- Iris & Ivy spoke to Jass for some time about his crystal, his version of the Elam Nethley tale, and his plans to get to the dwarven city of Unver Gaul to continue his search for the Heart of Shadow - as well as some discussion as to what they might do next themselves. When they said that the Nethley they had been pursuing was supposedly searching for a lost temple, he told them he had heard of a site called the Skytemple Ruins from one of the hunters.
- The shopkeeper Delna came to ask them if they could retrieve some special ferm leaves from the Blackwood Forest for her, as her normal supplier hadn't been to Laduun in some time.
- A couple of days later, Jass came to their inn at breakfast saying that he'd managed to get permission to enter the gate to Unver Gaul and asked if they wanted to accompany him. They had decided, howver, to pursue the lead at the Skytemple ruins and so parted ways. They agreed to leave word at the Cliffside Inn should they discover anything new regarding Elam Nethley.
- Iris & Ivy left Laduun an headed east along the cliffside to the place where a path wound through a massive cleft in the cliff. A few miles into the journey as they made their way through another narrow canyon, they were confronted by a winged, lion-like creature demanding all of their treasure...
- As Iris & Ivy fought the shadowy creatures descending from the cliff, they were joined by some of the town watch and the man Ivy had spoken to earlier in the day - and found that he also had a crystalline warrior that would appear to aid him in combat. Once the last of the creatures were destroyed, the two crystal warriors shook hands and vanished.
- The man with the glowing gem - a tall warrior dressed in hides and carrying a large sword - abruptly got up and left the tavern. Ivy pulled Iris outside and the two spotted him heading down a nearby alleyway, where he seemed to be looking quizzically at the amulet he was wearing.
- As he made his way back through the alleyway, they attempted to tail him with mixed results. Splitting up, Ivy ended up confronted by the man who seemed somewhat suspicious and confused. After some explanation, he seemed willing to talk to her.
- He was currently working in the mine as a guard, but had originally come to the city hoping to travel to Unver Gaul. He was looking for something called the Heart of Shadow that had belonged to a sorceror called Elam Nethley - apparently, there was a prophecy in his home village in a neighboring kingdom that that artifact would soon cause widespread districution in the area. He had also been given a gem by a man that mysteriously appeared in his camp one night. He agreed to meet them later to talk more.
- After meeting back up, Iris & Ivy decided to look into an advertisement they had seen about a shop called "Delna's Enchantments". The proprietor of the establishment clearly had some measure of elven blood herself, and seemed quite eager to serve them - giving them a significant discount on her services. She was able to help them indentify the properties of some magical items they had recovered from the hilltop ruin on the plain to the north.
- Ostra's tavern was every bit as crowded around the time of the evening meal, and dinner took them longer than expected. By the time they were headed to the Cliffside Inn to meet with the man called Jass they'd spoken to earlier. As they approached, Ivy noticed some shadows moving down onto the buildings from the cliffs - just as Iris looked up to see a long, tentacle-like claw reaching out for her...
- The hunting party escorted Iris & Ivy back to the Laduun Inn in the city, where they spent the remainder of the day resting.
- The following day, they spent some time getting a feel for the city and to gather some information. It was a large, walled community tucked into the foothills at the base of a massive cliff where mines bored into the mountainside.
- They learned that the gate leading to the tunnel road to the dwarven city Unver Gaul had been closed due to monster activity, and that one of the mines was similarly affected, causing some unrest: miners were striking and counter-striking around the issues of creatures in the Ironhold mine. They even found a posting requesting guards to help defend those working in the mine from unknown creatures.
- The two also spoke to a local elven scholar called Elivius Thorrel who told them he had also heard the story of Elam Nethley, though the version he told was somewhat different from the legend they knew.
- As they attempted to make their way to a prominent tavern for lunch, a swarm of black bee-like creatures began pouring into the city, seemingly coming from the cliffs.
- After fighting off the blackbees, they continued to Ostra's Tavern, where Ivy caught site of a glowing gem around one patron's neck which seemed to echo a blue glow now coming from Iris' backpack...
- The leader of the goblins stepped forward, seemingly surprised to see them emerge. He asked in broken common whether they'd killed the ogre and what they wanted. Ivy managed to convince him that the ogre was dead and that they could have their lair back and they slipped away before the other goblins turned violent.
- On the road southeast to the city of Laduun, they were caught-up-with by the blue creature who attempted to communicate with them, but had a great deal of trouble doing so. It seemed to want them to help it get home, though it couldn't articulate where its home was. In the end, it simply accompanied them on their journey.
- As they entered the foothills near the cliffside and the city, the group was attacked by a number of diseased wild boars. The fight started to turn ugly when a group of hunters from the city arrived - just after Ivy was incapacitated by one of the creatures...
- Iris & Ivy descended into the ruin of the tower and the caverns beneath it - encountering a carrion crawler and the ghost of a goblin warrior tied to a magic sword. The ghost wasn't happy to see they were elves, but told them they could keep her sword if they killed the ogre who dwelled in the caverns.
- The two ended up finding and destroying the ogre, who turned out to be a servant of Erythnul, in some kind of old throne room. There they also found a chest full of treasure.
- As they emerged from the ruin, they found a group of goblins waiting for them...
- Iris & Ivy spent the next couple of days in Helok's Ford awaiting to give their testimony in the trial of the theives they'd caught. During this time, they did look at some local records in the local temple. They didn't find anything relating specifically to Elam Nethley, but they did find some odd discrepancies in the records around the same time.
- The two gave their testimony at the trial and remained to see what would happen. The two theives were given a lenient sentence of hard labor. As came to light during the trial, there were some local tensions between some of the fishermen - which the theives cited as the reason for their actions. Some of the local authorities are looking to resolve those issue.
- The following day, Iris & Ivy left Helok's Ford heading east and south toward Laduun, planning to head to the dwarven city of Unver Gaul from there. As they traveled across the plain, they caught site of an old ruin on a small hilltop.
- As they made their way to the site to investigate, they were attacked by a few goblins looking for food. After fighting them off and continuing to the site, they found a collapsed tower - the basement of which was littered with various bones and pools of foul-smelling goo...
- Ivy and Iris spoke with Typhel at the Hall of Light, and managed to get some healing for Ivy. From there, they made their way to the encampment they had found outside of town. As they approached, they heard the voice of a man shouting at someone. Sneaking closer, they saw the other suspect yelling at the blue creature.
- The two were spotted, and a chaotic battle ensued between them and the blue creature, the man, and one of the guards from town who had apparently also been nearby.
- They eventually drove the blue creature off and captured the man, and are currently heading back to town with the guardsman.
- Iris & Ivy took their captive back to town and turned him over to the local militia. Later they took the captain and a few others to the camp they'd found and recovered the rest of the stolen valuables, though they hadn't been able to find the other suspect - a man called Dav. The captain asked them to stay in town for a few days as they would need to speak to the magistrate regarding the incident.
- The pair then went over to the docks to find a man called Haelmare, whom they'd been told may have been around when Elam Nethley came through around 50 years ago. He agreed to meet with them that evening at the tavern and told them about his encounter with the man. His description of Nethley wasn't at all what they'd expected.
- Iris decided they should try to catch the other thief, but Ivy was fairly worn down from their previous encounters. They decided to stop by the local temple before returning to the camp to see if Dav returned...
- The winged blue creature who had taken Iris' sword snapped its fingers summoning a few tiny air elementals and leapt out the window. While Ivy chased after it, Iris ran out of the room and outside. Unsure of the best course of action, she decide to find one of the town guards who took her to speak with their leader. The guards listened to her account, but were unconvinced that the creature was the theif they had been looking for.
- Ivy, meanwhile, had followed the creature just close enough to catch site of it diving into a wooded area on the riverside about half a mile north of town.
- The two met back up at the inn and finished resting. Early in the morning they made their way to the place Ivy had seen where they found a small camp with a sleeping man, a pair of bedrolls, and Iris' sword leaning against some heavy-looking packs.
- As they made their way to the packs and grabbed Iris' sword, the man awoke and the blue creature came flying into the camp shrieking frantically. The man attempted to frighten them off while the creature swooped in swinging at Iris with its claws.
- The pair fought off the man, eventually severely injuring him while the blue creature became more distressed. Its howling seemed to summon winds from off the river which coalesced into a massive air elemental.
- Iris grabbed one of the packs while Ivy picked up the injured man and then they quickly exited the area, taking their captive back to town...
- Ivy & Iris helped the travelers right their cart and collect their horses and then continued to the river town of Helok's Ford. When they arrived, they were questioned by a couple of guardsmen about who they were, what their plans were, and how long they'd been in the area. Apparently there had been a recent rash of break-ins and thefts and the leadership suspected a transient or new-comer.
- Looking for an old fisherman called Haelmare who might have been around when Elam Nethley entered the area, the two went to a tavern he was said to frequent: a dockside dive called the Backwater. They didn't find him, but they did speak with a half-elven server who told them another man had asked about Elam Nethley nearly a year ago.
- The two decided they would try to find Haelmare at the docks in the morning, and went to get some rest at the Stonebridge Inn. As they rested, Ivy became aware of something moving in the room - when she roused herself, she saw a strange, whispy blue figure perched at the window as if about to leap out - holding the scimitar their grandmother had given Iris...
- Headed back to the village of Bolgrove. Camped on the way. During the night, a man calling himself Eli appeared to Iris, asked her questions about their quest, and gave her a purple crystal.
- Upon returning to Bolgrove, stopped at the tavern and the home of the druid Saffa. Were not able to find any info on the "heart of shadow" or the other man who seemed to be looking for Elam Nethley, but the druid told them that the "dwellers of the deepest darkness" might allude to the dwarves of the Galloth Mountains. There is a gate to an underground passage to the dwarven city of Unver Gual from the mining town of Laduun.
- The following day, they set out for the kingdom toward Helok's Ford to cross the river and then continue south to Laduun, as this was their best lead. On the road, they met with a caravan being attacked by giant insects - and they ran in to assist.
- The sisters continued on toward the Sunken Shrine. The found a broad, submerged avenue lined with broken columns leading up to an overgrown and crumbling stone structure. They noticed a couple of humanoid skeletons partially-submerged as well. While Ivy was examining one of them and Iris was looking over the statue, the two were attacked by and aggressive pack of rats and one giant dire rat.
- After fighting off the rats with Aelrah's (Iris's wolf companion) help, the two entered the building. While attempting to dismantle the barrier between the antechamber and the main hall, they heard a creaking overhead and scraping sounds outside. Outside, they found the skeletons had animated and were coming to attack them.
- Ivy's quarterstaff made short work of the skeletons and they returned to the structure. After gaining access to the main chamber, they discovered a naga - an enormous snake with a reptilian woman's head. She told them that Nethley wasn't there, but that another had come looking for him. He had mentioned something about a "heart of shadow" and the naga had told him to seek out those that "dwell in the deepest darkness". After some conversation that nearly turned violent, the naga succeeded in convincing the two to leave its lair.
- Level up to 2
Hannah has played No Thank You Evil and enjoyed it, but we may have reached a point where it's simplicity and whimsy aren't quite as enticing as they used to be. Not that she doesn't like kid things, but she's 9 now and has been into Harry Potter, Avatar, and some fantasy books that aren't quite as "for small children".
Trying to think of some more creative things to do during this pandemic thing, when we asked if she would be interested in playing D&D, she was adorably excited. Because I'm me, I spent way too long conceiving of a setting (and WAY too long drawing a map for it). We ordered her some dice of her own, and this last weekend spent an evening and an afternoon rolling up characters and starting an adventure.
System: D&D 3.5
Setting: The Kingdom of Elionde
Players: Sheri, Hannah
- Iris [Hannah] :: Elven Druid
- Ivy [Sheri] :: Elven Monk
Twin sisters Iris and Ivy had happened upon the mostly-forgotten mystery of a famous druid from their country called Elam Nethley. Nethley possessed a potent magical talisman said to have been blessed and empowered by the angel Saphrielle. Around 50 years ago, he had traveled north in search of a lost temple and never returned. Magical attempts to contact him or discern his fate failed, but a divination suggested that if any were searching for him, they should travel to the Kingdom of Elionde.
Iris and Ivy had been travelling along the west road through the White Ridge Forest for more than a week when they arrived at the tiny logging village of Bolgrove. Stopping at the tavern for food and lodging, they learned from a local hunter about the existence of a ruin the locals called the "sunken shrine" in the swamp to the southeast.
The next morning they headed toward the shrine, having decided to investigate it for clues. Just as the knight statue they'd been told about came into view, they were attacked by a large and unusually-aggressive constrictor snake.