Building a better tomorrow

Letters of Darrak 3

Fighting. We stumbled into a most curious affair, a squad of humans and a dwarf fighting a raiding party of orcs. We had no choice but to defend ourselves against the orcs, since we were stuck in the middle. Lunden was with us this day, fortunately, and we could fight off these animals without any losses. However, the wounds we suffered were deep and numerous, and for once I regretted not choosing the path of the cleric. But if I had, now that I can reflect on the events, none of us would be writing any letters any longer.

The ungrateful band of Triumvir Militia took us under arrest, and the dwarf seems to be under some sort of spell—or he lived with the surfacers for too long—as he wouldn’t recognize a fellow dwarf’s word of honour. To avoid another fight, I had to relent, and give up my hammer. I hope grandfather never hears of this. But I do not see how I could’ve acted any different, without coming to blows.

While we marched to the militia’s camp, we were attacked by some sort of strange creature, part plant, part animal, trying to feed on one of the militia soldiers. Wynne, their apparent leader, was most grateful for our help. He is most unhappy with the current situation, as he didn’t sign up to be part of an invasion, which this excursion of the militia is.

Be that as it may, we have to deal with another threat. The orcs weren’t alone. Indeed, the militia camps seems to be under siege by a strong force of orcs. We can smell their stench far from their camp. We will be discussing what to do soon after I finish this letter to you, my darling child.

See your mother and grandmother well. I hope to return home soon.

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The Iron Fist, sessions 1-3

The party stepped through the portal, leaving the steel maze, only to find themselves in the middle of a fight. Siding with the human/dwarven group, they fought the orcs and won. The surviving soldiers then tried to arrest the party, and after some debate the party followed the soldiers peacefully towards their camp. Along the way was a small incident with a carnivorous plant, and the party got a nice view of the much larger than expected orc camp.

Character Experience Gained Total Experience Level
Emine 500 5500 5
Darrak 750 5700 5
Galad 750 5700 5
Karos 250 5250 4
Changer 500 5500 5

Next session begins in the militia camp.

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Letters of Darrak 2

I must return home, and delve into the library of the temple.

The tower turned out to be more than we bargained for, being a steel maze of stupendous size and even more monotony. Its inhabitants were either apathetic, or hostile to the adventurers and me. And it made me long for home, and the great halls of our people under the mountain.

Fortunately, the Hand could still guide me through this labyrinth of metal, and to my astonishment, we found another hand. I have sketched the tower, and drawn a map—which will be of limited use, I fear—so the temple can outfit another expedition to retrieve it.

We also encountered a strange scrying portal, allowing us to listen in on the politics of an island called Triumvert. I assume it is far from any lands, as they could not feed themselves, but relied on a now destroyed portal into the Feywild to feed the populace, thus I do not think it will meddle in our affairs, even without their food shortage.

However, our exploration, if you can call it that, was cut short by some kind of golem. We found two, one long and spindly and complaining, the other one being of size, and fashioned after a minotaurus, including the customary ax. The complaining golem sprung into action at last, and guided us through the maze of corridors and twisty passages, all alike, to a portal. But not without one of my travel companions being smashed into the wall with a mere flick of the wrist.

We will step through the portal soon, and have to wrap up. I was in a hurry, so the letter is longer than usual, and apologize for this. Send father my salutations, and keep yourself out of trouble.

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Forget Me Not

For surviving the spider forest and the steel maze, and adding another artifact to your collection, you are now at 5000 XP.

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Letters of Darrak 1

Heron took over watch from me. This is the last memory I have of my companions, nothing but a change of guard, as we had done so often on this accursed journey through the wilderness.

A group of mercenaries, or adventures—as if there was a difference—was led to my resting place of millenia, and woke me up by the simplest of expediencies: they set my beard alight. After some back and forth, these mercenaries claim that I have slept for millenia. A preposterous, ridiculous statement, but their worship of mere saints and demi-gods, as well as their weird tongue, give at least some credence to these statements.

At least Luden’s Messenger’s Hand was untouched by them. Indeed, they didn’t know it existed. Thus, I can for now believe that this group is truthful in one claim they make, and my companions left me behind. I will have to bring the artifact to the mountainhomes. Duty demands it, honor requires it, even though it has been damaged, and lead us to a strange place, made of iron. Even the trees.

I must finish now, my child, for we are approaching a dark tower in the distance.

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Spiders.

(from the mind of Changer)

I wonder a lot. Where all the spiders come from. They look just like mine. But they are not. Not pleased with being in the feywild at the moment. Don’t want to change, as I don’t want to lose more spiders. Yes, there seems to be a lot of them, and getting a couple of replacements would be nice. But they’re not of me.

The dwarf we put on fire and discovered seems to have a hand that points us onwards. Not that things have improved. It’s eerie. Almost like this place is holy, and yet .. it feels wrong. Dead. I hope to return to my garden some day.

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Machinations Post Dwarf-Egg Hatching
An excerpt from Galad's prayers to Pelor

Holy Pelor, bringer of light and wisdom,

I beseech You for wisdom and strength, that my history may go well and that You soon take me into Your fold so I may be relieved from my duties. Hear my tale…

In my last prayer, I mentioned meeting an an unknown dwarf, seemingly hatched from an egg woven from spiders’ webs. Our beloved orb pointed straight at him. With complete trust in You, my liege, I tossed him the orb to see what would happen. It started pointing at his backpack. The dwarf was — naturally, having just met us — not interested in revealing the contents of his rucksack.

We discovered to our dismay that the spiders were interested in making eggs of the rest of us. We were disinclined to acquiesce. … Yes, my liege, that means no. … Yes, sire. I’m sorry, sire. May I continue, my liege?

We fled the scene, quickly becoming somewhat lost. Taking flight was not an option. The Godforged and I determined we would attempt to find our way by triangulating the source of the draining of magic in the aether. … Yes, my liege, I know I did not do very well on that task. I shall perform in the future, sire. When we were well and truly lost, the dwarf and the swordsman performed some technical trickery with a golem hand retrieved from the dwarf’s pack. Suddenly we had a hand pointing in a direction we could move.

Moving in that direction, Your light became dimmer and dimmer, before the wild forests of the Feywild gave way to a dead, barren, metal field with a centrally placed tower. Within the tower, a golem sat. It was very insulting. It called me eternally incorrect! … Yes, sire, I am nowhere near Your eternal wisdom. But we are not parasites. …

The remainder of the prayer goes on at some length, in an alien language and with some anger on Galad’s part…

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That Unholy Heartbeat

Never since my creation have I experienced such a horrible, horrible distraction. It’s the Fomorian’s jewel.

We returned through paths unknown to me to some kind of outpost. The fellow party members seemed to remember it being a whole and nice little thing, but Grunften Post seemed to me to be naught but ruins.

With the outpost still burning around us, we packed what we could. A short war council paved the way for heading to Astrazalian. Except Astrazalian, according to Emine, is only in touch with our reality for another four days. Four days of traversing a land that is not exactly well-suited for travel. So she suggested we attempt to trick a road into taking us there faster.

While Emine pondered roadwork, the Warforged and I was a bit distracted by aforementioned infernal heartbeat. In the end it physically jumped from its container and onto the ground, there to be silent. It did not seem to care for being locked up, and kept its peace in my hand. Perhaps it preferred the divine touch.

There was, however, the slight hint at darkness – the world seemed a lot more dangerous, all of a sudden. Accompanied by us being surrounded by moving trees. They circled around me, in particular, as if they wanted something – perhaps the orb? Swords wouldn’t hurt them much, so discretion was the better part of valor this day.

Passing through further into the forest, large cocoon-like shapes started being draped in the trees. Were they eggs, or stored food? The answer was at the very bottom of the woods.

They were dwarf-eggs. One of them birthed a bloody dwarf. An ancient dwarf.

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Forget Me Not

While the outer parts of Grunften Post stand intacts, the central area of town has been devastated. Nearest the portal, buildings have been blown down, flattened by a great force. Further out, fires are blazing, and several buildings are reduced to ash.

The portal is nothing more than an empty frame. A thorough examination with the Sight shows there isn’t even a trace of magic in it, not even the faint residue you normally find on items that have been a long time near living creatures.

Not knowing when or if the portal will function again, you’ve searched through the still standing warehouses for supplies. Most were filled with crate upon crate of grains from the recent harvest, but a few things of eladrin trade were found, as well. You’ve found just about any useful mundane item you would need to survive roughing it in the Feywild for a few weeks, and you also came across a crate filled with clothes made from fey spider silk, all lightly enchanted to ensure a perfect fit for any wearer.

Among the items found in the ruins of Grunften is a rough map showing a handful of important places and their relative position to Grunften Post. Ithante lays about a week away. Astrazalian is further away, but may be a shorter trip on a strong fey road. Mithrendain is further still, in more than mere distance, as the Murkendraw lies between Grunften and Mithrendain.

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Trouble Always Finds You

From the memoirs of the exiled Arkhon Vartes

…when we found out that the fomorian had broken the treasure we were not best pleased.

The best thing we could do, I thought, was give it to our patron. We had, after all, completed our commission. Twere no fault of ours that it had been taken by another afore we could conceivably have reached it. After some argumentation we, together with our new companion, the strange Galad, left the black palace for the forest again. Once outside we found a strange mount sheltering with ours – where it came from I knew, and still know, not. This was fortunate for Galad, and the pink pony, for such it was, the colour of the deadly Scythe Octopus I tell you, took to him with great ease.

The uneventful journey back to the Grunften should have been my first clue. Uneventful just means that trouble is waiting for you around the corner, out of sight. And when we arrived at the portal, trouble there was aplenty. The town had been burned, the portal destroyed and most of the inhabitants slain. And this was just the start of our travails…

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