Over the Sea and Far Away

A Colony Catch-up

During the last down-time, Shade spent some time travelling the colony and catching up on many of his protege.  These are the results of that trip.

1.  See what Sabel has in the way of trained people.

Sabel has a handful of old toughs from her mercenary days.  Some of them are just old line warriors, but a few make up her inner circle.

Roth, a tall, spare man with a grizzled beard who fights with a longsword and shield.  He has extensive facial tattoos that look very similar to Sabel's, possibly from the same tribal group.  He generally acts as Sabel's adjutant.

Sturmat, a blocky man with a scarred face and thick neck.  He wears battered chainmail and carries a shield and a spiked morningstar.  Sturmat is a heavy drinker, but that doesn't seem to impact his readiness.  Sturmat was a sergeant with Sabel's company.

Bran, a younger man with an elaborate mustache and cheerful attitude.  He's a bowman and hunter of considerable reputation.  Bran was a scout for the company back in the day.  Now he's pretty obviously Sabel's partner, although he defers to her in all rulership related stuff.

Adney, a grey-bearded old fellow, but still spry and with heavily muscled arms that he leaves bare.  He carries a shortsword and a heavy arbalest with a winch.  Adney does most of the militia training, and has a reputation as the luckiest bastard to ever walk the earth – he did 30 years as a mercenary sergeant without taking a major wound or even getting sick. 

2. Blaise — Status of Raven's Bay defense.

Blaise has made considerable progress with the Raven's Bay militia, but limited access to gear and his own inexperience at large-scale combat has kept him to basics – shield wall with spears and bowmen in back or flanking.  Trained bowmen are limited but lots of people are working hard.

He can currently field 250 militia with boiled leather breastplates, leather helmets, wooden shields and spears.  Most of them have a hand axe or dagger to back up the spears.

He has 25 archers with shortbows that are skilled enough to be useful.  He's mostly training them on basic drill and not stabbing each other, maneuvering in formation and marching.

He has also been working on getting them skilled at loading/unloading from boats.  ​

Blaise is a level 3 Rogue.

Raven's Bay

Raven's Bay has expanded to the point that all the old buildings from Caladur's Colony have been repurposed, and new ones are starting to be built.  The docks have been expanded, a small fishing fleet is working out of the bay, and the wall has been repaired and strengthened.  Acres of farms cover the east side of the hills above town, and small boats come and go regularly.

Almost 2000 people now live in Raven's Bay, many of them from the recent influx of refugees from Southfort, and those people are still building shelters or working on the quickly-expanding farms.  There is enough coin from trade for some shops and market stalls to spring up, but a lot of barter, work-trade and general "help thy neighbor" still happens.

Most of the inhabitants are transported, and most of them are human, with a few halflings, half-elves and easterlings.  Half sport the raven tattoo, and the temple of Morrigu is fill for daily dawn and dusk services, along other shrines around town.  There are also small shrines to Chauntea, Mael and Llugh.

Caladur's "manor" at the center of town has been reworked into a community hall where the council does business, and a large training field has been built just outside the wall, where able-bodied townsfolk drill on a rotating basis.

3. Cala — how is she doing?

Cala is happy in Sanctuary.  She'd like a bit more action, but she's gotten to meet gnomes, tritons, elves, and a druid and Erska is working with her directly.  She's lean, fast, tanned and she can make you sweat a bit when sparring, fighting with a pair of sticks approximately the size of long-knives.

The half-orcs call her the Little Serpent in an affectionate way.  She's happy to see you, excited to show you around all the new buildings in the village, her fancy elf-made bow and her knife collection.

Cala is a level 1 Rogue.

4. Elyel — Is she making progress?

Elyel's fighting skills are making more progress than her clerical training.  She's got more aptitude for fighting than pure clerical work, although she's definitely committed to the martial aspect of the Morrigu.

She's a focused attacker, not so much into defense.  Her philosophy is to hit things before they hit her – preferably while they are not looking.  You suspect The Morrigu approves.

Elyel is a level 1 Paladin, Oath of Vengeance.

5. Ershka — fighting progress, state of the salle in Sanctuary

Ershka basically lives at the salle or on the training field.  She's got the Sanctuary militia drilled to a somewhat higher level of competency than Blaise has managed – they focus less on mass maneuver and more on aggressive skirmishing and attack.  Individually they are better fighters and stronger than the Raven's Bay militia, but there are fewer of them.  With armor and better weapons, you think they would make a very effective assault force, and they are rapidly becoming a dangerous force in the woods.

Ershka works constantly, and her abilities have improved considerably because of all the different styles.

Erksha is a Level 4 Fighter (Battlemaster) now.

 Sanctuary Militia.png

The Salle

The salle in Sanctuary is always busy, and a truly fascinating place – it isn't uncommon to see tritons practicing their flowing, pole-arm based combat forms, gnomes bounding with short swords and bucklers, wood elves practicing knife and tomahawk or spearwork, half-orcs hammering at each other with hand and a half swords and humans drilling in formation or firing bows – all on the same field, at the same time.  

You even occasionally spot one of Bonebreaker's tall lizardmen throwing javelins, or one of the acolytes of the Raven Queen working on their spear-craft in a stylized raven-faced sallet helm with short raven-feather cloaks.

Raven-tattoos are common, although not the majority, and many of the Easterlings of Sanctuary have started to tattoo stylized flames rising from the black ship tattoo that marks them as transported.

6. Odkirk — fighting progress, Sanctuary update

Odkirk's fighting focuses on raw aggression to leverage his great strength and surprising speed.  He tends to spend his time in the salle wrestling or he's out just building things – levering massive beams into place and hauling sand and clay.

Odkirk is a level 3 Bear Totem Barbarian.  

Sanctuary

Sanctuary is rapidly turning into a bustling little settlement of about 1000 people – mostly Easterlings, but with a fair number of other races .  The palisade is completed, along with a guard tower by the dock and a second lookout tower on the headland.  Submerged logs protect the bay and cropland spreads out around the village.

The village itself is a rough circle, with the salle, communal hall and assembly area in the center and houses with woven-palm roofs, interspersed with workshops all around.  Fields and smaller gardens surround the village, with a cleared space between the fields and the forest.

Sanctuary is also becoming the main travel route from the Black River Valley and Raven's Bay – the elves have marked a trail through the forest, and the gnome hunters, Tinuvon elves and Sanctuary warriors patrol it.  It isn't suitable for merchant travel yet, but it's a quick (albeit dangerous) way to skirt the area around Southfort.

7. Threnna — fighting progress, operational updates

Threnna is operating in the Black River Valley, working with Sabel and Bonebreaker to bring the refugees and the Adholt militia up to a decent level.  She's essentially taken over as the militia commander and trainer in Adholt, but she travels quite a bit.

At this point, Threnna is focussing on commanding and training – her personal combat skills have suffered a bit as a result.

Threnna is a level 2 fighter.

8. Aldrin — current events around Sanctuary

Aldrin is down in the Black River Valley, splitting his time between patrolling with Bonebreaker's lizardmen and training scouts from the hunters of the allied villages.  He'd be happy to sit down with you and go over what he's learned about the surrounding region, along with the maps he made.

Aldrin is a level 4 Ranger.

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Hunting the fickle fey
If a tree falls you in the forest, does anyone hear?

After a bit more discussion with the druid council, a plan to deal with the plant creature was agreed to by everyone. Nektet, druid of one of the lizardman tribes, has offered to guide the party through his forest since his people have been most affected by the depredations.

The meeting over, all of those in attendance, save Nektet and Ra'Sterin transformed into their favored forms and left for home. Ra'Sterin suggested that he would gather a band of warriors at a camp about 3 days travel from the giant tree, and that he should be contacted when the task was complete. Nektet, quick and eager to get going, suggested meeting at the bottom of the tree and sembled into a lizard and vanished down the side of the tree.

Nektet led at a brisk pace through the forest, and found a much smaller, though still comfortable, hollowed tree to camp for the night. While traveling, and around the fire, Nektet answered questions about the creature but there wasn't much to go on. Most notably, the creature had left no traces in the forest to be found by elves, lizardmen or druids, using magic or not.

Late morning of the next day brought everyone to the banks of the river along which the problems had been occurring. Morwen had been chatting with Nektet about things druidic across the morning's travels, filling the miles with talk of plant lore, the local forest and so on. This led her to ask him whether he had spoken to the trees around where the killings had happened. He had not, nor had any of the others. He suggested that some willows he knew of near the river might have felt something.

The willows, after Morwen cast speak with plants, were quite willing to help, and provided quite a bit of information. They told of a darkness that had passed by recently, an amalgam of plants and a semblance of death; that the roots tell of the creature's destination: a cold place where the trees wear the raiment of autumn even through the summer. The roots could follow them no further, that there must be  a way in that location. The reeds at the river bank gave much less cogent information, but provided vivid images of many feet passing, trampling, crushing: one set of very large splayed feet, and several-to-many pairs of cloven feet.

Nektet knew of the strange grove, and led the way. He fished a canoe out of the reeds which had been completely unnoticed by everyone, grinning in evident pleasure at the surprise on everyone's faces, and led the way downstream to a circle of beech trees. They were red and gold of leaf, and the temperature near the bottom of the hill they crowned was noticeably cooler than that on the river.

Some investigation was done around the grove, and Wrenaldo discovered that the entire place had been consecrated to some Fey power long ago. Merrin found  lingering traces of conjuration magic on a pair of treen at the centre of the glade which had grown together to form a natural arbor, and Varis found the tracks of an elk which had entered but not exited the glade. It seems that the location of a portal had been found, but nothing was in evidence, except for the ruins of an ancient building, and some stairs leading down to nowhere — or rather stairs ending in dirt and rubble.

In search of more information, Merrin wanted to ask some questions of some of the elves which had been killed by these beings, so camp was made near where one of the groups had been killed. In the morning, after an evening of fruitless searching, Merrin found what he was after.

XXXX There was some description by the spirit of a dead elf of the forest coming alive, growing brambles, and poisoning them  XXXXX

That information in hand, the group paddled back upstream, and returned to the grove. At a bit of a loss for what to do, other than camp in or near the grove and wait to be attacked, Morwen had another chat with the trees. This time, rather than an earnest conversation, she found quite a bit of hostility. Apparently she was the child of an enemy to the beech trees, who, after a bit of flattery and boot… er… root-licking, told her that they had been created one thousand years ago to protect the way to the autumn grove. The traditional gift to these protectors was a fresh skull, and that blood on the stones would open the way.

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Facing the Druid Council

Ra'Sterin, who came to Sanctuary as a representative of the elves of the southshore forest, agreed to set up a meeting between the party and the Druid's council in the forest. This is, apparently, the closest thing that exists to a governing body for the region. Druids seem to be quite influential; either leading a tribe/people or advising the rulers.

At the end of two long days of travel through wilderness that appeared trackless even to Morwen's practiced eye, they came suddenly upon the trunk of an enormous tree. Twenty large men would not have been able to encircle the tree. Ra'Sterin seemed to take some pleasure at the expressions of surprise on the party's faces, especially as he beconed and slipped inside a fold in the bark.

A stairwell, looking as if it had grown within the tree, beckoned, and was climbed. Morwen estimated that they only stopped after they were above the rest of the forest canopy. Ra'Sterin indicated that the party could sleep in the large round room that they reached, and continued up himself.

The next morning, as the druid council had apparently assembled overnight, everyone was ushered outside for the first time since they entered the tree. More climbing, but now on the outside of the tree. The staircase, two people wide, spiralled around the trunk of the tree and offered amazing views over the land unobstructed by even so much as a railing.

Once the long gruelling climb was over, the party found themselves on a very large platform perched atop the gigantic tree. Waiting at the top was a semicircle of beings, who Ra'Sterin introduced as most of the druid council. He explained that he was expecting one more to show up at any time. Indeed, as he was starting introductions, a whistling rush of air could be heard and a gigantic toothed bird backwinged surprisingly gracefully and landed beside the rest. Quickly the bird became a scaly lizardman with a toothy grin.

[much wonderful listing of names, tribes and descriptions passed over here in the interests of time, unfortunately]

Thecollection of druids were as close to a ruling council for the forest to the south and east of the lake as existed, and they had convened to consider what their new neighbours might want of them. Among them were several elves of different tribes and a couple of varieties of lizardmen.

Pleasantries were exchanged, Morwen was somewhat overawed and was seen by her friends to be trying her very best to exemplify good behaviour. After introducing her friends, and making sure that formalities had been observed (whether they were necessary or not), she passed the floor to Merrin to explain what had brought them together.

Merrin explained his relationship with the Morrigu up front, and answered the elves' questions about whether she was trying to regain a place of power in this world. They were apparently mollified, after an affirmative answer to that question, by Merrin's assertion that he spoke for the Morrigu. A subtle relaxation could be seen by the very perceptive. Apparently in the past, the being who had used that name would not have suffered a lesser one to speak for her.

The plan to liberate/deal with Longspire and their slaving was explained, along with the group's motivations. The druid shared the fact that adventurers from Longspire keep probing the borders and wards that kept the Queen of Thorns' realm bottled up. They also shared that they would lose the fight to keep inquisitive idiots out of places they should really avoid eventually just because of the speed with which humans breed. They also shared some information about the population of the city, and the number of fighting men; about 3000 and 250 respectively.

Merrin asked for help in dealing with the armed forces, and help was offered contingent upon them getting some help with another problem that several of the elven tribes and lizardman communities had been experiencing lately: giant animated plants had been swallowing entire groups of wanderers in the forest.

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Dungeon crawling & Demon smashing
An adventurous two-fer

Proceeding to the small copse of trees near the bottom of the hill from which the obelisk rises, Wrenaldo announced that he could sense fiendish energy faintly from the trees. Everyone went to high paranoia mode, having been distinctly unimpressed by the last fiend they encountered.

Careful approaches were made, gentle, encouraging touches were tentatively extended by Morwen (resident tree whisperer), and eventually it was established that the being covering the entrance to the ancient Eld facility was, in fact, a tree. It was a very sickly tree that had its roots very near to the access pad for the facility entrance, which glowed with a sickly pulsing green light.

Axes came out, the tree was cleared quickly and without demonic incident.

Paranoia still being the order of the day, a magic circle was established outside the door. Morwen, being one of the few almost-eld able to open these antique doors, placed her hand on the activation panel while everyone else stood in the circle, weapons to hand.

The moment her flesh touched the stone, she felt her hand wither and feel as if it were being drained of life. As she withdrew her hand to the sound of the door opening, she felt something's attention shift to capture her in it's horrible gaze before the connection was broken. Shaken, the group, after making sure that nothing was about to come surging out of the darkness at them, proceeded into the building.

The entry room was high-ceilinged and round, about fifty feet in diameter. Near the centre of the room close to the three doors which seemed to lead deeper into the tower, laid a pedestal upon which rested a panel covered in glowing writing much like the one Decimar had used to convey information about making repars to the equipment on his island. The team's spirits started to rise at this apparent stroke of luck, since they intended to make repairs to this non-functional facility.

The gods may have been smiling, but in reality it was more of a smirk: the pedestal, panel, and line of carven runes leading towards where the obelisk must lie were suffused with the same pulsing green energy that Morwen had touched earlier. The decision was taken to not touch any green glowy things unless it was required, and also to not follow the glowy runes to the center until other options had been exhausted.

Going cautiously at first, then more confidently, the group explores the apparently empty complex, finding various inscrutable crystal instruments and further work surfaces covered in green energy.

In one room which was clevery concealed in wall engraving, a corpse was found to Merrin's delight. He called it back from wherever its soul was and had a quick chat about what the facility was, what happened to it, how it might be repaired, etc. It turns out there is a portal to the Eld's grand concourse in the central room, and that a demon has likely been feeding on the energy generated by the obelisk since the disaster that ended the Eld civilisation millenia ago.

In several other rooms behind a no-longer-hard-to-see doors, various panels mounted to walls were discovered. With a brief touch, they sprang to life, and with a bit of luck, Varis (our scholarly bard) was able to figure out what the status of the facility was, and how to operate it.

The obelisk was functional, but disconnected from all other nodes in the power generation and distribution network. Varis confidently declared that he could shut the system down and then turn it back on again later. Given Varis' confidence, the commands to shut down were issued, and the lights slowly extinguished.

Once the lights were out, a roar loud enough to make the thick stone walls and floor tremble was heard. Something was not happy about feeding time being over.

A bit of careful exploration later, and the central room was viewed from several directions showing a writing green ooze which appeared to have grown around the obelish, a couple of translucent beings, and a decrepit looking humanoid linked to the ooze via a line of green energy.

Whe the thing wrapped about the obelisk was continuing to try to free itself, the decision was made to hit fast and hard to try to take the undead out before the demon could free itself. Merrin, remembering the previous encounter with a demon, laid down a magic circle into which everyone stepped. Luckily, during this lengthy process, the beings in the room did not waver from their tasks.

Arnik opened the day's entertainment with a popular choice: fireball to the centre of the room. Despite a very satisfying explosion and thunderous boom, the occupants of the room were unimpressed. "They don't burn" he yelled at everyone else.

Morwen brought forth a circle of moonbeams, managing to capture the central creature, and the demon to which it was linked in the silvery glow. The demon flinched, and the undead eld(?) in front of it started to smoke. Merrin followed quickly with a guiding bolt, muttering under his breath that maybe this would be the first time this spell had ever worked. The central figure sizzled nicely, and Wrenaldo, spurred on by this success, cast another moonbeam hitting the same createures that Morwen already had. He then bravely moved to the front of the group to protect everyone from evil.

Not willing to step out of the circle for some reason, Shade positioned himself in the mouth of the hallway that was plugged by the magic circle and waited for the inevitable reaction of the no-longer-surprised opposition.

Arnik dispatched the demon-linked undead with a quick magic missile, and the demon quickly flinched out of the way of Merrin's sacred flames after reeling a bit from the continuing damage of the circles of moonbeam.

One of the ghosts which had earlier faded into the wall emerged right beside shade and started to attack, but the ever-vigilant Wrenaldo reacted more quickly than even he expected and poked his darkwood glaive into the creature's face. Too much to bear, the ghost dissolved into smoke before blowing away.

Still unwilling to leave the circle, the companions kept careful watch for the remaining ghost, and got to witness the ooze detach itself from the obelisk and take a hideous gelatinous form with too many arms and a tiny head. The gigantic apparition proceeded to rush down the hall towards everyone, picking up rocks to hurl at Shade as it came. Luckily Shade's shield sufficed to deflect them harmlessly.

Shade and Wrenaldo were, by this point, quiverin with anticipation and the effort of holding their attacks until they would be most useful. The quivering was not helped by Arnik's application of Hast to Shade (now fondly referred to as the blender). Myron got in another guiding bolt, and Wrenaldo managed to reach over everyone's heads and jab the demon as it approached. Shade finally got to release his pent-up energy as the beast moved to the edge of the circle and stopped. He grinned as he opened a nice gash near one of its arms.

Overwhelmed by the circle's confounding and repelling nature, the fiend couldn't seem to see well enough to connect with any of the party members, much to everyone's relief. In a truly impressive display, first Wrenaldo and then Shade demonstrated their prowess with their weapons (3 attacks from W and then 5 from S) and, after all of the damage the thing had taken before this point, pounded on it until it dissolved into a green smoke.

The smoke drifted quickly back to the obelisk, as if looking for refuge or solace. Two deadly moonbeams followed it relentlessly and made sure that nothing of that beast survived.

With a bit of guidance, Decimar was teleported and proceeded to guide Varis through the re-start of the facility, and its connection to Decimar's island to help avoid the cataclysmic explosion by sharing the energy load across two locations. Apparently two more will need to be connected to the network to ensure that the entire region isn't turned into a giant wasteland.

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Sentient Toxic Effluent?

(given our long-ish break, not much got accomplished this session, but lots of visiting & remembering was done)

After spending some time apart, attending to personal matters, most our regular crew has re-assembled to discuss the pressing matters of the day for the region for which they seem to be feeling an increasing amount of responsibility.

Simply enumerated, they are:

  • Decimar's assertion that the volcano, in which the eld magical energy collection engine is house, is soon going to experience an unfortunately explosive event if someting isn't done;
  • The presence of a baby kraken in the lake, and the water elves' descriptions of its growing power and influence;
  • The expanding influence in Ebonheart Vale of the Shadow Court of the Fey;
  • The continuing struggles of the refugees and other residents of the valley against less-than-savory elements.

While the exact meaning of soon for a being as old as Decimar (16k years give or take) couldn't really be accurately gagued, it was agreed that this was likely the most important matter facing the region. Potential annihalation will have that effect.

Happily, Decimar provided some general instructions during previous visits about what could be done to avert disaster. One simply had to travel to the sites of the obelisks which were part of the old magical collection and distribution network and restore them to working order. This is something that any mildly skilled practitioner should be able to accomplish.

As luck would have it, one of the newest residents of Raven's Bay happens to be one of the Eld, recently released from stasis into a world much different from the one he remembers. In the magical laboratory he has attempted to set up in a large local doesn't-leak-that-much house, our crew spoke to him at some length about what tactics, tools and procedures one might use to repair one of the obelisks. He shared what knowledge he had, then bid them farewell and good luck; long term exposure to magical fields had been observed to create very strangely deformed magical abominations.

The closest obelisk is located on an island just south of Raven's Bay, so the gang pulled out their folding boat and went for a scouting mission. The plan was to sail around the island, check it out, land if safe, and return to port. The island has a very bad reputation in the area as a place from which one does not return, and around which the fishing is just terrible, so why would you even want to go near it?

Sailing around the south side, a nice beach for a landing was spotted, the only complication was an acrid stench. Our brave compainions observed a sheen on the water, and basically shrugged when nobody started immediately gasping for air. There was no animal life of any kind to be observed in the water or on the shore, which was deemed strange. Morwen, local expert on all-things-natural volunteered to scout about a bit, so a landing was decreed.

About 20 ft from shore, patterns started to swirl in the sheen on the water, followed shortly by the emergence of three tall shapes made of water encircling the boat. What would our heroes do?

Merrin, most alert of the crowd, decided that this boat needed more ravens, so he called forth some spirit guardians. Varis, not to be outdone — and to make sure that every eye was on our resident performer — blasted a two of them with a rolling wave of thunder, causing a bit of a splash with his re-entrance onto this stage. Hoping to make some icicles, Morwen threw some frostbite at a water thing; if body language could be read, a shrug might have ensued.

As the Towers of Effluent approached the boat, both the ravens and Wrenaldo took aim and made some waves in the creatures. The creatures, not used to victims that fight back, targeted Wrenaldo with the first attack, slapping him around and hauling him off the boat. Shrieks and a hissing noise could be heard as he descended to the bottom of the shallow bay the boat was in.

The next attack seemed to go slightly awry, as one of the enemies attempted a fancy, flashy attack, (perhaps emulating Varis?)  tangled itself in ripples and waves, accomplishing nothing. The third, however, might have laughed and promptly hauled Shade off the boat.

Shade called on his shield's ability, and poured himself out of Merrin's shadow to return to the deck of the boat, where his melted flesh was promptly healed by the shadow's bearer. Wrenaldo, too, decided that grappling with magical water, while under toxic water was less than ideal, and misty-stepped to shore. Morwen decided that two drowing companions was enough, made sure everyone could walk on the water, and promptly lept off the deck and ran to shore.

Varis was the next target for a dunking by a mightly insulted column of animated water, after having been compared to a rivulet of dirty water into which a cow had just pissed. Varis was made might uncomfortable while being firmly pressed against the surface of the water — everyone involved seemed somewhat confused.

A few more passes from the undunkable fighers plus a few spells from the peanut gallery later, and the beings collapsed back into the ocean from which they came. The boat was folded up and carried ashore.

A rest and some food was had on the beach, and a hike up the hill towards the monolith was undertaken. Several uneventful hours of slogging up a sandy hill later, a pulsing aura was felt when approaching the obsidian tower. No obvious entrance was in sight, so Merrin tried to magically locate the tools that would be required to make the required repairs. A confusing reading of several places was obtained, but it was enough to help locate a potential entrace to a complex below the hill everyone was standing upon.

Tune in later for the riveting tale of the exploration of an ancient magical power transmission tower, and of ad-hoc linesman work by untrained semi-professionals.

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The Current Affairs

Since we've had a bit of a break, this is a catch-up post that will summarize the current state of the Southlands and the most recent events and plotlines.

The Colony - the Colony is in disarray after the destruction of Blawtro and the attacks by the Knights of the Shadow Fey.  They have withdrawn from the Ebonheart Vale and the Black River Valley, and Southfort has been reduced to a military outpost.  The status of Port Tanner is in question, although the town is currently still very busy.  Longspire appears to be increasingly independent, and the smaller settlements along the east shore of Lake Ebonheart and around Lake Whiteheart are definitely uneasy.

Colonial patrols, both overland and in ships, have effectively completely stopped south of Tatzlford, leaving Raven's Bay and Longspire as the only organized groups operating.  Colonial Guard continue to protect shipping leaving Southfort, but very little else.  There are also rumors of Transported uprisings in the plantations and huge grain farms around Crossroads, in the mining camps along the shores of the Saiqur Desert, and in the logging camps on the Pine Islands.

The Black River Valley - Bonebreaker has gotten Rowan and the southern fort organized, moved the villagers to the fort and is aggressively patrolling the southern end of the Black River settlements.  The Ashlanders seems to have been pushed back temporarily, although ongoing skirmishing continues between Bonebreakers lizardman patrols and small raiding parties.  Refugees from Ebonheart Vale are settling in along the valley, except for the Black Wyvern "Barony".

Sabel Guinte of Wrayford has been enlarging her militia and, along with some lizardmen on loan from Bonebreaker, has been keeping the Baron of Black Wyvern bottled up.  That area continues to be a potential problem, and Adholt and Meerfield mostly lack an organized militia.  Both are expanding very quickly from the refugees, though, and have plenty of people, albeit ones focussed mostly on building shelter and putting in crops.  

The priests of Chauntea have been extremely helpful in all the towns of the area, and worship of Chauntea seems to be expanding at about the same rate as the worship of the Morrigu – mostly among those more focussed on agriculture.  So far there haven't been reports of any trouble between the faiths, though.

Ebonheart Vale - Most of the settlers and transported seem to have fled the Ebonheart Vale, although there are still reports of wildcat loggers and miners working in the area.  Some of the small settlements south of Port Tanner, like Eastmere are still occupied, but there are rumors of strange creatures in the forest and missing people.  Fey power seems to be gaining strength in the Vale, and barring any change, it seems likely that it will be absorbed into the Fey Demesne of the Shadow Lord.

The Gnomes - Having agreed to a formal alliance, the Gnomes have been buying food from Meerfield and paying with metal.  They have also been sending their Wayfinders out to keep an eye on things in the Ebonheart Vale, and have been escorting stragglers to safer areas.  They have also been improving the underground tunnels between Glitterwarren and the hills near Southfort, and plan on scouting further tunnels southward.

Raven's Bay - Traven and Caladur have been managing the rapid growth and restoration of the town, expansion of the docks and reinforcement of the palisade.  Some of the refugees from Ebonheart have made their way to Raven's Bay, increasing the town's population.  The temple of Morrigu is being enlarged, and the fields around town are being expanded as well.  Tools and material remain in somewhat short supply, as does hard currency.

Sanctuary - Fewer refugees travelled to Sanctuary, but many of those that did are half-orcs or foresters or both, so the town has also grown.  A large dock, with a watchtower and a palisade have been constructed, and a fair bit of land has been cleared.  Negotiations with the local elves have resulted in a good supply of timber, and the assistance of the tritons has made fishing possible, although there have been attacks by creatures that the tritons say are attracted by the kraken.  Ershka has developed the militia into a very competent force, and every adult in the community has some weapons training.

The tritons report that they are still exploring the sunken city and skirmishing with creatures loyal to the kraken.  They haven't taken serious losses, but also haven't made much progress, mostly keeping an eye on the creature.

The Island - Decimar identified that there is a real possiblity of a catastrophic explosion from the Eld Engine on the island.  He believes that if the Engine could be reconnected to the Eld network by reactivating 5 or 6 of the obelisks in the area, it would be possible to release the energy in a controlled way, possibly allowing future collection to be harnessed and used.  Knows obelisks are on the island south of Raven's Bay, sunken underwater in the Eld city now controlled by the kraken, at the cliff of Black Glass, in the hills southwest of Southport.

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D&D with Decimar
Bringing the Band Back Together

It has been a little while

We have managed to stabilize the valley down to the south and are working with the populations there and we found ourselves at the point where we were freed up enough to work on the consecration of the temple.

We traveled into the mountains and found ourselves facing a flat rock door along the side of the hill.   When the door was opened, the flying bats attacked us as we climbed to the entrance and we managed to fight them off.   When we arrived at the top of the entrance we managed to get ourselves settled into the entry hall but were faced off nearly immediately by some constructs.  There was a nasty fight and we eventually gained entrance to the Eld structure.   

During our explorations we were able to find a laboratory and in that lab we managed to free up a living Eld who had been captured in stasis.   We had a significant chat with him and during that period of time learned some of Eld History, their approach to science ( magic ) and had a chat with our anachronistic friend.

He gave us some idea of what the structure was for and some of the issues that had led to his putting himself in stasis.   We took hints from him and managed to fight down both a paper demon type creature and a very nasty demon that were trapped in the treasure room.  Magic Circle and magical protections were exceptionally helpful and useful here.

We managed to retrieve the bowl and several other items in the cave and after that we prepared to get Decimar out of the place and bring him somewhere else.  We found out about Eld History, their approach and he helped answer questions about what we were doing and what the place was.   He is knowledgeable about magic and so on but he's been out of the loop for some 16000 years.

On our way out of the laboratory we were attacked by Gloom and his Gloom hounds.  In addition there were a trio of giants waiting to stop us from leaving.   Merrick prayed for help from the Morrigu and the triad of Morrigu's chosen were given ravens wings to help fight.   We managed to fight the hound down and burn down Gloom in the bright daylight of Merricks spell.  Finally at the end of the fight Shade flew out over the giants and proclaimed them to stop in the name of the Morigu and one of the giants proclaimed themselves to the Morrigu.  She was the shadow priest from the giant tribe.  Her tribe was an old follower of the Morrigu and some of them have remained faithful.  We will need to return to them and get them fully under the sway at some point.

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Gnomes and wolves
New friends and old

An uneventful sail across blackwater bay, and a paddle up the river towards Blawtro.  Midnight wolf rescue and river crossing.  Morwen reclining (read: passed out) in the outrigger canoe while the big burly men paddle her (and everyone else) upstream.

Meeting the gnomes, preparing for the council meeting with Oswin.  Oswin is generally in favour of dealing with the Morrigu, probably accepting her patronage in return for protection from the Lord of the Evening (from whom they escaped long ago, with Oswin as one of the architects)

Talking with Oswin about the Eld and their power generation network, and whether it's wise to bring it back online. Talking about trading for research materials on the eld at the Goblin Market.

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Piracy?
Sounds great!

Much talk at Raven's Bay of revenge and piracy — perhaps revenge piracy — and the suprising endorsement thereof by the party and leadership at raven's bay.

A trip to sanctuary to deal with the prisoners, explore the coastline near sanctuary to visit an obsidian monolith, and find a gnomish (maybe) cave that doesn't appear to be connected to the underground path network (yet).

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Being of Service

The being with the blue eyes introduced himself as Decimar, and bargaining commenced once the usual pleasantries and how-do-you-dos were completed.

Myron could sense the artifact he was after as being almost directly upstairs, and Decimar knew which one he was talking about.  Two choices were offered: barter in items of magical significance, or service.

After a quick run through the party's magical items revealed that only the best ones were acceptable, they settled on service.

[service was provided]

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