Telreador

Return to Cabed Mor

Thinking they would be returning to Cabed Mor with a couple of days to rest and debrief Lady Kenyan about the Goblin invasion, they were surprised to return to town only to find it in chaos. Many of the townsfolk had moved outside beyond the new palisade and others were in the process of evacuating. The palisade gates were heavily guarded and, upon their approach, the guards called for Lord Captain Blaylock and Lady Kenyan.

Lady Kenyan met the group outside the palisade and explained that the Lord Captain was overseeing the evacuation of the town and trying to maintain some sense of order and discipline. Lady Kenyan explained that as one of the merchants was clearing their remaining stock from the storage cavern, they discovered a crimson and caustic substance oozing from a seam in the wall. Word of this quickly spread throughout the town and, because of its similarity in color to the monstrosity that had destroyed Telreador, coupled with the coincidental timing, the people quickly began to panic and hysteria swept through the town.

Lady Kenyan explained that her guard resources were strained since she had recently sent some of them to the west to investigate the reports of were-creatures which had attacked some of the hunters over near the river. This, coupled with the hysteria led her to ask the group to investigate the storage room. She explained that her Council had been unable to determine much about the oozing substance except that it was extremely caustic, however it didn’t appear to be affecting the stone around it.

Upon close study, the group noted the seam of a secret door through which the ooze was seeping, and Weyland was able to determine that if dowels were inserted into three small holes at the top of the door it would unlatch. With Reynard’s assistance they whittled down 3 arrows and inserted them into the holes. Unfortunately the pressure on the opposite side of the door forced it open with such force that it slammed into Reynard causing some minor damage. Weyland was nimble enough to escape without damage, however his position was such that the large crimson blob fell directly onto him, giving him some significant caustic burns. He quickly grabbed a nearby torch to attack the creature but that didn’t seem to be as effective as he’d expected, however Higgss’ and Ezmeralda’s magic seemed to do it damage. Kyrani stepped forward to engage it with her new magic sword and between the three attacks they did some significant damage. Once he’d recovered from his initial shock, Reynard joined in the fray while Weyland stepped back to use his ranged weapons for more effectiveness. After a few rounds of battle with both the creature and the party taking damage, the creature shuddered and divided into two smaller creatures.

Now the party needed to divide its attention, unsure of whether each of these 2 opponents were the same strength as the original, or whether it had divided its remaining strength. After a few rounds of combat it appeared that each half of the creature was also half as strong so the battle progressed well for the party. Now with two creatures to battle, however, their forces could not concentrate on only one opponent and one creature was able to quickly move past Kyrani and Reynard to threaten the spellcasters. Consequently Higgs suffered some minor damage from an attack before Reynard could take up a new position and recapture the creature’s attention and quickly dispatch the creature which burst into a bubbling liquid which spread across the floor, apparently losing its caustic properties upon death.

Kyrani and Weyland were still engaged with the other oozing blob and continued to deal it damage. After a few more rounds of combat it attempted to retreat back into the room beyond the door but Weyland finished it off with one final attack, bursting it like its partner and rendering it harmless.

After bracing the secret door open the party looked into the small chamber that had held the creature and found only a small 10 foot square room with another stone door on the opposite wall. When the group moved to examine the door they triggered a spike trap set into the floor and Weyland and Reynard suffered some minor damage. Weyland determined that it took the weight of 2 people to trigger the trap but was unable to disarm it so Reynard quickly left and requisitioned some wooden planks to bridge across the area.

The door was untrapped and led into a medium sized room which was magically illuminated by torches upon their entry. In the center of the room was a with a pool of bubbling red liquid. Surrounding the pool was a stone ring inscribed with symbols, before the pool was a worn stone slab that seemed to be an area to be knelt upon. Higgs, Ezmeralda, and Kyrani attempted to detect magic (arcane and divine) and were overwhelmed by the fact that the entire room had a protective magical “glaze” over all surfaces, keeping it from aging and preserving it in pristine condition. The pool detected as a different sort of magic and, upon further investigation, Higgs was able to determine that it had restorative properties, although it appeared that the properties slowly degraded once the liquid was removed from the pool. Because of the earlier trap, Reynard had also brought back a 10 foot long pole which he used to determine the pool was deeper that he could reach with it.

Ezmeralda decided to examine the ceiling since, as she put it, no one ever looks at the ceiling, only to discover a mural of a battle between Humans and Elves losing a battle with some bipedal feline creatures which Higgs was able to remember vaguely he’d seen a reference to similar creatures called Silent Striders. However, he noted, Silent Striders were only mythological and he’d only seen one reference alluding to their ancient past. Upon additional study the party noted crimson tendrils in the mural’s background. Tendrils like the ones which had destroyed Telreador the year before.

The party exited the room through another stone door opposite the one they’d entered through after finding no traps on or around it and proceeded down a short curved staircase that lay beyond it. Pausing occasionally to check for traps with the pole, the group proceeded by a long passage also illuminated by magical torches which lit as they entered it. At the end of the passage they saw a closed portcullis. Upon approach they Weyland detected that the floor adjacent to it was trapped with a false floor which he as able to trigger and brace open. The pit was only 10 feet deep with a few bones scattered around the floor beneath, apparently of a victim who’d failed to notice the trap. Weyland had noticed that the portcullis was latched so he decided the best move was for Kyrani to lower him into the pit and he would climb out the other side and unlatch the portcullis. In the meantime Reynard went to requisition more planking to bridge the trapped floor.

Once in the pit, however, the bones assembled themselves into a poorly formed skeleton and attempted to attack Weyland who reacted poorly but still avoided taking any damage, easily dispatching it with a single attack. He then climbed out on the portcullis side of the pit as planned as Reynard returned with the planks.

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Goblin Invasion 2

After leaving their new potential Kobold allies, the group decided to follow the map they’d found on the Kobold leader to the first camp which appeared to be about 2 days walk farther north. They group was painfully aware that they were running short on time if they were to return to Cabed Mor in time for the mid-summer festival and ritual of mourning on the anniversary of the fall of Telreador.

They hastily moved on to the north and were successful in avoiding any more Goblin encounters, eventually coming to the northern edge of the forest. In the distance, perched on a hill top was a camp surrounded by a hedge thicket. Upon stealthy investigation, Weyland was able to determine that the 2 entrances were guarded by Goblins and that the approach to each entrance was trapped with pits and snares. This camp had been well prepared and seemed to be a fairly permanent setting and held about 8 to 10 Goblins.

The group decided to attempt to bluff their way into drawing the Goblins out of their camp and into an ambush they’d set up within the treeline. However, the Goblins didn’t fall for the ruse of the lost and confused lone traveler and didn’t pursue him into the trap. This forced the group to rethink their tactics and they decided to attempt a mass bluff attempt and approach the camp as Hobgoblins with prisoners. They thought hat the narrow and trapped approach could be used to their advantage since it would not allow the Goblins to flank the party member in the lead. However the disadvantage was that only one party member could engage the Goblins in melee at one time, although magical and ranged attacks were possible. The group approached with Weyland pointing out the trapped areas so it appeared the party knew the safe route into camp. This only fooled the guards for a few minutes and they soon raised the alarm.

The Goblins attacked and the first few were quickly cut down, allowing the group to reach the camp entrance. Because the surrounding hedge was only about 5 feet tall, they were able to see the remaining Goblins. The Goblin leader was a spellcaster of some sort and he, along with his guards posed a considerable threat, but eventually the party prevailed, slaying the spellcaster and other Goblins after suffering only moderate damage themselves.

Among the items they found in the camp were the remains of a different Woodsmen and some additional yellow gems identical to the ones found in the Kobold lair. With time running short, the group knew they needed to head back to Cabed Mor and still have a couple of days before the ceremonies and festival so they quickly headed back to Cabed Mor along the paths they’d cleared earlier.

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Goblin Invasion 1
How many Kobolds does it take to make a good meal?

The group, with their new members, proceeded back into the wilderness to track down their Goblin foes. After another few days march to the north they came upon the entry into an underground passage with a flimsy rope ladder giving access. The area around the opening had been patrolled by Goblins so the group felt this must be where they were hold up.

Looking down into the pit the group noticed that every few minutes 3 harnessed “guard lizards” would pass beneath them. After a brief discussion, the group decided to make use of Higgs’ interest in herbalism to attempt to create a concoction to drug or hopefully kill the guardians. After a brief search, he found the plants he needed to augment his existing supplies and was able to create an herbal mixture which was stuffed into 3 large rabbits that Reynard and Weyland were able to hunt while he worked.

Dropping the rabbits into the hole got the attention of the lizards who proceeded to devour them and quickly fell into a stupor, allowing the group to descend the ladder and easily dispatch them. Upon venturing into the dug out cave complex the group discovered a group of Goblins being assisted by a Kobold mage. After a pitched battle which ebbed and flowed for and against the party, they were finally able to dispatch the band and search for treasure. Among a few gold and silver the group found 10 large clear yellow gems. They weren’t sure of their value but they seemed like they might be pretty valuable. Because the group had suffered some severe injuries they decided to rest up before venturing any farther into the caves.

After resting up, the group ventured farther into the caves and discovered a cache of supplies obviously stolen from a caravan, although the markings on the crates and bundles indicated their origins were unfamiliar. Upon further investigation they found that one of the long swords was magical, something that Reynard didn’t initially notice but Kyrani did once she withdrew it from its scabbard. Seeing his disappointment, Kyrani offered to roll dice for the sword, which she still one with the gamble. Unfortunately they also found some remains of what was obviously one of the missing Woodsmen.

Further along the passage they discovered a large cavern with giant fungi growing along the walls. Between two natural columns there appeared to be some sort of flickering membrane which Higgs and Ezmeralda quickly deduced was some sort of portal. After a few moments of study, 4 short and dark robed humanoids stepped through into the cave. They seemed a bit disoriented and unsure of their location and, in a strange Common dialect, proceeded to question the party about their whereabouts. After about 10 minutes of discussion one of them who’d been studying the portal urged them that time was short and they needed to leave. A few moments after they stepped through the portal flickered out of existence. While it was there Higgs noticed that the surrounding area had a strange effect on his magical abilities, although he was hesitant to explore exactly to what extent.

Venturing still farther in and around a corner the party discovered a guarded room where some Goblins and a few Hobgoblins were holding the remaining members of a tribe of Kobolds. Apparently the Goblins had overtaken their lair and were unsure of what to do with so many beyond holding them for the time being. After a brief tactical discussion, the Party decided there were too many Goblins to attack by themselves so they decided to gather some of the weapons from the storage they’d discovered earlier and attempt to arm the Kobolds as they attacked their guards. It was a risk since they were unsure of the Kobolds’ reactions and could potentially be arming a room full of about 30 Kobolds.

They gathered bundles of weapons and threw them into the room as they attacked the guards, which they quickly dispatched, and found the Kobolds to be thankful for their rescue. In fact, one of them spoke broken Common he’d learned from one of the missing Woodsmen. The Party spoke with the Kobolds who were unable to explain why their leader had sided with their Goblin usurpers, but were thankful nonetheless. The Kobolds mentioned they worshiped a Green Dragon named Cicily who dwelt far to the east and would mention the Party’s rescue to her as a token of their appreciation. Reynard retrieved one of the leather dragon-inscribed belt patches from the dead Kobold leader as a token of their newly formed “alliance”.

Upon searching the remaining caves the group discovered a crude map showing the locations of 3 additional camps along the base of the mountains to the north.

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Catching Up

The group had learned of 4 missing Hunters and Woodsmen who had failed to return after 4 days in the wilderness. After some brief investigating, the group discovered some trails in the forest and identified Goblin tracks leading off to the north.

After dispatching a number of Goblin encounters the group decided to move off the trails and continue heading north through the thick underbrush of the forest. Unfortunately they ended up in an area inhabited by hordes of small carnivorous lizards and one of the party members was lost. The group finished off the lizards and returned to Cabed Mor with their friend’s remains.

The caravan from Andor had just arrived the night before their return and with it a couple of unique individuals whom the group felt would be assets to their fledgling adventuring party. One was a Warlock wrapped in scarves and robes who seemed to always have a mug of hot tea in her hands, and the other a Dragonborn Paladin of Bahamut who had traveled to Cabed Mor in the hopes of assisting her Priests who’d come before her to investigate the tragedy of Telreador. With the surrounding Goblin threat she felt that siding with this group would be the best way to serve her deity at least for now.

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Campaign Beginning

Fast forward 6 more months to the present. 11 months after the fall of Telreador, 4 weeks before mid-summer:

The great-houses of Cabed Mor still provide shelter to some villagers, but many settlers have worked together over the spring to build individual family houses. One great house has been turned into a tavern with the back portion set up for new arrivals from Andor. The Captain has maintained regular patrols between Cabed Mor and the Telreador ruins. Since early winter scouts have reported that the feeling of dread waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon, growing strongest on the darkest nights. During mid-winter no one could approach to within a mile of the ruins.

Soldiers have reported that the entire ruined area is now a flooded marshland and when they approach within a bow-shot they still see the glowing lights and the stench nearly overwhelms them. Those who’ve braved the stench have reported seeing distant figures moving about the ruins and have become overwhelmed by a sense of foreboding dread. No one has been able to stay overnight and all have been forced to flee in uncontrollable fear once darkness falls.

The senior Priests of Cabed Mor are anxious to return to the ruins to investigate the origins of the horrific catastrophe. However they’ve been adamant that, until they can determine at least some partial clue about what actually happened, no one should enter the area. Asteril, an elderly Warlock from Westdale has recently arrived and has been speaking with villagers about what happened, apparently with a similar interest.

Many shopkeepers live above their small shops, doing business from the ground floors of their homes. A monthly caravan from Andor brings goods and supplies and the Smiths have begun rebuilding their forges. Woodwrights have been sending lumber and some finished goods back to Andor for sale in their market; however the tools they’ve requested have yet to arrive. The hunters have been providing a steady supply of cured meats and hides as well. Durador, a one-armed Dwarf from Westdale recently arrived and now sells and repairs weapons and armor for the garrison soldiers and hunters.

Although some are in limited supply, most items which had previously been available in Telreador are available in Cabed Mor once again.

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Momentary Relief

Captain Kenyan gathered together the surviving senior members of the Merchant, Smith, and Woodwright guilds and asked them for their council. They could head to either Westdale or Andor, but neither city was close. Andor was almost 2 weeks away by foot, perhaps even 3, and Westdale farther still. The senior Wright mentioned a ranger’s story he remembered about some caves at the Ebon Bluffs to the north. These could provide temporary shelter and the Captain knew they were only about 4 days to the north, but would provide shelter for maybe half of the survivors as they awaited relief. No matter what they decided, traveling would be slow with a group this size.

Captain Kenyan was awakened to the sounds of screams echoing in the darkness as perimeter campers rushed to the Tower base. Glowing lights had appeared in the city ruins and appeared to slowly be coming closer. An odor of sickness was riding the night breeze along with a hint of sulphur. The Captain acted quickly, ordering her troops to organize the survivors in gathering their supplies and breaking camp. Within the hour the sickly stench was overpowering, but they’d gathered all their provisions and gear and were heading north to the Ebon Bluff caves to await rescue. March to Safety The Ebon Bluff caves were well known to hunters as a place of refuge during fowl weather and only sometimes were they ever inhabited by wandering humanoids.

Upon their arrival the garrison had to dispatch a small tribe of goblins from the area in order to secure the caves and surrounding hills. The caves appeared to be mostly natural but 2 rooms had been carved out long ago and secured with strong iron-bound doors which swung silently on their hinges, implying that perhaps someone had attempted to inhabit them more permanently in some distant past. There were no runes or other carvings to indicate who, though. An underground stream provided plenty of fresh water and hunters provided a steady supply of game from the surrounding forest, and foresters were able to build a number of temporary shelters for those whom the caves provided no shelter.

After 3 weeks no rescue had come so the Captain ordered the construction of a wooden palisade around their camp and sent another 4 guards to Andor to request horses and wagons, and to inform them what had happened at Telreador. The Priests set up an altar in the back of the caves and began to hold regular ceremonies and rituals,beseeching various deities for protection and safety. Another 5 weeks passed and still they’d heard nothing from either Andor or Westdale. Every few days the garrison responded to hunters spotting goblins in the nearby hills. Hunters had also begun reporting unidentified humanoid tracks 2 days to the north but as yet had not seen their source.

By this time a number of survivors had grown weary and impatient with the Captain and had decided to leave the camp and travel to Andor on their own. Being responsible for their safety, the Captain sent 10 of her remaining guards to accompany them to safety. The rest trusted in her leadership and also in the safety of numbers and decided to stay at the caves. The Captain decided to prepare for the worst and instructed that a number of community great-houses be constructed. These would relieve some of the stress on living in the caves and allow for those to be used more for storage and to house the youngest and oldest refugees. As the weather grew cooler the goblin incursions became fewer and eventually stopped. The source of the unidentified tracks had still not been found and their numbers were increasing and been spotted within a day’s walk of the camp.

By the end of autumn and as the first snows of winter began to fall, a relief caravan from Andor finally arrived, bringing foodstuffs and proper tents and other camping supplies sufficient for such a large group. To the Captain’s surprise, but perhaps maybe not by much, many of the villagers decided to stay through winter instead of spending a month or more returning to Andor in the snow. As some of them put it, they weren’t much for “inland cities” anyway, as they called the settled areas away from the wilderness border.

The caravan returned once more by mid-winter with enough supplies to last until first thaw. A few adventurous types from Andor even decided to make the journey and set up camp there as well. The winter passed uneventfully and the refugees grew to know and rely on each other even more. Hunters continued to report the unidentified humanoid tracks but still reported no signs of their makers. As the final snows were melting those who’d remained had already decided to make this a permanent settlement and named it Cabed Mor for the black flint cliffs which had protected them and, in a nearly unanimous vote, they elected the Captain as their village leader.

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General Chaos

By now the city was in a general panic that the garrison was powerless to control. Many of the residents headed to escape across the western bridge only to find it had already collapsed, leaving them trapped between the wide river and the living mist in the city. Some drowned in the river and the terrorized screams of the rest echoed above the din of falling wood and stone. The pressing mob which headed through the streets to the eastern bridge trampled those unable to keep up with its flowing mass.

Those who looked back said they saw people overcome by the mist which seemed to move with a life of its own, its tentacles seeking out those too slow to escape its grasp.Those who escaped across the eastern bridge and sought shelter at the East Tower were surprised that the earth’s shaking extended only to the river’s edge.

They quickly over filled the 2 story structure which was only meant to hold a garrison of some 10 or 15 men and the rest huddled in dim torch light on the surrounding grounds. Throughout the night they listened to the agonized sounds of rending stone and wood as their city was ripped apart at its seams. Some say they heard human sounds as well. Others contest the sounds were otherworldly.

As dawn broke the garrison Captain sent 5 soldiers to each of the other towers to report on their condition and bring back any survivors they might find. She gathered 30 more with her to head back to the city to see what remained after the last night’s chaos. The rest she ordered to secure the area and maintain order. No one had slept the night before and many were still terrified from the night’s events. Her group ventured back to the city, wary of anything resembling the crimson mist, but the grounds were clear and nothing blocked their path. The eastern bridge was in tact but the city itself was in ruins. No single building was left standing and some appeared to have exploded from within, their contents scattered into the ruptured streets.

They moved quickly through the streets until the Captain suddenly stopped, finally realizing what had quietly been puzzling her. The streets were clear of any victims. Her team quickly the city perimeter then moved to its center, where the assembly hall once stood. Now in its place was a gaping pit, nearly 150 feet across with sides sloping down into darkness. The stone she tossed in gave no evidence it ever struck bottom.

She returned with her group to the East Tower and took stock of what her returning guards had to report. They’d returned with other guards and townsfolk who’d taken refuge in the Towers, adding 30 more guards to her headcount, along with another 90 or so survivors. That meant only a quarter of original city’s populace had survived the night. She quickly dispatched runners to Westdale and Andor to report on what had happened, and then sent the garrison to gather food, shelter, and other supplies from the ruins.

It wasn’t long before they had makeshift tents set up for everyone and had gathered sufficient food to last for another two weeks. As the Council was gone, the survivors were now looking to her as their leader and protector, waiting for her to decide what they should do and where they should go. They were in a collective state of shock and she knew she needed to take action soon to prevent their panic from returning in force.

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Fateful Night

It was shortly after the assembly hall clock chimed midnight that the horses and livestock became restless in their barns and stables, and then shortly after the dogs began to howl. The garrison guards who checked said they saw nothing out of the ordinary. However as they were returning to their duties they noticed an unnatural crimson mist rising from the city streets.

Realizing something now was very much not right they roused the garrison Captain who immediately sent them to wake the Telreador Council. It took only a few minutes for the Council to gather in the assembly hall but in that time the ground had begun to shake and groan as if alive with its own will and purpose. With this the city’s citizens who’d awakened earlier began to run into the streets in a panic and the garrison quickly lost control of the growing chaos.The crimson mist had grown more solid with tendrils reaching up from the cracked city streets to entangle any passers by.

Screams quickly filled the air as they were enveloped by the mist and fell to the ground. The shaking quickly grew more violent and buildings began to crumble and fall. It was almost as if the mist was pulling the city apart by its foundations. It’s uncertain what actions the Council was considering within the confines of the assembly hall for as the garrison Captain approached the ground lurched and it collapsed upon itself and disappeared into the chasm that had appeared beneath it.

She would never speak in detail of what she’d witnessed, but would only ever say that she’d heard horrific and unworldly sounds and smelled the sickening smell of burning sulfur just before the hall disappeared.

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Background

Telreador had been a prosperous city of roughly 3,500 whose inhabitants made a living by trading wood and copper crafts with its neighbors Westdale to the west and Andor south. Although it was on the northern frontier and within the shadow of the Farfor Mountains rarely was the city ever threatened by anything more than the springtime floods of the Rushing River. Even the miners and woodsmen were only ever menaced by mountain lions protecting their cubs. The city garrison’s 4 towers made a prominent statement of defense and the regular patrols of the surrounding lands had done a very effective job of discouraging any of the nearby hostile races from venturing any closer than a day’s ride from the city.That was, until mid-summer’s night. What follows is the best description the villagers of Cabed Mor have been able to piece together from individual recollections of those fateful events.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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