Freehold Grows

The group wintered in Tusk. Over the next several months, Freehold continued to grow. A food shortage sparked investment in infrastructure, with a granary, sewer system, and cistern built in Tusk.
A new settlement, Narlton, was formed, bring the elves and the quarry workers together. It is being administered by the elves, with Tessara in charge.
An army was formed, comprised mostly of Rostlanders.
Dimitri became the new spymaster, after he revealed himself to be an expert at intrigue and deception. Denea became the Grand Diplomat, and Pich set up an office for her in the Embassy.
A group of Numerians settled in the north, bring with them valuable metals and trade materials.
When the spring came, the group set out to explore. They were able to map the Narlmarches, and found the Hooktongue Slough to the west.
While exploring the swamp, the group came across a small ruin, nearly completely submerged in the swamp. When they came close, three preserved corpses wearing bronze funeral masks emerged from the water. They attacked immediately. They were difficult enemies, but the group was able to destroy them. However, both Denea and Korjun were afflicted with a strange curse, causing their skin to rot away.
The group immediately left for Tatzlford. By the time they arrived, the curse had taken hold of both. Barok called on the blessings of Abadar to heal them, and after several days (and the help of Jhod), they were free of the curse.
The group returned to Tusk in time for Founder’s Day. When they arrived, they met with Jamandi Aldori, the First Sword of Restov. She explained the deteriorating situation in Brevoy, and told the group that Restov will not be able to directly aid Freehold.
She then told the group about the town of Varnhold, in the Nomen Heights. Restov has lost contact with Varnhold, and they are unable to send agents to look into it. She asked the group if they will investigate what happened there. Korjun then tasked Knights with exploring the Kamelands and finding the pass leading to Varnhold.
At the Founder’s Day festival, Nikolai (with the aid of Dimitri and Roland) used storyteller’s dust to tell the story of Freehold’s founding, as well as the group’s exploits since then. The audience was enthralled and impressed. Jamandi went toKorjun’s lodge with him that night, and all of Freehold knew what the group had done in their name.

The Forest Drake

The group returned to Tusk, and Barok decided to stay with Trin while she recovered. The others decided to go back into the Narlmarches to continue their exploration.
During their travel, they came across a strange hermit living in the woods. It was difficult to speak with him, and he seemed very happy to have been given food.
After leaving the mad hermit, the group continued their exploration of the Narlmarches. Later that night, at camp, the hermit came out of nowhere and attacked Ram. His trained mountain lion came went afterNikolai. Ram was seriously wounded, but when Korjun entered the fight, it ended quickly.
The group returned to Tusk, and found that Trin, the woman rescued from the lizard folk, had recovered.
While preparing to set back off into the woods,Denea received an urgent message, calling her away. The others went back into the woods to find the dragon they had heard lived in the Narlmarches.
Ram was able to find the dragon’s tracks, and they began to follow it. It became clear that the creature suspected it was being followed, and began to try to circle around the group.
Finally, the dragon ambushed them. Moving incredibly fast, it spit an acid cloud, then rushed in and attacked the group as they left the cloud. It was very dangerous, though the group was able to surround it. It tried to escape by flying up, but Korjun brought the beast down with his magic.
Eventually, the group made it back to Tusk to prepare for the winter.
The months passed, and Tusk grew.
A letter came from a noblewoman, Elora Valinet. She asked to relocate to Tusk to restart her shipping ventures.

The Lizardfolk's Rebellion

The group ventured back into the Narlmarches. They quickly found the lizard folk village, and attempted to make peaceful contact. When they approached, they were send away by the guards.
Deciding to leave them alone, the group continued with their exploration. Later that night, they were approached by the lizard folk guard that sent them away. Using alchemy, Nikolai was able to understand and communicate (in a basic way) with him. He said that his name was Thissk, and that he wanted peaceful contact. He seemed to be under the impression that the group was looking for something, and that his village had it. When the group told him that they didn’t know what he was talking about, he explained that they had captured a human woman, and had been torturing her for some time. Though most of the village thought it was wrong, an ancestor spirit told their king it was right. He had began to doubt that this spirit was really their ancestor, and he suspected the king to be mad. Thissk told the group that there were others in the village that thought the same thing, and that if they could drive away the spirit and kill their king, they could have the woman.
The group decided to help, and began to plan their attack. Thissk said that he and his comrades would let them in, but that they couldn’t help fight.
The next morning, the group followed Thissk back to the village. They easily dispatched the loyal guards before the king knew what was happening.
The king, a giant lizard folk and skilled warrior, was furious. He sent his pet blood caimans after the group, and fought viciously. The group was able to kill him, and then the spirit began its attack.
The group had already suspected that this spirit was actually one of the will-o-wisps. It tried, in vain, to fight them, then it tried to rally the village and send them after the group. Thissk convinced them to let the group be, and they were able to kill the will-o-wisp.
The group was able to get the woman, a Kellid named Trin out of the village. Later that day, Thisk found them again. He gave them some of the king’s things, and told them that they were always welcome in the village. He did warn them, however, that other humans aren’t welcome, and they shouldn’t go near the village.
The group got Trin safety back to Tusk to recover. They then went back out into the Natlmarches, stopping first at Vanya’s to let her know what happened in Candlemere and with the lizard folk.

The Ruins of Candlemere

The group ventured south to take care of unfinished business there. Their first stop was Candlemere, to investigate the will-o-wisps.
Upon reaching the island, they noticed that it was covered in poisonous bushes, and that it was unnaturally still and quiet. Clearing some of the brush, they made their way to the ruined tower. With no sign of will-o-wisps, they investigated the ruins and found a large stone disk that had previously covered a portal leading below. The disk was covered in a strange script, that the group was unable to translate.
Going into the portal, the group found themselves in an ancient stone corridor, covered by a thick, black sludge. A heavy feeling of dread and terror came over them, but they pressed on.
The corridor opened into an empty room, and while searching the floor, Barok noticed a glowing beneath the sludge. A thick, yellowish green mist rose from the floor, annihilating the sludge and choking the group. The escaped back into the hall, and waited for the mist to dissipate.
After it had disappeared, they ventured further. They came across another large room, though this had a large portal set in the center. The cover had been moved slightly, with a gap wide enough to squeeze through. The walls of this room were covered in more of the strange script, which upon further study Barok was able to identify as Aklo.
Nikolai mixed a few alchemical substances and was able to allow himself to read it. What he read was incomprehensible, strange and horrible invocations of ancient and terrible beings.
Despite this, the group went further into the strange dungeon.
The portal opened up into a huge chamber, seemingly carved from the natural stone beneath the tower. A long, spirally path lead down into the depths, clearly unnaturally made. Winding down the path, the group found a landing with two large columns, and two hideous creatures; screaming blobs of flesh, eyes, and mouths. The group engaged them, and after a difficult fight, they were able to destroy them.
Following the path, the group came to the bottom of the cavern. Though they didn’t see anything, they did hear a scraping sound. Then, Barok was attacked by an unseen creature. Korjun went forward to face the beast, and was picked up into the air by it. Barok called on Abadar to aid them, and the creature revealed itself. A huge mass of tentacles, some with mouths, stood before them. The group attacked. The thing let Korjun go, to better defend itself against Denea‘s onslaught. Once free, Korjun brought his earth breaker down into the thing’s center, crushing it’s body. It turned to dust, and with that the feeling of dread subsided. The path that lead them down then began to crumble, and the group raced back, trying to avoid fissures and falling stones.
Making it safety back to the surface, the group still had not seen any will-o-wisps. Exhausted, the group left the island and camped on the shore. That night, they saw the lights again, this time over the lake itself.
The next morning, they went back to the island to further investigate it and continue clearing the brush. That night, the lights returned, again over the water. This time the group rowed out to meet them, with a blessing that allowed them to walk on water.
When they came close, the lights went out. Barok then called upon Abadar to reveal the creatures. Three spongey, floating orbs appeared over the boat. The group attacked. Two of the orbs flew away, and the third shot a bolt of electricity into Barok. It was quickly destroyed, and the group jumped onto the water to chase the others. They escaped, flying off into the night.
It seemed as if the will-o-wisps had been driven away, and whatever strange curse had been afflicting the island was lifted.

Rebuilding Tusk

The past few months have been very eventful in Tusk. Though still small, Tusk is becoming more and more prosperous. Work crews have been busy building roads to Tatzlford and to the trading post in the north. Paths were cut through the Narlmarches to retrieve the treasure and goods the group found in the trolls’ lair and the ancient elven keep. Freehold is preparing to establish trade between the Sellen and Restov.
A group of mounted knights were spotted in the east. Korjun, Denea, and Nikolai went out to meet them. They spoke with Lady Alma Lirran, their leader and Roland Mathias, her second in command. They explained that they are the Knights of the Blue Rose of the Order of the Shield, dedicated to protecting those that cannot protect themselves. They said that they had heard tales of Freehold, and came to assist. The agreed to patrol the east, staying far from Tusk. With them is a dwarven scholar, Igmar Thelan.
Construction of the golem was completed, and now it stands guard in the center of town. Most aren’t sure what to think of it.
A census was completed, and military instructors and equipment were purchased to begin work on a standing army.
The Knights of the Blue Rose were able to find Nettle’s Crossing, but were not able to find Nettle’s restless corpse. They did find a body, which was buried.
Among the treasure brought from the south, the ancient elven statue was determined to be made from mithral, not silver. An expert metal smith was hired to begin to smelt the statue down.
With most preparations in place, the only thing standing in the way of regular trade are the dangers of Candlemere and the southern part of the river.

The Heroes of Tusk

In the afternoon of 28 Gozran, 4712, the town of Tusk was attacked by a vicious owlbear. The people of the town acted quickly, and fought bravely to drive the beast away. The following people lost their lives that day:
Andrej, soldier, fell fighting the beast.
Red Piotr, soldier, fell fighting the beast.
Anatol Kadek, farmer and militiaman, fell fighting the beast.
Milos Tesar, builder and militiaman, fell fighting the beast.
Stefan Azen, fisherman and militiaman, fell fighting the beast.
Kas Beren, builder and militiaman, fell fighting the beast.
Janek Myska, marshal, fell fighting the beast.
Zan Hajek, smith, fell fighting the beast.
Jania Musil, wife to Mirran the cobbler, died when her house collapsed.
Ivie Musil, daughter to Mirran and Jania Musil, died when her house collapsed.
Albin, builder, died trying to rescue Jania and Ivie Musil.
Wava Dobrev, baker, was killed by the beast while trying to drag Kas Beren back to safety after he was wounded.
They will not be forgotten.
– as recorded by Dimitri Novosad

Hunting the Owlbear

The group had tracked the owlbear to it’s cave. Venturing inside, they found heaps of waste and various types of fungi. They were attack by strange mushrooms that could move, and whose tentacles were coated in extremely potent poison. Korjun, Ram, and Kesten were grievously wounded, their strength sapped. Instead of trying to push forward, the group retreated to tend to their wounds. At their camp, Korjun told Kesten that he would stay in the rear and use a bow, concerned about Kesten‘s apparently recklessly behavior. Kesten refused, and eventually a fist fight broke out. Kesten backed off, but resigned his post as Captain and left.
Still injured a down a man, the group decided to rest longer. Later that evening, Kesten returned. He said that he lost a few of his friends, and he wanted to see the beast dead.
The next morning, the group went back in. They encountered another plant monster, this one infested with centipedes.
After destroying the plant monster, the group found a small tunnel, clearly not big enough for the owlbear. It was trapped, and when the group went through it, the floor collapsed. Ram managed to hop to the other side, and found another way into the owlbear’s living chamber. The monster noticed them, and went around to try to kill them. The group anticipated it’s approach, and waited for it to try to squeeze through the entrance of it’s chamber. They trapped it there, and were able to kill it. When it was dead, they noticed that it had shredded barding. Further exploration of the cave revealed the rotting corpses of another owlbear, two cubs, and half a dozen men. Kesten reasoned that, judging by the quality of the arms and armor, they were most likely mercenaries. The group also found more of the strange flowers in the cave.
Returning to Tusk on Founder’s Day, the group received a hero’s welcome. Everyone celebrated, as the people knew that the beast that terrorized their town was dead.

The Owlbear Attack

Having defeated the troll lord, the group confronted the sleeping rock troll and killed it, as well. They then decided to return to Tatzlford.
Traveling through the Narlmarches, the group again came across the ancient elven keep, said to be haunted by evil fey.
Inside, the group found three fey. One was small and incredibly fast, but the group was able to kill it.
The second appeared to be a beautiful elven woman, and used trickery to try to get the group to turn on itself. She was killed as well. The last was a creature that hid amongst the plants, and it too was killed.
The group then made it back to Tatzlford to inform them that the trolls were gone. The group then left for Tusk.
Arriving at night, the group found Tusk in ruins. Several buildings were demolished, and Kesten was guiding survivors in looking for the wounded. He informed the group that it was a large owlbear, and that it had just left.
The group decided to leave immediately to track it down, and Kesten decided to go with them.

The Troll King's Lair

The group tracked the trolls to their lair, an ancient dwarven outpost. Sneaking into front, the group found two sleeping sentries. They rushed in and attacked, an quickly dispatched the trolls. The sound of fighting altered more, and two trolls, accompanied by an awful beast Korjun called a “trolldog,” rushed in. The group was able to defeat these trolls as well. They continued to search the outpost, and found a broken wall that led into a cave. Venturing in, they heard two trolls arguing down one tunnel and quiet down another. Going down the quiet tunnel, they found where the trolls sleep, as well as two trolls that were waiting for them. These trolls proved to be more difficult than the others, but the group did manage to bring them down. After the last one fell, the two trolls they had heard before made it to the barracks. To their horror, it wasn’t two trolls but a two headed troll, bigger and more menacing than the others. After a pitched battle, and several close calls, the beast was dead. Wounded and exhausted, the group decided to push on. They found what must be the cellar; a cavern stacked with bodies. Inside, hiding amongst stalagmites, was a sleeping rock troll. Deciding to leave it be, the group continued to explore the caves. They at last came upon a large cave in which a very large troll, armored and with a large club, slept on a huge throne carved from a tree. Leaving to discuss what to do, the group decided to use the element of surprise to kill the troll “king” in his sleep. The group rushed in, and although the troll woke when they began their assault, he was powerless against them. He was able to only stand to fight before he was cut down.

Trolls in the Narlmarches

After defeating the creature in the barrow, the group returned to Tusk. When they arrived, they learned that a messenger had been sent from Tatzlford requesting their aid. Korjun also found an anonymous message nailed to the inside of his door, asking to meet.
The group went to the shore at midnight, as the note stated, and meet with the"ghost" from Vanya‘s hut. Ghost, as he is called, was a hoarse voiced elf that used magic to conceal himself. When it was clear that his magic wasn’t enough, he revealed himself, but was still concealed by his clothes and the dark.
Ghost was belligerent and very unfriendly. He stated that he was tasked by Vanya to inform the group that the trolls are on the move, and that she feels that something is coming. He revealed that both Vanya and Yakob have “wild blood.” He also asked if the group had seen any of the strange flowers.
In addition, he had a personal request. He wanted to know why the elves, and specifically Tessara, their leader, had come to Freehold. He gave the group advice on fighting the trolls (which did not turn out to be terribly helpful) in return.
The next morning, the group left for Tatzlford. They didn’t receive a very warm welcome from Kirkwell, the guardian of the town. They learned that five of the townsfolk, hunters and trappers, had gone missing in the past week. Kirkwell found troll tracks in the woods just south of the town. Jhod had come to the town to help protect it, but even then Taztlford wouldn’t be able to withstand an attack. The group set out the next morning to track down the trolls.
Ram was able to find the tracks that Kirkwell had seen, and followed them through the southern Narlmarches. The tracks wandered and doubled back several times, showing that the trolls were not very bright and had to use landmarks to guide them.
While following the tracks, the group came across a strange clearing, littered with animal (and some humanoid) corpses. While investigating, they were attack by a huge tree monster. It’s branches were razor sharp, and several of the group suffered serious wounds. After a pitched battle, they were able to bring the beast down. While searching the clearing, Ram and Nikolai found more strange flowers that turned to dust when pulled from the earth.
Continuing to follow the tracks, the group saw a keep in the south west. They were warned about this place by Ghost. He told them that it is an ancient elven ruin that has been taken by a group of murderous fey. The group gave this place a wide berth, and were not harassed by it’s inhabitants.
As the days went by, the group had been gaining ground on the trolls. Finally, in the far south, they found them. The trolls attacked on site, roaring and demolishing the woods to get the group. After a difficult and bloody battle, the trolls were dead, and the group was seriously injured.
The group rested and tended to their injuries, knowing that the trolls’ den must be close by…..


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