Blackmire Marches

Pike Forest Incursion part III - Ambush and Diplomacy

Eiger’s Journal:

I signed up with one of these newcomers named Buzzard or some such to go back to the Pike Forest. I showed up ready to stand in the line and be a good soldier, but as it turns out my leadership was needed. I decided to take the same route into the Forest, mainly to show the newcomers the lay of the land.

Interestingly the fountain we saw last time was gone. Clearly a powerful magic is at work. The alchemical workshop area was still deserted and a burned out shell. I did find a path along the irrigation canal. We decided to set up an ambush to catch whoever was using the path. It went off perfect to plan. We killed a patrol of soldiers and freed some slaves, only one of which agreed to come with us back to Blackmire.

Afterward we decided to leave by a land route through heavy woods to avoid pursuit. We stumbled upon a dwelling of the Panther men. We have promised not to reveal it’s location in the hopes of enlisting them in a fight against the Cultists. Isidren is negotiating with them as I write this…

Comments

A ball of crumpled paper… It begins about half way through with the prior text having been smudged and worn away.

And then I said, it takes three gnomes to properly replace a sunrod! Hahaha, still makes me laugh even as I write it… However I feel as if I’ve moved away from the purpose of this small recap to our most recent foray. With the enigmatic halfling who booked the expedition having vanished I took it upon myself to finish preparations though even I must admit my current lack of Blackmire geography may prove to be my downfall. Having had to thrust leadership on a rather gruff though experienced looking soldier by the name of Eiger. He proved most valuable with both guidance and combat prowess. However the expedition while eventful did nothing to quench my now rapid curiosity for the continued exploration of these new lands. My own insecurities with the past having mired themselves in this new wonder. It will be a shame when the eventual thrill and excitement vanishes. When the ghosts of former companions once again return to haunt my dreams… Though for now I have reprieve even if I see such sorrow on the faces of the others, with my biggest concern being Bronson a warrior I met while on two other outings. I see such sorrow within him and while I can push those very nightmares into repression it is my worry that he will become consumed.

The remainder of the note appears to have been left blank almost as if this piece of paper was never meant to be read at all.

 

Isidren bar Turion
Personal Log : Blackmire Year 1st, Month 3rd, Week1st
Location: Pike Forest
Party Members: Isidren, Eiger, Ba’zou, Quintus

This excursion was an unplanned mess. It was also very interesting.

A few days ago, Ba’zou called for an expedition into the Pike Forest which was quite a distance from Blackmire. There had been several encounters by previous parties with the cult of Nerul in that area as well as some other sites of interest and ominous rumors which draws the attention of adventurers. Having been cloistered in my room with my alchemical experimentations for some time now, I decided to join the fighter. “What could go wrong” I thought. Not having a specific plan wasn’t exactly on the top of my head.

On the appointed day, I met up with Ba’zou in the map room along with our two other companions, both with fearsome reputations. One was a giant of a man named Eiger, who carried himself as a seasoned warrior. I was later surprised to learn that he also dabbled in the arcane arts and was quite effective in using it to augment his combat effectiveness. The other one was Quintus. A fearsome looking cleric and the first person I’ve ever seen wearing enchanted plate here in Blackmire, much good it did him though when we fought the cultist while he was unarmored. After a bit of discussion, Ba’zou finally told us that he had not exactly planned on where to explore or what to do on Pike Forest. Believe me when I say that I trust Ba’zou’s shield arm and the swing of his sword and his ability to protect his companions. However it seems his enthusiasm for adventure had overcome his more prudent side on this occasion. It was finally decided that being the person with the most experience in exploring the Pike Forest, Eiger was to be our expedition leader.

With our mounts in tow, we boarded the magically resizing boat of Eiger towards the Pike Forest. Along the way the fighter-mage told us about his previous explorations on the area. Our first destination was a magical fountain which to our disappointment had already disappeared. We continued with our exploration which led us to a previous cultish building that Eiger and his group burned down before. We observed the surroundings and concluded that cult patrols continue to use this area. This is when we decided to set up an ambush. I must be honest and say that I was rather excited. This will be my first time camping and planning an ambush so far from Blackmire. I was resting during Ba’zou’s watch when he alerted us of an oncoming party. We hastily prepared for a fight, with Quintus unfortunately unable to don his armor quick enough. Within a few moments after our rousing, the fight began in earnest. Our quarry was a group of Nerul cultists guarding a supply cart for their northern camp. There were several guards and archers and an evil looking cleric. Eiger, being experienced in such matters, pointed to us the grave threat a powerful enemy cleric represents. After two blasts of my arcane power however, that threat had been quickly eliminated. The fight went quite smoothly as Ba’zou and Eiger, both enlarged by the warrior-mage’s magic, dealt with the guards with the aid of Quintus who was very aggressive and frightening even without his armor. For my part, having killed the enemy cleric, I settled on shooting our enemies with my crossbow and occasionally blasting them with my spells. Eventually all our enemies are slain, while we freed the slaves and tried to persuade to come with us. Only one of the poor souls decided that freedom was to his liking and so we dumped the supply cart on the watery ditch, hastily looted our enemies and went our way towards Blackmire. Before we reached the river to board our folding boat, we came across a densely wooded area where there appears to be a giant treehouse in the middle. We were going to investigate on foot but were immediately stopped by a group of what can be described as cat-people. I noticed that there seem to be a hierarchy at work within their ranks, and that the more human seeming the creature, the more “intelligent” it was. Of course there was no way for me to ascertain the intelligence of the fully feline members of their group since I can’t communicate with them. It fell upon me to talk with the cat-people’s leader and apparently they have had hostilities with the death cult. This proved to be a good opportunity to gain allies for our next expedition so I offered the feline leader our assistance in ridding them of their hated foes. Our only condition was that all gold and equipment be given to our party and that the secrecy of their tree abode be kept. So far the negotiations seem to be positive and it is still to be discussed in detail once we venture forth with assaulting the cult with our new found allies. After parting with the highly suspicious felines, we once again boarded the boat and headed back to Blackmire with our rescued former-slave without incident.

Donegal

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