War of the Gods

Arrival at Willow's End

The heroes have arrived at Willow’s End, and have learned of an ancient tribe of minotaurs called the Ruun. The minotaurs waged war against the Northern Empire centuries ago, and were believe to have been utterly wiped out. The Ruun used a green and orange battle standard and also tattooed their followers with a pair of horns.

In talking with the people of Willow’s End, the heroes learned of a sickness that seems to have originated from the #4 mine shaft. Several miners have fallen deathly ill and been driven half-mad by something within the shaft. Some miners haven’t even come out of the shaft.

The Chief of the Town Council, Duncan Stonewarden, and his brother, Dugan, head of the Miner’s Union, organized a search party to rescue the miners and find the source of their illness. Unfortunately, the searchers were separated, and Dugan and his retinue never returned.

While mindful of the threat from Delruun, the heroes agreed to search the mine to determine the cause of the spreading illness in Willow’s End. If successful, Duncan Stonewarden has promised them 500 gold pieces and a Frost Rapier that belonged to his grandfather.

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A Gathering Darkness

Tiryth has revealed that a minotaur called Lord Delruun, aided by the human wizard Darfar, is preparing for war in the north. Tiryth had been promised incredible wealth and power if she was able to disrupt the civilizations of the east. With the goblins being destroyed, Tiryth was to travel north, to Delruun’s outpost just beyond the Grim Peaks. From there the watch captain would direct her to Delruun’s stronghold in the Icepick Mountains.

Delruun plans to launch his attack in the spring. It is currently mid-autumn, so the people of Farence have little time to prepare. Governor Remus agreed to send couriers to the other eastern towns and urge Emperor Torvius to call an emergency meeting in the old capitol of Bastion.

Meanwhile, the heroes went north, to Willow’s End, hoping to find more information about the minotaurs and the north as they make for the outpost beyond the Grim Peaks.

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Tracking a Traitor

Realizing that the witch and the goblins shared the same tattoo, the heroes rushed to the Governor’s Manor and awoke Remus and Tiryth. Basajuan and Brigitte checked the manor staff and guards for horn tattoos while Juliand snuck up to the roof of the house. At the top of the northwest watchtower, Juliand discovered a hollow-out chimney that led to a small basement room containing a crystal ball and thirty pieces of silver.

Unable to find another tattoo, the heroes decided to sneak up to the roof of the manor and wait for someone to try to access the hidden room. As luck would have it, the heroes saw Tiryth come up to the roof and, oblivious to their presence, proceed down the hollow chimney.

Acting quickly, Brigitte and Coren tied a rope around Basajuan and lowered him down the shaft, where he overheard Tiryth conversing with a familiar voice. Basajuan recognized the voice as the man who had addressed them from Tea’Una’s crystal ball.

Juliand brought the Governor up to the roof, and Tiryth was apprehended. In return for her life being spared, Tiryth agreed to use the crystal to tell the green and orange robed man, a wizard named Darfar Oakspur, that she had slain the upstart band of adventurers.

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The Witch's Crystal

Searching the lair of Tea’Una, the Witch of the Woods, the heroes find a pair of Catstep Boots and a small crystal ball. The witch also had a tattoo of a pair of horns on the back of her head, just like the goblins which the party destroyed previously. Realizing that the witch was responsible for the attack on the foresters, the heroes rushed back to Hillfort and woke up the priest, Devahn, at the temple of Pelor.

The situation having bee explained, Devahn was able to activate the crystal ball, and a distinguished looking man in green and orange robes appeared in the crystal. The man began to chastise Tea’Una for contacting him ahead of schedule, but he stopped talking once he realized he wasn’t addressing the witch. The vision in the crystal ball disappeared, and as the heroes looked on the ball turned to stone and crumbled to dust.

Further conversation with the priest revealed that the Staff of Glorious Radiance, a most revered artifact of the Church of Pelor, had been taken from the temple in Hillfort. Devahn admitted that only powerful magic or divine influence could have caused such a theft.

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Witch of the Woods

The party decided they would spend the day recuperating from their encounter at the foresters’ work site, and set out by night to discover the lair of the witch. Following a stream to the north, they came upon the cavern from with the stream was flowing.

The cavern was dimly lit by strange glowing fish in the stream. The heroes looked around and discovered that the water from the stream flowed down a steep incline. Basajuan and Juliand snuck down the hill and found a large room dominated by a pool of water. They spotted what appeared to be a pair of spiders hanging from the ceiling and a drake watching out from across the pool.

Brigitte and Coren started down the incline, but they slipped and fell, alerting the witch and her minions to their presence. Giving their friends time to recover, Juliand and Basajuan rushed ahead. Unfortunately, Basajuan ranged too far ahead of the others. He was surrounded by a pair of spiders and badgered mercilessly by a filthy, bloodsucking stirge.

Juliand, seeing Basajuan’s plight, leapt out over the pool and unleashed a furious barrage of throwing daggers on the monsters before falilng into the water. Meanwhile, the witch summoned a spider spirit which stood its ground beside another spider and prevented Coren and Brigitte from moving up to join the fray.

Finally, the heroes were able to defeat the monsters, and the desperate witch unleashed her most powerful magic, knocking Juliand and Brigitte unconscious. Luckily, Basajuan and Coren were able to slay the witch and then revive their friends.

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Rescuing the Foresters

As the group left the Persimmon Inn to head for the manor, a disturbance by the town gate caught their attention. Apparently, the foresters were being attacked by giant spiders. Commander Tiryth caught up with the heroes at the gate, and the five of them took off for the foresters’ work site.

The heroes ran to the work site, located along a stream and discovered a group of foresters being assaulted by a group of dire spiders and spitting drakes. Aided (albeit very little) by Tirtyh, the heroes won a hard fought battle against the monsters and rescued the hard-working foresters.

As the group took a few minutes to recover, they spotted a stirge flying north up the stream, towards the area where the Witch of the Woods is said to reside.

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Betrayal

Remus and Tiryth have both raised suspicion about a tratior in Hillfort. The heroes have also learned that there may be an ancient witch holed up in the woods near the town. The group determined that they should speak with the Governor’s staff one by one and attempt to expose a traitor before they went in search of any crazy witch.

With accusations flying, the heroes decided to get some rest and begin interrogating the Governor’s staff by daylight. Perseque, the cleric, had been recalled to his temple; the group had no choice but to go on without him.

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The Goblin Lair-Aftermath

The heroes returned to Hillfort, where Remus rewarded their efforts and invited them to dinner. Over the meal, Remus confessed that he’s convinced there is a traitor in Hillfort, presumably someone on his staff; a soldier or servant. He also revealed that there has been a theft at the Temple of Pelor. Remus didn’t know what was taken, but he suggested the party speak with Sun Priest Devahn.

Tiryth has also confided in the heroes. She agrees that someone has betrayed the town of Hillfort. However, Tiryth suspects the Governor. She has shown the heroes the Governor’s secret bolt-hole, leading to his boat in the event the manor is ever taken. Who knows what other secret passageways the manor contains?

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The Goblin Liar-Grobitz

The heroes negotiated their way across a chasm by swinging from a series of chains and came into the main chamber of the goblin lair. Grobitz, the goblin leader, offered to let the party leave alive if they turned over their valuables. Brigitte, speaking goblin, hurled a few threats at Grobitz, and the fight was on. Sark went up against the guards at the door and the others moved forward towards Grobitz and his bodyguards.

Basajuan was temporarily disable by a blinded hex, and Juliand was knocked unconscious by one of Grobitz’s guards. Things looked bleak, but Sark was able to defeat the door guards and revive Juliand. Basajuan was finally able to throw off the blinding hex and strode into the fray, turning the tide of the battle back in favor of the heroes. After slaying Grobitz and his guards, the heroes returned to Hillfort to collect their reward.

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The Goblin Lair-The Taskmaster

Proceeding away from the barracks, the heroes came upon a locked door. Juliand was able to pick the lock, and he and Basajuan snuck through the door into a prison. An enormous goblin armed with a club and a whip was beating a human prisoner against the wall. Basajuan and Juliand were able to catch the Taskmaster completely offguard. Emboldened by their success, Brigitte and Sark joined the fray. The four heroes destroyed the Taskmaster, and were able to free 6 prisoners. The party walked the prisoners to the lair entrance, where Coren, Perseque and Umsh escorted the prisoners back to Hillfort.

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