Lost Lands Mega-Campaign

The Hollowman went down to Levoca

Well Hollowman went to Levoca
He was lookin’ for a head to steal
He was in a bind, and out of his mind
Dealing a harsh sentence with no repeal

Levoca had already been hurt
Mad wolves had attacked the town
Then Hollowman came for Kostya
Wreaking havoc without a sound

The village was in a panic
Furry bodies nailed to the trees
Only Mother Molvar still standing
Taking news as calmly as you please

There were some adventuring men
From out of town who thought they were hot
Mother Molvar jumped on a hickory stump
“You’re not much but you’re all we got.”

They probably didn’t know it
Madness stalked the woods they knew
But they did care, they took the dare;
Though they knew not what to do.

The Hollowman’s not but an empty shell
Wrapped around a harsh and relentless will.
They soon learned it had to be burned.
Without fire, it’s damned hard to kill.

The boys sought kindling and cooking oil
But there was not much on the ground;
On Levoca soil, despite endless toil,
There were hardly flames to be found.

A woman spoke up. “My name’s Mikka.
I’m the protector of these wooded lands.”
She’d do what she could to heal the wood,
Blasting Hollowman with flaming hands.

Now chase the Hollowman and chase him hard
Madness broke loose in Levoca and a monster deals the cards
And if you win you get Levoca safe and whole
But if you lose Hollowman gets your soul

[fiddle interlude]

The chocolate gnome laid an entangle,
Desperately slowing the Hollowman.
Caramir fired his bow, Morti gave a loud crow,
Alchemist fire thrown better than planned.

Fire in the woods now, run boys, run
Hollowman’s hurt, low moaning begun
Can we get him to turn, we don’t know…
Levoca’s in danger, now don’t be slow!

We’ve bellowed our challenges
Refusing to let Hollowman by;
We’ve found our voice, we’ve got no choice
It’s stop him now or leave Levoca to die.

Morti said, “Hollowman, come on back
You know you want to try us again;
I told you once you stupid dunce
We’ll fight you ’til we win!”

Fire in the woods now, run boys, run
Hollowman’s hurt, low moaning begun
Can we get him to turn, we don’t know…
Levoca’s in danger, now don’t be slow!

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Light in the Woods
Elven musings

He understood now that perhaps he had been walking alone for too long – ever since leaving his homeland, spending years on the road on his own had made him a suspicious one. He questioned everyone’s motives, and slowly began ceasing to believe in those that do ‘Good’ just for its own sake.

Strangely enough, he usually ended up doing exactly that – his long years had shown him a lot, and even though Caramir felt he had not yet found a path to thread, he veered towards ‘helping others’ most often than not – his natural elven aloofness sometimes made it hard to approach them, but he always found himself trying, usually harder than he expected.

Levoca had crawled under his skin, perhaps due to the simple nature of the place, or maybe something was rubbing off from the others he walked with – most of them he still could not really read – they were an improbable bunch, thrown together without really knowing much about each other, as if they simply walked together ‘because’, or was it the ‘doing good’ thing all over again? Regardless of how he felt about Morti’s honest concern, or Karl’s apparent detachment, he could not deny that walking in the company of others after so many years had an impact on him – sometimes he enjoyed simply standing there in silence, listening to the young souls exchanging their points of view on others and on the world.

But Levoca… It was a simple place, not unlike many others across the world, made of simple people (as simple as humans can ever be – he had learned things are never straightforward) with honest, headlong concerns. Why was it then that it mattered so much to him? Caramir had travelled many times through such places, often seeing them as no more than a temporary stop spot where he could find supplies, or work. Perhaps that had been his mistake all along – looking for a greater picture away from the common daily life, when something so small like this village, could need so much. He smiled – having always been proud of paying attention to details, it seemed he might have overseen those in front of his face. Would it give his life more meaning, if he would make a difference for Levoca, Mother Molvor, Olav, Kostya’s widow?

He decided to give it a try – if there was one thing elves had oodles of, was time – spending whatever time with the small settlement to make sure they would be ‘well on their way’ would mean nothing but a speck of time in his life. Six months, one year, until he felt they did not need him anymore – perhaps it was selfishness that moved the elf instead of the care for the inhabitants? At least he would find out.

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Day Two
"Tonight I live again"- Makirut's leatherbound journal

Arn’s Day- Departed Tent City Early.

We set out. No longer is Morrigan in our company. In her place we have Larrieux. He is a lighthearted and greedy scamp. However, he appears well traveled, and perhaps he has someone who might ransom us.

Tonight I told them the story I collected from Figgins before he died in that awful pen.

Windsong Nomad’s Son

The Tale of the Guardian of Huidar pt. I

“For my talents are not those of Shaun Fairhill, elegant explorer of the records of the nobles – who was court bard for a time in Oghma’s honor. I am rather of the spirit of Sharn the Mad –essayist of renown in the time after the heroes. Like him, I love to hear men speak of the supernatural. I take what people tell me. They are most of them survivors. I take what my culls from all quarters tell me and like a flyer I bind it into story.
Human beings prefer to believe in fixed, regular laws. Some of the gods would have it be so. This world is to be rigid, and fast, and stout. But there are stranger things out there than the tattooed men who chased Heric Scalebane from the Forest of Hope.
To someone who listens patiently, antiquity is opened, and loose fly tales far stranger than the country of crystal rats.
Tonight I offer a simple story from Master Songling – The Last Immortal.

Dagris Donald, a man of the city bureaucracy was indisposed for sickness when in the middle of the day he was disturbed. His visitor was an official rider bearing a summons and a horse the color of cherrywood with a white blaze across its face. Bureaucrat Donald tried to explain to the rider that he had cleared his time under the orders of his department, but the rider was intent and earnest. And so Dagris Donald relented and went with the rider.
The way was strange, but before the sun could set they arrived at a strong city – a city of a prince. Here Dagris Donald was led into the clerical offices and presented in a room with two tables and two stools. Upon one stool was seated another clerk, and so Bureaucrat Donald took his seat beside the man. Only when he cast his eyes up to the other table did he realize that these were ten examiners he did not know. The one woman he knew instantly. In the hall stood Mitra above the others. She bore upon her shoulders the scales of fire and at her hip carried her sword in scabbard.
On the table sat writing materials for two men. As Donald sat, from the ceiling a directive came down to lie on the table before the two men.
One man two men; by intenion without intention
He took up his pen at once and began his essay. In his response Dagris of Donaldshire included this couplet.

Though one man does virtue by intention, he shall receive no reward
Though two men do harm without intention, they shall receive no punishment

The examiners praised his essay when it was reviewed, and summoned Dagris forward to their table. The presiding gods complimented his intention and spoke aloud,
“A Guardian Angel is wanted in Huidar. Go you and take up the appointment.”
So Dagris Donald was made Guardian of Huidar by the deities."

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Day One
"Tonight I live again"- Makirut's leatherbound journal

Muir’s Day- Returned to Bard’s Gate.

After a fashion, it is Tent. Nestled against the fortifications are the fornications of barbarians and traders. Copulation produces jangling metal, squelching knee-deep mud, and the permanent aroma of incense and smoked meats. Among the Longhunter rangers it is home and it is a foreign county. Today there are no deep elves in attendance of my murder.

Didn’t tell the captain about the ledger in the end. Would only try to talk me out of it. He is al’right. `Was going to the wanderer’s camp to look for information when Karl turned up. Met Mama Bobo finally. Turns out the whole Wandering thing is a bit of a sham. Just a diviner of a kind. She recognized us. Or at least she appeared to. Not sure if I believe any of it. If I believe it, I don’t trust her. There was, if you believe it, a monk on the road outside. He was about to duel some brute and we stepped in to referee. As far as duels go, it was far more civil than I expected it to be, lasted half as long as it should have, and only engaged about a quarter of the brawlers it could have. Are all monks bent?

This fellow – Okrin Goodspeed is his name – he tried to fight a duel in tent city. If this is our guy, I fear it may take more than the powers of Karl and myself to ensure his delay of inhumation.

I stuck the foolish cad – the brute- and he seemed to settle down. Still, things were not adroitly concluded. The tree folk discouraged immediate bloodshed, and yet I am now more eager to be moving on before this catches up with us.

Those treefolk Morrigan and Cian call themselves the Tuath and they play at being royalty. By my measure they are free and open at being good people, so it is either a scheme or their livelihoods within berg will be with all likelihood swift and loud affairs.

There is also a ranger to travel with us. He goes by Caramir and I mark him warily. He may be the most dangerous of our group. When I asked around Ft. RV, none knew him, and he carries a weather-worn bow and arrows with midnight black fletching. He is calloused as an expert, and unknown. Writ in so many words – he is worth watching closely.

Karl for his part is oddly unreadable. I can feel the change in him since we last met. We haven’t had a chance to talk much, but it seems the gods want me in Endhome for more than the old man’s ledgers. It seems – it seems dangerous and foolish to indulge them in this. There is talk of a heavy bandit presence on the roads – heavier than usual before the harvest caravans. The fortune teller promised gold, now there is a bounty for the Greenleaf bandits, and whispers of something else.

Mother-Merchant is more than he appears. She is willing to lay out a symphony for certain papers. I know where they might be, but I don’t have enough together to run off just yet. Fie upon coincidence. It seems as’if the whole song has but one refrain. Which echoes in my mind.

The Cantris Accord, my fate adored, cut silver cord.”

Where did I read that? Bard’s Gate seems like it was a lifetime ago, and I don’t know if that is a bridge that can ever be crossed again. We set out tomorrow morning and there is only little time for research. My best hope is that no one else from our group is running their mouth off about our trip out in the morning.

To put my tensions to rest, I will say we appear to have a strong group for the voyage assembled. Wizards’ brains and spiritual warriors. They seem insouciant to my presence on the whole. Names, backgrounds, baggage to be left behind. We will go to Endhome and then we will part ways, it seems. We will be quick, quiet, and safe – or we will all be thick and quite dead.

I haven’t lasted all of this to die on the road. I trust the gods by me swear more purpose than that.

Addendum:: Rumors this morning that the worshipers of Muir want to take their old haunted ruin back. I can’t imagine what they could attempt with the place. It might take a miracle.

Windsong Nomad’s Son

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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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