The Wilderlands

Gimme! Mine!

Dividing up treasure can be a tricky business, the party decides, especially when they are fighting for scraps of silver in a strange and hostile land. Still, the work got done, and the group moved out of the cave into the outpost town of Haghill. Haghill is a small hamlet surrounded by a palisade, with a large stone castle to the north. Sir Huberic the Stout, a vassal of the Invincible Overlord, oversees the town and makes sure that the Rorystone Road is safe for caravans.

A night in the inn eases the party’s wounds, but none of the locals seem willing to engage in conversation about where the wizard’s tower might be. Shantra the Amazon leaves for the City State on her own at first light.

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Stealth is not an option
Once the leader of this community of slavers engaged in battle, it was only a matter of time before it became an all-out melee. Four more slavers charged into the fight, only to find that their leader dying from twin wounds inflicted by Bane’s blades. The party cleaves their way through the last remaining guards, with Errol and the Amazon Shantra receiving serious wounds in the process. It will take them at least a half an hour to regain consciousness, and several hours before they are able to move under their own power.

Meanwhile, the loot:

The thugs carried little on their persons, just worn leather armor and cheap shortswords that would barely fetch a few coppers in a market. The leader, however, seems to have been holding all of the slavers’ wealth. He wears a fairly new chain shirt and carries a well-made non-magical longsword. There was a crate in his room with a substantial pile of coins in it. If one takes the time to count, one will discover 2400 silver pieces, 23 gold pieces and a set of amber beads of unknown worth.

Party Experience

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Breakout

Distant wizards might be good at picking locks, but they are of little assistance in defeating guards. As the group readies their gear, the gruff and burly jailer comes to check out the noise. His heavy club does a number on Lux, twice nearly knocking him senseless, but the curative magic of Ace kept him standing. A barrage of attacks from Bane, Lux, and Errol brought the large warrior down.

The cells in the next room contained a feisty and rude amazon named Shantra. She seems quite confident in her abilities and dismissive of those of her rescuers. She mentioned that she was captured from an alley in the City-State of the Invincible Overlord, where she makes her home. Ace gives her a dagger, which she considers to be a child’s toy, but she is fearless with it when she has to use it in combat.

She gets her chance at the top of the stairs, where a guard unleashes three angry attack dogs on the party. Bane takes a wicked bite, but the group quickly dispatches the dogs, thanks in part to a devastating blow from Ace’s scimitar, which slices one of the dogs in two. The dog handler runs to a door and calls for help, but his cries remain unanswered as Bane’s crossbow bolt drills him to the far wall.

The group decides to bluff their way out of the complex, but Ace trips a poison dart trap which causes him to feel weak. A second after the trap goes off, the southern door bursts open, and a warrior wearing chainmail and bearing a well-crafted longsword attacks, screaming a battle challenge.

Party Experience

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The opening scene

It has been a bad day. Or several days, as you have no idea how long you were unconscious. The slavers have been less than gentle with you, and while the worst of your wounds are healed, you still fell like a castle fell on you. You are on a tiny pit, only five feet square. Eight feet above the floor is an iron grate whose latch you cannot see. This situation appears hopeless, and when the jailer comes in to pour water on your miserable head, it feels all the worse.

“This should wash the stench off of you,” he sneers, as if your sorry state were somehow your fault. “Don’t whine for food and drink. The cultists who have purchased you will be here tonight, and I don’t think their plans for you involve you having a full stomach.” He laughs and leaves the room, taking his torch with him and leaving you in the darkness.

You sit there for a while, wondering how you are going to get out of this situation. From the moans in the other cells, you can tell that the other slaves that you saw in the wagon are with you, too. If only you could get out of these pits, you might be able to orchestrate an escape.

Then, as if in answer to your prayers, you hear a click from the grate above you and it moves when you test it. Uncertain, you climb out of the cell into the darkness of the room above, only to find that the other prisoners have been likewise released. Suddenly, you hear a voice, speaking softly, which seems to come from elsewhere, as it does not echo in the vaulted prison.

“Your gear is in the center of the room,” it says. “This is your chance to escape. If you do not take it, you will be dead at midnight tonight when your new owners make sacrifices of you. You must fight your way out of the slavers’ den and win your freedom. I am the wizard Llangwellan, and your enemies are my enemies. My help does not come without a price, of course. I am currently blocked from entering one of my towers near to where you are now. My chief rival has turned my wards against me. Once you are free of the slavers, you must seek the Tower of Circumstance, a league to your north. On the highest level within, take the Green Shard and deliver it to me in the City State. I shall make sure your efforts are rewarded richly, and that you are safe from retribution from the slavers.”

Your gear is piled in the center of the room, clean and ready.

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Prelude

The slavers came to Adderwood without warning. They gave no explanation, and they offered no quarter or pity. They came looking for young men, and those who did not fit that description, they killed. Women, children, and old men all died screaming. Many fought back, but the slavers had the element of surprise, and they hit the village when most of the men were off on the hunt. Some elves from the Dearthwood were trading in town, but the slavers did not discriminate. To them, an elf was as good as a human. They left Adderwood in flames, leaving the few survivors alone in their grief.

For four days, their captives faded in and out of consciousness in the back of a crude wagon. The slavers made sure that their prisoners were kept hungry, thirsty, and wounded to prevent them from offering any resistance. Any effort to talk with their captors was met with a harsh beating.

Wherever they were bound, it was not likely to be pleasant.

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Adventure Log

Adventure Log

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