Forgotten Realms - The Northlands and Beyond

My Thoughts: Flute

Well, I’ve got the party and adventure. Now, to start my song. How should it go? I guess first we need a name. So, what shall we call ourselves? I will listen and watch as we go, and see what we can come up with. I’m not much in a fight, but hopefully I can t least keep the spirits high and distract opponents. My size in battle may be more of a hindrance than helpful. I know they look at me more as a child sometimes, but maybe that can be used to my advantage.

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Winter Jackal

When a jackal hunts, it does so in such a way as to give itself every advantage, and its prey – none. This is not because a jackal is a weak predator – no, the Calishite mused – jackals are decent enough at that. It does so because the jackal is cunning; unlike the lion, wolf or hyena, the jackal hunts alone.

A Calishite’s mood in the northern winter is never pleasant, and the turnings of his mind always return to the familiar; the known. Here, where snow fell in such quantity as the nomad could never have dreamed possible, there was little he could call familiar. His companions were still unknown to him, and the ways of the northern lands seemed strange and foreign to his mind. Yet something in the taunts and traps laid before the feet of his new friend Xilus did have a ring of familiarity to it. The elf who had eluded them once again this day – was using a familiar tactic.

A jackal prefers to hunt small game, as its own slight build gives it more than enough speed to catch all but the quickest of quarry. When it faces other predators, it prefers to evade them rather than take them head on, striking only when its foe is exposed and quickly retreating to safer ground when pressed. This jackal in particular has avoided direct contact with his more numerous, if slightly less skilled pursuers. He has struck them when and where they are most exposed, and when the need arises, he slows them down with his bark and a flash of his teeth. Tactics that he would not have to use if he felt confident of an easy victory. As a hunter, Bazhur understood the delicate balance between hunter and prey, especially when both sides had sharp teeth.

Bazhur Khan’s own teeth clattered involuntarily against the unfamiliar cold, and his eyes kept a wary watch on the dark places around him. Knowing that any true jackal would be long gone now, and well out of range of the blades and bows of his pursuers, he looked to Xilus for the order to seek out the elf, and slay him once and for all.

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The Wolves of Conyberry (Xilus)

The wind howled.

Xilus swung his sword in a high over-head arc before it came crashing down. The corn was no match for the wooden stick and the stalks piled up like dead monsters. Xilus grinned and looked over his shoulder at his friend Tomlin who had just slayed a small but dangerous dragon. The seeds and flesh of the dragon covered the ground with an orange stain.

“Good job Master Tomlin! That dragon didnt know what hit him!”

Tomlin stabbed his wooden sword into the orange carcass and stomped it with his foot. “I am the greatest dragon slayer in Conyberry history!”

The boys laughed and looked for more dragons to slay. Xilus noticed a particularly large orange dragon and moved to slay the beast. Before he could make his move, Xilus heard the corn behind him crashing down.

The wind howled again, louder this time.

“Get outta my crop, you blasted kids!”

Xilus dropped his wooden sword and bolted for the fence.

“Tomlin, its Farmer Issec!”

Tomlin bolted as well, the boys running as fast as their small feet would allow. They made it to the fence at near the same moment and dove through the slats with the Farmer’s oak stick barely missing their rear ends.

“Tomlin your father will hear of this mischievous! Xilus you too! What kind of name is that anyway?

Xilus stood up and brushed the stalks and corn strings from his clothes. “Old man I hope you die!”

Farmer Issec smashed his stick across the fence. The boys flinched and ran away down the road.

The wind howled. I will kill them all. The priests had returned, carrying a body and a note. I will kill them all if you follow me. I hope you die old man. The wind is howling. Farmer Issec is staring at Xilus, but he cant see. He will never see again. The wind…its not the wind howling…

Its the wolves…

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A Calishite's Musings

Bazhur Khan knew – with the assurance that only men who have lost everything dear to them understand – that something terrible had happened to Conyberry. Xilus, his northern companion, had the same look on his face, but the Calishite kept his tongue behind his teeth. No words would ease things, and no amount of guessing or speculation would solve the problem ahead. As Bazhur Khan entered the eerily quiet town, he knew that the cold hands of the mistress of death had come upon this place…

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Rescue, Helm's Hold, and End to Chapter 1

Current Date: Hammer 8th, 1368 DR

Upon first light after the battle at the orc camp, Davrun and Tymel set off out of the camp to follow the trail of blood. They find Myrtha hanging from a tree, bloodied and beaten with a note attached which reads “I will kill them all if you follow me -e.v.” Angered, Davrun and Tymel cut her body down and roll her in blankets returning her to the camp.

Her son is horrified upon their return. He cries uncontrollably as Davrun tries to comfort him. Stanley and the other party members give the freed prisoners weapons to defend themselves and decide to head for Helm’s Hold just south of Neverwinter. The party and the freed prisoners leave the woods and repair the broken wagon on the High Road. They finally arrive at Helm’s Hold at dusk that evening. They are greeted by the clergy at Helm’s Hold and are given food and provisions. The orphaned boy is taken into the orphanage at Helm’s Hold.

While there, Xilus gives the note to a sage there. Xilus was able to detect traces of magic on the note and determined it must be held to the light of the moon to be read. After they did so, they noticed the symbol of a human skull with a blade through the head as a watermark on the note. The sage confirms that the elf must belong to a group known as the Eldreth Veluuthra, an ancient elven secret organization whose lone goal is to eliminate humans and half-elves from Toril.

Knowing that the map of Neverwinter is likely in this elf’s hands, the party decides to hunt him down and bring him to justice for his crimes. They reason that the best place to start is in the small human village of Conyberry just on the eastern outskirts of Neverwinter Wood. The village also happens to be the hometown of Xilus.

The party decides to take Dalos with them for fear that he would flee from punishment from Lord Nasher for losing the map and also because he can identify the original. Dalos agrees to accompany the group. Xilus, Tymel, Khan, Davrun, Flute, Stanley, and Dalos all get resupplied and head south. They cut through the Neverwinter Woods and at dusk of the next day arrive on the outskirts of Conyberry.

The village looked eerily quiet as they arrived. As Xilus approached he found a pole sticking from the ground with a human head attached with yet another note threatening to murder all of the villagers if they came any further.

Suddenly a pack of wolves came running from the village and attacked the party.

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Chapter 1: Night 2
The Orc Camp

The party proceeded into the forest in search of the orc camp with Myrtha guiding them. Eventually they came to a ravine in the wood with a fallen tree as a natural bridge. They crossed the ravine and Xilus went ahead to scout out the camp.

Along the way he was met by Bazhur Khan, a mysterious man from Calimshan. Khan reveals that he has been monitoring the camp for a few days, but could not act because he was heavily outnumbered. With the party waiting back at the ravine, Khan and Xilus proceeded to the orc camp.

They silently infiltrated two of the four makeshift towers killing the orc guards there. After taking position in the towers at the entrance of the camp, they signaled for the party to move to the camp. Davrun, Tymel, Stanley, and Myrtha made their way to the camp hiding in the brush and trees until seeing Xilus’ signal (enchanted marble with continual light).

As the party waited outside the camp to ambush, the orcs sent archers to replace those in the tower for a shift change. The battle ensued. The chieftain and shaman ran out of the center tent. Tymel cast a light spell on the shaman’s eyes, blinding him. Stanley rushed in to attack the shaman. The party fought off the orcs while heavily outnumbered. After Khan took down the chief with his arrows and Stanley killed the shaman in melee, the remaining orcs fled the camp into the darkness of the Neverwinter Wood.

The captives were freed from their cages. One captive, a merchant named Dalos Ironwinter, attempted to sneak into the orc chieftain’s tent. Xilus secretly followed him. After observing Dalos he realized the man was looking for something extremely important. He revealed himself to Dalos and after some questioning, discovered that Dalos was commissioned by one of the Neverwinter Nine, a man named Balar, to create a map of the city of Neverwinter and deliver it to Waterdeep to a contact with the Lord’s Alliance.

After creating the map and disguising his journey as a mere merchant’s caravan, he was ambushed by the orcs along the High Road. He told of a mysterious elf who came into the camp every few days. He would take a few human captives with him, but the captives would never return. Dalos was digging through the merchant cargo stored in the chieftain’s tent looking for the map of Neverwinter. Unable to find it, Dalos fears it may be in the hands of the elf, or worse yet, on it’s way to the Arcane Brotherhood in Luskan, bitter enemies of Neverwinter.

While Xilus questioned Dalos, Davrun spoke with the little boy held captive, Myrtha’s son. He tells the boy that Myrtha is with the party and after looking around, discovers she is missing. He goes to the outskirts of the camp where he discovers a blood stained trail leading into the darkness of the forest. Putting the pieces together, he reasons that somehow during the melee, Myrtha was taken. Tymel, Stanley, and later Xilus warn Davrun not to follow the trail as it may lead into a trap set by the elf. Angered, Davrun throws his shield and returns to the camp. Tymel informs him that they’ll follow the trail in the morning when there is less likelihood for an ambush by the elf or the fleeing orcs.

Stanley prays for purification of food to allow the orc rations to be edible to the remaining captives to help restore their strength and energy.

The party awaits first light before setting out to the High Road, which is half a day’s journey through the forest.

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Chapter 1: Day 2

On the afternoon of the second day, the party came across 3 people claiming to be travelers from Neverwinter. There cart had a broken wheel. When Xilus went ahead to speak to them, he noticed there were no fresh tracks leading from the cart to the road. As if the cart had been there for days already. As Xilus began interrogating the group, Davrun sensed evil from his position hiding in the back of the cart.

The party was then ambushed by a group of 5 orc warriors. The party managed to defeat the orcs. Xilus cast a sleep spell on the 3 humans while then focusing on the enemies. After the party defeated the orcs, they questioned the 3 humans further. The humans revealed themselves to be Ogmar, Tomas, and Myrtha. They were part of an earlier merchant caravan attacked by the orcs and taken prisoner. They reveal to the party that there is an orc camp half a day’s journey into the forest and that the orcs have other humans there taken captive that are still alive.

They reveal that one night an elf came into the camp and spoke with the orc chieftain. The next day the orcs grabbed the 3 of them to set up the party for an ambush or face their own death.

Myrtha reveals that her son is being held captive back at the orc camp. Tomas draws the party a map from memory of the camp. He and Ogmar agree to return to Neverwinter to get supplies and reinforcements from the Hall of Justice.

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Chapter 1: Night 1
On the first night of camp the party was attacked by a pack of wolves

Hammer 6th, 1368DR

After a long journey along the High Road, the party decided to camp for the night in a clearing. Xilus took up the first watch. While the party rested in their tents, Xilus heard strange sounds of large creatures just outside the camp. After moving to wake the others, three wolves jumped into camp and attacked the party. Xilus moved behind the cart and cast Sleep putting 2 of the 3 wolves down. Davrun shielded Xilus by the cart and threw his spear at the third. Stanley finished it off with a mace to the skull.

After the attack the party moved the dead wolf carcasses outside of camp. Something seemed odd about the encounter.

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Chapter 1: Day 1
The first day on the trail of the brigands

Hammer 6th, 1368DR

The party gathered outside the Hall of Justice. Tymel Greyhammer provided the party with a cart disguised as a merchant cart carrying wares south to Waterdeep along the High Road.

The party traveled about 20 miles south along the snow covered road before settling in for the night in a clearing. After small talk and some dinner, the party sets up for night watch over the camp.

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Introduction
The campaign begins

Introduction:

The party initially meets in the Hall of Justice in Neverwinter on Hammer 5th, 1368DR. Each member has seen a Call to Arms posted somewhere in the city and have arrived seeking work. They are greeted by Tymel Greyhammer, one of the priests of Tyr. He tells the party of at least 4 merchant caravans that have been attacked by bandits heading south along the High Road near the Neverwinter Woods delivering their wares to Waterdeep. He has enlisted the party to locate and find the bandits, rescue the merchants if possible, and bring the brigands to justice.

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