The Spring of Ardoc

On a noble quest...
Elven noble goes beyond the boundries

Forced to leave my home, I’m journeying forth to discovered the songs of the other races. Ineed to bring something trully spectacular to sing into the Ice Caverns to be recorded for all history.

But first i had to travel far from the glaciel estate of my youth, into the heathen lands. Everything is unnaturally warm there and their languages are not as melodious as my native tongue.

By the time i’ve found something worthy, perhaps my father will have forgiven me and allow me to return once more.

I’ve had to hire a local to guide me around since my studies never included geography of the northern lands. Or i slept through them, i’m not sure.

Either way, he’s a splendid fellow. Though he could use a bath, he comes remarkable cheap and knowledable on the are i find myself now.

Traveling to a town ahead, my companion was distracted by something. the tang of copper in the air. the smell of battle and blood. Not far did we travel, before we found the slain harpy in the river, close to our original path.

Keen to be on our way, i could not dissuade my guide from investigating this mysterious death in his forest. We followed the river a pace, till we came upon a clearing and 2 stranges.

Wary, we all had our weapons drawn eyeing about for any ambushes or tramps. Bandying a few words, i took a chance on sheathing my swords. The tale they told of this tower before us seemed intriguing. Perhaps i could use it as a basis for a song. And they story of metal men and beasts couldn’t be passed up.

Renfield and i joned them in further explorations. The interior was rather drafty, a moan could be heard furter upstiars. Sensing no immediate traps, and somewhat emboldened by the increase in numbers, we behan exploring the first floor. One room would only prove to contain rotting cots and an empty fireplace. we then split to check the other 2 doors. I Picked in to the door i chose and saw a glint of metal and i could heard the sound of metal sliding across metal. Unprepared for this fresh horror, i make a strategic advance to the rear, back into the false saftey of the hallway. The unholy thing sprang past me and we all got a good, solid look at the mechanical beast, akin to a cat made from metal plates and leather bandings. Keen to be away from “it” i dodged back through the open door, closing it behind me. Though capably of wielding a sword, it’s not my forte and there were plenty of people in the hall who could take care of it. Quickly searching the room, i soon grew remorseful and preppared to leap back into the fight, only to discover it was over. The other room held no mechanicl monster, but it did have a trap that our cleric foolish triggered in his has to loot chest. After a moments respite, we continue through the tower. The next floor was some macabe assembly line, who;s puprpse, we could not rationalize.

little cogs and bits and bobs, copper wire, silver plates. and bones. Do to the stat of the room, it was decided thta thismust have been the machine factory that build the clockwork killers we had dealt with so far.
The third floor, which apparently was the original point of entry for our new comrades, held another mechanical corpse. who yielded a golden heart when dismantled.
We entered a study with a fireplace and a large fire opal in it. There was also a closed door, where the moaning originated.
OUr wizard rushed the door, quick to be rid of the infernal moaning, only to discovered something caught on the threshold between life and death. As the thing that once owned the tower came out at us, i began a rousing song to inspire courge and dispell fear in my new friends.

As one, we brought it down. The druid gained the staff, since it had power, but wasn’[t radiating evil. after some debate, it was decided since there was no one to lay claim to it, the tower would be ours. A base of operations. a home between adventures. Nestled out of the way from general traffic. We each claimed rooms and set about examining our various finds and exchanging them with each other for mone or items.

Some one inspected our new pond, and was nearly eaten for their efforsts by our new lake monsters. Which i was a gather was a back of rabid, fire breathing Dire Toads.

After securing our stuff, traveled on to town. to sell our gain. And where i hope to dice for some coins in the taverns and learn some new songs for my collection…

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Through the woods

Finding the tributary marked on the map, the small party heads deeper into the woods, hearing a startled squawk followed by a beautiful melody, the group is immediately prepared for the worst. Not to disapoint, a harpy soon descends from the canopy swooping down to attack. After a brief fight quickly ended by the halfling dispatching the harpy, never mind the arrow shot that knocked it senseless to the ground, a brief search locates the foul creatures nest and the paltry treasure within, a well crafted dagger with black leather hilt. Looking deeply into the blade reveals strangely floating runes stating simply “the hand”. Needing better armament, the halfling gladly accepts the blade to use in defense of his fellow adventurers as they head further “up a creek” looking for the tower. After another uneventful hour of trudging, they discover the 40+ foot tower amidst the old growth of the forest. The stream they traveled passes through a slow turning water wheel on one side of the tower. High above the ground is a window the group decides is the best point of entry.

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A side campaign, The tower once lost

With a smaller group, we decided to start a secondary adventure rather than kill off anyone else. With a dwarven wizard of questionable clan, elven ranger of questionable work ethic and halfing rogue just questionable, the small group set out to determine the fate of one of the elves missing friends near the town of Hatchett. Finding the apparently abandoned logging home of his friend, the elf and his two companions soon found the sad ending at the hands of some hunting spiders. Making quick work of the eight leg critters including the ones in the woods, the desicated remains of the woodsman and his family are found and quietly tended to. While finishing this gruesome work, a tattered map showing the location of the lost tower or Ord, a famous wizard known for his work with magical automatons, was found in the woodsman’s pouch. Deciding it was worth a look, the three set off along the Orry creek to find the rumored fortune to be found.

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What do you feed a God?

In short, whatever they want.

After a failed attempt to negotiate as the terms of the kobold matriarch was simply “offerings of food to feed the living incarnation of our god” were not acceptable, a general melee broke out. With a multitude of kobolds lying dead with even more still pressing in only time, and the next group gathering, will determine the outcome!

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A new road, some lost lamb?

The following morning, the party spokesperson negotiated many days rations and a donkey to carry it as the party had been tasked with heading to the east coast to see what remnants of civilization may have survived the long winter and report back after what was expected to be several weeks out and back. As a favor, Thomas asked that they look into a complaint of missing mutton ocuring in one of farthest farming crofts settled to the east. After a couple of uneventful days travel through the ever more sparsely populated farms of eastern Ardoc, they arrived at Rumblegrass to find the town in a state of panic. Determined to help, our group set forth to through the grazelands to discover the trapped entrance to an earthen cave beneath an ancient willow. Slowly descending, the group stumbled upon several lightly armed kobolds. Quickly dispatching them, they ventured single file further into the earth through the cramped tunnel. After several members were doused with oil and setting of a frightful wail throughout the underground complex. The group finally entered a more open space to find a large contingent of kobolds arranged against them.

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Reporting as orderd

Having definitively ended the strange ocurences around the catacombs, those that survived returned to Crossroads. One of the rangers had assumed a spokesman role by this point and reported to Thomas of Ardoc on the successful completion of the assigned mission. Given an old map and instruction to return in the morrow, the Ranger headed back to the Dusty Square Inn to discuss opportunities with the group. The brave sorcerer determined it best to head on to Sandstun as a better choice than explaining to the half-orc paladin why his fire trick was not meant to cause the party harm. Other members chose to wander the tents at the north of town shopping while still others chose to recuperate with a tall mug of the local ale while resting at the inn.

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Who wants to go down first?

After a brief rest and tending to wounds, the group decided to finish what they started. Descending a wide stair into an ever chillier air, a cold airy voice greeted them. “At last, somebody has made it this far. A worthy foe worth dispatching”. Out of the deeper gloom lurched several more zombies while an armored figure of decayed flesh and bone stepped forth with great sword drawn and a cold blue light burning in his eyes. Creepy Cleric proved his worth forcing all the zombies to a far corner where they pile into the unforgiving stone attempting to flee. The ranger, fighters and paladin proceeded to surround the dread knight in attempt to destroy him. Deeply wounded but all alive, they were victorious in defeating the deadly apparition. To ensure his spirit was gone, the cleric of Wee-Jas prayed over the remains to guide the spirit on. Much to his disappointment, the knights eyes began to again glow with that cold light. Before things could get worse, the dwarven fighter quickly stepped in and crushed the skull dimming the lights for good.

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Dazed Dwarves can be fun

Continuing further into the darkness our dazed dwarf encountered two very “friendly” brothers who were very interested to here his hurried tale about helping his friends. Upon completing his tale, his new “friends” immediately set upon him bringing his story to a sad conclusion. Meanwhile, the main party had dispatched the remaining burning undead, put out the paladin and firmly scolded the gnome for his sorcerers erroneous thinking. With the dust settling, they were decidedly surprised when the doors opened on the far end of the burial room to reveal the two frightening looking brothers and their newest ally. With some lucky blows and concerted effort by the whole group, the three wights were dispatched. With heavy heart, the creepy cleric of Wee-Jas gave final rights to the departed dwarf while the rest of the party took stock of the damage.

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Deeper we go

After a brief respite, the group decided to delve deeper into the unsettling dark from whence the rats came. Passing the final resting place of many past citizens of crossroads, our brave group came upon a pile of detritus and debris containing some white cloaks and a chewed on symbol of Pelor. Deciding to continue anyways, the group chose between to set of heavy, closed doors. The half orc paladin decided the best entry was to smash in the doors. The zombies on the other side were not so pleased. Bottle necked in the door most of the party could only watch as the main brawn attempted to beat down the pesky critters. The party sorcerer, seeing this as an opportunity to prove his worth, chose now as the perfect time to use grease and try and set the monsters on fire. While succeeding admirably in his work, he sadly lit the paladin as well. Not being able to stand back any longer, the dwarven cleric of Moradin decided the other doors must lead to a back way to get behind the now burning fight just out of his reach. Charging through the other space, he found the doors not so willing to open as his Paladin friend had. The resulting collision with an unmoving door left him dazed but determined to press on.

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Summary 2

Upon arrival an hour or so out of Crossroads, a brief inspection found one tomb to show signs of recent activity. Opening the tomb revealed the prone form of a severely injured form of a cleric of Pelor puddle in torn white robes babbling incoherently about failing. Drifting into unconsciousness, the cleric is set on a high point outside the tomb as are the remains of two other fallen white robed followers who have passed on. The main floor proves to be empty of any other living persons. Approaching the stairs, leading into darkness, the noise of the group triggers a rat swarm to pour up the stairs attacking all in site. The brave but unskilled druid attempts to calm the seething mass. Unfortunately his efforts only incite them to greater frenzy. After a brief struggle, near two dozen large rats lay dead with only some minor scratches suffered by all but the druid who requires a little more healing.
more to follow

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