Undiscovered Country

Quick synopsis

The last few weeks have been a blur of activity. Upon reaching the mine, the party finds no sign of the fog. Taking their time and examining every tunnel, they move their way through the mine, heading for the buried chamber. Soon they hear sounds of moans and shuffling and are attacked by a group of zombies. The familiar faces of the miners stare back at them. The battle goes well at first until more show up from a side tunnel. They appear to be led by two heavily armored undead. No matter what they do, the armored foes stand back up time after time. Finally, they burn the bodies and the dead rest one last time. Reaching the chamber, they discover that the artifact is gone. Hegel sends a telepathic message to the Baron and actually gets a reply this time of two words, “return, hurry”.

The party makes haste to return to the town. Once they reach the outlying farms, they hear cries of alarm and terror. Rushing over, they see a farmhouse under attack by the fog. People and livestock lay dead all around while a few farmers desperately try to fight it off. They quickly engage the fog, and notice almost immediately that there is something different about it. There seem to be several smaller entities instead of one large one. The battle is swift and the fog is defeated, though some of it escapes.

They gather together the survivors and head back to the town, finding that their own pack animals have disappeared, perhaps the final victims of the escaped fog. When they reach the town they discover that there have been attacks all over the outlying areas and that several farms have been destroyed, whole families slaughtered. The town is in a panic and there seems to be little that the Baron can do to prevent it. They meet with him again and relay their tale. The Baron speaks of a priestess that came to him, telling him that there is something to the south west, something of import. However, the priest worships the goddess Sehanine, and he does not trust her. He informs the group that the attacks have been coming from the north, and he wants them to find a path through the swamps to the south so that if need be, the people can evacuate. He offers them gold for the job and they accept.

The party wastes no time in heading south, remembering only later in the day that they wanted to speak with this priestess. The traveling is slow going, but uneventful for a few days. Then one night, they notice a great exodus of beasts, all heading south. Soon the sounds of hundreds of drums reach their ears, the drums of the fog. They start to plant torches and sun rods, ready to face the fog once more. What they see chills their bones however as the fog has grown and comes at them in a tidal wave of death. Realizing that they cannot overcome the fog, they flee. The fog chases after, two long tendrils wrapping around the sides, hoping to trap them. Hegel spies the moon through the thin mist and notices that the Eye of Sehanine is in the sky. It appears to be illuminating something to the south west. They continue to run for it, as the ground becomes harder and the terrain more jungle like. Dark power erupts from the fog, dazing Gergnedo and slowing his escape. Just as the tendrils start to close in, Hegel finds ruins in the dark and runs into them. The rest quickly follow, barely escaping the fog. As they stand in the ruins, the fog rises up, ready to crash upon them. They raise their hands in a futile gesture as it comes down, only to be blocked by some unseen force at the edge of the ruins. The fog seems to ripple with rage, and slowly backs away from the ruins, disappearing once more into the mist.

The group catches their breath and for the first time notices that there is no mist within the ruins. As they look around, they see by the moonlight that they are in an ancient city that has nearly been swallowed by the jungle. They head deeper into the ruins, towards the center of the city. They find a large open courtyard with a ancient statue still standing at its center. A feeling of peace and calm washes over them as they approach. As their eyes are focused on the statue, they fail to notice a giant serpent coming towards them. The beast is nearly large enough to swallow one of them whole and it wastes no time in attacking. The strange snake’s scales have sharp ridges on them and it constantly thrashes around its body, cutting anyone near it. Kenneth notices that the thing’s eyes have been cut out. The group quickly recovers after its initial shock and start to coordinate their efforts against the beast. Before long, its dead body lays in the pool around the statue. The party beds down for the night, keeping watch, hoping to recover from their taxing day.

All fall into a deep sleep, even Gergnedo who was supposed to be on watch. In their dreams they are visited by a being of light named Illuana. She claims to be a goddess who was once worshiped on the isle. Long ago, there was a great war between the forces of light and those of dark, led by her brother, Necroth. During the height of the conflict, as her forces were nearly spent, a twist of fate caught her brother in a trap meant for her. The forces of darkness were defeated or banished, her brother imprisoned. However, the balance meant for the isle had been broken. Her followers were sent away and she allowed herself to fade. The All-Father removed the isle from the world. Now though, the isle has returned for some reason. The new settlers have freed her brother’s greatest servant. It is only a matter of time before he is freed as well. She asks for their worship, so that she may aid them in the conflict that is sure to start all over again.

When they awake the dream is still fresh in their minds. Hegel, Gergnedo, and even Veyeper the Paladin swear to her, and become her followers. They see that the statue is of her, and approaching it, they receive rewards. Veyeper is made her champion. She gives them an artifact, the Heart of Illuana, that will protect the town from the fog.

Kenneth spies a small column of smoke rising in the distance coming from within the ruins. They decide to investigate before returning to New Brovendar. They travel through the city and discover odd totems scattered about. As they examine one closer, an eye opens and they are attacked. Soon the totems unfurl and become some sort of serpent like creature. A large lizardman comes forth as well, with a strange archer behind him. Veyeper stabs a totem with his new blade and as it dies, its body turns to stone, trapping his sword within. Many of the totem creatures are smashed, but eventually Veyeper loses both of his swords and Gergnedo his axe. The large lizardman lays into them while arrows fly forth from the archer. The battle gets tight, but eventually they drop the lizardman and converge on the archer. The archer reveals a head of snakes and turns a deadly gaze upon them. Soon several of them start to stiffen and feel themselves slowed. Drucilla barely shakes off the effects before they become permanent. The snake woman continues to attack and bare her gaze. Finally though, they bring her down. They find upon her a cloak with the mark of Necroth on it, and the lizardman had magical scale armor. The bodies of the totems crumble to dust after a short time and they are able to retrieve their weapons. They do discover several ancient books within lair of the archer, and Hegel uses his telekinetic powers to safely move the fragile texts.

The group makes its out of the ruined city, and as the sun starts to set, they see the fog approach. Holding forth the Heart, the see the fog condense, and finally take the shape of man. He seems to radiate a dark power. He speaks with them, quite cordially. He names himself CyTan, and gives them a dark warning of what is to come. He seems amused though and even congratulates them on being worthy opponents. He dissipates into fog once more and drifts away.

The group continues on and reaches New Brovendar. As they journeyed, they immediately noticed that the mist was gone, ever since the morning after their dream. They arrive to find the town in celebration over the lifting of the mist. They immediately go see the Baron and tell them their tale. The Baron is grateful for their discovery, and offers his support of their new faith, but cannot commit to it himself. He explains that the priest of Pelor have long been the dominating faith of his people and that they are taking credit for the clear skies. The Baron calls for a gathering and introduces the party and their tale to the people. The priests of Pelor scoff at their claims, but many within the crowd look with open eyes.

They stay in the town center all day to speak with any who wish to learn more of this new goddess. The sun sets as they wait for some farmers to arrive from the outskirts. As the people approach, they reveal themselves as assassins and attack the group. They are confronted by a female wizard, a dragonborn paladin of Bahamut, and a duergar cleric. Magic missles herald their arrival upon Gergnedo’s chest. As Gerg and Veyeper close with the dragonborn, he shouts to them that Baron Scithlon sends his regards. With their front line fighters engaged, a fourth assassin appears next to Kenneth, a human rogue.

The battle is intense. Gergnedo nearly slays the wizard in one mighty blow, but the cleric brings her back to health. He then raises his symbol to Asmodeus and takes control of Gerg’s body, having it strike Veyeper. The wizard unleashes lightning that spreads forth and hits several of them. Thankfully for them, the dragonborn cannot seem to get past their defenses. The battle rages on and soon most are bloodied. The rogue joins the dragonborn and starts to concentrate on Veyeper. The dwarf continues his possession of Gergnedo to further wound the paladin. Kenneth is able to finally drop the cleric though. However, it may be too late as Veyeper goes down. Drucilla closes to give aid and heals the paladin. The rogue dances about, slicing into Veyeper and Gergnedo. The wizard keeps unleashing lightning as well. Soon Gerg and Veyeper are both down, but their foes are well bloodied. The rogue is dropped, but healed soon by the dragonborn. Seeing her comrades about to fall, the wizard decides to send one last magic missile into Veyeper and then runs off into the darkness. Drucilla brings Gerg back up and they finally finish off the other two.

A mounted patrol arrives shorty after led by Kellian. He gets the guard to dispose of the bodies and goes to report the attack to the Baron. Veyeper is brought back from death’s door by Drucilla. They return to the Baron’s estate and explain the battle to him. The assassins were sent by a man from their past. While there, they urge again to the Baron that a shrine must be built to house the Heart of Illuana.

That night, Veyeper had a vision. He saw the face of a man that was important to their cause, and he felt a great foreboding and an urge to travel to the north west in search of something. On the morn, they set out to find this man within the town. They found him among the refugees from the farms, his name is Estan. Veyeper explains to him his vision and speaks of Illuana. They produce the Heart for him and ask him to pray to it. He does so, and a soft glow surrounds him and the Heart. At his request, they leave him the Heart to commune with the goddess as they get ready to travel to the north.

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Our story continues...

The survivors from the mine trudged thru the mist, anxious to reach New Brovendar. Most are silent as they walk down the road, lost in thought or simply exhausted from their flight from the mining camp. As the day winds down, they hear the jingle of armor up ahead and soon meet an armed patrol on the road. After a brief exchange with the guards, they direct the wagons to the smithy and allow the rest to pass.

The party heads straight for the Baron’s estate and are taken directly to his audience chamber. There, unsurprisingly, is Har’rad, along with the Baron.

“My lord Baron,” Veyeper speaks up, “we have returned with the ore as requested, and with grave news.” Har’rad briefly shows a look of surprise at their entrance, but then relaxes once again. “Our journey was much more difficult than expected,” continued Veyeper, “this island is not quite so safe as we were thought to believe. Before even reaching the camp, we were attacked by a pack of huge wolves. We were able to dispatch all of them, but had they come upon the mining camp, there would have been many deaths. Once there we discovered the camp in inactivity. We were brought to Har’rad and delivered your message. He was quite disagreeable to our requests. We felt something was amiss and wished to investigate further on your behalf. Before we could press the matter however, something happened. Something was released, and we believe it was the steward from Lord Fairday that did it, most likely unknowingly. We raced to the mines to discover a chamber carved in the mountain. Within was no sign of the steward, but instead a black fog with moved unnaturally. It consumed one of Har’rad’s men and then attacked us. Har’rad fled and left us to die. There was something in the fog my lord, and it very nearly killed us. We were able to drive it off though, and it seemed to melt back into this strange metal object. We attempted to bring it, but it seems to feed of those who touch it.”

“As we went to exit the mine, we found the entrance collapsed, by Har’rad’s men and the camp was abandoned. We did see several of his men had been killed. While we were fighting the fog, some of it had escaped the mine.”

Har’rad speaks up, “If it pleases your Lordship, this man’s tale is not quite accurate. It was I who ordered the men to bring the ore to town. And I did not trap them within the mine on purpose. After I saw it devour my man, I knew we had to evacuate the camp. As we were preparing to leave, the fog came out again and killed several more men. I had assumed they had fallen in battle with the thing. I was only thinking of the safety of the town when I ordered the mine sealed my lord. And by any chance, did the rest of you seal the mine once you got out? Or is the creature free to escape now as well?”

Each of them looks at the others with shock and shame as they realize they had not. “You stole my horse,” exclaims Kellian, “leaving your own men behind in your flight.”

“A horse with a dead owner is no longer owned,” croons Har’rad, “I needed to return swiftly to New Brovendar to bring word of this dire event and bring back help. It was the Lord Baron’s decision not to send an escort back.” Har’rad looks quite smug and tilts his head up slightly to look down on the others.

Kenneth steps forward. “And what of your plan to hide the knowledge of the artifact from the Baron, and having one of Lord Fairday’s men there to buy it from you?”

“Well I…I…fine, yes I was intending on selling the thing to Lord Fairday. But it was my right my lord. We have not found the precious ores that you said we would. And with the troubles of the town, you would not be able to afford the price I could get for this.”

“What worth would a sheet of metal be?” asks Gergnedo.

“It is the only artifact discovered on this cursed isle so far,” sneers Har’rad. “There are many back on the mainland that would pay and pay well for it.”

“It is a dangerous artifact Baron, one who’s magic I am not familiar with. The fog that resides in it is extremely dangerous. I know not what bringing it into the town would do, other than bring more death.” Hegel announces.

“Can it be moved,” asks the Baron finally. “And Har’rad, you will pay for your duplicity.”

At those words the man shrinks back and his shoulders slump as he sighs. “Yes my lord.”

“I pulled at it with all my strength Baron,” Gergnedo announces, “and it barely shifted, but I do think it can be done.”

“You all did well in carrying out my orders. The ore is here in New Brovendar as I requested. You will be paid in full for that service. And if you would accept, I request that you travel back to the mine and recover this artifact. I understand the dangers and you will be well compensated.” The Baron dismisses the group and returns to his conversation with Har’rad, now armed with the upper hand.

The party goes out quickly around the town to gather more supplies, picking up a cart and mules with the Baron’s orders. Already rumors have spread of what happened at the mine and they are stopped several times as the curious and fearful ask questions. They spend the night in the inn to get a good nights rest before starting back to the mine in the morning.

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Drums in the Dark, part 2

Life! so close now. We can hear the beat of its heart, feel the warmth from its breath. Close now it comes. Hungry we are. The thing reaches out… we feed. We stir…we sense more. Stronger will we be. Hungry we are. Feed we must.

With a roar, Gergnedo spins away from the dark fog once again. He spies his comrades in the dim torch light, desperately swinging into the darkness. He was sure the thing was nearly dead, but now…now it attacks with renewed vigor. The fog spreads around Drusilla for a moment and then recedes, leaving bloody gashes behind. Veyeper is dragged into its clutches, pulled down into its depths somewhere. Gergnedo catches his breath for a moment and charges back in.

Drusilla summons a divine rune and smites down into the fog once more. Her weapon flares with holy light as it strikes. The dark fog recedes from the weapon as she feels a satisfying crunch jolt up her arm. She quickly invokes a second rune and feels out for Veyeper’s presence. There, in the middle of the fog….whispering a prayer to the Raven Queen, she channels the divine energy of her rune into the paladin.

“Gerg, behind me!” yells Kellian as he dashes in, swinging his warhammer at every tendril of fog, driving it back so that Gergnedo is able to back away from it. The fog responds in kind, sending two large tendrils on either side of them, snaking out to surround them.

“look out Hegel!” shouts Kenneth, pulling the psion back as a tendril comes dangerously close to touching him. Kenneth launches two more arrows into the darkness, unsure of their effect. He feels that his quiver is getting light and glances down, seeing only a few shafts left. Kenneth stares at the fog. Once he thought they were driving it back, but now, now they seem to be in a bit of a stalemate. Whatever damage they are doing is simply being drained back into the dark depths.

The fog slides forth again, completing its circling of the party, only Hegel and Kenneth are outside of its ring. Veyeper breaks free from its grasp, bringing down his blessed sword upon it. His face is ashen, and for the first time, worry is within his eyes. He glances around, and even in the poor light, he can tell the battle is taking its toll on his companions. Their swings are a bit slower, their breath coming to them harder and harder. He reaches out with divine might and challenges the fog. “Face me foul beast, or suffer Avandra’s wrath.” The fog rises up, hovers for a moment, but then crashes down around Veyeper, pulling him back into its depths. Veyeper lashes out with sword and limb, but he can’t break free. His eyes close as darkness envelopes him.

Drusilla hears the fall of her comrade within the fog, “Veyeper! Gergnedo, I sense Veyeper has fallen. We must drive this thing back.” With a yell, Gergnedo leaps at the fog once more, axe swinging wildly. He feels it slide backwards, deeper within the fog’s depths. Once more Drusilla reaches out with the divine blessing of the Raven Queen, searching for Veyeper, restoring him to consciousness.

The fog continues to snake forward, out through the hole in the wall from which the party entered. The fight continues. Both sides inflicting horrific wounds on the other. Sensing the divine strength within Veyeper, the fog focuses its attention on him, trying to draw him back into its depths so that it may feed. It also lashes out at Drusilla, trying to quiet the voice of the Raven Queen. Gergnedo is able to land a telling blow to the creatures within the fog. In response, they nearly rip his life from him. Kellian continues to harry the creatures, allowing Gergnedo to fall back and recover. The fog starts to recede from around them, part of it disappearing into the mines, the rest reforming with the main mass.

Veyeper is struck a mighty blow and is on his last legs. Drusilla is bleeding from a dozen gashes, and Gergnedo is swinging on pure rage alone. Finally, the mighty barbarian sweeps in with his axe cuts into the hidden mass deeply. Kenneth senses its weakness and launches his last arrows into the fog. An eerie wail comes forth from the darkness, the sound of the drums recedes, and the fog starts to disperse. The companions watch as it seems to slide back into a large metal object on the wall, in the shape of a diamond. All is silent around them save their own labored breathing.

Kenneth reaches into his pack and draws forth a sunrod so that they may better see their surroundings. The bright light illuminates the entire chamber. At first, all of their attention is on the metal object. At first it looks like a man sized mirror, but the surface is not reflective. It appears to be quite thick and embedded in the wall. Hegel takes a closer look and feels the flows of magic surround it. “Whatever this is, it radiates magic quite strongly.”

Gergnedo walks up to the object and reaches out towards it. He feels the familiar pull on his life force. “We should destroy it, let me rip this from the wall.” He reaches out, and immediately pain surges within his hands as he feels an icy sensation as the warmth is drawn from his flesh. He strains and the object does not budge. With a prayer to Kord he tries yet again, ignoring the pain. He feels the object shift a bit, as small bits of rock break away from behind it. However, his ears start to pick up the sound of drums emanating from the sheet. He backs away from it, still feeling the sting in his hands.

As Kenneth walks around, he notices that there are no signs of entrances or exits to the room. Yet the chamber is clearly worked stone. Finally Kellian stands up, “Come, lets return to the miners, perhaps we can seal this chamber again.”

The ranger is able to easily follow their tracks back through the winding mine, but as they near what should be the entrance, they see before them a pile of rock and rubble blocking the way. Veyeper looks around for signs of the fog, but finds none. “Well, this rock isn’t going to move itself,” and looks directly at Gergnedo. With a scowl, the goliath steps up and starts to shift the boulders aside. Drusilla and Kellian aid as well. After a few hours, they start to smell fresh air, and are able to clear away enough to crawl through.

They are welcomed by darkness and the mist once more. The sunrod’s light is nearly gone, but it clearly shows them ropes leading out from under the rubble. The camp is also deserted. Several of the tents have been torn down hastily and there is the smell of smoke in the air. They also notice several bodies of miners lying in the dirt, their clothes and flesh torn in a hundred places. “A part of the fog has escaped the mine…” mutters Kellian. Kenneth searches around and notices that the carts and mules are gone, as well as Kellian’s horse. All tracks lead back down the trail. “Looks like the rest fled, those that survived.”

“I think we should rest here for the night and go after them in the morning. I want to find out why they sealed us in there,” says Veyeper. The others agree and the group beds down for the night, keeping watch for the fog.

Morning comes and they descend down the trail quickly. They keep a fast pace throughout the day which takes its toll on them. “We are getting closer,” Kenneth comments after checking the trail, “perhaps tomorrow we’ll catch them.” The group rests again in the foothills and proceeds at dawn. During midday, they hear the caravan ahead of them in the fog.

“Kenneth,” whispers Veyeper, “you flank around while we draw their attention, be prepared in case they attack.” As Kenneth slinks off, Veyeper raises his voice and calls out to Har’rad. A weary voice responds and they hear the caravan stop. Finally, they see a few men come forth in the mist. They recognize the faces of the miners, but none are Har’rad. They all look exhausted.

The man in front addresses them, “You live?! By the gods, how did you survive?” His tone carries no malice or disappointment in it. He seems relieved that the group survived and shares his tale of how Har’rad told them of what happened to Charl and ordered them to pack the camp. But then the fog came out and started killing any who it touched. Eventually they drove it off with torches and picks. Har’rad then ordered the mine collapsed. They had assumed the party has shared Charl’s fate. Then they had fled down the mountain, not resting until last night. Har’rad rode forth to get help from the Baron. The miners welcome the party to travel with them and seem relieved that more survived the tragedy at the mine.

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Drums in the Dark

Gergnedo plants his axe on the ground and looks around, “Those were big wolves.”

The bodies of the beast lay around the camp. Drusilla shakes her head, “Well this mess isn’t going to clean itself, brother, start collecting our gear please.”

The group works quickly to gather their scattered belongings and shift their camp to a new site. Once settled, Veyeper takes watch once more. No one rests easy until the sounds of the forest returns. As the hours pass, Veyeper wakes Kenneth to take his turn. “All seems safe,” he reassures his friend. Kenneth adds some wood to the fire and settles in on watch.

Kellian lights a torch and looks around cursing. The mist obscures the moon and stars to cover him in total darkness. The torch seems a bit feeble, but it allows him to see the trail ahead. He had hoped to make better time, but he dared not risk his horse. Still, the tracks in the dirt were not that old. Unless they made better time than he thought, he should be close. Spurring his steed to walk once more, he heads up through the foothills in search of his friends.

Kenneth stoked the fire again. His turn for watch was nearly up. He ground the stick into the dirt to cool it. He had learned the hard way not to wake Gerg up with his hand. Kenneth rubbed his jaw involuntarily at the memory of that mistake. A faint sound reached his ears and he turned his head. Hard to make out, but there appeared to be a light of some sort coming up the trail. The damn mist makes it hard to tell though. He nudged Veyeper awake, “Going to check something out…” and he stalked off into the woods with his bow.

Yes, there ahead, that is most definitely a light thought Kellian. Moving the torch behind his head, he stared out to get a better look. The snap of a twig behind him was the only warning as a large shape crashed into him, bearing him to the ground. The inevitable pain from fangs digging into his flesh came shortly after. “Here we go again,” the veteran mutters as he rolls up and draws his hammer. His torch that lay on the ground now only dimly lit the area around him, but it was enough to make out the form of the large dire wolf bearing down on him. Again it lashed out with claw and fang, tearing across the warlord’s arm.

At the sound of battle, Kenneth rushed forward and immediately spied the pack leader assaulting some poor traveler on the road. Drawing quickly, he loosed two arrows at the beast, both scraping across its hide. He yelled back to Veyeper and continued his advance.

Kellian swung his hammer at the beast, but it deftly dodged out of the way, and once again sank his teeth over his arm. If not for the armor he wore, surely he would have lost it. “Well this isn’t going well,” he thought. And then two arrows flashed by him, striking the beast a glancing blow. “About time you showed up Kenneth,” he yelled back, not taking the risk of turning around. He surely hoped it was Kenneth.

At the familiar voice of his comrade, Kenneth moved forward again and fired, but this time, only one arrow found its target. Veyeper crashed his way through the woods to close with the beast as well. The others were woke and began heading toward the sound of battle.

The arrival of more meals caused the great wolf to hesitate for a moment. Kellian took that time to gather his strength and soldier on, “get up old man, you aren’t dinner yet.” With renewed vigor, he struck out at the creature again, but failed to feel the satisfying crunch of contact.

Timing its attack perfectly, the wolf lunges at Kellian as he completes his swing, and tastes the blood of his prey once more. However, it has no time to savor it as another two-legs comes rushing forward and strikes it with its steel claw. Another shaft enters its flesh from the one in the back as well. It tries to flee but finds its paw pinned to the earth. It lashes out with fang as another two-leg rushes it. Finally the great beast dies and rejoins his pack.

The companions rejoice at the reunion with Kellian, and they make their way back to camp and to tend their wounds. Kellian sits down near the fire, “That was a big wolf.”

The others tell the tale of their earlier battle with the pack. “But I thought the Baron had said that there had been no sign of dangers here? Surely a pack like that would have struck before this?” But none could offer any answer. They tried once again to rest, and too soon morning comes. The party breaks camp and heads back up the trail to find the mining camp.

The group notices that while the mist is ever present, the farther they get from the coast, the less damp it seems to get. As the sun rises, they see more and more of the area around them. Finally, a few hours after high sun, they come across the mining camp. At first the camp looks to be quite busy, but the sounds just aren’t there. As they walk in, they notice a few miners here and there, but no one working as they should be. When they are noticed, several cries go out for someone named Har’rad. Soon they are met by a tall man with a crowd of armed miners behind him. “Who are you and what business do you have here?”

Veyeper steps forward and starts to address the man they assume is Har’rad. He stumbles a bit over his greeting and informs the man that they are there on behalf of the town, trying to find out why the ore has stopped coming. There is tension in the air as the two groups try to figure the other out, finally Har’rad invites the party to his tent to talk. On the way there, one of them spies the mine entrance, and the fact that there are two guards outside of it.

Once inside, Veyeper reveals that they are there on behalf of the Baron, who is greatly concerned that the ore has stopped coming into town. Har’rad explains that they have had delays due to a few accidents in the mines and that he has needed all of his men here to fix things. He offers to have his mules hitched to the ore wagons that are full if the party will take them back to town themselves. When the group asks to see the mines, he refuses them, seeming to be hiding something. When they press and ask him if something else has been discovered, he denies it and the group can feel no hint of untruth to his words. The group decides to stay the night and leave in the morning with the ore. Har’rad allows them to sleep in the mess tent, and has them led there. Guards are posted outside. Kenneth attempts to pick the pocket of a miner as he pushes his way through the crowd and is caught by the man. A hasty explanation with some help from Veyeper and an altercation is avoided. He does see a well dressed man go inside Har’rad’s tent however.

Once inside, the group discusses what they are to do next. The guarded mine has them curious and they decide to send Kenneth out to find more. Hegel offers up a distraction to the guards and Kenneth sneaks out the back. Night has fallen and the camp is shrouded in a dim light from the various torches set up. He makes his way through the tents to Har’rads and overhears the man complaining that someone has gone missing. Someone is sent to go look for him and Kenneth decides to follow. His is led to the other side of the camp where a silk tent is set up. The miner he was following enters the tent for a few moments and then leaves, still searching. Kenneth attempts to sneak in, but knocks something over. He backs out quickly as a few miners go into the tent and then leave, but he notices that they stick around keeping an eye on it.

At this moment, there is a pulse that ripples through the camp. Drusilla and Kenneth fare it well, but the rest are dazed. Outside, the camp erupts in a bit of chaos as men fall over or sway where they stand. Cries for help go out along side those of confusion. Veyeper feels that the pulse emanated from the direction of the mine, and the party rushes out towards there. Once in the central clearing, they see Har’rad accompanied by several armed miners also heading toward the mine. Both groups stop as they see each other.

“What is going on here?” demands Kellian, “what is inside the mine?” Har’rad looks uneasy for a minute, and looks at the uncertain faces of his men. His face betrays an internal struggle of some sort, and then finally relaxes in decision.

“We found something. I don’t know what it is, but it looked valuable, certainly more valuable than the ore we have been digging out. I was in negotiation with Waylan, Lord Fairday’s steward, for the object. I’m sure it is worth more than what the Baron could possibly pay for it. I kept my men here so that no word of it would leak out. But now Waylan is missing. He was in a panic after you arrived. I have men looking for him now.”

One of the mine guards steps forward and shakily tells Har’rad that Waylan entered the mine a short time ago, demanding entrance upon his word. At that moment, a scream echoes forth from the cave, and then all is silent. The party rushes into the mine, Veyeper and Gergnedo in the lead, with Har’rad and a few men following behind. Har’rad directs them through the tunnels until finally coming to some sort of buried chamber. The half circle room is made of worked stone, its floor a few feet below the tunnel. The group drops down into it and moves forward, their torchlight revealing a dark fog seeming to come from some metallic object on an alter of sorts. Har’rad and his men come in as well, spreading out to one side.

Kenneth knocks an arrow, but doesn’t see anything threatening. And then, he hears the subtle sound of a deep drum, and the fog begins to move. A huge “arm” of it reaches out towards one of Har’rad’s men, enveloping him. The man screams, and the arm recedes, of the man there is no sign. One of the others immediately turns and runs screaming out of the chamber, the other two look to Har’rad for instructions, fear is etched across their faces. Har’rad soon follows his man, taking the lantern with him. Kenneth launches arrows into the fog, but is not sure if he struck anything. Veyeper rears back his arm, ready to launch his everburning torch into it, but then realizes that they have no other light in this chamber. He yells out to Hegel who lifts the torch with his mind and rushes it forward toward the fog. For a moment, the fog recoils from it, but then settles back.

“To hell with this,” yells Gergnedo and he charges the fog with his axe, swinging through it. He senses something is there, but feels no satisfying hit. The others step up a bit and blast into the fog. Then the fog swarms over Gergnedo and when it recedes, he is gone. Veyeper and Drusilla rush up and swing inside the fog, calling out for the goliath. Hegel can hear some sort of chittering coming from the fog and it sounds abyssal. They soon hear the familiar roar of Gergnedo and the goliath steps out of the fog, swinging his axe wildly around him. His skin seems paler. The battle begins to rage. The fog constantly conceals whatever is inside of it, which lashes out time and time again, attempting to pull someone within its depths. The rest of Har’rad’s men flee, overcome with terror.

Time and time again the heroes strike out into the fog, contacting something. Veyeper is consumed for a few moments before breaking free. As the fight goes on, the party gets the feeling that the creature within is weakening, that they are gaining the upper hand, but then something changes. They start to feel their strength flow from them and into the fog. The closer they are, the stronger the pull. The fog is feeding on them, regaining its strength. Gergnedo is sucked into its depths once more, and feels hundreds of claws, grasping and tearing at him in the darkness. Each cut sucking his life force away.

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End of the Voyage

You feel the boat slide across something with a shudder and the sound of wood tearing away does nothing to ease your mind. Soon sounds of the captain shouting fill your ears. The man seems to be in a rage, screaming at his men to move the ship back and forth through the maze of hidden reefs. Captain Dormon’s mood has been sour for the whole voyage it seems, and now it is ablaze as if he is filled with the aspect of Kord himself. You shake your head in wonder at how he is able to move his vessel through these treacherous waters. From what you have heard, more than one ship rests at the bottom here. The fact that you can’t see more than ten feet due to this mist is amazing enough, but that he is doing it at night with no stars in sight is even more impressive…or insane. Another hard shudder causes you to grip the railing with white knuckles.

But there, through the darkness ahead, a small light. The ship heads straight for it now. Soon you see that the light is a fire, a huge bonfire upon the shore. As you close to it, you see a wooden dock take shape and Captain Dormon slides the Waiting Lady along side it.

You grab your possessions and look around you. Your companions are picking up their gear and heading for the boarding plank already. You are all eager to get off the ship and back onto solid ground. You nod to the captain as you walk off the Waiting Lady. As you walk down the dock, you think you hear him grumble something about never returning to this forsaken place. Second thoughts flash through your mind and you consider returning to the ship for a moment. No, you’ve made your choice. All of you have, and your fates are here, come what may. You spot what looks to be an inn of some sort and gesture to your comrades to follow.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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