The Fellowship of the Bear
Year 568, Moon 3, Day 27 - ???

In an effort to aid Bodolf in freeing his people Arturia has gathered a large number of adventurers and plotted out a return trip to the Volani lands in the northeast. The Fellowship set out on Day 27 of Moon 3, Year 568 and will likely not return for many moons due to distance and difficulty in this endeavor.

Assault on Leen
Year 568, Moon 3, Days 19 - 22

Year 568, Moon 3, Day 19

That morning, after half a moon’s journey to the south, Rekkar had returned to Stone’s Throw with his caravan. With him he brought some new faces and new wares, including several steeds. The newcomers included a beautiful dancer, a stout scholar, and a cartographer from lands far away. Each were quick to want to get out of the winter air and into the modest comforts of the Last Ale Inn. There was a lot of smoking and some strange new tobacco.

The day was cold and the winds blew hard. Seemingly carried by the winds themselves came another traveler. A curious, veiled half elf raised by Shou came upon Stone’s Throw claiming a vision had brought her to this disparate outpost. Shivering and exhausted, Cedeor offered her both cloak and kindness, showing her to the Last Ale Inn. She appeared injured, with bandages covering her right arm and part of her hand. Once inside, the keen-eyed Myru offered the woman, who later introduced herself as Yuèguāng, some salve. She treated her wounds and was more at ease.

A short while later, yet another traveler came. His name was Archibald and he claimed to be a detective seeking to solve mysteries for both profit and the rights to publish such stories. He appeared quick-witted and generous, even offering to help the veiled half elf, Yuèguāng with a mystery she needed solved.

After much of the commotion regarding the new travelers had died down, the aasimar Apoc proclaimed to the residents of Stone’s Throw that he was to set out to parlay with the orcs to stop despoiling the forests. Apparently, Apoc had turned a new leaf and his god wished for him to repair civilization and he thought this an excellent way to start. This came about after he had divined truth from an artifact he had found in a previous journey. Requesting assistance from fellow adventurers, he conscripted the help of Cedeor the paladin, Myru the druid, and the newly-arrived Yuèguāng. Each had their own reasons for joining Apoc but they felt this to be a noble mission.

To help expedite the journey, Myru conjured several dire wolves for the group to ride. Myru shapeshifted into a direwolf to keep pace as well. Cedeor rode his new Baronian War Bird, a magnificent avian steed whom he named Goldwing.

Moon 3, Day 20

The adventurers rode through the night and in the early morning came upon Mump’s Shack. The large tree with two large scratches across its massive trunk gave away its location. Since they originally set out, it had snowed heavily, caking the land with half a foot of snow.

It was there that they met up Arturia, a horned druid with surprisingly well-groomed hair. The group gathered inside the shack to discuss their plan, as what Apoc had suggested would be no easy feat. Arturia knew a lot about the orcs and shared with them that the outpost of Artoc held about 500 orcs, 300 hobgoblins, and some odd orrags. The members of the group who had dealt with the orcs previously suggested that Lundar would be their best point of contact to suggest peaceful resolution with the orcs.

The group then set out toward Artoc, peaceful resolution but trepidation on their minds. The snow and biting cold was relentless, chilling them to the bone. The trees and dense undergrowth covered in mounds of snow eventually gave way to nothing but flat land. Even the animals dared not venture to this section of land. It seemed to stretch on forever with no noticeable landmarks visible amidst the ever-stretching horizon. This was the area known as The Barrens. It was a wholly new sight to the newcomer Yuèguāng, who had only ever heard of such places.

As this was the last crossroads before meeting with the orcs, the paladin Cedeor could no longer contain his social graces and demanded to know what Yuèguāng was capable of should there be conflict. The foreign half elf did not wish to reveal such information as it was considered quite rude to ask, much less reveal, in her culture. Cedeor was stubborn though and it seemed that they would stay there all evening if she did not budge. It was far too cold for that. Finding a large tree stump covered in thick snow, Yuèguāng extended a long, slender finger in its direction. A crack of thunder was heard and then lightning leaped from her finger to the stump, exploding it into chips of wood and snow. That seemed to lay to rest Cedeor’s concerns and the group continued silently into the barren lands.

 That night, Myru crafted the most exquisite igloo. It was a welcome respite from the harsh cold and the depressing landscape. The group had much on their minds but sleep came easy thanks to their expertly crafted accommodations.

Moon 3, Day 21

It was only one more day’s travel to the outpost of Artok. The bitter cold did not ease the minds or bodies of the traveling heroes. Arturia attempted to cheer the group up with small talk, though. She also conjured several large, snowy cats for them to ride.

That evening, they were far less lucky with camp. Resources were bare and the air whistled fiercely as a heavy fog obscured the moon and stars. Between the uncertainty of the coming day and the unrelenting cold, sleep did not welcome any of the party that night.

Moon 3, Day 22

The day of reckoning arrived. The heroes were greeted by harsh western winds. The only boon was that the wind had dissipated the previous night’s fog, allowing for better visibility. Beyond them they could see Leen, the small fort that was the only physical marker on the barren wasteland before Artok.

The two druids, Myru and Arturia discussed the plan again over breakfast. They debated either conjuring a bird to fly over Artok or to turn into a bird themselves to deliver a message to the orc Lundar, requesting to come out alone to speak of peace. That all changed when Arturia perked up suddenly, a cryptic message of death and fear entering her mind.

The horned druid began weeping uncontrollably. The rest of the party tried to comfort her and figure out what was the matter. Through her tears, they could make out that the message had been from Mump, that Alaric’s horse had been killed, and several inhabitants of Stone’s Throw were surrounded in Leen. The situation seemed dire.

After some deliberation, the group decided to change course and head to Leen to rescue their friends. While Yuèguāng was new, she felt it noble to help the rag tag crew who had shown her so much kindness. However, all wondered if this might be suicide as they recalled Arturia’s telling of how heavily fortified Artok was.

Somber but determined, the group rode off on conjured war horses. They knew there was little time to waste if they expected to have any hope of rescuing their compatriots. En route they discussed strategy as they knew they would be heavily outnumbered. Knowing that Leen was a logging camp, it was decided that they would try to set fire to the lumber outside of the fort to make a distraction before sneaking in.

Arturia was more than a little excited to execute this portion of the plan as fire came naturally to her, a manifestation of her tiefling heritage. When they got within range, she turned herself into a horned rabbit and raced to the stacks of wood a few hundred feet from the gates of Leen. The rest of the crew stayed back, hoping to remain unseen.

Several minutes passed, then the saw the smoke rise. Turning their heels into their conjured steeds (and the one chicken), they rode hard towards the gate. In front of them they could hear panicked yells and a horn sounding the alarm that something was amiss. The group counted a couple dozen bodies heading towards the now burning logs.

Calling forth the power of the elements, Yuèguāng made a few gestures from her war horse and then their northern side was obscured by thick clouds. This gave them cover as they entered Leen directly through the north-facing gates.

Once inside Leen, the group took note of their surroundings amidst the chaos. They were quickly noticed as the rest of the barracks quickly formed defensive formations. Orcs and hobgoblins yelled what was assumed to be vile insults. Two giant ogres came barreling out as well, one of which did not have time to grab his club so instead grabbed a large wooden bench. The friends they had hoped to rescue were nowhere in sight but blood heavily caked the ground in front of them. The odds did not look good for the heroes.

Suddenly several bodies fell to the ground with a thud. The group wheeled around expecting to be overrun but they were relieved instead. Falling out from an extradimensional hole appeared Alaric, Athao, Kindle, Mump, Nook, and Talon. They were a sight for sore eyes.

Realizing they were surrounded and outnumbered, the group also formed into their own defensive position. Cedeore began to glow with divine light and charged ahead, hoping to gain the enemies’ attention. Alaric popped a potion and grew to super human height. Apoc sprouted angelic wings. Kindle and Athao quickly made their way to the closest guard tower. Myru called to the clouds above, summoning forth a massive thunderstorm. Mump readied for battle and pulled Talon close. Nook stood behind the towering figure of Alaric, ready to stab anything that got near and then slink back into the shadows. Yuèguāng drew her breath, certain this is where she would die.

A crash was heard at the guard tower where Kindle and Athao had just ran to. It was followed by several roars and commotion. The group knew then than Arturia had joined them in her infamous bear form. The orcs and hobgoblins who were still outside could only see a massive bear butt clawing its way into one of their towers.

On the ground, orcs and hobgoblins marched towards the intruders. After closer inspection, they could tell that they were worse for wear, having already been in a battle prior. Not all the soldiers had their full armor and some looked bloody.

One formation moved towards the glowing Cedeore and his mighty avian steed, Goldwing. He expertly dodged most of their oncoming attacks, eventually drawing the attention of one of the massive ogres. Occasionally a loud crack of thunder was heard overhead as Myru commanded lightning to protect Cedeore and her companions.

The gigantic Alaric also commanded the attention of another formation of soldiers, hacking away at them as he moved. Meanwhile Nook deftly came out from behind him to stab the oncoming enemies, looking like she enjoyed their murder far more than anyone should. Apoc held position with Alaric, attacking any who came too near. Yuèguāng also shot out a few bolts of lightning but she was not as accustomed to this kind of battle as the rest of the seasoned adventurers.

Above them in the tower, the rangers set up their bows and whizzed arrows at their enemies below. Arturia kept the tower hobgoblins’ attention as she bit and swiped at them. She began taking heavy damage from the nasty creatures. Mump, hearing the cries from the bear above jumped up to the tower with massive strength, calling Talon to follow him. He healed Arturia’s wounds and jumped back down, also healing his grounded comrades before eventually turning to close the massive gates.

The soldiers marched closer and the group was threatened to be overtaken by the large number of foes. Myru and Yuèguāng hid beneath the guard tower that their comrades had taken over in the name of Stone’s Throw. The two would occasionally pop out from underneath to shoot of lightning bolts at their enemies, although Myru’s version was far more destructive. Every few seconds, arrows whizzed by overhead.

As Apoc was about to be overtaken by enemies, he flew up into the air with his angelic wings and called forth fel bolts to destroy those that would oppose him. He continued raining down destructive magic at the orcs and hobgoblins below. Once the front cavalry had been decimated, he turned to help Mump close the other door to the gate. The cries of the orcs outside could be heard and they were close.

A group of hobgoblins from the south of the camp made their way forward to take on the two women hiding underneath Stone’s Throw tower. Yuèguāng came out to meet them directly, calling the winds to her side. With elegant motion, she took hold of the wind like a whip. It hardened and lashed out, killing three and gravely wounding a fourth.

Ahead of them, Myru continued to call lightning down around Cedeore while he and his giant fowl bravely fought off their attackers. Arrows persisted to pelt the soldiers on all sides. After only a few of them remained, the enemies threw down their weapons and raised their hands up in defeat. Cedeore along with Goldwing moved to secure them with ropes.

Alaric fought ferociously, keeping the enemies in front of him occupied with his enormity. Nook viciously stabbed every enemy from behind Alaric with her sharp, bloody daggers. This was her element more than any other. Eventually they prevailed and Alaric moved north to help fortify the gates.

Apoc flew high above the gates, surveying the orcs and hobgoblins that were trapped outside. They looked weary and broken in spirit. A few tried to bang at the gate but quickly gave up. Alaric swung his sword from the other side of the gate, slashing any who remained at the entrance. The enemies knew that Leen had fallen and began running towards Artok as swiftly as they could.

Arturia delivered a final blow to the remaining hobgoblin in the tower and looked out from the rather large hole she had made in the side of the building. She growled, shifting back into her humanoid form. Then she conjured several hyenas and ordered them to lay chase to the fleeing enemies and tear them down.

The heroes inside of Leen began hunting for any other survivors. Nook was quite disappointed that the killing had stopped, barking frustrated retorts at Kindle who kept reminding her to stay her daggers and not to kill any of the prisoners.

The day was won but it spent the heroes. They interrogated the prisoners to find out what they could of the orcs and why it was that Kindle’s group had been attacked to begin with. Apoc proudly draped a banner of Erathis across the gates, claiming the fort in the name of his god. The group settled in as darkness overtook the lands, ushering in the night. Each knew that this victory was tenuous at best as no less than several hundred orcs and hobgoblins lay to the north in Artok. 

Return to Whitecastle - Clay, Alaric, ZOG, Dolgrin, Kindle
Year 568, Moon 3, Day 1 - Moon 3, Day 12

Clay assembled the group to go back to Whitecastle, but Alaric joined instead of Nook this time. They left on the 1st of Moon 3, but have yet to return…

Part One, Hand written notes from Clay:

I feel as though time has slowed and mocks me with each day spent in Stone’s Throw. The winter has been bitter, and cold. After the horrors we saw in that ruined estate, being crammed in this longhouse for many moons has been difficult to swallow. As I have no money, I was conscripted to work in Kindle’s shop to pay for my lessons in undercommon. Aside from that I spend my time in my room trying to talk with Navi, after saving her from that place, she’s promised to stay around long enough to save my life, whatever that means.
I hear Zog rattle on about that damned door, while he obsesses over supplies and traps he wants to take back there. Back? I can hardly imagine returning to those dark depths where we were on the edge of death. Everywhere I look I see the darkness creeping toward me. My memory still fuzzy on how we got out, and unable shake the suffocating feeling of the darkness, Navi is my only comfort.
An adventure, some treasure? Where did that thought come from? Zog and Dolgrin are talking about returning to the estate with Alaric, that noble steed Mara is one I count as a friend. I’m pulled into their conversation, can you believe these fools know nothing of intimidation? Alaric rattles on for ages about his god. Then before I know it we’re off, back to that damned hole.
The crisp cold air still feels like winter, but the strong winds almost remind me of being back at sea, and I feel the strength quickly coming back to my bones. Travel is rough, there’s snow, a day of blizzard, which even the company of another adventuring group can’t stave off. We saw large owls fly overhead, and Kindle proclaims Nook is riding on them—perhaps it is our common ancestry that makes the two of us both grin thinking of having birds of our own to ride.
In the distance we saw a group of those elves again. It was early morning, and they were all carrying torches heading to the north east. Where were they headed? Why did they need the lights? It seemed as if they wanted their presence to be known. The group looked to me for decision, but all I could think of was the darkness, and so we let them pass without giving away our location. I wouldn’t know until later that I regretted this decision.
    We soon arrived at the ruined estate. My greatest fear had come true. The snow showed obvious signs that the underground passage had been cleared and entered. The abandoned camp we had left behind on our previous trip must have returned to this place and found the entrance we had discovered before them. Would everything be lost? We waste a lot of time going up and down the stairs of the underground passage, talking, arguing. My desire to adventure has returned, but this crew looks like it needs a captain, should I be that man?

These notes may be the last thing I ever write. Something is very wrong here. Kindle and I sneak down a hallway, and he gets within earshot to overhead a conversation. It’s in Elven, and a voice mentions looking for a key. Something about, they will overlook “them” for aligning with Stone’s Throw, because we can blame it on them.
Everywhere around us black streaks coat the walls. These weren’t here before. We quickly follow behind whomever that voice belonged to, until he stops. There’s another conversation, this time in undercommon, which I don’t fully understand yet, but Kindle tells me he’s talking to one of the creatures that attacked us the first time we were here, he’s asking to get reinforcements from them. Before I know it, I hear the sound of an arrow fly from Kindle’s bow and a loud thunk. A guttural noise comes from the creature as it’s body hits the floor. The rest of us rush into the room to see an Elf standing next to the body. He holds a magnificent rapier in his hand, which catches my eye. He incants, and next to me, I see Alaric’s face freeze into an expression of surprise. It’s all so fast as the elf turns to run and Zog draws his warhammer, pummeling the air behind the elf. I look into Kindle’s eyes and I see him drawing inspiration from my presence. He let’s loose another arrow, and the elf drops mid flight.
I hear a noise, it sounds like the slow grind of a large stone object sliding across stone. The black marks still are everywhere, the ceiling, the walls. It looks like they move out of the corner of the eye. Their shape, serpentine.
We explore a bit, and find a magnificent throne room, but something is off about the room, there’s an overwhelming cold coming from the center, which I motion for everyone to avoid. We’ve been traveling in low light, as most of us have good eyesight down here, but you can count on Zog to clumsily bring up the rear with a torch in hand. In a swift motion the floor comes sweeping up toward Zog, fortunately everyone is able to quickly dodge out of the way. Dolgin informs us we’ve just encountered brown mold, which thrives on heat. Lights out Zog!
    While we stand around waiting for Zog to find a way around the brown mold, Kindle quietly steals away. It would have gone unnoticed had he’d not coming running down the hallway back toward us, his hair that radiant purple. I remember just what he’d done the last time we were here to make that happen, but the group goes charging down the hall before I can even open my mouth.
I’m last to enter the room, and everyone has their weapons drawn and ready to attack, urging the other side to provoke. At the center of a group of elves stands the drow elf, he looks to my eyes as I start to speak. My best self is usually good with words, but I admit I’m at a bit of a loss this time, as my time in Norundra has not been lengthy, and my knowledge of its inhabitants not that great. Maybe if I talk long enough I can steer this conversation in a better direction. I feel my tongue start to sharpen, but I hear a noise that’s unsettling—the whiz, thunk, as an arrow lodges itself into the drow’s chest. It doesn’t take long for the darkness to swallow us all, I hear bodies bumping and stumbling around. A face materializes out of the darkness in front of me, sword nearing my chest, but Dolgrin is by my side, and quickly freezes him but inches away from me.
I pull Navi from my bag and hold her tight to my chest, the bright daylight bursts out around us, swallowing up every trace of that foul darkness. The room is destroyed, Alaric and Zog pound the elves, and as the drow races toward the door, Alaric chases after him. I try again to ease the situation with talk, but by now it’s already too late. The final arrow whizzes past me and plunges into the drow elf’s head. His body falling limp to the floor, Alaric walks over and crushes his heart to make sure it never beats again. Part of me feels as though I’ve failed.
The grinding noise is there again. The black trails still along the walls, they’ve been placed there by abnormal means. We find our way into a room full of impressive statues, but something is off. I should have known that that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach meant something. I reach into my bag to pull Navi out. How long have they been here? How could we not have known? The only thing worse than the darkness, is facing what’s now there in the light. To my horror I see it… we each have acquired a shadow that was not of our own.

Girl's Fight Out - Arturia, Jade, Myru, Nook, Wren
Year 568, Moon 3, Days 6 - 18

Arturia gathered together a group to head west to make contact with the Iltheri (wood elves), but incliment weather and a delayed arrival from Starlight Throne via Hexal prevented the group from leaving until the 6th of Moon 3. They returned on the 18th.

Assault on the Duergar (part 1)
Year 567, Moon 10, Days ???

Athao, Rael, Sinj, Mump, Carreg

The embers burned a noxious red in Carreg’s pipe as he puffed away at it. “Duergar? Aye, we met some of those mud borne olc troich, and put most of them in the ground. Well, deeper in the ground, in any case. More than just Duergar, much more. What’s that? A story? Do I look like a story teller? I don’t have time for… a beer? For me? Ok, fine, fine, sit down there.”

“You’ll recall that we learned that there was the possibility of a nearby Duergar encampment in the final days before winter set in. So all winter I was left to stew, thinking that those miserable sons of crap were infesting perfectly good mountains just to the West. Whatever else has been going on in these lands, those Duergar needed killing. Fortunately Rael, like any true Dwarf, took up the cause as soon as it was mentioned. That Kill-Sinj fellow seemed hot under the apron to see if there was anything unnatural down below, and he seems competent enough when it comes to… killing… so he was welcome as well. Mump also wanted to come along, and I couldn’t fault that, he’s a good healer to have in a pinch, although why he wanted to take that bird thing deep underground was a mystery to me. And then there was Athao, who I was hesitant to bring along, to be sure, but for a forest elf he hadn’t gone crazy yet, so I thought I’d at least watch how he worked under pressure. There would be another dwarf at my back, so I risked it.”

“So as soon as the weather broke we set out, determined to check out just how bad the Duergar blight was.”

“I’ll say one thing for that elf, the miles pass quickly with him in tow. Before we knew it we were at Red Teeth’s forest and looking for the river. While looking for the river we stumbled across a mound of stinking offal just lying on the ground. The kill sword crept up to it while the rest of us were warry, and sure enough something, probably some servant of Red Teeth’s, burst out of the ground and started to gnaw on Sinj with tentacles and whatnot. Rael charged in to help, and the rest of us kept our distance and applied ranged support, but I have to tell you, there’s something that comes over Sinj when he’s facing something that clearly just shouldn’t be. It’s like he sprouts more arms with more swords, and yells with more lungs.” Carreg takes a drag from his pipe and looks across the long house at where Sinj is sitting at the bar drinking; “Good in a fight, but, there’s something about that lad. In any case, Sinj chopped its head off before it could do much damage to him.”

“Fearing the commotion would draw Red Teeth to us we pushed on through the night to cross the river before camping. Sure enough, just like last time, Evan showed up while we were camping and decided to shoot the shit. He’s a nice enough fellow, for someone who lives right in the middle of a damnable forest, but why the hell does he always show up in the middle of the night?”

“Another days travel got us to the entrance into the mountain and down to the crossroads.  It was at this point that Athao realized that the previous unknown hieroglyph above the fourth door meant ‘mushroom’ or ‘fungus’.  Although he’d mostly seen it associated with mushroom farms, he said it also might be associated with a race of walking fungus. We decided to stick to the original plan and go down the Duergar path, rather than the fungus path. Once again the architecture seemed to be of dwarven design, when present, although there were several large caves and caverns unworked by tool or hand.”

“The miles crept on deep within the earth, but eventually we came out into a large cavern with a thin rocky ledge that went completely around a thirty foot drop to the bottom which was covered in bones of various shapes and sizes. We decided that inching along the ledge was a ticket for an ambush, so we climbed down to the ossuary floor and started exploring. Twice we were ambushed by a large leathery creature that dropped onto us from the ceiling. We called them bite blankets, but despite their unusual appearance they were dispatched without much worry. I believe we brought the remains of one back.” Carreg waves over to the bar with his pipe stem. “You should give it a look. When the bite blankets are hiding along the ceiling, they’re nearly indistinguishable from rock. But now that you’re forewarned I should expect none of you to be ambushed by their ilk.”

“After a half days travel we came across an odd cavern with a single large white geode set into the floor and three other exits. I attempted to break off a piece with my hammer, but my strongest blow resulted in a single loud gong and no loosening of even a single facet. Mump started to study the crystal mystically, while the rest of us stood guard, but within minutes a red glow started to emanate from the center of the crystal. The glow expanded, and soon was overtaken by a yellow pulse from the center, and then an orange one. The stroboscopic colors continued to fill the room, faster and faster, until our fascination was interrupted by the sound of scrabbling and clawing coming from one of the hallways into the crystal chamber.”

“We braced for an attack, and sure enough the same stinking lizard creatures we’d encountered in our last adventures down below swarmed over us once again. And as quickly as we dispatched their ilk last time, we put them down again. Oddly, as soon as the last of them died the crystal went dim. We quickly moved out of that cavern, as the stench was something incredible, down one of the remaining two paths.”

“A little further down the cave was when we finally encountered the shittiest of the dwarven races, the Duergar. While most of us were asleep the Duergar set up an ambush, having eight of their number sneak into our camp while invisible, and then two more of their number who stayed visible astride leanabh ag ithe spiders commanded us to throw down our weapons and chain ourselves for slavery. We told them where they could affix their rotten chains and at that moment four of the invisible stalkers appeared around us and struck out. The battle was joined in earnest, but when it started going against them, despite the advantage of their cowardly ambush, the rest of their forces appeared as reinforcement. Throughout the battle they deigned to condescend to us, rife with haughty hubris, and yet when their reinforcements also started to fall they scattered like the wet trousered filth they are. We managed to cull eight of the ten, but two of their number did elude us.”

“We then decided that it was prudent to back up to the crystal room in case they came after us with a larger force. We discovered that in our absence the corpses of the lizards had been cleared away, so we wisely camped a little farther up one of the passages away from the crystal room. While camping the crystal once again decided to light up so we backed up into the shadows a bit more and spied a large force of those stinking lizard folk coming into the crystal room, wounded but victorious from a raid up one of the unexplored other passages. Their raid retreated back down the cavern that we’d seen them attack from previously.”

“We decided now that the crystal was a warning device used to alert the approach of the lizard men, and we supposed that our slaying of the lizard people previously might have sparked a retaliatory raid. We ventured up the path that the lizard people had raided and found only dead Gnolls. So we returned to the crystal cave and then turned into the stinking caverns of the lizard people, thinking them probably too wounded to defend themselves well.”

Carreg glances down at his now dry ale mug, “And what came next was truly a harrowing tale, but it’s not something to be told with a dry tongue.”

(continued in part 2)

Muzilius' First Adventure
Year 567, Moon 10, Days 19 - 24 Arturia, Dolgrin, Clay, Muzilius, ZOG

(written in Muzilius perspective)
I've managed to talk and drink my way into my first adventure! This drunken druid, Dolgrin, spoke of undead with another bubbly and oddly smelling druid, Arturia, and there came an opportunity to offer my services to purge the natural world of the unnatural! Dolgrin offered me a drink, and it seemed the only way to gain favor with these two. The long-beard druid made it himself and it packed quite the pick me up. Enough so that my inhibitions left my body like my spirit when meditating and so I took another. I didn't notice it until after, but this flask was different… And so was the drink. My body slowly began to illuminate as if a sun was pressing itself through each of my pores until I was so bright my new friends nearly went blind!


This proper type, who seemed to be more about battle with his words than his hands, joined our party. He drew everyone around him in, and even some from across the room, including the eye of a particularly fair girl with hair more red than the demon who curses me. Arturia like him, though it seemed for his skills rather than his unavoidable smile and quick tongue.


After several more Dolgrin showed me The Pit, where Yar, a giant of a man who can double and halve his size, fought some unseen warrior, picking himself up with one hand and slamming this poor soul back down into the crudely dug hole. I wanted to prove myself as a truly capable adventurer, so I hoped in to fight, knowing my opponent was one already beaten. Turns out metal men exist and not only know how to take a hit from a 14 foot man, but also knows how to throw their substantial weight into a punch. Luckily for me, Arturia is far more than she seems; it takes a bear with antlers to stand paw to metal boot with a metal man.

I slept through my fist-induced headache only to wake to a hangover that made me wish I'd been back in that Pit. 

I've made new friends, but I keep them at a safe distance. I'd hate for them to fall prey to my curse.

We head out, though I know not where. I feel I can trust these two druids, and having zog, my metal opponent from The Pit, as part of our adventure made me sleep easier. Clay, I found out later, is a fantastic musician and sings with the voice of an angel. I'm unsure of his usefulness as an adventurer, but they say music tames the beast, and mind could always use a reason to relax.

At first our travels were swift and uneventful, however I did feel the pain and suffocation of life of parts of the forests we used as cover. Slight rains came and the group seemed to fear something they kept referring to as the "red toothed regazi". There may have also seen a Griffin flying overhead, though what we saw of it made it difficult to tell. Apparently the adventurer and good healer, Mump, is caring for a griffin back in Stone's Throw. I'm very interested in meeting it!

Arturia can not only turn into animals but also converse with them! For all her quirks, she's incredibly talented. This bird told her of nearby harpies and helped us decide where to avoid and where to go. I don't quite understand why we kept avoiding adventure.

One night, after having set up camp, Dolgrin and I placed or hunting traps down to the West, because the bird have Arturia an uneasy feeling.

The bird was right and I'll be happy to trust Arturia's gut in the future because while talking one of our traps slammed shut around the foot of a humanoid that made no screams of pain… It was undead.

A group of these unnatural heathens were on our camp and my fingers instinctively knocked an arrow, ready to let fly. I may see just fine in the dark, but my friends do not, so I called upon my demon to provide strength to our fire to illuminate or soon to be prey.

Arturia, zog, Dolgrin and clay all spoke words i have heard but don't understand. The undead spoke back… This rattled me to my core. I thought I could trust these fun, fearless, capable adventures, and yet they do not slay these unnatural abominations of evil. Instead they seemed to be negotiating and even aligning their goals! I was shunted aside time and time again, bit if they wouldn't fight, it was not my place to force them to with my actions. 

Arturia managed to guide Clay through a conversation that resulted in another uneasiness in Arturia's gut… Again, I trusted her. She said we should not continue because we had zog. This didn't seem like a sleight to zog, bit it was clearly his presence that might have caused problems larger than our group could have handled. I surmised it was a problem born of words and bonds that would lead to problems of swords and blood and magic on a vary large scale.

At this point I finally understood why Clay was with us. His power over words made him a weapon stronger than a thousand swords. I realize my first thought is to fight, but his is to dodge, weave, and even sting with silver tongue if needed. If my new friends thought fighting wasn't the right play, my trust is deserved. 

Dolgrin lead us back towards Stone's Throw, but someone spotted golden towers in the distance as the morning sun glinted off their prominent spires. The group's excitement was palpable – an unstoppable force that could not be ignored. So of course we went to investigate. 

They murmured the name, gorm shuil, or something and spoke of an ancient city that appears in random locations and spews forth abominations – creatures of nightmares even more unnatural than the undead. How could I say no they the opportunity? I couldn't!

As we crested a hill we saw a giant's upper body above the treetops. Except this giant looked as though it were melting, skin hanging lose. One of its eyes was so large it pushed the other facial features of the the side. This eye also had three pupils and irises, all sliding over the surface independently.

At his feet soldiers and wizards were being turned into limp lumps of broken flesh with every swing of the stone pillar gripped in the Giants hand. One was sent flying our way, slamming into a tree, landing without a breath or soul.

My friends attempted to heal him, but though the flesh did mend, it did nothing to return his soul. His face reformed, but was the grey of death. This looked very odd next to the undamaged portion, which seemed to have been covered in make up to look vibrant and alive.

We decided the giant was to dangerous to fight,  even with the help of the seemingly capable mystery warriors and wizards, but we wanted to learn more from the one flung against the tree, alive or dead.

We saw these mystery warriors deftly attach the giant, but when a solidly landed slice across its calf resulted in a vicious mouth being formed from the wound, gnashing and sharp, we knew this would have been a quick fight, not in our favor.

With unimaginable speed the giant crouched in response to a magic blast that squarely hit its leg. His enormous eye scanned for the magic slinger, locking on. The three pupils forget into one, he very large and then shrunk to a pin point. The attacker's arms flew to his head, screams erupting from deep inside and then he exploded into large blobs connected to the shape that used to be humanoid and crumpled to the ground. 

The giant continued blood misting warriors while we scrambled to collect our other dead prize. The pile of flesh that was once a man began to writhe, bubble, and reform without any sense. The sounds that leaked from it rivaled the revolting viscous fluids that comprised its mass. I loosed an arrow into it. It shrieked and continued its slow, terrifying advance. Dolgrin grabbed our prize and managed to freeze this menacing flesh lump while Clay did something I'd never expect a man of words to do. He ran up to it and threw a dagger at it! I didn't even care of it was entirely ineffective. That man's adventuring spirit shined through nearly as bright as Dolgrin's sun shined through my skin!

Zog was much less impressed and clearly filled with worry. He ran to it, smashed it with his hammer and take a massive hit from the flesh pile that would have again any normal man. Another arrow of mine hit its mark, but Arturia's final blow meant we were free from this fight and could high tail it far far away. 

Dolgrin and Arturia both turned the form off a horse and skiing with our celestial horse companion managed to flee the fighting outside of gorm shuil, back to the safety of a camp.

I got this wicked snake tongue dagger while Dolgrin nabbed an ominous snake amulet that apparently causes dreams to be nightmares. 

He recounted his dream of an imposter golden dawn – some imaginary blue celestial unicorn he claims to know – that spoke of heart sacrifice to gain unlimited power.  Maybe it's a premonition, maybe it was fear and drink shaping his dreamscape.

I don't recall when it was, but my new metal friend was caught in an impenetrable bubble that Clay said was an incredibly powerful giant spell held within his lightning bident he carries on his back. This was just after he took a swig of Dolgrin's special brew – the one that made me glow like a sun!

Now that I'm back in Stone's Throw, I'm stronger, smarter, and 3 times as much an adventurer as I was. I'm also not dead, thanks to my new friends. If my demon curse doesn't take me first, I'll pay all this help forward and pay back my new friends for their guidance and protection.

I haven't longed for home in the past month. Maybe it doesn't call to me… Or maybe my demon just calls stronger.

Journey to White Castle - Clay, Dolgrin, Kindle, Nook, and ZOG
Year 567 Moon 10 Day 25 - Moon 11 Day 3

Clay organized a group to investigate the ruins he saw in the west on the return from his last foray out. They left on Day 25 of Moon 10 and return on Day 3 of Moon 11 as Winter set in.

Hold the Door!

Zog waits patiently for Tee to grow tired of this tiresome game of hide and seek. Each morning is the same, Tee practices his skills and Zog must attempt to find him. Most mornings Zog would fail, and this is one of them. Zog shifts his shield nervously and find comfort in the sounds of of storms in the distance.

Eventually Tee steps out of the brush and and with a nod, the both of them move toward today's work, the beginnings of converting the fighting pit into storage space for the winter food. What a waste of a good pit. No matter, there's all the time in the world to build a new, better, one after the winter.

slam The hammer hits the nail. slam

"So it was really nothing special at first. slam We found some crumbling white stone ruins. slam No different than any of the others we've found." No words, just a nod at the work, and the placement of another board.

"Kindle found it. slam He has a good eye for that kind of thing I think. slam The stairs we found were full of stones and dirt, but nothing I couldn't clear out easily.  slam crack Whoops."

"This is getting repetitive. The wood will only bend so much. Too much anger and it will break." Tee scolded.

"Ya ya…." riiiiiipp Zog easily ripped out the now useless plank and replaced it with a new one.

"So anyway. slam We started descending, but it was really dark. slam I slipped and fell, but Dolgrin's a solid guy, he was able to grab me before I got hurt. slam So anyway, Kindle lit the place up and holy shit did we find some ugly dudes. slam They had no eyes, their foreheads dropped down in fold where their eyes should be, and their lips were peeled back to show their spiked teeth." Zog grabbed a larger board, to try to speed things along.


"Ya ya…" So many rules, this wood stuff had so many rules. Why couldn't it be as easy as blacksmithing. Zog put the board back and picked up a more appropriate smaller one.

"So these uglies slam they come at us full stop. Probably over two dozen of them. slam Thankfully Nook held the line with me, although I don't think Nook enjoys it as much as Alaric does. slam We tore through them, killed em all. They didn't seem able to see so it wasn't too much a problem to kill em quick. slam We sent em running and started checking the place out." Grabbing a new board, Zog was starting to find his rhythm again.

"We started exploring and honestly the place was boring. slam Rotten shelves, rusted Iron doors. slam Most of the doors I just ripped off with no problem. slam " No point in mentioning that goddamned piece of shit door that wouldn't break. That door's day is coming. I'll bash it in something fucking good. slam crack "Whoops."

riiiiiipp slide "So anyway, we started exploring, and before you knew it, the goddamn floor started wrapping up Kindle! slam Nook stabbed the floor and it spilled back into itself, I still don't really get what happened. slam Afterward we found a fountain of water that never runs out. That was fun. slam So anyway, Nook wanted to go back and mess with the floor that tried to kill us, so I followed." slam

Zog straightened as he remembered the encroaching Dark. "Suddenly Uvar's light went out. There were whispers, cold, and writhing things. I didn't know where I was, I hit a wall. Thankfully I remembered what my old friend back home used to say. Right is right. I followed the wall right and found everyone. Just as I did though, the Dark came again. I was able to follow their voices and find them again. Now we were in a hallway I hadn't seen before. I called out Uvar and thankfully its glow returned. Someone cried 'Hold the door!', another cried out that snake monsters were climbing out of the floor. We killed them easily, but the the Dark returned, and the whispering slurping noises."

"It was terrifying. first it enveloped the door. Then the first half of the room. We jumped across the chasm the snake monsters came from and I barreled through another door. I heard a cry behind me and the Dark had followed, right up to the second, broken, door. A rope landed at my feet, I pulled with all my might. A bloody Kindle and an unconscious Dolgrin landed at my feet, just outside the whispering Dark."

"We ran further in. Always the Dark on our heels. It wasn't even the Dark that was the most horrifying part honestly. The worst part were the black hands that reached out of it. They would grab you by the throat and just grip for what felt like forever. Dolgrin said he tried to use his magic to heal, and the Hand just absorbed it, making it not heal." slide

slam The hammer helped keep the fear in Zogs memories from creeping back. "Kindle could understand what the things were speaking. He said they were talking about how there was no way out and that we were trapped." slam creek I didn't know what to do. I'm not afraid to die fighting something, I know that's how it's going to end for me." slam creek "But there was no fuckin way I was gonna let Dolgrin and the rest die with me." slam CRACK

"I told Nook and Kindle it was time." Zog was almost yelling now. "I took off my shield. It felt wrong but it had to be done. I took out my longbow and told Kindle to hold the line, and shoot at their clicks, and to tell me when to fire. It was slow going, and Kindle narrowly dodged some of the hands and ghost serpents attacks, but we were finally able to kill the Dark. Finally it was time for me to do what I do."

Picking up his old trusty greataxe, "I charged into them, more of the uglies who were hiding behind the Dark. Kindle and Dolgrin killed some, and Uvar Spyd killed most of the rest. I stomped the chest of one into the wall and Clay said some words that must have hurt one of their feelings really bad, because they just slumped and stopped moving. I put Uvar Spyd through each one of their hearts, and we ran. We ran, we ran all the way back to Stones Throw."

"I don't know what I'd have done if someone hadn't made it back, but I'll tell you this. Next time we go in there, we're gonna kill em all." Zogs eyes had changed from their normal soft yellow to a piercing crimson. "And that goddamn door!" The greataxe hurled through the air and into the wall of one of the finished sections of the store. The planks split under the weight.


Tee stared at Zog, more serious than normal. "Sometimes running is the correct course."

Zog's eyes faded back to their soft yellow, "Yea, probably." Zog reached into his sack, normally filled with healing potions, but now it only had a single flask, with the letter D on the side. Zog poured some into his mouth, though he didn't understand what it was supposed to do, and handed the flask to Tee.

Expedition to Lux - Arturia, Cedeore, Gwen, Huaki, Myru
Month 10 Day 24 - Month 11 Day 7

Myru gathered a group of adventurers to set off on the 24th of Moon 10 through the Emradi Forest to explore an ancient elven town known as Lux in the east. They arrived at The Starlight Throne on the 7th of Moon 11.

Undead men tell no tales - Arturia, Dolgrin, Clay, Muzilius, ZOG
Moon 10, Days 19 - 24

Dolgrin assembled a crew of undead slayers to go west and hunt down some undead. They headed out on the 19th of Moon 10, and returned to Stone's Throw 6 days later on the 24th.

Into the Mountain - part 2
Moon 9 Day 21 - Moon 10 Day 15

For part one go here:

“This is dumb.” 

“It has been days since I last tasted fresh air and saw anything green. I would kill for some bacon, a mug of ale, and a warm bed. And I am surrounded by morons.”  

*Arturia is telling this story to Mump and Dolgrin

These were my constant thoughts since we entered the cave. I was traveling with a disturbed dwarf, an idiot, and some shady guy who I am pretty sure came to Stone’s Throw to assassinate someone…… 

Anyways, Huaki told you about the lizard things and the gargoyle’s so I will pick up where things actually get interesting: 

Having just slain the gargoyles we decided to venture even further into this ****** hellhole for some ******* ******* reason. We ventured into the “stone garden” (this according to carreg but who knows) and past the largest stone gate I have ever seen, into a hall made entirely of this creepy black stone. It was the darkest place I have ever experienced and I am not normally troubled by the darkness. Two giant dwarven statues carved entirely from this stone stood sentry at the entrance. Carreg seems to think the Duergar build this place. Inside the next room, towering at least 50 feet high, was another statue of the dwarven god Laduguer. Carreg informed me that carved at the base of this statue were these words:

Obedience to One’s Leader 

Empowerment Through Exploitation 

Enrichment Through Creation 

Protection by Force of Might 

(I wrote them down so I could remember to mock Rael about how silly Dwarves are sometimes) 

Venturing forth we saw a strange form in the next room so I offered, once again, to provide Sinj with a blessing from the mighty owl spirit. (seriously, what idiot doesn’t want to see in the dark…inside a ****** cave?!) I got really excited as I thought maybe this guy is finally going to open up and stop being such a weirdo but at the last second he seemed to change his mind and stopped me. I must have accidentally alarmed some creature because no sooner than he stopped me we heard loud noises moving in our direction. We ran into the next room and hid. In here we saw another statue but this one was unlike the others. This one was clearly a giant and was clearly not carved like the others. He seemed…lifelike. His gaze was turned away from us and when we looked in that direction we saw a small trench, and on the other side, a city made entirely of stone!  

The stone city seems to go on forever but in the dark I could not be sure how far it spread. We checked the first stone building and found what was once a tavern. This is where **** got creepy. Inside the Tavern the stone tables had all been smashed and slashed in a strange manner. And there was a dwarf made entirely of stone. I am pretty sure he used to be living. I entered the kitchen and found 3 elves, also turned to stone, all staring at me. This was the creepiest thing I have ever seen but I am pretty brave so I didn’t let it bother me too much. 

***Note from Jo : This is where Carreg snuck up behind Arturia, made a panicked face, turned himself to stone, rolled a great deception check, and Arturia freaked out and turned into a bear. Thanks Jason…..

 Carreg came into the kitchen, noticed the elves, ran up, smashed one of them and… well…. relieved himself on the stone fragments.

 Did I mention that I was surrounded by morons?

 His smashing and yelling must have been what alerted the creature of our presence. We never saw her but we heard her approaching. She was talking to herself in dwarven which was disconcerting but what made my fur stand on end was the sound of slithering. The sound of heavy slithering movement on stone accompanied by what sounds like 20 or so snakes all slithering together in a mass. Later Carreg told me she was looking for a priest but also seemed to mean us harm.

 Sinj mde a distraction by throwing a stone and she crossed the street to another stone house. Suddenly we heard her screaming, and the sounds of a fight. When it was once again silent Huaki looked to see what had happened and we found the corpses of two creatures I have never seen before. Brown almond-like heads with a beak and a sharp appendage. One had been shot with arrows and the other had been completely turned to stone.

 So yeah we left pretty quick after that.

 We snuck back the way we came and discovered what had made the heavy footsteps before. I don't really know what it was but it seemed to be some sort of…stone..dwarf…thing? It came out of the wall and looked at us. Carreg tried to talk to it but it didn’t really do anything.

 As we headed back towards the surface we encountered some gnolls and dealt with them swiftly (let’s just say the last thing they expected to find on the other side of that cave-in was a giant grizzly bear *Arturia laughs way too much at this part and takes another swig of Dolgrin’s Witch’s Brew)

We were almost back to the fork in the path and I was dreaming of grass, meat, and fresh breezes when everything got extra stupid.

 We were awoken by a boulder crashing into the cave wall near our camp. Carreg stepped forward, and seeing that it was a giant, turned to stone and started yelling at it in giant-tongue. I am pretty sure he said something about it’s mother because this really pissed the giant off. I think the giant just wanted us to leave but Carreg….. Would. Not. Shut. Up. I swear that dwarf has a ******* death wish.

 Then to make matters worse…. Sinj, in all his ******* brilliance, decides to rush the giant.


 Of course the giant turns and punts him across the cave. Well deserved in my opinion. Luckily Jade, Huaki, and myself were able to calm everyone down and we escaped with our lives…..BEARLY. *Arturia starts laughing again and takes another swig of drink

 I am having second thoughts about joining up with these idiots in the future but if I won't go back to Stone’s Throw I am not sure I can help who I travel with these days…..

 *Aturia kinda forgets to keep talking and soon passes out from consuming too much of Dolgrin’s Witch’s Brew


***Also, here is a stupid doodle:



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