Dragonbone Kingdoms

Session 1: Forging the Party
Through pure coincidence, Carol, Kaneda, Merrilyn, and Vashara were all at the Lakeview Inn in Kestral, when the owner’s daughter announced that something was in the cellar, and her little brother, David, was down there with them. When the four fledgling heroes went to investigate, they found 4 goblins ransacking the Inn’s supplies. After a brief battle the goblins were slain, but David was no where to be found.

A sewer grate led into the city’s sewers, and the party pressed on. While Kaneda tried to open a large wooden gate (covering himself in sewage in the process), Merrilyn disturbed a pair of dire rats. The monstrous rodents attacked him, but the party was able to take them out, suffering a few nasty and disease-ridden bites in the process. Carol disinfected the wounds as Kaneda searched through the garbage heaps the rats were using as a nest, finding a handful of gold coins and a well-made wooden spear. As the party prepared to leave the area, Merrilyn’s keen elven eyes spotted a secret door, possibly allowing the group to circumvent the wooden gate.

The elven bard peered through secret door into a small storeroom, where he spotted a small humanoid form lying in the dust, but when Carol moved in to investigate she was ambushed by a strange, long-limbed creature. The creature, aptly called a Choker, seized her by the throat, and when Kaneda rushed to her defense the fierce aberration wounded him badly and he was knocked unconscious, bleeding profusely. With one ally dying, and another pinned by the Choker, Merrilyn stepped forward and used his bardic talents to fascinate the creature, lulling it into a stupor. With the creature in thrall, the rest of the group was able to recover their wounds and regroup, before Vashara decided that the creature should be dealt with for good. With the tables turned, they were able to put the creature down and check the room for supplies, and investigate the small dead body, which turned out to be a goblin, slain and partially devoured by the Choker.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Kestral, Thistle was asked by a city constable to locate two sewer maintenance workers, who didn’t report back from their last shift.

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Session 2: Sewer Maintenance

Thistle made her way into the sewers, only to be attacked by stirges -bloodsucking flying beasts. Drawn by the sound of the struggle, the rest of the group hustled over help with the fight, and before long all four of the creatures lay dead. After some short introductions, she joined up with the rest of the group, and they continued their quest to find the innkeeper’s son (and now two sewer workers as well).
The group found a storage room that had been converted into a home, now long unoccupied. When Vashara found the symbol of Odilammara (Patron God of Thieves), and Kaneda found a climber’s kit and thief’s tools, they were able to determine that a burglar used to live here, but was long absent. After disarming the trap on the burglar’s footlocker, the party claimed the wealth within.
They continued on into the sewers, and encountered a group of goblins and their pet krenshar. After the cat-like beast sent Vashara and Carol running away with its supernatural visage, the rest of the group found themselves overpowered. The fight was finally won when the two returned, but Thistle and Merrilyn were both badly wounded; Thistle healed herself, but Merrilyn had to be revived with the party’s last healing potion.
The party pushed on and found themselves face to face with more goblins and their orc leader, a powerful cleric of Gruumsh One-Eye, the fell god of the orcs! Battle was joined, and the cleric set his eyes on Thistle, and surprisingly became quite smitten with her tiny halfling loveliness. Much to the shock of the rest of the party, the small druid persuaded the enraptured orc to free the boy, and the party left to return him to his father and prepare for a confrontation.
The party negotiated a reward from the innkeeper and the guards for the death of the orc, and then returned to the sewer to finish the job. Realizing he had been played for a fool, the orc did not hesitate to attack the party this time. As Kaneda, Marilyn, and Vashara battled his goblin minions, Carol and Thistle attacked the cleric. Protected by divine magic, he turned aside several attacks, before Buttercup fell on him with unexpected ferocity and tore his throat out -killing him instantly and shocking the rest of the party. With their leader dead, the goblins were easy prey.
The party looted the monsters of their ill-gotten gains, and located a tunnel into the ancient sewers of Kestral, which was likely the orc’s point of entry. They did their best to block the tunnel and returned to the inn to collect their reward and recuperate.

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Session 3: Into a Den of Thieves

After a lively, and extensive, breakfast conversation, the group headed to the Northshore guard barracks, to check for further employment opportunities. Captain Davin Maler recognized them from their previous business with the orc in the sewer, and hired them to investigate a robbery. Conor Damilis, eldest son of a noble family was mugged on the street, and demanded the return of his belongings -specifically a leather bag with the Damilus family crest on it. With the promise of a large reward, the group took on the job.
They headed first to the Damilus estate, where they questioned Conor and the head of his bodyguard, Belenna Malin. They learned from her that Conor deliberately ditched his bodyguard before the mugging, and that he used to have a problem with drugs. When Carol and Vashara took a gentle tack with Conor, he said that the head of the thugs was a huge man with a hammer, and that the mugging took place near a place called The Rutting Elf.
When the group investigated the flophouse, the corpulent owner told them that they saw the attack, and sent them after a man named Dunphy for more information. Dunphy revealed that the big man went by the name Berrick, and was a recent arrival in the city, operating from a nearby warehouse without sanction from the local thieves’ guild.
Locating the warehouse on the waterfront, the group tried to approach the side entrance stealthily, but Carol’s inner prankster sent Merrilyn into the water, alerting the guards. Unaware of their allies’ misstep, Vashara and Kaneda stuck to the plan, neutralizing the guard at the front. When the footpads inside discovered Thistle and Marilyn (soaking wet) at the side door, and Kaneda standing over a dead body at the front, they raised the alarm and the fight was joined in earnest. Vashara swooped into the warehouse and took a prime firing position, but the thugs’ leader, a mage called Squint, hit her with several spells and kept her from attacking. While Kaneda moved to get the mage, Thistle & Buttercup, with magical support from Marilyn and Carol, tore through the goons on the floor.
Cornered, wounded, and alone, the mage attempted to escape through the water, but Marilyn gave chase and subdued him; Thistle likewise caught one of the goons. The battle was finished, but Berrick was no where to be found. Under interrogation,Squint revealed that Berrick found some papers in Conor’s bag he sought to sell, and left to meet his contact at Griffon’s Rest Inn, west of Kestral. Taking the gang’s ill-gotten gains with them, the party turned the survivors in to Capt. Meler, got some horses, and set out after Berrick, who had a sizable head start.
Now, as night falls and a storm blows in off of Lake Sathir, the party rides out after Berrick, hoping to catch him before he reaches the inn and meets his contact.

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Session 4: Follow that Hammer!

Our intrepid heroes follow Berrick and his thugs off into a heavy rain storm. Not very confident with their skills at riding or at wilderness survival, the group decides to take it slow to avoid injury to the horses. When the party arrives at the Griffon’s Nest, Berrick is already meeting with his contact on the second floor, and one of his goons is watching the stairs. The dwarven bartender is helpful and confirms that Berrick is present, although the nearby thug overhears the party and confronts them, stating that the big man is already selling off the bag, but the party could send a messenger to try to negotiate a counter-offer.
Merrilyn heads upstairs, alone, unarmed and surrounded by Berrick’s men to get the bag; but he realizes moments into the conversation that he doesn’t actually have any money to offer in exchange. Berrick’s contact promises a reward for the elf’s head, so Berrick moves in to attack him. Merrilyn, for his part, stares the criminal down and intimidates him despite the 18" height difference, giving the bard time to retreat to a safe distance before the half-giant recovers enough to order his men to attack. Berrick’s mysterious contact meanwhile slips out the window and into the stable, grabbing a horse on which to make his escape.
A pitched battle begins- Berrick and his men attack the party, while Thistle and Buttercup take off in pursuit of the fleeing rider. Vashara also fires a couple of arrows after him and wounds the horse before turning back to help with the battle inside the inn. Carol, who is uncharacteristically dispassionate fights with a couple of the thugs (including a timely command spell that forces one of them to dive off the 10’ balcony). Merrilyn tangles with another in a tense fight, during which the fragile bard retreats into the kitchen, grabs a roasting spit off the fire and impales the footpad through the neck (right in front off the inn’s amazed chef). Kaneda squares off against Berrick himself, opening with a cutting insult that distracts the big man from the fight at hand. Although Berrick is shaken, it soon becomes clear that the over-sized maul he wields is no plaything; his first few attacks narrowly miss Kaneda and leave colossal holes in the floor of the Inn, even cracking one of the beams that supports the upper floor. When he finally hits the Illumian rogue the wound is grievous, forcing Kaneda to retreat, at which point Vash sinks a couple of arrows into Berrick. Berrick bull-rushes her and sends her flying out into the rain. Kaneda and Veshara recover their wounds, and the remaining thugs get cut down. Surrounded and on his own, Berrick is quickly overwhelmed, particularly since Vashara is firing with uncanny accuracy.
Outside in the rain, Thistle chases the mysterious rider. Although the horse would normally be faster than the warhound, Buttercup is less encumbered by the rain and mud, and the horse is wounded. Thistle is the better rider, and soon catches up to the man. In the periodic lightning of the storm, Thistle is able to see Conor’s bag strapped to the horse’s saddle, and she can also tell that the rider is quite well equipped- suggesting that he would be trouble in a fight. The halfling gets close enough to grab the bag, and then leaves the road, hiding herself in the woods. Realizing what’s happened, the man turns back to look for her, calling out to her in the woods. He promises a cash reward, but Thistle doesn’t trust him and stays hidden. After ten minutes, the man leaves, and Thistle returns to the inn.
The party takes Berrick’s pay and his maul, pays the innkeeper for the damages and takes a closer look at the bag, discovering detailed descriptions of Kestral’s defenses, including troop counts and schedules. The party decides to return to the city, where they turn over the bag and its contents to the guard’s night captain, who promises to look into it and pays them the reward promised by Capt. Maler, plus a bonus given the nature of the package. Flush with new cash, the party decides to upgrade their lodgings: they bid a fond farewell to the Lakeview and Northshore and get rooms at the Lonesome Jug in Sapphire Way.

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Session 5: Something in the Pipes

Enjoying their new rooms (and the edible breakfast) at the Lonesome Jug, the party sets out for another day. They check in with Captain Maler of the City Guard, hoping for more information about Conor Damilus, whe they learn has been placed under house arrest at his family’s country estate, pending an investigation. His old bodyguard, Belenna has resigned from her position and is looking for a new bodyguard assignment. Maler also gives the party a new mission: another section of the sewers appears to be occupied by goblinoids.
The party prepares for another excursion into the sewers by stocking up on healing potions and sets out, only to find their path blocked by an overturned cart. While they wait out the confusion a man bumps into Carol, covertly slipping a letter from the local Thieves’ Guild into her pocket. The letter informs her that the guild has “an asset” in the targeted section of the sewers that needs recovery.
The party gets some tactical information from the wounded guards that discovered the problem, acquires a tower shield, and sets off.
The party fights their way through a hobgoblin guard post, where they suffer minor injury, but the guards are subdued without major difficulty. Encountering a group of goblins further in, the party is again able to take them down without great cost, although Carol and Kaneda are injured by the goblins and Vashara strains a muscle drawing her bow, slightly crippling her attacks.
The party ventures through a door, where they can see a dead body on the floor, and a few piles of trash in a room. Investigating the body, Kaneda and Carol are suddenly surrounded by a chitinous rustling when four enormous centipedes emerge from their nests in the refuse. They are both poisoned in the initial attack, but when the rest of the party rushes to their aid, the vermin are quickly dispatched. The party recovers some items of value from the long-dead body, a fallen adventurer, and ready themselves to press further into the dark.

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Session 6: Flushing the Pipes

The party continued to explore the sewers, hoping to find the goblinoids’ point of entry and the mysterious “asset” asked for by the thieves’ guild.

Locating a side passage the party crept in and found an old storage room, filled with rotted goods and stacks of dust-covered crates. Merrilyn spotted a wooden coffer in the middle of the room, in conspicuously good repair and emblazoned with the same sigil as the letter from the guild; this was obviously the “asset”. Noting the dead goblin on the floor, the party was prepared for trouble as Kaneda seized the box, but even so they were surprised when the skeletal remains of several dead humans rose up around them.
Carol’s clerical magic destroyed a couple of the undead abominations, but the party soon realized that they were ill-equipped to deal with the creatures: armed almost entirely with rapiers and spears the party could do little more than chip ineffectively at the fleshless bones of their enemies. Despite the disadvantage, the party was victorious; while Kaneda crushed one of the creatures by toppling a stack of crates over on top of it, the rest of the party was able to bring down the others through sheer numbers.
Continuing through the side passage the party found a guild safehouse, long unoccupied, but nonetheless stocked with food and a few healing supplies. The party took what they needed and moved on, finding a door that opened back into the main branch of this section of the sewers, very near to the hobgoblin guard post that marked their entry into the area.
The party headed deeper into the main branch and came upon another cluster of goblins hobgoblins. The party attacked them and quickly gained the advantage, but while a hobgoblin held a dogged defense, one of his smaller cousins ran to get reinforcements. The hobgoblin finally felled the party easily dealt with the two small goblins that rushed in to attack, but a few more fell back, taking shots with their shortbows. The party advanced on them, following them around a blind corner where they caught sight of their true foe: a War-Cleric of Gruumsh and his hulking ogre bodyguard.
The goblins were quickly dealt with by Thistle and Carol, but as Kaneda advanced towards the Orc, the fell cleric began to chant, and bestowed some of his divine power on the ogre, who grew half-again his already large size. His head brushing the high, vaulted ceiling of the chamber, the ogre cut a terrifying figure. Kaneda nimbly dodged a club larger than himself, and was showered in chips of stone as the ogre sundered the very stone around him. Knowing that one blow from the huge creature could easily kill, the party fought a tense battle, and was ultimately able to kill both the cleric and his pet; as Vashara peppered the giant with arrows, Kaneda and Thistle nipped at its heels and Carol and Merrilyn took down the cleric.
The group did what they could to barricade the entrance to the deeper caves through which the goblins had come and headed to the surface to claim their reward.

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Sessions 7+8: Chivalry

As the party gathered in the Lonesome Jug after their last sewer excursion, they encountered a curious gnome in the common room. Tall for a gnome, he was dressed in Halfling garb and smoking a pipe; though he wore no obvious weapons, he moved like a trained fighter. Introducing himself as Brundle, the gnome suggested a business partnership –trained in battle and subterfuge, Brundle felt that he would be of great help to the group. While Brundle was welcomed by Vash, Merrilynand Thistle, Caroland Kanedawere distracted.

Sequestered in his room, Kaneda was poring over a book of arcane teaching. With great concentration, the Illumian managed to create a magical spark, and just like that, the magical theories he had been trying to learn fell into place, and Kaneda claimed the mantle of wizard.
Carol, for her part was deeply distracted. With little to say to the rest of the party she began to drink heavily, even for her, seeking comfort in a drunken oblivion. Perhaps there was a deeper significance at work, but the Cleric was not telling anyone.

Shortly thereafter, a messenger showed up in guard livery. A watch house in Guardsreach needed some help. The party, minus the besotted Carol, arrived there to find Capt. Maler filling in for another Guard Captain. Apparently, a young man name Grent Hale had reported an incident at a nearby cemetery; when the captain and some of his men went to investigate, they didn’t come back. Maler wanted revenge for his colleague, so he hired the party and their new gnomish friend to look into it.

First, they went to question Grent, who nervously recounted what happened. He and a girl, Ariana, had snuck into the Elemric Family’s gated section of the cemetery to do what teenagers do, when they heard something in the dark. When they saw a dark shape rush at them, Ariana screamed and Grent ran away. He hid in the dark for about an hour, and when he crept back to investigate, Ariana was gone and he spotted a strange, small person lurking near the mausoleum. That’s when he went to get the guards.

The party went to the cemetery at night to investigate and the two rogues went in to scout it out while Vashara perched in a nearby tree to try and keep an eye on things. The two rogues moved in, but Kaneda, unused to working with another sneak kept too close to his ally and alerted a sentry, who moved closer to investigate. At closer glance, the little figure was revealed to be a goblin, and Brundle moved in to eliminate him. The gnome cloaked himself in a magical silence and cleaved the little beast in two with his greatsword. Seeing the scuffle, Vash picked off another sentry with her arrows, but the goblins inside the mausoleum were alerted regardless. As they moved towards the rogues, Thistle and Merrilyn hurried to join the fray and Brundle worked himself into a savage fury. The fight was brief and bloody and before long the goblins were dead and the party found a tunnel in the mausoleum, leading deep underground to some truly ancient ruins.

Brundle, his bloodlust still pounding, immediately began to climb down, while the rest took a more cautious approach. At the bottom of a long knotted rope Brundle descended on a very surprised goblin, which ran swiftly to the large warning gong near a pair of large bronze doors. Unfortunately for the gob, Brundle was still surrounded by a magical silence, and the alarm did not sound. When the rest of the party mad it to the bottom of the rope, a fatigued gnome was waiting for them over the shattered remains of both goblin and gong. With the large doors in front of them and a smaller door to the side, the party prepared to choose a route, but then Merrilyn’s keen eyes spotted an irregularity in the wall. The party blocked the small doo and elected to take the secret passage, which lead into a makeshift prison.

The party defeated the orcish guards and their krenshar beasts, captured the orc’s battle cleric and freed a few prisoners, including Ariana, a wounded city guardsman, and an old woman. The party helped them to the surface and then tried to interrogate the orc. He was not forthcoming and merely said that his master would help to lead the attack on the city above. Unable to get anything more, the party killed the orc and looked further. In a small chapel, the party found a crude iron statue to Gruumsh, in the aspect of Grul’ha the Hound of War. Two rubies sparkled in the statue’s eyes, so the mercenary gnome struck off the head and claimed the whole parcel.

Pressing on, the party discovered that the large bronze doors lead into a fortified gauntlet defended by bugbears and cruel traps. Fortunately, the secret door took them to their attackers’ flank, making the battle much easier. Deeper still the party found the orcs’ leader, a hobgoblin warmage and his guardian constructs attempting to bypass a large scorched door. After a short battle the mage lay slain and the party found his personal quarters in an adjoining room. They claimed his treasure, including a large store of gold in a leather valise, a few scrolls and gems.

Ignoring the dire warning given by the scorch marks on the floor and a handful of dead goblins, the party decided to brave the door. After dealing with several lethal traps, the party was able to recover an ancient treasure. The threat of this band eliminated the party returned to Maler, where they found Grent and Ariana reunited –with the young man trying desperately to apologize for leaving her. Maler thanked them again, paid them their reward and sent the party on their way.

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Session 10: Spy vs. spy
Letter to Peony

Sweetest Peony,
How is my little Halfling princess? My apologies for not finding the time to write before now but I have been tangled in a series of misadventures. I hope your schooling is doing well and that you are getting along alright. I have fallen in with a fun and interesting band of adventurers, one of which has magics of about your talents. I’ll see if I can acquire some of his spells and send them your way in the near future. As you insist I will inform you of what life is like beyond the walls of your school and tell you about one of our latest escapades, as demanded I’ll do my best not to sensor any of the good stuff:
After a successful day of adventuring my band celebrated our success into the wee hours of the morning. Some drank, some retired to study, I had a pleasant business interaction with the local thieves guild and continued to drink with a Halfling friend named Thistle until I eventually took to slumber. I awoke, pipe still clenched in my teeth, to find my companion Vash, a weird bird thing, eating breakfast aside another compatriot of mine lying on the table. ( I don’t think I have seen her stand upright yet for any period longer than half an hour.) Vash found a mysterious key and Carol, the boozer, appeared to have some sort of letter tucked behind her ear. The letter revealed the location of a store room that we figured likely the destination for the key’s insertion, so I gathered up Merrilyn, another comrade of mine, from the lap of a half elven female and the group of us went off to investigate.
In the locker we found yet another note, this one had a simple illusion I bet you would have found clever on it. It told us about some shenanigans in the back room of a pub called the Dented Tankard. It had the seal of a thieves guild and was signed “Laughing Man”. On our exit the clerk said a man with a blonde wig delivered us another note which warned an incident had taken place earlier involving the local guard.
Out of sheer curiosity we decided to take a look for ourselves and parleyed with a man whose fishing business was right across the bar. He was very prudish and a lot of fun to make fun of.
The Drunken Tankard was a run down, dilapidated and appeared to be failing miserably, but after only a few inquiries however it was proven to hold a whole litany of undesirables that were more than happy to die on the end of my blade. An old pig farmer inspired by our musical bard sprung to his feet and relived the memories of his former glory by helping us in combat. I wish I could have watched it more closely, he was awesome, and Merilyn hasn’t stopped singing about him yet. There was one however that didn’t want to meet his just desserts and made me chase him all around town, the wuss. After several altercations and one hell of a horse chase I destroyed his cart in epic fashion and the two of us clashed steal. My compatriots made short work of the rest of his band with well laid arrows, some dog biting, and even a spell or two while I kept the roguish spy at bay. The spy had at this point also taken captive a captain of the guard and our other deft handed fellow Keneda managed to free him. In the end it was our handsome bard that managed to land the last blow on the cowardly yet talented spy. I like that; most bards are lookers on, but Merrilyn dove into the nitty gritty and definitely wins my respect.
Anyhow, that was my day yesterday. I have included 30 gold with this letter to help with school or books or whatever you may need. When you hear from your mother send her my best, and study hard. I’ll try not to be so long between correspondences in the future.

Love,
Uncle Brundle

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Session 11: To Shale Creek

From the log of Loreguard Kelnyeldau

After days of investigation and travel, I have finally found the opportunity to sit down and update the journal of my travels. I hope, as always, that they will benefit our glorious Loreguard Cabal in their quest for knowledge.

Currently we are camped for the night roughly a half day south of Outwall. The elements have begun to favor us, but it does not make much difference as Vashara the Raptoran and Thistle the halfling have found us adequate shelter for the evening. My sigils should adequately do double duty of keeping away wild beasts while giving me enough light to continue my writing during my watch.

I am eager to speak of the nature of our journey, but I should first continue where I left off in my previous entry, with the defeat of the Carthian spy Treynal Merinden and the rescue of Davin Maler, the captain (a sort of subarbiter for those readers unfamiliar with the justice system outside of the Cabal) of the Northshore area of Kestrel, and one of my companions’ greatest resources.

Upon conversing with the captain, we learned that his capture had been little more than a happy coincidence. Merinden’s plan originally was to recapture Conor Damilus, the wastrel we had encountered earlier, and regain the plans that he had originally purchased from Berrick before Thistle and Buttercup chased him down. However, with Maler practically falling into his lap on a routine patrol, Merinden switched to a Plan B that he didn’t know he had.

With Conor and his family currently hidden away in a undisclosed location, we turned our attention, for now, to two of the wizards that had been employed by Merinden. For the first time I had the opportunity to read two spellbooks besides my own. Although the wizards themselves are in a class not much greater than my own, the writings contained within are absolutely fascinating. The codes, the notations, the language involved in some of these spells… Well, they probably wouldn’t hold the attention of the Arcana Keepers, but I’m entranced. I have already taught myself one spell from the books, and am currently researching another. But that is for another time, and perhaps for another journal.

Within these books we found two pieces of writing. The first is a piece of, for lack of a better description, vulgar anthropological smut, of no use to the Cabal as far as I can tell. I have handed it off to Thistle, who seems continually interested in the baser nature of things, but if I learn that Cabal would like writings of cross-species erotica (perhaps for the closed stacks) then I can probably coax it back from her again.

The second is a letter from one of the wizards to his female companion back home. It discusses his time at the Mendoros school of magic in Carthia, as well as their recruitment into the Carthian plot. He also talks about a kind of magical enhancement herb, which we find on both wizards. After a discussion with Maler, as well as experimentation by Brundle (how he could find the insanity to do such a thing is beyond me. I’m willing to jump into a sewer, but that’s nothing compared to inhaling the smoke of an unknown plant), we discover that it is a boosting drug called Arcanite. We are keeping it on hand for now, although I personally am loathe to use such a thing.

As for the Mendoros connection, I’m hoping to gain more information, and it may be an avenue we pursue further in the future, especially with a personal connection within our group: Brundle’s niece is a student there.

The next day or so are not worthy of much detail, except to say that Thistle and Brundle have become close in a way that forced Thomadril and I to sleep further away from their rooms while Vashara has nested on the roof of the inn in order to get some rest. In addition, we have enhanced our equipment, including a lightning spear and Drakeskin armor for Thistle.

Also, we have temporarily lost a companion. Carol, the human cleric of Olidammara, has awoken from her drunken stupor long enough to embark on an unknown quest with some of her fellow compatriots. Her note to us has stated that she will return to us soon, and we only hope that is the case.

On to the matter at hand. Earlier in the day we were visited at the inn by Loreguard Rendalyes, the esteemed Lorekeeper for the Loreguard cabal. While there, he charged me with a task for the cabal: to retrieve a book from the land of one Meron Conrell. We do not know the name of the book, only its physical description. As for its contents, I have been asked by Rendalyes not to open it, so of course it will stay closed.

And then… the rest of my compatriots began to negotiate terms of payment. I know I should not speak of personal feelings in this log, but you understand how egregiously shameful this was for me to watch. This was Rendalyes. Our Lorekeeper. What he asks for Loreguard, we do for Loreguard. There is little doubt that this book is important for the cabal. It may even be a tome from the Library of the Sublime itself. I would give my fortune, I would give my sigils, I would give my life for such a thing, and yet here they were, bartering like it was nothing more than a piece of pottery at the market.

Nevertheless, it appears that the Black Table agrees to the importance of the book, as Loreguard Rendalyes has been given permission to pay my colleagues for the return of the book. Even then, they questioned it. Vashara especially. She even forced Rendalyes to shake her hand to seal the deal. Clearly this is an important task.

So we are on our way. After a brief encounter with the thief Dunphy, who gave us payment and information on the so-called Laughing Man (he works for him, it would appear) we met up with Meron Conrell at his estate in Outwall. After agreeing to terms (again with terms, how someone cannot just say “Please, you can have the book, as it is vitally important” is beyond me), we are now traveling south towards Shale Creek, the location of the Manor and the book. There has apparently been trouble there. Of course. And we will most likely have to fight. Of course. But this is the Sublime we’re fighting for, and that’s the most important of all.

But, according to Brundle, there may be Dire Wolves.

I think I’m going to study my spells a little more. And maybe sharpen my blades…

the following information has been hastily jotted down on a separate slip of paper

We were just ambushed by a group of gnolls and their hyena attack dogs upon our arrival at Shale Creek. We were victorious, but just barely. Almost lost Brundle. Vashara, as well, but the bard Thomadril Merrilyn reacted just in time, hitting the leader of the army with a Fascinate spell, song, whatever. This allowed Vashara to escape the net that she had become entangled in, as well as giving us the opportunity to wipe out the remaining fighters before turning our attention to the imposing leader.

Our magicks are improving. I used Mage Armor for the first time, with effective results. Thistle appears to be able to make a giant fireball in the air similar to that used by Merinden, and Thomadril can make duplicates of himself appear out of thin air. I’ll have to try to find that spell myself…

The group is currently splitting up the spoils from battle as I write this. There is a burned and ruined building off in the distance. That must be where the book lies….

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Session 12: The Burned Manor

To The Council-
We were just finding our bearings again when I heard a horrible whinny; before I had a chance to think the sound through, Brundle (the odd little gnome) ran off towards the noise like a swooping falcon. As it turns out it was Artax, I understand why he ran off so quickly now. I grew to like him more with that, had it been Kree crying out in pain nothing could have gotten in my way. It seems an ability to bond with another creature is something we have in common with Whisper Gnomes. He found Artax surrounded by wolves; it was odd, they almost seemed organized. Myself and the rest of the group quickly followed Brundle to help him dispatch the wolves and help Artax. Thankfully, we did arrive before too much damage was stricken upon Artax and were able to slay the beasts.

Unfortunately one of the wolves was able to get away, he ran towards a howl in the nearby woods; at the time all I was able to see was a large shape in the shadows; it seemed to be watching us. We chose to head to one of the small homes we had just rid of gnolls to bandage our wounds and rest. I do not understand why the other species find comfort in being surrounded by walls; do they truly believe they are safer? Walls only get you trapped in a corner and restrict everything. I took a position on the roof of the structure they retreated to, it was not very high but was at least a better vantage point than on the ground.
Merrilyn joined me on the roof to keep watch; he is an intriguing man who seems to understand how to make a fight work to his advantage. I hope to pick up some of those skills from him; he seems a scrappy fighter. I’d never say it but I rather enjoy that he calls me “feathers”; I feel a bit less like an outsider. One wolf did approach during the night to examine the dead bodies we had stacked up away from the structure but did little else. It was of great use, I was able to track it the next morning after everyone had broken their fast.

Curiously, he had come from the manor house we had been sent to investigate. We scouted the area around the house, I was able to get to the second floor and found there the large wolf from the shadows in a small room. We devised to go in from the second floor to try and pin the wolf in a confined space, he too believed walls would help him which only helped us corner him and bottle-neck the smaller wolves coming up the stairs. It mostly worked. It took Brundle going into a rage and half dead to finally fell the beast.

After we cleared the house of wolves we began to search for the book we were sent to find but have thus far been unsuccessful in finding it. However while myself and Kaneda were searching the library he fell through the floor to discover another level. I do wonder what the experience of being in a ransacked library is like for Kanada? I have a great reverence for libraries from my father, but I cannot imagine it is on nearly the same level as it is for him. I hope it was not a terribly traumatizing experience.

Despite not wanting to, I followed him into the lower levels. We found a dilapidated conservatory wildly overgrown with tangles and bushes with a set of double doors at the back. Brundle and Merry searched another path that seemed to lead to the doors from the other side but they were locked. I went into the conservatory towards the doors, I should have listened to Kanada about being slow and careful traversing the vines. I was too rash in going into the room. As I reached the middle of the room I was attacked- by a plant. Once I looked more closely at my attacker I recognized it as a Blood Thorn, which was very peculiar as they are not native to this region.

Once we were able to destroy the Blood Thorn we discovered an archway behind it, and Brundle was able to find a hidden door leading down. Down, down, always down, I do not understand this illusion of safety underground. We found two deep pits in the first room we came to, what they were used for I do not know. As we were searching the area, four earth elementals appeared and attacked us. Brundle once again went crazy and after we dealt with the elementals he sprinted down the hallway that was rigged with blots, he was riddled with holes by the time he reached the end of the hall. The trap, thankfully for the rest of us, did not reset and Thistle was able to heal Brundle’s wounds. Their’s is an odd relationship, I’m still unsure how that came about.

We found a cavernous room beyond the doors with an underground lake and island in the center. Upon the island we found four pillars and a chest in the center, and at last the book we were seeking. There is something very satisfying about finding one’s quarry, I am beginning to greatly enjoy the feeling of completing a quest. Unfortunately it was not the end. The water was uneasily still, and Merry saw that the book and one of the pillars was emanating magic. When Kanada picked up the book the column revealed itself to be some sort of guardian which took on the form of a woman with a large sword. We attempted to talk to her to try and understand more about the book but she would not respond.
As Kanada began to walk with the book she charged him. I was very wary about fighting this construct, I know nothing about this book, were we doing a good thing taking it? I do not trust that we were. but I do trust Kanada; thus far he has shown his quality. The guardian destroyed Brundle’s sword, so Kanada left his for him and ran with the book to make sure we completed our goal. We were able to destroy her, but my heart is still uneasy about that.

We are currently camped for the evening between Shale Creek and Outwall. I will report additional findings when I can. And to my great joy I have taken my first flight on my own from the ground! I am progressing in my abilities, and am confident I will be able to return home when the time comes.

-Vashara La’Sheen

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