Stolen Lands

A Lord No More

After spending a few days resting, shopping, and crafting items the party set back out into the Greenbelt.  The first stop was at the nest shared by Perlivash and Tyg-Titter-Tut to bury Feldspar per his wishes.  Jhod traveled with them as they offered to escort him to the Temple of Erastil that the party had previously cleansed for him.  After burying Feldspar, the party continued on to the Temple and left Jhod there to start work on fully restoring it.  Jhod thanked them for the escort and their help in cleansing the area before the party continued their exploration.

A few days later the party came to a swampy clearing containing the ruins of two small buildings.  Living in this clearing was a single boggard and a giant slug-like creature that he called Slurk.  The party attempted to talk to him, but communication was difficult as the boggard only knew  a few words of common and nobody in the party knew boggard.  Mugwort did make somewhat of a connection with the boggard when he scrounged up some food for it to eat as it appeared to be hungry.  Although the party was unable to really communicate with the boggard, they did seem to at least leave on good terms and both groups went their separate ways. 

The party continued to explore and a couple days later came across a fifteen foot ivory statue of Erastil in the forest.  The statue appeared to have been there a long time and was covered in grime and droppings.  Cice was able to detect some transmutation magic coming from the statue but could not otherwise figure out what that magic was.  The party made note of where the statue was and its orientation to the south to see if it was pointing at anything in particular as they traveled further south.

As the party continued their exploration along the southern edge of the Northern Greenbelt, they came upon a foul smelling pond where a unicorn had been killed and its horn removed after death.  Joseph was able to use his skills as a healer to determine that the unicorn was blind when it died and that it had likely been killed by some sort of death effect.  Cice was also able to recall that powerful fey could sometimes "mark" a victim in such a way that it was repellent to natural life and that appeared to have happened in this case as well as none of the insects or other creatures in the area dared to approach the unicorn's corpse.  After much discussion, the party ultimately decided to drag the unicorn's body back to the statue of Erastil and see if the magic of the statue could do anything for it.  When the party returned to the statue, Vlad touched the unicorn's hoof to the statue and recited a prayer.  The statue, sensing Vlad's growing devotion to Erastil, then enchanted all the slashing and piercing weapons in the party, giving them all a very keen edge, though it seemed as though the enchantment would only last a week. 

With their weapons newly enchanted, the party decided they had best take advantage of the limited duration of the enchantment and make for the Stag Lord's fort.  It took the party almost four days to reach the fort as they had to travel through the Narlmarches, a dense forest, most of the way.  As they approached the fort, the party could see that the northern approach was a wide open field for three hundred feet with a dirt road approach the wooden gate.  The fort was surrounded by a wooden palisade fifteen feet high and the interior was comprised of an abandoned, and crumbling stone outpost of a previous age.  The eastern and western sides of the fort featured hills overlooking the outpost with only thirty feet of flat ground adjacent to the palisade.  On the southern edge was a steep cliff leading down to the Tuskwater Lake. 

The party opted to attempt subterfuge to try to gain entry to the fort.  They approached after Cice had prepared a silent image in the form of Kressle, the bandit leader that had been raiding Oleg's.  Unfortunately for the party, the bandit had previously recovered Kressle's remains and knew that the party was lying to them.  Additionally, it seems as though when Mugwort abandoned the Stag Lord, he became an enemy to the bandits.  As Mugwort attempted to find out more about what had happened to his family, Micka warped the wood of the gate, causing it to pop open and allowing access for the party. 

With that, the battle was on and the party faced the full wrath of the bandits of the fort.  Both sides initially traded blows back and forth before one of the bandits was quickly killed.  Shortly after that a bandit came running out from inside one of the buildings, an angry owlbear pursuing.  A few seconds after the battle started, the Stag Lord appeared at the back of the fort and climbed onto a walkway.  He pulled out a large bow and fired a couple of greenish-yellow streaks at Mugwort, dropping him unconscious as the half-orc's body was ravaged by acid and electricity.  Although the party was facing all of the bandits at once, it soon became clear that the tight quarters of the fort worked to the party's advantage as it was hard for the bandits to come fully to bear on the party.  Additionally, both Micka and Torm had summoned creatures to aid the party and those summoned allies proved to be quite damaging to the brigands.

The Stag Lord; however, proved to be quite deadly with his bow.  He knocked several party members unconscious during the battle as he continued to fire from atop a walkway out of the party's reach.  As things were starting to look grim for the party, one of the bandits snatched the Stag amulet from around his neck and threw it to the ground before turning on one of his fellow bandits and killing him.  This same bandit, Akiros, was soon able to convince another bandit, a huge giant of a man wielding a deadly club, to also stand down.  The tide turned soon after this and the Stag Lord was facing the party alone.  Though still deadly, he had run out of magic arrows and he could not produce enough attacks to counteract the numerous cuts and attacks he received in return.  After a long, drawn out battle, the Stag Lord was slain, his body falling off the walkway and the green glow emanating from his helm dying out. 

After the battle, the party discovered several magic items on the Stag Lord and when Cice could not identify the properties of the helm, Vlad opted to put it on himself.  After a few moments, his wounds visibly healed and he claimed to have seen a beautiful woman with long, flowing green hair.  He indicated that she said she needed his help and then said he liked the helm so much that he didn't want to take it off.  The party then took time to rest and recover while keeping an eye on the three surviving bandits (two of whom had apparently switched sides during the battle).


arvola Gargs454