Legends of Rath

Session 5
The Frost Lich

After throughly investigating the chamber they were in, finding an old novel entitled “The Summer Of Entitlement” and a bunch of maps showing old Elven burial tombs. Tol’s keen eye spotted a filled in pit trap by the frost covered door. At the bottom of the excavated pit, the party found human and Demon remains! They also recoverd some massive gold coins with more images of demons on them. Ysala suspected that they might hark back from the days of the Bael Turathi Empire, and were at least 3,000 years old!

After peering through the lock of the frost coveed door the party saw a robed figure conversing with a man in a scrying portal on the wall. The man wore a mask in the shape of a ram’s skull and answered to the name Nazim. Could this be the Nazin Redthorn that Abercrombie warned them about? The robed figure had a high nervous voice and demanded more resources. Nazin was not impressed with ’Grezzek’s failure and refused further help.

With a ominous feeling of something bad and magical happening on the other side of the door, Ysala teleported herself to the otherside and hid. She saw the remains of a massive Dragon that some animated skeletons were labouring to put back together. In an effort to get some help, and disable some magical traps on the doors, she headed back to the doors, only to fall directly into a pit trap, an exact mirror of the filled in pit on the other side of the door.

At this point the party sprang into action bursting through the doors and setting off the wailing alarms! Grezzek, shocked by the intrusion, revealed themself to be a sentient Skeleton Mage covered in thick ice, a Frost Lich! Nazin, staring through the scrying portal shouted for Kalarel to come and help.

After some more falling in and out of the pit trap the party started to get the upper hand, Kalarel, a greasy pallid looking human appeared in the portal and started to cast magic missiles through it at the party. After staring into the soul of Ysala and making her giove up all her secrets, she retaliated by unleashing a powerful terror spell back through the portal and sent Kalarel fleeing. So impressed by this was Nazin, that he offered Ysala employment if she wanted!

After shattering Grezzek’s outer coating of ice the heroes finished off the freezing undead monstrosity. Ysala recovered Grezzek’s skull as proof and also discovered she could unlock some of the power still held in there! Gwenn found a hollow stone statue of an imp, which she smashed on the floor to see what it contained. Although disappointed it was apparently empty, she and the other PCs did hear a definite ‘Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!’ just at the edge of their hearing.

The party cleared out a corridor full of giant spiders by setting fire to their webs and then sealing the only way in. Sad to discover they had destroyed the remains of some kind of snug or study, the party was relieved to easily dispatch a potentially deadly threat.

Finding a secret way out hidden behind some bookshelves the party headed upwards into a peaceful picturesque valley…

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Session 4
At the mercy of the Praetor

The heroes headed into the forest but was quickly caught by wounded and disabled Elves. The heroes decided not to fight back and were taken to a hearing behinf the Praetor, the head of the Elven community. Clad in a Golden helmet that covered his entire face but the slightest hint of his chin, the Elven Praetor immediately sentenced the heroes to death…

Ellie quickly mentioned Fuarlin and the Praetor relented demanding to know why she knew the ‘Lost One’.

The Praetor instead demanded that they clear out an evil that they had detected under the ruins of a tower. It was the centre of a Goblin uprising that the Elves were struggling to fight off. The party asked if the Elves would help them in their fight if they were successful. The Praetor merely stated that if they returned without proof they would be killed.

After a diversionary attack, the heroes were able to get to the ruins of the tower. After dispatching the sleeping goblin guard the party found a large trunk in the back of a wagon. Inside they found the tied and gagged Eladrin Wizard, Ysala, who had been captured previously by Goblins.

In the ruins the heroes found a magic portal which the powered with a spell and summoned an tiny red flying imp, who theatrically declared himself to be Nib, the Magnificent! He explained that each PC would have to whisper their secret desire to him to pass through the portal. He was disgusted and thrilled by the (apparently) depraved things each hero whispered to him.

“Really? With three at once? I had no idea that was even possible!”

The heroes teleported straight into a dustry disused magical workshop, but they were not the only ones! Surrounded by Goblins, both sides reached for their weapons. The Goblin leader tried to cut a deal but Gwenn wasnt having any of it and all of the Goblins were dispatched or made to flee back through the portal (yelling “Food!” & “Magical Shit!” as they went) although at great physical harm to most of the party.

With the Goblin horde returning after the diversionary attack, the party had no alternative than investigate the set of double doors covered in a thick frost to the east.

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Session 3
Into Harkenwold

The party headed towards Harken in search of Iamund when they came across the smouldering remains of a steading. The house appeared to have been smothered in Tar and set on fire, although Ellie knew that would be a grossly inefficient way to do it.

Not too far down the road the PCs found another small rural house under attack by more men clad in the same garb as the thugs that Wenclyn had employed in Moonstair! They were threatening the homeowner with being burned alive if she didnt let them in. The heroes quickly dispatched the bbandits, with Gwenn leaping over the gate to the grounds on her horse and trampling one bandit under hoof!

The lady who owned the house explained that the bandits had arrived about a month before and took over the vale. Her husband had headed towards Albridge in the centre of the Harkenwold looking for a man called Abercrombie. It was said he wanted to stand against the black clad goons! Her husband had been missing for a few weeks now though…

The party headed into Albridge and met Abercrombie, a retired adventurer, at his stables. He confirmed that he intended to make a stand but was raising men. A Bullywug infestation to the west meant that the feared fighting men of Tor’s Hold could not join. He told the heroes that he had seen Iamund recently but he had headed to Harken, which he watrned them to stay away from, because it was overrun by Wenclyn’s men. Lastly, he said that he had spoken to someone else they might know, and they were in the Mallard Inn.

In the Inn the party met Fuarlin, an ancient looking Elf with perfect golden hair. Ellie innstantly recognised her old mentor and he wasted no time in berating her for her inadequacies. Their exchange was intense, but before he left he gave her no option but to head south and investigate what was besetting a group of Elves that lived some way into the Harken Forest.

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Session 2
Leaving Moonstair

Having left Ser Carlisle by the Church to his fate the party decided to sneak through the town to reach the outskirts of the town. Gwenn‘s instincts led her astray in the chaos of the attack by Wenclyn’s men as she lead the party straight back into the main square!

The party saw some of Wenclyn’s men starting to set fire to a squat tower on the edge of the square, and they could hea the cries for help from the young children abandoned on the top floor. Against Ellie’s words of caution the Paladin of Bahamut raced to save the children. Discovering within that the middle of the tower was occupied by a pyromancer and his fire elementals, Tol and Gwenn held them off so the children could escape whileEllie harried her foes from the square beneath.

Now stuck with a dozen young children, led by a headstrong young teenage girl, the part headed west out of the city avoiding Wenclyn’s men as much as possible. They did hear conversations as to how all the religious and military figures of the city had been hit, but not the merchant houses.

The party managed to locate an old ranger friend of Ellie‘s, a thin reedy man by the name of Brann. Brann agreed to take the children as he was heading north, away from Wenclyn’s men. Tol managed to change his clothing at the now abandoned inn and stock up on some more food for the journey! Brann left a bottle of Elven brandy with Ellie and told her to enjoy it!

The party had to choose between taking the King’s Road south to Harkenwold as per Carlisle‘s instructions or taking the Old Forest Road. While the King’s Road was easier to travel, it was a longer route and there had been rumours of slaving parties camped in the mountains to the East. The party chose the Old Forest Road, and having carefully skirted around a mysterious cairnstone left in a clearing, descended into the Harkenwold looking for Father Iamund

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Tol's Tale - Moonstair Burns
Freedom lost

Three full moons had past now since Tol and the ragged band of survivors of “the purge”, as Carlyle had called it, returned to Moonstair. At first Tol hadn’t noticed the tension, he’d often wondered at the things the people here worried at, who their master was, and how fairly they were treated; Whatever this Wencelen wanted, they had food in their bellies and were able to go about their business, for the most part, unmolested.

He noticed it now, the silence could be cut with a knife, the three boatmen swung silently in the breeze, in time with the sloshing of the pontoons in the river. Most of those that past this way refused to look upon the sight. Tol had no such qualms, he popped a chunk of bread and cheese into his mouth, eating noisily, and not for the first time wondered at the stupidity of these men.

If they were to refuse to pay the new guys men off, then hide your wealth, don’t be seen, pay what little you must and keep the rest to yourself. You don’t stand against a dozen armed men and spit in their eye, not if you want to live. He’d heard the Abbot was to speak to the people in the centre of town this evening, to decry what had happened no doubt. Tol shook his head, the people here would learn soon enough… he had long ago.

Tol left the moorings, the corpses and the carrion birds behind; Carlyle has requested that he meet him at the church and if the pits had taught him one thing, it was to remember who your friends were. He knew the church quite well, he’d done odd jobs there now and again, for a meal and a little coin, and slept in the stable a few times when he couldn’t find a welcome elsewhere. But he had never seen this part before.

In the chamber was Carlyle, Eomund and two others. He had seen the church knight before, Gwen was her name he thought, the other he didn’t recognise, but she had the bearing of a warrior, confident and still. Tol caught the look she gave him as he entered, an exasperated frown, there for only a moment before the calm and focus returned, but there, she named herself Ellie. No matter, he grinned his broken toothed grin at Carlyle and greetings over began to eat as Carlyle explained what he wanted from them.

Carlyle had a book, more valuable than his own life, so he said. How such a thing could be puzzled Tol, but then there was much that still puzzled Tol about these peoples ways. Either way Carlyle, Eormund and Gwen were guardians of the knowledge it contained and there was an item of value that would help them to understand it better and Carlyle wished them to get it. Gwen was to take payment for the item to the north moorings at dusk. The owner of the item would meet them by the statue and once the bargain was complete, they were to return here with the item. Gwen was to seal the bargain, and was given a pouch of coin and gems to do so. Ellie was to ensure the item made it back to Carlyle. Tol was to keep Gwen safe. Needless to say, this was to be kept from Wencelen’s men, who would be out in force today following the hangings and given the Abbot’s planned speech.

Dusk was some way off so the group headed to the silver plate to get a good meal and find a spot to see what the Abbot had to say. Tol knew Master Cham, the owner of the Silver Plate, a little anyway; He’d helped Cham “find” things he’d lost once or twice, these things were usually lost in some loud and arrogant merchants purse and Tol had always eaten well for a few days after “finding” them.

Gwen ordered, Ellie paid and Tol ate. The crowd swelled and the Abbot spoke. It soon became clear there was going to be trouble, Ellie spotted Wencelen’s men in the crowd, armed but not obviously and the Abbot had whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Gwen was torn, but there was nothing any of us could do, she spoke to Master Cham and while he prepared to get out of the town while he could, Tol and the others made it out through the kitchen where, to Tol’s great pleasure, there was still much spare food.

Dusk was fast approaching now. Gwen guided them through the back streets towards the north moorings, Tol helping where he could. It wasn’t long, Wencelen’s men and something else, something that made them nervous too, were hiding down a side street. There was no time to wait and see what was happening, but as creeping past Tol was left feeling very uncomfortable and couldn’t help thinking of the stories he had heard about the portal to the Fae realms, from which Moonstair had gotten its name.

Dusk had fallen and the north moorings were deserted, or seemed to be at least. Gwen approached the Statue, Tol remaining at her side while Ellie kept watch. A figure emerged from the shadows, he had spotted Ellie who had disappeared from tols vision some time ago. Tol was reminded of the arrogant merchants that Master Cham liked so much. The figure wanted more, something Tol was begining to expect from people now.

Rumour had made it this far that the Abbot and Wencelen had made an agreement. It was then that Tol was certain there would be much bloodshed this night and his mind conjured up the image of patrol hiding in the alley and the strange figures with them. For all his taunts, the figure either didn’t fancy crossing swords with Tol and the others that night or he knew more than he’d let on and wanted to make good his escape, he settled for what Gwen had.

Wencelen’s men found them. Gwen tried to reason with them, Tol liked Gwen he had decided, even now she could make a joke. Wencelen’s men didn’t find it quite so funny though, even less so when Ellie cut two down, while Gwen was fending the others off and Tol looked for an opening to strike. For a while it looked like Gwen may be overwhelmed, but the opening came; The leader struck at Gwen, his club caught on her shield, exposing his side, the blade entered the gap between his ribs and he slumped to the floor. The others ran.

Tol’s eyed the surroundings nervously, keen to be off before the ones that ran off returned with re-enforcements, while Ellie searched the bodies. Gwen proved what a joker she was by suggesting they could have disabled their attackers and didn’t need to kill them. Another thing the pits had taught Tol was to never leave an enemy behind you if you had a choice.Ellie found a note on the bodies, Carlyle and the others at the church were wanted, Wencelen’s men were searching for them and no doubt anyone associated with them. Gwen passed Tol a tabard from one of the bodies and soon they following the smell of burning through the streets and back to the church.

The acrid smoke thickened as they got closer, Ellie caught Tol’s eye, she had found Carlyle, in an alley not far from the church, near the chjurch buildings being ransacked by Wencelen’s men. Tol didn’t catch all of what was said there, but it was clear to all their time here was done. When Gwen returned from speaking with Carlyle it was with instructions to head south.

Two choices through town to the south moorings and find a way across the river or east out of town and through the wilds. Tol prefered the first one, he was sure he could get by unseen and a short boat trip over the river was preferable to hiking who knows how far through the wilds, but gwen feared there would be too many of Wencelen’s men that way, and if Gwen is to go that way then so must Tol, Carlyle asked him to protect her after all.

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Ellie Cooper's story
How it began

Part 1

This did not look promising, I’ve always worked on my own before and this time, I’m expected to look
after a clanking paladin and a broken-toothed dirty irk. Oh well, Carlyle usually knows what he’s doing,
and he pays well… and Eormund was there as well. Carlyle showed us a bound manuscript – odd thing,
only partially copied.

“Go to the North Moorings tonight and pick up an artefact” – well it sounded simple enough, and if it
hadn’t been for Wencelen and his ambitions (and his bully boys) it would have been – but then again, no
one would have paid so generously for this in ‘normal times’ now would they?

We went to the Silver Plate to have lunch and kill time. It cost me 9GP for lunch from Master Cham –
and the view of Wencelen’s trouble makers setting up in the square, waiting for the Abbot to come. I
reckon his God advised him badly but I’m sure he thought he was doing the right thing. It was a good
speech when it came but it played into Wencelen’s hands so well that you could think he had planned it!
All the towns people went off to the keep to ‘talk’ to Wencelen and we went to the North Moorings to
pick up the artefact.

We waited for an hour and then it all kicked off – we collected our artefact from a masked thief who
disappeared in the night at the first sign of trouble then we had to deal with the local enforcers. A boss
and 5 bullies. By the end, there were only two bully boys left though, and they did, quickly. I would
have preferred to deal with all of them. I searched the boss who had a flyer on him which made it clear
that bounties were out on Carlyle, Eormund and all the paladins, and a number of other influential
citizens as well. I suspect that after this night’s work, our names and descriptions will be on a similar
flyer!

We could see that the church was on fire so Gwen suggested we make our way back to the lodging
house for the Abbey. We covered ourselves in tabards and cloaks from Wencelen’s men and made our
way down side streets. The place was being cleared of dead bodies when we got there, but we caught
sight of Carlyle in a nearby alley and he gave us the manuscript and tasked us to meet Eormund at (……)

Our choice was a quick escape from the South Moorings, or a slower journey through the wild lands. As
none of us know anything about boats and we couldn’t expect that the ferries would be working, Gwen
decided for the slower route.

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Tol's Tale - Prelude
The meaning of freedom

They stop to drink, crouched at the edge of the lake, Tol scoops water to his mouth swiftly, pausing only briefly to look around, checking his surroundings for threats. The ripples on the water fade, the face staring up at him is different somehow from what he remembers… in his eyes, a steely light, hope maybe?

It had been many days since the attack on the camp, the only home Tol remembered and the land they travelled through now was unfamiliar; it made Tol nervous. The rest of the slaves huddled together, smiling gratefully as the armoured men, the new masters, brought them water and food. Gideon, the eldest, one of the captured, spoke to them in the language of men. Tol could make out a few words “Not long now…. Safety…” but he still struggled a little with words not in the language of his old masters, so couldn’t make out the rest.

One word, not one he had heard before, was particularly confusing… Freedom. The new masters used it a lot and when they spoke to Gideon at the camp the first time, he fell to his knees and wept when they said it. Maybe it was a curse of some kind? No, Tol shook his head, it couldn’t be that, life had never been better for them.

The large blonde man, the armoured mens warlord, barked orders, it was time to move on. Tol caught himself stroking the brand on his cheek with a start, collected up the blades he had taken from the slavers at the camp, and which he now used to skin the animals they brought back from the evening hunts and fell into line.

The large blonde mans stern eyes softened slightly, he’d been good to Tol; maybe it was because Tol had cut the throat of one of the Orcs waiting in ambush for him all those days ago? He didn’t know, but was thankful for it all the same. He patted Tol on the shoulder, turned and was back to his stern self again, barking orders to his men.

For the first time in his life Tol didn’t know what the future held, and more surprisingly he didn’t fear it.

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