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September 22, 1997

Defenders Log Entry #3: The Fun Continues

Darellon, 1st level woodsman, 20 hp, played by Joel
Drew, 1st level ranger, 15 hp, played by Jack
Ethan, 1st level woodsman, 13 hp, played by Kyle
Grison, 1st level fighter, 11 hp, played by Sean
Soldan, 1st level cleric, 9 hp, played by Alex
Morgan, 1st level fighter, 7 hp, played by Alan
Quentin, 1st level druid, 6 hp, played by Jeremy
Annwvyn, 1st level thief, 4 hp, played by Alan

Setting off from Bald Hill, the party traveled north for one day and set up camp.

That evening we had an unsuccessful discussion with a bunny rabbit.

During the third watch, Drew's, the party was attacked by stealthy and difficult to spot fungus beetles. They dragged Anwvyn away before we even knew what was happening. Quickly we followed the beetle through the glass, Grison and Darellon trailing along with Drew. The clerics were slower to follow and missed most of what happened.

We saw Anwvyn trapped under the beetle, who was about 6 feet long. Anwvyn was clearly unconscious, if not dead for all we knew. When Grison approached, the beetle reacted, spraying acid all over Grison and dropping him paralyzed to the ground. The sonic boom that followed deafened Darellon temporarily. At this point we were unsure what to do, given the difficulty Drew was having in shooting the beetle. So we circled away from it, only to discover another one.

Finally we spotted a 3.5' hole in the ground which the beetles were living in. Unfortunately it was far too late for poor Anwvyn, who was lost to the digestive juices of the fungus down there.

We thought about blocking the hole, but then realized that there were at least a dozen such holes and clearly more around. So we simply marched away from that area as fast as possible, cutting our losses.

The next day we surprised a group of five armed men. Some people thought we should parlay.

Darellon assumed they were bandits, and reacted appropriately. With a wild yell Darellon charged straight at one of the archers. He missed, but Drew dropped him as he ran. Grison felled another one with his spear. The third archer was quickly skewered. That left a man in banded mail with a falchion and a man in banded and shield with a short sword. Darellon turned and dropped the falchion man dead in one hit (he was a 2nd level fighter!).

Grison turned to attack the short sword wielder, who swung and dropped Grison to the ground with a single hit. Gulp.

Darellon attacked and missed, while Drew started shooting. Soldan threw a Command spell at him-- to which he responded...

...by laughing. Uh oh. Drew took the hint and switched to silver arrows. Darellon meanwhile took a major hit, but was still standing when the short sword man, clearly a specialist, clocked him again and knocked him to the ground. Darellon's unhittable streak was over.

At that moment the _Entangle_ spell by Quentin went off, trapping the man in the plants. Drew continued pummeling him with arrows. After taking more damage than would have dropped anyone in the party, he started breaking free of the entangling vines. Drew blasted him again, and a startling event occurred-- his banded mail exploded and the man was revealed as a wereboar!

Queasy feeling confirmed.

The wereboar started ripping through the _Entangle_ at a horrifying rate toward the frantic Drew, who continued pumping him full of arrows. While it was clear he was being hurt badly, it was also clear that Drew would not likely kill him before he escaped.

Quentin went into hyper-mode, throwing two more _Entangles_. The first one was resisted, but the second one caught the wereboar and halted him temporarily. Drew shot his last silver arrow, and the wereboar fell over.

Everyone was saved afterwards-- fortunately the Entangle went away fast enough to save the ensnared and unconscious Darellon and Grison.

We divided up the treasure, including some weapons, bows, exploded banded mail, a dwarven battleaxe, and what turned out to be a low magic sword (the short sword the wereboar was using) Hooeee! First magic item! We also found around 100 gp and a gem.

A _Detect Evil_ revealed nothing on any of the weapons we checked, so we hope it isn't cursed.

We returned to town and paid salvage tax (the gem was appraised at 50 gp). We then picked up a new spear for Grison at Falco's. So no one has damaged weaponry.

Darellon kept the falchion, which was slightly substandard but a useful backup. We also kept a few more silvered weapons.

The current party cash went to about 65 gp-- so we are in fine shape now for many weeks.

Then we talked to the Baron, who gave us an official procedure for capturing bandits. We should try to demand their surrender and attack them only if attacked (sigh). We were given armbands to wear identifying us as deputies of the Baron. In exchange we will receive a salvage tax reduction and an occasional reward for exceptional service. Our first priority has become actually capturing some of them.

Grison had the exploded banded mail pieces resized and fit to him-- so he is now in dwarven banded mail. Darellon also scooped up a large shield.

Finally, on a weird note, the dwarf at Falco's (is that Falco himself? I don't remember) said that the ancient dwarven battleaxe was cursed. The markings on it do look threatening-- but it didn't detect as magical, so we were left with faint uneasiness. Judging that nothing cursed happened to Grison later, we think it's ok so far.

While in town we picked up two new party members: Morgan (played by Alan, an elven fighter specialized in long sword), and Ethan (played by Kyle, an ugly human woodsman specialized in... harpoon).

We set out again a few days later. We traveled back to the same area to check on the small cache of stuff we had left behind from lack of carrying room earlier (including the falchion fighter's damaged banded mail). Unfortunately we were caught by surprise by the well-planned 10-bandit ambush that awaited us by the cairn we had erected.

In fact, in a twisted turn, four of the bandits were actually the cairn for the previous bandit group as cover.

Darellon charged that way, followed by the whole party in sequence.

It was a desperate run (reminiscent, perhaps of Gettysburg) as 10 bandits shot at us for over a minute as we charged. But there was one critical difference-- none of us dropped (though Quentin came close).

Grison sprinted ahead at the last minute and ran straight into the long sword specialist waiting for him. Grison swung missed, and was clobbered into the ground. Gulp. Does this seem a tad familiar?

Drew sprinted ahead and shot down one of the archers. One of the two crossbowmen was having major trouble not breaking his quarrels, which was helpful.

Every shot at Darellon was a total failure-- in fact the volleys were fairly pitiful in general.

The fast moving Morgan charged and skewered a bowman as the party advanced.

At last the party closed on top of the long sword man. Ethan and Darellon reached him first. Ethan missed, but Darellon mauled him, holding him at bay. The man then struck back and dropped Ethan to the ground. Darellon called for help, and clocked him again-- still he stood.

In the meantime, the unlucky crossbowman actually managed to shoot and kill one of his own men. Waving his thanks Morgan turned his attention back to Darellon and the long sword man.

Morgan turned and missed the man, who whirled and dropped Morgan. But Darellon would not give up his advantage and slammed him again, dropping him to a stable-zero on the ground. Darellon then turned to look for other targets.

All six bandits remaining broke and ran.

The clerics worked frantically and brought Morgan and Ethan back to health. They let the bandit slip to a state of bleeding unconsciousness before they could help him-- but he survived, albeit delirious. His first response was, "Butterfly." Hmm.

We picked up more gold, weapons, and armor, including what turned out to be a low magic silver ring! Item #2!

We traveled back to town and are about to deal with the salvage tax, having sent the prisoner bandit into the castle for confinement and interrogation.

Overall, an extremely successful game session with one tragic moment. But our party has become extremely specialized-- 2 front line warriors, 2 2nd row warriors, 1 archer, a cleric, and a druid. In the future we may diversify, but for now the bandits will fall beneath our steel.

And now we have two magic items. Of course we can't afford to identify them, but we can probably test out the sword pretty easily. We're not sure about the ring yet.

Thanks to Kyle for joining us this weekend and lending us his wisdom and experience!

September 18, 1997

Stone Soules: The History of the Party in Brief

Accomplishments of the Stone Soules

"'Not all who wander are lost' -- but we certainly were."

The history of the Stone Soules in brief:
I. Party foundation in Teft.
II. Caravan guarding and small journeys.
III. Junior adventuring with the Knife.
IV. Greate Olde Woode adventures and long journeys.
V. Tan-El exploration.
VI. Middle-of-the-Road foundation.
VII. Dunadorian politics and defeat of great evils of Tan-El and the Ziggurat.
VIII. Mithril Key quest.
IX. Southern Wilderness adventures.
X. Party dissolution at Tan-El.
XI. The Foundation of the Regency Council of Tan-El.

A more complete history, minus the uninteresting details...
This is an effort to give you a brief summary of every important event in the existence of the Stone Soules Adventuring Party. Though many particular parts of the party's travels were of note, most are greatly abbreviated to give you the best impression of the overall lifetime of the group. [Kyle's note: only accurate through 2185. Also, part of the middle of the history is missing.]

The party met at the Blue Star Inn in Teft, 15 March 2167.
Sign on with Taylor as caravan guards for a trip to Blackstone.

* Ogres attack after Riverneck. Exploration of village leads to death ofHawk, Stump, and Jana.
Gurney the mercenary, Alegra, Dranigh, and Ceydric defeat the bandits demanding toll for passage.
Sanderson the bandit is captured.
Illegal loggers kill Stan and nearly kill Dranigh.
Dranigh is left with Fyar the Druid in Loba to heal.
Sanderson is hanged after an unsuccessful escape attempt at Jebel.

At Blackstone, before the party decides to rejoin Taylor for the return trip, he hires other guards.
The group hires Tap the sergeant, Rike, Tril, and Ron, for an "independent adventure" return to Teft.

* Ceydric meets Ghizorak of the hobgoblin Fleshrenders.
At Loba, Dranigh needs more rest before he can rejoin the party.
Two days out of Teft, the party comes upon a Trustworthy Suppliers caravan in the process of being slaughtered by Ogres. We save 2 out of the 7 caravan guards.
In Teft, we receive a reward from Trustworthy Suppliers. Turkonis and Eliandor and Gor join the party. Elana retires.
While waiting for Dranigh to arrive back from Loba, the party patrols the roads "banging pots & pans."
The party encounters and kills a Hill Giant and his pet wolf on the road near Rikft.
Arrive back in Teft and Dranigh arrives.

The party joins with The Knife: Derek Blackstone, Krondar, Lintra, and Nicholas. A quest for the Rangers begins.

* On a Ranger-marked trail, the party encounters an Ogre. Ceydric and Lintra defeat it in seconds.
We encounter a spider and plan an attack on an Ogre lair.
The party successfully eliminates the Ogres and Ogre mage. Grotto beasts ambush the party. Alegra and Dranigh are greviously wounded.
More ogres, giants weasels, and a "phase spider" are encountered. All but the spider are killed.
Arrive Teft and have a celebration dinner at the Dockside with The Knife.

Borin trains (now 2nd level). Ceydric travels to Koralgesh to train with the Sarkian-Government-in-Exile (now 2nd level).
The party interview additional healers: Wyndolin, Tan, Laura of Baranar, Finn. Laura is accepted. Tan was going to join the party but ran away from the interview with the Knife. A couple of days later Tan is found dead at the Nevronian extremists to which he was acting as a missionary. Finn was a bit too polished for Dranigh's liking.
Set out with The Knife following a Treasure Map.

* An owlbear is encountered on the road, but carefully the party retreats.
Kobolds are found digging in the road but are chased off. Their camp is also eliminated.
The Rangers in the party detect someone following, but are unable to locate him.
At some Standing Stones, the Ogre mages treasure is found and a Hill Giant is killed.
Two days later, Finn the cleric of Sharkaas/assassin is killed after assassinating Dranigh and nearly eliminating Eli as well during the night. Dranigh managed to wake up Ceydric before he died.
At Depwood Dranigh is buried. Keefan and 3 others attend his funeral.
Arrive Teft and have a "celebration" dinner with the Knife. Laura quits.

Alegra trains (now 2nd level). Garamund and Tallow join the party. The Stone Soules is determined as the party name. Gor trains (now 2nd level).Leave Teft with The Knife on another Ranger quest.

* Attack by Will o' the Wisp during the night; it escapes.
The SS and the Knife attack Ogres, Giants, and others at some ruins.
Arrive Teft. Eli becomes Auroran.

2168 begins.
The party buys its first Gazetteer and sets out on some minor exploration while waiting for the Knife.

* The Soules encounter a troll, which bites off Garamund's head. The troll is killed and burned.

Set out with the Knife. Theo joins the party.

* Theo kills an Ogre and a Wyvern. He is much impressed by it all, until he is wounded and then he calms down.
The party captures some Sarkian bandits, who are turned in at Phaldephius.
Return to Teft with loot.

Ceydric, Eli, and Turk head to Posidinis to train Turk & Eli. Eli trains (to 2nd level). Turk trains (to 2nd level cleric).
The Soules leave with the Knife to investigate Lizard Hill.

* An owlbear ambushes the party during breakfast. It is defeated.
Ogres & Hill Giants are defeated at a "woodcutters cabin."
Return to Teft. Celebration dinner at the Dockside, and the Soules leave the Knife officially.

Alegra trains (to 3rd level). Borin trains (to 3rd level). Gor & Ceydric travel to Barnacus for Gor's training (to 2nd level and in target shooting).Somp and Mutt join the party. Leave on the "First Expedition."

* Head out towards Dunador.
The party kills gnolls, giant lizards.
Worg encounter at a ford beyond Phaldephius results in Somp suffering severe permanent damage and Gor dying by drowning.
We travel to the Druidic Village where Gor is reincarnated as a raccoon.
Somp and Mutt retire. Hiefer joins the party.
Arrive Four Corners, head into Weird Woods on the way to Dunthrane city.
Arrive Dunthrane City where Ceydric's cousin Faranyn, also a cavalier, joins the party.
The Soules journey to Montinelle.

Beyond Montinelle, the party journeys into the Greate Olde Wood.

* Bugbears attempt to get the party to surrender, and then they run when we try to attack.
Ogres ambush Turk while he's hunting and Gor escapes (barely) to tell the party of his death.
We pursue the ogres and find a huge cave complex that it would be impossible to penetrate.
Turk is buried.
Arrive at the Wild Wood Inn. The Fool gives us a clue as to some bandits to ambush.

The party plans to attack the bandits at their carefully planned ambush site.

* The leader of the bandits clearly thinks the party is a Dunadorian patrol when the attack begins, but the bandits don't have a chance. When Alegraholds the leader and another member, the other bandits surrender.
When his paralysis wears off, the bandit leader uses a token to turn into gaseous form.
With the help of Alegra's hawk Grien, Theo, Ceydric and Alegra manage to track the bandit to where his horse is hidden, but only Alegra can keep up once the naked bandit bolts on his horse. Through carefully aimed shots at the horse, attacks by Grien, and one final, definitive lance strike by a racing Ceydric, the bandit was knocked out. Once knocked out, he is allowed to remain wounded so that he cannot easily escape his bonds.
He is a follower of Kord, god of war.
The prisoners are brought back to Dunthrane City.

Ceydric trains (to 3rd level). Theo trains (to 2nd level).
Eli, Alegra, and Borin, head to Teft.

* They are sniped by gnolls on the way, but ride past.
Outside of Phaldephius, armed nasty men bar our way. Eli insults one and gets pulled off his horse.
At Teft, Eli realizes he is infected with Lycanthropy and will die on the full moon.
The Auroran Church cures Eli and the party incurs a debt to the Aurorans.

The party begins another trip to the Greate Olde Woode, since the last trip was very profitable.

On the Old North Road, the party finds a family of hill giants using a dilapidated wagon to move.

* The family, including male, female, adolescent, and baby are killed (the last by the fanatical woodsman Hiefer).
A highly magical hammer head made of strange unidentifiable metal is found on the cart, along with a slab of stone with a strange inscription. The last appears to be giantish, from Faranyn's knowledge of Ogre, but what type is unclear.

The crew returns to Dunthrane City, limping along with the damaged cart. Just outside of Dunthrane, the cart's axle breaks and the party then has to hire a cart from the gate guards to get the last bit inside.

* Ceydric is able to have this very heavy (but interesting) stone left at the storage Barns; other salvage is also exchanged at the Armory. The party is able to find out that the inscription is in Stone Giant and that Cromwell has a Giantish linguistic expert at the Academy who can probably help us (an inscription is made for this purpose).

A departure for Cromwell is planned.

* Just outside of Four Corners, four ghouls attack the party at night. Ceydric, Henry, Faranyn, and Ceydric's horse Nazgareth are all paralyzed before Alegra manages to turn the foul undead.
The party moves camp during the night to avoid further undead.
The party discovers (in Four Corners) that apparently the weird woods which sprung up almost over night many years ago resulted in the disruption of old family cemeteries and produced ghouls.
The Soules arrive at the Druidic village, where the debt for Gor'sreincarnation is paid, and Hiefer retires. Later, giant ticks damage the horses, and Star's horse Elroy is lost to a giant spider in a tree.
At the Royal Observatory outside of Teft, a debt to the Aurorans is paid. The party continues on to Teft.
Alegra travels to Koralgesh to give a letter to Gram, writer of the Gazetteer (who is not there), and to research in the Log Library (a copy of the SS log is also left there).
Back in Teft, Borin acquires a Nevronian cleric as a henchman, named Rat.
The Soules leave behind their Apartment in Teft forever.

The party's arrival in Cromwell is without incident.

* At Anchor Rock, the Knight Jonias offers his hospitality.
Just past Finn, the party encounters a strange peddler. [A connection to the Cosmic Broker?]

The party arrives at the Academy.

* Meldor the Sage, a specialist in Giantkind, sees the party. He comments on "the largest piece of adamantite I've ever seen in one place" [the hammer head] when the party brings it into the room.
The Stone marked the death-place of Baolder the Cairn-Builder, one who started an insurrection against the Stone Giant King and stole the great hammer-head of the King's awesome weapon when he left the land for a place of many volcanoes to the east.
Ginghis, one who returned from Baolder's group when it had all died, said that he had buried the group along with the Hammer Head, and that is presumably from where the Hill Giants (or others before them) removed these items.
* Dunador and Cromwell both make offers for the Hammer Head, and the party chooses Cromwell's better offer.
* Eli trains (to 3rd level) under Menstat Aryl of the Academy. Theo trains (to 3rd level) under Cyprus. Borin trains (to 4th level) under Geranth. Ceydric trains (to 4th level) under Abernd.

For Alegra's training, the party must travel back to Teft.

* The Soules go to Teft via Dunthrane City, where the return of the Stone Giant burial marker has been graciously arranged for the party.
In Teft, Alegra trains (to 4th level). The ports have closed, so the party must wait to send Gor for training in Barnacus.
The party has a farewell dinner for Borin at the Dockside and Star presents a poem he has written for him about Borin's adventures.


When the ports open, Gor travels to Barnacus and trains (to 3rd level) (this one took quite awhile!). Ludo the Thief joins the party.
The Stone Soules make a brief trip to Cromwell and return to Teft as caravan guards for Marcy.
At Teft, Snaggletooth the Hobgoblin fighter joins the party.

The party decides to travel again to Cromwell, and again signs on as caravan guards. The employer for this caravan is Turney (and another mysterious employer above him). The party doesn't realize exactly how round-about this trip to Cromwell is. This became known as "Turney's Journeys."

* The caravan is clearly transporting magical and alchemical gear of some sort.
Near the Dunadorian border two invisible men grab two boxes and run but eventually dump the boxes in the woods when pursued.
The group travels to Burmill in Trent and then Four Corners. The party arrives at the School of Wizardry. The SS then continue the caravan to Secton. After Secton, the caravan continues to the new settlement of the Southern Waste. The South Trade Track leads the group out, beside the Great Swamp. At the swamp, the Sphinx-mounted renegade Ranger Antarcus extorts money from the caravan as tribute to King Yis the Old of the lizardmen and advises the party not to trouble Yis or his lands.
Beyond the swamp, the party enters Cromwell. The final destination is the Academy, where the mysterious employer of Turney tips the party and the party rests and recuperates.

The Soules arrive in Teft for Alegra's High Holy Day celebration.


Plans for a journey to End-of-the-Road are made. To travel there, the party signs on with Fenn, a merchant dealing in copper cookware and various cloths.

... [need to fill in this section]


The group travels to Tan-El for some exploration.

* The party investigates the "Alpha-Omega" University building, encountering weird doubles of themselves, and deciding not to explore it further.
Some ghouls and spiders are dispatched elsewhere in the city.
The Sphinx declares that it is moving to the Southern Waste, and for money provides the Soules with a list of the evil powers in the city.
* The Soules fool the doorknob of Tyner's pagoda to let them in, and explore upstairs, killing an undead monster. The multiple-layered traps on the 2nd and 3rd floor locked doors prevent further exploration. A weird stain on the floor is found and collected.

Sahrak joins the party. Snag and Quick are wed, and Gerald Stewart reveals himself as Gram and leaves the party. Snag and Quick leave as well, with the Sphinx. Xavier, Bluebear, Jerem, Penny, and Kendall join the party.

Further exploration of Tan-El takes place.

* Three of the lesser ones attack, along with organized Bugbears ("Spawnbears") and the Soules escape under cover of an Insect Plague. Many evil creatures are killed in the Plague.

There is a weird event with the bugbear ambassador's assassination at Middle.


Farmers are robbed again in Middle.

Faranyn's group returns to Middle. The siege of the rebel fire giant colony of Kronower by Central Fire Giant Government troops is the cause of the looting.

* A group of ogres and a fire giant are attacked.
A second attack is very successful, and only one fire giant escapes... intentionally.
The raids continue despite a warning, and finally Dari and Eli work together using Call Lightning and Invisibility to completely obliterate a large group of fire giants, ogres, and ettins.

Ludo trains (to ? level). Dari trains (to ? level). Pap trains (to ? level). Claude trains (to ? level). Alegra trains Star (to ? level), and Aria (to ? level).

A group of halfling adventurers, called the Little People, arrive in Middle and head to Tan-El. They kill several lesser ones, and Faranyn receives the slightly-intelligent Good scimitar Baleful as salvage tax.

An owlbear is killed in a brutal fight, though no losses are sustained.

On an expedition to the Wild Wood Inn, a group of 22 bandits are captured.

* On the Isle of Chawdik, Sahrak trains (to 2nd level thief).
A strange dragonfly creature likes Ludo and decides to join him. Ludo gains an extraplanar "familiar" like wizards get, named Thurmond. Thurmond's abilities are very useful for him.
At the Wild Wood Inn, the Fool informs the Soules about Borglyn, a cloud giant, and the missing Earl Belzar of Dunador.

The Soules begin a journey to discover the truth regarding the Earl's disappearance.

* At Fort Halfred, the Soules are avoided by the commander there.
The Soules head toward the Tuzloi village trying to find Corner Rock, and are attacked.
After finding the Ashen Valley and Corner Rock, they speak with the "ogre" Chono and the mercenary-merchant Borglyn.

* After spending money to find out the story from Borglyn, the party gleans that the Earl in fact paid Borglyn to ambush his caravan and kill all of the 42 merchants, guards, and drovers. The caravan was transporting giantish weapons, which were then to be given to the Central Fire Giant Government fire giants. These fire giants would then be able to destroy the rebel Kronower mining colony near Middle-of-the-Road; in return, attacks on Middle- and End-of-the-Road would follow. As Earl Belzar's liege lord was the nefarious Duke Aimar of Andevar, this instability in the region would strengthen the Duke's position in the Kingdom to annex all of the Dunadorian territory north of Andevar into his province. This attack on the caravan did not go entirely as planned, since the Earl reneged on some of the cash offered. Therefore, Borglyn kept the merchant captain, JJ, rather than killing her.

* The party discovers that Borglyn is to meet a party at some ruins for a hand-off of the Earl the next day, but the ruins are very far away and only by getting a ride on Borglyn's Roc could the party arrive on time. For some cash, Borglyn drops off Cassana, Xavier, Eli, Faranyn, and Ludo, allowing them to ambush the "rescue" party. Theo, Pap, Claude, Jerem, and Alegra remain in the valley, but exit quickly to avoid the undead that emerge at nightfall.
* The next morning, Borglyn and Faranyn's group depart for the rendezvous-point.
At the same time, Ervel and three other fire giants arrive at Theo's group's camp with the assistance of the local stone giant Druid. It seems that the rendezvous plan is all a sham: while Borglyn is away, a group of fire giants leade by Maldew from the Central Government are going to arrive along with a party of humans to steal the giantish weapons. The remnant of the party grits its teeth at having split the party, but agrees on a plan to ambush the others when they arrive to steal the weapons. Meanwhile, the ruins party faces a frustrating walk back to End and Middle without horses...
* The human party and Maldew's giants ring the doorbell and ambush Chono and Borglyn's minions. As some of the giants and party of the human party enter the door, Alegra, with surprise removes the human party's cleric from action as the attack begins. In moments, the opposing giants are all dead, as is the entire human party known as the Twisters. Only afterwards do the Soules realize that the Twisters were largely composed of Nevronians and other good guys. Though Borglyn's other minions are killed, Chono survives, paralyzed by a poisoned bolt from a hand crossbow. The party waits for Borglyn's arrival.
* Borglyn arrives with surprise, and the Soules use the money carried by Maldew's giants to purchase the giantish weaponry. Ervel's giants then throw the weapons and armor into the volcano at Corner Rock. The Soules also pay for the witness JJ's release, and a ride on Borglyn's Roc back to Fort Halfred. There, Theo's group departs for Middle, passing a nervous-looking Andevarian patrol on the way. Faranyn's group meets them in Middle.

At Middle, Bard-sworn testimony is taken from JJ about the incident. Ser the Steward reveals that he was sent a letter offering great payment if he poisoned the entire party, but he never met the person to receive the poison. Ceydric discovers some of the stroy by meeting with the Baron in End.


At the birthday party on the 1st of the year, an assassination attempt on the party is made with an air-suction canister in the War Room of the tower.

* The assassin, named Norton, is killed by the bell guardian from Tan-El as he approaches the door.
When questioned, he reveals that he worked for the Duchess of Andevar and was to kill the Knight Faranyn and as many of the rest of the Stone Soules as possible in one hit.

Secretly, Hollend shows up on his pegasus to discuss the situation with the Soules. The Soules then decide to attack Griffon Castle, which sometimes (illegally) houses the Duke of Andevar.

* His patrol is taken care of, and the attack is successful, crippling the defenses and seamlessly capturing the garrison.
However, the dwarven commander's head detected as magical. The cause of this was determined when his head exploded, killing several of the investigating Councilors of Dunador.
Alegra saves one with a Raise Dead scroll, and the accompanying paladin Sir Barnaby saves one with his healing ability.
The party recover's the Nevronian Archbishop's missing Greater Holy Symbol, implicating the Duke in treason against the Church of Nevron, an executable offense.

The party regroups in Dunthrane City, where a new Duke of Andevar is selected after the trial and execution of Duke Aimar. (Duke Aimar was captured by some mysterious probably pro-democratic group and deposited days earlier on the steps of the Citadel in Dunthrane City, encased in blue crystal).

* The new King of Dunador is crowned Maynell I on Dunadorian Founders Day. Various dignitaries arrive for the ceremonies. Celebration is followed by a quiet downtime. Alegra trains (to 6th? level). Aria trains under Alegra (to 4th? level).
Magic items left in Alegra's equipment from the Kergul encounter are identified (Star was holding four unidentified magical rings).

The party finishes its downtime and returns to Middle.


The four rings in Kergul's possession include a token storage device, which held a huge amount of stuff until activated, when the items would be permanently released. The party decides to open the token.

* On a the far side of the Ridge outside of Middle, an attempt to open the token storage device found on Kergul results in Ceydric being killed by a Symbol of Death on the large coffin that appeared.
Kergul, an archmage with a penchant for charm and possession spells, is in the coffin with a keyed Rod of enslavement, but he is only animated when the coffin is opened.
Kergul is killed, but his soul escapes again.

The Soules destroy a hide-behind (dungeon mite) lair in Tan-El and gain considerable treasure.

At the former Tan-El School for Magical Arts, a phase spider is encountered.

* When pressed, it drops the body of the powerful mage Maverick, who had accompanied SMART to this area. There is a scroll with a 7th, 8th, and 9th level spell on it.
The scroll is later traded to Skylltor.

Further explorations of Tan-El lead the party to more information on the city.

* Divinations on the Tan-El Library are disturbing but reveal little. Near the Main Gate to the city, a grey philsopher is discovered, a being of hideous evil.
A fire giant outcast named Terrance gives the Soules a lot of information about the area.
A banshee beetle pops up and kills Ampere and Latte before the Soules could react.
In another building, a will-o-wisp is slain and huge treasure is gained.

A downtime begins. Dari trains (to ? level). Claude trains (to 3rd level). Henry trains (to 2nd level). Star trains (to 4th level). Jerem trains (to ? level).

Through Speak with Dead, the party discovers that the mage Maverick was quite insane. Maverick's suggested cosmic conspiracy of phase spiders and the use of Phase Door to destroy them befuddles the Soules.

Star, Claude, Eli, and Xavier go to Teft. Their caravan suffers heavy casualties but kills a bugbear raiding party.

Xavier trains (to 4th? level) and gains Strategy.


Ten year party of Stone Soules.

In the Library of Tan-El, the party meets Tellah, a weird lich-like creature bound there by some powerful magic.

* Research reveals that Tellah is actually Zardos, a being of supreme evil from thousands of years earlier.
Lots of terrifying Augury results are gained involving pickpocketing Tellah, etc.

While exploring blocks of Tan-El, the party encounters a small, cleverly-hidden panel with a dwarf skeleton and will o' wisp.

* The dwarf skeleton and will o' wisp are defeated and major treasure is recovered.
Unfortunately, the will o' wisp could not be killed before it escaped...
While exploring more blocks, a banshee beetle nails the party, but is killed by Claude, Theo, Gram, Ludo, and Henry.
The "Behir" leaves an angry message burned on a barn in Middle to return his money.
The will o' wisp attacks again at Base Camp and is beaten off.
There is another message. Eli pens a Magic Missile battery on scroll.
The will o' wisp attacks again, and is hammered to death by Eli.

The party asks Konrad, the Duke of Estwurl and a powerful paladin, for help defeating the "Great One" demonspawn and the remaining Lesser Ones in the Citadel Bah Nareth in Tan-El.

* Konrad arrives on his pegasus, along with Memphis, Miriel, Vit, and Daria, his daughter.
Soon after, Jerem's brother Janthro, Gor "Appleseed" Ebaum, and Githanus the physician and Nevronian cleric arrive.
A Commune at the Auroran Church indicates the location and tactics of the last two Great Ones.
The battle is fought, and the Great Ones are taken down, along with a number of other snake people.
Treasure is recovered, though frightening Auguries discourage the party from dealing with the Lawful Evil force in the Citadel, behind the bronze doors.

After the party defeats the Demonspawn, they decide that Konrad's help in destroying the Grey Philosopher in the Main Gatehouse could be invaluable.

* The Grey Philosopher is Divined by Alegra, and plans are set in motion.
While doing research on the Philosopher, Alegra tells Eli the name revealed to her in the Divination, though it is a true name of an evil god. Eli accidentally speaks the name of the evil power and summons hordlings into the streets near Beck's office. Eli is tainted by them, and Alegra must cast Remove Curse every 10 days to keep him from radiating evil and allow him to be healed by the clerics.
The Grey Philosopher is killed, and Sacrol, a cloud-like wall of skeletons that drains life, is Exorcised soon after by Alegra, despite nearly life draining Alegra and Canstin.

After the celebration in Middle, the non-Soules leave the party. Gram trains Miriel.
Konrad, Daria, Vit, Memphis, Miriel and Gram depart. Canstin changes his name to Raven.
Rangorn joins the party, along with Runt, Raven's new henchwoman. Raven trains (to 5th level).

Head to Carse.

* The Captain of the Guard of the City-State of Macedon is found dead, after attacking (while a wererat) Xavier, Sahrak, and Theo after they left Carse. Theo acquires Starchaser. Sahrak trains (to 3rd level illusionist). Xavier trains (to 6th level). Deirdre trains (to 3rd level).


Raven finishes training and arrives back in Middle. Set off for Tan-El.
After the behir leaves, the group explores the castle Bah Nareth.

* Inside are an electrical zoo, golems, and an spirit (it is Abjured by Alegra).
The party finds a shrine of good in castle. It is decided it would be unwise to attack the LE force in the Citadel. Find The Tale of Years, a book on Zardos (Tellah). Find a box with very discouraging Auguries. Don't open it.
Alegra gains a deathservant (free death) from a scroll tube and reads The Tale of Years. She is weakened temporarily by the psychological damage of reading the tales of Zardos' vile acts, but gains experience combating powerful forces of evil by so doing.
The party witnesses a weird illusion at the Main Gatehouse at night which features scenes of Tan-El's destruction. Rangorn, Sahrak, and Runt freak out briefly.

A banshee beetle is killed while clearing blocks in the city. Anarchist leader Bruce attempts to kill Ceydric's men and free the evil one Zardos/Tellah but Ceydric's men are unconvinced by Bruce's rendition of Ceydric outside the Library.

Groups depart to Dunthrane, Carse.

* Ceydric trains (to 6th level). Magic falchion Summit is sold to the King of Dunador.
A wyvern attack kills Xavier on the way to Carse, who is Raised barely in time by traveling at maximum speed back to Middle.
Head to Carse (take two). Sahrak trains (to 3rd level illusionist). Xavier trains (to 6th level). Claude trains (to 4th level).
Eli and Alegra group takes a boat back from Teft to Carse. Before leaving, Deirdre picks up Nathan the crow as a familiar. Sean the Ranger (1st level) and Frank the bowyer-fletcher (1st level) join Alegra as henchmen.
A ghost ship attacks Eli & Alegra group on the high seas after a roc destroys the main-mast. Eli and Alegra temporarily level-drained. A spectre and a couple of wights are destroyed.


Party heads for the Ziggurat of the Witches (on an Auroran treasure map). It is currently inhabited by a large bugbear tribe (500-600).Polymorph one into a raging owlbear and kill several bugbears. Harass the settlement with some double-hasted goblins.

* 50 bugbears pursue the party into the woods. The party easily slays them, though Mo, one of Ceydric's men-at-arms, is killed in the fighting. Though the party puts a stop it, they seem to be scryed upon as they near the village. Many members of the party feel the attention, especially Alegra.
The party storms the village, killing several hundred bugbears. Due to Eli's magic missile barrage, the party drives off a deformed Cloud Giant. Sahrak is killed by bugbears at the slave pens, along with a goodly number of slaves. The rest of the slaves are freed, including a Petethalian human named Wren, who becomes a good friend of Alegra's and works in Middle thereafter. Sahrak is raised by the elves.
Attack the village again. The fortress is sacked and another large number of bugbears are killed. The cloud giant attacks the party, and is clearly upset when Eli's spell Lowar's improved magic missile injures him. A speak with dead on a dead witchdoctor reveals the key to the Ziggaraut.
The remaining head witchdoctor attacks while research on Ziggurat continues. He is killed but nearly kills Star in the process. The Ziggurat is investigated and two (vaguely evil) golems are discovered to be controlled by a circlet. Force cages are present, as well as a hole of evil (wherein lives the "Ancient One in the Dark Pit.").

Back to Middle. Star trains (to 5th level). Henry trains (to 3rd level). Rangorn trains (to 2nd and 3rd level, and horseback riding). Ludo trains (to 7th level).

Another group heads to Teft and kills 5 ogres trivially on the way. Aria trains (to 5th level). Alegra trains (to 8th level).

Travel to Tyner's pagoda in Tan-El. The party talks its way past the doorknob and explores. The Chime of Opening opens the library of Tyner. Most of the books are gotten out, through a dispel magic / Token of Window and burning off the last Chime charges.

Head back to the Ziggurat and close the hole of evil with a special ceremony. Burning of evil books (demon rites) occurs.


The Soules take on quest for mithril key required before the Behir will leave Tan-El.

* The Party travels to Cromwell and arrives at the Academy. Eli meets with Menstat.
Orimaxes the Sage explains about the temple of Tharizdun, the mountain giant Groorg the Cunning, and the Cult of the Black Flame, as well as a book he wanted from the temple. The party also meets with Gring, the dwarven commander of the Academy before leaving the Academy for the mountains.
Warwick (Principal Cromwellian Ranger) meets the party on the road.
The party travels through the (creepy, evil-feeling) Dim Forest.
A huge noblink ambush is defeated, and later some gnolls.
Arrival at the Dwarven Vale provokes a celebration feast for the upcoming downfall of Groorg.

Set out for temple. The party encounters the bird people (Aarokokra) and arranges a deal in exchange for a guide to the temple.

* The Soules defeat 3 griffons and the fourth one escapes. Rangorn barely survives the encounter.
The party searches and finds the fourth one, as well as 2 dead Realmish soldiers. The fourth is defeated.
Return to the Dwarven Vale for recovery.

The SS departs again for the dark temple in the guise of dark cultists.

* Encounter Onyx the Stone giant and her son, and although the Giants dislike Groorg, they will not help the party.
The Soules kill hill giants and witchdoctor and other noblink. A staged rockslide fails to kill anyone.
Reach valley. Find back entrance to the temple. Kill Groorg and his army, primarily with Eli's Wall of Fire. Search compound, run into shape-changing lizard things. Wolves. On the body of Groorg, the party finds the Mithril Key. Rescue a dwarf named Teldral, who later explains he is Mordrick Ironhand, dwarven hero and prince (9th level fighter/ 11th level thief). He joins the party and helps search. The groups also rescue two Realmish soldiers who are healed by Alegra from grievous wounds.

The party explores the temple confines.

* Speak with Dead on Groorg. Find the Path scroll fails in anti-divination zone. The party explores the temple and discovers a secret passage, weird robes, incense, a weird horn, etc. A passage down is extremely cold. Evil is very close.
Ceydric scouts down the passage, but loses a finger to frostbite. Weird robes protect party members wearing them. A shadowy demon-thing is killed in the false treasure room. Blow horn (Tharizdun's Wailer) and staircase opens to lower levels.
Down the stairs is a weird spiky room with Tharizdun's sleeping body in it somewhere. Extreme darkness and cold is all
around. Spells above 2nd level vanish from the clerics who descend. Eli starts forgetting spells when he descends. Rangorn, Star, Deirdre, and Raven head down to retrieve the treasure.
Deirdre chants "Tharizdun" repeatedly and is completely annihilated, gone forever.
The horn is blown and a secret door opens. Rangorn's robe is torn and he is frozen to death instantly. In secret door is a key, which opens a treasure chest at the foot of Tharizdun. Opened, find 333 gems of immense value! Dodge poison trap on the box and bring the gems and the book Orimaxes wanted of dark rituals upstairs.

The return to the Dwarven Vale occurs in two groups.

* Alegra, Warwick, Mordrick travel with Rangorn's body and the gems back to the vale. The group is attacked by a crazy priest with an evil wounding dagger; Mordrick slays him.
Rangorn is discreetly Raised in the Vale. The other party encounters Realmish shocktroopers who allow the party to live because the Realmish prisoners are alive. The remaining Soules are told to "move along."
Menstat Teleports to the area and takes the gems back to Cromwell. The second half of the party arrives and a memorial is held for Deirdre. The official welcome occurs; Groorg's head is presented along with stolen dwarven treasure and an appearance by the King of Cromwell.

Alegra, Warwick, Tristan, Theo, Raven return to Hoch Och.

* Lludd, a small behir, extorts a gem. Encounter zombies, wights, and a spectre in the Dim Forest.
Raven is life-drained (back to 5th level).
Warwick is inducted into the Phaulkonian religion.


Ceydric trains himself (to 7th level). The snows clear enough to leave Shabrund for the other half of the group.

* A wight is defeated by this group.
The party re-groups in Hoch Och and as a company reach the Academy, and pay 50% taxes.
Xavier (and others) head to Teft. Xavier trains (to 7th level). Sahrak trains (to 4th level illusionist, 5th level thief).
Alegra creates Devilstriker, a crossbow of speed that really nails devils.


Various travel is completed.

* Arrive at the School of Wizardry, where Eli acquires the extraplanar familiarEcco.
Arrive back in Middle, where Sean and Aria are wed. Rangorn trains (to 4th level). Raven assumes his true form as an elf as a result of the use of Kilroy's item in Sark.

Lorm, Cerin, and the Soules plan an attack on the greater devils known as the Deathstealers in the Citadel of Tan-El.

* The Grim helps the party in its attack since the party attacks at night when it can leave its Chapel. Lorm creates a straw golem, and summons a deva as Eli Blowtorches his way through the great portcullis. The attack begins. Alegra and Lorm each Abjure one deathstealer. The other retreats as far from the party as he can, and is finally cornered in a room that blocks some magical effects from detecting him. He is attacked by a huge force, killed, and dissolved in Holy Water. The party recoversSeeker, a lawful neutral spear which hates chaotic clerics (including Lorm, Alegra, and Xavier).

The Soules strike a deal with the Behir to leave Tan-El using the recovered Mithril Key.

Sahrak, finally done training, returns to the Middle.


The Squid retires in End as head of the patrols there, and is replaced by Bow. The Behir leaves Tan-El for the Indicara Jungle. Rangorn trains (to 5th level) in End. Ludo trains (to 8th level) in Sairt, the elven village.

Alegra, Star, Xavier, Runt, Raven, Eli, Claude, Arabica, Famu, and Ludohead to Teft for training and spell trading.

* Eli trains (to 9th level), and obtains the spell identification proficiency. Raven trains (to 7th level). Theo trains (to 8th level). Runt trains (to 2nd level).

Aria, Sean, Theo, Mordrick, Sahrak, Rangorn and Ceydric go to Melbonia. Rangorn is miserable, but Sahrak attempts to trade spells.


Everyone meets up at the Academy in Cromwell and trades Seeker to the government, which the King then gifts to a leader of the Dwarves of Shabrund (later used in the Windsock quest of Warwick).

The party travels south of Cromwell into the southern wilderness.

* Kills a giant polar blood worm which tries to eat Runt. Rangorn and Xavier are charmed by fairies. The party then enters the ogre kingdom.
The extremist druid Limgut (who believes that all sentient life should be destroyed) attacks the party, nearly successfully shattering it. Arabica is killed, but later Raised. Limgut is killed, but rots away and returns a week later.
Eli Teleports back to Cromwell to Raise Arabica. The party finds a bunch of magic items.
The meets a strange human, Tellock, who tells them about Limgut. [Limgut has been killed 12 times now: once by the party and twice by Tellock himself.]
The party kills four volts because they don't have a proper way to transport them and then kill four displacer beasts that thought the party were easy targets. A giant slug nearly kills Rangorn with acid, amd disintegrates his fine quality bow.

A set of Druidic Standing Stones is found which apparently imprison some kind of demonic power. A cloud giant fort was nearby. The party kills an owlbear and take the baby to Wilbar's Fish and Critters by teleport. A bunch of ogres are then defeated.

The party follows the tracks of a huge Dragonbear on the way to the Pit.

* Ceydric is killed and Runt is incinerated, but the dragonbear is taken down. Ceydric is Raised off scroll, and a lammasu servant of Nevron appears from Eli's magic chest and heals Ceydric. Runt is unraiseable due to damage suffered, and Raven and the party mourn her loss. In the dragonbear's cave the party finds a bunch of magic items.

After massive numbers of divinations with startling results, the party heads east-northeast.

* One of the party's treasure finding potions is consumed which leads the party to a large hole with a footpath winding down around its edge, littered with bones. The party travels down the path. After a thousand steps, the party reaches a well constructed underground. Traveling through, the party is ambushed by dark dwarves with Cloudkill and Wall of Force. The party runs, but is attacked by a huge grey mottled worm at the bottom of the thousand stairs. In a devastating battle, many party "last ditch" items are used to combat the powerful and deadly ancient worm. The worm is eventually killed after taking a small country's worth of injury, but Alegra, Ceydric, Raven, Sean, and Rangorn are all killed in the process. Alegra's deathservant is lost, and she revives moments after falling. Raven is saved with the Elixir of Life, Rangorn and Ceydric are Raised off scroll, and Sean is later Raised in Cromwell.

The party escapes the devastation of the worm and travels a half day and camps, waiting for the inevitable pursuit by the dark dwarves.

* A powerful dark dwarven patrol comes out, but the party is ready for them. The dwarven patrol and its nefarious Savant are slaughtered by the party. Lots of treasure, including an indestructible short sword +3 of quickness are found.
The party departs from its final adventure to return to fair Tan-El.

Meanwhile, back at the Academy, Orimaxes has been making progress on developing a way to kill Tellah the Librarian of Tan-El fame, and is almost ready for the trip to complete the process. The Soules continue on their way from the Academy to Middle and Tan-El.


Rangorn is dedicated as a Phaulkonian. The Stone Soules return to Middle. Xavier trains (to 8th level). Rangorn trains (to 6th level).

At Tan-El, Tellah is destroyed in a ceremony which puts Orimaxes in his place, with his complete Sage library at his fingertips to combat evil cults for eternity. Though the party did not know Orimaxes plan before its completion, the Library is now open.

The Stone Soules disband.

The members of the Stone Soules are planning to settle Tan-El. There is massive training. Sahrak trains (to 5th level illusionist/ 6th level thief). Alegra trains (to 9th level). Star trains (to 6th level and is released from duty by Alegra). Ludo trains (to 9th level). Ceydric trains (to 8th level). Sean trains (to 3rd level). Arabica trains (to 2nd level). Famu trains (to 2nd level fighter/ 2nd level mage). Cassana trains (to 6th level). Dari trains (to 7th level druid). Snag trains (to 6th level).


September 17, 1997

Stone Soules: Closing Information for the Party

Here it is. The long overdue summary I owe you all.

In December 2184 the party reassembles at the Academy. Most party members
have earned ~10 k XP and the items are divided up. Mordrick wishes the party
his best regards and welcomes future letters, as he travels to visit his uncle
and resume the hunt for Prince Obmi.

Orimaxes announces that he wishes to try to destroy Tellah. He asks to
travel with the party to Tan-El in time for midsummer's night.

The party can easily be home by then, maybe even Rangorn, who has stopped in Petethal to get trained to 6th. (Sahrak did get 5th illusionist, but I'm not sure what routes he would choose)

On the night of the 21st of June, 2185, the party is assembled in the library. Orimaxes has brought six scrolls and requests Elendwhen to help with the handling of the scrolls. Farah, the cleric of End, Dari, Xavier, and Alegra are all gathered in prayer (and _chants_). Orimaxes insists on Ceydric's presence, but the others are asked to stand well clear. Divinations have failed. The field of ignorance seems to cloak the future, but Orimaxes is confident.

Orimaxes reads the scrolls one after another. The language is difficult and is in no tongue familiar to the party, but somehow seems to be a list of crimes. Tellah smiles broadly through the whole list is read, seemingly unthreatened by the process. As the sixth scroll is handed to Orimaxes he walks right up to Tellah and reads it. It is different and confusing, it sounds like a protection scroll of some sort, it has the same musical lilt.

Finally, Orimaxes steps up to Tellah and touches him on the forehead. There is a brief glow where his fingers touch the faint skin...

Suddenly, there is a flash and things are strangely transposed. Orimaxes' skin turns sallow and his eyes uniform and it is clear that Tellah is free. His eyes flash with their hazel tone and a smile appears. But only for an instant. A strange ghostly hound appears - larger than the volume of the library, but fitting easily within its walls. There is a howl. The building is filled with terrible wailing. And he is gone.

The library is silent. Orimaxes stands in the center of the library. His expression is blank, his skin pale, his eyes a disturbing uniform blue, the strange jewelry hangs about him, but he is wearing his own simple scholar's robes instead of Tellah's bright red robes. He states simply: "The library is open. Such would be the wish of the Council."

A little more is explained in a letter by Orimaxes. It is in the keeping of the Middle alchemist, bound by the Brotherhood's pledge not to reveal its existence until your return from Tan-El. Orimaxes has placed himself in the prison intentionally. Within the _Chains_of_Binding_ Tellah was still protected from even the gods. Perhaps they could have been broken. Orimaxes is unconcerned. After the death of his children at the hands of the cult, he has thought of little else but the extermination of them. At his age, Orimaxes might have lived another decade, but it is unlikely. As the new librarian he will be immortal. Mentally tormented, but alive and able to remember things. He stands as a resource to fight the evil of cults, able to grope in his mind for information, for eternity. The instant of freedom of Tellah was dangerous, but it was the way that would most likely to succeed in destroying Zardos, and achieve the old sage's goals.

Tan-El's greatest threat is gone forever. The library stands intact and still empty, but now it opens and closes at the limited will of Orimaxes with one phrase: "Such would have been the wish of the Council."

The next evening there are distant hoots - perhaps it is Mentor, perhaps not - but in any case the Grim has vanished without even an appearance.

Technical Notes:
So, the Tan-El project starts in more earnest starting June 21, 2185.
Story awards rose as high as 33,000 xp. Some final notes on character status:

Eli: still in 9th (206 k)
Alegra: 9th level gained
Ludo: 9th level gained
Cedric: 8th level gained
Xavier: 8th level gained
Canstin: 7th level gained
Rangorn: 6th level gained
Sahrak: 5th/6th level gained
Theo: still in 8th
Mordrick: no advancement

Cassana: 6th level gained
Dari: 7th level druid gained
Snag: 6th if he doesn't have it
and is still alive in 2185...

Henchmen who gained one level:
Star to 6th, Sean to 2nd, Fmu to 2nd, Arabika to 2nd

Many congratulations to the Stone Soules.
Privileged to referee you,
Edwin Anderson-

September 15, 1997

Defenders Log Entry #2: Garroten

Darellon, 1st level woodsman, 20 hp, played by Joel
Drew, 1st level ranger, 15 hp, played by Jack
Grison, 1st level fighter, 11 hp, played by Sean
Soldan, 1st level cleric of Silban, 9 hp, played by Alex
Quentin, 1st level druid, 6 hp, played by Jeremy
Annwvyn, 1st level thief, 4 hp, played by Alan

We were ushered in by a lady-in-waiting to see the Lord Mayor of Garroten. She offered us two broad options for service:

1. Destroy the bandit groups to the southeast.
2. Clear the ruined area that used to be the settlement between Garroten and Restenford.

We were told it was inhabited by "undead." We decided that the bandit stuff would have too many repercussions for the moment, so we headed up toward the ruins. CAUTIOUSLY. The plan was to assess the danger carefully-- basically we can only handle smaller numbers of skeletons and zombies. Anything above that was too much.

We then learned that the previous party that had adventured there had killed a wraith. Uggh. Maybe there weren't anymore?

On our first night out of Garroten, the party got attacked by three stirges! On watch was the druid Quentin and the woodsman Darellon. One dove at Quentin, knocking him nearly unconscious and bleeding him badly. Darellon turned and sliced the thing off his arm, leaving it a splashing mess of blood.

One dove at the dwarf Grison, who was still getting up. He started taking major damage until the ranger Drew shot the thing off his arm. Darellon started making loud noises at this point, trying to get the stirges to strike at him, which had some success-- he deflected a number of blows. He has still, by the way, taken no damage whatsoever.

One more dove at the thief Anwyvn, who was dropped unconscious once again. Finally the last one was killed by a thrown hammer and crossbow bolt combination.

A funny little corollary came the next morning. Grison decided to poke at one of the dead stirges, when a giant centipede leaped out at him and would have killed him had he not squashed it. I love Lendore Isle.

After we spent half of the next day healing up, we marched off again. A day or two later we arrived near the edge of a horrid looking forest. It looked clearly unnatural, full of stinging insects, dying trees, and, we later discovered, LOTS of black locusts.

First we had a little _Speak with Animals_ episode. Quentin attempted to talk what must be the dumbest squirrel ever-- totally unable to answer even the simplest of questions. Eventually we deciphered that two two-legged people had traveled the road recently. The woodsman and ranger checked it out and discovered that in fact a half-dozen people had come through.

We camped out for the night and marched in to the closest entrance during the day. After about an hour, we began hearing locusts EVERYWHERE. Darellon blocked one that flew at him, and Anwvyn scored his first kill by shooting it with his crossbow.

We then decided it was getting hideously dangerous to continue with the possibility of getting swarmed by locusts. We turned and marched out. As we neared the edge of the forest, a brown snake blocked our path. A _Speak with Animals_ revealed that the snake wanted to "kill, kill." Quentin convinced it to go away, and we walked out unhindered.

The next morning we set off along the road toward Restenford, hoping to find some other entrance into the forest. Sure enough, about an hour in we discovered a trail leading off into the forest. We decided to track, but were unable to read anything on the hard rock of the trail. So we headed down the trail a bit in the hopes of finding softer terrain.

About 15 minutes in, we discovered a... skeleton! Lying on the ground. Darellon surprised it.

Darellon poked about with his falchion and revealed a small pouch of coins (3 electrum and 2 silver) on the skeleton. Darellon continued to sift, when finally Anwvyn got impatient and scooped up the coins-- only to have the presumed dead skeleton suddenly rise up and try to hit him with the battleaxe it had. It missed and Darellon smashed it to pieces.

In a gutsy and believing that the skeleton was finally dead (a turning attempt by the cleric Soldan had no affect) Darellon rummaged through the remains and uncovered a shiny dagger. No one is quite sure what metal it is-- it detected as non-magical, disappointingly. But we suspect it is still quite valuable for a dagger.

We retreated back out when Soldan revealed that his turning ability was at least partially suppressed.

But being gutsy folk, we tried again the next morning. We walked down for almost an hour before the giant spider webbed everyone except Quentin.

Quentin threw an _Entangle_ at the spider-- meaning that basically all of our characters were trapped (though Grison soon got free).

The spider was held fast while Grison and Darellon tried to break free. Grison was much more successful and had a longer weapon. Darellon chucked two daggers at it, damaging one dagger but missing both times.

Grison speared at it, damaging it severely, but nearly destroying his spear in the process (TWO critical fumbles). The spear was a piece of crap by the end of it, but the spider was able to escape the second _Entangle_ and ran away. Grison's 30 damage to it, plus the repeated entangles saved all of us there.

We decided that was plenty (it only takes about three disasters to discourage us). So we headed out for Restenford (cursing the name of the Lord Mayor of Garroten for the suicide quest).

There was one more tense moment when we spotted four gnolls on a hill high up. We walked on through the obvious ambush point. Suddenly an arrow whizzed by about 80 yards away. We assume (hope) that they were just marking territory for us. We marched on quickly and left them behind.

Of course, once again we slept about 15 minutes outside of Restenford having no idea it was there.

We trekked in on the next day, refilled some arrows and food supplies and ordered a new spear at Falco's-- the local weaponry/inn area. Unfortunately Grison is using Soldan's spear for now.

A few things of interest to general Telvarians: there is a very large Phaulkonian compound in town. In addition, there is a powerful druid in residence, who spoke at great length with Quentin. There is NO actual place that sells weapons, though there is an armory and fletcher.

Quentin came back with important information. The druid was interested in helping Quentin, and gave his opinion on several things. He stated that the Garroten mayor and the town itself is far more corrupt than Restenford. He genuinely respects the Baron of Restenford. Also in town was an interesting, but drunk, mage named Peltar.

We visited the Baron, who appears to be an ex-adventurer. He seemed genuinely hopeful that we could help Restenford and was quite courteous. He gave us several options:

1. Damage the gnoll groups that raid to the west. This seemed, he admitted, probably very difficult for us.
2. Damage the bandit raiders to the north.

He did have a few comments on the undead area. Apparently the last adventuring party reported that two or three BEHOLDERS are in there. Ha ha. What fun. Apparently the undead were smashed, and yet they've returned again, just a few years later. So who really knows what is going on in there?

We decided on the bandits, for several reasons. If we encounter a group we can destroy, great. Treasure, experience, and a small reward. If we can't destroy it, we can give the Baron helpful recon information and return with some guards. Either way, we hope this will prove to be a big boost to our current situation. Food is not yet low, but gold is almost gone-- our net party coffer is now something like 15 gp.

We still do have to sell that dagger when we find someone who can properly appraise it, although Darellon has determined that it is definitely not steel or silver or anything like that. So we still have some items of value left as a buffer.

We traveled through the orchards to the north up to Bald Hill. After we climbed to the top, we stopped to survey the area. The Zerbil mountains are visible from there. We've now stopped to discuss our options.
Log Supplement I: Damage Sustained
For fun, here are our damage calculations (Darwin award style):
Most damage sustained in a single hit-- Drew (17 points-- bastard sword hit).
Worst wound- Drew, single wound.

Total damage taken:

1. 1) Drew-- 17
2. 2) Quentin-- 11
3. 3) Grison-- 10
4. 4) Anwvyn-- 8
5. 5) Soldan-- 2
6. 6) Darellon-- 0

Congratulations, everyone, on the lack of casualties, and lets keep it this way!

September 10, 1997

Summary LXVIIIb: A Xavier and Rangorn Interlude

From the notes of Rangorn, bowman of terror:

As you may recall, just prior to the attempt to defeat of Tellah by Orimaxes,
Xavier and Rangorn went to get trained and pick up henchmen. As a note:
RANGORN FAILED HIS PLAYRATING GUESS. I guess 2.0, it was 2.1. Drat-- 1000
gp down the tubes.

After stumbling out of the training hall embarrassed, but 6th level,
Rangorn rejoined the now 8th level Xavier, and summoning his henchmen Han,
Luke, Sam, and Brogan, they marched back to Middle.

(By the way, I continued my crazy hit points streak-- I rolled a 7 on a d8.
Xavier has 45 hp, and Rangorn now has 56!)

Fortunately, there was an encounter.

Nine ogres jumped the party on the road. The urgency here was if we lost
horses, thanks to Rangorn's miss, we would be late and miss the ceremony
destroying Tellah, which would not do. Another opportunity to use
Gruntender could not be left unexploited (for those who don't know, Rangorn
wields a +2 falchion called Gruntender-- it becomes a +4 double damage
weapon against ogres, and when they fall to 0 hp, they just die instantly.
Combined with the 6th level woodsman bonus, Rangorn feels confident about
fighting bands of ogres with trusty allies).

Four boulders flew at Rangorn, all missing. Arabica, Xavier's 2nd level
cavalier henchman, charged and swiped at an ogre, injuring it. Rangorn
then shot it to pieces. Unfortunately, his henchmen had to dismount, and
Luke was knocked to the ground by several blows by a vicious ogre. In
addition, Brogan barely escaped death, running to hide behind Rangorn.

Meanwhile, several people missed Xavier, who was in full plate. Xavier
yelled "Die!" and one fell over, then he yelled "Die!" again and another
fell over. Having wrapped that up tidily, Javin, the 2nd level
fighter/mage henchman of Xavier, looked for something to do, but could not
avoiding hitting allies. Xavier then shot one with a permanent +3 bolt,
doing quite a lot of damage for a non-specialist!

Following Xavier's example, Rangorn vaulted off his horse, yelled "Die!"
and sank Gruntender into an ogre, who promptly obeyed and fell over. He
then stomped angrily toward the one attacking Brogan. He sliced him in half.

The ogres noticed the systematic slaughter of these comrades by the two
heavily armored people, and tried to withdraw. Until Xavier threw the
_Hold Person_ on them.

Demanding vengeance, Rangorn strode toward one of the "dead" ones, who
recovered from the spell and stood up. Then his limbs went flying as he
suffered massive damage and a double wound. Of course, he died instantly.
Then Arabica went flying at the other standing one. Finally, since
Arabica's honor forbid him from striking a helpless opponent, Rangorn
turned and sliced up a few frozen ogre popsicles.

(Note: Never has Rangorn killed so many things in one battle, much less
never missed. Of course he was wielding an ogreslaying sword, but hey, it
was fun.)

Since the horses were untouched, and Luke was successfully Death Doored by
Xavier, we proceeded to Middle with five days to spare.


September 08, 1997

Defenders Log Entry #1: The Beginning

Darellon, 1st level woodsman, 20 hp, played by Joel
Drew, 1st level ranger, 15 hp, played by Jack
Grison, 1st level fighter, 11 hp, played by Sean
Soldan, 1st level cleric of Silban, 9 hp, played by Alex
Quentin, 1st level druid, 6 hp, played by Jeremy
Annwvyn, 1st level thief, 4 hp, played by Alan

In the Stone Soules tradition, we met in the Blue Star Inn at Teft, on March 15, 2172. One interesting thing to note: Derek of the Knife was there. The next day we set off for Lendore Isle. After a six day boat ride, we arrived in the harbor of Barnacus.

We spent most of the first day touring Barnacus, exploring the various markets and shops, practically covering the entire part of the city on the western bank of the river. A few interesting shops, including for global Telvar interest, Warner's Bows. Warner had a cheap little number with a mere 16,000 gp on display.

Although Barnacus was colorful, it became clear that getting worthwhile information would be too expensive to comprehend, or far too unreliable (read: setup).

So we headed out the east gate, planning to head two days east to Garroten. We left town a half-hour before the gates closed.

Now, this being Lendore Isle, one expects a few random encounters out in the wilderness. But I figured, hey, we're on a public road, on the civilized southern part of the island. Maybe we'd run into something a day or two out into the wilderness, but we would just have a little travelling lull between towns.


About FORTY MINUTES outside of Barnacus, CAPITAL OF THE KEYSTONE KINGDOM, and one of the most ancient cities of the New World, we were jumped by bandits.


Random arrow fire rakes the party from both sides of the road, from archers hidden by the cornfields. The thief Anwvyn dropped to the dirt. The dwarf Grison charged into the cornstalks, Darellon following close behind. Drew scanned the cornstalks for people to shoot. The druid Quentin dropped down to heal the stable-zero Anwvyn. Unfortunately another barrage of arrows dropped Quentin neatly in a pile on top of Anwvyn. To make matters worse, a big guy in banded mail wielding a bastard sword burst out of the stalks straight at Drew.

Grison burst on top of a bandit in the process of drawing a sword, and skewered him. Seeing that the bandit was dead, and unaware that two party members were down and under heavy assault, Darellon went hunting for more bandits.

Meanwhile, the bastard swordsman sliced up Drew, wounding him. Drew sprinted back and shot down an archer through the bushes, still conscious through sheer strength. Fortunately for everyone, the cleric of Sylban, Solban, threw a command "die" spell on the bandit, who obediently dropped and was sliced up by the cleric.

Grison helped sweep the area clean, though one bandit who tried to backstab him got away. Meanwhile Darellon gave quite a long chase to two bandits who had run away. He burst into a small area to find the archer nocked, and another sword wielding bandit in front of him.

This is where we learn the difference between Darellon and Rangorn of yesteryear.

The nocked arrow missed, and Darellon badly injured the first bandit, who ran away. Unfortunately for his companion, the archer was still in the process of dropping his bow. The bow was split in half, along with his armor, chest, etc.

Seeing no more targets, Darellon turned around and strolled back to the party. Heading back he surprised another bandit, who he sliced apart, and then dodged a backstab (from the same bandit who had earlier escaped Grison) and cleaved him up. He then walked back to the party.

Interesting bit about that encounter: the only people not injured were the two front line fighters, Darellon and Grisson. Everyone else except Solban got knocked near zero.

Fortunately, with a few healing kit uses and Cure Light Wounds spells, the party was patched up enough to retrieve the loot. That included some gold, significant numbers of weapons, some repairable banded mail and interestingly, two vials of holy water.

Not bad for our first encounter.

We got back to town, sold the goods for a modest profit of about 30 gold pieces, and Darellon exchanged chain mail for the restored banded mail, while Grison exchanged his small helm for the recovered great helm.

Also, we found a silver dagger, a silvered short sword, perhaps 10 silver bolts and arrows, a couple crossbows, a long composite bow, studded leather armor, 2 bastard swords, 2 short swords, and some other useful mundane items.

The holy water gets entered as the first "party resource" that we will draw upon in future missions.

Well, three days later we set out on take 2-- the trip to Garroten. This went smoothly with one notable exception. On the early morning of the third day, rain soaked everyone. Upon rising for the morning, we discovered that our camp was at most forty minutes outside of Garroten. Arrrgh.

We explored Garroten, including the tavern and a few shops. We discovered that the Lord Mayor, who lives in a castle on a hill near town, is female. Finally, we set up an appointment with her, hoping perhaps for employment opportunities.

That concluded our first adventure. Hope everyone likes following the aimless wanderings of the Lendore group, and we're definitely open to questions, comments, or any other fun stuff about Telvar.

Overall, more successful than we'd hoped! Now, if we could only get a purpose... or a name...