Bloodhollow and Beyond - A Vigil of Vesh Campaign

Canyon of Souls - Where it Begins

The sight before you is awe-inspiring yet frightening at the same time. Beyond you stretches not just a canyon, but a maze of canyons great and small. Jagged pathways, natural, but twisted stone bridges, gaping holes in the earth and an empty openness as far as the eye can see. As if witnessing this miracle with your eyes was a cue, the winds rise to greet you like a cold and blustery wall.

The chill in the air reminds you that you have been climbing upward for the last two days, these canyons exist among the lower peaks of the mighty Kelder Mountains; to the North and South of this wind-swept canyonland can be seen the purplish blue rise of the Kelders themselves, at this elevation no trees grow upon the mountain sides and a year-round blanket of snow coats the rocky surfaces not much higher than where you now stand. Of course in the canyons themselves nothing grows due to the constant blasting of these winds.

Your soft-spoken windwalker guide, Xanvi, watches your faces as you gaze out over the trail that lies before you. He silently points to the distant horizon to the north and you notice after following his finger that he is showing the distant specks of mighty birds of prey circling the higher Kelder peaks. His finger then points to the sky directly to the west of you; it takes some time after seeing nothing but clouds in a cold, gray sky to realize that he is pointing to the nothingness. No birds brave the skies above the canyon of souls – the wind is a constant, merciless presence.

 

The guide gathers close to you and, surprisingly, his voice is clear and carries over the wind, which he has obviously grown used to battling over the many years.

“Caution young friends. Caution is the way of the wise. The canyons are a living and hostile being. The wind, it is her breath. The rain, it is her drink and foolhardy explorers, they are her supper.” He gives a crooked smile, claps you on the back then speaks a prayer of guidance and good fortune to Enkili as he takes his first steps forward. He maintains this nonsensical and repetitive prayer for the first several miles of your journey.

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My name is Chutnik. Theodore is my human name. This is my tale of my Vigil training.

After departing from Falcon’s Hollow, Alton Ashworthy and I were intercepted by some passing Vigils. We were told to meet with several other Clukies for our next training mission.

I wont go into our last. It was your typical dilemma concerning a lumber baron, an epidemic disease, and finances. As such, I will not bore you with the minutia.

I will elaborate on Alton. He is a fair haired Halfling. He is a more than competent sorcerer. And he is also a rambunctious rascal. If it were another, I might say he was somewhat of a trouble maker. Even on the rare occasion his antics  may incite a thinning of ones patience, you get a glimmer of the joy these harmless incidents bring him and must grin. He is so darn likeable!

We were go to an old rustic inn to meet up with numbers three and four of our training quintet. I looked forward to the travel. It was a chance to actually serve Tanil, and thus helping those in need. To put our training to the test. And to rejoin with Elian Windsong. He is a very attractive Elven ranger. He is in my opinion the most ready to be a Vigil. His sense of strategy seems to be almost instinctive, although at time he can be a wee bit presumptuous.

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Completed Adventure Synopsi

 

Report to Bloodhollow for Vigil assignments


Start Date: 1 Enker, 149AV (March 26, 2017)

Path to adventure: Given permanent squad assignment; the vigilants have been ordered to report to the Vigil fortress of Bloodhollow to join their squads.

Objective: Traverse the canyon of souls before the start of Winter. Deliver supplies and Ilum's mount, Butcher to Bloodhollow safely.

Abridgment: The party and their guide completed a remarkably short seven day crossing of the Canyon of Souls. They faced many harrowing obstacles including the harsh wind, weather and a few dangerous denizens of the canyonlands. With the crossing a complete success, they ventured onward from West Ontenazu, travelling 50 miles south to the Vigil fort of Bloodhollow.

Notable persons: Xanvi – Ontenazu canyon guide (known as Windwalkers); Butcher – Moose-nosed war horse of Vigilant Lieutenant Ilum; Bors Ritteltap – Housemaster, inn keeper at Piper's Glade in Rika.

Notable events: Defeated a large hissing centipede during first night of journey; struggled through the bitter cold of the Kelders; defeated a hungry cave fisher; crossed featherweb bridge while being harassed by air elementals.

Casualties: None

Success/failure: Success.

Rendez-vous with squad, deliver mounts to amalthea

Start date: 11 Enker, 149AV

Path to adventure: Informed that your squads are currently assisting the city-state of Amalthea, strongly urged to join them.

Objective: Safely traverse the Southern Amalthean Valley from Bloodhollow to the city of Amalthea. Join and reinforce your vigil squads and deliver healthy mounts to Semanye squad re-routed to Amalthea from Ganjus.

Abridgment: Shortly after a brief meeting with the merchant Mashbone, the party was ambushed by bandits of the Bloody Abbess outlaw gang. They were able to rescue Mashbone and receive 200 gp credit at his depot in Amalthea. Defeated yellow musk creeper & zombies and slayed a marauding troll, but not before he shattered Elian's skull with a powerful blow from his great club. The rest arrived safely in Amalthea where your vigil squads wait for you to join them. Alton will be temporarily joining the Beltanian squad until routes open to Durrover after the Winter.

Notable persons: Metyrian Vigil Commander Nytheera Oskial commands Bloodhollow and the Metyrian Vigil; Vigil Lieutenant Emi Khordad 2nd in command at Bloodhollow, oversees the fort's infirmary; Oddermund Mashbone Amalthea-based merchant, party briefly met him at Shepherd's Hold, then rescued him from bandits the following day.

Notable events: Arrive at Bloodhollow, get acquainted with mounts they will be riding, depart for Amalthea. Ambushed by members of the Bloody Abbess Society, party discovers bandits have slain one and abducted two (the cook/laundress Eden and the caravan guard Worril).

Casualties: Probationary Vigilant Elian Windsong

Success/failure: Group arrived in a reasonably short time, mounts were safe and uninjured when handed over to Semanye squad.

Investigate Spider-eye goblins in Kelder foothills

Start Date: 7 Taner, 149 AV

Reported by Probationary Vigil, Skorn Krovayy

Path to adventure: Amalthean war council seeks information on gathered spider-eye goblins.

Objective: Locate the Spider-eye goblin strong hold known as the Pit. Asses the number of Spider-eye goblins posing a threat to the area.  Gather as much information about the contents of the Pit.

Abridgment: After a few days into the journey, a small group of Spider-eye  goblins were discovered with a female human being held against her will.  The Vigils decided to trail the gobiniods until they made camp.   A rescue attempt was launched.  All but one spider-eye goblin were slain.  The last was knocked unconscious and "left for dead" so the group could follow it back to the Pit. 

The ruse was successful.  Having discovered the Pit, Squad leader Voclain ordered probationary Vigils Krovayy and Ashworthy to remain behind while the remaining Squad attempted to enter the Pit through a series of secondary caves Ashworthy had uncovered via a spell.  

Krovayy and Ashworthy observe do the matriarch of the Spider-eye goblins,  and noted supplies being loaded onto carts and being hauled out to the west (the only initial direction they could travel).

An alarm was raised within the Pit and a messenger bird flew out of the Pit with a message attached. (See attached note) 

Knowing that Voclain, Jennan, and Ryvian, were at least captured and possibly dead, Krovayy and Ashworthy retreated as ordered, hoping to gather forces and return to discover the truth about their comrades fates. 

Notable persons: The first Beltanian squad: Vigil corporal Prospus voclain, Vigilant Liriel Jennan, Probationary Vigil Skorn Krovayy, Vigilant Ryvian, Probationary Vigil Alton Ashworthy

Notable events: Rescuing the human female, and returning her to safety.  The discovery of the Pit and the possible connection to a larger assault being conducted in the area.  The discovery of a fissure alongside the roof of the Pit  that is weak enough to possibly exploit  to the advantage of the Vigils.

Casualties: Vigils Voclain, Jennan and Ryvian possibly captured or killed.

Success/failure: Success

Mounted scouting foray to the banks of Chendero River

start date: 7 Taner 149 AV

(Waiting for Mack Gregor to fill out)

Path to adventure: Amalthean war council seeks advance warning of enemy encroachment, the mounted vigil is being called on to get this intelligence.

Objective:

Abridgment:

Notable persons: Metyrian Squad: Vigil-lieutenant Illum (Butcher), Vigil corporal Alorielle Edringar (Byrn), Probationary vigil Mack Gregor Hunden), Vigilant Esyllt (Crook), Vigilant Oblivian Gray (Popskull), Vigilant Giania Bonnerod (Harper)

Notable events:

Casualties:

Success/failure:

Patrol Ramshorn River and monitor Ramshorn Bridge

Start date: 7 Taner, 149 AV

(Waiting for Chutnik to fill out)

Path to adventure: Amalthean war council wishes to alert friendly communities of coming danger, but priority is to monitor Ramshorn Bridge and report on activity at said bridge.

Objective:

Abridgment:

Notable persons: Acernoth Vigil: Vigil corporal Alladine Gossenite, Probationary vigil Chutnik, Vigilant Gwygan Werfosemar, Vigilant Lyndolian Derra,

Notable events:

Casualties:

Success/failure:

Maintain Vigilant presence in Summer's Grove

start date: 7 Taner, 149 AV

Reported by Pursuviant Firenni Aellan

Path to adventure: Amalthean war council wants a line of communication kept open, they are sending the second Beltanian squad to Summer's Grove for this purpose.

Objective: One stationary vigil so that all parties will have some means of getting in touch with others. The second Beltanian squad will gather information from other squads and report to Amalthea and will be prepared to lend assistance to other squads in need.

Summer's Grove is to be a fall-back and rendez-vous point for all Vigils north of the Grove.

Abridgment: As a fall-back point we succeeded, survivors of the other decimated vigil squads retreated to our positions and together, we rallied a counter-attack against the filth that has claimed the lives of so many brave Vigilants. We have acknowledged the existence of at least two insignias or seperate factions – the worgs who sport a scarred "X" upon their left shoulder and the humanoids and goblinoids who uniformly wear leather cords around their neck decorated with chunks of stone-work, glass shards and bone fragments. What these signify we do not yet know. As a unified force, eight vigils assaulted the supply caravan of these titan-spawn forces. We claimed the lives of 3 worgs, 3 bugbears, 8 Khirdetan cannibals and a half dozen of their fleshy mastiffs. We claimed several tons of sundries and live stock as well as winning back mounts stolen from slain vigils. Curiously, some manner of elephantile beast pulled the heaviest of these carts and will be returned to Amalthea with the live stock.

MY corporeal, Chantal levesque, has determined that our second Beltanian squad will travel due west, escorting hostages and slaves rescued from the titan-spawn force, into the hopeful safety of the ganjus Forest and her elven inhabitants.

Notable persons: Second Beltanian squad: Vigil corporal Chantal Levesque, Vigilant Nijen Farial, Vigilant Firenni Aellan, Chutnik, KRaldug, Skorn, Alton, Mack Gregor

Notable events: Gathered surviving vigils; Sacked supply caravan, slaying many foes and dispersing their needed food and equipment; departing with fellow Vigils as they return to Amalthea and we strike out for the Ganjus.

Casualties: Zero

Success/failure: In Tanil's name we strike a resounding success and a satisfying pay-back against our foes; but the lives we took today will not make up for the Vigilants lost in this bloody Winter.

 

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Ambushed

Transfer Supplies to Almathia, Report known events to Almathia

Start Date: ???, 149 AV

Reported by Probationary Vigil, Skorn Krovayy

Path to adventure: After splitting up the goods taken from the supply train, Probationary Vigils, Skorn, Chutnik, Kruldug, Macgregor, and Alton travel to Amalthia, attempting to avoid the combined army of human barbarians, worgs and Bug Bears. 

Objective: Get extra supplies to Amalthia.  Give much needed information to Amalthia.

Abridgment: Travel was uneventful. We discovered three commoners in need to assistance.  We allowed them to travel with us. We had a minor scrap with undead during one evening.  Then upon gaining sight of the road leading into the woods surrounding the base of the Almathian Moutain, a small fire was spotted by the scout Kruldug.We determined that we should continue on our path.  We were shortly waved down by a female.  She claimed many things, of most import was her having been kicked out of Amalthia.  We agreed to follow her to her camp, inform her on the current events in the area.  Before hand we took the supplies and the villagers and mounts some mile away, then made our way on foot to her camp.  It was of course a tramp.  One large Worg, a few barbarians and their hounds were there to greet us.

We were victorious.  I personally dispatched the female bard who had betrayed us.  I removed her head and placed it upon a stick.  

A clear set of tracks lead from the camp site, and towards the wooded base of the Mountain.  Kruldug decided it was important to scout ahead.  We agreed it would be helpful, but as he was the skilled tracker and quietest member known to our group, he insisted to go alone.  Several hours later, we made note he had probably been discovered and killed or captured.  Shortly after he returned.  He reported on following the trail and a run in with bugbears.  

We decided to move on before more returned as the head I had removed and those we slew had been discovered.  We arrived at the gates of Amalthia.  After debriefing, we have gained the information that the forces that have aligned against the city is too small to pose a real threat.  Instead it is believed they are seeking something in the old cities ruins.

Weary from the road, we have given our full reports, and begin to prepare for what lies ahead.  

Notable persons: Probationary Vigil Chutnik, Probationary Vigil Alton, Probationary Vigil Macgregor, Probationary Vigil Skorn, Probationary Vigil Kruldug.

Notable events: Discovering the commoners and assisting them to Amalthia.  Ambushed by look outs, and surviving the ambush.  Arriving at Amalthia.  

Casualties: None

Success/failure: Success

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Buddy squad first mission

I Kraldug and buddy squad Vigils asked get bad guy smarty ha! All stupidheads but brave buddy squad take mission. I Kraldug and buddy Mc Geger took front let noisy buddy's hold still so can sneak head then bring buddy's front. Found hole with plants and rope. I Kraldug bravely go in hole there danger bone men attack Kraldug but not specked Splat ha! I Kraldug bring Splat bear for attack I see many bone men so rush bone men in hallway if bring down keep I Kraldug from many fight once. Buddy squad see happen and Mc Geger leap in hole to help I Kraldug. He find self caught many fight. Buddy friend Shorkn draw bow and fire air stick at bone men buddy friend chubnick draw Taaanil power to hurt bone men buddy friend Alton use finger magic. Fight tough but Buddy squad tougherer. 

Next day scout maneater men with barkfaces watch go through gate later come eyeball goblins on spiders with bearbug men I Kraldug see bearbug chase I Kraldug when come Amathee bearbug should went home cause turn table now ha! We wait them go far from gate place then almost sneak them I Kraldug not say who sqeeky person was but jig up now Splat go work. Splat spiders Splat eyeball goblins and bearbug but I Kraldug Splatmaster  Splat smarty bearbug bludgeoner style keep live maybe give to Sex Beast ha!! 

Bring bearbug back to Amathee they get talk maybe Sex Beast get next one ha!!

 

 

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Buddy squad 2nd mission

Our group of Vigils in training were asked to slow down the seeming never ending supply of Spider-eye Goblins. We were transformed into eagles (flying is AMAZING!!!) to get to the old Dwarven fortress they were apparently now manifesting out of.  It was easier than anticipated. Tanil has indeed shown us favor! We had several small battles with the Goblins, were fortunate enough to stumble across our objective rather quickly. A thunder bundle levitated into a large fissure in the spider nursery set a collapse of the tunnels which was allowing the Goblins underground access to this neck of the woods.  

As a side note, we were also able to acquire some of the spider eggs for some wizard in the city. His protege assisted us. She was a very competent illusionist and an elite crossbowman.   He was a little weird, but paid in magic scrolls. 

Theodore Chutnik, Priest of Tanil and Vigil initiate

 

 

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The words of Lorekeeper Aeldraed

Taken during a daring raid behind enemy lines, your squad successfully transported the learned bard away from his sinister companions and into the arms of Amalthea. Over the next few weeks his journal, bound in asaathi skin, has been opened and sorted through. Of primary importance to the elder council and to the Vigils are the following two missives:

The first is a letter penned to his secretive dark master:

Merciless Overlord,

The braces you seek have been located. Rochukin sends Scythe quickly to your lair with the first brace and, thanks to your wisdom and generosity, Scythe also carries an accounting of Khorzad’s demise, gleamed through your generous offerings of the Legend Lore scrolls you gifted your undeserving lessers.

I wrote in full all that the powerful divination imparted unto me. As you have seen, an Ibar Littlethorn seems at the heart of the Sphere’s disappearance. Our work is done here, all save the information concerning this Ibar.

The humans of Amalthea are weak, they cower behind their stone walls whispering prayers to Denev; those we have encountered thus far have been slaughtered like vermin in the jaws of a mighty serpent. Though I sense that Rochukin wishes to stay and spill more of their blood, the gleam of your offered gold and enchantments makes it easier for me to convince him to depart once I gain full knowledge on Ibar - once again, with the necessary assistance of your scrolls.

When completed, I shall send Rending to you as swiftly as his mighty legs will carry him. I would not have you wait longer than necessary for what you seek – particularly the location of Littlethorn or the location of the Sphere.

 

I will return to you as swiftly as my own legs can carry me, though I fear that Rending will stand before you many weeks before I am allowed that honor,

 

Your most humble and obedient servant,

Aeldraed, Keeper of Lore

 

In this letter, he speaks of information about these bracers gleamed from a legend lore spell – thankfully, this meticulous note taker printed this knowledge in his personal journal while also sending the information to his "merciless overlord." The recorded information from that spell is as follows:

Legend lore cast on bracers:

Forged of blood-washed serpent steel, the Bracers of Khorzad were crafted and worn by the legendary battle sorcerer of the same name. Khorzad also served as the temporary master of the deadly relic known as the Necrotic Sphere, which is said to leach the life force of all who come near it. The bracers are said to have been crafted with necromantic energies charged through the slow, life-draining sacrifice of one dozen warriors of the divine cause. The wearer of these bracers is given greater powers to control and dominate the unpredictable Necrotic Sphere.

The sorcerer, Khorzad, wielded both the bracers and the sphere in the great war against Denev’s people in the Ganjus Forest and Amalthean Valley. Khorzad and his small, mostly undead legion, accounted for many dozens, if not hundreds of lives during the campaign against Amalthea and her druids. It is said that Ashmad, the elder of Amalthea, charged the sorcerer Ibar, known as Littlethorn, with assembling a small but specialized force of eight who would be dedicated to destroying Khorzad and his legions.

Khorzad met his end on the western slopes of Mount Amalthea; legends of that time suggested that dark Mormon rituals assured that Khorzad’s death would serve as a metamorphosis leading to his rise from the grave as an even more powerful undead servant of the Hag Queen.

Khorzad was instead petrified by Ibar and his remains were dismembered and hidden among the rubble of ruined Amalthea. It is said that after this battle, Ibar vanished never to be seen or heard from again by the elders of Amalthea who still regard him as a hero.

The Necrotic Sphere, which was not on Khorzad’s person at the time of his petrification, has not been accounted for. 

As Aeldraed had promised to his master, he had begun a recasting of Legend Lore, this time focusing upon the obscure figure, Ibar Littlethorn. Because he had so little information, the casting was taking many days and your group interrupted before the spell could be completed and the information recorded.

However, a wizard friendly to the Vigil's and Amalthea's cause agreed to use one of Aeldraed's captured scrolls and untertake this exhausting casting on your behalf. The information gleamed on Ibar Littlethorn is as follows:

Legend Lore on Ibar “Littlethorn”:

Ibar’s kin, founding members of the feared Dai Morcant, fled the Pyran Hills after the destruction of the Divine War and he was reared and raised in the western hills of the land once known as Hwyrdd’s Promise (now known as the Heteronomy of Virduk).

A Halfling hero who serves Denev. Ibar’s ancestors are said to have had the blood of the earth mother flowing through their veins and it is believed that this heritage showed itself with great potency in Ibar. The Halfling reluctantly answered the call of distress by the elves of the Ganjus Forest when they were attacked in what has come to be known as the Druid War. Reluctant to enter the Ganjus, Ibar served for over a year, focusing his assistance toward Denev's people in the Amalthean Valley, where he earned the moniker of Littlethorn from allied soldiers in this region. His part in the Druid wars seems to come to an end late in the year 90AV on the Western slopes of Mount Amalthea; he vanished mysteriously after a victorious but costly skirmish with undead legions and their necromancer general, Khorzad the Rotting Lord.

After interrogating the bard for several weeks, the council of war will inform you that Aeldraed is certain that the necrotic sphere is what his master seeks; Aeldraed also believes that Ibar Littlethorn made off with the sphere after defeating Khorzad. He feels that he failed his Master and believes that possessing both braces and gaining a trail that might lead to the sphere would have pleased this merciless overlord immensely – for now, this overlord is only in the possession of one bracer, but he also has the name Ibar Littlethorn. Aeldraed is confident that his merciless overlord (he never refers to his master by any other name or title) will soon learn where Littlethorn or his people can be found, and he will scour that region until he learns what the halfling did with the necrotic sphere.

He has nothing but contempt for the druids of Amalthea or those who follow the divine cause and his remains are returned to the earth shortly after the questioning is finished. He feels that any attempt to hinder his overlord's search will rain sorrow upon any, even the vigils of Vesh, a group that he has come to loathe and whom he personally blames for this failure.

The druids of Amalthea will convey all of this information via animal messengers, to the elves of the Ganjus Forest and to the Metyrian Vigils of Bloodhollow. No doubt Bloodhollow will send it on to the Home Commander of Vesh and he will decide what steps are to be taken next. Amalthea will not pursue further vengeance for this matter, nor will they take part in the hunt for Ibar or the necrotic sphere. Should Ibar or any of his kin be found (and by all accounts he would be nearly a century old if he still lived) Amalthea would wish it conveyed that he (they) will always find sanctuary and friendship within the city's walls.

As for your party's next move, you will wait out the remainder of Winter in Amalthea. When Spring and a new year (150 AV) rolls around, you will return to Bloodhollow and await assignment to a squad of vigils. Obviously Mack Gregor and Kraldug will remain at Bloodhollow, home of the Metyrian Vigils. The Beltainian, Semanye and Acernoth vigils, Skorn, Alton and Chutnik will have to wait for orders to arrive directing them where to report next.

The second Beltainian squad will head east as soon as the snow melts, they will make the journey across the Canyon of Souls and return to Vesh and Bride Lake, the home base of their Vigil. If any wish to make this return trip with them, they will gladly have you.

If anyone is unhappy with their characters or wish to leave the group for any reason, this is a very good place to accommodate that. So that a discussion can be had concerning downtime and the future of your group I have created a forum post dedicated to just these topics – click this link to take you there: Beyond Bloodhollow.

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