Legends of Terramyth

Norgrug's Outpost
Chapter 10 (Kerrandi: Against the Orcs)

Northern Kerrandi,
Northwoods,
Spring, 13th Day of True Omens, 4,028th Cycle


The secret door the four dwarven adventurers found led into a passageway lit by a flickering torch on a wall sconce.

The sounds of orcs snoring echoed from one side of the passageway. All was quiet the other way, which turned sharply around a corner.

Darnok and Otis quietly made their way towards the sounds of snoring orcs. What they found were two orcs lying on beds of straw in a room large enough to accommodate a dozen more.

While Kaza and Xan guarded the passageway, Darnok and Otis crept up to the two sleeping orcs and killed them while they slept.

After, the four continued down the passageway.

Kaza tried to sneak up to a corner for a peak when he accidentally brushed against the wall. The sound of his metal armor scraping against rock was loud enough to alert two orcs who were guarding a set of stairs leading up to a bluish veil of crackling energy which blocked the top of the stairs.

A battle ensued as the two orc guards raised the alarm alerting the rest of the outpost to the dwarves’ presence.

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Blood coated the passageway as orcs fell to the dwarves’ onslaught. However, one of the most fearsome orcs the dwarves had ever seen joined in the battle. He was armored in metal chestplate while his arms and legs were covered completely in chain mail. His sole weapon was a greatsword; its blade covered in blood-red runes.

Speaking in the tongue of man, the orc leader said he was General Norgrug of the Iron Legion and he vowed to slaughter each and every one of the intruders.

To make matters worse, an orc shaman joined in the fight as well.

For what seemed like an eternity Kaza kept pressing on, doing his best to kill Norgrug and possibly end the encounter.

But just as suddenly as the dwarves felt their god, Moradin, was on their side the shaman cast a spell that rattled every dwarf to the bone. The group saw Kaza, who was otherwise fearless in battle, suddenly running away in fear from the general and the shaman who stood nearby with a lone surviving orc armed with a spear.

With Kaza having ran away, the other dwarves feared for their own lives.

Continued in General Norgrug.


Heroes

Darnok Firestone (Dwarf Mage)

Kaza Firestone (Dwarf Fighter)

Otis Steallock (Dwarf Rogue)

Xan Warstout (Dwarf Martial Artist)


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A Band of Brothers...and Cousins
Chapter 9 (Kerrandi: Against the Orcs)

Northern Kerrandi,
Northwoods,
Spring, 13th Day of True Omens, 4,028th Cycle


The four dwarves saw two orcs busy sparring off with one another while three others watched unaware of the dwarves’ presence.

Each of the orcs was equipped with a shortsword, short bow, and protected by leather armor. They were all in front of cave entrance which was flanked by the remains of an ancient ruins, possibly built by elves or humans though the dwarves were certain that dwarves had no part in its construction.

“We can try getting the drop on them, and catch them by surprise” Kaza, the fighter suggested.

Everyone agreed it was worth a try. With Moradin’s blessings, they hoped to surprise the orcs and end the encounter without anyone getting hurt.

One orc who was sitting on a low wall turned when he heard the dwarves stepped through the thick bushes.

Realizing they could no longer surprise the alert orcs, the four dwarves called out their battle cry and charged the orcs who were readying themselves for the impending battle.

The battle was fierce as both sides tried to get the upper hand. Orcs shot at the dwarves with bows while dwarves returned the attacks with dwarven-forged steel blades that cut through orcish bones and sinews alike.

The battle was won and not one brave dwarf was injured. Meanwhile, half a dozen orcs lay dead upon the bloodied grass.

Otis, the group’s rogue, searched the orcs and found eighty-eight silver coins of various minting on them along with their armor and crude weapons. There were dwarven coins among the other coins that Otis suggested may have been taken from the orcs’ past victims.

After, the four decided to explore the cave which they wondered if the orcs were guarding.

After their eyes adjusted to the darkness, they found themselves in a tunnel extending deeper into the earth. The tunnel was cooler than the outside temperature, which although it was still considered spring, the season was definitely beginning its annual journeys towards summer and the start of a new year.

Deeper inside the cave, the dwarves came upon the remains of hundreds of small game animals and a scattering of tools and rusty, broken weapons left behind by a hapless adventurer.

“Look above,” Kaza warned. The others all looked up and noticed large patches of spider webs, thick as ropes in some places, covered the ceiling.

“It may explain the amount of bones littering the cave floor,” Darnok the mage said.

The group also noticed several large silken cocoons spread throughout the cave. Some looked like they held nothing larger than a small game, while others were large enough to contain a humanoid or two. Kaza walked up to one of the larger cocoons and cut it in half with his sword. He jumped back as the dried husk of an orc fell out of its silken tomb.

Suddenly a sticky net of spider silk shot across the tunnel and completely enveloped Kaza. Another silk net struck Darnok and Xan who managed to avoid being trapped. Two spiders emerged from out of the thick webs on the ceiling, climbed down the walls, and quickly made their way towards Kaza who was desperately trying to free himself from the sticky mess he was in.

Fate was with Kaza that day as both spiders were unable to bite their way through his plate corselet.

The dwarves fought against the two spiders which were later joined by two more. In the end, four spiders lay dead. Like the battle against the orcs, the encounter with the spiders ended well for the band of brothers and cousins from the Ridgeline Mountains.

Not wanting to spend too much time searching through thick spider webs, the four dwarves pressed on. Minutes later, the dwarves found themselves at the end of a short tunnel. A wooden door was clearly visible against a cave wall at the end of the tunnel.

What lay behind the wooden door the dwarves could only guess, but they were determined to find out.


Heroes

Darnok Firestone (Dwarf Mage)

Kaza Firestone (Dwarf Fighter)

Otis Steallock (Dwarf Rogue)

Xan Warstout (Dwarf Martial Artist)


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Showdown
Chapter 8 (Kerrandi: A Keg for Dragon)

Northern Kerrandi,
Northwoods,
Spring, 7th Day of True Omens, 4,028th Cycle


The heroes, reeling from Rexx’s death, wondered how the deadly encounter with the orcs was going to end.

Gristle entered the battle after he saw the saurian, Rexx, killed by the orc leader. Along with the other heroes, the tide of battle quickly changed.

Within moments all of the ors, including their leader lay dead amidst a slick pool of orcish and saurian blood. The heroes then took Rexx’s body and laid it in the larger cave. They then contemplated their next action.

Gristle said he was impressed by the heroes’ bravery and called them all battle brothers and offered to help them in any way. He produced a map leading to Clipwing’s lair. He said the map belonged to Chapel but was obviously a copy since he knows Chapel’s writing and he could not recognize the work of whoever drew the map. Whoever had drawn the map, Gristle said, clearly knew the location of the dragon’s lair. As far as he knew, only the dragon’s wards knew how to get to there.

**

The heroes followed the map leading to Clipwing’s lair. Gristle accompanied them, wanting to know the fate of Chapel.

Along the way, they smelled smoke as if from a camp. They chose not to investigate for fear of losing precious time and possibly getting lost.

When they reached the dragon’s lair, they all entered with caution.

Inside a large cavern located near a large stream, sat Clipwing. The great coppery-green dragon rested in the cave upon a small pile of gold, his head resting on an empty dwarven keg, which was the size of a large cask. His heavy- lidded eyes kept a careful watch on the cave entrance. His right wing was slightly bent, as though it had healed poorly from a bad break. He also had an old war wound running down the length of the same wing.

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Taken aback by the presence of the imposing dragon—despite its wound—the heroes entered the cave and approached Clipwing. They spotted Chapel sitting on a large carved wooden chair nearby busy eating.

The boy was surprised to see the heroes.

Clipwing asked what brought the heroes to risk their lives by coming to his lair. Ser Derrick spoke for the group and told Clipwing about how Northpoint’s magistrate was concerned about the disappearance of Chapel along with Clipwing’s breaking of the Clipwing Compact he had agreed to nearly a century ago.

The dragon said Chapel was safe but was being kept in his lair for attempting to fool him with a keg of whiskey that was clearly not filled with Ridgeline Whiskey.

When Chapel was asked about his attempting to fool the dragon, Chapel told of how he panicked when he found the real keg of Ridgeline Whiskey he had brought empty of its valuable content. Not wanting to anger Clipwing, he hurried back to town, took three small kegs of whiskey from Templeton’s store and tried then poured them into the keg that was meant for the dragon. But when Clipwing tasted the whiskey, the dragon immediately knew that Chapel was trying to dupe him.

The group then asked who else would have known about the location of Clipwing’s lair. The dragon said that only the current and former wards knew how to find his lair.

When asked if the dragon knew of any former ward still living in the area, Clipwing told the group that he had heard that one of his former ward had stayed in Northpoint despite the fact that most had become adventurers and had left the small town.

Clipwing told the heroes that Sebastian Shaw once served as his ward when Sebastian was about sixteen years old.

Chapel added that he remembered seeing Shaw in the woods nearby late one afternoon. Chapel couldn’t be certain but it looked as though Shaw was talking to two orcs. After their brief meeting, the orcs handed Shaw a handful of coins. Unsure of what he was seeing, Chapel ran back to the dragon’s lair.

The group realized that it was the owner of the Shattered Sword who had motive to steal the valuable whiskey and end the agreement between the town of Northpoint and its guardian dragon, Clipwing.

They also were keenly aware that Sebastian Shaw was skilled in the arts of magic having served as Clipwing’s ward for some time.

The heroes offered to correct the wrong done against the dragon by Sebastian Shaw. They then immediately left, without Chapel, to return to Northpoint to confront the traitorous Shaw.

Along the way, they came upon the same place where they smelled smoke earlier. This time, they decided to investigate knowing that it may be a camp of orcs in the area.

After making their way through the thick forest, the group came upon an orc camp which looked as though it had been hastily set up. In the camp were a detachment of half a dozen orcs armed with short sword, short bows, and dressed in leather armor. They also spotted two large black-furred wolves playing in the middle of the camp.

Not having much skills in stealth, the group chose to charge the camp.

A bloody battle ensued in which Ser Derrick was slain after being surrounded by most of the orcs and their leader. Moments after the brave knight’s death, the heroes were able to kill all of the orcs and the wolves and avenge their friend’s death.

They searched the camp after and found provisions and about a hundred silver coins.

The heroes decided to take Ser Derrick’s body back to Chapel and Gristle’s bolt hole where Rexx’s body was also being kept for the meantime.

They then continued on to Northpoint.

**

When the heroes arrived in town, they decided to find and tell the town’s magistrate, Hiram Mirth, about everything they had learned. Hiram asked the group to confront Sebastian Shaw and arrest him for his crimes against the people of Northpoint.

The group entered the Shattered Sword and found Sebastian Shaw alone, busily cleaning several wooden mugs. They also noticed the stuffed Owlbear standing in the nearby corner.

“Sebastian Shaw!” Hiram Mirth yelled as he stood behind the adventurers. “You are under arrest for your traitorous acts against the people of Northpoint.”

Sebastian Shaw, dressed only in a simple woolen shirt and breeches eyed everyone with disdain. “I was wondering if you would ever figure out what happened, Hiram. If it weren’t for these meddling heroes, I would have gotten away with it too!”

With a wave of his hand, Hiram sent a wave of magic hurtling towards the stuffed Owlbear. Suddenly, the large creature began to move as if it were alive! It then turned to face off against the half-orc, Glint.

The heroes rushed the proprietor who with another wave of his hand produced a pair of stone-skinned warriors armed with longswords to fight for him.

The encounter against Sebastian Shaw did not last long.

In the end, Shaw’s summoned warriors, along with the stuffed owlbear were defeated. Sebastian Shaw was defeated but not killed. Instead the group tied him securely while he was incapacitated and handed over to the town guards, Samuel and Elijah who took him away to be locked up until Hiram and the town’s citizens can put him on trial for his crimes.

After several hours of searching through the Shattered Sword, the missing keg of Northridge Whiskey was found. The group then immediately traveled back to Clipwing’s lair to hand the keg over.

Pleased with the heroes’ courage and dedication to saving the people of Northpoint, Clipwing offered the group a rare gift. Once a year, the dragon said, he could bestow the gift of magic by shedding a dragon’s tear, a tear formed of pure blood and magic. He who drank the dragon’s tear would gain the ability to cast magic or enhance their arcane power if they were already killed in the arcane arts. Only Brother Silas was willing to accept the dragon’s precious gift.

Clipwing also used his dragon ways to reassert his superiority over The Iron Legion and ensure Northpoint’s safety under his guard.

Back in town, Hiram Mirth asked to meet with the heroes. He thanked them for delivering the whiskey and returning with Chapel. He said the town would give the adventurers a hero’s celebration for averting disaster. The magistrate also offered to have Ser Derrick and Rexx buried with honors in the town’s cemetery where they would be remembered for their sacrifice.

As a final reward, Hiram Mirth offered the heroes the deed to the Shattered Sword. He explained that Sebastian Shaw had no relatives and the town would be happy to have the heroes remain in town as honorary citizens and new owners of the tavern and inn.

Sebastian Shaw was days later hanged on the town’s gallows after a quick trial. His body was then burned and his ashes scattered in the forest.

For the moment, with Clipwing guarding the town and a brave band of adventurers having taken ownership of the Shattered Sword, a quiet welcomed peace settled upon the small town of Northpoint.


Heroes

Brother Silas “The Steadfast” Tomkins (Human Cleric)

Dorin Thomar (Dwarf Fighter)

Glint “the Axe” Red (Half-Orc Assassin)

Ser Derrick Williams, Knight of the Golden Valley

Allies

Gristle of Northpoint


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Private Sanctuary
Chapter 7 (Kerrandi: A Keg for Dragon)

Northern Kerrandi,
Northwoods,
Spring, 7th Day of True Omens, 4,028th Cycle


The five adventurers stood in front of the cave entrance leading to where they believed Chapel was hiding.

Inside they found a rather spacious cave complex that went pretty deep. It consisted of two large chambers and two smaller ones that branched off of the main passage. The largest chamber had a natural hot spring in it, while the other area contained some hay, furs, rough bedding, along with other personal effects for two people.

Once they entered the first large chamber, they saw a dwarf who was busy practicing with a great axe against a wooden dummy.

The dwarf was shirtless, muscular and was tattooed from head to toe. He wore three earrings in his left ear. Scars zigzagged across his neck and chest, and it appeared as though he’d escaped the stocks and gallows on more than one occasion.

The group introduced themselves and asked where the dragon’s ward, Chapel was. The dwarf introduced himself as Gristle, a fighter-trainer from the capital city of Terraien. He related how he arrived in Northpoint months ago and found Chapel to be a promising young man of fifteen who had skills in fighting. Gristle offered to train Chapel to fight in the arena and make him rich. Gristle said Chapel was a natural and a quick learner. However, Chapel was offered a position as the dragon’s ward, which the young man accepted much to Gristle’s dismay.

Gristle added that he did catch sight of Chapel in the woods nearby earlier today. He seemed to be dragging something heavy as he made his way deeper into the Northwoods. Gristle figured Chapel was on his way to see the dragon, Clipwing, wherever its lair was.

But as the group was busy talking, an arrow suddenly grazed Rexx’s arm. The saurian turned to look at where the attack came from. Farther back near the cave’s entrance, Rexx spotted several orcs equipped with shortbows all trained at the group. Half of the orcs were also armed with great axes, while the others were armed with short swords.

Ser Derrick yelled a battle cry and ordered everyone to charge the orcs. Rexx, seething at the sight of orcs, yelled his own battle cry and charged into battle.

Soon both groups were locked in battle against each other. When range attacks became impractical, the orcs drew their blades and pressed on the attack surrounding as many of the heroes as possible.

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As the battle raged, Rexx was felled by orcs who had surrounded him. When the saurian fell to the ground, the orc leader brought his great axe down upon Rexx instantly killing him.

The heroes, stunned at the sight of their fallen comrade, wondered how the deadly encounter with the orcs was going to end.


Heroes

Brother Silas “The Steadfast” Tomkins (Human Cleric)

Dorin Thomar (Dwarf Fighter)

Glint “the Axe” Red (Half-Orc Assassin)

Rexx of the Gray Marsh

Ser Derrick Williams, Knight of the Golden Valley


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Against the Orcs
Chapter 6 (Kerrandi: Against the Orcs)

Northern Kerrandi,
Northwoods,
Spring, 24th Day of Welcomed Showers, 4,028th Cycle


The elven scout, Aspen Thistledown, and the half-elf Blade Runner Skirmisher, Ezra Two-leaf, approached prepared to open the door leading out of the goblin wolves’ den.

Ezra stood behind the door and waited for Aspen to ready her bow before opening the door. As soon as he opened it, Aspen yelled, “Goblins!”.

Before Ezra could close the door, six goblins poured into the room. Each had a small spear and a quiver strapped to her backs which held two more of the deadly shafts.

Ezra moved to where Aspen stood so they could together fend off the goblins intent on killing them both. However, the two found themselves quickly surrounded by the bloodthirsty creatures who attacked with ferocity.

“Quickly, use your enchanted robe!” Aspen reminded Ezra who was busy trying fighting against four goblins.

Ezra had found the robe on the remains of a mage they both found inside a small secret room hidden in the kitchen. After donning the robe, Ezra was able to tell that the robe had the ability to call upon an armor power which could protect its wearer against attacks.

Unfortunately, Ezra had been severely wounded by the goblins’ spears to activate the robe’s power. Aspen could see him teetering on the verge of consciousness. She desperately wanted to help the half-elf but she had troubles of her own.

With a cry of pain after being stabbed in the chest with a spear, Ezra fell to the ground beside Aspen.

Despite slaying three of there kinds, there were still three remaining goblins to contend with!

Aspen moved to stand over the fallen half-elf’s body in a vain attempt to protect him against the goblins who, with renewed fury, pressed the attack.

Aspen was barely able to strike one goblin before she succumbed to the pain inflicted by the goblins’ spears stabbing at her.

Aspen’s last view was that of a goblin’s wicked spear tip piercing her face just unconsciousness claimed her.

**

When Ezra awoke a short time later, he found himself inside a wooden cage inside a dungeon room. His entire body was wracked in pain.

His belongings were nowhere in sight. He was dressed only in his woolen shirt and breeches.

The large room he was in was bathed in a reddish glow given off by two braziers which stood next to a large wooden statue. The statue was carved in the likeness of a huge orc with bulging muscles and sharp tusks protruding from either side of its mouth. It held two wicked looking axes in each of its hands.

Two orcs dressed in leather armor and holding spears stood by a door which afforded the only way out of the room. In front of the statue, Ezra saw an old orc dressed in the magical blue robe he recently found. The orc, clearly a shaman, was genuflecting before the statue and chanting prayers to its deity.

An empty cage stood next to Ezra. Across the room, he saw two more cages. One held the unconscious form Aspen. Her face and once golden hair was covered in blood.

Ezra also noticed the small form of a female half-folk inside the cage next to Aspen’s.

“You will all be sacrificed to Baghtru,” the old shaman warned Ezra and the half-folk in the common tongue. “The god of strength and battle will welcome our sacrifices and bless us with the might to destroy the kingdom of man once and for all!”

The shaman left the room along with one of the guards. The remaining guard stood by the door.

Ezra was able to quickly take a good look at the hallway outside the door before the orc guard closed it behind him. The hallway came upon a T-intersection. A single wooden door was visible at the end of the hall. Even from where his cage was, Ezra could hear the ruckus of orcs coming from behind the other door.

“I think that’s their #@@% barracks,” the half-folk said to Ezra who was slightly taken back by the half-folk’s use of profanity. “It only gets quiet when their @$$ is all sleeping.”

“Who are you?” Ezra asked. He tried to sit down and get comfortable but the wooden cage’s small size wouldn’t allow it.

“My name is Lyda Cusswell.”

Ezra couldn’t help but grin at the appropriateness of Lyda’s surname.

Ezra introduced himself and asked how Lyda ended up as a prisoner of the orcs and goblins. She went on to tell him about how a dozen orcs and goblins ambushed a caravan of actors she was traveling with on the Forest Road three days ago. The others with her were slain except one female half-folk who managed to escape. Lyda was captured and brought to the orcs’ lair and was told by the shaman that she would be sacrificed to their deity.

“How’s Aspen doing?” Ezra asked Lyda pointing to the unconscious elf.

“Your friend looks like $#!+.”

“We need to find a way to escape,” Ezra said. “Are you rogue? Maybe you can—”

“Oh, #=!!, you didn’t just think I was a #@@$!% thief, did you?” Lyda said clearly irritated by Ezra’s assumption. “Why the ^#*% does everyone think half-folks are all thieves?”

Ezra grinned, again, as he tried to apologize to Lyda. After, Ezra talked to Lyda about planning a way to escape. Together, they decided that it would be best if Ezra regained his strength. It seemed that the shaman was not planning to sacrifice them anytime soon, so they may still have time.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t long until Aspen succumbed to her wounds. When the guards found her dead, they took her body.

The next day, the two remaining prisoners were brought a wooden bowl of slop filled with some kind of unidentifiable meat, which Lyda said the orcs normally did not give to their prisoners. Ezra looked into his bowl and was horrified to see what appeared to be strings of golden hair floating in the thick slop.

He quickly threw the bowl against the wooden bars!

Lyda, too, couldn’t bare the thought of eating what the orcs had served them.

**

Nearly two weeks later, Lyda saw an opportunity to put her and Ezra’s plans of escaping into action.

They both came with a daring plan to overwhelm the two guards who every morning brought their only meal for the day. The shaman only arrived after they both had been fed. Since Ezra had still not completely recovered from his wounds, it was up to Lyda to fight the guards alone and then free Ezra.

When the guard with the food unlocked Lyda’s cage, the half-folk quickly rushed the orc with the spear. She ducked under the spear, grabbed it, then twisted it with all the might her tiny frame could muster. The orc grunted in pain and let go of the spear. It then tried to grapple with Lyda who sidestepped the now unarmed orc.

The remaining orc surprised by Lyda’s brazen attack, recovered from being surprised. It drew it’s short sword and slashed Lyda across her back.

Lyda screamed as the orc’s blade bit deeply into her back nearly severing her spine in the process.

Lyda fell upon her knees, turned to look at the caged Ezra and mouthed a downcast, “I’m #@@% sorry.”, before dying upon the cold stone floor.

The two orcs called the shaman who was furious. The old orc then took Lyda’s body and gutted it before the statue, offering the half-folk’s remains to their evil deity.

After the shaman walked up to Ezra’s cage.

“Let this be a lesson to you half-elf,” the shaman said. “There is no escaping from here, except through death.”

The shaman then stormed out of the room, but not before ordering the guards to withhold Ezra’s food for a day.

Ezra curled himself upon the cold floor and wondered if he would ever see the light of day ever again.


Heroes

Aspen Thistledown

Ezra Two-leaf

Lyda Cusswell (Half-Folk Adventurer)


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Ezra and Aspen
Chapter 5 (Kerrandi: Against the Orcs)

Northern Kerrandi,
Northwoods,
Spring, 24th Day of Welcomed Showers, 4,028th Cycle


The owlbear let out an ear-splitting screech, fell over, and died.

But before the half-elf Blade Runner known as Ezra could approach his kill, he suddenly heard the feral growl of wolves quickly approaching.

He hid himself in some thick bushes just as two goblins riding on the back of wolves ran into view. A riderless wolf ran alongside the other two.

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Ezra quickly made his way through the thickets to a spot where he had a clear view of the lone wolf. He then took a shot.

The wolf yelped once and dropped dead.

The other two goblins, upon seeing Ezra, urged their wolves and went after the half-elf who ran towards the safety of some thick bushes.

The two goblins went in two directions and tried to flank their attacker. One goblin forced his mount past the elven ruins, pointing his shortspear at the direction of where it last saw Ezra.

Just then, an arrow buried itself into the side of the wolf under the goblin rider. The wolf’s legs buckled. The goblin screamed in surprised and flew forward. It slammed into the ground, breaking its arm and several of its ribs.

Before Ezra could hide, a wolf and its rider came up to him. The goblin lunged with its shortpear which the half-elf dodged. The goblin’s attack was quickly followed by the wolf which tried to bite Ezra’s leg. Luckily Ezra was able to avoid what clearly could have been a vicious bite.

Ezra drew his sword and struck the wolf, killing it. The rider fell off and landed prone on the ground. Ezra circled the fallen goblin and tried to stab at it but missed.

The goblin suddenly screamed as an arrow grazed it across its shoulder before the arrow buried itself into the ground. Ezra looked to where the arrow came from . He saw a striking elf maiden dressed in skintight green leather. Golden hair cascaded just past her shoulders. A shortsword hung on a belt at her waist. She held a beautifully curved bow in her hands as she took out another arrow from a quiver on her back.

The elf took quick aim and shot the goblin in the chest. It trashed about for a breath then lay still.

Ezra, stunned by the elf’s beauty, introduced himself.

The elf said her name was Aspen, a scout sent by the elven council of Rainmelidan from the Lone Forest to find out how much of a threat the Orcs of the Iron Legion had become. Ezra explained that the orcs have been raiding along the northwesternmost edge of the kingdom. The Wardens, protectors of the Three Kingdoms, had sent him to lend aid to the town of Northpoint. Ezra also added he was also asked by the people of Northpoint to hunt down and kill the owlbear which had been terrorizing their town for quite some time.

Aspen asked to accompany him back to Northpoint to learn more about the kingdom and its troubles with the orcs.

While they were talking, Aspen asked Ezra if he had happened to have seen any healing mushrooms growing in the forest. Ezra said he had not but that she could ask Anna, an elf, who owned an apothecary in town if she had any. He needed to return to town anyway to let Sebastian Shaw, the proprietor of the town’s tavern and inn, The Shattered Blade, that he had slain the owlbear. It seemed that the proprietor wanted the owlbear brought into town so he could have it stuffed and displayed in the tavern’s common room.

When the two arrived in town, Aspen went straight to the apothecary while Ezra concluded his business with Sebastian Shaw who paid him 200 silver coins for the owlbear’s carcass.

After, Ezra ran into Northpoint’s magistrate, Hiram Mirth who asked him how he was doing. Ezra reported having slain the owlbear and that he and Aspen had ran into the goblins. Ezra told Hiram that they were both going to go back into the forest to follow the goblins’ tracks and see where they had come from.

Soon enough, Ezra and Aspen left Northpoint and made their way back into the forest to follow the goblins’ tracks.

They followed the tracks deep into the forest. The tracks led to a structure built into the side of a rocky hill. A pair of thick wooden doors led into the structure. Mystical glyphs were etched into the wooden doors.

The two stealthily their way to the door. They carefully inspected it and found it locked yet they could not see any physical means that it could be locked.

As Ezra was inspecting the strange carvings on the door, one of the symbols flashed as he ran his hand over it. A second after the flash of light dimmed, the door suddenly cracked open outward.

The two opened the door and found four goblins slowly waking up inside a large square hall.

They both rushed in and fought the goblins along with two large black wolves one of the goblins had summoned from another room.

The battle was won, but Ezra sustained a wound during the encounter. Fortunately, Aspen was skilled in healing and quickly treated the half-elf’s injury.

They both then proceeded to search the room and the two other adjoining rooms nearby. However, they had to for the moment ignore the stone steps leading deeper into the ground blocked as it was by a curtain of blue crackling magic. As they stood near the magical curtain, they could feel a powerful force like the kind one feels during a thunderstorm emanating from the curtain of magic.

They also saw a wooden door in the room where the wolves came out of. They chose to leave it alone while they went to look inside the other room.

The other room seemed to serve as the structure’s kitchen. While carefully searching the room, Ezra noticed a secret door. He called Aspen into the room.

After finding the means to open it, they found the skeletal remains of a human inside a small secret room barely wide and long enough to accommodate a person. Not much was left of the human except for a blue robe it still wore. Despite clearly having been inside the small secret room for some time, the blue robe decorate with symbols of shields on its cuffs and at the bottom of the robe.

Ezra offered for Aspen to take the robe which he suggested was most likely enchanted. Aspen said she would rather they armed-wrestle to determine who would end up with the robe.

They did just that.

Although equal in strength, Ezra won the contest and ended up with the robe which he quickly wore on top of his armor.

Although nothing obvious occurred, he hoped that the robe would benefit him somehow as he and Aspend decided their next course of action.


Heroes

Aspen Thistledown

Ezra Two-leaf


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Northpoint
Chapter 4 (Kerrandi: A Keg for Dragon)

Northern Kerrandi,
Northwoods,
Spring, 7th Day of True Omens, 4,028th Cycle


A pall seemed to hang over the sleepy town of Northpoint.

The town bordered the Ridgeline Mountains beyond which can be seen the Jagged Reaches to the north. People went about their lackluster lives with little real drive or purpose. An aging wooden sign next to a small well in the village square pointed to the major points of interest in town: The Shattered Sword, Templeton’s General Goods, and Ana’s Apothecary.
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Whiteshroud, an emaciated human man in dirty, white robes, led the heroes into the middle of town where Northpoint’s only town guards, the twins Samuel and Elijah greeted them all with spears at the ready.

“Put those sticks down before you hurt yourselves.” Whiteshroud ordered, his worldly possessions on his person clanged together: a cup, a plate, and a fork, all dangled like talismans from a crude leather necklace.

“Well, now,” Elijah said lowering his spear at the sight of the cleric. “No need to get upset. We were just doing our jobs protecting the town, is all.”

Ser Derrick introduced himself and the others to the two guards and asked to meet whomever was in charge, but not before he insisted on dropping by the general store to try and sell the five dead black wolves the group had slain earlier in the morning.

Whiteshroud left the heroes to go back to his church. He thanked them again for saving his life when a pack of ravenous black wolves attacked the cleric while he was out on one of his usual morning walks in the forest. He offered to help the heroes with healing if ever they needed his services.

The twins happily led them to the Templeton’s General Goods where they were greeted by Oliver Templeton, the fattest man in all of Northpoint. Templeton trundled when he walked, and wore only a petitioner’s robes and sandals rather than typical merchant attire. His thick fingers were adorned with gaudy rings, and he wore silk ribbons in his curly, shoulder-length hair. A small, gilded dagger was barely visible on his belt, hidden as it was by the large fold of his stomach that hung over his belt.

After some haggling, the group handed over the wolves’ carcasses to Templeton for a small amount of silver coins.

After, the twins led the heroes to the Shattered Sword Tavern and Inn where the town’s magistrate, Hiram Mirth, was busy meeting with several of the town’s folks.

“You wanted us to get results? Well, how’s this?" The twins said in unison as they entered the Shattered Sword. "We found a whole lot of heroes for you to sort things out!” They then turned on their heels and left.

The heroes introduced themselves.

Hiram Mirth, a human man in his late sixties, had shoulder-length hair dyed a deep black, soft features, and a smattering of beard that was greyish-white. He dismissed the others in the inn’s main room except a dwarf and the proprietor, a human named Sebastian Shaw. Hiram introduced Dorin, a local citizen and adventurer, to the group.

“Well met, strangers," Mirth said. "You’re probably passing through on your way to the Jagged Reaches in your quest for real adventure. Granted, Northpoint is usually a sleepy little town – and we like it that way – but lately… well, lately there has been a great deal of trouble. Chapel is missing, the dragon is dead or mad or worse, but what’s worse than dead, really? And we’ve seen black wolves in the forest of late. Shamans of the Red Hand use wolves as forward scouts, it’s been said. Will you help us? “

When asked about the dragon, Hiram added that the town was under the protection of a dragon named Clipwing. He told about how over seventy-five years ago, the dragon, Clipwing, saved the town from the dark dragon, Nemesis. The dragon of light was sorely injured in the process, and his wing never properly healed. He was never to fly for great distances again. The town’s hunters encountered him groaning in pain, and they worked out a deal with the dragon. The town supplied him with a favorite drink of his, Ridgeline Whiskey from the dwarven cities, and he kept the entire town free from The Iron Legion and other threats. Hiram admitted that the town’s folks, under Clipwing’s protection, had grown complacent, and soft. None of them realized how dependent they had become on Clipwing until now. He hoped that Clipwing and the boy were alright.

He went on to say that Clipwing selected a young ward who served until the dragon deemed otherwise. Delivering the whiskey was considered an important task, and being the dragon’s ward was a great honor, as this service had always been rewarded in the past. Chapel had just become the new ward, and this was his first delivery of the tribute.

The heroes all agreed to help. Hiram offered to pay each of them 100 silver coins for their effort. Ser Derrick, under advice from Rexx, attempted to persuade the magistrate to add a little more coins for their effort. He was rewarded by Hiram offering to go ahead and pay each hero the sum of 105 silver coins each! Hiram also sweetened the deal by promising the adventurers a twenty percent discount on all purchases made while they were in the town.

When Hiram left, Sebastian Shaw spoke to the heroes. He thought that everything could be connected – the missing boy, the derelict dragon, and the random attacks on the town. He pointed them toward Templeton. “I was taking a break from the bar to get some fresh ginger in the woods, when I came across Chapel and Gristle arguing in a clearing. Chapel owed Gristle money, and promised to pay him. I think Gristle was about to rough the boy up when he heard me. I took off running, and didn’t look back. Maybe Templeton knows more. That’s who Chapel worked for. Gristle, he keeps to himself for the most part, and we don’t usually see him around town until after dark.”

When asked about who Gristle was, Shaw said Gristle was a dwarf who hailed from the east. He recently arrived in town and quickly made friends with Chapel. Gristle, who lives somewhere in the woods, rarely comes into town and only does so at night.

The adventurers decided to pay Templeton a visit. With the money they each received from the magistrate, visiting Templeton’s General Goods would also provide them the opportunity to buy some much needed adventuring gear.

Inside the store, Templeton offered what information he had.

“I know the kid owed Gristle some money," Templeton said. "Gristle, a dwarf he’s been associating himself with lately, came around here a LOT. Always to see Chapel. I finally asked the kid what the story was, and the kid said he’d figure it out, and asked to run extra errands, but there is only so much work to be had in a little town like this. I had him straightening up the stock room—-” His face pales for a moment. “You don’t think the kid would’ve gone so far as to steal from me, would you?”

Templeton went to check his inventory of supplies and discovered that he was missing three kegs of whiskey. The learned that the missing kegs of whiskey were from the south and not the Ridgeline Whiskey the dragon loved so much.

When asked about the dragon, Templeton said that he knew of the Clipwing Compact and how the dragon selected a young ward. He never really made the connection, but he noticed that every ward who finished his—for it was always a young boy who was chosen—duty to the dragon, the wards would always end up leaving Northpoint as adventurers. For it seemed that every ward would somehow develops skills in the art of magic and became wizards after serving the dragon. Although he couldn’t tell for sure, Templeton had heard that it was rumored that only one of the dragon’s wards had ever stayed in Northpoint. However, he has never found out who the former ward could have been.

While everyone was talking, Templeton noticed scratch marks on the floor leading outside. It seemed that something heavy, but small—perhaps the three missing kegs—had been dragged outside.

When the adventurers went outside, Glint was able to spot a set of wagon ruts that led towards the distant woods to the east. Glint was certain he could follow the tracks into the woods.

But before they left for the woods, Brother Silas suggested that they pay a visit to the apothecary to procure some healing salves.

Inside Anna’s Apothecary, the group was greeted by a young human female named Mary Anne, who said she was the assistant to Anna. Mary Anne then went upstairs to tell Anna she had customers who also wanted to speak to her.

Upstairs, the group was met by a slender female wood elf. She introduced herself as Eliana. She was both beautiful and graceful, with captivating green eyes and soft, tawny hair that cascaded down her shoulders.

The heroes asked the elven woman what she knew of the troubles Northpoint was having.

“You seek a boy who has gone missing and a dragon that, it seems, is absent as well,” Eliana began. "Perhaps the two are linked and not mere coincidence? It seems the common connection is the keg. Perhaps it is missing too, or did the dragon get it and decide to shirk his responsibilities? If so, then why now? It seems just too many things to be chance. Go to Chapel’s bolt-hole. I’ve been there before; it’s not hard to find. He is very kind and misunderstood. It is not surprising. He has a very old soul.”

She drew the heroes a map which would lead them to Chapel’s bolt-hole, a cave he turned into his home soon after both his parents were killed in a tragic house fire. She also offered to give each hero a Potion of Vitality which after consumed would take away any feelings of fatigue.

With Anna’s map and the wagon tracks they could follow, the group decided to head east into the woods to find out once and for all what happened to Chapel and to seek out the dragon, Clipwing to find out why he was no longer honoring the Clipwing Compact.


Heroes

Brother Silas “The Steadfast” Tomkins (Human Cleric)

Dorin

Glint “the Axe” Red (Half-Orc Assassin)

Rexx of the Gray Marsh

Ser Derrick Williams, Knight of the Golden Valley


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Highwaymen of Sorts
Chapter 3 (Kerrandi: A Keg for Dragon)

Northern Kerrandi,
Spring, 6th Day of True Omens, 4,028th Cycle


A month after being injured from fighting orcs in Willowdale, Brother Silas had finally healed completely.

During the month spent in Willowdale, Glint, Ser Derrick, and Rexx kept busy helping the villagers repair the damage caused by the orcs. In return each of the adventurers were regarded as heroes and were given free food and lodging. Garam, the dwarf, was buried in the village cemetery, honored as the true hero he was.

Of Ereneus the rakashan, little was seen of him.

When the time came, the four remaining adventurers gathered their belongings and prepared to continue their journey in search of fame and fortune. Added to the their quest was Rexx’s desire to seek out the rest of the orcs that wiped out his entire tribe.

The others offered to help Rexx. However, they knew that in order to rout the orcs, they must all gain in skill and find magic items that would enable each of them to complete their desired task. For starters, they had taken an oaken staff from the orc priest they had slain in the village dungeon. The staff was carved with images of orcs in warfare, all slaying in the name of Orcus, their demonic god. Despite the evil visages carved on the staff, Brother Silas took the orc staff, which they discovered was enchanted, as his own.

**

For several hours the adventurers traveled on the North Road. Folks from Willowdale told them about Northpoint, a town over a day’s journey northeast on foot. With rumors spreading across the kingdom of Orcs of the Iron Legion coming from the Jagged Reaches and raiding the South Lands, the adventurers decided it would be best to travel north in search of more orcs to slay. There was also talk of whether or not the dwarves of the Ridgeline Mountains would come to the aid of King Gareth Greenwood and the kingdom of Kerrandi if war were to break out with the Orcs of the Iron Legion.

Suddenly, the group stopped at the sight of two goblins standing upon the road. Each was protected by leather armor and held crossbows too big for them to hold with ease. Short swords were sheathed at their waist.

One of the goblins spoke in Common and ordered the adventurers to surrender their coins, weapons, and valuables lest they find themselves dead.

Ser Derrick announced that he was a knight in service of the King and that he and his fellow adventurers would never give in to the demands of highwaymen, or highwaygoblins, as the case may be.

With that said, the four adventurers found themselves in an ambush against ten goblins equally equipped. Goblins, hiding inside thick bushes on either side of the road, opened fire on the group with crossbows too big for them to hold properly.

Immediately, a battle against the goblins began. It lasted for nearly a full minute with all goblins dead and not one adventurer injured. A careful search of the goblins yielded silver coins. The heroes concluded that the goblins may have been waylaying travelers and adventurers along the North Road for some time judging by the assorted crossbows, too big for goblin hands, they used.

The heroes also heard the pained moan of an injured person from somewhere deep inside a nearby thicket. What they found was human man in his forties who, after Brother Silas had healed him, identified himself as Thomas the Peddler. The man said he had just been attacked by the goblins just before the adventurers arrived. When asked what he sold, Thomas explained that he sold rings of all sorts. Grateful for saving his life, he offered each hero a Greater Potion of Healing he was carrying with him.

Thomas the Peddler also suggested that the group, clearly being skilled adventurers, should travel to Northpoint. He said there have been rumors of orcs coming from the Jagged Reaches to raid Northpoint. He just left the town the day before and intends to return to safer, more civilized lands in the kingdom. He also hopes that Northpoint sorts out its problems before his next trip up that way. He recommended that the heroes make their way to the Shattered Sword, the town’s tavern inn where they can find out more about how they can be of service to the town.

When asked how Northpoint was defended, Thomas the Peddler claimed to have heard a strange rumor while drinking with the locals at the Shattered Sword. It seemed that for over a generation, Northpoint had been under the protection of a dragon named Clipwing who resided somewhere close to the town. However, for some inexplicable reason, the Compact of Clipwing—as the town’s arrangement with the dragon was called—had not been honored lately, and the dragon that protected the town was nowhere to be seen.

The question was, why?

With a final thanks, Thomas the Peddler left the group to ponder their next action. With only a few hours of sunlight left and still many miles to travel before reaching Northpoint, the adventurers knew that they would soon need to find a safe place to camp for the night.

With luck they would reach Northpoint early the next day.

Heroes

Brother Silas “The Steadfast” Tomkins (Human Cleric)

Glint “the Axe” Red (Half-Orc Assassin)

Ser Derrick Williams, Knight of the Golden Valley

Rexx of the Gray Marsh


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Willowdale
Chapter 2 (Kerrandi: Woes of Willowdale)

Northern Kerrandi,
Village of Willowdale
Spring, 4th Day of Lasting Kinship, 4,028th Cycle


Upon arriving on the village outskirt, the four adventurers came upon a lone figure traveling across the Sunset Plains.

From a distance the traveler looked like a rakashan, a race of cat-like people who live in prides across the Sunset Plains. When the Rakashan approached the four others, he didn’t seem interested in getting to know them. Ser Derrick tried to befriend the Rakashan who introduced himself as Eremeus, but their meeting was abruptly cut by the sounds of a woman’s agonized screaming.

The four heroes, along with the rakashan, ran into the village. Suddenly out came several orcs from inside village homes.

During the battle, a saurian covered in blood joined the fiver adventurers against the orcs. The heroes would later learn that the saurian, named Rexx, was from the Gray Marsh. His entire tribe was massacred by the Iron Legion, a vicious tribe of imperialistic orcs, from the Jagged Reaches.

The five adventurers fought off the orcs as they made their way to a house in the middle of the village from where they heard the scream come from. After the fight against the orcs was won, Eremeus and Rexx almost came to blows. To Brother Silas, Garam, Glint, and Ser Derrick, it was apparent that the rakashan and the saurian were bitter enemies.

Eremeus explained that the saurians have been attacking the various prides of rakashans in the Sunset Plains. Meanwhile, Rexx argued that the warlike rakashans have raided his tribe for years.

Despite their hatred for one another, Rexx told Eremeus that he was there to avenge his tribe and slay every orc he came upon.

United in a common cause—at least for the moment—the six adventurers entered the home and came upon a horrific scene.

A young human woman, seemingly in her twenties, lay upon a bloodstained bed. Four armed orcs stood nearby. It looked as though the orcs had just finished assaulting the woman who lay near death upon the bed.

The adventurers quickly slew the orcs in the room.

After tending to the woman, who said her name was Jonovia, told the group that she was hiding in her home in the village when three orcs came upon her. Before that, she saw a large warband of orcs descend upon the village from the north. They killed most of the villagers then took the remaining survivors into the home in the center of the village. She didn’t know what happened to them.

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Brother Silas began searching and found a trapdoor hidden under a large bearskin rug. Eremeus refused to join in the search for the villagers because he refused to fight alongside the suarian. He left the others and barricaded himself in a nearby hovel. Meanwhile, Jonovia hid herself in another home while the others opened the trapdoor and followed the stone steps that led deep into the dungeons below the village.

**

Guided by lanterns, the five adventurers came upon two orcs guarding a solid wooden door which led deeper into the rest of the dungeon. After easily dispatching the two orcs, they found a key on one of the orcs.

Further into the dungeon, the heroes came upon several orcs and an orc priest who had just finished sacrificing one of the helpless villagers they held captive to the orc god, Orcus.

Rexx immediately stormed into the room and was met by orcs armed with scimitars and battle axes. The others joined in the fight.

During the battle, the orc priest uttered a prayer to his dark god and called forth a burst of flames that enveloped the entire party. Fortunately, the heroes survived the fiery onslaught with little or no injuries.

The battle continued on with the priest and all of the orcs having been slain. However, the battle was won at a cost. Garam, the dwarf fighter, was killed by an orc’s scimitar, while Brother Silas was severely injured during the battle and would need time to recover.

With the encounter over, the heroes escorted the villagers to safety and mourned the loss of Garam.


Heroes

Brother Silas “The Steadfast” Tomkins (Human Cleric)

Garam "The Chosen” Vran of Clan Snowdawn (Dwarf Fighter)

Glint “the Axe” Red (Half-Orc Assassin)

Ser Derrick Williams, Knight of the Golden Valley

Rex of the Gray Marsh

Eremeus of the Sunset Plains


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Strange Meetings
Chapter 1 (Kerrandi: Woes of Willowdale)

Northern Kerrandi,
Village of Willowdale
Spring, 4th Day of Lasting Kinship, 4,028th Cycle


On a warm Spring day, four unlikely heroes met upon a road sign set in the kingdom’s crossroad.

The paladin, Ser William and the cleric, Brother Tomkins, were friends who had been traveling together for a short while. Glint, the assassin and his dwarfish ally Garam had also been traveling together for a short period of time.

Since it was getting late in the day, the adventurers decided to travel to the nearby village of Willowdale before sunset. All the other towns and villages on the signpost were too far for the adventurers to make it before daylight was lost.

However before they could leave the signpost, they were suddenly set upon by five fearsome orcs armed with scimitars and dressed in leather armor. One of the orcs, clearly their leader, shouted a command that only Glint understood. The four other orcs suddenly charged at the heroes.

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Despite taking wounds, the heroes managed to slay four orcs. However, one orc, the apparent leader drank a potion which rendered him invisible. The orc’s invisibility saved it from being killed outright by the four heroes.

At the battle’s end, the orc—still invisible—managed to steal Ser Williams’s warhorse. The heroes tried to attack the fleeing orc on horseback, but fate was not with them that day. The orc rode away leaving its dead ilk behind for Glint to search.

Glint, a halforc, told the others he overheard the orc which escaped command the others to prevent them from reaching the village of Willowdale. Curious, the adventurers decided to make the journey to the nearby village to investigate.

In their hearts and minds, they suspected that they would be running into more orcs soon enough.


Heroes

Brother Silas “The Steadfast” Tomkins (Human Cleric)

Garam "The Chosen” Vran of Clan Snowdawn (Dwarf Fighter)

Glint “the Axe” Red (Half-Orc Assassin)

Ser Derrick Williams, Knight of the Golden Valley


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