Stolen Lands

Bushes and Skellies and Bears Oh My!

The party returned to Oleg's to see if he had any silvered weapons following their encounter with the werewolf.  Vlad received a letter from home when he got there and additionally, Jhod informed the party that Joseph was feeling better, at least sort of.  Joseph had finally been reincarnated but the process had turned him into a ratfolk.  The party reprovisioned and Vlad informed party that several of them had warrants out for their arrest but that Vlad's had been quashed thanks to his family's connections and resources. 

The party then set out in search of the Lost Temple.  Following the directions that Feldspar's friends had given them, the party was able to find the clearing in which the Temple of Erastil had once stood.  They found a pool in the center that was filled with algae infested water and the crumbled remains of a stone temple in front of a cliff face that had been carved into a huge symbol of Erathis.  As they were investigating the area, a large grizzly bear emerged and attacked the party.  The party was able to beat the bear down with ease but Feldspar and Micka both insisted that the bear not be killed.  With the bear unconscious the party made camp for the night and the following morning Micka was able to use a spell to speak with the bear.  Micka learned that the bear was once a druid who had long ago gone insane after the "monsters won".  The bear also made some reference to a town called New Sehir and then told Micka that he was tired and that he wished to finally be put to rest.  Following their conversation, Micka gave the bear his wish and the party looked on as the bear shifted into an elderly human man, then a skeleton, and finally crumbled to dust.  With the bear put to rest, the pool in the center of the clearing immediately became crystal clear and the party discovered that the pool had healing properties. 

The party then traveled northwest from there and a day and a half later came to a clearing in the thick forest that their mounts refused to enter.  Even Micka's and Vlad's animal companions refuse to enter the clearing.  The party decided to investigate the clearing and discovered what looked to be the remains of a long abandoned town.  In front of what appeared to be some sort of town hall was a brazier that was burning bright and a single bush with red flowers and deep green leaves.  Feldspar didn't trust the plant and so he shot the plant with an arrow.  The plant responded by shooting Feldspar with some thorns, causing him to start running.  Micka was hit soon after by the plant and also started to flee.  The rest of the party though was able to kill the plant, though both Feldspar and Micka complained that they did not feel as hearty as they had before.

The party once again rested for the night and then decided to explore the town further.  They soon found a stairway heading beneath the old town hall and decided to follow it down.  When they reached the bottom of the stairs they found an even older set of ruins that the town above had been built upon.  As they explored the tunnels beneath the town, they soon found an area guarded by four skeletons.  Feldspar became excited and immediately ran to attack, killing a skeleton in an instant as another retreated.  Joseph then turned the remaining skeletons and the party made short work of them. 

Following the skeleton that ran lead the party to a room with five more skeletons and beyond that a small chamber where it appeared a human had set up a lab of some sort.  The party fought through all the skeletons but soon found that the cleric in the far chamber was formidable.  He enabled his scythe to fly out and slice through Torm's eidolon and then return to his hand, knocking the eidolon out.  As the party closed on him though he began to channel negative energy into the party and soon Joseph, Vlad and Cice were all unconscious, with the party learning that Joseph had once again died.  Torm and Feldspar were able to kill the cleric and revive Cice and Vlad and the party soon surmised that the cleric was attempting to reincarnate somebody when he poured a salve on a severed hand.  Feldspar then took the hand and smeared as much of the salve onto Joseph as he could, hoping that the substance would work on his friend too. 

The Curious Case of Feldspar and His Marbles

Following the battle with the shambling mound, the party was able to limp back to Oleg's with the bodies of Feldspar and Joseph in tow.  Jhod told the party that he would be able to help them in the morning but that he needed to rest up and gather some resources first.  The following morning he began his preparations and produced a pair of scrolls of reincarnate, indicating that prior to finding the Church of Erastil he was a druid.  He soon began reciting from the scroll as he poured the oils over Feldspar's body and as the party watched, the dwarf began to grow and morph before their eyes.  It was not long before Feldspar opened his eyes only to discover that he was once again a human, although he didn't feel quite as hearty as he did before engaging the shambling mound.

Jhod then turned his attentions to Joseph and started reciting from the second scroll.  Unfortunately, as he performed the ritual something went awry and Joseph failed to wake up.  Jhod indicated that it seemed as though the scroll was working but that something appeared to hold the process up.  He informed the party that he would continue to monitor Joseph and conduct more research in an effort to determine what has gone wrong.  He assured the party though that he was confident that it was only a matter of time before the cleric came around. 

Around this time the party also encountered another traveler at Oleg's.  The human introduced himself as Torm and stated that he had heard there were adventurers that had been granted a charter of exploration in the region and that he was hoping to join up with them as he wishes to one day open up a business catering to adventurers, though this latter part he only said while out of earshot of Oleg.  Since Bob the Summoner had ridden off when the party got back to Oleg's (presumably south to the River Kingdoms), the party was only too happy to welcome another member to the party, especially given Joseph's current condition.  The party was equally happy when they learned that Torm was also a summoner, though Mika seemed less sure of Torm and his "unnatural" companion. 

As the party went to set off later that day, Joseph was still not better and Cice offered to stay behind and look after her friend while the party continued to explore the Greenbelt.  Their explorations started out simple enough but the first night when they were camping their tent collapsed during Feldspar's watch.  An examination of the area revealed that three of the tent pegs had been pulled from the ground but no tracks could be seen around the tent.  As the party began re-pitching the tent, Feldspar wandered out into the woods to try to figure out what happened.  Mika followed and soon observed Feldspar talking to himself.  Feldspar would claim that he was talking a beautiful, but invisible woman but Mika thought perhaps something was wrong with Feldspar and that he was suffering some sort of side effect from the reincarnation.

The rest of the night went uneventfully but as the party was exploring the following day Vlad had about a gallon of milk suddenly released on top of him.  Again nobody saw anything but Feldspar swore it must have been his friend.  It was at this time that the party began to think that maybe Feldspar had been reincarnated as a mage and that he was casting minor magic spells to mess with the party.  These relatively harmless incidents continued for the next couple of days and the party continued to blame Feldspar, but he continued to insist it was his friends (as he now claimed there were two).  The party insisted that Feldpar was going crazy, especially since he kept changing his description of his friends.  Feldspar finally insisted that "she was a beautiful lady and that he gave her his marbles!" 

As the party slept one night, they were attacked by a pair of pistol wielding bandits who shot Vlad while he was on watch.  Vlad was soon knocked out but the rest of the party was able to easily dispatch the bandits and then revive Vlad.  The party gathered the two pistols and the little bit of ammo that the bandits had left, and would later trade one of the pistols for a wand of cure light wounds.  When the party checked back in at Oleg's, Joseph was still out of it, but a package had arrived from Restov and with it a note from Karsten Lebeda instructing the party to bring the The Stag Lord to justice.  Also included was 1,000 gold pieces for their early success in fighting the bandits.

When the party set back out they traveled to the west and through a region that was littered with powerful bear traps.  They avoided most of them but accidentally set off a couple.  When they camped that night they were again attacked, this time by a werewolf.  As Feldspar lay bleeding on the ground after another bite from the lycanthrope, the werewolf suddenly fell over unconconscious.  Shortly after it was killed by Vlad, Perlivash revealed his presence and indicated that he had put the werewolf to sleep in order to help his friend Feldspar.  He also indicated that Tyg-Titter-Tut was nearby but that she wouldn't reveal herself because the rest of the party wasn't as nice as Feldspar.  Perlivash then told the party where they could find the Lost Temple and when Vlad gave Perlivash a gift of some dried meat, the faerie dragon told Vlad that he would end any pranks directed at Vlad. 

The next morning the party awoke to find that a severe cold front had moved in, dropping temperatures to below zero.  The cold front lasted several days and the party decided to shelter in their tent with a roaring fire going rather than risk traveling in the cold.  When the cold front finally passed, the party continued to explore with a focus on heading toward the location of the lost temple. 

Deathly Chill
The exploration begins . . .

The party picked up where they left off last time, beginning with an interrogation of the bandit Kressle.  Upon questioning the bandit, the party learned that there is a larger group of bandits in the area, under the leadership of The Stag Lord.  Kressle mentioned that there is a fort to the south where the Stag Lord lives and that all their spoils go to the fort and the bandits are then given their cut of the spoils after delivering them.  When questioned as to why she chose the bandit life, Kressle merely stated that people had always tried to take from her and she learned early on that if she didn't take back, she'd just be a victim.  Despite being given numerous opportunities, Kressle refused to repent for her crimes.  With a heavy snow falling, the party decided to take the boots from the bandits and tie them up in the tents for the night.

The next morning the party awoke to find that nearly five feet of snow had fallen over the past twelve hours.  They also discovered that all but two of the bandits had died during the night due to exposure.  The remaining bandits were Kressle and Sylvano Baggio.  With the snow having finally stopped falling, the party set off to return to Oleg's to report on their success and to turn over their captives.  Along the way though they questioned Sylvano and learned that he was much more accepting to rejecting the bandit life and trying to earn an honest living.  Sylvano also revelaed more information about the Stag Lord, stating that he was a cruel and brutal leader, but also a drunk.  Given his cooperation and his willingness to leave the bandit life behind him, the party decided that Sylvano would be spared and allowed to travel to Brevoy.  However, Kressle still refused to repent for her crimes and was thus, executed by Vlad Black after Joseph Lagrange consulted his harrow deck. 

After nearly two days of travel, the party finally returned to Oleg's with their one remaining bandit.  As they arrived they discovered that a group of mercenaries had arrived from Restov to serve as guards for Oleg, lead by Kesten Garess.  Kesten did inform the party that he was looking for a bandit by the name of Falgrim Sneeg.  He warned the party that Sneeg was dangerous but promised a reward should Sneeg be brought to justice.  The party also learned that Jhod Kavken, a priest of Erastil, had arrived at Oleg's.  Jhod then informed the party that he was searching for a lost temple to Erastil that was rumored to be hidden somewhere in the Stolen Lands

After resting up and trading with Oleg, the party went back out into the wild to start exploring the Greenbelt in earnest.  Early on, their explorations proved fairly easy, encountering a pair of worgs, but having little trouble dispatching them.  They then came across the ramshackle hut of Bokken.  They traded with Bokken and then learned that the hermit was on the lookout for fangberries.  From there they continued to travel south where they encountered the lair of a trap door spider that had clearly been very active in the area.  They were able to kill the spider and when they investigated its lair, Vlad found a cryptic map.


The party then circled back to Oleg's and reported what they had found before resting up and heading south again.  They traveled mostly due south from Oleg's, toward the area where they found the bandit camp.  Unfortunately for the party, as they traveled through the forest, they were ambushed by a shambling mound.  Joseph was killed almost instantly as he was grabbed by the giant plant and then squeezed to death.  The party rallied and tried to fight off the plant but soon Feldspar fell victim to the creature as well after he was slammed by the plant and knocked unconscious.  As the party fought on, they were at last able to slay the creature, but not before Feldspar succumbed to his injuries.  With sullen hearts, the party carefully loaded Joseph and Feldspar onto the horses and returned to Oleg's. 


Into the Stolen Lands

Cice Tappo was working at the bar when a masked individual, later determined to be Karsten Lebeda entered and proposed a job that needed to be done.  He needed about five or six individuals to "acquire" some documents for him from the Bank of Abadar.  Cice soon contacted some friends whom she knew were also looking for work and the party consisting of Cice, Feldspar Ironbeard, Joseph Lagrange, Vlad Black, Mika, and Bob the Summoner agreed to meet Karsten to learn more about the job.

Once at the meeting, the party learned that some lands belonging to Rostlanders had been taken by Issian nobles and that the true deeds to the lands, which could prove the rightful owners, were being stored in a deposit box at the Bank of Abadar in Restov.  The party was given a day to retrieve the documents from box 37 and bring them back to Karsten.  The group traveled to the bank in an effort to scope out the building prior attempting to retrieve the documents.  While researching the area, the group learned that there was minimal guard presence in that part of town and that what few guards did patrol the area, came by the bank approximately every half hour.  Bob came up with the plan to use his eidolon to enter the building and retrieve the documents so that none of the party members would have to enter.  The group agreed to the plan and Bob's eidolon was able to easily retrieve the documents.  The party retreated to their favorite watering hole, thinking that the job had been easily performed.

Once at the inn, most of the party was getting ready to settle in while Vlad returned to his family's estate.  However, just when they thought it would be easy, they were contacted by one of Karsten's associates who told them that they had been spotted during the break in and that they needed to get somewhere safe.  The party was taken to a safe house where they spent the better part of a week laying low before Karsten returned and told them that they would not be safe in Restov for a while.  He did insist though that he would pay his debt for the documents they recovered did prove that some of his family's lands had been wrongfully taken from them.  He smuggled the party out of Restov and took them to a gathering at a farmstead about an hour outside of town.  Once there, they discovered that they were receiving one of four charters to explore and tame the Stolen Lands.  Specifically, they would be tasked with exploring and taming the Northern Greenbelt region of the Stolen Lands.  Prior to leaving, the party had a chance to interact with some of the other explorers and met Maegar Varn who offered to assist the party should they need it.  He expressed a desire to work together with the party for their mutual benefit.

The following day the group set out for Oleg's Trading Post, just south of Brevoy.  The journey took about four days and they arrived on the afternoon of the 28th of Calistril.  They were met by Svetlana Leveton who wondered if they were the promised soldiers from Restov.  When the party explained their true reason for being there, Oleg Leveton became more irritable than normal, fearing what the prospect of adventurers in the area could mean for his quiet little outpost.  Svetlana; however, saw an opening to ask the party for assistance with their bandit problem as the last several months had seen a group of bandits arriving and demanding taxes from the couple.  The group agreed to help the couple and to take care of the bandits, preparing to ambush the bandits the following day. 

When the bandits arrived the following morning, the group laid wait in ambush and attacked as the bandit rode into the outpost.  The bandits were clearly startled by the attack and took the brunt of the first volleys from the party, but they rallied briefly, including knocking Cice unconscious before the leader of the small group of brigands was slain and the rest surrendered or were unconscious.  Upon questioning the surviving bandits, the party learned that the bandits had an encampment about twenty miles to the southwest, and that the true leader of the group of bandits could be found there, a woman named Kressle. 

The following day, the party set out for the bandit camp, hoping to end the threat once and for all.  The minimal trail and the thick forest covering slowed the party as they tracked the bandits and they had to camp for the night before reaching encampment.  During the night, Joseph heard the sound of something approaching the party's camp and cast light on a stone and tossed it toward the sound to try to get a better look.  Still unable to see anything he woke Mike to let him take a look and Mika soon saw the clear outline of a troll.  The party was quickly, and quietly awakened and Feldspar nearly shot the troll as a second troll approached.  Fortunately for the party, Feldspar realized that they party had yet to be detected and the trolls, along with two other trolls soon moved on toward the south without confronting the party.

The next morning the party continued on toward the bandit camp on the bank of the Thorn River.  The group was able to again take the bandits by surprise and get the drop on the nine bandits stationed at the camp.  These bandits proved to be tougher than the small group that was sent to Oleg's and both Cice and Feldsparr took quite a bit of damage before Kressle was finally knocked unconscious and the rest of the bandits surrendered.  As the party healed their wounds and prepared to interrogate the captured bandits, thick, heavy snow flakes began to fall from the sky.


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