Settling the Stolen Lands

Session Fourteen
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Session Thirteen
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Session Twelve
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Session Eleven
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Session Ten
A field of death
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Session Nine
Exploring the Tuskwater

After subduing the werewolf, the party returns to the castle, where Basque has it chained in the dungeon. On the following morning, they head down to interrogate whomever it is after they’ve reverted to their original form. The scared and confused man tells the party his name is Kundal, a Barbarian from one of the Kellid tribes of Numeria who’d been exiled and found his way to their kingdom.

Kundal is aghast when he learns that he’d become a werewolf, and that he’d been responsible for the recent killings. He tells the party he’d no idea that he’d been turned into one, except that for the past two months his dreams have been nothing but nightmares. Basque believes Kundal, but tells him he must take measures to prevent any more of his citizenry from coming to harm. Ephya proposes that Kundal could report to the castle before every full moon to be locked up in the dungeon. The party agrees to this condition, with the additional stipulation that Kundal begin serving with Aeldur’s rangers, to which Kundal agrees. Basque has Akiros acquire some silver arrows for the guard just to be on the safe side. The following day, Basque announces that the culprit has been captured and dealt with.

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Session Eight
Founding Anatoray

The next morning, Basque wakes up the prisoners to begin his interrogation. He starts with the Stag Lord, whom tells Basque that he has no name. He informs the party of their operations in the area, which have been to racketeer money out of the few locals who live in the area. He sent scouting parties down to lake Candlemere whom never returned, and had dispatched Kesstle to the northern Narlmarches to extract tribute from Oleg. He was surprised to learn Kesstle had been killed, apparently believing that her lack of appearance when due to return had meant she’d left the Greenbelt. The other bandits, whom Kesstle had spoken of when she’d been interrogated, if they ever existed, never returned to the Stag Fort to report their fellow’s demise. Basque questions the Stag Lord about the fate of a family at Nettle’s Crossing, who reveals he’d never known about the murder there, leaving Basque disgusted.

When questioned about what is in the fort’s basement, the Stag Lord refuses to tell them exactly what awaits, but enigmatically tells the party they’ll be able to handle it. The party proceeds down into the dank smelly dungeon like basement, and are ambushed by constructs inside. As they fight, a werewolf attacks the party, which Aeldur determines to actually be a shapechanged druid. Aeldur, wearing the Stag Lord’s helm, is mistaken by the druid for being the Stag Lord; and is attacked viciously by the druid, until he retreats to the ceiling of the basement. Elzbeth casts Grease on the ceiling, causing the druid to slip and fall, ending the combat as he returns to his human form.

The druid curses at Aeldur, questioning him about why he’s finally come to kill him. Aeldur then removes his helmet and reveals his true identity to the beaten man, asking who the man is, and why the Stag Lord has imprisoned him. The druid tells the party his name is Nugrah, and that he is the Stag Lord’s father. Upon questioning, the party learns that Nugrah abused his son, whom he regarded as a failure, until he was ambushed by his son and thrown down here to rot away. Disgusted with the man, Aeldur kills Nugrah.

The party search the keep finally, discovering a large sum of treasure and equipment, which they load up onto their cart. They also find out that Aeldur had accidentally killed Falgrim Sneede, who’d been on watch in the towers. After loading up the prisoners and Sneede’s body, the party departs for Nettle’s Crossing.

After a few days of travel, the company eventually arrives at the river, and Basque summons the ghost residing there by ringing the nearby service bell. Upon presenting the bandits to the ghost, it commands him to throw them from the bluff onto the stony rapids below. Basque complies, and executes the rest of the bandits, recovering the Stag Lord’s body as proof of capture for the Swordlords. The party then departs for Oleg’s that afternoon.

Finally, after weeks of being gone, the party arrives back at Oleg’s victorious. Basque has word sent by fast courier to Restov that the Stag Lord has been killed; a reply arrives soon after bearing a new charter to settle the Greenbelt by the authority of the Swordlords acting on behalf of King Surtova, and that a starting fund will soon be provided to accomplish this. In the meantime, settlers begin arriving at Oleg’s after receiving word of new lands being opened up south of Restov.

As tents begin setting up around Oleg’s, the party decides to discuss the issue of governance at a meeting. Basque nominates himself as ruler of the new country, which the party agrees to with little resistance; Basque then takes the title of Baron. Aeldur claims the title of Sheriff, position of Warden, protector of the nation’s rural areas and enforcer of the law in the countryside. Ephya claims the title of Archmage, position of Magister, dean of the nation’s higher learning and magical employment. Harry claims the title of Lord, position of Spymaster, head of the nation’s intelligence network. Grull claims the title of Bishop, position of High Priest, head of the nation’s religious institutions. Elzbeth claims the title of Lady, position of Grand Diplomat, chief diplomat and negotiator. At the conclusion of selecting their own titles, the party discusses the other positions of government left unfilled, and decide to extend invitations to Kesten Garess, Akiros Ismort, and Oleg Leveton to become members of their council. The party asks for Kesten to take the title Lord Commander, position of General, commander of the nation’s armies. For Akiros to take the title Lord Commander, position of Marshal, commander of the nation’s watch and enforcer of the law in the city. And for Oleg to take the title of Lord, position of Treasurer, the nation’s financial accountant and tax collector. With no other names forbearing the party concludes its meeting, still in need of someone to occupy the position of Councilor, representative of the people, and Royal Assassin, executioner of the king’s justice.

In the following day, after announcing the leadership of the new nation to the people gathered around the Fort, Basque is approached by Loy Rezbin, a commoner from Restov with aspirations of higher station as Basque’s Grand Diplomat and connections with powerful individuals in Brevoy. Convinced of his usefulness, Basque discusses the proposition with Elzbeth, who agrees to take the position of Councilor instead. Basque raises Loy to lordship and makes him Diplomat.

Finally, after a few days of waiting, a cart bearing large amounts of gold arrives at Oleg’s trading post, along with large amounts of building materials sent by the Swordlords. The party then announces to the settlers around Oleg’s that the expedition south to the Tuskwater will begin. Basque instructs Svetlana to direct new settlers down south to the location of their new city, indicated on Oleg’s map.

Upon arriving at the site of their new city, Basque declares the founding of their new nation, the Barony of Anatoray, and the name of their capitol will be Sancere. Over the next few days, Grull, Jhod, and the rest of their clerical staff, begin purifying the Stag Lord of its undead taint, and soon enough, construction begins on Sancere castle, with a tent city sprouting about the construction site.

During the building, a group of Kobolds approaches the city, revealing themselves to be of the Sootscales clan. Sootscales talks to Basque, telling him that he has heard of the beginning of the human settlement and desires to be a part of their country in order to avoid conflict between the Kobolds and Humans. Basque accepts his offer, informing Sootscales that by pledging fealty to him, Sootscales will rule as his vassal over the Kobolds, with protection under Basque’s law. Basque sends Loy with Sootscales to explain the responsibilities and privileges the Kobolds can expect from their expanding nation.

Eventually, after more than a month of construction, Sancere castle is complete.

A few days later, a few of Aeldur’s rangers begin receiving reports of disappearances. Deciding to investigate, the party heads to a makeshift tavern where the latest disappearance was reported. After a brief chat, the party learns from the bartender that a young serving woman hadn’t shown up for work since leaving after her last shift last night. Aeldur finds her tracks and follows them, eventually leading the party to her mangled half eaten body. Aeldur determines that, given the recent full moon and the body, this must be the work of a werewolf. Basque decides to put out a warning of a murderer on the lose.

The next night, as the party is on patrol looking out for the werewolf, they hear a cry for help just outside the city. Upon rushing to the scene, they find a portly man being attacked by a werewolf. The party rushes in to attack and subdues the werewolf.

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Session Seven
Assaulting the Stag Fort

After a long and weary trek through the Northern Narlmarches, the party finally reaches Oleg’s that afternoon. Jubilantly, they inform Oleg that they have slain Tuskgutter, and produce his tusks as evidence, collecting Rick the Ranger’s reward. They also inform Oleg that they’ve completed a map of the Greenbelt. Basque has Ephya reproduce two copies of the original, one he asks Oleg to mail to Restov, and one he asks Oleg to keep, in case explorers begin heading south. Ephya, interested in purchasing a magic item she’d ordered, asks Basque to loan her some gold.

After completing his business with Oleg, Basque finds Kesten, who just happened to be hoping Basque would turn up soon. Kesten describes to Basque a history of his between him and a thief called Falgrim Sneed, who’d stolen from Kesten on contract and damaged his reputation with his hirer. He believes Sneed has fled south and taken up employ with the Stag Lord, and asks if it would be possible for Basque to apprehend Falgrim, dead or alive, but preferably alive. Basque agrees, and asks if Kesten can spare any men for the group’s imminent assault on the Stag Fort. Kesten agrees to allow two volunteers to accompany the party.

Meanwhile, Aeldur finds out Jhod, and informs him about the location of the Temple he’d been searching for, in addition to the beast they found within. Jhod seemed to have known something had happened, as his nightmares had been lifted some days ago. Gratefully, Jhod offers his spellcasting services free of charge in recompense. Aeldur decides to ask if Jhod would accompany the party south to help tend to their wounds against the battle with the bandits. After being reassured he’d not be asked to fight, Jhod reluctantly agrees.

The party rests well that night in preparation for the journey South. The next morning, the entire group departs South, having commandeered a wagon the party had salvaged from the bandits earlier and left at the fort; allowing Trenton, Robert, and Jhod to accompany the party.

The first day passed uneventfully, on the second morning, many of the party awake to weird pranks. Acheron’s hair has been rainbow dyed, while bark has been glued with sap to Harry’s face. Several others are pranked, and Aeldur concludes that they’re being stalked by faeries. Everyone makes individual appeasements to the faeries to leave them alone that night, but on the third morning only Basque and Elzbeth appear successful. The party continues South toward the fort and arrive at the forest on the fourth day, enduring varying pranks along the way.

Having had enough, the group piles up a large sum of gold coins to make a group appeal to the fey to leave them alone. Reluctantly, a faerie dragon and a weird cricket-centaur reveal themselves, the dragon introduces them as Perlivash and Tyg-titter-tut respectively. After a short conversation, the fey agree to stop pranking the group. Basque attempts to persuade them into looking over at the Stag Keep and see if they can find anything. A little too afraid by the prospect, the fey decide to leave and let the group handle it.

The party then heads out East from the forest and sets up camp near the fort under the cover of night, using hills and brush to conceal themselves from the fort. After spending the next few days and nights observing the fort the party plans its attack.

The West wall, being the weakest defended, is selected as the point of attack. The stealthier members will move up, hop the wall, open the gate, and allow the rest to storm the keep by force.

On the night of the attack, the party begins its advance on the hill to the keep, when zombies suddenly spring up and attack Aeldur, Harry, and Epyha. Acting quickly, they’re all able to run away from the zombies without attracting the keep’s attention. The zombies mill about the fort and finally bury themselves again.

After regrouping, the party decides they need to use a raised causeway at the front of the fort to get to the gate. Aeldur thinks they could do it if the torches lighting the ramp were doused. Basque decides to ask Jhod if he could conjure water above the torches and douse them, which he is able to do just barely. Harry then proposes that they have Jhod begin randomly dousing torches over the next few nights, first to observe the bandits reaction’s, and then to make them lax and unsuspecting of the torches failing.

After the first few times, the bandits cautiously relight the torches with supervision from a lieutenant. By the third night the bandits have become lax, on the fifth, the party decides to put its plan into action.

On the night of the assault, Jhod puts out both torches, causing one of the guards to leave his post to go inside the fort and inform his colleagues to relight it, leaving only one guard watching the causeway. Harry, Aeldur, and Ephya sneak up the ramp to the base of the wall, and Ephya casts a sleeping hex on the guard, allowing Aeldur to climb up the wall to the watchtower and tie up the guard.

The gate then opens up, with one man walking outside to light the torches. As he does, Ephya casts a sleeping hex on him; Harry then running up and pulling his body over to the side of the wall and tying him up. The guard from the other tower finally arrives back at his post and realizes the gate has been left open. Leaning over to investigate, he is hexed by Ephya as well; Harry, climbing up the wall, is able to subdue him as well. Meanwhile, Aeldur shoots and kills the last bandit in the watchtowers.

Ephya climbs up the wall to join Harry, noticing a bandit inside the fort separated from the rest, she hexes him too, and sends Harry in to tie him up as well. Walking inside, he’s spotted by one of the bandits, but bluffs as if to appear to be one of them and passes by. After tying up Ephya’s latest target, they both see that one of the bandits playing cards inside has realized the front gate has been left open. After calling out with no answer, he and a bandit lieutenant walk to the gate to investigate.

As the two of them approach the gate, Ephya casts a sleeping hex on the lieutenant and gives the signal to the rest of the party waiting at the base of the causeway. The party charges up the causeway, quickly dispatching the bandits at the front gate. Just inside the fort, one of the other lieutenants attempts to turn a wheel opening an iron gate. Elzbeth decides to grease the wheel, causing him to lose his grip and let the gate slam shut. Ephya casts a sleeping spell on one of the big bandits, causing him to fall asleep; without having a way to quickly subdue him, Harry delivers a coup de grace on the bandit. Inside the fort, Basque, Acheron, and Grull charge in and begin fighting the bandits in close combat. Aeldur, Trenton, and Robert shoot arrows from behind them.

Having heard all the ruckus, the Stag Lord finally arrives at the scene, shooting a near crippling arrow at Basque, who hobbles over to Elzbeth and accepts a healing potion from her. After failing to open the gate while being attacked by Grull, the bandit lieutenant stabs another bandit next to him and shouts his surrender to Grull, who eyes him and then moves to attack the Stag Lord, who fires another arrow at Ephya and nearly kills her. Grull, Basque, and Elzbeth’s eidilon surround the Stag Lord and finally subdue him.

With the battle won, Basque signals Jhod with his whistle to come up to the Fort and begin healing everyone. The surrendered bandit lieutenant approaches Basque and reveals his name as Akiros, and asks for mercy after explaining he’d been trying to find a way to leave the Stag Fort. Basque believes him and promises he’ll be spared. The party gathers the rest of the bandits together and puts watch over them while they rest for the night.

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Session Six
The Temple

As the party crosses the river after retrieving the old map, they are ambushed by an owlbear. After dispatching it, they’re able to set up camp and rest for the night. The next morning, the party sets out exploring east; as they’re moving through a meadow they think they hear growling. Basque and his horse suddenly fall into a pit trap with some kind of rabid dog beast, which the party quickly kills. After getting Basque out of the trap the party made camp.

The next day while exploring East, the party finds a set of tracks belonging to another group; then hear screams coming from the direction they traveled toward. The party rushes off down the trail following the screaming; as they get closer, Aeldur thinks from the sounds that Trolls are attacking the group up ahead. As the party stops to debate about what to do, the screaming stops. The rest of the group stays put while Basque moves ahead to investigate. Coming into a clearing, he sees human bodies littered around three trolls; seeing them dead, Basque decides to leave and rejoin everyone else.

The group decides to head East, away from the trolls, eventually stumbling upon a ruin. Harry and Aeldur decide to get closer. Upon closer inspection, they find a weird lizard inside lying down which has a saddle on it. The two also spot a hut nearby, which suddenly opens up revealing a Boggard stepping outside. Both return to the rest of the party, which discusses what to do. The Boggard hears the group and then finds them. Basque and Aeldur attempt to communicate with the Boggard, but seem to fail, as it speaks none of their languages. The Boggard continues to shoo away the party, indicating that the area is his ‘kingdom.’ Seeing no way to make meaningful communication, the party leaves. While exploring the next day, the party is ambushed by Tuskgutter. After finally taking down the pig, the party cooks a large roast and feasts for the night; Aeldur removes the tusks as proof of their kill.

On the next morning, the party finally arrives at the Temple of Erastil, which looks heavily defiled. The stone working has been beat upon with picks, the temple is covered in the graffiti of all the other gods, and the reflecting pool has been covered in algae. After approaching the entrance, the adventurers are attacked by a huge bear. During the fight, Aeldur notices a broken holy symbol of Erastil around its neck; calling out to Erastil, the bear attacks Aeldur ferociously. After Grull dealt the final blow, the bear morphed into a human, a bracelet on his wrist carrying a woman’s name. The man’s body then crumbled to dust, as if he had been centuries old. When the man died, the area seemed to feel sanctified, the reflecting pool returning to a pristine state. After spending some time restoring the area, the party makes camp.

After an uneventful night, the party decides to begin heading back towards Oleg’s. They start exploring Northwest, when they stumble across a few bear traps and some fresh Human tracks, which lead to a deadfall trap and a dead ranger inside. Upon inspecting the trap, it looks like the trigger was gnawed loose by an animal. The pockets of the Ranger were turned out but the coins weren’t taken. Aeldur suspects animals killed the Ranger and looted his body. That night, squirrels invade Harry’s backpack; Harry has Ephya put them to sleep, and then kills them to make dinner. On the next day, Ephya discovers two squirrels wearing hats watching the party from the trees, both tied to the tree; she decides to free the squirells.

On the way to Oleg’s, Basque’s horse is stricken with diarrhea; Elzbeth is able to provide some herbs to sooth Acheron’s stomach. The party also sees squirrels following them, who seem to keep coming back after being chased off. Other benign ‘pranks’ seem to keep happening until the party leaves the forest. Basque suspects Pixies at works and shouts at the woods in Sylvan for them to reveal themselves.

By the afternoon, the party arrives at Oleg’s.

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Session Five
Disturbing mysteries

The next morning the party hurries off toward Oleg’s, crossing the bridge on the Thorn river. They agree to split up, Aeldur, Ephya, and Harry head off toward Bokkin’s to exchange potions for fangberries while Grull and Basque return to Oleg’s. While there Grull meets a wandering Summoner named Elsbeth, who asks to join their party. The rest of the party reaches Oleg’s later that day and stock up on new equipment.

After a good nights rest, the party heads west exploring, eventually entering the northern Narlmarches. Suddenly, Grull’s horse steps into a bear trap and the party realizes they’ve walked into a trap field. After disabling the rest of the traps Aeldur scouts around and finds weeks out tracks from humans. After resuming their exploring they stumble into a second field of traps before finally setting up camp.

The next day makes for uneventful exploring, but on the following day the party leaves the forest and sees a swamp a few dozen miles away, along with lake Hooktongue. After doing some more searching, the party finds a blackberry bramble; when Basque gives it an investigative stab with his lance, he discovers that underneath is tomb. Seeing the tomb, Grull recognizes it as a burial cairn, one for a mighty barbarian warlord probably. Upon opening it, they find nothing more than a skeleton and a magic ring.

After closing the cairn, the group begins exploring Southwest. On the second day of exploring they smell sulfur drifting on the wind from the East. They travel east into the forest the following day, finding a hot spring. Upon investigation the party is beset upon by giant frogs, which are quickly dispatched. The party leaves the forest the next day heading south.

About midday the party spots a large pair of antlers above the trees, traveling back into the forest they find an overgrown statue of Erastil; which none of the horses will approach. Aeldur and Ephya spend the rest of the day restoring the statue; Aeldur goes hunting and offers his kill as a sacrifice to his god. Everyone but Basque, who was not near the statue, gained a keenness on their weapons. The statue has been sanctified.

The next day, exploring south west, the party continues through the forest when everyone feels a sense of dread overcome them. Ephya thinks the aura is necromantic somehow. They enter a clearing ahead and find a dead animal, which turns out to be a unicorn, which has been dehorned. It looks to have been killed in some unnatural manner, which the party theorizes must be magical, as the carrion hasn’t been infested with maggots. Aeldur finds the tracks of the Unicorn, which run into a field and then stop where it falls down, and no other tracks nearby. Feeling disturbed, the party decides to burn the body of the unicorn, and then bury the bones. They offer a prayer to Pharasma, it being the Day of Bones, her holy day. The necromantic aura fades, and the party is confident they consecrated the area as they leave.

As the party continues their exploration on the following day, they come to a river ford with some kind of wooden debris. Aeldur recognizes it as a nest. They are about to go past it when someone spots the glint of metal from it. The party charges the nest, finding tatzleworms inside. After killing the worms, the party searches inside the nest, finding a body with a backpack, which inside of it carries a map of the area, a temple of Erastil marked.

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