Blackmire Marches

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.

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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.

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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,
Shinzo
-—————————

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,
Shinzo
-—————————

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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!

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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,
Alfonsus

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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.

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

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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.

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Search for Helen Plowman

Castien organized a party of adventurers to find out what happened to the lost maiden, Helen Plowman. Jan, Osric, Jack, Tresa and Versonas volunteered to join the party. We started out first thing in the morning, and headed to her last known position.

We searched along the riverbank near where Helen was last seen. We spent about 4 hours searching, but did not find any traces, so we headed deeper into the swamp. While moving deeper into the swamp, a large crocodile jumped out of the water and snapped at Tresa. Tresa, Jan and I closed in and attacked, while Versonas, Jack and Osric attacked it from a distance. Working as a team, we were able to defeat the creature without any harm coming to us.

I set about skinning the croc, and in its stomach, I found a large gold nugget, probably worth about 75gp. After skinning the croc, we kept going, and I must have gotten turned around, because we ended up at the river. We decided to follow the river for a ways until I could get my bearings, and we eventually saw the sunken fort on the other side of the river. We decided to keep going, and after several kilometers, we were ambushed by two bandits. Jan and I charged one of them, and Tresa charged the other. With some ranged support from the others, we quickly dispatched the enemy.

Unfortunately, there were not alone, and while the three of us were away, four more bandits charged. Luckily Osric was keeping watch, and shot one while calling the alarm. Unfortunately for poor Jack, one of the bandits caught him by surprise, and with a vicious axe swing, knocked him unconscious. It looked touch and go for a moment, especially after the bandit I was facing buried his axe in my thigh, but with archer support, and Osric doing something to confuse the other bandit, we won the day. I quickly ran over to Jack and bandaged his wounds, then while I instructed the others to check the dead, I interrogated the remaining bandit. He didn’t know much, but told us there were a lot of Lizard Folk around, and their village was not on this bank of the river.

With most of us wounded, we headed back to town, with our prisoner in tow. We got back and spent several days resting, then decided to explore the southern bank of the Blackmire. We came upon the old sunken fort, and decided to check it out. Jack nimbly climbed up the side, and lowered the lift. We all made the ascent, then went to the lower level, and found the remains of some sort of battle. We discovered the stairs to the 1st floor were sealed, so were cleared them and looked down. The stench of rat droppings and stagnant water were overwhelming. We dropped a torch, and Versonas thought he saw a giant rat, so Jack and I went down the stairs. We only got about half way and saw the room was filled with water, and none of us were going to swing in there with giant rats, so we went back to Blackmire.

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Ambush the Invaders

Abdullah’s Journal:

With work continuing on the defenses at the the mine, we scouted around the area and discovered a caravan of hobgoblins on the old Verundian road. Khalid and I decided they were too close to our mine and decided an ambush was in line.

We were able to get ahead of them and find a good ambush spot. The column was large and appeared to have some injured. It included ogres, priests, and outriders. Our ambush was only partially successful, and a pitched battle ensued. Khalid, Slayde, and I were able to surround the ogre and stab him repeatedly, but his huge club was hard to avoid and I was badly wounded.

Our legionaries engaged the hobgoblins guarding the wagons and priests, using clever tactics and formations to overcome the enemy. Hurmore and Keller provided cover and ranged death dealing with their bows. As the wagons were fleeing, Hurmore managed to kill one of the goblin drivers who was transporting a high ranking hobgoblin priest. Keller pin-cushioned the priest as he scrambled to get the reins and get the horses moving until Hurmore ran up behind the wagon and grabbed a firm hold. Hurmore tried to wrestle the priest, who attempted to cast some evil spell upon the faithful hireling. However, Hurmore was able to prevent the spell by pulling at the priest’s evil symbol. Hurmore finally got the priest in a headlock and choked him into unconsciousness.

As the last Hobgoblin fell, we chased down the remaining wagons with several of their legionaries in support. The remaining Auxilia and goblins surrendered.

We checked the wagons, and in the first one are 10 Hobgoblins, 7 obvious Legionnaires and their Decanus, and 2 spindly Auxilia. All were wounded, some barely conscious.

The second wagon contained 6 Legionnaires, 2 Decanus, one of which looked close to death, and 2 anxious Auxilia.

Khalid and Abdullah looked into the last wagon and saw 10 Hobgoblins, 3 were clearly auxilia and 6 were legionnaires. The last Hobgoblin seemed older and tougher, and was sitting with his back straight and head held up high despite several oozing wounds and a large knot on the side of his head.

He looked Khalid and then Abdullah in the eye, and then said in a mix of mostly Verundian with some Goblin and Common mixed in “We must be in worse shape than I thought if the General sent Humans to rescue us, but I suppose beggars can’t be choosers.” He just looked at us and held out his bound hands, fully expecting us to cut him loose.

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Back to the Tomb

Wendell’s Journal:

Alfonsus started talking at the Wager again about heading back to the tomb we discovered last month. He recruited a few newcomers that had just arrived in town, including a peddler of some sort and yet another dwarf brimming with weapons and armor. These dwarves are a gruff, surly lot, especially Ebban. Darem flies into rages more often than not, so it will be interesting to see how this new fellow fits in. Slayde is coming too which should be handy in case the Verundian’s placed any booby traps about the tomb. Slayde is as quick as they come and has nimble fingers too.

I would have liked to prepared a few scrolls and picked up some supplies, but I am saving for some better armor and don’t have the funds right now. Hopefully if we can get inside the tomb and discover some coin. Of course I will devote any excess coin to my temple and perhaps the destitute adventurer’s fund Bila started.

Sadly, Kellor’s family was visiting and he was unable to lead back to the tomb entrance which left me to lead the party over the moor, which is a confusing place at best. About halfway there we were attacked by some vicious dire weasels, but luckily Slayde’s sharp eyes spotted the beasts before they could sneak upon us. The beasts charged the battle was on. The savage beasts attacked Hurmore and I, and latched on with strong jaws. The beast sucked my blood and I felt weakened. Hurmore and Slayde were able to kill the beasts with well placed blows and we skinned the beasts and headed back to Blackmire to rest and heal.

240 xp
6 gp each for Dire Skins

After a day of rest we headed back out over the moor. We stumbled upon a moorland hidden pit and disturbed a swarm of bats that came hurtling out of the crevasse. The angry little mammals settled upon and about poor Clorian. Alfonsus fired some magical fire that seemed to harm the swarm, but it then engulfed Clorian and Hurmore (who had been foolish enough not to move away from the swarm). I waved a torch at them and Alfonsus hit them with another magical fire. Apparently afraid of the fire, the bats flew away, thank Heironeous.

120 xp

We made it the rest of the way to the tomb entrance and confirmed that the chamber was empty. Moving to the barred door in the antechamber, Alfonsus cast a very useful spell that he called “Knock”, which opened the door! The interior was worked stone and opened into a hallway with three doors that had writing on them. Alfonsus, the bookish mage, attempted to read the writing on the doors but Slayde stopped him abruptly and carefully searched to doors for booby traps first. He found no traps but it looked like there had previously been some type of plaster seal around the doors that has been subsequently broken. Alfonsus identified the writing as ancient Verundian and translated:

1) Julia Minor Metellus
2) Livinia Frontinius Metellus
3) Marcus Licinius Metellus (north door)

Slayde attempted to open the door to Marcus Licinius Metellus’ tomb but it didn’t budge. As we were pondering how to get through the door, all three opened and we were ambushed by troglodytes and tough looking-monitor lizards. Alfonsus and immediately injured and looked overwhelmed. A huge trog (presumably the chief) wielding a stone axe smashed my shoulder, the pain shot through down to my back and I almost lost my sword. Suddenly, a huge ball of fire manifested upon the chief, I can only assume Alfonsus conjured more arcane magic.

The battle was on and I attacked one of the lizards, striking a solid blow but then being savagely bitten by one again. I was was hurtin’ for certain and in a precarious spot, cut off from the party except Hurmore. Slayde closed upon the lizard I injured while Clorian called upon the power of his deity to Bless us. Two trogs closed on us but Hurmore pierced one nicely with his long spear. Alfonsus fired a bolt of magic energy over my head and I heard the sound of a trog drop.

Apparently the chief went down because the trogs fled though the lizards kept fighting on. I saw Alfonsus pull out a scroll and another bolt of magical energy blasted one of the lizards and it went down. I finally had some breathing room and Heironeous healed me. Clorian then dropped another lizard with a blow to the skull! Alfonsus was bleeding so I called on Heironeous to heal him and then guarded a passage leading to the north out of the tomb of Marcus Licinius Metellus. Sadly the tombs had long ago been raided and were empty. Despite detect magic spells and thorough searching by Slayde, we found nothing.

720 xp

We headed north and found a room with chains where the lizards appeared to be kept. Further on we found the trogs lair which contained:

2 MW short sword (verundian)
1 MW morningstar
1 MW dwarven warhammer
50’ rope
map case
MW craftsman tools w/ sledgehammers
tattered wizard robes (magical) – 2 auras(healing, evocation)
– ring of spell storing, minor (3)
– potion of CLW3
(4) steel hooded lanterns
34 GP, 65 SP, and 31 CP (all used for Identify)

Amazingly, I spotted what appeared to newer masonry on the north wall of the chamber which might lead to more passages. Hurmore used one of the sledgehammers to pound through the wall and then Slayde sneaked down the revealed hallway to investigate. Slayde came running back down the hallway claiming some “blob” was after him so we all fled back onto the moor. We went back to Blackmire as fast as we could and made it safely!

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