Kathy - Vochma
Micah - Cardhu
Mark - Corlis
Ben - Drew
Liz - Quera
Having each given ourselves to the service of Lord Quival, the Duke of Kernan in one way or another, and having been given two weeks leave by Knight Marshall Magnild, we, the party found ourselves in Kernan, in the establishment known as "Wanda's Bar and Grill", which also happens to be owned by the mother of Cardhu, one of our new companions. As we discussed our plans for our time off, one Apnel, a local farmer and an acquaintance of Cardhu, joined us, complaining bitterly about some sort of "giant bugs" that have been eating his cattle (surely these must be truly large insects). We agreed to pay his farm a visit that evening to see if we could assist in this matter.
Meanwhile, a stranger had entered the establishment. Being new in this place, I studied the newcomer for a moment. As I watched, he made a strange gesture towards a group of merchants, who had entered the establishment earlier. A brief moment later, I was surprised to see the belt pouch of a merchant, later identified as Stephan, vanish! Sensing foul play, I quickly approached the merchant and informed him of what I saw. As I spoke with him, the stranger attempted to leave. After a brief confrontation, during which I noted some strange activity near the door. Drew took decisive (albeit somewhat hasty) action and cast a spell of some sort on the mysterious stranger, causing him to freeze as still as stone.
Leaving the stranger in the care of my new companions, I accompanied Stephan to the local constable's so he could lodge his complaint. Gerald, a slow and piggish sort, refused to aid us, saying "You get what you deserve in Wanda's." (perhaps we should move our headquarters to the Inn of the Seven Stars). Returning to Wanda's we discovered the stranger, Quera, and Vochma involved in a struggle, while Cardhu and Drew appeared to have discovered something strange outside the inn. Drew, using some sort of divination spell, had discovered some manner of magical thing (creature? construct?) making off through the woods to the north-east. Seeing that this may hold the key to the merchant's missing pouch, I asked Cardhu to keep things under control in Wanda's, while Drew and I pursued the invisible thing.
We tracked the creature (for its actions seemed to indicate it is a living thing), to a small hut about a mile outside of Kernan. As we arrived, we glimpsed some motion near an opening in the roof of the place. I threw my cloak over the opening (and the chimney of this foul hovel) and made my way to the door. Stepping inside I saw a small chest across the room, and heard an evil laugh from the same vicinity. Without a thought I walked toward the chest, sword at ready, only to be struck down by foul magical fires from a strange diagram on the floor! Luckily Drew was able to pull me from the hut and revive me using healing magics.
Meanwhile at Wanda's, Cardhu, Vochma, and Quera discussed this matter with Stephan the merchant, and the stranger who gives his name as Chidale the Summoner. After some argument and heated debate, Cardhue offered Stephan 100 gold from his own pocket as partial compensation for his loss. In the end, Chidale was allowed to leave, followed by Stephan, somewhat mollified but still upset at his loss.
Two items of note, firstly this Chidale wore some strange symbols embroidered on his robe, secondly, while struggling with Vochma and Quera, he attempted to draw some sort of circle on the floor of Wanda's while muttering some unknown words. Luckily Vochma prevented him from completing whatever spell he was attempting.
Once Chidale left Wanda's he made his way, interestingly enough, to the hut, where Drew and I were engaged in breaking a hole through the wall to avoid crossing the mystic circle near the door. In retrospect, this was a bit hasty, though our judgment proved correct in the long run. As I approached Chidale, he again made some sort of strange gesture, this time towards me. The next thing I knew, I was back in town, attempting to hack Drew to pieces. After shaking off the remnants of whatever foul spell this Chidale had used, I saw to it that Drew was safely in the care of the healer then sought out my companions.
Meanwhile my remaining companions, having followed Chidale from town and witnessing his ensorcelment of myself, elected to act. Unfortunately this resulted in the death of Chidale (perhaps not so unfortunate as time will show). They then returned to town to see what had become of Drew and I. We elected to return to the hut (without Drew) and see if we could uncover more of this mystery. This was probably a poor decision, as night was falling, our mage was tired after expending considerable energy subduing and slaying Chidale, and I was sorely wounded. Nevertheless, we returned to the hut.
As we approached, we came across a.. man? Woman? Thing? Apparently known as Golga. It was dragging a large box which contained the remains of Chidale. Seeing the evil summoner was in good hands we continued on to the hut and battered our way in through the opening I had started earlier. As we did so, some foul spiderlike creature (no doubt an evil being summoned by Chidale) attacked us, covering all the party save me in foul, sticky webs. Luckily I was able to throw the hatchet I was using with considerable force and struck the thing in the head. It quickly turned and scampered off into the night.
With a bit more effort, we managed to complete the opening and remove the chest from the hut, though both Quera and Cardhue warned the box contained a trap of some sort. We elected to carry the thing back to town and await the morning before attempting to open it. On the way back, the foul creature attacked again, but after a valiant fight (in which I was knocked unconscious and nearly slain by my companions as the spider thing crawled on my back) Vochma, Quera and Cardhu managed to slay the thing, which vanished in a cloud of greasy, foul smoke (surely some sort of imp or minor demonling). The rest of our return to town was uneventful, and after placing me in the healer Freda's care, the remaining party members retired for the night.
The next morning, after thanking Freda for her assistance, and promising her payment should our activities produce anything of value, we all returned to Wanda's. On the way, we crossed paths with Apnel the farmer, who was fairly irate at our failure to show up at his farm. I managed to calm him down, and convince him that we would look him up this afternoon and accompany him to his farm.
After a brief discussion with the rest of the group, we elect to try and open the chest outside of town. Cardhu manages to accomplish this, though not without being enveloped in a strange cloud of some sort of gas. Luckily he was unaffected. Perhaps the light rain affected it. Within the chest we found:
After some research and consultation with Freda and Rayward, we disposed of the items thusly: The cloth and portrait were left with Rayward to discover their purpose. The two blue vials (healing draughts) were given to Freda as payment for her aid. The green vial (some sort of levitation potion) was given to Drew. The scroll (containing magical spells) was given to Vochma, who inscribed the spells into her spell book. The paper was disposed of by Rayward, as it contained the names of foul demonic beings and could only be put to evil purposes. The coins we retained to later be shared among the group.
After finding Apnel at the Inn of the Seven Stars, we made our way out to his farm, where we studied the holes and pits left by the giant bugs that were plaguing him. Truly these were monstrous things! Holes 10 or 12 feet across, and the shredded remains of cattle nearby. We quickly decided these things must be destroyed. After some debate, Apnel agreed to let us use the fair bovine Opsie as bait, driving the rest of his herd into the barn for the night. We staked out one of the holes, and waited to see what the night would bring.
Our vigilance was quickly rewarded. Within an hour of darkness, a huge, mantis or centipede like insect with large rending mandibles broke out of the hole and began to work its way towards Quera and Cardhu. Acting according to our plan, Vochma cast a spell designed to trap the creature in a mass of sticky webs, while I charged forward to attack. Drew summoned a shadowy hammer of force and began to pummel the creature, while Quera and Cardhue moved to flank the beast. Striking twice in quick succession, I managed to gut the foul beast, though it did manage to gash open my shoulder with a well placed bite (the beast had some sort of foul venomous spittle, which burned and seared, causing further harm to my person). Drew tended my wounds, and we withdrew to our original position to see if more of the beasts would appear. In numbers these things could be extremely dangerous. Apnel, who seemed convinced that no further creatures would appear, returned to his home, inviting us along. We elected to stay for a few more hours.
Two hours later, we noticed the corpse of the creature was moving again, almost as if something below it was pulling or dragging it. Deciding that another of the creatures must be consuming its fellow, we debated what to do. After a moment, Drew pulled forth a magical wand, and pointed it at the hole. Immediately a cloud of greenish gas appeared and sank down into the ground. Shortly thereafter the movement stopped, and we decided the other creature hand been killed or driven off, and we elected to retire for the night to Apnel's farmhouse.
After a restless night's sleep, we returned to the hole, along with a team of horses. Using the team, we pulled the remains of the creature from the hole, revealing a deep hole approximately 7 feet wide. At the bottom of this tunnel, nearly 30 feet below, we discovered another of the creatures, apparently killed by the green gas produced by Drew's wand. A brief search of the dead creature's body revealed a number of gems buried in its gullet (5 gems identified as alexandrite by Cardhu and Quera each worth about 100 gp). We added these to the coins remaining from the chest in the hut.
Now that Apnel was, for the moment, happy, we returned to the hut in the woods for further exploration. Imagine our surprise when we discovered a corpse within the circle inside the hut! After pulling the body out, we quickly searched the remains uncovering:
We also uncovered a tattoo on the man's arm in the form of a seven pointed star. None of these items prove magical later, though the ring bore a curious inscription. We elected to keep all these items together for later disposal.
Skirting the hut entrance and returning to our newly made opening, Drew and I entered the hut, while Cardhu made his way to the roof. Inside we found an owl, which proved to be a friendly sort. Drew managed to use some spell to talk with the beast. It told us it saw some items of interest near its roost, and pulled forth the merchant Stephan's pouch! Unfortunately it dropped it into the fiery circle. Drew nearly followed it in, but I managed to catch him before he did. Alas the owl ends up a fried mass of feathers when Drew asked it to retrieve the pouch. I once again felt the heat of the circle's magic when I attempted to pull the pouch from the circle with a stick. This thing is certainly dangerous.
After a little further investigation, Cardhu discovered a few gems stashed in the ceiling of the hut. Two of these prove to be malachite (10gp) and zircon (50gp), while the third is outside our expert's knowledge.
Returning to town, we located Stephan and offered to show him where his pouch was, warning him of the danger. We also contacted Rayward and enlisted his aid in setting up some warning magics around the hut lest some child be killed by the circle within. Later we discovered that Stephan ignored our warnings and was killed for his trouble.
We then retired for the day after a pleasant meal at Wanda's
We spent this day resting and recovering from our wounds.
This day we encountered three Overmen, Gerlach, Pepin, and Norberta, who told a tale of troubles in Veldman's Needles. Apparently they encountered a band of well disciplined, armed and armored kobolds, numbering 25 or so. They said their war beast (a truly amazing creature) ate the kobolds. We decided this was an important matter, and were discussing just how to approach it when Halor the Herbalist approached us and offered to pay us to provide him with some Jinko seeds which apparently were in season. Seeing as he was offering a fair amount of money, and that we might be going towards Veldman's Needles anyhow, we ended up taking him up on his offer (though not before we discover there may be some problems picking the seeds).
We elected to spend the rest of the day preparing for our expedition, although we did attempt to contact the Knight Marshall to inform him of the events to this point, particularly the man with the seven pointed star tattoo. Unfortunately he was unavailable.
Extremely rainy weather with hail prevented us from departing. We spent the day at rest.
We began our trip to find the Jinko seeds. A day's uneventful travel.
After a day's travel, we crossed the path of a large group of goblins, headed south. Seeing as we were going to have to move in that direction anyhow, we elected to follow the goblin's trail. After a brief period, we found a large patch of Jinko plants. Drew began to pick the seeds, but each time he pulled on off the plant, the entire plant withered an died, making an awful keening noise. He continued to pick a number of seeds, ending up with about 50, when a number of goblins put in an appearance, complete with bows. After they nearly killed Vochma, Drew pulled forth his strange wand and used it on the goblin archers. Abruptly they became as transparent and insubstantial as ghosts.
Seeing as they were no longer a threat, we healed Vochma as best we could and elected to return to town. This seed picking did not sit well with any of us, especially when it resulted in the death of the plants.
On our way back to town, we discovered a tree, hung with corpses of goblins, each with runes carved in their flesh, and marked with a strange inscription. After noting the details of this foul place, we hurried onward, chilled by the almost palpable evil.
Another day's travel back to town. Nothing of note occurred.
Day's end found us back in town, and looking forward to a nice ale at Wanda's.
The party has (not including items distributed):
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