The Reavers

Burned Villages
Officer Byron of the order of the Chimera

First Entry

On the orders of King Mardin himself, I have been south of the kingdoms of Albright on mission to gain information on the new lands now collected within our realm. I left in the company of an entire brigade as well as a collection of tax collectors, map makers, and census takers (a waste of a saddle this lot, none of them worth their rations). Our retinue travelled south along the King’s road for several days until we reached the Nentir Vale.

The Nentir Vale is a lush, vibrant kindom. A lush gem in our king’s new crown. The ruler of Nentir is Lord Warden of Markelhelm, Ruler of Fallcrest. It is said that he personally held the line in the Bloodspear wars. So a man to be respected. In Fallcrest, I was introduced to two Greencloaks. Apparently, these green cloaks are rural scouts and sheriffs of sorts, and police the borders of the Nentir Vale. One, a human elf named Alista, who apparently was born in the Harkenwoods, has invited me to go on patrol with her and her comrade, a somewhat brooding human druid with, named Shagg. An object of concern is Shagg’s pet, which appears to be a wolf. Both look to be formidable opponents and it is clear why they have been chosen as scouts.

Learning to know more about my King’s new kingdom, I have decided to go with them.

Second Entry
A few days south we have come across a burned out Steading along the King’s Road. Alista and Shagg are quick to search the ground for tracks. And though I can see only wagon ruts, they swear they have found the footsteps of these murderers. In one of the burned out dwellings, there are burned remains of the farming family who owned this steading. My blood runs hot thinking on what kind of creature would do this to an innocent family.

Following along the road, we come across a few more burned out farms. Alista and Shagg think that these villians are few day past us. They think they might cut through the Harkenwoods, the Elves call them Songwood’s I’m told, and can cut these men off in Harken. Though I am far from my original mission, I decide to go with them.

Third Entry
We traveled through the forest, a silent and brooding affair, no sign of these mysterious elves though I swear I was being watched, and make it to Rook’s Nest. On the horizon, we can see signs of black smoke. We rode hard and found another burned out shelter. We keep riding and luckily catch these bandits in the attack of burning down another farm. Alista, Shagg, and I come to the rescue. In truth, I hadn’t felt this alive since the Bloodspear Wars, running down Worg riders. The bandits had a wolf, and wore banded armor with a sigil of an iron band. They had the complexion of Southlanders. When we dispatched them, we found hiding inside the fort a half-elf farming lady by the name of Illyana and her two boys.

I was shocked to discover from her that Harkenwold has come under attack and has been taken by these bandits calling themselves the Iron Circle. Baron Stockmer is said to be held captive and both sons are dead. Illyana tells us that there is an underground resistance still, but that they have not the man power to resist in full. She recommends that we travel to the city of Albridge, and find the resistance, or meet up with a old sage by the name of Reithan in a grove to the south of here. Apparently, this sage is known for her great wisdom and could assist us.

I have decided to leave my comrades and travel north. The king must here of this invasion. They in turn are going to meet with this old witch Reithan on the advice of Illyana.

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Visitors
Riethann the Witch

I can sense through my spirit wolves there presence on the grove borders. There are two of them, just like the fey spirits from the green lands foretold. They will have a role to play in this, though I don’t know what. Beneath my aching knees, where a few hours earlier in the dawn gloam I planted the seed I was given, she is growing. Her golden brown skin rises up out of the sacred earth. I know not what she is called, she is a creature of the Feywild and our realm, she will have to find her own name.

I care not for these invaders and their plans. They cannot touch me in my sacred grove, but this girl is important to the prophecies. The strangers will ask me for advice and I will guide them to either Bran Torrson’s or to Albright, it matters little either. But she must join these strangers. They will link together with others and form a crown. I send the halfling boy to begin setting out provisions for all of us. The strangers will be hungry when they arrive. Then I return to the Monolith Rock to search for the presence of the Feywild.

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The battle of Toadwallow Caverns
Bran Torrson, No Title

This post will describe what happened before the battle of Toadwallow. Unless anyone wants to describe what happens from when Alista and Shaggy show up to when evenyone leaves for Albright, I am going to have it be done under the perspective of Bran.

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Simon's Sad Pathetic Life
This place is so predictably boring.

Simon’s Log -

The banality of my situation somewhat slackened today. Huzzah! After being whisked away from the castle by Captain Skarlface to this ridiculous squalor pit, I found myself stuck in pisstown for over a week! Today, something interesting finally happened. Karl finally got over his paranoia and decided we needed to emerge from this “secret lair” and help out the common folk who are granting us refuge. The inbred clan providing us “shelter” are known as the Torsson’s. They are renown for their ability to grow corn and produce hordes of red headed idiot babies. Father has been enamored with them for as long as I can remember. As far as I can tell, the only thing they have ever been good for is paying their taxes. Anyway, today the Captain came down and said “The good folk of Torr’s hold need our help, blah blah blah…new cleric in town blah blah blah…bullywugs trapped in the caves”. To be honest I really didn’t care that much, I just wanted to get out of that horribly rank hole. One thing that did catch my attention was that the renown druid Raithan arrived here last night, only Ioun knows why. She had some sort of forest spirit avatar stuck in a nearby cavern being held captive by a Bullywog tribe. Some of the local bumpkins decided to go in there and Captain Fantastic convinced me to come along. He claims it’s good for my character. Bah! If anything, in retrospect, it was good for spell practice.

Anyway, once we had made it inside the stinky cave, we observed the oddest thing. A large Bullywug holding a wooden stick girl over a foamy toad pit full of ravenous bullywug pupa. I recognized the unconscious creature as a Wilden. Never before had I seen one in the flesh, or should I say, in the timber. Ha, ha, ha…Oh, my sides, ha ha..I kid, I kid. Anyway, this creature must be of some value, explaining Raithan’s presence. Well, as soon as we entered the Bullywug dropped stick girl in the pit and summoned two gray oozes out of pit. Imagine that! The ability to summon gray oozes. Absolutely fascinating! While I was considering ways of getting on the Bullywug’s good side, some of the Torrson brats tried to engage it in combat and unfortunately it was necessary to dispatch it. Just my luck. During the fight, some buffoon managed to knock open a gushing water spigot and flooded the chamber. But not before I found a rather interesting cache of sweet loot. What I found was an unlocked chest with a sapphire, a corded symbol talisman, and a wand.

Meanwhile, at the mouth of the cavern, the rest of my ramshackle goof squad found some way to attract the attention of more hostile bullywugs. By the Raven Queen’s black scowl, I have never been in the company of such a fine collection of imbeciles. I guess that’s my lot in life though; constantly being dragged down into the muck by my inferiors. That’s what do-gooding will get you. Be ye warned.

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A Dark Carnival
Chief Archaelogist Fili Runestone

Archaelogical Transcript 305b

Interviewer Archaelogist Fili

Interviewee Mgm.

F: At the finality of this interview, Mgm. record will be expunged and he will be released from custody and forbidden to remain in Hammerfast. To begin, Mgm. when did you first meet the individuals mentioned in your affidavit?

Mgm: In Albridge, in Harkenwold.

F: What were you doing at the time?

Mgm: Traveling along the King’s road. I owned a circus at the time, Circe de Selune, and it was useful enterprise in allowing to move secretly across the land. We were heading north to the Kingdom of Albright.

F: Albright, the Lost City?

Mgm: Yes, for all I know it’s under a glacier now. We got stuck in Albridge, in the Barony of Harkenwold. Harkenwold was a provincial kingdom at that time, of no importance. It had been captured by Sarthel raiders and the individuals you mentioned were striving to take the barony back. One of them was local royalty after all. Even then, I knew they had the artifact. Even then, without knowing what it was, I knew they had found something immeasurably valuable and didn’t know it. I planned to steal it from them, but obviously that didn’t work out. Instead, I went north and they went south and we didn’t meet again until later.

F: Who were they?

Mgm. Prince Simon Harken, or at least I still think he was a prince then. The knight Karl, it amuses me that he now exists in children’s stories. Then he was just a bodyguard. A Tiefling cleric to the dead god. A half-elf Greencloak. I sent one of my circus performers after him, an illusionist.

F: Do you know where they went after that.

Mgm: I left Harkenwold in a hurry after that. I needed to stay clear of the Sarthel raiders. I didn’t hear of them again until Albright, and it was shortly after that when it happened.

F: The fall of the kingdom of Albright

Mgm: The fall of everything…

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Gypsy, Tramps, and Thieves
Dar Gremath, Resistance Leader

We’ve received reports from our scouts in Tor’s Hold that they have come into contact with Prince Simon and his party. The report was mixed. Our agents were able to find the Willowfeet Halfling Clan, but unfortunately Nazrim Redthorne, that blackhearted dog, found them first. The hafling families were murdered by Redthorne’s mercenaries, and their bodies hung on the makeshift gibbets provided by their rigging. I have no love for those river gypsies, but no one deserves such a fate. Hopefully their deaths can be used as a catalyst to convince the people of Harkenwold, that these Zhentarim raiders cannot be bartered with. They will be pay for their crimes.

Luckily, the young prince and his recon team, came across the criminals who did this, and brought them to justice. The mercenaries called themselves the Frostblades, and they seem to be one of many of these mercenary groups in the service of the Iron Circle.

Our heroes have passed on word for us to meet them in the forest of the Woondsinger elves. They are meeting with the elves to see if they can turn them to our cause. If they can, perhaps we will have enough men to turn the tide of battle to our favor.

I wish them well in the days ahead. A cold rain has fallen on Harkenwold, followed by a thick fog. Traveling the trails must be difficult enough, but I also believe that Nazrim Redthorn is aware of their presence as his patrols have increased.

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Dark Magic
Chief Archaelogist Fili Runestone

Daily Report from the Great Hall 307

Let Moradin’s Hammer ring today. I have good news to report to the archaeology committee in Hammerfast; a possible site for the artifact. We know the artifact was in a pre-winter barony believed to be called Harkenwold. We have discovered three major sites that we now believe to reside in that location. From those sites, we have discovered a cask of primary documents including velum manuscripts chronicling the day to day operations in Harken Castle. One of the names that continually crops up in these records is a young noble, Prince Simon Harken.

Prince Harken appeared to be an adventurer and traveled with a band of heroes. It is likely that Harken could have picked the artifact in his journeys and either kept it in Harken Castle, or at his possible undiscovered gravesite. Harken’s companions have continually showed up in our historical records. Bishop Gabriel has been shown in the record books of a pre-winter cathedral whose remains were discovered in the Winterfens. We have also been given a treasure trove of information from the interview with Management. As one of the only survivors of winter, and someone who has originally met with the members of this party, he has been invaluable in helping us triangulate the site of the artifact.

We know the adventurers have traveled to the South of Bramblewoods to seek out an undead wizard Yisarn. Yisarn’s name has shown up in the arcane record of names and we have found two of his spells Yisarn’s Wiggling Finger and Yisarn’s necrotic breath. What the adventuring party desired with Yisarn is unclear and will likely continue too until we discover the whereabouts of Yisarn’s lair. Our reports from the Harken Castle shows that the location might be an abandoned Eladrin tower. Three archaelogy teams have been sent to the South of Bramblewolds to find the remains of the tower.

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Simon's Log
My So-Called Reign

Finally had a chance to write. We’ve been so busy running errands for peons. The elves in the southern forest got us into a tight spot with a necromancer. Best thing in his dungeon was the possibility to animate a black dragon skeleton. Absolutely fascinating lore. My so-called subjects/comrades balked at the idea and because I actually need them to get my kingdom back, I decided to not go through with the ritual. Such a waste. The wilden is starting to get on my nerves. Useful, yes, but not exactly what I would call “on board” with the Harkenwold agenda. Sometimes she speaks as if Harkenwold was a small and insignificant factor in whatever she has scheming up in that wooden noggin of hers. Concerning, but it will have to wait till later.

Anyway, the battle of Albridge commences today. I feel like I have really turned the tide here. I dare say that if I hadn’t shown up, all of these peasants would be lying dead in their fields tomorrow. It’s hard being a wizard prince sometimes. So many responsibilities, so little recognition. Sometimes though being an effective leader means letting others lead instead… and then letting them take the blame for failure. Ha ha. It’s funny because it’s true. I won’t let incompetence risk my kingdom though. No, no, no…can’t have that. Still, you sometimes have to break a few hundred eggs to make a perfect omelet.

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