Straight outta Oakhurst

The Fearsomely Retarded Dragon

So this young green dragon walks into an ambush.. and Roland says “Man that thing needs a Mentos”. The rangers say “Wow, that dragon’s as green as us!”. Farhad says “What’s clorine?”. Einarr says “That dragon was a pussy!”. Cregga kick Einarr in the nuts for using a term for female genitalia as an insult. Keladry says “Don’t we have some BBQ boar waiting for us?”.

And so the not so beleaguered adventurers return to the keep. What then? Well for Arawn, this..

I’ll be studying at the Paragnostic Assembly, training Kynan, talking to the twig blight about Aspen tree reproduction. I’m going to every inn, tavern, divine magic shop, temple, open air market and gambling hall as well as talking to peasants, travelers, clerics, stable boys and other assorted shady characters (putting out feelers through Roland to the watch and jail guards and through Farhad to the churches and merchants as well as speaking to Ash and Walter about other sources they may know of.) and offering bounties for the following items or information about them.

First lvl divine wands – Snake’s Swiftness, Sandblast, Blockade I’m willing to pay 750gp ea

A Bondleaf Wrap, a Green Air Bramble

The location of an Obad-Hai temple or contact with anyone who has been to one

Contact with the Guardians of the Green

A 9th lvl mage willing to cast a permanency spell for 2,500gp

A magebred animal trainer with dire bats and hawks.

I’ll go into town every few days and check for progress. Everyone also knows they can leave a message for me at the keep. So that’s what I’ll be doing till I hear something exciting.

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Arawn's deeds from Sept 10th - 25th
Arawn's deeds from Sept 10th - 25th

10th Arrived back in Reeton, got paid for guard duty, left Kynan in the forest and went to the keep. Placed the crown of antlers from Balsac with the wolf’s head. Picked out a spot for the twig blight in his cage. Recieved word that the Paragnostic Assembly had approved my reqest for scholar and scheduled the ceremony for the next eve.

11th Picked up and paid for the scale armor from Ash, hung out and talked a bit with him. Inquired about 1st lvl scrolls, placed an order. Went shopping in town, picked up a few alchemy products and a decent outfit for the evening. Attended the advancemnt ceremony, hobknobbed, met some muckety mucks.

12th Went to visit Kynan, brought him some beef, spent the day working on the Guard trick and examining local wildlife (in the 61 acre forest).

13th Spent the day studying knowledge nature, specifically as applies to the reproduction of Aspens, growing trees from cuttings and the properties of fertilizers.

14th Brought Kynan to the keep for his final day of guard training. No one got past the front gate without permission. Finally, one new trick!

15Th Spent the day studying dungeoneering (cause you never know, right?).

16th Working with Kynan on the defend trick (day 4)

17th Studying knowledge local (when in Rome).

18th Day 5 of training to defend.

19th Studying knowledge arcana specifically as relates to magical beasts and plants.

20th Day 6 of training to defend (glad I bought that leash, muzzle, pole and asstd animal training gear)

21st Studying knowledge geography. Scouring maps for likely Obad Hai temple locations.

22nd Kynan’s second visit to the keep. I pay a volunteer to help with the final day of training to defend another (don’t you feel safer already?).

23rd Studying knowledge religion as relates to neutrality and the evils of extremism.

24th Apparently have to train Kynan the down trick otherwise I won’t be able to call off the dog so day 1

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Tripping the Rift

On 20SEP00, the Party (minus Arawn) set out to explore the Northern end of the Great Rift. No sonner had they arrived than they had a brief squabble with a band of Gnolls. After easily defeating them, the Party elected to track the Gnolls’ path into the Rift. While engaged in this, they discovered a nicely hidden cave for which they have future plans.

While tracking the Gnolls, they then got into a scuffle with a number of Bugbears, who it seems had come into the Rift from the same end as the Party. After killing the Bugbears, the Party continued to track the Gnolls, eventually finding a chimney in the side of the rift down which the Gnolls had climbed. Following the chimney, and a series of ledges and other chimneys up more than 500 feet, the Party then entered a cave, which led to a shaft going up into a hidden dungeon under the Western side of the Ashen Plains.

In this dungeon, after finding a number or weirdly laid-out passages and rooms with an excessive number of trapped doors, the Party faced an Evil Adventuring Party of Fighters and Mages. The Evil Adventurers proved to lack skill in the brief tiff that ended in their deaths at the hands of the Party.

Cregga and Keladry then proceeded to destroy a stone door the Party was unable to open by other means, and the Party then faced their biggest challenge in the dungeon: A group of 4 young Babau Demons.

After a battle which proved to be of some concern, the Party eventually prevailed, thanks to the skills of the various Party Members, and to the inexperience of the Demons.

The Party then looted the corpses, gathered the treasure from the dungeon, and returned to Brightstone Keep on 25SEP00.

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Secret Supply Depot

The Party sent Arawn back to the keep with the horses, as they didn’t have the provisions to supply them any longer. Keladry replaced him with the Party staking out the secret facility in the Ashen_Plains, bringing along the first of the Field Provisions Boxes, allowing the Party to remain in position indefinitely.

While awaiting Keladry, the Party attacked and destroyed a number of small bands of Orcs leaving the facility, or coming to it. Soon after she joined the Party, the entire company of 47 Orcs sortied from the facility, walking into a hasty ambush by the party.

The Party managed to destroy the company of Orcs, after which they raided the facility, carrying off a large haul of assorted weapons and supplies, as well as a nice amount of gold.

The Party returned to the keep on 16SEP00.

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Patrolling & Tracking

on 18AUG00, the Party (minus Keladry who stayed behind to command the keep in the absence of the rest of the party) headed out on patrol to the head of the Great Rift, intending to patrol the border with Arcalium. Leaving their camp on the morning of 19AUG00, the party discovered tracks of a small party of Orcs moving East from across the border. The tracks were about a week and a half old, but the Party elected to follow them anyway. Along the way, they noticed a pattern of tracks leaving the band and returning, which they suspected was evidence of scouting activity.

Following the tracks further, they found the band splitting up. Einarr elected to follow the South trail, eventually finding and killing the Orc he had been following.

The rest of the Party followed the North tracks, finding and capturing that Orc. All of the Party then returned to the place in which the band had split up, and after staking out the position for another day, killed the remaining members of the Orc Band.

Returning to the Keep on 21AUG00, the party spent time refitting and resting, and the Marikest Town Jail hosted the captured Orc.

Farhad succeeded in convincing the Temple of Heironeous to establish a small Cavalry-training facility in Marikest with some level of sponsorship from himself.

The Party also met Ash Skorlundin, and Artificer who has agreed to make assorted magic items for the Party at cost, in return for a grant of land for his tower. He also consented for the roof of his tower to be used as an observation post in the North West of the Manor.

Arawn used the opportunity to run some errands and get some things done in Reeton—more on this later.

Cregga and Einarr used the opportunity to do some shopping via the Company’s Broker, Walter Hucrele, picking themselves up a nice Chain Mail Shirt +2, and a Buckler +1, respectively.

On 01SEP00 the Party then interrogated the Orc, and released the Orc to ostensibly carry a message to his chief. The Party then followed the Orc to a secret facility in the Ashen Plains just across the border. They observed a wagon driven by a human bring some sort of supplies into the facility; then followed him almost to Tranthini. Upon seeing the walls of the city, they returned to the facility in the desert, staking it out until they observed a band of 10 Orcs leave the facility, which they fell upon and destroyed. (06SEP00)

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Into Arcalium

The Party crossed into Arcalium, looking to fight Orcs and gather intel. Arawn had a dissatisfying (and brief) conversation with a Border Guard right after crossing, and the Party made their way to Flanad, where they were surprised to find the town locked down during the middle of the day, and were required to fill out forms and pay fees to enter the town.

Upon entering the town, they found it very quiet and nearly devoid of activity, despite the presence of many people. Even the taverns were quite muted, and in the second tavern, Farhad had little success gathering information from the bar tender. The Party observed the arrest by a group of soldiers of one of the patrons, with no reaction by the other people present.

Arawn attempted on his own to approach the Mayor of Flanad, as well as enter the Temple of Hextor to speak to a cleric, and was firmly rebuffed in both places.

The party then left the town, and headed South East a bit to scout. They found some Goblin tracks heading East, and followed them, eventually catching a band of 12 Goblins while they were encamped just across the border of the Duchy of Reeton. After killing them (and taking their ears), the Party followed the band’s tracks to the West. During the night, the Party captured an Orc which was skulking around, and interrogated it, learning little.

They then killed the Orc, took its ear, and continued their tracking. Eventually going over 50 miles into Arcalium, the Party discovered a hollow in the foothills which seems to be a common meeting place for Orcs, Goblins, and Humans. They tracked at least one band of Orcs out of the Hollow, heading East. The tracks led them into the North Western portions of the Ashen Plains, and about 15 miles from the border with Reeton the tracks turned sharply South into the desert. At this point, the Party elected to return to the keep to rest and refit. (07AUG00)

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Clean up and Refit

Much has happened in the aftermath of the capture of Brightstone Keep.

Farhad has been knighted by Duke Geoffrey of Reeton, and awarded the keep and the surrounding area as a fief. He also met with Sabeth Larke the agent of the Duke’s Spymaster, who briefed him on the situation with the neighboring Kingdom of Arcalium, which is apparently responsible for the increased raids by Orcs, Goblins, and other bandits in the area. Farhad has also begun training two days a week at the Temple of Heironeous in Reeton, and spends a third day healing and doing other good works in Marikest and/or Reeton.

Keladry has formally joined the Brightstone Company, and has been knighted by her liege, Duke Geoffrey of Reeton, and elected to serve as a Bachelor Knight rather than receiving a fief.

Cregga has begun training with Roland in tumbling, and is learning to read and write from a cleric with the Temple of Moradin in Marikest.

Roland is interning with the Reeton City Watch, getting lots of practice in hand-to-hand combat breaking up fights in taverns and apprehending thieves and murderers. He is also honing his information gathering skills, and getting to know Reeton really well.

Einarr has been leading patrols around the keep, making arrows for the keep, and training the soldiers in archery and tracking.

Arawn has returned from his excursion in the Ashen Plains and rejoined the party on 01AUG00, just in time to head West with the party, hoping to track the band of orcs recently defeated at the keep, or at least to substantiate the story that they came from Arcalium.

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What has Arawn been up to all this time?
(Probably getting high and sitting in the mud, like a typical hippie.)

Arawn has been busy since the party left Oakhurst on 03JUL00.

Arawn prepared for an exploratory expedition in the Ashen Plains, collecting his gear and arranging for Twiggy to be exhibited by the owner of the General Store. He also arranged for the remaining intact books and scrolls to be recovered from the Sunless Citadel and stored at the Hucrele Merchant Family’s warehouse in Oakhurst, in hopes of building a library. The works included a few minor works of dragon lore, and about 12 years worth of detailed local weather records, as well as the other collected notes of the Evil Druid Belak.

Arawn then spent the next couple of weeks exploring a section of the Ashen Plains, making a general map and avoiding damage from a couple of venomous snakes, defeating a gnoll, discovering (and looting) a couple of long-dead corpses, and eventually getting into a tiff with a wight in a burial mound he discovered on the edge of the scrublands. This cost him a level, but he managed to secure a bit of loot for his trouble, and he beat-feat into Reeton in time (arriving on 02AUG00 (?) to have a cleric restore his lost level.

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Marikest Engagement III
The Battle of Brightstone Keep

After much preparation and struggle, the Party (excepting Arawn) engaged in their final and decisive assault on Brightstone Keep, ultimately defeating the band of Orcs and other assorted nasties there, led by the Evil Orc Cleric Kurjan Sawtooth.

The Party included its newest member, recently graduated Warmage Keladry, as well as a detachment of 11 Medium Infantry and 4 Archers.

The Party conducted an audacious attack straight up the road to the front gate of the Keep, dividing their forces in order to hold the enemy defenders in place, while a detachment of archers accompanied Roland along the Eastern wall of the Keep, briefly engaging defenders along the top of the wall while they lofted a rope to the roof of Building 5. Achieving the roof, the detachment engaged defenders along the North and East walls, defeating them and clearing the walls and Building 5, and then proceeded to enfilade the enemy undead in the courtyard, with the eventual assistance of Keladry.

Einarr Fenrisulfr, accompanied by a pair of Infantrymen, rushed to a position directly in front of the South wall, and engaged the enemy along the wall and Tower 2. After the wall and tower were cleared, he engaged a Troll who was attempting to exit the front gate, which the Party had previously seeded with caltrops, injuring and slowing the Troll. After the troll managed to exit the gate, the Winter Wolf managed to move past the troll, and to engage Einarr, catching and injuring him only as he was mounting his horse. In the retreat, the wolf managed to injure Einarr’s horse, but did not succeed in dismounting Einarr. Einarr then conducted a running engagement, ultimately defeating the Wolf.

Keladry skillfully used a number of spells to defeat the occupants of the roof of the Gate Tower, including Kurjan Sawtooth, thus relieving the attacking forces from the tower attacks, as well as throwing the enemy into disarray early in the battle. She then (as mentioned earlier) scaled the East wall and joined the archers on the roof engaging the undead in the courtyard.

Cregga Was the first to scale the East wall, running across the roof and jumping down to the battlements to engage the Orcs there. She proceeded to clear the East wall, and then did the same for the North wall. Clearing the way to the Gate Tower, she enabled the hired Infantry to take the gate controls, and one of the Infantrymen did significant damage to the Troll Zombie by repeatedly dropping the gate on him. With the gate blocked, this prevented the other undead from breaking out of the keep and attacking the rest of the Assault Force, and held them where they could safely be engaged in enfilade.

Farhad scaled the East wall, entered and cleared Building 5, led a detachment of Infantry to clear the South wall, Building 4, Tower 3, and the Western walls. He then proceeded to the Courtyard, to administer the final blows to the Troll Zombie.

After the battle, Farhad removed Sharwyn’s body from the Gate Tower (where Kurjan Sawtooth had suspended it over the front of the tower in an effort to destroy the morale of the Party) and rushed her back to Reeton in time for a cleric to raise her from the dead. It is expected that Sharwyn will probably spend significant time in recovery, before she decides whether or not to rejoin the party.

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Marikest Engagement II
Disaster!

On 17JUL00, the Party entered their second engagement with the Orc Band in Brightstone Keep, with disastrous results.

On 16JUL00, Farhad headed to Reeton to hire some troops for the final push and eventual occupation of the keep. While there, he secured the services of eleven assorted Medium Infantry, their service negotiated to start on the morning of 18JUL00 with the assault on the keep.

Upon returning to Marikest, Farhad learned that Einarr had been successful at sneaking close to the keep during the day, and applying Ruff’s Percussive Tome of Identification to the outer wall, thus gathering valuable intelligence which included a break down of the creatures currently inhabiting the keep. This included a Winter Wolf, a number of Orcs, a dozen Goblins, three Skeletons, four Zombies, and two Trolls.

It was decided that the party would attempt to sneak onto the battlements of the keep during the day, and observe the interior as an additional preparation for the next day’s assault. The insertion went well, however the fecal matter forcefully encountered the rotary air impeller soon after.

Just as with General Heth on the first day at Gettysburg, the party’s intention to conduct a brief reconnaissance was compromised when they believed they saw an opportunity to engage and destroy an enemy (i.e. the Winter Wolf and the Skeletons) with relative impunity, and then to withdraw. Choosing to seize this opportunity and drop their original plans, they engaged and found their targets harder to destroy than expected.

Seemingly intending to flank the Enemy, Farhad entered the Gate Tower, only to find a Zombie on the other side of the door, thus adding yet another target to the unintended engagement.

Regrouping and intending to finish off the Tangos, they found they faced even stiffer resistance when the alarm was raised, and the Skeletons called for reinforcements in the way of a team of Goblins. Judging the reinforced enemy to still be an easily defeated target (again, similar to Heth), rather than break contact, the party elected to continue the attack.

This further delay allowed the Enemy to bring in additional reinforcements, with another Zombie joining the Goblins approaching the Gate Tower along the battlements from Tower No. 2, thus stiffening resistance further. Fully engaged, the Party was unconcerned, as first Einarr, and then Roland gained the high ground via the fighting top of the Gate Tower, with Cregga and Farhad easily holding the door through which the Goblins and Zombie were attacking, and Sharwyn finishing the Skeletons and watching both their rear flank and the courtyard, where the severely injured Winter Wolf sought cover behind the well house.

At this point, the Enemy’s forces were stiffened yet again (just as at Gettysburg, Buford’s forces continued to come on line against Heth) with the addition of a Troll at the door onto the wall at the Party’s rear from Building 5, thus restricting the Party’s movement to the Gate Tower and the wall. At this point, Cregga charged the Troll, and Sharwyn made her way to the top of the Gate Tower, leaving Farhad to guard the door to the interior of the Tower.

Ultimately, although able to seriously injure the Troll, Cregga was injured to the point of unconsciousness, and would have been killed were it not for Einarr attacking and subduing the Troll. By this time, the Enemy had mobilized even more reinforcements, in the way of more Goblins on the walls, three Orcs who briefly took positions on the fighting top of Building 6, and a number of Orcs and a Troll who exited Building 4 into the Courtyard, and made for the Gate.

At this point, Farhad abandoned his defense of the door into the Gate Tower, and proceeded to administer a coup de grace to the Troll in the door of Building 5, and stabilized the unconscious Cregga. One by one, Sharwyn and the rest of the Party abandoned the top of the Gate Tower, descending into the interior and briefly facing a Zombie, then heading out to the wall in an attempt to break contact.

Farhad managed to carry Cregga to the rope, but fell while attempting to climb down, injuring himself but managing to prevent further damage to her. Sharwyn was the next down the rope, while Einarr and Roland followed. Farhad Managed to run down the main approach to the Keep carrying Cregga, but upon attempting to follow, Sharwyn was caught by a Hold Person spell cast by one of the Orcs, which allowed the other Orces to catch and ultimately slay her. Einarr and Roland attempted to save her, but were faced with the advance of the Troll and the spell-casting Orc, and were unable to do so. Roland managed to safely descend the rope from the plateau, however Einarr was still on the rope, and fell 40 feet taking a serious injury, when the Orc managed to cut the rope as he descended.

The Orcs and Troll pursued the remainder of the Party towards Marikest for some time, but ultimately turned back to the Keep when the remaining Party Members gained their mounts and split up in order to evade and distract the Enemy from the town. Upon returning to the Keep, the Enemy dragged Sharwyn’s corpse into the Keep.

Farhad took Cregga to Reeton and left her at the Temple of Moradin to be healed; and met with Alard Hucrele to inform him of Sharwyn’s death, and inquire as to the possibility of her resurrection. It is possible to bring her back, but in order to do so, the Party must recover her body for the Cleric within approximately 24 hours of her death.

Farhad then returned to Marikest to join the rest of the Party ( Einarr and Roland), who had scouted the Keep from a distance, and intended to conduct a hit and run attack on the other side of the Keep, in an attempt to finish off the Winter Wolf. Upon reaching the outside wall of the Keep, Einarr aborted the attempt, as it seemed unlikely to succeed due to the heightened alert of the Enemy.

The remaining Party then returned to Reeton in order to heal up, and to hire four Archers and link up with the eleven Infantry, and conduct the full assault as originally planned on the morning of 18JUL00.

Marching with the full force into Marikest at 0800 on 18JUL00, the Party discovered that during the night, the Enemy had conducted a punitive raid, burning down approximately 1/4 of the town.

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