Tales of the Bloodstone Lands

Truth, Justice, and the Carmathan Way!!

Mirtul 6, Year of Rogue Dragons
As the last of the ogre’s intestines spill on the ground around me the rage leaves me… Catching my breath Reed points out a fleeing shadowy figure and starts to chase! Adept Tai quickly reminds Reed he is the only one who can lead us to the elder’s burrow and he allows the figure to run. We realize the figure was headed in the direction of the Ducal Guard. No good can come from that. We double time it to the Elder Merfyn’s burrow. We do pass the Sheriff’s offices and I do hesitate for a second to think about springing my buddy Gazlowe from the brig but to be honest I’m sure he can get out of any cell south of the Heliogabalus….

We arrive at Elder Merfin’s burrow to the sounds of harsh interrogation… One of the imposters, “Chessa” was questioning the poor elder… She was revealing herself to be some sort of magic user from an organization called “The Citadel” with an imp familiar and bound devil, which Tai later identified as a hamatula or barbed devil, at her side… It was too much for the poor terrified Hin elder, just as we reached his doorway he was giving up the name of the midwife… I charge into the burrow and stand over him and swing my blades at the fiend and the evil Hin… I strike true on the fiend but my blade does minimal harm to it… My other blade was about to strike true on “Chessa” but at the last second she cast a shielding spell to divert my blow… Battle begins!

The sorceress quickly teleports away and leaves behind her fiendish servant to do battle. It summons several spinagons (spined devils) to it’s side and my companions battle them both in and outside the burrow… It’s a hard slog, the fiend’s resistance to normal weaponry means only our spellcasters and Reed‘s radiant bolts can really harm the fiend’s… But true to my instincts Gazlowe also shows up and that extra offense helps turn the tide and the devil’s are sent back to whatever Hell they crawled out of…

Reed recognizes the midwife’s name and we race off to her burrow. On the way to Elara’s home we encountered a group of Carmathan guards responding to the chaos of the night. Expecting a problem, I begin to stay behind to deal with the guards and let my companions escape; but Gazlowe’s, still wearing an illusion of a Hin deputy from his escape from the brig, steps forward and convinces the guards he is using us and the guards are needed to deal with the ogre threat… Fucking Gazlowe, way to go!

We make it to the midwife Elara’s home and all is quiet. We rouse her and tell her what is happening. She is not as timid and soft as I would have expected a Hin of her age. Just as we finish explaining the Ducal Guard shows up. Sir Dorris Guthrim, a minion of Helmont the False, threatens both us and my family particularly… I denounce him and his liege and prepare for battle as the guards prepare torches to burn us out of them home. As they throw their torches into the burrow, the midwife shows us an escape route behind her hearth… We collapse the tunnel and flee into some hidden warren…

Upon reaching the central cavern of the escape route we encounter the whole “Greentallow” family waiting for us… They reveal they are agents of the Citadel of Assassins. The offer our lives for the midwife’s but we draw blades in response! The battle lines are drawn…

The young male is a considerable warrior, the father and daughter are cunning, nimble assassins, and the mother and her imp provide magic assaults… In particular her opening lightning bolt catches us in the tunnel and slants the opening of the battle squarely in the assassin’s favor! Complicating things our midwife is caught in the lightning and needs immediate help!

The Magnificent Seven spring into battle!

Reed charges the leader Rolin and the two monks begin a dance of death. Paldo the young warrior charges us, Ulfgar and I meet the charge and battle back, a whirl of blades and axe against the stout Hin warrior… Tai enters his blade song and engages the sorceress with bow, spell, and blade… Halorin our bard tends to the wounded midwife and supports our battle with his inspirational charms and hinders our foes with his cutting mockery… The last assassin rolls from fight to fight trying to take advantage of any slip ups or loss of concentration with deadly precise strikes… I catch a short sword to the gut and fall in combat, darkness takes me, only to have Halorin revive me with one of his healing charms… Halorin falls in the next turn of battle… in return, I rush to pour my last healing potion into his mouth to revive him… The tide of battle turns when Gazlowe takes advantage of his natural habitat and snipes shot after shot from the advantage of underground camouflage his svirfneblin heritage provides… Our party decisively turns the tide with a few aggressive sleep enchantments…

In a fitting form of irony The last sleeping assassins are relieved of their heads much like the poor Greentallows…

The Hin midwife assures us the warren will be safe to rest in as the hobbit’s of the Downs won’t be betray this place to the Ducal Guard… We decided to take the midwife to the Monastery of the Yellow Rose to tell document her tale…

Fucking Gazlow

Mirtul 6, Year of Rogue Dragons
It was a good day… After several good days of travel through the beautiful Carmathan countryside and into the Halfling Downs, here we are… Sitting with Ulfgar in a raucous Hin tavern enjoying the fantastic food and drinks whilst at the same time keeping eyes on one of our suspects, “Paldo”… Watching his comings and goings trying to connect the dots… All the while not having any clue that the Magnificent Seven are hot on his crews’ tail… Hmm… Old deputy, old merchant, old guard, old farmer… All people with roots here amongst the Downs… What are these Greentallow imposters looking for…

Tai returns from his reconnaissance with splendid intelligence… The “rich merchant” imposters are keeping up the pregnancy ruse and looking for only the best midwife, one who allegedly served the Dukes of Carmathan, the House of Devlin…

Reed returns from his day about the Downs and I am comforted by the fact his celebrity has not blown our anonymity and the suspects still have no clue we are here… It is a good day…

Maybe it’s the harder drinking that Reed pushes that does it but Garl’s Golden Beard, I have it!! It hits me all at once…I remember a conversation I overheard in the tavern back at Rosebriar before I left to come back Heliogabalus… Several inquisitors and monks returning to the Monastery of the Yellow Rose were grumbling about how the Hin of the Downs were obstructing some research there… Peppered with, "Well if they don’t want to help us they can live with “Theo the fraud”"…

I explain to my non-Carmathan companions that the claim to the Ducal Seat made by the Helmont XV is tenuous… The imposters and the Ducal guard are both here looking for the old Hin midwife to the Ducal family… And if the slaughter room in the basement we found at the Greentallow’s is any indication I this this interest is deadly…

I love it when a plan comes together… Surprisingly we all agree on a plan.. we decided to wait until nightfall to try some aggressive diplomacy at the Greentallow’s residence… Nothing could possibly go wrong…

Oh no… When did Gazlowe show up… Why is he sweating and looking nervous…. “You did what? Magically opened a hobbit’s burrow and sent in your owl familiar!! They killed it and it exploded in a shower of pixie dust!!! You have to leave, no wait, we both should leave!! No don’t chug that beer with Reed, this isn’t funny”

Roofied by Reed, The Svirfneblin passes out and falls down…

Reed and I quickly grab the grey gnome carrying him upstairs… As I start grabbing our gear to flee Reed starts tying up Gazlowe… We have a heated exchange of ideas but he convinces me to turn over Gazlowe to the Sheriff… I try to use my status as a sworn Knight of Carmathan to curry some privilege but the Hin deputy but my attempt fails to grant any extra leniency… Only Gazlowe’s comatose status garner’s any sympathy from the deputy and he is still looking forward to a couple days in the brig…

More importantly our cover is blown… One of the imposters blatantly approaches my companions and tries to milk them for intelligence… Adept Tai’s attempt to send his rat familiar into the Greentallow’s home is cut short by a snake familiar bound to one of the conspirators… But a snippet of evidence leads Reed to recognize one of the people who the imposters were after… it’s a village elder…

Well it’s on now… Its dark… We are headed to the endangered elder’s burrow now… Wait, what is that? It can’t be… Is that 3 Ogre’s sneaking through the Downs? Did the big one just say, “it’s an elf, we can kill theses!”

“Hey you! Big and ugly!! My name is Ser Buckthorn Beywinn and we are the Magnificent Seven!! Prepare to die!!! Aaarrggghhh!!”

From the Journal of Tyengandrill
The Greentallows

The adventuring band voted, we would pursue the Greentallow family murder investigation for Bluto. Each member seemed to have a compelling reason to go, I am also pleased with this decision.

Greengrass, 1373 (Year of Rogue Dragons)
We travel to Bricheon Townshed to meet Talia. She has an alias name she was using at this farm and has the farms son besotted with her. She helps us don some disguises and has arranged rooms at the Left-handed Inn in the Burrows of Heliogabalus in the Bricktop Quarter. The Greentallow Manor is located in the Burrows.

As expected the Burrows is a very pleasant section of Bricktop. The Hin take great enjoyment in food and socializing which leads to a great pastime, gossip. Halorin passes himself off as a visiting family member and starts speaking to the locals reaping the gossip around town.

Greentallow Manor is boarded up and the Greentallows have moved out about a month ago. To a place they purchased in the Downs. The gossip is that Chessa (Mother) Greentallow became pregnant and the whole family started acting strangely. The Greentallows started walking around all bundled up. A new cousin moved in, Cora who looks a lot like Drina (Daughter) Greentallow, and Cora ran off their regular nanny and rebuffs visitors.

After interviewing potential leads, it became clear we needed to search the house. Why the impersonation of the Greentallows, why a pregnancy, and why the house in the Downs? Are they trying to make a profit off the sale of the Manor? The pregnancy goes towards explaining a lot of odd behavior, but Chessa was barren.

The timeline indicates that they did a rush move out of the house when the barrels went missing.

Mirtul 1, 1373 (Year of Rogue Dragons)
We sneak into the Greentallow Manor at night. It was conveniently boarded up so our lights from inside did not give us away and muffled any noises. It appeared they mostly cleaned out items of interest from the home. They left behind a few very deadly and expensive traps. Four things of interest were discovered:
• Letter from the Halfling Downs with the purchase details of the property in the Downs
• Many letters upset about the unfulfilled work contracts
• A secret room, now covered in dried blood, which most likely was used for butchering the family.
• An unused cask, prepared for to receive a spell which could preserve more heads.

We head to the Bricheon Townshed to meet with Talia to fill her in and plan our trip to the Downs.

In reviewing my past journal entries, I once again read the note we found regarding the casks with heads.

“Someone is on our trail, and we needed the goblins to intercept the delivery for the goods to disappear. Trace the goblins back to their lair and wipe them out – no loose ends. The two casks need to be delivered to the stall of Zarkos Dourstone in the Ironspur Trade Center. Middle of the night – no witnesses. Do not bring any spice containers you recover to the trade center – we can’t afford to have anyone making that connection. Once you’ve delivered the goods, use any proceeds from the spices to pay the boys – no tithe – completing the delivery is the guild’s cut. If you fuck up – you better be dead – if not, you will be.”

Mirtul 4, Year of Rogue Dragons
We settle in to a local inn and decide to each use his own special talents to keep an eye on the imposters new home and collect any juicy gossip. The plot thickens and we stumbled on something HUGE.
• “Chessa” is interviewing for a midwife of noble quality, she has rejected many of the Hin who have applied.
• The Duke’s personal guard are about town and this is not the norm.
• “Paldo” is interviewing many of the elders in the Downs, plying them with truth serum.
• Ser Buckthorn remembers that the current royal bloodline of Helmont the 15th is under dispute and the Monks of the Yellow Rose are investigating.
• The Devlin family used a Hin midwife and she could confirm or deny the lineage of Helmont the 15th and she is from the Downs.

Well now some of the pieces fall into place and explains the extravagance and expense used to cover the imposter’s tracks. They are after the Hin Midwife and this is all tied up in the contention for the rightful ruler of the Duchy of Carmathan. Whoever leads the Duchy of Carmathan would greatly influence the stability of the Bloodstone Lands under King Gareth’s rule and right now Helmont the 15th does not support Garth Dragonsbane.

Like a hard to reach itch, that I cannot scratch. Why are the heads being preserved and delivered? I can understand disposing of the heads to support the ruse, headless bodies cannot be interacted with without the most potent magics and bodies without heads are hard to identify. There are two stories here and most likely intertwined.

Mirtul 6, Year of Rogue Dragons
We need to know more and we stick out here, heads above the rest. We meet and discuss what to do and I suggest that I have Nettle, my familiar, assume the form of a rat and scout out the “Greentallows” new home. It is agreed and I settle down that evening near the house and let Nettle scuttles into the Hin’s Burrow. I see “Chessa” out of her body suit and “Cora” mixing vials. “Paldo” and “Rolin” (Father) are discussing the days interrogations. The elder that he doused with truth serum doesn’t know who the Hin Midwife was, but he knew who does, an elder named Merfin…then, poor Nettle is bitten by a poisonous viper. Damit, one of the imposters is an arcanist. Must be one of the women, they always go for the vipers in the cleavage.

I hurry back, as the humans saying goes “The gig is up”. I give my companions the short version and Reed knows exactly who the elder Merfin is and where he lives. Well it is a race now isn’t it and we have to reach him first and we hurry out…

…and we get jumped by Orges, how did they get Orges into the Downs!?! “Look an Elf, we can kill the ones with the Elf!” It was a short battle and I notice a shadow slinking off, I cry out and point and Reed is off like an arrow. Now the town is stirred up, Reed is giving chase to the shadow and we need to get to Merfin’s house now, not later.

Big Cities, Little Hobbits, Big Troubles

Mirtul 1, 1373 (Year of Rogue Dragons)

Wow… Nighttime in Burrows isn’t so bad… Bricktop, This Northern part of the city doesn’t carry the reek of the Southern side I was introduced to earlier… It’s truly like a different place… There’s even parks and green space… While it’s not the beauty of living on the Rosebriar where I grew up on, one could get used to living amongst these conditions… Maybe Heliogabalus isn’t the shithole I thought it was… It’s a shame the king doesn’t live here…

Alright, game face Buckthorn… This break in is going down…

Between talking to the crabby ol neighbor, the rebuffed nanny, and friendly innkeep the afternoon chasing down the leads on the missing Greentallows was a fair success…. Now breaking into the manor and finding any clues these imposters left behind is of Paramount importance to unfurling this mystery…

It’s a solid plan… Jinx and Ulfgar will climb the rooftops and provide overwatch… Adept Tai will provide an entry and well that’s as far as we can plan… Anything else will probably be ignored any ways…

Well there’s goes Tai… He’s strolling by the front door… Peeking in through the glass… Bampf!! Where’d he go… oh, He must have ported… The doors opening… Oh yeah, go go go, Poorleaf is waving me and Gazlowe access… We swiftly and stealthily as possible enter the Greentallows manor and wait for the rest of our company to get the signal to enter…

Oh no… There’s Jinx… Something went wrong… Ulfgar and him are providing overwatch…

Ok everyone is in… Jynx and Poorleaf are outside running interference and we can start turning this place over…

The office is treasure trove of documents… Our timeline of the impersonation and deceptions is supported by some correspondences we discovered… Unfortunately the villains behind this leave several traps to injure and hinder us or anyone else investigating this disappearance… From alchemical firebomb traps, to aggressive enchanted (or possessed as I think) cutlery, and hidden dart barrages these ner’do’wells did not want anyone uncovering and unraveling this murderous deception…

As we descend into the basement to look for clues I’m ready to remind these villains that I, Ser Buckthorn Beywinn, am not just anyone…

23rd of Tarsakh, A typical afternoon in the life of Ser Buckthorn Beywinn

The sound of metal clanging on metal ring out from the open doors of Weird Wingham’s Weapon Emporium followed by grunts and shouts, both angry and instructorial

“That’s it! Now strike while exposed! Harder! Expect the counter!!”

“My grandmother hits harder than you!”

A small group of women dither about and try not to be obvious while glancing lustily into the shop from the busting market place set up inside the Vaasan Gate. A tall muscular Rageborn wielding a mace and battle axe smash and slash at an unusually large gnome wielding twin scimitars countering with incredibly reckless strikes.

“See, the axes weighted you down. Now spin! Seize the advantage! Slash!! See that didn’t hurt And you landed the blow!

As the duo dance about the shop in a whirlwind of feints, attacks, tumbles, and snarky repartee it becomes clear to the onlookers that the weapons are dulled training ones as both men’s shirtless torsos are merely covered in bruises and sweat instead of blood and mortal wounds. Although for the amount of blows landed both the grey skin of Orbash and pasty white and freckled skin of Sir Beywynn have far fewer bruises then would be expected. As the last hourglass sands come to end the training session the warriors clasp forearms and applaud talent and skill shared.

“Thank you for the training session Orbash. I will heed your advice and alter my fighting style. Thank you my brother by another mother.”
“Where’s my 100 gp”

They share a tankard of ale and swap stories as they convince two lasses from the market place, Haley a plump merchant’s daughter from Valls for Orbash and Hemma a cocky she-dwarf miner from Orothiar Hall for Buckthorn, to join in on another tankard help apply tincture and ointments as to help reduce the harm of the bruising from the training session.

“Buckthorn, we are out of ale”
“Have no fear Orbash, I shall get another tankard.”
“How about instead you boys lock the shop door and we can have a round of ole ‘storm the tower’ How’s that sound to you Henna”
“Sounds like a great idea Haley, Well at least that bath I took yesterday when I arrived will go to good use, Now lock the gate you pretty Gnome and let’s see if that battering ram you’ve been bragging of can take down this gate”

click of door locking—-
On to Bigger and Better Things
Leaving Ostrav

Tarsakh 19, 1373 (Year of Rogue Dragons)
After destroying the demonic threat of Wormgnash and the demon bile, the party spends the day in the now-abandoned Surinak Manse. They attack and slay the felldrake resting in the gardens before thoroughly searching the mansion. The key to their larger quest was right in front of their eyes the entire time, a painting in the lobby showing the morning sun lighting up the Surinak Hunting Lodge, with a depiction of Selune and her Tears setting over the Galenas. Judging by the painting and the carefully rendered positions of Selune and the Tears of Selune, the Hunting Lodge (and another piece of Slaughtergarde) would be just across the Galenas from Ostrav and the Surinak Manse.

The party spends the next day packing up the extremely detailed records of the Surinak’s demonic sacrifices before making their way back to Ostrav. Meeting with Mayor Trinelli, they have an extended interview where the mayor asks for all details of the mansion and possible threats. She then orders the town guard to quarantine the mansion in preparation for its eventual destruction. With the records moved into town hall, Sandra visibly relaxes and explains that for many these records will explain what happened to missing grandparents, aunts and uncles, yet some of the gnome, dwarven and elven citizens have even closer ties to family members who disappeared. In addition, the records will be used to pass judgement on the Surinaks posthumously and legally revoke any claim the noble family had on Ostrav.

Tarsakh 21, 1373 (Year of Rogue Dragons)
The next morning, Mayor Trinelli rings the town bells and summons the townsfolk to the northern square. In the northern square, the party sees a body swinging form the gallows. They also see a stage set up near the gallows where Mayor Trinelli stands, waving for them to approach. The guards usher them on stage while the crowd gathers. Once the crowd thickens, Mayor Trinelli explains that the heroes have been working under her guidance and have saved the town from a horrible, demonic menace. That they braved the Surinak mansion and found records of the sacrifices made by that evil family. That as soon as they go through the records, she will be contacting the families affected with news of their dearly departed. She again thanks the party to thunderous applause, and lets them know that even though Ostrav is somewhat insular, if they ever choose to settle down, they would be welcomed in the town with open arms.

As the curious citizens began to disperse, with many a thank you and claps on the back for the heroes. They find themselves near the gallows to see that it was a rail-thin teenager, maybe a young adult. His body had the purple cast of demon bile, but it looks to have been all burned away. His open mouth turned completely purple, he may have ingested the substance. Near the gallows they spy Nixa Volsetti, the young warrior they freed from the goblins, around her is a small group of obvious friends, close in age to the swinging corpse. As you approach, some of her friends leave, but she introduces you to Nolaria Wintren, acolyte of the House of Nature and Morvinarr, who you met when he returned to the Witches’ End Tavern last night. She points to the corpse and “introduces” you to Gellion, the apprentice alchemist and once the de-facto leader of their group.

She explains, "When you freed me a few days ago, I tried to locate the other apprentices. I found Gellion’s home filled with the bile stuff, but I knew from you all that I could use cold iron to burn it off. From there, I traced Gellion to an abandoned warehouse. I got the guards this time and we managed to free the rest before they were killed. Apparently Gellion thought that demon bile grew best on sacrificial victims. He kept ranting about some “Lord of the Locust Hosts” and kept asking if we heard the buzzing. When the guards caught him, Nolaria was able to burn the demon bile out of him, but his mind had snapped. This is what happens to “unsavory elements” in Ostrav. I’m not sure what we’re going to do next, but this town seems stifling and the town walls seem to close in each day."

Tarsakh 23, 1373 (Year of Rogue Dragons)
The heroes finally reached “home”, the Northern Vaasan Gate, midday on the 23rd of Tarsakh, Telmuth and his day staff were cleaning up and getting ready for the influx of patrons later in the evening. A few merchants, peddlers, adventurers and various other people sat at different points in Muddy Boots and Bloody Blades, but the place was quiet.

Telmuth pulled up a chair and offered rounds of drink in exchange for the story of their adventures. As Bethel and Lindara brought rounds of drinks, the party told Telmuth of the demon bile, the goblins’ Highfort, the haunted mansion and Ostrav’s missing apprentices. His friendly and casual questions showcased a man very familiar with the adventuring life and a seemingly good judge of adventures and adventurers. As people start trickling in during the afternoon, he ends with a suggestion. “Show up tomorrow morning for the Board, I think there’s a long-term job that would be right up your alley.”

The night goes on, the drinks get poured, and the feast is served. After days of grind, it feels good to let go a bit, knowing you’re surrounded by the armies and paladins of the Vaasan Gate. Stumbling to your room late at night, the heroes find a note asking them to head up to Ironhead’s Tavern on the eighth floor. Ironhead’s is a much quieter place, and many adventuring groups go there to plan, out of sight and earshot of the crowd.

Heading up to Ironhead’s, they are met by Bluto Fleetfoot. He explains that Angus has finally gotten the magical casks unsealed and is now able to unseal any that they find. In one cask they found five heads of various Damarans, though they haven’t identified them yet, but the second cask was different. It contained the heads of a hin family. A man, woman, girl, and boy. The hin were obviously related, and on some preliminary investigations, they learned that the family was the Greentallows from the Burrows neighborhood in Bricktop.

Bluto let them know that he, Angus and Talia, are too well known throughout the city to investigate this themselves. He again asks for their help, saying that Talia can meet the at the Brychen farmstead (“has the boy wrapped around her little finger, poor sap”) and disguise them so that they could avoid detection for several days if they don’t visit their normal haunts in the city. They could enter the city disguised, investigate the Greentallows disappearance and get out before anyone was the wiser.

The heroes let Bluto know they would think about it and inform him of their choice in the morning.

From the Journal of Tyengandrill
The Surinak Accounting

The Surinak Manor was a vile den of Chitins and Demon hosts. I will allow my companions revile you in stories of their glory. I will relate the facts as observed and uncovered, though proper research into the matter will require time. We were successful and will deliver the wagon load of documents back to her honor Mayor Trinelli.

The Bloated Man was a creature calling itself Worm Gnash. A large demon worm stuffed into the skin of some man. It will no longer be searching for victims.

It appears that a Marcus Surinak was quiet an adventurer and and skilled at posions and traps. He returned from one of his trips with a new woman called Eshebe and a child named Lucka. Once they returned they were married, however they had no other children. After there marriage there appears to be many deaths in the Surinak household, enough to leave Eshebe as head of the House. Lucka died of poisoning is appears and one would guess as an accident which seemed to put Marcus into a depression as he locked himself away to purse research in his labs.

Eshebe started her demon sacrifices with the destitute before moving onto servants and workers. It appears that one household member’s bad judgment in women doomed the whole House. I leave the details to those more interested in the matter. Surprisingly the list of sacrifices was very detailed. Who records there misdeeds in such a detailed fashion?

I could not find any reference to a Surinak Hunting lodge or any reference of Slaghtergarde in the documents and this was cause for disappointment. Only one picture in the main hall shows any type of hunting lodge. We will try to locate it by referencing the picture’s background. Marcus was a huntsman and liked his hunting trips. There has to be some type of link here.

Of final note: Both crypts of the Baron and Baroness was empty. Did the townsfolk hang them or did they get away? I’ll have to ask Ms Trinelli.

Off to the Surinak's Manse!

“I was only sleeping on the wagon ride on to the way to the Surinak’s Manse because staying up studying spells was the only thing I could do to drown out the noise that poor hin was making during your couplings last night,” said Adept Tai, the elven mage shuddering a bit from the memory. He continued rebuking the gnomish Knight Ser Buckthorn, “So it’s not my fault you wasted whatever fury, you need to conserve wisely, on some preliminary encounter. Saving that peasant being menaced by the chittens needed not your full fury. You sir, need to be wiser.” Without looking up from scribing in his journal, the commentary is delivered in the beautiful elven cadence that both is and hides pity and contempt as the Magnificent Seven (or eight, but whose counting) rest up and recover from their battles in the ruined master bedroom of the Surinak’s Mansion, they remenice about their encounters.

Standing guard by the door the dwarven warrior Ulfgar says, “We had two swell battles in a row though once we got here. That big one by the gate with those Abyssal Maws and guardian drake and then once we got inside we had that grand melee with the chittens and their spider woman monster priestess in the ballroom.”

Testing himself by Balancing himself on the top of a broken chair with a missing leg , the hin monk Reed Goodbarrel laughs and says, “don’t forget Hathorn and I using our golden glow to destroy all that demon bile in the stables. If we weren’t here it wouldn’t matter how many things you guys chop to bits a pond of bile that big is a good as a old fashioned portal to the Abyss!” The other dwarf, Hathorn the priest of Moradin, chimes in, “Well it’s Moradin’s grace that allows me to do what I do but it pleases me that we cleansed our Realm of that menace.”

“Nothing beats the crazy doppelganger and her imaginary marble egg,” declares the hin bard Hallorin Poorleaf, “It’s soo good I might have to make a song about it,” while smoking his pungent pipeweed. “Let the record show I followed the plan,” interjects the half elf bounty hunter Jynx, “The whole way!”

The last companion, the snirfiblin Gazlowe, stays hunched over the iron cobra construct that defended the master bedroom and examines it with his lockpicks and tinkering tools for most of the rest.

“Aight boys, let’s get ready to go burn this swarm of flying Abyssal pests to ash,” says the gnome Knight as the company gathers and girds itself and marches to the basement entrance in the kitchens.

Adept Tai summons his flaming sphere and the company lures the Abyssal swarm of tiny flying manta rays with lampray mouths out from the basement. The swarm issues a evil enchanting gibbering that induces a state of confusion amongst its victims. The heroes stay strong for the most part and bombard the swarm with alchemist fire while cornered by the flaming sphere. Despite the grievous wounds caused by the swarm the Magnificent Seven carries the day and sets forth to investigate the hidden chambers in the Surinak’s basement….

From the Journal of Tyengandrill

Tarsakh 16, Year of Rogue Dragons
A two phase assault playing up to each individual’s strength. Reed and Gazlowe will scale the ropes and barricade on the side while the rest of us charge up the rope bridge to the gate. Ser Buckthorn and Ulfgar will use a battering ram to smash the gates. Jinx will provide cover at the gates with a Fog Cloud spell. As they sprinted to the rope bridge with Jinx well in the lead it went as planned. Gazlowe and Reed, like a pair of monkeys, where topside in a matter of seconds. Jinx sprinting up the bridge tripped something mid way. A jar dropped onto the bridge and broke open. I expected some alchemist fire, but it was Brown Mold, which covered the middle of the bridge. As Ulfgar and Ser Buckthorn attempted to jump it a goblin appeared and threw some alchemist fire onto the mold and it expanded, nearly freezing my companions.

This left Hathor and I stranded at the bottom. While our companions battled gobliniods and wolves we attempted to climb the robe bridge. It was not graceful nor was it successful, actually it was quiet painful. Ultimately I concentrated on my training and started the Bladesong and was then nimble enough to get to the top and join the battle. Whoa momma, I have never seen such an enormous dire wolf nor have I heard of a bugbear cleric. “Deskari take You!” was his last scream before he exploded in viscera and purple goo. The buzzing madness from the demon insects comes together now, the influence of the Demon Lord Deskari.

It appears the Gobliniods where being tricked by the bugbear cleric. The ‘temple hut’ adorned outside to venerate the goblin gods was inside a veneration to Deskari, Lord of Locus Host, Usher of Apocalypse and the Demon Bile Pit which was well rolled in. There was also a intricately detailed statuette of the Deskari, no brutish goblin work. I would have preferred to destroy it, however, Ser Buckthorn pocketed the vile thing after I determined it had no magic aura.

A girl was found in a cage, one of the missing young adults from the town. Her name is Nixa and she was able to relate a few tidbits of information. She states that she was abducted from inside of town. She received a note from Gellion to meet in the orchard and when she arrived no one was there. She woke up with a lump on her head and in the care of a bloated man. She was taken to this encampment and caged. She saw the bloated man giving instructions to the bugbear cleric and she was questioned about Ostrav and she states their plan was to feed her something and send her back to town. When questioned about the bloated man, she could only describe him as if he was a person overfilled with something that his bodily features stretched to the point of almost bursting that they disappeared.

Tarsakh 17, Year of Rogue Dragons
We return to Ostrav and report to the Mayor Trinelli. We give a full report of our encounters and the request that she intercedes with Nixa, it appears she plans on leaving to search for her missing companions. Mayor Trinelli pays us our fee and provides us permission and the key to investigate the estate. She reiterates the request for the documents of any sacrifices be brought to her. Since she broached the subject, I further question the reasons for such a request, as at least two generations have passed and her previous reason does not make sense. She then tells a story of the Surinak executions. It was ‘common knowledge’ that the Surinaks where demon worshipers, as the saying go “it was known”. So it appears the town folk gathered the family of House Surinak and hung them all with no evidence. They hung nobles to whom they owed fealty to, based on gossip and the Surinak’s underestimated the Mob. The ruling classes should really read their histories in more details. Anyways, Mayor Trinelli wants evidence that supports the town folk’s actions. Once again I wonder why, considering the human concept of time, is this important now? Has a Surinak survived the purge and may come seeking revenge or ruler ship? The House would still be considered the legal rulers; if it can’t be proven that they were demon worshipers.

Mayor Trinelli’s got a bigger secret and now I am super curious. What a delicious drama and more demons to purge! What does Reed and Ser Buckthorn yell again when raising their cups?….Hu-Zah!

Once More Into The Breach!!

Tarsakh 17th, Year of Rogue Dragons
Well over 6 feet tall, Alice Kruptin, the imposing proprietor of the [[Witch’s End Tavern]] stares out over the chaos that has taken over her normally unassuming inn. A company of demi-humans calling themselves The Magnificent Seven (even though there is at least eight of them) has spent serious coin to rent room and board during their business in and around Ostrav. Happy with success from their latest adventure they have taken over a corner of the common room feasting, drinking, and laughing. To both the enjoyment and chagrin of some groups of regulars they often buy rounds of drinks and bust out into rounds of music, song, and tumbling dancing as it seems that many of the company are as familiar with instruments as they are with axe, sword, and bow.

“So Trilla, there we were, Jynx sets off the trap and springs forward leaving Ulfgar and I dangling in mid air on this rope bridge now suddenly covered with strange brown mold,” says the loudest member of the company, the large, unusually large gnome knight Ser Buckthorn Beywinn while flirting with Trilla while her father, a traveling gnomish iron monger from Valls, looks on disapprovingly from across the common room. The half elven bounty hunter pipes up, “I didn’t set off the trap the goblin alchemist dropped that strange mold!” Across the table and without looking up from scrolls and journals the Adept Tai’s elven voice musically joins in, “No, the goblin threw an alchemist fire to double down on the trap you definitely set off.” Ulfgar the dwarven warrior snorts, “fire, mold, cold… whatever,” chugs his mug then the rest of the tankard, “we jumped that patch of mold but it froze my nuggets right awfully,” stands and belches with a solid gurgle at the end, “but that goblin gate didn’t stand a chance with us; we smashed it open in one shot” as he claps Ser Buckthorn on the shoulder as Ulfgar heads to the bar to drop off a few empty tankards.

The gnome knight gets animated as he continues on, “So there we are standing in front of this opliterated gate with a courtyard of goblins and hobgoblins turning on us with blades draw. That’s when things get a little blurry… Ulfgar and I charge the goblinoids. Our sneaky team scaled up the ropes of the bridge behind the cover of our frontal assault, hid amongst the rooftops of the fort’s buildings and shot bolt, after arrow, after… hmmm… you know what, I’m not sure what to call Goodbarrel’s blasts.” The hobbit monk summersaults up, “They are called HAAA-DUUU-ken,” as he fires a blast of raidant energy to obliterate the dumpling off the fork of the company’s other hobbit, the bard Hallorin Poorleaf to the laughter of the companions. The bard cries, “That’s it buddy, I’m leaving you out of the epic. Let’s see how famous you become now.”

“So there were are, in mortal combat; and if that wasn’t enough one of the hobgoblins makes it to the wolf pen and lets the pack out. The brood mother was the largest dire wolf I have ever seen and her mate wasn’t that much smaller. It was a tough slog. I think those little bastards dipped ducked and dodged my axes for what seemed forever but eventually with our companions’ missile fire we hack the gobos and wolves into pieces. Chasing down the last goblin knifer to the back of the camp I run right into the goblinoids’ leader, an odious bugbear with his last goblin minions. He rages, I rages, we charge each other finally, and my axes start striking truly. Our group fights in and we carry the day! The goblin band is defeated and we even rescue a young lady from town held prisoner by the green skins.”

The companions spend the rest of the night in merriment at the inn. Those up at later hours of night at the inn are treated by howls of ecstatic lust as Trilla finds out that Ser Buckthorn is an unusually large gnome in more ways than one..


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