The Westbearn

Session 1
The one with the skellingtons

It is mid winter, the night before the feast of Saint Sabella.

The PCs are part of a large search party in search of children kidnapped by a raiding force of Pechts. They, along with three other companions (including a guard captain) from the city of Bridgetown, are searching the area north of the city, within the snowy evergreen forests of the Great Taiga.

They are waylaid by Pechts, the guard captain with them being slain almost immediately. After the sortee, the PCs chase a fleeing pecht to a cave hidden in the side of a cliff alongside a frozen river. They part ways with the other two companions, who go to report to the guards organizing the search, and the party enters the complex.

It ends up being an old mountain dwarf fortification, natural cave giving way to expert masonry. After another battle with pechts, the PCs go further, finding that the Pechts had tried to erect barricades against something deeper in the fort.

They soon find out what when they encounter a strange dwarven specter surrounded by a globe of silence, and are attacked by the ancient skeletons of dwarven warriors. A spell causes the specter to disappear, and the skeletons are dealt with. Clues within the areas they have visited lead them to believe the fort had experienced some sort of attack in ancient times, and a scroll in ancient Dwarrow mentions that children have been hidden in a treasury somewhere.

After making their way through the fort, and a few more dwarven skeletons, they finally find the treasury. The children they sought lay unmoving and wrapped in white linen before a pile of bones; the bones of the children mentioned in the scroll.

As the PCs approach the kidnapped children, the bones assemble themselves into a strange monstrosity and attacks the players. A quick melee ends with a hammer smashing into the “head” of the creature, and the bones scatter. The PCs are able to remove the children, finding them alive.

Somehow the skeletons and spirits of the fort were reliving the ancient attack, from people called “Khimer”, and the wayward spirit of the children sought to protect the children from first the Pechts and then the PCs.

Victorious the PCs head back to the Bridgetown to pay rent.

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Session 2
The largest game of clue ever

Important NPCs

Leopold Axestone: Mountain dwarf and acting commander of the keep, he is very strict and severe, disliking weakness in any capacity.
Maven Wickerman: Kellsh human and lieutenant, she is well liked by the soldiery and was very close to the murdered Lord Traver.
Marrel Lithaunai: High elf and steward of the keep, Marrel is usually a serene-minded individual who likes gardening. He hires the party to investigate the murder of Lord Traver.

The companions are hired by a caravan of elvish merchants monks scholars, who are travelling to Duandaria, deep in the Crossex Mountains. Their destination is Marchwell Keep, a fortification manned by the Dark Knights of Crossex.

The Dark Knights protect the many mountain roads and passes of the Crossex Mountains, in order to defend Duandaria from trouble.

The party makes it to the keep without incident, and the scholars pay them. However, upon reaching the keep, they learn that all is not well. The commander of the keep, Lord Traver, was murdered a week before, and there is now a power struggle between Captain Leopold Axestone and Lieutenant Maven Wickerman.

Upon meeting with the high elven Steward Marrell, who maintains the keep from a logistical standpoint and acts as a go-between from Duandaria to the keep, the party is asked to discretely investigate the murder of Lord Traver. Leopold, acting commander of the keep until word from Duandaria, should be doing an investigation, but the ensuing power struggle seems to be getting in the way.

They learn a power struggle exists because though Leopold is next in the line of command, Maven is well liked by the soldiers and was close to Lord Traver before his death. Because of this, the atmosphere of the fort is tense.

After a night of investigation and speaking with a few people, including a drunken halfling servant, the PCs find the murder weapon and realize that the killing was an angry one, and the commander was made to suffer because the glaive blade used was enchanted so that wounds it causes did not heal naturally. Also papers are found, one having the words Myrmidon Azalus written on it hastily.

Also found out is some of Lord Traver’s past: he was a high ranking member in the Rhoenish military, and had a daughter named Lily.

They are soon embroiled in the power struggle when different PCs are asked by both Leopold and Maven to investigate the other for evidence that could lead to one of them being the murderer.

Various clues are found: messages written in Dwarrow in Leopold’s room, a map of the Kellmark with names and towns marked on the back of it in Maven’s room, though nothing implicates either of them.

The cleric of the elven shrine within the keep turns up dead in one of the towers, with the unhallowed symbol of the Mother of Tears carved into his chest; the symbol being used by an assassin order from Carnosca.

The keep is put on lockdown and Maven is found in the shrine, where she admits to Peregrine that she and the commander were involved. She is made to go to the officer’s tower while a headcount is made. All soldiers in the barracks are accounted for.

When the PCs and Marrel reach the officer’s tower, they find the three other officers dead on their beds, and Maven in a daze, babbling in Carnoscan.

She is implicated as the murderer and, with some trouble, manacled. She possesses a scrap of parchment with something written on it that seems to make her lose control when read. The writing involves the Mother of Tears.

Leopold believes himself triumphant, however Marrel sends him off with Maven in shackles and discretely asks the PCs to search his room again.

This time, with Oren Stormsmith with them, the PCs can read the papers, which seem to implicate Leopold in some sort of plot with Myrmidon Azalus from Carnosca. A scroll found in his dresser reveals the Myrmidon stopped by the keep on his way to Duandaria, and tried to secretly threaten Lord Traver, a former general of Rhoenia, in order to get some sort of information from him.

In Leopold’s tasteful arrangement of warhammers is found the pole part of the murder weapon. When confronted with this evidence, Leopold seems to weaken and give up, admitting that he killed the commander in an argument about the Myrmidon.

Marell imprisons him and pays the PCs, though some mysteries still remain.

-Why was Maven enchanted to go insane, with obvious ties to the cult of the Mother of Tears?
-What information did Traver have that the Myrmidon Azalus wanted?

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Session 3
Hocus Pocus

On their third job as an adventuring group, the PCs go southwest to Norwicce in The Kellmark. Norwicce is a small town on the Little White, a small river that splits from the White. It is located in the petty kingdom of Munderlin on the edge of the Haethorn Wood.

There are problems with the pechts, they are coming out of the Taiga and attacking farms a long the edge of the wood. The party searches a few of these burned out farms, slaying some pechts left behind. At the advice of someone in town, they travel into the wood to find the “wsie women” of Haethorn Wood.

They meet the wise women at their cottage, and they are revealed to be a young woman, a middle aged woman, and an older woman. They seem to hint at having great power, but unwilling or unable to use this power in active ways to help the party. They ask the party to hunt down and find a man who they had made a pact with; he would serve them in return for some of their power (revealing him to be a warlock and them to be something not mortal). He stole a book of great power from them.

This man seems to be causing the pecht trouble, so they venture into the wood guided by a staff the three gave them. They come across more pechts and some human bandits, who seem to be or to have been members of the Kellsworn searching for something; a gate or portal into the underworld Agartha using a magical obsidian dowsing stone.

Finally they reach their destination: The Cairn of Small Gods, an ancient duanda ruin that lay mostly underground. They find it to be a series of tombs with ornate stone work. Within is interred some ancient Duandan hero, whom they leave to his eternal rest.

Moving through the place, they are surprised to find themselves outside in a clearing under the full moon. Investigating a copse of trees that sit in the middle of the clearing, they witness the pact ritual of the warlock; the three wise women now in their true forms, all forms of indeterminate age and great power. This vision ends, and the PCs find themselves in a dark chamber.

Here they find the warlock, holding the book, though already in the throes of a hideous metamorphosis: for breaking an ancient pact from an eldritch entity brings a horrible price. He had begun shape shifting into an animal thing, with his limbs forming animal hooves and tree branches, and his eyes moving down his body.

The warlock of the party uses a disguise self spell to become the shape of the middle aged wise woman, using her guile to convince him to give her the book to reverse the transformation.

This manages to keep him busy long enough so that he does not bring his great power to bear, and his change finishes and he expires as a mess of carrion on the floor.

Using the brazier in the room, they alight magical herbs found earlier in the tomb, and the smoke brings them out of the realm they had come into.

They return to the wise women, who are saddened that the warlock could not have been saved and brought back to them. They reward the party with various magical trinkets, and when they return to Norwicce they are paid by the town sheriff for stopping the pecht attacks.

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Session 4
The Not so Secret Secret of Saltmarsh, pt.1

(tbc)

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Session 5
The Not so Secret Secret of Saltmarsh, pt.2

tbc

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