South Rheged Adventure Log

Year 620 A.D.

Maius(5th Month, Spring 3)

Adventure Log

Warday, 22nd Maius
*The heroes were resting up and celebrating in Caer Brem (the King’s Fort) following their defeat of the troll king Tornak in the central Pennines. Meanwhile King Llywarch had marched his men into the high valley pass east of the Caer to thwart an invasion from the Angles of Northumbria. (Likewise, the king’s greatest warlord, and daughter, Gwenabwy, led the rest of South Rheged’s army in the major pass above Caer Rigod in the south).

Kingsday, 23rd Maius
*Wishing to get to the front line ASAP, the heroes were relieved when a message arrived from the king requesting their presence on the battlefield. Apparently the Prince Eiddoel had not returned with his warband and perhaps the PCs were going to be required to lead part of the king’s forces. Keen to get moving the PCs set out for the army encampment, spending the night beside the River Ribble along the way.

Thunderday, 24th Maius


*Following the River Ribble up into the pass the PC’s arrived at the South Rheged army encampment and proceeded straight to King Llywarch.
*In the king’s tent the PCs heard the grim news of Prince Eiddoel’s death. He died fighting trolls in the south near a settlement called Moonstair. It was also reported that he carried the sword regarded as an artifact in South Rheged - “Sunwrath”. In the letter from the mayor of Moonstair it also indicated that the people of the south were in danger from another troll king. So instead of leading the army against the Angles the PCs were off to find and destroy another troll threat. They left immediately and headed back through the wooded hills towards Caer Brem.
*Whilst passing a well-known hill with standing stones they witnessed an elf on the summit being shot with arrows. Rushing up to his aid the PCs had to dispatch a warparty of Angles. The elf, that should have been dead, turned out to still be alive…or kind of. Not only had it survived two arrows in the back, he looked very familiar to Tadhg. In fact, Tadhg believed Riven to be his old elven adventuring friend, Karasin. The risen elf also felt that destiny had brought the two together, but he remembered nothing of his past life as Karasin.
*A little unnerved, the PCs camped in the woods nearby for the night.

Loveday, 25th Maius
*With the deathless elf in tow, the party arrived in Caer Brem mid afternoon. Spoke with young guards Gywed and Dylan and the Second Spear Garth about getting provisions organized for their journey south. Stayed the night in the Caer.

Harvestday, 26th Maius
*Made the short journey to the town of Bel further down the River Ribble. Here they stocked up on alchemical fire from the noted alchemist Brendanyr.
*PCs then pushed on to Caer Mam, following the Old Roman Road through the forest. Booked into Edern’s winehouse on the central corner of the settlement.

Sunday, 27th Maius


*On road between Caer Mam and Moonstair PCs heard and then involved themselves in a battle over a lovely waterfall. A group of elves were fighting warped, evil fey know as spriggans (an aquatic type of anyway). These fey (supposedly created by fomorians) had recently settled in the sacred spring and the elves came to remove them. With the heroes’ help, all but one of the spriggans was killed and their treasure taken from the bottom of the pool. The elves were especially delighted in the return of a silver statuette of an eladrin spear-fighter.
*Further along the path a ring was found and the signs of a scuffle. Followed tracks down to a creek and hanging above it was a body. PCs knowledge and investigations allowed them to determine this was Gandwy (the wizard that was assigned to Prince Eiddeol). They built a cairn and buried him.
*Reached Moonstair around midday. Spoke with guards: a happy-go-lucky chorrim and 2 young teenagers. Tlara, the young female guard escorted the PCs to Cham’s Tavern. (Riven and Tazrak decided to head east, out of town and wait for the others on a wooded hill).
*Tadhg went to speak with Mayor Kelana Dhoram. She got nervous when speaking about Prince Eiddeol’s companions, stating Bax (the loyal Roman) was the only survivor. She got very uneasy when Tadhg mentioned Gandwy’s body being found on their journey and talk turned back to eradicating the trolls from the Trollhaunt.
*Tadhg dropped the issue and sought out Bax, sleeping off a hangover in a hut by the river. When questioned, Bax turned on Tadhg and then escaped by jumping in river and swimming towards a small forested isle. Residents witnessed Tadhg chasing him from the hut and Stormclaw arrived shortly after. Returning to the tavern the PCs were presented with a bag of gold from Tlara. They were welcome to it as long as they left now for the Trollhaunt. Suspecting the Mayor was trying to get rid of them, but not sure what to do at the time, the PCs decided they may as well deal with the troll menace.
*Picking up Tazrak and Riven along the way, the party reached the Trollmoors around 2.30pm. Wandering through marsh they spent the night in an the old troll ruin of Orrak.

Moonday, 28th Maius
*Searching the marsh the PCs come upon another troll ruin – Bravak. Here they found the remains of Gandwy’s diary. It indicated Prince Eiddoel's war band had traveled into the swamp looking for the trolls, but also that Bax had been unusually on edge.
*Around 4.30pm found the entrance to the Warrens.


Kavaki smashed front door and a fight started with the troll and troglodyte guards. Three of each dispatched and none left alive to alert others.
*Removed log over one river, followed tunnel into cavern with a pile of skulls, a mad vinespeaker troll and a very large bear. Troll was killed, three flameskulls rose from the pile and two were dispatched before the other went screaming from the caverns. Finally the bear was taken down just as a trog hunting party followed the PC’s path right into this cave. One fled, the rest were easily taken care of.


(Typical troglodyte of the troll warren)
*Tazrak scouted two of the exit tunnels and the party decided to follow the one that led to a rough door. Beyond the door a few trogs were sitting around a fire tearing pages from a book and laughing at the coloured magical fire each produced when burnt. PCs burst in, killed the trogs, except for their shaman (female). Two other creatures, the likes of which no one had seen or heard of, caused a lot of trouble with their rotting eye attacks. These creatures appeared as warped trogs with a central, evil eye replacing most of their head.


(The warped trogs had longer tails than the one-eyed nothic in the pic above).
*The captured trog shaman outlined Skalmad’s forces and where he was. She pleaded for the rest of her people to be left alone and warned the PCs of a large black dragon lairing in the northern cavern (and the fact darkwalkers, appearing much like humanoid black dragons) serve the troll king – but she is not sure of the alliance between the dragon and trolls. She feels the darkwalkers serve the dragon and may betray the trolls.
*PCs had the shaman direct them through some tunnels (past the dragon cave) to a cave with a makeshift stone prison. Some trolls were taunting some prisoners within a walled-off area and the PCs attacked. More one-eyed, warped trogs lept to the trolls' defense. Distant, muffled clanging could be heard during the battle. Whilst fighting Kavaki smashed the door to the wall compound that held 5 prisoners (3 human, 2 halfling). 2 large trolls, 3 troll runts, 2 one-eyed warped trogs were defeated (1 warped trog completely disappeared in Stormclaw's searing light attack).
*Whilst the PCs were getting their breath and talking to the freed prisoners, the clanging got loud for a short time and then barking could be heard. Trolls conversing could also be heard and from what Kavaki could make out it sounded like some trolls were going hunting.
*PCs waited for the hunting party to enter the prison room and then attacked. 2 large troll hounds lead the hunting party, and they belonged to Makran (King Skalmad's son). However, Makran avoided most of the battle, and none-other than Skalmad himself joined the hounds and his bodyguard (Kulkin - a troll with a massive spiked club) in the battle, with 2 more nothics providing the artillery.
*Without many encounter powers or dailies, PCs fought well. A large area of ice, turned to steam in a cascade of divine fire, helped prevent one warped trog from eyeballing the group. The hounds and the other one-eyed warped trog were quickly cut down (1 hound in half by Kavaki). Kulkin died rolling around in flame, Skalmad shot flame from his magi eye and then took the higher ground but was knocked into river. From there he tried to destroy bridge out of cavern, but only cracked its foundations. He then leaped from river and back into the fray with his massive axe (and placing curses with his cat-eye). It did not take long for Skalmad to be defeated after that. As he lay dying on the ground, he laughed at the heroes, stating that his forces were already moving on the puny Briton settlement of Moonstair and that they will be too late to save it. Light then spread over his body from his magical eye and his body and gear were consumed by the light. The eye lingered briefly, then it too disappeared in a flash of crimson. The remaining warped trog fled down a passage.
*PCs decided to push on to locate Sunwrath (the magic sword of South Rheged). They felt Skalmad was probably lying, and if not, they needed to find Sunwrath anyway. They provided the captive Britons and halflings with food and weapons and suggested they get out of here (which they were happy to do).


*They left along the passage through which Makran (Skalmad's son) fled and this brought them to massive carved stone doors that lead into a large foundry. The end the PCs entered was carved stone, supported by two massive wooden columns. The far end intersected with a natural chasm with a floor lower and ceiling higher that the main part of foundry. Two massive retorts with glowing with hot embers were the only light source until Storm Claw's sunrod shone brightly upon a large female troll in chainmail with a hammer standing beside Makran who was pointing at the entering heroes. Shadows could be seen moving along the outskirts of the chamber. As the PCs entered ready for battle, several shadows attacked and they turned out to be humanoids with the dark scales and horned, gaunt heads like black dragons. Tadhg surrounded the trolls with a lightning cage and Riven and Tazrak engaged the black shadowmen (2 of which failed to push a retort onto Riven - and just burnt their hands). Makran left the lightning cage, fleeing down stairs to the chasm part of the chamber whilst the troll smith came forward (after dropping her hammer in the lightning cage). Several dragonmen fell, when 3 more emerged from the chasm dragging a large draconic beast with black horns and red scales. Its open mouth was like a furnace and it spat globules of burning spittle. Soon the troll had fallen (finished with 2 crit head shots), most dragonmen too (though one escaped through a door), Makran died when the burning pitch pit exploded over him as he charged the PCs, and the fire-spitting draconic beast wandered aimlessly back down into the chasm to scratch the stub of its severed horn on the wall.


*Tazrak scouted an exit from the foundry after all were rested. It led up stairs, zagged back and ended at a swollen door. Struggling to push it open he peered into a large cavern with tree roots hanging down, several, larger, more brutish troglodytes sharpening weapons and gnawing on bones, and a raised area with what appeared to be a glass or ice block with some sort of weapon or something suspended within it. The rest of the PCs decided to check it out after hearing about the strange block. They opened the door and led by Kavaki moved in as several of the primitive, bulky trogs initially looked like they were expecting someone, but when it wasn't the PCs with their bright light, they grabbed weapons and lumbered forward with uncertainty in their eyes. One, with a large stone axe, appeared on the raised area next to the ice/glass block. No PCs could understand what this apparent leader said, but Tazrak recognised it as Deep Speech (and these as deep trogs). But it wasn't the trogs that got the PCs attention. Feeling its way through the hanging roots with spiny tentacles, emerged a hovering nightmare resembling a large tentacled brain with a central beak, but no apparent eyes.


*Rolen opened proceedings by plugging 3 arrows into the floating brain. Tadhg followed with Ray of Frost after recognising the symbol floating in the ice/glass block as a symbol of the evil god Torog. The floating brain (grell) layed down a psychic storm over the entrance to the cavern and lightning bolted Kavaki…and that was all it managed before it was destroyed, sending the remaining finback trogs running and leaping into the stream.
*Whilst Kavaki spent time breaking open the many cocoon-like bundles the group found in a cavern over the stream, Tazrak explored a tunnel that wound far down into the earth, and Stromclaw and Tadhg went about performing a ritual to remove the 'presence' of Torog in the 'Root Cavern'. Several treasures were found in the cocoons (including magical drow boots and poisons). In fact the group had also discovered some dockalfar bolts in the 'Root Cavern' and Tazrak found a cache of drow provisions and ammunition.
*The group finally decided to take an extended rest, lighting a fire and nestling into a crevice of the 'Root Cavern'. Despite fearing it was not the most defensible, the heroes had a very restful sleep and seemed the most refreshed they had felt since leaving their king in the mountains.
*(As they slept, Tadhg & Stormclaw dreamt of being in a storm and were blessed by Taranis - their cloaks were infused with magic).

Warday, 29th Maius


*Deciding to push further into the warren, the PCs came to a cavern that spiralled up around a massive column. Here they were confronted with two trolls in heavy armor, another lobbing rocks, 2 more warped, one-eyed trogs and a galeb duhr (and ancient dwarf spirit transformed into rock). The trolls and warped trogs were beaten, as were the troglodyte recruits that ran into the battle (the same ones that fled yesterday).
*Next combat was in a cavern with troll skeletons hanging in cages from the ceiling and a green hag tending mushrooms.


The heroes didn't fall for any ruse and attacked the hag immediately. Of course the skeletons animated and dropped from their cages. As the hag was decapitated her sister emerged from a door and was also killed - the skeletons then fell to the ground.
*Opening another door Tazrak interrupted a meeting between Skalmad himself and 2 dockalfar diplomats. When he returned to where the heroes were taking a short rest the dockalfar followed and started shooting poisoned darts at them. One of them floored Stormclaw. Without resting the PCs followed the dockalfar back into Skalmad's throneroom for an epic battle, that was aided by Tadhg sending a 'wall of fog' across the battlefield. In the end Skalmad's troll guards (including a massive mangler) were taken down and the dockalfar then fled. Skalmad (after spending much of the fight stunned on the bank of the underwater river) recovered and fled to his purple crystal throne. After mocking the heroes again and speaking of having the power of 'The Cauldron' as well as 'The Eye' he again disappeared. Trying to follow Skalmad, Tazrak and Rolen leaped on the throne, but to no avail. A voice from a side passage commented that it was no use.


*PCs met Daerthach, a scribe from Moonstair that was captured by trolls around a year ago. He has served as Skalmad's scribe, interpreter and valet. He mentioned that Skalmad visits the Feywild…and that is where 'Sunwrath' is. He had the notes on many things inc: The Stone Cauldron, alliances with other troll kings, correspondence from the Prince of Mercia seeking an alliance, etc. Daerthach showed the PCs his room (which he shared with Skalmad) and the notes. There was also treasure in the room. A great many weapons (Briton, Troll and Saxon), 2 chests of gold, some pearls and other trinkets.
*Stormclaw then reminded the others he can get them into the Feywild. He and Tadhg placed a hag's head on the throne, surrounded it with glowing fungi, then cast the powdered crystal and silver into the air. Soon after the heroes were in the Feywild in an enclosed garden-like area very similar to Skalmad's throneroom. Cliffs and chasms surrounded the area and beyond a large crumbling cyclops ruin could be seen.
*They passed through some vegetation into another enclosed area that looked like the 'hag room' back on the mortal realm. Three armor suits stood with greatswords raised and stone portal with magical writing was nearby.


A dead eladrin was chained near the door. The armor animated from the magic of the portal and whilst battling them the heroes had to workout a way of opening it. After battering failed, deciphering the writing worked. By smearing the eladrin's blood over the portal it animated and the armor suits stopped attacking. A magical tunnel appeared through the cliff.
*Moving through the gateway the PCs emerged on the other side of a steep slope. Paths led off into the surrounding dense undergrowth and the walls of the cyclops fortress loomed over all. They took the path to a pillared outpost. Unfortunately this outbuilding was protected by a nasty female, blackfire-using fomorian that the PCs fought to a standstill.


*On the verge of retreating the heroes resumed their attack on the fomorian dark initiate and when they pressed the advantage she disappeared. They caught their breath, debating which way to go, and as they did 2 cyclopses began lobbing spears at them from the nearby castle rooftop. Rolen shot a arrow through the stone (thanks to his phasing bow) and the cyclopses decided to leave. Tazrak had a scout around a fallen fomor statue.
*The heroes then tried to pass through the outpost guarded by the female dark initiate and she again attacked from a side room (where alfar corpses hung on the wall). This time she was killed by the PCs ad they searched through her stuff (inc. statuette of troll king, a massive spinning wheel and basket of silver wool, and Skalmad coins), but the best treasure was on the dead alfar (including magical gauntlets). Tadhg, Rolen and Stormclaw said prayers for the fallen alfar ad then buried them. It was decided that taking the powerful items would be better than letting them fall into the hands of the enemies of the alfar.


*PCs then returned to the thick woods between the castle and outpost to set up camp for an extended rest. In the middle of the night (following the sound of a small rock fall and some large fleeing black squirrels) several creatures, apparently made of brambles and thorns, attacked the group. They were led by a walking plant that resembled a troglodyte in form and used dark magic to bring the forest to life. When the last blightthorn was destroyed the heroes heard cries for help. Rushing back to the path they saw more blightthorns carrying a female eladrin, but as they closed to rescue her, she turned mist-like and stated that Kavaki would do as her champion. When the light was closer they noticed she was in fact changing into swarming insects. Rolen identified her as a lamia. After destroying the rest of the thorn creatures, the lamia made her escape swarming up and over a steep slope.
*They then rested for the rest of the night.

Kingsday, 30th Maius (Assuming time passes the same in the Feywild).
*Awoke to amazing sunrise filtering through the trees of the Feywild.
*First went to follow path through outpost and to the main entrance of the castle. As they approached cyclopses taunted them from the roof, but the PCs were blocked by a marshy pool fed by a small cascade on one side with the water tumbling off a precipitous on the other. Stormclaw noticed movement in the water and then a large green, reptilian eye staring at them.
*Decided to return to near camp and scale the walls. Kavaki was first up and had to contend with 2 cyclops sent to investigate. Others tried the wall until Tadhg opened a magical portal linking the ground with the castle roof. Once everyone was up the 2 cyclops were dealt with.
*Smashed hole in roof of an old throneroom and everyone lowered themselves to the floor of the huge chamber.


*Explored cyclops castle. Moved through several abandoned and rubble-strewn rooms - some devastated by chasms cut through them. Ran into 3 more cyclopses (that were making their way up stairs to the roof) in courtyard. Once battle was joined, more cyclopses joined the fray from their nearby camp in the ruins. All were defeated and the last female cyclops surrendered and told PCs that Skalmad thought he was Vardar and was beneath the ruins, pointing to the large crevice in the floor of the courtyard. Fortunately, she also told the heroes of the large displacer beast that lived down there too.


*After looting what little the cyclopses had the PCs piled their bodies near the crack and waited for the displacer beast to emerge…and after 10 minutes it did…and was a lot larger than expected. This huge creature had tentacles over 15ft long, six legs and sharp teeth. Several PCs thought they had landed good hits, but passed through thin air. Finally they locked the creature down and it was beaten.
*Descended down to ledge in the chasm and followed a cavern into the side of it. Upon discovering the nest of the displacer beast 3 dark troll ghosts (2 with obscenely long claws and one with an oversized mouth full of obsidian shards for teeth) attacked through the stone walls. Through Tazrak's dagger the heroes found that once set alight the ghosts burnt like real trolls and became easier to hit. They were all defeated and disappeared into a fine black mist.


*Pushing on further into the caves a light blue glow was seen from an open area. Through porous holes in the rock wall the PCs could see the large Stone Cauldron casting a light and mist in an alcove. At that moment a gaunt, but well armored Skalmad stepped from the mists behind the Cauldron claiming to be Vard reincarnated..and some thing about the presence of the PCs being no longer tolerated. Perhaps Vard's spirit has been awakened and now has taken control of Skallmad's body. In any case Skallmad's body looked in bad condition (even for a troll).
*The fight was made harder by the pulsing energy of the Cauldron that pushed PCs away from it, and its necrotic energy that seemed to give substance to more ghost trolls with over-large mouths full of obsidian teeth. Four of them joined Skalmad/Vard over the course of the battle. The lord of trolls was felled, the Eye disappeared in a brilliant flash and appeared behind the PCs in an alcove (something they didn't quite catch onto immediately, but Tadhg's intelligence shone through). Vard's dark essence seeped back into the Stone Cauldron and he was reincarnated again, before the heroes' very eyes. When he tried to plough through the PCs to get to his eye Tadhg beat him to it, only to be trapped on his own between Vard's huge axe and the stone wall. Tadhg also came up with the idea of throwing the Eye into the Cauldron, which was now the other side of the troll king and a cavern away. Thinking fast, Tadhg attempted to roll the Eye past Vard to the other PCs, but the troll easily stopped it. Stooping, Vard picked up the Eye and placed it back into his socket, mocking Tadhg and the others. Tazrak acrobatically leaped onto the troll king and (with a crit) ripped the eye out again and hurled it over his shoulder to the waiting Tadhg??? (who had now returned to the Cauldron side of the troll king). Tadhg threw the Eye into the Cauldron and it immediately began to broil and spin. The cavern shook and blue light flashed. The ghost trolls were sucked into the the vortex, followed by Vard's spirit and then the Cauldron imploded, disappearing from the cavern.
*Catching their breath and marveling at the thought that they have finally defeated Skalmad/Vard once and for all the heroes' attention turned to finding 'Sunwrath' - the sword of their king and realm. Fortunately the destruction of the Cauldron had loosened the large boulders Vard had placed in front of his hidden treasure room. The PCs entered, to find a large hoard of goodies - Sunwrath standing proudly on top of the treasures. (This is where we finished, with goodies to be divided at the beginning of next session).

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