Chapter 23
Hunters and Hunted

Dasterbolt and Bronagh slept fitfully through the night after Bronagh’s resurrection, their dreams being intruded upon by the Couatl saying “There is no time. She comes for me.” Upon waking, the party tried to convince Satunda and the Tauren elders that they needed to take the Trials in a different order, so as to reach Faelivir faster but to no avail. The party decided to follow through with the Trials out of respect, and headed out once more to the SouthEast to hunt down the Mammoth herd.

After a couple days of travel, the party climbed a small rise and below them was the herd of large Mammoths. Dasterbolt scouted ahead, and was able to get very close without the creatures noticing his small gnomish form. Bronagh and Shammah cautiously approached, but Shammah disturbed a small ground-nesting bird. Bronagh then used the bird’s viewpoint to find the location of the Mammoth they sought. Dasterbolt turned himself into his own version of the bird, and flapped up to hover above the Mammoth with the white shoulder-patch, the Taniwha-spirit of the Trial of Community. The Gnome wizard successfully transformed the mammoth into a saber-toothed tiger, using all of his intellect to do so, losing concentration on his flying. Slamming into the tiger and losing concentration on its transformation, Dasterbolt found himself, winded, atop the Mammoth target. He was only able to stay on top of the heaving mass of woolly fur and muscle as the Mammoth charged outward toward Shammah and Bronagh, who had called out the challenge.

After a brief battle, and chase on Dasterbolt’s part, the Mammoth was slain. Shammah and Bronagh each took a tusk of the Mammoth, removing them from the skull. Shammah’s was a little neater, but Bronagh polished hers up. They seemed about the same level of worthiness when presented to Satunda.

The final path of their journey lay northward further, across the frozen ocean to the Island of Tapuravale. They encountered a band of orcs led by Miloka, members of the Firegash tribe who approved of the Helmbreakers and mentioned that they were seeking to observe the Leviathan that frequented the frigid ocean below the ice.

The next day, with the Island in sight, the Leviathan attacked the group, decimating a pack of warg-riding orcs that were riding toward the party. The monster burst forth once more and tore through some of the orcs escorting the Helmbreakers, before gripping Shammah in its massive maw and swallowing the wood elf whole.

Chapter 22
Trials of the North

After some further questions of the Couatl (Dasterbolt seemed especially interested in the nature of Fey), the party set out East for the Tauren village. They had been directed there by Lein-Ahmik, as the Being of great power, Faelivir was held sacred by the Tauren, and he suggested they would be the place to go first.

Reaching the village was easy, and they spoke with Chieftain Vadamee and his aide, Satunda. The Tauren spoke of Three Trials they must undergo in order to be ready to enter Tapuravale, where Faelivir dwells.

The first of these was the Trial of Wisdom. The Party was submerged in icy cold water beneath the frozen shelf above, after drinking Artalaak. They observed a shoal of silver fish being hunted by a pod of Orcas and emerged mostly unscathed after being observed by the Orcas with curiousity. Satunda told them that Wisdom is: “To see oneself as small against the background of the world. It is freeing and important: There is more than yourself. You can not deny this truth when you see the vastness of the Northern Wilds, or the power of a hunting pod of Killer Whales.” The Party dried off and returned to the village for night before setting off on the Trial of Community.

For their next Trial, they were tasked with the hunt of a “taniwha-spirit” in the form of a great woolly Mammoth. Setting off, the party encountered many dangers and trials. A Wyvern spotted the party but was sent fleeing after its tasty-looking fat Gnome prey turned out to be an illusion. The Wyvern fled off into the sky, even despite Shammah’s long shot almost straight upward that terribly wounded it.

An encounter with Sabertooth tigers hunting a caribou, became a conversation between Bronagh, who offered them gifts of food for information on the Mammoth herd they were trying to find. With some direction from the predatory felines, the party stumbled upon emerging monsters and protective Wargs.

In a desperate battle against beasts of chitin and flame the Wargs fell and the party was decimated. One of the thrashing Remorhazes reared up above the fallen Bronagh and ended her life. Dasterbolt and Shammah, barely hanging on fought the remaining monsters before a small silver-furred form nudged the lifeless body of Bronagh Stonejaw. Her companion, Iven the pine marten transformed into a massive Silver Dragon who spoke a single emphatic word: “NO.” The dragon destroyed the last Remorhaz, and took Bronagh’s body onto his back, leaving her friends bewildered on a field of death.

While contemplating their next move, without their Dwarf friend, Dasterbolt discovered that the Wargs had been defending a young pup and convinced the creature to follow him and allow him to try to tame it.

To procure the pup fresh meat, Dasterbolt horrifically killed a caribou with magical sleep and acid, as Shammah looked on with an especially deep frown.

The next morning, the Dragon, Ecthelion, Guardian of Mielikki brought news and a plea for help. He had found a powerful healer among the Tauren, one who knew how to perform a Resurrection and could potentially bring Bronagh back to the world. But the ritual of Resurrection requires aid to perform and Ecthelion asked for their help. Shammah and Dasterbolt agreed to go, and they arrived on the outskirts of the village, where Bronagh’s corpse lay, blanketed, on slabs of rock.

Dasterbolt removed his equipment and lay them beside his dead friend, proclaiming that he would rather have Bronagh than all of his items he gathered around himself. Ecthelion pleaded to Mielikki through whispered prayer, and Shammah sliced his own flesh, performing a healing blood curse for the person who had helped him become who he was today.

After a moment of longing, Bronagh’s eyes opened and their friend returned. Relief, joy and hope came over them as well as the need to rest. Before they set out once more on the Trial of Community the party went to sleep with much to think about.

Chapter 21
The Dragon and the Couatl

The adventurers were given prisms that could summon animals and temporary epic boon potions to aid them in their battle against the great Copper Dragon, Pyrinthodion. A battle ensued, in the dragon’s lair, with a Rhino and Elephant charging into the fray alongside Bronagh, Shammah and Dasterbolt. Though the Dragon was a powerful foe, the adventurers were victorious, giving him good enough that he took some damage and perceived it to be worthy of a tale.

In return for their run-through of his soon-to-be-abandoned lair, the Copper Dragon granted them gifts: a Helm of Telepathy, a set of Copper Dragon Scale armor and an Immovable Rod.

The Party returned to the surface, and to Nost, to tell Brammyl the good news that the Dragon threat was dealt with, and to celebrate they went pig-wrestling with the jolly Dwarf.

The Party decided to head North to speak with the Couatl they had met in the Howling Spire while searching for the Helm of the Horde. They journeyed through the Frostpeak Mountains and reached the Spire and found their mysterious acquaintance.

Lein-ahmik, the powerful Couatl, told them more of his duties as Warden of the North-Gate, guarding against a Curse/Weapon from below that was formed during an ancient war between the Dwarves and the Illithids. He also said that he could sense his death approaching and that it was somehow connected with the Party, who he named as Twisters of Fate. The Couatl had no more information on Reaver or the Prophecy, other than to direct them to someone who he believed could help: a Being of great power named Faelivir.

Chapter 20
Dungeon and Dragon

After some downtime activities (Shammah improving his rapier, Dasterbolt doing jobs for the Society and crafting a ‘something’ that gives him better defense, and Bronagh crafting amulets and catching up with her family [also mining and finding lots and lots of gems]), the party received a letter from Brammyl Bolbrew, inviting them to the Midsummer Festival of Nost.

They decided to take him up on the invitation and arrived in the city with a few days before the festival was to begin. They brought Reaver to the Temple of Savras in Nost and received disturbing news. The blade was linked in with a prophecy about the End of the World.

Reeling from the information, and trying to process it the party indulged in the Midsummer games, fishing and shooting arrows and betting on toads’ jumping abilities.

After a day of fun and games, Brammyl came running out to the Heroes of Nost to request their assistance once more. The Temple of Chauntea had been vandalized with the magical image of a Copper Dragon’s head. Bronagh dispelled the magic, and Shammah spotted a strange trail of disappearing coins that led them out of the city and into the Amber Mines.

Through an illusory wall that read “Enter here for the Real Midsummer Games”, the party found themselves in a hidden lair. A night of rest in Leomund’s tiny hut went by before the party embarked on a series of puzzles and minor traps to reach a man with flowing hair and beautiful clothes, named Nicholas Prison. He said that in order to meet the host of the lair, they needed to participate in a game he had invented, called Metagaming. Some polyhedral dice rolling and roleplaying later, brought the party into an audience with Pyrinthodion, Giver of Laughter, a great copper dragon of immense size.

A failed riddle on either side left the decision to battle for the treasure to a dice roll that the party failed, causing them and the Dragon to ready themselves for a battle within his lair.

Chapter 19
Partings and Reunions

The Company spoke the morning after Cathartes’ defeat of what their next plans would be, and Albinon expressed his desire to go alone.

Erdan too, after some convincing, decided to see more of the world than the borders of the Weirwood and hopefully find some solace from his actions.

Ramas stayed in the ruins, to ensure that the tear between the Material and the Feywild could be repaired or at least reduced, with the aid of the other members of his Blood Hunter team, which were on their way.

Dasterbolt, Bronagh, and Shammah decided to head West to Thesselmar. There, they met with Bronagh’s father, Hundlar, and brother, Lodin. Her family was overjoyed to see her, and mentioned that her arrival had been heralded by one Archaius Noctivagan, who was given a place to stay in the Merchants’ Court.

The next morning, the three companions spoke with Archaius. Archaius returned Bronagh’s book of lore, and thanked her for lending it to him, mentioning in particular the older version of the Tale of the Hunter and the Finder, which contained names and other attributes that greatly intrigued him.

The Story-Collector told them of his new quest, to find the journal of Brynioth, the dragon mate of Lagiocrys Seeker of Secrets. The journal is supposedly being kept within the Opus Synopsium, the grand archives of the Dragonborn in the Encircling Peaks.

While conversing, Dasterbolt suggested they find out more about each other, in order to foster trust between the four of them. To do this, he said they could create a Zone of Truth with Bronagh’s divine magic and ask questions of each other. Archaius reacted negatively to this suggestion, becoming increasingly angry and upset.

To demonstrate his level of trust and cooperation with Archaius, Dasterbolt handed over the mysterious cube to the Story-Collector, who was awed by this display. Archaius took the cube with reverence and then decided to acquiesce to their demands for more answers about himself (after a brief hesitation by Shammah on whether or not to strike Archaius down).

Archaius: “I do not know what I am. I thought I was a Dragonborn but there are subtle differences that only Dragonborn noticed.”
“I was raised far from civilization. I do not wish to speak of my mother.”
“I am 293 years old.”

After this discussion, Archaius packed up his things and departed for the Encircling Peaks.

Chapter 18

Within the ruins of Anfail, Shammah, Bronagh, Dasterbolt, and Albinon confronted a Fey Lord, Cathartes, who was seeking to tear open a portal from the Feywild to the Material realm, with the ultimate goal of bringing the Gods down once again to the Material Plane. He explained his reasoning for doing so by claiming to be the manifestation of the dream of Paulthor and Vannan (two Elves who wished for the same thing in ancient times, see The Tale of Paulthor and Vannan).
Albinon successfully wrested the charm of Erdan away from Cathartes, and battle commenced.
After a grueling battle among the ruins, while many lay fallen, Dasterbolt consumed Cathartes in the blast of his Scroll of Fireball.
Moments later, Cathartes’ ashes assumed a semblance of his form and spoke once more as if from a distance: “I see it here and now. I am not the dream of Paulthor and Vannan… There is going to be, was, and is, a child. I am the dream of their child, Destroyer of Worlds.” And then the ashes collapsed.
In the aftermath, the adventurers rested while Erdan wandered beneath the canopy of trees.

The Story So Far...
2016 Adventures Summarized

Brought together from various paths to the town of Nost, four travelers met in the Silver Pig Tavern with Brammyl Bolbrew to discuss his distressing situation. He wished for people not common to town, and also competent to perform a little investigation for him. The Priests of Savras (God of Fate) told Brammyl that these four would be needed for the job. The quest was to investigate the disappearance of Velric the Dragonslayer’s bones, which had not returned to enter Nost for the Midwinter Festival. Velric the Dragonslayer was revered as the savior of Nost from a Silver Dragon that had destroyed most of the town about 300 years ago. Now his bones needed rescuing from whatever fate had befallen them on the Old North Road.

Four travelers fated, chosen, or coincidentally in the area at the right or wrong time were an odd assortment.

Bronagh Stonejaw, Dwarf Cleric of the Goddess Mielikki who ruled over life in all its complexity and loved wild nature in forest and stream, the beasts of all manner and location were hers to adore. Bronagh followed her Goddess in her reverence for animals and plants of all kinds, learning to channel the power of her divine patron to heal and protect and smite the enemies of Good. She had made for herself a home in the Hemwood, south of Nost, and occasionally visited the Northern Town.

Albinon St. Clair, Human Bard with a tragic past and who searched for word of a blond man with red glowing eyes. Albinon was in Nost this Midwinter on contrary orders to Brammyl’s. The Baron Fedolish of Ravenholme had contracted the Bard (who was known for taking odd jobs If the gold was good) to acquire the fingerbones of Velric the Dragonslayer for his private collection. Upon arriving in the town of Nost, Albinon found that the bones were not on schedule to arrive and that his thievery had become more complicated than he originally thought.

Shammah Meliamne, Wood Elf Blood Hunter, member of a mysterious order and wielder of magic from his own life-force. Shammah had lost his home to a disease that wiped out his village, Anfail, while he was traveling through the far reaches of the Weirwood. Finding his family dead and those he was close to dying, Shammah followed a new path, and had no roots to tie his hunting spirit to the Forest of the East Wilds. While hunting one of his foes in the outskirts of the Scrambling Forest, he met with a certain Human Bard, Albinon, who he decided to travel with to the Town of Nost.

Dasterbolt, Gnome Wizard who named himself because he had no memory of any other title. The Wizard searched the lands for pages specially marked with a symbol that he cannot fathom. He found a rumor of such a page in the Town of Nost and made his way there, entering during the week before Midwinter, to join the varied group assembled to find Velric’s lost bones.

The Four set off North along the road, meeting Derro and Cora Redlim at their orchard farm en route. They also met up with a Raven named Hugal, which Albinon shot with a crossbow bolt because of its stare. Continuing further they encountered a Worg in a clearing, and some trigger set off the ground collapsing downward into an old barrow of dragon cultists. The rooms contained skeletons (some rising with the presence of unwanted intrusion) and some centipedes that had broken into one chamber. Also within the barrow was a mysterious cube, marked with an ancient symbol for Dragon that glowed pale blue.

Taking this object, the Four continued North and found the wreckage of the bone transport. A herd of giant spiders and their Ettercap herdsman had been evicted from the Fortress of Hammerath further North by a group of Orcs and Hobgoblin mercenaries. Once the group had dispatched the spiders and slew the hunting Ettercap, they met with a figure who approached them from further North. The figure was Archaius Noctivagan, a silver Dragonborn, Collector of Stories. Archaius was distressed at finding Albinon had slain one of his two Ravens, but seemed consoled by the group’s words. He desired entrance to the Town of Nost, and had problems with it in the past due to the Town’s history with silver dragons. Archaius told of the dragon who it was said did the assault, namely Lagiocrys, Seeker of Secrets. Archaius clearly showed an interest in this dragon and professed disbelief that Lagiocrys would have attacked the town of Nost. He preferred to believe the stories were false.

After the group agreed to allow him to accompany them back into the Town, Archaius told them a story of the Beginning of the World and the Nameless God, a God who defied all others, caused chaos and nightmare and was destroyed by the other Gods banding together in a vast array.

Entering Nost, the four were given the title Heroes of Nost and became distinguished in the Town as the ones who returned the sacred bones to the Temple of Chauntea in the center of Nost. They participated in the various festivities that occurred during the Midwinter Festival and left to investigate the Fortress of Hammerath, the source of the marauding spiders. Before entering the fortress, the four found a Lizardfolk pilgrim in a cloak who had been shot in the back by the Orcs which they found inside. Slaying the Orcs and their Worgs, the four opened a sealed door in the basement of the Hammerath Fortress, by using the fallen Lizardfolk’s star-shaped key and found the skeleton of the ancient dragon Lagiocrys within. Across the chamber, they found another sealed door which opened by the same key and defeated a gelatinous cube that had found its way inside. Contained within the cube was the riddle-map the Orcs had been seeking, which told of the location of the Hidden Armoury of the Knights of Hammerath. The Orcs were looking for this fabled storehouse for the Helm of the Horde which was said to be within, a symbol of Orc dominance and strength and the herald of a leader of the Northern Horde.
A Warlord Serakna Drakebane had sent these orcs to find clues about the location, and seemed to be attempting to form the Orcs into this horde once more.

On their return to Nost, the adventurers put the Redlims within the city to save them from any encroaching Orcs and spoke with Archaius about the cube they had found in the barrow. Archaius attempted to leave with the cube in his possession but after turning invisible he was stopped by the party, and Dasterbolt made a deal with him to be present when Archaius unlocked the cube’s secrets.

The party set off North to the village of Moskva, ploughing the dangerous coastal seas in the Osborn Gale, a ship piloted by two Halfling siblings, Bosco and Bell. After a brief encounter with a phosphorescent giant squid, the craft reached the town of Moskva, just as it was coming under attack by Orc raiders riding on Worgs. The assault of the Orcs was repelled successfully by the brave adventurers’ stand, and one Orc survived to report to Warlord Serakna of the warriors wearing the Knights of Hammerath’s armour. The Osborn Gale left the harbour of Moskva with the few survivors of the village to head south to Nost. The adventurers left North, across the Northern Wilds to reach the Howling Spire, wherein lay the Hidden Armoury. Within that Spire of twisting passages of ice was an invisible couatl, which spoke of guarding against something far more terrible than orcs. This Feathered serpent with beautiful multicolored wings also said it was a member of Alluvion Terminus.

When the Hidden Armoury was found, they retrieved more than the Helm of the Horde from within. Albinon picked up a black blade with red runes of fell design and he felt its voice within his mind. This sword called itself Reaver and it said it couldn’t remember who its former masters were or how long it had lain in that sealed cavern. Reaver made no intention of hiding its bloodthirstiness but the sword did clearly wish to be wielded and brought forth from its concealment.

While leaving the Howling Spire, they encountered a group of Orcs and Bronagh placed the Helm upon her head in a bid for contention with Serakna Drakebane. The Orcs were convinced by this display of courage and strength and by the pyrotechnics of Dasterbolt’s magic and persuasion that Serakna should fight Bronagh for her right to lead the Northern Horde. Traveling with this group of Orcs, they sowed dissension and challenged Serakna herself to this fight. The Orcs escorted the group to the Orc hold in the caves of the Broken Spine, formed by the White Dragon Kiamar herself before she was finished off by Serakna.

Bronagh and Serakna fought, one on one in the arena before the crowd of Orcs. Just when defeat was imminent for the Orc Warlord, her white dragon wyrmling stepped in, striking to destroy Bronagh Stonejaw out of spite. This caused outrage among the Orcs, who rushed forward into the arena (along with Albinon, Dasterbolt and Shammah). In the mobrush that ensued, Bronagh called down radiant flames to destroy Serakna and her wyrmling steed, proving absolutely that the Orc had no claim to the Helm of the Horde. Bronagh spoke with the Orc chieftains then, proclaiming that the Orcs should no longer have one leader and that they should no longer war against others, but rather fight challenging battles against monsters that roam Euontel. Instead of raiding villages and taking, they should ride against immense foes that were said to be unstoppable and in doing so demonstrate the Orcs’ true strength. The Chieftains took the pieces of the Helm that Bronagh gave to each and considered her words, allowing the four to leave and to take what they wished from the corpses of Serakna and her dragon wyrmling.

Returning through the mountain pass, and surviving an attack by a hunting wyvern, the adventurers were on their way to Nost when a white raven delivered a letter to Shammah. The letter was from Ramas Uthrakt, Shammah’s friend and mentor, who mentioned that there was rumors of work to do in Ravenholme.

Albinon also received a letter with an invitation to the Baron Fedolish’s Archives in Ravenholme at his estate. Dasterbolt received a letter with a job for the Society, the network of informants he is connected with. They wished to expand the network still further and enlist the services of Baron Fedolish from Ravenholme by offering him a difficult-to-obtain gift: Refined Whale Oil from Solenar. Bronagh received a letter from the Thane of Thesselmar.

The four decided to head South to Solenar to acquire whale oil for Dasterbolt’s mission. They stopped off at Bronagh’s house that she had constructed in the southern Hemwood, and outside of it was a number of stone carvings of animals. Reaver was disturbed and did not like the place at all. They rode with a group of traveling players, led by Xander the Magnificent. A Draconologist rode with them as well, by the name of Soli Shimma. Albinon defeated Alvold Lightcrest in a lute-battle and the adventurers discovered the trail of a giant green dragon by the name of Quoloth the Poisoner, who was traveiling south toward the Solenar area, probably (according to Soli) to make a den there.

Once within the capital of the Solen Empire, Dasterbolt contacted his Society network and met with Meilen Ravasatra, a half-elven rogue. Meilen aided the group in their acquisition of the refined whale oil from within a museum’s storeroom. After doing so, and Dasterbolt’s charms having produced many winks between himself and the half-elf, the four left the city with Dastiff and Albinon’s new hat.

Down the road they went to Ravenholme, city of the mudflats, and on the way Bronagh severed the connection between Reaver and Albinon, allowing him to connect with the Blade of Choice.

Upon arriving at the city, they took a roundabout way of paying the mercenary-guards known as the Fallen Flock, and visited the Baron Fedolish’s estate. Dasterbolt delivered the whale oil and enfolded the Baron in the growing network known as the Society. Albinon searched the Archives for anything to do with a boy with blond hair and red glowing eyes and with Dasterbolt’s help was able to find a book with relevant information. The book indicated that such a boy left the St. Clair estate on the night that tragedy had struck it. This contrasted with the account of the tragedy that Bronagh read in the Libraries of Solenar: the passage she read indicated that Albinon was the sole survivor of the slaughter.

At the Baron’s request, the party went to investigate the manor of Lady Amanta, and there found disturbing signs of Fey corruption. The residents of the manor were all killed, and many of them had Fey-influenced plants growing out of them. The plants were altered forms of a tree from the Weirwood to the East. After defeating the corruption within the building, one of the enemies (a satyr with black antlers instead of goat horns adorning his head) mentioned a being known as Cathartes.

The party met with Ramas Uthrakt outside the Manor where it was determined that they should go to the village of Anfail (Shammah’s old village) to confront the source of the corruption, a powerful Fey by the name of Cathartes. It seemed that the Fey they had been combating in Ravenholme was merely a distraction for the tear that had occurred between the Feywild and the Weirwood. Ramas urged them on with all speed, and the party agreed, rushing on horseback for the forest. They received a letter from Archaius saying that he wanted to meet with them, bringing important information about Lagiocrys, but they sent a not back saying that they would be in the area of Thesselmar soon, and they were in a hurry. Upon arriving in the ruins of Anfail, a village that was killed by an unknown disease, the party was confronted with Erdan Amakiir, an Elf with black antlers upon his head. He spoke of Beshaba, Goddess of Misfortune and said that something changed in him when the entire village died with nothing he did helping. And a voice from across the Barrier of the Feywild had told him that things would be made right. The order of things would be rearranged to their correct state: the Barrier should come down, the Feywild should be made part of the world. Helping explain was the appearing form of Cathartes, and in a voice like wind through an underground cavern he spoke.

Chapter 17
Into the Weirwood

The Adventurers decided to explore the rest of Lady Amanta’s Manor and discovered in the master bedroom more Fey Plants and another Satyr. Defeating the strange corrupted plants, the Four left the Manor to see Corvul across the street. The Kenku spoke hesitantly of someone that he had found, and revealed that he had brought Shammah’s friend Ramas Uthrakt to the outskirts of the Manor. Ramas explained that he had been lured to Ravenholme after encountering dangerous Fey creatures in the Weirwood (the Forest of the East Wilds). He believed that the Fey that led him to Ravenholme and the Fey that the Adventurers had encountered were distractions and diversions despite their danger. The real threat lay in the Weirwood. When he had tracked down the dangerous Fey that had led him to Ravenholme he had obtained a warped ring that could allow one to penetrate the Barriers between planes and transport to the Barrier-plane itself: the Feywild. He proposed that reaching the threat could be possible through the use of this ring, though he also advised against it because of the inherent danger. Deciding against the use of such an object the adventurers set off on horses for the Weirwood.

They received a letter from Archaius while preparing to leave. The Story-Collector had written that he had uncovered some very interesting and possibly important information about the mysterious cube and the Silver Dragon Lagiocrys. Writing quickly back to him, Bronagh told him that they would be heading in the direction of Thesselmar and that they HAD to leave, it was very urgent and they were sorry not to be able to wait for him. Dasterbolt also began to work on a letter to Meilan.

The Adventurers traveled swift on their horses and passed through Thesselmar without stopping, to come upon the reaches of the Weirwood. Entering into the ancient mystical forest, they encountered some giant spiders’ webs and Bronagh was able to turn the spiders’ minds to friendship with Mielikki’s love of creatures.

Leaving the spiders behind, they were confronted with a line of mysterious mushrooms sprouting from the forest floor. Albinon’s magic was able to glean information from the fungi, and found that they were a defensive barrier that would knock out any who passed and tell Cathartes of any intruders as well. They extended in both directions, presenting a border on the area of the Weirwood that contained the dead village of Anfail, Shammah’s former home. Trying to simply pass by the barrier, they stepped through, some resisting but others (Bronagh, Iven, and Albinon) falling into a sleep disturbed by horrible nightmares. After bringing pain to the dreamers they were able to wake them and continue on their journey. Reaching the center of the area, they came upon the remains of the Elven village of Anfail, and in its center was a figure familiar to Shammah Meliamne.

Erdan Amakiir, who had seen the deaths of so many, spoke of despair that he had descended into, until he received hope and purpose from a Fey lord named Cathartes. Erdan spoke of the natural order of things being the Feywild overtaking the material realm, the Gods descending from beyond the Barrier.

Then Cathartes himself appeared, and spoke of these goals as well, and the trees at the borders of the village began to move and sway at his voice.

Chapter 16
Rainfall in Ravenholme

After a day of travel away from the capital and toward the city of Ravenholme, Bronagh used her more powerful connection with her Goddess to sever the connection between Reaver and Albinon, allowing Albinon to bond with the dragonbone sword (once Serakna’s weapon) that she upgraded for him, the Blade of Choice.

Another week and a half of travel, brought the party to the mudflats as rain threatened on the horizon. When they finally reached the outskirts of Ravenholme, they were halted by a trio of Kenku, who demanded they pay them for entrance. Dasterbolt paid with a particularly glowing copper coin, and Albinon promised the Baron Fedolish would pay for the rest of them, so Corvul accompanied them on their journey to the Baron’s Estate.

The Kenku stayed outside the Baron’s Fortress as the party entered into the chamber of Baron Fedolish himself. They spoke with the corpulent man on his high throne and Albinon was allowed access to the Baron’s archives, which he searched for anything to do with the St. Clair family. Dasterbolt gave Fedolish his jar of whale oil, to convince the Baron to join the ranks of the Society. After this, he helped Albinon and Bronagh search the chaotic bookshelves, and found a book that contained various rumors collected from the ‘common folk’. One such tale told of a merchant who had passed by the St. Clair Estate soon after tragedy had struck it. He picked up a lone traveler on the road who was a young man of 12 or 13. This boy disturbed the merchant, for though he appeared to be blind, the youth seemed to handle himself with confidence and eerie maturity. The boy was dropped off in Ravenholme some twenty years ago.

The party then received a request by the Baron to retrieve wine from the Lady Amanta’s, who had not been returning letters to the Baron for some time. Bronagh relented in paying Corvul for the ‘protection of the Fallen Flock’, feeling sorry for the Kenku who had waited at Albinon’s magical Suggestion for no recompense. When the party reached Lady Amanta’s manor, they found it eerily empty, and rain fell into the garden where Albinon caused the flowers to blossom. Entering inside, Bronagh found a deck of strangely marked cards, which she put in her pack. They then stumbled upon a body spread on the floor of an adjoining chamber, with a plant growing out of the victim’s chest. Shammah recognized the plant as a tree native to the Weirwood, the Forest of the East Wilds.

Searching the other side of the house, they found another body laid out in a similar manner. This time, the plant was not present, but the gaping wound in the servantwoman’s chest was evident that one had been grown here as well. Entering the basement, the party was confronted by a fey creature that took on multiple appearances, many of them Elves that Shammah recognized from his village. They also defeated a strange satyr with deer horns rather than goat, and death dogs that the Fey changer summoned. Oldorth Resenol, who had been sent by the Baron to retrieve wine was spread on the cellar floor, with a plant growing from his chest. Albinon stuffed several bottles of wine into his hat of holding and the party stood in the cold wine cellar, determining their next course of action.

Chapter 15
Albinon Buys a Hat or The Whale Oil Heist

Upon entering the city of Solenar, the Adventurers parted ways with Xander and his troupe of performers. Albinon led them to the unlit district, Dice Alley, where they stayed at an inn called the Toad and Stool. Albinon was tired after the long walk there and went promptly to bed.

He woke up next morning to find the other three off on some adventure, and enjoyed a delicious breakfast in the dining room of the tavern. After tipping the serving girl and bidding adieu to Arnald Fielding, the barkeep, he headed off to the Polished Crimson Vestibule or “PolCrim” for a bit of shopping. On the way he thought he heard a Gnome asking for directions to a pet store and shook his head despairingly.

The Human Bard strode into the first clothing store he could find. Too gaudy, he thought instantly, disturbed by the colours and the scent of perfume wafting by him.
The next was too practical, full of adventuring gear, some mud-stained from use and frayed at the edges.

The Third was Just right. After trying on several hats in the corner, he found one that fit his head and his style, accentuating his roguish smile (rare though it was) and crowning his dour pouts with poise.

He celebrated his excellent purchase with a stroll about the streets of Solenar, and munched some rare imported Maple Treats from the town of Nost. He found them quite delightful and mused on his days traveling with a few strange characters. Who even were Bronagh, Shammah and Dasterbolt? He thought to himself.

Where even were they?! He went back to the tavern and found that they were gone. Albinon brooded and played cards in the tavern, winning and losing, and returning to his original balance. Then he went to sleep.

He was roughly awakened by his three companions returning, talking all at once (Bronagh and Dasterbolt, anyway). They told him they needed to leave the city and so they rushed out into the night, leaving Solenar behind after 24 hours within its walls.

Dasterbolt Bronagh and Shammah struggled to play a game of cards in their room after planning their day in Solenar.

Dasterbolt then went and bought a Mastiff from a Halfling female named Agenilda. The three went to the library next, and Bronagh looked up the St. Clair family, while Dasterbolt and Shammah spoke with Archaius. Archaius admitted defeat on his search for information about the symbol on Dasterbolt’s shoulder. But his research into the symbol on the cube led him to believe it belonged to an old cult of dragon-worshippers. He suggested that it was a relic from a dragon hoard. Bronagh lent Archaius a book she had purchased, titled A Creed of Legends and Archaius seemed to like this a lot.

Dasterbolt commissioned a tailor to work on constructing his cloak and wyvern skull into a stylish outfit.

Then the three of them searched for the Luminators and possible sources of Whale oil. A Society agent met with them near the Docks, and led Dasterbolt on a meandering path back to Dice Alley, where she revealed herself to be Meilan Ravasatra, a contact in the network of “Informants” that Dasterbolt was a part of. After many winks (some sleazy, some skilled) Shammah dropped from the roof above them, and Bronagh clanked around to join the conversation as well.

They planned to steal from a vat of whale oil in the Museum storeroom. After a quick reconnaissance, and Bronagh using her shame-bringing lying skills, the Heist began at night. A brief tangle with a door-turned-mimic brought Dasterbolt close to death, but the skills of the team ended the threat, Shammah’s rapier slicing the door in two.

They found the storeroom and each scooped a jar of whale oil from the vat. Then they ran into animated skeletons of dinosaurs and a killer whale blocking their exit. Shammah’s rapier and Dasterbolt and Bronagh’s magic destroyed the bony warriors. Even the clawed foot that fled from Bronagh’s divine power was cut down by the Wood elf’s swift blade.
Upon leaving, the three ran to wake up Albinon, tell him the tale and get out of Solenar!


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