Hacklab

Kheg Secret Pages2
Days 127 - 128

Day 127 – Afternoon
Castle grounds
Mere of Deadmen

Day 127
After another long canoe trip we have arrived back at the lizard camp for our initial survey of the castle grounds. Our plan now is to return to the roadhouse in hopes of obtaining more equipment for our castle invasion.

Day 128
We are at the roadhouse and will stay here one evening. On our way here, while we were making our way through the swamp, we saw a few torches and guessed that they were being carried by as many as 7 or 8 people. We were never able to get close enough to see who they were since they were moving faster than we could as we tried to sneak up on them. We do however suspect that they were going towards the dragon’s lair since they were spotted moving a northeasterly direction.

Day 129
Earlier today we spent 5 hour marching through the Mere of Dead Men. We ran across 9 crocodiles, but felt that with limited supplies and an upcoming castle breach, slaying crocs wasn’t in our best interest. We took a little detour that added about 40 minutes to our hike, but at least we were able to keep all our fingers and toes. Well most of us have toes; I’m not sure what Peagus has.

We have reached the lizardfolk’s camp and this evening we’ll retire early and for a predawn rise. We plan to be at the castle just as the sun rises. With only two of our crew being able to see in the dark we need to make as much use of the daylight hours as we can since we have no idea how long this siege will take.

Day 130
It is mid morning as I sit here on a bed, on the 2nd floor of the north tower of the castle. I am accompanied by Orlin, Peagus, Windspliter, and Altair. The plan to waltz in the front gate posing as Melcori earlier this morning actually worked. Quetzel served up a quick dish of bullshit after Peagus failed to get us through by intimidating the guards. Of course the stupidity of the humanoid toads guarding the gate played into our favor; thank you Melchori for making this all much more simpler than I had expected. Not only did we get through the gate with ease, we were even escorted to these comfortable barracks we sit in by the man in charge of operations within these castles walls. I don’t remember his name, but it’s not like it’s important for he will be dead within the next hour. Although we are being given preferential treatment, posing as Venomfang’s envoy’s from Thundertree didn’t get me the red carpet I was hoping for, but it is helping keep us alive. I guess on the hierarchy of dragons, Venomfang is near the bottom.

In only a few short minutes we’ll send a signal to the lizardfolk that their revolt has started and that their liberation is near. The mattress I sit on will become the fuel to the signal fire atop the north tower and once a blaze, if all goes well, Quetzel and this team of lizardfolk will be successful in destroying the signal drums before they go thump to muster in more enemy combatants.

Day 130 – Mid morning
Inside the Melchori Castle
Mere of Dead Men

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Kheg's Secret Pages
Days 110-127

Day 125 – Evening
Smoldering structure at the south end of the Ocrian Trade Way
Myr Derot

What most would refer to a tomb, I’m going to call it a womb for I feel I have been reborn and the womb I was carried in for 11 days — albeit not a pleasant womb like most others — has nurtured my drive and put me on the path of becoming a more productive being.

My captivity and treatment at the hands of the Melchori Dragon Cult has helped forged me for I am now fueled by vengeance like never before. When Kheg Tealeaf slipped through the birth canal a second time, he emerged as a stone cold killer of the unjust, and a compassionate champion of the tortured and oppressed.

I shall proclaim myself “The Almighty Avenger”, and the world of the Malchori and other miscreants like them shall hear this title ring louder than the cries of those they have tortured.

It was a day like any other day in Ocrey until that pinnacle moment yesterday in that dark swamp west of Myr Derot that a cargo crate was dropped and out sprang 3’6” of terror. It was here in this swamp, the Mere of Dead Men that The Almighty Avenger had risen.

Iarno Albrect, Lord of Neverwinter can rest easy for now for the Malchori Dragon Cult has my full attention. For both the late Hammer and myself and even Hammer’s little pet Pecker, I promise brutal endings for the nutbags behind the dragon masks. With a sharpened focus, the skills I once used to prey upon civilization will become weapons of war against the oppressors and tyrants of Ocrey.

Be forewarned unjust beings, for The Almighty Avenger has been birthed and now stalks the fields near and far.

It was 10:30 am this morning when I made it out of the swamp and by sheer chance ran across Altair and Orlin as they stood in a cindering, smokey roadhouse. I was briefed on Hammer’s demise as Altair tended to the still dying, and told that Peagus was away looking for Flynt who went either MIA or AWOL, but NUTS seems to be the crew’s consensus.

In describing what Flynt did, using the word “goof” would be an understatement, because during a fight with the Melchori, Flynt roasted the entire 2 story building in which they all stood. In the process he scorched himself, his fellow troopers and 13 others of which Altair was able to heal 4 of. Worse is that most of dead and injured were innocent bystanders. Had I not been trudging through the nearby swamp at the time trying to evade crocodiles, snakes and possible recapture, I’d have been with them and possibly in worse shape than I was already in after 11 days of captivity in a crate, in the heat of Southern Ocrey.

Tomorrow, myself, Altair Orlin, Peagus, and some new blue, 8’ freak of nature named Windsplitter will enter a secret passage that was found a couple of days ago inside the former Carnath Roadhouse.

Normally, I welcome new team members, but we have transitioned from purple half elves; to a tiefling; to a half bull; and now to a being not even from this plane. What the hell happened to the most superior humanoids of them all, the halflings? Even humans with their funny looking, round ears are less bizzare than what we’ve scraped together in the last two months.

Day 126
About an hour into our hike north across the swamp, in a surprising turn of events, I was providing medical attention to our healer Altair as he lay dying from wounds inflicted by some of the 7 crocodiles we encountered. It took a while, but I actually saved the Wood elf’s life. I must admit that I find taking lives more exciting though.

3 hours later into our march we find a campsite at the edge of a massive body of water. It was only a moment later that we noticed 9 humanoid lizards divided into 3 canoes coming towards us. As the canoes split it became obvious they intended to combat us and do it with a flanking maneuver. We adjusted to an according defensive strategy and although the lizards were tactically sound, they just didn’t have what it took to go up against superior warriors. Upon their 4th death, they threw down their weapons and surrendered.

With a lot of effort and patience, Peagus was able to communicate with the leader. He was able to determine that the lizards are also at odds with the Melchori and that they have a hideout deep in the swamp to the north. With our enemy’s enemy now becoming our brothers-in-arms they will take us to the castle tomorrow for it will be a very long canoe trip.

The Winterstorm Troopers are really getting soft on our opposition. I took flak for killing a combatant who dropped his weapons after being stunned by Orlin and this lizard had been trying to kill us and unprovoked I should add only a second before. If Amon Arkham was still around he’d whip these sissies into mentally stronger troops; Amon was a warrior’s warrior. If he knew how limp wristed the Winterstorm Troopers have become over these past 5 months since his death, his few remains would probably be rolling within the pile of gobblin shit he was thrown on outside the castle in Neverwinter Wood.

Tonight we will camp with the lizardfolk in the tents left empty by slain lizards. The other troopers seem uneasy about. Me? …With my stomach full of their smoked fish I helped myself too, I plan on sleeping like a baby. To the victor goes the spoils, and as far as I’m concerned, they’re lucky we don’t have them sleep outside the tents to make more room for us.

Day 127
We picked up a 6th trooper today…and who would have guessed, another freakazoid? This one’s a lizard named Quetzel. As a ranger his help will be welcomed, but he’s bringing some baggage with him. He’s trying to steer us into helping his brethren take over the Mere of Dead Men, the swamp that marks the western boundary Myr Derot. Although the lizardfolk’s fight is a noble one, I want to complete our current mission and then see what comes next; and with all these mosquitos, ticks and liches, staying in this swamp any longer than I have to is going to make me crazier than Flynt using fire in combat.

After what seemed like hours of tactical discussion, we finally agree that the best 1st step would be for the lizards to escort us to the castle for the purpose of surveying the structure and its surrounding terrain. In hindsight we should have been more tactful in our approach because we were spotted by some cultists standing guard along a high parapet. Our hopes of trying to BS our way in through the front door to avoid the toads is an even longer shot now so it’s time to work on Plan B.

Day 127 – Late afternoon
Mere of Dead Men
Southern Ocrey

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Windsplitter
Intro

Day 60

Well I have been in this land for 60 days now and only yesterday was I able to find any information about my prey. He is associated with the Melchori somehow and they are supposed to be transporting precious goods on a road crew headed to the swamp edge. I was being casual and very inconspicuous as I inspected the wagon and it’s crate looking for which one it might be. I noticed a half cow- half human creature eyeing me. He looked like a formidable opponent in combat. I took an instant liking to him, His name is Pegus, he told me he was on the same path that I was, looking for the melchori. he seemed to say it with distaste though.
We chatted as we camped for the night and I learned he has more friends following.

Day 61

Well we arrived The Roadhouse. They pulled the wagons in and Pegus and I helped unload the wagons, he had said last night he was certain wagon 3 had the treasure on it and sure enough the boxes he had mentioned were offloaded and sent straight to the strongroom. Bogluck the foreman of Roadhouse kept a close eye on us and we couldn’t really investigate any further. So we did a little extra work and bed down for the night. The air has finally cooled off a little. It has been so incredibly hot here. I don’t understand how these creatures can survive here. The air is thick and moist like breathing fog. I have started to become accustomed to it but the cool air is refreshing.

Day 62

Another group of wagons arrived today and Pegus pointed out his teammates and we made our introductions and headed for the chow hall. We ate dinner and made some plans. there was concern about other people here at the roadhouse, I guess there was some bad blood between them, I couldnt quite follow it all seemed complicated.
The sneaky types decided to check on things overnight and the rest of us went to bed.

Day 63

Well it turns out there is something fishy going on. They heard creatures speaking and moving around inside the locked strongroom last night. Interesting indeed. As we were going over the details at breakfast however, There was yelling and shouting out in the courtyard. I was determined not to get involved so I just keep eating my breakfast. but I am soon called out to the balcony of the chow hall and there is quite the gathering. A young tiefling and a human seem to be at odds and some sort of fight is brewing. I recognized the Tiefling from the room, it was one Pegus’s teamamtes Flynt. He seems to have gotten himself cornered. The human asks me about my religion and I tell him. they want to know about settling an argument.
The tiefling looks like a magical person and the human looks like a tough fighter type.
I made sure it was just them one on one to ensure a fair fight. then told them if he is bringing accusations and wishes to fight for it, so be it. let the fight find the truth.
Well the fighter whips a dagger at the tiefling and the tiefling throws a little clay bottle at the fighter nearly at the same time. “What a tiny little bottle, what good is th-”THHOOOOMMMM
The entire courtyard erupts in bright green flames and everything and everyone is on fire. even me! I struggle to put the flames out this stuff is sticking like pine sap and burns very hot. I finally strip down and remove my burning clothes to get rid of it. Suddenly Flynt is struck enough times he goes down. What a crazy fight but then Pegus jumps down from the balcony and runs over and heals the tiefling. I question that move it was a fair one on one fight. but this is a strange land so I keep silent. Flynt jumps up and goes on a rampage. Fireballs go flying. Magic makes people join sides with flynt and the Tiefling continues the onslaught as he kills his opponent and everyone that even remotely blocks his path to the exit. I just hope he didn’t kill all the cultists. I need info if I am going to find Blagothkus.
Pegus goes into the stable and I pick up the cleric altair and the monk Horlan and take them to pegus for healing. I tried to put the flames out on the cleric by removing his clothes but that didnt work the stuff leaked through the clothes and was burning his skin directly. As moans and wails of the wounded and dying echoed through the courtyard, we battled the fire as best we could. which turned out to just let it burn for an entire 6 hours. we lost the second floor of barracks and most of the workers.
Gristle Pete the Cook helped up us get back into an assemblance of order and we are slowly
rebuilding. The sneaky ones found a trapdoor in the strongroom and we are going to go exploring. After we heal up I hope, this group is going to be quite a handful I can tell.

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The Hammer's Final Blow

“Well Buddy, you really stepped into it this time” The Hammer thinks to himself after waking up in a basement. tied to a chair. barely alive. As he surveys the rooms he sees Altair tied up the same way “aw hell, we is really screwe” his thoughts are interupted by someone coming into the room. Three figures enter and the light reveals two humans and a serpent being. Hammer glares at them and tries to remain calm. The three chat amongst themselves for a moment then they point at Hammer and it’s decided to start with him. They ask some questions but he is barely alive and rambles on about being hired to drive a wagon. One of the humans unrolls a cloth with an assortment of nasty looking tools inside. Hammer is unimpressed until they blidfold him. " Not the Dark! like during the cave-in." he can’t see and it unnerves him. Then he hears the tools being rubbed together blade on blade, as it draws closer and closer. ’Don’t tell them anything hammer." Altair cries out as presumably he is blindfolded and sounds like he is dragged from the room. Hammer begins to fidget and beads of sweat pop up on his brow, He is really worried about this now.
The torturer asks some questions then begins cutting his flesh. Hammer raises his eyebrows in surprise. " That’s it? I’ve had worse when I was cutting my fingernails" The pain is present but for a dwarven warrior such as himself it is tolerable. Bolstered by his tolerance of the pain he defies the tortures questions again. He is smacked around and then dragged from the room. After what seems like an eternity a squeal of pain rings out and echos through the rooms. Hammer shakes his head about to try and see something but there is nothing and the blindfold is on tight. Silence falls again and Hammer is once again alone with his thoughts. Random gibberish and flashs to previous advetnures pop into his mind. Suddenly another Squeal of horrific pain is heard followed by what he swears is giggling. " Sick Bastards" he exclaims. he hears someone enter the room and he is once again dragged back into the room. something is thrown into his lap and and the blindfold is ripped off his head. As hammer blinks at the light he looks down to see two elven ear tips that have been cut off. he looks at Altair and the blood is flowing profusely from both sides of his head. Hammer flexs his muscles to really test the bonds he is tied with but with the two humans ready and the serpent or maybe a dragon creature, he decides he couldnt take them all out. He relaxes and hangs his head. They begin questioning him once again about where he is from, who hired him. He clenches his teeth and begins telling his cover story once more. he has repeated his cover story so much over the past few months he actually believes it and sticks with it trying to hold out. the human torturer becomes upset at hammer’s obstinance and makes a near fatal slip of the tongue. “lets sick the dragon lady on him” he says. His hand goes to his mouth as he realizes it was said out loud and with quickness The dragon creature is behind the human and hand around his throat.
Hammer smiles “At least we are not the only ones in trouble now” he thinks to himself.
After a few strong words and promises of slow painful death, the human returns his attention to Hammer and grabs a knife. He looks toward the half dragon and the others and they have a conversation about what to do with the dwarf. It’s not looking good. Hammer flexs again to break the bonds of the chair as the human with the knife knells down and slices into hammers leg severing the achilles heel. Hammer screams out and passes out from the pain.

Altair watches as they slice up his body and drags it out. Then a huge fist knocks out altair and he awakes in an alley wearing rags and a bunch of kids going through his pockets looking for money.

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Exploits of Hammer
The watcher follows The Hammer

I am Uatu the Watcher. It is my sworn duty to witness the potential critical moments of any race across the galaxies or obscure. And never interfere despite my deep worry for them. Whatever transpires, I will remain true to my charge, and observe all that occurs. Today we shall follow the endeavors of an odd dwarven fighter stuck in a boring routine but with an important mission that he knows he must endure. Hammer is our intrepid hero and he sits on a wagon pulled by a mule with a few paltry items he purchased in town in order to look like a merchant: 5 lbs of iron, 5 lbs of wheat, and a chicken. Hammer isn’t the smartest dwarf ever. His mission is to stay undercover while his teammates locate a cult of dragon worshipping nutbags. (hammers words not mine –Uatu).

The first week, the excitement of the mission wore off quickly even juggling wouldn’t help settle his unease. He was bored and no end was in sight. He started talking to the chicken. He named the chicken Pecker. Cause he was always pecking at stuff. Soon hammer was telling pecker of all his adventures and childhood stories. It got him through the rough spot of crossing a bridge made of skeletal remains which dredged up some bad memories for Hammer. There was an incident that had perked him up, he heard the familiar sounds of battle, and with a surge of adrenaline he charged into the fray but alas the fight was already over. But he was able to embellish some tales for other travelers in the back which lasted a few days before the boredom set in again. Unfortunately for our hero his actions caught the eye of group of men who recognized him from earlier exploits, So dark and sinister plans were plotted.

After a few good rainstorms really soaked and soured his mood hammer was miraculously saved from a painful death by a charming female gnome rogue finding a bone spur trap in his oatmeal. This triggered a resurgence in Hammers mission and he started paying attention to his surroundings and fellow travelers. During one of his teammates loud and raucous exploits Hammer noticed a fellow scowling at him from the crowd when everyone elses attention was focused elsewhere. Hammer had found his foe. But how to be sure? He didn’t want to blow cover and turn out the guy just didn’t like handsome, strong dwarves. So he waited and watched him and it turns out several friends of his. But they never betrayed themselves. Hammer was begin to doubt himself, and Pecker seemed to agree maybe it was just his imagination. But suddenly when fording a river, an axle snapped on the wagon spooking the mule and it went charging into the river, He jumped on the mule trying to get control of it, but him, the wagon, and the mule all went into the river. Because Hammer was in splint mail he immediately sunk straight to the bottom. Not being a swimmer he got up and started walking to shore underwater. But at the bank of the river he was in trouble the muddy banks kept coming apart and he couldn’t get a firm hold of anything to pull himself out. Hammer was starting to panic as his air ran out and he scrambled frantic to get out when he felt a hand on his butt and strong push propelled him up the bank enough to grab a tree root and he was able to pull himself out.

Gasping and panting he learned Horlan, the new guy in robes had saved him. “He might not carry any weapons but he sure is quick.” Hammer commented as he watched the monk retrieve items from the river bottom such as light bringer, a soggy backpack and his hammers. But the wagon was a loss. Worst of all he had lost his Pecker to the river. Hammer was distraught he really liked that chicken. He gathered up his stuff after it dried out and resumed on the caravan despondant about the loss of his Pecker. He grieved the rest of the trip.

When they finally arrived at Myr Derou, hammer realized it must have been that sneaky Rothar and his cohorts that sabotaged his wagon and he knew he would have to avenge his chicken. He followed them into a bar and when they left he followed them, he would get his revenge and end all this, Myrridon tagged along to talk some sense into Hammer but with very little success. After several twists and turns through the town, Hammer saw them sneak down an alley. Hammer brought out Lightbringer and headed down the alley, many murmurs of “this isn’t a good idea” whispered from the cleric but it fell on deaf ears. As he came out the other end of the alley into a junction, he lit up Lightbringer to scare the little roaches away. But there were a lot of them and they had courage in numbers. They were saying something but Hammer was hearing none of it and simply attacked the first one he could reach. Two of them reacted quickly for it was their ambush and were ready for him. Two of them got in close and attacked the cleric and he dropped from the onslaught. Hammer in a rage smashed one of them to death with two strong attacks before being overrun by the rest of the ambushers. “For Pecker” was hammer’s dying words which raised a few eyebrows of the ambushers I am sure.

Thank you for joining me on this adventure but for now, I must depart from our hero. But fear not, I shall return and we shall see if this is really the end of our hero or not.

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Journals from around Ansir, 1304 DE

Excerpt from the journal of Jondice Arblmain
Day 1 with the Arkhosians

I awoke this morning and to my surprise was completely surrounded by Arkhosians; or as they are locally known, Dragonborn. It appears as though my experiments with magical teleportation have ended poorly because I’m told that I’m somewhere in northern Tannon, but my left leg is still back home in the attic. Cill is going to be pissed. The Arkhosians say they found me bleeding in the sand a mere mile from where I’m lying now. I hope to be able t

Jondice Arblmain
Day 2 with the Arkhosians

Well, I was interrupted by a rather large Arkhosian woman yesterday who barged in, snatched my journal from me, and said (I quote), “Me mother! You sleep!” She then proceeded to sit down and stare at me, almost as if expecting me to suddenly break or burst into flames. She just sat there and watched me until I fell asleep, or at least pretended to. Anyway, I hope to be able to begin on a solution to get back home, but I don’t think I can go anywhere until I heal enough to at least stand (or hobble).

Jondice Arblmain
Day 3 with the Arkhosians

I’ve been stuck in this hut/tent for a few days and must have gotten some kind of infection. I’ve been too sick to even sit up. My large and scaly ‘Mother’ has been staring holes into me… I’m choosing to interpret it as endearing, she kind of just sits there and helps keep me alive.

Jondice Arblmain
Day 4 with the Arkhosians

A healer came into my hut this morning. He seemed to be rather young, but at least he knew Common. He introduced himself as ‘Brother Throosh’. After he healed my stump and infection he explained that he had been away and couldn’t heal me until he had gotten back. It was a relief to finally get some sleep.

Jondice Arblmain
Day 5 with the Arkhosians

Today I am much more lucid. My ‘Mother’ was there when I woke up, but today she had a hanger on. A diminutive Tiefling boy, maybe nine or ten, was hanging from the gargantuan Arkhosian. This must have been common because he spent thirty minutes scaling the woman and she didn’t give any reaction. She just continued her watch over me. The Tiefling then seemed to get bored after a while and dismounted ‘Mother’. He then walked over to me and kind of just burst out, “Do you want to see me do a handstand!?” This place is weird to say the least.

Jondice Arblmain
Day 6 with the Arkhosians

I was finally able to get out of the hut today; although the circumstances where slightly strange. I was just sitting on my cot and the Tiefling boy, whose name I eventually learned is Thrinka Kraan, was showing off various acrobatic stunts, half of which would end in him falling onto his butt. About halfway through the day ‘Mother’ just stood up and said a few thing in draconic to Thrinka who just turned to me and said, “Mother Traxyn says you need sun.” The giant woman simply walked over picked me up like a baby and just walked me out the door. Going from a dark hut to the blazing desert sun is not a fun experience, but after my eyes finally adjusted I was dumbfounded. There were about 200 Dragonborn meandering around a large collection of tents. They were about every shape and size a Dragonborn can come in, but they all looked to have a bronze hide. Another curiosity is that Tiefling boy, Thrinka, there were no other of his kind in sight, and as Mother Traxyn simply stood outside the tent holding me in the harsh sun, the Tiefling simply scampered around like he owned the place.

Jondice Arblmain
Day 7 with the Arkhosians

My leg/stump is finally beginning to feel better and I’ve been thinking of ways to get back home. I could try teleporting again, but I should wait and regain all my strength first.

Jondice Arblmain
Day 8 with the Arkhosians

Thrinka came into the hut this morning with some type of sled-like piece of wood and pushed it over to me. He said it was to help me get around in the sand and I was actually restless enough to use it. I can’t tell you how immensely frustrating it is to furiously scoop at sand sand in the attempt to inch forward. Anyway, once I finally did get mobile, I was able to observe the Arkhosians go about their business. They all seemed very orderly and respectful, which made the sight of a miniscule Tiefling trying to juggle and do flips even stranger.

Jondice Arblmain
Day 9 with the Arkhosians

I was able to make a deal with the Thrinka, who has been given the job of taking the place of Mother Traxyn. He seems fascinate by magic; so, I offered to show him some simple tricks if he told me about the culture of this camp. One display of sparks later he began to spill. I’m a little short on note paper, so, what follows are the notes that I was able to scratch down as he rambled on and a few comments I added afterword.

• They are called the Meeret Franta, which translates to: The Wandering Flame.
• Their culture is a closely guarded secret. (well, that was easy)
• They are nomadic and move about every month.
• The entire population, except Thrinka, is Dragonborn and about 90% of them have bronze scales.
• Their religion has a lot to do with fire. He briefly mentioned: The Fire of Life, The Fire of Passion, The Fire of Strength, he said there were more and it would take too long to go into.
• They are (in Thrinka’s words) uptight and no fun. (I’m assumbing he means respectful and formal)
• There are many social aspects in the clan. He relayed the prominent ones: younger clan members address older clan members as Father or Mother, clan members of similar age address each other as Brother or Sister, and older clan members don’t use any titles with younger clan members.
• The entire clan works together to raise their children.
Thrinka then began to go on about how he knew Ethanox, a giant dragon, and how he once crawled into his nose. I think he didn’t want me to stop throwing out sparks and just began making things up. Anyway, I should be well enough to try teleporting back tomorrow morning. Cill is going to be pissed.

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Kheg's Diary11
Days 91-110

Day 91 – Early Morning
Ocrian Trade Way

Day 91
As we ate our evening meal at the Stone Hill Inn, a wood elf in a black robe with a very pissed off look approaches us. He introduces himself as Orin, and says he is the monk that Toesing had spoken. I knew monasteries could be difficult on their monks, but for someone who’s supposed to be spiritual, this guy should probably take a refresher course. On the other hand, if Orin is able to transfer all of that anger into his hands and feet, the Melchori cultists are in deep shit.

Day 92 (Caravan day 1)
The 6 of us leaves the Stone Hill Inn. Altair, Paegus and Orin the Angry head to caravan staging area in Down Harbor. Embiir…uhhh, correction…Flynt as he now insists on being called, Hammer, and I made our way to the stables to get our horses.

The more time I spend in Try Nag the less this shit hole surprises me. Those clowns sold our horses! Some jerk wad with a “tough guy” accent was trying to tell us that we each owed the stables money and that they sold the horses to cover the loss. If this happened back in back in Phandalin, heads would be rolling right now. From what I gather Myrrdin also got shafted and is now walking back to Neverwinter.

Once the entire 40+/- wagon caravan had assembled we wasted no time in passing through the gates of Tyr Nag for what’s expected to be a 2 month journey.

Day 95 (Crvn 4) A couple peryton monstrosities swooped in and each picked up an unlucky kid and carried It off. It happened so quick no one could react and to try and stop it. One second the kids were sitting in their family’s wagon; the next they were flying high. Poor mom and dad Foldon; to have to witness that. All ain’t lost though; they still got one kid left and if either of those kids are anything like Dak and Reed I’d consider the whole nightmare a blessing.

Day 99 (Crvn 8) I figure I’d try and get the Foldon Family to do a little poking around for us and the bait was 3 days of horse food. It’s the least I could do for their sudden losses. I’ll need to work on them a little more, but with Tyr Nag selling my horse I have plenty of food left.

Day 106 (Crvn 15) After more than 2 weeks of not getting any straight answers from Beyd or his brown nosing half-orc assistant as to the whereabout’s of our final destination, Flynt got a couple of floozies to do the dirty work. Myr Derou seems to be the drop off point for the Melchori treasure hord. Distance wise we are already half way there, but the later half is rough terrain so we can expect about 18 more days of travel.

Day 110 (Crvn day 19) We were ambushed by 6 giant spiders and 6 eddercaps. They seemed to only be interested in making our horses their lunch and they did a good job of it…I mean a really good job; they killed the one pulling the treasure hoard, but unfortunately Beyd is still alive. It’ll be interesting to see how Beyd goes about getting a replacement horse in the middle of nowhere. Right now, Hammer’s mule has got to be looking about as attractive to Beyd as those twin floozies did 4 days ago. There is also Paegus’ newly acquired abused horse that could come into play here.

Day 110 – 1270-1280d.e.
Southern Ocrey

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A Tiefling's Journal 3
One Loooong Night

Well, I can’t sleep. Every time I try I have terrible nightmares, and it looks like I’m not the only one. The Hammer woke up a few minutes ago, sweating as if he were touched by the Sun Fever and screaming, “The duck’s gonna’ eat me! …again!”

The others are wide awake as well and are reporting similar nightmares. Altair, the resident physician, thinks the darts we were hit by were coated in something that’s causing this. Anyway, I can’t get to sleep, so I may as well catch you up on what’s happened. My last entry ended with us in Tyr Nag.

When the sun ascended we began our search for someone who could help us get through the portal in the monastery. That took the entire day just to find out that a wizards shop we had already passed by three times was where we needed to go. It was almost nightfall when we finally reached him but he agreed to teleport us close to where the teleportation circle exit is.

According to the wizard this place is known as The Tears of Salt, and it’s far to the east of Tyr Nag. I like it well enough though, it’s nice and warm here, but a bit to humid for my taste. Honestly, I’m beginning to miss the dry desert sands to the south. Sand is much easier to manage than the snow.

We began making our way north and the trip was miserable. I tripped on branches, there were vines everywhere, and just when I’d had enough and was about to burn down the entire forest two Displacer Beasts decided, “Hey, they look tasty.”

They pounced from a tree and began laying into us with their three tails. I wasn’t really in the best of moods, so, I blasted them with a giant wall of fire. They didn’t seem to care. The battle was furious and quite exhausting. The only reason we survived was, of course, The Hammer. Myrrdin began channeling his weird nature magic (it’s too living and it smells like tree’s), Altair was praying to his gods, and Kheg just ran away! He hid behind a tree or something! The Hammer on the other hand enacted an incredibly well put together strategy. He would feign an attack with his hammer then follow up by pulling an arrow out of nowhere and stabbing the creatures in soft spots. After the battle I noticed that the arrows were Kheg’s; The Hammer must have swiped them at some point, because it defiantly wasn’t the Halfling that used them, he was probably cowering behind a tree. After a few seconds The Hammer devised a new approach; He positioned himself between both the monstrous black blurs and pretended to fall under their mighty blows.

Altair was still praying (I’m not sure how he thought that would help). Then, when the creatures looked away, The Hammer sprung up and whacked one over the head and, again, stabbed the other in the eye with a hidden arrow, but somehow on the opposite side of where he was standing and so quickly that it didn’t even look like he had moved. Because of that crucial strike we were able to put the beast down. The Hammer then collapsed again, and this time he almost fooled even me, but I knew better. The Hammer allowed the creature to begin dragging him away, only to jump up and bash it in the face which allowed Kheg to finally be useful and shoot it dead. The Hammer obviously could have killed the monster himself, but he must have felt bad for the Halfling and probably wanted to let Kheg redeem himself. The Hammer is surely a better man than I.

After the battle we were all pretty tired and decided to rest until tomorrow. While we were resting I set up some awesome oil traps and when I asked The Hammer how he came up with the idea to trick the Displacer Beasts he just played it off, claiming he would have died if we hadn’t intervened. He must want me to cool about it; after all, he’s not the type to brag. He even gave Kheg the credit for the arrows he stabbed the creatures with. Kheg sure is lucky to be The Hammer’s pet project.

Not much happened that night, but a snake did slither into our camp and make the detrimental decision to bite The Hammer. Its head was promptly ripped from its body and The Hammer rebuffed its poison with sheer power of will.

In the morning I collected my oil (the surrounding wildlife must have known what they were up against because none of the traps were sprung). Then, we all set off to the north… again.

This time though, our trip wasn’t eventful. Finally, the circle of stones we were heading for were merely yards away. Of course, because the universe hates us, there was a giant crevice betweens and our destination. Of course, because he doesn’t know what physics are, The Hammer simply jumped the canyon and tied a rope off.

I’ve always wanted to somehow incorporate tight rope walking into our joint act and this was a perfect opportunity to show The Hammer my stuff. I sprinted across that rope and The Hammer and I had a nice chat about our act while the others did whatever else they were doing.

After Kheg buried his cousin (oh, yeah he died). We all dispersed to try to find out what had happened there. The others were looking over the other eleven sacrifices (oh, yeah there was this whole thing where there were like, twelve sacrifices for twelve stones or whatever) I found a Eurayle playing card, but it doesn’t look like an original Danta.

We meandered around for a bit and finally decided to camp back over on the other side of the canyon. This turned out to be a smart decision, because none other than Ikahl, the one with the key to get back, teleported in and set off down a trail in his werewolf form. We set off in pursuit and with the help of Myrrdin’s magic we kind of just faded into the surroundings, but now I smell like Myrrdin magic (I’m hoping it will wash out).

The werewolf met up with a pack of regular wolves and they all headed off into the woods. Eventually they stopped at ruins of an old town that was built into a small gulley. Then things got pretty crazy. The werewolf started talking to some red wizard, and naturally we killed everything. The werewolf was pretty fun, but he wimped out halfway through and tried to run away. Of course, I did an awesome side-flip and finished him off with a bolt of fire. The red wizard at least had some more class, but he ultimately thought too much of his skill and got himself backed into a corner. We easily finished him off.
There was a bunch of loot, including some awesome new slippers. Anyway, I’m running out of ink so I guess I’ll read the book I found to pass the time.

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Kheg's Diary10
Days 88-90

Day 88 – Early Morning
Remcar Hall/Raven Queen Temple
Tears of Salt (“Somewhere warm”at the other end of a portal)

Day 88
I sit here in a circle with the rest of the party and in the center of this circle sits what Myrrdin has affectionately referred to as “Rock Boy”. As we figure out what to do about this statue before us, I can’t but think how avoidable this incident really was.

Poor Altair, he has a restless night, and in less than 24 hours he becomes the Trooper’s pet rock. We woke up in Remcar Hall and due to the darts that hit 4 of us yesterday, only Myrrdin and Hammer got a full rest. Altair and the rest of us would have to deal with exhaustion. After dividing up the treasure found in the temple of the Raven Queen we focused our attention on the cure for the lack of sleep Altair, Embiir, Paegus and I enjoyed during the night. With each share being just over 100 gp, the bit of annoyance this Sleepless Terror caused when all was said and done was well worth the treasure we gained.

We never did determine exactly what we were dealing with. Was it a disease or poison? All we knew for sure was that 2/3rds of the party had become afflicted with it and as Myrrdin strategized the curing of us one by one, a much simpler issue was being discussed: Where do we set up camp as the party deals with this sleepless situation? Do we go to the teleporter, or stay here in Remcar Hall? We were divided on this trivial question and debated throughout the morning. By Noon we had still not come to an agreeable decision. The debate then continued as the sun moved across the sky and by late afternoon there was still no consensus. From dawn to dusk we pondered, contemplated and debated this dilemma on where to camp even though we had the token/key to work the portal. With no clear plan anywhere in sight we found ourselves poking and prodding around out of sheer boredom and when that wore thin we found ourselves sitting in a circle watching Embiir fool with the gorgon card he found at the portal.

To make a long and completely avoidable story short, Embiir flicked the card at Altair and as it fell before him the card changed shape and color into a hologram of an aqua-green half snake and half humanoid with tits included. As Altair sat there in front of this image, their gazes meet. Altair instantly became what can best be describe as stone-like although he wasn’t stone, nor was he petrified; he was frozen in time. I suspect that it was my gazing upon the tatas that saved me.

Altair’s paralysis made him dead weight and that ain’t no pun for Paegus and Hammer tried to lift him to see if they could carry him back to the portal. They guessed that he weighed 500 lbs. Although we hold the key to the portal, we still don’t know if it will work for us. Thus time is of the essence if actually need that 700 gp trip home.
Feeling that he needs to be rid of the card Embiir wanted to discard it. Normally I would have agreed with him, but with Altair still up shits creek, I thought the card could help provide insight on how to restore him to his flesh and blood self.

As we all spend the evening brainstorming ways to undo what has been done to Altair, Peagus develops a “What if?” methodology and has taken his massive hammer to Altair. From the sound of it, the wood elf was like solid stone. I don’t think Peagus even put a scratch on him

Altair has suddenly come back to normal now. With magic as creepy as it is and its users equally creepy, I’m not going to question Altair’s return but just be thankful that all is about normal now. The only remaining issue is that I’m still inflicted with Sleepless Terror and expect to be awake all night as the rest of the Troopers get a full 8 hours of rest.

I think a lesson could be learned here from Altair’s misfortune. It seems that sitting around all day while waiting for someone or something to show you the way can lead to rather difficult problems. For the sake of posterity, let this lesson be known simply as Idle Hands. My conclusion: Had we not been wasting the day away, the god of rules and time wouldn’t have found the need to slap us all upside the head for wasting any. Needless to say, Altair was pissed at Embiir, but the whole party including Altair is responsible for wasting the day away in the first place. Our warning from the almighty was the sinking sun and had we bothered to pay attention to it, this whole mess could have been avoided.

Myrrdin is accompanying me on watch this hour as I ramble with pen and paper in my tired state.

Myrrdin says he hears something…

Those elven ears are something. What Myrrdin heard were a bunch of carnivorus apes closing in. We could see their dark shapes in the moonlight and they were all moving towards us. As I grabbed my bow and advanced behind a tree, I yelled to wake everyone up and just as we all started to defend ourselves more apes appeared behind us; 15 carnivorous apes in all. Although they were chucking rocks, they seemed to be more intelligent than most of the creatures were have encountered thus far. The way they fought, they reminded me of the kobolds we encountered in Myr Leilon, because they both would flank their opposition. Hammer was the only one to hit the ground with his life quickly starting to drain away and with so many apes it looked like it was going to be a long night of fighting, but after at least 3 kills the bulk of them ran off in the dim light.

Day 89
Myrrdin was finally able to cure me of my of restless nights, but I’m was still unable to move as fast as normal and normal for me is above humanoid par. With a party only as fast as it’s slowest man, it became necessary for Peagus to carry me on his shoulders the full 10 mile hike to the “fangs”.

Because it was dark, I couldn’t see by the time we reached the fangs, but I knew when we reached it because the air had the familiar smell of rotting bodies and the high seventies temperature in the Tears of Salt only made the smell of 5 day old death even more unbearable. We however had no plans on staying in that wonderful fresh air atmosphere since Embiir carried with him the key to get out of the jungle we had been in for 4 days. We wasted no time in crowding onto platform, and only a second later found ourselves in an overcrowded well. Although the sudden 25 degree drop in temperature was a warming clue, as I maneuvered up onto the shoulders of Peagus to climb out, I just kept hoping that this was the exact same well we entered the portal in; and as much as I hate Tyr Nag, I was thrilled to see that I had actually returned to it. On the other hand, the smell was pretty much what I remembered; not quite the match of 5 day old death, but close enough. It was only the thought of being outside the city walls riding back to Phandalin in the approaching dawn that made the aroma of Tyr Nag a bit more bearable.

We have just got rooms at the free booters hall and although Myrrdin, Altair and I have no desire to do anything other than crash, Peagus has followed The Hammer and Embiir to watch them perform in their new Taming the Dragon routine.

Day 90
It was 52 degrees outside and inside we ate a warm breakfast. It sounds like Hammer and Embiir didn’t get a standing ovation last night, but with all the silver coins they collected, they certainly didn’t bomb either.

As we were finishing our meal, we were greeted by a stranger who referred to the Hammer as the “Hero of Myr Leilon”. It was because of these heroics that the stranger was sent to fetch us and lead us to the compound of the Erathnian Order. Upon agreeing to meet Sir Urthan Fruen, we made our way up the nasty ramp/tunnel littered with horse and humanoid shit. After the up close and personal 15 minute sightseeing tour of the living conditions in Try Nag’s Warring section, we finally made it up into the Knuckle where we tracked shit carried in on the bottoms of our boots.

Inside the Erathnian Order’s facility we found a familiar face meeting with Sir Urthan Fruen. It was the Half-elf Monk, Toesing; the same monk held captive with Embiir at the Melchori camp a little over a week ago. Sir Urthan and Toesing simply asked that we find out where the Melchori dragon cult are taking their ill gotten loot and suggested that we pose as caravan guards to let the Melchori lead us to the their central stash of booty. The real trick is in finding which caravan is the right one.

As the discussion continued, it uncovered something we never new about Altair. Altair isn’t “just” Altair; he actually has a title: Altair, the Just.

As Sir Urthan was finishing with his plea and looking for confirmation, Myrrdin bowed out. He’s was more interested in dealing with Venomfang in Thundertree and will be returning to Neverwinter. He’ll be terribly missed by the squad for he had proved to be invaluable time and time again. Luckily for us though, Toesing has a monk acquaintance of 50 years who will be joining the Winterstorm Troopers as we hunt down the location of the treasure. I just hope that this wood elf is as invaluable as the wood elf he is replacing.

With only two days to determine which caravan the Melchori are using to transport their stolen hord, we head on down the “ramp of shit” to Down Harbor and to the docks. Here we apply our various skills of deception and persuasion as well use our charisma to not only try to determine which of three caravans the Melchori are using hide their hord, but to also get a job escorting that caravan. With some luck we found the right caravan, by using the dragon mask as a decoy and both Peagus and I have been hired to help guard it. The caravan will be heading South to Kadar (or is it Myr Niramere) in two days.

It is now night time and I have finished composing a letter to Aunt Qelline. I end it by telling her that I’m thinking of giving up my life of crime. I continue to say “This is probably coming too late in this season of wither, but a new one approaches and I will be helping in the very noble quest of thwarting the evil Melchori Dragon Cult’s plans for involving Tiamat.” Personally, I’d rather hunt down Lord Iarno Albrect, but a hunt is a hunt and for once the cause is noble and not out of pride or vengeance.

Day 90 – 1270-1280d.e.
Down Harbor, Tyr Nag
Sword Coast of Ocrey

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Kheg's Secret Diary9
Day 87

Day 87 – Early Morning
Stone Circle Fangs of Malar
Tears of Salt (“Somewhere warm”at the other end of a portal)

Day 87: If I couldn’t bring Carp back to his mother, I would have at least liked to have brought her answers, but with Embiir providing the final blow to Ikael this afternoon, my business here in the Tears of Salt has concluded. Although many questions still remain, those identified in aiding Reed and Dak do not; revenge for the kidnapping and death of Carp was much swifter than I could have hoped for, but I can’t help but think others have evaded our wrath.

Early this morning as Altair and I were on watch we spotted someone come out of the portal and start to make their way northeast. The team followed to see where this half-orc would go and it’s good that he came along when he did ‘cause the 11 unbarried stiffs killed 3 days earlier were really stinking the place up. Meeting up with a pack of 6 wolves, their leader led them — and us — to what would soon become his final resting place at the ruins of Remcar Hall set inside a canyon about 10 miles away. This half-orc turned out to be Ikael, the one who paid the wizard Gathunias to construct the little portal network that brought us here; and due to our recent encounters with wererats and the evidence of a sacrafical wolves cult, it came as no surprise that Ikael was also a werewolf.

After Myrrdin just about single handedly killed 6 wolves with two spells, the other 4 of us only had to focus on Ikael and a wizard. Personally, I’d have been satisfied letting the wizard go free, but his arrogance was too unbecoming. It’s not that I wouldn’t expect that from a Red Wizard of Thay, but you’d think that with their history they’d produce someone not so easily blinded by their own aborations, so for the sake of posterity, let the name of Oren Potarious become synonymous with the word “fool”. Oren just couldn’t fathom his death and this cost him his life. I guess just anyone can become a Red Wizard of Thay now-a-days?

The Winterstorm Troopers can’t just pat ourselves on the back over the death of Oren though. A young, novice paladin named Peagus who had been hunting the fool down for some time is the one who got the kill. Peagus, who popped out of nowhere was instrumental in ultimately helping box Oren in. Peagus even tossed Embiir up in the air so that a spell could be cast on Ikael.

It looks like we’ll never know the connection that Reed and Dak had with Ikael, his wolf cult and a Red Wizards of Thay, but we did a pretty thorough job of dispensing our brand of justice. I just can’t help but think there is more to clean up here in the Tears of Salt other than Ikael and the red robed fool before we head back to Phandalin.

It’ll be 10 more days before Gathunias returns to the shrine to extract us, but with the morbid femur-wrapped-in-leather token used to operate the portal now in our hands, we may not need to wait for him, and with business taken care of we took time to explore the ruins we found ourself in. We found a secret door in the rocky wall that led to a passage lined with strange fresco’s of tigermen and birdmen. I suppose there was some sort of story being told, but the total lack of full frontal nude females in the frescos cut my attention span short and the Hammer seems to have the same predicament, but then again, his attention span has always been rather short.

Filling the passage along with the boring fresco’s were some skeletal remains of carnivorous apes and some traps, but most importantly some treasure. As for the traps, we seemed to have faired better than the carnivours apes did with them, but Altair, Embiir, Peagus and I are going to have to deal with the aftermath of some darts and the Sleepless Terror they have inflicted on us. It’s a small price for what we gained however. About 200’ in, we came upon some stone doors which Hammer opened. The inside was a temple to the Raven Queen and before us was an altar. Altair and I stay at the doors while Peagus, Embiir, Myrrdin and Hammer conducted a search.

The search provided Hammer with a magic mace. Embiir took a jeweled dagger and a thick, leather book on the history of the Tirberian Emperor Prolus (87 – 115 d.e.). There were gold plated cups and plates as well as a bowl; and coins that totaled about 33 gp.

It’ll be interesting to see what the Sleepless Terror infliction brings Altair, Embiir, Peagus and I as Myrrdin and Hammer take a long rest.

1012 d.e.
Day 87, late afternoon
Raven Queen Temple
Tears of Salt (“Somewhere warm”at the other end of a portal)

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