Stonemarch Expeditions

Adventures in Fendelar- Session II
The Cursed Mark

After taking a short rest, the party decides to plunge deeper into the cavern. They encounter a rather well hidden goblin in an alcove high above them who then reveals their position to anyone listening before attacking. Mishanna, in an act of terrifying grace, pole-vaults into the alcove of the goblin. Killing him with one well-placed blow to the head, and tumbles out of view of the rest of her party.

The confused party still hearing the sounds of a scuffle within the alcove and the splashing of water ahead of them move forward into the largest room within the cave system yet. A goblin attempts to reach them through a small river but Varus ends his life swiftly with a single arrow. They all spot the outline of a suspicious man in the next room highlighted by the glow of a torch. However, their attention is pulled away from this mystery man as a goblin suddenly appears running out of a narrow passageway to their right, Mishanna close on his heels.

The Goblin reaches what the party thought to be just shadows a couple seconds ago but quickly realize to be well hidden wolves. He mounts a wolf and leaps at Leona. She is then flanked and attacked by yet another hidden wolf. The party leaps to her defense, and with a fair amount of trouble and luck they manage to finish off the wolves and their rider.

Just as they are catching their breaths after the fight they hear a loud booming voice coming from behind the door to the room of the shadowy man. He warns them to turn back or die but undaunted the party ignores his warnings, believing them to be merely empty threats, and they attempt to break the door down. They all fail to kick the door down in what was truly a spectacle to behold and Leona decides their best bet is to burn the door down. Not having a better idea, the party douses the door in crappy alcohol and Mishanna lights it with her torch.

As the door is burning the party hears a crash like the shattering of glass from behind the door and notice a strange grey slime-like substance start to float downriver. Varus shoots an arrow at it but it doesn’t react as it merely floats seemingly harmlessly downriver and out of sight. The party turns yet again to the door and are finally able to break it down in its weakened state and rush into the room to find a disheveled looking robed man sitting cross-legged in the corner. They try to pump him for information but get nothing but flimsy denials of any wrong doing.

Before they can interrogate him further, he stands, and he provokes Mishanna, causing her to shove the man with her quarterstaff… and he disappears from sight as if he had been an illusion all along. The river starts to ominously bubble. Varus, true to form, launches an arrow at one, thoroughly destroying the bubble and its entire bubble family. However, while it was an impressive shot, it fails to quell the rising fury of the river. While everyone is distracted by the river Leona looks around, not convinced that the man had been an illusion, and spots a strange bending of the light in the doorway. She and Varus rush from the room leaving the other two behind to chase down the culprit. As they leave, swords rise from the river and launch themselves at Mishanna and Ramsey.

Ramsey lashes out at the swords with his Warhammer scoring a hit on one before being descended upon and stabbed twice through his armor by the magical blades. Bleeding out and in dire straits he falls to the ground unable to fight any longer. Mishanna alone in her fight against the floating swords lashes out madly with her staff, missing wildly but as she follows up with her unarmed strike she manages to reach out and snatch a blade out of the air by its hilt. Unsure what to do with it and with Ramsey looking paler by the second, she throws the sword from her. She hears a satisfying crunch as it hits the stone a ways away and kneels beside Ramsey. She remembers just in time that he had a healing potion in his pouch and uses it to revive him.

Leona and Varus, oblivious to their fellow party member’s plights rush down the mysterious robbed man. Leona reaches him first and tackles him to the ground but is unable to keep a hold of him. Unable to see him now, but not undaunted she rushes forward and swings her swords wildly around her in the general area she believed he must be running. She scores a minor hit and notices blood spatter on the floor. Varus attempts to shoot an arrow at him, but being that he is still invisible it is rather hard and he misses. However as the arrow flies past him the robed man suddenly becomes visible and runs back down the cavern where they had fought the bugbear. Leona gives chase and Varus has the brilliant idea to run down the hallway that lead up to the alcove Mishanna had pole-vaulted into to get a better vantage point. He strings an arrow and lets it fly watching with satisfaction as it thuds dully into their enemy’s shoulder. Leona too takes her bow and lands a hit as he’s fleeing demanding that he surrender and dispel whatever it was that he cast in the previous room. He surrenders, calling off a wolf that appeared from the shadows as Leona binds him. Varus rushes back to help the rest of the party, the sounds of metal on metal enough to alert him to their danger.

Ramsey gets shakily to his feet and heals himself as Mishanna yet again reaches out and miraculously catches a blade. She swings the captured blade at another and hits it causing it to fall harmlessly to the ground bent at a useless angle. Ramsey in thanks heals Mishanna as well before taking up his war-hammer. He’s about to swing at a blade as an arrow flies from beyond the door way and hits the blade causing the magic around it to fizzle out and die. The blade in Mishanna’s hand attempts to attack Varus but he narrowly dodges out of the way and she throws the sword to the ground finally ending the fight.

The party finishes interrogating the now bound man and find that his name is Wendel and that he was the apparent reason the goblins were so organized. He had enlisted their help to steal from the mage’s circle couriers that would travel the road nearby, however he tried to minimize their more dangerous activities. When the party asked why he explained that his beloved Robin had been turned to stone by unknown causes and had been hoping that something he could steal from the mages circle would help cure her. When asked about the man in bonds they had found earlier, Wendel seemed confused and claimed he had no knowledge of a man being held here. After searching the room and finding Collin’s things as well as a couple of items for the party, they decide to bring Wendel back to the man in chains to try to get him to tell the truth.

Ramsey is kind enough to unbind the mystery man and as he stands the party deliberates over freeing him from his bindings further. Wendel makes almost no sense as Leona tries to interrogate him further on the dark haired man, as he claims to not see him. The dark haired man does not fight as Ramsey unshackles his mouth to reveal a disturbing lack of one altogether. Confused on what this man could be and whether to unshackle him further the party hesitates as he holds his arms out to be unlocked. Wendel responds by going into a strange fit, his eyes going completely white. Ramsey takes the last of the shackles off. The party waits in a nervous silence for something to happen and are relieved when the man simply holds out a hand to Ramsey. Ramsey clasps hands with him letting out a short gasp as pain shoots up his arm. The man lets his hand go to reveal a strange new marking with ominous black veins leading to it. Mishanna recognizes the marking as a curse and lashes out at the man hitting him squarely in the head with her staff. They watch horrified as he simply turns to look at her before melting into the ground.

After our mystery man makes his exit Wendel calms, his eyes return to their normal color, and the party panics over what just happened to their cleric. While Ramsey feels fine the strange marking leaves a bad feeling in the pit of everyone’s stomach. Hoping for answers they ask Wendel if perhaps he knew what was going on and all he could explain was that his love Robin had been talking about a similar marking before she was turned to stone. With this new even more dire news the party decides to help Wendel find a cure for his girlfriend, now having a stake in finding a cure as well.

And, of course, they retrieve Collin’s freight and haul it by wheelbarrow through the woods, prisoner in tow.

To be continued in Session III

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Adventures in Fendelar- Session I
The Goblin Problem

Meet the Party!

Varus, the strange wood-elf Ranger
Mishanna, the copper dragonborn Monk
Leona, the dual-bladed half-elf Ranger
Ramsey, the water genasi Tempest Cleric

The story unfolds as the party sits in a leathery booth in a tavern. Their eyes fix on a banjo-playing halfing sitting on stage, melancholy over his lack of a fanbase. Ramsey and Leona walk over to the poor man and find he is a very awkward halfling messenger, that was recently robbed of packages he had to deliver.

As the party assures the halfling- whom introduced himself as Collin- that they can get his stuff back, Varus was at the bar, sniffing and observing a well-armed dwarf. After the party avoids confrontation from the serious dwarf with a glass eye, they accept this quest.

Collin details that the ones that stole his packages were goblin wolf-riders, and that he was unharmed and they only had interest in the contents of his cart. He asks the party to make haste, as he’s unsure of how the recipient of his delivery will take being late or arriving with nothing.

The next morning as the party gathers, they notice Collin has leather armor and a halberd strapped to his back. Confused and a bit off-put, Varus and Leona go after him, where they learn that goblin ears can be sold for 5 silver a piece.

They make their way down the road, with Ramsey and Mishanna taking the front of the group as bait for any possible goblin bandits. Instead of encountering them, they find dry patch of blood on the road, and drippings leading into the woods. As they follow the trail, they come across wolf tracks, and head deeper into the woods before making camp for the night.

The following morning, they hear a goblin ruckus, and find three goblins trying to hang a dead goblin from a tree. They attack and dismantle the goblins fairly quickly. As they loot, Ramsey notices a cave entrance in the nearby cliffside, and they’re fairly certain this is the goblins’ lair.

As the party carefully sieges the lair entrance from the goblins on guard (Avoiding a clever log trap and pitfalls,) they realize that the goblins aren’t smart enough for tactics like these, and they must be working together or for someone with greater intelligence.

They make their way inside, and manage to take down two goblins fighting over cards. Leona and Ramsey manage to avoid conflict from a large wolf using a rabbit haunch.

Further in that direction, they find a room furnished with a bed, chest, and desk. The desk is littered with papers and writing utensils, as well as a journal. Ramsey finds a golden locket and a series of love-letters tucked away under the mattress of the bed, and as the party investigates the chest, they find it to be locked and trapped with acid.

The party goes down the other side of the cave, finding a bugbear guarding a prison cell. It was a tough fight, and it caught the attention of a wolf further in the cave. But afterward, they find a man tied up, hands behind his back, and an iron mouth guard locked around his jaw. They all agree that they should eliminate the rest of the threats in the cave before unlocking him.

To be continued in Session II

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