2152 Y.O.L. - Sea Season - Harmony Week – Wildday
Returning from the putrid sewers and the hostile encounter with the wererat plague, the party chose to rest and recover in preparation for meeting with the notables the following morning.
2152 Y.O.L. - Sea Season - Harmony Week – Godday
The friends approached the Three Ant Inn, pleasantly surprised to see many locals cheering their arrival, and many well decorated nobles inside to greet them. Clearly word had spread quickly of team Glarg‟s courageous efforts to rid Quivera of its lycanthropic rat infestation.
Lord Atkinson, the Seneschal of the Barony of Quivera, recognized the members of the party‟s honorable duties by awarding the party members the titles of “Knights of the Realm” and providing them each with 40 adjoined acres of farmland and a mule each. Glarg was able to cleverly negotiate one mule into a Jack and a Jenny for each party member. Every member was granted their choice of a magical (+2) weapon or a ring of protection (+1). Glarg and one other chose to take the ring.
Other notables spoke, encouraging the party to continue their efforts in the east, and the notables provided many useful items for the future journey including: Kargath – Scroll of fireball (25 range, 15 radius, 10d6+6 dmg), Zeke – 100 wheels each, Viswin – free scale armor, 3 potions each of sleep, forgetfulness, demon-fire (5d6), and some ignus weed. The mage & cleric were provided ritual books for their spells, and Kelmore received the “Fetish Staff of Ash” which allows daily identification of magic items. Finally, Bochol, the Priest at the Temple of Flamal, provided the group one magical seed that allows the instantaneous travel of up to 20 miles. Team Glarg was overwhelmed with the gifts bestowed upon them by the vassals of Quivera, and vowed to use the gifts to the best of their ability to defeat evil.
The meeting continued, with offers for more jobs requiring the hero’s focus, namely the undead presence in the east. The party was promised a quiver containing 5x “Arrows of Slaying” and an offer of a +4 bow for defeating the scourge. The party was advised to travel to see Unir, the Daka Fal shaman of Altar rock, and to first learn as much as they could about the evil in the east.
Arriving at Altar rock, less than an hour’s journey to the northwest of Quivera, the party witnessed Unir performing a funeral ceremony for local family,and got a chance to talk with him afterwards. Unir spoke of the coming alignment of evil stars, and a prophecy of a group of adventurers foreseen to avert a dire future for County Quival, and he truly believed that team Glarg may be that group. He also detailed the friends‟ worst fears; that Veldman was indeed alive and becoming more powerful, participating in rituals of intense evil involving sacrifices and blood magic. Unir told Glarg that more of his kind (dragonborn) are located at an encampment to the south known as “The Waste Inn.” Concluding the discussion, Unir offered up 2 scrolls; protection from undead, and a two-use reincarnation ritual for the party‟s use.
Upon returning to the city of Quivera, the party encountered a seemingly congratulatory mob of Halflings wearing grey robes, who proceeded to surround the team patting them and making indecipherable noises. The group dispersed as quickly as it had swarmed, and members of Glarg‟s party realized they had been collectively robbed of 150 wheels!!! Discouraged, but unable to single out exactly which Halflings were guilty, the group grudgingly gave up the notion of shaking down every Halfling in the city. The party stayed in Quivera till Fireday when they picked up their custom-built scale armor for Glarg and Sola.
2152 Y.O.L. - Sea Season - Death Week – Fireday
Donning their shiny new armor and heading out, team Glarg was led by two of Lord Karst’s Overmen to the east in the direction of the Karst’s keep. After traveling for some time, the group spotted Lamprey Lake and a set of overgrown ruins with green glass walls. Spotting something moving quickly amongst the ruins, the group encountered a Leprechaun who described the dire situation of their people due to the undead in the east. The little fellow told them to meet the rest of his group after the next inn, and bring some refined spirits for the party to appear less hostile to the wee people. The Leprechaun soon scampered out of sight before more questions could be asked. Pushing forward, team Glarg arrived at Anglers Repose, just as described. They proceeded to buy some drink (for themselves and as gifts) and spend the evening there. The proprietors of the establishment, and old man and woman, spoke of how it used to be a very busy trading post, but that they haven‟t seen any travelers in weeks. The party knew they were getting closer to danger.
2152 Y.O.L. - Sea Season - Death Week – Wildday
Eastbound again the following morning, the friends found the enclave of the Leprechauns, offering them the gifts of drink. The Leprechauns were offering large rewards, namely money and guided travel, for the safe return of the Leprechaun King’s wand, and the group offered to help. The wand was apparently being held by some evil creature surrounded by undead that could be found slightly to the east.
Continuing on, the party ventured into the town of Princes Rest, which appeared as if it had been suddenly and immediately abandoned. Scouting the area, the group found the only building with survivors in, who were too paranoid of undead to open their doors. Glarg and friends dispatched a small group of rambling skeletons easily, but found the people inside were inconsolable.
Soon after, a howling was heard and a pale light seen within some destroyed ruins slightly off of the main path. A rather large battle ensued with many undead creatures and one powerful ghoul that seemed to organize them all. Battered and bruised, the party managed to defeat this evil creature, retrieved the holly-esque wand, and returned back to the Leprechauns’ grove. True to their word, the group received 17 Krin (500g each) 12 Tourmaline, 8 black opals, and 3 jade jewels. The Leprechauns celebrated with their new friends, and promised safe travel to Karst‟s keep the following day.
2152 Y.O.L. - Sea Season - Death Week – Godday
Early the next morning, the Leprechauns cast a spell of wind travel over the whole party and they began moving rapidly to the east. Noting the blurry scenery as they traveled past, it became apparent that the group was traveling at an extremely expedited pace, all the while avoiding interactions with the undead plaguing the area. Stopping just a few clicks short of Karst’s Keep, the Leprechauns dropped the invisibility spell and bid the travelers farewell, both parties thanking each other for the help.
The party noticed that the undead in this area seemed to be oddly inanimate, as though held back by something or someone. Upon reaching the compound attempted to boldly stride past the two ghouls guarding the front door.
The party was led through vast hallways of immense treasure of ages past. Clearly Lord Karst had lived far longer (thousands) than his natural born years. When the team finally reached Lord Karst, it was apparent he was in a much weakened state. The party was shocked to discover that Lord Karst was actually some type of powerful undead!!!
Lord Karst did his best to put the party at ease. He turned out to be quite congenial. Lord Karst proceeded to describe how he previously had controlled many undead as minions to work the countryside as well as escort tin shipments back as far as Lamprey Lake from his business partner, Logmar. The mine was owned by Logmar, master of the Logmar Hold, and Karst had a strong feeling about what had happened recently.
Lord Karst speculated at this point … as he told the tale, in aeons past, Slithlords had controlled mankind in the south until the some people had finally escaped their control and traveled north.
The southern continent is called Palmalta, and that was the first home of man. For many millennia men lived in simple comfort, hunting and gathering, raising their families and enjoying life. (This was clearly a looong time ago!)
Men did practice some minor magic to improve the quality of life. They used simple spells to sharpen spears before hunting, healing spells to cure minor wounds, and the like. Eventually though, some men desired more power than their allotted share. They reached out and embraced the magic of the Old Ones, terrible beings from outside Zhalindor entirely.
These evil men showed their corruption by physically changing to resemble great intelligent serpent men. The most powerful of the Slith were the seven Slithlords. The Slith dominated men for millennia, but eventually the Slithlords wished to conquer the remainder of Zhalindor. They sent boats across the Southern sea and made landfall in what later became known as the Timerian Empire.
Something happened then that allowed the men there to throw off the shackles of their minds and spirits. The Slith, who found themselves tens of thousands of miles away from home and surrounded by hostile, free-willed humans, were soon defeated. A great human mage then sealed the seas and crushed the armada of the Slith that was sent north to recapture the escaped men.
The Slith did not take the defeat well.
These evil Slithlords continued to pursue people in the north using mundane and magical means..
Eventually some brave souls through feats of intellect and daring were able to prize some of the magic artifacts from the Slithlords and even eventually seal these vile seven demi-gods of evil in their prepared tombs, but those are tales for other days.
The defeated Slithlords left evidences of their incursions to the north.
Lord Karst believes that Logmar had dug too deep in the earth, and become possessed by the spirits of a Slith sorcerer. Logmar had never shown any inclination to use magic previously. When Logmar came three seasons ago with an ornate box as a gift to Karst, Lord Karst had only imagined that the box was a splendid gift.
Instead it was a dire device ensorcelled with the most eldritch and dread magics. These same magics stole much of Lord Karst’s power, and Lord Karst said that Logmar was strangely “changed.” Logmar underestimated Lord Karst’s powers, and Logmar fled back to the east to his own tower, but not before he killed Lord Karst’s wife and son and stole Lord Karst’s fair daughter, Isabella. The loss of his powers is why many of Karst‟s undead were running rampant.
Lord Karst‟s daughter is trained in the arcane arts. The box can only be destroyed by bringing it to the place that it was forged, Fire Mountain. Lord Karst himself is unable to travel in his weakened state. The party was commissioned by Lord Karst to rescue his daughter and then together to take the Box of Sorrows to destroy it at Fire Mountain.
Lord Karst indicated that a direct assault on Logmar’s tower would likely fail. Fortunately, there are tunnels under the earth that lead to the cellars of the tower.
Upon getting his power back, Lord Karst promises to destroy all of the undead that have strayed away from his keep. He will keep only those undead needed to handle his affairs in and around his demesne.
2152 Y.O.L. - Sea Season - Fertility Week – Freezeday Clayday
Lord Karst sent one of his trusted agents, Cazpar, the friendly ghost, to lead the party to the underground caves leading to Logmar’s keep. Following Cazpar‟s lead, Team Glarg traveled through the rocky, mountainous terrain to the north, eventually finding the entrance on the third day.
2152 Y.O.L. - Sea Season - Fertility Week – Clayday
Cazpar led the group into the caverns, reminding them of the importance of finding both Lord Karst‟s daughter and the tribute box and returning. The party pushed onward into the depths, noting the dwarven-style carving and mining work scribed on the walls of the mine.
While following the main path four Halflings, 2 wearing the grey robes of before, and 2 brightly dressed were encountered. The party learned the grays were leading the other two to “the window of souls” from within the caverns. The party also learned the gray dressed, nihilist Halflings had something to do with the devil Vine. Sola recalled that Vine took particular delight in plots that involved destroying groups. The party, still smarting from the skullduggery of the earlier Halflings in Quivera, decided to decisively engage the offending Halflings with blood and steel. Separating the two friendly Halflings and convincing them of the danger, the party defeated and bound the two gray Halflings, one of whom was named Demonicus.
The party then came to face its first mortal peril in these dread caverns.
Using some fire spell to avoid potentially damaging mushrooms, and thwarting a magical spike trap, the front two members of team Glarg (Glarg and Kelmore) blindly smacked into a horrible cave jelly cube which attempted to destroy the party. Taking quite a bit of acidic damage and needing some time to recuperate after, the members dispatched the vile creature with a clash of magic, armor, and arrows.
Not too much further down the mine shaft there appeared a glowing window of sorts to the side. Recognizing the „Window of Souls‟ the clearly had possessed the grey Halflings, the party decided it best to destroy the window and whatever evil it may contain. Sola’s unwavering religious heritage allowed her to shatter the sinister portal before it could do any more harm to innocents.
Entering a much larger hall, the Hall of the Broken Dragon, containing many columns (both dwarven and natural) the group prepared to fight after hearing Black-Speech coming from small creatures nearby. Dispatching the group of Kobold proved easier than expected, with the Warlock burning all six at once with a devastating attack.
This must have been heard by another group, clearly much more formidable than the last containing Kobold halberdiers, rat masters, and even a war-forged golem. The party overheard this war-forged telling his minions to take the party alive for use as “vessels” by Logmar. He said something about taking the party to the resting place of the serpentmen. Of course, evil critters say a lot of things. It probably means nothing! Using the natural cover from broken rock and pillars, the team was well organized in defeating their foes. Searching the remains, the party discovered 370 wheels, 358 lunar, and 1419 clacks to add to their satchels. After that, the party felt slightly more confident moving further into the mines.
Team Glarg presses on to its rendezvous with destiny and on-ward to rescue fair Isabella.