Auma

New Friends, Old Enemies

The exit from the tower was uneventful, but the party was not fully aware that with every step from the chamber they were leaving something behind – the memories associated with the artifact that they had destroyed. Once they had stepped foot back out into the grounds of the tower they only knew that they had destroyed… something. No memories of what it was, or how they acquired it, or what it did remained. The implications were meditated on, but it was decided that they would continue out west and see if they could locate the other missing piece of the ritual chamber.

An encounter at a pond stopped them in their tracks. A nixie had run in with a group of loggers from Stone Hill. She claimed that the Coachwood trees that shaded her glade had been cut down, despite her protests. The logger claimed that it was free land, and that they had a living to make – Coachwood is phenomenal for ale barrels. The nixie had since charmed two of the loggers, and the party has stepped in right before the stalemate would have broken.

Through diplomatic means, an agreement was made: if the party could replace the trees with similarly sized specimens, the nixie would release her thralls, and direct the loggers to another Coachwood grove further to the south. She even directed the party towards a dryad friend who might be able to help. The loggers insisted on having their men freed, but were only able to secure one of them until the party had completed their side of the bargain. The loggers left, in search of the trees the nixie promised.

Moving further west in search of the dryad, the party happened upon her tree. Clearly distraught, the dryad offered up a solution to their problem – as long as they would solve hers, and quickly! A Scythe Tree has been terrorizing the area. This malevolent plant destroys everything in it’s path, and finds the taste of dryad and their host trees to be most delicious. The dryad, named Tiressia, is understandably worried. With a promise to destroy the evil plant, the party veers south in search of the Scythe Tree.

After tracking the tree to where it was currently hunting, the party manages to destroy it – primarily with fire! Once defeated, they found remains of creatures and items it had devoured – including some amber and a magical robe as well as some more mundane items and trinkets. They quickly returned to the dryad, who had already heard of the news through the forest itself, and presented the party with 5 feather tokens that would grow immense trees for the nixie. She also pledged to be their watch to the west of their kingdom, sending her Satyr lover out with reports of anything amiss.

Returning to the nixie, the party was able to replant the trees using the magic tokens. Impressed, the nixie released the man, who had spent far too much time in the water with her. He was in no shape to get home alone, so the party intended to escort him to Stone Hill. Before parting the nixie made a similar promise – she would watch the water ways and inform the kingdom of anything she saw. This gave the party two effective informants in the wild western reaches of their kingdom.

The return to Stone Hill was uneventful, until the party realized that some sort of rally was being held at the castle gates. A rotund man with deep purple hair was riling up the townsmen with claims that while not untrue, were twisted enough to incense the people against the rulers. Azrael attempted to counter these arguments, but was entirely shut down. The crowd dispersed, and the party along with Harik discussed this turn of events. The man was named Grigori, and had been holding public rallies against the rulers for the past week. Initially he had only small clusters of followers, but now his crowds had grown immensely, and unrest had begun to settle in the kingdom. Harik also apprised the party about the squatters in Olegton. Many alternatives – including removing Grigori permanently – were discussed. It was finally decided that Azrael would have a verbal spar with the man the next morning. As for the squatters, additional housing was recommended as well as other means of providing for the country over the next month were decided.

The next day, using his wits and oratory skills, Azrael was able to defeat Grigori to the point where the crowds turned against him. Afterwards Grigori retired to his inn, but when the party attempted to make contact with him they found only a letter he had left. It claimed that they had ruined his life, and that he would be back. It was signed with only the letter ‘T’.

With this threat neutralized, Harik felt confident that normalcy would return to the capital. The party once again set off to the west in search of the Dwarven Fortress. After several days of searching, they came across it. A large circular fortress – similar in design to the one on Candlemere, but much larger – was located. However, they quickly determined that it was not abandoned. A small, fast, and nearly invisible fey as well as the plants themselves seemed to resist the party, and a fierce battle ensued. Within a short time, victory was theirs, and the exploration could continue.

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Making and Unmaking

After nearly a year of planning and growth, the Castle at Stone Hill was completed. All of the rulers came back into the capital at the same time in order to host a festival for the masses – to show their appreciation for the hard work and to wind down the year.

During this time, the ruling council made plans for their expansion, and shared what they had been working on for the past year. The highest priorities were set at putting in a logging camp where the old bandit hide out was, as well as expanding towards the Temple of Elhonna and establishing another colony. It is based on this plan that Harik will direct the expansion of the country itself.

Myrd shared his findings about some mysterious beast attacking and mutilating animals in the eastern plains outside of the country. It was decided to investigate this phenomenon as it could be a threat to the nation.

While out on the eastern plains, in the middle of the night, a strange apparition of a huge warg glowing with blue fire appeared. It cornered Myrd and begin to howl and bark – but Myrd was able to understand it’s words. It claimed it was a harbinger of an awoken god and that it was pleased at the work that had been done. With those words it threw itself upon Myrd, causing pain and damage, but also imprinted it’s essence into the dagger itself – which now shows no sign of the power of Elhonna. Myra also had visions during this fight of a massive battle between wargs and other creatures against the Dwarves on these plains – with the creatures spilling out from the east across the mountains and overtaking the nearby barrows where Dwarven heroes were laid to rest.

The party returned to Stone Hill to find their way to the priest in residence who attempted to remove the curse. While he tried, the power of the curse was beyond his abilities. His only suggestion was to find the old hag who lived near the Tuskwater Lake – The Old Beldame. She was reclusive and cantankerous, but has been known for helping on occasion.

The party also at this time commissioned some boats for the exploration of the remainder of the Tuskwater as well as Lake Candlemere. Knowing this might take several weeks they began their southern exploration.

Finding the hut of Beldame was not difficult – it was the only structure for miles along the waters edge. Smoke curled lazily out of a small chimney of the mud hut, which was surrounded by a low fence. The party called out before entering and were able to convince the old hag to let them in her yard – but only after they rang her bell 3 times. This apparently showed the scarecrow in her yard that they were friendly and not a target for attacks.

It was quickly determined that the power of the dagger had grown too great for the old sorceress. Things turned sour quickly afterwards during discussions of colonizing the area and relocating her to another place. She sent the party away in anger and slammed her door shut.

Moving further west the party encountered what appeared to be a druid tending to his animal companion – a puma who had been caught in a trappers net. The druid tried to get the party to come closer and help cut away the animal – but turned hostile after Myrd attempted to discuss with him in Druidic – which the impostor did not know. A quick battle ensued, with the strange man being killed and the puma being captured. Searching his corpse and tracking him to his home revealed that this was likely the brother of Bokken the Hermit who had killed their mother and escaped deep into the woods. This madman had apparently been killing off trappers and hunters in the deeper woods for years – as evidenced by the large pile of bones and trinkets in his home. Securing an amulet of the two brothers and their mother – the party moved on.

Moving southward back along the edge of Lake Candlemere the party had their first glimpse of the ruined tower. At night there were clear lights illuminating the open windows of the ruins – bright white lights that were clearly not natural. These must be the ghosts and apparitions that travelers spoke of. Knowing they would still prefer to have boats available they returned north towards Stone Hill to pick them up.

Before they could move across the river itself they encountered a wizard named Artay – whom Keri had already had contact with. Artay had been sent to the tower with surveying equipment both magical and mundane in order to state the curiosity of his master Keveus. The party decided that they must reach the tower first – as it was still in unclaimed territory. Myrd rushed to get the boats finished and set upon the water while the rest of the party ‘helped’ Artay get his wagon unstuck. Keri was given a single use Chime of Opening as long as they promised to let him have first exploration rights.

Quickly moving back to the city and the boats – the party spent a full day and night rowing towards Candlemere Tower and beat Artay to the shore. Finding the entire surface covered with thick and noxious weeds and brambles, the party took their time moving into the base of the tower itself. Upon approaching a sense of unease and even panic overcame the party until they crossed the threshold of the outer tower. However – the tower was not without guardians. Two will o’ wisps appeared – one in each doorway – and assaulted the party. A tense battle was fought with the fast and dangerous creatures, and eventually the way into the inner tower was cleared.

The tower seemed to be of Dwarven construction, but overlaid with runes and carvings that were clearly Sylvan. Inside the main tower itself was only a single staircase that led deep into the earth.

Following it down over 600 feet, the party came to a chamber with a large iron door – similar to the one found in the old temple. Using the magical key they opened it up and encountered a wondrous sight.

A huge spherical chamber with a secondary sphere suspended by carved basalt was all that was visible. The carvings seemed to be a mixture of vines and stalactites holding this black stone sphere in the center of the chamber. A long platform and staircase led into the inner sphere, and a lightly glowing green gem was held suspended from the ceiling.

In an attempt to get closer and see what this was Keri moved forward with his unseen servant scouting. Upon entering the rear of the inner chamber, strange magic was activated. The rest of the party saw the gem erupt with a green bolt of energy into the inner sphere, and Keri saw what appeared to be a gate open in the back. His servant was utterly destroyed, and the concussive wave of energy caused damage to everyone nearby.

At this point the party left the chamber and asked Myra to speak with her ancestors to see what could be going on. During this meditation, Artay appeared with his two workers. A short discussion erupted between the parties until Myra returned from her trance.

She had not much to offer other than that this was a joint venture between the Dwarves and other creatures, but the Dwarves had removed their portion – an anvil – and taken it to a fortress in the west.

Further experimentation occurred, and with Artay’s help it was determined that there was a potent magical item known as a Sphere of Annihilation in the ceiling of the inner chamber. Keri was also able to see runes of making (in Dwarven) and unmaking (in Sylvan) in the floor of the inner chamber. Frightened by the dangerous magic, Artay fled with his workers before any further work was done.

Thinking this might be an opportunity for them to unmake the cursed dagger the party devised plan to try and throw it into the sphere.

Orchestrated by Keri – the plan was to throw the dagger into the Sphere by the way of another unseen servant. The dagger itself seemed to resist this and instead fell into the back portion of the chamber – causing the gem to erupt once more.

Instead of a blast of concussive force this time a blinding light appeared in the chamber – and two giant glowing eyes opened in the brightness above the dagger. They looked malevolently outwards at those in the chamber and then vanished. The dagger itself was nowhere to be seen – and Myrd felt the weight of the curse disappear.

The party is still deep under ground and must make plans for their return to Stone Hill and further exploration.

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Dawn of a New Era

The party spent several days recuperating at Oleg’s after delivering the bandits to Kesten for trial in Longshore. At this point, trade and transit has picked up significantly due to the reduced bandit presence, and Oleg has begun (much to his chagrin) to build up an Inn for Sveltana to run.

In order to better care for Galtiff, Kaarina commissioned Mira to take him to Longshore and find some way he might be able to either recuperate or be made more comfortable. Mira left, and has not yet returned.

They party also convinced Akiros to stay on and help Oleg and Sveltana with the build out of their Inn if he was interested in long term work.

The final steps of the charter remained to be completed, and the party set out for one last ranging in order to complete their map.

Before the party left, they did change their plans for Akiros by hiring him and Jon Westbrook to recover the goods stashed at the Stag Lords fortress. The former paladin set off with the young man southward in the wagon the party had recovered.

The initial trip was uneventful, until the party had run back into Everitt. He had gotten lost following the river, and turned in the incorrect direction at the fork. Luckily for him the party decided to guide him back towards the Stag Lord’s fortress and send him north with Akiros. In order to keep Akiros at the fortress until they arrived, Myrd called in an animal messenger.

The only animal that replied to his call was a raven – who quickly took off with the message towards the fortress.

In just a few short days the party arrived at the fortress. Upon greeting them, Akiros was perturbed. He questioned why Myrd had chosen such a violent animal to deliver his message – showing off an arm that was covered in puncture wounds and scratches. Akiros claimed that the bird had attacked him and would not relent until he had killed the animal!

Alarmed at this turn of events, the party adjusted their resources and found out that the dagger recovered from the Temple of Elhonna was an evil cursed item that seemed to turn the actions of nature against Myrd, and even interfered with his communication with the animals. In the days that passed afterwards several attempts were made to remove the dagger from Myrd’s possesion. The most spectacular failure of this was when the dagger returned in the middle of the night impaling a rabbit and leaving a rotting wound behind. Even after the dagger was returned to Myrd – strange wolflike howls passed through and near the camp.

Despite this oddity, the party decided to return to Oleg’s after finishing their trek. Upon arrival they found that a large ornate carriage had parked there. Greeted by a very flustered Sveltana, she informed the party that a group of noble men from Dullstrand had arrived and were awaiting them in the main room of the trading post.

Inside the trading post were Harik Norwen – a half elven diplomat, Jenkins Morelli – a grotesquely fat lawyer, and Keveus Keelan – an artificer who had arrived to install and commission a sending apparatus.

Harik introduced himself and his companions and immediately gave the party the news that they had been given the right to rule these lands – if they were interested and were willing to sign a treaty with Dullstrand and the other autonomous states that had been set up nearby.

Taken aback, the party spent some time deliberating before dinner, and returned to innagurate their new country.

Through much deliberation, it was decided that Azrael would become the Lord Protector of the new realm, with each of the other party members taking up an important post in the democartic government. Harik himself pledged 3 years of his time as the Consort to the ruler, and offered as much advice as he could.

In the end, the charter was signed and agreed upon by all members of the party as well as by those friends and allies that had been made in their time in the Greenbelt.

Once the treaty was signed, Harik moved quickly. He had a large gift from Dullstrand to help a new settlement get off the ground, as well as around 200 hundred citizens who were willing to come into the new kingdom to start a new life.

It was on this day, the First of Sunsebb that the newest independent country on Auma was established.

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Death of the Stag Lord

While moving along the river, the party had a nearly event less trip. Once they neared the lake and the fortress however they were ambushed by a group of five bandits. Determining that the bandits had been stationed there watching for at least several days, the party quickly moved to the forest’s edge and camped until early morning. The decision had been made: sneak up on the fortress and do what is necessary to secure Azalea and defeat the Stag Lord.

Moving towards the fortress under the cover of darkness it was noted that security was relatively lax. Only one bandit patrolled the wall on a long interval, and the few standing watchtowers were lit with torches – nearly eliminating their ability to see out into the plains.

Approaching the wall, the party scaled the low embankment and warped the wood of the palisade to sneak in on the southern most side. It was an easy thing to sneak below the walkways and dispatch the patrolling bandits.

Or so they thought. After learning that Azalea had been taken over completely by a bandit named Akiros the party moved quickly to the main building. Upon moving towards the broken front part of the fortress the party was ambushed. A quick rapier to the back of Azok was followed by the release of an owlbear towards the front of the party. Additionally, a musclebound bandit stood back from opening the owlbear cage watching to see what would happen.

The sneak-attacking bandit was quite quickly dispatched while the owlbear raged against Myrd, despite taking several wounds itself. A side door slammed open and a partially dressed bandit equipped with a bastard sword stuck his head out. Shouting to Azalea to stay in the room he charged the owlbear, felling it in one blow. Azrael, hearing the name of his sister and knowing where she was tried to shove past the newcomer. The bandit grabbed Azrael, telling him that he would better serve his sister by protecting her from the Stag Lord.

Just a moment later, the door at the far south of the building boomed open. The Stag Lord himself was there. He looked down the open room, raised his bow and loosed a powerful shot at Myrd, nearly felling him.

A brutal and difficult battle followed. The bandit stepped up with the party and helped to defeat the Stag Lord, and upon landing one of the killing blows stripped off his stag amulet and threw it at the corpse.

Introducing himself as Akiros, he claimed that he had finally had enough of the bandits after they had begun abusing Azalea. Leveraging his status as the second-in-command behind the Stag Lord he commandeered her as his own and sent the most violent and skilled of the bandits out on patrol – hoping that the party would dispatch them. Azalea, reunited with her brother, corroborated this story and claimed that Akiros was her protector and prevented worse from happening to her.

Akiros also mentioned that there was one more bandit to worry about – someone he called ‘The Old Man’. He didn’t know the details, but the Stag Lord kept him alive in the cellar of the fortress, and had been abusing the man and leaving him near death for as long as Akiros could remember.

Leaving Mira as a peace keeper between Azrael, Azalea, and Akiros, the remainder of the party went into the cellar to investigate. While they were unable to locate this prisoner, they did find the full stash that the bandits had managed to accumulate. While they were investigating they were ambushed by the old man – clearly a druid – who dropped from the ceiling to summon a swarm of insects and quickly changed form into a furious badger.

However, because of his malnourished condition he was brought down quickly and knocked fully unconscious. In the few moments of peace following the defeat of the old man, Kaarina recognized that he was her Grandfather who had come over to the new world years ago. How he came to this fortress as a prisoner or willful protector of the Stag Lord is unknown.

Returning to the fortress above, Akiros pledged his service to the party and claimed that he was a fallen Paladin of Mayaheine who had traveled to Auma to escape a crime. Joining with the Stag Lord he had spent the last 5 years in a haze only broken when he saw the elven woman being used by the bandits. He was the one responsible for the majority of the bandits being out of the fortress, as he had taken nearly full command of the bandits as the Stag Lord spent most of his time too drunk to lead.

Knowing that each group would be returning a few days apart he swore to uphold the ruse that he was in command and imprison or execute the bandits as they returned. Over the next few days as the party recovered, he was true to his word. In the end there were 14 bandits who were captured and led back to Oleg’s to be turned over to Kesten and the other guards for transport into Longshore. There is also the Old Man – who is so addled that he can barely form cohesive sentences.

The party is now at Oleg’s with the supplies captured from the fortress, as well as the body of the Stag Lord himself as proof of his defeat. It has been reported that he is dead, and the party is free to do what they will with his body. Also, at this point, the party still has their charter to fulfill – the full mapping of the remaining areas of the Greenbelt. But now the bandit threat is nearly eradicated as there is no strong force bringing them together.

News of the defeat of the Stag Lord has spread quickly, and Oleg himself has begun telling nearly every trapper, tradesmen, or adventurer about the party and the gallant way they defeated the bandits and rescued the fair elven maiden.

The party is now resting, and the day is the 9th of Ready’reat.

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Escape and Discoveries

Escaping from the bandits quickly became the parties highest priority. Taking the stolen horses to the northwest, the party lost the pursuing bandits quite quickly in the hills and forests.

Determining that whatever fate had befallen Azalea could not be helped in short order, the party decided to wind northwards towards Oleg’s, exploring what they could along the way.

Several interesting discoveries were made – initially they found a trapped animal, later discovered to be a Thylacine in a pit trap. They freed the beast, and later met with the hapless trapper who had happened to capture it. Introducing himself as Everitt Taby, the man was a sorry sight. Half starved, balding and completely unprepeared for the area, he devoured a large share of food. He had traveled to the wilds of the Greenbelt in an attempt to rebuild his life after losing his entire family to sickness in Longshore where he had been a prosperous owner of a counting house. However, his skills did not translate well and he has struggled to survive. Informing him of Oleg’s potential need as his business grows, he seemed skeptical but thankful.

The party then moved further north and encountered the feared dire boar Tuskgutter. His fearsome reputation did not stand up to the party, and he was slain, butchered and carried to Oleg’s.

The head of Tuskgutter is now installed above the hearth in the common room of Oleg’s – and the proprieter is quick to tell of the deeds of the charter group that has saved him from bandits and slain the beast. With business starting to pick up he is thinking of expanding his operations once the bandit threat is fully eliminated. Rewarded with arrows and a powerful bow, the party continued winding their way back south towards the bandit fortress once more.

They discovered the tell tale signs of what could be a very rich gold mine, and struck their claim. Additionally they encountered a hidden temple in the deeper parts of the forest.

After dispatching a fearsome bear guardian, the party was able to use Dumathoin’s Key to open the main doors.

They discovered that this temple is dedicated to Elhonna, and not Dumathoin, even though it has many of his sigils and signs inscribed within.

Inside a strange scene was found – over two dozen bodies were laying prostrate on the ground facing a large altar. Upon the altar was the remains of a bear, seemingly sacrificed using a magical dagger.

Moving further southwest after claiming the dagger and reclosing the doors they encountered more details of Elhonna worship – notably a medium sized statue of a humanoid. Standing atop a pedestal carved with a motif of marching figures with the heads of elk, the statue is in poor shape overall. Strangely, the head of it is only carved up to the jaw, and the rest of the head seems to be unfinished, but is smooth and polished like a wig-makers dummy.

From here, the party elected to move south east back towards the river and again towards the fortress of the Stag Lord, as much of their required exploration has been completed.

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New Friends and Assault on the Stag Lord

After a long night the party decided that it was important to interrogate the chief in the morning while under the benefit of a protection from evil spell. The night passed without incident, with the kobold being tied up and gagged.

In the morning the hold on the kobold was dispelled and much was discovered. The party had come at the near end of a period of turmoil in the kobold clan. Tartuk had come about a year prior and taken control of the tribe almost immediately with his new religion. Around the same time, bandits had gotten word of the potential of the silver mine and had threatened the kobolds with death if they did not provide them with some cut of the silver. However the kobolds were not naturally suited to the hard labor of the mine and output dropped quickly. Sootscale then divulged (under threat) that a group had been captured and forced to work in the mines. The leader of the bandits came shortly after and in a fury killed one of the slaves and took one back to his hut. As far as the party knew there was only one more person in the mines.

Deciding to return and put a stop to Tartuk and hopefully free the remaining slave the party prepared to storm the caverns. Working with Sootscale they determined that he would be able to provide a distraction while the party rushed into the private quarters of the shaman.

The plan went without a hitch. Tartuk was quickly subdued under the full assault of the party. He was captured alive, and discussions revolved around him being set free or being given over to Sootscale. Tartuk promised treasure and pointed the party into the direction of the mine itself.

Inside the mine Azrael was discovered. The elven bard was on the verge of starvation but was freed and elected to join the party in order to help free his sister – the slave who was taken by the Stag Lord himself.

While Azrael was being rescued, the true nature of Tartuk was discovered in a journal he had kept. Originally not a kobold – he was killed in an ogre rampage and was reincarnated by his church. However, he hated being a kobold and spent the rest of his life travelling from place to place killing off tribes for his own amusement. He was the one who orchestrated the war between the Mites and the Kobolds and was sacrificing the tribe to Old Sharptooth out of a twisted sense of humor.

The party quickly decided that Tartuk was to be given over to Sootscale, pending the agreement that the Kobolds remember that they were saved by the party, and that they will likely return to the mines someday to procure some payment.

Moving out into the countryside again to continue their mapping of the Greenbelt, the party came across the location of the Fangberries that Bokken the hermit needed for his potions. Despite the swarms of spiders and horrible spines growing on the vines, the party was able to gather enough to fulfill his request and quickly returned to his hut for payment.

Afterwards, during a short stopover at Olegs, the party found out that the bandits had assaulted the trading post again. Kesten – the guard leader – informed the party that one of his own men had turned traitor and left with the bandits after they were held back. He promised a reward of fine weapons if the party would bring him back alive for judgement.

Travelling south along the river, and following the bandit tracks the party eventually made their way to the large lake at the center of the Greenbelt and discovered that the bandits had holed up in a makeshift fortress atop a hill overlooking the lake.

After scouting for a few days, the party ambushed a trio of bandits on horseback as they were leaving the fortress. The fight was well planed, but difficult. Near the end of the battle, the bandits in the fort sounded an alarm and could be seen gearing up to help their comrades. Quickly dual mounting up on the horses, the party made their escape.

It is now the evening of the 5th of Patchwall.

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Deeper Into The Greenbelt
Discoveries & Threats

The morning that the party was to begin their exploration to the south east, they were met up with by Mira Silverstike. She introduced herself as an archaeologist and scholar who had traveled to Auma to discover the history of her people. Pledging her support and denying the desire for monetary gain, she was welcomed into the party after describing details of the dwarven ruins and artifacts the party had found.

Quickly traveling through already explored land, and avoiding the fields of trapdoor spiders, the party arrived in a hilly area of the Greenbelt. Here they discovered a tree that matched the depiction on the map they had recovered. Deducing that the bandit who met his fate at the trapdoor spiders had buried something nearby, a short search discovered a small cache of goods.

Encouraged by their discovery the party then went further to the south and found an abandoned and ruined river crossing. Ringing the service bell however summoned an apparition in the water. With a gurgling voice he demanded that the body of the Stag Lord be thrown into the river. A short scuffle ensued and the party broke off, agreeing to the delivery of the body. Upon hearing this, the undead creature sank below the rivers surface once again. Quickly retreating, the party followed the river along it’s northern bank.

Moving even further to the south the party discovered what initially seemed to be a silver mine. However, it was instead inhabited by a tribe of kobolds who were at constant war with a group of Mites to the north west. After being told that the kobold’s patron diety had been stolen from their tribe by the Mites they found that the tribe was also plagued with an internal power struggle as well. The shaman Tartuk had taken control of the tribe, but not all kobolds are loyal to him. Electing to visit with the shaman the party found him to be less interested in retrieving the statue than the other kobolds. Casting strong magic, he forced the party out of the caverns.

Not to take this lightly, the party headed north towards the old sycamore tree where the mites were supposedly located. After quick battles with various mites, centipedes and even a giant tick, they discovered ‘Old Sharptooth’ atop a pile of loot the Mite’s had recovered. Most of the goods were worthless trash salvaged from the kobolds or nearby settlements, but some coin was found. Additionally, a small sheet of paper offered a crude accounting of the ongoing war. Two columns: Us and Them contained the current holdings of both tribes. At this point the Us column only contained the statue. The Them column included money, magical dust and a human ring.

Moving to the other side of the caverns below the tree, the party discovered Mikmek. A captured kobold loyal only to the chief, he promised to help the party infiltrate the kobold caverns in order to bring Tartuk out of power. Once the party rested and returned to the caverns they buried ‘Old Sharptooth’ outside the caverns and attempted to reach the Chief undetected.

Temporarily breaking the hold Tartuk had exerted over him, they learned that Tartuk would be performing the next sacrifice just that morning. Seemingly out of options, the party put the chief and his attendant to sleep, tied them up and kidnapped him while they plan their next move.

It is now the 17th of Harvester

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Exploration around Oleg's
The first month of travel

After a few short days, the party began the process of charting and exploring the regions of the northern Greenbelt. Taking a simple approach, they began travelling east of Oleg’s Trading Post towards the border of the chartered area. Along the way they met up with a hermit by name of Bokken – one of the original rounds of settlers who has since decided that life in Longshore was too much to handle. He now avoids as many people as possible, preferring to only dealing with Oleg, and only to sell his alchemical wares.

In between ranting about his brother (who he apparently despises) as well as demands for privacy, he did promise that if the party were to locate some Fangberries (located south of the river) and return them to him fresh and unspoiled that he would give a discount on any potions purchased by the party for one month. Marking the general location on their makeshift map, the party agreed to return.

Continuing eastward, the party discovered nothing of note on the plains – only noting that a herd of horses seemed to make its home nearby during the spring. From here, they turned south and headed west back towards Oleg’s.

Eventually they had discovered a field littered with bones. Upon close examination it was discovered that they were thrown out of the lair of an enormous Trapdoor Spider. Deafeating the creature was a simple matter. Digging through the refuse at the bottom of the lair the body of a bandit was discovered. He seemed to be only a few days old, and a somewhat ranking member of the bandit party as he had a silver stag’s head necklace. Secreted in his boot was a crude drawing of a tree atop a hill with a noticeable X between some of the roots.

Prior to leaving Oleg’s, Sveltana had informed the party that she was hoping to get a crop of Moon Radish to sell back to Longshore, but with the bandit activity she was unwilling to venture out alone. Luckily, just south of Oleg’s the party found an enormous patch of the wild radishes, and harvested enough to take back. Unfortunately they also discovered that the patch had been sprinkled with well hidden bear traps. Removing all that they could find, the party would continue to be harassed by these traps in various other locations during their exploration.

On their way back to Oleg’s to deliver the radishes, the party was stalked by a small group of Kobolds. It came to a head in the middle of the night when the party heard whispering from the darkness outside the campfire. Intimidating the small band was a simple matter, and they scattered and have not yet returned.

After delivering to Oleg’s and restocking some of the supplies that they had used, the party began venturing to the west. During their visit, they investigated the possible source of the bear traps and were told that it was likely the work of one Breeg Orlivanch – a much despised trapper in the area. They also spoke with Kesten Garess – a noble of Dulstrand whose exile to Auma was well publicized on the mainland. He now leads the guards sent by the local government to protect Oleg.

Out in the far plains, a bluff was encountered that had at some point crumbled. Discovering a long forgotten and ruined tomb, the party recovered two items: a magical ring of swimming and a small adamantium box.

The ring had etchings that denoted the bearer was a Ship’s Captain, but the lack of any ocean nearby was confusing.

The box was discovered to open and contain an ever-turning single gear. Despite the best efforts of Keriatlian, it was not possible to determine the origin of the box, or what it is for.

Around this time as well, the party moved south and returned east towards Oleg’s through more heavily forested regions. For several days they seemed to be harassed by various pranks and tricks – all seemingly innocent, yet annoying all the same. Stumbling upon a body crushed by a deadfall, the party determined that this must have been Breg – the trapper who had placed all the cleverly hidden (and dangerous) bear traps throughout the woods. He had been killed by his own trap it seemed… until the party noticed that the ropes securing the deadfall had been gnawed apart rather than untying or breaking.

While not visible, the party determined that those who had been playing the pranks on them were responsible for Breg’s downfall. They claimed he was ‘a bad man who hurt people for fun’, but then refused additional contact when they were presented with the markings of the Redcaps on Myrd.

With nothing else to report, the party returned to Oleg’s. Tallying up what they had recovered and working with Oleg, they have put in a request to equip Kaarina with a breastplate. Due to not stocking more advanced armors, Oleg needs to put the order in with the smiths of Longshore. Sending John Westbrook off with the party’s order, he stated he expects it to come in near the end of this month.

The party decided to rest for a few days in clean beds before setting out to new discoveries.

In all, 35 days have passed since the party arrived in Longshore. It is currently the 7th Day of Harvester in the high summer. Autumn is coming soon.

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Bandits at the Outpost

It seemed that the arrival to Oleg’s was not unexpected. Greeted warmly by the wife of Oleg, Sveltana Leveton, she had assumed the party were the guardsmen requested to help combat the ‘tax collection’ by local bandits.

While this was not their purpose in arriving, she offered the party both reward and free lodging if you would protect her and her husband from the bandit group.

In questioning Sveltana about the bandits it was gathered that they had first arrived 3 months ago, not long after the trading post had opened. Almost a dozen ruffians, along with a rough man with a bow and a crass woman with two axes arrived shortly after dawn demanding a payment – or they would take Sveltana for ‘entertainment’ and burn down Oleg’s post. With no apparent options – the Leveton’s gave in – offering up both cash and goods. In a final bit of mockery and cruelty the bandit leader stole the wedding ring off of Sveltana’s finger and threw it to one of her henchmen.

Since then, the bandits have returned twice, each time with less and less support. They are expecting them again tomorrow morning if the pattern continues to hold.

The party decided unanimously that it would be in their best interests to help the Leveton’s, and immediately went about planning an ambush. With some in the house and others hidden in the trading yard, they hoped to catch the bandits before they could even react.

Exactly as expected, the bandits showed up in the early morning. The cloaked man approached the house where Myrd, Sturm, and Azok were waiting. Upon kicking the door open he was almost immediately slain – spurring the action of those hiding in the yard. Keriatlian put a group of the bandits to sleep while Kaarina unleashed her bow. It took only moments to either kill or subdue the bandits. In the end, only one survivor – Jon Westbrook, a 14 year old human – was left to account for what had transpired.

Jon promised to lead them to the river camp where his former leader (a cruel woman named Kressle) was located in exchange for his life. He had turned to banditry after his father was killed and his mother died of illness. The party agreed, giving him the chance to prove himself.

Investigating the slain bandits revealed that one of them had an amulet worked into the shape of a silver stags head. No other information was able to be gathered, and it was clear that the bandits did not have much on this trip.

Going south with Jon leading the way, the party was ambushed by wolves the first night. However, no one was irreparably hurt and the rest of the voyage was without incident.

Reaching the river (known as the ‘Thorn River’ by the various trappers and bandits in the area), the party forded it at a location further from the camp in order to sneak around from behind.

From the far side of the river the party was able to observe four bandits sitting around a campfire sharpening swords and eating a meager meal. Working on the same strategy as before – putting the bandits to sleep while shooting them with ranged weapons – this fight was more challenging.

Kressle herself emerged from a rough lean-to bow in hand and begun fighting while two bandits hidden in tree blinds tried to get a jump on the party as well. Eventually everyone made it across the river (some drier than others) and dispatched all of the bandits, save one who they kept for questioning. The party learned that this was just an offshoot of the main bandit fortress. They are ruled by a giant of a man known as the Stag Lord. While the bandit had never met him, he knows that Kressle and Happs (the bandit leader who was killed at Oleg’s) would take trips south to check in and bring the majority of their bounty with them. Shortly after divulging this information, the bandit was executed for his crimes.

Searching the camp unearthed the stolen goods from the Trading post as well as a few other items of unknown origin. Unfortunately Sveltana’s wedding ring was not found. Loading up the handcart with the stolen goods and everything else the party could find of value, they returned to Oleg’s.

Upon arriving the party saw that a small squadron of guards had arrived some time in the week they were gone. Bypassing them for now, they returned the goods to Oleg and informed Sveltana that her ring had not been found yet. They also introduced the boy Jon as a prisoner they had rescued, hoping that Sveltana would either have forgotten or forgiven the young mans crimes. Succeeding in this, he is now employed by Oleg and will begin doing work around the trading post as necessary.

From here the party can begin their exploration of the Greenbelt itself – all the while keeping their eyes and ears open for more agents of the Stag Lord himself.

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And So It Begins

The past few weeks have been pleasantly uneventful – a small kindness after the long and arduous journey to Auma. Despite the amount of sea traffic there is still considerable danger from pirates, storms, and the occasional great beasts of the oceans. Luckily you have reached the new land in one piece – minus a few pounds lost on the meager diet you were allowed on ship.

Longshore is already beginning to look like a sizable settlement, despite rumors that it was a simple and backwoods outpost. While the luxuries of the mainland cannot be found here, it seems that the hardy and simple folk who founded the colony have truly begun to thrive. The first of those who were born in Auma have begun to come of age and it can’t be long before a whole new generation is born.

Despite this, the amount of people escaping the Flanaess still outstrips those who now consider themselves ‘native’. Each ship brings dozens of those who for whatever reason are trying to start a new life.

Deciding to stay at one of the Customs & Charter houses, one of the inns, a hostel, or out in the near wilderness is up to you. It takes several days before your paperwork is processed through the colonial beuracracy and your name appears on the large bulletin outside the town hall.

‘Exploration & Surveying Companies’ is the heading you find your name under, along with a few others you don’t seem to recognize. You have been given a writ signed by the Swordlords themselves that gives you free passage beyond the current boundaries of civilization – into the realm of the Greenbelt.

Gathering what knowledge is available about the area takes almost no time. The Greenbelt is far enough in from the coastline sprawl of Longshore and surrounding farming villages to finally give way into hills and forests. Several rivers wind throughout the landscape and various native fauna have attracted countless hunters and trappers.

This unexplored and lawless land has become a haven for those who don’t fit into the colonial lifestyle. The most prominent are the bandits. Accosting travelers and outposts alike, the order to dispose of them is in full effect.

Despite the banditry, others have also taken to the outskirts of civilization for less nefarious reasons. One of these is Oleg – who converted the ruins of a dwarven outpost into a trading post over the past 6 months. Attempting to be the middleman between Longshore merchants and the trappers, Oleg has his eyes on the future of the area. His trading post is where you are set to travel to the day after your assignment is given. You are meant to explore a large swath of land spanning over 4,000 square miles and produce a map for the colony to send back to Dullstrand.

Meeting up on the outskirts of Longshore, you come face to face with those you will be working with. The trip to Oleg’s takes the better part of 3 days, giving you time to aquiant yourselves with eachother. Abandoing your charter is paramount to treason and would leave you unable to work within the colonies at all – so it is in your best interests to work together towards this common goal. Who knows, you may even grow to like eachother!

Over the next several days you work your way down the road – which turns from bad to almost non existent the further you get from civilization.

The final morning dawns. With luck you should arrive at the trading post by noon.

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