The World of Stronghold

Chronicles of Calveric: 4th Week of Snowebb, 1409- cont'd
Treasure of the Charnel Glade

The heroes began to explore the strange gloomy glade, 8 small stacked cairns of mossy stones encircling a 10'-tall statue of the White Quoddess standing in a brass bowl atop a stone pedestal. But first they faced down the guardians of the glade… a vampire rose bush that sapped Geofric of his vitality, a horrid ghoul wolf, and three ghast/ghouls. Finally able to explore in peace, they tinkered with the statue until a small treasure vault opened beneath the bowl, in which they found several scrolls, a chest full of coins, and a case of several potions and a skeleton key. Wallociia examined the scrolls, only to discover that one was cursed to turn the reader into a Quoddess statue. Fortunately one of the potions was stone to flesh, and Wallociia was soon returned to normal.

As the band headed back to civilization, they passed by the strange rough cabin with door barred from the outside only to find it occupied. Several Dragonpriests cowered on the cabin roof along with a human prisoner, fending off a gaggle of ravenous oil beetles. Picking them off from a distance took time, and Wallociia was scalded by a blast of the noxious beetle oil, but the heroes managed to defeat the beetles just as they finished off the Dragonpriests. The freed man identified himself as Yuveen, a prospector from Dead Mule, captured after being separated from his companions. The Dragonpriests had repeatedly told him he was to be sacrificed at "Dragonbane Castle"; Yuveen knew of a large complex of ruins to the north of Dead Mule but was unsure if that was what the Dragonpriests met.

The group asked Yuveen to come along with them to Cauldronford and Dragonsfoot and then offerred to take him home if no caravan passes through in the meantime.

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Chronicles of Calveric: 4th Week of Snowebb, 1409
Triumph over the Blackbolts

Calveric, Wallociia, and their companions continued their vendetta against the Blackbolt bandit gang. One large group of bandits and Way of the Raging Dragon priests were laid low and captured by Quint Cogspinner's color spray, and the head cleric of the Dragon priests was caught mostly unawares with two of the bandit officers tippling and quickly dispatched. Having come through the secret back exit and eliminating nearly all the Blackbolt leaders, the few remaining rank and file bandits were easily dispatched. To cap the rout, one of the bandit prisoners was dressed in a salt pork vest while Detmar loosed the chained (hungry!) owlbear to rampage through the bailey and the tents of the rank-and-file Blackbolts.

The prisoners were dumped into the cell discovered in the fort, while three prisoners were freed. Traynor, a purported guild merchant from Brokenbridge, desired to return home and implied a large ransom/reward awaited, and he set out in that direction along with the bounty hunter Lortha who wanted only to continue her search for the scar-faced renegade thief Leper. The third, the halfling beekeeper Elmer Brightpipe from Goodhive, practically begged to come along as the expedition followed the "real" treasure map to the marked location in a copse to the east.

Two days' walk through hills led the party to an ancient burial mound, seemingly left by the Arcaenians eons ago. Barely avoiding the ochre jelly on the ceiling within, the party opened the rune-covered sarcophagus and (Elmer) dug deep into the strange black earth found under the crumbling mortar and flagstones of the false bottom of the sarcophagus. Finding nothing in the gloomy soil, the party continued on across Rust Creek and camped for the night, which was punctuated only by the twang of bowstrings as the group shot Elmer down as he tried to flee with Calveric's book collection. They then administered the traditional Dromedan halfling punishment for thieves: hung him upside down by one foot, shaved.

The next morning they discovered a plank (hunting?) cabin at the end of the gloomy copse with closed shutters, its stout door barred from the outside. Leaving it be, the group moved into the dark woods, eventually coming on a circle of burial cairns around a large statue of the White Quoddess standing in a huge bronze bowl atop some sort of grey stone. They stand at the end of the footpath they followed east, beside an overgrown wild rose bush that stands next to the pathway of slate stepping stones leading to the center of the glade.

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Chronicles of Calveric: 3rd Week of Snowebb, 1409
On the Trail of Treasure/Attack of the Blackbolts

Guided by the treasure map found in Quasqueton, Calveric, Detmar, and Blodgett determined to leave Dragonsfoot for the 4 day journey north. They met Wallociia, a cleric of the Temple of Knowledge, and her companions the hulking dullard fighter Geofric and his war dog grunt and their companion the gnome Quint Cogspinner, who are seeking a lost temple of their order rumored to have been part of a magical academy ruined decades ago.

Wandering east, the group met a band of halfling mead traders from Goodhive and exchanged pleasantries before arriving at the treasure site. A series of arched bones formed a gallery in a clearing near a hill covered by brambleberries. Under the dragon's ribcage they found any number of digging tools, discarded weapons, and various other (ruined) adventurer's gear. They soon understood why as arrows screamed down from the hill and a group of the infamous Blackbolt bandits (who had waylaid Calveric and stolen his tiny chest months ago) who spread the treasure maps far and wide to lure seekers to their doom.

On this day doom failed them, as Calveric and the group dispatched them quickly. Finding a footpath east, the adventurers soon found a forlorn motte and bailey fort full of tents and a wooden watchtower, full of Blackbolt warriors. Sneaking around to the creek behind the fort, the group discovered a forgotten, or poorly-hidden, entrance to the stronghold. Bursting in they found and dispatched the Blackbolts' leader and other high-ranking members of the gang, as well as a few priests of the Way of the Raging Dragon.

They did not find the chief priest but did find what seemed to be his shrine to the fell Dragonmother and defiled it with impolite acts. They also found the priest's quarters, including a scroll from the High Priest instructing the cleric to search in the area between the bandits' fort and Dragonsfoot, including "Quasqueton", "Madcopse", "Dragonwood", and the "Temple of the Troglodytes". They also found a long book entitled "Magical Mirrors of the Mythus Mage", detailing the many sorts of magical glass this powerful wizard created and scattered around the whole world.

The adventures found themselves at a forked passage, pondering which direction in which to continue…

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