Fallen Night

Approaching the Fortress of the Curse Mothers

The party found themselves peering around a rocky outcrop at the Fortress of the Curse Mothers. Lead there by the grey-folk scouts, Volo and Chlo, up the only visible path through the rocky terrain, the path that appears to lead directly into the maw created by the gates.

Troubling is that the fortress looms over this path, successfully achieving its purpose; to give a clear view of any creature approaching it. Further hampering the party’s decision making is that smoky tendrils blocked approach by air as Ulric used avian form to scout the land and the fortress.

William spoke, “I’m going to start up the path after a rest. I would like your company. The barrow man says there is no activity on the battlements, we should act on that, no the imagined potential for death. If there are creatures in there and they see us, they will come out for us. We will have a defensible place on the path that we can fall back to and our enemies can meet their death there.”

The party pulled away from their viewpoint and settled into their makeshift camp before their next move.

William broke the silence, "Before we move on to confront our next victory, our meeting with the King of the Cave encourages me to speak and reveal my motivations so that if we break our fellowship by departing this plane in a different manner than intended, you don’t have to wait on the afterlife to find out.

“My real name, from before my time with the Sage, before my pirating days, is Séamus Mac Cearbhaig. My father is Cearbhaigh, chief of the Bronze Clan, from the area of the North known as Olkstad, protectors of the coast of the ”/wikis/the-dragon-kingdoms" class=“wiki-page-link”> Dragon Kingdoms. We pay our respects to Myraxadin the Bronzed, The Stormbringer, embodiment of storms, strength and protection." Séamus peeled back enough of his chain shirt to show an elaborately detailed tattoo of a bronze dragon whose head was positioned over his heart, the body taking up most of his torso until lost around his back until the tail reappeared over his shoulder.

“Our lands had seen a scourge from the Northern Wastes one that had been unseen from the time of Legends. We were receiving troubling reports of an evil combination of horrors; the dead walking, demons and magic wielders leading others. It was very clear that they were not going to be stopped or even slowed by the efforts of only our people.

“My father, representing our clan was speaking at a Moot, a gathering of assembled chiefs from across The Dragon Kingdoms to enlist their aid against this threat. We addressed the chiefs and the High Chief Uaithne about uniting the clans and confronting and destroying this threat.”

Séamus’s head dropped as he continued, “While my father addressed the assembly calmly, following the traditions and practices of the clans of the Northron, I lost my temper. I called for the reunification of the clans under a High King,” Séamus’s voice was rising and his head came up with eyes blazing. “There was obviously new threats to the kingdoms, threats that could not be faced as a loose group of clans, but that would have to fought as one people, lead by one king, as in the time of ”/wikis/Maolm%C3%B3rdha%20Mac%20Grudaire/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Maolmórdha Mac Grudaire and Orrin Klo of Ironbeck, the king of the cave. Our time of relative peace had come to an end a big fight was coming our way."

Séamus’s took a deep breath, exhaling slowly. As he continued, his voice returned to normal.

“The High Chief had a skald and having thought back on it over the years, I’m sure that skald influenced the Moot and their reactions to the idea of electing a High King. I was forcibly removed from the Moot and awoke tied to the prow of The Dark Cloud.

“Eventually the boat was lost and I found myself washed upon the shores near ”/wikis/lowall" class=“wiki-page-link”> Lowall. Being here is in part thanks and in part promise to the Sage. As I’m able to assist him in his endeavours, he is in mine. He brought news from the North and the increasing chaos it is being plunged into. To be honest, I’m feeling a great pull to get back there and see it for myself and lend whatever aid I can, if they’ll have me.

“Finding the King in the Cave leads me to believe that there may be some sort of link to this demi-plane and the events in my home. At the very least, if this place was good enough for Orrin Klo to die in, it sure as shit is good enough for me. Beo ghlóir. If there is a link to the last High King’s venture here and his death, it will be there.” Séamus pointed to the fortress in the distance.

“The grey-folk lead us here, folk that have some blood link to the Northron and even some connection to the elves. This appears to be the only path to an unmanned fort that contains answers and glory. Unless our druid friends are able to make us mice rather than men to scurry in, we may as well start walking when ready.” Séamus Mac Cearbhaig tugged his chain shirt back into place, checked that his weapons were secure and waited for the party.

After the Wargs
A Scene in the Water
image.jpgWilliam felt the sea water lap against his thighs. it tickled with its cool touch, but he knew that it was frigid. The half-elf priestess of the ocean god that was languidly draped across his chest was responsible. She had cast a spell to make them impervious to the water’s temperature so that they could frolick and fuck in it. He had to admit, it was not a bad way to be had, knowing that they were a bit closer to danger, as if the spell had somehow failed or run out, the distance from their clothes would assure a touch of hypothermia by the time they could hope to warm up from the dousing.

“So, this goblin’s giant wolf picked you up and shook you around like a Northron chew toy?” she asked while she traced one of an increasing number of scars that was appearing on William’s body. His attention was focused on the end of her finger, the sounds of revelry over their defeat of the beasts that plagued the farmers of Lowall floated in the distance. 

He grinned, “Well, I like to think that I was providing a distraction while the others were able to test their skills against the goblin, little magic-using bastard.”

“Then you and the gang went out in search of this mysterious beast that was the cause for the disappearance of our livestock?”

William nodded and grunted a “Yup,” when he realized that it was dark, forgetting that she could see better than him by the light of the moon and stars.

“Huh, and which of these nature priests got to dress up as a goat? The human or elf?” He swore he could hear the twist of her mouth into a smile as she imagined the elf ignoble himself by taking the form of an animal.

“It was the ”/characters/druid-1" class=“wiki-content-link”>Barrowman who changed through magic. It was a surprisingly good idea as he was also able to cloak us from the animals we were hunting. Thus hidden, we waited and three wargs, dead ones, walked right at him expecting an easy meal. We rushed them and made short work of them, forcing them back to their place in the afterlife. Even that Brom kid held his own against one of them."

“But, wasn’t that the one….”

“Yea,” William cut her off, he just knew the smile on her face was complete at this point, “that’s the one. Maybe there is some hope for him yet.”

“And you William, if that is your real name, is there hope for you?”

He tried to focus in on a star. “Don’t know. Maybe, if I figure out what’s next, maybe.” He felt her hair brush against his chest in a way that provided a distinctive hint as what would be happening on that rocky beach next. Talking was over.

The Kaynfort Crypts

Though his breath came in ragged bursts, the bow in Brom’s hand felt made of air. Whew, that was close. A smile broke out despite his fear and exhaustion, But I made it! I’m alive. His smile dissipated as he became aware of his current situation. 

The others might still be alive. He began a quick calculation of the impact and enormity the variable ‘might’ would have on him. I should try to revive them…. He would thereby regain their companionship, protection and, perhaps, thanks. …or not. Leaving far too much loot to carry himself, especially considering the web and spider parts they recovered for the Sage, the same Sage who would also require an explanation to the fate of his companions. It would also mean having to be alone on the boat voyage home and Brom heard stories of the kind of things that sailors at sea get up to. It also meant being alone, again. 

The decision seemed made for him as he heard an unhealthy, but alive gurgling sound come from the naked body of the barbarian. William’s body was covered in tattoos; vivid blue knots and symbols of a type that Brom didn’t recognize, and a bronze reptilian wing and tail disappearing over a broad shoulder. Brom realized this was the first time he had seen William’s shirt off in their time together. He should ask William about them later…. or not.

Brom exhaled as he saw the barbarian’s eyes flicker but not quite open. William’s breathing seemed to deepen and gain an unsteady rhythm, though blood was still coming out of his mouth. Not a good sign.

Brom crouched down beside the Northerner. “Will, we did it! It was the toughest fight we’ve had yet, but you and I managed to finish it off. You went down and I followed by hitting hard enough to finish it.”

William’s head lolled over in the direction of Brom. His voice came out as a croak, “Buachaill sotalach. Cá bhfuil mo chlaíomh? Tóg an claíomh a casadh….. The sailor said to ‘take the sword that turns’*… foolish.”

Brom lost some of his excitement of William’s recovery. He might not understand the language, but it felt like a chastising. “Did you hear me Will? It’s dead. Well, heh, dead again.”

“Aich te bheal. Where are the others? Dead? You left them, unable to wait for me to return ready for battle, dragging that chréatúr salach^ to face me, nary a kilt, putting me inbetween you and its wrath? Cladhaire. Milksop….. Almost failing the Sage because we had to open one… more… door.” With that, William’s eyes closed. He gave cough and there was a pause before his breathing became deeper once more and steady, gurgling but steady.

That’s gratitude for ya. Brom thought sarcastically. He’ll be fine until I get back from checking on the others… Brom scoffed, or not.

The Druids and the dog lay in the first room of the crypt, just as he left them. As did the glowing falchion. What in the hells did Will say about a sword? Did that matter? Probably not. Brom wondered what sort of condition he would find the elf and the Barrowman. With William alive, bringing the other two back to the tower of the Sage would be nicer than not. After all, there was still all of this treasure that the newly resting dead was keeping. He should think of sharing some of it…. Or not. 

Over the Kaynfort Bridge

Edit and links needed. Written on my iPhone  while at work. 

William Jervis took a moment to look around the room. The statues were odd in their perfection; carved parodies of what great warriors were supposed to look like. No scars showed, blisters on sword hands were absent and no face showed the stress or strain of the taking of hundreds of lives. No women were represented in this hall of the mighty, suggesting a culture in which they were to be fought over and not with.

The spark elf continued to rattle on about the history of the region and how the statue that was supposed to be in the center of the room, the statue of Barraban, must have been replaced by the three Dix. The elf’s knowledge was impressive, but William found himself focusing on the information about Baraban that he had just gleaned. 

While Brom amused himself by searching for the hidden door into the passages beneath the keep by pulling on the statues’ arms or other lever-like appendages, William was musing. 

This Barraban’s tennents seemed as unreal and naive in representing war as the statues in the room. Two armies, opponents, approaching each other evenly, straightforward, to conduct battle with such rules was almost laughable if not sad and dangerous. A smile broke out as he thought of trying to square up on the giant spider at the top of the keep or the hunting diamond-backed spiders not using the environment to their advantage to fight cleanly with agreed upon rules. Getting them to spare the weaker members of the party or the goblin group so as to fight “cleanly.” The plant monsters used poison and even that skeleton, still grasping its magic sword in death, had placed a curse upon itself which caused the Barrowman to run terrified through that accursed garden which roused those plant creatures.  

Nature does not have rules and nature used every means at its disposal to win, survive. If that meant starving your enemy for a better chance at victory, you did it. Poisoning wells, it was done. Torture, assassination, killing children and women and the weak have all been done in efforts for victory as the races that created armies and were interested in the lands of others were a part of nature. 

The Protector had her own values that applied to battle and war: take care of each other and be strong. Women fought, not made spoils of. Lands and people were not poisoned as they would then be useless to the victors. Nature was respected and not underestimated, but not to be conquered either. After all, why would you take more than you needed? William chuckled at that. Men do all the time and the waste shows in the abuse. 

Williams brow furrowed as he thought of what he left in the North. What rules did The Horde follow? What dark gods, if they had such things, guided them in their actions? How would the Northron’s battle tactics match an army whose desires are unknown? He thought of the Bronze and her actions and his could only be the contribution of the here and now. Eventually, the North may take him back. Eventually, he may……

William was roused by the scraping of stone on stone. 

“I got it!” Brom was unable to hide his youth in his excited shout. “I found the door leading down.”

With the North still on his mind, William Jervis lead the way into the darkness. 

Into Kaynfort

Post is added as a secret to be a place holder and I will try to add “completed” parts as I get to them. Again, anything you would like to add or detail, feel free to edit or respond to.

William brushed away another layer of dried, giant cobwebs. A mere 10 feet into the tunnel and he already started to feel claustrophobic, the spiderwebs creating an uncomfortable cocoon.

“I wonder if it is up to the Bronze to grant patience?” He kept his voice low a while thinking of the old man’s odd quest for the materials for his flying machine and his companions who didn’t seem too anxious to take their places beside him in this tunnel. Another “Shhhh” from the lighting elf might delay him on his return north to complete a crusade of elficide. He also had to squelch his desire to lecture the nature-kin as to the hunting instincts of spiders being that they rely more on sensing the vibrations in their webbing than their ears. The fucking vermin already knew the four potential meals were in the tunnel.

The light that the Barrowman cast on the pebble that he threw down the tunnel was plenty for them to see far enough in front of them to progress without struggling with the darkness as well as the concealing effect of the spider web. William continued to sweep his arm out in front of him until his motion was stopped by what they were looking for, sticky, newly spun web, the stuff that the Sage was looking for that would give enough tensile strength and elasticity to the trebuche’s launching mechanism to send them close to a mile up. William shivered at the thought of speeding through the air toward a floating land mass.

True to his understanding of spiders, not long after he made them aware of their proximity by touching their web, three pony-sized spiders skittered out of the darkness. Brom stood stunned as the others in the party launched into defensive action. The spiders pressed their advantage from their height in the web by entangling William and Ulric in their spun web. The barbarian’s great strength allowed him to break free right away, but the druid struggled against the bindings.

Once done their ranged attacks, the spiders closed. William met their bites with steel. Within the arc of his blade and the targets elf’s spells, the spiders soon erupted into founts of ichor, but not before managing to sink their fangs into the Northman. William felt the strength leech out of him as his body fought against the poison.

The party continued through the tunnel, gathering the fresh strands for the Sage, wary of more arachnids. The tunnel opened up into a courtyard that was peered into by half a dozen arrow holes. William was glad of the fresh air and the ability to see the sky once again, a freeing feeling compared to the oppressive, cobweb-choked tunnel. Desiccated goblin bodies were piled in a corner of the courtyard, hinting at the spiders’ recent activity.

The same reacted quickly to the entrance of the party and six poured over the walls of the surrounding keep. There was a brief wish that the four of them were arranged in a better defensive posture to meet their enemy as entangling webs were launched at them once again.
The spiders scored a hit on both druids, leaving Brom, William and doggie to face the initial eight-legged onslaught.

Off to Kaynfort

I was delaying posting this list of events as I was trying to put it in a bit more of a narrative like what you find at the bottom (but better). Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to keep my head together long enough to focus for the length of time needed for that task. I would like to come back to this and create more of a story, but would encourage any/all of you to add narrative portions as you see fit. I would also like to see the inclusion of the letter that we found on the dead captain’s body in this as it may include details that would prove helpful later. Cheers!

  • Master Dern Zigur’d runs to Sage’s Tower screaming that goblins were attacking his smithy/home
  • Brave adventurers prepare and race to the smithy
  • Encounter warg that mimics a cry for help from recent victim
  • Slay warg handily (upset the DM)
  • Get to smithy, stalk up on it only to be surprised by dusk goblins in the guise of dirt piles they walked right by (not to mention an oversized badger)
  • William immediately fell victim to colour spray by gobo wizard and was out for the rest of the fight (a humbling experience)
  • The other three fought bravely, did not give up at the battle’s worst
    Ereinon’s abilities with lighting gave the bunch of them the what for as they tried to gang up on him
  • Doggie screwed the pooch again
  • Dwarf wife and sons hiding in chimney formation in rock, home burnt to ground

kaynfort.jpg* Home to heal and set out on Lucky Cloud, captained by Massain Gyle, to the spider lair in Kaynfort

  • William tries to play nice with the sailors, fails, but helps out around the boat, rest stay out of the way
  • Given a longboat to land on islets around Kaynfort and move to investigate the burnt out hull of ship. Captain Gyle and Lucky Cloud will return in five days
  • Investigate boat and found that it too was exploring the keep at the behest of -——-
  • Found letter on the body of the captain: insert letter
  • Ulric Greyman was charmed by nixies seeking to eradicate demon croc. Told by the nixies that it is attracted to light.
  • Ereinon cast a light over top of sandbar and awaited the approach of the crocodile.

All paused for a moment to watch a bright light suddenly rocket into the sky and quickly traced it back to its source of the elven druid. William turned, drew his falchion, stepped toward the water and smiled.

Akkadian Cutthroats
  • Akkadian cultists knew we were going to see the sage, suspect one of us has a “key” that they want destroyed (thrown into the sea).
  • William has been working for the Sage for a while.
  • Ulric & I were sent by allies of the Sage.
  • Brom was not expected by the Sage – his friend Taggert (who was summoned by the Sage) was murdered & sent Brom here.
  • * Taggert mentioned Morn Tanavir before dying.

Note found on Logan’s body:
Logan—one of the scum with the wolf-tooth has the key. Kill them and dump it with their corpses into the sea for Ningazul to sort out. No one should ever have it—don’t think of keeping it to sell—the Akkadian says the curse will take any who hold it.

Meeting at the Docks

Willaim Jarvis sat up on bar stool and looked out the open wall of Feddan’s Board past the village common toward the docks. The familiar scent of the salt air gave him a moment of pause, thinking back on the time he had spent in the area and lately with the Sage.

Small-fishing-dock_small.jpgHe had another sip of ale while he watched the supply ship from Cairnport come in. He had just begun thinking of moving on. He had met the strange old man nearly six months ago to the day; that strange old man that seemed to know a bit too much about things that people were not necessarily so eager to share. Sure, the Sage saw immediately that he was from the Dragon Kingdoms, that was obvious even to many of the locals on the docks, the kilt usually gave it away, but those other things he had talked about, how had he known so much.

The ale tasted particularly good in the open salty air. Though it was spring, the air had a bite to it and Feddan had left the walls open, a trick to get the locals to get their share of drink in them quickly to drive the chill away. The chill did not effect him, he was used to much colder climes. It was a lazy afternoon, with his only task to watch the inroads and docks which could conveniently be done from Feddan’s, but there was a strong urge to spend the day sitting here quietly and forget what he was sent here to do. .

He nodded as Ike sat next to him, his timing perfect to watch what was being loaded off of the boat. William paid for Ike’s ale. Though he had no reason too, Ike was a watchdog for Hammer and Nail and they controlled the Cairnport docks, word of this magnanimous gesture would get back to them.

The boat had begun to be tied off and the gangplank lowered.

Strange, that William had only started to think of leaving and planning what his next move would be and the Sage brought him this proposal. Again it was as if that old man predicted it. “Stay for a bit longer, I have something in the works that might interest you,” were his words. A few more days rolled by and then to the docks to greet the men that brought the skills to help William with the Sage’s unnamed task. What skills for what tasked remained a mystery, only the wolf’s tooth on a leather thong and a “You will recognize them with this.”

He paid closer attention as the goods and whatever passengers the boat brought would begin to come down the plank. The first of those he was sent to meet could be on this ship. A couple of smaller boxes for goods were offloaded to make room for the larger ones that would need the space. Ike let out a chuckle as one of the sailors who was clearly new at this almost walked right off the gangplank and into the drink as the box he was carrying blocked his view.

Another sip, slowly, remembering the help that the Sage offered to keep him focused and alert. Remembering the fear and awe of that kindhearted family when they saw and then heard the story. Remembering the formal introduction to the Sage that they braved to make happen. Remembering the promises that he made himself most recently. Remembering the extended trips in to Cairnport for its ships and docks and the sport there, the drink, scraps and women, all of which made the argument to stay. Remembering the Sage giving him the chance to hone his skills and to find his purpose.

The thought of staying in Lowall did cross his mind, briefly. The village was quiet and a short trip to Cairnport, which was a decent size for an influx of interesting things and people and women. There were sailors to talk with, dice with and scrap with. Hammer and Nail could keep involved in enough larceny on the Cairnport docks so that he would never want for gold to spend. There was too much corrupt gold to be had that no local leader would develop an ego and come down too hard on the people through taxation and laws. Lowall was far enough away to dodge any trouble, avoid the politics and schemes found in the larger city and quiet to let him find that calm. Besides, Feddan’s ale was plentiful and good… enough. On the surface, this should be all that he needed.

The first boxes were off and the passengers would now have room to disembark. There was only one and he seemed too intent on the cargo to be likely to be a part of the Sage’s band. William leaned forward to make sure that he was not mistaken and could not find the wolf’s tooth pendant on the fellow.

William almost choked on his next sip. He had grown so intent on watching the boat arrive that his attention wavered from the village commons and the opening in the wall beyond it that entered the village proper. He felt the hint of a smirk develop when he saw the face of that elven fellow that travelled with that associate of the Sage, Dorithal (or whatever his name was), and expected the wizard to be close behind. The Sage never made mention of expecting them visiting anytime soon. Things were getting interesting.

The thin twilight elf paused at the wall, seeming to give the strange symbols carved into it some study before stepping through and onto the green with the grace that only the elves seem to have, proceeding with purpose. There was no sign of the elf’s tutor yet and William took another sip. Wearing an ample cloak and a backpack over leather armour with a wooden shield shouldered, the elf looked quite comfortable wearing his sword. A dagger at the front of his belt, within easy reach, and the bow unstrung, to save the string from the nasty affects of the salt air, he walked with the confidence of someone not looking for trouble but would certainly not run from it.

William jumped down from his stool and drained his tankard and threw his silver at Feddan unable to suppress a chuckle. The elf was cut loose from Dirabol (or whatever his name was) and came to Lowall looking for adventure, packing all of his gear and wearing a large wolf tooth on a leather thong. Things were getting very interesting.

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