Obroam’s Journal – 1st Day of Winter, 59AD Cont’d – Page 3

With the enemy on the back heel, we pushed on, attempting to smash through the door. Not an easy endeavor as it was quite study and things were being piled against it.. Before we could breach the door however, the two leaders appeared upon the balcony, wearing plate and bearing unnatural weapons. The robed figured used a smoking implement to summon the thing we feared most in this campaign, the wraith. Saying a prayer to Tangadorin, I left the door to my fellows and went to interpose myself between the unholy abomination and my friends.

As the party worked the door, and unwholesome aura and wailing grew closer until i saw it. Like a thing dredged up from nightmares, part skeletal and part unnatural blackish green energy, a ghostly vestige of a damned soul.  Margo and I readied flasks of holy water and tossed them upon the creature as it approached. This did little to detour it as it reached out with is hand in an attempt to violate me with its touch. But Tangadorin Protects!!! His holy all seeing light shined before me and staved off the creatures boney claws.  Quickly following this Egill was able to turn the undead monstrosity, sending it back to the building it oozed from. 

Turning my attention back to the main building, a skirmish was taking place at the entrance between the last defenders of the dark ones and my team mates. Short work was made of these two and the final push was upon us as the leaders of this group of villains came down the stairs. Unbeknownst to me, Pickles had detained them up stairs for several minutes by jamming a door, buying us the time we needed to turn the dead and defeat the defenders.

With nothing left but them, we advanced to finish this terrible mess. Blows were traded back and forth, their plate armor making it quite difficult to land a decisive blow and even allowing their head priest to push past us and out the door. The necromancer used his magics to puppeteer our priest Egill, having him move in the way of our attacks and defend him, but it was for not as my blade stuck as true as Tangadorins light pierces all darkness, laying him low.

Now we give chase to the last member of this dark coven, he shall not escape justice!

Norry’s Journal – Winter 59AD

I have been wandering these passageways for hours.  There was no way I could even climb back up that wet muddy slide that lead me down here.  The hole in the earth I chose to explore decided to swallow me up. I had no idea it would be slick with mud.  

I have been keeping to the shadows and trying to stay out of site of the strange creatures that prowl these caverns.  I saw several and it is just now occurring me to start keeping track. The next one I see I will make better notes. In the meantime I need to find a way out as its almost dinner time.

What luck! There is a city down here!  Where there is a city there is most likely a pub. The city is strange with buildings with impossible doors and windows.  I will scribble a sketch before I move on. Although, I don’t smell any cookfires I was able to hear some conversations in a language I recognize.  I have spotted a group I hope they are friendly.  

I have a new friend!  He is called an Illum and looks like a walking mushroom!  The people I met are friendly but they already put me to work in inviting more interesting creatures to dinner.  I hope they have enough for all of us. A couple quick sketches and I am off!

The people who live in the city have no eyes!  Well they do but they are healed over. They like to sing in the deep low humm.  They don’t say much else. Illium said they are all form the creator. They didn’t want to come to dinner but they are going to help us in our travels.  They gathered together to sing to a rock and it somehow activated a teleporter.  

WOW!  Our friends transported us to another location in the caves.  The ilium are fighting with some other creatures that are not letting them grow.  It sounds like one of those silly border dispute the tallfolk are always on about.   It makes me sad that its even like that this far underground.  

We fought some of these multi legged creatures and drove them off. We have some great warriors that took care of the situation.  They would bite and grab trying to call us away one by one. Horrible things! Our Cleric was able to talk to one of the beasts. We were very close to the matriarch of the whole…..nest? Who knows what to call these things?

After some more talk the group wants to go back and gather the Illium to back and fight the queen.  I think this is a good idea. Unfortunately, the way back is blocked from a cave in. We doubled back and when we did we spotted an old hidden door!  There could be such interesting things behind it. I want to jump in there and get it open. There are some more experienced in the party that are giving it a go.  WAIT! They are waving me over! I hope they let me try to get it open! Good think I brought my lucky crowbar! More later……

Obroam’s Journal – 1st Day of Winter, 59AD Cont’d

After regrouping, our company advanced upon the den of the Dark Ones with caution. Not knowing if they had more ambushers lying in wait. The abomination that was once Houden shambled to meet us, speaking in a hollow and unwholesome voice, asking us to join them and that we would only perish if we fought. I had his men give it a volley in response. The undead retreated into the building from our fire. With no other deterrent, we set up for the conflict.

We had the charmed orc commander open the doors, and then the fight was on. We gave the forces inside a volley before their clerics told them to advance, what followed was a bloody affair.  A hoard of goblins and a pair of orcs along with Houden, all undead, fell upon us. Blade cut, spears stabbed, blood and ichor ran freely, and people died. Though they knew the risks and their desire to to right by their friend, Houden’s men fell on by one. First Mitch, then Duncan, Larry, and Stew. Each brought down by the foul creatures and their relentless onslaught. Mal, though wounded is still alive and I will do my best to keep him that way, it will already be a sorrowful task to dig five graves tonight. Two of the Dark Ones were also slain in this melee, one being distracted by our Illusionist’s spell, rendering him ineffective for the fight. The Last of their ilk retreated inside and judging from the sounds has mustered a last stand of sorts.

Today shall be the last of this effort. Now is time for the final push, May Tangadorin’s all Seeing Light illuminate our path to victory. 

Obroam’s Journal – Winter 1, 59AD

1st day of Winter, 59AD

Now is the time. We make for what I hope is our final push into Girffin’s Keep. After recovering from our wounds, the party has hardened their will and we are determined. I spoke with Houden’s men and the ones who helped before have agreed to help us deal with these dark ones and reclaim Houden’s body. We have planned to take out the orc bowmen atop the moathouse first. The Men at Arms will provide distractions from range with their slings, while a small team scales the walls to take the fight to them on the roof. Should all go as planned that will leave a small number of Clerics, a Necromancer, and their undead to deal with.

But….we learned they have one true horror for use to contend with, a Wraith. My will is Strong and my Faith in Tangadorin true, may his light that Shines through my blade be enough to vanquish the dread specter should it appear. I fear not for my own life, as it is Tangadorin’s should it be cut short. But Houden’s death still weighs heavily upon my mind. I fear his body has already been turned into a vile undead form. I cannot stomach the thought of more of my companions meeting similar fates. By his all seeing lighted eyes, may Tangadorin protect us.

Note from Beth – Under Tuluk – Winter 59AD

Dear Teàrlach,

I did not sleep so well last night. it has been a long time since I’ve seen your face and I am sorry I left you back home. I have so much I need to tell you. Do you remember the tales of the under dark your mom told us when we were kids? I think I am there and if I am not, then we are even further in the earth than that.

We fought demons along side a creature called an illum. He helped us find who is called the creator. This creator revealed an ancient weapon wielded by the gods. That’s when I heard her voice again. The lady from my dreams I used to have when I was a little girl. Her voice came to me When the creator pulled the weapon out of the ground. Her voice came from my coin purse of all places telling me about this weapon.

She said she wielded it along with Atura, Tangadoran and other gods as well. I really hope I spelled their names right. I would hate for Grell to school me on the proper way to spell his gods name. He can really go on about that. But It was like an out of body experience. I saw myself reach for the blade the same time our paladin did. I’m not sure why he let me take it, nor do I know what made me reach for the blade in the first place. But when it was in my hand I watched this sword turn into the most elegant dagger I’ve ever seen.

When we all went to bed I looked through my coin purse and found an odd looking gold piece. Nothing like I’ve ever seen before, it looks as old and elegant as the dagger I am holding. I wonder if they are connected? I promise I will write home soon more often and I will mail this letter as soon as I get back to the surface.

I miss you and will be home soon,

Your sweet Beth.

Wikton’s Thoughts – Under Tuluk – Winter 59AD

Forward, must keep going… forward…

Wikton’s thoughts drove him on in the dim light, his labored, almost gasping breath ringing in his ears in the otherwise deafening silence. His body cried out for rest, he and the rest of his party had trudged through another 12 hours of walking today, and he knew there were many more days like this to come until they could escape this hellhole, but they dare not stop; their food and water supplies were already dwindling. The Goddess could, miraculously, provide them some degree of sustenance each day even here, but it was not enough. The air was so thick, and he had become so used to it after so long, that he thought he would feel like he had been reborn if he ever were able to breathe freely again.

The landscape was unchanging, although no less strange than when he’d first seen it – rows of structures made of perfectly worked smooth stone on his right, and the rock wall on his left stretching up well past where their light sources could reach, leaving only blackness beyond. He knew what would come next: structures in a random pattern built of piles of rocks, and even more days of endlessly marching past them. Every now and then, he thought he spied what could be one of those rock creatures they’d seen earlier, but they mostly left the party alone, and so his thoughts drifted back to the image that was still blazened on his mind…

An Elemental. Such a strange creature, and yet obviously intelligent… and powerful. Not someone you want to cross, and we almost did by bringing the Illum there, and because he’d changed so much by being around us when we had to use violence… “Killum”, I call him now… not sure the Goddess approved either, but as I told them, we’d meant no harm…

The Goddess.  At the thought he remembered how she had shockingly appeared as well… After having gone through a space of blinding light to find the Elemental, the strange spherical mix of vegetable and mineral, and then seeing the  artifact they were seeking revealed after so long, only to then be confronted with the goddess Artura appearing right before him was… overwhelming.

Well, *I* saw the Goddess, Grel saw Tangadorin. And the artifact weapon looked different to each of us too. Where Grel so a sword, I saw a hammer forged from the finest damn masterwork smithing ever… and Beth saw a dagger…

Wikton glanced ahead at the woman ahead nimbly stepping over a rock, a black dagger at her belt. He didn’t know what strange twist of fate had led the professional thief to reach out and grab it, a weapon forged of elemental power…

I wonder if she realizes the cost? She follows no deity that I know of. Would she have heard the same warning that Artura gave to me? In addition to drawing the enemy’s attention, these weapons can only truly be used against the Dark Ones if the wielders are willing to go on a journey to become deities themselves, and Goddess only knows what that means for us. Other than our deaths, of course, that much seems certain.

Wikton strained to take a deep breath and firm his resolve. He glanced down at his upturned hand, the scar shaped as a perfect circle seared into the palm. 

Yes, the pact was made, and it will be fulfilled. We will save the Illum from those creatures per our bargain with the Elemental, then we’ll free the prisoners, restore Artura’s temple, find those other weapons and do whatever it takes to use them against the Dark Ones. Anything can be accomplished if one has the will to keep swinging the hammer.

Forward.

Letters from Grell – Under Tuluk – Winter, 59AD

Jorann my friend, I do not know if this letter will reach you, but we have found the weapon! We now must try to return to Enonia. I can only hope that you have the second weapon…

Let me tell you what happened.

We had encountered a new race called the Illum. They are a fungus based race who are all connected. The Illum are One. A hive mind they work harmoniously to grow.

We explained to them that we had seen a grouping of the Illum apart from the group. They could not understand how they could be separated, so they agreed to have one of them accompany us to see how this could be.

As we journeyed on to find the Sword, we reached a place called the Center. The Illum could sense his creator and was reluctant to join us, however, he did follow. We met the Creator. It was an Avatar of a powerful god! He was very upset that we had brought the Illum to him, and further upset that we had exposed the Illum to ideas that should not have been introduced to him. 

He told us that the Sword was near, but there was no way we could get to it. When I asked if there was any way we could convince him to help us get the Sword, He agreed to help if we would accept a Gais to help the Illum. We all agreed, and the Creator brought the sword to us!

As I reached out to grasp it, Tangadorin appeared and explained that the sword was an Elemental creation, and could banish beings to their proper plane, but could only be wielded by a God. He had once been human and had had to become a God to wield it in the past, and the same was true of Artura and many others. 

While I have no wish to become a God, I was resolute as this is the only way to defeat the Dark Ones. But as I closed my fist upon the hilt, the chaotic thief Beth had heard as well that this could make him a God, and predictably decided that he had to have the Weapon.

He also grasped the Weapon. I would have taken it knowing that the thief would never fight a Dark One, nor if he was even willing would he be likely to be able to hit it.

However, Tangadorin told me that I must not fight for it. So, I did the only thing I could, I released it. 

At first I thought our last hope was gone, however, the Weapon is a living thing, and can’t be owned. Tangadorin explained that the weapon will choose who and how it is used. Further he explained that we will all be needed in order to fight the Dark Ones. 

So, hope is not yet lost. We have the weapon. It will choose who and how it is used.

I have no doubt that the weapon will be used by all of us at one point or another. 

We must now complete the Gais of the Illum’s creator so that we can make our way back to Enonia.

Do yur best to retrieve the broken sword. It will be needed!

Farewell well my friend, I hope to see you soon.

Obroam’s Journal – 37th Day of Autumn 59 AD

*Tears can be seen to stain the pages of the journal slightly*

It is with a heavy heart that i find myself writing in this journal again. Much had happened to distract me from my entries. And now i must record our groups successes and failures. 

We had traveled to Tanneth and spoken with the Warden, Houden’s father, about the state of affairs at Griffin Keep. The presence of beastials, Ogres, and Dark clerics. After gaining his support his court wizard used magical means via a teleportation nexus to transport us back to the hidden chamber in the basement of the keep. Once we had gained the surface and the yard, after dealing with several orc zombies, we decided to breach the temple like structure with its large glass window. This proved to both advantageous in our efforts to cleanse the place, but also ruinous for our party as well.

Inside we came face to face with the dark worshipers for the first time. Their alter of Chaos was so foulsome that it almost took the breath from me, but by Tangadorin’s light I did not falter. Battle was engaged, my illuminated blade seeking to cut out all their darkness and our party took to slaying them and their undead. However, though we dealt with the first group quite well, even capturing one of the dark ones, reinforcements were soon at hand. A wave of goblin zombies came through a door, though they didn’t last long as Egill dispatched them with his faith in Tyr. But that was not all, three more dark ones and a wave of orc zombies followed. Though we fought well, the situation was rapidly growing out of hand and retreat was deemed necessary. We fought our way back out of the temple, with the jeers of those dark ones chasing us as their zombies relentlessly pursued. 

We made it to the yard, where Mort was able to use his magic and ensnare the hoard of undead with a fast tangle of vines and roots. Things seemed as though we would all get away, sadly this is not so. As we made our escape toward the walls, bowmen orcs rained bolts down on us from the moat house. It was one of these bolts that took Houden, my friend and companion’s life. As he fell he told me to tell his father he died in battle. With my shield arm broken from the earlier conflicts, I stowed my blade in my belt and hoisted my friends body from the dirt so as not to leave it for the foul machinations of these villains. Egill came back to assist me with the task, but that to proved folly. As we tried to make the walls, more bolts rained down upon us. Even as I write this the wounds of those bolts have only just been sealed in my back and side. But it was Egill that took a near deadly strike. The burden of two bodies was to much for me to ferry away in my condition. And faced with either bringing back Houden’s body for proper rights, or attempting to save Egill’s life, for at the moment he still drew labored breath, I made the only choice available to me. May Tangadorin forgive me, I left Houden’s body there so that I could save Egill. 

Once clear of the walls and safely in the tree line, I gave Egill a potion that thankfully saved his life. Not much was said on our way back to town, though our prisoner did rouse once before a swift elbow put him back in his place. He is currently in the custody of the constable. Now i lay here, in the Temple of the Light, receiving Treatment for my wounds. Though only those of the body, for the wounds of my pride and soul are mine and Tangadorin’s to see to. The death of my friend weighs upon my, more so leaving him to the hands of those vile dark ones whom i have no doubt will render him into one of their undead monstrosities. Should I encounter my friend in such a state, I will destroy what he has become as my god and faith demands. I think to myself, what more could I have done? Could I have been faster? Struck truer? I shall pray on this. And when time allows, I must answer to Houden’s father for the death of his son. May Tangadorin give me strength. 

Eadwig’s Journal – Horrors of Tuluk

30th day of Autumn

What was once a black and white conflict is now introducing shades of gray. It is difficult to determine what is good. There are Dark Ones and Demons at war with each other, deities of the Old World combating a Reign of Light, and the realms of mortals caught in the middle of it all.

We remain underneath Tuluk, searching for a magical sword. Our provisions continue to dwindle. A winged fiend bade us destroy a gem, but the gem revealed itself to be sentient and wanting us to aid it. Like unreliable mercenaries we changed allegiance and decided to not shatter the gem. Now we flee the wrath of the winged fiend through endless tunnels in this forsaken underworld.

Indescribable horrors assail us. Creatures casting spells that put us to sleep, winged and scaled creatures marching as soldiers with spear and shield. Steel fails us and only blessings and spells keep the enemy at bay. During a melee I was laid low and awoke later from divine provision.

The path behind us has caved-in. The gem still guides us further and deeper into the underworld, and we obey.


(Editors Note: This was such an evocative bit of writing that I turned it into a spoken word piece on my “Dungeon Master’s Handbook” podcast. You can hear the episode here: https://anchor.fm/the-dungeon-masters-handb/episodes/Episode-27—Horrors-Under-Tuluk—A-Players-Journal-eak8ko

The Adventures of Rem, 21st – 33rd days of Autumn

21st Day of Autumn

The party will seek out the sheriff and Bellaparra (a hedge wizard).

The party is in a house with a room with a fireplace. It appears as though the exists in the room have changed or moved. There is a big green door on the wall that didn’t have a door before. The party went through the door which led to the outside porch. Outside it is a little warm and overcast. 

The party walked half a day back to town (it’s now midday) and then decided to head to Ballaparra’s. He lives on a farm outside of town. At the back of the house is a chicken coup full of dead chickens. The group went into the house through the backdoor. Inside the house, everything was broken and smashed. The party was searching the house when Rem heard a squeak from the kitchen. Banging on the floor with the butt of his spear, he discovered a trap door. Bellapara was hiding under the house accessible by the trap door. He is an older to middle-aged, balding, mousy-looking man. He’s blind and used railings to get around the house.

He was asked by the enemies to get Old Peterson to join. He was also asked to join and was told he would be quite powerful. He revealed that the enemies were mages and they called themselves brothers and sisters. The first one came close to the end of summer, and then 3 days ago. They used Chaos.

The party went back to town with Bellapara. In town, someone will be hired someone to look after him for a ½ season. This cost 30gp, 20gp for posters, and 10gp for expenses. Reeves will handle the arrangements and the process will take 3 days. During that time, the party will rest and recuperate.

25th day of Autumn

Mort acquired more animal companions, a snake and a badger.

Rem spent 3 days drinking and talking with locals at the taverns. He heard the following rumours:

Rumour #1 – There is a force heading from Shalam.

Rumour #2 – There are lots of people leaving town.

Rumour #3 – There is a lost treasure in the forest to the west of us. Some sort of weapon (sword) buried under a circle of ground that will not grow plants. This is someplace that a hero fell.

Rumour #4 – In a major city to the south, a local nobel has died without clear hiers. 

The party is planning to head to Tannia, which is a 10 day journey on foot. In preparation, the party picked up some supplies. Rem purchased 10 days standard rations for 20sp and 10 days trail rations for 10gp.

26th Day of Autumn

The party begins its journey to Tannia. It is approximately a 10 day journey through grasslands on dirt, not well-travelled roads. By evening the party makes to the village of Goldvale. Goldvale is the home of a mercenary company called the Gold Death Company. The company has been around for 15 years. A portion of their symbol resemblesTear. The company was formed by Commander Malness. He has faith in Tear and gives Egill 60gp to spread the word of Tear.

The party learned the following rumour:

Rumour #5 – There is an Ogre band terrorizing some Hamlets between the Duchy of Elfast and Tannia.

27th Day of Autumn

The journey started at midday due to conversations with the Commander Malness. It rains during the journey but the rest of the day passes without incident. The party comes to the village of Rosepass. Rosepass has an inn called the Mellow Twig. The innkeeper is Laura. The party stayed the night at the inn.

Mort was awakened by his squirrel and heard noises in the cellar of the inn. Eventually the whole party joined Mort in the cellar and it was discovered that the noise was an emaciated goblin that was stealing food. The goblin was interrogated, but nothing was really learned other than that he’s been lost for a while. Mort eventually killed the goblin.

Etinerra has no moon, but there is a nebula visible in the night sky. The nebula is referred to as the Night Clouds.

28th Day of Autumn

The day was uneventful and no village was found. The party camps for the night and the night passes without incident.

29th Day of Autumn

During the journey, the party found a stone in the ground that indicates a Druid tomb is nearby. The party pressed on and came to the town of Lightbell. Lightbell had a tavern called the Lucky Apple.

30th Day of Autumn

The party across a hunter’s camp. The camp consisted of 6 human men hunting pointers (a type of rabbit). They said “May Almon watch you over your journey”. Almon is the Wandering God.

31st Day of Autumn

While travelling, the group camp across a number of stakes in the ground with ribbons tied to it. Inspection of the area lead to the discovery of additional stakes with ribbons. These stakes lead to an area of vegetation with more stakes with ribbons encircling it. The vegetation was covering a rock with some runes. Once the runes were exposed to the light, they began to glow. When Obroam touched the runes he disappeared. This was followed by Mort. Rem held a rope while Egill touched the runes, and he disappeared. Egil then touched the runes and he disappeared. Darvan and Hudin decided to continue the journey to seek help.

The party members that disappeared were transported to a different place. This place had a similar rock but with different runes. The group touched the rock and returned to their original location. They continued their journey until they found Darvan and Hudin. Darvan got some dirty looks from a couple members of the party. Rem was happy that camp was set up and that he got out of some of the camp chores. The stones appeared to act as a 2-way teleport.

32nd Day of Autumn

As evening approaches, the party came upon a camp with lots of coloured ribbons. The people were dressed in coloured robes, had flowers in their hair, and were singing. In the centre of the camp was an analog of rock (teleportation rock?) made with sticks and logs.

33rd Day of Autumn

The party travelled to a small hamlet named Vanmeer’s Field. There was another group camped at Vanmeer’s Field. This group had 4 fancy tents and looked well armed and armoured. The standards that were flown depicted Elven symbols.
This group is called a Search and their leader is called the Seeker. They are seeking information and knowledge.The is an Elven woman in plate male called Bioanea (sp?). She tells us a tale. There are 20 elves in the group and the party will travel with them to Tannia. After speaking with the Elves, Mort has convinced one of them to join him as a follower (hireling?)..