Delving into the Past

The Journey Away from Home

To: Grey, the Druid, Fangtooth Forrest
c/o Druid Olmira Treesong, Kassen

Dear Mom and Dad,

I trust you and the cubs are doing well. They must be starting to be weaned by now. I do miss watching them grow up this year. Oh, before I forget again, about 3 weeks ago, during our journey to that forsakened crypt, about one day south of Kassen, we encountered a pack of wolves that appeared to be having difficulty with their hunting. They looked like they were malnourished and starving. Perhaps you should check out the area and see if there’s something going on.

Anyways, it’s been about two weeks since I last wrote. At the time, we had just (barely) defeated a hive of giant bees which was plaguing the village of Hut. Since then, we’ve been mostly travelling. First, on foot, back to Kassen, then ON A BOAT!!! And, at this moment, I am actually in a genuine CITY!!! We arrived in Tamran late last night. You can see the lights from the city from miles away. I suppose such a large settlement does not need to make allowances not to call attention to itself at night.

The journey itself was modestly interesting. Before leaving Hut, the group decided to check out the tracks which led away from the hive of the giant bees, as there were indications that some creatures were aiding the bees. Gorehound, our gnome druid, identified these as belonging to spriggins, some form of fey distantly related to his own race. We managed to follow the trail back to a cave, where the spriggins had set up a small honey processing operation. They appeared to have a strong prejudice against gnomes, and attacked us on sight. (Truth be told, we were trying to sneak up on them.) In any case, after a close battle where both the druid and his lion were incapacitated by the spriggins’ focused attacks, we were able to defeat our foes.

The group then made our way to Kassen. My new bow was ready for me. Yeah! Let me tell you, Dad, this is the coolest thing. It doubles the range of the sling, allows for speedier firing, and, I am able to use my strength to add to the damage. It turns out, I soon had an opportunity to put it to use. We boarded a boat for our trip to Tamran. The captain warned us that we may encounter “lake pirates.” I gather from the conversation that these are basically bandits who attack merchant ships. Well, within sight of the city, we were attacked by one such boat. It turns out, our captain and crew were not inclined to fight off such bandits. Fortunately, their passengers (that’s us!) were. The range attacks came out, and it turned out to be one of the easiest confrontations we’ve had to date. I do not believe the pirates landed a single blow on any of our group when the entire lot of them was disposed of. In any case, we now have a reputation among the sailing class of Tamran.

So, that catches you up to date. Our next step is to follow up on the leads which brought us to this city. I’ll try to write again when I have a chance. Until, then, be well.

Love,
Chok, Son of Grey

P.S. – Have either of you heard of harvesting the body parts of humans? I know that some animal parts are used for medicines and other crafts, but I have not heard of human body parts as being useful for such. Perhaps, it’s an activity specific to gnomes?

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Bee Trouble in Hut

From the diary of Sir Ambrose Tubertoes, Ogre and Bee-Slayer of Hut:

Thanks to my goddess and the luck she has bestowed, I have been taken back to Hut where I may once again prove myself as both a warrior and chosen of Desna. Our mission was to destroy the newly-created honey hive and retrieve the sheriff’s body from the gorge.

While Gorehound used his druidic prowess to sample the honey for clues, Wolfrid went in with a smokestick creating chaos within the hive. The wise mage, Blackthorne, predicting a tough battle, enlarged Chok, who easily slayed at least a hundred bees. He is clearly a master of his weapon and a worthy companion in battle. Wolfrid, striking from the smoke like a butterfly from the morning mist, slayed another hundred. When the situation looked dire for a bee-surrounded Gorehound, Blackthorne valiantly protected him with his illusory wasp. Beneath that wizard’s rough exterior lies the soul of a hero. His monkey comments are surely made in jest. Slaying several bees, I made a challenge to the queen that went unanswered, but her cowardice spoke volumes. Bees continued flooding the corridor, but we pressed on.

After awhile, things started to look grim. I recently discovered Gorehound had an aversion to all things sticky which limited his druidic abilities. Blackthorne, usually found at the back of the battle was forced to retreat even further after being swarmed by bees. Luckily for him, Desna intervened, causing the bees to confusingly attack each other.

While Gorehound and Blackthorne concentrated on the swarms, Chok, Wolfrid, Henry, and I kept pressure on the queen. Chok took a majority of the damage, but managed to persevere. Unfortunately, after drinking one of our healing potions, he collapsed. I am now questioning my own potion’s ability. The bee swarms made for us once more, but a grease spell cast by the inimitable Blackthorn ensured they were once more immobilized. After being healed by Gorehound, the lion, Henry, managed to get revenge on the Queen Bee, striking the killing blow.

Aeolus and I escaped relatively unscathed, surely protected by Desna’s luck.

After a long discussion with a native bird (Gorehound’s ability continues to amaze me. I must ask him to converse with Aeolus sometime), the avian eyewitness revealed that gnomes or something gnome-like were behind this sticky situation! I bee-hooved others to pray to Desna for guidance. Gorehound bee-lieves gnomes could bee bee-hind this bee-havior. Haha- oh Desna, thank you for that bee-lessing.

Interesting sidenote: Local elder and old maid, Agnes Spriggens, told us that Dondrik Banderoff, a fugitive from the past, bears an uncanny resemblance to our own Wolfrid Stark. A mysterious coincidence indeed. I’m sure Desna will sort it all out.

Ultimately, I have endeared myself to the people of Hut and they have most clearly welcomed me as a resident, friend, and most importantly, hero.

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The Bees' Knees

As recounted from the personal Journal of Blackthorn (posthumous)

—Cleared tomb of Kassan. Reunited useless Kassanfolk (Cobbler, Cobbler’s sister).
—Put Gnome in a bag of holding for safe keeping
—Returned to ‘village’ of Kassan to Celebratory Feast of the unwashed masses.
—Found out that half-orc sidekick may be a product of an unholy union between 2 furries dressed as skunk and honey-badger. Hippies…to each their own…
—Took advantage of typically-drunken Holgast to attempt recovery of items (including Book of Joy) from secret tower library.
—Sadly, normally competent sidekick Wolfrid challenged by simple magic lock. It’s so hard to find good help these days…
—To the shock of all, sidekick Ambrose is in fact credited with killing an Ogre, albeit by dropping a +3 house on it. However, unfortunate meteor-to-the-head incident has rendered the halfling slightly more useful than a monkey riding a dog.
—Paid visit to something called ‘Hut’ from which Ambrose was exiled post Ogre-killing.
—Met useless sheriff and milksop husband.
—Blackthorn promised a Magic Ring to rid village of giant killer bees. Blackthorn ordered sidekicks to join him in eradicating bee menace.
—Cleared winery of giant bees, received wine in return.
—Began campaign to remove rest of bees from covered bridge…as bees are natural, Blackthorn has maganimously decided to remove Gnomish Druid from bag of holding…

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Frogs and a Vengeful Spirit
Game 4

The heroes wrapped up the lower level of the crypt. They talked to some frogs and convinced them to look for food elsewhere. Several putrid zombies exploded all over them. And they had the final showdown with skeleton champion that was once Asar, bandit leader and bane of Kassen.

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