As Winter Comes

After Action Report - 8th day of Deepwinter

Sir,

Please find my secondary After Action Report for the 8th day of Hammer. As always, the names of the party members have been omitted in case this report should fall into enemy hands.

Report continues:

Having crossed the bridge (see my last report) we came upon a small cave hidden behind an overturned tree. After much debate, we decided to enter. We were in need of rest in any case and as you know, the many serious head injuries I received during my career can cause me to lapse into unconsciousness easily if I do not rest.

We explored what ended up being a decent sized cave and were able to refill our water skins from a small pool fed by an underground stream. We also discovered some crude cave paintings. The Bard estimated them to be 40 or 50 years old and said that they told the tale of the “Razortooth Tribe” of Goblins. Whether the creature we met in the forest is a member of said tribe, I cannot tell.

After a brief rest, we continued along the road. Whilst travelling, I noticed a small fiery explosion. It reminded me of the type seen when The Bard teleports himself. I made the party aware but neither The Bard nor The Mage were able to detect any specific Magickery.

Approximately 20 minutes travel later, we came across another bridge. As we crossed, we were confronted by what I can only describe as a hell hound. It was a hound, which looked like it was from hell – fire and brimstone and so on.

The beast approached but did not attack. Instead it dropped what appeared to be a human leg bone in front of us and then backed off. I decided that it wanted to play fetch, so I picked up the bone and was about to throw it, when The Scout noticed writing on it.

The writing was as follows:
“Leave the case. Co-operate and we might find an arrangement that spares your lives. Carry this with you if you wish to bargain”.

We discussed our options and came up with a plan. We decided that we should obey the warning to the letter, to see if we might coax our blackmailer out into the open. We left the case as instructed, but took the documents out first.

We proceeded, unaccosted by the hound or by the direwolves and other smaller creatures he seemed to be grouped with.

Shortly afterwards, the master showed himself. He appeared by teleport and blocked our way forward. He looked like a man, but had green skin and was armed with a glaive. He was missing the small finger from his left hand and was wearing it on a cord around his neck. The Mage and The Bard later identified him as a Perfidious Devil – a creature which makes bargains on behalf of the underworld. He engaged us in conversation but when it became clear we would not give up the documents, he attacked. He was capable of summoning strange, faceless but humanoid creature called Lemurs.

We fought well and the creature did not seem willing to die for whomever engaged him to retrieve the documents. Defeated, his minions dead, he disappeared.

After healing our wounds, The Scout and The Bard decided to see if they could retrieve the case from where we left it on the road. The Mage and I decided to press onwards with the civilians. The Scout and The Bard later caught up with us. They had retrieved the case. I believe they may have ran into some trouble as they both looked the worse for wear, but I did not press them for details as I have learned (via serious head injuries) not to annoy an angry half-orc.

We continued on the road and approximately 30 minutes later we came across a Dragonborn wearing nothing but his smallclothes, sitting on a rock. The Dragonborn, when engaged in conversation, identified himself as one Khadral of Clan Petras, from the mountains of Ostalin.

After much discussion, we agreed to accompany him to warehouse where he had set up camp. The warehouse was approximately half a mile away, down a small path. There, over mushroom and onion soup, he told us of his quest and asked for our help. He had allied with a Dryad named Begnira, in an attempt to free a nearby glade from the all encompassing fire.

We discussed the merits of helping him at great length, with some members of the party being particularly against delaying our mission. We eventually agreed to help him in exchange for him brewing us some more of the fire resisting potions that T had supplied us with. On a personal note, I believe the delay to our mission was justified for two reasons.

1. Clan Petras lives in a part of the world that is also familiar with the attention of the Ragesians and helping them may help us at some point in the future.
2. If Khadral is successful in his ultimate goal of extinguishing the burning forest and the resistances role in assisting him is brought to light, we may find some additional allies in the Elladrin slums.

Our assistance was provided in the form of gathering Karaha mushrooms for a potion Khadral needed to mix for his plan. The mushrooms were located in a large cave system hidden behind a huge boulder, which Khadral was unwilling to enter due to the strange screaming sounds coming from within.

After entering the cave, we followed a narrow tunnel to a large cavern, lit from above but a hole in the roof. The Cavern itself, was bisected by a river of freezing water fed by a small waterfall. The screaming sound was incredibly loud and made communications extremely difficult, so we were reduced to talking through hand gestures.

Myself, The Bard and The Scout proceeded to gather the mushrooms, with The Mage on overwatch. We had been gathering the mushrooms for a few minutes when The Mage alerted us to the appearance of several “Mushroom men”. The creatures were larger than a man and had heads like mushroom caps. They had with them an exceptionally large and horrendous beast. The creatures were hostile, presumably because we had encroached on their territory and were harvesting either their food or their young.

We engaged the enemy in combat, though I was a few seconds late to the fight as I had not heard The Mages magical warning in all the din. The creatures themselves bore no weapons, but seemed to have a magical ability to lessen their wounds by sharing any wound received by one, amongst the entire group.

Despite their abilities, we prevailed, slaying all but one, which retreated.

We finished gathering the mushrooms and set about discovering the source of the screaming noise. On a ledge above the cavern, we discovered the long buried corpses of 3 Goblins and an Elladrin Solei Palancis Legonaire. The Mage identified a piece of an Alarm spell, which the Bard took with him. As we exited the tunnel, the screaming stopped. In the sudden and blessed silence, the Bard advised us that Alarm Spells are broken when a piece of the spell is moved a certain distance away from the spell’s source. He posited that the Legonaire had set the spell and the Goblins had tripped it, but had slain him so he could not turn it off.

Our mission complete, we returned to Khadral with the mushrooms.

Sergeant ā€œDā€.
8th day of Hammer.
Report Ends.

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