A Small Problem in the East

The Adventure Begins
Party Meets and Sets Out

18th Rova, 4715 AR

The servant has written this letter, may it contain that which the Goddess finds worthy.

Knight Commander Tristan of Navia,

I do not expect this letter will ever reach you, nor do I intend to actually send it unless the world becomes a much darker place. These letters will serve as my journal, as Theodorus, may he rest in peace, instructed me to keep so that I may learn from my mistakes and the mistakes of others. My master died peacefully in his sleep three days ago. When I arrived into their camp, the others whom I will soon make known to you, helped me erect a funeral pyre and their priest gave him his last rites. I was exhausted and at my wits end. I did not know if I would be able to visit the shrine where our Lady’s mortal form was laid to rest.

My new companions are an earthy lot and consist of: a dwarven cleric of Gorum who introduced himself rather pleasantly as Bander Forgetender; a fellow dwarf by the name of Burblecut the Bold, and a quiet elf whose name I could barely understand when he gave it, which appears to be Aaron. They had with them a bard of questionable skill. He was not in my company for long before being eaten by a dragon. What I would wish your guidance on, Knight Commander, is how one is to answer those who stand idly by. Perhaps there was nothing that we could have done, but did he not deserve the effort? I do not understand.

It matters little, I suppose. We crossed the path of a blind old man and his boy, who had been rendered mute by having his tongue cut out. We of course shared our camp with him and he deigned to tell us the story of Khorkuna, a fell sorceror who once held sway over this area of the world.

To the best of my woefully inadequate memory, the tale goes as follows: Khorkuna was once servant to the Overfiends who rule the lands far from us, skilled in their dark magics. He sacrificed everything in the name of power, rising to impossible heights on the backs of the living and the dead broken in his quest. But Khorkuna, at the height of his power, was not satisfied by service to any other being, even the Overfiends. So he stole their secrets and fled here, to these lands. But the arm of vengeance reaches long, and the Overfiends worked their plots in subtle ways until they found Khorkuna’s weakness and devised a fitting trap. Once, Khorkuna had loved, you see. She was one of the many sacrifices he made, but if the legend is true, he felt some small trace of longing or regret. And so they crafted for Khorkuna his perfect mate in body and soul, trapping her in a chrysalis, and used it to lure him to his prison. They sprung their trap, trapping Khorkuna in the depths with the woman he desires most but may never have. The magics there have held him captive for years uncounted.

That is about where the old man’s story ends and about where our own begin. Some days ago, the dwarves and their elf breached the defenses of the prison that was meant to serve Khorkuna’s tomb. It is not their fault that their actions had consequence far beyond what they expected. As Theodorus told me many times, “We cannot predict the ripples that will spread from our cast stones.” I hope they will come to realize that Khorkuna cannot be allowed to grow his power unchecked. He is an evil few could even comprehend. Certes, I was at a loss.

He destroyed the town that we were heading to, but that was not alone satisfactory to the wicked mage. He assaulted those who had fled the attack again, after we had bought their good will with gifts of meat and furs to begin again in a new life near Sandpoint or further on south. HIs power was greater than I have words to express. It did not even feel as though the sun were shining. It was cold and dark and weakness began to creep in with its withering fingers. I do not know how Burblecut survived his confrontation with the mere shade that confronted us, but a shadow of the full power of Khorkuna, I am certain. He must be endowed with considerable fortitude, even for a dwarf.

I will admit the attack stirred an anger in me I wish I did not possess. I called upon Iomedae and drove my lance into his side. It did something, though I do not even think it was a wound, and then he flung me horse and rider to the side like a child’s plaything. Then, just as he appeared, he was gone and only death and the wailing of the living lingered after him.

We have stopped to regroup and plan. I have made the acquaintance of a man I believe to be a proper scholar of an orcish descent. He has the enmity of our dwarves, however, and I do not think he will likely continue in our company. I can only hope that whatever is decided, we decide with the consequences of failure in mind. A threat like Khorkuna cannot be allowed. I do not think we are the ones to stop him, as we are not so skilled or armed as you, Knight Commander, and the others of the order. But necessity may make a jester take up the lance and the shield, so perhaps we will simply have to toss our bells aside and do as best we can.

Faithfully,
Maev Halloran

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A beginning
A blog for your campaign

A band of wanderers meet in in a small town in the west

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Bredloe
Having left the survivors of Carnifax’s attack on Bredloe the party encounters a Barghest in the cities ruins. After a breif chase, and an escape through an old church’s ossuary, the party find an inn owned by a dwarf named Angus Bronzebuckle. The dwarf turns out to be a famous dwarven fighter who was thought to be lost. He in fact, settled down with an orc wife named Maudie. Their son Argut was the half-orc that Burblecut bought from the inn keeper on the road. He is actually wearing an amulet that makes him look more orcish than he actually is. When it is removed, he shrinks and appears to be more dwarvish.
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"You should try the Chicken"

A Visit to the Traveler’s inn leads to an encounter with a Cocatrice.

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The Temple of Many Gods

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A spot of bother with a giant ray and it mandible and womandible

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A Strange visitor

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Korkhuna's Tower
Shadows of the past, and the destruction of a phylactery.

[Excerpt from the explorer’s journal – Edited]

…was beyond words. Blood and broken bits of the staff and inhabitants of the keep were strewn about almost carelessly. This Kaliphess is apparently a foe who thinks so little of life beyond his own ends that these people were but bugs to him.

After a rest, the remaining folk did what they can to clean the mess. I fear the prince will never be the same. Apparently his mind is gone. Having one’s face forceably removed can do that I supposed. He’s alive anyhow.

The key I … found… earlier in the library gained us entrance into Korkhuna’s tower easily enough. This is the reason I came here. What wonders will we uncover within? What lost history?

Immediately upon entering, the smell of lost knowledge permeated by nostrils. Books on pedestals, stacks of notes, bits of odd devices littered this floor. Bander was drawn to an impressive specimen which fell open to his touch. Inside were notes and plans for some sort of machine, referencing him by name! But this work was much, much older. It must have been someone of a similar name in an age gone by. Regardless, this was clearly a work worth transcrbing and studying. It was mostly indecipherable though being in old Dwarven and likely being somehow encoded. The drawings were clear though, this was an epic scale device! The fact that Korkhuna was interested was sufficient to mark it as important.

More notes and machine fragments about the labs proved his intense obsession with it.

Climbing the stairs, more rooms began to reveal the depravity and lengths he went to during his research. One room was nothing but a sacrificial table and mad scrawlings in blood on the walls. Some sort of divination I’m told.

On the next floor, our near undoing appeared. Maev took offense to eyes in the walls, and stabbed one with a dagger. Visions of horror and weeping blood consumed the party. By the time I recovered, rats were swarming the room, and attacking Burblecut. Apparently provoked by Erin stealing some sort of magic cup they were after, while an apparition of Korkhuna began to manifest.

Flinging a table’s worth of strange alchemical vials and flask at the apparition proved useless Though it did wondrous and horrifying things the horde of rats. I fear I may have created a quite unique rodent problem on this island if any of them managed to survive the horrifying effects of the exploding glass and mixed potions.

Somehow in the conflict, Erin either dumped or spilled the contents of that cup. The apparition was on it like rats on a garbage heap. It had the unsettling effect of making him wholly corporeal.

I gather now he was some sort of Litch. That seems to match up, for even after I pinned him to a wall with a javelin, he merely laughed it off. I struggled to keep him occupied while the others began smashing at the cup like it had insulted their mothers. Apparently it was having some sort of effect on Korkhuna. Every strike drew blood from both the attacker, and the enraged wizard. Nothing I threw at him seemed to even phase him.

One final blow from Maev shattered the magic vessel, and doused the room in blood while blowing the top clean off the tower with the massive release of magical energy. The litch was nowhere to be seen.

Hastily we secured ourselves and a search revealed no trace of the fiend. Apparently he was completely destroyed.

I later sent word to the order to come collect the various relics we found lest something in the now wide open tower fall into idle hands or worse be burned for heat by some hungry peasant. I shall have to find some time to convince Bander to let us copy that large tome we liberated. I’m sure it contains…….. [fragment lost]

….unholy minions of Korkhuna were unleashed on the unsuspecting island’s populace. With the wizard gone, his hold over them was broken and they went berserk murdering their way across the countryside. I barely manged to stave off some sort of slavering burrowing worm creature from consuming the inhabitants of my unlucky fief. Similar results for Brublecut and Erin, though it was too late for most of the rest.

Our small island, dubbed Sulenin’s Hope (more like Sulenin’s Folly) appears to be an oasis in the sea of horror, and for now, a temporary refuge.

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