Taelgar - The Enchanted Lands

Taelgar: The Enchanted Lands Session 11

It was late afternoon when the group paid a visit to Mordru, identified by the baker as an eccentric who particularly enjoyed red licorice, as was found near the corpse they’d found this morning.

Kithri looked to the others, then down the road. “I am curious about the plantation, too.”

Fogaban led the way, with Declan following. Kor checked his gear and followed along silently, something heavy seeming to be on his mind. Luc followed along, muttering “The over shining sky the of light the dead, shall to all turning fail and gutter red.” Mialee looked at the man, trying to decipher his rambling.

Mordru’s cottage was more run down than most of the others in town. Kithri looked it over sadly and said softly, “Aw, the poor man cannot even keep up his repairs.”

Before they could knock, the door was thrown open, revealing an elderly gentleman, not at all surprised by the group’s presence. He was the first in town who greeted them without any signs of distrust. “Welcome! Welcome! Please … come inside.”

Declan Vandross smiled pleasantly. “Thank you, we’d be delighted.”

“Greetings ….. I am Fogaban … I am here with my companions seeking your wisdom,” the dwarf said.

“Of course you are! And perhaps you are here to shed some wisdom yourself!”

Kithri offered a friendly smile. Mordu stepped out of the way so they could enter. Declan Vandross stepped inside with a polite bow to their host, followed by Fogaban. Mialee followed them inside, though weary of being here, and Kor entered last.

“Please, tell us of happenings around town,” Fogaban began, “What seems to be …. strange happening.”

Kithri stayed near the group, her eyes wandering about the rooms they could see. Mordu closed the door and moved into the largest room of the house, filled with books and scrolls and astrolabes.

“Well…I was more interested in hearing what YOU thought was happening here,” Mordru answered.

“Zombies are slowly shambling in to town, attacking people. I’m guessing it might have something to do with the disappearances at the plantation,” Declan suggested.

“Perhaps…perhaps. I think the real culprit here is,” Mordru paused dramatically then announced, “The Ancient Swamp God!”

Mialee just looked at Mordu like he’d lost his mind while Mordu nodded, very assured of his research.

“I think he’s been called to Souragne by cultists in the cemetery. I’ll have proof for sure by morning!” the wizened old man continued.

“Cultists? What proof will you get tonight?” the cleric asked.

“You’ll see…tomorrow,” Mordru teased.

“If they haven’t killed you,” Declan muttered.

“True,” Fogaban agreed.

Mordu looked at Luc and frowned. “Sorry to hear about Marcel. You know he’s undead too right? Going to eat your bones… Now Jean runs the business. All of the business. Bet he’s a bone eater too.”

“I think maybe we should go,” Mialee said impatiently.

“Go? Before you go, would you like some licorice??” Mordru asked.

Fogaban arches an eyebrow as Mordu moved over to his stockpile, picked up a jar and opened it up to reveal fresh red licorice.

Declan Vandross browses the bookshelves for any books on necromancy or death magics, but nothing stood out.

Mordu dipped his hand into the pot and pulled some licorice out, then ate it. “Gotta get some more of this tomorrow.”

“Well, thank you … but I have some of my own,” Fogaban answered.

“I know!!!,” Mordru said excitedly, “Like a calling card right???”

“So …. you like red licorice too?” Fogaban asked.

Mordru nodded, “I very much do. Too much to leave it lying around though!”

“But maybe some got dropped during a struggle?” Declan muttered.

“Who else do you know who likes it as much as we do?” Fogaban asked.

“I read. I do NOT struggle,” Mordru sniffed at the cleric, then turned back to the dwarf.

“The kids mostly. Jean Tarascon too. I think he may like licorice even more than I.”

Luc spoke up, “In sorcerer the Daegon of house the born, though shall unliving, unlife, life scorn.”

“I think the plantation is a good next step,” Kor advised.

“Or the Tarascon townhouse before we go there?” Declan suggested.

“Yes, maybe we stop by to say hello to Jean,” Fogaban agreed.

“Jean Tarascon, the sorcerer of House Daegon?” Declan asked, looking at Luc.

“Jean lives in the townhouse. But some say lights are on at the plantation…at night,”

Mordru said. “That’s where the work gets done. Servants and family used to. Now the family is splintered. Jean here…Marcel there…and poor poor Luc…just a lost one.”

“Ah, then we should take Luc to his brother,” Declan decided, eager to be rid of the nonsense-spouting nutcase.

Kithri nodded in agreement, though more from concern for the addled man.

“Well its getting late. You better get to it,” Mordru counseled.

Kithri stepped toward the door, “thank you for helping us, sir.”

“Indeed, thank you for your hospitality. Hopefully we’ll swing by tomorrow to find out the results of your investigation,” Declan bowed.

“Take care of yourself,” Fogaban said.

“You too! Live through the night if you can!” Mordru smiled.

The group gathered in the street before heading on their way. Luc stared off silently.

“Shall we go visit Jean before going to the plantation?” Kithri asked.

Kor looked around. “Whatever the majority want, I will support.”

“I think we should, if only to find out who to expect when we get there,” Declan said.

“I agree,” Fogaban agreed.

“We can expect those wanting to kill us,” Mialee grumbled.

“The townhouse is on the way to the plantation,” Kor noted, then turned to Mialee, “You are a negative elf.”

Declan Vandross headed for the townhouse. “That’s a long list, Mialee.”

Kor headed on down the road with the others. “The negativity continues. I think of it as a long list of acquaintances.”

Kithri glanced along the streets and homes to see if anyone is watching them as they walked.

“I don’t have any that want to kill me, other than Talynx and those things chasing all of you,” Mialee countered.

“It’s still early. Maybe you’ll add more to the list before morning,” Declan responded.

Kithri looked with surprise at Mialee, “um, Talynx wants to kill you?”

Kor said, “That’s news…maybe that’s why he sent her with us.”

And simultaneously, Declan remarked, “He stuck her with us, didn’t he?”

“I don’t expect any of us are going to live long,” Kor remarked.

“… And said he would speak through her,” Kithri worried.

Fogaban walked silently, listening.

“Yeah he’s done a lot of speaking, hasn’t he Mia?” Kor sneered.

Kithri looked to Kor with a crooked teasing smile, “That was negative.”

“Come on folks ….. It’ll be dark soon,” Fogaban nipped the conversation in the bud.

Declan Vandross picked up the pace.

When they arrived at the townhouse, Luc stopped in teh middle of the street. The dark, two-story building had all its windows barred and closed up. The windows looked recently boarded up, but the steel bars on the outside looked quite…strong. Kithri looked at the other homes around them to see if they had been battered or had signs of obvious patchwork.

“Another closed up house,” Fogaban noted. “What is going on around here?”

“Their people don’t stay dead,” Kor pointed out. “I’d bar my windows, too.”

Declan banged on the door, “We’ve got your brother here. Open the door before the zombies come!”

“Subtle,” Fogaban muttered.

“Sorry. Should I have annouced a licorice delivery?,” the cleric smirked.

Kithri giggled, Fogaban roared laughing.

“Maybe we should get some tomorrow, as “gifts”," the halfling suggested.

“Maybe,” Declan pondered. “Should we head back to the inn?”

Kor frowned.

Mialee took off her pack and walked over to hand it and her spear to Kithri. “Hold this for me.”

Kithri took the pack and spear as she spoke to Luc, “Luc, you have been inside before right?”

Luc responded, “Seventh doth suns of son the time rise, to of eternity an to knave the send cries.”

“That’s always been my motto,” Declan grumbled impatiently.

“Let’s check around back,” Fogaban suggested.

Mialee moved back and behind the others and began to speak in an ancient tongue. She turned in a circle then shrank and changed into a ferret. The violet eyes searched while she darted toward a small opening in the house.

Kithri blinked watching her, while Declan muttered a shocked, “Well… that’s new…”

“I’ll just watch where I step,” the dwarf said, processing the new sight.

Kor pointed at Mialee accusingly, “Ok….anyone else here beside me think that is NOT natural!?”

“What? You can’t do it?” Declan teased the barbarian.

“By Welath I can’t do that! And no one should!” Kor insisted.

“You’re no Wizard, Kor,” Fogaban said with a laugh.

“Neither was she! I bloody hate magic!”

“Well …….. we’ll see what she finds,” Fogaban said calmly.

Mialee quickly checked out the room she was in before returning to herself, only mostly naked. The door unlocked and opened a crack, she stood behind it and extended a slender arm. “My robe please.”

Declan picked up her robe and offered it to her while Kor frowned disapprovingly at Mialee.

Mialee stepped back from the door, turning and slipping her robe back on while the others entered. She noted Kor’s frown, but made no comment. Kor unsheathed his sword as he stepped inside.

Luc watched them enter, then turned and began walking back toward the inn.

“Luc is leaving,” Kithri pointed out. “He shouldn’t be out alone.”

“He might be safer out there,” Fogaban answered.

“But he is all by himself,” the halfling worried. “I’ll go get him.”

“It is getting dark out Kithri, you need to remain with us,” Mialee said.

“Agreed. Let the lost boy go,” the barbarian nodded.

“But who is going to watch out for him?”

Declan Vandross patted Kithri on the shoulder, “The gods watch over the innocent and the fools. Luc qualifies as both.”

“Which are we?” Kor asked.

“Fools.” Mialee stated succinctly as she shouldered her pack and took her spear back from Kithri.

“If you have to ask…” Declan smiled at the barbarian.

“Fine, fine,” Kor grumbled.

“Alright,” Kithri nodded lightly to the cleric, though she had her doubts.

The house was well-appointed and full of expensive (but dusty) furniture. Downstairs they found a parlor, dining room, sitting room, a kitchen and the cook’s room, all empty, and a stairwell leading up. Fogaban unsheathed his axe as they explored, then looked at the floor and saw trails in the dust leading up the stairs.

“Tracks over here …….. I’m going to go up stairs and check,” Fogaban whispered as he eased up the stairs.

Each stair creaked loudly in the darkness as he, Declan and Kithri ascended. Kor and Mialee waited below.

“I once watched a man impaled who walked up Talynx’ stairs,” Mialee warned.

Fogaban stopped and inspected the stairs carefully for traps. Finding none, he continued on with the others close behind.

Upon reaching the top of the stairs they were met with a short hallway. There were two doors on both sides of the hall. Kithri worked her way around Fogaban and listened at the first door. The dwarf looked back at the cleric.

Declan shrugged and whispered, “Which way do the footprints go?”

Fogaban looked and footprints led to both doors.

Mialee decided to look around on her own, and soon called back to Kor. “Found something.”

Kor stepped into the room with her, “What did you find?”

Mialee held up a hand of red ropy candy. “Licorice. We need to join the others. I have a bad feeling.”

“After you,” the barbarian said with a frown and a nod.

Upstairs, Kithri checked the door for any traps, and clearing it moved on to the next.

Fogaban opened the first door and stepped into a bedroom, clearly recently used.

The next door was locked. Kithri inserted her lockpicks and a small dart shot out, barely missing her as she flinched her head away. She gasped and looked at the others, holding up her hand in warning.

Fogaban looked around the empty room and muttered, “So, someone came up here from the basement to sleep but bypassed all the other rooms on the main floor. Sleep ….. or have sex …. not sure.”

The cleric leaned his head into the room and whispered, “And probably hid in the room Kithri just tried.”

Kithri shook her head and moved to look inside. She had found the owner’s study. A desk and chair had been recently used, as well as a bookshelf on the far wall. This room was cleanest of them all. Fogaban joined her in the room.

“Weird, this room is dusted,” he said as he examined the walls. “Check the desk, Kit.”

Everyone else stepped inside behind them. There was some licorice scattered on the desk. The parchments and books appeared to be about the plantation and its profitability. The only thing on the wall was painting of three men. One of them looked like Luc.

Kithri examined the desk carefully for traps and slid her hand along the underside of the desk while looking under it to see if there was anything hidden. “It looks like business papers on top with the licorice,” she reported back to the dwarf, then to the others, “I didn’t see anything here.”

“In the drawers?” Declan asked.

“Nothing,” she said as she searched the drawers and rifled through more useless paperwork.

Mialee walked over to the portrait of the three men and carefully eased it a bit from the wall. Kithri looked over at the bookshelf and found a set of books made of wood and hollowed out, a storage compartment of sorts.

“This is weird,” she muttered.

“What?” Fogaban asked her.

The halfling pulled the books from the shelf and turned it over. Inside they found a black hooded cloak, its pockets full of licorice…and it was wrapped around a scroll tube.

“Well, that’s interesting,” Declan commented as Mialee moved closer. “That’s what the attacker was wearing. Seems we’ve found our man.”

“Or at least his robe,” Fogaban said.

“Who? Jean?” Kor asked.

“Or someone who comes here,” Kit pointed out.

“That’s who they say has been living here,” Declan reminded them.

Kithri held out the scroll tube to the others. Kor regarded it as if it were cursed. Declan took it, opened it, and poured an ancient scroll out. He unrolled it carefully and read:

These signs were foreseen by Hyskosa, a Vistani most gifted with the Sight. Spread word of these wherever you travel. Only the true hearted can stop the fall of the night of evil.
The night of evil shall descend on the land
When this hexad of signs is near at hand.
In the house of Daegon the sorceror born
Though life, unlife, unliving shall scorn.
The lifeless child of stern mother found
Heralds a time, night of evil unbound.
Seventh time the son of suns doth rise
To send the knave to an eternity of cries.
Inajira will make his fortunes reverse
Dooming all to live with the dreaded curse.

He paused and noted, “Then there’s a big tear… And it finishes
The light of the sky shining over the dead
shall gutter and fail, turning all to red.

Kithri set the box down and looked for more fake books in the bookcase.

“Any idea what that means?” Fogaban asked.

“Luc didn’t say them with the words in that order…maybe he memorized it wrong,” Kor noticed.

“Luc knows of these passages …. and he is alone?” Kithri worried.

“Sounds more like what Mialee has been trying to say…” Kor noted.

“Maybe he heard Jean say them?” Kithri continued.

“Or maybe he is the pure at heart,” Mialee suggested.

“Maybe Luc knows the torn part?”

“These are omens…of something very bad….” Kor insisted.

“Sounds like we need to visit the cemetary,” Mialee offered.

“For Jeramiah?” Kithri asked.

“We should go check downstairs …… at the other end of that trail of footprints. But first I want to search the bedroom again,” Fogaban said.

A voice called from downstairs, “Hello! Jean? Anyone up there?”

Kithri drew her daggers when she heard the voice. Fogaban rushed into the hall and whispered, “Who is that?”

“Its the Constable….Constable Gremin. Something’s happened at the inn,” the voice called up.

Kithri sighed, whispering “Luc?”

“I was told you hadn’t returned, and its afterdark, so I came to see if you survived the attack,” the voice continued, his footsteps indicating he was climbing the stairs.

Kithri ran back to get the cloak and put it back where she found it, sans the scroll. Fogaban eased back into the bedroom while Kor stood still, confused.

Constable Gremin pauses at the top of the stairs. “Are you alright? Has something happened here as well??”

Declan Vandross walked calmly out to meet him. “Hello, Constable.”

Kithri hurried to the hallway after hearing Declan speak up, staying back a few steps.

“There was a stench that overcame the inn. Several patrons got sick. Some died….and we had to dispatch them….again. If you were there, you may not have made it,” the constable related.

“We were investigating this house. I guess we ran a bit late. Was anyone hurt?” Declan asked.

Kithri steps closer, “Was Luc … dispatched?”

“Luc’s fine,” Gremin said. “There was a travelling bard staying at the inn in the room down the hall from you. He didn’t make it. By the time I got there, it was over.”

Declan frowned, “A terrible shame. I’ll be there shortly to perform last rites, but we found something I think you should see.”

“How sad,” Kithri muttered.

“Was there licorice around him?” Mialee asked, stepping out from the study.

“What did you f—” the constable started to ask. He suddenly fell forward and dropped to the ground. Standing behind him was a cloaked figure, holding up a knife.

Declan Vandross screamed “ATTACK!” as he whipped out his mace, raised his shield and struck at the opponent.

The robed figure sidestepped the mace and ducked under Kor’s swing as he charged into the hall. He rose from under the swing and sliced his dagger into Declan’s side. The cleric cried out in pain as he felt the burning of poison rush through his veins.

Kithri ran forward, readying her blades, only to be blocked from her target by Kor and Declan. Fogaban, too, rushed forward but could not get past his human companions. Mialee lifted her spear. A word was said as a crackling began. A yellow spear of light flashed at the cloaked figure, who again sidestepped.

Declan staggered back behind Kor, casting a healing spell on himself. Kor roared and threw himself into a rage. His swing missed again.

The cloaked figure leapt at the halfling! Two quick slices nearly flayed Kithri open. She screamed and struck back in reflex, cutting the man slightly with her sword.

Fogaban roared and ran at the cloaked figure, swinging his axe. The blade bit deep, but all the madman did was look around wildly and scowl.

Mialee heard Kithri’s scream and closed her eyes. A few words sent a blue glow around the halfling, healing her wounds. Declan stepped forward and placed a hand on Kithri, muttering a quick prayer that caused the poison to seep from her wounds before they sealed. Kithri smiled lightly though she dared not take her eyes off the mad man to thank them.

Kor slashed downward, striking only air. Frustration was evident on his face as he nearly threw his sword across the room.

The madman turned toward the dwarf, the only one that seemed to be able to do any real damage to him….and stabs! Fogaban winced as the dagger hit, but managed to swing his axe anyway. He missed, but Kithri managed to hit with her sword.

Mialee stepped closer a bit while lifting a hand. Words came from her before a beam of moonlight shot from her hand and into the adversary. The cloaked figure fell heavily with a grunt. Kor screamed and hacked at the body as it fell, burning from the moon spell. Mialee lowered her hand and looked around to see who was injured.

“See who that is … errr … was,” Fogaban suggested.

The constable began coming to. The hood fell from the face of the madman…revealing Jean Tarascon, Luc’s brother.

“I’m still poisoned, so I’m just going to sit here and bleed and burn until the gods see fit to allow me to cure myself…” Declan moaned, sliding down the wall.

“I wish I had something that would cure you,” Kithri offered.

Mialee removed her pack, pulled out a few berries and chanted over them. Going to Declan, she handed him two. “Eat these.”

He popped the berries into his mouth.

“I’m not feeling too well either,” Fogaban reminded them.

Mialee handed him two berries, as well. The berry soaked up what was left of the poison…it also satisfied the fact that they hadn’t eaten or drank anything in a while…

“Thank you, Lady Mia,” Fogaban said gratefully.

Mialee gave two more berries to Kithri and two to Kor. “If you do not need them, keep them safe.”

Kor took the berries and nodded slowly, while Kithri gushed, “Thank you!”

Constable Gremin sits up and shakes his head. “What happened?”

Declan pointed, “I was going to show you that we found the robe and licorice of the person who attacked that person we found this morning when the murderer attacked us. We defeated him after you fell.”

Fogaban stood back up and walked over to the body ……. removing the cloak.

“Jean Tarascon!” the constable gasped.

“So it would seem,” the cleric nodded.

Constable Gremin shook his head. “At last…the murderer found….and defeated. I will be paying for your rooms tonight…and tomorrow, a feast!”

Mialee cautioned, “This may not be over yet.”

“A feast…” Kor’s spirits lifted at the announcement.

“Don’t bet this is all over ….. not just yet,” Fogaban echoed Mialee’s warning.

“Appreciated, but I don’t know if this resolves the zombie issue. We also found this,” Declan continued, handing the scroll to the constable.

Constable Gremin took the scroll and looked over it, then shrugged. “Maybe Shaman Brucian can make sense of this. He is at the inn.”

Declan nodded as he took the scroll back, “Then by all means, let’s head to the inn. My companions are in need of refreshements, at the very least. The robes and licorice we found are hidden behind fake books in the office of this house.”

“More evidence that it was indeed Jean,” the constable agreed.

“Or he is working for someone else,” Mialee countered.

“That could be…but who else could it be?” Gremin pondered.

“Mordu mentioned a cult,” Declan thought aloud.

“Let me guess, the Cult of the Swamp God?” the constable scoffed. “That is Souragne fiction…we’ve all read the books. Mordu is…eccentric…at best.”

“Yes. He said he’d have proof in the morning.”

“He’ll have a hangover in the morning.”

Declan smiled, “With any luck, so will we.”

Luc stood outside the townhouse…as if waiting for their return.

“Hello, Luc. Sorry about your brother,” the cleric said dismissively.

Kithri walked out to Luc, “We found some paper with the phrases you have been saying.”

Thunder shook the village. It started as a low rumble in the distance and built to a terrible, long-lasting explosion that rocked cottages and knocked items from shelves. Lightning danced wildly across the sky, casting stark shadows in its skittering flash. Then the rain began, falling in large, foul drops that soon became a deluge. The streets quickly turned to mud; small streams formed in the cracks and depressions. Vision was obscured by the unending sheets of dark water, and the rain fell with such force that it hurt those who ventured into its fury. Through it all, the thunder continued to roll above the village, and the lightning intensified. The storm had arrived.

“Quickly! Quickly to the inn!” the constable shouted.

Fogaban quickly searched Jean Tarascon’s corpse while Declan instructed Kithri to get his poisoned daggers. The corpse had the daggers and licorice, but nothing else. The daggers, while well made, were rather plain, and there was no poison container on the body.

Luc spoke, “The night of evil shall descend on the land, When this hexad of signs is near at hand. In the house of Daegon the sorcerer born, Through life, unlife, unliving shall scorn.”

“Let’s get to the inn,” Fogaban shouted over the storm.

“The lifeless child of stern mother found, Heralds a time, night of evil unbound,” Luc continued, “Inajira will make his fortunes reverse, Dooming all to live with the dreaded curse. The light of the sky shining over the dead shall gutter and fail, turning all to red.”

Kithri wrapped the daggers carefully and rushed after the others, noticing the difference in Luc’s speech.

“You do understand that my people get angry when wet? Very wet….very angry,” Kor reminded them.

“You have no idea…” Fogaban sympathized.

Mialee lifted the hood of her cloak and raced through the rain toward the inn. The others followed close behind.

They arrived at the inn to find it somewhat busy. The old shaman was sitting by the fire, telling children tales. The barmaids…the ones who have so far survived were moving from table to table. The people seemed to have gathered here for comfort in each others’ presence.

Fogaban stepped inside the inn, and called to a barmaid, “Ale !!! …. and dry towel …. 2 dry towels!” Fogaban dried off his axe …….. and then his face.

View
Taelgar: The Enchanted Lands Session 10
Session 10 Notes

When we left off you had just made it to the village of Marais d’Tarascon. A strange man followed you from the hut out in the swamp. Everyone once in a while he would state an odd verse of…something…but other than that he came in silence. You arrived during what appears to be a funeral. All of the shops and homes are closed up tight.

Solemn faces gaze at you suspiciously, but no one says a word. The villagers soon return their attention to the priest who stands over a coffin wrapped with heavy chains.

The priest’s booming voice echoes throughout the churchyard. “Friends and family, we mourn the untimely death of Jeremiah dGris,” he laments. “Let us take comfort in the fact that he goes to a better place, and let us pray that his eternal rest is peaceful and without incident. Jeremiah, you will be missed, but you will not be welcome here again. Depart this plane and go to the next world with our blessing.”

The priest continues his liturgy, even though a muffled bang causes him a moment’s pause. The villagers flinch but quickly regain their composure. The bang sounds again from within the coffin. The coffin rocks back and forth, but the priest and the crowd ignore it.

The sound causes the group to be suspicious of whomever occupies the chained coffin as well as the crowd who await their burial.

The priest directs the mule-drawn cart up the hill towards the cemetery. Once in the cemetery, four men remove the coffin from the cart and set it into the ground. The priest seems to lean over and whisper something to the coffin before he stands back up and motions for them to proceed with covering the coffin.

During a conversation with the priest, Luc says, "Luc whispers, “The mother stern of child lifeless found, heralds evil of night a time unbound.” and “In sorcerer the Daegon of house the born, though shall unliving, unlife, life scorn.”

The group also learns from Shaman Brucian, “Luc? He…has lost much of late. He is Luc Tarascon and both of his brothers are beyond him now.”

The priest speaks to the group encouragingly, “There is an inn, back down the road. Warm beds…good food. You do not want to be caught outside at night. Strange happenings are upon us. People…healthy and strong…suddenly dying and rising again.”

Hecate states, “I know we’re going to stay but I have a really bad feeling about this… He points to Luc is probably who we were told to avoid.”

Kor looks up at the sky briefly. “Still looks like its going to rain. Maybe we should at least get a room…and ale.”

Fogaban nods and grins to Kor.

Hecate says, “Just remember the word undead. You two get sloshed and I’m letting them eat you or whatever they do.”

Fogaban says, “There is no such things as … too sloshed.”

Kor says, “Now see, when you say it like that it sounds just as eerie as if it were mixed up still.”

Mialee says, “The house of Daegon, where is it.”

Shaman Brucian comments, “I’m sorry…there is no such house here. Nor is there anyone named Daegon.”

Declan looks at Mialee, “Oh, well when you put it like that, it still makes no sense to me.”

Fogaban says, “I hope it’s not the name of the Inn”

Shaman Brucian replies, “No no, the inn is the Full Moon Inn.”

Kor asks, “Full … moon?”

Mialee, “Then perhaps it is the sorcerer Daegan…”

Shaman Brucian “And that is where I am headed now.”

Luc mutters, “The over shining sky the of light the dead, shall to all turning fail and gutter red.”

Kor says, “That’s just weird.”

The old shaman turns and moves down the path back toward the Full Moon Inn.

Hecate turns to follow along, sighing deeply, her eyes scanning and a sense of dread following in it’s wake.

Mialee tilts her head to the side and looks up at the sky.

While walking, Declan asks of the Shaman Brucian, “So what sort of undead manifestation are you experiencing?”

Shaman Brucian replies, “So far I’ve only experienced zombies…but…still, even zombies are threatening to our small town.”

A fence surrounds the inn, which is a large two-story building with an attached stable. The Full Moon Inn is a gathering spot for many of the villagers at one time or another throughout their busy day. Once inside, you see a large common room with a bar and at least a dozen tables.

The group learns:

:: Shaman Brucian said the zombie problem started a few weeks ago. He said it started slowly than grew to include more and more. When asked how man have been afflicted, Shaman Brucian didn’t want to keep talking.
:: Katha, the serving wench, said, "Over a week ago, Francois, a local fellow, well he fell dead right here in the common room. I was taking a break in the kitchen at the time, resting my weary feet near the ba.ck door. I remember, just before people started hollering in the common room, I got a whiff of some awful odor blowing in from outside. It was kind of like rotten meat-not that we serve any here, mind you-but worse. Luckily, I’ve got quite a strong stomach. In fact, I was just about to go outside to find out what could be causing that odor when the screams began. Then I saw Francois being carted off to be buried. You know, I forgot all about that awful odor until just a few days ago when old Fiora mentioned that she had smelled it, too. I’d lock your door while you’re sleeping if I was you. Everybody in the village does now.” and “Jeremiah was the first to be chained in their coffin”
:: Jerald Bascolm, the innkeep, said he had nothing more to add to Katha’s tale; except, that there doesn’t seem to be any connection between those who are undead/zombie.

Luc has said:
:: Luc speaks, “lnajira fortunes his make will reverse, dooming the dreaded with live to all curse.”
:: Luc says, “Seventh doth suns of son the time rise, to of eternity an to knave the send cries.”
:: Luc mutters, “The over shining sky the of light the dead, shall to all turning fail and gutter red.” Mialee translation: The shining light over the dead fail, turning the sky to gutter red.


Mialee said, “There are a few, extremely powerful undead, that emit that odor … I have heard that the undead seep from the meat used in stews.”

Kor pushes his bowl back.

Kithri winces, presses her hand to her own belly

Declan Vandross spits his stew back into the bowl.

Mialee begins to laugh.

Katha states, “Now, there’s no finer food in all of Marais d’Tarascon!” before spinning about and walking away.

Hecate laughs and takes another bite of her fish.

Kor takes a deep drink from his ale.

Hecate smiles at Mialee, “Oh the beauty of it.”

Fogaban eats the stew before it turns to anything else

Hecate says, “You are a brave dwarf.”

Mialee “This place is cursed.”


The group discussed the pros and cons of helping those in Marais d’Tarascon. When it grew late, the men retired to one room and the women to the other.

The night passes calmly…well, as calmly as could be expected. The next day reveals a gray day. The clouds still hang heavilly over you and you can hear the low rumble of thunder in the distance.

Over breakfast the group decides to speak to Fiona. Fiona’s cottage has been boarded up. The doors and windows are adorned with different plants and symbols…one plant in particular that you can identify easily is garlic. The tale-tell smell hits you full on as you get closer to the cottage.

Fiora whispers for them to go away.

Declan finally talks her into opening the door a little … Fiora opens the door wider and throws a bucket of garlic, hemp, and wolvesbane in water on the group.

Luc says, “Seventh doth suns of son the time rise, to of eternity an to knave the send cries.”

After a few questions, Fiora slammed her door and dragged something heavy to block it.

When Kithri looks for tracks, she saw the constable haunched over what appears to be a dead body. When the group approaches, the constable regards them sternly. Spattered all around him on the ground and walls are flecks of reddish brown. Before him is a large stain of the same substance, apparently dried blood. In the center of the stain is a single piece of bright red licorice. The blood had once belonged to the barmaid.

Suddenly there was a flash of black that disappeared around the corner. Each time you seem to get close, the figure manages to evade you. At some point you lose the trail completely…back near where you had left the constable and dead girl. The constable lies on the ground, bleeding from his head and the girl’s body is gone.

The constable is alive, but he moans loudly when moved. There’s a deep gash on the side of his head, but it looks like it was made from a blunt object. Several more pieces of licorice were left behind in the girl’s blood.

Mialee gathers some bandages from her pack and goes to bandage the constable. She is able to stop the bleeding. The constable seems stable.

Declan says, “Let’s take the constable to the inn and ask there for more information.”

After getting the constable into a warm bed, Shaman Brucian is called for to take care of him. They didn’t speak to the constable thereafter.

From the barkeep, the group found out that Louise owned the Bakery next door. The bakery is a small house just south of the inn (2). A young woman, Louise d’Cann is busily tending to cakes, rolls, and various candies. There are jars on the counter full of different sorts of hard and soft candies, including red licorice.

Through questioning Declan and Fogaban find out that Louise sells her red licorice to many children as well as to two men, Mordu and Jean Tarascon. When asked about seeing Jean recently, she replied, “Not today. But he does come in rather often. Poor Jean…lost his brother to the undead…now he runs the family business. He’s likely at the plantation…or perhaps the townhouse here in Marais d’Tarascon.”

Declan asked “Does he normally wear black robes?”

Louise replied “Not normally…though he could if he wanted. He is still mourning Marcel’s loss…”

Declan asked “Who is Mordu?”

Louise answered “Mordu….he would be the village eccentric. He lives alone in a small cotage.” (Near Bakery)

(Group stopped for the week after leaving the bakery)

View
Taelgar: The Enchanted Lands Session 9
Session 9 Notes

Time is beginning to lose meaning as gray, sunless days merge into black, moonless nights. Each night, the sky blackens and boils, but still no rain falls.

Doubt begins to creep among the group as they board the swamp skiff and head West.

On the way, Fog sees a light through the reeds and treelimbs. It seems to grow darker around them as they get closer to the light.

A little island of dry land rises out of the stagnant water. The light comes from a fire that forms the center of a small camp. In the flickering light, they see a colorful gypsy wagon, two old mares, three gaily-clad children, and an old woman. A moment later, two men step into view. One is old and thin, the other young and strong. They settle themselves beside the fire. Then the old man looks up, directing the gaze of his good eye upon you. The other eye is milky and blank. The man smiles and motions with his withered hand, inviting you to join his group.

Because of the group’s hesitation, the old man remain standing and beckons again. Near him is a younger man who hasn’t really spoken. There is a plump woman tending to a roasting hog at the fire. Three young children are playing quietly off to the side of the wagon.

Fog introduces himself and asks about their being on the island.

Old Man smiles and winks to Fogaban. “We know paths. I am Scarengi…the man there, that is my son Carloni. The children are his. And the woman…my woman, that is Ryana. Valana, my daughter…yet awaits in the wagon…come and join us for food…and the safety of our camp.”

Fog says, “We are in need of … paths ……. we seek a direction to the mainland”

Scarengi taps his chin a moment, then motions to the fire. “Marais d’Tarascon is the nearest village…it is not far, but it is not a place to visit on a night such as this.”

Carloni says, “Better to stay in the swamp….”

Fogaban smiles, “We appreciate your hospitality …… but we just had a big meal earlier today”

Ryana shakes her head. “To speak of such evil is to invite it to dinner. Speaking of…it is done.”

Kor hops over the dwarf and moves to the hog, “I’m starving. Thank you!”

The woman begins carving up the hog, placing chunks of meat into many bowls. Carloni brings out a cask of ale.

Fog tries to stop Kor but Kor is beyond his grasp and eagerly aleady to eat the offered meat and ale.

The old man looks over each, then smiles at their hesitation. He takes a bowl of pork and a pint of ale and sits down at the fire to start eating.

The warmth of the fire takes the chill out of the otherwise damp air. Above, the stormclouds continue to hang heavily, yet have still to let loose the rain. Other than a gypsy wagon and family in the middle of the swamp, there is nothing anything else unusual.

Mailee and Hecate wearily remain near the skiff. Kor eagerly joined the gypsy camp for a meal. Kit stops between the two groups. Fog cautiously draws closer to the camp.

The door at the back of the wagon opens to reveal a shapely young woman with dark, expressive eyes. She smiles shyly, then settles nearby, beside the fire. “This,” Scarengi proclaims proudly, “is my beautiful daughter Valana. She will tell your fortune.”

Valana gazes at each of you in turn, with the firelight shining in her large, black eyes. “The trouble began when I cast the runes for that quiet and lost young man,” she explains sadly. “Perhaps it will end with another casting.” She holds a flat pan in her lap and stone tiles in her hands. Then, after gazing once again into your eyes, she drops the tiles into the pan.

“The lost one has called you!” Valana gasps. Each member of her family hastily makes a protective gesture. “The dead will walk with the coming storm, and you must find a way to put them to rest. If you cannot, the rain will turn to blood! It will drown you-you and all of Marais dTarascon.”

Scarengi quickly ushers his wife and daughter into the wagon. “No charge for your fortune,” the old man adds hastily. “It is time to rest after the adventures of the day. Be our guests and sleep beside the fire.”

Fogaban and Hecate are suspecious of meeting the family and the fortune.

Mialee believes it is a message.

Kor feels they should stay at the fire to sleep.

Kit is just glad they are all together; her time has been spent on being watchful of the group than what is around them. Troubled about her senses sences being off. Mialee had commented about not feeling in contact with her god. Kor made a similar comment about his spirit.

In the end, the group decides to move on to another dry area along the path.

As they prepare to leave, Valan’as shapely form can be seen outlined by the wagon doorway’s light. She speaks just above a whisper, “Beware the madman…Beware his blood.” She then disappears back into the wagon.

This only further cements how each felt about leaving the gypsy camp – yet they remain together and move down the path with the skiff in tow.

The road is not very wide, just wide enough for a wagon….trees close in on either side, but the smell of the swamp water is still prominent.

The group takes turns on watch… Time passes, they cannot be sure how much time has passed but they feel somewhat refreshed.

They cannot see much better now than before, but path continues on through the swamp for a short distance before it reaches the end of the island…and water meets them once again. When looking back, there is no sign of the wagon and there are no tracks on the path from where they said they had traveled.

On the way to Marais dTarascon
Once on the water, they review what they have set out to do and message from the gypsy.

The trees in this part of the swamp close in around the raft, forming a thick tangle of branches and exposed roots, making progress slow and difficult. Sharp, broken limbs scratch your arms and legs as you push the raft forward, and the wind whistles an odd, lifeless tune as it rushes through the leaves overhead. As you break through a clump of foliage, a light appears in the distance. It is brighter than a single lantern, warm and inviting in the cold, damp air. The light is not at eye level. It hovers in the dark so that you must look up to see it. Like moths to a flame, you and your raft slide easily toward the source of the light. It is a small wooden house, hardly larger than a shack. Light spills from its two front windows and a wide open door. The house appears to be suspended in the air above the surface of the swamp, its reflection shimmering in the dank pool before it.

Hecate looks around before spotting the structure, squinking to see if she can find the stilts.

As you get closer, you do manage to make out some stilts holding the house out of the water. There’s a front door that stands open and two windows at the front of the shack, but no apparent way to get up into it.

Mialee gazes up at the house, somewhat waiting for something to leap out at us.

Suddenly a rope ladder drops from the doorway. No figure steps into the light to greet you, and not even a shadow passes the open door. The ladder, constructed of wooden steps and thick rope, simply rolls out with a brief clatter of knocking wood. The last step hangs just above the surface of the fetid water, inviting you to climb up into the warm light.

Mialee looks to each of them and then moves to the ladder. The spear held, she begins to climb.

Fogaban follows next after securing the raft and pole

Kor looks at theo thers, then nods and holds the ladder still while they climb.

Hecate sighs. “Sure, why not…” She climbs the raft after Kith.

Kor watches them ascend, then climbs up as well.

The little house has only one room. All told, more than two dozen lanterns hang from pegs on the wall and sit on the warped wooden floor, flooding the shack with light. To the right of the door, unopened boxes have been neatly stacked against the wall. An open-topped barrel sits beside the boxes.

In the center of the room, facing the door, is a young man. He sits within a circle of five burning lanterns, with his large, blank eyes fixed in place. The young man is unusually thin and pale, and his long, blond hair hangs limply to his shoulders. His features are tortured. The simple shirt and pants that he wears are clean and fresh. He clutches a small book in his lap, but makes no move to get up or greet you-except to slowly struggle out an incomprehensible phrase: “The on descend shall evil of night the land, at near is signs of hexad this when hand.” Then he returns to his quiet state, neither speaking nor responding in any way.

Mialee attempts to unscramble the blond young man’s words, “The descend of evil upon the land, the signs of hexad when the night is at hand. Perhaps?”

Mialee says another idea, “The signs of hexad is at hand, when night is near and evil descends up on the land.”

By the way the man sits so still, they decide to look into one of the stacked boxes. But after feeling it is somewhat light, they set it down, unopened. They decide to try to make it to the village before the darkness of night is upon them.

As Mialee makes her way to the ladder, to go back to the raft, the man rises and follows. When Fogaban goes down, the young man follows him and Mialee.

The man climbs aboard with Mialee’s help, then quietly utters the words, “The mother stern of child lifeless found, heralds evil of night a time unbound.”

Hecate looks to Mialee. “Translation?”

Mialee replied, “Lifeless child of mother found, time of night heards evil abound. … Oh holy Maera”

Kor says, “He’s pretty insistant. Still, he hasn’t proven to be dangerous.”

The man would not answer any questions asked during the trip.

In the village of Marais dTarascon
As you begin to leave the swamp behind and approach the village of Marais d’Tarascon, the sky fills with roiling black clouds. For the first time, lightning plays across the heavens. Still, no rain falls. The storm simply hangs over the swamp and village, occasionally sending a bolt of lightning toward the ground or letting loose a clap of ominous thunder.

The first building you come to (#1) has a sign over the door that denotes it as the Full Moon Inn. A hastily scrawled message has been left on the door “Closed for Funeral”.

Down the road you can see a gathering of people near what must be the church (#9). The funeral appears to be held outdoors. All of the homes and businesses you see all seem to be closed. It looks like perhaps the whole village is attending.

The group wanders the village.

View
Taelgar: The Enchanted Lands Session 8
Session 8 Notes

Escaping Blackmoor was certainly easier than breaching its gates. The group managed to return to the Spiritwode without any trouble. Knowing that their next step was to find out some information, they thought they were headed back to Talynx’ tower…instead, they ended up at the beginning of a swamp which seemed to stretch in all directions as far as you could see.

The swamp water wasn’t too deep at first, but they were happy to find a swamp skiff not too far into it that someone must have lost or simply left behind.

After boarding the skiff, the group headed north. All seem quiet and apparently just grateful they escaped alive. Kit is not able to get her bearings since escaping and although was glad the others were able to discern which direction they need to go.

Night began to settle over the swamp, cloaking the dense undergrowth in darkness and turning the water’s surface to black. With it came a clinging, creeping fog, rising from the water like spectral steam. The fog surrounded them, its dampness caressing like cold, dead hands. The swamp seemed to retreat from the mists, its sights and sounds disappearing into some unseen distance. All that remained visible was the cold, choking fog. Even your companions seem far away. For a moment, everything is quiet. What few sounds they could can hear are amplified by the surrounding mists: their own breathing, their own beating heart. Then the fog begins to dissipate, fading away as quickly as it appeared, leaving you and your companions alone in the dismal swamp.

Each could feel their companions presence…and when the fog fades, they were able to see each one of them, but a feeling of disorientation sits heavily upon each.

It was quite awhile before dry land was spotted. They steered the raft toward the spot where Kor motioned. Kithri finds herself eagerly wanting the group to be gathered and resting around a campfire. She was unable to hear anything around them and instead of feeling safe, she felt they are eerily alone. The men gathered wood and started a fire but Mialee says we need to flee because of the storm.

The swamp grew even darker than it did before. The nearby trees become twisted shadows with claw-like branches reaching out, and a foul odor rises from the murky water. Overhead, through the tangled branches, the sky also appears strange. The stars have subtly changed positions, and the moon is closer, nearly full.

Menacing clouds begin to roll across the western sky like a curtain of black smoke. In but a few moments, the clouds blot out the feeble starlight completely. A storm is brewing – a very bad storm.

Mialee continues to urge the group flee. The others feel we need to hunker down and Fog works on makeshift shelter; making good use of the raft as protection.

For a brief moment the clouds part, the near-full moon’s luminous light spreads a long shadow of the treacherous tree across the island….before its swallowed by darkness again.

The group sees and hears nothing suspicious.

They decide to stay.

Time passes, the watches occur without incident. The clouds move overhead but

not a single drop of rain has yet to come down.

No Morning Light
Morning comes and they are awakened by Kor’s light shake. The fire has nearly died out. Once he’s awakened each, he sits back down near the fire and eats some dried meat and hard tack.

They gathered for a long trip through the swamp.

The day is dark and dismal, painted gray by the mist and clouds. The sun has not shown its face since they arrived, and the air is clammy and cold. The water below the raft is several feet deep. To one side, black logs drift lazily atop the stagnant water. To the other, shadows slip through the trees and the underbrush, moving in time with the raft. The eyes of the swamp are upon you.

Suddenly there is movement heard then crocodiles surface. They had encircled the group. The group fought strongly against them. They stayed together and were careful not tip the skiff to far in either direction. Just as the last crocodile lunged at Mialee, Fog stuck it down.

Declan saw the group was whole save for a few battle wounds then carved meat from the last crocodile. Hecate asked for the eyes and, jokingly, for the testicles for her spells.

Before continuing, Hecate identified a spear for Mialee. It was the one Mialee treasures after receiving it from Maera’s temple. Hecate said, “It’s a Feyspear, a religious icon of Maera. Watch it for approaching enemies of the fey, for it will glow green with their presence.”

The raft slipped through a tangle of tall reeds growing up from beneath the black, murky water. The fog dissipated, but the surroundings are still gloomy.

Overhead, branches entwine to form a dense canopy. The sounds of the swamp are louder now, and they echo through the trees. Unseen creatures slide through the reeds below the water’s surface. A chorus of croaks and ribbits begins, as if to greet you, growing so loud that every other sound is drowned out by their raucous song. Then, all at once, the chorus stops.

They shored the raft on a small dry island. The land is large enough to provide ample items for a fire and makeshift shelter. While the shelter was assembled, Declan gathers herbs for the dinner. All were grateful for the fresh meat.

While looking around what seemed to be a quiet spot, Kit heard a snap near her ear. She called out just as the group was attacked by several giant frogs. One by one the giant frogs fell. Then all was eerily quiet, too quiet, too isolated, once more.

After the fight, Declan found a boat with a chest. It appeared the frogs may have eaten the last owner of the chest. The chest contained: clothing and personal items were destroyed by the water. However, two short shorts were found in immaculate condition. There were no signs of rust. Hecate told Kit she needed to rest before she could look at them. Kit took comfort in the group being together.

With the raft secured; This is where the gang slept, in shifts.

View
Taelgar: The Enchanted Lands Session 7

Session 7 Notes

2/23/2013

The group found themselves still in the chapel, resting from their journey

before heading deeper into the temple. While Fogaban examined the various

trappings within the room, lamenting at the lack of wine in the ancient

barrels, and Kithri gathered her things, Declan, Kor and Mialee discussed

their situation.

“Is this where we have to do the ritual, or do we need to go deeper into the

temple?" Declan asked.

“Well it would be damned simple if we did it right here, wouldn’t it?” Kor

grumbled.

Mialee spoke impatiently, “We cannot do it here.”

Declan looked at the red liquid in the ceremonial bowl at the foot of the

altar. “Mialee, do you know waht this red liquid at the foot of the altar

is?"

“It is blood,” she responded.

“Who’s blood?” Kithri piped up, worried.

“Damn, these are empty,” Fogaban lamented as he tapped on the ancient wine-

stained barrels.

“Would you have drank it from in here?” Kithri asked, taking comfort in the

banter with her dwarf companion.

“Anything we haven’t checked in here?” Fogaban asked.

“Maybe there is something where we are headed,” Kithri answered.

Declan continued to study the bowl, trying to remember what this goddess

prefered as tribute. Deciding it was not blood, he carried the bowl to the

out of the temple and dumped the blood into the ground outside. He returned

the bowl and filled it with water, then began to pray for the goddess’

support in their endeavors. As soon as Declan took the bowl out of the

temple, everyone felt as if some of the oppression within the place had been

lifted.

“Whoa …. that was strange,” Fogaban muttered.

Kithri looked to everyone curiously. Mialee watched the human cleric, a

hint of a frown marring her brow. Kor looked over the metal bars of the

portcullis on the eastern wall.

Mialee watched the barbarian and wondered aloud, "Let us just hope the true

altar is unharmed."

Kithri and Fogaban moved to the porcullis. While Fogaban listened for any

noises beyond, Kithri also examined the bars. "Hmmm…. so that is the

reason we need to go down?"

Hearing nothing, Fogaban turned to his companions. "Are we ready to go on

in?"

“I am ready to get this mess over with,” Kor grumbled.

“Yes,” Mialee agreed.

Declan nodded as he left the altar and re-joined his friends.

Kithri listened for strange noises while Fogaban grabbed hold of the bars

and with great strain lifted the bars. The bars lifted over the dwarf’s

head when a catch locked the door open for them.

“Come on through,” the dwarf warrior said proudly.

“Thank you,” Kithri said politely as she led the way through the corridor

and down a staircase beyond.

“Watch for traps,” Fogaban reminded her. Kithri changed her pace to a

stealthy and cautious gait as she continued on. She motioned back to the

others, speaking softly. “So far so good.”

They turned a corner and were faced with a large stone door. The halfling

and the dwarf both investigated the door carefully before grabbing the

single pull ring and pulling it open.

The group entered a long chamber divided by a curtain.

“There’s a fitting room to the south,” Fogaban joked, "you girls want to try

on clothes?"

Kithri walked toward the curtains slowly, "And you aren’t peeking behind

it?"

“Nooooooooooo … not me,” Fogaban said innocently, holding up his hands.

Kithri sneaked closer to the curtain, hoping to peek through the division at

the center of the curtains. As she reached for the slit, the floor suddenly

gave way beneath her! Fogaban leapt to try and catch her, but she slipped

through his fingers. Fortunately, with her other hand, she was able to grab

the ledge before falling, and climbed up easily. She lay at the edge of the

hole, her hand to her chest. She took a moment to catch her breath while

looking to the others apologetically.

“Temples would make certain their enemies could not find the ‘treasure’ so

to speak," Mialee warned.

Fogaban sighed relief and looked down into the twenty foot empty hole. But

his investigation was interrupted by noises from behind the curtain: the

sounds of drawing steel. The party drew their own weapons.

“Kit… get back,” Fogaban hissed.

Declan likewise warned Mialee. “Mialee, back up.”

Mialee took a couple of steps back while Kithri nodded appreciatively to

Fogaban. “Maybe another trap?”

Fogaban and Kor exchanged looks.

“Rush?” the barbarian asked.

“Noooo ……” the dwarf responded.

Kor nodded while Fogaban slowly struggled to push aside the large heavy

curtain with his shield.

“Why don’t we just go this way?” Mialee asked, pointing to a corridor to

their right.

Kor nodded toward the curtain, “And put whatever is there at our back?”

“we don’t know what is back there… it could come after … yes, what he

said," Kithri acknowledged.

The curtains suddenly parted and swished open to the walls of the room,

revealing six bugbears.

“Ohhh look! One for each of us!” Fogaban crowed.

“You can have mine. I’m full,” Declan growled as he charged into the

bugbears ahead of him and smashed his mace against one of their faces. The

bugbear rocked back, but did not fall.

Kithri followed the cleric, her sword and dagger flashing as she struck the

bugbear beside Declan’s target.

Kor was rocked by the morningstar of a bugbear that rushed at him, but

managed to stay on his feet.

Another bugbear rushed at Kithri ans smacked the halfling hard with its

mace, and another rushed to the side of Declan’s target and dealt a glancing

blow to the cleric.

Fogaban jumped into the fray with a roar and hacked at the bugbear that had

struck Kithri. “Hang in there ….. try to keep them bunched up!” he

shouted.

Kor raised his large sword overhad and cleaved the bugbear in front of him

in two!

Mialee pointed her spear at the bugbear that had struck Kithri and muttered

a few words. A crackling sparkle surrounded the bugbear, engulfing it and

ushering it into the abyss.

“Wow! Nice job,” Fogaban said, clearly impressed.

The two bugbears that Kithri and Declan had struck tried to strike back, but

couldn’t connect. Declan responded with another blow to the bugbear in

front of him, eliciting an orcish curse from the monster.

Fogaban tried to block another attack against his halfling friend, but

Kithri still caught a glancing blow from a bugbear. After a grateful glance

at her dwarf companion, Kithri retaliated against the bugbear, turning the

beast into chop suey.

Another bugbear leapt at Declan, slamming its morningstar into the man’s

ribs. Bones crunched and Declan grunted as he felt his ribs cave in.

Kor dispatched another bugbear with his two-handed sword as he fought his

way to his friends’ side.

“Nice swing,” Fogaban commented.

“It is what I do,” Kor replied. “We need ale.”

“Aye!” the dwarf agreed.

Miralee saw the human cleric stager and spoke a soft word. A blue glow

encased Declan and after a clap of thunder, the man rose, feeling much

healthier.

Another bugbear cursed as he saw the man heal and attempted to strike him

again. Declan brought up his shield, easily blocking the blow and gave

Mialee a grateful nod. He then muttered a prayer of healing for Kithri and

tried to smite the bugbear that had struck at him, but missed.

Kithri, surprised at the sudden surge of health, mistimed her strike and

nearly struck the human beside her instead of the bugbear that had struck

him.

Another bugbear swung and missed the cleric, and Fogaban rushed around,

coming in from the south, and with a mighty swing, eliminated another

bugbear.

Kithri pointed her weapons at the final bugbear. “Don’t bother fighting us.”

Kor rushed in snd swung his blade at the bugbear, but missed.

“This is the one who broke my ribs,” Declan growled. “My turn!” He swung

with all his strength, but the bugbear lifted its shield in time.

Kithri struggled past the three men and managed to scratch the bugbear.

“Wait! Wait! I give! Parlay!” it cried from behind its shield.

Fogaban looked to Declan.

“Speak quickly,” the human snarled. “Why should we spare you?”

“What good are you to us alive?” Kithri sneered.

“What good am I dead?” it asked. "I’ll leave this place. Tell the mistress

the artifact was gone. She’ll be none the wiser!"

“Who’s your mistress?” Declan asked.

“Astraes… but not by choice! Was forced into doing her deeds, I was!”

“Where is she?”

“Do not trust him,” Mialee warned.

“Still just an avatar, her true form hasn’t arrived yet. If I lie to her,

she won’t come looking for you!" the bugbear continued.

“Quiet, woman. This concerns the honor between soldiers,” Declan ordered

Mialee.

“Did you just tell me to be quiet?” she asked, flabbergasted at Declan’s

rudeness.

Kor folded his arms across his wide chest.

“If she’s not in her true form, how would she come after us?” Declan

continued interrogating the bugbear.

“You’ve had dealings with her already…” it muttered.

“What?”

“The old woman… the gypsy?” Kithri guessed.

“I’m not saying another word unless you promise me my life!”

Mialee’s eyes narrowed to meer slits. Turning, she began to walk up the

hall.

“No promise after what you said a minute ago. You better say more,” Kithri

threatened.

“Then I have no reason to keep you alive,” Declan agreed.

“Then finish it,” the bugbear said, throwing down its morningstar. "Finish

it… and you’ll not know the horrors you’ve already caused."

“Fine, kill him,” Declan said to the group.

Kor looked after the elf, Mialee. “Don’t we need her?”

“Yes,” Declan sighed, “and I owe her an apology.”

Fogaban raised his axe at the bugbear. Kithri muttered to herself as she

stepped back, “The priests of Astraes? … The girl?”

The bugbear dropped to its knees and held its head up. “Justine!”

Kithri nodded, “Yes, that was her name.”

“You left her there,” the bugbear continued in a panic, "to destroy that

town. That was your evil!"

“What do you mean?” Kithri asked.

“Oh no no no, you just want to kill me,” the bugbear moaned, "so get it over

with!"

“Thank you for pointing out that the one enemy we spared was a mistake,”

Declan grumbled. “We certainly won’t repeat that one.”

Kithri glaced to the human, “Isn’t she being held though?”

“We’ll worry about that when we get back to town,” Declan said, turning to

the dwarf. "Do you want me to kill him, Fogaban?

“Maybe that’s what she wanted,” Kor pondered, "for us to leave her in Caer

Maevryn."

“I have no need for a… a… bugbear,” Fogaban spat.

“I’m not a soldier anymore, and I don’t consider this creature one, either,”

Declan stated.

“How long ago did she hire you,” Kithri continued with the bugbear.

“Two weeks ago…” it muttered.

“Did she hire more than the lot here?”

“She has an army… and she means to use it!”

Declan paced impatiently, "Come on, we need to catch up to Mialee before she

wanders into trouble."

Kithri nodded to him and looked to the bugbear. "Be careful Justine doesn’t

learn of your failure. Where is this army?"

“I don’t know. No instruction come until we have the artifact.”

“What else do we need to know?” Kithri asked the others.

Declan smashed his mace into the bugbear’s face, killing it instantly.

“That’s enough.”

“I guess nothing,” Kithri muttered, looking at the body sadly.

Fogaban chuckled, then looked about the room.

“That was probably mercy for the beast,” Kor said.

“Did Mialee go down this hallway?” Kithri asked, motioning toward a hallway on the left of where they’d entered.

“Declan, you may need to go find the lady,” Fogaban suggested.

“Possibly,” Declan said to Kithri. “I need to catch her. And thanks, Fogaban.”

Declan rushed down the hallway, Kithri on his heels. “She said we had to go down,” the halfling reminded him.

The two rushed into a new room. The floor in the center of the round room had been carved out. A wave of heat rushed over them as they neared it. A pool of molten lava filled the room’s center.

“Do you see her?” Kithri asked Declan. “She may have been in a hurrt after … that bugbear and all.”

“And she’s appropriately angered with me,” Declan said, looking around with worry, “I wish we could call out for her.”

Meanwhile, Fogaban and Kor looked about the room with the dead bugbears. It had once been a sleeping chamber, likely ofr the priest of the temple. The furniture had long since deteriorated. The bugbears had already ransacked the room, but apparently hadn’t found anything useful or worthwhile, either. The two men hurried after Kithri and Declan.

“Maybe, being angry, she went the other way!” Kor suggested as he overheard Declan’s comment.

“What’s down here?” Fogaban asked.

“Back upstairs?” Declan asked Kor. “That’s possible. Yes, let’s check upstairs first. That’ll be faster.”

Kithri examined the floor leading deeper into the room. She saw no signs of disturbance in the dust to indicate that anyone had been here in a long time, though the intense heat of the lava didn’t lend to a lot of dust settling anyway.

Declan ran back upstairs and found Mialee in the main chamber of the temple. He sighed with relief and approached her slowly.

“Mialee? I’m really sorry. I know my comment was completely out of line. I was only trying to establish rapport with the creature so we could get the most information out of it. I had no intention of letting it live.”

Mialee turned to him angrily, “Marked one, you spoke to me as if I were less than that creature who tried to kill you. You are the reason they are here!”

She recoiled slightly, regretting instantly her last comment.

The others joined them, but remained back. Kor whistled impatiently as he waited for them to kiss and make up.

“I know I did,” Declan said. “I spoke in the manner I thought would most put the prisoner to my way of thinking. I took advantage of our friendship to try to get information out of the creature.”

Kithri shook her head and wandered back toward Kor, propping herself against the wall.

“lease believe that my respect for you has grown in our time together, and continues to grow. You’ve saved my life and my friends’ lives already. I regret that I was forced to speak to you as if you were baggage,” Declan apologized.

“I will tell you this, marked one, as soon as the piece is collected, I shall be on my way,” Mialee snapped back.

Declan nodded sadly as Mialee walked around him to where the others waited. He followed her quietly.

While Declan and Mialee worked out their differences, Kor and Kithri returned to the pit trap that nearly killed the halfling.

“That would have hurt,” Kor noted.

“I feel bad for not having spotted it,” she sighed.

“It happens when you get relaxed,” the barbarian nodded.

“I figured the threat was just behind the curtain, too.”

“Inside ancient chambers, the threat is all around us. Sometimes… we even threaten ourselves.”

Kithri nodded.

“Next time, instead of pulling on the curtain, we should lift it and let someone look under,” Declan said as he and Mialee met up with the rest.

“I’m not used to curtains…” Kor muttered.

Fogaban grinned and shrugged.

“What do you hang over your windows,” Kithri asked the large warrior.

“A window is a hole that was meant to be. Nothing gets hung over them,” Kor answered.

“Um… okay,” Kithri said dubiously.

“If we survive, we’ll know better next time,” Declan said.

Mialee remained silent, following the others as they returned to the lava pool room.

Kithri smiled to her, then looked at the others. “We are together again.”

Kor nodded, “Yes, let us find this altar and get out of here. I’m uncomfortable down here.”

Declan studied the room, “Think there’s anything in the walls that would try to push us into the lava?”

Kithri looked around the floors and walls, but found nothing. The room was silent except for the bubbling lava.

“Perhaps I can detect something,” Fogaban said, placing his hands on the stone walls. After a few moments of feeling about, “Nope, nothing here.”

Kithri moved toward the corridor on the opposite side of the room and crouched down, examining the area, “There’s a hole here. Don’t move!”

Kor froze in a heroic stance, while the others merely stopped in their tracks.

Kithri’s fingers delicately traced along a strand of wire, looking about to see what trap loomed ahead. She clipped the wire and ducked back from the corridor just as a gout of flame erupted inside the hallway.

“Wow, nice work, Kithri!” Declan complimented her.

After a few moments, whatever fueled the fire dissipated and the corridor cleared up. “There is still a hold here,” Kithri reminded them.

Fogaban grinned to her.

“Is the hole small enough to get around or over? Or do we need to make a bridge?” Declan asked, still standing away from the hallway.

“Yes, its easy to go around, just be careful,” Kithri instructed.

“As you say,” Declan nodded, approaching. He hugged the wall and carefully shifted his way around the hole. Kithri followed.

The emerged from the corridor into an oddly shaped room. The altar they sought was at the far end, between two golden bull statues that stood as silent sentinels. A feeling of dread washed over the party, indicating that the altar had been afflicted with powerful bane spells. The floor was covered in a thin greyish mist.

The rest of the party followed around the hole, with Fogaban calling quietly, “Be careful up there.”

Kor stopped as he entered the altar room, “This is as far as I go.”

Kithri also stopped at the entrance, watching the two clerics while also keeping an eye on the corridor they’d come through. She shifted her weight from foot to foot.

Declan hugged the wall and held his breath as he moved through the mist toward the altar. Mialee hugged the opposite wall and also approached the altar.

“Ohhh man … I’ve felt better after a three week drunk,” the dwarf muttered uncomfortably.

Declan stopped in front of the nearest bull, examining it carefully for any openings that might indicate traps.

“Alright, work you magic joo joo,” Fogaban suggested.

Declan approached the altar, then looked back at the dwarf. “Sorry, this is out of my league. I’ll have to defer to the priestess.”

Mialee frowned, feeling the evil that encased the area. Walking up to the altar, she drew her holy symbol from her shirt.

Declan held onto his own holy symbol. “If I can help in any way…”

“It must be cleaned,” Mialee muttered, barely acknowledging the human.

“I don’t have any holy water…” Declan said weakly.

Stepping up to the altar, Mialee laid a hand upon it. She began to speak words of a prayer as Declan backed out of her way. As her hand pressed down on the altar, what sounded like a thousand screams echoed from the lava pit room.

Kithri cringed and looked down the corridor.

Mialee continued her prayer, her voice growing stronger. A black mist swirled up from the altar, and then the screams stopped suddenly and the mist flew out of the room. A figure began to materialize over the altar.

“Gods, please let that be the worst of it,” Declan muttered in prayer, while Kithri and Fogaban waited for the other shoe to drop.

Mialee placed her other hand upon the altar and continued her prayer. The ghostly figure laid a spectral spear upon the altar, looked over each of the group, then disappeared. A hidden drawer on the altar slid open to reveal the sword hilt they’d come to collect. Mialee stumbled back from the altar as her prayer ended and dropped to her knees.

Fogaban stepped back and Kor looked around wildly. “Okay, let’s go!”

Declan moved to help Mialee to her feet. Kithri saw Declan helping Mialee, so she obeyed Kor’s command and headed back up the corridor.

“Get the piece…” Mialee groaned as she rose to her feet. Declan reached past her and picked up the hilt.

As soon as he touched the hilt of the legendary weapon used by Tamara’s kings, the ground beneath them began to quake. Rubble began falling from the ceiling and cracks appeared along the walls. The whole place seemed to be falling apart!

“Can you run?” Decal asked her.

Mialee grabbed the spectral spear from the altar, “Yes, but you must get out!”

“You first, I’ll follow you. And mind the hole!”

“Go! You have the mark,” she insisted.

“You first, mark be damned!” Declan shouted.

They began to run and Declan stumbled. Mialee turned back to help him. They were smacked with rubble and splashed with lava as they chased their friends through the temple. Both muttered healing prayers to stave off the worst of it.

Fogaban shouted “Hurry” from the safety of the staircase to the main level.

Declan felt his armor heating up to cook his insides. He held out the artifact to Mialee, “Take it and get out!”

“I cannot!” she insisted, pulling him further. “You have the mark of the phoenix!”

“Then give it back after I burn up and come back.”

“Just come on!”

Mialee continued dragging him. He owed her still.

The pair of them were burning alive, the walls coming down and the flames rising higher. They had to leap from safe stone to safe stone over a sea of fire.

“We can’t just leave them down there,” Fogaban shouted as Kithri looked back with worry. Kor looked from where he and Fogaban and Kithri waited safely to their two friends struggling to catch up.

“Go, just go, Declan!” Mialee begged.

“Both or neither!” Declan shouted, pushing her further.

“I’m going to go see if I can help!” Fogaban insisted.

“It’s suicide!” Kor argued. “They’ll make it!”

The fire was burning through their footwear as they traded healing spells on one another.

“I hear them coming!” Fogaban said.

“Hurry up,” Kor encouraged them.

“We need you,” Kithri called. “Hurry!”

The two kept one another on their feet as they neared the final staircase where their friends waited. Worried he wouldn’t make it, Declan pulled the hilt from his armor and threw it up the stairs. They both stumbled onto the staircase, spent, and were practically dragged up the stairs by their friends.

Mialee and Declan were practically unconscious as their friends cooled them off and tended their wounds.

Kor looked out the front doors, then pulled them shut again. “We can rest here… Did you get the artifact?”

“I am so glad you are alive,” Kithri said.

Declan picked up the sword hilt from where he’d thrown it and offers it to Kor. Kor reached for the hilt, but as soon as he touched it, he was thrown back against the wall.

Kithri looked shocked, “What happened?”

Kor shook his head and sat up against the wall. “I don’t know, but I’m not touching that thing again.”

Mialee stated, “Ther eis only one who may hold the pieces.”

Kithri thought this confirmed why everyone trusted Declan to hold the party loot until it could be divided properly.

“Why is he the only one who can touch it?” Kor asked.

“They said onle one… human?” Kithri asked.

“I will let him explain,” Mialee said.

“Feeling better?” Fogaban asked Declan.

“Much…”

“Mialee said you would be explaining why only you can touch the hilt,” Kor said.

“I have no idea,” Declan said. “She keeps calling me the marked one, that I have some mark of the phoenix… but I don’t know what that means.”

“You don’t recall?” Kithri asked.

“My shoulder still hurts…” Declan complained. Though all of the burns seemed to have soothed, his shoulder still burned terribly. He removed his torso armor.

“It sounds like you shall be the human who can wield the sword. You have to get better,” Kor commented.

Mialee leaned back against the wall and rested.

Beneath his armor, all looked well, except for a hole burned into the back of Declan’s shirt around the left shoulderblade. The burn appeared to continue into his flesh. He poured some water over his shoulder, but it didn’t seem to help.

“No, the emperor can wield the sword,” he hissed through the pain.

“Only the heir to the throne held the mark of the phoenix…” Kor reminded him.

“I am not the heir. Don’t be ridiculous,” Declan responded impatiently.

“But you can touch it, and Kor cannot,” Kithri pointed out.

“Maybe I can until it gets to the rightful owner,” Declan speculated.

“So … there is something unique about you,” Kor said.

The water sizzled on Declan’s burn, and when the steam cleared, there appeared very clearly a bird-like etching made by fire on his shoulder.

“That is one strange mark on your shoulder,” Fogaban indicated.

“What mark?”

Mialee listened quietly, her eyes still closed.

“That burn mark … it looks like a … well … a … bird.”

“A phoenix,” Kor corrected.

“Yeah… what Kor said,” Fogaban agreed.

“What?? This damn hilt is marking me until we find the rightful owner?” Declan lamented.

“Do we need to find out from Talynx or … through Mialee?” Kithri asked.

“Didn’t Talynx say Mialee would know?” Kor queried.

As Declan looked at Mialee, she piped up, “You had the mark way before then. Why do you think Talynx glared at you?”

“I thought it was because he thought I was a priest to gods he doesn’t respect. I am not the emperor! I never had a mark on my shoulder before.”

“The mark was there,” Mialee insisted. “I saw it through your armor.”

Kor suggested, “Maybe the hilt is a catalyst. Maybe you couldn’t see the mark until you put your hand on an item of legend?”

“There is a reason why all this is happening,” Kithri said. “We need to find the other pieces… you are going to stop the feast.”

“Well, it’s all a lie. I’m Declan Vandross, a former soldier. I am no nobleman or heir to any nobleman. But yes, we need to get the other pieces, then I’ll give this sword to the real person, and then we can move on.”

“That is twice now you insult me,” Mialee glared at Declan.

“I don’t mean to insult you. You’ve just made a mistake about me. I’m nothing special, except I have a knack at surviving.”

“Imagine that,” Kor grinned.

Mialee scoffed and slowly her eyes closed to rest.

“It’s a curse! You think I like surviving while the others I fought alongside died?” Declan shouted angrily.

“If anyone else did that, what would you say about them?” Kithri asked.

“I pray for the answer every night. Why me and not those who had families that cared for them? And if it turns out that I survived to be some fake emperor…” Declan trailed off.

Kor laughed, “I’d say ‘Lucky bastard!’ and have a drink.”

“You are fake?” Kithri asked Declan.

Declan turned his back on all of them, sulking.

“Let him rest… It is a bit much to take in all at once,” Kor said.

“I guess it will just take time,” Kithri nodded.

“Kor’s human, let him be emperor,” Declan grunted.

“No, I am Korthul,” the barbarian corrected him.

“Maybe he’ll start imagining himself as the emperor and then grow into it,” Kithri suggested.

“Emperor is a bit much at first. The Kingdom has sat without a king for over two centuries. It starts there…and for that to happen, it means driving out the Torgan,” Kor retaliated.

“Well … right now .. I’m just glad he’s not … dead,” Fogaban said.

Kithri nodded, “I feel there is more hope now. Hope in finding the pieces and stopping the feast.”

The party decided to set up camp one more night in this temple. The other pieces would wait another day.

View
Taelgar: The Enchanted Lands Session 6
Session 6 Notes

We begin where the group is gathered near a chest in the corner of the harpy camp. It’s been cleared of a poison dart trap and the lock has been “clicked”.

[Treasure Chest]
Kithri’s eyes open wide seeing the glittering ring. She immediately scooped it up from inside the chest (Its a silver ring with a setting int he form of a stylized shield which holds a gleaming polished agate. If it is magical…she’ll need someone to tell her more about it.)…then pushes the lid back with her other hand, “There are all kinds of things in here …. two bottles … some coin (12 gold, 120 electrum) and a big axe!”

Fog jumped at the axe.

Mialee brought up how even the potions could be cursed. Talynx himself had done so in the past. It gave the group pause and everything was taken to Hecate.

Kor mumbled about all magic being a curse.

Hecate carefully cast her spell to reveal: (revelation and notes)
1. The ax is called the Barathaz’Uzn… a Guardian item with whispered words of warning, specifically designed to slay the undead. Hold on to it because once attuned, it will serve you well. (The ring must also be attuned…and it does NOT stack with any other protection magic. +1 to AC and +1 to saves if you don’t already have magical armor)
2. The ring is made of sliver and polished agate, it is a ring of protection, one that could potentially save your life. The ring must also be attuned…and it does NOT stack with any other protection magic. +1 to AC and +1 to saves if you don’t already have magical armor
3. The health potions are what you thought them to be, healing potions. Sampling the potion produces a brief sense of well-being. Consuming it will lessen the pain of wounds.

After a while, they gather their things together and head south.

[Staying along the South wall]
The density of the twisted trees gives way to the lake shore. The water doesn’t look very safe…but from here you can see ruins rising over the eastern horizon.

Kor makes a warding sign with his hand then points ahead. “The southern gate to hell on Taelgar… I asked Welath to watch my ass. He’ll refuse, but its always good to acknowledge the god of war before you walk into a den of horrors…”

Declan, “Amen, brother. I always ask for all the gods to watch over us. In war, any help is welcome. It’s the gods who grant me my abilities to heal.”

Mailee said, “The gods are totems, not magic. They grant us abilities, and guide us.”

Kor said, “We each have our bliefs. The wolf spirit is a totem, Welath is a god.”

Declan added, "Right, so Kor should consider that when complaining about our “magic”."

Kor replied, “Now you’re asking a bit much.”

Hecate said, “Agreed. Besides, you’ll like the magic I throw you way if you ever decide to warm my furs.”

Kor quickly changed the subject to the inland sea and the gate the group has been seeking.

Declan said, “Well, I was talking about Mialee and my healing abilities, Hecate. Your problem with Kor is your own.”

The conversation of magic dropped when they beheld the gate.

The crumbling gate stands a testament to time’s erosion of this area. Beyond you see buildings and ruined roadways. Cliffs rise up on the sides of the city…as if it try to protect it from age. But as you grow closer to the gate, the feeling of dread rises higher and higher through their bodies. The hair on the back of their necks seems to stand on end the closer you get.

While exploring the library of Talynx, the party managed to come across cartography…so at least they had an idea of where they were headed.

The party agress with Declan’s plan to move to the cliff and stick close to the wall so that we can only be attacked from one side. As they move further into the city, clouds block out all remaining light. Lightning streaks across the sky in reds and oranges, rather than the typical blues and whites expected.

Kit could hear growling sounds. Unseen multiple beasts. The scent of sulpher is much stronger now…and you think you can see red pinpoints of light coming from the edge of the buildings ahead. One of the great beasts bolts out from around a ruined building and charges straight for you.

Just before the hellhound breathed fire upon the group, Hecate said the beast was cute!

And the battle against three horrible hellhounds began…

[Finding the temple]
You carefully continue deeper and deeper into the ruins of Blackmoor. You know the Temple of Maera when you see it though…and its entrance is on the north side of the building. Carvings of storms, beasts, and forests cover the building’s outer walls. Maera is the goddess of nature, storms, and beasts. (It was also said that a high druid, Geddavian, taught Richard Balin what it was to be the Phoenix.)

You immediately feel uneasy upon approaching the temple. It has been corrupted.

Declan Vandross prayerfully holds on to his holy symbol and mutters prayers.

Mialee steps up to the Temple and her fingers trail over the carvings. Soft words were said as she does. “Pray this works.” Mialee slowly walks inside the temple. The holy symbol she wears is held tightly while she says a soft prayer.

Kithri takes out some of her parchment and begins draw what she can of their route quickly.

As the great doors creak open, a waft of stale air rushes out to encircle the ground. Its apparent this place has been closed tight for quite some time. Once inside, they see a worn, frayed rug in the middle of the room leading toward a wooden altar. Once beautiful, the carved figure upon the altar has been defaced and ruined. Beside the altar are three golden urns on one side and a font filled with red liquid on the other. The only apparent exit from here is through the same door where they entered or through a portcullis to the east. The portcullis was closed off. Torches along the walls flare to life as you enter. Rather than the normal fire you’d expect, the light they shed is a green hue.

Declan closed the door. They seemed alone within the temple.

Mialee and Declan headed to the alter while the others held back. Kit worked on her maps about their route. Kor seemed uncomfortable within the temple and with the possibility of seeing the woman for whom the temple was created.

The party’s conversations before bedding down ranged from light chit-chat to trust within the group. Their conversation wound to private agendas, cleansing the alter, possible presence of the goddess and gathering the first piece of the sword. Mialee spoke of our having to go underground. Declan asked for clarity, “Buried alive? Or in a tunnel?”

Mialee’s only clue was in her reply, “Once we find the way, we are to go down and down.”

Notes:
201 XP
Ring: Hecate
Axe: Fog
Healing potion: Kor
Healing potion: Kit
12 gold + 120 electrum given Declan
End Location: Maera’s Temple, group rested/healed

View
Taelgar: The Enchanted Lands Session 6

The days have grown together, sense of time is fuzzy at best. The group had not seen the suns of Taelgar for several days now…or longer. The forboding wood once again closes in on our path we begin to move out for the day. They were fairly well-rested, despite the sounds of tortured screams that echoed through Cragenmoor’s halls all night. Talynx sent them on their way with his ward at first light…which was really just more darkness. The Spiritwode hadn’t seen the light of day in ages.

They’d had a chance to rest and sift through the thousands of tomes in Talynx’ library…however the findings were few and far between. They did learn that Blackmoor was once a grand melting pot that sat on the edge of Deadmere, the largest inland lake in the empire. They also learned that it was beset upon by demonic forces and became a battleground between those of the Abyss and those of the Nine Hells…literally tearing the city apart brick by brick. The city has sat in ruin for over a thousand years…there’s no telling what they’ll face when we arrive.

Talynx told them that from Cragenmoor, their path lay east toward. It would be an easy path once they reached the edge of the Deadmere, the large inland lake just south of their position. The ruins lie upon the shore of the lake to the southeast. Talynx also assured them this was the safest passage to Blackmoor, but then warned them to keep to the southern edge of the city. The central portion had been invaded by demonic forces and have yet to clear out.

“Blackmoor is near Korthul lands. A dark place,” Kor, the human barbarian, warned.

“Do we need to go to Korthul too?” Kithri the halfling asked.

The dwarf warrior, Fogaban, mumbled his thanks again for the abundance of ale available in the library as Kor shouldered the remains of the keg and followed the group toward the river.

“Mialee, this is your neighborhood,” Declan Vandross, the human cleric, said, “Is there a safe way to cross the river ahead of us?”

Kithri wondered with amusement if dwarves can float.

Mialee, the elf cleric, gathered all the belongings that were hers, what was left and put them in her pack. A spear was gathered and she followed, cloaked beneath the black cloak. “There is a place to cross, but you may not like it.”

“If the dwarf doesn’t have to swim, we’ll like it fine,” Kor, the human barbarian, grumbled.

""I do not like water," Fogaban agreed emphatically.

Declan asked, “Out of curiosity, what’s the problem with this crossing place?”

Mialee remained silent as they marched on. It took the greater portion of a day, but they managed to reach a path…an ancient cobblestone road that leds toward the river. The cobblestone gave way once it arrived at the giant chasm where the river flowed. Above the chasm hung an ancient rope bridge…just wide enough for a single horse cart to be pulled across it. The road contined on the other side.

Fogaban looked down into the chasm, “Looks pretty rickety.”

“We should send the heaviest over first,” Kor advised.

“Damn, that would be me,” the stocky dwarf grumped.

“Yes,” Kor agreed with Fogaban, “If you have ale, leave it here.”

“I’ll hold the ale,” Fogaban insisted, eying the barbarian suspiciously.

“I will go first,” Mialee insisted.

Fogaban glanced at the prim elf with surprise. “Lady, can you …….. hover?”

“Hovering elves is not natural,” Kor muttered uncomfortably.

Kithri headed toward the bridge but didn’t cross yet. She looked out across the chasm thoughtfully, looking to see if there are any traps around it.

Mialee cast a withering glance at the dwarf and began walking across the bridge, as casually as if it were a paved road.

“Just thought I’d ask,” Fogaban muttered sheepishly, then, as he saw the elf march off, shouted, “Come back!!”

“That doesn’t look good,” Kor said.

The bridge swayed slightly as the elf started across. The party watched with interest until she reached about halfway across and a loud snap came from under Mialee’s foot. The elf slipped through the collapsed floorboards with a cry of shock and just managed to catch the rope supports.

Kithri ran toward the edge. Fogaban threw himself at the edge of the chasm and began feeding rope out of his pack. Declan charged past Kithri, causing the bridge to sway dangerously. He grabbed the rop rail for support and continued to Mialee.

The swaying slowed and Mialee managed to keep a hold of the rope. Declan avoided the gap, lay himself flat to disperse his weight as much as possible, and reached for the elf girl.

“Grab my hand!” he commanded.

Kithris pulled out her own rope and threw one end over Declan’s shoulder, hoping to get it down to Mialee.

Mialee took a deep breath and tried to reach up to his hand, praying her other hand wouldn’t give out. Declan strained to reach for her as well.

Fogaban tied one end of his rope around his waist and rushed to tie the other end to Declan’s foot. However, before he could get there, Declan let out a roar and hauled the elf back up to the bridge. The two lay on the bridge, trying to catch their breath.

“Do we run our ropes to strengthen this weak spot then go across?” Kithri wondered.

Mialee looked at the human cleric after a moment. “Thank you.”

“When walking on unstable surfaces, you should always maintain three points of contact,” Declan instructed, nodding to her, then slowly getting to his feet and continuing across the bridge.

Kor grabbed the rope siderail and began to cross….slloooowly….

“If it can handle the three… four? … of us, the others can make it right?” Kithri continued to worry.

Mialee stood, adjusting her things and moving across the bridge. “I have crossed this before, the boards were strong.”

“The gods have a peculiar sense of humor sometimes,” Declan said from the other side of the bridge.

“Or Talynx,” Mialee growled as she passed him.

Kor finally reached the other side and looked back. He watched Fogaban reach the middle and carefully step over the broken boards, holding firmly to the ropes.

“Maybe he was testing to see if we would take care of you,” Declan postulated.

“He sent her with us, do you think he really cares?” Kor growled. “We’re not going on a nature walk…”

“He could care less if I perish or not.” Mialee spat.

“It could just be an old board,” Kithri continued, “but since we were all together, we got across.”

“She’s the one who knows the cleansing ritual we need to perform to get the sword,” Declan reminded Kor.

Kor nodded to Fogaban as he reached the party. “At least you aren’t wet.”

“When we get there, you must remain only on the objective. Talynx was there, the reason for the destruction,” Mialee interrupted.

“Do you think it was an attempt on her life?” Kithri asked fearfully.

Declan smiled at the halfling, “No, I honestly believe it was just an old board.”

Kithri smiled light in return, feeling relieved.

Kor looked at Kithri, then said to the group, “Its as dark now as it is during the night…and again during the day, it never changes…just this dim…gloomy…place. It’s unnatural.”

Fogaban listened to Kor, then addressed the party, “How do you all feel? …. Do you want to rest … or keep moving ……..”

“I can go all night,” Kor insisted.

“Hmmm… we know here is kinda safe?” Kithri glanced around.

Fogaban regarded her affectionately, “No, little thing, I don’t think here is safe … anymore than anywhere else.”

“Okay, I am ready then,” Kithri said confidently.

“As you said, Kor. It’s as dark during day as it is at night, so we may as well keep moving until we tire,” Declan suggested.

“Then let’s keep going .. for now, at least,” Fogaban ordered.

“Very well,” grumbled the barbarian.

Kithri took a deep breath and began to follow along, looking to the sides for movement as she walked. Mialee also followed while keeping very alert to the sounds and shadows around them.

Ahead, they heard a shuffling sound, then all went quiet. As they peered through the dimly lit wood, they saw a large procession of shambling humanoids, robed men and women, and skeletal warriors headed straight for them. It was apparent the creatures had also seen them.

Fogaban readied his battleaxe, eyes squinting with resolve as he growled, “What the hell is coming down the road?!?”

“I’m not sure but I’m going to find out!” Kor charged in and one of the robed figures pulled out a sling, whirled it around its head, then let a rock loose toward the barbarian. The shot went wide, and Kor pulled his two-handed sword and prepared for battle. The rest of the party readied their weapons and also charged into the fray!

A skeleton rushed in and nicked Kor’s arm with its sword while a zombie swung its fist at him, catching him in the temple. Kor let out a wild scream and turned to the zombie, slashing at it. His blade cut deep into the zombie, but not enough to stop it.

A zombie punched at Fogaban, who brought his shield up in time to ward it off as another sling stone went whizzing by.

Tiny Kithri slashed a skeleton with her sword in the back of the knee. As the creature crumbled, she jabbed it repeatedly with her dagger until it broke apart.

Declan brought his mace down squarely onto the skull of the zombie that struck Kor as the robed figure reached them. One smacked its mace into Kor’s ribs with a sickening crunch of breaking bones. The other’s mace glanced off Declan’s shield.

Fogaban swung his mighty battleaxe just past the zombie near him.

The skeleton that cut Kor’s arm gave Kor another powerful shot to the ribs. Kor staggered, but did not fall. With a roar of pain and rage, he cleaved the robed figure that struck him first in half!

Miralee muttered a foreign word as she moved forward, hefting her spear.

Fogaban rallied the group, “We’re holding our own folks! … Just keep fighting and don’t give up!!”

Kithri groaned as the robed figure before Declan easily pushed aside her attack with its shield.

Declan raised his shield protectively before the robed figure and prayed fervently to the gods as he focussed his attention on Kor. He felt the familiar divine glow of the gods pass through him and saw the barbarian straighten up as his wounds healed before his eyes.

“Unnatural… but thanks!” Kor said as he rose to meet his next challenger.

The challenger, the robed figure who had blocked Kithri’s attack, quickly undid Declan’s work by re-breaking Kor’s ribs with a heavy mace blow!

“Appreciate the gods’ work in your favor, Kor,” Declan advised.

“Take that you …. zombie!” Fogaban shouted as he chopped into the shuffling creature. It groaned, though whether from the blow or just because groaning is what zombies do no one could tell. Fogaban stuck his tongue out at the creature.

The skeleton with the sword slashed again at Kor, only to have its blade pushed aside by Kor’s larger blade.

A zombie turned on Declan and punched him in the back. The cleric grunted and turned to return the favor. The zombie groaned as the mace crunched against its shoulder, but stayed on its feet.

Mialee muttered some more elvish and Kor once again felt the effects of healing magic. He nodded quickly to Mialee and turned back to the fight.

Kithri managed to get her sword and dagger past the robed figure’s shield and armor. The creature screamed in pain, but stayed up. It swung its mace heavily for her head, but Kithri gasped and ducked the swing.

The zombie on Declan managed to punch him again, and the zombie near Fogaban continued to elude his blows.

“This Zombie over here is pissing me off,” the dwarf snarled.

Mialee held her spear in both hands and rushed to smack the zombie on Declan. As the spear penetrated the zombie, a loud crack of thunder struck overhead and the zombie exploded!

“WhooHoooo!” Fogaban cheered as zombie bits rained on everyone.

Kithri grimaced and continued her attack on the robed figure. Declan turned back to the same figure and smacked it in the back with his mace.

The robed figure let out a hiss…and it sounds almost like a snake may be under the hood. “<mother…save>”

Declan felt divine power nearby, and his mouth dropped as the robed figure’s wounds all healed up before him!

“Damned Zombie,” Fogaban shouted as his axe cut clean through the beast, sending flesh and bone flying.

Kor ignored another strike from the skeleton as he saw his prey healthy once more. He screamed out and drove his sword at the robed figure.

The robed acolyte continued hissing its prayer to its gods, its wounds knitting even as the party created them.

“Someone shut that thing up!” Fogaban commanded.

Mialee began to speak in a language only known to her. A wave of hand given toward Declan, and the human cleric’s wounds closed up.

Kithri leapt in front of Fogaban and struck at the skeleton before him, stabbing it with his dagger. Fogaban chuckled at her ferocity, and stepped around her to finish it off with his axe.

Kor spun around, slashing toward the figure. Its head flew free from its body as it fell backward, dead.

The hood fell away, revealing a reptilian, possibly even draconian face: green chitinous skin and a forked tongue.

The group looked around, and seeing all their enemies gone, relaxed.

Kithri stepped cautiously toward the reptilian headed one, whispering softly, “Will you look at that!”

“That was just …….. strange,” Fogaban panted.

Kor dropped down on one knee and scowled. “Torgan.”

“You know these … creatures?” Kithri asked him.

“They are the invaders…the lessers of the race.”

“Thank you, Mialee, for the assistance,” Declan offered.

“I can heal once more then just minor healing…” she responded.

“Save it. I can bandage up the others, and with some rest we should be good to go,” Declan advised.

“I’m just hurt a little,” Fogaban said.

“I will be fine… just need a short rest,” Kor agreed.

“Those creatures came from the direction we are going,” Mialee said, sitting with the rest.

Kor glanced further up the road, “Bad sign…”

“Well, at least that’s … what… 9 less of them?” Declan offered as he broke out his medical kit and began bandaging exposed wounds.

“There were only three torgan by my count,” Kor countered.

“And the zombies and skeletons,” Declan reminded him as he flicked zombie guts off his armor.

“Yes, those were Korthul,” Kor commented.

“The zombies and skeletons were Korthul?” Kithri asked, recognizing the name as Kor’s tribe.

“At least one of the zombies was, I’m going to assume the rest were,” Kor answered.

After a moment, Kithri asked, “Should we keep going on the path or just make our own way?”

Mialee remained silent as she turned to look in the direction of Cragenmoor, her home. A shiver danced down her spine before looking toward the others.

“If not the path, then we need to find the Deadmere,” Kor continued his conversation with Kithri.

“Right …” she answered.

The party continued up the path. It wasn’t too long before it begins to drift south toward the lake. Every once in a while they could catch the sound of a cricket…or a bird of prey crying out in the darkness…which is a lot more noise than they’d heard in this place so far.

“Good sign, finally,” Declan muttered. Kithri and Mialee continued to listen for any other strange sounds, and looked around cautiously."

“These sounds are even more weird now,” Fogaban argued.

Kithri continued glancing around, ""could be calls since this place is so … dark."

Her head then snapped to one side, and her body quickly followed, facing south. “I hear a woman … that way …. she’s singing.”

Kithri stoods still motioning south and waiting to see what the others would do …. “No… there are more than one voice.”

Declan’s face clouded, “Last time we followed a voice in the forest, it didn’t end so well.”

Fogaban said thoughtfully, “No idea what this may lead to …. but we should go see what’s going on.”

“What woman in her right mind is going to be singing out here?” Kor wondered aloud.

“I agree. If we’re going to investigate, we should approach carefully,” Declan nodded.

“she’s not alone either,” Kithri said again.

Mialee remained silent while trying to listen and recall what all dwelled in these woods.

“We could stay to the path if no one feels it could be of value,” Kithri offered.

“I’ll go wherever you want,” Kor stated.

Declan pondered the situation, “I think we should probably at least know what it is, since it may wind up being between us and a safe retreat.”

Kithri took a few steps toward the sound then paused to make sure all were on board. Declan moved to follow her, trying to be as silent as his heavy armor would allow. Fogaban walked past him and walked next to Kithri.

Kithri headed toward the song and after a while tried to listen more intently. Kor followed along, with Mialee falling into step behind them.

The trees seem to close in on them once again as they traveled southward. They could make out a trail through them though. As the path turned slightly west, they all begin to hear sounds of a song…

“The tune is quite melancholy,” Kithri noted.

As the song grew louder, Kor pushed ahead of the rest, as if determined now. Mialee frowned while listening to the singing.

The trail ended in a clearing. In the center of the clearing was a decayed statue…

Declan recognized the voices at the last minute, and whispered harshly, “Kor! Stay with us. Harpies!”

The barbarian paid no heed, mesmerized by the haunting music as the fluttering of wings also filled the air.

Everyone charged forward, weapons ready, except Kor. Kor continued his zombie-like march toward the singing harpy.

Mialee rushed forward while lifting the spear and speaking a word. The harpy in front of her screamed as a blinding light burst on its breast.

Kithri charged at a harpt only to get slashed by its claws, then clobbered the halfling with its wooden club.

As Kor passed by the harpy that had been singed by Mialee, it slashed out at him, cutting deep, but the barbarian continued on his path to the singing harpy.

Fogaban chopped at the harpy that struck Kithri, but his strike was pushed aside by the harpy’s wing, and with its club, knocked aside Declan’s mace.

The harpy lets Kor continue on and slashes it claw deep into Mialee. She follows up with a slam of the mace toward Mialee’s head.

Fogaban thrust his shield between the harpy and Kithri, protecting her from further damage. The harpy instead turns on Declan and clubs him!

Kor shook his head slowly as the sounds of combat and the cries of his comrades drown out the singing. He snaps out of his, then looks around. He sees the harpy attacking Mialee and brings his sword down heavily, cutting it out of the sky.

The singing harpy sees its hold on Kor fall and dives at him, slicing into his back.

Fogaban drives his axe into the harpy before him and drags it down to the ground, where Kithri’s blades pin it to the dirt and end its miserable life.

Given the breathing space, Declan offered a quick prayer and focused his powers on Mialee. Mialee muttered a quick thank you to Declan and uses her healing powers on Kor.

Kor again nods his thanks. The harpy noticed Mialee’s power and turned her attention on the elf, but failed to hit.

Fogaban again used his shield to protect Kithri as the halfling chugged down a small vial of healing potion. The dwarf then chopped the harpy with his axe, and Declan bashed it to the ground.

Kor, in the meantime, slashed at the harpy before Mialee, only to have it then turn and club him in return. Then Mialee raced up and impaled the harpy on her spear. As the spear stuck the harpy, a jolt ran up the shaft and into the creature.

A last harpy turned and winged away, deeper into the forest.

Kor dragged himself and collapsed near a chest at the other end of the clearing. “That’s it… I’m sleeping. I’m done.”

Declan nodded, “I agree, this was enough for one day.”

Kithri looked around nervously for more movement, then looked to the others to make sure they were okay.

“The new elf can have my watch,” Kor said, exhausted.

“Okay, just don’t forget that ale barrel in the corner,” Fogaban winked.

Mialee spoke softly while placing her fingers on Kor, and Declan unpacked his medical kit again and made his rounds to the others. Kithri watched the healing and pushed her unneeded healer’s kit back in her bags.

She turned to join Fogaban at the chest, where they both began inspecting it for traps.

Mialee settled down on the ground, hands folding before her. Soon her eyes closed as she slipped into reverie.

Fogaban poked and prodded, and Kithri noted that the chest itself was the trap. She pointed to a poison needle inside the lock. She carefully moved around and tried to disable it. “Hmmmm…”

She heard a loud CLICK!…

And that’s where this chapter ends…

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Taelgar: The Enchanted Lands Session 5
Session 5 Notes

Session 5 – Feb 2, 2013
[no date given]
When last we left our heros, they were sleeping after burying the men who travelled with the princess, Annis.

They awoke the next morning and began their long trek toward the Tower lead by the princess herself. The group felt she was taking them in the correct direction to find the wizard… and for now, that was their only concern.

[In the wee hours of morning…]
The party split the night watch into three parts. Nothing seemed out of place until in the middle of the night, Hecate heard a noise behind Fog. It was the princess. She told Hecate and Fogaban, the two on watch, how she was unable to sleep. Hecate continued to question the princess because something seemed amiss and within a few moments, her skin began to peel and fall from her greusome green Hag body.

Fogaban was frozen in place. His mind intranced by her naked flesh. He was held captive by the sight of her breasts even as they sagged from her form. Hecate began the attack on the Hag. Within moments Fog snapped back to reality, and Kor and Declan all joined in destroying the horrible creature. All the while, Kithra slept – missing the entire battle.

While Fogaban chopped the Hag’s head from her lifeless body, the others went to look for the princess. They thought she had ran for safety when the Hag arrived. It was not until Hectate explained what happened that they gathered together once more. Declan then through the head into the fire and Hectate threw obsidian shards at it to help destroy any change of the creature returning.

The group gathered their things and headed out toward the tower that was barely visible in distance. It was the confirmation they needed.

[After finishing their night’s rest … and dreams of Infinite Motorboating]
Kor fell fast asleep, exahusted, after the fierce battle. When he awoke, Kor tossed his armor aside. The party tried to get him to reconsider but he would not hear it. Finally he said his spirit wolf would protect him.

Later …
A break in the trees revealed the tower Cragenmoor. Spectral forms moved from one side of the road to the other. Hands rised up from the ground, as if clawing out of graves. They didn’t seem to notice our presense until we passed. The forms then followed us toward the grand stairway. It climbed up the cliff wall toward the entrance to Cragenmoor.

Standing before the landing are three spectral guards. The party noticed how cold they felt as they neared the guards who blocked their path. The guards did not seem to understand who we wanted to speak to despite replying the wizard, Talynx Maer. Fogaban even mentioned the Thunderblade. It was then one of the guards left for a few moments. When he returned, he allowed us to continue.

It took over two hours for the group to climb the stairs. Kor, thankfully, carried Kithra more than half the distance. At the top, spectral guardians pulled open the great doors. Only complete darkness waited for them inside. As a group, as if linked by an unseen chain, they entered together.

Once inside the room lit up. Then a voice, as if spoken close to each of us said, “Wait here.” There were couches along one wall but no one moved to sit.

Kit was able to hear haunting winds throughout the hallways. There were moans of undead encircling them. It caused the hair on the back of her neck to rise. She could hear the creaking on the stairway and warned the others that someone was drawing near.

Shortly thereafter, two heavily robed human figures entered. One taller than the other. The tallest of the two spoke in a different language. Declan said something about not knowing someone named Isabell. The party was able to get a glimse of him, a tall drow with white hair; he was the wizard we sought. We were finally face to face with Talynx.

The drow wizard then took us to his study where he had fresh bread, venison, cheest and ale. He gave his word that everything in the room was safe and most of the party began enjoying the hearty meal.

Talynx said the blade was sundered. It was split into three pieces and each piece was taken to a separate tomb. Talynx spoke of keeping each other honest. He then told us he wanted us to do something for him in order to get the information we need to get started. Of course, this came with a stipulation. We were to have his ward accompany us on this task.

Before leaving, Talynx told us we would be safe but only in that room. He also said we should look through his library to learn of Blackmoor and plan on leaving the following day. This gave us plenty of time to research Blackmoor in his library.

Talynx told us little of Blackmoor:
- Enter from its southern-most gate
- The temple we seek is close to the southern-most gate entrance
- It was once the grandest cities in all the realms
- Filled with arcane colleges and temples to all the gods
- The magic was abused and people paid the price
- It was destroyed ages ago by demons who never left

The wizard also said, “The sword hilt is hidden within a defiled altar to Maera. One devoted to the goddess of nature will need to cleanse said altar in order for the hilt to be retrieved.”

We were told very little. Her name is Mialee. She reports to Talynx and Maera. He added that information would be given to us through Mialee. We caught a glimpse of violet eyes from beneath her hood. An apprentice of Talynx. Declan asked “Are you qualified [to cleanse the alter]? Are you a priestess of Maera?” Her only response was “Yes.”

Mialee lifts a hand up and eases back the hood of the cloak. Cascading around her features is golden hair. Pointed ears peak out from benath those silken strands. (She looks like princess Annis … who turned into the Hag) Kit didn’t see Mialee reveal herself or she would have reacted to the likeness.

The topic then changed to Blackmoor. It’s history, layout and maps. Maps of Blackmoor were located on the twenty-fifth aisle, tier 87. However, the maps are incomplete and ancient. The histories of all the cities begin in aisle five. The first four aisles are trapped.

The group agreed to his terms:
- Fulfill his first venture to the ruins of Blackmoor
- Take his apprentice, Mialee, with us

NOTE: Kit rolled a Folklore 23 and then was told we don’t get to learn anything until next week. And so it is written, and so it will be.

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Taelgar: The Enchanted Lands Session 4
Session 4 Notes

The date is the Taelada, 14th Gestara, 1642 – 8 AM

Intro: The Shrine of Bahamut rises over the hill as you make your way toward it, edging around the town is the quickest path back to it. Sir Adrian Mornath stands outside as monks tend to the shrine’s grounds.

Sir Adrian was surprised we brought Justine with us. It had been Declan’s quick actions that kept her from dying and gave the group more insight into what was happening. The girl had been given a great deal of information but there were also a lot of unknown parts; including the unnamed leader. Declan advised Sir Adrian of the importance of what Justine said and advised him to gather an army.

Declan and Hecate discussed whether Justine would talk since she would most likely be killed, while Adrian managed to get the girl alone for questioning with the help of two guards. They kept Declan from joining the interrogation. We never saw the girl again but was told if she is allowed to live they will place her in iron cuffs for the rest of her life.

Anita, the gypsy woman we met a few days ago, whistled as she arrived at the shrine. Kithri silently wondered why the gypsy was going to the shrine since she was surprised we were alive. Yet, the gypsy knew we found the purple fabric matched the robes of an acolyte of Astraes’ and that we needed more information about locating the sword, Thunderblade. Anita explained how we must find the sword to stop the feast. Declan asked when the feast was planned; interestingly enough, Anita replied it would not be until the priests of Astraes have the artifact – the sword, Thunderblade.

She also mentioned the prophecy of the Phoenix. “The blade could be used to make the land whole again,” she said. “There are rumors that the Phoenix has risen…and all he must do to remake this land into one Empire again is to claim the Thunderblade.” The Phoenix is marked from birth. Somewhere upon the Phoenix’s body is a tattoo in the shape of the Phoenix Risen from the ashes. Only a mortal hand may wield the Thunderblade. Therefore, the Phoenix has been and ever shall be human.

We were told of a legendary old wizard who knows the location of the sword. The old wizard is very powerful and the founder of many of the mage orders across the land. He lives in the tower known as Cragenmoor. We would have to travel through the Spiritwode, due south, to get to the tower. Within its walls, we would find the wizard Talynx.

Anita told us to give her name (Anita von Batista) when we find him. Since Hecate knew so much about Talynx, even though had not met him, Kithri wonders if Hecate is a member of one of Talynx’s mage orders. Hecate also knew Cragenmoor was finicky about revealing itself. The folklore is that it only appears when there a time of great need. Perhaps he would even share some of his spells with Hecate?

Anita gave us a map to help us find our way. Kithri looked along drawn roads to find Cragenmoor. If the group went east, past the barrows where they found Justine, they could possibly get a boat to cross the river. However, the dwarf spoke up to get the group moving. She knew there was no way he would willing go across the water. Fogaban would no doubt want to avoid crossing the river south, so we headed west and added more than a day to our walk.

There have not been many horses in town since the Torgan’s war on Tamara. To make the day journey from the store in Caer Maevryn to the Spiritwode, we walked from the store to the where the road split then traveled west. We rested near the bridge. Hecate slept on a mound of soft tall grasses. The men spoke up to take watch rotations but there was barely another word uttered.

So now we need to locate Talynx and learn the location of the Phoenix… to make the land whole and save the people!

::~::~::~

The date is the Gaellada, 15th Gestara, 1642 – 12 PM

Wisely, Declan and Fog gathered salad so we would not have to break out our rations. Fogaban had checked the bridge twice to make sure it was safe and solid before we crossed.

We traveled even further west to cross another bridge. Still no one asked the dwarf about swimming across the river.

::~::~::~

The date is the Gaellada, 15th Gestara, 1642 – 8 PM

Fogaban lead the group to the edge of Spiritwode with the assistance of Declan and Kithri.

Intro to Spiritwode: There is a reason your parents told you to stay far away from the Spiritwode. The forest ahead lies in a foggy surreal silence. There is no breeze and you do not hear typical forest sounds. The path continues well within the wood, but it is overgrown and near ruin. A heaviness seems to set upon you as soon as you set foot into the haunted forest. The hair on the back of your neck seems to stand on end and darkness closes in all around you.

The group prepared themselves for the worse… the worse they could imagine. Within a few hours their trail was virtually gone and they were guiding by skill more than signs of the trail beneath their feet.

A woman’s voice tore through the woods and tore the group from the direction they were traveling. They followed the voice west only to find she was not being beaten severely but was, in fact, what Hacate had figured, Bait. The group rushed right into a waiting flock of Harpies. They nearly killed Kithri and Kor. All dealt great power through their magic and weapons as the priest did his best to keep us alive.

Declan had described the tied woman as irresistible bait. Indeed she was beautiful. She was also a princess, Princess Annis. Her group was there to find a great black stag who only appears every ten years. Her people believed the black stag would take them to a great paradise. However, the paradise the princess sought did not have any buildings … no tower. And it’s a tower the group must find in order to speak with Talynx.

Declan blessed the noble warriors who had arrived with the princess. The men buried them.
Then we rested … hopefully away from the burial site.

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Taelgar: The Enchanted Lands Session 3
Session 3 Notes

13th Gestara, 1642 – 11 AM

The group made their way to the Shrine of Bahamut where they met Sir Adrian Mornath. He told them about the trouble happening the in barrows to the south of Caer Maevryn.

The group made their way south to the Barrows and found the crypt that was spoken of. Heading inside they were attacked by the undead, skeletons of past townfolk. Once the skeletons were dispatched the group managed to find a secret entrance into a an underground area.

Here they met Justine, a priestess of Astraes. They beat her into submission and finally was able to get some answers out of her…most detailed in a note she held on her person.

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