The Power of Suffering

Welcome to the Journal!
The unfolding story...

H1. The story so far…is really built in each of the players, and each person will have very different views of each other and the details of the world as a whole. I find it amazing that there are five different stories happening at the same time when we gather to unravel the mysteries of Hormah.

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Chapter 1: First Blood
Chapter 1

The beginning of the story…the story that changes Hormah forever, begins with a Druid. This druid had just begun her journey as a protector of the woods near the new human village of Limton. Just getting used to her new life, she decides to take a look at the human settlement for herself. As she nears the large clearing where the village and its surrounding farms are located, she feels a very strange…unnatural presence just outside the edge of the forest.
She spots a human standing alone at dusk…but it’s not a living human…the zombie turns and begins to moan as it approaches her.
The druid, named Kiriai, destroys the abomination and takes to the village to warn the inhabitants. After meeting the owner of the tavern, she learns that recently everything that dies in the village, human and animal, returns some time later as an undead and attacks the townsfolk. That night, she helps ward off another attack(though not before accidentally wounding one of the defenders herself).
Kiriai meets up with a fighter named Arban, who was drawn to the village from Castle Arnon upon hearing of this disturbance. They team up, and with some information gleaned from a couple wolves they set off into the forest. They battle another wave of zombies and Arban is critically wounded and has to be brought back to town to heal. The town decides to begin constructing a palisade to defend against any further attacks.
When Arban is ready, they set out once again, this time finding a large pit in the ground filled with mist and a small cabin containing a secret room with the remains of a necromancy laboratory.
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While those two are gone, another adventurer, a rogue named Persi, finds her way to the village looking for adventure. She is greeted along the road by a small child who had lost his father. Upon finding the father in a cave with some rangers, she reunites the two and aids the rangers (who were banished from the village for wanting to use a villager as bait to draw the zombies) by getting information on the current situation from the townsfolk. She learns that there are already two adventurers in the woods trying to stop the outbreak. Before heading out, she meets yet another ranger, Klaudia, who wants to accompany her.
The two set off in the direction of the first two, and arrive at the necromancer’s hut just as Arban and Kiriai are attacked by the necromancer, his undead and the two wolves who gave them directions so they could become the bait in this trap.
The four adventurers suddenly become a team and take down the necromancer and his summons, saving the village, and its dead, from this perpetual horror.
They return to a hero’s welcome, and a needed rest.
The four decide to travel together and search out treasures and set out back towards Tordnot Village for their next adventure.
(Sorry if any of these events are incorrect as this session occurred quite a while ago.)

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Chapter 2: Heading Out
Taste of the Real World

About a week later, the party has rested up and is taking it easy at the Limton tavern. A grungy salesman enters and sells a map that shows the location of an unknown ruin North of Castle Arnon in the forbidden Crystal River valley, and a passage through the Western mountains to gain access without having to go through the castle. They set off, driven by the prospect of treasures, and stop at the town of Creekshore, about a day’s journey West of Tordnot Village, on the shores of the Great Bay. Once ready, they make their way into the West Arnon forest a little ways North of the town, and make for the mountain pass.
That evening, just as the sun slipped under the horizon, the party was walking along in the brush when suddenly voices off a ways were heard. The party spies a small camp of drow setting up an ambush for a caravan aound a fire. Our heroes begin an ambush of their own, but Kiriai the druid trips over a log, alerting the dark elves to her presence. In the ensuing battle, Persithe rogue is almost killed, and after defeating the drow the party decides to go back to town to rest.
Kiriai has a strange run-in with an odd ‘retired’ wizard at his hut (when trying to sell some magic items)…his new concoction knocks her out for a few hours.
With the wounds healed and loot sold, they trek back into the hills and find the pass, which is guarded by a large black bear. Kiriai uses her druidic powers to bribe the delusional old bear into letting them pass with some of her food. The party descends into the Crystal River valley, and sleeps in an alcove in the rock for the night.
In the morning, the party cautiously crosses the river at a fjord (royal rangers patrol the river) and make their way up the other, less steep side of the valley. In the afternoon, they make it back above the treeline on the far side of a mountain to find ancient stairs leading to a large stone door set into the side of the rock. They manage to push it open, and find an old chamber with statues and a raised altar. After much searching, they’ve found an ancient dwarven skeleton in old armour, with a jeweled glove, and a small golden statue of a tower. They use the glove to press a button they find behind a statue to make a stairase descend from the ceiling…
Awaiting them are a couple skeletons and two small earth elementals. Thay battle, and are almost crushed as the elementals easily pass through the stone of the walls to attack them from above. Somehow they are defeated, and there is indeed treasure!
Back in Creekshore, they party sees the wizard again for info on the old statue. He feeds them levitating pumpkin pie, which doesn’t work as well as he hoped….and tells them to head for the main city for info. and for prospective buyers.
In Castle Arnon, the party meets a jeweller who buys the ancient dwarven statue, saying it was a clan statue that belonged to the leader of a certain group of dwarves before man came to Hormah. He introduces the party to another merchant, who gives them a map to another ruin, stating it was free of charge if all unused loot is sold to him.
With another ruin to explore and promise of more power, they set out…

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Chapter 3: Exploration
Too Close, Too Many Times

The party, Kiriai, Persi, Arban and Klaudia, find an old stone door in the hills Northwest of Urdnot Village. The door has been used recently, and once inside they find a group of 10 kobolds to fight! Klaudia shines during this battle, and takes down many of the kobolds despite having been injured. Other notable moments include Persi being pegged in the head by a stone from a sling, and Kiriai having terrible luck trying to hit anything at all.
After all 10 are disposed of, they spot an underwater tunnel in a pool at the side of the underground room. Arban assists everyone to the other side, where they find and defeat two warforged for a small chest of gold. Back on the other side, the party goes outside to rst for the night. The next day, they head in and choose a rickety wooden door over a solid stone one and quietly open it to find more kobolds around a fire, making a racket as they eat. Klaudia and Persi sneak in and hide, then try to quietly take a couple out while Arban and Kiriai get ready outside. Klaudia hits her mark but Persi misses and alerts the rest. After most of them are dead, a kobold screams and wakes two poisondusk lizards which join in, but are quickly taken out after almost killing Klaudia. They find an old longsword with runes that match those on the old stone door…but decide to take the rest of the day off to get better…much thanks to Kiriai for her healing magic.
The next day, the party uses the longsword as a key in a hole in the stone door, which opens with the sword turning to dust. THey enter a large vaulted room with dark stone floors by the two doors, and cracked stone in between. They realize that the cracked stone will give way if stepped on and try to jump across…Klaudia fails the jump but to her relief lands on a secret solid section of stone in the middle of the room, which she uses to jump to the other side. When Arban tries, he falls through the stone and plummets over 20 feet into a dark, empty catacomb. The rest of the part uses their rope and pulls him back up….very bruised. They open the door at the far end of the room and find a large room with pillars and a shrine with a large stone lizard on it…and Kiriai gets hit with a dark triggered by a pressure plate.
They find buttons on the shrine which cause the lizard to come to life, and kill it without much difficulty…opening up a steep staircase in the shrine which leads to a long room underneath.
Klaudia sneaks down to see, and spots old bones surfacing out the the sandy floor…assembling themselves into an owlbear skeleton! Everyone else rushes down to attack. Arban hits the skeleton, but his blade does little to a thick leg bone…Kiriai’s snake, Fickle, slithers out from her as she lets fly an arrow which clatters around inside the skeleton’s ribcage. Klaudia bounces her sword off another bone, and Persi cracks its skull with a well-aimed arrow. Fickle can’t find anywhere to sink his fangs in, and almost gets stepped on as Persi gets squished between the owlbear and the wall as it stamps by. Kiriai sends out a fireball, but the skeleton pummels het with its claws and disables her…leaving her gasping on the ground.
The situation getting more desperate, Arban and Klaudia attack the owlbear from behind and break one of its arms off…and Persi attacks with her punching daggers and breaks a rib. The skeleton turns around and Klaudia and Persi barely dodge out of the way, while Arban strikes the undead’s spine and destroys it. A wounded Kiriai takes its skull as a token of their victory.
At the back of the room, inside an ancient stone coffin, they find a masterwork mace, a set of studded shadow leather and some gold.
The party returns to Castle Arnon to the merchant who gave them the map to sell the mace, and Persi finally finds out about the magicks that her frost punching dagger contain. The party uses the money gained from the mace to purchase better weapons, and then decide to take a long rest.

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