Storm King's Thunder

The Road North
Barnabas' Travel Notes
  • Red Larch was woefully lacking on supplies but we bought what we could before heading north, mostly feed for the horses
  • Athragar spotted a donkey on a hill, turned out to be a massive breed that is from Amphail. Had gear for a rider but had clearly been on his own for some time. Hill was near the Kryptgarden Forest, home to a dragon named Gnawbone and old dwarf ruins, likely where his rider met their fate. His name is now Sonny
  • Attacked that night by even more cultists turned bandit, something really needs to be done about them. Killed one with my bow, Sandy put some to sleep, Aunyx and Gwyn charged, Harald showed impressive skill with his rapier and apparently magic, and Athragar turned invisible and did gods know what
  • Cultists were of some earth god named Ogremoch, Sandy levitated one and severed his link to the earth which made it much easier to kill him. Kept one alive for information, apparently they were headed to meet at Westbridge after their base in Red Larch was destroyed. Not sure why they attacked us other than being simple highwaymen now
  • Cult had been involved in the demise of Harald’s friends so he killed the captive. There were no objections
  • Planned on sending Sandy into Westbridge invisibly to see if it had been overrun by cultists but we were attacked by a young purple worm before we could get too close to the city. Likely a servant of the cult, voluntarily or otherwise
  • Athragar ensorcelled the beast which distracted it enough to allow Aunyx to safely kill it. I kept the horses reigned in this time, don’t want to have to go chasing after them again after last time
  • Athragar kept the worm’s stinger to fashion a weapon, good thinking
  • Woman named Reetha approached us and confirmed that the cult had indeed taken over the town and destroyed several buildings. Why take it over if you’re going to wreck it?
  • Dreyon, the apparent cult leader, was confirmed to be in the town, apparently prosthelytizing to the townsfolk about the Cult of the Black Earth. Brought a hill giant with, probably not for his piety. Forty or so townsfolk apparently bought it, cult seems powerful but very arrogant, must have just swayed the weak-minded with force and lies
  • Hill giant has taken up residence in the stable while the cult has taken over the inn, seems like the best place to ambush, kill the giant in its sleep and maybe burn the inn down? We’ll see once we get a closer look
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The quest continues...
In which there is much traveling and talking

From the personal journal of Sandy Littlemoor:
Flamerule 30 – Eleasias 1

We left Golden Fields for the Bargewright Inn the day after the monstrous attack on Golden Fields was repulsed. The road and the weather were quiet and for a change we were not ambushed by bandits! Instead we encountered a group of Knights of Samular and exchanged news with them but they didn’t know anything more than we did.

The Bargewright Inn turned out to be a walled community on a hilltop that has been built piecemeal over the years. It has a couple of towers for defense and reeks of manure and mud. Kind of reminded me of the slums of Waterdeep except the the odor wasn’t as bad. Shalvus Martholio led us to the inn at the center of the community which seemed to be the first building in the community. There were a good number of travelers, which was a surprise considering the fact that the ale wasn’t nearly as good as in Golden Fields. The customers of the inn were mostly talking banditry and bad weather. Most of the bandits have been men and humanoid species. A cult has been reported in Red Larch. The surviving cult members were sent to Waterdeep for justice.

Although the next day was rainy, we continued traveling and made good time because of extra equipment we purchased at Bargewright Inn. The place may not smell the best but they do serve traveler’s needs. On the road to Tribor, we heard about a caravan from Minabar getting wiped out even though it was heavily defended. Apparently two survivors were rescued by Harpers and taken to Red Larch.

Towards the end of the day we were once again attacked by bandits who were waiting in ambush for us. This time we responded like a well-oiled machine with me taking out the grunts while Barnabas, Gwyn, and Aunyx dealt with the big bosses. The bosses apparently were from some sort of water cult, using shields made of giant shells and a priest who had a fondness for ice bolts. He took a shot at me but my trusty shield spell saved the day and he ran for it before Gwen could whack him with her whomping big sword. We let one of the grunts live so he could tell us information (he didn’t know anything) and then we decided to take him to Red Larch for justice.

Barnabas went to get our horses while we made ourselves at home in the bandit camp and encountered a half elf running away from a Hill Giant. Barnabas displayed his usual cool bravery and rescued the unfortunate soul. He also displayed his usual rotten luck and got hit in the head by a rock from the giant so the two half-elves wound up rescuing each other.

The newcomer’s name is Harald Greyspear, a Bard by training and he’s a nice enough fellow. He is the sole survivor of an adventuring group that ran into more trouble than it could handle, a feeling I know all too well. That evening he told us of the Black Earth cult, who use earth elementals and stone armor. Now we’ve heard of 4 different elemental cults although another group of adventurers have broken up the Air cult. I hope so, they were a nasty bunch.

We got to Red Larch and turned the bandit over to Lead Constable Harburk Tuthmarillar. There is a darned big hole in the middle of the town which leads into an underground tunnel complex. Apparently the hole is how the adventurers broke into the complex. Impressive, even if it wasn’t subtle. The townsfolk must have seen a few sights before the fight was over. I will have to ask them for information that I can send back to Niloshis in our next report.

The constable sent us the an inn named the Swinging Sword, it’s a nice place but crowded because a lot of people lost their homes in the fight with the cult and even the inn was fire damaged. We heard that the people in the complex were part of the air cult we encountered earlier and that a lot of the horses in town died during the assault so they don’t have any spare mounts for us to reach Tribor, which is now 74 miles away. I’m glad that I don’t need to take up too much space. I handed out as much of my spare cash as I could afford to help the worst off people.

A halfling came from the north (where we are going) looking for help. The Netterby family is having troubles with a Fire Witch and would like some assistance. The family lives North northeast of Westbridge and is pretty well off. Perhaps they will have some ponies we can buy to replace some of the mounts we’ve lost in the last few days.

I’m going to suggest to Niloshis that the Harpers set up some sort of courier system to collect news about people who need help and connect them with people who want to help out. The whole northland is getting overrun these days and adventurer groups wandering around bumping into trouble seems to be the only solution. I bet we could come up with something more effective if we tried.

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Golden Fields
Flamerule 27 - 29

An account by Aunyx Battleforge:

As a group we decided to track down the archmage Krowen Valharrow. Rumor was that he could be found in the farming community of Goldenfields. We flew in to the community in the giant’s flying tower and landed outside the village. (I wonder if they thought we were powerful?) Goldenfields is a huge community of Chauntea worshipers. Surrounded by 60’ walls, 30’ thick. Most people live in 100 person longhouses.

Once we were in the village we made our way to Northfurrow’s End an inn near the Goldengulp Brewery. The inn was run by Miros, who calls himself Yeti. Some members spent some time exploring the community and others stayed in the inn to gather information.

That evening we gathered for food and drink. The barbarian got drunk and wandered off to bed early and I recall the bard passing out. The halfling and myself stayed awake into the night.

Then of course my evening of drinking the local brew and playing chess was interrupted by a halfling coming into the inn shouting about an invasion of goblins and giants or something. Sandy and myself went storming out into the night to see what the threat was.

Nearby was an small force of giantkin. Two ogres and four bugbears plus various goblins. While taking a moment to review the situation they spotted me. So there was nothing to do but move in and blunt their advance. I gathered up my faith to shield myself and moved in until help could arrive. Eventually Gwyn, Barnabas and the Yeti arrived to help with the combat. An animated tree even joined the fray killing goblins and then eventually the remaining bugbears.

Most of the remaining scouting party made a break back to the wall. Well over a mile. The party went charging off. Some riding the tree like some sort of squirrels from what they told me firing arrows towards the enemy. When they got near the wall there were hill giants with some sort of trebuchet launchers on their backs launching rocks. I can only imagine the sight. I stayed behind and wandered over to the church until other villagers arrived. We then went about confirming that them running off wasn’t a diversion and other forces had been left behind. The villagers and myself cleared out some remaining goblins.

After the skirmish we went back to the Inn and rested. The following morning we had council with some of the prominent townsfolk. Much of the blame for the attack (or at least its success) was directed towards a half orc, the captain of the guard by the name of Strom Thunderblade who I’ve personally dubbed Thunderfraude.

Ultimately we need to determine if the giants attacked on their own or if someone else directed them. Also we expect that the conflict between the giants and dragons may have something to do with it. We decided to continue to try and find Krowen in the town of Tribore. Naxene Drathkala suggested we may want to seek out a dragon expert in Waterdeep named Chazlauth Yarghorn.

I was given a task by the acolyte Zi Liang (the uptight one) and a man named Shalvus Martholio wants to travel with us. Also if we make it to the town of Imbull we are supposed to visit the Staghorn Flagon.

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Flamerule 22 - 27

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The bandits ambushed us!

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Kella and Zolkan escaped. It turns out they were Zhentarim. Felgolas the dragon crashed into battle because he hates the Zhentarim. He said he has a collection of their scorched wagons.

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Athragar flew off on the dragon to deliver the prisoners. Gwyn dreamt of killing Kella.

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On the way out of Waterdeep to investigate, a giant floating wizard hat appeared.

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We met a giant who offered to give us a ride. He said magic told him we can help the giants stop fighting.

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While we we riding on the wizard hat, we met some Yan Si Bin fanatics. It smelled like blood, but it did not come to blades.

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Saviors of Nightstone

From the Tales of Athragar Cormaeril -

Flamerule 20 – 21

Following our victorious rout of the orc war band the night before, the guards set out at daybreak to seek aid for the beleaguered town of Nightstone. Thick gray clouds hid the sun, but a humid heat clung to the air so it seemed fitting our quest would lead to the remote caverns known as the Dripping Caves. Before us the wide, dank mouth of the caverns yawned… at least ten men abreast and tall enough for even a giant to easily pass through. Indeed, Barnabas uncovered the footprints of a giant among the relatively tiny and more numerous goblin tracks confirming we likely would face one within the Dripping Caves.

It was only moments later that we encountered a massive specimen of an ogre, immersed within a natural mud bath within one of the larger chambers. Before the giant could even react we were upon him. Alone of course, he stood no chance against our combined might. Even before his body hit the floor however his ogre-wife burst from hiding to strike at us as a band of goblins surprised us at our rear. Here we found ourselves – wedged between murderous goblins and an enraged she-ogre. Fortunately we also found Lady Luck was with us still. Within the blink of an eye Sandy had ensorcelled the goblins putting them into an enchanted sleep while Barnabas’s aim was true once more and felled the ogress. After the brief skirmish we soldiered on, making our way through the winding corridors of the cavern until finally we discovered where the foul monsters had imprisoned the desperate townsfolk.

After rescuing them, most of our company returned to the surface world as we guided the thankful townsfolk to safety. The intrepid ranger Barnabas remained behind, determined to scout out the remaining tunnels and ensure we were not followed. As he tells it, he wisely avoided the most treacherous dangers of the cavern’s depths, but as luck would once more have it no doubt, he stumbled upon a very young woman who had seemingly been held aside from the other prisoners. She was none other than Daphnie Featherstone, a noble lady in waiting from Nightstone. Single-handedly Barnabas delivered the young lady from the perilous caverns reuniting her with the others who had survived the ordeal.

Content no enemies would once more surprise our flank, we led the townsfolk back to their homes. Although our victory yielded little in the way of treasure, I knew we had saved not just the town, but its soul as well. Its people were now safe and free to rebuild their lives. Without Lady Nandar to oversee the reconstruction of the town the people of Nightstone looked to the owner of the Nightstone Inn, Morak Ur’gray. He seemed a fair and honest dwarf and remained optimistic even in the face of the destruction left in the giants’ wake.

Among the stories he and the other townsfolk shared with us was one of a mage from Moongleam Tower in Everlund, known as Krowen Valharrow. They told us that he had just recently passed through Nightstone and spent time there studying the town’s history and the Nightstone itself before continuing on his way to Goldenfields. Perhaps it was not mere coincidence that this mage also claimed to be a scholar on the ways of giant-kin. It was as I told my companions, fate calling.

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Of Course They're Bandits
Barnabas' Travel Notes

Flamerule 19

  • Group decided to explore the keep, Athrager and I couldn’t make the jump across the broken bridge so we swam instead – water was cold but pleasant
  • Parts of keep’s walls were collapsed and boulders strewn about the courtyard, giants clearly attacked here too – no signs of invaders or attackers on foot
  • Four guards remained in the keep, all that remains of the former garrison, leader Lady Nandar was killed in attack
  • Guards confirm it was giants, specifically four pale-skinned giants who bombarded the village before taking the nightstone and leaving
  • Villagers fled north to caves, apparently a plan already in place as the guards seemed familiar with the location – hopefully they’re still alive and not food for some beast in the wilds or worse
  • Heard the drawbridge lowering, Kella let in a group of men on mounts led by a half-elf named Zolkan – very suspicious, I knew they were bandits before they revealed as much
  • Fight went poorly, lost consciousness but Athrager and Gwyn held their ground, eventually making a truce with Zolkan to leave with his remaining bandits
  • Spent the next day resting and recuperating, tried to get the flying cat to come with us but it seemed skittish – I’ll get it to warm up to me yet
  • Athrager deciphered the demon door which was apparently just a ruse of a tiefling midwife, though a symbol of a devil was found so maybe it wasn’t just for show. Also, Sandy can apparently pick locks – why am I not surprised
  • Aunyx caught some fish for dinner, they were quite good – didn’t really think dwarves knew how to fish. Are there fish underground?
  • Dinner interrupted by an approaching orc warband, confronted them on the tower. They were already injured but still orcs, dumb and determined
  • Fight ensued despite trying to avoid one, killed the orc shaman, attempted to kill their leader Garrash but was unsuccessful. Remaining orcs routed by elvish hunters, likely the ones who attacked the orcs to begin with
  • Must remind the bard that he doesn’t actually have to start big fights to right the songs about them – he’s a bard, he can just make it up
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Goblins Galore!
Nightstone Abandoned

From the personal journal of Sandy Littlemoor

Flamerule 18

Our group of Harpers was assigned to go to Nightstone to monitor tensions between the humans and the elves. I also personally wanted a chance to look at the stone for which the town had been named. The fact that the ale in the local tavern was supposed to be pretty good didn’t hurt either.

We arrived at Nightstone near sundown and found it to be on an island, well-fortified, and recently abandoned. The drawbridge was down so we snuck into town and and discovered that the Nightstone was gone and some other large rocks had fallen from the sky, they had hit the buildings and a few (now very dead) people. Our best guess was that some Hill Giants had thrown them from the outside and the townspeople had run away. Apparently a bunch of goblins and some wargs had noticed this and decided to play in the now-undefended town.

The goblins and the wargs had separated into a bunch of small groups to have fun in the abandoned buildings and one group of goblins kept ringing the temple bell. The noise from their activities and the gathering darkness kept them from noticing us and we dealt harshly with first the wargs and then each small group of the green-skinned vandals. There were some rough moments, for example, I caught an arrow in the gut and thought I was going to die but Aunyx healed me.

In the end, we killed or drove away all the marauders and pulled up the drawbridge for the night. We also found a human woman named Kella. She was knocked out when one of the big stones crashed through the inn roof but managed to avoid getting killed by the goblins by being sneaky. I’m not sure I trust her, she isn’t local to Nightstone but doesn’t want to talk about why she came to Nightstone. The way she kept away from the goblins makes me wonder if she isn’t a rogue of some sort (and they sometimes get into a lot of mischief).

She told us that Nightstone was bombarded by a castle floating on a cloud, which suggests that cloud giants are involved. But what’s so important about the Nightstone that they felt like the had to bombard the town to get it? Niloshis Quietwalker told me that it had a weak magic aura and some runes on it but nobody knows what they mean.

Aunyx wondered aloud why the goblins kept ringing the bell. Why did the wargs stick around during it? Were they left behind, left to guard or just moved in once the giants were done or for some other purpose? Were the wargs scouts or messengers?

Athragar wants to meet with the Elves and find out what they saw. We also think that the human survivors from the town probably ran to the Elves for protection.

There is a small keep, much the worse for wear, on the next island upstream and we saw a light in one of the windows when darkness fell. The group wants to visit it in the morning. Whoever is in there doesn’t appear to have helped out against the flying castle. But what could they have done? Giants are dangerous, here’s hoping the castle doesn’t show up again any time soon.

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