Friday, November 18, 2005


"A-huntin' we will go."

The king summoned the trio back to his hall. Two missions were laid before them. One was to join Beorne and return to Khaan, spying on the Shadow Crow's recent activities. The second mission was to accompany the elven seer, Iaarya to the first two villages the Shadow Crow pillaged where she would read the area for clues while they searched through more mundane means. Upon consideration, they decided a change of scenery was in order and chose to accompany the seer, who's name Anglend had endless trouble pronouncing.

At the last moment, the king drew Alexi aside and gave him a special mission, telling the others only that he would be back with them soon and that they should proceed until then. Gathered in the courtyard, Anglend, Virlana, the seer Iaarya and her two servants, Craya the ranger and Flora the priestess joined Beorne and his select group of warriors. Master Calahan opened a gate and all stepped through, appearing some miles southeast of Khaan.

They remained together for two days of travel. The hour before they were to split ways at a crossroad, Virlana spied a large group of tracks traveling south. Careful study, and the seer's powers, revealed that a large contingent of redcaps and strange shadowy fiends numbering almost two hundred strong passed no more than four days ago. Iaarya spoke of a fiendish ogre with leathery wings leading them.

Examination of her vision, and the right questions revealed that the ogre was indeed a lieutenant of the Shadow Crow, revealed by the pendent he wore around his neck. Master Calahan used a crystal ball to speak with the King, telling him of the news and asking what should be done. The King thanked him but recommended that each group continue with its previous goals, sending Master Calahan to warn the towns to the south.

In the morning, Beorne's group headed north while the seer's group moved northwest toward the first of the two farming villages.

Another several nights brought them close enough to the village and Virlana was urged to scout it out in her newly learned bird form. She saw only evidence of old death and destruction. Returning to the group she and the others moved into the village. It seemed that the Shadow Crow had saved his destruction for the people and homes, largely sparing the livestock and fields. Cattle roamed unfenced and fields lay fallow but undamaged.

Making their way to the middle of the small village, Anglend set about repairing a corner of the tavern in which to camp, clearing out the dead and shoring up the roof and walls. The only stone structure to have been totally destroyed was the temple of light. Anglend suggested that as further evidence that the Shadow Crow was allied with the God of Darkness.

Craya's bear and Virlana's cat, Avendi, were sent to patrol the village perimeter. Meanwhile Virlana set about attempting to befriend some of the stray dogs that wandered the village. After gaining one's trust, she used magic to speak with it. It told her that the attackers were indeed the same shadowy demons that Iaarya had witnessed in her vision. It also spoke of a flying skeleton that haunted the ruins by night and made deadly screams in the darkness.

Flora spoke up, suggesting that the undead creature might be a Soul shrieker. She seemed confident that the group could handle one such creature. Anglend and Virlana shared a look and were thankful that the King had improved their weapons. As evening set in Anglend prepared their defenses and they ate an early supper of rations.

Will the undead be defeated as easily as the elven priestess claims? What will Iaarya see when she seeks out her visions? Will Alexi show up in time watch us all run from the beastie? Will they all get fleas from the mangy stray dog that won't leave the druid's side now? All this and more answered next time.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Wood, Steel and Shadow
The Dargossian adventures of the the mercenary trio

SESSION THREE. "Honor Among Enemies?"

Having watched the rest of the battle that evening from their safe position in the woods, the three adventurers witnessed the circle closing on Beorne and the defenders. The last they saw was the dwarves taking to the tunnels beneath the city before moving back along the enemy's trail and making camp in a hidden patch of forest and awaiting the dawn.

In the morning, after speculating on the fate of the miners and villagers they decided to investigate a little further. They thought it possible that the tunnels beneath the village would head towards the mines. Stowing their gear and setting a careful march they headed towards the mines.

Coming close near midday, they spied movement near the entrance and sneaked closer to observe. More foul redcaps manned the small guard towers of the mine. Villagers seemed to be working under their watchful eye. A wagon came up the road (presumably from town) and dropped off a shift change before taking the ore back down.

The trio discussed the possibility of attacking the wagon but instead decided to explore the mine. To do this, they needed to get in. Anglend spoke of air shafts and suggested they look for one that they could climb down. Moving over the mine they scoured the top until they found one. Setting to with ropes and gear they descended into the shaft.

The shaft terminated in a large chamber with several tunnels. Redcap guards patrolled the area and they witnessed Rot Reavers, the dreaded 'Lickers' of the night's previous attack, also moving up and down the passages. In addition to these creatures were more workers, apparently unmolested by the goblins or reavers and going about their work. It was decided to have a talk with one of these workers and find out what in hells was going on.

Descending carefully to the floor of the chamber the three adventurers disguised themselves as miners (most difficult for Virlana) and moved down a tunnel after a lone worker. Accosting the man, they learned that his name was Jacob and he told them of the deal that had been struck with the conquerors.

The leader of the attackers was a man named Shadow Crow. This was indeed Rhayfe, the man Alexi knew as a boy. His Lieutenant was a man named Malkior and Malkior had given the villagers an ultimatum. All those who wished to continue living in the village had only to continue with their work. The Shadow Crow would now rule but life would change very little.

Those who wished to leave, would be allowed to do so. Beorne and his daughter were among those who had decided to leave and were supposed to be gathered in the field outside of town come nightfall. Jacob was charged to stay and keep an eye on the village. He told them that Beorne had things in place. Should the Shadow Crow prove deceitful, they would collapse the mines and ruin the village.

All three of the adventurers had great trouble believing the Shadow Crow would simply let his enemies walk away. They suspected the field was to be used as some sort of mass grave. After more deliberation they decided to investigate a little further.

The next stop was the village itself, and to get there before dusk they had to hurry. Once there, Alexi and Virlana waited nearby while Anglend attempted to enter. He played like a worker and walked in, helping with the repairs and whatnot. Eventually he made his way to Beorne, who was being kept separate in the Untapped Keg with his men.

Beorne told him that he too doubted the Shadow Crow, but his magical detections all pointed to the warlord being honest. He gave Anglend a bundle of messages, to be delivered should he be killed. The first was to Calahan the Wizard, in his tower nearby. After visiting briefly with Helga, Anglend returned his companions and told them all that he had discovered.

Once more they set off, this time to Calahan's tower. When they got there they found nothing but ash and rubble - and a aged man who turned out to be the Wizard himself. The Shadow Crow's strange trio of magic users had done battle with Calahan and destroyed his tower. The man was looking for a ring that would allow him the use of some of his magic. With his tower had gone his spellbooks.

After the group helped him find his ring, they hurried back towards the town through a magic portal and were in time to see Beorne and all those who wished to leave being gathered on the field. The other villagers had gathered as well and the three wizards opened a gate. On the other side was a moonlit field. Malkior walked through it to show its harmlessness. With Calahan's aid the companions likewise teleported to the other side and checked it out. By all accounts it really was a simple field.

After checking it out himself, Beorne led his contingent through and the gate was closed. Together with a large group of surprised at not being dead warriors, they stood in a field three days walk from the capitol. Calahan attempted to teleport back and found that some sort of barrier had been placed around the village. He instead went to his tower and from there to the village, reporting back that no crimes were being committed on the populace in their Beorne's absence.

By all outward appearances, the Shadow Crow had remained true to his word.

After traveling to the capitol they were led to an audience with the King. Beorne, with the aid of the companions, explained what had happened. The King told them what he knew of the Shadow Crow, which was very little except that he wasn't always so kind and had left no one alive in the other two villages he sacked. Alexi told him about Rhayfe and suggested they look to the Shadow Crow's past to discover his intentions.

Indebted to the the three adventurers for helping, the King offered gifts. Anglend's axe was enchanted, Virlana's scimitar was likewise honed and Alexi took his own reward (though he was hesitant to reveal its nature). The three offered to take service with the King and help delve into the mystery of Rhayfe Shadow Crow. After a night of carousing and shopping, they are prepared to set out once more on the road to adventure.

Where will our companions head now? The west coast seems to be where their query began his attacks. Why did the Shadow Crow change his mode of operation? What are his goals anyway? All this and more, next time.

Monday, October 24, 2005


Wood, Steel and Shadow
The Dargossian adventures of the the mercenary trio

SESSION TWO. "Reapers, Lickers and an Old Friend at the Door."
Making their way to the field on the western edge of town, Beorn, the trio and a group of militiamen hurriedly worked to prepare the first of the town's defenses. A long line of ten foot, dwarven built, log walls were hoisted up and propped into place. Log supports were inserted in notches and a wide, sturdy, fighting platform lined the walls.

Javelins and crossbows were made ready as Virlana called out the identity of the attackers. A large group of humans came behind a smaller, but far scarier group of redcaps and strange, apelike beasts. The redcaps wielded wicked, two handed scythes and the beast had what looked to be long, forked tongues wrapped about their arms and carried two axes a piece.

Seeing that their attacker's appearance was having somewhat of a demoralizing effect on the militia, Virlana called on the grasses and roots to entangle and halt their enemy's advance. Coming as somewhat of a surprise to the adventurers, Beorn followed her example and cast his own entangling spell.

As they took shots with bow, crossbow and javelin, Alexi looked to Anglend and questioned what exactly they were doing, to which Anglend replied, "Hopefully proving our worth to a potential employer. If things go bad we can always retreat." At this he turned to Beorn and yelled, "We will follow you Beorn! Just don't think to leave us as a rearguard!"

The entangling grasses turned out only to slow the enemy advance. The redcaps hewed through the growth with their scythes and agility while the apelike creatures muscled their way through. Coming to walls injured, the big creatures climbed them easily while the redcaps slung their weapons o'er their backs and climbed up with more difficulty.

Left and right the defenders laid into the enemy. Beorn and Anglend rushed to and fro in the center swinging urgrosh and hammer while Virlana aided with healing where needed. Alexi's magic blades cut deep into kidneys and groins of redcaps and beasts alike. The left flank began to fall and the right was hard pressed.

Two powerful cuts from a Redcap would have ended Alexi if not for a healing hand from his Elven companion that took his foe by surprise and reversed the two's fortunes, sending the redcap dead to the base of the wall.

Anglend also would have perished if it were not for Virlana, as a ape-beast brought him low. The creatures had some form of draining "lick" with which they drew out the their opponents strength with their blood. Again Beorn surprised them by casting am area-effect healing spell at an opportune time.

It was at this point that the first of the slain militia rose as zombies to join the attackers. Seeing their first position lost, the defenders sounded the retreat. In the process, bringing down the last of the "Lickers" and redcaps.

Falling back to the second erected wall they watched as the human contingent tore down the first. The defenders were met by Helga, the dwarven cleric, who saw to their wounds. Seeing that they were somewhat lessened in numbers they decided to put up a token resistance and soak the walls and walkways with oil from the town, lighting them on fire when the humans took possession.

This worked well and many of the attackers were caught in the conflagration. Here it was that Alexi first noticed what must surely be the commander of the invaders, a deceased friend from the days before his adventuring career who was flying in the night sky above the field on an ebon, de-horned, flaming, unicorn (EDFU for short). All others noticed the appearance of this new player soon after as well as a trio of sorcerers behind the advancing humans.

As the second wall burned they formulated a plan. Shielding their efforts from the figure flying high above, they dug a small trench near the wall and hid Alexi there before sounding the second retreat. They heard a chanting coming from the other side and large sections of wall were blasted by enormous fireballs.

Through this gap, the remaining enemy advanced. passing Alexi without notice. Anglend and Virlana took up a position hiding under the Elf's cloak under the third wall and watching to aid Alexi if the need came. Sneaking from his hiding spot towards the three similar looking casters Alexi quickly took one down before being pelted with a barrage of magic missiles. The third and the second casters grabbed the body of the first and seemed to teleport away, much to the relief of Alexi who once again was near death. Once more going into hiding, he approached Anglend and Virlana's hidden position as the remaining attackers marshaled beyond the final outer wall.

The group was left behind as the final outer defense, a moat of burning tar, was lit, encircling the village in flames. There under the third, outer wall, they hid, deciding it would be best to make for the trees to the south and watch the outcome of the village's battle from relative safety. Each agreed that they had more than "done their part" in the battle and proven their worth to Beorn, should he be alive when the night was over.

Why does Alexi's old, dead, acquaintance lead such a terrible band of raiders from such a foul, flying beast? Will Beorn and his (much to the surprise and consternation of Anglend) daughter, Helga live through the night and lead the village of Khaan to victory? Will there be anything left of the midsummer feast food when the troubles are over? All this and more next time.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Anglend of Skya

Anglend Ap Skya (Monk 3 / Fighter 2)

Training: Griffon Claw Style, Dreco-Dwarven Wrestling, Standard Martial Weapons including several Urgrosh weapons forms.
Experience: Two years as a free-mercenary. Has worked with the Silver Corsairs on several occasions but mainly tries for bounty work and high-stakes solo operations.

Anglend's Bald, tattooed head reaches just under four foot, six inches tall. His heavily muscled, two hundred pound, hair covered body is surprisingly agile, thanks mainly to a rigorous training regime in several unarmed fighting styles. His eyes are ice blue and his hair is dark red, mainly seen in his unruly thatch of a goatee that stretches past his collar bone. Besides the dwarven rune tattooed on his shaved head Anglend has two Deep Dragon tattoos entwining his upper arms, the heads of which seem to be biting into the old, faded slave numbers on the backs of his hands.

Anglend is a dwarven fighter with specialized skills in hand to hand combat. He's a former slave turned mercenary who roams Dargoss seeking his fortune. Not by nature an overly trusting soul, Anglend joined up with Virlana and Alexi on the coast six months ago while battling a group of slavers alongside the Corsairs.

The three adventurers formed a bond during their time together and although Anglend would deny it if asked, he has come to trust his new companions and rely on their skills. They have all come to realize that they compliment each other well. The profits they earn as a group are more than any of them earned alone and this fact alone is enough to overcome his natural distrust of elves and men.

Anglend is corse, somewhat unclean and many times rude - all pretty much standard traits for a dwarf. Also in very dwarfish fashion he values honor and bravery highly. This is not to say that he is a 'good' person necessarily so much as to say that he deals fairly with others and is a dwarf of his word. Having been a slave, he understands the need for stealth in combat and doesn't look down on gutting an enemy from behind if given the opportunity.

Although he has never said it straight out, Anglend longs to see a united dwarven kingdom again. Part of his adventuring lifestyle revolves around the gathering of wealth and experience, in hopes of one day becoming a leader in such a kingdom. Though he doesn't speak wistfully around the campfire of such a day, his companions have probably heard enough offhand remarks and vague sentiments to realize something of his long term goals.

His history as a slave is a more closely guarded secret. The common misconception is that he won or bought his freedom but the truth is that he killed his master two years ago and escaped with a great deal of the man's wealth. The details of the event remain a mystery but he feels fairly certain that there is a price on his head in the southern portion of Dargoss.


This is a place to store info on our DnD 3.5 campaign. Session Notes, NPCs ect. All participants are welcome to add to this and I hope they do.

I'll start with the first session notes, followed by a little intro of my character.

Wood, Steel and Shadow
The Dargossian adventures of the the mercenary trio

SESSION ONE. "You win some, you lose some."
Anglend, Alexi and Virlana entered the mining town of Khaan, in the foothills of Khordyn after a week or more in the wilds. Virlana parted company with Avendi, her leopard, fearing the beast would cause panic and bring more attention to their group than they wanted. It took only a few moments for them to all realize that they had come at a good time. The town was making preparations for the three day festival of midsummer which would begin that very night.

Making their way to "The Untapped Keg," a bustling tavern and inn, the companions shared ale and food with a group of free-dwarf miners and guildsmen. The obvious leader of this group was a graybeard dwarf named Beorn. When asked about who was hiring mercenaries, Beorn revealed himself to be the owner of the local Adamantine mine and offered them a lucrative mission patrolling the mine and guarding against Redcap goblins, should they first prove their mettle to him. A sum of five hundred gold would be paid bimonthly to each, starting after the first week of service. Although Virlana scowled at the thought of mine patrolling, each agreed the money might make it worth it.

They also learned of a multitude of games and competitions being held. Seeing the possibility of quick profit, they were all keen to get involved. Virlana signed up for the archery tournament, while Anglend entered armored and unarmored brawling competitions as well as axe throwing and the hunkerhausen competition. Alexi took what little remained of his funds and bet twenty gold on Anglend making it through the first rounds of the brawling competition.

They learned that Beorn himself was the champion of the armored fighting and Alexi tried to learn what he could of the man, finding that he had a mixed reputation in town. It seemed the old dwarf had 'won' the adamantine mine from its former owner and tended to do things his own way. Though not everyone liked him, it seemed that most respected him.

After visiting the gambling house the three adventurers made their way to the competition grounds. Anglend took second place in the axe throwing, winning fifty gold, twenty five of which was immediately placed on himself in the unarmored fighting at five to one odds. Virlana took first place and a magical shortbow of endless arrows in the archery contest. Anglend made short work of his opponent and made a tidy sum for both himself and Alexi in the first round. All the money they won was re-bet on his second match at 10-1 against the current champion, a Half Orc miner named Gurney.

As Anglend flirted with the 'pretty' dwarven cleric on the edge of the competition fields in the minutes before his next fight, he heard the faint sound of horses in the distance. Getting up on something tall, he was slightly alarmed to see a large cloud of dust approaching the town over the nearby hills. He hollered to Beorn, directing the graybeard's attention to the approaching trouble. A rider was dispatched to check it out as Anglend got into his armor - just in case.

As the scout returned, ordered chaos came with him. It was indeed a large group of armed riders and the gathering of celebrating townsfolk rushed to the walled compound at the center of the village while Beorn organized the town militia.

Anglend and Alexi had just rejoined with Virlana and were following Beorn and the others. Anglend called out to Gurney that "You'd better not die before I have a chance to beat you in the ring!"
What force threatens the happy village of Khaan? Will our morally ambiguous heroes prove themselves to Beorn, their possibly rich-making, soon-to-be employer? More importantly, will Anglend get lucky with the dwarven cleric later in the evening? All this and more will be answered next time.