The Doom that came to Karrnath

Venturing out to retrieve a book

After spending a few days at the monastery of the Silver Flame to recuperate, Fargen Hammerheart, formerly of House Kundarak, decided it was his mission to assemble a party to venture deep into the Mournland and recover the package that he was to deliver. The party was not able to gather too much about the contents, only that it was a holy book of the Silver Flame that was meant to protect and sanctify this outpost.

Mistwalker, a monk who had lost his memories in the Mournland, Logan Tessel, a young servant of the Silver Flame and Breela Longclaw, a Shifter scout from the south volunteered to be his companions on this mission.

The party ventured south to the intersection where Fargen was attacked by the Warforged. From there, they headed west into the mist. First, they had to cross river Cyre, which caused some problems for Logan has he took an unplanned bath in the river.

In the mist, the group encountered a disturbing visions, which manifested into the shape of two young girls. While they were calling for Fargen to save them, they also seemed to recognize Mistwalker from somewhere.

When the group noticed that the girls were not harmless apparitions, but live-draining spectral entities, they decided to fight. It may have been the general confusion in the mist, when the combat did not go all that well for the group, but they managed to drive the spirits off.

The group kept wandering west and came upon a small abandoned village. They decided to make camp for the night and chose the old temple of the Sovereign Host as shelter, even though the temple appeared to have been defaced by followers of the Six. Especially discomforting was the fire they created in an old incense burner, which kept mumbling about the power of the Fury, on of the Six.

Not as well-rested as they wish they had been, the party decided to venture on the next morning, deeper into the Mournland.

Deeper into the Mournland

On their way deeper into the Mournland, the party had a run-in with a Living Lightning spell, but thanks to Mistwalker quickly realising what it is, everyone could duck for cover and avoid most of the Lightning Strikes zipping around. That is, except for Logan who had a bit of a dance and was zapped while trying to take off his chain mail.

Another encounter with a Living Web spell was less lucky. Ilvak, who had been shadowing the group, jumped out of the mist and heroically tried to shield everyone, but took a few nasty hits that had him dragged closer to the creature and webbed into a cocoon.
Breela meanwhile could weaken it with a few well-placed shots, while the rest of the group mostly tried to get their wits together. The webby mass turned out to be quite hard to rip apart effectively.
Ilvak could cut himself out of the cocoon and Mistwalker managed to stomp out the remaining bits, but not before Breela got hit by another shot of spiderweb and dragged across the barren ground.

The party then encountered a lightning rail path and decided to follow it until the sun was about to set. They found a station, where an unfriendly local told them to go away and leave them alone. He hissed the word „heretic“ at Logan. Ilvak’s keen senses noticed that something was dragged across the platform before, possibly the sled they are following.

The party decided to take shelter in a nearby shed, where only a small side-building still had enough roof.

During the night, Breela’s shifter nature took control and made her stroll outside to a lonely field, which had been freshly tilled. This was quite unusual, as everything around was dead, to the point that it didn’t even decay.
She called in Logan, who confirmed that there was a Silver Flame presence on the field.

The next morning, the group decided to investigate the field again, and found a young woman guarding it. Mistwalker decided to step out the mist. He did manage to convince her that he was just a wanderer who happened to come by, and she did not attack him with the arcane wand she had pointed at him. His attempts to convince her that this miracle of a fertile field in the Mournland should be shared with everyone did not convince her, though. She insisted that this secret could not be shared, that there was only one such field, and that it had to be protected. She mentioned that there was a community and that it had a leader, but she was extremely suspicious and hostile.
For Mistwalker, who had been wandering these lands before, this was not a surprise, as this is a common trait of those trying to survive in what is left of Cyre.

The Shadow and the Fury

While headed for the cultist village to assess the situation, the party made a new acquaintance. A druid named Raven, in the form of the bird that gave her the name. She had been watching the village as she was afraid that its inhabitants might find, and possibly destroy, a nearby small sacred grove she had been guarding. She told of six warforged who lived with the villagers, at which the party concluded that there may be one associated to each of the six. Raven also told the party that the birds of her grove had hopes for the field, as it may feed them in the future.

Logan had an inner debate about whether he should really retrieve the book, as it might deprive the villagers of their chance to make a small patch of Mournland fertile and not starve of hunger.

The party then went to investigage the field, but as they tried to put down two skeletons that had been dispatched as guards, they were attacked by a warforged and two savage-looking men. After a vicious fight, in which Fargen struggled to get at least one good strike in, they were able to take down their foes. In the remains of the Warforged, the party found a splinter of a dragonshard with the symbol of the Fury etched in.

After a short breather, the party decided to follow other villagers to a nearby broken water mill. Ilvak went in first, but in an ill-advised stunt jumped through a window and landed in the dried-out stream. The rest of the party noticed a another warforged, built of a strange, pitch black material, pursuing the pursuers. A fight ensued, in which the warforged dislodged his arms and had them flailing around him. The party managed to put him down and remain victorious. Again they found a dragonshard splinter, this time of the Shadow.

As the party retreated to their hideout to rest and regain their strength, they noticed another warforged, crafted of half bone and half metal, collecting the remains of the defeated.

Acid rain and lightning hammers

As the party rested for the night, acidic rain set in, dripped through the roof of the barn the party took shelter in, and created small smoking puddles on the floor. Huddled together, the party tried to squeeze into a spot that would not be dripped on. Fargen was quite worried about his carefully groomed beard, but it survived the night.

In the morning, Logan prayed to the Silver Flame, and created a protective dome from a Shield of Faith spell that held off the acidic rain. The party used the opportunity to head back to the field, where they found that the skeletons, which had been revived and set as guardians again, had been half-dissolved by the rain. Without an enemy in sight, Logan quickly divined the spot where they book was buried, and the party set out digging. After a short while, they found a package sealed by House Kundarak, which Fargen was able to unseal and open. To everyone’s relief, they found the book unspoiled. What they also found was a letter, sealed by House Kundarak. Fargen decided to resist the temptation to open the letter for the moment and stuffed it in his backpack. He then resealed the package.

The party then set out to circle the village on the south side, and head north-east along the lightning rail track.

After a while, the acid rain changed to bits of burning coal falling from the sky. Along the path, the party found a black monolith, which appeared to have fallen from the sky. On its backside, the thing had an eerie eye that seemed to meld itself out of the stone itself. Fargen was deeply fascinated by the thing, but the rest of the party urged him to move on.

The party then came across an old battlefield, which was not as dead as the party hoped. In irregular intervals, bodies, bones and pieces of armor would raise, and reenact an ancient fight that was doomed to never end.

Walking around the field would have been a larger detour, but that point was moot as Fargen decided to barge in and retrieve an ancient dwarven hammer, which his former owner surely would not miss. All went well until Fargen held it in his hands, which prompted an orc mercenary to stand up again and face their old enemy.

A holy arrow from Logan, another arrow from Breela, and a smash from Fargen later, the orc was disposed of, but in the meantime two more had risen. This prompted Ilvak to jump into the fray and down one of the two with a well-placed spear to the head. Unfortunately, that very orc decided to continue the fight despite having his brain splashed all over. Horror then turned to comedy when the headless orc zombie smashed his spiked chain into his archer comrade, and that one decided to retaliate by shooting his attacker. The party then quickly disposed of the duo.

While Fargen marveled at his new possession, the ancestral hammer of a dwarven clan that would shoot lightning when the clan’s name is called out, Breela found that the bow of the orc was shaped from a single, living tree branch by an orc shaman, and capable of lending extra strength to an arrow.

Ilvak, meanwhile, went against the better judgement to leave the fight and set his eyes on a spear, that held down a demon further deep into the battlefield. While the spear was able to hold down the body of the demon, his mind was still a sharp weapon, and demonic whispers creeped into Ilvak’s mind. Fighting down the voices that told him to kill Fargen cost him quite a bit of sanity. And even though the party rushed in to help and hack the demon into pieces, they could not prevent the demon from entering Ilvaks mind again, this time succeeding in forcing him to attack the dwarf. Luckily, Fargen kept a cool head and destroyed the demon before further damage was done.

The party licked their wounds, which had been mostly healed by Logan’s divine magic, and continued on their trail. They found an abandoned lightning rail station, which provided shelter for the night and some unexpected luxury, such as a working enchanted restroom.

Fargen then gave in to curiosity and opened the letter. It was written in female handwriting, in forceful, angry shapes…

I can’t take this anymore. They have become suspicious. I can look like a dwarf, but I can’t drink like one. I can’t make another body disappear.
You’ll have to do without me. Don’t even try to threaten me with Inquisitor Jareth, I no longer care if he finds out what I did.

Masks of Blood and Silver

The group reached the border of the Mournland and stepped into the mist. Within the mist, they came upon a strange plane, where a small pixie-like creature made of pure silver flame (called Plum) greeted them.

Plum took them to a small stream and taught the adventurers how to create masks and fancy dresses from its waters.

It then took them to a splendorous mansion in the middle of a lake. The bridge towards it was blocked by an imposing half-ogre, who told them they were not invited. Fargen, however, somehow had the spark of an idea, and could twist reality to put their name on the guest list. The dumbfounded bouncer let them pass.

The bridge led to an inner courtyard, where drunk patrons started a fight. The party decided to sneak past, into a banquet room where a feast was ongoing. Further investigation led them down into the wine cellar. Despite patrons inviting them to drink and leave their troubles behind, the party resisted and went to find the owner of this wondrous mansion.

Up in the second floor, they found a smoking chamber with a concealed door, guarded by another half-ogre bouncer. Fargen’s first attempt to take the bouncer head-on ended with him flying through the next window into the lake. A short swim later, the party reunited in the courtyard. They managed to take out the bouncer in the second attempt, this time pushing him into the lake.

After passing a few doors, one of which had sounds of gambling, the other of acts of lust coming from the other side, they went straight ahead and found a vampire dominatrix with two chained up slaves. Declining to join the fun, the party decided to attack instead. Even though the vampire drained a slave to heal himself, the party could overpower her.

They stepped out of the wondrous plane and found themselves out of the mist and back in Karrnath.

According to Logan, they had somehow stepped into the Silver Flame book while between realities in the grey mist. He was not sure about the meaning of it, but it could have been the book testing their strength of will.

The Burning Man

Logan, Breela and Fargen (with Mistwalker as their silent companion) stepped out of the mists and back into Karrnath. They made their way to the monastery, where preparations for Tirasday (5th day of Terendor, beginning of spring and a holy day of the Silver Flame) were under way.

They found Sister Naileen, the abbot, in the kitchen, discussing preparations for the feast with Burdock, the dwarven head cook. The sister was happy to see the party back and in one piece, successfully returning with the book. They brought the book to the inner sanctum of the monastery’s chapel, and gave the sister a rundown of what had happened. Fargen then secured the sanctum with an Arcane Lock, combined with an alarm.

Back in the kitchen, the party learned that there would be only oatmeal to eat, as the nearby village (which the refugees from Cyre were building) refused to supply any more meat. The reason for that was that a cow, Lucy, had been stolen last night, with only a puddle of blood remaining.

The party investigated and found that there weren’t many footprints around the paddock, only the mark of a pair of talons which pushed deep into the ground. The party followed a trail of blood, which led back to the monastery.

There, they noticed a gargoyle perched on top of an old tower. It was no longer possible to reach the top of the tower, as the upper part of the wooden stairs had been destroyed over the years, but the cow bones at the bottom clearly marked the culprit.

After an afternoon nap, Breela took watch on a tree near the tower, with the rest of the party round, and indeed, she spotted the gargoyle taking flight to the village again. The party managed to surround him near a chicken coop. After Fargen’s hammer missed him and Breela’s arrow only grazed his cheek, Logan conjured an arrow of faith which cause some pain to the creature.

The gargoyle asked them to seize hostilities, and explained that he was a guardian of the castle, and just took from the “fleshlings” because he was hungry. Breela offered to broker a deal between the gargoyle and the monastery, exchanging food for ongoing protection. The gargoyle also told them that he saw an unnatural giant bat flying around the castle at night, and eerie light from a nearby stone quarry.

Fargen insisted that this should be investigated on the same night, so the group went on their way. At the quarry, they found a lonely guardsman, who told them that they had uncovered an entrance to an old cave, and that the Silver Flame had already sent a Silver Arrow in to investigate, but she had not returned for two days. The workers were getting anxious.

The cave entrance was up on the third excavation level. After “borrowing” lanterns and oil from a shed, the group went past the barrier set up by the Silver Flame and into the cave. The first area didn’t reveal much, and any footprints had been washed away by a natural stream running along the floor. However, Fargen found a small shrine in a niche, with a strange small elven figurine that had pusating veins, and a carved-in receptacle for blood sacrifices.

According to Logan, this shrine was connected to the worship of the Blood of Vol, but in an ancient form, possibly even predating her.

Further into the cave, the group found a passage which Fargen found to be man-made. A junction followed, where the group left a small passage with an old elven (?) inscription and a strong smell of bat guano aside and went straight ahead.

The next cavern featured four prayer niches, two filled with urns, one with a nest of some creatures, and the fourth filled with the belongings of a former humanoid owners. The only thing left of value was a silver book cover, which showed an ancient symbol of Vol with red rubies representing blood drops.

In the next cavern, the party found two sarcophagi, one open and one closed, as well as a statue of Vol, two arms-length high but with its head smashed in. The open sarcophagus only had a few smashed clay pots in it.

Fargen noticed that the heavy stone covers of the sarcophagi had small holes which could be used to drip in blood. He, however, used a thread, lamp oil and his lantern to put whatever was still in there on fire. Despite his attempt to hold the sarcophagus down with his own weight, it didn’t take long and the lid was pushed open by a burning creature, the melting skin making it impossible to tell race or gender. All that was noticable were armor and blade from a red metal.

Fierce combat ensued, and repeated smashes by Fargen’s hammer, well-placed arrows by Breela and holy might from Logan managed to put it down. Fargen took a hit with a sword to the chest, while Breela and Logan were weakened by its death scream. The creature also called some bats for help, but they were quickly taken care of by Logan.

Saving the Savior

Emboldened by their victory, the party decided to press on, deeper into the dungeon.

They came across what looked like a natural underground riverbed, with soiled water. By the stench, they determined that a goblin hideout or something similar must be upstream.

Walking downstream, they came across a larger cave. Strangely enough, there was a bridge spanning over the river across the cave, a good 10 meters up. Up to the right, a pair of stone statues of elven warriors guarded a large entrance. A smaller opening into the hallway was on the left side of the bridge.

The party decided to head along the river, and came across a vertical shaft with something up there that looked like a privy. Further on, they found another shaft, easier to climb and less soiled. Going up, they ended in what must have been a kitchen, and ran straight into a pair of giant centipedes, which they promptly disposed of.

Outside of the former kitchen, they found a hallway, which led to a small chapel. Here, they encountered a young woman of the Silver Flame, the Inquisitor who had been sent to investigate. To the party’s shock, she immediately attacked! With only a few seconds to decide what to do, the party decided to knock her out. When her body sank to the floor, a red mist formed around her. Fargen’s Hammer didn’t seem to do much against the mist, but the holy arrows that Breela found, and Logan’s divine magic could disperse it.

The party dragged the young woman to a quiet room they found earlier, and put her back to life. With her spirit freed from possession, she immediately set out to continue her quest, but her body gave in and she passed out again.

The Sands of Victory

Still in the old caves of worship of the elves, the Breela, Fargen and Logan decided to explore further. They went back to the bridge, which was guarded by two elven statues. A goblin perched on one of the statues hinted that they might be animated and dangerous.

Fargen decided that this would be the moment to show his might as a stalwart and charged right into one. He was hit by the guardian’s halberd, but a swift push shoved it off the bridge, plunging to its death. A quick melee later, the second statue also went over the rail, and the way ahead was cleared.

The party stood before a large bronze portal, adorned with the head of a dragon split right through the middle. Bravely they went ahead.

Inside, they entered what appeared to be the spectator ranks of a fighting pit. Around them were ethereal shades of elves on one side, cheering their champion in the arena, and what appeared to be chained-up dwarven slaves, who were brought to visit the defeat of one of their own. The entire spectacle appeared to be out of time, as if it was a story that kept repeating itself over and over.

As the party decided to step in to stop the elven champion, the scene became more real, with guards at the top of the ranks stepping in to stop the heroes. Fargen jumped into the pit to fight in the arena, while Breela and Logan tried to hold back the guards.

Fierce combat ensued, with Fargen driving the elven champion off the dwarven gladiator, who appeared to be weakened by some sort of poison. The elven champion then showed surprising athletic skill when he swiftly climbed out of the pit to attack Breela and Logan instead. Their combined arrows took him down though, as well as the remaining guards.

As the dwarven champion dematerialized, he left behind his shield, armor and hammer. All three items turned out to be powerful divine items. Even more surprising, however, was that they bore the emblems of the Silver Flame, as well as the insignia of clan Noldrun, a dwarven clan that had disappeared over 400 years ago, even before the Silver Flame revealed itself to Tira Miron.

Fargen tried to wield the shield, and was immediately taken in by its power. It appeared as if the power of the Silver Flame was giving his life purpose in a way that neither House Kundarak nor anything else could give him.

On the way back, the party spent some time putting the parts of the puzzle together. It appears as if the conflict of Blood of Vol and Silver Flame is much older than known human history, and their predecessor religions of drove a war between elves and dwarves some two thousand years ago.

Back at the monastery, the party discussed these findings with the head sister. She suggested to keep the news under wrap for now, as it was not sure how the Church of the Silver Flame would react to rumors of a dwarven predecessor cult. The party decided to travel to the Mror holds and try to find out more at clan Noldrun’s lost keep.

Breela, Dino Hunter

Breela, Logan and Fargen set out to travel to the Mror Holds, a trip that would take them through the border region of the Talenta Plains and Karrnath. Before leaving, the party purchased a pony and cart for their belongings, which would also serve as a cover to appear as travelling merchants.

The first night, they arrived at a small hamlet, and stayed in the barn of a local farm house.

The second night, they arrived at Bromfort, a small, fortified town halfway between Fort Bones and Fort Zombie. The Karrnathi sure have a talent for subtle place naming.

The town itself was rather quiet, according from what the party heard it would be much more lively once per month, when local bards and merchants gather for a fair. The day they arrived, there were only a few guests in the local tavern, the Black Goblin.

The innkeeper was a willowy female dwarf named Ingerd Vanedotr. Her brewing skills were quite impressive, as was her aggressive flirting with any male dwarven guest.

The other patrons were:

Janbeor: Male Human Fighter. Janbeor is rough in appearance, with blonde hair and sharp brown eyes. He wears plate mail and wields a bastard sword and long bow. A Karrnathi veteran, unhappy to be still alive – he’d wished for a heroic death to serve in the legion. His arm was bandaged, as he’d recently been attacked by a nasty dinosaur who’d come up from the plains, a fight in which he’d lost his sword and pack horse, and nearly an arm.

Norri Malleson: Male Dwarf and dagger master. Norri has a square face, with short gray hair and amber eyes. He wears simple, comfortable leather armor. More of a performer than a real combatant, his dagger skills turned out to be not quite on par with his ego and showmanship.
He said he was travelling from the Mror holds all the way to Sharn.

Oron: Male Aerenal Elf Necromancer. Oron is fey in appearance, with long copper hair and green eyes. He wears dark robes with equally dark arcane symbols. As it turned out, Oron was quite interested in catching the roaming beast, to make it a new zombie pet.

Drimay Galpsi: Female Halfling of House Jarasco. Drimay has curly blonde hair and brown eyes and wears robes with her house insignia. She sat in the tavern by herself, hunched over a book. The party didn’t learn much about her, except that it was her who saved Janbeor’s arm.

The party decided to hire Norri and Oron and set out to hunt the beast. They managed to track it back to its lair, not a terribly difficult feat given the heavy stomp marks it leaves everywhere it goes. On the way, the party found Janbeor’s horse and sword, as well as tracks that hinted that the beast may have offspring.

The lair itself was merely a sinkhole. The party braced for battle, and peppered the first two dinosaur young with arrows as they reared their heads. The party was able to slay the two before they could hurt anyone, thanks to two well-placed arrows by Breela (one-shot critical hit kills, that is…)

Then, Mommy appeared, with another young in tow. Fargen could hold off the beast, and even withstand one of its massive bites with barely a scratch. Logan still wisely bestowed him with Divine Endurance as well as the Strength of the Flame.

Breela, unimpressed, scored her third critical against the mommy for a hattrick, although the older beast did not falter that easily. Norri’s daggers hit rocks and trees, but no beast. Oron, meanwhile, tested his necromantic mettle by reviving a junior dino, which promptly tried to sink its teeth into mommy, but proved to weak to scratch her.

As both remaining beasts were staggered, Logan unleashed the Judgement of the Flame, a massive spell that killed the last young, heavily hit the mommy, and as a collateral, killed the zombie dino. Norri redeemed himself somewhat by getting a dagger in the big dino’s eyes, but it was Fargen who finished it with a string of mighty blows to its chest.

They left the corpse with Oron, who started to prepare a necromantic ritual to zombiefy it. Logan, whatever inner qualms he may have had to leave Oron to his business, decided that whatever destruction the elf might wreck upon Karrnath was likely well-deserved.

Fargen, meanwhile, brought the old soldier back his sword and concluded the day with another good Black Goblin ale.


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