En route to Eryksberg to meet the Sword, the team came upon a traveler in an unusual and defensible ring of trees. A runestone clutched in each hand, but pale with death. Other than a puncture wound in his right side, he bore bluish, pustules scattered about his body.
His only belongings were a broken longsword on his chest, a marked (the king’s sigil) dispatch satchel, a small silver stone, chain shirt, an empty wineskin, and a few hard biscuits.
Within the satchel was a sealed bone case which contained two sheets of parchment. The first was a poorly sketched map of the area and the other a sealed missive. The dispatch was written in a bugbear dialect.
Dread Lord Alabaster,
Greetings to you, my liege lord. Your plan is proceeding according to design. Soon we will be rid of the old guard and the new will rise to its proper place within the kingdom. Our strength grows and soon there will be enough distractions. The time has come, my lord, to initiate operation falling stars.
May the blessings of the goddess be upon you, my lord.
Until we meet again as societal opposites, my will is your own.
Just down the road the team came across two groups of commoners arguing over ownership of an unusually fine horse. One says he found it fair and square, but the other declared it was within his Hunt Claim. With some slight of hand by Tannis, a royal dispatch satchel was discovered within the saddlebags and therefore was now the property of the army. The men were given a chain shirt and another horse in compensation and all left happy.
The horse had a magical saddlebag with a secret compartment of holding.
After much hit and miss with Cohen’s tenuous lifeline to the god, Allyxann, he was able to divine the magical properties of the following items (sorry, no magic on the coins):
bag of coins (20 commons, 45 nobles, 12 luckies with the face of an unknown queen)
potion of lessor restoration (2 doses)
wand of entanglement (5 charges)
long sword of lesser life stealing (minor intelligence: named “Shadowmyst”), dark blue light drifts from the blade like smoke, hit = 1d6 hp drain, crit = 1d6 & temp hps to wielder
rod of summoning (possibly flawed and unstable – unable to determine creature summoned
The team arrived at Eryksberg to witness an eclipse, another magnetic pull, and the Sword skirmishing with several companies of unknown horsemen upon the Steppes of Allsland. Their initial meeting with Sword Captain Mandrake wasn’t quite as warm as Linfors would have liked, but the team was entrusted with an assignment to investigate the rumors of orc sightings within the nearby mountains.
Several days out, the heroes came upon a staircase in the side of a granite ridge. It led to a ledge above a 60’ drop and opened into a large cavern. Within were ornate carvings of all sorts of dragons in all their terrible glory.
As Cohen cast light upon his hammer, a chorus of yells came from the dark of the back of the cavern. An ettin of ferocious strength charged into their midst swinging a tree in one hand and a great stone axe in the other. The team went to work right away. Cutting into the giant wasn’t easy, but taking him down was another matter entirely. The raging, two-headed monster swept into the soldiers with ease, knocking several off their feet and attempting to push them toward the ledge. Linfors gave into the temptations of the intelligent sword and began hacking at the monster with the magical blade. In and out, the team harried the massive giantkin. Osweald took off a finger, getting covered in blood in the process. Through the diligence of the soldiers, it finally fell forward onto the ledge and Cohen healed the team once again. Denn noticed Linfors locked in trance, quite obviously struggling with the sentient blade for control. Reacting quickly, Denn immediately charged, taking him down before he could lose the fight. The sword skittered across the cave floor and Linfors blinked as if waking from a dream. Some things may not be worth the risk…
Then the team headed for the back of the cavern where they had spied a large pile of what appeared to be the ettin’s horde covered in blankets and cloaks.