Within the Thicket

After a well deserved rest, Potia begins harvesting the stabiliendum. Since their protection will not be necessary for a few day, Cyran, Von and Huppert, set out after breakfast to investigate the growth around Silver Lake.

Boismere Forest had been a pretty typical forest for most of their journey. However, the closer they get to the lake the more dense the woods become. An erie fog covers the ground. Additionally, it feels as if the animals are spying on anyone who dares approach the lake. Then, just when it seems you should be approaching the shores, the forest opens up to a giant wall of dense thicket.

The plant barrier is 10 feet tall, too thick to see through and extends for as far as the eye can see around the lake. Undeterred by this obstacle, Von draws his great ax and begins chopping his way through. After some time he is able to cut a passage that he and his companions can pass through. When they come out the other side they are filled with dismay as they are immediately confronted by another wall. This time there is a passage close to them.

Smite!

The rogue is chosen to investigate the passage. When Cyran turns the corner, he catches a glimpse of the tail of a lizard folk. The party decide to engage the creature and when they do, he blows his horn to call his companions to his aid. The party takes a defensive stand in the passage and overcome their enemies.

With the lizard folk defeated the party notices a collective of kobolds watching around the corner. As soon as they realize they are spotted the little creeps hightail it in the other direction. The party gives chase through the winding corridors of the living labyrinth.

The creatures lead the heros to the entrance of a cave and vanish into paths that are too small for them to follow. The cave is poorly worked and dimly lit. As it winds into the earth the sound of rushing water grows louder and louder. Eventually, the walls change to masoned bricks and then opens into a well lit room.

At the opposite end of the room, standing at attention, is a lizard folk. When he notices the party he takes a defensive stance for a moment then turns, runs to the opening behind him and dives through a waterfall into the pool below him.

The walls are covered with etchings of green dragons at various stages in their life. Others show lizard folk and kobolds worshiping the dragon.

Huppert is now convinced that he was correct all this time. He theorized that when a great dragon died, after enough time had past, a new dragon would manifest naturally to take its place. He must report his findings to the temple in Boiston.

The Party is Formed

The apothecary, Potia, has asked her cousin Cyran Iansatra to form a party. She needs protection so that she can create an aura or protection around the stabiliendum in Mortem Vitam Grove. As a bard, Cyran turns to the pubs of Boiston to find some companions for the journey. The party will be provided with the potion shops remaining potions for use on the journey. They will be allowed to keep any treasure found along the way. Once the task is completed and the potion makers are able to restock their stores, the group will be able to purchase potions for half price.

While at the bar, the dragon born paladin, Von Scalington, approaches Cyran. As a servant of Bahamut, one of his first tasks is to visit Boismere Forest. The battle that happened there long ago is still fresh in the minds of the dragonborn people and the followers of Bahamut and its memory must be preserved. While it is not expected that he will gain any new knowledge, it is important that he sees for himself what has happened there. Additionally he has been tasked to investigate the strange growth around Silver lake. He will accompany Cyran and Potia to Mortem Vitam Grove with the understanding that he be allowed to conduct his investigations on the journey.

The temple of Thoth has instructed Huppert Talamie to investigate the disappearance of the green dragon. He is well aware that it is believed to be a fools errand as any information that he could find has long been destroyed. But, they had to get him out of the temple after the disturbance he recently caused. Hopefully this will give him some perspective and when he returns he will fall back in line. Despite this, he is eager to go. Any opportunity to gain knowledge, no matter how trivial, is a good opportunity.

The trail poses little threat. There are the typical goblin ambushes along the way but nothing that the party can not handle. Upon reaching Mortem Vitam, Potia begins her ritual. The bard, paladin and cleric fight valiantly to defeat the gnolls and protect the spell caster.

With the spells cast, the area is secure. Potia will spend the next couple of days collecting the precious moss. While she does, the party has agreed to travel to Silver Lake to investigate the strange growth around the banks.

The Battle of Boismère Forest

It has been hundreds of years since anyone has seen a dragon. The last known sighting was when Kirmizi-Ejderha-Ates, the great red dragon, came from the east. Chromatic dragons typically leave one another alone, respecting each others territory, in an effort to honor their queen, Tiamat. But, for some unknown reason, K-E-A attacked the green dragon Siyah-Ejderha-Zehir in its home, the Boismère forest. It is said that K-E-A boiled the waters of Silver Lake, which was believed to be the entrance to the lair of S-E-Z, in order to force the dragon out. The battle was fierce and went on for days.

The elves of Boismère forest did everything that they could to protect their home. Unfortunately, the rain of fire and chlorine gas was too much and they had to leave. Most fled to the human village, Boiston, on the edge of the forest, while others traveled the world. The battle left the forest in ashes and covered in a haze of poison. Nothing could live there for a century. As for the dragons, some claim they saw K-E-A fly east after the battle. Though, no one knows for sure what happen to the green dragon.

In the centuries since the battle, the forest has regrown. The elves have been able to return and establish a new home. Silver Lake, which was once full of all manner of fish and underwater plant life remains barren. This has made its waters clear and still. Despite being over 100 feet deep, you can see all the way to the bottom of the lake. The shore has been increasingly hard to get to over the last few years as a large thicket has begone to grow around its edges.

There is an area of the forest that has taken on some special properties. It is refereed to as Mortem Vitam Grove. This is believed to be the center of the arena that the dragons battled in. Here the blood of these ancient beings was spilled most heavily and as a result the soil has special properties. There is a moss that grows here called stabiliendum that is a base element in the brewing of all healing potions. There are few living who are able to harvest the moss without destroying it. The elven potion master, Dursilia Amakiir, and her daughter Potia are the only ones in the region with the ability. They have a potion shop along the main path into the woods, half a days travel from Boiston.

Recently, a pack of gnolls has been spotted around Mortem Vitam Grove. Stabiliendum has a foul taste to most but these vile creatures love its flavor and have been devouring it every time they come across it. Dursilia and Potias stores have been depleted and something needs to be done about the gnoll infestation so that they can collect more of this precious moss and prevent it from going extinct.

Retaking Mine Town

Upon returning to Mine Town we were greeted by an unfamiliar sound. It was the hustle and bustle of the streets. This town, which had always been quite and empty, was now full of activity. Old buildings being repaired. New buildings being built. The market has reopened and our favorite pub, Sandies Place, was so full we had trouble getting a seat. Though, as long as Grim is with us, we always have a table waiting for us at Sandies.

A lot has changed in Mine Town. We learned that the mine has reopened and Stonebeard spends from sun up to sun down mapping out new veins of gold and iron. There is a new constable in town. A man called Anvar Gerkens. With the increased activity our good friends Timothy and Tomothy were no longer up to the task. This is probably for the best. Gerkens seems to be well liked by the towns people. All in all, things seem to be going well here.

Things are going well with one exception that is. The symbol of Odin has been removed from the temple and Father Shamus has been expelled. Balok has left one of his generals behind to watch over the town. Necro is acting as the high priestess in what is now the temple of Balok. Returning this temple to the followers of Odin would become our first priority.

We decided to free Rickie Vallish of his petrification. If nothing else, we have a common enemy in Balok. He explained that he thought he could use the god slayer to defeat Balok and become a god himself. This kind of arrogance will undoubtedly be the undoing of mankind. Rickie agreed to help us in our quest to defeat Balok. We spent the evening at Sandies talking to the locals and gathering as much information on Necro as we could. While there, Grim received an open invitation to speak with Necro. It would seem Balok has not forgotten the hold he had on our wizard friend not so long ago.

In the morning we visited the the temple. Our plan was to recover the pendant that we believed Balok was using to control Necro. At this point, I would remove any lingering control he had over her. The hope was that, once freed, she would rejoin Rickie and then aid us in defeating her old master. Unfortunately, things didnt go as planned. She handed the pendant over willingly but was unfazed by my abjuration. This left Grim in a state of rage that we had never seen from him. He attacked Necro with all his might, unwilling to let anyone who pledged allegiance to Balok remain standing. The rest of us joined in and we quickly dispatched the corrupted tiefling.

With our foe now ashes, it was time to set things right. The sigil of Odin would be returned and Father Shamus would be reinstated. In the event that he can not be found, the Church of Zeus will appoint a new priest and acolytes to preside over Mine Town. We hired the workers to continue repairing the building, but now doing it in the name of Zeus.

One last task needed to be accomplished before we continued on our quest. The people needed to be convinced that Balok was not their new savior, but rather a threat to their well being. Rickie, while almost completely useless in the taking back of the church, was in his prime during this task. There is nothing like a bard to rally a town to a cause. I have no doubt that we have the full support of the people of Mine Town.

The Party

I have been chosen to represent the elves in a special council of the five kingdoms. Personally, I cant think of a better choice. Being a paladin of noble blood I perfectly embody the task. So I have left Boismere with my loyal attendants, Greenburn, Violet and Leonidas. Before leaving the motherwood we meet up with another elf called Liana Nectar who would also be at the summit. As a druid she if often found quietly observing what is going on around her but from time to time she will carry on and on unconstrained by norms or expectations.

Upon reaching Stavrodromi, which Im told this is an ancient human word for crossroads, clearly whoever named the city is very clever, at any rate… Upon reaching the gates we are greeted by the local watch and escorted to the city hall where we are to meet up with the rest of our party.

The first of our companions is already there waiting for us. The dragonborn Heskan, native of Stavrodromi, is a strange creature. But then this is a strange town with all manner of beings living within its boundaries. Perhaps it is fitting that they chose an urchin to represent them on such a noble quest.

The next to arrive is the dwarf, Kokic, representative of the nation of Throg Duthrum. While I will never understand the ways of the dwarven people, it is apparent that Kokic is loyal to his comrades and true to his word, no matter the cost.

Our party is rounded out by a human who could be named nothing other than Monocle D. Tophat. He represents the kingdom of New Brunswick and, much like his home land, is shrouded greatness, mystery and chaos.

In the morning we set off on our journey to the summit. We are to meet with a great Amethyst dragon. Very little is known about this species of dragon. In fact, the only references of them is in ancient texts that have long been deemed obsolete. All modern accounts of dragons have removed this breed because it was believed the had been extinct.

The 5 Kingdoms – Prologue

The Great Ridge, a mountainous region that is nearly impossible to traverse, splits the kingdoms into three regions. To the far west there is the great Elven forest of Boismère. Closer to the ridge, the humans and halflings call Old Brunswick their home. Just south of the ridge the land of Stavrodrómi serves as a gateway between the east and west. Here you will find the most tolerant and diverse collection of people including half-orcs and dragonborn. In the east you will find the radiant human town of New Brunswick. Not to be mistaken for its inferior predecessor, the dirty and smelly Old Brunswick. Far to the northeast is the mountains kingdom of Throg Duthrum. Here the dwarves have build their mighty castles and forges.

These 5 kingdoms lived in peace for centuries. Then, nearly 64 years ago, a great gold deposit was found in the Great Ridge by the humans of New Brunswick. With the help of the dwarves they mined the vein and became very prosperous. Soon after the western kingdoms started mining the vein as well. This led to a great war. Many died as the greed of men enveloped the realm. But this greed attracted a new danger, dragons.

While the war raged a group of 7 dragons came to the region and began claiming the mines and the gold within as their own. Unable to stop them, the kingdoms retreated back to their home lands. Since then there has been no war but there has been no peace either.

The Forest of Wisdom

After another day of celebration we are approached by Mayor Nibson. He has a somber look on his face and is acting quite strange. It seems that one of the residents of Alna, Nia, has left the village. Apparently there was a disagreement between her and the elders. Nibson has asked that we find her and apologize to her for the village. The mayor believes she has fled to the Forest of Whispers. Our third trial will be to find her and try to convince her to return.

The next morning we head off and journey 2 days to the north. The journey is uneventful and brings us to an ancient druid circle. This place has not housed any ceremonies in quite some time but its familiar nature makes for a good place to camp. Or so we thought. Before dawn we are attacked by a pack of ghouls.  We manage to destroy them but unfortunately the encounter seemed to be to much for one of our party members. In the morning, Nihil decided to leave the group and return to a life in the forest. Hopefully we will join up with her again some day.

After saying our goodbyes, we continue our search for Nia. Before leaving, our ranger friend spotted a set of tracks the lead to the west. We decided to follow them and after an hour we came upon an old, rundown plantation house. From the outside the house looks as though it hasnt been inhabited for decades. Strangely, there is a light coming from inside.

While the rest of us are coming up with a strategy for what to do next, Grulog, once again, gets bored and decides to kick in the door. With the decision made, we enter the house. The interior of the house looks very different from the exterior. Everything is well kept, candles light the moment you enter the different rooms. There is however a strange moaning or wailing coming from the second floor.

As we are surveying the room an old hag enters. She invites us to join her for dinner in the other room. While the others join her, I decide to slip away to investigate the second floor.

After taking a secret staircase in the study I can hear the moaning getting louder and louder. Finally I find the room that all the noise is coming from. I quietly open the door and before I can blink a banshee rushes past me. At this moment the true nature of the house is revealed. The house has not been up kept. It was all an illusion. The banshee disappears through a hole in the floor toward the dining room, and my friends. I follow it as fast as I can but before I can do anything the beast bellowed its terrible wail. And that was the last thing I remember.

I was revived by our druid to find the banshee slain and the hag now freed. As it turns out, she is the woman we were sent to find, Nia. She has been under the banshees spell and unable to think freely for many years. When we tell he of Mayor Nibsons apology she agrees to return to Alna with us.

Along the way we encounter some ghouls again. Its no wonder that druid circle has been abandoned. Other than that, our journey is uneventful.

Sempronius is Missing

When we awoke in the barracks of dragon mountain, Sempronius was gone. After a little bit of investigation, we realized that he wasnt just gone. He had been taken. Not only that, but the Yellow Orb was missing too. The abductor appeared to disappear into the wall. Go through the court yard, meet up with some companions and then vanish through another wall. Just on the other side, we found a used teleportation circle. We quickly drew a copy of the circle in the hopes that someone would be able to translate it for us. With nothing left to do here, we traveled back to the Shining Tower.

On the second night of our journey to The Shining Tower, a young dwarven girl came to Garruk in the night. She told him that we were not worthy of possessing the pendants and that if we wanted our friend back we would have to trade them for him. Garruk felt that the dwarves were not the threat as the girl seemed to be enchanted. We decided to continue and seek out a wizard in The Shining Tower.

When we reach the city gates the guards stop us and we are required to identify ourselves. It seems the upraising of the followers of Odin is getting out of hand. After we are approved, the guards inform me that Selus would like to see me. Cole searches out a blacksmith and Garruk goes hunting for magical items.

Selus welcomes me and invites me into his chambers. He congratulates me on all the work we have been doing to find the orbs and pendants and tells me that I have been promoted to the position of Inquisitor. With this title comes both perks and responsibilities. I am to continue my quest for the orbs and report back with any information I find as often as I am able. To help me in this quest I am granted free stay at any of the temples of Zues. Additionally, I have been given a beautiful suit of plate armor. This armor, which is adorned with golden lightning bolts offers magical protection against both thunder and lightning attacks. I have no doubt that I have found favor with Zues as a gift so great could not be earned without it.

When I present the drawing of the teleportation circle to Selus he suggests that we report to Stormgear. Stormgear interprets the runes for me and explains that the spell would take one past the Silent Planes. Unfortunately, he is unable to use the teleporter to transport to locations other than the other teleporters. He suggests that we find a wizard who is capable of casting teleportation.

The next night there is a small banquet to celebrate my promotion. I am introduced to the Head Inquisitor, Stannis, and several of my contemporaries. Stannis seems unimpressed but everyone verifies that he always comes off that way, no matter the situation.

With all of our affairs in order, our next task is to find a wizard who will be able to help us track down Sempronius. Hopefully we run into Chandra and Grim along the way and they can help us rescue our lost friend.

The Cove of Storms

After a day of celebration with our friends in Alna it was time to set out again. The second trial would take us the the Cove of Storms, a three day hike, due east. The purpose of our journey was to each recover a glisten shell.

The trek there was uneventful. The cove was surrounded by high cliffs. Despite the coves name, the water lapped gently on the pristine white beach. The sand was smooth and there were small sea creatures and birds playing in the sand and around the 3 giant rocks that were scattered on the beach. In the center of the cove there emerged a a stepped pyramid upon which sat six glisten shells.

It seemed that this was going to be a very easy task. Kriv would use his Cloak of the Manta Ray to swim out to the monument, collect the shells, and we would be on our way. Then, as we approached the boulders, everything changed. It turned out that they were actually giant crab men. Though we doubled their numbers these creatures were powerful foes. It took some serious team work but we managed to defeat them.

After narrowly avoiding disaster, we gathered our prizes and began the trip home. Along the way we are confronted by a party of gnolls. These primitive creatures were little challenge for us as we quickly dispatched them. With two more encounters under our belts we were able to return to Alna more powerful than we left.

The Cave of Shadows

For a little while now, I have been calling the village of Alna my home. Nestled in the woods, it is a place that is surrounded by natural beauty. It is unencumbered by buildings, walls, fences and other things meant only for keeping people out. Those who live here do so for two reasons. One, they are no longer welcome where they came from and two, the other residents have chosen to let them stay.

Today is a special day for a small group of us. Today is our name day. Our group is as diverse as the population of Alna. There is the dragonborn sorcerer, Kriv. The lizard folk, Lish and the half-orc, Grulog, both of whom are barbarians. Then there are the wood elves. The ranger Nihil and her druid sister whos name I cant seem to recall.

The mayor, Nibsom, summoned us to the center of the village. A small crowd gathers and he explains that in order to remain in Alna, we must prove our worth. To do so we must undergo 3 trials. Each more difficult than the last.

Our first trial takes place in The Cave of Shadows. Almost immediately upon entering the cave we could tell it was a dangerous place. Four giant spiders were milling about in the first rotunda. With two powerful fighters, a couple of spell casters, a master archer and my stealth there was no doubt the six of us would be able to handle four spiders without much trouble. Unfortunately, while we were finishing up the first two, some of us werent paying attention, and two more fiends snuck in. This mistake nearly cost us everything. We managed to overcome this surprise and learned a great deal from the encounter. Badly hurt, we decided to make camp for the night. But not before dining on some delicious spider stew!

In the morning we went further into the cave. Here we found a strange shrine. on the floor there was a very large blue glyph. On one wall there was a gigantic stone cauldron with a red liquid in it. The liquid had the consistency of cherry flavored sugar water. Though, non of us dared drink it.  The back of the shrine had a strange statue in it. It appears that the jaw of the statue opens and closes but we were unable to find a way to activate it. Perhaps the most perplexing thing was the four scarecrows laying randomly around the shrine.

After a little bit of investigation, Grulog got bored and threw one of the scarecrows into the middle of the glyph. The moment the straw hit the ground the glyph turned red and all of the scarecrows sprang to life. Having learned from our mistakes in the previous battle we defeated them in no time flat. When the last pile of hay met its demise, the jaws of the statue opened. Inside we found six, round, golden coins. Each coin had a hole in its center and one of our names on it. We have completed the first trial. Time to head back to Alna and find out what we face next.