Nature's New Order

Verse 13, Therinad
The Night Raid
  • Felior tries to escape from the doppelganger and retreats back down the alley way. He rounds a corner into a busy street and readies himself to attack the first thing that follows him around the corner.
  • An old man appears and Felior strikes him. The townspeople see Felior attacking a helpless old man and they call for the guards. After some chatting, the guards pull Felior off of the man and let him go with a warning (which was super nice).
  • Felior returns to the party who are now approaching the wall near the battlefield.
  • The party and a few other soldiers see the approaching Macabra and rush the field. Bram shows up a few turns later after helping out with the medical clinic.
  • The party discovers that the soldiers have deployed catapults and two strange totem poles in the center of the battlefield. Von Nocen manages to light a few catapults on fire and distract the Macabran engineering crew.
  • One of the catapults almost hits Bel, but Theydrin is there to pull her out of the way. Many of the guards on the field die.
  • The party discovers that not only do the totem poles shock enemies, they also raise dead soldiers to fight for the Macabra. A few dead soldiers were raised to fight, but were quickly cut down.
  • During the fight, the party hears Captain Hargin calling to them from the wall, “Stop fighting over there, they’ve breached the opposite side! Come help!” To which the party ignored and considered just making a break for it and leaving Sugar Bush.
  • After the remaining Macabra were slaughtered, the party enters the tent on the far side. It contained a tied up Captain Hargrin, which confused the party because he was on the wall the whole time… how could he be here?
  • The party removes the gag on him and he explains that there is an impostor in the camp and that he must go make things right. The party releases him and follows after back to Sugar Bush.
  • Upon returning, the town is grateful for the brave warriors that fought off the Macabran onslaught. The opposite wall of the town looks untouched, oddly enough.
  • The party decides to make for Commander Ont’s tent to give a debrief. When they enter, they find Commander Ont and two Captain Hargrins, one of which looking quite wild and holding a steampunk shotgun at the other two, claiming that “someone here is a fake and it might be that everyone is”.
  • The shotgun wielding Hargrin is startled by the party’s entrance and commands them to get up against the wall and show their faces. Theydrin doesn’t want to put Bel in danger so he hides her, which Hargrin doesn’t like.
  • After much yelling and failed debates, Hargrin shoots Theydrin, but he survives. The party tries to wrangle the gun from him, but he manages to keep his hold.
  • Meanwhile, the other Hargrin and Ont look very calm.
  • Unable to take it any more, the shotgun wielding Hargrin turns the gun on himself and fires, putting an end to his misery.
  • The party was confused, but knew that doppelgangers change back once they die, yet the one on the floor remained human.
  • Before anyone could discern what was going on, Ont and Hargrin pick up two shotguns and turn them on the party. They explain that the party has figured out their little scam and won’t live to tell about it. Ont and Hargrin, as well as several others in the town, were doppelgangers.
  • Ont and Hargrin had struck a deal with the Macabra. Every few nights, the Macabra would raid and during the commotion Ont would smuggle out humans to sell to the Macabra in exchange for goods. They planned to live like kings.
  • Osmund was able to negotiate with Ont and Hargrin to let the other party members leave while he stayed. Guards came, took all but Osmund away, and locked the door.
  • Osmund fought for as long as he could. But was no match for the firearm mastery from Hargrin or the trident superiority from Ont.
  • Von Nocen and Theydrin managed to convince the guards that Ont and Hargrin were doppelgangers and returned to Ont’s tent. They were able to jimmy the door open just in time as they saw their Inquisitor friend fall by Ont’s trident.
  • Theydrin dropped a confusion spell, which bought them time to escape. But Osmund’s body remained.
  • Suddenly the Hisser appeared and told the party that they should leave. She assembled them all at the town gate and warned them that things were about to get much worse.
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Verse 12, Therinad
Hard Times
  • Party gathers all of the dead Gobling bodies and pile them up in the center of the arena. The plan is to light them on fire and seal up the arena as a tomb for their race.
  • Theydrin sets the pile to blaze, but then everyone realizes they don’t know how to leave through the exit up above.
  • The party deduces that the androids are required to lift a platform up and out of the arena, but the only androids they see are destroyed around them.
  • The party searches around the back hallways behind the arena and find a janitor’s closet with a deactivated robot inside.
  • After powering it on, they realize that it requires a password. Searching Nightmare’s office, they find a word written backwards inside a cabinet. Upon reflection, literally in a mirror, the party discovers the password: “Valcoria”.
  • They return to the robot and give the password. Theydrin, the new master of the robot, commands it to reassemble the other robots and life him, the party and the civilians, up and out of the burning arena.
  • The robots assemble and take everyone outside. Only the robot, called JanBot, that Theydrin activated and a broken robot chasis he picked up, stay as the others descend back into the inferno.
  • Weary from days without proper light or food, the party decides to escort the citizens to the nearest settlement: an outpost called Sugar Bush. that rested on the frontier of Macabran territory.
  • Upon reaching Sugar Bush, the party is met by guards up on the palisade walls, demanding for them to prove that they are indeed human and not Macabra in disguise. The party is unable to do so, but luckily the captain of the guard, Hargrin, lets them in.
  • Hargrin eager leads the party and civilians through the outpost market to Commander Ont’s tent. On the way, Tarin is bumped into by a strange hooded figure.
  • The party enters the tent and Ont tells them that if they want to stay, they must either help out during the day repairing ramparts, cooking/ cleaning for the troops or fight the battles that occur at night against the onslaught of Macabra.
  • Felior and Osmund go shopping for gear, but realize that it will take 3-4 days for the orders to be completed.
  • Tarin starts acting funny and says he would like to go to the barracks. Everyone ignores him.
  • Bram goes to the medic tent and speaks to the head Surgeon, Claude L’eveauxxx. Bram becomes an apprentice medic and offers to help the wounded that come in at night. He learns that there is a plague going around where bodies are showing up in odd places.
  • Theydrin and Bel go to the barracks to find Tarin. They find his clothes neatly folded in the corner. A gnome informs them that a half orc brought those clothes in and that he (the half orc) can be found on the wall, training.
  • Theydrin and Bel go to the wall and talk to the half orc. He says he did no such thing and has been up on the wall all morning.
  • The civilians go below the barracks to hide before nightfall while the party and the other soldiers head to the bar for potentially their last drink.
  • The party spots Tarin at the bar. While Theydin and Felior chat up some bar maidens, Tarin pays his tab and leaves. Theydrin convinces Felior to follow him.
  • Outside, Felior tails Tarin and follows him back to the barracks.
  • Tarin spots Felior and acts very creepy, asking him to come in and turn off the lights because he is tired. Felior does so but leaves the barracks and hides outside in a dumpster, waiting for Tarin to come back out.
  • While in the dumpster, Felior feels something squishy and notices that Tarin’s body is under his feet in the dumpster. Disgusted and surprised, Felior climbs out only to find the Tarin he was tailing, staring right at him.
  • Tarin reveals himself as a doppelganger and attacks Felior in the alleyway.
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Verse 11, Therinad
Escape the Nightmare
  • Theydrin speaks to Bel about an escape plan. They plan to dig under the cement to get to the sewer line and leave from there. She tells him about where she is from, a land to the west called Videl, where there is no snow.
  • A new shipment of prisoners comes in. This time with only one prisoner, Vorrix, an alchemist from the West.
  • Theydrin is challenged to an “eat until I say stop” contest in the arena.
  • Theydrin manages to get other Goblings in the crowd to eat with him. Meleader allows this at first, but eventually makes Theydrin eat alone. He doesn’t and fails the challenge.
  • Back in the cell, Bram uses Crag to burrow a hole in the cement to get to Felior down in the sewers. The rest of the prisoners and party follow.
  • The party decides they need their gear so instead of leaving the area (following the line that dumps into the frozen lake) they decide to head towards Meleader’s office.
  • The party leads the civilians through the sewer lines and eventually get to Meleader’s office. They pass another set of identical looking prison cells, but they seem to be for the Goblings. The party deduces that they are all being help captive too and being fed the remains of the contestants.
  • Bram, Theydrin and Vorrix ascend the ladder and arrive just outside of the office, where they see Meleader talking to a shadowy figure. The figure commands Meleader to continue to stall the party until he gives other orders later. Meleader forces a grin, agrees and the figure vanishes.
  • The party quickly ambushes Meleader and brings him back inside his office, while Bram stays outside.
  • Bram orders Theydrin to kill Meleader, to prevent him from talking.
  • Meleader is able to give a shout to Metoo from within the office.
  • Metoo rounds the corner, ready to channel a spell at Bram.
  • Bram collapses into a meditative state, feeling that he has forsaken his Paladin ways by demanding an assassination.
  • Metoo attempts to cast at Bram, but he shakes it off.
  • Theydrin charms Meleader into helping them fight against Nightmare. Meleader commands Metoo to follow him, which he does.
  • Meleader retrieves his greatsword (magical, called Sword of the Desert Chieftain, which can shoot waves of force from the hilt.) and his cape of elvenkind. Metoo retrieves his staff.
  • Meleader and Metoo bring the party and civilians (all 5 of them, including Bel) to the armory. Meleader cuts down two androids in a lightning flash and kicks the door open, telling everyone to get loaded up.
  • The party, with all of their gear in hand, heads towards the main arena, where the Goblings are.
  • Metoo raises a pillar of earth up a few feet for Meleader and Theydrin to stand on. Meleader gives a speech about how they all must fight back and reclaim their honor as Goblings.
  • Nightmare appears and silences everyone. He reveals his true form as two wings, two horns, a long tongue, fangs and flesh ripping claws sprout from his body. He flies up and begins raining hell fire down on the crowd of Goblings: women, children, everyone.
  • The party tries to attack him and get a few shots in. Positive energy seems to weaken him.
  • Nightmare fires a spell at Metoo, who deflects it into Meleader. Meleader begins to deteriorate rapidly, and Metoo goes over to help him, who also begins to deteriorate.
  • After Nightmare has slaughtered all of the Goblings, he disappears.
  • With Meleader’s dying breaths he tells the party that they are of another time period along with Nightmare, and that he used to be good and took care of the Goblings underground here. But then a week ago, a ghastly pair of twins came and he began to act differently, now holding everyone prison for his own personal games. Meleader and Metoo pass.
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Verse 10, Therinad (Osmund's Account)
The Cube and the Nightmare

I am lucky that I keep my journal in my armor rather than in my pack. It has been a long few days. After recovering from our time in the Library and after we had honored the passing of Artemis Haradul who had sacrificed so much for so long in keeping with his duty. For centuries he had been protecting the Library in solitude waiting for the time when the wrongs of his family could be righted. Before he passed I swore to him that by life or death I would see his mission fulfilled and his cousins stopped.

Upon returning to the Library Theydrin used the water clock to unlock the portal to the cube. When I entered I knew something was off. When we began walking forward we came under attack by coal-bolds who were underneath the floor. It was then that I sensed something, a presence I had not felt since I left SnowMelt. I knew that time was now of the essence and charged to the cube and retrieved it before returning through the spears and flames to Theydrin and the Dhampir. I handed the cube to Theydrin and ordered them both out of the cavern while I prepared to provide cover from any Iron Inquisitors that managed to reach us.

The company safely fell back to the Library and locked the portal behind us. Theydrin got the Cube working and had it absorb all the knowledge in the Library before we left and everything went wrong. Upon exiting the library and resealing it we were captured by Nightmare Tomas, now going by the title of “The Nightmare,” and stripped of everything but our armor. He stunned us and placed us in a cage made of some magic material that, as Bram discovered when he tried to escape, causes one to suffer terrible nightmare on touch. I decided that it would be best to bide our time, a decision supported by the appearance of several of Tomas’ minions prepared to inject us with some foul concoction to put us to sleep if we tried to escape again. Lomedae favored us though in that Felior managed to evade capture and come with us undetected by grabbing onto the bottom of the cart.

After a days travel Tomas left us on a slab of rock that lowered into the ground bringing us to an arena filled with goblin looking creatures. We were then sent to the barracks section where we found several other prisoners, including Scrob, the warden from Snowmelt, and a dwarf that seems to know Bram. According to Scrob this arena works by sending a single person to face a challenge. if a person fails 3 challenges then everyone here dies. He also brought word from Snowmelt. Frogar has taken his acts of evil to the next level. He has begun forcibly converting citizens into Iron Inquisitors for his own use. He must be stopped and brought to justice.

Theydrin was sent into the arena first and managed to win. Bram and I went next and both failed our challenges, avoiding lava and trivia respectively. It seems that Tomas is watching the events as the goblin thing in charge (Me-Leader) was using the cube to get his questions. I attempted to shame him into fighting me himself but he wasn’t going for it just then. Later Theydrin and the Dhampir had to fight and almost both failed when they both attempted to throw the match. Theydrin was forced to really defeat the Dhampir before that happened. He got the crowd on his side though. I then went again and got under MeLeader’s skin he had me carry a rock that got heavier every time i crossed a line. Thankfully they hadn’t stripped me of my muleback cords or heavyload belt so I managed to carry it so long that it turned into a huge bolder and it seemed to humiliate Meleader and his sidekick Metoo. With luck we can use this to our advantage later.

Not everything went our way though. Meleader got mad at one of the other prisoners who tried to escape and gassed everyone with two checkmarks, incuding scrob. I will make him pay before we leave. I must rest now before tomorrow comes. With the blessing of Lomedae we will be able to destroy this arena and put an end to its evil for good.

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Verse 9, Therinad (Theydrin's Account)
Two steps forward, no steps back

Today was a good day to be me, all things considered. We defeated that Macabran rider, retrieved the waterclock, and it seems we’re one step closer to the Cube to boot!

We took some time to converse with the old man, but after it became clear he had nothing more to offer, we did some exploration around his prison. We climbed the stairs to the statue above the library, where we made an interesting discovery. It seems these statues represent a portion of the royal family, the Queen Haradul, and her two children. Interestingly, the kneeling statues have the same eye tattoos as Osmund, and I suspect the origin of the Iron Inquisitors is here as well. Bram took some time for a quick meditation, and we returned to the old man to see if we could get any last minute information from him, but he was still obsessed with the water clock. As we started to leave, the old man spotted some newcomers to the library.

Behind us was the Rider, along with his Macabran cohorts, and they were out for blood. Fortunately they didn’t spot us, so we took cover behind some low walls while Bram drew their attention. As time goes on, I find myself liking Bram a bit more. Sure, he’s still stubborn and a general stick in the mud, but I have to respect a man who’s willing to stare down unbeatable odds on his own.

After some banter between Bram and the Rider, our situation turned from bad to worse as he summoned a pack of Lobera from the trees themselves. Having faced the beasts already, we knew we were in for a tough fight ahead, and I’m not proud to admit the thought of running away crossed my mind at least 7 times…

Soon though, it became apparent bloodshed would be the only way to end this conflict, and the Macabra started to charge. Fortunately, we had Felior, Osmund, and Tarin ready to pounce, and Von Nocen found a great position from which to cast, meaning we could envelop and surround the majority of them.

The Rider charged right into our trap, and was set upon by the three, while Von Nocen obliterated two Lobera, and left a Macabra charred. After a few good blows however, the Rider turned the table on our four with his whirlwind maneuver, leaving the majority of our fighters on their backs, and to make matters worse, a Lobera arrived with his sunburst, leaving Von and myself rather seared, and Bram and Osmund blinded.

I knew I had to think fast, so I ran to Bram and retrieved his trusty healing wand while he held the line. Felior really knows how to pick a weak spot, and his blade strikes left the Rider in pain, while Osmund went to work with his holy gauntlet. Despite their best efforts however, it seemed the Rider was just too powerful, too bloodthirsty to go down without a good fight.

When he enraged, I thought for certain that would be the last I’d see of Felior and Osmund, but a well timed ray from Von turned the tables to our favor. With a burst of necromantic power, he sapped the rider’s strength, leaving him feeble and ready for a finishing blow. He fought on until the end, but a last minute charge from Bram ended his life.

With the battle all but wrapped up, the gents set about mopping up the remaining foes, and soon we had retrieved an artifact unjustly lost, the water clock from Halmond Vale. With the water clock in hand, we could finally enter the Library and gather the information we needed. After some discussion and “experimentation” with the water clock, we succeeded in opening the portal, and I decided to bring Felior, Bram, and Osmund in to check it out, while Tarin and Von kept watch outside.

Once inside, we discovered two rather wondrous items, a window that seems to lead out to another place and time, perhaps Halmond Vale, perhaps a similar place, but out the window was the Cube we’ve been searching for. I’m certain retrieving it can’t be as easy as climbing through a window, but at the same time, I feel we’re closing in on it, and it will be within our grasp soon.

The Governor showed Osmund a book within the library, capable of presenting the reader with virtually any knowledge requested. The book is fixed in place, and seems at times a bit… tempermental, but I’m sure a lot of the answers we seek can be found in here. Osmund found quite a bit of information on “Foundational Artifacts”, including the cube, the water clock, the book, a hammer, and something a bit mysterious known as the “Scythe of Infinite Chaos”.

With a name like that, this Scythe is definitely bad news

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Verse 8, Therinad
Enter the Dhampir
  • Party traverses a few more pit traps.
  • Party finds a locked door with a dhampir named Von Nocen locked behind it.
  • Von Nocen is let out, and tells the group about his mission given to him by The White Wizard to find Grothnar. Von Nocen appears to be a black robe Cruoromancer.
  • Felior tries to unlock another door in the room, which triggers a trap and brings forth two mummies from the ceiling.
  • Party resists Mummy Rot and kills off the mummies. Von Nocen demonstrates his powers.
  • Party finds a treasure chest in the next room, to which Felior greedily runs over and sticks his arm inside.
  • Treasure chest was really a mimic, that Felior is now stuck to.
  • Mimic jumps around the room and gets people stuck to it. Weapons are stuck to it.
  • Theydrin commands it to release everything, and it does.
  • Osmund gets stuck to it.
  • Tarin lights it on fire with a Molotov and group debates if they are “…gonna let it burn, burn, burn, burn”.
  • Felior and Theydrin find the “reset button” on the chest and poke the keyhole with a rapier. Mimic turns back into a chest.
  • Party goes to the next room and finds a giant chess board.
  • Theydrin learns that this is an ancient trap many mages use to keep brigands out. It requires the party to step on a space, become a chess piece and get to the other side of the board.
  • Party gets into the spaces as enemy pieces pop up.
  • Turns are exchanged as party members learn the parameters of the “rules” of the game.
  • Party makes it across, although Von and Bram are unconscious
  • The two are woken up, and the party finds the stairway down from the dungeon.
  • The stairs go down in a tight spiral.
  • Bram makes a magical mark every 20 steps, but soon after traveling down, the marks appear in front, meaning the stairway is repeating.
  • Theydrin rings his bell all the way down as the stairs straighten out.
  • The party reaches the ground floor and see the Old Capitol in ruins.
  • Theydrin has a vision of the old capitol (from the bell) and sees what the place used to look like (capitol didn’t have an ice roof back then and had 3 tiers, high, medium and low levels)
  • Party trusts Theydrins vision to go to the slums (where presumably the entrance to the High Tier is, now that it has been destroyed by the ice roof)
  • Party descends into the sewers and makes camp.
  • Tarin has a dream that an army of wererats are coming for him.
  • Party awakens and walks along the sewer. Finds a ladder at the end and climbs up into a cabin.
  • Party leaves cabin and goes around to find a cellar. They note that the High Tier is on fire.
  • Party goes down the cellar and finds a big open room with a statue alter of Queen Haradule, her two children and two Inquisitors.
  • In the center is a rock dome with a glass pane facing the party.
  • Party walks up to the glass and looks in. They see an old man sitting in what looks like a giant library.
  • Old man notices them and starts talking crazy. He appears to be mad and claims himself “The Governor, former White Wizard.”
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Verse 7, Therinad
Gratitude, or a Lack Thereof (Theydrin's Account)

Have you ever met a basilisk? I did, and let me tell you, they are not a beast to be taken lightly. A basilisk is a consummate predator, with razor sharp claws and fangs, and a gaze that can turn men to stone in an instant! Take this piece of advice if you ever encounter a basilisk: under no circumstances should you ever stop and aid your friends. Not due to the danger of the basilisk mind you, but due to the absolute lack of gratitude they will show when you do rescue them! Beyond Felior, I don’t think a single one of them uttered so much as a one-word thanks!

Let me break it down for you, blow by blow, and maybe you’ll see why I’m so incensed. After a quick stroll through Grothnar’s carnage, we wound our way through the labyrinth until we were faced with a portcullis. Being the only one of my companions with a modicum of brawn, it fell on me to help everyone through. Now, on portcullises, remember to lift with the legs, to minimize the potential of a lower back injury. Unfortunately, lifting with the legs will help little with threats on the other side of the door, namely aforementioned basilisk.

Once inside, our resident bruisers (and babysitters) Bram and Osmund found themselves turned to stone, and we elves found ourselves in a tight spot. Without anyone to stand out front and get hit, and the general confusion of seeing two men turned to stone in a heartbeat, things were looking pretty good, but for their part, Felior and Tarin stepped up and assaulted the basilisk fearlessly, albeit a bit foolishly. After getting a few good swings in, they also found themselves turned to stone, leaving me alone with the beast.

Things seemed grim, my compatriots resigned to statuehood, and myself resigned to bravely running away to get help, when I remembered that scroll we found in the lake! Just a little something to keep him paralyzed like a certain alchemist we all remember… Focusing all my will, I cast the spell and set my mind to incapacitating the creature. His already incredible reptilian stillness made it a tense moment while waiting to find out if it worked, but after a few moments, it was clear the beast was under my power. Drawing my rapier, I strode to the beast, and with one quick thrust behind the head, I dispatched it.

Stuck with four statues, I quickly reviewed everything I’d learned from my father, my childhood, our lessons with Garva, and remembered the rumor that the blood of the basilisk could restore those who’d fallen to its gaze. Gathering what blood was left, I realized only two could be saved. The choices were obvious: Felior, the only one of this bunch I’d trust with my own life, and Bram. Being a paladin and Stonelord, I hoped Bram would have some special insight into how to free the others, but as it turns out, it wasn’t necessary. Through some sort of miracle, the two managed a thus far unheard of feat and freed themselves from the basilisk, though a bit confused as to what had happened.

There I stand, bloody sword on the floor, dripping with basilisk blood, bucket in hand, dead basilisk on the floor at my feat. You’d think someone would show a little gratitude, but I’m instantly met with accusations about who I had planned to leave behind. It didn’t matter that without me, nobody would survive, Osmund seemed rather convinced leaving him entombed in stone was all part of some… master plan.

Moving along, we encountered little resistance, just a few more portcullises, some sort orc zombie and a pit trap. Bram and Osmund charged ahead to the zombie, tumbling right into the trap hidden in the floor. I must say, Bram came up with a rather ingenious escape, using that elemental of his to tunnel up behind that zombie and grab it’s feet. After dispatching it, we hustled over the pit and proceeded onward.

Our last challenge of the day was a dose of deja vu, a small pack of wererats and spiders. Approaching the next, but I’m certain not the last, portcullis, we found more wererats. I started casting through the grating while Bram started burrowing through the wall to bypass it. Osmund chased one away for a bit, while one of the wererats started tugging on a door on the far side of the room, I assumed to run away.

Bram and his elemental burst the portcullis at about the same time as the wererat pulled open the door on the far end, unleashing a horde of spiders into the room, but everyone fought courageously, except for Bram who took off a bit inexplicably towards the end of the fighting. For my own part, I demonstrated of the power of a well placed sleep or hold spell when the wererat Osmund chased off decided to come back for a second helping. As he rounded the corner, the poor beast found itself paralyzed, and Osmund finally got the chance to murder a helpless wererat that he had been so desperately craving.

With the room clear and my spells depleted, I suggested we make camp for the night and recollect ourselves before venturing further into the labyrinth in search of the Library of Kings. As we started to unpack, I found myself thinking about the bell from the lake again, and the terrible visions it showed. I need to make sense of it, but I can’t trust those hotheads, Bram and Osmund, they’d probably smite the bell if given the chance. I’ve decided to let Felior and Tarin in on the secret for now, and perhaps they can help me come to a better understanding of the situtation.

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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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Verse 5, Therinad
Silly Sea Drake (Felior's Account)

Theydrin and Bram went to settle the deal with the old gnome, but I don’t think this whole ordeal is done quite yet. I really wish he would have made better choices…

We did some poking around to see what exactly Theydrin’s bracer was for. After helping an elderly lady carry a heavy package (I didn’t get a single chance to peak inside), the gem on the bracer changed its hue. I think it’s safe to say that the bracer will track Theydrin’s deeds and he had better keep it a good color, or the council won’t be happy. Theydrin’s actions are really starting to bog down the party…

We did a little trading and got rid of some old gems and magic items. We now have a bag of holding and a magical elven curved blade. Theydrin also picked up a spyglass out of the deal.

Aednoth saw his little merchant pal again. His alias is Areo, and he has a particular interest in things made of bone.

We decided to head out to the Library of Kings, quickly and quietly. We left at night, without much rest or preparation. It was cold, but we’ve learned a few tricks. Bram’s little buddy dug us up a shelter and we prepared for another glorious helping of Aednoth’s waffles.

On the second day we traveled with no interference. Bram seemed to know the land like the back of his earth elemental. We decided to keep moving a little after night fall. That was when we came across the frozen Lake. As the buffoons tip-toed across the ice, I skirted around, keeping a good watch for enemy movement.

Just as the party made it to the holes on the far side of the ice, a very large creature emerged, breaking through the ice like a sheet of paper.

It was a sea Drake. I recognized it as he launched a ball of lighting at us. I moved away a bit, trying to bring him down. Try as I might, I couldn’t land an arrow in his tough hide. He went back under the ice, and we had a moment to decide what to do. We decided to retreat.
That was when the beast emerged again and decided to land right in the middle of the party. We quickly surrounded it. I charged in, relying on my allies as a distraction and my magic elven blade to deliver some damage. We hurt it enough to make it retreat, but this Drake had decided he wasn’t going to escape without a meal.

As he slipped away, he attempted to bring me with him. Try as I might, I could not escape the grasp of the great drakes maw. He pulled me under the water, and it was then that I truly feared for my life.
Through some miracle, the beast let go of me, for maybe a second or two, and it was in that moment that every single member of the party acted heroically. Tarin jumped in after me with the rope that we had attached to the dwarf. Aednoth threw a bomb directly into the beasts mouth. Theydrin and Bram rushed to pull us back out of the water.

The frigid air felt one thousand times colder as we emerged from the lake. The party scrambled to warm us up again. The bone-chilling cold was too much to take, and Tarin fell unconscious. We built another shelter and a fire, and through will and determination we managed to survive the cold.

Theydrin and Aednoth decided to check out a glimmering object that they saw beneath the surface of the ice. Needless to say, I decided to stay inside. They brought back a small chest. It was just a simple lock, but of course they needed my help to unlock it.

Inside were a few gems, potions, and a magical bell of some sort. I dispensed the items to their appropriate experts. After a bit of chit chat, we all decided to go to sleep.

What the others didn’t know is that Theydrin and Aednoth snuck out for a private moment. Whatever it was they were going on about, they did not seem to be very friendly toward each other. It was obviously an argument of some sort, but I couldn’t make out the details. They spoke in harsh, hushed tones for a while before I heard Theydrin’s elven footsteps coming back to the shelter.

Then came the unmistakable sound of splashing water and breaking ice as the sea Drake re-emerged from the lake. A moment later he slipped back into the icy waters and Theydrin came back into the shelter, but Aednoth did not return…

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Verse 4, Therinad
The Trial (Narrator's Account)

Shortly after Theydrin was pronounced guilty for not holding up his end of the trade with Adice, two half-orc guards dragged him out of the Bastion of Life. The adventurers, stunned, began to discuss what they should do to save their friend. Should they spring him from jail? The paladin and alchemist were not so keen on that plan. Perhaps win the trial the following day fair and square? What were the odds? Would the council elect to free Theydrin? After all they didn’t very much care for him or his attitude. No matter which plan the adventurers chose, they knew they would need to be prepared.

After taking care of a few shopping errands beforehand, the group decided to pay Rini a visit in the Mage’s Guild to inquire about her sudden change of heart to tell the council of the Lost Town. Rini sealed the doors of her office with a sound barrier, thanks to the help of Hammond, and proceeded to inform the group of the information Tenac gave her before the hearing earlier that day.

Tenac believed that there was a traitor either on the council or in the one of the three guilds. Things have been odd lately. A few minor thefts here and there in council-only areas. A couple of hushed meetings in the backs of guild halls. Tenac thought that at least one person in that group could not be trusted, and therefore, should not be let in on the secrets of the treasure beneath Halmond Vale. Rini was told because she was Tenac’s girlfriend, but as far as she knew, she, Tenac and the adventurers were the only ones that knew of the treasure, the location of the Library of Kings, and the secrets of the town.

Rini asked the adventurers to either investigate the Library in order to better solve the puzzle of the town and reclaim the treasure, or to rush over to the town and try to solve the puzzle that way. Either way, the council planned on demolishing the town in 7 days time, so the adventurers would need to be quick and not be caught in the crossfire.

The group decided that before they could do anything, they would need their imprisoned friend, Theydrin. They decided to pay him a visit at the jail, which was located on the bottom floor of Snow Melt. They boarded an elevator and headed down to the depths.

Once they reached the bottom floor, they found the entrance to the jail embedded into the wall, just like any other mine entrance. Standing watch outside was Bob the Guard, who had been given one more mission before he was allowed to retire. His job was to keep the peace at the jail for a few weeks. A simple enough task, but he was wise enough to know that things always seem to go wrong for him.

Bob frowned deeply when the party approached. “Oh no! Get out of here, you lot!” he shouted, knowing full well that they were nothing but trouble. But Tarin and Bram reassured him that they only meant to visit their friend and would be on their way once they did that. Reluctantly, Bob pointed towards the entrance and allowed them inside the prison.

Upon entering, the group is met with a busy looking half-orc secretary working at her desk. The office was small, and contained only her desk, a few chairs and a shaky, metal elevator leading down to the prison floor. The secretary, Krai, was much too busy to make small talk. She instructed the group that if they wanted to visit their friend in prison, they would need to go down the elevator and speak to her brother, Scrob, the warden. The adventurers board the elevator and head down.

Before the elevator even comes to a stop, the group can hear a familiar voice, barking out obscenities. The doors open and next to the warden’s desk stands the warden Scrob and Frogar Vall. Tarin begins to address either of the two of them, being as polite as possible, and with Frogar’s back still turned to him, he reaches back and holds up a signal to wait.

“This is the last time Scrob!” Frogar bellowed. “No more screw ups. You may be a warden of this prison, but I, the High Warden, own you. Mess this one up and I’ll have you, your sister and that pathetic lout Bob thrown to the cold!”

Scrob only managed to stutter a few “But I…” “I mean…” “I’m trying to…” before Frogar stomped away and got into the elevator. Aednoth stopped Frogar and tried to ask him some questions about the trial the next day, to which Frogar said, “Sure, I have time to talk. Say can you hit that button?”. Upon Aednoth’s compliance, the elevator, with only Frogar inside, zipped up the shaft.

The group then turned their attention to the now shaking warden. They asked to get past the jail gates so they can go visit Theydrin, but the warden, now strict on the rules, states that the visiting hours are over. After some pleading, the group managed to get Scrob to ascend the elevator and ask his sister what they should do about letting them in. Just before he could enter the elevator, Felior managed to pickpocket a slip of paper sticking out of his glove. Scrob enters the elevator and ascends.

The group moves quickly, they had to get in to see Theydrin. The slip of paper revealed a picture of the gate control console and an arrow pointing to it with the word ‘Krob’ scribbled underneath. Bram sends his earth elemental under the bars to scout around the prison while Tarin keeps watch for the warden at the elevator. Aednoth and Felior open the gate by writing ‘Krob’ with their finger on the console pad.

The cell block is empty and dark. A coal-bold soldier is locked up in one cell, clawing and scratching in the direction of anything that moves. The group enters cautiously, calling out to Theydrin.

Meanwhile, Theydrin is locked up in one of the cells in the back. He can hear the sounds of munching and swallowing, and the claws of the coal-bold soldier. The voice of Felior and Bram ring out, calling his name. He responds with something like “I’m over here.” and the group begins to approach him. The munching sound stops.

Suddenly, around the corner of the cell block glides a hooded, black robed figure with iron spikes where his eyes should be. The figure opens its mouth, but does not move its lips, and a hoarse whipser can be heard inside each adventurer’s head: “Intruder…. die….”. The figure glides towards the group preparing to strike.

Attempting to stall the figure, Theydrin pisses through the bars into the hallway. which does get its attention, slowing it slightly. The rest of the adventurers stumble backwards and retreat through the iron gate, closing it just in time.

The elevator comes to a halt and Scrob exits quickly to silence the figure, which was now bashing up against the gate. Scrob silenced the creature with a “Justice is served” and the figure once again disappeared into the shadows.

Immediately, Scrob turned on the party, “How dare you rile one of my Iron Inquisitors? What did you do?!” Tarin stepped up and explained that the door opened and it attacked them. They only wanted to protect their friend from it. Scrob bought it and began to panic, thinking of what Frogar would do if he knew the prison security system was faulty. Tarin suggested that they would stay quiet about the whole thing, if the warden agreed to write a letter to the council about Theydrin’s good behavior. The warden agreed and the party left without a peep.

The next morning the adventurers woke up in the Expedition Guild Hall to the small of freshly cooked waffles. Bram was excited and ate several. Outside, banners advertising the trial with Theydrin’s face everywhere shown brightly. Details were also posted, the members of the jury, the councilors who would judge and the time of trial. Interestingly enough, not only was Tarin, Aednoth, Felior and Bram on the jury, but also Warden Scrob. In addition, 2 merchant friends of Adice’s, 2 miners and a farmer were also on the jury. Judging the trial would be the Grand White Wizard, Eleneval Thora’adin, Frogar Vall, Grothnar Vall, Wolfwig the Grave, and Thorgron Stonegrip who was the head judge. Per standard Snow Melt law, each judge got a vote for each accusation, and the jury got a vote, provided it was unanimous.

Several townsfolk pilled into the Bastion of Life for the trial. The jury took their place and the judges entered. Then Adice and Theydrin were escorted in, with Theydrin in chains. Thorgron listed the accusations against Theydrin: Theft, Evasion, Breach of Contract, Disorderly Conduct.

Adice gave her view on the situation. She was very factual and direct. Theydrin agreed to give her one day’s worth of advertising in exchange for 2 cold weather outfits. When it came time to collect he was not there and did not return for several days. He also was rude to both Grothnar and Frogar.

Theydrin then stood to give his plea, but of course, in a backhanded way. He pleaded guilty to helping Snow Melt by embarking on a quest given to him by the council, and guilty to trying to keep his fellow adventurers warm. Theydrin claimed that had to put his duty to the council first, but this was shot down by Frogar who said that he could have gone back to Adice and worked out a new arrangement. The judges looked like they had already made up their mind to convict him.

After several hours of arguing and pleading his case, Theydrin stood to give his final wild card in his closing statements. He asked everyone to really look at the judicial system. “How is it that the people are not fully represented in these trials, that one man who did what he could for his home and his friends is being arrested for a misunderstanding? Why are gnomes, or halflings or drow not represented on the council for all of these major decisions? Why does the jury only get one vote, but only if they all agree. This is a dictatorship, a political ruse!”

The audience became restless with fast, hushed whispers until it grew into a louder ruckus. The judges looked worried as soon this could become ugly. They gave their votes one by one for each charge and Aednoth gave the jury’s votes. In the end, Theydrin was convicted for Breach of Contract, Evasion and Disorderly Conduct and sentenced to repay Adice with 4x what he stole and 1 week’s community service.

The crowd roared at this, and became even more hostile. The judges retreated to their respective houses and Thorgron presented Theydrin with a bracelet with an olive green gem. He was told that Theydrin must do good deeds in order to serve his community service and that he would be done when the gem was white like the snow outside.

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