From the journal of
18 months have passed and the Kingdom has grown. We are still
being troubles by the fey. Word has reached Deepwater that a
headless horseman is attacking and destroying outlying farms to
the west. This has affected Kingdom consumption (food is
becoming scarce) and has increased unrest.
Investigating the scenes of the crimes we find no good leads. All
the farm workers were killed apart from a small boy who hid and
describes the creature that attacked them.
So we visit the Nymph Tyressia and ask her about headless
horsemen. She trembles and says it sounds like a Dullahan a type
of Fey that will have been sent on a mission by the Fey court from
the first world. The barriers between this world and the first
world conjoin to allow passage on the full moon.
One plan is to pull two farms back and just leave one by the
forest occupied with us in it. However it is 3 weeks to the next
full moon so we look to fill our time with other adventures.
There have been mysterious disappearances in Varnhold. Therefore
we decide to set off exploring directly towards Varnhold. The
first few days are spent exploring hills before we come to a
mountain range with a river valley running through it. During one
night we spot dancing lights a few hundred feet away. Though they
don't approach so we don't wake everyone up to investigate.
While investigating the mountains we are suddenly peppered with
arrows. Harpies hover 70ft above us firing arrows and several
start singing. Four of the party are mesmerised. So it is down to
me and Oriel. So it is up to me. After Stinking Cloud, Glitterdust
and Wandering Star Motes, they bug out. Though we are in a bad way
from arrow wounds.
Entering the kingdom of Varnhold we come across an abandoned
watchtower. Odd, it looks newly built. Continuing on we approach
the town of Varnhold.
The farms we pass look empty though livestock are grazing in the
fields. Varnhold itself also is lifeless. A sole plume of smoke
rises from the fort. A pig sty holds four dead pigs that looked
they died of thirst about a week ago. Something terrible happened
here two weeks ago. Other dead animals are seen here and there
though no dead humans.
Approaching the closed gates of the fort no-one is seen though
helmets are seen atop the battlements on sticks. Shouting out a
head briefly appears and vanishes - some type of gnome like
creature. Gil and Oriel go over the wall to open the gate and
encounter two of the goblinoids but the fight is soon over.
We approach the keep and are peppered with bolts from the arrow
slits in the keep. The fighters barge the keep door and break it
down. Entering the kill chamber crossbow bolts rain down Gil
barges down the next door into a chamber full of spriggans, but
they soon die.
Searching the fort we find mostly empty rooms. Fire! The
spriggans have set the building on fire and run away. With much
effort we put the fire out. Moving on we search the rest of the
fort and find many interesting things including a drunk spriggan.
We spend the rest of the day searching the buildings in town.
Amongst other things we find engraved wedding presents, a journal
and a folding boat. At one point we note a crow circling hundreds
of feet above. Baldwin puts an arrow in it but it flies away.
The inn has the hastily scratched word "nomen" in the door. A
spriggan is held in an amber field from a sepia snake sigil - it's
skull caved in. It still holds the book in its hand. Many other
old books are strewn around, apparently of the missing professor.
He has written in a 300 year old book! The text is about the dread
Moredekai's island and the curse that besets anyone who sets foot
on the island.
In the tannery we find three centaur hides!
The Nomen were an ancient tribe of centaurs that used to roam this
From the journal of
We debate the benefits of claiming Varnhold for ourselves, but
decide that we need to deal with the headless horseman first.
Spending a few days at the only populated farm preparing for the
headless horseman by digging pits and setting up spikes facing
toward the forest.
At midnight a dark horrifying figure on a black horse rides out of
the forest toward the farm, but we lurk inside ready and awaiting
him. He phases through the wall and slashes Dendion. We cast a
round of spells and adjust positions, while the horseman roars and
fears me. I run away, out of the door and into the night!
The horse bites Dendion and he responds by dropping a cloud of
glittering dust on the horseman and his horse then teleporting
away. Baldwin steps up and slashes at the horseman, Gregory
following up with two crushing sword blows, smiting the evil
creature into chunky kibbles. The entire confrontation lasts less
then 20 seconds, though the evil horse teleports away from the
scene immediately before we can stop it.
Sometime later I return to find them with their feet up sipping
cocoa by the fireside. We journey back to Deepwater and pronounce
that the leaders of Stoland have personally dealt with the threat,
and Stoland will always be kept safe by our hands.
Resolving that waiting for Brevoy to send word will take too long,
we explore out along the river that heads in the most direct route
to Lake Silverstep, some miles south of Varnhold.
As we arrive at the lake Baldwin spots signs of 4 Tatselwurms
lairing in the area and tracks them back to a heavily vegetated
area near the lake. Baldwin spends a number of hours trying to
stir up the wurms, eventually stumbling right into the center of
We use them for target practice, then proceed on our merry way.
The far side of the lake is surrounded with mountains and has no
apparent way to pass through, though we do manage to skirt the
lakeshore and make our way round them instead. Coming to an
impassable area we make good use of the folding boat to row our
way across the fast moving river.
Finding little of interest we hurry to Varnhold to take a second
look at the village - still nothing happening. So we travel north
to Nivakta's Crossing - the most southerly villiage in the Brevoy
domain. They have nothing much of use to tell us, and spend most
of the time trying to sell us things.
After further study of the professors books found in Varnhold, we
decide we should ride out into the Dunsward and seek out the
Centaurs - they are probably the only group that can give us more
information on the fate of the people of Varnhold.
We happen across a number of loose stone burial mounds on the
sixth day out of Nivakta's Crossing. They look ancient, and as we
explore Manticore's appear from behind the mounds. Dendion gives
use the universal signal for "Shit's about to happen' - casting
We unleash the standard buffing spells and the Manticores attack,
firing spines at all of us. Dendion glitterdust's one, and stuns
another so it falls from the sky. I blast one with a bear of light
from my crown and fire arrows at another. Gregory and Baldwin
finish off both of the disabled Manticores, and we collect the
spines to hand in once we get back to Stoland.
We journey back to Baldwin's Gate to make sure things are
proceeding to plan, then head back out to Varnhold's lands to look
once more for the Centaurs. After a few days we find signs of a
We dare Gregory to jump up and down on the spot, which he
obligingly does and, as if by magic, the
shopkeeper ancient bulet appears. We engage swiftly and
kill it in a matter of seconds after Gregory takes a vicious round
From the journal of
We find a series of mounds that Baldwin and Dendion
recognise as Trapdoor Spiders, one of which we have faced before.
We charge in and disturb them to take their silk, one dying in
seconds and the others falling soon after, though I do get
bitten and start to feel my strength being sapped away.
Our time is then consumed with exploring a number of leagues
around Varnhold. Upon the top of a crag we spot a giant nest -
potentially a Roc nest? Plans are made to steal an egg.
After a lot faff we fly up invisible. We get spotted Terri
flies and hits the Rok. The other 2 land on a ledge and get
ready to fight. Gil and Greg fight the Rok. Greg gets
grabbed and carried off and dropped. Gil then gets hit and
dropped. Oriel flies off as can't be bothered with this just for
an egg. Greg is still plummeting to doom. Splat.
Dead. The Rok circles around and we back off - with just one
egg. We go back home to get Greg resurected or not..... Or
not it seems.
We sort the kingdom out - Duchess Lici is in charge for now.....
We head to the kobold lair. It is empty. A hidden kobold called
Narpic says kobolds summoned out by the great black one - a
dragon. We decide to head off and follow. Up to the mountains to
try and explore and find them. We cant find the trail
heading east, but we carry on.
We stumble onto some harpies...
From the journal of
The monk shoots and the witch lets off a fireball. The
harpies sing and Baldwin is mesmerised. The monk parries an arrow.
A second fireball kills 2 of the harpies. The third flies off. In
the cave we find a message from Abess Betilda to explore the
ranges to the north to find a suitable range. We recognise them as
a group of nomadic harpies. They believe they are descended from a
group of nuns. They seem to be demonic.
We realise that the cave has a rich vein of iron ore. The monk
pronounces that they could be anywhere. W find a path that heads
north-east into the mountains. We have to leave our horses behind.
The witch casts a secure shelter spell so we can rest for the
We come upon an entrance into the mountain. We enter in. Soon we
realise we will have to crawl down a narrow passageway. We see
stick men creatures. We recognise some as kobold figures.
The passageway narrows and Baldwin must remove his armour to
continue. He is unwilling to leave his weapons behind in order to
continue. Lici scouts ahead. In a chamber ahead are some stirges.
They attack and drain her blood. Scorching rays finish them off.
We find a way round so Baldwin re-arms himself.
Lici scouts ahead and runs into a Kobold who surprises her. We try
to diplome but they answer with a scorching ray. We enter a cavern
and a fight ensues. Oriel jumps up onto the ledge and pushes a
Kobold off. The fight is short and deadly.
We come across a cavern with stalagmites and stalagtites and many
kobolds. Most die crying in agony as Tristana sends a fireball at
them. Trystana cackels and a tough Kobold falls dead. Baldwin cuts
Walking round the corner the witch and ranger get hit by an acid
breath of a dragon. We close in. Baldwin is felled by bites and
claws. The witch dimension doors us out. Dutchess Lici is
disintegrated by acid breath.
From the journal of
We fight the dragon. No one can hit it. Oriel hits it.
Baldwin is ripped to pieces, but may not be dead with some magic.
After a lot of damage it goes down. We raid the lair and take
magic items. We free the kobalds.
We go and see the centaurs and are surrounded. We come in
peace said the witch. Nome talks and we go to their
place. We talk to the main dude. She has been plagued by
sprigands who stole a long bow. We go to their lair. We swap
some items for the bow. We go on a quest to the west to see
a valley. She blames the people of Varnhold. Vordekai
is a bad ancient thing with a tomb. We agree to find her
daughter who is lost.
From the journal of
We decide to explore and find some elk. To the south of the centaur lands
are hills. We find the bones of a wingless dragon. There are signs of
shrike. Isolated herds of mastadons graze the land. A strange grey stone
monolith stands at the base of the mountains. A voice cries out in Aklo "You
help me, yes?" "Some bad creatures have forced me from my lair." "Xills have
forced her out." We know that Xills are evil. They are female mixes of
humanoids and insects who procreate by capturing hosts and injecting eggs
We realise that the monolith is of elven. At the moment it
marks the entrance to the etherial plane. Zamas mentions that there is a
We decide to fight the Xills. The sorcerer, Noam, confuses them.
One of the Xills grabs Baldwin. The fight is over quickly. In return we get
a magical chest. We don't know how to open it. We resort to brute force and
ignorance to open the chest. In the chest is a wand of dimension door and a
In the night we are attacked by an etherial creature,
called a Soul Eater. Denion is targeted. The creature sucks the wisdom from
Denion. His soul has been sucked out. The soul eater continues to target the
arcane spellcasters. Baldwin slays the creature and the soul of Denion is
The entrance to valley is decorated by bones and skulls. Huge
gravestones scatter the valley. The graves have cyclops writing on it.
Cyclops are rare these days. Many years ago they ruled vast kingdoms. The
average cyclops is nine foot tall. There is a stone stairway through the
Two huge zombie figures loom in front of us. A fireball and
the fighters kill the first. A zombie grabs Baldwin and nearly succeeds in
sucking his brains out. The path leads through the mountain to a river. To
the north there is a huge waterfall and an island with a dark imposing cave.
Nesting in the cliff are some large reptilian creatures. We identify them as
There are alcoves in the darkened cove. There are arcane
symbols on the archway. There are some human footprints. The large tracks
may belong to the huge zombies. There are some hoofprints leading in. There
are some ancient cyclopean coins and a bracelet that matches the description
in the journal we found in Varnhold. It may be a cyclops ring.
From the journal of Duke Baldwin
Stepping in the alcove Meri unleashes zombies. One grabs Meri and chomps on
his brains. After a short fight we defeat them. Moving on we see a natural
cavern with a deep pool. The idiot witch throws a pebble into the pool and a
sea creature with a huge neck and sharp teeth emerges and bites Baldwin. We
use the folded boat to get across. Finding ourselves on the other side of
the island we decide to take a closer look at the deep pool. There are two
water-filled passageways. We find a magical raven figurine and ring of
freedom of movement which Baldwin takes. We get through an underwater
passageway to a room with pottery. It depicts cyclops in various poses.
We descend some stairs to bronze doors. We see some cyclops statues ahead.
We pass some alcoves and are surprised by some zombies. The witch emits a
piercing screech. A few lightning bolts and hacks from the swords to finish
them off. Serendip finds a trap which Meri disarms. We find spiral
staircases leading up. At the top there is a room with friezes on the wall
and bronze double doors. There is a picture of Charon. There are altars to
the north. One has a bronze cup stained with blood. The witch cuts herself
and we fill the cups with blood and light the oil lanterns to complete a
ritual. We open the bronze double doors. There are delicate arches of stone.
When we enter the room a humanoid lobster creature appears. He asks in whose
name we enter the chamber. We answer "Vordekai" and the creature disappears.
We see a female centaur manacled to the wall. She is paralysed. We uses
magic to remove it. She seems hungry and injured. Xamanthe the daughter of
the centaur chief tells us of her nightmare filled time. She was told by a
skeletal cyclops with a gem in it's forehead "You should be honoured to be a
guest of Vordekai." We use dimension door to get the centaur woman out.
The chamber ahead is filled with burial alcoves. Next to two central pillars
are two soulkillers. They suck the wisdom from Meri, Baldwin and Asa. We
finish them off then decide to retreat to cave to rest up restore our wisdom
and deal with the wyverns.
Trystana and Baldwin fly up in view. Noam is
invisible and hits the 3 wyverns with a lightning bolt. The cackling witch
lets a fireball off at them. More magical damage hits and two wyverns drop
into the water. Baldwin slays the last one. In the wyverns lair is some
silver cutlery and an old Issian magical greatsword.
From the journal of
We renter the complex.... We enter the door. THere are
figures depicting the life of some cyclops. Another door and a
bench with vessels and tools on with a statue. The door is
spelled. ORiel tries the day. Locked. We give up
and go somewhere else. Enter a chamber full of tar. The
witch gets grabbed by a tar tentacle. An undead mage
appears. Ice bridge made Oriel over. Fireball goes
off. The witch sends one back. The witch goes down.
No cackle. The witch is dead. Ding dong. The 3
remaining carry on and find a crypt. There is a fresh
corpse. A spectral form appears. We dim door out after
Baldwin gets hit and energy drain.
Denion goes back to pick up scrolls. And comes back with a
fighter type called Eeee. We go back in to where the statue
was. Enter the door. Engravings and stuff lots of
little eyes looking at a big eye on the east. We slid the
statue in. We give up. Go back and fight the spectre
and kill it. Nothing of note. We go the other way.
A big table and chairs. Dead humans at the chairs incl Varn
and Lady Sybyl. All with brains scooped at. 4 cyclops
attack. We take them all down. We go up the balcony.
Enter a chamber full of crystal making a dome of an eye looking
at a circle. Another room with a pool. A water
elemental., Eeeee is dead.
From the journal of
We deliberate endlessly. Dendion teleports back to Deepwater for
provisions and to recruit Eeeee's brother Elrohan Dwelfling We
Dimension Door back to the strange teleporty room, to find the
door open and a zombie coming at us. The zombie dies fast but was
just a distraction from the demon that we bypassed previously by
uttering Vordakai's name.
It grabs Denion and makes to crush him, but Aza teleports the
mage away and I blast the demon with negative energy. The fighters
swarm around it but Baldwin takes some heavy damage. The creature
is proving difficult to damage. It summons a stinking cloud on top
of us, but I dispel it, and Elrohan finishes it off.
The door in the room has necromantic magic on it, so I summon a
Hound Archon to open the door for us and assist in any fights
afterwards. We wait in anticipation as the goodly creature opens
the door for us like a heavily armoured celestial doorman. It
triggers a Symbol of Pain, but Vordakai appears and tries to
mentally assault Baldwin. Baldwin charges, but Denion drops him
in a pit. He teleports away.
I ask Serendib to investigate and describe the room ahead so we
can bypass the Symbol by teleporting. The Hound Archon falls to
the floor, out of out site. We teleport in and attack, unbeknownst
to us Elrohan has already turned to the dark side and is fighting
for the lich!
I confuse Elrohan to prevent him hurting anyone else after he downs
Baldwin in one round. Oriel stands as our front line while we
recover. Aza brings Baldwin around and summons a Magic Circle that
allows Elrohan to save against the domination, but we don't know
Denion summons a pit, but Vordakai dodges then looses a fireball
upon us. We re-arrange and assault him again from all sides. I
launch a 4th set of scorching rays and the Lich falls over. We
deliberate over the magic in the room. The Lich's red gem eye is
very magical (an evil minor artefact: Occulus of Abadon), and the
room is full of glass jars full of swirling stuff (soul jars).
The Lich has a Cloak of Resistance +3 and +2, a Headband of Mental
Stuff +2 Int/Cha, Ring of Friend Shield, 2x Ring of Protection +2,
+3 Cold Iron Magical Beast Bane Flail.
From the journal of
The monk and wizard take the rings of protection. Aza gets the better
cloaks. We take the evil eye from the cyclops. Elrohan smashes one of
the soul jars and a woman appears. She is worried about her family.
Baldwin thinks about how to take over
Varnhold and restore the souls of the people there.
He also ponders what wonderful magic item to
get Denion to make for him. He also wonders what mischief
Gil has got up to while we've been gone.
Aecora Silverfire is overjoyed to see her
daughter alive. Our ties with the centaurs are cemented. She gifts
us Skybolt (a magical bow.) Elrohan takes this. We free the
citizens of Varnhold. We take control of Varnhold.
Noam, Baldwin and Denion are busy plotting and planning. Merri,
Elrohan and Gil set off exploring. They tell the tale of slaying a
chimera in an epic battle. We go fishing for eels. Whilst
exploring we happen upon a giant fly trap. It grabs hold of
Elrohan. It doesn't last long.
We arrange to have the evil eye gem
destroyed. Baldwin plans to get married.