For Honor and Glory

Session Three

With all of them mourning the loss of their two friends (Solon perhaps the worst because the blame could be laid squarely on him and his rash actions) the remaining companions bravely went forward to complete the mission instead of returning to Shadowdale in defeat.

They buried their slain companions and set out following the Tehyamar Trail once more.

As luck would have it, they encountered a battle sight where a large force of Zhentarim and Freedom Riders had battled. It seems the Zhents had won the day (with the help of a powerful wizard) although they suffered heavy losses. The companions came upon the carnage as the few remaining Zhentarim soldiers were going around executing those wounded and unconscious Freedom Riders that were still alive.

In a brief but bloody fight they killed all but three of the Zhentarim, who fled into the concealing undergrowth and escaped. Only two of the Freedom Riders survived, one Davarr Red Tiger and Arimarius.

Natham was very suspicious of the two despite the Freedom Rider tokens they carried, and vowed to keep a close eye on them. For a time tensions ran rather high as mistrust was apparent on both sides.

One other thing of note that was rescued was a small black cat with six legs and two tentacles sprouting from it’s shoulders. The strange beast could speak the Common tongue well enough, and seemed very greatful for being rescued. It seemed to be quite attached to Solon as he made the most effort to befriend it, but also seemed to like Kahlsala and Morikas since they both helped it escape the cage it was being held in and healed it of a spear wound it has received during the fighting.

With their two new companions and a strange beast, the group set out again after repairing one of the Zhent’s carts and loading it with all the weapons and gear they could salvage.

Not long after they were alarmed when a medium-sized dragon buzzed overhead and came back to land near the wagon. Snapfire the brass dragon had spotted their little group and wondered if they had anything interesting to trade and any stories to tell.

Snapfire traded them for a few arcane scrolls they had, and pointed to a village called Briarwood on their map that would be a good stopping point for rest and supplies. They also learned Snapfire sometimes helped the Freedom Riders against the Zhentarim, and could count him as an ally.

Several deadly encounters (and two days later) they at last located Briarwood and found a place they could rest in comfort and sell off some of the loot they had acquired in their journey from Shadowdale.

Kahlsala discovered a romantic interest in the local blacksmith (who also happened to be a tiefling) and the two seemed to hit it off very well (she ended up spending the night at his place instead of the local inn with everyone else).

Solon was going to search some local ruins for Snapfire who had said he lived there, and ran into the lovely Holly Huldane on the way. Holly is the local Sheriff of Briarwood, and the last heir to the Huldane family line that used to rule over Briarwood and the surrounding lands.

Holly was a skilled hunter and tracker as well, and Solon was smitten from the start. She seemed rather aloff and was more interested in their mission to find Randal Morn, as no one knew anything had happened to him.

She marked a safe trail through the area that would lead them to the Giant’s Craw (a landmark on the map that was supposed to be near the tomb they were looking for). Her trail would not only save them a day’s travel, but would avoid some of the traps she had set up around Briarwood to ward off Orc and Zhentarim patrols.

Natham made himself at home with the tavern’s two serving wenches for the evening, and the rest settled in for a good nights sleep in warm soft beds.

In the morning they would set off for Shraevyn’s Tomb and hopefully find Randal Morn and the Sword of the Dales.

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Session Two

Once in Shadowdale the PCs are able to enjoy some rest at good hospitality at the famed Old Skull Inn as a parting gift from Khevar Copperbottom. They learn quickly the owner of the inn, Jhaele Silvermane is a great hostess, and boasts an amazing cook in her kitchen.

Khevar paid them their wages, wished them the best of luck on their future endeavors, and caught a ride to Sembia on the next caravan heading out.

Natham Tithim discovered there was a reward of 500gp for the demise of Ghellis “The Clever” and his bandit group and worked to get the reward for himself. In the end he decided to share it with the others to avoid any anger toward him as he saw the opportunity for greater profit in sticking with them on future jobs.

They all mourned their fallen companion, and Maribell left to see about finding a way to get Corrick raised from the dead through the church of Lathander in Sembia (much to the relief of Kahlsala who didn’t like her anyway).

They spent a full day doing a search through Shadowdale of any future work, and came up with some interesting prospects to consider.

A dwarf by the name of Morikas Bladebright joined their group looking for adventure and work as well. He seemed the typical type of dwarf, loved to drink, was usually loud, and seemed delighted at the thought of battle.

They were gathered in the common room of the Old Skull when the scribe Lhaeo approached them with an offer of an important mission.

The objective was to rescue the current and only known heir to the Daggerdale throne, Randal Morn; who had apparently went after a powerful weapon called the Sword of the Dales. According to the single man who made it back from Randal’s expedition group, the sword was located in the hidden tomb of a long dead mage-lord named Shraevyn.

Randal and his men retrieved the sword after a deadly fight with undead, and were then jumped by a Zhentarim mage patrol. The dalesmen beat defeated the Zhentarim, but something else happened. Randal was struck and paralyzed by some strange green ray, and more undead attacked the group.

The survivor fled and came to Shadowdale for help. He is positive Randal was still alive when he left the tomb. However, the Zhentarim that attacked them knew of their mission to recover the sword. More may follow, and Randal must be rescued before he can fall into Zhentarim hands.

A dangerous but noble job, the group accepted right away (Solon had his own motives besides money as he suspected Randal Morn might be his true father).

Gathering their supplies the group headed out the next day.

They soon discovered that Shadowdale is both a land of beauty and danger. Their first stop on the road was at a magical shrine to Torm and several nature deities. They were able to befriend the Treant that guarded the place by taking care of an annoying ant problem. In return, they were allowed to shelter at the shrine under the Treant’s protection and were given the blessing of Silvanus in the form of goodberries the Treant created for them.

Moving away from the road and cutting cross-country to save them some time they ran into a paladin of Torm named Mestine Durmark. Her band of eight ‘Freedom Riders’ had been attacked by two slicer beetles, and casualties were pretty high.

Bravely charging in to help, the group was able to put the last beetle down and save Mestine and the remainder of her men.

They learned she and her men worked for Randal Morn, and were on their way to Shadowdale to get volunteers in fighting the Zhentarim when they were attacked. Thanks to the timely arrival of the PCs, she will be able to complete her mission. She was not aware that anything bad had happened to Randal, but did promise to aid the PCs if she could when her group returned to Daggerdale.

On the rugged Tethyamar Trail heading north into Daggerdale they ran afoul of a clever kobold ambush. Normally kobolds are cowardly creatures that pose little threat unless they are in large numbers or an unwary traveler stumbles into one of their traps.

However this kobold tribe is led by a clever and advanced kobold named Togg.

Togg offered the party a chance to surrender and simply pay the toll to continue on, but an insult to his beloved dog caused Solon to attack, resulting in a bitter combat that caused the deaths of both Iram Kalim and Vic’Ira Autumn Ender (ironically Solon’s dog was also brutally killed by the kobolds in the fight).

Togg suffered the loss of most of his kobold troops, but was able to get away with Vic’Ira’s magical sword and gold (which was way more than the cost of the toll to begin with).

Now the party is faced with some tough decisions. As darkness is starting to fall around them, and daylight is fleeing from the adancing shadows of dusk, they must either make camp on the trail or press on and risk further dangers in the dark.

And what of the mission to rescue Randal Morn?

With two of their own slain, their chances for success are greatly decreased. But they cannot turn back, further delay might mean the Zhentarim getting their hands on Randal, and once that happens the resistance against the evil Black Network will crumble in Daggerdale and the Zhentarim will finally obtain complete control of the region, allowing them to set their sights on both Shadowdale and Tilverton.

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Session One
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The trip started off grandly enough with the PCs meeting for the first time at the Eastwatch Inn outside the walled city of Arabel. Khevar Copperbottom spared no expense on drink and food and wished them to get to know one another better before their trek began.

Solon found out his skills with animals would come in very handy as Khevar had several expensive hunting falcons that needed to be maintained and kept up on their training. It meant more money in his pocket for the journey, and he got to do something he enjoyed.

With Bardel singing great songs of adventure and valor the evening passed very well for the most part. Nathan Tithim seemed to have an issue with fleas in his bed, but he attempted to hide his discomfort from his companions. (Little did he realize insulting the patron deity Tymora, Goddess of Luck, and the patron deity of Arabel itself would come back to haunt him that very night. It is not prudent to blaspheme around devout worshipers, and sometime keeping your mouth shut is the best course of action).

The 5 1/2 day journey north by oxen drawn wagons was slow and very boring. The companions got to know each other better and freely mingled with the other hired guards. Bardel and the tiefling Kahlsala seemed to hit it off very well, and the rest of the group had to deal with some flirtation between the two.

On their second evening they made camp with several other wagon caravans and got involved in some friendly wrestling matches.

Well…friendly until Vic’Ira challenged another guard from a different caravan to a boxing match. The guard turned out to be a drunk barbarian who beat him within an inch of his life and Corrick had to work his healing arts to bring the elf back around.

Upset about the vagrant lack of honor during a simple boxing match (the barbarian was out to kill him from the start it seemed) he was wise enough to let the matter drop.

Arriving in Tilverton without any real problems seemed like a blessing. Even Khevar was pleased they made it though the eastern end of the StoneLands without incident and continued to believe Lady Luck was smiling on them.

He allowed the PCs to take a rest and ordered them to return to the warehouse within four hours to relive the other caravan guards.

The Scarlet Lady tavern seemed like a good place to wet their thirst and maybe look for a little entertainment. Unfortunately they got much more than they bargained for.

Corrick, their handsome cleric of Lathander, caught the eye of a prostitute named Maribell on the way into the tavern. Ever the gentelman, Corrick politely refused her offer of companionship, but gave her some coin anyway.

A considerable amount of coin actually. Which caught the attention of all the other prostitutes and their pimp Rusty.

Ever a greedy soul, Rusty attempted to extort money from the cleric and actually succeeded. However he could not leave well enough alone when he realized his best prostitute seemed to have a genuine liking for the young man.

Things got serious! Blades were drawn, bodies hit the dirt, and Rusty and his goons died violently in the street.

Things got even more complicated when Jessip Genny (the local Sheriff) showed up with a great many heavily armed guards and took them into custody until the matter could be ‘sorted out’. Which meant nothing more than he was able to extort Khevar Copperbottom into paying a good sum of money to get them out of jail, and get them to leave Tilverton that very day.

Not happy at all about the situation (and about now having to employ a prostitute out of pitty for her) but having managed to attain the extra goods he wanted for shipment to Shadowdale, he packed his caravan and headed out of town before the Rogues of Tilverton came looking for payback against his group for killing some of their members.

On the road north they ran into a large group of organized bandits led by a violent half-orc named Krulgen. Krulgen seemed to know Bardel, and the PCs put together that their friendly Bardel was none other than Ghellis ‘The Clever’, a bandit leader that was responsible for robbing several caravans on the road (albiet without any deaths or serious injuries to those merchants or their men).

After a vicious and intese fight that saw all of the bandits die along with Krulgen, the PCs took some time to deal with their dead before getting back to their journey.

Among the fallen was Corrick, their brave cleric who battled to the last to keep as many alive as he could before being cut down by the half-orc. Everyone in the caravan owed their lives to their loyal companion, both for his bravery, and the powerful healing magic he commanded.

During the mourning of their friend, Bardel (aka Ghellis) slipped away without a sound before they could confront him.

Bitter, bloody, and now more determined than ever to reach Shadowdale they pressed on.

And at last, 10 1/2 days since they left Arabel, the group rolled into Shadowdale with the last days light fading around them.

All were eager to get their wages which they had earned with their own sweat and blood, and to finally be able to get a bath and sleep in a comfortable bed after over ten days of being on the road.

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