Session 3 – Return to Safe Harbor

We began in the Orc Lair. Some gems were hidden in the chieftains chair. Xanadorf claimed a wooden flagstaff as his quarterstaff on the way out.

The party returned to the headquarters of the Highwaymen and, after a long debate, convinced the highwaymen to let them take Rufe back to town to face trial.

They then led Rufe back to town and arrived during the evening. They met with the mayor and were able to convince the mayor of their innocence. They also convinced the mayor that the elves were somehow complicit.

Som Tawyer wanted the mayor to arrest the elves, but the mayor informed the group that elves had already departed from town.

The mayor gave them a week’s stay at Winkle’s inn, “Little Winkle’s Watering Hole.” Winkle would not give them free drinks, and after some prodding, Winkle offered them free drinks if they could rid the town of some local ruffians that often caused trouble. They were called the Brothers Olaf and they are fur smugglers working in the leather vest gang. He said they would likely be found down by the Fighting Dog Pub.

The party went to the fighting dog pub, and convinced the leather vest gang that they had a dire wolf pelt for sale in the alleyway.  The gang stepped up and saw the druid shape-shifted into a wolf. The leather vest gang saw through the ruse and mocked the adventurers, stepping into combat. There were some rough blows dealt, and the combat was ended when the cleric cast Thunderwave and blew all the combatants off their feet.

After they had been knocked down, they pointed the party towards the Brothers Olaf house, at the end of the street near the lumber yard.

The roughed up adventurers proceeded to the house and scouted that the two brothers appeared to be inside. One seemed asleep in a chair and the other at work at his desk. The house was the last of a row of shoddily constructed row houses, any sound was sure to wake the whole block.

-end

Session 2 – The Highwaymen

Arrest

The parties’ enjoyment of seeing an enormous tree emerge from out of the roof of the rope store was cut short when the store owner’s shrill voice called out accusingly, “My store! What’ve you all done to my store!?”

A crowd was gathering to gawk at the giant tree. Townspeople were running up and pointing at the sight, shouting for friends. Through the bustle, four lightly armored guards carrying spears ran up. Their wonder at the tree was cut short when they heard Corbett’s cry.

Som Tawyer, the three-quarterling bard, made an impassioned appeal at innocence, trying to cast blame for the tree on Corbett’s nephew Rufe, the man who had earlier swindled the group and slipped off with a hefty purse. Despire Corbett’s distrust of his nephew, he was not moved to forgiveness and told the guards that the party was responsible for this travesty, that he had caught them in his storeroom and that they should be arrested.

Som made one last half-hearted appeal to blame Rufe before submitting to the imperious guards.

Jail

The party was led through streets of rough construction through a new neighborhood of the town. Wooden buildings of various sizes and purposes cobbled together in a somewhat haphazard fashion. Hawkers were selling goods of all sorts, many targeted towards explorers, gold-panners, lumbermen, and others trying to eke out a living from the wild continent around them. Most of the townsfolk were walking to see what all the commotion was with the giant tree that had just emerged.

Soon the group were walking along a cobblestone road and surrounded by finely crafted wooden homes. To the West the party could see heavily wooded mountains looming behind the buildings in the near-distance. The party was led past a stone wall and approached a heavily reinforced guardhouse. They were led into cells and removed of their possessions.

Som Tawyer and Kjango made jokes at the guards and began singing, while Maeve the goliath slept off his drunk. Som convinced the guard, named “Gard” to share his favorite song, “The Waves Crash Harder.” Fortunately, both Som and Kjango knew the tune and gave it a hearty rendition to win Gard’s tentative approval. After a few hours, the druid Xanadorf was begging for exile to get away from either the prison or his teammates, he didn’t specify.

The Mayor

That evening, they were visited by the town mayor who apprised them of their situation. He told the party that he had been investigating the occurrence all afternoon and that the blame seemed to fall squarely on their shoulders. He informed them that the tree-seed had been stolen from the elves, who were bringing it from the old continent to their settlement. The tree growing in the middle of the city was sure to be the beginning of a long and fraught land dispute between the elves who sought to be near their tree and the inhabitants who were already in the town.

The party proclaimed their innocence and, again, pointed their fingers at Rufe as the real cause of all the mischief. The mayor acknowledged that Rufe was likely involved and informed the party that Rufe had not been found despite a thorough search. He also reminded the party that they had been seen by witnesses to murder some town ruffians in a bar brawl. He told them that they would face trial the next morning and told them to prepare themselves.

In the trial, the party was told that Rufe had fled during the night, stealing supplies and a horse. The party was exiled from the town for their crimes, but if they could return with Rufe in tow, they would be exonerated.

An elf lord was present and spoke out against the sentence, saying that the party should be handed over to the elves for the theft and misuse of their most precious possession. The mayor dismissed these concerns and the elf stormed out of the courthouse, promising that this insult would be avenged.

Searching for Rufe

The party had their belongings returned and set out to track Rufe. The horse tracks were easy to follow North as the rain-softened earth made the trail visible to all. After a few hours of passage, a heavy storm approached. The party took cover under a protective tree canopy while the druid went ahead in animal form. The druid was able to discover where Rufe had left the road, also presumably to find cover. Xanadorf returned to the group and led them to the spot.

The party proceeded into the woods from off the road. They soon stumbled onto a grisly scene, the stolen horse had been hacked apart and strewn across the clearing. After carefully inspecting the area, the party discovered a torn loose belt and bag containing some gold pieces and a badly damaged map.

The party was unable to make sense of the map, not being familiar with the terrain, and decided to head back to the road when they heard the sounds of incoming wolves.

The Cartographer

When they arrived at the road, the party beheld a man approaching from the North. He wore a brown road and had a long unkempt beard, matted in some places and with beads and other objects fixed in at random. He carried a tall staff from which hung a lantern.

The party hailed the man and asked him his business. He identified himself as a wanderer and map maker on his way to the town of Safe Harbor.

The party asked him if he could help them identify the map, he showed them where they were on the map and identified two nearby landmarks, a fortification or outpost of some sort, and some sort of dangerous location.

The party spoke with him at length and they were loath to let him get on his way down the road.

The Highwaymen

The party trekked back into the woods and to the clearing. Use loud noises and fire to scare off the wolves, they made their way through the western trail. Soon they stumbled upon and startled two roughians sitting around a fire. One grabbed for his spear and the other for a crossbow.

They called out for the party to halt and identify themselves, their noise brought plenty of support out from inside the longhouse that they had been guarding.

Some quick talking defused the situation, and when the party indicated that they had been exiled from Safe Harbor, they were welcomed as fellow exiles. The party said that they were looking for Rufe and the leader, Nelson Williamson, said that Rufe had been expected to return that day. He had stolen some elf artifact as part of a job that they were working from the elves.

The party indicated that they had tracked him to the clearing, where he had disappeared. Nelson cursed and indicated that he had probably gotten nabbed up by the orcs that lived in yonder caves.

The Rescue

The party and the highwaymen set out to rescue Rufe. They led a daring rescue and lost a few good men in the attempt. Finally, they entered the room of the chief. Rufe was shackled to the back wall. After a bitter combat, they unshackled him and paused to catch their breath.

Session 1 – A Missing Bookie

The campaign began in a harbor town on a recently discovered continent. The continent had only been known of for a century or two, long enough to have many humans but fewer members of the longer-lived dwarf or elvish races.

A halfling bard, Som Towyer, disembarked from a ship and convinced the dwarf cleric, Kjango, to help him carry his luggage into a nearby tavern.

In the tavern, the bard sized up the room and his eyes were quickly drawn to a giant goliath, The Count, standing on the far side of the bar. A scheme seized the bard, and he quickly set off to convince both dwarf and goliath to agree to have a drinking & keg chucking contest, and asked the goliath to help him to throw the contest. They all agreed on the terms, and the bard began raising bets and interest by hopping onto a table.

Quickly a bookie emerged from the crowd, Rufe began taking bets and put long 4-to-1 odds that the goliath would win. The bard went all-in with his 30 gold and a number of townies placed bets both ways. After some time, the group went outside to begin the contest. The goliath seemed less than fully committed to the contest and many in the crowd noticed his lack of enthusiasm. When the dwarf won the contest, cries of anger and dismay emerged from the crowd. The crowd surged forward intent on forcing a rematch, when the party suddenly noticed that Rufe was nowhere to be seen.

A keen eyed human druid had been watching from the shadows, Xanadorf is curious about the outcome of this exchange and followed the group on their search for Rufe. Their first stop was to go back into the bar to confront the barkeep.

The party entered the bar to witness Winkle the barkeep hoisted into the air by the collar of his shirt. Townies were crowding around demanding answers and demanding their money back. The meek barkeep seemed at a loss for what to do. As soon as the thugs noticed that the party had entered the room, the largest man dropped the barkeep. Winkle quickly scattered himself away behind a locked storeroom door.

The large man and his thugs approached the party, accosting them and insinuating that they were party to this theft. He demanded that the party tell him where Rufe had gone. The man followed up his demand with a string of insults and a ending with a display of spitting at the feet of Kjango. The party responded with hostile intent, and after killing the large man and one of his thugs, the other two thugs surrendered.

The party demanded that the thugs take them to Rufe, the thugs complied as best they could by taking the party to the store owned by Rufe’s uncle Corbett, the rope merchant. As the Rope Store was just around the way from the bar, it seemed a likely place that Rufe might have run to hide. The party let themselves into the back storeroom from the alley and found a room filled with ropes, crates, and barrels. They quickly began bashing open barrels in the back corner, seeing dust on the ground where a barrel has clearly been moved recently. After cracking open the barrel, the party found a long cylindrical wooden tube, almost black in color and covered in intricate carvings. One end looks like it might twist free, and the party chose to open the container with care. Slowly vapors seeped out of the container, followed thereafter by a thick liquid. The party backed away and watched with interest.

After a few moments, a bark-like object emerged from the sand. Meanwhile, an irate Kjango and Som burst into the front room to demand that Corbett tell them where to find Rufe. The bark like object slowly rose from the cylinder, appearing to grow slowly. Xanadorft decided to prod the object with his staff, which immediately fused with the object. In surprise, Xanadorf let the staff fall to the ground, tipping over the cylinder and the object. The object quickly began to grow in size once exposed to the air, and appeared to fuse with everything it came into contact with. The party ran in fear and emerged out onto the street. They turned to behold a giant tree fusing with and growing out from the roof of the rope store. The party and Corbett watched on with wonder as a giant tree grew and expanded before their eyes.

-Session held on 2/23/2017

Session 0 – Orcish Prologue

We began in a Dark Forest. Ub’oorn, an orc fighter, found himself being approached by one of his few allies in the tribe. He was still considered a newcomer by most members, and bad luck too, as the sole survivor of the Plains Tribe.

The widow approached Ub’oorn frantically, telling him that she had news. The scouts had returned from the South and they brought news that tragedy had befallen the South Tree Clan. The widow begged Ub’oorn to investigate, as the last news she had of her exiled son told her that he had found a home at the South Tree.

Ub’oorn quickly made his way to the chief’s tent, where he beheld Mukluk, the tribe’s warlock, Rag’nok, the cleric of Gruumsh who Ub’oorn helped put into power, and Grum, the barbarian and second son to the chief.

The scout had just finished his report, and the chief turned to his son Grum. The chief ordered Grum to take his warband to investigate the disappearance of the South Tree clan, and to also investigate the camp of invaders that waylaid the scouts on their hasty return.

The scouts reported that not only were the South Tree Clan gone, but there was little evidence that they had ever been there at all. A tent post here, or a bit of waste there. But no sign of where the orcs would have gone. Also the woods had seemed eerily silent to the scouts, almost as if devoid of life and sound.

The party seemed equally enraged by the human camp as they are of the disappearance of their neighboring tribe. Rather than avoiding the camp, they made their way directly there to get what revenge they might have.

They arrived at the edge of the woods after the sun had set to behold a fortified human camp at the top of a small hill. Guards with torches patrolled the hill on this dark moonless night, and a large bonfire burned behind the tents.

The orcs took position and a well-placed eldritch blast destroyed one of the sentries. Another sentry was able to alert the camp, however, and the defenders took up immediate combat positions. They remained unable to see their attackers in the pitch black night.

Hearing the commotion, a member of the orc scouting party emerged from the woods and sent an arrow into another sentry. Krosseye, the sharpshooter, quickly joined up with the warband and they made a terrifying advance against the east line.

The wolf-spirit barbarian channeled his fury and howled like a wild beast, cutting a spearman in half. The Dark Forest echoed his howl a thousandfold, and the humans felt their bones chill in fear.

The party pushed the advance, and quickly saw that there was a beautiful human woman in a red dress, a plate mail clad man, a hammer-wielding dwarf, and a bowman standing in the center of the camp. The adventurers saw the orc warband, and quickly joined the fray.

The orcs saw that they were badly outnumbered, killed a few remaining guards and then hauled off a wounded spearman. The warlock channeled the power of his patron, Stan the Chaos Lord, and dropped a thick cloud of darkness to engulf the camp.

The party made it into the woods and woke the spearman. The terrified spearman answered the warbands questions about the camp. Evidently, they adventures were in the area in response to claims from nearby farmers that the orcs had disappeared. The nearby town of Harvest wanted to verify the good news, leery of a trap. The human had no idea what might have caused the disappearance of the South Tree Clan, as the humans had only just arrived and set up camp. The orcs quietly ended the life of the injured spearman and made their way south.

The party almost passed by the South Tree without realizing where they were, such had the region changed. Gone were all signs of habitation and silent were the woods. The party quietly searched around looking for clues, when Grum found himself staring into the beguiling eyes of a hooded figure. He found himself inexplicably drawn away from the group. Moments later, a hail of arrows emerged from the trees, many finding their marks. Six elvish warriors dropped from the trees, four holding longswords and two longbows. Their arrival was marked also by a ferocious roar, a large brown bear charged into the clearing and straight for the orcs.

The orcs rallied, concentrating their fire on the bear, who with its last breath dematerialized and a young elf druid appeared in its place. One swing of a greataxe was all it took to end the battered druid’s life, and many of the other elves fell soon after.

One elf saw that defeat was imminent and made a break for the deep woods. The battered warband had little choice but to let the elf go.

-Session held on 2/12/2017