Legend of the Silver Crescent

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your travels

A neat thing about this wiki is the Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

This blog is here for everyone to report on what they’ve discovered about the world, and to serve as a reminder of what happened in previous adventures. I encourage you all to post here whenever you can, so we can use this as a reference tool.

After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. I’ll be inserting interludes from time to time to keep things rolling.

That’s it for now – stay tuned for a recap of your first adventure!

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Rukh's Journal 1
Wherein Rukh wonders what is wrong with "civilized" people and bloodies his weapons against the honorless raiders

Dear Master K’rrg,

As you suggested, I am keeping a journal of my travels. Perhaps, someday, it will aid some young cleric or paladin of Tuan, either by example, or by what they should not do. Only time will tell which is which.

I traveled with the eladrin, Fallon, to the settlement of Northbridge. There, Fallon presented me to the mayor, a human named Galen Ashford. There were other adventurers there, and I’m ashamed to admit that, for a moment, I hoped I might not be needed and might return to the monastery. I was quick to put this shameful thought aside when the need of the folk of Northbridge was made plain. They have been attacked repeatedly, as have local farms and a gnomish settlement to the north, by small humanoids. Their tracks suggested to me that we might be dealing with kobolds, such as sometimes Gurglurz’s tribe would raid for slaves. All the while we were searching for clues, I also found myself taking the measure of those who have become my companions.

There is a human named Al’Der’eth, who called himself “the Pious”. I took him to be some kind of cleric, but it soon became clear that he wields a magic not of the gods. He is a strange sort in that respect. He seems fervent to bring the justice of the Gods down on the head of…something. I am pleased to travel with one of my mother’s folk, but he does seem a bit odd.

There is also a she-elf called Delana. She is a holy woman in service to Pelor, the god of the sun. I had always heard that his order was a grim one, and his people slayers of undead and bringers of righteousness upon the wicked. She must belong to a different branch, for she seems kindly and somewhat jovial. I find her a little unnerving in that respect.

There is also another high elf, like Fallon, named Eisenheim. He baffles me. It’s clear he wields a kind of magic, but it seems almost…frivolous. Still, in a battle, he’s proven himself capable. His mannerisms are flamboyant to the point of a near-madness, and he seems to desire greatly to prove himself…but I’m not sure how he plans to do so using cards and round-about mating rituals with those who serve in Inns.

Another of our number uses cards, too, but in a way that seems more sensible. He is called Gaervesk, and I have no idea what race he hails from. He is like a kobold, but large, and white, and he can breathe ice, as though he were a dragon out of one of the old sagas. He seems to have magics as well, but of a totally different kind that the others. He uses the cards to read the future, like you with the bones and bowl. I do not know what he sees for us, but, of all of the companions, I feel most at ease with him, perhaps because he seems as much an outsider as me.

We investigated some of the kobold raid sites, and we found tracks which suggested an eastern road. To aid Master Ashford, however, we decided to check one of the southern farms, for the people of the farm had not shewn themselves in town in some time. We hoped to find more clues there to lead us to the source of the attacks. At the farm, we encountered several kobolds, but they were no great burden to dispatch. I did not pause to give thanks to Tuan for the valor he had lent, for they had emerged from the farmhouse, leading me to fear there might be humans inside, dead or dying. There were not, but a nearby well held the bodies of the entire family, slain. What honor or proof of arms in the slaying of farmers? What strength shewn in the murder of a human infant? Truly, these kobolds are cowards. My wrath grows on me; Tuan grant that I give them something to fear.

After a night at the Inn, I slipped out to the town’s nearby river to make my morning ablutions and absolutions. To the north, smoke rose, and I returned to town, rather than meet the party on the road, as I had planned. Fallon told us that the gnomish settlement to the north was hit, but there was nothing to be done about it now. Clues had shewn us that the kobolds were using weapons tipped with black-glass, indicating a fire-mountain. Asking around town told us that the nearest source of the black-glass is a series of caves near a large formation called the Stone Table, to the east of town.

We headed east, planning on hitting the kobolds in their lair and ending their threat. Following Fallon’s knowledgeable instructions, we sought out an old crumbling tomb nearby and followed the track further east to a ruined keep. The road led through the keep, so we followed it towards the fallen gates. As we approached, more kobolds attempted to ambush us, treacherously. As we rushed to battle, more of them emerged from their crawl-holes, but we slew all who opposed us. One kobold, who I let escape in my efforts to protect my less combative companions, ran into a structure, but, once the others were clearly safe, I followed at haste.

Inside, a human boy was chained to the wall, knives around him showing that he’d been used as savage amusement…a target for throwing practice. Again, my rage grew, as did my shame, for the boy was clearly terrified of me. I could not meet his eyes, but, seeing no kobold present, I charged forward and up the stairs. At the top, I found the kobold, along with several hobgoblins. Giving thanks to Tuan for a chance to show my valor, I hurled myself towards the foe, shield raised to take a blow, axe already in motion…

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Delana's story - Day 1
A letter from Delana to her father

Dear Father,

I miss you greatly, and the familiarity of Rhul, but this experience has been eye-opening to say the least. I arrived in Northbridge early today, and much has already happened. It would be easiest to explain if I started at the beginning of my journey…

I oft described Cedar Hollow has pleasant and quiet, but country life is a bit boring and routine compared to the bustling comings-and-goings of Rhul. You know I feel most comfortable around familiar settings, yet I cannot deny (or full understand) this yearning to set out and explore the new. That is why I looked forward to this journey to assist Father Tyran in Northbridge. My eagerness quickly faded, as I have seen some things I doubt I will soon, if ever, forget. But again, I do get ahead of myself.

I took the soonest scheduled ferry to Fordsmeet. It took about half a day to reach our destination. Fordsmeet was a beautiful city, it seemed larger even than than Rhul. Alas, I was not able to stay there long, as I was only there to change ferries to Northford a few hours later. I would like to visit Fordsmeet again when I am able, perhaps when I return home. The trip aboard the ferry to Northford took two days, a rather uneventful journey, I spent most of the time praying and introspective thinking, as you know I am prone to do. Disembarking at Northford, I wandered about for a bit, disappointed it was little more than a ferry post, with a general store and an inn. After a long ferry trip, I felt I should rest before setting out for Northbridge, and went to the inn for lodging. I talked with the innkeeper for a bit, mentioning I was on my way to Northbridge. He recommended traveling with some companions if able, and I was fortunate for he pointed out a few travelers going my way, as it were.

I decided to take the innkeeper’s advice and meet these travelers, who were already grouped together. There was a human male of about middle-age, who recognized my holy symbol and asked if I had also been called to Northbridge at Father Tyran’s request. I told him I was not called specifically by name, but that I was sent by the High Clerics of Pelor in Rhul. I then introduced myself to them, and they did the same. The human presented himself as Al’Der’eth the Pious. He seemed a bit eccentric, if well-intentioned. The second in the group introduced himself as Gaervesk Fatefrost. He was tall, and of a race I’ve not seen before, reptilian in nature. He was quiet, even meditative, and mostly kept to himself. The last of who would be my fellow travelers called himself as Eisenheim Homestead, an Eladrin who acted in a manner quite flamboyant. A varied group of travelers, but they all seemed interesting and nice enough. I joined them for dinner, and soon after retired for the evening.

We awoke early the next day and set off for Northbridge. We chatted along the way, telling each other of our journeys. We arrived in Northbridge around midday. We were greeted by a statue of Pelor covered in some red substance, which later turned out to be chicken blood. Appalled, I immediately knelt before Him, greatly saddened, praying for insight as to who could possibly do such a thing? An old man was cleaning the statue, who turned out to be Father Tyran no less. I offered my assistance, for which he was thankful, but suggested I could do more good by helping the mayor with his plight. The mayor, a man named Galen Ashford, told us of the raids upon the village and neighboring farms. He told ‘us’, that is myself, my companions I had met the day before, and an orc who introduced himself as Rukh Redmane. Rukh was like no orc I had ever seen before. He was very large of course, but clad in plate armor, carrying a long spear, axe and large shield with a strange symbol upon it. I will send you a sketch, perhaps you could identify it. Ruhk was quiet, and seemed uncomfortable.

We all agreed to help Mayor Ashford with the raids. Searching about, we found tracks going in many directions, but most prominent eastbound. However, we traveled south towards a farm, as the residents had not been seen or heard from in some time. As we approached the farm, we were attacked by a band of kobolds. My companions proved themselves strong in a fight, and I healed their wounds for them. At the conclusion of the battle, I went into the farmhouse, looking to aid the family. They were not to be found on the first floor, so I went upstairs. I wish I had not, for the sight was gruesome. There was much blood splattered about, including a trail emanating from a baby’s cradle. I could not venture further into the room, afraid of what else I might see. I called out to anyone who might be hiding, but received no reply. I called out once more, but heard only silence. I went back downstairs, shocked and fearful of what might have happened to this family. I found my companions by a well near the farm, and I went over to see what they had found. It was most terrible, the entire family slaughtered and dumped down the well. My companions brought them up, and gave them a proper burial. I could do nothing but pray that Pelor’s radiance shine upon their souls and give them peace. What would drive kobolds to do something so savage? It was brazen and cruel, even for them.

We returned the village, myself and Al’Der’eth going to the temple of Pelor. It was late and Father Tyran was just locking up. We told him of what had happened, and he asked what we did with the family’s bodies. We had buried them of course, and I told Father that I could do little else but pray for them. We reunited with the rest of our party at the inn, who were kind enough to offer free room in exchange for our help. My companions took to being their normal selves. Rukh retreated to one corner, Gaervesk to the other, pulling out slips of paper and an inkwell. Eisenheim gambled with a man sitting at the bar, Al’Der’eth ordered a stiff drink, and I asked for a juice of the non-fermented variety, sitting away from everyone else, distressed by what had happened that day. It was not long before Eisenheim had lost a good sum of money, and Gaervesk shortly thereafter; was the man cheating? Alas, there is no virtue in gambling. Al’Der’eth had fallen over backwards drunk, unconscious on the floor. Alarmed and concerned, I rushed over to him, seeing if he had badly injured himself. Rukh picked him up and brought him upstairs. Apparently the barmaid gave him something which was otherwise used to clean the tables. The barmaid was not acting without cause, he had paid her with illusionary money, for which she was not fooled. After some of my companions had eaten, we all retired for the night. I checked in on Al’Der’eth, he was quite sound asleep. I removed his boots for him, and pulled the covers over his body. I went to the wash basin and soaked a cloth in cold water, and placed it upon his head. I said a short prayer that he may learn there is little piety in falling over drunk before going to my own room.

I simply had to write you Father before my bedtime prayers, the day has been filled with many challenges I have never faced or even thought to face before. I seek your guidance and support; I know you will pray for my well-being, and I pray for your good health and that we be reunited soon. May the darkness that befalls this poor village be cast aside by Pelor’s warm light.

Your loving daughter in faith,
Delana

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Eisenhiem's Magical Mystery Tour, Behind the Scenes!

OOC – The views presented by Eisenhiem in no way represent the view’s of the the player. I’m actually an a-OK guy.

I didn’t even think this would be worth keeping track of. Adventurers were those guys who left town, killed monsters, and came back with more treasure than they could carry. Men respected them, Women loved them. Who woulda thought there was more to it than that?

So, let me get you up to speed, I need to recount this so I can share this with my dear brother when we next meet. We were hired by the town of Northbridge to stop raids. These raids involved vandalism, the slaughter of families, the burning of villages, generally all the bad sort of thing you hear about from town criers.

It is our job to stop them. My companions consist of Gaervesk, who you may have met in the past. He and I were in the circus together for a short time. An Elven Cleric of Pelor named Delana, a human wizard who calls himself Al’Der’eth the Pious, and a half-orc paladin named Rukh. Almost a circus in it’s own right!

They all seemed to have their heads on straight when it came to killing some kobolds who ended a family of farmers. Boy was I wrong. I think they actually LIKE adventuring. I was pushing to leave town and sort this issue out quickly. But they wanted to clean things, make friends, and close temples for the night. If someone asked a mason to build a wall, and he spent his time mucking around, you wouldn’t want to pay him. The Homesteads get the job done quickly, efficiently and fully.

Finally, off we went to where we expected the Kobold raiders to be lurking. We found them in a deserted keep. With combined arms we easily dispatched them, but left a hobgoblin we encountered alive. I saw the wisdom in this, as he could have valuable information. He we convinced into revealing some secrets of his. He was not gracious to his captors for sparing him. He spat on my allies faces, and said ill words about the gods and their believers. I didn’t allow such a being to live and my allies were furious at me for ending his wretched existence! I kill a thing which has murdered and tortured women and children, and they look at me like I’m the monster! Imagine if we had brought this creature into town for a fair trial, you can be sure that if the judge didn’t order an execution, an angry mob would have given one.

Going on the hobgoblin’s last words, we went to the cave hideout of these creatures. Those that tried to defend the entrance were easily destroyed. Again Delana softened her blows, so to knock the enemy out rather then end their existence. Luckily “collateral damage” finished the job.

We found the warrens where their breeding pit was. Full of the women who give birth to small demons, and kobold children, who as far as I’m concerned are just problems waiting to happen. We used one of them to gain access to the Kobold King’s chamber and spoke with him.

Nothing angers me like a bad liar. Sure, my entire profession is based on lies; thats what illusions are to the layman. But the lies and falsehoods I weave are believable enough to stop the hearts and melt the minds of my enemies, as well as enthrall allies. They may as well be real. This Kobold king was blatantly telling barely concealed lies or half truths, and not only do my allies let him get away with it scot-free, they are cutting deals (very light deals I might add). They honestly think that if we destroy the hobgoblins who have been lording it over the kobolds that the kobolds will all of a sudden become good neighbors. Then again, remember that bard’s tale about the kobold who turned his life around and saved a village? No? Thats right, there wasn’t one! Even if kobolds weren’t evil shifty grasping little buggers, we made a deal with murderers which would allow them to escape justice for their acts, and give them their kingdom back all for the price of giving us a place to rest and a liar’s promise that there would be no more raids. I can’t wait to see the look on their face when the kobolds kill again, and they realize that that blood will be on their hands. My “allies” have threatened force if I don’t bend to their evil condoning ways, but I think Gaervesk, with his understanding of fates, realizes deep down that these koboldlings we have spared today will not see us as liberators but as the killers of their husbands and fathers.

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Delana's story - Day 2
Delana writes of her quickly accumulating battles

I would rather forget all about yesterday; the farmhouse, and the poor souls who resided there. I did not sleep well last night, I meditated on why kobolds would attack a settlement like Northbridge. They are capricious creatures, this is true, but their attack on the farmhouse was unlike any other kobold attack I have read or heard of before. Firstly, they killed the whole family, that is, they did not take a single prisoner from what we could tell. I know kobolds are apt to perform blood sacrifices, but why dump the bodies down a well? Furthermore, kobolds are devious, preferring to trap their prey, but the attack on the farmhouse was brazen. And the kobolds who remained there attacked us although we were clearly stronger and more numerous than they. It did not make any sense to me, but today has revealed new insights on their actions.

It started out with my companions and I heading east, towards an old ruin atop a hill. Arriving there, we were attacked by more kobolds. Rukh charged into battle, he can be quite fearsome indeed. Although there were more of them here than at the farmhouse, they proved not terribly difficult to defeat. One escaped to a large central structure within the keep, and Rukh stormed in after him. I cannot say exactly what happened next, it seemed as though a larger expanse of time passed than actually had, but before I knew it my companions were inside the central tower, battling fiercer foes than we had encountered outside. I dashed forward to assist my fellow adventurers, and as I entered the room, I saw a young gnomish boy tied to a spinning wheel. He looked as though he had been used as target practice. Although it pained me to do so, I had to continue on, asking Eisenheim to care for the child while I helped my companions currently engaged in battle. Rukh was upstairs, fighting off three hobgoblins. He had taken severe injury, and I healed him immediately. The others followed me; first Gaervesk, then Al’Der’eth. Al’Der’eth ventured too far and suffered gravely, alas I had no spiritual energy with which to heal him. He did, however, succeed in blasting one of the hobgoblins out of a crumbled section of wall. My companions fought the remaining hobgoblins, and I did my best to lend aid. I heard a commotion downstairs, and suddenly the hobgoblin that had been thrown out the tower had come back inside, and was now quite furious and staring me in the face! He looked very bloody, near death really. He swung his great axe at me twice, missing both times. I am fortunate to be small and agile enough to be difficult to hit. One of my companions dispatched him for me, and the battle was soon over.

The hobgoblin on the stairs that swung at me did not seem quite dead, and as per my faith, I stabilized his condition. He was tied up as I untied the gnome boy still bound to the wheel. I held him as he cried, and some questions were asked of him and the captured hobgoblin. The boy pointed out a secret entrance to a cave under the floor, but we were all in need of a short rest. My companions set the hobgoblin up on the wheel the gnome boy had been bound to, and spat and swore at us. Although I was unaware of it at the time, Eisenheim had apparently killed the hobgoblin, while he was our prisoner and defenseless! I was most angry with him, the hobgoblin was no threat to us; he was in no condition to fight and was securely tied up, and thus could not run away or summon reinforcements. It was murder, albeit of a savage warrior who wouldn’t hesitate to do the same to us, but murder nonetheless. Are we no better than our enemies?

Once rested and healed, we climbed down a ladder into the caves. We found a small group of gnome women and children there. The mother of the child I was holding rushed forward and ripped the child from me. I understood her distress, and I offered any aid I could give. Having been freed, they headed back to Northbridge. I prayed for their safe journey. We ventured further inside the caves. We came to a narrow passageway, wide enough for pass single file. Rukh took up the lead of course, and at the mouth of a larger room, we were ambushed. A gong sounded, and kobolds poured in from many directions. Rukh held fast, taking the brunt of the damage, and I ensured his wounds were quickly mended. I fired my bow at the distant javelin-throwing kobolds, knocking two unconscious with my blunted arrows. The second of the two had already been set ablaze by one of his clumsier comrades, and the fire had killed him as he lay. I felt at least partially responsible for his death, and at the conclusion of the battle, I said a prayer for him and asked forgiveness, hoping my arrow had alleviated his suffering faster than the fire would have. My companions proved again to be worthy fighters indeed.

Finishing the encounter, there were a few paths to choose from. We choose the one a single kobold had escape to during the battle. We crept along until we came to a fork in the caves. I sensed a nearby fire, and we went to investigate. We found another group of women and children, but of the kobold race. They looked terrified of us. Gaervesk was able to speak their language, and questioned them. When they were not being cooperative, he threw a spell at the wall near them. I grabbed his arm and chastised him, how could he terrify defenseless women and children? One of the braver women came forward, and offered to bring us to their ‘king’. A small kobold child tagged along behind her. We were brought to the ‘throne room’, past a large obsidian statue of a dragon, surrounded by priests and warriors. Gaervesk talked to and translated the ‘king’s’ words to us. Perhaps feeling impatient, Eisenheim grabbed the kobold child, to which his mother attacked him, scratching him twice. Things were becoming quite bad for us, but I had enough of the violence.

I was furious, and rushed over between the two before the situation escalated. I slapped Eisenheim across the face and pushed him away. I then turned to the mother who was only defending her child, and I knelt and begged forgiveness for my foolish companion. I said we did not wish to fight with them, I asked Gaervesk to translate for me. Everyone stood on edge for what seemed like an eternity. Eisenheim readied a spell should he be attacked again, but he wisely held back using it. I turned to the king and pleaded that we may resume talks, and he nervously agreed. I was quite relieved that there would be no further bloodshed. It turned out the kobolds were being controlled by the hobgoblins, who had captured their dragon god. If we agreed to defeat the hobgoblins, the kobolds promised to stop the raids. It was getting late, and rather than retrace our steps, the kobold king showed us a secret passage out of the caves, saying the hobgoblins did not know about it. I brought Eisenheim aside and apologized for striking him. I said his personality was brash as best and foolish at worst, and that I hoped he would not be so quick to start a fight in the future. I then tended to his minor wounds.

I do not know what to think or feel regarding today’s events, it’s all a bit overwhelming. My companions are a varied lot. At one end of the scale you have Rukh, who seems just, if impassioned. At the other is Eisenheim, who is overly self-confident and seemingly acts for the moment alone. In the middle you have Al’Der’eth, who is well-meaning enough, if a bit clumsy in his interactions with others. And finally Gaervesk, who is quite a mystery. He seems very reserved one moment, and very aggressive the next. I do not know if I can yet call any of them my friends, although I feel closest with Rukh. He has saved all our lives more than once, throwing himself head-first into the fray without a second thought. I must not fail them, any of them, for I know at their heart lies a person who wishes to do good. They just need a teacher who can show them that the path of least resistance is often the best way. Pelor knows if I am up to the task.

All I know is this fighting and killing makes me wish for the peaceful country life of Cedar Hollow. I hope Father will respond soon with a letter of encouragement and advice. I need to hear his words right now.

-Delana

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Rukh's Journal 2
In which Rukh revels in the memory of battle and despairs for the strength or weakness of some of his companions...

I engaged the hobgoblins in glorious combat, taking on all three at once for a moment. Then I felt someone come up behind me, and Gaervesk was there. He is a strange one, and his magics are foreign to me, but he is a good sort in a fight. Al’Der’eth came up quickly behind, but he was struck with some wounds as he moved into position. I pushed in-between the hobgoblins in an effort to give him room and take their attention away, and I paid for it with many wounds, but Delana’s healing soon bolstered me, and it was well worth the ploy when Al’Der’eth cast some magic which caused the leader of the hobgoblins to plunge through a hole in the wall and fall to the ground below. I called a warning to Delana and Eisenheim…I was concerned that the gnomish child we’d seen captive below might be used as some kind of bargaining chip.

Down the stairs, I was able to see the hobgoblin leader charge in against Delana. I was then worried that Eisenheim might be already slain. I called to their leader, challenging him to battle with me. But he ignored my challenge to his folly. He struck at Delana, and Tuan punished him with His righteous wrath. The leader fell, as the rest of us made short work of his minions. I was surprised to see Eisenheim without a scratch. Perhaps Delana had healed him…I’m unsure. I was pleased to claim a halberd that one of the hobgoblins had carried. It will be a most useful weapon to me.

It was most distressing to see how the child reacted to myself and Gaervesk. I cannot blame him…he had been captive to monsters for who knows how long, and now two more monsters had come with axe and spell. I’m sure he did not think we came to rescue. While Delana calmed him, I mustered my anger and questioned the hobgoblin, who was now our prisoner. His strength failed him, then, and he poured out something of their plans. The hobgoblins had been manipulating the kobolds on behalf of one called Smokesnare. Gaervesk seemed startled at this, as if he knew the name. When I questioned him, he told me that all things related to dragons, even the little kobolds, were connected…he felt this name was a dragon’s name. This unnerved me…is Gaervesk a dragon? Perhaps they choose between two legs and four? When this quest is done, I wish to speak with him, if I can find a way to do so without offending him.

Our captive, I fear, got the better of me, calling me an orc. I felt a terrible anger, and I knew I must walk away then. When I returned, he was dead…apparently Eisenheim had let his anger overwhelm him. This bothers me…an unarmed, wounded, tied-up and helpless prisoner…there is no honor in his death…no show of strength in the slaying of him. I cannot deny that Eisenheim’s magics are most useful in battle, but I began to wonder at the mettle of his soul. It would not be the last time that day.

We learned that the boy’s name was Keane, and that his mother was imprisoned below. We located the trapdoor with his help, and we were able to open it. I am ashamed to say that we left the gnome prisoners down there a little longer than needed, as we were unwilling to continue until we’d rested a bit. Once Keane and his mother were reunited, we gave them some food and sent them on their way home. Tuan pray they make it safely.

We followed the trail of the kobolds to what seems to be their true lair…the caves near the Stone Table. I must tell you of this wonder, Master K’rrg! It is fully 300 feet high…I know of no titans that could have fashioned it even in their time of glory! But it seems to be natural in make…a wonder of our world.

At the caves, we ventured in, with myself taking point. When it was clear that we were expected, I did not wish the kobolds to be disappointed. I came forward and held the mouth of the cave with halberd and axe. At one point, I even hurled back a javelin that had been thrown at me. Delana kept my wounds at bay with the powers of her sun god, and the other blasted the kobolds with ice, force, and curse. It was a fine battle; five against over twice that, and yet we were still victorious.

We did see a hobgoblin peer in and then run off, as if to get help, and that concerned me. We moved on quickly, especially as one of the kobolds had run off to “Warn the King” according to Gaervesk. I cannot imagine how he sorts reason from their yapping, but he seems to understand it. Perhaps it is part of that draconic connection he spoke of earlier.

We soon found where the young and women gathered. We spoke with them a bit, and we were able to convince them that, if the hobgoblins were indeed behind the raiding, we could possibly help them. One of them – a mother called Kalrax – was especially bold and not very complimentary to the hobs. We asked her to lead us to their King.

Here, things were tense. I felt that she truly wished us and the hobgoblins gone, but I feared betrayal none the less. Still, she led us safely past kobold traps to their King’s hall. On our journeys, Eisenheim showed a great interest in an obsidian dragon altar. I saw the light of pillaging and greed in his eyes, and it made me sad. Again, I worried for him.

Their King, Meebo, is a smaller kobold than most of the rest, barely taller than Kalrax’s son, who had followed us. He keeps a large spider as a pet. While he seemed deceptive when questioned about the dragon, he seemed keen to let us take care of the hobgoblin problem, and he swore that the raids were something they were forced to do by the hobgoblins. From what he said, it seemed that the kobolds had been content to avoid the towns until such time as the hobgoblins and the dragon came. We made it clear that we would help but that the raids had to stop. Everyone seemed amenable to this. Almost…

Eisenheim’s strength failed him now for the third and perhaps saddest time. He wanted to leverage the king to talk more about the dragon, and he began to reach for the Kalrax’s son to threaten. Kalrax threw herself at him, clawing and spitting, and I feared a battle would ensue that would have been unnecessary to our goals. It seemed that none of my companions supported his move, however, and tempers were calmed…but not before I, myself, failed. In my anger that Eisenheim would show such weakness as to threaten a helpless child, I promised him that if he did not stop, we would fight. He did back down…I hope that, perhaps, he saw the folly of what he wished to do. Or maybe he simply did not feel he could defy the rest of us united. I do not know.

I apologized to Eisenheim, and I used a part of Vurt’s speech from the Saga of Kuhlg’har. I told him that I shared his anger but that to punish the kobolds would be like unto punishing the sword that had taken a man’s life. The hobgoblins were the true enemies. He seemed to take this idea to heart. I hope he saw that there was truly honorable battle in the offing and relished, as I did, the chance to show his mettle.

With things calmed between us and with the kobolds, we agreed to slay the hobgoblins and the dragon. The King showed us a secret tunnel to a hidden glade outside. We encamped and are taking our rest. I will pray to Tuan for the valor and courage to stand against a dragon. I always felt I would meet one someday, but I did not know it would be so soon. Tuan, Lord of the Valorous Axe, grant your servant the strength to overcome this terrible foe. If you will not, then grant that I might not dishonor myself in this battle…that none of my companions shall fall due to mine own failure. I commend my life to your service again.

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Al'Der'eth's First Journal Entry
A lone bright soul in a dark, dark world.

My journey from the temple of Ioun, high in the mountains enveloped by constant blizzards was a long lonely pilgrimage to Northbridge. I still do not know why my fathers have sent me away from my teachings and into such a decadent world. I fear that my magical powers are mediocre at best, and my studies in faith and healing have just begun. Perhaps, my fate is yet not sealed… I pray that the eye of Ioun watches over me as I travel and protects me from the dark forces of this world, giving me mental strength to use my powers to aid those in need, vanquish evil, and keep a level mind.

I found myself in Northbridge faced with a yearning to help out these unfortunate people, their temple of Pelor was desecrated, and albeit he is not my god, I cannot stand for such injustices. The Mayor of Northbridge, Galen Ashford assembled a party of us to help out, there is Delana the Cleric Elf, Rukh the Paladian Orc… I cannot believe it either, an orc who serves the cloth? I have never heard of such things! There is another Wizard, an Illusionist it seems who goes by the name of Eisenhiem and a Dragonborn Garvesk who remains most a mystery behind his hooded cloak.

We set out to inspect where the farmers where having troubles with raiders and found kobolds which after many battles, thank the heavens for our brute force Rukh, healer Delana, and combined arcana of Gaervesk, Eisenhiem, and found a young gnome boy tied up ready for torture. What cruelty that runs rampart in these lands.

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Al'Der'eth Sends a Letter Home
What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

Forgive me fathers, for I am questioning your decisions and my faith. I find myself among these “adventurers” and some of their ways and ambitions are rubbing off on me so to speak. I have found enjoyment out of smiting the kobolds, vile creatures from the depths of darkness. With rage and little control over my emotions I’ve had trouble controlling my powers that I still do not have a full grasp upon. Every time I channel the skies and the icy blue blast erupt from my fingertips, it is stronger and takes more of a toll on my body. I pray for forgiveness and guidance.

Speaking of guidance, that is what we need most at the this most unholy time. For I grow most impatient with the cleric Delana whom opts to render all her foes unconscious instead of killing them. For this is a very noble trait, yet part of me, whether basic instinct or years of savage humanity influences me to want to deal the final blow. Perhaps I want to put the pained creatures out of misery, or maybe I year to send them back to hell or wherever they came from. I hope she realizes she is doing more bad than good with this. There’s the illusionist Eisenhiem, who is more concerned with personal gain, than what benefits the party. We have become chummy due to our similarities in the arcane, but I feel like he is a dark cloud moving over me, bringing out my worst traits. The mysterious Dragonborn Gaervesk seems to enjoy the manipulation of people and creatures we run into, almost a bloodlust abut him, I cannot figure it out, nor do I know if I want to. I will do whatever I can to stay on his good side. And alas, the half orc Rukh, his presence scares me, I have not been able to communicate with him out of sheer fear. I will have to learn to work together with him if we are successful as a group.

It troubles me that these gnomes are being terrorized by the kobolds, my emotions keeping getting the best of me and all I want to do in annihilate the entire race of them. Yet others in my group have come to understand these things and want to release them from bondage hoping that there is some good left in them. I will send home to the temples any artifacts I come across, for they need to be in the hands of the rightful people and not in the caverns of thieves and raiders. I am going to rest now, I hope this letter reaches you well.

Yours in Ioun, Al’Der’eth

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Delana's story - Day 3
Delana writes of her vision of camaraderie and how it came to fulfillment

After talks with the kobold ‘king’ Meebo, we asked if there were a place we could rest for the night. The kobold Kalrax showed us of a secret passage that Meebo swore the hobgoblins did not know of, a large clearing surrounded by thick forest. It was calm, and strangely uplifting to my spirit. Before I could contemplate the place, my fellow adventurers had went back into the cave to fill their waterskins. I followed them, and Kalrax showed us to a natural spring. She did not follow us in, saying she did not like the water. Gaervesk took a drink, claiming it was some of the best water he had ever tasted, so we all filled our skins with it. The pond was clear and cool, so I decided I could take the opportunity to bathe. By this time, Eisenheim had left to go meditate, and Al’Der’eth as well. Upon my taking off of my outermost robe, Rukh left in a haste; I did intend to inform him I would be disrobing, and would have asked if it could keep watch by the entrance. Instead, I turned around and saw Gaervesk had already taken up such a position, his back turned to me. He did not seem at all interested in gazing upon me, so I unclothed myself without fear of being spied upon.

I strode into the water. It was not deep, coming up to about my midsection. It was cool but not cold, and very refreshing. I tilted my head back to immerse my hair, rising again and shaking my head a bit. I then washed myself, praying to Pelor that in the cleaning of my body in the pure waters I would also, if only symbolically, keep clean and purify my soul. The ritualized cleansing did not take more than a short while or two, and after getting dressed and picking up my belongings, I noticed Gaervesk had not moved from the entrance, his back still turned toward me. I walked up to him, placed my hand on his shoulder, and thanked him for staying while I bathed. We then both went back to the clearing with our other companions.

Before going to sleep, we decided in what order we would watch for danger while the others slept. Eisenheim said he would not actually sleep all night, rather entering into a sort of trance that would replenish him. Gaervesk went first, then Al’Der’eth, Rukh third, and finally myself. Before going to sleep, I sat in deep thought, trying to understand the mystery of this place. I sensed it was perhaps of some importance once, long ago, but I could not say exactly what for. I took note of this feeling, and then laid my head down to sleep. My rest was not entirely without some disturbance. I had what I can only call a vision of some sort. I was awake and standing in the field, fighting against what seemed like an undead army, my holy symbol shining brightly. I laid to rest several of the creatures, and as the darkness receded, I turned and saw my companions around me. They were glowing with a golden aura, fighting with glorious fervor. I felt a strong bond with them, as I saw we were all fighting together. I had never thought so of myself before, but it now seemed clear to me that I, no, we were all meant for some great purpose, and our meeting was not mere chance, but destiny setting it’s course. As suddenly as the vision had come, it was gone, and I returned to a deep, dreamless sleep.

I was awoken by the sound of Rukh’s voice, I opened my eyes and turned to him, saying I had the most unusual dream. Rukh claimed he had as well, which surprised me. Had we both dreamt the same vision? I got up, and saw it was getting close to dawn. I wanted to explore and forage from this place. As Rukh laid to rest, I went to Eisenheim who was still his trance-like state. I said this place seemed to be peaceful and without danger, and I would be off to forage for a bit, and thus asked if he could watch over the others in my absence. He agreed, and as I turned to leave, he said, “May I ask you a question?”

I turned my head, surprised and puzzled, and replied, “Of course.”

“Would you ever kill, say, a skeleton?”, he asked.

I pondered for just a moment. “Well… they have no life in them, having been brought back through some unnatural or necrotic means, thus you cannot actually ‘kill’ them, but rather lay them back to rest. And I would do so, yes. I imagine undeath is far worser a fate than death itself. How can a soul rest when the body does not?”

He seemed content with my answer and asked further, “What about a demon?”

I thought about it for a bit longer. “Hmm… demons and devils are not like the living, they are the very embodiment of evil, the antithesis of the gods and angels themselves and all they represent. I cannot imagine it is possible for them to change their ways, for their very nature is evil. If ‘kill’ is the right word in defeating them, then yes, I would. There is no good to be had in doing otherwise as far as I can see.”

“Okay, just curious”, he said, before returning to his trance.

I shrugged, hoping I had satisfied his strange curiosity, and went on my way. I found fruit hanging from the trees, but I could not reach it, and the forest was too thick to enter. I returned to my companions a while later, as they were just waking up. We readied ourselves, then headed back into the caves. After a short talk with Meebo, and learning there would be seven hobgoblins to deal with, we followed his directions to where the hobgoblins could be found. Kalrax’s tiny son tagged along behind us, and Gaervesk turned to talk to him. Clearly he could not come with us, but I could not communicate with the child. He seemed reluctant to leave, but Gaervesk managed to turn him away, not too harshly I hoped. We continued on our way. Taking the passage through the caves Meebo had told us of, we came to a large cavern, with a small waterfall cascading down from the top of a cliff. We had to scale the the wall somehow, but thankfully there were stairs carved into the face of the rock, winding up to the top. There was a light at the summit. We walked single file up the stairs, rounding a bend, then another. Suddenly, I heard a quiet rumbling, like the sound of the waterfall. I looked up and saw a large, round boulder rolling down the stairs, headed straight for us!

My companions were surprised, but I was not. I called out to Rukh, who took up the lead position, to watch out for the boulder. In addition, two hobgoblin archers appeared at the summit, and I threw a lance of Pelor at the nearest one. They fired at us from the top of the cliff, as the boulder continued on its way, and I heard Rukh and Gaervesk formulating a plan of some sort. We counterattacked the hobgoblins, and the stone was nearly upon us now. Rukh used his shield to direct some of the waterfall’s water onto the steps, I could not imagine why. Suddenly, Gaervesk inhaled deeply, and exhaled an icy blast, freezing the water and creating a large ice patch. Rukh then called out to us to brace ourselves, and we all pushed forward against him, however my being at the end of the line, I am not sure how much help I provided. Rukh held his shield tight, braced against the wall at an angle, and the large rock seemed to slide on the icy patch, and finally struck Rukh’s shield. We were pushed back just a bit, but Rukh held fast and the heavy boulder was successfully deflected! We all cheered Rukh for his strength, but the fight was not yet over. Against our combined strength the hobgoblins could not defend, and we defeated them, myself knocking one of the beasts unconscious. He was subsequently roped up by my comrades and I tied a decent knot to secure him tightly. We found some gold on the hobgoblins, but no one wanted their longbows, so I emptied their quivers, reminding myself to blunt or remove the sharpened arrowheads later.

We rested for a short while, then went into a narrow passage with a small stream running along it. It was well illuminated, and inside we found two rooms, separated by a crevasse and connected by a bridge. The supposedly five remaining hobgoblins were awaiting us, an archer had overturned a table and was hiding behind it. Rukh was first to go in, but was met by two flail-wielding warriors. As he fought them, the rest of the party moved their in, and attacked. Upon seeing two of my companions injured, and feeling this would be a difficult battle, I prayed to Pelor for a beacon of hope. I felt my healing powers would be much strengthened. My companions attacked fiercely, and I supported them as best I could. I did contribute some to the fighting, but was not able to knock out any of the hobgoblins myself. Poor Al’Der’eth, he cast a thunderous spell twice at the enemy wizard, and missed both times quite badly. He was able to make up for it however, casting the same spell and throwing the hobgoblin wizard backward, into the pit. I felt we came together, fighting alongside each other, each of us trusting the one beside him or her. What might have been a very rough battle seemed almost effortless.

Finishing up the encounter, we searched around the two rooms. I again emptied the hobgoblins’ quivers for arrows. Al’Der’eth climbed down into the crevasse, Rukh holding the end of the rope and acting as a steadfast anchor point. They recovered the hobgoblin wizard’s body, and found a good amount of gold and silver upon his person, as well as a magical staff and a potion of healing. Having found and been given one the day before, we gave Eisenheim the second potion. A garnet jewel was found as well, and a desk cluttered with papers and a map, and a locked chest sitting beneath it. We managed to open the chest, and inside was a large amount of gold and silver and an emerald jewel, all of which I was given to hold.

We rested again, and remembered Meebo told us of a dragon the hobgoblins had captured. Rukh, feeling we should take an extended rest from combat before facing a dragon, suggested we should head back to Meebo’s chamber to find out more about this dragon. I surmised that perhaps we shouldn’t fight the dragon, as he may be the kobolds’ deity, from the large obsidian statue we saw in the kobold caves. With the hobgoblins all dead or captured, the dragon might not pose a threat anymore. Gaervesk applauded my honorable words, but knowing more about dragons than I, said any dragon remained a dangerous force. We returned to Meebo’s throne room, and asked about the dragon. It’s name was Smokesnare, and indeed Meebo wanted us to defeat it for him, with some immediacy it seemed. We asked what would happen if we did not fight the dragon right now, and he said we must or it would fly away. I was not in favor of fighting the dragon, putting forth that since the dragon had no one to control it, it would return to its natural den and leave Northbridge alone. The others did not agree with me, and rather than let the dragon escape, they wanted to face it. I reluctantly followed my companions, feeling as though I should keep them safe and strong to fight.

We went the same way we had traveled before, passing the living quarters of the hobgoblins we had fought, continuing down the passage and following the stream. We came to what looked to be it’s source. A large pond faced us, a small island sitting in the middle. We saw no dragon. Along the rightmost wall was a set of stone stairs. Rukh went up the stairs, and Eisenheim and Al’Der’eth set stones they found alight and cast them into the water, which seemed black. They sunk and illuminated the depths, but still we saw nothing… at first. A shadow passed over one of the glowing stones, and suddenly a large black dragon rose out of the water, and was now staring at us. It was time to fight the mighty beast we had heard so much about, and I prayed to Pelor that he give us the strength and courage to come out victorious in this confrontation.

The dragon attacked us first, namely Al’Der’eth and I. Al’Der’eth was able to get out of the large dragon’s claws way, but alas I was not so fortunate. It clawed at me, and for the first time since I started this adventure, I was injured. I saved my healing prayers, my companions might need it more than myself. And thus the battle begun. I prayed for Pelor’s lance to strike the beast, but it was a most agile creature, and not easily hit. My companions each attacked the dragon in their various ways, with not much success. It seemed this was a hopeless battle, the dragon was too strong for us. It submerged under the water, and reappeared in a different location, attacking my companions. It created a dark shroud around itself, and disappeared from our view. We attacked the darkness, but hit nothing. Again, we heard it submerge and it soon reappeared in a new location. It exhaled a poisonous cloud at Al’Der’eth, and he was gravely injured. I ran closer to him and healed his wounds. Whether bravely or foolishly, we attacked the black beast again, this time craftily lowering the dragon’s defenses. Now was the time to have at it. We dealt several strong blows, but the creature was still strong to fight. It again breathed an acidic cloud onto us, and I healed Al’Der’eth once more. Yet I was feeling weak myself, and Rukh’s touch healed me. Standing strong, I bolstered my companions, praying to Pelor that they strike true. We again hit the beast with everything we had, and she was finally bloodied. Perhaps feeling the tide of the battle was turning, our dragon foe beat a hasty retreat, flying away out a hole in the cavern. We tried to pursue, but she was too far away by the time we saw her again. We had won, albeit the black dragon was still alive. Hopefully she would fly far away, back to her lair, and would rest for a good long time, leaving the villagers alone. However, I could not shake the feeling we made an enemy today.

I collapsed to the ground, I had done all I could to aid my allies and set Pelor’s divine radiance upon the dragon, yet I did not land a single blow. If it were not for my allies, I would have stood no chance against a black dragon, even a young one. And perhaps in some small way, I help keep my companions in relative good health and able to fight. It was clear to me that alone we were weak, yet fighting along side each other we were formidable. Having caught my breath, I saw all my companions had swam to the middle island, apparently they had found something. Gold it seemed, and magical items. Sadly, the bones of several gnomes were also found. I prayed their souls find peace at the sight of them. Having collected everything, we went back to Meebo, telling him we had driven the dragon away. He seemed not entirely happy, but we had done our best. We sternly told him not to raid Northbridge or any village or farm again. I myself requested that should he and his people raid, not to hurt anyone. At this my companions all laughed, and I was deeply embarrassed, I clearly had not chosen my words well, for as honest and good as my intentions were. After some confusion with proper wording, we were satisfied that Meebo understood, and left the kobolds’ caves. There was the matter of the prisoner we had taken, the hobgoblin archer I rendered unconscious, we did not know what to do with him. The others looked to me, it seemed he was my prisoner. My companions each made suggestions; to bring him back to town and let justice be done, give him to the kobolds and let them do what they would with him, or to simply kill him and be done with it. I knew all those options would inevitably end in the hobgoblin’s demise, and I could not bring myself to knowingly send a living being to their death. I felt overwhelmed, I did not know what to do.

The hobgoblin was glaring at us this whole time. I untied the gag keeping him silent up until now. He spat in my face the first chance he got, and I calmly wiped it away. I asked him if he could understand my words, but he did not answer, eying me with hatred. Rukh angrily demanded he answer my questions, and after a pause he said he understood well enough. I told him that he and his fellow warriors had been defeated, and that if I were to set him free, he should return to his people and tell them of this defeat. It seemed his kind were not the sort to admit defeat. Rukh said that regardless of his beliefs, he had been bested, and he would do well to accept the mercy I was willing to grant him. I asked the hobgoblin his name, but he would not tell me. Calling him ‘nameless one’, I told him not to confuse kindness with weakness, and instructed my allies to let him go, leaving his hands bound. Before releasing him, Rukh grabbed the brute and thrust him against the cavern wall. He threatened that should he hear that nameless one did villainy again, he would come for him. The nameless one did not seem to take Rukh seriously, and he reiterated his threat more angrily. Tossing him away, nameless one ran off, towards the direction of the ruined keep. I did not feel satisfied with this resolution, I was conflicted about how to do the most good, and was not sure if I had done so.

It was dusk, and we headed back to town. I separated from my companions, feeling as though I had to talk with Father Tyran. I went to the temple of Pelor, and tested the door, but it was locked. Hearing a rattling and seeing me through the window, Father Tyran came and opened the door for me. He inquired as to what I wanted, and I asked if I may speak with him. He invited me in, leading me to his study, and we both sat down. I explained the situation with our hobgoblin prisoner, and how I doubted that I did the good and right thing. He told me that I should not doubt my decisions, to trust that Pelor would guide me to take the proper action, and to pray that the most good had been done. I replied that it seemed my allies did not always seek to do the most good, and he said that I should trust that one’s motivation was for what one believed to be good, if not their actions. This confused me, for what if someone were to do unquestionably evil acts but believed themselves just? Was that truly good and right? Father Tyran admitted he was not as well-trained as I in these matters, but I thanked him for his words, and bid him goodnight. Walking me to the door, I bowed and said a prayer before I left, and headed to the town inn, still not feeling fully resolved.

Entering the inn, Bronwyn the proprietress started to pour an ale, but seeing it was me and giving it some thought, she instead offered a cold water. My companions were all gathered together, telling me to celebrate and have a drink with them. Bronwyn recommended the mead, claiming it was not strong. It was fermented nonetheless, and I asked for a warm milk instead. Giving me an odd look, she fetched a glass for me. I sat by myself, listening to my companions chatter. Eisenheim tried to strike up conversation with Rukh, claiming he knew a man who worshipped Tuan, but Rukh saw through his lie, however he seemed amused and told Eisenheim of his faith anyway. My companions divided up the treasures we had found up until that point. I received over one hundred gold pieces, and they had also found a magical longbow and holy symbol in the dragon’s lair, and they gave these to me as well. I thought it was all far too generous to accept, but it seemed I was the only one who could use the items most effectively, so I thanked them and graciously took their gifts. The symbol was in the shape of a tree, it seemed to have life-healing powers imbued into it. The bow was more ominous, having an angry face carved into it. It seemed almost vicious, I was wary of using it. Still, so long as it would fire my blunted arrows, I could not kill with such a weapon.

It has been a very long and difficult day, and it has taken me a long time to write this journal entry. I feel my companions and I are connected somehow, and we are to head out again tomorrow morning. The journey will take a few days, no doubt I will have more time to get to know them. I am no more at ease now with the hobgoblin prisoner incident than I was before. I wonder what Father would say about it. I will write him as soon as I receive his reply to my last letter.

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Al'Der'eth's 2nd Journal Entry
We Have Come A Long Way

Alas our adventuring troupe has become unified and successful. I still do not trust this “king” Meebo of the kobolds, for I fear he is setting us up for a trap of utmost severity, where death is the only outcome. We camped out in this wooded clearing at the back of his caverns, during the night I had such strange dreams of fighting undead creatures of most abomination. I could not tell exactly what they were, zombies? vampyres? demons? I hope this vivid dream was not a premonition of the future to come. I pray to you Ioun for your guidance, that your eye watches over me and guides my actions and leads me to safety battle after battle.

My friend in the arcane, Eisenhiem, has proven himself as a master of magic and has this uncanny way of avoiding the blows of our enemies. Since being “convinced” by the might of our group, his antics have settled down greatly. Gaervesk, I have come to respect much more, although I am leery of his kind, for I do not know much about dragonborn. He has been a formidable ally on the field of battle, taking much of the damage and dealing much of the damage as well. Finally, I have spoken to the half orc Rukh, he is not as scary as I first thought, but I made sure to wake him by voice and not touch, for fear of being smacked. There is much to learn about him, for instance his god and the fact he is an orc and a paladin! When the storms of war settle, perhaps we can sit down and discuss our lands and our people. Without Delana, we’d all be dead by now I fear. For she has healed us time and time again, a most trustworthy cleric who we have given the task of guarding our money.

There was much blood shed today, first we were ambushed by two hobgoblin archers who sent a giant rock trap upon us as we ascended the stairs. Rukh and Garvesk were very canny in sending it aside using a shield and much brute force. After defeated these archers we entered a cavern where there were many more foes, two more archers, two swordsmen, and a wizard, all hobgoblins I’m afraid. We combined our forces focusing on the wizard and despite my first attempt at sending him and his swordsmen back to their makers, we triumphantly defeated him and then went after his swordsmen who kept attacking us, finishing with the archers.

Oh how you have blessed me today in battle Ioun, rewarding me with such an artifact. When I no longer need such an implement of destruction, I will learn of its creators and return it to the tomb where it belongs. This lightning shock staff gives me more control over the storms above and I feel my connection grow strong. I still yearn to learn why I possess such specific powers. I pray that I use this might when needed, and not for wrongdoing. I shall gladly die before letting evil regain control of such a weapon.

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