Seekers Of Cisveraela

Hail To The Heroes, The Elven Threat, And Wolves

After defeating the goblin shaman, Malicus does his best to desecrate the demonic shrine while [[:dergar : Dergar]] and Content Not Found: reyellen investigate the other tunnel. They find another room empty of everything but filthy, flea-infested straw.

After a short discussion, the party decides to try to find the half-folk infant’s family. They return to the site of the original ambush, find the tracks of the five goblins, and follow them back the way they came. After a restless night in the wood, they come upon a small farmstead. Approaching carefully, Malicus is swarmed by a half-folk family when they see he has brought back their baby, Conlinn.

Overwhelmed with joy, the family members laugh, cry, and hug each other and the party. Harlin, the father of the Underknoll family, and Corrine, the mother, set a feast – both in celebration for the return of their beloved baby whom they thought dead, and in appreciation for the three people who rescued him.

Roasted lamb, baked vegetables, preserved fruits, fruit wine, and an earthy root liquor were in ample supply. Throughout the day the family celebrated with the party, who were treated like the heroes the family considered them to be. As the sun set, the Underknolls insisted the heroes stay in their home for the night. Rearranging their bedroom furniture to fit the large humans and half-orc, the family sleeps in the living room as the party takes the bedroom.

Come morning, the Underknolls fix a hearty breakfast and pack food for the heroes. Harlin tells them that the monastery they seek, Vidalia. dedicated to Farralisyd the Seeker, is in the plains to the northeast, beyond the wood they were traveling through. If they head in that direction until they come to a stream, follow that to the river, then go up the river, they will come to the plains. From there, they will have to find the way to Vidalia.

They find the stream, and begin to follow it as Harlin instructed. After some time, they stop short when an arrow flies from the trees and embeds itself in the ground at Dergar’s feet. “Halt! Go no further, for you intrude upon the land of the Eraelyan tribe!” “We mean only to pass through. We must go to Vidalia on an urgent quest,” answers Dergar. “You will go west, then, until you come to the river. Then follow that to the plain. But you are not welcome here.”

Dergar was getting nowhere with the unseen Eraelyan, so Malicus spoke. “My friend here is searching for his lost tribe. His village seemed to trade places with an unknown land.” The Eraelyan, now come forward, flinched slightly when he heard this. "My tribe, too, lost people in the same way. I have heard of a friend who was attacked by reptilian creatures, only to have one of them turn back into a family member as well.

“We will allow you passage through our lands, then. Airylynn will guide you.” An elven woman stepped forward. “Keep up,” was all she said.

They traveled the rest of the day through difficult terrain, but were moving faster than if they stayed to the stream. Upon nightfall, Airylynn stopped. “We camp here,” she said, and climbed a tree.

During the first watch, Airylynn whispered a warning to Dergar, “Trouble comes, orc.” He woke up his friends, who prepared for the worst. Not a moment too soon, either – a pack of wolves rushed at them! They defended themselves as more wolves set upon them. The battle seemed nearly won when, out of the corner of her eye, Reyellen spotted a wolf that was the size of three of the others! It rushed her, and the dire wolf joined the fray.

As mighty as the animal was, it turned out not to be a match to the heroes. Dergar was wounded, but the dire wolf fell in the end. Patching their wounds, the party returned to their bedrolls, as Airylynn climbed the tree again.

An Ambush, A Surprise, And A... Baby?!

Our heroes are ambushed shortly after sunset while looking for a place to set camp. Goblins announce their presence with a thrown shortspear and three melee attackers. The heroes handily defeat the goblins. To [:reyellin | Reyellin]’s surprise, one of the goblins, who was wielding an axe, seemed suddenly to recognize [:dergar | Dergar] just before being cleaved in two.

While opening a sack dropped by one of the goblins, they hear a sickening sound like flesh being torn from bone. They look in time to see that one of the goblins, the one who recognized Dergar, had transformed into a human! Dergar recognized him as one of his tribesmen – a warrior named [:tombar | Tombar]. Dergar felt a twinge of guilt for killing his fellow.

Meanwhile, opening the sack, Reyellin found a half-folk baby inside – his mouth stuffed with a dirty rag, and his face turning blue. Malicus immediately tended to the infant, and breathed a sigh of relief when the child started crying. Foraging in his element – the forest – Malicus found fresh water and berries to feed the child. They set camp for the night and rested fitfully.

Come morning, the party found sets of footprints coming from the east – presumably from the goblin ambushers. They initially were headed to the north toward the monastery of Vidalia. They also found one set of footprints headed northwest. Assuming it was from another goblin fleeing the fight the previous night, they followed the trail. Dergar was hoping to find the goblins and get some answers about his missing tribesmen.

The trail turned to the west, then followed a stream. By early afternoon, they found the trail led into a cave. Lighting a torch, they entered. Following the passage, they came to another ambush area – two ledges about shoulder height to either side of the passage. They made quick work of one foe, but failed to notice another hiding behind them until he shot at them with a crossbow. Curiously, Malicus decided to throw his torch farther down the passage, causing the fight to descend into darkness. Nevertheless, the battle continued.

Rendering one unconscious, and killing the crossbow shooter, they dragged all three outside the cave. Their captive seemed to be down for the count still, so they decided to go back inside – their concern being that there may be other children in danger. Dergar noticed that their torch was gone, as well as the crossbow. Knowing they had been discovered, they moved forward with haste.

They tracked recent movement down the tunnel branching off to the left. They saw a red light ahead of them, and decided to dowse their torch so as not to give away their presence. They came to a chamber with a statue of a grotesque demon standing behind a brazier. In front of the brazier was a goblin dressed in black robes covered in an ichorous substance. The goblin faced the statue as the party entered the chamber.

Suddenly, a crossbow bolt shot toward the party from behind them. It hit, but was only a glancing blow. Then, the black-robed goblin turned around and faced the heroes. He smiled and lifted his hands. The demon’s eyes glowed with an inky blackness, and a tar-like substance blasted out of the goblin’s hands toward the party. The black substance sunk into their skin and found its way into their bones, chilling them with an unnatural cold as their very souls were leeched away. Dergar and Reyellin were able to turn back the assault, but Malicus was injured.

Reyellin rushed into the chamber and sliced at the goblin shaman with her rapier and dagger. Her rapier struck true, but the goblin still lived. Dergar joined her assault, and, luckily, felled their foe. The crossbowman fired one more shot, then fled away from the chamber.

Tending their wounds, they were relieved to discover that whil the half-folk infant was hurt, their ministrations saved him. The rest of them were healed as well, and they discussed their next moves.

They found several pages made from bark with cryptic runes written in crude strokes. Based on the runes, the alchemical agents in the brazier, and the state of the demon idol, Malicus figured that the goblin shaman was performing some sort of ritual intended to divine some unknown information.


Travelling Together

Reyellin sighs, “How much further, woodsman? It has been days since we entered this wood!” Malicus pauses for a moment, sniffs the air, and replies, “I’m not sure, young lady. Vidalia is a small monastary, and as such has a small footprint on the forest.” He considers his surroundings for a minute, squeaks to Wingnut, perched upon his shoulder, and continues, “Squeak, squeak, chitter… ahem, that is to say, we are within a day or two walk, if my friend here is to correct. And, you know, he often is.” Malicus smiles at his new friends, as if he made a salient point, then chitters further with the flying squirrel perched upon his shoulder.

Dergar speaks up then. “The sun has set, and the light is nearly gone. I said before, and I say it again, shouldn’t we look for a place to rest?” Dergar surveys his surroundings, but finds nothing suitable for shelter to his half-orc eyes. “I can see still, yet your ‘pure’ eyes surely must be blind by now.”

Reyellin heeds the nomad’s words, stops, then says, “Dergar’s right, old man – we should find a safe place to camp now. I can barely see you at six paces.”

Malicus looks to the squirrel perched on his shoulder, who suddenly jumps down and rushes up a tree. “Wingnut! Where are you going?! We have…” He sighs. “Perhaps you’re right. Let’s look for a place to sleep.”

The three companions begin to discuss how to go about setting camp. Meanwhile, yellow eyes squint in their direction…

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