Lords of the Green

Blood for Blood - Sessions 41 and 42

Late Pharast through mid-Gozran, 4717 AR

  • The Greenlords interrogate Ameon Trask and find him to be more than willing to open up about the situation at Fort Drelev once it looks like he may have a chance at keeping his life. From Trask, the Greenlords learn that Hannis Drelev has holed himself up in his keep. With him in the keep are his wife, the Baroness Pavetta Stroon-Drelev, her brother Imeckus Stroon, and a refugee from Galt calling herself the Lady Quintessa Maray, in whom Drelev has taken particular interest. They learn that since Drelev’s surrender to the Tiger Lords and Pitax, the town has been under a curfew, with Pitax mercenaries and brutish hill giants “keeping the peace” at night.
  • The Greenlords also learn that Kisandra’s father Terrion Numesti, Drelev’s knight-captain imprisoned for refusing to give his eldest daughter, Tamary, to Armag the barbarian, is in the dungeons beneath Drelev Keep. The Greenlords scry on Numesti, teleport into the dungeon and out with Numesti, reuniting him with his youngest daughter back in Tatzlford.
  • With Terrion Numesti’s help, the Greenlords west and around the northern borders of the Hooktongue Slough – a vast bog of stunted spruce and fir trees, treacherous waterways, and hidden sinkholes. The Slough is known to be inhabited by tribes of boggards and worse, and the lake at its centre is rumoured to contain some prehistoric monster seen once in a generation or two. As the Greenlords round the western edge of the swamp, they catch sight of two black dragons in the distance, flying in unison before disappearing from sight as they dive into the marsh.
  • Reaching Fort Drelev, the Greenlords follow Terrion’s advice and infiltrate the Baron’s extravagant keep via a hidden entrance on the riverbank northeast of town. Within the keep, the Greenlords are approached by Imeckus Stroon, Pavetta Stroon-Drelev’s brother and a powerful wizard. Imeckus claims to have anticipated the Greenlords’ arrival by scrying on Terrion Numesti, and makes an offer to the group to assist in deposing Hannis Drelev, a “useless, self-interested sensate” according to Imeckus. In return, Imeckus seeks to rule Fort Drelev as a vassalage of Zelenoy, with his sister Pavetta as the figurehead of course. The Greenlords aren’t quite sure what to make of Imeckus, and are not immediately trusting of the awkward wizard, but agree when he suggests that he teleport the group directly into Hannis Drelev’s quarters to confront the man directly. The Greenlords’ misgivings are justified when Imeckus teleports them into the fort’s inner courtyard instead, surrounded by Hannis Drelev, six hill giants, and 25 of his men and guards. All hell breaks loose.

Session 41 Treasure

Session 41 XP
Session 42 XP

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Blood for Blood - Session 40

Kuthona, 4716 AR, Abadius, Calistril, 4717 AR

  • In the early winter of 4716-4717 AR, the Greenlords entertain two diplomats from Mivon, one of the River Kingdoms south of the Stolen Lands, and sign an embassy agreement with the diplomats.
  • In Abadius, the first month of 4717 AR, the Greenlords revisit the unsettling tower on Candlemere Lake and eradicate the evil and alien presence there once and for all.

Pharast, 4717 AR

  • Midway through the month of Pharast, in the early spring of 4717 AR, the Greenlords receive an urgent summons to the village of Tatzlford deep in the Narlmarches. Once there, they listen to the story of a young woman named Kasindra Numesti, daughter of a knight-captain from Fort Drelev in the west, the demese of Hannis Drelev and his wife, the baroness Pavetta Stroon-Drelev. Kasindra warns the Greenlords of a small army of barbarians, mercenaries, and trolls marching towards Tatzlford as they speak, at the behest of Baron Hannis Drelev, who seeks to curry some favour with the larger nation of Pitax further west by showing his quality against the upstart kingdom of Zelenoy. She explains how Baron Drelev has been at odds with the nearby Tiger Lord barbarians for years, and after several raids against the barbarians finally met his match against their current leader, and mighty figure calling himself Armag. Armag, along with mercenary allies from Pitax, marched on Fort Drelev. Baron Hannis Drelev surrendered to Armag and Pitax, and despite objections from his own men, commanded that his senior officers hand over their eldest daughters to appease the barbarian lord.
  • The Greenlords ready the Tatzlford militia for battle. Kraig sends the wolf Sorcha into the Narlmarches to rouse her kin, then strategizes with the small contingent of the Order of the Dragon he left in Tatzlford on his last visit. The other Greenlords prepare defenses and organize the villagers to defend their town, and then Drelev’s motley army is upon them. The Greenlords’ preparations help win a decisive victory over the barbarians and human mercenaries, and the Greenlords themselves do battle with the troll vanguard within the village itself. Several villagers lose their lives in the fight, but all-in-all the force is defeated with minimal loss to Tatzlford. The Greenlords even manage to capture the army’s leader, a fierce combatant named Ameon Trask, and ready to put him to the question.

Session 40 XP

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The Varnhold Vanishing - Session 39

Rova, Lamashan, and Neth, 4716 AR

  • The Greenlords return to Zelenoy and conduct affairs of state during the autumn and early winter of 4716 AR. Their small barony has grown significantly with the addition of Varnhold and its surrounding lands. News from the swordlord Jamandi Aldori indicates that the tensions between northern Brevoy and Rostland in the south continue. Zelenoy has managed to stay clear of the tensions thus far, but Jamandi does not believe that will last for long. With regrets she says the Aldori Swordlords in Restov must distance themselves from Zelenoy, suggesting that it would not bode well for the swordlords or Restov to be seen as abetting an upstart River Kingdom. Privately, Jamandi congratulates the Greenlords on their success in the Stolen Lands, and wishes them well.
  • The Greenlords deal with several personal and private items of business during the crisp fall months. The group as a whole ventures east to the Nomen centaurs, where Aecora Silverfire and her warrior-women accord the Greenlords a place of honour at a 3-day feast, heralding a new age of peace. Kraig ventures northeast to Restov to visit his comrades in the small Order of the Dragon chapter house there. The men greet the half-orc proudly, eager to hear tales of his exploits in the Stolen Lands. Kraig’s mentor and commander, a former Mendev crusader whose own adventures were cut short when he lost his swordarm to a hezrou demon in the Worldwound, asks Kraig if he would take a small band of the Order back to Zelenoy with him in the interests of establishing a chapter house there. Kreeger also visits Restov and begins prowling the drinking holes, sparring rings, and guildhalls, convincing adventurous young Rostlanders to settle the fledgling realm with tales of his exploits in the frontier. Mistral spends several weeks using his newfound magical powers to visit several great cities of Golarion – Oppara in Taldor, great Absalom on the Isle of Kortos, and of course, the merchant’s paradise, Katapesh on the far away southern continent. Alys Orlovsky and Maegar Varn grow ever closer during long hours spent together navigating the complexities of joining their two realms. By mid-Lamashan it becomes clear to the two nobles, on a personal and political level, true unification of Zelenoy and Varnhold must be sealed by marriage. And so a royal wedding is had at the end of Neth and into Kuthona, as autumn changes to winter. Celebrations are held in Varnhold and Olegstaadt, and the marriage is ordained on the 1st of Kuthona, the first day of winter, 4716 AR, presided over by the halfling priestess of Abadar and loremaster, Onora Goldenfields.
  • The Greenlords continue to explore the wilderness beyond their borders, and pay a visit to the village of Tatzlford in the western Narlmarches forest. They find the small vassalage to have been well-managed in the hands of retired ranger Loy Rezbin and his wife Latricia Evanore in the year or so since it was established. Rezbin and Evanore show the Greenlords as much hospitality as the frontier town can muster, and tell the Greenlords of goings-on in the settlement since its establishment. Beyond an irregular conflict, misunderstanding, really, with the forest’s fey natives, the worst the village has had to deal with is the occasional skirmish with boggards from the Hooktongue Slough swamp further west. As yet the boggard’s intrusion has been half-hearted, but Evanore is concerned that as the village becomes more prosperous it may become a more likely target. The Greenlords ask Rezbin and Evanore if they have any other news from the west, in particular from the Drelevs or the Iron Wraiths. They reply that they have seen very little if any civilized travelers from the west – the massive Hooktongue Slough swamp just west of the Narlmarches is a major deterrent – although they do believe that the Drelev’s have a fort or settlement west of the swamp. Of the Iron Wraiths they have heard nothing.

Session 39 Treasure
Session 39 XP

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The Varnhold Vanishing - Sessions 37 and 38

7 Rova, 4716 AR

  • The Greenlords discover a hidden chamber featuring an ominous carving of a giant, stylized eye behind the Cyclopes’ crypt. The eye features a depression in the centre that appears to be a receptacle for something. The entire carving radiates strong conjuration and divination magic, and its presence makes the Greenlords fear that their infiltration into the tomb has not gone unnoticed.
  • Moving on, the Greenlords cross a treacherous lake of boiling tar and come face-to-face with Varn’s wizard, Cephal Lorentus, now a spell-casting undead monster, and the vengeful ghost of Varn’s man-at-arms, Willas Gundarson. After defeating the two undead the group comes upon a cyclopean feasthall scene that confirms their greatest fear. Seated around a table in a macabre feast of horror are the bodies of dozens of Varnhold’s citizens. Each chair holds the corpse of a villager locked in its death throes, its mouth agape in anguish, the top of its skull brutally removed, and the brain within excised. Maegar Varn himself sits at the head of the table, joining his people in death.
  • The Greenlords fight and defeat four zombie Cyclopes guarding the feasthall and then move on into the tomb’s inner sanctum. Fighting their way past an evil water elemental, the Greenlords finally find themselves facing against Vordakai himself. The 10,000 year old Cyclops necromancer lich resides upon a throne of bones in a vile tomb sanctified to Charon and the daemons of Abaddon. Standing with Vordakai is his bodyguard and champion, a Cyclops graveknight anti-paladin. The graveknight exudes an aura of utter evil, and the entire throne-room’s atmosphere is thick with unholy resonance.
  • Vordakai pontificates as the fight begins, his mind clearly obsessed and somewhat insane after nearly 10,000 years of torpor. It is a hard-won battle for the Greenlords. Kraig is taken down by the mighty graveknight and is just barely revived by Alys. Yetar’s arrows can do little against the heavily-armoured graveknight or the lich, and Kreeger is rendered paralyzed by the mere touch of the lich’s cold hand. The Greenlords defeat Vordakai and his champion, and searching the inner sanctum further they discover a room full of magical glass jars. Further inspection reveals hazy humanoid figures writhing within the jars. Alys and Mistral come to realize that the vials are unholy receptacles for living souls – the souls of Varnhold’s lost citizens. Transporting the vials out of the tomb, the Greenlords release each of the souls. There are 42 all told, and the Greenlords rejoice when the physical bodies of the villagers are reformed whole and unharmed. Maegar Varn himself is among the trapped souls, and together Varn and the villagers tell their harrowing story – from a typical day in Varnhold one minute to waking up bound and arranged around the feast table in Vordakai’s tomb, and the unspeakable horror that followed. Many of the villagers are too shocked and horrified to speak; some fall to their knees, overcome with emotion; others stare blankly at the Greenlords and their fellow villagers. Maegar Varn and the Greenlords do what they can to settle the 41 villagers, and together lead them on a slow march home to Varnhold.

8 – 15 Rova, 4716 AR

  • During the next week, the Greenlords assist Maegar Varn in returning his village to some semblance of order, with the understanding that it will be some time before any sense of normalcy returns to his folk. Maegar Varn comes to the Greenlords late one night and explains that after long discussion with his most trusted (surviving) advisors, he has come to the conclusion that joining the remnants of Varnhold with Zelenoy would be the best course of action for continuing a civilized presence in these lands. Without Zelenoy, Varn is sure that Varnhold will cease to exist. Varn explains that he has laid claim to much of the lands around Varnhold, and that joining the two realms into one will ensure that those lands to not fall prey to monsters and the wild. The Greenlords accept Varn’s offer, and vow to send settlers to Varnhold and treat its lands and people with the same care that they do their holdings in the west.
  • On the morning of the 15th, the Greenlords head east towards the Nomen tribe, intent on speaking with Aecora Silverfire and, hopefully, brokering a lasting peace treaty with the Nomen.

Session 37 Treasure
Session 37 XP
Session 38 Treasure
Session 38 XP

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The Varnhold Vanishing - Session 36

7 Rova, 4716 AR

  • The Greenlords delve deeper into the ancient cyclopean crypt, navigating through a deadly flooding room and a daemon shrine trapped with memory-wiping Stygian fire. The Greenlords learn that the Cyclops that built this place must have had, or still have, some devotion to daemon-kind, particularly the Four Horsemen of Abaddon. As they head further into the complex, the daemon imagery becomes more prevalent.
  • Past the daemon-shrine the Greenlords meet one of the complex’s guardians, a type of fiend called a piscodaemon – all tentacles, claws, and chitinous exoskeleton. After defeating the piscodaemon and its soul eater companion, the Greenlords discover that they were guarding access to a crude prison. Shackled to the wall and floor they find a malnourished, bruised and beaten centaur woman – Xamanthe Silverfire, daughter of Aecora Silverfire of the Nomen tribe. Xamanthe is near death when she is discovered, and paralyzed by some fell magic. The Greenlords dispel the paralysis and nurse Xamanthe back to health. The centaur is grateful for her rescue and recounts her terrible tale – how she disobeyed her tribe’s traditions and entered Olah-Kakanket, her capture at the hands of several zombie Cyclopes, and flashes of painful memories since then at the hands of other undead Cyclopes. She recalls one particularly distinct memory of a nearly skeletal Cyclops with a glowing gem wedged in his otherwise-empty eye socket, who whispered to her during her ordeal: “You should be honoured to be my guest, beastwoman. I shall return once fear and dread drive all semblance of will and self from your mind. Then you will thank me for these gifts of pain.” Xamanthe is fairly certain that this skeletal Cyclops is the one who paralyzed her. The Greenlords pledge to protect Xamanthe while they remain within the complex, and that they will return her to her people. Xamanthe, perhaps more aware of her limits than before, does not argue.
  • Venturing deeper into the Cyclopes dungeon, the Greenlords come to a huge crypt, its walls composed of burial alcoves, all empty except for assorted bits of pottery. There they face more of the dreaded soul eaters.

Session 36 XP

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The Varnhold Vanishing - Session 35

6 Rova, 4715 AR

  • The Greenlords ascend the staircase into the Tors of Levenies and are set upon by a extraplanar assassin, a depraved soul eater and denizen of Abaddon. Eight miles into the trek up the mountains and well into nightfall, the Greenlords exit the staircase to find lake of black water, fed by a mighty waterfall cascading from the heights. In the centre of the water stands a massive, hundred-foot-tall limestone pillar of weathered stone – magically preserved and the last lonely sentinel marking where the cliff’s edge once stood in an age long past. At the island’s top a thin plume of smoke wafts into the clear night sky. The Greenlords guess that the island is the so-called Vordakai’s Island referred to in Maestro Pendrod’s book.

7 Rova, 4715 AR

  • The Greenlords wake to an attack by a flight of three wyverns hungry for breakfast. They get little satisfaction from the Lords and Lady of Zelenoy. The group uses its folding boat to venture to the limestone island, and discover a dark opening at the foot of the cliff where a beach meets the limestone scarp. Entering the wide passageway, the Greenlords discover various runes and symbols of ancient Cyclops provenance. Kraig discovers the tracks of several creatures, some giant or cyclopean in nature, another human that venture to a broken amphora before retreating back out of the cave, and another centaur.
  • Continuing deeper into the complex, the Greenlords do battle with several dread zombie Cyclops in an old sepulcher, then move through a secret doorway to a massive water-filled cavern. The Greenlords discover a set of stairs leading down under the water, but before braving the underwater passage Toragrim the dwarf is nearly swallowed whole by a giant gar that has made the underwater lake its home. Alys evens the odds with a cleverly cast control water spell, lowering the water level sufficiently to allow the group to defeat the gar. Once Toragrim is safe and the gar killed, the group ventures down the underwater stairs, through a tunnel, and up again into a dry area of the complex. The room the group enters into is filled with elaborate pieces of pottery painted primarily in black and white and depicting lotus flowers, cities, and Cyclops engaged in everything from worship to fighting to athletic contests. The one-eyed creatures are all portrayed in a distinctive stylistic manner with a wide-legged, sway-backed stance.

Session 35 Treasure
Session 35 XP

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The Varnhold Vanishing - Session 34

13-19 Arodus, 4716 AR

  • Management of Zelenoy continues. Mistral spends time in Winter’s Gate adding protective magic to his bracers.

20-30 Arodus, 1-6 Rova, 4716 AR

  • The Greenlords head east, intent on finding the lair of the ancient cyclops necromancer, Vordakai, and solving the mystery of the lost citizens of Varnhold.
  • Throughout the first few days of travel, Kraig, Mistral, Alys, and Yetar all get the sense they are being watched. Finally, one of the group notices a peculiar raven that appears to be observing the group consistently. The raven flies off as the group is discussing the unusually attentive bird. Alys’ cohort, a dwarf zen archer called Elgar Whisperbeard, tries to shoot the raven down before it gets out of range. He gets several hits but doesn’t drop the bird; it takes a fireball spell cast by Mistral to finally obliterate the raven. The Greenlords worry that the raven’s resistance to their attacks indicate it was a familiar of a powerful magic-user.
  • The group spends a fortnight exploring the foothills and northeastern peaks of the Tors of Levenies mountains. Within a narrow vale between two arms of the range the group finds and comes to the aid of an extraplanar creature named Zzamas, a phase spider whose lair near a stone monolith called the Ghost Stone has been invaded by a gang of alien xill. Zzamas explains that the xills, militaristic and expansionist insect-like humanoids and the ancestral enemy of phase spiders, enjoy the area’s strong connection to the ethereal plan as much as she does, and drove her out some time ago. The Greenlords aid Zzamas in eradicating the xills, and she rewards them with a secret chest she discovered floating in the ethereal plane.
  • Elsewhere in the foothills of the Tors, the Greenlords encounter a band of Nomen centaur warrior-women. The centaurs are hunting mastodon, and warn the Greenlords to avoid a nearby holy site – the grave of a long-dead linnorm. The Greenlords take their leave of the centaurs and move on. They see the holy site from afar, the bleached white ribs of the linnorm protruding into the air like strange trees, the moss-draped skull a nesting ground for dozens of shrikes. They honour the wishes of the Nomen and avoid despoiling the area.
  • Staying close to the Tors, the group passes a migrating herd of mastodon and head south into another valley. The entrance to the valley is marked by a series of post decorated with bones and skulls every 50 to 60 feet, a wall that appears to run the entire length of the 6-mile wide valley. Beyond the line of posts the valley doesn’t appear much different than the surrounding foothills. The further the Greenlords travel into the valley, however, the more a strange feeling of oppression grows; the wind seems oddly muted as it flows through the grass and trees, the birds and insects grow quiet, and the crags along the surrounding mountains seem almost to crouch in expectation of the Greenlords’ approach. A mile past the totems, the first of many six to ten-foot tall granite steles appears. The stone markers are badly weathered, many are partially or wholly collapsed, but all bear strange runes that Alys deciphers as Cyclops. There are thousands of these steles within the Valley of the Dead – Olah-Kakanket.
  • At the western point of the vale, where the ragged Tors of Levenies rise in sheer cliffs above the surrounding foothills, a crack in the cliff wall allows a 15-foot wide stone stairway to wind up into the mountains. Two dark and ominous shapes loom in the throat of the stairs. The creatures – rotting, undead cyclops zombies – lumber forward to attack the Greenlords.

Session 34 Treasure
Session 34 XP

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The Varnhold Vanishing - Session 33

21-30 Erastus, 1-12 Arodus, 4716 AR

  • The Greenlords return to Zelenoy following their meeting with the Nomen centaurs. They find the citizens of the realm slightly disappointed with their rulers’ penchant for adventure and travel, and decide to spend several weeks closer to home, attending to the needs of their young nation while deciding their next move to find, and hopefully save, the neighbouring realm of Varnhold.
  • While holding court in Winter’s Gate, the Lords and Ladies of Zelenoy hear many tales from the realm’s petitioners. Some come from the east, near the border with Varnhold and the northern arm of the Tors of Levenies mountains. These Zelenovites speak of the legendary black roc in the region. One citizen, an eccentric cook at the inn in Olegstaadt, petitions the Greenlords to obtain one of the roc’s eggs, with which he hopes to craft the nation’s largest omelet. Others speak of the wyverns and manticores that are a constant threat to livestock in the eastern region, and of their fears following the Varnhold vanishing. Another citizen, a wealthy noble now living in Olegstaadt, tells the Greenlords that his brother ventured east for Restov several weeks ago and hasn’t been heard from since. He fears the worst, and asks the Greenlords to search for him next time they venture east.
  • Zelenovites in the southern region, near Winter’s Gate, speak in hushed tones about the ruined tower on Candlemere Lake. Its proximity to Zelenoy makes many citizens nervous, and several speak of the ghostly lights seen floating on the isle. The Greenlords decide to explore the isle and tower and set their subjects minds at ease.

12 Arodus, 4716 AR

  • The Greenlords beach their folding boat on the shore and make their way to the ancient tower at the isle’s low summit. The way is slow, as much of the isle is overgrown with stinging, poisonous nettles. An unsettling feeling overcomes the adventurers as they draw close to the tower. Despite the daylight, the place seems suffused with an aura of fear. This sensation is most powerful at the tower site. The Greenlords resist the urge to run away and continue exploring the ruin. Faded runes in Aklo are evident on the walls; the group deciphers one name amidst the glyphs: Yog-Sothoth
  • Recalling the tales of eerie floating lights on the isle, Alys decides to cast a spell that reveals invisible creatures. As she completes the final intonation of the spell, four pale blue orbs of light are revealed. The will o’ wisps pulse with energy, feeding off the fear and loneliness that suffuses the place. The nimble creatures dart about the Greenlords, attacking with painful bursts of electrical energy. The group fights off waves of the wisps, managing to kill or drive off over a dozen of the alien creatures before they decide to make a tactical retreat.

13-16 Arodus, 4716 AR

  • The Greenlords return to Winter’s Gate, where they regroup and gather several commanders and seasoned veterans to accompany them back to the island. The Greenlords succeed in removing the will o’ wisp infestation from Candlemere Island, and with the help of Onora Goldenfields they manage to suppress the taint of fear. Both Alys and Onora still sense the presence of something at the site, however. Whether that is a general sense of unease about the tower’s original purpose or an indication that some power still remains at the site is unclear.

Session 33 Treasure
Session 33 XP

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The Varnhold Vanishing - Session 32

17-30 Sarenith, 1-11 Erastus, 4716 AR

  • The Greenlords complete their exploration of Varnhold, discovering a magical folding boat in the residence of Maegar Varn’s warden, Willas Gunderson, then head back to Olegstaadt. Back in Zelenoy, the Greenlords do what they can to learn more about the Nomen centaurs and the mysterious name Vordekai. Using a scrying mirror Mistral and Alys manage to get a glimpse of the wizard, Cephal Lorentus. They see the former birdkeeper, his body now a wounded and decaying horror, standing guard before a bronze door in a dark stone tunnel. Nearby, the floor of the tunnel ends abruptly and opens into a wide cavern beyond the scry spell’s limit of sight. A vile, black substance bubbles and boils where the floor ends. Mistral and Alys attempt to communicate with Cephal Lorentus via a message spell through the scrying mirror. The undead wizard responds, but reveals little. He remains cryptic about the fate of Varnhold’s citizens. His responses do suggest that they are not wholly dead, but what his references to a place between life and death mean leave the Greenlords baffled. Mistral believes he must mean some sort of demiplane or extradimensional space, although that doesn’t explain Alys’ inability to contact Varn with a sending spell. Cephal Lorentus does not give away much about how he came to be in his present state either, beyond reverent acknowledgement of the so-called “master”. They do learn that the “bracelet” uncovered by Willas Gunderson and being studied by Maestro Pendrod was not a bracelet at all, but a ring.
  • The Greenlords contact the cleric Onora Goldenfields in the hope that the learned halfling can shed some light on the name Vordekai and the jade ring. Onora consults her tomes and the Greenlords learn that Vordekai was the name of an ancient Iobarian cyclops necromancer who once ruled a pre-Earthfall empire in the region, more than 10,000 years ago.

12-20 Erastus, 4716 AR

  • The Greenlords decide to head back east into the Nomen Heights and hopefully make contact with the Nomen centaur tribes there. They stop at Varnhold and visit with the contingent of soldiers posted there under the command of the elf, Variel.
  • Heading east, the foothills of the Tors of Levenies mountains give way to rolling steppe and grassland. The Dunsward plain stretches north, east, and south. Its swaying grasses are myriad shades of dun, mauve, and verdigris. The Greenlords wander for several days in the steppe, and wander afoul of one of the Dunsward’s infamous inhabitants – the giant bulette, Kankerata. The gargantuan landshark, despite its size, falls prey to the Greenlords’ blades, arrows, hammers, and spells. As the group recovers from the battle, they notice several centaur watchers on a bluff in the distance. The centaurs gallop off; the Greenlords follow but lose track of the centaurs as night falls.
  • The following day, as the Greenlords explore the Dunsward in search of the Nomen, they are surrounded by a herd of two dozen centaur warrior-women armed with spears and clad in armour. The centaurs make a grand display as they surround the party. Their leader addresses the Greenlords in Sylvan, demanding to know their business in the Dunsward. As the parlay continues, the centaur leader becomes suddenly enraged as she sights the magic longbow retrieved from the spriggans on Kraig’s shoulder, and accuses the half-orc of stealing a sacred Nomen relic – Skybolt – in heavily-accented Common. The Greenlords insist they did not steal the weapon and offer its return. The centaur leader considers this, then commands them to follow her to the camp of Aecora Silverfire, their warrior-priestess.
  • The Greenlords are escorted into the Nomen camp, an orderly collection of yurts and stalls housing well over 200 centaurs – mostly armed and armoured women, but some men as well. Aecora Silverfire leads a group of centaurs in a ritual dance in the centre of the camp, her red hair rippling like fire, her hooves kicking up clods of dirt and ash. The warrior-priestess of Desna stops her dance as the Greenlords are led into her midst. Their escort approaches Aecora and says some words out of earshot, then hands her the longbow, Skybolt. Aecora addresses the Greenlords in Common. The tone of her voice is harsh and commanding, her presence palpable; it is clear why the Nomen follow her.
  • “You presume much to intrude upon our domain. The men of Varnhold have not learned their lesson it seems. Or perhaps you come from some other realm. It matters little, only that you return from whence you came and vex us nevermore. Before you will be allowed to leave the Dunsward, however, I will know how you came to possess Skybolt. Falsehood may be your nature, but do not presume to lie to me. Mother Moon and her warriors will see through any deception.”
  • Thinking it best to be truthful when surrounded by an army of spear-wielding centaurs, the Greenlords tell the story of how they retreived Skybolt from the spriggans that had taken over Varnhold. They tell the story of the disappearance of the villagers and of the name Vordekai. As the Greenlords relate their tale, Aecora’s demeanour goes from contempt to concern. She expresses dismay over the disappearance of Varnhold’s citizens, not out of care for the villagers but worry that the Nomen might be next. She relays some of her tribe’s history, revealing that they are the descendents of once-powerful centaur tribes of Iobaria, and that their might was sundered centuries ago when the human realm of Taldor sent armies into the north. The name Vordekai frightens her. According to Nomen tradition, Vordekai is “a slumbering warlord from the time of the mother tribes.” She says her tribe has lost much of its history in the years since Taldor’s armies shattered it, but there is a place where they might learn more. Aecora tells the Greenlords of a place to the south called Olah-Kakanket, the “Valley of the Dead.” The place is taboo to the centaurs, but their traditions dictate that they must guard the entrance to the valley and watch for signs of disturbances. Recently, a Nomen huntress claimed to have see a strange and frightful shape lumbering amidst the stones of Olah-Kakanket. The name Vordekai is associated with a narrow trail that leads up into the mountains from the far end of Olah-Kakanket.
  • Before the Greenlords depart, Aecora makes a final plea. She admits that the huntress who claimed to have seen the strange shape in Olah-Kakanket was her daughter, Xamanthe. Xamanthe and Aecora fought when her daughter demanded to know more about the site, and she has since gone missing. Aecora fears the worst – that Xamanthe has broken tradition and entered Olah-Kakanket. As leader of the tribe, Aecora dare not break tradition and enter herself. Though it pains her to do so, she asks the Greenlords to watch for Xamanthe if they choose to explore the site, promising further talks if they are able to return her daughter.

Session 32 XP

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The Varnhold Vanishing - Session 31

17 Sarenith, 4716 AR

  • The Greenlords scour the keep and Varnhold for any sign or clue to the whereabouts of the townsfolk and their leader, Maegar Varn. The captured spriggans confirm the group’s suspicion that they took over the town after the departure of its citizens, and they learn that the spriggans former lair is located in the Tors to the southeast of the village. The spriggans, reasonably intelligent if somewhat sadistic creatures, admit to several minor altercations with the townsfolk over the last couple of years, but that generally the two groups didn’t bother each other – Varn’s seasoned mercenaries were a strong deterrent.
  • After having no luck contacting Varn via a sending spell, Alys attempts to contact Varn’s wizard and birdkeeper, Cephal Lorentus, a man the Greenlords recall from Varn’s first visit to Olegstaadt, telling him her name and asking where he and the citizens of Varnhold are located. Alys is somewhat surprised to receive a response back to her message, but the hissed, barely understandable voice that responds bears little resemblance to the Cephal Lorentus she met back in Olegstaadt. The response is cryptic – Cephal does not acknowledge any memory of Alys, and claims the citizens of Varnhold now exist beyond the pale, a place between life and death. He ends his response with an ominous claim: “the master requires fresh souls for study.” Further attempts to contact Cephal Lorentus go unanswered.
  • Within the town itself, the Greenlords discover several interesting items in the town inn – the Waterhorse. One table at the inn is piled high with books and ledgers, some works in progress by an author named Ervil Pendrod, and all bearing the sigil of the legendary Kitharodian Academy, Golarion’s largest bard college, located in the city of Oppara in Taldor. Many of the works appear to be histories and treatises on the realm of Iobaria, east of Brevoy, and the indigenous centaur tribes of that land. One of Pendrod’s own works, the Secrets of the Rashalka Mounds, lies open and in progress. Pendrod appears to have been working on a section on the Rashalka centaurs and speculated that a local tribe called the Nomens is an offshoot of the greater Rashalka population that broke away and relocated to the area of Varnhold at some time in the distant past. Mixed in with the books are a number of charcoal sketches of a heavy jade bracelet bearing peculiar markings that Pendrod attibutes to the pre-migration Nomen centaurs.
  • At the bottom of the stack of books the Greenlords discover a letter dated two months ago from Maegar Varn, addressed to “Maestro Pendrod”. The letter describes the discovery of a jade bracelet on the banks of a “river of local provenance” by Varn’s warden, Willas Gundarson. In the letter, Varn requests Pendrod’s presence for further study of the artifact. The bracelet itself is not among the research materials.
  • A search of the inn’s guestrooms reveals that only one was inhabited at the time of the villagers’ disappearance. An investigation of the personal effects that remain indicate that its occupant was Ervil Pendrod. Among the mundate possessions in his travel trunks is a small library of further reference works. Most of the tomes seem to be of less immediate relevance to his current work, but the Greenlords do turn up one work in particular, a centuries-old geography book penned by one Carmyn e’Brothasa, chronicler of Taldor’s Third Army of Exploration into the north. One passage is marked by Pendrod:
  • “And so it was, high upon the Torres and well above the Vale’s stairs, where rises from the high water a stony isle of dire report. Known as Vordekai’s Island to those that do live thereabout, some legend of its name doth come down through the locals, for they speak of a guardian that doth destroy all who would set foot upon its accursed shores. They did name no fewer than a twelvecount of their hero-knights who had left their bones upon its rocky shores over the years after having tested their mettle against its dread warden, ’til none would any longer go there for fear of its hidden terrors. And the name of this terror was given unto this island.”
  • Pendrod’s own handwriting in the margin of the text contains a simple note: “Vordekai – perhaps a Nomen centaur god?” The book, frustratingly, does not provide a location to the island mentioned in the text, nor does it provide any further clues to Pendrod’s cryptic margin note.
  • The only other item of note in Pendrod’s room is his viola, an exquisite piece of workmanship bearing the mark of the master craftsman Azores of Wispil.

Session 31 Treasure
Session 31 XP

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