AAR [4]: Return to Ironbark Grove (2020-04-03@1800GMT)

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Re: AAR [4]: Return to Ironbark Grove (2020-04-03@1800GMT)

Post by Waijhou » Sat Apr 04, 2020 12:18 am

LFG [4]: Return to Ironbark Grove (2020-04-03@1800GMT
April 3, 2020

From the journal of Xeviouz, Human Warrior

Myself, William Carver the human Scout, Karl Tomsson the human Archer and Duban the dwarven Wizard are assisting Zil the windling Elementalist to return to, and help open the Kaer at Ironbark Grove.
I have never assisted in opening a Kaer, well, one that is still inhabited by the living anyway, and I look forward to it with great anticipation.
On the road to Ironbark Grove, Zil is talking about Elemental behaviors and such, it doesn't make much sense to me. But one thing sticks out. When wood is feeling threatened, it sends its roots deep. Iron gets harder when threatened. Zil apparently brokered a ceasefire between the two battling elementals. We need to open and empty the Kaer before they start fighting again. Or possibly after the Kaer is open and empty, the elementals will go on their merry way.
We find the cave entrance to the Kaer. We are able to remove the illusion that masks it. Zil begins a ritual to unlock the doors of the Kaer. THere seems to be a humming noise coming from inside the Kaer. After a few minutes I hear the sound of massive gears turning and the doors begin to slowly open. Inside the tunnel has been carved to beautiful reliefs.
Inside there is a group of name givers with armor and weapons ready to defend the Kaer. Rituals of introduction are performed.
We are the first visitors they have had in 15 years. THey had a couple small groups over the years that needed refuge. One 50 years ago, one 75 years ago.They were all tested. The leader of the guards is Denia, female Dwarf.
Denia leads us into the Kaer. The door is closed behind us. There is a small alcove by the door with a scrying pool so the guards can see who is outside the door.
There seems to be roughly a couple hundred inhabitants of the Dwarven, Human and Orc races.
Medgar Menonan is the leader of the Kaer. He wants to have a fest tonight celebrating the end of the scourge.
There is discussion on leaving the kaer or staying. Medgar leads us to his house to wait while the elders of the Kaer discuss there options. We are given food and a place to rest. The elders are setting up a lottery for 20 people to see who will go outside and look at the sky.
We ask for the name of the Kaer it is Irondelve.
We escort the 20 people outside, they are amazed. 2 of them are frightened, the sky is soooo big.
Medgar says something about us being the guests of honor at the feast. But we need to wait for a couple people to get back. An herbalist is off down a set of tunnels picking flowers and fungi. An Elementalist, Sarvick, is down another set of tunnels maintaining the wards. Varincos, a scout went down another set of tunnels.
We are asking questions about the people that had come inside the Kaer over the years.
An Orc named Younek, tells us about Kaer Berrygrove located at 38.12. He and his family came here 15 years ago. Duban tells us there is no sign of corruption in his true pattern.
We look around before the feast, there are many small farm plots growing food. Small flocks of animals as well, chickens, pigs, sheep. As we are looking around, one of the younger orcs, Zevera, says that Theranos and Veran should have been back by now. That is the scout and the herbalist. We decide to go look for them. We get a couple items from there houses and use them for tracking.
As we are looking for Atherinos, we get to a junction in the tunnels and William Carver notices signs of a struggle. Blood spatter on the wall, claw marks.. Duban says the astral space here is tainted. As we search the area we come across a large trash pile, with bodies in it and on top of it. As I moved forward to see if the bodies on top that looked fresh were still alive, a bunch of creatures jumped up and attacked. Using my Horror Lore skill I determined they were cadaver man. It is a difficult fight be are able to prevail. After the battle we find another tunnel coming off the back of this cavern. THis is where somebody/something was watching us fight the cadavermen and corrupting our karma! We follow the tracks of an elf that was just here with the help of William Carver.
We come to some light at the end of the tunnel after following them for over an hour. We come to a room with the water supply and there are the other 2 missing people. Turns out they were all HORRORS !! Big battle, we are able to kill one, the other 2 escaped. They were dopplers. We returned to the feast and informed Medgar of what happened. Many of the people of the Kaer panicked. We devised a way to screen all the inhabitants to search out other Doplers, using the assistance of the local adepts. The people of the Kaer were very grateful for our assistance.

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Re: AAR [4]: Return to Ironbark Grove (2020-04-03@1800GMT)

Post by Montaugh » Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:50 am

My name is William Carver. I am a third circle Scout, Third Circle Thief

My companions for this adventure were: Xeviouz Human warror, Karl Thomsson Human Archer and Beast Master, Zil windling Elementalist, Dubhan Goronich dwarven Wizard, and myself.

We embarked to ironwood grove to settle a matter with elemental spirits and open a Kaer. We has the materials to opened up the Kaer and it was not overly difficult. The people inside the kaer were quite happy to see us. We performed the ritual of greeting, most of us were successful, I think Xeviouz just crumpled up some paper and tossed it to someone. I myself used my talent knack of mapmaking to create an illusionary map of the area surrounding the kaer. We learned the name of the Kaer is Irondelve.

We took some people outside of the Irondelve to show them they sky for the first time, a couple of them retreated back into the kaer saying the sky was too big. I understand their feelings in this.
I spent a little bit of time with the scouts passing on what I could to them, sharing my maps with them so that they would know more about the wider world beyond their entrance.
They were holding a feast in our honor, it was then that we learned some of the people in the kaer were not seen for a bit. We offered to go searching for them. Karl and I divided up the tasks to track them down. He used mystic pursuit on the Elven herbalist Aetherinos, and I used my mystic pursuit to track down Varin Khos a human scout. We retrieved some of their belongings from their homes. Varin kept a lot of things in a just in case sort of manner, broken tool handles, chairs that were missing legs that sort of thing.

We traveled down into the caverns that was used to harvest herbs and lichens. We were joined by Zhevra who is the daughter of an orc farmer that lived within the Kaer. Her father Uneqh had an interesting story to tell. He was from another kaer that had fallen some 15 years back located at 38.12 Berrygrove used elemental wood to survive for a long time, but their wards ultimately fell to the horrors. It wasn't a falling from deceit but rather simple brute force as the horrors ate their way into the kaer.

So, there we are in the tunnels and they are getting darker and darker, I'm glad I brought that lantern a while back to keep on my belt and flight dagger that was enchanted with a light crystal. Both would prove useful on this night. Upon entering the cavern we found some bodies of kaer dwellers that had gone missing a few months back. Xeviouz moved to get a closer look when the creatures leapt up and attacked us. Most were cadavarmen but there was something different that attacked with a chilling tough, some sort of shadowy corpse. I couldn't get a good read on the creature using my analysis to provide more details. During the fight our karma was corrupted by something behind a wall. We later found out that there were small openings that it could see us with and attack us, we found a tunnel and engaged in pursuit after the initial fight was over with. Karl saw an elf ahead of us and took a shot but it wasn't killing blow.

We soon caught up to the elf and we found the other two as well. We quickly learned that they were all horrors. The powers that I was able to discover were Astral camouflage, corrupt karma, doppler sting, harvest energy and talents. They seemed to have the power to not only mimic namegivers but also to use our talents. These horrors are extremely deadly, we had rough and tumble crew with us and we were only able to kill one of the three horrors. The other two fled and remain at large.

We returned to the main settlement with news of what we had found. We used creature analysis to determine if any other horrors were in the group and found one additional horror, which was quickly slain by the sheer mass of people. The people are setting up a settlement in the ironbark grove or nearby it.

This was a rough mission, three of us almost died, well Karl almost killed himself from the strain of his talents. I need to get better, I need to do more. Its time I spent some time with that troll sling I found and learn what it can do.

William Carver
Human Scout, Thief

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Re: AAR [4]: Return to Ironbark Grove (2020-04-03@1800GMT)

Post by ChrisDDickey » Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:12 am

From the Journal of Zil, Windling Elementalist
On our previous expedition to Ironbark grove, we were surprised to discover the roof of an underground Kaer. We found the entrance in a totally different cave, but we needed certain ritual supplies to to open the door that we could only obtain the Throal.. While in Throal I talked to a friendly purifier, who had much to say about the nature of wood. We were not dealing with wood with an addiction to metal. Rather the problem was woods nature to dig deep into the earth in times of trouble, even when the trouble is coming from the earth. 

In any event, we obtained our supplies and returned to the kaer entrance, where the ritual was accomplished with surprising ease. First we temporarily suppressed the illusions that hid the entrance, the door, and the ritual area. Then performed the ritual that caused the mighty kaer door to open. We were met by a large force of guards, who demanded to know who we were and what we were doing. We introduced ourselves and announced the scourge was over, much to everybodies amazement. Everybody present performed the greeting ritual, mostly to everybodies satisfaction. We were invited inside by the guard commander, Denia . And the door was resealed behind us. We were then escorted to the kaer Irondelves' central gathering area where we met the residents, etc. We took 20 representatives outside for a quick tour. fortunately it was a nice day, and we did not run into any Ogres or Giant Spiders. 

The elders announce there will be a feast that evening. In the meantime we look around the farming area of the Kaer. They mention that the kear has taken in refugees 3 times during the scourge. We talk to the last batch, who came in about 15 years prior, it is the head farmer Uneqh Brstef and his family. We talk to them, but they seem all right. Somebody mentions that some of the people who are in the outskirts of the kaer are overdue, and we volunteer to go look for them. Unegh's daughter Zhevra shows us the way. Just short of the herbalists cavern,  we come upon blood and signs of a struggle. We are on guard as we enter the cavern (where they harvest moss, lichen mushrooms and herbs (including a spicy moss and l have never heard of before that is quite tasty). 

We spy a pile of bodies, and as we approach, Zhevra announces that they are Aetherinos's (the Elf herbalist's) apprentices. These fresh bodies do nothing, but when we approach, 5 older bodies rise and attack us. They are 4 Cadaver Men, and something else, which we dub a Shadowy Cadaver. We destroy them, but during the fight we Durbin feels that something is messing with his mana flows. He investigates and announces that something is hiding inside the wall. I fly over and look for openings, but can't find anything bigger than a peephole. As I hear somebody running away to the East, it takes me several minutes to find an opening to the hidden tunnel. 

We follow the running footsteps as quickly as we can, and an hour later are only 100 yards behind as we catch a quick glimpse of him before he turns yet another corner. We re enter areas of worked stone to see the Elf speaking with a human and a dwarf. It quickly becomes obvious that all three are horrors that can imitate humans and that they infiltrated the kaer long ago (no less than 2 months ago, but for all we know it might have been decades earlier). We have perhaps the toughest fight I have ever been a part of. The horrors were fast, easily getting two attacks in for every one of ours. Also they had a great deal of armor: they apparently have some natural armor, plus were wearing light namegiver armor on top of it. The dwarf looking horror had taken the place of the kaer Elementalist and knew Elementalism, casting Air Armor really gilded their armor lilly. While we could hit them, we could almost never do any significant damage to them. They had a hard time hitting us, but when they did hit, it hurt. We, however, had several characters almost kill themselves taking strain. Eventually we managed to debuff the elementalist a great deal, and slew him as all three were running away. We were in very rough shape. 

We separated the dead horrors head from it's body and took it back to the central square. We informed everybody that the kear had been infiltrated by at least three horrors, and that we had slain one, the one that had been impersonating Sarvik Ironspeaker, but that Aetherinos Silvegalin (herbalist) and Varin Khos (scout) were dangerous and loose in the kear. We strongly urged the leaders to call the entire kear together, and make a muster and roll call to make sure that every resident was in attendance. William had learned how to use Creature Analysis to distinguish these dopplers from name-givers, and each person (ourselves included) underwent a very stringent search, physical, artistic, astral, and via creature analysis. One other Doppler was found and killed. 

With the kear opened up, and the residents busy building a settlement topside, I release the Earth Elemental from it's bond to protect the kear, and it moves further from the huge tree that is home to the Wood Elemental.. With the Earth Elemental gone, the Wood Elemental becomes less aggressive.  We also drove off the Ogre family, and warned the new settlers to keep well away from the spider grove until it has been properly cleared.  

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Re: AAR [4]: Return to Ironbark Grove (2020-04-03@1800GMT)

Post by ottdmk » Sun Apr 05, 2020 2:50 am

From the Journal of Dubhan Goronich:

Several adepts of my acquaintance recently discovered an unopened Kaer in a location called Ironbark Grove. They had some difficulties with the local fauna (Ogres and giant spiders, amongst other things) and so returned to Throal before returning to enact the Ritual of Opening. Fortunately, I was able to come along on the return expedition. It proved to be quite the adventure.

The Ritual went smoothly, and we were granted entrance to the Kaer following the usual Greeting Ceremonies. Curious, I examined Astral Space as it is not often one gets to see the protected environment of a Kaer. I was disappointed to see traces of astral corruption. Nothing serious, but not the completely clean region of the Astral I expected to see. We soon discovered that the Kaer had been opened before, as recently as 15 years ago, to give refuge to those seeking it.

I must say, opening a Kaer is an awe inspiring experience. The residents seemed healthy & happy, and welcomed us with open arms. We even got to bring out the first group to see the sky! However, during a tour it is noted that several prominent citizens who should be there, aren't. We (being Zil, Xevious, William, Karl & I) volunteer to go find them.

Instead, we find bodies, apprentices of one of the missing folks, Aetherinos the herbalist. And they rose again as Cadavermen. I've really begun to hate Cadavermen.

During the fight my Astral Sense allowed me to notice foul magicks targeting my pattern, and others. It seemed to be coming from a rock wall. Zil found some eyeholes, and we soon discovered a nearby entrance to the tunnel. We managed to keep up with whomever was fleeing from us, although by the time we got a look they were about 100 yards ahead. Karl took a shot, and it actually hit! Didn't do anything though... just bounced off the armor.

Aetherinos and two companions were apparently replaced by Horrors called dopplers, and we ended up in one heck of a fight. I count myself lucky that I decided to prepare Astral Shield after the pattern-mucking in the food cavern. After a drawn out battle we succeeded in killing one of the things, and the other two decided to run. Unfinished business. I hope we get a second crack at them...

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Re: AAR [4]: Return to Ironbark Grove (2020-04-03@1800GMT)

Post by Dougansf » Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:14 pm

The Great Library of Throal thanks Dubhan, Zil, William, Xeviouz, and Karl for their contributions. Please accept 110 Legend Points and 93.8 silver.

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