Following the Battle of Walthorp Downs and the Battle of the
Grimlock Caves, the adventurers ventured further into the
Stormlands proper. There they were drawn into the conflicts between
Lord Spelheur, Lord Carkspur and Lord Tollund, and discovered
disturbing clues which hinted that the legendary Druids were not
gone from the Stormlands after all. After the Battle of
's Fall near Torth, the adventurers
discovered the grave of Prince Eslim, and rescued Prince Eder,
Lorathon Shadowblade and John Smith from the basilisk cave where
they had been turned to stone. Griflet realised that the events of
the Stormlands concerned the elves, and journeyed with his
companions to Imric
's Hold to speak with the King.
After consulting with Imric, Polydices and the Oak Man (and through him, Rokon) Griflet and his band learned the true secret of the Stormlands. The Grey Man had taken over the Druids of the area and he and his evil followers were building their power-base. Using the magical Fountain of Dark Abundance the Grey Man hoped to destroy Imric and the elves.
The third sortie into the Stormlands was focused and direct.
's band attacked the Grey Man
spy outpost near Torth. Griflet slew Grithir, the Grey
's Minion. The band then travelled cross-country to
the Stone Circle and, defeating the Grey Man
scarecrow there, interrogated the dead Archdruid Cathaw (using
's magic) to discover the Grey Man
location. On the way back from the Stone Circle, the group
encountered mad Lord Hellpus, bearer of the sword Werewindle,
and the ghost of the traitor-druid Taplerns who guarded the Crown
of Prince Podgett. This they returned to the undead prince,
buried near Frogton. Calumny and his fire elementals harried
Griflet and his band as they returned to Imric
for the winter.
In the spring of the Year of the Behemoth, Griflet and his adventurers made their assault on the Citadel of Thorns in the Briar Wood. On the way to the Briar Wood they were attacked by Calumny and Karak and many druids and needlemen. Lorathon Shadowblade was killed. Finally, at the Battle of the Fountain Court, the Grey Man was defeated (slain by Eder) and the fountain destroyed.
The Stormlands Campaign was followed by the Stormlands 2 Campaign.
In the sixteen months since the death of the Grey Man and the
destruction of the Fountain of Dark Abundance, the orginal heroes
of the Stormlands campaign had gone their own ways. Daphne wandered
the Stormlands with the Forest King, while Lord Carkspur and Medusa
prepared for war. At Imric
's Hold, Griflet trained in
his duties as Royal Scout of the Elves. Buttercup became High
Priest of Straasha in Antim Town, while Westley headed to Moorsh to
learn the black magic of the Fire Magicians.
The Stormlands 2 campaign began in the late summer of the Year of the Ogre when, while hunting the purple buffalo of the Great Grassy Ocean, the centaur Lana Softhooves was given a task by a mysterious Stranger to find the medallion of Al-Nisr. She journeyed south to the Stormlands, where she met Daphne, bearer of Werewindle and rightful ruler of the Stormlands. After capturing Asquarti from the bandit Rachmaninof, Daphne and Lana gathered the support of Lord Weemsley, and together they seized Caer Tollund in a surprise attack. Soon after the victory, Daphne was slain by a giant near Tresswck. Werewindle was broken; Lana threw the bits into the swamp and departed the Stormlands forever.
Meanwhile Griflet and his scouts Astalin, Briath and Memrian had
been sent south by Imric to find the great danger which Imric
believed was there. Griflet jorneyed to Antim town, where he
learned from Buttercup and Wolvoln
's that the
Revenge had been hijacked. He headed
south to the Lakes of Pleea where he met Vardin, who told him that
the Beastmen had been unusually active. After a raid on a Beastman
village, Griflet captured a demon-man from Tovilyis who had been
trying to incite the Beastmen. On the way to Tovilyis, Griflet and
his band captured the Revenge from the
ratmen and rescued Black Annie, who informed Griflet that the ship
had ferried live cargo from a red rock on the far side of the Upper
Lake. Griflet comandeered the Revenge
and set sail.
On the other side of the lake, Griflet climbed the Red Rock
Stair and discovered Coryon sanctum. There he found
's medallion (and Al-Nisr bones), but was
attacked by Coryon
's Horrible Abomination of Stone.
The proximity of Mysteriones to its place of creation gave Griflet
crippling visions which almost cost him his life. Griflet learned
the history of Mysteriones. He learned of its former owners and
their fates, he learned that Mysteriones was part of the dragon
's. The encounter awakened Bloodbane and sent
the Foe flying to Imric
's Hold. Astalin risked his
life to save Griflet from the Abomination. Knowing something had
gone horribly wrong, Griflet sped northwards in the Revenge.
Lana Softhooves journeyed south to the Lake-lands. There she met Karl of the Krow, another exile from the Stormlands. Together they searched for the medallion, until Durpar III guided them northwards again. At the grave of Lorathon Shadowblade, the pair entered the elven woods. But the land of the elves had become a Nightmare.
Bloodbane could not harm Imric directly because he held the Icon
of the Dragon. But the Icon also held a power over
's mind which the dragon exploited. So the land
became warped and twisted. Nightmarish. Into this land stumbled
Griflet, Eder, Karl and Lana.
The group journeyed through the dark dream forest, searching for
's tower. On the way they rescued Oovra, who had
been imprisoned by Imric many years before. After facing many
dangers, real and imagined, the group reached Imric
throne room to face Bloodbane. In the battle the dragon killed
Prince Eder, Lana, Oovra, Astalin, Memrian, Briath and Karl of the
Krow. Griflet shot Imric with an arrow to wake him. The dragon
fled, but Imric died of grief and his wounds soon after. The elves
were left leaderless and their lands destroyed.
The events of the Stormlands 2 Campaign were followed directly
In the winter of the Year of the Ogre, at the behest of Prince
Muburuk of Kadesh, the mercenary Christian of the High Passes
ambushed and defeated ten Diamond Knights northwest of the city.
For various reasons (mostly the insidious words of
's advisor Lord Jadyn, himself formerly a
Diamond Knight, though this fact was unknown to his ruler), Prince
Muburuk hated the order of the Diamond Knights and wished them
destroyed. When Christian realised that the Diamond Knights were
not the evil fiends that Muburuk had suggested, he rescued the
surviving Diamond Knight, Kendall, and rode with him northwards to
As Christian rode north, an unlikely pair sailed south. Quarn
and Lucidia had met in Ilthmar and travelled together to Kadesh.
There, they heard Prince Muburuk
's proclamation. A
particularly powerful bandit chieftain named Horn Hulfing had long
been a thorn in the side of Prince Muburuk. After losing his guard
captain Fazhan to the bandit, Muburuk issued a reward for
's head. Among the parties in Kadesh who were
interested in claiming this reward were Quarn and Lucidia, as well
as the adventurer Vizigan.
Quarn and Lucidia first skirmished with Horn
's bandits in the small village of Azab; in
retaliation Hulfing (and his lieutenant Gaspar D
burned Azab to the ground. Quarn and Lucidia made two more sorties
into the Old Coast, inflicting casualties on the bandit Prince at
the village of Pazar. They learned that Horn Hulfing had taken the
ancient Diamond Knight fortress of Ka-Zoza. The pair returned to
Ilthmar to consider their attack plan, and to avoid the increasing
strength of bandit attacks.
In the summer of the Year of the Gorgon, Quarn and Lucidia set
out from their Ilthmar base to reach Ka-Zoza from the north but
they were attacked by Hulfing
's bandits at the Venta
Volina and forced to retreat and winter in Ilthmar. The following
spring the pair reached Ka-Zoza in a small fishing boat. They
penetrated the fortress by stealth and fought Lord Wrenchid and the
Enquirers, an ancient and corrupt remnant of the Diamond Knights.
Lord Wrenchid badly wounded Lucidia and the pair were forced to
retreat once more. Two weeks later, on their sixth sortie against
Horn Hulfing, Quarn and Lucidia returned to Ka-Zoza and defeated
the undead Diamond Knight Lord Zartek in the depths of the castle.
They then ambushed and murdered Horn Hulfing and Gaspar
'ool, and stole Hulfing
Prince Muburuk rewarded the pair when they returned to Kadesh and sent them on another mission: to explore the haunted isle of Ka-Nisra, once the dwelling of Al-Nisr. Quarn and Lucidia did not immediately accept this task, instead busying themselves with the partial restoration of another fortress at Ka-Mantuk.
However all was not well in Kadesh. Horn Hulfing had family ties
to the leader of the Gypsy Nation, and that group laid siege to
Kadesh as a matter of family honour. The Gypsies demanded the death
of Horn Hulfing
's murderers. Prince Muburuk managed to
convice the gypsies that the murderer was not himself, but the
Gypsy Nation refused to disperse until he produced the culprits.
Muburuk sent his flagship the Roc to
retrieve the pair from Ilthmar. When the captain found
's house empty, he robbed her and returned to
Kadesh. Prince Muburuk put a reward on their heads (Vizigan
attempted to collect it, but the pair murdered him.)
Enraged at the discovery, Quarn and Lucidia proceeded in disguise to Kadesh, but discovered the siege in progress. They retreated and plotted their revenge. Quarn summoned a demon which sank the Roc. However they still did not recover their treasure.
The Siege of Kadesh eventually ended; the Gypsy Nation dispersed. Quarn and Lucidia decided to explore Ka-Nisra. They became imprisoned in the half-real castle where the last conclave of Diamond Knights was deadlocked as to the guilt or innocence of Al-Nisr. The knights refused to release Quarn and Lucidia unless they captured Lord Jadyn (a lapsed Diamond Knight) to break the tie. They kidnapped Jadyn by tempting him to Pazar with secret information, then took him back to Ka-Nisra, where he and the rest of the ghostly diamond knights disappeared forever from the world.
'Moon in the Year of the Sea Serpent, a ship bound for Lankhmar from Ool Hrusp across the Inner Sea was blown off course and badly damaged near the remote village of Earth
's End. On board the ship were the adventurers Maelin, Cunelas, Christian of the High Passes and Black Arrow the Highwayman.
Upon disembarking at Earth
's End, the four decided
to drown their sorrows at the Igibord
's End Tavern, the only pub in town. Inside they
found the rest of the menfolk of the village, drinking and waiting
until dawn when they would participate in an unusual local ceremony
- the making of the Greenwitch. The four learned from lutist Tandy
Gilliam (who made eyes at Black Arrow) that every year the
Greenwitch was re-made by the village women and then cast into the
sea by the men to keep at bay the evil spirit of Seabeard, a pirate
king who once lorded over Earth
's End, but whose
atrocities had eventually caused the villagers to rise up and cast
There were many queer dealings in town that night. Maelin observed strange dealings between three surly black-clothed adventurers and a wagoneer (actually Erei) with a strange cargo of giant coffins. Cunelas thought to spice things up by dressing as a woman - he narrowly avoided being seduced by Numinante Thief-taker, the town sherrif.
At dawn the whole of the tavern crowd, including the four heroes
wandered up to the headlands to cast the Greenwitch - a huge
construction of green saplings, wicker and stones - into the
foaming ocean. While this ceremony took place Christian of the High
Passes and Black Arrow noticed that it was observed from a distance
by a mysterious giant blue figure. Giving chase into the dunes
north of Earth
's End, Christian, Maelin, Cunelas and
Black Arrow arrived at a blowhole in which floated the decapited
body of another giant blue man. In the vicinity were tracks both
human and giant. Maelin suspected the men in black. Perplexed, the
group noticed a wrecked ship in a far inlet, and rode to
investigate. The ship turned out to be the Shark, Seabeard
's old vessel. Inside
Black Arrow found the pirate
's old telescope. Through
it he observed the men in black sailing to a nearby island and
dragging a third blue body to their boat.
That evening, back at Earth
's End, Maelin
confronted the men in black with evidence of the dead Blue Men. The
three agreed to re-imburse Maelin in return for guidance to the
's location the next day. They intended to slay
Maelin but were ambushed in the misty dawn instead by Christian and
Black Arrow. Christian killed one, and the others fled
's End. From the ambush site, Black Arrow noticed
a ruined structure in the distant dunes and the four journeyed to
an old dome, where they met the third Blue Man. Unable to
communicate, he scratched symbols in the sand which suggested to
Cunelas and the others that some strange event would occur at the
new moon three days hence.
Returning to Earth
's End after their strange
meeting, the group was joined by the young knight Albrecht von
Linden and (while Black Arrow and Tandy Gilliam had a tryst at the
wreck of the Shark) they explored the
island house where Seabeard had been banished, and found evidence
that he had been involved with a bizaare Shark Cult. Exploring
further, they found a sacrificial pool and temple among the steep
cliffs to the south of Earth
's End. There they
captured a cultist (who they handed over to Numinante) and a
That night, the night of the new moon, there were mysterious
happenings in Earth
's End. A storm blew up. Shark
cultists led by local locksmith Valinwan attacked Numinante and
liberated their comrade and book. Hearing the attack, the heroes
charged from the World
's End Tavern to ambush the
cultists and rescue Numinante. Meanwhile the Blue Man stomped
's End to nearby Moon Crab Beach where he
hoped to divine the future from the movement of the Moon Crabs.
On the beach, the Blue man informed Albrecht that he sought a
magical cup which was held by the skeleton of Seabeard in the
tendrils of the Greenwitch. Von Linden agreed to dive for the cup,
aided by the Blue Man
's magic which would allow him to
breathe underwater. But the Greenwitch was angry and unwilling to
relinquish the grail. Albrecht persuaded her to accept the golden
tome as her
' in exchange for the
cup. Nevertheless the Greenwitch tried to harm Albrecht, but the
Blue Man rescued him, whereupon both cup and Blue Man vanished.
The next day the storm passed and a grateful Numinante offered
his thanks to the party. He helped them salvage the Shark and when their wounds were healed they sailed
away from Earth
's End Adventure was followed by the
Greedy City Adventure.
's End Adventure) on the Day of the Raven in Murderer
's Moon, the Year of the Sea Serpent. When the Shark docked in Lankhmar, Christian of the High Passes immediately became involved in a fight between disgruntled merchants Arrun D
'Or and Quarrymaster Bazar. On their way to the Silver Eel tavern in the Tenderloin District, Christian, Maelin, Cunelas, Black Arrow and Albrecht von Linden noticed a disturbing amount of fights and violence over money in the city.
At the Silver Eel Christian and
Albrecht scared away some representatives of the
' Guild, to tavernkeeper Bragi
relief. Christian renewed his membership in the
' Brotherhood while the others purchased arms
from the Plaza of Dark Delights. Maelin spotted the mysterious
wagoneer from Earth
's End, but lost him in the crowd.
Meanwhile Albrecht von Linden was arrested by the city guard for
suspicious armament, but Cunelas and Christian managed to fast-talk
's parents into providing the bribe to free
Maelin and Black Arrow watched a festival in which a Beastman
cultist was burned alive, then followed the wagoneer (who was also
at the festival) back to a tenement in the Tenderloin, while
Cunelas enjoyed a performance at the Grand Playhouse a few blocks
away. Maelin and Black Arrow staked out the wagoneer
house for a while, then returned to the Silver
Eel for reinforcements. At midnight the group, joined by
Grierdon Ithrain returned to raid the wagoneer
Black Arrow managed to sneak past the sleeping wagoneer Erei and
his unconscious master Oorn and ransacked the desk, but
accidentally knocked Cunelas from the window and alerted Erei. The
group escaped thanks to some fast-talking by Grierdon. Cunelas and
Albrecht returned to Erei
's later, but he was awake.
They escaped back to the Silver
The next day (the day of the Spider), after examining the
captured papers, the group learned of a pouch sold by Oorn to the
merchant Finester, who had become a recluse in his walled mansion.
Christian, Grierdon and Albrecht learned that Finester had refused
to pay his stonemason Stiv D
'Or. They agreed to
recover the debt for Stiv
's brother Arrun.
Meanwhile back at Erei
's place, Maelin and Black
Arrow observed Erei attempting to smuggle the unconscious Oorn out
of the city in a magically speedy wagon (after setting his house on
fire). Maelin jumped on board and grabbed Oorn. The wagon sped out
of the Grand Gate. Maelin took Oorn to the Sorceror
Guild, then to a herbalist in Bones Alley and finally to the Temple
of Mog, whose priest advised Maelin to seek Sheelba of the Eyeless
Face in the Great Salt Marsh. After a ride into the swamp, Maelin
met Sheelba, who told him that Lankhmar was threatened by a demon
who takes the form of pieces of gold. Using a special potion he
must sniff the gold out and melt it down with the magical metal
Oricalchum to kill the demon.
Early in the morning, while Maelin consulted Sheelba, Cunelas,
Christian, Albrecht, Grierdon and Black Arrow raided
's walled manse. This was not too hard because
's unpaid guards were easily bribed. Cunelas
and Black arrow tormented the merchant to within an inch of his
life and he finally relinquished his gold and his pouch. Albrecht
and Black Arrow each took a large share of the
's gold (Black Arrow takes the pouch and later
discards it); Christian takes just Stiv
's share. Black Arrow and Albrect
soon became affected by the power of the gold demon. Albrecht
booked passage back to Berghof with his treasure while Black Arrow,
after obsessively counting his gold, decided to return to the
's house for more. There he was captured by
Christian, Maelin (who had returned from Sheelba
hut), Cunelas and Grierdon.
Using the magical potion of Sheelba, Maelin tracked down Albrecht to the Far Wanderer at the docks. The situation looked ugly - Albrecht was fed up with his former companions - but fast talking combined with sincerity from Cunelas and Grierdon saved the day, and Albrecht reluctantly agreed to give up his gold.
Maelin found another gold stash at Stiv
's, but he was chased away by the
guards. Cunelas disguised himself as a healer, persuaded the
suspicious Stiv to hold his breath and close his eyes, then knocked
him out and stole his gold. The group buried the gold near a tomb
outside Lankhmar, vowing to return with Oricalchum (from the Blue
' coffins in Earth
's End) to put an
end to the demon.
A few days later, the group set sail for Earth
End (leaving Albrecht von Linden and Black Arrow to go their
separate ways) after recruiting a new captain, Kurt
'Karo and the irrepressible Mingol, Warren the Wit.
They retrieved the oricalchum coffins from the World
End Tavern and returned to Lankhmar, to the site of the buried Gold
Demon. A mysterious bush had sprouted on the spot, surrounded by
mindless servants of the demon. After a brief battle, the bush and
its minions were destroyed. Cunelas, Maelin and Christian melted
down the gold in one of the coffins, and the Gold Demon was finally
Following the map the next day with government man Adayk in tow, the group stumbled upon an old battlefied and the ruins of ahill fort. In the remaining intact tower, Zhao found a journal which indicated that several Dead had been ambushed by one Captain Agramal (coincidentally, Adayk's uncle). Not too far to the south was a ravine containing twenty-one trapped walking dead. The trio dispatched several skeletons with boulders and flaming oil (the latter method less effective) and then spent an uncomfortable night in the fort tower. The next day the remaining skeletons were finished off with carefully aimed boulders, and Zhao Liang and Cyric recovered the bones for the bounty, though Cyric slipped and injured his ankle in the process. The trio returned to Dunmere Keep in triumph, and their names were entered on the Tally Board in the White Skull Inn.
Noticing Adayk's distaste for the local priest, Corg Kilarn suggested they find him. Down the road from the castle was the priest's shrine, just near the large necropolis. The three spoke to the priest, Daebwyn, and his acolyte Miroef. From the discussion it emerged that Bailiff Weras of Dunmere distrusted the priests and would not allow them to reside in the castle.
As evening came down, Corg Kilarn noticed across the way the horses of the Glorious Company being prepared for an expedition. He investigated, but was ordered off the property by a groom, who sent a messenger boy running up to the castle to inform his masters of the intruder. Chasing the boy up the road, Kilarn was intercepted by Kur Pelagius and Ronaldo Vasquez, who grappled Kilarn and let the boy go. The mood in the White Skull was somewhat hostile that night, but the three retired early to avoid trouble.
The rain had not abated when the three awoke the next morning. Mounting their horses they travelled once more down the Corpse Glory Road. Kur's keen eyes for tracks informed them that the Glorious Company had preceded them. The group rode all day, camping that night in a cave in the hills.
The following day they arrived at the ruins of Castle Dread. They observed the Glorious Company fighting a group of the Dead in the old courtyard of the castle. The fight was over shortly, and the Glorious Company gathered their trophies and headed back to their camp. All but their commander, Warden Gword, who loitered suspiciously. Kur Pelagius accidentally kicked a loose stone, alerting Gword, who summoned the rest of his company. Ronaldo Vasquez, Kur Pelagius and Adayk were discovered and ordered to leave by a very suspicious Glorious Company, who accused them of spying.
Corg Kilarn, however, had not been seen. While Vasquez, Pelagius and Adayk made a show of retreat, intending to circle around under cover of the trees, Kilarn lay in hiding as the commander returned. The commander spoke to someone in the ruins, then departed with the other members of the Glorious Company. Kilarn waited until a man emerged, dressed in a brown robe. Corg Kilarn pursued the man, who ran straight into the horses of Vasquez and Pelagius.
Upon interrogation, the brown-robed man revealed himself to be Chaus, a minor necromancer from the city of Ustang, who insisted that he had been blackmailed into raising the dead to help Warden Gword and the Glorious company. He reluctantly led the adventurers to his hut in the hills, where they confiscated his ill-gotten earnings and his grimoire. The four stayed the night at Chaus' hut (Chaus himself had been tied up). Early the next morning, Kur was surprised while on watch to observe a skeleton bearing a caldron of water up the hill; he woke the others with a cry. The skeleton started to make a fire to boil the water. Chaus morosely informed Kur that the skeleton was a harmless servant, but Corg Kilarn attacked it anyway. Frustrated with Kilarn's pig-headedness, Kur Pelagius lashed out at him, but Kilarn evaded his blows and smashed the skeleton. Ronaldo Vasquez allowed Chaus his freedom, but warned him no longer to practice necromancy nor to loiter in the hills.
The party returned to Dunmere Keep on the Day of the Frog. They informed Bailiff Weras of the double-dealing of Gword and the Glorious Company. The Bailiff listened to the tale through slitted eyes, then ordered the Glorious Company's immediate arrest. Guards were dispatched, but the Company resisted arrest. Ronaldo Vasquez, Kur Pelagius and Corg Kilarn hurried to the White Skull Inn, where they found a scene of mayhem. The adventurers joined the battle, killing the Company members Unarem the Sly and the whip-weilding Brila. Vasquez took Warden Gword's ornate broadsword. The rest of the Company were captured. Bailiff Weras ordered Gword's execution, and banished the remaining Company members from Dunmere, after seizing all of their property. The Bailiff also offered a reward to the three new heroes of Dunmere Keep.
Equipped at the Bailiff's expense, Vasquez, Cyric and Kur set out from Dunmere Keep, with Caderi and Adayk in tow. At the crossroads they found a gibbet containing the corpse of Gword, and the priest Daebwyn who was attempting to give the body its last rites. The priest blessed the expedition and they set out down Corpse Glory Road.
The party headed southwards for two days, taking a brief detour to check out Castle Dread. Caderi informed Vasquez that the sword taken from Gword, which was carved with fanged mouths, was rumoured to be a demon weapon. This turned out to be true; as Vasquez examined the sword 'Ejsinden' by moonlight, the carved fangs came to life and bit deep into his wrist. Vasquez flung the sword away and awoke the others with his cries. Cyric bound his arm carefully and Vasquez tied up the sword, never to be used.
As the party headed deeper into the hills, the weather grew worse. The group spied a stream and Caderi informed them that it had its source in the valley in which he was attacked. Following the stream, the party entered a gully containing a deep, stagnant pool, with the track winding along beside. Walking next to the pool, Cyric heard a faint dripping sound. He turned to see eight skeletons emerging quietly from the water behind the group.
With a shout Cyric alerted his companions and they charged back the way they had come. The skeletons pursued them. Cyric and Kur Pelagius knocked the skeletons over with a rope trap, then attacked, smashing several to pieces. There was a dreadful fight. One skeleton gashed Cyric badly. Another skeleton dealt an off-guard Ronaldo Vasquez a mortal blow, running him through with its rusty sword. The rest of the skeletons were destroyed by Cyric and Kur.
With sorrow, Cyric and Kur placed the body of their slain companion on his horse and divided his possessions (Cyric took 'Ejsinden'). Uncertain whether to go on to the valley where Caderi's group had been attacked, Kur Pelagius climbed up into the hills to spy out the terrain. He saw a peaceful-looking valley with a stream running through the centre, the forest gleaming in the afternoon sun. Caderi assured Kur that the Dead lurked in the forests on either side of the stream. Kur returned to Cyric and the camp, and the pair decided to return to Dunmere Keep for reinforcements. With heavy hearts, they turned back.
Five days later, Cyric and Kur returned to Dunmere. They handed Vasquez's body over to the priest and informed Bailiff Weras of what they had found. The Bailiff commended their efforts and agreed that more forces were needed to deal with the threat. Solemnly, Cyric and Kur Pelagius attended the wake of their slain companion Ronaldo Vasquez.
Returning to the White Skull Inn the three discussed plans with Zaiend the innkeeper, who recommended the rogue Caderi as the most likely contact for mercenaries. Following the inkeeper's directions, Kur, Cyric and Corg found Caderi drunk in the village. In his stupor, Caderi revealed his knowledge not only of the location of the remaining Glorious Company members (in the village of Aarth), but also of a group of swamp knights. After brief consultation, the three agreed to seek each of these parties. Cyric would travel north to Aarth to seek the Glorious Company and persuade them to join their band. With him would go Doewyn, the sour-mouthed Government Man who had worked exclusively for the Glorious Company before their exile. Kur and Corg would travel with (a now sober) Caderi into the western swamp to seek the knights.
Before setting forth, Kur sought an audience with the Bailiff, who reluctantly agreed to retract his sentence of banishment upon the Glorious Company should they join the assault force. But Weras refused to allow the Company entrance to the keep proper.
Caderi led Kur and Corg into the swamp. At nightfall, with no sign of the knights, they camped. Soon they spied torchlight, and Kur and Corg sneaked into the darkness to investigate. Corg Kilarn's efforts at stealth were woeful and the pair were soon discovered by the six knights. The knights were from the ancient castle of Eylea, and had been hunting lizard-men in the swamp. Kur Pelagius persuaded them to join the effort to defeat the dead.
The next day, Cyric arrived in Aarth, where he found the remnants of the Glorious Company (now led by Lieutenant Oceraw) seated around a table. Cyric convinced the company to join with him, and led by the promise of redeeming their soiled reputation they rode southwards, arriving at Dunmere on the Day of the Rat. The Glorious Company were discomfited to find Cyric, Kur and Corg living in their former abode. Legelaw the Athletic of the Company, who had been impressed with Corg Kilarn's athleticism, challenged him to a wrestling match. Legelaw grappled Kilarn easily, but was surprised by an agile counter-grapple that left him helpless. Legelaw bowed to his superior opponent, and Corg Kilarn had made a friend.
That evening a contingent of soldiers from Tulan also arrived and sheltered at the keep. The muster was complete:
The wooded valley lay in the shadow of the Mountains of Hunger, a blaze of autumn colours. A small stream wound its way through the valley, passing beneath a small stone structure at the far end. The scouts moved closer. Sure enough, they soon spotted rows of skeletons standing motionless among the trees. At that point three figures emerged from the stone structure and the skeletons began to march toward the scouts.
The adventurers retreated to the valley entrance, where the army was gathering and the ballista was being set up. Then Kur Pelagius noted another large group of skeletons emerging from the woods to the left. All in all, 120 skeletons were converging on the army of 50 men. With a cry, the knights and Baronial patrol charged the nearest group, while Kur, Corg and Cyric deftly rode between the two advancing groups of Dead, and galloped to intercept the three black-robed figures.
Cyric smacked one of the black-robed priests with the flat of his sword, knocking him out cold. Another fell to Kur's deadly harpoon. The third raised his quarterstaff to defend himself against Corg Kilarn. Inside the hut, a fourth priest appeared, clothed in black and armed with a scythe. A choking stench of the grave billowed out from the entrance, causing Kur and Corg to gag. Corg Kilarn threw one of his broadswords at the scythe-wielding fellow, as Kur and Cyric finished off the remaining cultist. Kur retrieved his bloody harpoon and cast it at the scythe-wielder, wreaking doom upon him. In the hut, Kur found an old book written in a strange language.
Looking to the south, Cyric saw a great melee between soldiers and skeletons. It was impossible to tell who was winning. Waking and interrogating the remaining cultist (which involved some torture), Cyric learned that the skeletons could be controlled by the strange medallions worn by each priest. He grabbed one and commanded the skeletons to drop their weapons, and then to stop moving. The tide of battle immediately turned and the men of Berghof were victorious.
The trio returned to Sergeant Elohar, who was supervising the aftermath of the battle. Fifteen soldiers were dead, mostly from Tulan and Dunmere, but the Berghovian victory was complete. The interrogated cultist spoke of another of his fellows in the mountains behind the valley and Cyric, Kur and Corg took the six knights of Eylea to investigate. Following the track upstream they found a cultist (easily surprised and taken prisoner by Corg Kilarn) and a dark cave with bronze doors which filled Kilarn and Cyric with such fear that they would not enter. Kur Pelagius conquered his fear and entered the cave, only to find it empty. The trio sealed the doors as best they could, and returned with their army to Dunmere Keep.
Back at the castle four days later, Bailiff Weras praised the three for their part in ridding the Dead from Dunmere hills. The Bailiff rewarded each of them with a medal of honour. Weras also kept his promise, rescinding his order of banishment on the Glorious Company. The two cultists were hanged and their bodies joined the corpse of Warden Gword at the crossroads near the village.
On the way to Tulan, the trio encountered some Knights of Eylea and accompanied them to that grim fortress, located in the Great Southern Swamp. The three met Sir Timir, who had aided them in the Battle of Shadow Valley and he made them welcome. However there was something not quite right about Eylea; Kur Pelagius suspected that the knights guarded their shrine to Law a little too dilligently and their priest was a little too anxious for the guests to leave. Nevertheless, the trio bid farewell to the swamp fortress and returned to the road to Tulan, after accepting a letter to deliver to an innkeeper there. On the way, Cyric opened the letter, which seemed to be a harmless personal missive from one of the knights.
In the town of Tulan, first stop was the Silver Wheel gaming house, where the shady Johnny Northside agreed to forge a replacement seal for the opened letter. Cyric waited for the forger while Aranduil explored Garden Island. After Johnny Northside returned with the resealed letter, Cyric delivered the letter to Norton Rables, at the Travelers' Inn. Outside of that establishment the three discovered a bedraggled knight named Porthus. He declared that his master, the Abbot Sensotha, had been kidnapped along with his four virginal nuns, by black-hatted bandits in the forest north of town.
Somewhat fortified by ale in the Inn of the Wagon Tongue, Sir Porthus explained in detail how bandits known as the Black Hats had abducted his master. He begged all those who would listen: Cyric, Aranduil and Cela D'Arrana to help him. They agreed, and the next day at dawn they rode out from Tulan, along with Sir Porthus and Kur Pelagius. After travelling through the fields near Tulan, they entered the Drusewude, where the ambush had taken place. Aranduil spotted tracks leading into the forest and the group followed them away from the road.
In the forest, the party encountered a group of Black Hats, who invited them back to their encampment, much to Sir Porthus' displeasure. In the camp the adventurers met Wyric, the Black Hat leader, and his witch wife Myrti. Wyric explained that their son Viggo and some renegade friends had abducted the abbot. Wyric disapproved but didn't want any harm to come to his son. Aranduil, Cyric and Cela agreed to try to bring Viggo back to the fold and free the abbot. They left Sir Porthus in the hands of the Black Hats.
With two Black Hats, Pahir and Theros, to guide them, Cela, Cyric and Aranduil crept through the forest in search of Viggo's camp. Cela used sorcery to get a rat's-eye view of the camp. Sure enough, Viggo and his men had the prisoners. Aranduil mixed up a sleeping potion, which he gave to Cela. Then Cyric and the Black Hats made a commotion and ran away, leaving Cela to act the part of damsel in distress. She was quickly found by the renegade Black Hats, who took her back to their camp. She told Viggo that she had been attacked by bandits. Viggo was skeptical, but he took some of his men to scout out the area. Finding nothing, they returned to the camp and prepared a meal. Aranduil observed the proceedings through the eyes of an ensorcelled raven which cawed to distract the men while Cela administered the potion to the food. The Black Hats ate the food and all but one of them sank into a doze, as did the prisoners. Cela made winsome gestures to the last awake Black Hat. He embraced Cela and did not see Cyric of Tulan approach and knock him unconscious. The renegade Black Hats had been captured.
Cyric sent Theros back to the main Black Hat camp, and soon Wyric returned with a number of his men. Wyric thanked the adventurers, returned to them their horses and the disgruntled Sir Porthus. The abbot, Sir Porthus and the nuns were freed, and Cyric, Kur, Cela and Aranduil escorted them back to Tulan. They arrived at the ferry late that night, and entered the town the next morning, receiving a reward of promissory notes from the grateful Abbot.Patrick Maslen 2006-05-24