David's Darkmoon Deeds

I hate people.
And pumpkins.

I wake after a night’s rest to the crash of thunder and the flash of lightning. It is too early to deal with the party’s chipper moods. I roll over and curl up with Buttercup for a few moments more before stretching and rising for the day. Honestly, why did I have to take up with ‘morning’ people?

After a while, we gather our belongings then set out. By the Peacock, these people know how to run their jaws with useless prattle. Do they not see that their short lives are cut even shorter by wasting all this time to talk when they could take action instead? Does this not speak louder than any words that come out of their mouths?

Once we get to the river, they realized that there would be no hope in getting the cart on to the ferry and over to the other side, so it was taken back to the church and left there for safe-keeping until our return.

We eventually make it across the river, though there was a worrisome moment when my new friend falls into the drink. Our quick thinking and keen roping skills save her as she would have surely sunk to the bottom of the river in her heavy armour.

We follow the increasingly muddy trail through the forest when we are set upon by several large bugs, one of them having a green sail and spikes coming out of each of its legs…we dispatch the creatures and I realize that Buttercup has been injured in the skirmish. I am…horrified by my carelessness in bringing my ward into the fight and not being fast enough to spare her from harm. Vermella heals us and I thank her in my own, admittedly awkward, way and they begin the nasty business of dismembering the bugs while I retrieve Romulus from the path.

The others gather some gold and gemstones from the stomachs of the creatures, presumably from those who were less capable of defending themselves, and we make ready to continue on our way through the forest.

We continue on until we get to a part of the path that has been flooded and a lone figure stands on the other bank of the new stream. Vermella senses faint evil coming from her and the stranger suggests that we go no further for the night and, though I know the woman on the other side of the bank is lying to me about the state of the path, I cannot deny that heading indoors sounds like the best idea I’ve heard in a long while.

The others trudge down the path and we eventually come to a farm with an apple orchard and corn fields. Something about them seems…off. Too quiet, perhaps? Red pauses meaningfully and concentrates when we get to the front porch of the farmhouse. Something must be setting off her goody-goody senses as she seems uneasy around the pumpkins on the porch.
Our host for the evening is a woman named Chandra, and her man-servant Demetrius. We eat a hearty meal and retire to the guest bedroom where Buttercup quickly claims the lone bed in the room. Well done my little one. Ellen has decided to keep watch while the rest of us…rest. Finally – I won’t have a spell put on me and be bored out of my mind watching the others sleep. Before I drift off with Buttercup by my side I am reminded of Fumbles’ face after I took liberties with a piece of charcoal and bury my own face in the pillow. Though I do not believe the frog would dare touch me with his ridiculous hands, mayhap Ellen would think it humorous to add something to my visage while I slumber.

I am woken from my sleep by Ellen who insists that she has heard a scream from somewhere nearby. With reluctance leave the bed and see that Buttercup quickly occupies the warmth my body has left between the covers. Fine. Adorable as she may be and not be in need of beauty sleep, I recall her injuries from earlier with the large bugs and decide to leave her be. She is a good, pretty fox and…

Dammit, they want me to scout. Humans with their pathetic eyesight.

I come up with a devilishly clever signal for Red to concentrate to find any evidence of evil in our vicinity. We discover a trap door in the ceiling and I am voluntold to go investigate with my keen elven eyes. Fine. Stupid. Lousy. House. Loath as I am to split the party up, I ascend the stairs to find a small attic that had been transformed into some kind of schoolhouse for two children. Interesting, and a bit off-putting. Children leave me feeling…awkward…as they tend to not have any fear of me. They usually learn to both fear and hate the Drow (though, I must admit, for good reason as we are a fierce, brave, and vicious race) because they are taught to hate by their parents…much in the way that my own family tried to…

There is a chest in the corner which I attempt to open, but the lock holds against my best efforts. Maybe because I was just woken up from a lovely dream of mountains of riches with which I could start my own animals rescue…

The room takes on a sinister tone when I see blood begin to pour down the chalkboard and ‘I’ appears on the surface. In the distance, I hear what I learn is the slamming of the door to the attic…but that is of no concern to me now. I feel as though…my soul is being ripped from my body. I do the only thing I can do and blindly attack the chalkboard. The letter disappears and my head is clear again. I warn Red to not let letters appear on the surface.

A brief, but desperate fight ensues that leads to the board being destroyed and the wall it stood against shattering into the night. We may have some explaining to do with our host in the morning, should we survive that long.

I try my hand again at the chest once the dust has begun to settle, but there is no use. The anguish I felt at my soul being torn from my body seems to have rattled me and I break my lock picks. One set down, one set to go.

The frog smashes his way through the lock in the same way he does everything – with no finesse. Inside the chest I find a man’s suit, hat, boots, gloves. Red or Ellen…one of them…tell me the boots and gloves give off magic.

While the others mill about in their indecision, I notice the smaller boards in the desks now say something: ‘I am sorry I was unable to help more’ and ‘They were not prepared’.

Well…that’s not the least bit foreboding. We leave the attic and I head back to the bedroom to check on my darling Buttercup. She has snuggled under the covers and looks content – I do not disturb her slumber as I have a feeling the night has just begun for us.

We check each of the other rooms in turn only to find a supply closet and an abandoned bedroom of the lady of the house. The children’s bedroom, however, proved to be a sight more difficult to deal with than the others.

Something horrible must have befallen the children as their poltergeists hurled various toys around the room at us. I am truly growing tired of all of these shenanigans and wish to be done with this house. Why did we come here? It seemed like such a good idea at the time…
Upon dispatching the ghostly children, I heard someone at the front of the house and went to investigate, blending in with the shadows down the hall and stairs. When I saw the familiar silhouette of Fumbles at the door with some kind of filthy dwarf, I relaxed. Fumbles has proven time and again that he is perfectly harmless, so anyone travelling with him would be likewise. We exchange banter back and forth, possible exhausting him mentally, then I show them up to the second story where the others await. I smirk to myself on the way up, thinking that I might be pleased to see the clumsy human again…in the way one is happy to see a stray dog has found a home. Yes…he’s like a pet. Maybe I shall keep him.

We all head back to the main floor of the house and begin to rummage through the rooms, looking for evidence or something nefarious, and the newest member to our rag-tag group finds a hidden catch on the mantle place. It releases a hidden door to room that is….just horrific. What’s left of a child lays on a table in the middle of the room with implements of torture on the walls. The smell is overwhelming and I am briefly sickened by it. The frog, as usual, makes a useless display of his anger by breaking chairs and tables in the drawing room. I gather myself and pull one of the curtains from the window and use it cover the child. Be at peace, little one. We will be back to put you to rest later, I’m sure if Ellen or Red have their say.

We find Demetrius’s room, but there is nothing of interest there save for a book written in some kind of evil language that I can’t quite make out, even with my proficiency in linguistics. I hold on to it for now as I cannot read it, but know enough to surmise that this should not be left lying around for someone foolish to find. I take the coin purse I find in his bedside drawer as payment for…something amazing I’ve done, surely.

We continue downwards into the basement where we find an adult human-sized grave along with the house’s stock of preserves and ale. Because where else would you be inclined to keep a body, but in a cool, dry place? The frog volunteers to go get a shovel to uncover what is sure to be a corpse and I am thankful for the quiet. The dwarf takes this opportunity to notice that there is alcohol to be consumed just sitting there in the casks. He asks if I can open one and I oblige him as he reminds me of that, admittedly likeable, half-orc who would always offer a drink after a fight.

We grow tired of waiting for the frog to come back and the dwarf begins to unearth the body with an empty tankard. I realize I might be able to do more than tolerate this one as he seems to be an actions-are-louder-than-words type and I appreciate that in world full of too many people that just run their mouths. We uncover part of the body of a seemingly scholarly sort of chap, complete with tidy spectacles in his pocket and book of some kind of arcane writing on his person. We pass it to Fumbles as he has proven that he literate in the ways of magic. That, or he’s incredibly good at fooling us that he can read. At this point, neither would surprise me.

Soon after, the frog comes rushing back with news of our lady hostess performing some kind of ritual out in the cornfield. We gather ourselves and our weapons and head out the back of the house towards the barn where she was last seen.

When we get there, she has just completed the ritual and the battle commences. Fumbles and his new friend could actually hit the broadside of a barn, but little else. I admit to being slightly amused by them being chased by a demon cow creature, but only because they survived. Red was the one to strike the final blow to the wretched woman we would come to realize was a blood hag. A glorious throw of her sword flew swift and sure, ensuring that evil die and good endure as it hit its mark of the hag’s heart and the battle was won. The newcomer took ownership over the gloves we discovered earlier as well as some of the farming implements.

After the fight, we go back to the house to clean up the torture chamber and I clean the child as best I can while the others regurgitated their meals in the corner. When the remains are wrapped, we walk out to the small graveyard we had spied behind the house and the frog set about digging a grave. Ellen, Red, and myself, see a family mausoleum and go to see if there was room enough to set the child to rest. Once inside, we discover a woman laying on the ground with a slit throat who bore a striking resemblance to whom we had assumed was the lady of the house.

The woman with the slit throat looks incredibly similar to Chandra. Fumbles comes out of the house to inform us that the records of the house don’t match with the name Chandra – they match with the name of Celeste. It appears as though the woman we met had somehow replaced the real lady of the house.

It also turns out the husband had died in a farming accident a year prior and the widow was left with the farm to run with her three small children and, we presume, Demetrius. Who is now a frog – did I forget to mention that? Yes, we now have a frog that was once a person. I can only assume that the goodygoodies will want to change him back somehow to stand for any crimes he may have committed. He did, after all, have a demonic book in his room. Why must it have been a frog? The somewhat sentient one with poor judgment and impulse control is bad enough, but now we have another to tend to until he can be turned back into a man.

Three small children…and we have found but one. I close my eyes to think of the horrors the other two might have had befall them, when we hear from outside that the dwarf has discovered two sacks in the pumpkin patch. Sure enough, they are the remaining children and we lay them to rest with the parents in the family crypt. I notice that the epitaph across the archway says: Birth and death are written in the bones, but bones can be broken. Well.

Having completed our latest task, we went back to the house to rest and gather our strength when the frog had the fine idea to knock about the pumpkins on the porch. This, of course, set off some kind of magical trap and they came to life one after another first attacking, then exploding on people after their defeat. I swear to the Peacock, that the frog will be the death of us one day with his impulsive nature. I only hope that it comes to bite him on the ass before it kills the rest of us.

Red gladly announces that the house in finally clean of all evil she was able to detect from before and we go back to our quarters for a much deserved rest before we put this cursed business to our backs in the morning.

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To the Honourable Sheriff Blunnde,

Would that this were under better circumstances, but I must write you to report a crime.

We were on the road from Falcon’s Hollow to Oldfen when the weather turned sour and my companions and I had to make camp for the night, on word that the road ahead was flooded. We took the other fork in the road and ended up at the Ciluco Farmstead, where trouble had befallen the inhabitants.

Lady Celeste Ciluco and her three children have been laid to rest in the family crypt behind the farm, and I believe their spirits will trouble us no more. I share spare the grisly details until we meet. The first suspect, who introduced herself as “Chandra” Ciluco but turned out to be a vile creature known as a Blood Hag, has been executed and dismembered. The second suspect, who introduced himself as ‘Demetrius the Butler’, may or may not have been turned into a toad. I am in the process of convincing my companions to raise the funds to have the local clergy banish the curse and return the toad to human form, that he may face trial. In confidence, I suspect the worst after we found a tome of Asmodeus in his personal belongings – if he is from Cheliax, who knows what other fiends could be roaming about??

My companions and I are returning to Falcon’s Hollow once the matter is settled as to whether the toad was once the butler, or if the butler fled. The local Hall of Records has informed us that next of kin is one Ariel Fawcett, and… well, I would want to hear it from someone in person. I know not her position in society, and fear that I may have to pay her debts to free her from the tyranny of the Lumber Consortium. There’s a nice young fellow there who has taken on the mantle of Sheriff, but this is likely beyond his influence. Made quite a name for himself, I just can’t remember it.

In the meantime, if someone could keep an eye on the residence to be sure that brigands and layabouts don’t mess around – I fixed what I could in the wake of the battle, but the wall of the attic was beyond me – that would be Just.

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I KNEW IT

Ok….I knew it.

I knew I had to watch that one, I was just woken up by my companion standing over me with a quill and ink, and then disappeared. I checked my money bag…..5 gold was missing. Did she take it?
What was she doing…I went to the mirror and saw. She must of heard the conversation with the gamblers because now I have this stupid moustache drawn on my face. I giggled a bit, and then I realized the frog was gone,
Nope, just on the ceiling looking at me like he knew it was coming.
What a group….
Who can sleep now.

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What a group!

I LOST them all,
and now I find,
these guys…..

I was a happy dwarf, till that night. I hate how I can’t remember all the details of that night but I can’t dwell on what I can;t help. Father always said, if your life sucked it is because of you. Change it..
So I am

Meeting my new companion (his “friends” call him fumbles but I know this is not his name) a very interesting fellow who has been very entraining because of his company he keeps. I have quickly came to realize that a couple of these companion are very straight shooters, but one, I will never let her know this, I am watching her.

After spending an interesting night at a family farmstead, where I filled my belly with ale and preservatives left by the previous owners but I got to use my family heirloom. I realized how quickly I needed to practice with it. I hit many targets but never the one I wanted, so practice needs to be done. I will find a tool around the home to use if anything else comes up during our stay.

Waking up, to a twirling head but a wonderful smell. We ate and went on our way to the nearest town. Why, I don’t know why…I wanted to burn the place but we agreed to leave a bloody hand on the door. I don’t know why but it looked like the house was waving at me as I left. I kind of snickered, because i thought of the preservatives. They where absolutely delicious and glad that I took a couple for the trip.

Heading into town, I wanted to stick to the quiet one. Father always told me to watch the ones that could put up the most fight, and I believe this one is the toughest, or at least the most readily to stab me in my sleep. I followed the two to a library, Mother would of loved this library. I looked through the books, found one that looked interesting and brought it to the gang. I thought it might help but they all just looked at me. Thinking of you Mom, I asked to sign a book. Knowledge is power rings in my head….

Now that boring stuff was done in the town we headed to our place of rest. Which reminded me of the old shanty in the village where Dad took us for our first hunt. What was it’s name…whatever. After having a couple of ales, my dwarves side came out. I searched for riches and say a game of cards being played and I wanted in. Let’s just say they learned not to mess with a dwarf, but boy is my jaw sore.

Let’s sleep this one off….

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A letter home.

Father Tancred,

I’m sorry to say I lost your necklace, but I haven’t lost faith. I tried to heal what I thought was a hawk, but turned out to be some sort of demonic, impish creature, and it stole it from me. I shouldn’t have been surprised, as we had just dispatched that demonic wolf creature disguised as a little old lady, but it was early and I was quite tired. In the past I would have just walked on by, assuming that the rules of nature have no bearing on my course, but Illyria has shown me that compassion for the creatures of the world is as important as caring for the people. She’s been caring for a cute little fox that was caught in a hobgoblin’s trap, and as I write this I realize she has – in her own, unique way – been caring for me ever since those hobgoblins ambushed our campsite.

Oh, those kind folks I met travelling past the Aspodell Mountains – the Halfling and the Half-Orc – did their best to protect our fire, but I must admit that it was on my watch the arrows flew. Had it not been for Her Grace and Illyria melting out of the darkness behind our assailants, I might have perished that first night in Arthfell Forest. She joined us for the road to the Traveller’s Stop Inn, where we ran in to a band of Ne’er-do-wells called the Black Brotherhood who claimed that it’s only murder if it is a Human and a fight broke out. There was a theft that night of a thing called the ‘Panolopy of Narvan’, who was apparently a great king of these woods some two centuries ago, and they accused Illyria of doing it just because she was a Drow. We tracked down some ancient magical artifacts for a scholarly fellow, brought the brigands to justice, and found that the real thief was a shady gnomish travelling merchant to clear our names. The morning we left, the Sherriff gave us a magical dagger named ‘Brightflame’, and Ilyria decided to join us on the road to Oldfen. The young Halfling had disappeared – I think he had joined the team searching for the merchant’s horse and carriage, they were nowhere to be found when the Sherriff went to check it for evidence that morning – but Grolm continued to Oldfen.

It was on that road that we found a werewolf fighting a creature known as a Grippli – which is not a talking toad but isn’t not a talking toad – named Glen, who had purpose to join me in calling upon his aunt, the Lady Cirthana. He was adopted, I should clarify. You were right, she did need my help, a rot had grown within the well and the local healer-woman’s possible panacea consisted of exotic ingredients growing in dangerous places. One of those dangerous places was an abandoned Dwarven Monastery, full of kobolds and talking wolves and abominations of undeath and kidnapped children. The children are fine, but we were only able to rescue two of their would-be rescuers, and I have now witnessed two Halflings to retire from adventure.

I believe Torag spoke to me there. It may have been coincidence that I found a Tome which had survived the centuries, but it was divine intervention that I was Awoken after freeing Druingar the Glintaxe’s remains from a mindless slimy devourer – something spoke to me, and when I was clad in his armour and gripping his magical axe I suddenly understood everything. I could decipher the runes, the tongues, the prayers. The armour that His people had crafted fit me like a second skin. We dispatched a foul haunt of what must once have been Droskar’s Disciple, and when I was drawn to Torag’s anvil and Ilyria’s strange exotic blade was born anew of ruby dust – it was clear that the Gods themselves were confirming to me that not all denizens of the Underdark are themselves dark.

We leave now for Oldfen again, in the company of a Paladin of Iomedae known as Red Hood and an interesting fellow who was once a prisoner of the Kobold King and feels abashed of introductions. Perhaps it was the manner in which I strong-armed his assistance in rescuing the children, or maybe it is that he too is not entirely Human in a backwater province where that alone is enough to earn distrust, but I feel I must give him time to warm to us and come to terms with how close he came to dying down there. Regardless, he has shown devotion; if not to the Goddess, than at least to we, Her instruments. Some day he may find his courage again, but in the meantime he is welcome to stand behind my shield until he learns to use the crossbow he clings to for comfort. He is a terrible shot, but at least he hasn’t shot me.

May this letter find you in good spirits, and when we meet again you can explain to me how you set me on a three-month road to cure a plague that started a fortnight before my arrival.
Sine Cere,
Elenaril Eílşandøral

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A kindred spirit in a red hood

We meandered our way back to the church…at least…I think it was the church? Everything hurts and they all talk too loudly – especially the frog. By the Peacock I wish to sew his mouth shut for a few moments silence, though I am told that ‘heroes don’t do such things’. My mouth feels as though it housed soiled linens for the evening. I need to bathe. I vaguely recall seeing Fumbles outside the church then seeing a giant warrior woman standing over me then bustling us in for the night.

In the morning I am awoken by chattering voices and the smell of coffee. My stomach rolls then I pick up part of their conversation – they are talking about a wolf on the outskirts of town. I tell the rest of the party that there has been a wolf sighted near the edge of the woods that has killed a few of the lumberjacks. At this point some of the memories from last night begin to trickle in and I recall stabbing Ellen repeatedly under the guise of ‘combat training’ while we partook in drinking and card games with a half-elf stranger. In reality, I just enjoyed wrastling with her as she may be the closest thing I have to a sister. You know…one that has not tried to actively kill me so far. We have a good working relationship, too. I kill things and she mends my wounds.

Ellen is talking about something when I remember my royal status and I worry that I may have lost my crown at some point in the festivities last night. I am deeply relieved to find it still atop my regal brow. Wait…IS it my crown? I take a few moments to carefully inspect it before deciding that it is, indeed, my crown and that no one has tampered with it.

Eventually, after even more words, words, words, we set out to the forest, in the direction of the burned out ruins of the boarding house. I see Jeva, the girl who had escaped the cruel grasp of the orphan keeper, flitting by the edge of the woods. I inquire as to her well being and if she is still safe. She assures me she is and wants to know what we are doing here – I tell her that we search for the warrior in the red hood. She tells me that she saw someone fitting that description heading north at a fast pace. I thank her and go back to the rest of the party. They are, no surprise, still talking. I tell them we go north and start out.

After some time, we come to a clearing and find a halfling petrified into stone. At his side is a nice looking kukri…sadly, it was also petrified to the statue. I wonder if I would be able to…a thought for another time and I would need some powerful magics to separate the knife from the halfling, I’m sure. Perhaps a lingering feeling of joviality from the previous night, I ask the frog for a bit of chalk. I take a moment to draw a moustache and monocle on the halfling. Yes…I could get used to this…humour.

We come to fight a cockatrice and I slay it. Sadly, with its death there is no longer any magic to its venom and I do not attempt to harvest anything from its body. However, the remains could be used for food…and Buttercup does look hungry. We continue on and eventually come across a campsite that we suspect The Hood used recently. Ellen cooks the cockatrice in a stew over the fire that is, admittedly, delicious. I keep watch and the rest bed down for the night.

Why do I keep taking watch? It’s terribly dull. I remember that I have a bunch of charcoal from the fire before it was relit and amuse myself by drawing a moustache and monocle onto Fumbles’ face. It momentarily relieves my boredom, but then I hear a scream in the woods: “Help me, she’s gone crazy!”

The camp awakens and The Red Hood bursts into the clearing yelling at us to stop the old woman. The others make useless blather while I yell over to Red that we would tie the old woman up if she consented to be tied as well, proving she means no harm to us. Red agreed in the midst of the jawing noise, but it was too late – the old woman had already begun to take the form of a large wolf…and we had to fight…because these fools I am with are all too ready to use their words instead of their weapons, they are preoccupied with talking out their feelings with the grandmother wolf creature instead of falling into action. One of these days….I just might melt into the shadows and see what happens…

Vermella (as Red Hood introduces herself to me) talks with us briefly while we dismember the creature. Vermella takes a tooth and puts it on a string around her neck, the others squabble over what to do with the rest. While the battle with the shape shifting creature has ended, Vermella still seems a bit on edge. We share a chuckle over the appearance of Fumbles, who still has no idea of my night-time beauty regime for him while he slept. After the dirty work is over, she collapses on the ground in exhaustion – I have a feeling she has been without restful sleep for as long as she has pursued this vile being. I like her – she is a warrior like myself and seemed to think the amount of talking the rest of the group does is overkill. No pun intended. I am really getting this humour thing down pat, I think.

Ellen just can’t do nice things for others. She lost her holy symbol to some kind of demon that disguised itself as an injured hawk. Vermella tried to shoot it out of the sky after it blinked out of view, but it ultimately escaped.

When we got back to town, Ellen received another holy symbol from her fellow priestess, though she seemed to be sullen over the loss of her original trinket. Peacock is all, do the still not see this?

The others scatter: Vermella goes off to talk to Lady Cirthana, Ellen says she is off to find the sheriff, Fumbles sticks close and reads, and Peacock knows where the frog goes. I stay close to the church as it is still daylight out. When they return I suggest we go out somewhere public to eat for the evening, but really I just want to see the look on Fumbles’ face when he realizes he’s gone the entire night and day with a moustache and monocle drawn on his face. I wonder if I could blame the fairies..

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My "people skills" are "rusty"
I have a feeling we might regret this 'bonding' experience

The others have left me to my own devices for a while – thank goodness. Too many days spent in close quarters with people has made me…edgy. I take Buttercup out for a walk to head to pick up her new collar.

On my way through town I spot Ellen talking to an aged halfling with strange hair as he asks if she is a whore. This tickles me in ways that I did not know existed, and I cannot help a bark of laughter before moving on to go see Brickasnurd Hildrinsocks to inquire about Buttercup’s promised attire.

I find him hanging precariously from a shelf and help him down to safer heights. He brings out Buttercup’s collar and I put it on her then ask for a mirror for her to admire herself in. I asked him if he was interested in purchasing a handful of my poisons I had collected while down in the caverns below the dwarven monastery. He gave me a decent price for my loot of 150 gold for the five vials.

I leave, then meet up with the others back at the Sitting Duck for a drink and to play some cards. I do not enjoy partaking in either, but I hear it is custom when one has saved lives and come back victorious…and a queen.

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If I ever see another kobold...
it will be too soon.

I stay behind at the church to bond with Buttercup more. Cirthana asks me if I want her to look at her and I reluctantly give Buttercup over for inspection. The holy woman holds my precious for a moment then the mark on Buttercup’s leg disappears. Cirthana tells me that the hair will grow back soon enough. I thank her then return my attention to my little friend.
Ellen and the frog come back to the church and we move out to the local tavern, The Sitting Duck, where we go to observe the locals. Buttercup and I share a meal while Ellen butters people up with free drinks. I observe the locals as they play Knivesies and some kind of drinking-punching-in-the-face game. Humans are odd creatures. I do not like them or understand them. But when they hit each other I am amused.

The others imbibe alcohol and need to sleep it off a bit in the church. I see Cirthana leave the church with a bundle of money and come back with some less-than-perfect produce. Either she is taking money from the church for her own means, or she is being charged too much money for goods that are sub-par. She brings news to us that several children from the town have gone missing in the middle of the night:

Kimi Evewalker – daughter of a local seamstress, Kitani and the elvan adventurer, Evewalker
Hollan Hamberdan – him and sister (Ralla) are orphans, mother died when Hollan was born, father savaged by a bear at work
Mikra Jabs – the butcher’s son, the oldest of the children but the ‘youngest’
Jurin Creed – the mayor’s son
Savram Vade – a ‘character’, father (Sharvaros) is a wizard who lives in a tower in High Market

We went to the butcher’s first – he said that they were all together, but that they didn’t come home. We travel to the high market only to be turned away for not having a ticket to get through the gates. We march back to Laurel’s shop and Ellen talks to her about procuring a ticket, only to be told that the children missing would be more important than a ticket. We head back to the high market and Ellen talks to the guards again, and is immediately let in to find the parents of the missing children.

We meet with Kitani, the seamstress and mother of Kimi. We hear what she has to say about the orphanage outside of town and the rumors of the caretaker had started to torture the children before the building burned down in the middle of the night a few months back.
The wizard, Sharnaros, looks like we just woke him up from a drunken stupor, but it turns out that he just works at night. He had no idea that his son was missing. He sends us over to Creed’s where we find that the house is guarded and empty. The guards send us toward the lumber consortium. We are greeted by a mountain of a man who blocks the way to the boss. Ellen tells him that we need to speak with the boss about his missing son. Creed, Ellen, and I come to the conclusion that our expenses will be reimbursed by creed on the return of his son.

We leave to go find provisions and more information and find our way to Brickasnurd Hildrinsocks’ shop. The gnome is ready to sell us anything – for the right price. I trade him my scythe for gold and he throws in a collar for Buttercup, to do dyed purple by the time we return.

We travel to the burnt-out orphanage. It lays in ruin, with charring on most surfaces, the children’s camp having signs of ambush from kobolds.
Inside the burned orphanage, we find a hatch in the floor. The frog pokes at the corpse of the woman on the ground in the basement and a swarm of spiders erupts from her body. I help dispatch the mother of these creatures and then finish burning the swarm. Once we catch our breath, we look around and find:
Two masterwork silver daggers

The woman’s body shows signs of having been killed by something that tore out her throat with sharp teeth and having a ring removed from one of her fingers. We leave the basement and move outside again and into the woods. We hear a melodic voice in another direction from where the childrens’ footprints lead. We get to the edge of the river and begin to make a raft when the girl who had been flitting through the woods behind us. Jeva helps us find a raft further down the river behind some brambles. She trades us stories for her information about her time in the orphanage – how Elara ‘did what was best for them’ even with all the scars she carries. When she becomes too upset recalling her experiences, I let Buttercup out of my bag and put her in the lap of the girl who is comforted by the furry presence.

We make camp about an hour outside of the dwarven monastery and the night is uneventful.
The frog reports that there were three crows that each ‘cawed’ three times, then took flight.
We get to the monastery and Jeva takes her leave of us as she does not want to go into the building. Everything is as we left it, save for the staircase leading down to the cellar. We descend. The frog wants to rush ahead, but I remind him that I would be best suited up front to find any traps that could have been set up in our way. As we descend, noises change and become more close. Dwarven carvings and writing depicting the toilings that would happen in the mines. At the bottom of the stairs is a large piece of obsidian with two kobolds. Four others stand guard and spot us. When they see us, they shout something at us in their language. Ellen slays the majority of them then heals us. The reptilian creatures all had:
Spears
Slings
Leather armor

The other two escaped down the corridor to the right and we followed after moving the bodies of their comrades to the sides of the chamber.

When we caught up with them, they immediately cowered in surrender. We took them as prisoners then went off in search of the missing children. When we come around the corner where the ‘ghost’ resides, we find the remains of Glintaxe’s armor and weapon suspended inside a cube of…something disgusting, squishy, clear, and acidic. I kept my distance as much as I could while still doing my part in the battle. Glen delivered the final blow and Ellen cast water to clean the dwarve’s remains and armor. Ellen donned the armor and the axe glowed in her grip.

We stepped into the next room after a brief rest and step into a scene of kobolds, children, and a halfling (Edgrin Galesong) in a desperate fight. When our enemies were vanquished, the halfling helped to heal the frog and myself. We learn that the children got separated part way down the hall. The halfling is a bard whose remaining party is farther down the corridor. While rifling through the bodies, I find:
4 vials of centipede poison

Off to the side of the room there is a kitchen whereupon I explore and find 2 flasks filled with what we discover is: potion of owl’s wisdom (x2)

The room is lined with two rows of skeletons on walls. The rows touching the walls come to life as soon as we enter. Ellen prays to Iomedea and a dozen of the skeletons burst into dust. The other undead are quickly dispatched and the others go to calm the child hiding at the end of the room.

The idiotically impulsive frog told us that there were voices beyond the first door we were to look through for the two missing children, but heard no sound of the children’s voices. We burst through the doors and Glen rattled off something to them in their filthy language…the kobolds looked to be ready to fight before I elbowed Glen and he said something else. They relaxed their stance and had parlay. Apparently they all think that it was a poor choice that the ‘pink skins’ were kidnapped and that their current king was incapable to leading them well. They decided to let us pass and find the children. Ellen and I agreed that we should open up the doors to the room with the stirges and leave them to finish off the bothersome creatures.
2 more vials of centipede poison (1d2 Dex/Dex DC11)

We wind our way to another cavern and come upon more kobolds and find the entrance to the cavern where Durin is tied up to the forge in the room. Another undead creature, one that resembles a dwarf at work made of heavy steel lengths, hooks, and smoke with a large hammer comes to life and attacks us with foul air. We get our cloaks up just in time to keep from being blinded. I tumble past this abomination to free the child then turn to deal a vicious blow to the creature before us. Glen, Ellen, and I all slayed the beast. The hammer and spiked chain in flames fell from it when our enemy falls. The chain radiates evil magic and we decide to destroy it with the hammer from our fallen foe. While Glen works on the chain, we hear the cries of what we can only assume are souls escaping as the links are broken.
Adamantine hammer

The ungrateful child had the audacity to start demanding answers of us while is last idiot friend was still out there to be found. I swear…the parents deserve the pain their children will bring them because they have raised them to be imbeciles. We notice a crevasse in the floor and descend once we give the rest of the bystanders back up to relative safety.

Once we touched down into the cave, a massive bat attacked us. We quickly rid ourselves of it, only to have Ellen ambushed by a gargoyle. Glen put his new Glintaxe to use and demolished the rocky creature. We make our way through rough tunnels to a cavern. A black scaled kobold that has a disturbingly close resemblance to Creed’s ‘Payday’ right-hand muscle man sees us and screams something in his filthy tongue and we are attacked by his followers.
We slay their leader (pathetic as he was) and Ellen ‘shoos’ two of them away. They flee into the tunnel to the left. We enter a cavern that has a ‘worked’ look to it with a shaft above – perhaps this is where the elevator that the human child mentioned lays.

Two Kobolds riding what I can only describe as sabre-tooth toads. I slay one of the kobolds riding his disgusting mount, Glen kills the other, one of the other creatures fled while we killed the second. We moved on into the next room with broken crates on the floor and rafters. A creature with long arms and a spear stuck in his back lays on the floor, unmoving but awake. I approach it and speak to it in its tongue – I ascertain that the kobolds have slain his family. I sense that he wants revenge for the death of his family and will be on our side, at least until his loved ones are avenged. Ellen carefully removes the spear and heals him. Once free of the paralytic, he ascends into the rafters to rest and we a more in depth conversation while we rest briefly. Skiiirrrssh the Choker is now our ally. About a week ago there was a fight where his family was killed by the kobolds – hopefully he will be true to his word and help us destroy the rest of these creatures so we can get the children back to safety. And, of course, so we can return to town and get paid upon their safe arrival back home.

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Wolves, bats, spider, skeletons...
But people I hate the most.

We continue on into the hallway, I am made of shadows. I am able to unlock the door we stand in front of and enter into a sitting room with table and chairs and a half eaten crow on a plate. Ellen luckily did not set off the trip wire when she entered the room, as she would have been bombarded with pots and pans. Something had worried these people living here. Barring themselves in rooms, setting noise-making traps for warning…Ellen procured a new knife. I enter the room and find another door, which opens easily. Two beds lay in the room, one having been recently slept in. Then we heard a sound of a Cobald yelling ‘die’. Glen got a hit in but I stepped into the room and ran it through. The small foe had a number of items on him, but Glen sifted through most of the goods:
- 4 small daggers (to Glen)
- shiny short sword (masterwork) (to Glen)
- small vial of cure light wounds (to me)
While Glen rifled through the belongings, I kicked the Cobald off my sword and was wiping off the blood off onto the bed linens while Ellen looked around the room. Her breath hitched at one point and her hand moved to her pockets.
We moved on to the next room – I expertly mime picking the lock. No sense in making the others think they could go on without my help. Behind this door lies a room in disrepair with mould growing on shelves of books. Ellen found something of interest on the top shelf and put it away in her backpack, I assume it was another dwarven relic. On the adjacent wall, a door lays broken on the ground.
The next room has pews lying all over the place, with a desecrated stone anvil. Two creatures drop from the ceiling and the room falls dark. Finally – my eyes feel better at the lack of light and I move in to rip these creatures apart. I struck it, but then it grabbed me. I fought it and killed it. Buttercup was well behaved and I’m sure she helped when the creature’s tentacles constricted around me.
Once the things were dead, we examined the alter and Ellen produced a large ruby and laid it in one of the 10 depressions in the sadly mistreated alter. A choir of dwarven voices sing out and the darkness is dispersed in the room. I feel better down to my bones.
We leave the room and head down the hallway again to see a dwarven statue smashed. The next door opens on to a study that looks like it has been used recently. Wet fur smell hangs in the air. Wolves again. The frog hops in right away like a fool and slashes at one of the wolves. I slash at one as well before we travel into the other room and are confronted by a sentient male wolf who growls out condemnations to us on attacking his wives. I convince him to let us search for the other interlopers in their home – two of which we already killed in the alter room, and the noble beast tells us there are bats that also plague him and his family. I tell him that we will dispatch all who have invaded his home if he will give us access to the mushrooms we are looking for. He agrees to these terms and I have Ellen heal both of his wives and we head down the hall.
The next room was once a weapons cache, but the only thing left are a few bolts for a crossbow that Ellen collects. I find a door and open it. Ellen goes through and sees something that makes her cast some kind of lightning holy fire spell that destroys a skeleton. It’s on…two more rise from their cell cots and we fight and destroy them poste haste. Ellen shatters the last skeleton’s head while it laid in its cot peacefully. She pulls something from the destroyed corpse and pockets it.
We move on down the hall and find a swarm of bats – Ellen dispatches them with the wand that makes fire. We return to the wolves with the news that we have dispatched his other foes. We says that there is ONE more bother for us to take care of – a spider in the belltower. We quickly dispatch it, with a hilarious move on Ellen’s part. I have not seen a look like that on her face before. Ellen found another short sword with dwarven carvings in the pommel (masterwork).
Greypelt the warg is a wolf of his word…I wish that I were telling the truth with that last statement, the bastard. They all attack me and I am thrown to the ground. They injure me before I am able to get up, but I attack full force on their leader. No one breaks a pact with me and lives. We battle back and forth but I behead the lousy beast, then move on to kill one of his wives. I gather the other mushrooms for the potion then explore the rest of the room. I find:
- 354 GP hidden behind (me)
- light crossbow (looks nice – masterwork)
- wand of light with 28 charges
- small potion of bull strength

We retreat to the torture room where the skeletons rested to stay the night. I rest and feel slightly better in the morning. We make our way through the forest and find multi-coloured blood, with three pixie-like creatures pinned to trees. We find a small raft and Glen pushes us on the raft. We notice that the raft is being held together by animal flesh. It’s disgusting.
Once we are back in town, we take the ingredients back to Laurel who makes the potion and begins to save the townspeople. She tells us that next time we are in town, anything we want, we’ll get a discount. I tell her that we saved her town. She said that’s business.
I hate humans.

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I named her Buttercup
I have a new companion...oh, and we're saving a town of people or something.

We were accosted on the road by a werewolf, which I slayed. A small frog creature who called himself ‘Glen’ helped – I like his dagger…it is shiny and seemed to hurt the vile creature we fought. But I hit it the most.
From his corpse I pulled:
• a long sword
• a light crossbow with 15 bolts
• 7 gold pieces
• 1 lapis lazuli piece
• 1 malachite piece
• 1 milky white quartz
The gemstones look particularly good against my midnight skin. I am going to keep them.
The werewolf bit Grolm during the fight and the wound did not look good. I have grown accustomed to his idiotic smile and…did not want him to die. The Glen frogman luckily had a dose of wolfs bane and Ellen created a poultice that seemed to do the trick and healed him before the beast could take over. Grolm took a healthy swig of his ale and decided that THAT was what saved him from becoming a werewolf…idiot.
We continued on to Oldfen where we met a couple of dwarves at the gate to the town – they directed us to the Steel Pony when we inquired as to the whereabouts of a good blacksmith. Morons. They gave us directions to an alchemist. A mewling, timid child ran the shop and sold us two silver blanches for our weapons. I complimented him on having a nice shop. I’m trying to work on my ‘people skills’ as they are ‘rusty’. And by ‘rusty’ I mean that I’ve never had to develop them as the family I was raised with were also those who tried to kill me for my affinity of finding anything other than Drow as something to be pitied rather than something to exterminate.
I may have shown too much enthusiasm when I told Samlet that he had a nice shop…he seemed very nervous. He did, however, tell us where we could go to trade in the weapons we have gathered on our journey so far: The Agreeing Weapon.
When we got there, there was a warrior woman behind the anvil. Melissa was all business and gave us decent prices for our weapons, but I did not appreciate that she did not take my heed in appraising the scythe I took off that elfin whore.
This is what she tallied up for the goods we brought to sell:
• Masterwork scale mail 100 gold pieces
• Leather armor x 3 10 gold pieces total
• Long bow x 3 75 gold pieces total
• Long swords x 3.5 21 gold pieces total
• Masterwork great sword 200 gold pieces

She sold us two 2-handed spears made of alchemical silver – I shall destroy the next werewolf that crosses my path.
After all of that, Ellen gives me a mere 2 platinum pieces for my share. I may have spent my life underground, hiding from daylight, but I know what my share from the spoils should have been. My trust with her wanes – if she cheats me out of my share now, what will she cheat me out of later? Does she not understand that I keep from what I kill and I get a share of what I help kill? That white wench’s scythe is mine to do with as I please. Ellen wastes money on commissioning a shield. She does not see that shields are for those who cannot get out of the way of a weapon fast enough to avoid injury. She is better than that.
Grolm left our party when we reached the tavern – he said he had somewhere to be after a look of revelation spread across his dopey countenance.
We gather ourselves up and find a shop in which to purchase trail rations (-1 gold piece) and I purchase one out of the pair of mules for sale at the stable. Romulus is a noble steed and shall be treated as such. The frogman Glen purchases food for the mules. Maybe he is not so strange – he has priorities for the animals. While we were there, I bonded with a baby hippogriff. I want it.
We leave Oldfen and meet an unusually aquatic dwarf who warns us to stay away from Tholdrun Creed when we reach Falcon’s Hollow – he told us that the man is not to be trusted.
Once we got to town we stopped in the church that was covered in graffiti – idiot humans not understanding that the gods do not care if they are sick or not. The gods to not make them ill…it is usually something their fool selves have done to deserve such suffering. Inside is Glen’s adopted aunt…who looks a lot like Ellen in the way she is dressed and adorned with armor and weapon at her hip.
She said something about how the town is suffering from a sickness, but I honestly stopped listening when she said that most of the town goes to Roots and Remedies to get better. I have heard about these holistic ‘medicines’ in my travels and the only thing they alleviate from the patient is the money in their coffers. We head there, but Ellen quickly turns us away to look for the sheriff, Deldryn Baleson, while she deals with the false promises of Laurel to make the people’s suffering end.
We enter the market and Glen asks around – people still react…badly….to me. Glen finds out that the sickness began about a week ago and that they traced it back to a tainted spring. The sheriff also thinks that the consortium because their workers are getting sick which means that they aren’t making as much profit. He pointed us to the west of town to get us going. Once we get to the stream, we see sawhorses set up around the stream and fungus growing around the water line.
We went to see the lumberman Millan who Ellen was told would know where to find the ingredients for the cure against the illness.
• First we are to head north to the eldest tree which he describes as a ‘big massive fucker’ for the moss
• Then we are to go to Ulizmila’s, the witch, cabin to the west of the tree to retrieve the rat’s tail
• Lastly we continue west to procure mushrooms at the old dwarf monastery

As we began our travels, we came across a pit trap which we discovered before it could do us any damage. Beside it, however, we found a female fennec fox in a trap. I freed her and have begun to care for her greatly. I am grateful that Ellen healed her broken leg. She is mine now and will travel with us. Glen and Ellen cooked up the two razor crows we killed and made them into something I could feed to Buttercup…a name of great beauty I have bestowed upon my new companion. I kept my eyes and ears open to the outside world during my watch, though I will never tell my travelling companions that most of my attention was on the precious gift of nature I have taken under my proverbial wing.
The next day I am more comfortable as there is a storm and most of the light is not visible. We reach the tree and slay the creature with the head of a dragon and the body of a snake – we slay it and collect the moss. Glen discovers some of the creature’s trophies up in the tree. He wants to bury them, but I remind the frogman that we are on a tight schedule and to leave them there. Glen found:
• 2 crossbows
• 2 short swords
• suit of hide armor (which I told them to leave as it had been wrapped around a rotting body for Peacock knows how long)
• masterwork short bow
• signet ring with hawk engraved
• 9 gold pieces
• 12 silver pieces

We then made our way to the witch’s hut in the woods – I appreciate her way of decorating her front yard…in an anti-social kind of way. Inside there was a huge cauldron, dozens of jars and vials, and a handmade mannequin to resemble the witch sitting in a chair off to the corner. The whole place had the feel of a breath being held and an uncomfortable sense of being watched. Strangely enough, nothing happened. I reminded Ellen to just get what we needed and to leave a payment for the witch out of courtesy.
We left for the dwarven monastery. Once there we were unable to open the door to the tower, but found a dead traveller next to a well in the next room we looking in. We found a rotting backpack beside the corpse with:
• potion of cure light wound (to Glen)
• pouch of 42 gold pieces (to me)
• 7 trail rations (to Ellen)
• 50’ of silk rope (to Glen)
• thieves’ tools (to me)
I notice that whomever it was that came to the monastery all those months ago was killed by a large animal. We began to explore:
1. the door to the left of the entry hall was a cloak room. After some poking about, we found one of the seven required iron bloom mushrooms.
2. The doors opposite the cloakroom was sealed shut from the inside and when we broke in with the crowbar the chair that was wedged against the door shattered into the room. A mummified dwarf blacksmith with a silver light hammer (a figure of Drokskar – dwarf god of toil and suffering – carved into it)
• We also find a scroll written in dwarven that none of us can read, so we take it with us

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