Heroes of Ethova

Campaign Journal of Burned Seth
This is the journal of Burned Seth, Wizard; Shattered Shield Company

Session 17.
Entry 1.
After the fight with the rats, we continued on our way. After a few more hours we entered goblin territory. This became evident by the perimeter of dead foliage that we crossed. All the plant life was either dead or dying. The further we traveled, the greater the desolation. Soon the terrain was nothing but barren wasteland and scrub brush. Although I’m saddened by the wanton destruction of nature before us, it is somewhat reassuring to witness the effectiveness of the goblin defoliant. I believe that this could be one of the weapons that we desperately need.
Entry 2.
As we traveled, we caught sights of goblin scouts intermittently observing us. We attempted to hail and approach them to no avail. As soon as they realized that we had spotted them, they scurried away. We all expect an attack tonight. I’m hopeful that if we can make a stand and demonstrate our strength, the goblin chieftains will send an emissary and we can perhaps negotiate? On some level though, I hope that we will need to defeat them through sheer force of arms. As evident by the desolation that surrounds us, this tribe is a blight and would do well to be wiped out.
Entry 3.
The attack came shortly after dusk. As I suspected, the war party split into 4 bands and tried to flank us. A stinking cloud from my dretch took the pepper out of a few of them. The others were actually impressed that there was a stench that could nauseate a goblin. The rest of the attackers fell to our steel and spells, even though we took more damage than I’d liked, the fight went well. We piled the bodies, hopefully serving as a warning to others against disturbing our rest in the future and finished out the night.
Entry 4.
We set forth the next morning, Airnan took up an advance position a quarter mile ahead to scout the terrain ahead. After traveling a short ways, he’d climbed a small rise to get a better view and discovered, just ahead, a group of 4 goblins hustling a young woman along, her hands bound. Airnan immediately engaged, causing the goblins to drop their guard and take their blades from her throat. Attempting to avoid Airnan’s arrows gave Inaria the opening needed to kill the goblins with her bare hands. Not being the best spokesman for our group, Airnan led Inaria back to our position, where a draught of healing potion took the edge off her wounds. After introductions Inaria requested to accompany us, realizing that safety lay in numbers. Just wait until she gets to know us better, there is no such thing as safety when Shattered Shield Company gets involved.
Entry 5.
After traveling onward for a few more miles, we reached a cave that appeared to be the goblin lair. A dozen goblin guards stood out front at the mouth of the cave. We watched for a time and decided that it might be better to make our move in the morning. Varel and Inaria found a concealed pit and set up a forward observation camp. The rest of us pulled back farther and made a camp in a depression, out of view, we hope.
Entry 6.
A vain hope it seems. Lucas was on watch and heard something. Whatever it was, was enough to also wake Airnan. He bolted up and alerted us to the goblins approach. Varel then lit his torch in the forward camp to signal us of the attack, the goblins abandoned any stealth they’d been employing and rushed us. We engaged, I summoned an elemental and dropped a few with color spray, while the others fought to hold the goblins back until Varel and Inaria caught them in the flank. Once again, we prevailed but were left in an even more weakened condition. Things didn’t improve when Reznov finding a goblin still alive, decided to torture it just for some laughs. A punch in the back of the head ended that sport. Luckily it was near dawn and we prepared for our attack.
Entry 7.
Varel and I circled wide and crept up along the rock wall behind the cave. I dropped another dretch and it’s stinking cloud disrupted the guards while Varel attacked from the side. The others charged in and we quickly routed the guards. Unfortunately, one was able to make it back inside the cave and sound an alert. We soon heard the sounds of a horde of goblins rushing up to the cave entrance to engage.
Entry 8.
We quickly formed a defensive line at the cave mouth to neutralize their numerical advantage. I strengthen the line with a pair of elementals. Their first act was to immobilize one of them with a glue-like substance, then the rest came, supported by a couple caster and 2 large cave lizards. We handled ourselves well, not taking too much damage, but enough. I threw a sleet storm to disrupt their casting and break the lines. We’d almost had everything destroyed, when one of the lizards caught a lucky strike on Lucas and tore his head off with one bite! We soon felled the beasts, but are now down another comrade. We had but a brief respite before we heard more goblins approach. These were primarily archers! Thus, we moved to the sides of the cave, out of line of sight and poured a line of oil across the mouth to light as a last defense. The goblins all held their position, a short distance down the cave, bows at the ready. We are at a standoff for the time being. Our attempts to communicate have been unsuccessful. Airnan thinks he may have heard enough of their speech to try and talk with them and that may be our only option now, I don’t know if we have the strength to keep pushing forward.

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Campaign Journal of Burned Seth
This is the journal of Burned Seth, Wizard; Shattered Shield Company

Session 16.
Entry 1.
The next 2 weeks after our return to Ashalae passed uneventfully. I received a reply to my letter to the Lord Chamberlain. He had no issues with us recruiting and after a few days we had 3 new recruits; Lucas Alfredson – a barbarian from the lands to the North. It seems that he’d traveled south to find adventure and prove his skills. Resnov – a human mercenary who’d been serving with the elven army during the Darkwoods campaign debacle. After the army’s retreat, he’d mustered out and decided to sign up with us for some reason? Lastly was, Airnan – an elven ranger. I’m not so sure about him, his most recent profession seemed to be working in a bakery, but he jumped when he discovered we had openings and signed on very quickly. Quite a motley crew. Regarding the other matters in my letter, he only lead that he had for us was rumors of a group of witches that reside to the south. They live along the coast 3-3 days south of Lynesh across the river. Due to the fact that Elven prejudices consider the worship if the druid’s goddess as heretical, there is really no formal practice of earthly based magic within the kingdom. It’s not hard to understand why the druids rose up along with the Dark Princess, she seems to be the only authority figure that doesn’t marginalize certain races or sects within the lands. Returning to the matter of the witches though, I made certain to inquire as to whether these witches were witches in the conventional sense, or “witches” as in hags. The response that I received didn’t calm my reservations. It seems that the elves regard the 2 as one in the same as far as distinctions go. Bother.
Entry 2.
We discussed our options. The group decided to revisit my earlier suggestion and consult with Zook. We made our way to his hovel and with a little gold to loosen his tongue, inquired as to any leads he might have. He had nothing by way of natural magic contacts, but he did tell us about a powerful plant defoliant that was made by his old tribe! HE claimed that it could kill any plant life it encountered. After getting directions to the tribe’s location I thought to ask how it came that he was no longer with them? Zook claimed that he’d come here for business reasons. He seemed legit, but Wilhelm didn’t believe him. It might be best to avoid mentioning his name. Given the 2 choices, we elected to pay a visit to the goblins first and see about the witches later.
Entry 3.
We set forth. Our plan was to ride NW to the town of Jtrielle and from there cut overland to the SW to locate the goblin tribe. The 1st leg of the journey was uneventful, we arrived at Jtrielle and took rooms at the inn. We asked around and got some basic information on the goblins in the area. It seems that they are considered a minor nuisance. They have a camp to the SW and are doing some sort of excavating. They occasionally harass travelers but with the army having been busy until recently, the town hasn’t deemed them enough of a threat to take more direct action other than send an infrequent adventuring party down to harry them a bit. We retired for the evening and planned to set forth tomorrow.
Entry 4.
I was awakened in the middle of the night by 2 short figures kicking in the door to my room. Just as they entered a globe of darkness descended over my north wall. Luckily, I was able to jump out of bed and conceal myself with an invisibility spell. The one who’d entered my room looked confused and after looking around for a moment, wandered out to join fighting elsewhere. I then began summoning. The others had also been ambushed as they slept, with the exception of Varel and Wilhelm, who’d awakened just prior to the attack. The creatures were not too strong, but their blades were coated with a poison that drained the strength of its victims. Despite the creatures continuous dropping of concealment spells, of which I dispelled most of them, we dispatched them all. They had the unusual effect of exploding into nothingness upon death, I’ll need to investigate these beings further. This also raises other questions. This looks like an attempt on our lives, but the attack seemed poorly carried out, I’d expect any assassins that came for us to be more…. competent? Also, a hapless elven traveler in an adjacent room was also murdered? If we were the target, why bother killing him? Their identities were concealed and he posed no threat, as hard as it may be to accept, could this simply be just a random attack? We posted a guard and returned to our sleep.
Entry 5.
As some of us had been weakened by the poison on the blades of our assailants, we chose to remain at the inn for another day or 2 to recover. On our 3rd night, Lucas roused us all. He claimed to have spotted another of the creatures watching the inn. We geared up and began a sweep of the area. We found some track and Airnan was able to follow them back to the town well. An examination revealed a tunnel cut into the wall about 20 ft down. Wilhelm, Rezov and Airnan went down to explore.
Entry 6.
It didn’t take long to stir up trouble. A series of small tunnels had been excavated under the streets of the town. They seemed to be extensive enough that collapsing them risked causing damage to the structures above. The others were only down there a couple minutes before more creatures attacked! I sent 2 elementals down to provide cover while everyone got out. Nothing followed them up out of the well and we reported what we’d found to the guardsmen that I’d summoned over. As the tunnels were so narrow as to create a dangerous fighting environment and due to the fact that this was a town issue we then returned to our beds at the inn, while the guards began trying to secure a grate over the well opening.
Entry 7.
The next morning, we resumed our journey. We’d traveled SW for a good portion of the day when something startled the horses. Around us, a dozen or so dire rats tunneled to the surface and attacked. Knowing the diseases that these filth carried, I cautioned everyone to avoid their bites. Between a sleet storm and Wilhelm’s sleep spell, we neutralized most of them and were able to kill them all with no injuries to us. It did get scary for Wilhelm for a moment or 2. Thinking he might show off, Wilhelm moved to one of the sleeping rats and attempted to finish it with a bolt to the head. Unfortunately, his aim was a little off, and while he did injure the beast, he didn’t kill it. Due to his slight frame, he was rather concerned about the effects that a disease could have upon him. However, Lucas was able to get over and finish it off before Wilhelm suffered any injury. We then continued on our way. I estimate that we should reach the goblin camp sometime tomorrow.

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Campaign Journal of Burned Seth
This is the journal of Burned Seth, Wizard; Shattered Shield Company

Session 15.
Entry 1.
We returned to the camp and got some rest. The next morning we awoke and reported back to Commander Drosah. As I suspected, he had no access to any kind of druidic support. When I pressed as to any other source of primal magic that we could utilize, he stated that there was no other avenue that we could turn to. I suggested that we could possibly turn to Zook and enquire as to whether he had any leads that we could exploit. Some of the others, however, were reluctant to backtrack 2 days to speak with him. I can understand their reservations, Zook didn’t exactly present himself as being the most reliable. Pointing out our earlier success, Drosah requested that we spearhead a charge as the vanguard of the army. As no one had any better ideas, we agreed.
Entry 2.
The army began it’s march. A small squad accompanied us and we stayed several hundred paces ahead of the advancing host. We weren’t far into the forest when it began. A pack of wolves along with 4 pumpkinhead’s moved in and attacked! I locked down a section of the field with webs and a sleet storm while the elves and the others took care of the wolves. Azroth charged forward as was surrounded by a pair of the plant creatures. Regrettably he was grappled by one of them almost immediately and was never able to get an attack off. This seriously hurt our offense! Despite his attempts to escape, Wilhelm’s healing and the rest of our efforts, the creature tore him apart before us!
Entry 3.
The rest of the battle didn’t fare much better for us. Although we killed off the wolf pack, Callard was the next to fall to the pumpkinheads. He was seized and torn apart in the same manner as Azroth. Varel once again acquitted himself well in the fight, taking down one of the creatures. We’d almost gotten the situation under control, when Richard was struck down.
Entry 4.
The battle ended soon after. We were victorious, but at a terrible cost, half our strength, spent, gone. Varel quickly set about looting our former comrades. We were content to leave Azroth to any afterlife that may await him. Richard fought and died in battle, with honor. Given that end, we felt that he would see any attempt to raise him as somewhat of a dishonor. As for Callard, we discussed attempting to revive him, but given the fact that he was still recovering from the effects of his previous return from death, we felt it unlikely that any attempt that we could make would be successful. Good journey my friend.
Entry 5.
We have a decision to make, and quickly! The army is still advancing and we need to make the call; advance or retreat. The army is committed and any call for retreat and an attempt to withdraw would likely result in losses, but if we order a retreat now, we could save some troops as opposed to losing the entire force. Wilhelm chose not to wait and struck up a marching tune to inspire the troops onward, so as to use their advance as cover to escape.
Entry 6.
We made our way to the forest edge. Having gotten this far I chose to try and rally some of the troops for a retreat. With Wilhelm and Varel, we were able to issue a call to fall back. It was too late though. In all fairness, it was probably too late even before we fought that first fight. As the troops pulled back the retreat became a rout! Soldiers pulled off their horses and torn apart, screaming, while others were burned alive by pumpkinheads fire breath.
Entry 7.
The survivors returned to the siege camp. I estimate that we lost about 83% of the army in this disaster. With this defeat, Commander Drosah ordered camp broken and the army returned to Ashalae with us. Spirits were lower than I’d seen in a long time. More comrades dead, more blood spilled. Shengas seemed to feel it more than the rest of us. Upon our return, he announced that he was going to retire. He decided to settle down with that girl of his, even though they’d only known each other a short time. He spoke of starting a family and regular life sort of things. Varel, Wilhelm and myself know that that isn’t for us though. We are adventures, we WILL endure. We returned to the Voronion to plan. After some discussion, we decided to rebuild Shattered Shield. We will begin recruiting new members. I sent a message to the Lord Chamberlain requesting permission to recruit along with some suggestions on how to proceed with the resumption of the Darkwoods campaign.

To: The Esteemed Lord Chamberlain
From: Burned Seth; Mage and the remnants of Shattered Shield Company.

Your Excellency,
I dispatch this message to you with great regret and sorrow. As you’ve no doubt heard, the campaign in Darkwoods has met with disaster. Allow me first to offer my sincere condolences and apologies. I’m sending this letter as a report of events as well as a recommendation on how to proceed in the future. To begin, shortly after our arrival at the siege camp, we met with Commander Drosah and were debriefed regarding the current situation. Wanting to see for ourselves just what the adversary we’d be facing was made of, we joined one of Drosah’s squads on a patrol. We successfully defeated a detachment of the Shambling Mound creatures that we encountered and gained some valuable information. The next day, we again met with Commander Drosah to discuss strategy. I felt that securing any kind of druidic support would be prudent. After being advised that there was none available and the only source of information was residing here at Ashalae, we honored the Commander’s request that we serve as his army’s vanguard and lead them in a spearhead thrust into the forest in an effort to break the shambling mounds lines. I would like to add at this point that I in no way hold Commander Drosah responsible. He made the best decision that he could with the limited options available to him. We set forth that afternoon and had proceeded a short distance into the forest when we once again met the enemy. The mounds were this time reinforced by 2 large packs of wolves. We were once again victorious, but not without sustaining heavy losses. I regret to report that the paladin, Callard, Azroth the barbarian, and Capt. Richard Silverheart fell in battle. They fought bravely and with honor, yet honor and courage wasn’t enough to prevent them from being torn limb from limb before our very eyes. We vowed to press on, but had only ventured a few steps forward when we beheld another wave! True, we had won 2 battles against these creatures, but it had cost us the core of our strength, and we knew that to proceed would mean not only our deaths, but the loss of the entire army! Therefore we gave the call to retreat. Our efforts at a fighting withdrawal were for naught and the rout that we’d attempted to prevent occurred regardless.
I am now writing to once again offer any services that we can to you and the city. Though we are diminished by the deaths of our comrades and the retirement of our cleric, Shengas, (the horrors that we’ve faced have shaken the man and he has elected to settle down with a young elvish lass with whom he’d been keeping company) we still feel that we may be able to offer some help to you all.
I first, ask that in order to replenish our group, that we may be allowed to recruit new comrades. I admit that I am unaware of all of the laws and customs of your fair city, but I can understand how the prospect of a foreign adventuring party enlisting new members could cause some apprehension. Therefore, I humbly request permission to admit any qualified individual who wishes to join us.
Next, after having fought the creatures of The Darkwoods, I wish to offer some suggestions regarding more effective tactics and strategies by which to fight them upon the resumption of the campaign.
1. Secure the assistance of druidic or shamanistic support. We will gladly offer our services with this. I understand that most of the lands druids have joined Dell’enaye, but as shown, fighting the forces of nature with no effective counter measure is a recipe for disaster. Another form of primal magic support must be located, even if that means ranging beyond your lands and enlisting primal equipped mercenaries to your cause.
2. Develop more potent magical attacks/defenses. The Shambling Mound variants were resistant to almost all standard magical attacks used by wizards. Electricity, cold and fire are mostly useless, lightning is downright dangerous as it strengthens them. Acid and possibly poison seem to work most effectively. However, I recommend that the resources of the city’s mage community be put to work developing a new series of spells that will; 1. Repel plantlike creatures, and 2. Directly harm them. A spell that will wither and weaken them such as the effect a wand of withering has on normal plants, but created especially to effect plantlike creatures is where I would begin.
3. The army must employ new tactics and fighting styles to avoid a similar fate as before. The weapons used by the army are only minimally effective. Once within reach of the creatures tentacles, a soldier can be torn apart like a straw doll. To this, I first suggest that new squads be trained in a modified phalanx style of warfare and equipped with longspears. These spears must give them the ability to attack whilst remaining at least 10 feet away, so as to avoid being grappled. Instead of attacking in a layered skirmish line, the troops should form 1 line and surround the creatures, with standards troops guarding their flanks but not being so close as to prevent them from stepping back to avoid the mounds grasp. In this way, the troops can attack from all sides and stay mobile so as to avoid the grasping attacks. I also suggest that research be done into creating a plant toxin that can be applied to the spearheads to augment the spearmen’s attacks, acid is not an option as that will degrade the spear tips. They should also be equipped with tower shields to provide as much protection as possible from the creatures flame breath attacks. The next and more important element is ranged attacks. Enclosed, you will find the design for an acid arrow that I had been thinking about for some time for a friend who no longer needs it. These arrows (and more) will require the efforts of a great many glass maker and alchemist. As you can see, the arrowhead has been replaced with a teardrop shaped glass projectile. This will be filled with acid. The acid arrows will be the first line of attack and will serve to soften the creatures for the phalanx troops. Lastly, the efforts of the glassmakers should also be put toward creating glass orbs. These also will be acid filled. Some will be issued to the foot soldiers to be thrown by hand in close range combat. The others, I recommend that you employ by creating new units of slingers. I realize that the sling is a crude weapon, however, a slinger can deliver a larger acid projectile at a closer range than an archer, possibly with greater accuracy due to the increased weight of the acid projectile arrowhead.
I hope that these ideas will be received in the spirit with which they were intended, with the sincere desire to help. Please don’t hesitate to call on us should you have any need.

With respect,
Burned Seth; Mage, Shattered Shield Company

Entry 8.
With the letter sent, we settled back to lick our wounds. In the meantime we need to sell off some of our fallen comrades possessions and I have some more scrolls to scribe. In a few days we will spread the word that we seek new comrades and we will begin again.

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Campaign Journal of Burned Seth.
This is the journal of Burned Seth, Wizard; Shattered Shield Company

Session 14.
Entry 1.
The next morning I went and spoke with the elven adventurers. They were gearing up and making preparations to leave. The y became much more receptive when I mentioned that the church had also tasked us with hunting down Nashalar. When I asked if we might accompany them, they seemed grateful for the support. They advised that we leave within the hour. We must hurry and get prepared to travel.
Entry 2.
We met the group at the city gates after gathering our supplies. The elven party consisted of 4 members; Emmyth Naprelian – paladin, Lathai D’laure – paladin, Rubon Selgath – cleric, and Arlen Chaulmyth – wizard. They’d located Nashalar at an abandoned farmstead 2 days ride to the east of the city. We set forth, making good time and made the journey without any difficulties, the surrounding areas being well patrolled. Wilhelm took the time during our travels to get more information regarding our target from the elves. It seems that the relic that Nashalar stole is called “the White Rainbow”. It is a crystal orb in which, depending upon what story you believe, an extremely powerful extra-planar entity was imprisoned many years ago by a wizard of the faith or the goddess herself. The orb can grant great powers to whoever wields it and is part of a set of orbs, all containing captured entities.
Entry 3.
We arrived at our destination. The compound consisted of a small house with attached shed and a barn. A quick inspection revealed nothing in the house. Varel reported hearing something in the barn, however. We assembled and the barbarian along with the elves opened the doors. They found Nashalar stretched out in one of the stalls, settling in for a nap, the orb clutched in his hands. Upon being disturbed he exclaimed, “No, it’s mine”. He then began casting. Azroth ran forth and in a stunning display of power, devastated Nashalar with an attack that dropped him to his knees. Varel finished him with a dagger to the head.
Entry 4.
We thought the battle to be over, except the orb began to manifest a strange effect? It glowed brighter and began to absorb the flesh and blood from Nashalar’s remains? Emmyth attempted to move the orb from Nashalar’s grasp. Unfortunately, he used the flat of his blade and struck it a little too hard. The orb shattered in a flash of light, and when it faded, in his place was a demon towering overhead!
Entry 5.
This could have gone better! We immediately engaged. The melees moved in, and I began summoning. The creature was able to shrug of most damage, but little by little the hits began to add up. Then the demon dropped a chaos hammer on us. Most of us were able to handle it with a minimum of trouble. Except Arlen, whose head exploded. Despite that setback, we kept up the attacks and were able to destroy it soon after. We quickly sealed and fired the barn to prevent any demonic contamination.
Entry 6.
We returned to Ashalae and convinced the temple to honor the original deal with a restoration instead of a raise dead. That took care of part of Callard’s death hangover. After a night of rest, we set forth the encampment besieging Darkwood Forest. The trip passed without incident and we arrived at the encampment. Our writ if identification sufficed to gain us an audience with Drosah, the army commander. He briefed us on the current situation. It seems that some sort of plant creatures, with heads like carved pumpkins are keeping his troops from advancing, in fact, the elven forces are being slowly driven back. I want to see these things in action, therefore, I requested that we join his troops in a skirmish. Drosah readily agreed.
Entry 7.
We entered the forest with a squad of elven soldiers. The plant creatures attacked soon after, by the gods they are stealthy! We split off and attacked. The ensuing fight proved insightful. We found that these creatures are a variation of Shambling Mounds, except that these can breathe fire! We took them down with only a couple casualties and despite a couple small fires, which we quickly put out, it was a successful mission, the elves were certainly pleased! We then withdrew. I have a plan in mind, but first we must brief commander Drosah. We need additional resources.

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Campaign Journal of Burned Seth.
This is the journal of Burned Seth, Wizard; Shattered Shield Company

Session 13.
Entry 1.
I must admit, given how this day began I was skeptical that it would end as well as it did. After our battle, the guardsmen who fought with us went off to report in. There were still a few stragglers within the city to be dealt with. We took the opportunity to return to the temple of Kaltia Melith to enquire about some curse removal for Richard. The courtyard before the temple was quite different from how we’d left it an hour or so before. Tents had been set up and temple acolytes were sorting the wounded into groups based upon their need for healing. We were told that the higher priests were indisposed at the present, but if we could return tomorrow, we could seek an audience then. Fortunately, we had blunted the attack which left the southern and inner city intact. Thus we were able to get the recommendation of a good inn. Finally! I’ve been waiting for days for some down time to peruse my new spellbook collection.
Entry 2.
After a quick breakfast in the morning I began my work. I have a few spells to scribe over from the grimoire that I successfully examined. Once that is finished I can turn my attention to looking over the others. The rest of the group returned to the temple to see about getting Richard’s cursed sword dealt with. There, they spoke with a temple high up called, Talleshard. He was amicable enough. He offered to remove the curse in exchange for a small service. It seems that all the healing they’d had to bestow had depleted the temples stock of renwort, a local herb with medicinal properties. While it does grow around here, it is only found in small patches. The group was informed that if we could return with 5 satchels full, we could get a cures removal. As no one present had any knowledge of herbology, they returned to the inn to disturb me. Being in the middle of my work, I requested that we wait until noon before departing and I returned to my scribing, but not before sending Callard off with the bag of gems that we’d looted. He and Wilhelm were able to sell them and get a good price for which he took a share. The remainder was divided amongst Callard, myself and the party, most going to the party fund.
Entry 3.
During this time, Azroth also saw fit to go and deposit the heads he’d taken during our battle with the city officials. They were somewhat taken aback, but grateful. To his credit, Azroth also came up with a decent plan of action. Some digging for rumors about the city revealed a little more to the story behind the attack. An elf called “the dark princess” (whose name we later learned was Aileen) was behind everything. She has been waging a war against elven lands for awhile now. Her 4 lieutenants or “the 4 devas” as they are called, of whom Trollson was one, have been prosecuting her war against the elven nations. The other 3; Casollandra, another elf maiden was the consort of the princess. Gullet, a goblin, was her assassin. He’d developed quite a reputation for killing important persons with one shot of an arrow. Finally there was Dell’enaye, an important general who had bogged down the elven army in a campaign in the northern forests, essentially tying them up so as to be unable to reinforce the city during the attack yesterday. Azroth suggested that we set ourselves up as bait to draw Gullet out. Wilhelm approved of the plan and managed to gain an audience with the Lord Chamberlain to discuss things.
Entry 4.
Wilhelm’s meeting with the Lord Chamberlain seemed to have gone well. After hearing that we were the adventurers that everyone was talking about, he agreed to give the plan a try. It will take a couple days to make the arrangements, but word is being spread far and wide that a ceremony is being held to honor the heroes whose actions saved the city. Now someone just has to explain to Azroth that, as it was his plan, he will be the primary target. Heh heh.
Entry 5.
The time came to leave on our herb gathering mission. I requested that we make a stop on the way out of town. Per the clerk’s recommendation, we detoured to Malfora’s Oddities, a cluttered but well stocked magic shop on the edge of the city. Malfora was a shrewd female Halfling who seemed to have many years of experience dealing with magical gear. We sold a few items that we didn’t need and I picked up a couple things, including a much needed bag of holding. This place could be quite useful to us in the future.
Entry 6.
After our shopping trip we got down to business. After a few hours of scrounging around in the brush, we came up with enough renwort to fill the temples’ quota. We returned with their herbs and were informed that if Richard would present himself on the morrow, the curse would be removed.
Entry 7.
The next morning, Richard and some others went off to deal with his curse situation. Meanwhile, Callard and I set about examining the evil tainted grimoires that we’d recovered. The first book that we tried, which was untitled, didn’t go so well. When I opened it, I triggered a fire trap. Luckily I was able to drop the book and save myself from the worst of it. Unfortunately, the book landed at Callard’s feet and due to his armor wasn’t as nimble on his feet as I. After taking the worst of the blast, Callard decided to go and lie down for awhile. I hope that the inn staff doesn’t notice the fire damage to the room. I elected to stow the evil tomes away for awhile and examine them in a more controlled setting when I am more properly prepared.
Entry 8.
Richard’s de-cursing seemed to have gone according to plan. Wilhelm devised a test to determine if it had truly worked. After narrowly breaking out into a fistfight afterward, it was concluded that he was rid of the blade, said weapon having been left in the care of the temple. Upon their return to the inn, I enlisted Varel’s help with the next book, also untitled. Varel discovered a vampiric touch rune within this book. I attempted to assist him in removing it. This also didn’t go so well. The rune was triggered and succeeded in draining a portion of Varel’s life force before expiring. Varel then left to seek clerical attention while I took a look at the book.
Entry 9.
Sometimes I think the multi-verse is trying to tell me something. After all the work and pain, I find that this book is written in Auran! At this point, it just isn’t worth the numerous castings of read magic that it would require to peruse this tome. I’ve decided to salt the books away with the bag of holding and revisit them when I am better able to prepare. At any rate, I have accessible to me the spells that I need for the moment, as much as I’m salivating over the chance to tear into these books, they can wait. In the meantime, I’m going to get some food and await the return of Shengus to tend my injuries. Varel said that he and Azroth had gone out to find some companionship in the arms (and hopefully beds) of some elven wenches.
Entry 10.
I knew that things had started to go too well around here! According to the story as it was related to me. Azroth and Shengas succeeded in locating a pair of elven women who’d gotten an early start on the day in a nearby tavern. While Shengas actually conversed and had dinner with one, it seems that Azroth just cut to the point and offered her money for her time. Fair enough. However, things became complicated when he slipped her a draught of the sleeping potion we’d so foolishly left in his keeping! What his intentions were, I have no clue. But he then proceeded to throw her over his shoulder and carry her down the stair and outside onto the street. Naturally he was observed doing this, and when the inevitable guards patrol arrived to question him, he’d about reached our inn. Claiming she was just drunk did him little good when a magical examination revealed that she was under the effects of an enchantment. This also was secondary to the fact that he was unable to offer sufficient explanation as to why he was walking down the street with an unconscious elven woman over his shoulder? Needless to say he was swiftly arrested. The others, having gotten fully fed up with antics like this were bound and determined to let him rot in whatever hole the elves decide to throw him into, as his coin pouch went missing, we can at least rest knowing that he will be unable to bail himself out of jail.
Entry 11.
After reconvening, it was decided and agreed that Azroth would remain where was and would face whatever punishment he brought upon himself ALONE! If he tried to escape, he would find no help from us, and if any attempt was made to gain aid through threats or blackmail, he would be considered an enemy and killed. Wilhelm paid him a visit in jail to inform him of this. He seemed surprised that we had no intention of assisting him. I can’t imagine why, we’d told him numerous times that his behavior was not going to be tolerated forever. At any rate that leaves us a man down and in need of a new target for Grunt tomorrow. Callard offered his services, hopefully it will work out.
Entry 12.
This is the day. Our plan (such as it is) is in place. The previous night, Varel scouted several locations that he would use were he attempting to snipe a target. He and Wilhelm took station on 2 of the most promising targets, elven sentries were posted on the remainder. As the ceremony began, all seemed to go well. A lesser city official stood on stage with Richard, Callard, Shengas, Shengas’s date? (the elven damsel he’d met the day before, why he brought her here is a mystery), and myself. Suddenly, Richard came thundering over, planting his tower shield to my left while shouldering me out of the way? He’d noticed that 2 of the guards on a nearby building had vanished and saw someone drawing a bead on me. He saw this in just enough time to run over an take the hit in my place. It’s a sobering feeling, realizing that you owe your life to someone. It was at this moment too that I realized that I really, really, should have used protection from arrows on myself earlier as well! Some damn wizard I am! A 1st year would’ve remembered to do that! At any rate, luckily I did have invisibility ready to go. I used it and hopped down off the stage to use the now panicked crowd as cover. Game on!
Entry 13.
I began summoning while the others tried to move up to engage. The crowd made moving next to impossible. I was able to summon a pair of air elementals who were able to close the distance and begin to attack. Unfortunately, they weren’t as effective as I’d hoped. While doing some damage, it wasn’t enough to prevent him from shooting down at Callard and catching him in the face with one of his special killing arrows. Grunt then descended the building and I believe was going to try and make an escape using the confusion. Luckily, at that moment, Wilhelm was able to hold him with a spell! Varel arrived soon after and between him, my elementals and a newly summoned dire bat, we finished him!
Entry 14.
Alas poor Callard. After taking a couple minutes to strip Grunt of his possessions and a strange note written in some kind of code, we borrowed a cart and brought Callard straight away to the temple of Kaltia Melith. Wilhelm was pessimistic about our chances, but the 2 of us were able to talk Talleshard into at least considering the idea of raising Callard. The fact that he was human and served another faith was more of a complicating factor than I’d thought. We saved the city and killed 2 of the Dark Princesses lieutenants! What more do these people want? At any rate, he agreed to pray over night about it and requested that we come back tomorrow. The temple promised to care for and preserve his body in the meantime.
Entry 15.
The next day, we returned to news other than what we’d hoped. Talleshard agreed to do the raising, upon completion of a task. We were to kill Nashalar the Twisted, a former priest of Kaltia Melith who had renounced his faith and now served a rival deity, Labal’neth. We had no further information than this? Talleshard himself even claimed to know nothing of this individual, he stated that he simply passed on the message as it was given to him, and as soon as his soul hit the afterlife, they would raise Callard. Nothing is ever easy.
Entry 16.
This new wrinkle was an unwelcome change of plans. After a brief discussion, it was decided. Callard’s misfortune would be Azroth’s lucky day. I retired to my room to begin scribing some scrolls, while Wilhelm returned to the jail and after getting an oath of better behavior from him, to see about securing Azroth’s release. He was able to do so by stating his intention to use him in the quest to slay the Dark Princess and her minions. This was sufficient to obtain an almost immediate hearing from a city arbiter and secure the release of Azroth. With one condition. A geas was placed upon him. He would begin to weaken every day not spent in pursuit of the destruction of the Dark Princess. The geas would remain until he presented her head as proof of her death. With Azroth in tow, Wilhelm returned to the Lord Chamberlain and got his approval for our proposal.
Entry 17.
While the 2 of them went to consult a sage about Nashalar, I sent the others on additional tasks of information gathering. Shengas returned to the arms of the lass whom he’d spent the previous night with to see if she had any information about Nashalar. Varel went prowling into some of the seedier corners of the city to see if we could find an alternative. In the past, Callard had made statements indicating that in the event of his death, he’d be … open to the notion of reincarnation is resurrection wasn’t possible. Varel went to see if there happened to be any druids in the vicinity who would be approachable. I’m not sure where he got his information from, but we were looking for someone who operated underground and that’s who we got, literally. The shady types who Varel spoke with pointed us toward a goblin shaman who hid out just outside of the city. He was the type people went to who couldn’t afford real potions or charms or had no other options, we were both.
Entry 18.
Varel and Richard then proceeded to the shamans burrow. His hovel was located in the side of a small hill in a meadow outside of the city. It door and awning were made of a hollowed out log that led into the hillside, nearby hung a sign that seemed to be a human getting shot with an arrow? As in most cases, the coin spoke louder than words. Varel and Richard were quickly admitted into his foul smelling den after announcing that they had coin to spend. The shaman, Zook as he was called, claimed it would be simple to reincarnate Callard, he even claimed to have extra body parts in necessary. They promised to return with the body and the money as soon as possible.
Entry 19.
After a quick stop at the inn for money and the temple for Callard, the group, minus Shengas and myself returned to Zook. He’d decked himself out in his ritual gear and prepared an altar. With payment received he began. After dancing, chanting (a long stream of words that upon repetition to me sounded like gibberish), invoking the names of several goblin gods (again, many whom were simply made up, although I’m curious as to how the human god of books and scribes became the goblin god of death?), and smacking Callard’s forehead with his stick several times, Callard then awoke!
Entry 20.
Though not being a religious sort, I do know quite a bit about deities and their faiths. I am also familiar with the potential outcomes that could result from a reincarnation ritual. That being said, I have no idea what happened here! All I can say is that wherever it may be in the multi-verse that the cosmic dice that determine our fates are tossed, Callard set must have been loaded. Either that or he used up a lifetime of karma? Maybe his deity intervened on some level, who knows? The outcome, however, was that Callard was reincarnated back into his original body! I’ve never heard of this happening before! I guess the dice said he was coming back as a male human and the fates just felt it easier to put him back the way they found him? At any rate, Callard is back amongst us, though diminished from his passing, but we welcome his return.
Entry 21.
The next item being our course of action? Shengas’s girlfriend told him of hearing of Nashalar the Twisted from a group of elven adventurers that was staying at the inn at which she works. Shengas spoke with them and found out that they were on a holy quest to kill him for stealing a number of holy relics. As he didn’t press for more, I’ll need to pay them a visit. I get the feeling that this wayward priest is somehow connected to this whole affair. This seems like much more than just a feud between elven factions, this feels more like a holy war. There are rumors that the 2 of them worship the same dark elven god. I believe that Nashalar should be our first target. I can’t shake the idea that his death will in some way advance our cause to destroy the Dark Princess. At any rate, we have preparations to make. I need more information about Aileen and Nashalar, I need more scrolls and hopefully, with the death of Nashalar, we can get Callard’s weakened condition reversed. I’m sure that we will need everyone at full strength for what we have to face.

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Campaign Journal of Burned Seth.
This is the journal of Burned Seth, Wizard; Shattered Shield Company

Session 12.
Entry 1.
We emerged from the portal into a sea of chaos! The city that we found ourselves in was under attack. Many buildings around us were on fire, people and soldiers were running in all directions. An elven woman that we hailed as she was fleeing from the battle lines explained to us that the city was under siege from Lur Trollson, a half troll warlord who’d been attacking eleven cities in the region for the past year. We let her go on her way and moved forward to the combat zone to observe the situation.
Entry 2.
We reached a small city square that had been cordoned off with debris to form a crude palisade, there was heavy fighting occurring just yards beyond. The elven city guardsmen we spoke with, told us that their commander, Capt. Adalus had gone forward to engage the enemy general in combat. Even though our understanding of the situation is vague, we chose to intervene and moved forward.
Entry 3.
Just beyond the defensive lines, we observed roughly a dozen guardsmen fighting half as many trolls and half trolls. A little further, an elf who we surmised was Capt. Adalus dueled an individual in ornate golden armor, undoubtedly Lur Trollson. Capt. Adalus seemed outmatched as was taking a lot of punishment, Azroth charged forward to come to his aid while the rest of us moved to assist the closest guardsmen and push our way forward.
Entry 4.
As we joined the fighting, Richard seemed to come under some kind of charm. He began to attack one of the elves! He didn’t seem to know why? This complicates matters but there isn’t much we can do about it now. I set about sending my elementals into the battle and greasing the terrain beneath the trolls feet. The others began to attack as they found openings. Azroth got into melee and began to fight Trollson, unfortunately he arrived just seconds too late and Capt. Adalus fell to his blows.
Entry 5.
The battle was fierce, we lost about half of the guardsmen. One fell to Richard, the others to the trolls, including the elven battle mage who moved ahead of his protective detail to cast a burning hands spell, The troll whom he targeted took offense and stepped up to rip him in half. With that, the mages guards moved over to provide me with cover, very sporting of them. As we thinned out the opposition, a small group of half trolls joined the fight and attempted to flank the barricades. Luckily, between Shengas and his crossbow and Wilhelm putting several to sleep, they and the guardsmen were able to kill them with no further losses. As Trollson was the last remaining opponent at that point, we surrounded him in order to put him down, he eventually fell but not before handing out some brutal damage. He was decked out in magic gear and after putting Richard to sleep to end his rampage, we helped ourselves to the spoils, which included the fallen mages spellbook.
Entry 6.
Needless to say the elves were grateful for our help and understandable irritated at Richard and were preparing to kill him. We’d noticed that the apparent cause of his actions was related to the magic sword he was now wielding. It seems to be cursed. We explained the situation to the elves and relieved him of the sword. After waking him, we then took command of the guards detail that we’d fought alongside and as this area had been pacified, moved deeper into the combat zone. Hoping that the death f their leader would demoralize his forces and cause them to break and run, we took Lur Trollson’s head as a trophy.
Entry 7.
A short ways ahead we heard sounds of fighting from 2 directions. To the right we saw a giant rampaging through the streets a short distance away. From the left we heard screams about “Snarlfang”, which from my readings I remembered was an ancient troll warlord who’d been menacing the lands for many decades. We decided to tackle him first and went left.
Entry 8.
We moved forward into a small plaza with a large fountain in the center. Within there were 4 trolls and a bigger, stronger, and uglier troll wearing armor that looked like it was carved from stone? The big troll had just finished killing a pair of guards with a hammer that was almost larger than himself. Azroth held Trollson’s head high, but the trolls either didn’t understand or care that he was dead and moved to attack. This could be bad. Most of us still had wounds from the last fight, and my most powerful spells were spent.
Entry 9.
More bad luck. As the fight began, the cursed sword that we’d abandoned reappeared in Richards hands. Fortunately were realized this and everyone backed off, thus prompting him to attack a troll instead of one of us. The guardsmen also joined battle and acquitted themselves exceptionally well. We focused our attacks and I slowed the big one down with a web and some of my emergency scrolls. We killed the lesser trolls and hit Snarlfang with a fear spell that caused him to try and flee. One of my grease spells complicated this and we used his prone state after slipping and falling to great effectiveness and killed him, after which Azroth claimed his head and magical hammer. Another spell spell was needed to bring Richard out of his berserk state.
Entry 10.
Once this fight had concluded, the guards were eager to press on against the giant. We’d expended almost all of our resources and were cautious about the idea. Varel asked if there was any support of reinforcements that we could access, and luckily one of the guards had an idea. This plaza contained the city’s main temple of Kaltia Melith. It seem that the trolls had been about to raid it before we stopped them. We paid a visit and after the guards explained the situation, the acolytes within freely handed out enough healing potions to heal us of all our wounds. They also provided a handful of scrolls that they had salted away for emergencies. Unfortunately, any priest capable of relieving Richard of his cursed blade was out serving as a combat medic with the defense forces, so we’ll just have to do our best to deal with his condition. We decide to keep him manacled until we need him in battle. Now, off to fight a giant.
Entry 11.
We followed the screams and sounds of destruction to the giant. He stood alone, demolishing buildings. From the corpses scattered about, it looks as if the city guards had managed to kill the troll units that accompanied him before being killed by the giant. We unshackled Richard and sent him in first so as to ensure that the giant remained his target when the cursed blade returned to his hands. A blow from the giants club dropped him, but it gave us the opening to charge. Shengas put him down with a command spell and I webbed him into place. A quick heal brought Richard back into the fight and with everyone hacking away at him along with some brutal damage from Azroth’s new hammer was dispatched the giant with no casualties.
Entry 12.
Azroth took another head and once again a quick sleep spell restored Richard. We observed that the fighting seemed to be dying down. From the looks of things, these 3 advanced units that we’d fought were spearheading the thrust into the city. With them gone, the forces pushing up from behind lost their momentum and were being pushed back. A few small groups of half trolls still fought here and there, but were being routed by the city guards. The remaining invaders were fleeing and so it looks as though we have won the day. I hope that the damage was not too severe and that the city leaders are appropriately thankful and don’t ask too many questions. After the events of the past couple weeks, we desperately need a civilized and friendly population center in which we can rest for a few days and rebuild our strength. I need time to properly examine all these spellbooks and do some scribing, not to mention scroll creation as my emergency supply was greatly diminished during these battles. In addition we need to resupply and I’d like to turn my hand to some item creation, and more importantly we need to get that damned cursed sword away from Richard. Let us hope that in the words of many an explorer that, “the natives are friendly?”

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Campaign Journal of Burned Seth.
This is the journal of Burned Seth, Wizard; Shattered Shield Company

Session 11.
Entry 1.
We arose the next morning and resumed our exploration. I’d had a thought during the night. I hope that we won’t need to ride anywhere as our horses have probably been eaten by something or other by now. Oh well! Nothing to be done about it now. We returned to the area that held the alchemy lab and found some scrolls and potions there. Not much else in this section except for some more living quarters. While Azroth and Shengas took their time searching, the rest of us went on to explore another section.
Entry 2.
The room off of the magical forge led to another room containing magical paintings of some kind? The scenes within them moved! I wonder if these are more than just pictures, perhaps they are some kind of scrying devices and the scenes unfolding before us are actually images of some other place? At any rate, the room held another interesting feature, it seems that it is a null magic zone, spells and magic don’t function here. I’m not certain of the cause.
Entry 3.
Curious? We discovered the source of the anti magic field. The hallway beyond had collapsed, but buried beneath the rubble we found the remains of a mage holding a staff topped with a gem. The staff itself seems to cancel out magic within a 20ft. radius. This could be highly useful, unfortunately, as it could also be highly dangerous we need to be very careful. Not only does it neutralize my power, it could also disrupt any magical field it encounters, some of which we may not want to counter.
Entry 4.
The last tunnel on this level took us into crypt area. Several vestibules, laid out in a hexagonal pattern connected into each other, each one housing several alcoves in the wall filled with the remains of elves. Most likely they were instructors here. I took a quick pass through with a detect magic and pointed out several magic items which Azroth and Shengas promptly looted. We acquired some more scrolls, a ring and a sword. Not doing too badly today. A door at the rear led downstairs to a set of quarters. My suspicions were quickly confirmed, only a necromancer would keep quarters so close to the dead. We found more bookshelves and after narrowly avoiding a sepia snake sigil left by its previous owner, I was able to walk out with 2 additional spellbooks, they were necromancy focused but they will still be useful.
Entry 5.
Azroth went back to the bedroom, probably to dally with a couple elven wenches, while the rest of us went to explore the lower level reached from the cross passage. The right led to a room with a large hole in the floor, the left contained some side rooms and a barrier of some sort? The hall widened into a room with 2 statues against each wall. Bolts of lightning were passing between each one. When the staff was brought near, however, they simply faded into nothing, allowing us to simply walk through.
Entry 6.
Beyond there was not much of interest. It looks as if this area was a dormitory of some kind. It held multiple beds and bookshelves with basic books. This is possibly where the most junior students lived? We left and returned to the hall past the statues. The side rooms held nothing of interest. One of them had collapsed and after Wilhelm squeezed through, he discovered that it connected back to the other section that we had been unable to open before. He must have shifted something on his 1st trip, because he found himself unable to get back the way he’d come. So, as Wilhelm attempted to work his way back through the rubble, Varel went to check out the other room with the hole in the floor.
Entry 7.
The holes must all be interconnected somewhere. As Varel opened a door in the room, it collapsed and fell into another hole along with a lot of debris. The noise roused a new group of morlock’s that skittered out just as the first ones had done. We backed up and formed a defensive line in the hall. I summoned my elementals and attempted to seal the hallway with a web, to minimal success. Luckily Wilhelm was able to sing even while crawling through the blocked room. Callard took some serious damage and was render unconscious, but through Shengas and Wilhelm’s efforts, was spared more serious harm. We were able to defeat this group as well and after the battle, decided that it was best to retire for the day. Callard has a plan to attempt to use the staff to defeat the wards on the lich’s chamber. It was also suggested to try and use the staff to enter the chamber of light that almost twisted Wilhelm. Both plans leave me unsettled.
Entry 8.
I spent most of my time examining one of the grimoires from the locked closet. The 10 volumes mostly have interesting and unusual titles;
1. untitled (evil)
2. untitled
3. The Vermillion Mysteries (evil)
4. Ebon Destiny
5. untitled
6. Dance of the Elements – Vol. 2
7. The Doom of Szrnzzth
8. Unspeakable Darkness (evil)
9. untitled
10. Elfenwood
Callard is keeping the 3 books that have evil residue in his possession. I’ve convinced him to allow me to study them before he attempts to destroy them. I believe that there may be valuable information within them, not only that, but simply trying to toss them in a fire might not be the best idea. It’s better to know what we are dealing with before we act rashly. I believe that knowledge in itself is not good or evil. Knowledge is a tool, like a hammer, use it to build an orphanage it is a force for good, turn around and use it to kill a beggar and it is a force for evil. It is in the hand that wields it that determines its nature. As for the others, the volume that I looked at first, The Dance of the Elements – Vol. 2 is incredible! It is a very powerful spellbook with spells of the highest order, including 2 that were so advanced that I was unable to discern them, amazing!
Entry 9.
Speaking of acting rashly. The next morning, Callard began to proceed with his plan to crack the lich’s chamber. My apprehension at this plan grows! Granted, it is the last questionable plan of the 2 highly questionable plans, but I’m reluctant to simply try stumbling into Elfgates hoping to get lucky, and striking north into the desert will be a long and dangerous journey, but that’s what a smarter group would do. No one ever accused Shattered Shield Company of being smart though. Callard has enlisted Shengas to hold the staff while he opens the door to the room. Varel and Wilhelm took positions in the outer library. Richard and Azroth decide to wait outside. After consideration, I elected to abandon my place in the hallway and join them out front.
Entry 10.
OH HELLS!! WE ARE SO EPICALLY DONE FOR!!! Of all the ways things could have gone wrong this was the worst! The 3 of us outside heard an explosion. Then moments later when the ground began to rumble and shake we took off running for the gate as quickly as possible. The story as I was able to piece it together from the others, between gasped breaths uttered as we ran is thus. It seems that Callard miscalculated his distances and positioned Shengas too close to the room. The effect was that instead of neutralizing the wards on the door, the staff drained ALL of the magic from the runes and circles within the chamber. The staff, unable to contain that much power, then exploded injuring everyone in the room and destroying many of the books. Gods what a tragedy! The lich then emerged, cursing at them and attacked with a pair of phantasmal longswords. Despite Callard’s attempt at an apology and negotiation, the lich wasn’t in the mood to talk. Everyone else began to run as well. Most made it out except Wilhelm who was struck by an attack and teleported away, coincidentally into the chamber of light.
Entry 11.
Meanwhile as the 3 of us ran, over my shoulder I beheld part of the roof give ay and a giant spider that glowed brighter than the sun emerge from the ruins! So this is the doom of the Tristhellenian Empire. This creature, imprisoned for over 2 millennia and we managed to set it free with our bumbling in a little over 2 days! Sigh, so much for being wiser and more careful. At any rate, the spider began to move north out of the city. Wilhelm, who’d been teleported directly underneath the creature, was luckily able to retain his form and through the use of an expeditious retreat potion, get out and join up with us due to his enhanced speed.
Entry 12.
After 2 hours of running, we reached the gate and plunged into it without a thought. The spider creature was far off into the distance now, looking like a sunset on the horizon. I hope that the elven empire to the north has the power to deal with this creature. As we reach the Elfgate I’m filled with a sense of dread and foreboding. One does not simply be involved in the release of a creature such as this without some sort of repercussions. If this lich is involved in the recapture of the spider, (which I assume he will be as he was its jailor for the past 2 thousand years) word of our involvement will probably get out. I also hope beyond hope that the plundered grimoires that I carry have no part in whatever rituals that were used to contain this beast as their recovery would assuredly draw the lich or its agent to our heels. We’ve reached the gate, as I suspected, the horses are long since eaten. That maybe is for the best as it means we don’t have to stop. This gate’s inscription says it leads to Ashalae, hopefully it will be the last one we need venture through. Excelsior!

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Campaign Journal of Burned Seth.
This is the journal of Burned Seth, Wizard; Shattered Shield Company

Session 10.
Entry 1.
Nothing is ever easy. We stepped out of the portal to find ourselves in the middle of a vast ruined city sitting in the middle of a desert! I guess this means that the Salae terminus is no longer active, thus we were shunted here. So, if this isn’t Salae, then where in the hells are we? We looked around and I found some runes on the gate that helped answer that question. It seemed that we had arrived in Velemaelon, former capital of the great elven empire of Tristhellenian. From my readings I recalled that Velemaelon was located on the Southern continent, unlike Carnly which was on the Northern continent. I further remembered the tale of Velemaelon. Once a great city, it was destroyed in a magical cataclysm brought about by the elven archmages experimenting with …something strange that they had discovered. Whatever happened caused most of the people and creatures in the area to be warped into twisted things. The survivors sealed the academy and abandoned their empire. The twisting effect turned the surrounding lands into a desert for a week’s travel in every direction. This place is seldom visited due to it being highly dangerous!
Entry 2.
I sent Kackle up to do a scouting run. With his information, I identified the quickest way out of the city. He also told of a large and intact structure to NE. I believe that this is probably the old magic academy. This changes some things. Though the prudent move would be to immediately try to get out of here, the thought of what could be within those walls intrigues me, all the items and tomes that could be there. Gods, I’m salivating at the thought of it. There could also be some other means of returning us home as well. The desert is a dangerous place and even if we make it to the edges, we are in an unfamiliar land with still no way of returning to the North. I’m also reluctant to try the portal again, except in the greatest of need, for it could dump us someplace even worse. Most of the others want to investigate the academy as well. We’d best get moving before it gets too late.
Entry 3.
As we journey through the ruins, our path was blocked by the emergence of a desert ankheg. Its acid attacks are quite formidable; luckily, Azroth got it with a devastating blow that weakened it to the point where a simple acid dart was able to finish it off. Let us hope that all our battles are this quickly resolved.
Entry 4.
We reached the academy. Its entrance, a set of large double doors, was sealed by a large plaque bolted to the center. It was inscribed with a warning; Let this place be forgotten forever, Let it be struck from the rolls of history, Let its name be lost to the ages, Ye who enter here know, This place was sealed at great price, In our arrogance we doomed our city, Let our crimes lie buried for all time. No other wards or magical effects were in place. Even so, we thought maybe to reconsider our course of action when Wilhelm strolled up and popped the plaque off the doors! He said it would make a good souvenir. With the doors now having nothing securing them, we figured “why not” and made our way inside.
Entry 5.
The entry hall looked as if it had lain undisturbed ever since it was sealed 2400 years ago. We saw evidence of some sort of disaster; the charred impressions of corpses were burned into the floor around us. We began to look around. We quickly discovered a library area. Detect magic revealed the existence of several magical tomes. I marked all of them for future examination, but took a couple that looked to be spellbooks. I found that they were more. They seemed a combination of spellbook and research/field journals. Very interesting indeed! As I examined the library, the others succeeded in opening a small storage closet the held 10 assorted grimoires! They called me other to check them out. While 4 of them radiated evil, the others proved very interesting! Books with spells that were pages long! Needless to say I grabbed them all up at once. Callard took the evil ones with the intention of destroying them, although I will insist on examining them before he does so. Even though the books themselves may radiate evil there could be something to learn from them. Although I could have happily spent days in here, we need to press on. There is another door nearby with an odd blue glow seeping out from underneath, which seems to be the next one that gets searched.
Entry 6.
OH NO, NO, NO. I knew this seemed too easy! The light from that room was coming from a glowing blue orb of energy in the center of the room. Floating within the room was a skeletal figure wearing robes marked with arcane sigils. It makes sense, if there was anyplace that a lich would be found it would be a ruined mage’s academy. As it began to cast I yelled for everyone to get out of there, QUICKLY! We bolted and made it outside in record time. But after a few minutes, nothing happened. We scouted back in and saw that the chamber had been sealed with a Guards and Wards spell? This is most strange? Perhaps this lich is here to guard or keep something imprisoned? Was his eternal vigil the price that the plaque spoke of? It may be worthwhile to see if we can communicate with it at some point. But first, we decided to resume our exploration.
Entry 7.
Our exploration continued. We discovered several more interesting and strange things. Some parts of the building were collapsing, while the next room was perfectly intact. A magical examination room contained an image of some sort of creature that I’d never seen before (along with several instruments used to study magical properties, which I of course couldn’t just leave), but most interesting was a nearby room. It had a strong yellow light coming from under the door. Callard found an enchanted sword just outside, the previous owner having been vaporized by some powerful force. Wilhelm went to peek into the room. He opened the door a crack and light as bright as the sun poured out. His silhouette changed for a moment, his limbs contorted, his hands became clawlike, and he later reported that his flesh took on characteristics of a reptile. Luckily he was able to close the door and make it out of the area where he returned to normal. This room is definitely off limits.
Entry 8.
We went back to the front. Wilhelm chose to stay a rest for a few minutes in what seems to be the room of a higher ranking official. It had a nice 4 poster bed that was still intact. The rest of us found a room that had many holes in the floor that led deep into the earth (I wonder what may have dug them?). I didn’t want to press on too far ahead as a split party so I returned to fetch Wilhelm. I must confess that I was unprepared for the condition in which I found him. He was sprawled upon the bed, fondling the breasts of 2 very attractive elven wenches! I asked him to explain himself, namely who were the women and where had they come from? My questions became moot as they faded away when he jumped of the bed. Some spell effect, very impressive. It seems that the former occupant of this room had a… recreational feature incorporated into the room or the bed.
Entry 9.
The hallways beyond the hole filled room led into a tunnel beneath the yellow light room. It split into 4 directions which seemed to lead to the building’s rear. It was decided that we would finish exploring the main level before inspecting any avenue that might lead to other levels. Therefore we returned to the section we had just explored and proceeded down a passageway toward the back of the academy.
Entry 10.
Damn elves and their confounded architecture! We began to explore the buildings rear. The tunnels curved and dipped for no apparent reason, it was worthwhile though. In one room we discovered a few magical weapons, along with a well of pure magical energy! It seems that the elves used it in the forging of magical items. Callard took a drink of it and was nearly morphed into… something else. It is fortunate that he has a strong constitution and was able to shake of whatever effects the threatened to overcome him.
Entry 11.
We were not able to explore much further. Of the 2 passages before us, 1 was blocked with rubble that only Wilhelm and Varel could navigate. Wilhelm went on alone while we searched the other. The passage forked, one side being a dead-end containing shrines to various elven gods. They reacted badly when Callard approached. The other tunnel was blocked with a self regenerating web spell. We burned our way thorough to discover that the room beyond had collapsed. With that we returned to check on Wilhelm.
Entry 12.
We returned to the room blocked by rubble and Varel squeezed through to join Wilhelm on the other side. According to Wilhelm, they also discovered some smaller sets of quarters, a rather well stocked alchemy lab, and a tunnel that connected up with the one we’d discovered earlier. That was fortuitous as that big lummox Azroth decided to try and clear a larger path through the rubble by pushing some of it out of the way! He succeeded only in bringing down more debris which completely sealed off the rooms beyond and making a great deal of noise.
Entry 13.
Wilhelm and Varel quickly made their way back around to region us. As they traversed the under passage they had heard the sounds of several creatures moving. Most likely they were coming up through those rat holes that we discovered in the front room. I suggested that we make hast back to the front hall and wait. This way we can either funnel them into a chokepoint so as to dispatch them easier or be close to the exit should we need to make a hasty retreat.
Entry 14.
We had to wait a short time, once the sun had fully set, they came. Half a dozen morlocks scampered out of the holes like spiders. They didn’t seem like much of a threat, until the sorcerer among them dispelled the globes of light over our heads. The light from Callard’s new magical blade served well enough for us to see and we continued the battle. I had some success keeping them at bay with a grease spell, and my elemental worked well with the others to eliminate most of the threats, even though it hindered our advance on the caster. That didn’t seem such a problem until he dropped a fireball on our heads. Azroth was able to move up and hit him with one of his hearty blows and seemed to be well on his way to dispatching the creature, until it charmed him. I’ll admit to some trepidation as he whirled on us, mouth foaming in his berserker rage. Thankfully, Wilhelm was able to put him too sleep, enabling Varel to run up and drop the morlock with a dagger through the eye.
Entry 15.
As night had fallen and we had sustained some wounds, we elected to halt our exploration and take some rest. I felt the ruins too dangerous to camp in and therefore we chose to lock ourselves into the bedroom with the enchanted bed. How excited some of the others became upon discovering its properties was quite amusing. I, however, have other pleasures to occupy my mind. I resolved only to sleep the bare minimum needed to ensure proper rest. I feel like a starving wolf, mad with the hunger to tear into the tomes that we’ve found. What spells, rituals, or secrets can they hold? There is also the matter of the remaining magical books still in the libraries. I also need time to properly look through them, what I would give for a bag of holding! Not to mention what can await us in the yet unexplored alchemy lab! Even though some part of me is wondering if we should call it good and escape with the loot that we’ve got, I can’t not go on, the others agree. I must sleep now; this room seems quite secure, even though we’ve heard intermittent scratching on the door. It seems to have held solid all these years; I trust that it will hold a few more. We will set a watch all the same.

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Campaign Journal of Burned Seth.
This is the journal of Burned Seth, Wizard; Shattered Shield Company

Session 9.
Entry 1.
We approached the walls of Botten, finally, this trip was at an end! As we got closer though it seems that our relief may be premature. The city was in a terrible state! There were holes in the walls and no guards manned the gates. As we entered the city, we saw signs of terrible destruction and neglect. Many of the buildings were boarded up and abandoned, others showed signs of having been burned. The people were ragged and disheveled, indeed, they appeared more as refugees than citizens. What is cause of this?
Entry 2.
As we stood, taking in the sights, we were approached by Robert Silverheart, capt. of the town guards. He informed us that the state of the city was due to the “light of judgment”, a beam of light that strikes down from the heavens and smites evil doers. Its source was a temple of Zakharis somewhere to the north. It seems that this light isn’t too discriminating in its targeting and that collateral damage is a frequent effect, both in terms of people and property. So who decides what is evil? At any rate, Capt. Silverheart was able to direct us to a decent inn so we could rest. He also offered us his services as a source of information about the city itself. We thanked him and went on our way. I need to take some time to examine our takings from the dragon hoard, plus some proper rest would be welcome.
Entry 3.
After some rest I got to work. Not a bad haul altogether, the wand of dispel magic, 3 potions of cure moderate wounds, the chalice of Bok, bowl of Malik-Ro, and about 22,000gp in gems. I doubt that we’ll be able to sell them until we get back to Carnley, which is our next problem. As there is no way in hells that I will risk the passage back south through the mountains, we need to find another route. We also need supplies, so it’s back to Capt. Silverheart, hopefully he has some advice.
Entry 4.
We found Capt. Silverheart at the guard’s barracks, He pointed us in the direction of a merchant that should meet our needs. As for an alternate path south, he didn’t know of one, but suggested that the priests of the temple should posses that knowledge. He offered to guide us there himself. As there seems to be no crime in this city, I imagine that he might be looking for any chance at a little excitement, we accepted his offer. After a quick stop to purchase some horses and a wagon, we set forth.
Entry 5.
There was no road, so the trip was mostly overland. We encountered no other travelers and only met with minor resistance in the form of a group of giant ants. We manage to dispatch them with a small amount of effort and only a few injuries. In the end, sword and spell was more than their match. We made haste from the area before any more came along.
Entry 6.
We arrived at the temple after 3 days of travel. It was a massive 15 story tower with a small shanty town built around the base. There were about 2 dozen armed guards mulling about, none of whom looked friendly. Indeed, the addition of a handful of elves and dwarves hung up on gibbets also didn’t lend faith that visitors were welcome here. The guards were mostly human with a half-elf or 2 in their ranks and given their hostility to Wilhelm when he tried to speak to them, I’d wager that this is a hard land to be a demi-human within.
Entry 7.
I approached and spoke to a woman who seemed to be in command on the tower doors. Upon advising her that we sought alternate passage through the mountains due to the dragon, she calmly advised us that in a few years when the tower was taller that the problem would be handled. With the matter-of-fact tone that she used one would have thought that she had just asked us to wait a few minutes for a loaf of bread. I politely asked if there was any other option available as we didn’t have a few years to wait. She suggested that someone by the name of Saul could help us, but he was busy now. She claimed she would pass along our request for an audience and he would possibly see us when he had time. So we made camp a ways off and decided to wait a bit.
Entry 8.
Saul came out of the tower around sunset to speak with us. Everyone got a bad feeling off of him. He was pleasant enough, but his words had a malevolence beneath them. It seems that their light of truth has a range of 4-5 days travel around the tower, though they are working to increase it, they seem to want to cover the entire country. They also have used it to wipe out the elven populations in the area, although he phrased it more gently than that. He recommended that as the mountains were impassible, that we try an Elfgate located in a destroyed elven village to the north. This seems like our only option. While the rest of us retired to discuss matters, Shengas asked for and was given a tour of the tower, being of the same faith. He described a large glowing crystal the size of a man on the tower’s top floor, undoubtedly the source of the light. I wish I could have examined it. At any rate, though we agreed that this tower and sect was well on its way to becoming a threat, we didn’t feel that we were strong enough to intervene right now. Also, we have some time on our side. The tower can wait. For now we need to return home.
Entry 9.
We kept moving north and after 2 days arrived at the town of Lakeview. That place was even more of a nowhere than Botten. We stayed only long enough to rest and resupply before moving on. We had gotten most of the way to the village when we were ambushed by a harpy! Her song influenced some of the group and drew them to her, luckily our bard was able to counter her song with one of his own. Between the others and my elementals, we were able to defeat her without taking too much damage.
Entry 10.
After 1 more day of travel we arrived at the ruins of the elven village. Every structure had been torched and stood in the center of a blast radius, the “light of judgment” again. We saw the charred bodies of elves all around us, and in the village center, The Elfgate. Before we could take any further actions, however, we were distracted by the remains of the villagers staggering to their feet. After a death as horrible as this, it is no surprise that these poor wretches linger on as some form of undead. Callard wishes to end their torment, I want to clear the way to the gate. Let us begin.
Entry 11.
As the zombies advanced, I attempted to slow some of them with a web. It worked for a few moments while the others continued their advance. Not long after, the fight was joined by a pair of shadows that emerged from the ash surrounding the Elfgate. This could be bad. The rest of the party was dealing effectively with the zombies and I had summoned a pair of fire elementals to try and handle the shadows. Unfortunately that plan didn’t work out like I’d hoped. Despite doing some damage to the shadows, the zombies quickly brought them down. Callard and Azeroth were hit by their strength draining attacks, indeed, Callard was nearly destroyed. Azeroth was reduced to dragging him away from one particular shadow that seemed fixated upon him. In the end, between my magic and Shengas’s healing bursts, we were just able to kill both shadows before we lost Callard. The sigh of relief as the last one fell was palpable.
Entry 12.
The rest of us gathered and burned all the remains that we could find, then I took a look at the gate. It is a magnificent creation. A 20 foot tall arch covered in runes with a mist filled gateway. So the gate was still active, I wish that I had some means to scry the destination. Among the runes was the word “Salae”. From my readings, I remembered that it was the name of an elven town on the coast a few days east of Imyara. That puts us on the right side of the mountains at least. Though I’m nervous about traveling through elvish lands, this is our only option.
Entry 13.
We elected to camp and rest for a few days so as to return Callard and Azeroth to a better state before our departure. I made sure to remind all those involved to keep a tight lip regarding any encounters that we have had with any elves. That being said, we packed up camp, and made our way into the gate to (I hope) Salae.

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Campaign Journal of Burned Seth.
This is the journal of Burned Seth, Wizard; Shattered Shield Company

Session 8.
Entry 1.
We returned to Carnley and made a report to Keryn. After receiving a modest reward, we discussed the elven mercs and the caravan to the North. The elves had not delivered any relevant information and her interrogators were unwilling to go any further, we may need to find a new avenue on that front.
Entry 2.
I returned to the group and after some discussion we decided that tracking down the Rose didn’t hold much profit and that our best bet would be to join the caravan. Knowing that it would be a hazardous journey, Callard and I went to see if We could enlist the Shining Swords as some extra muscle.
Entry 3.
Our attempt to rally the Shining Swords didn’t go as I’d hoped. They hinted that they had other things to do, probably too busy drinking and whoring. In all fairness I can’t say that I blame them, they just pulled in a nice payday and why not hang out and enjoy it for some time.
Entry 4.
I returned to Keryn’s estate to seek her advice. She was supportive of our idea to join the caravan; she even offered to write a letter of recommendation. Nice of her to make the offer. As I was unable to get any more help, I asked if she had any leads on some new recruits. She directed us to a Halfling Bard, Wilhelm. He seemed amiable enough. We all then presented ourselves to the merchant, a dwarf called Doath Zannah; he hired us at once and announced that we depart the next day.
Entry 5.
We left at dawn. Along with us were 3 other guards; Drem, a human who used to be a town guard and 2 goblin mercs; Spaz & Slosh. We traveled without incident for 2 days, reaching the foothills of the Banerock Mts. when we encountered a hive of very large bees. We tried to slip by but unfortunately some of the bees took offense to our presence and attacked. We were able to fight them off with little trouble though and continued onward.
Entry 6.
The next day we’d entered the mountains proper and were traveling along the path which was sandwiched between the river and a sheer rock wall. During the afternoon 2 giant scorpions ambushed us. Drem took a couple nasty stings and Callard reacted badly to the scorpion venom as well, I was able to web one of them into place and beat it down with an elemental while everyone else took out the other on. It finally managed to escape but Varel killed it before it got too far. Sheangus patched Drem up so we could continue.
Entry 7.
The next night as we were about to camp a shadow passed over head. Against the light of the moon we observed the silhouette of a dragon! Undoubtedly Kerra’Syx out hunting. As quickly as we could, everyone pressed themselves against the rock face and made like a stone. After a few minutes she moved on, cold camp tonight my friends. I’ll risk no fires.
Entry 8.
Our luck just couldn’t hold. The next day we sighted the dragon again. Once again we hid and hoped to pass beneath her notice. As a precaution, we sent Aranmiel up ahead to scout the path. A ways up the road he found our path blocked by a fresh rockslide. As we drew closer we saw that it several of the rocks had huge claw marks on them. By the Gods. At that moment she came. Kerra’Syx dropped down between us and Aranmiel. Her presence immediately caused everyone but Doath, Callard and myself to run in terror. Most of them went into the river.
Entry 9.
This is not good! I immediately began trying to talk Kerra’Syx into sparing our lives. Not an easy task when here first words were “Oh good, fresh meat.” I attempted a combination of groveling, flattery and self depreciation hoping that I could convince her to see our value in ways other than food. After a few minutes she seemed to agree and ordered us to unload all the trade goods as a tithe to her. Doath grumbled fiercely about this but luckily he held his tongue. Aranmiel unfortunately didn’t. After an ill considered comment about Kerra’Syx being pathetic for accepting such miserable tribute, she responded by eating him. The 3 of us were then ordered to begin carrying the goods to her lair while she ate our horses. Sigh, we aren’t having much luck keeping mounts alive these days.
Entry 10.
We were force marched northward, off the road, past the rockslide, up into the mountains. We marched for hours until we finally reached a hole in the ground. This must be the lair of Kerra’Syx, it resembles the description as recounted to me by the sage Shum. She lowered us and the good most of the way down, then spent some time having us move it from here to there until she was satisfied. Then she decided that she wanted to see a play! We put our heads together and came up with a comedy routine. We made right fools of ourselves which seemed to amuse her and after the 6th performance we were ordered to begin counting coins while she settled down for some sleep.
Entry 11.
While we counted, Callard did some inventorying. Amongst the coins we found a hammer inscribed with lightning bolts (a thundering hammer perhaps), The scabbard of Arbold Forez (a hero of his church), the Bowl of Malik Ro (a holy relic of some other faith), the Chalice of Bok (Success… hopefully), a black wand set with a diamond (wand of dispel magic), and an engraved sealed scroll case. Quite a hoard Kerra’Syx has here.
Entry 12.
The next morning Kerra’Syx awoke and I thought to try a new plan. I approached here and humbled myself, asking if I could trade information for our lives and freedom. She said no deals but if I withhold anything I would end up as her breakfast. I then recounted to her the fall of Garandor, making particular emphasis on the fact that few escaped and no one had anytime to remove anything from the city. Therefore, all the riches and magics of Garandor were just lying there, buried in the ruins, waiting to be claimed. She seemed highly interested in this, and after a moments thought, flew up out of the lair. For a moment we had hope, then she moved a huge boulder over the entrance and took flight to the south.
Entry 13.
Finally! Given the distance between here and Garandor’s ruins, I figured that it would be 5 days flight there and 5 days back. Just to be safe/paranoid, lets assume that she stops and examines the ruins for no more than a handful of minute before returning and may be a faster flier than I estimate, that taken into account I give us 9 days to be well away from the mountains. I set everyone to work searching for an exit.
Entry 14.
Callard noticed that there was a gap between the boulder and cave edge. We sent Doath up with the hammer and a rope, the idea being to wedge the hammer into the opening and attach the rope so that we could climb up and hopefully squeeze thru. Instead he climbed up and struck the boulder with the hammer? The resulting concussive blast broke away a piece of the boulder and sent Doath crashing to the ground. We now have an easy way out.
Entry 15.
I firstly tried to send Kackle up with a rope attached to my staff, hoping to catch it on something. That didn’t work and eventually after a few attempts, Doath made it up with a rope and tied it off. He requested that we bring the hammer, we did so, Callard also grabbed the scabbard and the chalice while I got the wand and the sealed scroll case. I then took 5 minutes to gather up all the jewels that I could get and then we left.
Entry 16.
I wanted to head back to Carnley, but that would mean that the dragon and ourselves would eventually be moving towards each other, I think it would be best that we continue on to Botten. We set out as quickly as we could, we will walk through the night and only stop to rest when we drop from exhaustion.
Entry 17.
Meanwhile, the others who had jumped into the river were being washed downstream. Once Azeroth regained his senses, he noticed the others in the river and went in with them. They then proceeded to get swept down a waterfall into an underground cavern.
Most got knocked unconscious but the few who weren’t were able to save the rest. There was one casualty, it seems that Slosh killed Spaz while trying to save him.
Entry 18.
Spaz was sent out to scout the area. He quickly returned to report that lizardmen were advancing on their location. Wilhelm spoke with them and was able to convince them that they were friends of Kerra’Syx, whom the lizardmen seemed to worship. After a short conversation they agreed to show everyone the way to the surface.
Entry 19.
After a short trek, they reached the entrance to the surface which was only accessible via a steep climb. To prevent any …misunderstandings, the barbarian had been bound and gagged, but making the climb up necessitated his release. With a little effort, everyone was able to get out. Finding themselves on the eastern shore of the river, they began to head North.
Entry 20.
They preceded northward, progress slowed by having to go cross county. Eventually, due to our rapid pace and reluctance to stop, we caught up with them. Using the message spell and Kackle as a courier, we advised them of our escape from Kerra’Syx and the need to get out of the mountains as quickly as possible.
Entry 21.
Both groups then matched pace towards Botten, looking for a safe place for the others to ford the river and come back to the road. Not finding one nearby we eventually had to camp. The 2nd group was attacked during the night by 3 giant ants but they were able to kill them all before we could intervene.
Entry 22.
The rest of the journey was uneventful. We found a shallow point in the river just as we left the mountains. From that point it was a short ways before we sighted the walls of Botten! Thank the Gods! Now this has been an adventure! To have survived an encounter with Kerra’Syx the scourge of the Banerock Mts. is no small feat. I can hardly wait to examine the contents of the scroll case I took, and hopefully the gems that I grabbed will fetch a good price too. Then we need to see about getting back to Carnley, which could be difficult seeing how we can not venture into the Banerock’s again until we are ready to kill Kerra’Syx.

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