution.
      Immortal Nature. A naga doesn’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.

….

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Two shall Fall, One shall Flee.
Wait ... it's not a Fire Giant!

2 days ago …

Manto Sotirelis returns to The Iron Ravens compound shaking off the lingering effects of the transportation glyph she’d been hit by. The other Ravens have left several hours ago to deal with the giant in the pass while leaving Oghren there to keep an eye on things. With some confused banter back and forth she learns what she can and heads off.

Meanwhile

The Giant is facing off against Jurgen Frostbeard and Sascha Øksdóttir. Arrows are firing through the thorns as Aldonis “the Grey” takes every shot he can.

  • The giant attempts to cast web and is counter spelled by lucius.
  • Elrik Bjornsson casts Silence right above the wall of thorns which envelopes the giant and the party members clustered around him
  • Eevi Ptolomy Viciously Mocks him causing him to falter in his attacks.
  • Sascha and Jurgen are hammering home mighty blows
  • Aldonis fires his arrows through cover and deals good damage.
  • Lucius unleashes a flurry of magic missiles from his wand.
  • The giant teleports 30ft closer to Aldonis and Lucius and attacks Eevi and Lucius with his glaive
  • Eevi casts Dissonant whispers forcing the giant to flee. It flees UPWARD as it begins to fly away.
  • More arrows and another bolt of fire from Lucius
  • The Giant flings a fireball at the ground beneath it catching everyone in the blast.
  • Jurgen is protected by the wall of thorns and his shield.
  • Elrik moves to the base of the thorn wall to be in range of the party to heal.
  • Lucius uses a scroll of earth bind to try and bring the flying giant down. It fails.
  • More arrows and vicious mockeries occur.
  • Manto arrives, having finally made up the distance. she hangs back as she sees this combat going.
  • The giant flies up, as it seeks to escape combat.
  • Arrows follow it.
  • Eevi unfurls her wings and follows it up to a well hidden cave. It is hidden in the darkness beyond, just barely seen.
  • The giant casts earthbind on her, it fails.
  • Eevi flies closer and casts dissonant whispers, it fails.
  • The giant rushes her, grapples successfully and drags her back into the cave.
  • Eevi thunderwaves hoping to break his grip. fails.
  • The giant strikes her twice with his glaive, grievously wounding her, she fails to escape his grasp.
  • It casts sleep on her as she falls into a deep slumber.
  • Meanwhile, realizing that Eevi is getting in over her head, the group begins a harrowing climb effort to get to her.
  • Elrik and Manto do a slow and steady, Jurgen uses his boots of leaping, Sascha attempts to climb quickly. Aldonis does not climb and keeps an eye out for the mounts and any possible interruptions, Lucius casts spiderclimb and easily scales what the others have trouble with.
  • Sascha saves Jurgen from several tumbles as his Leaps up the mountain sometimes come on loose stones that dislodge and roll out from beneath his feet.
  • Rocks tumble from the ledge threatening to dislodge people from their precarious perches.
  • Jurgen hits a bad spot and rolls back down the mountain without too much damage
  • Elrik tumbles from the mountain but hits hard.
  • Manto and Sascha make good progress.
  • Lucius makes it to the top and in a tone of voice that brooks no argument declares this engagement over.
  • Lucius sees Eevi lying on the ground and thinking her dead uses a scroll to Cloudkill within the cave breaking his Spiderclimb concentration. At first nothing happens and then Eevi staggers to her feet coughing and cursing.
  • “Eevi” directs “her” Elemental to attack Lucius.
  • Unknown to Lucius the real Eevi dies from the Cloudkill poison.
  • Jurgen makes it to the top and stands on the ledge. He readies his shield to engage.
  • Jurgen is promptly Shoved off the ledge by the Elemental and will hit the ground hard if not saved.
  • Lucius casts Spiderclimb on himself breaking his Cloudkill concentration to crawl down the mountain as Jurgen falls to cast a Featherfall on him allowing him to land softly and unharmed.

(( Some Discussion as to the nature of the Concentration part of Cloudkill ))

  • Sascha makes it to the top and sees nothing in the cave.
  • Lucius joins her and way below Jurgen gets onto his Giant Ram mount to trust in it’s surefooted ability to scale the cliff face.
  • The Elemental emerges from a wall and strikes Lucius twice, each blow rocking the Wizard before merging back into the stone.
  • Not seeing their target Lucius casts Wall of Fire from a scroll, lining the inside walls of the cave, and immediately “Eevi” once again comes out on fire roaring profanities in Giant.

Shedding its disguise the Giant reveals itself to be slightly shorter than when originally met but still nearly ten feet tall. Its skin is a light blue instead of red and its hair is long and white. It has two horns growing from its forehead. It clenches huge fists and roars as its clothes catch fire. Pointing down the tunnel mouth it casts a Cone of Cold catching Sascha and Lucius fully. Lucius falls to the ground unconscious.

  • Sascha, normally calm in the face of adversity, sees her friend fall and loses the tight grip she holds on her rage. She charges into the cave, her Greatsword rending great gouges in the creatures flesh.
  • The pain of the wounds cause the Giant to lose its concentration on the summoned Elemental as it reappears and strikes once at both the Barbarian and the Giant enraged at having been summoned to the Prime Plane.
  • Jurgens Mount makes it to the top and he dismounts, charging into the cave to help Sascha.
  • The Elemental attacks again targeting Jurgen and the Giant this time.
  • The Giant casts Evard’s Black Tentacles targeting the tunnel, catching both Sascha and the Unconscious Lucius. Sascha is caught and restrained.
  • Sensing she has no time to escape AND revive/retrieve Lucius, Sascha attempts to disrupt the Giant’s concentration but is unable to do so.
  • Jurgen is to busy fending off the Elemental creature to be able to respond.
  • With a vicious grin the monster watches as Lucius’ is broken and killed by the grasping tendrils of darkness.
  • With an Elemental, a Paladin and a Raging Barbarian attacking it, the Giant decides now would be a good time to leave. It casts Gaseous Form and begins to float past and through the heroes.
  • Manto joins the fray finally.
  • Unable to do enough damage Jurgen, Manto and Sascha watch as it floats out and up.
  • Sensing its Original Summoner to have left the Elemental sinks into the ground once more and relinquishes its hold on the Prime Material plane.
  • Arrows fly from Aldonis as soon as it’s misty form can be perceived by his eagle eyes but it is quickly out of his reach as well.

The Body of Lucius is gathered into a blanket, the cave is searched. Platinum and Gold, Chests with emeralds and jewelry, a Steel jar with a silver seal (which is revealed to contain more Platinum), a silver plated scroll tube that contains a map to some underdark location.

In the large chest they find Eevi’s asphyxiated, poisoned, burned body stuffed within.

They find a Black Cloth that is later revealed to be a portable hole, two gold and begemmed chalices.

Gathering the loot and the fallen the Ravens make their way back to Cauldron. It is an uneventful journey back. Going to The Cathedral of Hades they arrange to have the bodies of their friends revived and are told it will be a few days before the Priests will be able to attend to the matter.

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The Giant's Toll.
It's a Fight!

The Well Part 2

Retreating briefly, The Iron Ravens regroup and press back into the fray with the deadly vegetation. As Manto breaches into the cave with the whirlpool a sigil flashes and she disappears only to reappear in Cauldron. Disoriented she reaches out and touches Eevi who immediately disappears in a flash.

Manto then wanders off in a fugue state.

Meanwhile …

The Fight continues within the cave, Ravens retreat slowly while fending off grasping tendril vines. The Cavelight Moss reaches for Lucius, grappling him as he feels his vitality being leached, leaving him exhausted. The Shambler advances on Jurgen but the dwarf fends off it’s attacks.

  • Lucius takes a potion of gaseous form and escapes the life draining tentacles constricting him.
  • The Cavelight Moss retreats back towards the cave as the Shambler presses the attack.
  • The Ravens pour their firepower into the shambling mound of vegetation and Jurgen himself smashes his shield into it’s leg like structures causing it to fall into the swirling water.
  • Struggling to get out of the sucking waters, it is slowly pulled towards the center. It’s movement not enough to let it escape. More arrows and spells strike into it and it dies as it disappears into the darkness of the whirlpool.
  • The Group moves into the cave and kill the Cavelight moss
  • They find a few odds and bits, a black bastard sword, a jester coin and a comb.
  • They search the rest of the caves, don’t find much more.

Leaving they take a long rest on the surface and tell Overseer Harn about the Snake like Creature. Taking it’s head and the hide, they leave the meat behind which may or may not be used in the evening’s Cauldron of ‘Brown’

When they return to Cauldron they spend the night and Lucius guides the group towards his next objective the following day. The Giant that blocks the pass 2 days north.

Before leaving Jurgen sees a battered band of Human mercenaries and identifies them by their badge, a Black Raven flying on a Field of Yellow. When questioned by Jurgen its revealed that Banter is leading a force of Orcs down south near Trunau at the Ophir/Corinthian border.

Overriding Jurgens protests, Lucius pushes to take care of the giant in the pass.

But Laddie! The Steeroid is down South, it NEEDS to die!

Grumbling Jurgen follows the party north.

During the two day trip the group:

  • Meet a barbarian named Tyrin, who seems like a rough sort but speaks in a cultured voice, he tells them that he has been cursed by a Red Witch who has cut him off from his Primal rage.
  • Hear the sounds of a (Greatly reduced) sounder of boars crashing through the trees in pursuit of something but they decide to press on, making note that it is most likely the Lycanthropic Boar that has been chasing the White Hart
  • On the final morning as they begin to break camp they see three horses coming down the pass where they camped that night. These horses seem to be partially barded and carry equipment and gear that indicates their owners may have been fighter types.

Heading up the pass they eventually see what seems to be a wall of thorns that reach from one side to the other. Behind it stands a truly tall creature. A giant with flame red hair and jet black skin.

Hold Travelers!, Those who wish to pass must pay the toll! It booms.

Words are exchanged. The giant, after having looked them over, demands 100gp a person, Lucius offers to buy his relocation and the giant laughs, upping his price to 1000gp per head.

The giant is threatened but laughs it off while throwing a helmet with a head still within it.

Test me at your Peril!

Lucius Fireball the Wall of Thorns, the fire sizzles off of it and burns a path that his companions can follow through.

  • missiles fire through the gap created
  • The Giant crouches to take advantage of the Cover the wall provides as Sascha charges through, unable to scrabble up the side she instead crashes through the hole Lucius created.
  • Jurgen leaps over the wall to engage joining Sascha in the Melee.

It’s looking Grimm for the Giant…

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The Well
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Following up on some tasks that lucius‘s patron Máti Vhalantru has given him, the The Iron Ravens decide to tackle the reported disappearances of the slaves on the eastern slope plantations. The voyage there is uneventful, it’s simply a matter of traveling down 2-3 hours to Kingfisher Hollow.

In Kingfisher they meet Elder Nimo who briefs them on the odd disappearances that have occurred and sends them off to meet Overseer Harn.

  • They are introduced to the slave headman Babs, and he provides what information he can.
  • Settling in at the plantation Sascha quickly makes a scan of the surrounding area and with some help from the others narrows down most of the activity to the well in the center of the compound.
  • Dropping a rock with a Light cantrip cast on it Lucius and the others can determine that the well is approximately 60ft deep to water, but the shaft only goes down 50ft leaving the rest to a natural underground cistern cave.
  • Jurgen takes a few minutes to examine the well after Aldonis" comments that it isn’t shaped in the typical Ophirean style. He determines that it was originally a natural sink hole. It has a low wall surrounding the hole and two wooden pillars with a rope and bucket attached to a wooden crossbeam.
  • Lucius casts Spider Climb and disappears down the well. Quickly followed by the rest of the group as they use both the well rope and a newly tied off section of 50ft silk rope.

Within the well they find themselves in waist deep water and find movement difficult. The well bottom is covered in green algae and moss slime making any quick movements difficult and dangerous.

Spreading out they begin to explore the cave system. Heading North and West they see blood in the water. As the group rushes off to see what may have caused it, Sascha who was the last to climb down, is attacked from beneath the water. She is bitten and venom burns in her veins.

  • Sascha Rages but is not attacked again. Her rage ends the following round.
  • The group returns to see what happened though before returning Jurgen and Lucius see that the blood in the water is from numerous small blind fish, floating by quite dead.
  • More cat and mouse games follow, as those in a vulnerable position get attacked from something swimming in the water. At first it’s thought that it might be a snake, then a giant snake.
  • Jurgen is attacked and fed up with the whole thing lunges to get a grip on the creature. He pulls it partly from the water as large snake coils thrash in the water and sees that the creature has a humanoid face with distended jaws and razor sharp teeth.
  • Grumbling to himself he begins to pull it towards the party. Resisting it’s Suggestion to let it go. All the while calling to the others and warning them of it’s strange features.
  • Once at the group it’s thrashing stops momentarily as vile words of magic hiss forth
  • Lucius tries to counterspell but the spell is too strong and a fork of lightning strikes out, burning a path through 4 members of the group. Aldonis is shocked senseless and falls into the water.
  • Maintaining his hold Jurgen Heals himself with a Lay of Hands
  • The creature fails to escape his grasp.
  • Aldonis sinks beneath the water and as he breathes it into his lungs survival drives him back to the surface sputtering and coughing it out. (Nat 20 Death Save)
  • The creature is hacked and crushed to death. It’s head is chopped off and both parts are brought back to the well rope to be tied there.
  • Traveling deeper into the cave system they find a path blocked off by a natural rock fall, backtrack and approach the eastern end. The water here pulls a little harder at their feet and they become aware of a rushing/roaring sound low and rumbling before they enter a large cave that has a whirlpool. Across from the where they are they can see two exits. One glows as though torchlight were within it and the other is dark.
  • Carefully swimming the group moves into the rushing waters, sticking to the edges of the cave to help prevent being sucked into the whirling center. Elrik elects to stay behind, his sailing experience warning him not to enter with his heavy chainmail.
  • Jurgen, relying on the buoyant properties of his Darkwood Shield, follows Aldonis and Lucius towards the lit cavern.
  • Within they see that all is covered in moss and that the light comes from the hanging tendrils within. In the far corner something seems to gleam in a pile of rocks and moss.
  • The tendrils seem to dim when first entered but as Aldonis quickly moves in and ducks to the side they glow brighter and reach out to grab him, missing. The moss in the corner rises up into a vaguely humanoid shape and begins to shamble towards them.
  • Lucius sends a Firebolt towards the grasping vines and singes it. He is quickly grabbed and crushed within it’s grip. He feels himself drained of energy as the touch of the ceiling plants Exhaust him.
  • Taking his potion of Gaseous form he slips from it’s grip as Aldonis makes a hasty retreat.
  • Jurgen enters only far enough to take a protective position in front of the Rogue

(End part 1)

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The White Hart
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  • The players spend 2 days collecting Giant Bee Honey and Wax, lading their two wagons almost to capacity.
  • Jurgen Frostbeard buys out the Sunnygrass Nook’s alcohol supply and the Nordheimer’s (Elrik, Sascha and Jurgen) begin to drink to the departed Sigfrith almost immediately.
  • lucius Invests in the local winery when he leaves them enough honey to brew a season or two worth of Mead for a percentage of the profits and control of the distribution.
  • Aldonis watches and partakes a little of the alcohol and helps with the Honey and Wax. He and Elrik also overhear that a little firther south there are farms experiencing troubles. People missing and dead Pigs coming back to a horrid semblance of life.
  • Eevi Joins the Northlings and is taught some Norheimer songs.
  • Elrik casts Speak with Dead to see if Sigfrith wishes to be Raised back to life but finds that he does not. He then casts Gentle Repose on the body.

When they have all that they wish to take with them, they thank the inhabitants of Lindley and head back towards Cauldron. Near the end of the first day they, only a couple hours out from The Lucky Monkey Inn, they see a Wondrous White Hart burst from the trees. It is injured and before it disappears across the road they are using it stops to stare at them intently. From behind it a sounder of Boars come crashing out. Aldonis is the first to react, an arrow notched and ready he injures the nearest Giant Boar while calling out to his allies to “watch the trees!”. Sascha, remembering what Aldonis had told the group the last time they had encountered wild boars, turns to face the trees. Surprisingly the other boars don’t stop as they continue intent on catching the Hart they seem to be chasing. Lucius drops a ball of fire in their midst and all the smaller boars are instantly killed. Three of the Giant boars continue and crash after the Wild Hart. The other is quickly taken down.

Eevi is struck with a crossbow bolt from the trees near her. She retaliates with a well placed Shatter spell. Sascha springs into action charging across the road and into the trees, she sprints through till she finds her target. It is a Humanoid Boar creature!

  • A Cave Bear is summoned
  • Aldonis takes a lot of Bear Inflicted damage and retreats to a safe distance.
  • Eevi casts Dissonant Whispers and the bear flees towards Aldonis.
  • The Were-Boar finds itself quickly outmatched.
  • The Bear attacks Aldonis!
  • Jurgen (after dealing with a Giant boar that had lingered) charges the bear and kills it. Giving Aldonis a quick pep talk.
  • The Lycanthrope decides that this day is lost and breaks a charm tied around it’s neck, popping out of sight and disappears completely.

Recovering the group continues on and at the end of the first day spend some time at The Lucky Monkey Inn. They trade away the location of the Boar carcasses to the new owners and tuck in for the night. The drinking continues.

The next day finds them almost to cauldron when they encounter a pair of travelers who recount how their party of 8 was waylaid by the giant in the mountain pass. Pleasantries are exchanged and then finally they arrive at Cauldron.

  • Lucius delivers some wax, honey and the wagons/workers to his Patron Vhalantru and finds out there are slaves going missing in the plantations on the east side of the mountain..
  • The group go to the The Cathedral of Hades and inquire about them being able to handle the burial rights. For a fee they agree.
  • Jurgen, Sascha, Elrik buy out the Drunken Centaur Inn and begin truly bringing honour to their departed friend. (At the end of seven days Jurgen awakens beside a truly horrendous human female (who knew human women had beards too?), Elrik buys a truly ugly Doublet and Sascha finds that at some point within the last day or so she was sick all over herself and didn’t really notice)
  • Eevi hires a shifty human named Artus Shemwick for the The Iron Ravens Investigative agency and hires a Surly, speaks his mind Dwarf named Oghren as a caretaker for the Shop/warehouse.
  • Aldonis continues to seek information on the Last Laugh guild and is approached by a female bearing the jester paint of half black half white. She and he bluster a little as they warn each other off. He recognizes that he has seen her when he first met the group.
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