Lights in the Darkness

From Hewflore to Taygle's End
Session 18

After a long break Osric picks up his journal again, flips to a fresh page and starts writing down:
Yric mentioned that two brothers who were investigating Taygles End have vanished. I bet this fake teacher there is responsible. We will put an end to that!
I visited the local Magonine friary today. I am surprised how young elder Bede is and wonder what deeds he done in the Makers name to already lead a friary at his age. We talked briefly and he was rather reserved but one of his position probably ends up with many hidden adversaries so I won’t hold that against him. It seems the death cult Fraegr mentioned is worshipping the daemon called “Orcus”, this swamp truly is a hive of scum and devilry!
I paid the sculptor a visit as well to see how the statue for the Study of Saint Tibba is progressing and instructed them to work on a few features some more. Saint Magos needs to looks as impressive as his deeds.

Osric continues writes into his journal while crossing the lake:
We departed from Hewflore to find evidence of the frog cult in Taygle’s End. With my mercenaries I doubt we will encounter any problems with the local lord. I have to admit that I look forward to hunt cultists again and cleaning out this rotten village will be a great first step to bring the Makers judgement into this foul swamp.
I should not forget to also find a chance to get more information about that Orcus cult. Maybe Colbert knows something? Maybe we can Visit Froxhall without resting there for a night, the prices they charge there should be considered robbery! I will better check up on Fraegr once we are back in Hewflore too, I haven’t seen him since he was with Zephyros and Xenocrates when we came back from our last expedition. I think he might know more about the cult.

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Chronicles of Zephyros - Chapter 4
The Trouble with Frogmen

As it turns out it was a good thing we decided not to torch the inn. As we investigated the upstairs we came across a couple prisoners. Eirikr was drugged similar to us in the same inn. As an Axiomar of The Maker, he’s a welcome addition to the company. The other gentleman claimed to be a merchant, but after trying to make his escape and evading our questions, we believe he is associated with the cult. The eyes seem to give it away. We decided to tie him up for now, perhaps he’ll end up being useful later. Anyways, we liberated quite a bit of loot in a few chests scattered across the inn and during our search we uncovered a trap door leading to the basement of the inn. Poor Dudda may need to find another profession, his ability to sniff out traps is in question after tripping two separate traps. Fortunately he is still alive. As for the trap door, I would have hesitated to enter such a place, but considering Osric and his followers met us at the inn, we figured we were strong enough to face whatever might be down there.

We went down a set of stairs into the basement and Orhan noticed footprints leading to a secret door on the far wall. Henryk and Ansger made short work of the door which led us to what appears to be several freshly dug shafts going several directions. The corridors are quite narrow and winding making it difficult to see very far. Henryk led the way to the far left passage and it wasn’t long before we came across the first horror. Three Frogmen were in a small chamber, they behaved almost like zombies. They had human bodies with a frog head. Their fingers ended in sharpened bone points and on their head there were two metallic plugs on either side which writhed in energy. They mouths had hundreds of sharp teeth. They had a furious attack which at one point caught Henryk off guard and seemed to paralyze him. Fortunately Eirikr was able to drag him to safety allowing Ansger to step in front of Osric and dispatch the front Frogman. Osric managed to summon the power of The Maker to keep the two Frogmen from advancing. When in this state they clasped the metallic plugs on either side of their head and howled. Ansger and Eirikr used this opportunity to dispatch the remaining Frogmen. I thought to myself, “Who is responsible for these abominations? Whoever he is, he is far more powerful than us and therefore we must be very careful how much further we venture into this place.”

We decided to retreat back to the secret room before the tunnels and rethink our situation. Plans were made to secure our position by defending the entrance through the basement. Dudda and a few others hid near the stairway into the basement. Meanwhile me and my men would hold up within the secret room itself, while Osric and a few others explored the tunnels. This way we could bar up the tunnels and only have to defend ourselves from one direction at a time or so we thought. As soon as Osric opened the door to the tunnels the prisoner screamed out something to his master giving Orhan just the excuse he needed to fill him with arrows.. Moments later the hatch to the basement opened and men with torches appeared. We were quiet as several of the men descended the staircase and entered the room. I motioned for Henryk and Ansger to charge. They quickly dispatched a couple of the men, but more were filling in behind them. I prepared a spell while I noticed commotion where Osric was entering the tunnels, apparently he had company. I completed the Summon Berserkers spell which allowed us to fill in our ranks within the basement. Similarly, Orhan raised a zombie using the scroll that was discovered recently. It was soon after that we realized that we were facing Cowel and his men. Henryk, Ansger, Eirikr, Boguslaw, Dudda, Cuthbert, the Berserkers and the zombie were cutting the enemy down. However, just as the tide seemed to be going entirely in our favor, Cuthbert met with Cowel only to be blinded by his magic, he then twisted around and was cut down by one of his sergeants. Orhan finished a sleep spell soon after allowing us to finish what they started and prior to that whatever creatures were assaulting Osric retreated back into the tunnels.

Osric’s men treated Cuthbert to the best of their ability, but he would never be the same. We immediately after sent the zombie in pursuit of the creatures in the tunnels, it was the last we would see of him. Moments later we assembled the bersekers with torches and sent them into the tunnel system ahead of Orhan and Eirikr. They came across a large constrictor type snake, that devastated several of our berserkers. Luckily they were able to finish the creature off. As they traveled further down the tunnel system we found evidence of the zombie’s last stand along with a dead giant viper. However, we were unable to locate where the frogmen had retreated to. The only unique object we came across was a large frogman statue that has a precious gem embedded into the head of the creature. Considering Eirikr sensed that it was evil, we must be cautious with what we do with this discovery.

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Chronicles of Zephyros - Chapter 3
The Welcoming Committee of Taygle's End

The people of Taygle’s End are not known for their hospitality. They were cold the last time we passed through and now that we are back, little has changed. As soon as our company departed from the riverboats we were not surprisingly greeted with shuttered windows, barking dogs, and distant stares. I couldn’t believe that we were in the same town that we visited a couple months back, so much more decay, boarded up doors, broken windows and burned down buildings…something is amiss, perhaps there is something to this cult rumor.

After making our way to the church with a huge entourage of mercenaries, perhaps we could have been more tactful, we came to the door of the church courtyard which was barred. Orhan of course still a student of human cultural norms, jumped the fence and opened the door just in time for us to hear, “Halt!” We were met by the town watch and shortly thereafter Cowal appeared from the rectory. Not surprisingly, Osric did not hide his reason for being here and so the game was on, so we would learn. Words were exchanged and Cowal eventually settled Osric down and we behaved according to their plan when our company decided to split up, with our mercenary troop and a few of our trusted followers setting up camp in the caravan yard to the North of town. Osric and the other Makerite clergy would enjoy dinner with Cowal, while Orhan and I would enjoy dinner at one of the inns. Did we fall for the bait, or did they?

The inn was nice enough, while I found it unusual that the innkeeper was as polite as he was, considering the welcome we had just received. It was also strange that there were so many locals present, with the town so run down and obviously on hard times how can these folk afford to eat at the inn? The pieces were fitting into the puzzle. I was part way into my fish dinner, which was lovely by the way, when my vision narrowed and I felt ill. I looked around the rest of the table and puzzled looks were on everyone, as Dudda plowed his face into the plate of quail. Poison was coursing through our veins…knowing the trap was sprung, I rose up and demanded to see the cook, who was observing us from the doorway into the kitchen. The innkeeper rushed towards us and insisted that the rest of the patrons help us, that was when I started muttering the incantations for a spell that would entice them all into slumber. Xenocrates and Orhan mirrored my actions while Henryk raised his axe and Anger drew his sword, what would fate decide?

All at the same time three townsfolk assaulted me, I avoided their blows as I finished the final syllable of my sleep spell. The room dimmed as a vaporous horn appeared in front of me, I blew into it as a cloud of smoke drifted into the crowd of commoners. Six collapsed into sleep, but not before one struck Xenocrates. He finished his incantation simaltaniously, a swirling opaque fog appeared just in front of him and a Brimman horn could be heard all around us, figures appeared in the fog, screaming battle cries as they charged forth. At the same moment Orhan was struck by the cook opening a light wound in his arm disrupting his spell. Ansger made a double swing removing the arm of a farmer that was assaulting me and followed through with a deep gash into the cook. Not to be outdone Henryk disemboweled the innkeeper and with a step forward removed the head off the cook. “Well that escalated quickly,” I thought to myself as Xenocretes ordered the berserkers to finish off the sleeping townsfolk.

I gave orders to bar the doors and prepare oil to burn down the inn. This would be the distraction we need to disrupt the town and save our friends at the church. Henryk barred the front door first and then moved through the kitchen to secure the rear door. Orhan checked the bodies of the fallen, noting the cook’s dagger appeared to be of fine make and was carrying a poison on the blade. Ansger attended to Dudda making sure he was going to be alright, he began to vomit, which was a good sign. I began to pull oil from my pack.

Orhan, the level headed one said, “Hold fast! We know not who is upstairs, the men we are looking for could be up there for all we know.”

“The doors are barred!” exclaimed Henryk.

“You’re right Orhan, let’s search the rest of the inn. Ansger and Henryk form up! Xenocrates get the berskerkers in formation. We’re sticking together.” I thought to myself, “I hope Osric and the others aren’t in peril, we have to get to them quickly.” The warriors formed up and we began pressing upstairs…

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Chronicles of Zephyros - Chapter 2
Rest and Relaxation in Hewflore

It was so relaxing to be able to take up residence in Hewflore for the last month. Xenocrates and I have spent most of the time studying new spells. I could have easily made it two months had I the resources. It would seem we are well prepared for our next adventure. I need to find another apprentice soon, as I have capacity to help another learn the craft. I will keep an eye out for someone that shows promise.

The idea of ridding the pirate menace in the area does appeal to Orhan and I, but that doesn’t appear to be the root cause of the economic decay in the area and perhaps it is best that we don’t help out too much, too fast. That is until we are able to capitalize on the opportunity ourselves. After all with the pirates gone, who has the most to gain? Not us. In order to capitalize on the opportunity we must have our own trade network established and now is a good time to do that with the pirates being in the way. Perhaps we can not only create new trade, but can also collect the bounties. What if these pirates are nothing more then retired traders gone rogue due to the economic decline. I wonder if they will go back to their old ways if given the opportunity to do so? Maybe some of them would be willing to do so for us?

Even though I said some strong words to him, I do feel some obligation to help Osric out on his mission in Taygle’s End. After all, he’s been such a fine and trusted companion and to have the church sweeten the deal by help identifying the purpose of the Rod of Chains, well that was most unexpected. There is something that is curious to me about this cultist phenomenon, how deep does it go? Are we meddling with the affairs of some very powerful people? We best be careful and that word is not in Osric’s vocabulary, it is a good thing I am accompanying him.

Although I am sad to see Guilbert go, it brings a smile to my face to know that he will have a secure future keeping our residence in Hewflore. Looking back on it a lot has changed since our beginnings. Tibalt left some time ago, I wonder what he is up to? Maurice met his fate in the Widdigmen Lair, such a brave lad. And now Oswald is leaving to pursue other interests. Some old friends have returned to seek riches with us including Ansger and Dudda. We also have some fresh faces including Cuthbert, Boguslaw, Fionnbharr and Wilburg, that have decided to join the company. So, all in all, I am excited about our prospects, but I feel we could use a commander for our warriors, with Maurice and Oswald now departed. Perhaps Henryk or Ansger will fill that role in time?

We’ll tomorrow we’ll be on a boat to Taygle’s End, what could possibly go wrong?

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Return from the Widdigman's Lair
Session 17

Urien writes in his diary:

“We made it out alive and packed with treasure, but Mauger is dead and many of our mercenaries were killed by a zombie attack. But, one after the other:

After we returned with Strongarm’s head to the big hall, Mauger told us that we owed him a full share of the treasure. This led to some discussion because Zephyros apparently promised that to him before we were nearly overrun in the mirror room. The discussion was heated but led to a compromise everybody could accept.

Then, they talked with Agapetos. The horse-headed beastman seems to hail from an enslaved village of his kind that is still under control of the green, four-armed giants. It certainly would be the Maker’s work to lead them out of bondage, but the giants are quite powerful as we have seen…

Osric and Oswald went into the water below the destroyed bridge to find more treasure, but they found a dangerous water snake first! It bit Osric and Mauger but Osric survived. Maybe the Maker is still holding His hand over him. I at least hope that is the reason… I never heard Osric recite the Makers words with such a lack of passion and concentration. Maybe it was the bite of the snake or this swan-winged devil. Who knows?

After that, we managed to open the big chest, nearly killing Oswald with acid. It looked worse than it actually was at the end, though, and the soap washed away most of the corrosive agent on his face. Inside, there were quite a few expensive things, some lead toy soldiers, and raunchy paintings on wood. The former lifted a mystery from the blue pool, but even after solving the child’s riddle, we were confronted by a vision of a weird aparatus: a long tube with a round middle part and a flat end. We finally gave up trying to understand it and decided to call it a day and go out of this Hellhole once and for all.

The remaining widdigmen were indeed waiting outside, but between the trophy of Strongarm’s head and the hailing of two new widdigman kings, Strongsmell and Splitclaw, we managed to slip away without further problems, taking the boats the captured caravan guards told us about."

Osric talks to Agapetos through a translator:
“I know that your people are suffering, and that you need all the help you can get. But we are only a few! We cannot wade into a village of these giants and slay them all to free your kin. We need more information and more men! We will return to Hewflore now but it may be that you cannot join us. We may have to meet again after we hire more mercenaries. Even then, we need a plan and good information on where we can strike best to free some more of you.”

In Hewflore, Urien continues his journal entries:
“I found a teacher — Ralf d’Arcy — who was willing to speak to Osric and examine the mace. When I brought Osric to him, he looked a bit odd, but he told me he wouldn’t ask any further questions. It might require some trickery to do this, but I am convinced I can find a way…

The curse is undone! The teacher was swift and Osric rather befuddled as he threw the mace from him like an iron pot too long on the fire. With great care, Brother Ralf took the mace to the Maker’s House of Hewflore where the canons there destroyed it on the altar. The power of the foul demoness Turana broken, they assured me that the metal would be used for alms.

Glory to the Maker!

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The East Wing of the Ratman Stronghold and the End of Bigarm
Sessions 13 to 16

Urien writes into his diary:

We pushed into the right-hand part of the lair after a short skirmish with the creatures who emerged from that side just when we finished our rest.

We found another statue of the swan lady and a trap that made us fall asleep when crossing the room. Luckily, no ambush followed, and we moved forward till we came to a chasm with a bridge guarded by a handful of the creatures.

We charged across the bridge as they tried to cut the rope. They were no match for our warriors, and the other side was secured quickly, but then they used a hidden entrance in a side room for a foray against our rear. Maurice and one of the giants drove them back quickly, but they were too eager and pushed too far resulting in both of them being separated from us when the door closed.

It took us too long to figure out how to twist the three pairs of statues to face their mates. When we finally stormed into the chamber beyond, our companions were already defeated, and we couldn’t do anything to save them. It must have been quite a shock for Osric. I saw the anger in his eyes: he was very proud of his strong friendship with Maurice. The Muscle will be missed.

We were chasing the creatures away when we were attacked by an animated drop-front desk and a candlestick holder! The rest of the room was just as strange. Two cauldrons were in the room’s center: one flaming brightly as it emitted an oppressive heat and another filled with a clear fluid in which floated sparkling motes of light. When we dropped something into the flaming cauldron, the whole room darkened in a strange way. When we did the same with the clear one, a strange chest appeared above the pool. We then rested a bit and found many destroyed books and a heavy chest under something that must have been Bigarm’s ragged throne. We decided to rest soon, but wished to first secure the next room.

It was a bad mistake! They were waiting for us. Guilbert and our only remaining giant fell in the resulting fight. We successfully withdrew and managed to hole up in the big room again.

Something about Osric concerns me. He was not healing our wounded in the morning and was rather evasive when I asked him about that. I wonder what happened? Is the Maker angry with him? But why?

We moved out again and destroyed the bridge, cutting the bridge on our side before returning to the weird chamber. We encountered no opposition in the next room where Guilbert fell. It must have been some magical laboratory with a weird glass bell or dome suspended under the ceiling, a mirror on rails (that we covered up just in case), and lots of strange runes on the wall. The remaining exit led us through a secret door into the former crypt of the temple complex, it seems. There still were many “traps” where people were put under strange spells, but we figured that out only later after the final fight agains the remaining warriors and Bigarm himself.

Bigarm and his last band of followers ambushed us in the tunnels, employing these “stored” magical effects to attack us while trying to place a wedge between the front of the party and the rear using small side passages. Xenocrates and Haakon fell in the ensuing battle, and horse-headed Agapetos nearly lost one of his eyes. In the end, we managed to kill them all though! Fraegr and Mauger even fought at the front this time, quite a surprise for otherwise rather shifty individuals.

We cleaned out much of the remaining complex now and certainly will continue tomorrow as well. We now have to think of how we can move all these goods over the treacherous swamp back to our camp on the island to the north. We will see if the Widdigmen who stayed outside will attempt anything, but maybe we can work out something with “Strongsmell” and “Splitclaw,” the two Widdigman warriors that we freed in the prison.

I am slowly beginning to suspect that something is wrong with Osric. He fights differently than before, much more recklessly! Might it be the sacrificial mace we found, and that he took from Maurice? I don’t think anything else has changed otherwise. Thinking of it, I heard no prayer or verse from Osric since we lost the last giant, but it was pretty chaotic so maybe I just missed it. I pray we go back to Hewflore soon.

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The Statue and Prison of the Ratman Stronghold
Session 11 & 12

“The rats indeed came back for more!” Osric adds to the journal with a little smile on lips before continuing to write down the events that followed.

“These rat-men really dared to disturb our rest but were spotted just in time. The fight was swift and brutal, and Maurice engaged half a dozen on his own before I joined him in the righteous punishment of these sniveling little beasts. The other front towards the large hall was dominated by our four-armed assistants and Zephyros, but it took a while to get them out of all the little hiding places before silence once again spread through these noisome halls. We decided to pull back a bit into the large room after we made sure there was nothing more valuable on the recently slain.

While we cleaned up the larger hall a bit to barricade us in, we got the chance to take a closer look at the large statue. It depicts a woman sitting with staff and pomegranate in hand. From her back, a set of swan wings are visible and there are also swans to her feet making her look rather regal for a heathen goddess. In front of her was a blackened altar, and behind that we found the remains of a woman. She might have died here fighting, but we cannot say for sure. It didn’t look like a sacrifice of some sort, at least, but closer inspection of her belongings netted us a small vial filled with a magical oil of some sort. After rummaging through the rest of the room, pushing the brazier over, closing all the large doors and removing the rather solid, staff from the statue, we eventually found a hidden stash and drainage under the altar. There we found three silver sacrificial weapons: two curvy daggers and a pomegranate mace that seems to be of wondrous make! Quite a find I have to say; I am sure Maurice will make good use of this weapon. "

And with that Osric put the journal away to prepare for another, hopefully undisturbed, rest.

More then an hour later Osric finds some time to write into the journal once more.:

“The rats came back just as we were preparing for another foray. Their ambush was short-lived as the group ran away after the first died by a well placed arrow in his ugly little face. They were even gracious enough to leave a hostage behind for us to interrogate!

The western door, where we encountered the giant ironback before, leads to a prison of sorts where the enemies of Bigarm are held. Apparently, some of these little cowards were holed up in there as well, so we stormed the narrow tunnels without aid of the large giants. It wasn’t much of a battle, but there was one enemy of note: the witch doctor. This nasty little creature had an aura of doubt and disgust about him with his sickly green glowing eyes, making it hard face him directly, but the Maker made me see right through his foul magic! The second hit with my mace broke his skull, and he ceased to whisper his sorcerous blasphemy immediately.

There was a range of prisoners: two caravan guards, a canon and his man-servant, a Dwergar soldier, a weird-looking beastman with a horse’s head, and two widdigmen who say they are enemies of Bigarm. Moreover, there was a plethora of females with their young who apparently tried to seek shelter in the cells.

We swiftly went back into the large hall and I had a brief talk with Godric the canon before we decided to tackle the eastern doors next."

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Massacre in the Ratman Stronghold
Sessions 9 & 10

While the company works on the guard detail, Osric sits down to write into a small journal:

After being told to wait for an audience with Big-arm, Maurice started gambling with some of the opossum-folk who guarded the main entrance. Word eventually arrived that the head honcho was willing to speak with us, but only one, our scarred captain, Zephyros, was to be allowed an audience with his rattishness.

After a quick discussion, we disregarded that idea and tried to convince some of the small ones to start a coup d’état. Sadly, the cowardice was stronger and some just decided to run away…

The group decided against idleness and instead chose to press forward, much to the chagrin of Longnose, whose knowledge of what would follow put tears of desperation into his beady little eyes. He proved to be prophetic: the bloodbath that followed will truly be remembered. The snot-nosed little beastmen fell by the dozens under our onslaught as we pressed deeper and deeper into their warren.

Mace, sword and arrow managed to dispatch these sniveling abominations with ease. Maurice especially gave them no quarter as he led the charge against the opossumen with righteousness and valor. Even when we found ourselves separated on different fronts after breaking their resistance in the second large room, he handled the situation remarkably well. These filthy little creatures unleashed a large armadillo in their efforts to turn the battle by brute strength and numbers.

But, they all perished, and we decided to barricade ourselves in to get some rest and treat our wounds, giving me the chance to pen these words. This place here seems to be an old temple of some heathen goddess of fertility. We certainly need to make sure to explore this place more thoroughly. Who knows what else might be buried under the refuse of these ignorant creatures?

Now I should also write about these four-armed giants that Zephyros “convinced” with his his mind tricks to join our cause.

There is no best way to describe these two brutes. For the casual observer,they would be nothing more than four-armed reptilian abominations clad like the barbarians of the mountains, wielding scavenged swords and axes. Yet, after sharing the company of these savage beasts for a few days, watching their behavior and fighting prowess, one is hard-pressed to not be impressed. Their lust for battle is remarkable and their kin seems to be well-known by the widdig-men. Their behavior is crude but proud, and they seem to put great stock in their combat ability.

Not without reason! While their strength is still no match for the likes of Maurice the Muscle, their four arms and size give them a huge advantage in hand-to-hand combat where they seem to enjoy singing what probably amounts to battle hymns while slaughtering the terrified vermin who live in these tunnels. This really makes me wonder if the Maker in all his glory decided to give these savages some resemblance of culture, or if they just mock what they might have seen of mankind in ages past.

Now its time to rest, not to ponder. I would be surprised if these sneaky rat creatures do not try something when they think our guard is down, so I better get some sleep while I can.

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Massacre at the Possumen Caves, Part 1
Session 9

This session started where we left last time: At the entrance to the Possumen Caves. There was some debate how to approach the Possumen chieftain Strongarm, but he was not fooled: Only Zephyros alone would be allowed to enter. Longnose went in to bargain on our behalf, while we waited. Maurice played dice with some of the guards, the others just waited and counted the number of Possumen around (several score, at least).

Finally, Longnose returned and pleaded for Zephyros to enter. Zephyros suspected a trap and tried to convince some of the Possumen to ally against the Possum chieftain – but to no avail, Longnose had a bad reputation and his gang soon feld the scene.

On this point, we decided that a more forceful entry was in order. The group stormed the entry, slaying Possumen left and right. First through a tunnel to a larger cave, where we met first resistance which our four-armed giant lizard allies soon turned to flight. While the rest of the group pressed on, pursuing the fleeing Possumen before they could regroup, Demoleon tried a second door. It was locked, but he managed to open it, hoping for treasure behind. (That was the last the group heard of him so far).

The rest of the group stormed a second cave, from which a gong sounded an alarm. Despite the barricade, the Possumen defenders were put to flight once more. The group got split though, being attacked from several directions: Oswald and Osric mopping up some remaining Possumen, while Zephyros and Orhan got ambushed from a small passage and Maurice running into some kind of large, armoured beast.

Here we ended the session, hoping to somehow get out of this mess alive. (The hopes of returning rich are rather dimished right now.)

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Exploring the Island: Ruins and Ratmen
Session 8

With our new four-armed allies, we returned to camp where Oswald and Maurice recovered from being mauled by the giant that saved against the charm. Early the next morning, we continued exploring the island, all being fully well again.

First, we returned to the menhir where we encountered the giants and explored the stone, but there was nothing special about it. Afterwards, we searched the nearby ruins, which were similar to the one we found further east – just that they were occupied by a flesh eating willow. Quickly, it was hacked to pieces and turned into a bonfire. When searching the vicinity, we found the remains of elder victims: among them a venturer who brought wine and plenty coins.

Still, our groups greed was not yet stilled so we pressed on. Further in the ruins, we found a house sealed by a large stone block. Being unable to open it, we finally used brute force. This caused the stone to fall, almost smashing Oswald and Maurice. Within the house, we found four tusks which we decided to bring along.

Shortly afterwards, we confirmed that we were on an island in the swamp, there was water all around us. We also found a ford to the southwest, leading to another island. Feeling invincible (or just getting jaunty) we decided to press on, stumbling into a swamp crocodile lair. Only a quick sleep spell prevented us from becoming dinner.

We spied some movement on the other island, with metal glinting. We shortly discussed whether or not to attack, but finally decided to retreat and watch. (For supper, we took some crocodile meat with us, also Zephyros took some crocodile leather for shoes). From our hiding point, we saw some rat man approaching, investigating the crocodile lair. Since they did not continued to our island, we retreated to camp, where we sampled the wine and called it a night.

The next morning, explored another ruin south of the island we had spotted the session before, but not investigated. We found an area with two giant frog skeletons, pink grass and some primitive (and abandoned) shelter. Inside, there were only a holy symbol and a prayer bead. Afterwards we we went east, to explore the new island with the rat-men.

Zephyros managed to convinced the rat-man gangleader Longnose that we were friends (without using magic). When talking with him, we learnt that rat-men do not like the four armed lizard-man giants, because those consider the rat-men food. Also, that the rat-man chieftain is rich. We asked for an audience with the rat-men chieftain, which Longnose promised. We needed to convince one further rat-man leader to be allowed into their stronghold. We learnt that the stronghold was prepared for the rat-mens prefered hit-and-run tactics, with many covers and covered paths.

We ended the session when arriving at the stronghold, as it was getting late.

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