The River Kingdoms

Pharast 26, 4708

We arrive at the camp around 2am. Two warning arrows are fired. We arrive at the campfire and 8 thugs plus Kressle are awake. How we managed to surprise attack them we’ll never know! Kalee and Lianna stay with the wagon and spellcast from here. Eidolon is eventually hurt enough that Lianna dismiss’ it (will come back at half HP). Kressle is knocked unconscious. All of the other thugs are killed (8 of them). Zirul is knocked unconscious a few times but we revive him.

The battle: Zirul rides into camp and is immediately attacked. Jayce quickly dismounts and joins the melee. To our surprise, Pete is the first to strike and eventually kill a member of his old band. He gains favour with his new band. Kalee hears Lianna say to herself “I guess I owe Pete an apology.” She had major doubts of his new found alliance to our group.

Lance and Bolt make what they think to be a stealthy attack into camp through the trees but at the last minute, the light from the fire illumined Lance and his attack on an archer failed. Lianna’s Eidolon draws attacks from 2 of the 8 enemies. Zirul is fighting from his mount. A bandit moves in to pierce him with his rapier. Lance sees the attack coming and tactfully kicks the rapier out of the bandit’s hand and it flies an unimaginable distance into the forest.

One at a time, Lianna and Kalee cast daze and other debilitating spells on the bad guys.

In the middle of the battle, Jayce freezes and starts talking gibberish. Kalee turns her attention to the trees, looking for an unknown spellcaster.

The wind shifts and blows smoke in Kressles eyes (critical failure on attack) and is suddenly confused and can’t cause a flank, but can still attack. She hears someone mockingly say “white rabbit, white rabbit”. Kalee hits her with a Ray of Enfeeblement and she loses 3 STR. Which comes in handy as Kressle does less damage on the very wounded Eidolon. Lianna’s next spell goes wrong and the Eidolon bites its own lip instead of Kressle. (rolled a stick and failed the next roll) and loses WIS 1.

Back to Zirul. He takes a few really good hits and slumps in his saddle. Kalee leaps from the wagon where she is safe and runs to pour a moonmoss potion down his throat. Jayce gets hit with a critical and loses 2 AC for 2 rounds. As Kalee moves to the other side of the wagon in an attempt to give Pete a moonmoss potion, Zirul takes another brutal hit and slumps in his saddle again. This time Lianna comes to his aide.

Kressle is the last ‘man’ standing and was finally subdued by Jayce. She is stripped of all her clothes and searched for Oleg’s wife’s wedding ring, but it was no where to be found on her person or her bedroll.

Loot:
8x Studded leather
8x buckler
8x composite strength bow +1
156 arrows
Rapiers
Saps
60 gold
1x Cure light wounds potion
1x studded leather
2x masterwork hand axes
4x daggers
85 gold

Strip them of everything they are wearing. Pete says that there are two stashes of loot dug into pits in the ground. We split the party gold (440 gold).

Pete shows us where the first dugout is, about 20 feet away. He moves some brush and some sticks and there is a hole underneath, about 10 feet in diameter.
In here are sacks and crates:
321 silver
90 gold
pair of silver earrings
finely crafted wooden music box
crate with furs in it (Kalee is really interested in these warm garments, till she is reminded that they are Oleg’s)
wooden case with 8 bottles of green liquid (wine bottles?)

Pete says the other dugout is about 100 feet away from here. It takes him 15-20 minutes to find it.
In here, sacks and a crate:
Lots of rations
Firewood
Crate of furs
Another case of 8 bottles of green liquid

Lance recommends that we stay here until morning. We spend the night and get 8 hours sleep (recover damaged wisdom).

Wake up Kressle to talk to her. She says that a bunch of useless loot was stolen by Mites, little fae creatures that live under a big sycamore tree out on the plains. She says that we’re doing her a favor right now and if she goes to the Stag Lord they will kill her. Something about she was supposed to get alcohol to him.

What is our plan? Are we going to go to the Mites and get the loot? Go in to the forest further and go after the Stag Lord? Or go back to Oleg’s?

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Pharast 25, 4708

We leave again in the morning. Travel about quarter of a day, see a cave on a rocky crag. Pete says he has never noticed it before. It is about man sized (a person could walk into it). Jayce shoots an arrow into the cave. Nothing happens. Lance sends dancing lights into the cave. It goes in for about 20 feet. Lance goes in with Bolt to investigate the cave. It opens into a cavern about 30 feet round. It looks naturally formed, no tracks leading in. The walls look like they have veins of gold.

By afternoon we hit the edge of the forest and start cutting back in towards the camp. We are a few hours from where the camp is supposed to be.

We decide to camp just outside the forest for 8 hours so that our injured member can rest.

8 hours pass uneventfully. We pack up and head into the woods.

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Pharast 24, 4708 (cont'd)

Lance takes a chance. He sees ‘good’ in our only surviving prisoner and strikes a deal. He pays him one gold per day and in return Pete Saykes is on our team. He will be travelling with us from now on. Hopefully he doesn’t trip on a blade.

We decide to go after the bandits in the woods. We are taking Pete with us. It is 2 days travel from here to the bandit’s camp. We take the wagon and 4 horses, exactly what the bandits arrived with. Pete and Jayce are riding out front. Zirul is in second rank with another riderless horse. Lianna and Kalee are driving the wagon and Lance is riding in the wagon with his dog Bolt.

Pete’s boss is Kressle, she is now in control of the bridge across the Thorn River. She is a ranger and fights using hand axes. She is apparently very mean. Story about someone looking through the loot before Kressle had a chance to. She cut off both his hands and set him loose in the forest.

Pete Saykes turns out to be quite helpful and not so much. He knows the direct route to the camp, but not much else in terms of natural hazards along the way.

We leave – light precipitation and somewhat breezy. We leave around 11am. Travel for the day, then stop and set up camp. Set watches (Pete is not on a watch).

Watches:
1st: Kalee and Rath
2nd: Jace and Lance
3rd: ZIrul and Liana

3rd watch, one of the horses starts screaming. It is being attacked by a big spider. It takes a while for the party to respond to the cries of attack. Unfortunately for Zirul, he gets bit by the spider and feels unnaturally weak. (-1 STR / bite). Kalee is intrigued. Lianna very quickly summons a dog, and the dog and Zirul kill the spider. Kalee extracts the spiders venom sack and puts the contents into a vial. The group decides to rest for the rest of the day to recuperate from the wounds taken and plan to arrive at Kressle’s camp around 2am.

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Letter 1 home
I'm okay!

Hi folks! It’s me, Lance. I thought I better write home and let you know where I am and how things are going.

As you know I signed up for another convoy escort, this one with a fellow named Phil. I wasn’t the only one to sign up though. There were a few others as well including a nearly blind fellow (maybe a girl, I dunno’) who left after we encountered our first episode of banditry.

Anyway…..I’ve managed to stay alive and make some decent gold too! I’m sending home exactly half of my earnings, which will be 145 gold coins! I might need the other 145 gold to buy supplies and such, but if not I promise to use it wisely.

Although we’ve encountered some bandits along the trail, which was to be expected, I am nearly just as concerned about some of the fellows this Phil merchant has hired. While the ladies seem a little eccentric and mysterious they seem okay. A country fellow named Jace is quiet and nice to, though he seldom seems around much, always stalking off ahead to “scout”.

There is one guy here who worries me a lot though. He pretends to be a honorable sort, with shiny armor, a great big horse and big loud words….but he has been killing prisoners and seems eager to start s fight. I think he might either been escaped criminal or has been touched by the gods somehow….an evil god at that!

The other fellow is named Wrath, and though I’m likely spelling his name wrong, it sounds the same and my spelling is more descriptive of him. He doesn’t seem as mean as the other fellow, but I think he is just more discreet….which is probably even more worrisome.

Thank gosh I have Bolt here to protect me! He has already helped save a little girl, then saved her mother, saved our caravan from an invisible thief then saved me! Bolt is truly a wonder dog. Even the lady wizard that travels with us tries to copy him with a magic spell…but there can’t be TWO Bolts and hers eventually fades away. Poor wizard lady. I think I’ll try and find her a real puppy, I think she is too proud to ask me where I got Bolt.

Anyway….I have to go soon, so I’ll wrap here. We made to some place called Olag’s Trading Post. He and his wife are really nice people. They try to run a business on these frontier lands but it is so far from everyplace I wonder how he makes a go of it. He is also a prime target for thieves and bandits, and so are his customers. Maybe I can sell some “easy to use” crossbows here to casual travelers , when I get around to making them.

I don’t know what to do know that my convoy duty is over. I never really planned that far ahead. I’ll look for more work, but if these two guys keep killing everyone I might have to leave before the authorities get interested in this group. I’m sure someone somewhere is meting out real justice, maybe even the gods!

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Pharast 24, 4708

It looks like Phil had some good intuition. As fate would have it, in the morning nearly one hour after sunrise, the Party spotted another group headed on horseback with a wagon approaching the fort. As the group got closer, Oleg said they could be traders or bandits, it was hard to tell.

The group prepared themselves for ambush, and Oleg went on top of his roof pretending to fix it. Jayce and Bolt (Lance’s dog) stayed inside the house with Svetlana, who Oleg was most concerned about.

The group came inside the fort, and yelled to Oleg, “Come down off that roof you oaf, and give us your goods.”

That was enough for the party to spring into action. Kalee jumped into the back of the covered wagon, Lance positioned himself in a sniping position, Zirul pulled out his long sword, Rath positioned himself by the gate to slam the doors behind them to trap them in, and Liana sent her Eidolon in to play.

Shooting one of the horses created some chaos, making the horses buck, and try to escape the area they were trapped in. The wagon Kalee was in became shaky, and the bandit driving the wagon, went inside it for cover against the crossbow fire. He was surprised to see a female there with a monkey on her shoulder.

The wagon being jerked around by the horses first made the bandit fall, then Kalee jumped out of the wagon falling to the ground. The bandit came out of the wagon seeing Kalee on the ground in front of him. Getting ready for the easy kill with his rapier, he was suddenly cut down by her allies. The others were dispatched in cinematic fashion shortly after. The other notable death was where Rath bull-rushed their already wounded leader Happs off a rooftop, and Happs landed on his head, breaking his neck (oh the woe of rolling a 1 on your acrobatic check).

Chaos reigned in this combat, but in the end one of the bandits became trapped in the storage hut where Oleg kept his furs because the horses were blocking the way out. Despite the bandit’s efforts (even trying to dig his way out), the party eventually captured him.

They hung the dead bandits on the wall, and also their captive (who they hung upside down) beside them all. They tried a few torture tactics, but when he didn’t tell them anything relevant, Lance came out to ask him if he wanted something to eat. The befriending worked, as he introduced himself as Pete. He said he was just hired muscle, and was just trying to earn pay. Lance asked if he would work for him, and he agreed (much better than being tortured and killed).

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Pharast 23, 4708

Nearly one hour after sunrise the party who were scouting from the walls noticed a small party on horseback and a cart coming towards the fort. They prepare for ambush, and get into place. As the group comes closer to the gate, they are identified with by a flag from Restov.

Phil is relieved, and the shipment he had been hiding from the adventurers throughout the whole trip is finally revealed. It made sense now why he was willing to pay 600 gold for guards to assist him in his trip, and why they were traveling during the spring thaw (which was the worst time to travel). He took the tarp off the back of the wagon and revealed a coffin.

The patrol took the coffin, gave Phil 3 small bags of coins, and headed back to Restov immediately. Phil had quite a few other things to sell. He paid the party what was promised to them, from the gold he received, and bade them all farewell, following the patrol back to Restov. Though Phil didn’t need to go to Restov, he didn’t want to take any chance of bandits looting his gold or his remaining goods and traveling with armed guards seemed safe enough.

The rest of the day went by uneventful, however the party discussed traveling to Restov themselves.

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Pharast 22, 4708

Though Phil waits for the patrol from Restov to arrive, the patrol does not. Neither do the Bandits. Lance looks at the small catapults that are in disrepair on the fort, and begins tinkering with them. The remaining members of the party rests.

The day and night goes by uneventfully.

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Pharast 21, 4708

The party arrives at Oleg’s early in the afternoon. Svetlana came out to meet the adventurers and welcome them to the Trading Post. After the long journey, some of the party members ask for a warm bed, and some food, and they happily offer this for a small fee.

Later in the evening Phil takes Oleg aside to ask if he’s heard word of a small patrol who was headed to pick up an item he was delivering. Rath stealthily sneaks close enough to listen in on the conversation. Oleg told Phil that his Trading post has been raided frequently by bandits and Restov was supposed to send help to him over a month ago. He hasn’t heard word from any force, and is quite upset about it, because he won’t be able to continue to operate without some assistance to repel the attacks. He also tells Phil that his goods will be at risk as well as long as he is staying there, and the patrol does not come.

Phil tells Oleg he will stick around for a couple of days and delay payment to the party to buy some time. He said his hired guards have proven to be very effective against bandits, and he feels safe while they are here.

Oleg tells Phil that the bandits seem to have a pattern, and they usually arrive at the gates an hour after sunrise, and suggests he has his guards ready.

The night goes by uneventfully.

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Pharast 14-20, 4708

Travel was uneventful through the week, just light rain periodically, and the snow melted very quickly with this rain.

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Pharast 13, 4708

The wagon comes to the point in the western branch of the East Sellen River where a ford was constructed for wagon crossing. Unfortunately because of the spring thaw the river was much higher than expected. Using the horses, ropes and some solid swimming, the group was able to cross the river safely, but not without risk. This took many hours.

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