Melothian

Obliigatory Beach Episode Part 1

After a some time spent licking our wounds and improving our gear; we were once again summoned to Nigal’s office. When we gathered there he revealed his plan for us to continue our investigations into the doppelganger menace. As it turns out there is large beach resort just up the coast from High Tower that opened up in the past several years and is focused on catering to an exclusive clientele. While Nigal has not had any evidence that the doppelgangers are involved with this resort, it would be an ideal place for them to replace people of influence from at least 2 kingdoms. Since the cost of the resort is beyond our usual means Nigal provided us with a sack of gold to cover a weeks stay provided we don’t indulge in to much luxury. He also allowed us the use of a coach (the yacht was busy) to take us to the resort.

When we arrived at the resort we checked into a suite, and were impressed by the luxury and amount of magic the resort uses. Everything that they can magic the have, most notably the cooking and lights for the resort are entirely magical. As we would experience this large amount of magic use has attracted the attention of the Gûl Man more than once. Although thus far it hasn’t amounted to anything more than threatening messages. In our initial investigation we learned that the resort provides access to all the common forms of relaxation and vice. When we split up in groups to begin looking for signs of any doppelganger involvement, I went to the stables with the Ruaridh, while Kiara, Rhianna, and the cleric check out the buffet and casino, and Freya wonder off to the beach by herself, in spite of the risk of doppelgangers.

When we reconvened in the evening we had learned that the resort is very concerned about its reputation and that its guests have a pleasurable experience. We had also found out that some of the masseuses can be a bit rough. It also turns out that some of the housekeeping staff will provide additional services for fee, although it is against the resorts for them to do so. Perhaps on a related note we learned that there seems to be a higher rate of turn over among the female staff members. Perhaps more interestingly we learned that a body had washed up on the beach near one of the riding trails. On a side note, hopefully unrelated to doppelgangers Freya has acquired and admirer somewhere along the way.

-Devon Ae Zarzuket (500 XP)

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FUBAR

In order to attempt to rescue the princess with a minimal amount of risk, we decided to disguise Rhianna as a delivery person and deliver the box of components that the enemy mage had ordered. While Rhianna got them to open the door Kiara using a wand of invisibility would sneak into the house and locate the princess and attempt a rescue. The plan started out well Rhianna got the door open and created enough of a distraction for Kiara to slip in. Kiara was then able to locate the princess, but unfortunately she was guarded. Kiara ended up hiding in a closet for a while trying to figure out a plan, while the rest of the party waited nearby. Eventually Kiara tried to act but was unable to do anything to free the princess. Kiara then signaled the rest of the party from the roof of the house and we decided we had no choice but to assault the house. Long story short the assault got bogged down and the mage was able to teleport away with the princess, although we did successfully capture or kill all of her accomplices. Interrogating the captured tiefling rogue we learned the mage would have teleported to Tarsis to sell the princess into slavery. However, the king’s wizards should be able locate her in a few days with scrying.
-Devon Ae Zarzuket (XP=1500)

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Runaway Bride?

Searching the mansion we found it to be filled with cobwebs and some valuables. Taking the valuables we returned to Hightower and did some shopping and then settled in to wait for the king’s wedding.

A few days before the king’s we were awoken at some ungodly hour in the morning by guards bearing summons from Nigal. With in a few hours we were assembled in his office and being told about the unfolding crisis. The king’s bride had been kidnapped from her bed and no one was seen entering or leaving the room. Her bed was found empty by one of her handmaidens, along with a note warning against investigating. Questioning Nigal we found that one of the newly hired maids was also missing. When we investigated the room we didn’t find any clues to that would help track down the bride. Although there were fading traces of magic in the room, revealing a teleportation or dimensional door spell of some type was used. While we were in the room we asked Nigal to summon the court wizard to attempt to scry on the brides location, but this was unsuccessful and there were no personal items left from the missing maid. Through our questioning of Nigal and the staff we learned that the missing maid was hired locally but was originally from Rasim. We also learned that Rasim did stand to lose out on some valuable trade if the treaty that was being sealed with the marriage went into effect.

From the palace we went to the flop house were the maid had been staying before being hired at the palace. After showing the keeper the establishment our royal writ authorizing us to investigate and explaining how he could answer our questions or the king’s torturer’s questions he became much more cooperative. From him we learned that the girl had been staying with her tiefling brother and that they had been meeting with some local muscle while they were there. When we searched the room they were staying in we the only thing was a paper with something written on it in Hindi. Needing to get it translated we went to a nearby Temple of Tyr to get the help of the a priest on the translation. When the translation was completed it turned out it was a just an invoice for a horse shipment from Gabon to a stable here in Hightower.

When we made our way to the stable we found what was left of a large fire. Picking through the ashes we found the charred remains of several horses and one spell component pouch. Since the pouch was not attached to an equally charred wizard, we deduced that the owner would probably be looking for replacement. There was one shop in the area that dealt in magical components, and we went there to investigate. After chatting with the proprietor for a bit we produced our writ and with a small bribe found out that some incompetent was in placing an order for a large number of components to be delivered later in the day. While a few of us wondered by the address for the delivery Rhianna and Kiara began disguising themselves as delivery people. Those of us walking past the address noticed that there was at least one guard watching the street.
-Devon Ae Zarzuket (800 xp)

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Maxim 20

The negotiations wrapped up without incident and we headed home. The trip back home passed uneventfully, and surprisingly Sir Roosty survived the trip.

Arriving back in High Tower we met with Nigal and gave our report on the events of the trip, and received our payment of 1000gp. Stellon was also told where his lands would be and that he would have two weeks before the King’s wedding to go out to the island and inspect the lands, which had been unattended since the previous tenant disappeared. Our attendance was expected at the wedding, and Stellon’s own ceremony would follow shortly after the King’s. Nigal provided one of his families ships to ferry us to the island and back in time.

Traveling to the the Island and then on to the manor house was uneventful. Although along the way we did hear the usual rumors that the manor was haunted. When we made to the manor the druids and ranger, spotted another issue before we encountered any ghosts. The yard was covered in insectoid tracks, according to Ruaridh they belonged to Ankhegs. Looking around it was determined that they were coming from a whole under the barn. With some effort the doors to the barn were pried open and we ventured inside. It stank of dirty barn and more than one dead animal. In the middle of the floor was a hole that sloped steeply down under the barn. We ventured into the hole to clear out the nest. We slowly progressed down into the tunnels under the barn following the sound of clicking, passing through two forks in the tunnel one of which lead to an opening in the seaside cliff. Finally we came up to an open chamber filled with ankhegs. Before we could get out into the chamber the bugs charged us. The fight was progressing well until a dozen more ankhegs burst through the walls behind and amongst us. The newly arrived ankhegs swarmed Stellon wrestling him to the ground. The rest of the party was not fairing much better, either being grappled or getting badly savaged. With little hope and few options I pulled a scroll of fireball and set it off blasting most of the ankhegs and the party. Luckily the ankhegs took the worst of the blast. Stellon was maybe the luckiest of the party as the ankhegs that were attacking him shielded him the most of the damage. Following the blast we put down the last of the attackers and patched up the worst of our injuries. Before we returned to the surface we made a quick search of the cavern and found the remains of the previous tenant, and a bunch of eggs, which we torched. We left the caverns bringing with us the items we found with the body and the carcases of the ankhegs, because Stellon wanted to skin them.

The next day we ventured back into the hole and sought out the colonies queen. We found the queen in a tunnel beyond the cavern. The fight with the queen went well although it did get a hold of Freya for a while before it could be killed. Once again the Stellon insisted on dragging the carcase out so he could skin it. On the way out we made sure to smash any eggs that survived the fire. With the insect problem taken care of the only thing that remained was to search the manor.
-Devon Ae Zarzuket (1500 xp)
(From Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries, Maxim 20: If you’re not willing to shell your own position, you’re not willing to win.)

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Matchmaking

A few days later our group once again assembled in Nigal’s office waiting for our next mission, only to be surprised with a choice. We could either go investigate the doppelganger threat further or provide an escort for a diplomatic mission. We chose to escort the diplomat, and hopefully delay our next encounter with the doppelgangers.

The mission we were to undertake would be to safely escort Sir Dennis Roosty along with his wife and a handful of staff to Gabon. Once there he was to arrange a marriage treaty between our king and one of the tribal chieftains, Otina Owassa. Perhaps the biggest complication to the mission would be Sir Roosty’s advanced age. Before we departed Nigal provided us each with a with small travel chest, enchanted to be weightless and clean whatever clothes are placed inside, containing a mithral armored coat decorated with the Lorican colors and crest and 4 sets of courtiers clothes also with colors and crest of Lorican. We were also each provided with one ceremonial weapon of our choice. With this equipment we were given the departure time of our ship and told to be sure we were on it.

Before we set sail we looked around for any opportunities to earn some extra money on the trip. Kiara and I found some contraband pipeweed that had a large potential for return, provided we didn’t get caught. It proved to be a successful venture in that we made a small profit and learned to make sure that cargo is packaged properly to avoid spoilage.

Our voyage by ship proved uneventful, and we arrived safely in Gabon. During the voyage the Cleric and I took time to chat with Sir Roosty about the mission and the country we were traveling to, while keeping an eye on his health. After Arriving at the port we traveled over land to the capital Conakry were we stopped to rest for a few days before continuing out to the tribe the negotiations would be with. While we were in the capitol Kiara and I unloaded our merchandise. While we were in town we also looked at some fine horses, Stellen purchased a bunch of exotic reptile hides, and Freya bought a bunch of rare ingredients.

Our final destination was about a weeks ride from the capital through mostly swampy terrain, but at least there was a decent road. About halfway through this leg of our trip a storm began to move in. It looked bad, when we sent Freya’s hawk up for a better look it turned out to be really bad. We picked up the pacing hoping we’d find a place to shelter from the storm. As we traveled along we spotted a dryad’s grove. After some debate we decided to approach it and beg for shelter. Hailing the grove brought forth a lovely vision of sylvan beaut. When she approached we told her of our plight and asked if we could shelter with her from the storm. After some negotiations she agreed to shelter us in exchange for a case of wine and week of my company. We rode out the hurricane in the dryads tree for three days and the the rest of the party departed with the diplomat on what was left of the road leaving me with the dryad.

The party managed to make clear the road and make it to the village without incident. Negotiations began with the cleric providing assistance to Sir Roosty. While the negotiations were going on Freya and Kiara looked at horse, Ruaridh looked at dogs, and Stellen looked at some more hides. The negotiations started off well with Sir Roosty appearing to maintain the upper hand. Until they hit a stumbling block, the chief wanted one of our party to marry one of his sons or daughters. Stellen realizing he was the most suitable candidate volunteered. Sir Roosty said his status would be elevated to a minor noble both here and at home and that he would be given some small holdings. He was able to select one of the chiefs daughters and negotiate a small dowry with out giving any offense. Before the main negotiations could be resumed the strain of the trip and Sir Roosty’s advanced age made it impossible for him to continue the negotiations. The chief looked to his new son-in-law to continue them, but he chose to stall until I met back up with the party in a few days making me his proxy.
-Devon Ae Zarzuket (750 xp)

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Some days...

We finished our business at the inn and began our trip back home, most of which passed uneventfully. The first major event of the trip was self inflicted. After having the book we found at the inn in my possession for 10 days, I succumbed to my curiosity and opened it, from a safe distance using mage hand. It was a good thing that I was standing back because the book exploded when it opened. After putting the fire out I began to look inside the book only to encounter another trap. This time it was a sepia serpent, that I just barely avoided. When I was finally able to read the book it turned out to be written in code. The code was an indecipherable string of numbers, and no clues were forthcoming to help start the process, but the book did include a pair of 10 sided stones that were most likely used generate junk numbers. Having made the book safe I showed it to the rest of the group, and we began making some attempts at cracking the code.

Our trip continued and we returned into the lands of Lorican. Shortly after crossing the border we noticed a group of people moving off in the trees parallel to the road. Curious about what was going on, we sent Kiara to investigate. When she returned we learned that it was a group of five slavers with about the same number of slaves. As we debated on the road about if we could help the slave, if should, and how we would a pair of halflings came out of the woods and approached us. They were a pair of brothers, a druid and cleric, who had been following the slavers for some time. With the extra numbers we launched our attack on the slavers. Freya started the battle by attempting to entangle and then charged in with her sword. Kiara and Ruaridh, the halfling druid, charged one of the slavers near the edge of the entangle and quickly over powered him. I came under fire from an archer on the other side of entangle, and was soon incapacitated by a blindness spell from the enemy cleric. The battle played out with Freya cutting down another of the slavers, and with the help of Kiara, Ruaridh and his brother forced the surrender of a third slaver as the archer and cleric made a run for it. While they were doing this I had crawled a short distance and been surrounded by a group of elves. The elves were a group of opportunists looking to take the slaves themselves and sell them. The party was able to negotiate with the elves and get them to go away for a small some of gold.

We didn’t get down the road very far when a group of men confronted us on the road. We could tell there was something wrong about them, and our suspicions were confirmed when they demanded we hand over the book. Some how the new it hadn’t been destroyed. The party being in no shape to fight them negotiated. In the in we handed them the book and got 1500gp and a Ring of Feather Fall in exchange.

We returned to Hightower and dropped the slaves off at the Temple of Gada, Gada being the goddess of liberation. The people at the temple were nice enough to remove my blindness.

Then it was time to report to Nigal. He was not very happy that we lost the book, but we did bring back some valuable information. In the end he paid us the 1000gp we were due for completing the job with a 500gp bonus for the information. He also gave us a 500gp for going above and beyond when we attacked the slavers, he also reimbursed the money that was spent getting rid of the elves. We were offered another bonus if we managed to crack the code before his code breakers. Then he told us he would have something for us in the next few days and sent us on our way.

- Devon Ae Zarzuket (1000xp for the night + 500xp for completing the Inn quest)

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Fact finding mission

Once again we were summoned to a meeting with Nigal on the promise of another job. Strangely when the group had gathered Bart was absent and a rather stout druid who stank of bear was. As it turns out the series of close calls that he had experienced made him decide that adventuring was not the life for him. Nigal had however managed to find this human druid who was willing to work for gold by the name of Stella or Stellen or something like that. Anyway Nigal laid out the job he had in mind. As he had mentioned the last time we met a previous group in his employ had reported a doppelganger encounter similar to the one that we had described at an inn in Narek. Our job would be to go out and investigate the inn and see if we could find any similarities to the one that we encountered and any additional information we could uncover. For this job we were paid 1000gp up front with another 1000gp on return with the promise of a bonus for bringing back quality information.

Before we left I took the opportunity to see if Nigal might be interested in a partnership on a horse. I told him about the horse that we had picked up on our return trip and what it could do. After showing it to his groom and seeing what an interesting, although stubborn, animal it is he offered to board and use it as a stud giving us 250 for the first colt and then 125 each additional, with the deal being left open for renegotiation after we see how he breeds. It was a fair offer and we agreed. At some point we will need to attempt to train the horse for riding, but that will need to wait until we have more time.

With that settled we finished our preparations and began our trip to Narek. We traveled uneventfully through Moibor and Erhard. Erhard was the more interesting of the two, since as we traveled through we experienced their Feast Day. Feast Day being a wild, weekly, nationwide party which we gladly indulged in. The druid did seem to have a “special” encounter while we were there.

When we arrived in Narek the first thing we noticed was the dark foreboding forest and the unnatural fog that seemed to close in around. Freya, being from the region, assured us that this was normal and we continued on until we got near the inn. Before approaching we did a careful search of the area to look of graves or other signs of doppelganger activity. From the local villagers we found out that the inn had burned and the previous owners had run off about the same time that the previous group had passed through. We also learned that the inn was in the process of being taken over by some rich merchant’s son from the city. At the inn we found this man and his work crew in the process of putting a new roof on the inn. I began making idle chatter with the new owner when the druid told him we were investigating the inn for a noble in another kingdom and wanted to take a closer look around. The owner refused suggesting he could turn us over as spies and the druid offered him 50gp and the bard chimed in offering to clean out the interior of the inn. This changed the owners tune, although I was able to talk him down to 25gp, he was set on us cleaning out the inn. We set to work on cleaning the inn and as we did so found a beige unmarked book that radiated magic. On investigation it seemed to have at least one ward of some type placed on it. I put it in my pack for the time being to deal with later.
After the second accident among the workers since we arrived, I had the druid and Freya make an investigation around the inn to look for pugwami. While they did that Kiara and Rhianna went to investigate the inn’s basement. They were down there for some time when a earsplitting, forlorn cry came out of the basement. followed shortly by another one that ended rather abruptly. When I went to investigate I found a hatch in the floor open to a room rapidly filling with water. Kiara was struggling to keep her head up and Rhianna was nowhere to be seen. I went to find some rope to help and arrived back at about the same time as Freya and the druid. On my way back I concocted a better rescue strategy and used enlarge person to allow Kiara to stand in the water. Shortly after the spell took effect one of the walls in the room gave way and drained the water down a tunnel into a nearby stream. Kiara was able to grab her cousin and keep both of them from being swept away. With the water being drained from the room we were able to investigate and found that the room had been used as type of prison, finding parts of two skeletons and a pair of names scratched into the wall.

We returned back outside to examine the unnatural tracks that Freya and the druid had found in their search. When we got there they found a fresh set of tracks that showed up in the time they had been away and immediately began looking for their maker. The druid apparently spotted something because he and his bear set off running through the forest, the rest of us ran after. The chase continued until a pocket of darkness swallowed the druid and his bear. The rest of the party stopped to figure out was going on only be engulfed in darkness as well. When I found my way out of the darkness I came out on a different spot from the rest. When the darkness moved towards me I assumed that the cause of it was somewhere inside, and using a scroll of fireball I attempted to seek out the cause. In the resulting explosion I got a brief glimpse of something in the darkness. As the smoke cleared I heard the druid’s bear attacking something to my left and moved to investigate. When I got there the Kiara, Rhianna, the druid and his bear were fighting with something I couldn’t see. In the end the bear pulled down something that seemed to be related to a dark stalker.

We were able to revive it and question it and found out that it was part of a team hired near Mt Etna to observe the inn. As we interrogated him further we gradually found out that he was on the surface as part of a plot by the dark folk and doppelgangers. It seems that there is an alliance among about 10 of the underdark races to wipe out the surface dwelling races. They are working with the doppelgangers with the ultimate goal of dividing the world between them. With this information we let the prisoner go. Now we just need to finish cleaning the Inn and head home with our report.
-Devon Ae Zarzuket (+500xp)

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Shenanigans

While boldly going into the wild reaches to complete our mission and deliver the valuable orb to the far lands past our homeland we came upon great destruction in the city that was our goal. Our careful investigations (looting, pillaging and killing) lead us to believe that something seriously wrong is going on here. A lot of things just don’t feel right and people are not all who they seem to be.

When we stopped at an inn, we came across some really freaky people who turned out to be dopplegangers. They caught us off guard and got the jump on us to start with, but we bounced back and joined our friends in the woods making a daring escape.

With the fiends tracking us, we hurried out of town bearing our warning of the danger, determined to make our way so we could give news of this catastrophe to our employer as well as to other people who might be put in danger. In order to expedite the delivery of this news we stopped at an inn along our path to requisition some faster transportation. Under the light of the stars my cousin Kiara and I made our way over the wall and into the stable to rent/purchase some horses. As the stable boy seemed to be preoccupied, and we didn’t want to risk running into more dopplegangers running another inn, we left a tidy payment and borrowed a few horses. We left a note so the owner wouldn’t worry about their horses with directions of how to get the horses back, and set off leaving a false trail in the wrong direction to get rid of pursuers.

Once we neared the town where our own horses were we took the rentals to a nearby inn and tied them to a tree along with a note explaining how to return them to the proper owner whose brands were very clearly marked on the horses. In the next town when we heard that the owner of our rentals had gone missing we left a very detailed letter explaining the dangers of the area to the family in the hopes that would help them rescue our benefactor.

From there we went back to old whitey, the dragon to whom we had delivered the first orb, and gave him a detailed report on the happenings in the region. We had a pretty good time in town there, the inn had some good night life, and I picked up a few new songs to bring home and hopefully the locals will enjoy them when I return.

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Or not

After arriving in Bannockburn I was able to find a Wizard able to cast a sending spell, which allowed me to get in touch with Rhianna and discover that surprisingly the rest of the party was alive and not doppelgangers. I passed the next two weeks uneventfully until they caught up.

Once we met up in town we proceed to prove to each other that we weren’t doppelgangers. This was accomplished by proving that we bled blood, since from various sources we had learned that doppelgangers bleed an ichor like substance. With this done we set off on the road to Holgersson and ultimately back to High Tower. However before we left the lands of Dotonia we noticed several wanted posters for three catfolk women with descriptions that closely matched Freya, Kiara, and Rhianna (the reward wasn’t great enough to make it worth trying to turn them over).

When we made it to Holgersson we were able to secure an audience with the king’s adviser, as Palar was unavailable. We told him what we new about the attack on Olleth, the doppelganger threat, and the anti-dragon movement from the south that is gaining influence in the west. We spent three days in a fine inn as guests of the king while Palar and the adviser considered the news we had brought. In gratitude Palar gifted us each a Gem of True Seeing (single use), a Potion of Silversheen, and a Potion of Cure Serious Wounds. After receiving the king’s thanks we continued on our way home.

After arriving in safely back in High Tower we reported to Nigal Mansel. We related the tale of our journey giving him all of the details about the trip, the attack on Olleth, and the encounter with the doppelgangers. Although once we mentioned the doppelgangers he immediately stopped us and brought in a cleric to cast a zone of truth spell and verify the authenticity of what we were telling him. Apparently this is not the first time he has heard a tale like this. Another group of adventures in his employ had encountered a similar inn run by doppelgangers somewhere in the region where Freya grew up. Nigal after some thought said he had an idea for further investigation but didn’t elaborate, saying he needed time to prepare. Before we left we were given the balance of our contract plus a bonus for a total of 3000 gold pieces each. As an additional bonus we were each given a letter of recommendation and a brace of finally crafted pistols with ivory grips and gold scroll work along the barrels.
-Devon Ae Zarzuket (Xp for the night = 1750)

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Dead! They're all Dead!

Having been instructed to return home quickly we set out and began our long march back to Bannockburn where we had stabled our horses before using dog sleds to journey to Olleth. As we left the valley we spotted a horse limping along the path. Freya approached the animal to investigate it further. It turned out that the horse had no brands or saddle marks, and its limp was caused by an arrow head lodged in its hoof. Working together Freya and Bart were able to remove the arrowhead and apply a poultice to heal the infection. When they finished this I was able to ask the horse a few questions about where it came from and how it got hurt. It turned out that the he came from the Plains of Wind to the west of the valley, had wondered into the valley chasing some mares, then stepped on the arrowhead somewhere around Olleth (or as he described a place of many stacked stones), and then we found him as he was leaving the valley. I told him that if he came with us we would help his hoof, and he agreed to follow us. As we traveled we realized he was an extraordinary horse, all legs and chest looking like he could run forever, I valued him somewhere between 350 and 400gp.

After a few weeks of travel we made it to the Thunderfoot tribes lands and decided to just continue through. After some traveling through their lands we reached a group of Orcs blocking the path. When we approached the they informed us that this was a toll road and we would need to pay them 10 silver per person to pass, which we agreed to. They also wanted 25 silver for the horse, but Bart was able to negotiate them down to 10. Before we moved on I was able to ask them some questions (after a small bribe) about the tribe that attacked Olleth, and confirmed that it was out of character for that tribes chief as the Thunderfoots had been trying to start something for years to no avail. As we left I told them they should be prepared in case the other tribe decided to come after them next, they seemed happy and excited by the idea.

A few weeks latter we stopped off at an inn/trading post pick up some fresh supplies. While the party was taking care of business at the inn Freya ventured out into the forest to look for herbs. While she was doing this she stumbled upon a field full of unmarked graves. Upon making this discovery she ran back to the inn to tell Bart. Together with Kiara they went back to investigate. After a short investigation Bart began to consecrate the graves and Kiara returned to the inn to tell Rhianna and myself what they had found. Hearing this we approached the innkeeper and began to question him. Kiara began started out with some indirect questions that weren’t getting us anywhere. Knowing that I didn’t want to be murdered in my sleep I flatly asked the innkeeper what he knew about the hundred bodies buried out back. When he lied to me I proceed to threaten to curse him, his family, and his inn if he didn’t tell me. With that the innkeeper drew back to strike transforming his fist into a spike. A short and bloody battle ensued leaving the innkeeper dead, while Rhianna and I were bleeding on the floor. Kiara and the other party that that was at the inn were successful in driving of the other four doppelgangers that were at the inn at least temporarily.

When Rhianna and I were brought back to consciousness we attempted to signal Bart and Freya who had stayed at the graves, hoping to get them both back to the inn. Only Freya came and after some discussion the party moved to the cemetery to be with Bart. While Bart continued consecrating the area Rhianna and I tried to get some rest while Freya and Kiara kept watch. Just over two hours later we came alert to the sound of many things crashing through the forest. Alert to the approaching danger we made ready to defend ourselves. Into the clearing came the doppelgangers that escaped the inn backed by what appeared to be orcs of some unknown tribe. They attacked with murderous intent and quickly overwhelmed Freya. Seeing Freya fall and taking several punishing blows herself Kiara began the retreat. Rhianna seeing her cousin flee and having numerous foes bearing down up her followed her example and fled. With nothing between me and the horde of doppelgangers and nothing I could do to change the out come I ran following the bard and rogue into the woods, just as Bart fell. I ran back to the inn, having lost both Kiara and Rhianna somewhere woods, and warned the other party about of what was coming. While they fled I told the horse what was happening and begged, pleaded, and bribed him to carry me to safety. Kiara and Rhianna didn’t make it to the inn before I left so hopefully they found some place to hide and didn’t get killed but there’s no way to be certain.

Once I positioned myself on the horse he took off at a run, and what a run there may only be a handful of other horses in the world capable of matching him. He ran like the wind for eight hours far out distancing any hope of pursuit. Even after covering several days of travel in mere hours he wasn’t even winded, but I had him slow up before he re-injured his hoof. Together we continued on down the road, eventually coming to another inn. I considered stopping to wait for there to see if any of the party showed up, but after the last inn I decided not chance it and continued on down the road into Dotonia. Where I would wait for several weeks and see if any one from my party showed up.

-Devon Ae Zarzuket

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