Apartment Jade Regent

The Price of Absolution

Current Run

Asked people about things. We got info. Baddies bad to everyone. Peoples got away. Kids went for a walk. We have 36 hours to prove our innocence. My character sucks at healing. Tengu bitch.

Tengu bitch had:
Leather armor.
Blowgun with 10 darts
3 daggers
masterworked wakazashi
Climbers kit
50 feet of silk of silk rope with grapple hook
black cloth body suit
Ornate jade raven statuette

Bevelev knows that Amaiko mentioned Shinobi Shozokus, a stealth suit.

Normal Ninjas (x3):
2 Tender Twigs
Leather Armor
1 dagger
1 masterwork shortbow (20 arrows)
masterworked Siangham
Shinobi Shozoku
Jade raven statuette
masterworked thieves tools

Jade is commonly used in Minkai and has been transferred to Linnorm through the Jade quarter, thus its name. Harwin sends Syn toward the stone quarter to keep an eye out for the kids.

They walk to Tien toddler. He asks if they are Psions of the Kaijutsu, Harwin says they are guardians of one such. Toddler says they should meet his master who is called the “Child of Qi Zhong”. Harwin asks the rest if they recognize the title. Gill useless. Shie knows what Qi Zhong is.

Qi Zhong is the Tien God of magic and healing. Popular because of the symbol of the five Chinese elements. Talking helmet explains that, while he has been investigating, he hasn’t been the only one investigating, and the Child of Qi Zhong is an ally. The helmet also says the Jade quarter is in flux due to civil strife.

Harwin and Gill go to the Stone Quarter (fucking finally) to ask about the kids. Harwin makes a pedophelic looking ass of himself but succeeds in learning about a roadside smith show and 2 other people with a lot of connections.

Senan Conchobhar – Roadside smith. Simple items, but fancy quality.
Redmond Cillin – Senan’s rival, does custom orders for weapons and armor. Fairly simple.
Ailig Peaderson – General broker for low end smiths.

Harwin and Gill go to find Senan first. He knows nothing (john snow), so they go to Redmond, who explains that the fairy asked the same thing. He told the fairy he saw two what he thought were halflings. One had red hair. The fairy was distraught. He offers to have the guards help in the search. He also asks about the caravan incident.

He explains that the jade statuettes are a mark of an assassination organization. He warns Harwin that there are a lot of strong assassins. He offers armor as well. They leave and head to Ailig. He is much older, and a bit of a traditionalist. He grew up a warrior, and he’s lived here all his life. He’s a big supporter of arming the guards.

He’s asleep at the front desk. Harwin claps him on the shoulder and says, “sorry to disturb you.” Ailig jumps and yells. “What the ‘ell deya think yer doin’?!” “I’m only here for information, relax.” “You could give an old man a heart attack.”

Harwin asks if Ailig has seen the kids. He says no. And no fairies either. Ailig offers to help with the crafting of Harwin’s armor. Harwin accepts and asks about his dream of the trainer, Ailig can’t help him.


Back to Shie, the kid, etc. The kid explains that his group has been keeping an eye out for the Kaijutsu guardians for over a month now. With the fire, he finally found us and had to talk to us for the sake of our safety and Ameiko’s safety.
The kid details a story about an orphaned Tien kid such as himself, who woke up suddenly blessed by Qi Jhong with images of the future and past and with power over the elements, and he is protected by those loyal to the Kaijutsu. However, assassins have been after him, so the Jade quarter has become a hotbed of conflict. Meanwhile, the child of Qi Jhong took the visions to heart and knew he needed to find the Kaijutsu and help them. He knew of other guardians, but didn’t know who they were. In the meantime, he had a web of orphans to keep an eye out for unusual people.

They enter the Jade Quarter. Think China town but poorer. Lots of homeless and poor people. Valkrys can sense a greater purpose behind it all. It seems like everything is a kind of show. They haven’t heard about this civil war until now, and it’s been going on for a month now. No one but the people in the Jade quarter know about it, and they’ve kept it secret from the rest of the city.
The kid takes you through crowds, but you are not obstructed. Valkrys sees several shadows fall over you. Chicadie as well is nervous. Valkyrs knows the person following them isn’t Tien. They’re wearing a scarf over their face. Kaitlyn recalls Gill talking about a scarf as a way for Varisian people to record their history. SO their pursuer (a female) is Varisian.
They warn their guide of the pursuer. He becomes apprehensive and takes detours, they seem to lose her, and he calms down. Eventually, they come to a very run down warehouse. Before they even approach, the door opens and what looks like armed farmers come out and look around. For a moment, everyone stands still. After several seconds, the farmers relax. Once you enter, it is pitch black up until a fury ball of fire runs up and circles the group. Valkrys tries to pet it. The fire abates where he tries to pet it. It purs loudly.
When a voice says hi, sconces burst to life as people approach them. Sitting is a kid. He is about 12 years old. His hair is rough, unkempt and black. He is wearing a mithril breastplate with a big round wooden shield on his back and a scimatar on his right side. He says, “You are the heirs of Amatatsu”.
“Heirs? Yeah, no.” Says Shie.
“You have been blessed by the visions, no?”
“We have had visions, but we are not the heirs.”
“Regardless, you are the guardians of the true heir. I have been trying to find you for some time!” He smiles wistfully. “My name is Yujian.”
“Hello, I am Shie, and this is Valkrys.”
He calls back the fire elemental. “I see you met Shinchi. This is a gift from Qi Jhong that I have been given. Where is the heir?”
Nervously, they reply, “She’s been taken from us. We are searching for her.”
“I’ve been given visions from Qi Jhong to protect Ameiko and restore Minkai.”
They explain the siteation.

What Luke knows is that their caravan was set on fire by the Oni of the Five Storms and now knows that Ameiko was taken by Giers, not by…

“You had a run in with the Guild of the Frozen Shadows?” Shie knows nothing about this group. She asks Yujian about them. The helmet introduces himself to luke as Helgerval. Luke knows he is an Angel. He explains he has also been investigating the infernal influence, knew about the ninjas but didn’t know who they were. He knows that the leader of the Rime Runners guild detected as a demon. He believes the leader is an Oni of the Five Storms. If the guild of Frozen Shadows are an extension of the OFS, he believes the Rime Runners guild has something to do with it.
Luke already suspected as much. He explains to the group that his warriors are at their command but that they can’t leave the Jade Quarter. He, however, is more than willing to join them to help protect Ameiko. His warriors are apprehensive, but they can’t tell him what to do because he is an independent asian man who don’t need no protection.
3 knocks on the door is not a password. The warriors draw swords. Shinchi starts growling. Chickadee is scared again. The door slowly opens and the two farmers outside are on the ground and the woman is flanked by two oddly shaped ninjas, illuminated by the moonlight. The ninjas dart into hiding. Luke uses sense motive. It’s not very effective. She ain’t fuckin’ friendly. Valkrys tries to enter the shadows, but fails. However, Yujian sees both the hidden ninjas.
He casts fairy fire on one.
“Prophet of Qu Jhong, we finally meet. You’re younger than I expected. Sending you is like telling your son to go die.”
“You can never prevail against Qu Jhong.”
“Well Qi Jhong isn’t here, only you. Once you die, he has nothing.” Valkrys steps in front of Qi Jhong as she steps closer. She laughs.
“Who are you, a traveling bard.?”
“Who are you?!” Yells Shie.
“Little witch, I am a disciple of Omoyani, who serves Kimandatsu.” She doesn’t know either of those. The helmet says this ain’t a god thing. “Ha! You wouldn’t know of your attackers.”
“Wow, rude…”
“That’s why we are asking, bitch. Cause we don’t know you.”
“You don’t have to know, you’re going to be dead.”
“Qi Jhong has not left me helpless.” Shinchi blasts the ninja who isn’t revealed with Fairy Fire. It grows 8 more tails, jumps onto Yujian’s head, consumes 9 balls of fire that appeared at his tails, and spits fire at the ninja.
A fight breaks out.
The trio now alone among a half dozen corpses decide that the Jade quarter is no longer safe. They plan to go to either the Fire quarter or the Ice quarter to heal in preparation for additional assassination attempts.

Gill and Harwin find no sign of the children and Spivy, and so head toward the Jade Quarter.

Shie, Valkris, and Yujian arrive at the temple in the Fire Quarter and are immediately tended to by the priest. Yinpo, the priest, knows Yujian and is worried when Yujian explains what happened. He takes the trio over to a small building where they can recuperate.

Gill and Harwin arrive in the Jade quarter, immediately hear about the warehouse commotion and go to find an empty warehouse with a bunch of dead bodies and guards. The guards immediately start questioning Gill and Harwin.
Harwin explain that he and Gill have been in the Stone Quarter all night and that at least three people can confirm this. He gives names. He requests to look at the crime scene. They accept, but tell him they should leave soon. He goes in and finds the bodies cut mostly by normal weapons except for one that was mauled and some scorch marks. The guards all have a tattoo with the five elements.
On the ninjas…

Potion of disguise self. A dose of deathblade poison. Leather armor. A blowgun and 10 darts. Three daggers. Masterworked Wakazashi. One has 50 feet of silk rope with a grappling hook. Both have the black cloth armor.

Harwin begins explaining what he believes happens, but Gill nudges him and points out glares from the locals and confused looks on the guards. He sighs, and mutters under his breath before telling the guards to forget what he said. It was rambling theories not to be taken seriously. Syn warns Harwin of several other people with the same tattoos, and Gill picks one out and walks toward them. Harwin nods goodbye to the guards and heads toward the Tien man as well. “Hello, you are followers of Qi Jhong?”
“It is good that you know who Qi Jhong is. Are you looking for your friends?”
“Yes, I trust they are alive, despite whatever happened in there?”
“Your friends are very powerful, they came at an oppertune time and saved our prophet. They are safe and have left this Quarter. Beware for you are hunted by the elite ninjas of the Frozen Shadows.”
“Frozen Shadows, those are the ninjas with—”
“You should leave.” Harwin looks around, concerned by the looks everyone near bye are giving. He motions to Gill for them to leave. Sandru comes up as they walk away, looking distraught.
“Where is everyone! What happened?!”
“They are safe, they were attacked during the meeting.”
“If Sandru didn’t see them, they must be in the Fire Quarter.”
“Then that’s where we go.”
“Send Syn ahead of us.”
After a little while, Syn locates the others. Chickadee tells Shie she spotted Sin. Harwin, Sandru, and Gill arrive and asked what happen.
“Hi! I’m Yijian!” He smiles.
“Who is this?”
“…Are you the prophet?”
“Some people call me that.”
“Did you find out anything?” asks Gill.
“We discovered this boy.” Said Valkyris.
“…Okay… what did the boy know?” Asked Gill exasperatedly. Valkyris laughs and tells them everything.
“We need to find the Rime Runner’s guild and make them tell us where the assassins are.” Harwin glances at the earth elemental. “This is your power over the five elements?”
“Yes, this is my gift from Qi Jhong.”
“Interesting. Where’s the other four, then?”
“I can only use one.”
“Ah, interesting. I’ve never seen this before. Valkris.”
“What?”
“Where’s the Rime Runner’s guild? Let’s go.”
Sandru stops them. “You need to know your plan before hand. For one, if the guild itself isn’t evil and it’s just the leadership, then talking to the small fry means nothing and could cause you to be discovered. Now, I have contacts.”
“And we’ve met merchants who are influential.”
Gill is gonna go talk to Fin. Harwin is gonna talk to the blacksmiths. The group goes to Ailig. He is doing business with a guess and motions for us to wait. 10 minutes later, the guest leaves happy. He walks up to Harwin and asks, “Well how are you doing? That was a very quick return.”
“I’m doing well enough. I couldn’t find the children, but the situation has developed a more pressing issue. We need a way into the Rime Runners guild, directly to their leaders.”
He looks at Harwin quizzically. “No, but the Rime Runners guild’s leader is likely connected to the assassins.”
“I see… You think Thorbord Silverscore is an assassin?”
“I don’t know if Silverescore herself is connected, but it seems that the assassins are associated with demons, and an ally felt the presence of a demon in disguise within the guild.”
He has no idea whether to believe Harwin or not. He had recently heard tell of a fight in the Jade Quarter, and stranger things have happened. He asks if we can prove we won’t kill everyone in the guild. We’d only just met after all.
Sandru explains that they just want to talk, and Harwin backs him up and assures him that they only want to protect themselves and that the assassins are their only target. They have no intention of hurting anyone else.
Ailik agrees, and has an idea. He thinks a good idea is to use mithril as an excuse to talk to a clerk about the mithril. All they need is someone to “buy” the mithril – thus, the disguise.

Shie. The mute prosti—er… accountant, Elizabeth.
Harwin. The easygoing smith, Rand.
Valkris. The discerning businessman, Cooper.
Sandru. The Gruff Bodyguard, Gilmont.
Yujian. The green recruit, Frodo.

“Hello ma’am, how are you this fine morning?”
“I’m fine sir. What can I do for you gentlemen.” She’s elderly, wears heavy armor, very hard looking. Looks frustrated.
“Oh I forgot the money.” Valkris walks off, but Gill motions not to leave. “Oh wait, here it is.”
“See what I have to deal with?” Says Harwin as he leans against the counter. The clerk smiles.
“What can I do?” She says, pointedly looking at Valkris.
“Gilmont? Gilmont, is that you? You’re alive?”
“No, you have the wrong person. I’ll just wait outside, seems safe in here.”
“Don’t you walk out. I can see your shield.”
Gill turns.
“Cassy, been such a long time.” She runs up and hugs him.
“I can’t believe you’re alive, Suzanah will be so happy! Oh but, Abigaile, and Katiana. Katiana… Gill, how are you alive?” Her face turns dark and she raises her spear. “And why are you here? Why isn’t your headless body rotting in a dungeon.”
“Cassy-”
“Don’t call me Cassy.”
“Cassandra. You won’t like the truth. And this isn’t a place to talk about it. My friends and I are in a hurry, we have no time to spare. Please, just drop it.”
“DROP IT?! You want me to just DROP IT?! After I found the traiter who should have died 26 years ago?! If you’ve been alive all this time, then this means you ran away after you killed her. No justice was had. Suzana has been doing her best to help, but with Abigail breathing down her neck with a bunch of Devils, she can’t even sleep. And your damn charade broke any chance of resistance we ever had. They hunt us down. They impale rebels in the courtyard. They poison food. Anyone harboring criminals is flayed alive and fed to demons as a show! And here you are, the start of it all, sauntering around Kalsgard with a bunch of merchants and friends. I will kill you right here.”
“You said us… you became a rebel? Why? All it’s going to do is get you and Suzana killed. Abigail will make sure of it if she’s a Devil’s puppet now. You saw what happened to me. The whole nation did! I know you’re not stupid enough to go back to biting the hand. There’s no future in fighting the devils.”
“We know.”
“I’m serious. The— wait… what?”
“We don’t have a chance with the rebellion, it’s like banging your head on an adamantium wall. Blablabla…” She explains she, from Chaliax, is looking for a legitimate way of saving the kingdom from devils. Descendant of last heir of old family who went on adventures could contest the throne.
Gill covers them safely and she gets the deal is important. But when he tells her to go away, she says no. I’m sticking to you like super glue.
Harwin looks at the clerk dumbfounded. “I had no clue I had hired such interesting people to protect what I had thought would be a simple business proposition…”
The clerk laughs. Valkris bluffs the mithril. A deal is set up, Valkris, Shie, Ailig, and Harwin are chosen to go propose the deal.
“Does the guild leader ever host deals?” Asks Harwin. They confirm. Various bluff and diplomacy hijinks. Ailig gets Shie to take Valkris to look for incriminating documents.
Valkris finds one of the missing people. Ailig gets the people to talk about their guild master.
Things go wrong when guards upstairs catch Shie and Valkris along with the prisoner, but at that moment, ninjas attack. A bomb goes off outside Harwin’s room, disabling the guard outside. Harwin runs into the hallway and Yujian runs in as well. Gill goes to help the unconscious guard but drops him after to help fight in the main room. Harwin tells Yujin to go upstairs, and lets out an inspiring roar before he soundly smacks the ninja before him into the wall. Valkris flanks a ninja upstairs with a guard, and Cassandra and the guard in the main room prepare to fight.
Fight fight. Of 28, 6 people survive in total (besides us). Documents found, eye witness testimony absolves us of suspicion for this massacre. Uksaka (the person who was imprisoned) got the documents.

EXPERIENCE:
1,200 – for saving Uksaka
4,200 – for ninjas
3,200 – boss
1,600 – tengu ninjas
10,200 – total
2,040 – per person.

No loot from last fight given it was a crime scene.

The surviving member admits that many were suspicious of their leader who hung out with a troll sorcerer and would siphon the earnings off to some hidden fund for a place called Raven’s Crag. It is a relatively well known castle. The documents provide details. They are ledgers from over the past few years to Raven’s Crag. Were all personally approved by the leader. Was purchased from Snori Stoneye three years ago. Arel’s Hammer (the boat) was rented out to the guy we killed the night of the attack at the bridge. He was contracted to acquire a Tien Antique from a place recognizable as the house of the guy who had the sword.

View
Road to Kalsgard

AFTERMATH
After unlocking the vault in Brinewall and becoming guardians of the Scion of the Kaijitsu Royal Bloodline, the heroes were in no shape to continue their trek north to the inevitable destination of Kalsgard – they had been afflicted with strange illnesses that were unique to each person: Harwin would see endless possiblities several seconds ahead all at once in real-time. As he would spar with Erys, she would come in for a strike and suddenly he could see hundeds of possible angles at different times. Shie was forced to hear all sounds within several miles as if they were right beside her: the whispers of billions of leaves, the conversations of all within the caravan, every animal’s anguished death and the crunch of teeth on bone as the predator feasted. And, finally, Valkris was forced to see everything in slow motion, his mind working in overtime. But his body could only react so fast, as if he were trying to move a limb to quickly, and, many times, would injure himself. Worse, it varied – sometimes it was almost back to normal, and other times it was like time had stood still.

Harwin and Shie managed to have breakthroughs, finding ways to relieve their afflictions and, instead, gain minor control over them. Harwin, using his usual method to control his mind, managed to create a bridge between him and a strange entity, thereafter, he could use his flame of the void to toggle his foresight. Shie, on the other hand, was able to minutely hear a small voice in the clamor all around her. Listening intently to the voice, she was instructed to bond to an item like a wizard – unheard of for witches, whose patrons are channeled through beasts, but not undoable, especially with an artifact staff beside her. After making the bond, the entity whispering to her was able to fully recover and use the item to block the sounds – this entity turned out to be a long sealed and forgotten goddess, who vowed to help Shie control her powers.

Although unable to control his powers, Valkris was able to meet his own ‘friend’ – a peevish, soundless figure that moved quickly and smoothly even when Valkris’ body was slowed in time – only Valkris’s mind was able to keep up with the figure. Giving no concrete answers and, instead, challenging Valkris to catch up with him, he eventually disappeared, leaving Valkris to his own devices.

JOURNEY
The caravan, in order to rest and recuperate – and deal with their guards’ strikingly strange and frustrating afflictions – had rested for more than two weeks before setting off on the road once again on Fireday, 10 Sarenith.

The Road to Jol
The Visions
The visions showed them many things: among others, Ameiko was now the last remaining heir to the last surviving royal family of Minkai, the Kaijitsus. To recover her birthright, they would have to escort her across the Crown of the World and into Tian Xia. Additionally, the Kaijitsu’s sentient family sword, Suishen, had been sold to a man named Fynn Snaevald in Kalsgard. This sword would likely know more about the family than any of those currently in the group. Thus, Sandru set his sights on reaching Kalsgard: both to find Suishen and a guide across the Crown.

The Travellers
The first 4 days to Jol were in relatively clear and agreeable weather, with no attacks by either bandits or beasts. On the other hand, the Caravan had the fortune(?) of meeting with a band of adventurers consisting of a Bard, Fighter, Rogue, and Cleric. The whole group was very strange: the only one that ever really spoke was the bard, who was instantly recognized as a womanizer, doting on all of the women in the caravan (even Koya, although in a different light). The fighter and cleric did speak, but when they did, the Fighter would only shout loudly and very nervously, before promptly blushing and closing his mouth again. The cleric, on the other hand, had much to say and would begin preaching about her god Iori to any that had ears, before the Bard could grab her and cup his hand over her mouth to shut her up. The rogue never talked, but he always stayed near the bard and, many noticed, would eye the purses and goods of those the Bard spoke to. Gill could be seen glaring at the rogue every time he showed up, and sometimes Gill would merely be glaring at nothing… perhaps the rogue was truly a rogue to remember.
The caravan and the group spent a night together beside the road. In that time, the Bard told stories the Linnorm Kings and of their cities, including Kalsgard. It was noted that the ruler of Kalsgard, Svienne Blood-Eagle, was old and rumored to be waiting for a wualified warrior to come to take his place so he may travel West to Valhalla. The the East, as is normal, Trollheim was still skirmishing with the witches of Irrisen and their monstrous allies, except that, recently, the witches had made headway, destroying several clans within the last decade. Because of this, Witch Hunts had become standard and spellcasters, in general, weren’t trusted and highly scrutinized.

The Grove
On the fourth day, during their scouting activies, Shalelu approached Harwin, saying she wanted to show him something. They traveled north to what she thought would be a beautiful grove but, instead, found a farmhouse. Devastated, she explained that the Grove was a grove they had passed through when she had saved him from his clan’s destruction years ago. Although they had not the time nor the temperament to appreciate the beauty back then. Still, as is evident in the farm, life goes on.
Harwin pulls her along, intent on having her meet the farmers herself, to try to show that the Grove was never truly lost while someone could make use of it – admiration of its beauty was one way to honor it. Living off its resources was another. Once they approach, a long faced, red haired, amber eyed man wearing hide armor and wielding a hand axe and a short sword approached, asking of them their purpose and identity. He was clearly hostile, and Shalelu was, in her own way, fearful of the man.
Harwin greets the man and asks what happened to the grove. The man, Valdi Adisson, explains that the grove had become infested with spiders, wherein the guards along with some farmers drove them out. Taking up residence in the abundant area, the farmers were still wary of the spiders that had moved northwest, to the southern tip of Grungir Forest.
Shalelu tells Harwin she would like to finish the extermination of the spiders. Overjoyed, the Farmer looks at them differently and answers many questions they ask – stuff about Opir and about rumors of a blood-feathered Raven seen around Losthome and Delmon’s Glen. He also asks that if they intend to enter Jol, he wants them to speak to Mari about a shipment of wheat – this Mari is one of the guards of Jol.
After the leave the farm, Shalelu and Harwin move into the forest, where they promptly wreck the spider’s shit up and, afterwords, purge the area with fire, keeping it from setting the forest ablaze. Shalelu, on their way back, asks Harwin to bypass the farm – she doesn’t want the reward the farmer promised.

The City of Jol
The caravan, tired from their 4 day trek, sets up in the nearest Inn to sleep one they reach Jol, sleeping well and planning their thoughts for the next day.

Mari and the Shipment
In the morning, Harwin and Shie ask about for Mari and also about how to meet with the Jarl, Opir, wherein they are pointed to the Guard Captain. The Guard Captain points out that Opir isn’t very predisposed to talking to anyone right now, as his legitimacy as a lsayer of Linnorms is being questioned and he has little power over Jol. In regards to Mari and the shipment, the Guard Captain puts on a ponderous facebefore calling out for this “Mari” who immediately appears and salutes. The Guard tells her to put together her squad and investigate about the wheat and Valdi – he explains that guards had already been sent for the shipment, as there were bandits on the road. The Captain was worried that the previously sent guards had been waylaid. He then advises the duo to search out Collie Caeimhghi who is a general store merchant. He knows she has a secret stock of goods due to her ‘job’ and that, to get "the good stuff” Harwin should say “the eagle’s eye sees a small rat running”.
Harwin and Shie move to the merchant district and are sidetracked by an alchemy shop owned by Niamha Essat, where Shie finds minimal supplies and odd antiquities using 5 gold. On the other hand, she notices the two of them are being watched – the two put their familiars on high alert.

The Giers of Fate
Valkris, once morning dawned, set out to do the one thing he had trained for life for: thieving. The crowd was tough and his skills were a little rusty before he snatched 10 silver in one go. Still…not much. He decides to head to the rich man’s district. Not long into his venture in the district, a dog spots him and barks acouple of times, drawing attention to the currently pickpocketing Valkris. He immediately attempts to pretend he was just picking up the money for the noble as guards approach to investigate the outcries, but isn’t very convincing. He even gives the money back…but it’s not enough and the guards grab him. Valkris breaks free and darts into an alley way, trying to be as chaotic and random as possible to lose sight of his pursuers – but what he did not know is that Ulfen citizens are obligated to help to apprehend lawbreakers. Everwhere he went, citizens called out his location.
Finally, after darting into yet another alleyway, he suddenly collides with another person frantically running. After leaning up off the ground and getting a good look, Valkris realizes the other escapee was none other than Giers, the man who had burned down Walthus’s home just to get revenge at Harwin. Inspired, Valkris throws money at Giers and calls out about how a thief had attacked him. Unconvinced, the guards arrived and set upon the two. And from the other direction came a lone woman, presumably chasing Giers. Giers sighs, smiles, unsheaths his weapon, and charges past Valkris and into the oncoming guards, metallic rings sounding in the crisp morning air. Not waiting to see how Giers would fair, Valkris jumps up and runs to the other end of the alley, but as he passed the woman he is forced to slide under her close liner. Surprisingly, she followed up by sliding a hook into his vest as Valkris slid by and then pulling on a rope connected to the hook. Frantically, Valkris breaks free and continues running – the woman does not pursue and, instead, turns back to the fight between Giers and the guards.

Collie’s Calling
Shie and Hawin arrive at Collie’s general store, a 2 story building that sported two glass windows and awnings that sprouted from the walls. The door and walls themselves are unremarkable, but solidly built. A sign hung above the door, inscribed with the words, “Collie’s Calling”. Once inside, they were faced with a boy at the counter who looked no more than 15 years old. Named Jesse, the boy tells them Collie is ‘making a call’, a term she uses when she endeavors to expose a criminal and apprehend him. He also explains that her investigative process involves finding the most lkely categories that proof might be found as an item and then buying up such items from brokers around Jol. Once she finds the proof, she then ‘makes her call’ and the rest of the various wares are resold in her general shop. Harwin says the lines, “The Eagle’s eye sees a small rat running,” but Jesse doesn’t have the key to the basement and tells them they can wait for Collie to return. Making small talk with Harwin, Jesse mentions that he likes Opir from a fight he saw a year ago and he doesn’t doubt Opir’s legitimacy. But even though there isn’t really any proof, the other Jarls and Chieftains use this opportunity to ignore his power. Unlike normal Ulfen cities, this led to crime in Jol skyrocketing – although this is good business for Collie.

Jesse and the Key
When Jesse was asked how he met Collie, he explains that Jesse was ‘the proof’ in one of her investigations. With prompting, he elaborates: his father was killed when he was a baby and his mother was the prime suspect, but Collie believed she was framed. His father was killed in a locked room – locked with a key only he and his wife had access to. They believed she had just thrown the key away and lied about ‘it being lost for days now’. Determined, Collie looked from both where they key was as well as other ways to get into the room. After some investigation, Collie found out that Jesse – as a baby – had eaten the key and wandered out of the house. He, as a baby, then led Collie to the secret door. It ended up later being proven that the key had nothing to do with the murder and that the mother – who had, indeed, been the culprit – had led the murderers to the room where they then killed Jesse’s father. (Yeah this didn’t make much sense in game either…making up complicated investigations is hard. Kudos to the author of Sherlock Holmes…).
After hours had passed, Harwin and Shie gave up and returned to the Inn, wherein Valkris suddenly burst inn spouting stuff about Giers.

The Missing Piece
With the suspicion that the woman in the alley might have been Collie, the group heads back to Collie’s Calling, where they find Jesse treating some wounds on Collie. Collie recognizes Valkris and explains that, in the utter confusion of a lone warrior charging into a bunch of guards who thought they were chasing a thief, Giers escaped when a cloud of mist settled in the area. The group recognizes this escape method as the same one he used to escape them in the swamp and to escape them during his ambush of their caravan.
Seemingly suspicious that the group might be working with Giers , Collie announces her distrust. Harwin says the secret words so Collie would trust them, wherein she smiles and said she was joking – that Valkris tried to frame Giers was probably enough. After some deliberation, the group comes to the conclusion that Giers was the one that waylaid the guards on the way up and was following their caravan with malicious intent. Knowing this, the group heads back to see if the caravan could leave today. Loudly.
At the gate, Collie and Jess are met sitting in their own, smaller cart, with rations and supplies… seems Collie was intent on catching Giers. As the caravan + 2 left, the group noticed an incredibly large Raven that sported a blood-red feather…

The Road to Losthome
Heavenly Wars
That night, the sky lit up with a terrifyingly erratic glow. Those in the caravan were frightened until Gill managed to make up a story about heroic and fatal battles being played out by the gods. The caravan took to the story easily and the night passed in merriment.

Pranks, But No Pranks
The next day, as they followed the treeline of the Grungir Forest, various odd events began to happen, such as ropes coiling or uncoiling themselves, mud being placed in boots, knives dulled, or sewing patterns found unwound. Tempers flare and people get angry as the blame runs wild. With some investigation and such, the group comes to find that the cuplrits are, in fact, playful fey from the forest. Looking for fun, the fey challenge the caravan to a game of wits. Koya accepts the challenge and whoops their butts, winning the caravan the integrity with the fey as well as a store of fey-worked materials that could be sold for substantially higher prices.

Game Day
The caravan reaches Solskinn in the evening of the 14th of Sarenith and stay the night. In the morning, a large man and a bunch of underlings arrive, spouting about how the caravan broke some obscure law or custom. The group can tell he’s lying, but they can also tell he is truly outraged. The group challenge the caravan to 3 challenges of ‘manliness’ (Gill rolls his eyes).
First challenge is a horse race. Harwin climbs atop the horse to represent the Caravan. At the urge of the crowd, the opponent – a stable boy and, supposedly, the best rider in the region – began to trash talk Harwin. Harwin promptly put the poor boy in his place. But when it came to the actual race, the boy truly did have astounding horse riding skills and easily beat Harwin to the finish line.
The second challenge was an obstacle course – the two competitors would need to run to the river and cross it by hopping from post to post. They would then have to climb a wall to the top in order to circle a post 3 times, before climbing back down and swimming though the river. The last stretch was dashing across a rope tied between two posts in order to reach the finish line. In a very tight race, Valkris manages to cross the line first, winning the second challenge. The amazing part was that the opposing competitor was using a climbing kit, while Valkris used only his crook. It was a sight to behold.
The third and final challenge was pig wrestling. Representing the Caravan was Walthus. The thugs, on the other hand, chose the opposite route and selected a large, rotund man – likely the butcher. The butcher showed his stuff at first, wrestling down far more pigs than the small halfling, but t he size worked in the better for him: the man eventually fell in the mud and had a hard time getting back on his feet, allowing Walthus to surpass his score and win the third challenge.
Throughout the games, it became apparent that the thugs were just pissed that the caravan’s comparatively more handsome and interesting men – being well toned and gritty adventurers – were turning the heads of all the maidens in the town.
Inspired by the events, Ameiko and Carlia conspire to write a rousing victory song, which the caravan sings as they continue their adventure – to the sounds of both boos and cheers.

Inconspicuous?
That night Valkris and Walthus are on watch. Walthus, alarmed, suddenly sits up, gazing into the night trying to listen. On alert, Valkris, too, begins to hear the sounds of muffled grunts and yells in the night. Walthus immediately pulls out his bow and Valkris darts to Gill, summarizing the situation. Gill rolls over and onto his feet, rolling over his shield and strapping it on in the process, and faces the forest. Walthus and Valkris then proceed to wake up others and prepare for an ambush. Some minutes pass and the noise eventually subsides. Nonchalantly, Shalelu leaves the forest and looks, alarmedly, at the armed companions. After asking what happened, Shalelu merely states she was taking a walk.
Upon investigation with his familiar, Harwin was able to identify the bodies of dozens of dead goblins, all killed by a single arrow wound.

Dangerous Borders
At the end of the 16th of Sarenith, the caravan is forced to camp several miles outside of Delmon’s Glen, as continuing any further could be dangerous so close to Irrisen’s border. Besides, the group was large enough and strong enough that most wild creatures wouldn’t dare to attack a rested and armed group of adventurers. The next day, the finally reached Delmon’s Glen, the last city they would pass through before making the trek into Grungir Forest. After investigating rumors, the group discovered that a Linorm was sighted within the forest, apparently making its lair there. Additionally, the Fey within the forest had been acting up recently – most people thought this was due to the increasing witch activity within the region that bordered Irrisen.

After purchasing some stores, the caravan enters the forest to make its trek to Losthome on the other end. The forest was held in a thick mist and many in the caravans were wary of the Fey that could pop out at any moment, given the rumors. Over the treetops, Harwin’s familiar spotted the red-feathered raven, making tensions rise and phantoms all the more real… Instead of fey or monsters, what popped out was an ambush by thieves. But the thieves underestimated the caravan and were slaughtered almost to the last, before fleeing into the mist.
Without any more incidents, the caravan finally reaches a break in the treeline and suddenly see the view of wide plains spreading across the horizon in the sunset, split by a mighty river that snaked within the fields, golden rays pouring on a small town at the foot of the hill.

Losthome: A History of War
Inside Losthome’s Tavern, the group ponders why the town is named “Losthome”, to which the tavern keeper tells a tale of long ago, when the Witches of Irrisen marched West, spurred on by their victory over two Ulfen kingdoms. Many towns, then, were captured or raised and the witches seemed invulnerable. But then the Ulfen kingdoms allied together and pushed the witches back to the border known today. Losthome was a city retaken by residents that had left the town to fight another day, and the town was renamed Losthome in honor of retaking their homes from the witches.
Further investigation revealed that Trollheim, the capital of the border region named Hagreach, had no Linnorm King, and has been ruled by a governor of sorts. The governor and his military has been skirmishing with remnants of agents of Irrisen for years now – decades, even. And, recently, several clans had been annihilated and important figures assassinated. The witches were crafty and the raven spotted in the area caused much fear in that Losthome might suffer the witches’ cunning next.

The Bloody Solstice
The Ritual of Stardust
Near the end of the 19th of Sarenith, the caravan reached an ancient bridge named Skalsbridge that crosses the Thundering River where it joins the Rimeflow. Here, Sandru suggested they spend the night. With no objections, the caravan set in for the night. After sunset, a thick, frozen mist rolled in and blanketed the caravan, bringing with it the chill of the northern nights, giving the dead of night a menacing ambience. The caravaners found it hard to sleep, as they knew they were still being followed by Giers, and with the constant appearance of the blood-feathered Raven, suspicions that he was in cahoots with witches only made it worse. Plus, many in the caravan were still wary of others – Carlia held little trust in Zaiobe, and Kelda outright hated the creature, in addition to generally seperating herself from the rest of the group. Zaiobe refused contact with almost anyone but Valkris, and Spivey kept away from the deviants of the party, generally holing herself up with Koya, apart from escapades to check in on Shie and Erys, and engaging in small talk with Ameiko, Harwin, and some select others. Walthus, true to his hermit nature, slept alone and took to his duty at watch seriously but otherwise made no effort to get to know the others apart from Gill, and Bevelek still couldn’t get Vankor to relinquish his shell and open up to others – the boy still liked to draw and read alone and only joined in when stories were told.
At midnight, Shie, Koya, and Spivey began a ritual called the Ritual of Stardust – a desnan ritual of worship during the Summer Solstice. The three sang songs as Koya threw sand from the beach and crushed gemstones into the fire, causing the fire to surge into a miriad of colors. Intrigued, the rest of the caravan gathered ’round the fire and joined in whatever songs they could, turning them into raucous tunes that rang in the night.

The Onset of Battle
It was an enjoyable event and, for once, all voices of the caravan could be heard in the darkness, but as the night went on, Harwin heard the muffled sounds of oars. He notified Valkriss, who snuck off into the night and began to cross the bridge to peer into the waters. There he saw a ship full of massive Ulfen Raiders, clambering out onto the beach and raising a battlesong, drowning out the song of the ritual. But the caravan had prepared.
Suddenly a chaotic melee broke out as 40 Ulfen warriors crashed into the frontline manned by Gill, Harwin, Sandru, and Kelda, preceeded by intimidating roars and battle cries that could drive fear into even the most sturdy of warriors from Varisia.
Although completely outnumbered, the caravan had expert adventurers that could turn the tides of battle: the witch Shie went to work buffing thir martial powerhouse, causing him to double in size and become a monster in his own right. Gill, at the end of the defensive line, was immediately engaged by 6 Ulfen Warriors who came crashing into the terrifying shield he wielded, only to be flanked by the cunning Valkris who had been hidden up on the bridge above. The whole line was supported by a firing squad of archers: Walthus, Shalelu, Ameiko, Carlia, and even Bevelek and his crossbow he carried for defense. And the most notable support fire could be heard from Jesse, who had joined the melee alongside Collie.

A Company Divided
The frontline crumbled quickly, for the sheer number of battle-crazed Ulfen made up a tide too strong to withstand. As Ulfen warriors burst through to charge at the archers, many broke off and the caravan became seperated, fighting in tight groups. Even the battle-hardened Gill and monster Harwin became surrounded, fighting aginst whirlwinds of battleaxes. Even Shie was forced to move, to gain sight of her friends engaged and surounded on the frontline – dodging a battleaxe that came crashing headlevel, slamming into the wagon in front of her. Walthus proceeded to slide under and slice at the Ulfen warrior’s calves as Shie weaved past, gaining sight of a heavily wounded Harwin.
As she rounded the corner of the wagon, an Ulfen warrior slide around Gill and finally connected, slamming into Gill’s backside, a sharp thwap resounding in the frigid night. But Gill merely growled and slammed his shield in the Ulfen warrior’s gut, throwing the giant warrior to the ground like a ragdoll at the same time as Valkris opted to leap from the bridge above and drop behind the warriors engaging Gill. His time dialation kicked in and, for a moment, the peeving figure sat on a branch in front of him and mouthed, “duck!”. Valkris barely managed to dodge the backswipe of the warrior and responded with a crack of his Crook on the ulfen’s bare skin.
Shie, glad the two were safe, turned to heal the bleeding Harwin and, in the corner of her eye, saw Kelda holding a group of Ulfen raiders back from the wagon Erys and Mein hid in. With Shalelu ducking around the wagon to snipe at the warriors, picking them off one by one, Jesse stood tall on top of the wagon, his rifle cracking in the night repeatedly, dropping distant warriors as each ripped through their feeble armor. As Ulfen warriors were trying to surround the massive Harwin, the were about to drop in and replace their fallen brethren when Ameiko and Sandru, long time companions, dived in and, as a perfect duo, began to harry the raiders yet to engage their large companion.

A Conclusive Bloodbath
As the battle raged on, the strength of the caravaners proved too great for the singularly-driven warriors an, when they knew they could not end the adventurers, they fled back to the ship, intent on pushing off the beach. This was their grave and final mistake: the archer line reformed, with the aid of Jesse’s rifle and Erys, who had taken up a shortbow, and rained death on fleeing warriors, just as the now free front line warriors doggedly struck at the raiders’ heels.
No warrior lived to escape the beach. And no allied blood spilled tonight – it was a complete victory for the Caravan. But Koya felt no joy.
On a sacred night to Desna, the blood of 40 admirable warriors was needlessly lost and, from her influence, the group felt that the warriors who died in battle deserved a burial traditional to the land they were in – the raiders’ home. And so the warriors, lined up in the ship named Aril’s Hammer and resting with their weapons in hand, were sent out into the river and put to the torch in a funeral pyre. Among those in the caravan, that night became the notorious Bloody Solstice.
The only treasure recovered from the raiders’ corpses were their intricate armbands displaying a stylized lion’s head – perhaps these insignia might lead to their employers.

Last Leg to Kalsgard
Inquiries in Ullerskad
In Ullerskad, obviously curious about their attackers, Harwin and company inquired about the ship’s name Aril’s Hammer and about the armband. None in the city recognized the band nor the name of the ship, although they suggested the company try in Kalsgard. Kalsgard was, after all, the largest port city in the Linnorm Kingdoms. Plus, Kalsgard held many mercenary companies that could be hired, including guards and guides, as well as dozens of various Jarls, Chieftains, merchants, and guilds who all had their own contingent of warriors and guards. The insignia, itself, likely belonged to a Jarl or chieftain with a military force.

In regards to travel, the party wasn’t beset by any major setbacks – oddly enough (eerily so), the journey was entirely uneventful.

THE CITY OF KALSGARD
A Grim Arrival
The caravan finally arrived in Kalsgard at last. Knowing customs, Sandru led the caravan to the Bone Quarter, where caravans traditionally holed up. Considering recent events, Sandu suggested the heroes investigate matters within the city while the rest of the caravan lay low. He also suggested they pick an inn to stay in, separate from the caravan in the Bone Quarter, so as to avoid connecting the heroes and the caravan. Considering Giers knows their situation and faces, it probably wouldn’t do much, but it might help if he has to look via the populace. It was at this time that Kelda, who had agreed to be ‘escorted’ back to Kalsgard in exchange for being a guard and providing a reward, said her farewells and promised to return at a later date with the intended reward. She had to first report to her Jarl.

Tracking their Hunters
Harwin immediately set to work getting to the bottom of the raiders, heading to the Oak Quarter to inquire about the armbands and about Aril’s Hammer. But he got little to no cooperation – either no one knew or no one would tell him. He moves on to ask about how one might hire Ulfen Raiders. He is told that, apart from guard duties, raiding is usually done under the banner of a Jarl or Chieftain – hiring warriors for raids isn’t something that’s done. Knowing that the raiders, then, must be warriors under a banner, Harwin believed that a registry of insignia would lead him to a Jarl if he could match the Jarl with the Lion’s Head insignia. But the registry recorded every Jarl and Chieftain (including dead or retired ones) and all of their insignias, which could be hundreds for one jarl in some cases – and some insignia inevitably looked very similar. At the end of the day, Harwin could find no leads.

Window Shopping
As in Jol, Valkris set about perusing the ‘market’. In both ways: the sheer amount of guards in Kalsgard was frightening and, considering his last experience in running, he knew that if he got caught once, he would have the whole city trying to apprehend him. On the other hand, he was intent on gaining more power to aid his party: being able to see in darkness was a huge priority. And, given the size of Kalsgard’s market, it didn’t take long for him to find exactly what he was looking for: Goggles of Nightvision. And the price? 12,000 gold… his goal was still a long ways off.
Back to ‘window shopping’ his crowd and their wares, he eventually decided to investigate about this legendary sword he’d seen in the vision. Being in the Amber quarter, he began to ask about this merchant named Fynn and quickly discovered that the man was still alive! Albeit ancient. Fynn Snaevald was working as an independent merchant in the quarter and had a habit of collecting Tian antiquities. With this knowledge, he returned to the caravan as the sun set and was directed to the Inn Shie had found.

Finding a Home
As Erys cared for Mein as a sister, she and Gill immediately set out to contact her family, the Eventyrs, who Sandru noted sounded like a familiar name of a family likely housed in Kalsgard. Guesses, only, could be made, as Mein never talked about her father or their family much, and no one pushed the subject.
After an evening of some being taxied around by, “talk to this person about this,” and ,“Let me meet up and deliberate,” the two returned to the caravan and then were directed to the established inn, with no leads apart from a step in the door to being noticed by the Eventyrs.

Preemptive Investigation
Although quite aware that Giers would likely arrive after the caravan, Collie and her protege, Jesse, separated from the group to begin laying a web of contacts to find and track Giers when he would inevitable make moves in Kalsgard. To their knowledge, Giers was their most present and obvious enemy.
The two later returned, hearing, of course, nothing about anyone matching Giers’s description, but with contact made. They wanted to act fast to trap the man. They later joined the heroes in the tavern, opting to room with the heroic bunch for protection.

Showing Gratitude
Shie and Spivey opted to travel to the Ice Quarter, which houses the Sky-shrine of Desna. Heard from Sandru, the old priestess of the Sky-shrine is named Ormhilde Eilifdottir. Upon arrival, Ormhilde is already engaged in conversation with others. Shie and Spivey are content to approach the altar and pray to Desna, thanking her for her guidance in their trek north. After Spivey spent half an hour in prayer, she got up and the two left the temple – Ormhilde was still engaged in conversation. Perhaps they would get a chance later to speak to her.

Meeting the Hunting Serpent
With their first objective complete, the two needed to look for lodging for the night – and possibly longer. Sandru had suggested the Hunting Serpent Inn in the Ice Quarter. Taking his advice, they arrived a little while later to find a huge two-story building built from thick, solid logs. From the logs are carved ornately embellished window sills and a well crafted door frame. The double door into the inn is also embellished, although less extravagantly so.
Upon entering the establishment, they are immediately assaulted by a cacophonous roar of chatter and laughter, the hearty smell of smoked meat and thick stew, and the exotic smells of alcohol. They approached the counter and asked the tender if they could arrange for some rooms to stay in. The tender – a man named Tosti Finehall, both the brewer and the owner of the tavern – gave them figures. After some deliberation, the two decided on purchasing 2 rooms – one for Shie, Erys, and Collie, and another for Harwin, Valkris, Gill, and Jesse.

A Different Matter Entirely
It was 2 AM and Gil and Walthus were still deep in drink, unable to sleep – as were many others. Vankor could be seen in a corner, drawing and frowning deeply, his brother Bevelek pacing the common room, occasionally grabbing a snack, and then returning to watch over Vankor’s drawing. The two had also gotten a room, although Bevelek would attend to the caravan’s horses every day, leaving Vankor to his own devices in the tavern. Sandru and Ameiko – having come initially to make sure their companions had found a place to stay and were settling in – had stayed to enjoy drink and were now holding a heated, hushed argument. Finally, Shalelu was sitting alone at a table with a puzzled look on her face. Valkris, walking down and grabbing a drink, scooted closer and eventually asked if she was taking their attack well. Shalelu’s look became even more puzzled, before replying, “the raid is a normal thing – one fights to survive, at the orders of their masters, and for greed. All living things fight.” She paused before continuing, “it’s… sometimes fighting is pointless. And not just fighting. Humans do so many strange, pointless things. What is the point of arguing with family when you only live to be 70, or wasting a day’s wage on the roll of a dice.” Valkris explains that humans do things for a reason – even things that seem pointless. Driven by desperation or by thrill, some can chance everything because that chance may give them far greater gain. That family fueds exist because each is trying to do their best for the family, even if their ideas of what’s best differs. Valkris states that humans aren’t the only ones that confuse other races – elves confuse humans all the time, as do dwarves and gnomes. Each race has their own perspective on life that exists because that’s how they can influence their lifespan meaningfully. Shalelu ponders the examples and nods, gaining a little bit of insight. Her expression relaxes and she looks at the bleak – or intoxicated – expressions of her companions in a different light.

Gazing Forward
Each person spends their night their own way, preparing for the challenges to come. There is much to do and many that seem to want to stop them. Who were the ulfen raiders and who leads them? What is the blood-feathered raven that follows them and does it aid Giers? And the mysterious power that backs Giers – could it be, as feared, witches? The sword Suishen sold to Fynn Snaevald – can it be bought back? And with all these forces of Ulfen and Witches that seem to stalk the company, where does the Oni of the Five Storm – their ultimate enemy – stand? No trace has been seen and yet they must soon bare their fangs… an unknown enemy, surely, is the most dangerous. But before they can even begin to think of challenging the Oni in Minkai, they must first find their way to Tian Xia – and for that, they must find a guide.
And even with these questions swirling in everyones’ minds, the issue of Mein’s return and Zaiobe’s influence under Pazuzu is still at the forefront of matters. Not to mention the need to gear up for the coming days.

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Book I, Chapter 1, Act One
The Goblin Village

“Thank you for coming to meet with me. You are here for one reason: Goblins. Reports indicate that the Licktoad goblins of Brinestump Marsh have grown unusually aggressive. The reason for this uncharacteristic bravery seems clear—the goblins have somehow managed to arm themselves with what appears to be a considerable supply of fireworks. The problem stems not so much from the additional “firepower” these fireworks provide as from the inflated sense of ego and power that the devices have given the goblins—the fireworks have made them dangerously brave.

Several merchant caravans and travelers have been attacked so far, and according to the victims, the damage caused by horses panicking at the sight and sound of exploding pyrotechnics is almost as destructive as the goblin attacks themselves. With the last few attacks resulting in severe injuries to three unfortunate travelers, the problem has escalated from an annoyance to a threat. And since this goblin threat doesn’t hardly impact Magnimar in the slightest, they have neglected to react on the matter.

But I can’t just sit back and wait for the injuries to become deaths, and our guard is spread thin as it is, protecting the road. So this duty falls to you, as I ask you to consider it."
—-Sheriff Belor Hemlock

Hemlock, the Sheriff of Sandpoint, had a small goblin problem. A small problem with fireworks, that is. Asking several acquaintances, he was pointed to two unlikely souls for assistance: Koya and her adopted son, Sandru – a traveling caravan merchant, suggested both a trouble maker from town and an old fighter, Gill, who had signed onto Sandru’s caravan at the last stop. Local word had it that a mysterious pale haired spell-caster had come to town, and the sheriff himself had a promising watchman in mind.

He gathered the four together at the local inn and briefed them, as above, about the issue he was faced with. Without much effort, the four were convinced, though the watchman, Harwin, had misgivings about the trouble maker, who he called “Crook” as a nickname. But, with Hemlock’s assurance, Harwin accepted the group in short order. After a few questions concerning details, the five parted ways and prepared to leave early the next morning.

At sunrise, all four met at the south gate and they headed south through the morning to the sheer cliff overlooking the huge swamp where the Goblins lived. They chose to follow the new fisher’s trail that wound its way down the cliff and to the home of a halfling warden whom Hemlock had pointed the group towards. They greeted the halfling who acted unfriendly and dismissed them in short order, denying them all assistance but the simplest of directions.

Crook, true to his thieving nature, took no time in searching the exterior of the two story house for a way inside. Harwin, neither surprised nor amused, cautioned the thief, and demanded that Crook only return with a map for them. Unfortunately, their attempt to lift the man onto the roof of a shed at the back ended disastrously. Crook fell through the roof into the shed just as the halfling rounded the corner of the house.

He demanded that the party leave immediately, but Crook noticed a strange rippling on the halfling’s face and alerted Harwin. Now advised, the watchman caught the anomaly as well, and he reached helplessly to find an excuse not to leave. Fortunately for him, but less so for Crook, an opportunity presented itself in the form of three small venomous snakes that slithered out of the shed after the rogue, attacking him. Harwin did not miss the halfling’s fearful retreat into the house at the site of them. A strange occurrence, given that the halfling was known to raise snakes himself.

Sure now that this was not truly the halfling, Harwin raced to grab the small deceiver as the caravan guard, Gill, rushed to deal with the snakes and defend Valkris (the “Crook”). He made short work of them using his shield, but Harwin was not so fortunate as the little creature slipped from his firm grasp and escaped into the house. He yelled a single warning, to which there was no response, before taking a few seconds to crush the door under his shoulder. The creature that had been the halfling, a little pale thing with a gaping hole where its face should have been, a tongue slipping in and out, took the chance to attack Harwin, but missed.

The caster, who up to this point had more or less watched carefully, took the moment to simply glare at the creature from behind Harwin, which didn’t seem to do anything. Harwin and Valkris, however, quickly dispatched the foe.

Once dealt with, the party examined the interior of the home, only to have a timid voice from somewhere above them call down. Harwin replied, and down the stairs came the real halfling. He explained that the creature had attacked him, and that he and his snakes together had wounded the creature, but he was forced to flee to a secret room upstairs where he fell unconscious.

In appreciation for their fortuitous arrival and dispatching of the foe, he fed them and acted with much more hospitality than the fake had done. After gathering themselves in preparation, the party moved onward down the old fisher’s path. Once near the Goblin’s village, where the halfling said there were roughly a hundred goblins, Harwin called for everyone to lay low, and sent Valkris forward to investigate.

Valkris came upon the wall of the village to find the front gate smashed open from the inside. Carefully moving forward to peer inside, he saw a pile of burnt goblin corpses in the center of an open area, and no signs of life. He moved into a building on the left, raised on five foot tall stilts like all the rest of the village, and found it bereft of any living creatures. He moved farther into the village to take advantage of the viewpoint presented by the top of a tower, and saw nothing.

Reasonably sure of the village’s abandonment, he returned to the party, and all four of them moved into the village to investigate. Shie (the caster), from the top of another tower, saw a goblin hidden within an unexplored building and warned Harwin. Greedy for information, he leaped into action, yelling to the rest not to kill the goblin. But when he entered the room and moved to pin the goblin before him, he was unpleasantly surprised to find that there were, in fact, three goblins in the room.

He warned the others to their presence as they came in. Gill moved into the room behind Harwin to cover his back while Valkris came up from the other side and entered, startling one of the goblins who immediately attacked him. The melee was rough and unsightly in the confined space, but ultimately one goblin was killed and the other two knocked unconscious.

But unfortunately for the party, they heard the war cries of nine more goblins as they came pouring out of buildings further into the compound. Leaving the two unconscious goblins as they were, Harwin ordered everyone to retreat to the broken front gate, an order which they all unquestioningly obeyed. Gill, Valkris, and Shie quickly arrived at the gate, but Harwin – now able to properly use his lucerne hammer, instead stopped on the opposite side of the pile of corpses, intending to intercept the goblins as they moved to attack.

Gill moved up onto Harwin’s left, stopping any advance on that front by the six goblins faced with him. Unable to hurt him, they were stopped completely. His efficiency with his shield, coupled with magic and wicked glares from Shie at the gate made short work of any goblin that went to meet him in melee. On the right, the other three goblins focused their attack on Harwin. Valkris, from the gate, tried to deal with the goblin farthest to Harwin’s right, but throwing daggers proved ineffective and he eventually moved into the melee as well.

Harwin crushed one goblin in a single blow, and then leaped up to the raised walkway on which three of the goblins were attacking with bows. One against him, and the other two taking advantage of Gill’s limited reach. Once up, he turned and swung his lucerne, mincing one goblin as the corpse crashed through the doorway behind it and into a bloody mess in the room beyond. Below, Gill began piling goblin bodies before him, and Shie prepared a touch spell before moving up to deal with enemies attempting to flank GIll.

On the west side of the field, Valkris was whittling away at the goblin before him, but his inexperience on the battlefield proved to make the vicious creature a challenge. On the walkway, Harwin turned behind him to the archer that had already been focused on him and swung again, this time splattering the creature on the wall behind it. He turned and impaled the last archer on the tip of his lucerne hammer, but the last goblin alive on that side turned and ran. The caster and Gill moved to intercept while Harwin leaped from the walkway and smashed his lucerne into the final goblin. Now in a trance of battle, his grizzly execution of the already wounded goblin splattered its blood and guts all over Valkris, who’s stomach proved unsettled. After losing his lunch, he futilely tried to strike Harwin in outrage.

Gill and the caster chased the goblin to a building in the farthest part of the complex where he banged against a door. When no answer came, he surrendered to Gill. He and the two unconscious goblins were tightly tied up, and the party moved back to the building he had been banging on the door of.

After some deliberation, Valkris moved to check the back of the building where he found a secret door in the wall. He and Harwin moved to that door, where the plan would be for Gill to open the front door and engage any enemies waiting inside. At the sound of fighting, Harwin and Crook would enter the secret door and flank the enemy.

Gill and Shie, together, opened the door after several tries. Inside, they saw four goblins, one of which was clearly the chieftain they had been looking for. Immediately, two goblins moved up to attack the two invaders. At the sound of battle, Harwin moved into the secret door only to find himself in a small room. After a moment, he clearly saw two more secret doors, and chose to take the right one. Inside the room beyond was but a single, old, but ornate and ornamented chest. He left it for now and moved through the door on the opposite side of the room, and into what was clearly the chieftain’s quarters.

Again, he moved straight to the door that lead through the left wall, and directly on the other side was one of the four goblins protecting the chieftain. Immediately, it attempted to attack him, but fumbled its weapon in its shock. As Valkris moved into the chieftain’s room behind Harwin, he ordered the thief to instead backtrack and take the other secret door, which would put the man behind all of the goblins and in range of the chieftain. But when one of the goblins viciously wounded Shie, Harwin panicked and tried to tumble past the goblin at the door so he could attack the goblin that threatened her life.

His attempt was disastrous and he instead fell to the floor with a slam. The thief, however, moving through the other secret door, rushed forward and disposed of the goblin. But the other goblin, engaging Gill, saw the opportunity to strike and just managed to hit the caster, knocking her unconscious. Gill made quick work of the foolish creature, and while the chieftain failed to attack the rogue from behind, instead striking his weapon on the wall next to him and dazing himself, Gill managed to stabilize the caster with emergency first aid.

Harwin, back on his feet and angry, moved into the room and prepared himself for as mighty a blow as he could manage. With a single swing, his lucerne hammer connected with the shocked chieftain’s chest, forcing the small body crashing into the wall behind it, and caving in its rib cage, leaving the creature unconscious and mortally wounded. With the melee ended, the party finished off the chieftain and gathered his head, along with the ears of all the dead goblins.

Gill properly dealt with the heavily wounded caster while Harwin and Valkris interrogated the three surviving goblins before ending their lives and collecting their ears as well.

They explained that a goblin they had exiled for the crime of writing had stashed fireworks he had found in the marsh. When the chieftain had learned of this, he ordered his best warriors out to find more. They returned with more than he could have imagined, including the ornate chest and its contents. But soon, undead attacked the village, killing all but the remaining fifteen goblins. Only thanks to the Chieftain’s wit in realizing they had come for the treasures they had found were the goblins spared. He threw all the treasure onto the ground. The undead gathered it all and left.

The locations of the places where they had gathered the treasure had been shown to them on a map scrawled onto the back of an ornate fan left in the chest. The party, in possession, now, of the map, and well aware of the existence of more treasure at two wrecks and a cave on the far side of the swamp, are faced with a difficult decision: Return to town and finish their bounty; or risk their lives again by heading deeper into the swamp, with the promise of greater treasures?

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Welcome to your campaign!
A blog for your campaign

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

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