Attronarch's Athenaeum

Campaign journals, reviews of TTRPG stuff, and musings on D&D.


Character Class Description
Kuqhir of the Wastes Magic-User level 2 A thin, tall, dark skinned man with a magnificent beard that tickles his bellybutton. Dresses in silk robes and tightly folded turban embroidered with names of all known angels.
Amanka Cleric level 1 Dour, glum, tight-lipped, and baggy-eyed cleric with a gravestone-shaped talisman. She reveres the Fallen One, a petty god of fallen warriors and unsung heroes.
Rad Thief level 3 A young, short and malnourished rogue.
Oberon Figher level 3 A tall, supple hunter adorned with bones and horns of his prey.

Sunstrong 11th, Airday

Having stayed behind for the last expedition, Sam decided to lead his own party to the bandit camp. If anyone could determine there were no valuables left behind, then that was him!

Lady Luck was on his side, and he managed to recruit Kuqhir, a grand wizard hailing from the Wastes; Amanka, a cleric whom he already knew; and Oberon, a mean looking headhunter.

Norvin the Ranger was happy to lead them back to the Circle of Stone where bandit camp was. Doubly so, because Ithiel, a child Eccy has saved, claimed there were others like him...

Rad and his retinue reached the camp by noon.

Oberon the Stag demonstrated his usefulness by scouting up ahead. Due to his amazing skill he became nearly invisible in the foliage. He discovered a camp full of arrow-ridden corpses, just like Rad had expected.

The quarter scanned the camp once more, just to double check if any valuable have been left behind.


Rad couldn't find two tiger-face beasts that Eccy and Rhovar spoke much about. There were bandit corpses, there were hobgoblin corpses, and there was Finegan's beheaded corpse... But no large beasts.

“Let's head down the cave tunnel. This is where Finegan and monsters charged out from.”

“Wait, I have a brilliant idea.” Oberon interjected. The headhunter picked up the lightest bandit corpse and threw it down the tunnel.

“You always have to check for traps! Dungeoneering 101!”

He continued kicking the corpse down the tunnel.

Neither Amanka, nor the others, objected.

Kuqhir lit up the lantern, as they descended into darkness.


Another decapitated corpse. It was lying one the cave floor, with its belly facing down. The arms were outstretched forwards, as if the person tried to crawl away from something.

The corpse did not react to Amanka's holy words. Nor to Rad's arrow. Finally, Oberon took the corpse he was kicking, and threw it on the decapitated one.

Nothing happened.

“Eccy did mention that Finegan came out holding a chopped off head. Maybe it was his?”

The corpse was at the corner of a T-shaped junction. To their left was another corpse, sitting on a broken bench. This unlucky bastard was split in half, from groin upwards. If it was to judge by the chunks of hanging flesh, the wound had to be inflicted with a saw-like weapon.

There was little else of interest besides the corpse. The party turned to their right, carefully moving forwards. This led them to a cavernous chamber too big for their light sources.

Rad stepped forward, checking for traps. Just as he was to turn around and inform his men about the absence of obvious traps, he managed to trip on a string of something.


An audible clank could be heard, and a stiff corpse fell right in front of him, forcing him to unleash a not-so-manly scream.

A lifeless, naked man hung in front of him. The hands were tied behind his backs. The man was covered in many bruises.

Looking up, the party couldn't see the ceiling. The rope the man was hanging from was tense.

“Whomever had place this is now aware of our presence. Tread lightly.”

Looking ahead, the party was at a junction. They could see clear paths forward, to the right, and to the left. Right they went, hugging the cave wall.

Pressing onwards, they quickly realised that cave wall on their left was in fact a large pillar—and that they were in a truly cavernous chamber.

They eventually stumbled upon a shabby looking bench and a rotten barrel. Just beyond them were two more benches. Several dice laid on the low table just between the benches.


Rad picked up on muffled cries to the west.

Heavily armoured Amanka took the lead.

The source was quickly found.

A bound and gagged person sitting on the cave floor.

It was dragged into darkness just as the party approached it.

In that split second they had clearly seen the person's terrified, tear-smudged face.

“This is a trap.” the mage announced stoically.

“At least we are not facing the undead.”

“Hey, we might be facing intelligent undead!”

“Trap or no trap, we must rescue this poor soul.”

Gritting his teeth, Rad pressed on together with the party.

They followed the muffled cries, as well as the blood trail left by the poor soul being dragged naked along the jagged cavern floor.

Now they entered another cave chamber, still too large to be illuminated with a single lantern, but noticeably smaller than the previous one.

The victim was dragged northwards.

Kuqhir quickly examined the cave chamber, just to make sure no surprise would come from the flanks. Amanka was focused on saving the person as soon as possible. Rad took the center position so he can make a good shot. Oberon was surprised with six javelins from the darkness, with three striking.

The hunter suffered greatly, collapsing to the ground. One of the javelins lodged quite deep, breaking several of the ribs in the process. Barely conscious, he crawled up against the cave wall.

The javelins, as well as low grunts, came from behind the party—the chamber they came from.

“Illuminate them, and I shall lay Waste upon them!” Kuqhir demanded, as he weaved the arcane powers.

Rad ran to the edge of darkness, lit up the oil flask, and chucked it towards the grunts. Although hitting none, the spilt oil caught fire and illuminated a gang of four squat goblins.

Amanka clasped her hands, uttered holy words, and pointed at the large stone beneath one of the monsters. It lit up, and shone bright light on the surroundings.

Kuqhir could now clearly see six goblins and two tower tiger-faced monsters. By the time he said his words, did his moves, and pointed his fingers, all of the monsters hit the ground in deep slumber.

Another tiger-faced monster, followed by two goblins, came out of darkness to the north. This was the direction the naked person was dragged from.

The large monster spoke in broken Common:

“You. Leave. Or I kill!” pointing at the downed hunter.

Expert negotiators they are, the party shot an offer consisting of an arrow, an pebble, and an oil flask. The monsters counter-offered three javelins for Oberon.

Monster's offer missed the mark.

On the other hand, the party's offer was a great success, leaving monsters floored.

Rad and Kuqhir rapidly executed the sleeping monsters, while Amanka pressed on to find the person used as a bait. Oberon was quietly trying to stay alive.

Mario was the name used as a bait. He was in absolutely horrible shape, with chunks of flesh and muscle hanging from his arms, legs, and back.

“Save my children, please, I beg of you” he cried and pleaded.

“Uh huh, it's a trap.”

“If it is, he definitely seems committed to the act!”

“Please, my seven children, please...”

The man told the party everything he knew about the place. The bandits camped outside, while the monsters were here. Ransom victims were held in the large cave to the northwest.

Amanka was firm. She will help this man, even if it is a trap. Kuqhir decided to accompany her. Rad helped Oberon get out.

Mario limped badly, bleeding profusely. His children were the only thing he talked about.

“Just around the corner.”

Amanka strolled in confidently.

Kuqhir followed.

A tiger-faced monster was facing them.

It stood tall, with both arms outstretched.

Countless oil flasks hung around its neck and arms.

Seven bound kids laid by its feet.

“Stop. No close. I kill all.”

“Put down the weapons and let the children go.”

“You go.”

“Lay down your weapons, liberate the kids, and we might let you live!”

“You want child? 100 gold coin each.”

“OK, that's enough.”

Betting a lifetime of guilt, Kuqhir once again did his slumber-inducing routine.

The beast swung its arms, as if to clasp them.

Luckily for all involved, Kuqhir was quicker, and the monster fell down on its back, failing to ignite anything.

Mario ran up, untying his kids with bloodied fingers. They cried and hugged their dad.

The chamber was littered with iron manacled. It reeked and was caked with body waste.

“Come, let's get you out of here.”

Leaving them all, including badly wounded Oberon, with Norving, Rad, Amanka, and Kuqhir returned to the caves.

Unopposed, they explored all the chambers. Two were of particular interest.

To the northeast was a large chamber, nearly the size of the one with pillars. It had just over twenty soiled bedrolls of varying sizes. Oh, and there was a narrow tunnel leading further into the darkness to the east.

Besides an assortment of junk, the trio recovered many usable weapons: 21 javelins, 8 spears, 12 clubs, 2 shortswords, and 1 longsword. They also found a rotten chest with 3000 copper coins.

To the southeast was a chamber with a large bearskin rug, bed with solid wooden frame, and a desk. The cave walls looked as if they were regularly assaulted with a serrated weapon. Southern wall was filled with nonsensical scribbles and drawings, which Amanka labelled as chaotic.

One of the desk drawers held several reams of parchment papers. On them were lists of what seemed to be names with numbers next to them. Elan was written next to many of these numbers. The chamber had a rather disturbing atmosphere.

Mario, the bait and father of seven children, on their way to Kestizar unfortunately passed away from his wounds.

“Thank you...” were his last words to Amanka.

Illustrations by Idle Doodler.

Discuss at Dragonsfoot forum.

#Wilderlands #SessionReport

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You can read more about the challenge here.

As part of the challenge I made a character each day. They are perfectly usable as retainers for classic Dungeons & Dragons games (BX, BECMI, RC) and their retroclones (e.g. Labyrinth Lord and Old-School Essentials).

Without any further ado, here they are in the list form:

Day 1: Richrad “The Treacherous” Feutrer (Fighter) Day 2 Watt “The Merciful” Coxeter (Thief) Day 3: Arnbella Meale (Magic-User) Day 4: Bowerroth (Cleric) Day 5: Annora Hornblow (Cleric) Day 6: Tolbert “The Violet” (Fighter) Day 7: Theilras Alynshadow (Elf) Day 8: Seaherita Spier (Magic-User) Day 9: Alaine (Thief) Day 10: Widuklar Weakshield (Dwarf) Day 11: Theodosia “The Fiendish” Sendall (Magic-User) Day 12: Luna (Cleric) Day 13: Nireal (Elf) Day 14: Magna “The Numb” (Thief) Day 15: Boastridge Callendar (Magic-User) Day 16: Iduna (Fighter) Day 17: Grover Winmill (Magic-User) Day 18: Proctor Maskill (Magic-User) Day 19: Cottar Goodman (Halfling) Day 20: Galiana “The Lily” Payne (Cleric) Day 21: Bhimrao (Cleric) Day 22: Redesca Tabiner (Magic-User) Day 23: Marorbriel (Elf) Day 24: Anvild Happynose (Dwarf) Day 25: Gadsby “The Waggish” (Fighter) Day 26: Theellith Aelerrili (Elf) Day 27: Newall (Thief) Day 28: Margwald “The Marksman” (Dwarf) Day 29: Zenon (Cleric) Day 30: Montfort Grater (Magic-User) Day 31: Ulrich “The Ripe” Gaman (Fighter)


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Columbia Games is running a Kickstarter for HârnWorld hardcover.

The book will contain:

Basically a detailed view of the Hârn island, and a high-level view of the Lythia continent and Kethira planet.

Harn has beautiful, well thought out materials that are usable with many fantasy systems. The maps are gorgeous and personalities are fleshed out just enough to drop them into any world without too much fuss.

From the HârnWorld introduction:

HârnWorld is a detailed, realistic, flexible, and system-neutral setting for fantasy role-playing games. Since 1983, HârnWorld has been used by thousands of people across the world to run a wide array of medieval fantasy adventures. HârnWorld can accommodate whatever style of campaign you are looking for, whether your player characters are knights, mages, barbarians, clerics, noble lords, mercenaries, gladiators, craftsmen, merchants, thieves, or even simple peasants yearning for adventure.

Check out this free introduction document to learn more.

The Kickstarter campaign ends on March 14th.

Bedsides the HârnWorld 40th Anniversary Hardcover, you can also get all four kingdom hardbacks released so far (Kaldor, Melderyn, Rethem, and Orbaal), as well as complete Columbia Games Harn material.

So far I've been very happy with kingdom hardbacks, and am looking forward to this one as well. Although I run the Wilderlands of High Fantasy setting, I find Harn material invaluable to save prep time for settlements.

#News #Harn

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This report covers the combat following session 38 that was resolved over seven days of play-by-post.


Character Class Description
Rhovar Fighter level 3 A generic Nordic guy.
Gomm Thief level 3 Swarthy, good looking, dark-skinned thief. Sweet opium-like aroma is his fragrance of choice.
Eccy Throi Elf level 1 Wears a dark green cloak to hide his bulging muscles and crippling anxiety.
Barad the Bald Magic-User level 1 Bald, beardless, chinless, and lazy-eyed.

Sunstrong 10th, Spiritday

“Is it cowardice to let another man die in your stead? Is it cowardice to save your own life?”

Fighting the urge to ponder existential topics for too long, Eccy took the lead on organising the looting of bandit camp.

He ordered Barad and ten archers to take the high ground above the cave entrance. Rhovar commanded four heavy footmen to flank the cave mouth, ready to ambush anything that comes out.

Gomm and remaining mercenaries started sweeping the tents.

It took Rhovar and Eccy nearly a minute to get everyone where they wanted them to be.

Just as the dust started to settle, Rhovar heard heavy footsteps and metal clanks echoing from the cave mouth!

Eccy, whom was still standing in the middle of the camp, could see a tunnel full of hobgoblins staring him down. Two mean looking figures towered behind them.

He informed the Hydra Company of the incoming threat.

Rhovar and his men kept their breath, waiting in ambush.

Barad signalled archers to approach the cave mouth. Given they were stand on top of it, they had a prime position to rain hell on any daring assailants.

Archers next to Eccy fired a volley down the tunnel, missing their shots. Surprised with their incompetence, Gomm took out his shortbow and downed one hobgoblin.

Trampling over their sole fallen warrior, the hobgoblins pressed forward, reaching the cave mouth. The first row of hobgoblins chucked their spears at Eccy. Then they knelt, and the second row threw theirs as well.

The elf managed to evade three spears thrown at him. Alas, two mercenaries to his side were not of such skill, nor luck.

Eccy could now clearly see the two large, tiger-faced monsters. Both wore large chainshirts. The one with horned helmet held a large, two-handed morning star, while the other one, sporting a magnificent mane, wielded two axes.

The horned one fixated its is gaze on the elf, licking its lips suggestively. The long-haired one hissed at Rhovar, brandishing its axes.

The monster charged out of the tunnel with a roar.

Three hobgoblins and hairy one clashed against Rhovar and his gauntlet of heavy footmen. Horned and and two hobgoblins charged in a straight line towards Eccy and archers standing behind him.


The archers standing on the rocks around the cave shot a volley at the horned beast and two hobgoblins, killing the latter and wounding the former. The beast looked a bit surprised with being shot in the back.

Rhovar and his men started slicing the beast with great mane. Alas, the footmen on the other side of the cave mouth weren't as effective. One of the hobgoblin's killed one with a mighty blow to the chest.

“Fall back and fire again!”

Eccy yelled as he increased the distance between himself and the beast with horned helmet. The monster hissed at the retreating elf. Its roar was cut short with Gomm's arrow to the throat.

Rhovar could see Brace dramatically staggering, before falling down to his knees. One of the hobgoblins grabbed the soldier whom had killed Finegan the Brutal just minutes ago, and smashed his head against the stone wall. And to add insult to injury, the monster spat on Brace's warm corpse.

“Rhovar, stand back and let us shoot!”

The blond warrior obliged, and rest of the monsters perished under relentless barrage of arrows. The maned beast clanged its battleaxes in disappointment as it succumbed to hail of arrows.

It was a brief, but brutal skirmish.

Three more Hydra Company mercenaries lost on this expedition.

Survivors laboured breaths dominated the soundscape.

Everybody monitored the tunnel intently.

No more footsteps could be heard.

Only darkness could be seen down the slopping tunnel.

“Let's resume with our recovery operation.”

Barad and archers staid on top, watching over the camp and cave mouth. All heavy footmen were ordered to guard the cave mouth as well.

The rest went on to investigate the tents and corpses for any valuables.

Two chests from northern tent were quite heavy and required two individuals to carry. Three chests from the west tent were even heavier. All had padlocks on them.

Two gave off that familiar clanking sound when rattled. Oh how full of coin they must be!

The third chest on the other hand, released a whimper as it was grabbed. The soldiers jumped back in confusion, with some pulling out their swords.

Silent crying is all that Gomm could hear.

“Tell me your name, we have killed your captors.”

No answer.

“Comply with us and you may walk freely again, it is my word.”


“Dunno Eccy...”

“Yeah, I don't know either. Could be another fucking troll.”

“I want to help, but knowing Wilderlands...”

“Maybe drag it to the middle of the camp and have all archers aim at it?”

“How about we drill a hole and take a peek?”

“I think that would be hard without hurting whomever is inside. Either way, I propose we go with my plan or burn it.”

“Weird that it isn't answering. It reminds me too much of that dwarf.”

“Maybe it doesn't understand Common? Let me try in Elvish.”

Eccy was rewarded with silence, and yes, more silence, regardless of the language he spoke.

“OK, we go with my plan, Gomm. We bring the chest into the clearing in front of the cave mouth and tell our archers to be ready.”

Just a few steps after they lifted it, Eccy could hear desperate crying from within. The pitch sounded like a child or small creature, perhaps gnome or halfling.

“Barad, come down here. You are a man of languages.”

And so Barad came and asked in Gnomish and Pixie:

“Hello, can you understand me? We are here to help.”

The silence had been broken with intense and desperate crying.

Gomm became fidgety.

“Could you pick the lock or should I smash it with my mace?”

“Yes, let's try and save the cry baby.”

“Nope, didn't work. Got a crowbar?”

“No. Let's leave the chest for a bit and continue searching.”

Large tent also had two bearskins, and three wine casks. Finegan the Brutal had a mean looking handaxe with a serrated edge and a notch running along the blade. It seemed to be for bloodletting. He also had a pouch with gems tied to his belt, as well as an iron ring with seven keys.

“Oh wow. Look at that. Keys.”

Eccy tried keys on the crying chest. 4th key was the right one.

A waft of nauseating stench hit his nostrils as he tilted open the lid. He could see a curled up child lying sideways, cowering and covering its head with small hands. It's all bones and skin, and little more.

He took a step back.

Now everybody could see a naked child crying in a chest.

No surprise trolls showed up.

“It's alright, you're safe now.” Eccy said softly to the child.

The party offered water, food, and clothes to the boy. It took him some time, and some care on their side, but he did manage to calm down.

Ithiel is how he introduced himself. He was kidnapped by this foul group of bandits. Finegan got really mad when he realised that Ithiel wasn't of noble origin, but just a commoner.

He also shared there were more hostages, including other children, but didn't know how many. They are imprisoned in the cave, guarded by horrible tiger-faced monsters.

“You must be really strong to have killed them! One of them killed my father's horse with a single blow!”

“Where are you from Ithiel?” Eccy asked. “We need to get you home.”

The boy paused for a moment, as if in deep thought. Then he suddenly lit up “Weststar!”

“Do you mean 'Kestizar' Ithiel?”


“Hmm, well I don't know where that is but we'll find your home.”

The party proceed on with their plan, scrubbing the camp of all the valuables. They also made sure to pick monsters' weapons, cut off the left hands of all the bandits, as well as Finegan's head.

Eccy took Finegan the Brutal's serrated hand axe. Holding it made him feel like he was the mightiest elf in the hundred mile radius. From now on he will fight only with that glorious weapon and nothing else.

Then they buried the fallen mercenaries.

“Death comes for us all, but not everyone truly lives. We have known battle today, have saved the life of an innocent child, and known glory. Tomorrow we may die, but until death comes for us, we are each of us heroes. And with this wine and this gold you will have a hero's reward!”

You reached Kestizar by nightfall. The guards summoned Elidarth the Elder.

“Mother, our people have been avenged!” Norvin the ranger yelled before she got the chance to ask anything. She looks at Eccy and Rhovar, as if to check the veracity of the claim.

She was pleased with the evidence presented to her.

Rhovar took the men to a secluded hill outside of the village, ordered a fire be built and poured some wine into a cooking pot over it.

He set the spear tips and daggers on the coals. Then, when they were hot, he ordered the men to gather and to take up their weapon.

“Come men, dip ye blades into this here brew. Quench the steel in the blood of our enemy. Just as this here wine darkens our blades, it symbolises our shared brotherhood.”

He quenched his blade in the wine. And pointed for them to do the same.

Once this was done he handed out cups, each man to take a cup of wine, and toasted:

“Our first victory, brothers in arms, let us drink to our dead, and let the ghosts of our enemies lament our victory!”

“We are kinsmen now! Now, bring the wenches and let us merrymake!”

A great feast was held for the Hydra Company that night.

Discuss at Dragonsfoot forum.

#Wilderlands #SessionReport

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Character Class Description
Rhovar Fighter level 3 A generic Nordic guy.
Gomm Thief level 3 Swarthy, good looking, dark-skinned thief. Sweet opium-like aroma is his fragrance of choice.
Eccy Throi Elf level 1 Wears a dark green cloak to hide his bulging muscles and crippling anxiety.
Barad the Bald Magic-User level 1 Bald, beardless, chinless, and lazy-eyed.

Sunstrong 8th, Earthday

Gomm silently wept as the party buried Delphine, the wife of his last 72 hours. Then they rode to Kestizar, intent on following up on their newest leads regarding bandits assaulting the fishing village.

Sunstrong 9th, Fireday

Norvin the Ranger, whose brother and father have been killed in recent attacks on Kestizar, happily joined the Hydra Company as their guide.

Based on their current knowledge, the party made an informed assumption that bandits are hiding somewhere withing the three-mile area. Norvin proposed three spots where he'd hide such a gang: The Solemn Glade, The Secluded Cave, and The Circle of Stones.

Here is the plan they come up with.

Rhovar was to take command of the mercenary force counting eight heavy footmen and twenty-two archers, and march towards a central point between all three suspect points. They were to pitch tent and wait for the scouting party to report their findings.

Gomm, Eccy Throi and Norvin were to take the light riding horses and check each location for bandit presence. They were not to engage, but scout.

The trio rode to The Solemn Glade first.

“You see those beautiful trees? These are the ones. The woods aren't deep, merely few steps in and you will reach a small pond. It is gorgeous. But do you notice how we don't really see anything beyond the first row of trees? That is the magic of this place...”

Gomm dismounted the horse, took his backpack and climbing equipment, and carefully approached the woods. No matter how close he got, he couldn't make out what was deeper in the woods. He did feel certain warmth as he got closer and closer.

Pressing his back against a tree and peering around the side hasn't revealed much more. He decided to scale the tree and scout from there. Lo and behold, despite climbing to the top, he still wasn't able to figure out what lies deeper.

So he decided to swing from tree to tree.

“What are you afraid of?” boomed from all directions.

Gomm froze and quickly scanned the surroundings. He couldn't see anyone!

“Are your intentions pure?” the disembodied voice boomed once again.

“Yes! We are seeking evil men who have been troubling the village of Kestizar.”

As he passed to another tree, Gomm could suddenly see a glade straight beneath him. In the center of it stood a massive oak tree—so big that is should be obviously visible from at least a mile afar. A crystal clear pond sprawled around the tree, seemingly emanating from the tree itself.

On the north-west side of the pond a humanoid figure sat on a bench. The figure seemed to reflect the sun-rays. It was leaning backwards and looking up, as if it was sunbathing.

“May I come closer?”

“Of course.”

“Apologies for interrupting you and your sanctuary...”

“Oh, I'm just a visitor enjoying this beautiful glade. Just like you.”

Norvin refused to join Gomm into the glade. Eccy on the other hand, was curious to learn more.

Little is known about the details of what transpired in that glade, but one thing was certain. Neither Gomm, nor Eccy were the same persons after meeting the mysterious figure dressed in gold cloak.

“The Wanderer.” still echoed in Gomm's head as he pondered the meaning of gold-yellow rose he was gifted. Eccy seemed very disturbed with moral quandaries. He spoke to Taegen as if his muscle elfbro was still invisible...

“Let's move on. There are no bandits here.”

The Secluded Cave was next.

“Oh... The cave seems to be inhabited with cave bears at the moment. Should we investigate further?”


So the scouts rode to The Circle of Stones.

“Lay low!”

Four figures dressed in light armours, carrying maces and bows, were moving some three hundred yards away from our scouting party. They were moving in the direction of circular stone formation.

“Let's hide and observe...”

Indeed, the four figures approached the stone formation. Then they paused few hundred feet away from the treeline on the stones. They did some movement with their arms before proceeding forward.

“Yes, this it the place I wanted to take you to.” Norvin confirmed.

“You wait for me. I'll check it out...”

Gomm left all his stuff with Norvin, tied his cloak, and smeared cold mud all over himself. Then he prowled, slowly approaching the formation from west.

Although it was already nightfall, Howla and Vannis were out in their full might. In other words there was plenty of ambient light provided by Sister Moons.


“I had enough of this grovel!”

“When will we be allowed to cook again?!”

Gomm could overhear several masculine voices arguing in Common as he pressed against one of the large stones. The voices were coming from behind. He slowly started to scale the stone.

“Shhh! Keep your blabbering mouths quiet!”

Thud. Thud. Thud.

The thief froze in place.

Heavy footsteps stopped.

So did the thief's breathing.

On the other hand, whatever it was that stood above him breathed quite loudly.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Numerous light footsteps could be heard.

“I'm sick of watching over these pathetic humans.”

Gomm understood the creatures lamenting in Goblin.

Thud. Tap. Tap. Thud. Tap. Tap. Thud. Tap. Tap.

The footsteps resumed, moving southwards.

Gomm exhaled, dropped down, rejoined Norvin and Eccy, and then they all rode off to meet Rhovar and their mercenary force.

They ignored a huge, metallic-looking bull that was marvelling the Sister Moons. In fact, they made sure to ride at least half a mile around it.

Sunstrong 10th, Spiritday

Majority of the party, including the mercenaries as well, had a miserable sleep. Eccy felt as if something horrible had happened during the night. The Sister Moons kept everyone on their toes. It was a vile night.

Regardless, the force marched on to The Circle of Stones.

They paused hundred yards away from the southern entrance.

A man exited the stone formation, holding his arms up in the air.

Eccy and Gomm rode on to meet him.

“Welcome good people. My name is Eardley. You seem quite armed!”

“Quiet! We want everyone to come out and lay down their weapons!” Eccy demanded.

“Oh, we are just a group of lumberjacks. We've been working the woods, and have been camping here since it is quite a safe spot. We apologise if these are your lands–”

“Gather your men and come out!” Eccy cut Eardley off.

“I am sorry, but you are quite aggressive in your demands. Who are you and what do you want?”

“You are in no position to ask questions!”

At this moment Eardley suddenly produced a white handkerchief in his left arm. He dropped it, turned around, and made a run for the stone formation.

A volley of arrows flew out from behind the trees that perched atop the stones. Both commanders were wounded. Even worse, Gomm's slain horse fell on the thief, pinning him to the ground.

Eccy turned around and retreated behind his force.

“March on!” Rhovar commanded. Heavy footmen were lined up front, while the archers were divided into four groups.

“Fire at will!” Eccy roared at the archers.

Twenty-two archers unleashed a volley, shooting blindly.

Another volley came back from the woods, killing four archers.

Gomm managed to free himself from underneath the horse. He leaned on the horse, aimed, and shot Eardley straight through his left eye.

Yet another volley killed several more archers.

“Charge!” Rhovar and heavy footmen broke the formation and started running towards the formation, their targets still invisible.

Archers kept moving on and unleashing volleys into the woods.

Gomm prowled towards the east side of the stone formation. Once he reached the stones, he continued north until he found a solid stone to scale.

Rhovar and Eccy kept the morale of their forces, despite the death march.

Hidden foes fired volley after volley.

“Pass me another flask...”

Gomm could see three figures around a box. One of them was passing around flasks filled with oily substance. The thief quietly lit a flask of his own, and then threw it straight into the box.

The explosion sent the bandits flying in different directions. It also set all the nearby trees on fire.

“Now! Death or glory! C H A R G E!”

The Hydra Company rushed into the formation, finding a small camp consisting of three tents. The camp was full of dead bodies, some of them with arrows in them. The survivors fled down the dark tunnel bored into the northwest stone.

“Check the tents!”

The largest tent was to west, it had two large chests, several bearskins and wine casks. The other two tents were smaller. One had two chests. There were twelve bedrolls in total. Plunder was about to begin.

“Who the fuck are you and what the fuck are you doing in my camp?!”

A stocky man dressed in chainmail, wielding a serrated handaxe in his right hand and a chopped off head in his left marched out of the tunnel. He was dirty, sweaty, and had mad eyes.

“Oi! Pointy-ears! I challenge you to duel!”

“Finegan the Brutal, I presume? No way scumbag!”

The man was joined by four creatures dressed in chainmail, armed with maces, longswords and shields. The man knew these monsters as hobgoblins. The group charged Eccy.

“Line up!”

Four heavy footmen formed a perimeter in front of the elf.

“Coward! Fight me one on one!” Finegan yelled as he threw the head at elf.

“Fuck you!” Eccy retorted.

Finegan cut down one of the mercenaries with a single blow. He broke the man's collarbone, driving his handaxe deep inside. His face lighted up, as in ecstasy, whilst he grinded the serrated edge against the man's flesh.

The party surrounded Finegan and his retinue, and chaos ensued. Gomm surprised one of the hobgoblins, killing him from behind. Unfortunately, in doing so he revealed his location, and was promptly reward with a sword to heart.

But something fantastic happened—the sword hadn't penetrated his flesh. In fact, the tip of the sword turned gold. Then the rest of sword turned gold, until it disintegrated into gold dust.

Gomm staggered backwards, grabbing hist chest where he was stabbed. It was the pocket where he had hidden the golden flower gifted to him by the Wanderer. Despite keeping his life, he felt as if something of great importance has been lost.

Brace, one of the soldiers in Eccy service, drove his sword into Finegan's side, dropping him to his knees before smashing his temple with the pommel.

The remaining hobgoblins were promptly dealt with.

Eccy wiped off the blood from his face. He looked down at the brute's corpse. Then he cut off his head.

The looting was about to begin.

But what if something else comes out of the same dark hole Finegan the Brutal crawled out from?

Player Session Reports

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Ulrich “The Ripe” Gaman

Class: Fighter Alignment: Chaotic Languages: Common, Alignment, Elvish

Appearance: 5'11” / 1,80m, 193 lbs. / 88 kg; cleft chin; well-groomed van dyke beard Traits: Jovial, likes speaking in voices, studies birds, resents his family

Hit points: 3 Armor class: 2


STR: 9 INT: 14 (reads and writes native languages) WIS: 12 DEX: 17 (+2 to hit with missiles, -2 AC bonus, +2 initiative) CON: 11 CHA: 5

Saving throws

Death Ray or Poison: 12 Magic Wands: 13 Paralysis or Turn to Stone: 14 Dragon Breath: 15 Rods, Staves, or Spells: 16


Coins: 4 gp Armor: Chain Mail Armor plus Shield Weapons: Long Sword Gear: Backpack, Rope (50ft)


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Character Class Description
Amanka Cleric level 1 Dour, glum, tight-lipped, and baggy-eyed cleric with a gravestone-shaped talisman. She reveres the Fallen One, a petty god of fallen warriors and unsung heroes.
Rad Thief level 3 A young, short and malnourished rogue.
Eccy Throi Elf level 1 Wears a dark green cloak to hide his bulging muscles and crippling anxiety.
Rhovar Fighter level 3 A generic Nordic guy.
Gomm Thief level 3 Swarthy, good looking, dark-skinned thief. Sweet opium-like aroma is his fragrance of choice.
Delphine the Spiteful Fighter level 1 Colossal and violent woman so ugly most people flinch when they see her. Gomm's newlywed wife.

Sunstrong 8th, Earthday

“This is the place. But this isn't how we left it...”

Rad warned the rest of his party. And what a party they were! A dozen adventurers accompanied by no less than thirty mercenaries!

Amanka, the newest recruit, was a woman of little words and big bags under her eyes. A gravestone-shaped talisman hung around her neck.

They marched from Kestizar to this abandoned keep, seeking to take it over from bandits whom claimed it at the moment. Or so they thought.

Two dilapidated towers, joined by equally miserable looking gatehouse stood in front of them. Entrance to the east tower was splattered with blood.

Rad, Gomm, Delphine, Eccy Throi, and Amanka formed the scouting party.

Rhovar led remaining adventurers and mercenaries several hundred yards away, looking for a defensible position where they can make camp.

The scouts opted for the west, blood-less tower. Once they came close enough, they could see that the “doors” were in fact just a piece of large wood jammed between two walls. There were no obvious hinges, and it barely fit in.

Delphine the Door-opener made a short work of it. A five foot wide, fifteen foot long corridor laid in front of her. Proper doors were at the end of the path.

Rad remembered some of his former colleagues perished in a similar corridor to this one. Eccy rebuffed all suggestions to find a boulder and push it down the path in order to trigger any floor traps.

Hence Delphine unsheathed her massive two-handed sword, and started methodically pounding the ground with the hilt.

“Jump back!” Eccy yelled the moment he heard a click.

Alas, even though she heard him in time, the floor gave in under her bulk and she hadn't had the time to grab the ledge.

Two nasty cracks were heard.

One from the big woman's neck; the other from Gomm's heart.

“We can't leave her here.” Amanka finally spoke up.

With a little bit of rope and time, they recovered Delphine's warm corpse and left her by the entrance. Some adventurer's helped to her belongings as well.

Pressing on, the scouting party slowly entered into a fifteen by fifteen foot chamber. There were three doors ahead of them; one on each wall. Two statues stood with the back against the norther wall as well.

Upon closer inspection, these seemed to be noble-men. One was male, and the other was female. The latter one had a weathered tablet on which “Vesta Rodemus” was chiselled. Both statues had an overbite, giving them slightly rodent-like face.

“I heard voices!”

Indeed, two voices were heard from behind north doors. They did not sound alarmed, in fact they sounded like a normal conversation between two, or more, individuals.

Gomm and Rad hid behind the statues, ready to backstab any poor bastard coming through these doors. Eccy and Amanka took the centre position. Then they started banging their weapons, and making as much ruckus as they can, in order to provoke the attack.



“OK, time to flee!”

The scouting party exited the same way they came in. Now they turned east, hugging the tower walls, and into the passageway that leads through the gatehouse.

At the center were two doors, left leading to west tower, and right leading to east tower. Gomm went to listen at the left doors, Rad right doors, Amanka and Eccy secured the corridor on south and north sides.

Just as Gomm was to press his ear against the doors, two gaunt figures flung them open. Both looked emaciated, pale, and panicked.

“Get out of the way! Flee you fools!”

Gomm stepped to the side and allowed the men to exit. Cleric of the fallen subtly tripped one of them, while the other fled north.

Amanka and Eccy easily overpowered the man, tied him up, and put a sack over his head. In the beginning he fought quite ferociously, given his frail frame. He calmed once he realised they were dragging him away from the keep.

“Where is the might warrior?!” one of the mercenaries asked.

Gomm's tears were enough of an answer.

Hydra Company applied subtle techniques to motivate their new prisoner to divulge all he knows. Details are best left unsaid.

“Heletor is the name. The lucky git that got away is Eyulr.”

“We were in the former barracks, which are the central room of the west tower, seeking stash of our former company. When we heard the noise we fled in panic, fearing it was the Yellow Demon.”

“Several months ago a band of adventurers assaulted the keep. Their mightiest warrior rushed in and died. That is at least what our allies had told us. But ever since then a horrible creature has been roaming the keep and underground dungeons.”

“It has devastates and demolishes everything in its way. I personally have never seen it... But have witnessed the consequences!”

“Anyone who looks at it dies a horrible death! And you can know it is coming because of sounds of scrapping metal and intense smell of rotten eggs.”

With a little bit more of motivation, Heletor drew the map of west tower, as well as the gatehouse.

“Ser Roenald was quite a savvy businessman. We would intercept carriages and accost any noble passenger. Then we would charge their family for protection services.”

“When he was killed, our company fell apart. Finegan “The Brutal” gathered the most vile members, and took to the forest northwest of here. Last I heard was that they are seeking to establish a new stronghold.”

“But I am much smarter than him.” now the captive tapped the side of his temple with index finger “Why fight when you can come back and recover hidden stashes of treasure? Ha! But then you interrupted me...”

With treasure as the key word, the scouting party hurried back to the gatehouse so they can check the veracity of the map and find this “stash.”

Instead they found room after room of absolutely demolished furniture, scuttling rats, cobwebs and dust. One of the rooms looked particularly grim, with iron manacles fastened against the walls.

Perhaps more curious were large trapdoors that had a pile of broken furniture on them—as if the latter were placed to keep the former closed.

Another room worth mentioning is what looked to be some sort of study. A large desk flanked with tall bookshelves by each side dominated the center of the room. It was utterly devastated, with many scroll cases, parchment papers, and books strewn around.

Still, Rad's and Gomm's treasure detectors (or junk, depends on who you ask) went off, and they dove straight into it. Half an hour later and they were richer by three divine scrolls (recognised by Amanka as Bless, Light, and Cure Light Wounds), three scrolls that Eccy believes might be arcane, and two books.

One was a leather-bound journal entitled “Rodemus family diary.” The pages, unfortunately, were beyond unreadable. The other was “Annals of the Black Dragon” which contains many graphic accounts of devastating nature of acid breath.

Rad also found a piece of parchment that had “Rodemus” and “rat” scribbled on it.

Pressing on, they arrived into the central chamber. What a disappointment! Nothing but cut-up sacks and rotten straw. Not a single coin in sight! Not even a copper one!

Eccy's fine ears picked something else up. Sounds of dozens small claws scratching at the doors just behind them. Gomm rushed to the doors and started hammering in iron pitons. Whenever a rat managed to squeeze from under the doors, he'd smash it as well.

The sounds became louder and louder, as if hundreds of rats were behind that damn door. They could hear the clawing sounds climbing up the doors.

“Time to leave!”

Gomm poured oil right in front of the doors, and set them alight as he fled.

The former study was now overflowing with rats gnawing at the pile of torn parchment papers. The party did not give them time to react, and just kept on running.

Heavily armoured Amanka and Eccy lagged a bit behind. It was Eccy who noticed that pile of broken furniture on the trapdoors was trembling.

What a magnificent motivation that must've been!

Rad was the first to reach the camp, closely followed by Gomm. Amanka came next, and Eccy arrived last.

There they took a breather to study their newly acquired possessions. They were not coin, but were gold none the less.

And then the question came.

“What now?”

Indeed, what now?

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Montfort Grater

Class: Magic-User Alignment: Lawful Languages: Common, Alignment

Appearance: 6'2” / 1,88 m, 194 lbs. / 88 kg; taut; wheat blonde wild hair Traits: Energetic, afraid of blood, paranoid, talented at reading body language

Hit points: 6 Armor class: 9


STR: 7 (-1 to hit, damage, and open doors) INT: 10 (reads and writes native languages) WIS: 7 (-1 on magic based saving throws) DEX: 9 CON: 16 (+2 points per hit die) CHA: 9

Saving throws

Death Ray or Poison: 13 Magic Wands: 14 Paralysis or Turn to Stone: 13 Dragon Breath: 16 Rods, Staves, or Spells: 15


Coins: 50 gp Armor: None Weapons: Dagger Gear: Spell Book (Charm Person), Small Sack, Standard Rations (1 week), Iron Rations (1 week), Wine (1 qt), Steel Hand Mirror


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Class: Cleric Deity: Fubar, petty god magical mishap and adventure; symbol is a flaming, simple five-pointed star (Petty Gods p. 53) Alignment: Chaotic Languages: Common, Alignment

Appearance: 5'10” / 1,78 m, 146 lbs. / 66 kg; honey skin; soft black bushy hair and long forked beard Traits: Calm, lacks empathy, prays before all decisions

Hit points: 4 Armor class: 2


STR: 13 (+1 to hit, damage, and open doors) INT: 8 (can write simple Common words) WIS: 16 (+2 on magic based saving throws) DEX: 14 (+1 to hit with missiles, -1 AC bonus, +1 initiative) CON: 8 (-1 points per hit die) CHA: 9

Saving throws

Death Ray or Poison: 11 Magic Wands: 12 Paralysis or Turn to Stone: 14 Dragon Breath: 16 Rods, Staves, or Spells: 15


Coins: 3 gp Armor: Plate Mail Armor Weapons: War Hammer, Sling (30 stones) Gear: Holy Symbol, Small Sack (2), Torches (6), Wine Skin, Rope (50ft)


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Margwald “The Marksman”

Class: Dwarf Alignment: Chaotic Languages: Dwarvish, Common, Alignment, Gnomish, Kobold, Goblin

Appearance: 3'6” / 1,07 m, 110 lbs. / 50 kg; brown braided hair; metallic bronze eyes; yellow white complexion Traits: Insists on using ranged weapons, optimistic, unlucky

Hit points: 9 Armor class: 9


STR: 14 (+1 to hit, damage, and open doors) INT: 7 (can write simple native languages words) WIS: 10 DEX: 5 (-2 to hit with missiles, +2 AC penalty, -2 initiative) CON: 13 (+1 points per hit die) CHA: 6 (-1 reaction adjustment)

Saving throws

Death Ray or Poison: 10 Magic Wands: 11 Paralysis or Turn to Stone: 12 Dragon Breath: 13 Rods, Staves, or Spells: 14


Coins: 7 gp Armor: Leather Armor Weapons: Mace, Crossbow (10 bolts) Gear: Large Sack, Lantern, Rope (50ft), Standard Rations (1 week)


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