The Darkened North

Militia and Zombies and Hobgoblins. Oh my...

Well, maybe we misheard that.
By Zedd

What began as a sunny and hopeful morning quickly devolved into a town-wide riot when an unlikely group of travelers arrived at the gates of Cold Harbor. Despite the timely premonitions of snowfall given by Valthrun, the town’s historian, woodcutters in the surrounding area were caught unawares by the coming of winter and desperately sought to sell their wares and purchase provisions. Joining them was Acolyte Thane, a contemplative cleric of Bahamut sent to investigate the fate of Brackus, and the stag-headed Druid that had previously been seen stalking the party.

The guard at the gate proved incapable of dealing with the immense stress of having town visitors. While he panicked and ran to Lord Padraig’s manor, adventurers Locke and Zedd attempted to converse with the Druid and the Cleric. Meanwhile, Froyo and Fionna broke into the (sadly emptied) repossessed stable and the rest of the party emptied from the inn to examine the commotion.

The town guard arrived in short order to confront Ursis, the Druid. It was here that it’s leader, Rond Kelfem, made a grave mistake in enunciation.

“Put them to the sword.”

There has been some debate as to whether or not Rond actually said this. Some of the adventurers less near to the confrontation swear that Rond had actually used the personal pronoun him rather than them. This of course would change the entire function of the sentence. But the Dwarf Ferris has little concern with such etymological trivialities. Ferris raged.

Town
Town Guard (No Longer Employed)

The party was tactically at odds; Zedd initially attempted to disarm the militia and defuse the situation while Ferris and Locke began to draw blood. The Thief and Halfling rained arrows upon the militia, adding to their sense of impending doom. When some of the guard managed to wound Ferris, Zedd and Locke swapped approaches; the previously resistant Zedd began to kill the guards while Locke began to mend Rond’s wounds. Still uncontrollably furious, Ferris bypassed the party’s attempts to protect Rond and, having been disarmed, pumelled the life out of the town guard with his fists. He soon turned on the party and was subdued by the mighty Ishmael before any of the adventurers were critically injured.

A few facts should be noted about this battle. First, the Druid was and continued to remain non-confrontational (though quite rude by civilized standards) until battle was already upon him. At no point did he threaten anyone within the town walls. Second, regardless of any slurring of words by Rond, he and his approached the Druid and two adventurers with their blades drawn. Third, when two of the guards fled, Halfling Froyo only fired warning shots at them, allowing them to retreat from the carnage they began.

After some deliberation the party opted not to remain in the confines of the town and followed the Druid into the forest. Seeing the beautiful holy symbol the party had looted from the excavation site the day before, Acolyte Thane chose to join them.

They soon arrived at the dreaded keep where the surrounding ground featured a large scorch mark and ghostly apparitions. Thane and the Druid were certain that their respective missions were tied directly to the evil causing these disturbances.

On the topic of evil, Zedd asked Thane to remove the evil amulet from around his neck. After some completely unlawful debate about bashing Zedd’s head in, Fionna intercepted and removed the amulet herself, tossing it into the forest. It made a reapearrance when the party attempted to cross the screaming Sigils; despite being disarmed by Thane, the Sigil activated when Fionna crossed it. Thane turned the bulk of the incoming undead while the party fought off the rest. Thane took the amulet from Fionna and wrapped it around his holy symbol, providing a temporary solution to the issue.

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Summoned by the Sigils

Continuing on, the party heard voices on the other side of a door. They set up an ambush and Fionna stealthed ahead to scout the situation. She soon inadvertently alerted the Hobgoblin brigade of their presence. The party funneled in and dispatched the bulk of the brigade. Ferris went into an uncontrollable rage and attacked the Hobgoblins while the Druid followed him to provide healing and support.

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Bree-Yark!

When there were only a few Hobgoblins remaining they fled from the party, taking shots from the archers as they ran. Ferris ran after them, Ishmael, Froyo and Zedd following closely behind. He didn’t find the escaped goblins, but he did cross a trap. A portcullis dropped from the roof separating Ferris from the party. Alone and exhausted, Ferris was left face to face with the Bugbear and its master. No longer enchanted by the Wand of Terror, they readied to fight.

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Always Listen to the Goblins!

Goblins is Smart Sometimes
By Locke

Ferris, Morgann, Locke, Zedd and Ishmael looked around in the excavation site. They found old gold coins with the symbol of the Gilded Realm and a Holy Symbol. After looking through the broken wall, Locke discovered a goat-headed amulet. He put it on. The party got mad at Locke. A skeleton came from the glowing pools and attacked Morgann. Ishmael smashed its bone head with his Iron Hand!

The party returned to the entrance of the Keep dungeon and saw that the entrance was filled with frozen bodies. The eyes of one opened and they attacked. More climbed out of the pit. Creatures did not attack Locke. Perhaps they feared the amulet that made Locke feel stronger?

The room began to fill with creatures and Morgann threw torches. They exploded in blue ice flames.

The party decided to explore the natural caves in the hall by the excavation room. In the caves the rats were all gone and in a room was stone with gems in it. A jelly monster attacked the group and was chased away with fire. Even magical weapons did not work. All of Ishmael’s wood, cloth and leather items were destroyed.

The group explored more but turned away from a tunnel with spider webs in it. The group was mean to Locke even though he was always brave and lawful. They were probably just jealous of his amulet and wanted it for themselves. They did not want Locke to have anything precious. Ishmael and Zedd kept trying to get Locke to give it to them. But he didn’t.

Then the group explored more in the caves and found a wood door covered in furry mold. There was writing scratched into the mold that said: “Stazz out reeleez!” This is probably Goblin writing. The group should have trusted this Goblin!

The group opened the door and found a room with a pool of water and small island. There were bones on the island. When an iron spike was thrown into the water, a Blue Slime jumped out and attacked the group. Morgann, Locke and Ferris were all hit and got Blue Slime on them. Zedd and Locke jumped to the island and found a shield, a vial and a message in case. Locke listened to the voice from the amulet and cut off the slime. He almost died. But he didn’t. Morgann died and turned to slime. Ferris thought that they were all sick and that there was no slime. But there was. Ferris almost died but drank a magic apple and lived. He was wrong about the slime.

The group returned to town. Always listen to Goblins. They are smarter than Dwarfs think they are.

Symbol on the coins.
Seal of charlemange crop

The Jelly
Ochre jelly

The Blue Slime Cave
Underground lake

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Old Gods and Slavers

By juboke.

Wounded and laden with treasure the party encountered a group of hobgoblin slavers while attempting to leave the dungeon under the ruined keep. The party was successful in defeating the band of slavers who were either killed or fled and returned to the safety of Cold Harbor with freed slaves in tow.

A few days of rest and resupplying the party decided to leave Cold Harbor and return to the ruined keep after a series of encounters with shady merchants, veiled threats from officials, a mysterious death of a local priest and a prophecy regarding the Old Gods.

On the way to the ruined keep the party encountered and individual of unknown origin. Was he a tribesmen’s from the surrounding area or some apparition of the Old Gods?

Herne 2

Upon reaching the ruined keep and managing past a newly blocked entrance the party decided to venture into a part of the dungeon that appeared to be still under construction. It was here where a group of skeletons led by an undead sorcerer attacked the party. The skeletons were defeated and the sorcerer was able to escape but not before they were able to kill the cleric Brackus.

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The Screaming Sigils
Dec. 2, 2012

By juboke.

Brackus a cleric of Bahamut and Ishmael a warrior of exceptional size and strength arrive in Cold Harbor with the latest caravan. Here they meet and befriend the party who invites them to join them on their search for adventure in the nearby ruined keep.

Arriving at the ruins the party finds the frozen corpses strewn about the entrance to this dungeon. The party descends into the dungeon after attempting to burns these bodies which erupt in an eerie blue flame. Here the party discovers unholy sigils engraved on the floor in certain area of the dungeon hallways. When crossed the sigils emanate a dreadful scream which alert nearby hordes of zombies. The party managed themselves past these sigils and hordes of zombies through cunning and strength of arms only to find treasure in the form of ancient ceremonial armor, gold ingots and a ring which appears to be magical of some nature.

Screaming sigil
The Screaming Sigil

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The Story So Far...
Adventures on the Northern Fringe

The Story So Far…

The Old Imperial Road run north. North past the Lake, past Cold Harbor and north still, past the Ridge.

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Undead Swarms

Discovering a mound of bodies at the entrance to the Keep’s dungeon, the party moved down in an effort to find the second level of the complex.

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