World of Omphalos

From Britchard's notebook
Group 2 Adventuring in Kalis

After a long day of Turing into a dog, Mula Bandah was getting tired of searching for the red door.
So many smells when your a dog it was a bit overwhelming. She noticed 3 people who looked like adventures. She overheard something about the red door she ran up to them and sniffed them
“OI lets put this mutt of her misery” Said one of them

Poof Mula became the Small Gnome once more “hello I heard you where looking for the red door as well”
Suddenly a monster attacked from the Alley.
It killed off two of the adventurers. and Mula missed with her attack.
Mula noticed 5 people walking by the end of the alley way one Male elf and 4 identical Female elves.
One of these female elves shot the monster with the arrow but not before the monster got a fatal blow on the last of adventurers.
The monster ran off seeming quite wounded by the arrow that one of the Elves shot.

Mula ran to the dying adventurer and poured her healing magic into her but to no avail.
With their last breath the adventurer said you must get out of the City. My uncle (name) use it to get into the red door it is a way out of the city.
And with that, the adventurer died. Mula now blood soaked looted the bodies and followed the group of elves and discovered the red door!
She made her way back to the Relgurd mansion that the group had taken up to be their own.

That night in the dead of night. The man who the group saw in the forest and fought outside of the Doppelgangers home. The man with the stone horse and who can fly. Was floating above Xylia. She awoke with a startle as a box was placed on her chest. The man said “you are causing me a lot of problems.” “we are working for the same person. you must take this group and get them out of the city.” “But first the half orc. He has stolen things that our master wants back. Steal back the Book, Amulet, Potion, and the stone horse statue.” take it to (Name) in the temple of Validoor. Once this is completed get your group out of the city. and to prove that we are not messing around. Look in the box. A finger of a small child. The flying man left and Xylia went back to a fretful sleep.

Xylia first up in the morning woke up and went to the Living room placing the box on the Table waiting for the rest of the group to join her.
Grum Next up felt this strange new power after a strange dream. He had an urge and as grum does he followed them.
Grum Barrled into Elgeiros Room Pointed at him and Yelled “POOOOOOOOOP
Elgerios felt a wave coming over him but was able to shrug it off. Elgeiros clearly confused at what just happened as Grum ran out the door giggling like a school child.

As everyone made their way to the kitchen People noticed that Xylia was not doing anything but looking at the box and they started to inquire.
Aiza made an attempt to reach for the Box but was quickly slapped away by Xylia.
Mardis eventually asked what was going on.

Xylia then started her story. A story about how she was once a Nobel woman in Crux. Who had a husband and a child and they were making their way in the world. Then one of the other nobel houses Killed her husband and kidnapped her child. Forcing her to Kill and whore in order to keep her child safe. She admitted to the shock of all that she had murdered It has been 3 years since she has seen her child. she is tired of following their instructions and wants revenge on them. She then told the group of how she was visited in the night by the flying man. How he told her to take the group out of the city. How she needed to steal from Grum a Book, Amulet, Potion, and the stone horse statue.

Elgeiros peaked up at the word book and he looked at grum and said you have the book now?
Grum rummaged in he dirty backpack and said “ya I use for poop paper u can have was going to give to you when u poop yourself for joke hahaha”
Elgeiros eagerly took the book and noticed it has very similar symbols to what he is used to reading knowing that it was magical.

Xylia continued her story saying that the man wanted them out of the city by the next day. All kind of shocked by this and not sure what to do. The attention then turned to Mula who they had not seen the past day they proceeded to share the stories about the night before Mula and the monster with the group of 5 strange elves.
The rest of the group taking the a job from lord Gilthaniel for 150g each. They explained that they had to go to a park at midnight and just gaurd the elves. But then they were betrayed and had
to fight off a cult who seemed to want an amulet. Cybris showed up after the fight and made everyone tell the truth and that doppelgangers were everywhere.
Cybris said that he doesnt trust our group but we are the only ones he knows are not doppelgangers as they have taken and that Cybris will contact us in a few days to help him.

Xylia decides that she is going to ask (name) in the temple of validoor for more time to steal the items.
The Group goes out to the temple district with Britchard in the lead annoucing to all to make way for Grum the great
Once the group made it to the temple district they found Criers calling for the Arrest of Cybris for 1500 GP.
Xylia attempts to contact (name) only to find that they are unavailable leaves a message asking for more time for the mission.

The group makes their way back to the Relgurd mansion and find a Gnome that they have seen before Alton Goodbarrel makes an impashinate plea to the group to help him save his town from Ogres. Feeling bad but putting the bigger picture of the city in peril over that of a small town the Hero’s say they will help but they must first help the city more. Unknown to all Grum managed to steal Altons Purse after hearing the man had 72gold on him.
Grum offers to pay Alton if he starts cleaning up the Mansion. Alton & Britchard join the group on another outing to see if they could find the red door as it may offer a way out of the city

The group then decieds to see if they can find Cybris. First searching the old Manson that they originally found the dopplegangers in.
Unable to find him and unsure what to do next they then go to the house of Deacon Richard & jennifer cole only to find Jennifer had been murdered on the bed. Their worst fears that Richard was still a doppleganger were confirmed.

The group finally made the way to the Red door which Mula had found last night
They open the red door and are met again by the teifling. They provide the name that Mula received and the Teifling confirms that they are allowed in.
The Teifling provides a menu of services provided by the red door.
Information / Stealing / assassination / Chamber of endless flesh / Food and Drink / teleportation out of the city.

After much debate the group desides to pay 500G for the information of where Cybris is. As he is the only one who seems to be trying to help the city. The Teifling said that it would take 24 hours and to come back.

Grum decided to send Britchard back to the mansion and partake himself in the Chamber of endless Flesh.
Alton Goodbarrel wanted the group to leave the city but since he did not have 500G to pay for it he was stuck in the city still.

The Group returned back to the mansion and a few hours later covered in some unknown Goo Grum also returned.
The group Convered in the living room for the evening and talked about their options. Brichard was cleaning grum backpack and noticed the Stone horse took it out and started playing with it and with a flash of Light the stone statue that they had seen the flying man use was in the house.

Dryadalis Libertas
Group 3, EP 2, Welcome Enna

After a night of well needed rest the group of unlikely heroes decide to accompany the caravan march, but not before sitting down to a full continental breakfast featuring, not surprisingly, an assortment of ham and bacon given to them by the innkeeper as thanks. The team agrees to a fee of one gold per day with “room” and board, and acquires any necessary supplies before taking off. As they leave the city the festivities seem to be picking up as the town prepares to celebrate the festival of light, a Christmas-like tradition in which towns-folk wait till the eve to bring a lit candle to their would-be beloved and if accepted the candle stays lit celebrating their love with dance and jolly.

As the long trek north begins, it becomes obvious that the majority of the caravaneers are unhappy about the slavers trailing at the tail end of the caravan, but before talking to the troupe’s leader, Carl Buckins, the group comes across a lone elf traveling by horse waiting in the road. Mr.Buckins greeted the huntress as Enna, welcoming her back from her business to the troupe. Rio quickly takes note of her “qualities,” while Sol keeps a silent observance as she asks about the slavers trailing the tale end of the troupe. Sol bites his tongue as he holds back his anger, but it doesn’t take long before he asks the slaver’s leader, a tall, red-scaled dragonborn, about the chained elven slaves surrounded by his group of guards. Harsh words are spoken in draconic, leaving the rest of the group only in wonder as to what was said, despite the brief conversation had, Sol manages to keep his cool despite being unhappy about the treatment of such people in plight, regardless of it’s legality. As a paladin, his duty comes first and foremost to upholding the law, weather or not he agreed with it. Enna too seemed displeased, and asked the tall knight about the conversation had, gaining very little from him that helped, eventually leading to her taking time to feed and talk to the slaves directly once night fell. Keeping a close distance, Sol watched over the interaction, while Dusty and Rio got up to their normal mischief and Vanessa spent her time absorbing as much information as she could from the local caravan’s alchemist.

Trouble began to brew when the lead the dragonborn, Draxan brought his prized half-elf to the campfires, chained and reluctant to obey. Her captor sought it fit to try and have a bit of fun, prompting Dusty to take it upon himself to play along as offer to rent her for her “services.” Unawares to her, the half-elf slave put up a great fight, eventually realizing what was going on when the first of her shackles came “miraculously” free, but all the fight she had put up screaming and kicking attracted the rest of the party to the seen. Sol was the first to argue against what was happening, providing the perfect distraction, but unfortunately leading Enna to take matters into her own hands as she saw one of her own kind shoved underneath the slave wagon to be raped. Not knowing our group of unlikely heroes, she took aim and shot one of the guards, which lead to Sol unleashing his sword on the two in front of him. It wasn’t long before the rest of the group closed the distance, attempting to aid their allies as Dusty convinced the slave girl to play along as he quickly freed her form the rest of her constraints. While the group engaged the guards, Dusty and the half-elf woman made their escape into the night, but combat was cut short as Draxan angrily called for a halt to the violence and called Mr.Buckins to the scene where one of his slave-catchers lay dead. The team bitterly ceased their quarrel with the prospect that they might lose their contract with the troupe, Mr.Buckins agreed to take on the loss of pay for the team’s actions. After some brief words everyone dispersed, and the dragonborn finally realized his prized half-elf slave had managed to escape. Fortunately, Dusty had managed to lead their pursuers on a wild goose chase, giving the girl what money he had and directing her back to Eastbridge as he covered their tracks and injured himself to deceive the slavers into believing she managed to escape on her own.

That night while everyone slept, Vanessa’s dreams took on a sinister tone. She dreamed about an eerie, red-eyed crow pecking at her face as a cloaked figure warned her about something called a “noctus,” its warnings implying that she must kill it or be killed. The figure seemed vaguely familiar, as if it was the same presence that saved her so long ago.

But it wasn’t until the following day that Enna spotted a grisly seen of dead bodies in an overturned cart ahead on the road, and Vanessa was certain of their reality. Upon closer inspection, it became obvious that this was no mere accident; the bodies lay strewn on the ground with ritualistic markings drawn in their own blood and dismembered limbs. Even the horse lay dead in front of the cart. As the party drew closer, a chill ran down Vanessa’s spine as she spotted two red eyes among a murder of crows pecking and flocking over the carnage. She suddenly recognized the markings as something she had seen from the same cult that she had escaped from. Relaying what she knew about cult activities, she informed the group that this was no work of one person alone and that her dreams had warned her about this the night prior. As the crows leapt into the air to flee as they drew closer, Dusty was the first to try and take down the red-eyed crow as Vanessa tried to command the bird to fall. As her spell faltered, it was obvious that the bird was able to understand her, but it was Dusty’s arrow that brought it to the ground. Before she could make sure the crow was dead for good, the birds’ corpse disappeared, making Vanessa all the more worried.

After setting the cart afire to cover up the scene, the group returned to the caravan, only to spot three stone creatures coming directly for their troupe. As the constructs drew closer, they quickly had to decide whether or not they would engage, as the three stone constructs carried a ruined stone above their heads, not stopping as they came down the path. The caravan eventually decided to move aside and let them pass, the group doubting their ability to stop such creatures. After trailing them a safe distance away from the caravan, the team eventually returned to the caravan, leaving them feeling at a loss as to whether or not they made the right decision to let them go.

That night Vanessa wasn’t the only one to find sleep uneasy, her dream’s warning and the day’s encounter adding to her doubt that encountering the same cult she had fled yet again was anything but coincidence.

Cards, a dead pig, and a kidnapping
Group 3's First Game!

Our unlikely heroes find themselves at a card table in an inn in the town of East Bridge, a River-side community separated from its sister, West Bridge, by an ancient span of white stone. Riardon, Sol, Vanessa, and Dusty each find themselves pitted against each other in a casual card game accompanied also by two elves who identify themselves as Lura and Saerin from Wyrmwood. What started as an easy going game quickly turned into a no-holds-bar poker game, the prize being whatever money was inside the pot and the deciding rites to a unified decision on which contract the inn had to offer. Celin’s comical nature did nothing to dissuade the tension as 3 members of our unlikely crew were quickly caught cheating, resulting in both Celin and his sister Luna promptly leaving the table with whatever money he could get his hands on in a fluster. To make matters worse, the town’s polarized neighbor, West Bridge, decided it would be a fun prank to release pigs into the inn, which, of course, ran for the group’s table. Riardon, Dusty and Vanessa attempted to wrangle the little piglets, while much to their dismay, Sol decided it was better to slaughter to mother pig in its tracks. The poor farmer, whose pigs had been released against his wishes into the inn, was in a panic, sobbing over the loss of his pig. After the townsmen removed the carcass, despite Sol’s wishes to butcher it on the spot, the inn managed to quiet down. Vanessa had a few words with Riardon, holding him responsible for his friend’s bizarre actions and the group separated to find out about the possible contracts.

While Riardon worked his charm on a flirtatious caravan woman, Vanessa too used her charm to get any rumors from a young half-elf lady at the bar. Riardon managed to get information about a possible guard accompaniment for the caravan troupe while Vanessa was lamented about rumors of West Bridge beer turning a man sterile, frogmen cults in the wood and a possible contract for goblin ears from the forest. But while some of the group managed to get useful information, Sol decided to pick a fight with the elf that stole from them, accusing them of cheating. After a brief tussle which resulted in the elf being pushed to the floor, Sol was approached not just by one woman, whom he swatted away, but again by a seductive tiefling woman, wooed by his aggressive charm. The two made their way upstairs while Dusty used the commotion to steal and pick pockets. And though as much as Vanessa would have liked to continue consorting with the barmaid, she found herself babysitting her companion, Dusty, pulling him from the betting tables before he made matters worse with his drinking. Rairdon too found his night disappointing, having to trance on the bench outdoor his room with Sol.

The rest of the night was pretty uneventful until early morning when Vanessa woke to creaking sounds outside her room. Sneaking to the door, she inadvertently blew her cover, as she came eye to eye with one of the men making their way down the hall. Quickly taking cover, she awoke her companion Dusty and prepared for battle. As combat started, Rairdon quickly awoke and joined the fray, banging on the wall of Sol’s room. Clothed in their sleeping garments, and Sol butt naked, the group ended up managing to chase the group outside, with Dusty hot on their tales stealthing out the window. While Vanessa frantically grabbed her things, Sol booked it down the stairs with nothing but his bastard sword in hand. By the time they reached outside, Dusty lay badly wounded on the ground. Vanessa rushed to his side while Sol and Riardon ran after the assailants who had managed to capture and use the caravan woman as a shield. Yelling for help, Vanessa desperately tried to revive her companion, having to rely on her dark powers to abate him dying. With the Innkeeper’s help she brought him inside while Sol and Riardon managed to finish the kidnappers off and return the caravan woman back to the inn.

Once Upon a Sewer Part III
Group 1 runs into more underground trouble.

Work In Progress

Festival of the Light Part II
Group 2's adventures continue

[Work In Progress]

Festival of the Light Part II
Group 2's adventures continue

[Work In Progress]

The Master
Unbeknownst to Group 2, somewhere distant...

Amongst snowy grey peaks, concluding a winding trail a black stone tower stood. In stark contrast to the snow surrounding it, the Master’s sanctum refused the touch of ice which melted instantly on contact with the warm stone.

Inside, a chamber with shutters closed similarly repelled the cold. Like a container of darkness, the only source of illumination was a crystal sphere atop an wrought-iron stand.

A heavy wooden door burst open as an angry mage angrily strode into the room. Blood dripped from his soaking robes, smearing across the floor.. The Master had come home. He snapped his fingers and a half dozen lights blinked into existence atop magical sconces spaced evenly around the room.

He opened a large oaken armoire. His body was weakened, but his will was as intense as ever. He reached in and downed three healing potions in rapid succession. He sucked in a breath without pain finally and his shaking hands steadied. He grasped a staff from the armoire, a long shaft of black rune inscribed wood, topped by a glass sphere. The Blue iris of the eyeball inside the sphere widened as it regarded him. The master’s empty hand unconsciously reached half way up to the eye patch on his face as his remaining eye looked back.

The Master gestured and four pair of windows shutters slammed open, icy air rushing into the room. The ancient elf sucked in the invigorating air. He cast another spell and the blood disappeared from his robes. The one-eyed elf walked over to the scrying orb. He whispered words he knew very well and placed a hand on either side of the sphere. As he concentrated upon it, his visage grew even darker as a cold rage filled him. His vision beheld ruined cities on fire, bodies strewn in the streets. All races, all peoples he saw as he moved his far sight about. Tears traced down his face silently as he gazed upon those he loved most dearly.

“I know what I must do,” he muttered in elvish.

He moved away from the sphere, clutching the staff tightly. Despite his anger and despair, he pushed that aside with well practiced skill. His mind blanked instantly as he prepared to draw upon his deepest reserves of power to summon his most powerful spell. Then he filled his mind with the complicated spell pattern he had not often used. Geometric patterns of runes filled his powerful mind causing energy from outside his body to coalesce itself within his mind. He shaped the energy as an exercise of pure will forcing the tremendous amount of reality-altering energy to bend to his will. All of this done in nearly an instant.

Then the Master cast Wish.

Festival of Light Part I
Group 2 in the City of Kalis

The troupe of adventurers and their companion Galina, travelled the road South to the city of Kalis.

After two days walking they reached the open western gate of the high-walled city. With a population of over 30,000 people, this was quite a site. Mula’s stomach began to knot as they passed through the gate, her senses overwhelmed by sight, sound and smell, even in this relatively well ordered human construction.

Galina told the group they would be welcome at her family’s home. This turned out to be a large city estate. A mansion in the center of a well groomed grassy lawn and beds of flowers or sculpted shrubbery is protected by a wall and a large iron gate.

They met James the butler and were shown to rooms on the second floor. The group decided to go out that afternoon and collect the bounty on their collection of goblin and orc ears, keeping their gear with them.

Mula seemed to become quite overwhelmed by being in the city. The smells and sounds freaked her out a bit and she left the group for a time to collect herself.

The group wandered through the city until they located a bounty office run by the city. As they did so, they encountered a quiet tiefling man, who just dropped off a large sack of ears similar to what they were seeking to cash in on.

The officious, thin lipped man behind the counter adjusted the bounty value down like a stock price after the tiefling dropped off the ear. At the incredulous looks of the party, he just said that “The Hunter” had filled the quota the city had set and their ears were not as valuable now.

After claiming their money, the group was eager to spend it and relax. Aiza, still thinking about having to leave Boots behind just said, “I want a drink.”

The group wandered around until they found The Frothy Mug tavern and settled down to a large round table. The place was quite lively with a fat obsequious inn keeper named Fargus smiling at them when they flashed their new found gold.

The party started downing drinks, a silence settling over them. Grum walked over to the bar after he noticed a rather attractive half orc lady was bar-tending. Grum learned her name was Hava and started flirting with her in an unexpectedly successful manner.

The group met an entertaining server, a small gnome named Jinkle who caries around a step ladder between table so that he can reach the top and distribute drinks. He chats up the party and asks about them as he walks across the table to present the group their drinks.

The party noticed that the tiefling they saw earlier was in the same tavern and he sent over a nice bottle of elven wine to their table. He raised a glass to them after they got it as he sat alone at his table.

Xylia walked over to the Hunter’s table. She bantered with him a bit to suss him out before he insulted her, sending the rogue angrily back to her party’s table.

The group continued to drink as an emboldened Grum continued to make friends with Hava. At a near-by table, another group of rowdy adventurers was enjoying their evening. Grum was getting quite smashed and a depressed Aiza was starting to feel relaxed as was Mardis.

Elgeiros began to give Jinkle a hard time, and the gnome in the near-by group took offense. Hyjinx ensued as pranks between the tables ensued.

Some members of the group participate in dart throwing or arm wrestling. Xylia makes an excuse to visit the powder room and is not seen again in the bar that night.

A drunk arm wrestler gets rough with Jinkle and hurts him. Hava kicks him out as the party watches on.

Eventually the other table of adventurers heads out and Elgeiros uses his magic to harrass the gnome in the party.

Elgeiros gets in a confrontation with the party and with Hava who expels him from the tavern. The rest of the group goes with him.

As they are making their way back toward the mansion where they are being put up, a figure emerges from the shadows and attacks the group with amazing speed. Aiza goes down, falling unconcious from a deliberate pommel blow to he temple. The tiefling, whom the group realizes is “The Hunter”, must have followed them from the bar, deliberately did not use a lethal strike on Aiza.

The Hunter miscalculated the group’s strength however as he is quickly over matched by the four remaining party members, including blasts of fire from Elgeiros which took him down.

As the red-skinned tiefling’s body remained on the ground bleeding out, the group drags him to a near by alley and force-feeds him a healing potion. He awakens to their questioning, but not recognizing the group’s lethal intent refuses to answer them, once more underestimating them. Elgeiros stabs the man in frustration, knocking him out and spilling his blood onto the alley. Some how Elgeiros’ blow did not kill him outright and the tough tiefling continued to draw unconcious breath. Elgeiros nods slightly at Grum who stomped on his chest until he stopped breathing.

After completing their looting of the body which included some money and weapons, they headed back to the Mansion.

Xylia meets them there explaining that she felt sick and went home.

Grum drags Aiza over to a bed and everyone sleeps off their alcohol and recovers from their wounds for the morning.

No one notices that their host is not to be found.

Fire, Blood and Ears Part II
Group 2's adventures continue

The wolf-like howls of worgs signaling each other over long distances grew closer and the team abandoned any thought of destroying their log-bridge over the river ravine.

Seeking to re-unite with their companions below, the team tied off another rope to a tree and tried to climb down the 50 foot drop to the moderate water below.

Unfortunately, in their rush, and exhaustion from the fighting, the most of the team failed to properly grip the rope whilst descending and fell part of the way to the ground.

Elgeiros fell badly and a rocky blow to the head knocked him out cold.

The banged up adventurers did their best to float downstream, having managed to locate both the still-breathing Grum and Boots the mule that had managed to survive the fall as well.

Minutes passed as they tried to gain distance from their pursuers.

Then a great howl blasted through the ravine. The worgs and their goblin companions had caught up to their trail. As doglike screech of pain followed as their still-distant enemies climbed or jumped down to the river from above.

The companions scrambled down stream, towing their unconscious colleagues. The sounds of the approaching enemies indicated they were nearly upon them. The group split in half by the river let arrows fly at a bloodied worg and its uninjured companion. They four-legged canines quickly closed the gap. Surprising the group, the new comer stood in the front line on the north side of the river and let loose a bone snapping punch into the nose of one of the beasts. As it blinked the tears from its eyes and blood gushed from its nose, it continued to snap and attempt to tear at that group. A similar struggle on the south side of the river ensued with the injured beast.

The battle lasted only seconds, and the group was successful in defeating the monstrous wolves, but not without fresh injuries.

A fresh peal of angry howls in the distance shattered any thought of being able to rest. As the group began moving westward down stream again, the human woman urged them to climb the north side and escape the funnel they were trapped in.

Reluctantly, the group went along with the woman’s words and they used ropes to scale the cliff wall to the north side. Struggling to lift the massive orc, their mule and an unconscious elf, the team was able to do so before sighting any more worg and goblin scouting teams.

Fleeing from the hunting parties of the orcs and goblins though the trees and fog was neither easy, not pleasant. Injuries and unconscious companions slowing the team, they spotted an iridescent wall of fog in the distance.

As they approached, the team realized they were looking at a ley line, a natural mystic phenomena, a vein of magical energy. As they stepped into the ley line, a hair-raising tingle was felt on each party member’s skin. And for the druid, the surge of power poured into her, filling her drained reservoir or magic. She quickly began to use the re-invigoration, seemingly limitless to bring her healing magic to bear on the group. As Mula’s cure spells fixed their bodies, Mardis noticed that the ley energy, like a road through the forest, weaved downward into a high-walled grotto.

Deciding to investigate, and appreciating a chance for cover from hunting parties, the group descended a curving path between rocky walls to a circular clearing. At the far end of the clearing was an enormous stone carved to resemble a massive toad.


Before the great statue was an ancient slab of stone with holes in it. To one side of that was a pile of skulls, and on the other was a large pit. Several ancient pillars would have once added a temple like semblance had age and the elements not reduced them broken remnants. A second ley line flowed down one canyon wall and up and out the other forming a ley line nexus right above the frog statue and the altar.

The group looked around at the ancient scene, going as far as to touch the statue and Grum even lay down on the altar to see if something would happen. Peering into the hole, but deciding not to descend toward the bone littered bottom, the group pondered their next move.

The human woman approached Xylia and introduced herself as Galina Relgurd.

She spoke briefly about her experience before running into their group. She described being part of a caravan taking wagons of spirits and ales from Crux, her home city to Kalis for their annual Festival of the Light. They had camped for the night, when suddenly their camp was assaulted by orcs, goblins and worgs. Their wizard was able to cast a firey explosive spell, before being taken down by a squad of axe wielding orcs.

She’d had no choice in the face of the ambush but to dash for the trees and try to hide from the foul creatures as they cut down those fighting or fleeing.

It was then that she witnessed a strange scene. A figure in a hooded cloak was speaking to a very large orc clad in plate. The figure did not seem to be an orc, an elf or a human perhaps. The figured was carrying a glaive and gestured with it pointing toward the wood. She could not quite make out what the figure said. The figure climbed to the back of the stone horse statue. As motes of golden light seemed to appear around the horse surrounding the figure, the figure suddenly turned to look right at her. It barked an order at the orcs, pointing the glaive directly at her just before the figure disappeared along with the horse statue.

The orcs however growled in anger, or glee, she could not say, but the started running directly toward her hiding spot. She took off running as fast as she could. Shortly after she ran into the your group Galina explained.

The group seemed largely preoccupied with examining the ruin and did not ask her any questions.

After a few minutes, the more alert members of the team spotted another goblin on worg-back. The blood thirsty beast howeled, then foolishly charged into the clearing with the now refreshed adventurers. They were rapidly cut down by the group. More distant howls echoed the now slain beast and the team knew it was time to resume their flight.

Leaving behind the grotto, they could not help but feel they had missed something, however they put it behind them for the time being. As they left the ley line behind, they lost the replenishment of energy into their bodies and they wondered if they were making a mistake leaving behind the defensible position, but Galina urged them onward. She had seen the force that assaulted her caravan and if they were hunting them, the mystic energy would be unlikely to save them from that force.

Hours passed as the group pressed on, fleeing the ever-present hunting barks of more worgs. Suddenly Mula held up a hand and the group slowed their pace. She looked at a low-hanging tree branch where spider webbing had captured a particular set of leaves from some herbal plants.

“There is a grove near-by, a big one,” she muttered. Gesturing for the group to follow her, she began to follow signs obvious only to one who has followed the path of the druid for years.

Soon the group saw a peculiar sight, a tree with a face on its trunk. The eyes of the face opened and watched the group approach. In fact the whole tree seemed to shudder and shift. Mula spoke to it in a secret tongue, her voice some how sounding like wind, then rain, and a bird eating seeds. The great tree responded in kind. A path between trees opened from no where as the branches of the tree and dozens, if not hundreds of other trees parted to allow the party passage into the sacred natural grove ahead.

The path lead to a lightly forested meadow where a small water fall fed a bubbling brook and a serene pond. What grabbed the group’s immediate attention however were the two giant elk drinking from the pond in the moonlight. First one, then the other lifted its head to regard the visitors. The first had a great, many-pointed rack of horns that was simply put, awesome. It walked around the edge of the pool curious about the party.

The group was some what awed by the scene. Mula lead the team to follow the great sacred elk toward a lone standing tree. The tree was huge, and a face seemed to be appearing on it’s trunk. Mula recognized this as different from the earlier guardian awakened tree earlier however. With the greatest of respect and awe, she realized she was looking at a Treant in the process of being born. The time line for such a birthing was in the decades or even hundreds of years, but it was one of the most sacred events in nature to a druid.

The elk, they came to realize were guardians of this grove and this sacred birthing. The group also came to realize that the elk seemed to be able to understand elven, but could not speak themselves.

The group spent the night in the grove. As they fumbled about trying to ask for words to communicated with the elk, they eventually convinced it that it should help them escape their pursuing orcs.

Base voices, shouting in anger an surprise confirmed that the orcs had found their trail that lead them to the grove. As they were suddenly being battered by the defending trees, they started to bring fire as a weapon.

The entire, group mounted on the male Elk’s great back strode out of the grove and then charged through a near by group of orcs, including a particularly large beast wearing plate mail. As they trampled though, it appeared the recent damp weather was preventing them from torching the trees effectively and their large group was spread out in an effort to surround the grove. The group easily galloped on elk back out of the trap, the awakened trees bending branches out of their path.

The beast lead them away from their pursuers. With unbelievable endurance, it galloped to the edge of the north wood in hours, letting the group down within sight of the road to Kalis.

Nodding its head with respect toward Mula and the group, the beast turned back into the wood to return to its charge.

The group, jostled but feeling refreshed began their journey down the road to Kalis.

Fire, Blood and Ears - Part I
The FIRST Group-2 Adventure

It is late evening and a light fog settles down over the Northwood forest. A group of adventurous folk had settled down for the evening at an oft used camp site a short distance from the forest-bisecting road. The warm coals were all that remained of their camp fire and all but two of the group were a sleep in their bed rolls.

The newly formed team had been hoping to run across some goblins and collect the bounty bounty on their ears set in the City of Kalis. Having had no luck in the past three days of hunting they had eaten their dried meat and travel bread whilst discussing heading back to the town of east bridge or possibly following the road the rest of the way to Kalis.

A firely explosion, maybe half a mile distant woke the adventurers not on watch. Gathering their gear and deciding quickly what to do they sent their stealth specialists, Xylia Fae and Mardis Riverfin ahead of the group to scout in the foggy darkness. Grum Heckstream hefted his great axe with familiarity leading Aiza Haan with her twin long swords at the read, Mula Bandah hands gripping her gnomish quarterstaff, and Elgeiros Aleviir in the rear as he mentally prepared to unleash his arcane power at a moment’s notice.

Walking stealthily ahead, Xylia and Mardis were the first to spot a squad of four goblins walking down the road. Barely able to signal each other with the fog enshrouded road separating them, they stopped and watched as the patrol passed them heading toward the main group. Following from behind they let the goblins come up to their less than stealthy comrades. The goblins, scimitars already at hand muttered in their raspy native tongue as they prepared to rush the team ahead.

The goblins where quickly outmatched, half their number cut down before they could act. The other two ran away from the road in opposite directions. The team was able slay one through the fog with an arrow, but the final goblin provide surprisingly quick and was able to escape into the trees.

Barely pausing the group immediately started harvesting the ears of their prey. They stuffed all the disgusting, but valuable ears into a saddle bag on their mule Boots. They resumed travel down the road in a tighter formation, approaching the earlier explosion. Then they heard the sound of heavy boots on the hard packed road ahead.

A squad of thick-armed, broad-headed orcs wielding large two-handed axes approached. Neither the party, nor the orcs had bothered with stealth and the orcs yelled war cries as battle ensued.

The orcs proved much tougher than the goblins, as the entire team was forced to bring their best effort. As the rogues sought to strike from sneaky angles, Grum charged to the fore front to take on the lead orcs.

The team fought hard, but the orcs were relentless accepting grievous wounds in an effort to spill the group’s blood. During the battle, one orc was placed under a sleep spell at the outset to achieve a strong tactical advantage. The fight was over quickly however with Mula healing Grum’s well earned wounds.

They bent over to loot the bodies and take their ears which they tossed into Boots’ saddle bags. A scant minute passed for them to catch their breath before a dark haired woman dashed toward the group and through them yelling, “Run! They’re coming.”

Deep voiced orcan voices shouted in the darkness ahead as the group turned to follow the fleeing woman. They dashed into the Northwood side of the road seeking the cover of the fog enshrouded trees. As they ran, a haunting howling sound could be heard as something not-quite-wolf started the pursuit as well.

The group came up to the edge of a deep gorge. Scrambling to find someway across, they spotted a large dead tree leaning out partially over the babbling water below. As they reclaimed their breath, Grum looked down at Mula the gnome and Mardis the halfling. With a grunt from Mardis and a hesitant nod from Mula, Grum picked them up each in turn and hurled them across the narrowest near-by part of the ravine.

Clearing the 20 ft. gap, the smallest members of the team were thrown a rope coil, Grum having forgotten to hold onto one end. A sense of panic was settling over the group as the wolf-like howls grew closer. Another rope was thrown across to the group, this time with a hold on both sides, but they realized they didn’t have time to get across using the rope.

The small folk switched gears and started bashing at the foot of the leaning deadwood. The tree crashed to the ground forming an impromptu bridge as hoped. The team scrambled across the slippery mossy wood as they could hear a dual growling menace approaching.

Aiza urging Boots across the gap behind her found that the beast of burden’s hooves were simply not up to the task and it lost purchase, tubling over the side.

In a near suicidal last ditch effort Xylia grabbed a branch and caught the rear hoof of the mule. For a moment she held onto Boots, feeling like her arms were going to tear out of their sockets.

Aiza watched in horror as her long time friend fell from Xylia’s grasp, Xylia herself nearly losing her grip as well until Grum hauled her back up onto the log. Then two Goblins riding huge wolf-like mounts arrived.


Grum, not yet recovered from his earlier exertions could not summon his barbarian rage and fought the first beast and goblin as it lept onto the log behind him. Summoning magical fire, Elgeiros and Mula both hurled flames at the beast as the rogues fired arrows at its thick hide.

The team defeated both powerful beasts and their riders, but just barely with an exhausted Grum attempting to complete the crossing, but slipping on some blood soaked moss and plummeting from the log into the water below.

Aiza steeled her self against physical and emotional pain, she climbed down the ravine, ignoring scratches and a bite wound, she found Grum’s body pushed up against that of one of the worgs.

Sighing about the loss of an ally, but ever pragmatic, she took out a dagger and grab his half-orcan ear. A quick slice added an ear to their collection, or at least it would have if the bags of ears had not disappeared with Boots.

Unexpectedly, Grum groaned and some water gurgled out of his lungs. Aiza dragged grum’s heavy body out of the water onto the shore, yelling up to her companions, “He’s alive!”

[End of Part One]


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