Night Below

First Session

The party agreed to take a chest with unknown contents to Tauster, a wizard in Thurmaster of Haranshire. The party bought a mule to haul chest, supplies, and the halfling. Bought 10 days rations for each party member.

Party had one encounter on the road with goblin brigands.

Reached town of Milborne on 7th day, where we were attacked by 6 farmers led by a man named Carlanis. The one surviving farmer claimed they were told we were carrying evil magic and dead things. No one knew where Carlanis came from. Carlanis had a notable fish odor.

Lastly, we encountered an incorporeal undead named Bertrose who taunted us and ran after being attacked.

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Second Session

The party took the one surviving farmer prisoner and escorted him back to town along with the bodies of the other farmers and Carlanis. Carlanis’ loot was kept by the party, most of the farmers’ possessions were returned to the town with the exception of a crossbow and bolts.

The town constable, Garyld, met the party as we forded the river into town. We had the surviving farmer give the details of the attack, then we filled in the rest. The constable apologized for the mishap and alerted the party that another problem had arisen – the Mayor’s daughter, Jelenneth, had disappeared. The party went to the tavern, The Baron of Mutton, to gather information. Kirein investigated Jelenneth’s roon at the tavern. Jelenneth is also the betrothed of the the tavern owner’s son, Andren. Jelenneth is also a student of Tauster in Thurmaster. No sign of struggle was found in her room, and she had left her spell reagents on the floor under the bed. Also, the door and window were locked from inside. Dirkaster feels that Jelenneth may have left on her own to go to Tauster in Thurmaster.

The party split up and went searching for Jelenneth, as the local citizenry were. The group of Korbrarmil, Jianna, and Kirein encountered a large, rabid dog which attacked their group. Jianna and Kirein contracted rabies, and Kirein was severely wounded. Nothing was found for evidence in the High Moor area, nor near the tavern. The party spent the night at the tavern for free, courtesy of the mayor, Andalar.

The party met a dwarf at the tavern the next day, named Old Grizzler. They bought him an ale and listened to his story of how the town militia had defeated the local humanoid population (lizard men and hobgoblins) which had marauded the town some years ago. Old Grizzler mentioned Squire Marlin in Thurmaster.

The party visited the Temple of Torm in Milborne, then resupplied for the journey to Thurmaster with 2 days’ rations and 20 days’ feed for the mule. On the journey to Thurmaster, the party encountered a krenshar and defeated it.

At the town gate of Thurmaster, the party was met by guards who brought Squire Marlin out who questioned the party, and regarded Korbrarmil suspiciously for his skin color, fearing he might be a lizard man. The party gained entrance into the town and proceeded to Tauster’s tower.

There was a loud commotion inside on the party’s arrival. Korbrarmil, Jianna, and Kirein went in, as the rest of the party stabled the mule and guarded the chest being delivered. Tauster was inside, yelling at 4 mephits who were fighting each other just inside the first room. The party helped Tauster return the 4 mephits to their cages using nets and grappling them into submission.

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Third Session

The town of Thurmaster was rather run down, with many vacant homes and a shoddy wall surrounding it. It was here that the party made their delivery to Tauster, at his tower. Tauster then “treated” the party to dinner at the local tavern, called the “Hound and Tails”. We told Tauster about the disappearance of Jelenneth, and he did not know what could have been the cause. He said if it were magic, it was beyond his ability to deal with. Tauster paid us our delivery fee, then offered us another job – to go to see Ranger Kuiper who lives about midway between Thurmaster and Milborne. He offered the party 10gp each to go to Kuiper and try to get information about Jelenneth, and offered another 50 gold if we recovered her. The party agreed. Tauster knew nothing of Carlanis or Bertros from previous encounters. After remembering Carlanis’ attempt to target Korbromil and take him alive, it was decided that perhaps someone is kidnapping magic users. The food at the inn was awful.

In the tavern, talk was overheard about “darkness and danger” in the area. We joined the conversation to learn of a “Wild Woman of the Woods” and some immense dog-like creature, The Hound of the Moor. The woman apparently lives in the Thornwood Forest while the dog reportedly roams Howler’s Moor. The certainty of either tale was unknown. We also learned of Count Parlfray, who rules over Thurmaster and the surrounding lands. It was he who raised a militia to defeat the Lizard Men of Shrieking Mire. We also heard a story of a death cult of dark priests and assassins who lived in Howler’s Moor, who were also supposedly wiped out by Parlfray. Also a rumor of Orcs in Thornwood was heard, and mention was made of a Druid named Darlin who used to be out in the woods. The party stayed the night at the tavern, in the common room, taking turns on watch.

The next day we set out to Ranger Kuiper’s. The party encountered 2 small dinosaur-like creatures and killed them after they attacked. They had spit poison of some kind which temporarily blinded Kohkorte and left Kirein feeling ill. Upon arrival at Ranger Kuiper’s, the lizards were identified as Swindlespitters. Kuiper fed the party, and we discussed business. Kuiper mentioned that Jelenneth sometimes picked herbs at Hog Brook, and wanted to venture there before night to look for clues. Kuiper supplied the party with rations.

Along the way, the party and Ranger Kuiper encountered a Druid named Oleanne and her companion wolves. She, according to Kuiper, was the Wild Woman of the Woods we had heard of earlier. Kuiper, however, had not heard of the Hound of the Moor. As dark was approaching, the party, along with Kuiper and Oleanne, made camp. The party was set upon by a large group of Orcs. Fortunately, the growling of Oleanne’s wolves had alerted all party members and roused them form their sleep. During the battle, both Jianna and the man who calls himself Master Jack were seriously wounded. In the end, the party prevailed, with the help of Kuiper and Oleanne and her wolves. This was highly unusual, as the Orcs had supposedly been killed out about 21 years ago.

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Fourth Session

After the party prevailed over the Orc attack, the party healed the injured and divided the loot, including a hefty sum of gold and a seemingly magical shield. All indications were that the Orcs had come from the heart of the forest.

Oleanne the Druid had been looking for a boy she had seen turn into a bear, and Kuiper wanted to assist. The party went along, and Kuiper found bear tracks. Once the boy/bear had been found, Kuiper wanted to capture him using nets. Kirein landed one net on the boy/bear which infuriated the bear, which then attacked Kirein. Star noticed that the bear was wounded, and cured him. Then she attempted to calm him. The boy/bear then ceased attacking. The bear eventually resumed his human form, where the party learned that his name is Maxm, and he had also been attacked by orcs, killing a few of them. The party returned Maxm to his home.

The party learned that there are four rangers in the area that attempt to keep watch of different parts of the area. Their names are: Kuiper, Garyld, Old Grizzler, and Shiraz.

The party then returned to Kuiper’s home and rested the night before setting out to return to Millborne. We spoke with Constable Garyld, who had not heard anything further pertaining to Jelenneth’s disappearance. The party discussed the Orc attack with Garyld.

The party also encountered Bertros again, who was most unhelpful and mocking.

The party went to visit the Mayor, Haldelar (Jelenneth’s father) who had no further news as well. Mayor Haldelar directed the party to the tavern where he had heard there was a merchant offering work. The party inquired at the tavern, where indeed there was a job being offered to escort a river barge to Thurmaster. Star handled the business dealings and negotiated a fair salary. The party was to set out early the next morning.

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Fifth Session

The party met with Bestilus the merchant to begin their job escorting the barge to Thurmaster. In addition to the crew and cargo, Bestilus also had a passenger named Damaris travelling to Thurmaster. The party found out that Bestilus is the supplier for Rastifer, the shop owner in Thurmaster, and that Bestilus can acquire special order items for the party with approximately 6 weeks notice. The party arrived in Thurmaster without incident.

The party, along with Damaris, went to Tauster’s tower. The party learned that Damaris has a message to deliver to Tauster, is an apprentice wizard, and was also part of a carnival troupe called The Dancing Monkeys. The party reported all news to Tauster, and learned nothing further about Jelenneth’s disappearance. Here it was decided that Damaris would be recruited into the party.

Part of the party set off to buy property with a house to set up a base of operations, eventually settling on a nearby abandoned farm for 100 gold.

The rest of the party set out about town to gather news. A rumor of the New Mire expanding and flooding farms near Millborne came to the party’s attention. The party returned to Millborne where they met an employee of Darius Carmen who offered to arrange a meeting to discuss employment pertaining to the flooding of the mire.

The party learned that Darius Carmen had hired someone to divine what was causing the flooding, and only learned that there was a non-evil magic at work, which had evidently gone wrong. Darius Carmen offered the party 50 gold each for up to two weeks of scouting the affected area, and 1000 gold for the party if we solved the mystery. Star negotiated with Darius Carmen to get 50 gold in advance and enough rations for the party to make the trip.

The party began the journey by traveling south to the town of Harlaton, a small village of 75, a short distance from the mire. At the tavern, the party heard rumors of blue-skinned fiends at work in the mire. Supposedly they had been seen near the edge of the fields, described as very large, carrying 2 handed axes, wearing iron boots, and breathing fire.

The party set out again, and camped the night near the edge of the mire. During the night, the party was attacked by a roving group of 3 Goblins and 2 Hobgoblins. The party slew the 3 Goblins, one Hobgoblin, and rendered the second Hobgoblin unconscious to take him prisoner.

The party set up a new watch order. First watch: Jianna and Kohkorte – first watch; Jack and Kevril – second watch; Star, Damaris, and Kirein – third watch.

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Sixth Session

The party divided the loot of the Goblinoid raiders, including much silver, some gems, a rhinoceros-skin bag, a scroll of invisibility, a wand of detect magic, and a glowing porcelain-like bead. The party interrogated the surviving Hobgoblin but obtained no useful information. The party rendered the Hobgoblin unconscious once again, and loosened his bonds somewhat, leaving him with some rations and water.

The party set out south again, along the mire’s edge, walking for nearly six hours, when Kohkorte spotted some creatures in the distance. The party hid off the trail, and Kirein scouted ahead to assess the creatures. There were 2 Goblins colored blue guarding a cave entrance, but nothing else could be seen. After reporting back to the party, it was decided that the party would attempt a diplomatic mission, with Kevril and Jack hiding further back providing cover fire if necessary.

The party approached the cave entrance, and one guard ran in, while the party attempted to parley with the remaining guard. Damaris noticed a mystical symbol drawn on the Goblins heads. The first guard returned with others and they offered to allow 2 party members in to speak with the tribe. Star entered as the diplomat, and Kirein accompanied her in case a Goblin language speaker was needed. Inside were some 25-30 goblins,a chieftain named Gurndlegek, and a shaman named Burukkleyet. Star noticed the shaman wore a ring with a symbol inscribed, matching the symbol painted on all the Goblins’ heads.

During the parley, both Star and Kirein noted that the shaman seemed to be lying or hiding something. Star called the shaman out on his lie, which he denied, but told Star he would like to speak with her outside the cave. Outside the cave it was made known that the ring definitely held magic power. The party bluffed the shaman into trading his ring for the glowing bead, with the assistance of Damaris’ hypnotism spell cast on the bead.

The party left after the trade, going as far as they could before setting up camp. During the night, 2 zombies attacked the camp, but were slain with little difficulty. The party returned to Millborne and Darius Carmen to report the findings. Darius Carmen was not entirely convinced of the effects of the ring, but Star convinced Darius to donate a pearl fir use as a reagent to discover the ring’s powers. The party returned to Tauster in Thurmaster to identify the ring, which Tauster discover to be a Ring of Elemental Command which can be used to charm water creatures 3 times per week. He also noted it had some other power he could not identify, which he said was not working correctly. He wrote all of his findings in a letter to Darius Carmen.

The party returned to Millborne again to deliver the letter to Darius Carmen. Carmen accepted the news and paid the party in-full for solving the mystery.

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Seventh Session

Kohkorte, Kevril, and Star announced their departure from the party and headed in their own directions, unsure of their return. The townsfolk of Millborne celebrated the adventuring party as heroes for their roles in solving the various problems in the area, especially the flooding. During the festivities, another merchant (who identified himself as Bethel) sought out the party as guards for a merchant barge trip from Millborne to Thurmaster. Bethel offered the party 50 gp each to complete the barge escort, and afterward escort Bethel to Count Parlifray’s keep. The party signed on and left in the morning.

Aboard the barge were four rowers, 2 other guards, and Bethel. One guard identified himself as Pytherion, the other remained rather quiet. The party boarded the vessel, along with their trusty pack mule, and set off along the Churnett river, eastward to Millborne. The party set up camp after an uneventful day of floating.

As the evening settled into night, fog rolled in. The party set up watch. First watch was Damaris and Pytherion, when raiders attacked. The party consisted of 7 humans and a halfling. Pytherion and a sleeping Kirein were separated from the party by about 25 feet, and obscured by the fog, and this is where the raiders struck first. Well into the melee, a human-appearing cleric arrived to aid the raiders. He was dressed in full plate and robes, and wore an eye patch. He identified Claudia the cleric as a target to be taken alive, and one of the other raiders also named Damaris similarly.

The party emerged bloodied, but victorious. Before the fight ended, the enemy cleric uttered a spell in an arcane language, and flew off into the night with bat wings that sprouted from his feet. Among the loot, the party discovered a silver holy symbol of Bane. The party divided the loot amongst all who fought.

The party arrived in Thurmaster without further incident, and went to see Tauster. Tauster identified some potions for the party in exchange for gold.

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Eighth Session

The party finished their errands in Thurmaster then convened at the Baron of Mutton, where they met with Bethel the merchant once again. Bethel was in the company of a traveler recently arrived in Thurmaster, a gnome priest of Fharlanghn named Gemini Dangerfoot. The gnome claimed to be on some quest to explore and map the world. He was looking to accompany Bethel and the party to Lord Parlifrey’s keep in the morning.

The party arrived the next day at the keep and met with the elderly Lord Sandior Parlifrey and his young nephew, Lintern. Lintern seemed taken with the female members of the party. The lord invited the party to supper, which all members agreed to attend. At supper, the party brought Lord Parlifrey up to current on the events happening in the area. Lord Parlifrey seemed uneasy at the mention of Hog Brook, but no one pursued the issue further. He mentioned that the Orcs encountered at Hog Brook most likely had ranged out from Rock Dale, their tribal land. He also mentioned that if the party ventured to Rock Dale, he would have to disavow any knowledge.

The party enjoyed the veritable feast provided by Lord Parlifrey, and the entertainment provided by Pytherion’s attempts to impress the guards and other staff at the keep. All party members were put up for the night in private rooms in the keep. Kirein was awoken around 2 o’clock in the morning by a servant saying the Lord Parlifrey wanted an audience with the party. All members, except Pytherion who was grooming himself, arrived to hear Lord Parlifrey. The lord claimed that a group of pilgrims devoted to Fharlanghn, and their guards were supposed to have arrived 2 days prior, but had not been seen yet. Parlifrey charged the party with checking the pilgrim’s route in the morning, and provided the party with horses.

The party set off to the northwest after first light, heading towards Howler’s Moor. The first day was uneventful, and the party set up camp for the night. During the first watch, 2 large humanoids, later identified as bugbears, attacked the camp and were dealt with swiftly. They had no identifying markers and little wealth other than some coins and a costume jewelry brooch which Pytherion found interesting. The party set off again in the morning, continuing northwest.

Later in the day, the party heard howling off in the distance. The party decided to ride toward the howls, which Jianna claimed sounded worth investigating. The party came across two bodies appearing to be human guards of some sort. Investigation found that one was still alive, whom the party stabilized . As the party drew closer to the fallen men, the howls grew louder. The party was set upon by four 2-headed canines, identified as death dogs. The party defeated the dogs, with only Jianna suffering grievous wounds. There were no identifying markers on the canines. After healing Jianna, the party healed the fallen human guard.

The party set up camp again for the night, and rested without incident. Gemini Dangerfoot found a prairie dog family he could communicate with and was able to discern that the group that had attacked the pilgrims had headed south from our present location. The next day, the party set out south toward The Redwood, with the human we had rescued (who had chosen to stick with the group rather than return to the keep alone). The party had another encounter with a group of 5 goblins and 3 hobgoblins. The party defeated the goblinoids quickly (end of session).

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Ninth Session

The party resumed attempting to follow the trail of the kidnapped pilgrims south towards the Redwood. With no sign of the pilgrims or their captors, the party agreed to set off to Kuiper’s farm. A bird’s caw caught the party’s attention. Kirein spotted a raven with a message tube attached to its leg. The message was from Shiraz the Ranger, asking the party to meet her at the junction of the Oldscutt and Churnett Rivers.

The party rested their mounts, then headed to Kuiper’s for the night. The party enlisted Kuiper’s aid in tracking the kidnapped pilgrims. That night it rained and made tracking harder. Kuiper attempted speaking with animals, but to no avail; the pilgrims’ trail was cold. The party and Kuiper went their separate ways, with the party returning to Lord Parlfray’s keep to report the news. Kirein noted that Lord Parlfray seemed nervous at the mention of the prisoners last being seen heading south.

Lord Parlfray later privately confided in Kirein that this troubled him because the Parlfray family had once held another keep in the Thornwood (south of the kidnapping) that had been wiped out by unknown forces many years past, and feared that someone may be using the old keep as a staging area for evil deeds. Parlfray told Kirein that if the party went there, anything found that may besmirch his family name was to be kept secret, to which Kirein agreed. Parlfray then urged the party to answer Shiraz’s summons while Parlfray sent a scouting party out to ascertain whether or not the old keep was being used as he suspected.

Lord Parlfray entertained the party with a feast and a local bard. No other news was gathered. Pytherion sparred with some of Parlfray’s guards, and caught the attention (and affection) of a female guard. Jianna caught the attention and affection of Parlfray ‘s son, Lyntern. After the feast, the party rested and left the next day, heading west to the river junction. Two days’ travel was made with no encounters, and the party met with Shiraz.

Shiraz told the party that a family of Aarakocra, living near where the Patchwork Hills met the Thornwood, were being harassed by a group of Gnolls, and Shiraz feared for the lives of the Aarakocra. She wished to enlist the party to put an end to the Gnoll attacks. The party agreed and set out for Millborne to rest for the trip the next day. The party ordered supplies while in town, then set off to Harlaton then along the Terraces to the edge of the Thornwood. They followed the Thornwood’s border to the Patchwork Hills and traveled until late afternoon and set up camp.

That night, the party was attacked by a Gnoll hunting party during the second watch. Four Gnolls and two hyenas attacked and were defeated. Pytherion nearly lost his life in the encounter. A human prisoner was discovered shortly after, named Lentl. He claimed that the Gnolls had a camp nearby and could show us where it was, as well as described the layout and that there were approximately 9 Gnolls there, including some kind of leader who was much larger than the rest, and 4 other prisoners, consisting of 3 Humans and an Orc. The prisoner urged us to hurry, but the party was in a much weakened state with the critical injury of Pytherion.

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Tenth Session

The party followed the directions of the recently freed prisoner to the Gnoll camp to attempt to free the other prisoners. The camp was large, but the Gnolls were sleeping during the daytime and the party was able to catch them unaware. Never-the-less, it turned into a long battle. The party had hoped that the prisoners, once given an opportunity to escape, would help fight. The prisoners proved to be cowards, and did not exit their cell when given opportunity, perhaps due to the fact that the battle seemed to be going poorly for their rescuers.

Pytherion was once again gravely wounded. The party had split, making them rather vulnerable, and Gemini also took a wound that incapacitated him. Jianna and Damaris managed to free a captive bear that wreaked havoc amongst the Gnolls, slaying 2 or 3 before he fell. The party narrowly triumphed at the end, but the Cleric, Gemini Dangerfoot, lay at the brink of death.

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