Empire of the Sorcerer Lord

Yuri’s Journal 1/15/12

After the second of her ‘sisters’ went down in combat, I suggested to the archer that she reconsider negotiations. She called off the battle, and told the others to withdraw… all of them followed her orders. I was highly relieved. She had discovered my weakness was to magical weapons and was using enchanted arrows on me. The damage was adding up quickly and she kept moving enough that while it limited her to one attack at a time, it was doing the same to me, as well as forcing me to be less defensive while doing so. Not good.
Anyway, no drovers were killed, and no guards were killed either. As soon as the harpies stopped singing, the charm effect was lifted. Piper called all the wounded to one spot and did a mass lesser vigor spell to heal all of us at once.
Anders told us that the Empire uses harpy archers as snipers, but we saw no sign that the archer or any of her minions were in any way connected to the Empire. We did find a mix of small gems on the two dead harpies and we collected these.
We traveled a few more days til we came over a rise to view a large valley dominated by a good sized lake. Dogrund called it Lake Dunmere. We descended into the valley and approached a small fishing village. Something was wrong about it – no smoke from any of the chimneys, and no signs of anyone moving. I did an aerial scout and spotted no boats except for one and no people. I reported back and we brought the caravan to the town… it was indeed empty. There were signs that the villagers left in a hurry – they packed hurriedly and took any and all animals and wagons with them, along with all their boats.
We traveled further along the road and came to another village. This one had a stockade, and signs of life – smoke from chimneys for example. This was the town of Lakeside. All the folks from the previous town were here with their animals, wagons, boats and possessions. We talked to Uden Lakehold, the leader of Lakeside. He said there were rumors of an ogre band in the area, so the people of the smaller town had come here for protection. The band of ogres is rumored to number about 30, definitely a big threat.
We visited the Broken Fishbone Tavern, where Molly served us beer and fish stew – a first time for Ceri!
On our second day in town, we heard that scouts had spotted the ogres having set up camp near the ruins of an old manor house about 10 miles south of Lakeside. The four of us decided to go scout the Ogre camp and try to get a better view of their numbers. Piper and Ceri stayed back while Anders and I did some sneaking around. We got close enough to see 2 males and a lot of females and children – maybe 20 ogres in all.
As we were leaving, they spotted us and gave chase. Needless to say, we ran…. Thinking it was only the two males, we turned to fight them. We exchanged some ranged attacks with the two males, but three females started running in from the side and we turned and ran. Eventually we outran them and they stopped chasing.
We made our way back to town and arrived in Lakeside in the wee hours of the morning with our scouting report. We had enough time for a couple of hours sleep before the caravan departed for the north.
We traveled north til we got to the Rushing River. We followed the road which paralleled the river toward the mountains on the other side of the lake and valley.
I feel bad leaving the ogres behind to harry the Lakeside villagers, but they said they thought they could hold their own. I hope they’re right.

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Yuri’s Journal 1/8/12

We made our way back to the road and without further incident, we finally made our way back to the valley and saw Laskon in the distance. While the rush of combat and the joy of triumph at the end are exciting, it was good to travel for a while without running into any foes. Laskon was a welcome sight and they were happy to see us as well. Mac and Braza gave us a hearty meal when we arrived at the Stone Dragon. It was really a relief to eat chicken again after a steady diet of rabbit. While we were eating, a messenger arrived inviting us to dinner at the mayor’s house. We had baths and dressed in our cleanest clothes and headed off.
All the dignitaries of the town were there – Thom Ironshield, Grundi, the mayor of course, and Thom’s cousin Dogrund Ironshield, who is in charge of the spring caravan. After a fine meal, we were asked if we would join the caravan to Hammerfast as escorts and guards. What a great opportunity – we want to go to Hammerfast anyway. I’m not sure if it will be more dangerous accompanying a caravan or going on our own, but we decided to agree to go with the caravan. Ceri told the tale of how we vanquished the beast. I’ve heard her give better performances. It wasn’t her best, but she got polite applause.
After dinner they pulled out the items the town had made for us during the winter. Piper’s mace, my rapier and sling, Ceri’s armor and Anders’ light crossbow, all enchanted for us. They are great gifts and much appreciated. Eventually the evening was over and we made our way back to the Stone Dragon.
Back at the Inn, Ceri had to repeat her performance and sing the tale of our adventure. She did a brief warm-up song, which she desperately needed, then sang a wonderful rendition of her new song. The patrons all loved it and showered her with gold!
The next day, we bought some pearls so Ceri could identify our found items and we also bought some cure light potions so that we could each have one on hand for emergencies. We also bought horses and feed for about 3 weeks for the trip to Hammerfast. That night Ceri sang her song again at the Inn. Again not her best performance. I think she needs to practice this song a little more.
We still had almost a week before departing, so Ceri identified Piper’s new shield as a magically enchanted heavy steel shield with a small bonus to her defense. Piper’s new mace from the tomb is a Mace of Disruption. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but Piper seemed very excited about it.
Finally the time came for the caravan to depart. We made our way into the mountains, with woods encroaching on both sides of the road. The caravan consisted of 5 wagons, 4 with goods, one with supplies, one dwarven guard rode on each wagon along with the drover. There were also 4 human guards, all on foot, and the four of us, all mounted. As we made our way along the road, we came around a bend in the road to find a barricade across our path.
Winged female creatures that Ceri called Harpies, called out to us to surrender some of our goods and gems to gain passage. Dogrund tried to negotiate with the lead harpy, but that didn’t go to well, and the harpy called out to her ‘sisters’ to sing and they did. Their voices weren’t that pleasant, but there was something about their song that pulled at the soul. It took great effort to ignore it and ready myself for combat. I’d already thrown my cloak back to free my wings. Ceri realized that she hadn’t warned the others about her ability to make their weapons flame. That could turn out to be a problem.. but first she had to sing to try to help free those who were captivated by the harpies’ song. Battle began and I blessed the party before I flew up into the trees to confront the speaker, who unlike her sisters, was also an archer. Her aim was exceptional, but her arrows did little damage, thank goodness. We could be in trouble if more of our guards don’t shake off the effects of their song.

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Yuri’s Journal 1/2/12

The long winter finally ended and spring slowly began to overtake the snow and ice. We made our preparations to leave. Rata snuck out in the wee hours of the morning, leaving nothing but his stench and dirt behind. I warned Bear to beware of agents of the empire. I don’t trust that Rata one bit. Anders and Ceri went on a deer hunt early in the morning before we left town and gave most of the carcass to Bear, keeping only a portion for own use. I gave Bear 10 gp to cover some of our expenses for the winter, but he said it covered more than we actually used and he’d hold the rest on account for our return. Whatever… Actually for putting up with us, I think he deserves it all.
We began our travels back to Laskon accompanied by an almost constant drizzle, making the going wet and muddy, though there were places where snow and ice still remained on the ground as well. Things were very quiet for our first week or so of travel, then we heard wolves in the night…. But they were a long way off.
The next day, we found ourselves between a mother bear and her cub. We ran off the trail to get out from between them… luckily no one was hurt and the bear and her cub went on their way. We made our way back to the trail and traveled onwards.
On our 9th day of travel, we were attacked by wolves in the early morning. A huge white wolf stood in the distance and seemed to be in charge of the pack. We killed 3 of the wolves before the white wolf called the others off and they all turned and fled.
For the next two nights, the white wolf came into our camp almost it seemed to be more of an annoyance than a real threat… it would come in, wake us from our sleep, alert the watchers… then leave…
Finally we decided to track it… we kept on it’s trail but didn’t see the actual wolf at all. On Ceri’s watch it showed up again that night, and Ceri tried talking to it… then had a staring contest with it… it left without further incident.
We continued to track the wolf for seven days. It seemed to be mostly paralleling the trail, so we had no problem with tracking it while still making progress toward Laskon. It turned north and we continued to track.
At last we spotted something in the distance – it turned out to be ruins. We found signs that something was buried in one section of the ruins and decided to dig. Ceri didn’t want us to, thinking we would be desecrating a tomb. As it turned off she wasn’t far off…
We found stairs leading down, some chambers, and more stairs leading down behind a secret door. We continued on down into a trapped room. Unfortunately, we left Piper behind on the stairs for her own protection while the rest of us forced open another door. That dropped down a stone wall between Piper and us, sealing us off from her. The chamber we were in was filling with sand! From holes near the ceiling. We stuffed pieces of our cloaks into the holes to slow down the sand and then moved on to the next room by rotating the statues in the sand room.
Beyond the next door we found the tomb of a paladin of St. Cuthbert. Piper probably would have been handy to have along so we could have known that before we entered the tomb. We had to make do without her.
Ceri did a detect magic and determined that the mace in the arms of the effigy on top of the tomb was magical. We took it – under the assumption that if this was sacred to Cuthbert, he’d want it out in the world doing good.
We tried rotating the statues to unlock the door back to Piper but nothing seemed to work… it would take brute force for this one and eventually with all four of us working together, we managed to raise the stone. As a gesture of good faith, Piper put her own mace into the arms of the effigy.
We left the ruins and filled in the hole down again with the stones and dirt to seal it. Backbreaking work moving all those rocks but we managed it. Broke down the block and tackle we’d built as well so as to leave no sign of our having been there and working.
We headed back toward the trail.

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Ceridwen's Journal 1/2/12

Finally it’s time to leave High Meadow. That snake of a muleskinner left early one morning. We made some preparations to leave as well. Anders and I shot a buck. I took one hunch and brought the rest to the inn. They have been so great to us all winter. We also got a small brazier to keep us warm in the tent. We couldn’t get a bigger tent so we will make do until we get to Lascon. Most of the town turned out to see us off.
It’s cold and wet but we are on the road again. It’s just unnatural to stay in a place that long. We did have any difficulties until one day we rounded the bend and there was a bear cub in the road. We backed up and there was the mother bear. It would be just awful to kill a bear and leave her cub orphaned. We ran away. The bear took a few swipes at Yuri before he got away but wasn’t hurt too badly.
We traveled a few more days and then after breakfast we were attacked by a pack of wolves. They didn’t act naturally. One looked over its shoulder at a large white wolf that nearly blended in with the snow. We killed three wolves and the pack ran off. I skinned them. Wolf pelts fetch a good price.
That night the white wolf plagued us all night we could get a full nights rest. Anders and I both had some cuts that if we had had time to rest would have probably healed up. This kept up for several nights. One night the wolf just came into camp and sat watching me. It stayed for my whole watch and I sang to it. It walked off into the night.
The next day we decided to follow it. Anders and I tracked it; at times it seemed to wait for us to catch up. It mostly followed the trail. We did this for days. One day it turned away from the trail still we followed it. When we fallowed it let us get a full night’s sleep.
We came to a cliff in the distance I saw a corner of a foundation. We went to investigate. We found the reins of a small house or perhaps a tower. In the middle of the outline of the foundation we found that there was something buried. We spent days clearing what turned out to be a staircase. The staircase led down to a stone door. With much effort we pushed it open. It led to a series of room covered in a deep layer of dust. The place was so old that the doors had disintegrated.
Behind a secret door we found a room with statues of St Cuthbert. The door out of the room was trapped a slab of stone came down separating us from Piper and the room started to fill with sand. Ander said we should stuff the holes where the sand came out with cloaks. That slowed the sand down so we could figure out how to get out.
We turned the statues to the wall and we heard the stone grating still the door was hard to move. We found a tomb with a sarcophagus holding a mace. It was magical. We took it and said thanks to the nameless knight. We left the tomb and filled back in the staircase so the knight would be left in peace.

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Yuri’s Journal 12/24/11

It was beginning to look like it was going to be a long boring winter, snowed-in in High Meadow. Ceri spent her time hunting bunnies and studying alchemy. I helped teach her some tumbling and how to strike vulnerable spots in combat when you can catch your opponent unawares. She taught me the basics of the Draconic tongue. Piper was kept busy with seeing to the town’s religious and healing needs. So while we were in town, we weren’t idle, but the inactivity was beginning to wear on us all. I even tried to learn to ice skate… I think I made quite the amusing figure for the local children. All well and good. If I couldn’t do it well, at least I tried, and it was fun.
At last it was time for the Midwinter Festival. We helped the town ready itself, hanging garland and preparing for the fun and festivities. The winter solstice arrived at last and Piper held services, followed by a feast, and then games, mostly held for skaters on the ice. It was fascinating to watch them. Then more food, alcohol and then singing.. even Ceri learned some new songs that night.
We were woken in the middle of the night by Bear – there’s a fire in town! We ran out to the back to get buckets to help carry water when we spotted a large creature carrying a bundle. It turned out to be a troll. We charged to attack it, struggling through the snow. It dropped its bundle, which yelped. Someone was alive in there! I flew in the flank it but before I could do much, it savaged Ceri. Piper managed to heal her just in time. Luckily Anders and I both struck true with carefully aimed attacks and it went down. We burnt the body quickly. It was a good thing Ceri had learned such a useful new ability since we started wintering in High Meadow. Her song now gave our weapons flame damage – something related to her draconic heritage. Without that, we wouldn’t have been able to hurt this troll much. We freed the child who had been wrapped in the bundle and calmed him.
We had no time to waste though – there were signs of three more trolls and the villagers reported three missing people – 2 children and Sybil the tinker. We had to go after the trolls, and quickly. We gave chase but they were obviously faster than us. I took to the air and caught up with them. Two of them continued on with the three bundles, while one stayed behind to exchange sling bullets with me. I waited for the party to catch up before flying down to fight the lone troll. Again, with Ceri’s flame damage added to our weapons, we were able to take down the troll… we took it’s pouch, which had some coins and a gem in it.
The terrain was getting too heavy with trees for me to follow their tracks while flying any longer, so we went after them all on foot. While tracking them we crossed some other tracks – a lone human followed by some other unidentifiable humanoid tracks… something to think about checking out later, but right now our path was clear.
Finally, we caught up with the remaining two trolls. They had stopped in a clearing and were talking loudly. Leaving the others behind a little, I snuck up closer. They seemed to be arguing with each other, though I couldn’t even identify the language much less interpret what they were saying. They had hung their bundles in the trees around them while stopped… I returned to the party and suggested we try sneaking up on them. Bad idea I guess. We hadn’t approached very close when Anders stepped on a branch and let out a loud ‘crack’. The trolls charged out to us.
Piper cast one of her new spells – which gave us all bonuses to hit the creatures and the fortitude to keep fighting longer than we would have otherwise.
With some maneuvering to get flank, we took down first one, then the other. Ceri’s new abilities to do extra damage plus giving us all flame really helped a lot, as did Piper’s spell. If not for Piper’s spell, I might have died in the battle, and several of our hits would have missed. We may be a small party but we sure do work well together. We burned the bodies and freed the captives. One of them was Justin, the sheepherder’s young son, and one was a much younger child, and the third was of course Sybil.
We escorted them all back to town safely.
The next day, we went out to follow the other tracks. Eventually the human tracks diverged from the others. We chose to follow the human tracks. After a long while, we spotted a lone figure in the far distance… It appeared he or she was being ambushed by some creatures using trees as cover. They obviously had bows, as we could make out the twangs. Sound carries well over snow. We raced towards them. I took to the air again to get there faster. I was afraid we were too far away to be much use to the lone figure otherwise.
When I got closer, I realized they were gnolls. I recognized them immediately as the Empire frequently employs such creatures, though these were dressed/armored in mismatched rags and remnants. Half the gnolls stopped to fight me, the rest followed the hooded figure into the trees. I kept them busy, took down one and the dog with him, and soon the others caught up and helped take down the rest that stayed to fight me.
When we caught up with the hooded and cloaked figure, he was sitting on a rock, smoking a pipe, the bodies of the rest of the gnolls lying in the snow around him, though they didn’t look injured, they weren’t moving either. I checked the gnolls, but nothing about them seemed Imperial – they had no insignia or uniforms. We searched their bodies and took their gold and one magical shield.
The old man, who said he was called ‘Sage’ (though he admitted he had several names, this was the only one he shared with us), invited us to his cabin over the next ridge. Since he said he was ‘Sage’, Ceri asked him about the Wyrm, Calistryx. Sage told us that tales say Calistryx can’t be killed. And Starris was the wizard who originally defeated and cursed the Wyrm. Starris hasn’t been seen in centuries. Sage gave us some hot tea to enjoy while we talked, and gave us some tea leaves to take with us. He told us that it was restorative when fatigued.
We bade our leave and returned to High Meadow.
In High Meadow, while we were gone, the town decided it would be a good thing to man the watchtowers for the rest of the winter and asked if we would take shifts , along with the rest of the townsfolk. We agreed.
Maybe because of the increased watchfulness, maybe because it was just fate, the rest of the winter passed uneventfully. We studied and learned from the town and each other… ready for the spring so we could travel back to Laskon and hopefully beyond to Hammerfast.

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Ceridwen's Journal 12/24/11

High Meadow is booooorrrrriiing!!!
Things got a bit more interesting around midwinter. The town got together to celebrate. They put up decorations and built an ice skating rink. I’ve never seen anything like it. They poured water on the ground and it is so cold that it froze. Then they strapped pieces of metal to their feet and slid across it. They play a games on it one called curling (I don’t understand the rules to this) and one called hockey. Hockey seems a little easier to understand: one group tries to get a stone over to the other team’s side of the ice. They seem to have fun doing it. Yuri put the pieces of metal on his feet and tried to skate; he looks very funny doing it.
At Midwinter’s eve they had a big feast with lots of drinking. I did my fair share but in the middle of the night we heard cries of fire. We woke up and threw on our furs. We went out back to get buckets when Yuri saw a troll. It was carrying a bundle. I figured that I would like what was in the bundle and couldn’t let the troll get away with it so I ran after him full speed.
After I battle with the beast I decided that we need a better source of fire. I had been working on combining my draconic heritage and my inspire ability. I can call on the power of my ancestors to make the weapons of my friends burst into flame when they hit. This was the first time that I had tried it in combat. It worked really well. The flaming weapons kept the troll from regenerating all of the damage we did to it. We killed it and burned it. We found out the bundle was a child.
All of us thought the fire might have been a diversion. We looked around to see if there were other trolls in the town. We found tracks of three other trolls and that Tinker and some children were missing. We didn’t go back after our armor we just raced off after the trolls.
We followed them with Yuri flying on ahead. We came to a place where other tracks crossed the path of the trolls. We kept following the trolls. Yuri caught up with them and slowed them down. We fought and killed them. It was a much easier battle thanks to my new ability. We took the children and Tinker back to town.
The next day we set off to see what the other set of tracks were. We followed them until they split into two sets of tracks, one human looking and the other humanoid. We followed the single set of human tracks until we saw a figure of an old man in the distance. We saw that he was being ambushed by a group of humanoids. Again Yuri flew ahead. We found that they were gnolls. We killed some of them and rushed after the old man fearing that we would be too late to save him. We found him sitting on a stump with a group of unconscious gnolls. He man said he had been set on during his morning walk. He said we could call him Sage.
The old man asked us back to his house. It is strange that we have never seen or heard about a man living out here. He seemed a nice enough man. Still I am slightly suspicious of him. We talked for a time. He knew what I am and he was unsurprised by Yuri’s wings. We asked him about the worm. He told us that the dragon was so powerful that he could not be killed and a group of mages cursed him into a slumber. We didn’t get much real information out of him. There seemed to be much that he wasn’t telling us.
We went back to town and I asked if Bear knew about someone living out there. Bear had not heard of anyone and wanted to know if he was dangerous. I said I didn’t think so, I hope I’m not wrong. A couple of days later Yuri flew over where he thought the man’s house was and found nothing.

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Yuri’s Journal 12/17/11

I did an aerial scout of the creek bed area. There was a strange tree with an especially dark area under it but I didn’t spot anything in or around the tree. There was also an odd lump of snow where it didn’t seem quite natural for there to be one… maybe something was hidden there under the snow. Ceri shot the lump of snow with an arrow but nothing happened so we figured maybe it was just a stump or a bush under the snow.
Just as we were sure the creature wasn’t here, it came up out of the lump of the snow where it had been hiding all along. The creature sure was canny and sneaky. It attacked us in a fury but we chased it off with a barrage of attacks including fire. We gave chase. It was much faster than us, but left an obvious trail through the snow and we followed it back around in a circle to the strange tree. That dark patch under the tree turned out to be the entrance to a cavern under the roots. The creature’s lair! We attacked it with everything we had, especially the alchemist fires that Sybil, the tinker had made for us and Ceri’s fire arrows.
The tide of battle turned against us… Anders and I were both down from the creature’s dangerous teeth and claws… Luckily Piper thought to turn the beast to keep it from savaging our bodies and killing us. Ceri continued to shoot it with her fire arrows while Piper healed us both. I got sick from the creature’s foul stench when I hit it, and the creature broke out of the turning and hit Anders again, taking him down. Ceri’s fire arrows finally dropped the creature to unconsciousness.
Piper healed Anders while Ceri kept the creature down… Then Anders kept hitting it with his law aligned blade to keep it down. We burned the corpse as best we could until we were sure it was no longer healing the damage we had done to it and it was truly and finally dead.
We searched and examined the cave. The creature may have been smart, but it was not a treasure collector. We did find marks on the walls from its claws that resembled crude and ancient writings. The language was an ancient form of a mix of Abyssal and Infernal. I could barely make out the source, thanks to the legacy of my father’s knowledge of such things when he gifted me with his essence, but I couldn’t understand the meaning. We camped in the cave overnight so Piper could cast a Comprehend Languages the next morning. She said the writings meant “The worm awakes.” We chose to obliterate the words before returning to High Meadow.
When we got back to High Meadow, they were all thrilled to know the beast was dead. I went to see Lonimo, the Elven glassblower and mystic, who told us of an ancient wyrm named Calistryx, and known as ‘the scourge of the mountains.’ We had heard of Calistryx in Laskon previously in relation to a wizard named Starris. Lonimo told us that Starris was known to be a very skilled wizard. The old elf mystic advised us to seek more information in Hammerfast. We should, he said, speak to the spirits in the dwarven Necropolis, as they would know of Calistryx and Starris first hand.
It was good to be back someplace warm and dry again. I hope the rest of the winter passes quietly. I like High Meadow, but I look forward to getting back on the road to Laskon (in dryer, warmer weather though). Rata the trapper and muleskinner makes me nervous with his imperial gold and we still have unfinished business in Laskon, including picking up our specially made items they offered us. And if we are going to travel to Hammerfast, Laskon is on the way.

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Ceridwen's Journal 12/17/11

We finally killed it. We had tracked the beast to the creek. The snags and deadfalls looked like a perfect place for an ambush. Riyu took to the air to scout. There was a large evergreen tree with roots that hung over the river, underneath seemed to be a deeper shadow. Riyu landed in the tree to try to see what was there. He got in but still couldn’t see anything. He dropped a branch with light on it down and still couldn’t see anything.
We continued to advance towards the tree. Riyu pointed out a lump in the snow. I shot it with a regular arrow and it didn’t move. Riyu tried to get out of the tree. The branches were close together and covered with snow and he fell. He caught himself before he fell too far. He managed to finally get out but just then the lump of snow erupted.
The beast was under the snow. It came charging toward me like a landslide. We used up most of the alchemical fires trying to damage the thing. Just as it was looking weak it turned and ran. We followed it. It turned back to the creek and went into the cave.
We were low on alchemical fire and Piper was low on spells most of us were hurt and it was unclear if we would finish the beast or it would finish us. Riyu stopped us and told us his real name was Yuri. He had not wanted us to know in case we were questioned under truth spell by an Imperial Red Robe. It’s great that he trusts us so much. I had to laugh I’m the one who is supposed to be melodramatic.
We went in to the cave after the beast and fought it till it fell. It was wholly dead it kept regenerating some of the damage that was done to it. It got back up and continued fighting. We did more damage to it and finally it lay still and stopped regenerating. We had used every flaming thing we had. Piper gathered branches to build a fire. We saw some scratches on the cave wall. They looked like writing. I know this thing was smart but writing? We left the cave when it got too smoky. Piper said that tomorrow she could cast a spell so we would know what the writing said. We went back in; the Beast was consumed by the fire. There was nothing left and no treasure. Piper said the writing said “The Worm Awakes” Worm = Dragons eek. I hate evil dragons. Eek.
We made our way back to the town; they were surprised to see us still alive since we had been gone so long. I did a pretty good job of telling the tale. I’ll have to work on it some more.
We have to hold up in this town for the winter. Lord, am I going to be bored. I have to find something to do to keep busy. Maybe I’ll get Yuri to teach me some thieving skills.

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Yuri’s Journal 12/11/11

In High Meadow, Bear offered free drinks and food to the whole town to celebrate the birth of Nathan and Bianca’s boy child. He let us sleep in the common room of the inn for the night, as there were no other lodgings available. The town was at full capacity – everyone living as close as possible within the stockade as that was safest considering the early winter storms.
Over breakfast we spoke to Bear about the possibility of some kind of lodgings for the winter. He told us there was one vacant house, belonging to a sheepherder Ogrim and his family. They were staying at their other home as their herd had grown too large to winter in the town.
Just as we were agreeing to use Ogrim’s High Meadow home for the winter, his son Justin came running in screaming “Daisy’s been all torn to pieces!” We gathered that Daisy must have been the family’s cow. The description Justin excitedly gave sounded like our creature at work so we grabbed our gear and followed him out to where he and his father and brother had found the corpse. We found Ogrim and Barnus (another son) and soon found the creature… we sent Justin, Barnus and Ogrim running away and the four of us tackled the creature.
We fought it for some time. Piper aligned my rapier and Ceri’s arrows to be good and we fought it also using alchemist’s fire and Piper’s healing spells. The healing spells again did damage, but not as much as expected. The fire did good damage to it. We noticed it healed up most of the damage it was taking rather quickly – but not the fire damage. I only had 2 alchemist fires and used them both – the creature fled – a good thing because Anders was severely wounded as was I.
We returned to Ogrim’s farm and found his wife quickly packing to return to High Meadow, while Ogrim and his sons seemed reluctant to leave their herd. We convinced them they would be safer in High Meadow. They decided to take the herd and hopefully find room SOMEWHERE within the confines of the city.
We helped them finish packing and Ceri and I pulled their sled since Daisy was dead and she was their yoke beast.
We arrived back in High Meadow and wasted no time visiting Sybil, the tinker. Ceri delivered the items Sybil had requested from Laskon and Sybil agreed to make us some modified alchemist fires. We will have to light these manually, but they will be usable in combat with some effort. Ceri picked up the fire arrows Sybil made for her. The rest of us got 4 of the modified alchemist fires each. She also made us each one flask of acid.
Over the next two days, we talked about the possibility of digging a pit and luring the creature into it… but it might be difficult with the ground so cold. The snow continued to fall and we spent most of our time indoors. Piper made us 2 holy waters each during the two days of snow.
Rata, the rude muleskinner from our first visit to High Meadow returned on the first night of the snow and Ceri used prestidigitation magic to clean him up so he wouldn’t smell so bad, since we were sharing the common room of the inn with him (Ogrim and family having returned to their High Meadow home). Rada had imperial gold on him and we were concerned that he might have sold information about us to the imperials, but we couldn’t catch him in a lie when he told us he sold some of his skins to traders who had the coins.
I went to talk with Lonimo, the mystic glassblower elf. He said the creature sounds like a creature of the elder gods of chaos and suggested that maybe law-aligned weapons would have more affect than good ones. I told Piper about this when I returned to the inn….
After 5 days of steady snow, we finally had a break in the weather. It’s still overcast but it stopped snowing. The four of us returned to the woods to search for the creatures, hopefully more prepared than ever before. I took to the air, not wanting to slog through the snow. I’m sure the guards on the stockade saw me, but nothing to be done about that now. By the time we return, I’m sure the whole town will know, including Rata. Ah well.
We made our way back to where we last encountered the creature and followed the swath of downed trees for a distance. Ceri called to the beast, as did I but we got no response. I wonder if it’s bear countenance put it into hibernation – I hoped not. Ceri and Anders built traps and a dead-fall, but we didn’t bring a sheep as bait – one of us will have to be bait if we can get the creature to come close to us here.
We camped near our traps for 2 days, doing a little searching for the creature and trying to call to it. On the night of the 2nd day we heard it in the distance (good, it wasn’t hibernating), but it didn’t come close to us. I wonder if it knows we built traps and wants to lure us to it – it does seem awfully canny for a beast.
On the third morning camping out in the wilderness, we had a return of the snow flurries during the day. Instead of sitting idly in the camp, we decided to follow the line of broken trees to the creek-bed I spotted while flying two days earlier.
At the creek-bed, Anders spotted tracks and we began to follow them – difficult in this weather, but I trust if anyone can do it – Anders can!

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Ceridwen's Journal 12/11/11

We talked to the barkeep about where we should stay for the winter. I hate that we are stuck in this small town all winter. He suggested that we stay in the sheepherder’s old house in town. The Sheppard’s flock had grown too big for the pen in town so they had enlarged the barn at the house outside of town. We were discussing this when a boy showed up yelling “she was torn to pieces”. I started getting into my chain shirt. I’m not sure why I ever take the thing off, no sooner do I get it off than some trouble comes to find us. Life was simpler when all I had to worry about was a murderous blue dragon.
We found out it wasn’t a person that was attacked but a cow that had wandered out of the barn. The boy’s father and older brother were going after it and the boy had been sent to get help. We had to find the kid’s father before the monster found him, so set off hurriedly on the trail of the boy’s father.
We found the carcass of “daisy’ she looked just like the elk we had seen savaged by the monster. Slashed and mauled but no part eaten. I asked the boy what the names of his family members where and called out to them repeatedly. We had no problem following the path of the monster. I was very worried that we would not get to the people in time.
Two men came running out of the trees screaming that it was right behind them. We took up positions and waited for the monster. We didn’t have long to wait, crashing through the trees came the horrible heads of the monster. Never have I had such problems dispatching a foe, I’m afraid the faces of the monster are going to live on in my nightmares long after it is dead. We fought well and bravely. I feared that Riyu and/or Anders were going to be killed they both took a lot of damage from the foul beast. Piper cast a spell on my arrows that made it easier to hit it. She also cast a spell to make Riyu’s weapon aligned good. The beast healed wounds as fast as we made them. It wasn’t until Riyu threw a flask of alchemical fire at the beast that we really hurt it. As usual the best fled as soon as it became too damaged.
We slogged through the snow to the home of the boy, we found it was the sheepherder whose city house we had planned to stay in. The sheppard’s wife started packing as soon as she heard the story. (I guess we will not be staying there).
We escorted the family to town. Riyu and I pulled the wagon. We were bone weary when we got back. I cleaned us up and we bedded down at the tavern. The townsfolk decided to set watches and we let them. That night we planned our attack on the monster.
We sent for Tinker, she brought the arrows I had bought from her and I gave her the things she had asked me to pick up in Laskcon. We talked to her about getting more alchemical fire. She didn’t have the kind that ignites when they hit but she could make us ones that we could light and them throw. Piper can make some holy water since it is undead it shouldn’t like that to well. I’d like to dig a pit but the ground is frozen. Anders suggested a dead-fall and snares. While Piper worked we got rope. Riyu went to talk to the glassblower. He said that maybe a lawful aligned weapon would hurt it since it was a beast of chaos.
During the second night the fur trapper showed back up. I do not like how he treats his donkey. I told him that he had to submit to a prestidigitation spell before he could sleep in the tavern. He didn’t like that much but I gave him no choice. Over the next day I tried to make him uneasy. I don’t like that he has Imperial gold on him. It makes me wonder where he is getting it from. He’s done nothing other than to mistreat his donkey and make me nervous, but I can still make him as uncomfortable as he makes me.
As Soon as it stopped snowing we set off after the beast, he is very smart and will not fall for the snares we set even though I called out for him to come to us all day. Riyu scouted and found a creek bed. We went there and found tracks of the beast. Now we will follow them until we met the monster again…

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