Hiring Trouble

Session 1: Bleeding Moon

It all started innocently enough – a darts tournament at the Dingy Coffin in Hallorn. Quiet, hungry ranger Hollei Inwe Telemnar won the darts tournament over the favorite, elven druid Thaddius Berialagoswen.

Exiled rogue Ellendian Summerstar was negotiating a possible hit with a Hallorn thief, Yogol. They agreed that Ellendian would lead the group transporting the stolen silver.

At the conclusion of the tournament, before Hollei could even celebrate her winnings (and get a freaking sandwich), Fengaul, one of the Earl’s more infamous necromancers, entered the room with a crowd of zombies. He arrested Thaddius and dragged him out – most likely to be executed.

Hollei, Ellendian and the druidess Berylla Beren, a long-time friend of Thaddius’, rushed to follow the necromancer, determined to free him with a bribe. As they were leaving an old man, Haggorum Chiggid, asked to join them.

The four offered Fengual 60g for the release of Thaddius. As the negotiations were taking place, the necromancer’s zombies turned on him and ripped him apart.

The five quickly returned to the Dingy Coffin. On the way, they stumbled over the body of Yogol, Ellendian’s contact. There, they found a mysterious black stone clutched in the dead man’s hands.

A traveling merchant, Toran Zal was summoned to identify both the wand that was found and the stone. A curious bystander, Izad ‘Iz’ Sinjor, was also pulled into the mix. As the group asked around about Yogol, they learned that he worked with the Hightops. They talked to Hopper, the leader of the Hightops, and learned that a cult of Nerull had moved into their territory. Hopper gave the group some potions in exchange for a promise that they would kill the priestess who led the Cult. He also mentioned where Yogol lived.

Yogol’s apartments had a number of traps. The first was a poison dart that pricked Ellendian and took half his strength. Searches of the apartment yielded a couple potions and a sword – although Law’s Forge Shortsword was wrapped in a mimic disguised as a scabbard. Toran and Ellendian were grappled and Haggorum momentarily lost his spear, but the mimic was vanquished.

The group took back to the rooftops to find the Cult of Nerull. They easily took down a couple ghouls that were chained to a rooftop. There, they met up with Jack Jonus Morgan II, a bard who believed he could use the Cult’s hatred of Iuz against each other and encourage evil to fight evil. The rest of the group thought this was a novel plan.

Haggorim was so excited he rushed into the tower where the Cult’s headquarters were. Unfortunately, the floor was covered with a slick substance and he fell, prone. Four zombies attacked! By the time the rest of the group had gotten there, three cultists had also showed up.

Toran used the fear wand to send one cultist screaming for his life. The other two were swiftly taken down by ranged attacks thanks to Jack’s inspirational singing. Haggorim was left unconscious when a zombie critically hit him. The adventurers eventually took down the remaining zombies and regrouped to meet up with the priestess of Nerull.

Aramal was clearly prepared to fight but was more interested in acquiring the missing Stone of Nerull, which was in the adventurers’ possessions. She asked that they work together in their common goal to defeat Iuz and mentioned a larger threat in Iuz’s arsenal – a creature she called THAT WHICH STIRS.

The woman gave the adventurers some gold and allowed Toran to copy spells from her spellbooks. A temporary truce was forged.

And then it was on to the silver mines to reward themselves for a job well done …

Session 2: Torrock's Lair

Your band of characters successfully “acquired” a shipment of silver from the Perdition Silver Mine, based on the notes left by Ellendian Summerstar’s contact, Yogol.

As you were traveling back to Rookroost to meet with Toran Zal‘s boss, Rhaedrick Avenfear (who you believe will help you break down the silver ingots into something usable), you were forced into a fight with some orcs and ogres. You successfully took down the group, right as representatives from Little Hills Fort arrived. With two of your members – Haggorum Chiggid and Izad ’Iz’ Sinjor – unconscious, you had little choice but to accept the offer of rest and healing at Little Hills Fort.

Once you arrive, you learn that the battalion there is part of Xavandra’s army. The Lady is Iuz’s governor in the Bluff Hills region. Many of the guard had been killed in the recent attack and reinforcements led by Captain Blaine just arrived.

Hollei Inwe Telemnar and Iz are both asked to come to a separate meeting and the party loses track of their friends.

The next morning, captain Blaine has a mandatory meeting. First, he publicly executes the former captain for cowardice and dereliction of duty. You band (minus Hollei and Iz) learned that the orcs and ogre you defeated were the last of the invaders and were rushing to gather their own reinforcements. For your heroics, you are given special medals and conscripted as lieutenants in Xavandra’s home guard. An identify makes clear that the medals are imbued with magical power that allows the Captain to check on your location. When removed, the medals re-appear around your necks after an hour.

At the fort, the characters learn there is a weapon supplier, Valian, on the outskirts of Senningford who may be supplying Torrock with high quality weapons. They also learn that the Yonvans, a family of entertainers and Rannos, a prospector, left the fort shortly before it was attacked by Torrock’s forces.

They find Rannos’ murdered body in his cabin and find a partially burned note that is written in Orcish and can’t be interpreted. They catch up with the Yonvans on the road and determine the family had nothing to do with the events at Bluff Hills Fort. Finally, you may your way to Senningford and encounter Valian. The group secretly trails the weapon dealer and his group to Black Rock Tower.

At the tower they see an apparent trade going on between Valian and the orcs and ogres who have gathered there. An ogre who seems to be in charge of the situation was in a discussion with an unknown human, who left shortly thereafter.

The group chose to follow the orcs and ogres and were able to successfully pinpoint the lair in a heavily guarded cave complex.

They return to Senningford and tell the captain of the guard there that Valian should be placed under arrest under order of Captain Blaine. The city guard agrees to arrest him and asks for your group to come along to take the man to Little Hills Fort. When you arrive, Valian puts up a fight. He and his three nephews attack. Valian immediately shoots the captain of the guard, who has to retreat due to his wound. Toran’s sleep spell takes out one of Valian’s nephews and a color sprays takes out another. When he sees that Valian is an able fighter who is able to take down Ellendian in a single blow, Toran took the unconscious body of one of Valian’s nephews and threatened to kill him. Valian surrendered (with one last defense against being manhandled).

Captain Blaine was extremely pleased with your performance and told you that the standard salary for officers of your rank was 25 gold a month – and don’t worry, he’ll make sure you receive your pay.

The group – still sans Hollei and Iz – set back off to Rookroost. No one bothered to ask about them, but they must be all right … right?

Session 3: Peiper's Ferry

The group of adventurers made their way to Rookroost, with their silver cart disguised as simply hay. They met Toran Zal‘s employer, Rhaedrick Avenfear who seems to take extra caution sizing up his employee’s new companions. He agrees to break down the silver ingots into usable coin and gives the group an upfront payment.

His ogre friend, Grod, recognizes Ellendian Summerstar and says he shouldn’t be there. Rhaedrick lets them know that the heat is up in town and it would be better if they found something else to occupy their time.

Ellendian visits some old contacts in the Rookroost Thieves Guild who tell him that the men hanging in the city square seem to be part of a new group that is opposed to the rule of Iuz. Jack Jonus Morgan II and Toran head to the town square where they find out that the leader of the new group is a woman and that she can be found in a tavern on the bad side of town. They also find Hollei Inwe Telemnar who seems dazed from her experiences at fort in the [Bluff Hills]. She tells them that Izad ‘Iz’ Sinjor, for some reason, elected to stay at the fort and work under Captain Blaine.

The group reconvenes at Rhaedrick’s and he asks that they check up on a shipment of cloth that should be coming up Peiper’s Ferry soon. The group agrees and heads out. After one day’s travel, they come across a cart that has obviously been ransacked. As they get closer, Haggorum Chiggid realizes the dead bodies that are lying around the cart are actually undead bodies. He moves up and tanks several of the zombies that crop up. Despite a few lucky crits, the group fairly quickly dispatches of the zombies, zombie horse and zombie necromancer that were left as a trap.

They find a discarded note that indicates a person named Talon has commissioned an orc named “The Runt” to disrupt trade between Peiper’s Ferry and Rookroost. It also asks The Runt to attack the hamlet that sits on the shore of Peiper’s Ferry.

The group heads to the hamlet and meet the Peiper brothers and their large families, who live there. They want to leave the town immediately upon learning of the attack. The ferrymen who are to deliver Rhaedrick’s cloth, however, refuse to get caught on the road at night. The group sides with the ferrymen and work to build a defensible fortress.

The Runt and his crew arrive in the middle of the night. Skeletons burn on the pitch that was spread in front of the door. Hollei picks off the operators of the ballista. Gamera tanks the skeletons – and then The Runt himself when he charges into the group.

The group saves the day and treks back to Rookroost with a ballista in tow. They sell it to Rhaedrick.

Finally, while Jack is performing in a tavern to find information about the Highwaymen, he encounters a mapmaker who insists he has a map to a Highwaymen treasure trove located in the Tangles Forest. Hollei recognizes the area of the Forest and ends up shelling out 25g for the map.

Session 4: The Bender

The group traveled to the small town of Zelosus to investigate the origins of their former companion, Izad ‘Iz’ Sinjor. When the barkeep didn’t know anything, they decided to rest for the night.

Berylla Beren and Jack Jonus Morgan II stayed downstairs to drink. The next morning, the group woke to find out that both Berylla and Jack were arrested and on trial for murder. Ellendian Summerstar convinced the magistrate, Partinius, to allow him to serve as his companions’ legal counsel.

The group investigated what happened the previous night and found out that Berylla and Jack had gone to another bar with a man. They went to the man’s room and found the scene bloody, strewn with what the group realized was planted evidence – and evidence that didn’t even point to Berylla and Jack as the killers.

Their investigation led them to an herbalist’s shop, where they discovered the herbalist himself was essentially held hostage as a group of acolytes were trying to infuse power into the Sword of Kurell. The cult was quickly disbanded but the leader said he had nothing to do with the murder pinned on Berylla and Jack.

Regardless, Partinius seemed satisfied and allowed Berylla and Jack to go free, although he did charge them with public drunkedness and disorderly behavior. The group decided not to press their luck but they did leave Zelosus with a feeling that the mystery was unsolved and there was more to this story…

Session 5: The Fortress

The group of adventurers returned to Rookroost after a confusing time in Zelosus. They decided to meet with the the Rookroost Resistance. A little girl at first tells them that she can’t let them in but when Toran Zal offers her some candy, she lets them in.

Her father welcomes the group but seems distrustful. He says that they’ll have to prove their loyalty to the cause (and in the fight against Iuz’s occupation). Their mission: infiltrate Stonehill Fortress in the occupied region of Johrase and steal sensitive military orders, which should be returned to the Resistance. The group can keep a valuable and unique piece of jewelry in return.

The group find the secret entrance they were told about and free 10 prisoners from the jail on the bottom floor of the fortress thanks to a well-placed Sleep spell. Jack Jonus Morgan II used Fascinate on a guard and convinced him to give them the keys.

Getting to the top of the tower was more tricky. Haggorum Chiggid decided that using the dumbwaiter in the kitchen to sneak up to the third floor where Commander Irunio’s office was located was the easiest solution. Led by Ellendian Summerstar, the party quietly sneaked their way to the commander’s office, also learning where soldiers were in each area.

They quickly overcame the commander but not before he was able to activate an alarm, letting the soldiers of the fortress know there were intruders. With sharp shooting and some _Grease_s, the party easily eluded their would-be captors. Berylla Beren cut the cord to drop the dumbwaiter and organized jumps down the shaft for a quick escape. The group easily made it out successfully.

On the way back to Rookroost, they came across a hobgoblin riding party that tried to rob the adventurers but were unsuccessful.

Back at the Resistance headquarters, they were allowed to meet with leader Gaiyle Markhalla. She thanks them all for their service and especially for freeing the prisoners. She rewards them with the Libram of Happenstance but warns them of the consequences of using the powerful magics contained therein.

Hollei Inwe Telemnar has a pair of visitors waiting for her when she gets back to Rookroost. Two squirrels carry a message from the dryad Daphanie that indicate Hollei’s map is not only real, but Daphanie would like her to come right away.

Session 6: X Marks the Spot

Using Hollei Inwe Telemnar’s map and intelligence, the party agrees to check out a map that supposedly leads to a lost Highwayman treasure. Jack Jonus Morgan II recognizes the symbol on the map as the one of Auverin Moonblade, a famous bandit who led the Highwaymen.

The group travels to the Tangles Forest. Instead of bushwacking through the forest, Haggorum Chiggid talked to his pet raven who led the group to an abandoned boat. The adventurers travel up a river and find the place the map indicated – except all that’s there are two large, conspicuous intertwined trees and a boulder that looks out of place.

Both Berylla Beren and Ellendian Summerstar found entrances to an underground cavern, but Ellendian’s seemed a little more hospitable. Once inside, the group quietly made their way to a large structure underground where tree roots and a bubbling pond met. The former rogue heard crying and saw what appeared to be a wooden lady. He indicated to the druid that she should come forward and the two engaged the woman. She seemed very frightened. Once she spoke, Hollei recognized the voice of Daphanie.

The group learned that Daphanie had been in love with Auverin but her affections were not returned. She was unaware of the massacre that had happened that had taken Auverin’s life many years ago.

She told the group that they were more than welcome to take whatever they could use from the hidden spot, including a large amount of mundane items and a Handy Haversack with more substantial coinage. There was one page left in the Diary of Auverin Moonblade.

When the group was attacked by swarms of centipedes, the group decides to tactically retreat. Berylla Beren encourages everyone to ignore the dire wolf that has taken up residence in the underground shelter and Haggorum Chiggid attempts to use the questionable construction to their advantage, but fails to collapse the exit’s tunnel.

Once outside, the party finds that they’ve been ambushed! A group wearing the herald of Boneheart Cranzer insist on “relieving” the group of the treasure. They steal it, despite Grease from Jack Jonus Morgan II. However, the group captures some of Cranzer’s men and, through threats of violence, find out where the governor’s men are going so they can plan an ambush of their own.

Session 6: Angry Bones

The group successfully ambushed the bandits that work for Boneheart Cranzer who stole their bag of coinage from Auverin Moonblade’s hideout.

There, they find a note that makes it clear Cranzer’s men were on their way to kidnap a boy named Nolas Roland from the hamlet of Briar’s End.

Ellendian Summerstar convinced the last surviving member of Cranzer’s band of kidnappers that his fellow adventurers would be all too happy to help kidnap the boy, as long as they were told why. The mook explained that the boy was known as a seer and Crazer thought this would be a useful additional to his power base.

When the group arrives at Briar’s End, an angry mob is outside the Roland farmhouse, demanding the child be turned over and disposed of. It becomes clear they believe his visions are bringing monsters to the village.

Ellendian and Haggorum Chiggid bust down the door and confront the father. They finally convince him that the family would be better off in Rookroost, where they could be protested. Farmer Roland reluctantly agrees, but only if the group will help him start over. The adventurers agree to purchase the family’s farm. Hollei Inwe Telemnar thinks hiding Cranzer’s horses here would be a good cover and Haggorum decides to use the farm as a remote Resistance headquarters.

It’s agreed that they’ll set out first thing the next morning. But Nolas sleepwalks in the night, climbing out of his window and into the middle of a field. Ellendian follows him as Hollei wakes the others.

The boy wakes up as two ankhegs emerge from the ground. The group quickly take down the two creatures, but not before both Ellendian and the boy are rendered unconscious from the bites of one. Berylla Beren is able to save both lives.

An alarm in the village indicates the ankhegs weren’t the only monsters that showed up during the night. Two ghouls and a ghast had made the rounds, taking out almost an entire family before the adventurers are able to clean up the mess.

Nolas’s dream, however, takes a bigger significance when Jack Jonus Morgan II recognizes the description as Steelbone Meadows. The group decides to take a detour and take young Nolas, making him promise to follow their directions and stay with Gamera.

In Steelbone Meadows, armies of skeletons follow the adventurers just out of sight. A raven leads the group to the belfry of an ancient temple of Celestarian. Entering the temple leads to a fight with an assassin vine and several stirges (who drain a significant portion of Haggorim’s lifeblood), but the worst was yet to come. Upon entering the altar room, an incorporeal presence rises. It indicates it needs Nolas to raise THAT WHICH STIRS and begin to feed on his lifeforce.

Haggorim was able to delay the tongues feeding (though some mystical switch-a-roo) long enough for Berylla saves the day with her magical quarterstaff and is able to destroy the phantom tongues that wrapped around the boy.

The mist thins throughout Steelbone Meadows and the dead rest, for the time being. The group makes plans to relocate the Rolands to Rookroost and ferry the horses from Daphanie to the Briar’s End farm over the next several weeks.

Later, as they’re counting the money they found in the Handy Haversack, Toran Zal finds a tattered scroll they hadn’t noticed before.


809 gold each!

Session 7: Body and Soul

The party is returning to Rookroost but are forced to stand in lines at the gate, where they learn that trade has been greatly disrupted. A man approaches the party, asking if they have a sword for sale, which Toran Zal recognizes as the Sword of Kurell, a cursed weapon that was destroyed when the party discovered it during The Bender.

Before the party has much time to figure out what someone else would want with the sword, a jet-black carriage pulled by four nightmares races through the district toward the Triumphary gate, trampling several in its path.

Ellendian Summerstar helps to bury the dying and heal the sick, while Berylla Beren recognizes an opportunity when she sees one. Most of the group follows Berylla’s lead and sells their rations for a markup. Ellendian instead donates his own money to open a food bank with his supply of rations.

The group learns that the carriage was bringing Bonehearts, a group of mages and clerics answerable only to Iuz himself, and that they may be interested in a recent addition to the Rookroost Asylum.

As always, if Iuz’s forces are interested in something, so are a lot of other people, including the group.

Working with contacts, they get a magical amulet they are told will help the prisoner escape the asylum and are told of disguises that can be used to enter the institution.

Hollei Inwe Telemnar, Haggorum Chiggid and Jack Jonus Morgan II were all chosen to investigate the asylum, while the others stayed outside. The three found two robes with golden thread around the hemline in a closet, which they took with them. Then they found a logbook that indicated the prisoner they wanted to find was the Butcher of Zelosus.

Hollei and Haggorum subdued one of the guards while he was sleeping, but couldn’t kill the other one before he was able to yell out. Luckily, Jack used a ghost sound to disguise the yell as a scream that sounded like the ones they were hearing from the patient’s rooms. The spell seemed to work well enough on the two doctors who were upstairs, since they didn’t come out.

Once they entered the Butcher’s room, Jack realized the prisoner was actually Partinus, the magistrate of Zelosus. The man had clearly gone crazy and the three were able to get very little out of him before they gave him the amulet and saw him Dimension Door away.

The group set off toward Zelosus and were surprised to find the town almost completely abandoned. Buildings were partially destroyed and zombies roamed freely. Some of the party members began to act strangely, as if overtaken by feelings of Jealousy (Berylla), Theft (Haggorum) and Revenge (Jack).

Descending into a well reveals a lake that runs underneath Zelosus. A shrine to Kurell is discovered, along with a guardian from the plane of Limbo. When the guardian discovers the party has destroyed the sword, he attacks.

It becomes clear that seemingly benign actions of the party has led to a curse that has destroyed the entire town of Zelosus. With Iuz’s army on the way, the group leaves, but not without Ellendian vowing to find out more about the ritual that can close the gate to Limbo forever and remove this threat from the Flanaess.

Session 8: Rising Shadow

The group knew they’d be waiting around for days if they wanted to meet up with Partinus, so they settled in for a long wait. That is, until a familiar little girl caught the eye of Toran Zal.

The girl told Toran she was upset because “Goliath” wouldn’t allow her to go on an adventure to meet a princess. Knowing the girl lived at the home that was a front for the Resistance (and wondering why or if a Goliath was really fighting against Iuz right here in Rookroost, the group traveled to the home and questioned leader Gaiyle Markhalla.

There, they learned Goliath was a fitting nickname for the incredibly large Ragnar ‘Goliath’ Ragnarsson. Gaiyle was working on recruiting a number of Resistance members to fill a spot as bodyguards for Prince Zeech of Redhead, the ruler of Alhaster. Zeech would like to see his sister, who is seen as both an idiot and a dangerous seer, safe. Gaiyle just wants to know if Zeech really is a follower of Iuz or if he is a possible ally.

The group agrees and sets off for a town outside Alhaster where Nadalie lives. They are dropped off and introduced to the staff of the estate: Gerbo, the caretaker; Tatyana, Nadalie’s handmaiden; Hulgra, a companion for Nadalie; Osborn, the groundskeeper; and guards Gim and Rath.

Ellendian Summerstar and Haggorum Chiggid questioned Gerbo to learn more about what happened to Nadalie to warrant extra protection. On a recent visit to Alhaster, a mob crowded around her and threatened to kill her as a witch. The scene reminded Ellendian and Haggorum of Nolas Roland, the boy seer from Angry Bones.

Hollei Inwe Telemnar immediately sat down with Nadalie and helped her with her garden. The group noticed Nadalie’s plant – a bulb in a potting container. She’s very protective of the bulb. Through a series of checks, the group determines the bulb is not native to the prime material plane – in fact, it’s from the Plane of Shadow. She said she found it near the Nightmare Glade.

“I dreamed I planted it in the dead place and all the flowers grew and bloomed. It was pretty and I wanted to cry,” she tells Hollei.

That night, Nadalie invites her friend Hollei to stay in her grand apartments, while the rest of the group crowds in the guard house. However, the group is quickly awakened to the sound of a mob fighting their way into the estate.

Goliath tears the commoners coming over the walls to shreds, while Jack Jonus Morgan II and Toran helped to pick off the leaders in the back.

Meanwhile, Hollei is doing her best to protect Nadalie as Hulgra, Osborn and Osborn’s twin brother Warren attack.

The fighting on two fronts becomes even more confusing when Amaral, priestess of Nerull, is seen in the crowd and indicates she needs the group to head to Wrylo’s Ruin and put an end to a ritual that would raise THAT WHICH STIRS.

The group realizes Wrylo’s Ruin is the Nightmare Glade that Nadalie is forbidden to visit. They use her bulb as a key to enter The Shadow Junction, where a pool is feeding the life force of several dying victims to The Tree in the center – actually destroyed the evil tree that binds THAT WHICH STIRS with positive energy.

Despite some hardships suffered by the Shadows that guard the place, the group successfully restore the evil tree. The meet Hassox, a paladin who agrees to lead the several other men and women of good nature that were rescued and create a Resistance group in Alhaster.

You were later honored by Princh Zeech himself, for the protection of his sister against the mob. He said “Know that you are friends of Redhand,” and gave each of you the highest citation of honor in that land.


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