Edge of Darkness: The Broken Circle

Family Drama

Excerpt from the Wren’s personal journal:

37th of Lifespring – Phoenix

Well we’re back in Phoenix and I’m wishing we were back in the wilderness. It took us all of yesterday and most of today to get back. We kept Crazy Panther Lady unconscious as we traveled and handed her over to the Inquisitors when we got here. I suspect they’ll be able to get more information from her than we would. Hopefully the information will give us a new lead to Prince Rashid.

I’m really excited that Sprocket is keeping the panther cub! Knight Stalker is so cute! I know he’ll grow into a panther, but for now he’s all fuzzy and small. Sprocket is fascinating. He seems so unsure of himself. I think he just has culture shock – isn’t sure how to navigate. He’s funny though and I think we could be pals. When we got to town I needed to go to the priory and he tagged along, but he seemed really surprised that I invited him. I need to make conversation with him more often. He has good perspective. He asks questions that don’t get asked because people are trying to be polite. Sometimes those are the questions that need to get asked.

Great news – mother and father are coming to visit <sarcasm>. I’m sure it’s to tell me how proud they are of me <more>. I’m not sure why they’re coming all this way. I’m enrolled in the priory and have even been recruited by the Warden to follow up on the Prince Rashid investigation. I’m doing what I’ve been ordered to do, so why is he coming. To make matters more complicated both Grandfather and Simon seem to think the fact that I took CPL down proves that I shouldn’t give up my Paladin training. What’s ironic is that I haven’t given it up, technically I’m still enrolled in training at the priory. I’ll admit I’m tired of everyone thinking I’ve made some sort of choice. I feel like my total lack of actual Paladin ability has been a constant disappointment and I don’t know how to fix that. Grandfather wonders if I don’t have some sort of mental block to the abilities. How do I unblock? Apparently 8 years of rigorous training and extra practice isn’t the way. It’s all too confusing to think about tonight.

In other family news, Aunt Tamara is in town. As soon as I found out I went to warn Simon. (He’s been researching the Night Stalker. He found two references. 1)An assassin called Night Stalker caught and executed 150 years ago by the Knights Inquisitor in Miles Hostiam. He was a strangler. 2) Night Stalker, also known as Sher’khul the Hunter, a Khuranian Tiger-totem. He’s a patron of three of the strongest tribes of Khuran. He has a Panther aspect that is patron of the most remote of those three tribes.) Simon was at the library doing more research when I found him. Aunt Tamara is spooky though… we only had minutes before she found us. I was able to distract her while he slipped away and somehow managed to get changed into cleric’s robes to keep her from finding out he left school months ago. She invited us to dinner.

I was getting ready for dinner when Dusan came to find me. He’s very sweet, even though I was only partly ready and looked a mess when he came to my door he told me I looked amazing. He came to tell me CPL wanted to talk to me and since we really needed any information she could give us I rushed got myself mostly presentable and we went to her cell. She lives up to the name Crazy Panther Lady. She told me she was impressed with my skill in battle. Then she gave me her heart – which I didn’t understand at first (I thought she might be making a pass at me). She told me I should eat her heart and then go find Prince Rashid and train with him. CRAZY PANTHER LADY IS CRAZY!! We tried to talk to her for a few more minutes. Then Takeo antagonized her and she went berserk and broke her chains. I tried to put her down, but after the first hit she bashed my sword arm and got my sword away from me – which is humiliating by the way. I’ve been trained by some of the best swordsmen around and a crazy person who is very wounded disarms me. Worse than that she did it in front of other knights!

Worse than that she did it in front of Dusan!! I’m humiliated!!!! What must he think of me?!?! Stupid CPL!!! I wish I could say he hadn’t seen it, but I know he did because he realized immediately that I was unarmed and pulled me out of the melee – which he apologized for – which is confusing. It was very lucky for me, since I was wearing a stupid dress at the time and no armor at all. It’s really very gallant of him. After pulling me to safety he said, “Wish me luck” and then he kissed me!!!!!!!! It was only on the cheek, but still!!! Since I was winded and knocked off my feet and unarmored and stayed back and sang at Takeo’s request – which I hope was helpful. Takeo and Dusan and the other knights were able to take CPL out again. The Knights will question her later. After the fight Dusan was really concerned about my dress – I got some of CPL’s blood on it during the fight. He offered to buy me a shawl to cover the blood, but there was plenty of time to get the dress cleaned up and I didn’t want to inconvenience Dusan – especially not after I’d made such an idiot of myself in battle!!

(Okay, huge side-bar here… I’m really not sure what to think of Dusan! He’s gallant and sweet, but I cannot decide if he’s just that gallant with everyone or if he’s interested. In a lot of ways he’s ideal. I’ve never really thought about it before because most of the other knights I’ve known have been like brothers, men and boys I’ve known my whole life. The only other time I really had a crush (and let’s be honest it really was a crush) on anyone was Liryc. I think now it was mostly his talent I was drawn to. When he stood up to Father though I really thought maybe he might be interested in me too – which doesn’t matter because there’s no future there. 1) He’s miles and miles away. 2) I suspect there’s an expectation (nothing ever said out loud, but implied) that I should be looking for a “suitable” match at some point. Considering my parents I suspect that really ought to be either a Paladin or a Cleric of Rozerus. Liryc wouldn’t fit into the “suitable” category. Besides, everything is so uncertain at the moment. If I’m not going to be a Paladin is there any hope that I’ll be able to please Father at all. In which case will he even care who I marry (how scary is that word!)? For all I know he may disown me. For that matter I don’t know Dusan well enough to know what he would think of me if I wasn’t a Paladin. Would it matter to him? For that matter I don’t know Dusan well enough to know what he thinks of me at all. When I mentioned that Father was coming to town and that I wasn’t thrilled he walked away. Afterward I realized how insensitive it was of me to say that… his father is dead! He probably thinks I’m a horrible daughter and a horrible person for not wanting to see my father. In any case, since I don’t know what he thinks, that scary “M” word up there is very far away from even being worth mentioning. Okay sidebar over – I won’t get this settled tonight anyway!!)

I got my dress clean again and Simon and I went to dinner with Aunt Tamara. Brandywas almost no help running interference on Simon’s behalf and I wasn’t much help either. I mostly just distracted her enough that some of Aunt Tamara’s cutting sarcasm came my way and not Simon’s. She’s secured an internship for him in , which he can’t take because he’s not in seminary anymore. Also, somehow she’s heard that I’m a Bard – again not even true at this point, just a suspicion or a possibility or a hobby. I’m not even sure myself, how has it become a known fact?!?!

In the end Simon came clean and then went to comfort himself with a bottle. I tried to tell him I understand and that I think it’s for the best that she knows the truth, but he wasn’t ready to hear it. In the end if I can’t become a Paladin I’ll be an even bigger disappointment than he is. I do get where he’s coming from – the major difference is that my parents’ good opinion is really important to me because I think they’re really great people. He’s been a better person than either of his parents since he was still in diapers while I’ll never measure up no matter how hard I try.

Okay a little perspective… Mother always says “In the end it will be alright. If it isn’t alright it isn’t the end.” That’s comforting I suppose, but for Simon and I, trying to figure out who we are under all this family pressure is pretty awful and I’m not convinced that it will be alright for either of us. Following our own paths may mean doing the opposite of what is expected of us and so someone has to be disappointed – either we do or our parents do. I’ll never sort this all out tonight and so I think I’ll close here and take another piece of advice from Mother, “pray about it”. Rozerus is good and faithful. Maybe my prayers will show me the right path.

View
Drama!

Excerpt from the tactical journal of Lauren Aureliana Brightguard; Paladin in training; rank, page

37th of Lifespring
- 2 days travel back to Phoenix with prisoner (Crazy Panther Lady) without incident.
- Turned prisoner over to the Knights Inquisitor for questioning. Hoping she will provide a new lead on Prince Rashid.
- Party separated to handle individual business

  • Simon researched Night Stalker at Phoenix Library. 2 References; 1) Nightstalker, assassin caught and executed 150 years ago by the Knights Inquisitor in Milus Hostium, strangler, 2)Sher’khul the Hunter, Khuranian Tiger-totem, patron of three of the strongest tribes of Khuran, has a Panther aspect that is patron of the most remote of those three tribes.
  • Dusan and Takeo sold items taken from bandits.
  • Lauren checked-in @ Priory. Sprockett accompanied. Discovered Recieved message from my Lord Father, Lord Knight Aquilinus Brightguard, re: upcoming visit. Reported to Livius Aquilinus (grandfather). Was also informed Tamara Damier (Simon’s mother) is visiting Phoenix.

- Lauren rendezvoused with Simon and informed that his mother is in town. Simon disguised himself as a cleric. They accepted an invitation to dine with Simon’s mother.
- Dusan informed by Knights Inquisitor that prisoner requested meeting with Lauren. Dusan summoned Lauren and the party (minus Simon and Sprocket) met with Crazy Panther Lady. Prisoner told Wren she should join Prince Rashid and offered Lauren her heart so that Lauren could adsorb her power. Lauren declined. Takeo antaganized Crazy Panther Lady. She berserked and broke her chains. Combat ensued. Lauren was disarmed by Crazy Panther Lady. Dusan pulled her to safety. Dusan, Takeo and the Inquisitors subdued Crazy Panther Lady.
- Simon and Lauren went to dinner with Lady Tamara Damier (Simon’s mother) and Knight Petitioner Brandy Damier (Simon’s sister). Simon told his mother he’s left the Seminary.

end excerpt

View
To Garlan's Watch!

(As translated from I.L.L – Interwoven Loomic Language)

Travel Log 00331 (Story Start + 7):
Woke this morning with all three of the barbarians still well passed out. Takeo, Dusan, and Simon all decided that interrogating one of them is how we start, who am I to argue with that. They were first in need of getting them up and they insisted on me doing it.

It’s getting hard to pass off the pure Scout idea. I don’t think I can keep my ‘divine’ connection hidden much longer. Things always get more complicated when people find that out. I mean, the only interactions we had was back home. I hope Father Diggertookpontalrondal’s faith wasn’t misplaced. I feel even more so now that I’m in this place that we’re just not clerics. All we can do is follow the path.

I brought one of the barbarians up and they proceeded to interrogate him.

I wore one of their panthers as a cloak. I can only assume that it would throw them men off balance. Men like that usually have a very strong tie to the animals they keep. There is no way that those panthers were of the area.

Simon proceeded to then cast ‘Charm Person’. I can only assume that helped out greatly. Watching them all, they work together quite well. The phrasing is quite gentle. You’d think with men as…primal as them, they’d do it the old fashioned way. The charm was a good call. I’m going to bet they’re getting far more from him. I’ll have to find out what exactly was talked about. Until then, I’m going to make sure the other men will not be ‘coming back’ anytime soon. Ya, i’m going to leech them just enough. You remember that time we learned how to safely keep someone unconscious right? They’ll die of starvation before blood loss…but you do what you need to right? I for one don’t want them coming up behind us and flanking. I better make sure that I do it while they’re distracted. I get the feeling Dusan wouldn’t be thrilled about that.

We have decided to go to tower, Garlan’s Watch.

Venitor has the answers according to the barbarian they talked with. He has a boss, Aloran. The five we took out were only half the troops, there were another 5 sent out to kidnap someone else. It was unknown as to who or where they went. Odds are we are going to be fighting them soon. Also, by the sounds of things, they all have a very specific ‘religion’. They are quite fanatic about it, but far more with it than the men from the initial camp.

Night Stalker is the god of which they hint to. By the sounds of things, it’s a watcher that focuses on the hunt. Each member is tested in-depth and forced to earn a right to the hunt. These men were hoping to best us to win that honor. Each has no name as well. They only earn that when the speaker bestows it. The one questioned was known only as 7. Venitor and Aloran are the only ones that have earned a name. Prince Rashid is the ‘Voice of the Night Stalker’ who can bestow a name.

They were not afraid to spread the joys of the Night Stalker, but if you should disagree, death is all that awaits you.

The three that questioned him have stated that it’s possible that the men we fought and questioned before may have been through the same tests but failed. Hence the reason they were shells of men instead of…devout.

If we can get one of these men back, I’m guessing we’ll have a big source of information to this growing threat. I get the feeling that we’re just seeing the tip of this glacier.
Ok, off to the tower. It’s starting to get cloudy. This can’t be good.

Travel Log 00332 (Story Start + 8):
Things could have gone better. I didn’t get to finish my notes from last night. Something about being unconscious again. I need to learn to pick fights with lesser beings…

We traveled to the tower and found it mostly empty, until we tried to get to the 5th floor, when a panther attacked. Simon was taken hard and I rushed to save him as best I could. I reached out to heal him and I think Klint took notice of me. The panther turned into a kitten. A baby kitten, innocent and bleeding. I healed the little thing. I think it’s going to be my new pet. Night Stalker will be it’s name. Watcher in Kitty form. He even matches my panther cloak, which is starting to smell a little. I should make sure I don’t get some weird disease from this thing. The cloak that is. Well, maybe the cat too.

Note to self, make small hole in side of pack for it to stick it’s little head out when it would like.

We made it to the 6th floor, found Venitor, the ‘Wrath of the Night Stalker’. She says she’d be channeling its power. Who knows what that means. She was decked out in an actual panther cloak and a panther mask. I guess it’s possible her panther outfit is better than mine, but mine is more authentic. She spouted that she would be taking us to Prince Rashid.

Battle ensued as it was going to. She and Takeo went toe to toe as Dusan went to flank her. His divine power flowed again. I hope he realizes he’s a paladin. I don’t think I could take two people not sure what they are. I should probably try to explain it to him too.

Takeo took quite a few hits before I came up. I saw he was taking it kinda hard, so I did the only logical thing I could. I told Venator that I had her God and showed her Night Stalker, my cat, not the actual Night Stalker. At least I don’t think it is. Either way, she didn’t take kindly and I have to say, she was very skilled. No matter how much I could foresee her strikes, I couldn’t dodge them. I went down again. Klint’s balls of cold wrath.

From what I’ve been told, Takeo and Dusan fought hard to take her down but in the end, Wren is the one that took her down. Obviously Takeo and Dusan did most of the work, but Wren was in the middle of the fray again. Maybe she really has a calling for being a paladin. Who am I to make that call, I’m barely a holy man as it is.

Wren seems to continue to believe in her blind faith that everything will just work out. As of yet, it has. Perhaps there is something to that.

Simon continues to be frustrated that it keeps happening. I think that with every time this happens, his argument that she needs to be protected gets loses more weight.

Takeo appears to be fine, just taking it as another battle with more scars. I wonder if he even feels anything at all. The only emotion he’s really shown as of yet is anger and rage. I wonder if he’ll start taking notes from the barbarians we’ve encountered.

Dusan seems to be fine as well, now that we’re both up and about again. I guess he went down in the last battle as well.

I wonder what else we’re going to do today…

View
The Investigation Begins
Once more into the Brackenwood, dear friends, once more...

Having exhausted their leads in Phoenix, the party decides to make their way back to the Hound’s Tooth Inn. On the journey there, Dusan reacts like he has been physically assaulted, and slumps over in his saddle. Takeo and Wren quickly move up to assist, while Sprocket moves into the forest…to ambush the potential ambushers, of course. Not running and hiding.

As Dusan is helped off of his horse, Argentum, he regains his balance and clarity. He describes how he had been hit by no less than eight visions, more than he had ever received at one time. He describes it as the “gift” of Rozerus; he had been seeing things since he was young, but these were full-on prophecies. Eight at a time was a bit much for him to take in at once.

He describes the visions he saw, but other than the fact that the skull with dragon wings was used once by the Dyriskilssi as a holy symbol for Dyradak, little esle could be immediately divined from the visions.

When the party arrived at the Hound’s Tooth Inn, they checked the upstairs rooms first. A letter was found in one of the rooms, dated about a week previous. It appeared to be addressed to Prince Rashid, also referred to in the letter as the Voice of Shadow. It described how his servants had set up in the ruins of Garlan Watch, and abandoned tower in the Brackenwood. It was signed by someone named Aloran.

Further investigation of the inn rooms revealed the battle scenes where the four Knight-Petitioners guarding Wren had been killed. Of note were the use of Lightning Bolt spells and the claws of a hunting cat.

Investigation of the cellar lead to the discovery of four human hearts in a bag, which the party assumed to be those of the dead Knights. A summary check of the nearby woods and the rest of the inn lead nowhere. Having spent the day traveling and searching the inn, the party set up in the main room of the inn for the night.

During the first watch Wren hears the growl of some sort of large cat upstairs. When Dusan and Valorus, his guard dog, go to the stairs to check quickly, the dog’s hackles rise and he refuses to go further up the stairs. Noting this, Dusan and Wren wake up Takeo. As they get each other’s armor ready, Sprocket wakes up, makes his way over to the bar, and casts a spell that makes one of the mugs glow brightly. He then tosses this up the stairs and creeps up to find out what he could see. Upon seeing all the doors half-open, he quickly makes his way around the floor, closing all of them as Takeo and Dusan make their way up to check the situation out.

Other than a fleeting cold presence, and a receding evil aura, nothing was discovered. On edge after this near-encounter, Wren stays up over the rest of the night, keeping an eye out for further dangers.

In the morning, the party makes their morning preparations, and sets off into the Brackenwood to make their way to Garlan Watch, their only lead at the moment. They make their way to a river north of the inn and follow it westward, towards the tower. The combination of overgrowth and armored warriors slows the party to a mere eight miles traveled along the river that day.

Once more, on Wren’s watch, the sound of a large cat is heard, this time growling in the distance. Other than a few tense moments where it sounds like it was getting louder, nothing else happens that night.

Once again, the party performs their morning routines. Other than an incident involving Wren, a backpack, Sprocket, and the river, the party prepares for their travels that day uneventfully.

A few hours in, they discover an abandoned camp by the riverside. Sprocket, Takeo, and Dusan cross the river to investigate. As they are checking the camp out, two panthers leap out of the bushes and attack. The first savagely mauls Sprocket, while the second nearly tears through Dusan’s armor completely, leaving him reeling. As Wren and Simon run to the shore on the other side of the river to attempt to assist, Takeo quickly cleaves through the cats. Dusan rushes over to assist Sprocket, who claims he is feeling ill and runs into the bushes, where a burst of fabulous rainbow light comes out, which just happens to make Dusan, Takeo, and Sprocket feel better.

Upon examination, Takeo and Simon note that these cats are not native to this area of the world at all, confirming the presence of more foreigners.

After some debate, the party decides to wait for the campers and see what their business was in the woods. Wren sets up in one of the trees, Sprocket hides (get it?) in one of the cats, and the other three just sit in the clearing, making a fire once dusk falls. At this point five humans with blonde hair and hide armor (not a normal outfit for this part of the world), along with a cat’s paw around their neck, walk up to the camp. Dusan attempts to use the party’s Writ from the Warden to get them to answer some questions, probing as to whether or not they recognize the local authority.

The five glance dismissively at the Writ and Simon, Takeo, and Dusan the “Heir to Dameir”, the “hisskarssi”, and “the Knight of the Everseeing Eye”, and asked where “the other two were”. They claimed they were sent by Prince Rashid, and that they “were to be our doom”.

An attempt to intimidate the five by Takeo fails to dissuade them from their position. On seeing this, Dusan pulls his sword and charges (what in hindsight will be the first tactical mistake of the battle). Appalled by this, screaming "You dare attack servants of the Night Stalker, the five warriors begin frothing at the mouth, screaming obscenities and fighting recklessly. Three move to Takeo, while two stay and hammer at Dusan.

The battle initially goes well, with Wren’s arrows and Takeo’s blades taking down two of the warriors. Attempts by Simon to bring his special attack into play fail, unfortunately, and Takeo is taken down by the third barbarian.

Meanwhile, Sprocket has been sneaking up into the middle of the fray, and casts Obscuring Mist. While it helps keep some of the attacks from hitting Dusan, it hurts his chances of attack as well, leading to a sort of melee stalemate, one Dusan cannot sustain for long.

Wren takes out the last barbarian that had attacked Takeo and swings down as Simon enters the mist to engage in the combat. Sprocket sneaks up behind Dusan and whispers something encouraging, as his wounds shine and begin to fade.

By the time Simon and Wren make it into melee, Sprocket and Dusan had taken one of the warriors down, leaving only Dusan’s Special Target of the Day. He yells at Simon and Wren to get out of the melee so that no one else is harmed while he finishes this last combatant (perhaps not the best move).

As the final warrior drops, Takeo is brought back up to consciousness, the three surviving warriors are manacled, and the party binds their wounds and decides to rest.

Wren berates Simon and Dusan for “spending too much time protecting her” and that they are going to get themselves killed because of this. Dusan acknowledges his mistake and apologizes, but Simon becomes incensed, claiming that her safety is now “his responsibility”. Argument ensues. Simon reluctantly concedes in the end, as the Writs we were given were given to us all, treating everyone as equal agents. Thus spells the end of that conflict of personalities. I’m sure we will never, ever hear of it again.

Ever.

View
The Party's Triumphant Return to Phoenix
A.K.A. The gnome is full of shit :)

[Jon, see bottom]
Lifespring 29th cont…
That night, as most of the party prepared to sleep near the ruins of the bandit’s outpost (Simon being escorted back to Phoenix by his sister), there was some discussion over who exactly the hisskarssi was and why he was there. In an attempt to answer these questions, Dusan went over to Takeo, and made proper introductions. It seems Takeo is in Ashwick to help look for one of the lost Luminairrian Avengers, the signature sword of the Lord Knights, as a warm-up to looking for his family’s lost legendary armor, which had been missing for millennia. The night went by relatively peacefully.

Lifespring 30th
Wren appeared distraught the next morning over the fact that she had just killed someone for the first time. Dusan, in pretty much the same situation, attempted to comfort her.

As the party was escorted back to Phoenix by the half-elven Knight-Petitioner Lores Thorntree, we stopped by the Hound’s Tooth Inn and picked up the innkeeper, who was to be brought back to Phoenix for protective custody (as opposed to the four prisoners we dragged behind us). After the inn, we ran into a full Shield (25) of mounted Knights-Sentinel led by Officer Tarin Linus. We informed him of the situation; he offered to have a couple of knights escort us back, but we declined.

After 5 hours of travel, we made it back to the bright city of Phoenix. Wren was led to Ashton Priory, where she met with her family present, and the dead cleric of Rozerus was dropped off for proper burial. Wren wrote a detailed letter back to her father, which may or may not lead to a few headaches for the Warden of Ashwick.

Speaking of the Warden, Dusan and Takeo went to the Warden’s office in Firestorm Keep, in Dusan’s case to report on the kidnappings and in Takeo’s case to explain his presence in Ashwick. The Warden seemed amused by Takeo’s offer, but graciously accepted any help he was willing to give.

Lifespring 31st
The next morning, the entire party was called to the Hall of Justice, where we were debriefed by Knight-Inquisitor Dartan Starcastle on the kidnappings, Prince Rashid, and The Hand. He seemed to have some sort of hypothesis on The Hand’s potential nature, accurately describing it as “avian”. When the debriefing was finished, the Warden himself entered the room. He explained that adventurers were becoming exceedingly rare with the large amount of conflicts taking place concurrently, and that his hands were tied by politics. He offered to hire us to hunt down and bring the Beldarians, Prince Rashid, and The Hand to justice, in exchange for which we would be given a working stipend. After a few questions, the party accepted his offer.

The party spent the day off, relaxing from their adventure in their own personal ways; Takeo practicing weapon katas, forms, and cadences; Dusan hunting with his falcon and guard-dog; Sprocket getting his gnome on. That night, the gnome who refuses to give his full name, answering only to “Sprocket”, invited everyone to dinner in order to introduce themselves. In everyone’s place was an extremely abridged form requesting details on each of the party members in order to help prevent mind-control or infiltration (see tagline for further details). Dinner was had, wine was consumed. Laughs were had by all.

Lifespring 32nd
The next morning, the party was up and ready to begin their investigation (save for one exception, as Wren had her first encounter with the CR 22 Eldarian monster known in common as the “wine hangover”). We started by interrogating the four thugs we had captured. Despite Sprocket’s best efforts to get a response from the captive we interrogated, they were entirely unforthcoming. Information from Knight-Inquisitor Starcastle gave us the missing piece as to “why”: they had been entirely brainwashed. Subtle enchantment magic encouraged the thugs to do evil acts, which were reinforced by more enchantment magic. Soon, the thugs had been entirely dehumanized, requiring no magic at all to perform the most heinous of acts without remorse. The thugs were abandoned to their fate (trial and execution, save any unforeseen circumstances).

We then went to the temple, where the body of a Beldarian was being kept. The body, who turned out to be the Beldarian who had escaped with the pouch, had been found in the forest by the Knights-Sentinel that went in after we had left, and it was in… interesting condition. A hole had been burned entirely through the torso, and burn marks streaked down from the torso through the feet. His throat had been slit, and an animal’s claws (likely some sort of large cat) had torn up the back of his armor (he was found lying face down). Simon identified the burn damage as being from a Lightning Bolt spell. His throat was slit while he was still alive, but after the lightning bolt. Little else could be found from the corpse.

The party then went to speak to the innkeeper regarding the kidnappings. He had participated because his daughter, Fern, had been abducted by Prince Rashid, and the douche had threatened to send her back in pieces if he did not cooperate. For two weeks, Rashid worked out of the inn, informing the innkeep whose food and drink to drug. He seemed to be waiting for a reaction from the local authorities, namely the knights. According to the innkeep, Rashid really, really, wanted the knights to show up. After Wren had been abducted and her knight escort killed, Rashid had left the inn, seemingly content with his “catch”.

The innkeeper gave us the key to the inn in case we wanted to examine it further. The party seemed to agree that was the best plan of action.

[Exeunt stage left. Lights out]

P.S. Kudos goes to Jon for the forms. We got Gnomed. Pure awesome. I still stick by my tagline, though.

View
Escape from the Brackenwood Camp
Touched by The Hand

Lifespring 28th
Our story begins with Simon and Sprocket, along with a few other random prisoners, in a makeshift wooden prison in Prince Rashid‘s camp. After a fairly boring afternoon, the guards started digging through the gear they had taken from the prisoners. One unfortunate guard happened to stumble across one of Sprocket’s trapped bags. He emerged from the tent covered in Fabulous goo.

In retaliation, a random prisoner was taken out of the prison. As the jailors had already determined that some of the prisoners had more “potential” than others, they picked one who apparently had “less potential”, in this case, a cleric of Rozerus, who was strung up between two trees and given ten lashes for Sprocket’s trap.

Sometime later in the afternoon, Takeo enters the camp, relatively unescorted. He walks up to Prince Rashid, speaks to him quietly, and is escorted to one of the tents. Confused by this turn of events, Simon and Sprocket decide that word needs to get out.

Lifespring 29th
In the early hours of the morning, Simon shrinks Sprocket to the size of a cat, and then the two of them use a few spells to create a diversion. When the initial diversion fails, Simon begins berating the nearby guard, eventually attacking him with Force Cock Punch. In the chaos, Sprocket jumps over the prison fence and escapes.

It is quickly discovered that the gnome has disappeared. Simon is brought before Rashid to answer on Sprocket’s location. When Simon’s answer displeases Rashid, he has another of the random prisoners executed. Simon is eventually gagged, and strung up between two trees to hang.

As cat-sized Sprocket attempts to make his escape, he unfortunately draws the attention of a pack of wolves. Some quick thinking on his part got him up into a tree for safety, until the wolves eventually get bored and move on.

The next morning, Wren is brought in. She quickly attempts to make demands of her captors, in an admirable but failed attempt to assert some control over the situation. The only real concession she was given was that her bindings were undone after she was placed in the wooden prison.

That afternoon, The Hand enters camp. He is a gaunt, twisted orc, whose movements seem to ignore orc (or humanoid for that matter) physiology. He speaks to Rashid quietly, then begins yelling. Rashid attempt to calm him down by bringing out the bodies of four dead Knights Petitioner, apparently Wren’s escort. The Hand begins to examine the bodies, as if he were appraising them for future use (Read the PHB’s entry on the school of Necromancy for further information). He then orders the surviving prisoners out for inspection as the sun begins to set. The bodies of the dead guards and executed prisoners are being put in a bag of holding while the prisoners are lined up.

At this point, Dusan arrives on horseback. After a quick glance at the size of the enemy camp, Dusan realizes that he is horribly outnumbered, and attempts a diplomatic approach to the situation. He is quickly escorted to the prisoner line, where he tries to assert some control over the situation, or attempt to demoralize the enemy. Unfortunately, much like Wren’s earlier attempts, he fails to gain any control over the situation.

The Hand has been talking to each of the prisoners Rashid thought had “high potential”. He displays an excellent grasp of diverse languages, and appears relatively knowledgeable of both local politics and of various magics.

The turning point occurs when The Hand says something to Dusan that makes him lose the detached noble demeanor he had been displaying until that point, and looks like he is about to attack. Wren and Simon take advantage of the situation, and combat ensues. The Hand quickly withdraws, and appears to do nothing but appraise the combatants involved, in a totally-not-creepy-and-bad-touch kind of way.

Wren finds herself fighting the guard she tricked out of a spear, Simon holds off three guards, Takeo charges Rashid, and Dusan attempts to clear out the guards near him and Wren. Things go fairly well until the bandits with bows start firing. Simon is badly wounded, and Wren falls. Takeo bravely tries to take on Rashid, a mid-level mage, but combat magic is just too much for even a Dragon Knight. Dusan’s sloppy swordwork shows in his attempts to take down the nearby guards.

Just as things begin to look really bad for our band of intrepid heroes, the cavalry arrives in the form of two Knights-Petitioner the Warden set out as a response to Dusan’s earlier appeal for help in Phoenix. The remaining bandits flee in the face of armored reinforcements, Rashid turning vanishing through a spell, and the Hand simply running off faster than a humanoid built like that should run. A valiant attempt to chase after the bandit with the bag of bodies by Simon ends poorly, as a final arrow hits him in the torso and he falls.

By the time anyone else made it to the area, the bandit with the bodies was long gone. The Knights and Dusan attempt to patch up the party as best they could, and inventory was taken of the abandoned camp.

Four thugs were discovered to be still alive, three of which are manacled and healed by Dusan. The last is stabilized and tied up. Two of the bandit’s horses remained, the unconscious thug draped over one, and the body of the Rozerian cleric (who did not survive) draped over the other. Tents are taken, one of which to be used as kindling for a bonfire which will burn the dead bandit bodies (to keep the bad guys from coming back and claiming those bodies too!)

Night has fallen, and the party rests before starting on the journey to Phoenix.

View
Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.