Before heading out onto new adventures we do some research on the neighboring areas:
- Candlewood was once a logging settlement and provision stop. Now the ogres massacred everyone and the place lies in ruin.
- Volkgorod- a barbarian settlement where people engage in fishing and hunting and are fending off frost giant raiding parties. Pretty unfriendly to outsiders.
- Dardun – a quaint town famous for it’s apple orchards, wines, cheeses. The leader of the town is Madera, and she is of elven descend.
- South Shadoweald- very similar to North Shadoweald, but a much larger concentration of undead.
We decide to make a trip to Borstov landing in order to resupply and hire a mercenary. The way there was unadventurous except for one battle against a bullette.
Borstov landing is a small town and we didn’t find a large selection of mercenaries there. Our only three options were:a very young mage, a knife fighter and a pirate.
We considered the mage first, but he seemed very inexperienced, so we went with the pirate. His price was 900 gold, which we didn’t have. Wilfred sold the remainder of beholder eyes and combined with Luna’s savings they managed to hire the pirate, whose name was Timothy.
They spend the night in the town the usual way – Wilfred at the inn drinking dwarven ale, Luna at the temple of Bahamut “praying”, Vile sneaking into the night robbing everything and Rajyrick performing in taverns earning gold and building a reputation for himself.
Vile first went to the general shop where he stole over a hundred gold, then he went to the magic shop and got a nice new set of armor and some gold. Happy with his income, he then went to the inn to visit with Wilfred but he got kicked out of the inn for being “a dirty drow” and “a thief”.
Vile was very upset with the treatment he got and decided to take revenge upon the innkeeper for the way he treated him and his family.
He poisons the flour and ale in the innkeeper’s storage. Blinded by rage, he doesn’t realize that his party members will get poisoned as well since they eat at the inn.
Next morning, everyone feels sick and starts hallucinating. The inkeep throws away all the flour to prevent everyone from getting sick. Wilfred thinks it’s the imperial assassins who have tried to poison us because “they know we’d eat the food of the inn. They sure know I’ll be eating every morning!!”
We decide to go to the apothecary and get an antidote, and on the way there we all hallucinate Shadowmire flying over the town and all sorts of beasts and weird figures.
At the apothecary we buy antidote for 20 gold and Luna wants to buy for all the people who got poisoned (16) but she only has 180 gold so she asks for a discount. The apothecary causes a scene saying he doesn’t care that the town is going crazy. He calls the guards on us so we rush away.
We go looking for Timothy, who is eating breakfast at the “Red Rodent” but the guards find us there and kick us out of town.
Luna is worried about the little animals that live with Wilfred and asks him about them and he says: “Thank gods they didn’t eat the food, they would have died, especially this one” and he points and kisses the mouse.
About a half hour away from town we find Vile lying in the grass resting. Wilfred immediately begins suspecting him of poisoning us and is interrogating him. He also calls Vile a “thief, you steal, poison, and lie and backstab”.
He makes Vile return the gold to the innkeeper to repay him for all the food losses he had. Vile complies, so in the middle of the night he sneaks into the inn and returns the gold in a chest but on the way out he gets caught by a guard. He then uses his special ability to save himself: he stabs himself in the hand and vanishes. He runs away from the village as they close the gates and start ringing the bells. When we hear the bells ringing we know it’s him and when Vile approaches us we all start running away together, with Wilfred assuming his bear shape and running ahead of us.
We interrupt our D&D session for a few minutes and discuss our wedding and wedding budgets and Dane mentions that Giam’s parents gave him and Amy “500 gold”**
Our journey to the north is mostly peaceful interrupted occasionally by encounters that sometimes prove to be challenging but every time we win and escape safely. We fought two dark drakes of the moon hills, which were flying enemies and it was tough. We also fought two horrific cyclops who mauled to death 3 members of the ranger’s guild. We were very disturbed to find their mutilated bodies here and figuring out their story. We found that they went to investigate the Blackleaf Ruins and got severely injured there and were returning home wounded. We recollected what we knew about the Blackleaf ruins, and the story is very haunting and eerie: Blackleaf was once the beautiful home of Twilight Elves and one day a hero went to slaughter a bog hag who defeated him in battle and sent his undead body leading an army of horrors to destroy the city, which is now a cursed place.
With deep grief in our hearts, we offered a small burial ceremony to the fallen rangers (an elf and two humans” and Wilfred took their emblems in hopes he’ll get to return them to the Guild one day.
We took form the rangers two items:
+1 darkened long sword of the falcon
+3 dusklit longbow of phantoms. made of darksteel
As much as we wanted to investigate Blackleaf ruin ourselves and find the hag and murder her, we knew that we must save the tormented souls from the Far Realm, that is our priority and all other things can be done afterwards.
We came across a rotten glade, with rotten trees and a virulent pool with a cloud of insects. A skeletal bog hag talks to us. Rajyrick tries to charm her, calling her a “lovely maiden”. She calls him a charmer and asks us to find her bone staff which was stolen by a nymph. Rajyrick refers to her as “a rose and the most beautiful damsel in the land”, even though she is 8 feet tall and absolutely terrifying.
We refuse to retrieve her staff for her and she goes back to her pool of filth.
As we continue our journey through the creepy marshes, we hear the hag’s cackle and shortly after she unleashes her pet – the flamekissed hydra. It’s a 4 headed beast, each head performing an attack each and once a head is slain, it has to take cold or acidic damage otherwise it will grow 2 in it’s place. We manage to slay the hydra and continue our trip.
The magnificent Tower of Pearl stands ahead of us after a few days journey. It is known to be as dangerous as it is beautiful. It’s lights can be seen from miles away and captivated by this majestic tower, which used to house Aden, the greatest mage of all times we decide to explore it. We are also hoping to find clues about Aden there, and perhaps maybe even a portal to take us directly up north.
Vile scouts ahead and approaches the 20 ft wall that surrounds the base of the tower. It is made out of a silvery metal and as he comes by the gate, a liquidy mouth morphs within the gate and it says: “Beware stranger, you’ve been warned. If you don’t have permission-certain death awaits”.
This warning suffices for us and we decide to let the tower unexplored. For now.
Mr. Walnut’s home is not too far from where we are so we decide to go pay him a visit and maybe get some advice or help from him. On our way there we had a long and exhausting fight with some flying manticores, then we successfully avoided some hill giants by hiding in the grass and the next day we fought an umberhulk.
In the distance we see Mr. Walnut’s home. It’s very quaint, with smoke coming from the chimney, but still something seems odd. As we approach- we figure out what: there is a skeleton in front of the door. It looks as if his flesh had been ripped from him by some powerful magic. Rajyrick feels magic emanating all around the house. He knocks on the glass window and we hear something break and then it’s all quite. The door opens, and Mr. Walnut motions all inside. He looks just like in the tales: dressed in a suit, with a walnut head and walnuts for hands. He makes cute little sounds instead of normal words and he invites us to have tea with him. Luna offers him one of the bottles of wine she had bought a long time ago for Mayor Garland because it’s the only thing suitable for a present. Mr. Walnut takes it gladly and rubs her head with his walnut hand. He then takes it into some room and quickly closes the door as if he doesn’t want us to see something. As we’re drinking our tea, Rajyrick notices a pile of flesh casually laying in a corner of the room we’re in. He shows it to us and we’re all very creeped out by it, but nothing we can do.
When we’re done with the tea, Mr. Walnut takes us into the bedroom. The bed are little walnuts and none of us wants to sleep in this house. Rajyrick is wondering if Mr. Walnut would like to listen to some soothing music and he takes out his lute and plays the most beautiful song he knows. Suddenly, we hear a rattling noise in Mr. Walnut’s head and then the lute explodes into a million pieces! Rajyrick is so upset to have lost his magical lute, but Luna informs him she has a plain old one that he can use until he gets a replacement. Mr. Walnut claps his hands when the lute explodes and motions us to our beds. Vile goes in his nutshell immediately and the rest of us have no choice and we go to sleep as well. He tucks us in and closes the lid to our walnuts.
We wake up incredibly refreshed and relaxed, even the elf and the drow managed to sleep for the first time in their lives, which equally astounds and disturbs them.
Mr. Walnut is waiting for us in the living room. On the table there are 5 beautiful walnuts with colorful ribbons attached to them. We just then notice that Timothy hasn’t followed us in the house. Each of us gets to pick a walnut which we later open. Luna picked the silver one and got 2000 bonus exp., Wilfred took the green one and got a +2 Stat increase to an ability of his choice, Vile chose gold and got 3 enchantments for his gear, and Rajyrick picked red and got a pouch of 5000 gold pieces.
Rajyrick then asks Mr. Walnut if he can somehow get his lute back and for a fraction of a second Mr. Walnut’s head splits into two and in the void between Rajyrick sees an immense and unimaginable horror. He collapses to the ground in agony.
We leave the house immediately and recollect that some legends state that Mr. Walnut is a being of the Far Realm who came on the physical realm to use his powers for a good cause.
Outside we meet Timothy who also says that he’s been sleeping and feels very well rested and judging by the arrangement of stars in the sky we determine it is now the month of November and we’ve been sleeping for a month.
Quiet disturbed, we continue onwards and we come across a bahir- a multi legged highly intelligent serpent. Fighting him is well beyond our powers so instead, we try reasoning with him. We are forced to tell him about our quest, and then Rajyrick even plays him a beautiful song, which delights the bahir. He lets us go and laughs at us and our mission .