Unraveling the Tapestry

Story for 6/6/10

The band again emerged from the goblin barracks, (well equipped with stolen dragonborn beds), and continued on. They heard more goblin voices and some hissing from the next large door and opened it to find several goblins and several drakes chained to the walls. The goblins quickly released the drakes, but despite this, the battle proved easier than those they had fought previously and they handily defeated the goblins. In this room they found a ritual carved into the wall designed to allow a large creature to take on a humanoid shape for a period of time. The party saw little use for this, but decided to copy down the powerful ritual just on case.

They then continued on down towards the dummies were. They dummies seems to be discarded around an decorative archway that led into a large octagonal room that held a large gilded dragon statue surrounded on all sides by a desk. In front of the desk was a hedge of spikes.

Shamash approached a dummy since the party had planned to use them as lookouts in conjunction with the device they had discovered earlier. But as he reached down the dummy came to life and attacked. A bell attached to it alerted some hobgoblins that had been waiting behind they desk. They popped out and began to fire arrows at the party. The party quickly realized that the dummy only attacked when someone came close and while they finished off one Convey used his telekinesis to move the other to block the advance of the hobgoblin commander. The party also realized that the hobgoblins had attached sheets of paper to their arrows and when these pieces of paper passed beyond the archway they were flung back, in to the spikes. Luckily none of these arrows hit and the hobgoblin caster was unable to pull anyone into the waiting dummy. Shamash led a charge around the spikes and displayed how powerful his dragon breath had grown. Adric followed behind protected by Shamash and decapitated the hobgoblin castes while Fadris sniped them after teleporting behind them.

The party was successful and discovered that the staff wielded by the hobgoblin was magical, although they could not determine what it did. They also found a pile of romance novels that had been cut apart. One passage out of the room appeared to be clogged with webs and in front of it was a pool of oil like the one used to try and pen them into the goblin barracks.

After finding a bathroom and a small room containing other dummies they headed down a large corridor and spotted a pair of hobgoblins guarding a door… It seemed more conflict was inevitable.

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Shamash's Journal #4 (6/6/10)

Dear Beloved Parents Xarnash and Yaltax,
p. As Tarnash has likely shared with you, I am in the midst of purging a Dragonborn Stronghold (known as the Library of Jerudim) of its illicit goblin and hobgoblin invaders. We have been going room to room within the library, and meeting stiff resistance. We faced a room filled with acid-spitting drakes and their goblin tenders. Once again I had the displeasure of being injured by the same type of substance I have so often used attack my foes. We prevailed, and our tactics continue to improve. We begin to coordinate both our offensive and defensive abilities.

Next we entered an area that was heavily guarded by another group of goblin scourges and some automatons that were either controlled or attacked when we entered their vicinity. Again we used excellent tactics. We used their own men for cover from their ranged attacks, killed individuals quickly and resisted their spells. They attempted to use some of the library’s innate magics against us. They attempted to draw us into a barricade of spikes by attaching papers to their arrows that would pull us into their trap—-but we deftly avoided them.

Then I was blessed with a momentous gift. I used my breath on some of the villains, and the effect was twice as large as it has ever been! I engulfed four of them in my holy attack. We killed this crew, and begin to explore the surrounding area. It wasn’t long before we stumbled on what I believe is the room that contains the leader of this evil rabble. I pray that Bahamut grant me vengeance!

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Story for 5/23/10

Having entered the library the party found a pair of large doors similar to the entrance door. Further down they saw a pair of collapsed humanoid figures that appeared to be wooden dummies with metal plates.

Listening at the doors they heard goblin voices behind one and decided to investigate. They quickly found a goblin barracks and began to wipe out a large pack of goblins. But these goblins had a trick. When some of the goblins were struck down other goblins used magic to cause their bodies to explode with poison. The party was then hard pressed to survive and barely managed come out victorious. Afterwards they investigated the room and Convery and Fadris found a strange device that seemed to let them look and hear through another position. They guessed that this allowed them to see through the eyes of the dummy. They later realized that the device would normally allow them to control the dummy, but that somehow the magic wasn’t working correctly.

Convey and Fadris also turned their attention to the large door and they were able to use a combination of their arcane talents, Fadris’s knowledge of devices, and Convey’s telekinesis to seal the door. This gave them a chance to rest and recover after the ordeal of ascending the peak and fighting their way into the library.

But the next day led them immediately into an ambush. They unsealed the doors to find a band of hobgoblins and bugbears waiting for them with a pool of oil blocking the doors. Seizing the opportunity the party leapt across the oil and quickly killed the hobgoblin caster. Their initial success quickly gave way to a tough battle as they were unable to get a good position and were forced to struggle between the powerful bugbears while being penned in by the now flaming oil. But they were able to be victorious although retreated back to safety after the fight to recover from the battle.

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Story for 5/16/10

North of the library of Jerudim are the dwarven lands of Dorvor. The Dorvori have been steadily rebuilding since the Dragon Wars and have rebuilt and reorganized their armies. During the Dragon Wars, goblin clans often battled against the dwarves. The Dragon War left both sides devastated, but the goblins seemed to take the worst of it and never recovered fully. But now the Black Claw clan seems to be active again. Dorvori patrols, ready for this threat, have been investigating exactly what is going on. One patrol managed to ambush a Black Claw column moving in the mountains. Hobgoblins prisoners almost never talk, but the goblins in the column were forthcoming and mentioned that they were reinforcing a group that was investigating some ruins. The Dwarven patrol had taken casualties so they sent a single scout armed with a Scroll of Sending to find these ruins and report back.

The scout chosen was Adric Greyspar, the son of Jedamar Greyspar. He was able to find the ruins and encountered a band of warriors battling goblins. Each seemed to have their own reason for investigating the library, but they seemed to all share a common foe so they joined forces.

The band continued their climb up the mountain and quickly came to the top of the dragonborn settlement. Bodies lay scattered around. Adric peeked inside a window and noticed that inside the building their were no bodies, as if the bodies had been dragged outside…

Around them the corpses of the dragonborn sprung up to stand against by the command of a goblin necromancer who appeared on a nearby roof. The undead raised by the goblin were weak and the group cut through them and Adric and Lo-kag climbed to the roof and engaged and slew the necromancer with the help of Convey and Fadris.

After the battle they examined a great pair of stone doors that seemed to be propped open by some stones. Adric worried tried to reinforce this so the doors wouldn’t close. His fears were well founded because as the group entered Lo-kag suddenly turned against them. He ripped the blockage from the door and the door slammed closed trapping the party in the library. The party was confused why he would suddenly turn against them, but they had no way to find the answers to that question.

They quickly came face to face with fortified goblins. Using caltrops and crude towers the goblins tried to stop the party, but were unable to slow them down or escape to warn anyone else.

Looking forward the band traveled deeper into the library seeking out goblin voices they heard. Behind another great set of doors they found more goblins and prepared to do battle once again.

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Shamash's Journal #3 (5/16/10)

Tarnash—-
Just a quick update. Shortly after making quick work of the guard goblins, a dwarven scout approached us. He stated that he was a scout from a legion of dwarves. This legion had encountered a large group of hobgoblins headed towards this Dragonborn settlement. The scout now believes that the hobgoblins intended to re-supply the group now encamped here. We quickly saw that our goals were common enough to pool our resources. He has now joined us, whether or not he will stay after this mission is completed remains undetermined.

We reached the height of the path along the mountain. Here there were several larger buildings on a large cliff shelf. There was also a large entryway carved into the mountain. I wanted to stop and admire the handiwork of my kinsmen, and perhaps give final rites to those who lay slaughtered on the ground—-but alas—-this would not happen. No sooner had we arrived then we noticed a goblin atop one of the buildings. He began to chant and suddenly the bodies of many of our kinsmen became animated zombies. It turned my stomach, but I plowed a way through these poor, hapless creatures nonetheless. The goblin’s perch kept him safe from my wrath, but several of my companions were able to access the roof, and ended his twisted mutterings.

We entered the tunnel that had been carved into this majestic mountain. We had not traveled but a scant few few but we were again attacked by a group of goblins. Again they had made advantageous preparations and fortifications. But it did not avail them, my Brother. Though I was injured by their treacherous caltrops, it did not deter me from wrecking my vengeance upon them. I saved my greatest blow for one of them who fled, no doubt trying to warn others of his kind. I hew my axe across his middle, separating his body into two halves.

I feel I must be careful my Brother. For though I know that the killing of goblins who have encroached on our kinsman’s lands, and the destruction of our evilly animated kinsman’s bodies are essentially good acts—-their is a certain enticing quality… I must not begin to overly ‘enjoy’ these acts—-or risk loosing clarity and respect for law.

When next I write, I hope to have more information on what occurred to the Dragonborn of this place, and perhaps have taken steps towards proper vengeance.

One last note, though I am focused on my kin and the implications of what I have found here—-I must say that this odd bunch of men I travel with have been a considerable boon to me and my aspirations. I hope that we continue to develop our fellowship and support of each other.

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Shamash's Journal #2 (2-3)

Tarnash. It is with a much heavier heart that I write you. After we left the cabin of Faith Fellmar, we ventured North. We searched for young Fellmar’s father’s notes. We found them in a cave, along with a family of large, vile insects. Brother, they spit acid at me! For the first time I suffered as many of my foes have suffered. The pain was so great that I hovered on the verge of death several times. Through the aid of my companions, and my own fortitude, I endured. When I regained consciousness, one of them was closing in on me, its maw approaching my head. With one mighty swing from my axe, I clove it in two. I then helped my new companions dispatch its mate. p. Again I am faced with a moral dilemma, is it just to kill a creature who is only trying to survive? What about its young? Truthfully I am not overly concerned with the deaths of this insect family, I cannot believe that their demise will adversely affect the world—but what if they had been centaurs, or desperate humans?

By examining the book, Convey was able to determine that they were in large part blackmail material against many of the nobles in the area. They were also a personal log of sorts, and mentioned the library that is held by our kinsman.
We continued our travels through the Willow Wood and entered the Duchy of Durand. Here we ran into some of my previous travel companions. These ruffians were a bit to interested in whether I had found any information regarding the Library where our kinsman are rumored to reside. I lied to them (may Bahamut forgive me), but I don’t think they believed me. I feel our paths will cross again sometime.

As we approached the base of the mountain range where the library was rumored to be, we encountered a man with strange scars across his body. He mumbled something and then collapsed. As he did so a number of intangible creatures appeared from the ground. They attacked us with debilitating mental attacks. This was another difficult battle, my Brother, but again we were victorious. I am beginning to trust these men I travel with, though they could not be more different from me.

We continued our travels and walked through a small mining town. I spoke with a grizzled dwarf. He did not have much to say that helped our quest, but I enjoyed our discussion nonetheless. I have often thought that we Dragonborn share more personality traits with Dwarves then other races.

We journeyed into the mountains and I began to have a strange feeling come over me—-one of desire, and hope, but mixed with foreboding. One particular mountain drew me as if it was calling out to me. As we approached we could indeed see that there was some sort of settlement carved into the mountain. We made our way up the trail towards it, and one of my companions made a horrific discovery. Fadris spotted a Dragonborn corpse. My apprehension grew to fear, and I hurried into the settlement. There we saw a stomach-churning scene. The entire outlying area of the settlement was littered with Dragonborn corpses. Whole families lay slaughtered in the streets. All of the bodies had their hearts removed. As best we could tell, the massacre happened several months ago.

Never had I felt lower, Brother. The anguish and loss I felt was almost overwhelming. Righteous vengeance stole over me and drove me forward. I was determined to find the foul creatures who had done this, and see that justice is done.

As we continued into the settlement we encountered a small group of goblins lead by a hobgoblin. Although they had prepared the terrain for a fight, we dispatched them quickly enough. I spared the last one so that he could give me information on what occurred. What I learned was not overly helpful. The goblin did not know who killed our brethren. He and a large band of his vile kin came to loot the library.

So here I sit, wanting to charge into their fortifications and annihilate them all, but knowing that I must think this situation through. My prayers to you and our parents. I hope that when I write again I will have more answers, and that justice will have been served.

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Story for 5/2/10

As the strange vagabond dropped dead before them, strange masses of tentacles began to rise from the ground. These ghost like beings began to attack the party. Physical weapons seemed to have reduced effectiveness or these beings since they seemed to lack a true physical existence, but Convey and Fadris’ powers seemed to be effective against them. Convey identified these creatures as beings from the alien Far Realm that came through a ‘hole’ in reality. As they were defeated they vanished leaving no trace, perhaps returning to the place of their origin.

Upon examination of the poor wretch who died before them they found him to be well-dressed although not rich or noble but his cloth showed the effects of heavy travel. Underneath his cloths was something far more sinister. His body had runes carved into. Convey identified them as having to do with compulsion and portal creation although neither Convey nor Fadris was able to recognize the magic used and they got a sense that this was something very odd. Convey was able to cut a small gem from the chest of the man. The gem likely served as a focus, but it seemed that once removed it no longer had magical importance.

The band continued on through a small mining town. Shamash talked briefly with a dwarf who thought he was crazy for thinking that there was a Dragonborn library in the mountains. Undaunted the band set out of find the mountain mentioned in the journal of Hortense Fellmar. Shamash and Lo-kag led the way and were able to lead the party deeper into the mountains where they finally spied the mountain they sought.

The saw a Dragonborn settlement built along a switchback path that ascended up the mountain. Shamash, excited to see potential brethren ran forward. Fadris, not quite as eager hung back and noticed a Dragonborn foot sticking out from behind a boulder. Tentatively he approached and discovered a Dragonborn corpse that had suffered a grievious head wound and chest wound. The others noticed he had stopped and they all saw the corpse Fadris has discovered. Shamash, distraught, ran forward heedless of any danger. His more cautious companions trailed behind. Shamash burst through an open gate to find that his people had been slaughtered. Women and children lay dead. And every corpse shared a common trait. Each one was missing the heart. But the corpses were cold and whatever had happened had happened months ago.

The settlement did not appear to have been victim to any large scale attack. Convey guessed that the Dragonborn may have been taken completely by surprise. It also appeared that someone had fairly thoroughly looted the area and they spied no weapons or armor.

As they climbed the switchback path throught the Dragonborn town they looked for survivors, but found no one. But as the neared the top of the path encountered a pack of goblins led by a hobgoblin. The hobgoblin called for them to stop, but the heart broken Shamash was in mood for it and battle was joined immediately. The goblins fired from behind cover and rolled boulders on to the party who struggled to climb the steep slope. The hobgoblin seemed to possess unusual strength and hurled large stones although his accuracy seemed lacking. In the end, the goblins weren’t a match for the party. They took a goblin prisoner and Shamash, whose anger had been partially sated by the burst of violence, questioned him. The goblin claimed that a band of 100 goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears had shown up after the deaths of the Dragonborn, just a few weeks ago. He named their leader as Zorac and that they had 10 members capable of using magic. In exchange for this information Shamash and the others granted the goblin his life and told him to flee the mountain, although Lo-kag seemed to want to toss the goblin off the mountain.

Looting the bodies and finding an interesting pair of gloves of the hobgoblin they continued up the mountain looking the the entrance to the library they each hoped might hold some answers for them.

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Lo-Kag Journal 2

The Duke seems to have had a hand in things far darker than even I was aware of, if this woman is to be believed. The Dragonborn seems a personable sort, at least able to take heed of my advice. It seems that I alone have expertise in the role of the predator and the prey. The simple subterfuge of hiding the bodies, combined with our excellent progress, should make a direct attack on us unlikely for the near term. Though, considering the apparent dark powers the Duke possesses, an indirect attack should be anticipated. If he truly has struck a deal with evil immortals, we may be doomed already – they are formidable foes.

Speaking of formidable foes, the battle in the cave against the ankhegs went poorly. Casual entrance without proper scouting nearly led to our deaths. One minute of preparation can save an hour of danger, lest we forget. Outside his lands, and perhaps less loudly within them, the Duke is wildly unpopular, so we should use this mutual animosity to our benefit while traveling. This Anne Thibault, for example, provided us with many useful things, and further obfuscated our trail. This library of Draconic lore likely has information that will be key to my return to the Stonedragon. This band will prove most useful to that aim.

Stonedragon Lo-Kag

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Story for 4/18/10

After defeating the Houndmaster the five strangers turned again to Faith Fellmar to hear what she had to say. She explained that the Duke wished her harm because he might fear any secrets her husband, the Duke’s old spy master might have held onto. She herself knew very little, but did comment that her husband had shown some concern over the mention of the library. Faith decided to pass on what her husband had left behind to Convey. She gave him a special cipher device and told him where he could find a box with his fathers notes. Faith herself decided to leave Willow Wood and Convey promised to stay in touch using his mental powers.

Lo-kag decided to join the group and hung the bodies of the Houndmaster and his hounds from nearby trees. Then they all set out to find the notes and to avoid the Duke whose reprisals they feared. The box proved to be difficult to acquire as the cave it had been hidden in had become the den of a pair of ankhegs. The ankhegs proved difficult foes, but luckily Faith had supplied the party with a pair of healing potions that allowed them to survive the encounter. The cipher proved time consuming to decode, but they found some blackmail material for various nobles. They also found the rough location of the library of Jerudim and some darker notes about Hortense Fellmar’s concerns about Duke Laurent.

Moving through the forest the band came upon some elves who seemed to have hostile intentions, but the group managed to calm the situation. The elves seemed hostile to the Duke and set off when the party told them where they could find the Duke.

Leaving the Willow Wood for the Duchy of Durand the group encountered the old ‘friends’ of Shamash. The two groups seemed suspicious of each other, but they moved on without incident although the party worried about being tracked by these men who they knew were also seeking the library.

The group reached the home of Anne Thibault who helped them. Destan warned her about some of the blackmail material they had found and asked that they try and take defensive precautions. Anne told him that Duke Tristan de Durand was becoming more and more influenced by Duke Laurent and that the old king was in ill health although she had few details. Destan asked that she try and have someone make sure that no foul play was involved with the king’s health.

The party again headed towards the library after Lady Thibault helped them with some supplies and as they began to reach the mountains they came upon a strange man who muttered ‘The Duke’ as he began to bleed from his ears and his eyes. There was a sudden pop and the man collapsed and as he did strange things began to emerge from the ground….

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Lo-Kag Journal 1

Finally I am free of that wretch. Perhaps it would have better to suffer death in the wild than the ignominy of honorless servitude. Without this journal’s respite I might have. If nothing else, it has and will serve as a record for future of my thoughts and deeds.

I am now in Willowood, some meaningless town filled with meaningless people. Except for these few I have just met. A dragonborn, who seems quite good in matters of arms and matters of faith. His speed is likely his weakness. An eladrin, fresh from the Feywild and dripping of it, who wields considerable arcane might. His inattentiveness would likely do him in. A human youth, with the might of the mind. Up close he is very fragile, of course. The older human, he seems battle-hardened and able. His single-mindedness could be a vulnerability. All but the last have a real naivety that could be exploited as well.

Their arrival allowed me to accelerate my plans and eliminate the Houndmaster with his mutts about. For the last year it seems I’ve been falling ever since I lept off Execution Peak. Perhaps now with their aid I will be able to rejoin my tribe and unite my people.

Stonedragon Lo-Kag

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