Blackmire Marches

Craddle Woods IV

Melody – Sorin, Levin, Hurmore, and I headed back out to the Craddle Wood. The two wizardy types wanted to take a closer look at the Obelisks, though once we got there it seemed that there wasn’t much to learn that Tarmon hadn’t already discovered. There’s a good irony there with Tarmon being a cleric instead of an arcane type, but I hear his divine focus is arcane related. I’ll have to meet him sometime and the other folks at the Silver Mine that we hear so much about.

As soon as we arrived, a snake dropped from a tree and promptly injured Levin enough for him to fall unconscious. But a heal from me and a long spear from Hurmore and that threat was ended. Apparently I insulted Levin too severely when I didn’t keep the coin before. He didn’t offer it when I saved his life again.

We proceeded to the Notch Fells. It looks like the previous adventurers were successful at wiping out the spider threat. There were still some webs here and there, but they all seemed to be abandoned. We did however spot smoke and further investigation lead us to a camp of bandits inside an old Verundian fortification (southeastern part of hex 67.22). The ensuing battle was intense but thanks to some heals from me, damage spells from Sorin, and most of all thanks to Hurmore, we were victorious. Levin was his typical self. He hid behind a wall and cast a couple of spells, and otherwise appeared to be watching and waiting to see if he should run away. Perhaps we need a new loot division policy for the next time out. You only get a percent of your cut equal to the percent of time that you actively participate in the combat. Though, he did at least promise to buy a crossbow.

It’s been a lot of fun going back to these places that I hear so many heroic tales about and having our own adventures there. But perhaps it’s time to strike out and find some undiscovered locations for even more exciting material to write about…

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Animal Recapture

Normally I would say that wild animals have no place in a cage, but I do believe it is important that all become familiar with the majesty of nature. Perhaps if more come to know the beauty and strength of these creatures they will have more respect for nature. We were given a rough idea of where the shipping barge sank (78,32) by the Danglar representative. The constrictor was actually pretty easy to locate. Like most reptiles, a nice sunny rock is temptation tough to pass by. Naturally the poor creature was terrified of us and attempted to hide. It took me a lot of coaxing and some druidical magic to ease his distrust and allow me to talk to the snake. I wish I would have had the foresight to bring some small morsels, but with the help of my companions and especially Levin we coaxed the snake in. As soon as we arrived back in town I made a point to make sure the poor creature had as much as he could eat. Until he is sent to the East, I’d like to visit him as much as I can and make sure he is well cared for.

We headed in a different direction the next day obtain the dire weasels. This time with a pair of chickens in tow in case we had to appease a weasel appetite. The area we set our camp up in is ideal terrain for weasels. We hoped we could lie in wait for them and with Levin’s familiar’s assistance locate our prey. The strategy may not have been the safest course, we just narrowly missed an overwhelming force of goblins. Lucky they passed us by despite the braying of the mule.

The next day Levin’s familiar spotted a single dire weasel. I had hoped that I could calm it in the same way as I had the snake. Unfortunately I didn’t provide myself with enough room to cast before the dire weasel attacked. I underestimated just how quickly that little bugger could move and I paid for well for that mistake. Luckily everyone was able to subdue the creature before he was able to due any lasting harm to me. Even though we had our scuffle, I will still make a point of making sure the weasel is well cared for while in town. Perhaps having a friendly face explaining what is happening to them will ease there captivity.

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Jouney to the Hellic Temple

Melody decided she wanted to see the Hellic temple again so I agreed to join her. I saw her purchasing some healing scrolls from one of the adventurers in town, so I decided to do the same and give them to her. Levin decided to join us again, but there is just something I don’t trust about that man. Probably the way he laughed when he heard that our Paladin companion died. But Melody welcomed him along, so I will play nice, for now. Versonas also agreed to join us. I must say, it is hard to trust your back to someone that doesn’t like to fight right up next to the enemy. At least Hurmore is joining us, he is a warrior that I have the utmost respect for.

We were almost to the temple when we detected sounds of human voices shouting in fear, and the yelping of canines. I am truly tired of these packs of wild dogs out here. I tensed my muscles to run towards the voices to help, when Levin touched my shoulder and I grew to the size of an Ogre. I don’t know if I will ever get used to that feeling. With Hurmore on my heals, I charged into the clearing. Seeing all of the humans on the ground already, disturbed me and I missed the first dog. As Hurmore and i were settling in to attack, Melody went running past us to help some of the fallen lumberjacks, because they were not okay.

Hurmore and I had a hard time getting into a groove to fight these dogs, and I kept seeing arrows flying by, but none hit their target. I saw Melody go down, and started screaming for Levin to use more of his magical powers to help us, but nothing. Hurmore and I managed to get our feet squared, and started cutting up the dogs. The last two fled, and we ran over to save Melody. I kept trying but I couldn’t stop here wounds from bleeding. Hurmore forced me out of the way, and managed to patch up Melody. We looked around and were only able to same one of the lumberjacks.

We prepared stretchers to return back to Blackmire, and couldn’t find Levin anywhere, so we headed back to Blackmire. When we got back to town, we got Melody patched up. We all went to the Winning Wager, and found Levin sitting there drinky a glass of wine. I lost it and starting to draw my Axe, but Melody put her hand on my wrist, and said that she forgives Levin, and if he promises not to leave us like that again, he is welcome to rejoin our party. I am not very happy about this, but I trust Melody, and will do this for her.

Back we went, and again were attacked by skeletons as we entered the temple. They surrounded us, but Hurmore was able to move around to the back of the line and engage them. It looked like things were going to be close, when Levin proved his worth, and cast some sort of spell that caused some of the skeletons to fall down. With a few of them distracted, we were able to defeat them. With the threat over, we patched ourselves up and headed down the steps. We went down a narrow corridor, and just before a solid looking door I fell down a pit.

Feeling embarrassed, I climbed up the far side and forced the door open, I killed the skeleton in front of the door and forced the door open wider so Hurmore could get into the room. Melody joined us and I let the door close so I could engage the skeleton spearmen. One got a very lucky shot in on my, and nearly pierced my lung. With my strength waning, I was able to kill one of the skeletons while Hurmore got the other two. Melody healed me and we let the other two into the room.

We continued around the passage, and I was attacked by two Ghouls, which Hurmore and I quickly dispatched. Hurmore heard some shouts from the hall, and grabbed Melody’s sunrod to investigate. Meledoy said it was time to leave, so I formed up at the rear of the group and told them to start falling back. Then everything went dark. I couldn’t see! Versonas grabbed my arm and led me out of the temple. We travelled back to Blackmire, and I was taken to see Quintus, who restored by site.

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Defending Our Territory
Hobgoblin Ambush

From Abdullah’s Journal:

Our scouts spotted a group of hobgoblins heading SE in the vicinity of our mine, so Khalid and I decided to ride out and ambush them. We found their tracks, but they managed to turn the tables on us and instead we found ourselves in an ambush!

The group consisted of eight elite legionaries led by a priest. We made quick work of them thanks to a timely portable pit thrown from Khalid’s magical cloak. I was able to easily kill the priest.

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Exploring the Cradle Wood

Melody asked me to join her in another expedition to the Cradle Wood. Melar and Hurmore joined us again. We decided to head back to the Orc camp, just to check it out, and on the way we encountered a Black Bear cub playing with a butterfly. We watched the joyful cub for a bit, then went on our way.

The Orc fort was abandoned, so we went to some ancient temple. We got to the temple and found some sort of large stone pillar. It looked to me like something had been here recently, but we couldn’t tell what or how many, so we decided to enter the temple. Just as we entered the remnants of the room, Melody shouted out a warning and a group of skeletons attacked us.

I took one look and their bony structure, and knew my axe would have little effect, so I turned the blade around and began attacking with the flax back of the head. It was unwieldy, and took me a couple of swings to get the feel for it. It looked like we were in trouble for a moment, but Melody started singing and bolstered all of our spirits.

With Hurmore clearing the right flank, Melar and I were able to move in and clear out the rest. Melar and I were pretty banged up, so we decided to head back to town.

We rested for a few days, and headed back towards the temple. We had just entered the Cradle Wood, when we ran across our old friend the Black Bear cub. Unfortunately, we were not the first ones there. A group of Orc’s with a pack of war dogs were already harassing it. I insisted we help the poor animal, and Melody slipped forward and cast some sort of spell that distracted the Orc’s and allowed us to charge them and take three out before they even realized we were there.

Now the real battle started, and the Orcs called in their dogs. Melar ran off after an Orc leaving Hurmore, Melody and I facing four vicious dogs. We fought hard, taking several down, but two of them surrounded me and everything went dark.

I woke up in Blackmire, with Bila standing over me healing my wounds. Melody was there, and she informed me that Melar didn’t make it, and told me the story of how her and Hurmore found a large chest full of strange silver coins. One side had a warrior holding a sword in the air wearing a winged helmet. The reverse side showed an odd pattern of chains.

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Bandit Hideout

They went forth to explore old haunts with dangers no more
But what they found were enemies all around
Orcs were chopping, felling, building
A fort so defensible but did they think themselves invincible?
To risk human ire so close to Blackmire?

With minimal fear the heroes did appear.
The Barbarian became an Ogre (pit traps so easy to step over).
Swords were swinging, slashing, slaying
The orcs were quickly dead so we took the big one’s head
To prove to any passerby that this tale is no lie!

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Bila's Nightmare

Bila has been with me through so much, I knew it was my place as her friend to join her. In preparation I bought myself aDarem buys a horse. I never cared much to ride, but I knew a horse would speed us along. Our trip out of Blackmire and to the Coppice Lakes was uneventful. Luckily we were able to rustle up some fisherman (74,16) to inquire about news. The pair were able to direct us to a small fishing village further North. We headed almost directly north (74,15)→(74,14), or so Olaf claimed, crossed a ford (74,13), and then another ford (73,12).

Once again luck and Olaf’s skill led us right where we needed to go, a small group of earthen huts housing several fishermen(75,10). After Bila explained why we were venturing so far north, one told us a group of halflings he encountered several years ago. He directed us roughly towards a copse of trees in the distance (77,10). By that point the sun was setting low, so after sharing a large skin of ale we spend the night with them. Taking out the next moring along the South of the lake, we head towards the eastern ford (75,10).

Crossing along the outside of of the island oval (75,10)→(76,10)→(77,10) Olaf noticed a rustle in some tall grasses. I thought our quest may be almost done, but out leaped a dire wolverine! My poor horsey took a nasty gash, but after dropping out of my saddle the wolverinehad a more concerning interest than a horse, one angry dwarf! Between Eiger and meself, with some well placed assistance from Olaf and Bila we chopped him up good. We couldn’t find anything in his lair, so we moved on.

We cross to the small island (78,11) to continue our search. Olaf finds some small arrows (77,10) but no other clues on the island. We go back and search on the north side of the river (79,10). Olaf picks up a faint trail heading northwest towards (78,10)→(77,09), after a brief scare were we lost the trail Olaf is able to pick it back up again.

By that point we were following the faint sound of music through undergrowth dense enough to make us get off our horses. As we came to a forest clearing(76,09) we saw a satyr playing some pipes. But that wasn’t the strangest thing, cause there were also a spindly wild elf trying to mount a womanly centaur, and I don’t mean in a good way if you get my drift. Once the Satyr directed the pair to kill us, I knew who I should go after.

Charging the lil’bastard I find his devilish power putting me to sleep. The next thing I know, Eiger is standing over me slapping me, at least he wasn’t pulling on my beard. I groggily stand up and continue the last thing I remeber doing, charging the Satyr. With a massive enraged hit I kill the horned fella, someone must have softened him up for me. Hehe. It’s then that I notice I can’t hear anything! It takes several moments for me to realize what’s going on and step away from the corpse.

As always the captives were appreciative. Though, not nearly as much as I would have figured. Unable to speak to the centaur, we turn to the elf Allain Silverbow who says he thinks he’s very far south of his homeland, which is far to the north of the foggy bottom area. With great disdain for the halflings that invaded his territory, the elf tells us of their village. I guess saving his life was at least enough enticement for him to direct us there, along the middle river and around (75,06) (76,06) (75,05). With no way to talk, the Centaur wanders of to northeast. I take the Satyrs head as a trophy and we loot the rest of the body. A little further away along an easter trail we camp at an abandoned halfling village (77,08) for the night and Bila heals our wounds.

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Monastery Safe Again

Hearing of yet another group of green adventurers meeting there end at the Monastery, I grew upset. That place was supposed to be relatively safe, and now dirty Goblins have th audacity to move in. I bet the wouldn’t be nearly as brave without their leader Yargloo. Past time he was dealt with, so I gathered up proven companions for this trip. As we were leaving time, Rolf ran up and asked to join us. I was reluctant at first, but he’s free to make his own choices and I can understand his desire for revenge. Can’t say as we used a lot of tricks or such, just came in the front door and started cutting up goblins, most fun I’ve had in months! I’ve been too long in town, now I feel the adventurer lust come upon me! As we got Yargloo and his pansy ass healer on the run, more goblins stepped up to die. I couldn’t decide whether they were brave or stupid. In the end, I killed them either way. As is true for the race, most of them turned tail and ran. Wish we could have finally dealt with Yargloo, but he’ll have to wait for another day. We gathered up the fallen adventurers for a proper burial, looted the goblins, and grabbed some honey.

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There has to be an easier way to get honey

About a week ago Rena came stumbling back into Blackmire after heading out to the Monastery to collect some honey with Castien and Gria. Apparently some vicious goblin wolf riders had taken up residence in the Monastery, and killed the rest of her party. So she decided to organize a body retrieval party, and I volunteered along with Clorian, who just got back from a trip back East, and a new arrival named Ora. Rena hired Philip and Rolf, and we headed out.

The trip did not start out well, and we should have heeded the omens. We were attacked by Stirges, and left Rolf and myself week and close to death. In retrospect, I think the Stirges replace our blood with some sort of Luck toxin, or the God’s took pity on us, but more of that later.

As week as we were, and still close to Blackmire, we returned to town, and rested for a few days with Bila provided us with healing. Once recovered, we set out again, and made it to the monastery with no trouble. We tried to enter the side door, and it must have been nailed shut, so we worked our way around to the main doors. Ora opened them, and I moved in and set my spear, seeing several wolf riders inside.

One charged me and drove his wolf right onto my spear, and the last thing I remember is the searing pain as a lance pierced my chest.

I came to in time to see Clorian fall at my feet. Seeing most of the party dead, I tumbled out of the doors, drank a potion, and ran like a bat out of hell back to Blackmire. To my surprise, Rolf came wandering into town the next morning. Apparently he went to ground and Yargloo eventually lost interest.

I told my story to all of the adventurers at the wager, and Darem declared this menace must be eradicated, and began organizing some of the veteran adventurers.

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Warrens

Heading out to our usual entrance along the usual path. What was different this time was the Bat Swarm that came to investigate our clomping racket of a dwarf. I tried to drive them off with my new skills, but was unsuccesful. Not surprising, I don’t have the best luck with animals. Sad isn’t it? The bitey little things took their time investigating us before tiring and returning to their roost.

As we delved ever deeper, meeting no resistance we came across a lair of wolves and goblins. For once, we spotted them first and moved in unison to attack. As they noticed us, the goblins mounted the wolves and charged us. Eager to see my new studies pay off I once again tried to turn back the pack of wolves. This time they result was spectacular, four of the five wolves turned tail and fled. The startled looks of their ridings was hilarious. The remaining goblin rider, was dealt with easily. Perhaps if I were he, I would have find the wiser thing to do would be to flee. Scooping up their treasures we moved north on to a great open cavern with stalagmites. Navigating around the towering rock formations we received a volley of javelins from goblins high on a ldege above us. So far away they were and on the higher ground our dwarven leader decided to retreat. From what I’ve heard of dwarves that came as quite a pleasant surprise. Perhaps she is the genius of there species.

Back tracking a little ways we decided to explore another route. Timing be damned, but we came to a rope bridge high over a rushing underground river to meet a large goblin force on the other side. I was all for destroying the bridge and calling it a day, but the decision was made to stand and fight despite a hail of javelins. Goaded on by either stupidy or bravery they advanced on us. Increasing the odds in our favor, three clumsy goblins fell into the rushing river. Melee insued with Castien finally cracking under the pressure and running off in fear. Hurmore bravely took his place and with Gria anchoring the line most of the goblins were felled. Their leader, an Acolyte fled with his single remaining companion but thanks to some precise shots from myself and Gria he dropped..

I have attempted to record our path through the tunnels for future use, but didn’t think to document the first couple of turns.
Left (South). We come to a T intersection and we go Right. Passage continues along which it turns suddenly to the right for 800 yards. Left (SSW) or continue (NW). We continue (NW) for 800 yards. After our retreat we returned and took the SSW passage leading to the rope bridge.

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