Adventures in the Borderlands

Mercenary Assault
Session 8 & 9
  • Received gold from Boufford to hire mercenaries.
  • Hired Brixa, Oryx, Khanti, Rinza, and Jutai.
  • Gillian followed the thief Uttesh back to where he was hiding out.
  • Using Oryx wild shaped into a horse as bait, the PCs led the worg and wolf-rider goblins into Jutai’s tiger-pit trap.
  • Andarsacc captured one of the Worgs.
  • The PCs began their assault on the hobgoblin fort from the less defended back hill and fought their way down the cliff.
  • Just as the PCs had mopped up most of the opposition, a well-armed hobgoblin captain leading a contingent of hobgoblin soldiers and two armored ogres emerged from the cave.
  • After defeating all the hobgoblins, the PCs ventured down into the cave.
  • They saw a disturbing site: the vivisected body of a cave bear with a turgid, bloated sac protruding from its exposed guts, flanked by four hobgoblin monks with pained, twisted features, and finally the ephemeral form of the halfling priestess, all of them linked by strands of green energy.
  • Gillian pierced the disgusting thing with some arrows, spilling out a half-formed creature. The monks immediately were wracked with paroxysms and died, and the halfling priestess seemed to return to solidity.
  • The PCs gathered up what loot they could find and headed back to town.
  • Kala was impressed and promised to soon garrison the fort around the cave with halfling reserves.
  • The PCs decided to leave the Moot for now and head down south to Kyros.
  • The PCs pay Janahyn to install an Arcane Lock on the door to the Rook.

XP:
7,000
+ 460 xp (Combat)
+ 250 xp (Roleplaying)
+ 250 xp (Exploration)
= 7,960 / 14,000

Treasure:
300 gp from Boufford for hiring purposes (spent)
5,350 gp from hobgoblin loot (half paid in percentages to mercenaries)
2,885 gp from sale of art objects, arrived from Kyros
Arcane Scrolls: Blur, Levitate, Phantasmal Force, and Web
The Rook
The Earth-Mother’s Thresher
Arrow-Catcher Armor
Nature’s Embrace
The Dead Men Walking

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Questions in the Dark
Session 7
  • PCs headed out of town towards the cave with the bronze doors.
  • Encountered a goblin scout, but quickly dispatched it before it could escape.
  • Saw that in the two weeks since they had last been there, the goblins had constructed a palisade and several towers around the cave.
  • Aerendyl tried to make peaceful contact with the goblins, but got chased by some worgs and wolves for his trouble.
  • After killing some goblin wolf-riders, the worgs retreated.
  • Making their way back to town, the party suddenly fell victim to an unnatural lightning storm while camping.
  • This storm was the work of the grey bugbear druid, who, in giant owl form, flew down to deliver a warning to the PCs.
  • Striking from concealment, Aerendyl and Gillian managed to take down and capture the bugbear.
  • The PCs dragged the enemy druid back to the castle and reported their finds to Captain Boufford.
  • Boufford refused to offer additional troops to attack the cave, instead choosing to fortify defenses at the castle and around the town. He suggested the PCs hire mercenaries in town and that they would be rewarded for aiding Rivenbrook.
  • Janahyn helped the PCs interrogate the bugbear by using mind-reading magic.
  • The bugbear subconciously revealed that she was tasked by someone to find the Andwynyon caves, that she had paid off some conspirators hidden under cloaks, and that she was concerned about her “daughter” (apparently the new leader of the tribe) back at the cave.

XP:
6,300
+ 200 xp (Combat)
+ 375 xp (Roleplaying)
+ 125 xp (Exploration)
= 7,000 / 14,000

When next the PCs have a full day to rest, they may reach level 5.

Treasure:
friendship

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Round Trip
Session 6
  • The PCs arrive in Lightstone and arrange healing for Gillian.
  • The PCs identify several magic items in their possession.
  • The PCs dispose of several dangerous objects, including a jar of mummy dust, a soul-trapping box, and a cursed sword.
  • Andarssac begins trying to join a “philosophical society” called the Illuminated Eye.
  • The PCs unload lots of art and gems to the trader Brucca, who promises to sell the treasure in Kyros and send the PCs the profits.
  • The PCs arrange transport by barge up-river from Corwyn back to the Moot.
  • When the PCs arrive back at Caer Haegnant, they realize that, in their absence, the soldiers have “impressed” their stabled horses.
  • The PCs receive payment for their scouting efforts in the Borderlands and supposedly compensation for their horses.
  • After making sure that they are ready and provisioned (including a new donkey), the PCs head out to reach the cave of Grandmother and the Matron again.

XP:
5,675
+ 500 xp (Roleplaying)
+ 125 xp (Exploration)
= 6,300 / 6,500

Treasure:

oh dear Zeus no don’t mention money

200 gp from Bouffard for goblin reports
A military IOU for 5 horses
Eventually

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City of Lightstone
Interlude

Persons and Places of Note

Temple of Manannan mac Lir
This temple to the god of the sea and the underworld performs regular religious services for the town. The temple is operated by a half-dozen priests under the direction of Bishop Lóegaire.

The Lighthouse
Technically owned by the sea temple, it is currently operated by acolytes of the Illuminated Eye. They have replaced the standard light lens with a crystal of their own making which appears to drive off dragons, which are a common nuisance in these parts. The only member of the organization that regularly deals with the public is Visor Argus.

Inquisitor Ansela
The local representative of the Inquisition, she represents law and order in the town. Suspicious of outsiders.

Brucca’s Trading Company
A shipping company run by the titular Brucca. Most of her trade is in salt cod from the North Sea shipped inland.

The Whistling Whale
An inn and tavern run by Larron and Henara Fenwyk. Currently the only other guest is a tall elf in a expensive-looking coat, looking damp and depressed.

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Dragon Raid
Session 5
  • Group is scattered – Aerendyl heading south, Vargas mounting a rescue attempt, Gillian hiding, and both Xana and Andarssac captured by the black dragon.
  • Dragon leaves captives in the care of a tribe of squabbling kobolds.
  • Xana is forced at spearpoint to fight a mummy in the dungeon.
  • Suddenly, Gillian, and then Vargas, join the fray, and drive off the kobolds and kill the mummy.
  • However, Gillian is injured and infected with mummy rot.
  • Meanwhile, Andarssac and the kobold’s “spell-scale” Meepo match wits, with Andarssac almost killing Meepo with a well-blaced eldritch blast and Meepo returning fire with a chromatic orb that knocks Andarssac out.
  • After resting briefly, Vargas and Xana capture a kobold captive and force him to convince the rest of the tribe to open the door back to the dragon’s lair.
  • After a slaughter, all the kobolds are killed except Ter’rk, a flying kobold, who escapes, and one last kobold minion that Xana takes captive.
  • The PCs quickly fill their bags with the dragon’s treasure and beat a hasty retreat, just as “Swamp Mother” returns with a vengeance to discover her minions destroyed and her treasure stolen.
  • Escaping into the swamp, they stumble by chance upon a crawdad fisherman, who takes them by boat to the safe haven (you hope) of Lightstone.
  • Apparently the PCs have traveled hundreds of miles west, to the coastal swamps of Corwyn.

XP:
4,580
+ 470 xp (Combat)
+ 375 xp (Roleplaying)
+ 250 xp (Exploration)
= 5,675 / 6,500

Players finally reach safety and can level up to level 4.

Treasure:

(Assumed-) Cursed Box

Dragon Hoard:
6,000 sp
1,100 gp (7,000 coins, 1,700 gp value)
180 Copper and Turquoise discs
x2 Old bronze shields
x3 Old bronze armor
x5 Old bronze swords
x6 Old bronze daggers
Case of 10 crossbow bolts
Applewood Wand
Petrified Wood Ring inlaid with Steel
Gold Diadem set with Garnets
Bronze Armband set with Jasper
Leopard Fur Sash
Porcelain Medallion set with Moonstone
Round Steel Orb with Crystal
Silver Statue of a Raven
Carved Ivory Drinking Horn inlaid with Bronze
Gold Holy Symbol (starburst) with Amethyst
x2 Old Bottles of Wine
Brass Urn
Rosewood Puzzle Box
Small Carpet with Sea Motif
x2 Leather-bound Books
Gems (x2 Citrines, x3 Ambers, x1 Jet, x6 Pearl, x2 Jade)
x2 Potion of Healing
x1 Potion of Superior Healing
x1 Potion (grey cloudy syrup)
x1 Potion (violently bubbling blue liquid)

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The Bog Temple
Session 4
  • PCs emerge from strange pit of tar.
  • PCs explore strange Andwynyon ruins.
  • Find hidden tomb behind alcove, large scaled monster attacks from inside sarcophagus.
  • Fight group of wights inside abandoned shrine.
  • Find exit to surface, see that the ruins are sunken into a salt marsh.
  • Seagulls say that “fish-catchers” are south of current location; warns of “sky gator” living in ruins.
  • Xana, Gillian, and Andarssac discuss going back into ruins for strange box on shine altar; Aerendyl and Vargas start leaving through the swamp.
  • While arguing at doors, a black dragon swoops out of broken dome and confronts Xana, Gillian, and Andarssac. They give some treasure, but not enough to satisfy the dragon; it tries to abduct Gillian, who runs back into the ruins and leaves a smoke cloud with his ever-smoking bottle.
  • The dragon knocks out Xana and Andarssac and carries them back to its lair, while Aerendyl and Vargas choose to continue south to safety, and Gillian hides in the empty sarcophagus.
  • The Andwynyon word for yes is “wae”, and the word for no is “tón.”

XP:
3,565
+ 640 xp (Combat)
+ 250 xp (Roleplaying)
+ 125 xp (Exploration)
= 4,580 / 6,500

When the PCs next return to safety to rest and train, they may reach level 4.

Treasure:
? Most of the treasure was taken by the black dragon
Gray Greatsword
248 Turquoise/copper coins
“Winged” Bronze Helmet
“Eagle” Bronze Breastplate
Tarnished bronze punching dagger

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The Other Side
Session 3

According to James:
“To summarize the evening: We were transported to the plane of death. Xana got grabbed by a weird skeleton tree that seemed like it used to be a person. A couple of ghouls and a ghast (that we didn’t recognize as such) showed up and dug around in the ground and trees and pulled huge maggots with human faces out of them. We absolutely didn’t question that at all and followed them to a bazaar, since if we tried to wander on our own we would’ve certainly died. In the bazaar, the leader wanted us to kill a shadow demon merchant who had stiffed him on a deal as repayment for leading us to the bazaar, so we did so and looted the place. We then went to the flesh-carvers hut, and in exchange for the knowledge of where they get their fresh meat, we gave them the shadow demon’s large tent. We then were led to a huge pit of black tar that had bodies of strange creatures with slit throats bubbling in it, and after a blood sacrifice, it turned into water that we swam through and emerged into a temple thing.”

GM’s notes:

  • You don’t know them as ghouls or ghasts: they’re “Dream-hunters” and “Dead-eaters.”
  • The Dead-eater’s name is Hamantu.
  • Someone asked where the larvae come from. Hamantu said, “The shades diminish and lose their memories, reducing them to larvae. In time the larvae metamorphose and leave this place.”
  • The Shadow Demon’s name was Izdraal.
  • You forgot Esau, the crow-headed gatekeeper!
  • You never learned the flesh-carver’s names.
  • Someone mentioned that if you wanted “information,” you needed to talk to “Soundbox.” Nobody did.
  • Several people mentioned “the management.” No one asked what that meant.
  • “Braawk! The rules of the bazaar! One – all sales are final, no returns! Two – let the buyer beware! Three – vengeance for petty insults is encouraged, vengeance for bad products is forbidden!”
  • It wasn’t a pit of tar, it was a pool of tar (it had tiling).
  • There was a sculpture on the wall of the quarry with writing in Old Andwynyon. It showed someone being sacrificed, two pyramids opposite one another, and two standing figures in regalia, one human and one skeletal.

XP:
2,815
+ 375 xp (Combat)
+ 250 xp (Roleplaying)
+ 125 xp (Exploration)
= 3,565 / 6,500

When the PCs next return to safety to rest and train, they may reach level 4.

Treasure:
5 Shadow Discs (Sword, Bow, Staff, Dragon, Dog)
2 Potions of Animal Empathy
13 Glowstones
Bag of Offal (I have no idea why you picked this up, it smells terrible)
From Izdraal’s stash:
Stone Dice
Obsidian Earrings
Small Vial of Perfume
Pewter Choker
Painted Glass Ring
Leather Talisman
Iron Torc
Bonewood Flute
Greensteel Dagger
Fine Leather Boots

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The Gates of Arawn
Session 2

The PCs are led by their hobgoblin prisoners to the cave of the “Matron.” They are waylaid by goblin wolf riders but fend them off, capturing three goblins in the process. Upon arriving in the cave, they meet a large, old Bugbear, a (pet?) cave bear, a well-armed hobgoblin (possible leader?), and a band of hobgoblin warriors and monks. The bugbear is apparently the Matron, and she refers to the other goblinoids as her “war-sons.” After some negotiation, she agrees to turn over a chest of loot in return for the captive goblinoids.

The Matron then offers the PCs a deal: “much more” treasure if they head through the large bronze doors at the back of the cave and deal with the “unclear spirits” within. Heading inside, the PCs wade through a thick fog before entering a room overgrowing with vegetation. A figure of a halfling woman is at the threshold of a swirling portal. The PCs checked the other set of bronze doors and found a similar halfling woman, this time in a room of cold ash. Between the two persons, the PCs learned that their “paths had been confused,” and that “their threads were torn between multiple gates, unable to find their way home.” One offered that “destroying the other threads might free them to leave the room,” but that they might be “diminished.” Another suggested that if “the one opposing me” was destroyed or “forced to face me,” they might prevail.

The PCs attempt to spend the night in the room of cold ashes, when suddenly the halfling woman exclaims that “the gate had been open too long,” then vanished, as the portal roared with activity and something stepped through…

XP:
2,395
+ 120 xp (Combat)
+ 150 xp (Roleplaying)
+ 150 xp (Exploration)
= 2,815 / 2,700

When the PCs next return to safety to rest and train, they may reach level 4.

Treasure:
2,400 copper pieces
1,200 silver pieces
80 gold pieces (3,680 coins, total gp value 224)
Gems (bloodstone, moonstone, onyx, citrine, jasper, zircon)
High-quality tabard
Scabbard (shortsword) with silver inlay and pearls
Ornate warhammer with gold filigree
Excellent quality ceramic bowl with griffon motif
2 Potions of Greater Healing (4d4+4)
1 Unknown potion (brown, with grainy texture and foaming bubbles)

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The Old Ruins
Session 1

The PCs arrive at the ruins indicated on Quick-Fingers Cobb’s map. They find that the surface ruins are being used as an encampment for some goblins and hobgoblins. They make quick work of some goblin guards in a tower, then wait for a large gang of goblin wolf-riders, lead by a Worg, to go out hunting. The characters ambush and kill an Ogre, then take three hobgoblins as prisoners.

The PCs learn that Quick-Fingers and his crew bribed their way past the goblins to get to the catacombs under the ruins; the goblins avoid the underground passages, believing them cursed by the “Ancient Ones.” The hobgoblins also say that “the Matron” will pay for their release, and can be found at “The Cave of the Everlasting,” a day’s ride west, but warn that the wolf-riders, led by “Huvos,” will likely retaliate.

The PCs line up the corpses of the slain goblins near the entrance to the ruins and then take shelter in the tower. When the wolf-riders return, they see their slain brethren and retreat back into the woods.

XP:
1650
+ 220 xp (Combat)
+ 225 xp (Roleplaying)
+ 300 xp (Obsidian Portal portraits, bios, stats, comments)
= 2,395 / 2,700

Treasure:
none

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Welcome to the Borderlands
session 0.5

After traveling the long trail from Gaelle, the heroes arrive in the lands of the Moot. They are introduced to some of the officers of the fort called Castle Hangknot (or in halfling, Caer Haegnant) and some of the important persons of the nearby town of Rivenbrook.

An adventurer named Quick-fingers Cobb offers to sell the PCs information about some old Andwynyon ruins that claimed the lives of his former crew-mates. He went to bed without striking a deal, and was found the next day dead and suspiciously cold. A search through his pack turned up (his?) severed fingers and a strange, opalescent ring. The PCs volunteer to find the source of the (possibly cursed) item.

XP:
900
+ 525 xp (Roleplaying)
+ 225 xp (Exploration)
= 1,650 / 2,700

Treasure:
none

Notes:

  • “Grandmother”, high priestess of Arawn, has been missing some time. The crows claim her cave is north-east of town.
  • Quick-fingers Cobb’s map shows the Andwynyon ruins as approximately two days north of town.
  • The Alliance military under Lord Captain Boufford’s command pays bounties on: accurate maps of the borderlands; intelligence on enemy location and activity; claiming tribal insignia from goblin chiefs; and aiding the local halfling villages rebuild.
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