Weatherday 19th Sun’s Rise yr2534
Summary: Funerals at Lake Town, Phoenix, meet Raven and Nightshade, travel to Gloomwood, stumble upon Talaire camp, sneak back into woods and discover towers, climb to roof and investigate, battle Gloomwing on roof of main building.
Still reeling from the loss of their friends, the surviving PCs bury Blum in a traditional Dwarven ceremony and burn Folkvar’s body in a boat on Lake Pechwe. During the wake, a young Dwarf girl approaches the PCs and asks to come with them on their journeys. She was touched by Blum’s sacrifice to rescue her and the others in Lake Town.
Rosilee Runetongue joins the party.
Trickday 20th Sun’s Rise, yr 2534
The next morning, the PCs are woken by a scream. Rushing out of the town gate in their bedclothes the PCs see a walking corpse emerge from the lake and bear down on a young girl. Rushing to her rescue, the PCs quickly discover that the walking corpse is in fact Folkvar who had somehow risen from death. His body now a charred mess from the funeral pyre. Suspicious at first, the PCs keep their weapons drawn but Folkvar explains that he was sent back to this world by the spirits of his ancestors, mentioning something about ‘one last chance’.
Folkvar is rushed to the temple of The Wheel where the priest confirms that Folkvar is indeed alive and not an undead creature. He administers some salves for his cracked skin but otherwise declares him healthy. Word spreads through town of his ‘miraculous’ rebirth and he is quickly likened to the myth of the Phoenix, a desert bird said to be able to resurrect itself from the fires of its death.
Later that day, the PCs head to the tavern which has already been renamed ’Hamfist’s Rest’ in honor of Blum’s sacrifice to meet Raven who introduces them to his colleague Nightshade, a tough-looking elf ranger. Nightshade explains he has been scouting around the Gloomwood region and discovered some rune-covered ruins which would be a good place to begin the search for the second Talisman or whatever it is that Raven is looking for. The PCs agree to investigate the ruins while Nightshade continues to explore other parts of Greenwood Vale and Raven stays in Lake Town to research some leads and contact his employer.
The PCs gather some basic supplies in town then head off east on foot along the shore of Lake Pechwe towards the dark shadow of Gloomwood.
Reaching the edge of the forest later that afternoon, the PCs notice hoofed tracks racing along the treeline and suspect Centaurs or heavy horses- possibly armoured. Seeing no sign of anything they press on into the dark Gloomwood. Navigating through the tangled trees is difficult but before long they reach a ravine with a number of trails running parallel to it to their right (uphill) or a single trail down the center of the ravine. Sure that the ravine will lead towards the distant towers the PCs decide to follow it but on the higher trail.
Before long, tracks are noticed on the ground. Between 10-15 humanoid boots join the trail the PCs are following from the bushes and continue along it. Rosi and Carlos sneak ahead to follow the tracks and are shortly joined by Dashel and Alhena while Folkvar and Mikhail remain behind to guard the rear. The party members, concealed in the thick undergrowth spot a warband who look like they are from Menephene using Alhena’s spyglass. Unfortunatly Alhena’s antique spyglass gets scratched on a think branch and in a sudden rage Alhena gives away the PC’s position, the PC’s scatter. Rosi fled back down the path to find Mikhail and Folkvar to raise the alarm, Dashel and Carlos quickly climb trees as Alhena concealed herself in a thick bush. The Menephenian soldiers rush to investigate and a tense stand off commences, a dromite gets the drop on Dashel and seems to hold the upper hand until Carlos then surprises the dromite. Luckily, violence is avoided and the PC’s agree to leave the forest as the Menephenian soldiers explain that they are on a top secret mission and cannot allow others to be wandering the woods.
They decide to make camp for the night on the edge of the woods with Folkvar bringing down two antelopes to eat. The meal is not half as nice as what Blum would have cooked and this realization reminds the PCs of their loss, bringing the mood in the camp down somewhat.
Fairday 21st Sun’s Rise, yr 2534
The following morning, the party head back into the woods from a different direction hoping to avoid the Menephenian’s this time. They shortly reach the towers they’d spotted the previous day. A huge, solid construction looms in front of them with no obvious means of entry. The party clamber onto the roof, hoping to find an entrance and find a pair of stone doors. However they resist any attempts the party make to open them.
From the roof the party now stands on a long stone bridge stretches across a deep ravine leading to another large building. Traversing the ancient and damaged bridge takes some time and the party reach the far side safely but are promptly attacked by a handful of vile maggot like grubs. The fight seems very one sided as the party quickly kill a handful of the grubs, but from the nearby trees a massive moth-like Gloomwing appears, wings glowing with a cascade of multicoloured light. The transfixing colours render some of the party sensless but they quicky snap out of thier confusion and begin to attack the moth with thier ranged attacks while Dashel and Folkvar continue to keep the grubs at bay. As the continuing peppering of bolts, arrows and magic take thier toll the moth swoops down to attack the biggest target, Mikhail. Distracting the moth by simply taking hits on his armour and lashing out with his axe Mikhail allows Folkvar and Dashel to charge the moth and inflict serious wounds. Suddenly outclassed the moth takes to the air and attempts to flee even as Rosi, Carlos, Alhena and Mikhail continue to attack from range. One of the missiles manages to stike a vital blow and the crippled moth crashes into the trees.
The party quickly eliminate the last few grubs and set about finding an entrance to the building.
I awaken on a beach. My body aches with a mighty fatigue and I feel as if I have been burned alive. My memories are hazy, as if im viewing them through a smoked window. I recall a grand hall and my father, I feel drawn back to my Northern home and to the weapon my father carried to the Ruling Tribes’ conclaves. All things before that seem as if there are not my own memories, bt instead it is as if they are transplated from someone else. Yet I feel calm. I feel less plagued by the memories of my tribe and the spirits of my ancestors, which brings me a measure of peace. At the same time however I can feel a burning anger deep within me. A maelstrom that would be hard to restrain if it was ever set loose.
I stagger to my feet and to my surprise I am naked and covered in fresh burn scars. I recognise the southern gate of Lake Town before me, so reluctantly I stagger forward. It appears that the lizardmen were driven off in my absence and the colonists are trying to restore thier town to normal. As I walk in through the gate I am greeted by a shrill scream from a young girl that seems me. I realise I must look like a monster to her. Then I see the Griffons burst out of a building with their weapons drawn. They are startled to see me and usher me into a Temple where the priest examines me and gives me a robe. He confirms that I do indeed live with no malign energies.
Later that day I am told of Blum’s death and am given the hammer he bravely used to save the colonists. I am grateful for the gift but mourn the loss of my friend and the weapon of my home. I am also greeted by a young dwarf girl called Rosi, who in honour of Blum’s sacrifice offers us her service. I am doubtful about the use of such a fair girl in combat, but there is no questioning her spirit or resolve. I also feel very protective of her, as such a gentle girl should not be exposed to the horrors of battle. In the tavern named after Blum we are met by a colleague of Raven’s who belives he knows more about where we might find a second artifact that is paired to the Amulet we carry. It is said to be in a ruined tower in the woods to the east. We agree to investigate, but something about this man seems suspicious to me. Even though I feel that my quest to the North should be completed, I think that this artifact has far reaching implications that cannot be ignored.
The next morning we set off and only once we reach the woods do we encounter any difficulty. The woods are think and disorientating, but I have much practice in navigating using the sun, so we keep to our path. We do come across some tracks that bear investigating as this wood is supposed to be deserted. We find a troupe of humans and strange insect-like humanoids. They initially appear hostile, but we are able to reach a diplomatic understanding. They claim to have sole dominion of this wood, and all ruins inside it, so will not let us pass. I cannot bear such stubborn refusals, but agree to follow the Griffons out of the wood. The night passes solomnly.
We attempt to avoid the troupe the following morning by entering through the wood by a different way. This time we manage to reach the ruins uninterupted. It is an imposing structure that consists of two huge constructs either side of a large chasm and are joined by a thin, now damaged, bridge. The only way in is on the far side of the chasm, which is too long and deep to go around, so we decide to climb the ruin and use the bridge. It is a hard climb and the bridge has a large gap, that is possibly too far to jump for the shorter ones in our group. A solution is suggested using rope to act as a safety line, but even still, a near-fatal accident occurs where Alhena doesnt make the jump and falls into the chasm. She only lives because Dashel and I are able to hold fast onto the rope and haul her to safety.
On the other side we are met by huge foul maggots. They attack, but make for easy, but messy prey. Its only when their mother arrives that the true fight begins. She is a huge irradescent moth that spreads confusion with her spores. She makes vicious fly-by attacks and we arer hard pressed to down her with our bows. As the fight progressed I felt the rage inside me build, but fortunately the moth is struck down with a vital blow before I lost control.
Now we have to find a way into the ruins without the troupe finding us, as they would surely react with violence against this intrusion.