The Jade Regent

The Frozen Shadows
Some insights at last!
  • After defeating the ninjas attack upon the caravan, the party discovered Krojun’s scattered belongings. As the druid was nowhere to be seen, the items were divided amongst the party (until such a time as Krojun returned, of course!).
  • For safety, the caravan was repainted and moved to a new location; Now marked by Mug’s black hand seal, for identification to the party.
  • We took the poison dart we had discovered to Madame K‘s, in hopes of learning something of it’s origin, and also to see if she had learned anything of the Whispering Shrike’s origins.
  • She told us that the Whispering Shrike was a blade of the Tien Emperors personal guard, and forged by Hitogashi Morimoto.
  • Of the poison dart she told us that it was an implement of a group known only as the Frozen Shadows; Assassins from Tien. Odd that they should be on this side of the Spine of The World.
  • Upon departing we headed to a local Tien blacksmith, where we left Whispering Shrike for repair.
  • We asked around about The Frozen Shadows but were met with either only ignorance or fear.
  • As it was late, we returned to the Inn to get some rest. However, Kaltharnus met with quite a surprise as he was preparing for slumber, when the helm they had recovered from the funeral pyre ship suddenly floated into the air and started speaking to him! As it turns out, it was in fact a cassisian angel named Helgarval, who had become trapped upon the material plane and was attempting to return to his realm.
  • Helgarval had much to tell Kaltharnus. – The Frozen Shadows were working for a group called The Five Storms; A chaotic group of beings known as Oni. They were seeking to cause much strife, which Helgarval hoped to prevent, in order to earn his return to his realm.
  • Helgarval also informed that the Rimerunners were acting as a front for The Frozen Shadows, which was run by Thorborg Silverscore. It also happened that she had an associate, Goti Runecaster, who happened to have a Bloodfeather Raven as a familiar!
  • The following day Kaltharnus passed this information on to the party, who then returned to the caravan to discuss matters.
  • After a little shopping, it was decided that Caleb would attempt to infiltrate the Rimerunners Guild.
  • Upon entering, Caleb requests to speak with someone regarding possible business dealing. He spins a fanciful tale regarding Brinewall and trade routes. Unfortunately, he then proceeded to become quite extremely ill, vomiting profusely over both the table and clerk he was speaking to. Unsurprisingly, it was at this point that he was asked to kindly leave.
  • A new plan formed, Caleb decides to follow the same clerk back to his home, once night falls. He sneaks through the streets like a black cat, on a dark and foggy night. Upon reaching the clerks home, he is able to enter unseen. Finding the clerk fast asleep with 2 ladies of negotiable interest, he slays him with a single thrust of his blade, taking the key to the Rimerunners guild, before returning, like a shadow, to the party’s location.
  • With the aid of some magic, Caleb enters the Rimerunners guild invisible and unseen. He searches top to bottom, quite confusing some of the guards, but exits empty handed. Surely there must be something he overlooked? Perhaps that one locked door that he was unable to bypass…?
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A Rock And A Hard Place
Fucking Ninjas!
  • Went to the temple of Sheyln seeking Uksahkka.
  • Unfortunately, as we arrived we discover that a rather large earth elemental is wrecking up the place!
  • Krojun also notices that massive Raven watching from on high and attempts to pursue, whilst the rest of us take on the elemental.
  • The Raven escapes.
  • After we finally dispatch the elemental without taking too many injuries, we attend to an injured priest. After healing him and showing him the token, he shows us a secret room where Uk Saka was hiding.
  • Uk Saka is missing. There are signs of a struggle in the room and some very large raven feathers. Clearly she has been kidnapped.
  • Disheartened, we return to the caravan…
  • …Which is under attack by quite a large number of ninjas! Sandru and the others are doing their best to hold them off, but Ameiko is slowly being dragged away.
  • After a bloody fight we drive off the ninjas and rescue Ameiko.
  • However, it is not a victory without cost – In the aftermath, Krojun is found to be missing, possibly taken my our foes.

EXP:
Kaltharnus800XP – Total: 13228 XP
Caleb800XP
Mug800XP
Krojun – :(

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Dark Chains and a Dead End at the Funeral Pyre

It is still night as I open my eyes and all I see is the machine. The chains of it slide horizontal over each other with sickening slick oil easing the links passage over each other. They are all coming apart, sliding separate like an aperture over my vision; diminishing and moving away, fading into the background. I hang over the side of a horse being carried from the battlefield at the Longthews’ farm.

The ride doesn’t last long and I try to listen to what the ork and wizard are saying. I don’t hear them but I feel my lips moving and the sweet feeling of air rushing past my throat and lips. I am answering them but I don’t realize what I am saying. All I think about is my neck and the feeling of cold chains slowly closing around it.

Krojun is in front of me now, he seems gruff yet uninjured from the battle. His voice comes from far away as he speaks to the guide woman Uk Saka. They are back in Kalsgard. From what I can make out they are working on another plan to find the sword. The sword I almost sacrificed my life for and now more importantly my soul. I slip away into dream resting my head on the saddle.

I awake again, the others are at Fynn Snaevald’s pitiful little manor and Krojun is boasting to the Ulfen that Longthews is dead. I’m sitting upright though still groggy. Fynn meets my eyes and quickly looks away.

Ameiko is with them as they are riding, I don’t know where we’re going. We’re outside of Kalsgard heading towards the coast. She is riding ahead of me on a white horse and occasionally looks back to check on me; I don’t look at her, I am just staring ahead into the horizon.

We reach this small fishing hut in the middle of nowhere and I start to hallucinate again. As I stare out into the purple sunrise I see a vast field of black chains pulling and sliding over themselves. It is as if the whole ocean were made of these horrible pieces of black metal saturated in thick bloody oil. I close my eyes and grip the reins tight. Ameiko is suddenly beside me and I realize she is touching my shoulder lightly and saying something to me. When I open my eyes the vastness of the black metal ocean recedes and dissolves back into calm blue. I look at her blankly for a moment as she continues to talk about the sword and the funeral barge and I realize she’s not talking about my funeral. Longthews’ master Snori Stone-eye has died (we had interrupted his wake) and we are going to investigate whether his funeral ship contains Suishen.

The others move down and away from the hut towards the sea. Ameiko turns back around on the pebbled path of shells and rocks calling for me to join them. For the first time I know what I’ve been saying to them. Its the only thing I’ve said since I awoke from that place. “I obey.”

Uk Saka is teaching them all to Kayak, something I’ve only done once or twice before; outside my family’s castle walls as a boy. It comes back to me naturally but I can’t help but feel alarmed getting into the water. Sometimes when I look down into the deep I think I can see chains.

We all paddle out to the ship where we think the sword is being sunk with the body of the Jarl Stone-eye. Its a standard construction for a funeral ship, a little smaller than a trading vessel but large enough for an honorable display. Its interior is mostly hollowed out of oars or equipment; planks have been sealed over the top to form a platform for the pyre where the body rests.

Krojun and Mug are first on board and they toss the oil container from the pyre into the ocean. The leather bag makes a loud smacking sound on the water. its louder than i think it should sound but its not loud enough to mask what I hear below. The sound of dark chains rattling and shifting over each other. I do not want to go down there.

Krojun inform us that the body on the pyre seems to be fake, its a wooden dummy. Meanwhile Mug is ripping the door to the ship’s hold off its hinges and making a bloody racket.

Ameiko and Kalthanus move to join the ork at the hold entrance as the Druid starts climbing the mast to keep watch. The fog that started as a light covering is now thicker and I can barely see five or ten feet away from the edge of the hull. I don’t like this at all.

I hear the chains again and I ask if anyone else can, I think I hid the panic pretty well. If they did hear they do not respond to me; they head down into the hull. Ameiko ’s sword shines with magical light as she too disappears into the dark. A voice in my head tells me to follow her and protect her. Something tells me it is either that or let the black chains wrap around me forever. I obey.

I climb down the ladder a few feet behind the rest. Surprisingly the wizard is going first, then I remember that the ship is full of treasure and magical things for him to get himself killed over. Soon enough the wizard hears the chains and whispers back as such in a hiss. I stop dead in my tracks. Ameiko replies inaudibly and the ork, stooping to a low crouch against the narrow ceiling unsheathes his sword.

I look at my spiked chain still tightly clinging around my shoulders and waist and I want to fling it to the ground away from me. I don’t, I can’t… not yet. Instead I grab my throwing knife and I wait. I’m ashamed of my weakness.

The next time I hear the chains at the other end of the hold it is a violent sudden heart lurching sound, its combined with Kalthanus’ dreadful cry. Ameiko has dropped her sword and I can see dimly into the back of the hold by its light. She is now playing a strange instrument with beautiful white gold strings and a tiny sad droning tone.

The thing in the hold lurches after Kalthanus as he shuffles away on his back, pushing with his legs and one arm and holding his face with the other. Whatever it is stops for a moment in the pale light and listens to Ameiko ’s melodies for a moment before shaking its one eyed head and advancing even further into the light around Kalthanus, it drones with a horrid gurgling voice. It is then that I realize its is a Draugr, the walking dead remains of Snori Stone-eye. It must have been what the wooden dummy was up there to replace. I had not seen its like in a decade but I remember the spell that I was taught to use against it’s kind. My mind goes blank as I remember the words of the incantation and I drag them out of that dark space in my mind through my throat and through my arm. As my hand directs the energy of disruption into the creatures face, I hear another strange voice right at the back of my mind whence I drew the words, a dull hollow voice; it chuckles.

The creature lifts its arms against my spell as its flesh starts to show little black tears on its surface and bits of hair and skin peel off into the air. The strange fog from outside seems to invade the hull around the Draugr and Kalthanus but does not advance to my side of the ship. This is a powerful one by what I can tell.

Ameiko has stopped playing the stringed instrument dropping it carefully and pulling up her sword with her foot back into her right hand. She dances elegantly backwards as Mug shuffles forward awkwardly in the confined space. The massive ork lunges into the confusion of the foggy melee and I hear him connect with a powerful blow. The dead man hisses with hurt and anger. Following that however the fog parts briefly as the momentum of Mug’s head displaces it, the Draugr is smashing the orks skull into the base of the mast.

In the meantime Kalthanus has been muttering the beginnings of a spell for a while and he seems to have finished because out of nowhere a massive rock Golem blinks into existence next to the mast and smashes the zombie into a bloody pulp. I let out a sigh of relief while the mist dissipates and we check our injuries.

The ship contains a mass of different treasures and we all make sure to fill our pockets with the most valuable pieces that space will allow for. Kalthanus’ initial enthusiasm on entering the hold was not misplaced. He finds a magical stone in the Draugr’s empty eye socket and a magical helmet that I can barely look at let alone touch. I try not to let on that it sickens me with its holy light.

Krojun and Kalthanus are having a little argument over the magical items when there is a slight crash from above and the unmistakable sound of oil setting aflame. Krojun is first on deck and just as he reaches the top of the ladder he sees a man, dressed all in black, leap over the other side of the ship. I am out behind him and I watch as he runs through the burning wood of the deck, around the funeral pyre and throws himself high into the air after the man. When he hits the apex of his leap, as he clears the back of the boat, he morphs quickly into the form of a dolphin and plunges into the water soon afterwards.

I turn back around to help Ameiko and Kalthanus back up on deck. The smoke and fire is getting too intense to pass through. It will soon be too late to safely get to the Kayaks by the time we are all up safely. I reach again into that dark place; I lift and concentrate the fog and sea water into a constant deluge over the fire. It is not enough to put it all out completely but it does allow us to reach the back of the ship where our Kayaks were tied.

By the time I reach the back of the ship to find the Kayaks missing Mug has already swam halfway out of sight through the fog. Ameiko informs me that they saw them drift off that way and Mug will bring them back. I look down at the icy water and decide that its not a good idea to try to go in and help. The ork is probably the only one apart from the druid who would survive long enough in these waters.

Mug looks close to frozen by the time he returns with the boats and we return to the fishing shack near the shoreline. Krojun is already there with a fire prepared and he informs us that he tracked the men in black back to another shoreline but lost them as they ran into the woods beyond.

We return back to the caravan to rest and discuss whether to try and track the enemy through the wood or follow Uk Saka’s advice to seek out the temple of Sheyln. I tried to stay out of it as I had little idea of what was going on. I was still a little out of it and I had more…personal problems on my mind. Ameiko seems to sense this and she comes over to ask me if I am alright. I do not know what to say to such questions anymore, so I avoid it. She shows me the stone Uk Saka gave her before leaving the fishing shack a few hours ago. It is a small rock with a crude carving of a small bird on its surface. The bird has a tiny beak, small wings and a large curved tail plumage. I had seen such marks before used as ritual stones and markings for the sects of smaller less meaningful deities. She goes on to say that we would go to the temple in the morning and present this to them once Kalthanus had healed at the temple of Desna.

Indeed, in the morning the next day, we rode forth again from the caravan. I was still in a dark mood much the worse for Kalthanus’ upbeat attitude since being healed. We trot through the city at a slow pace as the streets were pretty familiar to us now and we were in no rush. Once we rounded the corner into the fire quarter however it was as if hell had at last broken loose. Rounding the corner onto the main road leading to the temple of Sheyln we see a massive earth elemental slowly wrecking the temple.

I look at it swinging its massive hands against the stone pillars of the temple. It almost brings a smile to my face, I care not for the temple, or its inhabitants. I just know completely that no matter where I go in this world, I will always have that other world waiting for me. As I stumble from one danger to the next, walking on the tightrope of life, I have another chance…to put it all right.

EXP:
Kaltharnus450XP – Total: 12428 XP
Caleb450XP + 200XP (awesome session writeup!)
Mug450XP
Krojun450XP

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Night Raiders
  • The party begins their assault on the Longthews farmstead.
  • Shalelu takes a high position atop a neighbouring shack, a good vantage point for her deadly arrows. Mug and Krojun make their way to the back door, where they hope to catch the drunken Ulfen warriors unawares. Caleb takes point and attempts to lure the enemy in the night by entering their front door, putting on a friendly facade.

Asvig Longthews

  • Calebs ruse fails. The Ulfen warriors immediately draw blades and drive Caleb back, defensively in the night. Little are they aware that death lurks in the shadows. The first few warriors are slain by Shalelu’s true shots from the dark.
  • However, the battle takes a tide for the worst. A large group of Ulfen warriors move out into the night, followed by Longthews and his wife Helva. Caleb’s faith, though powerful, left him unguarded against Helva’s powerful Northern magicks. Helva places a powerful sleeping Hex on Caleb and he collapses amidst a dozen advancing raiders.
  • The nearest raider takes advantage of his downed foe and strikes at him with an axe, severing his spine and dealing a killing blow. The Scion’s of Amatatsu shudder as they feel the soul of their companion leaving his body.
  • Mug and Krojun work their way through the farmhouse catching the warriors in a flank and making short work of them. Though, as soon as Caleb drops, the Warriors reel around and make for the farmhouse where Mug and Krojun are taking point on the assault. The battle rages for a few moments but the two make short work of the warriors, slaying Asvig and Helva with Shalelu’s assistance & true aim.
  • Questioning the remaining Thralls and dying raiders, the party discovers that their suspicions are confirmed – Asvig had captured Ulf Gormundr and had stolen the sword Suishen from Fynn Snaevald’s place. However a quick search of the place reveals that neither is there.
  • A little more digging uncovers that Longthews was throwing a funeral feast for his recently deceased Jarl, a famous reaver by the name of Snori Stone-eye. Stone-eye was set to be bruned in a funeral pyre near Kalsgard the next day, along with a big bulk of his wealth, to send him to the gates of Arcadia.
  • The party gathered before the crumpled corpse of their companion, Caleb. With little debate, they decided to open the warding box that contained the Amatatsu Seal and use it’s most powerful ability – the cast resurrection and brought forth their member from whatever dark corner his soul had found.
  • Slinging Caleb over a horse, they rode into the sunrise, back towards town, making haste for the funeral Pyre, where they hoped to find more clues.

EXP:
Kaltharnus960XP – Total: 11978 XP
Caleb960XP
Mug960XP
Krojun960XP

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An Enemy (Un)Known - Asvig Longthews

The party is in Kalsgard. Krojun and Kalthanus are looking for Fynn Snaevald, the trader that bought the sword Suishen from the Amatatsu family.

On their way to see Kelda, who lives nearby, they witness a large gathering of people watching a horse fight. In the center a man with a black barbed bullwhip directs a crazy looking black mare. His stare alone seethes the ice and fire that forces the horse’s madness to dominate all challengers. While his master is in the process of accepting a gambit, this horse gallops towards the interloper bragging his macabre wager from the sideline. In a blur the mare kicks off the participants head as he’s standing on the ringed fence. The crowd is silenced and the ringmaster looks on blankly, not angry and not entertained, just expected.

The Druid is perturbed a little by this, his hands clench but he decides not to get involved. He watches for a moment as Kaltharnus walks ahead uninterested and preoccupied. He shakes his head as his thought churns around the idea of this crass city and its cruel denizens with dour unnatural dwellings.

They meet Kelda at her family farm where she thanks Krojun for his aid and for releasing her from the Ogre’s cage in Brinewall. In the humble house at the side of the Oxgutter farm her father and mother gifts Krojun with a scabbard of ivory and lacquered wood. The old man describes it as an ancient family heirloom called the Scabbard of Vigor.

When they ask about Fynn Snaevald’s residence, Kelda tells them that he lives in a manor in the Amber quarter not too far away and gives them some directions which they start to follow. The two adventurers depart and thank the family for their hospitality and gifts. Krojun catches a stray glance from Kelda who stands behind her family trapped between them and the threshold of home, she wants to go with them but she needs to stay.

In the meantime, Mug and Caleb are trading their valuables in the Ivory and Jade quarters. They manage to sell sets of pearls, rhino horn chunks of jade and some silverware. The sales are completed but Caleb seems outmatched by the more experienced traders of this big city and they struggle to get market value or better. The dark man glours at the intransigent traders as they prattle of overheads and livelihoods, his black pupilled eyes dance between the fattened traders and his chain then across the inexpressive face of the barbarian. How easy would it be to make these little men scream he thinks, what purpose should they serve other than his own. The dark thoughts are fleeting however and he smiles and thinks of the grand design of commerce, the world turns does it not, one day they will beg for his protection and they will look back on this transgression in hubris with regret.

Kanthanus Drax’s eyes lift occasionally from his boots as he walks solemnly towards the Amber quarter of the city. He likes the silhouette of progress this city shows him, the toils of the men and women at their work all magically coalescing to be greater than the sum of its parts. The emergence of order from chaos and the direction of thought through straight roads and functional divisions. As he and the druid make their way through what seems to be the center of this city he spies a building that stands apart, a great diamond of architecture, wispy and curved forming a outlier amongst the regular shapes. It identifies itself to him as a temple to Desna and he walks towards it forgetting his companion or what his aims were before this thought. Maybe there is a cure for him within the walls of faith, surely there is nothing to lose. Inside the temple is more grand than the outside and they meet with a tall beautiful Ulfen woman. Her eyes sparkle blue from a pale face with a frame of gold locks and a small crown of starry jewels. She greets the adventurers declaring that she is the high priestess of the great temple of Desna. She agrees to try and help the wizard with his curse but when she invokes her god she has difficulty and tells him that something is blocking her. In Kaltharnus’s mind he saw a great void with stars starting to form a figure of a person. Just as they were about to resolve into something recognizable the void expanded further violently forcing the little lights apart. Kaltharnus could not be cured here, the priestess tells him to consider other Gods who may have more luck.

Krojun sand Kalthanus find their way to the Amber quarter following Kelda’s directions. It’s a wild expanse of industrial buildings and large dwellings with smoke rising out of a hundred chimneys. Kaltharnus looks absently at the Druid who seems more and more dejected the more they walk, he tried to comfort him by explaining that this is obviously the manufacturing center of the city and will have a great many intriguing processes to explore. The druid seemed even more uninterested and depressed but Kaltharnus did not ponder why for too long.

They find Fynn Snaevald’s manor house and knock at the large wooden door. The man who opens it is an old Ulfen man with white hair and a wide friendly face. His worn tired blue eyes are open wide as he greets the unexpected guests and invites them in after they explain their intention to buy the sword Suishen. At first he is shocked by their story but then goes on to lament that he did indeed protect the sword and gave it a place of honor on his mantelpiece but only a few weeks ago it was stolen. The party discover that this was in line with when they opened the warding box in Brinewall. The events were clearly connected somehow.

Fin goes on to explain to the adventurers that all his servants were killed in the attack save one that died soon after. The last victim died quickly of his cruel wounds but not before telling Fynn that the manor was broken into by men dressed in all black. They all looked the same apart from one which was slender and tall who seemed to be their leader.

Caleb and Mug continue to make connections for trade for Brinewall. Mug takes the lead when Caleb shows little motivation or knowledge of the politics involved. Perhaps it is not his way to engage in such connections with people or perhaps he does not share the barbarian’s passion for the land and holdings they acquired in the south. For a moment he himself wonders if they will ever see themselves back at the castle Brinewall, but he shrugs this off and looks more diligently for a trade house.

They find themselves at the Sunrise Seekers trade guild. Mug makes an appointment and the pair go in to see a bureaucratic looking little gnome named Grinn Kerbin. The trader agrees to set up an expedition for 300gp with a 25% charge of trade if the mission is successful and a trade route is re-established. Grinn will manage the details of the trade route personally while the party makes their way to the north.

Krojun goes back to the caravan and explains to the party the news about Suishen, they seem concerned with the setback but are not discouraged. Faith in the combat skills and reliability of the caravan as a group has never seemed higher since their triumph at the outskirts of Kalsgard. He returns with Ameiko to Fynn Snaevald’s manor where the new empress and the old trader talk of her relatives and other histories long forgotten.

Kaltharnus is preoccupied with his curse and asks Fynn about temples to other gods in the area. The Ulfen man is not pious and has seldom seem much benefit come out of prayer for good trading, nevertheless he informs the wizard of the Dead Eye temple ruins, also called “Dead Eye Debris” and another temple formed on the outskirts of the city for the god Pharasma.

Caleb and Mug join the party at Snaevald’s manor house. The Inquisitor and the Druid scour the home for clues about the thieves but don’t find anything useful. The trail is long dead and that is assuming there were any tracks to begin with, Caleb ponders that this is probably not the case. The hit was professional and calculated.

With no other leads Caleb goes to investigate the source of the armed men who attacked their camp before reaching the city. Krojun gives him a golden armband of one of the slain men, it bears a Lions Head insignia. He asks about the boat at the various docks at the east of the city and eventually finds the manufacturer. After describing the figurehead on the prow and giving the name of it the boat maker points him to the Rimerunner merchant guild. The man goes on to say that they are located in the Jade quarter and that they commissioned the boat to rent it to traders and the like. Caleb leaves grumbling without acknowledging the aid.

When Caleb reaches the Rimerunner guild he talks with a secretary giving him the armband and explaining how he came across it. He points out the golden lions-head emblem and asks if he might meet the owners for a reward. The secretary suspiciously takes the armband and mumbles to Caleb that he will return the bracelet to the owners and that he should have a nice day. Caleb returns to the group in a darker mood than he had left. The city vexes him and he is slowly growing over-eager to find the source of this annoyance. He knows he wants it too much, he’s following the trail too closely and it has made him lose his edge.

While Caleb looks for the source of the raiders, Krojun spends his efforts in the search for the guide, Ulf Gormundr. Asking around taverns in the city, he finds a lot of people don’t like the guide and say is is suspicious and untrustworthy. He does get a lead when he uncovers the name and description of a Varki trader named Uksahkka who was Ulfs partner for a while and tells people in the tavern that he will give gold to the person that finds the location of the Woman.

In the meantime Mug has also been investigating the history of the trader and asks his connection at the Sunrise Seekers guild if they know where he is. They do not, adding that they did once have a relationship but fired him for working without the bounds of the guild’s laws.

The wizard Drax finds himself alone with his thoughts after the parties dispersal. His curse is driving him to distraction and he cannot concentrate. The will within him becomes taught and he cannot bear not knowing what ails him. He takes it upon himself to try to cure himself again at one of the temples Fynn spoke of. He sneaks into the caravan’s store wagon and opens the chest containing the party’s riches. Using a knock spell and the secret password “bobblygook” he manages to get the chest open without letting anyone else know. They would only get in the way of his personal business he thinks to himself and they would surely not miss a few coins here and there.

Kaltharnus buys a horse from a nearby trader and heads to the temple of Pharasma. He finds himself to the north of the city as the day is waning. The horse sniffs the air and whinneys impatiently when the wizard carefully climbs of its wide back and sits down. The night is spent meditating and experiencing strange visions, when he awakes he realizes that he has lost his voice completely. Dejected and tired he returns to the tavern where the party gather the next morning.

Back at the tavern, the party is approached by a man who says he had found Uksahkka. They give him 2 gold pieces and the man shows them to the farmhouse where she is.

As they approach Uksahkka she is clearly wounded and in distress. While Krojun tends to her wounds, they explain that they want to hire Ulf for an expedition over the Crown of the World. She looks sad for a moment and explains she no longer has a partnership with Ulf but that he would most likely help them for a modest fee, he is just that crazy. She doesn’t know where he is, Ulf’s last job was to develop a trade route for Asvig Longthews though the Grungir forest to the south.

When Uksahkka met with Asvig last, he claimed that “that good for-nothing Ulf” never showed up and they beat her savagely when she came looking for him. She will not go back to Asvig’s farm but she does give them directions to lands southeast of the city where he dwells. She describes Asvig as a tall, noble-looking Ulfen warrior, with three braids in his golden bear, and long flowing hair.

The party reforms at Snaevald’s house and they compare notes. When Krojun asks Fynn about the Lion’s Head insignia on the armband, Fynn tells them that the sign is that of a local Ring Giver named Asvig Longthews. It jogs the old man’s memory and he recalls that the last words spoken by his dying Thrall were that he heard something about “paying the Lion’s due” The coincidence confirms that Asvig planned the raid on their camp before they reached Kalsgard and now he may be holding Ulf prisoner.

They decide to attack the farm. Kalthanus is strangely silent at the discussion and when pressed by Caleb goes back to his wagon not saying a word. It is agreed that Shalelu, who is eager to venture outside the walls of the metropolis, will accompany them to Asvig’s farm instead.

A short trip outside Kalsgard the next day takes the group through a small grove through which they see a modest dwelling matching the description Uksahkka gave to them. As the group approach the farm they find a border of intermittently spaced wooden posts with elaborate lion’s heads engraved upon their peaks. Caleb looks suspiciously at them and discovers runes of conjugation carved into each. Next to one of the posts are hastily scuffed signs. When he reproduces the signs on the ground, carefully tracing what seemed to be obscured, the magic runes glow briefly and the magic within the post dissipates.

Shalelu watches silently as the Inquisitor makes safe the barrier, her sharp elven eyes drift up to the darkening horizon and she speaks out that she sees a party of near twenty people approaching the farm about an hour walk away.

Once they pass the barrier the grove thins out slowly and they find themselves approaching the clearing to the farmstead. Krojun mighty-morphs into a Barn Owl to go and investigate the farm and remain undetected as a common bird. He sees that the main buildings consist of one large farmhouse and several smaller buildings on its perimeter. One is a stable holding a dozen horses.

There is a large celebration in the main farmhouse. Fifteen drunk Ulfen men are laughing and singing, they are also wielding armor. Caleb sneaks around the different buildings on the perimeter of the farm but doesn’t find anything. When he uses detect magic he finds an aura to be especially concentrated in one of the rooms. When Caleb and Krojun compare notes it is determined that Asvig, their leader, was in that room and the party conclude that he is under a Geas enchantment.

EXP:
Kaltharnus400XP = 300XP (story) + 50XP (roleplaying) +50XP (Happy birthday!) – Total: 11018 XP
Caleb550XP = 300XP (story) + 100XP (creative session writeup) + 100XP (guiding the party through Asvig’s warding traps safely) + 50XP (Happy birthday!)
Mug450XP = 300XP (story) + 150XP (for constantly being on top of his shit and making a GM’s life easier)
Krojun450XP = 300XP (story) + 150XP (outstanding leadership/rp’ing skills)

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Arrival in Kalsgard

Before I do the full writeup, here are some brief notes. Please make any corrections or additions you feel are necessary. My notes on Mug & Caleb are a little light.

  • Captured an Ulfen raider after they attacked our camp. Tried to interrogate him, but he died from a geas.
  • Move campsite to the bridge, for safety.
  • Explored area and found Ulfen longboat under the bridge. Scavenged lumber for repair materials, then sank it.
  • Kaltharnus used the seal to try to cure his curse. Effect was felt by all other scions.
  • Caleb got mad. Threatened then attacked Kaltharnus. Kaltharnus fled into the night. Caleb set fire the fortune teller’s wagon (an “accident”).
  • Krojun found Kaltharnus hiding in a bush and persuaded him to return. Offered protection from Caleb.
  • Discussed events as a group and Kaltharnus agreed to give the Seal to Krojun and to perform his experiments outside of the camp.
  • Continue travel to Kalsgard. Met another caravan on the road, but mostly uneventful.
  • After entering and exploring a little of the city, the party made “The Hunting Serpent” inn their homebase for the duration of their stay.
  • Caleb and Mug head out in the evening to explore the seedy underbelly of the city, and fight Mug in the arenas.
  • Kaltharnus and Krojun remain at the inn. Kaltharnus reveals his curse to Krojun in private. They discuss the issue for a little while.
  • Kaltharnus joins Krojun in a smoke of some of Krojun’s special herbs. This gives them both a desire to be close to nature, so they head down to the docks for some sea air. Kaltharnus smokes too mcuh and has a vision and develops minor craving for Krojun’s “product”!
  • The following day, Kaltharnus and Krojun visited various markets and made some inor trades, before being pointed towards “The Perfumery” when enquiring about selling Tien weapons.
  • K&K: Visited Perfumery but “The Madame” was not present. Made appointment to return 2 days later.
  • K&K: Visited Guild of Guides (name?) to hire a guide to cross spine of the world. Told there are none and they’re wasting the guilds time. A stranger overhears and makes a recommendation of someone just mad enough to take them.
  • Mug & Caleb bought a shitload of drugs!

EXP:
Kaltharnus – 150XP
Caleb – 150XP
Mug – 150XP
Krojun – 150XP

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Raiders in the Night

Session Date: November 3rd

I am MUG

I must keep these words brief. For one, I must create enough banners over the night during my watch to spread word.

Things are very ‘exciting’ in our caravan right now. I am still uneasy around my new tribe, but they have treated me better than any Inner Sea strangers yet, and , and I think this bodes well for our futre. For now. I sleep better these days than I have most of my life from what I can remember.

My comrades are becoming more powerful. This is very exciting! Krojun! He changed!? In front of me, right there and then, bwahahahrrrhaaha! Druids, I should not be surprised in these wilds I suppose. His eagle form was very wildly powerful and will be very helpful to our caravan to be sure. Yes!

After our stay and repairs, we’ve been traveling. Onwards. Security must be maintained. I’ve failed our group so often in fact I’m uneasy sleeping. Makes ME sOo AngRY SOmETiMES! Grrrrr, ~Ur"lK’KRu"GUD’BUR’’FAKK!!!

Okay, I’ve found another quill, this one writes much better in fact, now that I write with it. Too bad I am almost done the update journal for the caravan logs.

We’ve been following the Raven, as it flies now on our next leg of the journey.

In the middle of the night, again! We’ve been attached by brigandry! Argh! Ulfen rabble in great numbers are in the midst of attacking our caravan!!! I must go and fight now! I see the wizards spells ablaze in great numbers, and the Chillaxian has begun his outworldly tactics once again. The druid has foudn hius element in these wilds, a positive for the long journey.

I must join my friends, I fear I may not find others in this harsh world.

Mug’Dru’uk’Hrok’Kruul

MUG
Bloodstained Thumbprint


EXP:
Kaltharnus – 300XP
Caleb – 300XP
Mug – 300XP + 100 Bonus XP (Session Writeup)
Krojun – 300XP + 100 Bonus XP (For kicking ass and taking names)

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The Journey to Losthome - Stampeded to (almost) Death

Session Date: October 19th

Tired, my arms and back ache monstrously, and I am so very tired.

I’m just a simple Wainwright, my name is Dudley. This caravan of which I am employed for work, is headed down a dire straight I fear. I’ve never been so far north in my life. I’m loyal to Ameiko and especially Sandru, he’s been very kind. Lately however, I fear we may have gone past the point of no return. Hopefully I can update this journal again, so that my family back home in Varisia may know my adventures, and know I am sane in the events explained. As of late, living seems a tenuous option, and natures unrelenting cold is only just beginning. I am feeling out of sorts as of late.

In fact, it pains me even now, after being tended to by Christina the healer, to whom I am eternally grateful for her kind and patient care, to write these simple words. Pains, gathered from the unrelenting repairs to our caravan as of late. Hammer blows on metal, sawing of timbres, and relentless pumping of the bellows fan to heat my simple small fire pit hearth.

I don’t have the tools to perform a miracle! I am on the edge of my sanity and capacity! I am feared that Sandru will be done with my services and send me away. Worse still, the half-orc might get enraged and… it’s to painful to think of that.

Infernal rhinos, charged from the belly of hell surely, have rendered my beloved caravan into a pile of shattered fibres before we skunked and crawled our way into this village for our very caravan’s survival.

I’m sorry, I get far to much ahead of myself. Let me sit take a small sip before I steady my hands for the details which led to my distracted and shattered state.

The caravan was in a town outside of Jol called Solskinn.
We purchased supplies and met a peculiar, but kindle apothecary with somnambulist issues called Sleepy McGhee. The magic types in the group seemed happy to have me the fellow.

Our awful rations have improved slightly. We purchased some local hunted meats in the area. The food is delicious, too bad our ration portion sizes are worse than in the prison military.

We headed to Losthome, as the next destination on our Northern trek onward. In spite of all the terrible things we’ve encountered, I trust the group to carry on, our very survival as a collective depends on it.

We next encountered the huge and infamous Grungir forest. I imagine the place is actually fine, if left only to the dangers of animals. However, men are much worse then beasts in my humble experience and it’s likely best that we chose to go around the forest instead. I trust Sandru’s instincts, it’s kept us alive more than once already on this trip. The rabble of birds and coyotes that follow our caravan is growing. I’ve never seen so many follow at the same time. I wish my wagon wasn’t on the end, I am made uneasy by their unrelenting stares and pace.

In the wilds we met hunters again. I confess I am a fan of meats and wines. I am grateful for the opportunity to have both at the same time. I would have been in high spirits after meeting them had they not warned us of Trolls in the surrounding area.

Super was delicious, but the foreboding fog and eerie fauna keep me tense as we travel. We’ve been stolen from over night, and now paranoia is clearly setting in amongst the group. I keep to my simple work and maintenance to not let my mind wander as we traveled into day number three.

Then it all changed – at first, the growing sound of thunderous pounding. Before we knew it, we we being beset directly by a huge herd of frantic and stampeding Rhinos. In horror, before my eyes, in what seemed like an entire afternoon, I witnessed the pummeling and rampant destruction of our caravan. The crew braced on the tops for the worst of the ordeal. We almost lost some crew to foolhardy attempts at heroics, but fortunately, we survived.

Then I worked, and worked, and worked, for over a day solid, until the most basic and simple transportation was possible. I was surprised that so little material could accomplish so much repairs. I still think magic may be involved in getting us here to safety in this small town of Losthome.

I’ve been too tired to take any festivities, but Sandru promised me a special surprise in the days ahead. We’re currently staying at the Murdered Witch Inn while I do repairs with the heroes who have traveled with us. The heroes have mostly been in the city get gossip and details from the locals. The Ravens of Black Raven Hall take care of the northern outpost to Irrisen. We’ve found an amazing blacksmith and forge man in Gunnar Ulfal, who I am grateful to take assistance from.

With my earned coins, I bought some personal effects from Sneld Varska, the owner of Old Thrust Shelton or Grungir Magics as it was called. I dunno, magics are beyond me. I’ve got enough to do with the problems in the normal work I have to do.

I want to be brave and continue with the caravan. I hope Sandru and Ameiko knows what they’re doing. These adventurers will be the death of us I fear.

I should sleep. My hands can barely move, and tomorrow I’ll be woken early no doubt to be on our way.

At least I was able to by some more wine, and a new forge hammer.


EXP
Kaltharnus – 300XP
Caleb – 300XP
Mug – 300XP
Krojun – 300XP

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The Jol Arbitration

Diary of Joranvis Widdlewood, Junior-Apprentice of The Twilight Academy, Galduria

Journal entry, 25th of Rova, 4711 AR

The solution to my problem continues to elude me; The scrying stone I crafted remains defective. Despite all my efforts it continues to produce the same results. If I remain unable to resolve the issue, then I will fail Advanced Arcanic Crafting and be unable to advance to the position of Senior-Apprentice for yet another year!

I have, however, learned more as to the likely cause of the defect. In speaking with Junior-Apprentice Bueller, I have learned that the very adventures whom my scrying stone insists to focus solely upon were not only here in Galduria just a few weeks ago, but two of them even ventured inside this very academy! No doubt one of the meddling fools did something to interfere with the initial stages of my creation, explaining why all I can see now through this worthless stone is their bumbling exploits!

Still… Despite their transgressions, they have proven to be of some mild entertainment. I’ve barely been beyond these walls in several years; As such, observing their laughable attempts to survive on their journey North, whilst constantly seeming to be at one another’s throats does provide some small satisfaction, and at the same time does allow me to travel (at least in spirit) where many here cannot (nor would even think to).

For instance, let me recount for you now their latest foolishness…

Shortly after entering the frigid Land Of The Linnorm Kings, that bumbling excuse for a “wizard” (as he calls himself) had decided to rob a store within the city of Jol, of all things! It would seem that there were some magical trinkets within that he desired. Being short on coin though and completely failing to understand the simple concepts of barter or fair trade, he decided that he could use his “magic” to enter the store at night and take the trinkets he so desired. He attempted to enlist the assistance of his comrades, but it would seem they at least had better sense. Their was a brief altercation between him and the shady Chelaxian (raised words and something about the Chelaxian leaving his service), before he stormed off into the night alone.

Of course, the crime went exactly as one would expect. His “magics” all failed him (clearly he has not even a basic schooling in spellcraft), so he resorted to brute force in order to enter the store. Much to my amusement, he was greeted by a particularly large Winter Wolf guarding the shop, which proceeded to make short work of him. It must have been particularly well trained though, as rather than simply eating him (as he deserved) it rather stood guard over his unconscious (again!) form until the City Guard arrived to arrest him.

Back at their caravan, his companions were rudely awakened shortly after by none other than the Captain of the Guard who, for some reason, seemed rather upset with the wizards companions. They were promptly escorted (with little choice in the matter) to the Jolsburg, seat of the “great and compassionate” Opir Eightfingers (a most ironic reputation, given that he is neither of these things), ruler of Southmoor. Upon reaching the Great Hall, the party was no doubt pleasantly surprised to be greeted by the sight of their wizard, shackled and on his knees, and a most disgruntled Linnorm King. “King” Opir then proceeded to enlighten the party as to the latest exploits of their companion, and express why this had left him somewhat vexed, to say the least! As elected spokesperson, it was explained to the deceitful Chelaxian that his party (minus the wizard) would be expelled from the city for a period of 7 days. After which, one of them would return to represent the wizard and hear the weregild that was due for his crimes. If it went unpaid, then the wizard would become a thrall, working off his debt as a servant over the course of however many years it took. Rather than trouble him, this seemed to amuse the Chelaxian greatly – No great surprise, given the pairs inability to cooperate for any length of time. He was, however, blissfully unaware of certain facts which would be made clear to him shortly (and much to my amusement).

While the wizard was led away to the dungeons below the Jolsburg, the rest of the party returned to their caravan and explained the situation to those that had remained. The news was met with much shock and surprise, followed by frustration and annoyance. Several believed that this was the wizards own doing and that he had caused enough trouble, that it would be simpler to move on without him. The despicable Chelaxian was first among these. That is, until it was explained to him that their greatest prize so far (some seal of some kind) had still been in the wizard possession at the time of his arrest. Oh how you should have seen the Chelaxian’s face fall upon hearing this! Had I not known otherwise, I would have thought that someone had delivered news that his own mother had just died… if he even knew his mother, and hadn’t probably killed her himself!

So it was decided that this misfit band of adventurers would set up camp outside of the city of Jol, to return in 7 days in order to pay the weregild and collect the troublesome wizard. Once the caravan was established outside, yet still close to the city walls, talk turned to their provisions. It would seem that while they had enough food to last 7 days, their firewood was in short supply. A most unfortunate and perilous circumstance, given the bitterness of the climate on the Southmoor. It was decided that, despite the dangers of giants, trolls and creatures of the Fey, a small number of the party would venture to the edge of the Grungir Forest, in order to retrieve firewood. And so it was that the lumbering half-orc, the fanatical healer, the dirt covered ranger and that dastardly Chelaxian departed upon a single supply wagon, laden with only a creaky ballista as there only hope against almost certain death!

They ventured into the icy wastes, in the direction of the forest. Their journey took many, dull hours, of which I must confess I did not observe all. Perhaps I missed yet further bumbling antics – No doubt the half-orc attempted to attack, or perhaps copulate with a tree or rock, or some such. And to be sure, the tiresome Chelaxiax in his stupid hat most likely exerted all his diplomatic skills in a yet another failed attempt to convince a fellow party member that he was NOT a traitorous bastard! These and many more such exchanges I may have missed. However, at last I did return to the scrying stone, the party had chanced to cross paths with a giant – Most exciting times were surely ahead!

This 14 foot tall, shambling brute is native to these parts, but not always a common sight in such a vast, icy tundra. So I was most keen to see how he would react, upon crossing paths with this band of hapless adventurers. Not well, as it turns out! Despite their feeble attempts to avoid him, the giant was soon angling directly for the party and their wagon.

It was at this point that the tattooed barbarian had his moment to shine. As a side note, it is my belief that he bears so many tattoos in hope to hide the scars and absolute ugliness that lies beneath – If so, he has not been successful! Hideous or not though, surely he must be a master tactician of some kind, for the plan he formulated next was truly ingenious and not ridiculously stupid and foolish in any was so ever (it is unfortunate that sarcasm does not carry well to paper)! His most subtle and cunning plan was to, and I write no word of a lie, tie himself to one of the ballista bolts and have the insidious Chelaxian FIRE him at the giant!!

How could this most fiendish of plans, containing not a single drawback or oversight, possibly go wrong you ask?! The answer, of course, is obvious – Even had the plan been genuinely faultless in it’s design, the half-orc made the calamitous mistake of involving the incompetent Chelaxian in it’s execution! The nefarious fool’s aim is clearly far less practiced than his ability to convince the other fools amongst his party that he is, in fact, NOT a wicked, devious, backstabbing little knave, who will sell them all out at the first opportunity to do so, should it furthers any one of his many “brilliant” schemes; So many of which he has, that no doubt even he becomes confused upon waking each morning, as to who it is he called “ally” prior to dawn’s breaking that he must now betray before nightfall comes again! But I digress…

The ballista, once fired, sent the oafish half-orc well wide of his intended target and far over the giant’s head. So far off the mark in fact, that the giant didn’t even seem to notice the airborne barbarian tied to a 6 foot metal tipped stake, hurtling by through the air; Or perhaps the sight was simply so bizarre and beyond the comprehension of his primitive brain, that it simply chose not to even attempt to process the event! Whatever the case, the half-orc’s brief experiment with “flight” was brought to a sudden and no doubt painful conclusion, when he impacted the ground at speed, some 60 feet beyond the giant. Though momentarily dazed, he was still surprisingly quick to pull himself back up and begin jogging haphazardly in roughly the direction of the giant, still armed with the ballista bolt. Fortunately for him, the diminished brain size and thickened skull common to hybrids of his ilk no doubt protected him from the impact to an extent, whilst at the same time resulting in most of the horrific injuries he had surely just sustained failing to even yet register!

As these events played out, the ranger and cleric had taken a defensive position near the wagon, and were at least attempting to do the giant some harm with diminutive bow and paltry “divine” magic. The loathsome Chelaxian however, seemed to think it best to fire ballista bolts AROUND the giant, rather than at him; Perhaps another of his schemes, whereby he lets the giant eat his companions, allowing him to later relieve their mangled corpses of all their belongings!

Finally the half-orc returned to the fray, seeming quite angry. Perhaps ignorant of the mortal danger he was putting himself, he began to pin-cushion the giant with the enormous ballista bolt, at the same time circling him in order (it would appear) to entangle the giant’s legs within the rope still tied to the bolt shaft! If this was a deliberate strategy, then perhaps I had underestimated the barbarians intellect; Given proper training he may even be able to handle simple tasks, such as pulling a plow or turning a mill wheel. It would seem though he had not the patience to see his strategy to fruition – Instead he chose to drop the improvised spear, switch to his rather unwieldy greatsword and simply begin hacking at the giant with it. He showed little skill in swordsmanship, though proved none to be necessary when he landed a particularly powerful blow that cleaved clean through the giant, cutting it into two lifeless halves! If his kin also show such strength, perhaps I should prepare a thesis on how his kind may be put to work performing menial labour? I’m sure they could be easily outwitted, captured and controlled for such purposes.

I must admit, at this point, events grew less interesting. The rest of the journey to the Grungir forest was uneventful, and as the party began the tiresome task of gathering lumber, I lost interest. I had already spent far too much time observing them, and needed to return to my studies. I decided to leave them to the monotonous tasks of surviving the next few days, and would pick up my observations when they were scheduled to return to determine the wizards fate; Assuming of course that they even survived the next few days. Perhaps I would return to find them all dead, having murder one another over some slight or disagreement! One could only hope.

As it was though, when I resumed my scrutiny, they all yet somehow continued in their annoying habit of breathing! To my amusement though, it was the reprehensible Chelaxian that was chosen to return to the Jolsburg, in order to once again represent the wizard and pay off his weregild. Why the other party members thought that a wise plan I have no idea, but I hoped it would provided for an entertaining scenario. Upon his arrival at the Jolsburg, the untrustworthy one was once again lead to the Great Hall, before Opir Eightfingers and the bungling wizard in chains! It appeared that his time in the dungeons had not been kind on him – He was filthy, disheveled and even missing a tooth! The weregild was set at a high price, but much to my disappointment, within the reach of the parties coin. However, the duplicitous Chelaxian seemed reluctant to pay such a some. At which point events took a most interesting turn – An alternative to the weregild was offered. A test, through the use of some magical artifact. As the rules were explained to me, it became obvious that the 2 fools were being presented with the Prisoners Dilemma riddle! Each would simultaneously place a hand within the magical box and make a choice with only 2 options. However, the result of these options would depend upon the choices combined. If both chose “virtue” they admitted to their guilt and would each be placed under a temporary penance. If one chose “virtue” while the other “vice” (denying guilt), the former would be punished whilst the later greatly rewarded. If however, they both chose “vice” both would be permanently placed under a severe penance. I must admit, I was most excited to see how this played out. No doubt both would be offered a reward of great personal value, making the choice of “vice” oh so tempting. They had both shown little or no restraint in the past, when presented with opportunities for gain of those things each considered “valuable”. So the likely outcome was obvious to one as perceptive as myself. The test commenced and the players took little time in making their decisions – The chosen runes flashed before them, and it was just as I had predicted – “vice” in both cases.

It was then, as I awaited to see what the great punishment would be, that a strange thing occurred. My view through the scrying stone bent and twisted, before I was thrown back by a powerful wash of energy that escaped the device. I must have struck my head as I fell, as I awoke some time later, upon the floor of my chambers. I pulled myself to and saw from the water clock that I had been unconscious for only an hour or so. Yet when I returned to view events through the stone, the party was on the road again and far from the city of Jol! It would seem that the artifact was powerful indeed, and had somehow altered causality to set the caravan days out from it’s previous location. I observed though that both the blundering wizard and double-dealing Chelaxian each looking quite feeble and dejected. Surely they had received their punishments but it was unclear though as to what they were. I wished to stay further to determine their fate, but I felt quite nauseous and unsteady from my fall, and so ended my observations for the time being. I have yet to return to them, choosing first instead to record them in this journal.

EXP
Kaltharnus – 400XP
Caleb – 400XP
Mug – 400XP
Krojun – 400XP

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The Wild North - Into Jol

The caravan was on the way to Kalsgard. Dave the Guard knew that much. He had been with Sandru’s crew for a couple of months, Annie’s favorite term for his job was sellsword. She thought it dishonorable and hated his long absences. Dave thought it was the best perk. Not this trip though. If anyone ever asked him to work guard duty on a caravan ever again it would be too soon.

They had journeyed 6 days north with the strangers to Jol. Before they got to the city there had been a brief wolf scare in the middle of the night. A couple of smashes of the shield had seen it away. As he was patrolling he had looked up occasionally to check on his boss Mug who had decided to sleep above the camp on his own. The Half-Orc liked to play his cards close to his chest and Dave could tell that his distant nature was something to do with the scars. Mug talked up and down about tattoos but Dave could see what they were covering. As he looked up at the weathered cliff, the moon was full and the camp fire drove a pathetic gasp of cinders. Above Mug’s sleeping form at the top of the cliff was framed a dark figure, menacing and black. As soon as he had seen it, and squinted to make out the features, the vision faded. He thought it just a trick of the light. Everyone had their own ghosts to look after. Anyway, he was probably just over tired and under fed.

The rations had always been tight with this crew. Dave suspected that whoever Sandru had put in charge of the supply goods it was surely their first trip out. Why carry so many passengers and so little food? Also odd was that wherever these strangers were going they were doing it in a mad hurry. Apart from those weeks at Brinewall, Dave didn’t want to think about what happened in Brinewall.

The next day’s journey toward Jol was pleasant enough for their current environment at least. The white capped mountains in the far distance framed the tundra they were cracking with their worn boots and aged cart wheels. Some local hunters sighted on the horizon almost caused an incident with the distant eyed tracker Krojun, but he sortied out on horseback with the new barbarian lady, Kelda Oxgutter, who knew some of the local tongue. The men were no threat it seemed, just watching us out of interest because they don’t get many caravans this far north.

Apparently this land, the Nolands, they call them, has plenty of wildling reavers that may cause a problem for a man caught out on his own. Who would be alone in this desert of rock and cold? he thought.

Jol was a pleasant enough town. The Caravan parked their wares on a merchant track called Goat Hill on the western edge of the city. The strangers did their usual disappearing act and he didn’t see them much in camp that day.

Clay the Chelaxian was an alright sort despite his national handicap. He did macabre puppet shows using his shadow magic to entertain the lads sometimes. The puppet show were weird morality plays often from the point of view of evil criminals and righteous lawmen. At any rate he was an adequate trader and made the caravan a tidy profit in coin selling some of the trophies that they had picked up in that damned sea-worn castle on the cliff. The Chelaxian even brought in a new cart and horses, maybe that would finally fix the rationing problems for good.

The wizard Kalth-anus Drax didn’t fare so well in the bartering it seemed, and he had lost whatever money and marbles he had left to some deviant tailor-shop. Drax had walked back into camp at mid-day looking like a Galdurian whoremaster in his Sunday best and mumbled something about a flesh golem manual… Whatever that is. He also made it very clear that he was lusting after some sort of arcane treasure trove he had found near the Winters Respite inn; near where he and Clay had been staying. Whatever they were involved with together had ended bitterly it seemed and the Wizard had gone into the dark night of the city alone.

EXP
Kaltharnus – 400XP
Krojun: – 300XP
Mug: – 300XP
Caleb – 300XP

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