The Shadow of Londaras

Continuing towards Bright Citadel
Damon has no time for details

Late Afternoon with a clear road for now.

Continue further down the road and will be camping for the night.

Road merges with another main road and we see travelers along the way. We decided to take no interactions.

Approaching Night Fall. Guiles (NPC) wants to set up camp and do rounds. 200-300 ft off the road and set up camp in front of a raised hill.

Approached by wonderer…. “Joseph” he’s a seller. He joins us at the fire and “Whitaker” is asking for the wand. He begins to examine it. Made of Hazel and will cast detect magic 2x a day. Offer is for 30gp.

Damon buys the Robe for 10gp. Robe feels like it will help me in battle. 2gp for the potion 10gp for the wand. Naeris went ahead and paid the 10gp for the Wand.

Joseph left camp

We are now taking turns doing shifts watching Aegert.

Hour 1 = Guards, Hour 2 = Pierre, Hour = 3 Whitaker, Hour 4 = Damon.

Naeris does her 4 hours. Damon will check the perimeter and look into the dark.

Doesn’t notice anything or source of the noises.

Pierre (Justin) is asleep. He flurries briefly, but shutters his eyes closed.

Aegert escapes as the sun rises and the guards chase after him. Then they trip over a sleeping man.

Naeris and Damon wake up first. Then followed by Whitaker and Pierre.

Guards take Aegert back and then Maella Ties him up and she joins the group.

NEW CHARACTER FANNO!!!! “Name is same as purpose… simply Wonder”

Wonder is Human – avg height. Thick boots. Longish hair and organized. Gloves with his pack of gear. Wearing a cloak. Worn, but other than that clean and pretty standard. Tan. Brown Eyes. Black hair.

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Prisoners and Pressing Forward

The adventurers pressed forward from their recent excitement… It seemed throughout the whole instance, the group could NOT figure out how to divvy up the loot they had gotten, but Daemon still insisted on keeping the gems, instilling the his dwarven ways that the group can’t quite get a grasp on. While Mella seemed to oblige, others were hesitant to his yearn for gems and the loot was never truly dispersed…

As the night came however, and the adventurers moved on from their material needs (only to be settled at a later unspecified time), they decided how to keep watch on Aegert as the guards still could not be trusted. In the modest prison within the stone cold walls, Mella took the first watch as she wanted to get a good night of uninterrupted sleeps. The others headed to their quarters and, after some speculative observation, gently confronted Aegert in her valiant effort to find the missing brothers. Aegert responded coldly, however, stating that the adventurers had already met the boys and insulting Mella, causing her to have a moderate eruption of anger in slamming the prison door and awaking Pierre for his night watch.

In transition, Mella was anxious to sleep and quickly informed Pierre of her exchange with the prisoner, who surprisingly was not attempting to find release from his capture. Pierre had a curious hunch and mentioned the two shadows to Mella, who quickly blew it off in a shaky manner and went to bed. Pierre, sparked the Mella’s quick inquisition, knew he must question the strange man that was Aegert. This revealed disheartening information that the two shades the adventurers had previously defeated were the two boys… yet Aegert snickered in claim that he was merely fulfilling a request of the brothers. Growing ever more speculative of the dozing Aegert, Pierre attempts to detect magic in the prisoner’s presence and finds nothing; he digresses to distraction in the familiarity of his loot.

As Pierre completed his shift, he awoke Daemon, giving him a debrief of what he and Mella had discovered in their shifts. Daemon seemed to immediately dive into a sea of searching, as if he would find something that night or something… something might happen. Seeking to no avail, Daemon returned to the sleeping prisoner and abruptly wakes him up. Asking a drowsy Aegert his constitution of actions, Aegert responds with a simple “to survive…. the boys of the aspiring youth and…” Daemon interrupted— “You look frail.” Egert closed his eyelids in annoyance and Daemon finished his watch with an admiration of his gems, even giving them a taste.

For the shift switch of Daemon and Whitacre, Daemon noticed that Whitacre didn’t seem to be sleeping well, or at all, as if he is restless. He attempts to talk to Whitacre, but is waved off as Whitacre is in his typical mood of not responding to Daemon’s dwarven personality. Whitacre hardly watches the prisoner and his time awake is uneventful, until the time comes to wake Naeris for her shift. Whitacre softly brings Naeris back from her stupor and explains further his relations and why she piques his interest, practically offending her in admitting that he only admires her in a paternal yearning sense, which Naeris misunderstands and abruptly ends their exchange, leaving Whitacre to stumble back asleep, if you could call it that.

Naeris, after her coarse confabulation, only hopes for a peaceful night and doesn’t probe Aegert, leaving the others to sleep until they each awake. Mella, taunting Aegert with faces, gives a friendly morning yell to Pierre for breakfast, unexpectedly ignored as Pierre is asleep. Daemon surprises Pierre with a wakeup to which he jumps up with and, without saying any words, went into a spell of singing and cooking. After all awaking, they gather that Aegert has admitted to committing acts, but is still ignoring them for the most part and can’t get too much out of him. The guards come to take the prisoner and of course they wouldn’t trust them with such a task so the adventurers decide to escort the guards. While this is happening, the group only remembers that Whitacre was still asleep as he walked out from his slumber, trying his hardest to ignore the group but eventually giving into food, albeit in awkward silence still uneasy about his remarks with Naeris.

The group goes out to escort the guards, learning their names; Thori, the younger brute, along with Giles and Aneeyas. The group drops off their gold directly to the orphanage and, with the loot playing down the trail, Mella makes friends with Thori, in her usual virtuous demeanor. Almost forgetting Aegert’s presence, Daemon notices something strange in the hay ahead on the trail… Whitacre perceived the strange environment as well and casts firebolt in the direction to burn the hay and scare any adversaries out. A group of Kobolds, a type of humanoid rodents offering an unpleasant site to any caravan travelers of the area, appear and, although known for ambushing upon near proximity aggravation, the group avoids this with a ranged attack.

The small skirmish ends with Mella prevailing in her attacks but nearly dying in a group effort of the kobolds to take her down. The caravan is untouched and, after Pierre performed a meak healing of Mella, the adventurers carried on!

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Specters and Criminals
Treasure and jail cells

The first thing Mella remembered about the fight with Aegert was how quickly he cowed. Aegert fell not to Whitacre‘s confident posturing but to Pierre’s. Pierre was strong, this to be sure after he faced down those men outside the cave – but to instantly turn someone’s arrogance to cowardice with only a phrase and some music? Mella was impressed.

The rest of combat blurred together in her mind: the Specter leaping forward at each of her friends while she tackled its master to the cave floor then dodged a magical icy bolt that ended up in Aegert’s shoulder. After that someone – an axe comes to mind so it must have been Damon – finished the job by knocking the lying jerk (how could he proclaim to be innocent when he must have manipulated those two boys?) out cold. After that, Mella recalled even less as she remained near Aegert ready to act if he were to wake up again before everyone had recovered; if she could find an opening it was only for one of her arrows to fly through. Whitacre remained in the shadows, she’d give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he was casting some kind of spell and not just muttering to himself. What she could hear clearly, beyond Pierre proclaiming something about six packs, through the end of the fight was the screams and shrieks the Specter let out with each hit to its form. Naeris swinging her sword, Damon brandishing and later kicking away his handaxe, Pierre just continuing to play and spit words – it definitely made the beginning of the fight pale in comparison.

After they’d licked their wounds and her companions had counted all the riches (Mella still needed to make sure the town got their fair share in return), they’d taken Aegert back to town to face justice. Then again, it wasn’t that simple. Whitacre had broken down, quite convincingly too – even though he’d yet to give the answer as to why he called himself “weak”, Mella believed that he regretted his actions. She needed to work on overcoming her suspicions and help relieve him of his internal shame, as would Ilmater have her do. In addition to that, her patience at her partners’ apparent greed had worn thin and she’d just shrugged a still dazed Aegert over her shoulders and left. Maybe it’d been the right thing to do seeing as they’d caught up to by at the river, where they’d all taken the boat back to Nimbre.

After a shaky discussion with the mayor of the town, where she’d stayed silent out of weariness (much easier just to hold on to a criminal’s body than talk politics), Aegert had been set in county jail with the group plus the head guard to stand watch overnight until the cart towards Bright Citadel could be summoned in the morning. Who knows what the rest of the night would hold for them?

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Foreshadows
A dark thread

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Lost
Darkness overwhelming

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Shadow and Blood
Darkness writhing

Surrounded and beaten, the magick adept knew these could be his final moments. The group had torn through his partner and subordinates with little trouble, and they all stood within or two arm-lengths of him now, mercifully obscuring his view of the lifeless bodies on the cavern floor.

The dwarf wasted no time, and threatened him and his life without hesitation. All sense of wit and calm were expelled from the adepts body, carried away by ale-stenched breath and arms as thick as the adept’s own neck; and these arms did not intend to keep his head secure to his body. The adept broke down, and truth spilled from his mouth, as his fear-addled mind became incapable of a lie.

Damon and Pierre took turns asking questions, but the effort was fruitless. The adept knew nothing about the boys beyond the fact that they come and go, and the identity of his employer remained a mystery even to his own employees. The person at the heart of the bandits in the cavern, and who is most likely bathing in stolen gold, did a fantastic job managing all these people without so much as a name given; although the bandits have not been too difficult so far to deal with, so perhaps management wasn’t as great as it could have been.

The group moved forward, and quickly ran into their most peculiar, and dangerous, foes thus far – a pair of shapeless shadows that materialized from the myriad cracks in the cavern wall. Their attacks were black tendrils that cut as well as any blade, and their weaknesses were unknown. Physical attacks seemed to have minimal or no affect, and even Whitacre’s magick flames looked as if they dissipated upon contact with them. After what seemed like an endless struggle towards certain death, the shadows suddenly faded into nothing with the continued assault from blades, flames, arrows, and staves. Victory had come to our adventurers, but at the cost of critical and near-fatal wounds.

It was decided that leaving the cavern and setting up camp outside, in the cover of the forest, was the best option for recuperating safely.

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Of Caves and Cloaks
Firewall!

The danger to our adventurers begins in earnest – No longer just worried about his lost gold, Pierre is suddenly faced with four hostile huntsmen. The men brandish they’re blades and bear down upon Pierre, intent on making sure he’s unable to leave the area.

Fortunately for Pierre, his prowess in magic and music allows him to make the first move – a somber melody reverberates relentlessly from his lute and pierces the unconscious of the closest huntsman. The unnatural sound dredges up nightmare, the shapeless horror personal and indescribable; the man immediately turns and runs, as hard and fast as he can, away from the primitive and raw fear that his conscious mind fails to suppress. As he fixates on the terror, he barely notices his suffocation as his diaphragm no longer works as it should – his mental capacity too full to operate his body, too occupied with its own self-perpetuating dread…

When the huntsman’s wailing reaches the ears of the rest of our group, they move in Pierre’s direction, expecting the worst. Damon bursts from the treeline, shield and handaxe ready; Mella moves in swiftly, her quarterstaff in one hand, with her other fist firm and steady; Whitacre hangs back and begins tracing runes into the air in front of him; and Naeris circles around, arcing to the rear of the remaining hostiles.

Pierre strums another tune, this one much less dreadful than the first. Quite the opposite, actually – a playful tune flows out, easily into the background, then returning and enveloping one of the other huntsman pleasantly. It mutes his anger, relaxes his muscles, and replaces any memory of Pierre with that of a harmless acquaintance. The man’s eyes clouded ever so slightly, and his posture relaxed to a simple standing position, seemingly oblivious to the mortal situation right before him.

Damon’s handaxe sung through the air as flesh made way for its edge; Mella’s deceptive muscle found its target easily, jarring chins, collarbones, and sternums into submission; Whitacre seared flesh and bone with streaks of practiced flame, and clouded yet another huntsman’s feeble mind into pacifism; Naeris’ shortsword flashed quickly with adept speed, piercing flesh and releasing life.

The adventurers neutralized the aggressors quickly, and used their canoes to cross the river. Around a gentle bend, they entered a cave; its location gleaned from the interrogation of the now dead patrols. The cave mouth was wide, and the path in the cave sloped gently downwards, curving left and right, narrowing and widening, until finally it opened into a large cavern. Torches adorned the cave wall at regular intervals, signalling that it was under regular use…

Damon and Mella took point, leading the way to the far end of the cavern where the walls closed in a bit, but left a sort of path deeper into the underground. Pierre, Naeris, and Whitacre brought up the rear, making sure that nothing sneaked up from the rear.

Reaching the far wall of that first cavern, Pierre felt a hint of danger in the air using the same presence of mind that kept him alive during the earlier encounter. He uncorked a flask of highly combustible lamp oil, pouring it along the floor from one wall to the other nearby wall. It was to be a trap that could be used if they were forced to flee back to this area, and would help their escape. ..

The trap ended up being used practically immediately. As the adventurers walked a bit further, towards another cavernous section, they were spotted by a group of three thugs and two robed men. The robed men barked orders, commanding the other three to eliminate the intruders. Damon and the rest retreated a bit, until they were just behind the line of oil. As soon as the first and second thugs set foot on top of the line of oil, Pierre tossed a torch at their feet, igniting the ground and sending 7 foot flames into the air around their bodies.

The two men leapt backward, screaming, and struggling to pat out their torched clothing. Damon intended them no time to recover, leaping through the flames, his axe and shield ready for the sudden appearance of targets. Mella followed suit, the flames ineffectively licking her as she flashed through. Naeris, Pierre, and Whitacre stayed behind, delivering piercing arrows, crushing song, and bolts of flame, respectively. It wasn’t long until the flames died down, and the lives of the enemy with it.

Our group moved on, removing a pair of patrolling guards with little effort, but Damon and Whitacre fell into a snake-filled pit trap. It took a good bit of flailing, and some assistive arrows, but the critters were rendered harmless, and Damon and Whitacre climbed out with some help.

The party came upon another group of bandits and robed figures, but they’re slightly more interesting – the robed figures, now clearly understood to be their employer, wielded staves. As battle ensued and blood escaped flesh, the robed men traced something into the air in front of them and touched the wounds of their allies – the bleeding then stopped, and the bandits stood straighter and fought with renewed vigor. The magic adepts supported from behind with intense balls of fire directed with killing intent.

Despite the challenge from their foes, our party managed fell all of them, and grappled and restrained the final surviving adept. Their plan was to interrogate, and learn about the possible dangers that lie in wait for them…

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Shadows and fisherman
...and dart fishing

Our adventurers continued searching for clues to find their missing gold. They’ve gathered various bits and pieces of information from the orphanage and innkeeper, casting strong suspicions on Hames Helmund’s two missing sons: Enryn Helmund and Aldwit Helmund.

To confirm their suspicions and, hopefully, to find out first hand where their gold has gone, the group agrees to stay a night at the Helmunds’ home. Although the house looked mostly abandoned, their belief was that they boys must have a place to stay since they haven’t returned to the orphanage, and their original home was the next logical choice.

After a hearty meal prepared by Pierre, the lutist, the adventurers sleep overnight at the Helmund house, setting up a night watch rotation. The night passed uneventfully, until Naeris’s turn for the watch came around. Not satisfied with staying inside the confines of the house, the lady in black ventured outside, and meandered along the river’s shore.

In the distance, across the river, Naeris’s keen eyes caught a glimpse of two figures heading North. Although it was difficult to see details, Naeris was sure the figures were the two boys they were searching for. Unable to cross the river without losing track of the shadows in the distance, Naeris stalked them as best as she could from her side of the river; however, once they reached the treeline to the North of the village, it wasn’t long before the density of the forest canopy became too much for moonlight to pierce through, and seeing the two shadowy figures was no longer possible. Naeris headed back to the Helmund house, and awaited dawn to tell the waking group of the nights events.

Our adventurers rose with the sun, then followed Naeris’s report and made their way North along the West bank of river. After an hours walk into the forest, they hear the voices of men a short distance in front of them. Naeris and Pierre are dispatched to scout ahead, made wary by the strange troubles Nimbre has been facing recently. They discover a group of 4 men, seemingly just relaxing and fishing by the riverside, their canoes nearby.

Pierre carefully approaches the men, while Naeris decides to stay hidden. Pierre nervously tries to engage the men in useful conversation, attempting to glean information of their purpose here. The men refuse to entertain the suspicious lutist’s awkward interrogation, and instead draw their crude weapons – machetes and skinning knives.

And thus began the first encounter of real danger to our adventurers.

PS: As Naeris and Pierre scouted ahead, Mella decided use her darts to try and land herself a fresh meal from the river. With skills belying her age and appearance, she fired a dart with a swift swing of her arm, and pierced a pale glimmer beneath the water’s surface. 6 lbs of bass struggled to survive, as Mella grabbed it out of the water, her mouth drooling.

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Scrolls and Orphans
and mysteries

The tavern in Nimbre’s central plaza had its most interesting lot of patrons in a long while – probably since its inception.

The group wasn’t particularly unique at the start – some ale, turkey legs, attempted courting… a typical night at the tavern. It wasn’t until after their rest at the inn that Nimbre’s perfect visage began to show its cracks.

Their restful night was countered with a substantial loss in coin, noticed in the waking morning – half of each of their gold had gone missing. Worse yet, there was no clue as to how it was removed; no signs of a disturbance and no trail.

After speaking to a distraught and apologetic innkeeper, our adventurers grouped together reluctantly to speak to the mayor and report the crime. Unfortunately, this only resulted in a pitiful offer to restore a fraction of the gold they had lost – it turns out that this unusual crime has been happening with increasing frequency in the recent months, and the town coffers have been spread thin as a result.

The mayor reasoned with our adventurers, explaining the difficulties the town has been facing lately – the mysterious and perfect thefts, the string of deaths of able-bodied men and women, the disappearances of their children, and even the gradual tainting of their prized water source.

Rather than accept excuses and a pitiful payout, our adventurers took recovery of their gold into their own hands. They first headed to the orphanage in the hopes to find out more about the most recently admitted children, whose father had been found dead in his corn field. Of the children, they found the youngest daughter, who had told them about the strange behavior of her two older brothers: The two brothers had been leaving in the middle of the night, and then returning before sun up. On their last outing, they hadn’t returned. Meanwhile, the lute player, Pierre, finds a paper inscribed with runes of some sort in a hidden compartment of a dresser. The dresser belonged to one of the brothers, bringing further questions to their behavior.

The brothers were too suspicious to ignore, so our adventurers stopped by the childrens’ old home, from before the orphanage took them in. It was there that the first real connection was made – Pierre and the lady in black, Naeris, entered one of the boy’s rooms and took out the rune-inscribed paper they had discovered earlier, triggering a reaction from the paper. The paper began to hum and, upon placing the paper on the ground, the runes began to glow. In another moment, gold had appeared upon the paper, the humming stopped, and the runes faded and broke.

As Pierre and Naeris hurried to divide their discovery (mostly between themselves), they quickly realized that their coin pouches were again lighter – the gold was none other than half of what they were carrying. The event mirrored what they experienced that morning.

The rest of the group then gathered, and the findings were relayed. More searches turned up more scrolls, similar to the first, and revealed another hint: a spot of blood in each of the ceilings’ four corners of the other bedrooms.

Our adventurers continue to piece together what little hints they have, searching for further clues pointing to their lost gold and, perhaps, the reason for the troubles Nimbre has been facing…

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Chapter 1
Beginnings

After many days, weeks, possibly even months, you arrive in the town of Nimbre as the sun begins to set.

It is a town that keeps its place on the map by way of agriculture – many large farms of grains, and pastures of livestock and animals, supply neighboring villages with vital sustenance. Nimbre also acts as the central meeting point amongst the numerous smaller villages in the area. The self-sustaining town is prosperous thanks to the nearby river, which provides remarkably clean, drinkable freshwater, and nutrients for the soil.

Besides the nearby towns, however, the most important of its patrons is the city known as The Bright Citadel – a port city within white, 20 foot high walls, and home to thousands. Although the Citadel has its own land to harvest from, Nimbre’s fruit, grains, and meats are noticeably better tasting; perhaps due to their quality water and soil. What the Citadel is missing by way of food quality, it more than makes up for in utility – It is the doorway to far-off lands, with hundreds of ships entering and leaving its ports on a daily basis.

An easy 2 days travel (by horse or wagon) from Nimbre, supply caravans have long since carved a road into the gentle hills between Nimbre and The Bright Citadel.

Tired from your journey, and with the setting sun’s final rays signaling its departure, you walk into the tavern in the heart of the town to quench your thirst and fill your stomach…

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