Guardians of the Past

17th of Kythorn 1366 Year of the Staff

The heroes arrive back at Aithe Keep. They meet with Brwynella Cauldyth who informs them that her father and sister rode north before dawn with a body of troops. She says that Zyla and Jessandra have been reunited and left the fortress earlier to purchase some new clothes in town.

Corthen informs the young Lady Cauldyth that he and his friends must depart for the island of Gwynneth. He asks her if she can recommend a ship to transport them there. Brwynella thinks for a moment and says that she does not know what boats lie in the harbor but several of the fishermen may consider the trip for the right price. Corthen changes the subject and asks Brwynella if the party may leave their sea chests down in the dungeons of the keep. She smiles and assures him that they will be safe until they return to claim them. The group gives her their thanks and goodbyes when she sees the heroes off.

At the docks, Corthen and Rehs look at the vessels in the harbor. The largest ship is loading crates aboard and the crew is preparing the ship for departure. Seeking permission to meet with the Captain, Corthen, Rehs, and Samira walk up the plank and onto the main deck. A richly dressed Calishite greets them. Corthen gives the Captain their names and informs him that he and his friends are seeking passage to Gwynneth.

Captain Muham gives them his name and asks how many passengers and Rehs tells him there are seven in their party. The Captain smiles with a gold tooth prominent in his mouth. Muham asks what port that they wish to dock at. Corthen tells him they are going to Dultann. Taken aback, Captain Muham tells him that Dultann has no port as it is some small village several days inland. Corthen is insistent, so the Captain names his price for ferrying the group. Corthen disagrees and gives a much lower offer. Giving the elf a shocked look, Muham informs Corthen that he might as well sell his wife and children into slavery to cover the ship’s expenses with such an offer. Corthen makes another offer in which the ship captain replies, “You wound me, sir!” The two men haggle a bit longer before agreeing to a price closest to Captain Muham’s asking price.

The others board the merchant vessel and are shown to the quarters below deck. The ship, ‘Catahara’ sets sail leaving Aithe and the island of Alaron behind.

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16th of Kythorn 1366 Year of the Staff

The party rides all day in an effort to make it out of the forest before nightfall. The riders do manage to leave the Wild Wood before night fully comes. In the distance the heroes can make out fires burning in one of the villages near the edge of the forest. Leaving several horses for Lord Cauldyth’s party the heroes depart.

The heroes ride into the small farming village to find it sacked with dead lying around the road and near some of the burning barns and cottages. Coming through the smoke the party sees a group of humans. Realizing something is wrong, they observe the stiff gait of the humans and realize they are no more than reanimated dead. The party puts down the zombies and moves out of the village.

Several miles from the zombie encounter the party hears ragged screams and ride their tired horses forward to those needing aid. The Guardians of the Past crest a hill and see three figures running towards them being pursued by snapping wolves. The man, woman, and boy look exhausted as they try to outrun the worgs chasing them. Suddenly the boy is snatched by a worg by the neck and killed. The angry heroes attack the creatures and kill the lot of the worgs, saving the remaining farm folk.

Speaking to the man and woman and binding their wounds, Corthen apologizes for their loss. Staring blankly at the elf, he asks what he speaks of. Corthen tells him that he is sorry that he was unable to save his son from the beasts. Velis informs the group that they are mistaken. He says that Talen was the son of Randran Oakshalt. The woman, Charina, says that she was neighbors to Talen and saw his father killed by several worgs being frenzied by dead flying bats.

Samira asks where the attack took place. Velis points to the north and says that the village is Sparwood. Uldred and Erith give up their mounts and tell the two survivors to ride to Aithelar for safety. The group marches north towards Sparwood. The party reaches the village to find only the remains of twenty dead villagers scattered among the dead livestock, all killed by worgs. The group sets to interring the dead in the cemetery when a familiar figure steps out of the darkness near the burial plot. It is the Harper wizard, Mairae Ulzander o’ the Winters.

She informs the party that her companions are seeing Rhiannon Cauldyth, Zyla, and the Chauntean priests back to Aithe safely. She says that a messenger arrived in Aithelar yesterday morning from the High King asking for aid from the Lord of Aithe to move north with half his troops. Mairae said that she informed the Lord of Aithe and rode off immediately for Aithe Keep. Corthen tells Mairae that they defeated the priests of the Dark Grove in the Wild Wood, although one of the Cyricists did escape. Corthen suggests that the group should join Lord Cauldyth if they are needed. The harper shakes her head no and tells him that she and her friends recently learned that something important to the Dark Druidess is getting ready to happen near Dultann on Gwynneth. Corthen asks her if she wants the party to travel across the water to Dultann and the woman says that is what is needed. The party thanks her and say their goodbyes as they make their way to Aithelar.

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15th of Kythorn 1366 Year of the Staff

Early before breaking camp, Tellazar speaks to the group and shares the powers of the dark gauntlet and the Cyricist robes. Rehs and Tellazar each take a robe and Erith is awarded the left handed gauntlet which grants immunity against spells of lower power and the ability to paralyze anyone that is touched.

The party breaks camp and rides hard this day. Their goal is get back with the Chauntean priests and Zyla as quickly as possible. The group finally rests after dark knowing they are close to leaving the forest behind in the next day.

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14th of Kythorn 1366 Year of the Staff

The party badly wounded from the struggle with the trolls moves their camp several miles away from the burnt troll corpses and make camp again. Samira and Uldred recite every healing prayer at their disposal, but the group is still in bad shape. Tellazar crushes pearls and mixes it with wine to learn powers of the items that radiate magic.

Afterwards, the spellcasters use the spell Nap to regain used spells. Samira heals the party and the High Harvestmaster cures Lord Cauldyth. Only Corthen remains badly wounded and near death. Late at night, Uldred casts every healing prayer onto the wounded warrior closing the gashes left by the troll and making him healthy once more.

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13th of Kythorn 1366 Year of the Staff

The party battered by the fight against the black robed priests of Cyric receive healing from the two priests within the party. Zyla rides with Erith and does not speak much. The party rides all day until dusk before making camp.

Tellazar discusses taking some Identify spells for the morning so he can learn of the powers of the items plundered from the dark priests while Corthen examines the gems and valuables to establish their value.

During the second watch of the night of Tellazar, Uldred and Samira hear snapping branches and Uldred attempts to wake everyone before the party is swarmed. He recognizes the sounds of trolls. The dwarf wakes Ayremyr and Erith, but Corthen is still in reverie. Twelve trolls attack the camp and one of the hungry creatures leaps beside Corthen’s bedroll and claws and bites the prostrate elf.

The elven warrior lies unmoving as the creature descends again to tear his flesh from his bones when Zyla Blossom snatches up his flametongue longsword and stab the offender with the burning sword. Hacking and burning the trolls, the party manages to slay most of the foul giants. Samira finally is able to rush to Corthen’s aid and revive him. Lord Cauldyth, Ayremyr, Rehs, and Zyla dispatch the remaining trolls and put them afire to combat their regenerative powers.

A pale and weak Corthen looks to the angry and defiant Zyla standing with his sword still burning and asks for his blade. The girl looks at elven hero and states he may have his enchanted blade when the party rightfully returns her moonstones seized at the grove. The elf seeing no way out of this but giving the raven-haired female the twenty gems that they had claimed while she was deceased. He has Rehs bring her the stones which she accepts before extinguishing the flametongue sword and placing it back into its sheath and tossing it to him before walking away.

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12th of Kythorn 1366 Year of the Staff

Leaving the ruined wayhouse in the morning, the party follows a trail exiting the rocky clearing heading southeast. Several hours after leaving the wayhouse, Lord Cauldyth is wounded and his horse is killed by a deadfall tree trap. Corthen inspects the tree and finds it had been chopped through more than halfway through by an axe. He also discovers wires that the dead horse tripped setting off the killing trap. Lord Cauldyth allows Samira to tend some of his wounds before he doubles up with his daughter on her mount.

In the afternoon, Corthen wanders into a hang noose trap and strangles until he manages to cut the invisible wire choking him to death. The trail leads to an ominous open grove in the forest, the trees ringing the clearing grow almost in a palisade wall. Rehs is turned invisible by Erith and he slips off to scout. The party enters the grove and sees undead bats flying towards them and several black robed men standing behind an ominous black stone altar carved like a flaming skull Behind the evil Cyricists are three bronze and wood cages holding three immobile Chauntean priests.

A spell battle erupts and a red lashing spell destroys Ayremyr’s longsword, vaporizing it. Corthen charges into battle after learning no spells are having an affect on one of the priests. The others fight off a swarm of undead bats of large size. Corthen attacks the unholy man and he attacks the elf with a black-purple gauntlet. Corthen’s blade cleaves the priest’s leg at the thigh and he falls. Moments later, the priest reaches up and touches the off guard elf, paralyzing him with his touch!

During the chaos, one of the priests falls and the other drinks a potion and vanishes. Amidst the tumult, the wounded priest also vanishes. Lord Cauldyth and Rhiannon set to freeing the unconscious Chaunteans from captivity. With Samira’s aid, the pull the men free from the cages. Eventually waking up, the priest learn of the recent events. High Harvestmaster Haern inquires about the poor woman who was repeatedly befouled on the black stone altar of Cyric. He is informed that no woman was found. Rehs finally reappears. He tells the party that he was frozen by the touch of a priest who touched him after he snuck up and stabbed another priest in the flank during the opening of the battle.

Corthen uses his wand to search for hidden loot and is directed to the ground behind the cages. He and Rehs soon discover a hidden trapdoor beneath the sod. Lifting the door the party discovers a small warren of tunnels and when they approach, they hear a woman scream and then silence. They are told to leave, or the woman will die. The party tries to rush the cell but the priest kills the paralyzed woman before he is pierced by the blades of half of the party. Only after the Cyric priest is dead and the party looks over him and the woman does Samira realize the dead woman is Zyla Blossom, the missing young woman from the Mermaid Sword!

A search of other chambers reveals sleeping quarters and a dining area. A chest reveals some coins and a haul of moonstones. Samira uses the rod of resurrection to bring Zyla back to life after she has cleaned and dressed the naked woman. The party retreats back into the woods away from the dark grove of Cyric before Uldred and Samira recite prayers of healing for the worst of the wounded, including Rhiannon and Lord Haembar Cauldyth.

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10th of Kythorn 1366 Year of the Staff

In the morning the party discovers a large cave off of one of the trails. The large cave is empty but for a firepit filled with ashes and a few old boot prints left in the mud. Lord Cauldyth examines the prints and says that the prints are smaller than those seen previously and that they are about four days old.

In the afternoon the group comes to a intersection of trails. Checking the earth, the Lord of Aithe believes the southern trail has been recently traveled but someone has obscured the trail except for some boar prints that are fresh. The group travels the south trail until dusk.

The party comes to a barren, rocky hill rising up among the trees. The hilltop is covered with sparse clumps of grass, banks of moss, wildflowers; and a few saplings. sitting atop the rocky rise is an old, half-ruined cabin. Lord Cauldyth looks at the structure and declares that it is an old wayhouse. He says that during his youth, rangers still protected the Dernall Forest and that they built cabins in the woods for travelers to rest at when needed.

Corthen and his friends discuss checking out the building and the lord and his daughter agree that a campsite is needed. Rehs approaches the wooden hut and checks the old door for traps. Finding none, the Harper rogue enters and inspects the inside for hidden dangers with Uldred and Corthen waiting nearby. Rehs calls the party inside. He points to the hearth where old bloodstains, human bones, and rusted weapons lie. In a corner of the hut, someone has dug a pit into the earth and stones. A human skeleton lies in it, atop a wooden crate. The crate is mostly buried under loose earth but the adventurers can see coins and several large, gleaming gems.

Rehs checks the pit, before climbing down and unearthing the buried treasure. Rehs collects the gems and coins before moving the crate. Further down, he discovers a jumble of recently buried human bones, armor, belts, several bright daggers, and a silver horn. Recognizing his horn, Uldred claims his dwarven horn and closer examination reveals that Erith’s enchanted dagger was buried in the pit as well. Having recovered some of the missing wererat loot, the party is happy but wishing they had found it all.

The group eats, cleans up the wayhouse to put down their bedrolls and the first watch. Later in the night, Ayremyr is on watch with Uldred and Erith when he hears someone calling his name quietly from outside the hut. Saying he checking on the horses, the elven warrior steps out and looks for the night caller. Near the edge of the hill, Ayremyr spots Lord Cauldyth’s eldest daughter, Brwynella dressed in a white gown. She whispers that someone in his party is betraying the group to the enemy and motions him to follow her and he complies. Finally away from the other heroes, Ayremyr asks the young wizardress who it is that she spoke of. The young woman whirls and attacks him. Caught off guard the elven warrior finally pulls his blades and tries to defend himself. He screams for help as he realizes he has walked into a trap.

Hearing his shouts, Erith and Uldred wake the others. As the group prepares to rush to their comrade, a smashing tentacle erupts from the hearth and from one of the cabin walls. Unprepared and unarmored, the group battles back against the attacks best they can. At one point, Uldred is hit and stuck fast to the hearth. It dawns on the heroes that they are under attack by a group of mimics masquerading as parts of the wooden hut. The group stabs and blasts at the creatures finally defeating them in battle.

By the time the party reaches Ayremyr they find him in battle with another Ayremyr. Both figures beg for aid against the other Ayremyr. The party tries speaking to the two elves but both answer questions and Corthen is stymied. Rehs thinking fast pulls out Muragh and asks the skull what he can see. The former priest of Lathander informs the party that one creature is a gray skinned creature with large eyes. The heroes charge forth and with several blows kill the doppleganger that had lured Ayremyr almost to his doom. On its corpse the party find Rehs elven cloak which he takes back.

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9th of Kythorn 1366 Year of the Staff

The group returns to traveling the trails in the thick and wild forest around them. Lord Cauldyth discovers a newer trail that has seen the passage of men in recent days. The group agrees to pursue this trail hoping to find either the wererats or evil priests of the dark god Cyric.

After midday the party is surprised by an ambush from the thickets and the overhanging tree branches above. The attackers hurl spears at the adventurers before they swarm forward and battle the party with broadswords. Lord Cauldyth tries to wheel about to charge these bandits but his mount is tripped by thin cords stretched across the trail and he and his horse go down.

Ayremyr, Corthen, Rehs, Uldred, and Rhiannon engage these leather clad bandits steel to steel while Tellazar, Samira and Erith use their spells to take out opponents. The heroes are battered and their attackers still have the upper hand due to their numbers and their ambush. Lord Cauldyth regains his feet and charges the enemy roaring, “For the Goddess!” He swings his two handed sword and he is able to push back bandits trying to overwhelm Rhiannon and Samira.

Erith casts his last magic, a Sleep spell taking out three of the bandits. Pushing back against the highwaymen, Corthen kills the bandit leader and another, when a trio of cloaked figures come running up to the skirmish. Corthen is preparing to cleave these new threats when they shout “For the High King!” and draw weapons. Realizing they must be allies, the leader of Guardians of the Past turns and kicks at a bandit before striking him with one of his longswords.

Now outnumbered, the remaining bandits are put down. Binding their wounds and securing the unconscious prisoner, the party turns to speak to their new allies. The three humans are two rugged males carrying longswords and red-headed female dressed in green robes. They introduce themselves as Elryn Tharr, Douglar Hyuukhaun, and Mairae Ulzander o’ the Winters. They ask the party if any of them are known as Rehs Wrenwinter or Erith Talvera. Both men acknowledge they are present.

Mairae comes forward to speak to both men and she says that Khelben has sent them to make contact with the group since they successfully delivered the shipment of swords to aid the High King. Mairae and her companions tell the heroes that they have earned their pins and that they have come to perform the ceremony since they missed them in Aithe. Repeating the watchwords taught to them by Hadanna during their training, Erith, Corthen, Rehs, Tellazar, and Samira complete the ceremony with the trio of Harpers presenting them with their pins.

After the congratulations have died down, Uldred and Samira begin the task of healing the party. Lord Cauldyth shrugs off the offer but he makes sure that his youngest daughter is tended to by Samira. Elryn offers several draughts of healing to the party to aid in their health. Mairae then offers the party a small harp that she says will aid them on their task of rooting out the forces of Cyric gathering on the islands. The Guardians thank the Harpers and watch as they depart.

Corthen, Rehs, and Tellazar set about to interrogate the bandit prisoner. They learn the bandit’s leader was a warrior named Halardas Murr and that their previous camp lies four days travel to the east across the Swanmay River. The bandit also shares that some nights ago a man in black robes approached their forest encampment with an offer. The priest offered one gold coin for each man to travel and engage the heroes when they came into the forest. He offered one hundred gold coins to each man for each hero slain in battle. Corthen makes the man agree to leave the forest and to put an end to his banditry. Corthen states that if he does not, and is met again, he will be cut down without mercy. The freed man runs off into the darkening forest as quick as his feet with take him.

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8th of Kythorn 1366 Year of the Staff

The party led by Lord Cauldyth move along the trails in the forest. They pass several small ponds full of frogs and spend most of the day riding. Lord Cauldyth is the member who has skills to track. He states that there has been foot traffic but it is close to a week old.

In the afternoon the group comes upon several piles of stones placed along the trail. Rehs and Erith recognize the arrangements as markers denoting it as a path used by Harpers. Lord Cauldyth states that the fork in the trail splits with one branch traveling north and the other east eventually towards the river and Caer Callidyr. He states that the eastern trail is more heavily traveled and some signs indicate that men have passed here in the last three days by the prints left.

The group travels the trail until the coming of twilight. Lord Cauldyth and Ayremyr locate a spring and the group makes camp here. At night wolves howl nearby; keeping the horses uneasy but no sign of the creatures is seen.

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7th of Kythorn 1366 Year of the Staff

Lord Haembar ‘Hawkenhound’ Cauldyth, his daughter Rhiannon Cauldyth, and the heroic Guardians of the Past ride forth from Aithelar east through the cantrev. Farmers wave happily at their Lord as he passes them to seek out the evil men who have been plaguing the surrounding lands. The party makes camp at the edge of the Wild Wood for the night without any issues.

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