The Isle of Adraan

Downriver
No time for slavers

The party believe they are being scryed. Are reinforcements on the way?

The heroes discuss whether they should interrogate Graankh for more information on what happened to the Stoneshanks sisters. What they do know is that the goblins that disappeared had been chained to logs and floated downriver.

The group walks back through the village, searching for Graankh. It is getting dark and torches are now being set. Some exhausted-looking goblins are still work on the felled logs, though. There’s no sign of Graankh.

Ilwyn grabs a nearby goblin and tries to intimidate them into telling him where Graankh is, but he gets nothing. So Naram asks around and discovers that the tribal elders live in a hut to the north.

The party pad over to the shabby hut. The door seems shut. There is no light or sound from inside. On closer inspection it turns out the door is slightly ajar. The dirt at the door seems to indicate there has been a scuffle recently.

The group goes in. There’s nothing much inside other than a small goblin altar. It looks as if a bag has been opened and emptied out. Someone seems to have left in a hurry, having grabbed what they can. Enna applies her tracking skills and figures out that whoever was here has run towards the west.

Caecius finds a piece of scroll, as if ripped off a larger parchment in a hurry. It looks like a manifest similar to the one seen in the house at the southern end of the village.

In a chest in the room the heroes find a leather pouch. It looks like it is of fine drow manufacture, used as a kind of document case. However, it is now empty. Naram fills the pouch with some of the papers that had been scattered around.

At the party leaves the hut they can see Iraz Stoneshanks manhandling Graankh. He has him on the ground. Graankh is shouting that Iraz should give himself up to the drow. Naram mentally commands Graankh to be silent and Haleth backs up the threat. Graankh gulps and goes quiet.

Iraz, noticing the party’s presence, shouts to the goblins that his strong new friends have turned up. The goblins seems to cheer this, but not all are enthusiastic.

Naram subtly plants ideas in Iraz’s head. He gives the goblin some words to use to gain support from the villagers. However, with her martial experience Enna notices that the goblins are probably too exhausted to fight the drow and that they would probably not fight well.

Naram throws Iraz the pouch and says that this contains evidence that Graankh is in league with the drow. Graankh breaks down, shouting at everyone that they are going to get their comeuppance. Breaking free of Iraz Graankh jumps up and starts to flee. Before he can take a step Enna launches an arrow that pins Graankh’s sleeve to the ground and Haleth steps in to knock the goblin down.

The goblin villagers, now clustered around, are impressed by this display of prowess. Iraz manages to persuade more of them that the party can help rid them of the drow occupation.

Naram recommends to Iraz that he finish Graankh off. Iraz draws a blade and starts to drag him off toward the tavern, making a promise that this will be the last of Graankh. He soon comes back with blood on his hands.

Naram knows that they need Iraz’s sister. Only she knows the rite of leadership. He talks to Iraz about rescuing her. Iraz says the party need to find his sister. However, she would be suspicious of strangers like the party. So as a means of identification he whispers to Ilwyn the name of the sister’s pet wolf back when they were children.

The group decides to spend the night in the village. They will need to be ready for drow reinforcements and hope they are not attacked. They persuade Iraz to stay in a hut with them so that they can protect him.

The gates are closed and goblin watches are set. Naram casts a signal of pursuit. The next time the door to their hut is opened, Naram will know the name of the creature that opened it.

Everyone rests. Fortunately, there is no disturbance.

The sun rises and the party wakes up and breaks their fast. Leaving Iraz to organize the defences, the party heads south out of the gates, down the riverbank to look for the Stoneshanks’s sister. Snow gently falls around them.

Enna hears sounds coming from downriver: splashing and cracking noises. However, visibility is poor because of the snow, so she cannot make out the source of the noise. The river is rough and increasingly clogged with logs. As the fellowship lopes forward the heroes spot a small barge anchored against the banks.

They see two spiderlike creatures with long, jointed legs that support spineless bodies that have eel-like faces. These are Neogi—merchants and slavers to the underworld. There is a great cyclops impaler on the barge. It has a number of vicious spears close to hand. The Neogi shout commands to three insect-like demons on the banks. Enna identifies these as evil monsters known as Mezzodemons.

The elf opens the engagement with a long shot that misses. Alerted to the attack, one of the Neogi, a slave taskmaster, attacks Enna psychically and compels her to come closer. Jerkily, her limbs move of their own accord and she begins to stagger unwillingly towards the slaver.

Caecius is on the receiving end of a mental attack from the other taskmaster and finds that he cannot bring himself to attack the Neogi.

This psychic interference allows the mezzodemons close with Haleth. The cyclops also charges in and fixes Haleth with his evil eye.

Enna, her legs still not entirely under her control, manages to put an arrow accurately into a critical spot of one of the mezzodemons. It screams in agony.

Caecius charges and knocks another mezzodemon over. Fearful for its life, the Nyogi slaver that had attacked him before charms Caecius into believing it doesn’t exist. This allows a mezzodemon to try and skewer Caecius with its trident. It hits, causing the Genasi much pain.

Now engaged by the cyclops and a mezzodemon, Haleth is dazed and in pain. However, he charges a Nyogi slaver. This allows the cyclops launches a spear at Haeth, hurting him.

Enna knocks her Nyogi slaver prone. This allows her to shake off the mental compulsion driving her towards the taskmaster. In return, one of the mezzodemons tries to skewer Enna. It pins her briefly.

Haleth pushes his slaver around, damaging and bloodying it. He tells the enemies around him to ‘come and get it’, so they are drawn towards him. The slaver bites Haleth and its poison begins to slow him down.

Naram manages to pull a mezzodemon off of Enna. The elf piles deadly arrows into the creature that leaves it close to death. Caecius directs her to fire another shot that finally cuts the demon down.

This frees Enna up to strike at ‘her’ Nyogi taskmater, dealing horrific damage. However, the monster is tougher than expected. It shakes off the dazing effect of the radiant arrow and mentally commands the elf to come to him.

Ilwyn runs up the side of the the cyclops impaler and smacks it with the hilt of his dagger, knocking it out. It falls to the ground. He follows up the attack with a tortuous strike to the back of its head, killing it instantly.

Caecius directs a shot from Enna into the remaining mezzodemon. The demon strikes at Haleth, restraining him. The burly fighter returns with an appalling crunch which does little to the monster.

Still under the slaver’s compulsion, Enna chases after the Neogi taskmaster, using a Hindering Shot to shoot off a couple of its spider legs. She begins to pepper it with shot, hitting it glancing blows as the elf steps through the feywild and crosses the river.

Naram hits the slaver with a psychic attack that drops the creature to the ground. Then Caecius launches a flattening charge against the Mezzodemon, squishing it flat. The creatures are all slain.

View
Gaol Time
Taking down the occupation, one drow at a time

The party is in the north of the village.There is a poorly constructed palisade around the village. The trees outside the village have been cut down. The goblins been digging a ditch to reinforce the palisade but it has barely gotten underway.

To the south of the village is woodland and snow.

Ilwyn elects to head off south and find Gorfal. He sends his armour off to another dimension and creeps off in front, trying to blend in with the locals. The rest of the party follows cautiously behind, moving between the huts.

They see some solid stone structures ahead. One is a small house. A second one, further away, is a bigger building. Both are clearly large enough to accommodate cyclopses. The bigger building has a half-dug moat in front of it. There are freshly dug tiny graves in front with goblin skulls on top. There are some bushes nearby, which are waving in the wind.

While the party stays back, Ilwyn creeps forward for a closer look. He can see that the larger building is some kind of gaol, with iron bars on its small windows. There are few goblins near these houses.

Ilwyn summons his armour and tries to sneak into the house. The door is not open. There are no windows he can see though, because they have been covered on the inside. He can hear distant voices inside the building.

He investigates the door. He can hear voices, catching the occasional word in elven. A deep voice argues with a shrill female voice that seems to be giving orders. The door seems to be unlocked and opens inwards into the building. Ilwyn notices that the door is made for big things to pass through.

Ilwyn peers through the big keyhole. Inside is a hallway of rough stone. To the right is an open doorway. Shadowy figures are outlined by the fire on the right. One is big and the other small. They are arguing about work orders or something. Ilwyn tries to creep in trough the door, as the rest of the party take positions in the bushes.

However, the action of pushing the door open sets off a clanging noise. Naram recognises it as an arcane lock that shouts when opened.

Enna rushes into the bushes. She hears a thudding inside the house and hears a female voice shout in elven “take them alive”.

A drow, short- and long-sword in each hand, opens the door. Ilwyn cheekily says ‘hello’. The drow says ‘Lolth is the true master, scum.’ She shouts that she will bury her blade in Ilwyn’s chest and takes a swing.

Enna fires a defensive volley at the figure, which is clearly a drow blademaster. It deflects part of the blade, but does not stop it impaling the goblin.

Caecius charges the woman in the door, bowling her over.

Naram notices a black glowing circle on the ground. She sees a drow male figure in robes appear, as if portalling in. It is an Arachnomancer. He reaches his hands up to the heavens, pulling down a black rod from the air. With it he summons a swarm of black spectral spiders. Enna and Haleth avoid the spiders, but they swarm and restrain Naram.

Naram fires off a spell, summons his dream form and exchanges places with it, out of the clutches of the spiders.

Caecius peers inside the house to see a cyclops. It towers over the blademaster.

From the gaol, the door opens and out come a drow and a trio of cyclopses. Enna hears the Arachnomancer yell to take the party all alive.

Enna breaks cover and strikes the Arachnomancer with a series of telling shots, bloodying him and knocking him to the floor.

The blademaster by Caecius waltzes past him. He strikes at her but she ripostes with a whirlwind of blades, pinking Caecius but missing Ilwyn.

Caecius sidesteps and drives his spear into the drow. Then he directs Enna’s fire on to the dark elf.

The Arachnomancer, shaken, gets to his feet and brings down a cloud of darkness on Haleth. Using his spider rod, he sends a stream of spiders at Enna, cursing her. He shouts ‘the judgement of Lolth is upon you!’ In response Haleth swings at the Arachnomancer.

Ilwyn knocks out the drow blademaster, so she crumples to the floor. Then he skewers her in the neck with his dagger, badly hurting her and bringing her back around. The cyclops guard in the house comes through the door, trying to defend its mistress and whacking Ilwyn with a club

The second drow blademaster charges Enna, catching her with a glancing blow. Enna takes down one of the cyclopses with an arrow as she stamps out the remainder of the spectral spiders surrounding her.

The drow next to Ilwyn conjures a darkness around her, and disappears from view. A longsword strikes out from the dark at the goblin.

The Arachnomancer levels his spider rod at Haleth. Visions of spiders overwhelm Haleth’s mind and he is immobilised. In spite of the magic, Naram and Haleth work to draw the three cyclopses together. Haleth takes one of them down. But the other cyclops gives him the evil eye and whacks him.

Ilwyn backs out of the darkness he is in and sees the other drow blademaster, skewering her. Then Enna fires, peppering the drow with shot.

Haleth charges a cyclops but fails to get past its guard.

Naram psychically links with Ilwyn to give the goblin an advantage against the agile blademasters. Caecius works with Ilwyn against one of the blademasters, sandwiching it and striking a grievous blow. Ilwyn follows up with his trickster’s blade getting a critical that eviscerates the blademaster. The drow expires in a bloody mess.

The other blademaster strikes at the goblin, stunning him. Then she leans in and whispers a spider curse into Ilwyn’s ear.

The last cyclops strikes at Haleth, who bats its club away with his shield.

Enna walks through the feywild, disappearing and reappearing near the Arachnomancer. Nocking two arrows, she takes out the last cyclops and the Arachnomancer with a single shot.

Naram lashes out at the last bladedancer, hurting it. Caecius stands the fallen, striking out and encouraging the rest of the party. Then he gives an inspiring word to Ilwyn, encouraging him to continue fighting.

In spite of this, Ilwyn cannot shake off his stunned state. The bladedancer next to him begins to whirl around and strike out at all nearby with her blades, following up with her shortsword. Haleth is hurt in the whirlwind attack.

Naram disheartens the drow, which is still holding off the party with her whirling blades. Caecius directs Enna to shoot, but the elf misses. The agile drow manages to evade and dance out of the way of the arrows.

The bladedancer stuns Haleth, then waltzes past Ilwyn to strike at Naram. She taunts the party as she whirls about in her battle rage. Naram manages to move the bladedancer away, back towards the stunned Haleth. The drow rushes Naram and Ilwyn finally manages to fell her with a blade in the back as she rushes past.

Now that the enemies have been killed, everyone takes a moment to have a short rest and patch themselves up.

Looking at the bodies, some 1500 gold pieces of treasure is looted.

Ilwyn goes into the house. He sees a hallway that runs forward into the building, and a doorway to another room. The goblin goes in. There’s no alarm this time.

Stepping across the stone flagstones, Ilwyn looks into a stone floored room. There’s a chair and a table bearing papers. In the corner are bags that appear to have been rifled through. The goblin sees a large bronze key on the table. Naram comes in and tries to look at the papers while Haleth and Enna guard the door.

Enna hears goblin voices in the gaol to the north. She shouts in to Ilwyn, asking him what the goblins are calling about. The goblin picks up the key and walks out.

Naram looks through the papers. It is a list of goblins and things that someone is collecting: a manifest of equipment and labour. There are question marks next to everything except the goblins. Naram pockets the papers and walks out.

Ilwyn is too far away from the gaol to hear anything. So the goblin swaggers over to the building, declaring ‘the boss is here’. There are four cells inside with bars. Ten goblins squat behind the bars.

One large goblin says grimly ‘who are you?’

’I’m Ilwyn’.

‘Help us break down the bars,’ replies the big goblin. It seems less afraid than the others.

‘I shall free you if you signal the uprising of the goblins,’ says Ilwyn.

Then the big goblin grabs the bars of his cage and slowly begins to bend them. His face is strained as he works the iron bars. he calls to Ilwyn to ‘let him out or he will feel the power of the goblins.’

This goblin isn’t intimidated by Ilwyn, or at all awed. He says to the others ‘Iraz Stoneshanks will get you out of this’.

Naram steps in and asks the goblin about the shard. A voice comes back from Iraz, saying ‘We are the shard and the shard are us. My tribe is the shard.’

Naram inquires further, asking the gobln’s intent once he is free from the cage.

The goblin is suddenly not so sure and doesn’t know what to do.

Naram digs further as to the meaning of the shard.

Iraz is not sure what the question means. A mind-image comes back of a test of strength by which goblins become leaders. Iraz has not yet passed the test, as the occupation began before he could pass it. But he believes that knowledge of the shard comes with passing the test.

Naram asks Ilwyn to free the goblins.

View
Icehome
The realm of the Stoneshanks

The drow are marching towards the party down a road as Enna opens up with her first volley.

The Drider charges Haleth. It spits at him with poisonous fangs, but Haleth’s shield fends it off. He recognizes it as a Drider Fanglord, carrying a greatsword. The Drow fire poisoned crossbow bolts at Haleth, but again they are deflected by his armour.

Then a drow utters a prayer and dark fire erupts around Haleth marking him out as an easy target for the dark elves.

Enna strikes the fanglord twice with arrows, hurting it badly. Haleth folows up with a blow that bloodies the monster.

Naram disheartens the Drow, who seem to find themselves in a desperate state. His dream form lashes out at the drider and a drow.

The chained goblins seem to be fighting on behalf of their masters. in spite of being chained together, they charge at Caecius.

A long range crossbow shot hits Haleth on the arm, and he feels the poison start to enter his bloodstream, weakening him.

Now the Drow’s dark fire surrounds Caecius, who is marked for enemy fire.

Ilwyn launches a dagger at the goblins and drow around him. The goblins go down along with the drow. The Drider, having taken a huge amount of damage under the onslaught, looks in danger.

The furthest pair of goblins see this death. One of them enthusiastically attacks a nearby drow, dragging its chained partner with it along the floor.

A drow now attacks Caecius, who is wreathed in dark fire. However, the dark elf misses.

The drider attacks Ilwyn, but Haleth distracts the monster, causing it to miss the goblin. Then the drider rears up and launches a web at Haleth, restraining him. Finally, it lashes out with a greatsword, cutting into Haleth.

Enna aims at the drider, sending an arrow deep into its vitals. It keels over to the floor.

Haleth pulls a Drow towards him, hitting it and then flexing his muscles to try and break the sticky webs around him. However, he remains stuck. Meanwhile, Caecius charges the two far Drow being attacked by the chained goblins, grabbing and pulling one of the dark elves to the ground.

Naram’s dream form is cut down by the drow nearest Haleth as it tries to go past. So Naram brings down a psychic anomaly on it. The drow on the ground gets up and strikes at Caecius with her rapier, but it bounces off the Genasi’s armour.

One of the remaining goblins tries to drag his companion away from the fight but fails.

As Naram’s anomaly pushes the bloodied drow about, Ilwyn strikes, hurting her badly. She lashes out at Haleth, before running away. But Haleth manages to slice her head off before she can run a step.

The drow warrior grabbed by Caecius tries to break free and succeed in disentangling herself from the warlord’s spear. She coats him in dark fire before striking with a rapier, hurting him badly with her poisoned weapon.

Enna, stepping lightly over the drider’s corpse, singles out one of the drow standing by Caecius. It is cursing in gutteral elvish, the language of the dark elves. She launches a brace of arrows into the drow, hitting a weak spot and staggering the cursing elf.

Caecius then knocks the bloodied drow back towards the goblin slaves. Its corpse lands on one of the goblins, killing it outright.

Naram distracts the last drow still standing. Swapping place with his dream form he moves closer to the dark elf.

The last goblin tries to break its chains and succeeds. It begins to crawl away.

Ilwyn steps in to bloody the last drow. The elf tries to run away but Ilwyn and Caecius cuts her down.

Naram orders the last living goblin to stop running away. It acquiesces.

The team has made short work of a slave patrol.

Naram orders Ilwyn to interrogate the goblin. Ilwyn tries to talk to it, but the goblin does not respond. It lies on the ground, weeping in fear. It cries out that ‘the boss will kill me now’.

Haleth intimidates the goblin. Cowed, it relays a story about how its village has been taken over by the drow. They have kept the village in chains ever since.

‘Yes, boss there. Giants there. Filthy drow there. We cut down trees. We make wood.’

Naram psychically removes the goblin’s chains. The goblin appreciates this. Naram then sends the goblin on his way. As the creature stands there blinking, unsure what to do, Ilwyn waves the goblin away.

The goblin says ‘seek out the Stoneshanks family in the village,’ then runs.

Rifling through the bodies Caecius finds two poison sacs in the drider’s corpse. He salvages them.

The party head to the village. As they approach they can hear trees being felled for wood.

There is a large clearing around the village, which appears to have a new palisade and ditch around it. Near the gates are some bigger goblins, using wolves to haul timber. Some of the goblins doing the work are female. Even goblin children are at work. There’s no sign of work stopping.

On the gate is a skull with a sign beneath, saying ‘Icehome’.

The party walk toward the gates, and seem to be ignored by the locals. Looking through the gates they notice tables set up outside. Goblins are sitting and eating communally in the outdoors.

Naram and Ilwyn approach some goblins for information. They are suspicious of Naram and Ilwyn, but eventually open up, particularly with the aid of some money.

It seems the timber is being used to reinforced the village defences. But more timber than necessary is being cut.

They ask about the Stoneshanks family. A goblin whispers that things have been terrible since the drow attacked, accompanied by one-eyed giants. The Stoneshanks were leaders of the tribe and led a rebellion. It was on the point of succeeding when the drow were reinforced by more cyclopses who turned things around. Villagers were killed, including most of the Stoneshanks. The rest of the rebels were shipped downriver along with the wood.

The goblins make fearful glances towards the south end of the village. It seems that the boss lives in the south of the village.

Naram warns the goblins to stay away from the south. But he offers gold to any goblins who will stand and fight the drow and cyclops.

The goblins mutter something about something named Gorfal. They recommend the party talk to Graankh, a goblin by the gates. Gorfal is a terrible person or thing that troublemakers that get sent to and it’s clear the goblins want nothing to do with it.

They go to Graankh. He’s by the gate and is a little taller than the other goblins. It seems that size and strength define status amongst the wretched goblin peoples. Graankh wears fine black leathers. Ilwyn asks what is going on. Graankh preens a little and is flattered by the Goblin’s attention.

He notes that Stoneshanks were strong goblins, but the old boss had two children that were sent to Gorfal.

Ilwyn offers the party’s services to help combat Gorfal. Graankh does not want to get on board with the scheme.

Ilwyn sees a crying young female goblin. Going over to her she introduces herself as Lurgi. She says that her friends have been taken away and she fears for them. It turns out that her friends are the Stoneshanks children, their heirs of the tribe. They have been sent to Gorfal, a boy and a girl.

She says that the power of the shard runs through the Stoneshanks family and they should not be displaced from power.

There is a dwarf in the village. Sitting at a table, being ignored by the goblins. Naram approaches. The dwarf introduces himself as Hurkon. He is a powerful slave owner and had come to the village to buy slaves from the goblin council elders. However, he has had no luck, was captured by the drow, and is now working as a woodcutter to make ends meet. He seems happy to help the party liberate the village.

He says not to trust Graankh. Graankh handed Hurkon over to the drow. Graankh wanted the slaves for himself, but instead they were press-ganged into service by the drow.

Hurkon also says that the party can expect to be attacked by drow and cyclopses if they go to the south of the village. Naram tells him that things will be kicking off soon.

View
Heading South
Into the goblin lands

Amidst the wreckage of the tower the party find many things.

Enna finds a suit of sylvan leather armour. She tries it on and the enchantments upon it means it shifts and changes shape to fit her like a glove.

Naram picks out a spell book with Mondrar’s writings on blood magic.

Ilwyn finds a fist-sized blood red Carnelion. This is a ring with a flaw that looks like a demon. It has no magical properties but Naram thinks it is probably used as a focus for summoning the blood demon.

Haleth picks up a legendary artifact: Archibald Gary’s longsword: an oathblade.

Now that the fight is over, Naram lets the remaining goblins go free, opening the magical lock on their cage and walking away. The few goblins left stumble jerkily out of their cage.

Ilwyn finds a rucksack in the pile of rubble on the second floor. It clinks. There are five potions of vitality inside. He distributes them around.

Back on the ground floor Enna can again detect a slithery noise of something moving around under the stones.

The party returns to the boat. It is moored to a rock. Everyone decides to have a proper rest and recover their strength. They set a watch.

That night Enna is visited in a dream by her goddess, the Lady Angharradh. The goddess tells her that her recent fight against the vampires is part of the bigger story in the world, and that the forces of good grow increasingly concerned about the sudden rush of interest in the shard, and ancient legends such as the Tides of Blood.

Then the goddess reassures the elf that she should be content to let her concerns about the priesthood and the Isle of Adraan rest a short while, as undead attacks have suddenly increased right across the Forgotten Realms.

Enna asks: ‘So what can I do here?’

Angharradh replies that the Horizon Walker should focus on the quest for the shard. However, the sudden raids of undead are of great concern, and Brone, the escaped vampire, is known to be a figure of importance…

As the party sleeps, Naram exchanges information with the distant Elgold.

Naram tells the wizard that Mondrar was crazy and had to be killed. However, he had recovered the mage’s books on blood magic. Now they are going to find goblin camp and investigate the weird things happening there.

The party intend to get to the goblin camp. There is a path inland though some low scrubby forest. A distant haze of smoke above the trees in the distance indicate where the goblins are.

They come across one of the goblins from the tower dragging itself alongside the road.

When Haleth goes to help it, it says. “Leave me alone. Everything’s gone wrong. Must see the boss.”

When Ilwyn asks it a question, it says: “Must return to boss. Probably end up as a slave to the boss again.”

Ilwyn asks about the boss. It just keeps repeating and muttering some line about the boss.

Now Enna picks up the smell of burning. She spies a smog lying over the trees to the south. She notices that the ground has been disturbed. Many booted feet and heavily-laden wagons have gone along the path in both ways.

As they head south they encounter a bunch of goblins who cower at their presence. Ilwyn talks to them, then licks his blade in front of them in some brutish way of impressing them.

This works, as the goblins declare they are following Ilwyn as their new boss.

The party heads southeast. The path opens up into a slight clearing. Lengths of discarded chain can be seen beside the road.

Then they see a load of goblin slaves chained together. They spot four drow warriors carrying swords. Then they see a huge half-spider half-drow creature, known as a Drider.

The Drow are surprised.

While Caecius jockeys for position, Enna gets a surprise shot off that harms the leading Drow woman.

Naram raises his mind shroud. Haleth rushes into a position that gives him cover and Ilwyn hides…

View
Insane in the Brain
Insane in the membrain

Enna skims the notes on Elven and eladrin magic, but doesn’t get far. It is all beyond her.

Naram reads further about the blood pacts. He reads a section about making servants who walk the dark paths. An engraving shows an animated assembly of limbs. This hints at the purpose of the pit.

The shardmind reads a note in the margin. It indicates that dissecting an elven brain might lead to insights into the Feywild and elven magic. Enna is somewhat unnerved by this news. Caecius opines that someone is experimenting in an attempt to learn how to fey step.

Taking no chances, Enna uses the radiant oil to burn all the limbs in the pit. Smoke rises from the pit. Then Enna hears a loud thump from the room above as if something heavy was knocked over.

Ilwyn and Caecius try to clear the furniture out from where it blocks the stairwell upwards.

Naram looks again at the voyages to the Feywild book. It talks about the abilities intrinsic to the Elves and Eladrin and where they may be found anatomically in the Fey physiology.

Enough furniture is cleared from the stairwell to squeeze through to the floor above. Ilwyn goes on ahead. He can look into the room with the goblins. There is a big pit with green ooze in the middle of the room. On the far side of the pit is a glass vessel full of fluid, containing a brain. There are green glowing crystals for eyes on the vessel. It floats just above the ground.

Ilwyn stealthily backs down to the floor below and describes the creature to the others.

Haleth realizes that this is a brain in a jar. These is a being that has tried to cheat death by alchemical means. The brains are often malevolent. The fluid in their jar can often be distilled into an elixir of power.

There is a tang in the air as if something magical was happening in the floor above. Moments later blood runs down the walls from the cracks in the ceiling.

Ilwyn tries to lick the blood only to realize it was not there. The blood turns out to be an illusion.

Fearing what the brain might do to an elf, Enna turns up her hood to disguise her ears.

Naram goes up the stairs and sends a psychic message of greeting to the brain.

For those below things all go quiet.

Haleth goes up to check on Naram. He sticks his head round the stairs. Naram is lying down in the green pit, looking badly dazed. Bolts of power come out from the brain in the jar, shooting into Naram.

Haleth gives a warning shout and charges forward, attacking the brain. He misses, but bounces off the jar, forcing it to slosh about.

It screams a psychic message: “New food! New supplies! Let me go and get my servants!” Then it disappears.

Naram wakes up, slightly hurt. He seems to be immersed in elbalming fluid. The goblins in their cages cower and back away from Naram and Haleth.

Ilwyn sneaks up the stairs, followed by Enna and Caecius. They see that Haleth is rooted to the spot and cannot move from the waist down.

As a goblin sees Enna, it shouts: “It’s an elf woman! The elves hurt us!” It starts screaming and weeping.

Naram psychically asks the goblins what they are doing here, backing it with threats.

One goblin is clearly afraid of the memory of a wizard figure figure with a sword.

“Is this Mondrar?” sends Naram. But the goblin replies with fear. He has a memory of elves coming to a goblin village and then being sent out from the village. The creature keeps babbling about a ‘boss’ who is responsible for them being sent forth. This boss appears to be a pair of identical goblins. The goblin village seems to be called Icehome, the village that Drek had mentioned. It is in the middle of the island.

Naram gets frustrated with the conversation and snuffs out the goblin’s mind. Then he starts to march off and climbs the stairs, after the brain. Ilwyn follows.

Enna goes over to Haleth and helps him recover from his strange paralysis. As she does this Caecius sees a rucksack sticking out of a pile of rubble in the corner of the room.

Naram goes up the stairs and sees the brain in a jar: the remains of Mondrar. It sits next to the animated body of a wizard which has had its brain removed. In the corners a number of Frankensteined undead goblins stand. Bookcases stand in the corner of the room.

The others come up the stairs after Naram.

Mondrar cackles something telepathic to Naram about ‘Fresh meat! This will show Elgold’.

Naram replies ‘Elgold is not here! We have come on his behalf. Explain yourself!’

Mondrar sends something about dissecting Elgold’s brain. He commands his creatures to capture and dissect the party.

Enna and Haleth realize that the goblins are cadaver golems, constructed from pieces of other creatures. They are very strong. The body of Mondrar is an Arcanian Blood Mage, dead but animated by elemental energy. It detests the warmth in the world and wishes to drown creatures in blood.

Ilwyn runs at a golem and makes a tortuous strike, doing much damage.

The brain floats towards Naram and strikes. But this time cannot overwhelm Naram’s will. Nor can it affect Ilwyn, who is currently attacking a Golem.

Naram erects a force barricade around Mondrar’s body. Then manages to immobilize the Brain in a Jar, before hurling it into a golem. The jar is surrounded by the party and it topples over.

A golem charges Naram but misses. The second golem strikes at Ilwyn. Enna launches a volley of flying steel at the goblin. Haleth drags one of the golems onto him, hitting that and the brain for good damage.

Mondrar’s body launches a tide of blood against the force barricade to try and destroy it. As it does this the brain teleports to safety and tries to attack Enna, but she shrugs it off. Then it uses its psychic powers to send Ilwyn scurrying away. Naram conjures some lightning motes next to the brain.

A golem rushes towards Enna and pounds on her. Enna, dazed, shoots back but cannot do much.

Caecius charges the brain, cracking its glass slightly. Ilwyn, now freed from mind control, comes back up the stairs and launches a blinding barrage.

However, the brain now dominates Caecius.

Enna finishes off one golem and then nocks another arrow to crack the brain’s jar even more. Mondrar’s body forms a blood demon as the wizard busts down the barrier. The demon shouts about how Brone told Mondrar he could handle this. Then the blood demon charges Enna.

As she fights off the demon Enna notices a suit of leather elven armour in brown and grey in the corner of the room. To Enna it shines like the moon on a midsummer’s night even as the eyes of the others pass over it. Ilwyn runs past the demon to try and flank it, but is knocked prone. As he is bloodied, the Demon gets larger and more powerful.

A golem attacks Haleth and the dream form, missing the psychic emanation but slamming Haleth.

Enna backs off from the demon, firing a radiant arrow into the fiend. It seems to shift, reacting to the damage, as if it learned to resist the damage. It seems to like taking damage.

The demon launches a stream of burning blood that sizzles on the skin of those near it. It seems to be growing stronger as it hurts and bloodies the party members. Caecius tries to heal the party members while Haleth engages the remaining golem.

Mondrar charges Ilwyn, shooting blood at him with his staff and hurling the goblin across the room.

The golem now charges Enna, slamming her so hard she is dazed. Haleth pulls the demon and golem off Enna, allowing the elf to shake off her dazed state carefully put an arrow into the demon’s eye, which badly hurts it.

Now Naram hits the demon with a psychic attack. It seems to change and flow, building a resistance to mental attacks instead of radiant.

The golem goblin batters at Haleth but cannot get past his shield.

Enna splits the tree, two arrows splitting mid-air, hurting the golem and shredding the demon with the other. As the demon unsummons, collapsing into a puddle, it shouts “To the abyss for all of you!”

Mondrar showers blood on Ilwyn again. Ilwyn responds by stabbing the blood mage in the head. Naram follows up.

Haleth slices off the golem’s head and rushes towards Mondrar. Naram finishes the mage off. At last everyone can rest.

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Who Let the Ooze Out?
Jelly and I scream

Around the room are goblin pieces. Limbs left lying alone on the floor. There is a pile of green gooey sludge in one corner. And there is the cube.

The Gluttonous Cube is a large beast, a great square of living jelly that swallows its food alive and dissolve it. Naram is inside, dazed and being attacked by the jelly’s acid.

Enna strikes the cube with a pair of arrows, damaging it. Then the elf notices a yellow substance drip down from the ceiling above her. She dances out of the way as a great ooze squeezes through a gap in the ceiling and glops down on the floor next to Caecius and Haleth. It is an Elemental Ooze and it strikes at Haleth with a jelly limb, missing the fighter.

Ilwyn dodges past the ooze but is slammed by fire, cold and lightning damage. He strikes with the butt of his dagger, doing something that knocks the ooze into brief unconsciousness. He strikes again, inflicting huge damage that shocks the ooze awake. It launches a backlash of energy that hurts everyone standing around it.

Naram teleports out of the embrace of the gluttonous cube. Then he summons a psychic anomaly and launches it towards the monster.

As he does this the green pile of sludge starts twitching and then rears up into a new ooze. It strikes out at Enna, injuring her.

Caecius yells an encouraging word at the injured Ilwyn and he directs Enna to step lightly out of the way of the ooze.

Naram uses his psychic anomaly to daze the gluttonous cube. However, even in a daze it is able to charge Ilwyn, trying to squish him against the wall. The goblin is immobilised.

Haleth tempts the oozes and cubes towards him. As they advance he slices at them, cutting chunks out of them. He then makes a covered attack against the cube. Following the fighter’s cue, Enna steps through the feywild and launches an arrow into the cube.

The injured ooze tries to shift towards Caecius. Haleth strikes at it, doing more damage. It flows around Caecius to flank him.

Ilwyn uses his gloves of dimensional grasp to open a portal inside the cube and pour half a bottle of scorpion poison into the middle of the cube, making it shudder and shake.

Naram commands his dream form to launch a dreamblade psychic attack on the cube and the second ooze. The ooze launches an elemental backlash attack that snuffs out the dream form, making it wink into nothingness. The second ooze tries to slam at Caecius and misses.

Yet another elemental ooze slithers down the stairs to join the battle.

Caecius charges the cube, flattening it. Rebounding, the cube strikes at Caecius, engulfing him. But the Genasi uses his Ring of the Dwarf Lord to avoid being pulled into the cube. The cube tries again, engulfing Haleth and beginning to dissolve him. Enna launches a mighty arrow into the cube, shooting off a corner of the great jelly.

Ilwyn is still immobilized from being squished. He uses his trickster’s blade against an ooze. He destroys it, causing it to explode, showering elemental goo everywhere. This does enormous damage to the cube, the ooze and Caecius.

One of the remaining oozes charges Ilwyn, but the goblin defends himself with his shield. Caecius charges this ooze and hurts it, again making elemental magic explode in all directions.

Caecius realizes these oozes have been feeding on magical energy.

Now the cube tries to engulf Enna. She is sucked into the cube alongside Haleth, and starts to take damage from the acids in the jelly. The cube tries to slither off with its meal.

Haleth tries to break free of the cube. He wrenches free and attacks the cube with a tide of iron. It destroys the cube.

Enna, now freed, draws her bow and splits the tree on the oozes. While shooting she sees something yellow out of the corner of her eye, moving beneath the cracks in the floor below. However, she continues to pump arrows into the most injured ooze until it expires.

Naram launches a psychic attack on one of the remaining oozes. Ilwyn strikes with his walking wounded attack, which makes the ooze explode. Enna reacts, using an arrow to earth some of the elemental energy before it can kill Caecius, who is hurled into a nearby wall.

The last ooze chases after Caecius. The Genasi stands up, inspires himself to slough off the pain, and drives his spear into the monster, but fails to hurt it. Haleth and Enna both attack the ooze. Then Naram hits the thing, squelching it.

Everyone can hear something slithering below the floor. Naram suggests everyone wait outside the tower. They all go out and have a rest. Having taken the time to patch themselves up, they go back in, resolving to avoid the corner where the oozes beneath the floor are.

Inside one of the oozes they find a book about demonic blood pacts. This book tells how the blood of demons can be harnessed.

Naram can still sense a malevolent mind above his head. But the effect is weaker now. Is it climbing the tower?

The circular stairs climb upwards. they are slimed and dirty.

Ilwyn sneaks up first. He sees a room that stinks. It is dark in there. There’s a bookcase in the northwestern corner and chests and boxes in the far corner, near to a pit. The stairs further up are blocked by furniture and slimed timbers.

Enna goes over to the pit to take a look. It is full of dismembered goblin limbs. Some have been cleanly severed as if by an exceptionally sharp blade. Enna calls Ilwyn over to open the chests and boxes.

The goblin unlocks the chest. Inside is a handful of copper pieces and a bundle of notes about ‘Elven and Eladrin magic, voyages to the Feywild’.

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Tortured Goblins? Excellent!
Tossing on the Crossing

With vines holding the materials in place, Caecius and Enna quickly look for stores to help hold back the water for longer. Salvaging nails and adhesive from the rest of the ship, the pair manage to patch the hole. Caecius reckons it will last at least four hours; enough time to find a safe mooring and conduct full repairs.

Above deck Haleth swiftly uncouples the party’s ship from the pirates’ vessel, which quickly sinks into the depths. After surveying for any extra damage, the heroes determine their ship is seaworthy. Naram returns to the engine room while Haleth mans the rudder. Enna keeps lookout while Caecius and Ilwyn perform all the other necessary duties.

In the distance Enna spies a gathering of trees, near to which was an inlet where she believes the boat could be anchored. Haleth steers in that direction and sure enough a small frozen beach heaves into view. The party anchors the boat and determines it is low tide. This is a perfect time to conduct repairs and rest before setting sail at high tide in the morning.

One of the two ship’s boats are cannibalised to provide the material necessary for full repair. After completing this task, the party hunkers down in the ship to avoid the cold and rest for the night.

Caecius sleeps badly, his dreams haunted by the laughing face of Brone. The vampire’s features morph into the undead horrors that were once Caecius’s old family. First the face of his adopted brother appears, then the broken, decrepit face of his mother.

‘Caecius, Caecius’, Brone laughs, ‘I have come back for you. Come, join your mother and I in the darkness – she longs to hold you in the cold dark for eternity.’

‘NO!’ screams Caecius as he jumps awake, jolting upright and grabbing his spear by pure reflex, pointing it menacingly into the cold darkness of the night. Enna, on watch, breaks from her trance and in a flash grabs her bow and nocks an arrow, expecting to see an assailant. Instead she is greeted with the cold deep stare of Caecius, breathing heavily, spear shaking in his hand while blood runs from the scar on his face.

‘Caecius, are you well?’ she asks. The words snap Caecius into consciousness and he touches his hand to his face. He stares at the blood now covering his hand, fear still resounding in his eyes.

The rest of the party wakes and tends to Caecius, calming him and attempting to find out what had scared the warlord to such a degree. A long conversation ensues about Caecius’s past, how his family and village were killed and how he was unable to stop his mother being turned into one of the horrors he is trained and sworn to destroy.

The rest of the night passes uneventfully. Caecius manages to sleep although his slumber is far from restful. In the morning the party set out on the boat towards a large stone tower that Enna has spotted in the distance. It takes a few hours to reach and once there, the boat again drops anchor.

It is assumed that this tower is that of Mondrar, the blood mage that Elgold had told the party about. They stride confidently up to the tower but are taken aback by the dismembered corpse of a goblin lying on the floor in front of the edifice. Concerned, Ilwyn swiftly goes to check the body, however he discovers that it is merely a low caste goblin and his fears quickly leave. He is, however, intrigued and calls upon the magic in his wallwalker boots to allow him to scale up to the nearest window of the tower.

Looking in, he sees many goblins in a cage. Not one of them looks healthy and many are nearly dead. Naram uses his telepathy to relay this information to the party who deduce that Mondrar is simply using the feeble goblins for his blood magic. Haleth then roars a mighty greeting, hoping to get the attention of the blood mage. The only reaction is from the goblins who scream and cower in fear, begging not to be hurt. Ilwyn is confused by this reaction and attempts to talk to the goblins to get some information. Again the goblins scream but they look not in the direction of Ilwyn, but to a corner out of the rogue’s vision. The goblins continue to scream, apart from one whose face shows no emotion. It turns, wraps its hands around one of its fellow prisoners neck and proceeds to throttle it to death.

Ilwyn thrusts an arm through the window, attempting to make his dagger connect with whatever evil force is in the room. However all that happens is a burning power thrusts itself into his mind.

From the ground, the rest of the party watch on in a mixture of horror and amusement as Ilwyn throws himself from the wall and lands with a heavy thud on the path below. Quizzing the goblin it is clear that he did not do this of his own volition. Naram concentrates and is able to sense the presence of a powerful malevolent mind.

‘Haleth, something evil and powerful inhabits this tower. Take the door down!’ the shardmind exclaims.

Haleth and Ilwyn duly smash the door down to reveal a largely empty room. There is a patch of green goo on the floor and a large metal plate to the north. The south contains a stairwell going up and a pile of refuse.

Naram investigates the metal plate but is unable to determine anything about it. He asks Ilwyn to stand on it, but the goblin thinks it more prudent to throw something onto it instead. He gets the arm of the dismembered goblin from outside, dunks it in the green goo just for fun and then hurls it onto the metal plate. Curiously it doesn’t land, but floats a foot or so off the floor. Naram immediately attempts to discern what magic had caused this, but is unable to detect any. As he muses quizzically over the occurrence, he is suddenly enveloped by an invisible force. Now himself suspended in mid air, he lets loose a mental sigh and thinks: ‘Of course, it’s a Gelatinous Cube.’

He and the rest of the party ready themselves for combat.

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Pirates!
Frigging in the rigging

The pirate ship is floating just above the water; an astral vessel drawn across the planes by the power of the golem heart. It is around a third faster than the heroes’ ship and closing fast.

As the crew scramble to battle stations, Enna calls for all hands below to come on deck and fires an arrow at the pirates, which sails wide. A githyanki psychic, known as a ‘thought arrow’, launches a mental attack that staggers Haleth, who was trying to lash the tiller firmly on the ship’s current course.

Another thought arrow sends a psychic bolt at Ilwyn, forcing him over a railing, threatening to drop him in the sea. He throws a grappling hook which hooks onto a spar and instead of plunging into the icy sea he swings around and flips himself back onto the deck.

Naram, hearing the commotion, sighs and stops powering the ship. He comes up on deck.

The pirate reaver captain, Captain Thaal, is a tall member of the gith race in black leather armour. He stands on deck, ordering his crew around. He shouts at them to bring the astral vessel alongside as the heroes’ ship slows down.

Haleth is hit by another psychic bolt, forcing him to crawl away, holding his head in anguish.

Ilwyn tries to make a mighty leap to the pirate ship, but he cannot jump far enough and belly flops into the water. A githyanki reaver tries to walk out onto a spar of the pirate ship to get a good shot at the goblin. He runs along the spar and slips and falls off and lands near Ilwyn.

Enna sends off two arrows as fast as thought and takes down one of the githyanki thought arrows, felling her to the deck.

Another thought arrow aims for Ilwyn in the water, loosing a psychic bolt. He is overwhelmed by the attack and drops like a stone in the water.

Naram creates a force barricade to protect those heroes in the bows and calls out psychically to the gith captain, offering him the chance to turn and flee or face a mental power greater than his own. Captain Thaal laughs and says he will flay the heroes alive.

Another psychic attack is launched at Ilwyn, who is now drowning beneath the water. With his strength failing the goblin pops up to the surface. From the water he launches a grapple on a rope to grab a cleat. Then he hauls himself out of the water onto the deck of the pirate ship. Then he launches himself at Captain Thaal, stabbing him viciously.

“See, this is what you get!” yells the goblin at the surprised captain.

The Githyanki who was in the water near Ilwyn leaps out of the sea and lands on the deck of the heroes’ ship.

Caecius orders Enna to fire and she hits two pirates in quick succession. Then she rapidly cuts down three more pirates before diving for safety behind the force barrier.

A pirate comes up behind Ilwyn, using a telekinetic aura power to slow him.

Another githyanki flies across from the pirates’ ship, attacking Enna. Its aura starts to slow her also.

Now Naram drops a hypnotic pulse of psychic influence on Ilwyn, felling two pirates and dazing Captain Thaal. Then the shardmind drops malicious lightning on Thaal, surrounding him with motes of lightning.

Thaal tries to make a break for it, realizing he may be outmatched. Ilwyn catches him a grievous blow in passing.

A reaver blade dances across the deck top engage Ilwyn, hurting him badly. The remaining thought arrow fires a psychic bolt at the goblin, forcing him to stagger into the lightning motes. He starts dying, but the Medallion of Death Deferred revives him and he crawls out of the melee, still stunned.

Meanwhile a dazed Captain Thall draws and drinks a potion, seeming to recover some of his strength.

A pirate reaver next to Haleth attacks the fighter with a dancing blade. Caecius drops to one knee and spears the pirate next to Enna, pushing him overboard. The corpse splashes into the water below where Captain Thaal stands.

Enna steps through the feywild to stand on a yardarm of the pirate ship, marking Captain Thaal for death and launching a deadly arrow into his throat. As he falls down to the deck Naram send a thought into the captain’s dying mind, saying: ‘Told you’. One of the few remaining pirates charges Enna along a beam, striking her.

Naram manages to puppet the pirate reaver on the enemy ship, flinging him into the air and across the deck. From prone the reaver throws his magic sword at Enna, hurting her.

The last thought arrow concentrates on Enna. Her psychic blast knocks Enna off the yard, but she grabs a rope, swings and lands stylishly back on the yard on her feet, giving a brief bow.

Ilwyn, still dazed and prone on the pirate ship, crawls over to the reaver to try and push him over, but cannot do any damage. Caecius charges the reaver on the heroes’ ship, flattening him to the deck.

At this point the two ships crash together. Naram and one of the reavers are knocked to the floor.

Enna tries to back off and shoot an arrow at the pirate near her, but its telekinetic field protects it from the arrows. The githyanki charges at Enna on the yard but fails.

Haleth hacks at the reaver near him, dealing it a great injury.

Naram puppets the prone reaver and hurls him into the lightning motes, which start to fry it.

The last thought arrow hits Enna with a psychic bolt and knocks her off the yardarm. She falls but her reflexes are such that she lands lightly on her feet.

Caecius commands Enna shoot at the pirate on the yardarm. She hits with such deadly force that she evaporates a hole in the gith’s chest. He looks down and realizes he is dead before falling off the yardarm.

Enna rushes over to the stern of the ship. She realizes that there is a rushing noise and both vessels are shipping water where spars have holed the hull.

Enna then nocks an arrow and takes out the remaining thought arrow.

Naram is still throwing the reaver around, hurling it into Ilwyn. Ilwyn strikes the reaver near the motes, killing it.

The last githyanki, a reaver facing Haleth, strikes out at the fighter.
Haleth finishes the last githyanki off.

The deck of the heroes’ ship is listing slightly. the pirate ship is settled in the water and sinking even faster.

Naram goes below and retrieves the golem heart. He can see there’s a hole six feet wide in the hull.

Ilwyn looks below the decks of the flimsy pirate vessel, which was unable to withstand the impact. It is clearly going to sink. He sees Captain Thaal’s body floating past. He notices the fine leather gloves the gthyanki wears. and strips the body of the gloves.

Enna goes down to try and find materials to plug the hole in the hull of the ship.

Haleth tries to deploy a lifeboat into the water.

Naram holds planks against the hole while Enna tries to stuff it with cloth and bedrolls. Caecius magically raises vines with his enchanted gloves to plug the gaps…

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Carry On, Sailor
All Crewed Up

The last of the vampires is slain. The mist starts to drift away on the nighttime breeze. Naram thinks the mist may have been magical, an artifact of the vampires’ magic.

The party searches the bodies. On them they find some gothic jewellery worth around a thousand gold. The heroes then begin to stake and burn those vampire corpses that hadn’t crumbled into dust. They start a bonfire away from the camp. Once the bodies have been piled and a flame lit, Enna hurls her flask of radiant oil onto the pyre to incinerate them. It burns with a vivid magnesium light, dissolving the bodies. The shadows of the vampire spirits writhe in the flames then vapourize.

Enna asks: ‘Who is this Brone? He said he wanted the golem heart for his master.’

Naram notes that the party needs the golem heart to power the giants’ ship. Enna suggests that they secure the ship. Also that they try and gather more supplies before setting off.

But first the party takes some time to sleep. While everyone else rests Naram tries to organise a message to Elgold. Naram broadcasts a psychic message. ‘Do you know where we are? We have boat. Need directions to island of fire and ice and length of journey,’ he asks.

Elgold replies: ‘Wazzat? It’s very early. How inconsiderate. Have plan, will wake up first and tell you later.’

The party wake and break their fast. Enna notices the group are being watched by a bird similar to a blackbird. It is bedraggled and tired and seems to have flown a long way. It is peering at them.

Enna indicates the bird to the others and asks if Naram can do anything about it. Naram thinks there is something magical about it. It flies towards Enna twittering some kind of message.

Enna extends her arm and the bird flutters up and lands. Its twittering a message in common.

“Ah, I’ve woken up now.” It is the voice of Elgold. “I’ve found you.”

“You guys are still where I left you it seems.  Now, listen up. I have made some progress while you have been relaxing in the sunshine!

“It looks like you are on one of the unknown islands of the Southern Seas… the Sage here thinks there are a few uninhabited ones in the South Seas.  He asks if you’ll find a name for it so he can add it to his studies (even for me he seems pretty obsessed with books).

“You are about a week’s sail south of here.

“Now, the Island of ice and fire is rumoured to be 3 or 4 days sailing south of you.  Quickly the ocean will get cold and icy.  I hope you still have those furs you took with you!  Legend says that the pack ice is dangerous near the island, but that there is a a safe route through to the island.  So I’d head South.. South east a bit, and see how you get on.  

“Now, how to you turn this thing off? Tweet tweet!  Sorry…”

The bird regains its wits. Enna soothes it and feeds it some berries. Ilwyn wants to kill the bird but Enna refuses to let him. The elf and goblin squabble for a while.

Eventually the party head east. They head towards the ship and the remaining tents of the camp.

Enna wonders how the vampires got to the island. How could they have crossed the water? Then she remembers how desiccated the giant corpses were. Had they been drained of blood and energy?

They reach the boat. It is as they left it, with the giant corpses around. These ones do not look desiccated.

They walk up the gangplank onto the boat.

Before they leave land Haleth burns the giant bodies. He coerces Ilwyn to giving him a helping hand.

Enna goes up onto the boat to do a search. Naram follows to do a magical sweep. He notes there’s a big heavy tiller at the back of the ship that will take some effort to use. Naram can feel the magical field of the ship’s engine searching out for a magical power source.

Enna explores the ship looking into nooks and crannies. The top deck appears clear. She peers downstairs and all looks okay. The elf goes down into ship to the lower deck and opens a window. Nothing has changed while the party has been gone. The air is foul. Gnawed food is lying about. There’s a case of wine in the corner.

Enna searches the lower deck, airing the deck by opening the windows. Still she finds nothing. She takes time to clean up the deck.

Naram goes down into the ship. He finds the pedestal where the power source for the ship goes and prepares to put the golem heart on it. He can see an incantation carved on the rim of the pedestal bowl. He reads the symbols and realizes that by concentrating he can empower the ship to move.

He places the golem heart on the pedestal. It starts to glow. He concentrates on it and feels a response from the device. Feeling with his mind he tires to concentrate and power the ship to move. However, he soon learns his concentration will only power the ship, not steer it.

Naram tries to control the boat from the deck, but this doesn’t work very well. He says he needs to be near the power source to control the ship and it will take all his concentration. Others will have to steer, probably Haleth, as he’s the strongest. Enna will act as lookout. She can smell the wind and determine the direction of travel. Her affinity with nature will allow her to navigate. Ilwyn acts as message runner between the helm and magical engine.

Before the party sets off, they forage for food. Enna goes off and hunts for game. Haleth rigs some fishing line and catches some reef fish. Enna manages to bring back some squirrels and more berries. Ilwyn dives into the sea and gathers some shellfish, including some pearl oysters. Caecius manages to spear some fish.

Now the party has acquired another six days of supplies.

Everyone takes their positions. Naram concentrates and starts the magic. The ship begins to move. Once under way it is even faster than a sailing ship. Enna sniffs the wind and checks the position of the sun and shouts a new course to Haleth.

The boat flits across the waves. Enna is able to direct Haleth to steer the ship past turbulent areas of sea. Ilwyn acts as runner, passing information back and forth.

As the hours pass, everyone’s spirits are kept up. But as darkness comes, folks become weary. Enna notices the anchor at the stern of the boat. Caecus tosses it overboard. He struggles to keep a hold of it as he tosses it over the side. Haleth helps prevent him going overboard. Both are hanging off the back of the ship, trying not to fall in. Haleth is trying not to release his grip on the boat. Eventually Caecius flies up and everyone is safe in the boat. With the anchor down they get a night’s sleep. Watches are set for the night, but it passes uneventfully.

The next day the boat ups-anchor and sails away. Things are getting cold. Ice forms on parts of the ship. Everyone breaks the furs out.

The ship continues SSE. Enna sees land. The islands look like offshore islands. But now new icy rocks can be seen further south. Enna spots some pack ice.

Haleth is tiring. He has been wrestling with the tiller a long time.

There is a gap between the islands and the more southerly rocks. Haleth steers for that gap. Enna can see seabirds to the south. They look like guillemots. She concludes they are near an icy landmass.

The sun is setting so everyone decides to anchor for the night. The anchor chain is let down again. It is tuning into a dark but starry night. Everyone tries to take a rest, wrapped in furs against the deep frost.

In the morning everyone rises and prepares to sail. Enna has trouble directing the boat through the rocky hazards. Its hull scrapes past some rocks.

At least the weather continues good and fine.

Then suddenlt there is an Earth-shattering noise, like thunder. They crew look around to the north. They can hear voices.

“Crew, throw these scurvy dogs over the side and seek out that golem heart!” says a voice.

A ship comes piling through the rift in the air. It is flying above the water. It appears to have come from the astral plane, piloted by gith and crewed by more than ten gith pirates.

Everyone prepares for battle.

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The Children of the Fog
Hags and Brone Men

The party leaves the tomb. They have been underground for too long and are out of food and water. They need to forage for supplies.

The door to room with the brazier of radiant oil is closed. No-one remembers it being shut, so Ilwyn cautiously pushes it open. Two oversized humanoid corpses lie on the ground. Their skin is charred, filling the room with the smell of burned flesh. They look like giants. Smoke rises gently over the brazier of radiant oil. Fumes come off it.

The party enters, ready for trouble. One of the charcoaled giants carries a mercenary badge. Another seems to carry the charred remains of a lantern. Caecius uses his spear to hook the lantern to safety. The party pieces together what happened. The lantern appears to have ignited the radiant oil, causing some kind of fireball. The radiant energy of the oil seems to have done great harm to the evil giants.

Caecius fills whatever flasks he has with the remaining oil. There is only a couple of pints left. One flask is handed over to Enna.

The door to the north has been hastily pulled-to and there is the smell of burning from that direction.

‘Did we get all the giants?’ asks Haleth, thinking that they must have cleared the island of the mercenaries.

‘Maybe it’s time to get the rest of them,’ comes the reply.

Ilwyn opens the door. A trail of bloody burnt footprints lead to the charred corpse of a giant. It seems to have staggered away from the fireball before collapsing. Beyond the fallen giant the late evening sunshine can be seen through a crack in the tomb’s outer door.

Haleth prods the corpse to ensure it’s dead. It is. Enna heads to the door and peeks out. She sees no giants; just a late misty evening.

Ilwyn and Enna go outside, followed by the rest of the group. They find some fresh water and fill up their water flasks. Enna scouts out into the wild and forages for food, finding a lot of nuts and berries. Haleth hunts some small game. Ilwyn traps a bird. Put together the foraging works out to 3 or 4 days of supplies.

The heroes set up camp and settle down for the night. Ilwyn, ever minded of security, sets some tripwires and traps around the camp.

In the night Enna, who is on watch, detects a distant buzzing. It is an uncomfortable low noise at a frequency that is barely audible. She alerts Naram, who like her does not sleep. Naram reaches out with his mind but does not detect anything in the night mist.

Enna, suspecting something is wrong, stalks out into the night. It is clammy, misty and cold. She tries to sneak but is not as quiet as she could be.

In the mist she sees a slender, pale female dressed in a dark shroud. The figure looks up and Enna realizes it is a vampire. The elf raises the alarm and draws her bow.

As she does so a well-dressed male vampire steps forward out of the mist.

At Enna’s shout the party rolls out of bed, grabbing their weapons.

Male vampire bows to the adventurers, saying: ‘How convenient. Grab your weapons, I would expect nothing else.’

‘What do you mean by “convenient”?’ asks Naram. ‘Why are you skulking here?’

’I’m not skulking. I’m enjoying the fine weather.’ says the vampire. ‘I thank you. I would have sent a thousand giants in to the tomb to get the prize there. But you have brought the golem heart out for me.’

The vampire woman slinks up to her companion and says: ‘Brone, can I have the juicy goblin?’

The vampire seems to ignore her, continuing: ‘I owe you a bit of civility after your part in my rise to power. After all, you killed my master.’

Then he chuckles. ‘Come, surrender. Why make this unpleasant?’

Caecius lifts off the ground and flies to the vampire, shouting that he should surrender to him.

‘So it’s going to be like this?’ says Brone, wearily. As Caecius closes the vampire draws twin blades and attacks.

The fight begins within a small circle surrounded by mist. The woman, a vampire night witch, rushes to Brone’s side to help him.

Brone charges, launching one attack at Caecius and dancing fluidly past to launch a second blow at Enna. He misses both attacks, but barely. Enna shifts out of the way but can hear movement to the west. She fires a radiant arrow into Brone, burning his flesh.

A dark-clothed undead, a vampire spawn, shambles out of the mist to attack Ilwyn. It reaches out to claw him.

Then Haleth rushes in, activating a bright light from his shield. He draws the vampires toward him and swipes at them, connecting with solid blows. Surprisingly, Brone laughs. He seems to be enjoying the hunt.

Ilwyn runs away from the vampire spawn, but is hurt slightly by its clawing attack. He rushes in and strikes Brone with a dagger, doing considerable damage.

Then another spawn comes out of the fog and claws at Naram. The shardmind disheartens the pair of spawn with the power of his mind and they collapse to the ground as piles of bones and rags. Now Naram’s dream form manifests, attacking both vampires with its dream blade, drawing blood.

The night witch woman claws at Haleth. She grabs hold of Haleth and looks into his eyes, trying to send him away by dominating his mind. He cannot help but obey and walks away.

A third spawn now comes charging out of the mist at Naram. It claws at the shardmind, scratching it. Yet another comes charging, and attacks the dream form.

Then another beautiful vampire night witch comes out of the fog. It looks at Haleth and commands him to come and play with her in the fog. This time Haleth resists, shouting: ’I’m about to play with you, witch bitch.’

Now a third night witch comes and beckons to Ilwyn, asking the goblin to come and dine with her. As his legs take him unbidden to the night witch the vampire bites him on the neck, trying to daze him with dark dreams. However, his coif of mind iron glows briefly and prevents him being dazed.

Caecius uses wolfpack tactics to move Enna to safety and utters a healing word to encourage Ilwyn. Another undead spawn appears charging from the fog and starts to claw at Ilwyn. It hits.

Brone seems to heal his wounds. He attacks Caecius, hitting and drawing blood. Then he steps in and hits Ilwyn with his second blade, doing serious damage. He pauses momentarily to lick the goblin’s blood off the blade.

Then Brone commands a night witch to help him eat the goblin.

Enna splits the tree, launching two arrows simultaneously at Brone and the night witch. Brone cuts the arrow headed for him out of the air but the other hits the witch, badly hurting her.

Brone shouts ‘Wait, my elven lady, we shall feast on you soon enough!’

Haleth draws a number of vampires and the shambling spawn in. He cuts down two of the spawn.

Then Ilwyn launches a cloud of steel daggers towards a number of the attackers. As he strikes the most badly-hurt vampire night witch with a blade, it disappears as if it was not there. Another dagger scores a critical against second vampire woman, causing her to hiss threateningly at the goblin.

Naram tries to dishearten Brone and one of the night witches with a mental curse. Then the shardmind hears a female voice calling him to join her in the fog. It is the witch that disappeared moments earlier, safely teleported away into the mist. He manages to resist the psychic damage of the attack, but he is lured into the mist and dazed.

The night witch now beckons to Enna. She is drawn to the creature in a daze and cannot resist.

Caecius sees the night witch that has drawn Naram into the mist. He charges and knocks it to the ground.

Brone stands up and his form starts changing his shape. He turns into a swarm of rats, which bite at Haleth. Enna recovers her wits enough to shoot at Brone’s swarm of rats. However, the vampire witch hits her as she takes the shot, knocking Enna spinning next to the mass of rats. The shot misses.

Haleth does a sweeping blow, hurting the rats and a nearby vampire witch. Then takes a disciplined stance against attack, shielding his mind against the vampire women.

Ilwyn makes a blinding barrage of flying daggers. It cuts more rats apart and blinds both vampires.

Naram tries to dishearten the attackers again. A night witch falls under the psychic onslaught. Brone’s pack of rats seem to go down under the attack but instead they change to become a blanket of mist. Haleth tries to attack the mist as it shifts away, disappearing into the fog.

The witch near Naram picks herself up and tries to bite him. Another witch walks up to Enna and tries to drink her blood. Enna shrieks and is weakened.

Caecius tracks back in the mist and shouts out his strength of conviction. Healing energy arcs out, healing many of the party.

Brone shouts from in the mist: ‘This is not over!’ as he fades away into the night.

Enna dances away from the witch who just bit her and draws on the arcane energy of the earth. She fires a radiant arrow into the vampire, burning her.

Haleth rushes up, making a covering attack. He hurts her but she shimmers and disappears.

Ilwyn rushes off in the direction of the remaining fight. He throws a blade into one of the remaining night witches, causing it to fountain blood and topple over. It is no more.

Caecius is attacked from behind, knocking him across the grass as a night witch re-materialises out of the mist. Caecius calls to Enna to take a shot. She fires, spinning it around and causing it to evaporate into a cloud of dust.

The battle has ended.

Experience

Experience b/f 33850 (level 12)
XP Gained : 895
Experience c/f 34745 (level 13 at 39000)

Kills

Brone, the Vampire (fled the scene)
Vampire Spawn x5
Vampire Night Witch x3

Quests

Minor quest : Replenished supplies, solved tomb puzzle.
Was not charmed or coerced by vampires (triggered attack with intimidating behaviour by Caecius)

Treasure

Rations for 4 days for the party (squirrel jerky, fillets of tropical pigeon, nuts and berries)

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