Cleric Gnome Bindlestiff enters the colony of Wallingston. Traveling North he speaks with many people and tinkers where possible, earning money for the road.
Cleric Bindlestiff arrives in the capitol city Albencroft where he finds a Half-Elf shopkeeper who has a tendency to collect odd parts.
Cleric Bindlestiff successfully repairs a wand with a bite mark on it. The shopkeeper found it in the dessert North of town.
Cleric Bindlestiff encounters a lizard in the dessert. Attempting to speak with the possibly burrowing animal, he is asked about his magic. Bindlestiff presents the lizard with a pair of metal cogs that he has cast light on. The lizard is impressed, and after the Gnome turns to leave appears to have changed into a small dragon.
Druid Tallorin Half-Elf Formalyn accepts the task of delivering a wooden box to a representative of the Tensetti Elf ruling family who live to the North.
Druid Formalyn stays at the house of Lord Kromel, whose land was recently damaged by vandals.
Wizard Human Zander arrives in the city of Montelerro after a long trip by boat. While in town with First Mate Tamerin, he meets Meringer, who is a friend of Tamerin. Meringer has recently been hired to gather an adventuring group for the task of securing an abandoned military outpost near the Tensetti forest. His employers intend to move said outpost to the area of Gideon's Dock in hopes of providing security for the trade route North to Cannen. The outpost is currently inhabited by a Barghest.
Wizard Zander and Meringer encounter a man driving a wagon on the road. The wagon seems to be loaded with the armor and weapons of an experienced adventuring group though the man driving the wagon is clearly not an adventurer. Seeing blood on some of the items Meringer confronts the man and a scuffle ensues. Armed only with a wand that seems to have little effect, the man quickly falls. Zander collects the wand and two swords the man was hauling. Meringer does not claim anything, instead referring to it as blood money.
Cleric Bindlestiff is questioned by Drow while surrounded. Though traveling Gnomes are very scarce this band has heard of them, and the young leader releases him without harm.
Druid Formalyn, while spending the night in jail for being a Half-Elf, meets his Tensetti Elf contact. Quill appears to have faked being a drunk Half-Elf in order to be thrown into jail with Formalyn.
Wizard Zander and Meringer are stopped by the morning patrol on the road near Pari's Junction. Zander learns that Meringer left the local military less than a year ago and has been known to socialize with Shaheran Elves. The patrol tells Zander that he should have found better company to keep.
Cleric, Druid, and Wizard choose to follow Meringer in his task of removing a Barghest from an abandoned military outpost.
Meringer buys supplies for the group at one of the local magic shops. Bindlestiff accompanies Meringer to find a horse. Meringer encounters an old family friend who mentions that Meringer has a brother. Being a horse trader the man had at some point acquired a pony from the North that should fit the Gnome. He wishes Meringer luck in what sounds like a plan to settle in Gideon's Dock as head of the relocated outpost.
Formalyn and Zander visit a local wizard. He tells them a little about the area they will be entering. The military outposts were originally built along the edge of the Tensetti forest. The forest has since grown away from them. Around the time the outposts were abandoned, the border town of Brigenham was also abandoned.
The adventurers pass a road leading to Brigenham. Meringer tells them that there had been a fire and an attack by the Tensetti Elves many years ago. Even wild animals won't go near the town now. That quickly led to the abandonment of the military outposts. After the adventurers leave the main road they feel as if they are being watched, possibly by the local fauna.
An old temple is seen in the distance. The group seeks shelter there as the weather turns bad for the night. Flowers near the temple are in bloom early and rooms in the temple are dust free even though the stable in back has obviously been in disrepair for a number of years. During exploration of the temple Zander sees movement out of the corner of his eye but nothing is there when he turns. After the second such occurrence Meringer insists that the group leave for the stables in case "she" might become upset. Zander notes to the others that what he saw was not enough to imply any gender.
The group finds Meringer to be missing during his watch and tracks him to the temple. He is seen kneeling before the altar. Zander sees a human size flash of white about 15ft. from Meringer that others in the group did not see. Bindlestiff calls out to Meringer. The man draws his sword as he turns towards them but lowers it in confusion upon seeing them. He last remembers standing watch in the stable.
Meringer volunteers keep the Barghest busy inside the walled yard of the outpost while the rest of the group fires at it from a safer distance. With the Barghest entangled in grass and under heavy fire it is soon dispatched. While checking that the Barghest is indeed dead, Meringer is hit by a dart fired from the outpost.
A small man is seen running from the outpost but Meringer feels it would be unsafe to follow. Bindlestiff is able to remove the dart. Meringer believes that its construction would imply there had been something on it. Zander and Meringer secure the outpost while Formalyn and Bindlestiff examine the Barghest.
The adolescent Barghest had a collar that would have restricted its ability to swallow any large prey. It also seems slightly underfed. Conditions in the stable where the Barghest had been would imply the Barghest had been here for less time then would account for Meringer being hired when he was for the task of removing it.
The outpost is empty except for a sketch of Meringer left by the window from which Meringer was shot. Meringer soon begins to feel weak and is put in one of the sleeping rooms under watch.
Quill arrives at the outpost late in the day and wishes to speak with Formalyn. He recognizes the symptoms Meringer is starting to show and tells Formalyn that if this man is worth saving he knows of someone who might be able to do it. The healer would arrive tomorrow night after dark.
The next morning a lone rider approaches the outpost and asks to see Meringer Piper. He inquires as to why Meringer is still alive, though admittedly unconscious. When told that the group is trying to slow the work of the poison the man wishes them luck and hands Zander a bag of coins. He states that if such services are needed again they will be contacted in the usual way, then he leaves. The bag contains more wealth than Meringer had stated they would be paid for clearing the outpost and it is thought that perhaps they had just been paid for attacking Meringer.
After dark a small cloaked figure approaches the gate of the outpost and asks for admittance. While the figure is hooded and no skin is visible, he is wearing a clerical symbol the druid recognizes as belonging to the Moon Goddess. The cloaked cleric greets Bindlestiff as a follow child of the goddess even though Gnomes are smaller in build then this short humanoid and refer to their Moon deity only in masculine terms.
Examination of Meringer is hindered by the cleric only using his left hand and even that being gloved. He asks for assistance in mixing a poultice and a healing potion. The rare drug used on Meringer was not a true poison but was manufactured by the Drow for use in torture. A victim's sense of touch is increased so that eventually they die of pain with no visible damage to the body. This is the first time he's seen it used on a human because the Drow would not waste it for such a purpose, especially without someone to inflict proper torture after it's use. He admits that even among Elves his treatment for this poison is not always successful.
Meringer is moved outside to let the sun assist in purifying him of the poison. After a few hours he awakens and demands to be carried back inside. He confronts the cleric who seems so familiar with his Drow related affliction and happened to be near enough to be quickly summoned. The cleric professes that while he has indeed seen many elves suffer the pain of this very drug he prays to Eilistraee that those with human blood would be spared such a fate. The cleric believes that the Goddess, or perhaps Meringer's own deity, has smiled upon his quick recovery.
The cleric departs before the next sunrise.
Meringer awakes before noon and suggests that the group leave this area. They agree. When it becomes obvious Meringer is not well enough to ride he insists they tie him to his horse and keep moving towards Gideon's Dock.
A wagon is seen approaching on the road. An older youth is driving but it is his woman passenger who asks for Meringer. Her name is Jacquelyn and she was sent by Quill to help transport Meringer into town. Meringer is quickly settled into the local inn and the group retires to the tavern. A young boy asks if they have come to fight the Hellhounds. Jacquelyn offers Zander the use of some leather armor if they wish to do so.
Shamus, keeper of the local inn, informs the group that Meringer is missing a GP sized lock of hair and seems rather concerned by it. After checking on Meringer the group explores town.
The local store has traveling supplies but no real magic. John Paul, the young man who drove Meringer into town, works at the local blacksmith's shop. He tells them a little more about the Hellhounds, assuring them that the town proper is in no danger. Seeing a large assortment of metal traps along the blacksmith's wall the Gnome asks about any possible work needing to be done. The blacksmith says he has the boy for that.
Upon returning to the inn Shamus tells Formalyn that he doesn't want any trouble from Elves.
Everyone waits for Meringer to wake before leaving the inn. He awakens early in the afternoon and tells the group to leave town without him. He feels he's endangering them as long as they remain.
Formalyn explores East of town. He approaches a farmhouse and speaks to the young woman who answers the door. She is very surprised to see a Half-Elf out of the forest and believes he must be lost. He tries to assure her that he is not lost and asks her about the Hellhounds.
Zander is followed North of town by three children, including Robin, the one who asked the day before if he was here to kill the Hellhounds. Zander learns that Robin's father had adventured with a Sorcerer and that the boy was not impressed by first level magic.
Formalyn discovers he is being followed by something possibly the size of a small dog. Returning to the farmhouse he passed earlier, he inquires about possible dogs being on the loose. The young lady he spoke to before explains that while the farm does indeed have such dogs, they would be out working right now.
John Paul stops Zander near the road, north of town. Shamus discovered the Gnome unconscious and Meringer missing. Meringer's horse and weapons are also missing but his belongings and saddle are not. It is believed he went North.
Quill finds the group in town that evening and tells of tracking the man who shot Meringer. The assassin was attacked at night, by two men who appeared as if by scry. The small man was tortured, killed, and taken back through the scry. The men cleared the camp of all belongings and left only the common looking horse behind.
The group asks if Quill is willing to help kill the Hellhounds. He declines, feeling that his own talents might not be of much use, but mentions there are a number of locals who would be willing and able.
Before sunrise Darmet, an older man, knocks on the door to the group's room. Quill has requested an urgent meeting. Strange lights had been seen North of town during the night. Such lights are said to be associated with a soul's departure and Quill fears that a friend of his may be in danger. Because of the threat of Hellhounds to the North he is asking for help in locating the source of the lights.
Darmet, Big John, and Ruegerston agree to help Quill and the three adventurers. A horse is spotted not far from the road some ways North of town. Meringer is found sleeping soundly under a small blanket. A faint trail is seen leading away from camp and Quill investigates while Meringer is woken. Meringer tosses the blanket at Formalyn and appears to be very cross about the group finding him. Denying that the blanket is his, Meringer takes his horse and leaves.
Quill believes his friend had been here and could be found by following this trail. A small clearing is entered which contains the recently killed body of a large Hellhound. There is burnt grass nearby and the hound is slashed in more than a dozen places in addition to having its head severed after its collapse. Quill believes the inflicted wounds are consistent with his friend's use of a bastard sword.
Following a small trail of blood away from the body Quill finds his friend laying in tall grass. As he prepares his wounded friend for travel the group encounters a trio of Hellhounds. The hounds do not seem as quick to attack as their nature usually is but do manage to nearly burn Quill before they are finished off.
The adventurers follow Quill as he carries his friend to the family rooms above Jack's bar. Zander volunteers to watch the bar as a scout while Jacquelyn, Quill and the Druid tend to the severely wounded Drow Quill calls friend.
People begin to gather in the bar for a meal. A pair of men and a large dog are the first to arrive. They ask the boy tending the bar about the lights they had seen in the sky but the boy only directs them to ask Zander. The men mention that they knew about demon activity in the area at some time in the past and knew that the lights like that occasionally were seen when someone died. They were wondering if anyone had recently been killed. Zander assures them that no one had died in their recent Hellhound encounter. The men sit at a table nearby.
An older man soon walks to the bar with a falcon sitting on his shoulder. The young boy has a drink waiting as the man sits at the bar. The boy goes to the stairs and calls for his mother to come down. Formalyn follows Jacquelyn down the stairs and joins Zander at the nearest table.
As Jacquelyn speaks with the older man a cloaked figure enters the bar. It walks directly to Jacquelyn and sets two bags on the bar saying, "This is for your work, and your silence." The male sounding figure turns and leaves as quickly as it arrived. Jacquelyn moves to open the larger bag but the older man motions her away from it. She opens the smaller one instead, spilling a few gems and coins out of the top before she can close it up again.
A number of horses are heard out in the street and Formalyn leaves to investigate. A group of four plus a squire on horses are headed towards the stable. They are followed at a slight distance by an orange-haired woman and a young Shaheran elf with similar colored hair. Only the two followers note Formalyn's presence as they proceed to the stable. The older man leading the group of four minus the squire nods to Formalyn as they pass him to enter the bar.
Formalyn waits a couple of minuets for the pair of followers to approach. The woman greets him with a friendly hello. He asks if they might have met before. She comments about it being unusual to see an Elf of his type this far North. Formalyn explains that he's been seeing the sites and she enquires as to which sites he has seen. An answer of religious monuments is met with surprise, as the woman happens to be a cleric and is very interested in hearing about any religious monuments he might have seen. She mentions that Marquis Dannor had not told her about such a site being in the area. She also inquires if he had seen the lights last night. Formalyn insists that he did not but she says that's just as well since they usually tell of death.
Formalyn follows the pair into the bar and joins Zander and Bindlestiff at their table. The young woman Formalyn had spoken to at her farm soon arrives to help Jacquelyn with the cooking.
Marquis Dannor introduces himself to the group and asks if they have seen any sign of Drow in the area. Bindlestiff mentions his encounter in the woods a while back and what they had seen at Brigenham. Dannor confirms that those both may well have been the group they are tracking. At a point near Brigenham the band of Drow is believed to have split into two parties. He and his men are tracking the group that came North. He believes the Drow will not stay for long due to the cold, but recommends that the group stay near town for a few days just in case.
While all of the humans have settled into mealtime conversations, the dog sitting one table away from the group has become agitated. It is watching the old man and the hawk in the far corner and whining slightly. The entrance of yet another group of people does little to distract the dog even as the man loudly calls out a greeting to Jacquelyn. Formalyn tries to calm the dog.
Quill returns from upstairs and the old man waves him over. They speak for a short time before the man hands Quill the bag he would not allow Jacquelyn to open. The old man leaves before Quill opens the bag. The contents of the bag have begun to stain the outside of the bag with dampness. A slight odor of blood can be noticed and the dog is now standing while he barks at the corner. Quill leaves the bar and the dog quickly calms.
Formalyn approached Jacquelyn at the bar to ask if there is anything that she needs. She is grateful for his offer but believes things will be all right. Formalyn returns to his table while the two men with the dog leave. Marquis Dannor stops to speak with Jacquelyn before leaving. The pair of elves have also finished their meal but appear to be waiting for Dannor and his men.
Quill returns and speaks to Dannor before the Marquis and his men leave. The words "hell hound" are overheard. Quill approaches the adventurer's table and requests that they not speak of the injured Drow to anyone. Formalyn follows Quill upstairs and asks if he will be needing help later on. The bard mentions that he's already exposed the group to more danger than Formalyn's father would appreciate. He believes the threats will soon be leaving the area.
When again offered assistance, Quill concedes to having the group check on the cave where the hell hounds lived. Formalyn questions the safety of that since he has heard of the experienced party who last went to that cave and that they did not return. Quill does not believe it will be dangerous now. There had been more than Hellhounds involved when the last party went. He does not want certain people to find the remains he believes are in the cave.
Quill believes the Marquis could be asked to accompany the group. The man had been a friend of Jacquelyn's husband who is among those presumed dead. Quill also assures Formalyn that the cleric elf Rallani is harmless. When asked about the sack he was given, Quill states that someone had gathered the heads of the Hellhounds as a favor to Jacquelyn to ensure her silence. He dismisses Formalyn's concern over the volume of food served to Malichi Groden's group as nothing out of the ordinary.
The adventurers leave the bar. Two of the Marquis' soldiers are patrolling; the man is attempting to ignore the pair of elves following him. Blake and his dog are near the dock watching Gideon and another man unload cargo for Gideon's store from Malichi Groden's craft. Blake asks the group if they might know of any adventures. He doesn't like just sitting around while waiting for his account to be settled at the store. The group feigns no knowledge of anything interesting to do.
The Marquis walks towards the group from the inn. He asks Formalyn if he might be the elf that the innkeeper had mentioned as being in town. The Druid agrees that he is "the dirty half elf" that was spoken of. Formalyn mentions the cave to the Marquis and its now unoccupied status. The Marquis finds it hard to believe that not only no one was killed, but that the Hellhounds are indeed gone. Local sources had estimated four or five dogs and only four have been accounted for. After Formalyn mentions the connection with Jacquelyn's husband, the Marquis allows the adventures to accompany his newly planned investigation of the cave.
The group returns to the bar for a quiet dinner and then retires for the night amidst the grumbling of the innkeeper over elves and trouble.
|Don't forget to visit K'Thyra -- the site dedicated to the original long-running game created by SBA members, which celebrated its 20th anniversary as a campaign setting in 2003!||
|Last updated on 2-07-2006|