Aramal

Milo's Revival

Not wasting any time, the group rushes back to Vash’s Crossing with Milo’s body. Once there they are told that while no one nearby can revive him, there may be help at The Pillar. They are given horses to speed their journey, and accompanied by Galvan who has business there.

On the way they come across an odd sight of a burning wagon with no one around and the horses still attached, not panicking at all. Going to investigate, horses approach from the east. A group of knights from The Pillar, led by Lieutenant Aarionad question them as to what happened. Believing them to be suspects, he invokes multiple zones of truth to find their purpose and that they did not know what happened. Once being satisfied, he escorts them to The Pillar.

Once they arrive, they are immediately taken to an area where Medite enters to preserve Milo’s body so that it can be transported the rest of the way to the City-State of Aramal.

Later that night, Zephyr is visited by a vision of his patron to go see Medite. After giving Medite one of the crystals, he offers some insight to Zephyr on what the crystals are for. He says that they are gifts of power from his patron to various beings in order to enlist their aid and support.

Once again wasting no time, the group leaves for Aramel in the morning, this time in the company of Lieutenant Aarionad. When they reach the city, Aarionad brings them to the temple of Savaat. They are led to a secluded room and Givinia enters. She informs them that Samantha had entered into the cave of The Necromancer and retrieved the orb. She sent it on to Aramel while the group was traveling, and it will be sufficient to revive Milo.

The doors close, and after a long ritual, Milo is revived.

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The Necromancer's Cave

The following morning after the feast, the adventurers gather at the festival grounds. There they meet a devastated Samantha claiming that she’s to blame for what happened. She informs them that the ritual she was completing at her home drew the attention of something from within the forest that did not want it to succeed. Because of that, everyone who was at her house has been magically targeted, which the gnolls used to track them down. While the beasts were killed, the target remains with the only way to remove it is to find the source.

The group questions Samantha more forcefully about what she did with the crystal and tree. She informs them that she was making a deal with a powerful being to bring magic back to the forest. She assures them that this is not an evil force, and that the effects will only be good for the forest and those around.

The group having no choice, agrees to backtrack where the gnolls came from. They leave and follow the trail left by the gnolls a days journey north into the forest where they come across a cave. Shortly after entering the cave they find themselves facing more gnolls and after dispatching them are able to figure out that this cave is a long abandoned operating base of Uthisan.

Continuing on they come to a heavy wooden door and after entering find themselves in a large cavern, in the middle of which is a gigantic gnoll. They defeat the gnoll and after investigating the area find two small doors on the west and east end of the cavern containing a large snake to the west. Milo attempts to speak with the snake, and can only get out of it that others like it have been experimented on and taken deeper into the cave. Trying to convince the snake to help them, they release the snake which then immediately speeds away to leave the cave.

Leaving the cavern behind, they exit from another heavy door to the north. They find themselves in a man made section of the cave, clearly dug out and carved by hand. Hearing voices, they sneak up to a room, and overhear small bits about the gnolls and instructions from the “boss.” Entering the room, they engage the men inside and capture two of them. After interrogation, the men inform the group that they are mercenaries hired by The Necromancer. This necromancer has been creating zombies further down in the cave from the gnolls. They also mention that he seems to be controlling far more than he should be able to.

The mercenaries are able to convince the group that if they are allowed to leave they would put down their weapons and not engage in their activities anymore. They are escorted out of the dungeon, forced to give up all equipment and flee.

Venturing further into the cave, they find a hole going down to the next level that the mercenaries had mentioned, and before it find a magical glyph in the ceiling. Thinking to lay in wait, they activate the glyph. Nothing happens and they continue on entering the lower level.

Hearing running water, they find a small stream flowing further in, and nearby it a zombie gnoll. Pushing it into the water, it is quickly carried away. Following the stream they enter another large cavern with an underground lake and a path snaking around the edge.

At the end of the path they see a well furnished room with two zombie gnolls and a figure in dark robes – The Necromancer. They rush in to attack, and the necromancer flees to the back of the room where an orb sits on top of a pedestal. Pandric and Milo move to engage the zombies, while the rest of the party follows the necromancer.

After scoring some initial hits on the zombies, the necromancer uses the orbs and the party can see the zombies healing and regaining their health. Unable to bring the zombies down quickly, and with few options left, Milo attempts to grab one of the zombies and throw him into the lake. Before he is able to accomplish this, the zombie strikes him down. The rest of the party tries to end the fight quickly, but is unable to get to Milo in time to save him from death.

When the necromancer finally is defeated, a voice echos out that if he will not survive than neither shall they, and a wall breaks open and water begins to flood the cave. Gathering Milo’s body the group rushes through the cave to escape before it is completely filled. They escape the entrance, with water pouring out behind them.

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The Feast

Samantha arrives early in the morning insisting on Zephyr, much to his annoyance, accompanying her to go shopping to get him clothing to wear for the festival. She drags him through different tents, always leaving behind hints and promises for the vendors that she could arrange a meeting between them and Lord Vash in return for whatever she purchases.

Samantha and Zephyr eventually make their way to the festival where Bernard has already arrived dressed in his bardic outfit, performing for the crowd. Marcer is there providing security with the guards under Warden Brodi. Milo and Pandric arrived early and immediately started drinking awaiting the food.

Samantha and Zephyr walk to the center table, and shortly after that Lord Vash arrives to great fanfare. Everyone cheers and crowds around him, while he roars in greeting and laughter. He also arrives at the table, where Samantha introduces him to Zephyr. She also mentions all the merchants she met during the day. Vash sighing, summons a young boy acting as his page to take a note of the merchants for him to talk to later to appease them for Samantha’s rampage through the shopping thents.

Bernard is presented as a surprise to lord Vash and he takes out his lute to begin to perform. The crowd cringes as Bernard begins out with a horribly off key lute, and a string breaks. Bernard in a flourish puts the lute away, and instead begins in on a song he prepared detailing the adventures of Lord Vash against The Dark Revelers. This goes much better, and the crowd and Lord Vash are enthralled and erupt into applause at the end.

The feast continues, with Marcer striking up a conversation with some merchants. He is introduces to Galvan and Sotak who both are willing to hire him on for their caravans when they leave the festival.

Pandric at this point has continued to drink and is now wallowing in self pity and remembering his times on the battle fields. Milo stays close, keeping an eye on his friend and keeping him under control.

Screams echo above the normal loud buzz of the crowd from the far end of the clearing the feast is being held in. Marcer is the nearest and first to respond, with Zephyr close behind. They arrive, pushing the crowd assid to see a Gnoll crouched over a dead body, looking up at them. Lord Vash shouts out for someone to give him a sword, to which Bernard offers up his rapier.

The crowd scatters, and Marcer, Zephyr, Milo, Pandric, Bernard, and Lord Vash, and two guards engage the gnolls with Samantha holding behind them in support. The group of adventurers are broken off into two fronts. Pandric in a drunken state has a flashback to the battlefield and is unable to fight clearly. Eventually Milo is able to shake him out of it to continue the fight and eventually they manage to stop the first few sets of gnolls.

More gnolls arrive and the party is able to combine again into one front. At the same time Warden Brodi arrives and signals to Samantha that it is time to finish this. He charges forward to engage one of the gnolls. Samantha leaps forward transforming into a dog and then vanishes only to reappear next to another gnoll. The remaining gnolls advance on the party. After a long fought battle, a horn in the distance sounds and the gnolls begin to retreat. None of the gnolls are able to escape the party, with the last blow coming from one of Zephyr’s spell as they try to escape.

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Vash's Crossing

Milo Tanglefoot and Pandric

Milo and Pandric are continuing their journey together, looking for anywhere they can amass a fortune. While crossing the forest of Westfall, they notice that the birds and other animals seem to be amiss. After beginning to travel north, the forest settles down. Deciding to investigate they return to the south and Milo begins to speak with the animals. A bird gives off a sense of both fear and excitement, urging them south and giving only one name: Samantha.

They follow the bird and eventually arrive outside a cabin famished, and smell fresh baked bread coming from the cabin. Knocking on the door they are met by Samantha who immediately invites them in and offers them bread with butter. They accept and begin to ask her about what is happening to the forest. Samantha assures them that nothing is wrong, and that the animals are looking forward to a great change that is about to come. She refuses to go further into what this change is but assures them that is for the good of the forest.

By way of thanks for the bread, they agree to help her with a small chore and begin to dig a hole for her in the ground at the base of a large tree.

Bernard

Always looking for any opportunities that present themselves, Bernard is offered a job performing his bardic arts for a trade festival at Vash's Crossing. He is given the name of Samantha as his hiring contact and makes his way there. On arriving, the festival has begun to set up with tents being pitched across a bridge from the small permanent area.

Bernard approaches the local tavern to gain more information but is greeted by a sign: "Locals only" with two young boys guarding the door. Attempting to get information out of them and to get them to let him in, they summon men from within the tavern. The men quickly and gruffly send him on his way telling him that he can find Samantha in the nearby forest.

Zephyr

Zephyr arrives at Vash's Crossing after a long journey from a far away continent, being sent with a bag containing mysterious crystals from his patron, the Fey Lord Odhran. He was to bring one of the crystals to the druidess Samantha. Entering the festival area, he also makes his way to the tavern and is greated by the two children at the door. They immediately summon the men from inside, never having seen a tiefling before. The men inside refuse to let him in, but send Zephyr on his way with directions to Samantha's.

Bernard, having seen this interaction, follows Zephyr and eventually introduces himself and they continue on to Samantha's. Arriving, they are greeted by the same smell of baked bread. Knocking on the door they are greeted by Symantha and brought inside. Bernard introduces himself as the bard that she had hired. Samantha tells him that he is replacing the usual minstrel who performs and that his presence is a surprise for Vash, and to wait for the festival for the reveal.

Bernard leaves to return to the festival to find a place to sleep. At this point, Zephyr reveals the crystals to Samantha, who tells him to take one out and asks him to follow her. Samantha leads further into the forest and approaches the large tree that Milo and Pandric were working at. When they arrive, having never met a tiefling before, and believing the evil lore associated with them draws his sword. Eventually Samantha, with Milo's help, is able to get Pandric to put his weapon away.

Samantha has Zephyr drop the crystal into the hole that Milo and Pandric had just dug. The crystal and the ground directly around it begins to glow. Samantha asks all three to cover the hole again, and she returns to the cabin.

Marcer Orel

Marcer, beginning his journey as a Scout of Westfall, is sent to Vash's Crossing to find different opportunities for his travels. He is given a contact of Warden Brodi to check in with to get help and advice. Arriving at Vash's Crossing he makes his way to the tavern and is allowed in by the locals on noticing him as a Scout of Westfall. He meets Warden Brodi who is in charge of the local security. He offers to introduce Marcer to some merchants at the festival going in various directions.

In return for the aid, Marcer offers his services around the crossing. Brodi asks him to check in with the local healer, Samantha, after he's had two different reports of strangers seeking him out. Marcer agrees and on his way to the cabin, comes across a returning Bernard. After a quick conversation he learns that Bernard was hired by Samantha and continues on.

An obviously flustered Samantha, from all the visitors, greets him at the door. Upset that she's run out of bread, she's unable to offer him anything to eat. Marcer explains why he is there and Samantha assures him that she is fine and that those who came are helping her.

Returning from covering the hole Zephyr, Milo, and Pandric return and briefly meet Marcer. Milo, concerned about any potential harm to the forest from what they did presses Samantha for more information about the crystal. Samantha drops into druidic speach, and while still not giving details assures Milo that what she did is only good for the forest.

Zephyr, in a seperate conversation, also asks about the crystals he is carrying and what to do now. Samantha tells him that they are favors from Lord Odhran to different individuals, and that he should continue to travel until the bearers of the other crystals are pointed out to him.

Samantha then tells all of them about the opening feast for the festival the next day. Milo and Pandric, always on the search for their next meal, meet this news with eagerness. To Zephyr, she insists he attend as her guest.

Marcer returns and informs Brodi what happened and then joins in with the seasonal guard encampment.

Everyone else returns to Vash's crossing and finds/sets up tents on the common area.

 

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