Return of the Kingdom

The Beginning...

We completed creation of the characters and formation of the final party, completely using the new D&D 5.0 rules. This is going to be fun!

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Finding the Farm and village
The viewpoint of Faralyn the Ranger...

One evening, after a day of adventuring, we are all settling into camp, making dinner, collecting firewood, and making repairs when I noticed dark, thick plumes of smoke in the distance. I immediately know that this is coming from the direction of my home village, where my Aunties live on the home farm. I look over at Caelynn Holimion, my best friend and a druid from the same village, and we both break into a dead run toward the village, only stopping when absolutely necessary. Carly, the little fiesty gnome who has been travelling with us, followed us, and we all traveled all night only to find my farm burned to the ground. We find a multitude of horse hoof prints all over of a type we have never seen before. I noticed that the tracks almost cover up a familiar set of horse prints headed to the village that are heavier seeming, as if the horse bore the weight of two dear ladies. The evidence points to the fact that it seems the aunties MAY have escaped to the village, and the animals have all been taken.

We go at a dead run to the village essentially following the prints.

We arrive to a scene of chaos. The first thing we see is the sheer number of horsemen patrolling around the village.

We see villagers sporadically come out of the village running and sometimes are struck down and sometimes let go. We are completely helpless as we hear glass shattering, and people screaming.

All at once, many more screams break out, as the soldiers methodically torch the village buildings and leave in a cloud of dust. Instantly, I we take off towards the village in hopes of rescuing some of the people who must be trapped. Caelynn, the druid, stops as she hears her name called out, and we see that some of the escapees from the village have gathered hiding outside the village. I see Caelynn stop to help them, but I keep on toward the village to see what can be done.

Upon entering the village, it is quiet except for the raging fire. Smoke makes everything hard to see, but I hear a small hoarse scream from the upper rooms of a house nearby, and I hear banging coming from the inn. I hear horses screaming, and see them tied up outside the inn. Looking at the house where the hoarse scream came from, I see that there is no window readily available on the upper floor, so decide to first cut the horses free on my way to see about the banging that was coming from the Inn, which I can only assume are people trapped in the inn. I kick the door open as to not burn myself, only to be taken surprise by 4 mercenaries pillaging the inn. I duck back behind the wall of the inn as quickly as I can and flee around the other side of the building hoping to not get killed by the men. I also realize that if I am to find where the scream was coming from, I have no time for any delays.

I frantically flee towards the original building where the hoarse screams were coming from. Seeing billowing smoke, I wet my bandanna with my water, and tie it around my mouth and nose and successfully break the door down. I hope I am on time as I climb the ladder to the attic and see a child who is barely breathing. I pick up the child and make my way back down the ladder and exit the building.

Upon exiting the domicile, I hear combat and looks for my comrades. I remember the mercenaries and worry that they found my friends. I hope that Caelynn can help the rescued child. I turn the corner and see Carly, the half orcs, and Ellywick struggling to stay ahead of the mercenaries. Caelynn is healing one of the half orc brothers who looks in pretty bad shape. I gently set the child down temporarily to shoot the mercenary who is attacking our comrade, Orgramir, who looks like a very bloody half orc. Watching the battle, I see another opening, but this time miss my shot. Caelynn makes a fantastic shot and the mercenary reels from the blow. I hit another mercenary, and he does not look good. I watch my friends fight against the mercenaries; one has run away, and another has perished. The other two are holding their own and fighting fiercely. Orgramir strikes a solid blow, bringing one of the brutes to the ground. Carly strikes the killing blow onto the last mercenary to the relief of the entire party.

I urgently pick up the child, and the party reunites with the refugees to see who might be among the survivors.

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The salvage of Tree Haven
Making something out of nothing...

After the attacks are over, and everyone has convened together and been healed, rested, and

Due to the hard work of all the party, we manage to find quite a bit of random blankets, food, and sundry items.

With quite a bit of luck, we found a man in a collapsed basement who we rescued.

We also found a WRIT saying who these mercs were hired by… Ellywick recognizes that the text in in Dwarvish print, and it appears that the language is in Goblin, but none of us can read it, nor can we recognize the seal.

Faralyn brings the WRIT to Sebridia and Emerald to see if they recognize the writing. These two ladies are elderly wood elves, but do not have the bearing of wood elves. They are very prim and proper although they remain in the fray of helping and working with everyone else. They are not dressed fancily, but are immaculate.

The ladies give the impression that they were not IN the town when it was attacked.

There is a seal on the WRIT that Faralyn does not recognize, but the ladies say that they know someone who might know what it is in the town of Summerhill.

It is noted that the mayor has been killed, and upon discussion, Theldrin, a woodsman, is chosen to lead the people to Summerhill to resettle everyone.

In conversation with them, we find out that the aunties determined that something was unusual before the attacks occurred and left their home for the village, where they forewarned village guards of some issue and holed up outside the town to act as a meeting point for villagers to escape to. The armed mercenaries arrived very short;y after.

Faraly, Caelynn, Carly, Ellywick, Grolm, and Orgramir decide to escort the villagers to Summerhill.

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Our arrival into Summerhill... and Galdor the Bard
...or... Faralyn gets hot and bothered...

The villagers arrive unto Summerhill quite tired, road wearied, and broken. We get the people settled into Inns, boarding homes, and with friends and relatives where they can start the long process of restarting their lives. As we are settling in, and getting acquainted, a jovial and handsome half elf seeks us out and asks if we could use some entertainment for our villagers for the evening, as he understands we have all been through some trails. We follow him to the local inn, and he treats us to song, dance, and tricks of legerdemain.
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DURING THE ANTICS, Galdor finds Faralyn’s small elk figurine and is quite taken by it, insisting it reminds him of stories about a kind of key that belonged to the Empire of Girannor, a good and just Empire of long ago. The seal on the bottom of the silver elk is from that Empire, and these keys were known to open treasure caches scattered across the empire. Of course, the tale is one of tragedy and sadness, as a trusted adviser of the empire, a cruel vizier, betrayed and sabotaged the leaders and assassinated the entire family. This Vizier, _______________, broke the empire into many sections, and gave over control of these areas to mean hearted and evil henchmen. ____________ himself went on to attempt to become a Lich, but was thankfully thwarted. His rule ended many decades ago, but the many leaders who cropped up out of this larger empire are still going strong.

Galdor actually mentioned that he thinks he knows where one of these caches can be found, and would like to team up with us to go look for the cache and split the treasure between us. Caelynn immediately became unnerved by his offer and did not feel we should trust him. After reassuring the bard that only 1/3 of the share would do, Faralyn tells Galdor that the party will think on his offer and get back to him later on.

Faralyn can not help but be somewhat charmed by this handsome and compelling half elf, and hopes that the party may have an ally, albeit one that will have to be watched closely. Caelynn is concerned as to the bard’s trustworthiness and is worried he will betray them.

Before they depart his company, Faralyn shows him the WRIT seal, covering up the words that are there, and asks him if he is familiar with the seal. Galdor implies they need to agree to his offer first, but can’t help but eventually tell them to check the town square.


THE NEXT DAY:
The party heads out early for the town square, as the aunties ALSO tell them to check the town square for the seal located on the WRIT. They are led to an administrative type building and into the town offices, where the very same seal on their paper is on the wall. A somewhat pompous goblin comes to greet us, introducing himself as Hipart, second in command to the great Lord Hade, Fuedal Lord of Summerhill. The party is immediately on guard. We tell them our people have come to town and are in need of assistance, and is there anyone who can help them get established since they have lost everything. The goblin officiously asks if we can write and instructs us to make sure all the villagers names are added to a list so that they can be assisted. We warmly and humbly thank him, and head on our merry way.

Faralyn is annoyed that, once again, her aunties decided to hold back somewhat valuable information, and not told her things that would be useful. They feel like we should

Galdor is a wandering Bard, and he likes this village b/c they are appreciative audiences, but it is a a smaller venue for him. He is a friend of adventure.

He has been in town for two weeks, and typically is not here for much longer then that. He is, however, interested in thank

Galdor assures us that Lord Hade IS NOT a pleasant master and the goblin is the most powerful and dangerous member of this town. They should not be crossed, and they should not be trifled with. He is impressed (at least he acts mildly so) that we know that Lord Hade is one of the henchman left over from the days of _______________, and affirms that Lord Hade is known for being vindictive and petty.

Galdor partners with us

The WRIT says, in essence,

Dragon,
You are to carry out our plans concerning the village of Tree Haven. Please depart as soon as possible.

Signed by
High Hipart, in the name of Lord Hade

He suggests we forget about it, and says that Lord Hade is known for his cruel retaliatory methods.

After analysis of all the data from the attack, we notice 2 factors:
1. The mayor of the village is dead.
2. Most of the fighting age men are dead, BUT there was early resistance

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Rejoining our adventure...
Off to hunt for treasure!!

After talking it over, we decide to follow the bard on his treasure mission. We will be going about 2 days. After 2 days, Gakdor leads us to the Base of a hill. There is ivy and moss and growth all over the place. “So, it is here somewhere,” says Gakdor, rubbing his hands together." Everyone investigates, and after much investigation, and finagling, the door opens and we enter. After about 69 feet, door to the left and Galdor looks left, says, what luck, and goes in. We look in and see 15 × 15 room. Center 5 × 5 pyramid with steps is a mace on top. Being helps by two arms. Carvings on the wall, old tapestries, and old writing. Galdor marches up to snatch the mace, but can not. He gets frustrated and flustered. Faralyn teases him about his lack in interest in the words and tapestries, and drags him to the wall. Carly realizes she can translate the writings with spells.

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Delving the dungeon

Found 13 Electrum
Found 13 Gold

2 potions of greater healing
1 potion of resistance
30 gp of gems

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Into the woods

Our party successfully escaped the dungeons and heads towards the woods. We find a place tp camp for the night and then scope out a location for watching the road to monitor the return of the Bard. Instead, we see a score of soldiers from Summerhill riding horseback down the road. There is one in no armor, but dressed similarly in the same sigils of Lord Hado. We wait for the party to move on, then turn and head due E, deep into the woods, moving quickly and covering our trail.

We stop for breaks and after about three days of travel, we notice movement in the woods. A giant, almost white wolf, with sharp blue eyes comes out from the woods. Several additional wolves come out from the woods behind her.

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A much younger wolf comes bounding forward and yelps out, “Help us! Help us! Please Help, he’s hurt! Our brother is hurt!” After getting confirmation from the Alpha wolf, who is female, we follow them.

The wolf pack Leads us to an outcropping of stone. The pup stops with the pack and says, “He’s in there, He’s in there!” We approach the cave and there is a humanoid male lying there. As we approach, we see he has dark Auburn hair and reddish brown skin, he has completely white eyes and sharp teeth. There is big thick tail behind him. He yells, “Keep away from me!” and struggles to back up and fight against himself. Pushing back against the ground dragging his leg with him. His leg is twisted and hurt and bone is showing through.

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He passes out from pain.

Caelynn heals the leg for a small amount of healing but enough to stabilize him and close off the wound and repair the bone. The alpha Female comes and lays down next to the man, who we determine to be a Tiefling. Faralyn and Carly get herbs to help with pain while Ellywick builds the fire back up and boils water for cleaning and tea. Caelynn continues to heal him, and we plan to camp for the night.

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"Of course! They have a Hill Giant!"

Upon the Tiefling waking, he remembers something that causes him extreme anguish. Apparently, there is a violent and evil Creature in the woods causing havoc. It is destroying the woods, hurting the animals, and just causing chaos everywhere. He is adamant that he must go back immediately to hunt the thing down.

We all calm him briefly enough to get his story and make introductions. The Tiefling says to call him Torment, and he is part of the Wolf Barbarian Tribe. This wolf pack is his brothers and sisters. It is fighting the monster that hurt Torment’s leg so grievously. The Alfa male, in fact, was killed in the encounter. The large white Alpha female, named Atka, was his mate.

The party agrees that the monster must be dealt with, but that it will be dangerous so planning is a necessity. We spend the rest of the day comparing spells, examining attack strategies and thinking. Ellywick has some information on our foe, which we believe to be a Hill Giant. Orgrimir remembers that they do NOT have dark vision and that they must sleep. We all agree to head out in the late afternoon to track the monster.

We track the giant for the better part of two days when we hear crashing and banging in the woods. We slow down and cautiously approach to see a crazed giant in the woods.

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We quietly wait for him to get worn out and fall asleep so we can attack. After he is snoring, we circle around and surround him. The melee people attack first and then the ranged spell casters and bowmen follow. When the giant wakes up from the attacks, he is enraged and begins thrashing around attempting to hit one of us. We go in and out taking hits on the Hill Giant. Torment rushes the Giant but misses his attack, Faralyn fires her bow, Carly casts Witch Bolt and lights the giant up in swaths of electrical light. Ellywick attempts to Catapult a log at his head, but he manages to move in time. Then Orgrimir makes solid contact with his ___________, and delivers the killing blow.

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The source of the sickness...

So with Aska joining the party as Faralyn’s companion, and Torment joining as a equal providing member of the party, we follow Aska, who is leading us into the woods to show us what is causing the sick feeling in the woods.

The first night we are camping, during Faralyn and Atka’s watch, they hear something CRASHING IN THE WOODS.

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Yes, ladies and gentlemen, a TROLL comes bumbling out of the woods right into our camp. The Party is ON it, climbing out of bedrolls to attack this monstrosity.

Upon its death, we find 200 silver pieces.

Atka leads us further to the woods to some ruins. The ruins are across the entire area, and in the center is a tree that is the only tree in the whole ruins. We notice that the leaves rustle as if from a breeze, but the air is still.

Faralyn and Caelynn put their hands on the bark, but feel nothing at all until Caelynn notices a feeling of pressure on her arm and sees a branch that was not there before holding onto her. More and more branches grab onto her as her mind is bombarded by a series of mages and emotions coming from the ageless tree. Images of this very place in another time. Many druids encircle this same tree holding hands, and the tree is vibrant and full of leaves. The air is filled with an acid scent and the druids start dropping one by one. Caelynn sees image after image culminating with a glowing orb. Suddenly the tree starts to crumble and decay. The trunk splits open and CAelynn stands and walks toward the tree and reaches into its center to find a palm-sized item from the remains of the trunk.

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Torment relates stories from his youth. He had a grandfather tiefling who used to tell hom stories about the old druids. He knows a lot. He is ahlf mad, but extremely smart and may know more about those times.

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Heading into the wilderness
Rescuing the children

After Ellywick and Carly’s foray into Spring Hill, they discovered in the last adventure that the aunties are gone from Spring Hill and have not been spotted since the party originally left. the two gnomes also find out that the Orcs are actively being hunted and Faralyn is wanted for questioning. The gnomes are considered “persons of interest.”

The party decides to head to the wilderness in the direction of the old empire. They understand that there is nothing for them here at the moment, and although Faralyn wants to go hunting for her aunts, she knows her path lies elsewhere.

The group knows that the border is the West, and somewhere beyond that is the origins of the Empire.

About a week into their journey, they spot two hobgoblins watching them from the trees, and although Faralyn ensures they are not following them, the party is on gaurd.

Soon after they move through the area, the party sees a tiny hamlet with a few houses scattered around a center meeting area. There are people milling about and sadness permeates the people. The party needs to rest, and thinks to ask the people if they are welcome to camp in the vicinity without problems. Before they are really able to make the inquiry though, some agressive townspeople exit a building and challenge us. Carly eloquently calms them down with the assurance that we mean no harm and simply want to camp. They begrudgingly agree while blowing us off, but it is obvious that the town has way more important things to be worried about.

Orgrimar asks, “What happened here”, and is told that a band of hobgoblins raided the village and stole everything. “Everything?” we ask, “Yes, our children are gone” We are all dumbfounded for a moment as we try to undertsand wat this means, and many questions are asked all at once. We learn that about a dozen hobgoblins surrounded the village, came into the houses, and took children, weapons, money, and everything. Looking around, we see bruises and black eyes to back the story. Ellywick storms away, walking down the road with an angry and determined look on her face. She insists they follow, but Faralyn stops her and starts looking for tracks and evidence of passage. It is not hard to find, and the whole party is off; all of them determined to recover the innocents.

Glorn is at the front of the pack as he seems very troubled and disturbed by the events. The party makes great time following the hobgoblins, and by dusk we have discovered where the hobgoblins had a wagon waiting for them. The two watchmen send out an alert and hobgoblins are hurriedly getting the kids on the wagon.

Orgrimeer and Glorn start running toward the group, Faralyn casts Hunter’s Mark and Shoots one of the watchers immediatley. Carly casts Moonbeam on the other watcher at the same time that Ellywick attempts to catapult a rock into his chest.

Caelyn turns int a wolf, and she heads around the group to intercept the horses. Faralyn sends Akta with Caelyn.

Through attacking, Ellywick blinding, Caelyn and Akta attacking the drivers, and Caelyn’s moonbeam, the party successfully defeats the challenge.

See the wiki for treasure we collected.

The party successfully gets the children home, and leaves 50 gold with the village as well as everything that was taken.

We stay with the villagers for a few days to hunt for game, and get to know the town people. We also find out that there is almost no patrols that come through the area from Lord Hade’s administration. When asked about the closest town, tey refer us back to Spring Hill.

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