Heroes of the East

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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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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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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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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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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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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The Missing Rose
Twenty-eighth of Sehnir, 1521 HC

The heroes find a small treasure in the caverns. Among the valuables is a suit of breast plate armor bearing the crest of House Griffin. By gathering information from the freed captives Porter is able to determine that a young knight had been captured by the goblins a couple of months prior. Although the other prisoners never learned his identity, they did know that he was mourning the loss of his brother who had been killed by the goblins. The clues point to the armor having belonged to one of Sir Preston Griffin’s children. Shortly after his capture the goblins traded the young knight to a wizard whom the goblins called the Shadow Lord. They also made mention of another creature who accompanied the wizard, whom they called the Night Wolf.

Although a dozen of the former slaves wish to leave The Forest of Mist with the heroes, the majority seem more interested in staying. They have few capable warriors and the group feels it is still their duty to deliver Redwyn to the Mist Warden so Porter and Dorious volunteer to stay and protect the freed people at least until Redwyn returns.

Victor, Zale, Thurenz, and Athar take Redwyn and those refugees who wish to leave on a trek out of the woods and to Mist Watch, the keep and home of Sir Brondan Bredbeddle, the Mist Warden.

They meet the Sir Brondan and treat with him about the crimes and fate of the former slaves and of Redwyn. Sir Brondan shows little interest in punishing the refugees, he simply asks them to swear fealty to Baron Coeran and requests they give up their arms as payment for their former crimes as outlaws. Redwyn is another matter it seems and like the heroes before he seems inclined to believe he may have been a bandit.

Fortunately for Redwyn it seems that the Mist Warden knows of Zale by reputation and is content to accept his judgement concerning whether or not Redwyn is guilty of banditry.

Zale questions Redwyn at length concerning his past and in the end declares that he believes Redwyn to be telling the truth concerning any past banditry.

The Mist Warden orders Redwyn to pay a stiff fine of one hundred gold for his time as an outlaw.

Surprising everyone, Zale speaks up and offers to pay Redwyn’s fine for him. Both Redwyn and Sir Brondan are dumb struck, but neither objects.

Zale, Victor, Athar, Thurenz, and Redwyn hasten to return to the Goblin Gate where Porter and Dorious await them. Thurenz and Zale summon magical steeds to speed their travel and the five of them make good time.

While the others are out performing their errand, Porter and Dorious stay behind to protect the people who had stayed behind. They work diligently during the next six days to better secure the cavern and to help the people to sustain and provide for themselves.

Once the heroes are reunited they leave the “settlers” and Redwyn at the cavern. Redwyn gives the heroes his thanks and promises to repay Zale the debt he owes. Dorious also gives Redwyn a gift before the group departs.

The heroes return to Doyle Manor in order to gather their horses, but when they arrive they discover that Rose has gone missing. Marrion Rivers believes she has run off, but the group think that may not be the case. They investigate
and begin to suspect that something is amiss after Athar finds clues that someone had been watching the village.

The heroes inform Sir Boros of the possible danger before retiring for the evening.

When Athar enters his room he is attacked by an assassin, who is wearing the illusory guise of one of the chamber maids. He uses a trap to close and lock the door behind Athar and then shoots him with a poison quarrel. He charges the surprised Athar. “Zaheem Zafir sends his regards,” the assassin taunts as his sword draws a deep cut on Athar’s waist.

Fortunately for Athar, Thurenz had chosen to camp outside the manor, he hears Athar cry out and decides to fly up to investigate.

Athar and the assassin fight toe to toe and exchange several blows as the assassin chides Athar for being so easy to find. Thurenz targets the assassin with a lightning bolt realizing a bit too late that it could take out both combatants, but the quick reflexes and evasive abilities of the assassin and Athar allow them both to sidestep the deadly blast. The ensuing thunder clap is more than enough to wake the entire house.

The other party members quickly come to investigate and begin hammering at the latched door.

The assassin swings and misses as Athar draws on the power of his blood to dimension doors into a hiding spot beside the wardrobe closet. The assassin curses as he looks around in vain for his quarry, he then charges Thurenz and cuts the wizard’s arm and disrupting his spell.

The door bursts open a second after Athar leaps from hiding and drives his sword through the back of the would be killer. His life force spent and his blood spilled; the power of his blood leaps into Athar, Porter, and Zale. Athar in particular feels an incredible surge as his blood strength improves for the first time.

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Family Ties
Fourth of Emmanir, 1521 HC

After the mess from the assassin is cleaned up. The group decides to split up for a time.

Victor and Porter elect to travel to Griffin Manor in Bogsend to deliver the news to Sir Preston Griffon that one of his sons is dead and the other was sold to the mysterious Shadow Lord.

Meanwhile, the three wizards and Athar decide to return to Raniel Manor so that the three wizards can study spells and advance their learning.

Each of the heroes finds a plain winter traveling cloak packed in their saddle bags, a gift from someone in the village it would seem. They all prove useful and warm during the next days of travel.

Victor and Porter make good time on the roads traveling through Bogsend’s countryside and towns to finally arrive at Griffin Manor. Upon arriving they discover that Sir Preston Griffin had died only the week before. Age and infirmity had gotten the better of him, it would seem.

They meet with Rogr Rivers, who is Sir Preston’s bastard son and who was recently elevated to Bailiff by Lady Clarissa Caudraight. They are joined shortly by Griswald the Sage, who was an old friend and servant to Sir Preston.

Porter uses his Paladin detect evil ability to determine that Rogr Rivers is evil and Griswald is not.

Porter and Victor tell the two about, the death of one of Sir Preston’s sons and the capture of the other. Based on the armor, Griswald believes that it is Sir Peter Griffin, Sir Preston’s older son and heir, who may still live.

Griswald seems to have some recollection of the name “The Shadow Lord” and invites the two back two his study to review a book he has. In the book there is a reference to a creature from the shadow world whom was captured in Caudraight and interrogated some 125 years ago. According to the text the captured creature revealed itself to be a servant of “The Shadow Lord.”

Griswald is apparently packing his things and leaving Griffin Manor. He reveals to Porter and Victor that he swore an oath to Sir Preston that he would do all in his power to find his missing sons and that he and the new Bailiff were not on the best of terms. Porter suggests that he travel to Caudraight and see if any new information could be garnered from there. Griswald agrees and says he will leave word with Haelyn’s Aegis in Caudraight as to where he will be staying. Victor and Porter agree to seek out the sage again to see what he had found out.

Porter and Victor part ways with Griswald and travel north to Mistil to attend Count Kay Kilamark’s wedding.

Again they enjoy good weather and arrive a day early. The two find lodgings in Caerlon. Victor seeks out his Uncle Amarante, who he knows to be attending the wedding. He finds him being lodged at a cottage, called the Loren Estate, nearby to Sangramour Manor where the wedding is being hosted.

Count Amarante is pleased to see his nephew and the two speak at length about the “Shadow Lord.” Amarante tells Victor that he has already passed the news onto Lady Regent Eluvie Carielle and thanks him for his good work. He also tells his nephew that he would give him a manor of his own whenever he is ready to settle down, and jokes a bit about finding him a wife. He mentions Clarissa Caugdraight as being perhaps the most eligible bachelorette in Coeranys.

Amarante also mentions that Colgrevance is overdue in reporting back to the Lady Regent.

Victor returns to find Porter the next morning and the two set out to attend the ceremony. Many guests gather at Sangramour Manor from across Mistil and Coeranys. Porter notes a banner that looks all too familiar from his childhood in Mhoried.

The two heroes notice a group of acolytes and knights from Haelyn’s Aegis and greet them. They are received well by their fellow Haelyites. One young paladin in the group introduces himself as Sir Aaron Sangramour. He knows of Victor and Porter by reputation and expresses his admiration for their willingness to fight the Crusade. He himself had wanted to go but had been denied for his youth at the time. The Haelynites share that Lord Captain Marcus was looking to meet the young Crusaders after the ceremony.

The ceremony proceeds shortly thereafter and Luned Sangramour is married to the young Count Kay Kilamark. The ceremony is officiated by Lord Captain Marcus.

After the ceremony Victor and Porter meet with the Lord Captain in the small chapel located on the grounds of Sangramour. He welcomes them on behalf of Haelyn’s Aegis. And gives them a synopsis of the church’s current mission in Coeranys. Victor and Porter fill Marcus in on the undead threat coming out of The Forest of Mist. Marcus shares that Haelyn’s Aegis has limited resources in Coeranys and that they are primarily focused on watching the Chimaera, but that he wishes for them to continue pursuing and investigating the Shadow Lord and to keep him abreast of the situation. He is prepared to shift resources around if need be.

Marcus inquires into their past and asks about their vows and when they were taken. He also asks if the two know about the fate of Michael Taele, the Crusades sponsor. It seems Gavin Taele is breathing down the back of Haeyn’s Aegis and using the failed crusade as pretext to put pressure on the church for recompense.

The three men share prayers and then depart ways.

Victor and Porter return to the party and mingle as the party becomes more and more raucous. Victor learns that Lady Clarissa Caudraight is not attending the wedding personally. He overhears a bit of gossip that Count Kay Kilamark had proposed a marriage between the two of them, but that he was rebuffed. He also overhears that Clarissa Caudraight had proposed a match between herself and the young Baron Alun Coeran, but that she had been refused by the Lady Regent, who may or may not have called her an “old maid”. If there was any truth to this rumor and what that means for tensions between the Baronet, Count, and Lady Regent was not immediately apparent.

Later in the evening, Count Kay Kilamark corners Porter and introduces Lord Shaene Mhoried to Porter. Shaene is the twin brother to the Mhor. Victor immediately notices a strong resemblance between the two men. Shaene asks for Porter to walk with him and the two men discuss some issues at length. Porter returns to the party, but no words are exchanged on the issue between Victor and Porter.

Meanwhile, back at Raniel Manor the three wizards and Athar train vigorously to level up and learn new spells. They receive two visitors during their training. The first night Raphael Raniel, Victor’s father, drops by and they fill him in on their adventures to date. He dines with them and let’s them know he is at their service should they need him.

They resume their studies until the sixth night at which they receive a knock at the door. Athar answers the door and finds himself face to face by a khinasi wizard who introduces himself as Rassan Al Haman. Rassan asks to speak with Colgrevance, whom Athar informs him is not there. Rassan then asks to speak with one of Colgrevance’s apprentices. Athar sends a servant to fetch the wizards, and he comes back with Dorious.

Rassan gives Dorious a beautiful wooden box with intricate carving. “This is for Colgrevance”, he says. “Do not open it.” Rassan then turns to leave and shuts the door with as a spell as he does so.

Dorious attempts to contact Colgrevance with a spell, but to no avail. He decides not to open the package.

It is a few minutes later before the group begins to hear shouts from the courtyard. Athar, Dorious, and Thurenz look out to see two large red haired apes attacking four guards!

Thurenz quickly charms one of the beasts. Dorious fire a scorching ray at the second creature but misses. Athar dimension doors into the shadow behind the second. The fiendish apes tear into the guards, two of the unfortunate men are killed almost instantly.

Thurenz does his best to pantomime to his charmed ape. But the creature does not seem to understand him. It speaks back to him in infernal, but only Dorious with his magic hat is able to comprehend it’s language. “Stay back, friend, lest my claws hurt you,” it says to Thurenz. Zale, alerted by the screaming of the dying guards, looks out the tower window. Seeing the carnage below he summons a celestial hippogriff to attack the apes. It dives in from out of the sky and lands a blow on one of the apes. Athar pops up from out of the shadows and drives his blades into the apes back. The ape disappears in a howl of pain and turns to ash.

Another guard dies beneath the claws of the remaining ape, but the creature is then killed in turn by a vicious attack from Zale’s hippogriff. Athar looks to the last standing guard. “The wizard went that way.” He says, pointing through the archway leading into the adjacent courtyard of the manor’s apartments.

Athar runs through the archway and strait into a strange cloud of noxious vapors. He runs back out gagging and choking on the foul stuff. It seems the wizard left a stinking cloud to hinder any pursuit.

Thurenz casts fly and moves to the top of the wall. Zale’s hippogriff flys up to window and picks up the half elf wizard before flying with him to rally with Thurenz. Dorious casts a protective spell on himself while Athar tries to recover from the stinking cloud.

Thruenz flies into the courtyard and lands on a second story landing above the cloud. Dorious bravely charges across the courtyard and manages to resist it’s effects. Zale and his hippogriff fly down to the landing and begin hammering on the door to the Lord’s apartments.

Thurenz moves over to assist Zale and Dorious, he polymorphs himself into a girallion, a four armed ape like beast and begins hammering on the door. The hippogriff’s summoning wears off and it disappears back to shadow stuff. Zale then cast gaseous form, turning himself into a smoke-like vapor and slipping under the door. Athar by now has regained his senses, he uses his second dimension door ability to avoid the stinking cloud and meet up with the others. Dorious casts haste on his allies.

Zale, once inside, turns back to his material form and opens the door from the other side.

Once inside the heroes are welcomed by a scene of carnage. Four more guards lay dead in the hall and the heroes hear something coming from the hall two the right. Two more fiendish apes round the corner. Hasted, Thruenz charges one of the beasts and tears into it with a whirlwind of teeth and claws. With the help of the others and with Athar’s blades they kill the two creatures and move down the hall.

They discover more dead guards and in Raphael’s apartment they find that Rassan Al Haman is waiting for them. Another fiendish red ape stands behind him near the fiery hearth holding Raphael Raniel captive. “It seems that you are not completely inept then, I trust you will be capable of delivering the message?” He chides the heroes.

Athar does not hesitate to charge the wizard, but he runs smack into a wall of force in the doorway. Thurenz casts another defensive spell on himself, preparing for a fight and Zale summons his earth elemental. The earth elemental steps from behind the stone hearth and attempts to deliver two hammer blows on the wizard, but both blows fail to ring home due to Rassan’s magical protections.

Rassan, with an intrigued look on his face, turns his attention to the elemental, and with a few gestures and incantations he dismisses the elemental back to whence it came. The fires of the hearth roar up and the ape steps through the flames with Sir Raphael as his prisoner. Rassan looks back at Dorious and the rest of the heroes. “Deliver the message.” He tells the group before stepping through into the flames and disappearing with his servant and his prisoner.

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Rough Landing
Twelth of Emmanir, 1521 HC

Dorious, Zale, Thurenz, and Athar are met by Sir Leonard, the acting Sergeant at Arms of Raniel Manor. He arrives with a dozen more soldiers and Tomlin Quickeye, Count Amarante’s Master of the Hunt. They work vigorously to save the lives of the men who fell in the battle with Rassan Al Haman. They do manage to save the lives of two men. Sir Leonard dispatches a rider to Amarante immediately thereafter.

The messanger rides through the night to find Count Amarante Raniel at the small estate where he is staying. Victor is in attendance with his Uncle when the news that his father has been kidnapped arrives.

Upon hearing the news of the attack Amarante sends another messenger to Lady Regent Eluvie Carielle and then begins packing up his entourage. Victor finds Porter and the two of them return to Ranien with the Count.

Once back home Amarante listens to Dorious’ account of the attack by Rassan Al Haman and then he instructs the heroes to open the box from Rassan Al Haman. After making magical preparations, Athar opens the box which is of course fire trapped. His nimble reflexes save his skin however and he is able to avoid the blast.

Inside is a simple note addressed to Colgrevance. It reads, “You took my brother, now I’ve taken yours.”

Amarante orders messengers out to all provinces in Coeranys in a search for Colgrevance. He deems that he will wait a week for Colgrevance to return and asks the PCs to stay on at Raniel Manor until at least that point for he has a favor to ask of them.

During the week Porter and Victor train whilst Dorious and Zale learn some new spells. Thurenz travels to the nearby town of Port Coeran where he finds a small circle of magicians who are willing to purchase the magical bracers he received from Celebor. He returns to Raniel with the funds and components he needs to begin crafting three magic items, a pair of boots, a cloak, and a pair of gloves.

The week passes without word from Colgrevance and Amarante summons the heroes to his hall. The Count of Ranien then asks the heroes to undertake a very dangerous mission, the rescue of his brother, Raphael. He tells the heroes that he would not order them to undertake such a dangerous mission, he is asking that they volunteer.

Victor does not hesitate to volunteer to rescue his father having already contemplated the issue, and the others stand by their friend, prepared to face the unknown dangers of The Chimaeron.

Amarante reveals that he has already made arrangements for a ship to sneak them into the Chimaeron and that there is a contact in the Chimaeron who should be able to reveal to them the location of Rassan Al Hammand’s Cypress Tower. He requests that the group return their badges of office for the time being as he does not want their enemies in the Chimaeron to suspect they are agents of Coeranys.

Amarante provides Porter with a masterwork chain shirt and he lends Victor his magical longsword.

The party then sets out for Port Coeran where they find a small coaster awaiting them. It’s Captain is a man by the name of Wells. Once on board and with the ship underway they meet with Roland, who is an agent of the Count.

Roland then fills them in on the details of the plan. The ship will anchor off shore at night and will deliver the party to an old smuggler’s sea cave via row boat. The party will have to be careful as the cave is now home to sea trolls. The cave has a stone stair which leads to the surface and into Mhorwe, the most southern province of the Chimaeron. It is also the province in which Rassan Al Hammand’s Cypress Tower is rumored to be located.

The party will travel to the City of Mhorwe, and attempt to contact a man known as Quietus at the Salty Wench Tavern. The secret code is “looking for some quiet and peace.” Quietus, it is hoped, will know the location of the Cypress Tower and will be willing to sell the information to the heroes. Roland also warns the heroes to not get into any entanglements with the authorities, especially the The Guardians of the Peace.

After two day’s of sailing the ship anchors off the smuggler’s cave during the dead of night. Two rowboats head towards the cave to deliver the heroes into the Chimaeron. That is when things begin to go poorly.

The current and waves are extremely rough and the first boat gets hung up on the rocks. One sailor is immediately tossed into the sea. Victor manages to summon a hippogriff to pull him out. But only a few seconds later the boat is pushed harder against the rocks and it capsizes. Four sailors, Victor, and Thurenz are spilled into the sea. Only Athar manages to hold onto the boat.

The second boat fairs much better and as they pass the distressed sailors in the water Porter manages to get a rope to one of them, and Zale summons three dolphins who each aid a sailor, swimming them over to the rocks where they hold on for dear life.

Thurenz manages also to swim and grab hold of the rocks. Victor, being in his breast plate, and with rough seas disappears beneath the waves sinking rapidly.

Athar ties a rope to the boat and dives in after Victor. The two manage to meet up underwater and then pull themselves back to the boat and the rocks.

Meanwhile the second boat deposits Porter, Zale, and Dorious into the cave shore and begins rowing back out, hopefully to rescue the others who are stuck out on the rocks.

It is just when it looks like things are starting to back under control that the trolls strike. The sailors to Victor’s left and right are yanked beneath the waves. Thurenz polymorphs himself into a sea cat mere seconds before a third troll attacks him.

Victor and Athar pull themselves from the water and Victor summons a series of spiritual weapons to aid Thurenz as he attempts to fight the troll.

Back in the cave three more trolls cross the cave to attack Zale, Dorious, and Porter. The three heroes move to a defensible position on a small beach within the cave and Porter pours lamp oil on the sand in front of them. Zale summons a small fire elemental and when the trolls step out of the water Dorious casts burning hands and lights both the oil and the trolls on fire. But the trolls come anyways seemingly unafraid of even fire.

Meanwhile, Thurenz retreats back to the rocks after exchanging blows with the sea troll, once there Victor casts a cure spell to heal his wounds. Victor grabs on to Thurenz’s sea cat form and the two swim for shore in rapid fashion.

Athar uses his dimension door ability to get as closer to shore and then also makes a swim for it.

Porter, Zale, and Dorious unleash a fury of attacks upon the trolls pressing in on them. The fire and acid spells seem to be the most effective and finally one of the trolls falls back into the water and retreats, however a second troll steps up into it’s place.

Thurenz and Victor arrive on shore followed a second later by Athar who uses his final dimension door ability to reach the cave.

Porter, Zale, and Dorious valiantly battle the two remaining trolls. And with their combined efforts they are able to drop the second creature who falls, his form burning from fire and acid. This allows Dorious to step to flank the remaining troll. A move that in retrospect probably saved Porter’s life.

Now flanking Porter drives home a blow on the final beast that drops the creature. Zale’s summoned fire elemental and acid arrows seal its fate.

The heroes regroup a moment later and take pause, thankful that they have indeed all survived a very rough landing and arrival upon the shores of the Chimaeron.

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Right on Q
Twenty-Second of Emmanir, 1521 HC

After a short discussion, the heroes decide they need to send someone back for the sailor left on the rocks. To that end Thurenz summons a giant eagle and Athar rides on the great bird’s back as it flies back out of the cave and circles the rocks looking for the last sailor. At first neither Athar nor the giant eagle spot anything.

While Athar is searching another troll attacks the remaining heroes. Victor cures wounds on Porter before it reaches the beach. As it comes ashore Thurenz blasts it with a fireball and Zale shoots it with a burning hands. But it charges through the wizards’ fire spells and claws Victor viciously as Porter drives his pick into the creature’s flesh.

Zale then fires an acid arrow into the beast as Thurenz strikes it with a lightning bolt. The troll falls back and into the water. But Porter drags it back to the beach using his pick so that it can not regenerate.

Athar after circling for a bit finally spots three trolls on the rocks below who are in the midst of devouring the last unfortunate sailor.

Athar and the eagle return to the cavern, being too late to save the sailor from the trolls.

The heroes decide it wisest to leave the old Smuggler’s Cave far behind and retreat up the rear stairs leading to the surface. They travel west towards their destination and then seek a shelter for the rest of the night. Thurenz uses his magic to summon a Secure Shelter, which seems to create a magical shelter out of thin air. The group rests the night and then discuss a mutual cover story for their being in the Chimaeron. It is decided that they will choose to use part of the truth in their deception, they will tell anyone inquiring after them that they are travelers whose boat was crashed and that they are seeking shelter before deciding where they will travel too next.

Their story decided upon, they set out for the City of Mhorwe along the road heading west.

They arrive at their destination that afternoon. They enter the city on foot and enter through the eastern gate. The guards inquire of them, but they do a fairly decent job of just sticking to their story and with a few well placed silvers they gain entrance into the city.

They find the Salty Wench Tavern and Inn and acquire a large room for the night. They make some inquiries and determine that the bartender they are looking for works the evenings. They get a quick meal and then rest for the rest of the day. During their rest Wiatt, a halfing working at the Salty Wench, comes to check on the group, Porter notices that he seems to have taken note of the fact that Thurenz is an elf, which the group were hoping to conceal.

Athar and Zale return to the tavern room in the evening and Athar drops the pass phrase “looking for some quiet and peace” with the bartender, Sam. Sam hands him an old menu and then apologizes for it’s small type. “One would have to be a wizard to read it, I know.” Zale borrows the menu and takes it too the party’s private room. Once there he uses detect magic to determine that there is a small wizard mark by the “Old Falstaff Stout.” He returns to Athar with this information.

Athar returns the menu to the bartender and orders the “Old Falstaff.” The bartender leaves and returns a few minutes later with a thick stout in a tall glass. Athar tips back the glass and discovers a secret message written on the bottom of the glass: “Find the entrance to the sewers near Mandor’s Forge, then follow the Q’s”. The message disappears a few seconds afterwards.

Athar and Zale return to the group to discuss their findings. They decide that Athar, Zale, and Thurenz should be the ones to go meet Quietus. But before they leave one of the halflings warns that he believes there is a Guardian of the Peace who has taken notice of them.

The three leave through the taproom. As they exit Thurenz notices that one man is watching him intently. Thurenz stares down the stranger who looks away.

The group leaves and takes an indirect route to Mandor’s. They soon find the sewer entrance and that one of the bars on the opening was removable. They remove it enter into the sewers and replace the bar once they are inside.

The group searches in vain for any “Qs”. But Athar does find a trap which leads him to believe that must be the right way. He travels forward disabling two traps, but setting off two others. Fortunately he only receives a scratch for his carelessness. After the four traps Athar, Zale, and Thurenz find a room with two levers and two water gates. A man has his back against the wall as if he were awaiting their arrival.

Thurenz recognizes immediately that the “man” is a dummy and that they are being watched from a barred off cubby above and behind them. A whispered voice appears out of thin air, but Thurenz suspects it’s source.

Quietus it seems is taking lots of precautions. Athar pays Quietus, who then tells the group how to find Rassan Al Haman’s tower. He also tells them that it appears Rassan Al Haman may have a giant guardian of some sort and that their are fiendish apes along the ravine path to the tower. Athar mentions that a guardian of the peace may have taken notice of them and Quietus advises them to get out of town in a hurry.

The trio move to leave by the same way they came but Thurenz and Athar are alerted to the presence of several individuals waiting for them to emerge back from the sewers, some wearing red cloaks.

They decide to try and find another way out. Athar uses his knowledge of dungeoneering to determine a possible route through the sewers. He follows a stream south and out to the bay. They are successful in finding a way out, though they fight and kill a strange filth creature, called an Otyugh during their exodus from the sewers.

Athar, Zale, and Thurenz return to the Salty Wench, but do not reenter the building. Instead Thurenz uses invisibility to gain access to the inn and then deliver a message to Victor, Porter, and Dorious that they need to get out of the city quickly.

Thurenz returns to the alley across the street to await Victor, Porter, and Dorious. They notice a large group of red cloaks heading towards the inn. Porter and Victor spot them just before exiting the building, they decide instead to exit through the rear.

They leave through the back as red cloaks are bursting through the front door. Porter notices the halfling, Wiatt, standing near the back door and makes to grab the little fellow. He misses, but Victor catches him with a hold person spell. They discuss taking the little fellow with them as Porter seems to believe he was involved with their cover being blown, however realizing their are bigger problems afoot they release the fellow who disappears from site, running the other way.

After a momentary hang up with a washer woman the entire group is reunited and plan an exit from the city. They choose to leave over the wall and find what seems to be a good place to climb the embankment and climb over. They get lucky as it seems a nearby guard is distracted. The group almost all get over without a hitch, until Porter, who is wearing full plate slips and falls off the rope. He lands with a bang, Zale casts an obscuring mist to help hide them before they all make a run for the hills using the cover of darkness.

The group avoids the road and travel throughout the night before Thurenz once again summons a secure shelter and the group gets some rest. They choose to continue traveling at night once again until they find the first marker along the journey to the Cypress Tower, an old burned out farm house with a stone marker out front. They then follow a nearby stream up river.

Over the next two days the way gets more and more difficult and they soon find themselves traveling in a ravine. It is shortly thereafter when they spot six familiar red-furred forms. It seems that Rassan’s fiendish apes do indeed inhabit this place.

The heroes must be getting close.

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