Darkness Rides Alone

Session 9

We awoke the next day to the sounds of people getting ready. I whispered, “Psssst! Hey guys. Should we go with them?” Xanth grunted his approval and we moved to follow those getting ready. Xanth inquired as to what we were doing, and got disapproving remarks from those gathered. He let the matter fade.
Xanth told us of a communication stone that he was given. He had made contact with the agents that we met In Woodmere. When asked he said he kept the stone a secret because if he was caught, only he would be punished or killed, not everyone
This group was headed to one of the air ships. We decided we would turn off and slip into the ‘arena’ area. A yell from the ‘air ship’ area told me that someone had seen me. I tried my bluff by pointing to the arena. The guy Yelled for me to, “Come!” I walked a quarter of the distance and lied about ‘being there for the arena,’ and ‘these people had woke me getting ready.’ The guy bought it and I quickly moved out of sight.
Tarl woke and set an explosive trap in one of the air ships. We believed the ship would be long gone before the trap was triggered. Kita took a job at the mess hall. Xanth and I went to the arena to see how the fights went.
It was clear the arena was there to show skills. Out of ten people, only the three most skilled walked out alive. The butchery was obvious and a couple minotaur’s kept tabs of the fight and signaled its conclusion.
We needed a means of escape and sabotage. Xanth and I made our rounds and realized it would be easier to escape if we gather the horses. We found our horses in the stable area, and tried to use the general confusion to just take them.
The stable keep said he needed to go with us. Xanth played the part of the ‘good’ guy and tried to tell the guy that his help was not required, but the guy refused. I decided to play the part of the ‘bad’ guy and heatedly complained. It was clear that the guy would give us away if we reached the riding area.
I spoke a few words in elven to see if the stable-hand understood. He did not. I told Xanth, “I and going to use a ‘Hold Person’ spell on this guy and throw him in the pit.” Xanth gave me a sign to wait for his signal. We passed the pit and were near the stable when Xanth gave me the nod. I cast my spell and Xanth beat the guy unconscious. Xanth tied the guy up and drug him under the arena stands.
A few hours later the trap Tarl set went off. The air ship was still in the camp and it caused a lot of commotion. Most of the people on the air ship died a painful burning death. Tarl used this to start a few rumors about being paid to fight, not being paid to be burned alive. The rumors took hold, but not very strong. In the commotion a lot of people were gathering near the arena, right where we tied the guy up. I tried to use my body as a visual shield while Xanth went under the arena seats and silenced the guy, permanently.
We could see the dryders had some spell casters, and clerics. Xanth began worrying about the spell, “speak with dead.” We needed to do something fast. Tarl made a bunch of bombs. He set on to go off early morning and three more to go off late afternoon.
Tarl used potions to change his appearance and cause a lot of tension between the different races. Then the bombs were set. The mess hall exploded. The dryders began to move through the camps. A water elemental was summoned to douse the flames.
The crowd was on edge. Kita began to ‘fake’ cry and pack her tent. A dryder stopped her. I began to stir the crowd saying, “Look, they won’t let her leave. We are prisoners.” At the same time some orcs and dwarves began arguing and fighting. Soon the dryders had their hands full and Xanth let an arrow fly from the crowd, striking the dryder near us.
The arrow did the trick. The dryder charged the crowd casting Invisible. Kita distracted it causing the spell to fail. I charged the dryder inciting the crowd to do the same. The crowd followed suit. The dryders were quickly overrun.
I yelled to the crowd, “Let’s Go!” and began walking to the exit. The crowd near me followed, soon the army followed. We met up at the last water hole we had come to. In the distance the bombs Tarl had placed on the remaining airship caused huge explosions.
The dragon rider began attacking the crowd in the distance. Somehow, some way, we managed to pull off what I had considered impossible. The great army in the desert was routed.

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Session 8

A trail of recruits made their way to join the army we were trying to destroy. We joined them and made our way to the encampment. We noticed races and monsters camped everywhere. Many of the races would normally be violently opposed to the sight of each other, let alone camping with in bow shot.

We wondered the camps gathering as much information as we could. The army was a few thousand strong. There was a dragon with a rider. They had sea going ships that were modified to fly through the air. The atmosphere was very easy going. Most here were happy to be free of their crimes and happy to be making a lot of coin.

We agreed to attempt to join the army and then sabotage it form with in. There was a tent for potential recruits. We entered the tent one at a time and were asked our crimes. Xanth was told to go to the arena. Kits, Tarl and I were sent to the pit.

None of us knew what happened in the arena or the pit. Xanth did not like the idea of being separated so he neglected to go to the arena, following us to the pit instead. We made our way to the giant hole in the ground and waited for the next step.

Three male dryder scaled the pit walls up to us. They pointed to the pit and said something about, “go in and be purified.” I took a quick glance over the side and realized that the armor I was wearing would make climbing down these walls impossible. I waited to see what would happen.

A Half-elf decided he would have no part in climbing over the side of this pit and began to leave. One of the dryder cut him down where he stood. A gnome voiced his inability to climb and the dryder knocked/threw the gnome off the edge to, what sounded like, a long fall to a quick stop.

I guess I would climb over the side and wait to see what would happen. Xanth tied a rope around me and I quickly climbed/fell the length of the rope. The bottom of the pit could not be seen even after I was at the ropes length. I could not remember a time I had been this terrified.

Xanth made his way over to me and we debated about me going further down. Xanth was a trusted friend, a skilled climber, and absolutely CRAZY if he thought I would try to climb down any more. Xanth retied, re-anchored, and then cut the rope the rope above me. I had no choice, but to climb/fall the length of the rope over and over until we reached the bottom.

This pit was very deep and the suns light could not reach the bottom. I knew I had a glowing coin that would show the way. That may draw too much attention. The dryder threw the rest of the, ‘would be,’ climbers into the pit to their deaths. Then the dyrders climbed down and began herding the rest of us down a huge shaft.

Xanth had the elven ability of seeing through darkness. He found a nook and at a whisper, we tried to hide form the dryders. I could not see and my breast plate scrapped the wall. I heard Xanth ready for combat and the dryder rushing towards us.

I set off a sun rod so I could see. Kita and Tarl had disappeared, Xanth rolled out of the nook and made ready. I turned to the dryder and pretended to be stupid saying, “This is not the right way. It’s my fault. Very sorry.” I pointed stupidly down the shaft saying, “I can’t see very well in the dark.”

Xanth held his action and realized the dryders bought my bluff. I helped him to his feet and we continued down the tunnel. Tarl and Kita had used a climb potion to scale the walls and hide in the recessions in the celling. They followed along behind us in silence.

We passed a group of nude, gloss black eyed, things that looked to be once normal humanoids. The tunnel continued for a few hours, then opened into a huge cavern. There was a makeshift building holding up an enormous caldron. The caldron poured a never-ending swirl of green liquid to a pool at the base of the tower. Top the tower sat a demon looking figure.

The other members of our group were being pushed up the stairs and forced into the caldron. One at a time they screamed and then spewed out into the pool at the base of the tower. When they landed they were bald, gloss eyed, and healthier looking then they were when they went into the caldron.

I knew it was time for a fight. I would exhaust every spell I knew and die before going up those stairs. Xanth rescued me again by helping me duck behind a boulder. He began talking about me getting out of my armor and being more quite. I was sure I was going to need my armor to fight my way out of this hole.
Tarl used the walls and shadows to sneak over to Xanth and I. Tarl gave me a potion and I drank it as he said, “This will make you invisible, but only for a short time.”
I silently thought, “People often wonder why I put up with all of Tarls faults. I would love to show Those people, This moment.” With a little guidance I crept along the sand and reached the shaft.
I bolted back up shaft. I did not know how, but I was getting out of this hole. ArGhAaaaA!! Kita scared the CrAp out of me. In all my excitement I forgot she was even in this godforsaken tunnel. My heart was beating out of my chest.
Kita had used a makeshift shelter that blended into the walls. She seemed to step out of thin air. My nerves were obviously showing. Kita calmed me and showed me the shelter. We waited inside and met up with Tarl and Xanth. By now, my nerves were so fried I needed a good night’s sleep. Kita insured me that the shelters camouflage would last the night. I slept.
The next morning we woke and I prepared spells to allow us silence and limited flight to get out of the tunnel. Tarl made more potions of invisibility. We escaped the pit, the tunnel and the demon. Each of us blended back into the chaos that was the camp area to discuss our next move.

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Session 7

The desert went on for, what appeared to be, forever. We came across a small tent and approached cautiously. The owner of the tent was a jumpy little guy. He said he was here to sell thing to the, “Army” so that he could, “Live forever.”
We knew we were in the right place. We asked for directions and I used the “create water spell to fill a pan with water. The little guy jumped in the water and splashed around. We got our directions and headed off to meet up with the army.
We found a water hole along the way. It had some gnoles around it. We decided to use some acting to gather some information. Tarl put on a show of being almost dead and crawling for the water hole. The gnoles dragged him to the water. He made a potion that allowed him to listen to the gnoles. They talked of the “Army” and “Live Forever,”
Xanth decided to cross to the water hole as well. His acting was not as good. One of the gnoles tried to disarm him. Xanth resisted and got a kick in the head for it. He continued his act and “VERY RELUCTENTLY,” let the gnole take his bow. The gnole threw him into the water with Tarl.
The gnoles laughed and decided not to try to eat the two weary travelers. The gnoles began to move off and Tarl and Xanth moved out of the water. One of the gnoles still had Xanths bow. Xanth rushed him and managed to get the bow back. The gnoles began to get feisty and I stepped out and used the spell “Calm emotions,” to good effect.
The last of the gnoles was gathering their canteens from the water’s edge. The ground trembled and a creature of pure water rose up and lashed out at the gnole. The gnole fell dead in the sand. A quick glance told us the other gnoles would be of no assistance in this fight.
We began launching arrows and other means of attack to fight back the water creature. Kita tried to offer her water to appease the creature. The water creature just lashed out again.
I was getting a little grumpy. The desert was uncomfortable even with the potions we had taken to make it more bearable. I used the spell Fireball on the water creature. Steam and screeches of agony filled the desert. The creature died or retreated away, I am really not sure witch.
I know the gnoles witnessed the fight. It would be harder to blend in if they start talking. We could only hope for the best, so we continued to approach the army.
We crested a large sand dune and the army was before us. It numbered in the thousands. I was at a loss as to what to do. I could feel the need to punish these fools with all the power of Glautru for the invasion of our lands. I think I was still a little grumpy…
In the distance we could see an enormous hole in the ground with what could only be described as power coming out of it. It had to be the “well” we had heard so much about.
The group stood on the rise wondering what we could do against so many. Especially if they truly believe they will live forever if they are loyal to this army.

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Session 6

Session 6

The meeting broke up and everyone went their own way. Xanth, Tarl, Kita and I met back at the tavern. I was determined to go to the desert and stop this problem. Tarl and Kita were leaning towards staying and protecting the town. Xanth was a little too silent for my liking.

We found that the “secret” guard had gotten our message and met with Xanth at the back of the tavern. There were some negotiations about getting some protection for our little town from Cormere if we brave the desert to confront this threat. The pass was snowed in. Any reinforcements would be a long time coming.

The meeting was cut short by the sounds of screams from outside the tavern. I bolted for the door. I could tell as I left the shop that Kitas house was on fire. I sprinted down the street and kicked in the door.

I had been here a great many times. I ran through the house trying to call out. I got no answer. I could feel the flames burning through my armor. I pressed on into the flame thinking out loud, “I like fire, just not this much.”

I could find no sign of Kitas parents downstairs. I charged up the stairs holding my breath in the thicker smoke. A quick look around told me that Kitas adopted mother was dead on the bed. Kitas adopted father was not in this house.

My clothing was now catching fire. I knew there was nothing more I could do here. I was sure I would not make it through the down stairs flames again. I dove out the second floor window in a flaming, smoking ball and crashed to the street below.

The fall to the street was painful. It did put most of the fire out. I patted the rest of the flames from my body. My plan was to magically heal myself, find Kita and tell her of the horrible news of her adopted mother’s death as well as her adopted father being missing.

I looked for Kita in the most likely place, near her adopted father’s jewelry store. I did not see Kita and before I could magically heal myself, I could see fire moving unnaturally through the jewelry store. I would heal myself later.

I ran to the jewelry store yelling to the already streets full of people, “There, they are in there!” pointing to the jewelry store as I ran. I could feel the wind as I ran clawing at my open burns.

I kicked in the door to the jewelry store. The flames were not only unnatural, they were sentient. Three large flames turned and looked right at me. I thought out loud, “How much do I love fire? Not this much!” In the far corner I could see a drow-elf controlling the flames. I yelled to the crowded streets behind me, “Here, Here! They are here.” I did not realize my vagueness until Kita came running expecting to see her adopted parents.

When Kita arrived I yelled to her, “There,” pointing to the drow-elf, “that is who is responsible.” I could feel Kitas hopes crash. She said something about me being an idiot or the likes. I knew she was under a ton of stress. I began throwing magic at the drow yelling, “You will pay for what you have done!”

The Drow-elf clapped her hands and the large flame converged to become one huge flame. Then the drow ducked out the back door. I ran around the outside of the building. I spotted the drow and used the command, “Fall!” It worked and allowed me to close on the creature.

I began using the power of Galatru to destroy this drow. I summoned magical weapons, and spells that would crush the common man. The drow stood up to the assault and fought back. This was no ordinary drow.

I began to feel I would lose this fight if it went on much longer. Then, I heard Kita and Xanth running to aid me. The Drow took a moment to command the fire creature to crash through the wall and help her.

Kita taunted the huge creature so Xanth and I could finish off the drow. It was terrifying to see cute little Kita standing toe to toe with this huge fire creature. I knew her skills and I sent a silent prayer for her safety.

With Xanth and me both on this drow it was only a matter of time. Just before the drow fell it tried to run away. Xanth cut it down before it got three feet.

I had been sending heals to Kita and Xanth as well as throwing every hideous magic I could think of at the drow. I had used frost blots against the huge fire creature. I saw Kita fall at the feet of the fire creature. I thought she was dead. Tarl came around the corner to her rescue with a magic healing potion.

Xanth had been trying to get the fire creature off Kita with a flurry of arrows. The giant creature fell and its flames went out. I fell to my knees completely worn out.

Kita found the body of her adopted father in the flames of the jewelry store. He was clutching a book and had used his body to shield it from the flames. We found that every member of the artisan’s guild had been killed except for Xanth.

There we an attempt on Xanths life that had failed that night. While i was chasing around trying to save people, Xanth was almost killed, Tarl had managed to kill the drow responsible for the attempt on Xanth after a foot chase through town.

The town was in disarray. I healed those in need. People opened their homes to the needy. Xanth had set up a bucket line to stop the fires. I took a few people in and went to sleep.

The next morning Xanth had already found the magistrate was dead and promoted the town guard captain to the position. We left instructions for him to send word to Eagles Rest, it was a nearby city, to higher more town guards.

I was determined to head to the desert, alone if need be. I was packing for the trip and saw Xanth doing the same. Kita and Tarl joined in and we headed for the desert.

The travels to the desert were easy. We could see the clouds filling the mountain pass with snow in the distance. When we arrived at the rim of the desert in was unsettling. The sea of sand stretched as far as I could see.

We began our desert crossing using Tarls magic potions to keep us a little more comfortable. With as miserable as I felt, I could not imagine trying to travel this land without it.

Xanth took the lead and seemed to be happy. I commented to him, “You lived here?! Intentionally?!” Xanth had crossed the desert before. He was just happy to be traveling again.

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Session 5

Session 5

The trip back would lead us through the town of High Horn. We were a few hours from reaching High Horn when we noticed a wagon that had been attacked. All the guards were dead. The attackers were pillaging the wreckage.

Xanth and tarl charged through the trees and attacked. I could sit a horse well enough, but i was not going to try to jump it through the trees. Kita and I took a few o follow the road around the stand of trees.

I lost sight of Tarl and realized Xanth was not going to wait for any talks. By the time i had unseated my mount, Xanth had sent a volley of arrows. I used my gifts to throw fire around a little while trying to get to the horses. The horses were still tethered to the burning wagons. I reached the reigns Kita was freeing the horses by shooting the reigns with arrows. She freed two by the time i crossed the distance to the horses.

I gave a quick look around for Tarl. I saw an enemy bring down a war club striking him. I was in a bit of a decision, Tarl could handle himself but the last horse needed to be cut free. Xanth made my decision easy. A quick sprint and a flick of his knife and Xanth were walking the animal away from danger.

I used my ability to super heat the enemy’s war club. I could tell it burnt him as he discarded it. Tarl took the opening and dove through the man’s legs cutting into the area of his manhood. The mad dropped to his knees and begged for his life.

I turned quickly to find Kita had pinned one enemy of in the brush. She called to me, “this one might not make it.” I sent a heal his way and we bound our two captives.

Bye the look to the scene, the wagon guards were taken by surprise. This is the tactic we have been seeing everywhere. The guards were shown no quarter and were left to die as these others searched through the wreckage. I was disgusted.

I gave the two captives a few threats and walked off to let the others question them. They were tied to a line off the back of the wagon. After loading as much of the supplies onto the horses as possible we headed to High Horn.

A few minutes into the trip one man had slipped his bonds. I tried a command word, “Halt!” to no avail. Tarl gave chase. I called out knowing he would not hear me, “You should have stopped. Tarl will do much worse when he catches you then that command.”

True to my word, Tarl had set him on fire again. The man limped back in obvious pain. The other man began saying things like, “don’t say anything.” and “we will die before we talk.” I knew what was coming well before it happened. Before i could walk away Xanth had removed a finger from the man’s hand. The scream was long and i felt it dig into me. I made my way to a hill top to better secure the area. Even at a distance i could hear the man cry out in pain again.

The moments were long as i waited for the pain inflicted talks to cease. I walked back and the man begged me to heal him. I reminded him that i had already warned him not to run off and i would heal him if he gave his word this time that he would not try to escape. He gave his word and i used the weakest healing ability i had. I just could not get the memories of the wagon guards out of my head yet.

The pain inspired talks had reviled that these men were hired by similar dark elves to the captive we had had with in this Ten-Day. They were to distort the wagon and get paid at a local tavern. Tarl and i disguised ourselves and went in there place. We were given a sack of gold and told to kill all the loose ends. We agreed and left.

Xanth and Kita turned in the captives and got paid for the goods. We were headed to meet them when we noticed a couple fellows leaving the inn and table of the dark elves we had just been sitting at. Tarl followed and i met up with Xanth and Kita. I told them all i knew and Kita and i went provide Tarl assistance if he needed it.

It was a long time before Kita and I spotted first the two leave the rundown inn, then Tarl leave the same inn. Xanth came with horses and the rest of us mounted and sprinted away.

Tarl had used invisibility to eavesdrop on the conversation of the two he had followed. They spoke of an invasion. Xanth got the same impression from the stables. Our ride home to Woodmere was at a pushed pace.

We passed the area were Kita had befriended a squirrel. I guess the thing recognized her and dropped out of a tree into her lap. They became fast friends. Kita chirped away in the creature’s language like they were long lost friends.

Woodmere was a warm sight. We all agreed to put our affairs in order and meet back up. I began my normal routine. I went past the tavern and offered the travelers any assistance I could provide. They all had the same request, “It would be nice to get a room for the night.”

The tavern was now that full. I asked the owner about the rooms not being rented. He said they were all rented, but they were empty as well. There was something wrong. I found Kita and Tarl at the tavern and told them I needed to get Xanth. We all needed to figure this out. I made my way to Kitas home. Xanth had mentioned talking to her parents.

I had just missed him and found him on the return to the tavern. It was clear after we all sat down that our little town was in trouble. We canned an emergency meeting of the artisan’s guild. We gathered at Kitas parents.

I could tell the place was being watched. I made a few patrols in the open. Making sure that anyone with mal-intent would have a chance to see my friends and I were on to them.

It was clear that someone was trying to buy this town. Every one of them had taken money for a halt to their services. We could tell they had been approached individually. Some of them had even taken the offered wealth and left town.

We told them of our findings in High horn and gave them all the information we had received on our travels. Our point was well made and those gathered here agreed to begin services as normal. We also agreed to try to strengthen the guard forces as soon as possible.

I told all that were gathered that this building had been being watched. Whoever was behind this would know we gathered. All that were gathered agreed that we would stick together.

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Session 4

Session 4

We decided to take the long way to Cormere. At every chance we avoided trouble. If we were being followed, we may have shaken our pressures. We pressed on well into the night.

It was cold and the days on the wagon were not getting easy. We were pushing ourselves as well as the horses. At a fork in the road we could make out a well-used camping area. This would be our rest point for the night. Kita set up her alarm spells to give warning. Xanth layer trip lines with bells and our nightly watch began.

I awoke to both the sounds of Xanths bells and kitas alarm spell. I have always hated fighting from a sound sleep. I never manage to put on my armor. I quickly exited my tent. The fight was on all around me. Somehow Kita had gotten into close range and Tarl had already started the area on fire in a few places.

I had nearly shaken the sleep from my eyes and the fight was over. We managed to take a prisoner. Our uninvited guest was a ‘dark elf.’ We used some interrogation techniques. I know they are necessary, but I have a hard time hurting someone that is bound. I kept my distance and let the others do what needed to be done.

The interrogations had given us a few clues. The weapons these guys carried could be traced back to the desert. The information gleaned cold is traced back to the desert. I believed our actions were clear, our problem lies in the desert near some well the prisoner mentioned.

We tried to go back to sleep, but sleep was restless at best. Xanth tied the prisoner to trail behind the wagon. We turned him in at the next town. This town was bigger than any we had come across on this journey. They had a place to store the wagons. We gave the prisoner over to the local guard.

We were in a well secured town. I did my walking’s around and found a few people that needed the mercy of Galatru. In this town I was approached by more of lathander followers. They mentioned the great cathedral in Cormere. I was told my deeds had been looked on kindly and I would be welcome at the great cathedral. I kept that as a mental note.

Xanth had gone off to visit our captive that was sitting in a town cell. I guess he wanted more information from him. I finished my rounds and got some rest. We left early for Cormere. We double checked the wagons. They showed no signs of tampering.

When the city of Cormere came into sight realized how small a town i came from. This city was a giant by comparison to any we had seen. We arrived early and great number of people bustled about in the morning hours. We showed the gate guards our papers and they directed us to our drop off point.

Kita and tarl had deduced that the gems in the weapons of our attackers were some evil magic. I led the group to a temple of Galatru. This was the largest temple to my god i had yet seen.

I gave my respects and showed the evil weapons. Even the great high priest of the temple was leery to look apron the weapons. We were directed to the church of lathander. I thought, "i guess i will see how received i will be here after all.

The Great Lathander Cathedral was just that, Great. The sun reflected off the bright white surfaces. I had to admit, it was spectacular. I approached the Cathedral of white in my Green Gold glory to Galatru with pride.

I was welcomed with open arms. They had been expecting me. I gave my greetings and came straight to the point. I showed the evil weapons and Even the High Priestess was taken aback by the presence of such evil.

The weapons became the focus of the room. They were place on an alter and destroyed in a brilliant light. The priests and paladins thanked us for ridding the world of such evil devices.

We had a few pleasant words with the followers of Lathander and were on our way. The topic of where to go had not been breached. I believed we needed to go straight to the desert. Xanth wanted to go back to Woodmere, and then go to the desert. Tarl and Kita showed no real sign of wanting to come with us to the desert without more reason or information.

I made my mind up. When we returned to Woodmere i would leave for the desert. I was sure Xanth would accompany me. I really wanted Kita and Tarl there as well.

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Episode 3

spent 157 gold creating 4 sun rods, a anti toxin, a acid flask and 3 cure light wounds.

The two guests describe the lead suspect and give us the name, ‘Rakm’ as well as the names of other suspects, ‘Suls’ and ‘Ghad’ to along with many others. Then we were handed a detailed map with information on possiable ambush points and dates.

+250 each for taking the job

The Captain Harrowleaf needed convincing, more for our protection and the safety of the town. We were all ready to take the burden of this cart away from our beloved city.

We agree as a group to leave before the mornings first light. That evening the tavern was full and Tarl left as I made my rounds.

Tarl was in a strange and jumpy mood. He even woke me saying someting about a thief. I made a display of scaring off the ‘thief’ by stepping out the front door and yelling, “I am tired and I have a lot to do. If you come near my house again I will set you on FIRE!” This was done more for show. I really thought Tarl was just a little jumpy. Nothing further happened that night. We woke the next day to leave, as planned, before first light.

Xanth had everything prepaired as we arrived. Tarl took the reighns and I road shotgun. The sun rose slowly and we began our assent into the mountain range. There were fresh wagon tracks in the thin layer of snow. This was a little strange due to the pass being perilous even in good light and weather.

At mid morning we discovered the wagon responsible for the tracks. One of the wheels had slipped and the wagon was in danger of falling over the edge of the road/cliff.

Xanth rendered assistance while Kita watched his back in case this was a trap. In a few minutes the wagon in front of us was righted and Xanth even used our spare wheel to get them on there way.

Tarl kept watch as I prayed. Tarl was still a little jumpy and mentioned something on the ridge above us. I continued to pray with a little less vigor. I hastily finished my prayers and scanned the ridge.

Both wagons got under way. We had lost about an hour. It was good to be moving again. I continued to watch the ridge line as the horses struggle the get the wagons moving up the snow covered road.

Something seemed to fall of the ridge then right its self. It was huge and reptilian. It was in a power dive and crashed through the wagon in front of us. It had grabbed a huge salted pork and swallowed it in mid flight.

The massive creature turned and dove again at the wagons. Kita yelled something about it being magic and blind. I let fly a sonic spell to try to stun it. Xanth and Kita let arrows fly. Tarl threw a fire bomb of sorts and struggled to keep the horses under control.

On the creatures first pass Xanth took a sever beating as the beast ripped flesh from bone. Xanth took refuge under the lead wagon. It took Tarl and Kita both to keep the horses pulling our wagon under control. I centered between the group and sent out a well needed heal to all near by.

Xanth, Kita and Tarl continued there ranged attacks while I tried another spell. I tried to calm the beast to get it to leave us alone. I was still the only one in the open, even crouched behind my shield the creature tore at me.

I yelled in frustration, “I have had about enough of this.” I waited for the creature to get well away from the group and cast fire ball. The creature was already on fire due to Tarls bombs. It had many arrow protruding from its wings and body. When the fire ball hit the creature it crumpled and fell over the cliffs edge.

I sent out a few more heals and we continued on our way. As we traveled some of us though out loud, “Well, if we were being followed, they know where we are for sure now.” We were sure that fireball could bee seen for miles in all directions.

We pulled into the next town and agreed to sleep in the stables with the wagons. The people in the wagon that had arrived ahead of us were telling the tale of how we fought off the beast in the hills. We were getting some strange looks. I was silently hoping the crowd would not believe them.

I made my way to the local inn for a plate of hot food. I rendered assistance to those in need along the way. One of the gentlemen, a dwarf, had lost his family in a collapse while mineing. I sent a blessing in the direction of the cave where they parished.

They had found a copper vein and had stumbled on a great deal of alchemst power. I brought the dwarf to Tarl. Tarl gave the man a great deal of gold for the powder. I think Tarl gave too much out of respect for the dwarfs lost family.

We left early and made our way to the next town. The snow would stick to the road in the morning hours and be melted away before noon. We meet the normal traffic along the way. The air was still cold, but the early clouds would burn off and the sun would warm us nicely.

The next town was a great deal bigger. Xanth asked me not to bring home any strays. He new I would eat a meal and help those along the way. This had always been my way. It was the best way for me to show the power and mercy of Glautru. I assured Xanth that I would make my rounds, but not bring any one back to the stables.

While making my rounds I found a great many in need. I was helping a begger in the streets when I was approached by followers of Lathander. I knew there would be no conflict. Our gods were similar in a few ways.

They told me that they had heard of my deeds and the followers of Lathander were impressed. I made a show of both power and loyalty to Glautru by ‘nonchalantly’ rubbing my gold symbol and green robes. These to me were the coloers of power.

I knew the followers of Lathander had put boot to butt from time to time in the name of whats was right when they had too. I also knew Glautru expected more from me. I was to go looking for wrongs to right. The kind of power given to me was not to be sat idle on a shelf.

My approach to spreading the name of Glautru seemed to be working. People were taking notice. I knew that every one I touched would never forget Glautru had both mercy and power, even the followers of Lathander.

We left early the next morning. Tarl had turned himself from halfling to dwarf to throw off any onlookers. I think he is just being jumpy again. Xanth pointed out that we might meet up with the other wagon if we took a days detour to the east. We all agreed. We passed a noble on the road, saw things in the wood line, just the typical day for a wagon guard.

We had not made up our mind weather to stop along the road or push to the next town. Just before night fall we found a good place to pull off the road and make camp. Xanth set some warning snares and the rest of us quickly went to sleep.

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Episode 2

Session 2

The ambush ahead was well laid out. Then enemy had both the element of surprise and numbers on their side. We Kita put spurs her horse so she could close to combat and made her self ready. Xanth let arrows fly from horse back at a dead run striking two targets one with a smoking arrow. Tarl agilely rode his horse through the enemy, jumping onto the wagon to defend it.

Most of the enemy swarm the wagon to slow it while others move to intercept our reinforcement attempt. Xanth rode through combat kicking and attempting to trample the ambushers. I set two of out attackers aflame with burning hands spell dropping one dead with it’s effect.

Tarl made an explosion on the back of the wagon in an effective attempt to encourage the horses to run faster! This set everything and every one in the area on fire. Xanth let two more arrow fly killing a enemy trying to climb onto the wagon.

Kita remounted her horse and began to chase the wagon. Xanth, still on horse back, gave chace as well. Tarl was still balancing on the back of the wagon. The wagon was speeding away. I looked around and realized all the guards had fallen to the ambush.

One enemy closed on me. I gave him a chance and a command spell to flee. My aggressor still attacked, but his sword bounced harmlessly off my shield. I cast the spell burning disarm making him drop his heated weapon saying angrily, “I am telling you to flee for you, not for me.” My aggressor turned wide eyed in agreement and ran into the woods leaving his sword in the middle of the road.

I checked the fallen and found no survivors in the wagon guards or ambushers. A few minutes later as I was looking for my horse to catch up to my the wagon with my friends. We agreed to take the wagon and all of the fallen back to Woodmere for a possible reward.

+42 gold 5 silver each from looting bad guys. + 15 gold for bad guy gear sold.

We returned the cart to Woodmere to explain that our suspicions about the ambush were correct. The Captain then asked us if we would make the delivery for payment in place of the fallen guards. We agreed to take the job and deliver the wagon in the name of Woodmere as soon as it was repaired. We were told it would take three days to repair the wagon.

Kita, Tarl and I returned to the magistrates office the next morning for some reward for thwarting the ambush. I reluctantly asked the magistrate for the compensation. He took 50 gold out of his personal stores and tossed it to me. I gave the gold to Kita and Tarl then guided them apologetically out of the office. Xanth refused this payment as I did.

The evening of the second day Xanth set up a dinner at his house. The repairs on the wagon had been secretly completed early. The gathering into a meeting with a member of the Iron Corss the elite ‘top secrete’ soldiers of Cormere. This member offered to hire us to help resolve of the wagon thefts that have been occurring. After Tarl did some haggling over the amount of payment, we agreed to help out.

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Episode 1

Begin Session 1***
>
> This night was warm in the safety of the cave we found and my sleep was deep. Outside the warmth of the cave a soft snow had begun to drift across the light of the full moon.
>
> Kita would often set her magical alarm spell when we camped. The sound of bells rang out as this alarm is what startled us all awake. Two strangers burst into the cave. I could tell emeditly that they brought trouble our way so I used a light spell to see better.
>
> After warning them to ‘keep their trouble to their own’ they still moved to seek shelter among us. Xanth let a few arrows fly to diswade the stranger comming twards us to no avail.
>
> Four armed men burst into the cave in obvious prasute. It seems my friends and I have found our selves in the middle of something, once again. I gestured to the one of the new-comers that the first two strangers were not with us. They seemed not to care as they charged into the cave with weapons ready.
>
> Without a means of determining whats happening we begin defending ourselves. Tarl and I set a few people aflame with different types of magics as Xanth continue to let arrows fly. Kita began trying to subdue one of the first to enter the cave. Tarl continued the diplomatic effort to stop the violence, this effort continued to fail.
>
> Tarl realized that stopping the violence would not work, so he began with the insults, ‘Something about the mans face,’ then Tarl used a nimble manuver to stab the angered man in the backside.
>
> Xanith moved to defend me sending arrows at the attacker that closed on me. I stapped back and used ‘command, flee’ on my assailant. The rest of the enemy continued the attack, but my ‘weak-minded’ attacker turned and fled out of the cave and into the night. Burning bodies of our attackers bagan to fall to the ground in the choas of the battle while others began running from the cave.
>
> Tarl continued the insults as well as dealing damage with his dagger. Xanth began prasute of the two that had left the cave. I moved to assist Xanth and stepped out of the cave into the night. Other then Xanth, the soft icey breaze was all that greeted me. The ones that ran had disappeared into the night. Xanth began tracking one of the fleeing men.
>
> Tarl immediately began rifleing through the fallen enemy looking for clues ‘and gold, I am sure’ and stubbled on a list of names; Pronfi, Guace Stafando, Ernes Grambo, Duffin Rhern.
>
> Tarl really wants our group to assume the identy of the fallen to take advangage of the situation. Athoritativly, with my hands on my hips, I told Tarl, “thats not gona work.”
>
> I took some time to done my breast plate and joined Tarl and Kita in prasuit of Xanth. Xanth had found the dead body of one and began tracking the other. Tarl, of course, began looting the dead body.
>
> Xanth picked up the second mans trail and we all followed him to the second mans dead body. Once again Xanth gives the dead body a once over, then a theral frisking. He finds a bag that he aggressively keeps the bag from Tarl and Kita due to the symbol of Cormere on this bag.
>
> An aggressive debate broke out about the bag in question of what to do with the bag. Xanth ended the discussion by jamming the bag into his backpack.
>
> We decided to travel through the night so we could put some distance between us and the cave.
>
> At the rise of the sun I begin my prayers and we arrive home in Woodmeer ‘population 1000ish’ near noon.
>
> +175 gold each.
>
> The bag with the symbol of Cormere quickly becomes the topic of conversation. Xanth really wants the bag to remain sealed, while Tarl, Kita and I all have our couriouity peeked.
>
> Xanth could not be part of opening this bag, so he politely excuses himself while the rest of us open this bag FULL of Cormere stamped gold bars. The fear of the reprochssions of taking this gold is far to big a price for me. Kita and I immediately side with Xanth in doing the right. I end Tarls ranting about fervlous spending by putting my hands on my hips saying, “Tarl, thats not gona work.”
>
> Xanth had returned and after some intense discussion and a brief surprise form Kitas father ‘Clonin’ the, three of us convince Tarl to return the gold. An inclosed noted leads us to believe that this bag is payment to ‘The Purple Dragon,’ an elite group of soldiers loyal to Cormere. Now, how to get it back to the Purple Dragons with out getting killed in the process.
>
> We agreed to hand the “Bag” over to our town leaders. The magistrate was out of town but his assistant advises us that the captain of the guard “Buris” will be the one currently responsible.
>
> A pleasant discussion with the Captain about handleing returning the gold to the proper authorities being over, we then head to the tavern to drink and think on what would have happened had we NOT returned the gold.
>
> After a few drinks Tarl worked a little charm and managed to bed a gril from the bar. I think ‘after overhearing some of the conversation,’ that the girl slept withTarl just to spite her brother. The girls family was just passing through Woodmere on their way to Waterdeep to seek their fortune.
>
> Morning brings me to prayer again then a trip to the home of Xanth for breakfast. Some of the contence found among the bodies in th cave still littered Xanths table. Some of the maps have circles, some of the papers have dates. We puzzle out that there are as many circles as there are dates.
>
> Xanth examines the map and manages to pick up an impression. He rubs some charcoal on the back of the maps and reviles the words, “Iron Cross.” I remember that the location of this wording is symbolic of ‘Who’ a payment is made out to.
>
> As to what to do next, the group was on the fence. We wanted to know what significance the maps held and who the ‘Iron Cross’ are. We agreed to consult Captain Buris as to the meaning of the maps. He gave us some insight. The maps and dates correspond with shipments and the ‘Iron Cross’ is a secrete elite group of Cormere soldiers.
>
> We discovered that the next date on the papers corisponds with the shipment leaving from Woodmere in a few days. I suggested to Captain Buris that we could arrange a ruse. My friends were surprised by my suggestion and some were ‘as always’ pushing for more gold. We agree, as a group, to talk to the Magistrate in a day or so.
>
> The tavern scene that night was a little more busy then normal. After my normal couple of ales and my triditional asking about the welfare of the travelers, as well as local patrons, I head to the temple for rest.
>
> while I sleep at the temple
>
> The rest of the group see a transaction between a couple drow and a couple humans. Tarl managed to discretely put a box under one of their chairs. The drow found the box and just left the tavern. When the other three left the tavern, Xanth watched them leave on horseback. Tarl recovered the box.
>
> I meet up with the group the next morning
>
> After prayer the next morning I meet up with the group to meet the Magistrate. The Magistrate arrives on time. We give him a few minutes before pressing the assistant for his audience.
>
> After some hageling with the Magistrate our group decides to do some investigating. We leave that morning to search out the circle on the map. It is about a days travel out. Before we leave I tell The Captain, “Do not send the wagon if you don’t hear from us. There might be trouble.” The Captain agrees.
>
> When we near the area Kita uses a spell to detect traps. We find the remnance of a trap near the road where the circle is indicated on the map. Out of nowhere Xanth slips into the tree line. Kita gives the signal to pay attention. I discretely place my hand on my mace and shield to stand ready.
>
> A couple riders emerge form the forest, drow by the look of them. One quitely offers Tarl, “Theres money to be made on this road. Meet me in the Woodmere tavern at dusk.”
>
> Tarl lets the rest of the rest of the group know of the discussion. We agree that this would qualify as ‘investigation’ and we head back to town.
>
> Arriving back in Woodmere we notice there are well too many soldiers flying the banners of Cormere Purple Dragons. A Cormere soldier stops us from makeing our report to the Magistrate. We write a note explaning that we have some information pertaining to our investigation. This was done more to ensure the safty of our towns Magistrate then actually give him news.
>
> We talked to the magistrate to ensure things with the Cormere General went well. The Magistrate told us that the General was less then impressed with our finding the Purple Dragon gold.
>
> The meeting at the tavern went as sceduled. Tarl seemed informative about his meeting with the drow. The drow seem very well informed on the happenings with in Woodmere, especially within the office of the magistrate.
>
> The group leaves for the circle area on the map again at dawn to gather more clues. The indicated area reviled very little. Kita used a spell and had a very energetic very energetic conversation with a racoon.This conversation still presented nothing that resembled evidence.
>
> Our next actions are became sketchy at best. We agree to go back to the town to gather more information and maybe make a report. We told the Magestrate, “We realize there is a lack of information. We did not find any thing concrete and feel that there definatly seems to be something wrong.” We left out the drow ‘inside information,’ part.
>
> +50 gold each
>
> Purchase horse and ridding gear -105 gold
>
> The group agrees to ‘inconspicusly’ trail behind the sceduled cart as a precautionary messure. I had to convince Tarl there ‘could’ be a reward if we save the day.
>
> The morning was cold, but not too uncomfortable. We readied our mounts. I am not a skilled rider by any means, but I can normally get a horse pointed in the right direction and moving.
>
> As we expected, ‘Ambush’
>
> *End session one*

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Friends of Four
How the Characters Met

Friends of Four

Xanth, a renowned elven sculptor and master archer is long time friends with Kita’s father Clonin. Clonin is also an elf, and a master jeweler. Clonin an Xanth are both civic leaders in Woodmere, a small community in the Western Heartlands region of Farun and are considered very wise. They both sit on the artisans guild. Olavine is Kita’s mother and is human. Olavine, recognized Kita’s pampered lifestyle earl as a potential weakness and became concerned for Kita’s ability to defend herself as she matured and sought to explore the world. Clonin began teaching his daughter to the best of his ability, but evemtually asked Xanth to teach Kita to use a bow and survive in the wild. Kita grew up around Xanth and are trusted family friends who seek to see the world together. Dispite a ten year age difference, Rye, a middle aged human and Tarl, a young halfling circus acrobat are best friends, their differences bonded them over the many miles of road travel across the land. Rye followed the circus’ circuit of destinations attempting to spread the healing word of Glantu at each destination, all the while tending to any wounds the performers indured. After many years of travel and friendship, Tarl departed from the circus to seek mastering magic. Friends for life, Rye continued to follow along with the circus until it reached the town of Woodmere. Woodmere was the one of the only towns along the circus route to not have a divine healing chruch or religon and the suffering always bothered Rye; Tarl knew this is where Rye would be because of that fact, so meeting up with him after his schooling wouldn’t be a problem. Although Woodmere is too small of a town for the circus to ever set up in, it passed through the town on a layover twice a year. That Summer, Rye, parted from the circus troupe and now calls Woodmere home. Only months later, and completely unexpectedly, Tarl showed up in Woodmere to reunite with his friend, who he often felt was “The only person in Farun that understood and accepted him”. Tarl began to explain his friend that he had been expelled from the magic school and needed a place to “lay-low”. Rye accounts from his personal diary on this date, “I’m glad he’s here, but there is definately something wrong; he’s not telling me everything that happend at the magic school and I don’t know why.” While in Woodmere, Rye gained popularity as he built a small flaming shrine to his deiety and used it to heal the townsfolk. He met many of the towns noblity and gave counsel to the Merchants and Artisans guild. This is where Rye met Xanth, Clonin & Olavine and Kita. Upon Tarls integration into the towns make up, he became good friends with Kita, being of similar age, both are wild-spirits that are often misunderstood by others.

Prelude

Opportunity and desire collided when the town needed adventurers to dispatch a cockatrice roost that was uncomfortably close to Woodmere’s open borders. This was just the kind of thing Kita had been waiting for. She enthusiastically convinced Tarl to go with her to “slay the dreaded beasts”. Tarl wasn’t going without Rye and Clonin asked Xanth to lead the envoy and ensure the groups’ safety. The four set out for the first time, hunting and stakling the menace. The new team was successful and rewarded for their bravery by the Magistrate of Woodmere himself, Lord Beemyer. Hungry for further exploits and drunk with a sense of invincibility, three more similar tasks were undertaken, each further away from the familiarity and each more dangerous. The excitement was intoxicating and success seemed undeniable.
As a light snow begins to fall on the seventh day of the month of Marponeth 1372 DR on the journey home from escorting a wagon with a lone driver and an unknown cargo to Icewindale, the friends-of-four seek shelter in a cave just off the main trade road for the night.
In the middle of the night, while her dear friends sleep, Kita is terrified and surprised by three, armed and very dirty human males who run into the cave gasping for breath. They crouch low, just inside, to hide in the darkness the cave provides from the full moon light. Apparently as shocked to see Kita as she is to see them, one of them gestures to Kita, with his index finger, first across his throat then vertical over his lips, ssshhhh…

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