Raven's Feather

The next year chunk of story

Neiman has a job just put on the books as part of a catering staff. The group meets Kriv the party planner from Snake’s Tongue and start serving horderves. It turns out the cook Cornelius was shunned from the group they were catering to because he talked about Magic foods. He began to exact his revenge and the party stopped him.

Neiman set the party up with a security detail during the Founder’s Day celebration. The group did a general patrol and got swindled out of some money by and older man. During the parade an attack was made on the crowned prince and the party chased after the would be assassin. They caught up to him and followed him underground, and a fight ensues. Meanwhile Beinion meets up with his old con artist teacher/partner Jackob, who sprung a trap which separated him from his friends. He informed Beinion he is working for someone big, and that Beinion should join him. Beinion returns to his friends and they break into Jackob’s hideaway and Beinion seemingly betrays his friends, but then double crosses Jackob. After nearly losing their lives the party beats Jackob, but he escapes them. As the party leaves they meet with Mary Anna who informs them that they are being blamed for the assassination attempt, and that they should run and head south to Hearthglen. The party leaves Timbrick who was hurt badly in battle and was still unconscious.

The party travels to Hearthglen and Isa meets them, tells them to lay low, and gives them a pendant that’ll glow when it’s safe for them to come home. The party notices many refugees in this town and can blend into the population easy. Some refugees get attacked and the party jumps into battle to save them. A group of clerics from the Way of Harmony (Erathis) and the Order of the Light (Pelor) come and see the group helping. Le’Jorn who leads the Way of Harmony sends the party to find a paladin named Jaryn who went off to stop a cult and hadn’t been heard from in months. He also sends his most promising student who is like a son to him, Shadra. The group spends 2 weeks traveling from town to town along the frontier finding info about the Paladin and his party. They finally get close when they get to a town and meet with Perrin whose town is being forced to be a stopping point for weapon shipment. His thumbs were cut off while he defended his town from a Mysterious Swordsman. The group leaves the town but is given directions to the black march where the cult resides. The party is attacked by a group of Dopplegangers disguised as Jaryn and the party confirms they are on the right track.

The group fights their way into the black march and to the town of Adakmi where the guards are suspicious of you since the Mysterious Swordsman posed as a cleric of Erathis and wrecked their town. The group is introduced to Bahdem Battlebeard who is the new Captain of Adakmi, who clears things up and lets the group know where the cultists are coming from. The Party employs the help of a local boatmaster to take them south along the river. They see smoke from a local town and beat up the attackers. When the party is camping for the night they are attacked by Jaryn’s right hand man. The Party continues down the river until they get to the Steps of Light (A ancient giants temple turned into the cults hideout). The Party pretends to be members of the cult and after a few days they get invited into the inner sanctum of the temple.

As the group was entering the temple one of the Dopplegangers that got away points out they are imposters. They run in and seal the door, which re-activates traps set here long ago. The Party fights through until they reach Jaryn and learn about how he gave up hope that people could act for themselves. After fighting with the party he tears his cultist necklace from his neck killing himself to try and redeem himself of his sins. After which the Demon Balruga that was controlling things appears and dosen’t find a new worthy vessel so he attacks. They defeat him and head back North to Adakmi. While in Adakmi the party discusses what they want to do next and decided that they want to follow after the Swordman in the mountain pass to the North, but first they need some rides.

The Party talked to Bahdem Battlebeard about procuring mounts for the trip and he told them they needed to discuss it with Alaria. She was very hesitant to give them the mounts, so she decided to test them on their Equine knowledge. They also met with a magic merchant Al-Hassim who had a spell that would let them summon spectral steeds. The party passed both Alaria’s test and bought Al-Hassim’s ritual and went on their way to follow the Mysterious swordsman. They got to his campsite and all they saw was a crater and felt magical energies. When examining the crater, they were attacked by a group of orcs. After defeating them, they followed tracks they
found for a while until the tracks disappeared and they found a camp of Revnant Dwarves who guard what is in the mountain so it doesn’t escape. They travelled the inside of the mountain evading undead forces and eventually found an heirloom belonging to Bahdem Battlebeard’s father (one of the revnant dwarves). They encountered some particularly tough undead but overcame them eventually, making their way to the cathedral. They overheard voices talking and found out the Mysterious Swordsman to be Riardon talking to his acquaintance Quinn. You overhear that Quinn has finished summoning or calling “another one” somewhere, and Riardon caused a ruckus because he was looking for a sword that ate magic. Riardon mentions something about a prophesy that “the ones trying to fix the world will have to at the appointed time face the two sets of three. The Orphan who Loves, The Orphan who Searches, and the Orphan who Hates; and the Runaway who Lies, The Runaway who Hides, and the Runaway who Steals.” They end up getting away before any questions are answered. The party noticed that both the pendant saying they could come home to the guild and the mirror for talking to Argus were glowing. Argus tells them about how they had been cleared of charges by Mary Anna and of an ancient army of mages who once visited spots where they met dragons during the wars that founded Tamenly. The 3rd spot these mages visited was The King’s Woods. Argus told the party he would contact them again when he had info. The Party got back to the Revnants and sealed the mountain back up and the undead were once again locked up. The Revnants thanked the party by offering them food and a place to sleep.

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Deep into the foul swamp

The party departs into the swamp after resting at Argus’s place overnight. They trudge into the swamp and find it difficult to traverse over the stretches of mire especially as they soon encounter more of the Lizard men that they fought off in the village.

As the adventurers trek further into the swamp they find themselves in a unusual darkness. Almost no sun filters through the tops of the trees and even the light that does seems tainted. As they contemplate what is going on they are attacked by a group of insubstantial beings that attack the group’s life energies. After fighting off the creatures and moving on the group finds the darkness to have lifted somewhat and their spirits high once again.

They come across a fellow traveler in the swamp by the name of Dirk Dark. This Drow seems a simple man but seems capable enough to take care of himself in this dangerous area. He wants nothing to do with the group and only wants to head on his way, but Jett had other plans for him. Taking advantage of their number, and a wound that Dirk Dark recently incurred, Jett strong arm’s Dirk Dark into helping them. Since he was injured and can’t really provide any tactical support he instead gives him all he had left of a friend who had fallen in combat while in the swamp… a magical cloak.

As the group adventures ever farther they see a shining treasure pile and they venture towards it, only to be ambushed by a young black dragon. The group fights it off and finally Ea deals the final blow. The group collects the dragon’s treasure hoard and Ea takes the dragon’s horn as a trophy.

They leave the swamp and meet back with Argus. They discussed the dragon and Argus gave them a relic in which they can communicate with him should the need arise, and he agreed to help do some research for them. The next day they head back to the guild. After a few days of traveling they reach guildtown and meet back up with Mary Anna with the results of their trip. She is very worried about these occurrences of dragons within the Tamenly borders. She tells the group that she will research it and that they should talk with Neiman for the time being for quests.

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Fine Art and Plauged Lands

The group heads back to Tamenly City to rest after they fought and bested the young Dragon. The next day the spend in the city in the Library trying to find if it truly is the greatest in the land, but after a few hours of trying to get through the red tape to get to the advanced Magical Tomes, and finding nothing of significant importance the party heads down the street to the Art District.

The party meets David the artist who made the statue that was stolen and ended up in the Dragon’s possession. Currently Ko’Dan and his group are still being blamed for the theft. They question him about who may have wanted the statue, and a little about his past. After once again finding no solid leads they head to pray that Ioun’s fate for the group lead them down the correct path.

They get back to the guild hall and Neiman and the rest of the guild cheer for the party. He explains that the groups probationary period is over and everyone really likes our adventurers, and thinks they’ll make a fine addition to the guild. He touches everyone in the group and they acquire a magical tattoo of Raven’s Feather guild tattoo. They are now official members of the guild. As they go to join in the celebration Mary Anna greets them. They show her the stolen statue, and as they tell her the story of how they came to find it she stares in disbelief. Only once the party shows her a Dragon scale that fell from the creature as it was slain. She immediately recognizes that this scale is fresh from a dragon because after about a week a dragon scale will lose it’s sheen, and this one is still bright and gleaming. Mary Anna tells them to hide it away. She is worried about the repercussions it could have, and asks the party to keep it a secret while she discusses what ramifications it could have with Neiman and other guild elders. In the mean time she asks them to enjoy themselves during the party.

As the party goes on Jett ends up with a Pot on his head, and Benion with a lamp shade on his. They mock battle on the tables while Timbrick narrates a sword fight they enact. Meanwhile at some point during the night Ea receives a letter mysteriously… On it is a warning that the message is meant only for her. As she opens it she sees written:

They know you have left the city and have gone to Guildtown. Make sure you make your allies your true friends, because you will need their help before too long.

At the bottom of the paper is a crest of a pair of horns and an open palm surrounded by flame, and as she is finished with the letter the flame on the paper starts to glow and turn orange and the paper is burned up in an instant.

The evening ended without any more incidents and the next day the party met with Mary Anna once again. She had talked to the Elders of the guild and they agreed that things needed to stay quite while they investigate more odd occurrences. For such a large white dragon to be this far south is unheard of, and the magic needed to keep the climate suitable for it would be immense. Mary Anna asked the party to investigate another area that may have some magical influence. The small land of Fentown has in the past two days suffered from a rotting aura emanating from the swamp. The guild has a request to investigate the swamp for another powerful magical force. The party took the job, and set off toward Fentown.

While the group was still outside of the borders of the small village they already began to see the rot. It was unnatural and consuming all plants in it’s path. As they closed in on the village they heard screams and saw fire in the sky on the Northern border of the town, and as they ran to see what was happening they saw a single robed man singing in a low tenor voice and directing fire balls at short frogmen Bullywugs. As he slew them in great numbers one got past his defenses and knocked him unconscious. As the bullywug approached the party came to his aid and defeat the frogmen. Wave after wave of them attacked, but the party slew them all, and as they did the contagion that plagued the flora began to dissipate.

Finally the true enemies were revealed when the bullywug’s numbers diminished. Lizardmen were the ringleaders of the raid. The battle was fierce with the Lizardmen. Eridas and Jett teamed up when Eridas layed down a bond of retribution on their leader, and then Jett danced like a flame through combat incurring 6 attacks against him. Though it weakened him greatly, he escaped but the Lizardman leader did not. In the end the took care of all the Lizardmen that had attacked the village.

The party meets the old man who was fending off the Bullywugs. The man introduces himself as Argus, a retired adventurer who now acts as the Mayor for the town. He lets them know that at first there was only a disease spreading through the crops but it quickly escalated to smaller raids of the Bullywugs and finally what they saw there today. He is delighted to see the young adventurer’s and sees a bit of himself in them. He shares some room in his house for the night for everyone to rest and some of his stories of his old adventures with the party before they head out the next day.

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Greater Threats

As the adventurer’s head closer to the capitol they notice with their peripheral vision a wolf the size of an ox watching them. Without any more delays they make good time and can see the tall towers of the castle in the distance. As they head towards the city, ever vigilant, they hear a rustling in the brush. Thorn stealthily inspects ahead to see a group of Kobolds,though he can’t understand what they are saying, while Ea back in the group can hear and understand a word every now and again.

As they sit around trying to decide what to do the Kobold sentries spot them and a fight ensues. The group defeats the band of Kobolds, and find a short note giving the Kobold group instructions in Draconic to “Watch to make sure no one comes from the City towards the Big cave. There is only a few more days until we will be ready.” Faced with this ominous message and their time sensitive task, the group decides it to be better to head into the city and complete their primary task. They head to the Castle and find the Minister of Guild and give him the guild records of Raven’s Feather. He thanks them and sends them on their way.

When the guild heads to the guild inn they see another member of Raven’s Feather. While they eat he introduces himself to the group as Beinion Nostarion, a member of Raven’s Feather and of Ko’Dan’s team. He tells them an incredible story of bravery and daring that left him out of commission when his team returned and way-laid him in Tamenly City. He didn’t want to travel the roads home alone so he was awaiting another member of the guild to come by so he could travel with them. They accept his offer to travel though they aren’t quite convinced by his story, especially because they had heard a story going around town in the short time they have been here about a “fool of an elf” matching Beinion’s description having a tumble in the bar and getting an injury closely matching the one he described to you. You let him know that before you head home you want to find this “large cave” that was mentioned in the note the Kobolds had.

The group finds some information on the Only cave in the area and head south towards it. Once again they feel an unnatural chill, and after a bit snow starts to fall. As they continue the snow becomes a massive Blizzard. The adventure’s as stalwart as they are make it through the Blizzard without much of a problem, and find themselves in a Wintery Grove at the mouth of a cave. At the mouth of the cave is a Kobold preaching to a mass of other Kobolds about “The Master being great.” and how he will “Take his place as the ruler of this land.” Once again the group is spotted by the Kobolds and a fight ensues. The battle is tough, and the Kobold Wyrmpriest doesn’t make it any easier. The battle is ended in short order though when Timbrick pulls the Wyrmpriest into the fire and he flees into the cave screaming.

The group enter the Icy cave to see the Wyrmpriest groveling on his knees, begging for the master to save him. As soon as the group thinks that nothing is about to happen a large mass falls from the ceiling and yells in draconic “USELESS!” and gobbles up the pleeing Kobold. As the Creature turns to face the intruders in it’s cave the group sees it is a young white Dragon. A fierce battle rages on and everyone fears for their life, as the dragon rages and beats on everyone. Finally Ea says “enough is enough” and lays the killing blow on the dragon, and a single white scale falls off of it’s neck at her feet.

The group looks around to see that the magic that kept this area cold and frozen is quickly dissipating and they can see now where the dragon was roosting. A pathway up the cave wall was revealed and they found a hoard of gold and treasure. They also found a Small Bust of a woman labeled as “The Snow Queen”, and on the bottom they see that it is the Statue that went missing from the king’s museum.

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Into the Forrest
Wherein our heroes meet wolves and elves, and dodge some arrows with their bodies.

We return to our adventurers on a day of simple pleasures: ale and friends. We find them sitting amongst both of these things on the morning of their latest adventure. The group relaxes and talks to their new friends over a few mugs of the Guild’s famous brews. They learn that their new friends, like so many other adventurers in Raven’s Feather, have been suspended from regular guild activity. This group consists of the twins Benowen and Talia, the looming Ko’Dan, and the quiet but radiant Isa. The crew learns that their new comrades had been framed at a recent security job. Someone had specifically set them up be the patsies for a statue heist. The statue, they learned, was crafted by up-and-coming artist David, whom the King favors.

As the group mingled with their fellow guild-mates, Mary Anna graced the crew with her beautiful presence. Mary Anna, looking beautiful, but frazzled, had some very important paperwork. The documents had to be delivered to Tamenly City within only a few days time. Since there are few others who are on active duty within the guild, Mary Anna had no choice but to ask the stalwart crew. Because of the time-sensitive nature of the delivery, Mary Anna instructed the group that they would have to travel west, through the King’s Woods, to get to Tamenly city. Hearing this, the adventurers jumped at the chance to prove their mettle, as well as to impress Mary Anna. Upon putting her trust in capable hands, Mary Anna excused herself and angelically departed. Before heading off into unknown territory, the group decided to consult the young barman William. He informed them about the serious wolf problem in the woods. “It is so much of a problem,” he stated matter-of-factly, “that not even the soldiers dare to enter anymore.” Thorn, the druid, just chuckled to himself knowingly. “I think we can handle a few wolves,” he said through jagged, smiling, shifting teeth.

Forward the adventurers traveled, entering the woods with druid-wolf in the lead. They quickly and easily discerned the slightly overgrown trail that leads to the capital city. Eventually, the party stumbled upon a clearing and noticed two abandoned tents. Upon closer examination, they soon discovered two corpses laying in the center of the campsite. TWANG! The invoker dove to the side in a magnificent fashion as arrows flew past. (Dodge may not have been as magnificent as writer remembers) The other adventurers performed similar, but certainly not as magnificent, dodges. Our adventures soon found themselves surrounded by wolves of the forest and what appeared to be elven archers. With staff and sword, tooth and claw, spell and prayer, and song and fist, the band struck back in defensive honor.

As soon as they pushed back one attack, more wolves and elves stalked out of the woods and surrounded the adventurers. As they fought off their relentless attacks, victory was soon determined. As the last wolf fell, the group quickly darted into the woods before they would have to face more ambushes. They moved through the woods keeping one eye on the path and the other over their shoulders in anticipation of another attack. It was in this fearfully focused mindset that our storied heroes entered another clearing. In the far end of the clearing, the adventurers spied what looked to be a wounded girl, unconscious and surrounded by wolves. Being the ever valiant and honorable crew, the group leapt into action against the ferocious wolves and hoped they could rescue the young girl.

As the battle continued between humanoid and wolf-kind, the sharp mind of the handsome invoker realized that the wolves seemed to be protecting the injured girl. But it was too late, the last wolf had already been defeated and it left go a great howl. The crew quickly administered first aid to the girl before more harm could come to her. She awoke with a great start and was immediately scared and suspicious. Soon the girl’s heart filled with anger at the what she saw around her. She demanded, as a member of a secret religious sect called the Vorgen’shi, that the group explain their actions. Upon hearing her use the name of her order, the Invoker remembered reading something once about the Vorgen’shi. They are a group of extreme naturalists within the elven culture who commune with nature and wildlife and will become a guardian spirit of nature.

The young priestess, believing the adventurers to be with the group of poachers who injured her, is intimidated by the crew. After all, they had attacked her brothers (both wolf and elven). The group had to quickly convince her that they were not here to harm her, and soon found themselves surrounded by more wolves. Eventually, through great tact and use of knowledge, the group was able to show her that they were victims as much as she was. Upon realizing this, the young priestess called off her four-legged brethren and offered two thoughts to the heroes. First, the crew would be granted free passage through he woods. No wolves shall attack them. The second was more of a warning. “There have been much more ominous things than wolves roaming the Forrest as of late,” she stated, “you would all do well to be mindful of such things.” With these thoughts echoing in their minds, the group acknowledged her kindness and stepped back into the dark wood…

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Of Rats and Women
Vermin sicken me.

Our stalwart adventurers arrived on the doorstep of none other than the Raven’s Feather Guild Hall. Upon initiation into the guild, the group was granted access to its headquarters. It is a magnificent building, one with a heavy aura of magic. The main hall is a place of comfort and a social hub.

Upon arrival, the group was told to speak to William who was soon revealed to be a young bartender. William told the crew that they were expected and to make themselves comfortable while they waited for the person in charge. As the acquaintances waited, they each shared a bit about each other. If they were to work together, they figured that they should know one another. Soon, the adventurers learned that their battle group would consist of a Genasi Swordmage named Jett, a Razorclaw Shifter Druid named Thorn, a Tiefling Warlock named Ea, a Halfling Bard named Timbrick, and a Half-elf Invoker named Eridas.

As they talked, the group slowly began to make steps toward friendship. But just then, as all eyes turned, Mary Anna graced the room. She truly was the fairest maiden of them all. Mary Anna is the guild representative for Raven’s Feather, where she serves on the Guild Council. Her beauty knows no bounds and has received the attention of many a creature in the Raven’s Feather guild hall. As one adventurer, the druid Thorn, put it: “There are good things outside of the forest!”

Mary Anna told the group about some problems that the guild has been encountering of late. Many guild members have been accused, probably falsely, of misdeeds. Mary Anna and the guild can only sit by and bide their time. Upon excusing herself, citing she was busy, the starstruck adventurers (minus the Tiefling) were visibly heartbroken, but knew that this would not be their last encounter with the maiden.

Next, the group met with the Guild Master himself – the Wizened Neiman. He is an ambiguously older gentleman of gnomish heritage. Neiman proceded to task the group with assisting William (the wimp of a barkeep) and excused himself.

It turns out that William the Wimp has a bit of an infestation in the pantry. He is often responsible for retrieving foodstuffs from the magical pantry below the guild hall. Recently, there have been many troublesome rats that keep him from being able to perform his job. William asked the adventurers to clear the pantry for him.

So together the Tiefling, Genasi, a Razorclaw Shifter, a Halfling and a Half-Elf set off to assist the young William in his duties.

Down into the subterranean pantry did our faithful band of heroes wander and many a rat did they encounter. Dire rats and Giant Rats (aka R.O.U.S.’s) bit, scratched and clawed their way over the group, which totally skeeved them out…I mean…ew.

Nothing was more harrowing, however, than the Rat Swarms which seemed to take on its own essence, completely indistinct from the single vermin that comprised it.

Onward did the adventurers venture, onward and deeper until they encountered something even more harrowing than the Rat Swarm. They stumbled upon TWO rat swarms, which merged into the single most disgusting enemy yet: The Giant Rat King. Our adventurers fought valiantly and with some well-placed attacks, the team prevailed. The rats were no more. The Half-Elf gave the thumbs up with a sheepish grin. The swordmage, Jett, looked around the now empty room and with a stoic nod stated, “Victor-”

“THWACK!” went the wooden spoon and “Oof” went Jett. “You killed them ALL! Why? No, no, no, no, NO!” exclaimed the assailant. She wound up for another barrage of spoon attacks to which the group could only flinch.

Then came the calming influence of Neiman, who stayed the hand of the enraged chef, Schnitzel. As it turns out she was breeding and cultivating the rats for a specific reason. She was trying to “farm” them for a banquet that Raven’s Feather is hosting as a mission. She was using enchanted cheese to lure the most healthy and clean rats in the land, as they are a delicacy for the guests of honor.

The chef, resigning herself to fate, happily proclaimed that we all get to be the lucky taste testers for her delicious meal. After all, she wasn’t going to let all that pristine meat go to waste.

The adventurers then turned back, to head up to the main hall, not sure if they were feeling the sense of victory that was supposed to accompany a win. After all, did they truly win if they have to consume a Rat Bisque? Such a horrid Soup du Jour.

Chuckling to himself, knowing well the heavy hearts the adventurers were holding, Neiman permitted the band to help themselves to magical artifacts from the guild vault. They had, after all, performed well on their first task together. Together they selected items that they hope will aid each of them on their travels.

So together, the adventurers turned to face the long walk up the stairs to the Guild Hall, feeling a bit more knowledgeable about poisons (thanks to the rats) and very, very disgusted with them (also thanks to the rats).

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