Maws of Mines and Monsters

The morning continued, Althaea discovered that she could assume the form of beasts, Roscoe went to gather information on his companions, and Ygritte kinda just… chilled out. After a lunch getting to know each other, the previously captured cleric, Eli Morgood, revealed that right before the gnoll attack the miners had pierced through a wall and plans were made to go into said mine and uncover what secrets lie underneath.

Deep in the mine the wall was broken down to find ancient paved hallways on the other side. The hallways lead to a strange stone room much like the sandstone room they found under Summerwood. Instead of a gem however, a single brass gauntlet stood in its place. While inspecting the room and the gauntlet Roscoe and Kairos Trip Eli forward into suspected danger. In response, Eli declared that he wanted nothing to do with such people. No danger was to be had; it seemed the room was dormant. Roscoe retrieved the gauntlet without any molestation or any traps triggering.

Once out of the mine, an attempt was made to identify the gauntlet, but it was only marginally successful. Eli decided to go home and deliver the news of the attack to the families of his fellow miners and our adventurers decided to continue on their way.

Along the hilly path to the Crossroads, Ygritte encountered a lone wolf fending off a small pack of hyena. After rescuing the wolf she took it in to care for it and bond with it. To Gideon’s trepidation, Ygritte decided to keep the wolf, naming it Gambit.

Sometime after midday the group came to the flat plains surrounding the Crossroads. Moving quickly and stealthily, they advanced closer and easily dispatched a couple lazy sentries. They regrouped and moved around to the entrance of the Crossroads waystation where they encountered a large sac of flesh, teeth, and limbs moving towards them; behind it, a large rip in reality.

They engage the monster with the gaping maw and after a short time, two gnolls surfaced through the tear, revealing it to be a portal. It didn’t take long for the group to deal with the two gnolls and the maw monster, and after defeating the latter they noticed that its pooling blood had some interesting properties. Anything that they dumped in the blood pool (twigs, dead gnolls, urine) eventually sunk into the blood and disappear.

Kairos immediately stepped through into the portal, the other adventurers rooting through the Inn, the Pheasant Plucker, and nearby stables. Once on the other side, he and Gideon (who eventually followed) found themselves in a strange land. Before them stood several more gnolls, another maw monster, and a large bright green gem at the center of a strange altar. A short conversation later, Gideon ran back through the portal, pursued by two of the gnolls. Kairos and the rest of the enemies followed, and combat resumed on the Material Plane. As the battle ensued and enemies fell, Kairos went back into the portal and took the gem out of its holder. On his way out, he noticed that the objects that had sunk into the blood of the maw monster ended up in a thick, red liquid at the base of the altar. Without the gem in its place, the portal closed.

After the combat, the party cleaned up, dumping the bodies into the black liquid and then scooping up the liquid afterwards. The adventurers settled in for the rest of the day and into the night. Althaea’s misgivings got the best of her and Kairos’ newly acquired vial of liquid was lost. Kairos, looking through all the dead in the inn, found one body that had on robes that matched what the mysterious Marinton attacker had on. With that body there was a note directing a meetup either in or near Eaglereach. What was to happen next, the adventurers would decide in the next morning…

Giggling Gruesome Gnolls

The following morning the group went back to Christine to inquire about any issues that they might be able to help with. After hearing her out, they decided to push back a recent incursion of gnolls. They received directions and healing supplies from Rasper and the Marinton Rangers and decided to set off. But first, let me take a selfie it was time to “catch a ride”. The group ventured to the stables to get some horses, and there they met an old, but adventure hungry stable-master/wheelwright named Gideon. With his thunder cannon he named Valerie he reassured the group that he was quite young, scrappy, and hungry, and that he wasn’t going to throw away his shot (unlike the shot he buried in the ceiling). Also he had a cart that was willing to drive them around in, so why not, right?

Our adventurers finally set off around mid-morning towards a sawmill, the closest of three areas that the gnolls had occupied. The gnolls also took over a mining establishment and an outpost overlooking the main crossroads in the region. Several hours later along the way, the group ran into a man claiming to be a merchant whose wagon of goods had been run off the road by the gnolls. He directed the party towards his wagon, requesting a specific box. After some detective work however, they found him to be a fraud. So they knocked him out when he tried to run and took him prisoner to be dealt with later. They journeyed for the rest of the day, and came to a stop for the night at the turning off the main road and towards the Sawmill.

The next morning they all woke up ready to start the day, missing a prisoner, but that was chalked up to a minimal loss, and they continued moving towards the sawmill. After a few hours travel, the group arrived at the sawmill, the air still and quiet. It wasn’t long before a couple gnolls emerged and a skirmish quickly started up. Almost as fast as it started, the battle was resolved, and the sawmill looted and cleared out.

Quickly moving back out, the party decided to head to the mining establishment next. Drawing near at the end of the day they decided to set up camp and rest for the night before attacking the establishment.

The adventurers, fully rested despite fending off a scouting hyena, finish the journey toward the mines. Upon getting there, they decide to sneak around to the top of a hill backing one of the buildings within the establishment. While Roscoe and Kairos are inside a blacksmith building, Althaea gets spotted by a creepy, one-eyed cultist of Yeenoghu and the situation eventually breaks down. When all is said and done, the group cleared out the two buildings, finding an imprisoned cleric in the other one. As rain begins to fall, the group settles in deciding whether to journey on, or stick around a bit to look through the mines…

Misgivings and Abductions

The group found their way out of the tunnels and resurfaced to find that the desecration within the village already clearing away. For the most part Nathan seemed okay after the resurrection, but he continuously zoned out after short periods of time. As the night went on, he grew drowsy, then almost lethargic. The group decided to take rest in an abandoned tavern for the night and head back to Marinton in the morning. As everyone went to bed, Althaea took some time and discovered that she could weave magic through rhythm and song much like her father could.

After a night of vivid dreams for some of the group, they awoke, ready to continue their journey. Even Nathan was alert, wide eyed, and recharged. It only took a short while to get back to Marinton, and immediately they filled Lady Demarin in on the events of the previous day. Upon learning of the circumstances around her brother’s death and revivification, she ordered that he remain within Alfredi Manor until her court wizard, Vel, came back from his travels abroad. Concluding their conversation, misgivings about the crystal used to resurrect Nathan were shared.

Back near the Rusty Hook, Althaea and Ygritte happened upon Captain Two-Shots and were able to gather more information about the strange individual connected to the stitch-monsters. He had paid extensively to secretly board on the ship with his cargo, no questions asked. He was also sporting robes with a symbol familiar to Althaea. It is of note, that more misgivings about the crystal were had at this point.

After shopping and searching for more information about the situation at hand, the group met back up and decided to see about taking Nathan on their next trip regardless of Christine’s order. Once inside the manor, they found that Nathan was once again weak and lethargic, almost worse than the night before. Roscoe, determined not to fail a mission, continued with the plan to kidnap Nathan. Roscoe even added in educating Nathan about the laws of gravity! A short while passed and the Acolyte tending to Nathan discovered the abduction and reported it to Christine. She in turn sent Sister Joy and Kairos to go look for Roscoe and Nathan.

Althaea visited Lady Demarin once more to express more misgivings about the crystal, and also to gather a bit more information. Christine couldn’t offer more information at first, but did recognize the symbol that was on the stranger’s robes. She had a brief encounter with the group before, but she was not able to recall any specifics. She also noted that there would be several mages in either Eaglereach or Oakenheim that would definitely know more about the symbol and the crystal.

After returning Nathan to his room for the night, the group concluded that it would possibly be best to leave Nathan and continue with their next tasks without him. The next day perhaps…

Kerias: A new beginning

Ygritte, an urban-outdoorsman; Roscoe, a seafaring ne’er-do-well; Kairos, a sorcerer whose ability comes from the very power of the storms themselves; and Althaea, a druid on a journey sparked by curiosity. Throughout this day, these four individuals found themselves in and out of a tavern in the docks of Marinton. Come nightfall, a trading vessel from the Vruun Isles came barreling into the docks and came to rest some 20 feet inland. Like, ON the land.

Six abominations leapt off the ship and began and began causing havoc throughout the area, attacking and killing civilians indiscriminately. The abominations appeared to be standard animals that had various pieces of other animals stitched on to them, both physically and magically. Ygritte, Roscoe, and another acquaintance, Nathan Demarin all helped to stave off the attacking ‘stitch-monsters’ until they fled out of town.

Shortly afterward, Captain Rasper Hawkborne arrived on the scene and boarded the ship to assess the situation. The rest of the party joined him aboard and took in the sight of absolute carnage. Blood and gore filled the scene; bodies had been eviscerated and strewn all across the deck. Kairos and Roscoe went below deck where the scene was largely the same. There they mostly found a shipment of crates and armor marked to go to Eaglereach. Further inward they found a large crate that was busted open from the inside out. The crate contained some hay, and a few bones that were gnawed clean. There were also some arcane sigils that were inert.

Above deck, Althaea, Ygritte, and Nathan found their way to the captain’s quarters. After negotiating with the door, they picked through the pieces to find the terror-stricken captain of the boat. Eventually they were able to determine that the stitch-monsters were brought onto the ship with a strange, reclusive individual. The only description they obtained about the man was that he was a bald with a long black beard. After questioning the Captain Two-Shots, Althaea took him to the temple of Pelor to heal. Subsequently, Nathan suggested they rest for the evening then report the issue to Lady Christine Demarin in the morning.

The group all met with Lady Demarin in the morning, recapping the night’s events in detail. She urged them to find the monsters and end them. Althaea picked up on the monsters trail and led the group out of town northward. After a minor hiccup in the form of a bandit ambush, the group arrived at Summerwood, a small village a short ways away. Summerwood however, was having problems of its own. The village had just about literally dried up and was mostly abandoned. Gathering information from a random villager and a nomadic Halfling tribe that was staying a short while, the group found out that about a month ago, there was a heavy tremor which coincided with the decay of the village. They also found out that their quarry also came into the village. The stitch-monsters dug into a sinkhole that recently opened up at the back of the village.

After some forceful encouragement by Nathan, the group followed the monsters into the hole where they were able to finally track down and defeat the monsters. Before their demise, the stitch-monsters uncovered a sandstone room with a glowing blue gem in the center. After going into the room and interacting with some magic sigils on the ground, a large sandstone golem appeared! The group fought bravely against the construct, but unfortunately Nathan Demarin fell during the combat. Acting desperately, Kairos forced arcane energies through the crystal and into Nathan in a last ditch effort to save his life. He succeeded, but as to what end, the party will have to wait and see…


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