Vellen

Session 3
The One Where Everyone Gets Donkeys

Despite it being a poor idea, we decided to go on to Darok. About five miles north of town, we noticed that the marshy terrain had grown uncharacteristically cold, even to the point of freezing the swamp. We found the husk of a giant crab that had been shot in the eyes with arrows. Upon further investigation, we discovered the clawed tracks from a handful of creatures near the carcass. Instead of following them, we decided to press on to town, due to the unnatural cold. Also, Seraphina said something about a dragon, which seemed like a good enough reason to avoid trekking off into a frozen swamp.

Falorin, Seraphina and Maple proceded into Darok to check for any God-Emporer presence. Seeing none, Falorin retrieved Harelia and Grandar from the woods where they waited to avoid being recognized by any Acolytes potentially awaiting their arrival. Once within the walls, Harelia tracked down Nara to deliver the letters from her sister Ellowen. Nara told Harelia that the weather had rolled in about six weeks prior, and that, while it may have been coincidental, a merchant selling trinkets and potions had come into to town only a day or two before the cold.

Grandar discovered that Tannis’ widow Layira still lived in Darok and quickly headed over to talk to her. She told Grandar that she believed Tannis to be dead. The last time she saw Tannis, he went out with Yago and Gowan and that they came back without him. Layira and Tannis met while she was a working girl. He got her pregnant and then left before the baby was born. Her son, now ten, is named Argle and could be found fishing outside of town.

We decided to track Argle down, but stopped to ask a local bartender about the merchant Nara spoke of. The bartender told us that the merchant goes by Sinnat and matches the description of the man who robbed us in Hrogath. He said the merchant generally comes into town every now and then and should be back in a couple days.

Once outside the town walls, we easily found Argle and asked him about his father. Argle showed us a "dragon" tooth his father had given him last week. He told us that his father “lives in the floor” and that he just told the same thing to the hooded stranger, who then gave him a bag of gold. 

Realizing that Layira had lied to us, we turned to run back to town and were immediately ambushed by a group of bugbears. We killed three of them, one of which had grabbed Argle. The other three got away.

After saving him, we took Arlge back to his mother’s hut and quickly scared Tannis out of his basement hiding place. Maple interrogated Tannis, holding him upside down by that ankles. First, Tannis tried to bribe us with a religious artifact, a large skull with curving horns, he claimed to have stolen from a nearby tribe of lizardfolk. Apparently the lizardfolk were angry about this and wanted their artifact back. We guessed that the artifact may have been related to the pervading cold in the area. Tannis went on to tell us that Yago was also wanted by the Legion because together they stole the military rations from a hundred man unit. While all of this went on, Layira told Harelia and Seraphina that the merchant "with the scar", Sinnat, sells the “stuff” Tannis steals.

After determining that we would need to return the skull artifact to the lizard folk in order to end the cold snap, Falorin went under the house to retrieve it. Once he had it in hand, he took the tooth Argle had showed us earlier and fitted it into the missing socket in the skull. Falorin’s head immediately began to grow until it was the size of a keg. Since we knew of no way to fix him, Maple carried Falorin inside and we spent the night with Tannis bound and Layira and Argle held hostage. It was uncomfortable, to say the least.

Shortly after we went to bed, Maple noticed that the streets had gone quiet. He looked out and only saw a few people on the docks walking with torches. Flagging one of them down, Maple asked what was going on. The man had scarce replied when he was sucked down into the marsh. Immediately on alert, we decided that the lizardfolk had probably come for their religious artifact. We put the skull out on the doorstep with a note, explaining why we had it and that Tannis was a cocknobbler. The lizardfolk came out of the marsh, took the skull and letter, then disappeared from whence they came. 

After that, we hung out in Darok for a week until Sinnat showed up, because apparently we had nothing better to be doing. At some point during that time, we bought Layira’s hut. No one is really sure why.

Finally Sinnat showed up. In keeping with our trend of choosing the most confounding option, we sent Maple to go talk to him and trick him into coming back to the hut. Once there, all guises were dropped. Sinnat made clear that he had the upper hand. After some negotiation, he agreed to give us a remedy for Falorin’s head and another “useful item” in return for us letting him go and giving him first right of refusal on any items we might find in our future adventuring. He took us outside and gave us an amulet of a serpent holding a pearl on a chunky gold chain. Sinnat said that Falorin would need to wear the amulet at all times to keep his head a normal size. The other item he gave us was a short sword named Sever, said to have been made by the God-Emporer three to four hundred years ago. Legend has it that the sword, once unsheathed, must end a life before the blade is returned to its scabbard, and that all wounds it makes are fatal. (Aside: The amulet worked to shrink his head, and now Falorin be pimpin’)

Harelia asked Sinnat about Olin-Gasir. Sinnat told us that he has seen the name on many tombs he has run across, typically ones with "lots of treasure". He said that the closest such tomb is near Vellen, just north of the Boar woods.

So naturally we all bought donkeys and kicked it back to Vellen.

A day by donkey outside Darok, we found a group of dead lizardfolk, apparently killed by humans. we followed the tracks into the swamp, coming to a hastily abandoned camp after about an hour. We found a pack left behind and some broken branches high in the foliage, but no other indication of what might have caused the party to abandon camp so quickly.

Deciding we wouldn’t be able to catch up through the forest and frozen swamp, we went back to the road in hopes of a sign that the slayers of the lizardfolk might have circled back further north. They did not.

We made it back to Vellen. Yago pretty quickly confessed to the thievery of which Tannis had accused him and Gowan. We decided Yago was dope and to drop Tannis off, tied up with a note, on the steps of the God-Emporer’s temple in Hrogath, because, oh yeah, we had strapped Tannis to the back of our fucking donkeys and hauled his ass back to Vellen with us.

Once unburdened of our lost Legionnaire, we decided to travel back to Darok to investigate the unseasonal cold.

 

Bugbears (Loot): 10 gp, 19 sp

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Session 2
The One With That Total Normal Farm

After Grandar communed with the spirits, we spent the night in the Mystic’s cave. Grandar had a fitful night of dream-haunted half-sleep. In the morning we made our way home, going north to avoid potentially running into the dragon. We passed a small farm in the plains on the way back to Vellen, but otherwise nothing of consequence happened on the trip.

Once we arrived back at the Green Dragon Travern, we gave the townspeople of Vellen the news of our travels. Harelia went to talk to Yago, encouraging him to talk about his past. Yago told her that he was once part of a mercenary company along with Gowan, the owner of the Green Dragon. He said that they left the group after a fellow mercenary named Tannis had gotten greedy and changed the moral focus of the unit. Yago met his wife, Ellowen, Helga’s mother, in Darok, a small town a weeks’ travel south. Ellowen’s only family still in Darok, since her brother died two years past, is a sister named Nara. Yago tells Harelia that Helga was born shortly after their arrival in Vellen, further arousing Harelia’s suspicion that Helga could be a “child born to brother and sister”. Were this the case, Helga’s blood would be a spell component for opening a portal to the realm of the dead, which could have been Marok’s motive for kidnapping her. Later, after talking to Ellowen, Harelia agreed to take some letters to her sister in Darok.

After night fell, Falorin took Seraphina and Harelia out into the dark to see the glowing crystal. Harelia noted that similar artifacts are sometimes used to open portals.

Upon hearing from Harelia that Yago once knew a man named Tannis, Grandar went to speak to Yago himself. Yago told Grandar that the last time he saw Tannis was when their mercenary unit got attacked by a troll and Tannis abandoned them. He said that the troll bridge was a couple days south east of Vellen, and that Hirogi could tell him more about it. The next morning, Grandar went to Hirogi who agreed to take us to the troll bridge for 5gp, which Harelia paid willingly.

We set out for the troll bridge, eventually coming to a place in the road where there had been a rock slide. It appeared that a bandit had been crushed under one of the rocks and a large, clawed creature had dug the body out. We found it unsettling and carried on.

We reached a split in the path. Hirogi told us that the bridge was about a thirty minute walk into the woods to the left, and that the right path lead to Hrogath about 6 hours away. On the path to the troll bridge, we were ambushed by a giant cock, that nearly killed us before fleeing. Falorin scouted out ahead to the troll bridge, noting several fresh clawed footprints. We decided to go back to the road and take it around to Hrogath.

In Hrogath, Harelia looked around for information about Olin-Gasir. She found a book vendor named Drathos in a bar. He sold her a book on the history of the northern lands, and in turn, Harelia helped him translate an elven text that speaks of an “oracle”, not a person, but a place. The text said that the oracle is an island within a lake that prevents passage and obscures the waters. The island is a vehicle to transport one from this world to another. It is found in the “lands of mist”, the north-most lands that are wrought with fog and giants, and can bring you what you desire most.

Immediately upon waking the next morning, Harelia and Falorin discovered that their rooms had been gone through in the night. The vile of oath-breaker’s spit and the finger bones had been stolen from Harelia’s room. The only evidence the intruder left behind was a black feather under the bed. We asked the other lodgers if they had any items stolen. A gem merchant said she had an emerald, ruby and moonstone, which glowed in the moonlight, stolen. We found another black feather in her room. The bar keep, Gortham, said someone paid him to look the other way. After some coercion, he told us that the man was tall “for a human” and wearing scout armor, with a scar under his right eye, and black hair, greying at the temples. Gortham was not happy about being interrogated and threatened to get us back.

In our search for more evidence of the thief, we got the bright idea to ask at the temple of the God-Emporer about the symbol we found on the desiccated children in the creepy forest. Grandar was taken to a back room and trapped within the church. With some effort, Harelia and Seraphina were able to extricate him, and we made an escape as the acolytes worked to entrap us. After that, we got the hell out of town.

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Session 1
The One Where We Were Accidentally A Little Evil

We started our adventure in the small village of Vellen, at the Green Dragon Tavern. We were eating dinner when the blacksmith burst in, saying that devils took his daughter, Helga. We determined that these “devils” were Goblins, and tracked them north into the Boar Forest, called such because of rumors of the Boar spirits that traverse the wood.

When we caught up to the Goblins at their lair, after marching for hours on end, exhausted, we decided that the best course of action was to attempt to trick the Goblins into giving up the girl using light and sound effects. In a coordinated effort of Grandar using Thaumaturgy to augment his voice and magnify the licking flames of several bonfires, an ominous cloud of rolling fog from Maple and the linguistic prowess of Falorin, we successfully lured a figure out of the lair with the girl. The hooded figure released Helga, revealing himself to be Marok, Son of Krathos, Breaker of the Dragon’s Spine, Caller of Lightning and Right Hand of the Warlord Prosk. He laughed at us, saying that he was amused by our display, and that the girl wasn’t part of his plan anyway, so we could have her back. Harelia noted to Falorin that she had met a Hobgoblin named Marok before, but that he had been an Imperial Legionnaire and now looked very different with his bald and tattooed head.

Upon our return to Vellen, safely delivering Helga back to her parents, the town met and decided to send us to a Mystic that might be able to help them ward off a potential future attack from Marok and his Goblin hoard. They tell us that the Mystic is a days’ walk from town. The townswoman Margos has travelled to her for help before, and informs us that this Mystic is very old and was alive in her grandmother’s time. 

On the road to the Mystic, we were ambushed by Bandits. They sent a rockslide crashing down on top of us, pinning and wounding several in the party. Harelia reacted unfortunately with a Shatter spell, causing more of the cliff to fall away, sending the Bandits tumbling down the hill along with a vat of pitch they had planned to douse us with, then set alight. Much to everyone’s relief, Seraphina managed to snuff the torch flame bare instants before we were all consumed by fire. We killed all of the Bandits, but one, who we held captive for questioning. The Bandit, believing he had been about to die, inserted a silver coin into his mouth bearing a raven on one side, the other side shaved smooth. The Bandit was unwilling to comply with our request for information, but revealed that he and his posse were after the glowing crystal that Falorin carries in his pocket. Falorin was surprised to learn that the crystal he found in the woods would be of interest to anyone. Upon searching the bandit, Harelia discovered what she recognized to be a few of the components needed for a spell that would open a portal to the realm of the dead. Before we were able to question the Bandit further, he made mention of how careless we were to question him near a dragon lair, and began shouting in Draconic (presumably…). Seraphina was able to silence him after only a few words, but we decided we should get going. Without the knowledge of several party members, Falorin rolled the bandit into a crevice adjacent the road, likely killing him.

We continued on in search of the Mystic, quickly coming upon a forest. The further we ventured into it, the more ominous the atmosphere became. The foliage was strewn about with pieces of ancient masonry. Ravens crowded the branches above. At the waterfall, we found a stone staircase leading down to the stream below. Falorin scouted ahead, stumbling upon a sunken building with a horrific scene within. He quickly called Harelia to show her the body of the Bandit, broken and bloodied, bathed in a pool of light. Unsure what to make of it, the two decided to keep the revelation from the rest of the party. Before they could return to where the others were, Maple had entered combat with two small, hooded creatures. One of the creatures was quickly dispatched, the other knocked unconscious and taken further along the stream for questioning. When Grandar and Maple pulled back the creature’s hood, they were temporarily driven mad by the sight, plagued by the gnashing beaks and shredding talons of scores of phantom ravens. Harelia was able to cover the face of the now dead creature, which appeared to be a Desiccated Child with a symbol carved on its forehead.

We finally came to the Mystic’s cave. At the entrance, there was a statue of a woman, half hidden by vines. The Mystic was very old, using a cane to hobble out to meet us. We told her of our needs and she offered to guide Grandar in communing with the spirits, warning that information we sought would not come cheaply. We prepared for the ritual as the Mystic directed. When all was ready, Maple hoisted Grandar and the Mystic in a chair above his head. Grander entered the spirit world and asked them if Vellen was in impending danger from Marok. The spirits said it was not. He asked what Marok wanted. The spirits said, “He seeks the knowledge of Olin-Gasir.” Grandar continued, against the advice of the Mystic, asking for information about his Lost Legionnaire, bargaining three years of his life. The spirits said, “His name is Tannis.” After, the Mystic told us she was not familiar with either Olin-Gasir or Tannis.

Bandit (Loot): 86 gp; 2 Small Chunks of Amethyst; 1 Human Finger Bone; 1 Small Vile of Spit

Hooded Creature (Loot): 10 sp; Curved Iron Dagger

Desiccated Child (Loot): 3 sp, the coins have a raven on one side and an arch on the other

Desiccated Child (Symbol): 

Components needed for spell to open portal to the realm of the dead:

  • Skull of a raven dipped in the Summoner’s blood
  • Genitals of a bull born under a full moon
  • The blood of a child born to a brother and sister
  • The finger bone of a holy man
  • Nightshade grown on the grave of a witch
  • The spit of an oath-breaker
  • A stone from a river in which 3 have drowned in the last month
  • Silver shavings from a coin received as payment for a murder
  • Something precious, freely given.
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