World of Omphalos

Second Adventure (Part 3) The Conclusion
A lesson in Tactics

[With no emailed written dialogue to go with the Intermission entry]

With the villiager’s questions in the air, the group pauses, seemingly hesitant to answer.

“I’m sorry where are my manners, my name is Garth Durnman,” he says, holding out his hand to shake.

The group steps forward skirting the portal to the shadowfell. Garth and his fellows take in the group as they shake off their surprise at meeting something alive that doesn’t try to kill them down in the dungeon.

Garth begins to talk about the disaster and necromancer magic, he is clearly very distraught with so many family, friends or people he just knew well being dead. Lady Bururu grills him for information. He reveals that the villiage was founded long ago by a group of adventurers lead by a wizard named Loch who built the tower here.

As the group begins to greet the farmers and allay their fears, Jaxx eyes the potentially dangerous portal on the floor. He looks back at the young blacksmith, he suddenly grapples the man and shoves him into the circle, the intention to test out this magic written across his face with a sly grin. Boldly, Illium steps to the handsome lad’s defense into the circle with him.

The rest of the group is stunned into inaction momentarily and as they begin to express their dismay to Jaxx, Garth makes his escape from the circle, moving away from his long reach and circling behind the other members of the group to run out the entrance.

The entire group of villagers escapes back up the stair.

Somewhat satisfied Illium glares briefly at Jaxx before pausing to looking almost longingly after the young smith.

The team quickly shook off any further disagreement eager to explore the halls beyond.

Proceeding in a close formation, assassin in the lead, but not taking point this time, they move slowly down through the open double doors.

A bright light spell on Jaxx’s sword illuminates three passages from a cross-hallway just past the doors.

To the left was a chamber with a large wood table and some ancient cots. To the right was a similarly sized room consisting of two sarcophagi memorialized by a pair of statues as well as a small table and a large shelf of books.

Ahead was a small antechamber to a huge pair of doors twice the size of the portal they had just passed through.

Deciding to check out the left side room, the group moved slowly forward, Jonas in the lead still. Some of the group noticed there was a silver and red Dagger jammed point down into the massive wooden table. The old beds were all in a very decayed state, a rack holding seven swords at the back of the room held some promise.

As Jonas stepped past the threshold of the door way, a magical trap was sprung.

Swords.jpg

The seven racked swords quivered for a moment then sprang to life, launching them selves across the room. The two closest to Jonas struck him down, spraying his blood over his comrades’ faces.

The rest of the team with better positioning in the hallway faced off against not invisible swordsmen but swords that moved as if wielded by skilled warriors.

Illium and Jaxx held the font line having just watched their friend crumple in a heap and his blood begin to form a pool beneath him.

The Sorceress and Cleric called for a retreat as they blasted the animated swords with magic missile and radiance of the dawn, then moved back for tactical advantage to the hallway intersection.

Neither Illium or Jaxx gave up an inch however as they exchanged further blows with the animated weaponry.

Another barrage from Bururu and Estelia followed by more blade work and the lifeless foes were finally defeated.

Near death, Jonas lay on the ground. The dragonborn cleric chanted one of her most powerful healing spells to restore vitality to the entire group and save young Jonas from spending his last breath.

Before taking any time to rest with the near deadly encounter, the team fell to ransacking the room.

Nothing stood between Illium and the shiny red dagger and she yanked it out of the table to admire the polished blade and red lacquered handle.

The rest of the group lost interest in the room after going over the bedding and finding nothing of use or value.

Spending an hour to rest up they moved VERY cautiously into the other large chamber down the opposing corridor.

Finding nothing attempting to kill them they gleafully examined the room and it’s contents.

As the elves and dragonborn perused the book shelves, making happy sounds as they found things of interest, Jaxx wandered over to an object in the corner with a dirty grey tarp tossed over it.

Yanking the tarp off with little affair he found himself faced with not a statue but some kind of large un-moving man-like creature. It appeared to be stitched together with pieces of different corpses, and smelling somewhat musty.

Jaxx with his usual subtlety and caution unsheathed his great blade and swung at it as hard as he could. His sword bounced off the ensorcelled flesh like a club off a large stump with no perceivable damage.

He pounded away at the thing before growing bored and disinterested and moving on to examine the sarcophagi that Jonas seemed to inspecting closely.

The ladies were pulling magic scrolls wedged between the books as well as come choice volumes they thought might be of interest.

Jonas, inspecting the memorial noted that the statue next to what seemed to be a lanky human armed with many small blades had a plaque labeled simply “Tallin Halewood.”

The other statue portrayed a muscular sword-wielding human apparently named Marcus Black.

On close inspection, the lid of Tallin’s sarcophagus was slightly askew. Jonas heaved at it with all his might, but could not budge it. Interest peaked, Jaxx and the rest of the party began to help and they were able to apprehensively slide the lid off. Suddenly it fell to the floor and cracked in half.

The sarcophagus was empty but for cobwebs and dust.

Checking the second encasement, they found it did indeed contain human remains. Nothing that tried to eat them however.

Done with the room, the party moved down the final corridor to the gigantic double doors.

The doors were inscribed with more warding runes, but these no one in the group could decipher these or divine their nature.

Growing bored again as the more learned members of the group puzzled over the meaning of the runes, Jaxx once more grasped the metal bar that was the door’s handle and heaved mightily to try and open it.

The door barely moved then with great suddenness it sprang open. A gust of wind rushed down the hallway pushing the team toward the room and sending more than one character tumbling, some into the room beyond.

It was as if the room was taking its first breath in a kings age.

Holding glowing weaponry aloft to take in the room, they found another large chamber, this one mostly empty. The only thing of interest was a sphere of utter darkness in the center of the room.

Sphere.jpg

Taking little caution, the barbarian hurled one of his javelins at it. It was right on target and disappeared silently into the blackness.

Moving a little more cautiously this time, Jaxx poked just the tip of a javelin into it, then pulled it back. The Javelin was missing its the portion he pushed into the sphere.

The group pausing to consider the ramifications could hear a slight hissing sound that seemed to be air coming in contact with the surface of the sphere.

Jonas who had been hanging back ever since his most recent near death experience, was keeping an eye on the rear without getting too far away from the team.

As he stood poised for anything outside the sphere chamber, he could not shake a tingle at the back of his head that there was something he should be noticing. Inspecting the room, he attracted the notice of others in his team and they looked closely at the walls and ceiling.

Finally they spotted an odd stone on one of the walls and pressed in on it. It moved and as it was pressed more, there was a loud click and a section of the wall opened. Beyond the secret door they followed a short passage to a secret chamber.

Inside they found a chest filled with counted stacks of coin, a table topped by 8 potion bottles, and a shelf that held several items of interest.

As the rest of the the team experimented with their find, Lady Bururu picked up a curious hat. It was smooth leather that fit tightly over the skull with flaps that covered the ears.

A pair of blacked out goggles were attached. As she drew it over her scaly head, and slid the glasses over her eyes, the rest of the team was shocked to see her fall to the floor.

From the dragonborn’s perspective, she was no longer aware of her body. In fact she seemed to be somewhere else, in a dark room with distant lighting reflecting down a corridor and into the chamber in which she stood. She moved forward toward the light through the room before the cap was yanked off her head by her companions.

She related her experience to the team, and tried again. She moved in the other place even more and found her self walking down the hallway behind which the team had moved up earlier.

The mystery was revealed as she came upon the party and herself. She was piloting the necormantic construct they had discovered earlier. The group argued over what to do with it, especially Jaxx who advocated walking it into the black sphere to see what would happen.

The team finished sorting through their new treasures, another especially note worthy device was a rod with two buttons on it. One button lengthened it into a quarterstaff. The other caused it become immobile. Even Jaxx could not budge it.

The team discussed their next step and it seemed unanimous that they wanted to try the portal to the Shadowfell they had found early on.

Goal in mind, they distributed their new wealth and magic.

[END of Part 3, Adventure 2 Conclusion]

Experience Points:
Animated Swords (50) x 7
Total: 350
Adventure Goal Award (Explore the dungeon of Loch): 1000

Break down Per Character (1300 / 5): 260

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Intermission
Clean Up Crew

With a loud triple clack sound the double doors open revealing more hallway. As the team peers into the space, they see wide flat corridor leading to a four way Intersection.

The sound of approaching foot steps from behind alerts Jonas first. Spinning around, blades instantly at the ready and followed shortly by the rest of the group, they see torchlight spilling into the entry corridor from the stairs above.

Hesitantly and grasping farm implements like weapons, half a dozen village folk descend the stairs and stared in shock at the characters.

“Uh…. Hi… we thought you were dead!” the strapping young villager wielding a blacksmith’s hammer stammered.

He looked around at the pile of zombie corpses in the room, wincing as he recognized the dead faces of those he knew from the village.

“Wow it looks like you uh…. took care of the problem, I don’t suppose you know what happened to them? Why did they become undead? Did you find a necromancer down here? How did you find this place? I’ve been in the tower many times but never have I seen this hidden underground place….” his rush of questions trails off as he stares at the glowing circle of runes on the floor.

The look on his face suggests that he is really worried about some fell magic slaying the village folk and bringing them back as zombies.

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[OK folks, this is your change to do some creative writing and fire back what your characters would like to do or say. Post in the Forum or send me email or even use facebook to post your response and I’ll add it into this post.]

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Second Adventure (Part 2)
My First Pit Trap

After a brief rest from their battle ordeal, the team got to their feet and decided to explore the strange underground dungeon.

While Jaxx scratched his thick skull trying to decipher the glowing circle of runes (he cannot read), the rest of the team also took a look at it. Lady Bururu’s training allowed her to not only identify the circle of runes as a portal to the Shadowfell (a dark, grim dimension with parallels to the mortal world), but she picked the command word to activate it from the inscribed runes. The keyword turned out to be “Shadow” which she shared with the group.

Inspecting the rest of the room found heavy, iron double doors exiting the north. They were decorated with spell sigils from a powerful abjuration against undead and outsiders (angels, demons etc) and a skull in the center of each door where a key hole was in the middle of each skull.

Retrieving his specialist tools from his gear, Jonas tried to pick the locks on the magically warded doors, but they proved to be more complicated than anything he had ever seen before despite the obvious age of the chamber. Gnomish make he thought, silently cursing.

The double doors in the east and west seemed to be far plainer, stout but simple unlocked wooden doors. Behind each door was a short hall and a turn toward a long descending stair.

Jaxx also took a minute to look for anything useful. He decided to try out the Shield and Long sword that the smarter undead (Illium had identified it as a wight) was using earlier and stowed his two-handed sword.

Travelling carefully downward on the west stair, weapons drawn and ready for anything, the party found another corner into a hall way at the bottom.

Despite light spells on various equipment, a wall of blackness blocked their view beyond a short hall.

Corridor.JPG

Jaxx prepared to walk into the darkness to see what he might find, but Lady Bururu stayed him with a hand. She moved up to the darkness and making no issue of it held out her Holy Symbol of Pelor the Sun god which flashed bright light. The light banished the darkness and they group peered into the room he had concealed.

The corridor met a small chamber about 20’ by 20’ off center. Jaxx had almost stepped right into a large 10 foot deep gaping pit filled with evil looking metal spikes that filled half the square room.

A sparkle entered Jaxx’s eyes at the sight of a chest in the far corner of the room.

Taking a couple steps to run up Jaxx leaped gracefully across the pit, his long legs easily vaulting him over the pit to the flat floor on the other side.

He walked over and lifted the lid of the unlocked chest and was surprised by a disgusting grey ooze that immediately lashed out at his face with a hungry tendril.

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As the barbarian swung with his looted long sword and guarded with his shield, the rest of the team attempted to join in.

First to react was the young rogue Jonus. Eager for some action, he took a running start to repeat Jaxx’s earlier leap. Unfortunately his timing was just off, jumping too soon and not clearing the space. He collided with the far wall and bounced off it down into the spike filled pit. He was pierced and impaled by three iron spikes that gave him pain like he’d never known. He passed out, while precious blood seaped across the dirty floor.

Jaxx continued to exchange blows with the goop as Lady Bururu clumsily dropped a curtain of radiant energy, almost burning the ooze, and almost burning Jaxx.

The elf ranger Illium likewise strode forward and repeated Jonas’ feat, joining him at the bottom of the pit. Her body must have been somewhat cushioned by Jonas, or perhaps she was more used to pain. She managed to remain conscious and stand up though her fresh wounds pained her.

Estelia, seeking to finish off the strange creature quickly blasted three blue bolts of energy into the bowl of goop. The bolts moved swiftly and unerringly around Jaxx to strike home, splattering grey goop about the room.

Jaxx struck the ooze again with the new sword noticed that it seemed to be reacting with the metal of the sword slightly, causing it to hiss as he plunged it into the bowl, fortunately the blade did not seem worse for wear.

Whether it was that or a more accurately placed spell by the cleric, it wasn’t clear – but the ooze was finally splattered sufficiently to remove all cohesion of its form, killing it.

A brief inspection of Jaxx’s blade suggested some magic it was imbued with perhaps protected it against the metal eating slime and it seemed in good shape.

Jaxx searched the chest for anything of actual value as Illium climbed up out of the pit using a rope lowered down to her. Jonas’ blood continued to expand a growing puddle upon the floor as Estelia, and Illium debated how to get Lady Bururu close enough to cast her healing spells upon him. Finally, Estelia slid down into the pit and tied a rope underneath Jonas’s arms. Some how they tugged him off the spikes and pulled him up and Lady Bururu was able to cast Spare the Dying on him to stabilize him.

Jaxx searched the chest but found nothing of value, just a chipped porcelain bowl filled with now lifeless grey ooze. A strange twinkle in Illium’s eye, she asked Jaxx to toss the bowl across the pit back to her. Jaxx carefully double-hand tossed the full bowl to her, and Illium’s elven reflexes allowed her to not only catch the bowl but avoid spilling it’s contents.

From there the group retreated back up the stairs to the main room (Jaxx once again clearing the pit with a graceful leap). They rested for 8 hours to recover their spells an heal their injuries.

Jonas feeling recovered, took the lead once more as they descended the set of stairs via the east exit from the main chamber. Halfway down the Jonas’ forte came in play and he spotted a very difficult to notice trap. One of the steps was not as squarely set as the others, it was slightly off. Jonas recognized it as a pressure activated trap and immediately showed the rest of the team.

Taking care to step gingerly over the step, the team proceeded down to the bottom. Turning a sharp corner, they found the passage ended somewhat abruptly. I stone lion head protruded from the dead end. On inspection, it seemed that a hole in the lion’s “throat” was dark and deep enough to thrust an arm down.

LionHead.jpg

Barely hesitating and always eager for treasure it seemed, Jaxx thrust his arm down the leonine passage. Feeling around he discovered a cold hard metal lever. He pulled on it causing a stone block to press down upon his arm trapping it in place. The action also seemed to trigger a spell.

A ghostly voice uttered a riddle in the tongue of the dragonborn.

Yawns never sleeps
Goes never moves
Takes never gives
What is my name?

Taking no chances after seeing what her impulsive companions are prone to doing, Illium climbed back up the steps to just above the suspicious trap stair and remained there.

The group struggled mightily to come up with an answer. An incorrect guess completed the trap, a sharp needle lanced into the barbarian’s arm. Thankfully any poison on the needle had long since dried up and become inert.

His arm released, he mentally thanked the gods for not taking off his hand as he rubbed the small stab wound. Not willing to let it go the team thought long and hard about it throwing around suggestions.

Finally feeling like the answer was in sight, the priestess inserted her scaly arm into the lions maw. Turning back to her comrades, she saw the doubt on their faces and realized she actually was not quite sure of the answer still.

Redoubling their efforts with yet another companion’s arm trapped, they plead to the gods for some inpiration. Finally, nearly at wits end, Lady Bururu stumbled upon the correct answer.

“Portal” she whispered.

The Lion’s maw released its death grip, and the lever they reached for came free. Attached to the lever was a small silvery key.

Grateful to be done with the tricky stair well, the crew proceeded back up into the chamber above.

Illium however just had to know, she wanted badly to know what would happen when the stair trap was activated. Perhaps there was a souvenir to be had here as well? With the rest of the crew safely back in the central chamber, she gingerly placed some weight on the pressure triggered step.

The step was incredibly sensitive, after just the lightest touch of her elven boot, the trap sprung. All the steps in the corridor moved on a secret hinge, instantly turning the entire stair into a smooth ramp. At the bottom of the stair the floor dropped away revealing a dark pit.

Fortunately Illium’s finely honed reflexes and her expectation that something was about to happen allowed her to catch her fall with catlike grace, her arms and legs caught against the floor and ceiling instantly, saving her a short if painful journey to the bottom of the second pit.

After struggling to hold her self in that position for a few moments, the rest of the team dropped a rope down the ramp to her allowing her to easily scale back up to safety. After about a minute, the trap self reset via hidden springs. Again likely more gnomish work Jonas surmised silently. Such a mechanism would be quite complex.

The team gathered in the central chamber once more and confirmed their suspicion. The recovered key allowed them to open the warded doors revealing yet more corridor….

[To be continued next game…..]

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Second Adventure (Part 1)
Enter the Ranger

The village of Loch is the closest human settlement to the edge of the Greenwood forest. The few travellers that pass through it from the lands to the east would note that it had a very large and well-appointed inn for such a small community. The crumbling tower ruin surrounded by tombstones at the edge of the village suggest it may have been a more important place many years ago.

LochCemetary.jpg

Illium the elven ranger arrived as an affliction took hold. Shivering and sniffling she made her way past the creepy cemetery as the sun dropped below the horizon.

As she approached the Weary Traveler Inn, she momentarily encountered two odd folk leaving it. She was feeling ill and barely registered a stoic, well-armed human in a huntsman’s garb along side a dark robed figure with hood drawn high. Not caring that it was a bit weird for travelers to be leaving the tavern at that late hour, she bartered swiftly for a room and slept through most of the next few days.


An exhausted group, consisting of Jonas, Jaxx, Estelia and Lady Bururu pushed through the early evening hours to make it from the edge of the Greenwood into Loch in the hopes of finding a real bed. They entered the Weary Traveler relieved to find warmth on the chilly, foggy evening.

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The inn was packed with towns folk and Illium who had finally come down from her room now that she was feeling better. However instead of a warm place to relax, the adventurers found a room filled with tension.

A large inebriated farmer and some of his friends were standing in front of Illium’s table gesticulating and speaking rudely to her. He bellowed loudly to the room’s inhabitants, claiming that a series of disappearances that had occurred over the past few days started after Illium had arrived.

The confused ranger tried to convince the farmer to back off and calm down as the tired adventurers watched. Not to be dissuaded, the farmer seemed to be about to escalate his opinions into violence when Jonas Peter decided it was time to act rather than banter words. With lightning speed he cracked his raper across the farmer’s head knocking him down and out.

The entire room silent with shock and with the farmer’s friends looking to the rogue and clenching their fists, Jaxx strode up behind Jonas. The barbarian’s 7 foot 4 inch presence seemed to take some of the fight out of the drunk’s friends. The innkeeper rushed up to check on the unconscious man and calm things down.

From there, the adventurers confirmed that some of the towns folk had been going missing over the past few days. A little girl sidled up to Illium and asked if she would help find them. Illium agreed to help at that and the whole group was thinking about where to get started. Jonas Peter ordered a round of drinks and when no one else seemed to want to partake, he quaffed the lot on his own. He is drunken enjoyment was interrupted by a villager entering the inn abruptly.

He claimed that he saw his missing aunt, but when he called out to her, she retreated into the fog outside. At that the group quickly moved out side to investigate. They followed some tracks the the far side of the town square. Four silent villagers fled their approach between buildings and heading to the grave yard at the edge of town.

As the group followed, them to the graveyard and saw them enter the ruined tower at the top of the hill, a scream was heard back in town.

Splitting up, Jonas and Illium ran back toward the Weary Traveller. Lady Bururu, Jaxx and Estellia followed the path through the cemetery to the tower.

LochTower.jpg

Once at the tower, the dragon born, elf and human saw that the four folk they had been pursuing were recently killed zombies. The zombies assaulted the team at the tower as a drunken Jonas and Illium entered the Inn..

As the last of a group of fleeing villagers ran from the inn door, the pair arrived upon a scene of absolute carnage. The room was littered with the corpses of fearful folk. The inn keeper’s wife was pinned up against a wall by another fresh zombie, it chewed into her neck silencing her forever. A second zombie was also noticing their entrance and they moved forward to attack. Strangely, two more zombie villagers were ignoring them and trying to retrieve a sword and shield mounted above the bar as an old trophy decoration.

Both groups fought the zombie villagers simultaneously. Despite his drunken state, Jonas fared surprisingly well against the pair at the in entrance as illium back stepped and began to poke holes in the undead with arrows.

The barbarian backed up by spells from a sorceress and a cleric of the sun god, made short work of their assailants.

Back at the bar, Illium and Jonas finished off the first pair as the second had retrieved the bar room trophies and escaped out the back door.

Ilium and Jonas made some attempt at stealth as they followed them out the back. The undead villagers made their way to a back entrance to the cemetery where they saw a much scarier looking dead man take the sword and shield from his servants.

Retreating from the frightening figure, they met their companions back at the tavern. When the now armed zombie-master undead did not pursue them, and after a short rest to recover from their injuries, they decided they would pursue the evil dead next.

Moving as a team, they went back to the place where Jonas and Illium had spotted the zombie master. Illium seemed enraged, but cold and tracked the undead back up to the tower once more. Inside they found some kind of throned receiving room.

In the center of the room an unlikely set of stairs curled downward under the tower. With light spells cast, the five-some cautiously moved downward.

Upon reaching the bottom, a hall opened into a larger chamber. In the center a spell circle of glowing mystic runes was inscribed into the floor. More not-quite dead villagers were waiting in two of the other three exits from the room. Before anyone could react on either side, from behind some rubble, a much faster moving undead (illium believes it is a Wight), gets in front of the group, blocking them from moving into the room.

The wight takes on Jaxx and Jonas as the team retaliates. Estelia, trying to get a better vantage on it, rushes past her comrades and dodging its blade, moves into the room. Its zombie reinforcements surround Estelia and re-inforce its own position.

The fight is fierce with the team pulling out all the stops. The fight ends as Jaxx is knocked out from the fiend’s blade and the Wight is finished off by a blow from Jonas. Estellia had been taken down just before.

Fortunately Estellia and Jaxx were down but not dead. WIth the wight dead, the remaining zombies were finished off fairly easily.

[END of Part 1]

Experience Points:
Wight (700) x 1
Zombies (50) x 12
Total: 1300
Adventure Goal Award (Save village of Loch): 1000

Break down Per Character (2300 / 5): 460

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First Adventure
Rules of the Elf Road

Having finished some very boring work for uninspiring pay as caravan guards, our new-found adventuring group (as of yet un-named) was interrupted one evening on the road.

A gigantic, ancient fortress, resting upon a massive stone base, and carried along by 6 insectile legs stepped on their camp fire. Lady Bururu, Estellia, Jaxx and Jonas took cover in the tall grass near by.

Fortress.jpg

Leaving a 20 ft wide, man-deep circular “foot print” in the middle of their camp, the behemoth structure settled to the ground.

As dawn peaked over the treed hill over which it had just stepped, the adventurers minds struggled to comprehend this enormous thing which had passed over them.

Estellia remained hidden in the grass and simply breathed her way through a wave of primal fear inspired by the awesome sight. The wave passed and she looked with curiosity at what had just passed over her.

The others did not fare so well. The Dragonborn Cleric Bururu dashed off toward the trees away from it. Jaxx, the 7’4" human barbarian screamed incomprehensible curses and threw his torches at it in a fit of rage. Jonas peed all over his ninja pants, dumbstruck.

Shortly after recovering their dignity, the un-named foursome encountered a grey-haired human who introduced himself as Professor Andrew Glass from the University of Balmal in Arcanumat.

Trailing the professor was a string of riderless horses, apparently his fallen comrades’. He explained that days hence they attempted to breach and investigate the frightening fortress. Hid job as a scholar was to study the enormous mobile fortress and report his findings to his superiors.

He offered the team a job delivering a scroll containing this report to his superiors at the university. After some negotiation, the players agreed to accept payment of 40 GP each up front and 200 GP each on delivery of the scroll to the High Council of the University of Balmal (with the addendum that the scroll remain un-opened by them).

The party went forth with gold filled pockets, a wax-sealed scroll, a signed document promising additional payment from the university and instructions to seek out the well-known “Elf-Road” through the ancient Greenwood Forest (Famous as the homeland of the elves).

So far, no one has suggested opening and reading the scroll.

Two days travel down the “safe” road, the adventure-seekers encountered a horse galloping toward them dragging the still body of a dead man. Beyond being dragged by horse, he appeared to have been killed by a crude arrow. The party looted what they could in the way of rations and coin from the saddle bags and moved on.

Proceeding cautiously down the road, with Jonas Peter scouting ahead, the party spotted a small group of goblins, the apparent killers of a gnome merchant and his two guards. Unable to surprise the goblins due to the dragonborn’s jingly chainmail, they fought to avenge the fallen folk by ridding the world of these foul creatures.

Goblin.jpg

A brief by decisive victory was won by the allies over a pair of goblin archers and some skirmishers. A single goblin was able to run away into the bush.

The party looted all the corpses, with the barbarian taking a cask of lamp oil from the wagon in the hopes it might be useful or valuable.

Days further along the twisty frustratingly slow to travel Elf Road, the part encountered some kind of psychic distress call.

Quickly deciding to investigate, they left the road in the direction of the call. Jonas in the lead once more, he happened upon a gruesome scene.

In a grassy clearing, lay a barely alive unicorn covered in its own blood and entrails. It was surrounded by a group of robed humans, some kind of weird cult. They were torturing the poor beast.

Unicorn1.jpg

As the group arrived on the scene to take action (again stealth not working out for them) the cultists were not surprised except by the unicorn which managed to skewer and kill one of them even while prone with its sharp horn.

A hard fought battle was won, though multiple members of the group were knocked unconscious from the wounds inflicted by the cultist’s daggers.

With its last living moments, the unicorn demanded the group “purge the corruption” with a psychic demand / plea. Its horn detached from the unicorn’s brow, the last of its natural pure magic stored within. It was evident from the psychic message that the horn could be used in the purging.

After the battle the group rested to take stock and recover from their wounds.

The unicorn’s body while gravely wounded by the cultists seemed to have suffered the worst wound from a hit by an evil looking arrow. Knowledge checks by the still un-named party suggested that the arrow was an arrow of unicorn slaying, an extremely rare item and likely far above the means of the rag tag bunch of human cultists such as these appeared to be. It was also observed that none of the cultists seemed to have had a bow. A mystery for another time perhaps.

They found an ugly brown sludge had entered the river adjacent to the clearing and it seemed to be killing the plant life along the shore as well as fish and small animals that had tried to drink from the river.

Offended by the desecration to nature and fully rested, the group decided to set off to find the source of the sludge and see if they could stop it.

They followed the trail of goop up river to a feeder stream that seemed to be made up of the stuff. The stream lead to a natural looking cave. Lady Bururu and Estellia cast illuminating cantrips on some sticks and used proceeded into the cave.

Walking up hill they came to a pool and found that stalactites and stalagmites were preventing them from walking along side the disgusting stream any longer. Braving the black waters they made their way deeper, avoiding exposure to the fluid as best they could.

At one point the cave and stream widened. A body was spotted on the far side of the stream. As Jaxx and Jonas waded across to investigate, a being of pure shadow rose from the depths of the dark stream to attack them. The undead shadow, likely the spirit risen from the near-by corpse attacked the group. Jonas was nearly slain before an attack spell of radiant energy from Lady Bururu hand finished it off.

Recovering from the near deadly encounter and completing their looting of the corpse, the party obtained a Magic Ring, a Fine Scimitar and pouch of 8 uncut gem stones worth about 50 gp each.

The cave opened up to a hidden grotto, a once magical and very special place in nature that is open to the sky but surrounded by walls of rock. Once mighty trees slain by the corruption, the group found evidence that some form or profane ritual had been performed. It appeared someone had corrupted the hidden grove on purpose.

With the druid guardian slain, nothing had prevented that corruption from spreading through the spring waters.

Tossing the unicorn horn into the spring destroyed the corruption, however the group perceived that the holy magic of the place was forever gone.

The group rested in the grotto and took stock of their journey so far.

[Level Up!]

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