Into the Depths

Artanas's Log: Selecod's Respite (Session 8)

We let the Orc stew, while we rested and tended to our wounds. Isabelle asked elderly Boatman about the gem we found. He didn’t know what it does, but he seems certain that whatever enchantments are on it are good ones. He mentioned finding a similar one trapped in rock a long time ago, but he wasn’t able to retrieve it. Brottor used magic to determine the rune on it means “Protection.”

Interrogating the Orc was immensely frustrating. They were raiding for fish, not slaves, so he knows nothing about the slavers we’re looking for. He drew us a map leading to the Black-Skins and the Orc city, Glass Spear, but his knowledge is questionable at best.

Jaridan had an interesting idea, however. He obviously knew the way back to the Orc city. If we covered him in fish guts, and told him it was a healing ritual to make sure he didn’t wash them off, we could follow the scent back to the Orcs once we had dealt with the Black-Skins.

A Boatman guard seemed to think it more likely that he’d be eaten by Trolls. So either he leaves us a nice, pungent trail back to Glass Spear, or he’s killed horribly. I’m okay with either outcome.

Following his map was as difficult as I expected it to be, and we followed our noses more than his scribblings. At least, until we found a bloody smear and a boot that smelled of fish.

If we had followed his map correctly, we should be at the fork that leads to the Black-Skins. Between Isabelle’s cat’s reluctance to go this way, and a sign painted on the wall that apparently meant “Danger”, we decided that we had, in fact, not read the map correctly and doubled back.

We did eventually find our way to the Black-Skin city. Isabelle used her Tongues spell to get us access to the city, which is apparently called Selecod’s Respite. We claimed to be going in as traders seeking slaves, which I suppose is technically true. While I’d much rather deal with these slaving scum with the end of my spear, rescuing my family is more important.

We found the slave pens, but sadly, there were no humans there. Kyari bartered her healing magic for information. We had not, as I had feared, beaten the Orcs here. The young ones had been sent east to a people called the Rhaen. Mira had been taken west to Glass Spear.

I’ve never faced a harder decision, although I fear I may face similar ones before I see the sun again. Mira’s situation is reprehensible, but if Isala reaches her final owner before I catch up with her, she’ll face something similar. Possibly worse. I have no idea what will happen to the little ones. I have to put my faith that Mira can hold on longer. I will return to save her as well, and kill every beast that touched her.

Our trip to the slave pens was not as fruitless as it first seemed, however. One of the slaves was a Dwarf, although apparently from much deeper than any of Brottor’s kinsmen travel. His name is Bromack and he’s a carpenter, apparently something the Black-Skins find useful. We purchased him for a disgustingly low price. He told me that the children seemed… as well as one could expect given the circumstances, but told me that there was talk of Isala being made into a Rhaen Princess. He didn’t know what that means, but my mind has come up with numerous possibilities, and plans for exactly what I’ll do if any of them turn out to be true.

We asked if Bromack wanted to join us, but he declined, wanting to return to his family. I cannot fault him for that. He fixed the map the Orc gave us as best he could, including adding his people’s city, Malachite Hall, to it. I asked him if we could deliver my sister and cousins there once we had them, so they would be safe while we rescue Mira. He agreed whole-heartedly. Part of me wonders if I can bring everybody home, but if I can ensure that everyone is safe, it’s a start.

We proceeded to look for items in the city’s stores for anything that would help us on our travels. Other than a well-crafted bow Jaridan picked up, we didn’t find anything useful enough. We gave Bromack what equipment we could spare, and wished him luck on his journey home.

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Artanas's Log: Orc Raiders (Session 7)

The Boatmen turned out to be rather friendly and hospitable, when all is said and done. They brought us to an inn where we bought food (don’t ask about the drinks) before turning in for some much needed sleep.

Our rest was interrupted by a loud commotion outside. Raiders were attacking the village. I wasn’t going to stand for that. My anger only intensified when I learned the raiders were Orcs.

Things started out well, but the Boatment seemed unprepared to fight Orcs, and many of them fell. Struck by a sudden instinct, I stepped forward and breathed a giant spurt of flame! It seem Kelendenras has gifted me with another ability.

A powerful group of Orcs arrived, and we had to take shelter in the inn. Edran fell, but Isabelle managed to drag him to safety. We might have lost everything, if a giant centipede didn’t show up out of nowhere and attack the Orc leader.

As the beserkers tired, we managed to turn the tables, killing all the Orcs, save one we convinced to surrender.

They had some nice equipment, although little of it was actually magical, it should help us in our travels. Plus, an elderly Boatman (who appears to have summoned the centipede) offered Isabelle a cloak that will increase her magic powers.

Hopefully this will help make up for the time we’re losing patching up from the attack. I need to reach the Black-Skins as soon as I can, but I fear the Orcs may have already passed here. I’ll know more when we finish interrogating our prisoner.

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Artanas's Log: Giants and boatmen (Session 6)

The Dwarves were very helpful. They provided us with maps, and even some equipment. I’m not sure what Jaridan needs with a heavy crossbow, though.

Descending the cliff went fairly well. We said farewell to the Dwarves with us and proceeded down the corridor. After a few hours, we came across a side passage filled with all sorts of luminous mushrooms, and of course, Jaridan couldn’t resist poking around.

It was late in the day (or what passes for a day around here) when we reached the Stone Giant’s door. Which presented us with another problem: how do we make our presence known? We found a button of some sort, connected to the massive stone door. Jaridan pushed it, and an enormous gong could be heard from the other side.

The Stone Giant eventually came to the door. His name was Valagar, and he treated us courteously. His home was covered in magnificent carvings, no doubt centuries of work. I discussed my missing family with Valagar, and while he was sympathetic to my plight, he revealed a… complication, as he put it. The orcs had passed through his region, and he had traded with them. In exchange for a sword he had forged, they had given him one of their slaves. Specifically, my mother.

I’d never been so happy to see her. My father was already lost, but here was one more I could save.

Brottor tried to make a deal with Valagar, but the glacium was not enough for my mother’s freedom. In the end, he proposed this: We would leave the glacium and my mother with him. We would return with something else of value, an ingot of gold the size of my fist, or something equally valuable. He assures us that finding something of that nature should not be too difficult deep in the caves.

I kills me to leave my mother in slavery, but the situation could be worse. Valagar says he treats his slaves well, and I believe him. My mother still looks harried from her time with the orcs, but she is clean, and has new clothing.

We drank to the deal, a fascinating drink called Moonglow. It’s apparently made from some of the white mushrooms Jaridan was chasing in the corridor before. I’d have appreciated it more if it had come with better news.

Valagar showed Jaridan, Edran, and Brottor around his workshop, but I stayed with my mother. Her first words to me were begging me to rescue Mira, my aunt. It seems the Orcs…

I will kill them all. I swear it to Kelendenras. What they’ve done is unforgivable, and I will make them pay.

The only good news is that Isala appears to be off limits. My guess is her purity makes her more valuable. This is good for now, but could be worse in the long run if I cannot save her.

Valagar and the others returned. While the Giant could not give us much details on where the Orcs lived, what he could tell us was valuable. There was a good chance the Orcs would trade their slaves with the Black-Skins. He also told us of creatures he only knew as the Boatmen. They traveled an underground river, and were also known to trade with the Black-Skins. If we could barter for passage down their river, it would save us days of travel, perhaps even getting us to the Black-Skins before the Orcs arrived.

We spent the night at Valagar’s, and in the morning, I said farewell to my mother. I assured her that we would rescue the others and return for her.

The Boatmen, it seemed were no friends of the Dwarves, but this could be in our favor. We took Brottor’s weapons from him and bound him, Jaridan tying knots that could be undone in seconds, and Isabelle conjuring fragile chains. If we presented him as a prisoner, to be sold to the Black-Skins, it should make the Boatmen more willing to deal with us.

The Boatmen were strange lizardmen, it seemed, and language was a problem. An elder, however, spoke a crude form of Goblin, and Kyari was able to bargain with him. It seemed they wanted weapons, and when Jaridan offered them the crossbow, they were very pleased. They agreed to take us all the way to the Black-Skins. It would take two days to traverse the river, and the time it would save us was immeasurable.

The boat was carved out of one of the large, tree-like mushrooms. I was apprehensive, but the Boatmen seemed to know what they were doing. The trip went smoothly for most of the first day, until we hit the waterfalls.

I don’t know much about sailing, and I don’t know how they did it, but the boat remained upright and secure even as it bounced down the falls.

At the bottom, Jaridan cried out, leaning against his restraints. Ardan’s ropes had snaped, sending him from the boat as we descended the last waterfall. We could see him, thrashing against the currents, but he was too far from the boat, and I could see no way of helping him.

Then Kyari spoke. There was a flash of light, and something white and shimmering appeared in the water. The porpoise struggled against the current, swimming towards Ardan. It managed to bring him close to the boat before it faded away. Ardan was close enough now, that Jaridan was able to throw him a rope and drag him back on to the boat.

Fortunately, it seemed the worst was over. The boat drifted in to another village of the Boatmen. The journey down the river behind us, we now make preparations to face the Black-Skins.

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Artanas's Log: Dwarves (Session 5)

We came across a fork in the road, and were faced with a tough decision. The Goblin had mentioned they used the southern route to avoid the Dwarves to the west, implying the west is a faster route. Assuming we could pick up their trail again, it could help us actually catch up with them. Brottor felt the Dwarves would likely have maps, which could be very useful.

As we walked down the seemingly endless corridor, I noticed something odd. The floor showed signs of use, Goblin tracks and the like, but at a certain point, they stopped completely. We found strands of webbing, but no signs of any spiders.

We didn’t have to go that much farther, however. We found webs strung across the tunnel. We burned our way through, but giant spiders descended on us on the other side. Ardan apparently really doesn’t like spiders. His attacks were relentless. Isabelle demonstrated more magical prowess, conjuring a ball of fire that obeyed her commands.

The spiders defeated, we pressed on for a while, then found an alcove to make camp in. The night passed uneventfully, except somebody rummaged through Isabelle’s pack. Apparently they were looking for soap, because that’s all she was missing. The tracks I found lead in the direction we were heading, so perhaps we can find our mysterious soap thief in our travels.

The road was winding, and twisted back on itself. We reached another fork, and headed south, following the sounds of dripping water. We found a beautiful underground lake, surrounded by giant mushrooms.

Isabelle used her magic to detect something hidden in one of the stalagmites. After some work, we found a strange crystal, that looked to once be part of a necklace.

The girls decided to take advantage of this opportunity and bathe, finding a secluded cropping of rock. Brottor, meanwhile, decided to show everybody that Dwarves do not have the same sense of modesty that Humans and Elves do.

Clean once more, we set out, and before long found a Dwarf named Darreg. Darreg was part of a small mining camp, and he took us to meet Captain Haskan. Haskan proved to have useful information. There was a path that would lead us to an Orc city, but there was a Giant who lived there. He traded a piece of a strange metal called glacium to us, telling us to offer it to the Giant in exchange for passage. He also told us of other rare metals to keep an eye out for.

We informed him of the Goblins and their Gnome prisoners, and he said he’d see about organizing a raiding party when he returned from his current expidition. We also inquired if any of them knew anything about the strange crystal we found, but all we learned was that it would take an incredibly long time for it to be buried in the stalacmite.

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Artanas's Log: Liberation (Session 4)

With the Gnome farmers liberated, our next task was my cousin, in the great hall below us. The Gnomes are invaluable scouts. The competition had ended, and one of the Chief’s guards had won. Unfortunately, this meant my cousin would remain in the great hall.

After some debate about interesting, but sadly impractical ideas, we settled on a plan. We’d wait for the Goblins to get drunk, sneak in, and sneak out. We decided to leave it to two of us to sneak in, while the rest would wait nearby in case we needed them.

Jaridan was the obvious choice – the man can move like a ghost when he chooses to. Brottor suggested that I should go, too. If my cousin panicked when he woke up, it would be troublesome, and a familiar face would make it easier to keep him calm.

I had to leave my chain shirt behind, and I traded my spear for Edas’s sword. I didn’t like going into a hall with a hundred Goblins without my equipment, but hopefully we’d be in and out without anyone being the wiser.

Jaridan stole the keys, while I woke my cousin, Taras. The problem was, there were five keys. While trying to find the right one, one of the Goblins started to stir. Fortunately, Jaridan managed to throttle the Goblin before he could make a sound.

We left without further incident.

The next step was getting Taras and the Gnomes out of the cave. Of course, nothing is that easy. Some of the patrols had found the sentry we had killed when we first entered.
Having no time to waste, we immediately attacked. Isabelle’s magic has grown impressively. During the battle, she shot darts of light at our enemies.

The battle ended quickly, and we were rewarded for our efforts. The Goblins had a finely crafted hand axe, and a chain shirt. Kyari took the chain shirt, thankful for the extra mobility it gave her. The axe was given to me, for cases where my spear was too large to use.

I said goodbye to Taras before we sent him off with the Gnomes. Edas is going with them, too, to guide them to our village. Taras told me that there were five others that were captured. My mother, my Aunt Mira, two of my cousins, and of course, Adrianna. I told him not to worry, that I’d bring them all back.

The Goblins still in their drunken rest, we turned around to head deeper into the caves. On our way, Jaridan had a stroke of genius, and left the key to Taras’s shackles outside the door of another Goblin tribe. With any luck, they resulting quarrel should buy the refugees time to put distance between themselves and the cave, as well as distract the Goblins from our own presence.

On our way, we passed a storeroom, where a pair of Ogres were making a deal with one of the Goblins. Our attempt to sneak past failed, and we had to fight. The ogres proved to be challenging, but we won out in the end. The storeroom didn’t have much we could use, but we did find a well made breastplate that Brottor donned.

I don’t know what awaits us as we descend into the cave, but every fight makes us stronger as a team. I’m confident we can handle whatever comes our way.

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Artanas's Log: Into the Cave (Session 3)

Jaridan and Brottor quarreled about leaving a marker for any reinforcements that should come after us. The Dwarf argued that the odds of anyone finding us this far out were ridiculous, and I fear he’s right. Still, Jaridan insisted on marking an arrow on the door with charcoal from my torch.

Inside we found a Goblin sentry, but Jaridan cut him down as he ran past.

In a storeroom, we found a strange little creature. A bit like a dwarf, but not as big, and I suspect Brottor would be angry at me for making the comparison. He’s a Gnome, apparently named Bazur. He only speaks Goblin, so Kyari is the only one who can speak to him.

Apparently much of his behavior is an act, designed to keep the Goblins off guard. His people have been enslaved by the Goblins for several generations.

Apparently the Orcs take their captives deep underground, often paying the Goblins to pass through their fort here. My stomach turned as Kyari translated this for us. Bazur doesn’t know what the slaves are used for down there, but at least one is likely to be traded to the Goblins as payment.

I want to chase after them, to find my sister as quickly as possible, but Brottor reminds me that I can’t save anyone if I get killed in the process. My family’s survival depends on my patience, so I’ll have to be patient.

Bazur lead us to a secret storeroom. It seems the Gnomes were the ones who built this cave, and they still keep secrets from the Goblins.

Jaridan found a room full of gadgets and parts, while the rest of us discussed the situation. He tried to drag me into the room full of books, but I don’t have the energy for his games right now. Bazur expects the Orcs have already moved on. My family gets farther and farther away from me by the hour.

He’s made us a deal. He’ll help us get past the Goblins if we help him get his kin out of the caves. Despite the detour, I find myself eager to help. Perhaps saving his family will give me confidence in our ability to save mine.

While we rested, Bazur and his kin scouted out the great hall. My heart leapt when he told us of a small Human there, but he told us it was a boy. One of my cousins, no doubt, and with any luck, we can free him to escape with the Gnomes.

Bazur’s kin all work in the farms and kitchens. There are two exits, and we can’t afford anyone to sound an alarm, so we split into groups. The Gnomes will cause a diversion. Brottor and Kyari will engage the Goblins that come to investigate, while the rest of us will use this opportunity to seize control of the other entrance. We’ve left a handful of Gnomes behind to guard this one, armed with Brottor’s throwing axes.

The plan went off perfectly. The Goblins are defeated, but we still need to get the Gnomes out.

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Artanas's Log: Tracking (Session 2)

I’m grateful for my companion’s help. Even as I follow the Goblin’s tracks, they aid me. Their presence gives me hope that I may save my sister and the rest of my family yet.

Night fell, and there was discussion of whether we should press on. I have worries about my ability to follow the Goblin trail in the dark, but we’re falling behind them already. This might be our only chance to catch up with them. Fortunately, the others agreed and we pressed on.

The Goblins did make camp. A large group, they had sent out a patrol, but we brought them down all the same.

We tried to draw out the rest of the Goblins, but they seemed unwilling to leave their campsite. Brottor snuck closer to the camp, his Dwarven eyes being able to see what we couldn’t. He reported that they had met up with a band of Orcs and had a wagon with them.

Frustrating doesn’t begin to describe it. My family is so close, but there are more here than we can hope to take on. There is no choice but to wait for a more advantageous moment.

We camped out that night. In the morning, the Orcs and Goblins had gone. Oddly enough, they had recovered the bodies of the Goblins we had killed the night before. Brottor says this is very unusual behavior for a Goblin.

The wagon makes them easy to track, at least. Or it did, until the tracks disappeared completely. Jaridan discovered parts of the dismantled wagon hidden in the bushes. We were on hard ground, leading into the foothills, which made following them difficult, but we managed.

The Orcs and Goblins split off from each other. There were no large tracks with the Goblins, implying the Orcs had taken my family. I couldn’t find any traces of Adriana’s footprints. They could easily be hidden among the Goblin tracks, but my gut tells me the Orcs had her, too.

The trail led us into a valley before it faded from view. It was here that Kyari found a secret door in the rock. The device is amazing – my time helping Jaridan with his experiments has given me at least that much of an eye for this – but it doesn’t seem like something Orcs or Goblins could make.

The situation grows stranger and stranger. I feel like my sister is miles away from me now.

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Artanas's Log: Setting Out

We set out today, to hunt down some of the goblins attacking the farms. It was me, Jaridan, his brother Ardan, Kyari, Isabelle, Edas, Valana, and the dwarf, Brottor.

Things started out well. Following the plume of smoke, we found the band of goblins in short order and took them down fairly easily, Jaridan having perhaps too much fun with his grappling hook. Three archers escaped, but no one could deny we were victorious.

It was short lived, however. More trails of smoke showed on the horizon, including one that was over my homestead.

It took all of my resolve not to break into a run and leave my companions behind.

My home was in shambles. My father, Jentis, and his brother, Po, were dead. Despite our differences, I did love them, but I didn’t have time to dwell on it, not yet. Everyone else was gone.

If you had told me a day before that I’d be using what I learned tracking boars and deer in my own home, I’d have thought you mad, but here I was, examining the tracks left in the dirt, trying to deduce as much as possible.

Many had fled. I don’t know what happened to them, but it appears the goblins took everyone else captive. I think I saw Adriana’s footprints. There were so many marks, it was hard to tell. It could have been a goblin – their feet aren’t much bigger – but something inside me is convinced that they have my sister.

There was debate over what we should do. I didn’t listen. I told them I was getting back my sister, and they could join me if they wanted. Brottor sent Valana back to report, and hopefully get reinforcements. Thank Kelendenras for cooler heads than mine.

I can’t really think straight. I don’t know what the goblins have planned for my family, for my sister, but I won’t give them the chance.


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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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