Tales of the Bloodstone Lands

Dear Grandma!

Greetings from Heliogabalus, I hope this missive finds you hardy and merry! I have just returned from a successful adventure into the wilds of the Galena‘s on behalf of Sheriff Sporf’s acquaintance Master Silverblade‘s and the Chicane Guild. I have represented Rosebriar proudly with honor and in glory! What I am shocked to find out however is that this city is a hive of villainy… A guild of thieves called Tightpurse seems to operate brazenly and beyond the ability of the authorities to be stopped… Sad state of affairs… A small gang of thugs and thieves assaulted my companions and I in the city’s alleys. Those villains were hewn and hacked and laid low. I faithfully co-operated and testified to the Magistrates. It was then recommend that my company to get out of town. So now we head north to the Vaasan Gate to test our mettle against the worst Vaasa has to offer!! Give my love and affection to the rest of the clan!! Excelsior!!

From the Journal of Tyengandrill

Ches 27, 1373 (Year of Rogue Dragons)

So we meet and delivered the goods and did a little celebrating at The Adventurers Rest Inn. Jinx invited everyone to stay at his place. We were all feeling pretty good from the upgrade in beverages we could now afford and we headed out at the closing of the tap room. I guess it was wishful thinking that the Tightpurses wouldn’t put together the returning creates and casks, because everyone was told to be careful and we were not back long enough for anyone to spill the beans.

A figure slinks out of the darkness and introduces himself as Benny and tries to engage in a witty repertoire with Jinx. During this exchange there is a tingling in our heads and a voice from the darkness says something about us and the casks and “make it look like a mugging, kill them all”… Yep, we made the freaking List.

It was dark and there was many figures coming out of the shadows. Nasty thieves, but lucky for us they didn’t bring enough people frothing with bloodlust. However, we did, I am still a little taken aback at the joy the Hin and Gnome show when drawing blood. Actually when things started going bad, some of them tried to cut and run. Most of them didn’t make it and there was some street justice employed that evening. In retrospect, it is most likely they were just hired thugs and killers.

Well Benny, as he ran started yelling for the City Watch and sure enough the whistles started blowing. It was time to go, but everyone started discussing what they should do or who would tell the story. This didn’t look like it would end well, I told Reed I would see them at Jinx’s the next morning and slipped back to the Magician’s Guild.

When I arrived at the Guild Hall, I requested an audience with Guild Mistress Avondal. I reported our success in regards to the aid supplied to the Chicane Guild. I also present her the torturing implements of Slaughtergarde. She informs me that it is Abyssal Steel and it will prove useful after melted down and gave me 500 gold for the metal. She also explains how dangerous it will be in Heliogabalus for me now. As always I will be safe at the tower and most likely during the day, but don’t go out at night unless it is in a group. She also suggests it could be a good time for travel.

I head to Jinx’s place in the morning and meet up with everyone. It seems that they were put to the question under a Zone of Truth and let go. I share with my companions the information about the Abyssal Steel, that I traded the religious spell scrolls for two potions of healing and the advice that an excursion out of Heliogabalus might be in order. Buckthorn mentions his desire to go to the Vaasan Gates in Bloodstone Pass to seek Fame and Fortune. Everyone is for it and you can’t get farther from Heliogabalus without leaving Damara. I think about the Surinak Hunting Lodge that leads to the Slaughtergarde Temple, but that can wait a bit since we don’t know exactly where it is and I have heard that the folk in Ostrav don’t cozy up to strangers and we are a strange group indeed.

Ches 28th – Tarsakh 3rd, 1373 (Year of Rogue Dragons)

It is a six-day journey to the Vaasan Gates through pleasant picturesque farm land where people seemed happy to just be back outside after the long winter. The Vaasan Gates are massively impressive; this place could truly house a city’s worth of people. We find ourselves at the Muddy Boots and Bloody Blades and talking to Telmuth the bartender. He enlightens us to how things are done here and tells us about some of the Inns other adventuring parties.
Auric’s Warband
Snow Leopards – Wearing snowcat cloaks and look like rangers
Gutruggers – Mountain Men
Chuklo’s Ravens
Unhuman’s – Two half-orcs and two halfelves. Hate orcs and elves and none to friendly to anyone else
Varmint Patrol – A group of Hin sewer workers from Heliogabalus
Arcane Auriga – Group of elves supposedly exiles from Aglarond

There is also a bounty on the ears of gobliniod and giant-kin, specifically the right ears.
• Goblins (2gp)
• Orcs (3gp)
• Gnolls (4gp)
• Hobgoblins (4gp)
• Bugbears (7gp)
• Ogres (10gp)
• Giants (50+gp per type)

We are then informed that we need to put our name of The Board to get jobs. So we need an official company name. Ser Buckthorn puts forth ‘Crossbows and Roses’ and I counter with ‘Anklebiters’. Neither seems to excite anyone. I rather like the Anklebiters, Ser Buckthorn thinks it’s insulting, I guess he can’t see it from my perspective. (Ha, I do make myself chuckle.) Reed, with the pure exuberance he shows in everything he does shouts out ‘Magnificent Seven!’ and everyone starts to nod. So on the Board it goes, we are The Magnificent Seven.

Tarsakh 4th, 1373 (Year of Rogue Dragons)

The next morning we see how this all works. The groups that are here the longest have their names placed on the top of the list. Telmuth then calls out missions and they are accepted or passed on by the groups on the list, simple, fast, and efficient. We get the left-over mission of clearing out hobgoblins from some tower ruins 12 miles N/NW of the Gate.

We head out after breaking our fast and after some travel sure enough there are some hobgoblins occupying tower ruins. There is also some stairs descending into the dark belly of the ruined tower. We clear the ruined tower and the first room of the basement and our bag has five ears in it with a closed door beckoning us to open it and travel deeper.

From the Journal of Tyengandrill

Ches 19th, 1373 (Year of Rogue Dragons)

We set off to find the two Shadow Folk and Hobgoblin Cleric and run into them quickly enough. The Cleric has set up some kind of temple and raised undead skeletons to assist him. It was challenging, but we slew him and dispatched his undead minions. There was an interesting set of bronze doors which I decided to open and I found the Shadowfolk hunkered down in a midsize room with a small burrow leading outside. I called out to my companions and one of the little buggers darts into a shadow across the room and instantly appears behind me. I knew this from the dagger protruding from my back as everything went black…

I awoke on a bedroll in the same room; my companions had dispatched the Shadow Folk, stabilized me and let me rest until I came around. Next time I will be opening doors with Mage Hand from a safe distance, lesson learned.

The Shadow Folk where carrying a scrap of paper with some notes on it. It seems they found a trap door switch in an old hearth from the Surinak Hunting Lodge. I remember the Surinak’s were a noble family from the Duchy of Arcata and they were granted control of a town called Ostrav. The family was lynched by the common folk for their demon worshiping practices and sacrificing of same said folks. This switch is noted to lead to stairs going to Temple Slaghtergarde. Also scribed is “Mu-Tahn Laa destroyed, complex survives in pieces throughout Vaasa”. On the reverse side is a drawing of a collapsed arch with “Ruined! No salvageable Sigils”

Rested and ready to explore further we find the collapsed arch from the note. I believe it was a portal, possibly a portal that traversed planes of existence. Indeed the sigils have all been destroyed in the collapse and I quail to think of what would happen if they are trying to open a portal to a Dread Plane.

We start to hear a muffled Howling the further we penetrate this complex. We encounter more goblins and hobgoblins and dispatch them. We locate the last magic cask and some treasures. Amongst the crates of goods, hanging on the wall, were multiple tools of torture dripping fresh blood. I determine they are magical in nature and they constantly ooze blood on all the sharp bits. The nasty evil things are also sharp and pointy in really weird places; we decide to remove them as they may be feeding the entrapped Howler Demon.

The Howler is trapped in magical runes just as the Pentadrone 1298 described. What is really interesting is the pattern allows the Howler movement to different areas and the ability to interact with beings in those areas. A permanently trapped guardian that can move about in a limited capacity is intriguing containment system. I cannot study it long as the Howler’s howls start to eat at the edges of your sanity the longer you are directly exposed to it. We beat a hasty retreat from the area, with the howls ringing through our entire being.

Ches 20th – Ches 27th, 1373 (Year of Rogue Dragons)

It is decide it is time to go. We load up as many good as we can in the wagon and on our way out, we honor Pentadrone 1298’s request and collapse both tunnels. We agree that we never mention the casks and will not enter the city with them. No need to have our names on anyone’s “needs to be silenced” list. We arrive outside Heliogabalus and make camp off the road, under cover. Jinx and I will enter South End and make contact with Angus. Since we are party of the city, we shouldn’t make too much of a stir. We speak with Bluto and arrange the transfer of the casks outside at the camp. Once that is done we head into town. I take the more arcane and rare items to sell, while everyone else help offload the more common goods. We then make arrangements to deliver the eight creates of spice to Mistress Marktunsel and collect from Angus Silverblade.

Letters to Caelcormac

I hope this missive finds you and the rest of Clan Meldarin well. My adventures in the city of Helioabulous have been enlightening It has taken time but I believe I have come to understand the nature of the city and its role in the order of things. Still much more to discover but for now I am putting that aside.
I’m I have been conscripted to aid some local merchants in the recovery of some lost shipments. Supposedly taken by some goblins. Together with a band of locals who also have ties to the spice guild that has posted the reward for the recovery of shipments. I have taken to the road. Don’t be surprised if I drop in. Our path brings us close to the Earthspurs and my companions are good folk. Even the dwarf we travel with seems a good fellow..
Keep a weathered eye out for our passage. If I foresee danger to the clan I will send word and mark the path in the ways of our people.

Ever your faithful kin,

From the Journal of Tyengandrill

Ches 19, 1373 (Year of Rogue Dragons)

The ‘what smells worse’ game! I will tell you that dead dire wolf smells worse than live dire wolf. Dead goblin smells way better than a snarling, spitting and heavy breathing one; the blood masks their stick believe it or not! Carrion Crawler? I just held my breath. All these we fought in the goblin warren. This was not what I was thinking about when I imagined a ‘fun adventure’; nor is the combat at all like my service with the Knights of the Tel’Quessir, this was a chaotic ebb and surge of death. On an intellectual note, I almost feel bad for the poor Carrion Crawler; here it is munching on its human corpse, sitting in its pile of refuse and in burst a mob of snarling and screaming small folk who chop it to bits.

Lots of Answers

I’ll start with the Human Question. Here are some orders we found on one of the human corpses.
“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.”

In another hand scrawled on the bottom:
“Oh – casks are magically sealed – directive Do Not Open – penalty DEATH”

That explains all the human corpses here at least.

The Demon Tunnels Question.

This one is incredibly interesting and made the whole crawling threw a goblin warren worth it! We found a large room/ area with three summoning circles and power binding runes. Pacing in through that area is a Pentadrone! A creature of absolute order. Here is a rough sketch:


It was completely alien, but didn’t consider us a threat. It engaged us in conversation and shared a lot of information. I’ll paraphrase, it is called Pentadrone 1298 and it has been guarding this summoning area and imprisoned Howler in the powered runes. Specifically, 186 years ago the Demon Lord Mu-Tahn Laa was plane shifting his keep, Slaughtergarde, into the material plane. The point of incursion was in Vaasa and there were no local forces to oppose this incursion. Deals were struck with the Modrons and Celestials to oppose this incursion. Slaughtergarde exploded and pieces of it were scattered. This place is one of those pieces. There are still two Shadow Folk and a Hobgoblin Cleric of Maglubiyet, who sought out this place remaining. It asked us to collapse the tunnel when we are done to re-secure this fragment of Slaughtergarde.

We just finished off a goblin beast tamer and his dire wolf. The little green bastard was stabling in the Slaughtergarde Library! So many ruined books and so many missing, where are the rest? I did find an apprentice’s spell book with some first order spells in it at least.

So it must be decided, do we continue on and try to defeat the hobgoblin cleric and the two shadow folk, plus whatever else or do we retreat and recuperate? We are nearly spent, but the thought of the goblin cleric getting away or jumping us in our sleep propels us to push onward after short break. That and the two healing potions that are consumed by our injured warriors adds some confidence as well.

Into the Breach!

Ches 19, 1373 (Year of Rogue Dragons)

As we break our rest and gird ourselves for the upcoming battles I wisper to Gazlowe to stay hidden in the back and guard the exit tunnel. I’m glad that scythe trap didn’t take his little head off!!

We make our way north as stealthy as possible but luckily for us the noise of a mail clad dwarf is drowned out by the noise of goblins being goblins. A ferocious combat starts with surprise charge by me into the goblins. I lose myself in a battle rage and bury my axe into goblin after goblin. The loud Hin backs up his bragging and levels several goblins while the dwarf warrior cautiously wades into the fray protecting his allies at every turn. Tai and Jynx support the melee combat with bow shots from cover. Rather quickly the goblins are all slaughtered. We find a few more crates for the Guild Mistress, cha ching $

Following the goblins trail deeper into the complex we are caught by surprise in a constrained position on a tight ledge by a rat swarm. The surprise attack leaves Jynx fighting off death and hopefully not filth fever from the rat bites… We fall back and recover.

Once again we try to take another band of goblins by surprise but the jangle of mailed dwarf prevents our ambush from happening but Tai’s timely sleep incantation quickly subdues the goblin squad. After a few axe chops to sleeping goblin skulls we get introduced to Pentadrone- 5-146d. Thankfully for us he senses our noble nature and might be curiously amused by our comedian Shortleaf and acts friendly. This glorious dimensional being of gears and metal tells a wild tale of demonic intrusion and repulsion. He also gives us vital Intel on the remaining goblin menace.

While we try to sneak up on the goblin Boss and his shaman we stumbled into carrion crawler’s den and both Jynx and I are filled by bad luck. Luckily our companions defeat the beast and find healing potions on a partially devoured corpse.

Finally we spring the attack on the Goblin Boss. Our surprise attacks bloody his pet dire wolf. The unexpectedly Jynx abandons the plan and dashes into the room to keep all the glory for himself. Goodbarrel abandons the plan as well and charges into the room as well. Well both receive a lion’s share of glory if glory is measured in wounds received and dealt! By the time we finished off the dire wolf and enter the room. Goodbarrel was standing of the broken body of the goblin boss while Jynx lie battered and cut on the floor. Shortleaf rushed over and administered first aid to save Jynx. We rest up in this library turned lair. Now with a but more strength in us we prepare to finish of the last of this goblin band, this goblin shaman and his “Dark Ones”

The Band of Ankle-bitters, From the Journal of Tyengandrill
It Begins...

Ches 14, 1373 (Year of Rogue Dragons)

My name is Tai and I am an apprentice in the Magician’s Guild. I have been dispatched to meet with Mistress Vintra Marktunsel of the Chicane Guild, at the Adventure’s Rest Inn. It appears her spice shipments have been waylaid and the Magician’s Guild does not want its reagent supply interrupted.

The Adventure’s Rest Inn

Mistress Marktunsel is there along with the infamous Angus Silverblade and his paramour Talia. In the back lurks Bluto Fleetfoot. She greets me and introduces me to the gathering of small folk. Gazlowe Bonkwhistle, a deep gnome and his friend Ser Buckthorn BeyWinn an overly large forest gnome. Ulfgar Hammerfall, a dwarf of the Ironspur Clan and Halorin Poorleaf a Bardic Hin. There was also another boisterous hin, who I believe is a monk, likes his drink and claims he is named after his engorged phallus. Food and drink was enjoyed as we took the feel of each other and then Jinx joined the table, ambling in muttering excuses about being late and nibbling on a Wendy’s nasty Rat on a Stick.

Mistress Marktunsel brings us to the crux of the gathering, it appears some goblins ambushed a caravan of spice and made off with the wagon. She wishes to engage our services to go and retrieve these creates. This is the point where Angus steps in and speaks to also obtaining 2 magically sealed casks. Bluto also has him read some decree about his non-royal lineage. After some back and forth, it appears that the casks are wanted by the Tightpurses and they are killing anyone involved with the casks. Dickering and Details are negotiated and Angus will give us 150 gp for each cask and Mistress Marktunsel will pay 75 gp for each create recovered, there were 12 missing in all. Personally, I am more interested in what is inside the casks than the 300 gp being offered for them.

The next morning we gather together and head north. One thing I am pleased about is with this Band of Ankle-biters, I will always have a clear shot over them, even Jinx barely stands out. So we travel 3 days north to the point in the road where the caravan was ambushed. We then follow the obvious trail of the dragged wagon and after a day it was noticed that there where human footprints as well, but fresher. It seems someone is trying to beat us to the goblins.

The Hole…

So here is the wagon, empty in front of a shaft plunging into the earth and a knotted rope leading into the darkness. We descend down into the darkness for 80 feet and the shaft opens into a strange cavern with a smooth, unnatural stone floor. Two hobgoblins are guarding the back doors as three humans dangle from the ceiling like meat, being bleed out from throat cuts. The Hobgoblins are quickly dispatched and the next door opened upon some more hobgoblins. Here I must note, the damn small folk are easy to shoot over, yes, but they offer very little cover! This point was driven home by an arrow shaft appearing in my chest and a sword in the neck. Lucky for me Halorin is a healer and I will live to see another morning.

The rock floor is not natural; it is not from this plane of existence. There is also demon relief on the pillars and doors. What have the goblins uncovered here?

We regroup and prepare to decide how to proceed when Drunken Phallus throws the doors wide and yells out were here and starts bitching about the tunnel shaft at 5 stunned goblins playing cards. Melee ensues and they are dispatched and we find a room with many creates, three of the ones we seek and one of the casks. The other creates are filled with common goods. A tunnel leads north and south, with the southern one being some sort of latrine and Gazlowe reported movement in there. We decide to leave the feces critter alone and instead open an ornate door with the sign of ‘danger” in goblin written on it. Oh Joy, lots of deadly traps, in which Gazlowe is able to disable a few, but ultimately falls victim to one of the ceiling blades. Halorin to the rescue, again.

It is decided to make camp and rest before heading further in, as Halorin is out of spells and the Demon Tunnels will only get more pleasant? Right…


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