The Lost City of Barakus
   


Characters:
Elmwind, Elven Druid, Level 2
Shael , Elf Rogue, Level 2
Thori, Dwarf Cleric, Level 2

Total Exp: ???? (5850)

The List o' Slaying:
8xRats, 1xWererat, Tousice, 4xGnolls, 4xBandits, Morvid, Fell Tarmik, Grump Berger, Garland Franks, 2xDretch, Kaiser, Bezlur, 1xAssassin Vine, 10xDire Rats, 3xDire Rats, 1xGhoul.

Quest Exp: ??? (400)
The Green Tree bandits, Ridding Thori of lycantrophy.
The Mysterious Crypt


The Graveyard
Mirev, Human Fighter, Level 2

~~~

The Quote:

"We are looking for a cleric thats... uhm... 12 times wiser then me..."

Thori, upon looking for a 12th level cleric.

 

The three adventurers meet at the day of the great fair in Endhome. They all wait in the enormous line of people cueing to get inside, surrounded by animals, people and carts, the human fighter Mirev and the elven druid Elmwind, accompanied by his wolf companion Mistwalker exchanges some polite words. The dwarf Thori is silently intent on getting into Endhome, eager to start the restoration of the Moradin Temple inside. The elf and the human quickly start up a beginning of a friendship finding a common ground in herb lore, the dwarf seeing an opportunity in the young human lad as his first recruitment to his temple tries to persuade him, though Mirev is reluctant Thori offers to hire him as help in the restorations project and get him to convert later.

They make a quick visit to the old, disused temple of Moradin, assessing the workload. After that they pay for a weeks lodging at the Lion's Side Inn and share a meal, the elf tells about why he’s here, in search of a druid elder that went here but did not come back, he is several days late in returning.

Walking through the city they notice a wanted sign detailing the Green Tree Bandits and promising a reward of 500 gold coins to those returning with the leader of the viscous caravan-robbing gang, dead or alive. They are intrigued by the huge reward. At the sign they are also spotted by Father Beamus, the head cleric of the Solanus temple, who just happens to be looking for a sturdy couple of adventurers, fate must have led him to see them.

That evening at the Lions's side the party witness some insidious looking characters whom tries to pick a fight with some local patrons, but the innkeeper stops it before it starts by pointing a crossbow at them, they scowl but leave, one of them, cloaked in black hisses at them. Later after they have found a free table Father Beamus finds them at the Inn and pleads for their help in a matter, which he wants to discuss back in his temple, they all leave there after supper.

Beamus tells them about a vision that has come to him recently, of huge malevolent looking figures in the sewers. He thinks they might even be a form of were-creatures, but he does not know what they are up to, but he always gets the feeling that they are the tip of an evil iceberg forming in the city, he will loan them some silvered weapons if they help him. The adventures readily accept and soon find themselves climbing down a sewer grate. Beamus had seen an "X" drawn on a wall in a crossing in his visions, so the party starts looking for that. After about an hour of searching the many crossings in Endhomes sewers they suddenly stumble across Elmer, an old hobo living in the sewers, he tells them that he’s seen an X over yonder, Mirev gives him a silver for his troubles and they find the spot with his directions. The elf immediately discovers a hidden door in the sewer wall as they lack the means of getting it open with skill, Mirev promptly tries the shoulder approach, a trap springs and he gets hit by a poisoned needle. They find a small hole where the needle came from and poking a small stick in it the door opens.

Entering the some caves beyond the door they get jumped by eight large rats, which they have no problem disposing of. During the skirmish Mirev hears something larger approaching from deeper within the caves and is ready with his silver tipped spear as the Wererat attacks! The monster proves a good fight and bites both Mirev and Thori hard, but in the end the party is victorious. They hear a thin male voice calling out for help and they meet a young man who calls himself Mons, he says the wererat captured him and he pleads for them to lead him out. The party does not trust him and they carefully lead him further in as they want to explore. They enter the biggest room in the warrens and find a locked chest, while trying to get this open Mons suddenly pulls out a hidden dagger and backstabs Mirev then shapechanges into his Wererat form! A fight issues and yet again the adventurers win.

They find a good deal of treasure in the rooms and the chest which the stout dwarfs carries with him. But Elmwind is worried he knows that being bitten by a wererat will turn the victim into one! But the dwarf cleric Thori puts this away as silly superstitions.

They return to the temple of Solanus and Father Beamus who can not thank them enough, he heals the wounded of them and praises them, offering them unquestioned welcome in his temple in the future. The honest group returns the silver weapons as promised before.

They head back to the Lion's side where they decide to count their loot tomorrow and then almost faint onto their soft beds...

- Adventure II -

The adventurers wake up the next morning, they breakfast and decide to sell their loot at the Bazaar, Thori is very eager, being the gold loving dwarf that he is. They make their way to the Bazaar and the dwarf finds a shop to his liking, the Hounds Right Leg. The store is managed by the old soldier Emiil and his three legged veteran basset Gonzo. Upon seeing that Gonzo is very happy and that Emiil loves a dog that ha lost one of his legs Elmwind finds respect for this shop. They make a VERY good deal on their loot, Emiil’s motto is “Id rather sell one of my dogs legs then make you a bad deal”, Thoris skills in haggling are supreme and they walk away feeling rich indeed.

They remember the wanted sign about the Green Tree Bandits and head over to the Barracks where they ask to meet the Captain of the Guard, Bragger Bondhome meets them inside and takes them to his office. He explains about these bandits attacking caravans and leaving none alive. He’s very happy that the party wants the job since he can spare no guards of his own, he also lends them a map of the area around Endhome and its wilderness.

The group purchase some travelling rations, not Elmwind who says with confidence that he and Mistwalker can live of what the nature provides. They set of immediately along the northern road. On the morning of the second day of their walking a great shadow comes down from the heavens, sweeping closer and closer to them, they hide behind some bushes. Mirev and Thori succumbs to the immense fear the Red Dragon inspires as it swoops down into the side of the woods and emerge with a deer in its jaws and one in a claw, then flies north. The human and the dwarf regain their spirit after awhile and the group continues, eagerly talking about the very first dragon they have ever seen.

They turn inwards to the forest as Elmwind wants to hunt and they make camp in there this evening. During the last watch on the following morning Elmwind hears something, big feet and jeering laughter approaching, he wakes the others and the fighter and cleric hastily dons their armour. They are ready as the two gnolls attack! As Thori gives support with his new heavy crossbow he bought earlier with some of his new money, Mirev attacks with his grandfather’s masterwork greatsword, Elmwind sends Mistwalker at them and supports with his sling. They quickly dispose of one and the other decides to run for it, howling. They chase it doen, Mistwalker much faster then any gnoll. But the howl warned the second pair of gnolls lying in wait and they now attack, one putting an arrow in Mirev. The party proves too much for these gnolls though and they are soon corpses on the forest floor.

No reason to go back to sleep after this invigorating fight they set of again, back to the road and north. All they see this day is some gypsy wagons heading south. On the evening they come across the Roadside in where they get a warm meal and meet Morvid, a merchant in wool who’s heading north with his wagon. They come up with a plan of hiding in the cart, except Thori who will act as a guard, hoping this will draw the bandits out. The next they commence their plan, although nothing happens that day.

On the next day the see a mule and four men, seemingly just standing on the side of the road, they continue towards them carefully and tells Morvid to greet them normally. When they approach with the wagon Morvid steps down and walks up to the men, he exchanges some words then swirls around casting a magic missile at Thori who is hurt! Mirev storms out of the wagon and fells the spy Morvid with one mighty blow. A huge skirmish issues but in the end the party stands victorious, albeit hurt. They loot their opponents and head north with the wagon, Elmwind heals one of the horses who got hit and is carefull to cover their tracks.

They spend the night among the hills in the north and decide to track the bandits back to their camp the next day. As planned Mistwalker easily picks up the trail and they continue south along a great river. During their trek Elmwind spots some small ruins and they decide to investigate, it appears to be a small but ancient crypt of some sort, covered with thick vines. But having more pressing matters they mark it on their map and continue following Mistwalkers tracking of the bandits.

Later that day they find the bandits camp, sneaking a bit closer, Elmwind spots what must be their leader a tall mean looking man with a huge bow on his back and two swords at his sides. He also notices him talking with a black bearded dwarf.

As Thori tries to sneak closer too, Elmwind gets ready with a spell, the heavily armoured cleric shambles forward like a crazed armoury and the men in the camp swirls around. But the elf was ready and he casts entangle on the area and swiftly the dwarf and the bandit leader is firmly rooted to their spots. The party begins shooting at them with their bows, crossbows and sling. Out of one of the tents a gnome bard appears and he casts sleep on Mirev who goes down, is awakened and then goes down snoring on a second spell from the dancing gnome! But after much shooting and much cursing from the entangled dwarf they are all shot down like sitting ducks.

The party searches through the encampment and finds quite a lot of treasure. They carry with them the body of the leader and put him on their wagon along with the loot and set of back to Endhome…

- Adventure III -

Our brave adventurers decide to make a stop at the mysterious cryptlike entrence they encountered on their way to the bandits. As they get closer to the ruin a huge vine grabs Mirev by the legs and another whips him almost to death! The others manage to save him and they retreat back to the river. After some healing is cast on the fighter they discuss it and decide to return to Endhome and maybe come back here later.
Upon returning to the city Thori insists on selling their loot at once, and claim their reward from Bondhome too. So after a stop at The Hounds Right Leg they proceed to the Barracks where they meet Bragger Bondhome again, and show him the corpse of Fell Tarmik, the bandits’ leader. The captain of the watch is very pleased and presents them with a small chest containing 500 gold coins. The group return to the Lions Side where the pay for another weeks stay, this time they get a room each and they divide their coin.

As they breakfast the next morning they discuss what to do now. Thori made some flyers about the temple of Moradin, late the night before, which he runs out to set up on different bulletin boards in the city. When he comes back they ask him to cast Read Magic on the strange parchment Mirev found in his armour:

Kaiser

Remember to hide the armour I brought!
Those pesky rat-beasts steal anything shiny.

We have to disguise our door better,
and we should eradicate the rat-beasts
tunnels.

/Bezlur

Ps. I think the rats bring feeding to the Pulanti
family. How lazy can one get? Damn bloodsuckers. Ds.

After some discussions about what the content of the parchment could mean they agree that going to the Wizards Academy sounds the best. When they approach the academy walls they speak to one of the guards who tells them about how Bezlur was fired from the academy and the rumours says he had a love for opium. After the brief discussion they enter the academy to try to get an audience with the headmaster Stylus Kant. This proves difficult as the aged wizard who receives them explains that if they want an audience they have to return with three copies of an audience request and even then its very hard to meet the extremely busy headmaster. They finally give up on the idea, but not before Elmwind buys and Everburning Torch from one of the academies many laboratories.

That evening they set their minds on investigating this matter themselves and after nightfall they look up the sewer grate nearest the academy. They climb down, lowering Mistwalker, and set fourth looking around for, something, anything. Once again it is Elmwind who spots the secret door, he sees the small amounts of dirt on the “doorstep”. They hear voices from behind approaching and hide around a corner. Out from the door comes two demonic beings who Thori identifies as Dretch who argues and empties buckets up dirt into the sewer. The party debate what to do, but the dwarfs thirst for gold and Mirev’s search for fame and glory take the better hand and the proceed in, the door now unlocked. They enter what seems to be an old opium nest, from a small room to the right they hear how the dretch dispose of their buckets. And the group hides in a small adjecent room. The dretch sits down for a game of demonic no-limit holdem and as they play Mirev lunges out his greatsword held high! With two viscous chops the dreches are mere stains on the small dungeons walls. From another door Elmwind, who put his pointy ear to it, hears someone coming and they hide yet again in the small room. Someone wearing long robes comes into the room, looking very puzzled at the blood and gore in the room, but he doesn't have the time to think anymore before Mirev repeats his charge and Thori and Elmwind sees him lob of the mages head. Elmwind mutters something about how they might have wanted to question the man.

They proceed through the hallway from where the wizard came and they come to a large room where the walls are covered with bookcases. The elf listens at one of the two doors, hearing nothing he simply opens it, in a tall chair sits a bearded and robed man, writing, he says “what now Kaiser?” a bit irritably, Elmwind totally surprised blinks, then hits the older wizard over the head with his club! He hits hard but the man gets up, angry it seems, he mutters “fools!” and casts Displacement on himself. The group gangs up on him, but his defensive spell makes them miss one after the other until, the dwarf score a critical hit through his defenses and cleaves him deeply with his dwarven waraxe!

Yet again victorious, and lucky, they loot the area swiftly, Elmwind looks at some parchments on the desk and sees plans for a tunnel straight to into the academy! They look behind the last door and discover the unfinished tunnel. After this they head up to the surface again, and the Lions Side.

- Adventure IV -

Somewhat uncertain on what to do now the group of brave adventurers decides to take it slow for awhile. Mirev loans some gold from both his comrades to buy his long longed-for fullplate. Albin in the Armoury tells him that it will take three days for him to make the necessary adjustments to the armour. Since they also have to wait for the scroll to cure Thori of his lycanthropy they choose to wait a full four days.
During these four days Elmwind and Mistwalker head to the forest to live and hunt, he is starting to find the city environments more and more uncomforting. Thori and Mirev starts working on cleaning out the temple of Moradin, the businesslike dwarf also hires two labourers from Shantytown, he pays them a silver in advance to work a whole week.
The fourth day arrives and the group head over to the temple of Freya to collect their scroll, upon entering the temple they see a ragman angrily arguing with the High Priest, when the characters approach, the man storms past them. When asked about it the High Priest shakes his head and tells them that the man sees himself like a community leader in Shantytown and was telling him that people is disappearing very frequently these last days. But he says the man is just angry and exaggerates. He presents the party with the expensive scroll and uses it on Thori who is finally cured!

They also pick up Mirevs new armour, Elmwind can not comprehend why he would want to walk around in that thing, but the fighter and cleric both are all smiles. They talk for awhile about what to do now, and agree that checking the Duskmoon Hills for any evidence of this “lost city” might be a good idea, they are hesitant on checking the crypt they found in the woods yet. So they get their gear together in their wagon and head for the hills.

One of the first things they see in the hills is a huge giant walking along, they manage to hide though, that tree trunk he wielded looked like it might hurt. That evening they make camp in the hills, Elmwind has the last watch, the only watch which proves to be eventful.
As he sits quietly in the dim light from his Everburning Torch, Mistwalker stands up and seems to smell something. He just manage to jump aside as the Ogre who snuck up on them bashes down his huge club where he was just sitting, this obviously wakens the other two, without armour the skirmish commences. The ogre proves all to much for them, Mirev gets in a good strike on the monster before it does critical damage to Mirev who is dead before his body lands on the ground again. Elmwind and Mistwalker flee backwards while Thori who takes any chance to seem braver then an elf stays. He misses the ogre who smacks him down hard sending the dwarf into unconsciousness, bleeding severely. It then proceeds to hunt for Elmwind, but the elf manages to hide from it. Having lost the elf, it lumbers back to the camp, grabbing Mirev’s greatsword and Thori’s backpack and lumbers along, bleeding and humming happily.
Elwind hurries back and heals Thori who wakes and is devastated by the loss, of his backpack. They put Mirevs body in their wagon and head back as fast as they can to Endhome. The first thing Thori notices is that the ragmen he hired are gone, giving done nothing more since the party left town. Here they bury Mirev in the temple of Moradin and they throw a feast in his honour (25gp worth each, 50 was too much!) Father Beamus, Bragger Bondhome and the Lions Side innkeeper arrives also and Thori proceeds over the funeral.


After the funeral someone arrives at the door of the temple, an elf. He says he’s heard that the group was looking for Barakus, and if they are he’d like to come along, the group who has just lost one of its few members agrees on this, they can sure need some assistance. After some talking they return to the Lion’s Side and let the elf, who introduced himself as Shael, have Mirev’s old room, it’s all paid for. Before they all hit the sack they decide on the next course of action, to investigate the mysterious, vine-guarded, crypt.

- Adventure V -

Not wasting much time they head out early the next morning. It seems the gods smile on them and the three day trip back to the crypt goes very smoothly. Although Elmwind encounters some strange plants he has never seen before. He makes a note of where they are but does not disturb them. As they approach the crypt they get ready to fight the deadly Assassin Vine.

The fight issues as all three of them attacks with distance weapons, it seems a good plan since the vine moves very slowly, Elmwind hurls some fistfuls of fire at it but it seems it is very resistant against it. Finally it stops moving and they approach, but the plant was extraordinary cunning and feigned its death, it attacks again but the group makes certain it dies this time, Thori having lots of fun with his axe.

Shael scouts the passage down but finds nothing that seems amiss and they head down. Downstairs they find what is a very old crypt, containing eight sarcophagi, they look around carefully and discover some sylvan writing on four of them. They also find a hatch leading to a tunnel even deeper underground. Continuing down it Shael scouts ahead but is heard by the ten Dire Rats that nestles down here, he gets jumped by four but he managed to run back, deep bite marks all over his back. Together with the other two though, they easily take down the foul vermin.

At the end of this hallway they find an old metal door, it has no visible means of entry, but four symbols of the sun and the moon in different positions on it, these positions where the ones mentioned on the sarcophagi on the floor above. The group is very baffled about this door and how it opens, Shael find a magical trap, but they are uncertain if he should attempt to disarm it. After some debating the decide Thori should try to throw a dead Dire Rat at the door, while the other two take cover on the floor above. As Thori's dead rat touches the door the trap is sprung and a 20’ long jet of flame hits him, disintegrating his wooden shield, he still lives though and when the others hurry down they see a blackened hallway and a burned dwarf that mumbles something about that he succeeded in protecting his beard.

Elmwind thinks they should wait 24 hours; maybe the trap is connected to the doors opening mechanism. After weighting said time Shael sees that the trap is now rearmed and they decide to let him disarm it, which he succeeds in doing. He and Elmwind long debates and try to touch and push these symbols in different orders but to no avail. Finally Shael thinks of something and just touch the symbols saying the proper words as written upstairs in Sylvan, the door swings open.

They enter a wondrous room. It’s a small room with a statue depicting and old man that is a fountain. Around the room and the pool there is various extraordinary and also ordinary plants such as a great peer tree and there is a feel of serenity in the room. But lying against the edge of the fountain is a corpse; he has his hand in the water and wears a finely crafted set of red leather armour. On his forehead is two smaller horns, and Elmwind insists that they pull it out after Thori identifies it as a Tiefling. They do so, and checking the body they see no trace of decay, but rigor mortise has set. They search the body and find one pendant with a huge blue stone in it and also a fine bone handled dagger. Elmwind take the fine suit of armour. They also find what seems to be a map to the Lost City of Barakus.

After this they continue searching the room and find that the water seems to have healing powers, the drink and fill their water skins. They also try eating a peer and feel strengthened after it. Also it seems you rest very well down here, needing only half the time it usually requires of one.

Reluctantly they leave the place the next day and head for the place marked on their new map. And head back to Endhome to identify their magic items and after that they are eager to look for Barakus.

Above Fools Pass, they find the hidden entrance, although they are a bit disappointed. Its an old wooden gate, that hands on its hinges and its smeared with Orc Glyphs. Shrugging, they carefully enter the gates and find wide dark stairs down. They don’t go far before they are jumped by three of their most hated enemies by now, Dire Rats! They kill them swiftly and head down into the first room, here Shael scouts around a bit but doesn’t see the Ghoul that’s hiding in a dark part of the room. A fight issues that don’t last long before the undead creature meets its final death. Now there is only one thing to do, head in deeper…

- The DM -

1