Alternate Earth Campaign

The Dream
The Death of the Scholar

Masked_one_test.jpg

You have all experienced the same waking vision:

A tall, slender man with fine features sits hunched over a massive wooden desk. Steady white light emanates from globes spaced around the room. In that light, his eyes are disconcertingly red. His skin seems to have an almost charcoal tinge.

Tolurin.jpg

“Cat, Are you passing another hairball?” An unpleasant retching and twisting sound comes from somewhere behind him. “You know I don’t like it when you do that on the carpet”. A sharp yowl, suddenly followed by a popping and tearing sound.

“Unfortunately, it does look like I’ve made quite a mess.”

The scholars eyes widened. Shoulders stiffened, he raised his head but did not turn around. “I knew you would come, but I did not think it would be so soon.”

“Perhaps you have not learned as much as you thought you had.” A shadowy, robed form slowly drifted towards the scholar. Beneath its heavy cowl was a finely wrought mask of red metal. “The knowledge you have stolen is forbidden. We will always come.”

Masked_one_test.jpg

“I know what you are doing. The lie…”

“You seek a knowledge even gods do not possess. Such knowledge as you do have is clearly imperfect, how can you pretend know what we are about?”

“I have been able to perceive the tapestry for only a short while, it is true. But that has been enough. The lie of fate…”

“And how is it that you have been able to perceive it at all? Powerful as your race once was, it is now fallen. And you are no God. How have you come to perceive the tapestry?” The scholar turned to face the red masked intruder. “I see. Red eyes. You follow the teachings of Druthgar. You injest it. What would your council say?”

“I tire of your baiting apparition. Be gone, I have work to do.”

“Again your newfound knowledge fails you. Your work is not yet complete and you presume I cannot reach you through your barriers. But I am no mere projection. I have come here bodily. I can Touch you.”

The scholar jerks to his feet and looks at the spreading dark stain seeping from under the table.

“There are two ways out of this, scholar . . . You could join us.”

“I will not”

“As we have foreseen.”

Tolurins_tower.jpg

Atop a tall tower on a cliff overlooking a city built of concentric rings… A window shatters. A form plummets through the air. The pale, dusk-edged face turns towards you, the red eyes fix you with their piercing stare.

The wind is howling past as the figure plummets to his doom but his whisper pierces your brain: “be ready.”
. . .
Darkness.

View
Down the Dawn Way
Mind the bovines

BgZk-DnCUAA6Jyx.jpg

About a week passed in Brindenford allowing the party to get settled in the Bridgeman and work on paying off creditors. The final creditor showed, a guy who goes by the name Count Black, a late middle aged albino with alopecia who has a reputation for getting whatever you want when you need it. Essentially, he’s a distributor. The guys were speculating that he was black market, but I made it pretty clear that, since every establishment in town works with him, its a stretch to call it that.

Anyway, while they were paying their debt, Count Black mentioned that one of his suppliers, a man name Chester Phelps, hadn’t been heard from since about 3 weeks ago when he headed east down the Dawn Way to Drellin’s Ferry to pick up the latest load of Dawnbrew Mead. Drellin’s Ferry is about 80 miles away, but even so, he should be back by now. Black asks the guys, them being explorers and all, if they might be willing to scout out the road and find out what’s gone wrong with the delivery. When asked for compensation, Black offers to allow them to buy half of the delivery. Normally, he disperses the mead equally among all of the establishments in the city, keeps things fair with such an expensive and precious drink (and it is good for his rep). Allowing them to buy half of the delivery gives them the option to corner the market for at least a little while. They agreed that it was a good offer and accepted the mission.

They did a little asking around and it slowly became clear that no one had come trading from that way in about a month. Also, maybe half a dozen or so residences of Brindenford have friends or family who have gone missing down the Dawn Way within that time. They approached the sheriff about the missing folks, and he pretty bluntly explained that he has enough to worry about in regards to keeping the peace in his own town and that if they are worried about dangers on the roads, they should take it up with the queen since they are her roads. He was kind of a dick, but he doesn’t like them much anyway, especially Gaius.

Satisfied the mystery is worth their time, they headed out, expecting to make the trip in just over 3 days. First day was really hot and muggy. They were forced to rest the horses and take their time and also extend that ETA. Other than the heat, it was uneventful.

2nd day, it was hotter. Only event of note was a dead cow in the road. They got close enough to see the animal’s skin was stretched and something was moving beneath it. Fortuna threw a rock at it and the skin exploded into a roiling mass of centipedes. They wisely retreated about a mile and went the long way around through heavy brush.

A nature check revealed that the surrounding area was all abandoned farmland, anywhere from 60 years to a century fallow. Other than the road, it consists mostly of rolling hills (left by glacial deposits) with thick, high brush and little to no trees.

At this point, they aren’t expecting to get to Drellin’s Ferry until day 4.

Day 3, started uneventful, but dark clouds could be seen ready to roll in, and by the afternoon, they were drenched by the torrential downpour. They came across a ruined farmhouse with smoke coming from the chimney. Fortuna and Guy broke off and decided to explore it from two different directions. Based on the heavy rain and thick brush, I kicked everyone out of the room and only ran each scout individually until they either stopped scouting to wait (as in Fortuna’s case) or ran into the other (as in Guy’s case when he stumbled across Fortuna’s hiding spot).

Due to some noise from Fortuna’s wolf, one of the individuals inside investigated, and it became obvious that the party was dealing with someone armed and armored. The scouts weren’t spotted until Fortuna tried to climb up the wall of the farmhouse to look inside and slipped, falling noisily, and alerting everyone inside. They fought a pretty good battle against a bunch of hobgoblins with class levels. They found bodies in the house, a merchant, her guards, and a local farmer. They spent the night in the farmhouse, the rain cleared up, and they spent a good chunk of the next day cremating the humans and mutilating the hobgoblins. They remained another night at the house and finally arrived in Drellin’s Ferry on mid afternoon of day 5.

They settled in at a bustling inn called “The Old Bridge.” They made quite a scene being armed and armored, mud and blood spattered travelers when no one had arrived in town for weeks. They finally got to try Dawnbrew Mead, which was as good as reported. They learned that the hobgoblins had been ambushing travelers on the roads for several weeks. Their local guard would attempt to root them out, but either they were gone when they arrived to the ambush spots or, assuming they killed the hobgoblins, they were simply replaced by fresh raiders in a few days.

View
Here There Be Dragons!
well, a 10 ton corpse anyway.

photo__1_.JPG

View
Ghostly Boys and Horned Demons

laid the first to rest, killed the other.

View
Hooks and Horrors in the Dark
Not to mention Brass Golems and Blood Chicks

Reynard was nearly killed by the horrors.

View
Friendship Begins
with a punch in the face

Log of Gaius Icarius:

After finishing off Mr. fancy pants, we continued north towards the town of Brindenford. Along the way discovered an odd shrine cited that was haunted by some sort of irate specter. Yiki got in a good swing before drove the rest of my companions away. I channeled power into my blade and was able to destroy the creature. At least I think it is destroyed. Arielle told us that the shrine was dedicated to some young lad from her town was lost perhaps a decade ago.

After I found my companions sometime later he continued north to Brindenford. We met x, the halfling proprietor of the Tavern, x. He seemed rather helpful altogether but when we ventured out into town to meet with some officials the next morning we were accosted at every turn by disdain, indifference and insults.

This town makes little sense. Petty bureaucrats are easily inclined to offer thoughtless insults will are strangers without fear of reprisal. As I was beating some sense into one of these bureaucrats possible reason for this casual belligerence revealed itself. Apparently within seconds of my laying hands on bureaucrat, the local constable, his lieutenant and three additional armsmen materialized as if from the air to threaten me with drawn weapons.

It may well be this time town’s government needs an attitude adjustment.

In any event, and new was invited by one of the town Councilman to go on a quest for a supposedly heirloom of his family, a dagger that he believed lost in a cave of trolls to the south.

The Councilman told us they were to trolls in the cave, but in fact there were four. Now, there are none. We found no dagger in the cave but we did find the tunnel choked with rubble led to some old underground complex.

View
Going North to Make Friends

Log of Gaius Icarius
Beginning of the Fourth Month since Settlement:

I have been quite remiss in my record keeping for the last several weeks. The highlights are:
* Our Settlement was attacked by humanoid scum worshiping the beast-god. The palisade was badly damaged in sections, but we drove them off with significant casualties, with no losses of our own
* Our small settlement has agreed to form a Roman Republican style government, and has succeeded in a new set of public works, building an early warning bell tower and walling in our entire village with stone.
* Much of the stone has been taken from the orc fort to the east of the river. The Orcs there, and Girbolg as well have been slain. The bell was also taken from the orc fort’s desecrated church.
* Girbolg’s tower has not been scavenged for stone, because several fire giants have apparently decided to take up residence.
* We tracked the raiders back along their path and discovered that they originated from somewhere further north of Ursa Minor. We made an additional foray into the dungeon on the plateau there, but have decided to leave off for further exploration for now.
* Other explorations have found copper and iron deposits, as well as clay along our own river banks.
* We have dispatched another expedition north of the Roaring Mountains to attempt to link up with Rosen and Brindenford if possible.

On our way north, we encountered an arrogant, condescending fellow on the road north of the mountains, who demanded that we clear the way for him. He rebuffed all attempts at civil discourse, then revealed his true form, some sort of horrible scorpion centaur creature.
scorpion_man.jpg
He put up a good fight, but we overwhelmed him, cutting him down, at last. It is here that we have stopped to rest before continuing on our journey.

View
Stay away from the light!

Gaius was nearly slain by carnivorous plants here . . .

Found:
270 gold

rug of magnificent mansion
skin of water
satchel of good berry seeds

View
The Town in Danger

-found:

50 gold

copper veins in the large bat chamber

View
From the Cold Caves to Little Bear

Log of Gaius Icarius
End of the Second Month since Settlement:

After being chewed on by those slimy fishes we decided to fall back on the town to rest and regroup. On our way, we encountered a small group of travelers. They were not terribly forthcoming with details about their past, but then who of us is? We invited them back to the settlement with us.

Having rested up, we decided to make another foray into the Cold Caves. This time, rather than creatures of ice, we found enemies of flesh and blood. We artlessly woke up a bugbear chieftain and his pet wolf, then proceeded to beat him down. I must say that Yiki’s capacity for slaughter is, at times, disconcerting.

We soon found another bugbear several goblin minions. They were quickly dispatched and we discovered that they had been mining iron from deeper within the caves. We spent a day collecting up all of the iron that they had so far mined themselves and took it back with us to Tarktos.

We next decided to take some time to investigate the lights we had seen on little bear. Having arrived here at little bear, we have found the ruins foundations of some old fortress on the top of a plateau some distance up the side of the mountain. There are indications that someone has been burning fires up here, possibly large enough to account for the lights that we’ve seen in the distance. We can also see an entrance into the mountainside. We are going to explore it.

Stirred up a hornet’s nest. Many goblins and ilk and dirty humans. They call upon “the Beast God”. Unclear if we will survive the trip down.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.