League of the Western Fall

Beneath the Ancient Keep pt. 1
Rats, Runts, and Rest.

Having failed a stealthy descent down the stairs of the ancient keep, we found ourselves staring at a rather unsettled looking goblin staring back at us from across the room.

With inspiring reflexes, River immediately leaped into action, bounding towards the lone goblin, wanting to silence it before it had a chance to alert its comrades. Unfortunately, a large area of the floor turned out to be a cleverly disguised pit into which River disappear from view, only to reappear moments later, frantically batting away several ravenous rodents that had managed to cling to him.

With an evil cackle of amusement, the goblin rapped on the stone walls, sending out an alarm, to which several more goblins soon responded.

Before we knew it, we were once again in the heat of battle, though this time the numbers of enemies were not quite as severe and we had the advantage of cover due to several large pillars surrounding the pit. We also had the experience of lessons learned from our previous encounters.

While the goblins provided quite a challenge, given their reluctance to get close, the rat pack that emerged from the pit proved to be a surprisingly difficult menace, given the challenge of fighting a collection of tiny creatures that moved and attacked as a unit, as opposed to a singular foe. But between being scorched, shot, stabbed, and eventually shoved back into the pit from whence they came, the disease menace was silenced.

Soon, only one foe remained, who chose to flee rather than die like his comrades. Faced with the dilemma of either chasing the wounded goblin into the unknown or regrouping the party, River decided upon the later rather than risk being separated. With the group reformed, we pursued the goblin through the hallways. Seeing that the course the goblin was taking lead back to where they had started, Jak hoofed after it, finally putting the chase to an end.

With one hallway yet to be explored, we ventured to a room containing three doors, an iron door with a sliding viewport, a set of reinforced double doors, and what appeared to be a closet. Having had no chance to recover completely since the brutal battle under the split tower, our party was in bad shape and another battle would be truly pushing our luck. We could hear snoring come from the iron door and the double doors just screamed danger, so the closet door seemed the obvious choice.

Jak tentatively opened the door to find more crates. Exploring further, Jak discovered yet another goblin, though this one was asleep and much smaller that the rest, its only possession being a large bottle which it clutched like a mother holding its only child. Though the sleeping goblin would have been an easy kill, Jak saw no threat and thus could not bring himself to harm the helpless creature. Remembering the encounter with Yesper, Jak deferred to River to deal with the goblin.

This proved to be a good choice for soon, through River’s soothing tone and the sparkle of a few gold pieces, the little goblin, Ech, began telling much of what had been going on below the Ancient Keep, to which he seemed to want no part other than the treasure, of course.

From what River was able to get out of Ech, Balgran was only second in command. Segozn seems to be in charge. And he made mention of a Dark Wizard.

Ech was also very helpful in giving us information as to what lay behind the doors we were reluctant to open. Behind the door with the slit was the prison. The double doors lead to the barracks which held around ten goblins. The double doors by the two beds we had discovered he called the “bad door” where human captives (we presume the caravan crew) were taken. Through the last set of doors was the digging room, where treasure was being dug up, though we suspect that Sergozn may have another more specific goal in mind.

With a magical movement of his hand, Chro silently slid back the security slit in the prison door, behind which we could see three figures around a table, two goblins and a much larger hobgoblin, obviously the source of the snoring. The mugs of ale seen on the table would explain why they did not hear the battle down the hallway. While we wanted to make contact with the human captive Ech said still remained in the jail, we decided to let sleeping goblins lie, given ten other goblins may be in the next room.

Ech also mentioned the existence of some sort of explosive devices at the dig site that would definitely give us that advantage in a fight, so we headed off in that direction. But we were once again reminded of our current condition and the need to rest before engaging in another battle against unknown enemies. Ech proved useful again, showing us a hidden passage that leads to Sergozn’s chambers and eventually to the barracks.

While we were reasonably sure, due to Ech’s description of Sergozn’s movements, that his chambers would be empty, Chro wisely suggested we rest in the hidden passage itself, which while being much less comfortable, provided much more security.

As we prepared to sleep, Ech skittered away, cleverly dragging the bodies of the dead goblin’s into the rat pit. While we get the feeling that the little goblin is not telling us everything, this went a long way towards earning the red band Chro had provided for him, unofficial as it was.

With this we settled in for a much needed rest.

View
Now You're Playing with Portals

With so many matters being put aside temporarily for sleep, Arak, Jak, Cronosophosm and I were quick to collapse and find slumber. Figuring that the kobold cave might provide them better protection than outside in the woods, we proceeded to nestle amongst a bale of hay deep within the cavern while we took their respective watches.

Most of the night passed in relative peace aside from Jak’s rather annoying snoring, which thankfully we were able to avoid the brunt of given that Jak graciously volunteered to take the first watch. Arak followed, and then me. Yet during the fourth watch, Cronosophos’, the voices of intruders suddenly sprung to life within the cave itself.

Quietly he gave us all a call to arms despite having woke us before we all were ready. We began to take defensive positions within their corner upon realizing that the intricately designed circle in the cavern’s rear had come alive with light. Yet when Jak attempted to sneak between walls, his massive form ended up being in plain sight from one of the kobolds that had managed their way within.

A battle quickly ensued as the kobolds shouted out “Ambush!” to one other and to ears that (as we had yet to discover) had yet to come. It was suggested, which then Arak and I implemented, a dangerous maneuver to split the party into two different fronts and attack from different ends. Jak and Chro’ began the attack first, doing their best to stave off the early arrivals as we began to attack from the opposite direction.

At first, it seemed as if the strategy might be effective as numbers initially were in favor of the four adventurers. However, despite the incredible power of Chronosophos’ flaming sphere summon to weed out the weaker enemies, kobolds continued to pour out from the glowing gate as the seconds ticked by. And it was only a matter of time before we were completely engulfed by creatures from the other side. Despite our long rest and a very valiant attempt to use all our available strength against them, I was soon engulfed by the masses as I made a (rather foolhardy) effort to reach the portal… and to keep our minotaur alive, and soon thereafter I lost consciousness.

There’s quite a bit I don’t remember after that point, given my unconsciousness and a little bit of light-headedness that came afterward, but I’m told that it was Chro’ that returned the favor from the battle before who came to my aid and kept me from perishing. I’ve yet to truly thank him for that, but time seemed to rush far too quickly afterward once I realized that my comrades were bloodied, bruised, and ready to fall themselves. Were it not for Jak’s sheer persistence, my adeptness in healing, Arak’s (finally!) steady-handed spellcasting, Chro’s flaming sphere of death, and quite a bit of luck from the divine Avandra, none of us would have lived to complete our mission and return to the Chicken. (Avandra only knows what ritual our bodies the heathens would then contribute us to.)

Unfortunately for us, we realized mid-fight that the character named Balgran, who turned out to be a goblin, was killed as we fought for our lives. We lamented this opportunity to learn more of our adversaries, but we certainly didn’t hold Jak to the flames for it. In fact, we were quite grateful.

Amongst the dead we found some amount of gold and silver, a rather curious locket with strange carvings upon it, and a silver key. Chro’ was quick to take the key and try it upon the chest we had found, and we were surprised to find quite a bit more gold — more than even the League was paying us for our mission, or so Chro’ tells me — and a suit of chainmail which was quickly thrown into my hands in an effort, perhaps, that our next encounter might not be so lucky. Well, perhaps getting rid of my hide is for the best; it’s still rather uncomfortable, but if Avandra provides, who am I to question?

With all of our accounts settled within the cave, and after quite a bit of discussion, we eventually all moved into the circle in an effort to find a way to enable the portal so that we might find the hostages from the caravan. The pedestal seemed to do nothing at first, but I realized that the carvings on the pedestal matched the carvings on the floor. Placing the necklace onto the pedestal seemed to be the magical trick for bringing the portal to life, and soon we were wisked away from a location none of us had seen.

The journey to this place was most uncomfortable, but the new locale itself was just as bad; the air was harsh and misty, and it had the faint odor of something unpleasant, though I could hardly describe what. It was difficult to see beyond the throes of the pavilion we arrived at, yet we found a recently used trail — complete with the standard prints of kobolds — leading to the north.

As we wandered, we encountered scraggly scrubs on one side of the road while gravestones littered the other side. Chro’ kept track of their number while I (and perhaps others) paced them along to find that they appeared at very regular intervals. As we traveled, Arak was able to parse the faint lettering of one of the tombstones — the letters “KEEG” — and he was reminded of the Ballad of Sir Keegan that a wandering bard had told him about. Keegan was the faithful guardian of a castle, yet one night he slew everyone within the castle walls before finally committing suicide. With the final count of 93 gravestones (plus perhaps the ones before the split tower we found in a clearing before our encounter at the cave), it seemed as if this legend might actually be somewhat accurate.

Even more convincing was the sighting of a castle — a keep, to be more accurate, though I hardly know the exact difference myself — just off the path. It was quite a large building, perhaps 200 feet to the side, and it was in practically ruins. The towers seemed completely unstable, and the walls looked like they might fall over if you breathed upon them wrong. We did, however, manage to find a stairwell leading down beneath the ground.

Thinking that this seemed to be the only logical place to start looking for the hostages, the four of us tiptoed down the stairs, trying not to make a single sound. Yet our luck proved to be rotten once again as a rock kicked from someone — thankfully, not me! — skittered to the ground, alerting a goblin of our presence.

I must stop writing here as I am weary and can barely stay awake. But fear not, the adventure continues onward, and I or my comrades will continue the tale soon!

View
The Split Towers
A Stream Runs Through It

We continue our journey east into the forest.

With no particular trail to follow, we simply continued in the general direction we had been heading, though it was difficult to navigate as the trees began to limit our view.

Eventually, the sounds of a stream could be heard in the distance, so we began to head toward the sound. As we traveled, River mentioned having the sense that we were being followed, though he could not be sure. The feeling persisted, so we attempted to lure the stalker into revealing itself by Jak hiding in a tree as the rest of the party continued east a short distance. But after a few minutes, no follower was seen and we continued on.

We came upon a clearing in which we discovered six gravestones, all of which had been badly weathered to the point of unreadablity, though we could tell they were probably human and perhaps associated with a good deity. No other signs of civilization could be found in the clearing, which itself seemed to be in the process of being reclaimed by the surrounding forest.

As this did not seem to relate to our specific mission, we continued on.

While Jak was up in the tree, he was able to spot a distant structure that appeared to be two towers rising above the tree line. We eventually ran into the stream we had been hearing, which flowed Northeast to Southwest. The stream appeared to be flowing from the same direction as the towers, so we followed it upstream.

The ruined tower

We began so see tracks in the banks of the river similar to what we had seen on the road, so we assumed Kobolds were in the area. This was a hopeful sign that we were indeed on the right track. As we had hoped, the stream lead us straight towards the structure Jak has seen, though it turned about to be one tower split in two by the stream itself forming a waterfall as the water fell from the rocky outcropping on which the tower stood. We also discovered two wagons close to the base of the waterfall as well as horsed equipped to haul them loosely tethered to a tree across the stream. Neither seemed to worse for wear.
High up in the tower above, we could make out the outline of figure in the window, though it seemed oblivious to our approach. We chose not to alert it to our presence as we searched for a way into the tower. A passage, lit with torches, was discovered behind the waterfall leading into the rocks, in which we spotted a Kobald some distance into the passage with its back turned toward us.

Upon seeing the creature, River and Chronosophos began the attack, catching it off guard. Not wanting to squander the advantage, Jak rushed horns down at the unprepared Kobold, with Arak close behind. But we soon discovered that the Kobold was not alone and found ourselves face to face with several more of its companions gearing up to fight back.

One Kobold in particular proved very difficult to get a clear shot on and only when attacked face to face were we able to hit it at all.

The battle continued for what seemed like an eternity. At one point, Chronosophos fell and Jak would have surely followed had it not been for the rejuvenating presence of River and another mysterious force which Jak could not explain. Arak, on the other hand, seemed to be immune to the attacks of the enemies. In fact, we had a hard time recalling if they had attacked him at all, to the point where we began to suspect that they were purposely avoiding doing so! Which was fortunate given Arak’s uncharacteristically bad luck during the encounter.

Eventually, the last of the Kobolds fell and Chronosophos was revived at which point to surveyed the area. We discovered a large chest that we were unsuccessful in opening. We also found a note signed simply “K” eluding to the possibility that those we were looking for had been transported away by some sort of portal. A pedestal that may have been used for such an act was found in the back of the room, though we were unsuccessful in determining its exact function. This all seemed way beyond what we would expect from Kobolds. We also found evidence that followers of the demon, Orcus, were involved.

River ventured out to inspect the opposite bank of the river. Upon returning he recalled seeing a figure among the horses. After the party was informed, Chronosophos attempted to use his magical gifts to whisper a message of greeting before revealing ourselves. The figure immediately disappeared into the forest, too far away for any hopes of successful pursuit.

The only other exit to the room was a staircase ascending into the ceiling, which upon closer inspection revealed a hatch leading to the top of the rocky outcropping, seemingly meant to be hidden from view from those above. We inspected the tower in which we saw the figure from below, but deduced it must have joined the previous fight. It appeared the kobold had spent some time in the tower. Upon inspecting the second tower, we could find no means of entry. This will require further investigation.

Looking over the edge of the rocks, Jak bellowed into the woods another attempt to draw mysterious individual out of hiding, identifying ourselves as the party sent by the league to recover the caravan’s missing members. The figure reappeared and proceeded to gather the horses, seemingly uninterested in Jak.

Deducing that Jak had seen something down below, the rest of the party rushed down to the base of the waterfall to investigate, discovering none other than Yesper, the bartender from the Chicken, now gearing the horses up to the wagons, whom we deduced must have been the one following us.

Eventually we all gathered to Yesper’s location. While River seemed to be able to establish a civil rapport with the fellow Wolfen, information was not forthcoming and Yesper continued to prepare the horses for travel. Jak’s fragile control over his temper began to crack and demanded that the bartender stop moving and start talking in no uncertain terms. Reluctantly, Yesper revealed that he had been sent by K’kiran, the owner of the Chicken, to oversee our mission, insisting that he was the only one among us capable of driving the wagons. It had been noticed earlier that the note we had found was signed “K” and that K’kiran was the only “K” we knew. Yesper’s mention of the name only furthered our suspicions that all was not as it seemed. But suspicion was all we had. No proof.

As Yesper finished up preparing the wagons for travel, we informed him that the mission was far from over, being the wagon’s were in fact empty, that the caravan members were still missing as well as the cargo. For some reason, this confused the shifter, who seemed to be under the impression that we should have found the caravan members in the area behind the waterfall, being he could find no indication that they had left here. Clearly intent on leaving with the wagons, River attempted to salvage what little was left of the limited favor he had gained and asked Yesper to relay the events that had transpired so far. After having to simplify the information so that Yesper could grasp it, he gave River a flask of liquid, and lead the wagons into the woods, even though there was no road.

Jak did not feel right about just allowing Yesper to leave with the wagon’s, as it seemed to conflict with our mission, but feeling his grip over his inner demons beginning to slip and the fact that no one else seemed to see a problem, he let Yesper go.

Now we have no wagons or horses. Were they even K’kiran’s wagons to take? Things are not adding up. This was no simple highway robbery.

View
Signing Up with the League
Heroes or Fools?

After a series of rough nights bouncing at The Chicken involving a couple half-giants and other assorted scumbags, the four of us, Jak, Arak, River, and Chronosophos, were enjoying a relatively peaceful end to an evening waiting for the doors to close for the night.

A mysterious Elven woman entered The Chicken. Without introduction, she abruptly informs us that our talents for dealing with strong opposition had not gone unnoticed and that our presence was required at the League Hall, home of the League of the Western Fall, and that none other than Wister Lodestone himself was awaiting our arrival. It was not stated as a request.

With that, she turned and walked out the door.

Not to turn down such an opportunity, we followed her to the League Hall, where we indeed meet with Lodestone. He informs us that a caravan transporting valuable cargo, including a large volume of pricey alcohol, has been raided, as reported by the Gnome caravan master, Arvis, who had survived the attack. Two members of the caravan, the horsemaster and quartermaster, had been captured by the Kobold raiders. Arvis, who followed the Kobolds to their camp, has provided a map describing its location, somewhere southeast of Sarra.

We were given the task of rescuing the members of the caravan and retrieving the missing cargo, all in the name of the League and promised payment of 100 gold pieces upon successful return. Having signed contracts stating our agreement to uphold the standards of the League, we received arm bands signifying our affiliation with the League for the duration of the mission.

With a brief stop back at The Chicken, where arrangements had already been made with the proprietor to cover our sudden departure, we gathered our equipment and began our quest. We took the ferry across the river, free of charge due to our new affiliation with The League, and headed down the South Road.

Traveling through the night, we found evidence of possible Kobold activity along the road. Farther down the road, our suspicions were confirmed as we were ambushed by a band of Kobold raiders.

While Kobolds are nasty creatures, they generally do not put up much of a fight, preferring to cut and run when faced with the sort of threat our party represented. These creatures attacked without hesitation, appearing far more determined to fight than we would have expected and also appeared to be noticeably better equipped than the ragged Kobold of common reputation.

One by one, the Kobolds fell, though it seems as soon as one went down, another would take its place. But eventually, only one remained, who then tried to make a run for it towards the Black Hills.

He didn’t get far. We searched the Kobold bodies and came up with 37 silver pieces, which we decided to give to River as our party’s treasurer.

Given that our directions indicated that we needed to head east soon anyway, we decided to follow the direction the Kobold had taken with the assumption that we may find the source of the Kobold raiders and thus the missing captives and cargo.

While we defeated our foes this time, we get the feeling that our victory had been unsettlingly easy. Was our decision to take this mission be one of bravery or naivety? With the suspicion that much harder times lay ahead, we left the South Road and into the forests of the Black Hills.

View
First steps
Welcome to Fallen Lavranor

You will begin in Sarra, commonly referred to as “Sorrow City”. Before the war, Sarra was a mid-sized trading hub that functioned as the gateway to the Aren Ocean westward. Over the course of ten years, Sarra was occupied as a strategic location by both armies alternatingly. Very few of the original buildings survive intact, and any original residents are in roughly the same condition.
The hub of Sorrow City is the only building unscarred by either side during occupation: the tavern. It has no official name, but the distinctive weathervane atop the roof’s steep-sloped peak made people refer to the business as “The Chicken”. The Chicken has been operated by four successive generations of a goblin family, and is a famous watering hole. Determined travelers still make the pilgrimage to obtain “Eight League Ale”, and occasionally a brave Goliath shepherd from the south will try something from the legendary Black Shelf – K’kirin’s privately brewed specialties. The goblin owner, while reclusive, also stocks a variety of more common libations, much appreciated by those who haven’t the fortitude to drink Madhouse Brandy or K’kirin’s other staggering family recipes.
Sarra is protected by a guild known as the League of the Western Fall. They operate out of a private guildhall and are controlled by Sarra’s Champion: a cunning dwarf named Wister Lodestone. He lost his hand during the war and had it replaced with an iron pint-mug. Every day cart-mules deliver the guild’s supply of ale from The Chicken, the price of protecting Sorrow City.
Sarra sits in the fork of the river Lena. To the east along the waterway is Aph Orum – “Bridge”. The river curls north, and departs from the only established trade route, east to the Mirror Sea and to Lavranor Grandis. The old center of imperial industry is now known simply as Rothport. South from Sarra is Rosa Pendula, now called Dire Falls. Any further south is into the territory of warring barons and snowy mountains. To the north along the coast are the raglands, ancient poisoned battlefields where nothing can grow. Just beyond is Ballota Nevra. “Bad News”.
If the Greater Lena is followed to the northeast towards its mouth, a fool will wander into Varaii.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.