Cloudzea Forgotten Realms

Haverford has some problems
Let's go fight some g-g-g-g-GHOSTS!

A sound night of good rest ended with Gaston practicing his sword techniques before dawn. Within an hour or so, our travelers were fed breakfasts, packed up, and on their way in the final march to Haverford.

As the sun began to set and a cloudy drizzle of rain began to roll in, Haverford came into view. A small camp of refugees had already begun living outside the palisade walls and closed portcullis of Haverford. Our heroes approached the watchtower as archers on the walls looked on nervously. Zavos spoke first with the watchman, explaining the party's intention to look into the problems of the Terror. Harlans words carried additional weight when he presented his Waterdhavian signet and family name, and the portcullis gates were drawn open to allow the entire group entrance. Thaddeus, the watchman, gave seemingly complex directions to the Great Hall where the heroes would find Mayor Creed and Sheriff Blackshield.
The streets were overrun with refugees from other villages. Traversing the village became its own problem, as roadways that once accommodated lanes of wagons were now barely clear enough for a single trail. Families were living out of huts they could assemble in alleyways. These were a beleaguered people, desperate for relief from the Terror

Our heroes arrived at the Great Hall and spoke with both Mayor Creed and Sheriff Blackshield. The mayor asked for the heroes to assist with defeating the Terror, while Sheriff Blackshield asked that the party first show their well-meaning worth by helping with odd tasks about the town. However many tasks the party can complete over the next day, he'll see to it they are outfitted in kind to hunt the Terror.

  • Ilse Cormer at the Bashful Ogre Pub has complained of refugees squatting in the tavern’s cellar. Someone needs to show them the door.
  • A local trapper named Holt Lightfoot went missing in the forest four days ago. With so many new mouths to feed, the village can ill afford the loss of a skilled woodsman. If Holt is still alive, it’s a fair bet his nephew, Flinn, could help the party find him, as he knows where Holt usually sets his traps. Flinn spends most of his time helping out at the Sleeping Squire Inn.
  • The Terror has left so many victims in its wake that the town’s grave digger, Jorbel Wethers, hasn’t been able to keep up with the workload. He could use some strong backs and helping hands.
  • Odward Fuller closed his shop three days ago after reportedly seeing a ghost in the storeroom. Now folk all over town are whispering about hearing strange sounds in their beds at night, and even the village watch won’t go near Odward’s shop. What’s needed are some brave souls to discover the truth of the matter, before the town is gripped by hysteria.
  • A refugee named Liza Druthers has been struck down by a strange disease that resists all treatment by the village healer. She is tended to by her two children, who have no one else to look after them.

The first task was to rid Odwards Fabrics and the surrounding homes of g-g-g-g-GHOSTS! Odward and others in the area report seeing all manner of apparitions. As the heroes investigated Odwards basement storeroom for an hour, one of the apparitions appeared! But Zavos and Gaston could easily see that this was no real spook, but merely an illusion. A secret door was found near the ghosts' location that lead into The Warrens, an abandoned system of caves and tunnels once inhabited by Gnomes more than 2 centuries ago, and Haverford was built right on-top of them.
As Harlan led the party, the caves became much more labyrinth-like, causing several wrong turns and a few close calls with trapped floors opening to long chutes. As the tunnels were sized for gnomes, combat became very difficult for all but Milburn. Both a battle with giant centipedes and another with some interestingly talkative giant rats proved difficult only in landing blows, but all faced swift defeat once a strike hit its mark.
Close to two-hours had gone by in The Warrens when Harlan made the final turn into an opening. A magically awaken badger paced about the 20×30ft foot room, fearfully murmuring to himself amongst the clutter of broken kitchenware and overturned furniture. The heroes attempted to reason with the badger, even so far as T'sifnori attempting to hug the scared badger as an act of comfort. In the end, however, the badger would not calm itself. Only gibbering in broken gnomish, the badger defended himself with spells as best he could, but the heroes subdued him into unconsciousness. The instant the badger was put down for a nap was the moment all spooky noise and apparitions ceased.

After a search of the room, Harlan easily lead the party to safety back in Odwards storeroom, the illusionary spells vexing the tunnels having been dispelled.


Giant Centipede (2) – Trivial: 150 / 5 = 30 XP
Giant Rat (2), Swarm of Rats – Easy: 200 / 5 = 40 XP
Aratrix (Giant Badger) – Easy: 200 / 5 = 40 + 25 XP for defeat without kill = 65 XP
Decent RP from players: 75 XP 

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Fight at the Farmhouse
Why is that hobbit peaking in the windows?

After some harsh convincing by Zavos, the townsfolk remaining in Hullbeck agreed to travel together to Haverford. Grimson did not want to abandon his homestead as so many other towns have done, but the danger of the Terror was too much at this point. Redford and Mariss were also swayed to travel to Haverford instead of her fathers farm some 100 miles away.

As the noon sun became an amber gem in the dusk sky, the caravan of heroes and townfolk happened upon an abandoned farmhouse, likely a profitable pitstop only weeks ago. As they approached, Harlan spotted a figure skulking about on the front porch.
Milburn had become separated from his traveling companion some days ago, and this abandoned farmhouse seemed like a place they would rest at during a long journey. As he peered through the front windows, a loud crash came from an upstairs room! Startled, he pressed his back against the front porch to see the heroes advancing.

The party fanned out across the front yard of the farm house, some with stealth and others… not so much. As the first heroes entered the house, arrows took flight at them. The goblins upstairs had already spotted the heroes advance and began preparing for them.
T'sifnori and Gaston laid a melee assault upon the goblins who ventured to the first floor, then proceeded to split ways with Gaston taking the stairs and Nori climbing the exterior porch. The ranged combatants picked off goblins from a tactical distance, clearing paths for the melee combatants as well as Zavos. His pursuit took him to searching a 2nd-floor closet, whereupon he discovered a feathered spearhead. When he placed the spearhead into the pages of his tome, a battle-ready barbarian manifested!
Ronan didn't know why he suddenly appeared in this house, but his instinct told him what he was there for: battle! As he helped Gaston batter down a barricaded bedroom door, T'sifnori climbed through the smashed window and put an end to the goblins within.


Goblin (4), Hobgoblin (1) : Deadly - 600 / 6 = 100 XP each
RP from everyone; good use of character traits : +75 xp each


With the goblin threat finished, the Hullbeckians (eh?) were signaled to approach, and all agreed that this farmhouse would be sufficient for a nights rest before continuing to Haverford. Some investigation about the property indicated is was a livestock farm abandoned about 2 weeks ago, and the goblins were not the first to ransack the place. But then, what were they looking for?

  • Grimson and Bob are already outfitted for combat and do not want any goblin-quality weapons
  • The only other person feeling confident enough to pick up a sword is Redford, but he would not be a combatant and would stay with the wagon as a last defense.
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The last bandits of Hullbeck
An unexpected turn of events

The sleepy hamlet of Hullbeck was disturbed once again by bandits. It was the 3rd day of crop rot from stagnant river water, not a single trade wagon had come through the crossroads in weeks, and what remained of the food stores were critically low.

Grimson stepped out to the gang leader and met him with both distain and rationale.
"We've got nothing left at this point. You and all your other 'friends' have picked us clean here, so why don't you just continue on to your next conquest of women and children."

"You're going to give us anything and everything you got left, and then some more if I want it. The Terrors' coming for us all, old man. You're just the fools who want to wait for it to knock politely. Well, thats not how the Checkered Wolves go out, I'll say that, ah hahahaHAHAH!" their leader cackled. Other thugs began smashing the remaining crates outside of Deans provision shop, taking any item that looked of value or use.

This day was different, though. Four new travelers had just come into Hullbeck. T'sifnori, the half-elf monk, stepped out from Tomlin & Gretas farmhouse and approached the leader, offering an exchange of words to quell tempers. Gaston, the human fighter, stood in the stable doorway watching events unfold. He knew Grimson was a tough old dog, but this might be the time when a Cormyr blade was needed. Zavos, the human warlock, curiously flipped through pages of an ancient tome, glancing quickly between the pages and the ensuing bruhaha. Harlan, the elven ranger, knew what was about to take place and calmly paced his movement to a strategic position.

It wasn't until the leader brushed off T'sifnori's words and took a menacing step towards Grimson. The melee was furious. Foot and fist breaking bones, beams of arcane flame leaving ash where a body once stood, sharp steel slicing limbs while shields protect allies, and arrows finding their marks with pinpoint accuracy. The bandits were wholly unprepared for the power of the four strangers, and that fact was obvious as the final two thugs begged for their lives.


Bandit (5), Thug (1) : Deadly – 562.5 / 4 =  141 XP


Grimson and the remaining folk expressed their thanks to our heroes. The (retconed) conclusion of events were as such

  • Grimson wants the dead burned. Rumors from other villages spoke of the dead returning to life, and while Grimson refuses to believe such nonsense, there is no reason to take chances nowadays. He's not exactly sure what to do with the two that remain.
  • Interrogating the last 2 bandits was simple, as they readily gave any information asked of them:

    • All the thugs were experiencing nightmares, but when questioned about what, they couldn't put all the pieces together. Sometimes it was a shadowy figure, sometimes it was a jumble of odd shapes, but the most fearsome was the voice.
    • The bandits themselves were under attack from other creatures in the Welkinwood, and were actually escaping the area also, and as such stealing supplies to travel with.
       
  • Grimson is a tough old dog and refuses to abandon the town, inspite of his own well-being. Bob is a faithful sidekick.
  • Redford and Mariss voiced their desire to finally leave the hamlet. This attack was the last Mariss could stand, and their reserves are enough to get them to her fathers farm. Redford is very torn on the matter and wants to do what is best for he and his wife, but also does not want to leave Grimson alone with no help.
  • Tomlin & Greta are leaving for Haverford, no matter what anyone else says now. Tomlin implores the heroes to travel with them both as a safeguard to Haverford.
  • Tomlin believes that fate has brought the heroes together to rid the Welkinwood of the Terror, and is very adamant that they help the people of Haverford and the surrounding towns.
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