Lost Lands Mega-Campaign

Talric's Journal Entry One: The Pit
By Talric Dtunson

Noon, Thor’s Day, 4th Moon

This journal and a piece of graphite is all that the raiders left me, thinking that the entries were worth nothing and that the book was not dangerous. I am rather sad that they are right. When I got it back, I briefly considered the notion to burst my bonds and attack the raiders with it, but I dismissed it. That tactic would do me nothing but injure me again. I do not fathom why the raiders would keep an already proven dangerous foe alive. I would’ve thought that they were trying the ransom me off to the nearby village, but they should have known by my clothes that I was from nowhere near this region, due to their design to keep the cold of my homelands at bay.

I have nothing to do but think for a while in this pit, and this journal will help me record my thoughts. Thoughts are a valuable commodity, so rare in this world. It would do me good to remember them.

* * *

Later

When my companions came to, I tried creating an escape plan with them. We would’ve gone through with it too, unless I had learned that we could escape in a much less bloodless way. The raider fraujaz, Killian, has learned of an important clan totem that resides in a dangerous dungeon., called the Die of Fate. _He has offered us our lives in exchange for the Die_, and we all agreed. For letting us go, I am honorbound to retrieve the Die for him, although I fear that my companions feel that out best bet is to find the other way in-and out-of the dungeon, and escape with all of the treasure. Although I am honorbound to serve the raider fraujaz, I plan to advise my companions about Fraujaz Killian’s men and his mastery of the land. If we were to try to escape with the treasure, we would be hunted down ruthlessly. I hope that this will give my companions reason to not abandon their duty to Fraujaz Killian.

The following writings are grease-stained.

Fraujaz Killian has provided us with mutton and mead for dinner. It is good quality stuff, though I think I shall stay away from the mead. It fogs the mind, deadens the reflexes, and turns you into either a hot-headed fool or a blubbering idiot. I also don’t want to have a nasty hangover on the morning of our departure.

We leave at dawn of Freya’s Day.

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Jerrid's Journal - Entry 9

Entry 9In the night a band of skulking gnolls attack. They manage to get close and set off burning brands of incense, probably to attract the stirges. Four of them are killed, one blinded, we do not get hurt so the luck was with us. The rest ran away. I kept the two extra brands for later in the woods. Might make a good decoy or trap. But somehow the stirges do not attack, the rest of the night is uneventful and in the morning we get the chance to discuss the fight. Ha! Later on in the woods Vhillish and Leoven find lots of the yellow thimbleweed and I start making a tisane for everyone.

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Jerrid's Journal - Entry 8

Entry 8After the party gets kitted out with tents and mule, everyone leaves Fairhill at mid-morning. Travelling quickens as the soldiers teach us to hustle, march and walk, march and walk. We head for the next waystation, and Lannet explains about Eralion’s Keep and where it is. It is rumoured to be haunted by a vampire with secret chambers hidden below. Janna knows how to enter there but is not ready to explain this before the little thief.

Later on we find the burnt remains of three orckind, charred by magical fire and a sign of the passing of a mage of talent. Strangely they had been looted. Lannet never did it last time and he mentioned that the dwarf was a “holy roller” above such robbing. Why do we hunt them? We reach an empty waystation and camp for the night. Next morning we are ambushed. Five bandits shoot Damien then get slotted by the party. I shall not mention tripping over the stockade tops but it was a bad risk when the bandits surrounded me on the ground. But Vhillish did jerry-build a platform for us in double quick time. Back on the trailway and we spend the day getting to the next Waystation.

OOC Recap
However Leoven shared more information on the wizard Eralion from his religious studies. Eralion was a prominent citizen of Fairhill some 90 years ago, a wizard with connections in Reme . Why he moved out to the woods is unknown. He was very devoted to Thyr, so much that his Keep included a small personal chapel dedicated to Thyr. Supposedly demons helped him construct the Keep, but that must be false when a Chapel to Thyr was built. Need to check the veracity of this chapel. Probably elementals helped him build his Keep. Eralion has been believed dead for at least 20 years. His resident cleric was dismissed from the chapel 6-8 years before then when he wanted more privacy. Bandits came and went since but the proximity to the Tradeway meant they were quickly cleaned out. The chapel of Thyr is simply abandoned. Previous notes state that a flag of Thyr was still flying from the chapel steeple when the Waymarch soldiers routed the bandits 12 years ago.

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Jerrid's Journal - Entry 7

So I am sat on a rock waiting for the others. There is still morning mist and dew on the grass but that is where the best of mother Freya lies. Not in that shrine and nor within our band. My mistake was in trying to help Shandril. Her shrine, her rules and on my oath I shall never step in there again. I cost a mother a baby so that is small punishment for my error. The Crucible was part of a nine day fertility ritual. Then Samduc and Lannet appeared so now Lauriel has the prismatic gem thief in gaol while she builds a case against him. He went like a meek lamb. Now people are fetching our leader, Janna, and tents (to protect from the inhabitants of Stirge Woods). Also Shandril spoke of a flower to make a tisane so that the aroma comes out in our sweat to ward us from stirges, yellow thimbleweed.

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Valley of the Shrines - Journal Entry 1
The Group is Gathered
I was sitting in a Tavern in the Market District. I can’t remember its’ name. Mind you, this was my first visit to Bard’s Gate. I’m from a small homestead nearly 100 miles away, tucked in the corner of nowhere. Anyway, I had just gone where the crowd had suggested and I was only a few minutes into my lunch, a loose stew with black bread and some ale. That’s when they walked in. A lady with a weird hat and her daughter. Or so I thought. Turns out they were two “artifact historians”. One a Teifling, some sort of half-human/half-demon person, and the other a halfling, a race of small people. Like I said, I’m from a small town. Never seen none ’a them before. They came looking for muscle for an expedition to some shrines. They’d come into possession of a defiled holy artifact that apparently the church of Muir had wanted to check on. Hadn’t sent anyone out there in decades or more and didn’t realize things could get that bad. I took the job offer along with some dwarf who was more drunk than ol’ Blillings gets on harvest festival nights. And that’s tough. Oh, and a crazy little gnome (more little folk, but they tend to be magical) and his pet scorpion tagged along too. We headed for the temple of Muir. When we got there, we met with the clergy’s leadership and met out next two members of our expedition. Two brothers, both dedicated to Muir and bona fide badasses. We were given some things to help us with the journey, some holy water and oils. And we made no waste, heading out that afternoon.
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Jerrid's Journal - Entry 6 (Wizard's Amulet)

Entry 6 – We buried the family this morning with prayers from our paladin. Healed and rested after fighting Vortigern yesterday, we head on towards Fairhill. It should be about 6 miles since the farm is 4 from the Tradeway. Somewhere out there is a mage and his imp desperate to get us.
In the farmhouse I find my pet, Medus the viper, Vhillish gets a riding dog, Topper, and Damien has a cat. Janna and Samduc had duped the wizard giving him a useless amulet and scroll. So Janna shows us a letter that Eralion sent a friend detailing his pan to transform into a lich, unguents and a phylactery are mentioned. Sourced in Bards Gate. Where?
Astor gets a bow and fine shortsword, and I salvage some other gear. They are dead so it’s fair game.

  • Near Fairhill we met a young huntress, Estler, with a hare. She tells us that Stoneheart Forest is called the Stirge Woods locally.
  • Fairhill is in farming country with about 400 people living well. Honest sort of place with a magistrate, Arlen, and a shrine to Freya, priestess Shandril. When we get there it’s all open and not easy to hide. There were an elf, Lauriel, and her guard, Baran. He was missing one hand, a left, and a bastard sword. The drow paladin and our employer do the talking and soon we are accepted and led to Shandril and her shrine.
    There she is performing a ritual over a silver bowl and her hand enters a hot brazier with no pain. The altar has a carving of a stag and it transpires that the valuable bowl is called Freya’s Crucible and it can make the village womenfolk more fertile. And no lock. No door!! These people are touched. Now Kevezyat shows her mettle and faith burying her own hand in the brazier too, without any harm.
    So that display brings on an argument on faith and Damien is no supporter. Vhillish and the drow try to change his mind. What a pointless chat. Faith ha! Either you have it or not. No discussion.
    Shandril remembers Eralion (the necromancer) as a good wizard but that was 20 years ago. She also met a wizard who disappeared into the Woods with a female warrior, shifty man in leathers or chain and a dwarf follower of Dwerfater. Shandril had a vision that they would die killed by spiders but chose not to tell them their fate.
  • After we headed for the Drunken Cockatrice Inn. Glarian the half-elf’s famous shrine to meals and rest and it did live up to its reputation. Meals 2 sp, Rooms 2 gp There we met Lannet, a Halfling who was possibly last to see the wizard’s party and he sold them a refracting gem. Lannet had stolen that crystal from a passing merchant. This all is discussed while I clean and freshen up, and I do get the pleasure of seeing Astor’s Stare cowering the little tyke. He has a way with beggars and thieves! So Lannet becomes our guide and we agree to cover him against the newly arrived gang sent to recover the crystal and punish the Lightfingered Lannet. They are 2 halforcs, an armoured dwarf and a man in light armour.
    After a good meal, Damien and I head for Voril’s Armoury. We discuss the gnolls sickle, it’s magical and able to fit my hand. Voril talks about it being duergar crafted and from the Under Realms. I like that. Afterwards the blacksmith offers us a suit of mail to find his daughter, Arialle. She left recently with another youth, Nathiel, a woodsman.
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Jerrid's Journal - Entries 2-5 (Wizard's Amulet)

Jerrid’s Journal
Entry 2 – we found a magical pearl inside a hollow rock. That rock was part of a grinning skull rock formation, one of its teeth. They are going to work out what it does soon.

Entry 3 – wolfspider in the night! It attacked from the trees, its fangs poisoning Leoven. Janna helped him quickly while Damien raised the alarm. Then everyone sprang into action, as it skulked back up into the trees. Hit and hit again the monstrous brute changed tack and leapt down only to be hammered and sliced by the combined attacks of the soldier bard, the drow holy warrior and my friend Astor.

Entry 4 – that night Janna explained about a mage Eralion who wished to become an undead monster, a liche. He found the story in a library but another ambitious wizard called Vortigern was also after that knowledge. Janna has an enrtance key for the home of Eralion, an amulet, and so has come to take Eralion’s staff and texts into care before someone more corrupted like Vortigern does the same.

Entry 5 – as we approached Fairhill there was an unfortunate farm. With the family scattered and cut down, slaughtered young and old. Then just as we started to investigate the woods came alive with orcblood archers and Vortigern made the dead rise up against us. His familiar, Talon turned into a flying devil and tried to take Eralion’s amulet from Janna’s body while the rest of us fought hard. Kevezyat also fell and things looked bleak when Astor came into his own. The soldier bard and his sergeant claimed several victims and Leoven used divine power to harm the skeletons and zombies. Unbeknownst to anyone, Samduc the halfling boy foiled Talon the imp and saved the amulet while Vortigern and his familiar made their escape. We rested in the farm overnight while people had a chance to heal their wounds.

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Jerrid's Journal - Entry 1 (Wizard's Amulet)

Entry 1 – Janna is leading us (Astor, Damien, Jerrid, Kevezyat, Samduc and Vhillish) from Reme to Bards Gate. It turns into a wet and muddy trudge broken up by cold camps and dreary waystations. Then a local Sheriff rides up fast with two knight’s, Gerard (honourable) and Brodrick (rude) heading for an important meet at the next stockade. They have left 8 footmen behind in melee with an unusually determined and cunning band of gnolls such is the importance of their mission – they do mention a valuable item as the reason for their leaving men behind.
We decide to wait for the infantry and camp for a few hours. Woken by shouts we too are attacked by a few gnolls. I kill one with acid and he falls off the cliff. Finding 3 bound footmen still alive our relief is short lived as the gnoll leader (a shaman and his owl) tries to ambush us. He dies in the mist although Kevezyat does fall. The name of Gerard should get us entry into the next waystation…
There we meet up with a healer of Thyr, Leveon, and he joins our band by reviving Kevezyat. So the sheriff thanks us by giving Vhillish a letter. A letter!

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Wizard's Amulet Adventure Log
10 Freyasday 214

Summary of events so far:

*The newly formed fellowship set out from The Starving Stirge, in the City of Reme, on the Second Wodinsday of the Tenth Month.

*The journey took them East, on the Great Merchant Tradeway, which connects Reme to Bard’s Gate, and Freegate beyond.

*On the first night they camped at some unspecified location. Janna as yet had remained secretive about her purpose, saying only that they were travelling to the village of Fairhill, which lies about midway between Reme and Bard’s gate.

*Promises were made to reveal more when Reme was further behind them.

*Thyrsday was blighted by insufferable rain. In the afternoon, the Drow caught a brace of game hen. Hungry, but with no comfortable place to start a fire, the party pressed on.

*After dusk, the well-trained gnome, no stranger to life on the road, spotted a clearing beyond the treeline, abutting a cliff-face sure to provide some relief from the deluge of rain. At the same time this discovery was made, riders on horse-back were heard approaching from the direction they had come.

*The party succeeded at hiding themselves in the clearing as the riders approached. They were recognized as a Sheriff and two Knights, the standard mounted component of a patrol unit from the Grand Dutchy of Waymarch.

*Confident he could pass himself off as a human child in distress, the halfling Samduc revealed himself. The deep gnome was able to employ magic to achieve the same illusion, but chose to observe from the wood. The others opted to join Samduc on the road.

*The diplomatic prowess of Damien, the charm of Janna, and the military experience of Vhillish were brought to bear, winning over the Sheriff and Knights to disclose sensitive information about activity in the field, and promise them an escort by footmen and admission to the waystation that lay ahead along the road.

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The Wizard's Amulet
9 Thyrsday 214

You have traveled two days from Reme with your newfound companions. Rain and cloudy weather have marred your travels since you left, slowing your pace and forcing you to keep off the main road and travel under the eaves of the light woods to the north of the tradeway.

It seems odd at this time of year to have such strange weather. Sunshine can be seen on the far horizon, and you all have a feeling that something is amiss, as if a dark cloud is following you from Reme.

Each of you thinks back to the Starving Stirge — the inn where you formed your fellowship. You shift your packs, which seem even heavier in the rain, and recall the notice: “Seeking companions for the road, to share in glory and gold.” As you look down at your muddy boots, perhaps some of you would gladly trade the promises of gold for dry clothes and a warm fire.

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