Root Nerds

Chapter 7: Green Gas Means Poisonous Gas
From the journal of Meravar

4/9/2015
Roll Call: DM Justin, Orgöst, Tielliana, and Meravar

As I sipped and supped my evening grog and protein at HQ, Moon Moon, Tayo, and Rod burst through the front door. Apparently their expedition to the temple of Zehir was faring well, but they needed some help from old Meravar. Plus, they were behind on chores.

Upon arriving at the temple, alone, I heard the unmistakable sounds of a french horn emanating from an entrance. Remembering that Orgöst, disgusted by the surging popularity of his most recent musical endeavor, the maraca, started playing the french horn, I followed its muted tones to find Orgöst and Tielliana waiting for backup.

French Horn

A faint, slow, mechanical and stone ticking could be heard.

Fork in the road: go down a hallway or up the stairs. We chose the hallway. This 20-ft. tall hallway contained about an inch of water and bore large grates near the ceiling. About halfway down the hall, I stepped on a pressure plate that began filling the hallway with water and also alerted some very large snakes of our presence. Two of these snakes attacked, only to meet their demise at the business ends of my blade and Orgöst’s Magic Missile.

At the end of the hallway, I yanked a lever to stop the insurgence of water. We then noted that the ticking sound was speeding up, and coming from the way we came, so we decided to go back to investigate, before venturing further down this hall.

Up the staircase, we find a large room with a narrow, rickety bridge leading to a small landing. On that landing, we could see three bodies, a chest filled with treasure, and a large gem. Orgöst carefully made his way across the bridge, casted Detect Magic, and found a magical presence on one of the bodies.

From the other side of the room, Tielliana expertly guided a Mage Hand to snag the gem from its pedestal. Upon doing so, green gas emanated from tiny holes in the floor around the treasure. Tielliana’s Mage Hand then placed a stone back on the pedestal, stopping the release of the presumably poisonous gas. Orgöst took the magic item from the body, later identified as a Rope of Climbing, Tielliana used her Mage Hand to take coins from the treasure heap, and I used the lid from a large sarcophagus as a sled and loaded it with as much silver as I could muster.

That’s when we noticed the ticking was getting much faster and the stone door was beginning to close. We hightailed it out of the room, spoils in hand/sled.

Back to the hallway.

Continuing down the hallway a bit, we were greeted with the sound of orcish commands – too bad none of us understand orc. Though I could discern that the orc was not cursing (Tayo taught me how to say curses in orcish).

Orgöst and Tielliana applied a perfect orc disguise on me, which I then used to convince the orcs that the adventuring party was escaping. Following me, my new orc friends and I gave chase back down the hall. The rest of my party heard our approach and readied attacks for the orcs as we rounded the corner.

It was a tough battle against an unusually tough orc and his ordinary orc brethren. Tielliana used her Vicious Mockery and told an orc “You have a shitty imagination, dreadful goals, and you’re pretty goddamn stupid.” I put my sword through one orc face, and another had his face and jaw shorn off by my arcing blade. The aforementioned tough orc did not go down so easily. He used a flute to place a magical fear into Tielliana and me, and he was able to leap over the entire party in single bounds. Upon one such occasion, the tough orc earned himself a more porous taint at the end of Orgöst’s rapier. At this point, the orc baddie dealt serious damage to my two comrades, placing them in death throes. Things were looking grim as I was alone and unable to land a blow on my enemy. Fortunately, my Malcanthet-granted warlock protection kicked in at exactly the right time. Tough orc landed a good attack against me, only to have a magical cold course up his blade and into his veins. Orcs don’t like having their blood frozen, so he died. Then I stabilized my friends and grabbed the big orc’s Pipes of Haunting and Ring of Jumping.

Pipes of Haunting

Wrapping things up, we saw another pedestal, holding on it the Snake’s Eye we were in search of. Tielliana once again used her Mage Hand to pilfer the prize and replace it with a similarly sized stone to stop the flow of green gas.

Snake's Eye

We returned to town, caught up with Brother Gu-Gu-Gu-Guire at the Church of Pelor who cautioned us about Ze-Ze-Ze-Zehir, found a note from Hildo at HQ vaguely warning us about the mines, and I bed Mary yet again.

Note from Hildo

What’s the chicken scratch next to his signature?

Next steps: Now that we have the three gems that match the recesses next to the magical door in the mines, it’s time to venture back to the mines… But first, let’s talk to Hildo.

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Chapter 6: Roughed up Horses
As scribed into the annals of time by the good and just GM

4/2/2015
Roll Call: DM Justin, Orgöst, Tielliana, Tayo, Rod, and Moon Moon

The group decided to go and talk to the Church of Pelor. There they met a nice brother of Pelor, Guire, who had a stuttering problem. They told him about the object and showed him the sketch they made. Brother Guire was surprised because he had recently been studying this object in a book.

Brother Guire took them to the church library and told them about the ‘Snake’s Eye’ and about the Yaun-Ti. An ancient civilizaion that worshiped Zehir to the point of turning into snake people. Some are full snakes with arms, some only have the heads of a snake and a lot of scales (knuckle draggers), and the lowest caste of the Yaun-Ti have snake eyes and some scales.

Snake's Eye

He talked about how a lot of the ancient buildings, shrines and temples are left over from the Yaun-Ti and that one such temple is to the south in the swamp land. That also happens to be the location of the ‘Snake’s Eye’. Many have tried to retrieve it and although the Yaun-Ti have long been extinct, Orcs have taken over most of their abandoned buildings. The only ones that are Orc free are so because there is most likely a more vile vilian bunkered down there.

Once the group set out on horseback/wolf form until they reached the edge of the swamp. From there they could see the tall tower the Orcs use for look-out. While this does have it’s advantages, it also makes their location quite obvious, such is the way of the orcs.

Once they saw the tower, the bard-off began. Orgöst decided he was going to disguise himself as an orc and try to get closer. Tielliana decided she would also do this, but of course do it much better. The group decided the bards would act as a distraction so MoonMoon could get closer (now in spider form) and climb the tower to take away that advantage. Once the time was right, or the bards needed help, they would give the signal and Tayo and Rod would ride in.

Orgöst and Tielliana approached in Orc face and brought with them two of their horses, which they roughed up a bit (orcs like a good tender horse). The first orc questioned them a little bit, but their disguise and the fresh horse meat allowed them to enter the orc camp no problem.

MoonMoon was stealthy as a maggot in rice and was fast approaching the tower. Once around the bend Tielliana and Orgöst realized there were more orcs there than they thought. They gave the signal, which was Tayo and Rod’s que to ride in like badasses.

While MoonMoon was handling the tower orcs, Tayo and Rod began playing a game of Orc head croquet. Everyone quickly dealt with the orcs and healed up before entering the ancient Yuan-Ti shrine.

Once inside they found a room that had an ancient hammer in the middle with two odd pillars. The pillars were short and looked sort of like nails. They were just begging to be pounded into the ground. There was also a walkway about two stories up. 2 orc magis stood on the walkway while 3 orc warriors were down below.

Orgöst quickly casted darkeness on the orcs while MoonMoon, still in spider form crawled along the ceiling above the darkness taking pot shots at the orc magi. Tayo and Rod went towards the hammer. Tayo made it there first and quickly grabbed the two handed stone hammer. Rod, who is fluent dragonic, read the writing on the altar. “Strength Leads To Treasure”. ((I know that was not what I said, but it sounds cooler and still means the same thing))

While Orgöst shot magic missles, Tielliana shot her bow to help dispose of the orcs that found their way through the darkness. The two orc magis were crippled by the darkness just shot off some sparks to try and get rid of it.

While Rod went to help defend his allies, Tayo eagerly brought down the hammer with immense force and one of the pillars went down two notches and became flush with the floor.

MoonMoon, wanting to sink her pincers into some orc flesh jumped from the ceiling and landed on an orc, crushing it. Tayo swung the hammer onto the next pillar, and again with so much force that it went down two notches and became one with the floor. This time the group heard what sounded like an massive amount of rock scraping against another while the whole room shook a bit.

A couple of orcs got in Orgöst and Tielliana’s face. Orgöst, wanting to be the best bard showed his amazing rapier skills. Tielliana, not wanting to be outdone also pulled out her rapier and gave the orc a few scrapes as well.

With Orgöst taking damage, the darkness spell lifted and the group saw that the walkway had become stairs that lead to a now visible doorway. They also saw the two orc magi had fallen and were pretty bloody.

Although bloody, the two orc magi had some tricks up their sleeves. They created floating war spears that were able to do damage to Orgöst and Tielliana. One of the magi even commanded Rod to flee.

The group was able to clear the room of the 2 magi and remaining orc, with a lot of help from Tayo’s shock spell that erupts from his body. After that they took a short rest to see if anyone from Infinity Solutions would see the message and join up with them.

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Chapter 5: Heat-Seeking Stalactites
From the journal of Meravar

3/26/2015
Roll Call: DM Justin, Meravar, Tayo, Tielliana, Moon Moon, and Orgöst

Tayo and I were ripping out some push-ups and short rests near the spiral staircase leading down to what we can only assume is some sort of orc hideout. After a spell, new recruit Tielliana, Moon Moon, and Orgöst show up – they mentioned that Hildo sent them.

We scouted briefly using a rock lit by Tayo’s magic and by chucking a large log into the mud to check for sinkholes. While deciding what to do next, I hoped on the ladder and began descending into the darkness.

What to my surprise, I find two sleeping orcs. I placed a little extra space between one of the orc’s left and right ears with my greatsword. The other orc caught a Tayo throwing hammer with his porcine face.

Tielliana viciously mocked the orc by calling him a pan face – an interesting, yet effective technique.

Orgöst then lofted a dagger over the party and expertly into the still-standing orc’s brain hole.

After alighting my armor with some Hemsworth magic, Tayo and I picked up the log and bashed in a door, so perfectly that the log, the door, Tayo, and I all soared some 20 feet into the next room… and looky looky: old standard-bearing, fleet-footed, eye-of- Gruumsh squealing, orc leader. And 4 other orcs.

The Gruumsh-lover charged up and landed a respectable blow on me – left a pretty good mark. Several blows were exchanged between our forces; a Sleep spell from Tielliana knocked out a couple of orcs and wolf-form Moon Moon; after I woke her up, Moon Moon fatally bit off some orchood; Tayo got dropped, but was healed up by Orgöst; Tielliana filched the Blueforce and the cave started collapsing; Orgöst orghosted the fight; and several of us were impaled by utterly unavoidable falling stalactites…

Blueforce

Not much loot was found, though we did score the orc leader’s flag and necklace, both emblazoned with the symbol of Gruumsh. The flag also bears the symbol of Zehir.

Necklace bearing symbol of Gruumsh

Finally we made our way to the exit, and back to town. After mistakenly going to Captain Redger’s office, we went to The Towers of the Arcane. Mary seemed not to care about the lost halflings or that we saved Hildo – in fact she explicitly said that they were trying to get rid of Hildo and the others. She even said we could have him (though he’s nowhere to be seen at the moment). No reward to be had either. At least Tielliana asked Mary if she was into me… She totally is (more on that later)! Not a complete waste of time.

Tayo was not happy with Mary’s indifference towards the lives of others and had to be dragged from The Towers of the Arcane by town guards after forcefully bleeding on the marbled floors; Moon Moon, still in wolf form, left a fresh one on the ground and marked her territory.

The Towers of the Arcane

Next, we went back to Infinity Solutions’ global HQ to find the doors bashed in and the place ransacked – though nothing was missing… We then went to the stables/dungeon basement and found the following message scrawled on the wall in blood: “The orcs have the bark, but we have the bite”

Ooo… Scary…

That’s when Tayo noticed a she-halfling adorned in festive robes of red and black and bearing a bandoleer of paints. After a brief conversation with the artist, called Lana Silverwind, she regaled us of her witnessing of big-headed, scaly, sharp-fingered beings bearing the symbol of Zehir, and sporting ill-fitting hoods entering the office. It would appear they were looking for the amber tear drop in our possession.

That night, Tayo tipped back a few ales, pooped his pants, then played some pranks on The Towers of the Arcane – alighting the tallest tower in sparkling light and emitting from it flatulence sounds and phrases most silly… He kept this up for several nights following.

I pursued an evening frought with Mary the halfling’s magical and natural arts of pleasure. She did not disappoint.

Mary Hilltopple

Next, we plan on speaking with the tenants of Church of Pelor, per Captain Redger’s behest, and to further investigate the connection between Gruumsh, Zehir, the orcs, the hooded figures, and the magic door in the mines. With the Blueforce and amber tear drop in hand, finding the remaining artifact should grant us access to the locked door in the mines, and hopefully treasure chests-a-plenty.

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Chapter 4: Holy Hemsworth Razzmatazz
From the journal of Meravar

3/5/2015
Roll Call: DM Justin, Meravar, Tayo

There I was, celebrating the grand opening of The Endless Ale House. Everyone was there – even Sir Sir Valor made an appearance! That tool. That was hilarious when Sir Sir Valor slapped Tayo on the back. Those two embraced in a firm, contentious, maybe a little respectful handshake – each man trying to out-squeeze the other. I think Orgöst’s band was playing. Rod was two sheets to the wind before the opening band even stepped off stage. Didn’t see the thief or the druid.

Captain Redger showed up and asked Tayo and I to go investigate the mines – some weird stuff was happening. I was able to convince Redger to up the payment from 200 gold to 200 gold and a healing potion for the rush job. Not bad.

Tayo and I left immediately for the mines. After many looks of awe and “wow, they’re brave,” we made our way into the only open passage in the mines. The other two passages were still being cleared by wary townsfolk, even though the collapse happened some months ago.

We eventually reached the end of the line: an office of sorts, with an odd door, inscribed with the sigil of Zehir and lined by a blue glow. Situated to the left of the door is an inset for an amber tear drop, above the door a blue triangle, and to the right a red, multifaceted gem. After wracking our brains and looking around the office for a bit, Wulfa, a formerly deceased miner, now undead abomination told us to join Zehir. Tayo, recognizing Wulfa, first tried to enrage Wulfa by lying that he laid with Wulfa’s wife – didn’t work. Next, Tayo executed his patented hesitate, feign, drop the warhammer, and chuck a throwing hammer at your face move. We charged in, exchanging blows, getting my life force unnaturally drained, and finally besting the undead bastard.

We also find that the amber tear drop we received from a pixie some time ago fits nicely in the tear drop space next to the door.

Next, we returned to Captain Redger in town, using the pass he wrote us on a previous quest to bypass the long lines, to collect our reward and tell him our findings. Captain Redgar tells us that we should investigate further at the mage guild and the church of Pelor.

Tayo and I make our way to the mage guild, where we immediately meet Mary, a cute little Halfling dish. We talked, asked some questions, and eventually garner that Hildo Haggins and The Haggerty Hags of Hocus Pocus, a mage guild-backed adventuring party, were sent to investigate Blueforce (which we think is the blue triangle we’re looking for) and the resurging orc threat – the same orc threat we put a major dent in last episode.

So, time for Tayo and Meravar to clean up someone else’s mess again. We make our way back out to the orc camp, riding abreast our beasts of burden, epic as fuck, yet again. Some halfwit orcs fire their arrows at as and totally miss. I relieve three of them of their heads while Tayo confronts the apparent emissary of Gruumsh – the same orc that read our fortunes last time we visited this camp – by blasting him with a thunderous strike of holy Hemsworth razzmatazz.

Orcs gone. Now let’s investigate the two large circus tents. First one’s a trap, fortunately Dirk, my nimble beast of burden, saved me from falling into the enormous pit trap. Tayo then enters the other tent to find a table, on which rested a skull, a book, a dagger, a map, a statue, a jarred brain in black goo, and a cracked black gem. Tayo takes the book on human anatomy and the map – a map of Catterick with ominous red X’s placed in certain areas of the city. The dagger seems standard orc fare – shitty. By then I came in and the two of us, me using my arcane understanding and Tayo speaking to his thunder god, got the sense that the skull was good, the statue and the gem were neutral, but the brain was definitely bad news. Investigating further, the skull disappeared when touched, and out popped Hildo Haggins – more on that later. The statue just told us to touch the skull… Real helpful, statue. When we tested the brain jar, anything we touched to it was instantly transported above the spike trap. Finally, when Hildo touched the black gem, it revealed a spiral staircase descending below the surface. Dun dun dun…

Hildo, happy to be alive and surprisingly un-phased by the apparent passing of the rest of The Haggerty Hags of Hocus Pocus, felt indebted to us. He darted back to HQ to gather the troops while Tayo and I descended down the stairs in pursuit of the Gruumsh brown-noser.

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Chapter 3: Difficult Decisions
John

2/19/2015
Roll Call: DM Justin, Rod, Tayo, Meravar

Day breaks with yet another would-be adventurer knocking on the literal and proverbial door of Infinity Solutions. In walks Meravar Carter, a burly, handsome fellow wishing to join the adventurers in hopes of honing his skills and ultimately delivering revenge to At the Hand of Fred the Wizard. After brief introductions, the two members not stricken by syphilis of the face, Tayo and Rod, wholeheartedly accept Meravar into their ranks. The three immediately feel a kinship in their shared strength of arm, beloved beasts of burden, and knack for smashing.

The three healthy members get down to brass tacks and go to His Royal Majesty’s Department of External Questing to collect their reward for slaying the ghosts in the mine and their other recent quests. After waiting in line for hours, the adventurers finally speak with Terrance, Chief Administrator. Meravar recognizes Terrance and the two have a bit of an uncomfortable exchange of “Terrance” and “Merry.” After a few moments, Terrance directs the adventurers to Captain Redger and grants them a pass to expedite their inquires, which Rod pockets.

The conversation with Redger yields questing spoils as well as information that the slain ghosts from the mines show a connection to the evil god of darkness and poison, Zehir. Redgar states that he will reward the party for more information regarding this connection.

After comparing and complimenting each others’ biceps, the three bros embark on their first quest together to scout and gain more information about the increasing orc activity and about their god, Gruumsh. The adventurers arrive at the camp, note several patrolling orc guards, and decide to wait until dusk. After resting, Tayo casts a Fog spell to mask the party’s approach. It should be noted that the orcs were cheering, erect, and fascinated by a flag bearing a one-eyed orc and a snake. Rod grapples and subdues an orc guard while another is decapitated by a Eldritch Blast from the hands of Meravar. One of the adventurers surfs down a small embankment on the headless corpse of the orc guard.

Later, the party returns to Catterick, locks the living orc in their dungeon/stables, and interrogates him to learn that they must speak with Gruumsh.

The next morning the three adventurers return to the orc camp upon their steeds, looking “epic as fuck,” ready to slay many orcs, only to find an orc sitting at a table with only two orcs at his side. Seemingly, he’s been awaiting their return. Tayo sits down and begins drawing tarot cards, which the orc interprets. Meanwhile, Rod and Meravar slay several orc guards. Rather than retaliate, another orc guard calmly walks out to replace the slain. The orc tells Tayo some business about Gruumsh destroying Catterick and some connection to Zehir. The fortune-telling orc disappears, the adventurers return to town, collect their reward, and tell Redger of their findings, including the mention of Zehir. The adventurers also return to their HQ to find their orc captive slain, yet magically compelled to tell that party that Gruumsh will have his revenge (or something to that effect).

The party then makes some difficult decisions and spends entirely too much time buying an alehouse, naming it The Endless Ale House, and hiring two beautiful barmaids and one burly keg man.

Thus ends Chapter Three.

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Chapter 2: Blights, Trees and Half-Orcs
“He thinks the rises just to hear him crow.”

2/12/2015
Roll Call: DM Justin, Orgöst, Moon Moon, Tayo

There was an expected knock at the door of Infinity Solutions and Tayo answered the door, greeting the guard who had this week’s quest sheet. Tayo, Orgöst and Moon Moon looked over the quests and decided to help the local farmers with their problem.

Once there Tayo asked what was wrong and was greeted with a gesture towards the fields. The adventurers saw that the farm was intertwined with the woods, and were confused. The woods looked like it’s been there for years and that the farmers just planted around it.

The farmer talked about how just a week ago the whole area was farm land but that the forest has been overtaking their lands. No one has been hurt, but it is greatly impacting their crops. They wanted the adventurers to investigate what was causing this.

Moon Moon the Druid led them into the forest with a careful eye. She knew that something had awakened and was keeping an eye out for blights.

About a mile into the forest they were ambushed! Vine, twig, and needle blights emerged from all sides and began attacking. One of the vine blights grabbed Tayo while needle blights shot stinging needles piercing his armor. Twig blights jumped from a nearby tree attacking Orgöst. While Moon Moon was attacked by some of the creatures, for the most part she was left alone.

Even though Tayo was bloodied, the fight was going in Infinity Solutions favor and at this point Moon Moon asked them why are the plants were attacking them. The remaining vine blight answered ‘Sapeum has awakened’. Moon Moon said she wished to talk to him and the plants allowed them adventure on, after they finished their current attack.

About 2 miles further into the woods, they were surprised by giant logs hitting the ground around them. They quickly realized the logs were actually the limbs of a tree. While it was alive, it’s face was just starting to form and it told them to leave his lands.

the_great_deku_tree_by_kyulove-d4u5kyq.jpg

The party was talking with the tree but getting nowhere. Suddenly a pixie named Juelina emerged from Sapeum and told them she was the one responsible for awakening the tree. She had recently began feeling of a dark power creeping over the lands and wasn’t sure how else to protect the forest. She was sorry for the forest encroachment and promised the tree line would return to where it was before she awakened the tree.

Juelina gave the group an Amber Tear, and promised them it would provide safe passage through the forest.

amber_tear_drop.jpg

Upon leaving the forest, it was clear it was already receding back to the original border. The farmers gathered to greet Infinity Solutions pay them their 2,000g and ask them what they saw. The group quickly described the horror and bloodshed they witnessed. They talked about the haunted trees, ghastly plants and other horrible things they encountered in the forest and said it should be renamed to Bonewood Woods to ensure others would not enter.

Upon entering town, drunk on power, Infinity Solutions was proclaiming how great they were. Tayo was exceptionally loud and was chanting all their successes and about how powerful they were. A half-orc named Baduman Pizzonia did not care to hear these boastings, and while moving a cask of ale he yelled ‘YOU SUCK! BOOO! No one cares, boo!’.

Tayo, the most drunk on victory, started to get in Baduman’s face which was quickly greeted with a crushed cask of ale and a half-orc breathing down Tayo’s face. Baduman poked Tayo in the chest which caused Tayo to summon a massive gust of wind knocking down Baduman. Also caught up in the wind was Gizo Pizzonia who fell and scuffed her already low quality face.

Moon Moon and Orgöst quickly joined in the fight which ended with Baduman getting a dagger in the thigh. Thus ending the battle, but starting a war.

Infinity Solutions, always managing their reputation, entered the bar and bought everyone a couple of rounds with their earnings from the day (cost 10g) thus earning their gratitude and ensuring the fight earlier would be rid of their memories.

e3fc254d8d9137aa506bd5c3572d98f6_full.jpg

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New Story - Chapter 1: Rats and Ghasts
What's with the mine?

1/27/2015
Roll Call: DM Justin, Rod, Tayo, Orgöst, Micah, Bran

Infinity Solutions received their normal weekly quest sheet and were greeted by three quests. Deal with the Orc camp, clear a nearby cave of kobolds, or simply kill some rats. Being the brave group of Adventures they are, they chose to deal with the local rat infestation in the old mine.

Rats hate fire and they especially hate wands that shoot giant balls of it so clearing the rats was as easy as it sounded. Upon going a bit deeper into the mine the party noticed slight whispering that became louder with each brave step forward. Upon reaching the end of the corridor, the whispering was so loud and terrifying the rogue could only spare a quick peak into the room.

That quick peak brought chills down the poor rogue’s spine, 2 unwordly ghasts floated every so slightly off the ground. While they were visible, it was only briefly. A sudden rush of relief fell upon his face only to be ripped away when the ghasts appeared directly next to him and screamed.

The party, minus one Cleric, raced to town to inform the West Gatehouse of the terrible situation that has fallen onto the mines, and collect their reward. Once the reward was collected and some other matters taken care of, the party told the Assistant Sargent the situation.

The Sargent instructed them to take the Gatehouse page with them to act as proof that the ghasts were real and to disprove of them if able, all opposite of what the page wanted to do that day.

Once in the mine, the party actually took care of the ghasts fairly easily, collected this fine blue, purplish dust they left behind and made their way back to the Gatehouse. Once there they collected most of their reward with the last part coming once the dust was tested.

castle-ghost-clipart1.jpg

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Chapter Five
Outer Hamfast & The Proliferation of The Magpies

The morning following the owlbear incident, the Magpies continue traveling south. Eventually, the party is greeted by rolling farmlands and several modest homesteads that surround the walls of Hamfast. But the movements of the team do not go unnoticed. Being so close to the Tuldurocian border has made the villagers in Hamfast skeptical of strangers – especially strangers driving an enemy supply cart.

While passing by one of the outer-most cottages, the party his met with a slippery glare from a farmer. He approaches Adran and extends his hand…

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Chapter Four
The "Owlbears" of The South Ham Highway

The Magpies begin their journey south to the village of Hamfast where they were instructed to meet Kedawin, Priest of Pelor and friend of Father Tavish. With dusk rapidly approaching, the party decides to rest in the safety of the woods along the South Ham Highway. Mindartis and Big G attempt to camouflage the supply cart and their new steed, Festaramous. Adran lends his skills as a outdoorsman and appropriately conceals the group from view.

During the midnight watch, Mindartis spots another supply cart traveling north toward Fallshire. The cart is surrounded by Tuldurocian soldiers. Mindartis rushes back toward the camp to alert the other but is heard by one of the soldiers, a human, walking slowly behind the supply cart.

“Who goes there?!” shouts the Tuldurocian.

Mindartis replies though the trees “It’s okay – we are the supply troops on our way to Hamfast. We’re behind schedule and decided to camp here for the night.”

The Tuldurocian, unable to see in the dark, calls for reinforcements.

Mindartis panics and hisses “Keep your voice down! There are… Uh… owlbears… Yes! There are owlbears in these woods!”

The human scoffs in disbelief and continues to approach Mindartis through the darkness.

Mindartis continues his charade, yelling “Oh no! it’s got me! Run for your life!”

Mindartis’ shrill shouting is unconvincing – the soldier is coming closer and closer.

Suddenly, the young elf’s screams become very real when he’s quickly pulled to the ground by an unknown assailant. It was Gediuan – who had heard the commotion from the camp. Gediuan wrestles Mindartis behind a tree and silences his screams. The Tuldurocian stops and peers into the inky darkness.

The hush is suddenly met with a “GRRRWHOOO!” It was Adran in the tree tops (who just moments before was fixated on Mindartis’ leg with the intention of shooting it to make his cries for help more believable). But instead Adran hastily makes what he thinks is his best impression of an owlbear – something that present company has never heard before. He belts out a second “GRRRWHOOO!” The color drains from the Tuldurocian’s face and he retreats shouting “Run away! There are owlbear’s in these woods!!!”

The enemy supply cart quickly fades into the distance and the party is able to rest in peace for the remainder of the night. To this day the people will warn travelers “beware the owlbears of the South Ham Highway.”

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Interlude
Desmon's Escape

Desmun Fatree led the guards of the supply wagon away on a merry chase through the streets of Falshire, promising to catch up with his friends in the village of Hamfast.

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