The Pursuit and the Halfling Zombies

What Happened:

The Red Stream Brigade came across the remnants of the half of the company that had gone after Therria, decimated not by her, but by a tribe of undead goblins. Quickly, Inquisitor Qallia had organized herself, Eltharion, Thralldin, Fasenar, and Dresh, as well as one of the surviving mercenaries that were sent running from the zombies. The six of them headed back on Therria’s trail towards the ruins to the north of Still Lake, where she was believed to be heading.

Soon into their journey, they ran across a wagon filled with metal men headed towards Edge. The metal men were new soldiers created by Pharos, the tiefling inventor in Three Streams. Moroseth had requested new town guards, and these were them.

The six travelled around Edge, not wanting to bother the town any more than was necessary, and made a quick stop at the abandoned tower where they first confronted Archie. Inside, they found Srakka, the chief of the goblin tribe that attacked Edge a few weeks ago. He was basically just depressed about losing his whole tribe, and spilled the beans that he had been bribed by Archie the imp to attack the town. He was given the seal of Pharos the inventor as a gift from Archie, suggesting that Archie was working on behalf of Pharos.

After dealing with Srakka, they marched on some more. They travelled for a day uneventfully, but the next day, in the late evening, they came across a halfling fishing raft washed ashore in some reeds.

It soon became apparent that the raft and surrounding waters were inhabited by a number of halfling zombies, along with a couple of ghouls, who attacked the party. They were pushed back into a nearby cave by the shore, where they found a surviving halfling, who was suffering under some cursed wound. Eltharion managed to heal the halfling enough to get his story out of him, and stabilize him until their surgeon, Hopper, could fix the issue. Meanwhile, with the help of Qallia, the others held the zombies at bay.

Special note: At one point during the fight, Fasenar cast detect magic, and saw that the entire lake around them.\ was glowing with necromantically animated life.

After the fight, the halfling reluctantly agreed to join up with their ragtag bunch of misfits, because his only other option was to make his way alone.

Unresolved Issues:

- What’s with those “Iron Troops” (as they were called) heading to Edge?

- The mercenaries, the halfling fishermen, and the heroes themselves all witnessed a lightning storm a day or two before all the zombies began to show up en masse.

- Is Therria a good guy or a bad guy? Maybe both?

Day 4
The Arrest and the Assault

What happened:

After a week of resting up, the party was summoned to the front gates of Edge by the loud blast of a warhorn. Coming out, they saw the banner of The Red Brigade, a mercenary company that Dresh used to fight with. Dresh was surprised to see that the former commander, Lord Buckwood, was not leading the brigade any longer, but instead it was Buckwood’s brother, Arkrasius. Thralldin was surprised to see that at Arkrasius’ side was Inquisitor Qallia, a famous warrior-cleric known for hunting down enemies of the Dawn war faith. Usually she’d be off fighting heretics or something, not leading mercenaries to a small town in the middle of nowhere.

The mercenaries asked (not kindly) for Therria to be brought to them or else they would burn the town to the ground. While Thralldin and Dresh delayed them, Eltharion slipped away to warn her. He found that she already knew they were coming and had packed up her things to bring with her once she was arrested. She told Eltharion not to cause a scene… at least in town. She also may have left some certain vials on her table in her home that she hopes he would find the opportunity to throw at certain foes.

As the mercenaries were leaving with Therria, one of them, a dwarf named Garrel recognized Dresh, and offered him the opportunity to join up with the brigade again. The party accepted, and they rode off to the town of Gush, right outside the Dwarven Highways, to track down a gnomish mage who was lord of the town, and wanted by the king of Septos.

On the way there, while stopped for the night, the party casually threw Therria’s vials into her prison cart for her, and made themselves scarce. They were not noticed, and Therria escaped later on in the night, not implicating the party at all. Arkrasius directed half of the mercenaries to go after her, and led the other half on towards Gush.

As the party of Dresh, Eltharion, and Thralldin was new meat, they were sent in first to assault his keep. Poncius, the gnome, started off the combat by hurling a fireball down onto them. The only one hit by it was a poor mercenary who had neglected to seek cover. Dresh responded by throwing the mercenary’s still burning body at the front door in an attempt to knock it down. As it burned from the smoldering body, Eltharion managed to pick the lock, and they made a grand entrance knocking the door wide open, surprising the dwarven guard inside. The dwarves had made a small barricade of furniture and other supplies, and were defending the door with crossbows, but they were quickly overcome by a combination of Dresh dropping a chandelier down behind them and the others pushing them back. As well, they were backed up by other mercenaries wielding hand-cannons, blasting the barricade to shreds.

Just as the last dwarf was slain trying to escape upstairs, the party heard a tumult of water pouring down the stairs. Only Thralldin had time to react as the others were struck with boiling water conjured up by Poncius. The gnome made a grand entrance, riding the ceiling down several floors, and blasting everyone who got close. Dresh jumped onto the chunk of ceiling and began to trade blows, and Eltharion snuck up behind to backstab. Poncius brought the slab of floor up a storey with the attempt to escape and leave Dresh and Eltharion behind, but Dresh and Eltharion managed to kill him at the same time. Unfortunately, that meant his magic failed, and the slab fell down a floor anyway with them aboard. The picked themselves up and were promoted by Arkrasius for their service to the brigade, and then ordered to put Poncius’ remains in a bag to bring back to Three Streams.

The Zombie and the Hook Horror

What Happened:

When the five heroes arrived at the Bulrushes Abbey, they handed over Moroseth’s letter and were invited to lunch. The remaining owner of the monster in the wagon parked it behind the stable, and joined as well.

Over lunch, the party overheard rumours that a bounty hunter was on their way to the abbey, where they would stay overnight before going on to Edge in the morning. Apparently there was a former member of the mages guild living in Edge, and this bounty hunter was bounty hunting them.

After lunch, the party was approached by the abbot and his second in command. The second in command, a friar, seemed hesitant, but the abbot was intent on asking for help. Leading the party to the catacombs, the party came upon a chained up undead goblin, who would’ve been half-drowned if it wasn’t already dead. The abbot explained that it had washed up on the lakeshore one morning, and they had managed to capture it and bring it down here.

Led by Dresh, the party decided to burn the creature’s body so it wasn’t a nuisance, and made a mental note to explore the ruins across the lake in the future.

Coming back above ground, the party was challenged with two issues. First, the could see a pillar of black smoke rising from Edge. But before they could muster their things and go to help put it out, they received word that Thud was waiting for them outside the abbey gates with a hostage.

With a well-timed and coordinated attack, Eltharion managed to push the captive woman out of the way of Thud’s crossbow, while Thralldin and Dresh pressed the attack against him.

Unfortunately, the woman was actually working for Thud, and using two wands, she turned on Eltharion, as well as somehow releasing the Hook Horror with the other.

However, the fight was still over quickly. Fasenar realized that the hook horror was deafened quite easily, and as good as blind when deaf, and so kept it deaf. Thralldin defeated Thud quite easily, while Dresh and Eltharion dispatched the woman, Samra. Once they were taken care of, they turned to the Hook Horror, and in a feat of great strength, Dresh slew the beast.

Rushing to Edge, pulling Thud and Samra along in the Hook Horror’s former cart, the party arrived just in time to help finish putting out the fire – a farmhouse outside the town walls had caught fire, and burned to the ground. No one was hurt, but now there was a homeless family.

Shortly after, word came that during the fire, goblins had taken the opportunity to fortify themselves in the abandoned tower by the mine. Fed up, Moroseth took the town guard and marched off to get rid of them once and for all.

The party didn’t feel especially good about leaving the town completely undefended, and stayed to guard it.

It was good that they did, because Tykonn and his remaining bandits took the goblins’ distraction as an opportunity to take the town. Sadly for them, they were not much of a match for the party, as well as Thorvald, Thud, and Samra.

Archie the Imp, who was flying over the town keeping watch, took a chance and tried to take out Eltharion. His venom succeeded in knocking Eltharion unconscious, but the rest of the party tore Archie to shreds.

After Archie’s death, the rest of the bandits were quickly dispatched, but Tykonn fled into the temple, taking the priestess as a hostage. Eltharion, helped back up by Thud, ran around the outside of the town wall, and snuck in the back entrance while the others tried to knock down the front door.

Ever so sneakily, he crept up behind Tykonn, and slit his throat before even being noticed.

The town was very grateful, and paid handsomely by Moroseth for their part in protecting Edge.

Unresolved Issues:

- Tykonn’s father asked you not to kill Tykonn, and now he’s dead. A grieving father makes for a bad enemy.

- Apparently a bounty hunter is on their way to Edge, looking for a former member of the mages’ guild.

- “The Big Dark” to the north remains a mystery. Perhaps it is linked to the goblin zombie you found at the abbey?

The Owlbear and the Ambush

What Happened:

The four adventurers, all celebrating their recent victories, were approached in the tavern by Therria, offering them a quick job escorting her to pick flowers by moonlight. They agreed, and partied on until midnight.

Just before they packed up their things to go, the captain of the guard, Moroseth approached them with a job. He had a message needing delivering to the nearby abbey, but didn’t want to spare any of his men to spend it, and didn’t trust it getting there safely with anyone else. As they were discussing the details of the fairly straightforward job, Mister Giller, the father of Tykonn, came forward, and quite politely (if not fearfully) asked that his son not be killed, but taken alive. He was politely ignored.

Just before they went to leave with Therria, a member of the town guard, Bill, came to assist them. He was the strong silent type, and was quite useful.

Escorting Therria into the woods for her flowers was simple enough. She quite specifically denied being a part of the mages guild, and was not at all suspicious about it at all. As she spoke with the four, they were interrupted by goblins and wolves dashing in the party’s direction. They readied for a fight, but were surprised to see that the goblins and wolves were not looking for a skirmish, but running from one. Soon after they appeared, an owlbear burst out, following them, intent on eating everything at the scene.

Bill and Fasenar quickly took up ranged positions and took out the majority of the goblins. Dresh and Thralldin smacked around the remainder of them and prepared to make a stand against the owlbear, while Eltharion climbed a tree, and prepared to drop down for a sneak attack.

In a surprising move, one of the goblins managed to get a very lucky hit in on Thralldin, knocking him to the ground, and beating him into unconsciousness until Dresh appeared, frying the assailant with his lightning breath. Therria brought Thralldin up to his feet, just as the owlbear came into attacking range.

With the help of Bill and Fasenar unloading into it, as well as Thralldin and Dresh keeping it at bay, it was nearly dead as Eltharion prepared his dramatic finish.

Unfortunately, Eltharion misjudged the tree he was hanging from, and tumbled from branch to branch, and landed face-first among the roots next to the owlbear. The distraction proved to be just enough, and the other four managed to finish it off.

One of the goblins survived the fight, and as Fasenar and Dresh skinned and de-clawed the owlbear, the others interrogated the goblin. They learned that the goblins were fleeing something the goblin called “the big dark” to the north, and were planning on fortifying themselves in Edge to escape it. After learning all they wanted to, they let the goblin go, under oath that he would convince his tribe to leave Edge alone.

Bill didn’t believe the goblin’s word was worth anything though, and shot him in the back.

The next day, Thorvald contacted the adventurers with one more task. He wanted them to take his magic spear, Spikereach, along with them to the abbey. Thud, the half-orc who has been lurking around town recently, is after it and Thorvald thinks it would be best if the spear was gone for a while. They agreed, and as he was his son, Thralldin was designated as its wielder for the short journey.

On their way to the abbey, the party decided to take a quick detour, and pay a visit to the camp they spotted by a pond in the forest. Sneaking up, they spotted two bandits, and as they were plotting their attack, two more showed up.

Regardless, in a flurry of arrows, crossbow bolts and magic missiles to the nuts, all four bandits were killed before they even had a chance to retaliate. The five adventurers continued.

As they came back to the main road, they heard the sounds of fighting up ahead. A number of the highwaymen had ambushed and trapped a wagon containing a monster, and were attempting to kill its owners, who were happily fighting back.

The party joined the fray, and fought a hard battle. The elf, one of the ones guarding the monster, fell dead from some archers, and nearly everyone in the party fell unconscious at one point except Fasenar, who wisely stood back and hurled spells.

Finally, the fight ended with Thralldin skewering the bandit leader with his father’s magic spear, and Dresh knocking an archer out of a tree, and getting shot by another.

The adventurers loaded up their wounded into the wagon, and continued towards the abbey.

Unresolved Issues:

- The bandits’ leader Tykonn is still at large. The leader of this ambush was only his second-in-command.
- Therria claims she is not part of the mages’ guild, but it surprisingly adept at magic, particularly potions and healing. She may be hiding something.
- Thud is looking for the magic spear Spikereach, and will supposedly stoop to any means to get it.
- The goblins to the east of town are slightly lessened, but still out there and dangerous to the town.
- Tykonn’s father asked that the party not kill Tykonn.

Day 1
The Funeral and the Wizard

What happened

All four adventurers came to Edge for Winifred’s funeral, as per Thorvald’s request. He revealed that he wanted them to come to Edge not just for the funeral, but to track down what it was that had killed her. They agreed to help, and set off in the morning.

After getting some info from the townspeople, and recruiting Carric to take them to the body, the party headed to the old abandoned tower by the mine. Inside, they discovered a somewhat hidden cellar, and in there, despite his lack of Darkvision, Dresh found three barrels – one empty, one containing an old vintage of wine, and one containing a secret lever, which opened a secret stair to a tunnel.

In the dark tunnel, Eltharion discovered the sleeping form of a mother owlbear in her nest with her chick-cubs. Deciding that discretion was the better part of valour, they all retreated up the stairs, shutting the door behind them.

Eltharion climbed up to the top of the tower, where he found an excellent view of the surrounding area. He spotted a camp by a pond to the west, a camp in the hills to the southeast, and a tower to the northeast. He could see faint purple-red smoke rising from the far tower, and with Fasenar’s help, they identified it as someone brewing something magical.

Having a good idea of what was out in the forest now, they followed Carric to where he had found the body. The location was nothing special, but they found some owlbear tracks leading south down the gully. The body was clearly dragged to where Carric had found it, so following its trail, Carric led them to where the body had seemingly appeared, only there were no tracks leading to it. Apparently the body had just appeared in that location.

Carric left at this point, eager to get home, but the party went on, soon finding themselves at the foot of the northeastern tower. Deftly picking the lock, Eltharion led them inside, and from the second floor, they eavesdropped on the voices they heard from the third floor.

The others convinced Eltharion to talk to the Wizard that was stirring something in the cauldron, but his conversation went mostly poorly, as the wizard was not completely right in the head.

While this was happening, Thralldin noticed a small troop of goblins coming up to the tower. Figuring that the top floor was the best place to hold out, the other three joined Eltharion at the top of the ladder. Fasenar got a little too close to looking into the cauldron, which the Wizard’s familiar took offense at.

The tense scene exploded into action as a hapless goblin poked his head up the top of the ladder. Dresh bashed in his skull in a single blow, sending him back down to his friends, dead. The Wizard turned Fasenar into a frog, and combat erupted.

DM Note: In combat, one round (each person going) takes roughly six-seconds in-game. So our combat, which was about three or four rounds, was less than a minute.

During the fighting, each time the adventurers could break the raven’s concentration, the wizard would attack the raven. Finally with the help of Fasenar (in frog-form) high-kicking the raven out of the sky, it was revealed that the raven was actually a shape-changing imp. It tried to fly away, but was knocked out of the sky by one of Thralldin’s throwing hammers.

Fasenar turned back into an elf, and the Wizard was immediately set free from whatever mind-control the imp had over him, and he fried the remaining goblins downstairs. One remaining goblin remained quick and tough to kill, until Thralldin bull-rushed it off of the edge of the tower.

The two elves rushed to find the fallen imp, but by the time they found where it had landed, it was already gone.

The Wizard, whose name was Marlon, explained all that he could to the four heroes. The imp was his familiar, but it had taken control of him, and had taken him far away from his home in the Duchy of Orton to the south. He doesn’t know what the imp had him brewing, but it reeked of necromantic magic, but also something else. Winifred came to the tower much like the four heroes did, and like Fasenar, she too was turned into a frog. The Imp, Archibald, took her, in frog form, and tossed her in the woods, where she died.

Marlon was in a hurry to get home, and offered the four their pick of what was there after he’d packed up his things, and they were happy to find a wand of healing.

They brought word to Thorvald of what had happened, and he was glad to have closure.

Unresolved issues:

- The mysterious Half-Orc that was at the funeral and the inn is still a mystery to the party.
- Therria’s request that you get her some mushrooms has yet to be fulfilled.
- The ex-town guard Tykonn, is still on the loose, doing highwaymanish things.
- There’s probably still plenty of goblins out there. Why?


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