The Shadow of Londaras

Of Caves and Cloaks

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…

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.

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…

Chapter 1

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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