War of the Stones

Session 5

The party left the war camp, trudging their way to the northeast towards Helbmond Forest. The map they had seen had given them the impression that it would take two days for them to reach the edge of the forest; however, they quickly discovered that the map had been wrong. In the end, it took them four days to reach the edge of the forest.
At this point, the party was conflicted. They had three paths ahead of them: they could either go north-northwest, skirting the edge of the forest to try to get around it without much incident, east, avoiding the forest entirely but sacrificing time, or northeast, straight through the heart of the forest. Valgest argued for avoiding the forest in its entirety, citing the dangers, while the rest of the party opted to go to the north. Since an agreement could not initially be reached, the party agreed to make camp for the night, and make a final decision in the morning.
Soren had the first watch. While he was awake, he heard a snarling coming from the forest. Fearing an attack, he went carefully into the forest, to investigate the noise. He found a wolf there, snarling at him. Opting to fight it, he scorched it with a ray, killing it. The fight was not over though, as two more wolves accosted him. He fought them, eventually killing one by shocking it to death (with the unfortunate side effect of locking its jaws onto his leg), but found himself at a major disadvantage. Yelling for help, he continued defending himself until Naftis was able to come assist him. Naftis was able to save Soren, and the two of them brought back meat from the wolves, with Soren injured. Naftis had the second watch, and so rather than go back to sleep, he opted to stay awake with Soren until his watch began, and the two of them began to cook the wolf meat into jerky.
Naftis’ watch, and then Roywyn’s as well, went by without incident. However, Valgest was not so lucky. While he was on watch, he noticed two sets of lupine eyes staring at him from the forest. Not wanting to risk being attacked alone, he woke up Darowin, who had not been awake yet. Darowin fired an arrow at the set of eyes, hitting it but not piercing the creature’s skin. The battle had begun, and the two very large wolves, larger than those that Soren and Naftis fought, jumped into the camp. Darowin quickly made vines and undergrowth appear, entangling one wolf (and Soren, who was still sleeping), but failing to entangle the other. At this point, Naftis and Roywyn awoke, and began to fight as well. The four of them fought very well, but it was extremely difficult, with most of the blows that landed simply glancing off the skin of the wolves. The party was met with a stroke of luck, however, when a mysterious Halfling flying kickapow’d one of the wolves, dislocating its neck, killing it instantly. As for the other wolf, Roywyn managed to seriously damage it with her quarterstaff, and between that and the rest of the party, eventually the wolf was brought down. When both wolves died, they turned into humans, which the party thought was strange. They believed that they were feral druids. Soren slept through the whole fight, only awakening once, when the monk killed the first wolf, but he quickly fell back asleep.
Once everything had calmed down, the party immediately questioned the Halfling. They found out her name was Kasxa Unu, and that she was a monk who had left her temple to find her inner peace. She said she had found it by hunting out these druids in the forest. Roywyn could tell she wasn’t telling the full truth, but nothing was done about it. As a show of faith, Kasxa allowed the party to tie her up for the rest of the night, so that they could trust that she would not harm them in their sleep. The rest of the night passed without incident.
When the party awoke, Soren was extremely confused by the presence of the monk, and almost set her alight, but was tackled by Naftis before he could do so. The situation was quickly explained, and everyone calmed down again. At this point, the party needed to decide in what direction they would head. Ultimately, it was decided that the party would go north, to investigate an elven village. Kasxa had told the party of an elven village nearby that was offering a bounty of a masterwork weapon, in exchange for the removal of a dark force that dwelled in the center of the forest. Soren and Valgest wanted to ignore it and head east, concerned for theirs and the party’s safety, but they were outvoted, and so the party went north. On their way there, they passed where Soren had fought the wolves during his watch, and saw that near the charred and dead bodies there was a den. They heard a soft sound coming from it, and chose to investigate. They found a wolf pup in the den, seemingly orphaned due to the killing of the other wolves. Soren offered to put it down quickly, as opposed to letting it die a slow death as nature took its course on the defenseless pup, but he was slapped and then tackled for his idea. Instead, Ahshantil offered it food, and took it in as his companion, playing fetch with it for a half-hour. Once this was over, the party continued north.
A few days later, as they were traveling, they reached a clearing, with the full moon shining down on them. Suddenly, everyone but Roywyn began to hear strange sounds, sounds that were extremely saddening, such as that of slaughtering children, or the death of a loved one. Almost simultaneously, Valgest, Darowin, and Naftis all transformed into wolves, and began running full-out towards the source of the odd sounds. Soren, Kasxa, and Ahshantil followed them, running towards the source of the despair-causing sound. Roywyn caught up to them, and managed to break the enchantment with a song of her own, and so the four of them followed the three new werewolves towards their destination.
Eventually, they reached the center of the forest, thick with undergrowth and overgrown trees, where they saw two of the werewolves attacking an odd, burnt-looking tree. The third werewolf was off to the side, unconscious; the four conscious members of the party could only assume it was Naftis. Unsure of how to proceed, since they didn’t want to hurt their friends, or have their friends attack them, the party waited until morning, when the full moon would go down and their friends would transform back into humanoid form.
They did so, and after watching the tree be enveloped in darkness, and also put out gale-force winds, eventually the morning came, and the three afflicted lycanthropes turned back into humans. The rest of the party quickly dragged them away from the tree, and Roywyn used her healing magic to heal the three party members of their injuries. She told them that the people they had fought that were thought to have been druids must have been werewolves, and that the three of them had been afflicted with the disease. After some deliberation, the party allowed Soren to light the tree on fire. As this happened, the tree let out a sickening wail, and appeared to die. Soren didn’t feel very well, but it appeared that the threat had been vanquished.
Near the tree was an unknown humanoid, with mottled green skin, and green hair as well. No one knew who or what she was, but she did have a pouch with a few gold pieces, some unknown berries and twigs, a pickled fish, and a strange blue orb. Roywyn took the gold, Ahshantil took the pickled fish and the berries, and Soren grabbed the orb. The party decided to bury the body, because they didn’t know what else to do with it. After this was done, they headed on their way to the elven village.
A few days later, the party reached the edge of Cranonna, an elven village, and they were greeted by an emissary. He questioned them, and after hearing part of their story, allowed Naftis, Ahshantil, Verion, and Roywyn to enter the village and speak with their elder, Thadriel. The rest of the party, not trusted as much as the full elves or the gnome (everyone loves gnomes), was forced to wait at the entrance.
Upon reaching the elder’s home, he came out and began to speak to the three elves. While they spoke, Roywyn went into the town, and began performing her whistling, in order to earn money. Naftis told Thadriel the story of how we came to be in the village, and asked the elder about supplies. He agreed to let the party stay in the village for one night, and then provide them with enough supplies to reach the human village of Draigadain, at the northeastern edge of the forest. Naftis also mentioned the odd tree in the middle of the forest, and Ahshantil showed the berries he had found. The elder said that these berries were usually found with hags, who used them for alchemy. He noticed that the time at which the tree was destroyed was the same as when the people in the village stopped having strange nightmares, and so upon calling Soren in to inspect the orb that was found, granted Naftis the bounty that was promised. When Soren reached into his bag to retrieve the orb, he found it slightly damp for some reason. When Thadriel was inspecting it, the orb began to shoot out water from seemingly nowhere. The party agreed that it was probably a Stone of Power, although a minor one, and Soren took it back, filled his waterskin, and put the orb back in his bag. As for the bounty, Naftis received a masterwork elven longsword, the last piece of their old culture, from before they were forced out of their homelands.
Before he let them go, the elder mentioned that there were lycanthropes in the forest, and the party confirmed that they had run into them. The elder said that a few of us might be afflicted, not knowing that a few already knew they were, and offered for the town’s clerics to attempt to cure them.
Soren was feeling absolutely awful, having not slept since he burnt the tree, his awful nightmares keeping him from sleeping and regaining his physical and mental energy. Knowing that there were clerics in town who might be able to help, he asked the elder if he could go see if they could at least identify, if not heal, what was wrong with him, describing the situation in detail. The elder said that although he did not know if anything could be done, Soren would be allowed to go see the healers. He did so, and they prayed around him, removing most of the curse and finally allowing him to sleep.
Thinking about the offer the elder gave, Darowin and Naftis opted not to be healed, citing the greater power they possessed, and the fact that it was controllable. Valgest, however, took the elder up on his offer, and through the clerics’ prayer, was cured of his lycanthropy.
With most of the formalities taken care of, a feast and party were thrown in celebration of the defeat of the hag and the restoration of good nights’ rests for the elves. Everyone had a very good time, with Roywyn performing her whistling, Ahshantil breakdancing, and even a beatboxing performance from Kasxa. Valgest and Soren did not enjoy it nearly as much as the others due to their natures, but they had some fun getting mildly intoxicated. Soren used his Dancing Lights ability to create fireworks and lightshows to go along with the music, and everyone had a nice time.
When the celebration was over, everyone had a good night’s rest, and woke up raring to go in the morning. Having been given enough rations to reach the edge of the forest and another village, the party set out towards the northeast. After a few days, Soren began to notice that he could recognize some of the areas that the party was walking through. Having never actually been told the name of the village they were headed towards, he worriedly asked Naftis where the party was headed. Upon hearing that it was Draigadain, Soren paled. Worried, the party asked what was wrong, and he explained that the only one in danger was him. He told them that this village was his home, where his parents currently lived, provided they were still alive, and that he was not very well-liked in his hometown. This was due to his actions before he ran away, and the unfortunate circumstances that caused him to leave in the first place. Considering that he hadn’t been seen there in over six years, and that most of the people believed him to be dead anyway, Soren made a crude disguise to wear, in order to attempt to not be noticed, and the party continued on towards the village.

Adventure Log

Session 1

Our story begins with Soren Sarkynyt, Valgest Berunster, and Darowin Colm serving in the Special Work Force under Corporal Akter Avforing, mainly as menial laborers. Due to his odd abilities, Soren was forced to wear stone gloves to keep him in check. One day, the three of them were given an assignment; they were told to go into a cave in the mountains to do two things: remove some shocker lizards from the cave, and investigate and clean up an odd stench coming from the cave. In order to make sure they didn’t mess anything up and actually did their jobs, a fourth member was added to the group as their superior, Verion.

The group ventured into the cave, and defeated the shocker lizards. They noticed that the cave was larger than expected, and that the stench was coming from further back into the cave, and so they ventured forth. They found a Small Green Dragon, who attacked the party, hungry and looking for food. However, its efforts were in vain as the party defeated it. The dragon was the source of the stench, as its acid combined with the stone to make an acrid smell.
They could have left the cave and been done with the mission, but they noticed the cave still extended further, and so rather than just leave, the party continued forth. They entered a room containing an altar with three stones on it, each with a different symbol engraved in it, and three hallways leading out. They first all tried to go down one hallway, and almost drowned in the rush of floodwater that occurred, except Darowin, who managed to ride the wave back successfully. They then tried to separate, with one person going down each hallway with one of the stones, and Soren staying behind to coordinate them by yelling. Things didn’t go quite that easily though, as other traps sprung on the party, from an odd sleep gas to an animated suit of armor. With some difficulties the party managed to get by all the traps and put the stones in their respective places at the end of the hallways, and the path opened up in front of them.
They entered a room that appeared to be carved from stone, but was carved in such a way that Valgest, even with his dwarven stonecunning, could not identify the carver. The room was carved with many images of turtles on the walls, and had a small flow of oddly glowing water running through the middle of the room. The party drank of the water, and found themselves healed, only for some of the water to animate itself into elemental form. After a battle in which some seemingly impossible things happened, such as one water elemental being set on fire, eventually they were defeated, and the group ventured forward once more.
They entered a passage with an odd feature: the walls were lit by blue torches that were cold, rather than hot. The room had one other odd feature: there was a lava pit on the other side, with the exit on the other side of the pit. The party found that when they stepped on the stones floating in the lava, other pillars raised. Through cunning, problem solving, and a few awesome maneuvers, the party managed to get across the lava pit, although Soren and Darowin almost died in the process.
They entered into a room similar to the last one, only there was much more water. From the water came a dragon turtle, who, after asking Verion questions about his intentions, bestowed upon him an odd stone, in the shape of a turtle, which when held, made the holder feel the safest he has ever felt. The party left the cave using a path the dragon turtle opened for them, and walked back to camp.

Session 2

Upon their return, they reported to Corporal Avforing, who informed them that the General of the Army, General LeClezio, would be arriving tomorrow for inspection. The next day, as the General inspected the troops, Avforing presented him with the stone that the party had found. The party spoke up, with Soren speaking, to tell the General what had really happened in the caves. Upon hearing this, and noticing that Soren’s hands were bound, questioned Corporal Avforing about the truth of his statements, and why Soren’s hands were bound. Avforing was unable to give a proper answer, and thus was discharged for perjury and poor performance. Soren’s bindings were removed, and the party was asked to see the General privately. The four of them followed the General, who introduced them to two other people, Naftis and Roywyn, along with the Army’s expert on the stones, Dexter. The two adventurers had found a different stone, a purple one with three depressions in it, each with a different rune inscribed within. Naftis told them about how one day he had been holding the stone and thinking of the sea, when suddenly he found himself swimming in the ocean. Soren said that one of the runes meant “move,” and so that probably corresponded to the odd teleportation that occurred. Through a lot of experimentation, and one unfortunate incident that almost killed Naftis and Roywyn, the party was able to deduce some of the functions of both stones. Once everyone was fully healed, the party was given another assignment: they were to use the teleportation stone to infiltrate an enemy camp and find a stone that Dexter believed was there.

Session 3

They teleported to the enemy camp, saw it, then immediately teleported back, because they realized that they hadn’t actually made any preparations to go to the camp in the first place. Once they did that and disguised themselves as best as they could, they teleported back to the camp. They asked the nearest prisoner to them about the camp, and if there were any caves nearby, or places that would go underground. He told them there were no caves nearby, but there was a well that wasn’t used, because it always brought up salt water. Asking about the man’s past, they found out his name was Ashantil, and that he was locked up for a failed attempt on the Tenochan General’s life. Deciding that he would be more useful if he were free, the party released him from his cage, and managed to get down the well without being noticed by anyone who mattered, convincing a blacksmith that he was being taken down for a severe beating.
Once in the well, the party found corpses of other people, robbers, it seemed. They also found a pillar of salt with four depressions in it. Luckily for them, the people who had died had done the hard work of finding the objects that went in the depressions, and after fighting hordes of undead zombies, the party was able to put the objects in their respective places. This opened up a secret door in the wall, which seemed to lead into a tomb.
The more magical people in the party could sense a slightly evil presence in the sarcophagus, and so they opened it up. They found a corpse holding a scepter, at whose head was a ball with black energy in it, evil in a way that made it difficult to look at. As soon as Naftis tried to take the scepter, the corpse animated and stopped him. After a very difficult fight, with Naftis coming close to death and everyone else severely injured, eventually the undead was defeated. By this point, the jailor had noticed Ahshantil’s absence, and had come down into the well to investigate why he was being beaten by someone other than himself. Knowing that they would not be able to face him in their current battered state, the party, including Ahshantil, used the teleportation stone in order to retreat back to their camp, taking the scepter with them.

Session 4

Once back at the camp, everyone rested for a while. General LeClezio was pleased that the party had retrieved the scepter, but was not happy that a prisoner had been rescued, because it would put the ceasefire that had been in effect at risk. After much investigation, Ashantil’s story checked out, and he was allowed to stay, although with slightly higher guard than most others. Elsewhere, Dexter was working on figuring out what the scepter did. He had managed to open up the ball on the scepter and get what was inside. What he found was a small, black stone in the shape of a shriveled, dead finger. He found that by pointing the finger at a mouse, he was able to kill the mouse with a ray blacker than anything he had ever seen. What’s more, he showed Soren that through a lot of study on how the stones worked, Dexter was able to say some words and make a few hand signs, and a small ball of fire would appear in his hands; he had seemingly found a way to replicate Soren’s abilities, albeit at a much smaller scale.
Elsewhere, General LeClezio told Valgest that they had found someone near the camp and taken him prisoner, and that he had been repeatedly asking to speak to Valgest. Valgest went to see him, and was shocked to find that the prisoner was an old acquaintance of his from the mountains, Duerard. They spoke with one another, Duerard clearly angry that Valgest had left his home in the mountains. Valgest said that he left because he didn’t agree with the way things were being done there, and that he had to leave because he couldn’t take it anymore. Duerard tried in vain to get him to see his point, and so resorted to trying to kill him, making an odd sound in his throat that worried Valgest. He ran outside to warn everyone, but as he did that, two medium-sized dragons, one black and one blue, flew in, each carrying a dwarf in its claws, and began to destroy the camp. The party, assisted by the troops and General LeClezio, managed to defeat the dragons and the dwarves, although with many casualties to the troops.
As soon as the enemy had been beaten, however, a larger red dragon flew in and grabbed Dexter’s tent, along with Dexter himself, and flew off towards the mountains, taking most of Dexter’s notes, and the two stones that Dexter had in his possession with it. While the general attempted to corral the troops so none or few would go AWOL, Valgest, in rage, tipped over Duerard’s cage and had Soren shock it, in order to hurt him. They then left him there, as a prisoner of war.
Once everyone had calmed down, the general noticed a Tenochan messenger riding up. The message he received was grim indeed; the ceasefire had been called off, and the war was back in full force. Knowing that in its current state, this part of the Army would not stand a chance against a Tenochan attack, the General gave the party two options: they could come with him and the Army to the sea, to attempt to gain reinforcements, or they could go northwest to the mountains, in order to try to retrieve Dexter and the lost Stones of Power. The party decided to go to the mountains to rescue Dexter, and so after a few days of preparation, they set off to the Helbmond Forest to the northeast, in order to get to the mountains beyond it.


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