Broken Nations

Part 2

Our tale continues just outside the Lantern Tower. The band had traveled there upon receipt of a mysterious note that Rayja, a mercenary foe, had possessed. The Lantern Tower had been home to the wizard Eluvi Daltara, but was now said to be the headquarters of the bandit leader Solynder Azamir. Our characters Yivellor and Ugagn had gone ahead to scout the tower. After seeing the size of the tower and realizing their lack of information regarding what was inside, they had decided to return to the other characters Pall-Bar and Daukua to plot their strategy. Here we begin again..
Yivellor and Ugagn returned to the campsite to relay what they had seen. There had been one guard outside the tower, although they had been too far away from the guard to glean any details other than he/she was human sized. There was a giant hole about twenty feet up and to the right of the entrance. It was large enough such that several humans could fit across and appeared to have been blasted out of the rock. The rest of the tower looked as it had almost been fashioned out of one humongous piece of granite. It appeared to be 60 ft in diameter and could hold scores of soldiers if needed. There had to be several levels, either 2 or 3 by their estimation.
It was about midnight when they returned. Several plans were bandied around. Even Daukua seemed hesitant for a full frontal assault with the info we had and did not even stir with faint ribbings about his lack of faith. There were several plans about possibly drawing the soldiers out of the tower into a trap, but the in the end the group decided upon scouting out the place for another day to see what else they find. Yivellor and Ugagn volunteered to remain in a tree, several hundred meters to the east of the Tower for the next day with plans to return at dark the following night. Daukua was left under Pall-Bar’s keeping. Both to watch the path to glean any info they could on the comings and goings in the tower and to also restrain the brave paladin from giving away the groups position. Yivellor and Ugagn left under the guise of darkness to get settled and found a good nook in one of the trees they had scouted earlier. Pall-Bar and Daukua moved camp so to be relatively inconspicuous yet within view of the path.
Pall-Bar and Daukua saw nothing over the course of the night. In the tree, Ugagn volunteered to have first watch as Yivellor drowsed. There was little to no action for a long period of time until Ugagn saw an owl flit in and out of the giant hole in the tower. He woke Yivellor to discuss, but they both didn’t come to any conclusions. Ugagn’s shift ended and Yivellor took second watch. His watch was much of the same, although he took much notice of the owl. It seemed to fly in and out of the hole in the tower all night. Each time it would fly out in a different direction and return within the hour. He noted it was strange and came to the conclusion that the owl must be a servant to one of those in the tower.
Day came and the entire group kept eye on their areas. As day had come, the owl returned to the tower to stay. Pall-Bar and Daukua saw no one on the path all day. Ugagn and Yivellor continued to watch the tower. They saw what appeared to be four different guards come out of the tower to relieve themselves at different times of the day. One of them had chainmail on, but the rest seemed dressed in common clothes. Night fell again and as it did Yivellor and Ugagn saw the owl once again emerge from the tower and fly in a northwest direction of the tower. This suited them as they were east of the tower and so they decided to rejoin the rest of the group.
As the returned though Ugagn caught his feet upon some loose rocks and caused a minor landslide while he slid down the hill, causing a loud racket. He cursed himself and Yivellor noticed the guard that had once again been posted outside the door run inside and shut the door of the tower. They returned to the group knowing that their element of surprise had just been taken away.
As Pall-Bar heard two individuals approaching, he cast his magic to obscure himself and the paladin, however he removed the enchantment upon hearing Ugagn and Yivellor whispering their names. They asked what had happened and the paladin then proceeded to lecture the ranger/rogue upon the intricacies of being silent. They hurriedly discussed what their next plan of action was to be as they were sure that the guards in the tower were aware that someone or something was outside. At that moment they heard a loud ‘Hoot’ as an owl flew overhead. They saw it circling the place where Ugagn had previously slipped. It was then they came up with a plan to blind the tower’s eyes in the night. Daukua ran out to the path making noise while Ugagn and Yivellor hid themselves nearby with arrows strung to their bows. The owl had been on its way back to the tower but reversed itself back to Daukua’s direction upon hearing his clatter. It’s worth noting that at this point Daukua was wearing only clothing and a bear pelt that he had wrapped around himself. Once the owl flew over Daukua, Ugagn released an arrow. It pierced the owl, and with a ‘hoot’ it dropped to the ground. Upon it being killed there was a strangled roar of anguish from the tower. The bear man, Daukua, stripped the owl so to make a tasty stew later and the group reconvened to come up with a plan.
Yivellor revealed at this point that he had a substance that once released from its container would drive any magician to feel overconfident. As it was a wizard’s tower, the group consensus was the most dangerous individual in the tower would be a wizard. They decided that Yivellor and Ugagn would approach the tower and Yivellor would scale it to toss this substance in the giant hole on it’s east side. He would mask the substance by also tossing in a smoke bomb and hope that if there were any wizard, that he or she would waste their spells and energy thinking they were all powerful. Pall-Bar and Daukua were to wait on the path a couple hundred yards away.
Yivellor and Ugagn snuck up to the tower, seemingly unnoticed and Yivellor easily scaled the tower up to the hole as there were many vines of ivy that provided easy climbing. Yivellor tossed in his smoke bomb and container and scaled back down. As he had done so, he heard a man shout to another to get back. Ugagn cast a spell to create ghost sounds that declared Eluvi Daltara had returned and all needed to leave his tower or die. Yivellor proceeded to hide behind the front door of the tower such that if it were open, he would be hidden. Ugagn proceeded to stealthily move to some rocks southeast of the tower within range of the door, the hole opening in the tower and several windows.
At this point Pall-Bar and Daukua approached. Pall-Bar approached stealthily enough, however it seems the lecture Daukua had given earlier about moving silently didn’t apply to him. He crashed forward and as he approached the tower a man appeared in the hole and released an arrow that pierced Daukua’s side. Pall-Bar quickly reacted and cast a spell that caused the man to fall backwards, seemingly asleep. Pall-Bar then approached where Yivellor was hidden and whispered to him that he had caused the archer to fall in a slumber. Yivellor decided to climb back up to the hole to finish the man off and got to the opening to see a large room with a giant triangle in the middle with a glowing rune and two men asleep by the hole. At this point seeing there were no targets visible to shoot at, Ugagn scaled the tower as well only to see Yivellor had stabbed his daggers straight into the hearts of the two sleeping men.
Daukua who had recovered from his arrow charged at the front door and proceeded to attempt to bash it in but to unfortunately lose hold of his sword and have it fly backwards. He ran back to retrieve it and bash again.
Pall-Bar at this point also decided to scale the tower and join Yivellor and Ugagn in the large room. In the large room, aside from the rune in the middle, there were three doors. Yivellor opened the first door on the left to find it was empty, but had probably been used as a storage closet. Ugagn opened the second door on the left (both avoiding the rune as much as possible) to find ransacked library that was empty of all persons. Pall-Bar attempted to identify the rune, but to no avail.
At this point Daukua had returned to the door and continued his bashing. After he had opened a sizable enough hole such that he could stick his head in if he wanted, he unfortunately had another accident. As he proceeded to bash, he lost grip of his sword again and this time it flew through the newly created hole in the door. He heard a man say, ‘What the hell?’ but then charge out brandishing a battle axe with a swordsman just behind him. The man with the battle axe swung, hitting Daukua and injuring him badly.
Pall-Bar upon hearing Daukua being attacked went by the hole and cast a bit of magic that disoriented the axe man, putting him out of commission for a short period of time. Yivellor opened the third door across from the hole and bounded down the stairs that were behind it. Once he reached the bottom he saw the front door opening and a swordsman and axe man standing just outside. He proceeded to move stealthily to position himself ready to strike. At this point Ugagn also moved toward the opening to stand next to Pall-Bar and unleash an arrow that struck the swordsman.
Daukua with this happening around him and being unarmed, was flustered, but proceeded to take a step back to heal himself with a concoction and breathe a large cone of fire that enveloped both the axe and swordsman. The swordsman maneuvered around his stunned bandit colleague and struck at Daukua yet missed. Pall-Bar at this point ran to go down the stairs and Yivellor jumped out at the swordsman and stabbed him in the neck with one of his daggers. As he did this though, he heard a man behind him shout ‘Get em’ to someone or something behind him. Daukua drew his shield and proceeded to bash the swordsman, but being badly bloodied, then jumped off the steps that led up to the front door into the bristle below. The swordsman then turned upon Yivellor being that he was the only remaining target on the steps. An arrow from Ugagn downed him though and an extremely luck arrow struck the axe man between the eyes just as he was coming about.
Upon being the only target remaining on the steps and a creature & man coming behind him, Yivellor decided to climb the tower once again to be above the front steps. Pall-Bar at the foot of the stairs saw a giant spider go out the door with a man right behind it. He cast a debilitating spell that caused both the spider and man to be blinded. Daukua healed himself and rearmed himself with the fallen swordsman’s weapon. Ugagn continued firing at the spider and man below along with Pall-Bar who had drawn his crossbow. The spider being blinded and disoriented fell off the stairs to the bristle below. At this point Yivellor took a bold action of attempting to jump down on top of the remaining man and stab him with his daggers. While jumping on top of the man though, he ended up doing as much damage to himself as he did to the guard and ended up falling off into the bristle below. He ended up knocking himself out for a time. As the spider and guard were still blinded it was short work for Ugagn’s arrows and Daukua’s sword to kill the remaining spider and guard.
Upon their victory, the group proceeded to loot the bodies and proceed inside. Yivellor had the bright idea to act as if the amulets they had stolen earlier was a part of the loot he found. Yivellor triggered a trap where flamed scorched him from the fireplace and Daukua was hit by some poison darts that had little effect on him. They found a trapped chest that Ugagn attempted to disarm to only scorch his hand with acid. Inside they found a ring, a candle and a container shaped as if a message were inside, embossed with a unique seal on it. As Daukua picked it up, he felt a tingling start to creep up his arm to only have it abate soon after.
The group decided to take several days to recover, divide and identify their loot and continue to explore the tower. They found a sealed well in the basement that they decided to explore once they were fully healed up. Pall-Bar proceeded to identify everyone’s items, Daukua helped heal everyone, Yivellor extracted venom from the giant spider and Ugagn explored the tower for traps. Pall-Bar found a number of usable scrolls while exploring the library.
After several days they decided to explore the well. Ugagn descended first using rope and once he reached the bottom relayed back to the group that there was an open cavern filled with water, but with a shore on the far side with a body and also a part of the water that had many bubbles. He was very wary of proceeding further, but Yivellor and Daukua plowed ahead until they reached the body. Noticing Ugagn’s skittishness, Pall-Bar in a mischievous mood cast ventriloquism upon the skeleton that warned the group to stay away. Ugagn immediately drew his bow and loosed an arrow upon the skeleton but with no result or reaction. Yivellor noticed there was a flask the skeleton carried that contained a glowing, airy substance in a corked container and proceeded to take it. He also checked out the area of the water that had bubbles to find that it was nothing but an air hole and proceeded to retrieve Ugagn’s arrow.
Once they returned to the top of the well, Pall-Bar cast some identifying magic to determine that the magic in the substance was good and was actually a message. It told the story of the wizard that owned this tower previously and who was the skeleton below. He requested to take a message to his daughter and donate some gold on his person to Andreas Honselm. The group realized they hadn’t searched his person and after the message was complete returned to find the 200 gold he wished to be donated. After hearing this and exploring the rune to find it also was a good message, they attempted to identify the message container they had found in the trapped lockbox and the candle. The candle turned out to be a Candle of Truth which compels all persons around it to tell the truth when it’s lit. The message was much more complicated. It had both good and evil magic on it. The item seemed to be good, but had an evil bit of magic that seemed to be tracking the device. The seal on it also happened to be a seal of the royal house before Mirrenwald dissolved into the Broken nations. Pall-Bar and Daukua were the only ones to handle the item and odd things seemed to happen them that they kept to themselves and that Ugagn and Yivellor did not notice. Ugagn was extremely suspicious of the item and advised the group just leave it, however the group decided that it was too valuable to leave behind. They decided to return to the Refugee Woods to fulfill the deceased wizard’s request of donating his gold to Andreas and proceed later to Palisade Head.
Once they reached the Refugee Woods, Pall-Bar proceeded in and gave the money to Andreas. The rest of the group stayed outside of camp. When he was leaving to return to his group, Pall-Bar was approached by a dark haired woman. She requested to purchase the message container from him for 1,000 gold. Pall-Bar was extremely wary as to his knowledge no one had been aware that they had found this container. He told the woman that he did not have what she seeked. She then offered 5,000 gold. Pall-Bar replied that 5,000 gold would be nice, but again he doesn’t know what she’s talking about. He eyes narrowed and before she walked off she warned, ‘Beware of the cloaked man.’
Pall-Bar was stunned. He returned to the group to describe his encounter and tell the group of a cloaked man that had invaded his dreams since he touched the message container. The group returned to town to attempt to find the woman, but to no avail. Here is where we leave off on our journey.

Journal Entry 749-

Where am I? And how did I end up here? Yes, strange things have been happening of late. Thats to say, strange beyond the particularly strange life of a nomadic gnome. Perhaps it happened again.

Nonetheless, here I am in the Nyhelm Mercenary Camp surrounded by bands of brutes willing to do anything for some food, shelter, and a pocket full of coin. Can’t say I blame them. These are troubled times. Whether they can be trusted is to be determined. I share a tent with another gnome, Ugagn. Though judging by his demeanor I find it unlikely we have much in common. There is also an elf, Yivellor. He’s lived a mercenaries life, but I can’t place my finger on his motives to continue this lifestyle after parting from it years ago. He did mention that he was attempting to find himself. A wise elf indeed. He will learn much from self reflection in the midst of an adventure. The last of my tent-mates is a Dragonborne named Daukua. He seems to be the most forthcoming about his intentions, but doesn’t possess the street smarts necessary to avoid attention. Perhaps he doesn’t mean to.

We are set to meet with Bannen Lycern within the hour to discuss our roles within the mercenary camp. Bannen’s second in command, Torim, made it quite clear that we would need to know how to fight…not my strong suit.

More to come…

~P.B. Wodahs

So It Begins...

Our tale starts outside the Nyhelm Mercenary Camp, amidst the ruins of the former nation of Mirrenwald. Torim Steindhoven, the grizzled drill sergeant for the mercenary crew, grills four new recruits: the Whisper Gnome Ugagn; the musically-inclined Elf, Yivellor Sa’Kaasv; Illusionist Pall-Bar Wodahs; and burly Paladin Daukua.

Each has come to the camp for various reasons — money, a chance to perform good deeds, a temporary bout of insanity — but their motivations matter less than their willingness to fight to Torim, who admits each of the recruits into the Nyhelm crew.

The new tent mates settle in, but rifts in the group quickly appear when the clumsy Pall-Bar accidentally(?) shoots a crossbow bolt through the roof of the tent, much to the chagrin of his more battle-hardened compatriots.

After exploring the camp, the group is called together to meet Bannen Lycern, the Nyhelm commander, who quickly informs them that he has a special request of the party. The Nyhelm’s rivals, a group called the Isra Hatim, have established a presence in a nearby refugee camp. Bannen wants Rayja Shasel, the Isra Hatim lieutenant coordinating operations in the refugee camp, assassinated, and he wants our plucky band of adventurers to complete the task.

Lycern introduces the group to The Nose — a Nyhelm agent with a large nose and a penchant for talking to himself. The Nose promises to lead the party to their quarry, and Lycern informs the group that he’ll pay each member of the party 500 gold if they return with evidence that they killed Rayja.

Our merry band, accompanied by The Nose, departs that night from the mercenary camp, and travels south for two days on foot to reach Refugee Woods. The journey is uneventful, save a spirited attempt by Ugagn to scare Daukua during a night watch. Daukua doesn’t rise to the bait, and Ugagn — dismayed by his companion’s powers of observation (or lack thereof), pledges never to let Daukua maintain a night watch by himself.

Upon reaching Refugee Woods, the group debates how best to enter the camp without arousing attention. The gnomes opt for a subtle approach, but Daukua, clad in shining armor and sticking out like an orc in an Elven village, opts to walk right in.

He is quickly surrounded by beggars and young children, who plead for favors, money and his blessing. A bemused Yivellor follows from a distance, while the gnomes take a more clandestine route. All eventually rendezvous at The Hard Times Inn, a ramshackle wooden tavern at the center of the refugee camp.

They sit and relax while The Nose, disguised, disappears to gather information about Rayja’s whereabouts. The party’s reverie is soon interrupted by a distressed man, who runs up to Daukua’s side and warns the Paladin that The Nose has betrayed them. Forewarned, the group starts to clear the tavern of bystanders when a volley of rocks shatter several of the tavern windows.

Daukua catches a glimpse of mercenaries prepping vials of some unknown substance. Moments later, the assailants toss Alchemist’s Fire into the building, and all Hell breaks loose.

Daukua storms out the front doors, dodges an arrow and brings his blade crashing down onto one of the attackers. Ugagn isn’t so lucky, and catches another arrow — fired by a blue-eyed woman — full in the shoulder.

While the two occupy attackers in the front of the building, Yivellor takes a moment to escort the innkeeper and his daughter from a back window. Pall-Bar investigates the back door, and finds two more mercenaries prepping an ambush there.

One of the mercenaries steps forward to peer through the door window, and Pall-Bar takes the opportunity to slam the door open and cast Glitterdust, which temporarily blinds the man. Closing the door, Pall-Bar narrowly avoids catching a crossbow bolt in his groin. Yivellor, seeing the altercation break out, sneak attacks one of the mercenaries, but has trouble penetrating the man’s armor. Pall-Bar, inspired by the burning building perhaps, tosses his own Alchemist’s Fire at the blinded attacker, who quickly burns.

Back out front, our combative adventurers are getting the worst of the fight. Retreating to the burning tavern, they pause to trade arrow-fire with the woman (who they now know is Rayja, their target). The fight swings once more to their favor when Daukua handily dispatches another guard, and they watch as Rayja retreats.

Running to the back of the collapsing building, they pause long enough to help Yivellor and Pall-Bar dispatch one more mercenary. The group chases after Rayja, and Yivellor catches her in a field outside the camp. Yivellor, trying to negotiate, learns the Nyhelms killed Rayja’s daughter several months ago in a botched ambush. After some knife tossing, and arrow dodging, Rayja is brought down with an arrow through her skull.

Following the battle, Yivellor is immediately dispatched to bring news of the mission — and The Nose’ apparent betrayal — to Bannen. The rest visit a local healer, Andreas Honselm, who is not pleased by the destruction caused by the party. She patches up their wounds, but not without an old-fashioned tongue-lashing.

Traveling by horse, Yivellor makes fast time back to the Nyhelms. He tells Bannen of their success and presents the commander with Rayja’s bow. Bannen confirms the Nyhelms killed Rayja’s son — a fact that disturbs Yivellor. Yivellor declines to mention The Nose’ betrayal, and the commander appears to be unaware of the fact.

Yivellor returns to Refugee Woods with gold-a-plenty, and finds his companions embroiled in a new intrigue. It seems the man who warned Daukua of the impending ambush is a toymaker who fled the city of Palisade Head after running afoul of a bandit gang. The gang, it appears, has traced its quarry to the refugee camp.

The toymaker asks Daukua to “take care” of the bandits, and the Paladin, eager to punish wrongdoers, readily agrees. They ambush the bandits in a field north of the camp and capture most of the gang following a brief but bloody fight. Deciding to be charitable, the party takes the gang’s weapons and armor and makes them promise never to return. Our party sends the rabble out on foot with a few days rations — but neglects to take the bandits’ horses, which are hidden over the next hill. After watching the bandits ride off into the sunset, the dispirited party returns to tell the toymaker that the threat is eliminated — for now.

The party pauses long enough for Yivellor and Ugagn to seduce an old merchant woman and rob her blind — an action the Paladin fails to notice. After some good, old-fashioned burglary, the group decides to investigate a mysterious note that Rayja possessed.

They travel to Lantern Tower, the former dwelling place of a powerful and charitable wizard. The tower has been overrun with bandits, and as night settles, the group scouts out their opposition.

Hero's Hands

Hero’s HandsAs recorded in the songbook of Yivellor Sa’Kaasv

Three did gather at the camp,
a fourth to tell the tale.
Some for coin and riches gold,
Others to see evil fail.

They left at dawn upon one request,
on Refuge wood they set.
Bringing new found hope to all,
they hoped they wouldn’t regret.

A Hero’s blessing to be found, while mending broken lands. Restore to order all good things with a Hero’s Hands.

A villainess sought to squelch the light,
and lit the town ablaze.
Alessa’s champion drew his blade,
to meet her in the fire’s haze.

She turned to run and leave behind,
the suffering she had wrought.
She knew too late this fight would be,
the last she’d ever fought.

A Hero’s blessing to be found, while mending broken lands. Restore to order all good things with a Hero’s Hands.

Within a field of waving grass,
the final stage was set.
Try as they might they could not change,
the heart of that wicked lass.

She struck out with all the fury,
of a bear caught in a cage.
But a valiant gnome did fell her fast,
and put an end to her rage.

A Hero’s blessing to be found, while mending broken lands. Restore to order all good things with a Hero’s Hands. We travel ‘cross the many fields and hope to see a day, where breath of life comes back to this place, a Hero’s Hands did save.

Broken Nations Adventure Log!

The Adventure Log will allow us to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, I or one of the players will come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. That way, we’ll be able to look back at the crazy antics, inane quote and general awesomeness of the game.


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