Forgotten Keep and the Western Lands

From Hut to Hut

As Lars peered out of the hut entrance from behind his shield he could see from between two humans, one with a crossbow and the other with a net another human speaking above the murmur of the group that had surrounded the grass hut and the crackle of torches. “Thrown down ye weapons and show ye selves and ye lives will be spared ye land lubbers!” and a cheer went up from all around the tent. Beside this blond haired human was another hunched over human with numerous beads and necklaces in his hair and around his neck. He appeared to be occasionally whispering and leaning on his thick walking stick.

Nemi and Delen could see the large group of mismatched humans surrounded the hut with crossbows and nets at the ready. With their attention focused on the grass hut containing Rolf, Lars, Theoren and Talwyn it was easy for Nemi to slip through the opening in the brambles and move to the body that had been crushed into the brambles a few minutes earlier by Rolf’s ax. Nemi quickly slung the body over her shoulder and moved back through the hole in the brambles.

Gilven could hear all the voices clearly from the next hut over, this back and leg throbbing from two wounds he removed a blue colored potion from his back and drank it in a single gulp. He immediately felt a warm tingling sensation fill his body and this wounds cease their throbbing. Still hearing several humans from the tower calling out his location he parted the wall of the grass hut and slipped out into the shadows. Moving quickly to the bramble wall he found the opening in which they had all come in and quickly ducked through it. There Nemi and Delen were stripping clothing off the dead slaver and splitting it among themselves. After a minute of dressing Nemi and Delen looked similar to the human slavers inside the camp. After a few seconds of discussion Gilven moved off along the outside of the bramble barrier towards the tower which he had been shot from. As he did Nemi and Delen heard someone exclaim they had spotted the opening in the bramble barrier. In a surprisingly accurate imitation of the slaves speech Delen replied he was already looking into it and him and Nemi lit torches and moved into the camp. Satisfied the human turned his attention back to the grass hut as Delen and Nemi moved along the brambles toward the tower mirroring Galven but on the inside of the camp.

Meanwhile inside the hut Theoren and Talwyn had managed to free all five of the native captives and equip them with a battle ax from Lars and Rolf, a spear from Talwyn, hand axe from? and a bow from ?. They also managed to move two of the posts from the wall of the hut. As they prepared to to rush out of the hut Talwyn crawled in the back of the hut till she could see the human leader who had demanded their surrender. With her heavy crossbow loaded she fired a bolt past his two guards striking him in the leg. His painful cry quickly changed to an order to fire and the clack of crossbows could be heard from all directions. Bolts flew through the hut walls and skipped off armor, posts and the dirt and then Theoren and the three dwarfs rushed forward from the hut. Nets flew from every direction as the group exited the tent but they were able to avoid them as they rushed towards the leader. The smaller hunched human quickly chanted in a surprisingly strong voice. He gestured towards Talwyn and a green bolt of what looked like living fog streaked towards and engulfed her and sinking into her skin. As it did she cried in pain as her skin seemed to sag and welt as if the life had been drained from her. Lars and Theoren tossed the two posts at the guards in front of the leader knocking on of them to the ground and the other back a few steps. Rolf rushed past them swinging his Ax wildly at the leader. Talwyn staggering and unable to keep up with the others reached into her pack and produced a healing potion which she quickly drank.

Theoren lept over a guard and avoided a second green ray as he managed to wound the hunched beady eyed human with his rapier. Lars and Rolf managed to wound the leader as humans rushed at them from all directions. Talwyn was surrounded a bit behind the rest of the group. Lars and Rolf took several wounds from the leader and the other slavers surrounding them before Rolf hit the leader with a staggering blow which he surprisingly was able to withstand before he retreated away from the group with one other human protecting him. As he did Lars was struck from behind and collapsed to the ground unconscious and bleeding. As had happened with Talwyn, Rolf and Theoren were quickly separated from Lars in the chaos of battle. Rolf with enemies at his back and sides rushed forward pursuing the leader taking wounds as he did. The leaders guard braced himself to meet Rolfs change but turned to the side at the last moment as Rolf’s ax slashed into the ground beside him. Counter attacking he slashed Rolf in the side. Theoren being pressed from all directions managed to wound the spell casting human again but sustained a wound himself as a human in chainmail wielding a longsword slashed him across the back.

Galvin, crouched and moving stealthily along the brambles suddenly heard the cries of battle erupt inside from inside the camp. Standing up he moved to get a view of the leader of the slavers but his view was blocked by the mob of warriors. Concentrating for a moment he sent four streaks of blue energy towards the chainmail clad warrior on Theoren’s flank. With the warrior at his back momentarily distracted Theoren rushed forward as the spell caster tried to retreat and stabbed him twice with his rapiers. As the blood stained his clothing the hunched man stumbled and fell to the dirt and remained there in a slowly growing puddle of his own blood.

Galvin moved again looking for an angle between the huts where he could help Theoren and Rolf, as he rushed farther around the bramble barrier he spotted the leader with his silvery longsword and chainmail armor holding his side backed up against a hut. Galvin quickly recited a few words of arcana and four more blue streaks of light left his hands and blasted into the leaders side and he fell to the ground. Rolf seeing the leader drop turned to face the slavers on his flank. As he did Theoren rushing to him with numerous slavers in pursuit. With their backs to the grass hut Theoren and Rolf stood their ground as the slavers attacked from all around them. Rolf surrounded and pressed hard from all sides turned and crashed through the wall of the grass hut landing on a small table which he flattened and crashed to the dirt floor. As Theoren struggled with attackers from all directions Galvin rushed out of the darkness behind him, his clothing torn and covered in brambles. As he raised his hands fire rushed forward engulfing the area and its occupants except Theoren whom the flames warped around leaving him untouched. Using this distraction Theoren crashed through the wall a few seconds later with Galvin right behind him. As the three battered warriors planned their next move they quickly consumed healing potions. As they did another slaver moved to the entrance of the hut and slashed at Rolf who had moved to protect it. Another slaver slashed at Theoren through one of the holes made by their entrance. Rolf Slammed his ax into the chest of the slaver and as he fell to the ground sound of crossbows clacked as several bolts pierce the grass hut but missed the elf, dwarf and human inside.

Nemi and Delen hearing the dwarfs charge dropped their torches and ducked into the shadows quickly moving towards the tower. In the tower they could four guards peering out at the battle with crossbows drawn. Moving undetected to the base of the tower Delen raced up the ladder and stabbed one of the guards with his shortsword, Nemi close behind lept into the tower and struck the hard with her quarter staff knocking him unconscious. The guards dropped their crossbows and drew steel and they squared off with Delen and Nemi. Delen slashed one as Nemi’s staff exploded his nose and he collapsed to the ground. The last guard dressed in chainmail and wielding a longsword dodged Nemi’s swing and caught her off balancing propelling her over the half-wall of the tower. Her staff clattered to the ground and she rotated in mid air grabbing the edge of the half-wall and catching her self. As she pulled herself back into the tower Delen managed to parry the attacks directed at him. Nemi dropped back into the tower, picking up her staff and cracked the guard in the back of the leg as Delen sword slashed his side and his dagger pierces his armor at his armpit dropping him to the group. With the tower secure Delen once again imitating the slavers called for help at the tower. Four of them moved away from the group to investigate. As they did Delen and Nemi fired on them dropping one, the Slavers quickly returned fire striking Nemi with a deep wound that sent her staggering back into the tower barely able to remain standing.

Meanwhile Rolf once again rushed out of the hut toward a group of four humans armed with crossbows take fire as he did but reaching them none the less as they scrambled to draw cutlasses. As Rolf rushed forward Theoren lept from the opening which he had come through and moved to help Rolf draw the slavers into a group. As he left the hut a slaver slashed at him and gave chase. Gilven waited a few seconds before moving out of the hut towards the group attacking his companions and once again raised his hands as flames leapt forward engulfing the group but somehow leaving Rolf and Theoren unharmed. Several of the slavers screamed in pain and one ran a few feet before succumbing to the flames. The rest continued to fight…

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O Brother Where Art Thou

After spending the night on the Sea Dagger the adventurers awoke to a extraordinarily calm and pleasant day. They took the large raft and rowed it to the village of Tanaroa. There Rolf caught up with Mira and found out that her brother had been captured by humans and taken to an island just to the west of the Red Isle. Rolf also inquired about the location of the “Magic Water” which she seemed to understand and agreed to provide more information with the return of her brother. Rolf was able with help from Nemi and Lars was able to negotiate an exchange: Mira’s brother for a saber toothed tiger.

With the location of the island on their map and no other information the party returned to the Sea Dagger and asked if they could sail around the southern tip of the Red Isle and west to the island where Mira’s brother was taken. Due to calm winds the Sea Dagger made very little progress till early morning when a strong wind picked up. By daylight the Sea Dagger was passing around the southern tip of the Red Isle and past a small village. With perfect sailing conditions the Sea Dagger turned west and soon approached the other southwestern coast of the Red Isle. Navigating between the main island and another smaller one Rolf and Lars noticed some kind of webbing under the water in the mists of a thick seaweed field. As they passed over Gilven spotted a webbed bundle beneath the water which was attached a large kelp. It appeared to contain bones and leather. With the ship moving quickly they were past it before anything else could be done, but Gilven asked Captain Katrien if they could stop on their return voyage.

After a few more hours the island appeared in the distance and as they approached a beach could be seen on its eastern shore. There were four large objects on the beach that looked to be simple boats. With nightfall approaching the ship turned to the south staying a few miles away from the island and dropped anchor.

As the sun set the full moon rose over the ship several fires could be seen beyond the beach. The party waited till early morning and the cover of darkness to approach the island. When the moon finally set the small boat landed south of the beach they had seen in the light and the group disembarked onto the rocky shore. The island seemed to be mostly jungle and hills with a few rocky and sandy beaches. The group moved north along the edge of the jungle till they spotted the glow of a few camp fires which had burned low in the morning.

Moving inland for a few minutes and then continuing north Gilven noticed a thorny parameter protecting an area of huts and several towers. Talwyn moved up and investigated the parameter and determined it probably wrapped around the back of the camp and to the other side. She then quietly moved up to barrier and cut out a small section which they could move through to access the camp. Then Gilven, Rolf, Lars, Theoren and Talwyn moved through the opening under the cover of darkness. Nemi and Delen remained behind because of their poor night vision and made bets on which of their companions would blow their cover first.

The strong wind blowing down the beach helped cover the sounds of Lars and Theoren crashing through brambles but several humans in the wooden post tower near the beach came to investigate. The group quickly took cover in a hut but Lars was spotted as they did. Inside the hut a man and woman were sleeping, the woman awoke as they entered but Gilven rushed forward with a dagger and threatened her to keep quiet. He then asked where the captives were kept and she motioned to a hut adjacent to theirs.

From inside the hut the sound of the humans from the tower approaching could be heard. One was heard saying he would go sound the alarm. With this Rolf, Lars, Talwyn and Theoren rushed out of the hut towards them. With a mighty swing Rolf cut a deep wound into one of the guards sending him crashing to the ground. In one motion he brought his ax in a wide sweep driving it deep into the other guards chest and he spun into the thorns and collapse. Lars rushed forward for the third guard who was returning to the tower but the guard heard his rush and dodged the swing of his war hammer. As he took another step and opened his mouth to yell a bolt from Talwyn’s crossbow entered the back of his skull and he fell to the ground dead.

As the third human fell to the ground the other guards in the tower began to sound the alarm and the sound of people waking up echoed throughout the large camp. The quickly returned to the hut and decide to try and find Mira’s brother and escape with him. While Gilven restrained the two humans the rest of the group rushed towards the captives hut. As they did three groups of humans, seven in total spotted them and move towards them scimitars drawn. The group rushed into the hut and found five natives shackled to the huts posts. Rolf and Lars smashed one of the posts and freed a native with a long braid but determined he was too short to be Mira’s brother. The rest of the group continued managed to free two more of the captives but the sounds of the camp alarm could be heard all around them. Soon a large group could be heard outside the hut.

With all the activity in the camp Nemi and Delen made their way to the opening in the thorn blockade. From there they could see the entire camp was awake with armed humans rushing for all directions some carrying torches others just armed with scimitars and crossbows. They stayed hidden watching and deciding what to do next.

Meanwhile Gilven asked the humans he had restrained how many captive huts there are and their location. They said four and said one was three up from theirs and the other two were on the other side of the camp. Gilven left the hut and tried to move along the thorn bushes to the other tower but one of the four humans in the tower spotted him. Gilven made a quick gesture and four streaks of force stuck the human in the chest and he fell back into the tower. The other guards alerted by their companions collapse turned on Gilven with their crossbows as he ran under the tower. After hearing the guards above him yelling his position Galvin ran out from under the tower to one of the huts. As he did a crossbow bolt struck him in the side. Inside the hut it was obvious it was not a captives hut, so he grabbed a small bench to use for cover and ran to the next. This hut was much nicer than the others with a large wooden cabinet, mattress, table and chairs. Using the table as cover Gilven ran out of that hut to the next hut to the south which was also a simple living hut with a mattress and bench. From here he could see the large group of humans gathered about the hut containing his companions. A leader seemed to be addressing them while the rest of the ground surrounded the hut.

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Apes and Sunshine

After Talwyn escaped from the angry Ankylosaurus she climbed the hill back to the rest of the group. From the hill they watched the Ankylosaurs slowly grazing their way along the edge of the swamp.

As they observed the creatures Talwyn, Delen and Theoren decided to try move down to the swamp edge to where the creatures had been grazing and follow their tracks to see where they had come from. As the three of them moved along the edge of the swamp they noticed a variety of tracks. Various small and medium sized animals as well as a pair of humanoid tracks and a large narrow clawed track much larger than human. The largest of the tracks were from Ankylosaurs.

As the half-elf, human and dwarf followed the large tracks backward they heard the sound of clattering rocks to the right. As they looked towards the hills two large apes rushing towards them. Taking no chances Talwyn fired her crossbow hitting one of the apes in the leg and then took cover behind a medium sized rock formation. Delen and Theoren also moved behind rocks as the apes rushed forward. The first ape leapt over the rocks Delen had taken cover behind and smashed him with a powerful blow. The other rushed Talwyn and badgered her with its fist. As Talwyn defended herself with her shield and bastard sword Delen fled from the ape. Theoren engaged the ape that had smashed Delen and as he did Delen stopped his retreat and began firing his crossbow at the ape. His fist bolt struck the ape in its the leg. The ape, enraged, brought its fist down catching Theoren in the top of his leg as he tried to move out of its reach. Back peddling Theoren turned and jumped off a large rock back towards the ape with both his rapiers leading. They they both impaling the ape it gasp and collapsed to the ground.

Meanwhile Talwyn was unable to strike the other ape as it knocked her shield aside with one blow and smashed the side of her face and shoulder with its other fist. She staggered under the force of the blow and collapsed to the ground in a heap. Theoren quickly dropped his pack and retrieved the net from within as the ape moved toward Talwyn and prepared to pick her from the ground. Delen rushed back to help, drawing his short sword and momentarily distracting the ape. Theoren quickly ran up a series of rocks and flung himself with the net in hand onto the back of the ape. Delen tried to subdue the ape with his sword but was unable to strike it effectively. Talwyn gasped for air as she returned to consciousness, using what little breath she had she muttered words of magic and healed her face and shoulder. Then she steadied herself, pulled the rope from her pack and hit the ape hard in the legs with her shoulder bringing it back to the ground. Delen also retrieved his rope and between the three of them they managed to restrain the ape in net and rope.

After a quick rest they built a travois, tied the ape to it and began to drag it back to their other companions. Dragging the ape in tow the six companions traversed the edge of the hills and swamp towards the trail from the tar pits.

After resting the night they continued the journey along the trail back to the village of Tanaroa. As evening approached the great stone wall appeared in the distance. Galvin signaled the ship and and after a while a small boat glided across the bay towards the narrow straight in front of the huge stone wall. As it did Delen noticed some of the debris in the small bay slide towards the boat in the form of a huge crocodile. Several others moved towards the boat as well. Delen called a warning to Phlan and he turned the boat away towards the village on the other side of the wall. After dragging the ape through the huge gates the party hauled it onto the boat and returned to the Sea Dagger for the night with their first capture.

After a restful night in the safety of the Sea Dagger the group returned to the village of Tanaroa in the morning and inquired about the twenty foot net. While in the village Theoren negotiated for the villagers to build a large raft to for them. Gilvan ended up paying with two bottles of wine from the orc caves. With the large net finished and in their possession the group once again passed through the gates and onto the main island.

After traveling along the trail to the tar pit and resting for the night they veered to the north, returned to where they had last seen the Ankylosaurs. After searching for a bit Talwyn noticed the tracks passing along the edge of the lake and the rocky hills. Following the Ankylosaurs tracks lead the group through the swamp to the west and then they turned north along the edge of rocky hills to the west.

After a few more hours the group of Ankylosaurs were spotted grazing along the edge of the swam. Nemi carefully moved to within fifty feet of the huge creatures at which point the largest one moved few steps in her direction and glared. Nemi threw a piece of fruit near the largest Ankylosaurus but he ignored it. The smallest of the Ankylosaurus moved up and quickly ate the fruit. After throwing and few more and watching the smallest one greedily devour them she put two and a half doses of the poison powder and tossed it towards the smallest Ankylosaurus. After eating the fruit, “Sunshine” as Nemi called it began to lounge in the sun as the other two Ankylosaurs wandered off along the edge of the swamp. The group patiently waited till the larger animals had moved out of view. Sunshine appeared very groggy by this time and the party moved close and splinted Sunshines tail for safety. After waiting for the Ankylosaurus to come regain some of its conrdination Nemi began feeding it fruit and coaxing it to start moving to the south. Delen climbed a tree to pick some more fruit and then fastened a piece of fruit to a stick with a rope and climbed on top of the Ankylosaurus. With the fruit dangling in front of the Ankylosaurus it began moving south along the edge of the swamp with Delen and Nemi on top of it. Nemi tossed fruit in front of Sunshine occasionally to keep it moving. As night fell Sunshine turned found a place to sleep and the rest of the group slept as well.

The next morning they set off again to the south along the swamp till a huge tar pit blocked their progress. Making their way east through the swamp and around the tarpit the party and the Ankylosaurus found the trail leading back towards the great wall and village. Night caught up with the group before they could reach the wall and they set camp off the trail. Early the next morning the watch noticed some lights moving along the trail from the south. Staying hidden while Sunshine slept the party observed group of seven cavemen like humans traveling north carrying a large crocodile which it appeared they had killed. After they has passed Sunshine awoke and the party set off again to the south.

As the gate and wall neared some of the party went into Tanaroa and secured two half barrels of fermented fruit and brought it out to Nemi. Then they returned to the village and launched the newly built raft into the bay. As the rest of the party rowed the raft around the wall towards the narrow straight Nemi fed Sunshine one of the vats of fermented fruit and half of the other. When the raft reached the shore Nemi passed the half empty vat of fermented fruit onto the raft and Sunshine followed by trying to climb onto the raft.

The weight of Sunshine caused the raft to lurch knocking Nemi into the water. As she splashed a huge crocodile slid towards her. Just before it reached her Talwyn fired her crossbow striking the crocodile in the neck and it disappeared into the water. With help Nemi climbed onto the raft and they pulled the vat to the other side of the raft. As Sunshine climbed onto the raft it shifted again and Nemi and Galvin both slipped and fell into the water. Two more crocodiles attracted by the attention quickly slid forward. As Nemi tried to climb onto the raft one of the crocodiles grabbed her by the legs. Another crocodile’s jaws clamped on down on Galvin’s shoulders and torso. Concentrating on his staff Galvin reached back and struck the crocodile with a loud crack causing a shock wave to ripple through the water. Rolf brought his ax down on the back of the crocodile nearly cutting it in half. It released its grip on Galvin and fell into the water. Talwyn rushed to the edge of the raft and slashed her bastard sword deep into the side of neck of the crocodile holding Nemi allowing her to scramble onto the raft and to safety. Phlann pulled the small boat up to the raft and most of the group scrambled onto the boat to allow the raft to float a bit higher in the water as they tied it to the boat and pulled it out to the ship securing the second capture.

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