The North Journey - A Greyhawk Campaign

A Chronicle of the North Journey, beginning 579 CY
The hills are alive with the sound of sobbing halflings...

Book Two – Niole-dra

Chapter One – The Old City Wall

Worst Antogonist – Jarrod Vonn, a demi-human hating, xenophobic cleric of the Hopping Prophet Wastri; he would take “hunting trips” to his cabin several days away in northwest Kingsedge.

Best Treasure – a +1 Luckstone

After reaching the metropolis of Niole-dra, the oldest major city in the Flannaess, the party sought out places to train: the temple of Nephthys, the Mercenaries’ Guild, the Temple of Saturnus, while Exex and Paddy made contact with the Thieve’s Guild. Most of their hard-won treasure was spent improving their ranks and titles.

While Bobill was studying in the Magician’s Guild’s library he finds a scrap of paper in tome; its note and riddle leads to a secret cache in the old city wall behind the Thieve’s Guild. Here the thieves discover an exquisite sword, stein and brooch, along with a little coin. The party inquire with a sage and learns the sword is a missing family heirloom that belonged to the grandfather of Arleth Bertholos, the Captain of the Guard. They elected to have Darmok the Paladin return it to the Captain, “Courtesy of the Guild,” and Arleth was very grateful to have his grandfather’s sword/shield/dagger set back together. He gave Darmok the brooch, which is a Luckstone, and they made a valuable contact in the Niole-dra government.

The thieves were contacted by Marlonn, a sentry with the Watch, to investigate a kidnapping of a family friend, one Jarrod Vonn, wealthy merchant and owner of the Ripevine Winery. Paddy, Exex and Allynfred went to the Vonn Estate and discovered it rigged with plenty of crude traps. After discovering and disabling over a dozen tripwires, powder packets, sleeping poison vials, and other traps, the trio turned the evidence over to Marlonn and then tracked down the kidnapper. The poor fellow, not native to the city and operating outside of the Guild’s authority, was coerced into leading the whole party to the Ripevine Winery where Jarrod was being detained. The party learned that the Ripevine was the subject of some intrigue between Jarrod and a halfing, Kestro Greendirks, implicated and later acqitted of his cousin Harrinol’s murder; the murder and set-up were all committed by Jarrod, who turned out to be more than just a wealthy businessman. The party gained a map from among the damning evidence in his secret office below the winery.

And Kestro? He had hired the kidnapper, and was arrested by Marlonn and the Watch; Rebamac acted as his attorney before the magistrate, he received a year’s jail sentence, and the Winery was taken over by the City.

In Niole-dra the party’s fighters also participated in the Tournament Meleé at the Festival Grounds. After completing training our bunch was eager to adventure more, and elected to return the gnome’s belongings.

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Book One, Chapter Two - Kerryl
The Little Bug Hunt

Kerryl – The Little Bug Hunt

Baddest Antagonists – six Ankheghs of varying sizes

Worst Casualty – Darmok the Paladin. The Mother Ankhegh’s acid destroyed his plate mail and killed him; Cheas and Garath ministered to his wounds and prevented further damage. He was raised to fight another day.

Best Treasure Recovered – the gnome had a map (leading to his home) and a +2 Short Sword of Quickness, now in Paddy’s possession.

Best Character Action – the Magic-User, Bobill, upon being entreated to assist in the Ankhegh fight: “No way, I’m not going down there!”

The party is commended by Tylanis “Lance” Johnnson for their success in clearing out the Caves of Chaos and bringing bandit and hobgoblin prisoners to the Keep. Most of the party were close to leveling up, but would need to go to Niole-dra for training, which worked out great since the great celebration of Richfest being their original draw anyway.

Along the way they encountered a discouraged family leaving their farm in Kerryl, due to the predations of giant bugs. After speaking with the “village” elder and the latest farmer whose cattle were attacked, the party found a small burrow and traced it to it’s point of origin. Here, smashed-out stone blocks at the bottom of an old well indicated something was amiss. Paddy the Halfling Thief agreed to be lowered first, followed by most of the others. He discovered a mostly-consumed gnome corpse and a large chambe dug from the soil, clay and loose rock. Droppings, carcasses, rotting vegetation and long white soft eggs left no doubt that this was an Ankhegh nest, and the residents soon appeared to prove the adventurers’ hunch correct.

In the ensuing battle, which Bobill stayed out of by posting watch up at the well, Darmok took a full acid bath from the mother Ankhegh and was reduced to 0 hp, his plate mail destroyed. Garath and Chees’s quick actions saved his life, though he was unconscious the remaining rounds of the fight. Paddy called up for Bobill to help, but his request was denied, which probably saved the 1st-level mage’s life.

In the end, three juvenile, two small and the mother Ankhegh were slain, their eggs dispatched, and a little treasure recovered from the gnome’s body, including a Ring of Feather Falling (later discovered to be a cursed Ring of Clumsiness), a map to someplace noted as “Ravelos,” and a magical short sword, identified later as a Short Sword of Quickness.

Short Sword of Quickness

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Book One - The Keep On The Borderlands
Their first adventure

Book One – The Keep On The Borderlands

Toughest Foes – Almay, a 4th-level cleric of Ralishaz with the ability to cause Sleep by gaze, once/day; – Loreal, 3rd-level gnome illusionist

Scariest Battle – Almay’s forces in the Temple of Ralishaz

Best Magic ItemWand of Fireballs disguised as an unlit torch

The fledgeling adventurers, newly brought to life, discover themselves in the common room of the Keep, where they are staying the night before journeying northward for the Richfest celebrations at Niole-dra. Informed of bandit activity nearby, the Castellan, Tylanis Johnsson, offers them the chance to investigate, rather than thinning his meager troop numbers. The freshly-formed party indeed encounters bandits, kills some and captures some, and learns of their hideout in the Caves of Chaos.

The Caves are explored, bandits, goblins, and hobgoblins fought; an ogre is vanquished, and an evil temple to Ralishaz is discovered. As the party explores, the dischordant cacophony of crude instruments and bells reverberates down the great hallway, calling the chaotic cult to service. The thieves sneak up to spy, but are seen and a tremendous battle ensues; the party fights for their lives against bandits, clerical acolytes and adepts, a powerful Curate and a gnome illusionist and his bodyguards. Exex is unconscious, reduced to 0 hit points, and the cleric and paladin use up all their healing powers during the fray. In the end, the party prevailed thanks to a Sleep spell that beat the chaotic Curate at his own game.

Further exploration of the complex led the adventurers to free a local maiden named Hilda and clear out the remaining hobgoblins, who had relocated after the party’s incursions into their southern complex. This was another hairy, dangerous battle.

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