We docked at mid morning and quietly went our ways.
I went to the Esoteric Disciplines and showed the ixichatle carcass with its markings to Melzam and Liria. Melzam discussed with us the social organization of the that creature and their belief systems. I guess Demogorgon is their god. Liria and I sparred and explored the training we share and possibilities of healing disciplines being amalgamated within them. After a light discussion Melzam queried about the party that I was with and gave some good advice on what my role should be. I’ve taken it to mean that I’m to be the wall between the enemy and my companions. I shall focus my training to more effectively help in that effort. We chat for some time and have a very good visit but, I need to see my family. I take my leave of them and wish them a good day. Melzam leaves me with the feeling that I have done well in honoring the house and the my family name with the exploits my companions and I have achieved.
I head over to the Tower of Judgement to see dad. He really needs to hear about Olmayne and his heroism in the face of overwhelming odds. He really needs to be rewarded for his help. As I head towards the other end of the tower compound I’m distracted from my errand by an apparition. He appears in tattered purple robes. When I approach he gestures for me to stay where I am with open palms. I figure out quickly that he cannot speak, so I ask him to answer with nods for yes and shakes for no. Through it all I figure out that he needs help and he’s from our plane. He points to something over my shoulder, I turn to look and when I look back he is gone. Wow, something else to tweak my interest.
My meeting with dad goes well. I let him know just how incredible Olmayne was during the fruit harvest. He is impressed and will follow through with a just reward for Olmayne’s service. He doesn’t know anything about the purple robed man, but will ensure the guards are on the look out for him. I take my leave and go to find Voltoor, he’ll know something, I’m sure of it.
Voltoor didn’t know much of the mysterious person I saw. He said there is a soup kitchen opening up and he’ll let the people running it know to keep an eye out for this man. Somehow I don’t feel that he is here in Fallcrest and he definitely not a ghost. That I am sure of.
We have a meeting planned for later on this week at the Inn. I am going to get Liria’s grand father’s sword back. In the meantime, I’ll go and see what mom is up to and help her with supper.
It’ll be nice to sit with the family for a home cooked meal again. I’ve been away for a week, sure hope that the rest of the family has been giving her some help.
The last couple of days I just slipped right back into the same old routine. Get up with Charlie crowing out in the yard. Get dressed and go milk our cow, clean up her stall and let the pigs out for their feed. I had almost forgotten how mundane all this can be. The worst is the chicken coupe, I’m supposed to pick the eggs and the stench is horrific. That useless baby of a brother was supposed to clean it out a week ago. The level of filth in there is enough to make anyone puke. He seems to have gotten even more annoying since I’ve been gone. Last night his incessant nattering during supper nearly sent me around the bend. I miss my comrades at arms already. I can’t wait to see them tonight.
First person I run into at the inn is Liria. I ask her if she has spoken with Horace yet. She shakes her head no. I give her a hug and give her some words of encouragement. Then I see Voltoor, we greet eachother and go find a table. Hurm and Leehland are not far behind, I don’t know what Namib is doing, likely off checking out roots and twigs. We catch the next available waitress and get into a groove. Geeze I love mead just a little too much. Hurm makes subtle comments about my lack of self control. Wait till he sees what I have in store for tonight. During our discussions on what to do about the issues to the North, Horace comes over to our table. Hurm, Voltoor and Leehland engage him in coversation. I’ve had like 7 glasses of mead, all I hear is blah, blah, blah, “yeah if you find any interesting trinkets in your travels, I do some collecting as you can see.” That is my cue, I tell him about Liria and her concerns over her grandpa’s sword. He doesn’t know what I’m talking about, likely story. “Hey Liria! C’mon over here and lets clear the air with Horace!” God is she pissed, not to worry its all in good fun. I relate Liria’s story to Horace, who seems genuinely concerned. After a short discussion he allows Liria to inspect his collection of swords behind the counter. He says 40 gold will get her the sword. Liria is looking pretty worked up, so I step in and offer my longsword and 30 gold. For everything I’ve put her through tonight, its the least I can do. After Liria and I chat for few moments and part ways, I ask Horace who he got the sword from, he tries hard to remember and gives the guys and I a name. Leehland knows this fellow, he’s from low town. I’ve had, I can’t count that high, glasses of mead tonight and we make arrangements to see this fellow on the morrow.
Wow, what a splitting headache. That damn rooster is going to be tonights supper if he doesn’t shut up. I drag my sorry ass out of bed and get on with my day. I meet the gang at the top of low town. Leehland leads the way and we find ourselves in Beggars Row. God I hate this place. The disease, the vermin, the pestilence, it all seems to emanate from here. We locate the beggar and Hurm sits himself down right next to him. Hurm is pretty tolerant, unlike Voltoor and myself. Leehland rousts this guy and once he’s come to his senses, we begin to ask him about the sword. I play the hard ass and hold a night or two in the stockade over his head to try and get some answers out of him. Leehland and Hurm eventually get the answers out of him. It turns out he lifted the sword off of Liria’s dead grand father Steven just after his death. We get a location, direction and a landmark and that is all we need. On our way out of town I stop at Liria’s house and let her know that we’ll be confirming her grand father’s resting place on our way North.
After a couple more short stops we head North. Not far out we happen upon the landmark described to us by the beggar Anydus. See, I’m not that heartless, I remembered his name. Leehland has this spell that he casts and we quickly determine the general area we need to look in to find Steven’s body. We mark the spot and move on. Within a day we’re at Voltoor’s farm. He brings us in and we meet his parents and the rest of his family. Voltoor is pretty aloof when it comes to interacting with his family. He doesn’t like to have any kind of recognition thrown his way. I play on that a little. I ask some questions that prompt his mom to proudly gush over his courage. Voltoor is clearly annoyed and leaves the room. We tour the farmstead and decide what we’re going to do for the night to come. We divee up our watches for the night and turn in. Voltoor’s mom says its been quiet lately, that means nothing from what I’ve come to find over the last couple of weeks. Stay alert boys, I got a feeling something is going to happen.
-patrol to Rumbardt farm and Flynn farm.
-Namib is acquainted with a knoll named Rip Fang and his clan.
-Knoll clans have distinctive markings i.e.: tattoos, dirt caked, mangy, maggot infested fur.
-Themon and Clarrion Rumbardt own the farm and have two kids.
-Knolls are now raiding graves on the outlying farms.
-Themon has locked up tools and Clarrion feels that an all out attack is soon in coming.
-Single knoll (Rip Fang) seen at the Flynne farm.
-Largest party of knolls is usually 3 or 4 strong. Come out of the North.
-Continue on to the Flynne farm to see how they’re fairing.
-Come upon Flynne farm being raided by 3 knolls that we can see.
-Arica and Azura Flynne have both been taken. Arica is dead.
-First blatant attack during daylight.
-Ritual that uses dead bodies as focal point.
-gather all of the families together on one farm and defend from one farm. Discuss with all families the issues that face them.
We sent the families to town with enough money to house and feed themselves for quite a while. We then went in search of gnolls to eliminate and stick their heads on posts.
Lured 3 Gnolls from a party of 6 and overpowered them. One was Ripfang himself. We discuss our issue with him and since we bested him in combat he agrees to lead us to his clan in exchange we agree to kill the Snap Jaw chieftain. We concoct a story that we’re Bleach Skull hunters or killers or some such rot. We are then led by Ripfang to his clan. Along the way we ran into some Baazrags and dealt with them without handily. Namib is in dire need of some rest. We can’t stop though as Azura is in danger. We press on.
When we got to within a kilometer of the encampment we discover that Ripfang has kept some knowledge from us. The encampment is huge. Its built on a ziggurat. The levels of the ziggurat are covered in gnoll clans. Ripfang informs us that this is their summit year. Snap Jaw and Bleach Skull clans are vying for Inogu’s favour. There are thousands of gnolls here. Seeing now how he’s gotten the drop on us; I knew we should just have killed him and stuck his head on a post.
Its all a blur now. Like walking through a vivid nightmare with everything you see all fuzzy and then reality floods in with its striking detail and slaps you in the face. We piled one lie upon another and now we face the karma that our actions have brought on us. Everything from lying about our origins to these foul creatures to my playing the part of the inquisitor in a torture session that I can’t wipe from my mind. I stood for some virtuous ideal once upon a time, but my soul is now as rotten as the vermin I strike down before me. Ripfang will pay for this treachery. I will not rest until every knoll in the Fallcrest area has been eradicated. He wants me to fight some knoll champion? I’ll fight it, if I win, I’ll cleave its head from its’ shoulders and they will see the hate and damnation that is their future. Witnessing the killing of their chieftain will be the least traumatic thing they see whilst I still live. I will show them their doom.
Raven Queen help us for the sins we’ve committed in the name of expediency.
Fought the 5 toughest gnolls from Nazrak’s Bleached Skull tribe and defeat them in a close battle. Given 5 slaves including girl from Flynne farm:
-Despina/Avenger adventuring companion of Elian/ Brand of Raven Queen on chest.
-Caedan/ friend of Voltoor’s grandfather.
-Garro/ town guard ambushed and kidnapped by gnolls.
-Golla shape shifter informs us that there aren’t any towns within 2weeks march of Fallcrest.
-Azura/Flynne family daughter.
Encounter a group of humans and Tieflings on our way back to Fallcrest. Seeking hidden city Voorukoth. Leader is the tiefling Amereus. We make arrangements to rendez-vous with their party during their travels.
We stop at forked tree and find remains of Liria’s uncle. Bring remains back for proper burial.