Harvesters

Scribbles in the dark
- by Wulf

We’ve gone back in to the caves at Thurston’s insistence. He will have to negotiate with Aeris for the Harvester’s fee for this additonal level of work.

We climbed down with the assistance of some of the miners into the cave-in. Found a weird dead tree creature. Came across a Bone Needle and then found what appears to be an ancient Drow keep or garrison. We found many cells, some for people others for beasts. A couple of more hook horrors were killed and then we found a strange room that contained a sword, wand, battleaxe, staff, long bow, and a crossbow. Pendle grabbed the staff before I could say anything and all of the other weapons immediately vanished. He is going to have to learn to think before acting if we are going to survive much longer. I’ve heard tales of the underdark. Rumours and stories told around late night campfires. Stories that fill me with dread. Stories that are starting to sound more like our own.

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Wulf's Tale
Basilisk and the Bloodstone Mines

It has been a while since I have gotten to sit down with a scribe. I’m sure Jarric is concerned about us, at least as much as he is about any Harvesters sent out to the wilds.

To catch up things, there was that crown we brought back from the Keep we explored. Pendle went and placed the thing on his head and then it disappeared in a blast. I shielded myself from the blast and was able to feel the energy shoot northward. It seems like Jarric and the others are concerned about what Pendle may have done.

We then went off on our second trail to take out a nest of bailisks in a cave. We found 2 of the foul creatures, along with a giant scorpion, 4 bug bears and an ooze. The ooze manged to eat away part of my hammer before I finished it off. Pam Twistspark was able to get me a replacement.

With the second trial completed, we were given the rank of Stalkers and told that another mission was in the works. We traveled north to the mining town of Virdin to meet with Thurston, the overseer of the mine. He told us that work in the mine had stopped due to multiple disappearances. There were clicking noises and a strange mist.

Our first foray into the Bloodstone mines had us come across some big spiders, a couple of oozes (I was better prepared for their destructive natures) and then a couple of Hook Horrors. The Hook Horrors are the ones making the clicking noises. Pendle was able to understand what they were saying using his magic. We then discovered that the mine had a cave-in and was now connected to a deeper and much older section of caverns and tunnels.

That seemed like a fine time to head up to the surface, relay the information and get some ale before figuring out how much further this thing goes. The mine is not safe for now, so there is still work to be done. But for now, a night of drinking and merriment, for I fear what may lay further in the darkness of those misty caves.

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I sure hope my proteges are doing what they were told

I know I told them to keep a record of their adventures. I’ve got a bad feeling this will turn into history, and it would be a real shame if there were no record of what occurred. I’ll be sure to include a request to nudge them in my next letter to Aeris.

We’ll never get the details to the Stormwind family of bards if there’s no details to provide.

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Not sure what my proteges have gotten themselves into
But it might be really important

This breach into the Underdark beneath the Bloodstone Mines worries me. Nothing good or decent has ever risen from those depths. Certainly, nothing good or decent associates with Hook Horrors. Furthermore, this mist cannot bode well. I worry it may be tied to the crown. They say old blood will tell… but I hope they’re as full of it as usual with that one.

I’ll await further information from Wulf and Pendle, but this may quickly outpace their abilities and place in this guild… or the world for that matter.

As this is now a much more complicated job than originally chartered for, Aeris is being sent to help negotiate further dealings with the mining company. Thurstan will undoubtedly be pleased.

- Jaric

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Mines and blood and hooks, oh my!
Something evil's happening! i can smell it!

We have been called to the bloodstone mines, miners are dying and there’s clicking and cave-ins…sounds like another great adventure.
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We encountered a large platoon bandits on the path to the village…severely underestimated us. Though we did take a beating as well, the leader had a magical pendant that seems to protect the wearer from scrying magic and similar effects. Quite a neat little trinket!
-———————————————————————-
We made it to the village…nobody seems to be fond of the mechanical marvel i have created, treating it like a horse! The overseer of the mines is not exactly the nicest person either…but he is paying us, so no complaint there.
-———————————————————————-
We are now in the mines. all went well until we came across some spiders on the 2nd level, Wulf stepped into a large pile of babies, smashing them all with his hammer while me and Behr got to fight the mother, larger than any spider i had seen previously. We also encountered that same mist we found in the keep. I don’t think these fights are going to get easier…
-———————————————————————-
Hook horrors. They are…well…horrifying! yet again I almost died and Wulf did not seem to do much better, we managed to a couple of their hooks though, think we should put them on wulf’s log death pendulum thing, or maybe attach one to behr. We also found a strange hole that seems to extend down into an unmined cave area and the mist is thicker…further investigation will come soon, but for now we should get out of the mines and back to town where food, drink, and beds await us!

- Pendle Blackwood

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It's a start
Wulf Stonesong's tale

Our trainer, Jaric Bladewind, has suggested that I keep notes of our experiences. I have been trained to read and write, but I prefer the action of the hunt. I probably would never have gotten around to writing any of this, but then he suggested I could just talk to a scribe and she would handle all the writing parts, so I’ve agreed.

It has been some months since I first came to the Harvesters and I’ve learned quite a bit since then. That first trail I was so excited. We had talked to Brendor Twistspark over a pint and he told us that we would be getting a ball of wax to help us with our hunt. Pendle Blackwood and I figured out that we would probably have to hunt a harpy. And we were right. But as we crept up to the harpies nest, the excitement of attacking the beast overwhelmed my sense and I forgot about the wax. Next thing I know, I was charmed by her song while she attacked and nearly killed Pendle. I came to my sense in time to kill her, but Pendle lay on the ground unconscious.

We returned to the Harvesters Keep with the talons and feathers of the harpy but our victory was dampened by Pendle’s brush with death and my own guilt about letting the excitement of the hunt cloud my judgement. I must be more cunning in the future.

Well, that is enough tale for now. There is ale in the bar and a melody in the wind.

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Pendle's notes
session 3

this is the journal area of pendle’s lexica arcana:

We went to meet with Aeris and showed her the crown, it is more powerful than i originally saw, although nobody has worn it yet…she also says it belonged to a sort of lich, he lived in the castle keep we explored a few days ago. well i shouldn’t say lived…it was more of a home away from home, as she put it.

the tinkering books i ordered from the library arrived today, it seems i will have much research to do.

the test activation of the construct went well, i have decided that it should be in the likeness of a bear, for intimidation purposes. nothing exploded.

today is the day of the final activation for the construct, which i have decided to nickname ‘behr’. it was activated in the training pit, no explosions. i had it cast a ray of frost at the lone training dummy in the pit, due to being in overdrive from the large burst of magic required to activate the heart rune (core of the construct) the dummy exploded. Jaric seems impressed.

Guy does not seem to like the idea of behr, nor do the rest of the recruits. he also does not seem fond of the fact that i will be his superior soon, if all goes well.

Jaric says we will die in a week if we don’t gather basilisk teeth and blood…what fun! i feel as if the whole dying in a week because of this magic poison thing is a joke.

behr is functioning well, although it seems i can only cast spells through it’s runes once a day, other times i will have to take the time to channel my own magic to it. i found out about this while fighting some bugbears, of which there were a lot in this cave, along with a scorpion.

so, a lot to write here…Wulf‘s tracking skills proved useful, as we found the basilisk nest without alerting said basilisk…basilisk as in plural, a 2nd one came in right as we were about to kill the first. behr’s roar, which i admit is quite bone chilling, scared the second basilisk into the corner long enough for us to finish it. wulf found some guy’s stone corpse which we used the guild-supplied stone to skin oil on…it was horrifying! but we got a lot of money i suppose. we also found a skeleton with a wand of ‘pew pew’, which we quickly found shoots a fireball type spell…it hurts. i kept that, and wulf got a fancy lantern, which never goes out unless you tell it to…i don’t remember the exact words, but it’s quite fancy

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The story so far
or "How they got themselves into this mess"

We start mid-campaign. We begin our campaign sometime in Faerun’s past, before the rising of Castle Despair. Nestled in the Bloodstone Valley, nestled against the Galenas on the eastern edge of the valley, is the Harvester’s Keep. We diverge from canon history immediately. The story thus far:

Pendle Blackwood and Wulf Stonesong are both members of the Harvesters guild, a group of individuals who take commissions for hunting monsters, as well as the occasional odd heroing job.

We begin the day before they begin their Trial to officially join the Harvesters, having spent the last several months in the Guild’s training regime. For the last month of training, prospective guild members are allowed to pair up, and our Heroes decided they worked well together, and bonded as they continued their training. Now that their training has come to its conclusion, they meet with their teacher, Jaric, who informs them it’s time for their Trial. Traditionally, the guild gives Hopefuls a piece of equipment which may be of use in fighting the monster they’ve been assigned. After bribing the bartender, Brendor, for some more information they find out the equipment will be a small lump of wax for each of them. Pendle quickly decides it’s likely a Harpy they’ll be sent to hunt, and the party prepares with that in mind.

The next day, they find that Pendle was correct, and they’re told they have 3 days in which to hunt the quarry, returning with some harpy talons and feathers for the Guild’s employer.

They set out, Wulf tracking their prey with ease. They come upon a small camp of kobolds on the way, one of which has wings, surprising them when it takes to the sky. The Heroes quickly dispatch them, however, and continue on their way into the mountains to hunt the Harpy. They find the Harpy’s lair and decide to take a long rest, sleeping for the evening and approaching the cave fresh the next day. The Heroes approach, and quickly discover they’ve forgotten all about the wax and the mesmerising song of the Harpy, Wulf becoming ensorcelled and starting to walk towards her, eager for his own demise.

Pendle quickly sets to work on the Harpy, blasting her from a distance with his magic. Wulf shakes off the charm of the song and sets upon the Harpy, managing to finish her off shortly after she managed to knock Pendle unconscious. Wulf gets him revived, they butcher the foul beast and return with their prize, becoming full members of the Guild.

However, jobs were scarce for a while after that. Eventually,Jaric asked them to check out an old mansion to the north. It was known to belong to an eccentric wizard, and was built more like a castle or keep in some ways, namely for defensibility. It’s not official guild business, but Jaric personally offers to pay them. They go see Pam, the guild’s quartermistress and wife of Brendor, who rents them each a healing potion for 5 silver, with the full cost of 30 gold being due if the potions are not returned in full.

They head to the keep, which has a dense mist flowing along the floor, licking at their boots and seemingly not capable of escaping the confines of the mansion. As they rummage around, they discover Orcs poking about the interior as well, dispatching them with ease.. They also encounter a couple of grey oozes and discover the wonders of acid’s effects on arms and armor. By the end of it, they also recover a wondrous crown which glows faintly of magic, dark swirls shot through it when viewed through a Detect Magic spell.

Taking this back, they inform Jaric of the orcs and take the crown to Aeris in the library, who takes it off for further study.

((This catches up on the first 2 sessions of play. Want to let the players write about the third.))

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