Session 2 – Midra

Two months before the events of the first session, Quinn and Rhys come into a town near Phandelver during the afternoon. They have not met Saffron or Nylian yet, and have only been adventuring together for a couple of months.

This is a small town and there is only one inn and tavern. They see some town guards on horseback and a few people wander the streets minding their business. They go into the tavern, which doesn’t have a name. The bartender says that they only have ale, so Quinn orders one for each of them.

Rhys sets up his lute in a corner near the bar and begins singing of Quinn’s exploits, specifically of their encounter with some orks recently. He embellishes and says that Quinn defeated 40 of them by tricking them into a trap. He plays very well and the other patrons are interested in talking to Quinn more about it.

A man comes into the tavern who looks ragged. He is dirty and his cheek has a nasty gash. He asks Quinn if he will speak with him, and Quinn ignores the other patrons and agrees.

They head over to a small store next door, and the man tells Quinn that his village a few miles away from here named Midra has been taken over by bandits. They are working with the mayor who is giving them safe haven in exchange for some of the money that they steal from travelers on the roads. He doesn’t have a way to prove it yet, but he asks Quinn for his help.

Quinn tentatively agrees but says that he will go get Rhys so they can both discuss with him. He goes into the tavern and tries to extract Rhys, but after learning that the man is poor and comes from a small village, Rhys is not interested in helping because it won’t give them much money or fame to do so. Quinn pushes him hard on it, and he finally relents.

The friends walk over to the other store, but the man is gone. Quinn sees some slashes on the furniture and drag marks that didn’t appear to be there before, and guesses that the man was kidnapped. They head outside and ask the town guardsmen, still on horses and surveying the town, if they saw anything. The first one says that he saw nothing, but Quinn tries to bribe him with two gold. The man is insulted and rides away.

Quinn asks Rhys to sweet talk the second man and he is nervous but finally agrees. He asks him in a roundabout way to indicate if he saw anything and where they might have taken the man, and gives the guard 15 gold. He points that they took the man into the woods and also rides away.

Quinn and Rhys head into the woods immediately to find the man. They pick up a trail and soon hear sounds of a struggle in the woods. A rough looking man in leather armor approaches them and tells them to leave. They agree but circle around and find where they’re holding the man. It is three people, the man they just saw, and another man and a woman. They have the villager tied up and on his knees.

One of the men scolds the villager for trying to go get help, because the town is theirs and he shouldn’t do anything against them. He argues that the town is made more prosperous because of their arrangement and punches the man across the face. The woman doesn’t want the villager to cause any more trouble so she says that she will kill him. The man disagrees at first but she eventually convinces him to let her kill the villager.

As she is about to strike, Quinn comes out of the woods and strikes her down in one blow with his greatsword. Rhys attacks the with his rapier but only wounds him. The man on the horse strikes Quinn with a glancing but painful blow, and then both of the friends strike him and he falls off of his horse.

The friends untie the villager and he thanks them profusely for saving him. They search the bandits and find a huge cache of riches on them — six gems worth at least 50 gold apiece, a Cloak of Elvenkind, a Circlet of Blasting, and a Bag of Tricks. Quinn takes the items and they decide what to do next.

 

Session 1 – Heroes of the Sword Coast

Four friends, Quinn (a fighter with a two-handed sword); Nylian (an elf druid); Saffron (a halfling rogue); and Rhys (a half-elf bard) are visiting the city of Neverwinter for the first time. They have already had a couple of what they might call “adventures” which were relatively mild, but this hasn’t stopped Rhys from creating grand songs and ballads about the group of friends. In his songs he calls them the “Heroes of the Sword Coast” which is a lofty title for those as inexperienced as they are.

In fact Saffron, who joined the group a couple of weeks ago, heard Rhys’ songs when the other three were visiting her home town where she is a princess, and was impressed so much that she decided to come along. She does not talk much about her family, but does say that she misses her brother, who treated her well.

The city of Neverwinter is huge and overwhelming to our heroes, but they can see that it’s bursting with opportunities for work (and fame!). They head into a tavern called the Hound’s Tooth, looking to meet others. Rhys immediately takes the stage with his lute and starts singing about how the friends are great heroes, but he is slightly out of tune. Several townspeople come forward and tell him and the other friends to leave. Saffron speaks up and asks them to back off, but one of the men says “did I hear a mouse squeak?” She speaks more clearly and persuades them to go back to their seats, which they do.

Despite protests from the others, Rhys begins singing again, and this time fares much better. He is singing in tune and talking about the fabled exploits of the group. Several patrons come forward to listen, but scratch their heads when they see that the friends are awfully young to have done anything like the song says. Still, they give some money and Rhys collects 11 gold for his efforts.

After drinking and singing for a while, the friends decide to step outside and look for a place to stay for the night. As they are chatting, the three townspeople from the Hound’s Tooth approach from the alley and repeat that the friends should leave town. Two brandish knives, and one has a sword. A fight breaks out, and though for a few minutes it seems evenly matched, Saffron and Rhys score hits on their opponents. They both scream that it “really hurts!” Nylian uses a spell that creates vines coming up from the road to try and capture the townspeople, but they are able to escape. After a few more moments of fighting, all three of them are knocked down.

At that moment, a group of other townspeople approach and ask them what is going on. They seem to have weapons of their own. From behind them, however, a gruff voice tells them all to stop what they are doing. He tells them that they are all drunk and they should go home and sleep it off. A sturdy looking dwarf and a human warrior step out into the light. The men think better of things and move off, taking their wounded with them.

The dwarf approaches and says that his name is Gundren Rockseeker, and his friend is Sildar Hallwinter. He says that he witnessed their bravery and that he would like to discuss business with them. He asks them to go back into the tavern so he can buy them a drink and discuss. The friends agree and follow the two men in.

At a table at the back of the bar, Gundren tells the friends that he and his brothers have found “something big” and they need help bringing a wagon of supplies from Neverwinter to Phandalin. He will pay each of them 10 gold for the trip, and Sildar will accompany them. The group, eager for adventure, agree.

Session 12 – The Wizard’s Portal

The friends regroup back in the tunnel and speak with Elysant. It is decided that she should stay here and Daladium, Voran and Swiftmark should search the room to see if they can find anything without waking up the dog/bear thing. They proceed, but while sneaking in, Swiftmark steps on a bone that makes a loud crunching sound. The animal snaps awake and snarls at the group. The friends attack the animal and subdue it with Elysant’s help. Searching the room, the friends find a small sack of jewels in a chest of drawers. Against his instincts, Daladium shares the jewels with the others.

However they have been too loud and the ogre heard the disturbance. He runs into the room, yelling angrily. The friends try to fight him but have a tough time getting through his thick hide, even Elysant with repeated spear strikes cannot wound him. Voran takes a shot with his bow but the bowstring snaps. Daladium casts a binding spell and vines come from the ground and restrain him. He also casts a blindness spell that leaves the ogre partially sightless, and an illusion of a huge dragon. The ogre is paralyzed with fear, but the friends still can’t manage to wound him.

While the ogre struggles, Voran runs away down the hallway and checks one of the other rooms. He arrives in a kitchen with a foul smelling pot brewing stew. In front of the pot stands a younger ogre with a spoon and another dog/bear pet. Using his animal training, Voran calls to the animal then tells it to attack the ogre. The ogre tries to get it to stop, but it bites him and he passes out. The dog looks at Voran expectantly but Voran searches the room, finds nothing and leaves.

At the same time, Daladium and Swiftmark run to the middle cavern and search there. This is a living area with a huge couch, with two sets of butt-prints in it. On the other side of the room are piles of hay. Lying on the hay is a third bear-dog. It smells the friends and attacks, sinking its teeth into Daladium’s arm. He cries out in pain and Elysant comes running. Swiftmark makes a valiant strike with his sword and the dog falls.

The friends, now regrouped, search the living area and find a bag with 100 gold, a fine leather chestplate (which Voran dons) and a small orb. Elysant and Daladium check it for magic and it appears to have a spark. Since they have found what they are looking for, they hastily retreat back through the hallway and out the mouth of the cave. As they leave, they hear the ogre yelling as the illusion wears off and he realizes he was tricked.

The friends climb up the rope to escape, but Voran’s hands slip and he tumbles into the rough water. He tries to swim but waves are crashimg over him and he can’t get a breath. Quickly, Elysant unties the rope and throws Voran the other end. After a few moments of struggling he manages to make his way to the rope then pulls himself up. Spluttering, he checks his equipment and thankfully nothing is missing. Fluffy comes to greet him, as he was concerned for his master.

The friends set off on their horses immediately and travel south for a couple hours, however darkness sets in and they are forced to stop. Voran stays up for a few hours on watch, then uses his magic headrest to sleep for a few hours and recover as if he got a full night’s rest.

Around four o’clock in the morning, Vora is awoken by noises near the camp. With his elven eyes, he sees four people approaching. He wakes the others and Daladium asks “Who goes there?” There is no reply. Swiftmark brings a torch over, and everyone sees that this is the group of adventurers they encountered the other day before they found the cave. Their faces are angry. Voran asks why they are so mad, and at first they do not reply, but finally the leader, Calaan, says “We know that you found the ogre’s cave, which we spent weeks looking for. That means you probably found treasure. Give it to us or we’ll kill you!”

Voran sends his wolf to attack, and the other friends begin fighting as well. Daladium blinds all of them, and Swiftmark makes another amazing strike and takes out one of the elves. Voran, his bow still broken, uses a dagger with not much luck.

After the adventurers are defeated, the friends search them and find some gold, Daladium finds a potion of healing, and Voran grabs a very nice bow from one of the elves to replace the one with the broken string.

Even though it is still early, the friends pack up and leave. By morning they reach Granny D’s house where they are greeted warmly with food and Granny D offers to help Daladium with his injury. Uncle Weasel inquires about their trip and they recount everything, finally handing him the orb. He grins broadly and nods, saying that this is the correct artifact that should help them disarm the door at the Wizard’s castle. The friends thank him again and stay the night.

The next morning the friends pack up to leave, however a somber Swiftmark tells them that he will not be going; his place is here. He had great adventures with the friends and they are welcome to visit anytime, and he will plan to visit Northfort in the near future to see them as well. The friends wish him well and take their leave.

It takes the friends two days to travel to the Rock Island Ferry, then through Washatal island and the ferry to the mainland, and finally cross-country back to Northfort. Once in town they return the horses and get their deposit back, then check into the inn for some rest.

The next day they set off for the Wizard’s castle, on foor this time, and it takes until midday to get there. When they arrive they see that many people have set up camp here, hoping to find a way into the Wizard’s locked chamber. On the fourth floor there are at least 10 people in the anteroom, one actively picking the lock on the great door. The friends see him receive a bad shock and he gives up.

The friends have an idea, and after a moment’s preparation Daladium  creates a very convincing illusion of the Wizard in front of the door. The people there fall for the illusion and flee, screaming, leaving the friends alone.

The friends prepare to use the orb and stand away from the door. Voran activates and tosses it at the door and it flashes. Sensing the door, Daladium says that it is safe to pick lock but he’s not sure how long the effect will last. Voran quickly uses his thief’s tools and opens the lock. The door clicks open just as the effect wears off and the magic hums back to life in the door.

The friends walk through the doorway and enter a dark room. Lighting their torches, they see fine furniture but nothing elae of note. Toward the back of the room is a slightly raised stone platform that, after inapection, seems to have a large rune carved into it.

Daladium steps onto the platform and the rune begins to glow, and after a moment a shimmering circular portal appears above the platform. The friends want to see what is on the other side without entering the portal, so Voran lies down and pokes his head into it, with the others holding his legs.

The friends are dragged through the portal by an unseen force. As they fall through to the other side, they wonder if this is where the Wizard disappeared to, and if he is still there. If yhe portal will take them to another plane, another world, or somewhere else on Kalos. Also, they remember that they did not shut the magic door, so others could potentially get through!

END BOOK 1

Session 11 – The Ogre’s Cave

In the morning, the group gathers and Granny D cooks them breakfast, a huge feast of eggs, pancakes, pastries and other delicious breakfast items. All of the Digglebottom family members (cousins, uncles, aunts and grandchildren including Bun and Hector) show up and it turns into something of a party.

Before they leave, Uncle Weasel says that he wants to speak with them and gives some advice on being sneaky to Voran. He gives he and Swiftmark both a set of Thief’s Tools. Also, he says that the ogre’s cave is set in the coastal rocks on the north of the island. Also, he notes that the ogre has a very good sense of smell and hearing, but his eyesight is quite bad. The item they are looking for looks like a small, smoky crystal ball that glows faintly white. It has carving and metal inlay on the sides.

As they go outside, the friends see that their horses have been brushed and fed by the boy that maintain’s Swiftmark’s pony. They mount their three rented horses, and Swiftmark his pony.

The friends start traveling north, and the weather is nice as it’s late spring/early summer. There are rolling hills, some patches of trees, and some areas of larger hills before they reach the northern coast of the island.

As they are approaching the northern area of the island, the friends see a group of people ahead of them. Voran sends his wolf to scout ahead and it hides in the grass on the side of the road.  Voran uses his Ring of Animal Sight to see through Fluffy’s eyes and checks out the people coming toward them. They appear to be an adventuring group with two humans and two elves. The friends decide to let them approach.

As the others get nearer, the lead warrior says “Ho there!” and then a moment later, “Who goes there?” Daladium immediately blurts out “We’re adventurers!” but declines to say anything further. The two human warriors identify themselves as Calaan and Dryden, and they are with Elamath, an elf warrior, and Neesa, a female elf with a longbow. They ask the group what they are doing here, but Voran and Daladium don’t know what to say as they don’t want to give away their objective.

Sensing that the others are uncomfortable, Swiftmark rides to the front and tells the others that they are his friends, and they are helping to take him home. The adventurers wish them luck, and say that their main goal is to find magic items. They were looking for an ogre’s cave near here which is said to have some riches, but they can’t find it. Before they leave, they ask the friends if they would like to buy any of their magical items, if they can offer other magical items in trade. The friends consider and Voran says that he would give up his magical torch. Calaan asks to see it, and Voran gives it to him. Calaan thinks that there isn’t anything magical about it, but Daladium says that it can be turned on and off with a thought and it never burns down. Calaan tries hard and finally lights the torch. He is very impressed and says that he could offer a set of extremely fine thief’s tools for it. Voran agrees and the trade is made. The adventurers bid the friends farewell and go on their way.

Mid-afternoon, the friends finally reach the coast. It is very rocky, with cliffs that descend to the lake dozens of feet. Strong winds here cause the waves to crash quite high on the rocks. Voran starts looking around for signs of the ogre, and after a while spots some old tracks that are large enough. He follows them for quite a ways but they end near the rocks.

Looking closer, the friends see that a few of the rocks are worn down as if they had been handled a lot. Looking down from these rocks they see that there is a steep drop-off of 50 feet or so before the water. Daladium and Switftmark decide to go down and check things out. The others (even Fluffy!) hold the rope so they can descend. After a few minutes of climbing, they find a large opening in the rocks that appears to be a cave. It is almost 20 feet wide and definitely large enough for an ogre.

Voran ties off the rope, and he and Elysant descend to the cave. Fluffy cannot come down and stays to guard the rope. Torches are lit and they move into the cave. It is completely dark, but Voran can still see well with his elf-eyes. They proceed almost a quarter mile through the corridor until they see that it breaks off into three branches. There is light coming from all three.

In front of the fork in the cave, there is a large pile of bones. Checking carefully, the friends see that there are tripwires here–any motion on them will bring a boulder crashing down on their heads, which is probably what happened to the people whose bones are underfoot. The wires are too close to the ground to go under, and too high to jump over. Thinking for a moment, the friends finally agree that Voran should try to disable the trap. He uses his new thief’s tools to work on the mechanism and Swiftmark helps. After a few minutes there is a “click” and it appears to be disabled. Daladium tests this by pushing his staff on the ropes. Nothing happens when he does, so everyone proceeds carefully through.

The fiends proceed to the left tunnel, which winds around for a while and then opens up into a cavern. Since she makes a lot of noise with her armor, Elysant stays back, but the others push forward into the room to see what is there. In the room are a large bed and a chest of drawers, along with lots  of miscellaneous items scattered around. On the bed they see a horribly ugly animal that is not quite a wolf, and not quite a bear, and not quite a horse. It is sleeping soundly and does not hear them approach.

Session 10 – The Trial of Swiftmark

After Swiftmark’s declaration that he wants to take his uncle’s place in the trial, the courtroom breaks into chaos. The judge, a wizened old halfling, pounds his gavel until everyone is finally quiet, and then explains that Swiftmark, who he calls Wally Digglebottom, can’t simply replace Uncle Weasel in the trial as he is not the one on trial. He protests, and everyone starts yelling again.

The judge tells the bailiff to remove him from the building and they start to take him out. The friends try to intervene by intimidating the bailiff, but it doesn’t work. Elysant yells loudly and suddenly everyone stops, and they release him. The friends take Swiftmark with them and quickly leave.

Swiftmark is shocked and tearfully happy at seeing his friends again and apologizes for leaving without notice a few weeks ago. He had gotten word that Uncle Weasel was on trial, and wanted to help him in any way he could. The friends ask what they should do now, and Swiftmark says that they should go to Granny D’s house as they should be safe there.

At Granny D’s house, the friends are treated to tea and snacks. They learn from Granny that the lawyer who brought this case against Uncle Weasel, the halfling named Hector Fungal, had been jealous of the rich farmlands that the Digglebottom family has owned, and he was also in love with Swiftmark’s cousin, Bun, but she did not return his affection. Granny D says that Bun is actually in the yard, and that they should talk with her.

The friends go outside and see Bun reading under a tree. They argue about who should talk to her, as even Swiftmark doesn’t want to be the one to broach the subject of Hector to her. It’s decided that Elysant will do it, and she approaches Bun gently and asks her what she’s reading. Bun says that it’s a story she really likes about a bunch of halfling girls growing up. She asks who Elysant is and what she wants. Elysant asks her about Hector, and Bun says that she likes him but is too scared to talk to him. Elysant suggests that she try it because Hector is clearly in love with her and them getting together would solve a lot of problems for the town. Bun agrees and goes with the friends back to city hall.

Once downtown, they see that the courthouse has been cleared and everyone is milling around in the square very confused and upset. They see Hector near city hall and have Bun approach him. He is shocked but happy to see her and they begin talking. The friends find Uncle Weasel and take him back to Granny D’s house.

Uncle Weasel thanks the friends for helping out him and his family. He is not happy with Swiftmark because he doesn’t want him to suffer for his crimes — he says that he has led a long life and it’s okay if he needs to go to prison for what he did. Swiftmark, tearful, says that he knows Uncle Weasel is innocent because you can’t be held accountable for the things that he did while his family was being threatened by the wizard’s men.

After a while, the friends ask Uncle Weasel about the wizard’s castle, and the door that cannot be opened. Uncle Weasel knows about the door and says that it can only be opened by the wizard’s key, which he always kept around his neck. He must have had it when he disappeared, because it was never found. The only other way to open the door is with a device that stops things from being magical, making the lock into a normal lock. He knows of such a thing, but it is currently in the possession of a giant on the north side of Rock Island. It would be dangerous to go retrieve the device because the giant is extremely mean and greedy.

As the group is talking, there is a knock on the door. They answer it and find Hector Fungal there, along with Bun. He says that after thinking about it, he has decided to drop the case against Uncle Weasel, so he is a free man. Uncle Weasel and Swiftmark let out whoops of joy and begin hugging each other and Granny D. They thank the friends again for all they have done to help. Hector and Bun leave and go off together.

The friends ask Uncle Weasel if he will go with them, as he was once a master thief, but Uncle Weasel says that his adventuring days are over, and that Swiftmark should go with them instead. Swiftmark agrees and the friends turn in for the night, as they will leave in the morning to seek out the giant.

Session 9 – The Trial of Swiftmark

After the encounter with the bear, the friends continue traveling north. As they get closer to their destination, they find a group of dwarven gem merchants whose cart has broken down. Apparently their horses veered off the road and two of the cart’s wheels have broken. They ask for help as they need to get into town quickly to sell their wares. With dollar signs in his eyes, Daladium offers to help if they give him three diamonds. The dwarf is taken aback but agrees, as he has few options for help this late in the day. Daladium fixes the cart’s wheels in record time — under 2 hours — and ask for payment. The eldest of the three dwarves pulls out a jeweler’s loupe and inspects 3 tiny diamonds, giving each of them carefully to Daladium. He is frustrated and says that his work was worth more than this, but the dwarf says that they explicitly agreed to 3 diamonds, but did not agree on a size. Daladium convinces him to be more generous and he gives him 3 diamonds, each worth about 120 gold apiece. Daladium is delighted and the group departs.

Coming into the northernmost town slightly later than anticipated but much richer for the effort, the group looks for an inn to stay at. Daladium asks an older woman in the market who is selling rugs which inn is the best to stay at. She says that The Triad’s owner cheats people, so they should avoid that place. Bart’s is friendly to travelers but more expensive, and The Cauldron is not so friendly to outsiders but less expensive. The friends thank the woman and decide to head to Bart’s, the cost not being much of an issue.

They enter and Bart greets them warmly. He says that the wolf must stay outside but there is a place where he could sleep if he doesn’t bother anyone. Voran promises that he won’t. Bart says that one room for the three of them would be 40 gold. Astonished at this price, which is 4 or 5 times the normal rate, Daladium asks if it could be lowered at all. However, Bart stands firm on his price. Voran tries to convince him by saying that they saved the city, but Bart doesn’t understand. Voran goes on to say that they went inside the Wizard’s castle and found a bunch of keys. Daladium claps a hand over Voran’s mouth before he can say more, and explains that Voran was just making a joke. Bart seems to believe him. Daladium tries to convince him further but as he’s explaining how poor they are, he accidentally drops his purse onto the floor and at least 100 gold spill everywhere. He is mortified and gathers up his riches and runs out of the inn. Voran pays back his friend for the previous save by convincing Bart that they were copper pennies, not gold pieces. Bart seems to believe this as well. Voran and Elysant leave quickly.

It’s decided that they should have some dinner and then leave town as quickly as possible as they’ve embarrassed themselves enough here. Voran goes off to the forest to find some plants and berries to eat. He comes across a group of about 100 campers but doesn’t approach them. Daladium and Elysant go to a restaurant — picked by Elysant as the most expensive looking one — and she takes off her chest plate and sits down heavily at a table. Daladium orders a steak from the server, and Elysant asks for 3 steaks, potatoes, vegetables and a large ale. As per usual, she wolfs down her food much to the embarrassment of Daladium and disdain of the other patrons. Daladium pays and leaves a tip of one gold.

The friends meet up and travel outside of town a few miles. It is getting dark, but Voran finds a suitable camp site and quickly creates a shelter and a fire. The others are impressed. A watch is set up for the night, and it is uneventful. The next morning they break camp and quickly get to the ferry before 7am. They wait about an hour for the first ferry to leave, pay the fare of 9 gold for all of them and the horses, and the ferry departs. The weather is extremely calm and warm for mid-fall, and the trip takes under an hour.

The friends travel through the island toward the next ferry, but a bridge is out. They decide to travel north and find another bridge, continuing on. A few miles from their destination they come across a cart that’s been buried off of the road. After excavation they find 20 gold and a healing potion inside.

They reach the next ferry by noon and have lunch here, then take the ferry soon after. The wind has picked up now and it takes them an extra few minutes to reach Rock Island. It is about 2pm when they arrive.

Rock Island is aptly named, as there are huge sharp rocks surrounding it except in a few places. The land however is hilly and there are some trees. The friends immediately start seeing small houses dug into the hills. This is halfling country. There are dozens of houses but no one seems to be around. There are a couple of people tending their gardens, weeding and getting them ready for harvest time. They stop and speak to an older woman who is gardening. She seems skeptical of them but not scared. Daladium asks if she knows anyone named Swiftmark, and she says she’s never heard that name — it’s not a halfling name at any rate. Daladium presses further and says that he is looking for someone to help him get access through a door. She looks horrified and says that it sounds like stealing, which no halfling would do. She starts to ask them to leave but Daladium explains that it’s not stealing, more like exploration. She asks if they are the police, and he says no.

The friends ask the woman where everyone in the town is, and she says that they are all at the Digglebottom trial. She explains that Uncle Weasel Digglebottom always got into trouble in his youth and learned to be a master thief. The Wizard’s men heard of this and traveled to Rock Island. They kidnapped him and coerced him into doing many terrible things including breaking into places, thievery and spying. This went on for many years until he escaped and went back to Rock Island. His sister, Granny D, hid him away and when the Wizard’s men came back to get him she refused to give him up. In retaliation the men set fire to some of the buildings here and five halflings (including 2 of Uncle Weasel’s own family members) died as a result. The woman goes on to say that regardless if he was coerced or not, he did all of those horrible things and should be imprisoned for them, and the deaths are all on his head. She is glad that the young Hector Fungal, a halfling from another family, studied law and determined how they should prosecute Uncle Weasel. The friends ask where the trial is being held and she points them toward the town hall, which is about a half mile north. The friends thank her and head toward the town hall.

As the friends approach the hall, they hear voices from inside. On entering they see dozens of halflings filling the place. Two halflings stop them at the entry and say that they should’t be here. Elysant gives them a look and they back away, allowing the friends to sit down toward the back. They see a man — most likely the prosecutor Hector Fungal — proclaiming all of the same things the farm woman told the friends a few minutes ago. He is telling the tale of all the horrible things that happend, and pointing at the accused, an older halfling with white hair and lots of wrinkles who is sitting in the center of the room. He looks totally defeated and is looking down. There is also a jury and a steely-eyed old judge in the room with a large gavel.

Hector’s tirade goes on for a while, but suddenly someone stands at the front of the crowd and the friends hear him say loudly “I should go to prison, not my uncle!” Hector stops speaking and looks at the person. Looking carefully, the friends see that it is Swiftmark!

Session 8 – In Town

The friends head back to Northfort, and by the time they arrive it is dark. Two guards at the gate stop them, but eventually let them in after recognizing them.

They head to the inn, where Elvan says there is only one room left — the inn is unusually busy tonight. He initially asks for 8 gold for a night’s stay and then relents, giving it to them for 5 after Daladium asks nicely. He serves them piping hot stew, bread and wine. Elysant refuses the wine and asks for mead. She eats heartily, knocks back 2 pints of ale and heads to bed for the evening, making a lot of noise as she goes upstairs. Voran gets food scraps for his wolf and goes to feed him.

As it gets a little later the tavern becomes quieter, and Elvan talks with Voran and Daladium for a while. He says that he heard about what happened at the castle and is sorry for introducing them to Gilroy in the first place. He had been around the time for a while, but Elvan did not know what a bad apple he was. He also says that the town is very busy now because word has gotten around that the castle has been opened and the wizard hasn’t re-appeared, and many people have come from nearby villages or even further off to try and raid it — and perhaps even find one of the wizard’s magic items and become the next ruler of the Spear. Elvan hopes that the friends find the castle’s secrets first. They do not tell him about the door with the runes, however.

The next morning, after a good night’s sleep, the friends have breakfast in the tavern. The place is bustling with newcomers of all stripes — some look dangerous, some look poor, and some look moneyed, but Daladium listens in on their conversations and finds that all of them have come to explore the castle. As he is listening however, one of the men, a large red-faced man with a beard, fancy armor and a huge hammer at his side, points at Daladium. He says that he recognizes his description as one of the people who went into the castle, and orders Daladium an ale (which he declines). The man says his name is Talan, and that he is a great warrior. He explains that he will be the first to find all of the Wizard’s riches and will rule this area when he is done. However his boasting comes quickly to a close when he sees Daladium’s white pet guinea pig, Fausbat, poking out of his cloak. He grows wide-eyed and pale, and goes back to his drink immediately. Daladium doesn’t really know what to say, and leaves the tavern.

The friends make several errands, first going to the bank to deposit some gold, and then to the jeweler to sell some items (a gold chain, a small ruby and a set of silverware). They then travel to the edge of town to get some answers from a local master arcanist.

The arcanist’s store has all kinds of strange and foul-smelling things such as heads in jars, odd dried herbs and knick knacks that seem mostly worthless. There are a couple of items that seem valuable, like a vase with runes on it, however. The owner is in the corner, sitting like a buddha and mumbling some kind of mantra. Daladium tries to get his attention politely a couple of times, but he doesn’t seem to notice. Elysant raps her spear on the floor loudly and he snaps out of it. He asks why the friends have come here, but before they can answer he points to Daladium and asks if he is a wizard. Daladium says yes, and the man says that he has known a few wizards from Daladium’s country before.

Daladium asks him to determine what the contents of the test tubes he found was, and offers him some gold in exchange. The man refuses and takes one of Daladium’s hairs from his head instead as payment. He checks the test tubes and the first (red) ones appear to be inert, and tosses them out. The purple ones make you smarter for a period of time, and the green ones are actually three doses: another intelligence potion, a vigor-bosting potion and finally a dose of something that allows you to detect arcanum.

After this, Daladium explains about the locked door with the runes on it in the Wizard’s castle. The man explains that runes like that can only be bypassed by the original key (which the Wizard always wore around his neck, and it probably disappeared with him) or a master thief. Daladium thinks of their friend Swiftmark, an accomplished thief, who left a couple of weeks ago. The friends thank the strange little man and head back to the tavern.

At the tavern, the friends ask Elvan if he knows where Swiftmark may have gone. He says that he doesn’t know, but there are other halflings in the town that may know. Elvan sends his servant boy, a dirty faced lad, down the street to tell some of the halflings there that a free lunch is waiting for them at the tavern. In the meantime he makes lunch for the friends.

After only a few minutes, a bunch of halflings show up at the tavern, excited to get a free lunch. They eat and drink happily. Daladium approaches them and asks if they might know anything about Swiftmark. One of them takes Daladium to a back table and begins speaking to him. He says that Swiftmark is not one of their family members, but he knows him well. His family is from Rock Island, one of the northernmost islands on the Spear. He had to leave to take care of some trouble that was happening there, but that’s all he knows. Daladium thanks him and the group decides to head up to Rock Island to see if they can help.

The friends rent three horses and start riding north. They make it past the lighthouse and on to the next town, but while on the road they see something moving in the bushes. Voran sends his wolf to look and uses his Animal Sight to see through its eyes. They see in the woods a huge grizzly bear and the wolf is close enough to have annoyed it. It tries to attack the wolf, but it gets away. Voran will not attack the bear because he doesn’t hurt wild animals. Elysant tries shooting it with her crossbow but misses, and Voran asks her to stop. She puts it away. Daladium runs up to the bear and tries to shoot it with a bolt from his staff, but the spell backfires and he is left dazed. The bear swipes at him and nearly takes his head off, but Daladium comes out unscathed. He tries a second spell to restrain it with vines, and this spell backfires even more violently. Voran runs to Daladium’s aid and tells the bear firmly to leave, and it looks at him, stunned. It grunts and turns away, running off into the forest. The friends regroup and resume their journey.

Session 7 – The Wizard’s Castle

The friends continue searching the second floor of the castle. Attempting to open one of the doors with his lockpick set, Voran accidentally breaks the tool. Elysant gives him a hairpin to try and use, but he is unsuccessful with that as well. Finally Elysant tries to break the door down but hits it wrong, hurting herself and falling down. She tries again and finally breaks the door down. This appears to be a storage room and nothing is found.

The next room is easier to get into as Voran picks the lock easily, and the friends find that it is a head servant’s quarters. There is a strongbox at the foot of the bed. Voran and Elysant pry it open and find a ring of 20 keys. Daladium finds a set of silverware in a nearby drawer.

The door at the middle of the floor is quite large, with an elaborate looking lock. Daladium sees that there are runes around it and advises the group not to try and pick the lock. None of the keys on the key ring seem to fit, so they keep looking.

The last room on this floor is a quarters for many servants. There are bunk beds in here and other pieces of furniture. There are also 3 small chests at the end of the room. They all open easily with the keys that Voran found. The first two are empty but the third has a sack of 20 gold in it.

Just as they are finishing their search, the friends hear voices from the stairwell. Daladium sneaks to the doorway and listens. There are two men (named Klaus and Frank, and their large dog Fang), and they see that someone has been on this floor recently. The men search the hidden closet and see that the chest is empty. They move on to the head servant’s quarters without seeing Daladium. The dog, Fang, is Voran’s wolf fluffy has found a mouse underneath one of the pieces of furniture and does not notice what is going on.

Elysant and Daladium begin animatedly discussing what to do. Voran rolls his eyes nocks an arrow, aims and fires at the dog, killing it instantly. Klaus and Frank do not notice anything as they are still in the room. Voran runs over to the dog and tries to drag it into a nearby room to hide it, but he is not strong enough. Daladium runs out to try and drag it and is successful in moving it into the hidden closet and inside the chest there. Both of them run back to the servant’s quarters to hide.

Presently, the two men come out and see that the dog is missing and notice some blood on the floor. They draw their weapons and walk where the blood leads into the hidden closet. As they turn their backs, Elysant fires her crossbow at one of them but it glances off his armor. Seeing that her shot was ineffective, she runs across the hallway and slashes Klaus with her spear, putting him down. Voran steps into the room and shoots Frank with an arrow, pinning him to the wall.

The friends decide that since they can’t get through the lock and it would be dangerous to try, they should return home. Daladium remembers that one of the shop keepers in town has items with runes at his store, and he may know something about the lock.

As they leave, it is after dinner time and it will take them about 45 minutes to walk back to Northfort from here. They get back without incident and have dinner, then turn in for the night.

Session 6 – The Wizard’s Castle

The friends enter the second level of the castle, and see a main hallway with two doors on each side leading to different rooms, and then a double door straight ahead.

Searching this area, the friends see that the torches here are all blue flame. They appear to be magical. Voran sees what appears to be a doorway in the stone wall near the stairwell. He figures out that if the torch holder next to it is moved, the door opens. He tries it and the door swings open into a dark room.

Before going in, the friends all take one of the torches on the wall, though several are still left. They can be turned on and off with a mental command, and never burn down.

Voran is about to venture in the room when Elysant tells everyone to get back — she sees movement in the room. They get back, but when nothing happens Voran sends his wolf into the room. Even though he can see through his wolf’s eyes (with his Animal Sight ring), it’s so dark in the room that he can’t make anything out.

The wolf snarls and snaps at something, and fighting is heard. Daladium rushes forth into the room and sees a skeletal wolf. He smashes it instantly with his sword before it can get a strike off.

Searching the small room, the friends find a chest here. It has a bag with 100 gold in it. Satisfied that they have found everything, they move on.

Session 5 – The Wizard’s Castle

The friends continue their search of this level, finding a kitchen, guard room, parlor, hall, and two guest rooms. They defeat a few wandering monsters and a few gold pieces are found among these areas, along with a set of three Dwarven-crafted steins and a collection of test tubes with liquid in them that Daladium takes. Finally the last room is a well and stock room. In here they find a secret stash hidden behind a brick in the wall. Here Daladium finds a magical robe that protects him as if it is armor.

Deciding that they have searched everywhere on this floor, the friends go to the nearby stairwell and ascend to the second level.