The party departed from town and crossed the Ttroos via the ferry maintained by Kay. Shortly after our crossing we heard a droning laughter that seemed to coalesce around us. I have no adequate words to describe the hideous nature of the demon that we were besieged by. At first it appeared to be a swarm of insects, but at closer examination it was tiny man-shaped beasts that were so black that I could only see their nature by that which was behind them and the space that they took up. They seethed all over each other, becoming more single minded, and seemingly intelligent as they coalesced. As the course of several minutes passed the creatures formed into a ring around us and grew in size as they joined hands, a host becoming a band, a band becoming a few. They mocked us and asked us repeatedly for The Exceptional, The Special. After several non-effective attacks on our part, many of the party decided discretion would be the better part of valor, and disengaged. Apparently the creatures had found what they were seeking in Loric - he repeatedly fell down, as did his great steed, and could not escape the ring. Eventually they swarmed over him and he fell, not to rise again.
I did notice that the ring, where it touched the river, did loose its power and was not continuous. Had the battle gone on longer I had intended to try dousing the creature(s) with river water – but the opportunity did not present itself.
Tam also succumbed to this vile scourge. The wee beasties swarmed over his head and when they receded he was quite mad. He ceased speaking and behaved as in a stupor. He never recovered and is now the one menacing the ferry crossing. He seems to have found some new magical abilities since the encounter, although I am not able to quantify or qualify what those are, other than he has the ability to blend into natural surroundings with amazing speed and effectivness. He now calls him self the Eldren King and will kill to prevent people crossing into Tristrum, according to him “to save them from dieing there.”
Loric was given a proper burial.
We proceeded East along the Troos for four days. We saw many statues of men, women, and children as well as abandoned farms and villages.
Upon the evening of the fourth day we encountered what appeared at first glance to be an abandoned and broken-down dock on the Northern bank. This turned out to be quite functional, as we were to witness Duke Yyrakus and 20 Ambrosian Soldiers, including heavy lancers and crossbows, docking there. They brought with them a hostage, which I now know was Shawnee Cawson, as we met him later.
I apprehended one of the soldiers guarding the pass
north and questioned him at length. Despite his apparent lack of nutrition, or
well-maintained gear or appearance, he was extremely dedicated to Yyrakus and
did not divulge much. At this time we decided to take another tact and one of
our more charismatic and unassuming party members, “Farmer Dross“ made the
appearances of friendship to him. After a day of persuasion, we convinced the
drunken sod that we wanted to join his party. He took us North and then East
for seven days of meandering though the land; in retrospect this man did not
know where he was going. During this time we encountered an adventurer, named Chyrch, who were obviously mad from his time in the
It was shortly thereafter that we encountered a Durgen, a most pecular and somewhat befuddled little thing that had become disenfranchised by Chyrch’s party. We spoke with him for a time and he let it slip that there is a great movement of Durgen to the Noreast (in the direction of Caer Eldren) where they are gathering around some exalted Lady. To date I have seen 3 groups of the creatures, each group of approximately 100 Durgen. They travel in a pack around a large barrel of foul smelling Ale. On the whole they appear dim-witted, dirty, and uneducated. On the whole, though, they appear good-natured and resemble the evil-ones in no way other than they seem to walk out of legend.
As we continued our travels North and East we came upon another creature that I have only heard of in legend. The creature looks like a tree and considers itself a shepard of trees, and calls them his flock. This creature is intelligent and ponderous in his aspect. One of his attributes is a distain for anything done quickly. To him most things need to be thought about for at least a year, if not three. He is, however, capable of making decisions on the spot, although he calls this hasty and spends an inordinate amount of time regretting how fast humans and Eldren have forced him to act.
In the proximity of the Treent was tower that was surrounded by the ‘flock’ of the Treent. It appeared that they had woven themselves around the tower. Treebeard gave us leave to climb his trees to gain access to the tower at the top. We opened the portal and decended. There was a sickly green gas. I have detailed the tower in a crude drawing. We fought our way through the reanimated corpses of the warriors that were stationed in the tower and at my suggestion smote the foul runes that had contaminated the magical well in the basement. The fog dissipated and we were able to stay in the tower without fear. Laviticus used his powers to descry the powers of the tower and how to control them. Also outlined on the drawing of the tower. Apparently Malvagel had constructed the tower by almost blighting himself. We found the remnants of his diary, included here with my report.
Upon taking our leave of the tower and talking furthur witht the Treent he relayed that in the past that he had an amenable relationship with the Eldren, which caused me no end of concern, but as it turns out he has had a falling-out with the Eldren, and sent us to dissuade on of them from continuing to cut down the forest to build ships hundreds of miles from the sea. There appeared to be no reason for this meaningless task, unless Eldren can make ships fly- which wouldn’t surprise me, but no one has ever made mention of this in my presence. We negotiated with the Eldren with extreme prejudice. He stopped building ships, but not before he killed Chyrch by blowing a hole though his torso with magic. It was at this time that we met a fighter named Yosh. He asked us to come find comfort at a village named Durum. We went with him to and naively accepted what they offered for food.
We awoke to find ourselves chained to wooden crosses in the common room of the blockhouse. Geoff, their cult leader, was droning on about the ‘true worth of our being’ and how we could only find it by having our natural Yyrkin strength stripped away via mutilation when Shawnie Cawson flew into a rage and ripped himself off of his cross. I did the same and freed myself. Yosh was on the attack with Shawney as I both defended myself and freed other party members. Eventually Shawney, Archimedes, and myself slew most of the able-bodied cultists in the room. When I made the deathblow that killed Geoff, Yosh staggered back, seemed befuddled for a moment and then announced himself as one of the King’s men and threatened to kill us all. Later, after we insisted that we weren’t with the cultists voluntarily, Yosh relented and befriended the party.
The battle waged on into the evening. I had sneaked out of the back of the blockhouse and gone around to dispatch the vile “Sylvie”, an old cackling cultist woman, when the Ambrosian and his fighters and ranger arrived. When I went to attack Sylvie her countenance became ghastly and her true nature was revealed – she assumed the form of an Eldren with tiny black wings sticking out of her shoulder blades. She promptly flew away laughing. She is still at large.
The warriors dispatched nearly 100 of the villagers with potentially only around 5-6 escaping. Granted, the most able bodied were in the blockhouse, and cleansed of their stupidity by us.
In the scuffle, Archimedes disappeared and has not been seen since. The ranger says that he tracked him for a while and it appears that Archimedes escaped on horse-back and headed East. Nothing more is known of his whereabouts.
We headed back to