Post Greyhawk Wars: 585 CY

6th of Readying, 586 CY

Somewhere in the Gnarley Forest
Overcast, cold day.
High: 42
Low: 24
Earthday
Fern 2
The party continues its travels to the western edge of the Gnarley Forest and then to Veluna. Ashult carries “Bornthien the ant.”

Late morning:
Several of the PCs hear laughter and a low whispering coming from around them.
Moments later 4 lantern like lights begin to hover in front and to the back of the party.
Suddenly a 2 ½ feet tall creatute resembling a small elf, but with longer ears, two silver wings, like those of moths, wearing bright clothing, wearing a cap and a pair of shoes with curled and pointed toes, appears in front of Ashult.
PixieIt reaches out a finger and touches the mage. A look of fear and confusion instantly overcomes the mage. He decides to flee into the forest.
A few seconds go by and another one appears and pulls out a sprite-sized bow. It fires an arrow at Steven and hits. Steven falls to the ground into a deep sleep.
Gustav attempts to tell the party theese creatures mean no harm. It is too late.
Nivek decides he’s had enough and attacks one of the creatures. One hit manages to smash it into pieces.
Another one appears not far from Ashult and hits him with an arrow. Ashult falls to the ground.

The assault is over. Ashult and Steven wake. The mage acts like he’s never seen the party. He has no idea where he is at, cannot remember his own name or any of his mage like abilities.

Later that day, Ashult attempts to once again flee. After a small chase, Baroque and Gustav are able to catch him. This time Gustav lets the mage know he can trust the party or they can tie him up until they reach Verbobonc. Several of the members are able to at least get Ashult to calm down and trust them, for now.

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5th of Readying, 586 CY

Deep in the Gnarley Forest
High: 42
Low: 27
Waterday
Another clear and cold day.
Fern groves
For once, a boring and uneventful day.
An unusuallv thick growth of ferns carpets the forest floor here; though tree leaf cover is thick, enough dappled sunlight reaches the forest floor to sustain these shade-seeking plants.
While travelling together, the PCs take the time to get to know each a little better.
Baroque is unaware that they are heading to Veluna.

That night, while camping, Baroque and Steven decide to finish their fight. Meaning to teach Steven a lesson, Gustav decides to take Baroques place. The fight doesnt go so well as seconds later Baroque jumps in.

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4th of Readying, 586 CY

Deep in the Gnarley Forest
High: 44
Low: 23
Godsday
A clear, cold and frigid winter day.

Within an hour after leaving Tricaster:
Steven suddenly turns to Nivek and begins to insult him. Gustav then turns to Baroque and does the same. Heavy arguing quickly turns to actions as Gustav and Steven suddenly sheath their weapons and physically attack Nivek and Baroque.
More than a turn goes by before the spell is broken while the PCs do their best to subdue Steven and Gustav while not harming then.

Late morning:
Nivek Nala notices footprints in the snow. They lead into the forest.
Steven Grayson follows the tracks into the wood with Gustav and Nivek Nala nearby. Gustav and Nivek quickly discover something is wrong as they watch Steven stop dead in his tracks. Nivek can hear the voice of an elf explaining to Steven the party is threspassing on elf grounds. The party moves on without incident. Afterwards, Steven describes a 1/2 dozen elfs, or more, pointing arrows in his face that seemed to almost be invisible amongst the trees and heavy brush. They, so far, have been a familiar site to the PCs since entering the forest.
Gnarley ranger1

Late that afternoon:
Nivek notices many large humanoid tracks coming from the south side of the forest. After taking a closer look he verifys they are bugbear tracks. The 1/2 elf can hear them nearby. They are close.

Within moments the party is rushed by a dozen bugbears coming from the south side of the forest. They 1st throw spears before entering melee with the PCs.
Bugbear1

While all of this is happening, Steven and Baroque were having a brawling spar match, which ended with the large man putting Steven unconcious in a hold. There really was no fight.

The clerics are forced to get involved as Pholemius Brightmantle is seen using some kind of mace that seems to explode upon impact.

After a hard fought encounter with the bugebears, Gustav lets Steven and Baroque know he is less than satisfied with them. Beramane reminds them they are in the service of Pholtus and their behavior is unacceptable.

Tricaster2
About 18 miles NE of Corustaith:
Pholemius Brightmantle spreads his arms and like a magnet is drawn in a specfic direction. He cries: “the end is nigh!!”

Within and hour the party comes across 7 rangers, consistent with the same type they have encountered day after day. 3 are human: 2 male, 1 female. 2 1/2 elf males and 2 wood elfs. They are armed with long bows and spears.
They nervously stand over a barely coherent woman. She is filthy and decrepit, and can do little more than mutter, drool, and periodically scream
One of the human rangers, Roger Eibert of the Wood, claims she appeared from the forest and attacked them. She was babbling nonsense and acting delusional. He looks fearful and says she was driven mad by the evil freed by another ranger being watched not to far away.

The rangers’ spokesman explains that a warrior from a far away land lies close to death nearby, and he has brought some terrible evil force into the Gnarley.
He says evil magic has been witnessed by all the rangers, some folk have been driven insane, and the warrior himself slew several woodsmen with insane ferocity before he could be subdued. The rangers wish for him simply to die, believing the evil will go away with his death.
The rangers fear the PCs (who obviously look powerful) who have come to meddle in the affair, and the rangers will not allow this.

It takes Bornthien a several rounnds to convince them the party is here to help. Pholemius Brightmantle and Beramane remain silent even though it is obvious this is the ranger they are looking for.
Roger Eibert of the Wood agrees to escort the PCs to a small hut just 1 mile away.

Ashult once again claims the events that will take place within the next few moments have already happened and things did not go so well for the party. The clerics pay him no attention as Pholemius and his acolyte are drawn to the destination. The “blinding light” can almost be seen shining on the 2 clerics.

Hut
The Hut
The party arrives at a hut where 2 other young rangers are looking after a barely-concious ranger. Ashult is able to at least convince the PCs to tie up the rangers hands.
The ranger looks dreadful; his lips and face are swollen, his skin grey, his breath comes in gasps.
Pholemius draws from a pouch a silver flask of wine, a plug of preserved meat, and a hard ryebread roll. He places the meat and bread on the man’s chest, then mutters some prayerful words. Finally, he lifts the flask to his lips and drains it

The next few seconds:
Thr ranger attempts to sit upright
He begins to vomit blood
The hut grows very cold, and the two young rangers flee, affected by fear, any rangers outside are too fearful to enter.
The air is chill, a smell of acrid acid burns the back of the throat
The ranger coughs horribly and shakes, the Sin Eater prays to Pholtus for guidance
A wind seems to be whipping up about the hut, its timbers creak
Suddenly the ranger is able to break the ropes that bind his hands.
Pholemius is lifted like a feather as he is thrown against one of the hut walls.
And so it begins…

More than turn goes by as the PCs continue their attempt to safely bind the ranger as The Sin Eater performs The Final Absolution.
During the struggle Bornthien dissapears, anyone holding steel is forced to drop their weapon(s) as they turn red hot, Baroque is suddenly weakened and then attempts to remove Gustav from the hut, the mage begins to slowly walk out and away from the hut.
Gustav states that if need be, the party will have to kill the ranger to save their own lifes.
Luckily, and with a little help from Pholtus, the remaining PCs are able to subdue the ranger long enough (6 rounds in a row) as Pholemius Brightmantle continues The Final Absolution.
The ranger begins to calm, his breath slows down to a crawl, he passes into the blinding light….

It takes more than an hour for the clerics to get the ranger ready. Afterwards Beramane pays each of the PCs 550 gp ea and Pholemius offers up to 2 full heals to anyone that needs them.
Ashult re-enters the hut and casts detect magic. He notices something or someone on the floor. A small insect trys to communicate with him. Could it be?? Borthien was polymorphed into an ant.
Ant

The rangers, along with the the female “mad” ranger, have fled into the forest.
The clerics and party decide to rest for the night.

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3rd of Readying, 586 CY

Deep into the Gnarley Forest
High: 33
Low: 23
Moonday
A clear, cold, frigid day with lots of snow covering the ground
Tricaster

Early morning, the PCs reach Tricaster.

A few hours after reaching the settelment, Theras is nowwhere to be found. The PCs have noticed that ever since entering the forest he’s been acting strange and uncomfortable. Gustav comments: “the elves are a strange kind. They are enigmas to me. I will never make the claim that I fully understand them. I will miss his bow but not much else”

While resting in Tricaster, the party meets Nivek Nala, some kind of rogue looking for work, and easily decides it would be best to leave Maskus Ironlock behind to heal, and hire the 1/2 elf to take his place. Gustav is cconfident Nivek will make a find addition to the group.

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2nd of Readying, 586 CY

Eastern edge of Gnarley Forest
High: 25
Low: 12
Sunday
Early morning

A heavy snowstorm continues where it left off just a day ago. Luckily the heavy cover of the forest helps defend you from the elements.
Corostaith

Theras Thoess of Clan Meldarin notices that Pholemius Brightmantle is beginning to meander west towards Corustaith

Several hours later the party comes across what seems to be a mass of gold coins, treasure of all kinds, what looks to be like golden goblets, piles of copper, silver, gold, and masses of treasure. Each PC gives a slightly different description of the treasure.
All of a sudden Steven Grayson and Baroque rush towards the treasure with a look of greed and fervor never seen from either one of them. Both clerics seem unaffected.
Ashult recognizes their plight and acts quickly. He dashes towards Baroque and Steven and grabs them each by the shoulder, and the three of them vanish completely.

About 10 minutes go by before the all of PCs are reunited (see PC player secrets), Ashult, Baroque and Steven emerge from the forest and see the bloodied corpses of 4 ogres laying near the nearly dead Bornthien and Theras.

Later that day the party comes across a group of more than 30 elfs, half elfs, and humans: 13 rangers, 20 footmen, and a druid. Theras confirms them as Gnarley Rangers. They confront the PCs and demand to know what their business is in the forest. Pholemius explains to them that this is “church business” and Theras Thoess of Clan Meldarin is here to make sure the forest is not harmed.
The druid turns to Theras before heading south into the forest. She says: “the forest and trees have spoken to me. There is evil in the forest”

Another several hours go by. The PCs notice a small inn in the middle of the forest.
Theras immediately shares with the party his knowledge of the forest and tells everyone that there is no such inn in this part of the forest (about 15 miles east of Tricaster). Ashult helps convince the party that it would be best to avoid this strange place. The party continues on its way west through Tricaster, towards Corustaith.

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1st of Readying, 586 CY

Two ford2
Greyhawk Lands: a few miles east of the western edge of The Gnarley Forest and about 15 miles west of Two Ford.
High: 29
Low: 10 (the wind makes it feel like its in the negatives)
Starday
Snowstorm1
A heavy snowstorm moves in sometime after lunch and lasts more than 1/2 the day.
Winds blow more than 23 mph. You can feel the chill to your bones and more than a foot of snow covers the ground making travelling slow down to less than 1/2 the normal rate.

A few miles into the Gnarley forest and suddenly the party is surprised by a group of 10 Kech
Kech
Just moments later a small yellow floating globe appears. It darkens and turns black. A smoky black tendril comes out of it and snakes through the air.
Steven and several others of the party are completely cripplied with fear.

You can hear Pholemius Brightmantle saying: “it’s preying on our weaknesses” His acolyte falls into a deep prayer and then it seems as if the kech do not even notice he and the high cleric of Pholtus.

The party is able to survive the encounter with the kech. During the battle Maskus Ironlock did not fair as well and nearly passed into shadow. He will not be able to help for about a week as he recovers from his wounds.

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28th Of Fireseek, 586 CY

The Free City of Greyhawk
High: 39
Low: 24
Freeday
Cold and overcast

The members, both old and new, decide to investigate the note found on Bornthien about meeting at The Hanged Man Inn in the River Quarter.

Moments before entering the Inn, Ashult claims:“I can see some things before they occur.”
Inside his book are sketches of a few of the men who attacked in the Hanged Man, as well as detailed descriptions of everything that happened in each of the TU’s (Tangent Universes), he hopes the details about each person and their fighting methods as well as other notes within the book will be enough to convince the party that at least PART of what he says is true.
The mage further details his claim by explaining he has discovered Scott the beggar is in fact a villian and within the next several minutes will murder Steven and will attempt to do the same to the elf. He also explains a trap is waiting on the other side of the inn door of the Hanged Man Inn.

The party reacts with total confusion and disbelief and suddenly decide to confront Scott.
Gustav refuses to get involved and his resepct for what is good is questioned by Bornthien
Scott attempts to flee and is eventually killed. A tattoo on his right forearm reveals the marking of the Scarlet Brotherhood
Scarlet brotherhoodarm
Who can be trusted? It is obvious the hunter is becoming the hunted.

The party decides it is time to meet with Pholemius Brightmantle and leave the city tonight. They meet at The Temple of Pholtus and charter a barge to Two Ford.

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27th of Fireseek, 586 CY

The Free City of Greyhawk
High: 33
Low: 20
Earthday
Clear morning with a cold that chills to the bones.
Later that day a sudden sleetstorm, lasting over 3 hours, covers the city
Sleetstorm

A surprise message is discovered when Bornthien reaches into his pocket. The crumpled piece of paper reads:
“If you wish to discover the cause of all your misfortunes, tonight be at the Hanged Man Inn, in the River Quarter, tonight. Do not fail to come or you will never know the source of your ills. I will know you”
Hanged Man Inn

Markessa
Markessa The Gold and Braks of Highport

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26th of Fireseek, 586 CY

The Free City of Greyhawk
High: 41
Low: 25
Waterday
Heavy fog

The Golden Phoenix
The events of the last several days are the topics of conversation while the party is enjoying another fine meal at the The Celene Feast Hall.

An hour later 8 heavily armed (all in full plate, long sword, shield with emblem of Greyhawk, red robes) men enter and are seen speaking to the manager Fund Barq. They are clearly looking for someone.

At 1st they pass the partys table. Barely noticing any of the PCs. A few minutes later one of the guards, what looks to the leader of the bunch, steps foward while the rest of the guards surround the PCs: “I am Sergeant Xanian Swordhand of the Greyhawk City Watch here in The Garden Quarter. I ask that all of your come peacefully and surrender!”

Lord Xanian explains the charges to the PCs:
Chalice 1
Clerics from The Temple of Pholtus claim a jewel studded chalice was stolen and they believe one of the PCs has it hidden in his room.
A quick look by the soldiers and they easily find the item hidden in Stevens room.
Steven is arrested and taken to the watchstation in the Garden Quarter.

He is questioned for several hours
The local guardstation captain insists Steven pay an additional 500gp for “other” laws broken, one of them being the resisting arrest by Theras Thoess of Clan Meldarin. These days this is an all to common sight with the local guardsmen and constables.

After about three hours, Pholemius Brightmantle, a high level cleric of Pholtus, and his acolyte; Beramane, are allowed to enter the cell holding Steven.
Pholemius casts detect lie and is easily able to verify Steven is in fact telling the truth.
The acolyte, Beramane, says: “The Father feels there is more to this story than meets the eye. He feels you and he are somehow being united by Pholtus for some reason he does not understand yet”
He asks for the party to meet them at the Temple of Pholtus in the River Quarter.

Pholemius
Pholemius Brightmantle

Once the PCs reach the Temple of Pholtus, Beramane explains: “The High Father has been called upon to give Final Absolution through wine and food given to the dying in his presence. He “eats” their sins and allows their spirits to ascend into the “blinding light”

“He needs PCs to be bodyguards to somewhere in the Gnarley Forest”
-needs to give final absolution to a Templar of the Church Militant from the Pale
-doesn’t know exactly where
-believes Pholtus will guide him
-all travel expenses will be paid for by Pholemius
-Pholemius will make all PCs swear an oath to the Temple of Pholtus that PCs will not harm him in anyway

Beramane: “The church can offer each of you $500 gp upfront, 10gp ea per day plus 500gp when the destination is reached”

He then asks the PCs to meet with him at the Temple of Pholtus in 3 days.
-Wants to travel to Two Ford by barge, then cross the Selintan and strike west into the forest

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24th of Fireseek, 586 CY

The Free City of Greyhawk
High: 45
Low: 15
Moonday
A beautiful clear day

Rumors begin to circulate throughout the city that Warnes Starcoat is travelling to Rel Astra to recover the Crook of Rao and plans on returning it to Canon Hazen of Veluna.

Crosasbow
While the party is in view of a group of 12 Greyhawk guardsmen, suddenly one of their crossbows discharges and fires at one of the PCs. The bolt nearly misses Theras Thoess of Clan Meldarin. All of the guards seem shocked, especially the one that was holding the crossbow. He is horrified and extremely upset. “Im sorry. It wasnt supposed to do that! I was only fixing the sights. I even had the safety on.” It is fairly obvious that the guard is telling the truth.

Commoner
One of the individuals in the crowd seems familiar to Maskus Ironlock.. He recognizes his face and is sure he’s seen him around when some of these strange things happened

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