Stolen Lands

A New Friend?

The party took a moment to catch their collective breaths and to prepare for whatever reincarnated from the severed hand that the necromancer had poured the Salve of the Second Chance on during the previous battle.  As the Salve completed its job on the hand, a tall, beautiful woman appeared.  Upon being interrogated by the party, she explained her name was Femiel and that she was a healer from the small village of Hooktun in the Hooktongue Slough.  She explained that she and her fellow villagers had lived a peaceful life of fishing and gathering in the tiny village until a large group of men bearing the symbol of Hannis Drelev attacked her village, slaughtering all who lived there.  Upon looking at the necromancer that had attacked the party, she identified him as Rilev, a fellow member of her village.

When pressed, Femiel indicated that she tried to respect all the gods and would tend to lean toward those deities that her fellow villagers revered most.  She did indicate though that she generally prayed to Erastil when she was in need of spells.  As she was being interrogated, Joseph was also reincarnated and came back as a kitsune.  After taking a moment to recover, he then consulted his harrow deck and determined that he should not trust Femiel for the cards warned him of a betrayal.  Femiel did; however, agree to journey with the party at least until they could get to a more civilized area. 

The party continued to investigate the ruins underneath the long abandoned town and soon came upon a locked room that contained a single skeleton inside.  Examination of the skeleton revealed a sealed scroll tube and that the skeleton appeared to have been dead for a long time, perhaps as long as a century.  When the tube was opened, the party found parchment containing writing in Kelish.  Cice was able to translate the writing and learned that it was an accounting of the final day of one Athis, Scribe of New Stetven.  Athis described that sometime during the night a number of devilish plants had been planted around his village and when the villagers awoke the next morning chaos and destruction ensued.  The plants attacked the villagers and to their horror, the stricken villagers soon turned into more plants.  Athis ran to the ruins beneath the village to seek refuge.

While hiding in the ruins beneath the village, Athis eventually heard an unfamiliar female voice speaking in Sylvan telling someone to "guard the orb until all the plants have died".  Athis would eventually try to investigate only to find a couple of starved looking dog like creatures that attacked him.  Athis fled to the tiny room and barricaded himself in only to soon realize that his wounds would not heal, meaning that he would soon die.  Just beyond that room the party found what appeared to have once been an office of sorts, with chewed and torn papers scatted all about.  Beneath the mess though was a locked iron box that contained numerous papers detailing the founding of the village of New Stetven, including the commissioning of the ever-burning brazier and the command word to turn the flame on and off.

The party was then attacked by a rat swarm which managed to infect Feldspar and Joseph with filth fever before being killed.  In the following days, Femiel would cure both Feldspar and Joseph of their filth fever.  As the party pressed further, they were attacked by a pair of dog like creatures that Cice was able to identify as Gaunt Hounds, magical fey beasts.  Femiel displayed a bit of her true power during the battle as she helped the party defeat the creatures with a couple of powerful spells.  Vlad was able to stabilize one of the hounds before it died but the other was killed outright by the powerful spell cast by Femiel. 

In the area containing the nests of the gaunt hounds, the party located a secret door that lead to a small chamber containing a crystal orb on a stone stand.  The orb was vaguely grayish in color and had some swirling mists inside of it.  It radiated evil and gave off a strong aura of fear.  Feldspar and Torm investigated the orb initially, with Torm touching it and becoming terrified, running all the way out of the ruins and through the clearing that once contained the village of New Stetven, stopping only when he reached the party's horses and was out of the range of the aura of fear.  Micka eventually decided that the orb was sufficiently evil that it could not be kept around and so smashed it with his new scythe taken from the body of Rilev.  As soon as the orb was smashed, the aura of fear that had been permeating the area vanished. 

The party camped for the night in the ruins of New Stetven then proceeded to spend the next several days exploring the surrounding areas.  For the most part, the party found a lot of open plains and forests and not much else.  In the Nortwest corner of the Greenbelt they did come across an old barbarian cairn that appeared to have been erected by the Tiger Lord barbarians.  The party dug out the rocks of the cairn and located the decayed remains of a warrior whose skull had been smashed in.  Also among the remains was a Ring of Swimming which the party took.  The party would also locate an area with a pair of ponds heated by sulfuric springs.  The warm water proved to be quite soothing and several members of the party took the opportunity to bathe in the warm waters.  Feldspar though was attacked by a giant frog but the party was able to easily kill the creature.  As the party's supplies began to run low, they decided to head back to Oleg's to restock and to sell some of the items they had acquired.  Feldspar got into an argument with Oleg over the price of the brazier but eventually the party was able to sell everything while also informing Jhod Kavken that they had cleansed the temple of Erastil that he had been looking for.  In thanks, Jhod offered to render free spell casting for the party provided they paid for any expensive material components.  Femiel also took her leave of the party at this time, but not before casting restorations on Joseph and Feldspar to cure them of the ills they still suffered from having been reincarnated.

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arvola Gargs454

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