Saros

June 26th
The Cave in in the Cave and Ashabrak is AshaBACK

June 26th

Okitar leads the group at a slow pace. An hour later the group hears sounds of metal on stone which gets louder and louder. The sounds are clearly above the party. The party stops when they get to the middle of the sounds. He says the work has been going on for at least a few days. Xonan offers to scout ahead and they all move on. When the group begins to see sunlight, Okitar stops. The group without him leaves and figures they are 3.5 – 4 miles from where the party originally entered the mines. The opening is not a large or well used one. No humans are spotted. There is a distant sound of voices in Common. The group approaches stealthily. A lot of working sounds – metal on stone, metal moving through wood, similar sounds to when the group was in the smithy wood on metal. Marra moves ahead to recon then comes back with a strange look on her face. “Well I don’t think they’re mining, per se. Looks like they’re building.” Certain asks if they’re building a fort, and Marra says it looks more like siege equipment. There are also tents and large numbers of troops training. 100-150 are in chains working, many of whom are human, some half elves and halflings, as well as some half orcs. Some of the workers appear to be excavating into the mine, opening a large pit and working inside part of it. They go back to Okitar. There was a rumor that something was found that pulsed and irradiated… something that significantly increased the poison that killed the miners. When Certain asks if Xonan remembers anything about the airships, Xonan remembers other gnomes teaching him about engines with pure magical power, which used Magicite to power them, which despite being capable of many things, would still be stable and shouldn’t do anything negative unless something catastrophically went wrong. He remembers that there were clear, dire warnings about not messing with the core. They have a half life of about 70 years before they’re no longer dangerous should they leak. The engine cores were green Magicite. He also remembers a sense of community with the people who taught him, but a bit more cold, efficient than the community he feels with the group he’s in. He also remembers some things about magic, including his own magic and how it works. Xonan feels as though he understands a bit more about his powers. He also remembers the differences between divine and arcane magic. The group decides to investigate and see what the humans are after. The air starts to get a bit thicker. The air is palpably “off.” The ceiling is very low. Some deposits of iron and silver ore. Some remains of a mine cart in the middle. There is a strange, dense metal object that appears to be multilayered. Soumgra looks ahead and remembers reading about a vibrant metal cocoon that some creatures would hibernate in. She lets the group know what she sees, then moves back in. Another cocoon is suspended from the ceiling, large enough to hold a medium-sized creature. The ground is damp, but it’s not actually wet. There appears to be a small amount of movement. The group does make it through without incident, however. They go down and the next area has much denser air and more damp. Lot more rough stone about. The smell reminds Certain of when they came across the engine in the river some months past. Soumgra looks at a dead end and sees some exposed ore and the contaminant. She moves on and sees a beam of light which appears to be coming from the floor. The color seems to be shifting. Soumgra sees through her cat’s eyes and looks into the chamber and sees a sphere. Xonan walks up next and feels strange. It’s larger than an engine sphere and is running through the different colors. It appears to be rainbow. It seems to be significantly more powerful than the airship Xonan was on. It was probably there for centuries. It is broken but not inert. The group begins to go back up but hears something when they’re about to enter the main chamber. One of the creatures is walking about but is swiftly dealt with. Suddenly they hear a noise from the ramp from which they came that heads out of the mine. When they go investigate, they see the other four around a corpse, which are easily defeated, but the corpse turns out to be Okitar. In his body is a large group of larvae. They decide to bring it to the engine in the hopes the larvae will eat the engine. His body is looted for a fine short spear, a fine short composite bow, 17 GP in assorted coins and a scroll. Xonan identifies the scroll as a scroll of Resist Energy. They also find an ounce of Sovereign Glue, worth 1200 GP. (600 xp) When they get to the engine, an undead apparition that looks similar to Xonan and the undead gnomes he and the original party fought. Xonan attempts to speak to it but the rest of the party attacks it outright. It still responds to Xonan, instructing the party to leave. Xonan yells this and Certain decides to pull back. Xonan realizes that wild magic is in the air which means that anything could happen with a spell in the area. The apparition casts a spell-like ability and seems to teleport. Soumgra casts Detect Magic and faerie fire is cast around herself as well. Her cat and the larvae in Okitar’s body are both teleported to other parts of the mine. Engine is surrounded by Perigean runes. Some type of teleportation burst suddenly activates. As the only one who can communicate with it, Xonan again attempts to parlay. When the apparition asks what year it is, Xonan responds with “3728.325.” His reaction appears to not be happy, as if he’s having a hard time believing how much time has passed. He does seem to believe Xonan. Xonan asks what year does he believe the creature thinks it is and he responds with 1075.283, which is about 8 or 9 thousand human years. “No wonder you do not remember The Fall” he replies. He laughs in a fear-inducing, not pleasant sound when Xonan states he believes he is a gnome. He says that if Xonan finds their people, to tell them Dermot Ellson fulfilled his duties. He tosses Xonan a pendant, then proceeds to cause a massive cave in. They fall back to the kobold’s apartment, finding the panther en route. The pendant has an inscribed picture and some writing on the other. It’s more like a badge than pendant; a brooch that represents authority. He was a Chief Engineer. It also lists the name of the city Xonan’s people are from – Rille. The image is not a ship – it is an entire city. A potion of cure light wounds is found in Okitar’s apartment. They also find a mummified elf hand. A Hand of the Mage. (Mage Hand Amulet) Another scroll is also found. (Scroll of Hideous Laughter) The group rests without incident. Xonan has disjointed dreams but doesn’t remember them. The next morning, Soumgra decides to check out the cave in using the path the group used before. Soumgra wakes up and feels tired. She looks at a reflective surface and sees a wrinkle on her face. They make their way out and there is a path with traffic. Marra sneaks into the area and returns in an hour. She says a few dozen slaves died and the cave in only impacted the tunnel. The encampments and siege equipment are still intact. She finds Ashabrak and says that he’s giving orders, to both the slaves and his hirelings. The group decides to send in Certain alone and disguised as Ashabrak’s hireling Kaelbrak, but he is quickly spotted. Certain attempts to bluff his way out of the confrontation and while the guard doesn’t believe him doesn’t stop him either. Marra has given Certain an extremely well-detailed map, so Certain is able to find the command tent. The guard stops him, but he walks away and goes around to the back of the tent and casts a spelllike ability to see through the wall of the back of the work tent nearby. Inside the work tent is forging equipment with two people inside, one of whom is Ashabrak. There’s another partition behind a wall, so he moves to see it. Inside this is a table and workbench with a human who doesn’t appear to be a blacksmith, but the table appears to have what Ashabrak calls “rifles” and “bullets.” Also stones with contaminant, and some glowing green shards, which seems to resemble things from the engine. Some maps on a table showing Dirshire and the Aquan city, as well as the orc country and the elven country to the north with figurines on the maps. Another tent is a mess hall and a fourth is a storage tent that has a wagon and the engine the party found in the river several weeks before. He finally talks to Ashabrak and convinces him to see him outside the camp. He returns to the group and relays what happened. They plan to meet him and slightly injure him with the cat, then cast Suppress Charms and Compulsions while saying it’s a healing spell so as to convince him to not try to resist the spell. (The session ends here.)

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June 12th

June 12th

The group goes to where they believe the old mine is located, coming across an elven caravan. Marra sells the stolen gems for elven silk. There is a rugged path mentioned that would save time but involves fording the river. The longer, safer route involves a bridge and will add one day to the travel. They choose the latter. When they get to the bridge, they make camp. Xonan has a dream – remembers having sex. (Will get some more information later.) The next morning they go to the bridge. The bridge appears to be unguarded both above and below. They cross and Soumgra sees a stone with a symbol on it. She believes she may have seen this symbol at the fort while visiting the tower. The day is uneventful but begins to storm that night. Xonan remembers a female name during his night’s sleep. As they get closer to the mine, it is clear the soldier caravan did not switch to the smaller road the party is going to. The road doesn’t appear to be an issue for horses, although it would be for wagons. The mine is in a part of the forest that is less dry. Three hours later, the group gets to the mine. The mine does not appear to be occupied. A sign saying “Keep Out!” is on the outside. Certain had been to the mines about 10 years ago when they were shut down. Three entrances are found, one of which is far from the road and difficult to find. The roots help keep it stable. It is determined that this is the best entrance to take. The party cuts a few trees to make supports to further reinforce the entrance. They then go into the mine the next day. Certain scouts ahead in a river and comes across a hostile creature called a Grey Ooze. He gets injured but returns to the group and they decide to move on. A Periapt of Health – the wearer is immune to disease, including supernatural ones. Xonan takes this. Any existing diseases are not cured but the symptoms are suppressed. Worth 7500GP. There are three skeletons – 2 goblin and one kobold. The group decides to move on. The new area appears to have been previously caved in, but has been reopened due to shifts. The next area appears to be an old mining zone with a cart and 2 dozen corpses that are likely dead for 10+ years. 56GP found in coins and small valuables. There is also a scroll. It is a scroll of shrink item (unidentified.) They move on and toss Marra to the next area. She notices a door that’s smaller than a normal-sized one and metal slats hammered in. She returns and Certain goes ahead to see what he can. He notices some light coming through. He looks through and also sees what appears to be a wooden structure and rug. He hears someone speaking in Draconic asking “Who is casting spells at my door?” Unable to think of anything else, he responds with “It is Certain.” It invites Certain in. There is an elderly kobold sitting crossed-legged in front of the fire. The two exchange dialogue. Marra attempts to sneak in, but the kobold smells her straight away. A few minutes later the rest of the party joins them. The kobold reveals that he’s been in the cave far too long for him to remember. His tribe, the last after the great wars, was in the marsh before being destroyed by humans. The kobold begins cooking some vegetables. The kobold says Xonan is not a gnome, as he doesn’t smell like one. When Certain asks what he does smell like. He takes a very long sniff, then says “He smells like everything – human, elf, dwarf….smells like everything. Perhaps his parents were of mixed origin.” He says he lives alone, waiting to die. His name is Okitar. Certain offers to bring him into his village. He then adds that he heard some activity above ground the last time he went out a few days ago and offers to take the party to where he heard this. The party eats. Okitar grabs a bag and beckons the group to follow. (The session ends here.)

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May 29th

(May 29th)

The group stays at a room in the workshop called Bremond‘s Blades. The group brings in some leftover drake scales. Xonan wakes up that morning remembering his father’s name, which is Kell. He also remembers how his gnomish tribe names their families, and as such his surname, which is Kellson. Xonan and Certain have breakfast with the smith. The halfling festival parade will begin in a few hours. There will also be a jousting tournament, as well as an archery tournament. The Church of the Three Brothers is the main human religion. The three brothers are Grim, Genus, and Gaius. Soumgra goes to the beautician for more information. The lieutenant is upset that he’s going to be working and cannot compete. Garmund and Torn are the knights the lieutanent favors to win. She also mentions gambling on the tourney. When the dwarf asks what the Lady thinks of the tournament, she says she enjoys seeing her old friends, she likes big, ostentious things that spoil her. She apparently never takes off her necklace, regardless of what the beautician is measuring her for and all garments made for the Lady must be tailored to show off the necklace. Xonan and Certain decide to help the smithy, who does a decent job explaining the basics of smithing. Certain’s skin gets hot and dry from being around the extreme heat of the furnace. He mentions that he could be making plenty of money smithing for the lord, but feels that quality beats quantity. He does admit that not many can afford quality. Marra looks for strawberries but is unsuccessful. She later hears a trumpet blast, the type of which announces the arrival of nobility. About a dozen nobles and their entourages arrive. Most are human, a few are elven. An elf trader comes by. When Marra asks, he indicates he has some strawberries but they’re for “special clients.” Marra convinces the trader to sell to her, however. She returns to deliver the strawberries and see the parade. The two at the smithy also hear the trumpets. The smith imagines they signify someone important coming but isn’t overly concerned as he has no love for the upper class, or the jousting tournament. He doesn’t like any form of combat, being a war veteran, but believes in having quality steel. Xonan shows the smith a gear from the crashed ship asking if he knows anything about it. The smith replies that he has never seen markmanship, although he has seen gears with lesser detail in the capital and some major cities and other areas where religion has started to fall away. He says he imagines a single gear would’ve taken days to build, given the high level of detail. He recommends going to a major city to show it to a smithy there. He offers to buy the gear for a gold piece but Xonan declines. (Will get the name of a smith in the capital should the party actually go there.) Soumgra goes to the parade which comes and goes without any major incident. The archery tournament is next, and both Xonan and Certain go to watch it. Certain reminds everyone that Bear warned to watch for pickpockets. Bear is also at the tournament. They mention the other Aquan, which Bear says it’s rare to see a travelling Aquan. He says he’s putting some gold down on Baelfire. The tourney is in two stages, the first is in groups. Soumgra passes the first round but fails the second. She and Marra go into the tower, escorted by Bullen to change. Lady Grey’s room is on the 7th floor. Marra decides to sneak off to find information on the nobles by sneaking in their rooms. There is a signed document mentioning 250 humans, 50 of which are cavalry dedicated to Lord Grey. The lord comes out and gives a prize to the winner of the archery tournament. Bear offers some drinks to the other two. The next event is a sermon by Elder Cazan. The sermon is about death. Nobody really pays much attention to it, however it is rather boring. Bullen treats the ladies to some ice cream. The jousting tournament is next. The entire party goes to see it. Certain has, up to this point never seen a horse in full armor. The nobles and noble ladies are talking. The lieutenant is saying he’s tired from shuffling troops to “the site.” The lord also mentions “the site” a few times, including prepping the site. “Ashabrak” is also mentioned a few times. Lady Grey says that Ashabrak was being “put to the task.” The lord appreciates that and says he will be heading out tomorrow. The village is having a festival after the joust. There was a new tax given and more food given to the marshall. The people are mostly enjoying the joust. Winter is on the horizon. There are rumors that the Lady is a sorceress. Most people who entertain such rumors typically go missing not long after. Marra decides to go back to the tower but is stopped by the guards. She feigns fainting and a servant takes her to the stables. Blackroot sees her there, and it turns out he also wants to sneak into the tower. He formulates a plan to bypass the guards. He casts a spell that makes it appear as though Marra is on fire but it fails. Bear, Xonan and Certain are invited to join in the village festival. Certain asks Bear how one would stop a cavalry charged. Bear says the most common methods would be disguised pits, divination magic, making themselves larger and turning solid ground into mud. Soumgra goes to the noble feast. The elves seem more grateful for the feast than the humans, who seem more uppity and less appreciative. Xonan and Certain are welcomed into the home of one of the villagers, who is a friend of Bear. They feel welcomed and the conversation is much more down to earth and friendly. The adults mention the crops might not have a good harvest. No one seems to like the new Lord Marshall, given the new taxes and increased soldier presence. They did love the last LM. There are other changes like laws and regulations. The watch used to help civilians in need, but now will fine them. There are only three blacksmiths available to the public, as the rest work for the lord or left. This is the 4th Lord Marshall in the last 50 years, while many other places will have one LM that entire period. The current lord has replaced most everyone with influence and power. Marra decides she will try again to search Lord and Lady Grey’s room. She is successful in reaching the 7th floor, but there is a guard outside their door. She picks a lock on one of the doors. The room appears to be the lieutenant’s room. There’s a safe in the room as well as a desk. On the desk are many forms for troop movements and the like. Marra takes some of the blank forms off the desk and 6 valuable looking books. The next door is not locked. It turns out to be a privy. The next door is also unlocked. It leads to a bedroom but nothing of import. The fourth door is locked and proves considerably tougher to open. After opening it she hears sounds like feet on stairs. She moves to hide as the lieutenant walks in. She tries and fails to create a distraction and the guard confronts her. She jumps out the window and gets injured. A guard is right where she landed and attempts to help her but she knocks him out and escapes. She goes to her room and the dwarves look through the books Marra stole. One, “On War”, is autographed by its author. Three others are on tactics, another on training soldiers, another on horses and the last about oragami. There is a knocking at the door, but Marra is able to escape their notice. Security is now heightened while they search for the halfling responsible for the incident. The next day, the dwarves meet Bullen and say they will be leaving. They’re being followed by a tail. They agree to split up and meet again at a tavern in Kent. The tail follows Soumgra. She fails to lose the tail, who walks up and introduces himself as an associate of Bullen. The two go to the tavern. There will be a large gathering this afternoon, the only information is that it will be “an important meeting.” Xonan and Certain overhear that Ashabrak was seen leaving town, headed southeast. Marra sees the three and indicates the bar where she and Soumgra are going. The others sit at a different table than Soumgra. Bear indicates that he thinks the person with Soumgra is a member of the secret police. Marra is seen by the party. Bear distracts the soldier by starting a bar fight. Xonan and Soumgra go to the meeting. The other two stay in the village. The Lord Marshall appears, but it is a small gathering. Many guards are around. The Lord goes on about security and will punish the guards by stripping them of their armor and get 20 lashings each. Warns that thieves or sabateurs will be executed. The group rejoins and decides to go to the mines to find Ashabrak. (450 XP given. The session ends here.)

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May 15th

(May 15th)

Fort Kent is a small city with a population of about 10,000, most of which are humans. The watch is known for its cruelty. The citizens are extremely distrustful of magic and the unknown. The gnome is given a cloak to cover his tattoos. The group goes to a village along the way to the fort and there’s a holiday going on. Certain notices a river Aquan in town. The other Aquan appears older and is likely not affiliated with any tribe. Certain decides to get the same drink and strike up a conversation. The other confirms that he is independent of the other tribes and has been for 15 years. He says he is from a village about 300 miles south named Arreshalah. The other’s name is Blade. Certain asks what Blade does, to which he replies that he “solves problems.” Soumgra decides to speak with the locals. The locals are a bit surprised to see a dwarf in their village. Taxes have been increased and winter is coming, which makes it harder for the halflings to adequately stock supplies for the coming winter. There are also a lot more soldiers than there were. They also mention the cruelty of the guards in the fort and peacebonding, which forced smiths to go outside the village or work directly for the lord. Most have done the latter. Xonan decides to eavesdrop on the locals. He spots a couple of guards from the fort and listens in on them. He also overhears troop movement and rumors about a new operation to the south. There is also a new captain of the guard but they do not mention what happened to the old captain. The new captain is named Ardden. The group meets back up and share their information. (1GP spent from the party funds.) Marra talks to the halflings but does not return later. Certain mentions to the southeast is the old mine but doesn’t know why soldiers would be headed that way. He conjectures that they are likely forcing slaves to work the mines. Marra returns in the morning. There is an orcling mercenary in town. They buy some supplies including a warhorse and wines. The group ventures forth and finds Blade, who is with the orcling, named Rogor. Both groups indicate they are waiting on one last person. The newcomers are armed and armored, with 3 horses. The orcling seems interested in Soumgra and introduces himself. They talk for a bit before a human appears named Tumar Blackroot. The group mounts up and heads to the fort. Blackroot begins singing. Transmutation enhancement from the song allows the mounts to speed up slightly. The group sits and has lunch. Blade and Certain talk a bit more. Xonan feeds and pets the horses. Tumar stops singing as the village approaches. Blade advises they’re going directly into the fort. The village doesn’t appear to care about the group. Blade palms the guard some gold and the peacebond appears to be not very secure. The newcomers split off from the party and the party themselves decides to shop some more. Marra comes back and says he ran into Ashabrak’s cousin (and hireling) Kaelbrak. Ashabrak is working for the lord who is doing minor jobs for him but doesn’t appear to be in the fort right now. Bear has not been seen. Certain says they’d like to have supper with Ashabrak. Xonan opts to enchant his soul gem. Soumgra hears rumors around town. The old captain of the guard is retired and returns to the capital. Lady Lyrinn Grey, the lord marshall’s wife has come. The rumor is that she is extremely beautiful despite being the same age as the marshall. Lieutenant Arrden is a stern warrior, risen in the ranks, a man of honor. He is well liked by the soldiers and not hated by the people. It’s been about a week since mercenaries show up. Some stay, some go. Their purpose is still unknown. On the first day, the group finds Bear. He decides to wait with the group, but has some business to tend to. He stays outside the fort. Soumgra sends one of her scrolls of sending to advise her dwarven leadership of the situation with the Aquans and humans. She also mentions the mercenaries and that the treaty has been manipulated by the humans. The dwarves instruct her to gather information (and not interfere) within lunar phase, then move to next town. Soumgra decides to go to the fort proper to determine the reason behind the mercs arriving. An ambassador meets her. He introduces himself as Bullen. He advises the marshall will return in a few days. He does however, give the dwarf a tour of the fort, which is very well built. (For humans.) He also mentions a dinner that’ll happen tomorrow night. She says she’d love to attend, but needs a dress. He agrees to have them sent to the tailor. When she asks about the comings and goings of the mercs, he says there are many things going on, including orcs possibly getting ready to attack. He also mentions the Lady needs protection, thus the increase in guards and they plan to reopen mines. He also mentions there is likely an upcoming tournament which will include jousting. The tailor crafts a beautiful dress. The ambassador also shows the barracks and training grounds. He does not show her the dungeon. Certain goes through the markets in an attempt to learn more about the humans and their culture. He gives a bottle of wine to a very old elf who loves the humans, although has less love for its government. He mentions the engineer society in the humans’ capital city has created machines that move and respond and could eventually travel the skies. He also mentions a strange looking tattooed mage that was casting spells before disappearing into the night. He also says the previous marshall was “content”, whereas the current one is ambitious and wants more. Soumgra, on the 4th day goes to the beautician, a half elf. She tries to get information about Lady Grey. The half elf only says good things about her – likely has some negative thoughts about the Lady, but refuses to say as such, as if she’s afraid of her. Fashion and jewelry apparently are two of the Lady’s interests. She also asks about the mercenaries. The beautician does an astounding job on making Soumgra look extremely good. She also mentions having a dalliance with the lieutenant. Bullen clearly likes her new look. He escorts her to the dinner. She looks at Arrden who seems dedicated to the job and refuses to drink. The Lady seems otherworldly. Her beauty is beyond description, and likely enhanced by magic. There are some others who are not nobility but appear to be important. One is an alchemist, one is an architect, and the third is a human high priest of The Church of The Brother Grim. The priest’s name is Raul Cazan. The alchemist is a half elf named Jorell Dym and the architect is a human named Thomas Kenser. Both Bullen and a fool attempt to entertain the party but fail, for which the Lady apologizes. She introduces Soumgra as well. Lieutenant Arrden introduces himself to the dwarf. He says he’ll try to get a meeting with the Lord Marshall. Xonan on the night between 3rd and 4th nights dreams well. Upon awakening he realizes he can speak Common fluently, and has in fact regained all of the languages he previously knew. He also realizes crafting magic items fills him with a sense of comfort. Soumgra determines that someone may be following her and tries to lose the tail in the crowd. Certain continues to explore and gain information about the outer city. Soumgra lets Certain know what she’s found and vice versa. Certain speculates that the Lady may be responsible for everything that has happened with the Lord Marshall. Soumgra then decides to look for the servants to pump them for information. They realize that they’re the only two who speak Elvin. The cook says he has been ordered to make lots of waybread but provides no useful information at first. He then says that two days ago, he was ordered to make Trinakta, a special spiced cake that’s normally reserved for special occasions. The elf asks if Soumgra can find some strawberries. Certain sees Blade going into a closed store that was formerly a blacksmith. He decides to follow. Many guards are around the area. Blade is surprised to see Certain but admires his bravery. Certain says he’s looking to get a new sword. Blade says he’s there for some “problem solving.” He is not going to divulge specifics of his tasks, saying they’re “state secrets.” The blacksmith is unable to do anything to improve Certain’s weapon but sharpens Blade’s. Certain decides to have Coldiron inlayed into his blade. (535 xp gained. This ends the session.)

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May 1st

(May 1st)

That night, the gnome has some weird dreams. The sensation of being under the earth, but light above. Then darkness. A mechanical sound the gnome doesn’t immediately recognize. A clicking sound, echoing. Seems loud and disorienting, but not frightening. The mountain peak’s frostline is lower than one would normally expect. Ice is expected to be about 20 ft. thick. The ice is slippery and the snow cover over it isn’t thick. Marra makes frostward gel (cold resistance +5) to combat the cold. The gnome casts a spell to speak to the birds who indicate the drake is out. Certain states the party can set a trap. They climb to the top of the cave and begin walk through, with Bear trying to cover their tracks as best he can. Marra disappears for a moment, then appears and climbs up a tree. She then sees a bird but believes it’s the drake and falls out of the tree and plops under the snow. Xonan casts Message and communicates to Marra that she saw a bird. Soumgra decides to go into the cave to scout out the area. She finds 3 baby drakes and returns. The group goes into the cave and discusses their plan of attack. Drake’s treasure stock consists of 3 potions and 300 GP of assorted coins (2 1st level – a potion of disguise weapon and a potion of comprehend languages – and one 0th level potion of resistance. The comprehend language potion is given to Soumgra, the other two in the loot pile) The drake soon returns and the group gathers at the cavern to face it, and are successful in killing it. The frost drake appears to be male. They decide to feed the drakes, return to the cabin and rest. The gnome has a feeling that the cave seems familiar. They return to the clearing to report to the forest drake, who agrees to uphold his end of the bargain but the party neglects to mention the baby drakes. They move the drakes to the lower levels. As they move down, it gets less cold and some water trickles down, with the ice slowly melting. The group returns to the Aquan village, and the Aquans receive the news well. While gone, however, the humans have begun building a dam downriver. Pucca announces the village will take over the remainder of the relocation project and asks the party to investigate the dam. Soumgra pays the Aquans 200 GP to have them make her a mighty composite bow and 10GP is spent to get a new mule for the dwarves. Bear takes his leave. The party buys supplies then heads to the dam. There are 16 humans at the site, 6 of whom are armed guards. There is a platform on both sides of the river. It appears to the gnome to be a bridge, possibly tollway. Soumgra approaches the guards who say they’re building an “inspection point” to “appraise” goods that are being shipped along the river. The group returns and tells the Aquans of the humans’ intentions. (Xonan levels up to level 5. This ends the session)

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April 17th

April 17th

The group decides to rest upon finding the river, which is determined to be about 30 ft in depth. Xonan has pleasant dreams but doesn’t remember anything about his past. Soumgra tests the water and determines there are trace amounts of Canarecite. The river appears to be about 15 ft deep and wide, and is surprisingly smooth. The stream is a little cold and seems to be a steady flow, almost as if it’s engineered to flow at the rate it’s going. There’s a crack of water sprinkling into the stream. Certain decides to swim upstream, which is easier than he would have imagined. He gets to an area that appears to be the source of the stream. He finds a spot of air which he investigates. He starts to hear sounds – a cacophony of maddening sounds; a gibbering, yammering noise. He then hears a distance sound of the same. Certain listens and determines that what he hears isn’t a language he recognizes and he babbles incoherently in Aquan for a moment. After he regains his senses, he returns to the party and reports what he found. Marra says that it sounds like a Gibbering Mouther, which is a mound of flesh, eyes and mouths. An abberation, it breathes, eats and sleeps normally. They are resistent to damage. They appear to be intelligent, but not intelligible. They then begin to go into the river, but the panther and Marra immediately have problems. It takes a moment to straighten out but comes back in. They eventually have the gnome cast Ant Haul on Certain, who leads the group under the water while tied with rope. The group move into the new area which is cold, murky and dark. There is no sound anywhere. It is damp and there’s a metallic smell. The water has an odd metallic taste to it. The air is stagnant. We hear in the distance falling water. Bear informs the group that this is the cave he was talking about, but it had a lot more water to it at that time. He also says there was more light in it. The group decides to map out the cave and attempt to clear any threats. The cave appears to have been finished in most areas, but in the direction the group is headed, the cave is more worn. The cave appears to be ancient. Certain and Marra hear the Gibbering Mouther by the waterfall. It is bashing its head against the wall, which is soft and muddy. The group figures that the erosion they saw is not all from natural wear and tear. The group picks their positions and Soumgra pulls out her light source to lure the creature out. There’s a violent splashing and Marra throws a lit stone into the water. Soon thereafter the group attacks the beast and beat it. (400 xp earned) It appears as though the monster changed the earth and wall rather extensively. It appears as though was one other source of water, but it is not visible now. The water from the waterfall is perfectly clean. On the other side, near where the other waterfall should be, there are some fallen stone, possibly something has collapsed. The wall is clearly the most gnawed upon, which has a large vein of Canarecite. After some further exploration, the party also finds some treasure and some trappings of civilization, but no one can recognize its origins. Small pieces of metal objects, some of which are rusted, others are not. A scroll case is also found, which contains a scroll with a druid spell – “Speak with plants.” Scroll is worth 375 gold. Also some gears. Marra throws a lit stone at the center of the ceiling. The ceiling appears to have a hole that is covered by some type of webbing that does not appear to be manufactured. The group leaves the cave and returns to the cabin, where the horse remains. They rest and dry their clothes, then return to the cave. The group decides to climb the cliff. As the party climbs, they start to hear noises towards the top. It sounds like something reptilian moving around. The group decides to hide in the foliage to wait for the drake to fly off so they can set a trap. It turns out the plateau will allow the Aquans – with spyglasses – to keep an eye on the human settlement. After some consideration, the group decides, instead of attacking it, to negotiate with the drake. Soumgra also notices construction going on in the distance, which is at the fort they were to go to. Ramparts are being built up, apparently forges are being used. Approximate distance is 170 miles, 30 or 40 of which is rough terrain. Soumgra finds a deer to use as the sacrifice. The group surrounds the clearing where the deer is tethered. Diplomacy does not work and the group decides to try again tomorrow. They find two deer and tether them to the same place as before. The drake crushes one and the other breaks free from its tether, but the drake kills the other one as well. The drake makes an offer – if the party kills a frost drake, the first one’s rival, he will take the caverns and acquiesce to let the Aquans live there as well. (250 xp earned) This ends the session.

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April 3rd

April 3rd

The group is heading towards the eastern slope of Borsen’s Peak. The peak is lower than what most consider a standard mountain but the peak is high enough that it is always covered with snow. It is believed that the melting snow helps feed the rivers, including the one the Aquans use. It is still raining when the group begins to venture out in the morning. Something flies overhead, which is probably a forest drake. It is circling around where the party is headed, then heads towards the ground. It seems to spit something as it descends. The group decides to stop and not confront the drake. Bear mentions there were some settlers that came to the mountain a few decades ago, so he suggests looking for the river, which they find and start following. They eventually notice a square object ahead, about 25×25 ft. The group decides to bathe, and notices the tattoos on the gnome, as well as the soul gem, both of which seem unusual. The group then dries and goes into the small structure. Certain surveys the river and the newcomers attempt to converse with the gnome, but they soon decide to have a drinking game instead. Bear, while drinking reveals the goal of finding a new place to move the Aquan village. Certain later returns and also drinks. The gnome dreams of a party with alcohol that tastes beautifully. The next morning it is raining. They approach a waterfall about an hour later. Marra notices something glinting behind the waterfall. Certain volunteers to find out what it is. The glinting is a set of minerals, Canarecite, that, if mined, would release toxins into the water. He asks that everyone keeps this to themselves. They decide to cover it up by building a wooden structure. Bear suggests having some Aquan shamans build it with magic. With that sorted, they climb up the waterfall and the drake returns. It appears to be landing but is about 700 ft away. The halfling climbs a nearby tree and determines the drake has landed near a body of water or clearing. She also hears splashing. The group believes that this means there are a family of drakes there. They decide to bypass them. They eventually reach the cave they were looking for. Light is cast. Xonan casts message. Soumgra scouts ahead and sees a dead deer. It is bloated and difficult to determine how it died. She moves on and sees two more dead bodies which appear to be goblins and have decomposed to a greater degree. Fungi also appears to be growing on both corpses. The fungi turn out to be hostile and attack but are easily defeated. (900 xp earned) 22GP of various coins were found along the floor of the cave, likely owned previously by goblins, and a scroll containing a spell – a Paladin scroll “Bowstaff.” They find the river that goes through the cave. (This ends the session.)

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March 6th

March 6th

Bear recommends trying to hide the village. He mentions an underwater cave he remembered seeing many years ago. He says the humans would not be able to find or attack this cave easily. Certain decides to go along with this plan. Soumgra and Marra, meanwhile are deep into human territory. They’ve been through a few cities but are deep into the wilderness and have become lost. They have been travelling for about 20 days. They sleep at Bear’s cabin. The gnome has horrible nightmares which leaves him shaking in the morning. Bear tries to comfort the gnome and mentions that the dwarves were responsible for the necromancer. There is a storm going on. Bear notices something, which turns out to be Kotral. When Bear sees the dwarf, he grips his weapon but does not unshealth it. Marra steps in to mediate. Bear brusquely points them to the town, making it clear he doesn’t like them. Marra and Soumgra are headed towards Fort Kent. Soumgra mentions Kotral noticed something besides Bear and the party. Bear looks around and sees what it is – the nest of a Bear Owl. He gives a description of being a dangerous and intimidating beast. The creature wakes up and kills one of the ponies the diplomats were using but is killed. In its lair is 175 gold pieces, magical chain shirt, longsword and an arrow. The gnome settles down after the fight. (400 xp earned) The gnome casts “Detect Magic” and learns it has faint illusion magic. Bear and Xonan share a drink by the fire further into the cave, while the rest of the party sits by a fire near the entrance. The next day, the gnome identifies the shirt as a medium shirt, which has shadow (+1 Chainshirt, +5 to Stealth checks. Resizes to fit the wearer.) The diplomats then offer their help in exchange for being allowed to use the shirt, which is agreed upon by the whole party, albeit somewhat reluctantly by Bear. Bear convinces Xonan and Certain to not reveal the specifics of their mission. They break camp and start heading out. The terrain they are about to approach is mountainous. (50 xp earned) This ends the session.

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January 24th

January 24th

Day 3. Ashabrak’s hirelings arrive with a wagon and a pair of mules. Bullen has left to return with the marshall and could arrive anytime. Next day, a herald arrives announcing the coming that the marshall will arrive within the next 6 hours. 36 people arrive on the ferry, including 16 soldiers, 7 mounted knights, several heralds lieutenant, cleric from the Church of Book of Three Brothers. This church is very much against arcane magic. Most of the knights will stay outside the city. 15 come on the ferry itself. No mounts go in. The herald announces the marshall, Lord Alar Grey, Lieutenant Bray Elson and Priest Tumar Blackroot. All 4 Aquan elders show up for the negotiations. Eventually negotiations go through. In return for 2500 gold/year and the right to conscript during the term of 10 years, with the right to renegotiate after that time. The gnome looks over the contract; in the contract any items that are not gold will be appraised by a royal appraiser. A single missionary cleric is to be stationed in the city. All other terms are normal. Later, the marshall meets Ashabrak in private to discuss future negotiations regarding the mine and also mentions the gnome. Ashabrak uses half truths to answer the marshall’s questions, like where he met the gnome. The marshall shows interest in the gnome, possibly to have him serve the interests of the king. The next day, the lieutenant is seen talking to Ashabrak’s hirelings, but he pays the soldier a gold to go away. He then goes to his uncle’s with the 3 workers and the engine. The gnome and Certain are on the ferry. Ashabrak explains the engine to his uncle. The uncle is not pleased, but agrees to let Ashabrak store the engine in the barn. He also advises caution regarding the gnome, as the ship engine could be used for war. The nephew decides to build a shed to house the engine. The uncle gives him a list of things to get on the way to the fort and tells him to send a message to be sent via carrier pigeon. Finally, the uncle says he wants to meet the gnome. Ashabrak and his men go to the fort while the uncle goes to the village. Meanwhile, Certain wants to scout for a new place to relocate the village and the gnome continues to study the information on the ship. Certain’s sister leaves some gnomish spices and fish, which the gnome tries and gets his mouth burned from them in the process. The uncle arrives late afternoon. Certain explains the recent events to Bear, who says he knows of a suitable location for the village to relocate. (750 xp earned) This ends the session.

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December 27th

December 27th

Gnome dreams of being on fire, memories, not nightmares. More clearly remember Nadir – name of the ship and gnome was on board before and slightly during fire. The others sleep normally. Normal weather. Wreckage is about half of a ship; the bow (front.) It looks like it was blown in half. Ship has intricate carvings. The carvings appear to tie into each other and that were powered – the center of the ship appears to have been the source of power. The party takes a trace of the runes. The party determines the direction, and believes the other part of the ship is at least 1 or 2 miles away. Party sees evidence of shrapnel as they travel. Ash and Certain notice a bipedal figure lodged in a tree. As the party gets closer, it is very evident that he is already dead, as a large piece of his face is missing. Certain climbs up and determines the figure is a gnome lodged really hard in the tree. Tattoos are similar to the gnome’s. Most of the clothing burned off. Figure has a belt with pouches. 1 potion vial, 6 small pieces of parchment and 3 pouches of spell components. Gnome falls and party’s gnome remembers the face and watching it get blown off Nimm, was a friend of the party gnome. The gnome is visibly upset at seeing his friend like this. Another superior dagger is found. Gnome inspects the other’s tattoos. Tattoos are a physical representation of magic and essence in tradition of people. His people believe the tattoos help channel the magical energy. Also where name comes from. Also remembers 2 unique tattoos, as there were 2 others on the ship. The soul gem is missing, appears to have exploded off and is likely completely destroyed. Ash goes to bury the body. Certain takes a tracing of the tattoos on the dead gnome. Ash takes the belt from the body and Certain gives the spell components. The gnome mentions the other two gnomes from the ship and the party decides to search for them. Ash has heard of a cult that seeks knowledge and believes in a secret world where magic is far more powerful and advanced than here. Another corpse is found at lower elevation but is also trapped in a tree. Something appears off about the corpse as they approach. The body starts to move a little but at present appears stuck in the tree. Ash strongly advises we leave the corpse alone and get away. Certain pulls his sword with the intent to stab it in the head. The gnome recognizes the new corpse – his name was Azar. Is a crystal in its chest but no longer glowing and is damaged, torn belt pouch, has tattoos. Dagger hanging from pouch. During the fight, the gem shines brightly for a moment. After dying, it deteriorates into dust but soul gem, pouches and dagger survive. The gnome picks up the soul gem but feels fear upon doing so and runs away. The soul gem is dropped, breaks upon, flashes again for a moment, then dies entirely. The essence of the gem attempted to cast fear upon the gnome. When the gem got damaged, something went wrong. It is a two-way conduit. Part of the user’s essence directly affects the soul gem and vice versa. The damaged gem had a focus on necromancy magic. The gnome determines that the gem saved his life and the damaged gem turned the other user into a zombie. Neither human nor Aquan have been able to perfect necromantic magic. When Ashabrak was on the front lines of the necromancer war, many magic users showed an interest in using the necromancy magic against the necromancer and he doubted some of them had the best of intentions, but he has not heard of anyone successfully replicating the magic. Head necromancer’s body was consumed. The party continues on and Ash sees something shining in the water. Flashback to explosion and the piece in the river is that which exploded, the propulsion system, which again makes the gnome shaken. Piece is seriously damaged, has runes and tattoos seen previously. Much more powerful version of orbs. Gnome states it’s probably not good for the river, likely a fault in the magic or gem, so likely traces of raw and chaotic magic lingering. The propulsion system is far too heavy for the three to lift out of the river. It has traces of transmutation and chaotic magic, is made out of a metal called alchemical silver. At least half of the fish are bigger than they should be. At least one has instantly grown in size. The bear catches a very large fish. Traditionally, the growth is only for a few minutes. The fourth gnome is crushed under the propulsion system, but is definitely dead (not undead.) Runes deformed by decay. Gem is intact. Certain dives in and retrieves the gem. He hands it to the gnome. The fourth gnome is named Brek. Neither the party gnome nor Brek got along. Can clearly hear Brek saying something from the gem. “I may owe your brother my life, but that doesn’t mean I like him or you.” They move on and find the the other part of the ship which is smashed against a rock outcropping. A couple of mountain lions are nearby, but they do not appear to be active and are 2-300 ft away from the wreckage. Only the main beam of the ship remains intact. The mast was past along the way, destroyed and the sails are mostly gone. Appears to have also been a cabin but is too damaged. Has a strongbox. It is magically locked but not trapped. There is a key for the box but is likely the gnome that is trapped under the propulsion system. Ship is 20-30 ft from the river and on rough terrain. Certain is able to pick the lock. Opening the box reveals some broken vials and 3 objects of note – one is a thin stick approximately 10 inches long – is a wand with 47 charges of “Disguise Self.” The charges each last 10 minutes. Also small bag containing some dust of disappearance. And a robe covered in various patches – a Robe of Useful Items. And a pouch containing 50 gold. 7 bags, different currency in each bags. Few different outfits – one is military. Some are standard sized, at least one is dwarf sized. Another is leather armor, jungle armor. Another tome is found with several pages with information on humans and dwarves, such as people of power, troop locations, technology advancement, etc. Ash speculates that the gnomes may have desired to rekindle the wars between the humans and the dwarves. Also contains information northern elves and orcs. The gnome takes the wand and books. 1 bullseye lantern 1 mirror 1 pole 1 rope no sacks, 7 add’l patches mule with saddlebags, silver coffer 6×6×12 brick circle of gems worth 10 gp each, window 2ft x 4ft x 2ft and finally a portable ram. Also a red glowing crystal, definitely the same type of material – magisite – as the yellow orbs found earlier. A portrait of a fancy looking gnome is on the ship but is deemed worthless. The mountain lions attack but are all killed. The party then loots the lion’s den. An Aquan corpse reveals 1 GP and nothing else of value. The party returns to the propulsion system and pulls it out of the river, hiding it amongst the trees and return to the village. (1050 xp earned) This ends the session.

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