Category: Leman


Tonight, we finished another D&D campaign under the leadership of DTH, who really ramped up the challenge this time. I don’t get to play very often, and of the few times I’ve been able to be a player over the last decade, I’ve rarely gotten as emotionally invested in a character as I’ve been with Leman, my warrior-priest. I built my character slowly and logically and I’ve enjoyed every step of the way.

The one thing that I’ve noticed with the third edition rules that we use, is that you level up more often than you do under the second edition rules that I’ve spent most of my D&D career using. Once every three or so session we seemed to level, which I thought was a bit much. It wasn’t because of XP rewards that were too high, but rather that the amounts you needed to gather before climbing another level was much more evenly spaced. In second edition the XP targets per level were almost exponential, so it took longer and longer each level.

Castle Bloodstone

9th day, 2nd ride, April, 1372 DR

We woke up in the Crippled Griffon inn in the quaint village of Cold Springs to the sight of a thick blanket of snow on the ground. While this is quite normal for Damara, it was quite shocking for most others.

Roland and I were the first ones downstairs. The innkeeper only had oatmeal for us to eat, but we convinced him to let Roland cook our own breakfast, paying him a silver piece for the use of his kitchen and the ingredients. Roland made the most delicious sweet toast I have ever tasted. Roland convinced Ebon his share of the costs for the food was one silver piece, which he later gave to me. “Hoar be praised!” Thieving the thief! Ha!

While riding towards Bloodstone, Roland startled me with his sudden magical attack on a deer. We’re well stocked now, but the shock knocked ten years off my life!

When we arrived at Bloodstone, we found a ruin of a large, four-tower fortress. We also noticed that the tracks of wildlife had diminished considerably. The towers were mostly collapsed, but we could make out that they had stairs going down into the hill underneath the keep. A sudden pressing feeling descended upon all of us when we approached the inner keep. It was obvious that this ground was descecrated somehow, which filled me with a sense of dread and foreboding. It reminded me of Vaasa and I was immediately assailed by the feeling of death and dying at the whim of that winged beast. I lost my breakfast.

We had no luck finding an entrance down in the keep, but we found a cave behind the keep, about fifty paces away. We explored it and found it lead to an entrance to the basement of Bloodstone. Inside we found several revenants, which put up quite a fight and scared some of us half to death, literally. I started to regain my confidence and was reminded of why I was still here; I have lived through this and managed to make it to this point. I have more experience now than I did then, and I have Abaddon to protect me and help me endure. There is no reason why twentyfive years of living and fighting in Damara and Vaasa wouldn’t undo me and an incursion into an old keep would.

Finding several magical items that the others immediately pilfered, I was once again reminded of Dialan’s tomb. I can’t help but think we should let these items rest, but the others were eager to take them along. Magical items are rare, but there’s always a story behind as to why you find them in the basement of a haunted keep and it’s hardly ever a pleasant one.

We found a ritual chamber with a sacraficial altar in the middle of a semi-circle of fifteen ornate wooden thrones. One for every vampire lord. Iron sigils were embedded into the wood and we decided to pry loose three of them and take them along. We had to go back inside to gether another one when the first one crumbled in the sunlight when we emerged, so we wrapped the others in cloth.

We rode back to Cold Springs and took loggings at the Crippled Griffon, where I’m now writing this while sipping a cup of warm honeybrew mead. Tomorrow we ride back to Dagger Falls.


8th day, 2nd ride, April, 1372 DR

Talking to Thorim about the problems of the Lycans wasn’t easy. As expected, he had very little sympathy for their position. All he could think about was revenge, recompense and retribution for his cousin’s death. Understandable. Dwarves, it seemed, are the same the world over. From Ironspur to Dagger Falls. He did, however, understood the need to investigate this “Gwath,” and was eager to help us out in that regard.

As an aside, the gold bars we had found had been sold to the Brightblade clan, who gaves us platinum pieces in return. I immediately decided to by Stygos off the stable master at the garrison. While I didn’t realise it at first, Abel was helping me negotiate a better price for Stygos. Fifteen platinum pieces later and I was his owner and the stable master had thrown in two rides of lodgings and grooming as well.

The rest of the day we spent investigating “Gwath” at various sources. What we found was that Gwath was a drow elf who arrived in Daggerdale when it was still called Merridale in 769, DR. She summoned fifteen vampire lords who proceeded to the terrorise the dale in her name. They took up residence at Castle Highstone, which was promptly renamed to Castle Bloodstone. (I had secretly harboured some hope that the name “Bloodstone” had something to do with my homeland, but alas.) They were banished in 802, DR by priests of Lathander. Nobody had heard anything from Gwath since, until Lord Morn got kidnapped by Gwath’s daughter when he was young and held in the Spiderhaunt woods until a group of adventurers freed him and slew Gwath’s daughter. It is believed Gwath is a lich.

I admit freely that when I heard that last word… “Lich…” that I felt sick to my stomach. What a strange thing something so terrible does to the mind and body of a man. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, having lived all of my life under the bane of a creature as vile as Gwath. Flashbacks to the hordes of orks and undead made my head spin, and for a moment I wanted nothing more than to mount Stygos and ride further south and west. Away from Gwath. Away from Zhengyi. Away from the death and despair that followed in his wake.

We learned that more information could be found in Shadowdale, which was a two day ride away. Supposedly, a man named Elminster resides there, a sage of great renown, who could tell us more. We decided that the first step would be for us to ride for the ruins of Castle Bloodstone, which was a day’s ride away, to see what was happening there, if anything. No dalesman would go near the place for rumours of it being haunted were abound. Rumours I tended to believe.

We rode for Castle Bloodstone and reached the small town of Cold Springs by dusk. We decided to spend an uneventful night there.


8th day, 2nd ride, April, 1372 DR

We all discussed what had happened in the woods the previous evening at the dog fights. Aparently, quite a few people had gathered from all around and several rounds of dog fights were held. There was a lot of gambling and it seemed that Marron was the man in charge of it all. Half-way through the event two people came up from the woods and stood at the edge of the clearing. A young woman and a man, both dressed in simple, albeit dirty clothing. Marron spoke with them briefly and they left. Ebon had sneaked up to them but couldn’t overhear what had been said. My initial suspicion was that Marron was paying a tribute to the two, but according to both Abel and Ebon nothing was exchanged except a few words. Also, Ebon had a hard time figuring out which direction they headed after leaving.

During this conversation it was brought to my attention that Ebon was able to read lips at quite some distance. That knowledge would prove valuable later on that day.

We decided to go back to Marron’s cottage and interrogate him. On our way up there Roland and Abel were discussing how to go about things. I realised that I was balancing on a razor’s edge in this situation. The lycans were certainly no friend of mine, but their patron, Malar, was a potential ally to Abaddon. As his agent, I had to extend all possible help in order to cultivate that potential alliance. (It’s a curious thing to consider that what we do here might potentially have an effect on Fury’s Heart, His realm.) My companions would likely not understand, nor did I want to weaken my friendship or insult the relationship we’ve built up with the Brightblade clan. I had to be the one to talk to Marron, away from prying eyes. If he was a lycan and a follower of Malar, I wanted to be the one to explain things to him.

Roland and Abel had decided they would take turns in using their magic upon Marron’s mind to make him more compliant. I had to be quick to offer Abaddon’s protection from these magicks so that he may prove more difficult to ensorcel and that I would be able to get my turn and talk to him. Luck would have it that when we arrived things went almost exactly according to plan. He opened the door, I asked for Abaddon’s protection and it seemed both Roland and Abel had difficulty penatrating that defense with their magic. Annoyed through wounded pride, Abel walked back to the road as I went to talk to Marron, who was definitely on edge. Unfortunately, Roland wouldn’t leave the cottage and I knew Ebon was circling the cottage as well, so I had to be careful.

Luck was on my side once again when before we could really talk, someone had stepped out onto the road close to Ebon and Abel. Roland went to check it out and Marron and I could talk. And when we spoke, he seemed eager to spill his guts. It turned out Marron wasn’t a lycan, nor a follower of Malar, but just a man in the woods who organised dog fights. However, the couple that had come to the dog fights earlier, the one that Abel and Ebon had seen, they were part of the lycan pack for the Border Forest. Her name was Var, and she was the pack leader. His name was Kyran and was an agent of Malar. It was also Kyran who had stepped out onto the road and was making my companions and Marron, very uneasy. I took a gamble and stepped out to greet this Kyran and hope to diffuse the situation.

“May you smell and taste the terror of your pray, son of the Stalker,” which made this Kyran smile. I introduced myself as a child of Abaddon and off the conversation went.

Kyran is an agent for Malar, but not a priest. He travels around from forest to forest and visits the lycan packs. He challenges the leaders and picks new leaders for packs. He’s not from this area and calls The Lurkwoods far to the west his hunting grounds. He’s here because an ancient evil has awoken in the area that’s threatening the lycans of the Border Forest. An evil he calls “Gwath.” It’s forcing his lycans to hunt closer to Dagger Falls, while the Brightblade clan’s lumbering operations are moving them closer to this… “Gwath.” They’re caught in between and finding their hunting grounds narrower and narrower. This is why they have been striking out against the Brightblade clan.

If we could look into Gwath and see what we could do, we could diffuse the situation between the lycans and the dwarves. It would be better for all of us. Lycans happy, Brightblade happy, Malar happy, Abaddon happy.

7th day, 2nd ride, April, 1372 DR

We’ve all decided that we’ll need to check the Marron angle again. Considering the man’s reclusive nature, as well as the rumours of his dog-fights, it seems like a distinct possibility that he knows more about the werewolves of the Border Forest. Abel and Ebon have volunteered to go to the Broken Dagger, the roudy tavern in Dagger Falls run by that blasted half-ork, in order to inquire about the fights. Ebon they don’t know yet and blends in with that crowd much better than Abel does, and yet I hardly recognised him by the time he was done disguising himself. I have to admit there’s a deviousness to that young man that’s hard to deny.

When they returned they had good news. They had been invited to come to the fights the following night. It was decided that only they would go and not risk exposing them by following them to the get-together. We’d have to trust in their abilities to handle themselves, which doesn’t always sit well with me.

When we were all ready to retire, we found someone in Abel’s room going through his things. After battering the door down and confronting the person, my veins ran cold with ice as the man standing in Abel’s bedroom on the second floor of the Teshford Arms was a long deceased spirit, dark as night and not quite material! He had taken the two orbs that we had retrieved from Dalian’s tomb and after ignoring several of our attacks, retreated through the window and out into the night.

It troubles me that this has been the second spell of negative attention we’ve received as a result of Dalian’s tomb. That which is dead should be left to lie undisturbed. Ebon’s curse, and now this. I had a hard time falling asleep that night, retracing events at the tomb and making sure I hadn’t taken anything from that place that could come back to haunt me — literally.

The following morning, I spoke to Olavia about the broken door and promised I’d have someone come in that day to repair it. It would have been easy to suggest that her security was lacking and that we prevented this person from pilfering more items from not just Abel but also other guests. Instead of her being grateful of preventing any further robbery and volunteering to take on the costs for the door, Olavia continued being a bitter and dried up old cunt. I don’t much like her and I’ve been keeping my eyes open for any opportunity to leave that horrid place.

I found a carpenter in Dagger Falls by the name of Landon who will come in that very day and put a new door in Abel’s room. Labour and material costs are three gold pieces. Another thing of note is that it seems that Landon is one of the few humans in Dagger Falls who has no problem with the Brightblade clan.

Having a consecrated place of worship in the hills outside of Dagger Falls, I decided to go up there to perform my daily ritual of prayer to Abaddon. To my surprise Roland asked if he could join in paying respects to Him. It’s a bit of a hike, especially with my leg, but Abaddon tells us not to suffer, but to endure. Roland and I greeted the cloudy morning with prayer.

The rest of the day went by rather uneventfully. Abel and Ebon went to the dog fights in the woods and I spent my time in the Red Rock tavern where Roland performed. Roland did magnificently, though he lost me about halfway through the rather lengthy performance about Waukeen when I spotted a curious pin on Kessla. It took me a moment to identify it, because I was sure I had seen that pin before.

It all started when I realised that for a crowded tavern, Kessla had no security at the door to kick the boys out when they got to rowdy. I wondered then if she had some other tricks up her sleeve. When I payed attention to her I noticed the pin. A tiny little trinket of silver and gold. A Harper pin. Kessla is a Harper!