Lamented Earth

Anwar's Last Stand

Jennai and Anwar were in town while the rebuilding began. Having inherited from Shem a scrap of paper with mysterious writing on it, Jennai decided to interpret it with the Lanscape of Runic Lore.

The words were revealed to be those to a powerful spell, so powerful it leaped off the page and into Jennai’s mind — but he could not control it. A large spider-like machina of lead and iron appeared before them.

Jennai ran to get help while Anwar faced the Unliving monstrosity alone. Repeated blows from his axe smashed many of its mouths and strange extremities, but he took many wounds from its needle-like legs.

Finally Jennai returned with several townspeople, and together they all smashed the creature to the ground. Anwar, unfortunately, had been injected with some kind of venom and subsequently perished.

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Shemsplosion Goat Brigade

As a result of the vampyre-hunt, Shem became a level 2 Druid! Unfortunately, his new stature brought the capricious eye of his god, Pan-Bachus, upon him — and he was not amused.

“You annoy me, mortal!” his voice called out. “I place the mark of doom upon you. Let your flesh be the offering that works my will upon this world.”

Shortly thereafter, while on a boar-hunt for some much-needed meat, Shem suddenly felt a tearing feeling throughout his body. Further back in the woods Tal could see Shem seem to explode as branches and thorns and streams of blood like spears jabbed out in every direction from where Shem used to be. The boars and Shem’s animals were torn apart. All around them, however, bloody creatures uncurled from fetal positions, wiping themselves off. They were bleating hairy men with the feet and heads of goats — almost four dozen of them.

Tal immediately ran, and could hear them chuckling and taunting him close behind. He screamed the alarm, and for the villagers to get to the tower, but there was not enough time. While villagers assembled in the tower and repulsed several attacks, other of the goat-men burned, raped, and looted, destroying almost half the town. Although the manor house was destroyed, the animals in the stables had been freed in time to escape into the woods.

The goat-men partied around a bonfire into the night, drinking wine and the vampyre blood that had been saved for experimentation. Two of them seemed to transform into veritable demons. Several sallies were made and many goat-men slain throughout the night.

In the morning, a raid on the sleeping goat-men enraged them, and they chased the raiders back to the tower. Arrows and the young lord’s sorcery defeated all of the horrid creatures known to still be left.

The only good news was that the town’s food supplies had already been moved to the tower. With the reduced population, the amount of food for the winter now looks good. But at what cost?

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Attacking the Darkness

A group of peasant workers arrived in Hadash one morning, led by a ghul monk who introduced himself as Manuel. Having broken his vow of silence, he would stay in town and help. First he directed everyone’s attention to the stream of monk ghuls walking in a slow procession past the town, with candles and ringing bells.

“The shadow is coming,” Manuel explained, “we must flee or be destroyed. I’m afraid the monastery cannot help Hadash anymore.”

In the weeks following chickens and lambs began disappearing at night. Rhat organized his fellow kobolds to hold a night watch, and they discovered a poorly dressed man running away from the tomb, lamb in hand. Resolving to set an ambush, or “lambush,” they dug shallow pits and waited where the man had been before. Sure enough, he appeared with a chicken, and they killed him with rocks and spears. As he fell, he licked at his own wounds, strangely.

Finished with offering praises to his god Pan-Bachus in the forest, Shem decided to help Rhat organaize a more massive lambush. The next night they brought down two more men, but Shem was attacked from behind by two strangely silent women, and only barely killed them while staying alive. During the fight the women made no sound and could not be heard to breathe.

Thinking they might be ghuls, Shem asked Manuel. Manuel explained that they were likely vampyres, the unfortunate result of a failed ghul-raising. Their minds gone, vampyres are barely better than beasts and should be destroyed.

Shem and Tal put together a few others and tracked the vampyres back to their lair in the forest, killing all that appeared. One vampyre chanted “hunt for the hunter” over and over again before being killed. He had better-than-peasant clothing and wore a ring with the symbol of a local lord.

Shem and company returned to town, avoiding a strange thorny bush and the wyverns in the fields, displaying the battle-trophies of severed vampyre-heads proudly.

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Defending the town

The town militia came out to investigate loud crashing sounds in the forest to the north. A huge (nine foot tall) misshapen man emerged from the forest after knocking a few trees aside. He dropped a half-eaten human torso to the ground and grinned stupidly at everyone.

Getting no response and seeing his cannibalism, the militia began attacking with sling stones. The man blew on his finger and seemed to expand until he was over twice the height of a man. Then he tore a tree out by the roots and vomited a huge cloud of inky blackness, concealing himself.

Charging out of the black cloud, the huge man nearly crushed Tal with his tree, failing only because of Tal’s unliving resilience. The militia then surrounded the horrid creature and killed him.

Shem claimed a scrap of paper with strange writing on it, as well as a black scale from some large reptile. Everyone else divided up the many animal pelts and skins it wore and carried.

One of the old women in town recognized the creature as having been formerly a normal townsman who’d left to go work at the monastery.

A brief investigation through the trail of smashed-aside trees led to an area in the forest where many of the plants were brown and dying or dead. Several sets of large claw marks on trees, which seemed to have withered the tree where it clawed, convinced the explorers to turn back.

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Return to Hadesh

The monks bring out entire baskets full of food, filling the cart.
Shem goes to the abbot and says, “We thank you for your generosity. We shall not forget it… if you are in need of men at arms send for us. There are too few generous people in this world.”
The abbot shakes his head, gestures at the other monks, and the monastery, then points east mysteriously.
Shem feeling very awkward says, “Thank you again… I wish there was some way to repay you.”
The abbot shakes his head again, and then bows his head."
Shem smiles and bows as well, and replies, “Hadash is in sore need of this… they will be very grateful.”
Today the travelers have a rowdy camel. They carefully skirt the obvious camp of whoever is also in the hills, then keep going around the south. The next day, as the hills are just mostly bare dirt with some rocks, the group comes across a stone structure about four feet in height -
crude round stones mortared together into a cylinder with a round opening in the side about 3’ across -
on the top of a hill.

With no signs of life and no tracks, it looks fairly barren. Shem climbs up quietly, presses his ear to the hard reddish-orange clay, and hears nothing.

They say that the Farwood’s previous occupants left these behind, scattered about the hills.

The group carefully skirts the structure and its opening on the other side of the hill, making camp again.

The next day they travel into the moors. The going isn’t nearly as bad as the hills but they still have the pull the cart out of a rut it gets stuck in three times, and the camel only gets hostile twice; then calms down and resumes travel.

Suddenly they hear a high-pitched sing song voice to the right, saying, “Go away — now here to stay?”

Tal was of course ready for this, and replies, “Secretive friend! We but travel through the moors again. Are you hungry for a treat, we’d love to give you something to eat!” (in faerie)

The voice replies, “Treats is what I hear you say? Do you have tasty babies today?”

“Alas, alas no babies to eat,” Tal says, “instead would you like salted hog meat?”

“Meat does not scream, it does not cry. How about your new friend we try?”

“Oh friends, friends that will not do, I’m attached to this brother as if by glue! If screaming and crying is what you delight, have this fine camel for dining tonight?”

“The beasts, you see, are such a bore. We’ll try the meat you said before.”

A second voice says, “These are not friends, bore us to death. Waste on these humans no more breath.”

Tal gets a leg of salted pork from the cart offers it to the thin air in front of him.
“Please accept this leg of salted hog, before we set forth again through the bog.”

Bites suddenly start being taken out of the pork.

A voice says, “Salty food, you silly swine. Your meat fits your brains fine!”

“Only one does talk, while the others stare. Do all the humans just drool at the air?”

Tal, think fast, says, “At times I think a lot of them do, but they are just shy around fae such as you.”

“Shy do you say? Perhaps for some. Starting to think they are just dumb!”

“Well if you think I’m a bore, talk to the rest of this lot and your in for a snore.”
Everyone hears giggles from all around at this comment.

“When true words strike, and do insult, our hearts sing as we exult,” the voice says finally, “If in your words you do have heart, a contest now we sure can start.”

“A contest, a game you say, tell me now how does one play?”

“We wager our children; a simple game. Then we trade insults, and you do the same.”

“Alas I have no children with which to wager, and these few here I will not endanger. Have you gold to bet? If you do then we’d be set!”

“No food, no sport; but gleaming gold? If you display your wager then we are sold.”

Tal produces his six gold pieces. With a peal of laughter it disappears from his hand.
“Stupid dead, in our words you trust? Learn to think we hope you must.” The high pitched giggling continues for some time.

“Thievery?” Tal replies, “This is how you play? Understandable because I would have won the day.”

“Well spoken, ghul, for one played the fool. Now go, be on your way, we’ve had fun for today.”
Peals of mocking laughter follow the group for an hour as they continue back to Hadesh.

And they return to Hadesh!
Lord Brandon’s widow gifts Shem and Tal each with a rare vintage bottle of wine. Everyone cheers at the food, and marvels at the camel.

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The helpful monks

Shem and Tal stare at the formidable door trying to figure out what to do. “Do they lock it?”, Tal asks. “It was open last time I was here but… they could lock it at night. I mean I would!” says Shem. Tal says “Alright lets see if anybody is home.”

Tal pounds on the door with a meaty fist.

The pounding echoes. A bit later a soft sound of slapping feet approaches the door, then the massive doors open outward with a groan and creak. A brown-robed ghul looks back at you all in surprise, the pulls its hood down over its face and gestures for you to come inside.

The three beleaguered warriors follow the monk through the imposing doorway with corpse cart in tow.

The heavy doors close behind you with a boom, and your eyes are hard-pressed to adjust to the dim candlelit interior. Everywhere candles burn, putting out their meager light. You’re in a hall of some sort, and the monk gestures to you to wait.

Only a few minutes later, a monk with a bucket appears and throws several handfuls of lime on Lord Brandon’s body, then leaves. A few minutes later four monks appear and carry Lord Brandon’s body off the cart and into a side door. A few minutes after that, the head Abbot appears with three other monks. You recognize his gold chain of office.

He bows low to you and then gestures for you to follow the others. You’re each taken to a (very small but far more comfortable than the forest) room and gestured to leave your things. A basin is filled with water and a fresh cloth provided, and soon everyone has wiped the dirt of the road from them and feels very refreshed.

Twenty minutes later everyone is taken to another hall with tables and chairs. The monks begin placing much food in front of you. There’s bread pudding and cabbage stew and a haunch of roast pork, with candied and spiced squash for desert. Everyone’s bellies (even Shem’s) full nearly to bursting, you relax with mugs of hot cider.

The monks, it seems, didn’t want to interrupt Brandon’s brother tonight. You’re led back to your rooms and sleep rather soundly.

In the morning you meet the surprised and slightly bewildered brother. It’s time to lead him back to Hadash.

As everyone’s getting ready to go, a monk walks up with a strange tall humped beast being led by reigns. You’ve heard of this beast — a camel — but have never actually seen one before now. The monk puts the reigns into Tal’s hand. The camel snorts and spits on him. It has a torn saddle on it, with empty saddlebags and an empty sword scabbard hanging from it. It looks like someone was using it as a mount.

Brandon’s brother frowns when he sees this. “Abbot, why are you giving us a camel?” The monk scrawls with a stylus on a piece of parchment, then hands it to him. “He says…it wandered into the hills yesterday, from who-knows-where. They say it’s a sign.” The brother looks up, perplexed and slightly annoyed. “They never explain themselves more than once, so don’t even try. I suggest we just take the camel.”

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Through the hill and mountain

Shem and company investigate the former campsite, finding three discarded but still usable waterskins and a dagger imbedded in a tree. In the bushes there’s numerous piles of human-sized excrement, as well; along with a few small bones scattered around.

Tal and Yousef pull the cart into the trees while Shem climbs quietly up the nearest hill. From there he can see a few wisps of smoke coming up from over the next hill, and make out some voices. It’s impossible to tell what they’re saying or in what language, but the voices are occasionally punctuated by raucous laughter.

The sun is starting to get near horizon to the west, so the group decides to make camp hidden in the trees, with no fire. Shem eats most of his food and the fruit of the Flame’s Bounty. Spreading out bedrolls, Shem and Yousef sink into a fitful and cold sleep. After a while the moon rises, bringing the glittering Moonweb with it. At first the voices over the hill get louder, but soon enough they fall silent.

Some time later, Tal suddenly shakes Shem and Yousef awake, whispering, “Look up above!” Silhouetted against the stars, something large with strange many-colored glittering wings flies high overhead. Shem and Yousef’s breaths plume in the cold night air as everyone stares in awe, listening to the soft beating of its wings.

In the morning bedrolls are rolled up and equipment gathered. Yousef and Shem eat poorly-ground bread and a cold turnabega, while Tal eats stale bread and a rotten turnabega.

No one’s heard any voices or noises from over the hill.

Deciding to make an early start and skirt the encampment to the east, the group sets off, staying in the cover of trees whenever possible. When a good vantage point presents itself, Shem moves quietly ahead to that point to keep a lookout, but otherwise everyone stays together and keeps an eye out for any trouble.

Moving slowly over rough ground, the cart creaks constantly. Lord Brandon’s body has become noticeably ripe. The rising sun has burned away the morning mist.

Several hours later the tree cover thins and turns into bushes, and the ground becomes steeper and more rocky. At one point Shem and Tal spot a rabbit and sling stones at it. Tal scores a hit and rabbit is now on the menu. Otherwise the going is becoming very difficult. Sweat pours from everyone’s body but Tal’s as the cart must be practically dragged up the steep slope, in the hot sun.

Finally in the afternoon you can see the monastery perched on top of a mountain, commanding the view for miles around. It’s a large and tall rectangular building made of stone, with a walled cloister attached to one side. Terraced gardens sprawl outward and down the slopes from it in every direction.

A half hour of fruitless searching for a way up eventually discovers a narrow, twisted path. With two people pushing the cart and one pulling, the group is able to finally get Lord Brandon’s ripening body to the front door of the monastery. The sun is starting to sink low in the sky, and you can hear a crow cawing. The large front doors to the monastery are closed.

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Through the moors
rhymers

Shem, Tal, and Yousef depart Hadash, pulling Lord Brandon’s body on the cart behind. They pass several people going back to work in the fields, and wave. Two wave back but one makes the Iron Sign against faeries nervously.

A few hours later the fields have given way to the rough and shrub-dotted moorland. Shem and company and been walking through it for an hour or so when they hear a strange, high-pitched voice behind them.

“Friends find, look behind!” the voice says in Faerie, then giggles rapidly.

Shem and Yousef turn around rapidly to face this unknown sound but Tal quickly murmurs “I can communicate with them [Native]. Keep a lookout while I talk,” Tal turns to the voice smiling and says, “How are you today my friend!” [Faerie]

No one can see anything but a few bees buzzing amidst the flowers. The high-pitched voice seems to come from the air itself.

“It is our tongue the dead have brung!” the voice giggles madly.

“Why here today? What do you say?” another voice cackles to everyone’s left.

Keeping that Ghulish smile as best he can Tal says, “Why friends we are taking our deceased friend here to the burial site of his ancestors. Sadly we cannot scale the mountains with such a burden so we must travel through moor, hill, and mountain path.” (Faerie)

Yousef sweats visibly, his spear shaking.

Tal says to Yousaf, “You can relax. They are friendly”. (Native)

A third voice buzzes from up ahead, causing Shem and Yousaf to spin around in concern.

“These boring, staid, laborious three don’t satisfy my curiosity,” it says.

“Why three says he? Four humans there be!”

“Indeed, no horse, instead cart pulled by the dead!”

“One dead walks, other no talks!”

A fresh chorus of giggling erupts around everyone.

Tal decides this is not going that well and tries a different tact.

“Right you are I see, four humans there be. But that one there friends, not like me. His journey is done, For us, no fun. We race, we race to his final resting place. But come now why… do you friends hide? I would be happy to see you like you see me.”

Yousef, having leaped into the bushes, seems inclined to stay there for the now. “Are they gone yet?” he whispers as Shem tugs at him.

A strange two-foot tall creature appears in the air before you, with black hair, dark eyes, a long beaky nose and sharp, needlelike teeth. Its beating mothlike wings are patterned in brown, black and red, and its feet are clawed like a crow’s.

“What fun, what fun! We are not done! Through hills you say? Many humans today! No humor there, too many to scare. One less a score, and all a bore.”

(Native) “I told them to show themselves. Get a hold of yourself man. Shem, get Yousef out of the bushes.”

(Faerie) “Excellent new friend!, what was thy name again? Ah silly, silly me. We have not named us three.” Pointing Tal says, “Yousaf, Shem, Tal. What are the names of you all?”

“Oh and would you care to come, with us through moors till done? We would love for you to regale, us with story and tale.”

The creature frowns, and its eyes seem to swirl darkly. “The name of me?” it buzzes. “No fae tells thee. There is power in a name; you should know the same!” Abruptly it vanishes.

Some time later, there has been no noise, talking, or appearances. Yousef reluctantly crawls out from under a bush and retrieves his spear. Soon you’re walking to the northeast again, heading for the hills.

[Getting past the Rhymers: 30 xp, all to Shem. Tal has earned a bonus for possible leveling.]

Another hour and you’re through the moors, the terrain growing hillier and hillier as you move. As you travel, you’re noticing a lot of debris here — discarded waterskins, broken belt buckles, and scorched campfire circles.

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The call to adventure
intro

Hadash had always been a sleepy little village. Not much to do here growing up but scramble up the mountain at the edge of town and play around the statue of a noble warrior that overlooks the town. Some people say it’s the king, others say it was Lord Brandon’s grandfather; all agree that it’s the guardian spirit of the town, and place small offerings in front of it each year during Winterfest.

You know that Farwood doesn’t have as many people as other parts of the world, but it was still frustrating to have to go half a day to the next village – Hatton – just to see a traveling bard or village fair. They say some places in the world have both of those, every day!

You’ve always been a bit of a woolgatherer, spending your nights staring up at the glittering silvery Moonweb stretching from the night horizon all the way up to the moon, and dreaming of what othe lands outside Hadash must look like. Do they have a Moonweb, too; or different stars? Your grandmother says the moon used to be smaller (the size of a coin in the sky), and that the Moonweb didn’t even exist! She also says her mother told her that Lord Brandon’s grandfather conquered Farwood from the old king; but no one can remember those details or be bothered to care.

Late last year people started dying in Hatton, and no one’s been back there since — too much risk of spreading the plague. No one’s come from there, so people speculate it wiped them all out. It was around that time that everyone noticed the young and old have been dying in greater numbers. The winter was much colder than normal, and the summer hotter — worst of all, the harvest was much smaller than usual. Even the stream that runs through town seems weaker, causing the miller to have to hand-grind much of the wheat. What bread there is has been terrible because of that.

Two months ago Lord Brandon took ill. Personally, few people were upset — despite living right in the middle of Hadash in the manor house, he’s always been distant and a bit cold — but what it meant for the village was sobering. Everyone expected him to go to the local monestary for help, but he refused — sparking many rumors. Was he cursed for some evil deed and afraid to reveal it to the monks? Had he squandered his holdings and been driven so deep into debt he couldn’t afford the monk’s donation? Was there bad blood between him and his younger brother (sent to live at the monestary years ago), such that he couldn’t even face him?

Whatever the reason, Lord Brandon has been wasting away for weeks, and has just passed into the shadows. All the people of Hadash have gathered, and the elders that remain have decreed that a few brave souls need to take his body to the monestary for a proper burial, and his younger brother notified to return to Hadashi Manor as the Young Lord.

You had to wait a few days, as there was still winter wheat to sow; not that anyone’s too optimistic about the harvest. This next winter looks to be very bad. In the meantime, fall is upon Farwood and Hadash. The leaves are turning, and every day you can see the migrating wyverns flying overhead. A small flock of them chose to land outside of town and have been resting in the area. The seven-foot tall bipedal, winged lizards haven’t been known to attack adults unprovoked, but they’ve been eating chickens and even a few sheep that stray. At least they keep the pesky gerbit population down.

Finally the funeral ceremony in front of the Protector statue is over. Lord Brandon’s body, sword in hand, has been annointed with a holly wreath and rose petals, and wrapped in his finest cloak with a silver clasp. The burning herbs sting your nostrils as the townspeople relunctantly give you one day’s worth of bread and turnabegas, and waterskins freshly filled from the stream. Several of the older folk make the Iron Sign against the fae said to inhabit the moors outside of town.

Now you’re on your own.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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