the Final Countdown

Ranging far from the Brotherhood...

Ievos has plenty of time at the Scrivener’s Guild in Waterdeep for his own personal notes; compiled and sent often back to his superiors in Evermeet; hopefully for his mentor’s approval. He has heard nothing from him since his mentor left the island in search of the Craulnober Moonblade; but this is not unusual. Some members dissapear for a century; others abandon quests for a while for other pursuits, or some never return at all, for various reasons. Such is the Elven way.

The search for the lost Elven tome describing the wards and mythals of the Illefarn mythal, defended by the Dwarves and crafted by the Elves far before the rise and fall of the Kingdom of Man, was set upon by the Gold Elvish Lord Floshin. He set Ievos upon the task, which would take him to the nearby kingdom of Tramilar, a small hold a few hundred miles northeast of Illefarn. In the past decade a terrible plague swept through the area, reducing the populace by nearly a half.

For the trip to collect the book, which was known only to Floshin as somewhere in Tramilar proper, Ievos decided to invite Romsh. Romsh took along his trusty Dwarf companion Boffer Ironeater, and three set out. Their first encounter took them to a crumbling tower, and upon a plot not fully ever realized by them. However, they rescued the Princess Ariella, and slew a hill giant, half-orc fighter named Harak, a number of goblins, and a young wyvern in the process.

Continuing forward through the treacherous and dark, foreboding Dreadwoods, they evaded a goblin town and found shelter in the Dreadwood’s cottage of the elder and blind druid Kesryk. The goodly druid allowed them to stay for the evening, sharing stories and revelry. The next day, they encountered a number of large spiders, intent on making feast of the good (but cowardly) bard Rhodoban. The bard told them of some the dangers to anticipate ahead, as they strove to return the irritating Princess Ariella home to her father; and weaved a tale of their travels in the Dreadwoods to Tramilar, including the secrets of the Gloombarrow.

The group came to a wooden bridge, crude but spanning a river needing crossing to approach the plateau of the kingdom and find the Passage Road home. The self-proclaimed King of the Forest, a Ranger (5) named Marle, challenged Romsh to a test of skill with quarterstave, with the intention to drive the other into the water. The King lost, and thusly allowed them passage; but not before offering them lunch and rest. While there, Romsh offered Marle a place in his own Barony, to which the Ranger eventually acceded.

Marle’s story was one of sorrow; the differences between the rights of the commoner vs gentry. Princess Ariella’s brother accused him of leading him astray and nearly the loss of his life, guiding him into a thicket by himself with wild boar during a hunt. The matter was merely over the fact that the prince disputed that the ranger need help him; Marle’s story of saving the errant and foolish prince by slaying the dangerous boar himself did not please the selfish and vain, evil prince; who instead concocted that he slew the boar himself, and without help…nay, nearly death by the callous King’s Forester. Marle, instead of facing court which might have even ended in his death, exiled himself to the Dreadwood.

Narrowly avoiding a horde of goblins and hungry trolls, the group escaped into the Gloombarrow. A place for the Deathless Lord, Cormot, a mage of the 9th circle (9th level), the alchemist had crafted a necromantic potion which stalled death, while he tried to attain the power of a lich. Thankfully they avoided the Lord and some of his more powerful minions in the Gloombarrow, finding a secret passage out. Once they followed the tunnel to the surface of the plateau, the Court Wizard Numis and a few of the guards arrived on site, to take custody of the Princess. In gratitude, Numis gave Ievos the book that he had set out for, and invited the small party to Tramilar Castle for a feast in their honor.

On the road home, and to deliver the book to Lord Floshin, the three encountered two Dwarven adventures; Sons of the Allfather, or at least, part of their company, two twins. One Axel and one Dungrin Bedrock; the famed Bedrock Brothers. With some help Ievos managed to garner one spell and the promise of more from Axel, who uses Dwarf rune to write out his arcane spells; the first of his kind, a Dwarven wizard! A theurge, Axel combines the worship of the Dwarven god of adventure, Marthammor Duin, and his study of arcane magic while…at that time…his inborn talent of Spellfire revealing itself by sapping away all magic he tries to cast. Ievos offered a salve and showed the two Bedrock brothers how to find healing mushrooms nearby, and the promise of friendship. Boffer seemed particularly happy to meet the Thunder Blessed adventurers.

Notables:
the druid Kesryk (5)
Marle, King of the Forest (5)
Court Wizard, Numis (7)
Baskillion, Captain of the Guard
Moira, chambermaid
Prince Alfinor, evil heir to the throne
Mottle, dubious Dwarven court jester
sickly King Ormath the Just
Father Graelis, fat and cordial priest of Lathander (4)

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The tribulations of time

After the encounter with the ghost ship “Fortunate Son”, a troubling event took place during the planning of the Phull family seizure of a minimum of at least three cogs, which they will use for fishing. While the Green Hart will transport Alexjo’s Dunadorian men at arms, and Alexjo’s ship to guard the Phull’s Storm’s Ketch, the group will travel to Lathtarls Lantern to hunt down captain Vek of “Daisy Slim”, a drakkar, and the two Luskan longships alongside them.

While at Romhold, the Brotherhood met with a number of notables:
Duke Pwyll, who informed Romsh of his absorption of an adjoining Barony, and suggested ( a gentle command) that upon his return from his adventures, that he travel the road to visit his new subjects. A Dukedom was promised to him, if Duke Pwyll can be raised himself to a Lord of the Alliance. That would imply that Waterdeep recognize his holdings as vast enough to be worthy of note.
Uncle Talbano
a representative of the Starr Protective Services, for Zaranda Starr of Tethyr, Cassandra Arunsun, who asked of Gardle…“Will you send your men at arms, those of your own standard, to aid us? Or will you come yourself, when the time is right?” The men at arms were offered each four gold per month per person, and so took their leave of Gardle.
Eddard Phull of Romsh’s fishing village
Captains Gob Jim and Jonathan Frakes

Outside the back window of the main hall room, Romsh heard the beautiful Sharran priestess he had turned down twice before, call out instead in a gravelly, cold voice:

“Romsh!!! Romsh!!!! I have a message for you, but you aren’t going to like it.
This thrice time I give you a gift from Shar, who reigns supreme of night.

No Bear Cloak shall warm you (Cloak of the Bear that Gardle owns)
No Bands shall give you might (Ievos/Alexjo’s Bands of Might)
No Shrines shall liven you (Romsh’s connection to the Shrine of Nevron severed)

The Barony of Romsh was mine of olde
It shall be mine again
Allow my priestess to teach you
Why you shall fear the night

You have met my chimera
You have met my curses
Next you will meet my hounds, Gondson

Pray to Gond to bring Wonder
Pray to Selune to bring shine
These lands are not yours
They have always belong to mine

Through divination, Romsh has discovered that the priestess lvl 10 of Shar is Krishina of the Stormcrows. She seeks to subvert the barony to the worship of Shar, and is served…or serves Shar with…a large Shadow dragon. By their divination 5 temples should be erected around the place of olde, a ancient temple complex which has sunk into time and the murk of the Lizard Marsh. Somewhere deep within it, the ancient Ophidians, a sect of which kept Shar’s secrets, sleep the eons away…and await to rise from their slumber.

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The sword coast can be sharp...

The Phull cog carrying the shipwrights and equipment and raw materials which would be used to secure the cogs, as many as possible to limp back to Rivercrest in the Barony of Romsh, set out under guard by the two ships belonging to the Brotherhood. The journey for them began apart, and would end apart…though success inevitably resulted in Daisy Slim, Captain Vek’s longship with 60 salvaged Oars of rowing (rumoredly taken from a sunken Elven ship out of Evermeet’s defense fleet) to now lay on the shore of Baron’s Lancing, a village along the river, the same where the Baron was laid nearly dead by a lance strike. As well, two cogs fly the Baron’s standard, though they are in drydock at Waterdeep, in long-term storage and repair.

The Phull fishing fleet greatly enhanced, will be able to produce more…but Baron Romsh’s search for the Gondcannons has come to a end. Rumoredly the base of the High captain of Luskan he hunted was raided not a second tenday after the Baron and his party dissapeared by unknown means from Lathtarl’s Lantern; a ship rising from the sea, and a number of Gnomes overtaking the captain’s ship, turning the Gondcannons to slag and stealing away. The Lantannese underwater ship was a rumor for which to strike fear in the hearts of reavers, and now is confirmed to exist.

With much of the Brotherhood’s interests occupied now in Tethyr in support of Zaranda Starr, no one can say what happened to Gardle, Essom, Alexjo and Romsh except their strange dissapearance. Ievos occupied himself with freeing a number of Elven slaves, and returned with Darkskins to the Barony; where Duke Pwyll has rumoredly begun to secure Secomber and Julkoun as extension of his Duchy; and turning over much of the southern territories into the service of Baron Romsh. Baron Agwain, once embroiled in a conflict with the adventuring band, is heard to be visiting some of the villages, to rouse their elders and mayors to petition to his Barony instead; and doing so with armed guard. A single clash of steel left one of Agwain’s men with a broken leg from a Dwarvish hammer, but nothing more has come of it.

The bells of chaos ferreted captain Zek’s entourage as well as some members of the Brotherhood away. The captain and a number of minor wizards and warriors, the ensorcelled templar of Clangeddin Silverbeard, Marshter of clan Boulderclaws, who once was known to dwell in the far North; and the warrior Apoc Pendergast, who wielded a Serrated glaive, taken from the NIne hells, played hit and run and vicious bloodsport, usually losing but always snaking away, in the distant Sunset Mountains. For a month the Brotherhood dodged trap and creatures friendly and foul to hunt down the Captain, who’s teleport magic could not take more than himself. Seeking out the Temple of pain, a lair of a medusa who had fallen to worship of the god Set, Captain Vek hoped to escape into a portal which would put him a day outside of Waterdeep. He allied himself with Vallasta, the medusa, and her mate Chaolosh. The medusa and her grimlock minions were locked in a death struggle with a colony of grell.

The encounter with Vallasta proved her undoing as her greed invited her close to the group; close enough to reach for magic items which would be exchanged for her allowance of the Brotherhood to enter her lair and finally capture the elusive captain Vek. She did make some understanding to them of the further nature of the bells; and her own contact with the wizard Dyr, who had enspelled her with magic centuries before; though only until the past short year her power growing steadily. As she rose from the ground to collect the toll for passage, she witnessed herself in the sight of Romsh’s reflective, highly polished armor; and turned to stone.

In the small lair, Chaolosh was encountered again, but he parley’d and was allowed his life; as well, a Glyptar was captured in a leather pouch by Essom. Lastly encountering captain Vek and his two companions, the mellee was harsh and quick; first Alexjo being slain by the templar and then the Dwarf smashing Romsh’s hipbone and leg, the crumpled half-orc then bashed into the head; both dying while Essom and Gardle made last work of the Dwarf and deactivated the Sandglass of Fiery End, a item which is turned upside down and the words “Embers to Inferno” spoken, lending a terrible (10d6) fireball (half fire, half force) of double size to erupt, destroying the item and everything nearby in its wake. Captain Vek escaped, however…

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From Duchy to Grand Duchy

Back in Romhold, the group has settled into a comfortable routine of rest and relaxation, between some slender times of training. The Duke of Daggerford, lord Greatshout, comes to visit one evening; for which a great feast is held. But first, Marle, King of the Marsh (Baron Romsh’s appointed ranger) has some reports for the Baron’s attention:
“A number of Selune worshippers in the area; shall I summon them here to your audience? They seem to be squatters of a sort at the moment; but your drawing of the ire of the priestess of Shar seems to have gotten their attention.” To which, Baron Romsh would like a meeting indeed, to be settled at a future date.

“Secondly, I have found evidence of a druid’s circle. Shall I investigate this circle further?” Yes, Baron Romsh wishes Marle to step lightly, though.

“Thirdly, I have found black dragon droppings. I know this as dragons are my chosen foes; and I think there may be a bronze or copper dragon in the marsh as well. Shall I track these creatures to their lair?” Well, we already knew there were at least four black dragons, before we slew one, Vamortikin. Don’t go looking for trouble when we don’t want to stir up too much of it; there is at least a Deep dragon connected somehow to this sunken temple of Shar.

“Fourthly, Ive located a flumph village. Thoughthere seems to be evidence of withering about the swamp…I also met Redeye…there seems to be evidence of Talos worship coming to the advanced lizardmen. I suggest you cut ties with this Redeye.” To which the Baron must investigate further, himself.

After licking his fingers and smelling some of the fried blooming sweet onion, the duke lets another battered, crumbling bite into his maw, and then lets out a chuckle. "I do love these sweet onions…a onion, which smells like a rose! How fascinating, what magic. They are delectable. Mmmm….well. On to greater business. But before we talk more…to what have you been doing, and up to? Tell me some of these adventures you have had. I hear Alexjo’s men are now long gone to the shores of Tethyr, to support the future queen of the land. Perhaps you might contemplate enlarging your own forces, then. Or at least, stocking your armory and preparing the militia. Let us hope you have a innovative idea to quell the evil beginning to rise once more around Dragonspear castle.

I have found greater favor with the Lords of Waterdeep, and so wish to focus my efforts north of the river. I will name you a Grand Baron, for which if I rise to Lord of this region, you shall be Duke of your lands, and cement yourself into a Duchy. I will take you on a ride through, if you wish, of your new lands, if you wish to manage them for me. You knew them before, two years ago almost when you came to me a fledgeling militiaman, and still stinking so of the Luskans."

Romsh’s steward leans in, and suggests now would be a good time for the Baron, and the group, to evaluate their gifts to Lord Greatshout, for all that has come to assist and benefit them, much of it has come at the grace and will of the Duke’s favor over them. After a gift of Dwyerwaen, the Elvish blade which was taken from Baron Agwain by Gardle, as the group hunted the baron down after he had kidnapped Duke Pwyll’s sister, the tale-telling and sharing began in earnest; papers drawn out and the official blessings given of the Duke.

“Shall I ride with you then, and your lady of the house, or will you like to do so yourself? It is important, for the folk to see their extension of my will south along the Trade Way.”

First passing to Gillian’s Hill, an entourage of Chassenee, the lawyer of Tyr; Henry, the castellan; Romsh’s wife (who decided she wanted a gold-gilded carriage and some money set aside for a trip to Waterdeep to see and visit all the nobility there), the eight men at arms of Romsh’s colours, Boffer and Romsh set out along with some members of the Bonded Swords. They stopped in at Torleth’s treasures, where Essom acquired a Viziers hat that was thriving off of a Ring of the ram that’s enchantment was breaking down, but feeding the strange symbiotic lifeform. He purchased the hat for 1500gp. As well, Gardle picked out a Girdle of the lions. Some small items were purchased, baubles really, that Romsh’s wife wanted; but the group passed over a Spear of Vix, taken from another far off realm in the universe. Also, Gardle, for 500gp, purchased a item from Earth, a gem known as ‘Cubic Zirconia’.

Moving onward, they stayed at the Holdfast inne, in Liam’s Hold. The group was shadowed by a group of three trolls following the “Troll King”, a troll which was enchanted to be ageless as well as immune to normal blades and weapons by his service to Larloch the lich king. The “Troll King” was hunting a rogue by the name of Dakkun Blackblade, a wanted Justifier of that same ranger order of Waterdeep who was accused of a number of crimes, including (1) abandonment of duty, (2) treason against the order resulting in multiple deaths of subordinates, (3) failure to follow chain of command, and (4) cowardice in the field of battle, which left his unit slaughtered. The truth of the incident is known only to he and one other; but since he fled into the High Moor, he has not been seen since. He was hunted by the Troll King, though he had intended to lead them into the Misty Forest to be slain by Elf patrol, instead the Troll King slaughtered the Elf party which he had guided them to. With help from Boffer, Gardle, and Romsh, the Troll King is dead, and Dakkun now travels with them. Samuel Doortap was hypnotized by Gardle to not truly notice Dakkun’s features resembling anyone wanted; now all that is left is for Dakkun to sneak into Doortap’s office, and make sure his wanted poster exists no more. Dakkun has swore his service to Romsh.

There, at Liam’s Hold, the group was approached by one of Baron Cromm’s (Baron Cromm being the prior Baron of the Marsh) hedge knights, a old and chivalrous knight named Lostogar Raomskill, who has twenty men at arms and was intent upon bringing Baron Romsh’s lady to his hold for safekeeping; he had been approached to join the growing band of insurgents rallying behind Baron Agwain against Romsh, but instead chose to approach Romsh of the foul misdoing, and to offer protection to his lady. Later, Baron Romsh would discover that Lostogar was intercepted en route, and the Lady of Romhold seized, leaving he and his men at arms under spell and paralytic poisons to lay in the path where they fell.

From Liam’s Hold, they approached the hamlet of Bowshot. However, on route, they discovered a Harper agent, laying by the road, his leg splinted but bleeding out; his hip smashed with a cudgel; he was a Bard Skald, a Illuskan by the looks of it.

“Ho there, good folk! Me and my party were hereabouts, looking for the rumored entrance to the Underdark about; both the hill for which there was rumor of Phaerimm about; but also the entrance near Bowshot, where rumor abounded of a silver mine, hidden and stolen goods, and manspiders as well. We serve those that Harp…it would behoove you and their blessings to lend aid, if you will. At least send me back to Liam’s Hold, to recuperate myself.

We were set upon by a manotaur. Look for them on their well beaten paths. They are quick and exceedingly powerful. This one, strangely enough, has minotaurs in obedience, perhaps it slew the minotaur elders for its control of that band, but I cannot say. I was knocked out…woke up, bleeding out, in fact. I came to in the dark forest maze of the beast; our priestess of Mystra healed me, but it fell upon her quickly. I cut at it, and then fled…the mission is more important than a gloryless end. These creatures are wholly evil, destroy them, and serve the efforts of good as well as those that Harp."

After dispatching the manotaurs and the minotaurs, they came across the bodies of the Harpers, giving them a proper burial before looting the bone altar of the manotaur. To the end of finding the manotaur forest, a elusive hamadryad skirted around the ranger Dakkun and Baron Romsh, instead coming to speak to Gardle to set them on the right path to find the manotaur lair.

The creature had the broadsword Shazzelim, for which it unwittingly served the needs of in the slaying of the mostly Harper adventuring group; the two handed axe Tunnelrunner; it hurled two javelins of lightning and bore a Elven dragonshield.

Resting and healing that morning, a long breakfast was taken before Romsh led his group into Bowshot; to meet the Baron Agwain who had taken over the Bowshot inne and set trap for Romsh, to have him sign away his “Grand Baron” status to Agwain himself. What would transpire after…

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Agwain, Weredragons, and Flumphs oh my!!!

Meeting with Agwain, it was clear that he had collected a number of small Barons with the intent to wrangle power into their own hands, but Agwain seemed the perpetrator; and in league with the Countess, who had kidnapped from the Baronet Lostoagar, Romsh’s wife. However, things did not go well once Romsh sprung the trap that Agwain had set; pitting three hired Calimshani assassins to strike, and Agwain began to lose control. Inside the inne they met with Agwain at, chaos and violence struck outward; all the while the hired Victor Keybridge exchanged mental salvos with Gardle.

Within minutes Gardle and Victor left it at a draw; with the price of 2000 gold levied against Gardle by the psion to leave the tenebrous situation. Both Agwain and Romsh were reduced to staggering wounds; and outside, Romsh’s castellan ordered a failed volley of musket fire, and two minutes of intense combat that thankfully ended in little bloodshed. The spoils, aside from the magic items the group collected, were left as loot and payment, some taken by the locals and others by Romsh’s men at arms; and the other Barons sent to the winds. To get his wife back, Romsh brought Agwain along in a prisoner exchange to the Countess.

Loot from Agwain and his men at arms, hirelings and followers:
Bottle of refreshment
Crystal unicorn / Snuff box of platinum and gold / Dwarf-face goblet of garnet (taken from Manotaur)
Blunderbuss
Bone of animation 182
Seeds of growth 1040
Band of healing (Elven), which was donated to the priest of Lathander in town, Liam Sunmist of Daggerford
Cloak of Lathander, Amulet of Lathander; both donated to the priest of Lathander, Liam Sunmist, in Daggerford
Ilbratha, 2-hand sword, claimed by Dakkun
2 potions of curing
Elquillar 1364, claimed by Dakkun

However, the plans culmination was all a ruse for the Countess, in fact a weredragoness of
great age with her two daughters living in close proximity. She revealed her true form, which is very closely reminiscent of a Bronze dragon, in the customized demiplane attached to a slender portal in her rose gardens. Agwain was led away by Gardle’s magical chains, which were traded to the Countess for some favor of her own givings, and it was obvious as she led the group through her private sanctum that weredragon’s share the Dragon love for magic items as much as they crave their treasures.

First, she showed Romsh her garden’s centerpiece; a Tree of wealth which has a Seed gem at the base worth over 13,000gp, a bright and near-perfect, large ruby.

She also has a number of yellow kohl pigments, which are being painted over a number of iron trade bars; she intends on supporting future Queen Starr of Tethyr through financial means in the moment, funding the vast supplies that the people of the nation need, beleaguered in its civil war.
Romsh tried two of her pickled Eggs of reason; she had over a dozen of them. His intellect grew from the second egg; but he tempted fate no more after that.
To Dakkun, in exchange for the sword known as Bane of Harpers, she gifted a buckle of AC +3, usuable only by thieves.
A Cage of carrying
the Black pearl (804)
the Scarab of life (1057), which Romsh later gave to Vicker Gondsman
the Phylactery of bravery, which the group decided should go to Dakkun. It is written in words calling for the blessing of Tempus.

All in all, the group made a friend in the Countess; though they were charged to keep her secrets and leave her mostly uninvolved with more mortal matters of the surrounding countrysides. However, they can call on her as a contact as Sage lore for both Magic items and as well for Dragonkind.

She also had some advice for Romsh:
“A priest of Talos and a number of following cultists have entered your swamp, Romsh. We think they are converting the Lizardfolk. The Harpers are glad that you have the strength to handle the trouble at your backdoor…”

Once back in Romhold, Romsh met with the flumph prior, Chottlefin, who pledged his service to Romsh and his people if a village can be made for the flumphs on the edge of the swamp, and some protection offered them, from further lizardfolk raids; they have lost six of their folk in the past month, for no other reason than to destroy. The peaceful Flumphs harm no one and have no alterior motives for anything that they do; the creatures are mostly left in peace to preach about the dangers of evil in the multiverse; a greater set of evils lurking at the fringe of the universe they have no truely specific knowledge over. The Flumphs are LG in nature; they peacefully hunt small rodents and creatures.

Along the way to travel to the Flumph village, the group encountered a number of Campestri (singing, salt-filtering fungi that are humorous and can cause drunken-like stupors and a natural, slow-spell like ability; they took particularly to the conjuror Essom, and ride with him atop his magic carpet, singing ‘Calimshani nights’ and the ‘March of prince Ali’.

The group settled with the Flumphs; staying with them for two days and nights, studying their mud-daub art and the secrets of the universe, time and thought, sharing philosophies and religion with the Flumph abbot; Romsh promised them a village just behind his own castle.

The encounter with Redeye, the shaman leader of the advanced lizard folk which have dominated the Lizard marshes, went something like this:
You enter the swamps, and as it grows thicker in vegetation and pockets of morass, mist rises and forms about you, obscuring your vision to perhaps six or seven feet. It seems natural, but of course, how could it have formed as such. Redeye then appears before the single file group leader, Romsh:
“I thank you for giving me time to prepare the Lizardman princes; as well, the education with Vicker the Krii; and the number of simple arms, armor, and trade goods you have provided. I thank you for introducing me to the wonders Gond has shared, but alas for you, I have shed worship of Semyuana, the World Serpent; Talos is now my god. Now perhaps you will be thankful that you built those stockades around your hamlets. I fear tonite, a Lizard King will be made. That is a terrible night for you; the Lizard Kings must devour a human or other such being once a week. A King will be made. You will even help me, tonite!

Your ranger I have witnessed, so too adventurers, and now this meddling priestess of Shar. Soon your subjects will be upon our dinner plates, Romsh. The Swamp swallows up all that are unfit for it; like Cromm, so will you be."

He pauses and regards you: “I have enjoyed our conversations, Grand Baron Romsh. However, I have one last thing to tell you…onions, even magical ones, are meant to smell bad. Goodbye, Romsh…I hope we will not meet again, for your sake.”

40 Lizardfolk attack, with clubs, spears, javelins, and shields; as well as 4 Lizardolk princes (as King in entry); and one of Redeye’s Gorgosauruses rushed forward. Marly was teleported away by Gardle, who took a major artery cut in the sawing teeth of the beast. Romsh, Chottlefin and Dakkun survived, backing up and quickly cutting back to the Romhold. Only after were they able to push forward with Essom in tow this time, and without much incidence aside from some troublesome dinosaurs, meet with the Flumps.

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Return from the land of Borr

While having a feast of venison and fowl, as well as delicious fried, baked, boiled, and dried sweet onions, the Romhold was visited by Bando the Lame, from Daggerford. He had news to share, of a distant friend of his, and troubles which he had heard of…troubles which he knew the restless Romsh and his company might be interested in solving.

Bando began to speak over a piping hot cup of strong cider and a pipe of smokeweed, sharing the exotic smoke with his dinner companions, all hosted by Romsh’s strong appetite for festivities when he is home:
“King Oleg is a Northlander, a prince of descent from Ruathym. His people came from Ruathym. Decades ago, the Northlanders created the kingdom of Borr, and its main holding, Valar, north of everything else in Faerun, save the Dwarves of Iron to the far north, but those are a xenophobic lot. Ten years ago, the colony fended off a attack of 3700 of Luskan captain Taerl’s raiders, with but 900 strong Northmen, but they have never wholly recovered since. Now, his people bemoan attacks of gnolls; and Fireshear hires up all the mercenaries and adventuring bands with gold that King Oleg cannot match. Strange things occur in the land of Borr now; since the past four years, teleportation magic in the Frozenfar has not worked. Strangely enough, this includes psychic powers as well. Trouble for, or by Shaundakul may be implied. Another unusual of the area is that the barbarians make slaves of the ice-kobolds. Recently, King Oleg has relayed to be a great loss of following by their own gods and instead, worship falling to the cult of Beshaba and a local ‘deity’, a cryohydra. Go and help my friend, and find adventure.”

King Oleg’s invitation was accepted, and the group travelled via the Green Hart. Successful trading landed Darkshins Shelling and Gardle 500 gold richer, and the group learned of what King Oleg wished completed: a treaty to the Dwarves of Ironmaster to the north, in which the Northmen would provide food grown for them, free transportation of their goods to the town of Valar; and favorable transport fees through their longships and the bypass of Waterdeep’s trade caravels and unreliable protection against the pirates of Luskan, which the Northmen know how both to outsail and outfight. King Oleg offered each adventurer 2000 gold, and the treasure that they found.

Notables in Valar:
Sterna Othmassun, priest of Talos, who wields a wand of frost, fire and fear; Sterna is a strong supporter of the “old ways”, and he sought to bring down King Oleg and take his people back to their birthplace. A ally of
Bjorn Harnotha, spearmaster and the only weaponsmith in town, a powerful warrior which Romsh defeated and took of his boots of snow-striding. Their plan was to cause such strife and then to speak out against the King to have their way; but Bjorn was reaping the benefits of selling weapons to the gnolls.
King Oleg, of Borr.
the cryohydra Vermafelix, which slew the hero berserker Thruttinger, and his cousin, a skald Theodorus, who attempted to end the reign of fear growing from the cult of the cryohydra. There, the group found the Rababah of the Dao; the great scimitar, Nightwatcher;, the Everbountiful soup kettle; the Leaf of falling; and the Talisman of the Chimera and the Cockatrice (1/day only).

Setting out with Gunnar Peterson, a guide who knew the way to the old Dwarven fort, the group encountered the Frost man after an attack by snow trolls. They soon came under chase by a large contingent of ogres, a frost giant, and gnolls. Leading the large group setting out after the emissaries to the Dwarves, quickly the group determined that they were being sent into a trap. A gnoll group led by Bjorn was stopped, but Gunnar fell, and with the giant and gnolls looming close, the group could not outrun them if they kept Gardle and Boffer with them. Boffer volunteered to protect Gunnar, refusing to leave him to die and Gardle hid with help by the Frost man. Gardle would make his way back to Valar, to inform the king that trouble was afoot.

Boffer fought off the gnolls, but fell under the onslaught of the frost giant. The next day, the group took refuge in the abandoned Dwarf fortress; and there, made a stand against the frost giant and gnolls. Though the frost giant smashed the fortress apart to get to Romsh, he engaged with the powerful giant, and slew him outright, which sent the gnolls and ogres into disarray.

Sterna’s plot was revealed, and the group quietly in the night slew the cryohydra, making off with much of its body to sell in Waterdeep to exotic merchants. Leaving the land of Borr behind, their mission complete, the group returned to Romhold; Vicker Gondsman once more working on new ways to spend Romsh’s gold, with the support of Steelhead and Castellan Henri.

“While I was looking through the codex of Witch Queen Valerna, I have determined a method of defense for the villages on the trade way as well as our own hold here.
Glasssteel retractable awning towers! The tower will have two of the swivelling, fast reloading ballistas, and 2 arrow catapults. This requires steel-hardness oils from Valerna, at 1000gp each per tower treated. That brings the cost of the glass and retractable systems, which is hand cranked by power of wheels and gears, at 3000gp. Or, we can speed it up by a mechanical steam dragon, at 2000 gp more. All total, each defense tower will be 5000 gp, or 7000 if we go with steam dragons. Also, the priests of Tempus will summon trenches and moats with water for a donation of 700gp per tower.”

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The religions of Zamora

The Lady of Blue (LG), goddess of hearth and home
Gnomish gods Urdlen (CE) and Garl Glittergold (CG)
the Halfling goddess Yondalla (NG)
the Elven god Corellon Larethon (CG), and demigods/demigoddesses in his service
the evil goddess Lolth of the Drow (CE)
Arawai, goddess of fertility (NG)
Aureon, god of law and knowledge (LN)
Balinor, god of the beasts and the hunt (N)
Dol Arrah, goddess of the sun and honor (LG)
Kord, god of athletics, sports and strength (CG)
Heironeous, god of chivalry and valor in battle (LG)
Hextor, the evil brother of Heironeous, god of war and discord (LE)
Onatar, god of craft (NG)
Olladra, goddess of good fortune (NG)
The Shadow, god of dark magic and darkness (CE)
The Keeper, god of greed and death (NE)
Boccob, god of magic (N)
Incabulous, god of plague and famine (NE)
Erythnul, god of envy and slaughter (CE)
Celestian, god of stars and travelers (N)
Ehlonna, goddess of woodlands (NG)
Beory and Obad-hai, female and male powers of nature (N)
Tharizdun, god of eternal darkness (CE)
Ulaa, She who gives strength, mountain barbarians’ goddess (N)
Rao, god of peace and reason (LG)
the Dwarf god Moradin (LN), and those demigods and demigoddesses in service to him
Laduger, whom the Duergar worship, (LE)
The assorted powers worshipped by monstrous / other humanoid races
Olidammara, god of revelry (CN)
Zeboim, she who destroys, goddess of storms (CE)
the Elemental gods Kossuth of the flame, Itishia of the waves, Grumbar boss of earth, and Akadi of the four winds
Kromm who laughs at the four winds, laughs from his mountain, god of raiders and freemen (CG)

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