Tales From Darkmoon Vale

Journey Below the Monastery

GameMaster:

Pippa hands over two normal daggers to the halfling including their scabbards. The tiny man tries to look appreciative, but looks at the other members of the group as if begging for a bit more. “Thank you” He tells the rogue, “I’ll be able to help you locate tripwires, secret doors and other things that might be hard to detect. And most importantly, I can always arouse the fighting spirit with a motivational song. My voice is quite lovely.” He boasts with a noticeably femininity in his voice.

Jaeshar, hearing Edgrin speak, remembers the tiny man at the Sitting Duck Tavern the night of the fight. He did hear Edgrin sing and his voice captivated the room. A half a dozen town folk starred as if “fascinated” by the little man. Jaeshar vaguely remembers Janiven, the beauty with short dark hair, taking this opportunity and walking among the crowd lifting as many purse strings as possible.

The group reforms its ranks. Pippa begins to search the staircase for pressure plates, tripwires or other types of boobytraps, (yes I said booby) while the others check weapons and equipment.

Bantus and Jaeshar take up their positions in front, while Azure and Nyll close in behind them. Liliandil and Fortunado make up the last row. Edgrin seems to find common ground with the ladies. He moves to Liliandil as a child finds its mother.

The stairs descend more than 20 feet below the surface and no sound penetrates from above. The monastery’s walls are masonry, and there is no source of light anywhere. Pippa gives the “all clear” sign as she hops to the last step. The others can see dozens and dozens of Kobold footprints in the dust and dirt that has accumulated on the stairs. (A light source will be needed)

The stairway ends and a short passageway stops abruptly at a solid wooden door. Pippa listens to the door and immediately turns to the group tapping her ear and then pointing beyond the door. She attempts to open the door but finds that it is locked. She immediately drops to her knees and takes out her thieving picks, unrolling the leather cloth out next to her. Inside are metal picks, tools, pinchers and springs. Within a minute, everyone hears a click. She packs up her items and secures them in her belt pouch.

Brantus steps up and opens the door. Your light spills into a large rectangular chamber. The stone walls of this area are covered with intricate carvings of dwarves toiling in mines or smithies. In the center of the chamber stands the bottom half of a broken obsidian obelisk. Crude picks, hammers, and other tools lie scattered around the chamber.

Four Kobold warriors guard two other Kobold workers as the two try to drag a large piece of obsidian rock from the room. The two have harnessed themselves to the rock with rope and are pulling it like beasts of burden. When the pathfinders enter the room, the Kobolds turn in surprise and bark at the intruders.

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GreyPelt's Lair

GameMaster:

At closer inspection, those that step inside the room (Brantus, Liliandil and Jaeshar) notice a few more things. The patch of Iron Bloom Mushrooms are growing against the north and east walls in the room (green dots). The heavy column that has fallen in the middle of the room is roughly 3 feet in diameter. GreyPelt is perched on this and uses it to elevate himself. A large wooden table with three wooden chairs rests in front of him. There is scraps of meat and bones across the table. It appears to be the dead carcass of a deer.

Laying on the tip of the stone column is a white and grey wolf with bright blue eyes. She lays there watching the group. A second wolf lays on the floor behind the column. You can see only its face peering around the object at all of you. It is a light grey. The other two wolves lay on the floor on the north side of the table, they are also grey and watch you.

However, you notice something else moving on the other side of the stone column, but cant quite make out what it is.

“A trade you ask for? A trade? Greypelt says as he stands up on top of the column. “Please, come in and lets discuss this trade you seek.” He opens his arms in a grand gesture almost to patronize the group.

Liliandil walks into the room cautiously with Brantus at her side and Jaeshar not far behind. Nyll flanks the door way with Fortunado as Azure positions himself against the far wall and casts a defensive spell. Pippa has run out of the room.

“I’d like to offer some form of trade for the ironbloom mushrooms that grow in this chamber.” She tells him.

“You may have my precious mushrooms, but in return, you must leave something of equal value. If these mushroom will save many people in Falcon’s Hallow, then their value is quite high. Especially if they sent all of you to recover them. What do you offer me?” He barks at her.

Then you hear a voice call out from behind the stone column. “They took Janiven and have the children down below! I couldnt stop them! You have to save them!” With that, the grey wolf laying behind the column turns and attacks the person. You quickly hear the attack silence him. You think the wolf didnt kill him, only bite down onto his throat to silence him because the attack was quick and then quiet.

Jaeshar remembers this halfling from the Sitting Duck Tavern. Janiven must be the woman that slapped him that night for his drunken offense. There was four in the group… the halfling, the attractive woman with short dark hair and the two men found dead this morning outside the monastery.

“My new dinner guest” Motioning behind the column, “Likes to interrupt us while we negotiate. The children he speaks of were taken by the Kobolds down below. The halfling here was given to me by the Kobolds for their safe passage through my den. Now, where were we on this trade?”

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The Monastery

GameMaster:

ooc: For the sake of speed, we’ll assume that Pippa takes the daggers and short bow. The long sword, shield, hammer and leather armor will be carried by Jaeshar. The coins can be put into a community pot and divided up when you reach town.

Nyllbryn casts a Detect Magic over the items as they are gathered. Nothing appears magical from the weapons and armor, however you do notice something unusual. Liliandil and Brantus are both giving off a faint aura. (Knowledge arcana for both could help detect the school of magic.

Azure looks through the spell book and Nyll joins him in the review. The book contains several low level spells. Resistance, D. Poison, D Magic, Read Magic, Open/Close, as well as 6 first level spells: Mage Armor, Sleep, Magic Missile, Feather Fall, Jump, Floating Disc.

Jaeshar take more time examining the wolf tracks. He can determine that there are roughly 8 to 12 wolves, and one much larger wolf (roughly 3 times the size). Probably the alpha male. (Your guess to which skill can identify animal) You follow the tracks alone for about 100 feet and can determine that the halfling and female went willingly, but were pushed and few times and seemed to be looking around multiple times, possible for a way to escape. You dont track the prints far before looking up to see the rotted roof of an old stone building. One side of the complex has collapsed with time and the stones have spilled away from the foundation. The rest of the building remains intact and in relatively good condition. There is no question that you have found your destination and stumbled upon the ruined dwarven monastery.

The wolf tracks lead towards the building and enter the building where the wall has collapsed. The building is about 50 yards away and you seem well concealed in the forest at this position.

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Lizmilla's Cottage

GameMaster-

The adventurers move quickly to the front porch of the wooden house. Pippa and Brantus leading the way watching the shadows for hidden foes. The roof over the wooden porch provided the first bit of shelter from the deluge.

A wooden door hangs on its hinges slightly ajar. The two windows on either side are protected by a pair of closed shutters. The inside of the house is dark. The porch is covered in dead leaves and dust. The door shows little signs of use.

Brantus and Jaeshar enter the home first with weapons drawn. The wizards and Fortunado next, followed by the ladies. A quick light spell by Nyllbrym illuminates the room while Azure scans for auras of magic.

The group enters the main living area of the cottage. A wooden staircase to your right ascends to the small second story. Several of the steps appear to have rotted away. A large stone fireplace fills much of the left wall and a stack of dry wood has been piled next to it. A double door at the back of the room leads to the back half of the house. A large wooden table with 4 chairs has been overturned. There are signs that someone or something has bedded down here in the recent past by using a pile of straw. The glass windows have been broken, but provide plenty of protection from the wind. A rusted metal lantern sits on the stone hearth.

Overall, the house is dry and will provide shelter for the night.

ooc: I’ll provide a map once a bit more is explored. What does everyone wish to do first?

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Leaving the Grove

GameMaster-

Myka agrees to travel home with the escort. He will tell the towns people of your success and update them on your journey to rescue the Kimmi, Jurin and Hollib. He pulls himself up onto the back of Largos and the Centaurs ride off into the forest.

Syntira gathers everyone together one last time at the outer gates. Hugging Liliandil goodbye and wishing her luck. “I have one last gift to give.” She says as she hands each of you a potion of healing (cure light wounds d8+5). “If you are hurt and things seem bleak, drink this and be renewed.” She tells you.

The unicorn from yesterday appears again outside the gate and steps into the open. “There he is. Follow him now and he will lead you through the gates to the other side.” The Nymph Queen says. Everyone hurries to follow the magical horse who trots away. You wave goodbye looking back to Syntira one last time and notice the forest animals joining her in her goodbye.

You follow the path of the unicorn for roughly 50 yards through the forest before you loose track of him. The forest seems different now. It is darker and less green. There are more dead trees than before. The forest is still thick with life, but it seems not as healthy.

You travel for much of the day following Felicity away from the Darkmoon Lake towards the Five Kings Mountain that makes up the skyline beyond the forest to the north. (see attached map to help you remember) The faun estimates the cottage is ahead and roughly an hours walk. The sky behind you grows dark. Syntira’s forecast of the storm appears to be accurate.

The group decides to rest for a few minutes and many of you take the opportunity to eat some dried rations. It’s not much, but will have to due to save time. You begin packing up when everyone hears a sound that makes you stand at attention. The slow swoosh of wind from large winds over head. Everyone looks to the sky to find a large purplish black winged dragon flying over the treetops hunting for prey. The Wyvern is back!

“Quickly, take cover under those trees.” Liliandil whispers. And everyone moves quickly for cover. The Priestess move Halflinger into the thick brush hiding the pony from sight.

The Wyvern flys directly overhead staring down at the group. Fear grips all of you as you are sure the creature notices you. It flys over making one pass and disappears. Jaeshar and Brantus step out looking for it in the sky, but it no where to be seen. After a few minutes, everyone decides to continue with caution.

The forest appears to grow darker and the ground becomes more damp. Tiny rain drops begin to fall on the treetops and a light mist is felt on everyone. The soil becomes more wet as you enter a marsh. The mud is about an inch deep and everyone is growing tired and cold.

As the group works their way through the trees hoping to find the cottage, the sound of a large branch breaking ahead causes everyone to stop. You hear the breathing of a large animal ahead. Everyone holds their breath to keep quiet as they notice the large Wyvern 30 feet ahead peering around a clump of dead trees at you. It hisses a warning at the party, then takes a step forward.

It appears there is no way around this fight. This may be the end of you. Death seems to have suddenly found you.

ooc: roll initiative

images to follow once I find my flash drive

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Guardian of the Grove

GameMaster-

The group is resting on the edge of the clearing for only a few minutes when Surri flys back in frustration. “I dont understand. This should be where the hidden gates are. The guardian must not know we’re here.” She tells Liliandil.

Just then, Felicity stands up and walks into the middle of the clearing. She takes out her pipes and plays a few notes. Everyone watches silently as she begins to sing. Her voice seems to echo as if in a great cathedral. She has the most beautiful voice anyone has ever heard. [everyone needs to make a Wisdom saving throw… Nyll and Fortunado are not effected).

She sings the song in a language not familiar to most of you [make Knowledge Nature check if you want to decipher it] and sways back and forth with her arms stretched out. The song lasts only a short while. When she stops, she turns to look at the party. She smiles. “Now we wait.” Speaking for the first time.

Several of you see her in an entirely new light. She is beautiful, fare and desirable. You would do whatever she asked just to lay with her for one night. You would protect her even if it meant harm to yourself. Whatever she asked of you.

Just then, the group hears movement in the trees opposite you. Felicity turns her back to you and faces the direction of the sound. A lone white horse runs out from the darkness of the trees and stops a few feet into the clearng. His head held high as he glares at you all. Smelling the air, unsure of who you are. He beats the ground with his hoof several times then turns. When the stallion turns, what you see next brings everyone to their feet. A single horn on his forehead. Roughly two feet of glittering light. Everyone is speechless. This is a creature that people talk about, but no one ever sees. Today, you witnessed what many have dreamed of. A unicorn.

The stallion looks back at you as he begins to slowly walk into the forest.

“Quickly!” Felictiy yells. “He senses our intentions are pure, and he leads us to the gates.”

ooc: Everyone instantly gains another 150 xps. Let me know who fails their saving throws.

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Wolf Attack

To everyone horror, back in the direction the ladies are, you hear terrible screaming, and what sounds like a wolf attacking them! Your heart stops as you fear the worst. Everyone takes off running down stream towards the noise. You hear this terrible screaming for 10 seconds or so (one to two rounds). Then all you can hear is the splashing of your boots along the the river bank and your equipment bouncing as you sprint to help.

As you round a bend, everyone stops for a second and witnesses a tragic sight. Liliandil’s body lays motionless face down in the sand. Her legs float in the creek, wanting to carry the rest of her downstream. Ten feet away, Amrolle’s body lies next to her. She lay on her back in a pool of blood and flesh. As everyone sprints towards them, you can see her throat has been torn out. Celeste is missing, but much of her clothing is also bloodied and laying on the rocks. On the other side of the creek, you all see fresh entrails and a trail of blood up the far embankment and into the forest. It appears the girl was also killed and taken by a wolf into the forest across the creek.

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Missing Children

Not needing much other than the food and water you have already purchased, you decide to take this time and find Sheriff Deldrin. You walk back into the lower market which, as usual, is quite busy. After some time, you find Deldrin walking out of the town’s Tribunal. He remembers you from this morning at Jac a Napes Inn. You inquire about Kimmi and her mother. Deldrin looks surprised when you ask. “Why do you ask Barbarian?” He questions slowly moving his hand to his sword.

Knowing Jac thinks highly of Deldrin, you feel you can trust him, so you gamble, and tell him what happened to Kimmi in the alley two days ago.

You explain what happened when you were locked in the cage and that the girl befriended you giving you a small loaf of bread. Spivey and his men cornered her in an alley and beat her severely. You fear for the girl and her mother’s safety.

Deldrin listens to you nodding his head. “I appreciate you telling me this…” letting go of his sword a bit. “Tess, Kimmi’s mother came to see me this morning early claiming her daughter hasn’t been home for some time. It’s not like Kimmi to stay out overnight, let alone for two nights… even if the moon is in its darkest phase. Now with you telling me this, I’m wondering if Spivey has the balls to actually do anything to the girl. I wouldn’t put it past him.” He thinks for a bit longer. “Walk with me Jaeshar.” as you both head towards the Rougue Lady. “Kimmi and Hollib, Ralla’s brother, are about the same age and pal around together. Lets see if he knows anything.”

You both walk around the back of the tavern to the docks. Deldrin kicks the boot of a logger passed out along the waterfront waking him up as you walk past. Around back, there is a small narrow wooden staircase that leads up to the second story. A long balconey runs the length of the Tavern which overlooks the docks and the River Foam. You walk with Deldrin up the stairs and he knocks on the last door. A few seconds later, Ralla opens the door. She is pleasantly surprised to see Deldrin and smiles at you. “Good morning.” She says in a soothing voice.

“Good morning Ralla, this is Jaeshar. Can we speak with Holib? We are looking for Kimmi Eavewalker, and were hoping he may know where she is?” Deldrin asks.

“I wish I could help, but Hollib isnt here either. In fact, I’m quite upset with Him. Sarah finally told me this morning, that he went camping with Kimmi, Mykra, and a few others. Hollib didn’t tell me because he knew I wouldn’t approve.” She snarls. “Sarah told me they wanted to explore the old orphanage north of here. The kids say it’s haunted. They’ve been gone for two days now. I was beginning to worry and was going to check with Tess to see if she knew more.” At this time, a young girl roughly 12 years old with long red curly hair comes walking up the staircase. It’s Sarah, Ralla’s youngest sister. Seeing Deldrin, she knew she was in trouble.

“I tried to tell him not to go! He wouldn’t listen to me!” Sarah yells up the stairs. “It’s not my fault. They wanted me to go with them, but Jurin Kreed was planning on going, and he’s a creep. He keeps hitting on me and is always trying to touch me. Im not camping while he’s around.”

“Oh Great Gods. Deldrin murmurs. “Jurin Kreed is the son of Thuldrin Kreed, the Lumbar Baron in town. This just keeps getting better and better.” He says looking at Jaeshar. “If you and your friends head north out of town, could you stop out at the old burned out orphanage and check on them? Tell them to get home. The moon phase will not be dark much longer. The orphanage burned last year and many of the children were lost. It was horrible. Only a few of the children found they’re way to town. The place has been abandoned since.”

You thank Ralla for her time and promise to send Hollib home if you find him. You seem to notice her blush when you speak to her. As you leave the area, you look back and notice Ralla and her sister watching you walk away from the balcony. Sarah waves to you and Ralla smacks her on the arm.

“I’d go talk with Thuldrin Kreed about Jurin, if it wasnt for the fact that he hates me.” Deldrin says with a smile. “He’d love to figure out a way to blame me for Jurin gone missing and have me removed from my position as Sherrif. I’ll tell Tess about Kimmi and let her know that you have agreed to check in on them when you head out of town.”

He wishes you and your friends luck and shakes your hand. “I was wrong about you Jaeshar.” He says with a smile. “Find those kids… and a cure for the Blackscour Disease… and we will all drink to better days together at Jac’s.”

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Intro Amrolle

You leave Jac’s Inn and head across town to the Roots and Remedies shop. When the group gets within view, they see a dozen people waiting outside of the store waiting for it to open. Most are poor farmers with their sick children. When you approach, they see your group of adventurers and several parents run to meet, you pleading for your help to save their sick children. Everyone quickly realizes the seriousness of the quest you are about to enter upon. You see with your own eyes the helpless victims of this horrible disease.

You see two children about age 10 petting a large dog that sits in the cool shade. The dog is grey and white with eyes the color of sapphires. It appear to be a good sized timber wolf. Your initial reaction is to protect the children, then you realize the wolf is extremely docile. The dog seems to be guarding a short spear and a large wooden shield that rest against a tree.

A young woman kneels next to several children washing dirt from their faces with a wet cloth. She is dressed in animal hide, soft leather boots and moves with a calm grace. She is in her mid 20’s yet has stark white hair with brown eyes. At closer inspection, you notice the pointed ears of a half elf hidden within her hair. She stands to greet everyone with a smile as you approach. “Good Morning to everyone. Im so glad to here you will be traveling with me to help these good people.” she calls to you.

Lauerl hears Amrolle’s greeting and exits the shop. She hands a small potion to an elderly woman with a smile and a tap on her shoulder. “You’ll feel more comfortable tonight with this.” she tells the woman.

Laurel welcomes everyone to sit under a large tree behind her shop where everyone can speak privately. Laurel continues to help those in the street as the white haired woman gathers her spear and shield and moves to the shade behind the store. Everyone sits in a small flowering garden surrounded by trees. There are three stone benches, one under each tree. It is peaceful and quiet.

“Good morning again. My name is Amrolle. I’ve lived in the Vale all my life. These forests are my home. The creatures within the woods are like my neighbors. Some good, some bad, but all are familiar to me to some degree. Laurel and I have been friends for a few years now, and she has asked for my help. It is my understanding that you seek three rare items from the Darkwood Forest in hopes that they will cure the sick of the Blackscour Disease.” She says to the group.

“The items you seek are Elderwood Moss, Ironbloom Mushrooms and Rat’s Tail Root. I can identify all three on sight and know where in Darkmoon Forest they may be found.” She pauses for a moment then describes the three to you.

Elderwood Moss: This semi-magical moss only grows on the oldest tree in a forest. As such, two known patches exist near Darkmoon Vale, one upon the Forest Elder in Darkmoon Wood. That is where you are headed and another on the Green Patriarch within Arthfell Forest. That is beyond the city of Olfden. Elderwood moss, when prepared correctly, acts as a strong decongestant.

Ironbloom Mushrooms: These stunty fungi only grow in dark places thick with metal and rock. The diets of Five Kings Mountain dwarves consist heavily of ironbloom mushrooms, mainly because the plant grows naturally in and around dwarven forges. Protein rich ironbloom mushrooms bear a slight salty taste but otherwise contain no flavor of their own, making them excellent additions to many dwarven meals.

Rat’s Tail: This root looks as dark grey and as thin as the tail of a rat. When boiled, it could be quite tasty, but if eaten raw, it could cause serious hallucinations and possibly even death.

“As I mentioned earlier, the Elderwood Moss grows on the Forest Elder, the oldest tree in the Darkmoon Forest. This tree is hidden deep in the darkest parts of the forest, within a small ancient grove. It is a sacred spot to the forest creatures and only few know of its location.” Smiling to the group, “and I am one who knows.”

“It is about a three day journey from here. If we are lucky, the Ironbloom mushrooms and the Rat’s Tail root could also be found within the grove. Most every type of flora found withing the Darkmoon and Artfell Forests are found within this ancient grove. Legend has it that Ambrosia a forest nymph is the care taker of this ancient grove. I can tell the story of her during our travels.” She says.

Amrolle continues. “I will not lie to eveyone… this journey may be extremely dangerous. Some of us may not return. But there is one thing I can guarentee… you will witness things never imagined before. The Darkwood is an ancient forest filled with wondrous things, including magic, treasure and the darkest of evil. Many adventurers have entered it seeking fame and fortune never to be heard from again. This I know is nothing new to your ears.”

Amrolle continues. “I’m told that Liliandil is the leader of this expedition and has hired all of you to help her in her efforts. Id like to join your group and together we can begin to help the people of Falcon’s Hallow recover from this disease that has taken so many lives in the last several months.”

Liliandil speaks up. “Thank you Amrolle. I am so please you are with us. Your knowledge will be critical to our success. I have every confidence in this group and all have agreed to join me on this quest. With that being said. Let us gather supplies and meet at the northern gate in an hour. Time is of the essence. Here is a few coins to help you purchase what is needed.” She hands everyone 5 gold pieces, to purchase enough food and water to last for 6 days (three days out and three days back). .

OOC: If you’d like to post any supplies that you have yet to purchase, or anything else you would like to do before heading out, let me know. We can post “in private” so to not hold up the group. One more thing… I’m sure to hear plenty of groans… I’d like everyone to erase all coins on their sheets and begin with only 5 gold. Remember, you are all here for fame and fortune and I’d like everyone to be almost penniless.

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Intro Pippa

It is late when everyone hears a rap on the front doors to the Inn. Jac rushes to the door to unlatch the lock. Jacqueline stands noticeably scared at who it might be. Jac opens the doors and a man and a woman enter the inn. The woman appears to be human and is soaking wet and freezing. She holds her arms across her chest shivering. The man is a half elf wearing studded leather under a white and blue tunic depicting the crest of Falcon’s Hallow on the front. The half elf rests a lumberjack’s axe against the wall. Jac motions for Jacqueline who quickly rushes to help the freezing woman to the fire. Jac and the man speak for a moment, laugh and then depart with the man’s hand resting on Jac’s shoulder.

Jac approaches the party. "That was Sheriff Deldrin Baleson: Deldrin used to be a poor lumberjack toiling in the cutyards under Thuldrin Kreed’s oppressive
thumb. One day he refused to pay an “axe tax” on a lumberaxe he had already bought and paid for. When Spivey tried to take Deldrin’s axe, the half-elf smashed
Spivey’s face with the flat of it. As one of the few locals to stand up to Spivey and Kreed, he was elected Sheriff the following week. Now he carries the same axe around
on his shoulder to remind Spivey and Boss Kreed he is not afraid of them. "

Deldrin was tall for a half-elf, towering over most humans, and his well-muscled, imposing form is further enhanced by his sharp goldflecked eyes.

Jac continues, “the town watch fished that woman out of the Foam River a few minutes ago.” Motioning to the woman by the fire with Jacqueline. “She was trying to swim across the icy water. Who knows what the rush was to get to Falcon’s Hallow. McKonky’s Ferry only runs during the day. She must have been running from someone… or something. to attempt swimming across the Foam River at night. She’s lucky the current didnt carry her miles down stream.” Jac says looking her way. “Deldrin is an honest man and a good friend of mine. He brought her here for the night. We’ll feed her and tomorrow, send her on her way.”

The woman sits with Jacqueline by the fire eating a warm meal, leery of all in the room. She has short brown hair with blonde highlights. She wears common cotton clothing that fits snug around her tiny frame. It was obviously purchased in Oldfen because of the quality of the fiber. She is attractive, but probably of common stock. She carries no equipment and appears weaponless.

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