Michael Ward

The Tapestry of Aethelred

The party think there is some kind of link between the Wizards’ College in Stamford and The Happy Wench, but they do not stay to find out what it is — they return to Derby to see Gleese, who writes a letter of introduction to Gleason Blalock of Nottingham, a retired merchant and insurer of considerable wealth, whose priceless tapestry depicting Aethelred’s victories over the Picts was just discovered by them in the Orc cave. Aethelred tells them that it had been stolen three years ago, but he does not know by whom or how it would have ended up in the Orc cave. He does say that the highwaymen who robbed his wagon train (which he was not on) and stole the tapestry were definitely human. He says he has three old enemies left in Nottingham (Cynigils, Oethric, and Seward), and that he thinks if anyone was behind the theft, it would be one of those three. Black-Jack questions all three only to find that they all report having been cheated or driven out of business many years ago by Blalock, and all are now either in another line of work (Seward, who became a scribe for the Inquisitors’ Office of Nottingham) or running rather less-than-successful businesses (Oethric runs a wine and ale shop and Cynigils runs a rug shop). The party reports to Blalock that they could find nothing out, and decide to revisit the Drow cave they found months ago. On their way through town, an assassin disguised as an old woman stabs Salazar through the heart, killing him. Black-Jack shoots her with a Drow-poison-tipped bolt as she runs away and knocks her unconscious. Aelwulf, the head priest of the temple of Odin, is called to help them.

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The Orc Cave, continued

The party complete their all-out frontal assault on the Orcs, ogres, and Wargs. They go back to Derby, and Gleese and the Merchants’ Guild throw them a celebratory dinner, with the mayor and sheriff in attendance. On their way to Derby they stay in Hanbury, where they meet the merchant Samwise who tells them that the tapestry they found in the Orc cave is actually a unique art piece that belongs to a collector in Nottingham, a retired merchant and insurer. Gleese promises to introduce them to him, but first the party makes a stop in Stamford to visit Usorius at the Wizards’ College.

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The Orc Cave

The party returns to Nottingham from Stamford, and stays again at The Guardsman, where they were attacked earlier by a bounty hunter and his associates. This time, they are attacked by men associated with the Monks of Elmham, professional killers devoted to and trained by the monks themselves. Flynn, the sheriff, takes the one they left alive and imprisons him; the party questions him for information while he is in jail, then leaves him to the Royal Inquisitor. He tells them nothing about why he was sent there to kill them. Gleese invites the party to dine with him at the Guild Hall, and asks them when they will be taking care of the Orc situation. The party hire Phineas, a sorcerer, to help them destroy the Orcs. Selina returns to Stamford to retrieve Eiliss’s sword, and then meets the party in Derby. They find the spot where the latest Orc attack on local merchants has taken place, and track the Orcs back to their cave in the southern tip of the Spineback Hills. They attack them during the day, when the Orcs are hidden in the cave.

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Stamford

The party escorts Arwynn and Belche to Stamford, the home of the Wizards’ College where Arwynn studied. She has decided to give up her quest to find Veronia, and will create a new spell book once at the College. On the way, the party is attacked by a group of powerful Drow, taller and stronger than usual Drow, one of whom uses arcane magic. The Drow are far from their usual hills, and obviously were looking for the party. They spend some time having various items identified by one of the Masters at the College (Eiliss discovers that the sword she bought from Capstan is actually an old sword crafted by the Dragon Lords many centuries ago, and has had many enchantments and counter-enchantments cast on it during its lifetime, and Usorius wishes to study it to see if he can unlock any of these enchantments), and then leave town to take care of the Orcs they were hired by Gleese to deal with. On their way out of town they are attacked by the man they saw the previous night at The Happy Wench (otherwise known as The Merry Widow, run by Nancy) — a large man with white hair and black eyes. They assume he was hired to kill them by someone, though they don’t know who. The next morning they continue on to Nottingham to pick up the belongings they left there before journeying to the Spineback Hills to find the Orcs.

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The demise of Dafyd

The party questions the assassin who attacked them, but getting no cooperation, kills him. They spend some time in Nottingham attempting to find the whereabouts of Veronia, but only learn that she has departed with three men for Elmham. They discover that these men were monks from the monastery outside Elmahm, and learn valuable information about the monastery from a friendly merchant who once had dealings with the monks there. They decide to accompany Arwynn to Stamford, where her mentors are, as they think they can’t catch up with Veronia and the monks. They spend the night in an inn, and during the night they are attacked by a bounty hunter and his associates. They kill them, and Arwynn sets part of the inn on fire when she casts a fireball spell. The next day, Selina begins to train Black-Jack in the art of tracking, and as she does so, the two of them discover the tracks of a party of Orcs outside Nottingham, on the border of Sherwood forest. They decide to attack the Orcs, and during the skirmish, Dafyd is killed.

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The trip to Nottingham

The party decides to help Arwynn get her spell book back. They also take the job offer from the Derby Merchants’ Guild of ridding the Spineback Hills of Orcs. They decide to take Arwynn’s job on first. While searching for Veronia in Derby, Salazar is pickpocketed by a short man who turns out to be a part of the Derby Thieves’ Guild. They find the house he escaped to, but meet an intimidating man in armor at the door. They burn the house to the ground, and are questioned by the sheriff of Nottingham, Flynn, who, when he discovers that they know Gleese, takes them to him without pursuing an investigation (no one was in the house when they burned it). On the way to Nottingham, the party meets a merchant who has an impressive array of weapons for sale. He delays them a bit, and as they near Nottingham, night falls, and they are attacked by a group of Orcs, led by a half-Orc fighter and supported by two wargs. The Orcs were far from their usual raiding area, which is unusual. In Nottingham, they stay at the Dragon’s Cave Inn, run by Marcus. That night, an assassin sneaks into Dafyd’s room and tries to kill him. Blackjack sneaks around the outside of the inn on the second-story ledge, pulls the assassin out the window after firing on him, and deposits him in the alley. Eiliss and Selina drop down and fight him as Blackjack shoots at him from above; they knock him unconscious.

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Reporting back to Derby.

The party takes the Drow hands and Orc tusks they have collected back to Derby to present to Gleese and the Merchant’s Guild. Gleese is delighted with their success, but concerned about a new problem he did not previously know about — the Orcs. He petitions the Guild to hire the party to deal with this new menace, which the Guild gladly does. Salazar hires the fighter Dafyd to accompany him and converts a couple townsmen. The party goes back to Wirksworth and encounters Aarwyn and Belche, the druid. She tells them of Veronia de Cancri, a sorceress of some power who is able to use both arcane and divine magics, who has stolen her spellbook (Salazar recognizes them as the priest who took over his parish among the Belgae and his consort). The party agrees to help her get it back. They find the inn Veronia and her aged husband are staying in, only to find his dead body in bed. The innkeeper tells them that he positively saw her and her husband earlier leaving the inn. They find no trace of Veronia in the surrounding neighborhood. Earlier, while still in Wirksworth, they returned to the cave they had killed the Drow in, only to find no trace of either their bodies or the bodies of the slain Orcs — both had been dragged away, but in different directions. Later, the party was attacked by the undead bodies of three of those same Orcs, accompanied by five skeletons. Selina, the scout, found huge humanoid tracks a mile from Wirksworth leading into the hills northeast of town.

When Salazar casts a detect evil spell, he notices something odd about Gleese. He does not radiate evil, but there is something strange about the way his aura reacts to the spell.

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The party moves to Wirksworth

Gleese, the head of the Merchant’s Guild in Derby, reports to the Guild what happened to him on the road from Carle. The Guild decides to pay Salazar and Jack to rid the road of the menace, which is costing many of the Derby merchants money and, in some cases, lives. Jack decides that they need fighters, so Eiliss and Selina are recruited to go along. They decide to travel to Wirksworth, as there have been reports of strange activities and theft by the local farmers and loggers, and Selina thinks the base of whatever is raiding the merchants’ wagons is on this side of the hills. On the way to Wirksworth, Selina discovers the tracks of creatures unlike those that attacked Gleese and company. They met Jacques, the owner of The Whipsaw tavern, and he is glad to see them, complaining that the Derby Guild should have sent someone a long time ago, as the local farmers and loggers have complained for a few months already of strange activities and thefts around the town. Selina tracks a group of creatures into the rocky ridges of the Spineback Hills, and the party finds a cave, which they stake out. That night, a group of Drow appear in the cave and the party defeats them. Later that night, a group of Orcs comes to the cave to challenge the Drow to fight, but encounters the party instead, who defeat them, as well. They bring the hands of the Drow back to Wirksworth as proof that they have accomplished what the Guild hired them to do.

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Events at Carle. The party forms.

Jack meets Salazar at The High Road tavern in Carle. Salazar attempts to convert everyone he sees. Jack is wary of him, and keeps his distance. They meet a week before Midsummer, during the high season for the open market at Carle, where merchants and farmers from the areas surrounding Carle and from Northumbria and Gwynedd gather to do business. While sleeping on a roof, Jack sees the undead form of a local farmer’s wife return to its house to kill her. The children escape. Jack and Salazar take Gleese’s offer to guard him on his way to Derby. They are attacked by two Drow in the night, who knock them unconscious and rob them. Gleese is wounded in the leg with a crossbow bolt during the attack. They eventually make it to Derby.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

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

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

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

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

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

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