Blackmire Marches

Dead Highlanders?

Abdullah’s Journal:

I must admit I was well into my cups one night at the Winning Wager when little Bila burst into the common room, all in an uproar about some poor Highlander who had died or some such. I hear these Highlanders are a brutal people, but the only one I knew was a tall fellow named Firentis who was likeable enough. Sadly, he is spider food now but that is beside the point.

Regardless, Bila genuinely cares about people, and healing the sick, and feeding the hungry, blah, blah, blah. Having said that, I can’t count the number of times she has healed my wounded arse and kept me from ending up like Firentis. She was dead set on heading straight into the hobgoblin homeland because in theory they are the ones who killed the Highlander and supposedly they have more Highlanders working as slaves or some such. In any event, I owe her a few debts, so I’m going to go with her and make sure she doesn’t get in any trouble. Newly pious Khalid is coming so this should be fun. A little gnome singer Loopa, Weylyn and his kennel, and a sickly cleric named Tarmon came with us, led by Olaf the Tracker.

We crossed the Howling Moor into some grasslands and started searching for a mine or something, I must admit I wasn’t paying attention. It was a pleasant day and I was contrasting the pleasant greenery with the harsh browns sands of my home. Soon we spotted an ogre and hobgoblin coming our way. We hatched a great plan and leapt into action. Bila paralyzed the hobgoblin, who appeared to be a handler of some sort, with the power of Yondalla. The rest of us charged the ogre. The hobgoblin was frozen and we had nearly surrounded the ogre, when he hit me with such force that the world went dark.

I awoke to Bila kneeling over me yelling “He’s getting away!”, so I promptly pulled out my horn bow and pierced the ogre’s butt with an arrow. It must have made him angry because he turned around and charged back at us! That was his last mistake as Khalid dodged his wild charge and hamstrung the big brute. Weylyn’s kennel then chased down the fleeing handler. With a little persuasion, he told us that the mine was just a few hundred meters away.

We found the mine entrance, basically just a big pit. I wonder how me missed it the first time past. The entrance was a slope downward, and we were on the high end. Below us concealed under an entrance were two hobgoblins talking. Loopa sang a beguiling song and then Khalid and I swung down on ropes like pirates swing onto a ship! It was pretty dramatic and the guards were caught completely unawares. I felled one and Khalid struggled with another. Sadly, he got away and began ringing a bell. Now the narrow hallway was filled with hobgoblins, but Khalid and I engaged them all. I heard a terrific boom behind me as Tarmon fell down, apparently unable able to hold onto a rope. Weylyn finally came in behind us riding his wolf and healed me, while his wolf ripped the throat of a guard.

A long running battle ensued, with our party making a good show of it. Soon we were spread out along a hallway in many individual battles. Khalid and I burst into a room and killed two hogoblins, but Weylyn had overextended himself and was surrounded. Even Tarmon found himself having to swing his morningstar!

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Graveyard Recon

Hearing the tale of a strange and potentially magical graveyard with animated undead from a group of loggers piqued my curiostiy.

A fighter named Lily and a strange little little singer called Loopa, both new to the area, were brave enough to accompany me on my research trip. I was still a little leary of our chances so I decided to hire some help, a female brute called Margarita. When I showed up to formalize our contract, the guildmaster pulled me aside and tole me of some diffculties they’ve been having with her attitude. So on his recommendation I decided to hire Thorhild instead.

With very little effort, we were able to find the graveyard. It actually wasn’t far from town, which I guess makes sense. The place was so oververgrown hedges and shrubs, the paths were almost inpassable. We did face several small bands of skeletons, which were dealt with pretty easily. The numbers were definitely in our favor so Lily and Thorhild could deal with them. I had really hoped that we’d be able to capture one for study, but I didn’t want my companions to face anymore than they had to. Since we were so close to town, we decided to call it an early day, and sleep somewhere safe. It also allowed me to make sure my companions were ready to face another day in the graveyard.

Our second day started off well, but we had much more trouble. The biggest obstacle was a single skeleton. Not that he was soo bad, but the river… What should have been an easy leap for Thorhild ended up with him in the drink. Despite not being to athletic myself, I wanted to rescue him. Unfortunately that just end up with me in the river as well, worse off than him. Our companions helped us out after the final skeleton was dealt with. The sekeletons actually weren’t threatening by themselves with Loopa song to encourage us.

The next room we entered was even more daunting with twice as many skeletons as we faced before. Three of which had bows and a great height advantage on us. For the very first time I tried channeling the direct might of my god. And wow, what a god. He destroyed all of our foes, just turning them into dust. Our next battle seemed assured, until an even uglier undead jumped on Thorhild’s back leaving him frozen. Nowing that we could not face such a potent threat I called on Boccob once again to destroy my foes. The skeletons were certainly destroyed and the ghoul was driven away. I immediately started tending Thorhild’s wounds, rinsing them clean with holy water. Figuring that ghoul would be back for us, I set up Thorhild and Lily to ambush him with myself as the bait. With three of us beating on him.

We were debating about whether to head back to town, and decided we had a little more left in us. We probably should have headed back to town, because we were pretty worn down. Thorhild fell once again, but I was able to bring him back up. We were so worn down that the battle was pitched. Knowing when to call it an adventure we hightailed our way to town. I spend the night watching Thorhild’s condition to make sure he didn’t sicken from the Ghoul bite. I just hope that all of Thorhild’s close calls does not put him off from adventuring with us in the future.

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Exploring the Wyvern Pass

Ebban’s Journal:

So I got it in my head that I should find Khazad Durn or the Sentinel of Kings, an old Dwarven surface outpost surrounding a Dwarven homeland. In theory, somewhere near the Wyvern Pass is one of these outposts, and I mean to find it.

I’m still looking for a good spot where Clan Goblinslayer can start a colony, as our existing mines are yielding less and less. Perhaps this will be it.

So I rounded up some dwarves, Zeke & Darem, the elven sorceress Serena, little Bila, and some new priest in town. I hired Olaf the Tracker to lead the way and off we went. We headed north through the Cradle Wood into the Coppice Lakes. We spotted some fisherman on one of the lakes, which must mean we’ve cleared out that area pretty well too.

We headed west out of the Coppice Lakes and could see hills in the distance, and beyond that large mountains. Heading up into the hills, we spotted a large flying creatures up ahead. Zeke, Darem, and I recognized the creatures as hippogriffs, part eagle part horse. They came flying straight at us! We made quick work of them, highlighted by Darem’s impressive javelin toss through the trees into the beast’s breast. Serena spotted a nest high up on a rocky outcropping. Darem climbed up the rock face, triggering a rock avalanche that wounded several of us down on the ground. Finding two eggs, Serena used a magical scroll of Spider Climb to speed up and down the cliff face and then stowed the eggs in her Handy Haversack. Having hiked a long distance, we decided to camp for the night.

In the early morning hours, we were attacked by a huge troop of orcs and attack dogs. Little did they know that we were a well armed group of dwarves who would sooner kill orc scum than fornicate.
A more efficient killing spree I can’t recall.

The next morning we headed west searching for the Wyvern Pass along the base of the mountain chain. We spent a day searching for the Pass, but did not find it and were forced to camp again. We headed out again the next morning searching. On the third day of searching, Serena stumbled upon the remains of an old dwarven road (hex 57.12), much like Orc Mt. Joyfulness reigned! We immediately headed up the old road.

An enormous angry ogre met us as we went up the road and a terrible battle ensued. Darem & I flanked him while the clerics healed us. But I have never been hit so hard in my life. I saw stars and my ear rang. Serena scorched the monster with ray of fires streaming from her hands. In the end I cut his knee tendon before splitting his head when he went to his knee. Sadly, he fell over the cliff face, but Janus allowed Zeke to fly down to the bottom and bring back the loot which included several magical items.

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The second Abandoned Monastery Part two

…Darem continued to lead us through the basement of the Monastery, and as we entered a large room, we were blasted by a wall of fire. I nimbly dodged out of the way, but everyone else was not so lucky. As the fire cleared, we were confronted by a Dragon the size of a horse! We charged after it and chased it through several rooms. We cornered it in a large hallway, and proceeded to attack it. Unfortunately for Billa and myself, two Imps came fluttering around the corner and appeared right in front of us. While Darem, Zeke, and Eiger fought the Dragon, Billa and I sparred with the Imps.

While we were fighting, this incredibly sensuous elf poked her head out of a door, and disappeared just before Eiger’s guisarme would have removed her head.

After much fencing, the Dragon was taken down and we moved into the room the Elf came from. We found some papers and robes. While we were searching, we heard the sound of metal being dragged, and we all took off running back down the halls. Just as we turned a corner, we saw two Lizard folk dragging a large sack. When they saw us, they fled. We secured the bag, and found a large treasure. We decided to head back to town with our loot.

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Khalid's Vision

Abdullah’s Journal:

Khalid awoke one night in a fuss, claiming Mithras had spoken to him and told him an artifact was being used for foul purposes. I was skeptical, but felt I owed him whatever small help I might be able to provide. We purchased a skiff, and along with Serena (and Hurmore) and Weylyn headed west up the Blackmire River. Following Khalid’s “sense”, we passed through to the western edge of the Rattlin’ Bog. We then headed south following Khalid.

Serena sent her owl Glisten and discovered a camp of “humanoids attacking trees”. I sneaked up and discovered two groups of hobgoblin’s cutting down trees. We decided to move up and launch a hail of arrows, then close in and attack. The plan worked flawlessly and we killed them all with only minor scratches. Leading out of the clearing was a rough wagon track, which coincided with Khalid’s sense of direction.

Glisten again scouted ahead and found more hobgoblins. I sneaked ahead and found a wooden palisade fort filled with hobgoblins. We attacked with great strategery. Serena used her sleep spells to great effect, while Weylyn and his dogs ripped out their snoring throats. Hurmore & Serena were deadly with their bows, while Khalid and I engaged the enemy with our swords. The hobgoblins fought with strict discipline, making impressive shield walls that were difficult to penetrate. In the end, our tactics and abilities were too much for them.

Advancing into the central bailey, a squat log structure, Khalid and I were blasted with Holy fire upon opening the door. My reflexes saved me but faithful Khalid was singed. I tumbled into the little chapel amongst a priest and two acolytes and engaged the priest. Serena melted an acolyte with a fearsome ray of magical fire and the party quickly surrounded and slayed the evil creatures.

Inside, Khalid found the talisman of Mithras he was seeking, an engraved shortsword. Other magical loot and treasure were found too, a nice haul overall.

It is good to know that Mithras truly is guiding Khalid, as I was concerned he was just hearing voices…

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In search of a new Monastery

After an extended journey to the Cobalt Spur and the Dwarven stronghold, we returned to Blackmire. Shortly after our return, Darem decided to organize an expedition to investigate another abandoned Monastery that another group of adventurers discovered.

We all chipped in 10gp, and rented a magical folding boat from Abdullah and his compatriots. It worked like a charm, and barely needed any work from us at all. We sailed for the better part of a day, and eventually sailed past the Pike Forest. Once we left the forest, we headed on shore and started searching for the Monastery.

We searched for a little while, and I discovered the some ruins and a set of steps leading down. Darem led us down the steps, and into a chamber. There were some remnants of past occupants, but it was empty now. We went down a corridor and came to a large door, that was stuck. Eiger and Darem were able to force it open, and we entered a rough hewn room, with a stream and a pond. We were just starting to search the room when something attacked me from behind and I was knocked unconscious. When I came to, the creature that attacked me was dead, and Darem was taking off his clothes and armor, because he wanted to search the bottom of the pool. I thought he smelled bad dry, but I have never encountered a stench that even comes close to comparing to wet Dwarf. Ugghh.

However smelling he might be, he did find a key at the bottom of the pool in the hands of a skeleton. We went down another corridor and entered a room with a shrieking fungus. Darem charged into the room and cut it in two. The rest of us entered, and Bila and I search the southern wall. While we were searching, a Ghoul dropped off of a ledge and attacked me, biting my shoulder. Again, Darem charged forth and disemboweled the Ghoul. As he was cleaning his axe, another Ghoul dropped on us, and Eiger came charging in to the rescue, and Darem finished it off.

Darem insisted on searching the ledge, and found a small tunnel and the small treasure the Ghouls had horded. We searched the next room, which appeared to be the Ghouls living quarters, but found nothing. The next room we searched looks like is had been some kind of storage room, but has long since been ravaged and ransacked. We searched, but all I found were some bones that had been cut by a butchers saw.

Now onto the rest of the Monastery…

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Notch Fells, Fear the Dwarves

Ebban’s Journal:

Orshar led myself, Zeke, Firentis, and Thequis to the Notch Fells hoping to kill many spiders and earn some treasure. We made it to the Fells without incident and headed towards the center. As we progressed, we could see large spiders stealthily flitting around the trees. We were soon surrounded.

Thequis fired his longbow ineffectually until finally nicking one. At that point, the forest came alive with chittering and we were rushed.

It was just awful. First Thequis, then Orshar, and then Firentis fell. Ebban was badly wounded and separated from Zeke who was the only other survivor. Calling on the power of Janus, Zeke produced weapons of force that turned the tide. Janus felled the remaining spiders, though we heard more coming from deeper into the Fells. We grabbed Firentis’ corpse, and fled the cursed wood.

A boa constrictor fell upon us on the way out, but we returned with Firentis’ corpse. I will never go back to the Notch Fells.

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Temple of Mythos Purged

I decided to follow along with a group of adventurers to see what secrets I could find buried in an underground temple to Mythos. Most of them were pretty well seasoned, so I felt safe in their company. They led us to a hidden entrance into a hive of goblins, they affectionately refer to as the Goblin Warrens. After only a few minutes exploring the lightless depths, I find out why it is so called. We encounter the first of what will turn out to be many Goblins. This one scampers off while his pet wolf attacked us. My new allies acquitted themselves quite well, with no need of Boccob’s healing fire.

We continued a short way down the corridor and come head to head with 4 more goblins each riding a huge wolf! Its a touch and go, and luckily we had Boccob on our side to bolster our fighters. Abdullah started calling for a slow retreat, but shortly after the fiercest looking goblin warrior fell. That was all it took to inspire the rest of my companions to mop up the rest. Our wounds were great, far beyond my meager ability to remedy, so we headed back with our loot to Blackmire to see what we got and to treat the worst injuries. Apart from several coins, which are always welcome, we found several arcane scrolls. It just made my day to be able to recover such treasures from the dark caves and goblins that would not use such of Boccob’s Blessings.

With an extra day to rest, myself and our trusty druid are able to cure all of the parties wounds. I also took the opportunity to expand my resources using my new found wealth by several scrolls and potions.

We are faced with a goblin and wolf. The goblin goes to get help and we kill the wolf.

We have a tough time of killing 4 wolves, goblins, and an elite called Yargloo. WE almost retreat but succeed. We grab the stuff that includes two small chests and head back to Blackmire.

With a fresh start into the warrens, we are greeted this time by two Goblins riding wolves. I do sure hope this growth pattern does not continue. We make our way through them and finally, finally two the entrance of the great temple. Ahh, how I’d love just a few moments to study such architecture and ponder why such a temple is built so far underground. As we strategically moved into the temple forefront, I did have a couple seconds to realize my companions made a critical mistake. I could see how the uneducated to make such a mistake on the translation above the archway, but this was clearly not a temple to Mythos, but to Mithras a deity common to this region. Hopefully we have not drawn any Divine ill-will.
On the way back in we see the glowing eyes from two wolves being ridden by two goblins.

The first room and the two side rooms were so easily cleared out. We were all on a high as we entered the great feasting hall. However this is were the majority of the goblins were sequestered. Waves and waves of goblins come in from the back rooms and we aren’t given any rest. I depleted all my reserves of magic, including all the scrolls and potions I purchased. With a grizzled veteran leading the goblin defense I thought for sure my first delving would be my last. Even now I do not know how we survived, but in the end no goblins were left and this temple was clear. Perhaps there may be some followers of Mithras that take up in this temple, but I do not envy them.

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Temple of Mithras

Khalid and I led an excursion back to the underground Temple of Mithras accompanied Weylyn, Orashar the dwarf and a new fellow named Tarmon (a healer). We again entered through the mountain lion cave and noted a lack of hit & run attacks by the goblins this time. This only made us feel nervous …

We discovered a pair of wolf riders, one charged and one fled. Dependable, fierce Khalid killed both rider and mount but took a small bite wound to the arm. We moved out at a trot and found a warg rider with several wolf riders.

A terrific battle ensued where Khalid, Orshar, and Abdullah were all nearly killed. Only Orshar and Khalid’s deadly blades saved the day. We stripped the bodies and fled back to Blackmire.

Two days later we headed back and quickly dispatched two wolf riders before penetrating the archway room leading into the Temple of Mystra. Many goblins were encountered and slaughtered. Hearing the sounds of more goblin spawn in the nearby chambers, we pursued and killed more. Orshar ran into a room by herself, so intent on killing goblins was she.

We pursued goblins into a huge feasting hall with carved stone tables coming out of the floor. Symbols of Mithras abounded. An enormous battle ensued with a horde of goblins lead by a shaman attacked us. Khalid used his new magical cloak to summon war dogs that turned the tide of the battle after the shaman afeared Orshar and she fled.

Just when it looked like we might win, a new swarm of goblins led by the magic javelin wielding goblin. This fellow was incredibly tough as additional swarms of goblins came at us. Ducking & weaving we managed to kill everybody, but all agreed the Dungeon Gods (ie DM) was very evil…

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Back to Orc Mountain

Heath organized a trip back to Orc Mountain. He enlisted the aid of Eiger, Bila, Darem and Serena with Hurmore. We traveled back to the entrance with no problem, and made our way back through the caves to the steps leading down to the lower level.

We went down a long narrow corridoor with steps carved into the floor, and about halfway down, the path was crossed by a small stream. It was small enough that we all were able to just step accross it and keep heading down. The steps opened up into a larger cavern, and before we know it, we were beset by more Stirges.

We were able to kill the first two pretty easy, but the last one was giving Darem a hard time. I was able to distract it with my spear just as it was going for Darem’s jugular, and he was able to narrowly dodge its attack. Then from the back rank, Hurmore pushed me aside and speared the Stirge before it could attack Darem again.

After the attack we continued down the steps, and took a path that led into another large cavern. Just as Darem entered the cavern, he noticed a Trogledyte just as it opened up a large wooden gate, and a giant bear came charging out, right at Darem.

The bear tore right into Darem, and got him in a massive bear hug. Bila boldly stepped up, and kept healing Darem while the bear mauled him, and the rest of us took care of the two Trogledyte’s, and Eiger and Serena teamed up to finish off the bear just before it could eat poor Darem.

After we pulled Darem out from under the bear, whe checked the passage to the north, and found another entrance into the caverns. We then checked 3 of the passages from the bear cavern, one was a dead end, and two more joined, and we followed them to a vast cavern…

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