The Felling of Nortlend

Bulletin Board Post

Looking for mercenaries/adventurers good money involved. Tomorrow. Pan and Handle. Dawn.

-Tim

Found on the bulletin board in the town square of Havern.

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First Four Days

The party meets Tim in the tavern. He asks them to find the horn of Rendil. He offers them 1000 gold pieces each. He tells them not much about its location other than in the desert to the east. After talking to an elderly man who is of no help, Vladmir Gacy-Bateman tries to intimidate the father of a young child for information on the horn. Although he was not very intimidating the father felt pity on this desperate creature and sent him to the scholarly man of Rolund for help.

Rolund was willing to be of help but his wife Erla was sick and needed the root of a shrin mushroom to heal her. The party offered to harvest the roots for him while he studied his library for information regarding the horn. They enter the forest to the north and on their way to the roots location, they stumble upon a bandit camp. They clear the camp and continue on their journey, following the cold draft known to emanate from the shirn field. They find the field but alas the only intact shrooms are right next to a snake’s den. Vladmir Gacy-Bateman fey steps over to the roots while Rafiki Ja’far Wallace uses ghost whisper to ensure he harvests properly. Upon returning to Rolund they discover he has a bounty of information, but before he can relay it onto the party Vladmir Gacy-Bateman once again tests out his intimidation following J5‘s suggestion. Rolund forks over his life’s savings and kicks them out of his house.

Now out of luck, the party decides to journey east to check out the desert. They stumbled on a ward of sealing magically implanted in the sand. Although the party has a hunch that they could find a wizard in the swamp past the shrin field J5 decides to try digging through the seal against the party’s bequest. He is able to fight through the fire swarming up around him and continue to dig, but eventually Rafiki Ja’far Wallace, while laughing, uses his mage hand to dig up the sand and form a staircase down into the ruins. They all run through the seal, some taking some mild damage.

Now in the ruins they first fight some skeletons who arise at their entering. After demolishing them they proceed to fight two small were-rats and a swarm of regular rats. Upon Rafiki Ja’far Wallace killing the rat swarm, Bard Pitt writes a haiku about him. Inside the ruins they find a library, with the majority of the books being completely destroyed. However they do find a book detailing the party’s own Ragnar the Red and his exploits who then steals the bucket from a well.

The next room the venture into holds a friendly undead elf. They converse with him and learn that he has been trapped by a wizard in this room for countless years. Well before the sinking of the ruins. He tells them that the gong outside of his room will unleash him from his curse. Little did they know that doing so would turn him evil and provoke attack. J5 decides freeing him is the best option while all the others disagree. J5 still rings the gong and the elf attacks. He teleports right in front of Bard Pitt, who drops his flute in surprise. J5 then steps on the flute while backing away in fear. Bard, devastated by the course of events unleashes a blood-curdling yell from his golden wind-pipe. This scream of agony dazes the elf but also causes Bard Pitt to lose his voice. This puts him out of commission for a while. The remainder of the party slays the elf.

In the room, Vladmir Gacy-Bateman finds a book of vile darkness. They return to a trap door under a carpet they had passed early. J5 gives it a goliath stomp, falling into darkness. He only manage to gather a few scrapes and bruises. They realize there is a passage way leading off into the darkness but that it is so narrow only Vladmir Gacy-Bateman or Rafiki Ja’far Wallace could fit through. Rafiki Ja’far Wallace refuses but Vladmir Gacy-Bateman takes this venture on his own. After coming to a couple dead-ends he eventually jumps a pit to find a small sitting room with a locked chest. In the chest is a sealed scroll. He manages to find his way back out and they journey onward. After some cunning tricks they clear a hall of swinging axes with only Ragnar the Red taking minor damage. They also briefly enter an empty bedroom to find a ghostly aura urging them out. It makes them feel cold and slows their movement slightly. This aura then follows them out of the room.

They find themselves in a King’s Court with Alahir the evil drow from the golden principality sitting on the throne. It turns out that Alahir never really rebelled but a female dopelganger has been impersonating him all these years. After determining the horns resting place they slay her and her ghoulish minions. The aura that had been following them dissipated. Vladmir Gacy-Bateman was then lowered down the garbage chute in the kitchen down which Alahir had thrown the king and his horn. He discovers the aura was the dead king who then converses with him and hands over the horn.

As they leave they find Tim standing at the top of the stairs demanding the horn. Noticing that Tim fears entry they run back inside to rest and recuperate. They then returned, refusing to hand the horn over to him. He summons 6 zombies and 2 skeletons and mass chaos breaks out. The party slays all of the zombies and taken a good chunk out of the rest, but with many of the party being on the verge of unconsciousness. Tim then cuts his on forearm open spilling his blood into the sand. The sand around him turns red and begins to boil. This scares Ragnar the Red away from him and towards one of the two remaining skeletons. Out of the bubbling sand raises 5 more zombies. :Rafiki Ja’far Wallace then attacks Tim, pulling him down the stairs and into the seal he so feared. He is instantly vaporized. Rafiki Ja’far Wallace, MVP. The newly formed zombies collapse in a heap, leaving only one bloodied skeleton for the party to finish off.

They then proceed towards Rendil to find out about the horn. Rendil turns out to be a shanty of a town with the resident king a poor drunkard. While they can find no information about the horn they hear rumor of a bandit camp in the mountains to the north. They collectively decide to vanquish this and gear up, ready to take off.

tl;dr Rafiki Ja’far Wallace: MVP

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The Fishing Bandits

The party meets up with an unknown drow in the tavern as they ready to take care of the bandits up north. This drow decides to join their party for at least this mission. They then proceed to march along the shoreline until they reach the bandits camp. Although as they are reaching the camp they realize that it is more of a fishing village than a bandits encampment. Seeing this, Kaziden tells the rest of the party he will sneak in and try to eavesdrop to determine what is going on. Instead he sneaks over to the apparent leader of the village and attempts to kill him.

Seeing this, the party is in disarray, J5 runs to warn the fishermen of the ongoing danger, while Rafiki Ja’far Wallace joins Kaziden in the assault. Bard Pitt and Ragnar the Red attempt to make peace with a man. They ask him about the bandit rumors. He tells them that there are “demi-gods” that regularly force their men to run raids with them. These demi-gods keep a portal in their village through which they enter. In all the confusion Vladmir-Gacy Bateman stays away from battle in confusion. Once as many people as they think they can get to leave have left, J5, Bard, and Ragnar join the battle to help their allies. Kaziden decapitates the leader upon his death.

Rafiki Ja’far Wallace performs the analyze portal ritual on the portal to determine it leads to rocky island, a location due east from where they were situated. The portal is unable to be utilized without a special amulet and the portal itself can shrink to the size of a coin and become portable.

They take the village’s big fishing boat to the island, along the way having to fight some rough water, pelting hail, and rigid wind. Once they reach the island they must then traverse a swamp. In the swamp they pass, two greenscales, a poisonscale, and a crocodile that they must conquer to pass onwards. Once they slay them, they continue onwards to find a castle.

Atop the castle are 2 elven archers that threaten to shoot if they do not turn around. Bard Pitt intimidates the two to open the door and let them in. They then run into the castle, but not even giving them a chance to open the door, J5 rams the door open. They immediately turn right and enter a library. Inside the library sits an elven mage. While they fight the mage, two other guards run up and join the battle. Inside that room is a bookshelf containing a crystal ball, protected by heavy magic. Even after Rafiki Ja’far Wallace, Bard Pitt, and Ragnar the Red say that it is heavily defended, J5 tries to pry it off but is blasted back and takes damage.

They then clean out the kitchen of people and find a secret door in a cupboard, but it is sealed with 6 magical locks so they leave it be for the time being. Kaziden then slits the throat of 3 sleeping people he finds in the sleeping quarters. He attempts the same on a fourth but he wakes up before Kaziden can get close enough to him. He still kills him off quiet quickly however.The party then kills 2 people found in the weapons room, and find 4 magical swords hanging in the closet. Kaziden, after decapitating all of his victims, sacrifices them to his god in return for giving Ragnar the Red a blessing.

There is only one room remaining in the castle they have not checked. This room is filled up primarily with an inactive portal and a trough filled with colored coins. J5 tries taking all of the coins out of the room, but they magically transport back into the trough. They then try throwing coins into the portal and find that the portal seems to activate with a glowing light matching the color of the coin thrown. They discover that upon throwing the red coin in that their portal begins to glow as well. It then begins to glow blue and through comes Kyle, Gardikan, and Telle. They fight an arduous battle. With Telle being the last one alive, they convince him to surrender. He tells them the secret to using the portal and how to get into the hidden room. He also informs them that they work for the chain devil Kyton. They kill Telle even after promising him safety. Kyton then comes through the portal after it glows green. Kaziden however invokes mass amounts of damage on the demon and apparently makes short work of him. Upon hitting him for the last time, he just disappears. Whether he has died or teleports out, the party does not know.

They then head back to the hidden room that turns out to be a treasury. In the treasury they find multiple suits of armor, a bunch of gold, some wound-stitch powder, and a vagabond’s die. After looting the castle they go sleep in the sleeping quarters, while Rafiki Ja’far Wallace studies in the library.

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From Castle to Palace

Night falls on the party’s newly acquired castle. While Ragnar the Red, J5, and Bard Pitt sleep soundly in the barracks, Rafiki Ja’far Wallace and Vladmir Gacy-Bateman read in the library. Kaziden has entered a trance in the barracks. Rafiki Ja’far Wallace reads An Abjuration for Wizards, a book that will soon teach him to summon a familiar while Vladmir Gacy-Bateman continues reading his book of vile darkness. A few hours into the night, Rafiki Ja’far Wallace witnesses Vlad swiftly stand up while shutting his book in one fluid motion. Without casting one look at Rafiki Ja’far Wallace, he marches out of the room, across the hall, grabs a black coin, chucks it into the portal and departs. Rafiki Ja’far Wallace decides not to follow and wait until morning to inform his comrades.

Upon waking in the morning, the party finds one of its members missing while another one, Bard Pitt, to have fallen deathly ill, so while the remainder of the party decides to return to Rendil and eventually Havern, Bard Pitt remains in the castle to recuperate. Since the party journeyed with the portal, they required use of the fishing boat to return to mainland. They treked through the treacherous swamp and jungle-like terrain back to where they left their boat moored. Shortly after they began their hike, a couple of the party members began sensing a beast stalking them, and to their dismay were soon attacked by a displacer beast and his hunting pack of wolves. After a grueling battle and hours more of marching, they made it safely to the boat to discover a nasty storm had set in. J5 knew this was no natural storm and they could not rely on it dying down soon, so they must either risk the journey or return to the castle. They ventured onward. Although they made it, it took almost the entire remainder of the day, and lives were almost lost. Rafiki Ja’far Wallace had almost fallen overboard if not for his clever use of his float power.

J5, out of the kindness of his heart, directed the boat back to the fishing village rather than straight at Rendil. However the village was not pleased with the return of either Kaziden or Rafiki Ja’far Wallace for aiding in the killing of their leader, but they continued on to spend the night in Rendil.

They returned to the run-down city only to find the king once again intoxicated. Taking advantage of this fact, Ragnar the Red and his sugared words talked the king out of his only remaining possesion, an everlasting barrel of ale. Upon recieving this reward, they departed his presence heading to the market to sale their most recently acquired treasures. While the townsfolk had not much money, they were able to pawn some of their goods, and buy a few supplies. Kaziden purchased a pair of Resplednent Boots from a man for 1800 gold, requiring a 400 gold loan from Ragnar the Red. Not happy with now being broke, Kaziden plotted to have his money returned to him. When night fell upon the city again, Ragnar returned to the market to case the stall while Kaziden followed the marketeer home. Upon reaching the man’s home, Kaziden is caught trying to sneak in and battle ensues. First the unknown man bloodies Kaziden, but Kaziden does not give up until the man knocks him unconscious. Instead of going for the kill, the man throws Kaziden’s limp body on his doorstep for Ragnar to discover.

After recovering his strength, Kaziden enlists the party’s help to seek vengence on this stallkeeper. While Kaziden had been fighting this man, J5 had attempted to chug the entire barrel of everlasting ale, and was striken with alcohol poisoning. It was only due to this fact he was swayed to come along. They quietly case the joint, stalking from outside. Kaziden sneaks up, peering through the window to see the house is teeming with cruel weaponry he had not seen the night prior. However finding the house empty, they break in, J5 careening into the door. Kaziden immdeiately yells for the man to come out of hiding and he walks down the stairs laughing. He claims Kaziden’s life was spared only so he could kill the whole party. After a grueling battle involving trip-wires arrows and pressure-plate flame geysers, the party was victorious. Kaziden reclaims his boots and the party splits a hefty sum of gold.

The stay in town one more night before making the journey back across the desert to Havern. In the morning however, J5, still striken with alcohol poisoning elects to return to the castle to sleep it off, so he hops into the portal and returns. The remaining three member, as Bard Pitt is still deathly sick, venture off. The first three days of their journey are significantly uneventful. Not until the third night does anything pique their interests. at 3 in the morning, a shrill yell is heard coming from back up the road about 2 miles. Ragnar the Red sleeps through it, but Kaziden and Rafiki Ja’far Wallace hear and Kaziden alone pursues. He runs about halfway before tiring himself out and must walk slowly the remaining mile. Upon arrival to the estimated location, he shouts into the air for whatever is there to make itself known. 4 vampires emerge from the darkness, blood-thirsy and wild-eyed. They pounce, but Kaziden uses his quick reflexes, and brand new boots, to barely make it out of there alive, bloodied and bruised. During his absence, Ragnar wakes up and they decide to go search for Kaziden. They meet up with him about halfway and return to look for the vampires. It being daylight, the vampires have returned to their lair, surmised to be in the northern mountains. They agree to remain one night to try to slay them. Early in the night, Rafiki Ja’far Wallace catches sight of only on vampire. He creates a light in the vampire’s face, startling him and the three others the light now revealed. This allowed for the party to attack the vampires before they realized what had happened. They slayed the three elder vampire spawns, but the vampire witch escaped, as he turned invisible upon being bloodied and disappeared. Scared he was still near, the party rushed the remaining way to Havern without setting up camp. It was not until they reached Havern they decided to rest.

The next morning, Kaziden and Rafiki Ja’far Wallace headed towards the market to gear up while Ragnar set off in search of a house to buy. Ragnar decided that city hall would be the first place to ask. It was there that he met the real estate agent Ankers. They quickly hit it off, and Ankers informed Ragnar that the only currently uninhabited house was part of an ongoing investigation and he was not currently allowed to sell it. He directed Ragnar the Red down the hall to the captain of the town guard, Becnar, to discuss when the house would be available. Becnar, already close friends with Ankers, also his it off with Ragnar and he solemnly told Ragnar that an entire family had been murdered in the basement of this house. The guards believed it to have been the work of restless spirits but had no evidence, or a way to dispel them, but Becnar redirected Ragnar to a cleric of Pelor, Xyrid, and gave him permission to inspect the house himself. Ankers provided Ragnar with a key.

Ragnar, following his newly acquired friend’s advice set off in the direction of the church of Pelor. Xyrid confirmed the presence of spirits in the house, specifically the basement, so Ragnar and his party decided to vanquish them. Upon entry into the basement there was no evidence of spirits, so they called out. A wraith responded. Upon conversing with this wraith, Riff, the group acquired the information that 4 wraiths were residing in the basement and they only attacked those with high moral values. With none of those three meeting that description, the wraiths remained in the walls. An idea was presented on ridding the wraiths and the party journeyed to a small outpost to the south. Upon arrival it was decided that to continue with their mission, the town’s two sole guards would need disposal. Rangar and his golden tongue befriended Ponj and Bae, and got him and his comrades an invitation to dinner. Prior to dinner, Kaziden snuck into Bae’s house and poisoned his food. As the poison set in, all except Rafiki Ja’far Wallace began to feel its effects. It was then the party decided to strike, killing the two guards. As night was falling, they agreed to return to the forest to spend the night.

Near the end of the night it had become apparent that the vampire that had escaped their clutches had been hunting them, waiting for the opportun moment to strike out at Kaziden. In one bite, the vampire fell Kaziden. The now two remaining party members slayed the vampire and collected Kaziden’s belongings. Now being a party of two, Ragnar and Rafiki Ja’far Wallace decided their current mission could not go on and returned to Havern to decide a new course of action. It was there in the Bear and Badger that they met Lord Varus. An elven ranger, armed only with a great bow. They quickly became acquantinces, and being a mere twosome at this moment, asked him to join the party. It was shortly after this that J5, feeling better after almost a week of rest, decided to rejoin the party.

Now having 4 men to face their challenge, they returned to the church of Pelor where Ragnar enlisted the help of Xyrid the cleric to rid the wraiths. Now 5 strong, they were able to face the wraiths head-on. Even with this party size, the wraiths focused their fire on the two men of high morals, Xyrid and J5. A cleric, not meant to handle this kind of fire-power fell during the battle, not to rise again. However the house was now clear so Ragnar returned to Ankers to purchase the house. He then invited Ankers, Becnar, and Ankers’ wife Oda to the Hydra and the Hound to drink from his everlasting barrel of ale, to celebrate victory and mourn the passing of Xyrid.

In the morning they agreed to journey south to the Golden Principality and visis the Palace of the Gods, looking for work among the rich. FOr this length of journey, they each purchased their own horse. Lord Varus, being an impatient man, elected to journey forward ahead of the others and their wagon. Upon reaching a forest he decided to take a break and hone his hunting skill. He quickly tracks down a bear, and without it noticing him , begun fire. The bear initiated chase, but before it was able to reach Varus, one last arrow fell the bear. He skinned the bear and brought the bear with him back to the road to cook it and wait for the rest of the party. Upon their arrival, J5, jealous of Lord Varus’ kill switfly rides his horse into the forest looking for game. After hours and hours of endless searching, he is unable to find anything to kill, so he starts tearing down the forest. Eventually out of sheer dumb luck, he discovers a bear’s cave, in which a bear sleeps. He somehow finds himself able to sneak up on the bear and invoke a coup de grace. Even with this heartless move, he is only able to slay the bear after himself becomes far too bloodied. He takes a bites out of the bears flesh and returns to the party after 6 hours of departure.

Ragnar and Rafiki Ja’far Wallace had waited, but Varus had journeyed onward again. J5 now sick from bear meat, requests use of the portal to return to the castle, and the other two resumed their journey, somewhat irritated at the wasted time. Eventually they meet up with Varus who then takes off again until they remeet in the Palace of the Gods. They spend the night there, and in the morning set off looking for work and supplies. They each buy some healing potions to keep them alive, seeing as Bard Pitt is still deathly sick, but the only work they are able to find is almost a day away to the south. A gang of goblins has been ransacking one of the towns down there. The three of them travel down there to find every single house with its windows drawn and doors locked. Not a single soul is seen in the village. They knock on a few houses and find the occupants to be in very sour of moods. So they depart to slay the goblins.

After many grueling battles, they are eventually able to slay the goblins, and a few orcs who had been leading them. They then skip straight over the town and return to the Palace of the Gods in hope for a reward, and some rest.

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Becoming a Candidate

Shortly after presenting the goblin heads to the captain of the guard, Lord Varus sprints away from the party with no indication of his destination. As the party had not yet formed much of a bond with this elf, they thought little of it and did not follow him. Bard Pitt, now relieved of his cackling fever, and J5 whose stomach had settled from the bear meat decided to return to the party via the portal. The morning on which they choose to return, a strange man approaches Rafiki Ja’far Wallace in an alleyway, seemingly enthralled by his bound demon, Kovu. This man presents Rafiki Ja’far Wallace with two books. One of these books is a Dwarven/Common dictionary and the other is a book written entirely in Dwarven. After reading a couple lines, Rafiki Ja’far Wallace decides it would be most beneficial for him to spend a few days reading and translating this book, so he rents a room and leaves the party. He informs Ragnar the Red that the portal will be in his room and gives him a spare key.

The three remaining members, not wishing to venture through the portal with only 3 memebers, decide to head to town hall to seek out quests. They are granted a party with the mayor who tells him the only work he has available is as campaign advisor for his upcoming re-election. Initially they decide to take up this burden, but upon remembering that the half-human Bard Pitt is also half-elf, that he would be eligible to run for mayor. So using his bard-like wit and charm, he flirts up the receptionist and asks how he might enter his name into the running. He learns that he must gather 500 supporters prior to election day, she recommends to gain much favor that he could retrieve the long lost sword of Walcheard and after searching out more information, he learns it was taken by a half-orc belonging to the orcish settlement in the Vareln Woods. They spend the night at the Splendiforous Hero and set out on horse in the morning.

They reach the woods and begin seeking out signs of orcs. J5, is unable to notice anything, but Bard Pitt sees a trail and is able to determine the direction of the orcs’ hideout. They slowly ride on for a few more hours. Since they slept at the entrance to the woods, it is only mid-day, but it appears to me growing colder and dimmer. Soon however they come into a clearing under the towering trees in which they see cliff-like hills. The front of which is dotted with alcoves containing severed heads, some human, some dwarf, some elf, and even some orc. As they approach they notice an orc walk into a small entrance, but he did not seem to notice the adventurers. Upon looking closer, J5 realizes that one of the few orc heads, located near the entrance, actually seems to be alive, so he speaks out to it. As it turns out it was not a live head, but a live orc who pulls his head into the cave, to emerge shortly after with three more orcs in tow. The party quickly slays them, and J5 yells out to the orcs remaining in the cavern, taunting them. They hear much arguing inside over whose hunting party would get to slay the intruders. During this time, the party prepares an ambush. Two waves of orcs come out to greet the adventurer’s, one after the other. The party is left quite near death after slaying these two hunting parties. They then hear a gruff voice from within the cave, to catch their breath’s before beginning to fight him. The party takes a short rest and a massive group of orcs emerges from the shadows to fight. Soon an orc shaman also emerges from the shadows and strikes them all prone with lightening, and they are then submitted to a volley of arrows from the archers at his sides. After many minutes of fighting, the party has slain all but a rampager and the shaman. About this time, Bard Pitt falls unconscious. During the course of the day the other two had both also done so. The party was now out of all healing and potions. The two upright members make short work of the two last orcs. Ragnar the Red rushes over to Bard Pitt’s side to attempt to stabilize him, but on his way over, Bard Pitt rises off of the ground, causing the other two to think he had possibly been faking it.

With no more orcs coming from the shadows and piles of dead bodies around them, the party takes a short rest before delving into the hideout. Before they come across any diverging passages, or doors, they are confronted with spinning blades blocking the path. The blades enter the passage at seemingly random location and random intervals. The party finds no way to turn them off, so they attempt to run through without being hit. J5 sustains only minor damage and the other two were safe. A four way intersection now confronts them and they decide to split as to check all passages. They believe no more orcs live in these caverns. J5 takes left, and eventually comes upon a bedroom where it appears the orcs would sleep. Inside remains one orc, who attacks J5 upon his entry, J5 kills him and returns to the intersection. Ragnar the Red who headed straight at the intersection soon comes across a door. He opens the door to find a false floor trap, but he jumps back in time to avoid it. He jumps over the hole and continues his journey. He climbs up a ladder through a trapdoor and finds himself in a room with a pool of water in the middle. The water appears to be ordinary. The chamber has three other exits. He heads left and finds himself in the same room coming from the right passage, so he heads to the one he has not been in and it also returns him to the rightmost passage, so he head back down that and finds himself in a treasure room which he proceeds to loot. Bard Pitt had taken the right passageway at the intersection and finds himself faced with crossbow turret traps. After failing to disarm the trap, he decides on jumping over the pressure plates and suceeds. After passing a left branching path, he finds a small sitting room with a small chest and returns to the branch to follow it.

Above his head he sees a cylinder with water dripping out of it, but continues onward to find a “T” intersection at which he heads left. He finds a chamber consisting of only a lever. He pulls the lever, a poisonous dart glances off of his armor and he hears water crashing down. At this time, Ragnar the Red, in the room with the pool, notices the pool drain. Bard Pitt heads to investigate the sound to discover that the water dripping cylinder opened up, unleashing water and the sword of Walcheard. At this time J5 meets up with Bard Pitt and they decided to take the last unexplored route. This last path leads to one last chamber in which is a shrine to Gruumsh, and has two coffins, containing the ancient king and queen of orcs from when they had once ruled all of nortlend. On their heads lie crowns. Bard takes the king’s crown and J5 the queen’s. They all reconvene at the intersection, once again run past the spinning blades and make it safely back to the Palace of the Gods a night of rest.

TL;DR FELICITY = PRON QUEEN ; RAGNAR THE RED = PRON KING

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Slaying the Troll King

By the morning after the party reappeared in the city with the sword, Rafiki Ja’far Wallace had finished reading his book which turned out to be the Enchant Item Ritual. Something he mastered while they were off slaying orcs. Now with the ability to enchant items, the party no longer needs to squander their time searching through town for new and better items.

Armed with the sword of Walcheard, Bard Pitt, Ragnar the Red, and Rafiki Ja’far Wallace take to the streets, inviting everyone they see to the town center to watch a show of magnificence all while riding atop Felicity. These three had sent J5 back to the castle to clean up. As it turns out, while sick from the raw bear meat, he had puked in all corners of the castle and returned without cleaning it up. The three arrive at the town center to find a crowd of over 500 has gathered to watch their spectacle. Ragnar the Red and Bard Pitt exhibit a display of magic and acrobatics all centered around the Sword of Walcheard. At the end, they present the sword to the curator of the museum telling him to display it with Bard Pitt’s name as the donor. During the course of the event, Rafiki Ja’far Wallace stands in the shadows while magically yelling Bard Pitt propaganda from various locations in the crowd. This yelling riles up the crowd and really gets them on Bard’s side. Prior to the show, Bard Pitt enlisted the help of a small child to run through the crowd collecting signatures.

Now only a few signatures short, they run around town, going door to door, asking for signatures and finally break the 500 mark as they return to the Splendifirous Hero for the night. They bring the signatures to the town hall to ensure his place on the ballot and discover the election is a month away with a debate almost directly proceeding it. Banking on the success of the magic show and word of mouth, they decide their is no point waiting around for a month campaigning, but can instead adventure to return just in time. Initially they decide to return to Havern so they can place the portal in a secure location while journeying through it but quickly turn around to head east instead, venturing towards the heart of the Varelyn Woods. During the cart ride, Bard Pitt dons Ragnar the Red’s spectacles and also masters the enchant item ritual.

As they reach the woods, they disembark the cart to continue on foot. Ragnar, however will not leave Felicity and jumps on her back. They enter the forest at the same place as last to find it untouched. They travel through the lush green landscape and soon pass the orc trail veering north but continue past. Their trek has thus far consisted of nothing but tranquility, birds chirping, squirrels darting from tree to tree, and to Rafiki Ja’far Wallace’s enjoyment, an occasional rabbit sighting. As they continue however, this peace diminishes. The forest quickly changes from a joyful happy place to one of dead silence and a hovering fear of eminent danger. The brave adventurers, wishing to dispel this ominous feeling as quickly as possible, yell out to whatever may be lurking in the shadows; A challenge to reveal and a challenge to fight is issued. Soon after, the sounds of uprooting trees fill their ears, accompanied by primal grunts and growls. Ahead of them they see trees falling down at an alarming rate and within them are two giant green grotesque trolls. The heroes soon recognize these two as the troll king, Skalmad, and his bodyguard who are said to inhabit these woods although many believe it to be make-believe to keep kids from venturing too far. They quickly brace for battle. This may have been one of the most grueling battle fought by the party. They spend minutes of tactical fighting attempting to avoid the trolls’ massive reach while still landing their own strikes. A welcom suprise occured when upon slaying the bodyguard he exploded into bits. The burst hurt many of them but also appeared to kill the king. He however arose shortly and every other time it appeared that they killed the king he soon rose back on his feet; still flowing with life. Finally Ragnar the Red envelops him in flame ending any life he may have still clung to. Around the troll’s neck hung a giant key. Ragnar the Red with his ethusiasm for locks and keys desperately desired to find the lock to which this key pertained.

So after resting up they set out to find the trolls’ lair. It turned out to be located in a run down building in the middle of a swamp. The floor was littered with bones. Every step they took was emphasized with a crunch below. They took to digging through the graveyard to discover a few treasures here and there. Heading out back they find a massive cage inside which is captive a trodgolyte. They converse with him and decide to let him go out rather than rot. Although the trodgolye’s intentions were good, his draconic speaking spawn lurking in the shadows knew not what the adventurer’s wanted with their leader and father so battle ensued. Not wishing to see his offspring vanquished the now released captive joined the fight against the party. The three present party members made decently short work of the trodgolytes and decided to spend the night in the bone litered house.

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The Tree of Death

Waking up refreshed in the bone-laden hut that was once inhabited by the troll king Skalmad, the three adventurers Rafiki Ja’far Wallace, Bard Pitt, and Ragnar the Red were ready to set off; continuing once again towards the center of the Vareln Woods. After many hours of walking a blackness begins to loom over them; blocking out the sun. As the near it, they realize this darkness is actually one massive tree. They begin attempting to walk around it counter-clockwise. At first they have no luck finding a way around, but then Rafiki Ja’far Wallace spots a gap in the tree they could squeeze through if they so wanted. So after tying up Felicity, the party ventured in. This path twisted and turned for the entire length they followed it until eventually splitting into two ways. At the end of the one they followed was a hut formed from still living tree bark, peeled up from the trees on either side. In the hut was a monk of Melora who had been granted a vision telling him to wait in that hut until adventurer’s came by and he was to join their party. The current party members were okay with that but did not wish to know his name unless he proved to be a worthy addition.

With their fourth member, they returned to the split in the path and took the one they previously had not. Still cloaked in complete darkness other than the ball of light Rafiki Ja’far Wallace kept near, they marched on. When suddenly, Rafiki Ja’far Wallace, in the lead was dazed by an odor that sprayed down onto him. The rest of the party stopped abruptly behind him, ready for battle. Four dryads dropped down from the trees, attack their victims, pulling them back into the tree only to drop them shortly after. Rafiki Ja’far Wallace tried flushing them out by creating a toxic cloud in the trees but the smart dryad’s avoided and pulled many party members into the cloud. Although still being dazed, Rafiki Ja’far Wallace was unable to keep the cloud sustained for long. Finally however, they were able to slay their fey attackers to march on once again.

After an hour or so more of walking the narrow passageway they had been in opened wide and lights ignited in the air all around them. To the front they see an enormous tree, surrounded by many smaller ones and another dryad standing in front of them. She speaks to them in a slow meticulous Elvish that Bard Pitt relays to the rest of the party. She says “You are the first to get past our guards in a long time. Should you prove worthy the Tree of Life shall grant you gifts to aid you on your journeys.” She informs them that the tree behind her has the ability to restore all life if extinguished. It is the reason the Erasure did not destroy everything. Also through it the Elves first journeyed to the Material Plane from the Feywild. To prove themselves worthy the party must battle the Dryad and her Treant companions. This battle however was not to be to the death. They valiantly battled the dryad and a total of four treants. Though the treants proved annoying as they would grab all that walked by, the party had little trouble dispatching them. After this battle, the party asked for the name of the monk as he had initiated the battle by sprinting headfirst at the dryad and dealing mass amounts of damage. He told his name as Sceadungenga.

Soon after the fey had fallen unconscious, the tree washed its power over them, raising them from their slumber. The dryad congratulated them on their victory and lead them to a part of the tree that vanished to form a doorway. Inside the hole was a room laden with equipment, theirs for the taking, and they took it all. They spent the night outside the tree and in the morning the dryad offered to teleport them to the edge of the massive trees they were in, to where Ragnar the Red has tied up Felecity. Ragnar mounted Felicity and they set out once again towards the Palace of the Gods. Upon arriving at the city once again, Ragnar and Bard put on a public display in attempt to secure him more votes. In this display Bard told great stories of how he lead his party to the Tree of Life and found the origin of the Elves in this realm. He finished the performance with his rendition of the Anthem of the Gods, the anthem of the city. He botched only a few words while singing this song mildly unknown to him.

Instead of renting room in a stable, Ragnar decided it would be best to send her to the castle. Upon arriving however, he noticed that all of the magical lighting that had been pre-installed in the castle, had been extinguished. The castle was left in darkness. He quickly returned to the Palace of the Gods to tell his companions. They rented a room at the Splendiforous Hero, dropped down the portal and journeyed through. Wielding his light, Rafiki Ja’far Wallace leaves the portal room to find Vladmir Gacy-Bateman perched on the throne and the chain devil Kyton at his side. Before they have a chance to react, Rafiki Ja’far Wallace shoots a phantom bolt at the throne. Vladmir, Horn of Rendil in hand, blows it to summon 4 ghouls, one adjacent to each of the party. The combined power wielded by Vladmir Gacy-Bateman and Kyton was more than they had experienced, but even so, with a few lucky shots, and a few unlucky shots from the ghouls, they were able to dispatch their foes. Both Ragnar the Red and Bard Pitt fell unconscious during battle to be wrapped by chains. Their foes were saving their deaths until later to be used in an unknown sacrifice. At victories peak, Rafiki Ja’far Wallace leaps up to cut of the head of his once friend, Vlad. Before the head is severed, Vladmir has time to blurt out, “My master will still win…”

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