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Shaun’s Secondary Campaign

Adventure 1 - Poison Kisses

Players: Riley - Dwarf Sky-raider - Grethen

Brett - Troll Beastmaster - Verack

Bryan - Obsidiman Warrior - Silt


-Background-


The air is stale in the mines near Throal, where the group is working in a slave gang for the Warren. The gang consists of Grethen, Brett, Silt, and Cade, a human (NPC). They have been working for months on little rest, food or water and are weak, wounded and emancipated. Several escape attempts have been tried by the three PC's finally getting them transfered here and put in a group with Cade who has also tried to escape several times in the higher security slave camp. Things seem bleak when one afternoon the alarm bell rings out. The two guards overseeing this group glance at each other and they both go to investigate bringing the group with them. There in the compound a windiling is swooping in and out attacking guards wilst a fair- skinned human and and elf are running for the gate with a dwarf girl in tow. The human gets to the gate and conks one of the guards on the head with a two-by-four and the elf throws shining shards magically at one of the guards persuing him while dragging the dwarf girl along. Seeing this one of the groups guards runs down to assist while the other continues watching the action. His inattention gives Cade the opportunity to plant his mining pick in the guards back, knocking him unconscious, and lead the party through a few tunnels to freedom.


Cade escorts the group to The Broken Noose, and inn that he says his 'uncle' Lou-e owns. Lou- e is a T'Skrang, dressed well that always wears a scarf. Lou-e is and old adventuring buddy of Cade's deceased father. He takes the group in and provides care and food for them while they recover. Approximately a month passes while the group regains their strength and health. Lou-e has sent letters to whomever you wish to inform them of your freedom. Cade's family has replied that they are overjoyed that he is alive and wish for his safe return. Lou-e asks the group if they will escort cade to his home in Carthen, a little over a weeks travel northwest. He suggests they find a farmer from Treal, an agricultural village about halfway to Carthen, and return with him on his way back to Treal.

- Beginning -


The group goes to the agricultural market in Throal and looks for a caravan heading to Treal. They find one heading out the next day, but search some more until they find a caravan leaving in a few days that needs guards on the way to Treal. The group takes the job for 50s apiece, and goes looking for a job for the few days they have before the caravan leaves. Lou-e suggest a place that he knows has a job board. The group check it out and find a bodyguard job for a man named Devon. They approach Devon about the job and learn that it involves being the security at a meeting between negotiators for two rival factons, a group of Blood-elves named the The Order of the White Blood, and some dwarves named the BloodTide. They are to go to a meeting hall, Stonefitter Hall #192, and await the arrival of Jamar, a thief who will make sure that no weapons are brought to the meeting. The group is given a pin identifing their position, and leaves early to the meeting hall. There they observe a couple of men finishing setting up the tables for the meeting tonight, and when they leave the group searches the hall. Brett finds a spider in a crack in a corner of the room, dominates it and puts it outside. He investigates the crack a bit more and finds a triangular, dark red crystal which he pockets. Jamar arrives shortly thereafter and searches the whole room for traps or weapons, which he doesn't find. The group takes their positions, the beastmaster and warrior on opposite sides of the table keeping watch, and the sky-raider guards the door with Jamar. As the parties arrive they are searched by Jamar. He takes a hair-pin from one of the blood elves arriving first. It is a tall thin blood elf with fire red hair and a wicked scar on near his left eye. The bloodelf contingent takes their places at the table and twenty minutes later the dwarven contingent arrives. They are searched as well, and after being pronounced clean they take their positions on the other side of the table. Negotiations take place late into the night in Sperethial, which nobody in the group speaks. The two parties take their leave in the same order they arrived.

The next day the group goes to the stockyards to see if the beastmaster can find something appropriate. There they find lots of horses and chickens, dogs and cats. They check out the Animal Shelter and Healing building where the beastmaster makes friends with a wolf-dog hybrid who's healing up. They clown around with some kids till and wander around till dinner, and then eat at the Noose at a table with Cade who asks how things are going. That evening they again head to their job at the hall.

The diplomats are searched again by Jamar and the sky-raider and negotiations proceed at a good pace with some kind of treaty/agreement being drafted on the table when the sky-raider notices the red-haired elf fiddling with his boot and abruptly confonts the elf, getting Jamar to research him. Jamar discovers a finly crafted thin metal blade up his sleeve and takes it, asks the blood elves to removes their boots, and poors oil on them and burns them in the corner. The red- haired blood elf, who's name you discover is Tormod from listing to the conversations for two nights, glares at Jamar and the sky-raider for the rest of the night. After the incident, the negotiations heat up with the dwarves taking the offensive following the humilation of the blood- elves and a few hours later from the tone and pace of the conversations the group observes the blood-elves giving in on some points. The final document is drafted, a blood-oath is sworn by the diplomats, and the blood elves go to leave at which point Jamar and the sky-raider check the streets outside. Seeing a blood-elf with a blowgun lurking in the shadows down the street, Jamar leaves to handle him. He returns shortly thereafter cleaning the blood from his sword as he enters the building, and the bloodelves take their leave. The dwarves leave shortly thereafter and the group waits when Jamar's tells them that a troll named Toombs will arrive shortly with their payment, which he does. The sky- raider also receives a bonus for his good work and keen eye, which includes the blade Jamar took from the bloodelf.

The group returns to the Noose, chats with Cade, and gives Tormod's blade, which turns out to be a thread blade having to do with poison, to Lou-e to repay his generosity. Lou-e also takes the blood magic poison crystal that they found in the spider's crack on consignment. The group gets a good night's rest, and goes in the early morning to pick up the wolf-dog from the shelter. They then hook up with the caravan master, Drummond, and leave bright and early for Treal. On the way they overhear rummors that a bandit group called the Elite gang is terrorizing the countryside from Treal to Bloodwood and that Throal has had trouble with wyverns in the south for months. The trip to Treal is uneventful, the party resupplies at Treal, and hits the road to Carthen.

They travel for a few days and encounter a carvan of wagons and cages, looking like a carnival, at the crossroads as evening quickly approaches. They are approached by a troll nethermancer named Nicodeamus, Nico for short, a dwaven wizard named Riles, and his scout Mynbar. After ascertaining the group's intentions and their loyalty to Throal he introduces the group to the rest of his party. There is a beastmaster named Mistaya, and her panther Shadow and her monkey. There is also a swordmaster named Innyad, and his apprentice. Three windlings make up the Flying Walendas, and Pilsen, a windling troubador is also chatting with them. A few others are doing miscellaneous chores.

Nico is working for Throal and is going from town to town testing for adepts. He is also trying to take down a bandit/raider group that has become a little too powerful for Throal's liking out in the hinterland. Throal thinks Thera might be involved in a convoluted way, or maybe just an ex- Theran is in charge of the bandit group, called the Elite bandits. Nico explains to the group that he might need help with the appreciation of Throal coming if done altruistically, although he offers to pay well since the group claims they have to protect Cade. Nico goes on to explain when he stopped in the last town three of his experienced guards that were good friends became involved with three good-looking sisters, and promissed to wed them in order to get them into bed. Well they had no intention of keeping the promise and the mother and Nico knew it. But the mother convinced the soldiers to have dinner with her, her stated intention being to impress the guards with her daughters houskeeping and cooking skills and intelligence since the guards had already sampled their other wares. She stated she hoped that the guards might return when they could and keep there promise as some of her daughters might now be with child. But that cruel wench instead poisoned them and now it's only Nico recovery spell and a kelix potion a day that's keeping them alive until he can get them to a questor of Garlen. But he has a problem in that the bandits he's been hired to lure and get rid of are probably going to attack tonight, and a scouting party he sent to Carthen hasn't returned yet, leaving him undermanned if they attack.

Nico and his experienced scout Mynbar have laid a trap for the bandits, planting rumors that the carnival has a lot of money and isn't well defended, and that there is also a caravan of gold traveling from some mines a few days away from here. The hope was to get the bandits to split up to be able to attack both things, although the caravan and the carnival might have few people and seem like an easy mark, the people manning both are mostly adepts on the Throal payroll attempting to get these bandits out of circulation. Of course now they are short a few good men and need the group's help tonight.

Some time during the night a silent alarm will be raised and someone will wake the party quietly and tell them to assemble in the middle of camp. There Nico is having a strategy session with Mynbar. Mynbar has been doing his scout role and has found out the plans for tonight's attack by the bandits. The bandit leader had divided his party into four groups and will attack from all sides. The front group will attack first and try draw everyone on that side. They will be composed of the best bandits and the adept leaders. Two small groups composed of the mid- circles will attack the sides a few rounds later. A round or two after that the rest of the bandits will attack from the rear side and attempt to get the jump on anyone dealing with the other groups. Nico will divide up the caravan into appropriate fighting groups and the party will take rear guard and deal with the last wave of bandits to attack. Cade is given crossbow cranking duty on the center wagon. Nico gives the group instructions to yell out if there are any spell casters in the attacking bandits. The group takes a hidden position and waits.....

Fifteen minutes later the sound of fighting from the front of the caravan begins. Then shortly thereafter fighting from the sides, but the group can't see any of it. Only the men at the top of one of the center wagons loading and firing heavy crossbows. A short pause later and a group of bandits break from the treeline to approach the camp from the party's side. There are four bandits plus two men in robes that are only walking forward and waving their hands around.

The battle is joined and Silt and the sky-raider quickly take down three bandits and advance on the spell casters. The beastmaster has a harder time of it and trades blow for blow with his bandit. The obsidiman warrior chugs right along and quickly takes down his caster. The sky- raider is having trouble with his elven elementalist due to its higher circle and the fact he keeps getting harried as the icy mace and chain wrap around his body.

Silt goes to help out on the left side, where he hears they need reinforcements from the shouts of battle. He unleashes a mighty blow on the caster that is standing over the body of Innyad the swordmaster and his apprentice. Shortly thereafter there is the hum of wing beats, and then screaming over Silt's head comes..... the Flying Walendas ..... in perfect formation they swoop down from above on the caster on the left striking him at almost the same time with their swords. One cuts a deep gash in his leg, the other a arm, and the third makes a really viscious cut to his shoulder that takes off a good chunk and knocks him to the ground. He ain't moving no more as the three windlings swoop back up towards the sky and quickly start to fly back overhead to the center of camp.

In the meantime the sky-raider's elementalist opponent gets up from a knockdown and starts to circle him to the right as the beastmaster finally finshes off his bandit. The attempt to keep the sky-raider between himself and the beastmaster turns out to be a bad move for the elementalist bandit. He is continuing to wave his hands in the air, no doubt weaving some spell when a heavy crossbow bolt from one of the men atop the center wagon hits him in the chest and plunges in with only the feathers still showing. He goes down in a spray of blood gurgling. The group glances around but the battle is over. They join the rest of the camp and get medical attention to their wounds, but the joy of victory is tainted by the fact that Innyad the swordmaster doesn't respond to the last-chance salve administered. The party beds down for the night. Nico and his friends come over to examine the items the group got off their opponents, some bracers and a nice robe along with a couple of potions from the casters. He shares his suspiscions that based on what they have found he believes the bandit group wasn't supported by Thera like they suspected, but by Iopus.

In the morning Nico turns to the party, "We'll now that we've dispached this bunch, we need to get our men to the Questor of Garlen." I had sent a small scouting party up the road to a village called Carthen with the intention that we might head there if the bandits didn't take the bait and perform and spread some more rumors there. As you may have guessed from the caged animals and wagons, fighting bandits is not our full time occupation. Usually we roam the countryside looking for adepts to recruit for Throal that might be just coming into their own in these villages. We have a carnival, and games of chance that double as tests of potential adept skills. With hints of Thera mobilizing to the far south, Throal needs good adepts more than ever now. Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, my scouting party to Carthen hasn't returned so I'd be grateful if you could check up on them since you seem to be going that way and have proven you can handle yourselves. I sent a Troubador, Scout, and Warrior to that town to scout and prepare the way. The troubador's is a female elf by the name of Euphor, the scout is also a young female elf by the name of Myrinn, and the warrior is a hardy Vorst fellow by the name of Shaol. If what you've said about your reasons for travel are true, perhaps they have run into too much trouble as they are only around second circle in their respective displines. Or perhaps not, I would not have sent them had I not thought them capable of taking care of themselves. But they are overdue and it isn't like them."

With that the caravan will load up and head to Treal, the nearest large settlement. The group heads onward to Carthen.

After a day's travel and about a half a day from the village you encounter a family riding a large wagon laden with goods. They will explain they are from the village of Carthen, but decided to leave after the heros were defeated. Further questioning will reveal that the party from the caravan along with a few skilled folk from the village went to investigate the source of the large ant insects and were defeated in battle. The scout and the warrior, along with an old nethermancer that lived in the village returned on the brink of death after losing several of their companions to some large insect creature. Most of the village is staying for a while longer in hope of your arrival, but they decided discretion was the better course of valor and left.

A half day's travel later the group reachs the village of Carthen. It seems there is great excitement at their approach, especially once they hear that Drummond has sent you. You hear several exclamations of 'Thank the passions!" and 'Perhaps we won't all die after all.' Cade reunites with his family and goes off to protect their home.

The group is rushed to the old nethermancer of the village. He is lying in bed, and it is quickly apparent that his days are numbered, as he is very wounded, slightly fevered and has shallow breath. His name is Yargath, a nethermancer of the third circle, and he is quite lucid. He has been the healer of this village for some time now, and is very old. But he quickly has the party gather round so he can relate the story of what happened.

"Since Cade received his letter, the attacks by the ants have been getting worse. When the scouting party showed up, the village people jumped at the chance to have adepts investigate and see if they could determine the cause of the attacks. The scouting party was sent with myself (Yargath), and three strong local boys with a bit of skill with a sword. We traveled about two days into the mountains following the trail that Myrinn was tracking back, when we came to a very small valley. There we were set upon by several of the giant ant creatures, but managed to defeat them without too much trouble. Continuing to follow the trail we traveled deeper into the valley, and saw a cave/temple entrance in the distance. As we approached closer we could see that there were the large ants traveling into and out of the entrance which was guarded by a couiple of them. As we approached a little closer for a better look we were spotted and all hell broke loose. We were set upon by about eight of the ants, and were faring well until a large brithan-insect like creature joined the fray along with some kind of spell casting queen ant, and some of the missing people from the village in insect form. We were getting beaten badly and would probably have died but for two things. I managed to kill the brithan thing and several of the ants with raw magic, practically killing myself in the process, and the queen ant was hurt by something when she threw some kind of magic spell at Shaol, at least that's what it looked like to me. She retreated, and so did we. Two of the young boys died, another is hurt bad, the troubador was dragged off by ants, and Shaol and Myrinn are here in town but recovering from some sort of poison spell the queen threw on them. That stupid queen got me as well with the poison spell, probably as a result of my raw magic spell, although I seem to be weathering it better that the other two. I have a spell that helps protect me against the effects of poison for a short while, and I have a few days left before it wears off and I shall probably die quickly after that. All the healing potions went into the scout and warrior in the hopes we could save their lives. But I have lived a full life. Here, take this map and defeat them while they are weakened and may the Passions be with you."

The group gets the map from Yargath and follows it to the valley. There they find the remains of the first battle and slowly creep closer. The beastmaster lightly ties his wolf-dog to a tree as they continue onward. They creep up until they see the entrance to the cave/temple Yargath described. It is being guarded by two large soldier ants, but they seem to be worse for wear with gashes, and the occassional missing leg. The group attack the ants, and the battle is pitched. The warrior and sky-raider once again cut a bloody swath through the defenders as they advance deeper into the tunnel. They fight their way foward to the first Y-junction where reinforcements for the ants arrive steadily, slow insectoid humanoids, presumably the missing villagers from the outlying farms of Carthen. The ants hold for a few rounds as they have numbers on their side but slowly are defeated. Finally no more reinforcements arrive and the last of the ant-things falls. The group goes right and encounters another Y junction and goes right again. They arrive at a room full of dead vegetation with fungus growing on it. They search the room quickly and go back taking the the other branch of the Y junction. The continue on a ways and find a room with many little alcoves carved into the walls. Each alcove holds an ant-egg. The group destroys all the eggs and searches the room finding a ledge high above the room. The group investigates the ledge and finds a tunnel. They climb up and take the tunnel for a ways and encounter a worker ant-man carrying an egg or food sphere towards the egg room. They quickly dispach it and continue onward emerging into a larger tunnel leading left and widening toward the right. They go right and into a large room where they find the missing troubador who is now a troubador-ant queen and three large unhurt soldier ants and a couple of workers tending the queen. The attack is quickly joined with the obsidiman getting the jump on everybody. He rushes up nimbly between the soldiers guarding the queen and strikes the queen a mighty blow knocking her to the ground. Seeing this the sky-raider springs into actions and attacks to soldier guards while the beastmaster drinks a booster potion. The queen gets to her feet and casts a spell at the obsidiman, which fails. The ants attack the obsidman in defense of their queen. Blows are stuck on all sides. The next round the obsidman again goes first and again strikes the queen a mighty blow, killing her. The ants don't like this and attack agressively but start to waiver a bit. The battle goes back and forth, members of the group fall and get back up as the ants drop slowly one by one. The obsidiman drinks a potion after fumbling around on the sky-raiders belt as he is attacked again and again. The tide of battle turns for the ants as the beastmaster is struck a blow and goes down unconscious. One of the ants attacks the fallen beastmaster bringing him to the brink of death, but Death is imprisoned beneath Death's Sea and with a might force of will and troll toughness the beastmaster clings to life. The obsidiman seeing his comrade in peril pours a healing potion into him. But the ants have taken a pounding as well and start to go down one by one now as the beastmaster returns to the fray. Finally the death of their queen sinks in and the ants try to battle to merely stay alive, but fail. The last ant falls. The group searches and finds two vases on either side of what looks to be an altar (although some would call it a bier). Further searching after the group rests uncovers a door, behind which they find some gems and three silver boxes with a broach of a fly in one, a bee in the other, and the third box is empty with the outline of an ant. They search back down the tunnel they didn't take and find a dwarven skeleton with the ant broach, and a fine serrated dagger with a bat-wing type hilt and a sapphire in the pommel. Further down the tunnel they find a branch with leads to a passage that is not completed. Continuing onward they reach the first Y- junction near the entrance having explored the entire complex. They return to Carthen and a hero's welcome as they share their exploits in defeating the Invae. Yargath is given a funeral, Shaol and Myrinn recover, and the group enjoys the hospitality of the town while they heal and meditate. The end.

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