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GBGWilderlandsJournal

Journal for the GBG Wilderlands Play-By-Forum RPG.

Thian's Journal

Chapter One

Waterday, the 2nd of Longrass, 4433 BCCC.

Arrived at the The City State and waited in line outside it's walls for hours.

Finally it was my turn to stand before the captain of the guard, Rimegard. Big and scary, he was wearing the most impressive of armor and, his face was all marked up from battle. He asked my business and let me in. Only charged me 2 silver which was good because i heard him charging others around me more. One fella even had to pay 4 GOLD to get in.

He also told me that I was big for my age and to come back and see him when I grow some more!

First thing we passed though upon entering the gate was a chaotic mob of merchants, greeting us by waving for our attention and shouting for our business.

Once we'd passed the mob and all of that noise we were on, Regal Street a long, straight, cobblestone road that brought us right into heart of things.

From here, a group of us, who had met waiting in the line outside the walls, decided that we should stay together and form a group. That there would certainly be safety and strength in our numbers.

We are:
Thian Gale, myself. aged 16, I've left my small village behind to see what adventures are out there.
Benjamin Button, a cleric, who has come here to further his religious studies.
Vicril Carter, a very tall merchants son, who claims to know magic.
Luhr Red Toad, a large, seasoned, fighter in leather armor. He is careful and seems to be unafraid of anyone.
Mick Multi, a quick and crafty little elf, who says exactly what is on his mind.
Valindor, Mick's brother, also an elf, but more quiet and less eager. They are said to be over 100 years old each.

In town, The City Guard were everywhere, and soon, hustling us along. We decided to split into two groups, to try and find the best deal on a comfortable place to rest our heads for the evening.

I went with Luhr and Vicril. We asked directions for The Pig and Whistle and weaved our way down Guardsman Road, a street lined with Inns and taverns. Next, we traveled down, Old South Road, There were all sorts of different races and creatures to be spotted. I saw a huge Ogre down one alley, and a line of Orc slaves, chained together and pushing a cart.

Finally we found our way to the, Pig and Wshistle and were greeted by Parand, the owner.

The others, lead by Mick went the other way to find, The Wayfarer's Inn. There experience there was not as friendly as our own. There they met, Birkaby, a bald, cranky old bugger who was looking to over-charge them and stuff our entire party of five into two rooms.

He also mentioned something curious regarding a, Brasel's Treasure Hunt.

They weren't able to inquire much further however, for after bartering on the price of the rooms Birkby threw them out of the Inn! Soon after they found their wat to us sitting around a large table, enjoying drinks, at the much more inviting, and reasonably priced, Pig and Whistle.

As we got to know each other, day turned to evening. The bar was filling up, mostly Alryans, who's version of being uncivilized was coming to The Pig at dark and filling their safe bellies with ale.

Parand was great and helpful. He told us of, Goblin Town outside the city walls.
He also made mention of The Purple Claws, who live somewhere in The Southern Dearthwood. He told us about the times when they rose up to attack the city and it's leader, The Majestic Overlord. It's been 10 years since their last siege attempt when their Queen was killed. They have been quiet since, but its seems the residents here can still feel them out there and still fear the day when they make strike again.

Soon, Parand was filling the tables with food and drink. The room became abuzz with excitement.
Parand's daughters Lollina, Normenia and Bunsha took the stage and began dancing and juggling large axes, while a half-ling beat a drum rhythmically. The girls were amazing, tossing the axes at each other gracefully, slicing off straps from their flowing gowns. The whole room in a cheering frenzy.

When suddenly there was a CRACK and a very large man, enjoying his meal, went right through the floor, crashing into the dark, beneath the pig.

Parand, grabbed a sword from behind the bar and charged into the hole. I quickly followed. It was Goblins. Parand was screaming at them as he chased them down. They had been tunneling beneath there.

"Diggers" he called them. He killed two, took one of their heads right off with his sword. The rest escaped.

We got, big Gormley back up into The Pig.

At Parand's request the six of us made our way back down the hole to search through the tunnels in hopes of grabbing a few more Goblins, or at lease sending a message.

The way was dark and filthy. We were trudging through the sewers of The City. The Goblins had been digging their messy little tunnels all over. Luhr and I took the lead. The way was thin and low.

A tunnel lead us to a sewer that opened up, allowing us to stand upright. The walls here were stone,

Black Lotus can't touch us here

-someone had written upon one of the walls.

We spotted, and rushed after, a pair of Goblins through a maze of tunnels. Pursuing them blindly, we were lead straight into an ambush. The Goblins collapsed one of the walls ahead of us, while two of the little buggers charged us from behind with pick-axes. Lurh and I were stuck in the back unable to do much but watch.

Mick and Benjamin took them on. Benjamin raised his Odin symbol in the air and cast a spell, knocking one of the Goblins unconscious without even touching him!

Mick was able to kill the second with his short sword. Then, looking down upon the sleeping Goblin at his feet, he quickly and mercilessly finished that one off as well.

Some of the group grumbled, unhappy not to have a prisoner with which to gain some information out of. But that Goblin was out to kill us, so Mick's actions seemed fair and good to me.

Between the two dead bodies we came up with 18 silver and 12 GOLD (!!). A surprising amount from two filthy little tunnel dwellers.

We climbed back up into The Pig, our very first adventure behind us.

Parand was thankful and showed us to our rooms for the night.

For the elves, Mick and Valindor, the night was just beginning.

Valindor went off to do some snooping, while Mick kept watch from a window. Slipping from the window down into the street by rope, Valindor wanted to investigate the large and horrifying Temple of the Gargoyle, which stood right across the street. Just looking at it was enough to give you nightmares, towering there in the dark, with it's statues of beasts and demons and scenes of death and violence. Like some kind of cryptic warning, for all to see.

Valindor returned later that night with no real news of the temple, he found no secret way in, and there didn't seem to be anything going on inside.

Earthday, the 3rd of Longrass, 4433 BCCC.

In the morning we met downstairs for breakfast. Parand gave us some information on the lay of the city and then we left him and set out to see it all for ourselves.

Our first stop would be, The Temple of Odin, which was back down Regal Street at The Square of the Gods.

Slash Street was clearly the rugged part of town. Tough and angry looking men glared at us as we passed by places like, The Cut-Throat Inn, The Grub & Grunt and Firedrake Meadhall.
Once on, Silver Street we saw a Mercenary Guild, The Green Goblin Inn and a Sorcerer's Supply House.

Finally reaching The Square of the Gods, we found three seperate temples:
Temple of Harmakhis - guarded by mysterious men, with fully-covered faces.
Temple of Thoth - with its stone carvings of monkeys climbing the walls.
Temple of odin the one-eyes god of knowledge, It was Guarded by muscular Skandiks, holding large battle axes.

They let Benjamin into The Temple of Odin. Vicril chose to wait for him outside while the rest of us continued on.

We took Ox-Cart Road to the North Gate, the main way in for the Goblins from Goblin Town.

We followed Twilight Road right by the Citadel of the Overlord. It towered above us, the tallest structure in The whole City State. It's walls protected by an intimidating force of knights, wearing black armor.

We moved through the Nobles Quarter to the Grand Gate and onto By-Water Road, along the coast where an array of ships that had taken the Roglaroon into The City.

It was here that I noticed a Viridian man, beating a fellow Tharbian to death, down an alley-way. I hesitated a moment, unsure how to proceed, but Luhr simply charged right in, forcing them apart.

This seemed to offend both the attacker and his victim, who seemed to have no interest in being rescued. The Tharbian's name was Tamis, and after a few insulting words hurled our way, the two of them walked off to finish there business elsewhere.

It was minutes later when I realized my dagger had been stolen. It appears that it was us who had been their business all along.

It was becoming more and more clear that keeping to one's self was perhaps the most important skill of all here in The City State.

We moved on.

By-Water Road lead us to Fog Street and onto, Water-Rat Road, which brought us along the waterfront. Mobs of sailors and traders were everywhere, as well as a row of Inns like, The Sea Nymph, Red Pearl Inn and The Sea Rover Tavern.

We took The End Gate to End Gate Road and wound up in Slave Market Plaza, where we found a chaotic and disturbing scene. Slaves from all corners of the world, being bought and sold, not unlike any other marketplace. Abused Althanian's stripped half-naked, women, children, halflings, gnomes - chained like animals and on display to the highest bidder.

Luhr was digsuted and let it be known, a slave-trader barked back at him but before things could escalate they wheeled a giant, Ogre of Ghinorinto the square. The crowd parted and the slavers placed him right in the center of it all, one of them prodding him with a stick.

But when the slaver took it too far and whacked him with it, The Ogre lashed back. Rising up to full height, he wrapped his shackles around the slavers neck, and snapped the man like a twig.

The whole square erupted in panic. A group of guards charged in, spears at the ready. But the Ogre rose up and pounced on one of them in a flash, crushing the mans skull with his enormous fist and grabbing the spear for himself.

Things were getting out of control.

A guard was screaming, ALARM! ALARM!!

Valindor was the first of us who decided to take action. He crept to the rear of the Ogre, preparing to strike. Next, Luhr readied his bow. The Ogre began to break free of his ankle shackles while another guard attacked with his spear but could not stop the beast.

Unable to get a good shot with his bow, Luhr let out a warcry to distract the Ogre and moved forward to take him with his sword.

Valindor successfully struck The Ogre from behind. Still chained and in a full-blown rage now, the Ogre turned and lashed at Valindor, but the elf was too swift, and side stepped his attack easily.

I made a thrust at the creature as well, but missed his knees completely.

Valindor charged in again, staying behind it. This time his sword struck the killing blow. The large beast crashed to the ground of the plaza with a final groan.

A guard thanked Valindor for saving his life, telling him: I am in your debt.

When more town guard showed up inquiring on who slew the Ogre, Valindor slipped away into the growing crowd and no one pointed a finger.

Next came Ruta, a hideous man with a whole entourage of slaves, as well as his own troop of armed guards. Clearly a man used to getting his way, he was in a rage over the death of the Ogre. He even verbally attacked the Sergeant of The Guard, right out in the open for all to witness. He went as far as to threaten to ship them off to his brother in Tarantis if such a thing were to happen to any of his barbarian slaves who would be arriving from Atlanis later in the week.

We got out of there, walked back by the temples and out onto the relative calm of Regal Street.

Tempest Street, was a dusty stretch lined with various shops. We were followed down it by a pack of wild dogs. We passed one curious shop that seemed to specialize in these hideous and terrifying sculptures, scenes of people in various poses of pain and torture. It's sign read, Elvamor's Marble Hall and we couldn't move past it quick enough.

Once back on Regal Street we finally lost our four-legegd companions and got ourselves a table at The Green Goblin Inn.

It was here that a clearly shaken, Vicril told us the scene with the Ogre was all too much for him to bear, that perhaps his was not to be a life of adventure. He bid us farewell and whisked right out the door, to explore safer options inside The City State.

Next, Benjamin told us of his meeting with a priest named Arnþór inside the Temple of Odin. The man has requested that we travel to a city called Ossary, 125 miles east. To act as couriers of some sort. It would be a long and dangerous journey and the priest assured Benjamin that we could expect to be well paid for our efforts.

While we sat and debated if we were ready to leave The City State for such a journey, a tall, mysterious gentlemen who had been listening to our discussion from another table, leaned our way and offered a few vague words of advice.

His name was Norven Silverkinand he rose to join our table. He had this confident, almost cocky way about him, as if the whole world had been put there simply for his amusement. Though he was clearly interested in the job we had been offered and the rewards that it promised.

I follow no god but the god of meaning and opportunity, he said to us. He claimed to be a magic-man, a user of ancient spells and incantations. On thing which was certain, he was a man who enjoyed his ale.

While we were getting to know our new friend, it was Valindor's turn to rise from the table, and possibly inspired by the exit of our dear Vicril, he told us that he too could no longer be involved in whichever way we decided to go from here, that maybe our paths would cross again someday. Then quickly took leave of The Green Goblin Inn, barely saying goodbye to his own brother.

In the course of one dinner we had lost two members of our group, but had gained a new one.

We were down to five.

Back at the Pig & Whistle. Parand greeted us happily. Workman had fixed the hole in the floor and bricked off the tunnel below. He told us a Dwarvish man from The Thunderhold had been in asking for us. He had heard of our adventure into the tunnel the night before. From Parand's description it sounded like he must be, Brasel, from Brasel's Treasure Hunt that Birkaby had mentioned the day before at the Wayfarer's Inn.
What could he be hunting? Whatever it was he needed from us would have to wait, as we were now committed to returning to the Temple of Odin in the morning and listening to what Benjamin's priest had to offer.

Fireday, the 4th of Longrass, 4433 BCCC

That night, Mick sat up staring out the window, once again to The Temple of the Gargoyle. He thought he may have heard screams from inside.

In the morning Benjamin was the first one up and lead us out the door, back to The Square of The Gods.

Outside the air was cold and grey.

We went into Temple of Odin. It was breathtaking inside; high ceilings and heroic statues. The halls were guarded by muscular Skandik guards, wielding battle-axes.

We were lead into a small room where two priests received us. A pair of Axe-men closed the door and guarded things from inside the room. The first priest was named, Arnþór, an older, clearly-wise, one-eyed man, and Óskar, his much younger underling.

First they needed to make sure we were truly outsiders of The City State. They had each of us bare our left shoulders for examination, they satisfied to find that we had no makings there. Arnþór told the axemen to leave us.

He gave us the story of Ossary, a city standing 125 miles east of The City State, by The Longship Havens of the Pagan Coast. Told us of the tensions that exist between The Majestic Overlord and Alkazed, The king of Ossary.

Because of these hostilities, Skandik ships were feared by the authorities in both Ossary and The City State and were not permitted to dock in either. Couriers are forced to travel by land, a month each way through, The Wilderlands and into Atlanis in order to get items or messages through.

The temple had grown tired of always havig to take the long way around and were now in search of a more direct route of travel. This is where we came in. He needed us to find and map-out this new route, straight through The Wilderlands, where the land was still untamed and danger was said to lurk behind every tree and inside every cave.

Arnþór, also insisted that this all needed to be done under a veil of secrecy, behind the backs of the rulers here in The City State, as well as any spies they might have outside its walls.

What he could not tell us was why this needed to be done in secret. Or exactly what tensions existed between The Temple and The Overlord. He only offered the obvious, that our journey would be long and dangerous, and that The Temple would supply us with food, water and some pack mules to help see us through. If we returned to The Temple with a map of our newly discovered road-way, our payment would be 2,000 gold.

Norven was un-impressed with these priests and all of their secrecy, and let it be known. But after some discussion we decided that the price was simply too good and that it was task we were ready to face. We accepted. Told the priests we would leave the next day.

Back outside we discussed the dangers at hand, how bad it might be to be apprehended by the, Powers that Be and viewed as agents of Ossary or Odin. Benjamin stepped forward and agreed to act as leader of the group, that he would claim the rest of us were merely his hirelings, if such scrutiny should arise.

We spent the day in various shops, outfitting ourselves for the coming journey. Once back at The Pig & Whistle we found that two mules, outfitted with 40 days of rations, had already been delivered for us. Luhr named them Borax and Sister Sara.

Parand had stabled them for us and we packed them up with our travel supplies.

It was a little sad saying goodbye to Parand. He was the first, and maybe the only, truly good person I had met since arriving to The City. We shared some final words and he presented me with a gift: A small flask of liquid marked, moxie . He claimed it would provide the courage to face even the most frightening of foes. That he had no need for it.

We turned in early that evening, in search of a full and comfortable nights rest before departing for whatever awaited us out in The Wilderlands.

Chapter Two

Spiritday, the 5th of Longrass, 4333 BCCC

In grey of morning we split into two separate groups and left The City State behind us for awhile. We took Old South Road, which was already busy with travelers coming to and from. We took the bridge over Conquerors River and soon met up with the second half of our party who had also made it out of town without scrutiny. It wasn't long after that we came upon a hooded figure on the road. It was Óskar the younger priest from The Temple. Arnþór had sent him to come along with us, complete with his own pony and rations enough for the entire journey. It was difficult not to see this as a lack of faith in our abilities, but Benjamin seemed pleased to have him along. Óskar presented him with a war-hammer, not unlike his own, and for the rest, he handed us each a small vial of liquid, claiming that it would, restore our vigor in battle.

The journey to the ferry's which cross The Estuary took all day through the rain. We waited in line for our turn to load onto a ferry and cross the thin waterway to the Village of Bier

Halfway across the river we passed a heartbreaking sight; A ferry moving the opposite way, carrying a large group of Altanian slaves, chained together, hungry and miserable.

We stood on the outskirts of Bier, wet and tired, we contemplated our next move. Tie up the ponies and head into town to visit The Wretch & Fowl for some drinks, then maybe a bed at the hostel, or to stay undistracted and keep moving further along our way?

The question was answered for us when the doors of the rowdy little tavern burst open and a whole gang of sailor-types, carried a frantic, thrashing man, right by us and down to the river. As they passed someone said he had been caught stealing pickled eggs from the tavern. That was that. They put a big rock into a sack, tied it to his leg and threw him, screaming bloody murder, into the river.

With that sort of welcome we left Bier behind us, moved off of south road and into the trees where we found a clearing that was suitable for camp.

And like some tiny blessing from the Gods, the rain finally stopped.

Airday, the 6th of Longrass, 4333 BCCC

The next morning we continued away from the road and into the mountains of, Ered Losthain. We climbed and eventually found a pathway, leading higher toward the cliffs.

It was down this path we came upon a grizzly sight. On each side of us, hanging from two large tree's, were several dead bodies. Broken and rotting, some of their bones littered the ground below. The haunted scene sent us all to grabbing our weapons, preparing our bows. Very carefully, we pressed on, moving further up the track and into the mountain. Along this path we found even more corpses, thrown against the rocks or lying twisted on the ground. These were Tharbrian warriors and they had been killed far more recently than the bodies in the tree's.

Ahead of us, standing on a boulder, was was a young, red haired woman in a scarf and cloak. A dagger tucked into her belt.

GO BACK, she hissed at us.

We told her we would not. Luhr tried to reason with her but she was unfrightened and unimpressed with our numbers.

Go back now or the dead will claim their bounty from the living. she threatened.

The Tharbrian corpses began to writhe and rise to their feet, nearly ten of them, swords in hand. She was bringing the dead to life. It was Mick who insisted that we heed this warning, and retreat the way we came. So back we went, away from the witch and her undead. I didn't like being chased away like this and let it be heard. This seemed to rally Benjamin, who drew his warhammer and spun back to face the evil behind us.

To arms, he cried. Luhr followed his lead and let loose with two quick arrows into the pack of undead.

Óskar raised his warhammer high and began to pray loudly to his god, Odin. Our pack-mules were in a panic and Norven stayed behind to calm them, while the rest of us charged into the fray to battle it out with the undead. Amidst all of the clash and chaos, Mick stood calm and let two arrows fly at the woman on the rocks, both found their mark and she toppled out of view behind the boulder.

This seemed to break whatever tiny focus the undead had seemed to have and sent them stumbling off into the woods. Óskar was the only one of us who came away wounded. After a moment to regroup we decided to give chase and finish off the vile creatures, but only made it as far as the other side of the boulder.

Here we found the body of the young, mysterious witch. Both Micks arrows sticking straight out of her, perfectly still, chest. Benjamin searched through her cloak and came away with her curved dagger inscribed with strange writing and symbols, a brass key, and a scroll case which contained a scroll,that upon opening, he could not read.

Norven took the dagger and inspected it closely and told us that it was an ancient script, from the long forgotten civilization known as The Dragon Lords. Written in Orichalan, the runes named the dagger, Vyklade , which translates to snake, in common tongue.

Then Norven called for the scroll but before he could do much with it Oskar had healed his wounds with a prayer and his very own hand and it was time for us to press on. As we reached higher ground we several cave openings, dotting the side of the mountain, some were slight and some were quite large, but the one that stopped us in our tracks had been walled off with stone and in the center someone had build a door right in the center.

Luhr had us wait in place outside the door while he scouted ahead bit. It wasn't long before a gruff voice, from the other side of the door, spoke to us.

Who is that? I can hear you out there. his voice was distinctly Tharbrian.

The door opened and there stood a old man in a grey baeard holding a walking-stick. It was also clear that the man was blind.

We told him of our encounter with the Undead and inquired about the best way to pass through these caves. He would hear none of it and seemed very paranoid and suspicious of us.

From around a bend, rushing from the cliffs came a teenage girl, yelling at us not to hurt him, that his is ==not a witch==. Luhr was following behind the young girl, carrying a basket of mushrooms that she had apparently dropped.

The man told her that we were not harming him and she then told him that Luhr had claimed we had killed a witch, named Gellena.

The man found this hard to believe. His name was Howyl, his daughter was Lilan. They had been taken from their village and given to Gellena as servants. His site was taken and his leg withered by a powerful sorceress, Melanie, who ruled these caves with many other witches at her beck and call.

We stood outside the cave for far too long, trying to convince Howyll that we were not evil and that they should leave immediately and escape with us. He would not hear of it, refused to trust us despite the pleadings of Lilan. Finally he pulled her into the cave and shut the door on us claiming that, ==the guards were returning==.

We turned to find the 8 Undead, that Óskar had chased off earlier, moving toward us slowly down the pathway. I pounded on the door pleading with Howyl to let us in as the creatures approached. Óskar again stepped forward, raised his Warhammer and sent the pack of creatures stumbling off in other directions. I decided to break through the door to Howyl's cave as a second horde of undead approached us from the direction of the cliffs.

With the door to Howyl's cave knocked to the ground, I joined the party to face the next wave of Undead.

It dragged into a vicious, bloody battle with most of us taking wounds. Benjamin was the first to fall, unconscious, to the ground. Norven dragged him from harms way and into the cave as the rest of us continued the brutal battle.

Óskar was struck next, Luhr screaming for him to ==fall back!== He would be no good to us dead. The Undead swordsmen wouldn't stop, their bodies and limbs beginning to pile at our feet.

Óskar did as he was commanded, leaving Luhr, Mick and myself swinging our swords desperately. At one point I was struck and wounded, but before I could even realize it's severity Óskar simply placed a hand upon me and my strength and willingness to fight remained intact.

Inside Howyl's cave, Norven took the vile of ==Vigor== that Odun had provided for each of us and poured it into Benjamin's mouth.

Back at the cliffs, Mick was the next to be severely struck and knocked to the ground, unconscious. Óskar dragged him back to the safety of the cave.

Only Luhr and I remained in this battle and our urgency increased. I was wounded again but would not quit, could not fall.

Norven emerged from the cave and not with a sword but with his sneaky darts, decided to join the battle, enraging the Zombies and drawing their attention away from Luhr and I. This gave us the time and space needed to mount one final thrust and finally finish off the remaining Zombies.

We retreated into Howyl's cave. He was now convinced that we were not witches and had actually slain his captor, Gellena.

In the rear of the cave was a door that Lilan told us was Gellena's locked chamber, but we had het key and indeed it opened the door. Inside was a small study area filled with witching-aids. Scrolls and potions and books. Beneath a table we found a small locked chest. We took all that we could. Loaded the items, along with Benjamin and Mick, onto the mules and with Howyl and Lilan in tow made our hasty retreat west, away from the Nightcave Coven

We traveled until we found an old, long-abandoned ring fort and made camp for the night. Luhr gave another of the vials from Odun to Benjamin to drink. The potion really worked, as life was immediately brought back into the elf's eyes. Norven went through Galenna's with things, taking notes and storing things away. Luhr and I broke the lock off the chest. It held a whole pile of different coins! As well as a diamond necklace. WHile Lilan helped us to count the treasure, Howyll told us the story of their capture from the village of Holt. How Melanie blinded him and shriveled his leg to deter any escape attempts. He told us of her deputy Mordant, leaving the caves and returning strange items and animals..sometimes he returned with people, people who were not happy to be taken into the caves.

Darkness descended upon the ring-fort and we laid our heads to rest after a long and trying day. I was asleep before my eyes even closed.

Waterday, the 7th of Longrass, 4333 BCCC

After a mercifully, uneventful night, we woke rested, packed our things, and continued on our way. Travel was slow with Mick and Benjamin still propped atop the mules. We decided to head toward the village of Holt, where Howyll and Lilan were from, before being taken captive by the witches. At mid-day we moved from the endless rolling hill, down into a valley. The day was long but nobody complained or said much at all. By early evening we had come upon a small areas that felt clearly, lived in. A cultivated field, some goats, we followed a fence that lead us to a small cluster of modest homes. We stopped for a moment and debated what to do. Reveal ourselves to whoever lived inside the houses? We were a pretty motley looking bunch and decided instead to keep moving and find a more secluded place to rest our heads.
The night brought rain and much tossing and turning.

Earthday, the 8th of Longrass, 4333 BCCC

We awake to a nice day for travel, but before we can break camp Mick, looking to the sky, points us to a bird circling slowly overhead, a large, horned, frightening thing, hovering right above us. Had it followed us here, was it some agent of the Witches?
Mich and Luhr drew their bows but the malevolent creature flew away north and we didn't see it again that day.

We walked east all morning and into the afternoon, at one point reaching a cross roads where Howyll argued to have us drop he and Lilan there and fend the rest of the way for themselves. We refused, insisting that we get them to a safer place, and continued into the day.

Finally by mid-day we found ourselves approaching a small village, a man and 2 boys were working in a field. Beyond them the Tower of Ordun could now be seen. It was clear we had arrived in Holt.
We exchanged pleasantries and then Mick stepped forward to abruptly make an announcement. He had decided that he could no longer continue with the party. The guilt of being the one who slayed the witch on the rocks was weighing him down, he now somehow felt responsible for the safekeeping of Howyll and his daughter and before anyone could talk him out of it, we were shaking hands and saying our farewell's in the middle of this field. It all seemed so sudden.
The man with the boys recognized Howyll and Lilan. His name was Owain. He was their neighbor from the days before they had been captured. We had indeed guided them home again and it felt good to know that.
We gave some of the treasure that we took from the caves to Howyll. I gave a bit to Lilan whom I had become fond of.

Owain invited us to stay for supper but with the Tower or Ordun looming there so close in the distance we decided to try to reach it by nightfall. He warned us of the rampaging Orcs, that were growing in numbers, in the mountains beyond The Tower, told us the name of the Captain there, who may have an idea of the best route for us to pass through. His name was Navar.

With that, we continue on our way and indeed make it to the Citadel of Ordun by nightfall. We follow the road right through it's main gate, the two, unkept guards, barely pay us any attention as we enter. It is a run-down, unimpressive stockade. Tharbian soldiers, lounging about with not much to do. The whole place felt like it was just waiting for something, anything to happen.

A man, approached, Sergeant Enim a little too excited at the arrival of a group of strangers. he clearly has us mistaken for some other party and before we can set the matter straight he whisks us off to meet the Captain.

He rushed us to Navar, who indeed believed us to be mercenaries that his father had sent to aid them with the Lice Itch the tribe of Orcs causing problems and blocking the pass through the mountains to Hel.

Navar was clearly disappointing when we told him we were not the adventurers he had been waiting for. He told us we could stay to help fight the Orcs if we wished, but offered no advice or aid in helping us to figure out the best way through the mountains. He quickly waved us away. Back in Holt, Owain had referred to him as a, gormless plonker, and I could now see what he meant. It was clear this wasn't much more than a little boy playing at being king, simply because no one had come along to tell him he wasn't. maybe his father had sent him out here to rule over this last little spec of civilization and he seemed to be taking this task very seriously.

Enim lead us back to the stables, told us we could stay there until we were ready to move on, or if we wanted there would be Orc partols we could take part in, they left every few days, and paid less than the coin we took from the Goblin's pockets beneath Parand's place, all those days ago.

We decided to leave and push forward on our own. Enim then returned to the stable and begged us to reconsider. Warning us of the Orcs waiting just beyond the tower. To go that way alone would be suicide. he said to wait for the mercenaries to arrive. Or to take the southern pass and face Gyddfauhir, the many headed toll-keep. Enim left us again. We stood there frozen in the stables, no one had a clear idea of which way was best. Benjamin claimed that Odin said to turn back, to travel back and deal with the Witches in the mountains, Luhr has ni interest in aiding The City State in their fight against the Lice Itch.

it has been such a long day, none of us were thinking clearly. Finally, we decided to stay, to seek the local armory for some shields and to wait for whatever the next day would bring.

All through the night, in the hay of the stable, we could hear wolves calling in the distance.

Fireday, the 9th of Longrass, 4333 BCCC

The next day the troops did come, a whole line of men and women marching into the citadel. Common folks that looked mostly untrained and untested in the battle that awaited them. The most interesting thing about the procession was the tall Avalonian bringing up the rear, it was our old friend Vicril! He broke from the recruits and met us in the stable, apparently he had been hoping to find us out there and we were all pleased to have him back.

After one final conversation with Sergent Enim we decided that we had no real interest in their battle with the Orcs or the meager payment being offered. We packed our things and decided to take the road through The Fartherhorn, towards this, "Gyddfauhir", toll-keeper, beast, legend, whatever it was.

Into the Ered Losthainwe climbed. The way was slow and difficult, over rocks and through streams we lead the mules, the mountain towering above us. After many miles the shadows began to graw longer and we made camp for the night.

Spiritday, the 9th of Longrass, 4333 BCCC

Rain wakes us in the morning. Soaking everything and everyone. Vicril tells us of an animal of some sort, with glowing eyes that was spying the camp from the dark and seemed very interested in the pack horses. Thankfully it did not attack.. this time.

With our dripping camp finally packed, forward and onward we went, along the windy path, cutting this way and that. By midday the terrain had settled, the track inhabited with mountain goats and blooming flowers, but the calm in the day's journey was not meant to last, for in the distance we found a disturbing site. A menacing statue made from tree limbs and animal skulls stood blocking our path. Benjamin and I moved forward for a better look. The totem towered above us, horse skulls with, giant chinks of quartz stuffed into their dead eye sockets. Sitting at its base was a small stone bowl holding a few coins and gems. Beyond it the track continued but in order to lead the mules through the statue would have to be removed. Could this be the toll-keep we had been hearing so much about? Luhr called out but there was nothing. Together he and I began to clear the way for the mules when from the slopes above us there is movement.
An attack! A group of small, horned creatures with slings were bearing down on us. Luhr grabbed his bow while I charged up the slope after the little creatures. Once to the top and with Benjamin right behind me we quickly took down three of them. The remaining three beat a quick retreat into a small tunnel in the ground.
Back at the bottom of the hill the rest of the party were still under ambush, so instead of investigating this tunnel we rushed back down to their aid. When we got there the fight was over, Norven had cast a spell that put them all to sleep, and Vicril and Luhr ran them through. Together we cleared the corpses from the track. With the day already growing late, we decided to continue on our way instead of exploring the possible network of tunnels and caves. Up and up we climbed, our way became treacherous, frightening, barely wide enough for us to lead the mules.
With the sun setting in the distance we stood and looked at the lands below us, rolling hills, but before them a collection of small lakes that would be our next destination.
Down the far side of the Ered Losthain we went, until we reached the first of the lakes and found an overhang to make camp for the night.
Norven and Vicril sat up with their scrolls and magic-books, Oskar and Benjamin said their prayers and in the cold of the mountain, I went to sleep.

Airday, the 10th of Longrass, 4333 BCCC

We awoke after a cold and miserable night. The wind in those mountains was like death itself. We broke camp qickly and continued our descent. The way was treacherous; slippery and hard. We followed a chain of small lakes and streams until we reached a large lake, dark and deep, a mist hovering above it.
to the far sinde, Oskar pointed out a cave but before we could move toward it there was a disturbance in the lake. SOmethig was moving through it, just beneath the surface, racing right toward us on the shore. It was large. Norven and Vicril rushed to get the mules off the beach, Luhr prepared his bow, while I stood with him, torch in hand watching as the beast approached. First one of it's serpent-like heads broke the surface, then another, and another. This truly was the multi-headed, toll-keep, Gyddfauhir that we had been warned about. The magicians were herding the mules to safety as fast as they could but the beast seemed to be lcked in on them. Luhr set his arrows on fire and let loose with them before it could reach the shore. One hit it's mark and the creature changed it course from the mules and istead came directly for us, it hit the shore. five hissing, slobbering, chomping heads in all. It towered above us. We held our ground.
It was as frightened as I have ever felt.
More arrows from Luhr as the thousand heads rushed toward us. Suddenly both the Odin priests were there as well and we were all swinging our hammers and swords into the monster. It was biting at all of us, friends screaming, blood everywhere. All I could do was continue to attack, with a swing I managed to take one of it's heads clean off, but the thing would not fall.
Benjamin, Oskar, Luhr all continued to battle, attacking it from all sides. I was so proud to be facing this horror alongside these brave warriors. I swung my sword and was bitten, liften off the ground like I was made of hay, there was no pain, only darkness.
I awoke on the beach, Gyddfauhir had been slain. It's teeth had torn into both my shoulders, Oskar was there, his healing powers were disturbing, but undeniable. The rest of the group had moved on into the cave and retrieved some weapons and a bad of gold. I was in and out, so very weak but I seem to remember Benjamin disrobbing and swimming to the bottom of the lake. I'm not sure what it was he was looking for.
Soon after I was riding atop the mule Borax, being well looked after by Okskar. We continued our was down the mountain.
In the evening the way had become a little less dangerous and we found a clearing to settle for the night. It was such a relief to get off of that mule and stretch out on the ground, my wounds were screaming but I closed my eyes and slept as if I was in a featherbed back in the village from where I came.

Waterday, the 11th of Longrass, 4333 BCCC

People

Luhr Red Toad- 18 year old Altanian fighter.

Thian Gale - 16 year old, orphaned fighter.

Benjamin Dover Button - 24 year old Skandik cleric.

Mick Multi - A Wood Elf and a thief. (left the party in the village of Holt)

Valindor - A Wood Elf and Mick's brother. (left the party on Day 2).

Vicril Carter - A Magic User and Son to a family of merchants (left the party on Day 2) Returned to the party in The Citadel of Odin.

Norven Silverkin - Avalonian, Magic User who joined the party at The Green Goblin Inn on Day 2.
_________

The Majestic Overlord - the all-powerful ruler of The City State.

Rimegard - The impressive, Captain of the Guard, overseeing the main entrance into The City State.

Birkaby - the grumpy proprietor at the Wayfarer's Inn.

Parand - friendly owner of the Pig & Whistle.
Lollina, Normenia, Bunsha - Parand's, dancing daughters.

Gromley - the large man who fell into the hole at The Pig & Whistle.

Tamis - possibly the name of the Tharbian guy, being beaten in an alley, who pick-pocketed Thian's dagger.

Ruta - the hideous and aggressive slave-trader.

Arnþór - One-eyed priest in the Temple of Odin.

Borax & Sister Sara - Pack mules used on the trip to Ossary

Óskar - a young priest of Odin.

Alkazed - The current King of Ossary.

The Wild Orcs of the Purple Claw - who live somewhere deep inside The Dearthwood

Withces of the Nightcave Coven
Melanie - Powerful and Wicked sorceress
Mordant - Her Deputy
Gallena - R.I.P
Rowena - Gellena's older sister

Howyll - Enslaved, blinded and crippled for years in the Witch Caves
Lilan - His teenage daughter

Owain - a neighbor and friend to Howyll in the village of Holt

Navar - Capatain at the Tower of Ordurn

Sergeant Enim

Orcs of the Lice Itch Tribe

Gyddfauhir- the multiheaded beast blocking the southern pass, in the Fatherhorn. - Defeated by Thian, Benjamin, Luhr & Oskar on the shore of a lake in the Ered Losthain.

Naja-leader of a group of "Servants of the Jackal" encountered in Guilding. Deceased.

Davira-half-elven leader of the group who assisted the party in the battle with the "Servants of the Jackal" in Guilding.

Pender-Davira's scout/rogue son. Town of Guilding.

Giles-Davira's other son. Town of Guilding

Natasja, Priestess of the Cult of the Destroyer-appointed by the Administrator of Kauran to ply tribute from the residents of Guilding. Wholly evil, thrives on pain and suffering.

Places

The Wayfarer's Inn - overpriced tavern

The Pig and Whistle (Guardman's Road, turn left on Old South road)

Temple of the Gargoyle - across from the Pig & Whistle

Goblin Town - outside the city walls

The Purple Claws - outside the city walls. An old threat to The City State. They have not attacked for 10 years, but have not been forgotten.

Slash Street - a rugged area in The City State. The Cut-Throat Inn, The Grub & Grunt, Firedrake Meadhall are located there.

The Square of the Gods:
Temple of Harmakhis
Temple of Odin (right in the middle)
Temple of Throth

Citadel of the Overlord - tallest, best guarded structure in the entire City State

Nobles Quarter - an area of docks and ships bringing in goods from The Roglaroon

Slave Market Plaza - where slaves are bought and sold

Atlanis

Elvamore's Marble Hall - terrifying statues

Green Goblin Inn - on Regal St. Mostly Elves and Altanians

Ossary - a city 125 miles east of The City State

The Thunderhold

Conqueror's River

Modron - city to the north of The City State

Bier - small, rowdy fishing village

Ered Losthain - a mountain range to the south, beyond the Estuary

Holt a village by the Citadel of Ordun

Hel

The Fatherhorn

Temple of Mitra-Evil temple in the town of Guilding occupied by an evil cult.

Things

Brasel's Treasure Hunt

Black Lotus can't touch us here

Ruta's large shipment of Barbarians coming from Atlanis

A small flask of liquid labeled moxie given to Thian from Parand

Óskar's religious Warhammer, and vial's of Battle Vigor

Treasure

Taken from 2 slain Goblins beneath The Pig and Whistle:
-12 gold
-18 silver

Taken from Gellena's slain body:
-A curved dagger with runic markings (Orichalan origin, very old, from the days of the Dragon Lords. The inscription reads, Vykladewhich translates to 'snake'.
-A scroll in a case
-A brass key.

Chest taken from Gellena's study in the Witches Coven
-5 pp
-120 gp
-25 ep
-450 sp
-350 cp

Taken from Gyddfauhir's cave
-Orichalan longsword
-Metal shield with a black bear in a yellow field
-Jar with ointment
-300 gp in a sack

Timeline

Waterday, the 2nd of Longrass, 4433 BCCC

-The group enters The City State individually, but once inside, decide to band together.

-Mick and Benjamin are thrown out of The Wayfarer's Inn, by an annoyed Birkaby.

-The group watches, The Dance of the Flying Daggers at The Pig & Whistle. Some Goblins, burrowing beneath them, force a hole in the floor, stopping the show. At the request of Parand, the owner of the tavern, the group goes into the hole and searches through a series of tunnels for the culprits. Being a bit careless, they are ambushed from behind and attacked by two Goblins. Benjamin cast a spell, knocking one out and Mick killed the other; then, much to the dismay of some of the party, Mick also ran through the sleeping Goblin as well. They took 18 silver and 12 gold from the slain Goblins. (Who is holding this money?)

-Late at night, Mick and Valindor sneak out to investigate The Temple of the Gargoyle, but find no way in.

Earthday, the 3rd of Longrass, 4433 BCCC

-Benjamin visits the Temple of Odin.

-Thian, is pick-pocketed by a Tharbian who appeared to be being beaten to death in an alley by a Virdian man.

-In the Slave Market Plaza, a large Ogre slave goes on a rampage, killing two city guards. Some of the group faces off with it. It was Valindor who finished it off; in the aftermath, one of the guards claims to be, in his debt for saving his life.

-In The Green Goblin Inn, both Vicril and Valindor decide to leave the party and go their separate ways. Soon after they are joined by, Norven Silverkin, a magic user who enjoys his ale and knows some spells.

-The group returned to The Pig & Whistle after a busy day; deciding that they will go to the Temple of Odin in the morning, to hear more on the mission that Benjamin's priest, Arnþór had to offer.

Fireday, the 4th of Longrass, 4433 BCCC

-Visiting the impressive, Temple of Odin the party meets the priests, Arnþór and Óskar. Their offer is a mission to travel through The Wilderlands to seek out a safe, and more direct path from The City State to city of Ossary, 125 Miles to the east. It will be a dangerous journey and will need to do be done without raising the suspicions of the authorities here in The City State. If they succeed and bring back a map of this new throughway, they will be paid 2,000 gold. The group accepts.

-After some shopping they return to The Pig & Whistle to find that The Temple has already delivered two pack mules for their journey.

-They say their goodbye's to Parand, who presents Thian with a flask of liquid marked moxie, claiming it will allow him to face even the most fearsome of foes.

Spiritday, the 5th of Longrass, 4333 BCCC

-The leave The City State taking Old South Road.

-On the road they are met by the young priest, Óskar. Sent by The temple to join the party on their journey. He presents Benjamin with a War-hammer and the rest of the group with a vial of liquid to help, restore vigor in combat.

-They take the ferry across The Estuary and pass some Altanian slaves being ferried the other way.

-Outside the village of Bier they witness a mob of rowdy sailors and fishermen, drown a man in the river for stealing some pickled eggs in the tavern.

- The party keeps to the outskirts and passes right through Bier. Abandoning Old South Road, they find a clearing in the woods and camp for the night.

Airday, the 6th of Longrass, 4333

-The party begins their journey away from civilization and into The Wilderlands.

-Traveling up a mountain they come across dead bodies blocking their path, continuing onward they find more strewn about the ground, slain Tharbrian warriors. A young, raven-haired witch, standing atop a boulder, threatened them and warned them to, go back

-The group ignored her warning. The dead warriors began to rise to their feet, swords in hand.

-The party turned to mack a hasty retreat, until Benjamin decided it would be braver to stand and fight. To arms, he cried. The group clashed with the undead swordsmen. Mick killed the witch with two well placed arrows and the undead stumbled off. From her body they took, a dagger, a scroll and a brass key.

-Norven translated the ancient scripture on the dagger, Óskar healed his wounds and the party pushed on, further up the mountain toward its cliffs.

-Inside the Witch Coven they find Howyl and his daughter Lilan in a cave.
They learn of the evil sorceress Melanie, her deputy Mordant. The witch Mick had slain with his arrow was named, Gallena. Howyll was her servant, his site taken and his leg withered to keep him bound to the cave. The party was not able to convince the father and daughter to escape with them

-The undead return, first the group of 8 that Oskar had dispersed earlier, which he was able to do again with a spell. Then another wave cominng from the other direction that Oskar was not able to ward off. A brutal and bloody fight at the edge of the cliffs ensued with most of the party being wounded, Benjamin and Mick the most seriously.

-After defeating the Zombies the party retreated into Howyll's cave. Inside they found Gellena's study behind a locked door. The key they had taken from her dead body earlier opened it. Inside were many sorcery items and a small chest. Luhr and Thian took as much as they could and then, together with Howyll and Lilan the party packed the items and wounded onto the mules and snuck away from the Witch Caves.

-They stopped in an abandoned ring-fort. Went through the things they had taken from Gellena's study. Both Mick and Benjamin had been fed the healing potion provided by Odin and were slowly beginning to heal and gain their strength back. After counting the treasure in the chest the party rested there for the night.

Waterday, the 7th of Longrass, 4333 BCCC

-A day of travel. With Benjamin and Mick still weakened and forced to ride on the mules. In the evening the party came about a cultivated field and a gathering of 3 small houses, but decided against revealing themselves and continued past, for a quieter place to rest for the night.

Earthday, the 8th of Longrass, 4333 BCCC

-An evil bird is circling the party in the morning. It flies away before anyone could fire an arrow at it.

-They travel all day and reach Holt. Mick decides to bid the party farewell. They leave him, Howyll and Lilan there with a man named, Owain and his family.

-They make it to The Tower of Ordun and found Enim and Sergeant Navar, who mistaked the party for a group of mercenaries his father had sent to help battle The Lice Itch tribe of Orcs that were terrorizing the countryside. Navar was disappointed and could offer no help towars figuring out the best way to journey through the mountains. One pass was blocked by Orcs, the other by Gyddfauhir a many headed creature who acted as a toll keep.

-They returned to the stable, packed the mules to continue on, but could not agree on a plan for which way to proceed. Finally, with a little push from Enim they decided to stay the night in the stable.

Fireday, the 9th of Longrass, 4333t

-The hired soldiers arrive to Ordun to take on the Orcs; the party is reunited with Vicril who is amongst them. After some further debate they decide to leave the Citadel and head into the Ered Losthain mountain range, where legend of a many headed creature called, Gyddfauhir threatens all who pass.
-After a days travel they camp at the base of the Fatherhorn. That night they are stalked by some sort of creature in the dark but it does not strike.

Spiritday, the 9th of Longrass, 4333 BCCC

-After continuing toward the Fatherhorn pass, the party encounters some kobolds who ambush from small caves after the party throws a few coins in their offering dish.
The party kills most of them and the rest retreat. The party does not pursue at this time, and instead hurries onward up the slope and makes camp in safety.

Airday, the 10th of Longrass, 4333 BCCC

-Continuing their ascent, the party next encounters a large lake guarded by a hydra! Norven and Vicril move ahead to attempt to get the ponies away from danger while the rest of the party attacks the creature. Although several party members are wounded, they manage to kill the beast. Upon searching the creature's cave at the far end of the lake, the party finds gold, and some magical items such as a shield and longsword, as well as some iron trinkets. Ben dives in the lake to look for signs of perhaps baby hydras, but luckily finds nothing. The party moves away from the area before making camp for the night.

Waterday, the 11th of Longrass, 4333 BCCC

-After resting and healing, the party continues on as the slope now descends. Soon the party is approached by two gnomes who are surprised at seeing the party here. They are not hostile, and even attempt to trade, being impressed with some of Vicril's old coins from the goblins in the sewer Ordun. The party does not trade for the gnome's gems, but does get some information about the area ahead of them.
-Upon meeting the gnome merchants in the plains east of Fatherhorn:
...if you travel due east from this spot, you will cross the Wellnigh Fields and come to Guilding. From there it is another two to three days journey east to the sea. There will be more hills beyond Guilding before reaching the town of Serpeant Little by the sea, where they made the swan ships of old. Good luck to you."
-The party continues east. At the Wellnigh Fields, the party spots an exotic mammut (elephant-like creature) in the distance. More troubling, however, is the group of jackals who surround and follow the party for some distance before breaking away.
-As soon as the party enters the town of Guilding, they encounter at least a dozen uniformed men who call themselves "The Servants of the Jackal". Their leader is apparently named Naja. They are attacking what appears to be a family and searching through their wagon laden with boxes and containers.
-The party gets into a fight, and with the help of a group of strangers (half-elves?) with bows, is able to kill most (to include Naja) and scare the rest away. The spokeswoman of the friendly group calls herself Davira. Davira invites the party to seek safety and make plans for what is likely some bad blood among this group and others in the town of Guilding.
-The party, along with Davira and her sons, seeks refuge in a solitary part of a nearby forest where they discuss a plan of attack. The party has agreed to assist Guilding with getting rid of the evil cult that is plaguing everyone.

    • Earthday, the 12th of Longrass, 4333 BCCC**

-Just before sunrise, the party begins its assault on the temple. The guards at the only entrance are killed, and upone entering, the party finds the temple mostly empty. One cult member's body had a metal rod (a key?). There are pictures of a Jackal painted in what looks to be blood on the N,W,S halls of the temple, and large empty cauldron in the center below a hole in the domed roof. The party looks for some secret door to the rumored dungeon below.

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