A call to glory

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The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

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That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

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Cast adrift
Prologue: On the Sea of Fallen Stars

   We had trusted her to be a good ship and through most of the journey from Altumbel she had held up her end.  It was the storm that hit us unexpected that caused so much havoc. We had been skirting close to the Pirate Islands, it seemed wise to keep light and land in sight with such a squall about us. We had not figured for the rocks.

       The wreck of the "Lucky Lady" was unexpected as it was sudden. She had broken her keel on a rock, or reef. We could not be sure. It all happened so fast in the night. The rain and wind had hampered our vision and the clouds blotted out the moon and stars. In hindsight it would seem something more sinister was afoot. The storm left as fast as it came upon us.

        We found ourselves with the fortune of being close to an island and in the dark of night the lights from a small village gave us hope. We were close enough to shore that our ship had not fully sank, she rested on a sandbar perhaps 60 feet from shore. We resolved to wait for morning when we could see. That would prove fortuitous as we discovered the shoreline to be almost an unbroken mire of mud. There was a bay and we took our two remaining life boats and went towards where we saw the lights. ………….

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A cursed island
The survivors rally

The shipwreck upon the reef caused all manner of chaos amongst the crew, the captain was no where to be found. The keel had not snapped but the poor ship sat listing on the reefs. The hull was cracked and water flooded in. The sharks were feeding well and reefclaws swarmed those thrown into the water. The storm had come up out of nothing and its violence and suddenness had doomed the ship.

     The party was able to acquire the last of the lifeboats through some rough "negotiation" with the crew. The Bo'sun put up a fight but the party was able to slip through and make it to the shoreline. Once there they discovered that the storm was more than just a fluke, it was a deliberate attack. They could still see the whirling clouds and heavy rains  menacing the ship and crew, but a mere 60 yards off and they were out of rain and winds.

     They quickly decided to move inland and away from the beach. After moving towards the forest at the eastern edge they wound there way until they came upon a ruin of unknown origin. They gave it a quick inspection and discovered that it had been there for months and was wholly abandoned. Further investigation showed that the site had been regularly attacked by zombies trying to get at the survivors of other shipwrecks that had come ashore.

           The last captain, one Captain Chatham of Marsember (in the kingdom of Cormyr) was the last survivor and he was slowly going mad. The zombies attacked night after night to prevent rest and the woods were infested with twigjacks and other assorted monsters. Worse to hear, they would find that their supplies were also affected by the curse that slowly made even their rations become un-useable after 5 days.  This became a cause of concern and sure enough the night saw an attack of zombies on their encampment in the ruins.

            An excellent display of magical might and raw force saw the zombie menace destroyed but the heroes realized that a malevolent force was at place and they had a limited time to solve the mystery. The next morning they set off and after wandering in the woods in an attempt to follow Captain Chatham's course to the center of the island, they ran into other survivors on the beach and quickly pressed them into their party. They then ran afoul of wood golems and twigjacks. A battle ensued that led to the party being victorious.

        They would discover more of the island's sinister nature when they found the cursed heads that were used by whatever power ruled the island to summon the monsters to attack survivors. With this item they slowly uncovered the magic that made it work and found a way to neutralize its effects. Using this new found technique they managed to press further into the woods without incident until they discovered a ruined wizards tower in the forest. It looked to have been destroyed in a cataclysmic duel.

         Of course the heroes moved in to investigate and triggered the ancient guardians of the tower, 3 water and 1 fire elemental who tried to prevent the party from getting too close to the ruins. The heroes intended to use "commune with the dead" to discover what had happened and find more clues to the island's mysteries. The heroes destroyed the bindings on the elementals but also lost their cursed skull in the battle. But they were victorious and prepared to dig through the ruins and question the former master of the tower's ghost.

………to be continued next session when the heroes

     

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The ruins amongst the islands
Finding Hethcloaks sanctum

 After sifting through most of the ruins of the red wizard's tower, the heroes discovered some new items to assist their quest.  They were able to find enough of the red wizards remains to commune with the dead and discovered that he had set himself up here in hopes of finding the secrets of an older wizard who had established a sanctum on this island.

          The ancient red wizard named Alvorien Hethcloak had established a sanctum on the island before the spellplague and had passed on in the centuries before. It became clear to the party that there was a disaster precipitated by the year of blue fire and that the dead spirit of the red wizard was not aware of what caused the curse on the island.

          Further investigation showed that the red wizards tower had been pulled apart by an unfettered kraken serving the abolethic sovereignty. They decided against exploring further and moved on to try to break the curse over the island.

            The journey took them to the inner lagoon's coastline where they discovered a boathouse that belonged to the original owner (the wizard Hethcloak). and decided to set up camp here as the evening was drawing in and they had no natural warnings or defenses against the possible wandering monsters. they discovered that the boathouse though ruined (made of marble and mahogany) was still protected by some lingering magic. There was wildlife in the area which was a new experience for the party.

          There were crabs and reefclaws around the area and their supplies were not rotting. This allowed them some time to relax and indulge in a little light hearted entertainment. Of course that meant nothing good was going to happen and it didn't. They were attacked when a sudden squall hit and a pair of large tentacled monstrosities crawled ashore. The fight cost the lives of more of the company (sadly for the poor sailors) and in the end the party was victorious. Though the boat they had planned to use to get to the island in the center of the lagoon was smashed.

             After a nights rest and recovery they decided to wade/swim out to the island, now consisting of the heroes, a cleric, the bo'sun, and 1 surviving sailor. On the island they were concerned with the possibility of tatzelwyrms being in the area, so the druid wandered about while the monk and magus explored the more esoteric parts. The rogue and the cleric discovered the portal and some clues that showed that this place was at least once earlier visited by the order of the cerulean sign. There suspicions about aboleths being involved were beginning to be confirmed.

             Things got worse when the monk was trapped on a bench (an artifact combo designed to be used in conjunction with another) that allowed him to both view the whole of the island and at the same time drain his will. He and the magus were able to determine the effects of an aboleth reaching up from the deep. The magus and cleric tried to free the monk from his entrapment but the magus was himself stuck.  The rogue and cleric continued with the traps. Meanwhile the bo'sun and the sailor found themselves taken over by a wave of will radiating from underground. The rest of the party resisted but they were taken and used to attack the rest of the party.

         The druid's lion was able to kill the two taken, but that cost the party yet more of their dwindling strength. Finally the monk was able to break his binds and rescued the magus. The party used their pooled knowledge and experience to figure out somewhat of the scenario. They were able to discover the bulk of what they could about the cerulean sign and the abolethic sovereignty. With further exploration of the island and looking at the statue and other objects the party decided to "break the seal" and go in after the aboleth. This decision was made easier by recovering items belonging to the cerulean sign that would allow them to hide and resist the aboleth.

         The place was deep and dark, the former wizard's sanctum was now a lair of evil outsiders. They went down deep, winding stairs until they came to what was either a carved out chamber, a natural cavern?, or some combination of the two. It would prove to be some manner of trap as it was the lair of giant spiders and a pair of phase spiders.  The battle was short and sharp, it turned fast when the rogue opened the airways to allow the party to burn the webs and the druid was able to strike the spiders with lighting bolts from her spells.

                The party decided to camp out and rest in a secured chamber that they had explored. It ended up being the outer and last defenses that the cerulean sign used. …

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Chalice of Storms
the escape

  The heroes pressed on into the ruins looking for the Aboleth, as time was not on their side. The amulets still provided some protection, but they would not last. At a crossroads they decided to press towards the smell of salt water and hopefully find the creature.

           The corridor led in a winding pattern until they came upon a large chamber. Hidden inside were gargoyles waiting in ambush. This was Hethcloack's old fleshfactory where he created monsters. The gargoyles were the remnants of his works and guarded the chamber from intruders. The rogue discovered that the door would trap them in if it was abandoned so the cleric was told to stand there and behave while the rest of the party engaged the enemy.

        The gargoyles put up a stout fight but in the end were little match for hardened heroes. The room was cleared and the party went through looking for more clues, but the chamber itself was mostly empty. They continued on through winding passages until at last they came to the heart of the hill.

         The chamber was split were a crumbled bridge had fallen into the sea water. The aboleth had to be close as across a 100 foot pool of water there stood the chalice of storms. The artifact the aboleth had been using to destroy ships and trap crews. The party saw a pair of wells that connected to the seawater that had flooded most of the cavern. The monk decided to drag the cleric across on a door he had ripped from the other chamber (the previously mentioned magical door) this would prove decisive unbeknownst to the heros.

              The aboleth was not defensless though and had ordered its skum to attack the party. The group decided to tackle and destroy the chalice as the aboleth was using it to attack them in the chamber. The party fought back hard, but the monk used the door to block the second well ,thinking to stop skum from emerging as they were from the other. He did not know that he blocked the aboleth and trapped it in its submerged lair. The cleric then cast sanctuary and she was placed on the door. This caused the aboleth no end of trouble as it could not target her and hence the door to free itself and with the "magical" barrier it was unable to use its mind powers.

              The heroes were able to destroy the chalice and as the sanctum began to come apart they leaped through a portal and to their next step in adventure.

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Icewind Dale
The spring of wolves

The heroes met at the "Wet Trout" in Easthaven. It was a hard morning, the spring had come late and the chill was still in the air. The dwarven cleric Arifal had been dispatched by Dain Stokely Silverstream to answer an old debt. The man known as Orlin Sandheaver and his family were in peril at their homestead east of the Redrun. Old debts are paid by dwarves, they are paid in full and so the mighty war priest of Moradin was sent forth.

          Jerimia of Icewind Dale was a ranger and guardian of these lands and had heard the call as well. Settlers east of the Redrun had come into a strange peril and they had lost communication. The Arch Druid Bromstead Talcaster had dispatched his ranger to go to the aid of the dwarf, Arifal to meet this new threat head on before it became too great.

        So it was that at 9 O'clock in the morning, on a cold and drizzly Wednesday morning they set out from the "Trout" to find a canoe to take across Lac Dinneshere. They searched a bit as most of the fisherfolk were out looking for knuckleheads on the lake, but after a while had finally come across a man willing to rent them one and not for exorbitant prices.

     They rowed carefully across the lake as in even spring it was fraught with potential mishaps. Arifal made attempts to draw Jerimia into conversation by telling the young man of the history of the dwarves in the dale. Jerimia for his part kept silent and gave a casual nod to paying attention. Arifal had reputation as a fell handed warrior after all. The trip took nearly an hour, but at last they arrived on the other shore and pulled their canoe out of the water. They knew they may need to get it waterborne swiftly.

    Passing down the vale they felt the bite of chill air and watched about with care. They had no idea what had caused this state of affairs, but the quiet and cold left a eerie feel in the air. The fog rolled in shortly after. The stream still ran quickly and clear. But it was far too shallow in points and swift to try to canoe up. They first came to a smaller cabin with impeccable thatching. This place had been ransacked and Jerimia explored the outside while Arifal went in. They found that the owners, who were ironically enough the Thatcher family had been slain. Carefully following the tracks, they discovered that Worgs had attacked the family some 3 days ago.

          This did not bode well, but they still took the time for a cursory look, they also had to wait out a sudden spring storm. Further investigation showed that the old couple (as they were in their 60's) were fast assaulted but the worgs took their time with deliberate malice before slaying them. Jerimia discovered a dagger forged near a century ago in the forges of the Battlehammer clan and passed to the Thatchers for some old dead of valor in those past days when Akar Kessel troubled the lands. 

       It became a more troubling thought that the Thatchers had been slain for days. This boded poorly for the Sandheaver family. With a harsh and sudden spring storm upon them, Jerimia and Arifal decided to wait it out in the cabin. They took to watch and rested. It was a perfect time for a hot meal and so they indulged. But the storm was soon ended and they felt the pull of necessity to push on.  While it was cold and getting darker, They pressed forward towards the next homestead.

          When they arrived in the area again they found carnage. Jerimia and Arifal split up after seeing the bodies of the wife and her daughter torn to shreds, but not devoured. That was a difference from the last and it made them question.  Arifal found the father and his son dead not far from it. It was somewhat baffling until Jerimia discovered the youngest son hiding near the top of a great pine.  The Homestead had been mostly ransacked but it appeared they tried to run for it instead of holding up. 

        Jerimia discovered that the child was traumatized (and rightly so) but that there was in fact yet a worg nearby (the creature had a name, but none could speak its vile tongue) and it had eagerly awaited the opportunity to slay the child or his would be rescuers. The boy's name was Lithstan and he was 7 years old. He was brave and wise enough to run up the tree. He would not come down easily. The worg stalked forward, but Jerimia was well hidden. Arifal then broke into a mighty dwarven war song, his spirit soared with the hope of battle and Jerimia had alerted him to the beast's awful presence.

     Waiting until the beast had committed itself to violence, Jerimia shot his great ash wood bow at the beast. His arrow sunk deep, the worg was unaware of the ranger's presence and was shocked by the sudden assault. It was completely unprepared for Arifal's attack. It was swift and complete. Arifal's hammer smashed its skull and the beast fell dead at his feat. Arifal then was able to coax the boy down in his gruff, yet friendly manner. The boy was familiar with dwarves and complied readily.

    It became an issue of now what to do with young Lithstan. After a bold debate they decided to secure him in his house and return with the Sandheavers. They carefully set the house to be a safe place to escape to. They pressed on in the morning to the Sandheaver homestead.  When they arrived they saw the Sandheaver's out and gathering supplies in a furtive manner.

        Arifal hailed the father, Orlin and told him the situation, it was confirmed by Mr. Sandheaver who swiftly gathered his family to escape. This was exactly what the worgs had been waiting for. They had set an ambush and now pressed in for the kill. Arifal rushed the family inside and then set himself to guard the door. Jerimia swiftly went up to the roof and drew his mighty bow and again set himself to shoot. The battle was short and sharp.

         The worgs were swiftly slain by hammer and arrow. As the second worg tried to flee it was struck down by fire from the heavens. Arifal had called upon his holy powers to strike the beast. With the death of the worgs, our heroes left the field with the family in tow. The surviving worg in the area kept track of the party as it split. Arifal went on with the family to recover young Lithstan, while Jerimia went further east to check on the last settlement. 

       Of Arifals journey there is not much to be said. He pressed on firmly but at pace the family could keep, they made good time, yet even so, Jerimia quickly caught up. He had pressed on and found yet another slaughtered homestead. He had also discovered what appeared to be mine detritus in the high part of the river. There was more at work then they realized. Arifal had recalled one Durncrag in the tavern of Good Mead who had mined these parts in decades past.  There was more mystery here than they had figured. The Heroes led the family to the safety of Easthaven while the remaining worg kept pace with them, it thought better of challenging them.

          The heroes arrived in Easthaven and prepared the night, Orlin Sandheaver was grateful and made sure that the heroes had a warm bed and warm meal for the night. In the morning things would be sorted out, but for now all was well.

                    The next chapter: Into caverns darkly will be in 2 weeks. It will see the fulfillment of the first part of the tale of Icewind Dale.

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Far nights in Easthaven
Interlude

   We sat in the "Wet Trout Tavern" in Easthaven on a chill spring evening. Arifal had delivered to Dain Silverstream all the news of the previous days. There was some consternation among the dwarves and they had now reason to consider an expedition to the Durncrag mines. If some fell creature had reopened them, then the silver flowing could be a cause for concern amongst the Ten Towns.

         We shared drinks and tales around the fire, letting the wood smoke mingle with the smell of cooking knucklehead. Bold oaths were sworn and boasts made by men and women who had too many pints.  The word had spread amongst various folk that the mines could be a place of both risk and reward for the daring. Around the tavern were some of the riskiest folk I knew.  There were warriors of renown and others less noble but just as capable in the shadows.

           Rurden's Armory was conducting brisk business of late, and so too were the local shopkeeps. All selling the essentials to a trip into the mountains. The local druids were concerned that somehow a balance had been upset in the Spine of the World and this could foretell a greater danger than the current silver rush would seem to let on.  There was  a sense of eagerness and foreboding in equal measure, the upcoming spring could prove decisive one way or the other. . . .  .

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A chieftains fall
The Durncrag mines

  Cora entered the "Wet Trout" after a disturbing conversation with a man who claimed to be the master of the druids circle in the dale. The evening was starting to turn sour for her. The idea of going off to battle goblins in a mine did not appeal to her nature. She was considering her situation when her companions to be entered the tavern.

         Regilaraen was a druid of no small stature among her circle. She was quiet and competent.  It sat well with her that the Arch Druid sent her on this task. Destroy the goblins of Durncrag before they ruined the rivers and fouled the lakes with their rough craft. She was not familiar with her companions but the Ranger would be well trusted. After all, they were allies.

        Jerimia entered the bar last. He was sent by the ranger Hornfell to assist the Arch Druid in clearing the goblin chieftain from the Durncrag mine. He was the ranger who discovered the incident along with the dwarf cleric Arifal. It made him the logical choice to lead this mission, though he was surprised to find the young druid had been placed in command. He would do his duty.

              The three companions met and introduced themselves. It was awkward at first but they soon warmed up to each other, knowing the peril they were walking into. The quest would be brutal though mercifully short. They had but to get to the pass and up into the Durncrag mine, find the chieftain and slay him. What could possibly go wrong?

 

       The journey to Silverstreams pass was swift , Jerimia led the way down the same river valley that he and Arifal had been earlier. The old abandoned homes still sat quiet and empty, the heroes used them for shelter. Pressing on they came towards the pass itself, at the very threshold of the Spine of the World mountains. The pass was quiet, only the sound of the river pouring down the pass was heard.

     It was enough for the druid to send Jerimia out to scout. Cora was concerned as well. There concerns were well founded as a goblin ambush was sprung. It would be a short and sharp fight. The Druid Regilaeran cast an entangle that put several of the little beasts out of action. Cora and Jerimia were swift and ruthless in their attacks and the goblins were soon all slain.

       Walking through the ruins of goblinkind, the heroes checked them for tribe markings and discovered that these goblins were far from home. It would seem that someone or something had brought them so far for a purpose. It had to be something more sinister than simply pouring mine runoff into a stream. Jerimia was concerned with this. Cora looked bored with the lack of excitement.

          Walking through the narrow paths in the foothills, they finally came upon the gates to the Durncrag mines. The entrance was near a cold and fast waterfall with merely a narrow stone bridge leading to its yawning gate. Cautiously they entered. Moving like flitting wraiths they passed down carved corridors.  Looking to the right of their path they saw the ice cold river pass by. Somewhere in the heart of this mountain the source of the stream bursts from rock.

         They came at last upon a junction with Cora deciding that it was best to turn off from the main corridor. The ground seemed higher and drier the course she chose and Jerimia could not fault her thinking. They pressed on until they came to a large cavern. The cavern seemed only part natural, the rest being cut and carved by miners picks.  The room had a great set of double doors on the other end.

           They moved cautiously through the chamber and approached the heavy doors.  Cora checked for traps and picked the lock, displaying the skills that made her so valuable to Regilaraen to begin with. The druid then took the lead, making a gentle light glow from her hand. The tunnel beyond was more natural than worked save for the rails for mine carts on the ground. She pressed on with her companions following shortly behind.

          The corridor seemed to go on forever until they came to a great crevasse where only the rails formed a bridge of wood and iron across the gulf. Quietly they pressed yet again. Hoping that they had still gone quite unnoticed. It was not to be, at halfway across a great cloud of bats erupted from the depths and tried to swarm them off the span. Regilaraen quickly raised her hand to the sky and barked out a simple spell, but it was enough! A mighty shockwave shattered the fragile vermin's ears and caused them to fall back into the abyss. The druid's quick thinking and near as quick actions had saved them from disaster.

    They continued across the span until hard ground returned under their feet. The next chamber opened before them to reveal a great delving. Many mine carts and several shacks lay scattered about the cavern. There was indications that a great vein of silver still rested here in the dark. They had little time to marvel at it as need propelled them forward. Driving a grueling pace Jerimia knew it merely a matter of time before the goblins became suspicious of the silence of their sentries.

              The corridor they trod at last came to an end in a wide chamber that overlooked yet another abyss. below them they could hear fast moving water and could feel the chill coming up. Looking around they thought at first a dead end, until Cora noticed a ladder going down into the darkness. It appeared that goblins had used this even recently as Jerimia found tracks. The druid considered their options before she decided that they would go down into the abyss.

         The climb went on for over 200 feet. until they hit the cold shallow water below. The chill went right to the bone. they followed the current in the dark. Allowing the natural phosphorescence to light their path. It would seem their intuition was correct as up ahead the water though a bit deeper was losing a lot of its force. They entered a large water filled cavern with a massive wooden platform in the center.

          On the platform they saw a roaring fire and goblins from the tribe about it.  And there in the center the goblin chieftain stood amongst his minions. Their target was now within reach and most of his tribe was away. The heroes slowly crept forward to attack. Jerimia knocked an arrow and prepared to loose as Regilaraen slowly began casting her spell of entanglement. Cora had seemingly disappeared but her companions knew she was merely looking for way to attack from some hidden way.

           Taking a deep breath, Jerimia drew and fired. the lead goblin was slain instantly, while the others let out surprised howls as vines and creepers came from nowhere to entangle them.  Cora leapt from the shadows and quickly dispatched a goblin archer as her companions rushed to the attack. To his credit the great goblin did not flee, he instead rushed into the fight with his man-bane scimitar. He tried to take Jerimia face to face and for a moment seemed as though he would be a match for the ranger. A swift dagger to the back ended his pretensions and he slumped quietly into death.

          Looking around at the now silent cavern Regilaraen realized that now with their quarry slain, the remaining goblins would soon depart.  That would do them no good if caught down here in the depths.  They fled swiftly back the way they came. Cora's uncanny dungeoneering skills kept them from any harm in the dark corridors and caves of the mine. Once outside it was for Jerimia and Regilaraen to guide them safely back to Easthaven.

         All the way back Cora thought of a nice hot spiced rum and warm fire, the trip had been somewhat profitable after all. Regilaraen split off first, headed to the ancient grove where the Arch Druid Bromstead waited for her report. Jerimia went to find the dwarf Arifal to let him know what had occurred. The surly old priest would then carry the word to Dain Stokeley.  Things were now in motion that could not be stopped. It was only a matter of time now before the enemy revealed itself. …………..

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A shadow in Easthaven
a night in the "White Lady" tavern

     This night started as so many others had for Arifal. He had recently returned from his mission to Dain Stokeley. There were matters in these lands that needed looking after and the Dain had sent him back. After all, Arifal had proven quite adept at solving problems and he was close to some of the other elements in the dale that could prove useful.

       It was a night such as this that he would meet them. Walking in from the chill rainy night, Arifal went up to the bar and ordered his usual. Most patrons waited to be served. Arifal had other ideas and being as he was a regular since the place opened he went around behind the bar and helped himself. The barkeep Bartaban had no problems with this arrangement as it made him good coin. Addie the barmaid was kept quite busy this night, though there were far fewer patrons.

           The famed halfling bard Rinaldo was nowhere to be seen and a taller white haired lady was playing her instrument instead. Her lute was not bad but it was clear she banked on her looks. Still it was strange that Rinaldo was not present. Cora quipped as much to Arifal, somewhat startling the stalwart dwarf. She had entered almost unnoticed and promptly helped herself to the bar. She placed 4 coppers for her drink and entertained herself by moving the coins around (and pocketing a few) when Bartaban was not looking.

           The final member of their trio arrived a bit later. Shaking the rain from his cloak, Jerimia strode into the warm, dimly lit tavern. The "White Lady" was not his favorite watering hole (despite the welcoming arms of Leanne, the tavern's "hostess") but this night he had business with companions. Leanne gave him her sweetest smile, but he was in no mood for this night. Dark things had been testing the bounds of the ranger's patrols.

             Arifal saw his old companion enter and watched as he took a table off on his own. He wondered what was on the man's mind. Then he saw two rough looking barbarians enter the tavern and take up a corner table (which Arifal knew meant they must be looking for trouble). Jerimia had seen them down the street, he watched them follow him to the bar.

          The place was on edge though the usual patrons were not aware of it.  A third barbarian had entered after a bit and made himself comfortable in another part of the tavern floor. The three of them were looking around and leering at the various members of the party. It was clear they were up to no good, but this made it seem more targeted than random. Arifal started pretending to be far more drunk than he really was. He intended to get closer to the newcomers. All was starting to come together when the bard got up and she left.

          The next interruption was a Ffolk barbarian that wandered in already two sheets to the wind. He was a talkative sort, full of bluster and booze. Poor Leanne took one look at him and the other ruffians and began silently trying to get Jerimia's attention. Cora was amused to the point of considering if any of them were worth stealing anything from. She moved closer to the large Ffolk and he was shocked to see that she was a "wee little gal".

           The barbarians, save the drunken Ffolk began looking over the heroes for one final assessment, Arifal had drawn their attention with his faux drunken tomfoolery. Then a cruel looking woman with ratty blonde hair walked in. She had a perpetual sneer and looked over the party with contempt. Cora disliked her at first sight. Thinking that meant time to prepare for violence, Cora went towards the woman. The newcomer made some petty snipes at Cora before letting out a signal for her men to attack.

           The barbarians launched into a sudden ambush, the attack was unfortunately for them, well prepared for. Arifal took to the violence with gusto, no longer appearing drunk in the slightest. Cora took out her blades and went knife to knife with the cruel woman. Jerimia took to shooting at the attackers. Arifal had some "assistance" from the Ffolk which involved the drunken lout falling over a table and landing on his face. They fell into a rough scrum in that corner of the tavern, while Jerimia calmly shot arrows at the foe. Cora was in a one sided knife fight with her foe, quickly wearing her enemy down with shallow cuts.

           As the battle turned more against the attackers, they had three more men rush in to assist. These were not barbarians, but local toughs.  Cora recognized the tall bald man that rushed in to attack Arifal, and the fellow who thought an archery duel with Jerimia was a good idea.  Thinking this was getting out of hand (and grateful that Arifal convinced the tavern staff to get out of the room earlier) Cora decided to end her duel with the blonde. She moved fast and jammed her dagger into the woman's gut, doubling her over then drove her other blade through her torso. Just in time as the third thug came in snapping his whip at Cora. He hit her right in the chest and knocked the breath out of her, but only briefly. Quick as a snake (and professional tavern brawler) Cora ducked inside and gutted the bastard. She first cut his trousers down around his ankles, knocked him over, then a swift slice across the throat stilled him.

         She looked back to see Jerimia drive an arrow through the other archers eye with such force that it took him back out the door into the street. Arifal finished his battle with a massive hammer blow to the skull of the man known as Billiam Cowhurd. Billiam hit the ground with the stamp of Mithral Hall embedded in his forehead. The last barbarian looked frightened. In mere moments his entire ambush came apart and he found himself all alone. Arifal being the merciful dwarf he is told him simply "surrender". This would prove to be the luckiest day in his life (save the day he got his moniker of "wyrmpiss") the barbarian Uric of the wolf tribe readily surrendered.

        Arifal then checked for survivors.  His mercy was rewarded with two unconscious and one concious captive. The blonde woman had been wearing a wig, now that it was off, her red hair gave her away to Cora. She recognized now both Billiam and Bryce (no relation to each other), both were well known lowlifes about Bryn Shander, though Bryce was new to town and less of a known quantity.  Billiam, now he was a funny chap. Full on idiot. But he had "Slim's" ear and that meant something on the streets. Cora kept note in her head about this little alliance she had helped dispatch.

         A quick search of the captives had shown the hand of yet another player in the mix. They found a wizards sigil on two scroll cases. It was apparent from Bryce's admonitions to kill the whole party and find the "key" that this new player had vested interest in the party's demise. Jerimia had little enough concern and decided to take Leanne upstairs to "comfort" her, leaving the interrogation all to Arifal and Cora. Arifal was the more patient (and merciful) of the pair and entered into a bantering tone with Billiam. Cora could only laugh as the damned fool essentially spilled the beans about everything. Including his task to remove Bryce as a rival by his "Master".

       Arifal had finally heard enough from the fool, tied him up and took him out to sit in the rain. After all a nice cool rainy night in Easthaven is just what a fractured skull could use to heal. After that he turned Uric loose. He had decided the poor tribesman had suffered enough. Told him to take his money (what he and his fellows were paid to help assassinate the party) and go. Uric swore then and there that he would always remember the mercy of Arifal and would repay the debt!

            After those two he finally decided it was time for Bryce to wake up and answer for her part. Arifal was always too much a gentleman and the conversation took longer than Cora would have liked. But as usual, he coaxed out all he wanted to hear. She admitted her lover the apprentice necromancer Eyrdak Falcurst had sent her and Billiam to eliminate the party and recover the key to the tomb of the mage Hobart Folstrom. Arifal vaguely remembered the name (an old foe long ago slain) She was shocked when Arifal showed her the letter instructing Billiam to eliminate her, after that, the answers flowed freely.  Arifal decided that in the morning, they would be paying master Falcurst a little visit. He was hiding out in an old abandoned temple to Umberlee.

         The heroes took the rest of the night off, but Arifal kept Bryce close at hand, he could not fully trust her and she had agreed to lead them to the necromancers lair and assist where she could. The night went far too fast for the drunken and the tired. Yet in the morning Arifal was briskly rushing down for bacon and ale!  Slowly Jerimia woke and gently slid out of the bed, careful to leave Leanne asleep. He headed down to find Arifal eating like he had not had a drop to drink! Cora came down next and the three all sat for a hearty breakfast. They were not surprised to hear The Ffolk (his name was finn by the way) cursing and falling down the stairs. Bryce was last down, far too tired and hurt to just jump up.

        Breakfast was soon done and Arifal was eager to get this done with,  a wizard is not a foe to leave unchallenged for long. They can come up with all manner of mischief. Rallying the party away from the breakfast table, they set off towards a small part of town  near the edge, an abandoned dock area. Cora faded into the background and moved to the side streets, her eyes scanning the shadows for any sign of movement. It was eerily still throughout and Bryce made clear that the abandoned houses could harbor the undead.  This brought some consternation but they pressed on valiantly.

         The place was a bit eerie by the old chapel and some of the statues seemed almost alive, staring out into the wild from the edge. Cora kept a steady pace checking for any watcher. Jerimia kept looking at those creepy statues staring in towards the party….That was when they all suddenly realized that something was wrong. Arifal dropped a pillar of holy fire on the lead gargoyle. That caused them to assault the party suddenly.  Cora engaged quickly but was unsure of the danger of the beasts stone skin. She was told by Bryce that the dagger she took from her was capable of harming the beasts. Arifal and jerimia rained destruction from afar, Bryce threw eldritch blasts to assist while Cora went into close combat. Jerimia saw that she was outnumbered so drew his swords and engaged.  Again the fight was swift and terrible, but after some fierce injuries to the heroes, the gargoyles were destroyed and the party approached the temple.

          The front door was locked and Cora sprung into action, unlocking it with her usual skill. Entering in slowly she checked the area and thought it safe. Of course the Ffolk barbarian did his usual careless strut and promptly got himself shocked to death by a lightning bolt trap in the main chamber. Cora was a bit shocked but quickly managed to disable the trap (pocketing it for later use) Bryce then directed them to the hidden door to the crypts below.

      The corridors were dark and damp but the heroes pressed on with Cora checking for traps and other unpleasant surprises. The going was slow but cautious and they managed to at last arrive at the inner sanctum. The necromancer was waiting for them, a sneer on his face. Arifal boldly entered the chamber to greet him, not pausing for his two zombie guards, but instead routing them with a burst of divine energy. The necromancer tried to negotiate, seeing as he was outnumbered and likely outclassed. He was surprised to see his former associate with his enemies, but was far more surprised when Jerimia put an arrow in his heart.

          It was a harsh surprise! as he sunk into death he was unaware of his pet rust monster making nice with his foes. The heroes then searched the place over for clues and treasure. It was then that the necromancers master tried to contact him. Fortunately Arifal was quick thinking and had Bryce respond instead. She was certain that the voice on the other end was none other than Vaelish Gant. A new arrival in the Ten Towns and potential threat. He was supposedly plotting to take over.

                    The heroes had heard enough and left the crypts, sealing them behind. They recovered the body of the poor Ffolk and then returned to the tavern to consider the night. Jerimia was unfortunate as Leanne's attentions were elsewhere. Seeing his friends "distress" he instead tried to set him up with Bryce. While all this was occurring Cora felt an eerie presence. thinking not much of it she continued to listen to the bard who was back and playing music. Jerimia excused himself, while Bryce mistook a quip from him as more than it was. He stepped out into the night. Something had been watching, and it was of some concern.

            Jerimia tracked it down the street, but then was assaulted by two animated corpses. They had strange yellow lights glowing in their eyes and he realized their was more to them than mere zombies. The first was cut down with arrows and the second, surprisingly withdrew. Much to Jerimia's surprise. The first to fall had two yellow glowing fireflies leap from his eye sockets then fly away. Considering this he went back to the tavern and brought out his companions. They returned to the area and began searching. Finally they did discover the source of the watching. A small wood and vine construct! They chased it until if fled into a house. Arifal, concerned for the inhabitants, kicked in the door and blasted it with divine fire.  The creature was instantly destroyed to the shrieking of the family inside. Arifal was quick to calm them down before excusing himself back to the tavern. It was going to be one of those evenings he was sure of it!……………………..

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