Stormlands Campaign

The Stormlands Campaign was a series of adventures set in the Stormlands. The campaign began in the spring of the Year of the Roc, when Griflet Graycyon, Kal Zakath and Strawberry Fields were washed ashore near the tiny village of Walthorp Downs. Exploring the area they found ruins and monsters everywhere; the land fallen into neglect due to the constant fueds and vendettas of the Lords of the Stormlands.

Following the Battle of Walthorp Downs and the Battle of the Grimlock Caves, the adventurers ventured further into the Stormlands proper. There they were drawn into the conflicts between Lord Spelheur, Lord Carkspur and Lord Tollund, and discovered disturbing clues which hinted that the legendary Druids were not gone from the Stormlands after all. After the Battle of Krackspine's Fall near Torth, the adventurers discovered the grave of Prince Eslim, and rescued Prince Eder, Lorathon Shadowblade and John Smith from the basilisk cave where they had been turned to stone. Griflet realised that the events of the Stormlands concerned the elves, and journeyed with his companions to Imric's Hold to speak with the King.

After consulting with Imric, Polydices and the Oak Man (and through him, Rokon) Griflet and his band learned the true secret of the Stormlands. The Grey Man had taken over the Druids of the area and he and his evil followers were building their power-base. Using the magical Fountain of Dark Abundance the Grey Man hoped to destroy Imric and the elves.

The third sortie into the Stormlands was focused and direct. Griflet's band attacked the Grey Man's spy outpost near Torth. Griflet slew Grithir, the Grey Man's Minion. The band then travelled cross-country to the Stone Circle and, defeating the Grey Man's scarecrow there, interrogated the dead Archdruid Cathaw (using Rokon's magic) to discover the Grey Man's location. On the way back from the Stone Circle, the group encountered mad Lord Hellpus, bearer of the sword Werewindle, and the ghost of the traitor-druid Taplerns who guarded the Crown of Prince Podgett. This they returned to the undead prince, buried near Frogton. Calumny and his fire elementals harried Griflet and his band as they returned to Imric's Hold for the winter.

In the spring of the Year of the Behemoth, Griflet and his adventurers made their assault on the Citadel of Thorns in the Briar Wood. On the way to the Briar Wood they were attacked by Calumny and Karak and many druids and needlemen. Lorathon Shadowblade was killed. Finally, at the Battle of the Fountain Court, the Grey Man was defeated (slain by Eder) and the fountain destroyed.

The Stormlands Campaign was followed by the Stormlands 2 Campaign.

Stormlands 2 Campaign

Stormlands 2
The Stormlands 2 Campaign (Fate of Kings) was a series of linked adventures which followed the events of the first Stormlands campaign. Stormlands 2 ran from the summer until the late autumn of the Year of the Ogre.

In the sixteen months since the death of the Grey Man and the destruction of the Fountain of Dark Abundance, the orginal heroes of the Stormlands campaign had gone their own ways. Daphne wandered the Stormlands with the Forest King, while Lord Carkspur and Medusa prepared for war. At Imric's Hold, Griflet trained in his duties as Royal Scout of the Elves. Buttercup became High Priest of Straasha in Antim Town, while Westley headed to Moorsh to learn the black magic of the Fire Magicians.

The Stormlands 2 campaign began in the late summer of the Year of the Ogre when, while hunting the purple buffalo of the Great Grassy Ocean, the centaur Lana Softhooves was given a task by a mysterious Stranger to find the medallion of Al-Nisr. She journeyed south to the Stormlands, where she met Daphne, bearer of Werewindle and rightful ruler of the Stormlands. After capturing Asquarti from the bandit Rachmaninof, Daphne and Lana gathered the support of Lord Weemsley, and together they seized Caer Tollund in a surprise attack. Soon after the victory, Daphne was slain by a giant near Tresswck. Werewindle was broken; Lana threw the bits into the swamp and departed the Stormlands forever.

Meanwhile Griflet and his scouts Astalin, Briath and Memrian had been sent south by Imric to find the great danger which Imric believed was there. Griflet jorneyed to Antim town, where he learned from Buttercup and Wolvoln's that the Revenge had been hijacked. He headed south to the Lakes of Pleea where he met Vardin, who told him that the Beastmen had been unusually active. After a raid on a Beastman village, Griflet captured a demon-man from Tovilyis who had been trying to incite the Beastmen. On the way to Tovilyis, Griflet and his band captured the Revenge from the ratmen and rescued Black Annie, who informed Griflet that the ship had ferried live cargo from a red rock on the far side of the Upper Lake. Griflet comandeered the Revenge and set sail.

On the other side of the lake, Griflet climbed the Red Rock Stair and discovered Coryon sanctum. There he found Al-Nisr's medallion (and Al-Nisr bones), but was attacked by Coryon's Horrible Abomination of Stone. The proximity of Mysteriones to its place of creation gave Griflet crippling visions which almost cost him his life. Griflet learned the history of Mysteriones. He learned of its former owners and their fates, he learned that Mysteriones was part of the dragon Bloodbane's. The encounter awakened Bloodbane and sent the Foe flying to Imric's Hold. Astalin risked his life to save Griflet from the Abomination. Knowing something had gone horribly wrong, Griflet sped northwards in the Revenge.

Lana Softhooves journeyed south to the Lake-lands. There she met Karl of the Krow, another exile from the Stormlands. Together they searched for the medallion, until Durpar III guided them northwards again. At the grave of Lorathon Shadowblade, the pair entered the elven woods. But the land of the elves had become a Nightmare.

Bloodbane could not harm Imric directly because he held the Icon of the Dragon. But the Icon also held a power over Imric's mind which the dragon exploited. So the land became warped and twisted. Nightmarish. Into this land stumbled Griflet, Eder, Karl and Lana.

The group journeyed through the dark dream forest, searching for Imric's tower. On the way they rescued Oovra, who had been imprisoned by Imric many years before. After facing many dangers, real and imagined, the group reached Imric's throne room to face Bloodbane. In the battle the dragon killed Prince Eder, Lana, Oovra, Astalin, Memrian, Briath and Karl of the Krow. Griflet shot Imric with an arrow to wake him. The dragon fled, but Imric died of grief and his wounds soon after. The elves were left leaderless and their lands destroyed.

The events of the Stormlands 2 Campaign were followed directly by Griflet's Adventures.

Old Coast Campaign

Old Coast
The Old Coast Campaign began just before the Year of the Gorgon (after the events of the Stormlands and Stormlands 2 campaigns) and continued through the Year of the Lamia until the spring of the Year of the Sea Serpent. The campaign was set on the Old Coast, the region across the Sea of the East from the Lankhmar Continent between the cities of Ilthmar in the north and Kadesh in the south. Though once the prosperous domain of the Diamond Knights and their hero-champion Al-Nisr, this area was now arid and desolate, inhabited sparsely by goatherds, wine-makers and bandits.

In the winter of the Year of the Ogre, at the behest of Prince Muburuk of Kadesh, the mercenary Christian of the High Passes ambushed and defeated ten Diamond Knights northwest of the city. For various reasons (mostly the insidious words of Muburuk's advisor Lord Jadyn, himself formerly a Diamond Knight, though this fact was unknown to his ruler), Prince Muburuk hated the order of the Diamond Knights and wished them destroyed. When Christian realised that the Diamond Knights were not the evil fiends that Muburuk had suggested, he rescued the surviving Diamond Knight, Kendall, and rode with him northwards to Ilthmar.

As Christian rode north, an unlikely pair sailed south. Quarn and Lucidia had met in Ilthmar and travelled together to Kadesh. There, they heard Prince Muburuk's proclamation. A particularly powerful bandit chieftain named Horn Hulfing had long been a thorn in the side of Prince Muburuk. After losing his guard captain Fazhan to the bandit, Muburuk issued a reward for Hulfing's head. Among the parties in Kadesh who were interested in claiming this reward were Quarn and Lucidia, as well as the adventurer Vizigan.

Quarn and Lucidia first skirmished with Horn Hulfing's bandits in the small village of Azab; in retaliation Hulfing (and his lieutenant Gaspar D'Ool) burned Azab to the ground. Quarn and Lucidia made two more sorties into the Old Coast, inflicting casualties on the bandit Prince at the village of Pazar. They learned that Horn Hulfing had taken the ancient Diamond Knight fortress of Ka-Zoza. The pair returned to Ilthmar to consider their attack plan, and to avoid the increasing strength of bandit attacks.

In the summer of the Year of the Gorgon, Quarn and Lucidia set out from their Ilthmar base to reach Ka-Zoza from the north but they were attacked by Hulfing's bandits at the Venta Volina and forced to retreat and winter in Ilthmar. The following spring the pair reached Ka-Zoza in a small fishing boat. They penetrated the fortress by stealth and fought Lord Wrenchid and the Enquirers, an ancient and corrupt remnant of the Diamond Knights. Lord Wrenchid badly wounded Lucidia and the pair were forced to retreat once more. Two weeks later, on their sixth sortie against Horn Hulfing, Quarn and Lucidia returned to Ka-Zoza and defeated the undead Diamond Knight Lord Zartek in the depths of the castle. They then ambushed and murdered Horn Hulfing and Gaspar D'ool, and stole Hulfing's treasure.

Prince Muburuk rewarded the pair when they returned to Kadesh and sent them on another mission: to explore the haunted isle of Ka-Nisra, once the dwelling of Al-Nisr. Quarn and Lucidia did not immediately accept this task, instead busying themselves with the partial restoration of another fortress at Ka-Mantuk.

However all was not well in Kadesh. Horn Hulfing had family ties to the leader of the Gypsy Nation, and that group laid siege to Kadesh as a matter of family honour. The Gypsies demanded the death of Horn Hulfing's murderers. Prince Muburuk managed to convice the gypsies that the murderer was not himself, but the Gypsy Nation refused to disperse until he produced the culprits. Muburuk sent his flagship the Roc to retrieve the pair from Ilthmar. When the captain found Lucidia's house empty, he robbed her and returned to Kadesh. Prince Muburuk put a reward on their heads (Vizigan attempted to collect it, but the pair murdered him.)

Enraged at the discovery, Quarn and Lucidia proceeded in disguise to Kadesh, but discovered the siege in progress. They retreated and plotted their revenge. Quarn summoned a demon which sank the Roc. However they still did not recover their treasure.

The Siege of Kadesh eventually ended; the Gypsy Nation dispersed. Quarn and Lucidia decided to explore Ka-Nisra. They became imprisoned in the half-real castle where the last conclave of Diamond Knights was deadlocked as to the guilt or innocence of Al-Nisr. The knights refused to release Quarn and Lucidia unless they captured Lord Jadyn (a lapsed Diamond Knight) to break the tie. They kidnapped Jadyn by tempting him to Pazar with secret information, then took him back to Ka-Nisra, where he and the rest of the ghostly diamond knights disappeared forever from the world.

Earth's End

Earth's End
18/3/2001, 1/4/2001, 2/6/2001
It all began with an unseasonable storm caused by the fury of the Sea King (actually directed at Quarn and Lucidia). On the Night of the Bat in White Witches' Moon in the Year of the Sea Serpent, a ship bound for Lankhmar from Ool Hrusp across the Inner Sea was blown off course and badly damaged near the remote village of Earth's End. On board the ship were the adventurers Maelin, Cunelas, Christian of the High Passes and Black Arrow the Highwayman.

Upon disembarking at Earth's End, the four decided to drown their sorrows at the Igibord's World's End Tavern, the only pub in town. Inside they found the rest of the menfolk of the village, drinking and waiting until dawn when they would participate in an unusual local ceremony - the making of the Greenwitch. The four learned from lutist Tandy Gilliam (who made eyes at Black Arrow) that every year the Greenwitch was re-made by the village women and then cast into the sea by the men to keep at bay the evil spirit of Seabeard, a pirate king who once lorded over Earth's End, but whose atrocities had eventually caused the villagers to rise up and cast him out.

There were many queer dealings in town that night. Maelin observed strange dealings between three surly black-clothed adventurers and a wagoneer (actually Erei) with a strange cargo of giant coffins. Cunelas thought to spice things up by dressing as a woman - he narrowly avoided being seduced by Numinante Thief-taker, the town sherrif.

At dawn the whole of the tavern crowd, including the four heroes wandered up to the headlands to cast the Greenwitch - a huge construction of green saplings, wicker and stones - into the foaming ocean. While this ceremony took place Christian of the High Passes and Black Arrow noticed that it was observed from a distance by a mysterious giant blue figure. Giving chase into the dunes north of Earth's End, Christian, Maelin, Cunelas and Black Arrow arrived at a blowhole in which floated the decapited body of another giant blue man. In the vicinity were tracks both human and giant. Maelin suspected the men in black. Perplexed, the group noticed a wrecked ship in a far inlet, and rode to investigate. The ship turned out to be the Shark, Seabeard's old vessel. Inside Black Arrow found the pirate's old telescope. Through it he observed the men in black sailing to a nearby island and dragging a third blue body to their boat.

That evening, back at Earth's End, Maelin confronted the men in black with evidence of the dead Blue Men. The three agreed to re-imburse Maelin in return for guidance to the body's location the next day. They intended to slay Maelin but were ambushed in the misty dawn instead by Christian and Black Arrow. Christian killed one, and the others fled Earth's End. From the ambush site, Black Arrow noticed a ruined structure in the distant dunes and the four journeyed to an old dome, where they met the third Blue Man. Unable to communicate, he scratched symbols in the sand which suggested to Cunelas and the others that some strange event would occur at the new moon three days hence.

Returning to Earth's End after their strange meeting, the group was joined by the young knight Albrecht von Linden and (while Black Arrow and Tandy Gilliam had a tryst at the wreck of the Shark) they explored the island house where Seabeard had been banished, and found evidence that he had been involved with a bizaare Shark Cult. Exploring further, they found a sacrificial pool and temple among the steep cliffs to the south of Earth's End. There they captured a cultist (who they handed over to Numinante) and a gold-bound book.

That night, the night of the new moon, there were mysterious happenings in Earth's End. A storm blew up. Shark cultists led by local locksmith Valinwan attacked Numinante and liberated their comrade and book. Hearing the attack, the heroes charged from the World's End Tavern to ambush the cultists and rescue Numinante. Meanwhile the Blue Man stomped through Earth's End to nearby Moon Crab Beach where he hoped to divine the future from the movement of the Moon Crabs.

On the beach, the Blue man informed Albrecht that he sought a magical cup which was held by the skeleton of Seabeard in the tendrils of the Greenwitch. Von Linden agreed to dive for the cup, aided by the Blue Man's magic which would allow him to breathe underwater. But the Greenwitch was angry and unwilling to relinquish the grail. Albrecht persuaded her to accept the golden tome as her 'secret' in exchange for the cup. Nevertheless the Greenwitch tried to harm Albrecht, but the Blue Man rescued him, whereupon both cup and Blue Man vanished.

The next day the storm passed and a grateful Numinante offered his thanks to the party. He helped them salvage the Shark and when their wounds were healed they sailed away from Earth's End.

The Earth's End Adventure was followed by the Greedy City Adventure.

The Greedy City

Earth's End
29/7/2001, 13/1/2002, 18/4/2002
The Greedy City Adventure began (after the events of the Earth's End Adventure) on the Day of the Raven in Murderer's Moon, the Year of the Sea Serpent. When the Shark docked in Lankhmar, Christian of the High Passes immediately became involved in a fight between disgruntled merchants Arrun D'Or and Quarrymaster Bazar. On their way to the Silver Eel tavern in the Tenderloin District, Christian, Maelin, Cunelas, Black Arrow and Albrecht von Linden noticed a disturbing amount of fights and violence over money in the city.

At the Silver Eel Christian and Albrecht scared away some representatives of the Thieves' Guild, to tavernkeeper Bragi's relief. Christian renewed his membership in the Slayers' Brotherhood while the others purchased arms from the Plaza of Dark Delights. Maelin spotted the mysterious wagoneer from Earth's End, but lost him in the crowd. Meanwhile Albrecht von Linden was arrested by the city guard for suspicious armament, but Cunelas and Christian managed to fast-talk Albrecht's parents into providing the bribe to free Albrecht.

Maelin and Black Arrow watched a festival in which a Beastman cultist was burned alive, then followed the wagoneer (who was also at the festival) back to a tenement in the Tenderloin, while Cunelas enjoyed a performance at the Grand Playhouse a few blocks away. Maelin and Black Arrow staked out the wagoneer's house for a while, then returned to the Silver Eel for reinforcements. At midnight the group, joined by Grierdon Ithrain returned to raid the wagoneer's house.

Black Arrow managed to sneak past the sleeping wagoneer Erei and his unconscious master Oorn and ransacked the desk, but accidentally knocked Cunelas from the window and alerted Erei. The group escaped thanks to some fast-talking by Grierdon. Cunelas and Albrecht returned to Erei's later, but he was awake. They escaped back to the Silver Eel.

The next day (the day of the Spider), after examining the captured papers, the group learned of a pouch sold by Oorn to the merchant Finester, who had become a recluse in his walled mansion. Christian, Grierdon and Albrecht learned that Finester had refused to pay his stonemason Stiv D'Or. They agreed to recover the debt for Stiv's brother Arrun.

Meanwhile back at Erei's place, Maelin and Black Arrow observed Erei attempting to smuggle the unconscious Oorn out of the city in a magically speedy wagon (after setting his house on fire). Maelin jumped on board and grabbed Oorn. The wagon sped out of the Grand Gate. Maelin took Oorn to the Sorceror's Guild, then to a herbalist in Bones Alley and finally to the Temple of Mog, whose priest advised Maelin to seek Sheelba of the Eyeless Face in the Great Salt Marsh. After a ride into the swamp, Maelin met Sheelba, who told him that Lankhmar was threatened by a demon who takes the form of pieces of gold. Using a special potion he must sniff the gold out and melt it down with the magical metal Oricalchum to kill the demon.

Early in the morning, while Maelin consulted Sheelba, Cunelas, Christian, Albrecht, Grierdon and Black Arrow raided Finester's walled manse. This was not too hard because Finester's unpaid guards were easily bribed. Cunelas and Black arrow tormented the merchant to within an inch of his life and he finally relinquished his gold and his pouch. Albrecht and Black Arrow each took a large share of the merchant's gold (Black Arrow takes the pouch and later discards it); Christian takes just Stiv D'or's share. Black Arrow and Albrect soon became affected by the power of the gold demon. Albrecht booked passage back to Berghof with his treasure while Black Arrow, after obsessively counting his gold, decided to return to the merchant's house for more. There he was captured by Christian, Maelin (who had returned from Sheelba's hut), Cunelas and Grierdon.

Using the magical potion of Sheelba, Maelin tracked down Albrecht to the Far Wanderer at the docks. The situation looked ugly - Albrecht was fed up with his former companions - but fast talking combined with sincerity from Cunelas and Grierdon saved the day, and Albrecht reluctantly agreed to give up his gold.

Maelin found another gold stash at Stiv D'Or's, but he was chased away by the guards. Cunelas disguised himself as a healer, persuaded the suspicious Stiv to hold his breath and close his eyes, then knocked him out and stole his gold. The group buried the gold near a tomb outside Lankhmar, vowing to return with Oricalchum (from the Blue Mens' coffins in Earth's End) to put an end to the demon.

A few days later, the group set sail for Earth's End (leaving Albrecht von Linden and Black Arrow to go their separate ways) after recruiting a new captain, Kurt D'Karo and the irrepressible Mingol, Warren the Wit. They retrieved the oricalchum coffins from the World's End Tavern and returned to Lankhmar, to the site of the buried Gold Demon. A mysterious bush had sprouted on the spot, surrounded by mindless servants of the demon. After a brief battle, the bush and its minions were destroyed. Cunelas, Maelin and Christian melted down the gold in one of the coffins, and the Gold Demon was finally destroyed.

Dunmere Hills

Dunmere Hills
16/4/2005, 30/4/2005, 28/5/2005, 25/6/2005
The Dunmere Hills campaign was a series of adventures set in an area south of Berghof between the Mountains of Hunger and the Southern Swamp. The hils are uninviting, lashed by inclement weather and strong winds, covered by scrubby, gnarled forests. The largest human settlement is the village of Dunmere, Berghof's southernmost outpost. During the campaign, Zhao Liang, Ronaldo Vasquez, Kur Pelagius, Corg Kilarn and Cyric faced the perils of the Black Caldron dead. The first adventure was 'A Fistful of Bones', followed by 'The Devious Company', 'The Pool of Death' and 'The Battle of Shadow Valley'. These are detailed below.

A Fistful of Bones

Dunmere Hills
Cyric of Tulan, Zhao Liang of the East and Ronaldo Vasquez met in Aarth in southern Berghof on the last night of Thunder Moon in the Year of the Sea Serpent and journeyed south to Dunmere Keep. They soon learned that the dead roamed the hills to the south, and that bounties were available for those who would hunt them. In the Inn of the White Skull, the three encountered the arrogant members of the Glorious Company and the rogue Caderi sold the trio a map which he claimed showed the position of several Dead.

Following the map the next day with government man Adayk in tow, the group stumbled upon an old battlefied and the ruins of ahill fort. In the remaining intact tower, Zhao found a journal which indicated that several Dead had been ambushed by one Captain Agramal (coincidentally, Adayk's uncle). Not too far to the south was a ravine containing twenty-one trapped walking dead. The trio dispatched several skeletons with boulders and flaming oil (the latter method less effective) and then spent an uncomfortable night in the fort tower. The next day the remaining skeletons were finished off with carefully aimed boulders, and Zhao Liang and Cyric recovered the bones for the bounty, though Cyric slipped and injured his ankle in the process. The trio returned to Dunmere Keep in triumph, and their names were entered on the Tally Board in the White Skull Inn.

The Devious Company

Dunmere Hills
On the day of the Raven, Satyr's Moon in the Year of the Sea Serpent, with the rain pelting down outside, Ronaldo Vasquez sat alone in the White Skull Inn. Cyric rested upstairs and Zhao Liang was nowhere to be found. Into the tavern stepped Corg Kilarn and burly Kur Pelagius, who had journeyed to Dunmere in search of adventure. They agreed to join forces with Vasquez to hunt the dead. Vasquez took his new friends to the government office, where they found Adayk on duty, whom they signed up for another expedition, this time to Castle Dread.

Noticing Adayk's distaste for the local priest, Corg Kilarn suggested they find him. Down the road from the castle was the priest's shrine, just near the large necropolis. The three spoke to the priest, Daebwyn, and his acolyte Miroef. From the discussion it emerged that Bailiff Weras of Dunmere distrusted the priests and would not allow them to reside in the castle.

As evening came down, Corg Kilarn noticed across the way the horses of the Glorious Company being prepared for an expedition. He investigated, but was ordered off the property by a groom, who sent a messenger boy running up to the castle to inform his masters of the intruder. Chasing the boy up the road, Kilarn was intercepted by Kur Pelagius and Ronaldo Vasquez, who grappled Kilarn and let the boy go. The mood in the White Skull was somewhat hostile that night, but the three retired early to avoid trouble.

The rain had not abated when the three awoke the next morning. Mounting their horses they travelled once more down the Corpse Glory Road. Kur's keen eyes for tracks informed them that the Glorious Company had preceded them. The group rode all day, camping that night in a cave in the hills.

The following day they arrived at the ruins of Castle Dread. They observed the Glorious Company fighting a group of the Dead in the old courtyard of the castle. The fight was over shortly, and the Glorious Company gathered their trophies and headed back to their camp. All but their commander, Warden Gword, who loitered suspiciously. Kur Pelagius accidentally kicked a loose stone, alerting Gword, who summoned the rest of his company. Ronaldo Vasquez, Kur Pelagius and Adayk were discovered and ordered to leave by a very suspicious Glorious Company, who accused them of spying.

Corg Kilarn, however, had not been seen. While Vasquez, Pelagius and Adayk made a show of retreat, intending to circle around under cover of the trees, Kilarn lay in hiding as the commander returned. The commander spoke to someone in the ruins, then departed with the other members of the Glorious Company. Kilarn waited until a man emerged, dressed in a brown robe. Corg Kilarn pursued the man, who ran straight into the horses of Vasquez and Pelagius.

Upon interrogation, the brown-robed man revealed himself to be Chaus, a minor necromancer from the city of Ustang, who insisted that he had been blackmailed into raising the dead to help Warden Gword and the Glorious company. He reluctantly led the adventurers to his hut in the hills, where they confiscated his ill-gotten earnings and his grimoire. The four stayed the night at Chaus' hut (Chaus himself had been tied up). Early the next morning, Kur was surprised while on watch to observe a skeleton bearing a caldron of water up the hill; he woke the others with a cry. The skeleton started to make a fire to boil the water. Chaus morosely informed Kur that the skeleton was a harmless servant, but Corg Kilarn attacked it anyway. Frustrated with Kilarn's pig-headedness, Kur Pelagius lashed out at him, but Kilarn evaded his blows and smashed the skeleton. Ronaldo Vasquez allowed Chaus his freedom, but warned him no longer to practice necromancy nor to loiter in the hills.

The party returned to Dunmere Keep on the Day of the Frog. They informed Bailiff Weras of the double-dealing of Gword and the Glorious Company. The Bailiff listened to the tale through slitted eyes, then ordered the Glorious Company's immediate arrest. Guards were dispatched, but the Company resisted arrest. Ronaldo Vasquez, Kur Pelagius and Corg Kilarn hurried to the White Skull Inn, where they found a scene of mayhem. The adventurers joined the battle, killing the Company members Unarem the Sly and the whip-weilding Brila. Vasquez took Warden Gword's ornate broadsword. The rest of the Company were captured. Bailiff Weras ordered Gword's execution, and banished the remaining Company members from Dunmere, after seizing all of their property. The Bailiff also offered a reward to the three new heroes of Dunmere Keep.

The Pool of Death

Dunmere Hills
Three days after the execution of Warden Gword, Ronaldo Vasquez, Cyric and Kur Pelagius were sitting in the White Skull Inn when Caderi the rogue burst in, seeking the Glorious Company. He had found a nest of the Dead, more than a hundred of them, who had wiped out the other members of his party in the hills far to the south. When Bailiff Weras heard the news, he asked the adventurers to confirm Caderi's story.

Equipped at the Bailiff's expense, Vasquez, Cyric and Kur set out from Dunmere Keep, with Caderi and Adayk in tow. At the crossroads they found a gibbet containing the corpse of Gword, and the priest Daebwyn who was attempting to give the body its last rites. The priest blessed the expedition and they set out down Corpse Glory Road.

The party headed southwards for two days, taking a brief detour to check out Castle Dread. Caderi informed Vasquez that the sword taken from Gword, which was carved with fanged mouths, was rumoured to be a demon weapon. This turned out to be true; as Vasquez examined the sword 'Ejsinden' by moonlight, the carved fangs came to life and bit deep into his wrist. Vasquez flung the sword away and awoke the others with his cries. Cyric bound his arm carefully and Vasquez tied up the sword, never to be used.

As the party headed deeper into the hills, the weather grew worse. The group spied a stream and Caderi informed them that it had its source in the valley in which he was attacked. Following the stream, the party entered a gully containing a deep, stagnant pool, with the track winding along beside. Walking next to the pool, Cyric heard a faint dripping sound. He turned to see eight skeletons emerging quietly from the water behind the group.

With a shout Cyric alerted his companions and they charged back the way they had come. The skeletons pursued them. Cyric and Kur Pelagius knocked the skeletons over with a rope trap, then attacked, smashing several to pieces. There was a dreadful fight. One skeleton gashed Cyric badly. Another skeleton dealt an off-guard Ronaldo Vasquez a mortal blow, running him through with its rusty sword. The rest of the skeletons were destroyed by Cyric and Kur.

With sorrow, Cyric and Kur placed the body of their slain companion on his horse and divided his possessions (Cyric took 'Ejsinden'). Uncertain whether to go on to the valley where Caderi's group had been attacked, Kur Pelagius climbed up into the hills to spy out the terrain. He saw a peaceful-looking valley with a stream running through the centre, the forest gleaming in the afternoon sun. Caderi assured Kur that the Dead lurked in the forests on either side of the stream. Kur returned to Cyric and the camp, and the pair decided to return to Dunmere Keep for reinforcements. With heavy hearts, they turned back.

Five days later, Cyric and Kur returned to Dunmere. They handed Vasquez's body over to the priest and informed Bailiff Weras of what they had found. The Bailiff commended their efforts and agreed that more forces were needed to deal with the threat. Solemnly, Cyric and Kur Pelagius attended the wake of their slain companion Ronaldo Vasquez.

Battle of Shadow Valley

Dunmere Hills
On the Day of the Bat, four days after the wake of Ronaldo Vasquez, Bailiff Weras of Dunmere Keep summoned Cyric, Kur Pelagius and Corg Kilarn for an audience. Weras explained that troops were on their way from Tulan, but that more men would be needed to defeat the evil which they had discovered in that remote valley. He urged the three to gather more mercenaries, offering double the usual reward for the destruction of the Dead.

Returning to the White Skull Inn the three discussed plans with Zaiend the innkeeper, who recommended the rogue Caderi as the most likely contact for mercenaries. Following the inkeeper's directions, Kur, Cyric and Corg found Caderi drunk in the village. In his stupor, Caderi revealed his knowledge not only of the location of the remaining Glorious Company members (in the village of Aarth), but also of a group of swamp knights. After brief consultation, the three agreed to seek each of these parties. Cyric would travel north to Aarth to seek the Glorious Company and persuade them to join their band. With him would go Doewyn, the sour-mouthed Government Man who had worked exclusively for the Glorious Company before their exile. Kur and Corg would travel with (a now sober) Caderi into the western swamp to seek the knights.

Before setting forth, Kur sought an audience with the Bailiff, who reluctantly agreed to retract his sentence of banishment upon the Glorious Company should they join the assault force. But Weras refused to allow the Company entrance to the keep proper.

Caderi led Kur and Corg into the swamp. At nightfall, with no sign of the knights, they camped. Soon they spied torchlight, and Kur and Corg sneaked into the darkness to investigate. Corg Kilarn's efforts at stealth were woeful and the pair were soon discovered by the six knights. The knights were from the ancient castle of Eylea, and had been hunting lizard-men in the swamp. Kur Pelagius persuaded them to join the effort to defeat the dead.

The next day, Cyric arrived in Aarth, where he found the remnants of the Glorious Company (now led by Lieutenant Oceraw) seated around a table. Cyric convinced the company to join with him, and led by the promise of redeeming their soiled reputation they rode southwards, arriving at Dunmere on the Day of the Rat. The Glorious Company were discomfited to find Cyric, Kur and Corg living in their former abode. Legelaw the Athletic of the Company, who had been impressed with Corg Kilarn's athleticism, challenged him to a wrestling match. Legelaw grappled Kilarn easily, but was surprised by an agile counter-grapple that left him helpless. Legelaw bowed to his superior opponent, and Corg Kilarn had made a friend.

That evening a contingent of soldiers from Tulan also arrived and sheltered at the keep. The muster was complete:

  1. Kur Pelagius of Pleea, Cyric of Tulan and Corg Kilarn
  2. Six Knights of Eylea, led by Sir Timir
  3. the five remaining members of the Glorious Company, led by Lieutenant Oceraw
  4. Sergeant Elohar of the Baronial Patrol of Berghof and his 11 soldiers
  5. plus 5 soldiers from the town of Tulan
  6. and three scouts
  7. as well as Sergeant Amian and 15 soldiers of Dunmere Keep
  8. and one ballista
The next day, the small army set out from Dunmere Keep, with Kur Pelagius, Cyric, Corg Kilarn and the Glorious Company riding ahead with the scouts. They travelled slowly down Corpse Glory Road and into the hills without incident for four days. On the Day of the Minnow in Harvest Moon, the corps arrived at the pool where Kur, Cyric and Ronaldo Vasquez had fought the Dead seventeen days previously. Sensing danger was near, Kur, Corg and Cyric rode ahead into the valley with the other scouts.

The wooded valley lay in the shadow of the Mountains of Hunger, a blaze of autumn colours. A small stream wound its way through the valley, passing beneath a small stone structure at the far end. The scouts moved closer. Sure enough, they soon spotted rows of skeletons standing motionless among the trees. At that point three figures emerged from the stone structure and the skeletons began to march toward the scouts.

The adventurers retreated to the valley entrance, where the army was gathering and the ballista was being set up. Then Kur Pelagius noted another large group of skeletons emerging from the woods to the left. All in all, 120 skeletons were converging on the army of 50 men. With a cry, the knights and Baronial patrol charged the nearest group, while Kur, Corg and Cyric deftly rode between the two advancing groups of Dead, and galloped to intercept the three black-robed figures.

Cyric smacked one of the black-robed priests with the flat of his sword, knocking him out cold. Another fell to Kur's deadly harpoon. The third raised his quarterstaff to defend himself against Corg Kilarn. Inside the hut, a fourth priest appeared, clothed in black and armed with a scythe. A choking stench of the grave billowed out from the entrance, causing Kur and Corg to gag. Corg Kilarn threw one of his broadswords at the scythe-wielding fellow, as Kur and Cyric finished off the remaining cultist. Kur retrieved his bloody harpoon and cast it at the scythe-wielder, wreaking doom upon him. In the hut, Kur found an old book written in a strange language.

Looking to the south, Cyric saw a great melee between soldiers and skeletons. It was impossible to tell who was winning. Waking and interrogating the remaining cultist (which involved some torture), Cyric learned that the skeletons could be controlled by the strange medallions worn by each priest. He grabbed one and commanded the skeletons to drop their weapons, and then to stop moving. The tide of battle immediately turned and the men of Berghof were victorious.

The trio returned to Sergeant Elohar, who was supervising the aftermath of the battle. Fifteen soldiers were dead, mostly from Tulan and Dunmere, but the Berghovian victory was complete. The interrogated cultist spoke of another of his fellows in the mountains behind the valley and Cyric, Kur and Corg took the six knights of Eylea to investigate. Following the track upstream they found a cultist (easily surprised and taken prisoner by Corg Kilarn) and a dark cave with bronze doors which filled Kilarn and Cyric with such fear that they would not enter. Kur Pelagius conquered his fear and entered the cave, only to find it empty. The trio sealed the doors as best they could, and returned with their army to Dunmere Keep.

Back at the castle four days later, Bailiff Weras praised the three for their part in ridding the Dead from Dunmere hills. The Bailiff rewarded each of them with a medal of honour. Weras also kept his promise, rescinding his order of banishment on the Glorious Company. The two cultists were hanged and their bodies joined the corpse of Warden Gword at the crossroads near the village.

Tulan Campaign

Tulan Campaign
29/4/2006, 20/5/2006
The Tulan campaign began a fortnight after the completion of the Dunmere Hills campaign. As Harvest Moon of the Year of the Sea Serpent waned, Cyric of Tulan and Kur Pelagius of Pleea grew weary of Dunmere. Riding North they met Aranduil of Waylorn in Aarth and the three then fared eastwards to Tulan.

On the way to Tulan, the trio encountered some Knights of Eylea and accompanied them to that grim fortress, located in the Great Southern Swamp. The three met Sir Timir, who had aided them in the Battle of Shadow Valley and he made them welcome. However there was something not quite right about Eylea; Kur Pelagius suspected that the knights guarded their shrine to Law a little too dilligently and their priest was a little too anxious for the guests to leave. Nevertheless, the trio bid farewell to the swamp fortress and returned to the road to Tulan, after accepting a letter to deliver to an innkeeper there. On the way, Cyric opened the letter, which seemed to be a harmless personal missive from one of the knights.

In the town of Tulan, first stop was the Silver Wheel gaming house, where the shady Johnny Northside agreed to forge a replacement seal for the opened letter. Cyric waited for the forger while Aranduil explored Garden Island. After Johnny Northside returned with the resealed letter, Cyric delivered the letter to Norton Rables, at the Travelers' Inn. Outside of that establishment the three discovered a bedraggled knight named Porthus. He declared that his master, the Abbot Sensotha, had been kidnapped along with his four virginal nuns, by black-hatted bandits in the forest north of town.

Somewhat fortified by ale in the Inn of the Wagon Tongue, Sir Porthus explained in detail how bandits known as the Black Hats had abducted his master. He begged all those who would listen: Cyric, Aranduil and Cela D'Arrana to help him. They agreed, and the next day at dawn they rode out from Tulan, along with Sir Porthus and Kur Pelagius. After travelling through the fields near Tulan, they entered the Drusewude, where the ambush had taken place. Aranduil spotted tracks leading into the forest and the group followed them away from the road.

In the forest, the party encountered a group of Black Hats, who invited them back to their encampment, much to Sir Porthus' displeasure. In the camp the adventurers met Wyric, the Black Hat leader, and his witch wife Myrti. Wyric explained that their son Viggo and some renegade friends had abducted the abbot. Wyric disapproved but didn't want any harm to come to his son. Aranduil, Cyric and Cela agreed to try to bring Viggo back to the fold and free the abbot. They left Sir Porthus in the hands of the Black Hats.

With two Black Hats, Pahir and Theros, to guide them, Cela, Cyric and Aranduil crept through the forest in search of Viggo's camp. Cela used sorcery to get a rat's-eye view of the camp. Sure enough, Viggo and his men had the prisoners. Aranduil mixed up a sleeping potion, which he gave to Cela. Then Cyric and the Black Hats made a commotion and ran away, leaving Cela to act the part of damsel in distress. She was quickly found by the renegade Black Hats, who took her back to their camp. She told Viggo that she had been attacked by bandits. Viggo was skeptical, but he took some of his men to scout out the area. Finding nothing, they returned to the camp and prepared a meal. Aranduil observed the proceedings through the eyes of an ensorcelled raven which cawed to distract the men while Cela administered the potion to the food. The Black Hats ate the food and all but one of them sank into a doze, as did the prisoners. Cela made winsome gestures to the last awake Black Hat. He embraced Cela and did not see Cyric of Tulan approach and knock him unconscious. The renegade Black Hats had been captured.

Cyric sent Theros back to the main Black Hat camp, and soon Wyric returned with a number of his men. Wyric thanked the adventurers, returned to them their horses and the disgruntled Sir Porthus. The abbot, Sir Porthus and the nuns were freed, and Cyric, Kur, Cela and Aranduil escorted them back to Tulan. They arrived at the ferry late that night, and entered the town the next morning, receiving a reward of promissory notes from the grateful Abbot.

Patrick Maslen 2006-05-24