V'harn

Session 21
I'm Tiberius are you the Apprentice & that is one ugly woman

Having finally secured passage from the island Oranus to Talgyn’s End on the main land New Ilthium, after a deadly battle with a dweller of the nine planes, where in Robeor was dragged to one of the frozen planes of hell. That night finding themselves left standing on the docks in Talgyn’s End as Andriel and wards disappear in varying directions into the growing dark, with promise from Andriel and Alandra to meet in the morning at the Pike and Whale tavern.

15th day of 3rd Nimos Second Epoch 2151
The heroes stumble their way across the holding towards the general direction of the Pike and Whale after attaining directions from a home guardsman on duty. They find it in short measure and settle down for a meal and a drink. Norhtal works his way past his fears about being somewhere there are a lot more people than he is used, relaxing as much as he is capable when he knows that there are about 1500 people all around him. Sirath makes up for over a month of not having any decent brew and starts off the first of sixteen ales before he decides to turn in for the night. The others are more moderate in their approach after negotiating the lodgings with the landlord.

16th day of 3rd Nimos Second Epoch 2151
As Tiberius requires less sleep then most since possessing the tainted mage stone he decided to leave the others asleep and go to market. Wandering northwards following the signs to the old market section, the holding is just starting to stir awake for the day. As he approaches the old market square he notices that the square is mostly deserted, except for a few shop keepers and a cloaked man with a silver aura signifying that he is a user of magic. The man has not seen Tiberius as he has his back to him. Tiberius hesitates for a moment then decides that as he is the most intelligent man alive then this must be the apprentice of the holding and feeling relatively safe, as they have not previously been able to tell that he is what is considered to be an aberrant mage, approaches the man and says, “Hello, are you the magi or the apprentice.” An incredulous look crosses the young, pale man’s face as he turns and sees Tiberius, his dark hair framing his face as his pale eyes open wide at what he sees. He says “Who are you? I do not know you. You are an aberrant!” Tiberius pauses for a second, trying to figure out how it all went so wrong so quickly and takes a step backwards. The man mutters a phrase, lunges, striking Tiberius’ left leg. All feeling ceases in that leg and Tiberius falls over unable to stand up right. The man is now yelling at the top of his lungs “Guards, guards” with the sound of footsteps approaching. Tiberius decides to beat as hasty a retreat as possible dragging himself away and casts darkness with his amulet. The cloaked man standing still murmurs a string of words and the darkness clears. Tiberius still dragging himself towards the stalls can see men in home guard uniforms approaching and casts darkness again. The young man murmurs some words again and the darkness clears again. Tiberius still dragging himself away casts darkness again and slumps against the door of the shop he was aiming for. However he finds that he cannot reach the door handle to open it in his current state. Suddenly he feels the door open inwards a pair of arms grapple with him and drag him inside and the door closes just as the darkness is cleared away once again. Without any ceremony Tiberius is dumped down a trap door into a small bolt hole. The trap door is closed and the sound of heavy things being placed on top it can be heard.

After a few moments waiting for his eyes to adjust to the much dimmer level of light in the bolt hole and gathering himself Tiberius can hear noises coming from above. There is a muffled banging on the shop door, a command to open up. The sound of a discussion and then heavy boot falls on the floor above, some loud bangs and bumps and the heavy boot sounds retreating away. Tiberius then attempts to open the trap door but fails. Becoming somewhat concerned that he is trapped and not entirely certain that whoever bundled him into the bolt hole has good intentions he contacts Bright Eye Sharp Tooth who is back at the Pike and Whale, telling him that he is being held captive somewhere in the old market, to get the others and come and get him.

Bright Eye succeeds in waking up the others. They gather themselves together and in no particular hurry after the find out what is going on start to leave. Reollo in passing the kitchen refuses to leave without grabbing at least something to eat. Bolting down some oat meal, they then dash out the door following Bright Eye’s directions. As they approach the old market they notice a considerable commotion occurring. There are a number of home guards conducting what appears to be a door to door search and there are more guards arriving by the second. Standing in the middle of all the commotion is the young man giving directions. Bright Eye earnestly tells Reollo, Sirath, Lucky and Norhtal that Tiberius is somewhere in amongst what is going on. They stand watching and trying to determine what is going on and how to approach it. From behind them an older rotund mage comes walking quickly, puffed by his effort. Trying to look inconspicuous the heroes stand there trying not to attract attention to themselves. The older mage walks past them and straight up to the younger mage. They lean in close to each other and appear to have an argument. The older mage then turns back the way he came and walks off past the heroes.

Meanwhile Tiberius attempts a number of times to open the trap door again, without success, becoming increasingly concerned about the intentions of the person that bundled him down into the bolt hole. Deciding to catalyze the situation in order to get himself out he tells Bright Eyes to follow their link and find him. Bright Eye ever obedient runs down off Reollo’s shoulder and heads into the old market square, attracting the attention of the young mage. Reollo cursing Bright Eyes under his breath and Tiberius by extension follows Bright Eyes with the others in tow. Reollo bends down and scoops up Bright Eyes and introduces himself to the young mage pouring on the charm. The mage takes an immediate liking to Reollo and enthusiastically introduces himself as Tellnor Phaisriurin, journeyman magi and nephew to Magi Prime Beldrin Phaisrisurin. Reollo introduces himself as plain old Reollo. Reollo then asks Tellnor to tell what the commotion is all about. Tellnor explains to him that an aberrant mage was in the square a little while ago and that he himself had to deal with him, but before the guards came he was able to vanish. The search for him was now spreading outwards from the square. Reollo asked if there was any way that he and friends could help? Tellnor stated that despite what Master Alkath had said he was continuing the search as Uncle Beldrin’s standing orders were clear on the capture of aberrant mages. Tellnor asked Reollo if he could stay at the square and keep an eye on things there whilst he went and co-ordinate the search at the front? Reollo happily agreed to help out that way.

Almost as soon as Tellnor’s back was turned Tiberius called Bright Eye over to the shop where he was. Reollo, Lucky, Sirath following with Norhtal keeping an eye out. Reollo knocked on the appropriate door and a young voice on the other side asks what business they have. Reollo says that they are looking for a friend. The voice says that there is no-one else here other than him. Reollo convinces the young man to open the door and Tiberius starts banging on the trap door as loud as he can. The young man protests the intrusion as Sirath goes in a moves the barrels and crates and opens the trap door. Tiberius comes out of the bolt hole in a flurry threatening to kill the young man, saying that he had the whole situation completely in hand. The young man is utterly shocked and then in turn highly irate. He raises his voice and tells Tiberius in no uncertain terms that the gathering and its sympathizers risk their lives to save the lives of idiot mages who place themselves in danger for no other reason than they seem to think that they can do whatever they want. Reollo concerned that Tiberius will do something that they will all regret steps in between Tiberius and the young man as Norhtal alerts of someone approaching and a man walks up to the shop. He assesses the situation with and intense look and asks what is going on why the heroes are in his shop? Reollo tries to explain in some deflecting way but the young man says quickly “Father I tried to help out a mage, but now he claims I have wronged him.” The older man shakes his head. Looks at Reollo and says “If any of you wants to get out of the holding in one piece follow me now.” Surprisingly they follow and without question.

The older man leads them a short distance to an old meeting place, seems to have been a temple of sorts at one time or another. Disused now and close to the wall, the older man tells them to stay there as someone will be by with their things and to send them on their way. Holing themselves up in an antechamber at the back of the building they wait in silence for about 20 minutes until they hear two sets of footsteps. Alerted but not alarmed they arm themselves and position themselves to be able to deal with any threat as best as possible. The first person they see step through the doorway is the older mage they now know as Alkath, closely followed by Andriel.

After a moment to catch their breath a number of questions are asked which all add up to the same thing. “What is going on?” Andriel looks less than impressed and explains that the gathering has some support in high places. Alkath agrees that this is the case as he is an example and goes onto say that not everyone believes that the regulation of magic the way Beldrin is doing is wise. Alkath then turns to Tiberius and almost wondering aloud says “How can a man who is such a genius be such an idiot?” Tiberius attempts to defend himself but he is waved off by Alkath, turning to Andriel and says “So without Robeor to help guide him what are we going to do? He is so impetuous.” Exhaling deeply he shakes his head looks up and asks what the heroes plans are. They explain that they felt it was best course of action to first go to Narl’s Tower. Alkath looks quizzically at Andriel. Andriel then explains that Robeor felt that as Alandra had visions of them, then whatever interest the ascendants had in them was likely to help them to enter the tower where the magi had failed previously. Alkath nodding slowly tells them about Ulanor Manor, telling Tiberius that it was his family home where he was born, built by Haskin Ulanor. He points out where it is on the shore line of Narl’s Deep and that there is likely to be a boat left there. Tiberius suddenly brimful of questions asks Alkath about it. Alkath says that there is much to say but now is not the time, that indeed there may be somethings left over still there that the gathering had not previously found, not that anyone was really looking as it is used as a way house at times.

Setting out almost immediately the heroes travel for the best part of the day arriving at the hills overlooking the manor late in the afternoon at about the eleventh hour, being cautious after seeing smoke coming from the chimney. They all agree the best plan is to send Norhtal and Bright Eyes down to scout out the building. Norhtal caries Bright Eyes down to one of the front entries that has a broken window next to it. Norhtal places Bright Eyes down and then moves off around to the side of the building and disappears to sight, whilst Bright Eyes climbs inside. Through Bright Eyes Tiberius sees what he sees and relays to the other what is seen. Bright Eyes finds himself in an entry area with doors right and left and an open doorway straight ahead. Bright Eyes sneaks to the doorway and peers through. The room is a large sitting room. At the large copper shielded fireplace stands a very tall gray skinned haggard looking woman, which Tiberius identifies as an Annis, which is a being of darkness from the nine planes. In two barely holding together arm chairs are two ogres also. Bright Eyes withdraws quickly and heads back out up the hill and the others wait for the return on Norhtal. He returns a short while later and explains that around at the water front is what appears to be a dock underneath the manor and as far as he could see without getting wet there was a boat.

The heroes withdraw some distance into the hills, set up camp in a sheltered spot and plan their attack on the manor in the morning, which basically consists of a knock and surprise attack combination.

17th day of 3rd Nimos Second Epoch 2151
In the morning they gather together their packs, Reollo suffering from a lack of solid sleep due to nightmares that plague him. The heroes then gather up on the hillside overlooking the manor going over the plan once more. Lucky and Tiberius station themselves in line of sight of the main door so they can attack from a distance. Reollo, Sirath and Norhtal carrying Bright Eyes head down to the manor. Bright Eyes is fed through the broken window as Norhtal gets a boost onto the roof to attempt entry through the second floor. Reollo and Sirath flatten themselves against the wall either side of the doorway. Bright Eyes then goes to the doorway of the sitting room and peers through and sees the Annis standing in the room alone and no sign of the ogres. The Annis turns and sees Bright Eyes and he scarpers out through the broken window, telling Reollo on the way out that the Annis has seen him.

Reollo then steels himself and knocks on the door. The sound of footsteps and then a woman’s voice calls out “Hello, who is there?” The door opens and standing the doorway is a tall red haired woman dressed in leathers. Lucky hesitates and fails to take the shot with grey death. Tiberius calls out “We known what you are demon” as Reollo in blur of motion steps into the doorway sword draw and pulls short his attack asking “Who are you?”

At that precise point so caught off guard the woman’s outline flickers and the form changes to the very tall gray skinned haggard looking woman with huge claw like pincers on the end of both arms. The change galvanizes Lucky and despite Reollo being in the way he takes the shot. The arrow leaves Grey Death howling like a banshee, pushed along by sheer force of luck. The arrow slides past Reollo’s left ear and slams into the demon just below the clavicle, knocking it down with the force of the shaft. The Annis screams in a high pitch ululating sound. Reollo steps forward and strikes down with both Bloodletter and his axe, Sirath following in close behind and takes a shot at the Annis despite the fact that an enraged ogre is storming the room. The Annis falls into unconsciousness. Tiberius takes the opportunity to summon to mind a spell and the ogre falls flat on its face and the other ogre rushes in treading on top of its prostrated companion. The upright ogre swings a wide arc with its club missing. Reollo swings upwards gutting it, its bowels spilling down onto the one on the floor. Sirath swings down hard ending its life before it could even attempt to stand up.

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Session 20
Its going to drag us to hell!

Experience tells the heroes that during the deepest of Nimos on the main island of New Ilthium there would have been snows, deep snows restricting all travel but the most urgent, even at that it would have been ill advised and foolhardy. Holdings close up for Nimos having spent the end of Naylos gathering in the crops and battening down. The unseasonal snow that came after G’zakthanx left heading east would likely have harmed the prospects of only the smallest holdings. Such is the way of things.

In comparison the time spent on Oranus by the heroes has been relatively mild. There have been frosts and one or two mornings with a light dusting of snow, but that is the most of it. By 8th day of 3rd Nimos it is still cold but true enough the worst is over without much, it seems, to go. By everyone’s estimation on Oranus, New Ilthium is likely to have thawed enough to be approachable and Robeor has gathered the party together to make plans for this eventuality for the past 7 day. Robeor says that he can now send the skeet that he holds for such moments and the boat to carry the heroes to New Ilthium will arrive by about 15th day of 3rd Nimos.

15th day of 3rd Nimos Second Epoch 2151.

The day has finally arrived for heroes to rejoin the rest of the Ilth people. Having accomplished what they originally set out to do, to find Allandra. However a quest has now been laid upon them by Robeor, to find the pieces of The Heart of Darkness. One is in danger of being taken by Beldrin from the Tower of the Magi in Fallsea. One is in Narl’s tower in the middle of Narl’s Deep. One is in a Brae burial mound at the farthest point of New Ilthium.

The heroes rising early and packing belongings readying themselves to go, breaking fast as they have done many times together. Discussing together what they will do next, where they will go, with Robeor an integral part in the planning. He is as excited about the prospects involved, the lure of the hunt, but he has made it clear that he will be staying on Oranus. For the good of New Ilthium, for the good of Andriel, Allandra and the freed slaves.

A commotion outside draws their attention, three of the younger more independent children coming from the main gate. They look frightened, speaking in a whir of noises, exclaiming that they have seen something large outside the wall, near the gate.

The heroes grab their weapons and head to the gate. As they approach the gate the temperature drops noticeably and quickly. Frost starts to form and their breath starts to fog. Ice crystals start to form on the walls of the buildings closest to the gate, their zig zag pattern writhing upwards. Snow starts to fall.

About 20 yards from the gate itself is a large figure, partially concealed by the surrounding vegetation. Then impressed upon their minds a forceful singular thought Come to me, bright warmth, come embrace me. Struggling to resist the thought they all shake themselves free. Lucky notches an arrow into Grey Death and lets lose the arrow streaking out and striking true, the beast bellowing, whilst Norhtal, Reollo and Sirath move up taking defendable positions around the gate way. The beast charges forward, breaking cover. Now clearly seen it is a huge 9’ tall, covered in long grey, brown hair. Claws on the end of its large powerful arms, its legs ending in hoofs. From its face sprouting a tangle of tentacles.

Then from behind everyone Robeor charges through. He yells as he goes, “Flee it is a Drelnoch. It will drag you to the nine plans of desolation.” He swings his staff in an over head arc and from its head flashes an intensely bright light as he strikes the beast. The Drelnoch clearly hurt by it, screams in anguish. Tiberius emboldened by his mentor’s presence fires his cross bow at the Drelnoch but fails to make contact. Reollo steps and swings, scything into it with his weapons. Sirath lashes out connecting, leaving a wound cross the great hairy chest. Norhtal with his short swords steps around to the Drelnoch’s side and attacks but misses terribly and over balances.

The Drelnoch enraged by the hurt it has received rears up, spreads out its face full of tentacles and roars out an intense wave of terror inducing cold. Robeor, Norhtal, Sirath and Lucky, gripped in the sheer alieness of the beast and its rage, become stunned.

Reollo suddenly finds himself the only one who is able to attack, chooses to strike out in a flurry hitting twice out of his three attempts, seriously hurting the beast further. Tiberius moves forward to grab Robeor’s dropped staff. The beast declines its head towards Robeor and a shimmer of pale, incandescent light streams away from Robeor’s face to its beak. Sirath, Lucky and Norhtal can not shake being stunned, still numbly standing there being able to do very little.

Seizing the staff Tiberius triumphantly holds it aloft expecting it to hold some further power, but finding it empty. Lucky’s uncanny ability to make things go his way kicks in and he finds himself shaken out of being stunned. He then reaches into his belt and pulls out the Silver Gambit. The overriding though in his mind is “ITS GOING TO DRAG US TO HELL.”

What follows can only be described as utter chaos. For a 20 yard radius around Lucky the buildings start to crumble, the forest dies off, the colour goes out of the day and everyone close to the Drelnoch is subject to being stunned again as it straightens up bellowing, its wounds healing. The beast then swings it’s head around striking Norhtal, Sirath, Robeor and Reollo with its tentacles. The impact seriously hurts Norhtal and Sirath. Norhtal gets flung off his feet with the force of the blow. A tentacle grabs a hold of Robeor and Reollo is struck so hard he is knocked down and barely clings to consciousness.

Sirath loses touch with his rational mind seeing Reollo hurt so badly and snaps out of being stunned immediately. Lashing out with an animal, fierce determination Sirath’s haste causes the blow to bounce off the beast’s hide and he drops Earth Cleaver. As Sirath bends to retrieve his sword Tiberius activates his pendants darkness ability. As a consequence he is the only one that sees the beast vanish with Robeor. He then turns off the darkness as Sirath regains control of himself and everyone else starts to shake themselves out of their daze. In addition Reollo is able to sit up, but is in a bad way. A moment later Norhtal grunts and sits up, looks somewhat winded but with each passing moment his obvious wounds slowly vanish.

Reollo staggers to his feet barely able move over to Lucky and confronts him. Reollo yells at him “WHAT DID YOU DO?” Lucky truthfully replies that he is uncertain as to what actually happened. Reollo admits that he’s not sure if Lucky was involved, but makes it clear he is keeping an eye on things.

Andriel runs up slightly dazed herself and says “Where, where… is Robeor?” The others explain to her that he is gone, the beast, a Drelnoch has taken him. Andriel crumples to the ground in apparent shock. Norhtal is then able to corner Reollo and attend to his rudimentary first aid needs, tiding him over until a more in depth treatment can be a provided.

A plan is quickly formulated. Andriel insists that they can not stay at the settlement any longer. The Drelnoch will return. It is no longer safe. The group then agree to leave immediately, heading to the stone circle to the east. Here Andriel will be able to tend to the wounded. After trekking to the stone circle, with Reollo needing to be carried on The Silver Horse. Sirath then offers to ride to the coast and meet the boat that has been sent to meet them. Andriel states that she now intends to take all the freed slaves with them back to New Ilthium. There is some discussion about the impracticality of this idea, but Andriel wins out in the end appealing to the decency in the heroes.

In all the boat made two round trips to transport them all to Talgyn’s End and it is just past dusk when all are ashore. Andriel meets a contact as arranged and turns to the heroes explaining that she now plans to take the freed slaves and Alandra to Elves’ Landing as soon as possible.

The heroes at last back on New Ilthium are left standing on the docks in Talgyn’s End as Andriel and her wards disappear in varying directions into the growing dark, with a promise from Andriel and Allandra to meet in the morning at the Pike and Whale tavern.

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Down Time at the Settlement
The choosen are few...

30th day of 1st Nimos Second Epoch 2150

During the time spent training Robeor looks over the items that Lucky picked up. He shows surprise in the dice. A keen interest. Asking permission if he may hold them. As he touches them a flicker of recognition passes over his face and look of plain concern follows. He turns to Lucky and says “You know what these are? Of course you don’t. They are named The Silver Gambit, they are ancient and powerful. They in a way embody the creational forces of the battle but in unpredictable ways. How they were made I have no idea, but the Ulutian Empire certainly knew. Summoning the power of these… oh they are active as well.” He promptly hands them back as if bitten. He goes on to explain that the Silver Gambit are used by the will of the wielder. That is if the wielder’s will is strong enough it is able to shape more over a more positive result.

Lucky indicates to Robeor that he does not understand what he means. Robeor says that the primal force in the Silver Gambit taps into the wielder urgent or present need and desire. If the wielder’s will is strong enough then it may bring about an unexpected bounty of good returns. If the wielder’s will is not strong enough then something highly undesirable maybe even catastrophic may occur. Robeor agrees that luck has some ability to control the power involved also he continues “Other than that, you would be nothing short of insane to rely on them in any good measure.” Robeor concludes.

Robeor also mentions that the surcoat that Lucky picked up has the markings of Findalus a mage that specialised in magical clothing. Looking it over and feeling the thread Robeor states that he is certain that this is a coat of weapon turning. He mentions there may be more to the coat than on an initial inspection as there may be a shadow of something else there. He will look into it further.

15th day of 2nd Nimos Second Epoch 2150
Norhtal finds himself standing in the forest somewhere near the settlement, concentrating for a moment clearing his head, he looks up at the sky through the branches above and realizes he is some two hours east of where he went to sleep. Shaking his head he tries to puzzle out how he got to where he was and then he remembers the dream. The next thing he realises just how cold he is, the steam from his breath billowing out.

Out of the woods ahead, he thinks, Norhtal hears singing a otherworldly, ethereal singing. Such beauty could not possibly be human. Checking himself over he realizes that he has no weapons and mostly no clothes on and without he yellow hat. Not conscious of himself, but feeling somewhat defenseless, he starts to chew his finger nails.

The singing continues, swelling and rising on the winds. This time it is hard to not notice, hard to resist. Norhtal grits his teeth, shakes off the feeling and steps forward crouching slightly, shifting into walking as silently as possible.

Another twenty yards he pauses as he comes to the edge of a small clearing made by a recent tree fall and crouches down in the deep shadow. There on the other side, barely more than twelve strides away sitting on the upper parts of the fallen great tree, a shimmering beauty with a voice to match. The song full of sadness. Clearly sung for the tree, the giant it is that has fallen. Norhtal waits for a long time until the song is ended, stopping as it does leaves him a little shocked and he gasps a little. The noise enough to turn the head of the woman and she rises, perceiving Norhtal.

She is not alarmed beyond initial shock and go to leave. Norhtal stands and stutters out “W-w-w-wait.” She stops, turning and smiles slightly, the moon light glistening off her dusky skin. “Yes.” she replies, the sound of the sighing wind through trees, of dew drops falling. A feeling of deep earth and sun light warmed wood creeps over Norhtal at the sound. “D-d-d-don’t s-stop, itwasbeautiful” says Norhtal with the last words coming out in a rush. The woman raises an eyebrow, above the darkest brown eyes, shakes her head little and says “No that song is sung, the great life giver, the song was his and his and he is gone.” as she motions to the tree. “Oh” mumbles Norhtal disappointed, his shoulders slumping slightly.

She turns to go again. “I-I-I think Ryrmarchim sent me to you.” Norhtal blurts out. She stops, turning only partially towards Norhtal. “You may think that, I do not. Go back to your mortal life and leave me be.” she states flatly, stepping into the edge of the trees. “Please help me, I have been sent,” his desperation momentarily wiping out his stutter. Nothing but silence.

19th day of 2nd Nimos Second Epoch 2151
For the last four day Norhtal has camped out in the tree fall clearing after returning to the settlement to better equip himself. he has been waiting for the woman to return. Sadly he has not seen her nor heard her. As dusk starts to fall Norhtal again hears the singing, but this time it is a different songs, a much more compelling one, one that this time he cannot resist. Drawn by the sound into the forest, entranced by the sound, stumbling on feet that no longer seem to be his own. Through thickets, briars and brambles. Scratched and bloodied Norhtal stumbles into a larger clearing, in its centre a tall branching birch, standing before it the woman her slivery green hair swaying gently in the breeze. Standing beside her two very large silver backed wolves. Norhtal stumbles and falls to his knees before her, she opens her mouth and her voice is sharp “Why do you persist in this? You will cause yourself harm if you stay, I will not be responsible for it. Tell me the truth.” Compelled by a force stronger than he has known before Norhtal rasps out the answer, “Ryrmarchim has chosen you to pass on her blessing.”

A sense of unease and uncertainty washes over the clearing, the wolves whimper a little.

“Show me,” she says and he hands grasp Norhtal’s head, tendrils sprout from her finger tips and burrow into his skull. Norhtal’s eyes roll back into his head as his body goes into a seizure, shaking but held firm as the woman closes her eyes. Norhtal inside his mind not only sees his dreams replayed over and over again, but the length of his time with Lucky, Sirath, Reollo and Tiberius also. For an age it seems, certain parts that seemed trivial are looped over and over again. He then collapses as she lets go, their breath is labored as if from exertion . “Your mind holds many mysteries to me, much I do not understand. Mortal life make no sense. But one thing I can see clear is that the Lady wishes you to be blessed, you are chosen.

With that she turns to the great birch and reaches inside it, withdrawing an ampoule. There are some muttered words, a shining light from inside its crystalline shape. The woman then cracks the ampoule open over Northal’s mouth and commands him to drink as she intones some deep, deep words that can be barely registered and audible to the human ear. Norhtal convulses once and is then still.

20th day of 2nd Nimos Second Epoch 2151
At dawn Norhtal awakes. The woman and the wolves are nowhere to be seen. A whisper sound as the breeze blows through the leaves of the birch, “It is done, leave, do not return.”

23rd day of 2nd Nimos Second Epoch 2151
As the weather starts to change and deepest Nimos is waning Lucky receives another dream.

Lucky finds Andriel in the main hall with some of the younger children, as he approaches she lifts her head to look at him and smiles. As he explains to her what he has seen in his dreams and what Adaru has said a small frown creases her brow. She stands and wipes her hands on her skirts. “I can help,” she says “if that’s what Adaru and yourself want. The Ascendants and the elves have a strange relationship. The Ascendants only came out of the mortal people of V’harn. We have no claim on any of them and seeing as many of us are actually older than them, few of us are stronger than them in someways, we see each other as more or less equal in the grand scheme of things. Yes I will help, Adaru means much to us as she is from us through her mother.” She then tells Lucky to stay there and she leaves the main hall. Returning a short while later with a back pack. “Any questions before we go?” she says. Lucky asks whether he needs to bring anything. She says “No, we will only be gone for part of the day. Maybe your weapons just to be sure. We cannot be certain all the Hobs have gone and there are other things about that could be dangerous if startled. I am sure we will be okay though.”

With that she sets a demanding pace, east away from the settlement. Clearly her wood craft is much better than Lucky’s and she moves with ease and grace through the forest and underbrush. After about 2 hours of hiking Lucky starts to feel a stirring that he has not felt for the whole of the deepest Nimos. His Ilth blood is awakening. Andriel stops and says to him “We are close to a place of power, you may feel it. It is just through those trees pointing east. You go first.” Lucky nods and moves forward.

As he moves through the trees he realises that they thin out just ahead, off to either side of him are what appear to be standing stones, the sound of running water also meets your ears. Andriel steps up behind him and in a low voice says “This is place of in-betweens, the edge of the forest, the flowing of water through land, surrounded by a standing circle."

Luck feels the hairs on his arms stand on end, just like before a tremendous lightning storm. Small insects are flying around the circle, as he looks closer he realises that they are tiny winged humanlike creatures, glowing with an inner light. Andriel steps past and starts to unpack her back pack. Over the next 30 minutes she paces out the circle with a number of branches she has collected sprinkling the stones from a variety of concoctions, chanting under her breath.

At the 6th hour she stops and comes over to Lucky and asks “Are you ready, any questions?” Luck indicates he has no questions.

Andriel has Lucky stand on a rock in the middle of the stream and then paces clockwise around him chanting, splashing him with the branches ladened with water from the stream. As she does this it is as if a veil is taken from Lucky’s eyes and before him stands Adaru. Lucky can still see Andriel vaguely in the background however.

Adaru says "My sphere of influence is much harder to reach through; it is luck after all, which is capricious. Not like war or battle where blood shedding is enough to bring about a blessing. Lucky will you serve my interest in V’harn?” Lucky states that he will. With that she reaches out and touches his chest with her hand and starts to pull out long strands of silver, liquid fire. It is a curious tugging sensation for Lucky. Slowly the colour changes from silver to gold and the incessant buzzing in his veins dies down and stops. He also notices that on the palm of his right hand is now a gold, shimmering brand. The symbol for Adaru. The vision fades and Lucky finds himself return fully to the standing circle. Andriel is standing before him. “That was interesting” she says “Let’s go back to the settlement.”

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Session 19
Ahhh we found you. Now I'm going home... What? There's more?

22nd day of 1st Nimos Second Epoch 2150

A whithered and skeletal figure faces off against Reollo down a corridor having appeared in a blur of motion and thrown a spear at him, which he parried, the spear then appearing back in the creature’s hand.

All of a sudden everything happens at once. Sirath, already standing at the door way in order to back Reollo up, moves into the corridor. As he does so a wave of terror floods over him, fighting it down he moves into position next to Reollo. Reollo starts to move down towards the undead creature and as he does this, in another blur of motion, it seemingly appears in front of Reollo. Lucky then runs to the door way that Sirath has just stepped out of as Norhtal, choosing not to get caught up behind Lucky, Norhtal runs at speed to another door out of the room, heading through that adjoining room. Tiberius moves towards the door way where Lucky is.

The undead creature stabs out twice with its spear with lightning fast jabs, catching Reollo across his barely healed ribs undoing all the good work the healing draught had done just a short time before. In desperation he lashes out connecting with both of his weapons and the creature barely takes notice. Sirath moves in and strikes hard out at it. One moment it seemed he was going to land the blow, the next the creature was no longer where he expected it to be; then it was inside his strike range trying to impale him. Sirath blocking with great determination and batting sideways with his shield. With such force that it knocks the spear out of the hand of its wielder, clattering to the floor. Lucky in the midst of this gains the corridor and in doing so struggles with a torrent of sheer terror, shaking it off he moves forward, with Tiberius not far behind who barely blinks at the fear feelings inspired by the creatures. Tiberius then fires a bolt at the creature which bounces of the ceiling and shatters. Norhtal has by now made his way through the adjacent room and gains the corridor further up than Lucky and Tiberius. As he does he sinks to his knees as though winded by the raging fear flying at him.

The undead creature lunges for the spear as Reollo lashes out again, this time sending chunks of armour and bone flying. Sirath follows up with his own huge swing, Earth Cleaver biting down through the scale mail it is wearing slicing down through the torso and becoming embedded just before exiting the other side. The creature immediately becomes inert and slides off Sirath’s sword. Reollo struggling to stay standing moves to the once again lifeless creature and beheads it and crushes its skull under his boot.

Shortly after Norhtal regains his feet and goes back into the room full of children, collapses in a corner in exhaustion. Tiberius goes over to the fallen spear and picks it up without hesitation. There is brief battle to control the rage to kill everyone in sight and then it calms and dissipates.

Andriel settles the children and as Reollo is debating whether to access the last healing draught. Andreil then approaches the heroes and explains that she can heal their wounds. They agree. Tiberius quite interested watches intently as before now he has seen no sign that Andriel can use the flow. He has seen no silver aura to indicate such, despite her claims that she was exiled for being an aberrant user of magic. Andriel quiets herself, laying hands on Reollo, she breathes out and suddenly to Tiberius’ eyes inwardly a bright golden flash stabs out and stays burning fiercely. Andriel in turns heals each hero as required all the while the flow invisible to anyone but Tiberius burns. Then once finished it dims then disappears altogether and she seems as before.

After this everyone settles down for the night and sleep the sleep of the dead.

23nd day of 1st Nimos Second Epoch 2150

A flurry of activity in the morning and a few meager things are collected together as everyone, besides the three naked people, are leaving. Filing out of the straw covered room they spent the night, past the shattered remains of the undead creature. Tiberius pauses for a moment and realizes what no one else seems to have seen. The bones are less shattered than they were the night before; he however keeps this to himself, encouraging everyone else to keep moving.

As the now sizable group comes to exit the tower the heroes take point and move out into the tumble down courtyard. They across the court yard in the swiftly rising sun looms a large figure with its back to them. Reollo cautiously assesses the situation. The figure seems human but of huge proportions and lacking clothes. Sensing that the thing held no malice Reollo attempts to talk to it. At the sound of Reollo’s voice it turns around to face them. It face heavy ridged and stony looking, deep set eyes peering out, it speaks in a slow deep voice. “Come follow now” as is moves off trudging along. Reollo yells at it to stop and starts trying to ask it a question. It just repeats its three word statement and starts off again. At that moment Andriel appears and says
“Ah there is Robeor’s golem. It will lead us to the settlement and protects us as we go.”
Reollo wonders out loud why it could not have come in a helped out earlier.

Travelling south they reach the settlement at the end of a very long day. Tiberius is aware that as he watches Lucky, the flaming silver colour that seems to leak out of his very essence that indicates his barely controlled Ilth blood, slowly wanes until there is just a dull sparkle left. By the time they reach the forest not even that is evident.

Just before dusk the travelers approach a small and falling down, walled village; their destination. The front entry way showing numerous Hob bones set about, likely as warning to any intruders. As they work their way through the buildings under Andriel’s guidance she leaves the children and the adult freed slaves in a mostly well maintained hall. She then asks the heroes to follow her to the tower that can be seen rises three stories above the ground floor buildings that populate the rest of the village. In the small court yard in front of the tower the golem stands motionless as if it had never left, scattered around it are a number of Hob and wolf bodies, relatively fresh kills.

Then from the dark framed door at the base of the tower comes a deep resonant voice.
“Ah my dear, you have arrived at last. It has been a long time has it not.”
The tall man standing there has wispy white hair a full beard and a gleam in his eye that betrays more about his character than a hundred questions could attain. Tiberius notices that from within him shines a very dim silver light as if a lantern is being shone from a great distance.
“Yes Robeor I have returned home.” Andriel replies, moving to his side and leaning into him slightly.

Robeor then turns his attentions to the party and smiles. Reollo speaks up and says “who are you?”
He replies, “I am Robeor Aedailis the Magi Prime of New Ilthium, disposed by Beldrin. I am also your great uncle and his too.” pointing at Sirath, Indicating back to Reollo he continues “You look remarkably like my brother and him like my sister, which is not saying much for her or him. Oh how I miss them.” Reollo and Sirath are somewhat stunned by the revelation. Robeor eyes them all intently and says “Come let us go to the main hall where the others are and we will feast on such as we have and we shall talk some more.”

There is a flurry of activity and what little there is shared out amongst the gathered group. Robeor states that there is not enough in the settlement to keep everyone sustained for the rest of deep Nimos as it fast approaches. Andriel says that there were crates of food stuffs at the tower, the meal and dried meat used to sustain the freed slaves. Robeor agrees this is the best plan and indicates the golem will retrieve what is needed. A moment later the golem trudges past. Tiberius realising that the golem is likely to encounter the regenerated undead creature. Robeor asks a few questions of Andriel and then says that it was likely a revenant, that they are as different from each other as the people that spawn them. The creature will regenerate and come for them for disturbing its rest and taking its treasure. Reollo asked how do they get rid of it then? Robeor said that all depends some need to be destroyed by fire, other magic does it, they are all different. Reollo then said so what do we have to do take a bone to stop it from regenerating? Robeor then thinks for a moment and says there may be something to that, the golem will take care of it.

Just as the turn of conversation topics starts around to other things Robeor says “I believe there is one more person you have yet to welcome”, indicating towards the door way. All eyes lift to see a small figure standing with her hand upon the door frames, blind eyes staring sightlessly into the room. Before anyone can breathe Norhtal is out of his seat and across the room shouting “Allandra, Allandra.” falling to his knees and gently but fiercely hugging her. A range of reactions ensues from the others disbelief, confusion and emotions held in reserve. The children hold no such adult concepts and pour themselves over Allandra touching her and speaking all at once and she returns the warmth and love that they so obviously have for her.

As the meager meal is finished and the children start to settle, as the hearth is stirred and the talk turns to other serious matters. Darkness has well and truly settled across the island. Robeor asks Reollo and the rest what their plans are, now that they have found what they have been looking for. Reollo clearly indicates that they will find a way off the island and go home taking Allandra with them. Allandra speaks up and says that there is more to be done. She explains that when she lost her sight, when it was burned out with a hot iron by the Hob king, she had never felt so much pain. That night sinking deeper and deeper into despair a loving, caring woman came to her, a motherly Halfling woman. She told Allandra that all would be well that the chosen would come and they would bring about a great restoration. Allandra said that when she awoke the next morning the pain was gone and she began to have vision, her inner sight had awoken. Tiberius realizes that on the back of Allandra’s left hand is the symbol of Kagmara. Allandra goes onto say to her oldest friends that they are the chosen, she has foreseen it.

Reollo expresses his disinterest in such things. Robeor cuts him off and the launches into a story. During the waning years of the Ilthium Empire the Magi were distant from the realm, caught up in their own lust for magical exploration and discovery. The Cabal of the Black Sun were retained to deal with the nuisance of the Gaelraith wizards and unbeknownst to the Magi they had uncovered an ancient artifact that was rift generator. With this rift generator they opened the way to the nine planes of desolation and called forth Gargash. The rift generator was made of three components. The Altar of Darkness, which was the power source. The Blade of Darkness which was a black rod about 18” in length which was designed to be inserted down through the Heart of Darkness into the altar. The Heart of Darkness itself existed as four pieces. It was a black 8” cube. When Gargash was defeated trusted members of the Magi were given a piece each and they brought those pieces into exile with them. Robeor goes onto to say that be believes that Beldrin has for some reason started to try and collect the pieces and he may already have a piece. Likewise he is aware that the Hollow man is searching for them. Robeor says that he already has a piece hidden in a pocket dimension in the Magi tower in Fallsea. Beldrin knows its there, he just cannot get to it. Robeor admits however this piece is at risk as part of the safe keeping he magically endowed another branch of his family, the Naemirunds, without their knowing. The endowment was the means to access the dimensional pocket and was passed down through the youngest member of the family. A secret that has been kept safe for 250 years. As the pieces all start to fit together for the heroes they tell Robeor that his secret was no longer safe and they explain their story so far.

Robeor after hearing this exclaims that things are far worse than he had thought and asks that Reollo and the others consider searching for the other pieces. He outlines that he has discovered that there are two pieces to be found in the southern part of New Ilthium. One is in a tower in the middle of Narl’s Deep, raised by a Magi who fell to the Darkness. The other Robeor claims he has only recently deduced where it is. In the Brae burial mound of Talgaleth. Reollo asks Robeor why he has not sent someone else to collect them or gone himself. Robeor looks sternly at Reollo shakes his head slightly and says to them all. “I am not here as a meek exile, chained and bound, sent to die. I chose to leave New Ilthium. Such was Beldrin’s fervor to control the world around him to confine the flow to a few. No man could force me to do what I do not wish, but for the good of New Ilthium I chose to come here, otherwise we would have been devastated by civil war. To think my apprentice has done this to me.” Robeor goes onto explain that when the Magi went to deal with Narl at the tower he came out meekly confessed his foolishness, but none could go inside. There was a barrier obstructing entry. Robeor then says that he believes that as Allandra’s chosen there may be something about the Ascendant’s power that will allow them to breach the barrier.

By now it is late, very late. Reollo says that they will sleep on it and think some more, but in the morning they start to look for a way off the island. Robeor says “Look all you want, no one will be coming at least until 2nd Nimos is over and 3rd Nimos brings some thawing on New Ilthium itself. Oranus is protected by the shallow sea and has no mountains to carry the cold. But the mainland will be closed for the deepest of Nimos. We have much time to talk and think and to learn."

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Session 18
Honestly they can't be as stupid as that, Ooooh look shiny stuff.

22nd day of 1st Nimos Second Epoch 2150

The heroes find themselves at the top of a set of stairs heading down to the lower level of Hob Tower. At the bottom can be seen clearly two bugbears that guard the way. It is certain that the two bugbears know that the intruders are there, but they seem to be so well disciplined that they make no move to attack them.

The heroes confer for a moment then agree to just attack. Reollo and Sirath charge down the stairs to engage the guards. In the flurry of attack and defend the bugbears yell out “Intruders, help, intruders.” In the next few moments Reollo and Sirath can see from the corners of their eyes movement coming from both north and south. Reollo is able to lash out with his sword wounding the bugbear he faces, however missing with his ax. The bugbear in return savagely slashes Reollo down his arm and into his hip. Reollo staggers a bit under the hit. Sirath engaged in a deadly duel of his own struggles to land a blow, although bugbear he faces also fares the same.

Meanwhile Lucky, Tiberius and Norhtal find themselves blocked off from the action due to the narrowness of the stairs and that Reollo and Sirath stand in the way at the bottom. Tiberius throws caution to the wind completely and decides to shoot one of the bugbears with his crossbow. The shot goes awry slamming into the ceiling and shattering the bolt.

By now the movement on the edge of Reollo and Sirath’s vision has solidified. Coming down the corridor from the north closest to Sirath are two wolves and a goblin, approaching from the south a large hobgoblin, which moves into position to join the attack on Reollo.

Lucky and Tiberius work together to arm themselves with torches that they can use as an offensive weapon as fire has worked well against the wolves they faced before.

Reollo lashes out with Bloodletter taking down the bugbear he was facing. The hobgoblin taking the opportunity to thrust, deeply wounding Reollo, send him reeling. A wolf then moves into position to attack Reollo as well. Sirath realising that Reollo has been badly wounded loses control of his inner rage and promptly carves his foe in two with Earthcleaver.

Norhtal frustrated with his inability to join the fray moves around Lucky and Tiberius, runs down the stairs and attempts to dive between the figures of Sirath and Reollo to attack the wolf facing up to Reollo. Despite his bravery Norhtal clips the low ceiling and flies head first into wall adjacent wall and finds himself crumpled in a heap, dazed on the floor before the said wolf with blood trickling from his scalp. Norhtal attempts to scramble to his hands and knees. The wolf snaps at Norhtal connecting, but his armour and Norhtal moving slightly away from it dulls its attack.

Sirath steps out into the corridor a little and blocks the attack of the other wolf. Counter attacking he beheads the beast.

Lucky now with a lit torch jumps into the already crowded space and attempts to set wolf on fire, with partial success singing the animal. The goblin ducking around Sirath lunges at Lucky, stabbing out with its cruel long knife. Lucky counter attacks ramming Zephyr up through its jaw into its skull.

Meanwhile Reollo is in a desperate state, he miss judges a strike at the hobgoblin and over balances. The hobgoblin in a follow up attack already committed to the strike to Reollo and finds that he is not where it thought he was, missing him completely.

Not liking the reeking breath of the wolf trying to gnaw his face off Norhtal takes a swipe at the beast with his hatchet, connecting with a grazing shot. It being enough put it off balance and Lucky stabs it through the back of the neck ending its life.

Reollo recovers and brings to bear both his sword and ax, laying waste to the hobgoblin then sagging against the wall for a moment to catch his breath.

In the diminishing clatter of battle echoing down the corridor from the south can be heard sound of children crying and talking.

The party moves off down the corridor south and comes to a corridor heading west. The noises appear to be coming from that direction. Following the sound they first come to a corridor heading north again. Whilst not the way the children sounds are coming from they decide to check it out. After a short passage way they find three people. One man and two women, naked, behind an unlocked metal lattice door. Reollo and Tiberius attempt to engage them in conversation, telling them that they are free, that they can clothe themselves and they can leave. The trio just blankly stare, seemingly not comprehending. They try again in the Ilth/Hob pidgeon language they used upstairs. Still no reaction. Confused by this the heroes decide to seek out where the children noises are coming from.

Coming to where the sounds are coming from the heroes enter a large room that has hay scattered around on the floor. Throughout the room there are about a 12 children of varying ages, ranging from about 6 months to 12 years old. All noise stops as they enter and tiny eyes focus on them. Then from a side room enters a young girl with flaming red hair. She has a baby on her hip. She walks up to Reollo takes him by the hand and says in a curiously accented voice “You are here, we need to leave now.” Reollo assures the girl that their captors are all dead there are none left, all the children and the other surviving slaves are free. She visibly relaxes at this assurance.

It is then that it slowly dawns on the heroes that the young girl is in fact not a girl and likely not so young as they thought; as they can see her pointed ears showing through her hair.
What takes place next is a flurry of questions by the party of the elf. She introduces herself as Andriel. She explains that she has been on the island as an exile for some 25 years. For some of that time she lived in the settlement on the south of the island where others like her lived in a huddled community. This community referred to as the settlement she last knew had two remaining members Robeor and Denneth. Andriel was asked how she came to be in the tower. She told them that she was captured by the Hobs during a raid on the settlement, she has stayed voluntarily to help the children as much as she could. Reollo asked her if she knew Allandra? Andriel said she did and Allandra had spoken about them coming, she had forseen it. Andriel explained that after the Hob king blinded Allandra to stop her from leaving she started having visions. Her inner sight was awakened. Andriel said that she suspected that when Allandra left she would have made her way to the settlement and Robeor. Robeor would still be there at least.

This lead to the obvious question of who is Robeor? Andriel smiled and said that she would allow Robeor answer that for himself.

Tiberius asked Andriel how she came to the island? Andriel said that she was exiled by the Magi for being a user of illegal magics. Andriel also said that she had been set up by the leader of the Black Circle in Fallsea. Tiberius asked who that was? Andriel said that at the time is was Andelin. The heroes were not now overly surprised at this after what they had discovered upstairs.

Reollo wanted to know why the Hobs kept slaves and bred them. Andriel said that not everywhere in V’harn was slavery frown upon and outlawed. These Hobs bred slaves to be sold into the markets of Tranth. Reollo asked why the Hobs wanted money? Andriel laughed and said it was plain greed, nothing more nothing less a valuable income for the Black Circle.

Tiberius asked Andriel if she knew much about magical items? She said that was not her area of expertise, but Robeor would know such things.

The heoroes then discussed with Andriel how to leave the tower and indeed the island itself. Andriel said that there were only two ways off the island. Over the sea or under the ground. Andriel explained that within this lower level of the tower there was a deep road entrance.
After their discussion with Andriel she showed them the entrance to the tunnel that she spoke about. At the end of the long main corridor that the heroes first entered this level on, all the way north. The hole is some five feet in diameter. Sirath is not impressed with the quality of work. The stone is gouged and battered into a rough open, staring down into the blackest of black. Andriel tells them that this is the entrance to the deep roads, the underworld. A place where things best left unnamed wander. Of course many of the elemental beings of earth and fire travel these by ways as well, there are many secret and unknown war with the Darkness down that way.

There was some discussion about what needs to be done in regards to the opening into the underworld. It is suggested that as they have no way off the island then maybe they could use it to get back to New Ilthium. Andriel cautioned against this. The alternative was to seal it up, but they are uncertain as to how to do this. Sirath suggests that if he has a decent supply of stone he could do so, but it would likely not slow anything down for long and would take some time to do. Deciding to rest on it they turn to go when Norhtal after staring at the wall facing east next to them for sometime realizes that cunningly worked into it is a near perfectly concealed door. Everyone else had missed it entirely it seems, even the residents of the tower.
It takes both Sirath and Tiberius sometime to discover the mechanism and then a few moments to sort out how it works. The door slides in wards without a sound drawing in after it a in rush of fresher air.

Entering the next room they give it a quick scan and see there is nothing of interest or value. A narrow passage way heads south, heading down it they realize that they can see light coming from the next room. Cautiously entering they find what was certain to be the treasury room of the original inhabitants before the Hobs came to stay. In the diagonal south east corner on a pedestal appears to be a bottle with a flame in it. From the light and shadows that it casts off the party can see a number of pieces of furniture finely wrought. The most notable amongst them are an enameled dresser, a chest and a number of smaller boxes. By the chest however is the thing that draws the most attention is a figure slumped on the floor against the wall. In life the figure would have been a large man, in death it is a shrunken parody of its former self. Wearing scale mail and shining helm, it is pin-cushioned with numerous arrows. Still clasped in its right hand is a spear of un-dulled quality, by the left hand a well honed short sword.

They cautiously look around the room after inspecting the corpse on the floor. Wizened but not rotted it is relatively well preserved. Lucky decided that if the man is dead he no longer has use for his spear and picks it up. Lucky is seized by a near uncontrollable rage as he touches it. Barely able to control an insatiable to plunge the spear into anyone close to him, he tosses it aside and warns the others to not touch it. Norhtal claims the short sword after some apprehension without any negative effects. Sirath debates on taking the helm with himself, somewhat sickened by the thought it is coming off a dead man. Overcoming this thought he takes it cleans it up and puts it on. All of a sudden Sirath is aware of a new world of possibility and is thinking things that have been previously beyond his reach. Reollo searches through one of the smaller boxes and finds a bowl and with it a white stone. Tiberius offers to look it over. He senses that it is magically and engraved around the outside rim in Brae is the phrase “Where the stone goes, the bowl can see.”

Lucky then looks through the dresser. He finds a black surcoat. Thinking that it is a great addition to he previously received clothes from G’zakthanx. Lucky dons it without further thought.

Tiberius finds for himself in the chest some impractical amounts of coins. He however also finds small number of cut gems. Some blue topazs and yellow quartz. Semi precious for certain but more light weight than their equal worth in coin.

The back track their way out of the treasure rooms and in form Andriel who had been wait what they had found. They offer to get some of the coins for her and the slaves to take with them. Andriel refuses and says that she has no need for such things and the slaves have no concept of it. Sirath then strikes on the idea that by using Earth Cleaver he can close off the hole into the underworld by creating earth then turning it to stone. Over the course of an hour he is able to seal the opening with enough certainty that it would take some time for anything to get through.

The party then discuss what to do with the rest of the day. They come to an agreement that to leave the tower it would be difficult to find shelter for all the people that they have now accrued and feel responsible for. So for the rest of the day they decide to rest in the children’s room and to hole up for the night having retrieved the slaves from upstairs and made another attempt to communicate with the three naked slaves in the lowest level again without success.

Reollo decides that he needs to tend his wounds with the half a flask of healing draught that Lucky was carrying. It serves his needs, but not completely and his wounds still trouble him to a degree, still weak from the previous battle.

On dusk as everyone was settling in a scream more felt than heard struck through everyone present. At best guess the sound came from the direction of the hole into the underworld and the secret treasure room. Reollo taking the lead stepped out into the corridor to check if there was any concern or movement. In blur of movement at the end of the corridor some 25’ away appeared the figure that was previous thought dead and was left slumped against the wall in the treasury. In its hand the spear that had been tossed aside. A wave of terror hits Reollo and he struggles to subdue the overwhelming, body shaking feeling of dread. The withered figure in another blur of movement throws the spear at Reollo who parries it out of the way. The spear re-appearing in the creature’s hand.

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Session 17
Now to turn the tables and you speakie my language?

22nd day of 1st Nimos Second Epoch 2150

Finding themselves back downstairs in the entry hall, the party decided to check the door in the west wall at the south corner. Opening the door they found themselves on landing of sorts. Straight in front of them a flight of stairs heading down. At the bottom of them they could make out what appeared to be two bugbears standing guard. To their immediate right (north) another door closed. Backing out they discuss what their options are and agree that they will search the ground floor fully before moving onto the subterranean level.

The door in the north wall in the western corner is all that is left. They open this door finding themselves in room, long and narrow, with a large fireplace in the western wall, a door opposite it.

They approach the eastern door and can hear a raucous noise issuing from the other side. Lucky opening the door and sees a mess hall of sort, three large tables and a lot of bugbears eating. About ten in total. Fortunately they are distracted and fail to notice anything amiss. Lucky closes the door and the party quickly formulates a plan of attack involving charging in and upturning the tables. This works surprisingly well. The bugbears are mostly surprised by the intrusion, some of them finding themselves trapped by the over turned tables. It is a few long moments before they can recover and react at all. By the time they do, most of them have been slaughtered, with four remaining. These last four present some difficulty as Sirath faces off against two alone, one which has been grievously injured the other closing in and attacking. Tiberius finds himself in a contest of strength against one bugbear that he has successfully looped a garrote over its neck. The bugbear successfully wrests itself free to end up with a war hatchet stuck in its neck as Norhtal finishes off the bugbears he was facing off against. Reollo having mowed his way through several bugbears himself steps in to assist Lucky with the last beast he has engaged. Sirath by this time has dispatched the wounded bugbear and blocks the attack of the other and returns attack eviscerating it. Lucky and Reollo leave a bloody mess of the last bugbear.

Taking stock of their surrounding properly they find that there are two doors one in the north wall, north west corner, and the other door in the eastern wall, in the south eastern corner. Choosing the eastern door they find themselves in a store room. Checking the boxes in the room as they had upstairs reconfirms that they have the factor marks of Andelin.
From there travelling north into a corridor the branched left and right, leading left coming to another door. Upon opening this door they find a barracks. This barracks however had the ceiling falling in due to fire that the party had set upstairs to destroy the shaman’s alter. Sirath takes a quick look and assesses that fire was likely to have a limited spread and would be contained to that corner of the keep. They back out and go down the left branch of the corridor they had just come down.

Opening the door at the end of this corridor they find an empty barracks. Moving through this room they check the door to the south which opens onto the mess hall, then onto and through the door in the west. This door opens into what appears to be a kitchen. There are two large hobs surrounded by the bodies of ten dead slaves. Being only armed with knives the party takes little time to dismember them. Two doors in the western wall. Taking the northern door they find another storeroom. It has a door right next to the one they came through. This opens out into a long corridor. It turns south and ends with a door in the eastern wall. This door opens into the room on fire. Retracing their steps back to the kitchen they open the remaining door to find what appears to be a slave quarter. There are eight slaves, living, huddled in a corner.

Reollo and Tiberius attempt to talk to them and after period of long painful stops and starts a patchy pidgin of Ilth and gob is sorted out. It becomes apparent that these people are conditioned as slaves, they know nothing else. They act subservient to everyone. During the course of the “conversation” the party realise that the slaves are talking about Allandra. The slaves indicate that Allandra told them that “the chosen” would come and now they were there.

Somewhat nonplussed by this the party of “the chosen” reassess what their next steps might be. They decide to check the other door leading out of the slave quarters. This is a storeroom. But in this storeroom is a secret door. Lucky sets about trying to find a catch using a knife to follow the edge of the door. At that moment the secret door wings open on its centre access and facing the party is a group of seven bugbears.

Reollo steps into the gap on one side of the central swinging door, Lucky already ensconced in the other side. The fit is a tight squeeze and Reollo finds himself wounded from a number of atacks bad enough the Sirath has to strongly control himself from going berserk. Norhtal backs his way out of the room back to where the slaves are, once he realizes what is happening Tiberius attempting to do the same. Lucky makes some head way into the room, killing one of the bugbears, as Reollo despite his wounds he takes down another. That was all Sirath needed to squeeze through and lay waste to another bugbear. Reollo move out of combat and Norhtal takes care of his wounds as Sirath and Lucky bail up the remaining four bugbears. Strikes and counter strikes are exchanged and Reollo and Norhtal are able to move into combat to even up the odds. Tiberius waiting for shots of opportunity. Just as they have dispatched the last bugbear a door at the other end of the room opens and through steps a very large bugbear in banded metal and leather armour carrying a mace and shield. Lucky and Sirath attack as one and find it not an easy foe. Through and number of strikes and counter strikes they all come out with minor wounds. Sirath finally cleaves mightly down opening up the beast with Lucky following up with a devastating upwards strike through the bugbear’s skull.

Searching the room where the armoured bugbear came from they find the armoury. There are no weapons worth while taking.

Exiting through the other door in the southern wall of the barracks they find themselves look down the flight of stairs head down to the lower level.

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Session 16
Mushrooms for entrée, followed by Flambé Hob

22nd day of 1st Nimos Second Epoch 2150

After taking stock of themselves from the bloody but brief battle, the party chooses the westward door where the bugbears entered. From there they move quickly from that room a 15’ by 25’ guard room through a westward door ignoring the northern door. They come into a barracks with a set of four bunks. Tiberius tosses the beds quickly finding only a few bits. They then ignore the northern door moving to the eastern door. When they open that door immediately to their left is a northern door, closed. Lucky braves the door opens it and finds that he is faced by a well equipped group of four hobs standing behind floor to ceiling barricades set diagonally across the room pointing to each other to form a choke point. Through the choke point and the view slits Lucky can see the hobs ready to pierce anyone foolish enough to charge the 5’ gap with their spears.

Lucky steps back and the party take stock of their options. Tiberius makes a quick decision and pulls out his vial of glowing mushroom he found in Hob’s Nest. He hands it to Norhtal and tells him to throw it into the room. Norhtal understanding what needs to be done throws the vial with good accuracy into the hob’s midst and Lucky shuts to the room as the shards of the vial scatter across the floor. The party waits a few moments then Lucky opens the door again to see two of the hobs on their knees retching. The other two reeling somewhat. Lucky leads the charge into the room with Reollo and Sirath close behind. They make quick work of the two more aware hobs. Lucky barges the one closest to him putting it off balance and then sinking Zephyr up through its jaw into it skull. Reollo eviscerates the other standing hob with easy, whilst Sirath well enough dispatches one of the remaining retching hobs. The other has died during the scuffle in a short lived fit foaming at the mouth.

Behind them almost next to the door they have come through in the south wall is another door. In the middle of the eastern wall is a door. However it is the portcullis at the end of the room on the western door near the corner that attracts their attention. Approaching warily they see through the portcullis a large hob surrounded by four very large bugbears. At the back of the room there is a crude throne and a number of statues hug the walls. At any time any of the party attempts to get close to the portcullis the bugbears make to rush it with their weapons drawn. The party takes a moment to decide what to do, to work out the stale mate. Lucky asks Tiberius for one of his fiery oil flasks; lights it and with incredible luck throws it through the bars of the portcullis hitting the head hob squarely on the head. The splattering oil and sulfur mix catches on the bugbears closely surrounding the hob as well. Within moments after some screaming and a little frantic running around an acrid smoke pours from the room. All that can be heard is the crackle of flames.

Suddenly through the yet unopened southern door crashes a large misshapen man thing. Looking like the odds and ends of a dozen men and women it lurches forward. Reollo and Sirath having taken up a back guard position move to block its path using the choke point to keep it at bay. Behind it they can see another like creature trying to gain entry to the room. At that point from the room beyond, which they now recognise as the room where that fought the large combined group of hobs and bugbears comes a yelled phrase and Lucky and Tiberius fall asleep. Reollo and Sirath find out quickly that despite the large amount of damage being done to it the flesh abomination does not yield or fall. They dodge easily the lumbering attacks, their second round of attacks laid the creature open and it falls apart. Norhtal wakes both Lucky and Tiberius. Shaking off the grogginess of the spell they both stumble to their feet. The shaman in the other room yells another phrase and Sirath involuntarily drops Earth Cleaver, left with only his shield to defend himself. Tiberius tells Bright Eye Sharp Tooth to attack the shaman’s head. Bright Eye Sharp Tooth leaps through the view slits of the barricade into the other room and up the shaman’s body to land on its head scratching and clawing. The shaman in vain attempts to dislodge the furry streak of fury.

The other flesh abomination lumbers forward swinging at Sirath who blocks the attack. Sirath takes the risk to dodge down and retrieve Earthcleaver, whilst Reollo attacks the repulsive creature. Finally Reollo and Sirath make head way with the flesh abomination. The creature being hacked apart it falls apart. The shaman finally is able to dislodge Bright Eye Sharp Tooth from its head and flings him across the room, only to find that a number of weapons arcing in to end its life. Tiberius attends to Bright Eye Sharp Tooth, finding that he has a number of bruises and is quite lucky to have not broken his back in being flung across the room. He tells Tiberius that he hopes he needn’t do something like that again for a while at least.

Turning back their attention the portcullis Sirath bends his strength to try and raise it as they can not find any sign of a winch. He strains and successfully lifts it to a position where an unseen ratchet clicks into place. Another four times he strains and lifts it until it is well clear and the party are able to enter the throne room unhindered.

The air in the throne room is thicker than without. The stench of burnt flesh stronger. They set about searching the room. At first they find nothing and then notice that the head hob had separated itself from the bugbears and attempted to make its way towards the south-east corner. Here simultaneously Tiberius and Lucky find that there is a secret door cunningly hidden. A further search reveals that the arm of the statue next to it is in fact the lever to open it. Stepping through they find what seems to be a bed room with a round bed in the middle of it and several shelves around the walls. Tiberius turns his attention to the aged scrolls on the shelves. He immediately realizes that they are too far gone and any attempt to move them will cause them to crumble to dust. An intensive search of the room uncovers a secret compartment in one of the shelves. Within it there is a small horde of coins several hundred in total with copper bits being the primary coin. Tiberius fishes out the few gold crowns and the silver marks tosses back the bits. The others keeping an eye on him as he does.

The party the approaches the only doorway out of the room other than the one they entered by set in the north wall in the eastern corner. Steeling themselves they open the door to be faced by a scene of sheer brutality. Two young men and three young women bludgeoned to death, brain matter splattered across the room onto the straw sleeping pallet in the corner. Affected by what they have seen the party choose to take the door facing south standing next to the one they came through instead of the door in the west wall. Opening the south door they find themselves at the end of a very long corridor. They travel the length of it wary for traps; finding at the end what appears to be the not so secret side of a secret door facing west. They find the catch without effort and open the door into the guard room where Lucky first started the fight with the hobs on this level.

The party then decided to head through the north facing door that Lucky had barricaded with the table. In the next room and the room through the next northward door they finds crates. These crates on further inspection hold relatively common house hold goods, the like that would be normally traded in or out of New Ilthium. The party decides that this is a strange thing to have in a hob’s den. Further investigation reveals that on the bottom of the crates there is a factor house mark, one that Tiberius automatically recognises as the factor house mark of Andelin Nalis. Sticking this information away in their collective black book of things to deal with later they continue on. After searching another barracks room the party heads back to the room where they found the dead bodies of the young men and women.

Going through the westward door they find in the next room and the next westward room similar scenes of slaughter. Young men and women with their bodies battered and destroyed.

The only way to go again is westward, via two doors on offer. They choose the left hand door. Opening it and stepping into the room they discover a waking nightmare. In this room find three bodies laid out on stone slabs, flayed open. Skin and muscles peeled back down to the bone, nothing barely recognizable as human except the pale luminance of their skeletal structure. Blood everywhere, pooled into dark viscous puddles. In the western wall of the south-west corner is an open door way. Picking their way through the carnage they find themselves in another scene of horror. Large vats bubble and simmer away on small fires full of what seems to be rendered human parts and blood. Lining the walls are totems of devotion to the Darkness, strings of bones hang from the ceiling in tribute to the gnawing, grinding blackness. Dominating the centre of the room is a large altar covered in blood written about with blasphemous runes. Clearly a place of evil. Lucky starts to dismantle the altar, they others joining him. He then sets fire to everything that can burn and walks out of the room.

The party makes their way back downstairs and into the entry hall of the keep.

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Session 15
Whats up these stairs? Trouble anyone?

22nd day of 1st Nimos Second Epoch 2150

The party awakes shortly after the dawn, except Tiberius who sleep patterns have recently due to the Tainted Mage Stone, now requiring less sleep. Lucky returns to the shaman and tries to interrogate it some more. After few questions it is clear it at all compliant and just about downright defiant. Both Sirath and Norhtal vote that the shaman be killed outright, just because. Lucky and Reollo argued against it as they beleive that it may still be able to provide more valuable information about the tower at least. With their leader vetoing any immediate dispatching the party break camp and travel rough north into the crowded hills.

The following several hours takes them through gullies and around sharply rising hills. After a couple of tracking checks by Norhtal just to make sure, although the path is relatively clear, the party comes to a wide flat valley surrounded by thick hills. In the middle of this valley is a lone, tall rocky mound with a switch back track leading up to the summit. From where they are at the mouth of the valley it is clear that whatever they want is at the top. As they make their way to the crag, they realise that what surrounds them once must have been rich agricultural land. Old bones of buildings stick out of the ground, mounds of long ago structures fallen in on themselves.

It is the sixth hour by the time they have reached the summit and once there the Hob Tower turns out to be more of a two story keep. A broken down wall, numerous breaches in it hardly defensively anymore, surrounds a falling down yard of ancillary buildings which cling to the outside of the keep itself. After a quick search in the surrounds nothing of interest presents itself to the party. They then turns their attention to the keep. The large double doorway, crumbled stone, a testament to ravaging hordes that must of besieged this building at one time. Now the double door way fitted with a shabby ill fitting door, mostly to keep the cold wind out, then anything really defensible. The party decides to get Bright Eye Sharp Tooth to do reconnaissance. Through his link with Tiberius they are able to scout out the entry hall and see four bug bears lax in guarding and the alarm gong, dozing at their posts.

They bind up the shaman and leaving it outside gagged. Devising a plan that includes Lucky getting to the gong and defending it at all costs the party surprises the guards and slaughters them before any suspicions are raised. They then listen at the doors available. One in the north, one in the east and one in the west. At the north and west door they hear sounds of activity, mostly talking. Opening up the east door they find stairs leading up.

Lucky out of curiosity races up the stairs to “scout out” the first few rooms. He finds nothing in the first room and continues west. The second room has several doors leading into it. North, east and west. Lucky listens and hears muffled talking and raucous behaviour at each. Lucky deciding fortune favours the brave decides to storm the west room by himself. Opening the door finds himself staring into a room with four large hobs. At this point Norhtal had already decided to check on Lucky and happens to see Lucky open the door and start stabbing at a hob in front of him. Lucky dispatches two of the hobs and Norhtal a third before the fourth runs from the room it is in calling the alarm as it goes. From the other two doors now there are sounds of movement and alarm. At this point Norhtal berrates Lucky for his foolishness and they attempt to barricaded themselves in the room with thenow three dead hobs. Shoving a table against the door that the surviving hobs just fled through and Lucky readies himself to use the doorway they have just entered through as a choke point.

As more hobs and some very large bugbears flood into the room that Lucky and Norhtal have just been in Reollo, Sirath and Tiberius all decided that it might be a good idea to see where Lucky and Norhtal have gone. As they enter the now rapidly filling room they come face to face with a battle in progress. Reollo scythes through two bugbears in a matter on seconds and Sirath makes quick work of most of the hobs trying to charge into the room, with Lucky and Norhtal coming in as support. With a lack of anything to burn Tiberius resorts to using his crossbow which he was not very successful in using. The bugbears force their way further into the room, charging an attack. Their efforts blunted by their inability to hit their quarry. In response Reollo and Sirath part their bodies from their lives. Lucky meets one of the remaining hobs, ramming Zephyr into its neck. The last hob had already sustained a war hatch from Norhtal in the shoulder and it was now trying to back out of the room. Norhtal without any weapons left having throw both of his war hatchets moved back out of harms way. Sirath stepping through and cleaving the creature from sternum to bowel.

The battle finished is where it ends and now begins.

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Session 14
Lets be friends... What you don't like that idea?

21st day of 1st Nimos Second Epoch 2150

As Tiberius now required less sleep due to the new acquired abilities from the Tainted Mage Stone, he decided to spend a little time in the library at the Magi tower. Fortunately here like in Tabott’s Corner there was only an apprentice in residence with the Magi himself in Fallsea. During his searching Tiberius finds a reference to his family’s heirloom. It is simple statement: Not much is known about the disc shaped medallion, it is stated to be ancient. It came out of the Ilthium Empire with the Ulanor family. It is stated to be able to control the properties of light.

The time to leave was upon them the party moved down to the docks and prepared to board. This turned out to be trickier than expected. In getting on board the open 15’ skip both Sirath and Lucky ran afoul and landed in the water, they were hauled out and the new “crew” set sail for Oranus.

With a fair wind behind them they arrived at Oranus late afternoon, at about the 6th hour. Only a few hours left to disembark and strike the shore. The boat master pulled his boat up short of the shale beach by about 25 yards and said that the tide was turning and if he was to get this beached he’d not get it out to open water again until morning. The boat master bids them farewell and guarantees to pick them up at the same spot in two weeks.

So after a wet walk to shore the party found themselves with the large crowding hills to the north of in the distance and the woods to the south not even a smudge across the small narrow plain that separated the two.

As the party found their bearings Sirath and Tiberius noticed from behind them a growing shadow on the horizon. The skip tacking its way back out to open water was now some distance from shore. Within a short amount of time the shadow resolved itself as a fast approaching shadowy bird like figure. Speeding towards the skip and its master the large shadow bird dives into the vessel, it sinks without trace of the boat master, debris bobbing on the surface all that is left.

The party set about raising a camp for the night as it was getting on dark. As dusk approached they could hear wolves howl in the distance. Reollo gathers to group together and lays out a plan of action. They gather as much drift wood as possible, Sirath moving some larger trunks in a defensive barricade on the shale, the water to their backs. They then stationed three watch fires around the inside of the barricade. Norhtal put his skills towards catching a brace of fish, reasoning that now being on the island indefinitely they would need fresh food eventually. As dark fell after a flurry of activity the party was set and secure as possible in such inadequate a situation.

At the thirteen hour it was well dark and the howl of the wolves has drawn much closer. At the fourteenth hour the party is slightly startled by a lone howl close by. Shortly after the sound of a number of wolves can be heard wolves. It is too dark to see them and the shadowy figures pacing just beyond the fire light. A tense wait set in to see what the wolves would do.

Tiberius asks Norhtal for the fish that he caught; already gutted Tiberius stuffs them with the poisonous herbs he found on the tattooed priest of darkness, throwing the fish towards the wolves. There is a loud snarling and then rising above is the harsh guttural sounds of goblin yelling “down, down” some yelping then silence. The party slightly surprised as they did not expect gobs to be with the wolves.

Lucky strikes on the plan to negotiate. He calls out in the best goblin he has and explains that they are not looking for a fight that they are looking for someone. He mentions they have come to find Allandra. Silence. Then a gob shaman steps into the edge of the firelight. He asks why they want Allandra? Lucky explains that they are her friend. The shaman states that she is gone. Lucky asks what he means by gone? The shaman says that one she was there the next she gone, which was mystery as she was very blind. This is news to the party as the Allandra they knew all those years ago certainly was not blind. Lucky negotiates with the shaman to go with it to the tower to start their search. The shaman agrees, roughly tells them to follow and sets of at fast trot. The party abandons their barricade and follows.

The party tires after an hour on the run. The shaman and two other shadowy figures that could be hobs keeping a quick pace. At that moment the shaman and the two others split off in different directions. The party stops dead taking a defensive stance and out of the gloom the wolves and their goblin riders, four in all, flung themselves at them.

In the melee that followed Sirath and Reollo killed the wolves facing them by parrying their snapping maws. Lucky was able to grab the spear of the goblin attacking him from wolves back, he then threw the gob into the wolf attacking Norhtal as he dispatched its rider. From the darkness the shaman yelled a quick phrase and Sirath found his feet rooted to the spot. Reollo kills the gob he is facing after dodging an attack. Tiberius thrusts his torch into the wolf in front of Lucky. The wolf almost miraculously catches fire, its courage breaking. The last of that wolf that anyone saw was a burning streak of flame through the surrounding thigh high grass. Sirath manages to free his feet with mighty effort, smashing the spells effectiveness entirely and splatters the gob in front of him after blocking its feeble attempt. Lucky finding himself without an opponent heads to where he last saw the shaman and is intercepted by the two hobs. Norhtal kills the wolf facing him with one of his hatchets, then tries to dispatch the prone gob in front of him missing miserably. The shaman yells another phrase and Tiberius’ hand spasms causing him to drop the torch he was holding. Reollo follows behind Lucky as the hobs attack Lucky savagely wounding him. Lucky feels a buzzing within his blood as The Flow surges in him due to his mortal peril. From is finger tips lightning arcs to the closest hob charring it to a stump. Lucky drained almost to fainting. Reollo slices through with his sword and ax the remaining hob. Sirath then skewers the remaining gob on the ground before Norhtal. Tiberious sends out Bright Eye Sharp Tooth to find the shaman. It is found unconscious in the tall grass. They bind it and gag it waiting for it to wake.

Once the shaman is awake Lucky attempts to interrogate it through sheer intimidation. The shaman is clearly terrified by him and answers any and all questions asked of it by Lucky. Lucky finds out that the tower is about six hours travel from where they are. It holds the Hob King and around 100 goblinoid warriors. As to Allandra the shaman can not really give anything more except that it is thought that Allandra just seemingly walked out of the tower one day.

After that the party make camp for what remains of the night.

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Session 13
Burn baby burn... and the mysterious note.

16th day of 1st Nimos Second Epoch 2150

A battle about to commence. Standing on the battlements of Tabott’s Corner the party finds themselves about to face off against two ogres and a cliff troll. The hard packed snow drift in the lee of the wall which itself only provides about a five foot drop to the snow below, much shorter in height than its normal fifteen feet. As Lucky is trying to finding out from one of the home guards in a tower whether there were any extra spears around, Reollo looks through line of sight past the walls the way that they have come to see Dolis take down a hill giant with two swings. The home guard indicates to Lucky that he is rather busy at the current moment with attempting to take out one of the ogres with his bow. Left to their own device the party group together with the precious time they have and devise what they need to do.

Reollo puts his experience in tactics to work and realizes that the ogres have taken up what looks like to be flanking positions and the cliff troll has gone into a dead sprint towards the wall front on. Reollo then organizes the defenses with Sirath preparing to defend the southern tower from the ogres approaching there and himself moving to the northern tower to defend it from the corresponding ogre, leaving Tiberius, Lucky and Norhtal to defend the middle from the cliff troll.

Meanwhile they realize that down in the court yard there has gathered some two hundred Tabott’s Corner citizens. They are armed and look somewhat prepared to fight.

Lucky and Tiberius prepare the oil jars that Tiberius previously prepared sometime ago, with Norhtal standing to guard if the troll happens to come in striking distance. It is then that the ogres stop still, reach into their belts and pull out man head sized rocks. These they then throw with seemingless effort at the home guards in the north and south towers. Hitting their marks, the only sound coming from them after the wet sickening thuds is an equally wet gurgling.

At this point the troll is within about ten foot of the wall and starts to struggle in the snow drift due to its immense weight. Lucky and Tiberius see their opportunity and lighting their oil jars throw them at the troll. Tiberius misses his throw going wide. Lucky’s however hits and the conflagration that erupts a truly brilliant sight, burning away skin and hair in an acidric smoky haze. There is a roar from the troll as it tries to shed itself of the sticky flammable liquid without success and then lands itself face down in the snow ina further attempt to put out the flames. It shakes violently for a second then lays still, but strangely breathing, within five foot of the battlements. The ogres satisfied that the archers have gone start to move in.

Suddenly Lucky leaps from the battlements knife first at the prone troll, ramming the length of the blade into the back of the troll’s head. Norhtal follows after landing on its back and start to dismantle its back bone. Still the creature seems to hang onto life somehow. Lucky satisfied that troll is being dealt with moves off towards the northern ogre. This spurs Sirath and Reollo into action. They leap from the battlements towards the ogres closest to them. Meanwhile Tiberius joins Norhtal in dismantling the troll using a garrote to start to saw off the troll’s head.

Lucky and the ogre meet and Lucky attacks the ogre. He ctaches it in the hip with his knife causing a gouge in it. At this point Reollo catches up. The ogre attacks Lucky, swinging a wide arc with its tree stump club. Lucky not able to dodge the blow bares down onto his rib cage. Lucky true to his name escapes what should have been a seriously incapacitating blow is in comparison moderately hurt and stunned.

Concurrently Sirath reaches his ogre. The ogre attacks him with a huge over head swing of its club. Sirath using his shield deflects the blow to the side.

Norhtal and Tiberius are still dismantling the troll, Tiberius is able to cut through its neck and the body relaxes, clearly having no life left in it. At this point Hearal the magi apprentice appears and directs them to burn it. Tiberius is only happy to do so.

Reollo strikes at the ogre after its attack on Lucky lashes out with his sword and ax. The blows open its side, leaving it stunned. Lucky attacks in turn attacks inflicting another wound.

Sirath taking advantage of the open side of the ogre after it over extended itself on attacking him, draws his sword up through the stomach muscles, up over its ribs. It reels on its feet a hand going to the wound, stunned.

Neither ogre is able to respond quickly enough to defend themselves after the wounds they received. Both Reollo and Sirath open up their respective ogres causing them to fall unconscious. From there they are quickly dispatched.

The party then collecting their wits move to find out about the fate giants. As they round the corner of the wall they can see that Dolis alone is the last man standing. His two henchmen lay slain as do the five hill giants, laid around him in a bloody display of his martial prowess.

The party retires to the tavern The Roost. It is there a little while later that Dolis approaches them. Standing at the end of their table he says with a little disgust in his voice “I see I have underestimated you all. Maybe you are more dangerous than you appear. I will keep my eye on you.” With that he turns on his heel and leaves.

With little to do over the next number of days as travel so soon after the blizzard is still difficult and hazardous the party rest at ease.

17th day of 1st Nimos Second Epoch 2150
Tiberius avails himself of the library in the magi tower being recognised as a member of the library and researchers guild. It is here that he finds references to Sirath and Reollo’s heirlooms. He uncovers that the silver horse and the salamander are rare versions of their kind, that the tome also mentions their second tier activation words. The silver horse capable of growing to the size of a fully grown war horse, activation word in Old Ilth “grow.” The salamander is also capable of coming alive and forming a mind link with its owner. The activation word in Old Ilth “alive.” Tiberius also discovered a Brae to Ilth translation book and after reading through and number of times he was able to memorise enough to be able to have a rough comprehension of the journal pages left behind by the Brae man and the scrolls taken from G’zakthanx’s roost. The journal pages so far translated tell about his journey from the Brae held islands to the south to the Brae village. The scrolls so far translated indicate day to day activity of running the island that G’zakthanx over saw.

18th day of 1st Nimos Second Epoch 2150
The party receive message indicating that a note had arrived for the party by skeet. The note was short “Your friend Alandra, possibly on Oranus. Taken there by the hobs. Andelus.”

As the roads have started to clear the party decide to travel to Tesseret’s Holding to find transport if possible to Oranus Island. The journey lasting roughly a day and a half, travelling past smaller holdings along the way, reaching the farming band of land as they approach the major holding.

20th day of 1st Nimos Second Epoch 2150
Once the party arrive they make their way to the docks through the six rings of walls that make up Tesseret’s Holding. There they find the majority of the meager fishing fleet to have been dry doked against the sudden onslaught of Nimos weather. Only three boats have not be dry docked against the cold. The first local they approach indicates that to take them to Oranus Island would be dangerous in the best of weather and he demands 50 gold crowns for the trip. This is a huge sum, the party is not happy with that option. They move to the next boat owner, he asks for 100 crowns, saying he could not possibly under cut his brother. Moving to the last boat owner they negotiate and come up with the sum of 75 crowns. The party returns to the first boat owner and he agrees after some haggling to accept payment of 25 crowns to transport them there and 25 crowns to pick them up in a week from the same place.

The party finds an inn and turns in for the night.

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