Lords of the Green

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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Rivers Run Red - Session 20

27 Arodus to 3 Rova, 4714 AR

  • The Lords of the Green leave the halls of the dead warrior and make the trek back to Olegstaadt. They encounter a group of trolls on the way – three females and four juveniles – the second group of trolls seen in as many weeks. Dismayed to find trolls so close to the borders of their realm, the Greenlords decide to ambush this group. Nisha manages to harvest a wineskin’s worth of blood from the trolls to deliver to Bokken.
  • Back in Olegstaadt, the rulers of Zelenoy must contend with a sinister cult. Councilor Svetlana tells of a desperate peasant family’s plea for help: Petyr and Lianna and their four children came to Svetlana in distress two days before the Greenlords’ return. Their newborn babe was recently stolen, and they beseech Councilor Svetlana for help. The party speaks to Lianna and Petyr, while spymaster Yetar works his contacts around town. The trail eventually leads to a woman name Malgorzata Niska, a middle-aged midwife known around town as “Goody Niska”. Niska birthed Lianna’s missing newborn only two weeks past, and through a network of contacts in Olegstaadt’s small but growing underworld, Yetar learns that Niska is the mastermind behind a vile cult of Gyronna, a lesser goddess of hatred, spite, and betrayal. At the same time, Nisha the tiefling witch and treasurer of Zelenoy hears similar information from her own contacts amongst the few tieflings and demon-touched in Olegstaadt.
  • The Greenlords track the cult of Gyronna to an old barn on the outskirts of town and set an ambush for the cultists. Waiting until all of the cultists are within the barn’s cellar, the group springs its trap on the last arriving member – Malgorzata Niska herself, carrying Lianna’s newborn babe to the cult’s rites. The Greenlords save the babe and bring Niska back to Olegstaadt gagged and bound, where she will face Zelenovite justice.
  • On one of the cultists, a young woman named Bogna, the Greenlords find a strange wooden coin. One side of the coin bears the image of a learing, bearded demon-man, while the other depicts a crippled, undead boggard. Alys believes the bearded image is that of an obscure demon lord of the Abyss named Shump, also called the Pretender. The identity of the undead boggard is unknown to the Greenlords.

Session 20 Treasure
Session 20 XP

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Rivers Run Red - Session 19

21 – 27 Arodus, 4714 AR

  • Heading west from the mud bowl, the Greenlords come upon vibrant green shores – the waters of Candlemere Lake. Tall pines guard the shore like sentinels. A moderate breeze blows across the lake from the west. In the centre of Candlemere the Greenlords spy a lonely island. The ruins of a stone tower sit on the island’s highest point. The place looks peaceful, but the trappers and miners of southern Zelenoy tell different tales – stories of witchlights and ghosts that inhabit the island and its tower. The Greenlords decide to leave the isle rest for now and head northwest along the Candlemere’s edge. They eventually come to a series of swift rapids flowing into Candlemere from the larger Tuskwater Lake.
  • On the steep banks of Tuskwater Lake the Greenlords encounter an aggressive (and gigantic) turtle squaring off with a rabid, goblin-faced barghest – an outerplanar creature native to the ethereal plane. The barghest turns its attentions on the party and a fight ensues. The turtle – a cantankerous old reptile known to some of the more adventurous fishermen of Zelenoy as Old Crackjaw – joins the battle. The Greenlords eventually defeat the two combatants and find evidence of the few fisherman who dare venture this far south on the Tuskwater and ran afoul of Old Crackjaw.
  • Heading back to Olegstaadt, Variel’s keen elven eyesight spies a crack in the side of one of the Kamelands’ many hills. As the party comes closer to the hill, they realize that the opening is man-made, and appears to be quite old. The walls of the entrance, though caked with the dust of long years, bear sigils and depictions of ancient barbarian tribes – the hill appears to be an ancient cairn. Venturing into the cairn, the Greenlords encounter the long-dead, but restless, guardians of the musty tomb. Deep under the hill the party meets the tomb’s undead master, a cairn wight warrior lonely from centuries of unrest. The cairn wight falls under the Greenlords’ greater numbers, and the uneasy air in the place settles at last.

Session 19 Treasure
Session 19 XP

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Rivers Run Red - Session 18

Wealday, 1 Arodus, to Oathday, 9 Arodus, 4714 AR

  • The Greenlords spend the first week of Arodus ruling the barony of Zelenoy.

10 – 21 Arodus, 4714 AR

  • The Lords of the Green head south once again, past the gold claims in the southern reaches of the realm, hugging the eastern banks of the Thorn River until it meets the Shrike, and thence southeast into unknown Kamelands territory. The grassy hills give way to hardscrabble and rocky bluffs, strewn with granite boulders and dangerous clefts.
  • During the 11 days that the Greenlords explore and map the southern Kamelands, they encounter several hostile dwellers of this hard realm: the group is awakened one early morning by the warcry of a hungry wyvern on the hunt; they are stalked by a winter wolf and two worgs on another occasion; just south of the Gudrin River the Greenlords are nearly caught unawares by a warparty of six Kamelands trolls – massive ugly brutes with tusks the size of daggers (the Greenlords wisely flee).
  • Finally, south and west of the Gudrin River ford and not far from the shores of Tuskwater Lake, the group comes across a foul-smelling defle of bubbling, boiling mud. The mud-bowl is rich with fungal life, kept warm and moist by the roiling mud. While investigating the mud-bowl, the tiefling witch Nisha is surprised by a tentacled fungal nightmare called a tendriculos – a semi-intelligent, ravenously hungry shroom-monster nearly 25 feet in height. The Greenlords defeat the tendriculos after a hard-fought battle, and Nisha succeeds in gathering some samples of the creature in addition to 17 black rattlecap mushrooms growing nearby.

Session 18 Treasure
Session 18 XP

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Rivers Run Red - Session 17

Wealday, 19 Sarenith, to Toilday, 25 Sarenith, 4714 AR

  • The Lords of the Green head west after leaving Melianse. They come across an idyllic clearing on the second day of exploration – at the edge of a spring-fed pond in clearing sits a beautiful, pale-skinned woman, her garb seemingly crafted from leaves and growing things. The dryad Tiressia. Tiressia looks up as the Greenlords approach, her face reddened by long hours of weeping. The Greenlords learn that Tiressia has been the subject of several violent attacks of late. She and her consort, a suspicious satyr named Falchos, describe their attacker as a carnivorous scythe tree – an evil, intelligent tree with a penchant for dryad flesh. Tiressia and Falchos have just barely been able to fend the scythe tree off. The dryad is desperate, and begs the Greenlords to help her. The party agrees to aid the dryad, and head several miles south to confront the scythe tree in a choked and putrescent grove of blackened, sickly trees. Tiressia, in return for the Greenlords’ assistance, gives them several gifts, including six tree feather tokens. The Greenlords use five of the tokens to replace Melianse’s trees and gain the respect of both the nixie and the dryad. Zelenoy’s rulers see the value in courting the favour of the Narlmarches’ fey, and begin hatching plans to officially recognize the peaceful ties between Zelenoy and the region’s First World inhabitants.

26 to 28 Sarenith, 4714 AR

  • Heading back to Olegstaadt, the party stops at the Temple of Erastil. The plant-druid of Erastil decides to accompany the Greenlords back to Olegstaadt, eager to spread Erastil’s good work. The Greenlords also seek out Tyg-Titter-Tut and Perlivash, the grigg and faerie dragon they met in the northern Narlmarches a year ago. Perlivash accompanies the party to Olegstaadt, curious to see the realm of the bigginsies.

29 to 30 Sarenith, 1 to 30 Erastus, 4714 AR

  • The Greenlords return to the task of ruling Zelenoy. Local Zelenovites are initially taken aback by the presence of the plant-druid of Erastil and Perlivash the faerie dragon, but the dissention is limited to rumour and hearsay and dissipates after a couple of weeks. The Greenlords expand their barony through the month of Erastus and begin drafting new laws and policies declaring solidarity and peace with the good fey of the Narlmarches, as witnessed by Perlivash.
  • Grand diplomat Singer Ironbound returns to Olegstaadt with an envoy from the east – Maegar Varn himself. The Greenlords treat the ranger and former mercenary as an honoured guest. Varn updates the Greenlords on the status of his own realm – a small but prosperous village called Varnhold – and offers Zelenoy a gift of a small roost of messenger pigeons. Varn explains that the birds can make the flight from Olegstaadt to Varnhold in less than half a day, and shows Kraig how to train and raise the birds. Maegar Varn indicates that the greatest struggle he has experienced has been brokering a peace agreement with the centaur tribes of the Nomen plains. He describes the Nomen centaur tribes as a stubborn, contentious bunch, very suspicious of outsiders encroaching on their territory. He admits that it doesn’t help when several of his own mercenaries believe the centaurs to be little more than animals.
  • Early in Erastus a man named Loy Rezbin, a former trapper, and his wife Latricia approach Councillor Svetlana with a request: they seek a royal charter to establish a settlement in the Narlmarches at the ford in the Skunk River where the party encountered the tatzlwyrms. Councillor Svetlana, Baroness Alys, and the ruling Greenlords grant the Lezbins their charter and wish them all the best in their endeavours.

Session 17 Treasure
Session 17 XP

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Rivers Run Red - Session 16

Month of Desnus, 4714 AR

  • The Greenlords confront their naysayer, a large, well-dressed orator calling himself Grigori, in the square outside of the Olegstaadt’s town hall. Grigori has a natural voice for oratory, and a sizeable crowd has gathered to hear him rile against Zelenoy’s “absentee” rulers, hear him blame recent werewolf and bandit attacks on the reckless actions of the so-called “Lords of the Green.” A heated debate between Grigori and the Greenlords ensues. The situation threatens to boil over into violence when Nisha casts a hold spell on Grigori. With some prodding the witch releases her spell, and an impassioned speech from Baroness Alys wins the gathered Zelenovites over in the Greenlords’ favour. Grigori retreats to Olegstaadt’s inn before making his way west in defeat.
  • The Greenlords spend the rest of Desnus and the first week of Sarenith ruling the barony: listening to the issues of the realm’s subjects; drafting and enacting new laws; and planning Zelenoy’s first major festival – a late spring celebration to mark the end of a northern winter and the birth of Zelenoy’s first new citizens.
  • Grand diplomat Singer Ironbound ventures east to make contact with Maegar Varn and, with any luck, establish good relations with the mercenary.

Moonday, 10 Sarenith to Wealday, 19 Sarenith, 4714 AR

  • The Greenlords head south to explore regions of the Greenbelt near the Stag Lord’s fort. While traveling through the southern extent of the realm – the various gold mining claims along the rich creek bed dubbed Red Rocks Creek – the Greenlords hear tell of an expedition of gnomes that went by a few weeks past. They also hear rumours of the ghosts of the Stag Lord and his minions haunting the old fort, and stranger tales still of an ancient hag living on the western shores of Tuskwater Lake. The miners call her the Old Beldame, and claim she devours children and makes pacts with devils.
  • The Greenlords do discover the dead at the Stag Lord’s fort – not ghosts, but a dozen or more zombies risen from the hillside surrounding the fort. The party destroys the zombies with little problem, but find no explanation as to why they were there or where they came from. The interior of the fort is little changed since they defeated the Stag Lord there nine months ago, although the owlbear does seem to have escaped in the meantime.
  • Heading west from the fort, the Lords of the Green stick to the northern banks of the Skunk River and venture back into the fey-touched Narlmarch Woods. There they discover the gnome explorers the miners talked about – recently ambushed by a gang of kobolds – Sootscale kobolds apparently. The Greenlords help the gnomes and manage to rescue their wagon and spooked ponies, and gain the respect of their leader, a wily fellow named Jubilost Narthropple. The two groups trade stories and maps. Jubilost and his team have had some success exploring the Narlmarches in this region and inform the Greenlords of several nearby sites – including a nixie pond to the west, a dryad grove beyond that, and an ancient ruin to the southwest. Several of the gnomes ward themselves at mention of the ruin; Jubilost indicates that the central tower of the ruin extended well above the trees and appeared to be elven in architecture. He agrees with his fellow gnomes that the place didn’t feel right somehow, and they didn’t care to venture any closer to the place.
  • Several days later, west of their meeting with the Narthropple expedition, the party comes across a group of loggers embroiled in a tense standoff with a resident nixie over a grove of coachwood trees near her pool. The loggers are led by a hard man name Corax, who led the group deep into the Narlmarches (and far from the relative civilization of Zelenoy) for just such perfect specimens of coachwoods. The nixie Melianse could care less for the logger’s industry, has charmed two of the men and appears ready to put up a fight to save the rest of her grove. The Greenlords try to convince Corax to find another area to log (Nisha recalls an excellent stand of coachwoods near the tatzlwyrm den ten miles or so upriver), but the crude logger has no patience for their suggestions. Things nearly escalate to violence until Corax realizes he has little chance against the well-armed Greenlords and the nixie. The logger curses the fey and leaves with his crew – Kraig and Variel take note of Corax in case he creates difficulty for them in the future. Melianse, meanwhile, is grateful for the party’s intervention, and says that she will maintain a vigilant watch over this region of the Narlmarches if the Greenlords would be so kind as to replace her felled trees. She believes that Tiressia the dryad has access to magic that might aid in this task, and says that Tiressia resides in a grove a dozen miles or so west.

Session 16 XP

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Rivers Run Red - Session 15

8-30 Gozran, 4714 AR

  • The Lords of the Green set out to finish mapping the northern Narlmarch Woods – entrusting the barony’s over the next several weeks to Councillor Svetlana Leveton and Grand Diplomat Singer Ironbound. The mild spring works in the group’s favour, and they make quick travel over the newly constructed road leading to the northeastern edge of the Narlmarches.
  • The Greenlords spend the month of Gozran in the Narlmarches. They discover a strange plant-based being in the shape of a female humanoid at the temple of Erastil. Conversation with the being reveal her, or it, to be some sort of spontaneous creation of Erastil’s. She has no name and appears somewhat suspicious of the party, but accomodating enough nonetheless.
  • Elsewhere in the Narlmarch Woods the party finds an eerie discovery – the body of a unicorn – apparently killed by death magic, its horn severed. The land around the unicorn is blighted and dead, redolent of fell and fey power. After fighting off a patrol of violent boggards – perhaps a patrol from the Hooktongue Slough swamps to the west – the party buries the unicorn and vacates the area.
  • Later on the Greenlords encounter a nest of three tatlwyrms – a type of primitive dragon – and succeed in retrieving a tatzlwyrm head trophy for Oleg back home. On their way back to Olegstaadt the party has a tense encounter with a lone boggard camped in a ruin in the Narlmarches. The boggard isn’t initially hostile, and the Greenlords decide to let the frog-man be for now.

Wealday, 30 Gozran, 4714 AR

  • Upon returning to Olegstaadt, the party gets back to the task of ruling Zelenoy. It doesn’t take long before Councillor Leveton informs the group that a certain malcontent named Grigori has been drumming up resistance to the Greenlords in their absence. Svetlana indicates that the vocal Grigori has been spewing diatribes against the party for a couple of weeks now, and that many settlers are listening to his lies.

Session 15 Treasure
Session 15 XP

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