Lords of the Green

The Varnhold Varnishing - Session 30

17 Sarenith, 4716 AR

  • The Greenlords deal with the aggressive chuul and head into Varnhold to find the town completely deserted. Yetar nearly falls prey to a crude pit trap on the main street just past the ford over the Kiravoy – presumably not a typical feature in the town. Crows feast on dead livestock in an enclosure just north of the keep on the hill; their discordant cries create an unsettling contrast to the otherwise silent town. Nearby houses and shops have clearly been looted – doors hang askew, and goods and items lay strewn about the immediate vicinity of each dwelling. Alys notices the word “NOMEN” scratched in the oaken door of the town’s only inn, alluding to the centaur tribes that Varn had been having troubles with for some time. Rather than explore the town at this time, the group decides to head directly for the wooden stockade and keep on the bluff overlooking Varnhold, hoping to find answers and with any luck, villagers, there.
  • The Greenlords find the keep has been taken over by a gang of grey-skinned, feral and evil-tempered gnome-like creatures with the unusual ability to enlarge themselves to four times their normal size. The spriggans notice the Greenlords while they discuss their assault strategy and begin firing crossbow bolts from slits and murderholes in the keep. The Greenlords are forced to make a hasty, unplanned assault, but the much weaker spriggans are no match for the rulers of Zelenoy. The group infiltrates the main keep, bring down the spriggans and their leader, and take three of the spriggans captive. Throughout the battle in the stockade the Greenlords see no evidence of Varnhold’s normal residents – no bodies or captives, not a trace of blood or struggle. It’s as if the villagers vanished without a trace.

Session 30 XP

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The Varnhold Vanishing - Session 29

Rova, 4715 AR, to Sarenith, 4716 AR

  • The Greenlords continue to expand Zelenoy in the autumn of 4715 and through the winter and into the spring of 4716. The winter yields new discoveries, Yetar researches a simple but effective signal fire emergency messaging system, and the spring brings a beneficial planting season.
  • Zelenoy is visited by the famous halfling cleric of Abadar, Onora Goldenfields, in the early spring. Onora makes the journey from the Brevosi capital New Stetven to Olegstaadt to chronicle the early years of the fledgling kingdom. Onora is well-known in Brevoy for her steadfast devotion to the accumulation of knowledge for its own sake, and her fervent belief that everyone should have access to the truth, unvarnished and unaltered by hyperbole. Although she is considered a high-ranking member of the faith, she famously eschews any political position or place of authority in the church.

Omora goldenfields

2 – 16 Sarenith, 4716 AR

  • The Greenlords grow concerned when communication from Maegar Varn ceases in the late spring. As the weather warms and the silence from Varn continues, the Greenlords decide to journey east and visit the man personally. They explore and map the lands east of Zelenoy, moving into the foothills of the Tors of Levenies mountains.
  • On the morning of the 10th the Greenlords have a close encounter with one of the legendary inhabitants of the Tors – a great black roc some of the farmers in eastern Zelenoy call Umbra. The roc circles overhead and makes a tentative dive for one of the group’s horses, but is driven off by several well-shot arrows.
  • The Kameland hills give way to rougher, steeper terrain, and the Tors of the Levenies loom into view one overcast day – the rocky peaks, still snow-covered, emerge like grey sentinels from the brume. The Greenlords spend several days exploring the borders of the range, and finally follow the Crooked River to where it cascades from the peaks, leading into a narrow pass through the mountains. The group comes to a solitary tower overlooking the pass. The tower is empty but appears recently occupied. It provides an expansive view of the hills to the east and the far off Dunsward Plain, territory held by centaur tribes according to past communications with Maegar Varn. The town of Varnhold, Varn’s seat of power, is visible some 15 miles to the southeast, settled on the banks of the Kiravoy River. A modest road leads north from Varnhold.

17 Sarenith, 4716 AR

  • The Greenlords arrive in Varnhold to an unsettling silence. A thin plume of smoke rises from a wooden keep southeast of town, but that is the only sign of life in the settlement. The group cautiously proceeds into Varnhold, putting down a rabid hog that attacks them from its dilapidated pen before venturing across a shallow ford in the Kiravoy River into the town proper. When they are partway across the four-foot-deep ford, the group is attacked from a deeper pool south of the ford by a ravenous chuul – an aggressive, tentacle, lobster-like creature.

Session 29 XP

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Rivers Run Red - Session 28

30 Arodus to 7 Rova, 4715 AR

  • The party explores the rest of the elven ruin. They encounter a stealthy grimstalker – a kind of evil, gaunt and sickly male elf fey creature – and its pet assassin vine amongst the underbrush in the courtyard. Kraig discovers an artful mithral statuette of a regal elven lady in one of the ruined towers. He considers smelting it down back at the smithy in Olegstaadt, but remembers how intent Variel is on finding a gift of elven art for his paramour (and business partner), Lily Teskertin, and hands the statuette to the elf.
  • The Greenlords head back to Olegstaadt, exploring some of the Narlmarches on the way. Back in their capital, the Greenlords oversee the completion of construction on the herbalist shop and several residences that were destroyed by the raging owlbear weeks ago.

Session 28 Treasure
Session 28 XP

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Rivers Run Red - Session 27

15-23 Arodus, 4715 AR

  • The Greenlords busy themselves with the ruling of Zelenoy: patrolling the realm, holding court, and maintaining the rule of law.

23-30 Arodus, 4715 AR

  • The Greenlords head deep into the Narlmarches, searching for the elven ruin glimpsed from afar many months ago. They meet with Tiressia the dryad and learn that an evil fey called the Dancing Lady is said to inhabit the place. Other fey in the forest give the elven tower a wide berth, and it is not unusual to hear of trappers and woodsmen in the region going missing.
  • A couple of days after leaving Tiressia the Greenlords find the site. A graceful, circular tower rises into the sky, surrounded by ancient trees draped with hanging moss. Four smaller towers in various states of ruin surround the central spire, connected by a curved wall of white stone. The Greenlords march into the ruin. Kraig and Paleose spring a portcullis trap in the open entrance before squaring off in the overgrown courtyard against a exceptionally fast fey creature called a quickling. The quickling gets in several mobile attacks against Variel, who can barely catch sight of the creature before it escapes into the undergrowth. The quickling eventually falls to the Greenlords’ might.
  • The group meets the so-called Dancing Lady at the top floor of the central tower. The Dancing Lady appears as a beautiful elven woman with alabaster skin, golden hair, and emerald green eyes. She moves through the room with otherworldly grace; all but Paleose and Sascha, Kraig’s wolf companion, are utterly transfixed by the evil fey’s dance. Things begin to go badly for the Greenlords when Paleose falls sway to a suggestion spell, but Sascha manages to break the fey’s dance and release the other Greenlords from the trance. As the wolf grapples the Dancing Lady, the other Greenlords manage to subdue Paleose and put an end to the evil fey.

Session 27 Treasure
Session 27 XP

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Rivers Run Red - Session 26

8-15 Arodus, 4715 AR

  • Kraig, Variel, Nisha, Mistral, Alys, Yetar, and Paleose exit the ettercap lair and head back around to the main entrance on the other side of the hillock. The chilling cries of the owlbear echo from within the cavern. Peering inside, Variel sees the mighty owlbear sixty feet away, rampaging through green and purple fungi growing within the moist cavern. Kraig and Alys rush to the other side of the entrance, attracting the owlbear’s attention while doing so. The beast charges in a rage and focuses its attacks on the half-orc – the abductor of its one surviving cub. This gives the rest of the group an opportunity to overwhelm the owlbear. Despite its strength and ferocity, the owlbear eventually falls to the Greenlords’ greater numbers and powerful magic. The group’s ordeal isn’t over with the owlbear’s death, however. The Greenlords encounter several other denizens as they explore the lair – purple fungi, caveweaver spiders, and a shambling mound infested with a swarm of blood-red centipedes – as well as a section of weakened floor hiding a caustic pool of green slime.
  • When the Greenlords finally get a chance to explore the contents of the cavern, they find some intriguing evidence, not the least of which are the six dead bandits in the side cavern containing the owlbear’s mate and cub. Within the large main cavern, the group discovers another body – this one of a bearded Numerian barbarian. The dead barbarian wears a magic ring crafted of a lock of tightly woven, lustrous hair that reflects a green iridescence in certain light. Mistral and Nisha examine the ring closely, first determining it to be a ring of bestial friendship. Nisha detects a trace of malevolence in the dweomer, however. Kraig decides to try the ring on the owlbear cub. At first the cub becomes highly affectionate towards the half-orc, but within moments the cub’s mood changes from affection to violence and rage. A quick slumber spell from Nisha puts the cub to rest.
  • While examining the ring, several Greenlords recall the lock of hair retrieved from the Stag Lord and note its close resemblance to the hair used to craft the ring. Curious, Alys decides to commune with the dead barbarian’s spirit. Though the spirit’s answers are obtuse, Alys learns that his name was Eirikk, that he received the ring from a beautiful and otherwordly benefactor who promised him power and more. All he had to do to gain her favour was use the ring to befriend a mighty owlbear known to live in the southern Greenbelt. He did so, but the owlbear began killing his men soon after activating the ring’s power. Alys gets little else from the barbarian’s spirit.
  • The Greenlords travel back to Olegstaadt after taking time to rest and recover from their ordeal. While flush with their success against the capital’s attacker, their hearts are heavy with the feeling that some powerful and unknown entity may be working against them.

Session 26 Treasure
Session 26 XP

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Rivers Run Red - Session 25

14-16 Erastus, 4715 AR

  • The Greenlords arrive at Winter’s Gate with the spoils from the troll lair. Their celebration is short-lived, however, when a pigeon flies in from Olegstaadt on the second day after their arrival. The note attached to the pigeon’s leg is signed by General Akiros Ismort and bears a brief message: “Olegstaadt suffered attack. Come immediately.” The Greenlords set out on horseback within the hour and ride through the night and following day.

18-28 Erastus, 4715 AR

  • As the Greenlords approach their capital, the reason for the General’s urgent note becomes evident. Swaths of devastation – trees torn from their roots, fields and farms in ruin – greet them outside the Olegstaadt’s boundary. A section of the city itself lies devastated. General Ismort meets the Greenlords at the entrance to the city. The former paladin sports multiple wounds and appears not to have slept in some time. He addresses Baronness Orlovsky: “My lady, we were taken completely unawares. An immense owlbear rampaged into town several days ago. It was in a state of madness! We saved those we could and the good men of the watch fought with all their strength. The beast killed several villagers and three of my men. Once it had its fill of destruction it lumbered off to the south. My lady, the beast was clad in barding of leather and iron studs….”
  • The Greenlords consult with General Ismort and Councillor Leveton; they decide to send riders to track the owlbear and observe the location of its lair while they assist the citizens of Olegstaadt and surrounding farms to weather the recent attack. The riders report back a week later and indicate the owlbear lairs deep in the southern Narlmarches. The Greenlords set out at the end of the month.

29 Erastus to 8 Arodus, 4715 AR

  • The Greenlords head to Winter’s Gate on horseback, then on foot into the Narlmarches. They rendezvous with Melianse the nixie before turning south. Melianse claims that the owlbear has been known to dwellers in the forest for years, but that this recent behaviour is unusual, and that it was seen wearing barding is most suspicious.
  • From the nixie’s pool the Greenlords turn southwest, and soon pick up the owlbear’s trail. They follow it to a large hillock rising out of the trees. There is a cave entrance on one side of the hillock which, by the state of the trampled vegetation nearby, points to the cave within as the lair of the owlbear. Several of the group scout around the hillock, and discover a web-covered hidden entrance onthe opposite side. The group enters there to find it inhabited by several ettercaps and their pet caveweaver spiders. Fromthe ettercap lair, the Greenlords discover a small vertical tunnel leading deeper into the cave. Kraig, Variel, and Nisha venture into the tunnel and emerge in a much larger cavern. At the east end of the cavern they see dead owlbear (of normal size) with a half-dozen dead men (bandits, by their look) strewn about the room. One dead owlbear cub lays nearby, while another, barely alive, whimpers beside its dead mother.
  • The light from Variel’s everburning torch floods the cavern with light. A quick scan reveals two exits, one of them quite large. Kraig and Variel start moving towards the whimpering owlbear cub when suddenly a fearsome bellow erupts from the larger tunnel exit. Kraig makes a dash for the cub as a montrously huge owlbear emerges, mid-charge, from the tunnel. Variel makes a hasty retreat back into the ettercap lair. Kraig manages to scoop up the cub and barely evades the charging owlbear, while Nisha attempts to distract the creature and magically compel it into a deep slumber. The witch’s slumber hex fails, and Kraig grabs her as he runs bast towards the ceiling exit. The two just barely make it into the ettercap lair, with the owlbear’s massive claws grasping at Nisha’s flailing legs.

Session 25 Treasure
Session 25 XP

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Rivers Run Red - Session 24

10 Erastus, 4715 AR

  • The battle with the trolls continues. The Greenlords come up against more trolls and trollhounds in the main dwarven complex, and find the grisly remains of one of the trolls’ halfling victims in the meantime. Moving deeper into the complex the party comes upon the unfinished, rough-hewn corridors that comprise the troll-lair proper. Within the wretched, stinking depths of the lair the Greenlords find the main bulwark of the troll gang. Mistral surprises the trolls with a thrown flask of alchemist’s fire that sets the trolls’ crude spruce-bough beds aflame. The group manages to draw out the trolls’ muscle – a giant two-headed troll with a collection of severed heads. The massive brute barely fits in the corridors of the lair and sends the other trolls running in fear, with good reason – several hits from the two-headed troll nearly kills the Greenlords’ new recruit, Paleose. The group eventually brings the giant down and retreats back to the entrance of the complex to regroup.
  • After several minutes the Greenlords head back into the lair and face the remainder of the troll gang. They square off against three regular trolls, one rare rock troll, and the troll leader – an armoured, morningstar-wielding brute calling himself Hargulka. Hargulka opens the fight by ordering the rock troll into the fray. The rock troll falls under Paleose’s hammer and Variel’s rapier. Hargulka ups the stakes by tossing a bead from his necklace of fireballs into the Greenlords’ midst. Hargulka’s use of fire takes them by surprise, and the trolls begin to wear down the Greenlords with their relentless strength and ability to regenerate. As a last ditch effort, Mistral uses his remaining reserves of magic to create a scorching ring of fire around Hargulka and the remaining trolls, hoping that the flames will trigger the troll-leader’s necklace of fireballs. The tactic works, and the remaining beads detonate in a massive a fireball that spells ruin upon the trolls. Once the fiery blast dissipates, all that is left of Hargulka and his gang are smoldering corpses and several scorched items that were wielded by the leader. The Greenlords catch their collective breath, Alys draws upon the divinity of Abadar to heal her companions, and the group explores the rest of the troll lair at their ease, finding the remains of several Zelenovite victims and a sizeable treasure cache.

Session 24 Treasure
Session 24 XP

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Rivers Run Red - Session 23

15-30 Sarenith, 4715 AR

  • The Greenlords spend the rest of the month attending to the business of ruling Zelenoy. Alys and Variel make a trip to Restov – Alys to discuss the troll threat with Swordlord Iamandi and Variel to search (unsuccessfully) for a piece of fine elven art to court Lily Teskerton.

1-10 Erastus, 4715 AR

  • With summer in full bloom, the Lords of the Green head south into the Kameland hills, intent on finding the lair (or lairs) of the trolls plaguing the realm. The Greenlords bring a new recruit on this mission – an ex-soldier of Rostland named Paleose. They have a chance encounter with a leucrotta, an evil cross between a stag, lion, and badger, several days out of Winter’s Gate, but it is ten days before they see sign of any trolls. Variel, Kraig, and Paleose find clear trollsign in the hills, and manage to track the trolls to a well-disguised outpost high on a rocky ridge in a particularly rugged region of the Kamelands. The outpost is clearly not trollish in design; the Greenlords recall that the gnome Jubilost Narthropple had been searching for an abandoned dwarven outpost in the southern Greenbelt and suspect this may be it. Variel and Mistral approach the ridge in stealth, keeping to the shadows and hugging the cliff. At the end of the 100-foot high ridge Variel and Mistral reach a cleverly hidden barbican. Peering through its arrowslits, Mistral can see several trolls and trollhounds – hideous of four-legged beast and trolls – inside. The sylph makes his way back down the ridge while Variel stay behind, to the elf’s ultimate misfortune. Variel is discovered by one of the trolls as it exits the barbican to relieve itself over the cliffside. With nowhere to run, the elf is grabbed by the troll and tossed over the cliff to tumble 100 feet down hardscrabble and sharp rocks. The elf hits the bottom unconscious, broken, and near death. The other Greenlords, save Alys, advance up the ridge with haste and bring the attack to the trolls, managing to take out the two trolls in the barbican, as well as their hounds, and another troll in the complex’s south tower. Alys succeeds in healing Variel before the elf succumbs to his wounds, and the two join the fight in the stronghold forthwith.

Session 23 Treasure
Session 23 XP

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Rivers Run Red - Session 22

5-30 Desnus, 4715 AR

  • The Greenlords continue to expand Zelenoy, claiming more of the Kamelands and repurposing the mite caves under the Old Sycamore tree as an emergency cache and possible prison.

1-14 Sarenith, 4715 AR

  • The Greenlords venture into the southern Narlmarches once again, determined to find the forest drake terrorizing the region. They find evidence of the violent dragon-kin within days of their journey, including acid-eaten vegetation and brutalized grizzly bear carcasses. It is the forest drake that ultimately finds the Greenlords, however, ambushing them on a small tributary of the Murque River. The forest drake – a green-scaled brute clearly related to green dragons – comes flying out of the foliage, charging Kraig and Alys from only a few feet off the ground. The drake slams into Kraig first. The half-orc manages to brace himself against a fallen tree and stops the drake before it can send them into the river. The drake flies back and up and spits a gob of acid that explodes into on impact, surrounding Kraig and Alys in an acidic cloud. This pattern continues for a while; the Greenlords fire back with magic and arrows, and Kraig manages to get in several solid blows as the drake makes its flyby attacks, until finally the beast succumbs to the party’s greater numbers.
  • Elsewhere in the Narlmarch Woods the Greenlords come across a bedraggled, unkempt man who attempts to ambush the party with his dire mountain lion companion. The Greenlords defeat the mad hermit and subdue the mountain lion. The man perishes, but the party discovers that he is the younger brother of the adept Bokken. They retrieve a locket from the hermit bearing a small portrait of the brothers’ mother in her youth. Bokken is overjoyed on the return of the locket and insists the Greenlords accept a payment as thanks for their efforts.
  • Upon the Greenlords’ return to Winter’s Gate, they receive a messenger pigeon from Grand Diplomat Singer Ironbound back in Olegstaadt. Singer’s note indicates that with the retreat of the winter snows the Aldori Swordlords back in Restov have received word of the troll problem in the southern Stolen Lands. The Swordlords charge the rulers of Zelenoy with dealing with the troll problem.

Session 22 Treasure
Session 22 XP

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Rivers Run Red - Session 21

Rova, 4714 AR, to Gozran, 4715 AR (8 months)

  • The Greenlords continue to build and stabilize their frontier barony. Zeneloy experiences its second norther winter, and its people grow more resilient with every terrible blizzard that scours the countryside.
  • In the early winter, before the snows fall heavy, the Greenlords clear the land near the Stag Lord’s fort and begin rebuilding the ruin into a fine stone castle. By winter’s end the new fortress of Winter’s Gate is born, standing as a bastion of civilization on the windswept northern shores of Tuskwater Lake.
  • The Greenlords continue to foster good relations with allies and vassals – Maegar Varn to the far east, the good fey of the Narlmarches, and the Sootscale kobolds – throughout the winter. Melianse the nixie advises the Greenlords that a violent forest drake has taken residence in the southern Narlmarches and has been terrorizing the wildlife and sentient folk there for weeks. She entreats the Greenlords to assist in ridding the forest of the Narlmarches.
  • In the early spring, while snow still covers the realm but the days grow longer and warmer, Zelenoy is visited by a wandering celebrity – the famous sorcerer Alizander, mayor of the city of Westcrown in far-away Cheliax and member of the widely-renouned Returners. Alizander and his companions are said to have wrested control of Westcrown away from despots dilettantes, so that now the city stands as a beacon of civility in a land beholden to devil-worshippers. Alizander’s journey through Zelenoy brings the citizenry out of their winter-torpor, and generates much talk and excitement.

1-4 Desnus, 4715 AR

  • The Greenlords head south and west from Winter’s Gate castle. On the western shore of Tuskwater Lake they meet the so-called “Old Beldame”. Although replete with the trappings of witchcraft, the Old Beldame does not seem as vile as the citizens of Zelenoy would suggest. The Greenlords speak with the old woman for a time, learning that her name is Elga Verniex, and they her fey-blood is responsible for her green-tinted skin and pointed ears, and hence her reputation as a hag. Elga is brunt and irritable, but the Greenlords do not get the sense that she is evil. They learn from her that there is a tribe of lizardfolk at the mouth of Murque River, and that a madman stalks the south-eastern Narlmarches.
  • Heading south along the shore of the Tuskwater, the Lords of the Green eventually come upon the mouth of the Murque River and the lizardfolk village Elga warned them about. The Greenlords parlay with the lizardfolk guards and manage to get an audience with their King Vesket. Vesket proves to be less than cordial as a host, and diplomacy soon turns sour. The final straw is drawn when King Vesket attempts to trick the Greenlords into falling prey to the lizardfolks’ so-called “ancestral spirit”, in truth an evil will o’ wisp who has taken to feeding on the lizardfolks’ fear and goads King Vesket into ever more reckless actions. A battle ensues in which Vesket, most of his lizardfolk guards, and the will o’ wisp perish. With the will o’ wisp and Vesket dead, one opportunistic lizardfolk warrior is able to calm the tribe down an dmake them see the wisp and its influence over Vesket for what it really was. This lizardfolk warrior names himself the new King Guhet, and declares the Greenlords brave friends and allies of the Stisshak tribe. Rather than face an angry reptilian mob, the Greenlords are hailed as saviours. King Guhet bestows gifts upon the Lords and Ladies of Zelenoy in return for their assistance, and the two rulers – King Guhet and Baroness Alys – declare a truce between Zelenoy and Stisshak. The Greenlords give an oath never to claim or settle the Stisshak tribe’s traditional hunting grounds.

Session 21 Treasure
Session 21 XP

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