Scarecrows of Nevermore

S.E.G. Log entry #1
Samur files his first report

The Reports of Samur Eiden Garaweth

being a Dragoon of the Angaria, stationed to Salaman Island, on the business of the League of Dragoons, the Trade Council and the Lady Endyne.

A report on the events of the 19th day of Elardan, in the 375th year of Nyrach.

Recent events indicate the presence of some dark power on this island, of which I believe the Principals should be informed. My account of the events follows.

A man came into Choron late yesterday afternoon, bearing much blood and a deep wound. He was incoherent at first, but after gathering his wits gave his name as Armond Ferring, a logger from the village of Nevermore. He claimed that the village had been attacked by scarecrows, presumably magically animated, and the villagers carried off to parts unknown.

I had the man taken to the house of Parson Gale, who practices as close to medicine as can be found in these parts, and embarked to Nevermore with a hired guide named Xylia or Ameena (I am unsure as to which is her surname) and a few others who joined of their own interest. I found the village abandoned, with marks of struggle that confirmed the logger’s testimony.

We encountered and dispatched a small group of creatures similar in appearance to gnomes or halflings opportunistically looting the now empty houses. I do not have any reason to believe they are connected to the disappearance of the villagers, though I have not met their kind before. I will have a likeness drawn up and sent with this letter, and ask that you provide any information you may have on their origin and likely motives.

We did find the remains of what may have been one of the scarecrows. One of my companions, a certain Okabe Rintaro, who appears to be an arcane researcher of some kind, identified a dark thread attached to it as a hair of a Nightmare, a horse-like creature of shadow apparently of some power. I do not know if the creature itself is somehow involved in these events or if the hair was simply used as a reagent in some evil ritual.

We found a man named Leopold Mulkin in one of the houses, who claimed to be a witch hunter, pursuing the one remaining member of a coven that he has largely eliminated. He claims to have left Choron around the same time we did and did not witness the attack. He agreed with Okabe’s evaluation of the hair and claimed he could use it to create some kind of weapon to aid in fighting this witch. I gave him the hair as it seemed worthless to me, and will find out upon my return to Choron whether he spoke truly about this weapon. I recommend further investigation be performed into this witch-hunter’s history and whatever coven he has supposedly vanquished.

I found tracks leading north from the village into the woods, and followed them with my companions. We encountered a ghost of some sort (may I remind the League that my experience until now has been entirely corporeal, and I am unsure as to how such apparitions should be approached—any advice that you could offer would be appreciated), who directed us to follow a certain path that led to a cave guarded by some of the scarecrows that the logger had warned us about. Consistent with his account, upon my approach, the eyes of the scarecrows glowed a dull red, and they attacked us. (Should any other agent of the Angaria encounter these creatures, I warn him to pay heed to their separable heads, which they appear to be able to deploy as grenades of some kind.)

We destroyed the scarecrows and burned the remains lest there be any remnant of whatever magic animated them. Inside the cave, we found a glass vessel containing a coral-like, salmon-colored fungus of some kind. This fungus appeared to house an intellect, as it was able to communicate with us, and claimed to be the sorcerer or charlatan Chronus, magically preserved by some means I fail to comprehend. He spoke of a woman who had learned some apparently powerful rituals from him, then proved to have malevolent ends. This woman may in fact be the witch we seek. The woman’s name is Eisel Yar.

The fungus also told us that the ghost’s name is Danfield, though I was unable to follow his explanation of his connection to the ghost and some denizen of the Shadowfell named Fyrus. I plan to question Danfield concerning this should the opportunity arise.

I shall continue to pursue this witch as a presumed enemy of the Angaria until I am directed otherwise. I also request further guidance in determining a course of action with regards to the fungus that calls itself Chronus and the ritual to restore him to a more suitable frame.

View
Session 2 - Heralds of Freedom
A new hope for Nevermore
  • The adventurers stayed the night in the cave of Chronus. Many conversations were held with the telepathic brain. Okabe kindled a relationship with the brain that could prove to one day give him everything he ever wanted.
  • The companions were in disagreement about next steps. Samur was adamant about returning to Choron so that he could get a message to his superiors in Inaulia. Xylia Ameena however argued that the citizens of Nevermore were likely near and in great peril. They needed to be rescued. Okabe agreed with Xylia but Samur said his report was more important. Xylia offered a compromise where she would relay Samur’s report via an animal messenger. Samur was skeptical at first, but Xylia had proven to be quite a powerful druid and in the end he agreed with her plan. With that issue resolved, the party returned to the forest in search of the ghost Danfield, who they hoped would point them in the right direction to save the people of Nevermore.
  • Danfield appears to the heroes and points the way to the witch’s house. The heroes head off and soon find a large hut in a clearing, surrounded by fungus and rotting wood. A lone scarecrow is posted in the clearing and it seems to be watching the area. Okabe deduces that the witch probably uses it for surveillance, looking through the construct’s eyes.
  • The heroes approach the scarecrow and just before it jumps off its post to attack, it signals other creatures from the surrounding forest to join it — larger constructs made of wood called wood woads. A battle is fought and the heroes are victorious, although Estemar is seriously injured. It was time to inspect the witch’s hut, but Okabe begins taking his friend back to Choron to receive medical care.
  • The hut contains various disgusting spell components, a caged feline, and a potion of healing. Samur takes the potion to Okabe, who administers it to Estemar, who revives. Afterwards, Okabe takes the spell components, and determines they are mostly useless. The cat turns out to be one Fergus Routh, a victim of the witch’s polymorph spell. The adventurers also find a mysterious book, supposedly written by the witch. Eventually, Romendar reluctantly makes the logical choice, and gives the book to Okabe.
  • Fergus lets the group know that the people of Nevermore are held captive nearby by a few ogres and a large construct. The group decides to light the witch’s house on fire to cause a distraction. The smoke lures one of the ogres to investigate, which the group surrounds and kills. The other ogre takes a defensive position with the construct by the captives forcing the heroes to bring the fight to them. They do so and are surprised at the power of the construct but are able to defeat it and the ogre and free the prisoners.
  • The group then gathered the captives and began the journey back to Choron, believing it the safest place to deposit them.
View
Session 3: Bears!
Bears! Bears! Bears!
  • The party leads the host of Nevermore citizens through the dark forest, with the town of Choron their ultimate destination. As the sun sets though, they know they will not emerge from the wood before nightfall. They decide to set up camp, but Xylia the druid is unsettled. There’s something lurking in the forest, she’s sure of it. She tells Samur and he tells her to take the wilden Romendar, and scout a bit, but not to go too far.
  • Romendar lumbers toward the rear of the company and picks up a scent. A group of large predators, smells like bears, are stalking the group. He gets ready to inform the others of the predicament when a child comes running from the brush explaining that several children and their mother got separated from the group and have been set upon by monstrous bears. Romendar then hears a shout from the woods. A woman, screaming the name ‘Ursataur’. The wilden knows there’s not much time, so he takes off into the woods.
  • Xylia hears the shout and the heavy footfalls of the wilden as he tramples into the forest. It appears Okabe and Estemar heard as well. The three of them take after Romendar. Samur sees to the people of Nevermore and tells them to remain where they are and then goes to join his companions.
  • Romendar finds a woman and two children are cornered against a stony ridge by several bears, one of which is very large and covered in sharp spines. The wilden charges in, startling the bears and providing just the distraction the captives needed to escape into the woods. But Romendar is clearly outnumbered, but still he fights. When things start looking grim, his companions come in and join the fight. The smaller bears are dispatched, but Romendar senses something different about the large bear, a sentience uncommon for such an animal. He throws his weapon down signifying that he doesn’t want to battle the bear. The fierce creature approaches him and surprisingly mortally wounds itself by clawing its own chest. Before dying, the creature similarly slashes Romendar’s chest with his bloodied claw, forging a bond between the injured Wilden and the spirit of the First Bear, Ursataur. Romendar has unknowingly set his feet upon the path of legend.
  • When morning comes, the companions continue their trek back to Choron. Once there they leave the Nevermore citizens in the care of the town, who don’t seem particularly well-supplied for such an endeavor. Nevertheless, the people of Nevermore are not turned away. The companions, meanwhile turn their attention to finding the witch hunter, Leopold Mulkin, who should be finished crafting a weapon which may prove critical in defeating the witch, Izell Yar. Okabe is also still intent on finding the remains of Chronus.
  • Unfortunately, the companions find that Leopold has been kidnapped and there is no sign of the weapon he was crafting for them. Clues lead them to the home of a brute named Garko as well as the bookish school teacher Minnow Kinder. Minnow is found reading a book which could prove valuable to Okabe’s study and he tells her it’s important that she give the book to him. Minnow refuses, saying she checked it out of the library and Okabe can read it when she’s finished and the book is returned. Okabe attempts to relay the urgency of his request, but to no avail. Minnow refuses, but hints she may be willing to part with the book if the adventurers paid for the price of the book and perhaps a bit more for her generosity. Reluctantly the heroes agree, and Okabe gets the book. Minnow further implicated Garko in the kidnapping of Leopold.
  • Garko’s house is vacant, but a few questions at the local tavern give clues that the brute may have gone to the temple (which was once dedicated to an unknown God, but now serves as a tourist trap for those interested in the legend of Chronus).
  • The companions explore the temple but find nothing out of the ordinary but an out-of-order stairwell leading up to the bell tower. Samur and the others decide to take a look upstairs and are surprised to find unnatural shadow creatures roosting in the tower. The monsters stir at the party’s intrusion and attack.
View
Chronus Restored!
And time-travel!
  • The shadow creatures resemble a bizarre combination of bats and panthers. Xylia and Romendar believe the beasts originate from the Shadowfell and have taken roost in the old church tower due to an enchantment placed on the church bell that seems to serve as a beacon of sorts for beings of shadow.
  • During the battle the ropes holding the rune-etched bell are severed sending the bell crashing to the ground where it lands with a haunting hollow ring. The bell has sent a signal, but where, and to whom?
  • The heroes discover a secret passage in the church which leads to an unsettling scene. A cult of some kind is holding the witch hunter Leopold Mulkin prisoner and seem ready to sacrifice him to appease the “travelers” — a term referring to Chronus’ kind. As the companions watch on a disagreement breaks out among the cult members. It seems not all are so committed to the cause to commit murder. The brute Garko is eager to dispatch the unbelievers, but is stopped when the cult’s leader, the school teacher Minnow Kinder arrives and says she’ll convince the unfaithful. She then animates what she claims to be the headless skeleton of Chronus and commands it to attack the fearful cult members, which it sets forth to do. The heroes jump in to intercept the attack and find themselves battling the skeleton, Minnow Kinder, Garko and several other cult members.
  • The heroes emerged victorious slaying Minnow, Garko and the skeleton, but sadly Estemar was killed when blasted by a barrage of necrotic energy from the cultists. The heroes took the bones of Chronus and Estemar’s body to a nearby inn to plan next steps.
  • The companions were at odds about what to do next. Okabe was adamant that the group needed to get the bones back to Chronus per the original plan. Samur had long ago formed doubts about the trustworthiness of Okabe and was not about to see the man gain the power of time-travel so he told the group that they would remain in Choron until the Angaria arrived. The other companions weren’t sure at first what they should do but eventually agreed that time was of the essence and Chronus’ help would be needed. Samur relented, but made it clear he would not hesitate to kill any one of them if he felt the need arose.
  • Sure enough, along the way to Chronus, Okabe and Samur got into a heated exchange about what would happen when they met up with the traveler. The two came to blows, and even though Romendar attempted to keep the two from fighting, the two nearly killed each other with Samur coming out on top and Okabe, bloodied and unconcious. A tired and angry Samur told Romendar that if he ever got in his way again, he would kill him. Romendar bristled at the Ranger’s statement, but remained composed.
View
The Exciting Finale
The sleepy island awakens with the sounds of battle!
  • Chronus finally awakens and seems pleased with being reunited with his body, despite his clear rustiness with functioning in a physical body. Dr. Mordenheim requests to be taken back to his time, and Chronus obliges, inviting Okabe to join him on the trip in the timestream. Okabe quickly agrees, excited for his first foray into time travel.
  • With Mordenheim returned, it’s time to get back to business. The witch will soon be moving on the town of Choron and the companions need to get there first. They pack up their things and head out into the Wolven Forest where they are soon met by the ghost Danfield.
  • Danfield had previously warned that he would be fighting the adventurers when they next met, but now the shadowy power known as Fyrus is distracted by something else and his power over the undead has waned somewhat. The adventurers believe the bell they had rung in the old church in Choron was likely the distraction, but no one knew anything about how that distraction would play out. For now Danfield was still an ally, which was fortuitous, because the group was soon assaulted by ghouls, dispatched by Fyrus himself to destroy the adventurers and Chronus.
  • After defeating the ghouls, the adventurers returned to Choron to find the small town on edge. Two ships had been spotted off the coast, and they bore the flags of Inaulia. The Angaria would arrive in 30 minutes. Samur was pleased and went to the docks, awaiting their arrival. The others were more reserved.
View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.