Legends of Arcur

Session 10
Victory and Betrayal

In a terrible and climactic battle, the party battled the Hobgoblin general and his Hydra mount. With a powerful display of both magical and martial skill from the heroes, both enemies were vanquished. Seeing the defeat of one of their leaders, the orc lines broke and poured back into the forest to rejoin the main horde. Though many of the militia had laid down their lives, the civilians had safely escaped the town. Both Stone-Fist and Verathan survived the battle as well, and together they joined the heroes on their return journey to Deepwatch.

Hans explained why he had been so delayed. To the distress of the party, he informed them that after his arrest three members of Duncan Black’s guard had tried to murder him in a back alleyway. He had needed to lay low for a short time after killing his would be executioners, and had only just managed to escape the city undetected. With everything that they had seen, the party now strongly suspected that Devan Grisbane was involved somehow in the arming of the hobgoblin army and the attempt on Hans’ life. They grimly smuggled themselves back into Deepwatch, posing as Stone Fist’s retinue while Verathan watched the refugees outside the city.

Upon reaching Lord Duncan’s court, the evidence against Devan was presented while Duncan listened in dark silence. At last, Duncan agreed that the evidence of Devan’s treason seemed damning, and ordered him to face execution by hanging. Thorneth delivered an impassioned speech to spare the man, and Duncan finally relented and agreed that if Devan proved himself in a trial by combat against Baron Lockheed – who had been accused along with the party for attempting to murder Lord Duncan – then he would be sent to Lethray to serve the rest of his life in service towards his redemption for his actions. Devan denied that he had done anything wrong, but had no choice but to consent to the judgement.

At dawn the next morning, Lockheed and Devan faced one another in the courtyard. Thorneth – who had stayed the evening with Devan’s father, Baron Willem – reported that Willem could not bare to see his son’s “inevitable defeat” at Lockheed’s hands. Indeed, Alistair Lockheed proved the superior blade, and deftly bested Devan in the duel.

As Duncan prepared to deliver the execution order, however, he was stabbed in the back through the heart by Thorneth herself, accompanied by a crackle of purple energy. Duncan Black died instantly, and Thorneth fled with incredible speed. As Devan grabbed his sword and prepared to lead the guards against Thorneth and her companions, the rest of the party pursued Thorneth around the corner. They saw their companion transform into none other than Baron Willem himself before their eyes, casting the barely-conscious body of the real Thorneth into the street before him before vanishing into the castle with a tremendous leap. Knowing that the entire city wanted them dead, Hans summoned a giant eagle to secure their escape from Deepwatch. Now on the run and wanted for murder, the party prepares to find their way to the heart of the treachery rampant in the city – hopefully in time to save the entire region from destruction at the hands of the oncoming horde.

Session 9
The Battle of Three Streams

The battle began with the party helping to repel an early assault group from the town, distracting the defenders while the main force of the orc army established a battle line. The party split their lines to help defend both the main gate and the walls from ladders, and managed to successfully repel the early assault. Once done, the party helped to clear the town and walls of stragglers before taking the battle to its next phase.

Under Stone-Fist’s suggestion, the party engaged in a small strike force to counter the enemy operations. The orcs had set up fire-archers on two hills outside of the city, and from that vantage were raining fiery death upon the beleaguered defenders of Three Streams. With only a few volunteers, the party seized one of the hills and cleared it of archers, taking the pressure off of Stone Fist and his men. From there, the party saw several catapults emerge from the forest and ready to destroy the gate and walls. Acting quickly, the party charged forward and captured them long enough to fire a shot at the archers on the second hill, killing most and scattering the rest.

Weary from the fighting, the party then turned to see six armored ogres charge from the forest towards the walls, their massive iron clubs strong enough to pose a threat to the defenses. Knowing that they were the only ones in a position to do so, they charged forward to engage the ogres. They were so tired from the fighting, however, that it nearly proved their end. All seemed lost for Thorneth, Caitranna and Ferindel when Hans at last rejoined the party, bursting from the forest with a flight of hippogriffs at his back. Encouraged by their comrade’s return and bolstered by the monsters of the wood, the party emerged victorious over the ogres and took a moment to heal their injuries.

However, when the ogres fell a terrible roar came from the forest. Trees were knocked aside as a massive five-headed hydra – with a Hobgoblin commander riding it – burst from the tree line to handle the party himself. With a terrible roar the monster charged the party, who prepared to face the enemy general head on.

Session 8
The Return South

The party was approached in the morning by a woman in a hood, who offered a warning that they were all in grave danger. She advised them to travel southwards, as there were signs in that direction of the danger brewing in Deepwatch and the surrounding area. When she was asked why she came to them, she admitted that she was concerned for the safety of someone she loved deeply. Thorneth suggested a suspicion that the woman was Sylvia Brightshield, wife of Devan Grisbane.

Hans was arrested in the early morning, and the party opted to set out without him after his guarantees that he would find them on the road. They found that the Black and Silvers seemed disenclined to allow them to leave, and some subterfuge was needed to secure their departure from the city. They journeyed southwards, passing by the castle of the Grisbane family and finding it surrounded by refugees. They heard that the bulk of Grisbane’s military forces had been recalled to the castle, abandoning the southern reaches to the growing orc horde that had driven these people from their homes. Further, the castle was not allowing them safety. The party offered the refugees the needed coin to flee further north before continuing on their way.

Later on their journey, they found the iron mines that have long fueled the Grisbane family’s wealth. They discovered that it had been converted into a tremendous hidden forge, crafting an army’s worth of well-forged armor and weapons of high quality steel. Given the size of some of the armor, it was clear that this was where the armor on the giants had come from. They took a prisoner before making their escape, and convinced him to swear his testimony to Lord Duncan’s Court.

Finally, they reached Three Streams, finding it on the edge of a massive assault from the approaching horde. Verathan and Stone Fist asked for the party’s help in securing the civilians’ escape from the city, but noted that to do so would require them to help hold off the vanguard force of the main horde. The party agreed to do so, and after rallying many volunteers from the populace to help defend either the caravan or the town, prepared for battle.

Session 7
Of Giants and conspiracies

After being tasked to clear out a band of rampaging giants in the lands of one of Lord Duncan’s Barons in order to clear up troops to send south to reinforce Three Streams, the party traveled east. There they found a band of ogres and a troll loose among the populace, destroying towns as they went. The party engaged them and, after a fierce battle, brought the monsters down. However, their defeat brought only questions.

The giants had been outfitted with well-fitted castle forged armor and weapons, equipment that it made little to no sense for the dull-witted brutes to be carrying. AlthoughDevan Grisbane, who had joined them for their journey, insisted that he doubted it was anything overly suspicious, the party remained convinced that someone was helping to outfit the enemy force.

When they returned to Deepwatch, the group was treated to a look into the city’s political field as Baron Willem Grisbane and Baron Alexander Lockheed engaged in a loud argument with one another. Though Lockheed rewarded the party handsomely for their efforts, their claims of the well-armored giants were dismissed by the court – largely upon the advice of Sir Devan, who insisted that the party was simply blowing things out of proportion. Thorneth voiced suspicions later that Devan might be a traitor, and the party settled down in a house provided them by Lord Duncan

Session 6
The Razing of Oaken Hollow

The party charged headlong into battle against Lydia and her cult, but were quickly pushed back from their first strike. Lydia had set a trap for the adventurers, and had a trio of sure-firing assassins hiding on the roofs of the buildings who opened a hail of deadly crossbow bolts upon the party. Lydia herself was flanked by a pair of sorcerers, and they combined their power to greatly strengthen the leader of the cult.

Myca, the lupine companion of the Druid, Hans, was the first to succumb to the multiple injuries. Lydia’s fearsome dark magic tore through Ferindel’s flesh and armor, and nearly killed Thorneth in a single strike. Verathan and his warriors fought bravely, holding a few of the cultists down, but the fallen paladin was swarmed over and his warriors badly outmatched. Hans summoned a trio of vipers upon the sorcerers, and they quickly fell, but Lydia responded in kind by blinding Hans with a particularly ruthless spell. Caitranna engaged her in close combat with magically enhanced fists of stone, but Lydia’s savage whip-dagger laid her low in short order.

Things looked grim, but the party rallied as more and more of Lydia’s thralls fell to their blades and magic. Ferindel rushed to Thorneth’s aid and revived her, and Hans mustered his strength and hurled Lydia into the fire. Caitranna locked her in with a wall, if only for a few moments, but it gave the group the time they needed to regroup. It was enough, as when Lydia emerged from the wall of gloom they fell upon her with new vigor, with Ferindel landing the final blow.

Despite their victory, the cost had been high. All of the villagers but the children in the cages had been killed, and the land bore the taint of the evil committed there. The group did what they could to scourge the evil from the place, but there was no saving Oaken Hollow.

Verathan awoke, and swore to take the children somewhere safe. The two remaining of his outlaw gang promised to aid him, as they no longer had homes to go to. After ensuring the children’s safety, Verathan and his companions would travel the land aiding those in need. Shortly after that, a pillar of fire descended from the sky, and wreathed Verathan first in flame, but then gold and steel. His grace as a Paladin had been restored, as his actions had ensured his atonement.

Grimly, the party moved on, and continued north for several days until they reached the stone walls of Deepwatch.

Session 5
On the road to Deepwatch

The group set out north, travelling light and swift so as to reach Deepwatch as quickly as possible. Even so, it would be several days before they reached their destination. The first two nights passed without much incident, though also with little comfortable shelter. On the third night the group happened upon a small farming village called Oaken Hollow as the sun sank low. Passing by a Temple to the Heartmother, the group found a funerary service being performed to two children who had died the night before. After the funeral was finished, the group met with the local priestess of the Heartmother – Lydia Barrow – who also served as the community’s leader. She told them that the town had been plagued by a small outlaw gang in the forest who had killed the two children in an attack the previous night. Seeing a group of people in need, the group vowed to aid the community of Oaken Hollow.

The group withdrew into the fishery while the party watched from the village’s main hall through the evening. Late into the night they saw two men sneaking into one of the houses on the east side of town, and they went to investigate. They found the men were there indeed to murder the home’s inhabitants – though they did not carry the taint of evil upon them. When pressed, they revealed that they had been ordered to do this deed by a man named Verathan, who had said the houses inhabitant’s needed “Their corruption to be cut from the world.”

Curious, the group traveled into the forest to meet with Verathan, and found him to be a High Elf warrior claiming to be a Paladin who had fallen from grace. He explained that he had been on a century long quest to redeem himself for killing an innocent child in his righteous zeal while purging what he believed to be a Cult of Ardothon in Lethray. He explained that he believed such evil to exist here in Oaken Hollow, and that by destroying it without killing an innocent he would be able to redeem himself of his past failures.

He butted heads with the party, particularly Hans, with his claims of Lydia’s own vile corruption and evil which she kept hidden with a jeweled necklace. Ferindel was able to convince him to hold his wrath until the sun’s zenith the next day to give them a chance to get to the bottom of this.

Thorneth tried seducing Lydia to get the necklace off of her, but failed in both regards. It was Caitranna, the wizard, who managed to use her Gnommish tricks to unclasp the necklace as Lydia gave the morning prayer and meal. Hans, too, noticed that there was something off about the prayer, as though the true words had been twisted to another purpose. As the necklace fell, Caitranna caught the jewlery – momentarily removing it from Lydia’s possession. That moment was all it took for Ferindel to look upon Lydia with unclouded eyes and see that Verathan’s words were true – she was indeed the most evil soul the Paladin had ever looked upon.

The group gathered outside town to plan their move. Thorneth and Ferindel went into the forest to fetch Verathan and apologize for their impropriety. Hans and Caitranna stayed in town to keep an eye on things, and ended up investigating the temple only to find it a dead and withered place. They also found a loose stone and a hidden passage leading to an underground lake and a bloody temple to Sycrythax, the Lady of Torment – the altar decorated with the charred bones of two small children. They also found other children locked in cages after a few more minutes of searching, and another stairwell that led to the fishery.

It was around then that Ferindel and Thorneth arrived, with Verathan and a few of his followers in tow. They saw what Caitranna and Hans had heard upon emerging into the fishery – people in black and red robes in a twisted service led by Lydia around a pyre of screaming, burning men, women and children.

Their fury roused, the group was ready to dive into battle alongside their newfound allies…

Session 4
The Butcher's Fall

After only a few nights at the post, the party found themselves under attack – not by bandits, as they had expected, but a raiding band of goblins and worgs. They surrounded the compound where the Gnome had made his trading post, and began to lay siege to it, not believing that their target was truly gone.

The party made their stand, making good use of the defenses that the trading post had employed to deter bandits and the like. With a mixture of tactical spell use and stalwart bravery, the group bested the attack from the southern entrance with little difficulty. They then turned to the force attacking the northern gate, where they were faced with a greater threat – Rorick the Butcher himself.

With a bloodthirsty roar, the furious Kor outlaw charged Thorneth, whose newly-developed magical powers did little to protect her from the Butcher’s brutal onslaught. While the rest of the group tried to bog down the Butcher’s goblin lackeys, Ferindel rushed to Thorneth’s defense, engaging the stronger Kor in close combat. He would have been overwhelmed if not for the aid of his comrades, who managed to bring the butcher down – alive, but helpless. With their leader beaten and their numbers greatly reduced, the goblins fled into the night.

The group bound Rorick tightly for questioning, finding him to be a surprisingly well spoken man, fierce in his convictions. He claimed to be working not for himself, but for a Hobgoblin Warlord in the Waste – Ish’Nakai. He claimed that the Hobgoblin was building an army of all Goblinkind – Hobgoblins, Goblins, Orcs and even Kor – to rage across Norianir with a thirst for conquest. He claimed to be doing this because he saw it to be the right thing, a beacon to set things right and unify the goblinoid people for the first time in thousands of years. In the end, he asked to not be dragged back to Three Streams to face a farce of a trial, but instead requested that Ferindel execute him with the Kor’s own axe. The Paladin complied with the Kor’s request, but not before Rorick gave them a message to relay to his “friend” Captain Stone-Fist -

“When the offer comes, accept it. It is sincere and in good faith.”

The group returned to Three Streams with Rorick’s head. Though they did not relay the Butcher’s message, they told the Captain of the other claims Rorick had made regarding an army. Though the idea seemed impossible, the thought of such an uprising was deemed worthy enough of their attention to pass on to the forces of Deepwatch. Fresh off their victory over the bandit lord, Captain Stone-Fist tasked them to carry the warning north so that the armies of Lord Duncan Black would be ready for the feared coming invasion.

Session 3
The Mark

The battle against the remnants of Dirk’s camp rapidly turned into a rout. The bandits had little they could throw against the skilled and well armed adventurers arrayed against them, and with the fear of Dirk’s leadership removed the criminals had little morale with which to rally. Only a few managed to escape into the Shadowdepths, while the rest were cut down with relative ease.

The group searched the camp, liberating a good deal of stolen goods that they would be able to return to Three Streams. They also found some hints as to more of what was happening in the region. Dirk had been taking orders from Rorick the Butcher, and had recently recieved orders to take her large group of thugs to assist in a planned assault on a trading outpost up the northern road. There was something there that Rorick seemed to want, though the letter did not specify what that was.

There were more disturbing revelations, however. First, the brand on Thorneth’s arm had not disappeared with Dirk’s death and, though invisible to the naked eye, could be clearly discerned by Ferindel’s ability to detect evil. The mark still burned with a cold fire on the Sylvan Elf’s arm, but its meaning eluded the group. Perhaps more ominously, the rod that Dirk had used to inflict it upon her had vanished from her body while the group was distracted by the fight.

With far more questions than answers, the group turned back to Three Streams with a cart full of much needed supplies in tow. The efforts of the party was loosening the hold of the bandits on the town, and the recovered supplies were a great boon to the city. Not wasting any time, the group went north to the Trading post to warn its residents of the coming threat. They made great haste, and reached the post on horseback before nightfall.

The trading post was run by a Gnome, who carried a supply of both standard fare and a large number of magical trinkets. One such find was a black iron ring that bore the same symbol as had been branded onto Thorneth’s arm. The Gnome knew nothing of the ring’s powers or its history, but refused to sell it to the party. Though they could not convince the Gnome otherwise, the group did persuade him to evade the coming danger, and he opted to cut his losses and travel to fairer pastures – in this case the Magocracy of Callarea. It wasn’t long before the Gnome and his retinue had packed their things and left the post, leaving the group behind having opted to stay to learn more of what Rorick wanted and what he was planning…

Session 2
They who hunt the Butcher

Having been tasked to hunt down the wanted murderer and bandit leader Rorick the Butcher, the party left shortly after the prisoners from the bandit raid were executed by hanging. They decided first to follow the lead of the farmhouse where Rorick’s men had held up and gathered prior to the attack.

The group set off, and found that the farm had been burned to the ground some time before, likely well before the bandit party left for Three Streams. Investigation showed that there were several halfling corpses in the fields, badly burned beyond recognition. Furthermore, there was a hidden cellar in the ruin of the farmhouse, leading to a storeroom full of maps, weapons, scrolls of Sending, and correspondence written in cipher. After determining the code, the party learned that the owner of this farmhouse was reporting to someone in the Mage’s College of Callarea, and the halflings in the fields had been agents working for his protection. For some reason, the college believed that there was something of interest in the Three Streams reason and, more disturbingly, all efforts to scry on the area were being blocked by some force, therein showing the need for eyes on the ground. The party relayed a message back to the Halfling spy’s superior with one of the scrolls, informing them of what happened there.

From the farmhouse they found a trail leading into the Shadowdepths, but opted against following it in favor of searching for the missing supply carts. They traveled north along the road, eventually finding the thoroughly ransacked caravan. They followed a trail of footprints deep into the forest, encountering a bandit patrol along the way. Dispatching the bandits and questioning two survivors, they learned the location of a nearby camp where the supplies were cached before being moved to Rorick’s camp further south, and even deeper into the forest. Thus informed, the party made camp, their sleep troubled by strange and frightening sounds of the beasts of the dark and tainted wood.

Not long after breaking camp, they found the bandit outpost they had learned of, led by a High Elf woman named “Dirk”, after the knife she used to mutilate her victims. Trying to see if conflict could be avoided, Thorneth and Hans tried to sneak into the camp by posing as prospective members, but learned that Dirk used a strange rod marked with an unrecognized symbol to brand her followers to ensure their loyalty. Thorneth was marked as such before the rest of the group could act, but Ferindel burst from the tree line and smote Dirk with his hammer, weakening her enough that Hans could finish her off.

Their cover blown, and the supplies unaccounted for, the party was forced into a full assault on the rest of Dirk’s camp, with over two dozen bandits rallying to kill them. The party fought back with steel and fire, but only time will tell if their tenacity will be enough in the face of the sheer number of criminals seeking revenge for their dead leader…

Session 1
Fire in the Night

The party began their adventure dining at the Naughty Nymph Inn and Tavern. While hearing of the town’s misfortunes – many of their supply carts having been attacked and seized while in route to the town. As they spoke, one of the guardsmen entered the inn, clearly weary from combat. He spoke of how he and two other guards were attacked on the road south of Three Streams by a murderous outlaw named Rorick the Butcher, who killed one and gravely wounded another. The adventurers – seeing the bounty for the killer – resolved to leave the next day to track Rorick down and bring him to justice.

In the night, however, the were woken by an attack on the town. Bandits had managed to get past the walls, and were wreaking havoc in the streets. Standing together in battle for the first time, the party repelled an attack on the inn from five armed men, killing four and taking the fifth prisoner. They then rushed to the aid of the rest of the town guard, and found them driving off the remaining criminals near the burning town granary. While some of the food storage was recovered, most of it was destroyed in the fire.

The party learned from their captive that he was from one of many bandit camps recruited to work together for this attack, under the apparent command of Rorick the Butcher himself. After staying long enough to see their prisoner hanged for his crimes, the party was given some supplies for their travels before heading out into the wilds to hunt down their new quarry.


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