MXIII Budding XVIII
Forester Algernon Longshanks hired us to defeat the goat headed demon of Castor. We knew that to stop the demon from transporting here again from Sharda after it was defeated we would have to destroy the portal that had been created by Augustine Darkfire this time last year before. The portal was being powered by three amulets. We sought to find and destroy the amulets as a first goal. Then confront the goat headed demon.
In our party were Forester Algernon Longshanks, Archmage Denser Ranworth, Guild Protector Blacksmiths Godric Godricson, Devoted Brother of Rolbor Justin Silver, Demonologist Aurin, Master Demonologist Samuel Belt, Physician Katherine Amber and myself Guild Enforcer Mercenaries Lewin Fenwarden.
We left Norvic in the direction of Castor under the guidance of Algernon Longshanks. Not far from the gates we were set upon by two gangs of foulspawn. These were dispatched and we moved on.
We then passed through Snettham but there was nothing remarkable to note here. On the road to Deeping we were attacked by undead including a ghoul. We then encountered Brother Joseph of Vleybor collecting donations for the abbey at Wymondham. Many generous donations were passed to him to support the good work that the abbey does for the needy in the Duchy.
Then as we drew closer to Deeping we found it to have been attacked by a dark elf and a demon. The demon and the dark elf were swiftly killed. The dark elf held one of the amulets we were searching for so it was destroyed by the Archmage. The dark elf also possessed an unusual sword, identified by the demonologists as coming from the plane of Sharda. Guild Protector Godric took the sword but was immediately bound to it. Consequently the sword thirsted for blood and seriously hampered the effectiveness of the Guild Protector for the remainder of the mission, wounding him when he tried to resist its urges.
Unperturbed and knowing now that the demon must know of our approach we continued on to Castor. At Castor we fought more dark elves and demons. There was another minion of the demon, a human mage, who had another of the amulets. We manage to destroy the amulet but the mage through use of many magics escaped us.
Forging onward we reached the portal to Sharda. The demon and another mage with the third and last amulet were within a circle of protection. We fought a long battle to breach the circle to destroy both the demon and the amulet. I was unfortunately knocked unconscious for much of the battle but I know that in the end that the demon was defeated, the amulet destroyed and the portal closed.
After I had been brought back to consciousness we searched the area and found that the demon had imprisoned and caged many villagers and gathered great stores of food. The villagers were freed and given the food to take back to their villages. We then returned to Norvic in peace.
MXVI Drawing IX
On IX Drawing I defender Bann gathered in the hiring square at Norvic along with Fae Foalstride of Longstor, doctor Uriah Creep, master distiller Venin, mastersmith Thalnaz Galdoon, guildsman necromancer Alumis Tuntree, order knight Albanus Freeman of the Black, alchemist Vladimir Featherfoot and head of the Griffin Order Gaspar Asturian. Our hirer brought tidings of ill from the mines at Massingham. Swarms of ratmen were causing havoc in the mines. Tales told of a tunnel that led into the dwelling of Mal Zeth and his army of dead. The tunnel had been sealed two years ago by a brave party of adventurers.
We set out on the road to Sparham. The guard at the gates was prepared for winter, wrapped in warm furs he had no warnings to tell of the road ahead. Once outside the walls of the city we were attacked by a horde of foulspawn, among them was a goblin shaman which I quickly dispatched. A hobgoblin was also among them. The foulspawn were defeated and we head onward to Sparham. Sparham was quiet, the guard reported no trouble. The peasants complained of being oppressed. With pressing concerns were travelled onwards to Massingham.
At Massingham we entered the mines. The foreman of the mines described how the ratmen had entered the mines and drew a map of the tunnels. I drew a copy of the map for our journey. We found the broken blockade. Not fearing anything that might lie on the other side we entered the Mal Zeth's domain. Immediately we were attacked by many zombies and ratmen. We pressed them back until we reached a great black pit. Alumis identified the pit had the taint of necromancy. Disturbed by the abominations of nature Fae was compelled to cleanse the pit. Her ritual was interrupted and abandoned as the light in the cave faded. As we retreated mastersmith Thalnaz was able to shore up the breach.
The threat stopped we returned to Norvic and were rewarded. The repair would not last long however and a more prepared party of adventurers must go into the lair of Mal Zeth and bring an end to the wraith's reign.
Praise unto the lady
MXVI Midcold XVII
On XVII of Midcold MXVI the Earl DeMowbray gathered us at Lynn Regis. Head of the Griffin Order Sir Gaspar Asturian came from nearby Hawkwind Keep with Head of the Grey Order Sir Garviel Loken of Medehampstede, Sister Rose Eva and Brother Cragen Dewerstone of Spindlestone and Brisel. Other local adventurers Mother Fae Foalstride of Longstor, Alchemist Vladimir Featherfoot, Master Distiller Venin, Necromancer Alumis Tuntree, Runesmith Thalnaz Galdoon and myself Defender Bann of Crowa joined them.
The Earl proved his good guardianship of the Duchy and had us patrol the coastal road in preparation for delivery of needed supplies and rebuilding of communities ravaged by the Guidanese invasion.
We took the road north east out of Lynn Regis and headed to Rainham. Many foulspawn lurked on the road. Trolls, hobgoblins and orcs beset our party. Their attacks were futile, the beasts were cut down. A darker danger waited us, the corpses were riddled with disease. Any who came into contact with the bodies, even those covered with cloth or gloves became infected. We cleaned and cured ourselves before entering the village of Rainham. I went to speak with the village elder. The villagers had full stores of salted fish but complained of no bread, meat or potato. Later complaints of a lack of salt was also made, risking some stores of fresh fish that might not last the winter. There were signs of damage throughout the village from the recent war and also from a banshee that had been ravaging the nearby land.
Along the coast road to Newton Mother Fae reported of an ill feeling. A wrongness in the natural order and a corruption in the soil. More foulspawn roamed here, again they were defeated. Among them were more diseased bodies as well an Elderkin and other followers of the dark god Krygan. More careful this time none were inflicted with disease before we reached Newton. Newton had signs of being wartorn and ransacked. Its people were starved. Their stores empty and their fields bare. Food for winter and seeds for springtime were dangerously lacking. I tried to encourage those able of body to travel to Rainham were fresh fish was available for those that could offer their labour but many of the villagers were broken of spirit.
We came to the last of the villages along the road, DeRising. Close the DeRising Keep which had been made into a bastion of the enemy during the war the village was more wartorn than any we had seen. The people were stalwart of body and mind. They spoke bravely of how they could survive of the land and guile throughout the coming months of cold, I also recommended any strong body that labour could be traded for fresh fish at Rainham. A darker tale so lurked here too. Tales of meat stolen from stores and of a white elf which visited the inhabitants of the village in the dark of night. On examination those who had been visited by the white elf showed bite marks on their necks and an aversion to the light of Crowa. All the victims were rounded up and questioned. It was decided that the white elf was a vampire and most of the villagers were inflicted with vampirism. To avoid slaughtering the whole village to prevent them becoming thralls of the undead lord we sought out the creature of the night and found it's domain in a nearby graveyard. Necromancer Alumis was able to quickly dispatched the fiend. The graveyard had become tainted by the presence of the vampire and many corpses rose from the corrupted earth to molest us. Whilst we fought the walking dead Fae cast a cleansing over the graveyard. Her efforts and our own prayers returned the dead to their eternal slumber. We returned to the village to check our success. The people of DeRising were no longer at risk but would needs seeds for the ploughing if they were to return to good living their deserved.
The Earl's supplied followed us along the road and our mission was successful. The Earl offered extra pay of one crown each for those that chose it or else it would go to provide extra provision for the villages. After seeing and talking to the villagers, I recognised their spirit and bravery and I donated my crown to the them.
MXVI Deepwinter XXI
Gathered at Caister were the adventurers Doctors Tehya Linn and Uriah Creep, Ranger Reuben, Percy Thrower, Mother Fae Foalstride of Longstor, Brother Mosh of the Templar Order, Mother Rose Eva and two supplicants to the Rose Order and myself Defender Bann of Crowa. We were in Caister to investigate and explore the situation at the mines. Whilst in Caister we spoke with a lady who reported her son Ben the hunter was missing. Others rumours told of missing Longstorians and some lost magic books by the school of Necromancy.
We began our investigation at the house of the foreman. Our arrival at the house was expected so when all was quiet our caution was aroused. Upon entering the house we found the foreman dead and hung from the rafters. The two doctors conducted an autopsy and concluded that the cause of death perhaps murder.
Forewarned that malign forces were at work against us we left Caister to explore the mines. On the road to the mines we were attacked by bandits. Among the bandits were heretic Fygolians. Further along the road Reuben and Fae perceived something amiss. The trees ahead were surrounded in spores, when any of our company came into contact with the spores they suffered great pain. Fae told us that the trees were Fey trees.
Past the trees we discovered a house. The house was empty. Exploration of the house discovered it was the house of Ben the hunter. The hunter had left tracks leading away from the house which led to a bush and suddenly disappeared.
Mercenaries greeted us as we came near to the mines. This militia had been brought recently to guard the mines. The miners had not seen the foreman for days. Fae spoke with the Dverge, they told tales of some of them trying to return to the cave but either being killed or badly hurt.
We reached the village of Ravenshall but found it surrounded by bushes. We passed through the bushes to find many agitated villagers. Also visiting the village was a trader with a Fygolian guard, the pair left when it was clear they were not welcome. The villagers talked of being attacked.
Following the directions given to us by the Dverge we found a cave not far from the village. Outside the cave Fae Foalstride beseeched Longstor to give her sight beyond sight. The lord of the hunt granted her a vision of three Skarahai that dwelt in the cave. She spoke of her vision and told that it would be a hard and bloody fight to defeat the three monsters as they clawed and leapt their way around the clearing outside the cave. Bloody was the battle when fought but we were victorious.
When we came out of the cave night had fallen. In the dusk light we saw dark elves on the road above. The dark elf numbers were great, a war band of many set to attack the village of Bungay. Quick were we to ambush them and forestall their plans. Their numbers alas were too many and we could not stop them. By the time we fought our way back to the village it had been assaulted. We joined in the defence; the dark elves focused their attacks on the mines and the elves which worked there. The attack was fought off. After the battle we sought rest at Asturian Manor. Lord Asturian paid us two crowns each for protecting the mines and his workers.
In the morning we returned to Caister. The lord of Caister paid us our social status for our good deeds. We reported to Ben’s mother that we could not find any trace of her son and assured her that she should keep any reward for herself.
MXVII Thawing XVIII
On XVIII Thawing MXVII we gathered at the hiring square. Our party was Novice Spunds of Sparham, Templar Errant Mosh, High Father Dante Potocki, Ranger Isau, High Guildswoman scout Beff, Brother Francis Teach of Rolbor and myself Defender Bann of Crowa. We were hired to investigate a missing Longstorian. We were warned of Kryganites to the west of Caister and also a strange portal to the fey realm.
On the way out of the gate we hear tale of an old library on the coast at Crowsmere that had opened it doors to the adventuring community. Further along the door we met an unfortunate alchemist, the lady had been a lone traveller and reported that she had been knocked on the back of the head by an unseen assailant. All her potions had been taken and she had forgotten her name. With Kryganites nearby we suspected she was attacked by a corruption of the forest. We counselled the lady to accompany us to Keelinghall and to stay near the middle of the road away from the trees and bushes. At Keelinghall we asked the townsfolk of the Longstorian, they reported seeing them pass through with two guards. We also met Sleeping Jon, a traveller that was sleeping the road. Sleeping Jon said he had come to the town during the night and now rested he would head on to Norvic. We warned Sleeping Jon to watch out for attackers from the trees and to travel together with Lady Forgot-her-name Alchemist. The two travellers set out for Norvic confident that together they could survive the journey. We wished them well and the blessings of the seven.
Not far from Keelinghall we discovered the body of a slain guard, a dagger stuck fast into his ribs. Scouts Isau and Beff searched the area and reported many men entering the area and they after a battle a fast exit. We later concluded that a band of Fygolians had attacked the Longstorian and their guards. Taking the Longstorian and remaining guard prisoner.
Isau and Beff followed the trail left by the Fygolians and we met them selling their prisoners to a group of Kryganites. We attacked them but at least on Fygolian escaped by fleeing into the woods and another simply vanished. After the battle we could not find the Longstorian but did discover a sleeping guard. The guard could not be roused so we buried them under a fall of leaves and planned to return later to take them to safety.
We saw ruins in the distance and when we approached them we found a familiar sight of strange trees with the air around them thick with spores and pollen. The spores caused everyone pain bar myself and Mosh were immune so aware of time I dragged everyone through regardless of any cries of pain or discomfort. After the trees we found a gate, dark elves Kryganites were gathered around it. We put them to the sword but some fled through the gate and disappeared. At the gate a strong fellow was repairing the stonework. I complimented him on his work and he told us of a tower that could be seen yonder.
Bracing ourselves we entered the gate and were suddenly attacked by many men and dark elves. These were the soldiers of the court of Wane. Striking them down we found a Longstorian Father Badger, he had been recently captured and brought here. Strange Fey creatures were torturing people, we saved the people and a skittish fey by the name of Pugh talked to us. He said he was a servant to the Lord of Wax. He had a game of riddles with Dante and reward us with a bag of potions. The potions were labelled in Rhonish but in such a strange and alien place we could not trust such writings so concluding that these must have been the potions Lady Forgot-her-name Alchemist was robbed of we took them with the intention of returning them safely to her.
Ahead in the tree we saw many skinned people and more prisoners. To save any more suffering we attacked the torturers and assaulted the tower. Many defenders guarded the tower but we would not be stopped and won our battle. Many Longstorians were freed including the missing Longstorian we had been hired to find. Suddenly we were all transported back to the gate we had passed through. A voice sung in our head telling us of how we had aided the Lord of Wax.
We headed back to Norvic and collected the sleeping guard on our way home. At Norvic we gave our report and were rewarded handsomely. When we returned the pouch of potions to Lady Forgot-her-name Alchemist it was empty! We apologised and wished her and Sleeping Jon well.
MXVII Springsdawn XVIII
A true account and report on the events that took place on day XVIII of Springsdawn, that transpired to the undoing of Prince Olan’s curse.
It was a humid morning and in Norvic, the carriage from Yurnemouth had been swift and my arrival had not been too late. As I stepped down from the large wooden step I saw that Norvic was indeed a great city, the marketplace a hive of commerce just as busy as the port back home, but what had most captured my attention was the large gathering of fighting men and women preparing weapons and armour it was an impressive sight to see, I reported to the Knight Commander Sir Gaspar along with the other Squires, Winston and Stove, and once we had attended to our Lords armour we were each provided with our holy symbols, bandages and then each presented a weapon. It was an event that filled me with pride, Sir Gaspar then handed to his squires potions to hold onto for the purposes of staying disease, he asked that I hold onto his until he called for them.
We assembled in the Square where the viscount, the Knight Commander and others exchanged pleasantries discussed the mission and Reuben was given the previously acquired fetishes for safe keeping, and we were sent to retrieve another artefact the Eye of Prince Olan in hopes that we may be able to perform the ritual. Everyone did a final check of their equipment and we left the cities safe walls. The present party were Sir Gaspar, Sam, Reuben, Teyha, Orka, Quintus of Karach, Kryhan, Ragnar the Dwarf, Hilda, Astrid, Winston, Stove and I.
On the road outside the city having just shown permits, Sir Gaspar named Sam as Chaplain of the Griffin order, it was a thing to behold I was asked to hold Sam’s sword however the blade was so heavy I was forced to put down my own hammer to lift it. I couldn’t help but think about how I may be knighted in such a fashion one day and wield such a sword, to be in the presence of heroes can be a humbling experience and I was already confident they would see this mission complete no matter who may oppose them. We were called to recite Sidhean and Crowan Sins as we walked the road toward Aylesham until we encountered a large force of the Reanimated dead, Sir Gaspar thought it odd that they would stop up ahead of us and form a shield wall as they did and I suggested it could be the powers of necromancy no matter however as we were called to hold our position whilst Sam completed his spell we were then called to charge the zombies. Sir Gaspar led the charge with Sam and Winston to his right and myself and Stove his left the remaining party brought up the rear everyone fought valiantly but I sustained an injury to my right arm and was in need of medical attention I looked around me as one by one the zombies fell and began to try and stand once more, however these abominations to the Seven were quickly cut back down and slain with holy water. Teyha Lin an Elven Healer bandaged my arm and I was able to assist with the remaining zombies.
We reached Aylesham to find an enormous pit in the ground, the townspeople who were clearly distraught told us of the pits appearance and more disturbingly how the people of the town had risen from the dead and began to walk, I fear they were the zombies we had encountered on the road the town almost deserted already was now unsafe and there would be no protection from the surrounding dangers that plague this land, I suggested to my Lord that we accompany them to safety but he was certain the road back to Norvic was cleared and their passage would be safe. We left them to travel south and continued on our way north.
North of Aylesham we encountered a small group of cadavers they were quickly dispatched with until the appearance of a vampire accompanied by two of its minions wielding disease ridden blades attacked, The Vampire goaded Reuben and told him of tragic tales of a personal nature that infuriated him, the vampire challenged him to a duel and so I stood back as I am forbidden to interfere with such things. However Reuben lacked an enchanted blade in which to slay this villain. He attempted to take the one that Sam was caring for and it was given to my fellow squire Stove for safekeeping unfortunately Reuben compelled stove to hand it to him with an obey spell and charged the vampire their swords clashed briefly before the vampire used a fear spell and drove him into the brush where he was followed and aided by Sir Gaspar and I assume it is there the enchanted sword was retrieved, people attempted to fight the vampire but were also quickly turned away with this dreadful magic, When Reuben returned he attempted to fight but was forced to banish the vampire with his holy symbol of Longstor. In his grief Reuben was screamed a loud and exclaimed his hatred for this creature, I told him he will have his vengeance one day but my mind was on this mission.
Up the path a little we cam across a small group of dwarves they were friendly and gave us some information that may have proven useful in our quest, before heading on as is tradition we all took a moment to initiate the new Griffin Chaplain and introduce ourselves to the people who were not from the order. Leaving the Dwarves we were able to follow tracks that led us directly to Prince Olan. I handed Sir Gaspar his potions and a battle quickly ensued led by the Griffin orders own Knight Commander and Chaplain myself and stove fanned out to the right of them and winston to the left, three of Olan’s warriors were able to pin myself and Stove and I sustained an injury to my hand, as did Stove. As I look at the wound so small I saw it bleed violently as I collapsed with a tremendous feeling of Nausia my entire body began to spasm and convulse as I could not contain the sickness. I looked up briefly before being forced back to the ground with my ailment and saw the battle had continued out of sight and a great many of us lay injured or dying. The next time I looked up from my sickness Teyha was there her medical supplies in hand she cured my disease and bandaged my arm and I stood whilst she did the same for Stove, at that moment I saw the party return with the Eye and Prince Olan Hot in Persuit of them people fought in vain and Reuben fired off his last few enchanted arrows but without a blessed weapon to defeat Olan all seemed lost, Suddenly Sir Gaspar appeared at my side and told us to brandish our holy symbols and chant the names of our gods, we formed a circle around the cursed one and drove him to the ground with its divine aura the fetishes were placed around him and Reuben read the stories and said the words, Quintus did also say his words and when all was said and done, Sir Gaspar took Olans body over his shoulder to return it to his shrine.
As we travelled back south there was but only one delay, a band of Dark Elves attacked us and I was mortally wounded, I collapsed on the ground my arm in tatters a gaping wound in my stomach I leaned against a tree as my vision focused in and out I could see many of my comrades dying in the brush, I was sure I would die when Sam appeared and pressed the wound on my chest stemming the bleeding if for only a moment he saved my life, I remember as I began to drift in and out of consciousness joking that though I may live I will surely lose my arm when he was able to heal it miraculously with his divine power. Teyha arrived shortly after and quickly healed my other wound completely and it was though my entire body had not been harmed. I attempted to help with the other injured and had seen Sam with an injured prisoner, so I went over to assist him, a Crowan worshipper, Astrid, was also present and the prisoner made threats and challenged her at first it seemed Astrid did not wish to fight the prisoner as she was injured but when the prisoner berated Astrid and spat at her, Astrid took her head with an axe. The prisoner died kneeling. I fear for the company I keep on this journey is not all as honourable as once hoped.
On our way to lay the Prince to rest we came across an unusual statue as we walked toward it a shocking wave of force blasted all back but Sir Gaspar as we all approached once more nervous now, Sam at the lead, we were once again repelled but Sam the Chaplain was unharmed. Sir Gaspar took the sword from the statues hands and in his own it became the fabled Sword of the Griffins I and the other Squires took a knee as our lord and chaplain both did and Sir Gaspar trembled as he held the blade in his hands. When he stood and raised the sword in the air the Griffin order screamed ‘death before dishonour’ before taking our leave. In that moment I was no longer unsure of the path I was taking, I would be a knight of this order and wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else in Ithron.
We arrived with Prince Olans body and lie him down in his tomb the ceremony was completed fetishes and all, Winston and I held the chains that once bound him as our Lord cut them asunder and his father blessed the burial and allowed us to take the fetishes to do with as we wished finally able to return to his sleep. Not all attended the ceremony but those who did said moving things.
We returned to Norvic unhindered and with somewhat good news that whilst we could not cure Olan we did succeed in destroying him. When we had arrived I looked around for the peasants of Aylesham but did not see them I can only hope they made it to Norvic safely and until I know for sure it will weigh heavily on my heart.
My honest and true accounting Signed Rhogar Squire of the Griffin Order and Thirdborn son of Khogar Abentor.
MXVII Springsdawn XVIII
We were hired in Norvic to attack a Kryganite shrine which was near to a town. A band of dark elf Kryganites had captured the town and built a shrine. Ranger Isau, High Father Dante, Father Francis Teach, Artemis the alchemist, alchemist Jayms Cobb, Templar Mosh, scouts Beff Triptwig and Arya Hjarta,Father Spunds, Corbin Du Bec Esquire, Pyrrha Esquire, Mother Fae Foalstride and myself Defender Bann gathered and left Norvic and headed to Gelded Stones.
On the way we passed a group of slaves being led by slavers. The slaves did not appear to ill treated so we carried onward. Further along the road a corpse was found. On the body was a bloodied note.
At Gelded Stone the villagers talked of how any beggars had been seized by slavers and illegally taken. They also said that the dwarves had locked their tunnels and nothing had been seen of them. After much knocking they answered Mosh’s calls as he spoke in the dwarven tongue. They told him that dog-people had invaded the tunnels. They knew nothing of the thieves tunnels. They said they would send Thalnaz to ask for help if they need any to deal with the dog-people.
We headed onto toward the town. On the road we met some militia who reported they would attack the town whilst we sneaked through the old thieves tunnels to lead our attack on the undefended shrine.
The thieves tunnels were full of traps. The traps set off alarms, the floors gave way and explosions injured many of the party. We struggle through but injuries halted our progress. When we came to leave the tunnels we were attacked by dark elves. We fought to escape and found ourselves in the town. Someone was in a building who called for help. Francis went to speak to them whilst we continued to be attacked from all sides by dark elves. We travelled through the town, fighting as we went until we came upon a shrine to Krygan. We defeated the guardians of the shrine but had no power to deconsecrate it. The influence of the shrine attempted to corrupt the hearts of those near to it so we retreated to Norvic and reported our victory against the dark elves.
MXVII Springsdawn XVIII
It was with pride and excitement that I, Winston Clarence de Vere, answered the summons of my Lord Commander Sir Gaspar Asturian on that fateful morning. I and two other squires of the Griffin Order had been determined ready to face the ordeals required to become an adventuring knight. Commander Asturian had summoned the new spiritual advisor and Chaplin to Norvic to swear him into his new role but also so we squires could get to know the measure of the man. I must admit I was disappointed to learn of this man’s rough edges and unsavoury past. He used to be a mage. And had a foul mouth upon him. But his heart seemed true, and beneath that rough exterior I sensed a noble (if not by birth) and passionate man.
Sir Gaspar told us of our mission. To lay low some creature of Undeath that was commiting treason against our good King Robert by proclaiming himself king. An abomination that must be destroyed. It seems this Olan – for that was the creature’s name –had been the prince of some long forgotten tribe in years gone by.
We set off with this task as our objective. With us were some adventuring types claiming to various professions and a couple from the sub-human races. I think they were all quietly impressed and bolstered to be travelling in such presence as Sir Gaspar and the retinue we formed around him.
A few miles from the walls of Norvic we encountered our first challenge. I say challenge, but really it was just a few poor souls that had fallen to the curse of Undeath. I charged into battle with my brothers and put many of these creatures down. In the thick of battle I must have been struck from some unseen assailant as I was brought back to consciousness by the elf in our party. A doctor from what I am told. Our party rallied around Sir Gaspar and were thankful for his bravery and skill in arms for I am certain that without him there commanding the peasant folk many of them would have fallen that day.
Proceeding on to Maltask we were inundated with Dwarves. Poor folk could hardly speak the common tongue. One of the peasants attempted to translate for me but it seems that the plight they were suffering from was a hole in the ground. Dwarves worrying about a hole in the ground seemed a strange thing for them to be worrying about as it was probably they stunty oiks that dug the blasted thing. I gave the matter no more of my attention. Whilst we rested from our journey Sir Gaspar decided that now would be the time to haze the new Chaplain in his role. Each of us was to take it in turns to fight a duel against him. He fought with courage and some desperate skill. But I am pleased to report that my superior training bested him. Some of the others may need to tighten up their sword work but we all gave a good accounting of ourselves. More so than the peasants when Chaplain Sam broke from tradition and allowed the hoypoli to challenge his skill in arms.
With that important ceremony out of the way we concluded our lunch and pressed on with the mission at hand. The marshes we travelled through was home to all manner of creature but our enjoyment of the open air was disrupted by the presence of yet more undead. We slew many until we came across the pale white visage of a vampire. This creature was an insult to all that is holy. The Longstorian Ranger the Black Sheep of Sparham was particular perturbed by this. The vampire used its foul magics to befuddle the mind of even myself but I am happy to say I delivered the killing blow whilst the Ranger chanted his Gods name.
After this we came across the one named Olan. Battle was met. With a cry of “Death before Dishonour” and “For the King” I was one of the first to engage the enemy. I slew many undead creatures before once again succumbing to my wounds. Once again the Elf was on hand to get me back into the action. It is a shame the circumstances of her birth, for if it were not for those ears she could almost be considered pretty in a peasant girl kind of way. The battle had proceeded to the south whilst I had been unconscious but now it was coming back to us. Olan was still standing but most of his minions had been destroyed. Forming a circle around him we invoked the name of our respective Gods and were able to lay him low. The Ranger recited the story of Olan, which seemed to have some kind of effect. Chaplain Sam performed one of the Rites of Crowa to purge the filth from the creature’s body. The de Lesanossa Priest performed the Rite of the Dead and bound Olan’s soul to Kharach so he could never rise again.
We had been victorious. Gracious in victory our Commander, Sir Gaspar wanted Olan re-interred in his tomb. The Gods must truly have been watching that day for as we returned Olan a strange glint played off one of the statues. A rush of energy knocked all but Sir Gaspar off their feet. The Gods were amongst us and we were to kneel before them. Removing the Sword from the statue Gaspar revealed to us only what he had seen. The Griffin Blade. Handed down from generation of Knight since aeons past.
With the rest of our party we returned to Norvic to report our success to our patron, the honourable Viscount Charrow.
(extract copied from The Adventuring Journal of Winston Clarence de Vere)
MXVII Budding XX
Arer breaking my fast on a fine breakfast of pickled puddock wih fried eggs, spicy fried poatoes and boiled slugs I bid my booful wife Gerty farewell as I set out from Geldestones to Cropton to offer my humbles sarvices to the Lady Crop.
In the square at Cropton I saw the Knight Commander of Ithron hisself promote the noble squire Winston Clarence de Vere to be an Errant of the Griffin Order. I congratulated Errant de Vere an offered my services as chronicler an baggage carrier. Gathered around were many more witnesses to the occasion. Master brewer Jayms Cobb, Father Francis Teach of Rolbor, Ranger Reuben Volfsbrodir, Father Orka Fireflight of Sidhe, dwarf Ragnar, and elf scout Arya Hjarta had all come to answer the Lady's summons.
Lady Crop told a harrowing tale of a Shadow Council that bloighted her lands. This ere Shadow Council was ruled by the Alchemist, Blacksmith and Physician. A band of evil doers that had created a mighty beast known as the Terrorghast.
The Lady requested two tasks of the adventurers. She was concerned that the Shadow Council had been quiet of late and she feared a great battle. She asked that an army be prepared for battle and the blood of the Terrorghast be brought to her for study so the beasts weakness could be exposed. The Lady gave Father Teach a purse of twenty crowns to hire any mercenaries to join her cause.
Twas fortunate that two of the greatest and noblest Griffin knights came to lead the party of adventurers. Errant de Vere led the party from Cropton to travel to Stukey, Newhome, Bridgetown and the dwarf town of Where You Hang Your Boots. Along the way the plan was to recruit what manner of peoples were found to the Lady's cause. The militant orders of the Crimson Crusade and the Green Cross Knights were to be given the summons too.
I left Cropton and met four gentleman on the road who told me of a tale of woe. They sought work as mercenaries but did not possess the permits for such work. I offered them food and provisions. All were full of belly and declined my offer. Protestations from the adventurers warned me that the fellows might be dangerous but no harm came to me. The fellows talked to Errant de Vere and Father Teach gave the men two crowns from the purse for them to buy permits and report to the coast where the Lady Crop's army was gathering.
The road led onwards and it wasn't long before I saw corpses shambling towards me. Some were rotten and wrapped in filthy bandages, others worn white masks to cover their decayed faces. I fled from the road as the adventurers fought. Hidden in a bush I made my acquaintance of a necromancer by the name of George. I fed the wizard with bread and fish as he told me of the undead creatures the adventurers battled. I asked George if he'd help the Lady Cropton but he said he was already in her service. When I returned to the road I saw one of the masked undead, it looked like a corpse wih a white china mask on its face, the adventurers said the only way to destroy it was to soak it in two vials of holy water. At the ruins of Bastion more undead roamed and a company of dwarves were in battle. Whilst the adventurers rushed to aid them I saw the dwarves hungry bellies and thirsty mouths. I set up a feast of fish, wine, fruit and bread whilst the adventurers finished off the horde of undead. Before the dwarves could eat all my provisions I asked for their agreement that they would join Lady Crop and fight against her enemies. The dwarves were indeed hungry and thirsty and agreed. Father Francis Teach after my pleas paid me three pennies for my losses of supplies. As Father Teach then called upon Lord Rolbor to bless a weapon and I chatted with the dwarves. A fine fellow by the name of Mikden told me they were dwarves from where you hang up your boots. They said they had been mining wood but from what I saw they were gathering wood and cutting trees. Mikden told me of a half elf in Bridgetown that was giving lectures on Dagar Noss, some war or such between the elves.
On the road I met a queer fellow, Igor the hunchback. Igor was gathering a herb which he called Igor Herb, it was he told me that Igor Herb grows where the feyund go. Igor had trapped a feyund in a ring of Igor Herb. Igor theory that Igor Herb from Longstor. Reuben the ranger did not agree with this as he said he saw no aura of his Lord Longstor around the plant. Wherever the power came from it did hold back the undead. I took a sprig of the herb. I chatted with Igor and we talked of the Terrorghast, he said it was made from the parts of other undead creatures, some part of a nightmare, the teeth of a vampire, the bones of Templar death knight, the flesh of a zombie, the heart of an ex-communicant. Igor was a master of alchemy and his research had discerned that alchemy had been used in the Terrorghast's creation. Igor showed us a final demonstration of the power of Igor Herb when he mixed it with spit and destroyed the trapped feyund. Errant de Vere hired Igor for the price of two crowns and Jayms helped him move his laboratory to Cropton so that Igor could help the Lady Crop.
Stout of leg I carried on to where my feet would take me and came upon the town of Newhome. The town was full of rowdy Llamanusians that were hosting an ugly contest. Myself and the alchemist Jayms entered the contest and I Pobbin won. The chief of the town awarded me a blindfold to give to me wife. I told all the Llamanusians of the booty of me wife Gerty and of her great cooking. The Llamanusians needed no persuasion to fight in the looming battle and gathered a warband of eight men and went to meet the others we had sent to the Lady Crop.
The adventurers had Bridgetown and Stukey to visit so I carried on following them and recording their adventures. On the road I met a company of knight known as the Green Cross. There was two knights and a squire of the household of Woolworths. There was more undead which the knights defeated. Errant de Vere passed on the Lady Crops message and Sir Woolworths said he would assemble his men at arms and meet up wih Lady Crop and her army.
At Bridgeton there were refugees from Bastion. A half elf was reciting a poem. I roughly noted it as.
Five years or more ago half elf dark elf, Stole from the darken kin, Coloured ragged cloak, Hides the item of Dagar Noss, A great warrior walks among humans.
The adventurers spoke of a man called Dusty who worn a ragged cloak and spoke of the kinswar between the elves and the item of Dagar Noss.
In Bridgetown was not only half elves but it had men there too. There were three men who introduced themselves with the initial e, s and t. They said they were a company of mercenaries known as the fisty dicks. Errant de Vere enforced militia duty upon them and sent them to gather with the army of Lady Crop.
In the safety of Bridgetown the adventurers began talking of godstones, Pobbin listened. What the adventurers said was strange and at times contrary, this is what I heard. The godstones were made a year ago by the gods and followers in arda or elsewhere. The Seraldan stone is in the hands of the golden dwarf of Fygol. The godstones are protected from the eyes of the gods. After this chat the adventurers walked on to Stukey.
Before Stukey was a warband of orcs wih the Terrorghast. Whilst the adventurers prepared their strategies I set up a stall to offer food to the foulspawn. The Terrorghast was not delayed long before it charged at me and I fled. When I returned to salvage the remains of my stall and provision I found the elf scout Arya injured on the ground. Quick to think I used the blindfold I have been given earlier to bind her wounds. As I performed my kindness a big and ugly ogre stomped toward me, roaring and bellowing. Terrified I grabbed a handful of the scattered and strewn food from the floor and offered it to the ogre. Simple minded the ogre looked down at me in confusion. It was out of desperation that I then jumped at the ogre and stabbed it in the chest with my eating knife. I had to stab it many times before I struck it heart and it fell to the ground wih a thud. When I looked around another ogre loomed over me and knocked me to the ground. I awoke later with the battle over and the foulspawn defeated. My basket had been tipped over and many of my belongings trampled, crushed or lost.
A strange man dressed in a ragged and colourful cloak wandered across the battlefield saying naught but the word dirty. I recognised the man as out of the half elfs poem. I went to speak with Dusty and asked him of the item of dagar noss. He asked he what makes you think you are worthy? I told him that Pobbin had slain an ogre but that I was no hero. Dusty would not answer any other question and would say naught else to me.
Dusty went amongst the adventurers offering the same question them. Father Teach spoke of equals and was not accepted. Sir Gaspar spoke of heroics. Father Orka said he must learn more. Sir Gaspar continued to talk, he spoke of lineage, defence and honour. Dusty spoke of service, he said that he was chosen because he served. Dusty spoke again with Teach. He said that a storm was gathering and would come in three months time. That darkness would spread. He then chose Teach and gave him a magical cloak.
Master brewer Jayms took samples of blood from the defeated Terrorghast. To my eyes its blood looked like blood. Reuben devoted of Longstor described it as clear like water. The priest Father Teach and Father Orka could not see the blood at all.
The beast was not subdued for long and when it awoke I fled. As I ran through a bush I found my basket and recovered much of the food and trappings I had thought lost. The ogre which had stolen it had in its gluttony choked on a fish bone and lay dead. Glad of my good fortune I offered my thanks to Tralda and walked onward to Stukey. In Stulkey were a party of warriors clad in red. They named themselves the Crimson Crusade. The warriors agreed to join the battle against the Shadow Council. Sir Gaspar asked them of their beliefs and they answered that they were students of war not a religious order and that their leader was Nathaniel Blackmore.
When I returned to Cropton I reported to the Lady Crop that four crowns and three pennies had been spent gathering recruits for her Ladyships army and that I would send my report to her.
I was grateful at the end of the day to go home to me wife Gerty and a home cooked meal. Famished I reckon the next time I travel to chronicle the adventurers of Norvic I shall bring me missus with us to cook me meals and keep me fed during the journey lest I collapse from an empty stomach.
An eyewitness account of the adventurers of Norvic Pobbin Toadhunter
MXVII Shoring XVII
It was a baking hot day and the young ones were paddling in the pond when Ma Gertie fried me a plate of eggs as I filled my pack. After breaking me fast on fried eggs and poached toads I set of a walking to Norvic. At the hiring square I met many adventurers I knew from reputation or from past journeys with them.
The greatest hero of Ithron the Knight Commander Sir Gaspar Asturian had around him many adventurers of renown. There was gathered Sir Bec de Corbin, Ragnar the Forgetful, master brewer Venin, Father Spunds of Crowa, doctor Tehya Linn, ranger Reuben. I mister Pobbin Toadhunter joined their company to record their adventure.
Guard sergeant Hartford the aide to Viscount Hawkwind greeted the adventurers. He asked them to deliver summons to three nobles. He listed them as Sir Rainier Von Hanterzin last seen at Deepham. Sir Jory Flarne a Griffin Knight who had left his post on the cordon around the region occupied by Mal Zeth. He was last seen south west from Wrentham. Sir Batholomew de Mutte Esquire. Vessel Trader and merchant adventurer who was last seen travelling to Bedon. I was bestowed the responsibility to carry the lord’s summons. At the gates of Norvic the guard spoke of blue robed fellows searching for mages. They reported that foulspawn were few in numbers, with some even approaching the towns in search of refuge.
On the road I found a dead body surrounded by skeletons. When I got closer a man in dark blue robes ran away. I followed but I did not find were they had gone. The dead body had papers on them which named them the mage Archimedes. A search discovered a silver dagger as they only valuable belongings. We took their wizarding papers and the dagger.
I chatted with the dwarf Ragnar the Forgetful. We agreed to meet in a tavern in Norvic where he would teach me the dwarf tongue in exchange for coin and wine. After agreeing my business with Ragnar we met three men and an orc. The four companions were travelling to Yurnemouth so that they could leave Ithron. I sold a beer guide for one penny so they would have a map and knowledge to where to stop for beer. They were travelling east as a blue robed man had given them charity then preached that they should leave Ithron. The orc was a follower of the god Tralda. People said that they had heard that Deitologists were asking people to leave Ithron. I tried to explain to the orc that they should follow their faith and trust in the gods.
The road ahead was blocked as there were two bandits trying to get into the camp of a Griffin Knight. Two squires were refusing the men any refuge nor sparing them any food or water. A robed lady came out of the camp and addressed me by name then touched my arm and spoke words I did not understand but explained it was a gift from Lady Crop for the letter I had sent her. Sir Jon of the Griffin Order was resting in the camp after being wounded by an arrow. Sir Jon was leading a group of Griffin militia westward. I fetched water from the well the squires were guarding and gave it to the two bandits. The adventurers then carried on with their quest.
After leaving Sir Jon I met Tom, Dick and Harry. All the three men had blue tattoos over their left eye. Tom told me that he carried his father’s sword which had killed three goblins. I showed Tom my knife which had slain an ogre. Sir Gaspar said lots of words and his voice kept getting louder and louder. Tom then ran away, he ran faster than I had ever seen a man run, straight up the hill and away. Dick and Harry tried to follow Tom but Harry was shot in back by Venin. Harry’s injury was bandaged but when questioned he fled up the same hill as Tom and escaped. Sir Gaspar said the men were outlaws for running away.
In Snetham there was a market I sold fish and wine for five pennies and a map for four pennies. Sir Rainier was found accompanied by two women. The summons to see the King was given. Sir Bec De Corbin complained of rude peasants. I didn’t believe that peasants could be rude, the market seemed a fine place to me.
I packed away my market stall and in good spirits I headed along the road to Bedon. I saw a man in robes flee at the sight of me but could not follow as the path was filled with skeletons, zombies and deathknights. I came back to warn the adventurers what I had seen but one of the deathknights caught up with me and stabbed me in the arm, the sword blade was deflected by an unseen force and I was unharmed. Amazed I strode forward with my arm extended, the next blade to strike me cut into my flesh I was left bloodied and sore. Father Spunds came and prayed for me and the wound closed. I saw Sir Gaspar the Knight Commander fall to the attacks from the deathknights. I scampered and circled him to awaken him but to no avail. In fright I tried to grasp his mace and defend his body but even whilst injured his grip was too strong and I was struck sore wounds in both arms before I fled. I ran into a bush and met with master Venin. There he fought a deathknight and struck off its bony legs. In my pain and fear I wandered to close to the deathknight and it stabbed me in the belly. In agony I collapsed, sure to die. I was awoken by a tired looking Venin as he fed me a magical potion. The adventurers gathered together all sore and bloody but all standing. No more skeletons harassed me as I walked on to Bedon. Around Bedon were many starving peasants who were begging the guards outside Sir Bartholomew’s house for food. Neither Sir Bartholomew nor his guards would offer any food to feed the peasants. Grateful that I was still alive I gave as charity some of my food to the hungry people. Sir Gaspar went to speak with Sir Bartholomew. He came out and reported that the lord’s bedchamber was in darkness and that the lord was only seen at night.
Sure that I could be of service I lit my lantern and went into room to serve the summons. As I opened the door a sickly and filthy Sir Bartholomew bit me. His skin was red and blotchy. After bandaging my wounds doctor Tehya forced me to drink a horrid mixture. She then brewed another and forced the sickly lord to drink it and he fell into a deathly sleep. Father Spunds gave the body a holy cleansing. When I returned to the courtyard I found my pack ransacked. The guards reported that the peasants who I have offered charity to had stolen my food whilst I was attempting to serve the royal summons to Sir Bartholomew.
I shouldered my lightened pack. I was disheartened by wretched thieves that had stolen my food as my belly rumbled angrily. My arm sore and the bitter taste of Tehya’s medicine reminded me I would seek compensation for my troubles from Sir Bartholomew when he recovered from his illness. At Wrentham the guards confirmed that Sir Jorge lived in town but he was only seen at night and had not been seen for two moons. A kind man led me to the house. The house was the property of the Griffin order so finding it locked Sir Gasper kicked down the door. The dark house smelt bad. A Griffin tabard had been left in bed chamber. The rest of the house held empty cupboards. Sir Jorge had abandoned his house and his post.
There was nothing else in Bedon so the adventurers returned to the road where a ghastly army of undead assaulted them. The nobles Sir Gaspar and Sir de Corbin talked with a lordly vampire knight dressed in the livery of a black tabard emblazoned with a red chalice. He was marked on his face as an excommunicate and it could only be the corpse of Sir Jorge risen again to become an undead. Whilst Sir Gaspar and Sir de Corbin were willing and able to battle army of the undead they would raise no weapon against the vampire. I feared the monsters but after much running and about and haranguing the adventurers I found a hero in the ranger Reuben who accepted the challenge of defeating the vampire lord. I distracted the vampire whilst Reuben snuck behind it and struck the monster down. Swiftly Reuben hammered a blessed stake into the corpse and the vampire turned to dust. The dust was taken to Sir Jorge could be laid to rest.
I returned to Norvic with only one of the summons served. Guard sergeant Hartford accepted the adventurers explanation for the failure to serve all three summons and paid everyone their social status. The silver dagger we had recovered proved to be blunted and was traded so we could all receive an bonus on one crown. I had in additional made sales of ten pennies during my travels.
A tale of the adventurers of Norvic Pobbin Toadhunter
MXVII Highsummer XV
XV Highsummer - Mission report by Sproggs Icklesmith
It was a pretty hot day when me and Smudge (she’s my sister) left our forge to go on an adventure! We did it once but pa caught us chasing the fox into a chicken pen and told us off. Smudge wanted to see more but we weren’t allowed. Anyways after having a breakfast we headed out. I think, maybe it was second breakfast….. I can’t remember.
So we went to Caister, did you know they have a cheese shop there? Well by the time we ate the wheel it was hiring time! We saw a giant in metal armour (That’s the clanky kind) who was heading to the hiring square. So we went with him. He’s a bit forgetful, can’t remember our names.
So we get told that someone has stolen books, that’s a bit naughty but what can you do? (Get them back for sure!) so we said yeah we’ll do that. The party looked a bit annoyed at me and my sister cos we wanted to have a quick snack but then we decided that maybe we should just keep going. So we spoke to Father Bramble. He must have had his faith for a long time because who names their kid bramble? Anyways, he was confused because we’re halflings and he’s a human and they get confused. I wish that was a joke but they do. Maybe we’ll find out that one day.
Where was I, oh yes! While he was talking aload of undead showed up. So we got ready to fight them! But then Mr Spear showed up and said that skeletons can’t be hurt by axes, but while that was happening we all started screaming because it was really scary, like really scary. So we ran away. But then we decided to tunnel through the forest and fight them from behind! Well they must have been scared cos they ran away! Or died. We can’t remember but we had a celebratory biscuit.
So Mr Spear taught us about undead. They’re really not nice but they’re not at fault because necromancers do bad stuff. Anyways, there was a travelling group. One with gold robes and another guy who was like a knight but wasn’t. He spoke funny and was a good man to speak with, we said we’d sort some armour out with him and he was really nice to my sister. Then we carried on walking and took a break while Tomoe the mage did a spell. He said don’t say what i’m saying so I didn’t. But then the sword started glowing so I kinda wanted to. It was like, “BLEBEBLEBEBEBEBE” and then BOOM. anyways, We stopped for a break and I opened up my grape juice and had a cookie. It was delicious.
So we walked on, and saw this place called Gelded Stones. There was a sheriff looking man who was all intimidating, then he got hit by a bird and started crying. The bird nipped his skin and then flew away. Well while it was all going on we went looking for the bird but it disappeared. So we came back and then loads of shouting happened, so then we were talking with these people who had weapons and we were being responsible blacksmiths and asked for their permits. Noone had any permits so we took the weapons. Naughty naughty aye? Then gaspar came back and realised they all had weapons and stuff. So we took them away but before we could break them at Gaspars command we realised that we could give them to the guild house and get some nice new non permit weapons. So we did that! Then some wolves came in to attack us as we were setting down for Lunch.
Bit rude but we managed to evade them, then some orcs and goblins came up and killed the bad wolves for us. So we celebrated and gave them all hugs. But then the ogre got upset because we were little people. He then gave us hugs, which was nice. They were warriors. Pretty cool right?
So we followed them into their camp, Gaspar said about Bungay and i giggled, cos Bung. Then Smudge asked about it, and we started laughing saying BUUUUUNNNNGGGG. It went on for a bit cos we’re easily amused, then they revealed a yellow flower. It was all shiny and Mr Spear told us that it was a magical flower. Like really magical, we’re talking magical as magic can be! Turns out he’s an alchemist and knew that the flower does something amazing. If you pick it, everyone explodes.
Tomoe wanted to do it but we ran away put our goggles on and hid behind our shields. Then when it was clear we walked after everyone, making sure the mage didn’t eat the flower to restore his powers with elven sorcery. Oh and we traded a stick to some goblins.
So then we found some undead, but there was some more nasty undead. They were really nasty. Like REALLY nasty. The kind of undead you’d look at and say “That’s some nasty undead.” So after throwing spells around it disappeared. Bit weird but Gaspar was already back on his feet by then so we shrugged it off and continued with the undead smashing. Smudge killed loads at this point, I was a proud brother i’ll tell you that much.
Then we found a hill, well it was already there but we found it! And we kept going up the hill where we found more things, like these weird tree children things. They were called Elderkin. Apparently a type of holder. So they kept disappearing in the bushes but that’s fine, one cast a spell at me and i managed to block it with my natural halflingness and killed it. Then I saw another and I fell asleep, i dreamt about amazing cake and pie! But then woke up to see my sister and screamed. Then I saw another one and ran at it but it made me sleep again, then I woke up with Mr Venin looking at me and there was alot of blood, I may have been stabbed while asleep. I can’t remember…..
Then we saw some more undead! They were slow and shambling so we killed them. Then Continued on! We found a shrine, it was all boogie woogie so we moved out the way. Then Tomoe made a promise to Vleybor that he’d marry someone if she protected him. Then he walked towards the shrine. So me, mr venin and Smudge dived behind a shield each and we put our goggles on, safety first! Then there was a loud bang and Tomoe fell asleep. So people did stuff to Tomoe…. and then me and Smudge found the books!
So we told everyone about it but they said we already had the books, so it turned out we’d found the books they lost like five minutes ago. Win win!
Then these other undead turned up and it was rubbish. But it’s fine we got rid of them and went home. We took a really long path but it’s ok, halflings are good at long distance walks. But then there was some spooky ghost thing, so we left it to it’s own devices but everyone else wanted to destroy it. So we let them do that, then Gaspar came out acting all weird so Bryan (He’s a vleyborian) knocked him out and we saw the ghost. Well we healed up gaspar and then tied him up to move him because he’s a big man and we’re tiny tiny people. So we got him to the tree and then woke him up, then tomoe fell over. So all of this happens and Bryan goes “We need to steal the dagger.”
So I go to the dagger, i’m fast for a halfling after all, I’m used to catching pigs! So I start running, and I run fast! And I’m running, then I don’t remember but I woke up with a really bad headache. Apparently the dagger was somewhere else and Tomoe didn’t want it broken but smudge broke it and he shut up….Then we got paid and went home for pie and cake, and then loads of people asked us for weapons! Well we haven’t had business like this before so we opened shop!
MXVII Highsummer XIV
The Tale of Sir Winston Clarence de Vere on the Dragonbone Isle The brave and honourable errant Winston Clarence de Vere of the Griffin Order was summoned by the Ladies knitting circle of Tisa Valley to take a voyage to Dragonbone Island to defeat the cultits of the evil Dracoliche. Adventurous and worthy Errant Clarence de Vere readied himself and took a swift horse north. Behind him I the humble mister Pobbin Toadhunter followed on a donkey to chronicle his feats of skill and daring. At arrival on the docks in Hartness the noble Winston Clarence de Vere was invited on board the Damned Plum and introduced to captain Tregar. Winston Clarence de Vere was treated with due courtesy for his noble rank. When the ship began to take on water and suffer various ill fortunes Winston fearless of the dangers led a party of adventurers to the island to gather supplies of wood and pipes. Arriving at the island Winston found a human slaves held in pens. Winston defeated the gaolers and set the prisoners free. The men and women had been greatly exposed to the mist of the island and were too weak to move. They would perish from as much exertion it would take to carry them to the boats. With regret Winston had to leave the people with the promise that he would slay the Dracolich and set them free forever. Further into the island Winston found the warehouses. Boldly he entered a warehouse to find it empty apart from a mighty cyclop that had been left their to snare him as they tried to steal the supplies to repair the Damned Plum. A fight ensued whereby Winston slew the cyclop in a contest of arms one on one. After the cyclop was defeated the warehouse was searched and six bags of gold were found. Winston took the gold back to the Damned Plum as spoils of war. Victorious in battle Winston then joined the battle on the morrow to destroy the Dracoliche. Glorious in battle Winston was assaulted by many magic spells to prevent him destroying the Dracoliche’s entire undead army. When he had recovered his senses the brave Griffin Winston charged forth and slew the Dracoliche, bringing the foul creature’s reign over Dragonbone Island to an end.
MXVII Highsummer XIV
Personal Journal of Mister Pobbin Toadhunter It was a small breakfast I ate before I left Gelded Stones and went on my journey to serve Errant Winston Clarence de Vere, to carry his baggage and to chronicle his perilous adventures. It was too early to eat more and we had many leagues to travel before we reached our destination of the Dragonbone isle to confront the cultists of the Dracoliche Ma Gertie had packed my basket full of food and plenty of provisions. We were met at the docks and were welcomed aboard the ship the ‘Damned Plum’. On board the ship Errant Winston Clarence de Vere was introduced to Captain Tregar, a formidable woman. The crew told me there was a galley and stocks of food but did warn me that the ship’s biscuits were infested with weevils. I spoke to some of the sailors and met Red Kent, a guardsman. The captain then announced that we would soon set sail toward the Dragonbone island. She told us that there was no way she would take the ship to the island but would put down anchor at some nearby crags so that we could explore the island ourselves. Whilst the ship sailed I examined some maps of the island. It appeared that the island had formed from the bones of an enormous dragon. From the maps I estimated that Dragonbone island was at least ten ships in length. On the island was a fortification the Black Bone citadel, many lighthouses and it had sails made from the dragon’s wings. I made a rough copy of the map but before further study could be done the captain called us out on deck to be shown how to use the two boats we would be using to travel to and from the island. As we were shown the boats many skeletons, zombies and ghouls rose out of the sea and attacked the crew and everyone else. After the invasion of the undead had been quelled it was decided that we needed to learn more of the island. We elected Tungil the Defender of the Faith of Tralda to lead our expeditions. On the maps we had and the knowledge of some of the others aboard the Damned Plum we knew that a library existed on the island. A small group of twelve of us travelled in the dark of night to explore the island and try to locate the library. A foul and disturbing mist lingered on the island. There we met people who had been living on the island, they spoke little and knew little. A great wall prevented them travelling further inland and they knew nothing of what lay on the other side of the wall. When he tried to advance toward the wall the islands inhabitants became aggressive. The warriors amongst us subdued them. We found a magical barrier which prevented us travelling further. A riddle, odd coins and a small lighthouse we found. When the coins were put in the lighthouse the light came on and the riddle could be solved. However in the light of the lighthouse the people who had been subdued became ghostly pirates who attacked us. All the ghost pirates were defeated and the riddle was solved. We all passed through barrier and explored the island further and reached the library. We took many books and then returned to the ship. Whilst we had been on the island a man was rescued from the sea and taken on board the Damned Plum. The man had come from the island, they were weak with disease and tainted with necromantic magic. Those of us who had raided the library also felt the drained by our exposure to the mists on the island. We began to study the books. The books were nautical in nature. There were treatises on ships, knots and flags alongside stories of mythical creatures and ancient legends. Within the pages many hidden codes were discovered. It appeared that a servant of the Dracolich had suffered too much and wished to bring an end to their master’s reign. Those closest to the Dracolich had to drink a potion to fortify themselves against the island’s mist or they would lose their minds. Reader a servant of Rolbor, Bruna a dwarven alchemist and myself after much study deciphered the hidden codes and learned how to gather the ingredients and how to prepare them to brew the potion so that we could battle the Dracolich and the undead on the island without being overcome by the mist and gas. Guild Protector Seax and Master Distiller Admiral helped us gather the ingredients and mix them. Some of the ingredients required we to travel to the island to collect them. Our first attempt was unsuccessful as he headed to an alchemy laboratory on the island where the potion was brewed for the islands workers. We found the laboratory abandoned and stripped bare. We deduced that there were three ingredients which we would need to gather from the island. I have been told I should not include any reference to these ingredients in my report due to laws regarding alchemy and physicians drugs. I can tell that whilst foraging for these ingredients we faced many dangers. We met the Blood Queen a vampire who was to marry the Dracoliche, the queen was guarded by two blood golems. On another forage Defender Tungdil was bewitched by a dragon and tried to kill us all. It was the quick action of Seax that managed to save some of us but Defender Tungdil, Digger and Bruna were lost to us. Whilst we studied the book other mysteries on the ship were revealed. The ship turned out to be an automaton of elven manufacture called the Waverider. The King of Sea came aboard and offered a truce. A voyage to a Siren was plotted and the Siren visited. All this I helped where I could. Then in the morning the ingredients for the potion were prepared and mixed. Again I can not say much of what I witnessed but the potion was a success which meant we would be able to assault the most tainted region of the island to attack the Dracoliche and also prevent their marriage to the Blood Queen. The Blood Queen would come to the Dragonbone island by a magical portal. We had gathered the remains of some lost souls which we used to close the portal. The Wizardess Keyliegh and myself set out the skulls in a pattern as described on the portal stones and sealed the gate which the Blood Queen and her consorts were using to travel to Dragonbone isle. Whilst we fought the Blood Queen others from the ship met the Dracoliche in battle and slew it.
MXVII Shielding XIX
We met Elderman Joshua of Hethel in Norvic. He told us of troubles in Hethel. The little goats the village is renowned for were either going missing or through nervous disposition no longer producing milk. Tales of the goats claimed they were as small as dogs. Elderman Joshua complained that the swamp to the west Hethel was noisy at day and night. We were hired to stop the noises and any threat to the goats.
Sir Winston and Guardsman Spunds led our party. The little ones Sproggs and Smudge, the elf wizard Tomo, Vleyborian priestess Serenity Daydream, my wife the beautiful Gertie Toadhunter and myself Mister Pobbin Toadhunter.
As soon as we were out of the gate foulspawn attacked us. The orcs and goblins were loud in their shouts that they wanted to eat goatflesh.
At Hethel we met Magget and Cecil, both farmers of goats. They were in argument about whose fault it was for the howling that was upsetting the goats. The howling sounded like a man roaring in swamp. The little ones Sproggs and Smudge had their second breakfast. In the village there was a guild senior mercenary Mundungan, a man down on his luck.
We entered swamp and found many men and dark elf corpses. Whilst we stood by in surprise the dark elves rose from the dead and attacked us. These zombies were destroyed by Daydream. All of the dark elf corpses had a tattoo of an eye on their forehead.
Further into the swamp we entered a tribal village. The village was in ruins except one house. The house was the home to an ogre and follower of Sidhe. Myers told of how his village was attacked every night by dark elves and bandits. Myers would howl, shout, yell and bellow to warn them away. The priestess Daydream Serenity became very ill, she was afflicted with zombie rot. We agreed with Myers that we would defeat the dark elves and bandits and stop them from harassing him. We would return for lunch and provided fish and onions for Myers to cook a chowder whilst we went in search of the bandits and dark elves.
Exploration of the swamp found the dark elves camp. Bravely Sir Winston and Guardsman Spunds defeated all followers of one eye the Cyclops with a little help from Sproggs. The small folk then set about to repair the armour of the two fighting men, Sir Winston and Guardsman Spunds. Whilst we waited Gertie threw the runes to see our fortunes and looked into her crystal ball, an heirloom from her mother Gladys Stonethrower. When Tomo looked at crystal ball a monstrous apparition struck him and when he passed it back to Gertie in fright she saw it too. Both told of a beastly monstrosity full of anger and spite trapped inside the crystal ball.
The smith repairs completed we packed away our things and delved deeper into the swamp where we met a lizardman. As we spoke Sir Winston was overcome by voices, he began speaking tongues and then spoke of Krygan the mother of monsters. The voices were angered by Tomo desecrating a shrine of Krygan. A curse was put on him that would not be lifted until he learnt to show respect to gods. The lizardman told us of a golden dwarf offering rewards for both humans and dwarfs.
The bandit camp was found. The bandits were well defended and magic by Tomo helped us defeat them. Hungry we rushed back to Myers and lunch to find his house attacked and Myers locked inside.
A mob stood outside the house. They had their weapons drawn and were demanding the death of Myers. I rushed to the house but could find no way in as Myers in his fright had barred the doors. I went to the back of the house to discover a great warrior hacking the rear door apart with his massive axe. I called for them to stop but they only threatened violence. I defended myself against their two handed axe with my tiny dagger and defeated them. In a rush to defend Myers from being killed I ran out to attack the angry mob. I struck at them but many of my blows were deflected by their armour and they cut at my legs and caused me to fall.
The mob were momentarily quietened and they explained that they had been hired by the sour man Mundungan to slain the ogre. They agreed their cause was unjust and left Myers in peace but pressed charges of murder and assault against me. Guardsman Spunds did his duty and arrested me.
Myers was thankful for his rescue and offered fish chowder. We all enjoyed the repast, served from a horn. Tomo said the horn was magical. Myers explained it was the Horn of Council, a relic of Sidhe. In gratitude he offered it into the keeping of the party. Sir Winston took it and it was agreed that it would stay in his safekeeping.
When we had defeated the bandits were had found a gem and some lumps of silver, we sold these and shared the bounty of two crowns each. Elderman Joshua rewarded us with pay for settling the disturbance in Hethel.
MXVII Harvesting XVI
The school of Necromancy had a problem so Richard a mage from Norvic hired the party of adventurers to bring in a rogue mage by the name of Flynt. Flynt had for many months been leading apprentices astray. He had been using the apprentices to power his spells and then killing them to create more undead. Flynt had last been seen in the ruins of Corby.
We gathered together. There was Gertie Toadhunter Journeyman Alchemist, Venin Journeyman mage, Tomo Kimber Enchanter, Beff Tripwing Ranger, Reuben Warden, Uriel of Sidhe, Liberace of Tralda, Arya the elf scout, Lowlife the half orc, and myself Pobbin Toadhunter Waylander.
Outside of Norvic we met foulspawn who begged for food but when talked to they offered only violence in trade. Venin bought a crown of food from me but when offered to the foulspawn some ran away with it whilst others attacked. With some difficulty I burnt a troll with my tinderbox, Lowlife had to stab the troll many times whilst Tomo gathered wood and built a pyre around it.
Journeying toward the ruins of Corby we met some Kharchians who travelled with a foundling, a lost woman who could not remember where she was from or who she was. Venin said he could see not trace of magic on her and that she was not one of the lost apprentices. We wished them safe travels and carried on our way. We then passed Sparham and met the folk of the Ragged Banner. When we stopped to speak with them we were attacked. Scattered we fought but when I turned to look bodies lay everywhere. I saved Gertie, stabbed the last of the attackers and ran up a path to Uriel who had chased one of the enemy. I found the attacker who had an enchanted dagger slain beside Uriel. I did what I could to save Uriel and called for aid. Venin began to tie a bandage but it was not quick enough and Uriel's life slipped away. The man who had killed Uriel appeared to be a Traldan follower but it became clear that the band of folk had been Seraklanites. Reuben said that these folk were not from the Ragged Banner at all.
We travelled until we came across a Vleyborian chapel . A pair of goblins who had followed the Children of Truth had now abandoned the cult and had come to the chapel to have the scars of their service removed. They did not know who led the Children or what they wanted. A peaceful and tranquil place we left Uriel's body to rest within the chapel.
On the road we found a tied up and gagged man but when we went to help we were attacked by dark elves. We defeated the dark elves and saved the man Dario, a pilgrim and herald who had been on a recent journey to Hadsfield. We journeyed on toward Corby and fought many skeletons and undead. A necromancer Marc Kemp said he had raised his undead army to defend himself against Flynt. The necromancer's army was sent against us so we defeated and captured him. There were prisoners Jon of Norvic and Jesus of Norvic, both nobles. We took Marc to the forester Talas Copperthorne to be held for the crimes of magical assault against Lowlife, the kidnapping of nobles and of creating a skeleton army. Once the necromancer was safely behind bars we continued onwards. We reached Corby and found Flynt had an enormous army of feyund, ghouls, skeletons and death knights. Flynt claimed to have created the Order of the Bloody Chalice. We had to fight until after many hours we subdued Flynt and took him back to Norvic. Tomo who had been attacked by Feyund was slain.
In Norvic Richard was pleased with our success and we handed over the rogue mage that had been causing such mischief.
Mister Pobbin Toadhunter
MXVII Summereve XXI
After regular correspondences with Lady Isabella De Vere of Caster myself and me wife were invited to attend her wedding to the Baron Richard Grenville of Lowstof. Myself and Mama Gertie travelled with some of the other guests, Head Griffin Winston Clarence De Vere, Guardsman Spunds, Warden Reuben and Brother Lowlife were all friends of ours, accompanying us also were Tanith the scout, Errant Marshall Whisper of the Templar Order and Doctor Morpheous of Medehampstede.
We travelled to Grenville Hall, the residency of Baron Richard Grenville, where the wedding service would be conducted. Many of Baron Grenville’s militia were zealous in their duties to keep the manor free of threat, even going as far as confiscating Mama Gertie’s pruning knife. We were put through examinations many times before we reached the manor house. At the entrance hall Reuben was approached by a retainer of House De Vere family, he warned that ill things were afoot. He suspected that the House of Grenville were responsible for the murder of House De Breck.
Politeness and manner had our party announce ourselves in the main hall. Many of the people in the main hall were flunkies of House Grenville. I recognised the crest of House De Vere and introduced myself to the uncle of Lady Isabella De Vere and enquired of her whereabouts. Lord De Vere said she would be along but did not know where she was at the time. The Lord was suffering from a nasty cough so I summoned Doctor Morpheous to give his diagnosis, the Doctor and I encouraged Lord De Vere to take a walk and I offered to accompany him for a stroll around the orangery. The Lord declined and remained steadfast he would stay in the hall. I had brought a gift of sugared toads for by liege Lady De Vere but not trusting the militia of House Grenville I did not leave them in the hall but kept them on my person.
Lowlife was rudely expelled from the hall due an unpleasant odour which lingered around him. Mama Gertie, fierce in her defence of her friend became obstinate and full of venom against House Grenville. Gertie was unmoved until we heard tell of a werewolf doppleganger of Baron Grenville which had its lair in a tunnel beneath the trophy room. Concerned for the safety of Lady Isabella I went to check on the guest rooms. The guest room we entered was dusty and unoccupied. Tanith cleverly spied a loose floorboard and we found underneath it a small sword. Gertie took the sword and hid it upon her person. The well being of Lady Isabella remained unknown but before we could search anyway else for her we were escorted back to the main hall by Lord’s guards. I requested to visit the library but the guards refused. In the main hall I congratulated Baron Grenville on his nuptial day. His lordship was rather dismissive of the subject and only became enlivened and cheerful when he spoke of taxes. The Baron proposed the levy of many new taxes including the catching of toads, all of this aide obsessively recorded. Rather perturbed I ventured out of the hall and found many of my companions were out of sorts and complaining roughly of the food and hospitality of the kitchen. Some said the food was poisoned so I went with Gertie to examine the food but she said she saw no poison. Our investigations were met with hostility and we were forced from the kitchen, battled ensued when a holy symbol of Fygol was let slip from under the chef’s tunic and the kitchen hand resisted Guardsman Spund's attempts to arrest them. The Fygolians were captured but refused to answer to any of Spund's questions so our captive was left tied up in the guest’s quarters.
News then came to us that the aide to Baron Grenville was a nefarious necromancer who had been stealing spell books, he had three spell books stored in the library. Before any further investigation of this could be made an undead army of skeletons led by the aide and a wraith came from library and began to attack the guests. We gave chase but could neither stop or catch either necromancer or wraith. When we returned to the manor Whisper and Spunds had barricaded the guests in the main hall to prevent harm coming to them.
After the danger had passed Baroness Isabella De Vere approached the hall. The Lady was ill disposed to the nature of her arrival. The signs of bloodshed and other disturbances on her wedding day made her disinclined for pleasantries and she had harsh words with her nephew Sir Winston Clarence De Vere when he reported the events and disappearance of her betrothed. Evidence that House Grenville had been responsible for the murders of House De Breck was found and passed on to the guardsman Spunds.
When her ladyship was in a kinder mood I offered by gift of sugared toads and shared them with her retainers The other guests had been kept safe but when questioned two heretics were discovered in their midst. A Seraklanite priest and a Mithimese follower of Fygol. The Mithimese guest said that they had come in search of the Golden Dwarf. Both were arrested and placed into the care of Lady De Vere. The Baron Grenville or his aide were nowhere to be found.
Mister Pobbin Toadhunter
MXVII Drawing XVIII
At the end of Summereve tragedy fell on Geldestones as evil men ransacked the village. Forced to flee Mama Gertie rounded up the Toadhunters children and we took up residence on the common at Caster with the sheep and goats.
On XVIII Drawing gathered by the commons were Guardsman Spunds, Ranger Reuben, Brother Edmund, Ranger Percy, Foot-beardling Smudge, Mother Serenity, Champion of the Griffin Order Sir Winston Clarence de Vere and Sir Harold. The brave knights and adventurers were organising a journey to Geldestones. A necromancer Elizabeth Lamb offered a bounty to recover the missing pages of some magical tomes which had been found in the House of Grenville. The book were said to be in Geldestones. The reward was ten crowns for the recovery of the pages. Another mage offered to sell his magic but was quick to flee when questions were raised over legitimacy.
Smudge had also received a request from Elder Hoarin of Steelhammer to find the missing Thane of Steelhammer and the Runesmith Thalnaz Steelhammer. Both were lost in mines beneath Geldedstones. Whilst I spoke with Smudge she gave gifts, a small drum to Edmund and croaking toad to me, a perfect lure to catch toads.
I left Gertie and the children behind as they frolicked and played with the goats on the common. Outside Caster we met Bequifisian cultists on road, there was a swift battle. As it ended we met a Kharachian by the name of Nova who accompanied to Geldestone then fled quickly into the woods when they saw the village was overrun with Fygolians. There Fygolians had the village walls secure and taunted us as we circled them. Often tossing pies at us when challenged. I build a fire at the gate and left it burning as we retreated.
Griffin Champion Winston said he would bring a siege tower, sappers and battering ram. Satisfied that this would see Geldestone reclaimed we went in search of the dwarven tunnels.
At the entrance of the tunnel I was frozen in midstride, a brief moment later I recovered and looked about myself. At the edge of the darkness below were two petrified barkers, dog-men. Inside I heard the sound of hissing. Warned of a medusa I entered with eyes closed and made lots of noise. It was frightening and the medusa preyed on our fear and both Reuben and Spunds were bitten, the medusa's poison leaving them frozen for a long time. Brave Ragnar did slay the medusa. A search of its lair revealed nothing but broken stone and rotten carrion.
The tunnel's guardian defeated we delved deeper and met the dwarf Gundar as he repaired a automaton. We then met Elder Hoarin who offered to pay us to enter the mines and bring out the Thane and Runesmith.
Eager to save the dwarves we entered the tunnels. A strange silvery ore made my head hurt, sickening by body and muddling my head. More of the dog-men were here, fighting what remained of the dwarves. The dog-men scampered about, barking as they battled. Wild and feral the barkers were relentless but with brave warriors as Ragnar, Winston, Spunds and Harold we broke their ranks. Sparks and lightning shot forth from the broken vein of ore in the cavern ceiling. I tried to scrape a sample to take for inspection but a violent surge of lightning broke my dagger asunder. A great tree roots had wrapped itself around the silvery ore. A miner explained that when they had tried to excavate the ore the Barkers had come and the root had stretched down to grasp it. The foot-beardling Smudge when she examined it said it was mithril.
Away from the mithril were more Barkers, deeper in the tunnels were strange creatures which made strange chittering noises, Clickers. The Clickers were fearsome and unharmed by any weapon. Percy made an astonishing leap to escape them until a blessed axe caused them to simply vanish.
We found Thalnaz Steelhammer the Runesmith but the Thane was dead. We fled the tunnels as more Barkers and Clickers attacked. Elder Hoarin was glad to see the return of the Runesmith and paid us our social status plus two crowns. With no more dwarves in the tunnels a rockfall sealed them.
We had failed to recover any of the missing pages for the necromancer and Geldestone remained taken by heretic.
MXVII Midcold III
We met in Lowstof with Sir Gaspar Asturian, now baronet of the sea port. House Grenville had been disgraced and displaced. The greedy baron had hoarded a coffer of coins and gems in taxes from villages and townsfolk throughout his demesne. Baronet Gaspar asked that this wealth that was taken in unfair taxes be returned to the people. To complete this task we gathered a party heroes and do gooders, Mother Serenity Daydream of Vleybor, Sir Harold Briarthorn Esquire, Sproggs Icklesmith, Champion of the Griffin Order Sir Winston De Vere and myself Mister Pobbin Toadhunter.
Entrusted with coin and food supplies we did our best to protect them from bandits and thieves, distributing them among ourselves and regularly swapping loads. Not far out of Norvic we met on the road with a wraith. The dark shadowy creature spoke with Sir Winston and told the Griffin that it had been sent by Thomas Black, once aide to Sir Richard Grenville. It told Sir Winston that it's master was in bitter dispute with House Grenville and that the villian Richard was in Topcroft. Armed with the knowledge that Richard might try to hinder our passage through the lands he once controlled we journeyed onward.
We came shortly to the shrine to St Olave's and the surrounding community. Twenty crowns was given back to the people to see them through winter. A further fifty crowns was given to Father Wood of Rolbor to aid travellers, pilgrims and the needy. I prayed at the shrine for Rolbor to guide and protect us as we journeyed and spread aid to the people.
As we moved away from the shrine and closer to Geldedstones there was signs of suffering. Bungay had been pillaged by Fygolian raiders. All the survivors were given food supplies as well as thirty six crowns for them to stock their larders for winter and rebuild where needed.
At a camp off the road we met a band of mercenaries searching for work. I offered to hire them to retake Geldedstones but they refused as they thought it a folly for so few to assault the encamped Fygolians. I spotted a wizard that had fled Caster when Guardsman Spunds had tried to arrest them. Sir Winston would not see the law flouted so, offering five crowns from his own purse if the mercenaries would deliver the fugitive to the law offices in Norvic. The mercenaries were to be paid upon arrival in Norvic with the captive.
The road led on to Ravenshall, along the side of the road we found two empty hovels. We stopped to leave preserved and dry foods for any passing travellers or refugees. Ravenshall was overrun with undead. A Kharachian was busy sending many souls on to the Halls although he offered no prayers, his sword the only release for the damned. Once the undead were destroyed we shared food with the priest. Sproggs was wary of the man and when challenged the Kharachian fled. Sproggs said it was a demon as no-one saw it harmed during the battle and refused to prick its finger to prove it was human.
None of knew much of demons but the encounter gave us much to think about as we travelled to Lod. Our food was shared. None of the kings purse was shared as trade remained good and the people were affluent. This comfortable life held its own danger, one townsman took much pleasure in their own and others suffering, I suspected they might be a follower of Bequifis, nowhere is safe from the blight of the dark gods.
Warily we passed by Geldedstone. Sproggs used his small size to his advantage and crept up to the village to spy on the Fygolians. Sproggs reported that the Forge in Geldedstone had many workers coming in. We all heard loud chanting or singing but could not discern any meaning. Not prepared to do more we bypassed the village.
At Topcroft we met the dastardly Richard Grenville. The village was occupied by his most loyal retainers. It was noted that the people were all itchy with fleas or some malady. The disposed baron would not give themselves up so battle ensued. Richard was slain near to the shrine of Krygan then guarded by a wolfman until the corruption of the dark gods consumed him and he rose as an elderkin. The abomination fled down tunnel, we followed the pair into the wilderness but they escaped.
No people were left at Topcroft so we walked on to Ling. We gave food for the forty two people to feed them for two weeks and one hundred and twenty six crowns for stores and supplies. Jon the Younger gave thanks to King Robert for returning his taxes.
Our travels nearly complete we headed for Lowstof. Winston was withdrawn and when we met the wolfman again he was no longer with us. The creature snarled and spat then Sir Winston rushed forward a silver sword in his grasp. Sir Winston slayed the beast and the glimmer began to fade from the sword. Nothing more of note occurred and we reached Lowstof to returned any left over coins to the king's coffers.
Mister Pobbin Toadhunter
MXVIII Deepwinter XX
The heroes Errant Harold Briarthorn, Smudge Icklesmith, Guardsman Spunds, Ranger Reuben, Champion of the Griffin Order Sir Winston De Vere, Doctor Morpheous, wizard apprentice Ellenor, Father Liberace of Tralda, alchemist Cassius, squire of the Griffin Order Asher Charrow and the humble scribe Mister Pobbin Toadhunter gathered at Theodeforde. We met Tom Woodward, an aide to the Viscount who hired us to escort the new Baron from Croxton to Attleburc. Our hirer Tom also warned of the disease of the purple spots. Threats had been made against Baron by other nobles. As soon as we left the town we saw a woman hiding behind a tree who had purple spots on their skin. The guard as the gates said that all that possess the mark of the purple spot would be refused entry into the town. Some travellers approached and we left the guard to their duty.
Away from Theodeforde we met some pilgrims. Devoutly I praised them and pointed them north toward Hadsfield. Rudely they dismissed my suggestion and stated that they sought the wisdom of the dark gods. I stepped away from the pilgrims, a little surprised by their words then a follower of Abraxis stepped out from behind a tree and an attack was made against Sir Winston. Soon a battle raged through out the woods. By the time I had drawn my axe and struck one of the heretics down I felt a mighty knock to the back of my head and woke up dizzy after the battle was over. The woods were not safe so we gathered again on the road and I rushed to the safety of Brandon. I made it there before my companions and spoke with an old woman telling fortunes, a man selling wood and man selling cider. Quite a thirst had come over me so I took a taste of the cider and it was a fine brew so I bargained with the man and purchased a cask to be delivered to Caster upon my return home. A dwarf by the name of Tendrick asked a letter to be delivered to the elf maiden Pava. Smudge took the letter.
Once out of Brandon my spirits lifted by the cider I walk with a spring in step and Doctor Morpheous accompanied me. We walked until we met four beardless dwarves. The odd dwarves had been branded with a mark on their faces and said they were of clan Bloodfell. Their temperament matched the name of their clan and when they asked for the letter I denied them. Thinking me a fool they discussed they plans to steal the letter in front of me. I challenged them on this which seemed to infuriate them more. I chose that moment to hide amongst my companions but the dwarves were determined to cause me harm and chopped at my legs with their axes. Coward and fools the dwarves were put the sword for their discourtesy.
We walked on to Croxton, my wound had me limping and walked with the others. Guards stood at the entrance to Croxton Hall but a whispered word and then they let me pass. I went inside as a servant to Sir Harold Briarthorn but both of us were rudely silenced and then locked in the hall. Of a humble disposition I accepted the judgement of the master of the hall and remain where I was left and accepted the lord's generosity as I fed myself on the platters of meats and cheeses and sated my thirst on the lord's wine. When my hunger had gone I knocked upon the door and the guards released me. By this time Sir Winston had the good baron in an even temper and ready to begin his journey to his demesne.
Smudge delivered Tendrick's letter to elf maiden Pava and learnt that it was a proposal of betrothal. It gladden my spirits but as we travelled a severed hand on road soured my disposition. Nothing more unusual was seen so we left the hand where it lay and reached Brandon. Tendrick was joyful with our news as Pava would be his bride but from out of nowhere an assassin tried to kill him with a crossbow bolt. The assassin was jealous of the betrothal. The assassin another elf maiden was captured and questioned. It turned out that she was also in love with Tendrick and made maddeningly jealous by the coming nuptials. With no remorse for her actions she was arrested and her heinous attack.
Our charge the baron was eager to continue his journey and we had only the road between Brandon and Attleburc to travel. Our task seems almost done but our fortunes were poor. Many bandits and wizards and heretics did we meet. A Fygolian by the name of Robustus challenged us first. Then a large group of armed men led by a fellow of the name Bartholomew, the son of a rival Baron assaulted us.
Then of sudden a wizard charmed by mind and not of my own will I devised a plan to murder the baron. My scheming thankfully failed and the baron survived the attempt and my mind cleared of the witchery.
Last we met two travellers. One who announced themselves as a follower of Tralda, the another a common man. They too were villains and when the Traldan was apprehended we found little to identify them but I did find two prayers in writing I could not decipher. The other man fled and was not caught as they were unharmed by any weapon, our suspicions were that they were supernatural in nature.
After an arduous journey the Baron reached his new hall in one piece and was very busy as they had not time left to thank us.
Mister Pobbin Toadhunter
MXVIII Springsdawn XVII
It was a windy and icy dawn in Norvic. On the cold morning was gathered a mighty band of heroes. Defender Liberace, Ranger Reuben Volfsbrodir, Ranger Isau, High Father Dante Potocki, Levi of Crowa, Joe Jack Jacobsen of Tralda, Sineya the wild, Scout Spunds and Lowlife of Longstor. I Pobbin Toadhunter accompanied them to record their exploits.
Tom Woodward aide to the Viscount Longspear of Theodeforde and an elfmaiden Tehya Linn met with the adventurers. Tom spoke of diplomacy and peace, an effort led by the Viscount to bring together the dwarves and elves of Theodeforde forest. A holy relic of the Lord Longstor was being brought to Hockham for the old shrine to be consecrated once more. The elf Tehya had been one of the escorts for the relic, she had travelled with a man and a dwarf. The three of them had been attacked and the relic stolen by cloaked men. The task for the adventurers was to recover the relic and safely transport it to Hockham so that Father Liefenwold would begin the ceremony to bring harmony to the disparate communities. Tehya told us that the relic was an ancient fox skull. The way to Hockham was through the forest of Theodeforde. A road that proved perilous, once away from Norvic we met many foulspawn. The dark nights of winter I had not wasted, studying with Jak Foalan the black speech of the orcs. Crudely I called out to them but was met with curses and laughter as they threatened to eat me. There would be no diplomacy and led by Reuben the adventurers felled the foulspawn. A troll amongst them I burnt it, their troll fat gave off a great stench but the warmth of the fire was welcome. One orc captured spoke of a big green boss. Our path was narrow and the woods beguiling but our scouts led us unerringly toward our journey's end. Strangers lurked in the bushes and traps were laid on the trail. I tried to speak with the strangers but rather than talk they enchanted my tongue so I could not speak.
Out of the trees came dark elves and Elderkin. Then we found a camp of dark elves. The dark elves did not attack and a parlay was made. Dante and the dark elflord talked and a challenge ensued. Tricky and malicious the dark elflord struck Dante down and the camp became a battlefield. The dark elves were not able to defend the camp and I found a dwarf who they had held prisoner. An Elderkin threatened to slay the prisoner if we approached, cowardly then the Elderkin stabbed at the helpless hostage before it fled into the forest. The dwarf of hardy constitution shrugged off the attack and when I cut them free of their bonds they said that they were ambushed when walking in the woods and would return home at once. I wished them a safe journey and they spoke of a green elf priest of Krygan that had come to the dark elves but the only words the dwarf had been able to comprehend was talk of the Golden Dwarf.
Nearing the village of Hockham I walked onward and I came upon a green and pleasant glade. In the glade was a lonely fellow, I spoke with him and asked if he was the gardener who kept so well a clearing. The man agreed that he was a gardener of sorts and was happy to speak with me. We chatted and he confessed of his loneliness and want of a companion, he said the woodsmen of the village always kept so far away from him. I was more than happy to keep company with the fellow and he was pleasing company. Then when the adventurers approached the gardener led me toward a great tree at the edge of the clearing, I went meekly with him and then I felt myself taken away and closeted. I was strangely calm and in a strange way dreaming until as sudden as I had arrived I returned to the clearing a faintness in my head and weakness in my limbs. I have felt the same ever since. I was told that Lowlife had spoken with the Gardener of Hockham Glade and made some pact to visit him in exchange for my release. I warned Lowlife to be wary as the glade was much more dangerous than it seemed.
We walked away then once the trees once again become wild and they boughs spread over our heads we encountered a band of goblins. The goblins were engaged in horseplay and when approached challenged Spunds to a contest of battle. Spunds was defeated and without warning Sineya the wild leapt into the fray and slew the goblin. Before any peace could be sued all the goblins were slain.
From here we then spotted a priest and his bodyguards. At the crest of the hill was a priest robed in green and furs, a fearsome sight. I warned that there was no cause for us to fight but when identified as a heretic the heroes did bay for his blood. Dante evoked the power of Tralda and the priest’s robes sprung to life and wrapped themselves around the priest. Quickly the others rushed up the hill and fought his bodyguards. I searched the priest and found the missing fox skull on the priest. I took it to Reuben and Lowlife who chose to guard it.
Whilst Lowlife reverently packed the relic away a dark elf came and warned that the Golden Dwarf and One eye were on the way then the dark elf fled. It was an odd message and one not to be trusted. Much suffering had the followers of Fygol caused my family and my ire was raised and I would have chosen to face the cause of the suffering had not the heroes swayed me otherwise and we ran to the safety of the nearby village of Hockham with the holy relic of Longstor.
At Hockham Father Liefenwold was presented the fox skull. Reverently he placed it upon the shrine, an open area between village and woods. Helped by Reuben and Lowlife the priest consecrated the shrine and many blessings were said. I thanked the lord of the hunter for the sustenance and trade he brought to my family. When all seem safe and good a heretic flung themselves at the shrine but for their folly the gods cursed them and they were left crawling on their belly in the mud and leaves. The Hockham militia proved their worth and soon had the miscreant in chains to face justice for their blasphemy and heresy.
Mister Pobbin Toadhunter
MXVIII Springsdawn XXIV
I broke my fast at Caster, I had a guest at my table so had taken lodgings in the tavern for the day. A relief from the biting cold of the wind in my tent. Venin and I were studying. He showed me the finer points of Nerese grammar and punctuation. I was able to show him the rudiments of the black speech of the orcs, their letters crudely carved on sticks.
As we talked and enjoyed each others company a noise and hubbub was heard outside. These sounds came closer and battle was heard alongside much knocking on doors and demands on the orders of Fygol. The god of greed a bane of my family had again struck to bring disharmony. With the children Gertie fled out of the back door. Venin and I went to investigate the streets. Ruffians were banging upon doors. With stealth we headed toward the sounds of trouble, which seemed to be near the town gates. Many doors were barred and the street empty except the armed men of Fygol it was with desperation that myself and Venin abandon our attempt to sneak away. I called out to the men and offered them the hospitality of some cider indoors away from the cold. Safe was I in the knowledge that Gertie and the children were safely on their way out of town, so the better that the villains were off the street and no chance to espy them.
As I offered cups of cider to the men and beguiled them, Venin was quick to act and knock them senseless. Swiftly we fled the scene and called out to any guards or men we passed that drunkards were causing troubles at the tavern. In such a manner we reached the gates and fought our way through those that stood before us to reach the road.
Weary I gave the town of Caster a final glance before we escaped to Norvic and the sanctuary of the Earl’s militia.
Mister Pobbin Toadhunter
MXVIII Planting XXI
It was a sunny day in Norvic. I left Gertie with her mother and the children played in the river to cool themselves. At the hiring square I met with Lowlife of Longstor, Bellpot Smith, Doctor Morpheous, Sir Briarthorne, Mother Serenity Daydream, Ranger Reuben Volfsbrodir, Defender Liberace, Holy Mother Rose Red Mercedes and Champion of the Griffin Order Sir Winston Clarence De Vere.
High Father Tiggle of Vleybor spoke of a haunting ghost in Wymondham. High Father Tiggle was on the way to Aylsham. Sir Briarthorne was very ill looking. He had been bitten by Lady De Vere and was suffering from increasingly unhealthy signs of vampirism.
I was shocked to hear that the good Lady De Vere was a vampire. When last met she was in fine health and had fled to Hawkwind castle when Caster was sieged by heretics. Defender Liberace said that she had joined the Order of the Bloody Chalice, a vampiric order of nobles and knights.
We travelled to Wymondham but were beset by a dark elf ambush. The ambushers were fought off and we journeyed onward. A gold cloaked man offered a wager for our champion to defeat an ogre, a Champion of Fygol. The Holy Mother Rose stepped up to the challenge but all was not fair as the gold cloaked man gave magical healing to the ogre to prevent its defeat at the blade of the Crowan. A melee erupted amongst the many watchers, human and foulspawn. A purse was found on the gold cloaked man who was identified as a Fygolian.
Nothing else was of note so we left the corpses to creatures of the forest and travelled closer to Wymondham. We found on the road an injured dark elf, their legs wounded and bleeding. Mother Serenity was able to aid the elf but when Doctor Morpheous tried to help them get back on their feet the dark elf dragged him into a pit trap. Both Doctor Morpheous and the dark elf were injured in the fall. Angered Doctor Morpheous slew the dark elf and had to be hauled from the pit by rope. Doctor Morpheous’s honour was questioned for killing a defenceless creature but nothing in law could be done.
Arriving at Wymondham a strange robed fellow went to speak with Mother Serenity whilst others went to the Green Dragon Inn. I stayed in the street to keep an eye on Serenity’s safe return and chatted with an amiable fellow by the name of Nomad Martin. Nomad was his nickname and Martin was his name. I made sure to introduce Martin correctly to all my companions. When Mother Serenity was safely returned to us I took Nomad Martin into the Green Dragon Inn. A hooded lady refused to speak with me and the innkeeper bought a copy of Pobbins Post, the latest despatches from the Duchy of Northwich from me.
Baron Crocton was in Wymondham so I paid him a visit and sold another copy of Pobbins Post. Baron Crocton was an elderly fellow but Ranger Reuben was suspicious that he might be an assassin. It did not seem likely and much of Baron Crocton’s talk was of Sir Edmund a good guy from Lindone. Any suspicion of wrong doing was easily dismissed.
We left Wymondham and saw a ghostly maid. The ghost was fearful and confused. She told a tale of how she was murdered by Lady De Vere who she had regarded as her mother. Mother Serenity talked with the apparition and eased the maid’s troubled mind and the spirit passed away to Kharach’s hall in peace.
Not every spirit was so tranquilly brought to rest as Reuben found tracks and led us to follow them. We were attacked by zombies and skeletons. Amongst them were fearsome and evil Deathknights, mockeries of Black Knights and Templar Knights. These fallen knights guarded the Lady De Vere. Mother Serenity lay low the vampire and staked her corpse. The vampire slain Sir Briarthorne was given an opportunity for recovery at Wymondham Abbey.
Away from the battle I spotted an injured and unconscious man. I with Bellpot Smith’s aid was able to restore the man to good health. He wore the colours of House De Vere and named themself as Herald Geoffrey. Herald Geoffrey De Vere had been bitten by Lady De Vere but professed innocence of her vampirism. Mother Serenity took Herald Geoffrey to be tended at Wymondham Abbey and cured him of his affliction.
Dark elves hampered our return to Norvic but were naught from a pest and either fled or was slain.
Mister Pobbin Toadhunter
MXVIII Shoring III
The sky was misty as I gathered myself to depart from Caster and head to Norvic. The hiring square was quiet and I had to introduce myself to many new heroes. There was apprentice mage Nihao, deputy forester Chug and Novice Heinric of Kharach. Of the seasoned adventurers were the noble Sir Harold Briarthorne, the Warden Reuben Volfbrodir and Brother Jack Joe Jacobson.
As the sun burnt away the clouds Forester Jonson approached and the heroes gathered around. The Forester called for the brave or foolish to travel toward the heretics at Bure. Jonson’s orders were simple, to scout Bure and what the Abraxians were doing. In Norvic at the Square of the Seven a big crowd had gathered. Rumour had that a sword in a stone had mysterious appeared. I could not get close enough to see this wonder myself and followed the adventurers to the East Gate.
The militia told tales of undead swarming Corby, probably due to the malevolent influence of Mal Zeth in the nearby Mines of Massingham. They also declared a bounty of VIII crowns for the capture or defeat of the villain Grimblade. On the road we met a lone rabbit hunter who told us an account of Abraxians slaughtering their kin and companions, leaving them alive to tell the tale of the killing. We found more evidence of the Abraxian raiding parties when we found many corpses strewn upon the road. A black robes priest attended the victims’ last rites and laid them to rest. When he had finished we spoke and they introduced themselves as Father Cuthbert of Kharach. The priest was alone and unarmed so Novice Heinric gifted them their dagger and we continued our journey to Bure.
At a clearing we met a party of orcs. I talked with them and offered them a feast of toads. The orcs had been slaves for Grimblade, made to forge weapons and armour for the Abraxians. After they had eaten I encouraged the orcs to hunt for more toads in the forest. In trade they offered a well made dagger in exchange for the toads. I gave this dagger to Novice Heinric. Warden Reuben offered the orcs some instruction in the ways of Longstor.
As we returned to the road we saw a band of Abraxians destroying a caravan. We put an end to the Abraxians but it was a hard fought victory.
At a woodsman’s cottage we met the woodsman’s daughter who pleaded for our aid as her father was unwell. Brother Jack Joe Jacobson went into the cottage to aid the woodsman. There were signs of biting on the man and their skin was waxen. The daughter told of how the woodsman would often walk alone in the woods but had been gone longer than usual and returned three days ago before they fell ill.
Suspicions were that a vampire had corrupted the man. The man was a follower of the Lady Tralda so Brother Jacobson had them drink many vials of holy water and their health began to return. The man spoke with Jacobson before they vanished along with their daughter. We thought we had been fooled by the vampire but Jacobson said it was a holy miracle of Tralda. All was well for the woodsman but we knew a vampire was in the nearby woods.
The road led on to Bure. The town had been burnt to the ground. Big claw marks, wagon trails and boot prints were clear in the ashes. Warden Reuben spent considerable time examining the trail before he declared that many of the tracks were false and a ruse to lead any investigators awry. Reuben pointed westward and back toward Norvic. The Abraxians in many smaller bands had headed that way. Our journey so far was testament to this. The Abraxians were loose and spreading their creed of carnage with them.
We had discovered ill news and turned ourselves around to return to Norvic as swiftly as possible to warn all of the danger. On the road the vampire who must have been lurking before struck at us. Many undead attacked and then from the trees the vampire sent an onslaught of enchantments and beguilements. Quickly we were fighting amongst ourselves and squabbling. The vampire escaped. In a ditch was found an Abraxian who had become another victim of the vampire. When questioned they named themselves Timmuson and taunted Reuben until the warden struck off the heretic’s head.
As we headed west we met a large party of Abraxians. They blocked the road and made themselves ready for battle. We had to break through their ranks to reach the protection of Norvic. We knew it would be an almost impossible task but we had been left with no choice. Gathered in a group with Sir Harold Briarthorne at our head we tried to force an opening. Amongst the Abraxians were Bequifisian who unleashed foul magics at us and crippled we all staggered onwards. The heretics were nasty and malevolent. Chug the forester was slain by Grimblade and Jacobson fled into the woods. Those of us that remained limped away as the heretics laughed and heckled. Returned to Norvic we made our way to the Square of the Seven and saw a plain sword driven into a stone. None were able to draw the sword from the stone until Sir Winston Clarence De Vere gripped the hilt and the sword was transformed at once into a glorious and magical sword. Sir Winston was unable to free the sword, it was clear that he must prove himself worthy for the sword to be released.
Mister Pobbin Toadhunter
MXVIII Highsummer I
Gathered in Norvic were warden Reuben, high father Dante, captain Ragnar the forgetful, icklesmith Smudge, defender Liberace, brother Levy of Crowa, Alicia of Tralda, father Edmund of Rolbor and myself mister Pobbin Toadhunter.
Sir Sigismund and master Benedict came to the hiring square on the orders of viscount Hawkwind. A vassal of viscount Hawkwind sir Sigismund came to call for aid in forming a treaty with the Flinthearts so that an attack on Corby against the Mal Zeth could be orchestrated.
Ragnar was eager to go to the tavern we however agreed to go to Fareham first to visit viscount Hawkwind and aid the lord with forming the alliance with the dwarfs Ragnar then told us that he had been born in the clanhold of the Flintheart dwarfs and that we would need to let them judge his past actions. On the road outside of Norvic. He asked for no interference in this. We met a band of militia that had been summoned by viscount Hawkwind to gather at Fareham, they declined to travel with us as they demand that they take a rest.
We were then attacked by foulspawn on way to Sparham. When we reached Sparham I headed to the shrine to offer my worship. As we all gathered by the shrine a storyteller by the name of Gordon told a tale of a hero of Tralda. The tale told of the need of light in these dark times. When the story had ended Reuben left to go speak with sir Neville. There was concern that the knight threatened Reuben and warned that the Sidheans were bad.
We left and headed onward to Fareham. Ghoul and ghasts were chasing another troop of militia. The undead were defeated and at Fareham we met the viscount Hawkwind who requested a muster of an army. I spoke with a talented flint knapper who I commissioned to carve a gemstone I possessed into a miniature toad sculpture. This I collected the next day and was impressed with their skill.
At the lords hall it was announced that high father Dante would be the baronet of Bexwell. Tales were told that youths had been taken by father teach to Artemis falls for reasons unknown.
Ranger Reuben found a trail to the dwarf tunnel that led into the clanhold of the Flintheart clan. We went into tunnels where we were met by many roden and feyunds. Fiercely Ragnar fought these creatures before he was taken by the council of dwarfs.
The dwarf council was made of dwarfs from the clans of Blacknail, Stonehammer, Bloodfell, Flintheart and Greybeard. Dwarf breads and cider were shared and our request was made for the aid of dwarfs against Mal Zeth. The dwarfs asked for food to be brought to the tunnels near Fareham and the need to make trade routes with the people above. There were warnings that something was in tunnels at Massingham. It might be a tomb. It was agreed that they would join the battle.
Next was the trial of Ragnar. Ragnar had over a year ago been sent out from the clanhold to seek aid. The dwarfs accused Ragnar of desertion but it was decided that he was just late. He was cleared of all charges and renamed Ragnar the late. It was difficult to judge the time but the dwarfs said that night had fallen so we accepted the offer of hospitality and stayed overnight in the clanhold.
Mister Pobbin Toadhunter
The summer blooms and hot sunshine accompanied me as I began my pilgrimage to Hadsfield. Ma wife Gertie stayed at home to care for the little uns, which was one more than last year after our worship at the Vleyborian shrine.
There was a bustle of activity at the town when I arrived there was much talk of a dragon or a wyvern. Three hags had come into to town and began to corrupt the shrines. These were the hags from Tholon, they were invulnerable. The only weakness was to find and defeat their familiars as this would weaken them enough to kill them. The hags and the dragon caused much distress.
This was not the end of the distress for me. I had duties which kept me out of the town during the rest of the afternoon and when I arrived back I was summoned before the archmage. I rushed to attend and was scolded when I presented myself to the guild for the state of my robes, where the girth of my belly had expanded the length of my robe had shrunk. Chastised I borrowed a robe from Marius the Axirian. This was not the end of my worries. As I wandered amongst the adventurers and pilgrimages a gathering of dwarfs apprehended me and challenged me with the question of if I knew anyone that understood the dwarf runes and words. The dwarfs were loud and boisterous so concerned I stammered and wondered at the dwarfs intentions. I talked to the elf known as V who reassured me that if I explained all the dwarfs would be content. I gave an account of myself which seemed to soothe the dwarfs but I could detect some discontent so I excused myself in search of better company.
The next day better dressed I conducted myself humbly as I took refreshments of grilled toads amongst the mages, guards and other pilgrims at Hadsfield. The refreshments were received well by many and I felt better. Later in the day I was requested to investigate the ley lines in the quarry where the foulspawn were crafting magical totems. I went with my master Bialar Crais, Enchantress Holly-Lynn Icechanter, Enchantress Giulia, Enchanter Janus and his pet dragon, Sorceress Erulisse Saerwen, Pathfinder Teddy Westside, Blacksmith Douglas, Junior Guildsman Theodore Meetshack, Holy Mother Rose Mercedes, a doctor, the dwarf Wisdom, the elf Fen with his fine tin hat and a few more I'm not sure I can recall their names.
We travelled out with the scouts ahead, Meetshack showing a great skill of stealth and woodcraft. Many foulspawn and wood golems blocked our path. The trolls we met I swiftly burnt. As we reached the quarry and the stone totems a fierce and giant spider spat poison as it scurried amongst us. Its venom caused paralysis and its bite petrification. Use of the beast’s venom was able to reverse the petrification.
Examination of the stone totem’s showed a delicate balance in the ley lines so that the totems needed to be slowly discharged or cause ruptures. Further into the quarry I saw a snake headed woman and I became petrified. We had met a medusa. The other adventurers defeated the beast and delved deeper into the quarry.
At the centre of the quarry lay a giant statue of a cyclop and three stone totems which channelled power into a circle of protection. Three ogre mages defended the statue but they could not withstand the assault of the adventurers. To deactivate the circle of protection the three stone totems had to be discharged. Once the statue was no longer protected the magic within the statue had to be dispelled, this took lots of spells before the cyclop automaton cracked and broke open to reveal a petrified battle mage which when moved revealed a soulfire sinkhole. The ley lines now freed of their leashes needed to be brought back together. The combined effort of the mages reconnected the ley lines and sealed the soulfire sink hole.
The following day we had to fight a battle against a dragon. To defeat the dragon we had to capture the Queen of the Dragonkin army and take her three sceptres of power. A potion crafted from the Queen’s lava belly was put on the heated sceptres which when ignited created a gas which weakened the dragon. A certain amount of planning and degree of cajoling had the sceptres in the right place the dragon trapped and stalwart warriors to defeat it. The King rewarded us each with a scale from the dragon's hide.
Mister Pobbin Toadhunter
MXVIII Summereve VII
The day was bright and warm as I entered the hiring square. I completed a round of introductions as there were many that I had not met, Sir William of Dareham, Larkin the mercenary, Venin the scout, Ragnar the Late, Liviania the Enchanter, Caliban the alchemist, Edmund of Rolbor and Master Armourer Smudge Icklesmith.
Warrant officer Stylax hired the adventurers to arrest the villain Sir Gyles of Massingham. He had been outlawed as a heretic so no arrest warrant was required. He was last seen at his manor near Massingham. Before the adventurers departed the square Tom Cauldron came out of his laboratory to talk to Caliban about some missing potions, he said that lots of venom had recently been stolen from his stores. The guard at the gate had an arrest warrant for Ranger Isau with the charge of murder. Along the road an assembly of merchants had set up a market, keen to take advantage of the opportunity I set up my stall. At the market I sold two maps of Norvic and a dwarf bought a mushroom. Edmund commissioned a map written in Dwarven which I agreed to prepare. Earlier in the day the market traders said that they had spoken to a man named Douglas who had taken the road west.
Further on we met bandits on the road. They had envenomed spears. They was defeated and empty potion bottles was found with Tom Cauldron’s maker mark.
I found Douglas in the next village before we reached the town of Dareham. He spoke of the blasphemy of nobles. He said he did not want anarchy. A trail of magic from his hand led northwest toward Dareham. I tried to follow the magic with my map in hand but it went into the ground and I was unable to track it. Douglas could read Rhonish but not Dwarven, Nurunese or Foulspawn. It appeared to me that Douglas was speaking through this volunteer much like a puppet. Douglas would not reveal his location or agree to meet in person. I invited him to visit for tea at any time for a chat. I wrote a formal invitation and handed it to him, perhaps the volunteer or another will come to see me.
Nearer to Dareham we met some Guidan refugees on the road. I told them to head to Lynn Regis to find a boat home. The adventurers escorted them along road but they fled when they saw some Llaminusian mercenaries. I saw a demon with the mercenaries so I bid the Guidanese a safe journey home. The demon was slain and its bodyguards defeated. I questioned Dagnar the Llaminusian who had been with the demon. He told me he had come off a ship at Lynn Regis and been offered a well paid job to escort man that they had not known was a demon. I advised the mercenary to be careful when they considered their next contract as taking jobs for demons was not a good choice.
We came to Sir Gyles Whitestaff’s manor. We found it empty, after a thorough search the only clue to Gyles whereabouts was found in a riddle.
Our agents will meet you at the place between dark and light that is a place of fallen glory on the seventh day. We sail on the evening tide. If you are not there you will be left behind.
Myself and Edmund studied a local map whilst we considered the riddle. We decided the only solution to the riddle would be the keep at De Rising. Sure of our destination we headed to De Rising. On the road we met many wounded people who said that they had been attacked by ogres and foulspawn, we suspected them to be followers of Sir Gyles. The carnage got worse as we then began to find bodies that had been clawed and ripped apart. Then out of the bushes came many foulspawn, amongst them was a harpy. The visage of the harpy was terrifyingly repulsive. All but the dwarf Ragnar were stricken with violent wretching. Whilst the foulspawn suffered equally Ragnar slaughtered them all and consumed the troll in flames.
We found the people of Rainham robbed when a glorious procession led by Sir Gyles Whitestaff passed through and distracted them. After I spoke with Jon the half elf he grabbed a sword and ran to get his revenge. The adventurers followed but not in time, mercenaries paid by Sir Gyles had attacked Jon. Jon was rescued but many more mercenaries and foulspawn were in the village of De Rising and had also entered the keep. Sir Gyles was ready to make his escape, he awaited his ship and cowardly hid in a circle of protection. Many followers of Githas lost their lives as the adventurers attacked again and again. When the sails of Sir Gyle's ship were seen on the horizon and Sir Gyles attempted to flee I entangled him in his robes and the adventurers rushed to capture him. Sir Gyle's forces were too many and the adventurers were pushed back. Sir Gyle's stood to gloat before he boarded his ship so by magic I froze him and the adventurers attacked again. This time he was captured. In the battle the brave dwarf Ragnar was slain. Sir Gyles was put in deathsleep by Edmund of Rolbor and taken to Stylax to await trial for heresy. Everyone was saddened by the death of Ragnar.
Mister Pobbin Toadhunter
MXVIII Drawing IV
After our earlier perilous excursions to visit the goat market in Hethel, to gather flowers in the hills of Half Whistle, to the wedding of Lady Isabelle de Vere and to holy ring bells in the fields of Hadsfield Mamma Gertie did not take lightly our journey to Norvic. She left Toadhunter Tower adorned in battle dress. Gloriously in golden shining attire she had the striking beauty of a Valcor.
At Norvic we met erstwhile friends and companions Smudge and Edmund. Gertie made her acquaintance of the enchantress miss Liviana, alchemist mister Caliban, warrior Larkin and the noble Sir Harold.
Mister Tom Cauldron came to the hiring square again with more reports of theft. The thieves had stolen oils of venom and were known to be camped north of Bexwell. Mister Cauldron tasked us to recover the stolen goods and to neutralise the thieves that were become a thorn in his side and a risk to his profitable business.
We left Norvic by the west gate and not far from the walls a marketplace had been set up. Hasty I set up a stall but travellers on the road were few, perhaps due to the increase in thefts and robbery so trade was not good so I moved on. Along the road we found a man and wife. The man looked dead, I began to examine him and saw many wounds. Edmund reassured us that the man was in deathsleep, investigation concluded that the man had come to this state by the will of the gods. His wife had felt the touch from a goddess and knew the magic word which would awaken her husband but if not healed before woken he would surely die. Livinia on a quest for Vleybor healed the man whilst we all prayed and shared our love. Then when the magic word was spoken the man recovered and was reunited with his loving wife. It had been a wonderful morning of friendship and miracles. Gertie’s misgivings were unfounded. Then we heard the grunting, shouting and squealing of foulspawn. Orcs and goblins came out of the bushes and assaulted us. The foulspawn of the short tusk tribe showed a particular disliking to Larkin but the warrior and others slew them all. No sooner had the orcs been battled when a noble highway man blocked the road. A duel with Larkin ensued but as the warrior was about to strike the vagabond down the man teleported away and then escaped into the trees. I was unsure whether Larkin had lost many crowns to a wager but the highway was assuredly now in his debt.
Unharmed we walked on to Bexwell. Off to the side of the road were two armed men and a witch, perhaps waiting to meet with somebody. They did not want to tell us who they were and did attempt some magic to lure us toward them. Sensing a trap we hurried onward and were followed. Not wanting to cause any trouble we stepped off the road to let them pass. Then the witch revealed herself as a harpy. Overcome with vomiting at the sight I did not witness much more. When I recovered the harpy had fled leaving her bodyguards, two Githasians to fight us.
When we caught up with the harpy she had joined other Githasians and freed the prisoner Whitestaff who was being escorted by two guards. In the battle Whitestaff was wounded and I ran to offer aid to the injured guards. I was too late both had bled and died. I took the tabards so that they didn’t fall into unscrupulous hands. When I returned to Whitestaff he too had died of his wounds.
Onward we reached a pitiable palisade, poorly made and defended by common folk. They announced themselves as NAF, Norvic Anarachy Freedom Fighters. They claimed that they and their family had given their blood to the nobles with nought in return. They had plenty of weapons and many were coated in poisons. Arguments and fighting began until we reached the leader of the camp. They would not name themselves but stated that their brother had died at the battle of Corby fields. I offered a truce but we were soon attacked. Nugget, as the mystery man was named, as wounded and captured. Larkin carried Nugget back to Norvic to stand trial. In the camp we found four boxes of alchemy, a few bottles of oil remained.
We returned the oils to mister Tom Cauldron. Upon examination the boxes were recognised as similar to those that had previously been used in an attempt to poison the local nobles. Mister Cauldron was glad that the threat of the thieves had been stopped and taking the venomous oils he offered an exchange for healing potions. The prisoner Nugget and the guard tabards were passed to the law offices in Norvic along with the details of Whitestaff’s escaped and death. Miss Liviana and myself both offered our services to the city in the preparation and plans for the construction of a travelling gate.
Mister Pobbin Toadhunter
MXVIII Midcold XVI
It was a cold day when I left Toadhunter Tower so Mama Gertie made sure I was wrapped up warm and had plenty of provision lest I starve and lose my good figure. It was short journey around the edge of Theoforde forest for me to reach the old town. Theoforde had once been the capital of the duchy until the Axirian invasion and the history around it was very interesting. The Viscount had need of adventurers to travel into the forest to discover why many werewolves were raiding the farms and their livestock. The adventurers were told to meet Forester Jon Marrowfoot in Wrentham to learn more.
The guard at the gates of Theoforde warned of many thieving dark elves in the forest who worshiped a cyclops. I later learnt that this was the cyclops known as Baragon.
At Theoforde was Enchanter Liviana Seldon, Journeyman mage Robert Wheelwright, High Father Lowlife of Longstor, Ranger Isau, Freesword Halful and myself Mister Pobbin Toadhunter.
Along the road to Wrentham we found three dead bodies, one had had a fresh wound cut into their forehead in the shape of an eye. We guessed they had been killed by dark elves and kept a wary eye out for the enemy. Fortunately we were not attacked and met Jon in Wrentham. Generously he handed out two weapons coated with oil of silver. He warned that if we meet any werewolves in the forest that we would need silver and magic to harm them. He said that the werewolves had been attacking many farms and devouring the livestock. He said this was unusual for werewolves.
Bravely the adventurers accompanied by Jon went into the forest. Almost as soon as we were beneath the boughs of the trees we were attacked by green elves and a very hairy man. Terrified we defended ourselves and defended them Lowlife said that the elves were elderkin, ancient creatures of corruption. He said that the hairy man looked like a wendigo, which he said was a hulda of Abraxis. We followed Jon further into the woods and through a beast’s lair which smelt of piss. As we came to a clearing we found a man being tortured by group of dark elves. We rescued the man and then he turned into a werewolf. The man beast was a follower of Longstor. In a growling speech it said that it had lost it hunting ground to dark elves and evil wolves. The man beast went deeper into the woods and when we followed it was attacked by more dark elves and another evil werewolf. I stabbed and killed the evil werewolf with an enchanted silver dagger which the man beast eyed up aggressively so I stepped out of his way. Lowlife explained to him that we wanted to offer our help. He agreed and he led us all to the wolf elder. The wolf elder explained that the woods and hunting grounds were not safe for him and his kind. That all creatures of the forest were being driven out including the cyclops Baragon. A creature of the forest, old, older than the gods was driving everything out.
We had learnt all we could so set on our returned journey to the old town of Theoforde. On way the scouts Isau and Halful found the lair of Baragon and his dark elves soldiers. We were few in number but as darkness came over the forest we planned an attack. Enchanter Livinia created a circle of protection as I confronted Baragon trying to cast pact on him but it had no effect on the great creature of magic. As the cyclops came to steal my magic I went to Livinia and the beast could not enter circle of protection to reach the huddled mages within. The bait was offered and the cyclops could not resist. Bravely Lowlife, Isau, Halful and Jon battled the dark elves and attacked the cyclops as it tried to invade the protective circle. With magic and cunning we kept the beast and its followers distracted until Lowlife laid the creature low. The cyclops Baragon that had causing much strife for the region had been slain. Victorious we went home.
Mister Pobbin Toadhunter
MXIX Deepwinter VI
Gathered in a cold hiring square in Norvic were Sir Harold Briarthorne, enchanter Robert Wheelwright, physick Bellpot Smith, Mithimise scout Karim Sunspear, Yan the freesword, Cassius Halfleg, Sir Podrick esquire of the Griffin Order and myself. We were hired by a man to meet his master. The servant pleaded for our discretion on a delicate matter, for this reason in the following report some of the names of people and places have been changed for their privacy.
The servant Blackberry said we would be hired to fetch something for his master Dandelion Pipkin who was in the town of Silverweed. We headed out to Silverweed, the gate guard as we left Norvic told us that the king was displeased with the adventurers of Ithron, I passed this message on to the adventurers I was with. Then an attack came from a green elf with goblins and a troll. Lowlife had told me that these green elves were Elderkin hulda of Krygan the mother of monsters. I was worried that a very hairy man would attack us like last time but none came.
At Silverweed myself and Cassius prayed at the shrine to Tralda and then went in search of Dandelion Pipkin. Dandelion was cursed, he said he had become cursed when he had taken a relic of Krygan and tried to destroy it. Dandelion was cursed to look like a wolf, his paws making life difficult with simple task such as scribing letters, dressing dressed and using door knobs. He said that with water collected from Gnarlfinger pond, a sacred pool holy to Krygan in Dareham woods, then a priest would be able to cleanse him of his curse. There was no priests to be found in Silverweed so we headed into Dareham forest. Karim Sunspear had been in Dareham last moon, he said we would be entering the land of the poison frog tribe and he always warned of demons. The poison frog tribe were known for their milking of frogs to make venom.
In the town of Dareham we met some mercenaries who had been influenced by Douglas and did not have permits. A guard was trying to deal with them. They was also a representative of the blacksmith guild protector dealing with miscreant blacksmiths. I encouraged the blacksmith to enlist the peasants into the blacksmith guild so that they would have work and be allowed to carry their weapons. Mister Wheelwright had been trying to diffuse the situation as well and I am not sure our separate efforts went well so we left the guard and blacksmith to sort it all out. On the edge of the forest we found dead bodies with a lingering taint of demons, the people had been attacked and bodies had been laying their some time. There was a bitter whiff in the air and I knew that toads or frogs were close by, lots of them. By instinct I began to hunt them and in short order had one in my pot, Mama Gertie would be well fed and pleased. Frogs very territorial and vicious began to attack us. I fended them off as much as I was able and the adventurers of Norvic learnt how difficult a pursuit that toad hunting can be. Battling through the frogs we reached the pond water and I filled a tankard. Physick Bellpot bottled it and we began our journey out of Dareham forest. Whilst we did all of this Sir Briarthorne tried to eat my toes, I saw that he was the victim of some magical mishap so lifted the spell to free his wits.
On the path we saw many foulspawn some with demons and the others were Kryganites, foulspawn fought amongst themselves. We kept in the dark shadows of evening as mister Wheelwright enchanted a sword. When ready we came forward and finished off the foulspawn. At Silverweed we took the water to master Pipkin but could not find a priest. Wary of leaving all the cursed water with the cursed man physick Bellpot Smith and myself kept a vial each of cursed water for safe keeping. The remaining two vials we left with him so that when a priest was found he could be cured as soon as possible.
MXIX Thawing III
The sun shone on a cold Norvic as the adventurers gathered. To bravely lead us again was the noble Sir Harald Briarthorne and his hanger ons the feudal esquires Archibald, Lars and Isaih. The scout Karim Jahar of the Sunspear was there to find our path. Elsewise to guide and support us were Theo of Crowa, Brian of Vleybor, Dario of Rolbor, Meggy the alchemist, Jimney the dwarf and myself mister Pobbin Toadhunter.
Again the servant I shall refer to as Blackberry came to seek our aid and our discretion, as before some of the names in this report have been changed for the individual’s privacy. Blackberry said that their master Dandelion Pipkin had gone missing. He asked for us to seek him out to return him home alive and for his curse to be removed. We travelled into the woods and met bandits and wood cutters. These bandits were fought off and we reached the town of Silverweed. The folk of Silverweed reported that they had heard howling for the past few nights in the woods and wilds around the town.
I checked Pipkin’s room and found it ransacked. Furniture was torn and the window shutters were broken open. Dog hairs and faeces were scattered about and it smelt like a dog had lived here. With Pipkin gone Sir Harald said he must go speak with Viscount Hawkwind in Dareham for guidance. We all accompanied Sir Harald and had a look around the market of Dareham. A Longstorian priest was celebrating the festival of Ploughing the Sod, he asked the adventurers to tell of their greatest achievements. Dario warned that he had suspicions that the man was a Seraklanite. I prepared and cast a magical spell which affirmed Dario’s suspicions. The man was quickly apprehended and the heretic stopped. Sir Harald returned from his visit with the Viscount and said that Pipkin must be returned alive. I cast another spell to find Pipkin and I located him in the direction of Gnarlfinger’s Pond in Dareham forest.
We had to travel through Dareham forest and we met a Longstorian werewolf who complained that her tribe had been slaughtered and forced out of Theoforde forest by the Vargr. There were offers of aid made by some of the adventurers to defeat the monster but no sure way to do this. Foulspawn then attacked and the werewolf helped us defeat them.
By smell alone I knew we were getting close to Gnarlfinger Pond and I warned all to be wary of toads. From all around them venomous toads leapt out to defend their territory. Mayhem ensued but the cursed pond was reached. I sensed something amiss so went closer to investigate. As I stared at the muddy pond I was startled by an eruption under the earth. The ground split and a giant toad emerged. I fled in terror and reached the adventurers where the beast was struck down and exploded in a mess of gore and filth. A life of hunting toads had not prepared me for such a monster which I am sure had been corrupted by the mother of monsters. On the other side of the pond he saw a feral and dirty dogman, he did not respond to any calling or any offer of food but we were sure that the unfortunate creature had once been the man Pipkin. At a loss of what to do and how to get the man to a priest I knock him senseless with my staff and forced a potion of sleep into his mouth. Soundly asleep it was possible to carry Pipkin to Walsham to be cleansed by Lowlife at the new shrine to Longstor.
Mister Pobbin Toadhunter
MXIX Planting VII
Once again the rain fell heavy as the adventurers gathered in the hiring square in Norvic. Ready to lead the adventurers was Warden Reuben Volfsbrodir. Gathered together were Jimney of Clan Bloodfell, Brian the Blessed of Vleybor, Maera Stagstrider of Longstor, Sir Lars of House Canis, Dario of Rolbor, alchemist Meggy Pitchell, alchemist Caliban Rose, Ronan the scout and myself mister Pobbin Toadhunter.
As I prepared myself for the day's outing I missed the introduction from our hirer although speaking with the adventurers at the hiring square they told me that they had been hired to investigate the marshes near Dareham. In Springsdawn there had been a previous journey into the marshes where many lizardkin and Kryganites had been met. Rumours of cloaked people coming near Norvic and being heard hissing was rift and rumours of monstrous beasts hatched from eggs in the marshes.
On the road toward the marshes was met a lone lizardkin. The creature was peaceful and when approached it was seen that they had been excommunicated from its church. It explained when asked that it had fled the marshes and its clan of the one eyed adder. It had fled because it no longer accepted the will of the clan and their purpose. The lizardkin was left to pursue its journey away from the dark and into the light.
At Sparham there was the strange sight of was Seraclanites worshippers with their holy symbols on display. Two of them were quickly set upon by the adventurers and killed. The appearance of the Seraclanites was blamed on the recent proclamation from the Emperor of Axir. No other heretics were found.
After leaving Sparham many Kryganite lizardkin attacked. They were very powerful, many had blessed weapons, many used poisons and many were casting spells and they had a Wendigo was with them. Later on the road was found dead and maimed foulspawn hung from a tree. Reuben and Ronan said that the Wendigo had been here but the foulspawn had not been eaten only mutilated and left as warning to the weak.
In Dareham a man was speaking of the trial of Dante the poet, this man was a puppet of Douglas. Dario spoke to the man and made sure that the people of Dareham were at peace and no trouble would be caused by the public display.
It was then that the edge of the marshes was reached. I spotted a giant toad in the marshes and proving my mettle I beat the beast down. Marshkin were also in the marsh but sensibly we left the creatures be. Further into the marsh however things were not so natural, the land was scorched and a magical storm was at its centre. The Longstorians amongst the adventurers were deeply upset by this and felt the marsh had to be cleansed. Near the disturbance was the corpse of a thaumaturge. Examination of the mage showed that they had tried to drain the land. Whilst the Longstorian cleansed the corruption I dispelled the magical power and the vortex dissipated to return the power to the land.
The corruption grew worse as the adventurers travelled further into the marshes. Again more lizardkin were met and the battles were as hard fought as before. The lizardkin were powerful with blessed weapons, poison and Kryganite magics. The trail of corruption was followed and led onwards until a dead end was reached. A mass of trees, roots and bushes impeded any further travelling. Here the corruption was at its strongest. Black ooze pooled and bubbled. There was shedded reptile skin floating in the ooze. Around the pool there were tracks that a monstrous creature had slithered away further into the marshes and it was impossible to follow them. At great risk to his own safety Caliban was able to collect some of the ooze and some of the shed skin. After I had cured him of the poisonous fumes he had inhaled I took the skin and I have stored this so that I can use it to locate the creature when it is needed. Reuben called upon his lord Longstor to remove this corruption and there was a lifting of the feeling of wrongness but the marsh remained a forsaken place.
There was naught else anyone could do so the journey home was begun. Many times the lizardkin attacked and I was beset with magical compulsions again and again so my mind if foggy to the details but everyone fought bravely and to Norvic we did return.
Mister Pobbin Toadhunter
MXIX Budding V
When the Barone Phillipe Montrose of Amnor visited the hiring square in Norvic he brought the bright Amnorian sunshine with him. The Barone who was a vassal for the Counte Giovanni Salvarno requested an escort from Norvic to Lynn Regis. To lead the adventurers was High Father Edmund of Rolbor accompanied by Sir Hughes Esquire to de Mowbray, Smudge the footbeardling, Mystell the dwarf and meself Mister Pobbin Toadhunter.
We were a small group and it was the first journey from her clanhold for Mystell so to keep her safe I lent her my club to defend herself from any dangers on the road. Later this was to prove a perilous choice as I left meself less protected.
The Barone Phillipe was an eager visitor to Ithron and keen to learn of our culture and to share his knowledge of his own lands and the Amnorian people. The Barone brought with him gifts for Viscount Hawkwind, the Flintheart dwarves and the Duke of Northwich. We would travel with the Barone to present these gifts and deliver the Barone safely to Lynn Regis.
As we left Norvic I asked the gate guard for news of the road and they warned of foulspawn to the north but reported that the road to Fareham was safe. Along the road we met pilgrims on their way to Norvic after their worship at the Traldan shrine in Sparham. The Barone told that it was also common in Amnor to encounter pilgrims travelling to holy places. There was writing on the road which the pilgrims stated that had nothing to do with them, it wrote that dwarfs are stupid and a drawing of a skull. Edmund was not pleased with this and wrote his own reply in the dwarvish script. It was a mystery who had left the original marks.
We left the pilgrims to finish their journey as we continued ours to Sparham. I made my own venerations to the shrine of Tralda before we travelled onward. On the road we met many undead. It was a difficult battle. As a ghast rushed in a nightmare assaulted us with magic, the few of us that day were scattered and injured I ran to safety. My one arm was injured and my club in the hands of Mystell I had no way to fight through the skeletons to reach my companions. Sir Hughes Esquire likewise hampered could not use his great sword but stood in the road to challenge the skeletons so that I could return to Smudge. The melee had dazed Smudge and I had to remind her to use her holy water to immobilise the ghast and called our band to regroup. We few gathered together then the undead were destroyed and we reached the town of Fareham.
It was market day at Fareham. I seized an opportunity to sell the latest copies of Pobbins Post. The milkmaid purchased one and Barone Phillipe requested to be sent copies and I agree to send him news for the next six months. I was ordered by the town to purchase a traders market licence which I dutifully did. Barone Phillipe visited Viscount Hawkwind to present his gift. We accompanied him and learnt that Viscount Hawkwind was related by blood to Conde Giovanni Salvarno of Amnor. To join the celebrations Sir Hughes Esquire was initiated into the church of Rolbor by High Father Edmund. Then we descended into the Flintheart mines under Massingham. The dwarfs accepted the gifts offered by Barone Phillipe. The Barone then went to meet the Duke. On the last leg of our journey Barone Phillipe explained that travellers to Amnor are expected to pay a fee or toll for travelling into Amnor and that this collection when travellers pass through the Amnor gate.
The Barone delivered we to returned to Norvic. It had been noted by meself during the day that Edmund was cursed. I had spoken with Smudge who said this was known to her but that Edmund denied it. To not raise Edmund’s ire I planned to investigate this curse whenever Edmund might be more receptive to an investigation. During the day no opportunity seemed to present itself until taking fate into her own brave Mystell knocked Edmund out. Whilst he was unconscious I was able to make use of magic to divine that Edmund had been cursed by Seraklan. There was little more I could gather as the divinations I performed became garbled. What to do to save Edmund could not be found and it could not be determined whether the shrine that Edmund consecrated in Rackheath was in fact a shrine to Rolbor or Seraklan.
Mister Pobbin Toadhunter
MXIX Shoring II
The weather was warm and sunny in Norvic. In the hiring square the adventurers possessed an air of expectation and relaxation. After the Barone Phillipe Montrose had visited the Duke of Northwich in Budding there was a promise of travel to the realm of Amnor. None were disappointed when our patron for the day arrived. Pablo was a servant of the Conte Giovanni de Salvarno. Pablo invited those gathered to meet the Barone Montrose in his home, to share their knowledge with him and enjoy a feast which would be provided.
There was High Father Edmund of Rolbor, Sister Smudge of Rolbor and myself mister Pobbin Toadhunter who had met with the Barone Montrose the month before. For the festivities we were accompanied by Baronetess Virginia of Rolbor, Baronet Dante of Tralda, Mother Maera of Longstor, Father Dario of Rolbor, Meggy Pitchel the alchemist, Ranger Reuben, Jimney the dwarf and Dagnay the mercenary.
We travelled with members of House Silvarno. Their heraldry was green and yellow. At the national gate were arrived in Kartuba it was dry and hot in Amnor. Many Amnorians and Mithimise were seen. Dario hired a speaker from Amnor, her name was Leanna. With our guide and speaker were travelled through another gate to arrive in Campus Stellae. There were many churches and spires in the city and a great building that was holy to the seven light gods. There was little time for sightseeing or reverence to the gods as it was heard that the house of the Barone Phillipe Montrose was under attack.
Without preparation we left the city and headed toward the hills. Outside the city the wilds were as dangerous as in Ithron as foulspawn orcs and ogres beset us. We were easy targets, ill prepared and without escort. Battle was fought and the foulspawn were defeated by grit and determination.
As we cooled our tempers and better prepared ourselves Baronet Dante’s blood was still hot and reckless words brought the wrath of Seraklan. He was struck down and cursed. For the remainder of the day his words were false and powers of his faith were diminished. Recognising the threat these foulspawn were to the Barone’s casa we travelled into the hills. In the hills were found a black and sickly tree. A black ichor dripped from the trees branches. The cursed black tree was cleansed by Maera who said that the tree had been cursed by Krygan.
The roads and lands were unknown to all of us apart from Leana. So unbeknown to us we had travelled into the lands of Barone Engo Vaskis. The Barone Vaskis challenged our trespass. We explained the threat to Barone Montrose but it seemed that the Barone was from a differing house and they held no allegiance with our patron. Leanna and others attempted to talk with the Barone and negotiate our passage. High Father Edmund tried to pass by the Barone and was attacked. A melee ensued and the Barone Vaskis was knocked unconscious and his men fled into the hills. The Barone was left on his lands to recover his senses whilst we travelled onwards.
Our journey took us through a ripe vineyard. Offers of wine and refreshments were made. The day’s heat and the road’s dust had given all dry and parched mouths so I slacked by thirst. I was most satisfied with the wine and bought a cask of wine to be delivered to the gate in Campus Stellae ready for my return to Ithron.
Leanna said we would reach the Barone Montrose casa soon but then before us we saw a group of horned and hairy men, a merging of man and bull. Latter when I spoke with Barone Montrose he told us that they were known was Toreros and common sight wild in the hills or chained in the fighting pits. These Toreros attacked us. They roared and stamped their feet but were slow in moving. They were resistant to magic but I had some success in slowing one down as it shook its head confused at the magic.
After the Toreros were defeated we were passing a travelling merchant, we warned them that the Barone’s hall was under attack and best to stay away and also warned them of black corrupted trees if they turned away. They decided to wait and see how the Barone repelled the siege. We rushed to the casa and discovered it surrounded by goblins and more Toreros.
The siege was fought off and the Barone Montrose welcomed us. As promised a feast was laid on, we talked of our customs and learnt of the ways of Amnor then the next day we visited the holy city of Campus Stellae.
Mister Pobbin Toadhunter
MXIX Highsummer II
It was time again for Ithron's adventurers to travel to Amnor. At the hiring square came Pablo a servant of Conte Giovanni de Salvarno. Pablo asked that adventurers travel to Amnor to investigate the Toreros that were troubling the hills near the Conte's casa.
Gathered in the hiring square were sister Smudge of Rolbor, novice Alaine of Vleybor, Ranger Reuben Volfsbrodir, Dagnay the mercenary, Eladora the alchemist, myself Pobbin Toadhunter and my apprentice Jax. Arriving late but in time to accompany us was high father Edmund of Rolbor.
My apprentice Jax was worried about a Fae lord he had met the week before, I was unable to offer much knowledge myself but we talked of visiting the thaumaturgist Wez in Lowstof if we did need any questions answering.
The journey to Amnor was quick and we safely arrived in Campus Stellae. We were told of an upcoming tourney of sword duelling which it was clear the Amnorian greatly enjoyed and were fiercely proud of. It would not be all bloodthirsty there was talk of singing and other safer entertainments too.
We left the city and headed into the hills. Much as found in Ithron the wild places were filled with foulspawn, Amnor is the same and orcs attacked us. Not all we met was malevolent however but it was worrying, we came across a band of Axirian legionnaires from the legendary First legion. What concerned me was that they had thrown off their colours and were selling themselves as mercenaries. They claimed their legion had not been paid and that they would be searching for new employment. I offered them coin to defend the Amnorian city of Campus Stellae from the wild Toreros but my offered was scorned as too meagre.
No sight of Toreros had been seen so we travelled further into the hills. A dead dwarf was found and we stopped to investigate. From my examination and the alchemical knowledge of Eladora it was surmised that the dwarf had alchemically overdosed as it appeared many of the plants nearby could be harvested for alchemical ingredients. I aided Eladora as she harvested what she could safely, there were blue leaves, orange leaves, purple leaves and yellow leaves. Eladora took these for her studies and brewings.
Then we found a small human settlement, the town however had been abandoned. Two bodies had been ravaged and their grisly remained turned inside out. Reuben was able to follow their tracks, the folk had run further into the hills, swiftly and fast. It was not long before we caught up with the people, they had been attacked by the Toreros. Near to where the folk were hiding I detected a leyline. I showed this to my apprentices Jax and harnessed some of the magic to empower Gooseberry, a doll of mistress Smudge. Gooseberry lit up brightly and blind myself and Jax. Praise to the Light of the Seven my eyesight recovered and I quickly instructed Smudge to put Gooseberry safely away to keep her out of sight for she gave me sore eyes to behold her.
The band of Toreros responsible for the trouble were no far away and Reuben led us onward to their camp. In the camp was a bearded Cyclops. Fortunately I had read Schoolmaster Hulu's report and knew to avoid it, for its touch could paralyse and drain soulfire. The creature was knocked unconscious my Jax's staff and later slain by an enchanted sword. Upon examination the bearded Cyclops was Kryganite and had been feasting on the corpse of a dead Vleyborian Cyclops. There was also a strange wolf headed creature but this also was slain with a normal weapon. We had been close to this area on our last visit and I remembered seeing a cursed tree of Krygan. I fear that this is connected and the bearded Cyclops, the Krygan tree and the attacks of Toreros are connected in some way.
Mister Pobbin Toadhunter
MXIX Shielding XXIV
The split of the Empire and the countless threats to the nations within it were a focus of the adventurers of Ithron. The Archduke had arranged journeys by portal to each nation. Gathered to travel to Rum were a mostly peaceful bunch, I was remiss in collecting all their names but I shall provide what I can. To lead us was guardsman Red Kent, there was a small scout, Lorrisa a supplicant of Vleybor, Kenneth of Vleybor, a Crowan warrior, Damon Sunspear, elementalist Ashley Pugh, fisherman Jac Everest, physician Rosie, four others and myself mister Pobbin Toadhunter.
I chatted with Red Kent who explained the upset in Rum. The nation is led by four ruling families. The head of each family titled the Don, roughly speaking what may be called a Lord in Ithron. Don Salvarno is rumoured to be dealing with demons of House Secrets, the Don despite being over ninety years old has the appearance of a man much younger. I hoped we would not be travelling in Don Salvarno’s territory.
We travelled through the portal to Rum. At the gateway were a group of Axirian legionnaires. The legionnaires had been unpaid and unfed, this had led in much unrest and disturbance throughout Rum. The Dons had eventually paid the legion off and now the legionnaires were tasked with protecting Rum’s borders. This seemed to be working. Trades goods were available at a nearby trading post, I purchased Rumish food to sate my hunger as I was forced to leave my own Ithronian foodstuffs at the border.
To travel further into the country we were asked our business by an official of Don Basarvoy. We had not been briefed on any specifics by the Archduke so we declared that we were envoys of Ithron with an invitation to deliver to Don Lucarno Basarvoy. Were we given directions to Don Lucarno’s manor but warned he had not been seen in a while, another rumour was that his daughter was to marry a grey knight which he had been upset by.
On the road we met a band of foulspawn, much alike to the foulspawn in Ithron they were hungry. I offered food and the foulspawn were non aggressive. Further on the road a couple of locals questioned our intentions and reasons for travelling. We remained honest and they demanded a toll. I offered a finely crafted dwarven silver ring which they accepted and quickly moved aside.
We met farmers working in the sun then reached the manor. The manor had been raided and we found the housekeeper in hiding. They knew little of what had happened but they were too scared to leave the manor. Our scout took a look around. They found traces of salt water, the tracks of six pairs of clawed feet and signs of someone being dragged away. Some monsters had taken the Don. Red Kent told us of the fishfolk of Ustica.
Our scout led us in pursuit of the kidnappers. We met hooded people, mindless cultists of the fishfolk. They could not be reasoned with and attacked us. Close by we discover a pool of water. The sight of the pool had everyone yawning and a feeling of tiredness came upon me. Watching from nearby were the fishfolk, large fish-headed people, they did not speak but made glub glub glub sounds. These could not be talked to and would not let us passed. With the danger of the sleepy pool and the poisonous bites of the fishfolk we had to act fast. The blubbery and rubbery skin of the fishfolk prevented them from being knocked out, they had to be cut and sliced. Jac did attempt to fillet one but the creatures were monstrous and sickly.
More fishfolk, cultists and pools of sleepy water were found and eventually we came to a pool with the Don Basarvoy laid sleepily beside it. Cunningly Ashley used a scroll to teleport the Don out of danger and the fishfolk were safely dealt with. A laboratory was found were people were transformed into cultists. Within the laboratory was a potion of renew soulfire, a piece of stonewood, a piece of ironwood and a holy shield of Crowa. The Don was escorted home and invited to visit our camp for a party this evening, he graciously accepted. He granted us free passage through the portal and allowed us to take away the items we have recovered. We divided the items before returning to Ithron. Later that evening Don Basarvoy arrived at our camp and attended the Archduke’s meeting of nations as a representative of Rum.
Mister Pobbin Toadhunter
MXIX Harvesting XXI
I talked with Sir Harold Briarthorne who had been investigating the Gnolls near to Ling. Since the destruction of my home in Geldedstones and then the burning of my home in Caster I had stayed away from the region. Sir Harold told tales of merchants were being attacked so with this news it was timely that I travelled homeward to help out.
Gathered in the hiring square was Sir Harold Briarthorne, Nero the mage, Apples the pitfighter, alchemist Meggy Pithell, High father Edmund McKrackin of Rolbor, my apprentice Jax and myself mister Pobbin Toadhunter.
We were hired by guardsman Rainworth to investigate some recently killed militia. A routine of the militia checking the merchants on the river had reduced the raids from the gnolls. Now it seemed that foulspawn were attacking the merchants and travellers. The militia had sent scouts to investigate but these scouts had been attacked and strung up by someone. The plan was for us to travel to Ling, Caster and Keelinghall to explore what was happening. We were warned that some folk in the villages were angry about the trial of Douglas of Attwater and the nature of his arrest.
On the road out of Norwich we met a lady, she said that she was a merchant but had been beaten and robbed. She was cautious and would not approach us. There was suspicion that she was not as she seemed but we had other business to investigate so we directed her onward to Norvic and safety. Nearby we found a strung up forester and a discarded axe beside a tree. A letter warning to keep away had been left on the forester. The area around the forester and the axe had been trapped. We discovered this when Edmund fell into a large pit and then a band of dark elves attacked. The dark elves were slain and we saved Edmund before travelling on to Keelinghall.
At Keelinghall there were many Rolborians and Vleyborians. They were celebrating the good trade. There was much singing and festivities. The Rolborians offered coin for songs and stories. The Vleyborians told tales of members of their company going missing.
We left Keelinghall and headed toward Ling. Foulspawn were in the wilds, parley was attempted but their only intent was violence. The foulspawn were fought and beaten. Despite the dangers of the wilds and the many foulspawn we met a lone peasant. The peasant talked of the trial of Douglas and their perceived injustice of how adventurers were acting as if they were not beholden to the King’s law. It was discussed and they were told to have no fear of challenging or reporting this whenever it was witnessed so that if it was true it could be stopped.
Close by we met more foulspawn, an ogre laying traps as a rite of approval with the tribe. The ogre was willing to talk and we spoke of Virginia who had helped them before. The foulspawn remembered the Purple Lady and agreed to help fight the gnolls, the tribe would eat the gnolls as they were tasty.
In the wilds we met another peasant by the name of Snuff. Snuff was upset as Blueberry Jon had been arrested by the guards for defacing Archmage's tower. Snuff said that Blueberry had done this was they was upset by Douglas’s illegal arrest by the Archmage. It was explained that Blueberry should expect a fair trial in Norvic and if he did not commit a crime he would be released.
We reached Ling. The walled town had been attacked by gnolls and it wasn’t long before it was attacked again. The gnolls attacking were accompanied by humans and some were followers of Abraxis. We fought them off and went to search for the gnoll hole they were coming from. We did not find the hole but instead what looked like a small copse of trees. The gnolls fired arrows from the copses whilst I set if alight. The trees caught fire and the gnolls were smoked out. As the trees burned it become clear that a fortified construction had been built in the woods that the gnolls had been using it to watch and raid Ling. The gnolls beaten we returned to Norvic to report to guardsman Rainworth.
In Norvic guardsman Rainworth had his hands full with an angry mob. The folk were upset by the imprisonment of Blueberry Jon. Calm words were spoken to the people. It was explained that Blueberry Jon would be held until trial later in the week. The best help they could offer would be to go fetch a Traldan to stand as counsel for the accused. The folk dispersed and we reported to guardsman Rainworth.
Mister Pobbin Toadhunter
MXIX Summereve XIX
The hiring square had faces old and new. Sir Harold Briarthorn and Lady Brianne had mustered the adventurers to put an end to the gnolls and dark elves that were working together to harass Caster and the surrounding villages. The adventurers were the scout Caliban, Beorn the mercenary, physician Orlane, master smith Jimney. Vearay of Kharach, High Father Edmund of Rolbor, Mother Smudge of Rolbor and myself mister Pobbin Toadhunter.
Guardsman Rainworth reported that the dark elves were gathered in the south east. The Zugzug tribe of foulspawn had on agreement with Sir Harold stopped the spread of the gnolls. Scouts had discovered the location of the dark elf encampment. Rainworth warned against using similar strategy as near Ling when the gnolls were defeating using the Llamanusian tactic of house burning. The folk of Ling had complained of lost woodland and farmland. Offers were made to aid the folk of Ling in their recovery.
The plan was to attack the dark elf camp from the west whilst the militia attacked from Ling. We headed out and met the Hogshead mercenary company. The mercenaries were looking for work. Discussion was had and Sir Harold decided to hire the company to serve as forward troops, leading the way ahead of us. The mercenaries were satisfied with this and went ahead.
We were wary of traps near the dark elf lands so when we found a broken cage we stayed away from it but as Jimney circled it from the other direction he slipped and fell into a hidden pit. The Hogshead company then appeared out of the bushes and attempted to rob Jimney of his belongings. A parlay was struck and the mercenaries were paid to be on their way. It was agreed that reports would be filed with the guild of mercenaries.
Our journey resumed when I heard a strange noise away off the road. I went to explore. I found nothing and set off to return to the party. I met them at tree where as they passed the corpse of a forester fell from its boughs to hang there. A warning from the dark elves that we were entering their lands. The forester was cut down and Vearay offered a prayer to Kharach. I took the forester’s tabard so it could be returned to Norvic.
The gnoll hole was nearby. A dead dark elf marked the entrance, again cautious of traps we stayed clear of the corpse. Before entering the cave, we readied our spells and weapons. The tunnels were dark, opening into dimly lit caverns which had been built by the gnolls. The gnolls and dark elves were hard enemies to fight. The dark elves were experts at fighting in the dark tunnels, using the narrow spaces to strike with envenomed spears. We assaulted the tunnels many times and took many grievous wounds until Caliban was captured. A truce was called and we regathered outside the tunnels. No one was willing to leave without an attempt to rescue Caliban so we returned and fought our way to his captors. Amongst the captors was an ogre. Caliban was saved but not before a gnoll had eaten one of his legs. We left the tunnels without meeting up with the militia as planned. Harold was disheartened but we were all much wiser about tunnel fighting and the ways of dark elves warriors.
On the road to Norvic we met Blueberry Jim. Blueberry Jim was travelling out of Norvic with a gang of common folk. All were celebrating his release from the Earl’s gaol. We spoke briefly and they said that they wanted to go somewhere far away from Norvic and find a place to drink. We put them on the road to Medehampstede and continued our journey. Not far along the road we found a guardsman, knocked out by a hit to the head. He awoke groggy and said that he had been escorting Blueberry Jim to Caster for trial. An attempt to chase the escaped prisoner was made but the trail was lost. The guardsman said that Blueberry Jim real name was Jim James and that a warrant would be written for his arrest.
At Norvic Harold reported our efforts and we were told that the militia had achieved some success at attacking the dark elves and had claimed a deadwood shield from the enemy’s armoury. The deadwood shield was labelled as loot and offered to the party. It was decided that we would share the shield by a lottery. I declined to take part as I had no use for a shield, so a roll of a die from myself decided that the shield was won by Caliban. Again it seemed that Caliban was the victim of mixed fortunes, having lost a leg and gained a shield this month and previous he’d lost an arm and gained a sand crystal.
MXIX Drawing III
Tomlin Price, recently promoted Guardsman, had a problem. A horde of Abraxians had set out on a rampage from Lowstof and Bungay toward Swaffham.
In the hiring square was Sir Harold Briarthorne and his wife Lady Brianne. Adventurers gathered around them, Millwall the scout with his new crossbow and Nero the mage with his fine new hat. New things seemed to be style of things. Two new dwarf adventurers, Mennr of clan Bloodfell and Ulfcytel of clan Steelhammer joined us. Myself, mister Pobbin Toadhunter, I came dressed in my newly enchanted mystical menswear robes.
We were hired to deal with Tomlin’s problem. Our hiring was to track the Abraxian host and scout out its forces. We were not expected to challenge the host as Tomlin numbered them as two hundred and fifty foulspawn, last seen heading toward Bexwell and Swaffham. The leader of the host was Hravek Kharne, an ogre in a bloody tabard marked with a red hand. A generous bounty for the ogre was offered.
The west gate out of Norvic was quiet. We saw no sign of the Abraxian host until we came close to Sparham where a band of villagers were chasing an Abraxian. The village folk of Sparham were not able to challenge the warrior of slaughter. I disarmed the warrior with magic and they were overcome. I bandaged one of the village folk and they told off a travelling Crowan who had held a sermon of courage against the dark gods. The heretic had been putting up a poster threatening that the Abraxian horde would destroy the Griffin Keep at Lynn Regis and overtake Norvic. At Sparham we heard a similar story where the Abraxians had travelled through seven days ago preaching they creed of violence. They had taken foodstuffs and supplies then left toward Swaffham. Meggy's tavern had been locked up for weeks and Phil had not been seen.
On the road to Swaffham we met a mercenary company by the name Jon's mercs. They were looking for Meggy so that they could buy alchemy. They also said that they would work for Sir Lars. They were otherwise peaceful and caused us no worry. We later met a lone man who when questioned said he saw a small group of Abraxians pass by three days ago. We travelled on and met a small group of Abraxians, then even more Abraxians. They had religious powers and were tough to battle. The scouts Millwall and Mennr went ahead and spotted lots of patrols and bowmen ahead. We decided to cautiously enter the clearly guarded territory. Our progress was slow, closer to Swaffham we met a Rolborian who was trying to escape but couldn't get passed the patrols. We persuaded him to take us closer to Swaffham and then we would all escape together.
At Swaffham we saw the old walls rebuilt and many humans working and the smithy and the alchemy lab were busy. Nero and myself coerced a pair of the guards with beguiling magic to sabotage the supplies but we saw from far that they were hacked down. The ogre Hravek Kharne was heard boasting to the soldiers of his strength. No foulspawn were seen in the town. Our time to watch was limited so we escaped via the path we had created and managed to return to Norvic with a bound prisoner. Before our safe return however we met an Ethorian fellow, he seemed to be known to Harold. He said he brought word from the Fairfolk of Lord Montegue. The word was to prepare for the great hunt. The fellow called that blood must be spilled and we were attacked. The men were beaten and the Ethorian said he was blameless and wandered off. When we reported this to guardsman Tomlin he said that the Ethorian fellow was an outlaw.
Mister Pobbin Toadhunter