Silver Dawn

Trials and Tribulations

The party, weary from shiprecks and riddles, arrived in Brightgrove and spent an evening gathering information and resting weary bones. Several events of interest occured in the town, including:

A visit to the local apothecary, Simon Salzman. Salzman lamented that Frostleaf was in short supply, but offered to part with what little he had for 750 gold. The party agreed, and purchased his supply. The plant grows beyond the Glaciercrown Mountains to the north, he informed the group, and he would pay the adventurers handsomely should they find a way to refill his supply.

The party spent the night attempting to gather information about the mysterious silver medallion, to no avail. The next morning, however, they were approached by a woman named Fay, who identified the runes etched into the ornate jewelry as Draconic in nature. As a mere inquisitive commoner, she insisted that she could offer no translation, but noted that a blue dragon is rumored to dwell in the mountains to the north.

Arriving at the local church of Pelor, seeking guidance and spiritual enlightenment, Rethbane instead encountered a wizened and battle-scarred Paladin who introduced himself as Gardius Lichslayer. Gardius claimed to have been a servant of Vjolner the Divine before Vjolner’s unfortunate descent into madness and depravity. The all-around badass looking Paladin offered Rethbane an interesting quest: the favor of his God could be gained through the overcoming of several trials in a nearby ruined temple. Rethbane considered his words carefully, before gathering his friends and heading to the area Gardius has indicated.

The Temple of Three Trials, as the ruins were called, opened readily to the bearer of the symbol of Pelor. Descending an ancient worn staircase, the group came upon the first trial: simple puzzle written in celestial. The party had no difficulty deciphering the poem written in the room, and magically extinguished an everliving flame to continue.

The second trial proved much more difficult; a particularly devilish logic puzzle. Though they debated the answer intesnely for many minutes, the adventuring team could not decide upon an acceptable solution to the riddle and decided to take their chances. Their first guess resulted in the group being blasted with a holy light, but the second proved to be correct.

The third trial was more straightforward and something to which the group had become quite accustomed: mortal combat with some big-ass monsters.

When all three trials had been overcome, Rethbane found himself blessed with Pelor’s favor: he had been given a divine Polar Bear to accompany him on the field of battle. Rethbane named the bear Haldir.

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Lost At Sea

A few gold pieces and one Rusty Nail later, and the party was ready to head north. Because of their heroic and selfless actions at the Gilded Sentinel, Wilgold informed the group, a local merchant lord by the name of Darryl Belgretor offered them a free ride aboard his vessel, the Horizon’s Trident. Thankful for his generosity, the party boarded the ship and waved goodbye to the continent of Meridia, their home for at least the last several weeks.

With a few days to kick back and relax during the trip, the party spent some time socializing and resting as was appropriate for each of them. Although most of the crew was content to simply perform their duties in silence, two individuals in particular made an impression, Captain James Crow and the ship’s cook, Alinys Steelmantle.

Captain Crow was a jovial one-eyed man who treated his crew with respect. When asked, he told the group how he had lost his eye doing battle with a naga when he was only a deckhand. He explained that his Captain at the time had done most of the real fighting, and that Crow just sort of wound up in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Alinys, a portly female dwarf, quickly grew fond of the Cleric. Her brother, she explained, had studied with Macail on Copper Island, when he had been traveling the world searching for his purpose. She had grown up on Jade island, located in the same small archipelago.

Tragically, the peace was not to last. On the second night of their journey, the ship was ambushed by a horde of undead. Although the divine radiance of the Paladin and Cleric made quick work of the lesser skeletons, their leader, a hideous Bonedrinker, proved more challenging. Although the undead were ultimately destroyed, it proved too little too late. The crew of the Trident, including Captain Crow and Alinys, were all slain.

Despite their lack of seafaring knowledge, the party quickly devised a means of guiding and steering the ship. Macail, the most knowledgeable of the adventurers about sea-based travel, took the helm while Larentia had her familiar fly high above and scout the surrounding area. This tactic proved highly successful, and the group made landfall very close to their ultimate destination. It was only the onset of a sudden storm that prevented them from guiding the ship all the way to Brightgrove.

With the ship damaged on the rocks, the party decided to travel through the Glittering forest they found themselves in. They made good time aided by the navigational skills of the Ranger, and were sidetracked only once. An undead Sphinx named Ujaset tested the party with a riddle before charging them to avenge his untimely death. When the minotaur zombie who had slain Ujaset was himself put the rest, the ghost was able to rest. Before fading away completely, he left the party with a second riddle, which they also solved successfully.

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Light's Out

The party, having passed a (mostly) restful night aboard Ordral’s wagon, soon arrived at Mildion. Parting ways with their dwarven companion, the heroes quickly set about exploring the new location. Merchants! Quests! Booze!

Eventually, the group realized that their trek northward would require the chartering of a ship, and headed toward the docks. It was there they met a striking half elf by the name of Wilgold. Unfortunately, explained Wilgold, no ships would be leaving port any time in the near future. The owners of the ships – local and foreign merchant lords – were not willing to risk the safety of their vessels while a nearby lighthouse remained unlit. It was thus decided that the adventuring troupe would head to the Gilded Sentinel, the not-so-aptly named nearby lighthouse, to investigate.

Near the Sentinel, the party came across the wreckage of several ships. Even more ominous was the realization that all of the cargo from the ships had been scavenged, indicating that the Sentinel’s strange darkness may not have been an accident after all.

A quick lock-pick later, the party found themselves inside the stone-hewn tower. An obviously well-worn structure, the Gilded Sentinel was dilapidated and generally falling apart. Above and beyond even that, recent signs of conflict were apparent, including scratch and drag marks on the floor. The keen eyes of the party’s resident elf quickly spotted the culprit – a strange worm-creature, of which the party made quick work.

Ascending the tower, the party came across what seemed to be an empty room. They had not been there long when a hideous green-skinned woman struck them from out of nowhere. Attempting to fight the party with subversive and duplicitous tactics proved fruitless for the hag, as the Sorceress, thinking quickly, activated a scroll of See Invisibility. The hag was forced to flee out of the window of her lair and away from the party’s keen vision and even keener blades.

The next floor of the tower provided the party only with mystery: a strange blue-furred quadruped had taken up residence in the remains of the tower’s library. Showing no obvious signs of hostility, the “dog” instead made a few attempts at communication before following the party around, making them all… nervous, to say the least.

Ascending to the top of the Sentinel, and into the salty sea air, the party came across their final encounter. An unexpected attack by a vicious Harpoon Spider was made all the more dangerous by the reappearance of the Hag. Trying to trick the party by shifting into the form of a small child proved a pointless tactic; the Paladin’s Detect Evil ability left no doubt about the “child’s” true nature. During the fight, the blue-furred creature spent its time teleporting around, talking to the Hag, and making a nuisance of itself. It escaped before the party could divine its true intentions.

With the monsters defeated and the Sentinel re-lit, the adventurers returned to Mildion for a well-deserved rest.

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Tombs and Travel

With the trade festival drawing to a close, and Macail’s god-mandated debauchery winding down as well, the adventuring team turned their attention northward. Conveniently, a recent friend happened to be heading back to his home town, and wondered if the adventuring team would care to accompany him. Though he could offer no financial reward for their help escorting him safely home, Ordral offered great company and the promise of adventure, two commodities for which the group was happy to exchange their services.

The small port town of Mildon, explained Ordral, lay on the other side of the Daggerspine Mountains, and would prove a long, if somewhat uninteresting journey. Ordral seemed nonplussed when the group encountered a recent cave-in in the Daggerspine Underpass, though the group seemed frustrated by the delay; Rethbane and Larentia in particular seemed excited to be heading north. Ordral, a master of the finer points of clearing cave-ins, offered the group some sport while they wait: a nearby hidden tomb, constructed by dwarves many years ago. Though Ordral himself had been unable to excavate the tomb, he had no doubt that the adventuring group, clever and strong as they were, would make short work of the ancient puzzles within.

Inside the tomb, the group found an array of aged mechanisms designed with the clear purpose of preventing individuals from reaching the innermost sanctum. Though the dungeon was old and had clearly been abandoned by intelligent life many years prior, the group was impressed to find the dwarven mechanisms still working flawlessly. Magic, perhaps, or dwarven ingenuity. Maybe a little bit of both.

In several spots, the group was forced to split up in order to advance further within the tomb. At one point, the part was even forced to divide into three – at which point each group was made to face their own individual challenges. While Jalenia made friends with a Wight, Rethbane and Larentia demonlished a rogue bookcase and Macail and Aeofe took care of an Allip (with a little assistance from Rethbane). Worn but not defeated, the group pressed further into the tomb.

It was in the final chamber that the group encountered the greatest challenge they had yet faced. In the high-vaulted final burial chamber, dark and deep beneath the Daggerspine Mountains, the group fought and defeated a Tendriculous, an enormous creature of vines and thorns. Though they were nearly defeated in the process, Aoife – who, through a combination of roguish skill and luck remained utterly unharmed – ultimately dealt the killing blow that ensured the group’s success.

Collecting their spoils and hobbling back out of the tomb, the group found a very concerned Ordral. Because they had been gone for so long, and because he had been unable to follow, Ordral organized a quick search and rescue party and attempted to head back in search of his doomed friends. Elated to see them all in one piece, Ordral made sure the group was healed up and in high spirits for the rest of the trip.

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A murder in our midst

Awakening to a beautiful (snow free!) day, the adventuring party stretched their aching muscles and prepared themselves for a nice, relaxing trade festival.

Unfortunately, a peaceful and relaxing day was not to be. A prominent figure in the local community – and an important man of the divine – had been slain ruthlessly while the heroes were sleeping. A collection of green hand documents – including various communications between group members and financial documents – had been stolen from the Temple of Pelor. The murderer, doubtless sympathetic to the Hand’s motives, had left several key pieces of evidence at the scene of the crime: a scrap of deep red cloth, and a small amount of an unidentified poison.

Taking advantage of the foreign traders occupying the town, the group was able to determine that the cloth was well woven and dyed with a rare type of crimson ink. The poison, revealed the apothecary, was created from the natural paralyzing emissions of ghouls.

Using this information, the adventuring party determined that the culprit must have been one of Middlehaven’s social elite. Only an upper-class individual would have access to the resources necessary to pull of the deed.

Making their way to the as yet unexplored Nobles’ district of town, the party was ambushed by assassins. When slain, a document upon one of the would-be assassins’ corpses revealed that they had been hired by one Sir Morgan to silence any investigators of Father Bartholomew’s murder.

Recruiting their old friend Treld’s reluctant assistance, the adventuring troupe entered Sir Morgan’s manor to hunt down the felon. Though it came as no surprise to Aoefe, who was quick to pass judgment on those with coin, Rethbane was troubled by the depth of evil that he sensed within the nobles’ district. It seemed as though all was not well with Middlehaven’s aristocracy.

Making short work of Sir Morgan, his servants, staff, associates and immediate family, the group recovered the Green Hand documents and reveled in the vengeance they had wrought. The documents were given to a local guard, who expressed his undying gratitude to the group for bringing justice when the town’s guardsmen were unable to.

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Bandits in the hills

The adventuring troupe recently decided to take a few steps off of the beaten trail (quite literally) to engage in that oh-so-noble pursuit of loot. I mean knowledge!

After patiently listening to Middlehaven’s two oddities collectors vie for the party’s favor, the group set out toward the Daggerspine Mountain range to the north-east to locate a wagon and an aged scroll. Skirting around the familiar Featherpetal Forest, the party made good time reaching the mountains and quickly set about their business.

After briefly trying to set fire to things, the party came upon the aforementioned wagon, harness-less and mired. The wagon’s owned, a dwarf by the name of Ordral, begged the group for their assistance: would they be so kind as to locate the Ox harness which had been stolen from him some time ago?

Making rather short work of the bandits in the area, the party located the harness and safely escorted Ordral out of Daggerspine with little incident. In his gratitude, the dwarf not only gave the party the rare scroll free of charge, but offered them their selection of magical rings as well.

Returning to Middlehaven, the party entrusted the Scroll to a local scribe, hoping to have an accurate copy fabricated. Retiring to their room at the inn, they cannot help but wonder: what does the town’s impending trade festival have in store for them?

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Frosty's Tower
An insane wizard and his snow-golems

Upon their return to Middlehaven, the adventuring party was surprised to see snow on the ground. With the gates shut and no guards to be found, the party was momentarily at a loss. Before long, however, they were approached by a local girl.

She informed the troupe that a nearby wizard named Frosty was wreaking havoc upon Middlehaven with his seemingly endless supply of constructed snow-golems. Although the town’s guards had stormed Frosty’s tower, their initial onslaught was met with resistance and the guards were now stuck in a stalemate with the crazy spell-caster. Wouldn’t the heroes go and help?

Frosty’s tower, though filled with bizarre traps and obstacles, proved little challenge for the team. They hurriedly ascended to the top of the tower, where they found the villain himself, wrapped in sky-blue robes and in the process of dumping more snow upon the surrounding countryside.

The battle proceeded quickly, Frosty’s flimsy robes providing scant protection from the heroes’ weaponry. Although Frosty did manage to immobilize the party at once point, the group was saved by the arrival of Antas, an exceptionally short and vivacious elf, wearing robes of pure crimson.

With their work complete, each member of the group was given a special gift by Antas, who felt that their hard work throughout the year deserved a reward.

Rewards:

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