Adventures in the Borderlands

Rumble in the Swamp
Session 13
  • While examining the metal box recovered from the Tritons, a gang of trolls, along with their shambling mound and a giant crocodile, attacked the PCs.
  • After a narrow victory by the PCs, the surviving troll and its minions fled back into the swamp.
  • The book was revealed to be a strange tome of magical research.
  • The PCs continued heading out of the swamp, towards the inland plains.
  • After spotting two large, dark shapes flying off in the distance, the PCs decided to travel slower and more cautiously to avoid what they assumed were dragons.
  • Traveling at a slower pace, the PCs found themselves spending another night in the swamp camped in their tower.

XP:
12,260
+ 1,800 xp (Combat)
= 14,060 / 14,000

PCs reach 6th level; they may level up when they next have a chance to rest and train in safety.

Treasure:

Rusted box → Subtle Treatise of Surunos

Alchemy Jug refinement

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The Forlorn Name
Session 12
  • As the Smiling Squid went around the cyclopses’ island, it became stuck in the sargassum.
  • A tribe of Tritons came up to the ship willing to trade. The PCs traded some glowstones with the Tritons for scrimshaw and other trade goods, include a strange metal book and a conch shell.
  • Arriving in Lightstone, the PCs did some investigation, including calling the bishop to cast divination, and learned that Inquisitor Ansela is descended from a “Marsh,” a name associated with the “sea people.”
  • Divination clue: How do we find the descendants of the “sea people”? “Seek the forlorn name.”
  • Ansela claims she can’t (and won’t) help the PCs, but that some of her people live in “The Mire of Lost Hope” located to the west.
  • The PCs decide to cut north through the swamp to the inland prairie, then head west and return south.
  • Partway through the swamp, after resting in the Rook tower, Gillian and Vargus head outside and open the lock on the strange metal book cover.
  • Before they can open the book, several large, green humanoid creatures emerge from the surrounding muck and charge, taking them by surprise…

XP:
11,010
+ 750 xp (Exploration)
+ 500 xp (Roleplaying)
= 12,260 / 14,000

Treasure:
Glowstones → scrimshaw → 250 gp from Brucca
Strange metal book
Conch shell (probably just an empty shell)

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Dangerous Voyage
Session 11
  • Aerendyl loses a boxing match on the docks of Kyros.
  • PCs sell their horses to pay for passage by ship back to Lightstone, seeking the remnants of the Sea People.
  • The ship’s captain informs the PCs that due to low tide, they must either pass by some dangerous sea-side cliff, go around and risk the sargassum fields, or wait until night and delay their trip. The PCs choose to borrow a boat and investigate the cliffs by themselves.
  • The PCs encounter a tribe of cyclopses hauling up baskets of fish from the caves. The PCs attempt to negotiate for safe passage, but the cyclopses feel great resentment about generations of slavery at the hands of “small ones” and “shrimps”, and refuse to help unless given a ship to leave the island and reclaim the cities built by their ancestors.
  • A battle ensues, and the cyclopses, including a priest, are slain, but not before the boat is destroyed and a strange creature, a Hecatoncheires, appears and threatens the PCs. The PCs are forced to swim back to the ship and recommend waiting until nightfall, rather than facing the hundred-handed beast and the rest of the cyclopses.

XP:
8,460
+ 2,300 xp (Combat)
+ 250 xp (Roleplaying)
= 11,010 / 14,000

Treasure:

Silver armband with tourmaline, fine quality ermine-fur pouch, coral holy symbol, silk sash with electrum buttons (found on cyclops priest)

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Visiting the Spire
Session 10
  • PCs visit the city of Kyros.
  • Andarsecc finds some information about the sea people: that they had a colony in Corwyn, had a distinctive look, and family names include Marsh, Olmes, and Obed.
  • Vargus finds recipes for magic items including “Ye Blade, Enflamm├ęd” and “Sworde of a Moste Excellent Quality.”
  • Several magic items purchased, noted below.
  • Locals note that the eccentric scholar Praemas the Observer has an observatory on the 50th floor of the Spire, but also warn against climbing or flying up past the first few levels.
  • Gillian attempts to scale the tower to visit Praemas; he is almost blown off by strong winds, and is then attacked and captured by one or more invisible flying creatures.
  • Other party members contact Praemas via the silver raven. Praemas takes the PCs to the tower using unknown methods and then negotiates with a strange Palace Cat for the release of Gillian from the Chameleon Women.
  • Gillian receives a paw-print mark on his forehead, marking a “debt” to the Palace Cat to be “called in at a later time.”
  • The PCs trade several extra-planar items for Praemas’ cloak of flame and also trade the pixie stompers for an Arcadian star-sapphire.

XP:
7,960
+ 250 xp (Roleplaying)
+ 250 xp (Exploration)
= 8,460 / 14,000

Treasure:
Alchemy Jug (purchased)
Boots of Flying (purchased)
Gauntlets of Ogre Power (purchased)
Goggles of Night (purchased)
Immovable Rod (purchased)
Ring of Jumping (purchased)

Cloak of Flame (traded for various)

Star Sapphire (traded for Pixie Stompers)

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Kyros, the city of scholars -- Interlude

The city of Kyros is regarded as one of the “Three Great Cities,” along with Marzanbul (the city of craftspeople) and Tehr Cirith (the city of artists). It has a population of about 15,000, mostly human, with a mix of other species either visiting, trading, or making their home. Kyros is most famous for the great Spire of Kyros, an enormous tower that stretches up into the clouds. The first few dozen floors are filled with the Library of Kyros, perhaps the finest collection on the continent.

Before next session, I would greatly appreciate it if people would post, either here or on the Facebook page, their plans while in Kyros. Obviously your character can do whatever you want, but here are the most common objectives (each of which takes approximately 3 days to complete).

  • Find a magic item for sale. Magic items are rare and highly valued; few people part with them just for coin. It will take a few days to find someone willing to sell any magic item, assuming the item you’re looking for is even available.
  • Find a buyer for a magic item. Most people don’t have the coin or the inclination to buy a magic item. You need to hunt down an interested party and negotiate a trade.
  • Research a topic in the Library. The lower floors of the library are open to the public, and higher floors can be accessed with a “donation” and a chaperone.
  • Hunt down rumors. A big city like Kyros, located along both land and sea trade routes, is always humming with people from a variety of lands. If you know where to look, you can get news from all across the continent.
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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 L├│egaire.

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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