Heroes of the East

Storming the Goblins
Twenty-eighth of Sehnir, 1521 HC

The wind and sparks denote a minor bloodline usurpation and Porter, Victor, and Athar each gain regency points as the little goblin’s blood is spilled.

The group makes note of the occurrence but decide to forge ahead into the cave. Inside Dorious and Athar see a wall with goblins manning the battlements and inform the others. The group decides to pullback and come up with a strategy. Meanwhile Thurenz scouts the goblin’s bell tower. He decides it is not a threat and turns back to find the rest of the group. He notes the worgs are regrouping.

Unbeknownst to the group, Ward has been following them and on the other side of the stream he gathers up the small number of freed slaves and leads them to safety.

The heroes, minus Ward and Thurenz, regroup outside and are set upon by the worgs and their riders. Two of the worgs are already hurting from Thurenz’s fireball. They do minor damage before the heroes cut them down.

Thurenz returns to the group as Victor turns their attention back to the wall and asks his spell casters to neutralize the goblins manning the wall. Dorious’ solution is a well-placed sleet storm that blocks the vision of the goblins. Victor yells out a rallying cry and the group charges the wall. As they arrive the gate is lifted and a group of bugbears, “shock troops”, move out to intercept the party. They are led by a large bugbear barbarian.

Zale, Dorious, Victor, and Porter stand their ground against the large bugbears moving out.

Athar and Rhedwyn scale the wall, although it takes Redwyn two attempts. Once there Athar rolls off the other side of the wall and slowly makes his way through the blinding sleet. Rhedwyn, once atop the wall, gropes around and bumps into a possible target. He swings his ax but slices only air.

Thurenz continues to fly and aid those on the front lines with his spells, including summoning a celestial lion into the fray.

The heroes manage to plug the doorway with a web spell, kill the first three bugbears, and blind and stun several others with a color spray all before the Dorious’ sleet storm comes to an end.

When it does end Redwyn finally finds his targets and single handily clears the left wall in a matter of seconds.

Victor attempts to climb the wall on the right but is stabbed with a spear and dropped back down.

Thurenz then swoops in and knocks two goblins unconscious with a color spray and his summoned lion jumps up and finishes clearing the right side of the wall.

Athar quickly hides. He notes two more groups of goblins, a group of skirmishers and a command group including a green skinned bugbear giving orders. The command group is formed up near a large tower and Athar dimension doors behind one of the tower legs and hides.

The webs are still in place when Porter tries to push through them and gets caught. However Dorious taunts one of the bugbears who charges and does what Porter could not. It does him little good in the end.

Zale summons a hippogriff who kills the creature.

Victor climbs the wall successfully on his second attempt.

Thurenz doesn’t realize that his teammate is in the vicinity when he launches a fireball at the command group. It kills several of that group and even a few of the skirmishers who were within the blast radius. Athar narrowly avoids the blast thanks to his cat like reflexes.

One of the goblins killed in the fireball was blooded so Athar’s hiding place and position are almost given away when the usurpation occurs. A bolt of “lightning” jumps from the dead scion to the green scaled goblin leader and then again to Athar.

Dorious uses a burning hands spell to burn the webs away seconds before the green-skinned leader, enraged by the fireball, orders his remaining forces to charge and a battle royale ensues.

Goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears swarm the heroes at the wall.

Meanwhile, Thurenz continues his assault on the command group flying above the leader and hitting him with a lightning bolt. Athar takes the opportunity to sneak attack the leader from behind. He hits him but he does not go down. Instead he turns on Athar and grows to almost 9 feet tall thanks to the spell of his pet cleric. He delivers a vicious blow to Athar.

At the wall the heroes more than hold their own as they one by one slaughter the charging enemies. But most of them are oblivious to Athar’s peril.

Victor sees Athar take the hit from his vantage on top of the wall and summons his air elemental to come to his aid.

Thurenz is in a position to help. He polymorphs into a Treant and joins in the fray behind the huge green skinned bugbear.

The large scaled bugbear continues his assault on Athar and delivers another vicious blow to Athar who is in real trouble at this point.

He ignores Thurenz at his own peril. The elf wizard uses his Treant form to pound the bugbear and drive the bugbear to his knees and then to his grave.

This time an even larger gust of wind and “lighting” occur. Athar, Porter, Victor, Dorious, and Zale all absorb a part of the dying creatures bloodline.

The battle over the group search for both surviving prisoners and treasure. They find both.

They find and set free 30 slaves from goblin captivity and find a variety of valuables on many of the enemies and in a treasure chest locked within the leaders chambers.

Two issues arise.

First, there are female and youngling goblins who make for the exit. Porter, having had a personal experience in the past that seems to bear weight on the situation elects to let them go with food, but not valuables.

Second, Redwyn does not seem keen on going to the Mist Warden and the freed slaves seem to want Redwyn to stay and protect them. Porter volunteers to stay and protect them while the rest of the party take Redwyn to the Mist Warden.

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Grudges, Gifts, and Goblins
Twenty-fourth of Sehnir, 1521 HC

The group leaves Raniel manor at the end of the festivities and transport their prisoner, Rose back to Doyle Manor. After some discussion, Sir Boros takes the girl in and gives her into the care of Marrion Rivers. After a night’s rest, the heroes once again leave their horses with the villagers and set off into the Forest of the Mists.

While traveling the group stumbles across a vicious troll. It ferociously attacks Porter and Athar but is soon dispatched by the group’s counterattack. It is apparent that their recent training has paid off.

After the battle with the troll Ward challenges Zale to a fist fight. It seems he has a bone to pick with the half-elf wizard. He wants to fight over Zale’s actions weeks earlier when he was dealing with the riled up peasants back at Doyle Manor. Zale refuses, but Ward punches him anyways and Porter and Athar step in to intervene. Ward then threatens Athar. At this point his brother pulls him aside and speaks with him privately. The two brothers speak a long time alone and when they come back Ward apologizes to Athar, but not to Zale.

Porter then speaks with Zale privately to try and smooth things over a bit. He does point out that although he went about it the wrong way, perhaps Ward did have a point in that the group’s more eloquent spokesmen should be the ones to deal with angry mobs and with Lords. Zale states that he doesn’t mind having a group spokesmen or set leaders, but he refuses to give up his right to speak when he wishes or thinks he should.

Meanwhile, Dorious and Ward begin to exchange words too. Dorious flatly states that if Ward ever hits Zale again he would put him in the earth “permanently”. Once again Porter intervenes, but Ward takes the opportunity to bring up the question of leadership and calls for a vote. The others agree and a vote occurs, but it does not go as everyone perhaps would have expected. With three votes, Victor Raniel is chosen as the group’s leader. He then selects Porter to be his second in command and Zale to be his first adviser.

Leaving both the troll and perhaps a few tempers to smoulder the group moves on to Bein Asëa.

It is as this point that Ward uses the cover of the mists to slip off and leave the group. The others discover his absence when they arrive.

Porter stoically except his brother’s departure. “We will see him again,” he says.

The group meets with Celebor and Zale presents him with the sword. He is exceptionally grateful and he presents them each with a magical item in exchange for the great service. Victor, Dorious, and Zale each receive a +2 cloak of resistance, Thurenz receives a set of +3 bracers of armor, Porter receives a +2 shield, and Athar is given a +1 shocking short sword named Ninn Mor Faun or “Slender Black Cloud.”

Celebor then asks a favor of the group. He reveals to them a prisoner they caught trespassing near the village. He asks that the party deliver the man to the Mist Warden in Ruorven. The group agrees and they set off a short time later.

Victor removes the man’s gag and he identifies himself as Rhedwyn. He tells the group that he had come seeking aid against the goblins who sacked his “village”. The party suspect however that he is a bandit and the man confesses that the people of his “village” had done such before but that they hadn’t in a long time. He tells the tale of a large goblin force that overran his people, and how he survived. He apparently had gone to the elves for aid, but was captured before he had ever had a chance to tell his tale.

The group decide to lend their aid, since it sounds as if the goblins may have taken women and children prisoner, although they promise severe punishment should Redwyn try and run.

They all travel to the ruins of the tiny woodland hamlet which had been Redwyn’s “village”. There is not much left. But Athar is able to determine the direction the attackers came from.

Heading that way for several hours the group finally come to a stream and to some sort of panning operation. Several goblins stand watch over human slaves panning in the river.

Athar and Thurenz sneak up on the group. Thurenz reports back while Athar dimension doors up to a tree stand and removes one of the sentries. The rest of the group arrives and a fight ensues. The goblins, both large and small are taken out efficiently, but one of the large fellows is able to blow a warning horn before he is slain.

The group tell the slaves to flee across the river and then they charge up the hill. Thurenz begins flying. They hear a bell in the distance.

From Thurenz’s vantage point he sees four worgs with riders charging down the hill. He hits them with a fireball which kills two riders and injures two worgs. The worgs and goblins scatter.

At the top of the trail the rest of the group finds a cave entrance and four sentries. Zale hastes several of the party members, Athar, Victor, and Porter charge. Athar drops two, Dorious shoots one, and Porter drops one.

Porter drives his pick deep into the chest of the last little goblin who screams and falls. But as he falls a gust of wind swirls around the warriors and a charge of electricity seems to jump from the dying goblin’s wound.

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Sorrows and Celebrations
The Ninth of Sehnir, 1521 HC

The party travels through the rain to the Tree of Sorrows on the Firstday of the new week. On the way Zale receives a magical message requesting that the group report to the Lady Regent herself at Raniel Manor at their earliest convenience.

By the time they arrive at the Tree, they are in a torrential downpour and the clearing around the tree is a muddy ruin. The tree itself looks to be dead, its gargantuan form reaching up like an evil claw grasping at the sky. Zale notes that this place is certainly a source of the land.

As the storm rages the group spots a ghoul standing at the base of the tree. It charges across the clearing, but never even gets close as Thurenz incinerates the creature in a blast of fire.

The band of heroes picks their way through the mud and to the base of the ancient dead oak. Thurenz elven ears pick up a faint chanting coming from high up in the tree. As they arrive near the tree, the bones at their feet animate and the skeletons of long dead elves attack.

Thurenz and Zale destroy and trap several with their spells and Athar and Porter go toe to toe with the undead. However, it is Victor who truly shines in this moment. Calling upon the power of Haelyn he turns almost all the remaining creatures to dust.

For a brief moment all is silent but for the sound of the rain. The silence is broken as lighting crashes and the ground begins to shake. The tree breaks and out from within it comes a gargantuan fiendish giant centipede. The massive creature is almost as long as the tree is tall. It roars and moves to devour the heroes.

The heroes have other ideas. Calling upon the divine power within their blood, Victor and Zale each summon an elemental to intercept the beast, Victor’s is a being of air, Zale’s is of earth.

Athar also summons the power of his blood, but for a very different effect. Athar in an amazingly brave and incredibly dangerous move, dimension doors directly above the creature and drops down onto it’s back.

Thurenz also summons a creature to help with the fight, a dire badger who savagely attacks the centipede.

The beast is not able to withstand the onslaught of the summoned creatures and eventually succumbs to their attacks, but not before it viciously wounds Athar, poisons him, and flings him twenty feet into the mud. After the centipede falls, a shadow attacks Thurenz from out of the boughs of the old tree. Two elves, Fianor and Elenyë show up in just enough time to help put down the shadow.

The band of adventures, this time with an invitation, return to Bein Asëa to heal and recover. They meet Celebor the village elder. After the adventurers him a report on what had transpired at the Tree of Sorrows, Celebor reveals to them the grand illusion of Bein Asëa, which hides the tiny village from view. He welcomes them in and gives them a place to rest and a gift a large emerald each.

Before they part ways, Celebor notices The Glimmering Sword, which Porter is carrying it on his back. He asks to see the sword and becomes obviously emotional holding it in his hand. He returns it to Porter and tells the group that he had in fact been the maker of the sword. It was a sword he had created for his own son, who had died fighting when Coeranys was first forged.

The group rests, and after speaking with Porter about the matter, Zale again speaks with Celebor concerning the sword. He lets Celebor know that they will speak with their Lord concerning the sword and see if it can be returned to Celebor. Celebor is thankful.

The adventures leave Bein Asëa and head to Doyle Manor. They arrive to find that Jack has been elevated to House Keeper and was left in charge. A great harvest festival and tournament would take place at Raniel Manor and Sir Boros has gone to participate in the tourney.

The group gather up their horses from Marrion and set out for Raniel Manor.

They arrive in Raniel to discover a tent city had sprung up around the grounds of the manor, and the manor itself was over-flowing with guests. The group clean themselves up and then are invited to attend the Lady Regent. Eluvie Carielle, Count Amarante Raniel, and the wizard Colgrevance Raniel are awaiting them in Amarante’s apartments. Also in attendance are The River Knight, Sir Cauis Coerleau, and Amarante’s daughter, Reyanne Raniel. Amarante introduces the group to the ruler of Coeranys and then they tell her of their exploits to date. She listens intently. But when they ask to pursue the lead concerning the Source of the old tree, which seems to point at The Three Brothers Mages, she refuses them. Instead she asks Colgrevance to discretely look further into that matter, since it may have political ramifications.

Zale takes the opportunity to tell the Regent about the sword and Celebor and that the group would like to see it gifted to him. She questions the group’s elf, Thurenz, about The Elves of the Mist and the strength of their loyalty. She does not seem entirely pleased by his answer. She agrees to Victor’s suggestion. “The Elves may receive this sword as a gift from their Baron, so long as he may call upon it in time of need.”

She dismisses the heroes and invites them to stay for the celebration and tournament.

The group uses the next few days to brush up on their various skills and each of them level up during the course of that time.

The tourney is a fast, fun, and furious affair. Several of the heroes participate in several events. Athlar Thelal distinguishes himself amongst the group. He makes it to the semi-finals in the sword and wins the bow. Several NPC’s stand out in the lists including Sir Cauis Corleau, Sir Boros Brightwater, Sir Randall Penn, and Count Kay Kilamark, the ruler of Mistil.

Two big surprises were revealed during the tournament. First, one of the participants, Michael Silverstone, turned out to be none other than the young Baron Alun Coeran. Second and more importantly, the engagement of Baron Alun Coeran and Reyanne Raniel was announced.

During the festivities two other interesting events occur. The party catches a young girl, who was pretending to be a boy and who cleanly picked Porter’s pocket. But she was spotted by other members of the group and spotted hiding nearby. The wizards decide to hold her in their tower until the next morning when a magistrate or the Lord can deal with the issue. They use a powerful illusion to scare her and make her too scared to try and escape. The girl says her name was Rose.

The magistrate is none other than Victor’s father, Sir Raphael Raniel. He also appears to be the one running the festival and tourney from behind the scenes. Porter requests that the girl be put into indentured servitude to pay for her crime and Raphael agrees. He draws up a document for the thief’s sentence giving a description of the girl and her crimes, but leaving the name blank since it is still unknown. He gives her into Porter’s care and asks that she be delivered to Doyle Manor since they will be in need of help.

Porter is also invited to the pavilion of Count Kay Kilamark. Kay it seems has taken an interest in Porter and Ward and he invites them to both be guests at his wedding in one month’s time.

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Into the Mists
The Fifth of Sehnir, 1521 HC

While Victor and Zale are reporting back to the Count; Porter, Ward, Dorious, Thurenz, and Athar wait at Doyle Manor.

Porter spends Fifthday speaking with the villagers and working diligently to ensure that life and business at the manor will return to normal as soon as possible. Dorious, along with Ward and Athar patrol the border of the Forrest of Mist near to Doyle searching for clues.

That night Ward reveals to his brother that he had in fact taken the glimmering sword out of the Doyle crypts for safe-keeping, but he ends up handing it over to his obviously upset sibling.

Porter makes it clear to his brother that he has promised to uphold the law and that means he will arrest Ward if it is the Count’s decision to consider the sword along with other valuables taken from the house to be stolen.

Ward makes it clear that he believes Porter’s stance against him is ridiculous since he was in fact upholding the spirit of the law by protecting the Doyle’s property.

Porter ultimately decides not to act until he hears the Count’s decision.

On Sixthday Dorious takes an hour to identify the magical properties of the sword.

A Dwarven merchant from the Royal Guild of Barak-Azhik arrives soon after into Doyle Village. The merchant, a dwarf by the name of Lorgold, trades with the villagers and Porter takes the opportunity to help them by buying and distributing some exta arms.

Dorious, greets the dwarf, and exchanges a continual flame for some ale which he gives to the villagers. It turns out that Lorgold works for Dorious’ cousin and Lorgold listens intently as they tell the tale of the undead which had plagued Doyle. He shares that he heard news of two noble children who went missing from Bogsend as well. Lorgold agrees to deliver a letter for Dorious back to his cousin, Diirk.

That night the villagers enjoy some drinks and tales from Lorgold while the party meet back up at the manor house. Victor and Zale are awaiting them when they return.

Victor informs the group that Amarante wishes for the Doyle sword to be used to bring justice on behalf of the Doyles and that they are to continue in their quest.

The group decides that they should venture to Bein Asea, the home of Thurenz to learn more about the darkness that has come to the Forest of the Mist and the deaths that had occurred there. The group leaves their horses with Marrion Rivers and then set off on foot into the ancient wood.

The Forest of the Mist proves difficult terrain to traverse and only the elf seems unhindered by the heavy undergrowth. The going is slow but the group travels unmolested for the day. They make camp and set watches.

It is during the third watch when Thurenz’ elven ears detect movement out in the forest, Athar moves to investigate. He spots three skeletal wolves and shouts a warning. The rest of the group is awakened out of their beds moments before a pack of skeleton wolves attacks and a fight ensues.

Athar sees the worst of the early fighting being ganged up on by the first three beasts, but the tide is soon turned against the aggressors through the application of fire spells and repeated skull splitting hammer blows.

The group recoups the rest of the evening and spends an extra few hours resting in the morning before setting off again to the elven village.

The group successfully force marches to Bein Asëa the next day. They are tired when they arrive to meet a well armed elven welcoming committee who seem very weary of the group. They are led by an elven war captain named Fianor who speaks with Thurenz and insists the party stay put while Thurenz alone goes into the village to speak with the Elder, Celebor.

During his absence, a young elf maid ranger named Elenyë takes an interest in Ward’s ability to speak her tongue.

Thurenz returns and tells the group that they are to travel to a location known as the Tree of Sorrows located deeper within the forest. The tree was apparently the sight of a murder two winters ago. The group, being weary from travel, decide to rest for the night. Before they finally settle down, Elenyë returns with refreshment for them and tells them a little more of the Tree of Sorrows. “It is the place where elves who are overwhelmed with sadness go to return to the Mehvailhe.”

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The Dead Walk in Doyle
Fourth of Senhir, 1521 HC

The party leaves the barn to burn and follows the shadows into the Doyle Manor house. They open the front door to find a bloodbath and a house full of undead. With spell and sword the group move from room to room cleansing the home of the undead infestation.

As the group continues to clear out the ground floor, Ward and Athlar move to investigate a noise they heard from upstairs. As they approach the second floor they hear a scream from a nearby room. Inside they find a horrified Marrion Rivers being throttled by a zombie, who later turns out to be the reanimated corpse of her own dead husband.

Both the first and second floors are cleared by the group and the catatonic woman is left in the care of the elf, Thorenz, while the rest of the party ventures into the cellar in search of the three shadows Zale had seen earlier.

As the group traverses the stairs and enters the cellar two shadows attack from out of the wall hitting several party members and draining their strength. The creatures prove to be difficult foes, being incorporeal they are difficult to harm with the weapons and the many of the wizards spells had already been exhausted.

With patience, determination both shadows are slain. But not before Ward and Dorious take a tumble down the stairs and not before they did a number on several party members, leaving them severely weakened. The third shadow was not seen again.

Shortly thereafter, the party discovers the crypt of the Doyle family and a gleaming longsword in one of the tombs. Almost immediately an argument breaks out as to what to do with the sword. It goes on for sometime, the debate centering on whether it would be better to leave the sword where they found it to avoid grave robbing or to take it in order to aid the law or give to the Count. The argument is eventually ended or at least put on hold when Thorenz comes down to the crypt to report a crowd has gathered outside.

The group leaves the crypt and heads upstairs where they indeed find a mob outside armed with simple weapons and torches. Victor using diplomacy parlays with the group keeping them from setting the manor house ablaze and convincing them to return to the village.

Thinking to rest for the night the group prepars to go to the village too when Zale makes a suggestion concerning the sword and other valuables still in the house. He suggests setting guards and reporting what they had found to Count Amarante and to ask for a clear direction on what to do with any valuables. This seemed a decent suggestion to the majority of the group and they decided to indeed stay the night in the Manor house.

In the morning the group is visited by a group of priests from The Life and Protection of Avanalae, lead by Loraena Moreth. The LPA priests helped them by cleansing the grounds and helping bury the dead. Ward also made some suggestions to their leader concerning aid and direction they might give to the villagers.

In the meanwhile, Victor and Zale return to Raniel Manor. On the way they pass a royal caravan, apparently the Lady Regent is coming to Raniel. Victor and Zale report to Amarante what has transpired. Amarante sets Sir Boros in charge of the Doyle manor until the Doyle’s or an heir can be found and asks that the group continue on their quest to seek the source behind the carnage and undead at Doyle Manor. He also gives them some advice concerning the sword. “Do with it what you think best in the pursuit of justice, nephew. I think it might be fitting a sword of Doyle’s line were used to bring justice for the crimes done against his family. Go now, and good luck.”

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Darkness Stirs
First of Senhir, 1521 HC

Historians are not likely to remember favorably the sacrifice and dedication shown by the men who traveled across the world to face the awnsheleghn known as the Sphinx. The Crusade to find and kill this beast was perhaps a folly. Nothing was gained and hundreds of Anuirean men spilled their life’s blood upon the sands.

However the crusade did serve to unite four men in common cause. The twin brothers Ward and Porter, the Cleric Victor Raniel, and the Khinasi warrior Athar Thelal fought and bled together during the two year ordeal that has finally culminated in their return to the shores of Anuire. They have come back empty handed. But they have come back to the shore of Anuire with their lives intact. Many of their fellows were not so lucky.

The four men return to the shores of Coeranys to find a letter awaiting one of them. Victor Raniel is summoned to the home of his uncle in a neighboring province with the news that his father maybe ill. They travel there to discover Victor’s father is thankfully still alive and well.

The men meet Count Amarante Raniel, who holds a banquet in their honor. In attendance are two Journeyman Wizards, both under the tutelage of Master Colgrevance Raniel. Both being non-humans, they both stand out in the room. The two wizards are currently living and studying at Raniel Manor. Dorious is a dwarf from Barak-Azhik. Zale is a wizard of both human and elven decent.

Also in attendance at the banquet is the Count’s daughter, Reyanne Raniel.

Dinner is interrupted by the arrival of an elven messenger. Thurenz is an elf from Baen Asea. He brings a token of peace to the Count and delivers news of a strange darkness which has been increasing within the forest in recent years. This immediately peaks the interest of the group’s Cleric, Victor and seems to worry the Count.

The group begins making plans to visit the woods on the next day, but the preparations are interrupted twice. The first comes from an invitation to go hunting from Sir Conner Raniel, the son of the Count and Victor’s cousin. The group spurns Conner’s invitation and Victor gives him a disapproving speech or a pep-talk to change his ways (depending on your point of view) and the group gets back to their preparations. They are again interrupted, but this time the interruption is a rider from Doyle Manor with a desperate plea for help.

Marrion Rivers, a herder from Doyle Manor tells a horrifying tale about undead. Immediately, the Cleric determines to deal with the menace and his Uncle gives the group his blessings. He empowers them to act as deputies of the law and arms and equips them as they need.

The group sets out with Mrs. Rivers leading the way back to Doyle Manor and they arrive late that afternoon.

They discover four skeletons in the barn and make short work of them, but in the process the elf, who is obviously also a wizard, manages to set the barn on fire with one of his spells.

Meanwhile, Dorious demonstrates the awesome power of blood through his use of divine wrath channeled into a spell. It makes even Zale retreat a couple dozen feet. But it is from this vantage point that he sees three evil looking shadows flee the flames of the barn and into the manor house.

“Three shadows just fled into the house.” He says as the group stands back and watch the barn go up in flame.

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