Forgotten Keep and the Western Lands

The Ax of Rh'zor

Gannic noticed a slight breeze as Rolf lifted the Ax of Rh’zor from the weapon stand. The inscription across the base of the stand faded away as Rolf removed the ax. Gannic quickly placed Rolf’s old ax where the Ax of Rh’zor was and an inscription on the pedestal appeared “Ax of Rolf”. Turning Gannic’s noticed a circle of yellow conjuration magic emanating from the wall on the east side of the room. Amarae quickly changed back into her natural elf form.

Suddenly the silence was broken as two loud blows deflected off the back of Rolf’s armor. As everyone looked for the source of the assault nothing could be seen. Theoren scooped up some loose remains and tossed them towards where the attacks had originated from. The hit a form briefly revealing an ambiguous shape with several fan like edges emanating from it. Saying a prayer to Oskar Rolf turned and attacked striking something invisible in the air with his ax. Sid summoned a flaming sphere at that location but it seemed like the form had moved. Rolf’s wounds started to heal but not as quickly as the wounds from the invisible attacker appeared on his body. Again praying to Oskar Rolf attacked with renewed fury striking again and again. Gannic and Baro healed Rolf as he fought and Sid, Amarae and Baro hit the invisible creature with attacks.

After being attacked from the back several times Rolf moved to the wall and put his back to it. As he stood and fought there Sim moved his flaming sphere in front of Rolf cutting off the angles he could be attacked from. As Rolf stood his ground Gannic picked up a gauntlet from the ground tossed it at the wall it above Rolf. Instead of striking the wall it seemed to pass through it and disappear. Everything went quiet in the for a few seconds and then Rolf was again struck in the back by invisible blades. He turned staring at the wall and swing his ax into it, it passed through the wall striking his foe once above him. Sid moved the flaming sphere into the wall striking the creature with it. Baro moved to the center of the room and knocked Rolf’s original ax off the weapon stand fired arrows at the invisible creature.

Rolf stumbled under the powerful attacks from the creature. Gannic moved to Rolf and infused him with the powers of life, healing several of his wounds. He moved to the other side of the room with his back against the wall and Sid moved the flaming sphere again to help protect him. Amarae summoned a moonbeam in front of the wall that Rolf has been standing against. Again the creature struck Rolf and he yelled “To the lower chambers, the dwaves will help” and started to retreat down the stairs. As he moved down the stairs he dodged an invisible blow on instinct and moved down the stairs out of the room. When he did the Ax disappeared from his hands and re-appeared on the ax stand.

Theoren followed attacking the invisible creature and trying to defend Rolf. Rolf nearly fell unconscious as he reached the second set of stairs but continued towards the lower levels. At the door on the right side of the stairs in the large chamber Rolf was struck unconscious by the creature and then stuck again as he lay on the floor helpless. Theoren rushed to Rolfs side and fed him a healing potion and he regained consciousness. The creature stuck at him again and Theoren blocked its blow but a second blow slipped past Theoren and Rolf fell to the ground unconcious again. Theoren stood over Rolf trying to protect him from the invisible blows. A surge of adrenaline and energy filled Theoren as he slashed furiously deflecting a killing blow away from Rolf but he could not block a second attack which punctured Rol’s helpless form pushing him to the brink of death. In desperation Theoren slashed at the creature with his swords driving his short sword into it. As he did he heard a sound like air rushing through a small hole which ended in a what sounded like a deep exhale and the room fell silent.

Meanwhile Gannic moved to the wall and pushed his head through seeing a study with wooden walls lined with shelves that contained books and rolled parchments. It was dim with no light sources. A large window on the side of the room overlooked a sea far below sea that was bathed in twilight with no light source in the sky. Baro stepped through and looked around the study. It contained a writing table, comfortable couch, and rug on the floor. Amarae peered through as well and noticed a human like figure covered in dark shrouds in the corner of the room watching them. Gannic walked into the room and started towards the writing desk. A dagger flew past him as a figured stepped out of the shadows with a long slender blade. Gannic pointed at the figure and it was briefly engulfed in ethereal flames. It cursed and launched another dagger which struck Gannic in the leg, then rushed forward and slashed Gannic’s arm with his blade. Sid moved the flaming sphere into the room and burned the second cloaked figure who had moved out of the other corner of the room throwing another dagger. Then Gannic and Baro retreated out of the room and Sid moved the flaming sphere to the wall where fire leapt onto the shelf and smoke from the carpet started to fill the room.

As the party retreated out of room and back into the stone dwarven building Amarae moved the moonbeam in front of the wall to keep creatures from entering. The group then rushed down the stairs to the lower chamber and joined Theoren and Rolf. Rolf lay breathing slightly as they rushed to his side infusing him with healing. He awoke and the party moved into the chamber with the waterwheels in it to rest.

Into the Spire of Oskar

Rolf dragged the tentacled head of the giant worm out of the cavern with the rest of the party following close behind. As twilight fell across Black Rock Valley the Rolf deposited the monstrous head in the center of the valley while the group lead the donkey and wagon to the waterfall. At the waterfall they parked the wagon behind some rocks. Two sets of stairs lead to paths cut into the rock that wrapped around a pool which the waterfall emptied into. The paths both disappeared behind the waterfall and as the pool flowed over its rocky edge and down through the valley.

The group lead the donkey up the stairs and along the path to the left. As they approached Rolf moved behind the waterfall and found a large stone door. As Amarae approached the waterfall the mist burned her skin and throat but did not affect anyone else. Rolf said a prayer to Oskar and the door slid open. Rolf then gave his Ax to Amarae and she was able to pass through the water safely.

Inside a fine stone passageway lead through a guard room as the door slid shut behind the party. The guard room contained two sets of dwarf armor with axs. They turned towards the party but backed away when Rolf approached speaking about Oskar.

Moving past the guard room the stairs lead to a small chamber with murals of dwarves in various acts of strength and bravery. All the dwarves seemed to have a silver streak in their beards.

Stairs lead up into a grand chamber with a huge raised podium on the far end of the room. In the center was a pentagram with white dwarf skulls at the points. Half a dozen dwarf skeletons were scattered across the room. Huge murals covered the walls on the left and right but they had been defaced with only small parts still visible. Studying the remains of the mural revealed the ones toward the front of the room contained dwarves and elves fighting together but everything they fought was defaced.

Rolf removed the pentagram and placed the skulls back with the skeletons on the side of the room ready for burial. Gannic removed one of the holy symbols of Oskar and handed it to Rolf who doned it. Rolf noticed words along the roofline of the chamber saying Strength, Compassion and Bravery. No one else could see them. Four alcoves also contained nothing but Rolf could see murals on the walls showing two battles against an human female dressed studiously with blood running from her mouth. She had old looking eyes, pale skin and black hair. Behind her were nondescript human figures wrapped in cloth with blades. In one mural a dwarf stood against her and in another an elf. Both had text ‘The Ageless Evil” below them. The other alcove showed a dwarf with an ax and below it the text “The Ax of Heroes”. The last alcove showed a scene of a dwarf holding a gate on his shoulders as other dwarfs rushed through.

The doors to the left and right lead down to a stone trench with water flowing through it turning two water wheels. Two screws turned on the edge of the room carrying water upward.

Moving up the stairs on the south side of the room lead to a smaller chamber lined with six sets of armor with swords. As the party moved into the room all the armor and swords attacked. Two thunderwaves knocked the suits of armor back and shattered five of the six swords that raised into the air towards the party. The armor suits rushed towards Rolf and Theoren managed to destroy one set of armor. The armored suit’s gauntlets pummeled Rolf but Gannic healed him and Rolf crushed two of the suits with his maul. The other armors continued to attack Rolf, Theoren and Amarae destroyed them. Gannic grabbed the sword making it ineffective and Sid shattered it with his ax. As the party moved to leave the room Gannic noticed the armor pieces every so slowly moving back together.

The stairs lead to another room with stairs and an Ax in the center of the room. This room contained five dwarf skeletons equipped with armor and weapons. They had various signs of wounds mostly in their backs. Gannic detected strong magic coming from the ax and weapon stand. Written on the Ax stand were the words “The Ax of Rhzor”. The party decided to leave the ax and moved up the stairs into the next room. There a walkway lead to a platform with stairs leading up. The stairs were surrounded by a pool with water flowing into the room along the walkway and back out along the other side. As Rolf approached the water formed into a large mass and slammed him twice, he tried to move through it but could not and he retreated. Gannic tried to walk through the water but the water figured moved to stop him. Amarae turned into a water snake and swam towards the stairs but with the same results. She then moved to where the water was flowing into the room and with Gannic’s light could see that the water was coming from a screw farther in the wall.

The party moved back down to the ax and Amarae as a snake crawled onto the ax. Rolf then picked it up. The writing on the base of the weapon stand disappeared and as Gannic went to replace the Ax with Rolf’s he felt a slight breeze in the room.

The Black Stone Valley

The party continued through the large steel gate and up the covered canyon road. Along the trail they noticed a large opening above and to the right. As Rolf moved into position to throw his grappling hook into the opening a stalagtit fell from the roof of the cave striking him with a glancing blow. It then started to crawl on strange small legs up the side of the wall.The group killed it easily then Rolf investigated the opening above but it split into smaller crevices and he turned back and continued up the road. After a few hours of travel the canyon opened up into a grassy valley.

The valley contained a few dozen small stone buildings, many built into the side of the black stone walls on the edges of the valley. Several of the buildings had smoke coming from their chimneys and small gardens around them. A thin layer of smoke hung above the valley and a large herd of goats could be seen grazing along the right side of the valley. At the far end of the valley less than a mile away an impressive spire stood with an engraving of a double edged ax on its face. The right side of the valley contained huge stone steps that lead up to a large stone structure with a door the height of at least three humans. The left side of the valley was broken by a canyon disappearing out of view from the party. Rolf stopped abruptly at the sight of the spire and began katas with his ax. As the rest of the party arrived they began marching through the center of the valley along the stream that flowed from the waterfall at the far end of the valley. As the group moved across the valley they saw small creatures peering out at them from buildings. They were slight smaller in stature than a dwarf, pale in complexion and had very large pale eyes. One of these creatures was spotted running up a path along the side of the huge stairs and disappeared into the mountain near the giant stone door. In the center of the valley the party stopped the wagon and approached one of pale creatures in the doorway of a stone structure. As they approached the creature shut door and did not respond to their greetings.

The door atop the huge steps opened and three creatures stepped out of the door. One was a small pale dwarf like creature, the other a huge bear like creature covered in feather like fur. Its face was like a birds with two large eyes and a sharp beak. The third was a huge grey skinned humanoid standing almost twenty feet tall. He spoke in heavily Mari but seemed intelligent and perhaps even cultured. The bard offered to trade a tale and played him a epic tale. The giant returned the favor telling of the valley and how he and the Durru inhabited it for many years now but there used to be dwarfs here years and years ago. The party offered to give him one barrel of spices in exchange for letting them stay and agreed to kill the creature that was taking his goats in exchange for safe passage through the valley. When he asked how they got past gate guards Rolf said there were no guards present at the gate.
One of the pale creatures lead the party to a cave opening in the canyon on the left side of the valley and the party carefully entered making there was through a natural cavern that brought them to a cut passageway. As they discussed what to do a giant worm with four tentacles surrounding its beak like mouth grabbed Theoren and began pulling him into a crack in the wall. As the party rushed to aid him and attacked the creature the bard put it to sleep with a lullaby and Theoren was freed.

A Heroes Burden

In the Lonely Valley Village:

As Rolf and Theoren sat in the stable, Rolf resting and Theoren dicing with the stable boy four armed men approached and saw Rolf. They began shouting and demanding their money back saying he had stolen from them and insulted them. When they became aggressive Theoren asked the stable boy to tell them where Rolf had been. He replied that Rolf had just come running in and hid. The men hearing that confirmation drew weapons but Theoren knocked the leader in breast plate and shield with a war hammer aside and he and Rolf ran to the inn. The four armored men followed and demanded that Rolf repay them. They only became more angry as Theoren tried to explain. The bartender yelled for everyone go to outside so Rolf and Theoren did. The group surrounded them and as desperately as Theoren tried to explain they would not listen and attacked. As Theoren defended himself from the leader he suddenly was overcome by magic and froze.

Simeon spotted an old man at the corner of the street who cast the spell on Theoren so he cast Hold Person on him but he only chuckled and ducked behind the building. Simeon gave chase but when he rounded the building the old man was nowhere to be seen. Scanning the street Simeon saw two women who looked the same and when he yelled if they knew each other they looked at each other surprised. Noticing that one looked more surprised than the other Simeon brought a moonbeam down onto the less surprised one. It screamed in pain and its form shifted from a woman to a strange looking humanoid creature without any distinctive features except for being tall and lanky with claws.

Seeing Theoren unable to defend himself Rolf leaped in front of him and was attacked by all four men. Gannic tried to help but Rolf suffered numerous injuries. Gannic healed Rolf but again he was struck by the four men. Finally Gannic pushed into the group trying to help shield Rolf. Rolf barely standing struck the dark haired leader with two ax blows staggering him but then one of the other men crashed his ax into Rolfs back collapsing him to the ground. Theoren finally managed to break free from the spell that hold him and slashed the war hammer wielding leader and he fell to the ground unconscious. The rest of the men continued the attack as Gannic brought Rolf back to consciousness with magic. Rolf growled and picked himself up and attacked sticking another blow before being dropped again. However Gannic and Theoren managed to injure the men several times and with Rolf on the ground they saw a chance to escape and ran down the street.

The creature rushed out of the moonbeam towards Simeon and clawed him across the arm. As Simeon drew his battle ax an older man standing in the doorway of the inn suddenly changed into another of the strange creatures and ripped into Simeon with its claws. Simeon collapsed to the ground bleeding and unconscious from the pain. As the creatures stood over Simeon a tiger rushed around the corner and pounced onto one of the creatures clawing it and knocking it to the ground. Both creatures recovered and started to move away from the tiger changing into the form of Amarae and duplicating themselves. Gannic healed Simeon as Amarae the tiger chased down herself clawing one of them again. Simeon brought back to consciousness picked himself up and cast another moonbeam one a pair of Amaraes. They screamed in pain and changed back into their natural form. Simeon and the Amarae the tiger chased the creatures several blocks before giving up and returning to the Lonely Valley Inn.

Gannic again healed Rolf and spared the dark haired human leader. Theoren and Rolf picked him up and lead him into the inn with the rest of the party. There they sat him down with a drink and tried to explain what had happened. The bartender had seen the creature surprise Simeon and was talking about it as well.

Giant sized problems

The party set up their camp in a small clearing at the edge of the forest for the night. The night was very calm and quiet except for the occasional forest creature. During the second watch Theoren heard a rustling up in the leaves of a tree near the clearing. Looking to where he heard the sound he saw nothing but woke up Rolf to be sure. Rolf peered through sleepy eyes and saw nothing as well. As Rolf tried to fall back to sleep Theoren again heard noises in the tree leaves but much farther away this time to the north. Waking everyone up Amarae used magic to create a noise in the forest away from the party but nothing responded. Listening again she noticed the forest was unusually quiet, no animal sounds could be heard. The party went back to sleep except Theoren who listened most and after about ten minutes once again heard the sounds of the forest return.

A few hours later after Rolf had taking over the watch the party was awaken by the sounds of something large crashing through the forest towards them from the north. Rolf rush to the edge of the camp to attempt to frighten it away. There he saw a giant in mismatched chain and leather armor wielding a giant sized club heading straight towards the group. He was grumbling and muttering in a language that Rolf could not understand. Nemi recognizing Grukk jumped up and called out to him. He responded to her but seemed very agitated repeating must smash and glancing at the trees around him.

Nemi cried out not to hurt him and Rolf pulled out his net as Theoren rushed forward slashing at Grukk’s legs cutting him. Rolf’s net flow over Grukk’s head and Rolf tackled his legs knocking him to the ground. Nemi moved her hands and a deep voice boomed out from the air around Grukk in a language most of the party could not understand. Grukk, now on the ground mostly covered in a net gripped the net in the center with a grunt tore a huge hole in the it and stumbled to his feet looking at the air around him confused.

Theoren moved back to the center of the camp while Rolf tried to tackle Grukk back to the ground but Grukk’s leg stood firm like a tree as Rolf hit it. Grukk stumbled forward, eyes large, neck veins bulging and skin reddened. With Rolf dragging on his leg Grukk moved towards the center of the camp where Gannic, Amarae and Theoren stood. Gannic launched a sling stone which ricocheted off the side of Grukk’s thick skull. Theoren moved behind Grukk and slashed at him with both swords but Grukk swatted at Theoren as he did knocking Fimbric from his hands landing on end sticking into in the leaf covered ground a half dozen sword lengths away. Nemi cried out, “Stop attacking Grukk and run away” and pointed her crossbow threateningly at the group. Amarae moved to the right side of the clearing and fired an arrow from her long bow which stuck into Grukk’s armor. As she did Nemi fired her crossbow cutting open Amarae’s arm and glancing her side. Nemi then retreated into the foliage at the edge of the clearing disappearing from sight.

Everyone except Rolf noticed that Fembric which was stuck in the earth on the edge of the clearing suddenly disappeared and a beating of wings could be heard moving up. Theoren cried out launching an arrow in at the sound but it flew harmlessly into the night. Gannic quickly revealed his acorn and yelled out “DROP” in the direction of the sound. A second later Fembric appeared out of thin air falling slowly towards the earth. Rolf still wrapped around Grukk’s leg moved out in front of the giant and produced a furious battle cry seeking to drive the giant back. When Grukk did not respond he stuck the giant in the groin with is fist. The Giant grunted but the blow was only glancing. In response Grukk brought swung his club down on Rolf but was able to connect as Rolf spun out of the way. Amarae muttered and a large ball of flame sprang into existence in the forest wear Nemi has hidden. Nemi fired another crossbow bolt from the brush striking Amarae in the side seriously wounding her, and then retreated into the darkness of the forest.

Theoren rushed to the retrieve Fimbric and after doing so searched the foliage for signs of Nemi but could not find any. Gannic quickly used his magic to project a magic aura around Amarae to discourage further attacks and then rush to her healing some of her wounds. Rolf, attempted to climb onto Grukk and headbutt him, but was unable to grip his armour. Grukk responding by sweeping his club across the ground catching Rolf in the body and smashing him several dwarf lengths to the side towards Gannic and Amarae. Amarae moved to Rolf healing him and helping him up from the ground. Rolf, realizing that not violently attacking the giant was no longer an option drew his Axe and lunged at Grukk in a flurry striking his armored side and slashing his leg and side. As he did Rolf notice there was something different about his blows, they didn’t seem to cut the giants flesh as they should. After he attacked Nemi’s voice yelled from the air above the clearing “There is something wrong with the Giant run away.”

Theoren moved back to where Amarae, Gannic and Rolf were, preparing to retreat with them. Gannic also prepared to retreat into the forest waiting for Rolf and Amarae. Rolf disengaged from the Giant and backed into the woods defending himself. Grukk chased after Rolf swinging his club but as he did four small glowing orbs appeared in the air floating around around his head. Distracted Grukk swatted at the orbs with his hand but still managed a glancing blow on Rolf with his club. Amarae put her bow away and retrieved her shield and then moved the ball of fire onto the Giant and then took cover behind a tree to protect herself from Nemi. Grukk roared as he was burned by the flame and turned towards Amarae ignoring the orbs of light dancing around his head. Amarae ducted beneath her shield as Grukks club swung over her head but he recovered quickly and brought his club down crushing Amarae beneath her destroyed shield. Gannic and Theoren rushed to her side ignoring the looming giant. Gannic quickly infused his hand with magic and touched her bringing Amarae back to consciousness and together with Theoren lifted her from the ground and rushed her away from Grukk as he furiously swatted at the glowing orbs floating around his head.

Rumors from the West

In the morning the Amarae lead the group sans Rolf to the Broken Mast to meet Art. After about an hour Art never showed so they went to the house that Art had lead Amarae to the previous night. As Theoren reached for the knocker the door was opened by a small red haired girl with freckles. She excitedly brought them into a sitting room with a desk and after a few minutes discussion they decided the seek the mage Daveth’s magical evaluation for 100gp. After waiting a few minutes the group was let into Daveth’s office. Two brutish looking human guards stood by the door but said nothing. Daveth was a strange looking middle aged human with dark skin, blond hair and blue eyes. He used magic to identified the wooden magical item that had been given to the group by Abbey. He told the group it can be planted in good earth to restore its limited magical power. He also warned not to use all of its power or it may be damaged. He also said to focus on it and the commands would be revealed. After talking for a while Theoren also paid Daveth to appraise the black pearl. He appraised its worth at around 3000 gp. Also spoke with Daveth about magic items, he had several potions, oils, powders and magical paper.

After deciding against purchasing any of the items the group went to the harbor and found the Bronze Serpent. After speaking with the first mate they waited on the dock for almost an hour till the captain Gero arrived back at the ship. The Captain was standoffish and did not give the party much time. The Bronze Serpent was not traveling west for a weeks time and would take them for 50gp each. The group decided to travel towards the hidden cove on foot to the west instead of waiting for the ship.

They left that day and traveled to forgotten keep arrived the next evening. Along the road they met the old man who they met the same old man who warned them about the splitting of the sky. He warned of the trouble coming to the Forgotten Keep from the West. Arriving at the Forgotten Keep in the evening they stayed there that night at the tipsy fish before heading west. Before going to sleep Theoren and Rolf Drank some of the Toraks Fire Wine and received several free drinks in the process. Rolf bought a round of drinks for everyone and Travis was glad to see the party back in town. They heard more rumors about trouble from the north.

The next morning the party inquired about at the barracks for Subito, he was not currently around so the group set out for the west. Traveled to the edge of the forest that divides the mountains to the west and camp on the southern edge of the forest. As darkness fell they heard some faint sounds deeper into the forest. They sounded low and incomprehensible. Rolf and Theoren left the camp traveling north towards the sounds. The sounds seemed to grow more audible but were still faint. After traveling through the forest for some time they came across a path in the forest with huge footprints on it, one foot looked to be wearing a shoe but the other foot was bare. The path seemed to go east-west. At that point Theoren and Rolf turned around and made their way back to the camp.

Boats and Maps

Gannic went to the market and purchase several weeks worth of groceries for Abbey and Koldo. Abbey was very grateful and promised to make something other than cabbage soup for the night. After leaving Leaf with Abbey for afternoon Amarae found a smith and traded her scimitar and 25 gold for a longbow. As night fell After Amarae and Nemi headed to the Broken Mast and got a drink. Soon Art entered the bar and began talking to Amarae and ignoring Nemi. Amarae found out about a mage in town that the hunting guild has worked with previously. Art agreed to take her there in the morning. After buying Amarae several drinks Art was starting to seem a bit drunk. Nemi seemed less annoyed than previously.

Meanwhile Theoren, Gannic and Rolf went to the waterfront looking for any signs of the slavers. None of the boats in the harbor looked like the Golden Mermaid and the harbormasters office was closed. When a passing patrol of guards walked past Theoren asked them if they knew anything about the slavers and the guard informed them they would not be allowed in town. Theoren then mentioned that Rolf saw some off the coast after rowing a boat out there. This aroused the guards suspicion and he requested that they come with him to the barracks. There they spoke with his superior. Rolf explained the situation and agreed to pay a 100gp fine with 50gp returned if he returned the boat. After leaving the barracks the three adventures headed to the Broken Mast.

As Rolf, Gannic and Theoren opened the door to the Broken Mast Amarae having previously noticed the wanted posters on the wall rushed for the door and hussled Rolf outside. Bringing Art along with her. She told them quickly about the poster and then asked Art to show here where the Mage could be found. Theoren and Gannic spoke with a group of sailors about the area but none knew much of what lay to the west except they were more dangerous waters. After several rounds of drinks they joined another table with two sailors who did know a bit about the western coast and shared a map and information on a hidden cove that pirates were rumored to use to the west and a unscrupulous port farther to the north.

As Amarae and Art walked across town Nemi followed in the shadows. After a pleasant walk across town Amarae and Art arrived at the Mage’s building. Amarae then returned to Abbey’s with Art escorting here. The rest of the group had already arrived except Nemi who returned a hour or so later looking rather pleased with herself.

With Devotion Comes Strength

Facing dozens of undead and a trio of magic wielding creatures protected by a aquatic giant most of the party fled from the harbor. Gannic however turned towards the undead creatures and raised his holy acorn. Power emanated it and ten of the undead creatures fell to the cobblestone street. Then Gannic ran as the rest chased him. Theoren put an arrow through one but it continued after Gannic. As they raced away from the harbor Nemi dropped down from the roof and joined them. They pursuers stopped after a few blocks and Theoren lead the group to Abbey’s home following the directions she had provided him. Abbey and Koldo reunited with tears of job and Abbey thanked everyone profusely. Over the next hour they caught up and the party told the story of finding Koldo. Nemi kept watch outside and Abbey fed everyone cabbage soup.

Meanwhile Rolf found himself surrounded by rugged looking humans. They did not all rush him but gave him space, ready, waiting for him to make as move. As he rushed towards the enemies on the right along the railing of the ship they moved back from him as others attacked him from behind. Rolf rushed to the bow of the ship as the humans turned to face him blocking the deck but did not approach. The captain called for “Lies” to heal the wounded and the female human who had been at his side went to the aid of the fallen. Then the captain bellowed “Pirin drop him” and the other human at his side motioned with his hands and Rolf felt a wave of fatigue assault him but it passed in a seconds time. Then it was Lies turn to direct her magic at Rolf but again he resisted. Then the crew began producing crossbows and Rolf made a run for the edge of the deck. A sticky web suddenly covered the Rolf and the deck of the ship but he managed to tear through it and throw himself overboard but not before being struck with several bolts leaving him badly injured. Rolf quickly sank the several hundred feet to the bottom of the sea and started running towards land as he saw six figures enter the water above him. On the seafloor Rolf moved through cover and lost his followers. Soon he dragged himself onto land and produced his healing kit to bandage his wounds.

After reuniting Koldo and Abbey the rest of the party went out to look for Rolf. They found him on the roof of the Broken Mast doing katas with his ax. He seemed to be engulfed in a glow of energy, his wounds healed. After convincing Rolf off the roof the group returned to Abbey’s and rested there. When they awoke the sky had returned to normal and it was late in the day. They spent the rest of the day purchasing some new equipment and Amarae purchased a Bloodhound named leaf. Rolf had another dream in which he saw the symbol in the sky which he had been wearing in an earlier dream and awoke to a voice. “With devotion comes strength”.

Better in Threes

Theoren and Gannic parted with the elves and prepared to return to the surface but after talking with Yixtin decided to investigate Koldo’s whereabouts more. Yixtin lead them the beginning of a trench covered in a rocky grid. Slipping through the gaps they found buildings in the rocks below. Hiding in one they noticed patrols pass by. Yixtin then turned into a black and yellow striped fish and went looking for Koldo. Yixtin returned having found Koldo in a building under guard. Theoren tore a corner of his map and wrote a message which Yixtin took to Koldo. He responded that he was not allow to leave. After a few messages back and forth Yixtin returned with Koldo following. Koldo said the guard had left for some reason and he escaped. With Koldo they headed north and returned to the surface reaching the shore west of Flanport. Then they followed the shoreline back to the Flanport harbor.

Meanwhile above the water Rolf had awaken and left the Travelers inn heading for the broken mast. There Nemi and Amarae found him and began telling him about the night. As they did Rolf noticed a figure on the waterfront crawl up to the waters edge and drop in. Nemi pulled an eye out of her pocket and it seemed to look at Rolf, then she remove another eye and they both glared at Rolf and he collapsed to the ground. They propped him up against the wall and hid watching him. After some time he recovered and went to the water. He dropped into the water and explored the bank finding dwarf sized foot prints in the mud leading into the depths.

Tiering of waiting for Rolf to resurface Nemi and Amarae start heading away from the water again only to see Rolf has climbed out of the water and made his way to the broken mast. Their they hide again and watch him climb the building and take look out over the harbor. Then they follow him as he returns to the docks when he sees a light on a ship. He climbs onto the ship with his grappling hook and removes their boat lowering it over the side before a sleeping guard on the ship wakes up. As he does Rolf jumps over the side and Amarae covers his escape with a fog cloud.

Rolf rowed out to towards the ship he spotted in the distance from the roof, There he found a ship with a full crew. Announcing his presence they help him aboard if he leaves his weapons. On deck he was greeted by a rough group of sailors and a brutish captain with a tattoo of a upside down sun with shackles. After drinking with the captain Rolf asked for his weapons back and the captain refused saying he will fetch a fine price. Rolf smashed his mug on the captain’s head and tried to grab one of his two swords but he captain was quicker drawing them. As Rolf rushed towards his ax on the deck the captain slashed him twice across the legs but Rolf did not fall and smashed past the sailors to his weapons, there he cut down several of them.

Nemi and Amarae watched Rolf depart but watched the water for some time. As they turned to leave they saw three hideous creatures climb out of the ocean, one missing her eyes. Around then several dozen rotting corpses climbed out of the water as well. As they turned to run the three creatures chanted in a triangle and Nemi ran into an invisible force knocking her to the ground. Amarae trailing behind also hit something. Nemi drank something and turned to mist rising away from the group to a rooftop several buildings away. Amarae turned and ran across the front of a building towards a different side street, as she did a white skinned humanoid standing the height of almost two humans rose from the water behind the green skinned hags. He hurled his trident impaling Amarae in the back dropping her to the cobble stone street. Gannic, Theoren and Koldo climbed over the rock barricade that made the harbor to the scene in front of them. Seeing Amarae on the ground with corpses advancing towards her they ran slashing through corpses reach their fallen comrade. Gannic used magic to keep from being attacked as be brought Amarae back to conscious. Then they all turned and ran.

Drunk Tricks and Underwater Negotiations

Theoren checked his wounds as Gannic watched Abbey departed. They briefly discussed searching one of the giant eel caves but decided against it and continued along the strange path along the sea floor. As they traveled the sound of water and gloom of the sea along with the clear view of the purple and pink sky made the whole journey feel surreal. Time passed and the underwater landscape changed becoming more rocky and mountainous. More than once Theoren though saw the a dark shape move in the depths to the left of the trail. On the right of the trail several small fish scattered as they two above landers approached but about half a dozen black and yellow striped fish about the arms length emerged from the shelter of rocky coves and watched. Theoren approached one and it backed into its shelter but came out to snatch food tossed its direction. They did not respond to Theoren’s greetings. Minutes or maybe hours passed as Theoren and Gannic continued following the path. A flash of color in rocky shadows to the left of the trail stopped their travel. Gannic picked up a small rock and illuminated it with magic and tossed it beyond the rocks. They saw a shadow cross the light and then the rock flew back from the rocks and landed next to them. Picking it up Gannic again tossed the illuminated stone while Theoren hopped onto some rocks for a better view. Again something moved quickly and the rock’s light disappeared. Seeing nothing else they continued and after a minute a light appeared from above as the stone dropped onto the path in front of them. Gannic and Theoren continued forward and tossed the rock again and it was taken again by something about the size of the fish they had seen that moved very quickly through the gloom. A few minutes later the light appeared again, this time blinking from inside a opening a rocks to the side of the trail. A Theoren cautiously entered the blinking stopped and the opening turned to the right. It was a small tunnel through the rocks with openings on both sides about the height of a human and sitting in the middle on a raised rock was the illuminated stone. Retrieving the stone again Theoren and Gannic passed through the tunnel and out the otherside continuing on their way. After taking a few steps Theoren felt something watching him and turned to see a strange creature holding onto a plant growing on top of the rocks that made up the tunnel. It was fish or amphibian like with large eyes, webbed hands and feet and an eel like tail. Two large fins traveled the length of its body starting near the shoulders. It clung to the plant’s stalk upside down, its large eyes looked at the above landers and it made a high pitched squeak. Theoren turned and approached slowly offering greetings and pieces of rations. Iit swam circles around the talk of the plant righting itself and again clinging to the plant nearer to the base. It clicked a few times and watched Theoren and Gannic intensely. Gannic tossed the stone to it and it caught it covering it with its hand and then began quickly opened and closed its hand causing the stone to appear to blink.

The creature darted off into the darkness but in a few minutes the light of the stone appeared ahead on the path and the creature swam around them looking curious. Finding an open patch of ground Theoren gathered some plants and starting laying them out in the shape of a ship. As he placed the first few the creature swam past grabbing largest of the plants and swam off with it making circles as it did, squeaking and clicking. It returned looking at Theoren carefully and then in a heavily accented elvish spoke.

“Funny…you funny, why here? Above swim”

As the creature know as Yixtin spoke with Theoren its grasp of elvish seemed to improve. After a few minutes Yixtin indicated it knew the direction of the ship and said there was danger in the dark waters. Although never agreeing to help Yixtin appeared frequently as they continued, often swimming ahead or around them.After a time a deep canyon broke the trail in front of them but both Gannic and Theoren managed to swim across it. Soon after another canyon crossed in front of them and Yixtin quickly swam in front of them. “Danger” and darted across quickly. Along the sides of the canyon buildings could be seen made of rock and plant constructed in the canyon walls. Using a rope Gannic and Theoren managed to get acrossed but noticed movement in one of the buildings below. Across the canyon the path disappeared but Yixin pointed the way.

Soon a large formation of rocks appeared in front of the party. Yixtin looked confused. “No ship, ship gone?”

Gannic moved up to the rocks feeling them and noticing they were smooth and slimy. As he looked carefully the illusion of rocks gave way to ship partially buried in silt with a hole in the side of the hull. Yixtin notice it too, “Ship here!” Theoren looked confused the rocks but then notices an opening in them. As he and Gannic entered two strange elf looking fish or fish looking elves rushed forward with trident and spear.

In heavily accented elvish and basic trade language the two guards made it clear Theoren and Gannic were not welcome here. They said no overlanders were present and they had never heard of Koldo. Gannic changed the subject to trade and they seemed slightly more interested in the gems that Theoren showed them. Khivya the senior of the guards sent a fish messenger to arrange for trade. After at length discussion and Gannic seeming to mention a mage by name Khivya sent the other sentry away and in hushed tones told Gannic that he would at personal risk try and delivery the message to Koldo but he would never be allowed to leave and that was all he could do. The trade talk continued and after much discussion the ruby was exchanged for a suit of Ithgulo scale mail, spear and a trident.

Meanwhile above land Nemi and Amarae watched the water from the shadows of an alley near the docks. After a few minutes they decided to search the town for anyone in danger and try and find a bloodhounds. Stealthily moving away from the docks towards central plaza for a few minutes they noticed four strange figures moving through the deserted street. Female dwarf with armor and equipment, great ax on her back leading three other humans all carrying packs and gear. They moved south towards the docks. Nemi and Amarae followed from the shadows and when the group reached the water they checked their gear, lit a bullseye lantern, flashed it three times towards the ocean and moved into the water.

Deciding against going into the water Nemi and Amarae again headed north through town making their way towards the walled section in the northwestern side of Phlan port. Climbing over the wall they noticed the guard posts were vacant and the streets here also empty. After a few minutes without finding any signs of bloodhounds they approached a one of the larger houses set back from the street with walls facing the street and a metal fence leading up to a covered entry way. There Nemi rapped loudly on the door and created a loud voice

“City Guards”

When the door didn’t open she created an muttered waving her fingers creating the image of a demonic creature flying inside the door. Cries erupted from inside the house and heavy footsteps could be heard. Lights went on throughout the house and at least half a dozen voices could be hear. Amarae, who was now back in her normal form approached the door to try and open it but no keyhole was visible and it would not budge. Hearing footsteps coming towards the door she quickly hid in the shrubbery. A hatch in the door opened and a human looked out spotting her hiding and turned called

“There is someone hiding out there!”

The door remained closed and soon Nemi and Amarae made their way back towards the town square. Their they heard a slurred singing and investigating they found an attractive young man stumbling his way through the streets singing a merry song. Following him east he stumbled along for several minutes before he stopped turning and talking to someone on a side street out of view. He appeared unsure of what to do but after a short discussion a beautiful young women emerged from the side street and he took her arm and walked with her south.

As they reached the docks Amarae yelled for the man to run but he looked around confused as Nemi’s crossbow bolt stung her leg . The women looked at the young man and he collapsed to the ground. She easily picked him up and made for the water. Nemi’s second crossbow impaled the young man she was carrying as Amarae magic brought the roots and weeds to life around the woman wrapping her legs and holding her. Then she changed, growing tall and hideous, she torn from the roots and rushed towards the water and dropped in. Nemi and Amarae followed attacking with sling and bolt wounding but the hideous creature turned and looked at Nemi and she collapsed. Still carrying the limp young man she continued deeper into the water. Amarae followed bringing a moonbeam from the sky to burn her. Badly injured she dropped the young man and disappeared. With a last desperate attempt Amarea moved her moonbeam to where she guessed the creature was and to her surprise the creature screamed and appeared floating in the water. Amarae gathered all the bodies and brought them to land. Nemi recovered cut the creatures neck deeply. Then searched the creature finding 10 silver and smashed her skull on the cobble stones till she was able to remove her eyes.


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