Blackmire Marches

Vespasian Wall

Melody organized another expedition, this time to an unexplored area called the Clannach Highlands. Tarmon and Levin the Untrustworthy, joined us, and Melody hired Olaf to guide us. I guess Olaf was having a bad day, because we spent the better part of the morning getting lost and turned around. We eventually found our way to the Vespasian wall, and found the remnants of an ancient fort.

Olaf and I noticed the the ground was torn up as if by large creatures, so we entered the fort on alert. As we moved through the entry way, we noticed most of the courtyard was also torn up. Just as we were moving in, I heard some growling coming from the remnants of one of the towers. We turned to investigate, and two Dire Wolves ran out towards us. Levin enlarged me and I drew my great axe. As the first won came into to range, I took a mighty cleave out of its hindquarters, and Tarmon hit it with a few arrows.

Unfortunately for me, they saw me as the greater threat, and both attacked me, knocking me to the ground. I decided to attack from the ground rather than risk getting mauled standing up, and killed the first Dire Wolf. Levin hurled a flask of alchemist fire, and the second wolf went running into the Howling Moor faster than I could overtake it, so we went back into the fort.

I noticed the ground around the other tower hadn’t been torn up by the wolves, so we went into that tower to investigate. The main level was empty, but very cold, so we went down the trapdoor ready for something strange. The basement was empty, until this strange shadow came out of the floor and raked me with it’s claws, and I could feel the strength leaving my body. I was hit a second time before I could take a swipe at it, and my axe went right through it. This was enough for me, and I ran for the ladder.

Levin said he had an idea, and he summoned a dog to fight it. I didn’t see this helping, and Tarmon was attacked too. Melody called the retreat, and up and out of the tower we went. We regrouped in the courtyard, and decided to head back to Blackmire. On the way, Melody and Olaf fell into a Moorland pit, and startled a Dire Weasel. Levin quickly stunned the thing, and we were able to kill it before it came around.

We finished our journey without any further issues. I was quite surprised to see the Levin was actually helpful and stayed with the group the whole way.

Comments

Beady eyes, sharp teeth
Danger lurks in shadows deep
Warning signs scratched into the earth
A snarl, a growl, and on they come.
An intake of breath, our heroes pause
When two appear, all teeth and claws
Wizard acts first, enlarging the warrior
And in the blink of an eye, steel severs hide.
Arrows fly, more damage struck,
But beasts strike hard, death with claws
The warrior is tripped and falls
The end seems certain as the two converge,
But it is the beast who won’t rise
As steel prevails over hide
Flames engulf the second beast
Who flees in a too quick retreat.
________________________
“Cold”
Felt like a warning whispered from the grave.
“Cold”
To go forward are you stupid or brave?
“Cold”
How do you fight something you can’t see or hit?
“Cold”
Perhaps it’s best this fight to quit!

Vespasian Wall
 

Several hours of wondering leads us in a very circuitous route to the Verundian wall. As we near a pungent whiff of gas arrives and sickens most of the party. Once we finally reach the wall, we find it mostly in ruins with crumbled patches that can easily passed through (maybe 75,40). Approximately 20ft wide at the type, the section we approach appears to have more fortifications with two crumbling towers and a small redoubt. Based on the ground conditions, Khaidu believes there could be several large predators with clawed feet in the region. As we enter the redoubt, menacing growls assail us. As soon as the first wolf shows itself I loose an arrow. A total of two huge wolves stalk down to attack us. The first one is downed and after the second one is set ablaze, he flees. We give short pursuit, but quickly give up hope of catching him.

We then made a quick search of the tower that the wolves made their lair. Besides gnawed bones and fur, the place was bare. Across the courtyard a second tower sits, though oddly, it appears the wolves have avoided this tower. As we entered, we all noticed a pervasive chill to the air. We found nothing remarkable on the entry-level, and descended through the sole trap door. As we all made it to the basement level, a ghostly hand swiped at Khaidu, leaving him draining and shaking. The agonizing wail that Khaidu made was enough to make my heart skip a beat, and several of us clambered to escape back up to daylight. Unfortunately, as I was waiting my turn the hand materialized out of the floor and tugged on my ankle. Just the slightest brush, was enough to leave me feeling sapped and empty. Taking a third prey, Levin was also affected before we could flee the building.

I had enough and insisted we return to Blackmire. There was some talk about resting in the adjacent tower, but everyone finally saw sense. On our return Melody and Olaf stumbled into an open pit containing a dire weasel. We really were not in any shop for another battle, and I wish they would have been paying more attention. The fight actually was pretty one sided thanks to Levin’s magic that stunned the large animal. I guess it was better that we put a quick end to it rather than it starving in the hole. After pulling our companions out, we warily trudged back to Blackmire. I fear it will take several days to regain my strength and that ghostly touch will forever haunt me.

Vespasian Wall
 

Clannach Highlands Visit

Dangers encountered:
Poisonous Gas Pit
Two Dire Wolves
Shadow
Deadfall Pit
Dire Weasel

Losses:
One Alchemists’s Fire

Levin sat back, finished marking down the tally; his light spell was almost expired. As it dimmed, he thought over the events of the trip. Though he hadn’t shown it, he was proud to have been part of history that day; they were the first civilized beings to have set foot in that land for a long time. Or, he was, at least.

The gas pit had been nasty, but dangers had been expected. Funny how he had managed to survive completely unscathed; despite his being the least armored and physically prepared of the group.

He was mildly annoyed at the waste of an alchemist’s fire on that dire wolf; Khaidhu had just seemed irritated that the wolf had gotten away, instead of grateful for not ending up in a digestive tract.

Unfortunately, he was stuck with the senseless lot for who knows how long time to come.

He chuckled then, as he recalled a laughably ironic moment: That shadowy being had struck the surprised party, and Khaidhu, who was so fond of calling Levin a coward, demonstrated his true hypocritical nature by being the first to flee. Levin, on the other hand, remained behind to try to harm the creature. He, the weak wizardly noble, had also been able to easily evade the deadly shadow’s grasp, while it had crippled his two strongest companions.

It had been a shame, though still ironic, when, as the party retreated back to Blackmire, they had happened across a Dire Weasel, which, coincidentally, was something they had just recently been trying to capture. However, even though Levin had practically handed it to the others, no one was strong enough to carry it.

Levin cast another spell to create light, and then settled down to read a book on the history of the Vespasian.

Vespasian Wall
khoffman21076

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