A Dish Best Served Cold
After waking on the 3rd Day of The Waking the group sits down to breakfast and getting ready for the day. They are then greeted by Captain of Travels Yarrion Ilrese who first apologizes for not speaking to them more the night before but with the events of that night it’s easy to excuse his silence.
Yarrion explains a little more of what Travelers do and what is expected of them. He shares the Traveler secret greeting and speaks of some trail signs Travelers can look for to know when food or equipment has been stashed in the area. He then reveals that he and Ellimune Zhoend will accompany the group on their scouting trip to find out more information on Biard and Ardon’s ambush. After some questions are answered gear is gotten ready and the group leaves, they are Yarrion Ilrese, Ellimune Zhoend, Alanna Ancalime, Alidana Ancalime, Aranel Feldragiel, Argus Kalgeros and Rucryn Cherros.
On the 3rd morning from Last Haven the group comes across the ambush site. Arrows with pitch black fletching are found as well as what looks to be the point of the attack as Argus finds three bushes that are placed next to the trail but aren’t growing there, also more arrows are found pushed into the ground behind the bushes. The party also finds three goblins hung in a nearby tree. Two look to be the prisoners that Ardon and Biard were following as they are dressed in prisoner’s rags. The third is dressed in dark leather armor. All three have their throats slit and the two prisoners have around their necks small pouches filled with what the group guesses are silver coins. The group cuts the goblins down and take the coin purses.
While checking another nearby rock formation Aranel sees carrion birds circling in the sky about 2 miles south of where they are now. The party heads towards them and discovers a river. The birds have been attracted to the spot by a very large wolf carcass that has washed up on some shallow rocks in the river. The party removes the carcass from the river and believe it has had it’s neck broken, the beast measures almost 7 feet in length.
Alanna then hears what sounds like a groan from further down the river and sees a form on the opposite bank in the shallows. The party investigates and finds Elorosse Feldragiel who has been missing for over 6 months. He’s badly injured and is only semi-conscious. Upon removing him from the water it is discovered that his right leg is missing from just below his knee down and is torn very raggedly. The party begins to try and stop his bleeding and heal him. After some time Elorosse regains consciousness and after some initial confusion relates his tale.
He had been with the hunting party scouting ahead when he came across what he thought was a wolf, he began to track it only to be ambushed by a Warg and a small band of goblins. They took him hostage and imprisoned him in a fortress some two days walk from here.
At the fortress he was tortured and beaten by what he thinks are goblins and hobgoblins. They have metal armor and weapons. He said after months of this treatment with no results, the hobgoblins had begun letting him fetch water from an underground well in the deepest part of the fortress. On one of these occasions he was attacked by one of the wargs, he’d decided he’d had enough and as the warg was tearing at his leg he grabbed the animal and fell into the well holding onto the warg. He remembered falling for a long time and turning the warg in the air so that it hit the water first, which it did. This is when Elorosse lost consciousness or nearly did as he faintly remembered floating through a chamber lit by “eery blue light” and thinking himself dead.
Elorosse also stated that the fortress is almost deserted currently as a large force of the Hobgoblins left the day before for a meeting with “The Stone Men”, Elorosse nor the party had ever heard of these men. It was decided to send Elorosse back to Last Haven with Rucryn and attempt to find the fortress and gain entrance. Rucryn was given the order to bring back whoever he can to help as soon as possible. Elorosse also warned that the hobgoblins always talked of having three horns in the fortress to warn of danger, one on each level.
The party camps for the night and in the morning set out along the shore of the river to find where it comes down a large waterfall that Elorosse remembers going over in his escape.
Near dusk on the second day the party spies the fortress sitting over three waterfalls, the river looks to split somewhere in front of the fortress and goes over three different falls. The party goes downstream some ways to find a crossing to get to the left side waterfall as they believe that’s the one Elorosse came out of. Upon finding a small shelf to walk on behind the waterfall, well below the fortress, they find what looks like a small opening in the rock that’s emitting a faint blue glow.
The party climbs into what proves to be a small carved chamber behind the waterfall. The blue glow comes from four stone plinths that have a single rune carved into them, which is glowing blue. The rune is the magical symbol for the word, “View”. Investigations of the chamber find that the middle is about two feet deep and is supplied by a large circular opening in the floor of the chamber, the water comes up from somewhere below, a stone with Light cast on it is dropped into this opening to gauge the depth of the water and is lost before the bottom can be seen. Beside the plinths there is a stout stone chest with an ornate locking mechanism on it in the chamber. Alidana tries to pick the lock with a dagger only to set off a trap that sends her dagger spinning across the chamber. A set of stairs are found carved into the outside of the circular chamber leading up, another set are found on the opposite side leading down into the depths of the water.
Aranel casts Read Magic on the runes and has insights into who the “Stone Men” are and a little of how they came here and the issues they’ve faced since coming to this island. Aranel shares her visions with the party. They are; Landing, Carnage, Discovery and The Breaking.
The party decides to ascend the stairs to see what’s above this chamber. They come out in a small room with two statues, one standing, the other on it’s side and smashed. The room houses the well that Elorosse described but the party realizes that stonework has been done to make this look like a well but in the past the stairs led down to the chamber below only.
The party leaves this room and heads north down a long hallway where they spy a hobgoblin and a goblin gambling on their archery skills in a room that looks to be the prison of the fortress. Another goblin is also seen loading coal into a flaming brazier. The party surprises and kills each denizen of the dungeon. Investigations find many chains and hanging devices as well as a score of small cells, none of which are currently occupied by anything but bones. Yarrion alerts Argus to something in one of the cells, Argus seems shaken but only talks to Aranel about what he found.
The party moves a set of winding stairs to another level and in a long hallway find a warg asleep on the floor. The warg is attacked with bows but not killed until it rushes the party and is dispatched by Yarrion’s sword. The party moves on and finds a small barracks with 14 cots, one of the cots is occupied by a sleeping goblin, he is killed. The party also finds a kitchen area. The party then finds a large room with benches in it and a large stone throne in once corner, another goblin is found sleeping on one of the benches and is taken care of. The party sees that this room has windows to a large courtyard that has two bonfires burning in it, in the courtyard there looks to be a hobgoblin sleeping and a warg worrying something in a pit in one of the corners. The party also finds a door to another room in the throne room. Upon advancing to the door Alanna sets off an alarm spell that is found later by Ellimune. Instead of rushing into the room Yarrion orders the others to handle the foes in the courtyard while he and Ellimune watch the door of the room.
The party decides to fling open the double doors to the courtyard and take out the sleeping hobgoblin, then deal with the warg. The hobgoblin is quickly killed by Alidana and Alanna’s bows but in the process an archer, before unseen, begins shooting from one of two towers in the courtyard at them, and he blows a horn for help. The party is trying to deal with the warg when a huge hobgoblin begins charging them from the other side of the courtyard, he is thought to be the blacksmith as he comes from an area with tools and a forge. The warg manages to knock Argus unconscious and just as the blacksmith gets there he puts Alidana down with one swipe of his double edged axe. Luckily Yarrion comes out at this point but he is badly hurt from an encounter with a Sorcerer that was in the room he and Ellimune were guarding. Alanna takes down the warg as Yarrion dispatches the Blacksmith. The archer keeps shooting but is quickly killed by Alanna’s bow.
The party retreats back into the throne room where it is found that Ellimune has been badly injured by acid from the Sorcerer. Investigations of the Sorcerer’s room find a map of the island, a spellbook and a few gem stones.
The party also finds a Centaur named Rocor in the pit in the courtyard. He is freed and reveals that Relisia is his daughter and that the two were ambushed by the hobgoblins, she was knocked into the river and he hasn’t seen her since. Rocor agrees to go to his tribe and bring back help.
The party decides to remove all bodies from the throne room and rest for the day.
|A Celebration Interrupted||Harbingers in the Night|