Valspar's Travel Journal
A hidden lair lies beneath the hollow tree. The stench of necromancy fills the air. Wembley and I were making an initial foray into this site and met Peth and Felx. The tunnels are home to a nest of giant rats and have various undead creatures inhabiting them (skeletons and a mummy so far). We only briefly investigated these tunnels before leaving. There is undoubtedly much more to discover here…
I am content in the day as I had discovered a fine bow in the local outfitters store that was vastly under appreciated. I took my new bow to the public butts to get a better feel for it’s capabilities and worth. As I was approaching the butts I noticed that an old acquaintance by the name of Shak’ur was there feathering the target. We spoke briefly and he told me of the troubles they have been having around Arborville. It seems the roads in that area have become unsafe to travel due to the predations of the minions of Hecate. He described Hecate as an evil sorceress who resides in a large tower to the northwest of the region. (Hecate’s minions can be recognized by her mark which is a human eye with a pupil as of a cat.) Regardless, my peace was disturbed as I was searching for my companion Wembley and became aware of an altercation at the outfitter’s store. I saw a striking human woman dressed in black and red departing on a horse and watched as she rapidly departed. Continuing on to the store in pursuit of Wembley I peered in through the door. The two humans Of the party were involved in an altercation with a brace of fellows wearing the mark of Hecate. I drew my bow to support my human companions but held fire as the thief was striking the minions down in sequence from behind as the Paladin of Crom, Peth, held their attention from the front. As it seemed an opportune time to vacate this miserable village we requisitioned the steeds that had belonged to the minions.
We traveled along the road to Troutwood for a day and as we stopped to make camp discovered that our rations had been consumed by a strange form of beetle. These creatures resembled no species known to me, having a black carapace and what appeared to be a circular red mark on the upper carapace. Strangely, as I crushed one under my boot the swarm disappeared. I can only surmise that these creatures were of a mystical nature._
After camping for the night we planned our approach to Troutwood. As we approached through the forest, Wembly was to scout the town However, upon reaching the town it was found to be destroyed. The populace had been slain in hideous manners and the buildings were charred ruins. I will not speak of the slain except to say that only creatures of truly evil nature could conceive of the vile atrocities that were committed upon these poor people. In the center of the village we discovered a banner of Hecate planted among a pile of severed heads. I fear the stories of the evilness of Hecate must be true.
It appears that whoever destroyed this town departed over the river and destroyed the ferry on the far bank. In the far horizon to the west can be seen a tall tower which I believe to be the tower of which Shak’ur spoke. I estimate it would take several days travel to reach the tower from here if we could cross the river. As the river is too swift and deep to ford we travel south to find a crossing.
South of Troutwood
I have had little rest on this leg of the journey. My nights are haunted by vile images.
We come upon the village of ASherwood after several days travel and I feel it would be of benefit to pause and rest as the village is most accommodating and of a pleasing nature. I feel almost at home here as the dwellings and establishments seem to be a part of the forest and abide in peace with nature. The proprietor of the tavern of the Big Pig is a most hospitable fellow, providing roast boar gratis to the guests of his establishment. (I wonder how wild pigs can be of such abundance that they are of so little value.) As my purse is depleted I take my rest in the arms of a majestic oak that grows near the tavern.
(OOC: need to put in more information about the Boyer and Fletcher. Explain what Robaire Bowyer is able to tell me about the bow. )
During the night my rest is broken by screams of terror coming from the house of comfort. I grab my bow and sword and rush to the establishment. Trying to determine what has transpired I questioned one of the girls fleeing but she is incoherent. I follow the rest of my party as they rush up the stairs. The door to one of the rooms had been smashed with great force and inside we see one of the girls of the establishment being hoisted in the air by her hair. Her assailant is the lady in black that I observed leaving RustyAxe. The human fighters rush in which caused the black lady to hurl the girl aside. While the fighters were involved I choose to remove the girl from danger and carried her outside. When I returned to the room it is on fire from an overturned lamp. Taking the fur skin from the bed I used it to beat the flames out before the fire could spread further. However, I fear this delay helped the lady in black make an exit and she appears to have fled southward. We pursue with most haste…
Two Days Travel South of ASherwood – at the crossroads.
I am so tired, my head feels as if it is stuffed with wool but I feel compelled to make this journal entry before I rest. We have been tracking the lady in black for two days now and as far as I can determine we are no closer to catching her than when we started. The horses are just about blown and I feel that I must rest or I will be useless…
Approaching the bridge: I have an ill feeling about this place. The decrepit jumble of dwellings and establishments that have infested the once mighty bridge bear no resemblance to a healthy community.
I disdain any of the drink or victuals of the establishment that guards the entrance of the bridge structure. I do not know what exactly is wrong but I do not trust this establishment. Naturally, the humans of the party partake of the offerings with no hesitation.
After leaving the Ale house we discover the next establishment is a butcher shop run by an odious orc. Hearing cries of pain I scout the establishment from a trapdoor above the main floor and discover that the meat being purveyed is of sentient beings. There are two elvish maidens trussed in the corner. The encounter that ensues is lost to me in a red haze of fury. I can not relate who did what but it is sufficient that the maidens are safe and the Orc is dead.
…Sons of the butcher.
Crossing the Gap
The bridge is in severe disrepair and has a large gap between the first inn on the bridge at the remainder of the Structure. The is a rope bridge but it is in a state of decrepitude that leaves me uneasy. In an attempt to assist the party across to the next section of the bridge I used a combination of my spider silk rope and a magnificent shot with my bow to string a guide rope above the bridge.
Magic Ritual Room
Road to Greenshroud
I have agreed to escort Ravenia to the tower in a bargain for the answers to three questions. If Ravenia is to accompany us on this journey I must find her some clothing other than my cloak which is really not sufficient for her modesty. Her statuesque size renders her requirements quite specific.
Ravenia accompanies me during my scouting expeditions ahead of the party. During the normal search for threats and provisions we have found quite a fes dead along the road. Many have lain where they died for quite some time. I see extensive evidence of bandits, marauders and plague.
On of the corpses that we have found is of sufficient size that among his provisions were sufficient items that we have provisioned Ravenia. I surmise that this large person was a predator of the road as the trunk we found with his body contained items that seem to looted from quite a few others. Among other things we found a travel journal and a map.
Although I know that Ravenia has either participated or instigated may heinous acts I find her a most compatible travel companion. I only wish I felt that I could trust her.
Approaching the outskirts of the forest we are intercepted by a patrol from Greenshroud. Any who are infected (Felx) are turned away. The town has been severely decimated by a plague. Seeking knowledge of Hecata and the plague we visited the local temple. It is a finely crafted wooden structure. It gives me a sense of peace that I have not felt in quite some time. However, there is some thing about the temple that disturbers me. I surmise that it is due to the resemblance of this place to that to which I was born to but it is not the same. The carvings in this place reflect a quite different philosophy from that which I was imbued. The local priest is a sagacious being who inspires trust.
Northern Wastes (near Hecata’s tower)
Nearing the vicinity of the tower a band of undead warriors charged towards us. I quickly scaled a nearby basalt column anticipating a battle against severe odds. Ravenia secreted herself out of sight nearby. However, Peth seemed to have an instinctual bond with the leader of the undead. The two warriors quickly squared off in a duel of which Peth was victorious. Afterwards the band of undead departed and left us in peace. The sword of the defeated undead warrior was taken by Peth as a trophy of his victory.