Fallenboughs

Ahna's Testament

In the devilishly well-camoflaged hollow of a tree, there is a journal on a rolled scroll of paper, preserved in a richly dyed leather tube that looks watertight. The last entry, like all the rest, is written in a small, etch-like handwriting that reads from top to bottom, then left to right, and this last entry reads as follows;

I pray I’Shanikan to protect this hand that writes and acts on the behalf of War-Chief Koyut, to protect this record for the future so that others will know the truth of this day, the third in the second week of the ascending autumn.

I am out of the scent bombs that divert the few large predators of the area, so I will need a new approach to that and swiftly. Whatever vile beast I have discovered the Two Teeth worshipping will likely not go out of its way to be after my party, not with so many fools to floss its fangs with.

Last night the young men camped in the clear-walled building and gathered themselves this morning for exploration. I had taken my first sleeping soon after speaking with Corin, and set false tracks again afterward leading any goblins who might go hunting for them back to their own camps, or to the pond northeast of the clear building. Satisfied, I took my second sleeping and struck out to find where the lads had decided to go. Surely sooner or later we will find some way out of this dead city basin.

Their trail led towards the lake, and I followed it. Only another Hunter of Hunters could find it again. They paused briefly to gaze upon stone men, and the strange light that passed among them. They stopped again to search a small camp, for one person, and a ruin filled with a foul slick of unnatural liquid, and four devices as one might see among tasters of magic. There had been a fight, with an enemy that left no tracks themselves. It smelled of air changed after lightning. I tasted the magic of the air and found it to be the shades native to the city, no less than three, nor more than seven. Fire had been set to the pool of liquid somehow. Clearly the victors, my young recruits moved on. They are very independent and hardy, my War-Chief would be proud to swear them into the rank of hunters and braves.

All of us avoided the worst muck. I am not sure they knew how closely they hemmed to the trail of he who camped near the lightning and foul oil. That one is clever in making trail. At the lake’s uneven edge there is evidence that he entered a boat and set out onto the water, bringing the foul oil with him. Good riddance for now, I will recall his signs later and kill him if he is in my claim. A good camp was made by my party, and safe. The night passed quietly. I saw the signs of the production of a raft but did not realize what they were doing until it was too late. When I came back from checking a few likely places upshore for a treacherous man with a boat to land unnoticed, camp was broken.

They were out on the lake and I could barely see them. The water churned about them, for what seemed like an hour to me. Then, as if nothing had happened, the raft drifted on toward the tower.

I have retreived some of the foul oil and have woven a reed boat that should take me to the center of the lake. Spirits and ancestors preserve me, I cannot lose them.

Should I perish before I can retreive this journal, forgive me, my Chief. Before it was my duty to make this trail, it was my duty to live right.

Ahnatalto Koyutsolo bids farewell to this message, may I’Miyanee protect it and deliver it where it belongs.

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Dast's Adventure Log

In the City of Naught we toil, night and day,
So that others might live where one passed away.

In the tower of glass we faced giant ants
Prevailing at last by the seat of our pants.
Our elven mentor helped us as we were spent
With a vial of potent anti-ant scent.

In the shadow of Gark, unknown goblin king,
We were saddled with prisoners of his kin.
Long did we all debate what to do with those
Who would gladly have left us as food for crows.

In the end we agreed that the tiny crooks
Would serve us much better as barter for books.
We returned them to their bouffant-haired master
In trade for books of alchemical matter.

Back at the inn of the skeleton keeper,
We trained canine help and sewed up some leather;
But soon were we set upon by a dark foe
With much metal in skin and shadows in tow.

The black-eyed man who had a same-colored heart
Unleashed his chained monsters to tear us apart,
But we showed him the strength of those led astray!
He was so impressed that he then ran away.

With that threat now gone, we return to our work
And keep out an eye for whatever may lurk
Beyond the shadows cast by this dreadful place;
The chase for the truth proves to be a long race.

In the City of Naught we toil, night and day,
So that others might live where one passed away.

—Dast the Lyre

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Nesit's Adventure Log

In the Name of Pelor, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Grant us the wisdom and grace to realize your holy plan on this dangerous journey. The days grow shorter I am reminded of the passage, “O you who believe! Remember the Grace of Pelor, bestowed on you, when these came down on you hosts (to overwhelm you).”

On sunrise this morning, I and my company continued to serve Your Benevolence in our pilgrimage. We encountered a stables where horses had once been kept. Though no signs of recent activity were at the stables, there were still many small reminders of Your Illuminated Path, and I thank You, Great One Whom We Hold Above All Others for this with my prayers.

You have designed the plants of the world to be versatile, and our travels this day brought us to a great arboretum. By exploring the ways Your creation can be used, the people who had built this arboretum had constructed many natural wonders.
A great tree used to grow a variety of fruits is another way that you show Your love for us, in harmony with Your grand design. The hazards we encountered upon entering were a testament to Your love.

We salvaged several herbs which will be used to heal and protect my companions, in further service to You, the Shining One.

I pray for intercession on behalf of my associate Corren, who has discovered some shocking news about his ancestry. His heritage may prove useful to us before the story of our lives is told. Bless him and watch over him as he comes to terms with his new awareness. May his actions serve You, in Your name.

May you continue to lead us, Lord, as you have done, by revealing the clues in our natural surroundings that we may continue to avoid the hazards that may hinder us. The violent and filthy goblins have proven to be little obstacle so far, and with Your Grace, I pray that we may continue to spread Your Benevolent Justice.

I pray that Your Holy Light may continue to flow through me as Your Vessel. Fill my cup, Lord, that I may fill the cups of others. I pray that my companions see Your Light, and remain on Your path to enlightenment.

We believe in the Lord of Worlds, the maker of Heaven and Earth. God of Seasons, of Light, of Bounty. Whoever honors the sacred rights of Pelor, for him it is good in the sight of his Lord. Amen.

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Lee's Adventure Log

My leg won’t stop screaming at me. Damn dog took a chunk out. And here the day started out pretty well.

We hauled our loot into the Vine-Tower. Not just in, of course, but up top where the shadow vines don’t grow. No problem getting through this time. Even Nessy’s new mutt easily made the climb.

Up top we swapped stories while we nibbled at the rabbit meat Anna gave us. No one dug into the goblin-fare we’d gotten but that’d come. There was plenty of other bits that were better. I finally got a real dagger. Not one of the piss-ant little blades that could shear a sheep if you worked at it, but something with a real edge. I tried it out on finishing up my sling and it worked fine for cutting a cup. A little sharpening couldn’t hurt though, and once I get used to the weight it’ll be like one of my fingers.

The only trouble in the night came when I woke to find the dog nosing into the sack under my back, the one with all our food. I pulled my knife and it sulked away. Nessy better teach it right or it’ll get worse next time.

Morning was morning. Oz went down and started splashing about in the water. A bath? Already? I’d gotten my fill of that when I’d floated down from the village in those coffins. There were fish in the water though and Dast, who would never need a bath, tried to catch them up in a piece of fabric we’d gotten from the goblins. Apparently since he couldn’t make a hammock out of it, he’d chosen to do a net. No luck though, but funny to watch a ghost try.

Still weird having him around. As weird as things get in a tumble down city where shadows and goblins and strange portals gather Still couldn’t get over that one that took us to the creepy garden where Oz blasted that zombie to bits. Felt odd, me not panicking when it happened, but I guess I’m getting used to all this. In a way, this is better than home.

I snatched up Corrin’s spear while he started cooking us up some breakfast, went down to spear some fish. Couldn’t find a big one but Oz did, a bass as long as his cock. Now, I don’t know much but that man is hung low enough to startle a horse. Funny too, have to give him that. Back at the villages, he’d have no trouble getting and keeping a wife.

We talked while we ate. Good food, good ideas. I was all for going back to the inn, the haunted inn, we had passed earlier. I’d seen skeletons drinking in there. Real, animated bones. Nessy was all for that but Oz and Corrin wanted to check out this huge tree down the way. Acorns the size of a fist were there and so were these little bastard squirrels with coats that gleamed like silver. Would be worth quite a bit, those hides. They had blue eyes too. Maybe catching a few as pets would do better. Something to think about anyway.

Well, we got to the tree and saw a little garden not but a little way farther off. Big glowing golden portal there too between two tiny trees. Oz, of course, suddenly wanted to go see the portal up close, but since we were at the tree already, Corrin, Nessy and I decided on doing that first.

Corrin climbed, I kept the squirrels busy and Oz direct Corrin to the nearest clutch of acorns. His hand passed through them though. Nessy said it was an illusion, which supposedly made sense, but that didn’t stop us long. We came away with enough acorns to make several days of bread, if we could find an oven. Oh yeah, no problem there. Sigh.

The portal came next. Oz was sure it was another little pocket thingie. We stepped through and found ourselves in a little grove of spring trees. I could almost taste the bark from where I stood and the flowers? Those I could have licked all day.

There was also this big thing of thorns in the shape of a tiger. Cute little rose for a tail too, but it wasn’t happy to see us.

I drew my blade as it bounded forward, saw the gap in its side where its flower-stuff heart lay, stabbed it at the angle my rogue-book suggested and it dropped like a rock. Easiest fight I’d ever had. Have to keep reading the book, see what other nice bits are in there.

The pocket place began to fold up, spat us out as soon as Oz removed a bit of stone that crackled with thunder. Not surprisingly, he called it a thunder-stone. I swear he just makes this stuff up. Anyway, he gave it to me because I have a good arm. Nice to be appreciated.

That done, we returned to the inn. We made a plan and Dast sauntered in. The skeletons didn’t attack right away like Nessy thought they might. Shows you how much he knows. But then our Harpist gives the call and we come charging in.

Nessy led the way, that marble symbol of his in hand and his voice full of ‘Pelor this’, ‘Pelor that’ and ‘Pelor will whack your balls sideways’. Or something like that. I wasn’t really listening. Now, I’ve never been one for praying but that day a god answered. A pure summer sun shown forth like it was right there in the inn and two of the skellies vanished flicker-flash. Oz went in the back and thundered a couple more. I contented myself with this dog there.

It were all bones but had been eating something foul, had a mouth full of rot. No problem. I put a sling-stone between its eyes. It got pissed, came right for me. I went round and round with it while Holy Sun and Thunder crashed about me. Then it got hold of my leg.

The thingie came apart a moment later when the wrath of everyone else came down on it, but the chewing was done. All that nasty was in my leg and it started to burn. Nessy cleaned it up as best he could, but warned me that it’d get worse before it got better. Damn.

I was so off my game that when the time came to search the place, I missed just about everything. An old chair shirt, this great lantern and a set of lock picks and tension bars that were hidden in a false bottom beneath an upstairs trunk. The only thing we didn’t take was the skeletal Barkeep’s coins. The thing had just kept cleaning mugs the whole time, didn’t fight and so we didn’t fight it. When it started to clean up after the brawl, we let it. Handy that.

Anyway, we’d finally gotten a nice place to sleep. A safe place too, given how the gobs and other critters had kept away from it so far. After we settled in, we gave the elf-whistle a blow and soon enough Anna came a running.

I gave her a little start where I lounged beside the back door. I forget how quiet I can be sometimes. Anyway, she was happy to see we were getting along. Oz convinced her to work on some of the goblin leather that we’d gotten. She turned out two nice tunics before dusk, each thick enough to turn a scrape of blade. One for Corrin, the other for Oz. I was willing to got without. It wouldn’t have helped with the dog and I’d gone by without a scratch other.

Ah crap. I’ve got the shivers. If it goes to a fever, Nessy says he has some herbs. That damn dog. This damn city. Those damn villagers; sending us here and for what. I’ll see they get theirs and before my sister is sent away like I was. But right now I’ll shiver and sweat and wait for a better day.

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Ozthunwald's Chronicling

(In an elegant and precise hand)

Herein lies the chronicle of Ozthumwold Brondt, a wizard, concerning the heroic deeds and actions undertaken by a party of heroes; Ozthumwold, Corin, Lee, Nezit and Dazt (a ghost).

The party awoke with the dawning of the sun, each cold and listless from the previous days trails. The group revisited the map which Ozthumwold had prepared from the vantage point of the tower windows. The party decided to depart the tower and set out towards a distant gleaming glass building. The descent down the tower was less arduous than the ascension the evening previous; Corin and Nezit having become particularly adept at herding the shadow loving vines and re-arranging them to suit their designs.

Returning across the rushing river to the original camp, the party was stunned to silence by the greetings of the elven huntress (elven script), or as it is more simply communicated in the common tongue, Anna. The elf had been tracking the party since their unexpected leave taking and courteously offered to better orient them to their current whereabouts. Thence she released each of the party from their previously sworn oaths of assistance, saving Dazt who had not previously sworn such an oath. Freed from their oaths, the party swore oath anew to aid the elf in her noble undertaking. Camp was then made while Ozthumwold and Anna annotated the party’s map to include several goblin encampments in the area. This done, (elven script) took her leave of the party to further scout the area. (elven script) swore to return to the party when the omens were fortuitous for the group to set out.

The party then convened to choose their next actions. An inventory of equipment was taken and supplies were found lacking in all areas. It was decided that the party ought to find a goblin encampment and the Lee, whose talents lay in that direction, would procure serviceable equipment and comestibles.

The journey was to the nearest encampment was swift and soon the party was presented with a small, ill fortified encampment with goblins not numbering more than a dozen. Lee quickly took to stealth and stole into the camp. He swiftly returned with weapons and edibles. Corin then spoke, urging the party to bring combat to the goblins, that the goblins not trouble the party, nor the surrounding countryside. The party members each agreed in the justness and rightness of Corin’s words and devised a strategy of attack.

Soon a melee ensued, as the group met goblins in battle. The encampment included a powerful goblin shaman, who unleashed his potent primitive cantrips against the heroes. After some harrowing moments and daring actions, the party stood alone in the goblin camp, save for the conquered. A single goblin survived the melee, and Ozthumwold interrogated the creature, being fluent in its cruel tongue. The prisoner revealed the presence of several more encampments nearby, including a large coterie of Garksworn.

Sobered by this news, the party gathered together to move on to the next camp when a set of dancing lights was seen in the graveyard across the old road. Immediately the party set out to investigate this ill omen, that they might divine its nature. The graveyard seemed ancient and undisturbed by the gobin encampment to the north. In the center of the graveyard, the party came to the source of the dancing lights, a dark portal. Ozthumwold, whose talents lie in the realms of arcana and the occult, crossed the threshold and was quickly followed by Lee, who has a penchant for bravery (or foolhardiness, the matter remains unsettled at this time). On the other side, which Ozthumwold speculated was tangential to the negative plane, was a creature both living and not-living. Attempts to communicate with the monster failed and Ozthumwold and Lee resorted to magics and the sword. The monster vanquished, they quickly took reconnaissance of the small otherworldly room and then made haste through the portal once more, lest they share the fate of the monster.

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The first day in Naught
In which everyone was cold and wet

(there are some straight lines and squiggles of ink, along with a few stray drops, before the document starts in proper)

There we go. I thought it would be a good idea to keep a Diary. Oz thought it would be good, too, but I wanted to write down a few things, first.

My name is Corin Ranier, and I and my friends are a long way from home. We woke, the four of us, wet and very cold in some kind of lightweight stone sarcoff—sarko—coffins. Light enough to float, as we’d washed ashore near a fallen wall next to an old, decrepit building. The last thing any of us remember was drinking and falling asleep, and then this!

We weren’t sure if this was part of the ritual, at first, but looking at the clothes, breads, and supplies from home, we figured that it had to be. I built a fire while Lee looked around the building, which turned out to be a shop, and I was really surprised at who we found inside: a ghost!

His name is Dast, and he looked just like the rest of us, although he thought he had been there for a long time. He’s pretty good with his Lyre, but his strumming caught the attention of these shadowy hands and flat shadow-people that we had to fight. They were coming out of a dark pool in the ground, but we were able to cut them up or smash them until they turned to smoke while Oz found a way of closing up the pool.

I think we are a VERY long way from home.

We did find some interesting books in the building, and each of us grabbed the book that was most interesting to us. I grabbed one that talked about nature and the spirits, as I think it might have something to do with why my parents never wanted me to go hunting.

We headed to a tall, crumbling tower not far from where we’d come ashore, and climbed to the top. The floors were crumbling, and the stairs had mostly collapsed, but the strange shadow-vines inside the tower could be coaxed and forced into making the handholds and steps we needed, even if it was like herding stubborn cows.

We are pretty sure (Oz said it, and he’s smart), that we are in the city of Not. We should be able to forage for food as long as we are careful about it, but it may be very hard to get home.

I have been reading the book I grabbed, and it is very interesting. It says that some people are able to make deals with the spirits. It isn’t like some other spirit worshippers, where people are bound to certain places or certain spirits, or live halfway between our world and theirs, it’s more like making a kind of general commitment to service to whatever spirits are nearby in exchange for power and knowledge wherever you go. I think I will head to the little nature shrine behind the old shop and finish reading, and see if any of them will pay attention to me. I don’t think I can keep fighting without help, and I think we will need to do a lot of fighting to get home, safely.

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Tutorial Session

The morning would be the last morning of youth for many of the village’s young men and women. Tying in loosely with Midsummer’s Eve and decided by the older, respected folk of Owdcet, Pescet, Millet and Rowset, the characters were deemed worthy of the coming of age ritual for this year.

It would be the last day they had to heed obediently their parent’s words, and so each character’s family had some kind of chore in mind for them. Oz had to help Borver Brondt find a missing scroll in his scholarly library, and got to play with a glass thermometer. Lee was sent off by his unscrupulous yet needful mother to steal butter from Cheesemonger Ardvale’s dairy. Lee’s father had given himself a head-start on being drunk and unpleasant. Corin spent his morning mending fences, gathering firewood and staring at ants, a refreshing change from being sent to the mill. Nesit gathered and delivered fresh honey to Rowset in time for the local baker to use it for sweetbread. Weaver Ganverswich rewarded his effort with what he usually received – a lack of appreciation.

Elsewhere in Naught, a young person’s ghost was accosted by shadowy hands, eager to steal his last possession from him. For the first time in his post-mortem recollection, he could grasp his lyre and push things with his own strength. He fled into a nearby home that remained standing, and fortified it against the strange thieves.

Nesit, Corin, Lee and Oz were sent to Rowset to have a quick lunch, and to be at hand for the Coming-of-Age. Corin’s father, Tomas Ranian, gathered them from their idleness and took them on their first hunt. Corin had been excited about it since the morning, when his mother Alda told him about it. Ozzer was not very enthusiastic, perhaps feeling like his unsuitability was obvious and trying to correct it a rude thing to do. Nesit seemed to be a good sport about the whole thing, even if he was lost for what to do. Lee decided to make a competition of it, and bet Woodsman Ranian he could bring down more quail than the seasoned hunter.

The hunt was very successful, with ten birds and a number of eggs being rustled up. Lee found himself one bird behind on his bet. Corin was critically successful, diving into a thicket and killing four birds with both his hatchet and his free hand. Corin’s focus and enthusiasm (and perhaps the suspension of his usual aversion to blood) spoke for themselves, but whatever Tomas heard he did not like. What made the woodsman so reluctant to apprentice his own talented son?

Turning back to Rowset, the group only made it so far before a pair old ‘bachelor’ lions scented the quail and tried to gain an easy meal out of it. Too starved and sick to make sense of Nesit’s gambit to give them a bird and run, they attacked. Woodsman Ranian stood his ground with the boys, who fought back in their own way. Oz managed to blind one with dust, Corin ended the life of one that had hurt his father, and Lee put a stone through the skull of the other. Tomas returned his hat to Lee, who had earned the right to keep it. Corin and Lee each made a point of taking a tooth from the beasts (Oz and Nesit may each have one if they choose).

Everyone had a chance to rest and get cleaned up and bandaged back in Rowset. Since they’d each caught up with their chores and had a big day, they were given the run of the place (so to speak). Perhaps if they hadn’t they might have missed the scene that occurred in the late afternoon.

Someone wearing swords openly had walked into Rowset and tried to strike up a conversation with Marshall Wyck. She wasn’t having much luck with the elvish equivalent of a pocket phrase guide and a hooded, bundled manner of dress that read as an obvious disguise. Osthunwald overheard the pleading question ‘does anyone speak elvish?’ and stepped in to interpret for the traveler and the Marshall. The news she had to share was dire indeed.

According to the Traveler, the Bough of Ol, long broken over a demolished field to the east, had finally cracked to reveal its ‘heart seed’, something which could be dangerous in the hands of the goblin races or the undead. What would the fate of the region hold if they used it to raise a borean stronghold in their own image?

Begging with her forehead and hands on the ground for any men at arms the villages could spare, the traveler was rebuffed by Marshall Wyck, adamant about having his hands more than full keeping rogue lions off of the sheep. To the surprise of many, Oz volunteered himself. Surely he could learn to fight on the journey, and as of tomorrow he would be a man anyway and able to do these things. Lee, emboldened by the fight with the elderly lions, felt a change and a need to also volunteer. Always ready to help, Corin offered himself even though he doubted his mother’s ability to part with him so suddenly. Swept along, perhaps eager for a chance to make a difference and get away to a new place where he could find more acceptance and respect, Nesit joined in.

Ahnatalto the traveler gratefully accepted, and chose to respect Marshall Wyck’s stipulation that she pick up her volunteers in the morning.

The Coming-of-age came and went, the lads distracted by the day’s events. Feasting and bragging was to be had, and their first punishment-free tastes of beer. The night seemed to end a little early, though, and when they awoke..

Each was in a stone coffin, banked on a small creek running through a broken road with trees and buildings on both sides. Towers and bridges rose in the distance, and a fog hung in the air around them.

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Chargen Session Results

Allen is playing Leberwald ‘Lee’ Hankle, an agile young man whose shadow seems to have a contrarian mind of its own. He’s generous and competitive, and has a passel of siblings. People feel a cautious pity for him since Big Lee the Carpenter is such a drunk.

Scott is playing Osthunwald ‘Oz’ Brondt, who has assisted his father in holding classes for the villages on the Albed river. A lover of knowledge and focused on justice. Little comment is made of his black-colored eyes.

Josh is playing Nesit, who was adopted by one of the local churches. Blue tints his hands and feet. Nesit has a poor reputation among the villages, since his approach to religious discussion is considered odd. An isolated young man who is often oblivious to the moods of others and grasping in nature.

Daniel is playing Corin, a strong farmer’s kid. Even though his father is a woodsman, Corin is discouraged from leaving the fields and taking up his father’s trade. Eager to help people, he’s definitely liked at the Mill and local farms. Chided to wear some shoes over his furry feet whenever he forgets.

Alex is playing Dast the Lyre, one whose unfortunate fate will hopefully not be catching. Tiny horns and a love of song mark him. Patient and willing to put himself in harm’s way. The past has flowed away from him.

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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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