Wayfarers

Goblin It Up!
In which the party triumphantly returns to Sojourn, and a new menace rears its tiny head.

Upon returning to Sojourn from the lizardfolk temple Svernixen, Bronn Thunderhoof, Mstislav, Nadarr and Thogal Faithhammer were greeted at the city gates by Lieutenant Sesar of the town guard and Boggy Carter. Sesar informed the returning adventurers that he had been instructed to bring them immediately to meet with Shadis Narleem and the town council. Boggy, in the meantime, was simply overjoyed to be reunited with Daisy, his mule. Thogal requested that Lieutenant Sesar allow the party time to bathe and make themselves presentable before meeting with the council, which the dragonborn lieutenant grudgingly allowed.

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Chapter 004: The Stone Library
In which the party wrests knowledge from the stones of Svernixen.

Continuing their exploration of the section of the temple Svernixen known as the Root of the Sky, Thogal Faithhammer, Nadarr, Mstislav and Bronn Thunderhoof followed a long hallway until it terminated at a large door. Opening the door, the party was confronted by a room with doors set in the walls on all four of the its sides, guarded by a pair of fire-breathing beetles the size of children and more animated skeletal lizardfolk. As the adventurers rushed to battle the guardians they uncovered yet another feature of the room: Sections of the floor contained traps designed to impale those that stepped on them with upthrusting spears. Although Thogal was injured in such a trap and several members of the party were seriously burned by the fiery breath of the beetles, the fight was a brief one and the heroes triumphed.

After a quick search of the room, the party opened one of the three remaining doors. This opened into a storeroom that the okopipi had used to hold prisoners awaiting sacrifice, but the opening of the door triggered the simultaneous opening of the door opposite it, and the room was soon filled with a violent battle as giant bats and frogs of unusual size rushed in to attack the adventurers. Defeating the beasts, the party checked the room and discovered that the corpse of one of the frog priests’ former prisoners still bore the magic armor that it had worn in life. Not at all disgusted by the prospect of wearing armor in which a body had decomposed, Thogal Faithhammer claimed this armor for himself.

Finally faced with the one remaining door, the party rolled it open to face the horrors beyond it. In a massive series of rooms covered from floor to ceiling in script written in the language of dragons and featuring a massive pool of boiling blood set into the floor, the heroes were faced with a large number of animated skeletons, okopipi warriors and their undead leader. The party faced off against the skeletons, who proved much stronger than the weaker undead that they had faced earlier, but Bronn Thunderhoof managed to break past their defenses. Rushing across the room, he hurled himself across the pool of boiling blood and landed safely on the far side to attack the leader of the okopipi. The undead leader proved quite powerful, however, and he magically drove fear into Bronn’s heart, nearly causing the young warrior to fall into the pool of boiling blood in his haste to escape. Fortunately for him, Mstislav, Nadarr and Thogal destroyed the skeletons and made short work of the okopipi, allowing them to aid their ally. Together, the group brought down the undead master of the Root of the Sky.

Examining the room, Thogal Faithhammer recognized that the pool of blood acted as the focal point of a magical ritual that would allow the caster to summon up the available knowledge held within the stone library. With the aid of his fellows, Thogal enacted the ritual and called up the information that he sought, learning of a plant that grew within the swamp that could be used to treat the illness that had afflicted the people of Sojourn.

With their hard-won knowledge secure, the heroes exited Svernixen and returned to the company of their lizardfolk guide Ssrasha.

XP: 525 per character (1529 total)

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Chapter 003: The Temple Above Fire
In which the party gains access to the temple Svernixen.

After taking some time to rest and allow their lizardfolk guide Ssrasha to eat his fill of the fallen fauna, Bronn Thunderhoof, Mstislav, Nadarr and Thogal Faithhammer continued their journey deeper into the swamp. Eventually coming amongst the Murkstill Tribe of lizardfolk, the heroes were brought before the tribe’s chief, Heshrak Basking Glory, Child of the Sun. To him the party presented their tribute, the captured eladrin primordialist Polenadnun Toraethmae, who the Murkstill Tribe showed every intention of eating.

Heshrak Basking Glory, Child of the Sun seemed pleased with his tribute, and after some discussion he declared that Ssrasha was to lead the adventurers deeper into the swamp, where they might find the knowledge that they sought in the great stone library of the temple Svernixen (a name which literally translates as “above fire” in the tongue of dragons). Heshrak Basking Glory, Child of the Sun told a little of the history of Svernixen, explaining that it was built long ago on the site where the lizardfolk god-king Lashyig defeated and bound Ulm-Haagi, a great fiery beast that served the primordials. While Svernixen was once a gathering place for all of the lizardfolk, over many centuries it eventually came to be populated entirely by the okopipi, batrachian lizardfolk mutants who were xenophobic fanatics devoted to the worship of Lashyig. When Nadarr asked if the Murkstill Tribe would take offense if any of the okopipi were to come to harm, Heshrak Basking Glory, Child of the Sun stated that it would make no difference to him, but that he believed it more likely that the frog-priests would kill the adventurers and throw their corpses from Svernixen, thus giving the Murkstill Tribe more meat with which to fill their bellies. With that, the party departed with Ssrasha, leaving Toraethmae to be devoured by the hungry lizardfolk.

Ssrasha guided the party through the swamp until they reached Svernixen, a temple of massive size hidden amongst the ancient and enormous trees of the jungle. Although the temple’s face showed a great many entrances, Ssrasha explained that the information that the adventurers sought could most likely be found in the highest level of the temple, in a series of rooms known as The Root of the Sky. Although Ssrasha’s fear of the okopipi prevented him from entering Svernixen, he agreed to wait outside in the hopes of securing first feeding upon the party’s corpses, which he seemed confident would shortly be ejected from the temple. Bidding their guide farewell, the heroes descended into the temple.

Upon entering Svernixen, the party was immediately attacked by bloodsucking four-winged creatures and the ancient crumbling skeletons of long-dead lizardfolk. This battle quickly ended as the flying bloodsuckers were hacked and blasted and Thogal called upon the power of Moradin to destroy the undead.

Coming to a fork in the hallway, the adventurers turned to the left, opening the door that they found there into a room filled with vicious lizards, large and small. The tiniest of the lizards gathered in groups and rushed to attack while the largest of the beasts stayed safely back and spat great gobs of burning acid at the intruders. As the party fought their way into the room, they noticed a side room from which further antagonists emerged in the forms of two okopipi and a pair of great undead serpents. It was only with great effort that the battle was won, and afterward the group decided to barricade themselves within the room and rest. A careful search of the makeshift haven uncovered a potion of healing and a pair of strength-enhancing magical gloves, which were claimed by Bronn.

After their recovery, the party removed their barricades and returned to the forked hallway, choosing now to continue in the opposite direction. They were met in force by more of the okopipi, accompanied by the rotting animated corpses of several of the lizardfolk. The battle was fierce, but the party was ultimately triumphant, and they prepared themselves to face whatever further dangers Svernixen might hold.

XP: 654 per character (1004 total)

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Chapter 002: Lizards of the Coast
In which the party is introduced to the fey, and it is revealed that Sojourn's fate my rest with the lizardfolk.

Having defeated the elven brigands infesting the ruin on the hill, Bronn Thunderhoof, Mstislav, Nadarr and Thogal Faithhammer freed the prisoner of the fey, who revealed himself to be Leslie Redshirt of the group that Shadis Narleem had sent from Sojourn a week earlier. Leslie explained that his group had been surprised by the elves and taken prisoner, but that due to the vicious treatment that they had received, he was the only remaining survivor. Having a working knowledge of the elven language, he had managed to overhear that the elves were on the run from some force that they feared to the east, but that they were awaiting the arrival of their overdue leader Polenadnun Toraethmae. With Leslie’s help, the rescuers built stone cairns for Sojourn’s dead and made camp for the night.

With the arrival of the following dawn, the party decided to continue their quest for a less hostile group of fey. Eventually they came across the tree, adorned with brightly polished pieces of metal, described by Roy Shepherd. It was here that they met Lithrindad, a young elf who spoke a small amount of Common speech. Lithrindad appeared far friendlier than the elves that had previously been encountered, and when it was explained to him that the party had a message to deliver to the leaders of the fey, he offered to take them to meet someone with greater authority. After some discussion, his offer was accepted.

After traveling for most of the afternoon, Thogal, Nadarr, Mstislav, Bronn and Leslie were introduced by Lithrindad to Ysammi Ethra and his fey companions. With them was Polenadnun Toraethmae, who had been taken prisoner by the other fey. Upon hearing of Sojourn’s plight, the fey identified the illness as a “crib pox” that normally afflicted their children in minor ways but was not serious to their people. Ysammi Ethra remembered, however, being taught that when the fey had first arrived in the area, the illness caused a great deal of serious damage before generations of adaptation eventually blunted the effects. Although he could not recall how it had been treated, he did remember that the fey had learned a method for treating the illness from the lizardfolk Murkstill Tribe living in a swamp to the southwest. He gave directions to the swamp, and suggested that the party take Polenadnun Toraethmae, who he identified as a murderer and primordialist, to offer the Murkstill Tribe as an offering. It was strongly implied that the lizardfolk would devour Toraethmae if that were to happen. The group decided that Ethra’s plan was a good one, and accepted the captive Toraethmae into their custody.

Before departing, Thogal asked what the purpose of the metal-bedecked tree was, and Ysammi Ethra explained to him that it marked the borders of the one of the many dragon territories that had been divided up after the fall of the draconic empire of Arkhosia. As the group left the fey behind and began their journey to the swamp of the lizardfolk, Leslie Redshirt opted to leave them and return to Sojourn. Bronn felt some conflict about the notion of giving Polenadnun Toraethmae over to the lizardfolk to be eaten, and he discussed the matter with the eladrin convict. Toraethmae admitted that he was an outlaw, but he warned Bronn that Ysammi Ethra had given him to the adventurers in order to avoid the consequences of performing the task himself, and the Murkstill Tribe was as likely to devour Bronn and his friends as they were to eat him. Thogal grew weary of hearing the discussion, and called a vote as to whether or not Toraethmae should be given over to the lizardfolk. The vote decided that he should be, and so the party continued onward.

Upon arriving at the swamp, the party lit a signal fire as Ysammi had instructed, and after some waiting they were approached by a lone lizardfolk guide named Ssrasha. Once Nadarr explained to him that the party wished to offer Toraethmae as a gift to the Murkstill Tribe, Ssrasha decided to lead them through the swamp. Unfortunately, as the group made its way through the swamp, it was attacked by a crocodile, which in turn drew the aggressive attentions of other wildlife. After a fierce battle (during which Ssrasha hid up a tree and offered no assistance) the fauna was driven off, and the journey deeper into the heart of the swamp continued.

XP: 200 per character (350 total)

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Chapter 001: The Journey Begins
In which the party arrives in Sojourn and begins the search for a cure.

The King’s Ransom had been at sea for three months since it began its final voyage from the fallen city of Tostlin when the ship’s master of tops, Lira Chumcutter, finally sighted land. After determining the vessel’s position, Captain Dradius guided the ship to its destination, the community of Sojourn. Aboard were the final evacuees from the Five Cities, including four passengers of special note:

Upon docking in Sojourn, the ship’s passengers were greeted by Lieutenant Sesar of the City Watch, who explained some of the general layout of the community and suggested that newcomers could stay at Salutation Hall. He then gave each new arrival a brief physical inspection, while his underling Gabrella Gutterstone surveyed the group for useful skills. Upon learning that Thogal was a cleric of Moradin, Gabrella commented that the community would be glad of his arrival, as the faithful of Moradin had been making due with the less than inspiring leadership of the elderly Drogus Forgetender.

After disembarking from the King’s Ransom, Thogal and Bronn stopped briefly in Market Square before continuing onward to deliver the Phoenixflame Forge to Moradin’s Anvil, a blacksmith shop where Sojourn’s shrine to Moradin was located. Upon arriving at the blacksmith’s, the pair met Hurgur Breodine, a dwarven smith whose badly disfigured face remained hidden behind a mask of finely beaten silver. Hurgur was indeed pleased by the arrival of the new cleric of Moradin, and he sent his apprentice to awaken Drogus Forgetender. After the elder priest arrived, Thogal made inquiries about the character of Sojourn before finally delivering the sacred forge into the hands of his fellow clergy. Based on what he’d learned, Thogal made arrangements to house Bronn and himself in the residence of the local hedge mage, Pugnuccio.

Meanwhile, Mstislav decided to follow the Watch’s advice and rented a space for himself at Salutation Hall. While there, he talked briefly with the owner, Nasami Gil. From her he heard that the townsfolk had recently come to be plagued by a debilitating and potentially lethal illness that none of the residents had ever previously encountered.

At that very moment, Nadarr was across town at Bigfeller’s Tavern, where tavern owner Darvit Bigfeller got him caught up on local happenings. Darvit mentioned the disease as well, and also suggested that if Nadarr was looking to earn some coin, he should talk to the mayor’s advisor, Shadis Narleem. When Nadarr indicated that he’d be interested in meeting with Narleem, Bigfeller said that he’d arrange it if the adventurer returned that evening. Sensing an opportunity, Nadarr gathered Mstislav, Thogal and Bronn.

That evening, the group gathered at Bigfeller’s Tavern and met with Shadis Narleem and Roy Shepherd. Shadis explained that Roy Shepherd was a shepherd, as his name suggested, and that during the wanderings of his flock he had spotted a group of fey (Roy was unable to differentiate between elves and eladrin) gathered at a strangely adorned tree a couple of days travel from Sojourn. Shadis further explained that a week earlier she had sent a small group to see if the fey knew anything that might prove useful in treating the local illness, but the group had not returned. She then offered Bronn, Mstislav, Nadarr and Thogal employment, asking them to locate and negotiate with the fey and hopefully learn the fate of the missing locals. Eager to make a name for themselves and earn some coin, the group agreed.

In order to facilitate travel, the next morning the group borrowed a cart and mule from local carter Bogdren “Boggy” Carter. They then set out in the direction that Roy Shepherd had indicated. As the day approached its end and the sun began to set, the journey was interrupted by the sound of a man’s screams of pain issuing out from a hilltop ruin.

Approaching the ruin, the party saw that a captive human had been tied to a wall, where he was being tormented by a group of elves. The elves apparently knew that the adventurers were coming, because they immediately launched a savage attack with bow and sword. Although several of the heroes suffered deep wounds, the party was eventually triumphant over the fey. As they freed the elves’ prisoner, Nadarr searched the corpses of the fallen fey, upon which he found a dagger of peculiar design. Examining it, he determined that it was magical in nature, but little else.

XP: 150 per character

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