Heroes of Ethova

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

Session 20.
Entry 1.
Once again our assault has been beaten back! My spells are spent and we’ve lost another comrade. This being our situation, we decided to withdraw and re-think our strategy. We climbed back out of the well and while Lucas took Airnan’s body to the local temple for burial, the rest of us returned to the inn for some retrospection. I took the opportunity to finish my examination of one of the untitled grimoires in my possession. That is two down with 8 remaining. I’ll need to enlist Varel once again. Perhaps now that we are a little older and wiser we will not have the same difficulties as before. At any rate, that will have to wait. There are other matters to dwell upon at the present.
Entry 2.
After mulling the situation over for awhile, it occurred to me that I’ve overlooked something. Based upon a crude map of the lair created from the memories of our assaults and Varel/Airnan’s scouting trip, we determined that the temple was directly beneath a private residence! I’d originally (half jokingly) suggested that we tear up some of the streets and tunnel in from above so as to take them by surprise. This set me to thinking about any other possible connections to the surface. After asking some of the local guards, we were told that the house was occupied by Mekina Velarn a young, attractive and single elven lass. Nothing about her stood out, but the familiar wheels of suspicion began to turn within my mind. An attractive, single woman living directly on top of a temple to the Goddess of scorned love? It just seems … too coincidental?
Entry 3.
Lucas and Varel have volunteered to go and speak with Melina. Although I’d prefer to go as well, they seemed to think that she would be more receptive speaking to elves, or at least a half elf. As she was not home during their first visit, Lucas left a note on her door requesting that she meet him at the temple. Unsure as to how she would respond, we waited and observed from a nearby alley. After a few hours she returned. When it appeared that she would make no effort to respond to Lucas’s request, he and Varel returned. I’d given them some advice regarding her questioning, namely, to be as blasphemous and insulting as possible toward Senina. If Melina did have any connection to the faith of Senina, she should exhibit some reaction to her patron being spoken of in such a manner.
Entry 4.
Lucas and Varel returned with nothing. They reported that nothing seemed unusual about Melina. Although from my questions regarding her behavior I get the feeling that they are holding something back. That being done though, it seems that we have no choice but to return down the well. This time though, we are not going alone. I will be maxing out the number of creatures that I can summon, and we’ve decided to recruit some local help.
Entry 5.
We visited a local tavern and took a look around for some other mercs whom we could recruit to stand guard at the well head and prevent anything from flanking us. I must admit that I was rather surprised at our options, Jtrielle is something of a backwater, but we found 3 prospects. First was Gimmershine, an insect-like creature who described himself as a “treasure hunter”. Next was Steve Grubbin, a human ranger. Last and certainly not least, was Chelsea Darogun, a stunningly beautiful paladin of Ayla. It is said that the faithful of Ayla are some of the most attractive beings in the world, and if Chelsea is the rule rather than the exception, those tales are true. When she heard of the situation, she immediately requested to join us. Happy to have her help, we accepted and then hired Steve to stand sentry at the well. He demanded a bonus for every kill he made. We agreed, provided he could show us a corpse as proof, poor bastard.
Entry 6.
We descended once again, still not as quietly as I’d have preferred and began moving. Steve held back on guard, with Lucas, Resnov and Chelsea taking point. We didn’t even make it into the 1st chamber before they attacked. Once again we were in darkness. Luckily, Reznov had gained some experience fighting in the dark and with the others and my elementals working together, the 1st wave fell quickly. That’s when things began to go badly.
Entry 7.
Things were working out too well. I will admit that it was my mistake that set everything in motion, but in attempting to learn from lessons of the past, I had forgotten another, more important one. That being, some paladins are highly closed minded fanatics! Forgetting that not all paladins are as understanding as Callard or the elven paladins we fought the demon with, I had hoped to eliminate any confusion by alerting Chelsea that she had no need to fear any demons that came forth as I would be summoning them to use against our enemies. With her next question, “You summon demons?”, I knew I’d made a big mistake.
Entry 8.
I tried to offer an explanation. I told of how I was simply using evil to destroy a greater evil. But she was not in any mood to listen. She replied, “I don’t work with demon summoners.” As I was unlucky enough to be standing directly before her, this put me in prime position to take a sword thrust to my shoulder. Luckily the wound wasn’t severe. Even more fortunate, I still had 2 of my elementals right next to her. As she still carried some wounds from the prior fight, between the earth elementals attacks and a volley of spells from myself, she quickly went down. Now I am faced with a moral dilemma! I may not be good, but I am certainly not evil. Whatever evil acts I may have committed are (mostly) outweighed by the good things that we’ve done. Therefore, I have no wish to murder an unconscious paladin. That being said, as much as I don’t wish to kill her, I am more fond of existing than I am of being a good guy. However, she did attack me first. If she didn’t want to work with someone who summoned demons, she could have just left. So, if it comes down to only one of us being able to walk away from this fight, it WILL be me.
Entry 9.
Despite my reservations, Lucas healed Chelsea back to consciousness. As she withdrew, he convinced her to meet with him later so he could offer an explanation. She reluctantly agreed and headed for the well. I do hope that the bard will be around for that conversation. Meanwhile, while we were distracted, the remaining inhabitants of the temple had come forth and several globes of darkness later, we were again in combat.
Entry 10.
We began fighting our way to the temple room. The spite fairy had summoned several demonic wolves to join the battle. For the first time though, the close quarters of the place worked in our favor as not all of them were able to enter the zone of combat. I summoned almost every creature that I was able and along with the others, after a brutal fight, we prevailed. Where the small versions disappeared in a flash of light upon death, the large spite fairy had a more … intense reaction, exploding into a ball of flame when slain.
Entry 11.
After the darkness faded, we searched the area but didn’t find too much. We made sure to destroy the profane altar and render it unusable as a place of worship. We then returned to the surface, but not before I took Steve aside and slipped him some gold to have him keep an eye on the paladin and alert me to any actions that she may try to take against me. Upon hearing of our success, we were quickly paid our reward. I think we are due some rest. Although, I must remember to go and check about Melina. I’m still convinced that there is a connection between her and the spite fairy, if in fact she wasn’t the spite fairy after all.

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

Session 19.
Entry 1.
We returned to Jtrielle and took a room at the inn. After some discussion, we decided to explore the possibility of soliciting an offer from the city leadership to clear out the warrens in the well beneath the town. Although none of us are really excited about the prospect of fighting in that rats nest, we can’t deny the advantage of being able to operate so close to a secure base of operations. According to the innkeep, the town is run by Mayor Elohart’luthe. I’ll go pay him a visit tomorrow.
Entry 2.
I spoke with the mayor the next morning. He offered 250 gp for the job. Not much, but hopefully there will be more down the rabbit hole so to speak. I made request for supplies to aid us in our next assault on the goblin lair. He promised to send a request, but was not optimistic about its success, despite my claims that the goblin threat was greater than anyone suspected. At any rate, before I left he also pointed me in the direction of a sorcerer who was looking to join up with an adventuring group. Hopefully this streak will break soon.
Entry 3.
The sorcerer Adrian was eager to join. After some preparation we made our way to the well and began our descent. We were trying to make our entrance with some stealth when Resnov lost his grip on the rope and fell. He was unhurt, but lost us the advantage of surprise. The creatures came soon after. With their globes of darkness and poisoned blades, the battle took twice the time that it should’ve.
Entry 4.
With the fight over, and weakened from the poison, Resnov, Adrian and I retreated, while Airnan and Varel went further in to do some reconnaissance. They barely made it out. After sneaking around to the back of the cave, they observed a larger creature in a chamber that had been converted to a makeshift temple to Senira. It preformed some ritual that generated 6 more of the small creatures! It was at this moment that Airnan kicked over some pebbles and signaled their presence. They had to fight a running battle to get out. Varel caught so much poison that he collapsed. Luckily Keros had stayed behind to provide support and despite Airnan slowing things down by attempting to get himself pulled up with Varel, we got everyone out alive. A trip to the local temple where, Keros’s intervention along with a generous donation was able to secure us enough restorations to get everyone back into fighting shape by the next day. Varel had also managed to come out with some trophies, bones and possessions of slain villagers that had been worked into some type of fetishes?
Entry 5.
Based upon the report given by Airnan and Varel, we were able to piece together something of the story behind our current situation. The creatures were speaking Aklo and the large one was called a spite fairy. It creates the small creatures by putting the souls of others of its kind into the constructed bodies. This poses a problem. Before, I was hoping to be able to bleed them to death. But since their numbers can be constantly replenished, we need to take the big one down or else we will never defeat them. So back we go.
Entry 6.
We began our 2nd assault on the complex. Due to our previous experience, I felt that to achieve maximum stealth, we should lower ourselves down the well. That plan didn’t go so well. Varel had descended 1st to secure the well while I was to be lowered down next. Unfortunately, Reznov lost his grip on the rope and I hit the well bottom like a rock! I was unhurt, but our element of surprise was ruined! So we pressed on anyway.
Entry 7.
I began summoning, while the others hurried down. We had all gotten down and were still unchallenged? So, after leaving some creatures behind as a rear guard, we proceeded down the left passage. It looped around, emerging into a side chamber, that’s where they waited!
Entry 8.
The creatures were lying in wait, hiding in concealed alcoves in the walls of the room. When we entered, they attacked! Airnan had blundered deep into the room and was quickly surrounded and cut down! We managed to dispatch the rest, even though they managed to avoid most of the spells Adrian threw at them. Rogues! At any rate we finally cleared this area. Now what do we do? Most of my summons are spent and we are now down a man. If we withdraw, we will just have to re-fight our way back in, but those who remain will be stronger. If we continue on, this could end up a repeat to the disaster in The Darkwoods.

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

Session 18.
Entry 1.
As we were waiting at the cave entrance, catching our breath, fortune finally smiled upon us. Wilhelm returned from scouting the area and he brought reinforcements. While he was away, he’d stumbled upon a young cleric by the name of Keros who’d also been scouting the area. It seems that there have been a number of disappearances in the region, attributed to goblins, and he was investigating the situation. After some much needed healing, we decided to withdraw and rest. First though, Wilhelm and Varel decided to scout around to determine if any additional entrances to the warrens existed.
Entry 2.
After some looking around, they discovered 2 other possible means of entry. There was a secondary, less well guarded tunnel and a narrow passage that was carved by a stream as it ran underground that could be accessed by someone crawling through it. This could be useful later on. For now, however, we must rest. We retired to a small hillock 2-3 miles away to rest. Reznov began digging a trench around it while some of us began to rest.
Entry 3.
Grrr. Rest it seems is going to be denied us. About an hour after setting up camp, a goblin patrol ambushed us. They charged in, luckily Reznov’s trench served as a decent fortification. Having gotten used to disturbances, I slept thru the beginning of the battle as no one tried to awaken me. We were able to defeat them without too much effort though. Hopefully that will be the only interruption that we will need to face.
Entry 4.
We can’t seem to catch a break today. Sometime later, A new attack wave came. We were on a heightened alert and they were spotted sooner this time. Once again we had to repel their assault. This fight was somewhat more challenging, as the goblins sent in 4 monks as their 1st wave, while the rest held back as archery support. I was able to block a lot of them with an obscuring mist, and once the monks went down, we were able to mop up the rest, although Inaria had a rough time of it. The goblins seemed particularly interested in striking at her. Once we’d finished, we decided that relocating even further away would be wise, but first, Wilhelm wanted to stop by the secondary entrance again to see if it was still guarded. I guess he is curious to see if we’ve thinned their numbers enough to pull away all of their warriors. I’m not sure what the point is, even if the passage is unguarded, we are in no position to exploit it.
Entry 5.
We set forth to the goblins back entrance. Varel and Wilhelm tried to sneak around, but as the rest of us had been requested to come along, we were quickly spotted. The guards all charged and Inaria was quickly incapacitated, forcing us to eliminate the rest of the guards before we could withdraw. We killed them without much trouble and after the last of Keros’s healing, got out of the area.
Entry 6.
After a couple hours of travel, we camped at a location over 5 miles from the goblin base. We hoped that it would be far enough removed from them to grant us a night of peace. Alas, we were wrong. In the middle of the night, the camp was attacked by a large plains lion! I guess it had been enjoying a good life preying on goblins, but with our reducing their numbers, perhaps it had not been able to find dinner this evening? At any rate, when Jtrielle saw it stalking the camp and alerted us, it charged and unfortunately, with its first blow, tore Inaria’s chest open, killing her on the spot. Not being in any position to do anything, we all backed away until we could make our escape. The last we saw of Inaria was the lion taking her away to feed. Good journey lass.
Entry 7.
After this recent development, we chose to return to Jtrielle to rest and resupply. Given the scope of the goblin problem, we are hoping that we can get some support from the town elders, some money and equipment would be nice! After we get back on our feet we can try this again, By my figures, we’ve eliminate over 120 goblins! With a reduction in their numbers like that, I’m hoping that they will not have as much to throw at us during our next visit.

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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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