SOMEONE HAS PLANS FOR HARRGATE. Dungeons and Dragons Game Nov 2009

A Game written By  (Symatt)

Someone has plans for Harrgate. Very big and very bad plans. Far reaching nations, Guilds and Assassins make Small ripples in the political lake around Harrgate and  will soon become waves that will sweep away all personal freedoms. Heroes, three strangers who stumble across the edges of the insidious plot, can stand between evil reborn and save freedom from disaster, but only if they can trust each other, will they discover and stop the villainy who’s  deceiving everyone and who is sitting at the middle of this web of intrigue.”

The Adventure Begins

The church of Pelor which now rules Harrgate fore saw a danger in a small town to the east called bridgetown, the seers of Pelor saw the dead walking and a small party sent to challenge. One was Noma a noble of Harrgate and a follower of Pelor also a HalfOrc male and a human male which were to be found in an unlikely place to find heroes. The Bow & Bard on the street level of Harrgate. Dorn the half Orc and Von Luck had been friends and companions for many a journey now and become best of friends. They were cautious at first to this Deva’s request for help but the sound of money helped them decide. They met at the gatehouse of Harrgate, the two friends walking and Noma ridding a white and grey horse. Three day journey lay ahead. The Deamon wound gorge was the first absticle they came across a narrow rope bridge with a guard tower at the north side. The two guards who’s uniform they at once noticed didn’t fit very well demanded money from the party and eventually a demand became a threat, that is when Noma side the blood pooling out from under the small tower door and at once they new what had happened. Bandits had killed the real guards and were robbing any travellers who wish to cross the bridge. Threats and shouts and a fight started, one of the bandits ran for his life with Von luck on his tail, a few strikes staggered the man but a bow strike from Dorn killed him dead. Noma started to search the tower, coming across the bodies of the guards left to bleed to death on the floor. The only thing of interest was a blue cloth bundle that Noma place in her pack to check on latter. They continued across heading south west.

Spilling Gravy

On the third day they arrive at the North gate to bridgetown. The portcullis was open and lead through the gatehouse into bridgetown’s only street which was dusty and dry. People where coming and going through the town as this was the only bridge across the river Asrai for many miles. The bridge is made of huge stone  blocks and the town is supported on top. The buildings are all made of wood and extend up at least three stories each except for the gate houses at each end that are the same stone as the bridge with metal portcullis and large wooden gates. The street is heavy with people, moving trade and carts and animals. The busiest building by far is the Bridgetown inn at the southeast corner next to the south gate this building has a small stable and about 20 rooms to rent from ground floor to third with a flat roof terrace. The town is busy but peaceful, strange it seems as it is said to have troubles of an unusual kind. The party order food and watch people come and go through the inn until a few hours later a brightly dressed portly man came into the inn at around lunch time. Von luck had sat himself on a table with locals and they found this strange but continued with their meal and chat. Noma & Dorn went over to talk with the man for whom the barmaid had informed them was the Mayor. We need to talk it is of great importance was the topic of conversation. trifilo the mayer half listened to the pare as he continued to eat, spilling gravy down the napkin that hung around his fat neck. The topic turned to evil deeds that had taken place in town and the church was now aware. Surprised buy the news that they were here to help with his towns problem he told the party of the undead that plagued the town at night. They come almost every night now but are gone by dawn. Only the other night one of our residents was attacked when a lone creature had slipped through. The mayor continued to tell them of the Breathless isle where he believed they were coming from was to blame but for the reason he knew not. Noma agreed to help in the name of the church at first light. They took rooms in the inn and retired for the night. Noma, Dorn & Von Luck woke late into the night to the sound of screaming and yelling they opened there boarded upper windows and looked out, the south gate house was swapped with the living dead the crawled and clambered to get into the town and the town militia was doing there utmost to keep them at bay, using their pikes and spears to stab at them through the bars of the gate. Above the din another scream was heard but this time from above ant to the right of the room they were looking out from. They found the stairs that lead to the roof terrace and from there the terrible sight outside the gates could be seen so much clearer as more undead seem to stagger out of the dark. A scream again to there right from a shuttered window three roofs across. With speed and yet great care all three members climbed onto the next roof ran across the tiles and climbing up to the adjacent building next to the covered window were screams, shouts and crying could be heard. Von Luck tried to peer through the gap in the wooden shutters, candle light and moving shadows could be seen within.

At Deaths Window

The window shutter was locked from the inside and Von Luck was having no luck in getting it open he banged and rattled at it until Dorn shouted to stand aside as he crashed his mighty sword against the wood sending shattered splinters in every direction. Silence fell, all that could  be heard were the shouts from the street below. Von Luck leaned and peered into the now dark still room nothing move bar the lace that now hung tattered at the window. A shadow, what was that. Then lurching out of the darkness a screaming hissing undead thing with teeth and fingernails bared and thrust forward for the kill. Arms, hands and mouth slashing and gnashing at whoever was closed. Von Luck dodged its grip. The creature clambered and crawled to get out through the window and grab at its prey but as everyone except Dorn could not comprehend what that saw, he drew his great sword back once more and with one mighty blow cleaved the top of its head clean off which scittered across the flat roof and span like a dropped coin for several seconds with an eerie rattle and the corpse lay as still as ice across the window sill. Von Luck sat still upon the roof starring in disbelief, Noma to was shocked, Dorn on the other hand seemed please with his work and chuckled.

Streets Ahead

Dorn ran out into the street to help the town militia that were doing their best to keep the undead from breaking through, although just made up from volunteer towns folk they where in fact doing an excellent job. Noma & Von Luck climbed across the roof to the guard tower where they took shots at the undead as dawn approached the zombies able of I to the growing light, Noma & Von Luck assailed the wall to the outside of the town and waiting for Dorn they then traced after the fleet of fetted flesh.

Follow in the Dark

The tracks lead the party south then south east until they last them at a clump of thorn bushes but with careful searching they found hidden behind a bush a slope down down into the dark earth. It looked like it had been dug by hand not hand tools but actually by hand there were scrape and finger marks all over the tunnel wall. It lead down into the darkness but as they reach the bottom of the steep slop they placed there feet In to cold smelly water, not very deep but dark and still. This tunnel must flood when it rains. The party took strides into the water but something moves at the far side of the waters edge, something was coming towards them. Dark and full of fur and teeth the Rats attacked without warning clawing and biting at anything in reach. Dorn slashed with his sword and Von Luck attacked also with Noma casting spells from behind illuminating the tunnel as she did so all could see the danger around them. Soon rat bodies were floating free in the shallow water and the three continued on up the other side into a new dawn out on to the desert like island , ahead of them a ziggerat rose high with a dark opening at the summit. Troubled climb lay ahead. The troupe tried a few time to get up the high steps of the pyramid but after an hour of trying and only two stepped climbed they saw over to the north what looked like a well or something they dropped down and went over to investigate. It looked like someone many years ago had dug a hole down into the ground it sank deep into darkness, above ground remained a wooden A frame structure like that found on the top of a well with rope around a tumbler that had a handle a one side for winching things up or down. The trio tried the rope it seemed secure to them, Dorn went first.

Halfway Down

Dorn descended 130 feet of the 150 and stopped to scan the area below with his touch held high, stone tiles and bones scattered everywhere as he slowly turned in the air on the rope. He lowered him self some more, closer to the ground, looked around once more and dropped the last couple of feet to floor and  landed at the bottom safely. Dorn took a better look around the bone strewn space, noted one exit and called the all clear to the others. Von Luck followed slowly down the rope, Noma heard a few creaks and cracks from the wooden support as Von Luck lowered farther into the dark but it looked fine and he also landed safely. When Noma tried, however, things went less smoothly. Halfway down Noma stopped as the wood shifted out of place and jolted he and set the rope swaying slightly, again she continued to climb a few bits of wood dust and dirt drifted passed her then the wood the rope was tied to snapped, dropping Noma a good 100 feet. She landed hard on her back and lay gasping for breath in the dirt. Moments later, the chunk of wood smashed into the ground inches from her face scattering splinters of rotten wood in every direction. Shaken and taking several minutes to recover, Noma allowed Dorn to help her to her feet and then seeing that that was their way out, had now gone. The exit lead into a room with 6 colums, 3 either side behind the second on the right was an entrance to a small chilled area. three cautiously moved in to investigate.

The floor was littered with bones and there was a stone basin on the wall. The basin was cracked and water slowly dripped from it. As Noma and Von Luck searched the room, Dorn examined the basin. He stuck his hand in the murky water, searching for treasures hidden at the bottom. He felt a sharp pain and yanked his hand from the water. A slimy black bloated shrimp like thing hung from his finger. Dorn ripped it from his finger tearing flesh and threw it to the ground, stomping it with his boot. As he watched the leech pop beneath his foot, he absent-mindedly, rinsed the muck from his hand in the basin. Instantly, another one latched onto the same finger obviously attracted now by the blood, angrily Dorn gripped it as tight as he could until it squelched through between his wet bloody  fingers. They continued on. Soon Dorn began to feel unwell. As time went on, he felt sicker and sicker.

Flying Sands

Heading back to the corridor and around a small corner, they came across a small room. In the room was a broken urn with what looked like sand spilling from the break. Dorn went into the room and knelt, scooping up a handful and allowing it to fall through his fingers like sand in an hourglass. No sooner had he touched it, it began to swirl and move as though a wind had caught it. As it fell It twisted and swirled like a small vortex around and around getting larger and faster. Soon it filled the room in a massive dust storm. Dorn couldn’t see anything now as it became ferocious and to him deafening. Dorn lost all sense of direction in the tinny room not even able to see his own hand in front of his nose. The flying sand cut deep his exposed skin burning like an acid. Noma and Von Luck could not see him or hear him.

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The room to them was a blur but yet the sand didn’t cross the threshold once. Noma called out to him, but got no response. Noma decided to head in as it was the only way of rescue for Dorn, keeping her left hand on the wall she dove into the swirling sand after him. Thankfully, her searching right hand found Dorn’s shoulder. She grabbed a hold of him and led him back to the door, keeping her hand on the wall all the way. Once outside the room, the three companions continued down the hall. They soon came to another broken urn, this one surrounded by beetles. They carefully stepped around the bugs and continued on. They came to another small room with a sandy urn, nearly identical to the first room. Dorn wanted to go in and capture some of the sand in a bottle. Noma and Von Luck arguing against it. Finally, Noma and Von Luck simply walked the other way, taking the torches with them, and leaving Dorn no choice. They turned to face yet another corridor and at the end a few steps, no more than 4 maybe 5. At the top of the stairs the corridor both went left and right although the right direction was hindered by iron bars that reached floor to ceiling. They cast the torch around to see what was beyond the bars. A smaller room than any they had come across before and upon the floor was the skeleton of an ancient warrior with weapon and shield close by. Scattered all around were at least a hundred gold pieces. Von Luck pointed out a lever just to his right. Dorn pulled it instantly, over took by the sight of gold it seemed. No sooner as he was within the room gathering up the coins, the skeleton began to move and stand. Dorn jumped with a start as the bone warrior swung a mighty swing towards the half Orc just missing his face but striking the wall with an arm shuddering blow. The Skeletons sword sent sparks flying and broke into several pieces which dropped safely to the flagstone floor. Dorn took his chance and with one mighty blow destroyed the skeleton, sending its bones once again to its grave.

Radiant Light

Soon they saw light coming from the end of the hallway behind them, they feared the worse so crept slowly coming to the end of it, they saw a large room that was to the right of a few stone steps with brassieres at either side, the centre of which was full of undead wandering around. In the centre of this vast room was also a  pool of radiant light. In the  light was a stone pedestal topped with a stone bowl. Above the bowl floated a book. The book was large and rotated slowly in the light. Von Luck snuck to the other side of the stairs to loot some jars and urns that he has spotted in the murky light. Noma suddenly felt an overwhelming need to take action. She sprinted up the stairs straight into the middle of the room and took hold of the book

Shouted to Pelor

As soon as Noma touched the book, flash of energy blasted against her blowing at her hair and clothes forcing her to close her eyes momentarily, a dark creature, hairless and wrathe like was released. It exploded from the book, came to rest a few feet of the ground turned to Noma, thanked her, then raced around and around and then shot straight up from the room. Only then did Noma realize what a bad position she had put herself in. She spun around only to see that none of the undead creatures were taking any notice of her. She estimated quickly and thought there were around 30. With a shout to Pelor, Noma slammed the end of her staff into the ground and cast a spell to rebuke the undead. As she did so, she felt divine energy flow through her and immediately cast the spell again. At that moment, Von Luck shouted encouragement to her and bade her do it again, so once again Noma shouted to Pelor for strength and rebuked the undead. The effort left her breathless, but she could see that she had slain two dozen of the beasts in those few seconds. Dorn and Von Luck immediately flew into action and attacked the remaining creatures. They all quickly realised that the zombies could not sense life within the pool of light and also could not step inside. Noma remained in the light and attacked from there. Dorn fought his way to the pool and did the same. However Von Luck remained where he was. As the only life force  the zombies could sense, he became the only target. He was soon backed into a corner, cowering under his shield and praying for salvation. Noma and Dorn hesitated, unsure of how to save him. He was blocked by zombies three deep on the other side of the room. Dorn drew extra strength from inner reserves and in a furious assault, he took three lives with two arrows. He then tied his rope to an arrow. He tried to shoot Von Luck in the shoulder to drag him to them. He missed. Noma stepped out of the light to draw the attention and ran to Von Luck as Dorn shot arrows at them. Noma was hit several times and fell unconscious. Dorn reeled in his rope and shot the arrow into a wall. He then used the rope to sweep the zombies to one side and trap them there. He healed Noma as best he could and dragged both bodies into the pool of light. He killed the last of the zombies from there picking them off one by one before they broke their rope prison. They tried to heal Von Luck, but they were too late he had died of his wounds.

Dorn  examined the stone bowl more closely. There was water in it, but it was strange water. It was thick, almost oily in texture, but with a silvery sheen. It looked clear and for the strangest of reasons beyond any understanding when it was agitated it dripped and splashed upwards against the flow of order. When spilled, it spilled upward. Curious of the liquid they each filled a bottle. Dorn being Dorn, drank some. It felt very heavy in his stomach. Noma kept the book and stowed it safely in her satchel. Dorn carried Von Lucks body and they went up a spiralling ramp toward the surface. At the top was a doorway as wide as two doors together. They found that they had come out at the top of the ziggerat. It was night time, which explained why there were so few zombies in the room soon though the sun would once again be up. Dorn and Noma discussed how best to kill the remaining zombies. Dorn suggested using swords and rope to block the doorway like a giant spider web trapping the zombies in the sunlight. As he slammed the points of the swords into the stone around the door way, the force seemed to push him back a little. That’s when Noma realised Dorn was actually floating less than an inch above the ground. Startled, Noma pointed it out to Dorn. Dorn began experimenting with the effect. He jumped to see how high he would go. He floated to the bottom of the ziggerat and back up again seeing as this skill could come in handy, he took down the ropes and went back inside to scoop up the last of the water.2bdf866378e1d2449fb14309dbf0e559.jpg?v=253800

Left Behind

Heading back through the under river tunnel back to the woods to camp and heal, Von Luck was lain next to a sturdy tree in the wood but come day break when Noma and Dorn cleared up the camp something was left behind or some one. As they got close to Bridge town they could see the people and street was in an up roar. People again lay dead and family members sat crying. They stopped the first person they came to and asked what had happened. He told them with tears in his eyes and his body shaking that a dark shadowy for of a evil man had flown in to town slaughtered ruthlessly at will. Striking women and children down as if they were nothing to him then he struck off over the roofs and was gone leaving death and misery in his wake. What evil could do this and why. The man broke down again and cried uncontrollably. Dorn headed for Rosa the Herbalists house and found her deathly in bed with her daughter tending to her wounds. Asking what they could do Rosa’s daughter said they were all out off herbs and potions and so now it was just down to the gods and to fate. Noma didn’t except this and taking to her horse she rode hard to the nearest town which was Silver lake just a couple of hours down the rode, she rode as hard and fast as if death its self was after her. The only place in Silver lake was the inn that had lights on in the windows finding the inn keepers wife she quickly explained what had happened at Bridge town. The old woman found herbs and poltices enough for maybe. 10 people. With the bottles and herbs places in Nomas’ horses  saddlebags. She spurned her horse once again and rode like the wind back to Dorn and the waiting town. Noma raced upstairs to the bedroom where Rosa lay dying gave Dorn the herbs and potion and he administered them. Within moments Rosa was able to speak and thanked them both for what they had done, for saving her life she was in their debt.

On leaving Rosa’s house Noma spotted a young pale faced man standing near her horse. On inquiry she asks what he was doing and what his name was. He was Rolan, and he was looking for them. He had been told that they had the Keystone. Dorn instantly injected a yes we have the Keystone. What said Noma and Rolan together. Yes, I have the Keystone. Then I need it says Rolan. You will have it if you aid me first. Rolan agreed to go looking for Mushrooms with the Half-Orc for this will get him that much closer to the Keystone for which his master was eager to gain. They headed out of town towards the forrest. Noma said she would stay over at the inn and wait for their return. She would ask around and try and find out who this Rolan was and why he was here and what is the Keystone. She ordered food and drink and sat comfortably for a couple of hours before their return. She gained no Information from anyone other than that he arrived in town not long after thier return from the breathless isle. The two returned late from the forest to find Noma had booked rooms again in the inn. When asked Rolan said he had some where to stay and after drinks they all left their separate ways. Noma and Dorn headed upstairs to their rooms and Rolan headed out side. Unknown to the Deva and the Half-Orc Roland didn’t have a place to stay but he had all intentions of putting that right, right now. A couple of houses from the public house was a green door. Rolan rapped on the door. A stout woman in an apron, flour on her hands and by the looks of it she had tried to move her wayward hair away with floury  fingers, answered. Yes? She inquired towards the pale man standing before her can I help. Rolan walked straight in.” I’d like breakfast early if you don’t mind” and he continued to head up the narrow stair case. The woman just had a state of shock on her face but did nothing to stop him. There was something about him that just made it feel all right. Rolan took the first door on the left at the top of the stairs. There he made himself at home.

Noma’s Dream

The night didn’t pass well for Noma and Dorn for they both suffered terrible dreams. Noma was in a dark tower its location was unknown to her but she felt like she had been here before, no wait she wasn’t Noma she was Rolan, looking around she saw high shelves stack full of books and scrolls of every size. Nick knacks and trinkets scattered upon every spare surface although there wasn’t much of that. Dusty furniture dripping candles on top of candles, there wax as like waterfalls frozen or just stopped in time. The floor rug was very old and worn, so bad In areas that the floor boards beneath have become smooth. At the far side of the room just standing in the deep shadows of the candle light she sees a robed figure. He is tall and slim with boney fingers. Noma now sees from a different angle, she is no longer Rolan but she sees him, he stretches his hand out, palm up. Upon it was a blue stone. The robed figure came closer moving as if he was floating not walking. He glided over and reach with a emaciated hand and took the stone. All the while Noma tried to see his face but all ways it was hidden in shadow. Rolan turned, retrieving  something for his master from a table from just behind. As he turned away the robed figure raised an arm in the air slowly. There was a flash of light or was it a glint of steel, then his arm drove down hard towards Rolan s back. NOMA woke with a start. Sweat running down her blue flesh. What was that she spoke openly to herself. She also now knew what the Keystone was and that she knew where to look for it.

Dorn’s Dream

DORN lay in the room next door. He fell into a deep sleep almost instantly. The day had been a drain on his resources. He flinched several times in his sleep, but this wasn’t unusual for him or most people for that matter. He suddenly sat bolt upright in his bed his weapon he was sleeping with fell to the floor but it seemed like it struck the wooden floor in silence. He took no notice for directly in front of him and just raised a few feet off of the bed was an image or an apparition of Von Luck. His best friend of many years. There, just ghostly. He drifted towards Dorn who remained still. Even if he had tried to move his limbs wouldn’t have allowed it . ” you left me to die Dorn,came a rasping voice.” why why did you leave me out in the cold” the image in front of him shimmered momentarily then, behold his God was before him in all his glory. Brilliant light blazed about the entire room. Dorn was dazzled and dazzed by the overwhelming presence. Then he spoke, words were like water sliding from the ripe flesh of a new grown peach. The sound they made was like cherry blossom caught in a summer breeze.   Dorn listened and to him the words he heard were more precious than gold. He woke with a start, his weapon he was sleeping with clattered noisily to the floor. A shout came from the other room next door to stop banging about. Dorn wiped the bed sheet across his moist face then blinking a few times looked around the room. Nothing. Nothing at all.
The next morning very early the Deva headed down to the inns bar for breakfast. It was nicely prepared and eaten and as she did so Rolan walked in. Noma gave him a side glance then offered eggs. Dorn still wasn’t there. Breakfast was done with and Noma was now worried about Dorn. She raced to his room leaving Rolan confused. After banging on his door and getting no answer she went in. Dorn had gone and had taken all his gear. She spotted something against the wash bowl in the corner.

A letter perhaps.

Elf named Kyfel

Dorn headed into the forest to find Von Luck. A decent burial was what he had deserved, not to be left to scavenging animals and the elements. Dorn was now extremely ill from the poison running through his body from the creatures that had bitten him when in the pyramid. Obviously it had made him forgetful and now delirious. He staggered on through bushes and undergrowth, stumbling through mud puddles, and using trees to steady his progression until overwhelmed fell and lapsed into  unconsciousness. He’d left Noma a note, it informed her that he was going in search of Von Lucks body. On reading the message she and Rolan went looking for him. They came across his Dorn’s body laying in the path all muddy. A huge black panther was standing over him. They challenged the creature and fought him off (never injuring him, but apparently scaring him off). Rolan medicated Dorn, who regained consciousness but remained very weak. Noma and Rolan helped Dorn back to his feet and he exclaimed that he had failed to find anything but bloodied ground where Von Luck had been left. The three started towards town. Rolan ran on ahead  to town to get horses while Noma stayed with Dorn. While they waited, an Elf, tall and elegant with a grey cloak and a brooch with a winged sword motif stepped out from the trees he asked what why they were out here and had they come across a large black panther which he had been pursuing for many days now. Explaining they had seen it earlier. Dorn said not to kill it because it was a friend. The Elf who then introduced himself as KYFEL, warned them that he would kill the beast and to stay in town out of the monsters way. Dorn decided he needed to find the animal before the Elf did. Rolan arrived leading the riding horses, they helped Dorn up and they rode back to Bridgetown. They took Dorn back to the Alchemists where Rosa gave him a tonic and healed his injuries as best she could for him. Noma spoke to Rosa’s daughter about a strange liquid they had found and gave some floating water for her to examine. Dorn, Noma and their new acquaintance Rolan headed over to Bridge Inn to find mayor Trifilo in the hope that whatever it was that was hanging around his neck was the key stone that they where all now looking for.

Dorn was very threatening while trying to get the mayor to go outside and talk, but eventually they convinced him of its importance that they spoke in private. Mayor Trifilo took them to the guard house and shouting at the few guards that were in there to get out so that they could talk. They told him that his necklace attracted evil and that they needed to take it to protect the town. Dorn and Noma got into an argument over which lie was the real story, so the mayor now got really suspicious. Eventually they scared him just enough that he gave them the key stone and he ran out, away down the street. As the door closed shut behind the mayor, once again the guard room was dim a faint glow came from the Key stone, it seemed to project a beam of blue light against the wall. They determined that this was a sign of there next direction to go. The trio left town following the direction the key stone led them.

They rode on for a good few hours but eventually made camp and Dorn wanted to attract the panther that he sensed was close, but he didn’t know how he knew, he just did. So he tracked and trapped a deer and left the carcass on the road while he hid in a tree nearby. Noma went up in the tree with him and Rolan stayed back at the camp not to far away. While they were up in the tree looking out for the large cat, they saw two Orcs riding lizards come down the dirt path towards the deer lying on the ground. Dorn could hear them talking and as he could understand their strange tongue, he listened carefully. They spoke of seeing smoke from a camp, so, he leapt down from the cover of the tree and attacked and Noma followed suit.

They killed one Orc within moments as they had taken them by surprise. The second Orc was wounded but escaped. Dorn went back up the tree and Noma went back to camp to tell Rolan what had happened. She discovered one of the lizards which had been injured by an arrow during the hasty fight had found its why to their campsite and had gone through Noma’s bags and was now eating the cheese that lay within. She drew close, with a soothing sound she was able to tend to its wound, healing it and seeing the benefit she decided to befriend it and so kept it. Dorn returned later, still without the black beast he sort. They settled down in their camp close to the fire Rolan had built and the rest of the night passed peacefully. In the morning they set out again following the key stone.

Orcs on Lizards

3821beeaaa3cff041b9a3d96116fb5b0.jpg?v=270000 While crossing the Rough March plains, they saw, coming out of the heat haze of the parched land  about  8 Orcs’, riding,some on red and some on green lizards. As they got closer the three heroes understood that they were a raiding band and a fight was inevitable. Both parties ran in for the attack. The combat was fast and savage and they killed all but one of the Orcs. That lone Orc managed to get away but it was seriously injured so the friends didn’t worry about following it. The lizard mounts scattered around the plain but it didn’t take long to round them up and so they  kept some as burden animals. They continued along leading the lizards along with then. Heading  into the forest and after a while walking between trees and rocks they came across an Orc camp. On the far side of the camp was a cave entrance that, according to the glow of the crystal, they needed to go into the dark depths. The three hid themselves behind a small hillock to discuss how best to proceed. Dorn decide to pretended to be a lone Orc traveller and wandered freely into the camp. He was challenged immediately but  managed to convince them that he was no threat to them. Their chief was injured, so Dorn offered to do his best to try and heal him. The chief turned out to be the Orc from the battle on the plain who had gotten away. Dorn spoke to the badly injured chief Orc and said to him that he had killed human invaders, who had seen attack his Orc brethren. He healed the chief as best he could who then fell asleep. Dorn turn to the Orc witch doctor who had been chanting over their chief, that she could leave and allow him to sleep. As she turned to leave, Dorn un sheathed his Dagger and  back stabbed her. Unfortunately, the blow didn’t land true and she didn’t die and ran out of the tent screaming of treachery. Dorn quickly turned and killed the chief as he slept, then cutting a hole in the back of the tent, ran out into the forest. Meanwhile, Rolan and Noma snuck around to the left of the camp to try and get through to the cave while the Orcs weren’t looking. Noma lost her footing, slipped and she fell into the camp. Two Orc guards noticed them both  and screaming something in Orcish,  came running towards both Rolan and herself. Rolan and Noma, not being in the best position to fight decided to run. They ran towards the tree line of the campsite, running headlong  through the tree with Orcs chasing close behind them. As they ran through the trees, they heard something coming towards them, branches and brush was moving rapidly in the forest in the direction that they were running. The Orcs were getting closer but at the last moment Rolan grabbed hold of Noma and they both dove together into the brush to their left side and out of the corner of their eyes they  saw a huge dark shadow leap over and passed them. They got up and continued running, this time in the direction of the horses. Meanwhile as Dorn ran into the trees behind the chiefs tent, he began to have very strong feelings of DANGER. He stopped, confused and looked around. He saw nothing but trees. The feelings got stronger and he started seeing flashes of Orcs bleeding and dying. He could taste blood and hear screams from behind him. As the screams stopped and Dorn turned toward the camp, a sense of something coming came over him. He started to back up, scanning the trees around him until a huge black face appeared inches from his own. And purred. Dorn felt a strong empathy instantly with this huge black beast. He knew deep down that they were destined to travel together, there seemed to be a spiritual connection between them both. They became companions from then on. They together headed back to the horses to meet Rolan and Noma. Rolan and Noma were startled at first, then remembered that Dorn had been searching for this amazing beast. Saying that the cat was “bound to him”.

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An Audience With…

Noma was granted an audience with Abbot Atkin for the next morning so the evening was taken up with bathing and talking with Dorn. Dorn’s tatty clothes were destroyed and clean robes were left for him. Rolan was in his room in the Bow & Bard down on the street level of Harrgate. He ate and drank in the bar area watching the comings and goings of the street people of the cramped city. A drunk tatty man held a conversation with Rolan but Rolan didn’t seem in the mood to talk but the  man continued any way until he seemed to look over Rolan’s shoulder then collapsed on to the floor, at least he remembered to finish his drink first. The first full day in harrgate passed peaceful and quiet. Noma & Dorn stayed in there apartment in the churches living areas. The start of the second day in the City, Noma was able to see the Abbot today but Dorn had to wait outside, he wondered the hallways for a while waiting for Noma’s return. Noma and the Abbot spoke at length about what had happened on the Breathless isle and in bridgetown he also found out about the release of SACAL the Ravenger, an evil from centuries ago. If this devil has freedom then no one is safe. The Keystone, the Book and Sacal must be brought back together. The Abbot continued to speak to Noma telling her of his friends who live on a farm on the Rough Marches plain who may not know that they are in danger and if at all possible go and return them to Harrgates safety. He told of the League of Rightiouness and their twisted view of the faith, where they where assassinating nobles. Also the human called Rolan you need to let fate take its cause with his master and what will be will be but be careful we do not know or understand who his master is so caution is needed, now you may go and take care my child.

Noma on meeting up with Dorn explained everything that was said as the walked around a small tranquil garden set within the confines of the Abby. Dorn decided to go and talk and try to get to know Rolan as he is a quiet man, for a human. He found him having a meal at the Bow & Bard an inn where Dorn used to sit with his old friend Von Luck and tell many stories to the locals. They decided to go to the market district of the City in search of fine boots and weapons. Rolan found what he wanted including a book on politics at the small books shop and Dorn a book on the Elven language. They again went their separate ways, dorn headed back to Noma’s apartment to gather his equipment and left the city for the forrest to spend some quality time with shadow. He returned the next day early to meet Noma and they both later headed over to meet Rolan.

Rolans’ Quandary

Dorn spoke to Rolan about his up coming meeting with his master and between them it was decided that Rolan would ask his master if a second party could partake in the trade of crystals. This arranged they headed towards the high misty location of the city it seemed like the highest point as they climbed many stairs and walked many balconies until the reach a large door shrouded in mist. Rolan took out a large key from around his neck placed it in the lock and turned, it swung open into a grand entrance of wood beamed ceiling, wood panelling, antiques of every kind and description. Noma and Dorn followed Rolan up yet more stairs along a long corridor passing even more curiosities that hung from walls and stood upon the dark wooden floors. Rolan said wait while he enquired within. He return a few minutes later with his masters answer. No he needs both stones, Dorn agreed and handed over the blue crystal to Rolan and again he passed beyond the door this time locking it behind him. Within the large roomed study rolan watched the dark figure again for a few moments who still had his back to Rolan but Rolan was used to this he rarely saw his master fully in all the years he had worked for him. Rolan took out the crystal he had just been given and the one he had kept hidden under his bed at the inn. He placed them in his hand and fitted them together, but something was wrong they didn’t want to fit properly and what’s more one of the crystals now that they were seen together wasn’t the same it didn’t have the same shine the same glow within. What had gone wrong, this was not good he wrapped the two stones in his hand and unlocking the door left quietly without saying a word to his master. How dare you yelled Rolan as he throw the fake crystal at Dorn who caught it in one move, you could have got me killed and at that he left as fast as he could side stepping Dorn and dashing passed Noma and out the great door. Noma gave chase but with the mist and the skill with which Rolan traversed the stairs he wa soon out of sight and lost to Noma.

A New Enemy

Leaving a note on the inside of his room door for his unwanted guests to read then Rolan headed North wards up the city streets. There he hoped to trap or just discover who and why he has been followed for the last several days who went through their backpack back at the Orc encampment although now he knows what they were looking for. Noma & Dorn arrived at the Bow & Bard minutes after Rolan had left, they asked around the inn and found Roland room they third the door, it was locked so Dorn put his foot against the door at which the door gave way in a shower of splinters. No one was in the room as they looked around, there were books and odd items lying around the room at the far side and a book open on the desk but what caught Dorns eye was a note half hidden by the bits of broken door that lay on the floor. Reading it stated, we will meet at the northgate at dusk I have what you want! The  Northgate of Harrgate  heads towards the waists of AROLAN.  Dorn was enraged, turned quick on his heels and he and Noma raced towards the gatehouse in the North wall. Rolan secured a hiding place up on the battlements of the gatehouse and hid in the shadows of early evening there. He watched people and traders and children and guards going about there business until he spied whom he hope were the ones he was looking for but before he could make a move Noma & Dorn arrived. How did they know to come here? Rolan ducked back but not before Noma saw him high up on the gate tower, she ducked in through a door and headed up to Rolan who backed away from her. Dorn was checking out the street people when he noticed he was being watched so as all ways he challenged this man who enraged by Dorns intrusion snapped at him and then with a huff stormed of and both Dorn and Noma lost sight of him in the crowd. Dorn back against a wall continued to watch looking for Rolan. Troops of Avandra were now filing in through the gate, about 60 men in told, dressed in find armour and carrying polearms and swords. Rolan fled the scene just at the moment Noma saw a man idling his way along the wall towards Dorn with a blade in hand and with so many people about now, Dorn just did not notice. Noma reacted in a flash. The symbol of Pelor rose from the front of her cloths like an glowing star, separated and as quick as a though streaked into and struck the chest of the sneaking man hitting hard and powerful. The man dropped his blade and fell to his knees clutching his now blood soaked chest. Soldiers around came to enquire what was happening and with quick thought Dorn convinced them it was nothing dropped a heal potion into the assassins mouth and the questioned him there in the street. It transpired that these men had taken half the crystal from Rolan and through Noma & Dorn were trying to track down and retrieve the second half for un known parties. Dorn convinced them that he had given it to a read bearded Dwarf and sent him North into Arolan. Dorn new it should take them a little while to figure out its a lie.

written by S Matthews & M & S Belcher

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