Chaos Scar in the Nentir Vale

Stick in the Mud
Slinging Mud in the Chaos Scar

The human rescued from the Gibbet is named Bran. Covered in filth he is extremely grateful to the party for his rescue. Questioning Bran on the way back to Restwell Keep the party questions him about his experiences. It turns out that he is an adventurer and he is the only survivor of his party after they encountered hobgoblins in the northern part of the Scar.

It appears that the Gibbet is used by creatures within the Scar as a demonstration and punishment, and that the trading post there has little or no influence over the contents or use of the Gibbet.

After getting Bran cleaned up, Akmenos gives Bran his extra set of basic clothes (he was going to loan them, but after looking at Bran, he decided he could just buy a new pair of clothes).

The party arrives at the Keep too late to be let in, so they go looking for Jerek at his hut near the Keep. There is no sign of Jerek and after some debate they choose to stay at his small hut, choosing the four walls of safety over sleeping outside.

In the morning the party enters the keep and drops Bran off a the Chapel of Avandra as he is a worshiper of Avandra.

While mulling over their next move over Mother Aran’s Ale in The Stumbling Giant a young half-orc, no more than 10-12 years old slinks into the Giant and delivers them a note. Akmenos flips him coin as a tip. The boys eyes light up at the coin, but upon discovering it’s a copper piece he looks at the coin and the party dubiously and then slinks off again as only a pre-teen boy can do.

The note is from the Mage Citrian of the Saruun Guildhouse, requesting the party meet with him as he may have some work for them.

After finishing their ales, the party heads over to the Guildhouse and meets with Citrian.

He conveys the following information to the party:

Centuries ago, a powerful goliath sorcerer named Voran Earthmane constructed a keep in the middle of a rank swamp where he could conduct his arcane research in peace. Voran conducted many experiments in the laboratory beneath his keep, mostly centered on the creation of magic items that harnessed the power of the Elemental Chaos. It is said that one of his achievements was a staff that drew strength from earth, and he called it the Staff of Earthen Might. When the meteorite fell from the heavens and plowed the Chaos Scar, it destroyed Voran’s keep, along with many other features of the terrain. The swamp drained away, leaving only a desolate, dry ruin in its wake.

Citrian believes he now has the location to this ruined keep and offers a reward to the party for investigating and returning the Staff if it can be found. After some haggling the party accepts the job.

After resting for the rest of the day (and Akmenos replacing his spare clothing) the party leaves first thing the next morning.

Following *Citrian*’s directions the party easily locates what appears to be ruins of the former keep in the mid-afternoon:

The barren stretch of valley before you suddenly becomes a chaotic jumble of shattered masonry. In the center of the mess, on a low hill, stands the ruined foundation of a keep or tower. Only the lower section and a few walls still stand; however, enough remains intact to cast ominous shadows that could hide nearly anything.

As they moved to the keep they saw:

A soggy gloom fills the crumbling ruins of this keep. The few intact walls cast thick pools of shadows that obscure the jumbled mess of debris that covers the spongy wooden floor. A wet, boggy stench saturates the interior of the ruins, likely from the thick pits of mud that bubble up from some hidden reservoir below, creating wallows of slimy muck.

Then they see:

Squatting in muddy wallows amid the ruined keep are half a dozen froglike humanoids. Some of them grip crude spears and javelins, while the others are naked save for a coating of filthy mud. A chorus of deep, reverberating croaks echoes off the walls of the ruins when the creatures see you.

Griping their crude weapons the creatures attack!

A frogman charges at Druuk who easily sidesteps and crushes its skull with his club, before moving over to help Akmenos. Keelyth slips behind a wall before popping up and surprising another frogman, with a throwing knife in its throat, killing it. One of the frogmen charges Looksa, but misjudges and bounces off her, falling to the ground in the slippery mud. Looksa grins and readys her weapons to crush the frogman at her feet when another one charges her from behind, and knocks her prone in the mud. Enraged Looksa rolls to her feet and swings her flail two-handed and lands a heavy blow on the frogman who knocked her down. There seems to be small purplish flames that envelop her flail’s head when she does so and she feels a bit better when she does so.

The party realizes these must be the Bullywugs that Nykon Darkspell had described to them.

A bullywug tosses a javelin at Looska, and nicks her, while another one tosses at Akmenos and misses. Mud flies from underneath Druuk’s boots as he charges at a bullywug and Keelyth sneaks in another throwing knife on another Bullywug.

The bullywug that fell at Looksa feat finally manages to stand up and attack, he graze her leg with a claw, and she bellows with rage and launches a counterattack smashing the bullywug. At which point Druuk moves up behind the bullywug and catches it be surprise, and smashes its spine, killing it instantly. Looksa spins and catches another bullywug with her flail killing it. Keelyth and Akmenos manage to flank one of the bullywugs throwing javelins and they stab it to death.

With only two bullywugs left, bellows, lowers her head and charges one, spearing it with her horns and knocking it down. Akmenos moves up and viciously kills the downed Bullywug.

Druuk chases down the final, madly hopping, bullywug and smashes it dead.

The party gathers up samples of mud from each of the bullywugs and collects their right hands. After a quick search Druuk finds a rickety staircase leading downwards.

At the bottom of the stairs they see:

This stone chamber is bathed in a greasy, yellow glow from a pair of smoking braziers in the northwest and southeast corners of the room. The floor is covered in a thick viscous mud that adds a swampy stink to the pungent smoke issuing from the braziers. Toppled tables, bookshelves, and other bits of furniture thrust up from the muck in various places like islands in a muddy sea. Four loathsome, froglike humanoids squat in the mud on the east end of the room, near a pair of double doors that are slightly ajar.

Although the monsters attack, the party easily dispatches them. During the combat Looksa discovers a nasty surprise at the depth of the mud in the center of the room, but manages to wade out of it. Once again they collect mud samples and right hands.

After the combat Druuk peers through the doors and sees:

This large room is lit by more of the stinking, smoky braziers and seems to be even muddier than the previous room. A pair of large, L-shaped tables and a number of tall bookshelves, all made of stone and strewn with the broken remains of ancient alchemical equipment, mark this room as having once been some kind of laboratory. The center of the room is taken up by a shallow pit filled with thick mud, and within this filthy wallow are two of the most enormous frogs the party has ever seen.

There is a bulky stone door, barred and shut, in the south wall. A steady river of thick mud flows from beneath the door.

He also notices that the mud in the center of the room seems much deeper and stickier than that in the rest of the chamber.

The party bursts into room trying to catch the bullywugs off balance. Druuk charges and misses, Akmenos kills a bullywug with a thrown dagger and Keelyth misses.

Looska charges at a frog about the size of her and misses. The giant frogs tongue whips out and catches Looska, and drags her into its mouth before it can react. That is a sight the party will never forget. A giant frog swallowing a minotaur whole!

The other giant frog manages to hit Druuk with its tongue and drags Druuk closer to the frog.

A bullywug strikes Akmenos with his claw. Akmenos’s black orb flash with anger and a hint of flame as he stares down the bullywug. The bullywug pauses and dumbly stares back for a second before being enveloped in a flash of fire and then its corpse collapses on the ground.

A Bullywug with a necklace of bone and carrying a wooden staff lets out a strange croak and a burst of fire and thunder envelops the party damaging them.

Looksa manages to force her way back out of the frogs mouth in a move that somewhat resembles a cow giving birth.

Druuk fights with a Frog and avoids being swallowed whole.

Most of the bullywugs are now dispatched, but the bullywug with the croaks again and fills a 15’ x 15’ area beside him with frozen lightening, singeing and freezing at the same time.

Looksa can’t seem to hurt the giant frog and gets swallowed whole again. The other frog manages to catch Keeylth and swallows her whole.

Things begin to look grim for the party, with two of its members struggling to escape from the bellies of Giant Frogs.

Akmenos and Druuk attack the frogs trying to free their companions without damaging the contents of the Frogs stomachs. Looksa again escapes from the frogs mouth before being swallowed again.

The bullywug hits Druuk and the frog with its fire and thunder croak, killing the frog. Druuk hauls Keelyth out of the frog, but its too late, Keelyth is dead.

Anguished over Keelyths death, Druuk charges the Bullywug hitting him repeatedly with his club, bloodying it.

After being motionless for a few seconds Looska shudders back to life, kicking and twisting and ripping with her horns. The frog appears to have had enough and vomits the minotaur out. At which point Akmenos catches the frog unawares from behind and stabs it to death.

The final surviving bullywug is missed by Druuk, and returns with another gout of subzero lightning, doing enough damage to Druuk to knock him down and he begins to slip into unconsciousness.

Looska cries out to Druuk telling him to not give up yet. Druuk struggles and shrugs off the veil of unconsciousness. The bullywug hits Druuk, but Druuk counterstrikes doing damage to his attacker. Akmenos hits the bullywug with a thrown dagger, when Looska charges in once more and kills the Bullywug.

Their enemies lie scattered and dead at their feet, along with the cooling corpse of Keeylth.

To the Crossroads
Looking for the Brothers Gray… and finding trouble.

The party was unable to make the journey back to the Keep before the gates closed for the night, so they instead headed for Jerek’s hut. Its small and crowed with all the bodies, but its four walls and a fire.

The next day is overcast and cool. It threatens to rain in the afternoon but never does.

The party parts ways with Jerek briefly, so they can head back to their apartment and freshen up and agree to meet with him at the Stumbling Giant.

Akmenos sits down and examines the gloves closely and toys with them for a few minutes before announcing that he believes they are Gauntlets of Ogre Power. After a brief discussion Looska is decided to carry the gloves and use them.

Back at the Giant the party decides to see if the Mages may be interested in the residuum collected and anything else the party found. At which point they head over.

They go to the Saruun Guildhouse and meet with a mage wearing a silver mask and long, sky blue robes. He speaks in a tone barely louder than a whisper and has similarly clad assistants. The wizard is introduced as Citirian.

Citiran agrees to purchase the residuum and is willing to pay up to 500gp for the Gauntlets of Ogre Power. In addition he would be very interested in the glowing rock the party found, as it may be related to the original meteor that created the Chaos Scar. Keelyth asks about checking people out who may have been exposed to the stone, but Looska sounds very reluctant to investigate this avenue. The mages would charge 100gp per person for such an examination. The party leaves the rock with the mages to examine for a few hours and head back to the giant.

Back at the Giant the party decides to split up and go and explore the town for a while waiting.

Druuk stays in the Giant and meets a tiefling called Nyron Darkspell who is looking for samples of bullywug mud. He is willing to pay 30gp for a sample of each kind of mud from croaker, mucker, twitcher or mud lord.

Druuk also learns that although the other group is called the Redblades that is not thier official name, its “The Order of the Staff” or “The Order of the Broken Staff”. He also learns their names.

Akmenos asks some more questions about the Brothers Gray. They are rumored to be just one halfling with many disguises, or twin brothers, or a whole gang. He also hears that they may be holed up in an abandoned mine.

Keelyth heads to the Chapel of Avandra and meets the priestess Chendra. She again asks about afflictions or taints from the Chaos Scar. As long as there were no wounds or physical damage Jerek should be fine, but without a proper examination it’s difficult to tell. Again such an examination would cost about 100gp.

About the Keep, Looska does not see much out of the ordinary, but she hears a few off-duty guards lamenting that they can not go into the taverns for refreshment.

After regrouping at the Giant the party heads back to the Mages. The mages offer 1,000gp for the stone and free examinations for everyone the next day. Everyone takes up the mages on their offer. The party splits the money evenly with Jerek and repays him for his potion of healing.

The next day the mages perform the examinations on everyone and it looks like everyone is given a clean bill of health. Akmenos purchases a magical dagger from the mages (+1). The group heads to the Chapel to see about purchasing more potions of healing. It turns out the Redblades had picked up most of the potions for sale recently and they only had two left for sale.

They decide to pursue the Halflings Bandits, the Brothers Grey, and head off to visit Jerek on their way out of the keep and area to learn more about the area, and where this potential mine might be. At which point they learn of a place called the “crossroads” where those who wish to make deals on the possibly less legal side of things go to do business. And there is an old abandoned mine nearby too. The group heads off to the Crossroads.

As they approach the crossroads, they can see it is made up of a Trading Post, a metal fashioned gibbet tree, and an old graveyard. Getting closer, they find a man wasting away in one of the gibbets, imploring of 3 hobgoblins to set him free for whatever happened was just a misunderstanding. Akmenos inquires as to why the man is in the gibbet and is told it is none of his business. Inside the building they see a half-orc plying hides to some Dwarves. Upon further inspection, Akmenos notices that some of the hides are tainted drake hides, most likely from the ones they left behind. They all meet Millen Silvereye, the Tiefling that runs the trading post.

They learn that the Redblades are not welcome here, and figure it best not to inquire about the Brothers gray. They are offered a magical dagger, which they might get when they can afford it. Akmenos asks about the Gibbet Tree and the man, and is told to ask the Hobgoblins. But anyone who deals in bad faith will find themselves in the Gibet Tree.

Akmenos is most disturbed by the fate of the man inside the Gibbet, and he decides upon their leaving that they should free the man by any means. Once again they are told to bugger off by the main Hobgoblin, the other two share words as they all take an offensive stance. Akmenos, not to be deterred, pushes the matter.. at which point the one hobgoblin attacks him, and bloodies him in one hit.

The battle is short and fierce but the party manages to defeat the Hobgoblins and free the man from the gibbet.

Death in the Pincers II
When giant ants attack!

The party saw the following:

As you’ve been waiting for the blisters to form, you’ve sensed that the bodies of the drakes have begun to manifest some sort of magic, as a gradually rising glow of different colors surrounds each of the bodies. Blisters surface on the skin of the drakes, just as you’d hoped. But before you can begin to truly harvest the residuum, you hear scratching overhead. Stone falls from two holes in the ceiling and two bat-winged insects fly down out of the dust and debris, followed by waves of giant ants!

About a dozen giant ants poured into the cavern. Two of them looked like warrior type ants, with larger mandibles then the others.

Jerek took the first shot and killed one of the worker ants. Everyone started attacking the ants, though only the two warrior ants move to respond. The remaining worker ants scuttled around trying to gather up the bodies of the fallen drakes.

One of the bat like insect creatures managed to attach itself to Druuk and like a giant mosquito started draining blood, though at a far more alarming rate. Noting the strange colors rising from the bodies of the drakes Akmenos tumbled over the purple spikes from the dais and decapitated the large drake, hoping to prevent it from rising up from the dead.

Flanked by two warrior ants, and being drained by the bat like mosquito creature, Druuk falls, but Looska fearlessly comes to his rescue. With her inspiration he manages to stave of unconsciousness. He gets to his feet, rips the bat thing off and shifts carefully away from the ants.

Akmenos, standing near the crushed bodies of the little drakes is surrounded by shadows of swirling drakes. He stabs one of the warrior ants but as he does so some kind strange physic energy flows down his blade. He killed it but also took some kind of tiny physic energy backlash.

As combat progressed both warrior ants were dispatched as well as both bat creatures. Keelyth had one attached to her that she managed to get out of its grip and then pin it to the ground and stab it to death. However the worker ants had all but one of the drake bodies and were taking them through the holes in the ceiling. Looska went to throw a rock at one of the ants and nearly hit Druuk instead, fumbling it horribly. Akmenos tumbled forward and managed to kill two ants with his throwing daggers. The remaining ants couldn’t carry the large drake any longer and dropped it. Akmenos managed to dodge out of the way of the headless drake before it crushed him.

After cleaning up from the second fight, the party examined the bodies and found a total of 12 blisters on the two drake bodies. After careful harvesting they managed to successfully harvest 9 of the blisters.

Searching the cavern they found scatter coins and refuse. A pair of heavy workmen’s leather gloves caught Akmenos’s attention and, after trying to dissemble, he admitted that he believed they were magical in nature.

Druuk was examining the stone that was flickering in one corner. As he attempted to remove it, it crumbled to dust in his hands. After double checking Akmenos believed its magic had been mostly drained. The other stone on however proved impervious to any attempts to remove it. Just as the party was just about ready to leave, Akmenos became convinced that by using a little of the harvested residuum and an improvised ritual he could break down its defenses and remove it. With some help from the other party members he was successful. Looska evidenced a distinct dislike for the stone and wanted nothing to do with it.

As the party started to leave, they saw the following:

There’s a huge crash from the north tunnel, the way you came in, and dust puffs into the room as if a big mass of stone had been displaced farther up the tunnel.

When they climb down the rockfall, they find their way blocked by another dozen ants. The combat is short but fierce but the ants are defeated. Jerek managed to kill three worker ants on his on. Keelyth comes into her own and dispatches a warrior ant almost completely by herself.

And then the party finds themselves once again in the muted sunlight of an overcast day. With victory holding their heads high, they make their way back… to Restwell Keep

Death in the Pincers
In which the Party finds the Drakes... and more!

Jerek led the party into the Chaos Scar to a small ridge just across a break in the King’s Wall. He took them to a tunnel opening and said: “This is where I saw them go.”

This is the place. The tunnel slopes down steeply at first but is high and broad. It’s dark, but even those of you who read only books, not tracks, can see the footprints of man-sized reptiles in the debris and mud outside the tunnel mouth.

Jerek, looking nervous, said to the party: “I’ll wait out here for you.” After a brief discussion Akmenos took out a sunrod, struck it alight and the party made its way into the tunnel. Druuk and Looska led the way followed by Akmenos and Keelyth.

At about 60 feet into the tunnel, which may have been sloping slightly downwards, the party saw:

At first it looks like the tunnel ends ahead of you, but then you see that it’s a 15-foot wall of boulders. It looks like it would be easy to climb, but smaller boulders and piles of bones are jumbled in the heap, complicating your steps. There’s a faint purple glow moving about somewhere above the top of the cliff.

They heard something moving above, and after everybody scrambled up the slope, and turned the corner into the main cavern this is what they saw:

The cavern is lit by a brightly glowing purple chunk of rock in the north wall and a smaller flickering chunk on the south wall, both set on raised daises surrounded by spiky, glowing rock. Hissing with fury, drakes spit and claw their way toward you from the north. The drakes have crusty purple growths on their skin, but these growths glow purple like the rock, as do the drakes’ eyes.

There are 4 drakes in the cavern, one the size of a small horse with red skin, and three smaller ones. Two were skinnier and lean like greyhounds with greenish skins, and one beefly looking one like a pitbull with reddish skin. There is also a swarm of 20 or so tiny drakes, not much bigger than kittens.

Keelyth reacted quick and flung a dagger at the closest drake, the beefy one. She managed to hit a critical spot and blood flowed freely. This is what Keelyth saw:

As your attack hits home, the drake’s blood explodes from its eyes and the growths on its skin, staining the rock nearby a glowing purple.

As each drake was wounded this explosion of blood was repeated.

Druuk charged towards the swarm of smaller drakes, but they all managed to dodge out of the way of his club. The lean drakes from their dais coughed and spit acid on Drukk. Combat was engaged.

The beefy drake was quickly dispatched. This is what the party saw:

The drake goes down in a fountain of blood and an explosion of magical energy. It’s hard to be certain in the rush of the fight, but there’s no sign yet of the residuum you’re hoping for.

As each drake was killed this explosion of blood and energy was repeated.

Looska moved among her allies inspiring them and encouraging them to greater acts of heroism. Druuk got knocked down, staggered to his feet swinging and hitting drakes before going down again and staggering to his feet again.

The large drake leapt into combat, lashing out with sharp teeth. It bit Druuk, drawing its first blood in this combat. This is what the Druuk saw:

As its attack draws blood, the rage drake meets your gaze with its glowing reptilian eyes. It lets out a rumbling growl, licks its lips, and speaks! “More!” it bellows, and comes toward you again.

The green drakes kept up with volleys of acid spittle. The swarm of small drakes danced in and around the larger combatants, occasionally swarming up and pulling and tripping larger foes before backing off again. Eventually they overwhelm Looska and she stays down. Keelyth managed to maneuver into a flanking position on the large strange drake, and for a moment when its attention wavered, launched an attack that finally killed it. A weakened Keelyth is then hit with globs of burning acid from the drakes and falls, unconscious due to wounds. Akmenos dispatches the last of the small swarm of drakes, one or two survivors flee. Druuk is the next victim to fall to the unrelenting stream of acid missiles, leaving Akmenos as the last party member standing.

Akmenos grabs Keelyth and drags her around the corner. Jerek, who had crept up at the sounds of combat, tossed Akmenos a magical potion of healing before covering them with his bow. Akmenos fed the contents of the vial to Keelyth, magically healing some of her wounds and reviving her. Grabbing their weapons the three of them manage to defeat the last two acid spitting Drakes.

Akmenos rushed to Druuk, performed emergency first aid and stabilized his condition. Keelyth went to Looska to aid her, but found she is too late. Looska is dead. Her blood sluggishly mixing on the ground with the glowing purple blood of the dead drake beside her.

Or was she? Breath filled Looska’s lungs as her eyes sprung open. Keelyth looked on concernedly as Looksa regained her feet.

The party patched its wounds, cleaned its weapons and investigated the bodies of the drakes and the two glowing stones on the walls. Eventually, blisters begin to form on the bodies of the drakes as the party eagerly watched.

Before they can begin to harvest the residuum, small rocks and dirt begin to be dislodged from the ceiling. Giant ants begin to poor into the room!

Into the Keep
In which the party finally arrives in Restwell Keep

After the strange encounter with Pung and his followers, the party moved as far as possible from the site of their encounter and setup camp well after dark. Fortunately the night was uneventful. The next day the party finally arrived at their destination: Restwell Keep

Closed gates greeted them. Akmenos attempted to spin a tale of a lost caravan, mixing truth and fiction. The guards looked on dubiously until the party managed to clarify that they wanted to come into the Keep to rest and replenish their supplies.

As they were let into the keep they were greeted by Corporal Fallek, a male human warrior clad in plate mail, shield, sword, and dagger. He has black, long hair is turning gray, and a scar runs across his right cheek. He looks to be over 40 years old. He was followed by a young male human wearing typical work¬man’s clothes and carrying a battered leather book. He didn’t speak, but recorded the party’s names and the weapons left with Fallek.

Disarmed except for daggers the party entered the main part of the keep, with directions to the Travelers Inn and The Stumbling Giant. Along they way they passed a Smithy, a Provisioner and Trader, and some kind of bank or money changer. An elderly human woman and a overweight male human were having some kind of argument outside the provisioner and trader shops, something related to cutting into each others business. Akmenos attempted to speak to them but was quickly crowed out due to their yelling, though he did make a good impression on the elderly lady named Grelda.

Once they reached the Fountain Square, after a brief discussion, they decided to enter The Stumbling Giant. The Giant appears to be the social center of the keep, with people coming and going and swapping gossip and stories over stout and food.

Looking around Keelyth noticed something out of place. There were no guards, no warriors hanging out in the tavern, on or off duty, which struck her as a bit strange; and remains unchanged throughout the evening.

The party ordered some food for lunch and a round of stout. While they were eating their food, they bent their ears and listed to what was being said around them, making for a relatively quiet lunch. Here are some of the things they overheard, noticed or made a connection to:

Keelyth while getting another round overhears:

  • Lord Drisdale, a Human Paladin, apparently the Lord of the keep is rumoured to want to convert the town to follow Erathis.
  • Lord Drisdale wants to convert the Chapel of Avandra to Erathis as well

Akmenos notices a wanted poster, overhears a conversation and connects a few dots:

  • The Brothers Grey, notorious gang of three halfling brothers, have been raiding caravans, and killing everyone have a wanted poster: 50gp dead or alive each.
  • There’s on a bounty on bullywugs, which have been raiding and killing local farmers and travelers. 5gp/dead bullywug.
  • Had heard of the ’Six Blades of Fortune’ an adventuring group going into the Chaos Scar. Apparently a paladin of Erathis had wiped them out claiming they were also raiding caravans and fencing stolen goods. Drew connection that Restwell Keep must have been their base before they were wiped out.
  • Had heard through the grapevine that there are a couple of surviving members of the ‘Blades’ who would love revenge.

Looska overhears some people arguing about the history of the Keep.

  • First known inhabitant was a hobgoblin king known as Grim Eye for the few carvings of his scowling, angry visage found here and there in bas relief carvings above some doorways in the keep.
  • Dwarves must have built the Keep, no other race could build a stone edifice that could last as long. Aside from wooden structures inside the keep, nearly every stone structure remains from the original construction.
  • There are rumours that there are still undiscovered secret doors possibly containing fabulous wealth throughout the Keep.

Druuk discovered that the tavern had really good food and drink.

A human male in his early 30’s, dressed in hunters leathers approached the table and introduced himself. His name is Jerek. He is of average height and weight, with unremarkable looks. He learned of the party from Corporal Fallek. He tells them a tale:

  • Jarek, who had ventured too close to the Chaos Scar while hunting in the woods had his prey, and nearly his life, taken by a pack of drakes that were covered with glowing blue scales. Jarek escaped while the drakes killed his horse. Jarek had lost a friend a few weeks before to drakes coloured like these, so when the drakes that attacked him wandered back into the Chaos Scar, Jarek followed and picked off one with his bow before it could disappear into a tunnel with the rest of its pack.
  • The drake Jarek slew was already injured. A few minutes after he killed it, the drake’s corpse developed weird blisters on its skin. One broke open and blew into fine silvery powder. Jarek wasn’t sure, but he’s heard that folk proficient with magic use a similar substance.

Jerek mentioned he had previously approached the Redblades, apparently another adventuring group, but they had declined to investigate, focusing on the Brothers Grey instead.

The party discussed what to do, with :ackmenos favouring going for the bounty on the Brothers Grey or the bullywugs, but was outvoted by the others. They agreed to take a look at the corpse of the drake next morning. Jarek departed letting them know he would meet them at the gate in the morning.

Keelyth recognizes the Blackstreams (Jangi, Nebin, Wayh, Shaena, Lani) as they enter the Giant. They are a family of halfling traders that have passed through Winterhaven on occasion.

Mother Aran, the owner of The Stumbling Giant seems to take a shine to Keelyth. She tells Keelyth that Travellers Inn is run by Naryn Silverhand, and he’s cheap, greedy and easily angered. Its okay for one night stays, but if you’re staying longer, there are private apartments that rent by the week that are much better. She offers to make arrangements to rent one of the apartments, which the party accepts.

At the end of the evening, after everyone has a bit too much to drink, they stumble their way to their apartment that they have rented for a week.

On the way into the apartment they meet a gnome jewel merchant named Quint Spiralgleam, also staying at apartments. He mentions that if the party should manage to acquire any gems or artworks he would be interested in purchasing them.

In the morning the party manages to pry themselves from bed, maybe a little later than intended and head down to the Main Gate. When they arrive they find another party of adventures already coming in, and Corporal Fallek appears to recognize them. This appears to be the ‘*Redblades*’ they had heard of last night.

There are apparently six members:

  1. A tall swarthy human, compactly built, and nearly six feet tall with a shaved head (black stubble). Wearing blue-steel scale armour, he has a strangely jagged kopsh sword by his side. When drawn, you notice the blade is red. He appears to be the leader of the group. (Tad Redblade)
  2. A tall eladrin with purple hair and eyes of black orbs has haughty look about them. A gold circlet holds back the hair and rich red robes clothe this fey’s body. They carry no visible weapons. The party is unable to determine if this is a male or a female.
  3. A slimly built female human of average height and red-blond hair. She is dressed in leather armour and has a dagger at her side and a shortbow and quiver on her back.
  4. A male halfling dressed in worn leather armour dyed a mottled green, and a green cloak of elven manufacture suitable for scouting in the woods. He wears no shoes and his feet are covered with think coarse hair.He is armed with two daggers at his waist. He has close shorn brown hair and dark dark blue eyes. When he looks around it’s almost like he looks right through you. (Keblar?)
  5. Clad in chainmail and wielding a warhammer, this bald dwarf is nearly as wide as he is tall. Carrying a holy symbol of Moradin, he appears to be Cleric. His full, dark brown beard is neatly braided and has streaks of grey in it.
  6. This blond haired, blue eyed human of average height. He appears to wear nothing but a tidy blue jacket over a white tunic, and blue leather pants. He has a lute at his back and a rapier at his side. His eyes have a mischievous set and he has a look of quick wit about him.

Jarek is waiting for the party when they exit the keep and the drawbridge is lifted behind them. He leads them to his hunters shack not too far away from the keep and shows them the corpse. There are some unpoped blisters. When Akmenos pops a blister he manages to collect 50gp worth of residuum! The party collects a total of 3 blisters worth 150gp from the drake.

Jarek anxiously asks if its worth anything. Akmenos downplays the value but says it might be worth something, at least enough to make hunting down the drakes worthwhile. Looska asks how many drakes there were and Jarek says maybe a half dozen?

With that the party departs for their first venture into… The Chaos Scar!

Arrival At Last
One Night in Restwell Keep

(this is just a point of reference for compiling information. To Be Worked On)

Encounter – 4 drakes, 1 large and 3 medium; Needlefang Drake Swarm
Round 1
-Keelyth got 20 and did 29 dmg and bloodied it! Nice first round.
-Druuk charged the swarm and missed them.
-Green Drakes hock a loogi at Druuk and did 20 pts of acid dmg
-Akmenos hits Kruuk and does 17 dmg and kills him
-Looska moved and healed Druuk 15 hpts, then charged and rolled 20 and did 16 dmg and killed medium drake
-Drake Swarm aura attack missed looska and druuk, knocked looska down and did 5 dmg
-large drake hits druuk, 10 dmg
round 2
-Keelyth attacks Large drake and does 13 dmg
-Kruuk stands and does 1-2 punch, does swarm 20 dmg, on large drake does 12 dmg, action point: duelist prowess and healed 9 hp
-medium ones hit keelyth and druuk 5 dmg to keelyth, 14 to druuk, drukk dies again
-akmenos moves stealthly into possition and misses.
-looska stands and misses the swarm
-Swarm misses Akmenos, Hits Looska, Misses Druuk, Looska took 6, knocked down and does 10 dmg
Round 3
-Keelyth hit Large Drake and Missed
-Druuk hits Large Drake and does 22 dmg. yay!
-Green drakes hit akmenos and Keelyth, does 10 dmg (akmenos) and 8 dmg (keelyth), Akmenos does 11 dmg back.
-Akmenos hit Large Drake for 14 dmg
-Looska hits swarm for 9 dmg, spend action point & second wind
-Swarm killes Looska
-Large Drake missed Akmenos

Round 4
-Keelyth hit Large drake for 16 dmg and kills it
-Druuk hits swarm for 8 dmg and slide it one square
-green drakes missed
-Akmenos missed and moved.
-looska makes death saving throw
-swamr attacks and pulls down Akmenos and does 8 dmg
Round 5
-Keelyth hits for 22 dmg on the swarm
-Druuk hits swarm and misses
-green drakes hit keelyth for 21 dmg, she goes down.
-Akmenos hit swarm for 15 dmg and kills it
-looska fails DST #1
Round 6
-Druuk takes 5 dmg and misses
-green drakes shift and spit at Druuk, killing him
-Akmenos ran with Keelyth
-Looska Fails DST#2
-Keelyth rolls DST, no fail
-Druuk rolls DST, Fail
-green drake smove
-Looska fails DST #3, then Akmenos saves Keelyth, Jarek comes in and saves the day.
-Keelyth kills the last beast and druuk still lives
-residium effect?
Druuk and Looska somehow are still alive and a short rest is taken
Then Ants start to come in from above. Jarek runs for safety.

A Chance Encounter
On the way to the Chaos Scar

About a day out from the Keep on the Chaos Scar, while passing through a slightly more wooded area just shortly before dusk:

“A horse’s shrill scream splits the air, followed by panicked shouting and the sound of splintering wood. You think it came from just behind the trees ahead.”

Coming around the trees, the party sees the following:

Through the trees, you spot a wagon sinking into the ground. The horse tied to the wagon screams and thrashes as it is pulled back to the hole. Several men and women dressed in yellow robes and matching round, brimless hats run about in panic. Climbing on top of the wagon and helping the situation not at all is a wild-eyed lunatic wielding a length of chain with a chunk of stone at the end. He looks around, spots you, and screams, “I have foreseen this! A trap! Kill them! Kill them all!”

Akmenos stepped forward to try and convince them that they were there to help. However the sight of a Minotaur, Tiefling and Half-Orc likely did little to calm any fears.

The man on the wagon, called Pung by his followers, directed his followers once again to attack.

Druuk moved forward and knocked one of them down, as the man fell he cried out to Pung for assistance, in response Pung called out Rise Fool! at which the man struggled to his feet once again.

Keelyth dodged through the chaos of combat forming to take the horses head, hopefully to guide it to safety.

Looska had enough of the mad man on top of the wagon and charged the wagon in hopes of knocking Pung off. It succeeded, however it proved too much for the precarious balance of the wagon over the hole. The wagon and horse plummeted down 20 feet, destroying both.

Pung landed beside the wagon to the sound of shattering glass. A strange glass box had rolled out of his grasp when he fell. A strange, insubstantial floating creature, about the size of a large dog appeared.

That’s when the giant ants showed up. They crawled up out the hole in the ground.

One of the ants, a large aggressive one, managed to grab Looska and stung her a couple of times before it was finally killed.

Akmenos killed Pung, and when an ant grabbed the body and dragged it down the hole he chuckled to himself. That is until a look of dawning realization crossed his face and he cried out: “Hey! Bring that back! I want his stuff!” However he had to turn back to the combat and the strange creature that had appeared.

The ants distracted the party long enough that the strange fell creature slipped past them and fell upon one of Pung’s unconscious minions. With the ants dispatch the four members of the part fell on the creature.

Afterwards they we’re uncertain of what they faced. One person said that upon defeat the creature had disappeared in a cloud of smoke. Another said it seemed to ‘turn sideways’ and disappear, another said it had dissolved into ash and blew away. In any case they found themselves with three dead people. Rifling through the pockets turned up about 20 gold pieces. A relatively large sum of money…

They also picked up the broken glass box.

After that the party wished to put some distance between themselves and this strange place before they camped.

An Ill-fated Caravan
In where the adventures form a party.

Many people had come and gone in the caravan as it traveled back and forth through the Nentir Vale over the course of the past year. Each town or village would see people come and go.

There were however a core of people who stayed with the caravan. They were:

  • Master Gerred, the Caravan master, a human from the Town of Fallcrest.
  • Joltan, a human, the pack master, responsible for the wellbeing of the animals.
  • Akmenos, a tiefling buyer and trader for the House Azaer.
  • Looska a minotaur, in charge of the guards for the caravan.
  • Druuk a half-orc, a reliable guard, who had been with the caravan longer than everyone except Master Gerred.
  • Keelyth a small, quiet half-elf. She did odd work around the caravan, pitching in to help where ever needed, but mostly helping out Joltan.

Over time these people formed a friendship, a camaraderie. They learned they could trust each other, learned of each others foibles and traits.

It was early summer. The five wagons of the caravan were heavily laden, packed with goods from Hammerfast destined for Fallcrest and beyond. Two nights before saw the caravan stop at the Fiveleague House and enjoy the hospitality of Barton the proprietor.

The sun was sinking and the Caravan would be making camp soon. That’s when the attack happened. Goblins sweeping down out of the Old Hills, what must have been an entire tribe of them.

What happened next was a confused blur.

Akmenos was dodging in and around the Goblins, hacking and slashing with abandon.
Looska charged in with Druuk and the surviving guards towards the center of the goblin formation.
Keelyth swept up a fallen goblin shortsword and moved to defend the animals and other people.
Looska and Druuk got separated.
Druuk found Akmenos pinned to the ground by half-a-dozen goblins, with one about to deal the death blow. Druuk killed the one on top and another one, freeing Akmenos from the ground before moving on in the battle.
Akmenos saved Keelyth and others by tumbling in behind their foes and surprising them with attacks from behind.
Looska was surrounded by goblins, when one of them fell behind her she found Keelyth throwing daggers scavenged from goblins with better than expected accuracy. Allowing Looska to finish off the foes in front of her.

However, despite their best efforts, the wagons were fired and nearly half the people died.

As dusk fell Looska found Akmenos sitting by the road side, surrounded by dead goblins, watching the remnants of the caravan burn. He looked up at her and said: “Well, I guess I’ll have to get rich another way then.” Everything he owned in the world was in the burning wagons.

The arrival back in Fallcrest went about as well. With Master Gerred dead, there was no reason for the surviving members of the caravan to stay together.

Hoisting a drink to Gerred at the Nentir Inn, Joltan told the other members of that core group that he was going to retire to spend his time with his niece and nephew and their kids. He had been putting aside money for some time now and rather than try and keep going after the latest setback, he would take it easy.

That left the four remaining members. Akmenos, Looska, Druuk and Keelyth.
Akmenos had lost everything, including his job, with the Caravan. Looska and Druuk couldn’t find work as caravan guards after what happened on their last job, and Keelyth had no specific plans.

So over a few ales, which became a few more, they hatched a plan. Looska knew that the Mages of Saruun were looking for information and samples of the Chaos Scar. Keelyth and Akmenos had heard of the Chaos Scar and the Keep on the Chaos Scar, Restwell Keep.

So putting together all their worldly goods they departed from Fallcrest and headed out to seek their fame and fortune within… The Chaos Scar