Moonsong City

The End

Sunny became the “Queen of the Elves”. As liberator of the elven people she was much loved by her people and she ruled them wisely and well. She rebuilt her kingdom and elves from far and near flocked to be one of her subjects. Being in communion with the great city allowed her to free a great number of elves who had remained trapped in the limbo of the thorn wall, and these numbers helped swell the depleted elven population.

She was blessed by the high lord Colleran himself and lived well beyond a normal life for a mortal, outlasting the known fates of all of her companions by decades. Not only was her wise rule responsible for rebuilding her kingdom, but she also sent artisans to help with the reconstruction of a new Moonsong City.

She was said to be able to see into even the coldest elven heart, and her rule brought forth a new thinking among elves, where they no longer were so judgemental of other races and they began to be much more open to other ideals and thinking. Great elven philosophers even brought this thinking to other elven kingdoms and her influence was felt well beyond the limits of her own kingdom.

Rumors persist that she didn’t actually die, but was instead taken by a grateful god to reside in his court for eternity when her work on the mortal plane was complete.

Beros stayed in the wild of the Ihduhapi forests. It was said that he could sense an orc or a kobold that came within ten miles of him… and that he could put an arrow through their chest before they even knew he was in the woods with them. The remaining orc tribes lived in fear of him, calling him Daro-rciend or “The Sudden Heartpiercer” for his penchant to kill just a few of the orcs and let the legend of his prowess get back to the others.

No one is sure of what became of Beros. Rumors abounded that he had passed into the feywild and was gone, but it seemed every time people began to believe, a slaughtered tribe of orcs would be found, a lone arrow through each chest. Eventually the legend grew such that many elven rangers roamed the woods, and they would all claim to have seen the famous elf and attribute orc and kobold infestation eradications to Beros. Even if it had indeed been they would had done the work.

Truth be told, no one knows if Beros still walks the woods or not. It seems unlikely given that so many years have passed and even the Elven Queen Sunny the Great professes not to know for sure. To the Beros’s doubters, the believers need only point to when Hil’Dren sought to set up in the south. Fifty years after the war with Glimmer, a great green dragon, she had come from over the sea and sought to control the woods as her own. She had smashed an elven outpost meant to watch for such a thing. Two messengers had escaped and reported to their queen that the dragon had arrived. A scouting force was immediately dispatched with Queen Sunny herself preparing to battle the beast. When they arrived, the dragon was still, a surprised look forever etched on the beast’s face. A single arrow was found, buried deep in the beast’s heart.

With the death of Glimmer, Alia was incensed. It was done. “Where is he?” she screamed. She was sullen and angry even as Ron opened a portal to proclaim the good news to the dwarves of the Grim Watcher. As they came through the portal, the dwarves excitedly told them of their own good news, a few minutes ago a bewildered Poe had awoken and asked his dwarven guard for a bit of whiskey as he seemed to have misplaced his flask. Alia and Poe were reunited at last.

The deal sealed with the Raven Queen, the two lost lovers delayed their happiness together for one last debt to be repaid. With a squad of dwarven bannerman behind them, they paid a visit to the fallen Dwarf friend, Jorn the Giantslayer. News of Glimmer’s fall had reached the necromancer and he had already fled into the mountains. With Krane as a guide, the two continued their search up into the wild and wintry mountains. They eventually brought Jorn to bay, cornering him in a deep and dark mountain pass. In an eerily silent battle, the husband and wife team worked seamlessly to bring him down, Jorn’s death was marked by his cowardice as he attempted to crawl away from his end while begging and offering anything to the couple if they would just spare him. In the end, Jorn lost everything, including his dignity before The Grudge struck the final blow, ending a nightmare for residents of this region of the world.

Their grim mission finished, Alia and Poe spent most of their time in the taverns of the Grim Watcher, watching others and at watch should some fool attempt to again dabble in the necromantic arts. It was said that after some years in the Grim Watcher taverns and inns, they decided to settle off alone, together and farm quietly and peacefully. A trapper once insisted on meeting the couple. He said that he had met an impossibly old couple quietly managing a small garden next to a cabin. He had been curious and asked after their secret for such a long and happy life. The man, he said, told him with a wicked grin that death itself was afraid to face again; the two of them united.

Krane returned to his people, who rejoiced in his victory. He established a new era for the Goliaths, breaking them of their xenophobia and entering them into trading agreements with the humans and dwarves that neighbored them. He became know as “Ten Tribes”, his strength and leadership led to a great deal of fortune for his people and smaller tribes pledged their allegiance to the great chief. The story of how Krane had saved the prophesied ones was legend around a Goliath camp and anyone who visited and could tell it well enjoyed as much hospitality as a Goliath tribe could offer, so well did they enjoy the tale.

Krane’s strength was such that even as he advanced in years, none would challenge him, and he is the only Goliath chief to ever pass his leadership on to the next by dying peacefully in his sleep. As word of his passing grew, delegations of every race and description came to pay his home village homage. First the dwarves, bearing the finest dwarven armor and weapons to honor him. Then the humans who promised a year of food as a tribute to his strength. The Lions of Moonsong came and honored him as one of their own. The Tieflings to the south made the trek far from their desert home to pledge their love to the Goliath chief, and then finally, but certainly not least; the elven Queen Sunny the Great herself came escorted by hundreds of elves in their finest battle gear to acknowledge the passing of the great Ten Tribes, Krane, Strength of the Mountain.

Durkon settled in the Black Lady, where he worked tirelessly to rebuild the great dwarven city and take back it’s depths from the orc and elemental inhabitants that had taken up residence in the last 200 years. Over the years he was successful, albeit with some minor setbacks. Eventually his commanders learned not to let the great dwarven cleric parlay with their enemies and they worked to keep him towards the front of the battle as opposed to helping to guide the troops or negotiate settlements. Truth be told, this suited the old dwarf in his later years. He never tired of the thrill of battle and dwarven soldiers enthusiastically fought by his side. Thousands of orcs died deep in the dark and when the dwarven legions successfully fought all the way back to the North Gate, it was the great chief Durkon who first laid eyes on the lands beyond. Covered in orc blood and ichor, his was the great cry of freedom and joy that reverberated down the underground road back to the Black Lady and beyond.

As the years passed, Durkon’s age made it difficult to continue to foray into the northern lands and protect his people. Eventually he was content to sit and listen to the younger dwarves tales of heroism by a warm forge fire and hand out blessings and advice; one more welcome than the other.

Ron’s heroism was revered in both the human lands of the plains and woods and the tiefling settlements of the desert. His exploits were wonderfully retold by many, for it seemed that each retelling of a Ron Burgundy tale was more over the top than the last. And woe to the man or woman who might dispute the tale’s veracity, for on occasion Ron himself would pop in next to the unfortunate soul. Ron would, of course, accept whatever the tale told as truth so long as it continued to reflect well on Ron. Not out of spite of course, Ron actually believed that these things must have happened. After having done so, the crowd would inevitably turn on the doubter and they would end up having to buy drinks to keep things from getting ugly.

Ron lived where he choose and never lacked for companionship, food, or comfort wherever he went. He was most comfortable in the south where the Tieflings revered him as a prophet and a gift from the gods. One day, Ron just vanished. There was a flash of light and he was gone. The tieflings say that he will return again in a time of great Tiefling need to lead them again towards the glory of the sun god.

After the war against Glimmer was over, it was Kloister who rallied the remaining towns and villages of humanity and rebuilt the great city of Moonsong. People seemed to naturally flock to Kloister and his bold leadership brought on a new golden age for humanity. Between the dwarven stone smiths and the elven artists, the city of Moonsong was rebuilt to an even greater height that it had been originally.

The one great threat to Kloister’s rule was the goblin siege of the eastern woods five years after the war against Glimmer was over. The Stonehall king’s champion, the Bone-eater prince had arrayed a huge host of goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears against the sparsely populated human settlements dotting the edges of the eastern woods. Kloister rallied his people and recruited allies among the elves and dwarves and took a force one tenth the size of the goblin horde to meet them.

Daring tactics and tremendous courage in the face of an overwhelming enemy somehow turned back the goblins, although a last minute forced march of a Goliath force to seal in the doomed prince of the bone-eaters is what sealed the deal for the Goblins. Their courage broke and they fled and did not challenge in numbers again the natural barrier of the eastern wood.

Kloister would eventually be crowned King and his reign was profitable and plentiful. After his death, his body would be placed in the vaults of Moonsong City where an honor guard of Elves keep watch, day and night.

Guss would become known as the True Dwarf Friend and could not hold an empty mug or sit at a place with a empty plate if there was a dwarf within earshot of the man. Uncharastically for the dwarves, young dwarves who strove to go and participate in the great liberation of their mountain fortresses would seek out Guss for training and advice on how to hold the line and when to be wary of friendly spellcasters. When the celebrity would be too much for Guss, he would sojourn to the south to the human settlements. Occasionally he would spend time with the silver dragon known to the dwarves as Mountain Breeze. Although they had met under battle, the dragon had become quite fond of Guss and would actually treat him as an equal.

Guss eventually found a quiet cabin, not far from Havenbrow where he had started his adventures and
lived out his days with his adoring wife and small children. The day Guss passed, quietly, peacefully, surrounded by children and grandchildren was a sad one. Deep within both the Black Lady and the Grim Watch, the dwarves knew immediately. The dwarves on watch said the earth itself sighed in sorrow and a wave of sadness overcame the whole nation.

To show their gratitude to Guss, dwarven artisans began to construct small statues of the hero, looking out over the eastern woods where he had been critical in the defeat of the goblinkin some forty years prior. It wasn’t an effort that was coordinated, both rather an individual tribute that gradually lead to a series of statues of Guss north to south looking out over the eastern wood from the mountain passes to the desert hills. Some say that tribute that the dwarves paid Guss was more than just a statue, that they had imbued each with a bit of the same magic that warded the Grim Watcher and that the statues stood guard against any encroachment from the east; as if Guss’s spirit remained, set once again to guard humanity. Some scoff at the idea, but the men and women who venture into the east woods for a livelihood do not.

Kobe spent most of his time with the dragon Mountain Breeze. The dragon found the halfling’s presence amusing and thought of him like one would a pet. When Kobe realized this, he left seeking out the Lions of Moonsong as his own people. Kobe was last seen fleeing the piranhas of the prairie. He was never heard from or seen again.

A Swamp to Die In

It was hopeless. Krane knew this, but it did not cause him to fear. His kind was always tested in battle by pitting strength against strength. But now, even his prodigious strength was fading. They had almost done it. Even now the remains of his fellow’s friend was in one of their bags, stolen from the slayer of his kind. The elf had been the last to fall, stricken with the poison of hundreds of centipede bites. Five of these creatures was too many to carry, even for him.

His fury had brought him this far, and while the edge of the swap was less than a hundred feet away, it might have been ten miles. We couldn’t leave his companions in the swamp, and he couldn’t carry them with him. As his fury had abated, he noticed again the stench of the dead in the swamp and the ravenous hunger of the thousands of small biting flies. It was a wasteland of disease and death, one he did not expect to escape.

A light drizzle had started, a grey and dreary day for a grey and dreary end. To the north, where the accursed tower stood, the gongs and horns had gone silent a few minutes ago. The armies of the dead were mobilizing for a hunt, and their game was lame. But goliaths did not go done easy, and Krane vowed quietly to himself to make them pay dearly for his death.

  • * *

“m’Lord Guss?”

Guss still had trouble feeling comfortable being called a lord. He viewed these dwarves as comrades in arms and comrades in spirit. A people who understood the training necessary to defend those who needed it and the sacrifice necessary to execute that training in the face of fear. And while they treated him as an equal in almost all things, the deference in being addressed as a lord still struck a sour note to his ears.

“What is it, Limos?” He responded to his friend.

“m’Lord, the goliaths are very upset. They wish to speak to you and Kloister immediately. Their witch has had a vision.”

  • * *

The goliaths were upset, the entire tribe at the foot of the Grim Watch, lined up for the march. The strongest of them stood towards the front, a light pack, war armor and weapons hanging from various hooks and catches on their packs. Towards the back, even the youngest of the goliaths stood stock still and ready to move when ordered. The witch was at the head of the column, her potions and powders arrayed across her body in a series of colorful scarves and wrapped clothing. Even where the fabric did not cover, her body was etched in a series of vibrant tattoos.

“You. Must lead. Take war giant devil.” Her common was halting and her eyes pleaded with hope that Guss and or Kloister would understand and take command.

Kloister’s diplomatic senses took over for him and he answered in the goliath’s native tongue to help facilitate the communication. Although brash and headstrong, the young human had an air of command around him and his ability to work softly even as he was loud and boisterous was a strength his taller, stronger companion Guss had always been amazed by.

“War Witch. You honor us with your tribe’s strength to command. What troubles you so that you wish to ride to war and slaughter? Kloister’s giant had improved considerably since he had had amble time to practice with the Goliath Krane.

“Your friends will die without aid.” The war witch replied, with a trace of fear, maybe awe, in her voice. “We cannot allow the ones who are blessed to come to that end without our strength. We must hurry, for we might already be too late.”

“Two nights ago”, she continued without waiting for the nicety to be asked, “a vision was given to me. The spirit of the mountain of our fathers and our mothers came to speak to me. He told me of a swine herder with seven swine. He said two swine would stay, five would go with the herder. Then the herder would come to a great dark cave. He would enter the cave with his swine to look for mushrooms. When he came out, his swine were sick and the herder needed to carry them. While the herder was strong, the cave was evil. It did not wish for the herder to leave. The herder would have to fight the darkness.”

“Then the spirit of the mountain of our fathers and mothers paused.” She continued, reverence in her voice. “He said the time had come for the goliath to be counted. The time had come for war and for choosing.”

She looked up directly at Kloister’s eyes with a fury and an intensity that startled even the experienced human leader. “We choose to stand and fight strong. We choose for war against the evil. The vision is clear, the swine herder must go with all seven swine. And he should go with us. Where is Krane, that he might be the herder and take us to battle in the evil cave?”

Kloister had been taken aback by the veracity of the war witch’s speech. He could only answer candidly. “You are too late War Witch. My friend Kane and the others set off three days ago.”

  • * *

This was not Guss’s preferred method of travel. Twice he had flown in the air powered by dragons. Neither of those two previous times had it been by choice however. Now he was astride one of these magnificent beasts. By it’s request.

After hearing that they were too late, the entire Goliath tribe had taken up a wail of agony and grief. It had awakened some of the Grim Watch’s newest residents, five very young, very hungry, very curious iron dragons. While they were newly hatched, dragons actually came into the world with substantially more intellect and awareness then the mammals that cared for them. The wail of the goliaths had all five of them alight and winging their ways down to the war party even as the startled elves tending them tried to unsuccessfully calm them and get them back to their bedding.

Each of the young iron dragons was acutely aware of what had happened to their mother and whom it was who had saved her from an eternity of anguish and torment. Not only did they offer to fly Guss and Kloister to the swamp of Jorn the giant slayer, betrayer of all dwarves; they convinced the silver dragon to the north to fly as many of the war party as she could bear, insisting that the conflict that she’d had with the heroes was not as important as the safety of the ones who were fated to bring an end to the hated green Glimmer.

The irons had insisted on the honor of flying both Guss and Kloister, so here Guss was, astride a dragon racing into a battle that for all he knew was already lost. Nearby, Kloister looked absolutely jubilant as a war leader leading a small flight of irons with a silver dragon right behind, a slimmed down, grim looking war party of goliaths on her back. Man, this is a long way from being a sell-sword to protect caverns to the Stone Hall Guss thought.

Kloister was jubilant. He could not imagine a more glorious way to ride into battle. His heart raced and the blood pounded in his ears as the wind whipped by fast enough to cause his eyes to tear. The best part? Attached to a lance given to him by some dwarven artisans as a gift the week before was a brilliant banner, a new heraldry to announce to anyone who’d view it, that the heroes of prophecy had taken the field of battle. Good gods, this was so much better than guarding caverns!

  • * *

On the swamp, Krane checked his weapons a last time. The ghoul packs were getting closer. They were fooled by the robe he knew, but eventually they would be close enough with a controller that they would descend on him and his helpless companions. The drizzle continued unabated and the air was humid and dank. This would be it, Krane thought. The end of the vision. The end of the hope.

Then, there was a tremendous roar from behind. Krane winced in spite of himself. Overhead five small dragon flew over head. Then a large silver beast settled in ten feet away, and from it’s back his kinsmen descended, painted for war and looking for trouble.

The ghoul packs scattered at the approach of the five outriders and cajoled by a loud figure waving a brilliant banner, one of the dragons made the first breath attack of it’s short life. Kloister. Krane thought wearily. And then he grinned the grin of a goliath. The grin that unnerved the halfing children who feared they might be on the dinner menu.
Krane’s roar echoed the dragon’s earlier roars, and his kinsmen took it up. “Let the world tremble.” Krane thought. “These heroes do not stand alone.”

A Weapon for a Hunt

For two months, the dwarven smiths and artisans poured over their work. Songs and shouts as the dwarves worked in shifts both night and day slaving over the work. As it progressed, it became more and more apparent that this was a weapon that was shaped by more than just mortal hands. The dwarven smiths would say they felt as if Moradin himself was guiding their hands on the hammer and bellows, while artisans worked in a room whose source of radiance was not well understood.

Three days into the effort, the goliath tribes from the Grim Watcher arrived with what they would not be dissuaded from believing was a holy set of two raven feathers. The artisans worked them into the weapon after flash casting them in precious metals.

When the work was done, the dwarves stepped back, in awe of their own work. This, this was a weapon of power, one that would put right an oath broken. This was a weapon meant to seek out the betrayer of dwarven trust. The name officially given the weapon was “Oathbound”, although an occasional drunken dwarf might be forgiven if he called it by its less inspiring name, “The Grudge”

Oathbound, Staggering Glaive +3
Weilding Oathbound allows the user to activate an interrupt power any time there is an opportunity take make against the wielder. If the basic melee attack hits, the opportunity attack is abated and the attacker takes basic melee damage

  • Death’s Delivery: Double crit range v. Undead; 3d12 crit damage v. Undead
  • Daily: Flash of Light: Standard targets enemies; close burst 5; attack v. Fortitude; 4d8 radiant damage, close burst 6-8 2d8 radiant damage
  • Sad Song: If sung a ballad; upon successful perform check (DC15) all empty drinking glasses with 5 fill with a shot of whiskey.
  • Forged in the heart of the mountain: Touching Oathbound to weapon or armor of dwarven manufacture will restore that weapon to brand new condition. (up to 20 pieces weekly)
A Champion to Save Another

She crunched slowly across the endless plain of snow. Her feet barely cracked the frozen crust. The wind picked up ice crystals from the ground and hurled them at her, cutting unnoticed into her already numbed cheeks. She scanned the horizon again. There it was. A lone dark shape against the gray and white of the winter coated sky and earth. The raven. It circled as it always did, tracing long looping trails across the sky. She started forward again, shivering as another gust of wind cut into her. She hadn’t taken more than a few steps when a cry from above snapped her head up and stopped her in her tracks. The raven’s path faltered as she watched. It screamed again and plummetted to the ground.

‘Frack – that can’t be good’, she thought to herself, then smiled. ‘I sound like him…’ She picked up her pace, carving a path through the pristine snow towards the bank of trees where the raven had fallen.

In time, she reached the wooded area. ’I’ve been here before’, she thought as she entered the woods. She shivered as the memory took hold. ‘Not again…’ Things went black for a while.

She awoke some time later, half buried in snow and lengthening shadows. She sat up, shaking her head to clear it. The snow around her was trampled. She stood, gathered the remnants of her wedding dress around her and looked around. Something was different this time. She stepped into the deep gloom and pushed through some underbrush into a small clearing. Discarded and broken equipment was strewn across the ground. Much of it was coated with blood. A man lay in the middle of the clearing, a spear protruding from his chest. Its long haft shook as he took a shallow ragged breath.

‘Poe’, she whispered. In all of the torments she had endured, all of the repeated pain, she hadn’t seen this before. Steeling herself against this new torture, she raced forward and fell to her knees, cradling him in her arms.

“Alia.” The cold voice rang in her head. She froze. A woman appeared in the shadows, her long black hair still despite the breeze. “We need to talk.”

‘Bitch.’ She cursed silently, still unable to move. The woman’s gaze drilled into her, but she refused to look away, summoning all of her hatred to withstand the power behind the woman’s black eyes.

Black feathered wings unfurled suddenly from the woman’s back, flaring as if she were about to launch into flight. “Enough!” The word blasted into her.

“Now is not the time”, the winged woman continued, her wings folding carefully behind her. “Poe is lost.”

The man in let out a quiet rasping breath. He didn’t take another.

‘Poe! No! I would have known…’ She hugged the body in her arms closer.

“Yes, Alia”, the woman interrupted her thoughts. “You would have. If he were simply dead. It’s not that simple.”

The woman smiled grimly and stepped closer.

“But that complication is your opportunity. Are you willing to make a deal, Alia?” The woman reached out, grasping the haft of the spear extending from Poe’s corpse. “I have to admit that you’ve impressed me. Few have defied me so brazenly and lived.” She paused. “Of course, you were already dead.” She chuckled.

‘Frack’, Alia thought. ‘She knows…’

“Of course I know”, the woman cut off Alia’s thoughts again. “Your gift to Poe is why there is a chance you could be reunited with him. A chance that only I can give you an opportunity to seize.” With a vicious twist, the woman ripped the spear from Poe’s body. Alia fell backwards in the blood red snow.

“I’ve lost my champion and the heroes are without their guide.” She leaned closer to Alia as she spoke, hefting the bloody spear in her hand. With a quick twist she snapped its head off and tossed the haft to the side. Holding the spear tip like a dagger she caught Alia’s arm in her right hand. “Finish Poe’s task. See it through and I’ll see to it that you get that opportunity.”

Alias stared at the woman in disbelief. The Queen of fate was offering her a choice? She didn’t hesitate.

“Done.” Alia whispered. Then, louder, she said, “Yes.”

“Good”, hissed the Queen. She pulled Alia’s arm straight. “Let’s make it formal shall we? Using the old ways…” before Alia could react, the Queen sliced across her arm with the spear’s sharp tip. Blood welled up from the cut. The Queen did the same on her own arm, her pale white skin also parting under the razor sharp blade, and then extended it to her. Alia stared at it, hesitating for a second, then grasped it. The Queen squeezed Alia’s arm tightly, smearing their blood together. Alia suddenly felt lightheaded.

“Now it is done”, sighed the Queen, pulling her arm away. She handed Alia the spear tip. “Keep this,” she said. “It should prove useful, if only to remind you of this.” The queen shook her arm, small droplets of blood spattered onto the snow, hissing. Her arm was again, smooth and pale. Unmarred. Alia took the spear tip, tucking it into the waist of her dress like a dagger. Maybe it would come in handy, she thought. Her head was still reeling a bit and her arm was starting to burn.

“Of course,” continued the Queen, “you’ll need much more than that to be successful. Follow me.” She walked across the clearing and into a large hall with tall vaulted ceilings. Alia blinked. The frozen glen was gone, replaced suddenly with what appeared to be an armory. Armor hung from the walls, flanked by more weapons then she’d ever seen. “Select whatever you think will suit you,” said the Queen, gesturing at the equipment. “When you’re ready, step through that door.” She pointed at the heavy, ironshod door on the far side of the room. “It will take you to the heroes. After that it is up to you. I’ll be watching. When the time is right and you’ve fulfilled your end of the deal, you’ll find Poe.” The Queen turned to leave.

“Wait.” Alia stopped her. The Queen cocked her head and turned back.


Alia shivered. ‘Too late to turn back now’, she thought and pressed on. “I just want you to know,” she said with all of the venom she could muster. “That I hate you. I’ll do this thing, for Poe, and for the world, but not for you. When it’s done, you will have a reckoning with he and I…”

The Queen laughed. “Excellent”, she said coldly. “I look forward to it. It’ll actually be nice to see Poe again. I’d grown rather fond of him…” With that she turned, her wings flared up and she disappeared.

Alia swung back to the wall of armor and equipment. She had no idea where to start. The tingling in her arm was spreading and strangely, she felt drawn to several items. She lifted a long handled, wickedly bladed weapon from its hooks on the wall. It fit her hand perfectly. Good enough. She turned towards the armor…

The Queen settled into an ornate throne in a long, barren hall lined with black pillars. A cup of mulled wine appeared in her hand and she took a sip. As she did, she noticed a fleck of blood on her sleeve. With a thought, she cleaned it and took another drink.

“So…it appears to have worked.” The hag spoke from the shadows behind the throne where she stood leaning heavily on a wooden staff.

“Yes”, replied the Queen tiredly. “I think it has. She will willingly fulfill her fate now. Who knows, maybe she’ll even keep her promise and confront us one day with her beloved.”

“I hope they do.” said a young black haired girl as she twirled out of the darkness surrounding one of the pillars. “‘Cuz that’ll mean the world has been granted the new beginning it really needs. Besides, we all like Poe…admit it.” She grinned and twirled again, dodging the glares of the two older women.

The hag grunted and spat, but didn’t deny it.

“We shall see…”, the Queen said softly. “We shall see…”

Return of the Damned

It had been some months since he had acquired the crystal. The crystal was held tightly by its messenger. Or what remained of its messenger anyway. He had intercepted the emissary of the Oasis of Life as he had made his way to Havenbrow. It hung suspended in a vat of vile liquid, the messenger’s right hand, severed above the elbow still tightly gripping it. It was not pleasant to have this living flesh so near, but such was the sacrifice one had to make if he wished for the magic to continue.

Then the crystal flared to life.

He had watched over it eagerly, hungrily. While he was certain that they no longer carried the star metal with them. He was equally certain that they knew where it was. And there were ways to make the living talk.

There's No Place Like Home

Poe’s Journal


You know, this fort – hell, it’s really practically a town now – is really starting to feel like home. Maybe it’s just because I’ve spent so long convalescing here lately. Or maybe, Alia, it’s because it’s starting to remind me of the little town you and I grew up in. Either way, it’ll be a sad day when I can walk steadily for more than a few paces and can accompany the heroes on whatever their next mission turns out to be. Mission, heh. More likely that it’ll be some greed-fueled trek across the country after some mythical hoard…


In the Service of the Raven Queen

Poe’s Journal


So here I am again beloved…ahhh, Alia, why is it only in the dregs of my cups that I can find any solace without you? I thought perhaps dedicating myself to the Raven Queen’s service, dutifully praying and trying to advance her goals – though I still sometimes wonder at the import she has placed on this particular group – would ease that pain. It’s not to be. Only in the heat of battle do I find peace. At least these heroes of prophecy lead me into the thick of the fight more often than not…even when they decide to run, as they did in the forest.



Poe had thought the Raven Queen had finally decided to give him a sweet release. The rest of the party was breathing a collective sigh of relief as they attempted to catch their breath. It had been a harrowing experience. Multiple waves of Kobolds had threatened to overrun Ron Burgundy’s Follies. Guss was flustered as the Kobolds had used their greater mobility to great advantage, avoiding the stalwart defender to strike at other more tempting targets. “Did one get away?” He asked between breaths.

“Yeah, downriver” came the answer from Kleister Fokken. “These little bastards are so damn hard to see in these trees.”

The Cleartear River rushed past our intrepid heroes. Over the river, a mere 150 feet away was the far bank, were the grasslands that offered much easier passage and much better sight lines. They had just started the ritual casting required to get the six members of their party across when the Kobolds had begun their attack, once again calling out for Beros’s head. Ron had memorized how to say “Kill the elf” now in Dragonic.

While the party cleared a space for the ritual casters to begin, Durkon excitedly turned over one of the Kobold adepts. “We must have found a party going to make a sacrifice. Look at the size of this piece of jade!” From the waterlogged body that had washed up after being felled by Beros’s arrows as it sought escape over the waters was a huge piece of a unworked jade. “This has to be worth a fortune.” Durkon whispered excitedly. “Maybe a couple of thousand to the right buyer.”

As they prepared to start again the magic to allow for their river crossing, there was a horrible sound from downriver. It sounded like a sick buffalo in heat. Beros’s head snapped up. “They’re calling for more. That’s a horn.” he whispered in horror. For a few minutes, the sound just hung in the air like a putrid fog. Then from upriver, came an answering horn. Then another, and another until the air was full of the dreadful noise. Finally from across the river, still out of sight came a much cleaner sounding horn.

Kloister recognized it immediately. “The orcs answer the call. I hope we have the time we need to get across the river.”

“Doubtful.” Ron said dejectedly. “Those were pontoons they had in the villages. With this current, I’d say we’ve got about 15 minutes. Maybe less.”

Redepmtion Part I

Poe’s Journal


This will have to be quick. I’m sitting in the woods, on the banks of a fast moving river, as the heroes weigh their options. Orc horns are sounding in the distance and Ron’s falcon friend (Baxter I think he called him), is reporting scores of kobolds heading our way. Yeah, as if we haven’t already killed enough of the little frackers. You’d think they’d take a hint. Anyway, we won’t have much time to lick our wounds before all hell breaks loose again. I figure I should get some of this down while I have the chance…especially since the last week or so I’ve been too busy praying at night to properly record anything. From the sounds of things – and the nervous arguing of my intrepid hero friends this might be my last chance. Ahhh! Alia! Perhaps I’ll be with you soon…

A Hilltop Fort

The wind whipped up as Guss stood atop of the four watch towers warding his new fort. It had been a good couple of days. The gnolls had been routed, Ron apparently had a spell that could help fix up the holes in the fort, and those birds couldn’t get over the walls. A good couple of days.

Meanwhile, Tyr was with The Lions of Moonsong, escorting the freed human slaves to connect with the other half of the party. The plains seems like a long way from the mountains. The halfings had decided to move after capturing an orc scout. It would seem there were now two green dragons hunting the plains looking for the star metal and Kobe. They felt the chances were better in the fort.

Ron’s time was spent reviewing the new ritual book they’d found buried deep inside the burnt out shell of the keep. The book had a couple of rituals in it. Enchant Magic Item, Eye of Alarm, and Gentle Repose.


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