From what I was told by Abby and Jon, this is what happened before I met everyone in Bastion and the excitement really began. It all seemed like a dull affair but I felt the need to put quill to parchment for my memoirs.
The Sequence of Events (as undersood by Edmund)
August 1, 1134
It all started at The Forks. Orcs have become more numerous in the countryside. A troll came to a farm and stole two cows and kicked the crap out of the farmer. A council meeting was called at The Forks and Hail, Maxxx, Famm, and Jon were sent to Sweetwater for help.
On their first day on the road they were attacked by wargs and bugbears. Maxxx sustained lethal abdominal injuries and died in her sleep. The next day the group met Francis and Abby Douglas who were on their way to The Forks with a cart full of supplies from Sweetwater. The group (Hail, Famm, Jon, Abby, Francis) have a discussion and decide to ride to The Forks. Abby was on horseback and Francis was driving a wagon pulled by Gerold, his warhorse. Abby rode ahead towards The Forks. Hail found orc and warg tracks so Francis unhitched Gerold (from the now abandoned supply cart) and rode after Abby. After some time both Abby and Francis rejoined the group on the main road, saying that The Forks had completely burned, at which point howling was heard from the West and everyone took refuge in a house in the last farm before The Forks. A troll knocked down the door to the house in the middle of the night. Abby attacked and killed it, but not before it destroyed Famm’s face with a giant club, killing him.
Back on the road heading to Sweetwater, the group runs into Hannah and Barit who were heading East from Sweetwater, both on horseback. Barit was Hannah’s protection while she was tasked with delivering a letter to The Forks town council. More howling was heard and the group doubled up on horses where needed and headed quickly towards Sweetwater. More howling was heard, and many shapes in the distance to the west. Everyone turned back to The Forks and south over a bridge and south on a narrow path along Penance Creek. Warg mounted orc scouts followed the group, just out of bowshot.
A large cave was found and entered for refuge. Hannah found a secret door, leading into dwarven tunnels, the first that anyone had ever seen. The horses were abandoned in the cave to fend for themselves. Exploring around, a gelatinous cube was spotted and Abby managed to run into it. The group went through a mushroom forest and Barit poked at some mushrooms. A beholder was encountered and Hannah got charmed. Everyone ran and sprung a ceiling trap – Francis was slightly injured by falling rocks. Charmed Hannah kept wanting to go back to the beholder but was restrained by Abby. Francis and Jon eventually knocked her senseless for her own good.
The group emerged out onto the main dwarven tunnel road and ran into some carrion crawlers. Francis and Abby got paralyzed. Barit dragged them to safety and everyone split up. Jon ran away and got into a scuffle. Hail got paralyzed. Jon grabbed Hannah and ran. He baited one carrion crawler under a ceiling trap which destroyed it. Jon met up with Barit and Hannah regained her senses, only to get followed by the gelatinous cube again. They avoided the cube and killed the remaining carrion crawler and gathered up the whole group – then slept.
After resting, the group continued along the main dwarven road and encountered a swordwraith. Francis mostly killed it while Abby helped. Then the group ran into a keeper and were led on a wild goose chase, into the throne room. The group took turns on watch while the others rested after a long day. On his turn, Barit went for a walk to stay awake. When he returned, lots of the group’s stuff was stolen.
Upon awaking, everyone was getting mad at Barit when 6 keepers were appeared. Francis attacked them and Hannah saved the group with stun spells. Jon tumbled his ass off to avoid being hurt. Hail and Hannah died. Barit and Francis got knocked unconcious. Abby managed to talk her way to a peaceful resolution. A keeper led the group out of the dwarven tunnels and back into the forest.
After some time, while wandering through the forest toward Sweetwater, the group ran into Mila, who was aimlessly wandering the forest after being teleported there by her master as a test of some sort. The joined the group for safety.
The group’s four horses, which were previously abandoned were found. Three were alive, wandering near their dead companion. Barit cooked steads from the dead horse. The group camped and slept. Barit caught fish and found a cabin in the woods where he met Elysia, who invited him to bring the rest of the group. It turns out she was a vampire, who quickly bit Abby and Jon. After a scuffle, the group managed to escape and rode towards Sweetwater.
A Grey Render was encountered ravaging the countryside as the group rode through the forest, avoiding the main road. Abby and Francis defended themselves against the fast moving beast managing to slice open it’s thick hide with their swords. That just made it angry and everyone barely escaped and arrived half-dead in Sweetwater where they went straight to the estate of Herbert and Geraldine Douglas, parents of Abby and Francis. They also met Alice the cook, David the guard, and Chester the esquire. 3 days are spent resting and healing.
After some discussion, Francis and Abby are sent to see Fredrick Vi Grunigen (he lives in a cedar log cabin in a meadow near Sweetwater) to find out what’s going on since he was the one who created the magic letter for the Douglas family to send to The Forks. His payment for the letter is for one person to perform services for one year. After a negotiation, Francis and Abby agree to retrieve an item for Fredrick.
He produces a map which shows the task – to be teleported somewhere to retreive a sphere (egg). The back story to this quest is that there is a young black dragon, named Lucidia, and a small tropical fishing village on the banks of a mountain jutting out of the middle of some large lake. The people in the village built a lair for the dragon in the mountain and paid tribute in the form of baubles and trinkets. Unbeknownst to the dragon, the villagers built in a secret passageway to get some of their valuables back but the dragon eventually found out and killed all of the villagers. So, adventure ensued and our heroes stole an egg from Lucidia and brought it back to Fredrick Vi Grunigen as payment of the Douglas’ debt.
August 6, 1134
The next day is spent back in Sweetwater and the next morning the group heads out of Sweetwater on horseback – out the east gate. Some sort of fire troll is encountered on the main road and is killed by Jon, Francis and Abby. Barit is badly hurt during the encounter and has to drink two healing potions that were given to the group by Herbert Douglas.
August 8, 1134
The group arrives at The Forks. Two girallons and three wolves attack our heroes while exploring the ruins of The Forks. All beasts are destroyed but Francis dies at the hands of one of the girallons.
August 9, 1134
Greatly saddened at the loss of Francis, the group continues to Bastion where Abby looks up family on her mother’s side – the Jaggers. Thomas Jagger is the brother of Geraldine Douglas. His wife is Martha Jagger and their estate is serviced by Bernice the cook and Orson the servant. They are overwhelmed with grief over the loss of Francis and set up a funeral that same day, presided by Father James and Prelate Johan from the temple of Helga. Abby writes a letter and sends it to her parents in Sweetwater:
I wish I could be writing to you with good news but that does not seem to be possible these days. Words fail me at this time and there is no easy way to tell you this… Francis was killed in a battle at The Forks. He fought bravely and saved us all with his fearlessness. I am safe and with the Jaggers in Bastion.
I’ll write again soon.
After the funeral everyone heads back to the Jaggers and talk about the attacks on The Forks and Tusk. More is learned about the council in Bastion and the group has a conversation with John MacEachern after the council sent a messenger to set up a meeting. He suggests the group go north towards The Twins. 60 miles north there is a river crossing where the group will find a woodcutters track heading west. 5 miles along this track, MacEachern says the group will find a man named Andrew and for the group to deliver a letter to him.