Blackmire Marches

The Infernal Buzzing

Balesley hears a faint buzzing.

Already faint and shaking from a close encounter with a group of squatting bandits, Balesley had followed the dwarf—the confusing female one who had told him, “You’re ugly” before slapping him hard in the back—into the courtyard of the abandoned monastery. That’s when he heard it, in the distance: an unmistakable, droning buzz.

His human half immediately quaked in fear, only for the orc blood in his veins to fill him with great shame. None of the friendly, formidable adventurers he traveled with betrayed any hint of fear, so Balesley steeled himself against his cravenness as best he could.

The bandit ambush had stretched his nerves taut and turned his knees to jelly. As soon as Jameak and Gria had entered the door they were surrounded, bandits emerging from damp corners and from behind dark pillars. Balesley had tried to stay out of it, shooting ineffectually into their midst, but then took a deep breath and stupidly charged the leader, Rathbone, and gripped him in a bear hug until Balesley’s comrades and spiked armor had done in the bandit leader.

“I hear ’em,” Balesley growled from the courtyard’s entryway, “I hear them bees.” After searching the room for loot the band set off towards the noise. It grew in volume and intensity as they approached, shaking the very ground, until it clearly emanated from behind a closed door.

Balesley would have never thought of it, but the others had a plan. The door was opened just long enough for three smoking sticks to be thrown into the room, and quickly shut again. That’s smart, reckoned Balesley.

The group waited, entering a lively discussion about how long until the smoke took effect. How fast does smoke work on giant bees? Balesley didn’t know.

In no time ten minutes had passed and the group figured they had better check the interior before the effects of smoke wore off completely.

Balesley was no stranger to those effects, not by a long shot. He and Gria (the confusing dwarf maiden) were nearest the door, and the dissipating fog washed over them as they flung it open. Balesley felt the familiar tingle of smoke in his lungs, and colors swam in front of his eyes, but when Gria began attacking angry bees he had the presence of mind to follow suit. Soon the world slowed. His senses dulled. He was vaguely aware the others continued the fight, but lost track of their movements. Figures faded in and out from his vision.

Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. Balesley’s whole being shook with the vibrations of a dozen glassy wings in flight. And there, in the midst of the rolling fog, buzzed an insect, king of insects.

Balesley steeled himself against the fear once more. It had to be ten feet tall and a thousand pounds of mighty insect. I won’t be mocked by no disrespectful bee! Balesley raged, and clenched the monster tight about the thorax.

“Balesley,” he heard a faint voice. “Balesley! That bee’s dead. It has no stinger.” Balesley’s vision was swimming. He dropped the lifeless corpse on the ground, the influence of the smoke dawning on him. What he was really was in need of was some fresh air, so he helped the others bring in the barrels from outside for collecting honey.

Still, at the end of the day there was honey money to be divided. It was more gold than Balesley had ever seen. And he learned his lesson:

There’s good coin to be had in the wrestling of dead bees.

Goblin Hunting Practice

Castien was getting a little restless, and organized another jaunt into the Warrens. He was accompanied by the Dwarves Gria and Jameak and the Human archer Versonas. Since the last several attempts on the Warrens came from the mountain lion cave and the Monastery, Castien led the group to the Tin mine.

We arrived without any issue, and entered the Mine. We hooked up some rope to the block left by a previous party, and Gria and Jameak descended first. As soon as they his the ground, they were charged by a scurrying Rust Monster. The creature attacked Gria and dissolved her armor in seconds. A pissed off Gria hacked the beast with her axe, only to see it rust away as it cleaved through its side. The monster than turned and ate Jameak’s armor. By then Versonas had made the trip down and started shooting arrows, and Jameak switched weapons and attacked with his flail. By the time I got to the bottom of the shaft and maneuvered around, Gria smashed it’s head in with her warhammer, which also rusted away.

Meanwhile, two goblins showed up and laughed at us and hurled some javelins. We quickly charged them and they died quickly. We followed around the mine, and ended up in a room occupied by two more goblins, we attacked them, but they fled down another shaft. We quickly searched the room, and collected some coins and a very nice quarterstaff. We could hear some goblins below us, and since I still had my armor, I went down first, and was met by a wall of goblins.

I was able to kill one of them and move over to make room for Jameak. Unfortunately there wasn’t room for Gria, though she tried anyway and landed on poor Jameak knocking them both down. I killed a few more, and Jameak stood up and killed another. They had enough and fled. We quickly followed them and came out in a large cavern defended by a line goblins, with a tougher looking one leading them. Gria got pin-cushioned by javelins, but still charged ahead. I was pretty beat up from the last fight, and used a scroll to heal myself before I joined the fray. It got a little dicey for a while, and Gria went down, but I was able to kill their leader and Jameak dispatched several other goblins and the remainder fled. I healed Gria with my last scroll and we searched the room. We collected some nice artifacts, and decided it was time to head back to Blackmire.

Shinzo & the Dwarves Examine the Graveyard

Shinzo’s Letter to Master Kan:

Wise Master,

I led two friendly dwarves, Gria & Jameak, to an ancient Hellic Graveyard in the nearby Cradle Woods. I had hoped to find wisdom through ancient writings or perhaps a sense of solitude. Sadle, this place had not been cared for in several centuries and whatever holiness was there had long since been overtaken with evil. We immediately found zombies, disgusting rotten flesh undead who immediately attacked us. I was surprised at how strong they were, as they struck me with their fists and broke several ribs. Despite landing several well-placed blows to sensitive locations as you taught me, they seemed not to feel my fists. Luckily, the dwarves were capable fighters with their axes and hammers and flails and they killed the creatures.

We next found a hedge carving holding a gem, which Jameak hastily grabbed. A ghoul popped out of the earth and attacked Jameak, but this time my blows were effective, as I literally knocked his jaw off. The dwarves finished him off and we moved on, only to find skeletons!

Another battle ensued and Jameak again caused serious destruction to the undead. Gria and I finished off the last skeletons and headed back to Blackmire.

We returned the next day after I had rested and Bila, a powerful cleric, had healed me. We encountered another ghoul which attacked Jameak, only to be cut in half by his axe while simultaneously having its skill crushed by his flail. Apparently ghouls have some type of chilling touch that causes paralysis because Jameak shook all over like having a cold bucket of water poured over him. He explained to me aftewards that “dwarves are the toughest creatures on earth and no stinking ghoul was going to freeze him”.

We next found skeletons wielding scimitars and long spears. We easily dispatched them and headed back to Blackmire.

I feel I have discovered one truth: when encountering undead, it is best to be accompanied by angry dwarves.

Your Faithful Student,


Gria leads the charge on the Warrens

A newcomer to Blackmire, a dwarf named Gria, organized a raid on the Warrens, and Hurmore and I joined her and another new dwarf named Jameak. We headed out in the morning, and I easily led us to the Mountain Lion cave, and we entered the Warrens, and headed to the temple of Mithras. As we were coming around the cavern, two goblins hurled javelins at us and tried to flee. I was able to chase one of them down and skewered him with my rapier. We followed the other one into the temple antechamber, and were met by several more goblins.

This batch of goblins went down quickly, and Hurmore warned us more goblins were heading into the temple. We all turned around and headed back to Hurmore, although I did here sounds of goblins heading our way from the temple. We all maneuvered to kill the three goblins that came from the other corridor, and just as the last one went down, three goblins came trudging down the hall, carrying a large crate. While we watched, the goblins hurled the crate at us, which splintered upon impact, and hundreds of rats came swarming at us. Luckily Hurmore was prepared, and took two mighty swings scattering most of the rats, but those that remained attacked him and Jameak. I moved around the rats and attacked, killing enough that the rest fled.

Now we turned our attention back on the three goblins, and quickly dispatched them. With all quiet for the time being, we searched the room to the right, and I sprung a trip wire and an arrow shot out of the wall and hit me in the shoulder. Undaunted, we moved on and I opened a chest we found. Yet another trap! I got stabbed by a poisoned needle, and did not feel good afterwards. We collected the treasure and headed back to Blackmire.

We decided to come back out the next day, after Bila graciously healed us, and brought Jarlath with us. This time we made it to the temple without trouble, and checked the other side room. We found another chest, and I opened this one, just to find an angry scorpion. It tried to sting me, but missed. So Gria stepped up and grabbed the thing and held it out so I could pierce it with my rapier.

Next the double checked the other room, it was clear, and headed into the temple proper. There were a large number of goblins here. As they moved our way, we were able to kill several with our bows before they closed with us. It was a very brutal, but quick battle, and only two of the goblins managed to escape their fate. We quickly searched the temple, and found a valuable statue and some potions. We took our loot and headed back to Blackmire.

Assaulting the Hobgoblin Fort

Abdullah’s Journal:

General Calvinus offered us a reward if we could assault and destroy an opposition hobgoblin fort to the north on the edge of the Rattlin’ Bog. Since this fortification was close enough to our mine to cause discomfort, we readily agreed. Our troops moved forward with an onager attacking from the south while we flanked from the east. When the fort and our troops started exchanging seige-engine fire, we attacked.

I quaffed a potion of speed and charged at a rapid pace, leaping the low wall with a running leap and continued into the interior. I took cover inside what must have been an ogre’s tent based on the smell and filth. A few lizardmen attempted to attack me, but I was able to easily dance around their fumbling attacks. The rest of the party was far behind me at this point, but I knew faithful Khalid would be there as soon as possible.

A bolt of lightning came down from the sky and struck a nearby lizardman, frying him to a cinder. I engaged the closest lizardman and Khalid came leaping over the wall to my aid. I assumed our little short-legged companions were still making their way towards the fort. We were quickly surrounded, but felt confident we could overcome this scum.

From just over the wall I could hear the sound of Weylyn’s leopard snarling, and the stench of searing energy permeated the air. Another bolt of lightning struck down a lizardman and then Weylyn and his leopard leaped over the wall. Khalid and I dropped multiple foes while providing cover to each other, always taunting the enemy. I was beginning to get worried about Bila and Keller as I had not seen nor heard them…

A decanus attacked me, but Weylyn blasted him with another bolt of lightning, though the hobgoblin was only injured. Bila then hopped over the wall and healed Khalid who had taken many injuries. The battle turned into a bloodbath and Khalid & I killed foes left and right. Suddenly, Keller appeared out of thin air and fired two rapid shots that dropped the a decanus who had fled like a little girl.

The damned hobgoblins had been firing a scorpion at us the whole time, so I raced down towards their watch tower to dispose of them. The engineers saw me coming and tried to leap onto the outer wall, with one of them falling to the ground and breaking his leg.

The hobgoblins fled with a chest so I chased them down and attempted a flying tackle that almost succeeded.

In Search of Truth in the Abandoned Monastery

Shinzo’s Letter to Master Kan:

Wise Master,

Two days ago I reached the far western reaches of civilization, an area called the Blackmire Marches. The people here are hardy folk, and adventurers come from far and wide to plunder the ancient Verundian ruins that are common here. I must say these adventurers are for the most part friendly and have accepted me into their midst. A small group is heading to an abandoned monastery near the town and I plan to join them; perhaps I will find wisdom from the remaining writings, architecture, and karma of that ancient place. I will write to you after I return.

Your Devoted Student,

Wise Master,

Our journey to the abandoned monastery was a rather pleasant walk over terrain called a “moor”. We arrived at the monastery and discovered animated skeletons seemingly patrolling the exterior. I of course recalled your teachings about undead creatures, but I must admit it was still quite shocking to encounter these abominations in real life. In fact I was so shocked that I didn’t see one of them thrust a long spear into my rib cage, nearly killing me. I retreated and pulled out my sling and was able to cause a little damage. Luckily my companions were able to defeat the skeletons. Jarlath was also badly injured so we headed back to Blackmire to rest and recover.

We went back a few days later and entered the monastery. We discovered some curious, large beetles with a glowing carapace that the others called “Fire Beetles”. These creatures swarmed at me, but your training allowed be to easily dodge their pincers. Also helping was a magical incantation that Osric cast upon me which provided some type of protection.

Descending through the catacombs of the monastery we entered what the others called the “Goblin Warrens”. We encountered these creatures riding wolves of some sort, and odd sight though one of the canines bit me and tripped me down. The goblins had apparently laid an ambush for us because soon arrows were peppering down upon us from ledges above. Wisely, Osric conjured a magical mist that concealed us. A hired man named Hurmore and I ganged up on a goblin rider and were able to fell him. Our leader Castien was gravely injured so we retreated back to Blackmire.

Your Devoted Student,

Elemental Tower Cleared

Bila – A large group of us set out for the Tower in the Copice Lakes region. It’s definitely time that we go back and finish all these half explored places. There was a giant turtle-like beast in the lake, which was frightening for its potential to force us to all regret not spending more time practicing swimming. Fortunately, he went down quickly and only Keller ended up in the water. We were able to fish him back out with an oar before he sank too far.

The tower itself was just as we left it. We carefully explored the areas we’d already cleared and then headed for the rope. Eiger went up first and I followed on his heals, the rest of the party took their time following us up. The top level where we’d cleared the air elementals last time provided some nice loot and then we followed the stairs down. Upon opening the cabinet, we finally found the fire elementals…figured they had to be here somewhere. Tarmon and I, since we were closest, took the brunt of the elementals’ wrath, but we healed through it while the rest of the party easily dispatched them. More loot here, then back to Blackmire. It’s good to have cleared an area. We need to do more of that!

Beyond the Tomb

Dearest Mother and Father,

I returned to the tomb of Marcus Metellus, along with Tresa, Keller and Osric. We brought Mehmet and Hurmore with us too. We made it back to the tomb, and headed back to where we last left off. Instead of heading into the corridor where we saw the giant oozing blob we headed down the other passage. We hadn’t traveled very far when Hurmore walked right into it. I quickly cast a Scorching Ray at the thing, but it came right at us and Mehmet and I were absorbed by it. It was a very eerie feeling to be consumed by a giant gelatinous cube. All I could do was watch as my friends tried desperately to kill this thing.

Finally Keller managed to pierce the creature and collapsed like a stuck bladder. I turned to check on Mehmet, but he was already dead. We gathered the items that the cube left behind, and continued along the passage. We came to a room with a large statue in the corner. Osric and myself examined it, and he noticed that the based looked like it could turn. We decided to turn it clockwise, and it opened up a secret door.

We went through the secret passage and followed it around to where it connected to the room the Troglodytes were living in. There was a side chamber that led into a very large cavern with a dark lake. There was a rickety bridge crossing the lake. Tresa cast Light on a rock, and dropped it into the water to see how deep it was. While she was watching, a large black something oozed out of the lake and grappled onto her. Keller quickly shot an arrow at it, but the most amazing thing happened, he hit it, and it split in twain! I fired a couple of Magic Missiles at it, and they appeared to hurt it.

But then a truly sad event transpired, the ooze latched onto Tresa and dragged her limp body into the lake. We knew we were over matched and fled out of the cave, stopping to pick up poor Mehmet’s body. We made it back to Blackmire and rested. I vow to return with a stronger party and avenge for Tresa.

Your loving son,

Goblin Warrens Adventure

Once rumors started circulating around Blackmire about another excursion into the goblin warrens it didn’t take long for a large adventuring party to assemble. Jarlath, the new sorcerer in town, asked if he could go along. He wanted to practice his new Magic Missle spell.

we set out for the Warrens with Tresa a cleric and able fighter, Jan a two weapon nimble fighter, Versonas a bow wielding deadeye, Alfonsus a powerful wizard, Osric a less powerful but impressive wizard, and myself a sorcerer.

I’ve never been around another spell caster and I don’t understand these wizards. They wield great power, but they spend all their time studying and reading about it. They’re clearly inferior to the power I wield which just comes from within, but they’re power is still impressive. I wouldn’t want to cross one just yet.

We met a dire weasel on our way to the warrens, he clamped onto tresa and I panicked, I wasn’t sure what to do. You could tell this was my first adventure. In hindsight, I should have fired a magic missle at the target. Versonas tried firing at it but his arrow stuck in the side of Tresa instead. The weasel was killed and we decided to press on to the entrance of the warrens. Once we got there, we decided to go back to blackmire though and rest. The next day we set out for the Warrens once again. We left Jan in Blackmire and hired Hurmore for the day to replace him.

We entered the warrens immediately ran into a barricade some goblins had set up. One fired his crossbow and the bolt was electrified! We killed these goblins easily and Hurmore tore down their barricades so we could walk through. We picked up the magic crossbow so that it wouldn’t be forgotten and pressed on.
We ran into some more goblins that seemed to retreat as we moved forward. Alfonsus cast a magical spell that caused one of the goblins to become his friend, he asked the goblin to approach us and it did so, just like it was a member of party. Tresa bopped the little guy on the head as he walked past her as she didn’t trust the magical effects of alfonsus’ spell.
As we pushed on, the goblins brought out a pack of hyenas to attack us spurred on by a bugbear with a whip. Osric translated the goblin for us, they were calling her “Grella”. We were able to kill a pair of hyenas and the others retreated as we retreated down a small hallway. We waited for awhile but heard nothing. We charged out and found that they had completely retreated. We used this oppurtunity to get out and return to Blackmire.

Jarlath took the magical crossbow to blackmire. Tarmon offered to identify it for me if I would help him gather information around town. I took him up on his gracious offer.

Light Crossbow +1 Shock
98 Copper
675xp to Tresa, Osric, Jarlath, Alfonsus, and Versonas
100xp to Tresa, Osric, Jarlath, Alfonsus, Versonas, and Jan

Patrolling our Territory

Mirth Silver Mine Owner’s Ledger:

Abdullah -

This morning Khalid, Weylyn, and I headed to Blackmire for supplies. On the way there Weylyn was scouting ahead and spotted something stalking us in the undergrowth. Soon a dire wolf was charging us and I let loose arrows as it streaked towards us. I heard Weylyn chanting behind us as Khalid and I engaged the evil beast. The beast savaged my leg as Khalid stabbed it and Weylyn summoned ANOTHER dire wolf that started attack the first dire wolf. I rolled opposite Khalid and placed two strategic blows that finished the beast.

250 xp for Khalid, Abdullah,
200 xp for Weylyn
Pelt: 150 gp

We continued to Blackmire, picked up our supplies and Bila, then returned to the mine without incident.

Little Bila has decided to buy into the mine, and I must say I’m glad to have her. Tarmon is a capable holy man, but Bila is fearless in a battle and will heal the wounded no matter the danger to herself.

We had previously interrogated the captive hobgoblins, seems like perhaps we can make a deal with the military side in the hobgoblin conflict. I really don’t want either side to win, the more they fight each other the less their ability to bother us until we have our fortifications complete. We sent out a ransom demand a few days ago and now a significant force of mounted hobgoblins is at our gate. I guess we’ll go see what they want!

The hobgoblins paid 1200gp for the return of their comrades and their General Calvinus asked for a parley. We went out to talk with them and agreed to a non-aggression pact. Furthermore we offered to provide for-fee services to harry the Northern goblins and the General provided us the location of his camp.

Next up finding the troll!

The next morning Bila, Weylyn, Khalid, Marcus and I headed out to track and kill the troll. Weylyn quickly found troll scat near the river, though how he knew the look, feel, smell, and taste of troll scat I don’t want to know. Khalid found some tracks and we followed them south, then crossed a fresher set of tracks that headed SW towards the river. We heard sounds of a large creature crunching on a snack behind a hillock. We sneaked near the base of the hillock but then scared a nesting bird which made a startling noise. The creature came around the hillock and I fired two flasks of acid, one of which struck the monster in the head. Khalid charged and sliced with his shortsword while Bila, Marcus, and Weylyn charged from the woods. The troll grabbed Weylyn’s leopard and nearly ripped it into halves. Khalid and I moved to flanking positions and dealt serious injuries, and then Bila and Marcus dropped it. Amazingly, the beast stood back up (the rumors of trolls generating turn out to be true!) so Bila and Khalid smacked it again. What a battle!

Bila healed the poor cat and we found its lair in a disgusting hole in the hillock. The remains of various meals abounded. We found lots of loot!

XP: 300 for lvl 5 creatures
coin 339gp
art: carved bone statuette (20gp)
art: ivory statuette (50gp)
gem: brown-green garnet (90gp)
gem: blue quartz (13gp)
gem: sard (50gp)
gem: tourmaline (70gp)
gem: rhodochrosite (9gp)
gem: jasper (40gp)
gem: tiger eye turquoise (9gp)
gem: jet (90gp)
gem: citrine (70gp)
gem: iolite (70gp)
gem: peridot (40gp)
gem: amethyst (90gp)
darkvision (potion) (300gp)
endure elements (potion) (50gp)
cure moderate wounds (potion) (300gp)
bull’s strength (potion) (300gp)
cure light wounds (potion) (50gp)
wand of burning hands cast at lvl1 (charges 20) (300gp)
staff of healing (charges 2) (1,110gp)
arcane scroll containing: 1. fox’s cunning (lvl 2, cast 3) (150gp) 2. protection from good (lvl 1, cast 1) (25gp) 3. detect secret doors (lvl 1, cast 1) (25gp) (200gp value)
arcane scroll containing: 1. continual flame (lvl 2, cast 3) (200gp) (200gp value)
divine scroll containing: 1. longstrider (lvl 1, cast 1) (25gp) 2. summon monster I (lvl 1, cast 1) (25gp) (50gp value)

We headed back to the mine without incident.


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.