Broken Banners

Journal Entry 7.7.1

After spending the better part of the last year in the wild with my best buddy Hyo, I figured it was about time to re-connect with the human world.
I try to make back to the “civilized” world every once in a while just to check on the state on things and see how much has been screwed up.
Although I have found that most people are good at heart, there are enough people, of all races, who’s selfishness override their goodness and
common sense.

My timing couldn’t have worked out better as when I reached the first heavily used road, I found a flyer requesting help from some minor noble to
help track down and stop the murdering of his workers. There was a mention of a reward ot titles and lands. Titles mean nothing to me but
I might be able to make use the land. A good park is always a needed thing. We set off immediately to see how we might be able to help.

On arrival, we were put up for the night and told we would be briefed in the morning about what we woud be required to do. During our briefing
we were introduced to the team we would be working with and shown some massively brutalized corpses. After some brief introductions, we set out
to the site of the first attack. During the walk, I took some time to study my new allies.

The one the noble put in charge was a young human man named Thon. I could tell that he had some ranger skills and he seemed capable enough. We will see what
kind of leader he is.The only female member of the group, Alluna, an obvious druid seemed very concerned about some lost workers but was willing to work with the rest of
the group. She and the Thon had obviously worked together before which should make things a little smoother. The final member of our little party, Pylf,
was of a race I am not familiar with. What was cool was his mount was an animal I had only heard of, a camel. He plays the mercanary role well and seemed willing to do
anything if the price was right. However his love and concern for his camel, Fern, was easy to see which means he can’t be all bad and that there is more to him beneath the surface.

We eventually made it to the site of the attack and discovered enough clues and information to set us off in the right direction. The clever
little buggers set some false trails but after some time we were able to get back and track. Eventually I was able to identify what the creatures we
were tracking look like, a lot of god that did. The trail led to an area in the forest that did not look quite natural. We found a tunnel in this
area and came up with a plan to lure the monsters out and maybe catch them by surprise. Well, that went to hell almost immediately. The trap
we tried to set up ended up being attached to one of the monsters. It seems that the little bastards can grow large and look like rose bushes. Honestly
it was kinda cool.

As battle ensued, we ended up having to fight several of these plant guys as well as some tree creatures. They weren’t too hard to defeat but Alluna’s
wolf took some damage. She ended up sending the wolf back to the fort we started out from. That seemed a bit over-protective to me but I guess not all
companions can be as tough as Hyo.

I finally got a chance to watch Thon, Alluna and Pylf fight and I was happy at what I saw. They used tactics I had not seen before. Watching how they
worked and moved, I could see great potential in having them as allies. I believe given a little time, we will be able to work as a cohesive unit and that
I will be able to learn much them that will improve myself as a warrior and a ranger. If given a chance, I hope to work longer with these men and women. I see
the potential of great friendship.

From the Journal of Pylf, Bloodrider Mercenary
Could be an interesting job.

So Fern and I have ended up heading back east for what sounded like a good opportunity for some coin. We’re helping some human lordling set up a base of operations in the middle of nothing. It’s a lot more green than I’m used to, but it’s pretty enough, I guess, and Fern’s got plenty of plants to snack on.

Turns out that some of the plants are monsters, though. Easy enough to kill, when you’ve got as deadly a group as ours. I’ve been sent out on my latest patrol with a two humans and an elf, trying to find a lair of some local cannibals, or something. After finding a few spots where they attacked Mr. Lordling’s pals, we determined that they’re about my size (which, of course, means twice as deadly), and we followed their tracks back to their lair, where a bunch of flowers and trees tried to kill us.

After a good ol’ smash ‘n’ burn on the killer plants, we headed inside. The job was actually starting to get interesting. I’ll just have to keep an eye on my fellow mercs, too. The lady, Alluna, just sent her wolf buddy back to the fort on his own when he took a few hits in combat, which I find completely unethical, the elf guy, Koenig, is a bit too perceptive for my tastes, and the kid, Thon, just seems way too uppity.

They do all seem like they may leave some trinkets laying around, though…

Mordakai's Register entry 2
  • Upon reaching the tower, we were set upon by the entire fighting force of the Blistermuck Bugbear tribe. They attacked from every angle, and Sarissa was badly injured, but Thon and I struck down their leader, ending the Blistermuck threat for good. There are a few stragglers, but they will be easy prey for the Orcs and forces of Iuz in the region.
  • Katrina was a major help in this fight. Between having the foresight to carry a Wand of Delay Poison, and some advanced medical care, she was able to eliminate the threat of the Blistermuck Clan’s signature poison. We should take up a group collection to get a new wand for her.
  • Clearing out their tribal home, and destroying anything they may find useful. I don’t want them to come back and have supplies, or any other hostile tribe.
  • I sent Thon and Sarissa to scout the upper area leading to the Tower. They returned after about an hour, after they disarmed the traps and Thon got his mind drained by a Lamia. I am still considering what to do with the nest of Stirges inside an abandoned stables.
Mordakai's Register
  • Three travelers reached town, asked for lodgings.
  • After initial troubles, I discovered their intent: Exploring an old ruin to get the aid of a noble lord. This lord will allow the Shieldland Military to take the capitol easier by opening the gates, as well as keeping the prisoners in the city safe.
  • I learned their names. Endiri the gnome wizard, Katrina the Cleric and Thon the Scout.
  • I convinced them I was on their side, and we headed out to the ruins.
  • The trip has been interrupted with deer and a single squad of Bugbears. They were only a little trouble.
Thon's frustrating search
just when you thought it was over your pulled back in

Boccob’s Balls! if this isn’t frustrating I don’t know what is!

Thorfin's Tale
Thorfin reflects on his brief enslavement and his new companions

Reaping 3rd week

It has been nearly four weeks since I last saw my elder Sister Lady Blackrock as she is known, or just Thar as I know her. Tharma always has hated when I shortened her name, says it sounds too much like an Orc and a particularly ugly one at that. By Moradin’s beard, she should have never told me that! Now she’ll be Thar to me until she marries! It’s good to think of Sister, I hope she fares well in her task, unlike myself.

I suppose it is needless and pointless to feel self pity at my situation. Moradin has spared me; from captivity, slavery, and most likely worse. If only he had felt me worthy to enter his great halls and not my less experienced allies and companions. The dead neither want or would claim my pity. No indeed, my dead companions feast with the Forge Father now. Seven we were when we parted from my Sister’s group, now only I remain. Four died in battle with the savage orcs and their honor-less human mercenary allies. Another died of his wounds while we marched in captivity. My long time brother-in-arms; Gwain Thunderstone, was sacrificed in a Gruesome ritual, for trying to free me from the cage they had penned me in.

I was sold into slavery. I was the property of a large Slaver’s caravan until the Lord Mayor’s son of the town of Yellow-reach, took a fancy to owning a Dwarf. The bastard paid what I assume to be a small fortune for me. I was only in Yellowreach two days when a group of adventures rescued me. The young Lord was busy carousing local establishments when this small group used magic and guile to smuggle me out of the accursed little hamlet.

Owning these fine people my freedom and possibly my life I pledged my service to them without hesitation.

Perhaps, the forge father’s will works in all this misfortune. For the adventuring group that rescued me was trying to recover an artifact from the very same mountain that hold’s one of the ancient Dwarven relics my sister and I seek. Also as the fates would have it, I met the brother of one of the group that rescued me while I was in captivity. The brother of Thon Fielderson ; Johab, gave me water when I had none for a day. This brother of Thon Fielderson was also a captive and was taken south with the slaver caravan after I was sold to the young Lordling in Yellowreach.

Even though we were just a couple miles from White Plume Mountain we put our respective expeditions on hold, to rescue Thon Fielderson’s brother from the horror of slavery. We set out after a day of rest. My new allies provided me with some equipment and weapons of a former slain ally of theirs.

After several days of hard travel we encountered a huge worm like creature of lavender hue. The creature was enormous so we fled it but it doggedly pursued us for a couple days more. We thought we had lost it by the time we reached the ruined fortress town of Axeport on the northern banks of the Nyr Dyv. The town was overrun with humanoids, so it was decided that Katrina Urquell, Thon Fielderson, and myself would stay out of sight in a costal cave while Enidri Felwin used his magic to go into the former town and procure a boat by any means he could.

A couple hours after Enidri Felwin had returned empty handed; we were paid a visit by the insane wizard Keraptis. The wizard quickly incapacitated us with powerful spells and then proceeded to chastise the group for not finishing their task of retrieving the artifact weapons he had secured in his stronghold inside White Plume Mountian. It seems he had recently waken from a centuries long sleep and was using his little playground as he called it to test the mettle and resiliency of the peoples of this age.

Although the wizard was quite mad, there was little we could do against him. He was simply too powerful. The Cleric of Kord Katrina Urquell, eventually convinced him Keraptis to allow us to first rescue Thon Fielderson‘s brother Johab and then promised to return to White Plume Mountian and attempt to complete Keraptis little test. Keraptis however, didn’t let us go completely un-punished. He promised the huge Purple Worm that had been pursing us would continue to do so after a two day head start. In addition we only had fifty days to return to White Plume Mountain or else Keraptis would personally come and retrieve us and compel us to be guardians of his treasures through magical means.

In the morning we set out for the Shield Lands. We cannot get a boat to cross over Tomun’s Enclave, the isle that the city of Amundford is on and hopefully, Thon Fielderson’s brother Johab. The journey will be difficult. Orc and Gnoll patrols swarm the area between here and the free Shield Lands. However, I am confident Moradin would not have spared me thus far, just to have me perish in the wilds at the hands of orcs. Who knows perhaps I will hear news of my sister?

A Report from White Plume Mountain
The last dispatch of Elthazar

Goldfields 1st week

A report to the high council of The Seekers of the Misty Isle.

It has been nearly two months and a 10 day since my last dispatch. My mission proceeds slowly. Information regarding the schism in the faith of Pholtus is limited, as I have been sent on adventuring missions far afield. We are searching for artifacts that, once were in the possession of Lower Planes Fiends.

These missions were given to us by the Arch mage Nystul. As you may know he is the regent ruler of what remains of the lands of Tehn and member of the Circle of Eight. I have agreed to be part of these adventures. My goal is to learn more about the mysterious ancient city of Faranth . Also my curiosity leads to a question, “Could these artifacts also have information leading to the location of the Misty Isle?” I have been part of stranger happenstances, and who knows what Lord Larethain wills? Besides, having a powerful ally like Nystul, could be very useful to the Seekers in the future.

The group I have adventured with now consist of myself, Enidri Felwin,Katrina Urquell, and Thon Fielderson. The Gnome Enidri Felwin is the newest member of the group and was sent to retrieve Tethan Senh, a former member of our group who fell in the accursed lands know as the Cold Marshes. Our group was in search of the terrible artifact known as Fiend’s Embrace.

The musician adventurer Charles O’Carien lost his life in my company as did Tethan Senh. Both were ironically stricken down by Ogres; although the one that struck Tethan Senh was an Undead Ogre. Tethan Senh was later raised from the dead in the city of Greyhawk at the behest of his mother Melina Sehn. A powerful mage and instructor at the Greyhawk University of Magical arts.

Charles O’Carien lost his life shortly after my last dispatch, while we were lost in the wilds north of the Zumker river. I met Tethan Senh and Katrina Urquell when the Druidess Alluna and the Sorceress Kira lead a group to find and rescue our little band from the trouble we had found ourselves in. The rescue was partially successful in that they recovered both Thon Fielderson and myself.

I have enjoyed travelling with both these ladies. Kira is a 1/2 breed wood elf from the lands of the Wolf Nomads and she tends to drink her troubles away. Alluna claims to be nothing more that a refuge from the lands of the Rover Barrens. I believe her to be something more than that however. Her golden eyes betray a touch of the Gods; and I feel she will have much to do with the coming events.

After I was rescued from hostile territory, I returned to Redspan with the others. It seems Nystul had some doubts about our abilities to accomplish such an important mission as retrieving Fiend’s Embrace. Therefore, he first bid us to help overthrow a bandit lord that had set up near an area under his protection. This petty Lord stylized himself as The Stag Lord. We easily over-came the proud self styled Lord. This act must have won the trust and confidence of Nystul. (It should be noted this Stag Lord had somehow acquired an Elven war bow. I appropriated the object from the petty bandit’s body. It was after all property of the Seldarine. )

After the defeat of the Stag Lord. We prepared to leave for the Cold Marshes in search of the dread artifact Fiend’s Embrace. Alluna made several magic scarfs to aid against the freezing temperatures of the swamp. In gratitude we gave her some magic hide armor we had recovered from the Stag Lord. Our group consisted of Kira, Katrina Urquell, Thon Fielderson,Tethan Senh, and the Dwarf Monk Burnhaus, whom Nystul had tasked with protecting Kira.

After a treacherous journey through the Cold Marshes, our group reached the destination of Cold Stone Keep. We had lost one companion but picked up two others. A mysterious easterner know only as Shingetsu, and the afore mentioned gnome wizard Enidri Felwin. I had spotted a black dragon hunting in the swamp and the entire group had hopes of avoiding the Drake.

After defeating several human mercenary servants of Iuz and some troll inhabitants; Shingetsu stole the prize Fiend’s Embrace. However, the thief did not make it far. The Dragon Sizzle Claw slew him and made off with the prize himself, whilst taunting the rest of us to follow and try to re-claim the artifact.

It was decided that our group was too weak to take on the Dragon after our trials in the swamp. We had already lost one member of our group and the thief Shingetsu had also been slain. We decided to exhume Tethan Senh’s body and return the remains to his mother in Greyhawk city. Enidri Felwin used a teleport scroll to get us back to Greyhawk despite the inherent risk of casting teleportation magic in the Fell swamp that is, the Cold Marshes.

We arrived in Greyhawk City just before Richfest. Arrangements were made to Raise the half-elf Tethan Senh from his death slumber. It seems the erstwhile Bard is from a wealthy and influential family in Greyhawk. The Cleric of Kord Katrina Urquell, was attacked by an old nemesis. A wizard know only as Content Not Found: sanblat-1. She narrowly defeated him yet the Wizard escaped. His interest in our group and our ongoing quest is concerning.

After a week of rest and re-supply; we fully expected to be contacted by the mage Nystul . After all, the mage had given Thon Fielderson an attuned coin. The coin was just for the purposes of easily scrying on our group. It was strange that we had heard no word. After __Melina Sehn_, Tethan Senh‘s mother heard about the danger Nystul had pressed her son into, she confronted another member of the Circle of Eight , Jallazri Starcloak. There was a tense confrontation. The Arch Mage Otto came to Starcloak’s aid: thinking she might be in danger. Tempers eventually settled down and Melina Sehn was somewhat appeased. It was agreed that the Circle of Eight would confront Nystul about using people like pawns to further his own gains.

As for myself, I do not have a problem serving the wizard Nystul, as long as his goals further mine and the Seekers own goals. A few more days of waiting for Nystul passed and we still had no word.Jallazri Starcloack thought it strange that she could not contact Nystul through any magical means. An employment offer came to us through contacts at the Greyhawk University of Magical Arts. It seemed a rare weapon artifact had been stolen and had been spirited off to the mad wizard Keraptis stronghold inside White Plume Mountain.

We consulted again with Jallazri Starcloack, about how we might contact Nystul. She resolutely informed us Nystul either couldn’t be found by magical or mundane means or, didn’t want to be found. Either scenario, left us with the unpleasant facts that our latest mission was a failure and our Patron was missing. Jallazri, encouraged us to take the employment offer and try and retrieve the stolen property. Both she and the Arch Mage Otto ( who was visiting Jallazri again), claimed the mad wizard Keraptis, also kept other artifacts in his fortress complex inside White Plume Mountain.

Otto insisted that an evil sword known as Black Razor, could yield as much information about Fiendish activities in the nearby lands as our lost prize Fiend’s Embrace.

We considered our options carefully before accepting the quest to retrieve the Trident artifact known as Wave. Three options presented themselves: 1st option was to return to Redspan and attempt to contact or search for Nystul. The 2nd option was to request the aid of one of the powerful mages and ask them to teleport us back to the borders of the Cold Marshes that, we could confront the Dragon Sizzle Claw. 3rd option was to take the employment offer presented and hope that Nystul revealed himself and that our quest would yield similar information that we had hoped to gain from Fiend’s Embrace.

We chose the 3rd option as it seemed it had that best chance for success. Walking into a Dragon’s den that is expecting you didn’t seem wise to any of us. An equally daunting would be trying to find an Arch Mage who didn’t want to be found (or find an adversary that could overcome an Arch Mage!) Therefore, we choose the option that seemed attainable.

We took two days to prepare and then we were teleported to a seldom used trail about a mile from the base of the mountain and 4 miles from the town of Yellowreach. We headed strait for the mountain. We encountered and slew a Hill Giant and his pet Dire Wolf along the way. We also rescued a village maiden from the clutches of some Bugbear Thugs.

In the afternoon we arrived at the mountain. We searched for several hours and eventually found the cave that lead to the Underground stronghold. The interior of the mountain is warm. Volcanic waters flow through the bowls of this awful place keeping it moist and hot. The wizard Keraptis has set up this “Stronghold,” as a testing ground for adventurers. He has riddled the passages with difficult to overcome obstacles and guarding monsters.

Already we have had to answer the riddles of a guardian GynoSphinx . We have battled an evil Hag and her Chull minion and also defeated a Werewolf and her human Warrior lover. There is no sign as of yet of Wave or any of the other artifacts. We will rest tonight and start fresh on the morrow. May the soft moon of Corellon grant us fortune!

Merisial the Pirate?
trapped in Piren's Bluff cutting people's throats
CY 592 Wealsun
The confession of Merisial A’ Hahn

Great Geshtai please forgive my sin. The little girl lives but something in my heart has died. I know little of what I am doing these days. The girl startled me while I was trying to evade capture in this desperate town of Piren’s Bluff. I didn’t think, I just reacted. When I saw the blade slide across the girls throat I almost screamed in protest. I could hardly believe it was my own hand that held the blade that, performed such a vile and cowardly act!

I immediately bent down and asked The River Mother’s for healing to save the child’s life. Geshtai the merciful granted me the power to save the child’s life but, will the blood ever wash away?

I tell myself it must be my companions. Their roguish ways have rubbed off on me and I am too complacent in their morally questionable decisions. We are not Pirates by deed but, Mathew Frayne the young captain, and Ayalia the elven wizard, do nothing to dissuade others from thinking the Sea Ghost is still a Pirate vessel. After all, it was their decision and the quarter master Marcus Nimblefoot’s, to smuggle mercenaries into the Duchy of Tehn, instead of being happy with the sizable profit we would have made off just delivering the weapons to Redspan, as we were contracted to do.

Now our the Sea Ghost sits buoyed to the dock in Redspan while we try to prove our loyalty on a seemingly suicide mission! Oh Geshtai what is the purpose of this? Please show me your wisdom. I am not even a full shareholder in the Sea Ghost, why have I been caught up in this nonsense only to shed innocent blood?!

I do know this town is ruled by a Tyrant, that much is sure. It’s location on the beautiful upper reaches of the Zumker River cannot be a coincidence. I have always know from the time I was a young girl that you called me to spread your faith River Mother. Perhaps if I help to free these people from their oppression they will be receptive to your teachings and learn to honor the great river at their doorstep. Perhaps if I help save this town it will somehow help me atone for harming one of their precious citizens. I do not know but, I must try.

I will rejoin my companions in the morning if I can find them. The priest of Beory is harmless enough but he has lost his senses. If I survive this challenge I vow two things:

  1. I build a shrine to Geshtai in Piren’s Bluff
  2. I insist on a full share in the Sea Ghost
Tethan's Final Journal

The grey frozen expanse of the swamp feels like it goes on forever. I know we have only traveled about four days from Eru Tovar but long exhausting hours of trudging through unchanging frozen muck with fog limiting the whole of our existence to only a few confining yards around us makes every step feel futile. I must remember that as hateful as this land is it is but an earthly swamp and not the hopeless expanses of the Grey Waste we traverse. If we can keep our spirits up and our feet moving we will make it through this place. I just hope that our efforts are worth it, as I’ve written before I doubt the wisdom of using Fiend’s Embrace. Even should it give Nystul the knowledge he needs it will undoubtedly attempt to manipulate us to it’s own ends.

For now I will put my trust in Nystul. He is only hope for Redspan and the Duchy of Tehn whose people have already suffered so greatly. To be put to the sword and the pyre for nearly a decade at the hands of Iuz’s forces while their neighbors the supposed servants of justice and light simply fortified their borders and watched, and then when the strangle hold of evil was finally broken to have those neighbors that refused help march in and demand to rule. Even before this supposed split in their church the Theocracy of the Pale’s actions shamed them.

Before I can do anything greater for them I will have to find a way to survive my ordeal in Eru Tovar where I must defend my “claim” to Kyra against her former fiance. It is more than possible that I will end up being killed in the ring, leaving her no better off then before. When I saw the blank look in her eyes, the utter hopelessness and acceptance of of the life of anguish that awaited her, I had to do something. I have the beginning of a plan, but it depends on many things which are uncertain.

There is much riding on us now. The future of the good people of Redspan, the traditions of Alluna and her people, the life of our own Kyra. maybe even the fate of the Theocracy. I must believe in our abilities as a team. Elthazar, Thon, Katrina, and myself, can accomplish everything that is set before us and retire with a song and a hearty round among those we have helped achieve their freedom. Yes that is a good thought to sleep on.






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