Nature's New Order

Verse 6, Therinad

The Bandit King, The Snake Lady and The Depths Below (Narrator's Account)

After hearing the loud crash of the water outside, Bram, Tarin and Felior rushed outside of their makeshift hut to the side of the lake. Still astonished by the rapid turn of events, Theydrin was careful to not allow his friends to turn on him. He chose his next words carefully and told the group that Aednoth was gobbled up by the sea drake, who had survived the previous battle. The group searched around for their missing friend, but Aednoth was nowhere to be found.

It was getting late, and Bram was getting grumpy from lack of sleep. So grumpy, in fact, that he threw a pair of emeralds out onto the ice that Felior gave him to inspect. He retired to the hut and went to sleep. The others decided to look for Aednoth in the morning, when it was brighter and safer outside.

In the middle of the night, Felior was on watch. The glow of the fire reflected off the walls of the hut and illuminated the space. As he sat awake, he looked out the small window towards the lake. In the distance, he could see a small glimmering yellow ball of light. Slowly, the ball grew larger and larger until he realized that it was coming towards the window.

“Hit the deck!” he shouted. But it was too late. A huge ball of lightning plowed through the side of the hut, directly into him and the party. After the blast, the party scrambled to their feet and squinted out of the massive hole that was made in the side of the wall. The sea drake was back and was looking for dinner.

Quickly, the party closed in on the sea drake as volley after volley of lightning struck the tired adventurers. After only an arrow shot or two, the sea drake returned to its grave, this time, hopefully, for good.

Theydrin and Bram were interested in recovering the body of Aednoth, which presumably resided in the belly of the beast. With a slash, the gut was split, and out falls a half-digested aednoth. Bram insists on putting him on ice until morning, then giving him a proper burial at sunrise. The group agreed and returned to sleep.

The next morning, Bram awoke even grumpier due to the severe lack of Aednoth’s waffles. Now finally dawning on the group, they mourn the death of their Alchemist friend as they prepare the funeral pyre outside. Meanwhile, Felior successfully pilfers a majority of Aednoth’s belongings within his backpack that he had left inside before being eaten. After a solemn funeral, everyone decides to press on to the Library.

Along the way, some several miles down the road, a white, circular glyph appears in the sky way above the group of adventurers. From the center falls a human figure, sky diving to the plains below towards the group, white cloak flowing in the breeze. Just before hitting the ground, the figure flipped and landed square in a crouch, then rose. He was a tall, strong man dressed in white and red, with a trimmed beard. He reeked of authority.

The man stood and drew his sword, pointing it directly at Theydrin’s throat. He revealed himself as Osmund, an Inquisitor sent by the Mage’s Guild to investigate why Theydrin’s bracelet had changed color. He had the same tattoos as an Iron Inquisitor, but did not have the spikes or their ability to read minds. He revealed that the bracelet had a tracking device on it, that could sense backgrounds and Theydrin himself, but not other living entities. The bracelet suddenly grew dark, so Osmund was sent in to question him.

Theydrin, of course, was not keen on authority. Yet he decided he would answer Osmund’s questions in order to keep moving. Osmund cast a circle of truth, which Theydrin secretly resisted, and asked him to recount the previous night’s events. Theydrin, now with the ability to lie, tells the story very closely to the truth. The only exception was that he mentioned that Aednoth was “stunned by my words” which gave the sea drake just enough time to eat him. Theydrin claimed that he could not prevent the accident.

Osmund, now satisfied with the interigation, resets Theydrin’s bracelet and decides to follow the party on their quest to make sure they stay out of trouble. Theydrin and Felior sigh to the fact that they now have two babysitters: Bram and the new Inquisitor.

The group continues on. Another day of uneventful travel passes when the party reaches a stone bridge overpass through a canyon. Before reaching the threshold, they hear a voice call “Not another step, amigo!”.

Suddenly, a bandit in a red coat and a wide brimmed red hat materializes on top of the bridge. Theydrin recognizes him as Nightmare Tomas, an infamous highwayman, although is not able to determine why people call him “Nightmare”. Bram and Osmund detect evil, and note that they see not one but four evil auras, none of which emanate from Nightmare Tomas.

Nightmare states politely, “This bridge has a toll. And the toll is all of your weapons. Hand them over to the side, and you may pass.” Not one of the adventurers seemed to go for this and stood firm. Felior tried to launch an arrow at the bandit, but before he could draw, Nightmare raised his hand. An arrow, coming from somewhere else the party could not see, struck Felior’s bow and Nightmare again repeated his terms.

After a continued standoff, Osmund begins to cross the bridge without paying the toll. Nightmare disappears and four nightmare snipers materialize on the bridge, all of them looking like Aednoth.

Bram, disgusted with this foul magic, sends Crag to knock the snipers off the ridge. The party seemed to struggle with ranged combat, as they attempted to climb the rough rock faces, enduring sleep arrow barrages, in order to reach the snipers. Theydrin made a ghost sound in a cave that sounded like a bear, which made the snipers retreat a little. Osmund and Bram joined forces to “open a can of justice” on these dark beings. Soon, they were dispatched of, each one leaving behind a wisp of purple smoke as they collapsed into nothingness.

After the battle, Nightmare reappeared on the high ridge, slowly clapping. He congratulated the group and allowed them to pass. Then he disappeared back into shadow.

After taking another look at the map, Bram discovered that if the group goes through the cave, they will reach the Library a day earlier. The group agreed to head through the cave, which appeared to be a straight path through the mountain. They camped inside for the night, and readied themselves for the Library.

The next morning, the group left the cave and traveled all day across the snowy plains. They found yet another cave, this one much smaller with a medium sized opening. According to the map, this was the location of the Library of Kings. Before they could enter, a voice called to them from above the cave mouth. They looked up and saw a beautiful, young woman, dressed in black, with hair platinum white, standing on the rocks above. Theydrin used the best of his bardic abilities, but could only determine that this woman was called “The Hisser” and the only information known about her was contained in an [[Lady in Black — children’s poem. | old children’s nursery rhyme]]. The woman spoke to the adventurers, claiming she was a friend, or could be, and stating that they should not enter the cave. Ignoring her warning, the group presses on and enters the mouth of the cave.

Once inside, Felior does some snooping around. He finds a swinging log trap that is set up at the entrance, but quickly stabilizes it so it won’t be set off so easily. He turns the corner of the cave and finds three Macabran soldiers lurking around a fire, six bedrolls and two cages to the south with sheets over them.

Felior moves quietly to the cages, using cover to hide from the soldiers. He tears the sheet off of the first cage to reveal a boy, cold and afraid. However, this boy has a Macabran tail. The boy spoke softly in very broken common and asked what Felior was doing there. Sensing the Macabra would be on him soon from the noise, he moves to the second cage and rips the sheet away. A small Macabra stood tall behind the bars, smelled Felior, bared its teeth and roared, alerting the soldiers.

The remainder of the adventurers rushed into the cave and were able to jump the trip wire to the swinging log trap. All except Bram, who was knocked back by the blow of the log from the ceiling.

  • Party attacks and kills the Macabra (which seem like deadly fighters up close)
  • Party finds liquid purple goo that changes Macabra to human form.
  • Party learns that children are being converted to human to infiltrate human settlements.
  • Party finds metal grate that leads down into the dungeons.
  • Dungeons are windy and spooky, spiders are killed.
  • Tarin looks past a door and sees a room filled with monstrous centipedes..
  • Party runs into a pack of wererats. Two are downed, but the final one is put to sleep.
  • Osmund and Theydrin interigate the wererat and attempt to kill him after learning that he will come back and kill them should he escape.
  • After two failed attempts to kill the wererat, Theydrin lets they wererat go.
  • Party makes a plan to kill the centipedes by impaling them on a portcullis.
  • Felior sets up the plan, ties portcullis up and gets centipedes to chase him through the corridors.
  • Before Felior gets eaten, Grothnar bursts through the walls and takes out the centipedes, buying time for the party as they escape.
  • Group leaves, then returns to Grothnar, who is bloodied, but healing.
  • Grothnar tells party that Frogar has taken over SnowMelt in Marshal Law because he feared the magical artifacts the party was trying to get.
  • Rini told Grothnar to go to Bloodbath Gulch, his hometown, and gain reinforcements to stop Frogar.

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malum_creperum

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