Khalaq

Session Three
When push-off comes to shove-off

After taking time to investigate the cave, including the bodies of the poor souls sent there to die, the party leaves with several jars of acidic substance and a note describing a kidnapping raid similar to the one in Silver Reef outside of an area called “Slanger”. The party makes there way back to town by boat only to discover that the town was overrun by the undead. The only people unscathed were a man and his crew flying the same green flame symbol that the kobold leader had on his robes. The party fought and rowed their way past the docks and along the coast, down the peninsula, trying to find a shore to dock on and a way back home.

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Session Two - Part Two
The Enigma of the Kobolds

Araevin’s Log
March 20th, 2016
Day Two, Nightfall

We awaken from our rest, still weary from the night before. The night is cool and the sea by our sides is still. Above the cliffs, patrols can heard searching the forest. There is no way of knowing just how many lie in store for us, but we can’t remain in hiding any longer; a plan must be made. We gather some supplies and convene for a moment, before scaling the cliffs to execute our strategy. The patrols have spread out to the farther reaches of the forest; now is our chance. Keira perches herself above the mouth of the cave, and Fae and I take point in the tall trees on either side. Holding ground in the center of the formation, Itab casts a spell of illusion centered on the mouth of the cave. Radiating from an invisible source, loud hoof beats and creaking carriage wheels fill the wooded night. The sounds of shuffling footsteps and clanking weapons prove our plan has worked. Emerging from the cavern nine Kobolds strong. We waste no time. A volley of arrows and fireballs careen towards them, as Keira leaps down, sword in hand. It takes mere seconds slay the last of the small beasts.

As we regroup at the mouth of the cavern, a voice in common beckons us inward. We are unsure of how to proceed. Horrors of the ambush from the day before cloud our judgment, making us leery to enter the cave, yet we know the patrols are still out there. Dole Featherstaff enters appears seemingly from nowhere, but we don’t have time to ask questions. A barrage stones from the outlying patrols fall upon us. Our decision is made for us. We sprint for the heart of the cavern; towards the depths were a howling pain could earlier be heard. It was time to face whatever darkness lie in store for us.

The heart of the dark cavern is dimly lit; the only light source a few candle stubs nearing their end. The round room is filled with books, crumpled parchment, vials of varying substances, and an array of small tools. Draconic symbols are etched in the walls; the same phrase over and over, “The Ashwood staff is wreathed in flames.” Lying on a table in the back are two dead and mutilated townspeople. Standing ominously in the center of the room is the hooded figure. As our eyes meet his gaze he lets out a raspy cackle, “I’m so happy you were to join us,” the figure croaks, as a small scaly hand rises from under his cloak, motioning towards the large wooden beam beside him. The dim light didn’t allow us to take notice of the horror when we first entered, but it was clear now the origin of the shrieks of pain. Nailed to the top of the beam was the town’s fur trapper. His arms were splayed out as he hung from them. A large cavernous void lay where is abdomen and chest once were; he had been gutted from throat to groin. What monster could have done such a thing? The figure cackles loudly, “We have been working so hard, and I think you will enjoy our wondrous creations.” Before we can say anything a black, inky shadow emerges from the void in the trapper’s chest, slithers down the beam, and disappears into the shadows of the wall. Stirring behind the figure with a loud moan, the two townspeople from on the tables sit up and begin to limp towards us. The hooded figure drops his cloak to reveal his scaled Kobold skin, and takes flight into upper heights of the cavern. We waste no time attacking our enemies. Hoping the he is the source of our foes newfound life, Fae and I direct our bows at the flying figure above. After a few carefully placed shots the Kobold falls, but his creations do not follow. The undead are unarmed and prove no difficulty to Keira’s faithful sword, but the shadow is much more elusive. Itab casts a fireball spell, but it backfires and turns him into a sheep while Fae, Keira, and I struggle to the land a blow on the on the inky enigma. In a last ditch effort we throw one of the green vials at the shadow. The acid-like substance burns the shadow, which let’s out a screech and retreats into the shadows of the walls; but the sizzling burns make it easy to track. In its weakened state it is unable to avoid the last volley we deliver upon it, and our enemy falls, defeated.

The cave is still once more.

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Session Two - Part One
The Unnamed Cavern of the Eastern Shore

Araevin’s Log
March 20th, 2016
Day Two, daylight

We awake reluctantly in our beds at the tattered Inn. The sobs and cries of the townsfolk drift in through the broken balcony window as they sift through the rubble and ruin of last night’s raid. Many were made a widow last night, and though the dawn is bright, the day is dark. Nothing is said as the five of us gather our supplies; we all knew our adventure was just beginning. As we walk out into the daylight, the sights were even more dismal than the sounds that awoke us. Rotting entrails and snapped bones litter the streets. Broken furniture, shattered pottery, and soiled clothes are strewn about the bloodstained dirt. The town is eerily quiet. Were so many lost? A dull roar coming from the docks in the North answers my question. As we near the docks, we see what is remaining of the townsfolk in an uproar. Men and women alike are shouting, weapons drawn. Guards are struggling to maintain order in the chaos. All is centered on a single man, a bandit, bound by the wrists and standing up on the waterlogged planks of the main dock. The town’s mayor, guard’s at side, pleads that everyone remain calm, but the crowd is growing more restless by the minute. “Kill that scum!” booms a voice over the angry mob. "String him up!” Rightly so the people call for his execution, but we need information. The bandit must know who’s behind the disturbance in the eastern caves. Keira attempts to muscle her way through the crowd, but even she could not break through the sea of anger and fear that drove them. When brute force fails, Fae Ora seeks to use her stealth to gain access to the prisoner. She swims beneath the dock and scales one of the posts. The guards, however, are vigilant and quickly stifle her attempt, pushing her off the dock and back into the water. It was then, in the shuffle, that one of the woodcutters made it onto the dock, axe in hand. The burly man shouts, “This is for my brother!” Before anyone can react, he raises the blade high over his head and brings it swiftly down, splitting the bandit’s skull. Seeing this, the mob breaks into a riot. We have to get out of here. Luckily Itab is two steps ahead of us. Fearing our attempts at interrogating the prisoner were futile, he commandeered a small vessel to escape the chaos and cross the bay towards the cave.

The eastern shoreline is rough with jagged rock and steep cliffs. As we near the cave, we see a small hooded figure standing in front of a man and two skeletons; bandits from the raid the night before. Suddenly, the hooded figure makes a gesture with his hands and several rocks shoot out of the mouth of the cave and strike the 3 figures standing before him, knocking them lifelessly to the ground. The strange figure heaves backwards as if he is cackling, then retreats into the darkness of the cave. Not wanting to waste any more time, the four of us quickly scale the cliffs and enter the Unnamed Cavern.

The inside of the cave is cool and dark. The shadows dance on the walls, as if they were alive. Movements can be seen everywhere, yet nowhere. The eerie silence is broken only by cries of pain echoing from deep within. As we search the outer depths of the cavern we find countless vials of a strange green liquid, but little else. As we move deeper the cries get louder, but that is not the only thing we can hear. Scraping and slithering sounds echo from out of the walls. The movement is undeniable now; something is watching us. We have barely enough time to draw our weapons before we are outnumbered by small, reptilian-like figures. Despite their diminutive stature, their numbers prove to be no small match for our team. Fae and I fall. I’m unconscious, but Fae clings to life by a thread. These small creatures prove mighty in number, but are no match for Keira’s mighty sword. With Itab fighting by her side, the two finish of the remainder of the ambush and drag Fae and I to safety outside the cave. Once outside, Itab and Keira quickly construct a blind below the cliffs to give us cover while we rest and heal our wounds.

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Session One
The Party Attempts to Join the Walking Dead

The party comes in by ship to the fishing town of Silver Reef. Along the way they introduce themselves to each other; Araevin, Son of Faelyn, a half-elf ranger deadly with his bow and his sword, Wolfsbane; Fae Ora, an elf from a family of country nobles wiped out by a fiendish massacre; Dole Featherstaff, a human druid returning from hermitage with a dark secret not even she understands; Kiera, a dirty fighter who fights dirty from the streets of Shuna; and Itab, a half-elf sorcerer struggling to master himself and his power. They have all joined the Emerald Enclave, for their own reasons, and have now been called to Silver Reef by Omiran Eja, a dark and regal man.

Something is causing the surrounding wildlife to either vacate, or worse, disappear. Omiran senses that it has something to do with recent activity in the nearby caves across the bay. The party decides to spend the night in Silver Reef as it is getting dark and they are unfamiliar with the area. Itab meets a local fur trader who stock is all but gone, save for one rabbit’s foot. Fae meets a group of woodcutters whose fortunes have increased, due to not having to worry about wolves, bears, and the other predators of the woods. Keira meets a lecherous, drunken sell-sword who used to make good money guarding against wolf attacks or maybe bandits, but now has nothing to do but drink. Araevin scouts the surrounding forest which is indeed as empty as it seems. Dole gets to drinking.

As night falls, the party goes to bed save Araevin, who decides to keep watch at the edge of town. As midnight comes, several strange bandits that no one mentioned to the party sneak to the edge of town and conduct a fast raid, taking whatever they can drag back into the woods, including hostages. Araevin has just enough time to warn the rest of the party and get into position before the bandits strike. Fae tries to get to a higher vantage point, but Dole’s help sends her careening off the balcony and to a hard landing. Fae tries to get out of the middle of the street, but her injuries cause her to trip, drawing the attention of a group of bandits. Itab takes on the leader, while Kiera tries to protect Fae. Araevin focuses on the bandits at the edge of town, but the dim light and chaos make it difficult for him to strike his mark. While Itab was able to scare off his opponent, the girls find that the other three bandits are tougher and stranger. They turn out to be undead of varying levels of skill. They are able to knock out both Fae and Keira, who are saved by Dole’s timely healing and Itab’s magical intervention. While Keira does quite a bit of damage, it is Fae and Itab who are able to take down these three undead “bandits”, though Itab would fall as well.

Too ragged to give chase, the party retreats to the Quivering Mare Inn as the rest of the bandit raid returns to the woods from which they came.

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